What Caught My Eye This Week: Be My Valentine Edition


Lovely tablescape by Modern Vintage Costal

Valentine’s Day YUM


Photo Source: The Open Table

Open Table blog showcases Deliciously Decadent Valentine’s Day Deserts nationwide in this mouth-watering post that includes the mini-comes pictured above. How flirty and fun would tiny gelato cones be on a romantic date? Or, if your Valentine’s Day will be spent in the Manhattan or elsewhere in the city, check out their great post on Where to Dine With Bae. Oh my…fab bae! The photos alone are worth clicking for! Everything on this blog looks divine!


Valentine’s Late Night Treat for Grown-Ups

Check out this amazing boutique. There Instagram posts alone are swoon-worthy. Here’s their web page. Fine French Wines and other delights. Go follow them on Instagram. Amazing!


New-Old Favorite Romantic Song for Valentine’s Day 2017

A classic! And it goes well with the champagne! Because ole’ blue eyes–the Chairman of the Board. I’m into crooners right now! You Do Something to Me. Because “…do do that voodoo that you do so well….” Who said only rappers can rap? Rap that!

Valentine’s Day Adorableness For Kiddos


Photo Source: Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth

Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth features these sweet Raggedy Ann and Andy printable bookmark Valentine’s--FREE.



Valentine’s Bookmarks to Color


Photo Source: Carla Schauer Designs

Carla Schauer Designs has free print and color Valentine’s Bookmarks and they’re adorable! Suitable for grown-ups who love to color or older children.  Stick these in everyone’s cubicles at work! Or hand them out to strangers on the subway for the great Books On The Subway program readers!


Iconic Valentine’s Candy Banner



Photo Source: Popsicle Blog

All the feels in this one, right? So Cute! Candy Banner Printable (free)



Cute Photo Card



Photo Souce: Walgreens.com

Adorable take-away for kids Valentine’s Party.  Construction Paper Hearts


Sweet Treat Bags for Valentine’s Day or Any Day


Photo Source: ShabbyItalia

These are too sweet! And easy to make. Sorry, but there are no instructions. Just adorable idea.



Valentine’s Day Fashion For the Lady in Wintery Climates


Super Swing Coat in vivid red! At Rosewe only  $37!!

Most Romantic Celebrity Valentine’s News


Departures at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's COSTUME INSTITUTE Benefit Celebrating the Opening of China: Through the Looking Glass

Photo Source: New York Observer

George and Amal are expecting twins!! You can read last Valentine’s Day’s post on my couples crush on these two here.



Love Story for the Ages



Photo Source/Credit Lauren Demby/Lauren Renee Designs / New York Times

Bride asks the man who received her father’s donor heart to walk her down the aisle at her wedding. I can’t even. Read the story here in the New York Times.

Valentine’s Decor


Photo Source: Cottage at the Crossroads

Love this sweet mantle-scape by Cottage at the Crossroads.


Best Song Ever For Valentine’s Day

What Caught My Eye This Week: Some different types of things this week

Cool Books


Believe me, if I could I would have a giveaway for a set of these beauties!! Imagine how fabulous these will look on your nightstand or bookcase! Love, love, love Vintage Books special collections. Here’s the link to see them up close.

Great Reading Challenge Idea




[Sorry kids, couldn’t find one with Mr. Trump in it. Too soon. I’m not making any kind of a statement by leaving him out, ok?]

On Inauguration Day last week I posted some great Presidential books. This week, Book Riot had a great post on a Presidential Biographies Challenge (of sorts). Well, I’ve read just about everything published (honestly) on the Roosevelts and a good bit on the Kennedys, so I started my own version of this challenge. Mine includes fiction and non-fiction, collective biographies and first lady or first family bios or memoirs. It’s all in a spreadsheet to add to the geeky-librarian-historian-goodness of it all!  I’ll post it when I’m done. Fun idea.

Romantic Table For Two


I love this  romantic, fireside tablescape from Belle Bleu Interiors blog.Click on the link to see all the sweet details. Leave her a nice comment while you’re there–it’s what keeps us all blogging.

Great Sandals


If you haven’t discovered Red Dress Boutique yet, you should! No, I’m not paid to say that! I just love a lot of their stuff. Like these sandals. Never mind that it snowed this morning–I want these! Fun Red Sandals just like in my childhood memories post on Red Shoes—NOT! These are Instant Getaway Red Sandals, so there!



