Sunday, December 11, 2011

it's a nifty thrifty Christmas.

We decided to cut back on the amount of money we spent on Christmas gifts this year.  We were motivated for several reasons, but this challenge has turned out to be a blast.  I still made many wonderful gifts through my Creative Memories business (custom calendars and personalized boxes of note cards) and Mike will still be baking his wonderful bread. 
But eight people on our gift list are in for a wonderful treat. Over a two week period I went to our local resale shop called Nifty Thrifty and did the bulk of my holiday shopping.  And not only that, I told myself there would be a $10 limit for each person.  The photos below show the amazing "finds".  Each photo shows the collection of items I grouped for each lucky recipient.  For real, all are now wrapped and under the tree --- and the combined price tag was under $80.

This adventure made me feel nifty... and thrifty.

dare to be unconventional.

I got the idea for this post when I was raking leaves at the new house with the first snow fall.  I meant to get the leaves picked up earlier this fall.  It just never happened.  I heard that 'snow was coming' so I popped out of bed on Saturday morning and started trimming back the peonies.  I had not worked for 15 minutes when the first fluffy flakes began to fall. I kept thinking to myself 'I hope nobody sees me out here or they will think I am crazy'... But then I realized that I was loving every minute of feeling the big snowflakes hit my face and felt like I was intimately involved in the sacred changing of the seasons.  I felt like I was participating in an exhilarating outdoor winter sport, staying warm and toasty in the cold with the aggressive physical raking and filling the pickup with my bounty.  At the end of the morning I was hoping I can rake leaves at first snowfall next year too!

In honor of this splendid event, I decided I would make a little list of other unconventional things we should try - and ENJOY:

Sleep until noon.

Send Christmas Cards two months late.
(I have had people thank me for this because they said they actually have time to read & enjoy it then. ha.)

Don't attend every single sporting event your kids are in.
(Use the time to bless your whole family by working on your family photos or planning a special meal.)

Grill in the middle of a snow storm.

Spend a fraction of what you usually do at Christmas by being clever.

I can recommend ALL of the above from personal experience.  Dare to do it differently.

Friday, December 2, 2011

how to be a lady.

Daughter Emily told me about a charming book she has been reading to the girls in her junior high classroom. As soon as I could get my hands on a copy of How To Be a Lady by Candice Simpson-Giles, I have been reading it to the girls at the dinner table.  The author shares common sense wisdom for everything from carrying a purse, to setting a table and etiquette on a date. The girls are listening, and so are Mike and I.

Most of the helpful instruction is given in one or two sentence blurbs like: "A lady never asks her friends in need what she can do for them.  It is better for a lady to respond to a need she sees than to expect a friend to come up with a job for her."  Or "A lady knows how to make and accept an apology."

This week I let the girls pick a section to read and they happened to select "How to Deal with Divorced Friends."  I appreciated the wisdom so much that I wanted to share the whole section:

Candace Simpson-Giles says "A lady regrets seeing any loving relationship break up, especially if she considers both persons to be her friends.  However, her regret is for their pain, not for her own.  She does not take sides in the marital strife; she does not carry tales back and forth between opposing camps.             If her friends are recently divorced, a lady does not attempt to put them in situations - a small dinner party, for example - where they will be forced to encounter each other.   She tries to maintain communication with both parties, but she understands that she is now friends with two people, not a couple.   Maintaining these friendships may require twice as much effort - and twice as much time.             After a reasonable amount of time has passed, however, a lady may feel free to include both friends in the same event, especially when a good many other people are involved.   To forestall any anxiety, though, she is thoughtful enough to make sure both parties are informed ahead of time.  She also makes sure that her guest list includes other single people, so that the divorced person does not feel like a fifth wheel."

Such lovely advice.  I am happy to print this because I am sorry to say that I have learned that people need some help to be graceful in these circumstances.  Mother Rabbit also wants to salute her friends that have known how to manage this delicate place with love and grace.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

send a photo.

When I get a Christmas card without a photo or handwritten message - or at least a newsy letter, I almost throw it over my shoulder instead of putting it in the card basket.  I think to myself  'why did someone spend the postage on this?'

Mother Rabbit says: Send a photo(s) in your holiday greetings.

Holiday Photo Cards have been a tradition my whole life. My mother sent a photo card of my sisters and me every year.  We were usually wearing matching outfits.  I grew up thinking that Christmas cards were photo cards.  I have an album of all these cards and it is one of my greatest treasures.

