Saturday, July 2, 2016

A Little About Me...

To those whom still may visit, I thought I'd do a little intro. Nothing fancy or very exciting and maybe even a little weird. But that's OK. I'm happy with it all. Let's get to know each other a bit, shall we...



Obsessed...

Every. Day.





I can honestly and pretty much happily say that I don't mind at all completing the housework from organizing, tidying, vacuuming, dusting, even fluffing pillows and going through piles of paperwork... However, the dishes and loads (my little homemaking rendition of Jesus' "fishes and loaves". Just a little cheesy humor there, haha) are another story. See, when my first born turned 3 years old, it was time for implementing chores and getting those little hands to helping out with these not so favorite tasks of mine. So, now 8 years later, we have two hard working girls at 11 and 6 years old that have specific chore lists of several tasks that are age appropriate and they both help with laundry and dishes. They love it. Oh what a relief! I know I should be thankful, which I certainly am, but I just don't like doing dishes and loads!...




I truly would LOVE to live and raise a family in this era...



But with modern technology.



By the way... best actress EVER!






I spend a whole lot of time doing this...



I always have several stacks of all kinds of books piled in a few places of the house. I literally will pick a random book up at any given time and just read, whatever it is...


I also do a lot of this...



And yes, I have many fountain pens. I use them all the time.



One big thing, some of you may have noticed, is missing from my blog...

I do not post photos of my girls' faces. Just one thing my husband has requested of me in social posts and blogging. I'm glad to oblige and seeing as how these precious children are his little girls, I completely understand and side with him... As they get older and have more stories to tell of themselves, I may share!...




Me. All. The. Time...



I have the great ability to over think. I was born with this. I practice mindfulness, reading/writing and yoga to help with relaxation. I also run a few times per week between 30 minutes to an hour, not for weight loss, strictly for clearing this fast paced mind of mine. I also get a tad "cringy" when someone says to me, "Don't take anything for granted." While I completely understand this is from their heart of hearts and I know very well it's a very true and wonderful thing to remember because it happens so often, but me... I already jump to worst case scenario probably 562 times per day regarding my family, myself, friends, pets, etc. so taking something for granted other than maybe my phone or DVR, is not usually common in my mind.


I hate eggs...



They give me the heebby-jeebbies... Except if I make them myself with NO brown or runny parts and with loads of cheese. 



I also was involved in an Atlanta based casting agency for about a year and a half where I was hired to make appearances, some background and even some featured, through these amazing companies...


I met Tyler Perry and even had an approximate 3 minute conversation with him. I filmed with Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams in the movie Trouble with the Curve. I met the cast, including *sigh* Justin Timberlake! It was a major experience I will never forget and maybe I'll do it again...




I started my own Caking business 6 years ago. I obtained a business license, food safety permit, had suppliers and full-time orders/income almost immediately. I had NEVER made a cake that was more than a basic round with Duncan Hines icing slathered on it, and certainly never even knew what fondant was.

This was my first...


This is a Dedication cake I made for our girls. We dedicated them at the same time and just the day before, I decided I wanted to make a super special dessert. I went to a local confection shop and just pieced together the items I thought I needed and it worked out. Our guests loved it and I was instantly asked by many to do a cake for them!... I love totally unplanned blessings!


 My Christmas cake the same year. All edible...


Everything here is just a few pics that I randomly grabbed off the old desktop to post from my first couple months of caking...

See the infamous "Pinterest Wedding Cake"? And what little boy doesn't love Handy Manny?! 
I made everything by my hands and completely edible!

Maybe not too shabby for the first few cakes of only beginning to bake a cake if I do say so myself!



I no longer operate my business for now. I was working over 12 hours per day Tuesday-Friday including deliveries starting at 7am on Saturdays plus traveling up to 3 hours for meetings and deliveries as well. I created over 1400 cakes during the entire 6 years! My girls were so young and needed me so much more. I decided to hold off until they are older. It was hard, but never regret it. Especially since I have the comfort in knowing I can pick it up anytime when it's meant to be.




So, there ya have it! If you're actually still reading this, you're probably realizing I'm not really that exciting.

