Sunday, July 31, 2011

My 2nd Blog Anniversary & a {GIVEAWAY}!

This month marked my two year blog anniversary!!  And to celebrate I'm sharing 2 of my latest obsessions: YoLo Frozen Yogurt and Emi-Jay Hair Ties

  
Well, technically I go for sorbet instead of frozen yogurt but you can get a cup full of whatever you want with this $5 YoLo gift card.  And if you haven't tried Emi-Jay Hair Ties, you'll be hooked after wearing this one called Tropical Turquoise from their summer collection. 

To enter the giveaway simply leave a comment sharing one of your summer favorites.  It could be a fun activity, summer trip, or even a new purchase?

One reader will be selected at random and winner will be announced on Friday, August 5th at 10:00 p.m. CST.  Time's up!  Winner is Rachel

Thanks for reading these past 2 years!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cake Pop Favors


I learned a few things last week when I made these cake pop favors for a baby shower. 

Like...

1. Safflower oil is not a good substitute for canola oil when baking a cake.  It repels candy melts.

2. Kids love oily chocolate cake balls as a mid-afternoon snack after swimming in the pool.  Especially with a little frosting on top.

3. Keep extra candy melts and paramount crystals on hand when making cake pops.  Like DOUBLE the amount you think you need.  **Big thanks to Hubs for driving to Mary Carter in the middle of his packing for a long trip to retrieve the aforementioned supplies.**

4. You must melt the candy melts in a medium sized bowl vs. a small bowl that heats up too quickly and overcooks the candy melts.  Because then you have lumpy candy and you're back to #3.

5. Humid, hot July is NOT the season for cake pops.  Check back in the fall.  

Oh for the *former* love of baking!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mudroom Makeover


One of the most frequented rooms in our house is the mudroom.  At any given time this room can be overtaken by laundry on drying racks, bags set aside for Goodwill, and pool/gym gear.  So when we saw this unique piece on closeout at La Maison Antiques our wheels started spinning.  I loved the open shelves for storage but wasn't sure if it would be a perfect fit.  Since it doubles as a server, I knew it was a great piece that could work in several rooms if we wanted to relocate it down the road.  And one thing I've learned about buying for your home... if you love it, get it. 

My instinct was right.  It looks GREAT in the mudroom and I managed to fit everything in this room that was there before except now it's in neat little rows.  Take a look...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday's Menu

Every year when it's rhubarb season we make at least one recipe with strawberries and rhubarb.  Last year we found a delicious crumble with hazelnut topping.  This year we made this Rhubarb-Strawberry Coffee Cake for breakfast.  Here's to soaking up those summer mornings.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer Favorites

too too hot by Essie


 Nothing says summer quite like Gigi's Cherry Limeade Cupcake
(Rachel, I should have tried a bite of yours!)


My favorite poolside accessory is this Summer straw hat from J. Crew 


Gigi Sandal by Sam Edelman

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Faithful Servant


Bryant has always been close to his grandmother.  He has many stories and childhood memories of spending the day and night over at his grandparents' house.  One of my favorites is when he was younger and was spending the night at their house.  He was all tucked in the twin bed in the guest room and his grandma was about to leave when he told her how cold he was.  His grandparents were in the habit of turning the heat off at night even in the winter to save money on utilities and because they told him they enjoyed the crisp air.  Without missing a beat she put an extra blanket on the bed and told him, "You'll be fine.  You're hot-natured."

After she made that statement, Bryant went right to sleep.  He took what she said to heart and went to bed warm.  I love that story.  It's funny how one little story can describe someone so well.  She was always good with her money and her word.  What Grandma says, is just the way it is.

A month ago Bryant spent the day at his grandmother's house helping her plant a garden full of squash, tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, peppers, basil and cilantro.  That would be one of the last memories he would share with her.  A couple of weeks after their visit she went in for stomach trouble and after taking several tests the doctors said she had spots on her liver that were probably cancerous.

