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random stuff to chat about

    Random stuff to chat about today …

    First up, tulips.

    I’m so glad spring is here. Even if the first spring flowers do look a bit unruly after only a few days.

    Can you tell what we’re working on in our household?

    It goes for me too. I may not stomp up the stairs or cry when asked to do something I don’t want to do, but I certainly mope in my own way.  We’re working on that …

    This weekend I went to a baby shower and ate the most delicious brunch/dessert ever.

    crepe cake

    I’m not sure what recipe the hostesses used, but it was delicious. The filling was a mixture of cream cheese, strawberry preserves and whipped cream. Then we poured hot fudge and sliced almonds over. Yum. Very healthy too {I’m kidding.}

    Want to see something else that is not healthy?

    Ugh. Those beauties are not looking so good. Any suggestions for cracked nails? Clearly I need some help.

    Let’s look at something prettier for a moment …

    Isn’t that herringbone brick floor the best? {and the velvet settee and molding and urns …}

    One thing I like about my kids is that they all like to draw and color.

    We leave their craft stuff accessible – which means the kitchen table is almost always a mess – but I like that they can draw whenever creativity {or boredom} strikes.

    Have you seen this no-heat-curl-method for getting nice wavy hair?

    I tried it a few days ago.

    This is while in progress … I look a bit like the Queen Mother, yes?

    I wish I could say the no-heat-curling method worked … but it was sort of a bust. At least for me. Probably due to user error and the fact that my hair is ridiculously long and thick.

    If you have medium-weight hair and have had a hair cut within the past 8 months {oops … time to schedule one} I bet this would work great.

    You can watch a really cute video for how to create the curls here.  Let me know how you hair turns out.

    And we’ll end today’s chat with this:

    I’m brainstorming ideas for a new spring wreath.

    Last year’s is quite pretty and I’ll be re-using it somewhere in the house.

    But I’d like something new and different for our front door this spring.

    Here are a few great inspiration ideas:

    1.2.3.  | 4.5.

    We’ll see if I can come up with something as pretty and I’ll be sure to post a tutorial when I am finished.

    As always, thanks so much for reading, commenting, linking, liking and the sweet notes you send. I’m beyond grateful and flattered by your kindness and friendship {even if we’ve never met in real life}. You are great.

    71 thoughts on “random stuff to chat about”

    1. Try Vick’s Vapo Rub on the cracked skin. I get that almost every winter and a couple of days with good old Vick’s and they are back in shape.

    2. I too have super thick hair, but I was able to make the no heat curls work. What I did is use 2 headbands. I wrapped the bottom half of my hair around one headband, and then wrapped the top half around another. The curls are not perfect, but it does give that full bodied, messy look that seams to be in right now.

    3. Philipians 2:14 is our verse for the past couple of weeks also. I am really loving how the discipline combined with memorizing a verse is working. :)

    4. yah! just noticed that you mentioned no heat curls! and you look so pretty with the head band part! what on earth? that is not fair. thanks for the mention! you have a lovely blog my friend!

    5. Yeesh, my nails used to do the exact same thing! Go to your local health food store and you should be able to find a hair and nails vitamin supplement. If you can’t find that specifically get yourself some pre-natals they’re pretty much the same thing plus some. Just because you’re not pregnant doesn’t mean your body doesn’t need all of the good stuff in those babies!

    6. I’ve been taking Biotin (vitamin supplement) since December, and my nails are 100% better. Also I switched from acetone-containing polish remover to non-acetone (on the advice of my hairstylist). But the Biotin is THE BOMB. I’m actually having to trim my nails back because they’re getting too long, where before they’d break and peel and crack so easily. Give it a good 6 weeks or so, letting the old, weak nails grow out, and then…

    7. My dermatologist told me to try biotin ( a vitamin supplement) for nails. It’s good for nails and hair. It made a HUGE difference in my nails. They’re strong now and grow fast without flaking, chipping, and it takes a lot to break them now. It’s probably one of the ingredients in some of the other things that are being suggested. It’s not pricey, and you can get it in most grocery stores that carry vitamins.

