30 Years & 30 Pounds Ago

30 Years & 30 Pounds Ago

It was the late 1980’s…

Peach & blue were the “in” colors.  Lace was everywhere.  Big hair, neon, “Let’s get Physical”, Rick James, Lionel Ritchie, Prince, “Thriller”, Michael Jackson, big glasses, dance clubs… Fun times, but the best of times were just beginning…

May 14, 1988, 30 years and 30 pounds ago, we became husband and wife.

The weather was much the same, extremely hot for May, but such a beautiful day. Other things, not quite so similar as that day. Some better, some worse…

Me: TINY waistline, hair colors, jobs, death of friends, loss of my Mom
Him: Baseball thighs, hair, jobs, death of friends, loss of his Mom
3 nieces, 4 nephews
1 condo, 4 houses
3 kittens, 16 cats, down to 1 cat
2 dogs, down to 1 dog
About 12 cars
9-11
Many birthdays, heart breaking losses, celebrations, wonderful friends, volleyball games, girl’s and boy’s basketball games, cross country track meets, golf matches, Daddy and team coaching sessions, team prayers, lake visits, beach visits, laughter and tears, etc…

Then the BEST TWO THINGS that ever happened in this marriage were 26 and 24 years ago. What a wonderful blessing that little baby girl and boy have been to us and continue to be as young adults.

Life is very different before and after babies, before and after elementary school, then high school, college, before and after CPA exams, before and during Dental School, and then your children’s adulthood.

But, I swear, every stage of life with them just gets better and better just as every stage of our marriage. I’m not saying it has all been or will be a “bed of roses”, we are both pretty hard headed at times. Well, at least he is. (This is my blog and I’ll tell the story the way I see it. Lol) but seriously, I feel so blessed to have watched him become an adult, then a father and now a supportive friend to our children and to have so much love, respect, friendship, and happiness in this family.

Right now, I’m loving this song by Jason Aldean, “You Make it Easy” because my hubby really does and I’m pretty certain that there are ALOT of times that I don’t make it easy for him to do just that…

Will you toast to a happy 30 years of marriage and many more?  Thanks for celebrating with us!!!

Target Beauty Box

Awesome, Inexpensive Treat for Your

Perfectly, Imperfect Self or a

Perfectly, Perfect Mother’s Day Gift

April Target Beauty Box
Right after Christmas, I was browsing the online sale items at Target and came across this little Beauty Box. I had purchased 3 month subscriptions from Birchbox for two of my nieces as Christmas presents, so this caught my attention.  I love to try new products but didn’t want to commit to a subscription for myself. It was only $7.00, free shipping and 5% discount by using my Target REDCard.  Why not give it a try?

 

It arrived in a cute little box and I couldn’t wait to open it up!  Inside, the samples were wrapped in blue tissue paper and a card enclosed said, “HELLO STAYCAY.”  Boy, this is just what I needed after the hustle and bustle of the holidays.  I finished opening the tissue and found seven really awesome sample products.

 

Immediately, I tried out the Cover Girl Melting Pout 110, which was a nice, natural looking matte pink.  Then I tried the Nexxus Humectress Hydrating Masque which I needed desperately. With hair color and a perm before Christmas, my curls were frizzy and dry.  I have to say that I could tell a BIG difference in my hair texture after using this masque and I only used about a third of the pack at each use.   Much softer curls and no frizz!

 

Then I used the Pretty Animalz Tiger Sheet Masque on my face.  I really wish I would have taken a picture.  It was hilarious!  If you’re going to wear a masque for 20 minutes, you might as well look like a tiger and kill that time running around the house scaring your family (and your dog). Sorry, Bayli. I’d say that 20 minutes was well spent, especially after I peeled the Tiger Masque off and my face felt fresh, dewy and soft.

 

March Beauty Box
As you can see above, I opened the hair masque and used the tiger masque before I thought about sharing this “treat myself” gift with you guys. I had no idea how much I was going to like the products or certainly, I would have planned to share from the get-go!  
I can’t wait to try the rest of the goodies and will certainly be looking forward to treating myself, and maybe some friends to many more Target Beauty Boxes.  I need all the beauty help I can afford!

If you love experimenting with new products, try a Target Beauty Box today!  

