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Chalkboard Globes are so interesting.

This one seen on, here, is from Viva Terra.

I found this one from Blue Bell Bazaar on Leslie’s blog.

And, here is another blackboard world globe. The outlines of continents are  painted as the national boundaries and country names can be added with chalk on this one from Link -via Nag on the Lake & Neatorama

Finally, here is a home made one from black fern. She has directions if you like.

Have a great week. Stay warm. And, stay dry!

amateur astronomer takes stunning photos. nice work by Alan Friedman. there may be nothing new under the sun, but all that there is under, over, around and near remains inspiring, breath taking, interesting, and mystifying.




via journal

i love maps…
and look at all the amazing things made with them…

 i love, love, love all kinds map goodness
i like to read them, navigate by them. i always have. just ask brian. he even calls me, megellan.
i have always dreamt of a giant map in our house. although, i admit we don’t have one. i don’t keep many things but i have a stash of maps from national parks, denver, the atlanta olympics, st. simons, disney world, france, paris…just a big stash of maps. all that i have displayed, though, is a globe that we gave brian for father’s day one year and that is it. i hope to have a map put up by the end of the year. i love maps.
check out more here

note….they have a great etsy store, too.
What are your thoughts on maps? Do you use them in your decorating? Do like more up-to-date, practical maps, or more decorative maps?
Here is one last picture of a map:

large wall map childs room

this photo via design mom and here

Beatrice waits patiently to dye her first eggs as Papa looks on

Mommy tells Beatrice exactly how it is done

Emily finds an egg. Score!

Whitaker shoveling  his food

Kelly reaching for another cup of dye

Happy Belated Easter! I have been terrible about posting pictures and generally blogging all together. It seems with two children, a husband, a dog, a backyard, good weather, and a busy house I don’t have as much time to chronicle our goings-on. I guess, you can blog it or live it. Right now, I am living it!

Exicted by my find, I found these pictures of our afternoon in Denmark on Megan’s blog.  Thank you, Megan!

I stumbled upon this pizza at Be Different…Act Normal made from Rice Krispies, jam, frosting, fruit rollups (and even seen some with green sprinkles to look like herbs). It reminds me of my sweet baby sister.

She made these Yellow Brick Road Rice Krispy Treats for Beatrice’s Wizard of Oz Birthday Party


I think these special treats are so creative.  I didn’t know Rice Krispy Treats are so versatile. Who knew?

Boo *aka my sister*, I think you should consider becoming a Rice Krispy Treatanista. I can see you in one of those cute ETSY aprons and the Athropologie measuring spoons you like. You would make the cutest Rice Krispy Treatanista ever.

 Snap. Crackle. Pop. BOO!

 You can get the recipe for the Rice Krispy Pizza HERE.

100 striped paper straws - red/white

I procured the red & white straws for the (super fun) Melting Witch Punch at Beatrice’s Over the Rainbow Party from Jessica’s shop on Etsy. She featured Lauren’s picture of the punch on her blog Fort & Field. Surprised by the post, my heart beamed when I recognized the brew. Oh, my heart is forever in love with Etsy. It makes me feel so good to buy from a vested, charismatic artist instead of a corporate store.

Thanks for the post and artwork, Jessica. And, thanks again for the pictures Lauren.

I have finally uploaded pictures to flickr in a gallery titled Over the Rainbow. I think it is sooo nice that someone thought to take pictures during the party because the Wicked Witch *me* did not have the time or thought to snap photos of everything. More, the camera battery was dead when Brian grabbed our photo taker. I can not take credit for the photos as they are a combination of Lauren, Abbigail, and Heather’s work.
The gallery is unfinished as I have not completed descriptions and tags. Ahhh…where does the time go to do these things?? None the less, the photos are up!

This party was so much bigger than we planned. And, so much more fun. Two weeks later, Beatrice is STILL talking about her Dorothy Party. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Thanks to my sister, my husband and all my wonderful friends and family for making this Over the Rainbow party so special for my favorite Dorothy Gale and Munchkin. Scarecrows, Tinmen, Toto’s, Lions, Yellow Brick’s, Cyclones and Glinda’s young and old came from near and far (thanks Alli and Chandler for the drive from Atlanta, Amanda from Brunswick, and GG from Nashville!!!).  It is a day that we will live in infamy around our house. It was special because of everyone’s love and effort. It truely is magical. It was wonderful!!!!

Oh, and that extra special Happy Cake from Stephanie. It was amazing.

Love and lots of hugs to everyone. Thank you SO much!


