A new cat in the garden...

Thursday, May 31, 2012
I saw a cat wandering through the gardens the other evening and for some unknown reason it made me think of you... and what was this strange kitty doing in my garden? Perhaps you sent him over so I could follow him to your place? What strange creatures cats are; so secretive and mystical they are. I just love them. And well, you know me... I had to know why he was here...

So I followed this kitty through the strawberry patch, and under the rose covered pergola and through that part of the garden where the columbines grow almost as tall as the Shasta Daisies...

Until finally he stopped for just a second, turn around and looked straight at me... then jump over the fence and disappeared before my very eyes... just like that!

Cats make me think of magical stories and the supernatural realm—if there is really one. Oh, I so wanted to follow that kitty straight to your place... but he was so fast!

Was it you? Was it really you trying to get my attention? Because that's the intuition I got. I hope you’re not in any kind of trouble, are you? But in case you are going through some tough time, let me tell you this: We really are not in control over what happen to us or to our bodies. Even though I am a strong advocate of healthy lifestyle choices these healthy habits do not guarantee longevity, or happiness. But when it comes to those dark episodes in our life that are beyond human power, this is when I really best turn my life over to my Heavenly Father.

When I find myself experiencing fear, I like to imagine (and believe it too) that my Heavenly Father is holding my hand. I am His daughter, I walk with Him; I talk to Him and even laugh with Him. One the things I like to do while in my garden is imagining God gardening besides me.... odd? Perhaps, but this is absolutely real to me. Believing, not only makes me feel wonderful inside; it also gives me wings to, like the birds, fly high above worry and fear. It is an amazing feeling!

Oh and did I tell you? My peonies have finally unfurled! Yippee Kay-ay! And that was without the help of those magical peonies ants! Ah yes, I even got to have a glimpse of them as they flew by over the house in the roses on their way to some other cottage, but I guess they decided not to land here after all, because I never saw them in the garden; which, by the way, I didn't mind a bit.

I’m so in love with peonies. They’re the perfect combination to roses! Don’t you think so? I will certainly enjoy them for as long as they last. Here are some lovely pictures for you! I hope you enjoy them too!

Happy Birthday Michael!

We just celebrated Michael's 5th Birthday!!

I can't believe how fast he is growing!  Love him!!

He loves Legos and Star Wars!

We took this photo when his class had a Mother's Day Tea Party for us and he made me this hat.

He just graduated Pre-School!

It is amazing that he will be in Kindergarten next year!

I still remember the day he was born!!

Have a great day!

What is a Shaklee Membership? How to get it FREE!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hey All!  I just wanted to give you a quick heads up that my Join Free Shaklee Special ends tomorrow (May 31st).  This has been an amazing deal and we have been able to personally help hundreds of new families over these past few months!

Thanks so much to everyone that already ordered!!! :)

Here are some FAQ's that I get:

What is a Shaklee Membership?

Basically, a Shaklee Membership is like a discount membership.  You will receive 15% off or more on all products! :) It usually costs a one time fee of $19.95 but is waived until May 31st with any purchase.  After you join, you will get a myshaklee website for ordering, discounts, specials, a library of health information and amazing referral benefits!  Our Member Team also has a way you can earn free product within your first 30 days of joining and you will be able to join our online member's only community for health support and to ask questions about product facts and experience!!

Do I need a monthly order to maintain it?  

Nope, it's a lifetime membership with no minimums! 

What product lines do you offer?

Our four major health lines are:

Try Shaklee and if you don't like it, you can call and get your money back! :)

What do you recommend that I start with?

It depends on what you are looking for but usually I recommend starting with a starter kit/pack because it has everything you need!

But if you really want a Total Body Transformation, I recommend this Kit!

I love the Get Clean Starter Kit but don't forget to add your Scour Off, Basic G and Spray Bottle.

I LOVE the Skin Care Line too!  I have been using this line for 9 years.

How do I order?

Simply go to my online shop here and place your items in the cart, join for free and check out!

How fast will I get my order?

Shaklee ships fast!  I usually get mine in less than a week!

Thanks so much for your business!  I truly appreciate it and love helping others get healthier!!!

