Friday, May 28, 2010

Girly Things....

Since I didn't have an actual planned post today...

I'm going to share some things that make me smile~ extreme Girly Girl style.

May they add a little ray of sunshine to your Friday as well!!

It's true, I {heart} you Tiffany blue!

Some Anthropologie wardrobe inspiration.

A vintage Vanity Table for getting all dolled up!

Holly Golightly and Carrie Bradshaw~ the ULTIMATE Girly Girls.

An English Settee anyone?  You know for kicking off your heels...or photoshoots!

A batch of flower brooches~ for your bags, your shoes, or your hair!


A shade of pink that works with every skintone!!

Happy Friday to all you girly girls out there!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I've been on the lookout for quite sometime for something I can do/play with Emma to implement a learning time during the day.

Since we are considering homeschooling, I need to get a schedule in place early and although Emma is only two, I don't think children are ever too young to learn.  Not to mention, for me, it's never too early to start a habit of it for her!

There are a ton of books on the market for the toddler age range that incorporate learning into games and/or crafts.  In fact, I love the Dollar Trees selection of pre-K workbooks that teach colors, shapes, numbers, letters.  We have a ton of those.

But one thing that I just recently came across is BrainQuest.  I happened upon them at a children's consignment shop and they are so fun!  We got the 2-3 age range, but they go on up to age 13.

Basically, for our particular set, it's about vocabulary development.  Max the Monkey is the star of the show and through a series of familiar places and activities (like getting up, lunch time, nap time, etc) he encourages conversation with your toddler, thus widening their vocabulary.

For example:
On the getting up card, you might see Max sitting up in his bed in his room and the following questions.
1) Who just woke up?
2) What is Max wearing?
3) What do you see in his room?

Simple to us, but oh so stimulating to your child.  And in my opinion, not only is it teaching words, it also teaches what to do during specific times of day or how to act in certain situations as it walks them through a variety of events.

Emma loves it, too!  This is a special time that she gets to sit down with mommy and "talk"!  What a great way to coincide learning with a time of bonding as well!

So check it out at for more details and their entire product line.

By the way...

BrainQuest has no idea who I am.  Nor was I reimbursed in anyway for this post.  I simply found a product that I love and wanted to pass it along!

For more head over to



Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Our children...

(Illustration by Cyd Moore)

My girl.

I could get lost in her hugs.

Her eyes and her dimples and her smell bring me peace.

My heart revolves around her little hand held in mine.
And I don't look forward to the day she stops clinging to my side.

She calls me Mommy.

A Princess.

and pretty.

I am her protection, her strength and her friend.

 I call her baby.


and monkey.

She is my faith, my teacher and my everything.

God so blesses us with children, for they are most often wise beyond their years.  They hold an incomprehensible about of love and trust in their little hearts and though they might not share well and may sometimes require timeouts, oh how they can teach us about the complete character of Jesus. 

My prayer is that I heed this wisdom ordained to me in the responsibility of parenting.  That with this highest call and duty, I would extend nothing but grace and love and patience and perseverance in all that I do pertaining to my children.  That through me they will learn even further what the Love of Jesus is and what it means.  But more importantly that through Christ in them, the world can know it, too.

Dear Lord, 
Thank you for my Emma.
And any other children I might be so privileged to care for this side of heaven.

(I'm sharing this as part of the Mom's 30-minute Blog Challenge over at Steady Mom.  Check it out!)

Peace be with you, 

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Grass is Always Greener...

It never fails, when I get to a spot in my life where I don't think anything is going my way...
Where I feel like I'm being punished....
Like things could be better if only....
Like God isn't hearing my prayers....

He speaks into my life and He show's me that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

Today was one of those days.
Satan had me in a tizzy this morning!  
He did!  
My brain was just a swirling with doubt and self-pity and anger.

"No one has a clue what it is I'm going through!" I mumbled to myself several times.


Then I talked with a friend.  Not about my issues.  
But of a little girl she knows who, at the tender age of 13, is facing insurmountable obstacles in her life.
A child that is about to have a child.
A baby, carrying a baby under circumstances so devastating they are unmentionable...
What problems?

