Thursday, May 31, 2012

My New LOVE!!!

By now, I'm sure you all know about my obsession with mascara. If you don't, well I'm beyond obsessed! So when I opened up my mail, and found this turquoise tube, I was "Over the Moon!!!"

Not only do I adore mascara. But voluminous mascara is my absolute favorite! I have long lashes. So I don't need length. But I adore volume. And lots of it! Not "Spider Eyes." But very voluminous and soft lashes.

It's been about 6 weeks now. I've been using Maybelline's Mega Plush. Almost daily. I LOVE that you can build up the mascara, without getting that "clumpy look." I'm so not a fan of that! The mascara doesn't flake off. But at the end of an 18 hour shift, I notice a little smudging. For me, this is normal. Because I have oily skin. My real test, is always trying the "Waterproof" version.

I will say, Mega Plush holds your curl all day long! And although it is being advertised as a voluminous product, I have noticed that it also adds some length. Definitely a plus! For me, the best part of this mascara, is the way my lashes are left feeling. Not completely natural. But not hard and brittle.

Other positives to this product are, the dark black color. Not all mascaras have that deep black pigment. Something I have to have. Although my hair has naturally lightened since I was a child, my eyebrows and eyelashes have stayed a dark black color. The deep pigment was almost unexpected. I usually have to dish out some dollars for that. Another bonus, is the wand. It's flexible. And for someone with long lashes, I like to bend the wand a bit. It helps me, to get in the corners a lot easier.

I'd definitely recommend this product. I'm not being paid to say this. Or for this post. I was just sent the product. But I'm in LOVE!!! I just adore the mousse like formula. It's a dream. The gel allows for easy application. But the mousse like texture, allows for your lashes to feel natural. My next test, is the "Waterproof" version. But definitely give this a try. I know that this product is currently selling for $5 at most drugstores. A complete score!!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Let me tell you a little secret. I have the most annoying hair, known to man! It's not curly, not straight, not pretty. Just frizzy. And puffy. It has a mind of it's own. And honestly, I call my hair..."The Chia Pet."

I'm not blessed. You see, I have 3 older sisters. 2 are my Dad's daughters, 1 is my Mom's daughter. They all have this glorious curly hair! The kind that is insanely kinky, curly, and gorgeous. Mine...looks like I've stuck my finger in the socket. Oh ya, I did that once. When I was a baby! Did that mess with my hair? I don't know. But it is so annoying!

In high school, almost every girl that I cheered with, wanted to "straighten" my hair. Well, I avoided them at all cost! My best friend, became the clip barrette. And the scrunchy...when I cheered. Sponge rollers, and eventually the hot rollers, were my best friends.

But right before I started college, I found the good 'ol hair straighteners. I bought a cheap-o pair at Target. I don't even remember the brand. But I spent $15. They worked OK. But with my thick and frizzy hair, I was far from perfectly straight hair.

Months later, I found CHI. Oh my goodness! My life changed. My hair, for the first time ever, could be stick straight. It introduced me, to new hairstyles. Easy, breezy days. Simple life. If I just had those bad boys with me. :)

Heck if I remember the brand of the 3rd pair I got. I can't remember. But these 2 pair, have been life changing. I know, that sounds crazy. Being that it's just hair. But honestly, it's the truth. That pair of CHI, are worth every penny! Dry hair, from beginning to end, could be straight in under 5 minutes. No lie! Pin straight, in 5 minutes.

Then, last summer they died. OK, I'd had them for almost 10 years. But my babies were no more! I took to that other pair. The ones I can't remember the brand name. And well, they got me through 3 and a half more hairstyles. Yes, I said a half! In the middle of doing my hair, there was no more heat...

Well, I didn't feel like investing another $100 or $300 at the time. So I tried to embrace my crazy hair! I bought all sorts of hair products. Researched them. Asked around. For almost a year now, I've embraced the texture of my hair. A little curly, a little nutty, a little frizzy. Seriously, my hair has a mind of it's own! All it's own!!!

We'd been going good. I took to braids. Various "up dos." A range of products. Silently, I welcomed the days when Manders was in charge of my hair and makeup. When I had to perform. When for a few brief days, my hair could be tamed.

I also did research. And had my little list, narrowed down to 2. The GHD. And Sultra. Pretty decent investments. I'd recently purchased a Sultra hair dryer. And well, I just couldn't make a decision on hair straighteners. No matter how many reviews I read. How many YouTube videos I watched. Or how many people I asked. But it was down to 2...

I never talk about these things. Especially with this guy. What would he think? Until about 2 weeks ago. My Guy finally asked why I've been wearing my hair up so much. I never wear it down anymore. See ladies, guys do notice these things! I told him what had happened. And he gave me that look. Like why in the heck, haven't you bought whatever you need to buy? See, I told you, I rarely shop. And I almost never, use this guy's money, for myself.

On the second day that my friends were here, I got a little surprise. I'm almost 100% positive that Mrs. Manders helped out here. :) I got this precious little package!!!

Life changing I tell you! Life changing. :) I get to now straighten my hair. Whenever in the heck I feel like it! Since I got my set of GHD straighteners, that's been every single day! I know. But really, even I had missed those super straight locks.

If you're on the fence about hair straighteners, I'd say..."Bite the Bullet!" If you have fairly fine hair, not too textured, a pair from Target will do fine. But those of us, with more complicated hair, well save your pennies. These are worth every single one!

