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 photo from here
i love a good, simple collection. brian does not. something about this collection remind me of my mom. she collects old bottles and old glass.  such a pretty thing to collect.

i’m going NO where this weekend. staying put, hanging out in the yard and going to birthday parties (adult and kid ones).
spring is here.
have a fabulous, peaceful weekend.


Love this.  Happy Tuesday. Happy YOUesday!

I admit my heart is still breaking over Japan. The Tsunami. The Earthquake. The Nuclear Explosions. The Deaths. And, it is frigid winter over there. I’m sure it is for many of you have aching hearts,  too.

thanks for the photo, leslie

I hope you had a beautiful weekend. With my grandmother, cousin, sweet sister and beautiful neice were in town – plus and lots of family and friends in our back yard to celebrate Beatrice’s 4th Birthday Pirate style — WE DID!!!

Here is a band that I am enjoying thanks to Black Eiffel. The name of the band is:  Little Joy. Have you heard of them? They are happy, chirpy, cheerful and FANTASTIC! Amazing voice:  this clip is amazing, too.

Little Joy

photo from Chronicle Books

Download the album on itunes or amazon.*

Beautiful Secret by Jean-Sebastien Monzani

Beautiful Secret by Jean-Sebastien Monzani

 A while back, I saw this well-done video clip with it’s enchantingly beautiful message by Jean-Sébastien Monzani over at Black Eiffel. I refer to it – from time to time - because it really brightenes my day with inspiration. I think it is an excellent thing to offer you to start the week.  I hope that we can all do a little of this each day.

Do you have any photos, blogs, sites or video’s that you use for inspiration – ones that make you feel lighter, more creative or peaceful? I would love to know.

Have a beautiful week…



i regret these aren’t the best focused pictures. i quickly took them with my phone. last week beatrice’s dance school performed a charity recital, Faith in Motion. this is her second year going to class, but the first performance i have seen because i have always been back stage. it was breathtaking. i, very honestly, was amazed at how good the girls were, especially the older ones. and, b’s class was absolutely adorable. they were soooo cute. brian and i were so proud of our little dancer!

we usually take beatrice somewhere to celebrate post performance, like Chops or Christopher’s for desert. but, tonight we had sweet Whitaker. so, El Som for dinner it was! Tana and Whitaker snuggled on one side of the booth, while Papa, Beatrice and I sat on the other side. it was a great night. :)


Hello February.  For me, February is about getting back into the swing of things. It’s red. It’s pink. It’s almost green and this year, it is almost spring!   It’s also the month we celebrate love. It’s about building and getting ready. It is putting it in gear. Happy F.E.B. 

The month is off to a great start: I did play hooky yesterday. I left the office and went to the gym. Does that count?

Oh, and I should let you know that Brian did like his red velvet cake.  

Here’s to a wonderful and productive February full of love, and a fun run.

photo via absolutelybeautifulthings
just a picture i love…to begin the week.
via absolutely beautiful things

I remember  how this feels.

You know it smells like dirt right when it begins to rain {oh, my. how cool.}
Since I started working for my husband’s electrical office, I have become more educated and interested in green living practices. Every industry magazine, newsletter, meeting seems to pulse with sustainability as the suggested life line. More, as my friend Katie can attest I enjoy gardening as a hobby. I like living things.
I stumbled upon the work of Patrick Blanc, is the creator of the Vertical Garden . I really like it.
It takes my breathe away.  
He has been creating these forest floors, turned sideways all over Paris among other international locales.

via maryruffle
Grace-Based Parenting
I just finished reading Graced Based Parenting, Set Your Family Free by Dr. Tim Kimmel; and, it is so fresh on my seller’s bookshelf that the dust hasn’t had time to settle. Browse the shelf and buy the book, here.

I never tire of seeing images of her….

Talk about a fantasy cake that spans the color spectrum. This is it! Stephanie at Happy Cakes did such a great job on this cake for Beatrice’s Birthday. Not only was it a great cake, I especially liked it because it was baked with love just for B. Thanks for a great kaleidoscope of a cake, Stephanie!!

“If you could go to one foreign city tomorrow, where would it be,” the spokesman threw his voice into the microphone during the Newlywed Game at the BUMC Valentine Banquet.

Paris. I, immediately thought of Paris. I love Paris. LOVE PARIS

You would think, I would like to venture to a boom town in  South Africa,
Brazil, or Russia. Maybe go somewhere different, Christy??? But, no. I am a simple girl. I would like to go back to Paris.

I love this necklace that displays the City of Light by the Bluemoss Girls. And, I love Paris.

*ding*ding*ding*  I answered, “Paris.”


