Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Kennedy's Home Movies - the fascination never dies.

Though some are gone, the fascination with this family never dies. I have read many books, watched countless documentaries, and love to look at photos of this family and it seems to never grow stale. They are the glamorous, fast living, embodiment of the American Dream. So, I will be on the sofa on Sunday night with my DD watching the The Kennedy's Home Movies .

Will YOU be watching?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Talented Friends

Don't you love it when you have friends that have talent oozing out of their very pores?  I am fortunate to have this with lots of my friends (I keep hoping to "catch" some of it).  I find all kinds of creative inspiration from their friendships, but probably none more than my friend Gloria Turner.  She and her husband, Sonny, were the neighbors who welcomed us with open arms when we bought our first house. They were the very 1st people to babysit our first born.  Gloria made our daughter's nursery just magical with a wall sized, hand painted mural that coordinated with the bedding. She is an amazingly talented artist and I think she captures just the essence of the South that I love.

We are fortunate to have a Gloria Turner hanging in our living room of our beloved Sullivan's Island, SC.

Sullivan's Island, SC

Here are a few more examples of her talent:

SC Flag

Tillman House

First Baptist, Cheraw, SC

I am hoping to be able to have her do a painting of my three children before they are all grown.
Don't you just love her work?
I knew when she got her web page up and rolling I would just have to share! 
Please check out her new web page to see more
She does originals, prints and beautiful note cards and accessories as well as teaching classes and workshops in her studio.

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Not at Blissdom

I wish I were going.......
 Obviously, I didn't get to join all the girls (are there guys there too?) at Blissdom '11.  I guess I can put it on my wish list for next time because it looks like so much fun!

 Apparently, I am not the only one who is wishing she could have joined in the fun, check out Amanda's Not Going to Blissdom post yesterday. So, even though I didn't get to go this year, I am doing the next best thing (and what all the cool girls are doing..just sayin') by joining the No-Go Blissdom Blog Hop hosted by Danielle at Mom With a MiniVan and Ann Marie at Household 6 Diva for her Blizzard Blog Hop.

This way, I can link up with other "go less" bloggers and find new great reads and friends along the way! Part of Danielle's idea was to make it easier to get to know each other by answering 3 questions pertaining our blogs:

1. When did you start blogging and Why?
I started blogging almost 5 years ago.  I don't exactly know why I started but I think (it has been a while, ya know?) was that it was a way to journal.  Honestly, I don't remember putting much thought into it.   When I started my blog, I wouldn't even use the word "blog" because I thought it was so not me.  Somewhere along the line, though, obviously I succumbed to the word and the term blogger.

2. What is one thing you are going to do this week that is WAY cooler than going to BlogHer?
Uh, well...hmmm...give me a minute....Ok, Friday night I am going with a girlfriend and her children (2 of mine will be in tow as well) to try a new restaurant and eat ourselves silly. Who says calabash seafood isn't cool?

3. Share a post that you think says a lot about you or is your favorite.
This one is a hard one because the ones from the beginning of the blog are so different from later ones, as I have really changed as my life has changed and the season in which I find myself now is much different than where I was 5 years ago.  So, I am going to cheat a little here and leave you with 3 posts (one from recently and a couple of older ones).  Just so you can try to pick up my "vibe" ...doesn't that make me sound all cool and mysterious?

Looking Backwards (from last week and probably the truest to where I find myself these days!)

Super Cute Shoe Friday (from somewhere in the middle)

Where it Began (from April 2006)

Please join in the No-Go Blissdom Blog Party:

and the Blizzard Blog Hop

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Southern Lit, Pick of the Week #2, Miss Hildreth Wore Brown

Miss Hildreth Wore Brown was a quick little read that I soaked up one afternoon and thought y’all (all Belles in your hearts, right?) would enjoy. Of course, I had to read it when I saw on the book jacket, “With storytelling written in the finest Southern traditions from the soap operas of Candler Street in the quaint town of Gainesville, Ga….” See, we moved from Gainesville just a few months ago. It was too tempting!

This is my favorite type of book to pass a few hours, full of pithy Southern Anecdotes laced with just enough truth. My accent just gets thicker from the reading! It is the kind of book that makes you wonder if someone hasn’t watched YOUR Southern family and decided to write their observations down – the good, the bad and the truly nutty. Miss Hildreth Wore Brown is the author’s first book and she claims that she wrote it because her husband ("long suffering husband" – her words, not mine!) told her to write her stories down as he had apparently heard them a time or two enough. She is a true Southern Belle, and how can you not love a Belle who lists her sorority affiliation in the first line of her bio( Olivia deBelle Byrd)?

