Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday Morning

This morning I woke up to another great Groupon.  Last Tuesday's Groupon was a big hit and today I bought $70 worth of services for $35 at Pavo Salon Spa.  I've been wanting to get a massage for awhile so I couldn't pass one up for only $35!  And the good news is I've already made my appointment for this Saturday =)

To buy Today's Groupon click HERE.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Blue Monday

This summer I've been on a lemonade kick.  I think I've tried practically everyone's lemonade in town.  I think before all of our warm weather leaves I'll have to try this twist on my favorite drink.

This month Tiffany & Co. launched a collection of handbags that bears their signature robin's egg blue on every handbag.  This article I read in the Wall Street Journal said the handbags will be replacing the crystal and fine china that used to fill every Tiffany & Co. store.  It's interesting that handbags are now more popular than fine china.  Gone are the days of fancy dinner parties and porcelain teacups (sigh)... These days handbags are all the rage.  Even though I won't be purchasing any of these $$$$ designer handbags, I can appreciate their style.  I wonder if these handbags come in big blue boxes?

Love the Tiffany blue lining!

This crocodile bag has a touch of blue on the hardware.

Today I received a save-the-date card in the mail from Bryant's cousin.  She is getting married in March of next year under the blue skies of Gulf Shores, Alabama.  This will be my first destination wedding to attend.  I can't wait!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

New Season, New Look

The calendar says fall is officially here and today I actually believed it.  We had our back doors open all afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed the mid-seventies weather.  I'm not sure I've ever been so excited to see fall arrive as I have been this year.  Did you know this summer was the hottest Memphis summer since 1850?  Pretty impressive.

In addition to the arrival of the new season, my blog has undergone some changes this weekend.  Shortly after I created my blog, I decided if I was still blogging after a year or so I would look into adding a unique design to my blog.  Over the last year my blog has slowly evolved including a name change earlier this year.  A custom design was next on the list but the hardest part was finding the right designer.  Fifteen months and 105 posts later, I finally found a blog designer I love after seeing one of her designs on my friend, Natalie's cute blog.  Marina at Penny Lane Designs was the perfect fit for my blog.  She even named her graphic design boutique after one of her Maltese pups - a girl after my own heart =)

Marina's website is very informative and organized which made it very clear what my design options were when placing my order.  I like all of her designs!  Click HERE to view some of her recent blog makeovers.  You can check out my new look at Mel's Meadow.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday I'm in Love

Tonight I made a new recipe that a friend shared with me.  Loved it and healthy too!

 Love these stackable sanding sugars from Williams Sonoma

Could this book be any cuter?  I ♥ Bakerella. 

New Vera Bradley winter patterns out this week.  Love twirly bird pink!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Groupon of the Day

Check out Today's Groupon for YoLo: $4 for $8 worth of frozen yogurt!

YoLo is a fun new frozen yogurt shop that offers self-serve frozen yogurt and as many toppings as you could ask for!  Toppings range from homemade blondies from Monkey Bread Bakery to local peaches from Jones Orchard.

There are two locations in Memphis, one in East Memphis on Erin Drive and the other is in Collierville on the Town Square.  Here's a peak inside their cute shop.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Thrifty Trend

photo found here

It seems that Americans are saving money these days.  Lots of money.  CBS News reported that for the first half of the year, "deposits in checking, savings and money market accounts rose by $171 billion."   Now that's some serious cash.  I guess that's what a recession can do for a country - it teaches us to save a little more and spend a little less.

It's not uncommon that I hear of families losing an income (or even two) or taking a cut in pay just to keep their jobs.  Even though this is not the case in our household, Bryant and I have had many conversations about our spending and saving habits.  I think it is wise to evaluate where you are spending and why you are spending.  Cable television, gym memberships and smartphones are luxuries not necessities.  Because we live in a prosperous nation, it is easy to lose sight of our needs from our wants.  Through having these conversations, we have come to differentiate between the items we really do use from the extras we wouldn't even miss.  It's about learning to live simply not because you have to, but because you want to.  It's fun when you realize how much you are saving.  You start to develop "the simple life" mentality and living simply becomes quite addictive. 

Here's a couple of ways we have trimmed our budget lately:

1. We drop off our recycling instead of having it picked up.  The city charges a few extra dollars for recycling bins and weekly pick-ups.  Instead of having to drag the recycling to the curb every Wednesday, we wait until our bins our completely full and drop them off at the Agricenter recycling station.

