Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Treasury Challenge

Happy Wednesday, Team!

We're rolling out another new monthly feature on the blog!

This one is a Treasury Challenge.

Here's how it works:

Once a month, we team administrators will choose a theme to base an Etsy Treasury on.
Once we announce the theme, we encourage team members to create a Treasury on Etsy.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
If you've never created a Treasury before, it's not too complicated and is a really fun process!
1. Search for items you love. Add them to your favorites. 
2. Click on "Treasury" on the lower left side of Etsy's home page. 
3. Then click on "Create a Treasury List" in the upper right hand corner. 
4. Once there, a blank template will pop up where you can enter Listing URLs . . . these can be either the address or the listing number {this works best when you have 2 internet tabs pulled up, so you can copy from your favorites in one tab and paste them into your treasury in the other tab}
5. Don't forget to give your Treasury a title and SAVE it!
6. {optional} Convo the sellers whose items you have featured to let them know they've been featured in a Treasury . . . don't forget to include a link to the Treasury
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Okay, so, the next part of the challenge is easy . . .

Come on back to the team blog and post your link so we can all see your treasury, and leave comments! :)

This month's Treasury Challenge theme is: 
The Positivity Team

Select items to feature in your Treasury this month from ONLY Positivity Team Members.
The easiest way to do this is to go to and search under "Favorite Shops". This will give you a list of all the Positivity Team Members shops.
Choose 16 items to feature in your Treasury.

For this month's theme, I've created this treasury:

{click to view}

{here are some items featured in the Treasury}

Remember, once you've created your Etsy Treasury, come back to the blog and leave the link to your Treasury and a comment, so we all can view it and leave comments!!! :)

Hope this is self-explanatory. If not, leave a comment and I'll try to explain it a little better  :)
 {this is not a contest, and the only prizes will be the satisfaction of creating a Treasury, sharing it with others, and the comments others leave for you}


Fondly, Kate

Share your Treasury links here!

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Team Contest Reminder

Good Tuesday Morning, Team!

Just wanted to give a quick reminder to all members that we've got 8 days left for our first Team Contest. That's 8 days to list an item related to this month's theme: Flowers

To read more about the Team Contest and see the LOVELY entries so far, Click here.

Can't wait to see all your amazing items!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Monday Positive Quote

Attitudes are contagious. Are yours worth catching? ~Dennis and Wendy Mannering

I think this quote says it all....I always try to stay positive not only for myself, but because I know that my attitude affects the people around me...and I want my attitude to be worth catching! :)

(This beautiful picture is courtesy of macman of

xo Nickole Hard Love Apparel

Friday, 25 June 2010

Friday's Fancies {an eco-friendly summer}

Happy Friday, Team!

My Cottage philosophy aligns with the well-known adage coined in the Great Depression era: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."

In honor of this philosophy, this week's Friday's Fancies is a tribute to all things eco-friendly.

 {clockwise from top left}

I just love this newsboy-style upcycled Kinn Jones hat by Sparky Jones. Super-cute style, and created with upcycled fabrics! Perfect for keeping sun off of your face in the summer, whilst feeling environmentally responsible!

Wow! This organic tangerine toothpaste from twig & leaf botanicals is SO much more appealing than brushing your teeth with plain baking soda! This toothpaste just looks beautiful! Packaged in a recycled glass bottle, and created with natural ingredients that I can pronounce!  And the tangerine flavor sounds so refreshing!

I've never seen anything like these lavender laundry sachets from SubEarthen Cottage. Just toss one into your washing machine. The laundry soap inside the sachet cleans your clothes. Then you pop it into the dryer with your clothing, where the lavender buds are heated, scenting your clothes with the lovely smells of summer! The nice cotton sachets can then be reused in many ways! Very clever!

I just love reusable bags, and these great organic reusable vegetable bags by Wonder Thunder are so cheery! Made with organic cotton and screenprinted with a happy motif, they are sure to turn a few heads at your local farmer's market! 

Wishing you all a very happy and eco-friendly weekend!

Fondly, Kate

Now it's your turn! Post a link to your personal Friday's Fancies below, and share them with the rest of the team! Don't forget to leave a comment about your Friday's Fancies!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Positivity Team Member Features

To promote all our great shops here on the Positivity Team, we are starting a 'Team Member Feature'! We will be picking items from ONLY Positivity Team member's shops and making a treasury for our blog!

