Friday, September 27, 2013

In Focus Friday w/ My Mind's Lens: September 2013

As promised, here is Kaeley's September installment of In Focus Friday.  Kaeley lives in Oregon, so Fall shows up a little earlier for her (*note NORMAL time), as opposed to Texas where yesterday he were still rockin' 95 degrees - will it ever end????  Anyway, Kaeley is sharing some photo prompts to get us in the mood for matter where we live!



I don't know what the deal is this week - my mind must be elsewhere, but I'm not sure where!  I haven't been able to focus at work or get motivated to do the tasks at hand . . . I forget to send a fellow blogger some information I promised . . . and if it wasn't for Julie sending me a little reminder yesterday afternoon, I wouldn't even be here!  I thought that the sick bug that is making its way through our friends and family had escaped me, but I fear it may have just gotten sidetracked and has come back for me.  Maybe that is the problem . . .

At any rate, I am here!  If you are the type of person who likes to take pictures - either including your family, or just of your surroundings - of the various seasons, I want to share 10 photos that I think everybody should try to capture this Fall.

1. Colorful leaves on the ground.  For an extra challenge, capture a child jumping into a whole PILE of red and orange leaves.

2. A scary-looking house.  There has to be at least one of these in your neighborhood.  Here is the one near my house, I think the fence is what really does it for me.

3. Jack-O-Lanterns.  This one is a given.  For a change from the traditional "pumpkin face", try a new design - decorating your pumpkin in other ways, such as painting it like I did!

4. A cup of hot cider (or your favorite hot drink).  Nothing says "fall" more than the smell of hot apple cider.

5. Your favorite fall recipe.  I LOVE being able to start making soups and casseroles again once the cold weather starts to settle in.

6. Trick-or-treaters.  The baby outfits are always my favorite - what could be cuter than a baby-sized pumpkin or kitty or cow?

7. A farm.  This can be an actual farmhouse, a pumpkin patch, rows of crops.   But hay bales and fresh squash and gourds always make me think of fall.

8. A football game.  I remember when I was younger I used to love going to the homecoming football game . . . and when I was in high school enjoying all the events of homecoming week.  Ever heard this song?
The Boys of Fall by Kenny Chesney on Grooveshark

Yep - football season means fall is here!! So bundle up, and get out and support your local football teams.

9. Your Thanksgiving feast!  Last year I cooked my first turkey ever when we had all of our friends over for a Thanksgiving themed housewarming party - potluck style.  I was super nervous since it would be feeding so many people, but it actually went pretty smoothly.

10. Reflection in a rain puddle.  You don't have to live in the NW to find rain puddles already.  See how much detail you can capture in the reflection.

Thank you for stopping by for In Focus Friday, and have a great weekend!


Kaeley, thank you so much for the great photo ideas for capturing fall.  I think that reflection picture is amazing!  I hope that you all will stop back next week where I will finish up the last two days of my Orlando vacation from a couple of weeks ago.  If you would like to get caught up. you can find Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.  Have a great weekend and I hope to see all of you next week!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Orlando 2013: A Girl's Weekend Part 2

OK....time for Part 2 of the Florida girl's weekend.  If you missed part one you can find it here.  We got a pretty slow start as we had stayed up way too late the night before, but hey, it was vacay!

My morning started out with this sweet face staring at me (I did warn you yesterday that I was in love with a dog....I wasn't kidding)...

I was dying to get "my toes in the water and my ass in the sand" so we made the hour drive to New Smyrna Beach.....but before we hit the beach we grabbed lunch at Charley's, which was beachside...

Finally, white sand + blue/green ocean = a little bit of HEAVEN....

Used the BGC  (big girl camera) for these 
Me, Jennifer and Megan

After an afternoon at the beach, we stopped by a little hole in the wall bar for a drink before heading back to Orlando....Jennifer and I found this place on my last visit to FL - not much had changed...

Sometime during afternoon conversation, Jennifer mentioned that Orlando has a Giordano's Pizza - HELLO!!!!  Dinner was a no brainer.  Rewind to the first girl's weekend in Chicago, where a cheese pizza was ordered from Giordano's on the way to catch our flight.  It ended up riding  in our laps and I was the only one that was able to scarf down a piece in the cab because let's just say that everyone in the cab didn't respond as well to the St. Patrick's Day bar crawl the day before, as I did.....true story.  Luckily, Friday night, we put that all behind us and cheese pizza to die for was enjoyed by all!

