Wednesday, January 18, 2017

So! It’s the start of a new year and

 many of us use this time to kind of, sort of recalculate our life plans or goals --- 
Not a bad thing to do every now and again, actually. 
Because, you guys know – I don’t think we should meander through life, 
but instead – live intentionally. 
And you can’t do that without some goals, 
both short-term and long-term…
One way to have a reminder of some of my larger goals was to create a vision board… 
Some people call this an inspiration Board.
My goals for intentional living almost always revolve around 
my faith, my family, my friends, and, well… me.
I think you can see that reflected in my vision board that was created more than a few years ago and still sits prominently in my office today.
So I just wanted to quickly recap how I made it –
First I thought about the intentions I wanted in my life: a closer walk with the Lord, special times with my sweetheart and family, time with friends, and a healthier me – 
Hey, don’t we all want that? 
Then I looked through magazines and newspapers and tore out anything that resonated with these goals – pictures, words, phrases, etc. 
Next I found a canvas and painted it all over, including the sides. 
 I used three coordinating colors – even though you can’t see it well, the contrasting colors make a big difference. After this dried completely I went through my tear-outs and positioned them on the board WITHOUT ADHESIVE; trimming them and moving them around until I found just the right fit for me. 
Lastly, I used mod podge to stick it all down, with a good layer over the top as well. 
Before I made this one I’ve had smaller versions in my calendars a few different years – just the size of a calendar / planner page where I could see it throughout the year. 
I think I used plain ole tape to secure everything down on those… whatever works. 
It’s good to have some encouraging words around us, so, 
I ENCOURAGE YOU to take a little time this weekend 
and think about your goals or intentions for your life and spend a little time gathering pictures, words or phrases that will help you reach them! 
Would love to see what you come up with!

Monday, January 16, 2017


I mean, seriously.
It seems like we just finished up the holidays yesterday 
[and well, y'all know we do spread them out a bit!] 
But. Still. 
 The middle of January?
We celebrated Christmas with my family in Franklin, TN on 
New Year's Day...
So I had to bring along a few horns and hats...
And how fun was it to see a cross-stitch pillow I created back in the 70's?
[If I'm being truthful,
Mama probably stitched the pillow,
but I'm old and can't remember - ha.]
That evening Craig and I went out to The Opryland Hotel to walk around a bit - 
Love that it's still much the same [and as beautiful as always!]
Love that they unashamedly proclaim the real meaning of Christmas.
It was nice enough to walk around for a closer view... 
The next day we had breakfast with Craig's family here.
Always delicious.
The biscuits remind me of my Mama M's -
[maybe they're made with lard too?]
I've been finishing up a few art projects - 
I like the flat letters much better than those foam ones that were curling up...
That's EmmaLou driving the KittyLou home for the holidays - lol.
And working on some upcoming class projects...
It's been fun to create my own little pattern!
I hope the gals in the class love it as much as I do!
 It's hard to believe
[or maybe not, if you know us well]
but our calendars are already getting full! 
I plan to share more about my planner strategy for 2017 soon...
[Remember I won an A5 Planner at the Scrapbook Convention I went to in October!]
I also moved my inspiration board to a different place in my office so that I would see it regularly and be reminded of the things I want to focus on in my  life.
But this long weekend I've enjoyed catching up with some crafty friends -
We celebrated Chinese New Year [yes, a week or two early] with a feast of good food, and Lucky Bags to share [out with the old, make room for the new, and all that.]
This is the group I get together with almost every month.
Always fun!
And, our crazy Alabama weather has felt like spring this weekend
so I planted some iris tubers and cleaned the garden a bit...
Sadly, things are budding out... I'm sure we'll have more freezing weather in the coming weeks that will kill it all over again...
But for now, we're enjoying these 70 degree days!
Craig even got some fishing in after church and brunch with our kiddos.
Today we're checking things off the to-do list
before we both settle into our respective fun activities - 
more fishing for him {the weather really is wonderful 'round these parts} 
and crafting fun for me!
Hope your week is great!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

So Christmas is over...