AP Photo/ Hasbro Inc., Darryl Bush


America’s most famous street; and one of my favorite’s got a make over last week. Lombard street was painted pretty and color coated for Candyland’s 60th Birthday.

Awesome. Love that game.

via flavorwire

Beatrice says, “cheeeese” for Papa before her first day of preschool. She is going to Mommy’s Morning Out two mornings a week. She was so excited this morning. And, so were we!

Then, she watered the flowers.

“I ready to go to schooooo now,” she says.

I took a couple of pictures with my phone after school:

Note: Beatrice loves backpacks and leashes and things like that. This morning she was looking for a bag to carry so I grabbed this backpack. The fun thing about this super cute pink gingham backpack is that it was mine!  If you look closely, you can see the initials PJ on the bottom left side of the pack. Aunt Peggy made it for me when I was a little person. She is so proud to wear it. I love it!

[via] i’m a country girl at heart


i’m a country girl at heart

“Beatrice, I love Paris. How about you?” I ask.

“Papa, We BOTH love Paris. Can we come back some day? Please. Please.” we say.

“Let’s make a pack over a nose nuzzle. We ARE coming back some day!”


Oh, God. Dear God. I think you have a misplaced pawn.  There is a piece on the wrong spot on the board.  I think I am meant to be a Parisian. I love, love, LOVE, Paris, France!

Here are a few of our pictures:

Papa and Beatrice getting their Photos for the Carte Orange


 To all those who have lost their heads and lives here…
 The boy wants a cold Coca cola, please.  

 Beatrice and I feel so small…

At the Notre Dame of Paris

 Photos from American Monument, Cemetary and Memorial at Omaha Beach, France.


Grandmother: We went to grand-lengths to locate the markers for the two West Boys we found (each entered the military in South Carolina). You said, “well, neither Ansel nor Arthur rings a bell.  Daddy sent flowers to his brother over there every year, but that is not my Uncle’s name.”  We are so sorry! Our regrets to you for mis-locating the markers. If the thought counts… 

Beatrice was a blister that day as you can see in the photos.  The reverence and silence observed throughout the United States territory was enough to make her a sour puss for the entire day.  We are sorry – but hope you know we tried. Love you and miss you!!!

On the way back from the Normandy beaches in Northern France we made a special trip to Le Mont St. Michel. The pilgrimage to the shrine was worth the time, effort, and drive.

Despite our attempt to avoid pricey tours, we couldn’t resist. The 17.50 Euro per person price was worth the spectacle of this Normandy attraction that rises from the hazy expanse of sand and waves.

It is a bonus that our arrival fell during the night time tour, which included music.  Musicians with instruments were individually placed throughout the 2000 year old Monastery. It was neat to bend around a corner to hear a deep hum of a Cello being played.  Or to hear the chanting of the choir dressed in white hooded robes.  The music was an added bonus for a family traveling with a toddler because it drowned out Beatrice’s deliberate ignorance of the OBSERVE SILENCE signs. More, it drew attention away from her occasional curiosity of the echo of her voice. She seemed to be amazed of the sound of her voice ringing through the halls. 

This Mont has been used as far back as the 6th and 7thcenturies. With amazing tides spanning 14 meters between tides, quick sand, salt marshes, and the invasion of the highest tides in Europe reaching the Mont can be a feat. The waters are among the most dangerous in the world. Luckily, we reached the destination during low tide. Upon reaching the Mont you travel by foot up the Grand Rue which is a shop, hotel, and restaurant lined street toward the Abbey.  The Grand Rue seemed like a trap to welcome the wallets of  >3 million tourist a year as we felt we weren’t far off from a theme park. 

I had hoped to taste the famous frothy omelette of this area.  It is a souffle of nontraditional ingredients they make right in the windows before cooking in a wood fire oven. 

And, I wanted to taste, agneau de Pré Salé which is the delicate lamb that wonder the salty marsh. Considering the omelette’s cost, which equals 45 dollars according to Brian’s calculations,  the experience wasn’t worth the bet on Beatrice’s dining behavior.

Despite the fine smells, the grand reputation, and the site of happy diners we skipped the food of the Mont to delve into the morsels of our cooler and pilfer the loot of our supermarket binge. Only great strength, and the cry of a toddler could have made such a decision.  I guess, I can use this Norman omelette recipe at home. Somehow, it loses it’s appeal  without the ambiance.

Brian told me on the way home, “We are coming back to France…just you and I…we are going to eat and drink and enjoy life as the french do…with no worry of children…we will bike and camp and stay in hotels.”  I am hoping his comments are a promise.

