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    Giving thanks

    Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

    With Halloween behind us, Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. When I was little, Thanksgiving was just another occasion to eat and play with my cousins, but that was the extent of it.  In comparison to Halloween and Christmas, both of which we prepared for and celebrated for an entire month, Thanksgiving felt a little … hollow. I knew the history of the holiday, but while it felt like we were celebrating, it never felt like we were celebrating anything in particular.

    So this year, I’d like to actually celebrate. I’d like to have the same feeling of excitement and celebration that I have for other holidays.

    This is my plan.

    Stealing an idea from Valerie, I’m going to try to post a gratitude post on my personal  blog every day leading up to Thanksgiving. (I say try because I already missed a day yesterday. But what can you do?)  I have so many things to be thankful for, and the process of writing about them helps me to recognize and solidify those feelings of gratitude.

    I also want to write a thank you card a day. Whether it’s to my mom, a loved friend, or the maintenance man who came and fixed our door alarm when it was going off at 4:30 in the morning, there are people in my life to whom I should show more gratitude.

    I heard recently (from who, I can’t remember for the life of me) that in order to receive, we must show gratitude for what we have, and that we are better able to give when we feel thankful. Thus, it is no coincidence that Thanksgiving comes before Christmas.

    What do you do to celebrate Thanksgiving?


    Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

    I love presents. I love getting them, I love giving them. It’s one of my primary love languages, just ask that guy who wrote the Five Love Languages book.  :)

    It’s my sister’s birthday tomorrow, and while I had one thing in mind when I went to the store for her present, I ended up coming home with a huge bag full of supplies and worked for most of the day on what has now become her present. And I’m so glad, because the first idea just wasn’t very personal — while she would have appreciated it (she’s very gracious that way), it wouldn’t have been that thing that made her go “ooooh!”. And I like my presents to have that “ooooh” factor.

    We’re coming upon the season of giving, and I’m already plotting out who is getting what, what I’m making, what I’m buying…

    So I’m wondering — what giving are you getting up to this holiday season? Are you making your presents? Buying? Giving time rather than potential clutter? Are you cutting back, or finding ways to stretch your gifts?  Any great gift ideas that you want to share with the rest of us?

    Winners, winners, we have winners!

    Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

    This morning I visited a handy dandy random generator site and it gave me the numbers:

    3, 2, 11, and 8.

    That means our winners are:

    Mari B wins the album!

    Valerie wins the dish cloths!

    Marie wins the cookies!

    Jenny wins the book!

    Congratulations! Please make sure you get me your addresses so we can get these prizes out to you!

    Thanks to everyone for participating, I’m sure we’ll do more giveaways in the future, and you never know what you might win! Thanks so much for the words of encouragement and suggestions, we’ll see what we can do about getting those things done.  And remember, if you’re interested in writing for us, we’d love the company!

    Reminder: Giveaway Goodness afoot!

    Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

    This is just a reminder that we have a giveaway happening, wherein you can win really cool prizes! (At least, we think they’re really cool.)  At this point there’s 2 days left to enter, so….

    Why haven’t you entered?

    You can’t tell me you’re not interested in awesome prizes.

    Dishtowels embellished with refreshingly retro fabric?  You know your kitchen could use a little pizzaz. A little pick me up. C’mon, you know you want to dry your hands with something lovely.


    Homemade sugar cookies? I can personally vouch that they are delicious and addictive. We won’t inform your family that you’ve won them; you can keep them all for yourself! And if you’re not a sugar fan (we’ll forgive you), give them as a gift and win a friend for life!


    The Year of Magical Thinking? Nothing is better than a book. Nothing. (Ok, possibly sugar cookies. But only possibly.) Stretch your mind and your soul with this incredible read. It’s Brandy’s favorite book, and she’s REALLY picky. So you know it’s got to be good.


    A new photo album? In lovely boho distressed style? Made by yours truly? I try to be modest, but this one turned out really cool. 20 heavy duty scrapbook pages, spiral bound into a hand decorated cover – you know your pictures deserve to live somewhere beautiful.



    All you have to do is go to this post,  scroll down to the bottom of the page, and type a comment. That’s it! Just make sure you do it before midnight on Monday Oct. 5!