What a Guy Needs….to Stay Organized


My son desperately needs this. Source

Soothing waves



Great new blog, Beach Books, I discovered this week while surfing the Discover function on WordPress. I find marvelous stuff that way! She is collection books of the sea and oceans. Its a fine blog–go and have a read and leave her an encouraging comment and a recommendation or two. She’s hoping to write a book and to open a bookstore–good news to everyone who reads here–and there.

What Caught Your Eye This Week? Leave me a link or a comment!

What Caught My Eye This Week

A Touch of Class



A little hope of Spring–the perfect bike basket!

A Touch of Cute

Village-check out the wildlife, too                     Ponies

The ponies are from one of my favorite Fantasy Islands–Stampington & Co. Read here.

A Touch of Charm


Antique hand mirrors or watches or purses as photo frames or jewelry

I think the Queen needs a pursue for a frame. Her iconic handbag!

A Touch of Chocolate



Hot Chocolate Ice Cream Floats

A Touch of Cool



Chip and Joanna of course! Flea Market Style

A Touch of Color…and Crunch!




A Touch of Cozy




What Caught My Eye This Week: Mostly Hygge Edition aka What Women Wished Men Understood About Hygge

Hygge in General



This week the Ohio River Valley and the Cincy-Tri-State-Area almost had real winter cold. So I got busy seeing what all the Hygge hoopla was about! This scene is very hygge. Anything that involves “cozy,” smoked salmon, cheese, warm socks, book and cake sounds great to me! This space was designed to read under a warm blanket, enjoying a hot drink and beautiful scenery. It’s a hygge-place.



I love mittens. I’m pretty sure mittens are hygge. At least these are. To me.

The source links to the knitting pattern. Knitting is way-hygge!

Source 1           Source 2           Source 3

It can’t be hygge without cute, warm socks. Wool. Too many too chose from out there. These are just a tiny sample of my faves.



I have cats–mucho hygge points because 1) they pur, 2) they snuggle, 3) they purr. But they make candles a bit dicey. Candles are so tres hygge they’re off the charts. I don’t think you are allowed to breathe the word hygge without first lighting candles. Honestly. But I really love these candles. Naturally they’re from Anthropolgie–the North American supplier of all-things hygge. But who doesn’t love their stuff?

Hygge Comfort Food


Chai Spiced Winter Porridge

Hot cereal like Cream of Wheat or Oatmeal obviously hygge. This version looks scrumptious if you take out that gross banana. Recipe is linked above.


Smoked Salmon Smorrebrod

Smorrebrod (little Danish open-faced sandwiches on Danish rye bread) is hygge and I can clearly see why! Smoked fish is delicious–especially smoked salmon.

American-ized Hygge Food


Mint White Hot Chocolate

Hot drinks are de rigueur for hygge-ness. This recipe sounds so good! Creme de Menthe might work well, too. Recipe is linked above. I want to make this soon.


White Cheddar Beer Cheese Soup for Two

Soup, especially a creamy soup, screams hygge to me! This one, which only makes two servings, has that other hygge thing–beer (guy’s or students’ version of hygge). Carlsburg is the hygge-est beer ever. But is it hygee to slop it all over the table like that? Recipe is linked above. I think this needs big, soft German (sorry) pretzels with it, don’t you?  Yes the bread bowl is cool, but a warm, soft, salty pretzel?And, of course, more cheese. Cheese could have invented hygge.


Slow Cooker Brownie Pudding

True American Hygge Goodness! I’m hoping to make it today.

A Hygge Monitor

I’m not a serious bullet journal-er, but I do use journals (you can read about that here). But I love mandalas. This is a Mood Mandala, but why not a Hygge-ness Monirot?! [ Youtube has all kinds of great mandala drawing videos, but I found this Mood Mandala idea (with full credit given to the Instagram above)  in Boho Berry’s Plan With Me 13 video and she has a great video on drawing mandalas as well.] I dream of having a beautiful set of wooden mandala blocks to grace my huge coffee table!  I think both the mandala monitor and the mandala blocks would be seriously hygge. Maybe you could have a color chart for hygge moments?  I’m pretty sure coloring a mandala or assembling a wooden mandala with a hot drink while wearing warm socks and sitting swarthed in a warm throw blanket is uber-hygge. And, if it’s not then add cake. Cake is the secret ingredient of hygge!