Enjoy this week's theme--RED! And, don't forget to do your own search--type in 'Positivity Team' in Etsy's search engine and see what goodies you will find :)

xo Nickole HardLoveApparel

I love the beauty and sophistication of this Victorian Inspired Decoupaged Wedding Card Chest by ScrapHappyLyrebird.

These Red Flower Resin Earrings by Laughingdogstudio are so stunning and would be PERFECT in my jewelry box at home! ;)

I ADORE this little Owls in Trees Zipper Pouch by BagsOfaFeather!! It is so cute :)

With the hot weather and this cool Monogrammed Beach Towel Fish Skeleton by aTwinkleStar I'm ready for the beach!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Positive quote - shoot for the moon

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss
you will land among the stars.

Les Brown

What are limitations? Why do we apply them?
Do we apply them to ourselves, or are
they applied TO us by others?

How many of us left school feeling like a failure,
having been told that we're stupid by one or
more teachers? How many were humiliated over
their inability to understand whatever concept the
teacher was unable to explain properly?

I know I was.

Who has the right to tell you that you're a failure?
Why do we allow others to say that we can't possibly
be a success in what we do? Why do we believe them?
Why do we still believe them, years and years later?

By aiming high, we are empowered.
We choose to make the best of everything.

We know that we ARE worth it.
We believe in ourselves.

About the selected item
As soon as I saw this beautiful print, shine by AlisaPaints, I knew it was perfect for my quotation. I love the image of the little girl staring past the barbed wire fence towards the distant stars, and can feel her yearning for freedom. Isn't it absolutely beautiful?

Friday, 18 June 2010

Friday's Fancies - feeling fruity!

Peaches and apricots are piled high at the greengrocers, glowing like little candles. The sweet scent of baskets of ripe strawberries wafts over the market. A lusciously ripe mango, dripping with juice, fills the air with sweetness. Heady, claret coloured raspberries glow like stained glass, while currant bushes are swathed and garnished with tiny red and black jewels that hang in heavy clusters to the ground.

Start the day with delicious strawberry-jam-and-sweet-vanilla-cream soap from solsticescents.

That's the outfit chosen. Now the accessories...hmmm. How about this? fruit-tart pendant from PetitPlat?

Now for a bit of crafting and I've got just the wool to work with. This yummy looking fruit-cup merino/tussah silk blend from CorgiHillFarm is just what I want! 

A new piece of inspirational photography for my mood wall - luscious cherry photograph  from sixthandmain will add a splash of colour to my day.

Have you done a Friday's Fancies treasury?

Add a link to your appropriate blog page below and let us all take a peek!

We really want our team members to have fun with this feature and do their own ones, and to be able to tell us all about it.

PLEASE don't add unrelated links.
Use of this box for anything other than links to your own Friday's Fancies blog posts means that we will delete the entire section. Unfortunately we cannot isolate rogue posts so will have to delete every link.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

A Team Contest!!! :)

Good Wednesday Morning, Team!!!

We're rolling out a new feature on the blog this week!

Every 2nd Wednesday of the month, we'll be holding a Team Contest. We administrators will start the first one out. Here's how it goes:

We will choose the first theme for this month. Since the earth is covered in blossoms in many places of the world right now, the first theme will be 


You have the next three weeks to create and list an item in your shop that has something to do with the theme "Flowers". This must be an item that you have created specifically for the Contest. When you have listed the item, come on back to the blog and leave a comment with a link to your new item on this post. We will add photos of your listings as we receive them.

In three weeks {July 7th}, we team administrators will close the contest, and choose a winner. The winner will be notified by me, Kate. The winner will then choose the theme for the next month's contest and his/her item will be displayed on the blog. This theme will be introduced on the 2nd Wednesday of next month, July 14th. The winner of this month's contest will also choose the winner of the Theme that they introduce. So, every monthly winner will choose the theme for the next contest and choose the winner of it at the end of the month.

There will be no physical prize for the winner of the contest. And this is, of course, a friendly competition! :) 

We believe this will be a great opportunity for exposure of your Etsy shop and items, and will promote team spirit. 

Monthly themes can be anything! {No vulgur or inappropriate themes, please . . . let's keep this child-friendly . . . and, of course, POSITIVE :)}. We've chosen a simple theme for this month's contest, but if you win the contest, you may want to choose something more in-depth such as: "My Childhood Memories", or "A Trip to the Sea", or it can be a color-theme, such as "My Favorite Color is . . .", or "Something Red".

The contest every month will be headed up by me, Kate from katesCottage2, as I will be the contact person for the contests.