Speaking of Valentine’s Day, did I mention that I think this year’s is among the best ever. Well, except the one where Brian proposed. That is tops, totally. But, this year my old man did so great. He gave me potted red tulips. They weren’t “floristy” ones, either. They were garden types in a pot with soil and roots. So, he gave me the best flowers ever in a pot that HE tied a red gingham ribbon around and topped with  a very heartfelt card. He said the red gingham bow just looked like me (…I am guessing that is because of all the red gingham-ry he has seen due to the Wizard of Oz fascination and upcoming birthday party). Perfeito. I loved every minute of our Valentine’s Day this year. I gave him an oversized Hallmark  card from the family. It was a Wizard of Oz theme. Considering Beatrice’s obsession with the Wizard of Oz and her enthusiasm of the large card with all the characters (…seriously, her eyes were as big as saucers), this card was SO perfect. Beatrice and I decorated the huge envelope and we shared our presents over breakfast. Beatrice got a tiny box of chocolates from Papa, and a book from Mama while Whitaker scored a whole bunch of lovin’, a homemade cookie and a card from Tana.  It was a delicious morning around our house in more ways than one.

*Print via d. Sharp Journal

I have been seeing a lot of fanfare on Facebook for a Berrien County website. I finally had an opportunity to visit. Low and behold, it is a well organized site with a wealth of information. Far more than I expected, I even found a picture of my Granddaddy Griner. My Father’s Father was named Byrd Griner. 

Finds like this make me love the internet, social media, and web sites. I do not even have this picture in my house. So great. So awesome. I love it!

Today I love: Social Media. Thanks for hooking me up with a photo like this. My heart is smiling.

Honorable Byrd Griner
Judge, Court of Ordinary, Probate Court
Served from 1937 through 1968


I love “Tana’s Blessing” by Kim Dixon. She took it while we were imprisoned from an outdoor-downpour inside the tiny Firefly Cafe.

It was so nice to sit and talk after celebrating Amanda’s Birthday. Amanda and Kim, the photography buffs, practiced a short range shots including this one. They are both so talented. I wish I could take pictures like they do.

The kids call my Mom, Tana. And, Whitaker is her little blessing.

Nice work, Kim.


Mom, Amanda, Whitaker, Amanda’s friend Kim and I met in Savannah for Amanda’s Birthday. We ate a late lunch just off of Troupe Square at the  Firefly Cafe, which we topped off with a treat from Leopold’s Ice Cream. It was all superfabulous.

Ordering the Mediterranean Tofu sandwhich with a house salad and the Firefly’s  famous corn chowder (firefly style, which means the soup has cheese and sourcream!!!), was a very scrumptious decision. I love this little restaurant so I was happy when Amanda’s chose it as our destination. Woot-Wew for the Firefly Cafe. I was even more elated when she suggested we go for desert at Leopold’s.  I have alway’s wanted to taste the treats at Leopold’s. The ice cream float I ordered was just as delicious as I can imagine. I dreamt the famous parlor was more luxurious, complicated, and artsy as I was surprised by it’s simplicity.

It rained a brilliant storm while we were there.

I missed Dad a little on this day.

Happy 29th Birthday, little sister. I love you!

*Photo by Kim Dixon (and yes, this is the same Kim that was with us. she took this creative picture while we were there!)








 I just love daisies. And, blue jeans (if only I could fit in mine). Happy Thursday.



This is a really nice idea. sweethomestyle:  icanread: (via thisbloghearsmyconfessions)

house rules via Uncharted Odyssey

I love these (wall vinyl, or paint, or stickers???) house rules.

I’d love to be where this girl is right now. From the May Anthropologie catalog. Speaking  of the May Anthropologie catalog, it provides an effortless opportunity to escape. Maybe I am just tired, desperately delirious, and wishing to ascend my coop (for just a moment, of course), but this issue really delivers a tastey portion of a stream-of-conciousness style get-a-way.

Check out this other picture of the Moon Garden Votives ($4-$12).

What do you think? Isn’t it dreamy? …this is the part where a handsome guy
appears with an engagement ring – or your girl friends sneak over to share a bottle of wine…right?

thanks for the inspiration a room somewhere and effortless antropologie

Oh, what a night. Does this look like fun (minus the heaters), or what?

{Photo from Mindy Weiss via Oh Happy Day}

Want to have your own outdoor party night, here’s a plan.  
They say that French is the language of love, so here’s my try at French Lovie. I am going to surprise the hubby with the foreign ring of my affection.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Less than a minute

Here’s How:

  1. Find the person you love.
  2. Say his or her name.
  3. Say je t’aime.
  4. The j in je is pronounced [zh] like the g in mirage, e is pronounced like the oo in good
  5. t’aime is pronounced [tem] to rhyme with them.
  6. Optional: Follow with ‘my darling’:
    – To a woman = ma chérie, pronounced [ma shay ree].
    – To a man = mon chéri, pronounced [mo(n) shay ree]. The (n) is nasal.
  7. Optional: To respond to someone who says ‘I love you,’ say Je t’aime aussi (I love you too). Aussi is pronounced ‘oh see.’


