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Handsome & Handy

This is your formal invitation to come visit the Lane! Gather a few friends, your most comfy PJ’s, a couple bottles of wine (totally optional), along with your favorite crafting supplies and head on over. I promise you won’t be disappointed! I know, I know, the house doesn’t seem like much on the outside. The porch and large windows are nice for a country house, BUT how does that really help your crafting addiction you ask!?! I’m about to show you!

Split level home with Ramp entry directly into craft areas.

The house is built on a hill and the entrance is actually on the second floor. As you walk in, you can see why we decided this house was perfect for the Lane! The entrance opens up into two large craft rooms filled with 15 six foot tables. (Of course we had to tear down three walls to get it open, but that is a completely different blog!)

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It then spills into the dining room and kitchen with the BIGGEST ISLAND you have EVER seen! I wish I could cook their everyday!

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Off the craft rooms there is a small sitting room with a Daybed (in-case guests have trouble with the stairs) and the big TV. If you ever stop to rest from your crafting fury (as-if) you can enjoy our chick-flicks and games. That room leads to the stairway which takes you to the lower floor of the house.

DSC_5469Because the house is built into a hill, it is SO quiet and peaceful downstairs! I have had several people ask me about the mattresses we have, because they sleep so well in our beds downstairs!
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There are four bedrooms with 3 to 5 beds in each. Each with their own special theme and comfy colors. You can choose to stay in the Pink boutique and have a girly sleepover with hot pink walls and black accents, or you can get more of a vacation vibe in the beach room. If you need a calming getaway the subtle shades in the Book Nook will work. Many guests have their favorite spot that they return to at each visit.

The Pink Boutique is the perfect spot for a party of 5

I know it is really challenging to look at photographs and grasp a real perspective of the house and layout. If you are considering the Lane as your next crafting retreat we would be happy to give you a formal tour. In the meantime I had an Idea……
You know how you ask your husband for something in passing and have no real expectations of it actually occurring. (Am I the Only one?) Well, check this out, sometimes it does happen! I had the idea to draw up a floor plan of BBL. Well lookie here….. you can click on the photo to enlarge it!

floor-workrooms(1)My husband has a motto (I believe stolen from a TV show) that says “If women don’t find you Handsome, They should at least find you Handy” Well, he got a few points on this one. He proved he is Handy and Handsome!floor-bedrooms
I want to convey how homey and comfortable, yet clean and functional, we try to keep the Lane. You can visit our “Tour” page to see more photos of the house. It seems I meet so many people who have heard of us, but don’t really KNOW us. We want you to KNOW and LOVE the Lane as much as we do! So for those of you who know us, spread a good word, for those of you who have heard of us come get to know us!

Come. Stay. Relax. Create!

We can’t wait to get to know you!

No Bake Breakfast Balls (aka the B-Baw!)

I have a confession to make…. We like to sleep in. There I said it. I strive to be one of those up and at’em kind of mommas who has her act all together, but nope, that is not how I was wired. Honestly, I have never liked mornings. I’ve always been a late riser and I strongly dislike having a busy morning schedule. By some grace of God my son is the exact same way. He has slept through the night since he was about 6 weeks old. He loves to sleep in. He loves naps. He is just like his momma. He actually never had a fighting chance since his Daddy is a hard sleeper and dislikes any AM activity as well. I know all the sleep deprived exhausted Moms out in the world would like to hit me right now. I also know I’m going to pay for this routine once he hits school age (so technically I’ll get mine in the end) But for all you haters out there, I’m about to make it up to you with this stellar recipe, I promise!
Since we all like late mornings breakfast is often really an early lunch. On those days that we are forced to get ourselves together and leave the house I always find myself in need of a quick grab n’ go breakfast. Something filling, nutritious, quick, and yummy! I’ve tried to get my little to eat oatmeal since pre-teeth, but it is a big no-go. Even the super in-nutritious sweet flavored instant packets have never enticed him. So this easy oatmeal breakfast is a WIN for our household!

