Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016 New Year's Resolutions...To Make or Not To Make...

Do you make resolutions for the New Year?
I haven't for awhile now,
but I'm thinking I might this year. 
Whether you call it a resolution, goal or whatever,
the New Year seems like a good time for a fresh start.

According to Forbes Magazine, 92% of people who make resolutions break them.
Or never even start working on them.
The most common resolutions are the following:
Lose Weight/Be healthier
Quit Smoking
Pay off Credit Card Debts/Save Money
Be More Organised
Be Nicer/A Better friend

I think this one is good...............
But that's just me:)  I like driving people crazy! lol

Or how about this one I made up earlier, as a joke.............
but now that I think about it, I like it!

Anyway, there are a few things every expert
say would help us keep our resolutions or achieve our goals.
(not me......I'm no expert for sure:)

The first thing is to simply start!
That's it...........just START!
Sounds simple but trust me, it's the hardest step for some of us.
Personally I think we should "start" without a lot of fanfare.
Just quietly go about doing it.  That's what I'm gonna do.
Just chip away at it.

The next key to success is to keep going!
Don't give up.  Even if you screw up and blow your resolution, just start over
and keep going.  Who is watching and judging anyways?
Nobody should ignore anyone who is quick to point out that you failed in 
your resolutions.   That one IS simple.

Third, make it an achievable goal.  Not some crazy hard thing............
something you have at least a chance to accomplish.

Actually, this might be the very best one:)
Just be YOU!
I swear that comparison is a terrible enemy of ours.  
And like it or not, social media.............and I mean all social media, as well as TV, doesn't help much.  Everyone talks about their perfect life and amazing marriage and blah blah blah.  
Let's be real...........we're all doing the best we can on a daily basis.
Or most of us.  I believe that.

Rather than a "resolution", how about filling out something like this next list..........
more of a to-do list for the year.
I like that!

You may be wondering what mine are.
I guess I better figure that out in the next 45 minutes, right?
I'm thinking of the following.
-I want to lose weight but instead of saying "lose 20 lbs", 
i'm saying this.....I want to exercise a minimum of 3 days a week.  
Just do something Suzanne.
-And I want to cut out sugar as much as I can.  
-There is a program in town for people with MS where you can do free group horseback riding..........and I love riding, so I want to do that.
-I do a lot of projects.  I see new ones and start them without finishing old ones.
i want to stop doing that, and focus on just a few.  And learn to do them well.
-I would love to read one good book every week but I'm not sure that is attainable, so I will say every 2 weeks.
-I want to laugh more.  Just laugh.  And not stress.
-And I want to borrow one from Shondra Rimes and "say yes" more.
That may be my tough one;)

But if I fail at all of them, it'll be ok if I simply do the following............

 whatever you decide to do in 2016,
I wish you the best, happiest, healthiest year yet, 
filled with many blessings.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Southern College Girl + Ecletic/Rustic/DIY Style = A COOL Little Apartment

Well Hello there!  
Are you ready for a new year?
I was thinking about the MANY loose ends I had,
which made me think about drafts I had written but never posted here.
(I just hate when I do that)
Anyway, most of them were pretty silly but since I get a 
book of my blog posts every year,
there were a few that I wanted to be included in the book.
This first one is about how we turned my daughter's tiny loft apartment 
into a cool little sanctuary 
for her to live in, study, and hang out with friends.
I might ramble a bit at first but then we'll move on to mostly pictures, 
so hang in there:)
Yes, my baby left for college in August.  
(We won't talk about how difficult that was for moi;)
She is just 18 but transferred to the University of Alabama as a junior.
The school has grown so much that 
  freshmen are required to live on campus in the beautiful dorms but
pretty much everyone else gets some sort of apartment.
This actually worked well for her because as a Biology/Pre-Med major,
she has a pretty intense course load and wanted her own space 
to study whenever she needed to.

