Whirly Pop

December 2018 – Favorite Things

I miss lettuce.

With the e coli invading romaine I’ve come to realize how much I enjoy greens with my meals. Funny how we take things for granted right? I just always assume lettuce will be available. Wrong.

While I dream of crunchy greens, I’m also thinking of these fun and fancy things. Have a wonderful December!

    1. Thieves

      My friend Courtney Maloney is a Young Living distributor and sent me a lovely bottle of thieves to use to clean my oven. She since has taught me all kinds of uses for this essential oil and bonus, it smells like Christmas. Courtney also knows all kinds of magical uses for essential oils and is a big believer in their ability to optimize wellness.

      She says,
      ” I love educating people about essential oils and wellness because in a world of disease, sickness, and brokenness, it gives people hope. It brings me so much joy when I have the opportunity to encourage and empower others in their lives and help them find freedom in their health, finances, faith, and every aspect of living.”

      If you’re interested in learning more, you can find her on Instagram.

    2. Stringing Popcorn and Cranberries
      Creating garlands with popped corn and whole cranberries is one of my favorite holiday decorating traditions. The last few years I’ve held back because I don’t want Olive to eat the strands off the tree. This year, I’ll string along and maybe decorate our pine tree outside. All you need is waxed thread, pop corn kernels, whole cranberries, and a way to pop the kernels. I am a big fan of Whirly Pops to use on the stove. If you don’t feel crafty, you can buy a faux garland right off of Amazon.
    3. Colorado Gives Day

      Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 9.44.23 PM
      Tuesday December 4th is Colorado Gives Day –  a state-wide campaign to support nonprofits in Colorado! Use this website to learn about the thousands of worthy causes to donate to this year. Because giving back doesn’t have to be hard. Some of my favorite causes? The Matthews House, Finally Home, and Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.

      4. Ingrid Michaelson’s Songs For The Season

This is a fun album with a twist on classics and some new songs to delight. Also good, John Legend’s new Christmas album, A Legendary Christmas.

5. French Press Ornaments

For the coffee fanatic, these ornaments are too cute to pass up. Marketing works. Here’s a Starbucks version and I personally am partial to the smaller version created by World Market. I’m a sucker.

I’m hoping your days are merry and bright. And don’t forget about the Give Light Giveaway! Entries are now being accepted. Details on how to enter here.

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Welcome Back

Have I mentioned my love for Whirly Pop popcorn?

Oh my goodness. The simple pleasures. Throw some popcorn kernels in with some oil, and crank, crank, crank the wooden handle. Listen closely as the beautiful, white orbs of deliciousness come to life. Add butter and salt, and you are good to go.

I’m eating a snack at 9:35 pm. And that is a beautiful thing.

On Tuesday last, Dylan and I were invited to participate in a Paint and Sip class. I signed us up because I was craving a night out and thought it would be fun to try something new. As we walked into the brewery where the class was being held (yes, brewery – welcome to Northern Colorado) I felt myself relax into the space. Or maybe that was just the beer included in the price of the experience.

Gazing upon a row of twenty blank canvases, twenty sets of paintbrushes, and twenty palettes of paint made my heart go pitter-patter. So much potential sat waiting to unfold on the table before me. I am a tentative artist who hasn’t played much with art supplies since high school. This class was the ‘welcome back’ to facilitated creativity that I needed.

I spent three hours following an instructor and applying paint to my own canvas. There is a soothing quality to spreading pigment across white, filling a space with colors and swirls. Long handled paint brushes with stained bristles make me feel powerful – there is space to create with such tools. I was astounded to realize that yes, I can conquer shadow and line, and even a bit of color theory without formal training. Well, the color theory came from my husband sitting next to me, but teachers come in various forms don’t they?

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At the end of the class twenty people had created the same concept, but each with their own unique interpretation. None of us were experts, at least I don’t think so, and yet the creativity flowed. This class was a reminder that joy comes in the process, rather than the concept of a finished product. I, myself, am a finisher. I love crossing things off the list, moving to the next task, and feeling like I accomplished many “to-dos” throughout the day. This class though, reminded me to be present with the paint. For when the canvas was finished, it was time to go home.

Playing with paint was a beautiful, fun and freeing experience, but my emotional takeaway carries more weight. Be present in the process, in the swirling mix of colors and shapes that will come together to create a scene. If you keep following the directions, surely beauty of your own variety will transpire too.