    (Really, we get nothing out of this other than getting to see who you are, and thanking you for reading what we write. So please, let us do that.  Go, go! As they say in that one commercial (from ever ago), “Be free, little cheesy bread!” )

    Hooray for you!

    Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

    Modern Day Martha has been up and running for just over a month, and in that time we’ve been visited over 1200 times by 280 different people (or “absolute unique visitors”, as our analytics program tells us. You lovely little snowflakes, you!).

    That’s pretty dang amazing.

    It’s so amazing that we feel like celebrating.

    So we’re having a giveaway.

    Leave us a comment telling us who you are, where you’re from, and what you like about what we’re doing and/or what you’d like to see more of.

    Want extra chances to win?

    Post a link to our blog on your blog! (Then post a link to your blog in the comments here, so we know. Please post it in a separate comment than your original comment.)

    Tweet (twitter?) about us! (Again, post a link in a separate comment.)

    Post a link to us on Facebook! (You’ve got it, post a link in a separate comment.)

    If you do all of those, you’ll have 4 chances to win.

    And what could you win, you ask?

    A handcrafted boho chic photo album (thanks to Maryanne):



    a pair of hand embellished dish cloths (thanks to Jessica):



    delicious (and gorgeous ) home baked sugar cookies (thanks to Valerie)

    (Note: the cookies you receive may be completely different than those shown, it totally depends on Valerie’s mood what she creates. Also, you will not receive this many cookies. Sorry, but your waistline will thank us.) :



    Brandy’s very most favorite book (thanks to, wait for it…… Brandy):


    We will pick random winners for each of the 4 prizes.

    You can only win once. Family members of contributors are eligible to win, but contributors are not. Sadly.

    So leave a comment now! We will leave the comments open until Midnight MONDAY OCT. 5, and will announce the winners on TUESDAY OCT. 6.

    Note: If you post a comment and it doesn’t show up, it probably got caught in our spam filter. Just give it a couple of hours and check back to see if we’ve found  and freed it to play with all the other little comments.  Thanks!


    Embracing Autumn

    Friday, September 11th, 2009

    Here in California, we don’t really have autumn. Not like other places do.  While some leaves are turning brown, for the most part the trees are still green. It could get up to 94 degrees today. Z is wearing shorts.

    While I love this weather, part of me longs for clouds,warm sweaters and blustery crisp days.

    I may have found an alternative.

    Bath and Body Works has a new line called The Perfect Autumn,  with scents called Harvest Berry, Ginger Vanilla, and Leaves.


    Of course I had to check it out, because who makes a body lotion/bubble bath/candle that smells like leaves?

    And what do leaves even smell like?

    I don’t think it answers the question of what leaves smell like, but




    It’s a combination of “golden nectar, juicy mandarin and red delicious apple, paired with toasted cinnamon stick, mulled spices and freshly picked berries” and it is seriously divine.

    Divine, I tell you.

    I used it last night in the shower and just stood basking in the lovely smell swirling all around me. It was almost enough to make me forget the heat.

    Seriously delicious.

    So delicious, in fact, that I am following a very wise woman’s advice to never squelch a generous impulse, and sharing it with you.

    Leave me a comment stating which smell of shower gel you want, and I will pick a random winner. The winner will receive a 12 oz shower gel in the flavor they requested.

    Yes, really.

    You have until midnight tomorrow night to comment. (That would be Sept. 12.)

    The drawing is open to anyone, including contributors to the site.  Please only comment once, and make sure you state what flavor you’d like. If you don’t win, don’t despair, there’s a HUGE giveaway coming soon. But don’t say I told you.

    The Flavors:

    Ginger Vanilla: Rich, creamy caramel, fresh nutmeg and delicious gingerbread are blended with candied apple, lemon zest and warm vanilla

    Leaves: Golden nectar, juicy mandarin and red delicious apple, paired with toasted cinnamon stick, mulled spices and freshly picked berries

    Harvest Berry: Luscious berries, invigorating bergamot and cassis are blended with white citrus, jasmine and anise


    PS. If your comment doesn’t show up right away, just wait. The spam filter is being a little tetchy, so I may have to go in and approve your comment.