Had I not been so stubborn, I would have bought these months ago! Perfectly straight hair, in just minutes. I've also curled my hair with this set. Super quick! And curls that last all day. Believe me, in the heat and humidity that we've been dealing with lately, this is pretty incredible! I just can't believe, that I lasted 11 months, without my "hair best friends!"

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I've Learned...

One of the things that I've come to realize, about living in the South tea is like water. Everyone drinks it. Everyone expects it. And everyone has their own twist on it. Around these parts, Sweet Tea is KING! For the love of God, you better have a fresh pitcher, in your fridge at all times!

Me? I'm a little partial to the Sun Tea myself. No sweetener. Just a few slices of lemon. Of course, it should be in a good 'ol Mason Jar. With tons of ice...and a straw. But that's how I like it.

And with your tea, should come, "long sits on your porch." Taking in the beauty of the South. Catching up with loved ones. Reading a good book. Writing in your journal. Or doing a little craft. We're lucky. We've got a "Wrap Around Porch." Goes all the way around our home. In the front, we've got 6 beautiful rockers. On the side, a fun swing. In the back, the most comfy furniture you can imagine!

And today, I've been feeling a little down. My Love, is out working. In Georgia. He asked me to go with him, but we still had guests. And I haven't been feeling 100%. My friends, well I just said my goodbyes. As they make their way home. They will be missed!

So I took to our porch. Ice tea, good book, and fur babies in tow. We've tried to relax, and enjoy ourselves. But something is eating at me. Making this a tough day. A little praying has helped to calm me a bit...

But I'm positive, I need to go tackle a project. A cleaning project. I'm thinking the kitchen could use another good scrub. And I still have a few cabinets to weed through. Am I the only person, that deals with stress like this? I have to clean and organize something. And minimizing our things, always puts me at ease. ♥

Monday, May 28, 2012

Winner, Winner...Chicken Dinner!!!

Congrats to #31, JennG1031! You are the winner of my giveaway. I just sent you an e-mail. So be looking out for it. Thank you to everyone who entered. I had such a fun time! And look forward to the next Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day! And I can't wait, to take a look at everyone's recommendations! ♥

Thursday, May 24, 2012

California Cobb Salad

I'm IN LOVE with the fact, that my friends are in town for a few days. OK, 2 weeks! But who's counting? In the midst of all the craziness, that is a gig schedule, I've carved out some time. To spend some much needed time, with some of my closest and dearest friends. I LOVE you guys!!!

And early this week, I decided we needed to have a little "get to together." I knew, I wanted to take advantage of our AMAZING backyard. It's like paradise back there. And we rarely use it. It's a shame! But I figured, the kiddos would have a wonderful place, to run around. :) Perfection!!!

But it's been H-O-T as heck! We keep hearing about this tropical storm...that should be here next week. But honestly, it's just been hot. Just plain hot and sticky! And that means, I don't want to cook. Heck, I barely want to eat. So I want something light, and fresh. Oh, thank goodness for Gooseberry Patch! And this week's Recipe of the Week. The California Cobb Salad.

California Cobb Salad

1 head lettuce, shredded
3 c. cooked turkey, cubed
8 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
3 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
3/4 c. crumbled blue cheese
1 c. green onion, chopped
8-oz. bottle Ranch salad dressing

Divide lettuce among 4 to 6 salad plates. Arrange remaining ingredients except dressing in rows over lettuce. Drizzle with dressing to taste. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Well, I use most recipes, as a guide. And inspiration. This one, is no different. I made my own Ranch dressing. From scratch. Yum! I need to do that again. And soon! I also made a few upgrades. I used Romaine lettuce. I had some Roast Beef, that we had on hand. A cut up some cucumbers and carrots. The perfect additions.

This was the perfect little meal. In all this heat. With a HUGE variety of fruit. And some rather delicious cookies. You know how I LOVE to bake! Let's not forget, the fresh raspberry lemonade! The perfect summer lunch. Not too heavy. Just perfect in this summer heat! We must do it once again. :) And very soon!

I Need Some Help...

About a month ago, this guy's sister, e-mailed me this picture. And she asked if I might be able, to make a couple of sets. You know, for her precious little girl. And her sweet friend. I took a good look, and said, I'm sure I can. Let me do a little digging...

You see, at first glance, this looks exactly like Ana's work. Ana happens to be the crochet artist, that first got me interested in amigurumi. I'd seen a few patterns, but it was Ana's patterns that got me moving. I bought about 10 patterns. And I haven't looked back!

So I headed over to Ana's blog. Then to her shop. Finally, I sent her an e-mail. No, this was not her pattern. Now what? I took to Google...

Well I haven't found anything! Not a working link. Not a pattern. Not a darn thing! :( So I figured I'd take to my 'ol blog, and ask my readers. Have you seen this picture? Or more importantly, the pattern?

I'm more than willing to buy this pattern. I just need to find it. I've searched Etsy, eBay, Ravelry. EVERYWHERE!!! Please, if you have any information, leave me a comment. Or send me an e-mail at SweetNightingaleSing (at) gmail (dot) com. I'd really appreciate it! So would Little K! ♥

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kindergarten Graduations :)

Little K, is getting ready for her Kindergarten Graduation. As is Sarita and Marissa. Congrats to 3 sweet girls!!! The other day Little K came to me. She wants to make some gifts for her friends. Something school related. Since we'd already made them some crayon pouches, we needed a new idea.

