Leaf pile

I've heard it said often how much kids take away-sleep, money, etc. 
Only looking at that tiny 1% of the equation simply isn't true. 
My children haven't taken away from my life at all.  
In fact, all my best lessons about joy, trusting God, wonder, imagination, living in the moment, prayer, curiosity, and delighting in things for the simple pleasure of fun have all come for my girls. 
They have no concept of gathering "likes" as many as the leaves, 
no mindset that includes a social media status. 

They are just simply delighted, begging me to rake up the leaves so they could jump in them. 
Lessons from the leaf pile. 

Homemade Pumpkin Seeds

We finally had a break in our summer temperatures long enough for me to feel a bit of fall inspiration.  Last weekend we loaded up the girls and Nana, heading to our local produce stand filled to the brim with pumpkins.  We picked out just the perfect ones, a job the girls took quite seriously.  Once we came home and started carving silly Jack-O-Lantern faces in the robust pumpkins my eyes gravitated towards the bountiful bowl of seeds.  Surely we wouldn't just throw them out.  

Although I'd never roasted pumpkin seeds before, I decided to give it a try.  Only taking a few minutes, they turned out savory with just the right amount of crunch.  Meeting the approval of both our family and weekend company, this healthy little snack has been the perfect treat to munch our way into the new week with.  I hope you'll give them a try! 

The directions to make these are quite simple.  I didn't use a recipe but you don't even need one.  I washed the seeds very thoroughly, removing any strings and then let them sit in the colander overnight to dry out.  Next I put them in a mixing bowl with some extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt, cinnamon, and a bit of cayenne pepper.  Last, I baked them at 300 degrees, stirring every so often until they turned crispy (but not burned).  

Art Update…scenes from the studio.

Happy Monday!  Are you ready for this week to start?  I hope so and if not, here's to another cup of coffee and a bit of Jesus to get your feet dancing into the week.  Or at least treading slowly into the week.  I'm excited to pop in and share some updates on my art lately.  I'm always, always making art no matter if it shows up on the blog or not.  In fact, my camera is almost always loaded with pictures of art as well.  Sometimes it just takes a few days for the words and blog posts to catch up to the photos.   

If you follow me on Instagram (I'm "therosylifeblog") then you've already seen sneak peeks at the bicycle birthday party I was hired to decorate for a sweet two-year old boy! 
From award ribbons to pinwheels, both big and small, I've had the most fun making the decorations for this party! I'll be styling it all this Sunday and photographing the party as well.  I was honored to be asked and can't wait to show you pictures of the final product.  

I shared this painting on IG and was surprised at the response.  I started this painting on the back of an old piece of Subway art, one of my first DIY projects.  The idea was to put paint here and there to use up those tiny bits of paint I always have leftover at the end of my painting time (a.k.a. when the girls wake up!).  This was purely a "let your fingers do their thing" kind of painting and I even had Anna Ruth help me on it a few times.  All that to say it's sitting in my studio and begging to be properly finished and it's loud and too colorful and I like it.   I'll keep you posted on the finishing touches. 
Some days I have maybe 10 or 15 minutes to create alongside the girls and I don't feel like getting out a bunch of paint or supplies so instead I'll grab my gratitude journal box.  It's simply an old vintage box filled with scrapbooking  paper, ephemera, and tape.  On a good day I quickly jot a list of gratitude.  On the rest of the days I make pages ahead of time just for the fun of it and leave them ready for filling in with my words.  Here's a peek at the journal so far!

This season of my creative life is busier than ever and I like that.  
Between the bicycle party, Halloween, the holidays, and two birthdays in our own family coming up, I'm a busy bee.  My mind is quite full of ideas and I look forward to sharing a whole lot of creative ideas with you in the upcoming months! 
I'll also be adding Christmas to the shop soon as well! 
There will be new art prints, a handful of new products, and a SALE when it all hits the shelves so keep your eyes open!  This will be the last sale of the year, with my shop going on vacation starting Monday, December 14th.  I hope you'll keep The Rosy Life in mind for your Christmas shopping this year! I'm excited to share my other favorite handmade shops with you as well so stay tuned! 

