Thursday, 29 August 2019

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Goals for September & On Being Intentional

It is a glorious Sunday morning; the winter sun is shining brightly and there is a slight breeze stirring the leaves of the trees.  
I have just sat down with a cup of coffee and have decided to compile a list of goals for the month of September.

 We have been in our new home for a little over a week now, and already we feel quite settled.
Our home has become a haven for us, and a reflection of our family's heart.
Rhythms and routines are slowly being established as we seek to find and adjust to a new normal for our daily life.


 The word intentional is frequently on my mind at the moment.
For almost a year I stumbled through my days, desperately trying to make sense of the chaos my world had been flung into to after my family moved to China.
The Lord taught me a great deal through this season of uncertainty and instability, drawing me closer to Himself.

Now that my family are home and we are together again, I find I have a deeper appreciation for the people I share life with, and strive to make the most of each day.
Being intentional allows me to live fully in every moment, awake to the gloriousness of being alive  in this great big world, and in tune to the voice of my Creator.

Compiling a list of personal goals for the month will hopefully aid me in my desire to live intentionally each day!
Here goes...September goals...


 ~ Spend time with the Lord each day praying and reading Scripture.
~ Listen to sermons online.
~ Finish reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.  Currently listening to (and absolutely loving!) an audio book, but a hard copy is on its way and will hopefully be in the mail in the next week or so.
~ Finish reading The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.  Yes, I read more than one book at a time.
 ~ Reopen my Etsy shoppeThere are just a few banking and PayPal issues that to be resolved before I publish new listings.
~ Shop for a good quality second hand bookshelf for my bedroom.  The little one currently holding my books is groaning under the weight it bears.
~ Sew a new peasant top for myself.  I have a beautiful top bought sometime ago which I love so much. I want to take it apart and create a pattern from it so as to make several more just like it.
~ Organise my craft drawers.
~ Print photographs for my travel journal and paste them in to complete pages.
~ Take up calligraphy again and practice at least twice a week.
~ Continue with gentle exercises each day to build up strength after my injury.  If the weather is warm, swim and do light exercise in the pool.
~ Mail letters and packages waiting to be sent off to dear friends.
~ Resume photography.  Schedule a few shoots with siblings to get going again.  
~ Post at least twice a week on my blog.
~ Post at least three times a week on Instagram.
~ Email those friends I haven't written to in...well, much too long.
~ Start working on new stock for Christmas market.
~ Resurrect Heartmade's Facebook and Instagram page.
~ Start giving thought to a display for Christmas market.
~ Drink less coffee.
~ Watch sugar intake more carefully.
~ Spend at least half an hour a day in the garden.
~ Sow Spring seeds and prepare garden beds for Spring planting.
~ Make compost and mulch garden beds with manure.
 ~ Build a new worm box.
                 ~ Be available to read stories, do crafts and have fun with the little children.
~ Spend time with my siblings doing daily tasks such as gardening and cooking.
~ Give thought to ideas for new business ventures. 
~ Start new job looking after a three month old baby girl.  This is a short term opportunity which I am quite excited about. 
~ Spend time singing with my sisters.
~ Write in my journal at least twice a week.  Keep is neat and short.
~ Burn all photographs on laptop to disks, label and put away for safekeeping.

Words to live by in September...

And there you go...I am sure I will add to this list and tweak it here and there.  
I feel no pressure to reach all my goals...they are simply there to help me stay focused.

What things do you hope to do/achieve in September?
Do you read more than one book at a time?
Happy Monday, dear friends!
Have a truly wonderful week ahead!

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Thursday Pearls

Painting by Alfred Sisley

"The welcoming atmosphere we provide for our family and friends, 
the errands we run, the outings we plan, the care we provide in times of illness, 
 and the efforts we take to promote wellness - each of these daily actions and a thousand others, reveal in miniature an aspect of God's nature. 
The often tedious and mundane tasks of homemaking become acts of worship, 
our ordinary movements works of art...It's no insignificant calling, this ministry of homemaking...
My mother worked hard to create an atmosphere in our home that reflected God's beauty,
 His order, and His merciful, welcoming heart. 
In so doing, she gave our hearts a taste for heaven. 
That's what can happen when women devote themselves 
to their marriages and families and homes. 
That's the kind of impact we can generate when our lives 
reflect the importance and value of home." 
~ Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth
Happy Thursday, lovelies!

Monday, 12 August 2019

This Beautiful Fantastic ~ A Review

Hello dear friends…

I am thrilled to be sharing this review with you today.

It is always wonderful to find good movies that inspire, and This Beautiful Fantastic is definitely one of those…

What the story is about…

A creative soul trapped by her fears, the somewhat eccentric Bella Brown finds her way out of her dark and obsessive little world through the process of cultivating a garden with the help of her cantankerous old neighbour and the friendship of a brilliant young inventor.

Along the way, old grievances are sprinkled with drops of kindness, and the unlikeliest of people are drawn together through a common interest.

My thoughts…

I will admit that during the first few minutes of the movie, I had my doubts, but, as time went on and the story began to take form, I found myself thoroughly enchanted.

It is somewhat arty in the way the pieces of the story come together, but truly magical and well worth watching.

There is also some good humour thrown in which brought everything together in a most delightful way.

Of course, being a gardener myself, I fully appreciated the references to the joy derived in creating a beautiful garden.

I have always maintained that tending the earth is one of the greatest forms of therapy, and this is something we see happening in This Beautiful Fantastic.

The characters…

In this story we see Bella overcoming her fears, forming meaningful friendships and discovering something about herself.

