Sunshine Award


I was so surprised recently to find a comment from Kathy at Cornerstone Confessions telling me she was bestowing the Sunshine Award on A Pinch of Joy! I’m excited and delighted – anything that involves sunshine is a good thing!!! Coming from a fellow blogger makes it all the better!

Kathy wrote: A few weeks ago I received a sweet comment and personal invitation from Charlene to participate in her first ever Busy Monday Link Party. Her sincere comments and enjoyable blog are definite pluses in my book.

Kathy has a great blog – fun to visit and fun to read.  She says: “I’m just an amateur blogger who is trying to share a little of what she’s learning along the way, both to save others the time it took for me to search for the “how to” as well as so I don’t forget it later!”   Good reason to blog about any topic!   She deserves positive comments! Visit and leave her one!
As a recipient of this delightful award, I have a few rules to follow:

  •   Include the Sunshine Award logo in a post or on your blog.
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself.
  • Nominate 10 other fabulous bloggers and introduce them.
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.
  •  Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

Ten Sunshine Award Questions (and Answers):

1.  Favorite Color: I love color! My favorite job was designer for a metropolitan parks and recreation department where I got to choose color schemes for park and recreation buildings. I got paid to play with the color pack all day! Right now turquoise is my very favorite – on my blog, in my wardrobe and in my house!
2.  Favorite Animal: I have to say cat or the resident feline will ignore me all day! Which she pretty much does anyway, unless the food bowl is empty.
3. Favorite Number: Three is perfection.
4. Favorite Non-alcoholic Drink: Tea – Chai Latte or Rosy tea are usually in my desk mug.
5. Prefer Facebook or Twitter: Facebook
6. My Passion: To make a difference in my world
7. Prefer getting or giving presents: It used to be “giving”. But, thanks to some wonderfully kind and thoughtful women in my life, I am learning to accept gifts and to feel that I am worthy
8. Favorite pattern: Pattern is like color – I love it all, in its own time and place.
9.  Favorite Day of the Week: Wheel’s days off – subject to change from year to year.
10. Favorite Flower: My father grew roses so I am a little partial to them, but anything that blooms will find a place in my garden. The neighbors just removed a line of trees along our mutual fence. I am looking forward to planting something beside shade lovers!

Ten Favorite Bloggers:

Miz Helen’s County Cottage  Miz Helen has a serene Country Cottage with recipes, garden tips,  reflections and Full Plate Thursday, one of the first link ups to which I posted. Miz Helen is the most gracious hostess and is so kind and appreciative of each link that I look forward to seeing her name in the comment box.

Kristen’s Creations  Kristen strikes the designer in me. I love the clean look of the blog, her designs for her etsy shop, the ideas she’s used in her lovely home. Always feel refreshed after a visit there!

Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons   Jill has three adorable helpers in her kitchen and the things they come up with are so creative and so fun! Cute blog, too!

My 1929 Charmer refers to Cathy’s “charmer” house built in 1929 from plans and materials sold through Sears catalog. She blogs about their adventures in making the charmer into the home of their dreams. with recipes and other fun along the way. (Cathy doesn’t know it but our first house was also a Sears kit and I can soooo relate to the “joys” of updating.)

Miss Janice writes about the social graces – southern style. When I want a total change of pace, I find myself clicking over to Miss Janice’s. It’s always enjoyable and I frequently learn something new!

Preschool Powol Packets.  Carla is homeschooling mom who also has a small home daycare. She says “I love to teach, create fun and exciting resources, and share the educational journey that we get to live!” Her passion comes through and I love to see the great ideas she posts.

Homeschool Creations  Jolanathe is  homeschooling mom with great  enthusiasm and great ideas  adaptable to volunteer teacher or mentor or  learning time for you own little ones outside school, for quiet time or just for fun!

Tea Rose Home  I found Sachiko through a link party and have come to appreciate her gentle, serene blog about life, quilting and sewing, crafting and creative endeavors.

Easy Digital Scrapbooking and Crafts   I love scrapbooking. And the design of this cheery blog always lifts my spirits, not to mention the fun ideas and resources shared here!

10. It was so hard to narrow this down to just ten.    My list could go on and on.    So this last one goes to all the bloggers who share their heart, their passion and unique knowledge with the rest of us!

And to all my wonderful readers — thank you for taking time to stop by,  read my tidbits, offer comments and share the journey.  You are truly wonderful sunshine in my life.  Thank you, Kathy.

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When my blog grows up. . .


What Do You Want Your Blog to Be When it Grows Up party.  Thistlewood Farms, It All Started With Paint, The Space Between, Eclectically Vintage, The Cottage Market. are hosting a link up with that very theme.   You’ll find this post linked there along with a number of other bloggers who are sharing, too!

