Date Night :: Sunset Views

Everglades Sawgrass View Nell Laughing in Road Steve on the RoadMoon Sliver Steve Walking to Everglades Canal by the EvergladesNell Pointing to the Everglades Steves Silloutte The Long Road Date Night Selfie B&W8 foot alligator Nell Walking in the Everglades

Date night involved a wings and beer dinner, some beautiful sunsets over the expanse of the grassy Florida Everglades, an 8 foot alligator, and some unexpected off-roading in the truck. Trespassing may have been involved just a tad. Oops!

Tropical Tuesday

After Snorkeling After SUP Beach tiki camping at the beach hats at the beach Paddleboarding B&W Palm VIew Pool Jump Snorkeling vw van at the beach

1 :: Snorkeling sesh with my favorite boy
2 :: The end of a great paddle
3 :: Beach tiki (pinterest)
4 :: A little beach camping (pinterest)
5 :: This is where I hang my hat (pinterest)
6 :: A lovely paddleboarding sesh
7 :: Palm view
8 :: Go ahead…JUMP
9 :: A little snorkel in the clear Florida waters
10 :: Nothing like some beach camping

Just a Weekend :: Happiness

Upcycled Skirt - STOP Surf Sitting Room Trey and Banana Yarn Sewing Living RoomBanana Dining Room New Piper Sandals D Ombre Spinning
Sometimes you read something online and it really sticks with you.  This happened to me recently.  I read something on Instagram posted by the lovely @kaehope and it has stuck with me everyday since.

“Happiness – is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like & celebrating it for everything that it IS. A new goal I’ve set: to be contagiously happy. “

This is so true and since I read this on Instagram, I’ve heard the same message in other ways…Bloom where you are planted.  We are only given today so LIVE, I mean truly live for today.  Enjoy your life right where you are. Celebrate your life for everything that it is.

These are pics from my weekend, just everyday life truly enjoying the moment; sewing, hanging with the hubs and kids, redecorating the house, crocheting, enjoying new shoes, loving our fat cat.  Happy weekend, happy life.

Beginning of the Last :: 2014 School Year

First Day of Senior Year 2014Dee’s game face.

First Day of Senior Year 2014 how she really feelsHow she really feels about going back to school.

First Day of 8th GradeTrey’s game face.

First Day of 8th Grade-2How he really feels about getting his picture taken. (hint: he hates it!)

First Day of Senior Year 2014-3
Well, we survived the first week of school.  We started a year of lasts; Dee in her last year of high school and Trey in his last year of middle school. We have a big year ahead planning for college and planning for high school. PLEASE stop time right now! This growing up stuff all happened way too fast.

Here’s what the kids thought of their first week of school.

Me :: “What was the best part of the new school year?”
Dee :: “Astronomy class was really fun. Many of my teachers said that they don’t really give homework.  And like having the last lunch because by the time you’re done with lunch you only have two classes left and the day is almost over.”
Trey :: “Coming home from school.”

Me :: “What was the worst part of the new school year?”
Dee :: “Even though I know I’ll learn a lot from my English teacher, she gives a ton of work.  We already have a paper and a test the first week.”
Trey :: “I hate having the late lunch because I’m starving by the time lunch gets here and my teachers won’t let me eat a snack before then.”

Date Nights are Back!

Backseat of motorcycle view Steve walking down the streetEvening Beach View Sitting on the Rail at the Beach Steve Viewing the OceanKiss B&W
Date nights are officially back!  It’s been almost a year since we’ve done regular date nights and I’ve missed them terribly.  As of last week, they are back on again and I am, oh, so happy.  Hanging out one-on-one with this guy is the best!

P.S. I apologize for the low quality of some of these photos.  They were taken with an iPhone at dusk.  The last pic was had the worst quality, but the moment captured was way too good to pass up on posting.

DIY Baggy Leggings

Leggings are great to wear but I always feel a bit self conscious wearing them because they reveal everything (if you know what I mean).  I thought I’d try to make some baggy leggings that were bigger at the top and in the legs but tapered down tight at the calves.  I didn’t have a pattern to go by so they didn’t come out quite as baggy as I’d hoped but all in all it was a success.  They are baggy enough and oh so comfy.  It costs $4 to make them using two clearance 4xl mens knit muscle shirts (I couldn’t find any knit fabric).  Check out the pic below and step by step instructions.  Enjoy!

