Sunday, September 30, 2012

Let Go

Growing up there have always been women I've looked up to, certainly including my mom, who have this faith, courage or inner confidence... a sense of calm.  It's like the quiet understanding that everything will work out and be okay.

I'm giving this book to a few special ladies and I love its message.

When I am asked what it is about the bible study I enjoy the most, I feel like it has helped me lean more towards the direction of this calm I seek.  Having faith in the long term, instead of the short term.  And letting go of a sense of control we kid ourselves of having :)  There is so much we do not and can not control.

For example, one thing I can get all wrapped up in knots about is when things don't turn out to match my expectations.  If I have a list of places to go and things to do, and an order in which to do them and things don't go "according to MY plan," I can get pretty fed up with life in general (can you say dramatic!) and wonder what the heck is the point?!

Several months ago one of my cousins was in town visiting with her baby girl and I really wanted to stop by to see them.  There were several things working against my plan for a special visit.  I considered just bagging it.  But we left the house, tired, hungry and later than planned.  Awesome.

When we arrived my aunt happened to be there with her 3 grandchildren so my kids lit up at the chance to play with their cousins.  We even had dinner together.  It turned out to be a highlight of the week and better than I had planned.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Family Branding

Boatman Geller

A friend just moved and sent these very pretty announcements!  So I picked a few other items that I think she should purchase to complete her new "family brand."  That's a phrase I just made up... something I've always wanted to do... have an outside line of paper products that sum up the "look and feel" of your family.

Because I cannot waste, our family is using up the last of our stationery, and it is almost time to buy or make new!!  If you would like for me to put together a board of family stationery for you, just let me know!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Banana Bread


When we got back from being out of town, I had a big bunch of bananas that was close to d-e-a-d.  I usually freeze them for smoothies but we already have plenty so I tried my hand at banana bread.  I've never made it before but it worked!  Mary Fowler especially loves it!

This recipe below worked perfectly for me but I might have to try the one (link) above next time!

Banana Bread


1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3-4 over ripe bananas, smashed

(I added 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp cinnamon)

Then, to the wet mixture, add:

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Do not over stir.  Bake in a 9x5 loaf pan at 350 degrees for one hour.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Designer Look, Budget Price {Chandelier}

Traditional Dining Room design by Nashville Architect Norris Architecture

As if Pinterest isn't enough, Houzz is so wonderful!  I saw this pretty picture, so I started searching for around for the chandelier...

Niermann Weeks $8,710 (NOT happening)
Isn't it amazing how much less money this one below is?  Once they're hanging, I'm not sure the one above looks 8,000 times better?

Candice Olson $318

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Just Cracking Myself Up

For me... only kidding

Today I went to some fun shops for a couple of baby gifts.  I found these hilarious cocktail napkins by Anne Taintor (available here) and had the best time figuring out which I'd gift to whom.  Or who???

Apparently she has a monthly contest where you can suggest captions for their napkins.  Mom, you would be great at this.

me again... just kidding... ha!

for my middle sister

for my mom :)

for my neighbor C

for my baby sister

for my husband

for my neighbor J

for my friend K

for my other neighbor J

for my friend R

baby sister again

definitely for my friend A

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Blue Cheese and Honey Bruschetta

Blue Cheese and Honey Bruschetta

1 baguette, sliced and toasted
8 oz. gorgonzola blue cheese

Toast the baguette slices at 400 degrees until golden.
Spread gorgonzola on each slice.
Drizzle honey over the cheese.

When I was 8 months pregnant with Mary Fowler, my dad's huDge family in Richmond had a Christmas party and everyone brought something to share.  Because my family was staying at a hotel, my mom brought a ginormous platter of sweets from Wildflour in Roanoke (one of my girlfriends and my favorite lunch spots :)

I was big and pregnant and wasn't mingling much because I really just wanted to sit down.  The mistake I made was plopping down right beside the dessert platter.  I ate one or two or ten of every one of their desserts represented.

Afterwards, my aunt Jean and uncle Jack had us to their house where they brought out a huDge wheel of cheese that friends from Italy sent them for Christmas.  I remember sitting down at the coffee table and slicing one piece after another and drizzling it with honey.  It tasted so good!

Me, standing in front of The Jefferson Christmas tree
hours before the "sweets incident"

Just keeping it real... on the way back to the hotel that night, I begged Adam to get me a "Hot Now" Krispy Kreme doughnut (you know, because I hadn't had enough sugar).  And hindsight, I think that was just too much for me to handle.  I started having horribly, painful contractions.  And we were out of town.  So we called my OB and he said it sounded like I was in pre-term labor and that we should head to the nearest hospital.

Luckily one dose of the anti-contraction drug did the trick and Mary Fowler stayed put until her due date in February.

But now that we have that dramatic event 9 years behind us, I am searching for the cheese and honey combo.  I made these for a neighborhood get together and they were well-received... but not as good as the cheese I had that night.  So the search continues!

Interestingly, as I was thinking back to that Christmas, I realized it was the last Christmas we had with my aunt Jean.  She died of a brain tumor when Mary Fowler was 3 months old.  She was one of the most special ladies I've known.  I think about her every day and I live very close to her daughters, my cousins.  She was so beautiful, graceful, generous, kind, loving, gentle... and she loved every child as if it was her own.  A true mother.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Of Laundry, School, & Books

A friend recommended
We have two full-sized beds in our guest bedroom and right now they are BOTH covered in clean laundry, just waiting...  Michelle Duggar's "family closet" is making more and more sense right now...

~ But today was the kids' first day of school and it was pretty exciting!  They were happy, they were energetic... we walked them in, dropped them off, and then Adam and I had a calm and quiet breakfast together.

~Then I was off to a leadership training for a couple of hours.  It was wonderful.  Fabulous women- I want to be just like them when I grow up.

~And then I came home and filled out ALL of the zillions of forms for school... picked kids up from school

~They had a GREAT first day, heard all about it, lemon bars for an after-school treat, played, relaxed, dinner...

~And now that the kids are in bed, I have all of these little lovelies to choose from... the laundry can wait!

another friend recommendation

Very good, easy read & message... and I loved all the characters

I think these very brief "bios" will be good to read before bed