Kitchen Storage Ideas

I love finding new ideas for storage for my very small kitchen. The basket above is so pretty with all the necessary items gathered within it.

Jars are always popular and readily available. And also easy on the pocketbook. 

If you have room, bring in a kitchen island. You can always use the surface space. And put a lot behind those doors.

This is the ultimate in organization! Having your measuring spoons all lined up in size sequence on the inside of a cabinet door.

These steel shelves are being sold at a lot of places now. Many have wheels so you can roll them about. If you don't have a pantry, these are ideal. (And if I ever find room, I'm going to have one too!)

Small Space Decor For The Holidays


Those of us living in small homes have to sometimes think outside of the box when decorating for the holidays. Look at every nook and cranny for decorating possibilities.

Just look at this frame of ornaments on ribbons. Very creative. 

If you happen to own a lamp base that you can put things inside, think about adding pretty sparkly ornaments. They'll be even more decorative when the lamp is turned on. 

We're quite familiar with going vertically in small spaces. This arrangement of red and white plates on the wall, with a little holiday cheer in the center, will make people smile when they walk into your home.

Looks especially fantastic with a buffet table just below it.

If you're a stitcher, consider sewing up a fun pillow of words of Christmas for the holiday season.

We know that mirrors are our friend in small spaces. But utilizing them for Christmas decor takes it one step further. 

Do you have any small space Christmas decor ideas you'd like to share?

Blogger Book Club: The Good Girl

"The Good Girl," by Mary Kubica, was my book club pick. A good thriller. That's my cup of tea. Or rather coffee. 

There are so many twists and turns in this one (and you won't quite figure out that you were twisting and turning until the last few pages, I kid you not) that I was a bit chagrined that I did not see these plot twists coming. 

You won't either. 

Here's a snippet: “I’ve been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don’t know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she’s scared. But I will.”

When the back cover of a book says that it's a twisty, roller coaster ride of a debut, you think: Yeah, that's what they all say

But if this was the debut for this author, I'm sitting here counting the days until book number two is hatched and sitting on the bookshelves. (Seems I'll be waiting until summer.)

This book is about a young woman taken by a young man, who was supposed to turn her over to someone else. But for some reason, does not. 

What ensues is the two living together in a remote cabin, broken into of course, barely tolerating the other. Until...

I'm not telling you anymore. But if you pick up this book, and get right down to the end and those twisty turning things happen that smack you up side of the head, don't say I didn't warn you. 

Don't you dare read the end first!

Please go read the other Blogger Book Club member's views on this debut thriller. 

Carmel @ Our Fifth House
Cassie @ Primitive & Proper
Katie @ On The Banks Of Squaw Creek
Kirby @ Kirb Appeal

For December, Kirby has chosen Mister Owita's Guide To Gardening: How I Learned The Unexpected Joy Of A Green Thumb And An Open Heart

Being an avid gardener, I must see what Mr. Owita has to say. For I learned the unexpected joy of a green thumb many years ago. And it has not abated. 

Please join us in reading this book and let us know in the comments at the end of December what you thought of it. I always love a book discussion!

Learning Restraint

Yet another holiday collage I made. I'm trying very hard not to be up and about too much. My doctor said I do too much and I have to think about things before I get up and overdo. 

So I am trying very hard to listen to his instructions, and that of my physical therapist. Because the whole point of this is an attempt to make my quality of life better. And in my doctor's words: To be able to drive with an ordinary shoe on. And not a boot.

Yes, I am tenacious, but sometimes to my own detriment. I don't seem to know when to stop. When I'm doing too much. I have a lot of energy and just keep moving till I drop, oftentimes. I have to learn restraint. 

It is a nice sunny day outside, I see through my bedroom window. I noticed when I was getting my cereal that pretty much all the leaves are off the tree in the far corner. And they are piled in various areas around my flower pots. 

The other tree, which is technically not in my yard, but the branches help shade my seating area, is apparently green year round.

Normally I would be out there sacking those dead leaves up. Not going to do that this time. Restraint and all that. They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. I am trying to prove them wrong!

If you are out and about in the flurry of Christmas shoppers, do be careful. Exercise due diligence while crossing things off your shopping list. 

Christmas Collages & Terrified Dogs


I amused myself yesterday making collages and playing around on Picmonkey. I had a turkey meal from the deli that was picked up for me Tuesday, and spent a quiet day with the pupsters.

No, I haven't begun decorating for Christmas. They are photos from last year I put into collages. Just not in the mood yet. And it seems a little soon, although I'm seeing Christmas ALL over Blogland! So I guess it isn't.

We're experiencing a little unexpected glitch with our new black Duraflame stoves. Abi is terrified when I turn it on. Which means it isn't on long. She high tails it out of the room and won't come back. 

If I let her out, she won't come in. Do you think there are two more neurotic dogs in the land? 

Flies, anxiety-attachment problems, and now the Duraflame stoves. I tried just putting the heat on, no flame. Nope, she wasn't having any of it. 

You know the pupsters rule this home. For now, I'll just sit and look at them, I guess. And dream of a time when I can actually figure out a way to use them without a dog going berserk.

Q&A On Blogging & Free Printables

Sizing Photos To Fit Content Area In Blogger

Someone yesterday asked me how I manage to get my photos to all be the same size and fit into the content area. For instance, my content area is a bit over 700 pixels; something like 716. So I go to Picmonkey and resize my photos to 700 pixels for posting. Click on the paragraph title above to get the info.

Beginning Lesson In HTML

We are all, I think, a bit intimidated by code/HTML. Here are some beginning lessons that might help you a bit. Click on the paragraph title above to get the info.