After a bit of searching,
 we found a small one bedroom/one bath loft style apartment.
It is in an older building downtown that was renovated into apartments...
"luxury" apartments.  Hmmm...well they are nice but I would say 
more rustic than luxurious.
However, the security, location and the type of tenant is definitely a cut above
your normal college student apt building, 
for which my husband and I are grateful! ;)

I really have to set this place up.
As I said, these are brand new apartments in an older building 
so they tried to make them new
and upgraded but leave many rustic touches from the old place.
And they did. lol
She has a very nice kitchen and bath with upscale appliances 
and a nice big snack bar.
The floors are concrete.  Yes, I said concrete.  
Like the stuff you would find UNDER
wood floors, but it is no problem as she had some cool rugs picked out.
Her ceilings are super high which makes it feel bigger and it has exposed
beams and stuff like in all loft apartments, which she and her friends think is cool:)
Now, the main wall in the apartment is VERY rough and old looking.
It has lots of "character!"  Seriously though, it is kinda cool because it used to be the wall
to the old Bama Theater from the 1800's 
and as it was a historical building they had to leave it alone.
One good thing...we didn't have to worry about putting holes in the wall
when we hung ALL her stuff!  They were already there! ;)

Let's talk about style.  
We took the size of the apartment into consideration, 
and the look of it, plus the location and the fact that there are cold months 
in the winter.  We also wanted/needed to use some stuff we already had and 
mix it with a few new pieces.  
She is a chip off the ol block and likes a variety of styles...
she's a little bit boho and likes a casual surf style mixed 
with rustic charm and some western touches.  
Toss in some southern, country charm and it's a cozy little apartment:)
Easy, huh?  let's see.....
After a disastrous screw up by the moving company who didn't deliver her stuff
till AFTER we went home.  
The landlord let them in a week later and they pretty much dumped everything and left.  
 Let the unpacking begin!!!

YIKES!  Where did all this crap come from???
And to think the week we were there waiting for her things to be delivered,
we went shopping for MORE stuff.  
But then again, it was hard to resist the cool shops and vintage thrift boutiques
right outside her door in downtown Tuscaloosa!
Anyway, where do I start.
Okay, there were a few things that were our guidelines in decorating her apartment.
1.  Make good use of some of her favorite things from home
and from trips we've taken.
2.  Do as much DIY as possible.
3.  EVERYTHING had to be cozy, comfy, welcoming and meaningful.

Let's start with the DIY which is mainly in the living room..........
Like many people we are rustic decor fans and obsessed with 
pallets and crates and all the things they can be used for.
As you can see, we stained a TON of crates!  
Here are some of the projects.......

an amazing TV stand!
Remember I said one of our rules was to use her favorite things?
In the above photo, notice these things:
canvas pics of her dogs (diy), her vintage metal Ford sign (she likes ford trucks:), 
cowboy hats,Roll Tide banner (diy), family photos, books, 
Big Al the elephant embellished with jewels (diy........and Alabama mascot!)

 Snack and Soap dispenser crates.............

Crates for all her cowboy boots!!!

And with the remaining crates we made a little book shelf.  
(The bookshelf is not filled but you get the idea!)
Favorite and/or New things in the above photo:
"Wander" sign with wood letters from Urban Outfitters,
Alabama "A" made from metal scrap pieces found at a local shop
and a map of the U.S on wood planks from World Market.
We painted little wooden hearts gold and glued them to all the places she had been.
So that's kind of a DIY, right? :)

Next, she REALLY wanted a pallet coffee table on casters that she made HERSELF!
(To go with the sofa we donated from home:)

We scrounged around, found a pallet and got to work sanding, staining
 and attaching casters with a little help from her dad.

Not bad, right?  I'd take one in a heartbeat! :)
It was very easy to do if you're interested.
This photo: a lucky horseshoe from our Texas road trip, metal Amazing Grace cross and all sitting on top of her pride and joy........a cowhide rug.  She wanted lots of rugs and layered them around her apartment.

Also, notice the crate end table and as I said, our old sofa from home:) Also her favorite metal Beach sign from a flea market and a canvas with a horseshoe that has Nashville printed on it. (Another favorite place:)

finishing up with the living room, here are some of the other little touches she has on the wall.........

Her sweet friend that she bought at a local vintage shop:)

(Notice the twinkle lights, which are now strung ALL OVER the apartment!)