I hope that you have a great day! :)

Bonnie :)

Of roses and herbs and peonies, oh my!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Have I already told you about some of the fun things I’ve been enjoying lately; like finding fairy paths in the garden and enjoying the roses? Ah roses. I don't know exactly how to express this joyful feeling roses bring to my heart. I guess the only words I can articulate would be wonder, bliss; Paradise. Can those words justify my feelings enough?

When I'm surrounded by my roses all I have to do is close my eyes to slip into this sorts of a magical world... and dream, and believe, and hope, and tumble too sometimes! It's like if all of a sudden someone hands you this magical key to a magical world and all you have to do is open its door and jump right into it.

Can you imagine that day when sin will be no more, when pain and death will be no more and we'll be returned to 'that' primitive garden where humanity started millions of years ago? Cause oh, I do believe in that! Ah, I can almost see it too... a shrubbery gate and then—the great gardens! Truly magical!

When I think about the garden of Eden my imagination gets carried away. Paradise; a garden outside the earth. Can you imagine? Compare to the gardens of Heaven, the loveliest of gardens here on earth are but a sad shadow; something like Mary Lennox's Secret Garden... gardens that have been shut up for years; abandoned if you will; a dark and lomesome place with winding walks and borders and flower-beds, but the flower-beds are bare and wintry and the fountains are not playing. Shut up gardens; inhabited only by birds... We, mankind are now living where we don't actually belong.

But of course, I don't want to be a pessimist; or scare you? Yes, we can still find plenty of beauty here on earth; here all around us! So I look again around me and this time, what do I see? My Collette rose; from the romantica series in the loveliest shade of pink, growing at a corner of the pergola. What a joy!

This rose pulse with healing energy, and the scent wafting from it is truly heavenly; like some strong sweet tea from some magical region.

Oh, talking about tea! I've been also collecting herbs; just like Arabella used to do back in her time four hundred solar years ago.

Here is the mint—a clapper of a dark green. The very scent stirred by breezes has gone into my being. To me, mint speaks of Arabella in her magical garden, it speaks of refreshment and delight… but oh my friend, you must be very careful with where you plant mint. Mint, left to its own devices, will spread quickly and become a nuisance. Just try to choose a spot where you won’t mind its rampant growth, that’s all…

Oh, and have I told you we’re having peonies this year? Yes, after five years trying to cultivate peonies they’re finally thriving in our garden. They’re growing more and more with each passing day; yet they seem to be taking their own special time to unfurl. Would they ever open—I wonder.

A very strange woman once told me that ants are responsible for unfurling those huge peony buds that you think they’re never going to get unwrapped… but I haven’t seen any ants in my garden thanks goodness. Maybe, the peony ants would just come out at night when nobody is watching and work their magic on the peonies by the light of the moon, so that the following morning when you wake up and go to the garden you’d be surprise by all those blooms? It had to be that… Oh, I’d have to watch for those peony ants! ;) Are you peonies teeming with ants yet?

It is truly magical around here these days with all the roses, new colors and lovely scents. Beyond delightful, really.

I hope you're having a grand day and a super special week. Thank you for all your comments and thoughts on my previous post--wow! You're all extra special to me! Can we have tea in the garden some time? I mean, you and I? Yes yes, Kathy, and Nana Diana and Gayla and Theresa, and and you and you, and yes, you too those of you who come by often; yet never say hi! I know you're still there, and that makes me super happy! ;) OK then. We'll have a tea party next time. See you super soon!

How to Kill of Ants (and other bugs) Naturally

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Hello everyone! I hope that you all had a great weekend! :) We had a great time with our family 

We got rid of some ants!

First, we moved and vacuumed everything!!

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I had them help because they helped make the mess!  hehe

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Then I washed the carpet with Basic H and G!

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I also did more research about killing ants naturally and I found this from another Shaklee Distributor.

Fill a pint spray bottle with 1/3 Basic H and 2/3 water while mixing gently. Follow the trail of ants and spray a thin stream where they are entering. Also, spray any other areas where they may enter such as by doors, windows, etc. Do not put on painted surfaces as it will eventually cause bubbling.

I just filled up my tip bottle and went around the edge of my house.

After reading this,  I also decided to add peppermint oil to the mixture.

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I have heard this working for others and I have to admit,  I wasn’t sure if this would work.  BUT IT DID!!!!  Not over night,  but I would say that after the first day they were mostly gone.  By day 4,  I didn’t see any!  I did wash my floor and vacuum again and again too!

