Friday, July 31, 2015

I enjoy looking at the occasional blog post re: Fashion Friday

– google it – they're out there!

And while I am certainly no fashionista –
I’ve wondered what I might bring to this fashion table… ha.

So here’s the deal: I’m cheap – I really HATE to spend a lot of money on clothes… 
Maybe it’s because of our tight budget during our early years… 
Maybe it’s because my sweetheart worked retail back in the day 
and KNOWS the mark-ups… 
Maybe it’s because I’d just rather spend my money on other fun things….

And I’ll admit – I LOVE thrift shopping and my sister and I laugh that we can almost always pick out a name brand item without even touching it – [she’s better at it than me – and probably does [MUCH!] less thrift shopping – but she’s the on-line-sale guru!!]

So I thought I’d share the occasional post of a favorite Frugal Fashion Friday item that I’m loving at the moment. But keep in mind that these could change monthly and be on the way to The Goodwill since they cost so little… 
 Now, to discuss this little outfit -  I’m thinking the shoes are a bit much – 
What do y’all think? 
I’m not usually a matchy-matchy person, but found these shoes at a DEEP discount store [Dirt Cheap] for ONE DOLLAR – brand new, originally from Target, I think. 
And they’re comfortable. 
The dress and short sleeved sweater are from Wal-Mart < -- last year… 
I’m thinking that together they were less than $20. 
And I love the quick summery look it gives – all cotton, so it’s also very comfy.
So that's that. 
Back to our regular schedule now - lol.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I took a little side trip to

The Montgomery Curb Market a week or so ago --
And - YUM.
They had figs in season. 
[Our figs won't be ready up this way until August...]
 SO I bought a few and made these yummy fig pizzas...
 VERY easy to do - especially if you buy your crust pre-made.
[I got these at the dollar tree --  two in a package.]
The ones on the right are simply goat cheese with figs sliced on top... 
And the ones on the left have ricotta, procuitto, figs... 
and topped with spinach when they come out of the oven. 
[Oops - BOTH were drizzled with honey after the figs were put on!]
I ate them for dinner -- 
and then again for lunch the next day.
But I have to say, that as much as I loved THEM  -- 
Figs don't necessarily mix well with my body's crazieness...
still... I can eat them in moderation...

Monday, July 27, 2015

Oh. My. Goodness.

I've spent the past weekend talking until I was hoarse...
laughing until I 
 Just. Could. Not. Breath.

[And walking in the sun until I felt like I was melting... 
Which wasn't really all that long. ha.] 
I shared so much with these gals through the years 
– especially through high school 
as we attended the same school and church together…
[I couldn't resist trying to pull together 
a little 'children of the corn photo - lol]
Life has led us in many different directions 
and it was SO GOOD to gather together - 
 And. Just. Be. 
With no real agenda... 
 And it was surprisingly easy to step back into these 
very comfortable friendships..
THANKS SO MUCH to Vicki and Emily 
for pulling this together!!
 [Photo Cred: Terrie Scott Biggs]
I loved every minute of it. 
And we surely missed those who couldn’t be with us!
[Of course we gained an extra in the photo above -
Look at the little boy in the back - HA.]
Hey - let's not wait THIRTY YEARS 
[or more - ha] 
to do this again!!!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Looking forward

 to a fun weekend with this crew --

It's been over 35 years since  
I've had long leisurely conversations with most of them...

Will be missing those who couldn't join us.