And I'll be honest, for a brief moment in that discussion, my hard heart actually thought...
"Yes, but despite the severity of her situation, she's young...she has her whole life to experience the redeeming love of Jesus!  And I have, but I don't feel Him right here and right now!"

I looked up pictures of grass and this one was first...

It so accurately portrays my skewed vision in my earlier thought process.
Yes, the grass is greener on the one side, as if I'm standing in the barren pasture, but if I look closely even on the pristine side there is a storm brewing.

God's been telling me to trust Him lately.  More so than He has ever before.
And I'm finding in these coming days, trust won't come easy, but He is there, even when I least expect it.

My woes seem a many, until compared to the plight of someone truly in need.
And again, God is there, giving me wisdom and direction through what I think I can't handle.

I envision Him walking in front of me.
Holding my hand.
Looking back every so often to reassure me He won't lead me astray.
We're in the wilderness and He is clearing my path.
I get glimpses of light through the brush and that's when a branch swings back in my direction.
Only to be caught by my Savior's scarred hand and again He looks back at me and smiles.

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday. 
~Psalm 37: 3-6 
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
~ Psalm 91

The fear of man lays a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.
~Proverbs 29:25
You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. 
~Isaiah 26:3-4

Dear Jesus,
Oh Lord, so often I beg of a different life.  I wallow in what seem like struggles and I dream of that greener grass.  I'm so forgetful to the fact that you are the Author and Creator of my life, Dear God, and I own you nothing less than thanksgiving and praise for all that I have.  Forgive me for extending instead my complaints and resentment, Lord.  Please correct my heart so that it is aligned to Yours in all things.  
Bless me with confidence and strength to be thankful for even the things my human heart considers weighty and trying.  And please, Lord, teach me to understand that You do have my best at heart.
Precious Jesus, I trust you. 
And I love you.
What are you facing today that seems too big?
Is it too big for God?
I encourage you to know that it is not.  
What may seem life altering to us...
The things that rock our faith the most...
Are tiny in the hands of Jesus.

So join me in placing our issues there.
Where He can handle them accordingly.



Friday, May 21, 2010

A little under the weather...

Hey all...

Just wanted to say sorry for being a little MIA for the last couple days.

I've been fighting off a nasty cold and I just haven't been in a blogging mood.

But, I'm on the upswing I believe and I'll be back to my regularly scheduled program next week!!

I pray you have blessed weekends!!

See you Monday!!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Be Still My Beating Heart... this is not typical of my normal posting, but I just had to share.

And before I show you what I'm about to show you I have to note that I have not a clue about decorating.  I'm totally dense when it comes to any type of decor.  What we have furniture-wise and even hanging art wise is there because my husband had it before we married.  Please don't assume he has a clue about decorating either...he went to the furniture store and bought entire room packages right down to the lighting.

But seriously, our house is void of color (except for the home office and Emma's room).  We have zero nick~nacks.  Aside from a couple prints, there are very few pictures displayed.
It's sad.  And as much as I would like to do something about it, I don't know where to start.

Not to mention, mine and Jon's styles couldn't be more different.  He prefers more contemporary, sleeker lines...and dark colors.  I don't mind dark colors, but I like me some light too!  And I go for a more rustic style...or vintage...or euro-inspired.

That's confusing isn't it?  Contemporary, rustic, dark, euro~vintage.
No wonder I don't know what's going on.

Anyway, I found these pics and I fell in love.  I don't think it would work in our current home, but this is me...right now in my life.  If I could pull it off I would.  I have a feeling dear hubby would laugh in my face, though.  Just ask my buddy Amber about when I asked Jon about a farmhouse table....

Here we go...all photos are courtesy of Country Living.

Oh mercy me... those bookshelves are beautiful and they MIGHT just hold all our books.

Be still my beating heart...I will have you dear day, don't you worry.


Now I'm dreaming of my future house.
{honey (jon) are you reading this?  take note.  this is what i like.  i think we can make it work, don't you?}
{stop laughing}

Ya'll have a great day!!

And the Winner Is......