Until next time friends! *Cheers and blessings to you*




Monday, June 27, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday June 27, 2016


I love teaming with Sandra over at her Family Corner and it has been a while since I've updated on Happy Homemaker Mondays. So, good Monday morning to those of you who still drop by. This is just a peek into what's happening on my Monday. 

Weather for today: Low temperature for the day is a shocking 73 degrees but by lunchtime the temps usually start to steadily soar a bit. The high for today is 93 degrees, which is slightly lower than normal from the past week. Usually the high is around 105 degrees. July through mid September, unfortunately we pretty much have to hibernate most of our time indoors. I am constantly looking for new and fun activities for the girls to do or go to that is air conditioned. Since we do not have a pool this year, it's not easy to stay cool in the yard. Down in the south, it is stifling hot and the humidity can suffocate!

Reading: Normally I have at least three books that I have in random places of the house while making my way through them during my quiet times or at bed time. We have definitely had a full schedule so far in our Summer break that I am not moving through any novels at the moment, but my Jesus Calling devotions book is right by my side to read the reminders of each day. If I need clarification or am intrigued by a topic on the devotional, I'll pick up my Bible and do some context reading.



On my to do list: First thing as the phones open, I must make an appointment with my GP for a checkup and checkout of some questionable pain I've been experiencing. Also, I must make an appointment with our vet for one of our fur babies to get a second round of antibiotics. Catching up on laundry, dishes, vacuuming and organizing a lot of paperwork. I also must start the planning for next school year! My goodness, the time will not slow down. I am not ready to prep for next year. We will be starting our year the first of August, so thankfully one month is still left.

Around the House: Currently, due to some pain, I am dealing with it in bed and trying to get my mind to focus at least until the doctor's office opens. Its very quiet and still a little dim throughout. I made my coffee and brought it to bed with me and glad its still cool inside. The girls spent the night with their Grands (another perk of Summer break) which is rarely on a Sunday night. I'm behind in chores with laundry and vacuuming from a super busy weekend, so I'm seeing the lack of fruits from any labor the past two days. 

From the camera last week

7:15am coffee on the deck before the chaos fun begins...

Picnics in the Summer are a given...


Ahh, who can resist ice cold lemon water on a 105° Summer afternoon?...

Favorites from the menu: I usually cook five days out of the week and on Sundays, I alternate between cooking our Italian meal or ordering out. This week, one of my favorite meals was this shake-n-bake, boneless pork chops dinner I made. Its absolutely delicious, but this was also my last pork meal for a while. I am finally off of many meds and able to focus strictly on recuperating my health and fitness... I also always home make my own sour cream, garlic and herb mashed potatoes, sides of spinach salad and black eye peas. My family love this dish and I will still gladly prepare this from time to time for them!



I plan to share a recipe for a popular dish on the menu for this week on Wednesday and hope your Monday is filled with Happiness!


Friday, June 10, 2016

Home...

Home...

(Edited using Sketchcamera app for Android)

I truly LOVE to travel, take vacations, cruise and "get outta dodge" with my family, but the saying is true...

There is no place like home!

Each year, my family (including my parents, brother and sister-in-law and cousins all go on a cruise twice a year plus a Disney trip in between. Also, just the four of us take a weekend trip or get away every once in a while.
 I love to see new places, taking my girls to visit and experience different and beautiful parts of the world. 

But when its time to come home, there is nothing sweeter!

  


Here, we have our sanctuary. Our quiet time, family time and play time. We have remodeled our home, redecorated and  made additions within the past ten years that we've lived in our country home. We've made it our dream so far and literally live our day as if we will never leave!


I have my little "coffee bar" where I visit every single morning. Sometimes twice a day. Coffee and espresso are how I see color each day after shuffling out of bed... See my sign? I'm proud of it. I saw one on Etsy, made a trip to Hobby Lobby and using some items I already had and decided to make my own! 😉


Tea with journaling and devotions at bedtime...





Freshly picked strawberries from the back of the field that we have grown ourselves. The girls love it when I take these organic beauties and turn them into little surprise treats for us to indulge in throughout the day.