Monday, July 20, 2015

A few months back I shared with you

that we had some foundation work completed –
And to tell you the truth it’s something that’s been needed for quite some time… 
I’ve been watching a ‘little’ crack on the youngest’s bedroom wall for a while now – but we were just too afraid of what it might cost to even go for the estimate…
 You see, for most of our life together we’ve lived on a VERY [crazy] tight budget in our effort to live a self-sufficient life and still do all the crazy wonderful things we do. 
And, side note: I appreciate my sweetheart and all he has done to juggle things so that we could do just that. It’s nice to finally be in a place where we’re putting a little more away to savings each month and have a bit more disposable income to play with as well….
 But! – I’m off track… Sometime around The Holidays we were walking around the outside of that part of the house and noticed that  
the brick on the window outside was pulling away.
 [And, yes - we should've never let that vine grow up so much --]
So it was time to do something, like it or not.
Love how the Lord gives us a little something when we need it 
[no matter how small...]
 [They did a great job of digging up our plants -- 
and we've actually SAVED the azaleas that have been there for over 40 years --]
So Craig called up the local specialists in our area and got the estimate – 
Do-able. A lot
But manageable. 
[And very close to what I’d heard from Chip that day on the telly -] 
They put us on the schedule for three months later. 
Yes – they’re THAT busy. 
 [Can you see the TOP of this worker's head? - They dug down deep, y'all.]
Anyway, when the day came, they went to work quickly. 
[THIS is what I love most about hiring those who know their trade well – they’re experts and can do the work a million times better and quicker than we ever could!]
 [We had cracks by this front shutter that we hadn't even noticed due to the GIANT nandina shrub 
{{and No, we DID NOT save it}} that was there -]
Before we knew it, they’d dug down deep to set the new foundation firmly on rock
and lo and behold [that’s a phrase my MamaM would use] 
the cracks that were so visible previously were barley even noticeable.
Isn’t God like that? 
If we set the foundation of our life firmly on Him then 
 all the cracks in our lives seem to come together flawlessly. 
I love how He can use the things in our past 
[those cracks and flaws]
to bring glory to Him if we only let Him. 
And oh the peace we have as we navigate through this old life 
[which is FULL of things that try to chink away the foundation of our lives] 
– just by making the choice to place our lives on His firm foundation – 

Makes me think of the old hymn by John Rippon, 
written in the 1700s – wow –
Love the constancy of God’s grace!

I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

Read every verse – 
[And click on it to go to a YouTube video to hear it --- ]
It’s a very long hymn and 
I know I’d be weary if we sang every single verse in church – 
But isn’t that a wonderful story of God’s grace? 
– Through all the ups and downs that life has to offer 
in this ole sinful world we live in – 
God will be right by our side if we only look to Him. 
I want my foundation to be on Him and His Word – 
I want the peace that HE can give in this chaotic world we live in…
and I pray that you have it too - 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A few months back I shared with you

 how I was taking old albums apart and re-doing them - 
I figure it will be SO MUCH easy to find photos of the PERSON or EVENT 
rather than trying to remember what year it was taken. 
[Yes. I'm old.] 
I'm also doing my best to pull out events like beach trips / holidays / Disney / travel / etc. 
into separate albums... 
I'm going to talk about that with you today -
But first I want to show you my entries in the scrapbook 'chopped' contest that helped me win 2nd place and a nifty 31 bag with lots of goodies in it during the Scrap It Southern Style with Keller Creations a few weeks back --  First up was the tag that had to incorporate the yellow paper, hole protector, and buttons... then the layout that had to use the brown die-cut and flower and include all the elements a scrapbook page should have [I went with: title - photo- journal - embellishments] 
and lastly a card that had to use the banner and blue cardstock.
So back to my albums --
I've always had five albums for the boys 
Pre-School - Elementary - Middle - High School - & College -
so I've been getting those up to date [inserting all the loose pages I've created these last few years] and labeled. -- You can see that I've NEVER felt the need to scrapbook every. single. photo. I stayed with the Creative Memory type [hinged] albums even after I began using three-ring binders so theirs would look consistent on the shelf. - I'm a little OCD like that...
[Oops - meant to get a photo - I'll share it after I settle on different labels...] 
Y'all remember that I shared that I picked up these American Craft albums at Joann's half price 
- free shipping. Spent my birthday money on that a couple of years ago --
Through the years I've just picked up whatever three-ring binder was on sale at the time 
and the differences on the shelf just annoyed me. 
There. I said it. 
And that may just be the reason that I've felt the need to re-do these albums -
My albums are mostly in chronological order - so it's been a task to get them into these themed albums. 
They've been spread out on the playroom table for over a year now....
I know...
But it's almost complete! [And I love it.]
[a re-done page since the back must stay intact -
will now go in 'Just Because']
However, some chronological albums must stay together 
since they have photos glued directly to the page on both sides. 
[Back in the day I had a VERY SMALL scrapbooking budget 
and did all I could to save on paper, etc. ] 
These will have to stay intact with dates for the labels... 
and I'm okay with that since I've wheedled them down so much. 
[Is that a word?]
[original - completed some time in the late 90's]
HOWEVER - some of these I just HAD to move to the newly created albums -- 
resulting in the need to re-do some of these pages... 
I'll share a few here - but keep in mind that I tired really hard to stick with the
 integrity of the pages and time-frames that they were originally done --
[after - will now go in 'Places we Go']
So here are a few before and afters -- >
[I had to take photos of the "befores" so I could copy the journaling -]