We will take you along our tour:

 Here, share an apple (un pomme) with us before we go.


Take a break with us upon completing the great stairs. We are at the top!

Wow. It is majestic.

Look down with me. Oh, it is a long way down. It is a twinge scary.

I can barely see the people at the bottom. Can you?

From the top, it all looks surprising. The strength of nature, the prodigies of medieval architecture, the light…

Stop. Two french lovers asked us to take their photos from this point. We requested a return of the favor. One…two…Three…Say Cheese! Note, this is our only photo with all three of us.




 I hear the beautiful sounds of the monks. Lets enter the Abbey. We feel so small.


Slow down, now. Beatrice wants to play inside the Benedictine Abbey under the columns of the cloister. The Cloisters has elegant marble columns, an example of early 13th-century Anglo-Norman style. The buildings of Mont St. Michel are constructed of granite, but there is limestone in the cloister.

A small group of Benedictine Monks still inhabit the monastery. It is so damp and windy. It must be a very cold place to live during the winter when the wind blows off the English Channel. Brrr…

 Look at the pulley we have found! This is the Goods Lift Wheel inside the Benedictine Abbey. After the Revolution when the Abbey was turned into a prison, the cargo elevator was operated by prisoners trudging inside like a Hamster wheel.  As the wheel turns a ladder is lifted from the ground up carrying goods. Surely, one of Satan’s demented fantasies.

 Can you hear the Cello?  
 The mirror of the Knights Hall makes for a perfect self portroit. One of our two, now.
 Walk with us now as we leave the Merveille Building and Gardens to descend this granite marvel.

 Look up the Abbey for one last glimpse into history.  Suspended high upon the rock it seems to call you to discover the wild ambition of it’s builders.

 Sand is sand. Sea is sea. “A man-made marvel shines no brighter than the natural beauty of the landscape,” Beatrice reminds us as she INSISTS on playing in the shore. Take your shoes off as we did. Feel the thick-clay-like sludgy sand.

Dip your feet in the cold water.  It is clear and chilly. It feels good.  

Au Revoir, Le Mont St. Michel. We enjoyed your rocky mountain, salty meadows, medieval town, and benedictine Abbey. Salut!

Thanks for visiting. Thanks for coming along.

We drove down to the Garden of France also known as the Loire Valley for a few days. It is remarkable while it is as enchanting as I expected. The vinyards, flowers, forests, and rolling green hills are laced with gabled houses, charming foot bridges and over 1,000 castles.  The villages date back centuries as the architecture and art is unbelievable.  The Medieval streets dating back to the 10th Century are narrow and often cobblestone.  We were awful with the photography task. There isn’t much in our photo basket in comparison to the many towns we traveled and sites we saw.

Here are the the highlights:

The Castle of Chambord was the first castle we came to. Talk about getting the Chateau tour off to sprinting start. We were blown away. It is in the middle of no where. So, you drive around a curve and there it quietly sits.  One of the odd things about Chambord is that all of the furniture, wall coverings, eating implements and so forth were brought specifically for each hunting trip. Can you imagine this logistical exercise?
  Something about this reminds me of the Magic Kingdom.  Do you think this is the model for Cinderellas Castle?

The next big stop:   Blois, France.  

  Our trek led us down the same streets as Joan of Arc.   around the Chateau
 We could not help but admire the finest details in everything.
 We went up stairs like these
 and into Cathederals like this
 Outside of town Brian couldn’t resist buying some wine from Guy Drummon’s Wine Store in a cave. A sign out side read ENGLISH SPOKEN HERE. His english was as good as our French. We could feel his pride from inside the language. Brian is convinced he made the wine himself.
 We went to the prim little riverside town of Amboise, France too.  Leonardo da Vinci retired here.

 where Beatrice nibbled on candy
 we saw Gothic steeples
 Our driving tour allowed us to go slow and at our own pace. we had the freedom to stop and smell the flowers and meander as we pleased.

Châteaux of the Loire Valley

Map Via Wikipedia

Click on the picture to go to the Photo Album.

Did you know that Marie Antoinette had a baby B?  I couldn’t help but think of that as we treked the massive estate. If I remember correctly, Marie’s Beatrice lived a short life of one or two years old. 

Despite study, pictures, and films, I did not understand the majesty of Versailles until the visit. Although I would like to think I would have been a  member of the royal court, chances are that I would not. I think I would have been one of the population quietly plotting the revolution as I moved forests, cleaned the stables, or performed my juggling act . The royalty was seriously out of control. It is gorgeous.