  1. Practice a few times before you spring it on your sweetheart!

What You Need:

  • Your beloved
  • A few minutes of practice
*Photo by type oh

Oh Happy Day made these scrumptious party hats. She has the templates and directions on her blog for you to devour. I am posting them here to wish you a fiesta of a weekend in a cute party hat kind of way.

Party hat-on. Happy Weekend!

Update: January 31, 2011

Hat's On!

Fresh Twirl Skirt

Fresh Twirl Skirt

What party girl wouldn’t want one of these?  This Simple Me dress is SO cute.  To twist and twirl around and around again — and with a matching bib. Oh, what a delight.  It’s on sale, too! This Southern Mama is lovin’ it!

Before I had kids, I never thought I would breastfeed. Now that I recollect, I never really considered what I would do when it came to feeding my child until I was about 9 months pregnant, heading down the home-stretch.

Like it so often happens in life, I found myself pregnant at the same time as my sister and my friend Chrissy. For each of us, it was our first. Naturally, since we were all professionals who were all due around the same time, we kept each other abreast of all of our lastest findings: the safest car seats, the best rated cribs, the “must-read” pregnancy books, clothes sales, parenting tips, etc. And in our search for “the best” we all were in agreement that the best nourishment for our new bundles of joy would be breastmilk. And so each of us was committed to giving it a shot.

And so what seemed like such a simple decision, took us all by surprise when we found out that is a most complicated undertaking. We all hear how it is “the most natural thing” and how “our bodies are made for it”, but there’s no way to truly know what it’s like until you’re “knee-deep” and swimming right in it.

As with many of you reading this post, I can just hear your stories; both good and bad. Probably like many of you, I just thought: “Okay, so you take the baby, hold it to your chest, and viola, the feeding begins!” It’s easy and it’s natural, instictive. Yeah, right! Then I find out there is a whole new vocabulary like “latching on” and “colostrum.” All of a sudden, I wondered why I didn’t do more homework and really research this topic during my pregnancy – but no matter, I’m from the old school. Once I decide to do a job, I do it!

After breastfeeding my daughter, I’ve learned these basic truths:

-No matter how determined you are, it takes two to tango: Your little one has to be ready, willing, and ABLE (yes in caps) to breastfeed, no matter how much you want it to happen.

-The sooner you start pumping the better. Ask the hospital for a pump and get on schedule: This really helps get your production on track. I rented a hospital grade pump from a home-health store. I was producing milk like a machine!

-There’s no substitute for experience: Talk to other breastfeeding moms if this is your first time trying it. You’ll be suprised at how much you learn from a group of women who really love to talk.

-Don’t give up! If this is what you want for your little one, it IS possible even with a preemie and mulitiples. You can do it.

-Make goals that are attainable: my initial goal was 1 month. After I celebrated making it that far, I tried to reach the 3 month mark. Once I made it to that goal, I was in a groove so I decided to push for another 3 months. Now, we are almost 11 months and going strong. I would have never dreamed!

-Convenience, convenience, convenience: This one is self explanatory.

-Don’t forget to buy some lanolin cream: Hospitals usually provide this as a parting gift too, thank goodness!

-Invest in a comfortable robe or pajamas since this will most likely be your dress of choice for the first 4-6 weeks. This is one of the only things I bought for myself. Some cute polka-dot jamies from Josphines that buttoned up the front. They were cute and comfortable. I didn’t mind answering the door (to my friends, of course) in them.

As for weaning your baby, that is where I’M asking for advice. I never thought I would make it to 11 months with my Sweet Pea (or Bea, rather) but here we are: she still likes to nurse before naptime when we are at home, right before bed, and at a very early 3:30am every morning. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that we still have this time together and I know this is great for her development. But sleeping in until 6am when Poppy wakes up is rather tempting…did I say VERY tempting.

So if you decide to try breastfeeding, whether you do it for 2 days, 2 months, or 2 years, just remember that you are blessed for the time you had together. Good luck!

More reading: 
  • Comparison of Human Milk and Formula
  • How to pump and store breast milk
  • La Leche League Human Milk Storage Information
  • Children’s Health Topics: Breastfeeding
  • Infant nutrition information from Seattle’s Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center
  • We went for flu boosters today.  Beatrice has become very friendly.  She was practically jumping out of the pouch to socialize with the patients. 

    The lady next to me asked if I would let her sit with her son.  “Sure,” I said with hesitation.  I wish I were not so reserved. The dubiety was unwarranted because Beatrice loved every minute of it. She talked to him, reached for his ears, waved her arms and legs, and a laughed and smiled.  Three of the women behind the desk came to the window to check out the commotion.   It was hilarious! 

