Saturday, August 30, 2014

Book Review: A Common Life

The Wedding Story, by Jan Karon
Partial Synopsis from Good Reads:  Laughter and wedding bells ring as Jan Karon takes her millions of fans back in time to the most cherished event in Mitford! Mitford's Lord's Chapel seats barely two hundred souls, yet millions of Jan Karon's fans will be there for the most joyful event in years: the wedding of Father Tim Kavanagh and Cynthia Coppersmith.
My Thoughts:  This little charmer is all about romance!  As Mitford looks forward to the wedding of their beloved Father Tim and his neighbor Cynthia, they reminisce about their own relationships.  How did Puny feel when she met Joe Joe?  Louella remembers the first time she saw her husband.  Uncle Billy remembers Rose when she was but a teenager.  While this book isn't as long as some of the others in the series, I found it to be just a sweet!
What have you been reading?
;-)  -Marci

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sew Our Stash {August} A Little Lace

If you’re new to my blog, one of my 20 Wishes is to sew one thing for myself each month so I can participate in Sew Our Stash!  It is the brain child of Marissa at Rae Gun Ramblings and Bev at Flamingo Toes.  They share what they have made for themselves the last Thursday of every month. It started because they wanted to sew more wearables and needed some accountability.  While I'm certainly not at their level yet, hopefully, my skill sets will be stretched!

That's the total point of 20 Wishes.  Making time for what I WANT to do and Wish #12 was halfway followed on this project!  Let me explain! 

Can you have  too many white T shirts?  I don't think so!  ;-)

I purchased the lace, but used leftover fabric from my White Plantain T .  That makes the fabric free, right?  ;-)  Summer has been mild, but finally got hot and humid this month!  These lacy sleeves are breezy and cool.  The pattern is the Trifecta Top from Kitchy Koo!  I love this neckline!  Did you see my Vintage Baseball T using the same pattern?

 You may have noticed I am posting this a day late.  It feels like August just flew past and this last week really snuck up on me!  How was yours?  Did you get any sewing done?

;-)  -Marci

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

LINK PARTY! 20 Wishes August Update or Start NOW!

It's FINALLY here! Time to link up your August update or get started and share your Twenty Wishes for 2014!  (Here's my original list of  Twenty Wishes 2014 and Twenty Wishes 2013!)

You can read more on why we started this project back in 2013 here, but the gist is that life is too short. Too short to not really strive for those things you really wish to do or wish would happen. SO this year we're all going to make a real effort to mark those wishes off our lists! First you'll write and then link up your list of Twenty Wishes here. In doing so you're entered in this month's giveaway! (There will be a new one each month.) Then you'll work on those wishes throughout this year coming back here the last Wednesday of every month to link up and share your progress. Here's a button to add to your side bar to remind you to come back and link monthly, and to serve as a little encouragement to work on marking off your wishes!!
Truly Lovely
This year we are doing things a little differently. Mostly in an effort to be more organized than last year... But again, the link up will be the last Wednesday of every month. Each month one or two of our ten hostesses will offer a little something as a giveaway for those that link with us. So, allow me to introduce your hostesses for the 2014 Twenty Wishes project...

Kassi & Kayli @ Truly Lovely
Sarah @ SaturDIY
Kristine @ The Foley Fam

We aren't requiring you to follow anyone, the only mandatory entry is linking up to this party with your list of 20 wishes. BUT the more you do the more entries you'll receive and I can personally promise you if you do follow, like, etc andyof these awesome ladies you WILL NOT be disappointed!

This month Kate is giving away an adorable baby headband!  How cute!!

So, link your wishes and enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter form below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

20 Wishes {August Update}

Here's my Original Post of 20 Wishes for 2014! 

'Not many updates for August, but they are in ORANGE!
1.  Celebrate 28 years of marriage!  We had a great time and I've written about it five times!  LOL!  My first post about it is Right HereAnd here is my Second PostThere were actually two posts in April.  HERE and THERE.  The last of the photos are right HERE.