A chalkboard she hand lettered with one of her favorite verses and has a place up high on her wall so she sees it every time she walks in the door............

and a few other items............

 Next up, the coziest rustic/girly bedroom ever!
We got a room size white rug for a steal to go with the girly, white ruffled bedding.

The headboard is to die for, if I say so myself! 
It is a barn door headboard made by our new friend John who
lives in Auburn Alabama.  He made it, delivered it, set it up and helped us hang a few other
things in the apartment.  Check him out on etsy...........
Dixon and Dad.  He's a great guy who makes beautiful wood pieces!!!

 We found the CRIMSON chair at a store in Tuscaloosa called The attic and the lamp shade was embellished by us:)
My DIY piece in the bedroom is the bedside stand, which I hand stamped myself.
Everything has a meaning on it, from her favorite verses, to her favorite country singers,
RTR for roll tide roll, USA and more........

This is the view my sunshine has from her bed and another pic of the bedside stand, as well as her beloved guitar and an enlarged pic of our favorite horse from Texas!

 Every good college student needs a study area so here is hers.........
notice the old wall from the Bama Theatre?

Almost done! LOL

what would we do without mason jars?
Here are some we painted to use as a vanity set.............

Lastly, the Kitchen...........
Just your typical kitchen with cool throw rugs, four cow print snack bar chairs and
fun stuff from home and travels........

Vintage soda crates.........

And what better message to see every morning when getting your coffee...

Good Morning Gorgeous!
Above the door is a message for all to see.........

And she's off to her first day of class.......complete with a houndstooth bag which is
VERY Bama!

Just go down University Blvd and turn left at the stadium.............

 Good Luck, Bama Girl!!!!!


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I Could've Been a Hunter...or a Shark...

I can't believe this is the post I'm writing,
after months of saying I'm going to work on my blog.......
i need to work on my blog.........
today is blog day.
But it never happened.  Until today.
Today is the day I can say...........I'm BAAAACK!  
Lucky You! :)
* * *May include a rant.  

My day started at 6 a.m.  
Got up, made coffee, took the boys out, started a grocery list,
sent my family off to work, ready to start my day with a little quiet "ME" time 
(devotion, pinterest, stretching) 
when out of the corner of my eye I see something.
A smallish lizard runs from my sliding glass doors over to my couch and slips under it.
I HATE those things.
I work SO hard to keep them from getting in my house and let me tell you,
that is no easy task living in South Florida. 
But my success rate has been pretty good.
However, this changes everything.
My plans are scrapped........I have a creepy lizard to find.

Now, before some of y'all who are big hearted, nature loving peeps start
lecturing me about how they are "harmless".......
that they actually "eat bugs"............PLEASE.  Don't.
Save it for somebody else.
I don't care if they eat bugs.
I kill those too!!!  
Yep.........if they get in MY house they will not survive.
I wonder if this is why I have this crazy fascination with sharks.
Because they must feel this way too.
You go in THEIR home and all bets are off.
Maybe instead of my girls calling me mamabear my name should be

Back to my plans for the day.........
as I said, they've changed.  
No quiet time for me because I refuse to share it with a lizard.
So, since I saw with my own eyes him crawl under the sofa, I start there.
Now you need to know I really do try to have the house picked up
before I go to bed so I wake up and it looks nice.
It looked so cozy this morning.
Then this.
Immediately I strip the slipcovers and start throwing them in the washing machine.

That sofa is BARE!  
My poor dogs don't know what to think.
 I move everything aside, 
vacuum and mop everywhere.
Inspect the UNDERSIDE of the sofa.
Shake out and vacuum the area rug.
Clean under, in and around the other chairs.
Spray Stuff.  Shut doors.
Basically I go crazy and tear the house apart.
Did I mention I immediately texted my husband as he must've been 
less than a mile away at the time.
You see, I noticed a pesky lizard the other day on our SCREENED porch out back
and I asked/told/requested that he NOT leave the sliding doors open until
we find how they're getting in.  Which he forgets constantly.
He said I was overreacting and that lizards couldn't get in there.
So the first person I wanted to notify of my lizard problem was him.
Bet y'all want to know what he said.
"Wow...guess you were right.  Okay...I'll look later."
Ummmm.........not good enough!
So I go back to my manic search for the culprit.
In my mind I'm thinking I should leave it and maybe, in a perfect world,
it will jump out at him when he gets home.
But we don't live in a perfect world and because of that,
it would jump out at ME, so I search.
And clean.

