Monday, February 1, 2016

Dennis Viollet: A United Man

This morning I woke up thinking about the movie we went to see yesterday, Dennis Viollet: A United Man.  He was an underappreciated man that is a soccer hero.  Loved in our soccer community when I was growing up, but even we didn't know what kind of legend he was.  

Dennis Viollet grew up in Manchester, England joining Manchester United in 1949.  He played striker for them and was one of the Busby Babes. In 1958, he survived the Munich air disaster that took the lives of 23 Man U players, supporters, and media. He was hospitalized with head and facial injuries. Despite all of this, after recovering, he had one of his best seasons ever scoring 32 goals in 36 games. This single season scoring record has never been beat. He went on to play for Stoke City and the Baltimore Bays. 

In 1978, he began his coaching career with the New England Tea Men which relocated to Jacksonville, FL in 1981. This is how he came into my life. He coached a number of professional teams, college teams, training sessions and summer soccer camps. I attended a number of his camps over the years, even multiple weeks a year since he would generously invite my brother and I back to another week. He was the coach to teach me how to strike a ball without using my toe. He introduced me to awesome soccer movies like Victory and Hot Shot when it was too rainy to play outside. He touched a number of lives in the Orange Park and Jacksonville soccer communities. 

In 1999, I was in town to watch a Jacksonville Cyclones game that was being played at Mandarin High School. Mr. Violet came up to me and said that he needed to talk to me about something. He left town and I never saw him again. After a trip with the team, he began to show signs of an issue. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It is believed to have been a result of the Munich air disaster years before. I always wondered what he wanted to talk to me about, but after his diagnosis I wasn't sure if he even knew. 

I can't believe that it has been 17 years. I am forever grateful that I had met and been guided by this talented and kind man. I was thankful to be able to see the Dennis Viollet Documentary, created by his daughter Rachel, in order to honor her father. It was a great story and I loved learning about his early life. He was never boastful, so many of us didn't grasp how big a soccer star he was. Mobbed by crowds in England, he led a quieter life in America. Today he is the 5th all-time leading scorer for Manchester United and he still holds the single season scoring record. All soccer legends should be this humble and kind.

Dennis Viollet Documentary

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Pet Memorial Stone DIY

It's been a year since we said good-bye to our sweet baby Tyke.  He was our first fur baby and a very sweet and sensitive dog.  It was something that came on quite suddenly for us, but long enough to see him suffer.  We made the decision to let him go when we just couldn't see him like that anymore.  After letting him go, I did not take it well.  I needed him in my life, even if it was just a little memorial to keep him close.

I decided to make a little stone memorial for Tyke.  I wanted to see his name and keep him close.  I had made paw prints and framed them before he passed.  I made copies of his paw prints and used that along with his name and an angel picture.  I printed all of these on to a piece of cardstock.

After printing, I cut out the inside images of my letters and pictures to make a stencil.  I'm sure if you have a Cameo or Cricut you could do this on there, but this worked for me.  

I placed my stencil on top of a concrete stepping stone I got at a home improvement store.  Using a black Sharpie marker, I traced inside my stencil onto my stone.  I then colored in my letters and freehanded the date as well using a Painters paint marker.  This will last much longer, especially outside.  Mine still looks good a year later, but you could always repaint if it starts to fade.

I made another smaller stone with Tyke's name and paw print on it to bring out to our beach condo. 

We placed our memorial stone in our backyard underneath a maple tree.  I smile when I see it and try to remember the good times we had.

He was our first baby and nothing could replace him.  We miss him everyday.  My youngest still talks about him all the time and tells me she can't wait to go to heaven to see him.  I know he is no longer in pain, so I'm glad he can rest.  Still doesn't make me miss him any less.  Love you Tyke!!

Ball Bin Memorial

Framed Paw Print

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Love Bug Living!
Wishing your family peace, love, and joy in the new year!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Easy Monogram Fleece Blanket

Need a last minute gift idea for someone on your list?  This is an easy monogram blanket and can be a great gift for anyone on your list!  Kids, pets, friends, neighbors, teachers...everyone loves to cuddle up on the couch with a cozy blanket.  Fleece is always on sale this time of year.  Plus there are so many great patterns and prints to choose from!  You can find the perfect fabric for anyone on your list.

