Thursday, November 5, 2020

The Right Thing, just do it!


Do the right thing, even when you don’t want to. I have lived the consequences and repercussions of someone not doing the right thing. I have lived the consequences and repercussions of ME not doing the right things. It made me determined to do the right thing no matter what.

Our world seems a bit topsy turvy right now so I urge you to dig deep and be a safe space for others to be themselves. It is a rare person who can deal with the deeper, real person...most of the time we are most happy with the shiny, perfect seeming outside.

Love others even when they are unlovable. We all are unlovable at times and I hope that someone is there during those times...mercy and grace can save a life. Love them even when you don't agree with them.

Be available even when you are not. I know the reality of having no one...I try to see the needs in others.

Remember no matter what someone is facing, and even if it seems small and insignificant to you, it probably feels like the hardest thing ever to them, be there anyway. We are so quick to judge the pain of other as invalid or maybe we think they should “be over it by now.” Who are we to judge? Pain, fear, overwhelmedness can’t be assigned a box to fit neatly in; although our society has conditioned us to tuck it away and hide the less than perfect parts of our worlds.

Yes...these thoughts are very intimate to my experiences but if I can help even one person not hurt or hurt someone else or reach out, I am glad. No one should go through life battling these things alone. I guess it is my hope that somewhere, someone will pay it forward and be an angel among us to make the path easier for a soul that desperately needs it. Most of the time we don’t even realize the closest to us might need it most.😊


Saturday, October 31, 2020

Carvana, the Good, the Bad and the Delightful

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I would share our Carvana buying exprience; and it was an experience! My sweet, but pretty particular and specific, husband has been considering buying a new car since before we started dating.  He has looked at various brands and models but just couldn't decide what he wanted, until he did.  When he did, he knew exactly what brand, model, color, specific engine, and options he wanted.  Little did he know when he made up his mind, he would be looking for an elusive needle in a haystack.  A friend of ours looked for the same car for over a year so I think we actually lucked up in that it only took a couple of months for us to find.  There are lots of the model he was looking for but not lots with the engine he wanted.  So this is where Carvana comes in. Carvana actually had the car he was looking for exactly, except in color, so after much debate he decided to go with the color they had (yeah!)

I would like to say the process was seamless but it was not.  My husband put a contract on the car around the first of Septmber.  There was no financing invovled so you would think it would have been the smoothest, quickest purchase possible...well, nah.  Not to say that it was all bad and Carvana was holding up the process to insure every detail of the car was perfect before deliving it which was a GREAT thing.

The 2 worst hiccups with  the process was the day they actually brought the car and because we didn't have an insurance card  that specifically lised the new car (our insurance has a rider that covers new purchasse for 14 days) they took it back!!!! Now, remember there was no financing on this car so they had nothing to cover there and the insurance policy stated new purchases were covered.  Unfortuntally, no one mentioned this little nugget.  It was like getting up on Christmas Morning and there being the coolest bike ever by the Christmas tree and your eyes light up just in time for your parents to say, "Oh that is little Timmy's, from down the street, his parents are coming to pick it up to surprise him."  So, seeing them drive away pinched a little bit.

The second hiccup came almost a month after the initial contract and the day before the car was scheduled to be delivered for the 4th time. We decided to add the Carvanna Extended Warranty.  The problem was if we decided to add it the day before delivery,...the delivery would be delayed by another week.  Now THAT was frustrating.  Needless to say we did not invest in the Carvanna Extended Warranty.  Sooo....
We finally got the car.  My sweet man was extremely happy and Carvana left a very nice gift certificate to Target to apologize for all the delays.  The gentleman who delivered the car was extremely polite and professional and the car was everything we were looking for.  I still wish we could have gone and gotten it out of the giant vending maching!!!
Image not my own
So, my feeling on our Carvana experience is pretty much neutral...the delays were tedious (but I am glad they wanted everything perfect), the paperwork was more bothersome than it should have been on a cash purchase and not being able to add the warranty was very annoying. The truly redeeming quality that kept it from being a negative experience were the kind customer service personnel and getting a car that my man is in love with.

Would we buy from Carvana again?  I am not sure, as I am a big fan of shopping local; not to mention we should not need another car for quite a while!


Sunday, October 11, 2020

NadineWest - My Experience

I have used Stitch Fix Fashion Subscription Service to spruce up my wardrobe and keep me on my toes and trying new things but now that there are so many new fashion subscription services I have decided to try a few others and see how they stack up.  First off, I have had a good experience with Stitch Fix but have wondered about some of these other services, so my first experiment was with Nadine West.  NadineWest positions itself as a budget alternative to the other subscription services so it was a no brainer…who does not like a deal?  It did come with a less expensive price as all 5 items in my shipment totaled only $130.00 which made it all the more intriguing.

