Tuesday, April 30, 2013


UPDATE: (2:31 E.D.T)  I bought those red chairs below with 15 minutes to spare!  I hope you are looking at Wayfair's Daily Deals!  I cannot wait to show you my chairs on the deck when I get them.   And I got free shipping too!! 

Recently, in my travels throughout "Blogland" (if you have never been there, you should visit!),  I've stumbled upon a a website called Wayfair.com.  Have you heard of it yet? 

Sidebar:  I should start this post out by saying I am in no way affiliated with Wayfair.com.  This is my own personal opinion. 

And my opinion says "WOWZA!"  They have some really nice stuff and their deals of the day are phenomenal.  Each day I get an email in my inbox with many deals of the day and their low prices.  Let me give you a few:

Take a look at this Griffin 3 Piece Seating in Red.  It's $127.00!!!

And what about this outdoor rug?

It's only $80.00!

Check them out and be sure to sign up for the Daily Deals.  I do not believe you will be sorry!



"Imagination is everything.  It is the preview of life's coming attractions."  Albert Einstein

Monday, April 29, 2013

DIY - Mom's Bathroom Remodel - Update

If you have been reading my blog this year, you know that my hubby was remodeling my mom's master bathroom. You can read the beginning HERE

Well, it is 95% finished.  (I know you have been holding your breath in anticipation!)  

(Hello?  Anyone out there?  ;-.))

Because hubby did most of this while I was working, I do not have many photos of the "during".

Here is the bathroom now:

Mom chose a unique tile that looks like old barn wood. 

She kept the shower floor lighter and we really liked this small square pattern.  This tile was purchased in sheets at Lumber Liquidators. 

The sides are capped with a decorative tile that adds a little femininity to the shower.  She also got this tile at Lumber Liquidators.

This might be my favorite part of the bathroom.  My parents bought this antique dresser and it was painted with white paint that was peeling off.  My step-dad refinished it to this beautiful masterpiece.  They used it as their sink base.   Sorry for the fuzzy picture!

My mom's sink base which was purchased at Home Depot online...

And their floor....  It was purchased at Lowe's.

Their whole bathroom is enveloped with warmth.  Not only because of the wood tones, but there is a heated floor underneath!  Mom said this is her kitty's favorite new spot!

Hubby does have a few more things to take care of like finishing off the linen closet the old/small shower was and putting in the baseboards.  I think he did a great job.

What do you think?

"The worst  enemy to creativity is self-doubt."  Sylvia Plath



I'm participating in Metamorphosis Monday over at Susan's porch.  Join us there for lots of Before and Afters. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Fashion Friday - Apples

Okay, before I get started today with my weekly fashion faux pas (and if you have read my other fashion posts, you know one is coming...), I want to say that my "Fashion Friday" title may be the result of my addiction to blogs.  As I was reading through some of my favorite blogs, I realized that there are a lot of us that use the "Fashion Friday" title to talk about, well... Fashion.  

And in my defense, I was not copying....  At least, I did not realize I was... It just rolled around in my head until I thought "Fashion Friday!  That's sounds like a great title and it forces me to show off my lack of style every Friday!"  I have to say that it just sounds right.... It rolls off the tongue...  It's "cutesy"...  

Roll with it friends!

On to fashion:  Unless you live under a rock, you most likely have seen men walk around with their pants hanging off their bum....  (On behalf of all of us moms, this just looks ridiculous.  Seriously...)

Justin Bieber... You know his momma is probably cringing... "I taught that boy better!"  Okay, maybe that is what I would have said if he was my son...    Really?

So you can imagine what I said when I noticed this:

Yep, that's my pants with my crotch almost to my knees... Okay, almost halfway to my knees...  (This New Year's resolution to "not exaggerate as much" is getting on my nerves!)  Do you think I could start a new trend with this look?  Middle-aged women with low hanging crotches?  

That last phrase sounded better in my head.

  And yes, my zipper does not lay down flat....  Why am I still wearing these?

On Fridays, it is "bluejeans" day at work.  We pay $5.00 for the privilege to wear the jeans and that money goes to a local charity.  I like my little bluejeans Capri pants.  Because I get hot easily, I cannot wear bluejeans all summer long.  So these Capri pants fit the bill.  But I think pants that fit are a better choice.  