We ended the night.with a fantastic card game. I have no picture (well, I do - but the one I have is beyond inappropriate), but if you love to laugh, and can appreciate crude and/or don't walk to get this game: Cards Against Humanity.  You can get it on Amazon and there are now two editions of expansion cards that you can get.  We went through the whole box in one night, but I really think that you could play many times with the original version and it would still be a whole lot of fun!  Be does get raunchy!!!  Unless you have seriously cool parents, you would probably not feel comfortable playing with me on this.

That wraps up Day 2....but I hope you will come back for days 3 and 4 next week.  Tomorrow will be the monthly installment of In Focus Friday w/Kaeley from My Mind's Lens.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Orlando 2013: A Girl's Weekend Part 1

Just a little background on these sweet ladies that I spent time with in Orlando a couple of weekends ago.  I met them both at my current job.  They moved on, but we fortunately have stayed friends.  Although, it would be safe to say that they are at different places in their lives than me (relatively newly married and no kids), we manage to stay in touch and I love them both to pieces.  Megan lives close, but with crazy schedules and work, we have to make a concerted effort to get together now and then to touch base and catch up.  Jennifer lives in Orlando and her and her hubby opened their beautiful lakeside home to Megan and I and played hosts for the weekend. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for us to go years in between visits....BOOOO!

Anyway, it was a great trip even though it flew by way to fast!  Prepare for a picture dump of epic proportion (spread out over several days).....I thought the pictures would tell a better story!

I arrived just after lunch time on Thursday...unfortunately Megan wasn't coming in until much later in the evening, but Jennifer and I made the best of the day and kicked the trip off right.  Lunch and a delish sangria for me at 310....

and then the rest of afternoon at "The Wine Room"....

where I found this delicious Chardonnay (oh, and did I mention it was c.h.e.a.p?)

We were missing one.....BOO!

Then we headed back to the house to enjoy this view.....

And finally...there were three (oops....I mean 4)!

The drink master made sure our glasses were never empty (aka Chris, Jenn's hubby)

Not sure exactly what this was, but it was good!

That about wraps up day one.  Yes, the drinks were flowing...but hey, don't judge....we were on vacation and yes, I did fall in love with a three pound dog!  Stay tuned....there will be more.  All of the above were taken with my obviously not so awesome camera phone....sorry!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Guest Post Tuesday: My Mind's Lens & Tuesday Tunes

I have taken over Kaeley's blog, My Mind's Lens for the day.  I hope you will stop by and see my post about blogging connections.  I am front and center for Guest Post Tuesday.  Have a great day!

This makes me smile!!!

I am also linking up with my girl Holli for.....

Leslyn's Lovely Life

This song never gets old for me, and even better when they throw in a little Nelly!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Getting to Know You: A Link Party

I must admit I was excited to join the Texxas Women Bloggers group, but I have to be honest I have not been great about keeping up with what has been going on....shame on me!!!!  Sometimes, life just gets the better of me and things fall through the cracks...I am only human.  Anyway, I was reading Holli's post today and it looked like a fun link up, so I am jumping on the bandwagon.

Getting to Know You Link Party with the Texas Women Bloggers

1. If you make money with your blog, how do you do it?  I don't.  If you do, I say more power to you - I think it is great.  Personally, I don't want to invest the time and energy that it would take to get things going.  I am also not a fan of ads all over my blog.  I am all for giving companies that I 100% believe in a bit of space, but that is my choice and I am happy to do that free of charge.

2. How do you increase your blog readership?  There was a time when I was all about getting to that special number.  These days, not so much.  I participated in giveaways and now you will more often find me doing a link up or two.  It just isn't as important to me anymore.  Don't get me wrong - I love when I notice that a new Follower has popped up and even more excited if they comment so that I get to know them a bit  better.  I have met the most incredible women through blogging and some I am lucky enough to even call dear, true friends.  For that, I will always be thankful that I started blogging....whether I have 5 or 1005 readers, you just never know what gems are hiding in the group, just waiting to be discovered!