 

The question is…what would $130 get you compared with my previous slightly more expensive experience?  Of course, first impressions are important, and I loved the hot pink package with the attractive NadineWest logo, so I was hopeful!  In my shipment I received a pair of workout pants (black with a white stipe down the side), a green mid sleeve blouse with gold zipper, a very summery short sleeved dress made of an oxford  material, a pair of “silver” earrings, and a bangle with pearl embellishment.

Although, I was less than impressed with their offerings than what I was accustom to from Stich Fix, I did keep 3 items: the workout pants (at $15.99 and you can always use another pair,) the earrings at $25.49 and bracelet for $12.99.  I am sucker for accessories, so the earrings and bracelet were an easy keep. The dress was a disappointment in that it is October, and it was a mid-summer dress, so it is not something that will boost my wardrobe now. The green blouse was just so-so. At $39.99, I think I could easily pick up something just like it at a big box store for less.   I was disappointed that none of the pieces could work with each other and seemed a bit random.

 

It was fun to try another subscription service and I have to put in a plug for the Nadine West customer service as I had an issue and they were amazing in resolving the issue.  I have already signed up to try another service because I am very curious about the cost/quality/styles of each using my years of Stitch Fix experience as my baseline.  NadineWest was not a total bust and if you want some inexpensive, one season tops and such it might be worth a try.  For  now, I am going to experiment with another service and will let you know how that goes.




Monday, October 5, 2020

Honeymoon...

 Have you ever wondered what the true meaning of Honeymoon is? Well, I am here to clarify it for you, along with Merriam-Webster Dictionary of course:

Definition of honeymoon 

1a period of harmony immediately following marriage a period of unusual harmony especially following the establishment of a new relationship a trip or vacation taken by a newly married couple.


 I know you feel much better having a literal definition of honeymoon but I was actually thrilled to read it because if there is one thing I can say about my recent honeymoon...it  fit the definition absolutely perfect!

Of course, like everything else that had to do with our wedding, we were also planning a honeymoon in the time of Covid, which did present challenges that we turned into opportunities.  Originally, we had booked a trip out of the country but due to Passport Renewal delays, not to mention a little trepidation about leaving the country and possibly not being able to return if something spiked out of control made me a bit uneasy.  So, we moved to plan B, which came directly from my Pinterest Dream Vacations Board!  We chose a trip to Mackinac Island, which by the way...was perfect.


It gave us the wonderful feeling of having fallen off the grid but with luxury at every turn.  Even the weather was perfect with the warmest day hitting 80 degrees the first week in July.  We stayed at the most amazing, Mission Point Resort (please check out the photos as mine do not do it justice!), which met our every desire and, honestly, made us never want to leave.  There is absolutely too much about Mission Point to write about in this post but it was wonderful.


 After the crazy months leading up to this escape, Mackinac Island provide the perfect bubble to honeymoon.  It gave us time, just for us, to explore, play, relax, and just be us.  I could not have imagined a better beginning to my marriage to my best friend. It was all I could have dreamed and a sign of all the wonderful adventures to come!



Sunday, September 20, 2020

The Bittersweet Days

The last few months, crazy as they may have been, created some wonderful lifetime memories.  But, if I am being honest, one date on the calendar had been etched into my mind since well before 2020 began; that date was College Move In Day for my youngest son.  As much as the world provided lots of distractions the date kept creeping up on me.  We waited patiently to make sure the college would even open on schedule...when it was announced it would...we slowly began to prepare for his departure.

What I have to note, is when we took my daughter to college, I cried everyday for at least a week...and I had still had two boys at home.  Now, I was moving my youngest several hours away and my nest would be empty.  Not to mention, this  young man and I have walked through most of his life alone.  I was a single parent for most of what he remembers and he and I only had each other day to day. We are close. He is a blessing beyond measure.   

To say his move in day was hard would be an understatement of the greatest sort.  I was thrilled for him as I knew he was going to "his place" and felt confident his choice in of colleges but I kept thinking, as the Dad in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" says "Why you want to leave me???"  Yes, there were tears, but mostly left for the drive away.  





Friday, August 21, 2020

Our Beautiful Beginning

 It is hard for me to imagine myself married. Even a month and a half into this new adventure I find myself smiling in surprise.  Honestly, I didn't think that was in the cards for me...but then God placed me and my sweet man in just the right place at the right time.  I am blessed.  

When it came to having a wedding, we talked about a lot of options, but ultimately wanted just to celebrate "us" with our families and, of course, within Covid-19 guidelines. The ceremony was held in one of my favorite places, the courtyard of my church on the steps of the Parish Hall. The sun was shinning, a slight breeze was blowing through the trees and our loved ones were there to make it perfect.  






After what I would call a perfect wedding we had a wonderful reception at a local restaurant which was the perfect ending to a perfect day. It was all amazing and I fully believe it is a sign that the best is yet to come.  This is an adventure I never imagined but am so glad I am here. 

And just wait until you hear about the honeymoon!


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Lilly in life and Love!