    8. My nails were so much worse than yours and my pharmacist recommended a supplement called, simply, Hair, Nails and Skin. You’ll not notice a difference for a week or two, but your nails will become stronger and less brittle. Mine used to chip like a pottery bowl… no chips or peeling for weeks. Hope it works for you, too!

    9. Hi Emily! Try 27 Wishes by Philosophy. It is 18 bucks but worth every penny. It is like a balm but it soaks right in. You can you it for everything – burns, excema (sp?), chapped lips, cuticles, dry and and feet. I swear it is the best product ever!

    10. for your nails get the revlon shine and buff and then any strengthener. the buffer gets out all the ridges.
      tip junkie has like 90 wreath tutorials they are all awesome!
      i luv your hair like that!
      i wish my lil guy liked to draw/color – he only does it when its homework and then it takes some conjoling to get him to do it.

    11. I’ve tried the same no heat curling method that you showed and it didn’t turn out too stellar for me either. I thought maybe it was my user error but after reading your account I’m on board with the too-long-thick-of-hair reasoning. :) I also tried the sock bun method and struggled with it. Sleeping in a french braid has been what gives me the best results.

    12. Emily, I always look forward to reading your Blog posts. Love your sense of style. Do you think the hostess of the shower would be willing to share her actual recipe? It sounds heavenly!

    13. Emily, I a
      Ways look forward to reading your Blog posts. Love your sense of style. Do you think the hostess of the shower would be willing to share her actual recipe? It sounds heavenly!

    14. I agree that Nailtiques is the best thing for cracked nails. I had acrylic nails for years and nothing could bring my nails back to life until I used Nailtiques. There is a whole system that you use and it works!

    15. Lovely post as always! I love the chalkboard for your Bible verse! Did you make it? It looks simple enough to make, but do you have a tutorial on it?

    16. Emily,

      My suggestion would be the same as Andrea, cracked nails could be a sign of something greater that you should see your doctor about. While waiting for your appt. enjoy some jello. I love the chalkboard idea and will share it with my step daughter for my two lovely granddaughters. Have a nice day.

    17. Thank you for all the lovely photos this week! I pinned the one of ranunculus from earlier this week (and I plan to purchase and frame soon!) It also inspired me to buy a beautiful multi color bunch at the grocery today.

      As far as nails go…I used to have such a problem with this-seriously as long as I can remember. Then I read in a magazine that using an emery board (rather than a metal nail file or clippers) and filing in one direction, rather than back and forth would stop the cracking. I’ve done it since high school and never had a problem since! I swear by it.

      I am a child development specialist, and I can’t tell you how glad I am to see that people still look to inspire creativity in their children rather than TV and video games/iPad (those aren’t all bad, but they shouldn’t be all that kids have either). Your kids will be better critical thinkers and problem solvers because they have the space to think creatively now! So wonderful to see that part of your post :)

    18. I have found that my daily dose of fish oil (taken for a different reason) has actually helped a lot with my nail problems. Also, I highly recommend Sally Hansen’s apricot cuticle cream. Rub some in to your cuticles every night and gently start pushing back the cuticles. This stuff is amazing … I put it on cuts, hangnails, etc and it does a remarkable job speeding up healing,

    19. Emily,
      You are the very first blog I ever started following and I have been inspired to create and moved into action by your posts. I just started a blog myself mid-Jan this year and putting myself ‘out there’ has been a first for me.I love to make my home a place of comfort and hospitality. It seems we share this passion. We don’t live that far from you so when you post local scenes it is fun to see where you’ve been. I would love you to follow my blog as well as I begin as your comments would be so very helpful.
      I have posted a link to your blog from mine as I want my friends to enjoy you as well. Thanks again for all your inspiration!
      Linda (today’s post)

    20. Dear Emily,

      You are such a wonderful and busy lady! Your hands are in everything….dishes, creations, cleaning, etc. But cracked nails are sometimes a sign of what’s going on in our bodies. Mine used to look like that. They can just be dried out from busyness and washing, but consider having them looked at by your family practitioner next time you see him/her. It could be a sign of deficiency. Just a helpful thought for you!