We searched for 2 hours. With no luck! But Little K, was so positive about it. She told me, that she'd keep searching with her grandma. And when they found an idea, they'd e-mail me. Well, I got 3 e-mails. And I got to work. :)

First up, were these cute pencils. I don't know where they are from. But I liked the idea. The sayings about different pairs. I took to a company that this guy uses for his business. Come on! Uncle had to help with something. :) We ordered a bunch of pencils, in all sorts of colors. With a variety of different sayings. We also ordered some stickers, and little notepads.

These erasers are adorable! Another thing that we ordered. And when they came in, I wrapped them up, in wax paper. Super easy! And oh so cute!!!

Then I took to this cute wreath. I have 2 started. One for the teacher, and one for the assistant. They're really are easy. I just need to set some time aside, to work. But I've got the flowers made. The rest, is all about gluing down some crayons. One wreath will have red flowers, the other blue.

I think it's so cute, that Little K wanted to give her classmates a little present. And I had a lot of fun, putting these things together. All we have left to do, is put everything in a little bag, and add the little tag. Little K is coming over to help me with that. I also plan on baking some cookies, and adding them in. I can't wait to see Little K on her graduation day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Little Rain Drops

I've ALWAYS been a big fan of rain. I'm giving the credit to my grandparents. As I spent years and years, with them. For many summers, I'd spend 2 months with them. In the mountains. They had a tin roof. And when the summer rains rolled into the mountains, there was nothing better then sitting on their porch. Listening to the steady rain falling. Watching, as it cleaned the Earth.

I still feel like that. When the rain rolls in, I feel like I'm 5 years old again. Sitting on that front porch. Watching as God cleanses the world. The only way, that really wipes away the filth. I'm drawn to rain. Forget rainy nights. I'll spend hours, just listening to the rain. Feeling a certain "peace" come over me.

Lately, rains have been seldom. Far between. Something that I've craved more and more. I just feel like my own spirit, needs some cleansing. And there is nothing like a good rain, that cleans a person's soul. And since we haven't had rain, I've searched out some rain inspired treats. :)

This rain cloud necklace, is so incredible! It's delicate. Unexpected. And so fun! Now if I could just find the seller...

What about this fun and colorful rain cloud? So fun! Another treat, that I'd LOVE to own! The colorful raindrops, just make me smile!!!

And this precious picture makes me smile! I can't find a source for this one either. :( But this is something, that I can try to replicate. Oh yes! I just need to head out for a canvas. I can't wait, to have a little fun painting like this.

It's funny, how much I like rain, rain clouds, rain drops...anything of that sort! Have you seen anything similar? I'd LOVE to hear all about it! Because I'm so serious, about purchasing some "rain" inspire items. ♥

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

It's a GREAT day! It's Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day. Actually, it's more like the beginning of a week of giveaways!!

I enjoy participating in this event. But lately, life has been a little crazy. And I haven't had much time to craft. But I really wanted to be be part of Giveaway Day. Then it hit me!!!

On Friday, I was reading my favorite craft magazine. Crochet Today! I came across it years ago. I got it as a "bonus," when I bought some crochet books on eBay. It was love at first sight! Although, I didn't subscribe right away. I was in college. Trying to feed myself. So I'd go to the local library, every month, and copy my favorite patterns.

These days, I anxiously await my magazine. I wait for the mail, and it makes my day, when I get it. I even bought my Mom a subscription. And I hear she loves it! :)

Do you want to win a subscription to Crochet Today? For 2 years!!! Just leave me a comment, with your favorite Craft Blog. That's it! You have until May 25th, at 5PM EST. Oh, and I'm throwing in, a $25 gift card to Hobby Lobby. Because after you read all these patterns, you're going to want to create something. :)

Good Luck everyone! And don't forget to visit Sew Mama Sew's website. There are so many great giveaways going on. ♥

Going Red?

Every few years, I get this make a major change. Do something crazy! You know, throw everything in the air...and see what happens. And I'm just talking about life. Sometimes I'm taking about little things. Like hairstyle. Or hair color.

You see, I've always had long locks. For the last few years...extra long locks. And well...I'm getting a little tired of them. Mostly, I just need a change. It doesn't help that Manders is in town. And every single day, that she does my hair or makeup, I want her to live with us. And every single day, I complain just a tad bit, about the new white hairs that are invading my head! I'm only 29. What's up?

It might be stress. I'm a full time college student. With a full time internship. At a hospital. Pretty stressful. If I do say so myself. On top of that, I've got a boyfriend that travels for work...oh 40+ weeks out of the year. I'm trying to make 4 houses...into homes for us. Oh, and I have a sick parent. I'm a little stressed out. But I do believe, my white hair is genetic. You see, my paternal grandma had snow white hair! As did most of her aunts. I just think, I'll be snow white a handful of years.

So I took to my friend. The professional. And we started shooting around some ideas. Like a new hairstyle. Take about 10 inches off. Add some sassy-ness back in! As soon as we're done with these gigs. And maybe, a new color. Like say...RED?!?!?! I know. But the truth is, my Dad was a natural red head. And although I was born with jet black hair, over the years it has lightened. Naturally. Every single summer! I know have dark brown hair, with tons of red in it. So why not jump off the cliff?

This is actually, just a few shades redder than my natural color. Not much. And I'm also ghostly white. I'm not sure what happened to my Chicana genes...