I also believe that the parents should get in the photos.  While I think it is cool to see photos of my friends' children, what I really want to see is my friends.  Get in the photos.

My favorite Christmas card to date was in 2008 when our children and two sons-in-law could actually spell out M-E-R-R-Y  C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S!  This year I have been designing cards for other families - and having a blast.  Photo cards are a good investment of time and money.  Tis the season to be planning and sending your holiday greetings!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

a true gift.

The week before I was heading to Dallas to visit my oldest bunny Emily (who is having a bunny of her own in March!) Jane called and said "I would like you to come for lunch on Tuesday... and I want you to invite four or five friends.  I know it is hard to see every one you want to when you are in town for such a short time."

Please take note of this.  This was a true gift of friendship!  I got to call my precious friends and ask if they could meet me at Jane's for lunch. Let's pass this grand gift forward whenever we can.  Next time you have a friend coming into town, ask the friend who she would like to see - and plan a lunch.

My "friend shower" was a mix of ladies who had not all been together before.  We had such a precious time that I don't think it will be the last time either.  I think Jane started something bigger than we expected.

Friday, November 25, 2011

maximize your spa experience.

Here is a great tip: When you treat yourself to a resort spa experience, purchase one treatment of your choice but spend several hour enjoying and using all the ammenities. Many resorts have steam saunas, plunge pools, whirlpool baths and deluxe shower facilities - arrive early and use them all before your scheduled treatment. If there is a fitness facility, arrive an extra hour early and get in a workout first. After your treatment, take the time to curl up with a book and lounge in your robe sipping the complementary tea or cucumber water... When you finally must go home, use all the yummy shampoos and lotions available during and after your leisurely shower.

This is how to maximize your expensive spa treatment. You only need one treatment to spend the whole day at the spa.

watch documentaries.

Next time you are perusing the video store (or Netflix) take a walk down the documentary aisle.  There are some delightful movies in the documentary category.  Thought I would share some recent favorites:

Documentary about the original Horse Whisperer Buck Brannaman. It is as much about how to relate to human beings as it is to horses.  You will want to meet this man after watching it. And you might even be in love with him.  Just saying...

The Pixar Story
Go behind the scenes at Pixar Animation Studios and trace the creation and history of this groundbreaking company.  (Did you know that Mother Rabbit has a secret desire to work at Pixar as a coffee girl or office helper? Anything to be around these creative geniuses.)

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead
Follows two men who rescue their health with a two month diet of fresh fruits and vegetables. Wish that this was required watching for every person in America - and especially school children.  We have forgotten how to eat in the good ol' USA.

Watch four babies birth and grow in four very different parts of the world.  It is easy to forget into what different environments children are born... and yet some things are the same the world over.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I have a renewed appreciation for the importance of drinking water.  As of result of my husband's head & neck radiation treatments he has had tremendous difficulty swallowing, making eating and drinking a real chore.  At the peak of the radiation damage he had to go on "survival mode" for a week which translated to a minimum of 1000 calories and at least 2000 ml of water.  Translated:  This equates to about 66 ounces of fluid or 3 bottles of water per day.  Mike came close to dehydration twice which would have been a serious complication to his fragile health.

I came away from this with a new respect for water.  The massage therapist at The Little House Day Spa said that the Winnebago word for water is "first medicine".  We came face to face with that.  Remember that one of the smartest things you can do for a common cold is push lots of fluids through your body.

I remembered that Mireille Guiliano said in French Women Don't Get Fat that French women respect the importance of water intake and recommended drinking a full bottle of water first thing every morning to "hydrate".  Mother Rabbit has decided to make this part of her morning ritual again.

Friday, November 11, 2011

have quirky family traditions.

Silly or serious - get yourself some family traditions.  Maybe you bake and decorate a two layer homemade cake for every child's birthday... maybe you purchase an ice cream Dairy Queen or Culver's cake for the occasion.  Maybe you hide Easter eggs every year... even when your kids are 28 and 25. Whatever it is, it is never to late to start a good tradition.

We have a quirky family "thing" of calling out whenever it is 1:11 on the clock - or 11:11. Abby Bunny started this years ago... now we all join in.  So in honor of the calendar hitting 11/11/11 I wanted to celebrate the date at 11:11am - so I decided to BLOG!

Here's to a great tradition - posted in Abby's honor on 11/11/11 at 11:11am!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

underwear day.

