Monday, November 16, 2015

This Table

I have thought a lot about this table the past couple of days. It may look like any other old table you may find in a barn, shed or construction site. 

You see, growing up this table was a source of income for my family. Over the past 25+ years, this table has gone from job to job with my Daddy as he has created unique rock fireplaces, hearths, walls, ledges, walkways, mailboxes, etc. for his customers. This table is where Daddy chiseled on a rock so that it ...had the desired look to fit into the space he needed it to go. This table was a means by which my dad could provide for his family. When my brother was old enough, he followed in Dad’s footsteps and this table became a source of income for his family too. David would use this table to create the same type of masterpieces that he learned from watching dad all those years. While I was in high school, I worked in the summer with my dad and brother. I remember seeing this table at any of the rock job-sites. I spent a lot of time carrying rock and sweeping up those gibbled pieces of rock that Daddy and David had chiseled off. After David’s death, the table made its way back to daddy who still uses it to provide for his family. 

Currently, this table is sitting in my soon-to-be living room. Monday evening I walked into the house to check the progress and I saw this table. I was flooded with emotion and tears immediately began to fall. I was reminded of David, it was as if I could see him standing beside the table, chisel in one hand and hammer in the other and a goofy smile on his face. I was reminded of my summers spent working with Holland Masonry. I was reminded of how much my daddy loves his family. This table, like my daddy, has stood the test of time. Although it may be tattered, beat up, and a little wobbly, it is still strong, usable, and serves a purpose. I am so blessed to have a Daddy who can create such amazing works of art. I am so blessed that my parents raised us up to trust in the Lord, to be an example to those around us, and to have a servant’s heart. To me, this table represents so much more than just a work space. It represents my Dad who has worked long hard hours to provide for his family. It represents my brother, who was the second generation and was eager to learn and grow the business. It represents my family who reaped the benefits of the work done on this table.

I never would have thought a table would have provoked such emotion or thought as it has this week but I am glad that this table reminded me of the countless blessings in my life.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Influenster's Uni VoxBox

A while back, I joined Influenster.  Influenster is a website you learn about new products and can review the products you already use on a daily basis.  Influenster will send out exclusive VoxBoxes to active members to test and review complimentary products.  All you have to do in return is share your opinion.  I am always game to try out something new (or something I wouldn’t necessarily purchase to begin with) for free in exchange for my review.  I was chosen to receive the Uni VoxBox.  Here’s a peek at what I received:

NYC New York Color Expert Last Lipstick

This lipstick was OK.  The color is way too bright for me so it’s not something I am going to use if at all to be honest. I did try it on for review purposes and it seemed to go on smoothly.  Since the color didn’t work for me, I can’t give an opinion on how long it lasts or anything like that as I washed it off.  I will not purchase this product in the future.

Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation
I was super excited about trying this product.  I have oily skin so I thought that the Stay Matte foundation would help keep the shine to a minimum.  Unfortunately, I felt as if this product caused my face to look oiler…how is that even possible?!  Also, my face felt like I had a mask on due to the heaviness of the foundation.  On a brighter note, I did like the texture and the smooth application.  I will not purchase this product in the future.

Broadway Nails imPRESS Manicures

This product reminded me of the “Lee Press-on” nails from the late 80s and early 90s.  I wasn’t impressed at all and actually felt quite silly.  I only put a couple on and that was that. I will not purchase this product in the future.

Pilot Acroball Pure White Pen
I absolutely LOVE this pen!  It has a fine tip (which is the only type of pen I will use), easy to hold grip and writes so smoothly.  No clumps of ink or anything!  I will most definitely purchase this product in the future.  I have a feeling this will be a staple when it comes to office supplies.

Red Rose Real Tea Premium Water Enhancer
I try to drink only water (except for the cup of coffee, or three, I need in the morning).  Sometimes I get tired of “just water” so it’s nice to have something to add in it with a little extra flavor.  I’ve used several different brands of water flavor enhancers in the past but most of the time I do not bother with the “tea” flavors as I feel they taste a little wonky compared to the southern sweet tea.  After trying this product, it really wasn’t as bad as some that I’ve had.  I actually finished it all.  It was nice to have a tea flavor that did not have lemon in it.  I will probably buy this product in the future.

