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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A thought for Tuesday


This quote truly spoke to me.  How often are we afraid to speak our true feelings because

 1)  We are afraid that people will not like our real thoughts

 2)  We want to be accepted and we think that the the only way to be  accepted is to agree with what everyone else is saying 

 3)  We do not want to hurt someone else

 4)  It is easier to just go with the flow than take another path

The only person that we are truly hurting is ourself if we can not truly say how we feel/believe...be who we are,  we should not be afraid to voice our own opinions...

Monday, December 2, 2013

Monday's Musing - Christmas Traditions - Part 3

I hope that everyone had a very wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!  Can you believe that it is December already?

Are you ready for the Christmas Holidays?  I do not know about you but having a late November Thanksgiving really puts a strain on my "to do" list since it was a week later this year.

This means one less week to decorate, shop, bake, send out Christmas cards...*yikes*  I am getting stressed just thinking about it!

In my home - Mrs. Claus (that would be me!) does the majority of the shopping, wrapping, shipping, baking and planning the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meals.  Mr. Claus is responsible for the outdoors decorations...*hmmmmm*  what is wrong with this picture?  Actually - if Mr. Claus did any baking or cooking we probably would not want to eat the food...sorry Mr. Claus but the truth hurts!

Several years ago I found a website that has really made a difference in how I view my "to do" list.


This great website has a Holiday journal that allows you to organize yourself in such a way that you too can experience less stress in your life!

The Flylady encourages you to wrap your Christmas gifts as soon as you purchase them.  Before Flylady I would wait until Christmas Eve to wrap my gifts...so along with all the cooking and baking I was having major stress-out with worrying about finding time to wrap gifts.  Thank you Flylady for hllping me see the light!

Also - Flylady suggest that you do everything that you can ahead of time so you will not have as much to do at the last minute.

True story here - one Thanksgiving I did just that.  I had the majority of the meal prepared, the table set, the serving dishes out as well as all the serving utensils.  I was sooooo ahead of the game.  Later that night - I fell and broke my arm.  I found myself in the emergency room early on Thanksgiving Day.  If it had not been for Flylady's great suggestions - we may not have enjoyed Thanksgiving that day!

So with thoughts of having a stress free Christmas Holiday I have already prepared my dressing and sweet potato casserole and they are placed in the freezer.  All I will need to do is pull them out and place them in the over.

I am also planning to prepare some cookie dough later tonight and freeze for baking later in the month.

Do yourself a favor and check out Flylady's website.  I think you too will see how to enjoy this Holiday season without so much stress!




Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Iron Bowl - 2013

The time has come...time for the annual Iron Bowl - the Alabama - Auburn football game!





 If there are any doubts - I am a Bama fan...and this will be a very special Iron Bowl.  Well...all Iron Bowls are special but this will see #1 Alabama playing #4 Auburn.  This game is always an emotional and hard hitting game...but if Bama wins this game - it will be a perfect regular season for the Crimson Tide of Alabama and will be the next step for Alabama on their road to the National Championship game!



Do I hear a ROLL TIDE?



Bear Bryant would be so proud of our team!



I will be wearing my houndstooth today!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday's Musing - Christmas Traditions - Part 2

Christmas Baking!

I love to prepare special treats not only for the family but also as gits.

I have a few traditional treats that I make every year because - well because it is tradition in this house!

First on the list - COOKIES!

Our favorite include but are not limited to:

Mexican Wedding Cookies



Pecan Tassies


And good old faithful Sugar cookies:




Okay - I am now getting hungry for some Christmas cookies!

I begin making the cookie dough early in December and either refrigerate or freeze the dough.  That way I can bake later in the month and always have fresh homemade cookies anytime during the month!

Oh yes - one other thing...I always use REAL Butter...can not make the perfect Christmas cookie without real butter.  

I also bake a delicious Lemon Pound Cake which I give as gifts to friends and neighbors.

While these are just a few of my favorite things I love the smell of fresh baked cookies as it fills the house!

A secret about me?  I currently have 15 pounds of butter in my freezer!  I buy it when it is on sale in late October so I will never have to worry about having enough butter for my Christmas baking!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday's Inspiration - Who left the A/C on outside?



Yes - as you can tell by the title - it is a bit cold here in Texas!  Matter of fact...the weather forecasters are predicting a nice little ice storm for us today - coming in around mid-day. ~brrrrrrrr~

This kind of weather makes me want to make some homemade soup and curl up with a good book!





Thank goodness I made my weekly trip to the grocery store yesterday.  I now have milk and bread - what more could you ask for?

How about?
A nice warm pair of gloves?  



 I love this coat!  Love, love love but my good old faithful coat will work just fine.


And...don't forget to keep the footsies warm!

For all of you traveling this week for the Thanksgiving Holidays - please be safe (and warm)!


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Gratitude


May your day be full of opportunities to be grateful!

Friday, November 22, 2013

It's Friday - show me the gratitude!