Here's something I've been working on that appropriately fits the theme for this month's contest: FLOWERS . Hope it gets your creative juices flowing! :)

Remember, once you've created and listed an item fitting this month's theme, come on back here and leave a comment and link to the item in this post!

We can't wait to see what you all come up with!!! :)

Fondly, Kate

P.S. I hope this is self-explanatory. If anyone is unclear about it, please contact me via my Etsy shop or leave a comment on this post and I will try to clarify it. :)

Here's SoleDeVita's Lovely Pins Entry:
{Pinback buttons fern flower}
And HardLoveApparel's Unique Tank:

A Stunning Bracelet from Rose Petals Jewelry
{Crystal Blue Flowers Surround Your Wrist}

An Heirloom Entry from Scrap Happy Lyrebird
{Victorian Rose Keepsake Box}

Lovely Roses from Distinctive Dezigns

Flowery Cuff by Bluebell Design
{Catalina Cuff}

Relaxing Flower Ball from Piece Unique
{Fabric Ball Flower}

A Unique Platter Mirror by Valnorthwoods
{Mirror Mosaic Platter}

Glass Flowers from Electric Penguin
{Glass Flower and Wood Choker}

A Flowery Beaded Anklet from Groovy Anklets

Meet the Member - SoleDeVita

Please introduce yourself. Who are you, where do you live?

Hi, there! My name is Solvita and I am 27 years young! I live in a small town called Valmiera in the North of Latvia. I am married almost 3 years now. My husband is Jānis, who works in Theater as a sound operator. I am a warehouse manager at small Optical company. I spend my working days at the computer so in the evenings I want to do something creative. :))

How would you describe your work / style?

Hmmm.. Since I remember my self, I've always created something. Greeting cards, button necklaces, earrings, picture collages and so on... Now I am grown up and I wanted to do something different. I started to make colorful Pin-back buttons for young Ladies. I wanted to do something different an NOT to make those buttons with "funny jokes". So I found my stile. I use natural feathers, gorgeous colorful paper from Thailand, real gold and silver foil and Beautiful dried flowers from Latvian meadows. I describe my style as a quite unique and one of a kind.

Who, or what, inspires you?

I love nature and it is the greatest inspiration of all. I spent lots of time with my Mother and she is also mad nature lover. Very often we go for long walks through the woods and we collect the flowers, which finds its place in my buttons.

What made you decide to start selling your work?

I just wanted to share my creations with other people. And if I can earn a little money with this... So why not?

Do you have a website or blog address?

How did you learn your craft? How long have you been creating?

I learned it on my own, without any assistance. Well, maybe with a little help from Internet. ;) I create my buttons already half a year.

Is there any other craft skill you would like to learn?

I would like to learn making stained glass. It is Amazing art.

Anything exciting planned that you’d like to share?

This month is my Moms 50 years B-day! I am planing a nice surprise party by the sea! Shhhhh... Don't tell anyone! :))

Have you had any work featured in magazines/books/galleries?

Unfortunately, no. But I hope to..

Has your work won any prizes/competitions?

I am doing my thing only a half of year. And I do have a long way to go to become recognizable and to win something.

If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be………

making something different. Maybe Floristic.

Describe your perfect day.

It certainly is sunny Saturday. Leisurely morning with a cup of coffee in hand.

Describe your proudest moment.

This interview is also a proud moment for me. I am proud when someone gets my Badges, and is happy with them.

What do you do to relax?

I drive my bicycle, I sleep a lot, and I go out with my friends to have some sushi!

What animal would you like to be, and why?

I would be a cat. They are so fantastic animals. Fun, proud and independent.

What’s your weakness?

Chocolate cake and champagne. This is all that is necessary for full happiness. :))

This is me and my Mom. :)

Monday, 14 June 2010

Positive Quote for Monday

Life is like a mirror, we get the best results when we smile at it. ~Author Unknown

We all have those days where we don't feel like smiling...too much on our plates and not enough time, too tired, and I could go on and on...Smiling at life's little problems and smiling at the ones that are priceless just make you feel good!! We all have a moment in life we can remember that makes us smile EVERY time... this is mine!

This picture is my son Lane after just eating spaghetti and having his first taste of Oreo cookie :) What are the moments in life that make you smile??

xo Nickole (HardLoveApparel)

Friday, 11 June 2010

Friday's Fancies

There's no better sound at 6 a.m. than sweet birdies singing to their little hearts' content!
So this Friday's Fancies is a tribute to all the little songbirds who sing every morning outside my kitchen window and start my day on a hopeful and cheery note!