Hygge for the Busy: Hygge in a Box or Postal Hygge

In the U.K. (aka “England” to those here in the Tri-State) they not one, but at least TWO, subscription box services to meet your hygge-demands! Here’s an article with a  comparison of the two.

Hygge for guys….or what women wish men understood about hygge



This is the guy and the bike I’d ride with! How cool are those boots! Jeremy Irons was made to wear these and ride this bike, I just know it! Jeremy Irons voice and Hygge were also made for each other. Cuddling and backrubs are hygge. Just sayin,’ Jeremy. That bike probably jolted your frame a bit….. Hygge…..sigh….

Beer is hygge when it is warm, dark and Danish and enjoyed at a hipster dinner spot or a cool little basement dive with live jazz. Wine is always hygge (well, you got me there–not when its in a box), but it’s espeically hygge served warm with spices and fruit floating in it. T.V. isn’t hygge. Reading and soothing music are hygge. Jazz is hygge. Acid rock is not.

Open-faced rare beef filet sandwiches are hygge. Beef jerky, even terriyaki or pepper flavored are not hygge. Too much gnawing.

Smoked salmon or sour cream-drenched herring on dark bread is hygge. Going fishing for for the fish, except on a luxury yacht, is not hygge. That’s just camping and nobody with a brain calls camping hygge. Not even glamping. Nope. Outdoor hygge is strictly walking hand-in-hand in beautiful snowflakes or in lovely crisp frigid air when the lady has her hair perfectly under control and is wearing very, very hygge socks and furry boots. Messy hair is only hygge if it is intentional messy, artfully messy.


Royal Copehagen is the official men’s scent of all things hygge. Stock up. If you’re a student, original Old Spice may be substituted for week-night hygge to save money.

Using hygge-stuff to get sex is un-hygge. You have to be SINCERELY hygge for that. Like you’d still hygge even if you were alone. You value hygge-ness that much. No, I’m not kidding. You’d have to be like Ross on Friends and want to put on Kenny G and take a bath with layered scents and oils and junk–when ALONE. Yeah. Now that is pretty darned hygge. And, you’d have had porridge for breakfast with chia seeds–that just screams hygge! Any woman would give in to a guy who ate chia seeds in public at a porridge shop. Trey-hygge. Uber-hygge to be manly enough to a) eat porridge, b) order it with chia seeds, c) look like you mean it. No, you can’t get bacon with that. Vanilla beans. Go with the vanilla beans. And a weird kind of fruit. Weird fruit is always a good bet for hygge porridge.

Back rubs are ultra-hygge. Couples massages by candelight, or by the fire, and always on a cashmere throw with mulled wine to drink and hand-feeding each other cake is so hygge it screams the Danish national anthem. Forcing “the pace” beyond that is borderline. Sweat is involved after those steps, remember?  Ditto insincerity. Trust is huge in Denmark.So gunning for sex is not hygge. Got it, boys? Saunas are not hygge—they involve sweat. Those are for the Finns–the people who live in Finland. Yes, it’s a different country and no, they aren’t as big on hygge except in school. Their schools are the very definition of hygge.

But, if you roar up on that bike (above) in those boots and look and talk like are Jeremy Irons, ladies will hygge the heck out of you, but you didn’t hear that here, ok?

Now, my tea is perfectly steeped, my cat is purring, my blanket is nicely fluffed and my book beckons. It’s Hygge time now.

What Caught My Eye This Week

What Caught My Eye returns to its normal Saturday spot next week.


Used Tea Bag Art


Pink House in Charleston


Awesome DIY Pom-Pom Shoes

These would rock a dress-up clothes collection for a little girl or just be fun to wear with jeans or a colorful outfit.


Jane Austen Devotional

Thanks to blogger Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth for alerting me to this one. If you order it, why not be nice and do so thru her Kindle link?


USMC Dress Blues Bag

What Marine Mom, Wife, Sister, Significant Other wouldn’t want this fabulous bag made from USMC dress blues?


Ceramic Ice Cream Cone

The Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile is Chock Full of Cool Stuff! I want the chocolate one.


Bun-Beanie Hat Pattern


Dawn Nicole Design’s Free Printable Coloring Bookmarks


Pencil, Pen or Make-Up Bag From a Cookies Package

King Cake Donut.jpg

King Cake Donuts

Mardi-Gras is in February, so why not make a practice batch of these this weekend?


Winter Beauty

Check out She’s Charming’s lovely ode to winter.