2.  Vacation in Colorado.  Yep!  It was wonderful and I've only just begun to publish the pictures PLUS there was a cool sewing project related to the trip!   Check out my  Colorado T-Shirt Makeover!  There's a fun post about Murphy and WindmillsDo you like birds?  At Garden of the Gods, we photographed this Mexican Jay and some Magpies.

3.  Attend concerts.  We saw Blake Shelton, The Band Perry, Dan + Shay AND Neil McCoy in Little Rock!  It was a GREAT concert!

Fitness Goals - Last year, one of my 20 Wishes led me to a Cross Fit gym.  Working out has taken on a whole new meaning for me and I am usually in the gym five days a week.  Since beginning Cross Fit, I've gone from a size 12 to a size 6, almost to my goal size!!  For the most part, I've worked with two trainers, Chip and Gil.  They deserve a HUGE amount of credit, teaching me the movements as well as motivating me daily and encouraging me to stick with it.  There had to have been some days where they beat their heads against a wall after I left!  ;-)  Thanks, guys!  I couldn't have come this far without you!

So, in the month of July, I went shopping for a new gym.  Looking for the one that is right for right now.  I contacted 6 gyms via email.  Everyone was super nice.  Two didn't have a class time that worked for me and one is still being built.  So, I actually tried 3 different gyms and was very happy at all of them.  One gave me a 2 week pass and the others gave me a 1 week pass.   It was a fun little journey and I chose another CrossFit gym.  I am loving it!

4.  I want to be a size 4 by May 1 and maintain it thru the rest of the year my life.  'Not there yet, but the needle is moving again now that I have a new gym.  Sometimes, you need to make a change.

5.  Run four 5ks, one in each quarter of the year.  This just isn't going to happen.

6.  Complete an entire workout with REAL Handstand Pushups, no modifications.  Progress continues.  I can hold a handstand for 1 minute now!  Yay, me!

7.  Complete an entire workout with REAL Pull Ups, no modifications.  Slow Progress is better than no progress, right?  ;-)  I am so close to doing REAL pullups!  I can get my nose above the bar, but not quite my chin.  It's exciting!

8.  Complete an entire workout with REAL Toes to Bar, no modifications.  I keep trying and am getting really close!  The rhythm is getting much better, and some can be strung together now instead of just one at a time.  This is going to happen soon.

9.  Get stretchy enough that I can do the splits again, both sides.  (You might be asking "Why?" on this one.  I have absolutely no idea.  'Just want to.)  It's going to happen!

If those get accomplished:  Bonus Goals are Double Unders and Ring Dips.  Oh, and I'd like to know how many grandmothers across our great nation are choosing Cross Fit goals?  ;-)  I'm going to need lots of support and a whole lot of tenacity.  Those are going to be tough to achieve!  If you have any quotes, tips or advice, please send them my way!

I am consistently getting Double Unders, but only one at a time. 

Sewing Goals

10.  Complete a quilt for each of my children.  One down!  You can see it HERE!

11.  Inspired by Marissa at Rae Gun Ramblings, sew something for myself monthly and join the fun at "Sew Our Stash"  This has been a GREAT goal for me!  I am gaining so much confidence in the sewing department!  I've made a Maxi Skirt!  Raglan Sleeve Top!  3 of The Ojai Wrap! and a couple of Commuter Cowls!  This Easy Pink T is getting lots of wear.  Here is a Vintage Baseball T created in July!

12.  Inspired from Adventures in Dressmaking,  follow Susannah's Sewing Resolutions.  Basically, I should fuss and worry over my pattern and fabric choices for ME just as much as when I am sewing for someone else.  Well, DUH!  ;-)  This wish ROCKS!  Here's a fun little post about Why I Sew.

These goals are being brought forward from my 2013 list!

13.  Take a photography class.

14.  Learn photo shop.

15.  Make my own herbal salad dressing.  I've been goofing around with this one, but not ready to post anything yet.

16.  Create and write down 3 recipes for artisan cheese.  Cheese and yogurt making seems to be something I like to do in the fall.