Mad Mimi Gets Subscribers Their Daily Posts

I was getting constant emails from frustrated readers who were not getting my emailed posts each day with Feedburner. I switched to Mad Mimi. And do you know I've garnered about 20 new subscribers a week since doing so? 

I was quite surprised by this added bonus. I have had 468 new sign ups since switching to Mad Mimi back in late spring.

Mad Mimi Email Marketing
Click On Graphic To Check Them Out

I don't have an Etsy shop. But many of you do. Did you know you could sync your Etsy shop listings so you can easily add them to your newsletters? Another way to advertise! Read about that here.

I pay $26 dollars a month. It is well worth it to me. My reader are happily receiving their daily emails. I've only had three readers email that they were not getting theirs. I got in touch with Mad Mimi on Chat, and within minutes was able to tell the readers that the problem was on their end, and what to do.

Where Do I Design My Blog Headers?

Picmonkey! I pay for the premium, which I think cost me $24.99 a year. And boy do I get my money's worth! 

I take the graphics I buy on Etsy and bring them into Picmonkey under Overlays. You simply pay on Etsy, and will be given a download. I then take it to Picmonkey and do what I want with it. Easy-peasy!

Click on the banner below to go see what I'm so excited about!

Just think of all the fun things you can do on Picmonkey for Christmas!

Where To Find Blogger Templates For A Quick Redesign?

If you get tired of the same old Blogger templates, I'll tell you where I get mine. On Etsy and Envye. Currently I'm using Envye. Yes, they have a price. But in comparison with having your blog designed, it is a mere drop in the bucket. I've never paid more than $35.

Here is the link to Customizable Blogger Templates. This means they will work with Blogger's Custom Designer. You will find this on the left-hand side. This is on Etsy.

Here is Envye's URL.

Here is a tutorial on switching templates. It also gives a lot of other valuable information for bloggers.

Where Do I Find Blog Graphics For Blog Design?

I'm often asked this question as well. I just go to Etsy. And in the Search, I write something like "Blog Graphics." If I'm searching for a particular graphic, say for the holidays, I might type in "Blog Graphics For Christmas," or "Christmas Blog Graphics."

I love to support small business owners and Etsy. So I give my business to Etsy as often as I can. As Martha Stewart would say: "It's a good thing."

For everyday tips on HTML, CSS, etc., you can go to my blog tips blog. It is Brenda's Blog Tips. Go to the navigation bar and click Tips & Tricks.

If you are just starting a blog, or want to start one, you can find information here, at

I don't post here often. Because it's a matter of when I learn something new, and think you might want to know of it. Then I will post it to this blog. 

Now, for you readers that are not bloggers, the above info will be of no use to you. So I've found some printables to share for Thanksgiving...

Find here...

Find here...

Find here...

Find here. There are various colors.

Find here. Downloads at end of this original post.

And one more for good measure...

Find here...

I know it's a bit late, but most of these would be quick crafts to add to your decor.

{There are some affiliate links in this post.}

Physical Therapy: Day 2

Just got back from physical therapy. Today was much harder than yesterday. I think two days in a row about did me in. 

I'm very surprised by this group of physical therapists. Because they are doing things totally different than the ones I saw after the first surgery on my ankle.

The first ones weren't very hands on. They mainly just put me on machines, one of which caused a stress fracture. Thus six weeks in a cast and back on a scooter. 

This group manually manipulates my foot and ankle, and has me do all sorts of stretching with bands and such. The only machine I use is the bicycle, and they tell me to just go as slow as I want. Today I did it without the boot. Wasn't bad. 

They do ice compression and then ultrasound at the end. So I am there an hour to an hour and a half. 

I asked two physical therapists what they thought my odds are. They were reluctant to give me a lot of hope. They said I've had two surgeries and now lots of arthritis in the area. 

Ultimately, they said they thought I would get somewhat better. But not to assume I'd be able to walk without pain, at least not all of the time. 

They said their hope was to make things better. Quality of life better. But I'm not a youngster anymore. So the tread on my tires is considerable.

I guess my conservative hope is that the pain won't be so bad. And that I can walk more. My ultimate hope is that I won't have to wear the boot. But the jury is out on that one. 

Sometimes you can have hope and be positive. But still be able and willing to accept what limitations you may end up with. And then move on, and live life the best you can. While being thankful for what you do have.

Tweak It Tuesday #117

The North End Loft is loving their pretty dining space they completed with wicker and paint.

A Joyful Cottage showed us two tiny homes. Oh, how I'd love to live in one!

Chatfield Court has a good start on her Christmas decor. Love the stockings.

House Honeys is all about chickens in this tablescape.

Home Remedies RX set a beautiful table complete with lace and burlap.

Debra at Common Ground really has it goin' on now at her new home with this settee that we all remember from her other house.

Frug Elegance is serving up pumpkin pie desserts.

Itsy Bits And Pieces shows us that simplicity is often very elegant.

Jenny And Teddy had a sweet but sleepy model for their crochet patterns.

Little Farmstead has created a beautiful space in her home with handmade decor and lots of creativity.

Coastal Charm has a pretty vignette displayed in a suitcase.

Lovely Livings has set a gorgeous and thankful table.

Confessions Of A Serial Do It Yourselfer has upholstered a bed in a trendy French fabric.

Making Our Sustainable Life came up with a natural and beautiful table centerpiece.

The Honeycomb Home has a pretty Christmas printable for you at their blog.

The Turquoise Home has lots of suggestions for holiday decorating.

Let's see what you've tweaked this week...