How does Organic H Basic H kill the ants when it is toxin-free? 

I was wondering that too and I asked someone and they said that since Basic H makes water wetter, the Basic H sticks to them and it actually suffocates the ants/bugs. 
It worked for me!  So if you are wanting a natural toxic-free way to get rid of ants, try this! ;)

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Have a great day!!!

Bonnie :)

Friday in the cottage garden and a note on Show Off Your Cottage Monday

Saturday, May 26, 2012
I could not have woken up to a more beautiful day. The sound of rain all over my pillow, crisp air and this cerulean skies with this always wonderful feeling whenever I get to stay home... It's a long weekend; extra long for me as I decided I needed to take an additional day off... Friday morning in the house in the roses; how extra especial!

Rain showers mingled with petals—that’s the kind of rain we've been gifted with these couple of days... and the air is thick with the scent of spring; like the Secret Garden of Mary Lenox.

I love it all. From my window, raindrops on the folds of roses seem to sparkle... they call on my attention and ignite imagination... I want to believe they're fallen stars sleeping in roses and green leaves...

Now, in another note... Lately, I've been thinking a lot about what blogging really means to me. What does it mean to you? I mean, do you see blogging as a way of expression; like an extension of your life maybe? Or perhaps, is it more like something you must do to attract more readers to your blog? I feel sorry for those bloggers out there who have nothing or very littler to offer as far as content goes; yet you see them struggling to keep up with their weekly linky parties; even going to the extreme of posting old photographs so they would not lose their readers. That, to me, is forcing creativity. And what fun is that?

The last thing I ever want to do is jeopardize the freedom I find here. Complying with unnecessary rules or doing something through obligation robes my joy; being the free-spirited person that I am.

So, I have decided from now on I will blog without obligation. This mantra, a movement amongst some bloggers, liberates me from the shackles of poor blogging. Everyone should enjoy blogging. If it isn't a joy any more, you should think of something else. And thus, what I’m trying to say is that SHOW OFF YOUR COTTAGE MONDAY has become sorts of a burden to me—schedules I must meet, links I must follow; sites I must visit, and I’m not finding joy in doing this any longer. Therefore I’m stopping.

I do hope you do continue coming by... I will still be waiting for you from my window as I love to see you wandering and drifting through twists and turns of a garden I hold SO very dear to my heart, and you give me infinite bliss through your comments and thoughts.

Have a beautiful weekend, everyone!

My Pregnancy Q & A

Thursday, May 24, 2012

When are you due?

I am due June 1st.

Is it a boy or girl?


What do you have now?

Grace is almost 7, Michael is 5 and Matthew is 3.

How are you feeling?

I usually have pretty good pregnancies!! I do get tired but I usually fight through it because I don't have time to nap.  I have only taken a few naps throughout the whole pregnancy because of time.

What do you eat?

I always start my day with a quality protein (my protein shake or eggs), my supplements, pomegranate tea, and a fruit.  If I don't start with these things, I can feel a huge difference in my energy and mood by the afternoon.  For lunch, I will eat a salad, another shake, cheese and crackers or something like like with fruit and a raw veggie like a cucumber or carrot sticks.  For a snack, I mostly eat an apple or a snack bar in the van because we are always on the go.  For dinner, I try to cook a healthy meal.  I posted some examples here.

Do you exercise?

Yes and no!  I have not been that great about working out during this pregnancy.  I broke my foot at the beginning of my pregnancy and that really put a stamper on my exercise routine.  I am not joking, my legs turned to mush after 3 weeks of laying around and not using them so that has been hard for me and not to mention, all the extra weight gain on my no muscles, lol!  I do get tired easily now. :( I do walk on and off so that has been really good for me!

How much weight did you gain?

I think I have gained about 30 pounds.  I try not to check.  I gained 35 with Grace and 30 with all my boys.

What are you going to do to lose the baby weight?  

I am going to do a modified version of the Cinch Inch Loss Plan and I will post about it so you all can see.  I did that after Matthew and that really worked for me so I hope it melts away this time, ha!

Does your weight just fall off?