Playtex Sport Fresh Balance Tampons
In my opinion, a tampon is a tampon.  Now there are some brands that I prefer over another, but they all get the job accomplished.  The Playtex Sport fresh balance tampons were nothing special to be honest. One thing I did not like about them was that they are scented.  They smelled nice as far as the packaging, but scented tampons are not for me.  I will buy this product in the future – if there is a non-scented product; otherwise, I’ll stick with my regular brand.
Disclaimer:  I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Meaningful Beauty Creme de Serum (Review)

I have never really thought about anti-aging products being that I feel I am still young.  However with my 32nd birthday around the corner, I may have a different opinion. Ha. 

Back to topic, anti-aging products haven’t been on my radar as I think growing old is simple a fact of life.  I think that gray hair and wrinkles are beautiful in their own way.  Although I wouldn't object to growing old gracefully, I don’t want to look 80 years old when still in my thirties.
Photo Credit
A couple weeks ago, I received an opportunity through Influenster to write a product review of Cindy Crawford’s Meaningful Beauty Crème de Serum.   The directions state to use once a day either in the morning or before bed at night.  I simply swapped out my normal morning moisturizing lotion and have been using the Meaningful Beauty Crème de Serum.   After using the product a couple weeks, I do not think that I look younger (I really don’t have wrinkles at this point…) but it does leave my skin soft and dewy looking.   I have used it with and without make-up.  I think that it leaves my skin looking as if it has a matte type finish, which I like.  I have oily skin so shine is something I despise.  The crème de serum is one of the five Meaningful Beauty products  The directions say it could take approximately 8 weeks to see a noticeable difference.  I wonder if I could tell a greater difference if I were to use all 5 products as suggested?  Regardless, I like this product and will continue to use it.

Disclosure: I was provided this product free of charge by in exchange for my review.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

First Annual Friendsgiving

I have heard about Friendsgiving for a while now.  For the most part, the only times I have actually heard of it is when  people live too far away from home and for whatever reasons could not travel for the Thanksgiving holiday. So they gathered their friends who were in a similar situation and had “Friendsgiving.”  Friends + Thanksgiving = Friendsgiving

I decided in the fall that I would love to host a Friendsgiving dinner with our friends, so that is exactly what we done.   I would make the turkey and asked that everyone bring their favorite Thanksgiving side dish.   Also, in the spirit of the season, I asked that everyone bring a non-perishable food item that could be donated to one of the local charities.  I had quite the haul of food to take and was so glad we could give back in this way.

Although I was given grief like none other (particularly from the male species), I had a blast preparing and decorating our home and yard for the occasion.   When you live in a small home and do not have a dining room table (that’s another story for another day), you must use all resources at hand; therefore, I set up the table in the yard.  They were covered with pretty tablecloths and fabric.  The centerpieces included mason jars filled with dried beans and a candle as well as glitzy fall pumpkins and gourds. 


The time changed the weekend before our dinner, so to create a little extra light, I strung up white Christmas lights in the trees.  Personally, I loved how it turned out.  Although, it may have looked a little honky while the sun was still up, it gave the appropriate fall glow when darkness fell.  Especially with the candles on the tables, I thought it looked super nice.  Unfortunately, I do not have any photos of everything lit up.  Boo. 

Back in September, the Mr. had created a beautiful fall vignette for me.  It included pumpkins, hay bales, mums, Indian corn, corn stalks, a scarecrow and an old tin watering can.  He done an amazing job and I was so surprised when I came home.  He makes my heart happy.  Anyway, I thought this area would be the perfect spot for a photo booth!  I added the rustic sign I made and printed off some props (including pilgrim hats, a turkey leg, a turkey beak with snood, a piece of pie, etc.)  But due to the time change and the serious chill in the air, it wasn’t really utilized.  But that is totally understandable.  We did bring them inside and got a couple of photos in there.