April Beauty Box 

MAY BEAUTY BOX NOW AVAILABLE! click here

Don’t forget to use your Target REDcard for a 5% discount and free shipping.  The debit card is great because the payment comes from your bank account, not a credit card account. 

Don’t have a Target REDcard?

Click here for more info about your Target 5% Discount plus Free Shipping

Have fun playing with your new samples and let me know which ones are your favorites!

ConvertKit 30 Day Kick Starter

 

 

 

Go Red for Women®️

National Wear Red Day®️

Friday, 2/2/18

The American Heart Association sponsors National Wear Red Day®️ on the first Friday of every February in order to raise awareness of heart disease in women. By wearing red to promote and support this cause, we can honor loved ones who have suffered heart attacks, strokes or other effects of heart disease, as well as, draw more attention to the risks of  heart disease in women. We should also use this as a reminder to ourselves to have regular physical examinations, eat healthier foods and exercise more in order to protect that part of our body that keeps it all pumping!
Back in my day, well, actually a lot shorter time back than that, Heart Disease was thought to strike mostly men.  With women’s symptoms usually being quite different from what a National Wear Red Day®️ experiences, women were rarely considered targets of heart disease.  Based on these issues, early detection was uncommon, which is “heart breaking” considering that according to the AHA, “80% of cardiovascular diseases maybe preventable with education and action.”  
Many people today still do not realize how vastly this affects women.  The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, in the U.S., states that “Coronary Heart Disease is the #1 killer of women in the United States.”  We have to raise awareness about hosw this disease is killing women and that is exactly why we Go Red For Women®️!

 

 Ladies, Learn your Risk Here

Okay, enough stats and heart disease history. This is where it gets real…

 

You can read “My Story” below to understand what inspired me to start honoring my mother, Jackie, in February 2009 by participating in Go Red For Women®️.  It wasn’t a big deal.  I just asked co-workers in my area at the community college where I work, to wear red on this day if they wished to participate.  Well, as usual, these amazing people stepped up and we had red hats, red shirts, red dress pins, red fingernails…you get the picture!  Go Red For Women®️ throughout the office!
We continue this tradition every year with more people on campus coming over to our offices showing off their red attire in support.  We try to have fun whatever we are doing, so one year we put a red dress with white polka dots on a headless mannequin and took turns having our heads photographed with the mannequin body. Last year, we made a simple photo booth by hanging a big, red tablecloth with white hearts on the wall.  We let everyone write the names of people they “Go Red” for, on the hearts and took pictures in front of it using funny props.  
The tradition has extended off campus to our friends, friends of friends, family members and the community. On this day, all day, I receive selfies and group pictures of people in their red attire.  Some are supporting me, some remembering my mother.  Most have had a friend or family member touched by heart disease.  Whatever the reason they choose to participate, they are helping bring awareness about heart disease in women to more and more people.  

When I send out the Go Red For Women®️ email reminder every year about this time, “My Story” is attached for any new employees or in case anyone wants to share it with their friends and family.  My mother was truly an inspiration to anyone that knew her.  I have missed her every day of the past 12 years and will continue to miss her always.
Won’t you please Go Red For Women®️ with me on Friday, February 2nd and proudly help raise awareness about heart disease in women?  It could save a life!  You are very special and deserve a HAPPY HEALTHY HEART!

 Free Shipping @ Target. 

 

My Story

My mother had her first heart attack when she was 36.  I was in the 5th grade.  She lost an entire artery and was told that she could not go back work.  She was disabled…
As a child, that did not mean much to me, except that, my mother was sick and couldn’t do a lot of the things that she used to do.  She had been working as a teacher/librarian, going to school to get her Master’s Degree in Education, looking forward to a bright career ahead, as well as being a wife and active mother of two young girls.   As I got closer to that age, and then even more when I passed it, I realized how young she was and how life-altering that must have been for her.
She survived another heart attack when she was about 50 and because of her determination, lived a very full life even though her heart was only pumping at about 10% capacity.  She dedicated herself totally to her family and friends instead of focusing on her illness.
On Feb. 6, 2006, she collapsed at a middle school basketball game, was taken to the hospital by ambulance and died two days later, on February 8, 2006 of congestive heart failure.
With National Wear Red Day®️ occurring the first Friday of every February, I thought this would be an awesome way to honor her for being so strong and persevering, when I know she hardly had the energy to get up every morning.
At her celebration of life, we played a song that was very special to her, “I Hope You Dance” by Leann Rimes. I hope that the next time you hear this song, you will think about her and remember that life is short.  You must dance, live fully, laugh much, love, pray, enjoy your friends and take care of yourself!