Yes, I cook homemade (and sometimes from scratch) meals mostly Sunday through Thursday. Sometimes I like to be served while sitting at a restaurant table with my people, but home made meals and family time at our table is best.



Lattes and books on the porch.



My homemade wreath greets us when we return to our haven.



Laundry diving in the middle of the family room floor while its still hot!



3D movies in the afternoons.


The sweet sound of my babies playing beautifully on our piano. When I hear the delicate sound of those fingers making breathtaking music throughout the house, I sometimes get emotional and stop what I'm doing to listen...



See, in our home, love lives here. God lives here and our hearts grow here. Being blessed and thankful doesn't even begin to cover it. 



Thank you so much for stopping by and I invite you to join me for coffee or tea right here. Happy memories ladies!


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

June... Already?

June... Already?

So, here it is. Our first week of beautiful June and the beginning of slightly scorching weather here in the south. Averaging around 90 degrees.

Most of our mid-mornings and late afternoons revolve around this...


Because it does get quite hot earlier in the day to very high temps, we aren't usually outside between lunchtime and about 4pm if we are home. My poor girls tend to get a little exacerbated quicker during that time so we like to cool off with a little of this...



The hubby grills for us when he gets home. I am a die-hard grill girl. As soon as there is evidence of warmer weather, its time to cook out and chill on the deck until well after the girls' normal 8pm bedtime, because its summer break!







Time to break out some of our summer decor to remind us of the sacrifices made for all the freedoms to enjoy this land and our family in our comfy and safe home! I am a sucker for the red, white and blue and these reminders stay out all summer until the first scent of Fall!



...and of course we celebrated National Donut Day!
These little luscious beauties were made from scratch by my 11 year old chef! They were yummy!




Afternoon coffee time during my quiet devotions. Along with yoga and mindfulness meditation, prayer and God's Word is number one in my maintenance of sanity! Remember, I am a business owner and homeschooling mom of two...



Movies after lunch is always a special treat! Extra butter please...



The girls and I went over our June folder... I was inspired to incorporate this organization method into our months because since we started the homeschooling journey, I noticed I had a bit of trouble keeping up with my tasks, holidays and events, birthdays, etc. as well as I had before this lifestyle change. About two or three months ago I found this amazing and super inspiring blog here and you must visit because her ideas are nothing short of creative yet simple enough to make the job so much more fun without anything slipping through the cracks! All about family is how we roll around here so I love finding new ways to make it exciting for our girls.



Impromptu picnics and play dates are a must.



And when the girls are at their Grands or away on a play date, you'll almost always find me here...



Favorite summer breakfasts, just us girls for brunch during the week.


Hubby and I along with family including my brother and beautiful sister in law make our way to the lake on our boat. When nothing is planned for our weekend, this is my husband's happy place. You may be able to tell...




Though it may be summer break from school with later bedtimes, movies in the mornings, daytime trips with friends, vacations and maybe some afternoon naps, I still rise by 6am each morning to see my hard working husband off on his day of work. We have uninterrupted conversation, a few minutes of a fresh and new day to start out, just us, over a small breakfast and quick prayer. This, I will always cherish even as we get older and as the girls grow and move on with their lives. I pray that we will always have our mornings. 
When he departs, this is where I'm found most days at least until 7:30am while the girls snooze. I have started a load of laundry and prepped for their breakfast.
I read over my Bible and requests, reflect and go over the day"s plans and relish in our lives in the now wondering what it would be like back then...


So, summer break has had a pretty good start here. Now we are prepping for our super talented singer, Klo (our oldest), to go with our local university's childrens' choir on a 9 day tour up the east coast and into Canada. As soon as she turned 10, after working so hard in the prep choir rehearsing and auditioning, she made it to touring choir! She started at 7 years old and looks to be a passion she will be pursuing. More on that soon!
 Now on to packing! 

Happy Summer ladies!

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Graduation and a Party!

A Graduation and a Party!

Grab some coffee or wine and snacks... I've been away for awhile so this is a long one, but I do hope you'll stay and join me!