Ya, I'm not convinced with this color. But I do have a cousin, and niece with this shade of red. To me, it's a bit too "on the orange side of things." Although Manders says, it will work well with my complexion. I'm just not feeling it...

This is actually perfection to me! I've got dark eyebrows like this. But a lot thicker. But honestly, I LOVE this color and style!!! Just red enough...but not too crazy. Or unnatural.

Oh, yes! I'm in LOVE with this darker color. Kate Walsh pulls it off so well! I like the hint of red. With the mystery of the dark color. :)

Let's not forget Debra Messing's gorgeous locks! LOVE the richness of this color. With the dimensions. Highlights and low lights. This color is gorgeous!

So I'm off to talk to Manders. And make some sort of decision. We probably won't do it right now. Since I'm performing, the entire time she is out here. But in just a few weeks, I'll be making weekly trips back home. For weddings, baptisms, and Father's Day. That's when, I am sure to take the plunge.

What do you think I should go with? I don't worry about maintenance. Believe me. I'll keep up with that. I'm just curious, what people think I should do. Just remember, I have pale skin, dark and thick eyebrows, and brown eyes. Hmm, which way should I go?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Butter to My Biscuit

"Ya that happy to see me?" My Guy asks this silly question, as he walks into my dressing room last night. That sly sideways smile of his, makes my heart skip a beat! Maybe 2!!! Don't tell him, but between that smile, and those blue eyes, I just can't help myself!!! I just melt. :)

In all truth, I had just finished that last few lines, of that book, I'd been toting around all week. I read 6 or 7 books, a week. But once in a while, I happen upon a really good book. And it's a constant battle in my head. Do I read it quickly? Too see what's going to happen. Or make it last weeks? To enjoy it longer. This was one of those books. And those last few lines, made it all worth it!

I was happy with the ending of the book. As Manders was setting my hair in rollers. We were getting ready for the show. Cole was setting out the wardrobe for the night. Thinking about the fun show, later in the evening. Truth is, I was in such a GREAT mood!

The BBs are in town. My friends. My very best friends are here. For 2 glorious weeks!!! And here I am, on the moon! So happy. Hanging out with them. And my gorgeous Goddaughters.

Because the BBs are in town, I'm working with them. And the band, is working with this guy. It really is a match made in Heaven!!! We should be working together. But yesterday, it didn't quite happen that way. I found myself running around. Promoting the next 2 weeks events, on every local radio station. And this guy, was hard at work too.

It wasn't until that moment, when he walked in, that we'd finally had time to talk. I was so happy to see him. In all reality, he wasn't the reason for that specific smile. But 99.9% of the time, he's the reason for my smiles. :)

There's just something about this man. He makes my heart skip a beat. My lips can't help themselves, they turn up in a smile. Whenever he's around, I just smile. I crave a sweet kiss, from my Southern Gentleman! I get that spark of electricity, every single time we touch. The kind, that makes me realize, that loves is real.

Years ago, I was in a relationship. One that ended badly. I realized then, what I wanted in a relationship. In those dark moments, it hit me. Like that ball, shattering the window. I knew, I couldn't live like this. I knew, this was not what I wanted, or deserved.

Just days ago, I seen that man. Completely stressed out. Screaming at his poor little boy. Who was running through our local Albertson's. Pulling everything off the shelves. This man, was screaming. Losing it. Right there. In the middle of the cereal aisle.

In that moment, I knew, I'd made the right decision. That man, had once been good with kids. He'd helped me care for my nieces. Made sure we had family meals. That the girls went to school on time. That their tuition to private school was paid. That each one, knew we loved them. He'd had the patients to help with homework. Run kids to school activities. And even volunteered, to go on field trips. Because at the same time, I was working a full time job, going to school (25 credit hours), and starting my new internship at the hospital.

These days, he was fighting, with his sweet son. They couldn't agree on what color of grapes to buy. What cereal would be best. Or what this sweet little boy's favorite juice was...

I saw him. Defeated. This man, that I'd once loved. Had seen a future with. Had been through so much with. The one that I'd allowed myself, to once dream of a future with. It hit me like a ton of bricks. In his moment of need, I could only think..."I dodged a bullet."

Feeling guilty about that thought, I turned the corner. Managed to catch that sweet boy. He remembered me. I'd met him twice before. His daddy, was staying a good distance between us. I got down to his level, "Can we pick out your snacks? You and me together? No running." He nodded yes. And grabbed my hand.

We spent the next 20 minutes, slowly going through the store. Deciding on green grapes, strawberry wafer cookies, apple juice, Fruit Loops, pretzel sticks, string cheese, carrot sticks, pizza bites, and some frozen corn. I returned him to his daddy. Who'd spent the last 20 minutes angry, sitting on a bench. Near the front of the store.

No words were exchanged. Except for that sweet boy, "Tank you. Can you help me ext time too?" It broke me heart. I told him, the next time I seen him in the store, I'd help him too. I can't imagine what is going on there...

I turned around. Headed to pick out some avocados, corn tortillas, and strawberries. My original trip to the store, was supposed to have taken 5 minutes. By the time I was walking to my car, 1 bag in my hand, it had been an hour. And I couldn't help, but feel a sense of relief.

I'm not sure if anyone will understand this. Or how I can explain it. At the time we'd broken up, when everything had just melted before my eyes, I thought that was it. He was the only man that would ever love me. Now, what would I do?