My body type is an "apple".  Which basically means that I carry my extra weight in my upper torso with most of my weight focused in my mid-section.  (Lucky me!)  My legs are thinner than the rest of my body and it can make buying pants a problem.  If I get them to fit around my tummy, they generally hang around my legs, hence the sagging crotch.  

With my new commitment to learn how to style myself, I wondered how an "apple" should dress.  

So I "googled"....  Googling is my favorite.

Here are some fashion tips for all of us "apples" out there:

  1. Wear boot cut or wide leg.  What I've been reading is apples cannot wear skinny jeans under any circumstance.  I protest this.  And I will capture pictures in a later post to get your thoughts.  I protest this because I LOVE skinny jeans/pants with the right pair of shoes.  Like a pair of boots... or some wedges.  Sometimes, I want to wear a skinny pant.
  2. Wear stretchable fabric.  (Duh.)  Stretchable fabric has been my friend since puberty.  In fact, I believe stretchable fabric has never left me like some of my other friends have.  Always loyal, always true. 
  3. Purchase a "long leg line".  Because 5' 3 1/2" can totally find a "long leg line."
  1. Purchase button down shirts and tailored jackets.
  2. Purchase tops long enough to hit the hip area (hit below waist line) to hide the problem area - ya' think?
  3. Purchase ‘V’ neck tops which give a natural slimming effect.

I will blog pear, hourglass, and tube body shapes in future posts. 

What are you creating this weekend?



"Every artist joins a conversation that's been going on for generations, even millennia, before he or she joins the scene."  John Barth


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Recipes Rebooted - Swiss Chicken

Today's DELICIOUS recipe comes from my step-mom.  She made this dish for us many years ago and from that moment on, it was a family favorite with my kids.  And it is another EASY recipe.  So here is how you make it:

 You need these ingredients:
4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
8 (oz) of stuffing mix
Swiss cheese slices
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 soup can of milk

Season the chicken with a little salt and pepper and place in your casserole dish.

Top each piece with Swiss cheese slices. 

 Mix together your Cream of Chicken soup and 1/2 can of milk until creamy.  Pour over the chicken and cheese. 

 Mix together 8 oz of your choice of stuffing mix and 1 stick of melted butter until moistened. 

Pour over the top of your mixture and smooth out.

And that's it!  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes or until done.  

The chicken is moist and delicious and the cheese and soup bubble up over the stuffing and it is TRULY the best part of the meal!




Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Friendship Series - The Pursuit of Friendship

To every thing there is a season,and a time to every purpose under the heaven… Ecclesiastes 3:1
I’m sure you have seen the email that has made its round on the internet a gazillion times since the beginning of the Internet (when Al Gore invented it).  The one that says something like:

“Some friends are only for a season… Others are for a lifetime.  Forward this email in the next 60 seconds to 10,000 friends otherwise a hairy mole will appear on your face in the morning…”   

Okay, maybe I embellished the last part.  But, you know the one.   

As a woman who has had my share of “come and go” friends, it prompted me to question:  Are friends for a lifetime, or are they just for a season, whatever that season may be? A season may be just a summer, or a season may include all of our lives.   Is friendship fleeting?  Can we women not have life-long friends?  Or are we supposed to come in and out of each others lives as we need each other?

My mom is always saying “Women don’t like me…”  And I, like her, have had my share of revolving friendships.  I will have a friend today and then tomorrow, that person does not want to talk with me any longer.   Or maybe I do not want to talk with them. 

It got me to thinking: We as a society have great examples of great women relationships.   Just look at Laverne and Shirley

Need I say any more? 

Come on!  They are a perfect example!  Two opposite women in a long term friendship who forgive each other their faults and make each other better. 

Sidenote:  Do you remember the episode where Laverne and Shirley join medical studies in order to make a little extra money?  Laverne's is the "sleep deprivation" study and Shirley's is the "food deprivation" study?  OMGoodness!!  It still makes me giggle.

Just watch:

Shirley always believes she has the moral high ground over Laverne, but in the end, Laverne teaches Shirley acceptance and love.

And what about the women on Sex in the City?   Here you have four, very different women.  Yet, through all their flaws, they forgive each other.  Though they are different, they come together and connect.  There appears to be no jealousies.  No envy.  They are very honest with each other, which can be brutal, yet, they are four women who want what is best for each other.  That is always evident in each episode.

