Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday...Dream


I'm not going to say much because I thought the words in the photo said so much. But the next time someone tells you to "fall out of the clouds already"...
Enjoy:-)


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Coffee Mom's Devotional

Don't you love the sound of that? A devotional for us coffee-loving moms. Perfect!!! This is the title of the devotional book I am reading, by Celeste Palermo.




I wasn't sent this book and asked to do a review. If I had been, I probably wouldn't have gotten around to it, I'm ashamed to admit. This one I found on my own while browsing around the bookstore and I LOVE it!
Celeste is the mother of 2 young girls but it would be good for anyone who is juggling a lot in life...and your "to-do" list has gotten out of control. This book has 30 devotionals in it and has biblical references as well as real-life moments, usually involving the quest for your cup of coffee, which I love.
My ability to focus for long on ANYTHING seems to be forever gone, if I ever had that gift in the first place. I've been to ladies devotionals at church that were so long and felt like a college class, with workbooks, homework..and I don't mean just encouraging you to study a little every day. Then when you get to the bible study, they call on people to give answers to homework that was not easy in the first place and they CHECK to see if you completed it. Yikes!!!!! I'm sorry but something is very wrong with that. I freaked out with this when I was a kid in school and back then I probably had the right answers. Bible studies shouldn't be intimidating places, which is why I love this book.
Finally, I found a devotional book I can read with my morning coffee and it is so meaningful to me. Today's topic was "A Cup of Rest". I needed that one. Tomorrow is "A Cup of Grace"...need that one too:-)
Anyway, like I said, this is not a product review and giveaway. I just wanted to pass on something I really like for a change in case anyone out there is just like me.
I have to go now. I've finished my morning coffee devotional and now I need to finish my coffee while I answer a few emails, check blogs...you know the drill:-)
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Merci...


Thank you to all of those who stopped by to celebrate Christmas in July with me. It was so much fun "getting in the spirit" and going to the other parties. I had to drive across the state the day of the party so I am actually still checking out the parties I missed. The best part...finding so many new blogs and blog friends.
Merci, Merci, Merci!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pink and White Christmas in July...Hohoho!


Merry Christmas in July!
Today is July 25 and you know what that means...6 months until Christmas day. Yippee!!! Pour yourself a steaming mug of pink hot cocoa and let's get festive! Never heard of pink hot cocoa??? That's okay...let me be the first to introduce you. If I had a recipe I would share it but instead we buy ours at Sur La Table...and it is sooooo good! And before I get started, I want to apologize for the fact that I am cramming so much into one blog post. First up is the whole pink/white theme, then some family traditions we have always done or ones I wanted to do. I hope you leave feeling joyful and looking forward to the Holidays rather than dreading them. Thank you to Maggi for hosting this blog party!!!

Okay, red & green are traditional colors and they are beautiful, but how about a festive pink or white theme? Think soft, fluffy, delicate, simple, elegant, fun, pretty...how nice does that sound? Of course, it goes without saying that the overall decor of your home would probably need to be light and/or neutral to really pull this off so if you have that, go for it. I promise it will be one of the prettiest Christmas decors on the block! We did this for years and whenever friends came over to the house, they all thought it was so magical and wintry. I remember the first year we did this while my husband was out of town and when he came home, he loved it...surprise, surprise!!! hahaha Anyway, I have some photos I found while cruising around on the internet to inspire you. I cannot afford to buy new decorations every time I am in a new phase and you are probably the same, so I'll give you a few cost-savings tips to help you pull it off.
Here are some things to start looking for when you're planning your look:
White twinkle lights
Tulle...pink, white...lots of it and it is cheap. (Makes great gift wrap, too!
Those bags of fluffy white fake snow
White "snow" in a can
White and/or pink cardstock for rings and paper ornaments...lots of hanging paper chains like in the movie "Elf". Everyone loves when we do this!
Crystals in any shape or form...garland, beads
fishing line...for hanging things from the ceiling, chandelier...
white spray paint for pinecones and branches to make white "trees" or to paint any artificial Christmas trees you have
pink bottle brush trees...buy or dye your own
white or soft pink feather garlands
white,silver,pink ornaments
Clear ornaments...Number ONE decorating tip
silver mercury glass...check Target or yard saleswhite candles
fabric remnants in white silk or satin for centerpieces
cheap snowflake decorations...mini ones to embellish packages or tie on
various items such as candlesticks
cherubs and angels...these are mine:-)

Sometimes I think a bit of greenery for contrast is pretty
For flowers...pink or white poinsettias, white amaryllis or my favorites~~paperwhites.

