Monday, June 29, 2015

Vacation to Chattanoogna and Smokey Mountain National Park

Chattanooga * Rock City * Pigeon Forge * Stayed in a little cabin I nicknamed, the ponderosa *  Sitting on the front porch watching fireflies* Cade's Cove * A set of stone steps in the woods * Gatlinburg * Smokey Mountain National Park* My first visit to Steak-n-Shake* Its incredibly easy to fall down a mountain (thank goodness I got tangled in a wire fence and not a barb-wire fence) * On the first pew in a Church built in 1827 * Really incredible views from the mountains 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Scripture Sunday

This is Laminin.
The molecule, Laminin is the protein that holds human beings together.
This is Laminin. The molecule, Laminin is the protein that holds human beings together. Do you notice its shape? Isn't it amazing that God would think so far in the future, and make the very thing that makes us think of Jesus, make up and play a crucial role in how we are formed? God formed you to not only live as an image of Christ, but to never escape the fact that you are HIS! We are branded by the Cross! "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together" Colossians 1:17

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Where I'll be next week- Cades Cove, TN

Unexpected and last minute vacation.  Not much time to plot and plan.  I'll be in the most isolated valley in the Smokey Mountain National Park.  In this cabin!

I'll consider it a success if I see some wildlife, see a couple of sunrises, have some long peaceful mornings with coffee on the sunny porch and do a little hiking and a little shopping.

I can feel myself relaxing watching this video.

Monday, June 15, 2015

My first three months with Stitch Fix

Box Number One:




to get this first Stitch-Fix box. It was like getting a big Christmas gift, I was so excited. Very impressed with the packaging and everything nicely wrapped. 


I didn't buy anything, although I had lingering thoughts of the leopard print cardi and wished it would have worked. The dress was too short (I am extremely tall) and the skinny jeans were too tight, and everything else just did not quite work, but I was not too disappointed. Every one who has written about this service says it takes at least three boxes for your stylist to really figure out who you are, and I saw a lot of advice to give the system a few boxes before you  make any judgement as it will get better and better.

Box Number Two:

I forgot to take pictures of box number two! But, it was just as nicely wrapped and it had another dress that was too short (again, I'm tall!), and one top with arms that were too small and one top hit me at the wrong spot but I did buy one item that I really really love. This sleeveless top was the perfect length and weight. Its cool for summer, but also looks polished and put together. I would not have picked the color but after trying it on realized it matched everything in my closet.  I think that is one of the benefits of the service, trying the clothes on in your own house with your own lights and other clothes for comparison.

I have worn it alone with jeans, to work with a brown suit and a navy blue suit and under a coral cardi with a white skirt. It was $45.

Box Number three:

It could not have arrived on a better day. It was Friday and it was storming and I cant remember why I was having a bad day, but driving into my garage cheered me up a little and finding this little box on the front step made me even happier.  I immediately tried everything on, decided I didn't like anything at all and packaged it all back up, and carried on in my bad mood ...

until Saturday morning when I was crazy trying to find something cute to wear to a bridal shower I was hosting (hello! I'm hosting! I have to look especially cute! Why is everything cute not clean! Why can't I plan this better?!!)

That's when the box came out again, my mood was better, everything  got re-visited and three items worked perfectly.

I ended up wearing the maxi-dress from the box (and it was long enough! Someone finally realized I am tall!) and it really is very flattering. Its perfect color for me and long enough and fit just right. My general bad mood colored my judgment previously. I got a lot of compliments (including a stranger in Walmart). 

Maxi-dress was a big big hit.

The other item I kept was a dark blue dolmen sleeve top (similar to this but dark blue) and I think it looks excellent with skirts and a white jean but it might be more of a fall top than a summer one for my humid, suffociatingly hot South Louisiana days.  

I really  (really really really) wanted  the white crop jeans but I already have two pair of white jeans and these crops ones were the most expensive thing in the box! The most expensive thing!! I had to tell myself no. I could not in any way justify the purchase. So, they went back to Stitch Fix along with a really nice teal dress that was long enough but just too thin of a fabric and too figure hugging for me, and a black silk top that was OK, not just not my style, and I really did not think twice about sending back.

My three month verdict

I am keeping this service. I really enjoy it.  Right now, I have it once every other month, and I can see it can become expensive quick. So far,  I agree with what everyone else is saying that it takes a solid three boxes before you can make an opinion as it takes that long for your stylist to get to know you and you to get to know the service.

If you try it, here is a referral link where I get a credit and you get a discount.

Other blogs I enjoy who  have wrote about Stitch Fix:

Life in Leggings here
Kindercraze here
Katy Widrick  here
Still being Molly here
Stacy Makes Sense here
Emily Freeman here
Living in Yellow here
Primally inspired here

Friday, June 12, 2015

Bath and Body Works Semi-Annual Sale

I am very disappointed.