This is a quick and simple sewing project that even a beginning seamstress can make.  I bought a piece of fleece material.  One yard is usually good for a baby or small child.  I like to use closer to two yards for an adult throw blanket.  Make sure your edges are square.  You can round your corners if you would like to.  Zig zag stitch around the outside edge to give your blanket a finished look.

I found a printable letter coloring page that I printed and used as a pattern to cut out my monogram letter.  Cut a piece of fusible web for your letter and follow instructions to adhere your letter where you would like on your blanket.  Attach your letter by using a zig zag stitch around the outside edge.  That's it!  A nice comfy blanket in any kind of fun print!  I made this C monogram letter blanket last year for one of my Christmas angel gifts for a child from a foster home.  All kids deserve to feel safe and warm!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Free Race Entry

Now that the holidays are here, it's time to make sure you're taking care of yourself! It's easy to get distracted and busy, but you can't neglect you. Time to stay active and keep moving during the holidays. Time to give yourself the gift of health.

Let me help by giving you the gift of a free race entry! Sign up now to enter to win a one time race entry for any open heat (non-confirmed start time) in any Spartan Race in the continental US!  Find a race near you!

I'm also here to help you finish shopping for everyone on that Christmas list!  Act quick and give the gift of Spartan!  20% off all full priced items and an extra 15% off all clearance items.  Use code GIFTS at checkout.  Expires 12/14, so check it out now! Click here to SHOP SPARTAN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats to our winner Eric!  Good luck on your race!  Didn't win?  Sign up now and use code SPARTANBLOGGER to get 10% off any race.  Thanks for entering!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Dollar Store Sock Snowman

I wanted to share a cute and easy craft project that you can do with the kids!  These adorable sock snowmen are easy to make, inexpensive and great little guys to use as decorations around the house!  I love Christmas, but there is always so much going on and things to do.  Crafts have to be quick and easy or they just don't get finished.  That's why these sock snowmen are the perfect holiday craft!

I found all of the supplies I needed to make the sock snowmen at the dollar store.  I used men's white crew socks for the body, kid socks for the hat, and twine to close up my sock.  One bag of rice should make about two snowmen, depending on how big your socks are.  I attempted to use the funnel to help pour in my rice, but it kept getting stuck.  It was just easier to pour the rice into the sock without it.

Begin by cutting your sock in half around the heel of your sock.  I was able to make two snowmen out of one sock.  It you are using the toe, just pour your rice in, tapping as you go to help settle the rice.  If you are using the top portion, turn your sock inside out.  Tie one end closed with your twine and then turn the sock right side out again.  Fill with rice and then tie the top closed with twine.

Decide how big you want to make your snowman's head.  Tie another piece of twine around his neck to give him his head and body.  You can trim your twine or tie it into a little bow.  Now it's time to take your little kid socks.  You could trim the end off, but I just started rolling it up at the cuff until I got the size I wanted for my little guy's hat!

After sliding his hat on, it's time to give him a face, maybe some buttons or add a scarf.  I used Sharpie markers to decorate and add the final touches.  Want to add a scarf?  Cut a small strip of fleece and tie it on!  My girls loved to make their own little snowman family.  We have them in all sizes to make each one a little different.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Wedding Weekend Fun

A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated the marriage of my sister-in-law.  It was a wonderful evening full of fun and friends.  Of course it was a bit of craziness too since I had to get five of us ready to be in the wedding!  It all worked out and we all made it down the aisle.  Of course, my only regret was not getting enough pictures of the day!  That always happens.  I did try, but I ran out of time to get as many as I would have liked before the ceremony started.  After that, there was just too much going on! Anyways, I thought I'd share the few pics I did manage to snap!  Hope they will inspire you to create for your wedding or party!

My Little Flower Girl

Bridesmaid Bouquets

Cupcake Table

Rustic Brides Mini Cake

The Sweetheart Table

Table Centerpieces

Mint to Be Favors

Mason Jar Seating Assignments Table (Of course, I missed it before all the jars were taken to their seats!)

My Beautiful Family!