Now that you've decorated, how about a "White Christmas Party"? This is such an elegant party and you can do it up or keep it simple and have a sweet dessert party.
Think about it...layers of white fabric or tulle on your table, as well as snowflakes, candles in little votives, tall paperwhites in silver spray-painted pots...
The menu:
White chocolate cheesecake bites
Green grapes...plain and sugared
White cheeses and crackers
White chocolate dipped strawberries or anything else dipped in white chocolate, such as pretzels, fortune cookies, white chocolate dipped candy canes...
snowflake or star cookiesbrownie pops
snow punch

Decorating Tip #1:
Clear ornaments. You can do ANYTHING with these, from painting them...even simply painting dots on them, embellish them with scrapbook images, stickers or rub ons, fill with colored shreds or pieces of fabric in your color theme, swirl paint on the inside, fill with artificial snow, and my new favorite...decoupaging scrapbook paper on them. SO pretty!!!

Decorating Tip #2:
Use what you have. As I said, I can't afford to buy tons of new stuff each year. I find the prettiest arrangements often include what I have around me...in the case of Florida, that means seashells. White starfish are perfect additions to a Christmas tree or arrangements mixed with ornaments Do you have pine cones where you live? Take the kids to gather pine cones. We used to bake them to make sure there was NOTHING still living in them and then use glue with colored glitter or spray paint them white for your white Christmas. Gather long twigs to spray paint and tie large plastic crystal drops (Joann's or Michael's) from them with fishing line. (Works for other holidays, too) Cheap and easy...I like it!

Decorating Tip#3:
WREATHS!!!* Shell wreaths, button wreaths, "snowball" wreaths, ornament wreaths...use small toys your kids have gathered as well as other special mementos. Lots of ideas!

Decorating Tip #4:
Create little vignettes of things that compliment each other, even if they aren't really holiday items. Just add a little snow and voila! Also, hang stockings everywhere. Instant decorating. (The same goes for gift-wrapped boxes)
Sigh...Yes, I'm dreaming of a White Christmas:-)

Christmas traditions and ideas for the family:
(This is our house)

My family loves Christmas and we are always on the lookout for some new ideas and traditions, so I can't wait to visit the other blogs to get some. We did have some pretty neat ones of our own and a few I found recently that I would definitely do if I could.

~Christmas tree in every room: Family room-family tree, living room-mommy's pretty tree, kids rooms-their theme (Barbie, sports...), master bedroom---hate to say it but this is where the dogs sleep so this is where the doggy tree is:-)

~Gingerbread houses...make great decorations and wonderful gifts to give. Think of the sweet lady who used to make these with her children and now lives alone. What a way to sweeten the Holidays for her!:-)

~Gingerbread Cookies. Have a gingerbread cookie party for the kids or do what we did one year. On Christmas Eve, my kids delivered gifts to neighbors. Inside, gingerbread men unfrosted with all of the toppings...frosting, candies...and a tag that said "From our family to yours...Merry Christmas!" Gingerbread families...get it??? hahaha

~When the tree goes up all of the stuffed animals in the house or at least the special Christmas ones were placed under it to wait for Santa.

~Thanksgiving Shopping Party: I had a friend who held an open house the day after Thanksgiving, to kick off the Christmas season. She had leftover turkey sandwiches as well as cookies and a few other goodies. She sent out invites telling her friends to stop in for some Christmas cheer in between shopping. it was always a big hit!

~Make up "Christmas Survival Kits" for friends, other busy moms... Buy empty paint cans at Home Depot and decorate with paint, ribbon, cardstock... Fill with a candle, a favorite Holiday book, bath salts, hot cider mix and a few yummy chocolates.