I know these are TV shows, but can we women have this type of connection in "real life"?  I have friends that no matter what happens in our lives, we pick right back up where we left off.  We can go years with no contact and when we see each other, it is as if we spoke yesterday... So why do we have to wait so long in between to see each other?  Are our lives so busy that we cannot set aside time for those that we love?  Can our husband and children really not survive without mommy around for a few hours? 

And why are some friends just for a season?  Do we really change that much during the relationship? 

Well, I'm going to be writing about some of the women that have touched me during my life.  I want to explore our friendship and the joy that it brought to my life.  I hope we can enjoy this series together.  What are your great examples of friendship?  Why do you believe that some friendships do not last the test of time?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I tell my daughters all the time that "To have friends, you must be a friend." Just like any relationship, friendship must be cultivated, nurtured and valued.   I hope my girlfriends know that they are important to me.

"You can't use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have."  Maya Angelou

Keep creating friends!




Monday, April 22, 2013

That's rude!

You will not believe this one... Or maybe I am naive?

I have worked as a contractor at this current law firm for over a year now.  It is customary in a law firm that the firm celebrates Administrative Assistant Day for an entire week and celebrates all non-attorney personnel.  

Last year, even though I had been at the firm for only 1 month, I was included in the celebrations.

This year, I was told "I don't want to hurt your feelings, but we were told that we could only honor actual employees and we needed to keep the line between employees and non-employees."

Everyone got this little "banner" on their nameplate this morning.  I sit out in the open and I do not have one on my nameplate.  I think this is just rude.  Anyone else?

Oh the joys of humanity at times....

I'm going to keep creating folks!  It is my true joy anyway!  



Mancave Mania

When we moved into our current home there were two things that drew us into purchasing our house.  The first was the basement.  We have always wanted one and, other than it flooding 4 times so far, we have thoroughly enjoyed it.  

The other thing that really sold my husband on the house was the detached garage in the backyard.  It is 40 feet by 25 feet and the joy on his face when he saw it was measurable!  I did not have a leg to stand on once he saw that garage.  

His first course of action for the garage?  Move the '75 Corvette that he's going to remodel one day into the garage (the key words in this sentence in case you did not pick them up are "one day...").  The second course of action... build a mancave for the "Byrd Street Hooligans"!

Let me explain the Byrd Street Hooligans for a moment.  My husband has an alias.  He was 6 when his great-grandpa called him "Tom Byrd".  My hubby thought that was "cool" and began referring to himself as "Tom Byrd".    When he started school at the tender age of 6, he signed his papers as Tom Byrd.  His teacher thought that she had a new student and added him to the roster.  After a few days, she called my mother-in-law to find out why "David Boyle" was not attending class and whether he was still enrolled.  It was then discovered that "Tom Byrd" and "David Boyle" were one and the same!!  Isn't that a cute story?   

To this day, he still calls himself that...  Seriously...  Not formally of course, but anything that he does, it is done by "Tom Byrd".  Hence, the name of his "gang" is "Byrd Street Hooligans."  

Did you notice that I used the word "gang".  Yep, you read that right.  Hubby thinks that he's in a "gang".  Him and "his boys."  They were all into the television show "Sons of Anarchy" at the time that they "formed" their "gang".   They even  had to have positions within the "gang" such as "President", "Vice-President", and "Sgt. at Arms"...  This is a 50 year old man... 

 They even drew a logo.  Those are wrenches in the skill since hubby is a jack of all trades...

Take a deeper look at the "mancave"...  All design ideas were made by hubby.  I think he did a pretty good job!

He loves his neon... This is the "bar" side of the room.  That's why it is painted green.

 Tony Gonzales... Former Kansas City Chiefs, now an Atlanta Falcons... Hubby forgave him for that... I think...

This artwork was purchased at the Yellow Daisy Festival at Stone Mountain Park many years ago for our son's bedroom.  We have inherited it.  It has military planes on it and hubby used to work on some of them.

Schematic of a cockpit?  Boys are dumb...  

 The obligatory flat screen tv...

The rug was purchased by my MIL for her home.  Once hubby saw it, he badgered her until she gave it to him.  I think it's perfect right where it is!

The sword to the right of the Coors sign was given to us by our son who was stationed in England at the time.  He got our "coat of arms" while over there.  Pretty darn cool present.  

Hubby created the bar himself.  In fact, he did the entire room by himself.  Remember, it used to be a garage.  The wash bin is his "sink".