I found myself chuckling throughout the book, and no more than in the section where Mrs. Byrd talks about worrying about her children. I was practically rolling when she described what she worried about when her daughter went off to college: “Do I worry about her eating right or getting enough sleep? No, I worry because I don’t think she shaves her legs often enough. One time I sent her a postcard from France. It didn’t say “Having a great time. Wish you were here.” It just said, “Shave your legs!” Deep down, the main reason I was glad she got a boyfriend, I figure she would shave her legs more often.” Now, if that isn’t a true Southern Momma, I don’t know what is. Of course, I may relate to this a little more than some, as I told my daughter when she went to college that if she became one of those girls who wore their jammies to class (yes, they do that now…everywhere) I would cut off her allowance – and I was (am) serious. So, if you are in need of a Southern infusion pick up a copy of Miss Hildreth Wore Brown, you will enjoy!
This post was written as a member of the Southern Mommas Writers

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Southern Lit, Pick of the Week: Decision Points by George W. Bush

I recently finished Decision Points by President George W. Bush. I didn’t read this book out of a love or dislike of the former President, nor did I read it because I was terribly interested in one political perspective or another. I read it because I was curious about the President’s own voice. Would his memoirs present the same picture of the man that I perceived during his eight years in office?

Decision Points isn’t a quickie read! It is full of details, events and perspectives presented by one who has sat in the chair of power and faced the world as only a President of The United States can. It is broken up, not in historical order, but rather Bush wrote in topical form (thus the title) and covered just the items he felt were some of the most far-reaching. I found some of the topics easy to get bogged down in, particularly in the discussions of his key official choices, managing his teams, and foreign policy interactions (I am not a lover of political history which would probably explain my feelings!)

In relational perspective, the book covers nicely personal issues such as his relationships with both parents, his siblings, marriage, children and some key friendships. President Bush presents his feelings for his family in plain sight. His words state strongly how much love his extended and immediate families share. There is quite a bit of Bush family biographical information that is very interesting, particularly when considering how much the family has influence the United States over the last century. I enjoyed reading his personal perspectives on his faith and challenges in that area of life, especially in regards to politics. Not to be overlooked, there is an inherent self-effacing humor in Bush’s candid words, which is refreshing among the more dry topics.

Regardless of your political leanings, it can’t be denied that George W. Bush served this country during some of the most challenging and uncharted times in American history. There was no play book, after September 11, 2001. Honestly, I can imagine being President. I do believe it is probably harder in modern days, not necessarily from the additional challenges from the world - though they are great, but rather the challenges of the enormous media attention that every facet of your life and family receive. Most of us would wither under the scrutiny. So, agree or not agree, I respect the office and those who serve. Even in our small, individual lives I think we can relate to the humans that take on the monumental task of serving. George W. Bush says in the epilogue of Decision Points: “As I hope I have made clear, I believe I got some of those decisions right, and I got some wrong. But on every one, I did what I believed was in the best interests of our country.”
This post was written as a member of the Southern Mommas Writers
Please check out the Southern Sisterhood

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Looking backwards...Part 1

Wow. I am reeling from an Identity Crisis. Today I was invited to attend the birthday party of a friend’s preschooler (which was scheduled during lunch on a Thursday…yes, it has been a few years since I have done THAT. Now, I have to schedule kid’s activities during the evenings and weekends when they suck up our limited family time). My identity as a young, hip, prepster Mom was firmly intact (or the delusion of that identity was intact rather) before the party. I started my day normally, getting my boys to school (3rd and 8th graders respectively), and then I came home, wrote and submitted a book review, dashed by the toy store to pick up a gift on the way to the party…only to arrive and have my illusions crash around me.

When I arrived there were these kids all playing joyfully in the back yard of my friend’s house… complete with bouncy house, swing set, piƱata; and then there were their Moms. Yes, Moms of preschoolers… you know, they have this vague, almost fearful glint in their eyes from being overwhelmed, because they haven’t slept a full 6 hours in over 2 years and have only been alone for intervals of 88 seconds at a time (well, if you consider being on the other side of a closed bathroom door from your screaming toddler, alone). They wonder if they will ever read another book, much less be alone with their husbands, without having to pay someone…especially in their own house ever again, and question why they even bothered to go to college. I know that season very well, I lived it fully for 15 years (YES, 15 years due to the spacing of my 3 children!).