{clockwise from top left}
I just LOVE this sweet Baby Bird in Nest of Threads by Cotton Bird Designs! I'd love to find a little corner in my home for him to brighten up!
These sweet little lovebirds all snuggled up close together in "Lemon Chiffon Sky Print" from enrouge remind me of all that is good and right in the world.
The smooth texture of these papier mache Blue Birds with Wire Feet from Middleburg Folk Art Studio is intriguing! I'd love to set one of these on the shelf in my front entryway to greet guests as they enter our home!
Every seamstress needs a good pincushion! And this cheery Bird Pin Cushion from The Shabby Chic Cottage is the perfect little helper to do the job!
Give a listen today to all the little songbirds in your life who brighten the day and give freely a bit of music to anyone who will lend them an ear!

Fondly, Kate

*****Now it's your turn! Post your own "Friday's Fancies" on your personal blog. Come on back to the Team blog and leave a comment with a link to your own Friday's Fancies for all team members to see! :)*****

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Meet the Member - Benandjess

Please introduce yourself. Who are you, where do you live?

I’m Tracey and I live in Sydney, Australia in a house with pretty French windows near a national park with my husband Laurie, son Ben and dog Jesse. I am 42 but I tell everyone that I am 35!

My summer days are spent outside by the pool and my winter days are spent on the front porch near the rose garden. My scrapbooking desk looks out over my backyard and pool but my craft supplies are hidden in cupboards all over the house.

I’m a bit of a bower bird and love to collect old things. As I’m a self confessed craftaholic I collect vintage craft books, patterns and fabrics. I also collect vintage blue and white china. Here is some of my precious blue and white china collection.

I love reading especially cookbooks and old sewing books.

I try to go to the gym at least 3 times a week (to get rid of all that chocolate that I eat). I’m addicted to Pilates. I do some of my best thinking when I’m on the treadmill. I got the idea for my inspirational garlands while doing a 3 kilometre jog.

My favourite craft of all time is counted cross stitch.. I started cross stitching when I was 12 years old. My high school home science teacher Mrs Robinson taught me how to embroider and it has been a passion of mine ever since. I love the accuracy of it and counting the little squares.

This is my first cross stitch that I did when I was 12

I’m currently working on a tea time cross stitch

I also like to do thread painting embroidery. No paint is used the embroidery thread is your paint

How would you describe your work / style?

I go through spurts where I make like crazy and then I may not make anything for a week.

I get ideas when I’m exercising at the gym (strange but true!). I also have dreams about making things and when I wake up I write them down. I’ve just come up with an idea involving a French style dress as a wall decoration which I dreamt about. It may have something to do with the movie that I watched that night being 27 Dresses?

Colour is important to me. If you look at my Etsy store you will see a lot of colour. I like to use vintage inspired scrapbooking papers in particular the Basic Grey line of papers. I have a great stash of ribbons that I try to incorporate in most of my items. I use chenille fabrics that I’ve collected from my travels around the world to make my Scottie dogs.

I only make things that I enjoy creating. I feel that life is to short to be making things that cause you grief. For me its all about making things that make me happy and I hope that that shows in my work. I enjoy sitting at my scrapbooking desk and creating. Making something from nothing. My dream is that one day this will be my full time job.

Who, or what, inspires you?

Right now it is the changing colours of the trees. It is Autumn in Australia right now and this is my favourite time of year. The colours are amazing.

I also get inspired by a collection of 1940’s postcards that I inherited and vintage sewing books.

Sometimes it is a simple as a piece of paper or what someone says and that turns into an inspired idea.

What made you decide to start selling your work?

I started out making things and giving them to family and friends as gifts. People started telling me that I should be selling my hand made goods. Then an opportunity came along in the form of my friend Miss J. I met Miss J when our sons started at the same school 4 years ago. She had been selling at selected markets in Sydney for a few years and she graciously let me join her.

That then led to being on Etsy. Customers at the markets wanted me to have an online store so they could make a purchase when ever they wanted. One thing led to another I suppose life is like that. One door closes and another door opens.

Do you have a website or blog address?



How did you learn your craft? How long have you been creating?

I think I was born with a piece of fabric in one hand and a needle in the other.

I’ve always liked to create something from nothing. Creating something from nothing may have come about from watching my Dad work. He was a draftsman. He’d sit at this huge desk with a big blank piece of paper and draw these amazing buildings.

My mum had a great influence on me. Many wonderful things would come out of her sewing room made on her Elna sewing machine. I loved playing with her jar of buttons and fabrics. I can remember all of the doll’s clothes and linen, my clothes and knitted jumpers that she made for me. I still have the fabric dog she made me when I was a little girl.

She taught me how to sew, knit and to be the best I can be. She always had faith in me no matter what.

Over the course of my life I’ve learned new things along the way some self taught some at courses. I once studied European bread and cake at evening college for two years simply because I loved to bake.

So far I my craft portfolio includes: sewing, knitting, embroidery, scrapbooking, card making and basic crocheting.

Is there any other craft skill you would like to learn?

I try to do a few crafty courses each year. I’ve just did a one day work shop on how to take a new manila gift tag and make it look vintage. I took that new found knowledge and created this

I’d like to learn how to crochet. I can crochet a square but that’s about it. I need someone to show me how to read a pattern.

Anything exciting planned that you’d like to share?

I’m planning on entering a piece of my work in the 2011 Sydney Royal Easter show. This show is huge it is held for two weeks over Easter and its where the country comes to the city.

Have you had any work featured in magazines/books/galleries?

My embroidery has been featured at an art show on the NSW Central Coast.

Has your work won any prizes/competitions?

No I haven’t won any prizes. That would be because I haven’t entered any.

If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be………

Holidaying in the Bahamas (just joking that would only happen if I won lotto).
I’d be sitting on the lounge doing nothing probably being a sad old sole with a big hole in my heart. Craft is in my blood it keeps me vibrant and alive – eyes wide open.

Describe your perfect day.

Sleeping in, sunshine, family, friends, food.

Describe your proudest moment.

When our son was born. Our greatest creation yet. He is 8 now and he amazes me every day.

What do you do to relax?

Err, make stuff of course! LOL

I also relax by doing pilates, drinking coffee, eating chocolate and baking. I love to bake and then eat (see the theme here - create, bake, eat)

What animal would you like to be, and why?

A whale. The gentle giant of the sea who moves so gracefully regardless of her size.

What’s your weakness?

Eating to much chocolate and buying yet more fabric and paper when I don’t really need it but have to have it.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Positive Quote

What you see depends on what you're looking for.

Do you see a miserable, drizzly, dreary, thunderstormy day . . . or do you see the children giggling while dancing through puddles and happy flowers perking up after a good rain?
What do you see in your life? And what are you looking for?

Friday, 4 June 2010

Friday Fancies

Happy Friday team! My idea for this week's Friday Fancies was to promote other Positivity Team members' work! Type in 'Positivity Team' in Etsy's search and engine and this is what you will find....Enjoy :)

A fun ring for Summer 'Lilac Vintage Inspired Chrysanthemum Ring' by LeoAndJunie

I think we all need this...'Positive Thoughts Artsy Affirmation Journal' by thisisit

This bag is just SCREAMING my name! 'Adelaide Hand Knitted Bag' by Bluebelldesign

These are so gorgeous..'The Break of Day Lavender Silk Butterfly Hair Clips' by katescottage2

The stones in this anklet are so pretty! 'Amethyst Anklet' by GroovyAnklets

I can definitely see myself wearing these! 'Purple Petals Pinback Buttons' by SoleDeVita

Have a FANTASTIC weekend everyone!! xo Nickole, HardLoveApparel

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Meet the Member: Kate from Kate's Cottage

Please introduce yourself. Who are you, where do you live?

Hello! I’m Kate. I am a blissfully married stay-at-home mother of four sons. I live in a 120-year-old farmhouse-style cottage with a flower garden all around it, in the small, rural town of Hillsdale, Michigan, in the U.S. {which is in central southern Michigan}.

How would you describe your work / style?

I see my work as “sensibly romantic and charmingly whimsical”. I gravitate toward the shabby chic, cottage style {chipping white paint, crocheted rag rugs, mismatched vintage china set on a table covered with a sweet rose-print vintage bedsheet}. The work I produce is in keeping with this style. Not too fussy, quite romantic, with a touch of whimsy and light-heartedness.

Who, or what, inspires you?

I am inspired by concepts of good and evil, honest-to-goodness true love, hope {especially in the face of adversity}, and perseverance. I am also inspired very much by nature, its simple beauty and wonders.

What made you decide to start selling your work?