I actually thought about this topic and did a lot of research before I began blogging.   Just because I take things seriously like that.  Why would I want to undertake this additional commitment in my already busy life?  Just who did I want to be when I grow up anyway?  Well, that one was easy —   Martha Stewart  with Oprah’s heart.  Shoot for the stars and dream big, right? Well, yes but there’s more. I scribbled notes on yellow stickies that laid around my desk for weeks until one day I picked up my beautiful black and white, tabbed, every page has a design, and totally blank journal and wrote:

Blog goals

1. Become a repository for knowledge

I’m curious.  I want to know how things work and why.  I want to know what makes people tick.  I want to know what makes ME tick. That became my first reason for starting a blog.  Because I am curious, I’ve accumulated a lot of knowledge.  I always lose at trivia and I refuse to clutter up my brain with things like the formula for pi.  But I know where to go look things up, which is a great life skill.  And, some of the things, I’ve learned have actually stuck – like how to use joint compound, how to knead bread and why, how to choose colors and plant flowers and lay brick pavers and teach a class and budget and . . .  And I want to share that knowledge because I’m a teacher at heart.     Specifically:

  • Write about a diversity of topics
  • Organize posts in ways so they are easily found

2. . . .and give that knowledge value

Knowledge has to be shared in a way that people can understand or it has no value.  I can talk to anyone about anything – and learn something from anyone about anything. But can I communicate on a platform totally new to me?  I’ve been long time blog reader –but producing one is a totally different ballgame.   Thanks to other folks who freely share their knowledge in all sorts of way – and the patience of Bytes, the resident computer guru – I’m learning!   I want what I share to be as valuable as the information I seek.     Specifically:

  • Give accurate information
  • written so it can be easily understood

3. Brand that knowledge

I am not the only one with this knowledge or access to research materials.  But I am the only one who filters it through me and that is what makes it unique.   I want  my own personal stamp on everything I do.   When non-bloggers try to understand what I do, I always end up saying “a blog is like an online magazine.  Some specialize in one topic and others have a little bit of everything.”   I want my approach to be as easily recognized as any print production.    Specifically:

  • Keep personal standards of quality and excellence
  • Develop ways to express creativity,  such as learn more about photography and new design programs

4. Sell it

This doesn’t mean make money – although that is one of my goals.  What I mean by this is connecting to others to share ideas, goals and information in a variety of ways.  I need to let others know I am here and to interact with them.    Reading other blogs keeps me renewed and motivated.

  •  Just started  Busy Monday, a link up for ideas that make life easier, better and more fun!
  • Participate in as many linkups as possible
  • Follow and read a diverse selection of other blogs

5. Remember to keep the Pinch of Joy.

It is a delight and an honor to be featured, to have someone leave a note of appreciation in the comment box or email.  Some of the friends I know in real life have been incredibly encouraging.   It is exciting to see the numbers double every month, to get those traffic spikes, to be pinned by a “big” blog, to be invited to do new and exciting things.  It is also humbling and a reminder of the fact that we are all inter-related in ways that we cannot fathom.     To share ideas, a bit of beauty, a laugh, a personal anecdote, time — these are the great joys!    Specifically:

  • Keep it fun and lighthearted!
  • Be appreciative.
  • Stay positive.

What I know for sure. . .

That was what I wrote just a few short months ago.  Lots of other things, including the specifics,  have changed — and will probably change again — but those guides remain.   Even though my little spot is — well — pretty little in the grand scheme of things . . . . I still  find there is a lot in common with my main girls – Martha and the O!  This is a great big wonderful world and lots to learn and share about a lot of things!   And what I know for sure — there is always something new, a different viewpoint and a unique approach!

Have a wonderful day with a pinch  of joy!

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Wishing You Christmas Joy

Winter angel3

I am so grateful for each and every one of you that stops by to read this little piece of blogland.  I wish you great and overflowing joy this Christmas morning!

Wise women know that reflection is part of every well-lived life.  We need time to just be. To give ourselves permission to do nothing.  That was a very difficult lesson for me.  My mother was very insistent that Sunday afternoon was for anything we wanted to do except work.  My father agreed but he was also admanant about “work or you don’t eat”.  Guess which one stuck in my head!  You’d think I be perfectly balanced with that background, but naaah —-.

Back to the wise women.  It is in time of reflection that we can celebrate our successes but more importantly let go of our failures, whatever those may be.   We can lock in the lessons learned so we don’t have to repeat them.  We begin to love ourselves again and in doing that, the love that we can offer to our spouse, our children and the rest of the world grows and expands.  With self understanding comes the insights that keep us from settling for second best.  We begin to think about what we need and what we want for ourselves and for our loved ones.  From this place of caring, we are then free to move forward for the next leg of our journey called life.

Our versions of “doing nothing” will vary because we all still have basic responsibilities to be met.  Perhaps like my mother you can declare one afternoon or evening free time with a clear beginning and ending.    On Sunday, free time began when mid day meal cleanup was over.  Mom would put out a light supper at 6pm for us to help ourselves. We all knew that when supper went back in the refrigerator that we were back in the routine.  Plan what fits you and your lifestyle.    Wise women plan for time to reflect and renew, whether it is in bits each week or a longer time every few months or once a year.

Because I believe that – and because I need to practice that! – I am taking time for the next week to read that pile of magazines, cruise the ‘net, and be with my family.  And in between I will create time to think and dream, reflect and renew– and just be.  In the meantime, thanks to some other wise women, there will be a couple of  amazing recipes to grace your New Year’s Eve, so do stop back.  And maybe check out some earlier posts if you are new here.

Wishing you joy today and everyday …….





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