The Bath and Body Works 75% off sale is typically where I  really stock up on my favorite candles. This year, the sale was dismal.

The highlight of the sale is my favorite candle, the 3 wick candle that is usually $22, is on clearance for $6.  But, this year there was a very small selection of three wick candles in fragrances I didn't want.  I have never seen one of their clearance sales with so few candles.   I know... I'm such a sad sack about this....

I ended up with 8 of the smaller ones (I already gave 2 away), usually $10 but on clearance for $2.50. And I also got a handful of the refills for plug ins, for half price, $3.50.  I have really gotten into lavender and Lilac fragrance lately and burn those candles in my bedroom a lot.  They say the fragrance is restful and relaxing. I don't know if its true or its just the power of suggestion. But in any event, my bedroom seems peaceful.

Now I'll start planning to stock up at the next BBW sale, a week or so before Christmas the 3 wick candles will be about $8 and even cheaper with a coupon.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

2015 Goal planning: mid-year assessment of house projects

Mid-year check in. I'm just as surprised as everyone else. How can it be June? How? How? Lara Casey's method of slowly plotting and planning and figuring out what to focus on for the new year includes a mid year goal check in.  Here is my original 2015 plans.

I don't have dreams, I have plans. Quote about dreams and goals. Make it happen.


The first half of the year was a wild success in the house projects area of life.   I still have a lot to do but so far, I (reluctantly and unexpectedly)  invested in a really nice vacuum (this one) and a chain saw. I gave a lot of attention to cleaning and organizing closets in the living room and the entry way, makeup in bathroom (here) and some gardening projects (tomato plant, cleaning up some flower beds, rooting hydrangeas from a cutting; herb garden in kitchen window, and African violets in bathroom window).

The biggest purchase for the first 6 months was to fill a sad and empty kitchen space with a buffet here and I love it  and  ....

My greatest success......

the major goal of parking in the garage before winter happened in MAY!  Thanks to a lot of help with cleaning the garage, a HUGE garage sale (recap here), a  door repair and my car is now living in the garage.  I am super excited.  Seriously. I am so excited.

I realize it doesn't sound like much but I feel it was a pretty productive first half of the year. So many little things on my mind that I hope to focus on in the second half of 2015....

remove wallpaper in master bathroom and paint (I have just about talked myself into hiring someone to do this because it is not getting done on my own)

put up curtain rod and curtains up in masterbath

paint the inside of the master bathroom cabinets white

paint the inside of the upstairs bathroom cabinets white

new shower curtain and rug for upstairs bathroom

guest room completely put together and in a constant state of
readiness for guests (this is SO close)

fireplace repaired and one cord of wood in place for cold weather (saving for it now, this will definitely be done by winter, unless the money is diverted to pay someone to paint bathroom...)

kitchen table (I found one  serious contender for $400 but I've really got my heart set on an antique table for about $100. I havn't actually found any antique tables for about $100, but I have hope they are out there.  but I'm kind of getting use to using the very small round end table that I'm using  in the kitchen now (below). Its awful small but its  grown on me and kind of cozy)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Sally Hansen Pink Pong

It took me quite a while to figure out that the same color nude/pale pink polish is not the best nude/pale pink for everyone. I know... rocket science... I wish I would have discovered this before buying every last one of Essie's pale pink polishes only to find they do not work for me. I'm hard headed. They are so pretty! But basically the first two rows don't work for me. I have to accept it and move on.

I have moved on and found a few others, and this is the best nude that works for me: Sally Hansen's Salon Manicure in Pink Pong

Monday, June 1, 2015

Walmart Haul

NYC Cityproof 24 hour eye primer
I've heard several people on You-Tube rave about this eye primer (here is one). It was $2.77. I like that its in a stick form and its certainly cheap enough to give it a try.
Pantene All in One Styling Cream
I've made the decision to stop buying the salon products and go back to drug store brands (hopefully, this will be a painless way to save some money). This was my first purchase. I use to love Pantene and had a $2 off coupon for this.
Simple Cleansing Micellar Water
This was one of my favorite things in April  and its my second bottle of this, so clearly I like it. Its only $5.97 at Walmart, plus I had a $2 off coupon!
Ensure Active protein shake
This is a great protein shake to grab and go when I don't want to make one myself, and the chocolate flavor tastes pretty good, (but I don't care for the vanilla) But... its $8.97 for 4 small bottles.  Not cheap. I did find a $3 off coupon for signing up at the website here .
Vitafusion brand Vitamin D gummies
I have a serious vitamin D deficiency and my doctor just told me to double up on my vitamins D.  I've mentioned before I take the gummy vitamins and pretend their candy.  So now, after lunch, I'll be having 8 gummy bears.... I mean.... vitamins..... (double dose of D (4), vitamin C (2) and B complex (1) and multivitamin (1))