In honor of my recent birthday I had a rather fun private ceremony.  The preparations involved purchasing fifteen new pairs of underwear.  The secret ceremony involved collecting every old pair of underwear that I had - and throwing them all away. 

It is a real treat to put on clean underwear that even look clean & fresh! I recommend this.  You don't even have to wait until your birthday... just declare an Underwear Day.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

dive into fall.

Go on a walk and take your camera with you.  Who can decorate like the Creator God?  Savor the colors.  Take deep breathes of the unique fall air.  Susan Branch shared that if you are having trouble sleeping you should step outside and take in long breaths of fresh air.  I think that crisp fall air is good for the soul - and you can quote me on that.

Sorry for the lack of posts.  Most of my advice would relate to "how to survive cancer treatments" which you can read on MikesLongRide...  This is a day to open your ears to leaves crunching under foot - and the fun of wearing your cashmere sweater for the first time of the season!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

fall tomatoes.

I have told you about planting tomatoes before.  I have told you that cherry tomatoes were easy to grow and have a long growing season.  I have said that everyone should get to enjoy the wonders of fresh tomatoes during the summer.  Just to make my point, look what you can harvest even in mid-October from a single tomato plant.  (The tired old plant makes a creepy kind of Halloween-esque decoration to boot. Smile.)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

mini bottles of vino.

Mini individual wine bottles are a great idea. Have you discovered how fun & economical these can be? Not only perfect for a picnic but they are perfect for a movie (and cost less than the quart size sodas they sell at the theater.) I recently planted some of these small portable bottles in my purse / bag at a street dance we attended and calculated we saved over $20 compared to the stuff they were offering for sale in the plastic cups - and our wine was actually good. There are many outdoor venues where bringing your own beverages is perfectly legitimate - and smart too. Our city grocery store has almost two dozen different mini-bottle offerings. Some good things do come in small packages.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

plan trips with your grown kids.

This past weekend Mother Rabbit met her bunnies in Minneapolis where we had adventures that blessed our bunny socks off. Our festivities centered around the Minnesota State Fair because Mother Rabbit likes her bunnies to appreciate the goodness of vegetable displays, butter sculptures, malts provided by Minnesota dairy farmers and a Prairie Home Companion performance at the fair. We also took a bike ride around Lake Harriett, had pizza closest to what the girls had in Italy this summer, and enjoyed Minnehaha Falls.

A sweet treat was having Katie Bunny with us. She hopped across the street to our house every day when we lived in Dallas and I have long considered her an adopted daughter. These new memories made us remember sweet times when these bunnies were little and played together.

It is always a good investment of time and money to plan adventures with your children - or bunnies.

the help.

It has not been my practice to recommend movies on my blog, but I can't help myself. Last year I read Kathryn Stockett's The Help. This summer I have been re-reading the book on CD in my car. It is a delightful book-on-tape with four different & colorful readers. And I have seen the movie twice. My recommendation: See this one in the theater. And even after you see the movie, read the book (if you haven't already).

It is amazing to know that this is Ms. Stockett's first novel. I smiled when I heard she had 60 rejections before a publisher picked it up. It is a beautiful story. Don't miss out.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

tomato season.

Sister-in-law Rabbit wrote and said she noticed that Mother Rabbit had been too busy to post so she offered to help out with this great tip on putting up tomatoes. Thanks for the inspiration and the nudge, Melinda...

End of August and first of September can mean that you have more garden tomatoes offered to you than you can safely eat... or it could mean that you don't have enough to have an all-out canning session. May I recommend "freezer canning" for both? Follow these easy steps

1. Select ripe red tomatoes that have no bad spots. (My mother doesn't waste a thing. But she learned from her mother that you don't use tomatoes with bad spots for canning.) Rinse off to remove any dirt. Remove stems.

2. Fill a big pot with rapidly boiling water. Submerge your tomatoes into the boiling water and remove with a slotted spoon when the skins begin to pop or loosen. (It usually takes about 30 seconds.)

3. Then plunge the tomatoes into an ice water bath (which will stop the cooking and make the skins even looser.)

4. Remove the skins from the tomatoes. Use a paring knife for any tough spots and to remove the core. Compost the skins.

5. Tomatoes can be frozen whole, or in halves or quarters. Place the tomatoes in good quality freezer bags. Squeeze the air out and zip close. Lay the bags of tomatoes flat on your freezer shelves. They will keep for up to a year. Add to your favorite recipes through the long, cold winter.