When it was time to take some engagement photos, of course, I wanted a little Lilly love there as we were already running with Lilly Pulitzer inspiration for wedding plans.  Oh, everything seems more fun in pink and green anyway!  So off to Swan Lake and Iris Gardens we went with my favorite photographer (yes, I am biased!)... my beautiful daughter of PMD Photography.  Here is a peek at the fun! 
By the way, if you can't tell...that is one special man. 


Sunday, July 26, 2020

Planning a wedding in the time of Covid

Even if we weren't living in the season of Covid, I would have opted for a small, intimate wedding -  which is just what we planned. My sweet man, David, and I knew exactly what we wanted...simple and special.  It was fun leading up to the wedding and it gave me an excuse to indulge in all things pink an green, AKA Lilly Pulitzer as well.
I even got to say YES, to the dress at Lilly!

Having my baby girl right there with me, was extra special!!!  The decision on which dress was made at the Lilly Store in Savannah, GA Palm Avenue; but my local Lilly Store The Pink Cabanna was where we got the ties, shoes, dresses, etc. from and they were so sweet and worked so very hard to make sure it was all perfect!

I can't wait to show you all the other fun details of our special day!  



Monday, June 29, 2020

A thing kind of happened...

I have been single for 6 years.  Yes, it has been hard but somewhere down the line you learn to accept it and life moves on.  You realize you have the freedom to make choices you  might not otherwise have been able to do...like move.  When 2019 was winding down I was planning to move away from Florence to parts unknown (well, I did know but you know what I mean!) and then God snuck a little wrinkle in my plan.

A friend I had know for several years through Rotary (who says Rotary Club isn't fun?) and I started hanging out.  We were literally just hanging out, because you know...I didn't want to get involved since it was only a few months until I moved away.  And them BAM, it happen, we were in a relationship...we even had the DTR talk and everything.  So move along a few weeks (yep, weeks) and I had one of the worst days as work...as in...it it stunk it up.  When I came home I peeled off my work clothes and switched into leggings and probably my oldest sweatshirt (I was a vision) and went to my sweet man's house.  I walked out into the field where he was walking his dogs and we down-loaded about work and headed back to his house.  When I walked in there was a gorgeous, huge bouquet of perfectly pink flowers and he told me they were for my "special day."  Special Day?  I leaned over to smell those wonderful flowers and turned around and there he was holding a box with a sparkly ring and asking me to marry him.  I was in awe...this handsome man who is so full of sweetness, love, fun, laughter, honesty, and integrity was asking me...YES ME, to marry him! No one has ever surprised me more. Of course, I had to say yes...it was love.  
Oh, and that box does have a light in it...to be continued.


Friday, June 19, 2020

Where, Oh Where, Do I Start?

Wow…six months can bring a world of changes, hmm? 

I went into 2020 planning to return to the blogging world on a regularly schedule, only to have to stop.  THAT is another topic all together and one I probably will not be discussing but, alas…it has passed, and I can move clearly into my life…MY LIFE…beautiful words.

It almost seems as if so much has happened I should use bullet points!  I am not even sure where to start... 2020 began quietly with nothing special on the horizon, or so it seemed.

Then Covid-19 arrived.  Nope…I did not see that one coming!    
  
All the while Covid-19 was rattling the world, my dear, sweet baby boy was entering his last semester of high school and this crazy pandemic turned his world upside down. Right in the middle of what is usually some of the most fun and memorable moments of your high school career, he was literally and figuratively “grounded”… but not by me!  He and his friends were troopers, though, and social distanced and wore/wear masks and they made the best of not seeing each other for weeks on end.  

His college orientation weekend was canceled and rescheduled to be an online experience.  He didn’t get a last day of school, yearbook signing, goofy senior pranks, Awards Day or prom…but he did get graduation!  As May came into view our school made the decision to schedule graduation and it turned out different, but beautiful, and very special.  Though we celebrated with a limited amount of family and friends, it was still so nice to have something sort of normal!
When Covid-19 began making waves, I was working in a job I  liked, in an industry (Hospice) that I admire, and think is very important.  I must admit, working in the medical field, even outside of direct patient care, was quite unsettling as Covid-19 rolled in and shook everyone up.  Outside of my view God was at work in my world and He, out of the blue, presented me with a career that I had always wanted, working with a fabulous team of dedicated professionals and the opportunity to give back directly to MY community in a way that I had missed with my previous position in which I was traveling all the time.  It was a gift I never saw coming and I was excited  to be back “in town” and not being on the road so much!
 
So...I guess this is bullet point 1!  I will be back with bullet point 2 of 2020 soon!


Sunday, January 19, 2020

Fashion Friday...done Saturday Style

Yes, I am still getting dressed!  I have just been off schedule with getting photos to write about.  Today was a fun, dress down day to  have lunch, shop and spend time with my sweet girl Piper Ellice at Starting out Southern
Saturdays are always perfect for grabbing your favorite boots, a sweater and enjoying some girl time.