 Kitty Play Set in an Altoids Tin

Squee! The cuteness–even a toy litter box! (I’m not sure I’d make THAT, but little ones would wonder, wouldn’t they? Where would the kitties go potty?) There are all sorts of these play sets. Other kitty sets do not have litter boxes, if you’d rather not, well………….go there!


Recycled Bottle Art

See many more beautiful examples by clicking the link above.


And, last, but not least,

How to Use Up left over candy canes

Super Mommy Club has all sorts of great ideas! Visit her blog and leave her a nice compliment!

What Caught My Eye This Week

Beautiful Things


This is a curry recipe, but I loved this image.



Beautiful rustic bowls.



Rock? Mineral? Nope! Petrified car Paint on a sprayer!



Japanese quilts and embroidery



Lighthouse stairs



Swoony Handmade Red Dishes



Maple Leaf Rose



Street Art


Just For Fun


For the mystery loving cook.



Apple Cider in Apple Cups



Smart Phone Projector


What Caught My Eye: Globes! Maps!



I love geography, travel, antique maps and old globes. So this week I’ve got a great curated list that helps share my passion for most things geographical!! As a kid I had a globe with topography–you could feel the mountains! Very cool. Those little globe banks were very popular, too, but I never had one of those. I’ve traveled some in my life–to the U.K., the Malawi for Peace Corps with a side trip to Zimbabwe to see Victoria Falls and later to Ukraine. My Mom and my uncle spent part of their childhood in Brazil. I guess travel and the world are just a part of me. But I think the lesson below is what got it all started for me. My third grade teacher, Mrs. Englehart, did the tangerine globe. I was hooked.


Maps as Decoration

Altered Globes for Decoration

Source  Source  Source

Practical Globes and Maps

Source  Source  Source  Sources  Source  Source  


Wearable Maps and Globes


My favorite wearable map item: Edwina,  Countess Mountbatten’s lingerie map from a silk pilot’s map from World War II. Source.

Source   Source  Source Source  Source 

Sleep Under a Map

Source  Source

Edible Maps and Globes

Store your cookies or cake pops in this vintage mapped “Biscuit Tin” or Cookie Jar

Source Source  Source  Source  Source


The Fabled “Pink Bits”–not quite the British Empire, but I love both of these!

Source        Source

One Last Fun Little Map


Who could resist this tea-towel upholstered stool? A map of Tasmania!


What Caught Your Eye This Week?

Have any great map-ish or globe-ish items to share?

Leave me a comment or a link.

What Caught My Eye This Week: Shoebox Craft Edition


On Saturday, November 12th, I will be holding a Virtual Packing Party!

Do a post on packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child with photos of your boxes and link up here for a fun online party! This week I was intentional–everything that caught my eye was for shoeboxes!

A Note On Homemade Items

Remember that homemade things are often viewed as a slight–as “less than.” Poor people in many countries make do with next to nothing. Buying something from a store costs so much money that they feel truly honored to receive a store-bought gift. I’m including things here that are homemade, but that I feel would still be seen as a gift.

A Note on Gender-Specific Items

Many foreign cultures has very rigid ideas of what is right or wrong for boys and girls. Men and Women have rigidly defined roles in many societies. It is not helpful to send a child an item that will be taken away. No matter that girls here play sports and boys cook and all sorts of other examples, that is simply not the case everywhere. The role of the shoebox is to show God’s love–not to change a very traditional society.

A Note on Poverty

Poverty in Malawi looks very different than poverty in Ukraine. A child in Ukraine may look like your children’s friends, dress like them and even be seen with toys like theirs. Remember, though, that they go to bed hungry, they may endure a harsh winter with little or no heat and have to go to school in outgrown clothes or no boots even though they might have to walk to school. In Malawi a child may have never had a cup of his own or a pair of underpants. This is about God’s provision, His love, not looks.

Boy Boxes


Photo Source

Older boys are the boxes OCC gets least of. Why not remedy that and hurry up and pack a nice box for a boy 5 to 9 or 10 to 14 years old? Operation Christmas Child has some great suggestions, but I think this is awesome. Draw the cutouts, include the materials and be sure to put in a PHOTO of how it should look! Don’t assume someone will read English. What boy wouldn’t want a Foosball Box?  Directions and more photos at The Mad House. Well done!



Another great boy’s idea–roads! Again, include a photo and, obviously, some Hot Wheels. I love that it has a round-about!