NO!!!  I wish I was one of those people! I really need to work hard to get back to my pre pregnancy weight and I never feel really good until after I am completely done nursing and I nurse for 15 months.

How do you have energy to do it all?

I don't feel like I do it "all" but I do know that I have a lot on my plate.  I am always driving the kids the to school, helping with homework,  our laundry piles grow my the hour, my family is always hungry, we are in several sports and activities, I blog, I run a business that has tripled this past year and I date my hubby!  I have become pretty good at prioritized my life and scheduling everything out.  I had too!  I reach out for help when I need it and know when to take a break (kinda, lol).  We also finished our basement and my hubby was out of town for weeks at a time so I needed to get organized!!!

Do you think you will go early?

I kind of hope so at this point because I am getting really uncomfortable. LOL!  Grace was 5 days early.  Michael was induced 2 weeks late and Matthew was a week late.

Are you ready?

Haha, are you ever ready?  I guess, if I went into labor today, I would be ready but I still have a major TO-DO list that I want to get done.  I was really motivated a couple of weeks ago but now I am really dragging to even do the laundry.  I still have major house and business plans but I will see what happens.  My baby bag is packed and I bought diapers so that's good, right?


Thanks for all your great questions!  I hope that you all have a great week!!

Have a great day!

Finding myself

Wednesday, May 23, 2012
When you find yourself lost, how long does it take you to stumble back upon yourself?—to find you? Have you ever felt that strange feeling that something is not quite right in your life? I mean “dissatisfaction”—such unpleasant word; a void in life, like when you look inside your heart and feel that something is not right?

My dear friend Peter Pan ("hubby"), who by the way is my greatest supporter and best friend ever, always tells me that people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be... some words of truth; except, sometimes those words seem excessively big to me—life-size words if you ask me; especially when I’m feeling stuck in unsatisfactory circumstances. And that’s the worse of feeling one can ever have. Living for survival and not enjoyment can certainly have its toll on me sometimes.

Thanks goodness for gardens and their healing powers, and thanks goodness for all the magical beings that dwell in gardens everywhere too! I mean, gardens and their ‘invisible’ dwellers have the power to always make you feel better. At least that’s the way I want to see things… and oh, these magical beings can teach us one or two things about life too! Just this very morning as I was praying in the garden, a hush of a voice being carried off by the breezes made me turn my head… it must had been a bird; but perhaps was something else?—something or someone more powerful?

That little voice told me that while some circumstances cannot be changed, I have a choice regarding the attitude I will embrace. It told me I have the power to control my thoughts and attitudes, and attitudes are such a secret powerful thing! I cannot control what happens to me, or what others think of me or do to me, but I can always control my attitude towards what happens to me, and how I feel towards the world around me. By controlling my attitude I’m mastering circumstances rather than allowing them to master me…

And that’s what I’m striving for—the impact of a positive attitude in my life; how I react to things I cannot change; not by lying to myself, but rather by living my life through a positive attitude, like looking at life through some new lenses.

It feels so wonderful finding myself back... that feeling of fullness and comfort again. So thankful. And thus, little by little I’m also finding my way back to magic... magic in the everyday.

Magic in God's creation...

...magic all around me

...and within me

Finding fairy paths in the garden too!

...And enjoying the first roses of the season…

...making lovely bouquets with lupines and roses. Love the purple and deep orange combo!

...And playing house outside even when I can tell there’s a storm taking shape around the far corner of the garden towards the east…

I can see big dark clouds soaring atop my head on the wings of a waft of air… clouds devoid of light, like some prehistoric birds above my head. But I love playing house out here.

This corner of the garden is like a fortress to me… it feels so sheltered from the world and everything else… It is also my favorite place of prayer. I just love it.

There's so much I want to share with you; what new things I'm doing, plantings, crafting, creating, my crazy creations with Mod Podge and what new skirts I have and goodies I've baked... so much I want to share with YOU, my friends; friends whom I've never had the pleasure of meeting in person, nevertheless I feel so connected with and let into my life with open arms... May all who come here be blessed. And thank you so much for your prayers and inspiring comments.

"When we are challenged this is precisely the time we need to hold on. When our fears tell us; to escape; to retaliate; to take the easy way out; we need to check with our integrity and spiritual compass. This is where security can be found-in the fruit of our commitment to a higher purpose." (Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD)