18 August 2022

St. Mary's Cathedral Peoria and Ven. Fulton Sheen Museum


Sorry that most of these don't have great captions on my part - we traveled to Peoria in June with friends and also some family. We ate lunch at Catrina's Express, a small lunch place but HIGHLY recommended. They handled our big group with 6 adults and 4 children well. It probably helped it was a Saturday not a weekday!

Ven. Fulton Sheen was a priest in Peoria IL before he became a bishop in New York. The best place to learn about him is his foundation or his autobiography, Treasure in Clay. He is this.close to canonization, waiting on Rome to issue the green light. The Diocese of Peoria holds his body in a crypt in the side chapel of St. Mary's Cathedral. Another place to read about his impact is in Bonnie Engstrom's book 61 Minutes to a Miracle. 

In the museum (2 blocks away from the Cathedral), I found his embroidered vestments to be simply beautiful. I took photos of all 3. There was also a short guided tour of his life complete with photos, personal images, and stories from those who knew him. 

Another side chapel at the Cathedral held dozens of relics. I just took a few photos of those but it was stunning to see the entire collection. 

The Cathedral itself has undergone tremendous renovation over the past decade. Two blog posts at Liturgical Arts Journal, and at St. Louis Patina, showcase more images with better quality than my camera! Wouldn't you love to worship in this church every chance you had?!

16 August 2022


 some new things this spring: a baby shower for a friend who waited a long time for her son; a 3rd garden bed; sedum for the space next to the A/C; more daffodils; new bookcases (the outer 2) from an estate sale on half off day - sadly or not these are both not curated and currently full; a finished puzzle; flowers from a neighbor and always playing with wheels- cars, trucks, trains.

02 March 2022

switching things up

I bought a small wreath embroidery kit from Posie Gets Cozy (Alicia Paulson) and have been working on it slowly. It is really nice to have something in my hands at times I want to create but can't get to the sewing studio. I am farther along than it shows, but not finished yet. I will keep detailing my progress. I can't recall embroidering before, though I have cross stitched (which I am not fond of) and I frequently hand quilt small and large projects, which I am fond of! So, it is really not that hard to follow her instructions, or if I need a little more guidance (really, images of certain stitches), then I reference a book I have or look up a quick yt video to be clear. 

    I recently moved the smaller wood bookcase into this room, and moved the taller one to the left. I moved out a larger piece (the corner from our sectional) into the living room. This simple change seems to make a large difference in the light/dark levels of the room but also the scale and balance. Far from my perfect vision of floor to ceiling bookshelves or even better built ins, this is giving me a little more space for books at the present. I really like the direction this room is going.

Here is another view, from the right side of the room - my books mostly on top, with some photo albums and toys the bottom two rows. I have been unsettled with this current arrangement for the long term but it works well for the short term. 

I know this last image is a bit blurry, but it's a good placeholder for what the dining room looks like now. Blue/pink/cream rug lightens the room. On our to do list for this year is to paint the rest of the walls 'brook green' -- right now only the far wall is that as an accent. But it is light enough that I want the rest of the room to reflect the color as well. The flag quilt, made by my sil as a gift for my husband, is destined to be hung somewhere, but I haven't been able to decide thus far which wall it will grace! 

28 February 2022

new blog format


I have been spending some time off and on in the past several months considering the flow of our living and playing spaces. I have been searching for living books to add to our shelves and organizing the bookshelves for books, puzzles, games, trucks, blocks, and all the other things a 2 year old loves to play with on a daily and weekly basis. Some of the photos I document here are a visual bookmark for me to remember how something looked in the moment for future reference.

Day/Week/Month activities:

playing with lots of trucks :: reading books :: puzzles :: music on CD player (even though it skips) :: curious george dvd from the library :: shoveling snow with daddy

Books Reading:

We read dozens of books each week but I will highlight 2 or 3 favorites. Papa, Get Me the Moon by Eric Carle :: Dinosaur series by Jane Yolen :: Welcome to the Symphony (plays Beethoven's 5th) :: Popup books (bugs and animals)

I am reading through Summa Domestica by Leila Marie Lawler, of Like Mother Like Daughter blog :: Also The Little Oratory (by her and David Clayton) and Around the Year with the von Trapp Family by Maria von Trapp  -- all helping me reconsider prayer, children, home, and the creative and Catholic impact in our immediate environment.

Area Organized/Cleaned/Rediscovered:

Thinned some board books to make room for others; rotated books between library and bedroom

Meal cooked/enjoyed:

Pork roast in crockpot with cumin, lemon, and lime (From More Make it Fast, Cook it Slow by Stephanie O'Dea. Probably one of my most used cookbooks in general and definitely the most favorite crock pot cookbooks). I served that with cilantro rice, homemade refried black beans, salsa, sour cream, siete cassava flour taco shells, shredded cheese, sliced radishes.  

I've recently made homemade beans for the first time. I am not sure how it took me that long and why I thought it was more difficult that buying canned beans. Basically it's soaking dried beans for a certain amount of time then cooking them (either stove, or crock pot but I prefer the latter). Then the result is equivalent to about 3 cans of beans from the store. 

We also made this Cassava flour pizza crust and it was fantastic! from Mommypotamus

27 February 2022

sew and snow

While far from perfectly organized, I finally was able to unpack my fabric from the giant plastic tote it had been packed in for over a year after I assembled two cutting tables (or kitchen islands) from Ikea. One side has shelves the other has space for barstools. I carve away little pieces of time to work on smaller projects, like several reusable Christmas bags and small hot pads, and one larger blue patchwork quilt, as seen here. 

I love seeing the snow while it lasts, knowing this is a calm and restful indoor-oriented season, with select time outdoors. All too soon the seasons will change and we will want to be out of doors, picnicking, hiking, planting seeds, and throwing open the windows and doors. 

26 February 2022

february snow

 We have had 3 snowfalls so far this month! Strangely, they have all been on Thursdays but have been a mix of all snow and snow/sleet/freezing rain, otherwise lovingly called 'wintry mix.' 

25 February 2022