::: A simple reflection of some of the things I loved this week;

:: ice cream
:: long walks with the dog
:: wonderful meals shared with wonderful friends
:: gazing at my beautiful grandchildren
:: raspberries on the vine
:: hamburgers on the grill
:: parsley
:: a freshly bathed dog

What were the highlights of your week?


Three day weekend coming up
Labor Day weekend...
Lilly wants to cook something together : )

I would love to take time to wander with my camera
eat fried cheese curds
send a love letter
finish a craft
go deep into my new book
blow bubbles for my dog to catch
write in my journal
watch a few movies from my list...

happy weekend friends
you are loved. 


I'm a girlie girl...

yes I am a real girlie girl. I'm not afraid to say it. I feel no shame, and I'm giving no apologies at all whatsoever because there has to be some sort of balance right? I love to dress up, I can rock a nice dress or skirt or whatever, add tons of sparkly things, some heels {or flats} and some delicious smelly stuff, and I'm ready to go. That's me, the girl who always smells good. I'm ok with that. I'm real ok with that. So yes to curves, and lovely silky skin, and endless softness but, know this... underneath that polished exterior is power and muscle and strength and a few battle scars thrown in as well. Because there's no getting through life with out those..... 


Last nights dinner... straight from the garden. Such deliciousness...


Summer has been a whirlwind of flurries every day. It's always something, someone, sometime. 
And, I have been busy with work and that's a real good thing too. 

The season of parties and celebrations is in full swing. With the weather being so perfect -  
everyone loves the fall, and everybody is getting in on planning something while it lasts. 

Next week alone after work, I am already committed to attending two different BBQ's, our now regular board game night, Crochet night, {I'm teaching a friend how to crochet} and on Friday I can't wait... another backyard movie night and potluck. I love those. I don't know what I love more - relaxing to a great movie {or} having so many goodies to nibble on all night long -along with some of the best drink concoctions we can come up with to try! The conversation is usually pretty awesome as well. Yup. It's a toss up alright.

My home and all my neighbors homes are filled to the brim with all the beautiful flowers from my garden and they don't seem to be slowing down any either! Fresh flowers make all the difference.
There has been much family time, crocheting, shopping, and aha! moments - vet appointments, hair appointments, mani's/pedi's with the girls, sandal wearing and Tom's buying. Shopping at the Farmers Market is up next, then more photo days and afternoons filled with love, and napping... napping in the afternoon. swoon! 

I must admit, cream of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, have been in rotation here. 
And iced caramel macchiatos have been shared at the bookstore, and books have been devoured.  
{Macchiato simply means “marked” or “stained” in Italian. In the case of caffè macchiato, 
this means literally “espresso marked with milk.” } and nobody does them better than Starbucks. 

And there have been changes. many changes. rapid changes. minor changes. radical changes. 
climate changes. significant changes, major changes. fundamental changes. lots of changes.

I wanted to open my heart to new possibilities. And I did. I wanted to round out the corners of my 
boxed in squared life. I did. I wanted to be surprised by life and what it had to offer. I am. Every day I am. 

I wanted to be inspired everyday and each day and I am, I have learned to enjoy all the little moments as they 
come and be amazed by them, it equips me with hope.

Life is good. there are ups and downs. Sometimes the soul is full, some days it's ramen noodles. 
But, it's always a good thing. Well, I must be going. I need to work on the photos I took 
so I can share them with you. 


I am flipping through the pages of my newest magazine! {love} Hawaiian bbq pulled pork is warming in the crock-pot. 
Jalapeno-cream cheese bacon wraps are in the oven roasting as we speak {drool}

so many possibilities are swirling within me. such good things going on, 
work is challenging but fulfilling, and I find I am filled with hope. 
I'm not giving up. I'm not looking back; there's nothing for me there.

Ah, the possibilities......


Sunday morning
old movies
day old biscuits with honey butter
fresh flowers from my garden
a bored dog
a clean desk
underlining the best parts of a book
journal writing
leftover chili for tonight
two piles of laundry to be done
dishes yet to be washed
a ready and organized crafting area
lots of ideas
and you
thank you for coming here
it's time to leave for church

Happy Sunday friends


I love these beautiful autumn Sedums around the house... and they are beginning to change!
see how they have matured!

 I can't believe the beautiful color they add to my garden in the fall. Gorgeous!

I simply can't believe that fall is just around the corner!


August 17, is National Thrift Store Day. 
And in honor of this I have put together a
tutorial on thrifting; it's work!

Why do I like it? I have several good reasons: first, you are basically hunting for one-of-a
kind treasures normally found in vintage stores but at a fraction of the price. Also, I love
that is is good for the planet. It makes more sense to pick things from the abundance of
items that already exist rather that just keep buying new. The main benefit though is the
price. Discounts anywhere from 50% to 90% can be had, but my favorite thing of course
that makes it so fun is finding the deals and coming away with the most awesome things
that you may never have even imagine existed. Another benefit is the book section, not
only can you find last year's best sellers for under $1, but you will find a wide 
variety of interesting older books as well 

1. First, get a good nights sleep...your going to need it! Dress smart -  you will be trying 
things on all day, so make sure you are wearing something easy to get on and take off. 
Pack a small bag to bring some supplies in. What supplies? Bottled water, an energy bar,
 trail mix, lotion, hand sanitizer, tissues, tide spot remover {to check if stain will come out}
 and, please do remember, this is an all day affair, you will need to keep your energy up.

3. You may want to listen to your music while shopping-it helps to really 
concentrate while you're rummaging through things. So make a good playlist for 
thrifting! This was the playlist I made up and used for the last time I went. 
Keeps me pumped!

