chocolate + paper + scissors


What's in a Name? Scissors.

In two past posts, I attempted to explain the first two parts of my blog’s name: Chocolate and Paper. (I get inspired just thinking of them!)

Today, I’d like to shed some light on scissors.

Where would any of us be without scissors?

In a literal sense, scissors keep us together around here. I use them several times throughout each day in the kitchen. They help me gently clip fraying threads on tiny green and grey sweatshirts. I can open any box or package in seconds. Just the other day, my scissors had been misplaced, and I felt as if my hands were tied behind my back! I was a lost soul, using steak knives to do a terrible job of cutting. Things just weren't the same without my scissors. (Thankfully, they returned!)

My little girl uses scissors almost every day – cutting, designing, sculpting her carefully colored papers – creating some of the most brilliant handmade art I’ve ever seen. She uses them to cut tape to hang her creations. She uses them to cut string on which to place her beads. And, with her scissors, she creates rainbow snowflakes for all seasons.

Scissors are dear to my heart because they represent so many different things. I love how scissors can be so unique in their shape, their color, their size. They help make our lives more beautiful – and they also represent creativity, making things new, helping us see things differently. They represent both the domestic part of my life and the creative part - two worlds that often intertwine, but not always.

Scissors allow us to change what is in front of us immediately. And that’s pretty powerful.

They are an icon for the beautiful world of crafting. Scissors and paper are a beautiful union.

Digitally, scissors can be used to cut our words – and allow us the beauty and magic of rearranging our thoughts to help us express ourselves a little better to the world.

Simply, scissors help shape our lives and make our world more beautiful.

As we approach the weekend, let us make a toast to the loveliest of tools.

How have scissors made your life more beautiful lately?


Welcomed home.

This past weekend, my husband and I took a trip to the Texas Hill Country in honor of our tenth wedding anniversary. Did I mention this getaway was our first experience being away from our children overnight - ever?

The entire weekend was beautiful and perfect!

One of my favorite parts of our day on Sunday? Coming home to this sign, made by our daughter:

I was told by the artist that the letters in addition to "I love you" spell out "We're having a party inside for you." Hanging on the wall adjacent to our front door, our welcome sign reminded me how much inspiration and joy these tiny little people bring me every day.

I am so thankful for tiny little hands, chunky bare feet, new sentences, practiced letters and coming home to parties thrown in Mommy and Daddy's honor!


Hello, good mornings.

Mornings have always been my favorite time of day, for at this time of day, I'm usually at my best: I write best. I think best. I feel best. I’ve always enjoyed waking up early – and first - because of the quiet time. Having time to myself is crucial to my well-being! Now that I have two little ones, I find I need my "morning time" more than ever. Not only is the quiet time nice, but I need to time to physically get ready and fueled up for the day.

When my daughter was two, she used to sing a song from "Barney," her then favorite show:

“It’s a bright new day, full of possibilities…”

(Only her version of the second part came out something like, “pool across the bilities,” which is much more fun!)

During that time of my life, I think that even Barney was trying to help me somehow.

Just recently, thanks to some real-life inspiring ladies, I’ve started a new morning routine that has really helped me get a better handle on my days (and therefore our family's days). It's now affecting the rest of my day, too, helping me with my time management one tiny step at a time.

Here are some favorite (paraphrased) tips for a good morning:

  1. Go to bed earlier – get more sleep! -Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project
  2. Wake up earlier (even if it’s only 30 minutes – start small) to enjoy the mornings and harness the power of a new day. -Kat, Inspired to Action. (Her free eBook “Maximize Your Mornings” has been such a blessing and has helped me greatly. She was the catalyst who helped me restore my routine.)
  3. Wake up, and before you do anything (including reading blogs), get dressed, get your house/kitchen ready for your day. Rachel, Small Notebook; this tip is from her new e-book “Simple Blogging”
  4. Make sure you’re dressed and caffeinated before your little ones join you for the day - Amy McCready, Positive Parenting Solutions
  5. And finally, my tip: make the time for a hot shower – if only for 5 minutes. A quick shower helps me wake up and ease into my day gently.

My morning routine? I wake up around 5:15, make a cup of tea, put in some laundry, sip some tea, get the dishwasher unloaded, sip some more tea, set out dishes for breakfast, finish tea. Shower, dress. Make breakfast, wake up little ones. Sit with little ones during breakfast and/or make lunches, help little ones get ready for their day, deliver big little one to bus for kindergarten while smaller little one joins us for a morning walk...

Yes: our mornings are full. But our home does run smoothly. And we are much happier - rejoice!

Thanks to all the great ladies listed above - and all the other ladies out there I didn't mention with impeccable time management skills.

How are your mornings?