Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Ellijay, GA Vacation on Wordless Wednesday

Bear Creek Trail

Hiking with the kids

Sunset from our cabin

Amicalola Trout Stream

Amicalola Falls

Those stairs are no joke!


Beautiful view from the bottom

Mama deer was there with her 2 babies

Amicalola Falls view from the top

Picture (and rest) at midway point

Deer in the neighborhood

Tubing with the kids

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


ic Florida
Every so often the country is consumed by a news event that just breaks your heart.  Orlando seems to be having more than our fair share of these stories.  We have lived through the court drama of Casey Anthony and mourned the loss of her innocent daughter.  We were in the middle of the national debate of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.  My kids go to school across the street from where that happened.  Now once again we are in the news for a tragedy that has broken the hearts of people worldwide.  I think this story has hit me the hardest of all of them.  We are mourning the lives of 49 victims that were taken from this world too early.  These were people that were loved and had much more love to give.  Read the names and learn more about the victims here.  I can't comprehend what drives a person to so much hate that they would go out of their way to hurt anyone.  I don't think that any sane person can wrap their head around this kind of hate.

I woke up the morning of the shooting to see what happened on the news.  This is just a day after Christina Grimmie was shot in front of an Orlando theatre.  All I could do was watch the TV and cry for these poor people and their families.  The worst part was that some of the families had to wait all day to find out about their loved ones.  While I didn't know anyone that was in the club that night, I still take this attack personally.  It could have been one of my gay friends or family members.  It could have happened anywhere.  It could have happened to any of us.  It still impacts us all.  I have one friend who is a news anchor.  Most of us can turn the news off when it becomes too much.  She must keep reliving it all day and night as she reports it.  I have another friend who works with the medical examiners office.  He had to deal with the destruction this man left in his wake.  Attending to the lives that are now only remembered as sad thoughts of what could have been.  

Orlando Date Night Guide
The silver lining of this weekend is to see how the Orlando community has come together in support of each other.  People were lined up around the block to give blood.  The blood banks had to turn people away as they ran out of collection supplies.  Restaurants and individuals donated food, water and ice to volunteers.  Churches and counselors have donated services.  Orlando City Soccer Club is dedicating their next home to the victims and honoring them in a number of ways.  OCSC and the rest of the Central Florida sports teams are teaming up to sell #OrlandoUnited t-shirts and donate the proceeds to  The support has not only come from our city, our state, our sports teams, our country, but also world wide.  I only hope these pictures of support will help those in pain from their losses.  We also need to thank those that were there to help the survivors.  The first responders, police officers, doctors, nurses, and the everyday heroes.  We will survive and we will thrive.  But for now we will mourn our losses and love one another.

As I type this, more horrible news in Orlando.  A two year old child was dragged into a lake by a gator near the Grand Floridian on Disney property.  This city needs a break!  We are strong, but come on now!  Prayers for this baby and family.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Last Day of School 2016

It's the last day of school!  That means it's time for the first and last day of school photo comparisons!

It's always fun to see how much they've grown throughout the school year!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Mother's Day Cup of Love Mug

Mother's Day is almost here!  Hopefully you have already found the perfect gift for Mom.  If not, start shopping or maybe creating.  I thought I'd share the mug I made for my mom.  I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut the design.  I got it last year for Christmas and I've had such fun creating with it ever since.  I used the flower wreath design and added the text Cup of Love to the middle of it.  Perfect for her nightly tea.

To the back of the mug, I added Mimi since this is what my kids call my mom.  A fun and simple little gift for our Mimi!  Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Candy Flower Bouquet

Another quick and easy Teacher Appreciation gift or Mother's Day gift.  I made something like this last year for my Mom.  She loves the Dove chocolate candies, so I used those last year.  My daughter's teacher like Reese's peanut butter cups, so I bought a bag of those to make her a Mason Jar Candy Flower Bouquet for Teacher Apprication Week.

I used a mason jar, a bag of candies, double sided foam mounting squares, and some silk flowers.  Place a mounting square in the middle of each flower and attach a piece of chocolate.  Put your flowers in the mason jar and fill around the stems with the remaining chocolate.

