Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Winner of the Fashionista Giveaway~

Okay, first let me say...I am an "old fashioned gal" the grace of God, I have been able to manage this blog, but I am by no means the most techno savy gal around.  So, with that said...this girl reverted back to the old days...drawing a number out of a hat bowl that happened to be handy.  I had my sweet hubby do the honors.

And, the winner is...#16. My baby girl's jersey number (and yes, she just won 2 matches last night).

Birdie to Be

"Awesome giveaway!!! I love it."

Congratulations!  Please email me with your information.

And, thank you to everyone who follows my blog.  I have so enjoyed getting to know each of you!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


When our youngest was getting ready to take her volleyball Senior pictures, we scrambled for a ball for her to use...well, one that was of appropriate color that is. The child has too many to count, but most are in obnoxious colors (hot pink, tye dye, lime green, purple, autographed, etc).  We finally settled on her plain, white, simple, generic Wilson ball-just a knock around ball, nothing fancy.

This is one of the shots the photographer, a dear friend of hers from church, got.

I love the shot, it shows her determination...but what I love even more happened by accident.  Remember, we were just looking for a plain ball that would "do".  The word IMPACT jumps out.  Well, you say "yes, so?"  Well, that is our girl...always making an Impact on those around her.  She is a sweet, God loving, genuine, smart, funny, empathetic, sympathetic child.  She  is quick to hug, quick to smile, quick to lend an ear.  She is a game changer, and makes the world a brighter place just by her presence.

One of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes, "Oh, the places you'll go"...

Side note:  Don't forget to take part in the giveaway, the winner will be announced tomorrow!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Fall Fashionista~It's a Giveaway!

In celebration of reaching my 100th follower last week, I am having my first giveaway.

You guys really didn't think I could keep this all to myself did ya?  Yes, the lucky winner will receive one of these...

the Hobo International clutch I blogged about last week.  My first find for fall fashion.

You know the drill...leave me some comment love, and the winner will be announced on Wednesday!

Saturday, August 27, 2011


I am super excited!  I reached 100 followers today. 

I will admit...for me, it has never been about the numbers.  It has been a way for me to express my creativity, share my life experiences, and make some wonderful friends (near and far).   I am so thankful for the opportunity.  Blogland has opened so many doors for me, and I have established many wonderful friendships in just this past year.

So, to celebrate...I will be having my very first giveaway on my blog on Monday. So, stay tuned!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!  And, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so supportive.

Friday, August 26, 2011

It's Really Okay to Say NO~

We've all been there...they need someone to bake 2 dozen cupcakes, they need someone to be the room parent and plan parties, they need someone to serve on such and such PTA committee,  they need someone to coach a little league team, they need someone to organize the fundraiser, they need someone to chaperone the field trip...

Okay, I think you get the picture.  As a mom (or dad, or nanny, or grandparent for that matter), we all know that MANY volunteer opportunities are thrown our way throughout our children's lives.  And, I will be the first to say...I was that parent who without hesitation said, "sure, I'd be happy to".  Well...maybe not always (happily that is).

I am writing this post because I am now the parent of two Seniors (one high school, one college) and for years had been "that" parent, the "volunteer".  I was the preschool mom who planned parties, I was the room parent more times they I can count, I served on various PTA committees, I participated on the board for their sports, I chaperoned field trips, I organized uniforms...and the list goes on.

Well, I am here to is okay to say "NO" when asked to volunteer.  I think all too often we say yes out of guilt.  What if no one else steps up?  Only to later regret we said yes...sometimes it takes away from the things that really matter to us.

I recently had this experience.  I have been handling uniforms for our youngest daughter's volleyball club.  And, recently was asked by the new board of directors if I would be willing to handle them again this season.  I told them, I would consider it, and get back to them. 

After thinking it over (and over and over), discussing it with my family, and remembering that this is what my basement looked like in the middle of the holidays last year...

I graciously declined the offer.  However, I did say I would be willing to train my replacement.  It was a big step for me.  The guilt set in a bit...what if no one else stepped up...they can't play/coach without their uniforms/gear!!

Well, someone did...and that someone is going to do a great job!  A mom like me, looking for a way to get involved and be a part of the program.  And, her daughter is younger so she will be around longer than I.

Lesson learned:  It is OKAY to say no! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

T J Maxx Find~

After having a meeting earlier today with the person taking over my position at the volleyball club (post to come on that subject), I popped in our local T J Maxx store since it was on my way home. 

I picked up my first piece for fall, a Hobo International clutch.  I love the rich brown color of the leather.  Perfect to go with fall boots.  And, I loved the cute fabric inside.  It is the perfect size for just the essentials-car keys, credit/debit cards, checkbook, lip gloss (never leave home without it), and cell phone (which currently right now is on my hit need to consider upgrading my BB to an I phone).  I hate lugging my huge purse all the time, especially if I am just running a quick errand.  It is small enough to throw in my purse if need be.

They had them in black, brown (2 colors), silver, and orange.