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I introduce you to…drum roll please…. The B-Baw (or in non-two year old talk, The Breakfast Ball)
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I stumbled upon this recipe on pinterest by cookingclassy.com and adapted it to my family. The original recipe calls for coconut which might be tasty for some, but it isn’t our fav, so out with coconut and in with ummmmm….. Sunflowers seeds. (Because they were already in my cabinet!) They work just fine, but this is a very versatile recipe and I challenge you to adapt it to fit your family! bbaw1Oats, Peanut Butter, Mini Chocolate Chips, Flax seed, dried cherries, Local Honey, and Sunflower Seeds. Let’s be honest, most of my pictures really looked like this-                             bbaw2

No-Bake Breakfast Balls
• 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
• 1/3 cup honey
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 cup old-fashioned oats (raw)
• 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
• 1/2 cup ground golden flaxseed meal
• 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
– HAVE FUN! Add 1/3 cup additional “fun” ingredient! (i.e.- dehydrated fruit, raisins, Peanuts, chia seed, cheerios)

Prep time: 10 min        Total time: 20min          Bake time: 0                Yield: About 20

Place the oats, sunflower seeds, ground flax, and any dry fun extras (my photo shows dried cherries) in one mixing bowl .Then mix all the wet ingredients, honey, peanut butter, and vanilla in a separate bowl. Keep mini chocolate chips to the side.

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Add the dry ingredients to the wet bowl and carefully fold in chocolate chips. When everything is mixed thoroughly place your mixture in the fridge to chill 10 minutes or so. This makes the Ball rolling easier and less messy! (I skipped this step the first time, and it turned into a sticky mess! Let me tell you from experience chillin’ is your friend!) After chilling, I use a 1in cookie scoop for a uniform size and then roll in my palm to form the ball. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or line the balls on a cookie sheet with wax paper and place them in the freezer. After they are thoroughly frozen place them in a plastic storage container and remove as needed.

That is IT! They are SO EASY!! My Kiddo LOVES them! How can I say no to his little voice asking for a “b-Baw”! They may not be super nutritious, but they are darn sure better than the breakfast sandwich or QT donut that we would have settled on if I didn’t have them made up!IMG_7589

I love that they are no bake snacks and you get the full nutrition of the raw oats, steel cut oats might be a good choice too. They would also be a great gluten free snack if you switched up a few items here is a link to some great Gluten Free options that are probably much healthier for you.

When I don’t have a batch made up he asks for them, when I do have a batch made up he begs for them, and when we are out and about he will cry to go home and get one. I’ve almost created a mini monster with these B-baws! A word of advice, don’t make them a car treat or you might have a chocolate apocalypse. 20150309_104427A This recipe is play worthy, We had a blast letting the kiddos create their own. They each got a bowl, a spoon, and their favorite ingredients. Remember that thing about perfect pictures from my previous post? Well, here is life, babies in diapers, cluttered counters, and silly kid faces!

IMG_3344IMG_3342AIMG_8667AMix it up and try different things! Some fun ideas:

  • Substitute Nutella for the Peanut Butter (YUMMO!)
  • Used crushed Cherrios or a different favorite breakfast cereal as filler. (Who needs Coconut!??)
  • Add dehydrated fruit, we love Craisins or dried cherries in them!
  • You can add or sub Wheat germ, chia seeds, or finely ground oats for texture
  • How fabulous would these be with Mini M&M’s? ha- I’m obviously NOT going for the heathy version!

So there you have it. My secret morning weapon! I hope your family enjoys them as much as mine!

For Now, My dear…

 

We recently launched this beautiful, functional, fancy, expensive new website; we love it; we are excited, BUT (there is always a but) one of the new features is a BLOG. A blog that I now feel the need to fill with words of wisdom. A blog that I have stewed over and thought about for a month now. You see, I love to read “other peoples” blogs. The fancy shiny kind with perfect pictures, perfect grammar, and witty commentary. So I have felt an overwhelming pressure to get this first post RIGHT. Whatever right may mean. Today I had an “ah ha” moment (you can thank Oprah for making up that phrase). It was a beautiful, illuminating, peaceful light bulb moment, and I’m super excited to share it with you all. That is what this blog thing should be all about right? So welcome to my little moments….. I hope you feel at home.

Bluebird has blessed us beyond belief. It is sort of a love hate relationship. It has stretched us thin, and challenged our patience, only to turn around and provide for our families, give our kiddos quality time together, and bring us joy. We thank our lucky stars for all the crafty ladies that love and support us. Today as I was busily trying to complete normal daily activities (However glamorous it might seem, a stay at home mom has plenty on her plate, but I think that is for another post) I got a chance to remember WHY we started Bluebird Lane.

