Monday, May 28, 2012

Southern Living Home

Hi Friends!  I'm sorry it's been so long since I have blogged.  I've been working a contract position in downtown Atlanta (which is terrific!) and I have decided to commute.  I get on the bus at 6:25 am and get to Atlanta at 7:40 am.  After working all day, to get home, I leave at 4:10 and do not get home until 6:15 pm.  Talk about a LONG day.  Now, I'm NOT complaining mind you, just stating the facts.  (I'm thankful to have a job!)  With school still in session, I haven't found the time to blog.  Until today...

I was out celebrating Memorial Day in my hometown of Senoia (Zombies are filmed here!).  We had a wonderful parade which I will blog about later this week.  Hubby and I walked from our home because we are a mile off of the square and the roads were closed off.  On our way home, we walked past the Southern Living Home that has been created here in Senoia.  Southern Living Magazine creates a home each year that has all the bells, whistles and the charm of a Southern Living home.  When I moved into my home in 2010, Senoia had their first Southern Living Home on the square.  It's a 4 story town home and it was so grand!  (I'll take pictures and show you it at a later date.)  Southern Living tours the home for 6 months and then sells it.  For the first time in the history of creating charming, southern homes, Southern Living has come to Senoia back-to-back and has created another free-standing home.  They moved an historic house from one corner of the square to another and have been working on this home for about 12 months now.  And it's just about to open to the public...  Take a look at how beautiful this home is on the outside!

I love these side lights...

Gorgeous center light...

I LOVE the vintage outdoor furniture!

How come my outdoor flower pot doesn't look this good?

  Can't you see yourself sitting here sipping coffee with a friend?

Come out to Senoia and visit our little town!  You will love the charm and you might even see a zombie or two filming for The Walking Dead...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

MyFitnessPal iPhone App

Okay, as you've read on my earlier post HERE, my word for the year is "Discipline".  I've been trying to teach myself to focus on the task at hand and get into a routine so I stay disciplined.  One of the things that is helping me to accomplish some of my goals is the MyFitnessPal iPhone app.  (If you do not have an iPhone or iPod, you can use as well.)  I believe it is a FREE app!
MyFitnessPal allows you to track your calorie intake, your exercise output, your water tracking, and your progress. It even let's you add friends so that you can encourage each other!  

When you first install MyFitnessPal, the application will walk you through setting up the program for you.  It will ask you how much you weigh, how much you WANT to weigh, your height, etc.  Once that information is entered, the program will calculate, based on your inputs, how many calories you should eat in a day.  

Each day, when you open MyFitnessPal, you are on the home screen.  Here, you can see what your friends have accomplished for today or the previous day.  You can add comments to help encourage their efforts.  

You add to your food diary by choosing "Add to Diary" and MyFitnessPal does the work for you in calculating what you have left for the day.   The food database is very comprehensive and it's easy to add servings and change serving sizes. 

It's a great app that is helping me to focus on what I'm eating.  It is amazing how many calories we eat without realizing it.   It's been a real eyeopener for me.  

So, if you are so inclined, give it a try.  I think you too will be amazed at how many calories are in the foods we eat.  

(This is NOT a paid endorsement.  Just my opinion.)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wedding Journey – Jessica’s Venue #3

Okay, so our first venue was the Biltmore Ballrooms which you can read about in THIS post.    The ballrooms were very grand, and everything was "ala carte"...  Meaning, everything in there needed to be rented.  And it was also very expensive just to rent the room.  So, we had to put the ballrooms on the "we need to check elsewhere" list.  
The second venue was the Piedmont Room which you can read about in THIS post.  Jessica was really interested in this room because she loved the idea of the midtown skyline as her backdrop.  The room has a really warm glow at dusk and it can be really beautiful.  However, Jessica felt it wasn't quite "grand" enough for her "elegant" wedding.  So, the hunt continued.
The third venue that we took a look at is the Dekalb History Center located in Decatur, Georgia.  It is located just minutes from downtown Atlanta, but has a charming historic square.  It was built in 1895 but suffered through a fire (I believe) in 1906.  The outside was damaged and had to be rebuilt, however, the inside remained intact.  It’s a beautiful site that is clad in marble throughout the interior with large, arched windows in the main “ballroom”.

This stairway takes guests up to the 2nd floor “ballroom”. 
Marble stairs

This is the doorway into the “ballroom” where the ceremony and reception will take place.  The kitchen is off to the left making serving very easy. To the right is another room that we will have access to for anything we may need it for, such as a place to have Happy Hour during photos, or maybe to set up a photo booth!
  Entry doorway 2

Aren’t these stairs gorgeous?  We saw pictures of previous weddings and it really is a beautiful place to take pictures of the bride and groom.
Marble stairs 2

This is the room where the ceremony and reception will take place in…  It’s stunning…
Entry doorway 3
Grand Ballroom 2
Grand Ballroom 3
Grand Ballroom

This is the gazebo outside of the venue.  It will be a perfect backdrop for outside photos!
 The gazebo outside
Jessica has decided that this is it.  So, both weddings have found their venues!  Off to find the dress! 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Girl's Night! (or afternoon...)