I’ve been shopping on Etsy for a few years now. I can’t actually remember where I heard about it. But I have thought for a couple years now that I’d like to start selling SOMETHING on Etsy. I’ve been a dedicated stay-at-home mother for 14 years now. This year, when my youngest son went to kindergarten, I felt like it was time for me to start selling.

Do you have a website or blog address?

I don’t have a website, but I have a blog that I really enjoy. I try to blog two or three times a week. My blog address is:

How did you learn your craft? How long have you been creating?

I’m always learning new craft techniques. I’m a bit of a Jill-of-all trades. I don’t say this boastfully, as I recognize that I like to learn a little bit of many different things, instead of really focusing on doing one thing really, REALLY well. I’ve tried lots of different things: batik, clay sculpting, drawing, painting, jewelry-making, home-decorating, carpentry, sewing, crocheting, knitting. I think the knitting was the worst for me. I could do it, but ended up with my shoulders in knots . . . I could never understand how some people find it relaxing! ;) The things I always come back to though are sewing and jewelry-making. I really love doing those both . . . and have been most of my adult life.

Is there any other craft skill you would like to learn?

Yes . . . EVERYTHING! :) On my short list of things to learn though are soap-making {with lye}. I hope my sister, Emily will teach me this someday. I’d also like to learn to solder and weld. In high school, I learned the lost-wax method of jewelry-making. I made 3 casts of silver bands. However, I always ended up with a puddle of silver, as the plaster cast always broke for some reason or another. Since that time, I have always wanted to learn to solder as it seemed a more reliable and easier way of making jewelry. I also would love to take some photography classes, learn to tat lace, and become patient enough to finish a quilt!

Anything exciting planned that you’d like to share?

Yes, I plan on living every day to its fullest and enjoying the small, simple, and significant things in life. I’m not sure what else could be more exciting to me!

Have you had any work featured in magazines/books/galleries

No, I never have, but wouldn’t that be fun?!

Has your work won any prizes/competitions?

I made a necklace last year that won 2nd place at the county fair {these are really my kind of competitions}. I’m a country girl at heart, and just love to see local artists’ work and enjoy displaying my own. The necklace was an interpretation of a butterfly’s life cycle containing elements of every growth stage, ending finally in four butterflies fluttering about with the word “hope” transferred to a shell button.

If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be………

caught up on laundry, enjoying a clean house, eating sensible lunches . . . ;) I’d also probably be volunteering in my kids’ schools more than I am now, and I’m sure I’d be busy with all the creative home projects that are on my to-do list. I’m really not happy unless I’m creating SOMETHING, so I’d probably be busy making other things. I actually think I would love to be a home-decorator for people on a tight budget as I just love thrifting and antiquing, and finding free items that I can turn into something amazing.

Describe your perfect day.

My perfect day would begin with a walk through the arboretum on a cool and slightly misty morning. It would include lots of time with my husband and kids, playing, laughing, building an outdoor playhouse with them. Then a picnic, for sure, to the lake. Laying on our backs, watching clouds go by. It would have to include doing something nice for others, maybe baking cookies or picking up trash in the neighborhood. Then, an outdoor garden party in the evening with family and friends. Lots of good food, laughter and dancing. Watching fireflies light up lazily. Bathing the kids, reading a book with them, and sending them off to bed. Then cuddling up with my husband on the couch, lighting some candles, listening to spring peepers, or enjoying a nice thunderstorm.

Describe your proudest moment.

I don’t have just one. And have to include each day one of my children was born. There’s no other feeling like it! I also experience being pleased or proud every so often when I overcome a personal obstacle, or can see some growth in myself.

What do you do to relax?

I love to read. I also like to do yoga, go on short 2-4 mile walks, sing while my husband plays guitar. I love to listen to Irish music, and play the penny whistle and mandolin. I love on {most} Friday nights, to put on my pajamas early, pop some popcorn in the kettle, spread out some blankets, and turn on a family movie for what my kids affectionately call “Friday Night Movie Night”.

What animal would you like to be, and why?
I can’t imagine actually BEING an animal, but if I could have any other species’ attributes, I would love to flutter and fly like a butterfly. I would love to be free and feel the wind beneath me.

What’s your weakness?

I’m not sure if this means what are the things I’m working on to be a better person, or what yummy things I crave and can’t stay away from. I’m going to give my answer to the latter. I LOVE Lindt truffles! I’m not a real candy-lover, per se, but Lindt truffles are the best! And I can’t resist anything baked . . . pie, brownies, lemon bars, cheesecake. And I love, love, LOVE strawberries, pears and peaches!

Fondly, Kate