Let me start off by saying Thank you all so much for entering this giveaway!  The response was overwhelming, and though we didn't meet 100 followers, I am super excited to get the 86 Google followers and 71 Facebook likes that I did!!  That's just awesome and I'm so grateful!!

(and I have to send a special shout out to Holly at 504 Main...she wrote up a little ditty about this contest and sent a ton of her peeps over!)
Thanks, girl!! 

I know you all had a little incentive to sign up, but I really do hope you enjoy coming to this space and letting me share a little of my life with you!  Thanks again!

And just a reminder~ it will take me a little while, but I plan on following you all back as well!

Ok, so....
With 86 Google readers and 71 additional Facebook likes, that brought the grand total of entries to 157.

And the winner is....

True Random Number Generator 
1   157
Powered by RANDOM.ORG
And by my calculations that is...


Congrats Heather!!

Thanks everyone for entering and keep checking back because I might just have some more giveaways up my sleeve in the future!!


Monday, May 17, 2010

An Award and some nominations...

Olivia over at Of Such is the Kingdom passed on the "Sweet Blog" award to me this week!  How SWEET!!  Thanks Olivia!  I'm honored that you think my blog is sweet, as in sweet and sweet as in PHAT!  Hehehe!
Oh boy, I felt really old and uncool typing that!
Moving on.
Now I'm supposed to hand it off to ten other "sweet bloggers" who will then share it with ten bloggers themselves.

Now, I could go into detail why each blog/blogger deserves this award, but really...
that's a lot of typing for me and a lot of reading for you.

Just know that I love each and every one of these blogs/bloggers in their own special ways.  They each touch my heart, make me think, convict my spirit, teach me stuff and make me giggle day in and day out.  I consider each of them dear friends, some in real life and some in bloggy land, but I equally adore them all and respect them to the utmost. 
They are my buddies, my comrades!
And I love them.
I think you will too.

I present to you....

Blessings friends,

Marketing Monday (& Last Chance!)...

Hey all!

Thanks for stopping by!

If you're popping in for Marketing Monday, make yourself at home!!

Feel free to check out my Etsy shop...

As well as my current giveaway!

Today is the last day to enter!!  Here's all the details!  It's really easy!

And while you're at it, check out all the other cool creative blogging types over at Trendy Treehouse!!



Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Super Fantabulous Giveaway...

If you haven't heard by now, I'm trying to get myself 100 {or more} followers in Google Reader!


That's right.

And to try and reach that goal (by May 17th~ Monday) I'm hosting a giveaway.
{The giveaway was mentioned a couple weeks ago, I'm just now revealing what the goods are=)}

Do you like what you see?

You can win it.

And this is a pretty special giveaway because not only is it in persuit of gaining more bloggy friends, but it's also to introduce a new creation of mine.

I got to tinkering around in the ol' sewing room and figured with all these pretty aprons I have going on, I might as well come up with some matching pot holders/ trivetts!

So I played around with some designs, mix and matched some fabrics, learned how to quilt them and...


Some pretty snazzy kitchen accessories!
{They'll be in the shop soon}

In the mean time... Here's what you get.

One blue and white tin water pitcher
One white terry cloth dish towel
Set of three bamboo ChefMate spoons
Two handmade and quilted {LimaBean Designs} potholder/ trivetts.

All you need to do to enter is follow me in Google Reader.

For  an extra entry you can "like" me on facebook, too!

I will choose a winner via by midnight on Monday, May 17th.
Then I will announce them on Tuesday morning.

Oh, and if you follow me...
I promise to follow you back. 
Though I'm still playing catch-up in those regards so give me a bit!

Sharing this on...

504 Main



Thanks ya'll and good luck!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The P-Dub Experience...

Yes, you read that right...
THE Pioneer Woman.
Ree Drummond.

This lady...

You might recognize her...

Joseph-Beth Booksellers, in Charlotte, NC, around 6pm (on May 7th) sounded like a Justin Bieber concert. 
Seriously, all us crazy fans belted out like...well...crazy fans when she walked in!