There in that clear afternoon sunlight, I didn’t have to juggle feeding a toddler, watching a manic preschooler, checking the clock for school pick up time and carry on a conversation…all at the same time. I didn’t have to worry about the inevitable bouncy house nose bleed (‘cause you know it isn’t a party until someone bleeds) or if my off spring would remember to get to the potty before the actual event occurred. I wasn’t concerned about nap times. My mind wandered to who I was having coffee with in the morning, if my college age child was driving too fast and when my husband and I were going dancing again.

I was the only one there without a kid! The most surprising part, I was glad. See, I have mentioned to my husband several times lately, that I might like to have “another one”, but today I came face to face with the fact that I don’t. This reality hit me in the face like a brick. Honestly, this “new season” of life has been creeping up on me for a while, but as my identity crumbled in the middle of all that preschool joy, I looked around and wondered why there was no wine at this party….

Part 1
Weekend Bloggy Reading

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Guess what I am dreaming of today...

It is still chilly, cloudy and rainy (at least no ice or snow, right?) here in my corner of the world, but I got up this morning longing for some bright blooms of spring Azaleas.  I love them.  I was a newlywed when DH and I  moved to South Carolina, 21 years or so ago, and I fell completely and totally in love with Azaleas.  Yes, I had seen Azaleas before, but the versions we had in North Georgia didn't compare to the ones I discovered in SC.  They were (ARE) breath taking.
So, I am looking for those first blooms.  I know my yard is laden with mature Azaleas, and the surprise will be in what varieties and colors..I have no idea.  It will be like a party as they show themselves.
 Will they be pinks, reds, whites, fuchsias, lavenders, oranges or a mix of all?
Oh, I can't wait!!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Music in the Air

We started the year off with a new activity.  Well, DS#2 did, that is!  He started taking piano and so far he has enjoyed it very much.  It is wonderful to see Mr.-Continually-Playing-Army sit down and practice -without being told!!!  My DD took piano for many, many years and I have missed hearing someone tickle the ivories around here. 
Oh, and I have to brag on DH.  These found their way to my kitchen table last night.  He knows I have one terrible case of the Winter Blahs (and it is only mid-January!!!) so he brought home just a touch of Spring.  Tulips are my favorites!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue...

and I am tired of this weather, how about you?

I am just about sick to death of hearing about cold, and snow, and ice!!!  I am so over the miserable weather that I can't even come up with anything original to blog about that doesn't contain a big dose of grumble!  I need something fun and festive!  Of course, Martha Stewart is right there with some great ideas for cute gifts for Valentine's Day (which, by the way, is ONLY a month away!).

I want to try to make some of these adorable Bath Fizzies.  They would make such a great gifts!  If you want to see some other great ideas check out Martha Stewart's 55 Valentine's Day Ideas.  Happy Crafting, y'all!

For more great blogs check out Amanda's Weekend Blogggy Reading Link UP Party:
Weekend Bloggy Reading

and Java is Hosting the 33rd Follow Friday, 40 and Over:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

And The Winner is....

Pinkin you win this cute prize pack from Pillsbury and Blogspark!  Please make sure you send me your information so we can get your prize pack on its way!  Congratulations!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Awards Day! Doncha love 'em?

Ta DA!  Heather over at The Other White House made my day today!  She awarded me this wonderful blog award.  Heather is one of those do-it-all Moms that shares her inspiration and I am blessed to know her IRL (she actually took our Christmas card photos see Christmas Card Pictures).   Thank you, sweet friend!

So the rules for keeping the Stylish Blogger love going are:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

My 7 "things":
1. I really struggle with my age, because I just don't feel THAT old!
2. I love my husband so much more now than I did when we began this adventure.
3. I struggle between loving life in "town" and being wistful about living out in the country.
4. I love being a Mom more than I could have ever imagined ~ especially since we weren't planning on children when we got married.
5. I like cars, yep, yep...I do.
6. I want a puppy, preferrably a Shiba Inu.
7. I love where we live.

So, because I am a rule follower (yea, I am!) I am passing it along to:

Tarleton West (Oh, is nepotism)
The Love Affair (I swear she is my blogging soul sister!)
Mrs. Preppy
Reasonably Swanky
I've got couple of dents in my Fender, Got a Couple Rips in My Jeans
Tales of a G.R.I.T.S
Home of a Magnolia
Empty Nest
Southern Inspiration
Living Life in the Low Country
All Things Cherish
Cathy's Out Junkin' Again
Cresent City Ramblings
Grace & Favor - A Life Worth Living

Meet Me on Monday

Today,  I am particpating in Java's (at Never Grow Old) 30th edition of Meet Me on Monday Blog Hop.  The purpose of this Meme is so that you can get to know your favorite bloggers just a bit better. 