Well hello everyone!  I apologize for the lack of posting but I have been experiencing some MAJOR technical difficulties...I could post pictures but I could not write any type of post.  Have any of you out there had this problem before?

Well - I am just thankful that I am able to post here again.

So now that it is Friday  (yay)...and I can post again I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to revisit "gratitude"

I think that in this busy, crazy world that we live in that it is so easy to forget to be grateful.  We have so many reasons to be grateful.  I know that I often times forget to be thankful for the wonderful gifts in my life.  It is so much likely that I remember to "complain" about what is not right in my life.  Do you ever do this too?

Each day I say a prayer of gratitude...it might not have been the best day of the week but if I try to find something positive to say about the day I find that my day is not as bad as I originally thought.

Try it and see if it doesn't work for you too!






Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday's Musing - Owning your power


I am having some issues with my computer today so instead of doing the weekly Holiday Tradition update - I have had to instead reschedule the Holiday post for later this week.

I do hope that you will enjoy today's inspiration.



Friday, November 15, 2013

It's Friday - Little things

 

 
 I can not tell you how many times I have asked myself over the years..."is it Friday yet?"
 
Am I so anxious to get to Friday...the glorious weekend - that I forget to enjoy the little things that happen in the days leading up to Friday?
 
 
 
I do not want to wake up one day and realize that I was so busy looking forward to Friday that I forgot to enjoy the wonderful little things in life that add up to a lifetime!
 
Starting right now...I am going to appreciate something about each and every day.  That is what memories are made up of!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Simple Thought for Thursday


Do not be afraid to leave the shore - you might just be surprised at the world waiting for you once your ship sails!
 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday's Wisdom


How many times have we "blamed" things on something that has happened?  I now realize that it not as much about what has happened but how I reacted to what happened.
 
Never give up your control of your actions...do not allow something to take away your power!
 
Just say "NO" to the pity parties!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday's Travels

Several months ago I had an opportunity to travel to Glacier National Park.  You can read about it here...
 
 
The wonderful grand mountains were formed over a million years ago and the park has over 130 named lakes.  Some of these lakes can be seen by road but many others will require a nice little hike.  Needless to say I only observed the lakes from the car (at least this trip!)

To say that this national park is breathtaking and spectacular is putting it mildly. My simple words can not truly do justice to the beauty of this special place so I decided that it would be best to show you some pictures of several lakes within this national park.

While planning this trip I decided to fly into Spokane and then drive to Montano.  Now I will admit that this decision was made for two reasons....cost (it was less expensive to fly into Spokane than into Kallispell) and the other reason that by driving I could mark off three more states that I have visited.  As you may recall I have a goal on my bucket list to visit all 50 States.  This trip marked off Washington, Idaho and Montano. 

Before we even arrived at Glacier we found ourselves driving by a lake that seemed to go on forever.  Lake Flathead is the largest fresh water lake west of the Mississippi.  Let me tell you....this lake is HUGE!!!  It seemed to go on for miles and miles and miles.    See what I mean?  If I had not driven I would have missed this glorious piece of Americana scenery!
 
 
 
Our next stop was actually inside the park - Lake McDonald.  Seeing this lake is a reminder of beautiful this country truly is.
 

 
 
 
Don't you just love the reflection of the mountains in the lake?  A picture is worth a 1000 words and this picture says it all!
 
While I can not post pictures of each and every lake we saw (there were SO many of them!) there was one other lake that took my breath away...
 
Many Glacier - oh my goodness...be still my heart...there is this grand lodge right on the lake that just begs you to enter through the grandiose doors.  There are rocking chairs on the back porch where you can sit and feast your eyes on the lake.  Talk about stress and worries of the word flying away - this would do it!  My next trip there I must stay at this lodge!
 
See how small the lodge looks next to the lake and surrounded by the mountains?
 
 
I hope through this post you too can enjoy the beauty of this incredible place.  May you also have the chance to travel this special place and make your own memories!
 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday's Musings - Holiday Traditions Part 1



I LOVE the upcoming Christmas
Holidays. I love the way people seem so much nicer and giving during the Holidays.  I love the Holiday music and I love the smell of Christmas!  I begin planning months and months in advance.  There are several reasons for this.

First - I try (and I use this word loosely) to pay cash for Christmas gifts.  If I start early enough I do not feel the strain to charge as much as I get closer to the Christmas.

Also - I am a collector...each year I add to several of my Holiday Collections.
 
 
I love to collect Santa Claus figurines.  I have over 60 of them now but I think that my favorite has to be my University of Alabama - Houndstooth Santa Claus!
 
 
 
I also add a new Christmas CD to my Christmas collection.  I have everything from Trans Siberian Orchestra to Alabama to "I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas"  This year's selection it going to go down in history as one of my most favorites:
 
 
 
 
  In August I order my Christmas with Southern Living Holiday book.  I started collecting the Christmas with Southern Living books in 1981 - the first year that it was ever published and have one for each year since!
 
 
 
 
 
Each year when I receive my new book I rush to read it and my mind is filled with all the wonderful treats that I want to cook and new decorating ideas!
 