My friend and I (Angela from Angela's Peony Patch) had planned on meeting PW in Atlanta during her winter book tour, but as fate would have it, we weren't able to make the trip and I thought all hope was lost.
But then we caught wind of her "short" Spring book tour and Charlotte was one of the lucky spots!

Boy, we jumped on this like hungry ducks on a june bug...

We were fortunate enough to land some GREAT tickets and were some of the first to meet Ree.
I almost wet my pants with excitement.

Here's another picture of her.  She really is this beautiful.
Though she kept talking about not taking shots from this angle. 
I didn't listen...
And obviously "this angle" isn't a bad one for her.
She also made mention of her beloved spanx.  And tugged at her britches.
Funny gal =)!

While I was snapping away, it never once occurred to me that I would have to actually talk to her when she signed my cookbook.


When they called our group number, we started up the steps and all of a sudden I became a basket of nerves.

I've never met a famous person before.
Nor have I ever met one as inspiring as a mom, wife, photographer, cook and homeschooler.
It got scary...
real quick like.

Here I come P-Dub.  Forgive me if I say something stupid...

I say, " go first.  Show me how it's done."
(note: while I'm saying this I'm scarfing down a million Altoids)

This doesn't look so bad.
I mean, she's human like anyone else.
As my momma said, "she puts on underwear in the morning like the rest of us."

Here goes nothing....

Of course I brought her a gift...
Maybe an apron?


I froze.
And giggled.

I did manage to get out a "It's so nice to meet you" in my best I'm terrified, you're famous, I love you voice.

Oh boy...
Nice face huh?
Real nice.
Just the one you want captured on film while talking to your favorite blogger.
If only I could've stuck with the frozen and giggling.

All those nerves and I just started yapping.

That's where she asked if I lived near by.
I proceeded to tell her I lived waaaaaay out in the country, but close enough.
Stupid comment #1.
I think she knows something about living "waaaaaaay" out in the country.

Oh, Lord.
She's signing my mom's cookbook here.
I'm telling her that my mom is at a Lee Greenwood concert.

She said, "Well, I can't compete with Lee Greenwood!"

Then the picture lady asked for big smiles and I was wisked away.

But wait...

I had no time to explain that mom was in VA at a Lee Greenwood concert.


Of all the things I could have said.
You rock.
You inspire me in everything you do.
I want to be a Pioneer Woman when I grow up.
I love your chicken salad.

Giggle, giggle....
"Yeah, that's my mom's...she's at a Lee Greenwood concert."
Stupid comment #2.

Oy vey.

But she was very gracious.

Ree~ if you're reading...
You rock.
You inspire me in everything you do.
I want to be a Pioneer Woman when I grow up.
I love your chicken salad.

And Lee Greenwood~ if you're reading...
I've seen you three times since I was five years old.
Me and my mom love you.
I'm proud to be  an American, where at least I know I'm free.
But no offense...
You're no match for PW.


Peace out,

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rain on my Heart...

It's raining today.
And it's a bit chilly, too.
Not a welcome forecast after our summer~like temps.
It's also May.  
Time for romping in the sun and soaking in the pleasures of Spring.
Not staring off into the dreariness that is our present state.

I look outside...
and I see drip, drop, drip.
I hear...
wait, be still, and know.

Wait for Me as the rain WILL stop.
Be still for the sun WILL shine again.
And know that in this world, as it spins in orbit, I Am in control.
I look outside...
and I see my heart.
Thump, thump...thump, thump...thump, thump.
And there too I hear...
wait, be still, and know.

Wait for Me in all things.
Be still in my Presence.
And know that My will is what is best for you.
I Am in control.

Could it be that rain is God's lesson in patience to us?

If it is...
God, rain on my heart.
Give my soul a deep understanding of Your love
so as to bring forth a bounty of fruit.

In my contemplation and prayer...

Dear Jesus,
I'm waiting on You.
I'm standing in the stillness of Your peace.
And I know You hold my heart in your hands. 
You are in control.
I love you.

(I'm sharing this as part of the Mom's 30-Minute Blog Challenge over at SteadyMom.)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cheap and Semi-Homemade Birthday Parties...