Through the tedious process of eliminating the weeds suffocating her yard, she creates something wonderful, not only in her garden, but in her life.

Jessica Brown-Findlay (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) did an incredible job of morphing into her complex character with such believability and depth of feeling, skillfully portraying Bella’s vulnerable and somewhat eccentric nature.
 Andrew Scott (Swallows and Amazons) played the role of Alfie Stevenson’s Irish cook, Vernon, to absolute perfection.

Originally, Vernon works for Alfie, who does not treat him as he should and shows no appreciation for Vernon’s culinary talent.

Upon meeting Bella, who shows him kindness, he decides to return the favour by cooking her breakfast the next morning and working for her instead, leaving his miserable boss in the lurch.

Vernon is an endearing character and adds an essential element of humour to the story.

Tom Wilkinson (Belle) played the cantankerous and controlling Mr Alfred Stevenson.

Mr Stevenson is Bella’s interfering old neighbour – a lonely man who has a great deal to share; his knowledge of gardening and stories of his travels.

As the story unfolds, we see Alfie gradually letting go of his bitterness and pain by reaching out to someone in desperate need of kindness and a helping hand.

The role of the brilliant young inventor, Billy Tranter, was played by Jeremy Irvine (War Horse).

Billy is passionate about his work, and at first it is this enthusiasm which draws Bella out.

The two discover they see the world through similar eyes and inspire each other to greatness.

Over time, we see that Alfie becomes something of a fatherly figure in Bella’s life, while Vernon takes on that of a caring and protective older brother.

The equally eccentric young inventor, Billy, starts out as Bella’s inspiration and friend, but over time their friendship develops into something more precious.

Final thoughts…

In This Beautiful Fantastic, we see these remarkable characters grow, let go of their prejudices and allow themselves to be brought together through something as simple as gardening.

This is one of those rare and wonderful movies that leave you smiling at the end and believing that sometimes all it takes is the willingness to lay aside old grievances and allow kindness to overcome all.

I would give This Beautiful Fantastic a rating of 4/5 stars and would recommend it for ages 12+.

Some mild language used but otherwise clean.

Have you seen This Beautiful Fantastic?

If so, what did you love most about this movie?

Have a blessed week, dear friends!


Sunday, 11 August 2019

August’s Daybook

 ^Sofia at the ocean.

Outside my Window ~

 It has been the loveliest of Sundays.

The day started out quite clear and the family went for a long, leisurely walk on the beach.

But this afternoon the weather has turned grey, so we have decided to go for a little drive along the coast and come home for hot chocolate.

In my cup ~

Coffee, of course.

Around the House ~

We are moving into our new home this week after a month at the beach.

We are eagerly anticipating being able to put some roots down and establish new routines and rhythms.

Reading ~

Whilst perusing a second hand store the other day, I came across a set of gorgeous old books, each one containing four classics such as, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Pride and Prejudice, Little Women and Wuthering Heights, to name but a few.  I read The Scarlet Pimpernel first and absolutely loved it.  My sister fortunately has one of the other books in the series in her collection, The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel, which I read in one day. 

Listening to ~

Josh Groban and Emmet Cahill…

Thankful for ~

 I am thankful for so many things – having my family home to stay…

…a month spent at the seaside…

…visits with dear old-time friends…

…my leg which I injured almost three months ago, has finally healed and I am almost back to full strength.

From the Kitchen ~

 I made a deliciously hearty soup a couple days ago which I am hoping to repeat.

It has been wonderful to do some cooking for the family again – this was something I missed while Nancy and I were on our own.

Creating ~

 Do dreams count?  I am afraid I have not been very creative lately.   
However, this will soon be remedied once we have settled into our new home.

Watching ~

I have watched very little over the past while except for Jamie Oliver’s Jamie at Home episodes which I watch over and over again for cooking and gardening inspiration.

What I am Wearing ~

 It is a homey sort of day, so I am being practical in jeans and a simple aqua blue blouse.

One of my Favourite Things ~

Sitting on the beach watching my little siblings paddle in the icy cold sea water and reading in between.

It is whale season in South Africa and we have spotted so many Southern Right whales with their young just beyond the breakers. 

Dreaming of ~

 I entertain high hopes of being able to plant a little garden this year. 

My mom and I are keeping our eyes peeled for old baths to use as containers for our vegetable garden.  We saw this concept a little while ago and were surprised at how good it looked. 

I am tired of having to buy fresh salad ingredients from the store and desperately want to grow my own, even in our suburban rental home.

I am Hoping ~

 I stumbled upon the sweetest little wooden chair at a second hand store a couple weeks ago.  I would really like to sand and paint it, and maybe even sew a cushion for it…

I also bought a stunning white dining room table (I fell in love with it and simply had to buy it) which I will use as a crafting table.

I am greatly enjoying my visits to second hand stores at the moment!

Quiet Moments ~

 Peace and quiet is something of the past now that our family are together again, but you will hear no complaints from me.  I missed having my siblings around me and being able to share life with those I love most in the world.

Mom and I played a game of Scrabble this morning and I was pleased as punch to beat her for the first time.

What is happening in your corner of the world this month, sweet friends?
Thank you for stopping by for a visit, dear readers...
Wishing each of you a beautiful week ahead!



Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Thursday Pearls

 Painting by:  Daniel Ridgeway Knight

"The great thing about faith in God is that it keeps a man undisturbed in the midst of disturbance."

~ Oswald Chambers

"I have set the Lord always before me:  because is at my right hand, I shall not be moved."

~ Psalm 16:8 

Thursday blessings, dear friends...