My friend Karen and I got together this afternoon for Girl's Night.  On the agenda, watching the movie "The Vow" with Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum.  First, let me state the obvious... Channing Tatum is dreamy...  Okay, more than dreamy...  It shows his naked butt in the movie.  It is actually worth the money of the ticket for the movie!  All the ladies in the theater actually let out a gasp (or was that a giggle?).  Seriously?  He was quite yummy.  But back to the movie...

I do not want to give too much away, other than the fact that Channing was yummy.  It's a touching love story about a woman who loses her memory and forgets her husband.  He works hard to help her to remember their life together.  

There was a potential of a touching love story in this film.  In fact, when the movie began, the couple put a smile on my face.  However, while the actors worked hard to have us rooting for the couple, the story line kept the characters apart for far too long.  Therefore, in my opinion, it fell a little flat in the middle of the movie.  

The best part of Girl's Night is hanging with "the girls".  Thanks Karen for meeting me!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pinterest Project #1

Today, my youngest child turns 20!  I cannot believe it.  She's grown into a hard-working, responsible and beautiful young lady.  She's got some edges that she needs to smooth out, but maturity will fix all of that.   I look forward to her growing into the woman God has planned for her.  

What does this birthday mean to me?  I no longer have any teenagers!   It is so strange to move into this chapter in life.  The family that I worked so hard to "cultivate" has now split up to "cultivate" their own families.   And I LOVED the "cultivating" part... I loved raising kids.  Yet, all of a sudden, I'm finished.  Don't get me wrong...  A mom and dad ALWAYS worry about their children.   But the day to day... planning meals, doing homework... I thought I would never get through it, yet here I am...  Cooking grilled cheeses for me and my hubby.  I know this chapter will be different, but I look forward to seeing what it will bring.  In the meantime, Happy Birthday Gator!  We are so proud of you!

Down to business...

If you read my blog, you know that I blogged about Pinterest in this post.   It is a virtual corkboard that allows us to basically save our "Favorites" in a visual presentation.  This makes it easy for us to go back and find things on the internet because we've "pinned" them. Pinterest has opened up so many ideas for me.  Just by exploring the site, I'm able to find a new recipe...  or a different way to decorate my front door.   We are even using Pinterest to get ideas for the two weddings.  It truly is a treasure-trove of ideas.   Search for me on Pinterest with my user ID:  Tracy Boyle.  I'd love for us to follow each other!

In that spirit, I thought it would be fun to do a Pinterest Post throughout the year with things that I have tried on Pinterest.  I could give you my thoughts on what worked and what did not work, at least for me.  So here we go...

I originally saw this ornament, or decoration if you will, at one of my clubs that I attend.  Sure enough, after searching around Pinterest, I found it there as well.  I thought it was so unique and beautiful that I had to make one.  The instructions were on Michael's website.  So I set off to make myself one.  It was not as easy as I thought.  I do believe that with practice, I will get better.   While the folding became easier with time, getting the points right and putting it all together became a challenge.  Here is my first attempt:

I kept the two sides apart to show you what it looks like.  Did you notice the "smushed" edges?  That's because I was desperately trying to meld the flower into itself because the points were too sharp to fit side by side.  Also, I used a TON of hot glue (it will not be seen on the right side) because these little buggers are tricky to hold together.

It doesn't quite sit nestled into itself.  So, I believe that is part of my "folding work" that needs to be improved.  

So, for this Pinterest project, my advice is:  Practice, practice, practice.  I would work with a larger sized square for folding.  Although it uses more paper, it would be easier to master the folds.  Use different colored cardstock (but not the good stuff!) to practice.  The different colors will help you to see how the ornament is going to look when you use your fancy paper. When we all get the hang of this project, with the right papers, it makes a GORGEOUS ornament that you would be proud to give to anyone.

Make it a great day!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Wedding Journey - Jessica's Venue 2

Okay, off to our second venue... without the bride... 


Jessica has a new job.  In fact, this is her second week of her new job.  Plus, she's newly engaged... (Talk about stress!)  She has no time off, but needs to find a venue.  


"Super Mom" to the rescue!  

My responsibility is the financial aspect of the venue.  For that, I really do not need Jessica.  So, my new sister-in-law and I went to see a venue without the bride.  Our thoughts were that if we liked the place, Jessica and Scott could go look at it on a weekend even though the business office would be closed.  So, we headed off to Atlanta to look at The Piedmont Room.   It is located at the Park Tavern restaurant right off of Piedmont Park.  In fact, the 12 foot windows offer a spectacular view of Piedmont Park and the midtown skyline as the backdrop.  It was something else.  

The room is very large.  The white tents outside would not be there during the wedding.  They house an ice skating rink during the winter.  Also, the park is in it's "winter sleep", so hopefully during the wedding, everything would be blooming.  The "alter" would be here near these windows.

The room would be our canvas to decorate.   I LOVE that.   All of these things would NOT be in the room.  There's a dance floor with plenty of room for dining.  

The bar is in the back of the room.  Over to the right, is where cocktails would take place after the ceremony while pictures were being taken.  

 This is the cocktail area.  It's actually the front of the venue.  
 It's got a rustic feel.  

 This is the front of the venue looking outside from the inside.  It's got beautiful iron gates and a stone entrance.  I wish I had taken a picture of the entrance from the outside.   You can see it on the webpage.

The bride's waiting room... 

 Looking out at the park and beyond...

 It even has a space for an intimate rehearsal dinner...  


The hunt is still on... Venue 3 has been scheduled for a visit....