~Always, always, always make copies of your children's Christmas letters to Santa. I did this...thank goodness. I will always cherish the letter from Jordie to Santa asking for only 4 simple things when she was 5...a limo, a puppy, a rainbow and a unicorn. Hooray for puppies:-) I think Santa decided she needed an outlet for her creative mind and she got an art easel!:-)

Taylor just asked for every Barbie ever made...and I am NOT kidding. She did serious research into this every year. One list asked for Mermaid Barbie, Nutcracker Barbie and the Prince, Sleeping Beauty Barbie...and the Prince, Wedding Barbie, Chocolate Barbie, Citrus Barbie, Disco Barbie, Teacher Barbie, Marie Claire Barbie, Spanish Barbie and drum roll please...King Kong Barbie. No kidding! hahaha

~Celebrate the 12 days of Christmas with a tiny gift each day to your kids. They will soooo look forward to this and it helps with the wait for the big day.



~Christmas rings...we made 25 rings each year and on each one, I wrote something special and festive we would do. Each day, we took off a ring and would go for a ride in the convertible with hot cocoa to look at Christmas lights,
make gifts for family, go shopping for other children from the "Angel Tree" at the mall, watch a Christmas movie, have dinner by the tree, sleep by the tree...silly little things that made their day! The 25th ring said Merry Christmas!

Well, obviously I could go on and on but I've probably lost my party guests already. hahaha Guess I'll just have to spend the next 6 months adding in all the stuff I forgot!. Lucky you!!!:-) Hope you liked my early Christmas and be sure to visit the others at Maggis party hop. Thank you so much for stopping by and have a jolly Christmas in July, from my family to yours!!!
Hugs, Suzanne
P.S. I have had a few emails asking for recipes and instructions and I will try to do this sometime next week.










Friday, July 24, 2009

Oops...



Ummmm...yes, I think I did. I have been so screwed up all week. First I thought Wed, was July 25, then I thought today was...what is happening to me??? Okay, once and for all...Christmas in July blog hop is Saturday, July 25.

And did any of you try to tune into QVC last night looking for Christmas in July? Oops again! It starts at midnight on the 25th so if you stay up late tonight, you can see the beginning. But who's going to do that??????? Why start then? I'll just have to catch it on Saturday. I mean, it isn't as if I ever really buy anything, it's just fun feeling a bit festive and it give me hope that the summer heat will eventually leave this place:-) Now if only I had hope that I could actually figure out how to use a calender, I would be all set! hahaha

See you tomorrow, for sure, for Christmas in July! There's still time to join us...just visit Maggi's blog and sign up for yourself.




Thursday, July 23, 2009

What are you, Paula Deen???

...This is what my 12 year old just said to me. Probably because while she was downstairs playing with a friend, I made dinner...complete with dessert. I guess that just doesn't happen anymore. What's on the menu, you ask???? Well, Sweet Chili Chicken (a WW recipe, supposedly), baked potatoes, tossed salad with dried mango and poppy seed dressing, homemade bread (seriously) and fresh peach pie...yes, fresh and I used white peaches which are AMAZING. I know...I can't believe it either!!!:-) So yes Jordan, just call me Paula...at least for today:-)"From my kitchen to yours, best dishes y'all!"
Paula Deen

My Chicks Are Back In The Nest...

Yep, my shabby chicks are home...



well, at least until one flies the coop on Saturday. We've been enjoying a few lazy days together which means no blogging:-) Never fear, tomorrow is Christmas in July and IF I get my act together by then, the Shabby Chicks will be merry and bright! If you need a little help getting in a jolly mood, tune into QVC starting at 8 p.m tonight for their Christmas in July shows. See you tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

For my Mom and Dad...



Today as both of you look back
with happiness and pride
upon the Fifty-nine cherished years
that you've spent side by side,
May every memory that you share
of dreams you've seen come true,
help make this special day
a happy one for you!


Happy Anniversary to my Mom and Dad!
Love, Love, Love,
Suzanne

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Really Random Tuesday Thoughts...

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Okay, I thought I might give it a try this week. You would think I would be very good at Random Tuesdays, since my thoughts are ALL random these days. Here goes nothing...

