Saturday, June 21, 2008


The first week of June, David and I joined my parents and Anna (sis), Patrick and Joseph(brothers) for a much needed vactation in Fort Morgan, Alabama. We had a great time relaxing on the beach and David and I had a kayaking adventure with Junior (dad). As dad would say: We had a Blast!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008


Check out my anniversary jewelry... Isn't it sassy!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

10 reasons why i love you

  1. I have a hard time remembering a day where you haven't made me laugh.

  2. You can take care of me better than anyone else when I am sick (or upset). You are great at helping me see things in a more calm and rational way. (You also have mad skills at cleaning and taping nephrostomy tubes in the least painful manner.)

  3. You want to be a good husband (which is probably the reason that you are a good husband) and you want our marriage to last.

  4. You make life fun and live with passion.

  5. You love new adventures. (even "overly ambitious" kayak trips)

  6. You don't mind helping me cook, and I think sometimes you even enjoy it!

  7. I know that you love me because you tell me almost everytime we talk or see each other, even when you are angry. A lot of times when you are mad and we are on the phone, you will end the conversation by saying "i love you" and hanging up. Even though I usually get mad about this, it gives me peace because i know that you do love me and i can count on it even when things are tough.

  8. You are great in the clutch. Even if you don't (okay, or i don't) clean or get things done in a timely manner, you are always busting your butt in the last few hours (minutes) and have pulled out many a miracle prior to company coming or in the last hours before major catering jobs.

  9. You dream big. You don't subscribe to the "conventional" and you believe that anything is a possibility.

  10. You love God and you want your family to go to heaven.

I love you, David (a.k.a. Fred). I don't know if I would have made it through the last 4 years without you. Thanks for making the tough times seem more bearable and often times more funny. You are the love of my life. Happy Anniversary!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Berry Happy

The strawberries are coming in! David bought these strawberry plants a few weeks ago at Ace. We got to try our first berries today... Yum... Can you tell I am struggling for topics? Hopefully I will have something better tomorrow : )

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It's Veggie Time

This week marks the beginning of our CSA pickups for the summer. See my post here to learn more about CSA programs and local agriculture. Tomorrow, I will pick up our free-range chicken and pork along with a special order of duck (I have never had or cooked duck before, but when Avalon Acres sent the extra order form, I had to try it out). David has been making fun of the duck eating idea and talking about how sweet duckies are and quacking occasionally... so once we pick up the meat, I'm not sure I'll be able to eat it. On Saturday, our Madison Creek CSA starts and we should be getting organic fresh greens and yummy strawberries. So... I wanted to show a Veggiebella card in honor of spring. This card is on Kraft cardstock with a background Purely Pomegranate "cuttlebugged" cardtock. Bella is stamped on watercolor paper and watercolored with an aquapainter in SU inks. The ribbon is Old Olive 5/8" grosgrain. Doesn't she look ready for some good eating; I wish I had her green thumb! Thanks for visiting.

Monday, May 5, 2008

ETSY Mondays

On Mondays, I plan on sharing my favorite ETSY finds. Here are today's:

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Libby's New Nest

Last weekend my cutie pie neice and nephews (Maddy, Noah and Jack: you can visit their mommy's blog here: Smalling World) came to visit and we had a slumber party on the living room floor. I laid out lots of cozy blankets and sleeping bags. Well, afterwards, Libby (my sweet Boston Terrier 14-year-old baby) had found a new cozy place to sleep during the day. I just didn't have the heart to put the blankets away since she liked them so much. Today I gave her a bath and put the blankets that had been on the floor in the dirty laundry pile. She wandered around the house for about 30 min looking for the blankets so i had to make her a new clean nest to snuggle up in. She just looked so cozy, I had to take a picture.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Position Available

I'm hiring. I'm not sure if maid is the right word, but I need someone to follow me around 24/7 and try to contain the whirlwind of junk that i leave in my path. I have never been the "clean as you go" type; I'm more of the "I'll do that when I'm done with . . ." type. Now, I'm left with the spoils of my catering job from today and am blogging to put off even going into the kitchen which is screaming for some attention. (It's really loud in there.) Now that I think about it, Papa follows Granny around while she cooks. Isn't that what husbands are for... I think David missed that memo. That's probably why they have been married 60+ years.