Marie Antoinette and her children, 1786–1787. Sophie Hélène Béatrix, originally in the cradle, was painted out after her death. By Marie Louise Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun

Marie Antoinette and her children, 1786–1787. Sophie Hélène Béatrix, originally in the cradle, was painted out after her death. By Marie Louise Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun . When Beatrix died she was painted out of the picture. Weird, huh.

I bought a basket of fresh, local strawberries from L&D Produce today.  And, I made HOMEMADE whipped cream for the hubster. It was dEE.licious.

Photo compliments of by alizinha/CrossFitNYC

Screeching in the driveway 15 minutes late, Beatrice and I abruptly and barely put-together arrived at our morning date to “bead.”  As newbies to the craft we had to make a last minute run to Wal-mart in the rain to purchase beads at 9:00 a. 

Even I, the not-s0-crafty mother, have to admit it was fun. My finery was less spectacular than the other three beaders, but it was fun to make. Their pieces look really, really good.  But, mine is just right for me.  I like it!

As I attempted to take a photo of my work, a saga unfolded.  Watch and see:


She hasn’t noticed.


She sees it.

She’s coming.


I want to see that. 
 hmm…very interesting.  I really like this Mommy.


 I want it Mommy. No. Huh-huh. Bracelets are not for babies.

Why not!
Barry wants a look-see.
Nice jewels.
It’s nice and all, but I really just want my back scratched. 


I take off the new jewels and the family is happy. 
THEY ALL jump in my lap with excitement!

Happy Friday, Ya’ll!

Santa visited the MOMs Club Christmas Party this morning.   Beatrice jumped at the opportunity to give him her list!

Molly and Viva Molly and Viva

Here’s our friends Molly and Viva. We just love them! They shared our table with us.  Molly is super organic, free spirit, Mama who does motherhood with a natural flare.  I love it!  She is the Mom I strive to be.  She reminds me of the mother that I am inside — she just delivers it on the outside, too.  She’s into the whole baby wearing, natural motherhood, attatchment parenting like I am.  Talking to her is interesting and so much fun as I am thankful for our introduction and budding friendship. 

Curtains Curtains Top of Curtains Closed Curtains


So while I am having a Georgia Bulldog, I mean, BullDAWG posting frenzy(post 1, post 2), I get this picture from the other cousin.  You know I have to post it. 

The family loves the dawgs.  We love them in the fall, in the spring, on holidays, and part of the family already have rooms rented for the bowl. They booked the rooms before they even knew which bowl!

My husband’s white American Bulldog is named “Sugar” because she was born on a year the dawgs went to the Sugar Bowl. ”Lucky lady,” he thought when he graced her with the name. 

Uncle Marion was even quoted in the AJCfor being a huge dawg follower.  Now, that’s a big fan because the Atlanta Journal Constitutionis connected to a LOT of dawg fans. But, they picked Uncle Marion from right here in Statesboro

The family has the fever and the 50 yard line tickets to prove it!

Back to the picture.  Do they look super cute or what?  Ut-Um, I believe they got this photo over at Larita & Company. 

If you read my blog regularly, you may be beginning to wonder “is she related to everybody in Statesboro?”  The answer is they are all my husband’s cousins.  If I weren’t married to him, I would only be related to two other people in this town:  my mother and my father. 

Mandy, Wes, and Abby — Ya’ll look so dawg gone good.  I will claim you every day of the week!  

Goooooooooooo Dawgs. And, Merry Christmas to you, too!

Rocking Horse This is from our Wednesday Play Group. Beatrice had the BEST time playing with Madison’s toys.  This rocking horse was one of her favorites! 

  Traci sent me these pictures earlier this week as I have not had the time to post them until now.  Beatrice was SO tiny. I can hardly believe it. She looks so different now!  The photos are from a wedding shower for Megan and their wedding.  I guess, Beatrice was only a few weeks old at the shower and around six weeks at the wedding.  Here are the pics:

 Kelly and I.  I look so “puffy.”  I think this is where  Kelly caught the fever.

b and anny 3 Anny & B.  b and anny 2 with aunt linda Aunt Linda helps Anny.  B and anny Fussy Baby. Anny’s going to be a good mother one day.  She’s smiling despite B’s protest. 

yawning b Brian’s Mom with Baby B-So-Sleepy.

sleeping b kissing b

Traci Traci the family photographer. Is she gorgeous, or what?

                                 You wanna play with MY toys

 Like my hat?

@$*!#! I said no hats! @$*!#! I said no hats!