I have a personal goal to never again buy a "styrofoam tomato" from the supermarket and thus support an industry that has ruined one of our most glorious fruits. (Can you tell that I have been reading "TomatoLand: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed our Most Alluring Fruit" " by Barry Estabrook?)

Anyway, eat all the fresh tomatoes you can, while you still can - and can or freeze as many as possible for winter.

Friday, September 2, 2011

i love my eye bobs.

I love my readers. And if you are in need of glasses to even read your iPhone like I am, I encourage you to check out Not only do they have the coolest frames, but the names of the frames are clever enough to make you giggle. They even have prescription reader sunglasses. (I have to confess that I recently bought Rayban sunglasses and had a taste of buyers remorse when I saw how darling the eyebob sunglasses are.)

Check out for a refreshing bit of trendy.

Monday, August 1, 2011


Next time you are at the hardware store or a craft store like Michaels, pick up a stool of 24 gauge wire for your "handy drawer". You would be shocked how often you have a need for this fishing-wire-thin wire that is almost invisible.

making butter.

When I picked up our chicken & eggs from Kvam Family Farm last week, I decided to buy a quart of farm fresh cream so I could try out my antique butter churn. The task seemed a bit daunting and I feared I would mess it up... but it turns out it was super easy. In fact it was thrilling!

1. Pour cream into churn.

2. Turn the crank.

At about 15 minutes of churning I asked Mike to Google "making butter" to see how long this process was suppose to take. All of a sudden, almost as the words were coming out of my mouth, I couldn't turn the crank anymore. The butter turned into a pretty yellow solid and separated from the buttermilk. It seemed amazing to me.

3. Place the butter in a bowl and press down with a spatula to squeeze out the excess buttermilk (liquid). Add a dash of sea salt as you stir and press.

4. Mold your butter and enjoy!

For a real treat, try it. I have heard it even works to just shake the cream in a jar until the "butter happens".

Thursday, July 28, 2011

swiss chard.

You might think that Mother Rabbit's favorite vegetable is carrots. hee. You should know that one of her very favorites is swiss chard. Rainbow swiss chard is one of the prettiest things you can plant and one of the tastiest treats. If you have never had this treat, it is like a combination of spinach on top and rainbow colored celery on the bottom. My Grandma Ellen and Grandpa Ed had it in their garden every year so I have wonderful memories that envelope me every time I see it...

I have to hand it to my friend Nancy for this clever idea: Growing your swiss chard right in with your flowering plants! It is certainly pretty enough and will produce into the fall.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

the garden.

I love talking about my garden but have I ever shown you my backdoor garden? Mother Rabbit has a kick-ass garden. I would never call myself an accomplished gardener or anything like that, but my garden brings me endless pleasure. A garden is oodles and oodles of endless work too, but it all seems worth it for the daily pleasures.

Not only are there food and flowers to pick and enjoy, but you get to play Hide & Seek most of the summer. The most active participants are the cucumbers and cherry tomatoes. When you venture out to see if there is anything to harvest, more often than not you say to yourself "Looks like there is nothing to pick today..." Then you are sure you hear the cucumbers laughing behind your back. Then the Hide & Seek begins. The next thing you know you are walking into the house with twelve cucumbers and pockets full of cherry tomatoes. Gardening is a kick.

Middle photo: First cucumbers of the season. (I almost missed them.)

hot car rules.

The old adage says "Don't leave your kids and your pets in a hot car." Mother Rabbit has always added "And don't leave your photos or albums in a hot car."

It is time for a new addition: "Don't leave your bottled water in a hot car." The scorching temperatures affect the plastic bottles and release dioxin into the water. Probably a similar reason why we are not suppose to microwave Saran-type wrap over our food. When you carry the groceries into the house, take the water too.

it's greek to me.

Have you discovered what a beautiful taste sensation Greek yogurt is? Yesterday I served Greek yogurt at The Little House Day Spa and everyone loved it. I heard comments like "I am not a real yogurt fan but this stuff is amazing." Mother Rabbit feels the same.

Besides being thicker and richer, did you know that Greek yogurt has a lower sugar content and higher protein content than their runny counterparts? Pick up some Greek yogurt next time you are at the market for a real taste sensation and super healthy snack. I recommend Fage, Chobani and Greek God's Greek Yogurt brands. (My personal favorite right now is the later in "honey" flavor - but I am still conducting my research. Smile.)

