Saturday, April 15, 2017

Joy To My Heart

When life is challenging, it is always reassuring to have family and friends that love and understand you (good days and bad)...and I am blessed with an incredible circle of loved ones.

It was the best therapy in the world to spend my birthday in Florida this year with my mom and Dan, who treated me like a queen and made me feel extra special. We spent the day exploring Silver Springs State Park - we took a lovely St. John's River Cruise in the morning, then had a delightful picnic lunch in the park (and my mom even had a cupcake with a birthday candle for me!). That evening, they made dinner reservations at Jiko - The Cooking Place, a restaurant in Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, serving African cuisine. It was an exceptional meal - and I was served an amazing dessert (again, with a birthday candle!) - it was Mulva Pudding featuring ice cream and a tuile cookie in a bird's nest-style presentation inspired by the birds of Africa - it was so unique (and perfect for me)! I also received a Mickey Mouse birthday pin and a phone call at the restaurant from Goofy (singing "Happy Birthday to You"). These will all be memories that last a lifetime. This day brought joy to my heart...

...and the joy and healing continued, when I returned home and found a couple packages/cards waiting for me from faraway friends...and I had a scheduled lunch with my dear friend Mary. I had to share a few photos with you - I have the best friends a girl could ask for - talented, generous, thoughtful - the list goes on and on. These incredible women (you all know who you are) make me a better person - they inspire me and fuel my creativity...they lift me up!
(NOTE: It's still all about the squirrel! 😊- insert squirrel emoji here...)

Arbre ecureuils by C en Roussillon
Complimentary design on her blog...
A special thank you to Robin for this information!

....and I have to show you how I use the Moda tins in the last photo (which I ADORE!) - they are both sitting at my sewing machine table where I use them every single day. The long one has the tools to clean my machine (which I do every time I change a bobbin or needle) and the smaller one has my most used presser feet, screwdriver, and needle changing tool. They work perfectly and are super pretty too - they both make me smile. I need to purchase another smaller one (or several in every size!) - I would really like to use one for my project sewing labels....

I also was able to celebrate my special day with my in-laws - my kind-hearted mother-in-law made her scrumptious homemade pizza (it's SO GOOD) and even baked me a BEAUTIFUL heart-shaped cake...isn't it wonderful?! Our afternoon together made me feel loved...

I guess I am sharing all of this because...there is light, even in the darkest of days. The moral of today's post - surround yourself with those who build you up and make you better - those who challenge and inspire you...and those who support you when it rains, not just when it shines...
“Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don't see it yourself.”   -Edmund Lee


  1. I'm glad you had a good time enjoying your presents and trip, it sounds like fun and relaxation.
    Love that squirrel drinking cup!
    I think I need one of those. :)

  2. Happy Belated Birthday! I like squirrels too, but I didn't realize how many items you can find with them featured. So glad you enjoyed your visit with your parents. I love Disney.

  3. I am glad that you had a wonderful birthday in Florida. I love the tree and squirrel cross stitch piece might you know the pattern and designer name?

    1. Hi Jennifer - I am replying here, hoping you will see my response, as you are a "no reply" commenter and I don't have an e-mail address for you. Here is the response I received from the stitcher of the piece:
      The squirrel/tree piece is called Arbre ecureuils by C en Roussillon (it was a complimentary design on her blog). It can be found here, (this will take you directly to the pdf file). If that link doesn't work, then try this one, I did tweak the colors as she only used 3 DMC.

    2. Belinda, thanks for this information about the pattern, I really appreciate it.

  4. What a super post to read, dear Belinda! I am glad you had a wonderful time (and birthday) with your Mom and Dan in Florida and that you continued to be spoiled by friends and family upon your return home. What a beautiful cake your MIL created for you! xoxoxoxox

  5. happy belated birthday!i love the tree and squirrel cross stitch cute.
    sending you love and hugs
    happy easter x