I found myself with casseroles to finish and freeze, packing to do before our weekend trip, phone calls to return, accounts to set-up, boarding passes to print, laundry to fold, and a very tired and poopy 20 month old son. Poop always comes first, so we handled that, and then my sweet little man reluctantly laid down for a nice (hopefully long) nap. I finished up in the kitchen, cleaned what I could, and moved onto the laptop, tablet, and phone that seem to run my life and in turn run my business. From my chair I could glance out our back patio window and see the frost on the rockers and the blustery cold weather.

Normally I look outside and see the crepe myrtles I forgot to trim last spring, and the leaves that need raking, and the broken birdbath I need to replace this coming season. We have a modest home, and I do my best to keep up with the Jone’s (whomever they are) and keep it tidy and well-manicured. The responsibility of Bluebird along with other life hurdles have challenged my OCD tendency’s this year.
But today was different, today I looked out and noticed a flutter of activity in our yard. All those cosmetic items were drowned out by the momentary beauty of a single Blue-Jay digging for a hidden nut. That pesky squirrel must have put it there. I watched the blue jay succeed in finding his prize and fly off happily to a neighboring tree. I was hooked.

For the following hour I sat in-front of my sliding glass door, camera in hand. Simply watching the birds. It was mesmerizing. I love birds. I have loved them since I was a young child. The pressure of the day was gone and the simple joy of watching God’s creation took over. The Robins were plentiful all puffed up to ward off the cold, they came and went with no attention wasted to my movement at the window.

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The Cardinals were playful and full of life as they had little tiffs over whose territory was whose. I’ve always admired how the female cardinal doesn’t get to wear the flashy red feathers, yet I’m sure she carries the load of responsibility for her perfectly built nest and sweet family of chic’s.

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  The vibrant red male Cardinal kept his distance as though he knew this was a moment for us girls.

As the Junco, one of my favorites, flew every which way and transferred from those overgrown crepe myrtles, to the fence, and then to the ground, it seemed that all the birds knew something exciting was about to happen. They were moving and shaking all throughout the neighbors trees.

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I had a quick visit from a Downy Woodpecker, hence the blurry photo. A male Cardinal, a few Sparrows, A Tufted Titmouse, all those contented Robins, and even a quick witted squirrel passed through while I watched. They were all busily preparing as a chilly wind whispered through the air.

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            The Cardinals, Junco, Robins, and a sweet red headed beauty I’d never seen kept my attention as they moved in and out of my yard. Soft snowflake began to flutter from the sky and as the wind caught them they seemed to fly about as well.

It was a grand site, the sweet birdies and the snow.

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Finally the tug of my daily chores won. The baby boy whose nap was quickly coming to a close, the laundry that needed folded and my desperate need of a shower interrupted my moment of solitude. Oh! I forgot to mention, I hadn’t gotten a shower in yet; another glamorous aspect of being a stay at home mommy! Those “life” things I always feel pressure from, pulled me up from my position in front of the window. I turned the camera off and removed the telescopic lens and felt sweet pleasure from the moments I got to spend escaping my responsibilities.

And then She arrived.

She was so beautiful, and sweet, stopping directly in front of my sliding glass door for only a moment, if only to say, “Hey! I’m here”. I smiled, and reached for my camera. I got one last shot of my feathered friends, this one out a ways on our fence.

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Now, I know Bluebirds. I’ve spent most of my adult life taking a moment and a deep breathe when I see one. I know the more colorful Bluebird are actually the males. But you see, “She” isn’t a bird at all, but my beautiful loving sweet Grandmother who has been gone from this earth for nearly 20 years. “She” comes to visit me every time I see that vibrant blue swoosh of a Bluebird. My Grandmother loved Bluebirds and she cultivated that love in me. We set out bird boxes every year and watched the babies grow. She taught me to treasure those little glimpses into nature.

She visited me today, in the very last moments of my sweet break from life, she came to remind me that this IS LIFE. Watching the birds, enjoying the blustery wind in the trees, and loving my family with the deepest part of my heart. All that other stuff, the PERFECT blog post, the perfect photos, the worlds expectations of us, It can wait. The necessary things will get done in due time. But for now, my dear, just sit and watch the birds.