Girl Boxes

If sending feminine hygiene items for older girls, imagine how your daughter would feel opening a Christmas box and having a bag of Kotex or a box of tampons on top? Be discreet–put them in a dark bag.

Source Source

Girls of any age could enjoy this, but remember, in many cultures girls do not have play time. They work carrying water, tending cooking fires and mind younger children. Do not try to do “ethnic” art–just make a simple house with ordinary chairs, etc. Children in Eastern Europe, and other places, live in homes just like ours–though usually much smaller and generally they are apartments.

FREE pattern here. (red)  Free tutorial here  (blue)

These  are very cute little dresses and both easily made out of left over yarn or an inexpensive tank top, and left over fabric. Please, always ask yourself, “Would my child wear this?” I don’t mean would your child jump for joy over it, but would they be willing to wear it if times were hard? That kind of “wear it.”  FREE pattern here.

In the U.S.A. we tend to think all of Africa is on the Equator and stifling hot. It isn’t! Where I lived in Malawi it could be as cold as the 40s early on a winter’s morning. If you send a dress like this, consider spending just a little more and sending a coordinated t-shirt to go under it. Then pack the shirt and dress so they are like a jumper and blouse.

Boy or Girl Box



Washcloths and Soap Bags

Praying Hands Pattern (free)  Three Crosses Pattern (free)

Some of these might end up as decoration in a home, rather than used for a washcloth. Former Catholics, for example, may feel it is not ok to defile them by washing with them No matter–they will be a good gift.

Remember:Gender-appropriate colors!

Towel Soap Bag  Crocheted Soap Bag

My Pinterest board has other great last minute ideas!

Want to save the landfills? Consider Up-Cycling projects like T-shirt bags or T-shirt jump ropes! Instructions on the Pinterest Board below.

If you’d like to participate in the Virtual Packing Party but do not have a blog, that’s ok!

Email me at hopewellmomschool@yahoo.com

I will happily add your photos to my post with whatever acknowledgement you want. That post will be a “sticky” on my blog throughout the collection days.

What Caught My Eye This Week

It’s Feeling Like Fall for Real Now

This week I’ve got a second curated list of Fall Goodness. Did I mention that Fall is my favorite time of the year? Here’s the link to last week’s Fall Post. Enjoy!


Love this great “book leaf” banner from Sondra Lyn at Home.

I think I’d love to do this with autumn colored fabrics for the leaves.


 Perfect Cozy Fall Sweater (not sure why you’d wear it with shorts!)


I found this young artist’s fall-friendly accessories and art work on Etsy.

You can visit her shop here.


Fun seasonal dish towel.



Autumnal-feel journal

Source unknown

Mother and Daughter Fall Jackets

Source (left)  and Source (right)


Lovely seasonal table setting.


Two great pork and apple dinners. True Flavors of Fall.

1 tablespoon chopped sage = 1 teaspoon dried sage

Recipe left, Recipe right

[Note: For left recipe look for the “Download Recipe” link below the photos]


Seasonal Produce on a fabulous food and photography blog called

Journey Kitchen

Wonderful fall-colored plaids and tartans

Sources: Left, Scarf Center, Right

Fall-feel pottery

[I was in need of new bowls this week]

Outside Left, Inner Left, Inner Right, Outside Right


Autumnal Cookies


Warm Scarf


Gorgeous Autumn Batik Fabric Quilt



Yum! Carmel Apple Nachos!


Are you like me–love Fall? Leave a comment with some of your fall favorites or leave a link to your own fall post.

To Autumn

by William Blake

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stain’d
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may’st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.

“The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust’ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather’d clouds strew flowers round her head.

“The spirits of the air live in the smells
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.”
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat,
Then rose, girded himself, and o’er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.

What Caught My Eye This Week


Photo: Susan Braun

My friend Susan at Girls in White Dresses, made this beautiful keepsake pillow!

Read the how and why of it here.



Printable Harry Potter Book Covers



Where was this when my son was a Tony Hawk-obsessed little dare-devil?

Skateboard Swing



Cool Video on Making Four Yummy Kinds of Sliders!

Sliders How-to


 Pretty Use for a 1950’s Wedding Gift

Scent Organizer


Two Adorable Homemade Games

Matching and PBJ



Lovely fall decorating in non-traditional colors. Love it!

Fall decor



Moroccan Tea Glasses


Scrabble Message Board