If you're thinking we live with things all the time and don't know it, I understand.
But you see, I KNOW this sucker is in my house.
My ocean.
My little part of the world.
So I hunt for him.
And hunt.
And HUNT some more.
And because I'm talking about hunting,
 I am including my favorite hunting pic for about the 40th time;)
Awesome, right?

Next up, I strip my bed, which I was going to do anyway in order to put my
Christmas bedding on.
And since I'm kinda having one of those days,
one of those manic, ADD kind of days where my mind is racing, 
i'm gonna talk about the Holidays.

I agree the stores should not force us to swallow three holidays 
at once and should slow down.
I don't want PRE-Black Friday deals and besides, I hate that phrase.
It sounds like a massacre or something occurred on "black" friday.
It just doesn't seem right to happily shop for a few special gifts for Christmas on a day that sounds so evil.
And if we NEED these bargains/deals so badly to save a few bucks,
maybe we don't need to spend the money in the first place.
But that's just me...getting old and opinionated! lol
It is something to think about though.

BUT, could y'all PLEASE let me choose which holidays are a priority to me?
Let me just be the bad guy and say Halloween and Thanksgiving are
not a big deal to me.
I love little kids in costumes.
I hand out candy.
I make Thanksgiving dinner. 
(although three of us don't really like turkey much.)
Pumpkin pie?  I'd be happy to have it all year.
And I am VERY thankful for everything I have.
But stuffing my face doesn't make me more thankful. lol
It doesn't upset me in the least that Christmas often overshadows Thanksgiving.
But that's me.  And I have that right just as you can insist pumpkins stay in your
home until the last dish is cleaned on Turkey Day.
Now, Christmas, that's another story.  THAT is the one I'm ready for come September.
I would never impose that on anyone but if I feel like skipping Thanksgiving to go
straight to Christmas, who cares?
I'm just gonna say it...I think people make too big a deal over it all.
Like the Starbucks fiasco.  Who cares what color their cups are?
we need to CHILL and be thankful ALL year long and have some of that PEACE on earth all year too.
Seriously, Is someone preventing y'all from eating turkey?

My sister makes one whenever she feels like it, not on the day she is told to make it.
Besides, it has been so frappin hot here that forgive me if I love to decorate my house 
to make me think of Snow. And Christmas trees.
 And Cheer. Goodwill to men.
Pilgrims don't do the same thing for me.
Neither do Zombies or Skeletons.
However, I love a good Snowman. And ANGELS. 
And being more obviously reminded of our Saviour's birth.
So sue me.  But please stop telling me I'm wrong for feeling this way and that you are right
for following a calendar hundreds of years old.
Please don't try to make me feel guilty for wanting to be a happy elf.
My kids are grown.  Someday I hope to have a bunch of grandchildren and
we'll make oreo cookie turkeys.
(You know, the ones i blogged about long ago when i told of one of my fails as a mom?  Don't remember?  Well let me remind you.  My sweet Taylor proudly carried a box of these that we had made to her first grade class as a Thanksgiving treat, only to be told she had to take them home.  They were made not bought.  Bad mommy!!!  I thought because all the ingredients were bought it was ok but apparently the fact that my grimy hands touched the food it was a no go. poor girl was so sad:(  There you have my oreo cookie turkey story:)
But one thing we wont have is green bean casserole.  Kinda yucky.
We will have Thanksgiving dinner by the CHRISTMAS tree with carols playing,
and we'll use my beautiful Christmas dishes.  And maybe watch ELF.
That is OUR tradition.
And I hope you enjoy YOURS!! <3
Okay, now blame the lizard for getting me all wound up.
I really am a fairly happy person.
I'll stop now and continue with my hunt.
Wishing you JOY, my friends!
P.S.  Now Christmas is right around the corner.
And I realize I held off for a turkey.
And y'all know how I feel about turkey.  (here we go again;)
Are you ready???

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