And all the d├ęcor is put away 
[mostly – if you consider it setting outside the attic door in the playroom ‘put away.’] 
or out of sight and that’s good. 
I alluded to, or actually SAID that my 
One Little Word / verse / thought for the year is simplify. 
When we moved into our old house almost 15 years ago we were a little appalled at how much STUFF we had accumulated in the nooks and crannies of the house we’d lived in for 13 years, so we agreed [‘made a rule’] to not fall to the same, 
hmmmm,  ‘collection’ tendencies that we had before. 
So the truth is – I’m getting a little overwhelmed with all the STUFF in our home.
I’ve long said that I’m much more creative if I have fewer options to work with and even went a couple of years with a Once a Month giveaway to pass on a lot of the creative things I wasn’t using… 
that stopped a few years ago…ahem. 
But I still do pretty well to always have a bag of clothes ready to go to Goodwill. 
 After all , most of my clothes come from thrift stores , or at a deep, deep discount, so I don’t have a problem passing them on once I’m tired of them,,, because, hey – 
I  know there will always be another $5 skirt down the road…lol.
[With flash / without flash - which do you prefer?]
I’m feeling overwhelmed with a lot of the stuff in our house, and while I regularly do things to de-clutter – it’s time to get back to the simple – and not just with the STUFF – but with my eating – the way I spend my time – etc. I’m tired of filling my life with clutter when there’s SO MUCH MORE out there than having my face in front of a screen.
All that to say, I LOVE reading decorating blogs and ideas 
of how to FILL your home with the beauty of the season! 
But I’ve just come to realize [again] that my soul is calmer if I’m not surrounded by clutter. So here’s my ‘winter mantle’ for lack of a better caption -  I still love this ‘shiplap’ above and the blue jars [that have been tucked away in the attic about five years!] 
I kept the deer out [and strategically placed a little milk glass candy dish that’s filled with pine cones from the our great sequoia trip three years ago to hide the ‘Merry Christmas’ on the front… lol.] I’ve added in the chalk board that my mama’s gr-daddy used in school and the black framed H on the other side…. I love it. 
And the simplicity of it soothes my soul. 
Shouldn’t that be what home is all about?

Friday, January 6, 2017

Trying to get

into the groove of 2017 -
And still loving an 8x8 print on a scrapbook page!

Sunday, January 1, 2017


Hebrews 12:1 
 Let us put every thing out of our lives that keeps us from doing what we should. 
Let us keep running in the race that God has planned for us. 
[New Living Translation]
My verse for the year.

Friday, December 30, 2016

A very quick re-cap of 2016

Remember over half my photos were lost in September - so,
Let's go - 
January - 
Starting the year with MK at Disney was simply The Best.
And it's been YEARS since we've had one-on-one time with Pooh!
 February -
My yearly conference at The Gulf was full of tornado warnings - 
It was beautiful after it passed us by...
Not so much for Pensacola, though.
 March  -
Stopped by the railroad bridge on the way to 
Easter Service at First Baptist, Sheffield
 April -
Back near The Gulf for work...
Someone's gotta do it - 
And hey, if I'm that close, you KNOW my toes are going to be in the sand!
May - 
Lucky to join Craig for HIS work travel to New OrLEENS.
Lots of good farm-to-Table meals - YUM.
And, I found a fun yoga class to join in while there!
June - 
Family Time!
So blessed to have my family!
 July -
Doing a little shopping - I think this is the day we bought the Instant Pot
Taking selfies bc I finally REALLY like my hair.
{It takes some getting used to!}
Oh - and,
Best. Birthday. Present. Ever.
 August -
Pt. Mallard - where everyone can be a kid again!
[If you go on a week day after school starts - lol]
 September -
 Love this group so much!
October - 
NO ONE said a word about my BLUE HAIR. 
Thought I'd give it a go on vaycay - 
I didn't mind it - but the spray in paint stuff drove me cRaZy.
Can you see it better here?
Or here?
They call Chicago The Windy City for a reason - lol.
November - 
This was absolutely one of the best days of the year.
 SO WONDERFUL gathering with my sweet extended family.
 December -

 So, I have LOTS of December photos - 
and you'll get to see some more when I share my December album - 
[YES. I did one. ]
But for now - 
I LOVE that my kiddos
are always up for my crazy photo shenanigans!
They are the best. 
Forever and always. 
Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

I love the little meme on FB that talks about Linus dropping his security blanket 
just as he says that the angel says 'fear not!" 

God has truly given us the gift of great joy that we celebrate during the Christmas Season!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Hey! Christmas is coming!