    21. I had long thick hair until last month and it took me a bit to get into the no-heat too. It worked perfectly the first time and then intermittently the rest. The key was a STRONG headband and adjusting the width of the strands I rolled through. Thicker strands worked better for what I want, but not TOO thick or it would fall out.
      Sock buns never worked for me, but I have super-thick fine hair- not enough grit to keep it in the bun.

    22. that entry way is sick. love it.
      i actually like your hair like that, is that weird?
      i love that your kids love drawing and you let them. PROPS.
      wreaths…need to make one asap.
      chalkboard verse: wonderful. we’re working on anger over here. so different verse, same concept.

    23. My nails used to look like yours then I read somewhere that biotin and flaxseed oil are great supplements to take for nails and hair. My nails look great now and are really strong. :)

    24. I love your posts and the great ideas I get from them.
      For the nails, what I use here in Brazil is the oil of cloves. It is very much recommended against fungal infections, giving excelent results besides being a natural product.
      I hope it helps.
      Success to your blog.

      1. As a certified natural health consultant! I would suggest you do some research on your Thyroid for the nail issue. I too have had nail peeling much like yours my is my thyroid which I am treating now, so I know it will get better! In the mean time I have recently started going to the salon and getting “shellac” or “gel” paint on my nails (as I cannot seem to remember to put oils and stuff on them regularly enough to worK) and I can tell you it is actually working! Let us know if you try it. Instant beauty, then they can grow out while looking pretty.

    25. HI Emily,

      I love your blog. I am looking all over it trying to find what furniture is behind the photo with the spring wreath. Can you share?


    26. Love the tulips. Am going to try to make that crepe cake. I have had those cracked, peeling nails before and the only thing that worked for me is a bottle of “Daby”. It’s a $15 purchase (Can get on Amazon) but so worth it. I’ll paint it directly on my nails or on top of nail polish and it will actually keep my nail polish from peeling off for at least 5 days.

      Love your blog!


    27. your glass crayon jar inspired me. how do you organize your kids’ craft items like coloring books, stickers, etc? the stuff is taking over my kitchen and is not very pretty.

    28. Such a fabulously random post! I love it. Sometimes posts that are just pieced together are the ones that speak the loudest – I mean, how can it be bad when you have tulips, crepe cake, wreaths and kids doing art in one post!?

      xoxo – Tracy.

    29. I love your Spring wreath inspirations–I need to make a new one for this year, too!

      For your nails–try OPI’s Nail Envy. It worked wonders for me.

    30. My nails looked just like yours, and I started taking the Hair, Skin, and Nails vitamins from Costco and my nails stopped cracking and are really strong now. Plus my hair is looking thicker. :)
      Have you tried the sock bun method for curling your hair? I pinned it on Pinterest awhile back and it works great. Here’s the link to the pin and method that I used: I think your hair would really respond well to it! You should try it and post a pic about it. :)

    31. For your nails: take Biotin vitamins every single day. They have them at WalMart for a very reasonable price. I have seen them other places, but they are a bit pricier. I have taken them for years and now have to file/cut my nails, no more breaking. They have like 2 or 3 different doses in a pill, but I take the highest dose one. For $5 or so a month, you’ll be glad you do.

      1. Agreed. All the “hair, skin & nails” formula vitamins are heavy in Biotin. I was also told the same thing from Drs. and PharmDs in our family.

    32. I do the no-heat curls every week when my hair is longer than it is now–it’s the only way my curls will stay in! But my hair is not thick. I watched this tutorial on YouTube and I sleep with the curls in overnight, starting with towel-dried hair (still pretty damp).