I need a good sugar cookie cut-out recipe. You would think I would have settled on one since we make cut-outs for every possible holiday, but not me. With Christmas in July coming, I'm desperate and if I don't get some ideas here, I'll have to keep posting and begging until I do:-) They need to be firm enough to cut-out and hold their shape without getting larger with baking, but not dry and overly crunchy. I also like them soft enough to bite/chew but not doughy/chewy. There you go...any tips? Email me at shabbychicks@gmail.com if you have one to share...please!:-)

This weekend I'm going back to Alabama to pick up my girl from her summer dance program. She did FAR better than I expected...and thinks she might like a 4-6 week program next year rather than a 3 week program. I guess I am doing a good job of raising her to be strong, independent, confident and I am happy for all that but why doesn't it make me feel better???:-) Probably because she is starting high school this year and I know that her summer intensives will quickly turn into leaving home for good. Sniff, Sniff:-)

Did you know your vet can call prescriptions into your pharmacy for your dog???? Seriously, I didn't know this. My poor Maui got a short summer haircut, then got a nasty mosquito bite on his back that he scratched...and scratched...and scratched. The vet called his antibiotic into the Publix Pharmacy that I use. I went in and asked for a RX for me...suzanne...and she said she didn't have anything but there was a med called in for Maui D. Hahahaha...am I the only one who finds that funny? Glad his name wasn't "Stinky" or anything like that!!!

Speaking of haircuts, I'm getting one today. My 3rd time with the same girl. Whoo-hoo...a record. Hope she just chops it up the way I like it!

Quickie random stuff:
I think I could live on watermelon in the summer.
If I find seaglass on the beach I yell out "this is a GREAT day at the beach".
I love quotes and inspirational sayings.
I could easily give up meat if I knew I could have BBQ once in awhile.
I call my husband a "hotel snob" but since I have had to stay in so many crappy ones this summer, I realize I am too:-).
I'm wondering how long you should keep looking for the "right" church, one that fits, before giving up and settling into one and making it work.
I could easily eat pizza every night of the week.
I am so bored with Florida these days but my husband loves it and he's the one with the job so... I get bored easily though:-)
Maybe I just need to paint my house...that used to help me in the past.
I know where we live is a good place to raise children but I still feel as if there is a big world out there and I would have love them to experience another area, even for a few years.
How on earth did I get a ballet dancer for a daughter???
I was such a tomboy and now my life is all about pink, tulle, lace and pearls...but I love it!
Jordie (my 12 year old) needs more of my attention. She seems so old that I forget she is only 12 and while she says she loves watching cooking and decorating shows with me, maybe she would rather swim or play wii...

Okay, sorry about the long list. The thing about random thoughts is they are so...random...and once you get going, they just run right into each other. Don't forget about that sugar cookie recipe, please!

For more random thoughts, stop by Keely's and see what everyone else is randomly thinking today.

Hugs, Suzanne



Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Something to Look Forward to...

I have been so lazy with my blog and even lazier about visiting my online buddies. (Actually, I have been reading yours...I've just been bad about commenting and answering comments.) For that, I am so sorry and I promise to stop by and visit everyone soon. I guess like everyone else, summer is here and my "want to do" list is very long:-)

Anyway, as you can probably tell by my blog name, I am crazy about Shabby Chic. Rachel Ashwell is without a doubt my lifestyle/decorating hero!!! And the "something to look forward to" that I mentioned is...







the NEW Shabby Chic book which is coming out in the Fall. I can't wait!!!!!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Great Thing About Sleepovers...

Jordan had a friend sleepover and it got me thinking about what I love about THEIR sleepovers:-)

1. They have somebody to keep them busy...and happy.

2. They love to do girl stuff, like soaking in the hot tub and going for pedicures...and since they don't drive, I get to go for pedicures too:-)

Aren't these cute????