To further delay the kitchen cleaning: My catering job today was for a bridesmaid luncheon. I didn't take any pictures, but I wanted to share the menu anyways because it was pretty good and i plan on using it again next Sunday for Mother's Day.

Curried Smoked Chicken and Wild Rice Salad from Gourmet

Mixed Vegetables Vinegarette from Gourmet

Homemade Dinner Rolls: I used a new recipe for these today. They were okay. I will probably use something else or an old standby next time.

Mixed Berry Tart: I make this a lot for showers and luncheons. I use a standard Tart Pastry Dough (I use the one from this book, it tastes like a sugar cookie.) and fill with Vanilla Pastry Cream and top with berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, whatever is in season and looks good). I usually glaze with a simple syrup and top with fresh whipped cream. It is a very pretty dessert and not too heavy for summer.

Okay... i guess i'm finally out of things to say today... i guess i'll just drag myself to the kitchen... don't you feel sorry for me : (

Friday, May 2, 2008

Baby Announcements

These are the baby announcements I did for Lincoln. Is that not the sweetest picture? A professional photographer took it in the hospital. (He gave permission for us to make copies for the birth announcement.) It's one of the best "hospital" baby pictures I have ever seen. There are a few things I learned from this project that I wanted to share with you:

1. Vintage buttons look really cute on cards.

2. They look way better sewn on rather than glued.

3. If you sew 100+ buttons onto birth announcements, your hand will be temporarily deformed in a position very similar to a crab's claw.

4. You will never be able to finish a project like this without the help of a considerate friend, preferably your mother.

I would like to say that i would never consider sewing buttons onto a card for a large project like this again, but I know that when it comes down to it "cute" always comes before pain. I think it was worth it...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Cheery Cherries

Embroidery as promised. Remember this is my first attempt, I know it is far from perfect. This is an old napkin that Granny gave me. The cherry pattern came from Sublime Stitching. The author, Jenny Hart, has a pretty interesting blog and some other really good books. Sublime Stitching did a really good job of helping me get started, having the right materials and provides hundreds of patterns (several food related patterns, which i love).
Oh, I forgot to tell you, I also started my first quilt this weekend. I will tell more when i actually have more than 4 squares cut out.

May Day

Okay, I know I have been a lousy blogger lately (sorry, Melanie)... I really haven't been very consistent at all since I started this in November. Just a couple of posts here and there. Well, I have found new motivation (source: unknown). So, for the month of May, I have a goal: a post a day. (Source: another blog that I now cannot find to reference, sorry.) Now this is just for May and who knows if I'll be able to accomplish it. But I will give it a try anyways. Hopefully it will give me a jump start at least to be more consistent. Come back often to make sure I stay on track! Stay tuned for my first embroidery project that I plan to post a pic of later on today.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

I HATE "Springing Foward"

I feel like i am being pushed foward and it is not pleasant. I hate the thought of losing an hour. It might be a better idea to fall back twice a year and then we will get to keep our extra hour, plus get another. Just a thought.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I don't have a picture to share today. Just some thoughts... almost everyone who reads my blog knows me and knows about my health trials in the last few years. I think one of the reasons that I have been doing and going and planning and trying to grow so much in the last few months is that i feel like i finally have my life back and have so much time to catch up on. I have been reading this blog lately: Posey Gets Cozy. Today i read this post: March 5th followed by this one: an aniversary. This was so inspiring to me because i was able to see how someone who has been through so much and struggled was able to use that to create a beautiful life and allow it to make her "bloom". (I especially understand her comments from the anniversary post about her husband helping her use a bedpan as my precious husband, david, helped me to the bathroom and emptied nephrostomy bags in the middle of the night so many times. And although she says that they joke about it now, i don't think we are to that point yet.. not far enough removed.) I don't want to be bitter (i am to a degree) that those years were stolen. I want to make the most of the time that i have and be a better person because of what i have faced. So many of you helped me through this time: My sweet mom slept on the hard wood floor of my living room when i came home from the hospital last time and did a thousand things that i can't even count or be grateful enough for, Jeanne (my mother-in-law) helped me shower (not something i expected to ever happen, but honestly it wasn't weird to me at the time at all) and brought food, Granny and Papa have brought so many meals (nourishing, comforting meals) to my house that i honestly could not count them if i tried, my friends: rachel, valerie and their husbands who prayed with david and i, family members and friends who sat with me and listened to me say the same things over and over because i couldn't remember one moment to the next, Melissa and Ann at work who gave me some of their vacation time so that i wouldn't have to worry, Anna and kim who braved cleaning my house which i believe is the true exhibition of love (those of you who know how messy i am... know), the cards and flowers... etc. Thank you for helping me... i hope that i can continue to grow out of this time and eventually bloom into someone beautiful.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Not Very Healthy, But Very Yummy