Do you have any special Christmas Traditions?
 
 
 
 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday's Inspiration plus a tease



Is it me or has this week be super long?  And difficult?    I just could not resist this cute picture because I have been asking myself this very question ALL week long!

So - on to the shameless tease...in the coming weeks I am going to write about Traveling Tuesday (places I have been and highly recommend and places I want to go and hopefully some of you can give me some advice on what to do and see)  WOW...was that a super long sentenace or what?

I am also going to begin writing about Holiday traditions - most of them good ole Southern Holiday traditions with a few Texas ideas thrown in.  Don't forget to tune in and of course - share some of your Holiday traditions!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thursday's thoughts - What's on your bucket list?


I admire the truly great photographers who can capture and tell a story with a photgraph.

I am NOT one of those kind of people!

One of my goals on my bucket list is to take a class in photgraphy.  You see - I have this really nice Canon camera that is pretty much going untouch because I am afraid of breaking it.  How silly is that?

SO...when I need to take a pic of something I normally just use my cellphone camera.  Now let me tell you - some of those cellphone cameras make awesome pictures especially the new Nokia cellphones!

The other morning as I was walking the Diva Dog - I looked up to the sky and saw the moon winking at me.  I so wanted to capture that moment in time and all I had was my cellphone.  I snapped a picture hoping against hope that I would be able to snap that perfect picture of the moon.  What I got was not what I expected but it is still a picture that spoke to me....

Join me in the grand review of my picture of the moon!

 
Can you see that little white spot a little above the middle of the picture?  Well folks - that is the moon that I so much wanted to capture in the picture.  TOTAL failure where that is concern BUT it was not a total loss!  I happen to love the lovely fall leaves that I did manage to get in this picture.
 
So I shot (pardon the pun here) for the moon but landed on the stars.  Isn't that so much like life?
 
Yes - no doubt - I could use a photography class!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Thoughts for Tuesday - Are you successful?


I was reading one of my favorite blogs this morning and the author was talking about her success at 54 years of age and it made me stop and ask myself some questions.
 
What to I have to show as success at my age?  As I pondered this question I found myself asking a few other questions.
 
What defines success?  Is it the amount of money in my banking account?  If so - I am NOT that successful!  Is it the size of my house?  Well if that is the definition of success - I am NOT that successful.  Is it the number of friends I have?  Well - to have friends you must first be a good friend.  Again...I am not that successful if it is based on friendship for I have not been that good of a friend to many lately because I have been so consumed by work the last few years.
 
Even asking myself these questions I do not consider myself a failure...I still believe that I have a very good life.  I can look myself in the mirror each day and while I see someone who is getting older each day (aren't we all?) I can still smile and laugh.  I can pay my bills, I can put food on my table and I even like who I am.  THAT my friend is what makes me successful.  I can honestly say that I like myself.  I still have the ability to smile and laugh.  Most of all I still have the opportunity to make changes in my life.
 
All in all - after doing my little inventory I feel successful!
 
Take a moment to take an inventory of yourself and give yourself a pat on the back.
 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I LOVE my Kindle

Do you love to read?  I mean really love to read?
Are hard bound books and paperback books taking over your home?
Could you open your own book store and make enough money to survive for a year on selling books?
I too was at one time a Barnes and Noble regular.  I admit it.  I could read for hours on end and then some but then books invaded every single free space I have!  Then I discovered Half Price Books where I could take my books to sell.  The only problem with this is that I would take the money that I made from selling my books plus some more $$$ and buy more books!  C.R.A.Z.Y.
Enter the infamous E Reader.  BE STILL MY SOUTHERN HEART!  My e-reader of choice is a very basic Kindle...small enough to place in my purse so it could go anywhere with me!
Now enter Amazon.com.  I found that I could order a Kindle book and have it delivered to my Kindle in no time flat!  Talk about instant gratification.  BONUS!  But as you can imagine - this too could get expensive.
Then one day - a friend mentioned to me that she found an online site that offered free Kindle books.  That was the day that is marked on my calendar forever.
I first discovered a couple of sites which would send me free book choices each day - Book Bub.  I was hooked.  THEN imagine my surprise when I found yet two more free Kindle sites:  Freebooksy and Best Ebook Reader. 
Now - these sites also offer books for a price but there are so many books that are listed that are free that you never have to purchase an Ebook again!  They offer all genre's including sci-fi, mystery, sports, cookbooks and of course romance. 
While I still find myself purchasing a book every now and then,  this Southern girl has discovered how to fulfill her need to read without breaking the bank!


Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Saturday in the South

Are Saturdays always crazy for you?  I know that my "to do" seems to get so much longer prior to the various Fall and Winter Holidays.  So I wanted to share with you today some of my favorite fall pictures of the South.

I know that everyone talks about how beautiful New England is in the Fall (and it is!) but we also have some incredible and vibrant colors of Fall here in the South too!  There is nothing more wonderful (and relaxing) than to take a drive through the Fall beauty of the South.  It just seems to put life into perspective.

  ENJOY!!