      If I had super thick hair, I might try using two headbands, and curling the crown and then the bottom…

    33. For those lovely nails your sporting I recommend using an essential oil to rub on your nail bed, cuticles, and around the tip of the finger. You can purchase the oil (grapseed or almond would be the best as it contains many good nutrients for skin and hair nurishment) at a local health food store. Another suggestion is if you have 5 minutes to spare in your day soak your fingertips in the oil for three days before bedtime and this will give them a boost. When the nails are looking better just push back your cuticles instead of cutting them! Hope this helps!!

    34. Is it bad that I felt better when I saw the picture of your nails? Mine are actually worse because they are shorter, but I thought I was the only one whose nails peel like that. When I have used Barielle’s Nail Strengthening Cream (yes, the one originally developed for race horse hooves), it really worked. But, funny thing, when I quit using it, it stopped working. Huh.

      I like wreath #4 the best.

      Where do you keep that big jar of crayons and the paper when they aren’t in use? This is my trouble spot and I need help!!!

      Love your blog!

    35. Sock bun in my hair overnight gives me awesome curls in the morning. Just like commenter Kayla said, get your hair a little wet before rolling it into the sock. I do it all the time and even tried it on my girls hair. :) I have long hair and it works great!

    36. not sure if anyone has commented about the peeling nails but…it could be from having your hands in water alot and/or in a dry environment. if you keep polish on them, even a clear polish, it will help alot. hope this helps!! my nails peel and crack alot but i keep them painted with a clear top coat and they’re alot stronger now.

    37. I LOVE Tulips. Those and sunflowers are my absolute favorite flowers EVER! Purple is my favorite color, so obviously I am IN LOVE with those purple tulips. Must get me some of those soon!!!!

      Nails: The protein polish or the lotion that someone mentioned (forgot who) is what I would choose as well.

      Love the large pads your kids are drawing on. I, too, have the issue with crayons getting broken and then finding them all over the house….kind of like a Hansel and Gretel trail. Might have to try the large jar. My only child started pre-k this year. She brings home a piece of art work every day. If it’s just scribble, I toss it. If it’s something kind of special, I save it. I have a drawer I put all her masterpieces (ha) in. My goal is to take the ones I want to keep, and hang them around the perimeter of her room in faux frames (hang the artwork to the wall, put a wooden frame around them, with no glass)

      No-heat-curls: I didn’t check out the link that someone left you, but have you tried the sock method? I thought it was crazy at first, but I tried it and it actually worked. You can find it on pinterest. My hair is not quite as long as yours, but it’s definitely thick, so I think that may work for you too.

      LOVE your blog………..and I LOVE your ‘random’ days!

      oh, almost forgot……I made wreath #1 over the winter…..used cotton balls, blue ribbon, and blue rhinestones to decorate it. Love the square-ness of that one.

    38. I also tried the soft head band curl method, and have long thick hair. It didn’t work for me either. But what DOES work is the sock bun method. Look it up on You Tube. Just leave your hair a teensy bit damp (or spray it before) I’ll put my hair in the bun for work and then take it down for curls at night, or sleep on the bun. They’re not perfect but if gives a soft wave and texture. :)

    39. also, my kids LOVE to draw. i keep a basket for each of them (seagrass from Pier1) under a bench, and they are labeled for each’s papers. I pile papers from school etc in them, and once or twice a year I look through all of them and pick out the ones that seem most special to me to save.

    40. Love the tulips…and the penny in the case works to keep them straight. My front door really needs a new wreath for spring so looking forward to the tutorial!

    41. For your nails – take a Biotin pill every day, and keep your nails polished, even just clear. I change my nailpolish every few days (i use a light peach colored Essie which is very natural looking). My nails are all pretty long right now and have been really strong. I normally keep them pretty short but have been letting them grow to do a pretty french manicure for an upcoming event. Im amazed at how strong they have gotten!

    42. Put a penny in the bottom of your tulip vase. They’ll last a few days longer & stand up! Can’t wait to see what wreath you do! I always love your wreaths!