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes... they really do look (and taste) better than this picture
20-30 Cherry Tomatoes
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup chopped green onions (chives work pretty well here, too)
3 Tbsp FRESH parmesean cheese, grated
2 Tbsp fresh, minced parsley
Cut a thin slice off each tomato top. Scoop out the insides and toss it (i use a melon baller for this step). Invert onto paper towels and allow to drain. In a medium bowl, stir together bacon, mayonnaise, green onions, parmesean, and parsley until combined. Spoon mixture into tomatoes and chill.
This recipe is from the Square Table Cookbook, a collection of recipes from Oxford, Mississippi. (my former office mate, laura, gave me the cookbook) There are a ton of great recipes. Here's a link to where you can get a copy:

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Meet Lincoln

My new cousin is here:

Lincoln Darwin Reel

Height:18 3/4 in.

Weight 7lbs 4 1/4 oz.
Time 3:35 pm

The baby and mommy are happy and healthy!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Buy Local, Eat Fresh

Since the new year, I have been trying to come up with practical ways to get reasonably priced, local food into our home. Living in Hendersonville, we are about 20 miles north of Nashville, and while you would think that the local farmer's market could meet our needs, it does not. The Nashville Farmers Market is not a true farmers market and therefore does not have farmers selling their products. They have distributors. Not that this in itself is a terrible thing, it is just that I would like the opportunity to by direct in order to save money and to know exactly what I am buying. The Franklin Farmer's Market is several more miles away but is an actual "farmer's market". It is just not convenient to where I live. I found this website: Local Harvest through the USDA website. By searching here, i was able to find several farms in my area (i knew they were here, i just didn't have contact info). My mom and I went in together to get a CSA (community supported agriculture) share from Madison Creek Farms. We will split a weekly half bushel of their freshest organic fruits and veggies (and homemade butter and fresh eggs). I'm so excited! The food is harvested the same day you pick up and the farm itself is only 11 miles from my house. I have also found a source for grass fed organic beef in Springfield, TN. I will let you know how it is. It was a little pricey for what I usually pay for beef, but it may be worth it. I am working on finding a source for other meats, too. I have contacted a couple of farms and am waiting on responses. Now... I know some of you out there are thinking I am nuts for doing all this research for food, but there are great benefits to eating locally grown produce and meats:

  • First of all, it tastes better. Think of your homegrown veggies... It is a whole different league as far as taste.
  • It is better for you. Because the food is harvested very close to the time it is used, it is harvested at its peak and that means more nutrients (vitamins, minerals and those wonderful phytochemicals). Some organic foods can also claim better vitamin content. Local honey has also been shown to help prevent/reduce seasonal allergies. Grass fed beef has a better fat composition than the traditionally raised beef. This means that some of the fat found in grass fed beef can actually be good for you, think Omega-3 Fatty Acids (yep, the same ones found in salmon and tuna). I am not saying that you should eat beef every day, but it can be a great choice and a contributing part of a healthy diet a couple of times a week. Another thing is that committing to pick up fresh produce on a weekly basis can motivate you to eat better (more fruits and veggies and less junk).
  • Variety is the spice of life! CSAs, like the one I have chosen, force you to eat in season and to eat what is grown at the farm. This allows you exposure to foods that you may not have picked out at the local grocery store. Some CSAs also provide recipes and newsletters with their basket so you can learn how to prepare what you are given.
  • It is safer. Because it is local, you can ask the farmer exactly what his farming methods are. Buying local food creates a sense of direct responsibility.
  • Buying locally causes less impact on the environment. Because the food does not have to travel great distances while being kept at specific temperatures, less fuel is used and less packaging materials are used.
  • What really motivated me to do this is that I do not have the time (or the green thumb) required to get a large garden going this year. Especially after two failed attempts in the last two years. Although we did have a lot of tomatoes in 2006. The summer of 2007 had no shot due to the late freeze, the drought, and the excessively high temps later on in the summer. I felt terrible about that because after i had surgery last year, several people from church (Sean, Mandy, Ms. Sue, and Mr. Fuqua) planted a garden for me and I just let it die. Very sad... This will give me the opportunity to focus on some landscaping and a herb garden while still providing myself and David with fresh, delicious Tennessee produce.