Playdough Cupcake Party (and a quick photo lesson)

Good morning! The girls and I have kept up our afternoon activity sessions for a few weeks now and it is really fun! Fun for us all I should add.  The new conversations that pop up with the placement of a just a few new things or ingredients always astounds me.  It doesn't take much to stretch my girls' imaginations.  I must tell you, we don't do a fancy or scheduled activity every single afternoon.  I used to try that and it just stressed me out even more on the days I didn't get everything set up in time.  So this time around I've said "bye-bye" to all that drama and just work activities in on the days when it's do-able.  This particular afternoon I grabbed this tray I really like from Dollar Tree and filled it with trinkets and items to combine with play dough for a Cupcake Party!

The girls' faces just lit up when they saw me step out onto the back deck with this fun tray!  I particularly like this tray (seriously, only $1 at Dollar Tree) because of all the divided sections.  Perfect for so many invitations to play.  We most often do activities like this outside, for now at least.  Come winter I imagine we'll have our table covered in kraft paper a lot to help with the mess.  

I mean seriously, it is so precious to watch the girls play!  

This cupcake making business is serious stuff! 
Here's a quick photo tip of mine, or at least a personal favorite.  Photograph the hands. "The hands?" you ask.  "Why the hands?".  Just trust me.  The hands change.  The hands are the ones that hold ours, touch, reach, learn, worship, explore.  The little dimples on the knuckles won't always be there.  Hands matter.  Hands are precious to me.  I always photograph the hands. For the best storytelling result, focus only on the hands, letting the rest of the background blur.  

The items I put out with the play dough were fuzzy balls, candles, and beads.  
How can you set up an invitation to play for your big or little ones today?  

Now grab your camera and find some precious hands to photograph! 

Dear me, (and maybe you too)

Dear me,
 You read a note hastily scrawled on Momastery's blog that she had written to herself, to read on the more anxious, less joyful days.  You know the ones, you've had them yourself.  You think this just must be real life and surely everyone has these days?  But something your tender, honest heart doesn't understand is all the perfectionism hiding the pure, unfiltered lives we all live.  You included.  The "squares of Instagram" are tricky little things.  All marching in a row, perfect picture, one after another. Although there is certainly potential for good on social media (and you even use it yourself), there is also great potential to hide when things are messy.  And they are messy a lot. 

Your life is busier than those outside your very inner circle will ever know, with responsibilities that simply can't be thrown to the side.  You balance things quite well and in a healthy amount.  You've learned when to say "no"and when to say an enthusiastic "YES!".

Still, dear one, you are human.  Anxious days (which are really just tired days masked with anxiety) creep up every now and then and you need to remember a few things. 
First, you probably actually don't have too much on your plate.  Remember that paragraph above?  You have truly learned a good balance with being wife, mama, artist, and friend.  Still, if you are highly anxious, chances are-you're just too tired.  A good night's sleep can be the difference between the world being your oyster or your enemy.  Trust me.  Cover the big things (keep your sweet family fed and dressed), and let the rest go for a day or two.  Get some sleep.  You tell yourself this a lot-"Everything always seems better in the morning. " And it does. 

You should eat healthy and drink water.  I know it's hard, but every time you do  you feel like someone dunked you under icy, cold water and you came up gasping for fresh, beautiful air.  You feel great when you eat right. 

You have always loved Jesus and always will.  Say His scripture over and over in your mind and while you're at it, crank up some Christy Nockels!  

Books are your friend and always have been.  They give your mind new places to roam, instead of anxious ones.  

You love people.  You are often teased (in a kind way) for making friends everywhere.  It matters to be friendly at the grocery store and keep up with your close circle of friends. 

Art is breath to you.  Although others don't always understand this (it can sometimes look like you're "trying to do it all" from the outside), art in just about any form keeps the very breath in your lungs going, the gears in your mind spinning.  You crave creativity.  You are creative.

And last but not least, borrowing the words from Momastery, "You see more magic than the average bear. "  You always have, always will.  Pick up your camera, let a hush fall over the crowd, and God's vision fill up your eyes. 

With rosy eyes,

The rosy in my real life!

Hello friends! I'm here for another edition of "rosy in my real life!"  I tried to number these and do one for every week o...