 

If you have a story you wish to share, please feel free to comment.

 

February is American Heart Month and as much as we need to promote heart health in women, we care about our men’s heart health as well. This article by the Center for Disease Control is certainly worth the read.
Link: Strong Men put their Heart Health First

Fixer Upper B&B – The Beautiful Hillcrest Estate

Hello to all you ‘Fixer Upper” fans!

In one of my first posts, I gave you a glimpse of our second trip to Waco, Texas in October 2017 and promised to share more photos of the trip. Well, sorting through the pictures, I was reminded that I took quite a few!  So, please sit back, relax and join me as I take you to the amazing Hillcrest Estate.  This is the beautiful entrance to Hillcrest Estate, the second B&B that Chip and Joanna renovated. This one is actually located in Waco, whereas Magnolia House is in McGregor. The Estate opened in 2017 and reservations are available twice a year when they open the reservation lines. Just make sure you pick someone with persistence to dial and redial and redial since fans from all over the country will be trying at the same time to book a stay at Hillcrest Estate. With some luck, and a sister with a quick dialing finger, like I had, hopefully, you will get through before all of the dates are booked.

As soon as you walk in the front door, you know it, you feel it, they’ve done it again and in a big way! You feel welcome and at home immediately. In the foyer, there is a round table with a Guest Log, scented candle, large bottle of water, Magnolia store discount cards for all guests and a note from Chip and Jo.The living room is open and bright but also very cozy & inviting. They’ve built an entertainment center using old doors, covered a wooden chair with soft new fabric (top left) and hung blankets on a ladder for your snuggling pleasure. The dining room (top right) seats 10 at the long, black wooden table. The bookshelves are full of white dishes, pitchers, candlesticks, cake stands and books. I promise, you never get tired of just wandering around this house checking out the details. The middle right picture is the poker room.  It is a dark grayish/blue, has its own fireplace and a large old map framed and hung on the wall. Bottom right is a sitting area in the downstairs master bedroom. Magnolia notepad and pen placed on the table for your convenience, of course.I honestly don’t know how many bedrooms there are. I guess I could count them from my pictures, but anyway, all of the many bedrooms are amazing! The collage above shows the first bedroom to the right as you walk in the front door. It has a fireplace with remote control gas logs, a desk, bookshelves and the coziest bed covers and blankets ever. This is true for all of the beds in Hillcrest Estate!

This is the Master Bedroom, however, it’s really hard not to call all of the bedrooms “Master’s”! A beautiful 4 poster king size bed (OMG, comfy), bottled “Magnolia” water, chocolate truffles, and Wifi password at your fingertips. Then, the master bath… The granite countertop, double sinks, subway tile, two headed shower with bench seating, are all impressive, but THIS tub…It must be three feet deep (middle left).  Again, all the details, towels, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and soap at your fingertips in the glass door linen closet.  The toiletries are Bigelow Peppermint and Lavender. When I smell the leftover lotion I stingily use at home, it brings back that Magnolia ambience all over again.So cute! This is the entrance to the upstairs bathroom. I could get used to seeing that every morning, couldn’t you?More bedroom and bathroom pictures. Are you tired of looking at pictures? I didn’t think so. Lol. So many wonderful nooks and crannies filled with decorating inspiration!Another sitting/reading area, more pics of dining room table and fireplace.Now, this is really a smart use of kitchen space. The oven is located in the brick divider wall, which is cool, but my favorite part is that here are inverted shelves built into the brick wall on both sides of the oven. These hold coffee, flavored syrups, spices, etc…anything you need while you are cooking. I love this!

Then there’s the back yard. Simply peaceful. A fire pit with rocking chairs ready to warm your hands in the evening and a quaint chapel built with old glass windowed doors, complete with a concrete bench where you can sit and watch the birds, think, pray or just be grateful.