Monday, July 11, 2011

wise words.

"Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, so a curse without cause does not alight." Proverbs 26:2

If someone says something hurtful to you and it isn't true, don't let it bother you. Don't even let it land on you.


Just a few words about zinnias. Did you know that Mother Rabbit plants some from seeds every year? Did you know that the more you cut the flowers, the more flowers will grow? This means that for the $1.79 cost of a pack of seeds (and some loving watering) you can have fresh flowers in your house from July to September. What a treat.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

labor of love.

If you would have asked me last night when I was pitting fresh cherries for what felt like hours, I would have told you to run the other way if someone handed you a bucket of cherries. After I tasted the pie today I changed my tune. Bring on the cherries. I will pit them.

Mother Rabbit's Advice: Enjoy as many fresh fruits and vegetables straight from the garden as you can this summer. Even though it can be a lot of work.

Friday, July 8, 2011

july treat.

Bing cherries are in season. Mother Rabbit says: Get some. I always "test" one cherry before buying a bag, but when they "pop" in your mouth with freshness - indulge. I could barely stop eating these long enough to snap a photo before they were gone. Fresh fruit in season is a treat that is hard to beat.

stay away bugs.

Mother Rabbit has been busy making her own "bug spray" and she wants to share her recipe. As you may know, MR refuses to put commercial bug spray or lotion on her skin. Too many chemicals to be absorbed through the skin to be comfortable with that one.

In the past, Mother Rabbit has noticed that her vanilla scented body lotions from Bath & Body Works have been a mild deterrent, but this month the mosquitoes and gnats have been crazy-bad. Thus the recipe:

1/4 cup Listerine

1/4 cup water

2 t. vanilla extract

I put mine in a little spray bottle that I keep in my purse. Or make it in larger quantities for bigger bottles. Here's hoping that the only thing that BUGS you this summer is the heat.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Looking for a beach friend or summer travel companion? Look no further. Jane is the answer.

Jane Erye is a classic written by Emily Bronte in 1847. All three of my bunnies have told me it is their all-time favorite book. One even plans to name a daughter Jane. I am currently listening to Jane Erye via book-on-CD in my car. I can't get enough! I am trying to plan a long car trip just so I can finish the adventure. (Two trips to Minneapolis have me in the middle of the book.)

Treat yourself to a friendship with Jane for a summer blessing.


If you have read this blog much at all, you know that Mother Rabbit does not believe in taking medicines willy-nilly. Many people's issues probably stem from being over-medicated and having multiple drugs interact in unhealthy combinations. That aside - there is one over-the-counter pain reliever that Mother Rabbit likes: Naproxen Sodium (or its brand name Alleve.)

It is an anti-inflammatory drug that is especially helpful with tissue and muscle issues. It is a perfect choice for period cramps, muscle aches & pains, sore backs, head ache - and is a perfect choice right before a bikini wax. I usually buy the Target or store brand for Naproxen Sodium which you will find right by the Alleve.

Monday, June 27, 2011

these are not tomatoes.

Resist the temptation to buy the red plastic-tasting things that masquerade as tomatoes in the off season. They are not worth it. If you are honest with yourself, they do not even taste like real tomatoes in season. This is an easy place to support "eating local, fresh & seasonally". Save your tomato recipes for late July through September - and then have a heyday! (And save fossil fuel in the process from your shipped-across-the-country-plastic-red-things.)

share meals around the table.

I attended a shower over the weekend and was asked to write some advice down on a card for the bride-to-be. Mother Rabbit loves advice and I enthusiastically wrote down "Always share meals together around a table. And never, never, never have the TV on during mealtime." This is very important advice for newly married couples because you are creating the standard for your "family meals" in the future.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Here is another challenge for you. Review your cable bill and make yourself aware of how much you are really paying for cable service every month. Now step back and evaluate if it is really worth it.

Last time Mike and I stayed at a hotel we were amazed how long it took to find some television worth watching. (Fun memory... when the girls were little we would say "it that television worth watching??" 80% of the time the answer was no.) We actually do not have cable service in our house. Don't feel sorry for us. We have a 52" plasma TV, a Bose sound system and hundreds of movies.

But the challenge is to make sure you aren't spending too much on something that is not giving back. Maybe the money could be used for something that would yield more benefits. The challenge is just to look at your bill and think about it. Mother Rabbit loves this sort of thing.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

watch the nick kelsh radio picture show on facebook.