And it's kinda sneaking up on me... what about you?
Here in the South, we like to blame it all on the [unseasonably warm] weather, 
but the truth is - 
So let's get to it - 
I love seeing a cozy Christmas tree in the front window, don't you? And stockings hung by the chimney... and NOEL to welcome the season...
When you walk up to our front door you'll see a little tree we picked up at Home Depot and strung a few lights on [those LEDS are growing on me...] 
with my precious moments nativity on the bench...
I used the ice skates I got in Wisconsin in the 
old frame that hangs on our little porch...
Love it.
 Once inside, our little foyer will welcome you -  I had every intention of creating a bit of art for this space, but, hey - Old Time Pottery had this on sale for $20 - and I can't buy the canvas for that! 
I love the colors!
I also got the swag [and all the flocked stuff] at OTP on sale. 
Tip - I sprayed with sealant to keep it form spreading onto everything it touched, LOL
And, as you can see, I went with the blues and silvers, and whites this year.
I also have a little char in the foyer that holds this precious pillow my sister had made from one our mother's Christmas sweaters. It's a treasure!
[Excuse the shoes, we live in this house - ha.]
Down the hallway I've added a bit of Christmas cheer to the chalkboard... 
Yep, that's a scanned photo of me, doctored up a bit with picmonkey. 
Chalkboard art changes as people add or take away - lol
I love this vase with some cuttings from our frazier firs out back...
The simplicity of just a few ornaments is very calming to me...
 The bathroom has the traditional snowman nativity...
Now, we're just going to swing around the living room so I can share some things - 
The NOEL and drift wood arrangement are on top of the shift robe, along with that collection of Bill Bryson books I intend to read. 
[New Year's Resolutions, anyone?]
On the drop leaf table to the left is a sweet pot of lights with white sticks, don't you love how obvious it is that I AM NOT A DECORATOR and don't have a fancy name for this? 
I really like that it has the bird cut outs that let the light shine through - next to that is the church sign I got from Mary and Martha, and a small nativity on a pedestal. 
And above it, I moved one of my old windows and hung this cute little banner of houses [they're lights that my sweetheart picked up for me!] and stars from Target... 
Also a white tree and pines cones on top of the antique radio - 
A close - up - 
I actually have the sticks standing in clear cellophane 
with a string of lights dumped in on top - ha. 
And here's the whole thing - 
in progress photos since the church sign had not been placed at the time of this photo -
And, disclaimer - the plaid table cloth is still behind it.
[Summer will be back around, y'all.]
Now we will move over to the mantle - 
And I can't even describe how this ship lap has warmed up the feeling of the room!
I love the simplicity of our vintage mason jars with just a bit of greenery and lights...
A closer look - I moved the arch to balance things out a bit...
Tip: I pack the Christmas photos away each year with the stockings, etc. and 
can find them easily when it's time to decorate again.

Looks like I didn't get a close up of the other side -  
But you can see here that I have the white star and a couple of candle holders there... 
As well as our wooden tree and large nativity on the hearth.
[Thank you sweetheart.]

Here's the little mid century modern dresser on the other side of our dining area...
[the mirror is much older, from my grand pa's house...]
[Don't look closely, I'm not sure what kind of mess might be on the table in that mirror - lol.] 
I have my silver trees, as well as a vintage plant basket with the extra ornaments, and of course, our typewriter with MERRY CHRISTMAS typed in large letters. 

A closer look - The ornaments have a string of round lights underneath to lighten things up a bit... and I use my collection of milk glass to display things as I go...
[The mason jars on the mantle are all on top of milk glass for height.]

Here's bit of the kitchen...
We picked up another little tree and put it in a minnow bucket... added just a few ornaments [again, keeping it simple...] 
I trimmed a bit of the star garland from Target and used it behind the tree. 
The shelf has an antique tea pot, a little frame with a nativity in it, and a cute camper ornament Craig's sweet mother gave us. 
The wreath is from AT Home - in the fall stuff for 75% off. SCORE.

So that's it - my little bits of Christmas decor -- 

Oh. The tree - I think I've shared it already - 
I'm loving the calmer blues and whites this year...
Side track - I color code my wrapping - each group of family members has their own color; so much easier when we travel so much for Christmas.
[And look!! There are three camellias outside that window! 
Those are one of my favorite Christmas  presents!]
 Wishing you all a safe, cozy, and 
very Merry Christmas!
[And for the record, that AU bag on top of Emma's crate 
is where we store ALL of her clothes, HA.]