Monday, April 25, 2016

A Monday Link-up of Links

We are on the road again, so I have prepared a couple Monday posts in advance.  I will share the trip with you at a later date.  In the meantime....

Check out the following Links.  You may enjoy them as well.

1.  Need closet organization ideas?
South Shore Decorating Blog: 50 Favorites For Friday #119:
Click the link below

2.  This is a blog I really enjoy
and I especially like her blog header.
 It is a blog about fashion, lifestyle and beauty, and if you have a love for all things French, then you will also enjoy this blogger.  And this philosophy is one reason I enjoy it:

"Women as they age are wiser, even more beautiful and more self-confident. We can all lead lives that are infinitely enriched; all we need is a little inspiration and the know-how."

So check her out.  You are sure to find something that interests you.

3.  Need Inspiration?

Oh to have the energy and spirit of this delightful 105 year old Texas lady.

4.  And Now this!
Taken with my Canon Rebel T5i and zoom lens

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Treat for the Eyes

In lieu of Wednesday Hodgepodge today, I thought I would share with you some eye candy and neat ideas from some favorite bloggers.

What an entrance!
How about a Spring Outdoor Luncheon - Source
Pinhole Press photo book
A Great Idea for Mother's Day - Source

Chip's Breakfast - Source

Wow! A little spray paint can completely transform a home decor piece. Now it so fits into a French Farmhouse style!
A Thrift Store Makeover - Source

A we will close with another grand entrance.  This house is for sale in our city for almost $2 million.  Takers anyone?
Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Birds & Bees & Flowers

On a beautiful spring Saturday afternoon, I, my camera and zoom lens explored outside my house.
This is what we found -
God's Amazing Creation!
 "By faith, we see the world called into existence by God’s word, what we see created by what we don’t see."  Hebrews 11:3

Linking up with:
Amaze Me Monday #159 
Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Grilled Cheese Anyone?

I'm joining Joyce From This Side of the Pond and our weekly community of Wednesday Hodgepodgers.  Click on Joyce's link and see how some others answer these questions.  Thanks for visiting.

1. What's the last thing you did that could be described as 'taxing'?

I skipped this question to begin with and now after trying to answer #6, I can truthfully say that was one of the most taxing things I've done recently.

2. If you could plant a garden of anything, what would be in it?

Been there, done that!  No gardens at my ripe old age and lack of garden space.  But, I'll play the pretend game and say, tomatoes, lettuce, green beans, squash, and herbs.

3. April 10-16 is National Library Week...will you celebrate with a visit to your nearest library? When did you last make a trip to the library? What are you reading right now? What's one title on your want-to-read list?

I have not been to a library in years.  I mostly read Kindle books on my iPad.  If there is a particular book-book we want, we order it from Amazon.

I am currently reading "Clever Girl" by Lauren Kessler.
It is the true story of Elizabeth Bentley, New England-born, conservative, Vassar-educated, introvert who eventually began directing operations of the two largest Russian spy rings in America.  She defected in 1945 and told her story.  It is an interesting read.

On my to-read list is a book a friend gave me, "Praying Effectively for the Lost" by Lee E. Thomas.  She says this book has changed the way she prays about everything.  I look forward to spending time with it soon.

4. Share a saying or an old wives tale you heard while growing up, you believed to be true or that you paid attention to 'just in case'?

One of our favorite places to eat in the Carrollton/Plano area is "Mama's Daughter's Diner".  The walls are lined with "Mama said" quotes from the 50's and 60's.  I can relate to everyone of them.  For instance:  "Because I said so"  (I hated that one!); "Don't make me say it again"; "Your face is gonna freeze like that"; "Look at me when I'm talking to you"; "Were you born in a barn?"; "Enough is enough!". And one of my favorites not on the wall:  "If you swallow those watermelon seeds, you'll grow a baby in your tummy!"

5. Are you a fan of onions? Garlic? Ginger? What's a dish you love that contains one, two or all three items listed?

I like sauteed or roasted onions but not raw.  I like some garlic in almost everything.  I don't use a lot of ginger in my cooking.  In the south, we call the mixture of onions, garlic and celery the holy trinity because it is used in so many recipes.  I cannot possibly pick just one dish.  Okay, maybe gumbo.

6.  Where does nurturing end and indulging begin? What are some skills or qualities you think a person needs to possess in order to be viewed as mature?