17.  Re-Vamp my "Herbs:  A Place to Begin" presentation into a one hour program.  Done, twice actually!

18.  Learn more bloggy techy things.  Hmmm...  Surely I've learned something?

19.  Monetize and grow my blog.  I've been working on a Pinterest Board.  My humble little blog continues to pick up new followers here and there, and I *LOVE* meeting new people from around the world!

20.  Read and blog about 26 books.  Definitely on track and I love the monthly Literary Junkies parties!  If you like to read, please join the fun!

Whew!  So, what have you been doing?  

;-)  -Marci

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Welcome to Tuesdays with a Twist!

Back to the Basics
We're your co-hosts:
Each co-host will be sharing her own picks for Features. This gives everyone a better chance of being featured.  Be sure to check all of our blogs!
 My feature this week is...  (drum roll please) 

This GREAT post 15 Trees for Wildlife Friendly, Edible Landscape

Trees for a wildlife-friendly, edible landscape

 From Janet at Our One Acre Farm !  You know how I love habitat gardening!
If you've been featured we'd love for you to grab a button.
We all love comments!  Please hop around and show some love!

The party starts every Tuesday at 7am EST and will continue until Friday at 11:59pm.  Feel free to stop back any time and "like" your favorites.  Please visit other blogs if you have a moment. 

Share older posts as well as new ones.  No limit on links!
*Pictures should be your own* 
By linking up you give us permission to use these photos
 (with proper link backs) in our features. 
And now for the party!

;-)  -Marci 
Follow on Bloglovin

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Great Blog Train Winner Announcement!

God’s Growing Garden
The 20th GREAT BLOG TRAIN was a blast! - We all safely reached our destination: PENANG, MALAYSIA. It was a wonderful trip with 34 boxcars!! We (the Engineers) would like to thank all of you for travelling with us and we hope that you all had a wonderful time!
The Giveaway Winner is: H.F.
(I have contacted the winner by email)

W   A   N   T   E   D  :

The Great Blog Train by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo BlogTrainDestination_zps2925d251.jpg

(Being a "Destination Cohost" means that you get to pick our next destination!!  It also means that you will post The Great Blog Train on your blog on the first Wednesday of whatever month you will be cohosting (1 different cohost per month).  We (the engineers or hosts) will provide you with the html code for the blog hop & for the Giveaway - all you will have to do is add into that post some information on the destination that you picked (like population, known for, location etc - basic family friendly facts) and add a few pictures.  Also, if you cohost we ask that you promote it on your social media sites) (We are now scheduling for November 2014).

If you are interested in being a Co-host for the Great Blog Train then please click HERE and fill out the form (THANK YOU!!)
We are now featuring the top 3 Boxcars!  (These are the links that received the most clicks)

Black Sesame Seeds Cornflakes Cookies by Treat & Trick

Pushups, Vision Boards and Creating a Routine by Grace, Lace & Iron

When the Empty Nest Isn't Empty Anymore by Chapter Two

   The art of  Jennifer Yoswa

Please join us for the SEPTEMBER Great Blog Train
on September 3rd, 2014!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Handsome Jac

I try to stay away from the sad stuff on my blog, but so many of you have become dear friends, you might want to know Handsome Jac passed away in February.  Here's a photo tribute to a sweet member of our family.

He was such a good boy.
;-)  -Marci

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Garden Guest: Mourning Dove

The north side of our front yard is a certified  National Wildlife Federation Backyard Habitat.  Really!  We have a certificate!  You can do the same by providing food, water, cover and places for wildlife to raise their young.  It is so much fun to see all of the critters that stop by for a visit.  I have a series of posts to show you our Garden Guests. 