And last, little, but not least, is this adorable playhouse. Covered front porch, window boxes planted with trailing greenery, and dinner bell hanging by the door. Walk in and notice a lovely pattern on the ceramic tile floors, wood shelving, and the cutest ceramic sink with actual running water. 
What child, or adult for that matter, wouldn’t love to hang out in this precious little house?  Unless, of course, you have the opportunity to stay in the big house. Lol. 

I just can’t tell you how much we enjoyed our stay at Hillcrest Estate and how much we appreciated all the details that were handled by the wonderful caretakers.  Chip and Jo obviously put their heart into preserving the history of this old house built in 1903 by updating the decor but maintaining the original style of the home, like they do so well!

I hope you enjoyed my little virtual tour of the Hillcrest Estate.  Stay tuned for more pics and info on Magnolia Silos, Waco tours and restaurants that we visited on our trip to Waco, Texas.

Enjoyed having you visit the Hillcrest Estate with me!

Free shipping at Target

“All the Stockings were Hung” Pop-up Party


My birthday is December 13th. Many people that are born in December don’t really like their birthday being that close to Christmas, but I’ve always loved it. When I was young, we would go out to dinner, which we only did on special occasions, then come home to enjoy cake and decorate our Christmas tree. It’s crazy but I just realized while writing this post at almost 55 years old, that the remaining days would be the “12 Days of Christmas.” I bet my mother knew that all along.

Today, I can’t imagine waiting until the 13th of December to decorate our tree. I dread the process of getting out the decorations and creating another mess in the house, but usually try to get started the weekend after Thanksgiving. My kids are grown and “Thanksgiving is at MY house” (http://somanysomedays.com/thanksgiving-is-at-my-house), not Christmas, so every year I think maybe I won’t pull all of the decorations out.

Then I get to the ornament box and everything changes as I pull out the precious ornaments given to my children by my Mom every year since 1991, the Christmas before my daughter was born in January, until Christmas 2005, her last Christmas with us. Then the ornaments that my faithful sister has given my children every year since they were born. That’s a trait I do not have, consistency. My sister finds the perfect ornament for whatever phase of life they are experiencing. A driver’s license at 16 years old, basketballs & volleyballs (good for several years for both kids, lol), beach themes while they were attending college in a beach town and at younger ages, airplanes, water-skiing or Star Wars.

Before you know it, I get all excited, start surfing Pinterest, making new crap, cutting tree branches for arrangements and doing those spontaneous, procrastinating projects.  

After all this creating and decorating, it occurs to me that we, as empty nesters, are pretty much the only ones here over Christmas except a few short visits from our kids. It seems a shame not to invite our family and friends over for my birthday but I just do not feel ready. (Not sure that I ever feel ready, though). The house needs cleaning, the coffee table doesn’t match the other furniture, the paint on the windows needs to be scraped off and blah, blah, blah. I just didn’t feel capable of getting it done.

But you know what? God gave me such a blessing last Friday; a beautiful, snowy, afternoon at home.

Now, at this point I still wasn’t thinking “Pop-up Party”.  I just felt like I might be able to finish my new napkin rings and possibly get the den straightened up enough that we could relax and enjoy the snowy evening.

Then it got dark.

The snow was glistening outside, my dining table was decorated, the tree lights were twinkling, and the lit wreaths were shining on the stairway. That, is when I decided to have a “Pop-up Party” for my birthday and Christmas. Pretty spontaneous, right?

I started creating a checklist in my head. “Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung….” OH CRAP! “Where the heck are the stockings?”

Tree decorated
Mantle decorated
Front door wreaths (lights are a little half-a**ed)
Icicle lights (still up from last year)
Newly painted Christmas pillow
New dough ornaments made
New napkin rings done

                          But, “Where the heck are the stockings?”

Pop-up Party planning off to a rocky start!  Go ahead and send out email invites anyway.

Pop-up Party @ the Parks’ House

No gifts please, come as you are, drop in after work, before or after shopping or shop online at our house! Bring some cookies or wine or come empty-handed. I just want to spend time surrounded by friends and family, Christmas lights and laughter.