    Here, look for yourself: 

    b 9 mo drb 9 mo drB9 mo dr b 9 mo dr 

    The poor boy was overwhelmed.  He did not let out a peep. He barely flinched.  I think she took him by surprise. 

    Oh, did I mention he had red hair?

    9 Months to the Day Eating a Sock 

    While I am here I have to tell you that it’s her 9 month birthday.
    Yay! We come a long way baby! 

    Now is the time to begin thinking about handmade gifts, gift tags, and wrapping paper.  There is still plenty of time to get it all done.  Bring fresh ideas, create a gameDIY gift wrap plan, make a shopping list, then gather supplies.

     Parents magazine has easy Holiday craft ideas & sweet treat recipes in their latest issue.

    You don’t have to do the whole craft by hand. You can cheat.   If you can only muster two hours for Holiday crafts and baking you will create memories to last for lifetime.  Go ahead.  Take shortcuts if you need to.  You can get ready-made cookie dough and easy craft sets from the craft store.  That doesn’t matter.  What matters is that your gifts are from your heart and that you and your child have fun making them. 

    The memories will last much longer the gifts.  Visions of sewing Christmas presents with my Grandmother STILL dance through my head.  And, it’s been a long time folks!

    So, grab some plain wrapping paper to stamp or color.  Get a premade project from the store. Pull your sewing machine out of the attic. And, well, do whatever you have to do or as little as you have to do.  But, arrange just a little time this holiday to spend time with your family making gifts, or creating wrapping paper.  You will be making traditions. You will be glad that you did!

    Bunny Coats are good for cold weather. Brrr…

    Here’s Beatrice and one of her favorite people in the world, her baby sitter.  Viviana is amazing with her. Frankly, she is an amazing person.  I know you all have heard me sing her praises.  So, I thought I would share a picture with you.  Beatrice looks so happy with her. Doesn’t she? Pretty in Pink Baby!

    Baby Happy = Mama Happy.

    Buenas Dias!

    Here’s one more picture of Beatrice. She’s pretty in pink! Sorry, I just had to squeeze it in — in true stay-at-home-mom-crazy-about-your-kid fashion.

    […] stephanie’s comment […]Aunt_Stephies_Diaper_Cake

    I finally had an opportunity to check out Stephanie’s Diaper Cake for her nephew.  If you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, here it is. 

    Moke, I didn’t know of your talents. It is so cute.  Okay, yes I did know you are creative.  And, I do know how thoughtful you are.  I should have known the Auntie Cake would be super cute. 

    You know Southern Pet Sitters would’ve been selling these things if I would have only realized your Nappy Creativity earlier.    You and I were always up to making a dollar!

    Okay, I admit it. I got REALLY into the diaper cake. I over spent time and money.  However, in personal defense it was really fun. 

    I dug through the craft boxes of my attic and browsed and bought things in Wal-mart.  I really wanted to do something pink but the ribbon selection was scarce of coordinating hues of pink.  Strangely, I couldn’t find any stuffed animals, either.  I shopped in the infant and the toy sections.  Finally, I decided to be resourceful by using a sunny theme including orange and yellow colors. Let me know what you think.  

    Here’s where we started: Diaper Cake Stage 1 

    I added toys:A toy on the Diaper Cake Close up of Diaper Cake

    And, mini baby items like baby powder and baby shampoo: Mini-Powder on the Diaper Cake

    I laced the cake with tiny yellow flowers to fill in the “blank” spots until I finished. And, I topped the cake with three Sunflowers placed at varying lengths. I tied a small bow around one of the flowers.  

     DSCN0414 DSCN0419

    To add contrast and interest I used ribbon of different widths, textures, and styles Full Length of Diaper Cakeincluding polka dots, plaid, shiny. gross-grain, wired, and paper. I think it turned out well although I am not 100% thrilled with it.  Next time I will use clear rubber bands. The black rubber bands were difficult to camouflage.  And, I will not build the tiers out so far.  I probably should have had one less layer of diapers to distinguish the tiers better.  One final tweak: I would use a larger cookie sheet.

    Overall the project was fun.  It gave me an excuse to get out of the house alone as Brian kept Beatrice while I gathered supplies.  It was a nice diversion from my house work, too.  And, I feel good that I am able to give Kelly something that is handmade, useful, and practical.  Plus, we will have a great center piece for the baby shower.  Even though it could use a little improvement, I think we can add it to the list of “cream of the crop” photos of my earlier post. Don’t you?

    Oh, what fun making a diaper cake is!

    For my directions on How to Make a Diaper Cake click, here.

    Priscilla the Pink Pig– at Lenox Square Mall in Atlanta 

    Curious about the Pig, I looked it up.

    You can learn more here.