But something about last night, made me realize, God has plans for us. That relationship, made me stronger. I'd had amazing boyfriends before that. Kind, gentle, loving. Something about the demise of this relationship, had shown me, everything I'd never put up with. That I was worth so much more.

Sitting in that chair. Feeling rather unattractive. As my friend put my hair in rollers. I had no makeup on. Sat there in one of this guy's old t-shirts, and a pair of torn sweatpants, I knew God had sent me to him. To this amazing man. To love him. To be loved by him. To share my life with.

It didn't matter what I looked like. That I more than likely, had onion breath. I'd just finished a quick snack. Or that we hadn't seen each other all day. He still makes my heart skip a beat. He still makes me feel beautiful. Loved. Important. And valuable.

When we got home, early this morning, it was the little things. The way he immediately gets out the car, and comes to open the door for me. Pulls me close to him. Kisses me, like I'm all that matters. Reaches for my hand, as we head inside. It's the fact that I don't have to tell him, but he goes to the fridge. Pulls out some water, and fruit. Meets me on the couch. And spends the next 3 hours, catching up on Grey's Anatomy with me.

It's the way, he gently strokes my hair. As I'm falling asleep. The way, he enjoys holding me, when I fall asleep. Not moving, so that I can get a few hours, worth of sleep. And it's the way, he looks me straight in the eye. Holding nothing back.

All those things, that we've gone through before this. They were to prepare us, for this relationship. It allows us to fully embrace it. And appreciate it. We don't take one thing for granted. Not one kiss. One snuggle. Or one moment. We appreciate each and every moment, we have together. However big or small. This, was always God's plan. And now, we just need to help each other. Help each other grow and prosper. Become stronger people together. He really is the butter, to my biscuit. ♥

Fun Night Ahead

We had a long night last night. But I can't complain. It was a fun night of performing, with some of my best friends. With this guy, hanging out with his friends. It's so nice, when our 2 worlds collide like this. When all of our friends are together, having a great time!

But this week, has been leading up to the fun tonight. Not only all of our friends, but this guy's family, are preparing for a fun night. And I'm super excited!!! There are few weeks, like this for us. When we're surrounded by the people we love. Traveling so much for work, you learn to really appreciate nights like this. :)

Like every week, I'm baking some fun treats for this guy, and his co-workers. The twist, I got a little e-mail this week. From one of the biggest, toughest, guy's I know!!! Asking if I'd make these cookies. In some very specific colors. Well buddy, these are for you!!!

I also managed to bake up a few treats, for the rest of us. While we enjoy the evening. My Guy's family, has decided they'd cook this week. I can't wait! Because I know, it will be so yummy!!! I've been looking forward to these 2 weeks, for months!!! And I'm so happy, that we have so many amazing people surrounding us, and showering us with love!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Personal Touches...

Do you remember me telling you about my decorating dilemma? Well, I'm still there. I haven't been shopping in forever! If you want to count me, running into Target and Home Depot, for some last minute Mother's Day presents. And that quick trip to Wal-Mart, for this guy's deodorant and shampoo, I haven't been shopping in almost 2 months. Yes, this man is begging me to go grocery shopping. It's at the top of my list for today. :)

Back to my decorating. We call home, the "South." One, because that's where this guy's business is based out of. Two, I currently work, at a local Children's Hospital. Three, we enjoy it. But I'm from the Southwest. My entire family lives there! And a few times a year, we still travel out west. For this guy's work. I also have a home. I purchased on my own, when I was 18. It's where I went to college. 3 hours from my family. Which I still have. Sometimes, we run out there, to "get away."

I also work near there. Part time. But my home, isn't in the best of shape. Personally, I'm just trying to pay for Medical School. I don't want anyone else to pay for it. So it can be tough. My home, has suffered because of this. Partly because, my home was built in the 1940s. It needs a lot of TLC. Say a working heater, water heater, and AC. Perhaps, I could finally fix that pesky little leak. And the plumbing, needs to be completely redone.

Because of my health, I can't really stay there either. That's why My Guy, decided to invest in some property there. It's a lot. A lot on our plate. But after dating for 4 years, we know that our future holds lots of traveling for us. Because of this guy's job. The reality is, if and when we decide to marry, I won't work. We'll continue to travel for his job. And we'll try to equally share our time, between my family and his. Never mind the 2000+ miles.

Each home is very different. But needs personal touches. Needs to feel like home. A place that one day, we can raise a family in. A place to have friends over. A home to enjoy. I've been sorta picky about things. Because I don't want to spend too much money. And I need to remember, we don't have much down time.

But I keep finding these great ideas! And things that I love. Things that I want to fill our homes with. That won't break the bank. I want to do that much, for the man I love. I don't want him to be investing tons of money into these homes. If I can, I want to save us some money.

This project, is something I'm dying to make!!! I cook a lot. And I want to add something, to our kitchen, that makes it a little fun. This could be it. Between, Classy Clutter is a new favorite of mine!

In fact, I've already purchased the materials for this project. I've measured out spaces. And we're well on our way. Project #2. Because Project #1, got started the night before last. In the middle of the night. After our good friend rescued, and delivered a bed to us. :) Thanks again Buddy! ♥

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lucky Girl

I have to say this, I'm a lucky, lucky girl!!! I have this A-M-A-Z-I-N-G man in my life. That LOVES me much more, than he should. It's no secret. He goes over and above any expectations, that I could ever have. He's my honest to goodness, Prince Charming. Sent straight from God!!!