As far as the food, it was all delicious and what a spread we had!  There was food in every corner of my kitchen it seemed.  Like I said, I made the turkey (almost 20lbs…thank the Lord for crock pots!) and everyone else brought a side dish. We had everything you could imagine; smoked chicken, hash brown casserole, broccoli casserole, green beans, sweet potato casserole, cream corn, mashed potatoes with gravy, deviled eggs, broccoli salad, stuffing, corn casserole, macaroni and cheese, dinner rolls, layered pumpkin pie, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, cookie and cream cookies, homemade caramel dip with apple slices and dulce de leche cake.  Gosh, I think that was everything.  No one left hungry that’s for certain.  We didn’t have hardly any leftovers either. 

Since we had such a selection of food I decided I would make food labels for each dish.  I knew that when it came to the casseroles, people would wonder what it was.  Now we all know that most casseroles have one of two toppings: crackers crumbles or cheese.  It can be hard to tell what type of casserole it is.  This is where the food labels came in super handy.   Or at least I thought so – the menfolk (and some ladies) looked at it as a way to pick on me.  But I did not care, it made perfect sense to me. Z  If one food gets a label, then they all do.  I break out in hives when there is a lack of consistency.

I believe that everyone had a great time from eating, playing corn hole, standing by the bonfire, the kids had fun fishing in the creek, playing in the yard, coloring, watching cartoons and roasting marshmallows.  Most of all I am glad that everyone seemed to have a great time fellowshipping together.

I cannot wait to do it again!

(Most of the photos are courtesy of my dear friend Kellye.  I was too busy and forgot to take them…..thanks Ked!)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday Favorites

Well, it’s Black Friday.  I have never been one to get up super early and hit the door busters and such.  Don’t get it twisted, I’m not saying I haven’t done it or won’t do it again…I’m just saying that I am indifferent when it comes to Black Friday.  I generally go out on Black Friday (not before 10am-ish though) to window shop.  Heck, I may even make a purchase or two if the notion hits.  Personally, I would much rather do that any day than try beat a crowd of people (who are in a turkey stupor) to score a good deal. 

I haven’t decided what I am going to do today.  I really want to get my Christmas decorations up and since the Mr. is working and the weather is cooperating, that is probably what I will do.  I believe we will be going to visit with a couple friend of ours this evening before they head back to Florida.  Regardless, of what we do, I see coffee (maybe hot cocoa, too) and Christmas decorations in my very near future. 

ThinkThin / TOCCA / Stella & Dot / Macaroon Mug / Heldaa by G by GUESS
Here are 5 favorites I am loving this week:
  1. ThinkThin High Protein Bars. Thank you, Lindsay, for your wonderful review which made me go out, purchase and try for myself. Oh my gosh, they are so good. The Chocolate Fudge is really good, as is the Brownie Crunch.  
  2. TOCCA Crema Da Mano in Cleopatra. I received a sample via Birchbox and I love it. It feels amazing and smells wonderful. I will need a full size bottle of this stuff.  Please and thank you.
  3. Stella & Dot Serenity Earrings. I love how vibrant these earrings are. They add a whole new level to an “everyday” outfit. These are definitely one of my favorite pairs and they go with me when we go out of town always.
  4. Coffee and/or Hot Cocoa.  With the weather turning much colder, I have found myself consuming more coffee and hot cocoa to warm my innards.  Personally, I believe that a super cute mug makes drinking any hot beverage more fun!  Trust me, you should try it. 
  5. Heldaa Boots by G by GUESS. The Mr. picked out these boots while we were in Charleston on vacation. I was surprised at his sense of style.  They are so comfortable and go with everything!  Highly recommend.   
Just for good measure, I must add one more favorite…

6)    Hallmark Channel – Countdown to Christmas movies. Really, who doesn’t love a good snow-filled, cheesy romantic Christmas movie to get you in the spirit of the season??? I love watching these movies. They make me feel all giddy and glitzy. They are good for the soul, I say. If you do not like Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas you are either in denial or you are male.
** TELL ME - What are some things you are loving this week? **

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Counting My Blessings on Thanksgiving

The time has come when we gather with family and friends for one of the largest meals of the year.   We eat, talk, eat, laugh, eat, lounge around, eat, watch TV, oh yeah, did I mention eat? until our hearts -and stomachs- cannot handle a smidgen more.