    43. Hi Emily,

      I have terrible nails which also crack and split. I found a product at Sally’s Beauty supply called Nail Magic (or maybe Magic Nail…?) and “when I use it…” it works wonderfully! I just have to get better at taking care of my nails!! But, it is in a purplish blue box and is clear when you put it on. I’m not sure really what’s in it, but it does work great when you consistently use it. I think it was around $6-8. Hope this helps!!

    44. BIOTIN for the cracked nails. It is a vitamin known for strengthening nails, hair, and skin. I have the same problem. I started taking biotin for my hair and a few weeks later I noticed my nails were super think and healthy looking. When I stop taking it, my nails start cracking agin.

    45. OOOh! Add wreath #3 to the flowers from wreath #4 & you’ve got a nice, springy looking wreath!

      I think your hair kinda looks like those glam 40’s girls! I love those hairstyles. So classic.

    46. I am brainstorming wreath ideas too. My girls love having a wreath on the front door. I am so bad, I usually only get haircuts on my birthday. I wish my coffee table was empty for the girls to color. It is full of my husbands football cards. We just use the coffee table. I love letting my girls create!

    47. I have tried 4 different methods for no heat curls and they have all been a bust! I have just stuck with my good ole trusty curling iron to curl my hair. I can’t wait to see what new spring wreath you come up with… I am sure it will be lovely and I am in need of something for my front door so will be patiently (ok, anxiously!) awaiting a tutorial:)

    48. Tulips are my favorite flower, those are the most beautiful shade of purple. The dessert looks sinful and the presentation is stunning, going to need to try that receipe out on the fam. I use OPI Nail Envy on my nails and it works wonders, give it a try, I think you will be plesantly surprise how good it really does work. Your kiddos are so adorable, wishing mine were still that age!

    49. For cracked nails nothing works better than Nailtiques. It’s nail protein in a bottle. You can find it at any nail salon or beauty store.

      By the way, nice blog.

      1. Yes! I second Nailtique. I had 2 nails that looked like that (the others were all fine-weird) and used to use Nailtique on them. You just brush it on everyday like nail polish.

    50. Your blog is alwasy a great joy to read! You are very talented with that! This has such a nice positive attitude for life and family and fellows.

      Specially I love your idea of jar of crayolas. I have a problem of them wandering all around the house. Accessible, maybe. BTW just curious: what do you do with the drawings? Save them? I try to save some, then I feel bad putting some to carbige, then some end up to mixed piles of papers all around…

      1. I am a recycler of the drawings. Unless they are particularly special or show a milestone {first finger painting, first guy, something really great}, I just toss them. Most of the drawings are of battle scenes or treasure maps – not always frame-able artwork. They do each have a bin for drawings they’d like to keep and every so often we go through them and toss the ones they no longer like.

    51. Beautiful pictures, as usual. : ) Love the tulips!

      I have had the same problem with cracked nails. The only thing I have found to help is actually really simple and inexpensive. I bought GNC’s brand of Vitamin E, A, and D lotion. You can usually get them 2 for three dollars. If you rub in into your hands and especially your nails several times a day (especially at night) it should clear it right up! It even worked for my Grandma’s nails which were way worse then mine!

    52. I made that wreath last year after you shared it with us. I gave it to my husband’s grandmother for her birthday. She hung it on the front of a round, antique mirror in her living room and it is stunning! Thanks for sharing it with us:)

    53. You might try taking a multivitamin for the cracked nails….often people who are needing the vitamins and minerals commonly found in a multivitamin have nails that crack easily.

      Just an idea.

    54. Thanks for the lovely post Emily. It really cheers me up on my break here in work!
      Tulips – Love
      Crepe cake – looks devine – YUM
      Cracked nails – sorry, no advice here as they are the only part of my body that doesn’t let me down!!
      Your kids look like they are VERY good at art for their age. Seriously, those pics are masterpieces!!
      Easter wreath tutorial……excited? Just a tad…..well ok, I’m horrendously excited!

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