3.  If you aren't originally from Texas, what brought you here?  I am originally from Kentucky.  My family moved here in August of 1977 (yes, I realize that some of you weren't even born).  My dad was getting his Masters Degree and he decided on Southern Methodist University.  We have been in the metroplex ever since.  A little interesting parents and I made the move in a blue VW Beetle....the back seat was laid down with a little pallet for me to lay down on and boxes packed to the top all around me.  We made our way through Memphis on August 16th, the day "The King" died on his throne.  ELVIS people, even the youngsters should know that one. 

4.  If someone were to hand you $10,000 (no strings attached), what would you do with it?  I would pay off my car, a few bills, take Zachary on a wonderful vacation and save the rest for a rainy day!

5.  If you were a color, what color would you be?  I would be hot pink....I love it.  Although most of my clothes end up being black, I do have a few things that are hot pink and you can frequently find my toenails sporting a fabulous shade of pink! 

6.  What are your blogging strengths?  Weaknesses?  Strengths?  I would have to say that I tell things like they are.  I definitely don't share everything on my blog, but what I do share is never sugar coated...that just isn't me.  As far as the weakness part goes, well that is simple....I am very inconsistent.  Sometimes, I really just don't have anything to say that I think that anyone would be interested in and other times I have plenty to say but just have a hard time making myself sit down to do it.  Not a great weakness to have when you blog, but at least I know that about myself and don't let it get the best of me.  I really beat myself up over it when I started blogging, but have since learned to ease up on myself.  After all, when it is no longer fun and feels more like a chore, you should probably stop.

You have now learned probably way more than you ever wanted to know about me, but it was kind of fun! Thanks for stopping by!

Third Thursday Scrapbook Stories: September 2013

Not that it is any big secret....but Katie is one very timely scrapper.  In most things scrap related, I am LITERALLY years behind.  This girl is on top of it!!!  Less than two weeks ago, I finally got to meet her sweet self in person....and now, here it is, already scrapped and ready to share on Third Thursday Scrapbook Stories.


The visit was a whirlwind, but we tried to squeeze as much as we could into a very short time (despite the ridiculous heat that we are still experiencing in TX - despite the fact that Fall is right around the corner).  I am so glad that we finally managed to get together, she is a sweetheart and so wish that we lived closer....maybe she would keep me scrapping more regularly! ; )


Happy September!

A few weeks ago, I got to fly out to Texas to visit Julie! She was a great hostess and I really had such a great time exploring a new city!

And even cooler than seeing a new city was meeting a "new" friend. I'm not sure I should say new, because I've gotten to know Julie from our blogs for so long, but I'd never met her in person before. Either way, it so fun to get to meet her in person - Julie is very cool to hang out with! I had a wonderful time!

Of course, you knew there was going to be a scrapbook layout. And what better place to share than here on Julie's blog!

Now, if this layout looks familiar, its because its scrap lifted from this one...which was based on this sketch! As I was flipping though my scrapbook, I realized I use this layout all the time!

Are there any layouts that you use all the time?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I'm Back & Tuesday Tunes

I have returned from the Sunshine State and promise that I will post about it soon.  I did not get through my photography classes as I had hoped, but I think I did manage to get a few good pictures.  We were never at the beach at the right time to capture a great sunset, but at least we managed to get to two different beaches while we there.  Stay tuned....there will be more!!!!!

I am also linking up with the ever awesome ladies from Tuesday Tunes: HolliLauren and Leslyn.

Leslyn's Lovely Life

I am not going into a bunch of detail here, other than to say that I have a terrible struggle with stepping back and putting things in God's hands.  It is not that I think that I know better, but more that I can't sit back and do nothing and wait to see my path (yes, I do realize that means that I struggle with Faith) - I feel the need to be proactive.  God continues to put up with my nonsense, but gently shows me the error of my ways....OUCH!  Enough said.....I have loved this song since the first moment I heard it and today, I really need to soak it in!  Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tuesday Tunes

It is short and sweet today, ladies....which I guess is better than not here at all - right?  I am linking up with HolliLeslyn and Lauren for:

Leslyn's Lovely Life

In honor of the season premier of Sons of Anarchy, my pick was a no brainer.  

And hey, I am not looking to start a debate or a firestorm, but if you haven't watched SOA and you think that Charlie Hunnam was not a good choice for 50 Shades of Grey....well I hate to tell you - but he is going to KILL IT (the boy cleans up REAL good)!!!!!  Just my two cents - August 1, 2014 can't get here fast enough.  Happy Tuesday!