This Budweiser light was in pieces and hubby gently put it back together.  He got this from my stepdad and has always loved it.

And this is the "sports" side of the room.  That's why it is painted in KC Chiefs colors.

 Finger football board.  Lots of fun has been had at that board!

What do you think of our "cave"?  Keep making your space beautiful everyone!  

"Creativity takes courage..."  Henri Matisse

I'm joining Metamorphosis Monday over at Between Naps on the Porch.  

Come over and visit and leave us blogging "love" by commenting on posts that you really enjoy reading!



Friday, April 19, 2013

Fashion Friday - Scarf Love

First of all, Happy Anniversary to my mom and stepdad!  Today, they have been married 38 years!  Good for you both!


Okay, I believe I am getting better at this fashion stuff...  (I am not sure what you believe.... This is where you say "Hey, I'll leave you a comment then!" Hint...Hint...)

I discarded those HIDEOUS Capri pants, along with a few others, so I am making progress.  

One a side note:  Make sure you have one person that will be completely honest with you about things like your wardrobe.  For me, that's my sister-in-law (SIL) Krystal.  And I LIKE that about her...   Not only will she be completely honest, but she will totally laugh about your gross lack of style!  In fact, I think the exact phrase during her fit of laughter was "Oh my gosh!  You wore that?"  It only added to my shame!!!  Once the laughter has subsided, she will say "Let's go shopping..."  So at least she mocks and then offers assistance....

This week, I added a scarf to one of my outfits.  I was supremely proud of myself!  Now listen...  scarves and I kinda have a love/hate relationship.  I love the fashion sense they give me, but once my "personal summers" kick in, the scarf gets flung across the room....  People walking by me must be willing to duck at a moment's notice!

This week's outfit includes my standard black work pants and a red pullover top.  I added my scarf that has matching colors.  While I am trying to get more "hip", I still have issues with mixing contrasting colors.  Baby steps people....

I think for the summer, that I need to purchase a few "lighter" scarves.  I am sure you are thinking, "It is a SCARF!   How light does it need to be?"  But there are differences in thickness.  Because I have hot flashes, I need something thinner in material.  

Like this one:


Or this one!

It's 100% silk and only $7.99!  You cannot beat that.

So, how did I do this week?  

I know this... I did not feel that I needed to hide under my desk this week.  THAT is a good thing!


While I try to keep my blog lighthearted, I wanted to take a moment to discuss this wonderful video below.  (Get tissues handy...)

I have been the hardest on myself my whole life.  I am the first one to criticize myself because I know that if I do it first, then you (the populace) cannot hurt me with your words.  It is my way of protecting myself.  In fact, I would love to point out my "flaws" in the above picture, but I am refusing to allow my negative thoughts to intrude.  

Unfortunately, my insecurities trickled over onto my daughters and now they battle with self esteem.   Us women have been taught our whole lives that blond, blue eyes, tall, and thin (too thin!) is beautiful.  We see if from the time that we are small girls.  Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, Jasmine are all tiny, big breasted, big eyes and lips, sexual cartoons and we all know from an early age that society believes those women to be beautiful.  When our adjectives to describe ourselves are different, we believe that we must not be beautiful.  

Watch the video below and notice how these women describe themselves, and then how someone they just met describes them.  You will see our warped sense of self.  And after you watch this video, be a little kinder to yourself.  I know I am going to be.

Show your beauty in your creativity.  Whether it is a funky manicure, dynamic eye shadow, a homemade card, or a beautiful home, you can create in your every day life.  YOU and your creativity are what make the world beautiful!

"Creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."  Albert Einstein



Thursday, April 18, 2013

Recipes Rebooted - Italian Shrimp

I tried a new recipe last night and I had dinner cooked in 20 minutes!  Prep time did not take that long either and it was pretty tasty.  I wanted to share it with you today if you need a quick dinner from start to finish.

I got the recipe from HERE.  

Take a stick of butter and melt it on a cookie sheet.  (That's a well "loved" cookie sheet!) 

Take a lemon.  In fact, take three.  Or how ever many you need.

Slice the lemons.

And place them all over that well-loved cookie sheet.

 Take a bag of frozen shrimp, your choice in size.
And layer it on the sheet.

Take a packet of Good Season Italian dry seasoning mix.

And sprinkle it all over the mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

And then enjoy!

"The chief enemy of creativity is good sense."  Pablo Picasso