Well, I survived!  Emma's 2nd Birthday Party was a huge success!  I think I added a little more stress to the process then was necessary, but it all worked out and she had the time of her life!

I set out on this little adventure with the goal of keeping the entire party (for 30+ guests) under $100.
And let me just say...
I came in right at around $95 for everything!  And I think that's pretty darn good!!

Some may say I set a precident with this party and I'll have to have huge shindigs from this point on.
Some would ask what's the point seeing as Emma probably won't remember any of it.

I threw this party because Emma didn't have a 1st Birthday bash.  And I take great pride in the fact that one day she will look back on these pictures and know that so much love and attention to detail and fun was put on all for her!!  Not to mention, when she's older (and has children of her own) she'll really appreciate the thrifty~ness of it all!!

You might be wondering how I pulled it all off for under $100 and I have two words for you.
Dollar Tree.
Now, some stuff did come from Target and Party City, but most of what was used was either made from supplies from DT or bought and used directly from there.

Here's some pics...

This was Emma's Invitation.  And I simply did this on Microsoft Publisher.  You don't have to be a PhotoShop Junkie (though that helps, too) to come up with simple projects.  I found a personalized invite online that I liked (might I add some were being designed and sold for $12.95 a pop) and I just made my own, using what I found as a foundational idea, but tweaking what I needed here and there.  This included scanning in a picture from one of Emma's Thomas the Train books and incorporating it into the invitation.  I printed out on photopaper that I found at Ollies for $3 a pack.

Balloons came from Dollar Tree as did the plates, cups and napkins.
Of course the Thomas themed items came from Target and/or Party City.

For the favor bags I gave out Bubbles, fruit snacks and personalized bookmarks to each child.
A tutorial for the bookmark can be found HERE.

We're really fortunate to have a neighborhood park (with a nice shelter) right across the street from our house!  This worked out perfectly as we didn't have to reserve it or anything.  FREE!!

I did make a sign for the entrance of the park so everyone would know where to go!  I got the posterboard from the Dollar Tree and because we were having a Thomas Party, I went with an "Island of Sodor" approach!

While we're on the topic of drawing, I found this idea for Pin the Nose on James HERE.  There are so many great resources out there on having DIY birthday parties and the Mom that came up with this game has a whole slew of Thomas Party ideas!  Check it out.  To draw James, again, I used one of Emma's Thomas books as a guide.  I cut out little circles from contruction paper, wrote the kid's names on them and used glue dots to make them stick!

The Dollar Tree had this great little train banner, but I didn't like the middle picture, so I printed out a picture of Thomas and glued him on!  To spruce it up and blend colors a little I added blue stars at each corner!

Because this was a kids party, I kept the snacks simple: pretzels, goldfish and animal crackers, water and apple juice.  I also printed out coloring sheets from PBS and left them on each table for the kids to color and take home.  Party City had the packs of crayons for $0.49 each.

We had Funfetti (box mix) Cupcakes, too! YUM!!

I did not make this cake.  WalMart did.  But it was a petite one (perfect for the Birthday Girl) and only $5.88.  I couldn't resist!

Emma loved it so much she kept giving "Baby Thomas" kisses! =)

Everyone having a good time!  More peeps are on the playground!

Here's the Birthday Girl herself!  I wanted her to have a special Jr. Conductor outfit so I heat-bonded a number two to a t-shirt and hand stitched around the edges.  Did the same for the little Thomas badge I cut from the same fabric.  For her ruffled pants I used THIS TUTORIAL!  I didn't use a pattern, like the instructions, instead I used some of Emma's own pants as a pattern.  And I did cropped pants instead of full-length.

Happy Birthday to my Sweet Girl!  I love you, Emma!
You can stop growing up now!

So there you have it!  Anyone can throw a cheap and semi-homemade Birthday party!  I'd love to hear your ideas, too!  So please share!!


Check them out!

Would you help me get to 100 followers??

My goal is to reach that (or more) by May 17th!!
I think we can do it!
And to give you a little extra incentive, on that day ALL of my followers will be entered in a really super, Fantabulous Giveway (details later so stay tuned)!! It might include something pretty and kitchen-y :)!!