Each had cute fabric inside and lots of pockets!

And, at  $39.99 the price was just right.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Easy Chicken Dish~

Today I thought I would share an easy chicken dish recipe.  I love this dish as it is one you can make ahead and put in the oven later, great for busy school nights, or for nights when your child comes home from school sports practice starving (a daily occurance at our house). 

Chicken Mixture Prior to Adding Cracker Topping

After Adding Cracker Topping and Poppy Seeds.

Poppy Seed Chicken

4 Chicken Breasts
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 8oz Container Sour Cream
1 Sleeve Ritz Crackers
1/2 to 1 Stick of Butter
Poppy Seeds
1 Steam Fresh Bag of Broccoli (optional)

Spray a shallow glass baking dish with olive oil or cooking spray (this helps with clean up) and set aside.  Par boil chicken breasts until cooked through, then slice into bite size pieces.  Steam broccoli.  Adding the broccoli is optional (you can use another veggie you like such as green beans, or omit them too).  I like adding a veggie as it completes the meal.   In a mixing bowl, mix together broccoli (if using), cream of chicken soup, and sour cream.  You may add seasonings at this time (I like a bit of celery salt, but curry adds some zing and works well also).  Next mix in the chicken.  Pour mixture into the baking dish and spread out evenly.  Next, take the sleeve of Ritz crackers and crush them (I've learned to do it in the sleeve they come in, but you can also place them in a Ziploc bag as well).  Sprinkle them atop the chicken mixture.  Next, melt the stick of butter in the microwave and drizzle over the top of the crackers crumbs.  Sprinkle with poppyseeds.  Bake at 350* for 30 minutes or until crackers are a bit browned and the mixture bubbly.

Serve with your choice of rice.

*I love that this recipe is easily adaptable to lowfat-just use the lowfat versions of the soup and sour cream, and reduced fat Ritz crackers.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Senior Year in Pictures~

Well, we are off to a good start with both girls! While the youngest did miss one day due to a migraine last week, she is doing much better. Loving life and loving her volleyball team!! The oldest started back for her last semester of college last week as well. Both are excited about what's ahead.

Hubby and I have kept busy working on the basement reno...almost there! Just a few more trim pieces and then we will be ready for the painters. I am hoping to start reorganizing the unfinished section this week as well.

Thought I'd start off the week with some of our youngest's Senior pictures. She had a friend from church take them. These are completely untouched! He did an amazing job. Took some new volleyball ones today, and I can't wait to see how those turned out.

Hope everyone has a great week.

Friday, August 19, 2011

I've been featured!

Hi Everyone!
Today I can be found over at Be @ Home, here.  I've been featured under DIY Projects as one of their Best of the Web contributors.

I was super excited that they enjoyed reading my blog, and my diy projects!

Now that school is back in full swing, and volleyball has settled nicely into place I hope to be able to blog more frequently.  Thanks for hanging  in there with me during these hectic summer months!

Have a great weekend! 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Progress-the Basement

Wow...the past week and a half has been super crazy!  With volleyball tryouts, hosting parent meetings, board meetings and the start of school...I am already exhausted.  All have gone well, but take a lot of time.  And, little one was home today with a migraine (first in a long time) and the oldest is being tested for tummy troubles.  No rest for this weary mom!
We have managed to make a little progress on our basement however.  The floors are done, the walls just about complete and we have some trim work to finish up before the painters can come in (I am not big on painting, nor is hubby, so we are hiring this one out!).
So, here's a glimpse at what we've been up to...
We have walls and new floors!

The floors are done, the walls are up, now we just need to finish the trim and add a couple doors...then it will be ready for the painters.  If you remember we are on a deadline for September 30th, our youngest's 18th birthday!

We've made tons of progress in just one months time, and we have kept costs to a minimum.

Okay, now for keeping things real...

The "unfinished" part is screaming for some organization, and some serious purging!!  The girls laugh...they keep saying, "mom, why did you keep that?" every good mom, I thought maybe they'd want it for "later in life" to show the grandkids.  They just laugh, and tell me, "it's okay mom...we'll be fine without the 10 pieces from Plaster Palace, and the rubber duck collection, and the ten boxes of school papers!"  Mom might not however...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What I Am Loving~

With this 95+ degree heat and 100% humidity, can ya blame a Southern girl for being ready for fall? I am looking forward to the cooler temps in a few months.  In the meantime, I have found a few new fall must haves...

OPI's fall color collection.  I am loving all the dark rich colors!  And, it is always fun to see what names they've come up with.

Okay, for a 43 year old mom who A) doesn't want to appear she is trying to dress like her 17 and 21 year old daughters, B) doesn't want to dress like her 72 year old mother, and C) loves a great pair of jeans that fit in all the right places...Not Your Daughter's Jeans are a MUST!!!  Stylish, Super Comfy, and they FIT in all the RIGHT places.  I stumbled upon these last spring while looking for new capris (they have those too).  Prior to trying this brand, I think I had exhausted all others.