2. We sized down our phone bill.  Have you looked at your phone bill recently?  It's ridiculous.  Why were we paying an extra $10 for three-way calling and caller identification?  We actually do use our landline quite a bit but do we have to know who's calling?  Not for $10 a month.  It's actually been kind of nice saying, "Hello?" when I answer the phone.  Reminds me of a simpler time.  Farewell Caller ID.

Organic Flower Protector
3.  We opted for DIY pest control.  We just couldn't believe that in the short 10 minutes it took the bug gal to spray our house it was worth that much.  Bryant found, Clean Air Gardening, an online store that sells organic supplies for home and gardening.  This last quarter we saved $45 and the products are organic!  We even tried a few of their lawn care products, my favorite being the Organic Flower Protector that is made from pure cinnamon oil and rosemary.   Saving money never smelled so good =)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Summer Reading

Summer is usually the time I get to read numerous books that have been on my waiting list for quite some time, but this summer between the house projects and a couple of other commitments I only managed to squeeze in three good reads.  The first book I read this summer was by my friend, Angie, who wrote about her journey of finding out her precious baby girl was "incompatible with life."  It's a moving story of the faithfulness of God and the miracle of life.  I highly recommend it!

Purchase here

After reading Poppies in December, I hadn't planned to pick anything else up, but then this was about to be in theaters.  So I decided to pick up Stephanie Meyer's mini-novel...

It only took a couple of afternoons by the pool to finish it and I really enjoyed reading the "other side of the story."  I'm glad I read it right before I saw Eclipse, since there were several scenes from the book that made it into the movie.  If you haven't read the Twilight series yet, read The Second Short Life of Bree Tanner after Eclipse and before Breaking Dawn. 

Since my previous experience with Meyer entailed reading four books cover to cover without delay, this 178 page book left me wanting more.  Which resulted in a trip to Borders to pick up her science-fiction novel that I had been eyeing for quite some time... 

And I loved it!  It was very intriguing in the beginning and then I got to that certain point, if you've read Meyer before you know exactly what I mean, that it was impossible to put down.  It wasn't as smothering as the Twilight series where you give up sleep and food to read pages.  It was a great story and I could go to bed at a reasonable hour and pick it up the next day.  I kept thinking, "This would be a great movie.  I hope they make it into a movie!"  And then when I read the bonus chapter, I was overjoyed to read Meyer is already working with producers for the film version of The Host.  I read online the filming is to start around early 2011; I'm guessing it will be out in 2012 after Breaking Dawn hits theaters in November 2011.

Due to the subject of yesterday's post I started to think of how Meyer's beliefs as a Mormon may have inspired parts of The Host.  I found it very interesting what the Mormons believe about the nature of man...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

American Ad Campaign

This morning as I was scanning the news I saw this video advertisement... watch below.

This is one video from an ad campaign being shown across the U.S. by the Mormon church.  I read an article that said the Mormon church is trying to recreate their image by using everyday people who lead "normal lives" in their advertisements.  It said they were trying to disassociate the word "weird" from "Mormon."  To read the full article, click HERE.

As Christians, it is important to be aware of what other religions believe and how they are impacting our culture.  Let me share some of the things I read straight off of the Mormon website:

When we accept Jesus Christ’s help we can feel peace in this life and return to Heaven after we die.

We can change our lives for the better when we accept Jesus Christ and His atonement.

He is the Son of God, “The way, the truth and the life,“ and our Savior.

Because Christ took upon Himself our sins, we can be forgiven when we repent.

(Referring to the Holy Ghost),  He is the third member of the Godhead, along with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Sounds good, right?  If we heard any one of these phrases independently we would assume the person was a Christian and was referring to the true Gospel.  That is why cults are so deceptive because they take part of the truth and add to it.  It's what Satan did in the Garden and it's what he still does today.  The Mormon church takes bits and pieces of the truth so it sounds very familiar, but their core belief could not be farther from the truth.  Here's a few more quotes from their website:

Faith in Jesus Christ isn’t a simple declaration—it is a source of power we must renew every day by studying His words, praying, and by trying harder to follow His example as we interact with the people around us.  

Repentance is the opposite of punishment, then, because it allows us to correct our mistakes and remove the bad feelings that follow our bad decisions.  This process can be difficult and requires a lot of honesty, but the joy and freedom we feel when we turn away from our sins are well worth the effort.

Because Heavenly Father is a fair and loving God, we believe that everyone will have the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ through baptism, if not in this life then in the next.