I'm addicted. If you want to learn to take better photographs and raise your level of awareness about good photography, I have a treat for you. Nick Kelsh is a world-class professional photographer and just plain great guy who puts all kinds of amazing & helpful stuff on his web site, and also does weekly videos on FaceBook to which I am now addicted. Become FaceBook friends with How To Photograph Your Baby (name of his book and his web site) and watch his weekly video production of "The Nick Kelsh Radio Picture Show".

Some of the stuff is way over my head but I can tell I am still learning something, plus Nick is just plain entertaining. Go to and link to the red 'Find Us On FaceBook' tab. You will thank me.

The photo is one I took in Gordes, France and has always been a favorite.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

carry on bag.

While it seems obvious that an airline should be able to safely transport the luggage we check to the same destination as the traveler, it doesn't always happen. Even on direct flights. I am going to advice that you (and I) always pack a carry-on bag even with checked luggage. It isn't hard - pack a pair of undies, a change of clothes, a bathing suit, something that doubles as jammies, always contact case & solution, some toiletries at your discretion. It is an Emergency Kit and can prevent much stress. It is great if you can find a soft-sided, over-the-shoulder bag that you can stuff your purse into as well.

This post was stimulated by Abby's current trip to Italy. She invested much time in planning & packing. She bought a large backpack for her suitcase so they could move from city to city in Italia with greater ease. Low and behold, AA lost her bag / backpack. She is 8 days into the trip and she still doesn't have it. Her first day in Florence was very stressful because she wanted to be out exploring the city instead of out shopping for underwear. She did finally just go out and buy what she needed (and AA will be getting that bill.) But I know she wishes she had at least some of the things she packed.

Check out LLBean to see the carry-on bag that I love - TA248839 Carryall Rolling Pullman, Medium $149. See this item now at


One of the best exercises you can do is good old-fashioned push-ups. About a year ago I took a challenge to "one new activity or change to your daily schedule". I decided to do 40 push-ups every day. At first it seemed like such a big deal and then I realized it takes all of 90 seconds to complete the task. I could hardly complain. (If Mother Rabbit remembers correctly, this is also the length of time is takes to make a bed.)

I remember hearing that the fastest muscles to tone are your arms, and have heard that actresses do push-ups before wearing their Academy Awards gowns

I have also heard my Marine husband say that push-ups and sit-ups are two of the most complete exercises and that you don't need a whole bunch of fancy ones.

I recently heard my massage therapist recommending push-ups to a client to strengthen her core and her back.

I have learned in my workout class that push-ups and planks strengthen your abs.

So Mother Rabbit encourages a push-up regimen. Start small and build up. Form is everything. Arms shoulder distance apart. Head straight. Abs in tight. Try it everyday for a month. Start with 20 per day. (And let's not do sissy girl-push-ups.) You can do it.

Monday, June 6, 2011


I think I was in the fourth grade when I started caring about my handwriting. By high school I decided that I was going to develop my own style. I observed what others did and when I found handwriting I liked, I copied it. Nice handwriting is nothing more than taking the time to form the letters in a pleasing way.

I love it that all of my bunnies have handwriting that people get confused with mine. They learned that pretty handwriting can be learned & developed. Abby was just asked to address wedding invitations for dear friends... I couldn't resist photographing one of the envelopes.

If you would like different handwriting, you have the power to tweak it to something you like better. You can even use a computer font to "copy" and develop into your own. Start with a signature and move on from there.

no eating in the car.

One of the fun parts of blogging is when my own "bunnies" give me things to blog about. "Mom, you need to post about 'no eating allowed in your car'."

It has always been a family rule that there is NO EATING in my vehicle. If you want a simple way to keep your car nicer for longer, this is it. It might be inconvenient at times, but it is amazing how much cleaner your vehicle will be!

People are often amazed at the cleanliness of the interior of my 15 year old Expedition. (Now granted, the steering wheel and torn leather driver's seat look their age - but for the most part anyone would say 'that's a clean vehicle'.) On a recent drive to Minneapolis my odometer passed 265,000. I never dreamed when we bought this vehicle that I would still be driving it 15 years later, and you better believe that I am thankful that the NO EATING rule has been mostly enforced.

My Expedition still gets me where I need to go... And any car trip is better with a book on tape (I recommend Jane Eyre!) and some fresh flowers in a cup holder.