At church this past Sunday, I received the biggest blessing through the children’s choir.  They all gathered on the stage and sang the sweetest rendition of "Count Your Blessings."  Don’tchya just love when children get to their favorite part of a song and they sing it at the top of their lungs?  Well, they all sang beautifully but when it came to the chorus, their little faces lit up and they literally belted out the lyrics:

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done..

The Lord has most definitely blessed me beyond measure and more than I ever deserve.  In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, I wanted to list my top 5 blessings that I am thankful for today:

1)      MY SALVATION.  I thank the Lord that He saw fit to send His only Son to earth only for Him to die on the cross for our sins.  My sins (and yours) have been washed away by the Blood of Christ even when I am so unworthy.  If you do not know Christ as your own personal Savior, I pray that you seek Him and ask Him into your heart.  I promise, it will bring a peace like no other.

2)      MY MR.  He is the Peanut Butter to my Jelly, the Flip to my Flop, the Macaroni to my Cheese, the Bumble to my Bee, the Shake to my Bake, the Sprinkles to my Sundae, the Blue in my Sky, the Spring in my Step, the Twinkle in my Eye, the Beat of my Heart and the ULTIMATE Love of my Life. 

3)      MY FAMILY.  I just love my family –immediate, extended, in-laws, all of them.  They may drive me nutty at times, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I do not live far away from my hometown (like 30 minutes, people) but sometimes it seems like an eternity away.  I find myself missing them more and more each day.  Hey guys, can you please move closer to me?  I know it is Jackson County, but if I can tolerate it, then you can too.   I would love for the Mr. and I to move to Macon County to be closer to you, but I think I have a better chance of participating in an Olympic event before that would happen. *for real*

4)      MY FRIENDS.  Friends make life a little brighter.  Plus it is always good to have someone who knows what you are thinking before you even say it…that alone can keep you out of trouble. Ha!  My girlfriends are the bestest ever.  Even though the majority of them live away we always pick up where we left off…even after a few years!

5)      MY HOME.  Although, it may not be our dream home (that will come in time) it is ours.  We have taken things from our single lives and blended them among things from our life together making our house a home.  It is warm and cozy in the cold months as well as fresh and cool in the warm months.  There have been many conversations, laughs, whispered prayers and baked goods within these walls.  I hope and pray that we continue to make memories in our little home by the creek.

The Mr. and I are heading out the door (with fresh apple cake in tow) to my parent’s house for our Thanksgiving meal.   I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and remember to count your blessings!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Mail

In the past month or so I have entered online giveaways through various blogs that I follow.   I generally never win anything, but apparently I’ve had the luck of the Irish (although I’m not Irish) or my stars in line (although I don’t believe in such things) or whatever.  Lo and behold, I received three different emails stating that I was a winner in three of the giveaways!  Woot Woot!
Aside from bills and junk mail, the last couple of weeks have had some of the best mail days ever. The various items that I won has been arriving and I am so excited to tell you about them.
Yesterday, I went to the mailbox and had the ever-so-exciting yellow slip of paper signifying that a package has arrived that wouldn’t fit in my post office box.  Score!  I impatiently waited in the line for the postal worker (is it just me or is that the WORST line to ever stand in, patrons always seems so clueless about mail.  Oh well, I digress.)   Anyway, I give my slip, gather my package and run out in the rain to the car as fast as I could.  I opened the package and was excited to see that I had received the Come Home to Supper cookbook by Christy Jordan of Southern Plate.
Last week, I entered a giveaway (Come Home to Supper Cookbook Review and Giveaway) hosted by Robin at Simply Southern Baking and I was elated to receive an email from her stating I was the winner.  (Robin mentioned in her email to me that she has family and friends in my neck of the woods and loves to visit the area.  Small world after all.)  Robin received a copy of the cookbook to review and a copy to giveaway to a read courtesy of Workman Publishing.
All I can say is that I am beyond excited to try out the recipes.  They all look so delicious!  Just in browsing a little so far, these are the recipes I will try first:
  • Janice’s Stuffed Bell Peppers
  • Tuscany Pot Roast and Vegetables
  • Big Fat Greek Taters (I love the name, too!)
  • Simply Delicious Tomato Basil Soup
  • Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Pie
  • Coconut Meringue Pie
Okay, I must stop. I am drooling e’er where!