Oh my goodness, Joyce, I was skating along pretty well until I got to this question.  You are challenging me on this one.  I will venture to say that nurturing ends and indulging begins when we knowingly enable someone to not be independent in both their thinking and actions.  I have seen parents who seem to need to be needed and therefore fail to transfer decision making to the child along the way.

In my opinion a person needs to possess the ability to take responsibility for their own decisions.  They are open to others opinions and weigh them carefully, but in the end stand firm on what they decide.  They put others first.  Show leadership qualities and skills in making people around them feel secure and respected.  Are able to provide for themselves.

7. What leading figure in any field would you like to hear speak, and why?

Our son recently heard Payton Manning speak and said he was one of the best motivational speakers he has ever heard.  I think I would enjoy hearing him as well.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

Did you know that Sunday was National Grill Cheese Sandwich Day?

Time, the once leading magazine recently did a survey and they claim that people who love grilled cheese sandwiches also have more sex. I know, go figure!  Now they tell us.

We need to remember that this once popular magazine is now occasionally found in dental offices under Golf Digest and The Saturday Evening Post, and the general mature population couldn't care less what they think or write about any more.  So why even mention it!

I actually can't think of a good answer to my own question, except to suggest that you might want to take advantage of this National Day for the rest of the week and see what happens.  I personally think a far more relevant topic would be whether those who enjoy their grilled cheese sandwiches cut diagonally are just better people.  (Of course they are!) 

Have a great week!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Black Pants, The Basis for a Uniform

Do you wear a uniform?

Since my life is much more relaxed since retiring, I find that I am drawn to much more relaxed and comfortable clothing.  That doesn't mean I want to look sloppy - but it does mean that I have paired down my closets and am relying on some of the basics I find comfortable and yet versatile.
Hence, the uniform idea. 

I thought it would be fun to start with my favorite pair of black stretch jeans by Liverpool and show you how one pair of basic pants can give you so many different looks.

Black + White Is Always Right

Black and white is always up to date and trendy.  It’s a must have in your wardrobe, like bread and milk go on your grocery list.
Black and white stripes make for a cool combo and they are very Chanel-like.

I will admit that black and white are not my best colors but I love wearing them.  So there!

I love this stripped top and wear it often.  I may add a strand of pearls or a more colorful necklace or even top it with a colorful sweater.
How about this sassy little variegated strip?  It is extremely light weight and the open arms make it perfect for hot summers.
Here I've combined a wider striped tank and coordinating cardigan, both from Target.  I chose one of my favorite statement necklaces to dress it up a bit.  It gives some interest closer to my face.  This would be a perfect outfit for lunch with the girls or dinner with your Hubby.
I will even combine this otherwise casual duo with my more dressy palazzo pants for a more formal outing.

I recently found this wonderful jacket at my new favorite little (and I mean tiny) boutique, Hudson's, here in Shreveport.  I find it to be so versatile.  It can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.  Here I've simply paired it with the stripped tank and added a nice necklace.  It would be fun to mix it with a more colorful top and white pants, or even blue jeans and tee.
And don't you just love the collar?

 Not crazy about a lot of black and white?

How do you feel about

Black + Brown?

I happen to love the combination.

Here are a few ideas.
These covers are other Hudson finds that have become staples.  I love this long, pocketed linen one.
 The deeper brown open cover drapes so nicely.  I wear it often with a black top as well.  Adding a colorful scarf helps tie the two colors together and fills in the neckline.
Or, how about adding your favorite color with your black pants? 
I happen to love orange with black even though it's not Halloween.
For those occasions when I need a light wrap, I've added this very light weight, off white loose cardigan.  These two pieces are also from Target.  I haven't shopped there for clothes until this spring, but found that you can't beat their prices for items such as these.
These are just a few combinations to get your juices flowing so you too can find creative combinations in your own closet.

So what are your favorite things to wear with black pants?

Amaze Me Monday #158 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Joining Joyce for

1. What does retirement mean to you? Are you planning for it, not thinking about it, looking forward to it, or dreading it?

Hubby and I retired at the same time, May 2011 and it has been wonderful.  I say I am living my dream.  After working outside the home for almost 35 years, I was more than ready to retire and so was Hubby.  Although Hubby is still involved in real estate and goes to the office every day, I love being at home and able to do whatever my heart desires.  Haven't missed work one single second!!!