Sunday, I hopped on a plane. Headed out to visit my Mom. For her birthday, and Mother's Day. Zo and I, also had a credential thing to attend. You know, hours and hours of medical talk. To get that certificate that says, you in fact learned something.

Yesterday evening, we finally got back. If you follow me on Facebook, you could tell, I was happy to be home!!! I missed this man. More than words could say. The band, with their significant others and kiddos, arrived on Monday. And for the next almost 2 weeks, it's going to be so busy! Lots of work and performing, coming up.

So when I walked in the door, I was pleasantly surprised. Not just by the man that I love. But by the amazing things he had done for me. Like cooking a yummy dinner of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and fresh corn. A little fresh strawberry cobbler. With vanilla ice cream. Delish!!!

After a delicious dinner, my Mr. cleaned up the kitchen, as I made my way, to a beautiful bubble bath. With a new book waiting for me. And I met this guy, in a beautifully crisp, cool, and gorgeous white bed. Where we caught up. On the last few days. Spent some good time cuddling. And just enjoying, being back together.

After crazy traveling, chaotic schedules, and life in general, it's nice to come home. To the man I love. And just be. To catch up. Enjoy life together. And embrace the few hours of peace and quiet, before our week gets nuts again!!!

I'm one very lucky woman! One that knows, men like this, are few and far between. I was that awkward girl in school. The one, that people wondered, "How could she be a cheerleader?" "What a dork!" "Poor girl." In lots of ways, that's still me. I'm not perfect. I've never been that "knock out." That is naturally a size 0. With perfect skin, hair and teeth. I'm not cool. I prefer for others to do my hair and makeup. Because, I'm still not confident in it.

In fact, I have lots of those awkward moments. When I wonder, "Why is he with me?" The fact is, this man, could have any woman!!! He's dated models, celebrities, and down right gorgeous women! But the one thing I'm positive about, is My Guy's love for me. He shows me all the time, how important I am, to him. And he's not afraid to tell me either.

This Man, is amazing. He's given up a lot, to be with me. To share these little moments. The ones that make life worth living. I'm so glad that we found each other. I'm so glad, that we're together. In this crazy thing we call life, he makes it worth living! And makes me feel, like I'm finally more than enough. The woman I am, right now, is perfect in his eyes. ♥

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Avocado Dip

I'm a big fan of avocados!!! I think it's pretty easy to say, well you come from the southwest. You probably eat tubs of guacamole. But the truth is, that's just one of the ways, that I like to eat avocado.

Since I was little, avocado in my sandwiches is a MUST!!! There is absolutely no debating it. In fact, I've been known to go to COSTCO, just to buy avocados. From our home, that's almost an hour drive!!! And I really only buy avocados. :) Most of the time, I split them open, and just enjoy. Yum!

This week's Gooseberry Patch Recipe of the Week, just made me smile. Seriously! A new way to try avocados. And while hanging out with Zo this week, I made a big bowl of this dip! We just might have tripled the recipe. :) Yum, it was delish!!!

Avocado Dip

2 avocados, pitted, peeled and chopped
8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/2 to 1 t. garlic salt

Blend all ingredients together; cover and chill until serving. Makes about 2 cups.

Not only was our dip yummy, but this cookbook, has just got me hooked!!! Thanks to Mrs. S (Zo's Mom. My almost MIL.) for buying it for me. What can I say? She just knows about my cookbook addiction!!! ♥

Thinking Ahead

Today's Free Pattern of the Day, from Free Patterns, is adorable!!! The Vacation Tote & Teddy. I've seen it a few times. Honestly, I've downloaded the pattern, a few times. Put it on my list. Said I'd make it for a few little ones. But I've never actually sat down and made this.

Today, I downloaded this pattern, printed it, and managed to start it. :) Makes me happy when I start something new. Maybe, I've just started this year's Christmas presents!!! ♥

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cleaning Closets

For the next 2 weeks or so, we're going to be home. Working around here. It's such a relief!!! And I've got these closets, that are just screaming my name. "We NEED your help!!! Come save us. Purge some of this stuff."

Oh yes, I've got some serious plans. I'm very excited that some of my best friends, will be out here too! I've warned them. Telling them each, to bring an empty suitcase. I'd like to give them some of my things. Send them to a home, where they would be loved. Just as much as I have loved them. :)

This is nuts! Not very long ago, I purged our closets. Right before we moved in here. I just feel like, there is too much stuff. Slowly, I've been doing this to our entire home. Purging. Organizing. And color coding...and labeling. Am I crazy? Maybe. But it needs to get done. Because when it's a jumbled mess, it just stresses me out! I can't wait, to really get in these spaces, and make them more useful for this guy and I. ♥

Friday, May 11, 2012

I LOVE Rain Boots!!!

Around here, it's been raining so much! In fact, I've been dealing with so much rain, I'm speechless. In general, I adore rainy days. Especially rainy nights. :) But when this guy has to work, it's not so good.

I've also realized, when we're on the road, it creates a bit of a problem. One, that a pair of rain boots, would easily fix. Oh rain boots, how I love you! I have a pair. That I bought a few years ago. And I wear them, whenever I garden. That's how much I love them.

But these days, I need some rain boots, you wear in the rain. :) Not the boring ones. Not even the typical yellow ones. But something fun. And unexpected. A pair, that I wouldn't mind wearing to the store. Or out to lunch with friends. Something like these...