The Holy Ghost is a Spirit that can dwell in our hearts.  (Emphasis added)

Just as we would not say a person must not be saved since they do not use the accepted religious vocabulary when expressing their faith in Christ Jesus, so we must not be quick to accept someone as a true follower of Christ just because they use the "right" lingo.  When you add or take away from truth, it is not truth at all. 

All About Cults shares what Mormons believe about the nature of Jesus Christ:
The Mormon church views Jesus and Satan as spirit brothers and sons of God. God put forth His plan of salvation for the world, and Satan proposed his own plan. Jesus accepted the Father's plan and offered to implement it as the Savior. The Father chose Jesus, and the spirit of Jesus was given a body through the virgin Mary. He was crucified on a Roman cross, and rose from the dead three days later to establish His deity. The character and life of Jesus is attainable by anyone who performs at such a righteous level. 

Jeremiah 23:25-32:
25 “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ 26 How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, 27 who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal.
       28 “ The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream;
      And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully.
      What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the LORD.
       29Is not My word like a fire?” says the LORD,
      “ And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
30 “Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who steal My words every one from his neighbor. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who use their tongues and say, ‘He says.’ 32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” says the LORD, “and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,” says the LORD.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hometown Heroes

Saturday marked the nine year anniversary of 9/11.  To honor the Guardsmen that have been deployed in response to 9/11, a ceremony was held on Saturday the 11th at the TN Air National Guard base in Memphis.  Bryant received this "Hometown Heroes" medal along with a framed letter of recognition from the Director of the Air National Guard. The quote on the inside is from George W. Bush from October 7, 2001, "We will not waver, we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.  Peace and Freedom will prevail."

The framed metal will be a nice addition to our office.  The wives received a lovely rosewood pen and pencil set as well; the Guard has always very gracious to include the spouses.  I'm so proud of my man!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Hostess with the Most Friends

My sweet sister-in-law is expecting her first baby this fall, which means I got to throw her a baby shower last month!  Half of the fun of any party is in the planning.  I love planning all the details of a party and making it all come together.  The only request I was given was no pink for this little girl, and lots of lavender.  So from that starting point, I began to think of all the necessities for the shower I needed to order like cute invites and the perfect cake plus a few extras that add a special touch like a monogrammed outfit, a diaper cake and party favors. 
I immediately thought of a few online vendors and a local bakery I've used before and began planning.  But somewhere along the way of impersonal emails and a game of phone tag, I thought of a few friends that offered these same services and I got to thinking why not use my friends for the shower?  And I'm so glad I did.  I must say I have some creative and talented friends!

The first thing I decided on were the invites.  My feeling is that invitations set the tone for a party.  So I had my sweet friend, Natalie, who has a stationary company, send me some options.  I used this cute baby buggy invite.  And it's in lavender :)

The cake sat on the same buffet as the invite for the party so I wanted a simple and sweet cake.  Kristy just started making cakes, but I knew she could do pretty much anything I asked.  She is so creative and made me a beautiful scrapbook last year of all my wedding showers!  I will have to post some pictures soon, but here is one of the cake she made with fondant lavender polka dots.

All Southern girls must have a monogrammed piece or two and baby E is no exception!  Rachel and Ashley at The Personalized Peacock monogrammed this adorable onesie.  And look how precious those bloomers are!  I hung these with mini clothespins on a piece of jute rope from our mantel for the mommy-to-be to take home with her.

While trying to decide what centerpiece to use in the kitchen, I remembered my Mom makes these fantastic diaper cakes.  So I had to have her make one, in lavender of course.  This was her gift to Beth, and what a great gift since every mommy needs some diapers on hand, right?

I think party favors add a nice touch to a party.  I found a baby buggy cookie cutter at Hobby Lobby and had my friend, Lee, bake and decorate the cookies.  They turned out perfect!  Look how adorable they are.

I wrapped them in a cellophane bag and tied a tag on each one with a prayer for baby E.

And the best part of using friends, is that everything was delivered to my house so I didn't have to do lots of running around the day before the party.  And that made this hostess very happy.

Friday, September 10, 2010

10 Days of September...

During the first 10 days of September, I...

sold my first item on eBay
almost splurged on more of these
found a favorite from here
fell in love with these doorstops
signed up to work in the nursery
am curious about the new location of Antiques Within & Abbey's Too 
discovered YoLo has non-dairy treats
enjoyed some much needed girl time 
found this whimsical artwork
laugh every time I look at this

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