If you would like to see more, check my Gardening Page!
Visiting today is a Mourning Dove.  This isn't a great photo.  The beam of sunshine on the dove is making the colors lighter than they actually are.  Several of you have asked about the difference between Mourning Doves and Turtle Doves.  To see my photos of a Turtle Dove, click HERE.  Maybe that will help everyone see the difference.  There was also a previous post that pictured an immature Mourning Dove.  Check out the baby HERE where the colors are more true.
Mourning Doves can be attracted by offering mixed bird feed.  Millet seems to be their favorite.
Now for some blogging music.  Hmmm...  Jason Aldean was in town for a concert recently.    I think I'll choose one of his songs.  Here's Jason with "The Only Way I Know".
So, what's happening in your back yard? 
;-)  -Marci

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

LINK PARTY Tuesdays with a Twist #72

Welcome to Tuesdays with a Twist!

Back to the Basics
We're your co-hosts:
Each co-host will be sharing her own picks for Features. This gives everyone a better chance of being featured.  Be sure to check all of our blogs!
 My feature this week is...  (drum roll please) 

A recipe for DIY Jewelry Cleaner

On A Wing And A Prayer | DIY Jewelry Cleaner

from Michelle @ On a Wing and a Prayer !  Just this weekend I noticed my rings looked pretty grimy!  They are currently soaking in Michelle's recipe!
If you've been featured we'd love for you to grab a button.
We all love comments!  Please hop around and show some love!

The party starts every Tuesday at 7am EST and will continue until Friday at 11:59pm.  Feel free to stop back any time and "like" your favorites.  Please visit other blogs if you have a moment. 

Share older posts as well as new ones.  No limit on links!
*Pictures should be your own* 
By linking up you give us permission to use these photos
 (with proper link backs) in our features. 
And now for the party!

;-)  -Marci 
Follow on Bloglovin


Monday, August 18, 2014

Literary Junkies {August}

It's time for Literary Junkies!  I hope you will participate by either answering some or all of the questions in comments below, or better yet, write a post and join the party!

Pink Heels Pink Truck
Here are this month's questions:

1. What are you reading? Tell us about it!
I am still hooked on Jan Karon's books, currently reading In this Mountain and love it!  These are the sweetest books to read at bedtime.

2. Do you read one book at a time, or read multiple books at once?
Usually one book plus one Bible study.

3. What is the first book that made you fall in love with reading?
I remember my mother and older sister, Karen, reading to me before I could read.

4. Do you prefer a physical copy of the book or an electronic version?
Since I sit at a desk all day clicking away on a computer, I prefer physical copies of books.

5. What are three books currently on your To Be Read list?  Oh, gee!  My list is so very long...  I need to read faster!  Our upcoming Women's Bible Study for Fall is Beth Moore's Children of the Day.  It's been a long time since we did a Beth Moore study.  I'm really excited!

;-)  -Marci

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cradles for Sisters

We were shopping at a delightfully dusty flea market on the edge of Siloam Springs, Arkansas and I found this charming doll cradle!

Even though it was a bit grimy, I could see tons of potential and thought it would be perfect for my first adventure into shabby chic plaster painting.  One problem.  There are two little girls in our family and we only had one cradle.

Handsome Husband used the first one as a pattern and in no time at all, we had two!  He sure is handy to have around!  ;-)
With just a bit of plaster paint, the sweet baby beds were quickly transformed.  Isn't it amazing what different colors can do for a project?!

   'Not sure where these darling tulips came from, but they were in my craft stash and added with hot glue.  I thought they worked really well.
I'd like to sew bedding, but am a little stuck on what fabric would be the cutest. 
Any ideas or suggestions?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!
;-)  -Marci

Friday, August 15, 2014

Link Party Feature!

I'd like to send a big
to Angie at God's Growing Garden for featuring my
God’s Growing Garden
Thank you!
;-)  -Marci

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Link Party Feature!

One of my favorite blogs is Rhinestone Beagle!  They have absolutely made my day by featuring
My Handsome Prince at their lovely linky party!

Rhinestone Beagle
Last Fall, I was honored to guest post for their annual
Rhinestone Beagle

It was gobs of fun!  I hope you have time to hop over and visit The Rhinestone Beagle!
;-)  -Marci

A Rainy Day in the Garden

Stargazer Lily
Siloam Double Classic Daylily

Mascara Daylily

Ed Murray Daylily

Stargazer Lily
What do you enjoy on rainy days?
;-)  -Marci