[after -  will now go in 'All About Matt' -- ]
 So some are similar --
 and others turned out a little different -
[no more stickers ---] 
[after- will go in "All About Us - Judy']
 And I apologize that these aren't the best photos - 
but you get the general idea...
These last two don't have 'before' photos --
But they needed to be re-done to save the layout on the back of the page... 
[re-done - will go in 'People We Love - Bolton']
[re-done - will go in 'People We Love - Hardwick']
 Love that I thought to save one of the poems Craig's MawMaw 
included in the cards she sent to us through the years ...
 So here's the stack of MOST of the new albums --  
I'm still working on the labels in my mind -  lol - 
I just can't settle on how I want it to look - 
but I do know the font will be LARGE and easy to read.
[Similar to the one on the bottom.]
However.... now the OCD is kicking in again and 
I'm wondering if I need to put all the similar categories in the same colored album?!?!?
What do y'all think?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Some of y'all remember

that back in the day I had a little monthly scrapbook kit company called 
Faith Based Pages with the purpose of giving inspirational ideas 
about how to put your faith on your scrapbook pages --- 
We closed it out after a few years for several reasons -- 
1 -  I'm NOT a shopper and to be viable in the scrapbook world at the time meant to always have the latest and greatest available; 
2 - There just wasn't that many faith based products out there back then - and 
3 - at the time putting your faith on your pages was seen as something one did on occasion
[not on a regular basis.] 
And maybe also because, - 4 - I felt led toward other art mediums 
and started dabbling in mixed media 
and putting my faith [and inspirational verses] on that  -- 
I love the direction this has gone. 
My heart has always been to share my faith with others through my art -
 So I am enjoying seeing all the interest these days 
in faith journaling - Bible journaling - etc. 
There are lots of groups and blogs out there to inspire you and help get you started - 
Illustrated Faith -- Documented Faith -  His Kingdom Come
Journaling Bible Community
to name a few... 
Do a search and you'll find a ton of ideas!
I love seeing how everyone takes this idea of art journaling their faith and puts their own spin on it in so many different ways!
  My personal preference is to use a little art or lettering to highlight notes from Bible Studies, sermons, or verses that inspire me in the moment. 
I'm using my regular wide margin [note-taker] Bible 
that I've been taking to church these last few years. 
[Note: this is very different from my study Bible.] 
These notes were taken during a sermon and I went back and 
added a little title and illustration...
I did the same with the notes above....
I don't like bulky stuff and am not using my Bible as an 'art journal' - 
I have art journals for that - 
I don't usually illustrate over the scriptures, 
other than to highlight what has been studied 
- I'm keeping my notes and illustrations in the margins...
I shared with y'all a couple of months back that I had the opportunity to hear Priscilla Shirer live and in person - and I knew I'd be taking a lot of notes so I pre-cut  a piece of paper for notes that took during the Bible Study. 
Then I inserted it as an extra page once I'd highlighted what stood out to me...
I just used plain clear tape to stick it in near the scripture she had referenced 
and I love how it turned out --
It  highlights all the things I remembered most without adding a lot of bulk to my Bible.
Note that the smaller notes are from a different study -- 
 I'm trying to do at least one illustration for the two verses I'm memorizing each month 
with Beth Moore's Living Proof Blog --
I use colored pencils, water colors, and markers in my Bible.
And sometimes I just like to play around with thoughts in my head...
in my art journals
  or on canvas....
It's a form of meditation to me
- a time to spend with God as I relax and listen to His voice - not necessarily about where to put paint color, etc - 
More about just talking with Him as I create... 
Just slowing down enough to listen to His voice...
Isn't that what meditation is after all?

Monday, July 6, 2015

Wow! We sure packed a lot into our 4th of July weekend!