How about a pair with painted flowers? I think these are so fun. And girly! Perfect with a casual outfit. Jeans, a t-shirt, a fun jacket. These would complete any outfit, you'd wear to lunch with a friend.

These bows just scream to me!!! I adore how they are basic. But with a feminine twist. Some bows. A little polka dots. I'd definitely buy a pair like this!

My favorites, have to be these flower printed pair. The colors, the flowers, oh the fun!!! I could definitely see these, in our motor home. Traveling the long roads, that we travel every week.

Have you seen some fun rain boots? Something that you just love! Or just have to have. I want a new pair. Like nobody's business. But all I've found in the stores, are your typical rain boots. Loud colors, but not too fun. I've got to keep on hunting. I hope I find a pair soon. For the last few weeks, all we've had is rain! ♥

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Polka Dot Fun!

I've been in this funny mood lately. On one hand, I want to get our homes in order. The decorating complete. Make it feel, just like our home should feel. On the other hand, I don't want to shop. Or spend money. Even if, I have everything planned out.

It's my crazy personality taking over. I just know it!!! I get into these funky moods! When I've spent weeks making a plan. Researching so many products, ideas, and stores. Then, I just don't want to spend money. Lately, I haven't wanted to spend money on anything!!!

In fact, we've eaten our way, through our freezer, and pantry. There's really, no groceries left. We've had some interesting meals. Literally, unless this man needs something, I've stayed very far away, from any store!!!

With that said, I've had this picture, saved on my computer. For almost a year!!! I've searched high and low, for these chairs. With no luck.

If I could find these chairs, I just might get out of this funk. I might dive head first, into making our houses, homes. Why in the world, do I have to decorate 3 homes at once? When I don't want to do anything, but take long baths, read good books, and nap out on the back porch. I know, I just need to get through this semester. Then life will be more like these polka and cheerful! ♥

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Making a Home...

I don't remember how I found this blog. And it just happened a few days ago. But I'm in love with Kammy's Korner! This blog, makes me think, I can do anything!

It should be no secret, to any of my readers, that in the last 6 months, this man has bought 2 new homes. That I need to decorate. From across the country! I also don't want to spend a lot of money. Being that we won't spend a whole lot of time, in any of these homes.

I've been getting inspired by Jamielyn. And I want to jump into the world of rescuing, and refinishing furniture. Don't get me wrong, there are certain things, that even I have to say, we need to buy new. Soft furniture, like couches, certain chairs, and of course mattresses.

But for tables, bed frames, wooden chairs, shelves, things like that...I'm ready to try my adventures in refinishing. For months and months, I've been researching. I hadn't had much of a plan. But even I have to say this, at least one of our homes needs to be finished. Complete. Something that is inviting, to our friends and family.

We've only lived in our primary home, for a few months. I don't think I've shared every move we've had to make. Let's just say, we haven't had the best luck in houses. And at times, we've shared a small studio type of place, with 2 dogs, and 2 cats. Above this man's car collection. Talk about nuts!!! The first home this man lived in, when I met him, got seriously damaged. Due to hurricane winds. And became structurally unstable. We certainly couldn't live there. That was just the beginning...

But this home, we took a lot of careful planning, when it came to this home. We had contractors, architects, and builders come from 10 different states. This home is built to withstand so much! No safety measure or expense, was overlooked. This, is hopefully, our "Forever Home." Because I can't handle another move!!! I just don't have it in me...

With that said, our current home, lacks space for others to spend the night. Our spaces are complete. Our bedroom, bathroom, closets, the kitchen, dining room, living room, and this guy's computer room. But honestly, the other half of the house is pretty boring. No furniture. A few things, in each room. In the closets!!!

Because with this home, my motto has been, "If we don't love it, it doesn't come in." Simple. But then, it leads to a half empty home. And a very unmotivated woman. And a man, that doesn't mind. Because he travels most of the week.

Me, I mind! I mind that there isn't room, for Little Sister to stay the night. And some nights, she leaves our home at 2AM. To drive an hour home. It bothers me, that my friends are coming out, in just a few days, and we have no room for them. It bothers me, that my best friend, doesn't have a place to spend the night.

So this blog, has totally motivated me! Almost every day, I make an hour drive to work. An another hour home. If I hit the happy "Traffic Hour," it's a lot more time. Say 3 hours one way!!! But on this long drive that I make, from the large city, to the BFE where we live, I pass tons of homes. And all those people, are always throwing out furniture. Perfectly fine furniture.

I told this guy, I need to start driving his truck to work. That way, I can stop and pick up some of these gorgeous pieces. You know, before the trash truck does! And I'd love to redo them. In fact, I find myself, dreaming up ideas, for the random furniture, that I see on the side of the road.

To be 100% honest, I was jealous when Jamielyn found this bed. And thought to myself, "Now why I can't I find something like that?" Then about a week later, I did. Too bad I was already running late to work. And in a small sports car. That king sized bed, would have never fit! But now that Kammy posted about her Master Bedroom Makeover...I hope I find another bed! And soon!!!

You have to see the "Before and After." It's A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! The perfect bed, for 1 of our guest rooms. :) The one that opens up to the garden. I'm sure Little Sister would love to stay the night, in this room. Or even Grandma!!! I just adore the bedding. Where in the world did Kammy get that duvet? Now I need someone, to throw out a bed... ♥

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hair Ideas...