I cut a scrap of paper to fit in the middle of the mason jar lid.  I added a little note, "How Sweet it is to be Taught by you!"  I taped the metal part of the lid to the outer rim to keep it in place.  Before taping the lid in place, I slid a piece of ribbon through the lid in order to tie it in place around the mouth of the jar.

Maybe Mom or your child's teacher would prefer real flowers!  I sent in this African Violet for another day of Teacher Appreciation Week.  I used a strip of paper with a note that read, "Teachers plant seeds of knowledge that grow forever."  I taped the two ends of that note to the end of skewers and stuck the other ends into the soil of the plant.  Super easy and a fun little banner to top your plant.  Need another idea?  Check out my Framed Word Art for an easy craft.  

Whatever you decide to do, make sure to tell the teachers in your life and Mom, Thank you!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Teacher Appreciation Word Art Gift

 Teacher appreciation week is here!  Hopefully you've made plans to show your child's teacher just how much they mean to you!  If not, don't worry.  I have an idea for you.

I'm class mom for my daughter's fourth grade class.  I didn't start the year that way, but I guess no one volunteered and they saw me in the school lobby one day and asked me to take over the position.  I wasn't sure how much time it would take up, but it hasn't been that bad.  I've decorated the class door for Red Ribbon Week.  I've organized the teacher's birthday gift and lunch.  Mostly it's been e-mails out to the few parents that would actually share their e-mail address with me.  The toughest part is that I have very few parents that are involved or want to participate.  The school has a basket night where families try to win baskets that the classes put together by buying tickets and using them as chances to win different baskets.  I asked for donations from our class, but no one responded.  I ended up making two different baskets for our class on my own.  I got donations from our local MLS team, Orlando City and made that into a basket.  Then I shopped after Halloween sales to make a costume/dress up basket as well.  I don't like the ball to be dropped so I just take it over.  It' gets to be a lot of work, since I tend to make it more than it needs to be.  But I'd rather do that than have nothing done at all.

So coming into Teacher Appreciation Week, I wasn't too hopeful to get donations.  I was pleasantly surprised to have a few generous donations that will definitely help me to show our teacher some love.  I had already planned to do a little gift each day, so this will help me to do that.

Today I sent in a framed Word Art gift that had all the kids names made into the shape of a flower.  I used Tagxedo to make my flower shape.  There are all different kinds of shapes to choose from and you can change what words you want to use to appear in your word art.  It really is so cool.  Plus it can be used for so many different projects!  I've used it for party invites as well!

After choosing my design and getting it laid out the way I wanted, I printed my flower onto cardstock.  Then I found a frame I liked to put it in.  Now I just wanted to add my message to the mat of the frame.  I used my Silhouette Cameo to print out Thanks for helping me Grow in vinyl.  You can also use sticker letters from the craft store as well.

On the bottom of the mat I added the school name and year.  You could also add the teacher's name or whatever message you choose.

I'm really happy with how it came out.  Perfect for Day 1 of surprises for Teacher Appreciation Week!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Spartan Race Giveaway

Pre-Order Today!

So it's been a little while since we talked Spartan!  It was right before Christmas when we were contemplating our New Years Resolutions!  How are those going for you?  I had slipped a bit on my healthy eating with a few too many sweet snacks.  Trying to get back on board though.  Sometimes that's not as easy to do on your own as you might think.  Everyone can use a little help.  Why not take the advice of an endurance sport legend!  Now you can do just that with Joe DeSena's new book Spartan FIT!  In 31 days you can transform your mind and body!  No gym required!  Want to learn more?  Read Chapter 1 HERE!  Spartan Fit is the follow up book to his bestseller Spartan Up.

What you will find in this book?

  • A 31 day workout and diet plan to prepare for the Spartan Sprint - or just get in great shape!
  • Full-body workout requiring no gym and no weights
  • How to build fitness levels from one race to the next
  • Inspiring, motivating storis of Spartans
Order your book and then sign up for your first Spartan Race!  Go to Spartan to find a race near you!

Maybe you're not a Spartan newbie.  Have you heard of the Agoge?  It's their new endurance race that is just out of control.  They hold the endurance weekend in Vermont twice a year, once in the summer and once in the winter.  The even builds physical, tactical, mental, and team-based strength through training, testing, and evaluation.  Feel you can handle it?  Find out more about AGOGE!

Now it's time to win your FREE  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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!