Everything happened very quickly after that initial doctor's visit.  She went in for several different tests - none of which were conclusive.  Last Wednesday the 29th, she was admitted to the hospital for dehydration and was scheduled to go home in a couple days.  Friday morning things took a turn for the worst and all the results from the previous tests all pointed to the same conclusion.  Bryant's grandmother was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer and had an aggressive tumor that was changing rapidly.

It was that morning we received the phone call that the doctors didn't expect her to make it through the weekend.  Most of this last week has blurred together except the details of that morning.  I had just finished working out and was running a few errands around the Poplar area.  It was a few minutes after noon and I stopped in Panera Bread to grab lunch before heading to the hospital.  As I was walking to my car, I heard the chimes from Christ United Methodist Church playing, "Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us."  I sat in my car with the windows rolled down and just listened until the last note.  And then I prayed.  For that day and the days to come.

I saw Grandma at the hospital that afternoon and prayed with her.  She kept asking for prayer.  I prayed what Pastor Steve had just preached on the Sunday or two before.  I prayed that the Lord would send angels to minister to her while she was in the hospital.  Her pastor from Ellendale Baptist came and prayed over her as well.  As he came in the room he addressed her as, "the Lord's faithful servant."  I don't know what my life will look like at 81 years old, but one thing I do know is how I want to be known.  What better title is there in all the world other than the Lord's faithful servant?

Over the weekend we saw the Lord answer many prayers.  One of which was that Bryant made it home late Saturday evening and was able to see his grandmother.  Another blessing was that she woke up on Sunday and Bryant was able to speak with her.  She surprised the doctors and made it through the weekend, through the Holiday and even the next day.  But nothing catches Him by surprise.  All our days are numbered and He knows them every one. 

Yesterday Grandma took her last breaths on this earth with her family by her side and with the angels carrying her to His side.  She is deeply loved and will be greatly missed.  But this we know, our loss is her gain.

Early let us seek Thy favor;
Early let us do Thy will;
Blessed Lord and only Savior,
With Thy love our beings fill;
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
Thou hast loved us, love us still;
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
Thou hast loved us, love us still.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sheffield Summer Sale

One of my favorite places to shop for the home is Sheffield Antiques Mall.  I will drop in from time to time and more times than not walk away with a unique find.  On occasion it's a large piece, more often it's a small find and then there's the in-between piece that doesn't make or break a room but adds just the right touch.  It can be a piece of art, a unique accessory or in this case a wooden stool.

I've often wondered if a stool would work in our kitchen next to our back door and windows.  We have a lovely orchid that unfortunately can't get enough sunlight when placed on the kitchen table.  So the orchid permanently resides on our kitchen floor next to the window where it gets the perfect amount of sunshine.  Well thanks to the annual summer sale at Sheffield we picked up this wooden stool and I think it works well in our space. 


No more orchid on the floor and we gained an extra seat when needed =)

The Sheffield Summer Sale is 10 to 40% off most vendors and lasts until July 10, 2011.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Hodgepodge

one: I finally read this book that a friend recommended...


I loved it!  Definitely ranks as one of my top three favorite classics.

two: I recently finished this book that another friend gave me for my birthday last year.


It was wonderful!  It was encouraging and challenging at the same time.  I highly recommend it!

three: The Fresh Market is becoming my go-to-place for more than just groceries.  Have I ever mentioned they have the best selection of roses and for only $7.99 a dozen?  They always do a great job arranging them for me too.  This week I picked these up for my neighbor who is recovering from surgery...


four: My latest obsession... bracelets!  I'm loving this Clover Double Wrap Leather Bracelet in black from Stella & Dot.


Or I'd take this Clover Single Wrap Leather Bracelet in purple to add to my collection.


five: I am really enjoying my Pure Barre classes!  I've been to 10 classes so far and I'm thinking I'll be sticking with PB for quite awhile.  And you gotta love their lingo such as, "working toward that pure barre ledge"...


six: I ran across this Durham Desk last week and was inspired. 


I'm thinking it would be a good fit for my home office and love the idea of switching out the desk chair for a settee as seen in their catalog. It's very unexpected but could work well in the right space.
 

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