My house will not be spotless, my dog will be barking, my two grand puppies will be running around, my son will have to visit thru Facetime, but all will be merry and bright for this evening, “stockings hung by the chimney” or not.

I challenge you this Christmas to let your guard down a little.  Invite people into your home and share your blessings with them. Their presence will bless you. They will not judge you, but instead appreciate you for including them in your “real” life.

Now, I’ve got to go find those darn stockings send out some evites. Happy Birthday to me and Merry Christmas to all of you!

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Thanksgiving is at MY House

Thanksgiving is at MY house, which is totally fair since we spend two days of Christmas frolicking at my sister’s beautiful house. However, Thanksgiving is at my house and it comes first, fast and right after a fun, easy, little night of Halloween festivities, which does not require a big meal with lots of family; only candy, drinks and a few spooktacular friends.  So, here it is 2 ½ weeks away and you want to give Thanksgiving all the attention it deserves, but Christmas ads are already running on TV, the 30’ tree has been delivered to Biltmore House and you have to RSVP to the company Christmas party.

Well, HOLD ON A DOG GONE MINUTE!

Thanksgiving is at MY house and if I have to clean up, buy groceries, pull rarely used pots, pans and dishes out of storage, then we are going to pause… and focus on Thanksgiving.

If you want to skip over Thanksgiving and move on to Christmas, I guess you’ll just have to celebrate somewhere other than MY house. We will be enjoying each other’s company and giving thanks for the many blessings God has given us until the last piece of Pumpkin Pie has been devoured!

So, that being understood, I’m going to give you a few fun, easy to do, easy to clean up and put away ideas for your Thanksgiving celebration so that you can quickly move on to Christmas AFTER your Turkey Day dinner without feeling like you’ve cheated Thanksgiving…

1. Have a chalkboard available for your guests to write things that they are thankful for this year. Since you can’t keep chalkboard writing, just snap a picture for memories and erase! Easy, easy! Ready for your Christmas quote!

2. Use Fall colored Christmas balls, which are already available in every color imaginable, and put little clear sticky dots on the bottom (the ones you use to keep items from scratching your furniture). Cut slips of cardstock or scrapbook paper and supply a black sharpie for your guests to share a blessing, prayer request or Thanksgiving praise. Use a piece of clear tape to attach the note onto the wire ball hanger or punch a hole in the paper and tie to the wire ball hanger.

3. Buy a cheap roll of brown contractor’s paper at the hardware store and cut placemat size pieces. Don’t take time to measure; you know that’s not my style. When you have one about the right size for your table, use it to get the others pretty close to the same size. Then, take a sharpie and draw squiggles around the edges, write Bible verses or quotes, use a stamp or draw turkeys on your placemats (if you have more artistic ability than this girl). Crumble up and toss after Thanksgiving dinner!

4. Buy an old tray at Goodwill, a thrift shop, or more likely, use one from your secret stash of Someday Wannado craft supplies. Paint the center with chalkboard paint. Let dry. Write on. So simple, I’m sure you didn’t need me to figure that one out. Erase and get ready for “# of Days ‘til Christmas”!

Now, I can’t help you much with the “big” family meal, but if you are supplying the location and the fabulous décor, maybe you can do like I do and have your guests bring their “specialty” dish that ONLY they can make (wink, wink)!

Then, PRAY. EAT. ENJOY… Thanksgiving at MY house is almost over and now we can get excited for the next big thing, my birthday (lol).  Seriously, more importantly, Christmas (which is not at MY house)!!!


Hi, Ya’ll from Magnolia Silos

I just want to give you a sneak peek of our trip to Waco last week where we spent two nights at Chip and Joanna’s second fixer upper rental property, Hillcrest Estate. I will say that this house is amazing (no surprise there) and anyone you talk to that knows the Gaines’ will tell you that they are genuinely, the same people you see on “Fixer Upper” week after week.The locals don’t mind sharing their personal and/or professional experiences with this down to earth, but oh so famous, family.The positive impact on Waco is evident everywhere you look. Because of their dedication and desire to bring the city of Waco back from a devastating tornado and failing economic state, they have enriched so many lives and changed the future for the good of generations to come.  

I will share lots more from our trip so please check back soon!