[And I hope you had a great time celebrating too!]
 These last few years we’ve mostly hung out at home – not planning anything special and waiting until the last minute to go get ice cream and find some fireworks – 
 [Last year we ended up seeing Madison’s / Space Center’s / Huntsville’s shows all within minutes of each other.  And all without getting into the crowds and traffic – lol.]
But this year Craig pulled together a special family time for his mother… for years his parents went to Gatlinburg to attend the midnight parade – billed as the FIRST fourth of July parade in the nation since it starts at 12:01 on July 4th
So he got to work and we managed to have 13 family members meet for the weekend. 
[And we surely missed those who couldn’t join us!!] 
We gathered together at the Greystone Lodge in the heart of the city and all met for a late dinner Thursday evening… Love the balconies on this hotel that overlook a creek – 
When the door is open all you hear is the babbling creek – 
even though the highway is just steps away.

And on Friday morning we got our chairs out early – per tradition – 
and then stopped by a handy candy shop and picked up a caramel apple for breakfast 
[I mean… why not?
There was a bear outside inviting me in...] 
Then some of us shopped out in Pigeon Forge while others hiked up [and down!] 
Mt. Le Conte. 
In one day. 
[I know I couldn’t do it…]
 That evening we shopped some more in Gatlinburg – and even though there’s been some changes in the shops in recent years – there’s still enough of the staples [taffy – wind chimes – candy corn – walking sticks – fudge – pancakes – stuffed bears – wood carvings – quilts – t shirts – etc.] to feel like it’s always been the same. 
It was soon time to get ready for the parade... 
Since we'd eaten a big meal for lunch [Johnny Carrino's] we grabbed a quick sandwich at Subway
 and we gathered up around 10:30;
 and yes, our chairs were SOAKED,
 But they were still there - 
It really is kind of neat how no one bothers the chairs 
that people put out as early as 6:30 a.m 
We did it too.]
  We had garbage bags to put down to sit on --- 
 and umbrellas [- thanks sweetheart!]
We weren’t going to let a little rain stop us from enjoying the evening!
 And it really was a nice parade with lighted floats – tributes to all of the military –
 bands – and of course the shriners in their little cars…  
And honestly - I've never seen so many Uncles Sams in one place...
After the parade we headed straight to bed because Craig had made reservations for him and our boys to do some fly fishing early the next morning…
  And even though the water was HIGH because of all the rain – 
I still think they had a great time together.
 I went along to play with my camera a bit – and was kinda, sorta, hoping we might see a bear… but all I was saw was tracks and poop [I know - TMI.] 
I love that we can be SO CLOSE to civilization and yet it feels so far away 
once you get into the trails outside of the city….
And yes. They all caught a few – tiny ones – but with the water like it was that was just about as good as it was going to get.
[Photo Cred: Kat Gorney]
That evening we all gathered together at The Peddler where 
Gr-Mother treated us to a special meal. 
It’s always outstanding. 
[We ate there on our honeymoon over 30 years ago – cool.]
We enjoyed taking a few [?] family photos 
 Then we headed back to the hotel so we could be ready to hear 
the army concert at the aquarium [just across the street -]
 We put our chairs out by our cars and gathered up at nine to visit while listening to music prior to the Fireworks Show.
  And it didn’t disappoint. 
We were so close it almost seemed they were shooting them off the back of our hotel – lol. 
[GREAT job on the hotel sweetie!]
And then of course, the next day we ended our time together with breakfast at the Pancake Cabin [Log Cabin Pancakes - ?]
 Because you just can’t go to Gatlinburg without eating pancakes at least once. We like this place because it’s off the main drag and has its own parking lot.
With our family spread out -- so much – four states -  in seven cities I think it was very nice to have some extended time together. Gatlinburg was a wonderful destination for a family trip – it has enough to do [inside and outside of town] so that every person can find something they enjoy and plenty of restaurants to gather together for family meals.
 And while I enjoyed meals together so much it’s not always easy to visit with everyone [even if we’re all at the same table] without shouting down the row… so the times when we were waiting were some of the best for me – waiting for a table at Jose’s  – waiting for the parade – and especially when we were just visiting while waiting on the fireworks. 
I enjoyed those times of just ‘being’ together the most of all –
  It was a great weekend – I’m exhausted – 
and I ate WAAAAAAYYYY too much --- 
so I’ve got to get back on track this week. 
Happy July everyone!