4. Stick to a Budget. Pick a set amount and stick to it. 
And bring it in cash so you don't go over. 
Not only that, some places only deal in cash.

5. Keep a running list of things you REALLY want and need- or better yet an inspiration
 folder works great too. Thrifting can be overwhelming when you start out. There are racks
 and racks of clothing to sort through! I have found it helpful to keep a list in my purse of
 things I am in the market for. That way, if I'm short on time, I can go straight to the
dresses, blouses or scarves. Keeping an organized focus never hurts!

6. Buy only what you love...and that which flatters you...This tip can be a little tricky. 
On any given thrift trip, I will find maybe 10 things I like and 2 things that I absolutely 
love! I've learned that it's best to only leave with the things I love. When you thrift 
often it's easy to amass a collection of b-list vintage... focus on only purchasing pieces 
that you are super excited about! 

7.  Keep an open mind...the nature of thrifting is that you choose only the pieces you love
 from the  random assortment. Charity thrift shops run on donations, so you have to keep
in mind that you never know when an AMAZING things will be donated. Sorting through
 racks of clothing from the 2000s to find these vintage gems is part of the fun! Always
keep an open mind when thrifting. that it is fine to buy things that are out of season if
you love them. I try to rely on my instincts more than anything.

8. If in doubt....don't...Sometimes you'll find a piece that could maybe work, but you aren't
 sure. Always try things on. Examine the item carefully for stains, rips, holes and
 other defects. It doesn't rule the item out, necessarily, but you want to know what if 
anything you might need to repair. I find myself asking "Where would I wear this?"
 If you aren't sure about a piece, just skip it.

9. Shop often and keep a schedule... It's always best to go in the middle of the week 
because the shops are freshly stocked. On the weekends things tend to get picked 
through. I know when my favorite shops are open, when they run sales and when 
they put out new stock. If you keep a consistent schedule, you'll always find 
better treasure!

10. Don't forget the little things...I always check the racks for purses, belts, fabric 
(including vintage sheets and draperies) and jewelry. Don't forget to look for these 
little things. Most thrift shops have a glass case for jewelry at the checkout counter. 
If you're looking for something special, don't be afraid to ask.

11. Question EACH purchase. When you find a piece of clothing you love, ask yourself 
the following questions.... Does it fit and flatter my body? Where would I wear this? 
Is it my style? If you are happy with your answers to all of those questions then you 
should definitely purchase the piece!

12. That said, keep your eyes open for any surprising deals.  It’s hit-or-miss with
 thrift stores, so sometimes you really hit the jackpot of gear your family truly needs. 
If you weren’t necessarily shopping for swimsuits, but you see a darling one in your
 daughter’s size this summer, then snag it up.  You need to make sure what you find is
 actually something you need – otherwise, you’re just buying clutter, and you’re not
saving money.  Even so, think outside just your immediate family, and consider your
 extended family, your friends, or unexpected gift ideas.  You could find birthday gifts
for all your nieces and nephews, or you might find throw pillows in just the right
 shade your friend is looking for.

13. Learn to Recognize Quality! This goes for quality leather, quality dyes,
 quality fabrics, and quality cuts. A vintage/ second-hand sweater from Saks is 
going to have better quality dyes than the same style from Target from five years 
ago, compare and contrast, and eventually you'll be able to discern a quality piece 
without even picking it up off the rack. While I'm not necessarily opposed to 
purchasing Big Box brands new, I skip over them in thrift stores because the 
shelf life of the garment has usually already expired. But that's just me.

Do you love a specific brand? Learn to recognize the markings of that brand. 
I personally love vintage Coach and Dooney and Bourke bags, and I know now to 
look for a specific type of strap and style of clasp when scanning the purses section, 
which makes it easier to pick out any gems that may be hiding within the chaos.

Thrift shopping is a great way to add higher priced fabrics to your closet that you 
may not be able to justify purchasing new. Keep an eye out for silk, cashmere, 
linen, and good quality leather.

Now, get out there and enjoy yourself...it's a wonderful way to get away and
have some fun and perhaps come back with your own kind of treasure!

Good Luck Shopping!


:: Be Gentle ::

This week I am giving myself a little challenge... to remember that there is never a time when gentleness isn't needed. 
Yes, it's that simple, yet so complex. I will do my best... will you?

Remember, things are seldom as they appear to be
We always think the grass in greener on the other side, but most often that simply isn't the truth at all. 
I think the more we realize that so many people are going through such real struggles, the more 
compassionate we can be for one another.


I walked a path while I was away and found a bit of myself again. 
I laughed like I haven't laughed in a long time.
I didn't take a lot of photos, but the ones I did take are all quite special.
I packed SO efficiently! I'm getting really good at this packing thing.
I saw people, whole families that I haven't seen in over 10 years, and it was good.
The best part of the week was the time spent in the company of myself.
Talking and hiking does something good for your heart.
Soaking in a hot tub with a big fat margarita is also good.
Breathing in the fresh, clean air restores my soul.
Life can be a messy thing, and for a clean freak like me, 
that can be a hard thing to deal with.


This Moment....

reading, brand new journals waiting to be filled, learning something new every day, staying up late, sleeping in, time to myself, massages, bookstores, getting packages in the mail, my computer, email, writing, my new camera bag, my creative ideas, feeling inspired, my memories, hearing the perfect song at just the right moment, going somewhere I have never been yet finding it familiar when I get there, traveling, the smell of crafting supplies, reinventing myself...often, bubble baths, and looking forward to the future.