Longchamp's totes!  We purchased one for our youngest daughter to take on her trip to NYC, and she loved it!  So roomy, yet if you need to pack it, it folds easily and takes up little space in your luggage.  It has held up beautifully too.  Think mom and big sis are going to be purchasing one soon!

The new Tory Burch Murphey tennis shoe.  Just ordered my pair from Nordstroms.  Super cute and comfy.  Great for running errands.

So, are you looking forward to fall?  Any new must haves on your list?

Monday, August 8, 2011

They Grow Up Fast~

Senior Year 2011-2012

Not sure where the time went.  Our youngest left this morning bright and early.  Well, a bit earlier than she really needed to as she was meeting friends for Chick-Fil-A prior to heading to the high school to start her Senior Year.  It's all about priorities when you're a Senior! LOL

She is looking forward to a great year, hopefully healthier than last.  Only two migraines all summer! Yeah!! We are so proud of her.  Three years of being a Scholar Athlete, Honor Roll Student, and now a Captain on the Varsity volleyball team.  What's not to be proud of?

So, while it is awfully quiet at the home front today...knowing she is out there taking the world by a storm is very reassuring.

Big sis starts her Senior year in college next week.

Good news, my third baby girl is only 2!!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Back to School-Senior Year-Kleenex Optional

Oh how I wish I were buying crayons!  Senior Year, Two Seniors, and they aren't into crayons anymore!  This past week has been a week of milestones and tears, firsts and lasts.

Our youngest had her last high school volleyball tryout, 4th time making the Varsity team, 1st time being named a Captain!
We went to her last high school registration day, she applied to her 1st college.
I ran my last volleyball parent meeting, but made friends with many nervous 1st time parents.
Our oldest finished her last summer semester, her internship, to start her first day of her last semester in college.

It is bittersweet when lasts become firsts.

Their first steps toward independence, a very scary thought to this mom.  College I have been through, on their own, I have not.  However, both are beautiful, bright, intelligent girls, and I am looking forward to seeing how far they can go.  Each day they amaze me! 

I reach deep into my memories...back to the first day each took their first steps...those are the same kind of nervous feelings I feel now.  What if they fall?  21 and 17 years later I can honestly say, THEY WILL GET BACK UP, SKINNED KNEES AND ALL, AND BE JUST FINE!  And, they will still call and need their momma!

While there are times I would like to go back and have more time, make they "little" again, there are also times I do not...I am soooo proud of how far they have come and to go back would be to rob them of all they have accomplished, and the memories we have made in the process.

So, I write this not to be a downer but to say...cherish each step, be there for them, applaud them, and hug them at the end, and tell them, "job well done!!!"

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Color Blocks in Room Design-Guest Post

Hi Everyone!  I am super excited to have the great folks at Arcadian Lighting guest posting here today on using Color Blocks in your home. 

"Arcadian Lighting is the best source for lighting fixtures and accessories at discount prices. Arcadian Lighting has been in the lighting industry for over 15 years selling decorative home lighting fixtures and lamps online, and has become one of the top Internet retailers for home lighting products."

Today’s guest post is from Susi, a writer for Arcadian Lighting, a must-shop resource for beautiful light fixtures. She's focusing on ways to use color blocks to brighten your room. Color block is a big trend in fashion right now, combining two, three or four colors into an outfit. Color block is not about integrating the colors together but juxtaposing them against one another, like black or white. This is a look that easily transfers to interior decorating. Here are eight ways to use color blocks to brighten your room.

Color Blocks in Room Design

In the Berry Patch via

What a happy kitchen! Maybe not for everyone but we love the individually painted cabinets. Great use of blocks of color.

Color Blocks in Room Design

Interior House via

Blocks of color on the walls is a fresh take on an accent wall. These colorful squares create interest and break up all the white in the room.

Color Blocks in Room Design

The Inspiration Blog via

One of our favorite ways to create blocks of color in any room is arranging shelves of books or objects by color.

Color Blocks in Room Design

Pinterest via

A block of color can help the flat screen television better blend into the surrounding space. The purple really brightens up the space, especially in the glow of light from the contemporary chandelier and table lamps.

Color Blocks in Room Design

Ellaboo and Company via

We found this cool DIY color block wall art on Ellaboo & Co.'s blog. Feels very beachy and summery in blues and greens but you could do it in any colors.

Color Blocks in Room Design

Pinterest via

Adore the blocks of pink and peach on the accent wall in this mostly white living room. The colors feel feminine and modern. The organic feel of the pendant light is definitely inviting and comforting to guests.

Color Blocks in Room Design

The Kitchn via

Big blocks of color on the kitchen floor balance out the dark cabinets. Large tiles create bigger blocks of solid color so the floor feels less busy.

Color Blocks in Room Design

Pinterest via

This living room looks a little bit like a political map of the U.S. with blue to one side, red to the other. The separate blocks of color do have a stronger impact than if they were combined.

Content provided by Arcadian Lighting, a site that specializes in top quality lighting fixtures at extremely affordable prices. Come visit us today!