2. It's International Guitar you play? Does anyone in your family play? What's a song you especially like to hear played on the guitar or a favorite song featuring the guitar?

Neither I nor anyone else in our family plays the guitar.  I do enjoy a classical guitar and Malaguene would have to be my favorite song.
3. What's your comfort food?

Purple Hull Peas

4. What's one activity or area of your life where you absolutely never procrastinate?

I don't think there is such a thing.

5. Who does the grocery shopping in your house? Does your local store bag the groceries for you or is it a do-it-yourself kind of place? Do you like someone packing your groceries?

Hubby is the main shopper because he enjoys it and I don't.  However, this morning we both took a different store and divided the list.  Both stores are pretty much do-it-yourself kind of places.  I do NOT like the self-checkout counters.  Let me repeat that!  I do NOT like the self-checkout counters.  I much prefer pushing my little buggy up to the cashier and letting him/her take it from there.

6. What's the coolest thing you've seen in nature?

There are so many.  Hummingbirds buzzing near my face; dove parents taking turns sitting on the eggs, then bringing food and carefully feeding their young; a sunset that looks like a fireball above the horizon; a sunrise made up of every imaginable shade of yellow, orange and red; an eagle soaring in the distance; majestic redwood trees, etc. etc. etc.

7. Share a favorite quote about home.

"Home, a place your feet may leave but your heart will always be."
8. Insert your own random thought here.

This is one of the benefits of being retired!

Monday, April 4, 2016

From New to Old

If you read my blog post last Wednesday, you know I had a trip planned with one of my sisters to help babysit the 3-month old twin granddaughters of our youngest sister.

Needless to say, we had a ball and spent most of our time holding and playing with these little dolls.

To see them today, one would never know they were several weeks premature and weighed under 5 lbs.
 They are not identical but there is definitely a resemblance.
 Brynlee Kate is the older by one minute and is full of personality.
 Ellie Grace was the smaller of the two but is quickly catching up.  She is so alert and doesn't miss a thing around her.
 This was my close-up view of them both as I took my turn holding them.  Is there anything sweeter than a sleeping baby?  No spoiling at all with these great aunts.
Aunt Gin got some good snuggles.
 Aunt Bibby couldn't get enough of these baby snuggles.
 We even let Grandmother, Mim, have a turn.
Needless to say, we had a fun day with these little miracle babies and with each other.

In our nephew's Baton Rouge neighborhood is something I would have never expected.
Set back from one of the streets and among beautiful, modern homes is this little chapel.
It was moved and placed under the over arching and protective limbs of these amazing ancient Oak Trees.
 If you look behind the church, you can see the grove of trees stretching into the distance.
The community has created a walking path interwoven through the trees.
 I loved the old aged wood and the moss growing on the roof.Inside are handcrafted benches and pulpit.
 This was truly a "Lagniappe" (French for a special, unexpected) experience.
 On Friday, Gin and I spent the day on the road.  We began by driving to the small community where our parents are buried and replaced the flowers on their graves.

We then went to Lafayette where we looked at some houses and had lunch.  Afterward, we went back north to the little village of Washington, the 3rd oldest settlement in Louisiana.  Founded in 1720 and incorporated in 1835, Washington was a french trading post.  It is said that now 80% of the village is on the National Historic Registry.

I plan to go back with my camera and will share more about this interesting little place with you another time.  I can't believe I have lived in Louisiana all but two years of my life and have never been there before.

While there, we spent our time at the Old Schoolhouse Antique Mall.
This is not the only antique store in the village but certainly the largest with over 40,000 square feet of antique shopping.  The owners have utilized every available space in this old school building and gym to showcase every imaginable old thing.  We didn't encounter a ghost, but that doesn't mean there isn't one roaming about somewhere.
I found a few things that I couldn't leave there.
One was this pair of silk, embroidered pillows.  They are perfect in the living room.
 I also found some glassware that I had been wanting for my sofa table.
 The morning sun puts a spotlight on whatever is on the table and I wanted some colored glass.  These pieces not only picked up the colors in the pillows but create interest behind the low sofa.

This morning the sun created the most beautiful array of colors, so I was not disappointed.
I think I see another trip to Washington, La and more of these pieces in my near future.

We sisters always enjoy our time together and wish we could do it more often.  In the meantime, we will treasure all the time we can spend with each other and our growing families.