Baggy Leggings Head Down

  1. Take your measurements according to the “pattern” below and cut out 4 individual pieces.
  2. Sew together 2 of letter C then sew the remaining 2 together likewise.
  3. Open the pants with the sewn seam on the outside, lay one piece on the other and sew the entire inseam.
  4. Sew each side of the pants.
  5. Tuck each bottom of the leggings under (iron to keep in place) and sew the hem.
  6. Fold the waist under(iron to keep in place) and sew all the way around (make sure there is enough width for the elastic) leaving a 2 inch gap.
  7. Feed the elastic through the waist by attaching a safety pin to one end of the elastic.
  8. Sew the elastic together.
  9. Sew the 2 inch gap closed on the waist.Baggy Leggings Pattern

Tropical Tuesday

I decided to take the last weekday of summer off with the kids so that we could end the summer with a bang.  We went to the beach, paddleboarded, snorkeled and hunted for shells.  It was perfect!

Beach from Water View Nell Snorkeling Walking UpCalm Beach Nell and D at Beach

Nell Sun Rays View Shell Collection SUP Water View

Summer 2014 Beach Photography

With summer winding down, I thought I’d post some of my favorite beach pics from this summer (there were many to choose from).  Enjoy!

Beach Sunrise Breathtaking Water View Nell After PaddleBeach Scape Beach Rock View SUPs on the Sand Pier View Palm View Nell CrazyNell Beach Smile Breathtaking Sunrise Clear Water ViewEarly Beach Pier View

DIY Kimono {Cardigan}

I’ve seen the kimono (cardigan) all over the internet and love the look coupled with the lightweight feel especially for hot summer days. So I decided to make one for myself. It came out perfectly. It took 30 minutes to make and cost only $2.  That’s pretty darn good compared to the prices online of $50 or $60. See the pics below and step by step instructions.  Make one of your own. Enjoy!

Kimono Side View 2Kimono Front ViewKimono Arm Up View
Instructions:

  1. Fold your material in half length-wise with the hard edge/fringe of material at the bottom and folded edge at the top.
  2. Measure and cut material according to the diagram below. Obviously, you can adjust the measurements to fit your size and desire.
  3. Fold inside out and sew beneath the arms (6″ pieces) and along the sides (16-18″ pieces).
  4. Fold, iron and sew front opening all the way around the neck and back down.

Kimono Diagram

Purpose Driven Life Book Review

Purpose Drive Life Reivew
I have read through this book three times now, but I seem to get something different from it each time.  I’m guessing that’s because there have been years between each read which means that I am at different places in my life each time I read it. This most recent read-through of the book was a bit different as I read it with my book study group at work and I lead a discussion group based on it. Most of the time when I read through these type of books I have so many highlights, underlines and notes that it looks like a school workbook.  This time was no different.  The one different thing about this book study is that there was one summary statement that stood out and almost seemed to jump off the page.  I love when this happens.  It doesn’t happen often, but there it was.  The statement that almost seemed to be illuminated on the page.  The statement that summed up exactly what hinders me (us) from living the life that God designed me (us) to live.

“Wanting to be like others (envy), and wanting to be liked by others (people-pleasing).  These traps are subtle, but they distract and detour millions of people from the purposes they were created to fulfill.”

While I believe that I do not have an issue with the people-pleasing part necessarily, I most definitely and absolutely have an issue with the envy part.  True envy comes when you compare yourself to someone else and believe that you need their life to be happy. I think this is an area that many females struggle with, young and old alike. When I was a teenager, before the internet and social media, we only had a few neighbors down the street or a few kids at school to compare ourselves to.  For any given female this could mean that you’d have anywhere from 5 – 25 other females to compare yourself to or become envious of.  Today, with the internet and specifically with social media, that pool of females moves from 25 to potentially thousands. This can quickly become self demoralizing and what I’m learning can be a total barrier between me and God.

The big thing we need to do is to stop comparing ourselves to others.  Comparing is the root of all envy.  What matters most is that we are doing what God created each of us to do and that we are making the most of what we have been given in this moment in time.  God made each of us unique and for a very specific purpose.  A purpose that one we can fill.  Envy will lead you to believe that having more or having a different life will make you more happy.  The truth is that happiness is a choice, which means that we are only as happy as we choose to be.

What does this mean for you?  What does this mean for me?  What is the culprit of your comparison; of your envy?  For me I believe that it is social media and the internet.  I am still navigating through this and trying to figure out how to tackle this issue.  My concern is for myself but also for so many other girls and women that face this issue.  I don’t have all the answers but to take it a step further, I highly recommend reading the book, Restless by Jennie Allen. I am almost through this book and it is profoundly amazing!  I will do a review on this sometime in the near future.

What I do know is that we must keep our focus on Him at all times and continue to refocus daily, hourly, or however often it takes.  Take the time to figure out what you’re good at, what your gifts are, what motivate and drives you and ultimately what your purpose is here on this earth.   (The Restless book will walk you through this process – AWESOME!)