Here goes:

1. Have you (only you..not a group) ever won first place in anything?  When I was in Middle School I won the most books read in our Summer Reading program in our County (nerd in the making!).

2. Are your toes always painted (sorry guys...this question for girls only)? yes, always.

3. What color eyes do you have? blue

4. Look to your left....what do you see?

5. Soft cookies or crunchy cookies? soft!

To join in the fun, please, 

Copy, paste and answer these 5 questions on your blog and add your link to the blog hop list:

1. Have you (only you..not a group) ever won first place in anything?
2. Are your toes always painted (sorry guys...this question for girls only)?
3. What color eyes do you have?
4. Look to your left....what do you see?
5. Soft cookies or crunchy cookies?

Your link MUST include your Meet Me On Monday post or it will be deleted!

Also PLEASE either put the Meet Me On Monday button in your post or link your post back Jave has found several people just posting the questions and answers in their post and no one knows that they actually belong to a meme and linky!

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Year's Notebook

I have some funny little rituals that I really enjoy and one of those would be purchasing my New Year's Notebook! My intention is always to find something that helps me be more organized (in theory at least).

It is like being back in school and knowing that if you find just the right notebook the school year will be better.  I feel that way about my New Year's Notebook. Just having those clean pages makes me motivated to get it together and be more organized and stress free. I know it is the same feeling that I would get as a little girl when I got a new, blank journal...kind of a geeky rush!  It isn't anything expensive or fancy, but it is where I will make my grocery lists, jot down to do lists, random thoughts, projects, and generally keep track of things that don't fit in my calendar.  And if I am lucky, I will still have space in back to got down my Christmas shopping lists for 2011! 

Do you have something that helps you make a fresh start and motivates you get organized? 

Also, for some other great blog stops, check out:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Deal Alert! Nail polish for FREE!

A friend of mine alerted me to this deal and it is a good one!  Zoya nail polish is offer 3 FREE bottles of nail polish if you "like" them on Facebook. I ordered mine this morning and only had to pay $6.95 for shipping on 3 FULL sized bottles of my choice of beautiful colors.  What a great way to try a new brand without risk.

Even if you aren't a nail polish wearer, these would make great Valentine's Day gifts or Easter Basket stuffers!  I got a jump on Spring and ordered some beautiful pinks!

Click here Zoya on Facebook to Like them and get the code for ordering.  Hurry,  it is a very limited time offer (expires tomorrow!).

GREAT deal!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My Birthday Boy!

It is hard to believe this adorable little guy has up and become a full fledged big boy.
He informed me on the way to school, that he is exactly 2 years from getting his permanent drivers license. Great.

Happy Birthday, my sweet boy!
You are loved more than you could ever know.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pillsbury Strudel Breakfast Giveaway!

Look what I got in the mail the other day!  Isn't this "Million Morning Smiles" Prize pack full of cute things?  I received this free prize pack from Pillsbury through My BlogSpark. Not only did we get some fun things, my children were extra excited that they were going to have strudel for breakfast! 

After much debate we have decide our favorite flavor of Pillsbury Toaster Strudel is Wildberry!  Of course, one fun thing about Toaster Strudel is that you get to "design your own" with those cute packets of yummy icing.  Think of it as becoming an artist in icing!  Pillsbury even has a fun Facebook application called "Strudel Art Studio" so you can perfect your technique (you can also save your Strudel Doodles and share them with friends on Facebook).  
My little guy starting his Strudel Doodle
So, do you need even more to smile about?  Pillsbury is also giving one lucky person the chance to win Toaster Strudel pastries for a month through the "A Million Morning Smiles" sweepstakes. Just visit "A Million Morning Smiles" Sweepstakes  to enter through February 7, 2011.

Also, as part of my participation with My BlogSpark and Pillsbury I get the opportunity to giveaway to one lucky reader their very own "Million Morning Smiles" prize pack just like the one pictured above!!!!  The prize pack will include a Pillsbury Doughboy Giggle Doll, along with a smiley face-themed mug, placemat and stress ball.  So, if you would like to have one of these great prize packs for yourself, please leave a comment and I will draw one lucky name from the comments on January 11, 2011