Boo sent these today.  I wish I could take credit for them and for the catchy captions, but I owe it all to her.  Beatrice will not wear a hat.  It’s a quirk of hers.  She will  wear bows, but no hats.  Thanks for the photo’s of Beatrice visit with the cousin!


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.

I am planning on assembling a diaper cake for my sister-in-law’s shower so I looked on the Internet for inspiration. I am amazed, absolutely astonished. There are ENTIRE sites designated to diaper cakes. And, I thought I was so creative when I came up with this idea.  More, there are businesses based on this concept.  I am floored. Where do folks find the time.  Some cakes were tacky.  Yet, I found a lot of cakes that were not. Some were gorgeous.  Floored. I am nothing less than completely floored by people’s talent and vision.  The following are some that I consider to be the cream of the crop.  Look at all these Diaper Cakes…

diaper Cake      Fishing Diaper Cake 

Basic Diaper Cake      Completed Diaper Cake 

Baby boy Giraffe Diaper Cake 

3 Tier Boy / Girl Story Book Diaper Cake #2     Cloth diaper cake front 

If you are interested in more diaper cake photos, you can see more here.  Apparently there is an entire web group in flickr based on diaper cakes. Yes, I am still very amazed.

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

My other posts about Diaper Cakes:

Mom and Baby with Headband Gutan Tag, friends and family!  A chilly morning did not stop B and I from our exercise regimine.  Regretful it was not a healthy plight that drug me from the warmth of the cozy down comforter. Rather, it was the opportunity to FINALLY dress Beatrice in her lime green jogging suit that rousted me from my all-night cacoon. 

Admittedly, we didn’t make if far. We did go down Savannah Ave. and back.  Any exercise is good exercise at this point.  We were august with ourselves. simply proud to be up, about, and exercising at this hour. 

The crisp air surrounded us like wool of a sheep skin. It stuck close and was unmoving.  Tightly it layed like a fitted sheet upon our cheeks and fingers.

As we returned home, up the steps and into the warmth of our house, we felt somehow refreshed and splendid, pleased and spirited. The cool weather walk was a wonderful way to start the day. Better, it is a great way for us to start the week. 

Here are some photo’s I snapped as we were getting ready: 

smiling from the comforter   climbing the comforter with the head band

B in the Comforter with Headband   B from above in the comforter with the headband

I love the brown and pink polka dot head band.  Look out Jane. Beatrice is getting an early start on exercise. Go B Fonda. Go!

 Click to View My Album

album 11/01/07
21 photos

Click to view Beatrice’s Seven Month Portroits.  All of the photos from the session are in album as there are probably more than there should be.  However, if you flip thru you will see some good ones.  Oh, just looking at these makes me happy to be a Mommy.  Just seeing the ones of her laughing and smiling are so tasty, mommy Junga Juice, stimulation overload.  Whoa Mama there’s your baby.  I do not know a deeper love.


We went to Savannah the other night just to simply “get away.”  Yes, I know it isn’t far; but when you are stay-at-home mom sometimes even short distances are worlds away.  It was SO nice.  With grand enthusiasm I highly recommend the Hampton Inn Savannah-Historic District Hotel.  From the moment you step on the heart pine floors of the foyer to the traditional Savannah grey brick, to the antiques in the lobby, this hotel is awesome.  More, the entire staff was extremly nice.  Whether for personal or business, I have stayed in a lot of accomodations in a lot of places.  I also have worked extensively in the hospitality industry.  Trust me, when I say this place was great.  It was not extravagent, I mean it was a Hampton Inn.  However, it’s Old South appeal and tasteful, casual elegence are unsurpassed. 

 Hampton Inn & Suites Savannah Historic District Hotel

We walked to River Street as we finally decided to eat at Tubbys.  The air was crisp and cool while the breeze kissed out outside table. It was perfect. Someone was playing acoustical music at the restaurant but we could also hear a trumpet player from the Street. The song selection of the trumpet player has us in stiches.  It ranged from Jingle Bells to Beyonce.  He was talented!  We walked thru City Market on the way back. 

Here we are getting ready to go. This was my first time using the sling for a long period.  My arms adored the freedom.  I really like it.  babyy in pouch

Here’s Brian and B at Tubby’s DSCN0218 .  She looks drowsy.  “It’s past my bed time, Mama,” she seems to say.

Our little Pumpkin! There’s our little pumpkin!  We could not resist the photo opportunity outside of an ice cream shop in City Market.  This is one of my favorite photos.  I love it!