Its a little bittersweet to now be at the end of another year of homeschooling my two beautiful and super smart girls! Those of you who may follow me on Instagram may already be aware of the hard year we had that actually started way back in March 2015. I had severe health complications, a huge scare of cancer and symptoms that were never diagnosed which brought upon us (the whole family) having to live and plan around doctor's visits, numerous tests, hospital stays, ER visits at any random time that would sometimes last for days. I even spent New Years in the hospital. During this painfully scary time, my wonderful husband also lost his father in June last year due to cancer. By the Grace of GOD, we were able to get through it and I was also able to complete a full year of somehow successful homeschooling of our 1st and 5th grade girls. The family, close friends and I were in constant prayer daily and multiple times per day. It felt like forever which was actually a full 13 months to get through to healing! Our girls grew extremely close to each other, to their daddy and myself, I grew closer to answered prayers of REAL friends that I had never had before. SO this week, we celebrated such a mountain of a milestone, something so much more than a graduation and a celebration of the end of another school year. This time, we celebrate the immense power of God, His blessings and answered prayers, (even though it felt like forever to receive an answer) life, love, strength and the ability to actually finish an entire year without having to enroll our girls back into school. Not only did our girls complete their needed assignments, they excelled socially, intellectually and soulfully. They learned how to pray, how to be patient and to also work very hard under fearful circumstances, something that may not have learned outside of our home. Rai finished 1st grade with a very high 95% average in all classes, learned how to read on a 3rd grade level and did her devotions every, single day! Our oldest, Klo, who is our 5th grader, kept her GPA above 96%, kept herself on a strict 6am schedule, always did more than was assigned each day and remembered to pray! In April, Klo also completed the federally required Stanford 10 standardized test through Abeka Academy. We received her scores and an extremely unexpected letter from the school stating that Klo's scores were over 95% above average and that we should consider testing her further to possibly move over 6th and into 7th grade for the next school year! Imagine our unending pride for our oldest daughter, even though this did NOT surprise us much. Klo showed at a very young age, her ability to soak in information very quickly. she has always scored at the highest in her scores, each year her GPA was always at 95% or higher in school and always received the Medal of Excellence each year of school. Two years ago, when we decided to homeschool, we continued this tradition. Our youngest also received her second Medal of Excellence this year! Now onto the Graduation and super special Party!




We invited quite a few very special friends along with our family to celebrate with us! Our house plus the outside on the deck and porch were full of happy and encouraging people! (Out of respect for our guests and children, photos of faces have been left out or altered). 

We decorated in 2016 decor with banners, confetti, stickers, labels and balloons. I made tye-died cupcakes with vanilla and fudge icing topped with sprinkles and the toppers . I also made homemade donuts with many different toppings of chocolate and vanilla icings, powdered sugar, glaze, chopped nuts, jam and sprinkles. 



On the dessert table, I displayed the girls' Graduation photos and cute little lights that look like candles. They matched beautifully. I also filled a basket with Hershey bars covered in the labels I made for sweet "CONGRATS"!





I also set up a simple beverage area where I displayed the girls' school days books! In these, we put in their photos of the year and they fill out their experiences and likes for that year and is displayed all the time!





On the livingroom coffee table, I also set out Graduation photos pertaining to each child's Dr. Suess' "Oh, the Places You Will Go" books with pens for our guests to write in a little note of encouragement and a memory for the girls! We started this last year and plan to continue throughout their highschool years!





The girls also received gifts, wore their Caps and Gowns, walked to the march and had a simple ceremony in front of everyone! They absolutely loved it and we could all see the pride and excitement in their eyes, that they had finally finished the hardest year so far!
My girls also gave me a special gift!



 Praise be to God, whom without this year, I would not have realized just how present He really is! I may feel fear throughout my life and even have weak faith at some point, which I certainly have had in the past, but there will always be this certain reassurance of the evidence we all witnessed that He is indeed alive and guiding our lives!

Thank you all for visiting and please join me every week for coffee and conversation right here! Now, on to summer festivities! Blessings to all you ladies!