3. Junkfood!!! There is always some sort of baking going on...cupcakes, cookies. This time they made a big cookie...


although it doesn't look so big. Does this mean they ate half the cookie dough? I hope so...that's what I would have done:-)

4. Making friendship bracelets and necklaces. Awwww...



5. Watching movies like Confessions of a Shopaholic...LOVE that movie!!!

6. Staying up late...actually they were pretty quiet and slept downstairs, but at every tiny noise, my goldendoodle, Maui, went running to the door to chase off intruders. He couldn't sleep until they did...which means I didn't sleep either. Nap today! hahaha

7. Who's cuter??? They were so funny as they argued this one...Jonas brothers, Zac Efron, Johnny Depp, Tim Tebow...the list was endless.
(For what it's worth, Tim gets my vote...and Jordie's. This one's for you girlfriend. You have good taste...hope you always do:-)




Yep, sleepovers and girlfriends are AWESOME!!!!!



Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tuscaloosa or Bust...


And it may be bust! Whew…this is a long road trip from south Florida, let me tell you!
But…it’s all good because I get to take a road trip with my 2 favorite girlfriends and we have always been up for a road trip together, even when they were kiddies. The cool thing about taking one now when they are 14 and 12 is you really get to hang out together without a lot of distractions, and that is always a GOOD THING!!! The only thing better would be if we had the dogs because…sniff, sniff…we miss those boys☹ Notice I left out their Dad. That’s because he is NOT a road trip kind of guy. His philosophy is if it is over 3 hours and a plane flies there, why drive???

Anyway, why are we driving to Bama??? My girl Taylor is going to an ABT summer intensive at the Univ. of Alabama for 3 weeks.


YIKES!!!! 3 weeks? It could be worse…most of the programs were 4-6 weeks. We chose this one because we thought she would be going with her friend but that didn’t work out as planned. Taylor actually seems to be very cool about the whole thing. I guess when you get to spend 3 weeks doing something you love (ballet), making new friends, living in a dorm, eating what you want…it might not be so bad. Her mom is the one who is not so cool about it but I figure it will be good practice for that horrid day she goes of to college…which is what I feel is happening now.

So, how to make this fun??? A road trip…with laughing, singing to our favorite songs, banana cream pie blizzards…good stuff like that. Hopefully we’ll stumble across a few awesome antique stores too. (my girls love the whole chic vintage thing so that helps) And the peach stands along the way…YUM!

Day 2


So, we made it!!!!! And somehow, we didn't get lost...which is a miracle when you see the road signs:-) I kept saying "Okay, everyone look and see which way the arrow is pointing to Hwy 20"or whatever......and hope we all had the same answer!:-)

Yep, these 3 Florida girls arrived in Tuscaloosa Alabama…and all I can say is YIKES…it’s hot here!:-) And coming from us…that means it is really hot. I mean, at least when it’s summer in south Florida and 99 degrees, there is a breeze from the Gulf. Yes, it’s a warm breeze…but still. This is stifling, hard to take a breath hot. Anyway, the University of Alabama Campus is beautiful…especially for us. It’s a "hilly: area and the buildings are all brick…very unlike south Florida and very pretty.


Blount Dorm...Taylor's Home for 3 Weeks

Speaking of hills, I was told we had to drive through hills to get here. Excuse me…there is a difference between a hill and a mountain. Okay, maybe a smallish mountain but when you are on a narrow 2 lane road and the only signs are “Beware of Rock Slides”, “Shoulder Drop-off” and “No passing…dangerous curves and hills”…you are on a mountain, thank you very much. I mean, it was no big deal but I just want others to know about those "tiny" hills in Alabama and Georgia☺ (remember, I am coming from the land of sea level...and sometimes it seems we are below that:-)

We checked Taylor into the program and set up her side of the dorm room.


She has one roommate and 2 other suite mates…and they are all really nice girls. Her roomate, Tessa, is also 14 and came from Malibu California. She is a really sweet girl, very much like Taylor. All of the girls seem very nice and are pretty much focused on dance. Anyway, Taylor & Tessa became instant friends when Tessa pulled out the same pillow Taylor has...a pillow from the Shabby Chic line! Yes, they both love "Shabby Chic":-) Her other suite mates are from Maryland and Virginia and she has made another good friend from Napa, Ca. Hmmmm...do I see a trip to Cali in our future? hahahaha

Taylor calls us and is having a blast. They work hard and are pretty wiped out...but still love hanging out in their dorm, making popcorn and talking until lights out at 10 p.m. She is very happy and not homesick at all...so if she's happy, I'm happy!!!:-)


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