I will keep you updated on how my first experience with a CSA goes! If any of you are interested in doing this, check out Local Harvest to find a farm in your area. I would contact them soon because CSA programs are often limited on the number of people that can sign up. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Baby Shower

Table View

(my sister made the cucumber sandwiches and stuffed cherry tomatoes-i will share these recipes at some point. These two foods seem to end up at any shower my sister and I help with. Everyone asks for them!)

Bird's Nest Coconut cupcakes... These were a sorry attempt at these cupcakes on Martha's website. I gave up on the beaks for the little blue birds after a few tries and decided to declare that the "birds" were in fact "eggs".

My Granny's Pecan Tarts

Granny's Lemon Curd Tarts. These were delicious. I have attempted the lemon curd before.. not a pretty picture. I may have to get her to teach me to make it sometime :)

Gorgeous Punch bowl

(I wish this picture was better)

embroidered table runner with handmade lace (made by my great-grandmother)

From the left: Mary (the lady of the hour), Lisa (my mom), Joyce, Rose, Jean (my granny), Anna (my sis), Beth, Mary, Linda, Myrtle, Maggie (me), Maggi

The little guy in the front is Maggi's and my cousin Ken's baby: Neil.

Party Favors: Altered Baby Food Jars filled with chocolates

I wanted to show you pictures of Mary's (my aunt) baby shower. We had such a good time. My mom helped me decorate and clean to get ready. We used embroidered table runners that my great grandmother had made all over the party area and napkins that my grandmother had cross-stiched. It was so fun to get out all of our pretty heirlooms and enjoy them. It made me want to have "tea parties" just for that reason. We even used cute snack plates (some milk glass, some clear that belonged to my granny) that have a place for your punch cup. I hope everyone else had as much fun as i did!!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Day on the Town

I have lived in/near Nashville my whole life and have never owned a cowboy hat. I can't say that anymore:

A couple of weeks ago my cousin, melissa, came to visit and talked us into the hats. As you can see, Anna chickened out... Maybe next time she comes we will get the boots!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Beautiful Birthday

Sorry this picture is a little blurry. I wanted to share anyways. This card uses the great new DP from the Spring/Summer Catalog: Ginger Blossom. I containes a unique color combination of river rock, ruby red, cameo coral, and groovy quava. I also used the new stamp set: A Beautiful Thing for the main image. The happy birthday stamp is from a retired stamp set: Birthday Banter. I used the Groovy Guava Double stiched ribbon again and a mini library clip in the corner. Thanks for looking.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Bella's Argyle Golf Day

I wanted to share my golfing bella with you. She goes perfectly with this argyle paper from my patterned paper stash. It just so happened to match Stampin' Up's goovy guava and tempting turquoise paper perfectly. Bella is stamped on water color paper and is watercolored with the wonderful aqua painter. The Ribbon is double stiched groovy guava. The golf club and golf ball are both highlighted with crystal effects. Bella is popped up on Stampin' dimensionals. Thanks for looking!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sweet Pea Baby Shower Invite

I had such a great time creating these invitations for my aunt's baby shower. She is due in March with a baby boy. We haven't had a new baby in the family for a long time and are all very excited. I 'm sure the poor kid will be spoiled and smothered with attention and love! The cards are 5" x 5" on Whisper White cardstock. I also used Bayou Blue and the designer paper from the fall catalogs hostess simply scrappin' kit: Creative Liscense. The main image and sentiment are from Papertrey Ink's Green Thumb Set. I used Copper brads and a copper "diaper pin" on the ribbon. The peas are enhanced with Crystal Effects. Thanks for looking. Let me know what you think!