For a long while now, I've wanted to cut my hair. Do something with it. Get an actual "style" going on. Part of that, is I'm looking for some change. For a little fun. Something different. More "grown up." You know what I mean?

Most of the time, Manders cuts and styles my hair. But now that we're a few thousand miles apart, it less and less often. We're usually trying to get my hair cut, right before a show. When it needs to be long enough, for the hairstyles, that I need for the shows. Which is not what I want for my "every day hair."

Then when we're not around each other, I just go with this guy. When he gets his hair cut, so do I. At this cute little barber shop. Definitely not a place, to go for a new style. Just a trim.

To be honest, I've got some rather annoying hair. "Chia pet hair." I've never really liked it. But in the last few years, I've grown to embrace my hair. My dark brown hair, that has tons of natural red highlights. The crazy hair, that just can't air dry. The same hair, that begs for a hair straightener. Something that I still haven't replaced...almost a year after mine went to hair straightener heaven!

Most days, I'm simple. A little hair product, a hair clip or 2, and I'm done. With those curly waves. That by the end of the day, end up, in a loose bun. On top of my head.

So I've been doing a little research. Hoping that when the gigs are all said and done, later this month, Manders can do something with my hair. Anything! I don't want to wear it in a bun, all summer long. And our next big round of gigs, isn't until late summer. My hair will grow back by then.

I've searched and searched, for some ideas. But the ones I'm leaning toward most, are here. What do you think?

I can go for it. And cut off all my hair like Jennifer Aniston. What a fresh feel for summer. :)

Or maybe just some texture like Kate Moss. Add some fringe. A little choppy layers. Something a little less formal. A lot more fun!

I could stick with longer locks. Just learn to really style them. With this style, I'd still have to cut off about half of my hair. Darn, why did I let it get so long? I've just been lazy about my hair...

Personally, I've never really had short hair. The texture of my hair, just would create a HUGE mess!!! Weeks before I graduated, I cut my hair. Shoulder length. Loved it! Then it grew back. So quickly! And I didn't bother much with it. The first summer that I lived in the desert, I cut it just above my shoulders. Loved it! Managed to keep it that short, until the Fall. When school started again.

But now, I'm itching for a change. Who knows, maybe I'll venture even further. And change the color. I just want something new. Fun. And a little more, well "put together." I'm telling you, living in the South, makes you realize these important things. Like having a real "personal style." And I so badly need one! ♥

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pregnant Tortillas

You know how there is something, that just makes you laugh. Even if you are trying to hold it in. You just can't help it! And that is exactly what happened recently. Marissa cracked me up! We were out eating, at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants. And she wanted more sopapillas. When the waitress came to our table, she ordered some more "Pregnant Tortillas!"

Yes, that is what Marissa calls them. "Pregnant Tortillas!" They are her favorite. And she insists on this name, because tortillas and sopapillas start out the same. Except, the sopapillas are fried. That's why they get those bubbles, and poof up.

The waitress and I couldn't help it. We cracked up laughing. Because it was such a cute thing. And Marissa had no clue, why we thought this was so funny. She is a hoot! And exactly what I needed!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Ideas Floating in My Head...

My friend Dawn, has an amazing story. Heartbreaking. But she's getting her Happy Ending! And has asked me, to be her Maid of Honor. I'm honored. But I want to do something extra special. A little different. Definitely fun!

We've had the Bridal Shower. You know, the more formal one. That you invite everyone to. It was amazing! A little fancy. :) Just a nice way, to spend an evening together. But we want to do something fun. All of us friends. Add in a little "Lingerie Party" to it. But not go all the way with that. Do you know what I mean?

Well, I sat and thought about Dawn. She's a fun person. A great friend. Has some fun taste. I started looking for some inspiration. And here are a few ideas I've come up with.

Not necessarily ran clouds. But if you read the title of Dawn's blog...well she likes her some sunshine. I thought, I could make some clouds, with suns rising out of them. With fun colors like this. Aqua, pink, and yellow. Little fun foods. Lots of fun decorations! :)

I like this idea. Of some fun drinks. With those great straws. In our color pallet. I already have HUGE glass jars. Did anyone say Aguas? And I can think up a few fun, summer drinks to put them in.

And of course, loads of paper lanterns!!! We're planning on an outside event. A nice event. Just for us girly friends. A day to relax, laugh, and enjoy the Bride-to-Be!!!

Do you have any other ideas for us? We'd really appreciate it. Dawn, has been through so much. I want her to know, just how special she is, to all of us! And how happy we are, for her and Alejandro!!! I'm just so excited, that they found each other. ♥

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Baby Animals Blankie

I've been looking for a fun baby blanket to crochet. I've been crocheting, just as fast as I can! So many of my friend's are welcoming the most gorgeous babies!!! Two of my friends in particular, are too cute! They're married to 2 guys in the BBs. And love the "Good 'ol Farm Life!!!" So I needed something very special.

I took to Annie's Attic. To be honest, I hadn't searched this website in a long time! I'm still a little bitter, that they don't offer their "Free Daily Pattern" anymore. And that they longer sell 2 of my favorite patterns. That I can't find anywhere else. But I sucked it up. And took to searching.

That's when I found this adorable pattern!!! Baby Animals Blankie. Hello. It's just perfect! For these precious 2 baby girls. I bought it. Downloaded it immediately. And I've gotten to work. Never mind, that one of these sweet baby girls is already here! Her Nana is working, as fast as her crochet hook will go. :) ♥