Archives for March 2012

A Few Friday Favorites – 03.16.12

A Mother’s Dream in Pen and Ink – Veronica Mitchell

I want her to have the chance to throw herself into something she loves just because she loves it. I want her to know the thrill of leisure time spent lost in what fascinates, because too soon she will be grown and her leisure time will all but disappear.

I want to give her the gift of love. Not just the love I feel for her, but the love she discovers for something else.

Even though I don’t have a little girl, Veronica’s post resonated with me like crazy. And if you’re invested in a child’s life (as mama, aunt, godmother, etc.), I think it’ll resonate with you, too.

Buzz Magnets

If you know kids (or grown-ups) who are fascinated by science-y things, these magnets will delight and enthrall. The buzzing sound will also take up permanent residence in your brain, but that’s a small price to pay for the privilege of seeing people you love totally entertained by, you know, magnets.

Kandee Johnson Make-Up Tutorials

One night on the Twitter a couple of friends had a discussion about applying eye shadow. Someone mentioned Kandee Johnson tutorials, and since I have never known how to apply eye shadow (other than swiping one color all over my eyelid), I decided that a little instruction couldn’t hurt.

I don’t spend a ton of time on my make-up every single day, but I feel like I finally – FINALLY – have a better understanding of how to use eye shadow. I’m not big on lots of eyeliner or anything like that, but knowing where to apply what shades of shadow has been a big help to me – especially the How to Make Small Eyes Bigger video. And if I was feeling super-daring, I’d give the Naked Palette Eye Make-up Tutorial a whirl.

To Those Who Wait: Live EP – Bethany Dillon

I spent most of last Saturday listening to Bethany Dillon’s Waking Up CD. I adore her music, and I was tickled – TICKLED – to see her new EP in the iTunes store late last night. It was $4.99 well spent. Oh yes it was.

Red Stamp App

Source: via Melinda on Pinterest

Red Stamp is such a great free app, but I’d love it even if I had to pay for it. It’s a brilliant idea.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Totes Fun (A Giveaway)

We’ve talked about this phenomenon before, I know, but I never cease to be amazed that Southern women will monogram anything. And I get that people in other parts of the country also enjoy monogramming, of course, but in the South we’re a little obsessive about it. I thought maybe we’d reached the end of our Things That Can Be Monogrammed list when I started seeing monogrammed rear window decals in carpool line, but just this past Saturday I saw a girl at Starbucks with a monogrammed clear laptop sleeve on her Mac.

It made me wonder if there will be a time when people will engrave the back of their iPads with their intitials – sort of like our mamas did with their silver trays.

(Oh. Never mind. I just consulted the Google and discovered that there’s already a company that engraves iPads. However, I can’t tell if they engrave big, swirly monograms or not. But if they don’t, they should.)

Several years ago I found out about a company called Initials, inc., and if you like monogrammed stuff, then Initials, inc. is pretty much your dream come true. They have wonderful, durable, products – I have a couple of their totes, a monogrammed vinyl cooler (OH, IT IS ADORABLE), and a great laptop bag – and what I love the most about their stuff is that it’s functional and fun at the same time.

See what I mean?

A few weeks ago the Initials, inc. people emailed me to see if I’d be interested in doing a review / giveaway for one of their resort totes, and even though I don’t typically do reviews, I immediately said yes because I knew in advance that I’d be crazy about it. The resort totes are big but not unwieldy, with super-comfortable straps and a handy cell phone pocket on the inside (along with an additional pocket where I usually put my iPod). There are also snaps on the sides if you need to make the bag a little smaller. I have a polka-dot resort tote that I’ve taken to the beach and the pool for the last couple of years – sometimes with four beach towels, sunscreen, goggles, books, keys, swim shirts, etc. – and whether I’m carrying a lot or a little, it’s always my perfect pool bag.

Since the resort tote is made from microfiber, it dries quickly and doesn’t look one bit worse for the wear if it is the unintended victim of some enthusiastic splashing or diving. It’s also fantastic for travel, and when I go on long trips, my resort tote is my go-to carry-on bag. It has a magnetic closure, so everything stays put, but since it doesn’t zip, it’s super easy to tuck it under a seat and then reach down and grab whatever you need to get out of it.

(Can you tell I’m a fan?)

(I am such a fan.)

Last month I received a new resort tote from Initials, inc. (full disclosure: they sent it to me for review, so I didn’t pay for it), and I was thrilled when I opened the package. I don’t typically pick out super-girly things for myself, but I am crazy about the hot pink pattern and the dark brown monogram. My new bag will be going to the beach with me in a couple of weeks, and I can’t wait to introduce it to the white sand and the salt water. I think we’re going to be really happy together.

(Sorry. A little blurry.)

(Maybe this close-up will give you a better idea.)

Since they’re all sorts of awesome, the people at Initials, inc. are going to give one of you a $50 gift card. If you’d like to enter the giveaway (open until Wednesday, March 21st, at which point I’ll draw for a winner using, here’s what you need to do:

1. Click over to the Initials, inc. catalog.
2. Look around.
3. Come back here and tell me one thing you’d like to buy with your gift card.
4. Only one comment per person, por favor.
5. Please make sure you type your email address correctly.

Just a few things to remember: Initials, inc. doesn’t ship outside of the United States. The gift card can be applied to your order total (which includes order and shipping), and as always, personalization is free.

And if you’re interested in earning some free merchandise by having an Initials, inc. party at your house? You can find information about that right here.

Happy Giveaway, y’all!

This giveaway is now closed.

Liza Minnelli Tries To Turn Off A Lamp

I didn’t see Saturday Night Live this past weekend because our DVR decided to take a vacation.

But yesterday on the Twitter, Jennifer tweeted the link to this sketch.

OH, it tickled me. I was smack dab in the middle of a day where I had approximately six free minutes, but I’m so glad that I used three and a half of those minutes to watch this delightfulness.

Does anybody else think it’s as funny as I do? Or do I just have a strange sense of humor?

Well, I know I have a strange sense of humor.

But is anybody strange with me?


(There’s strength in numbers, you know.)

A Different Kind Of Super Tuesday

I’m writing this post on Sunday afternoon – before the NCAA Tournament Selection show – so I have no idea whether my beloved Bulldogs will make it into the Big Dance. But honestly, I don’t feel like they will. The end of the season sort of fell apart, and after a first round SEC tourney loss to Georgia, I just don’t think we’ll make it anywhere other than the NIT.

And listen. I love my Bulldogs. Y’all know I do. And I want for them to be in the tournament even though I don’t think that they will be. But, if they do end up making it, I’ll eat plenty of crow while I cheer for them like crazy (and whether they make it or not, we’ll still have our annual bracket challenge).

ANYWAY, I didn’t really intend to bore you with my basketball-related hypotheticals. I intended, among other things, to tell you that soccer season officially kicked off for us this past Saturday, and it was one of the great joys of my entire life to watch our little guy play goalie in the fourth quarter. By that point we were getting hammered by the other team (about 20 minutes into the game I told D that I felt like I was watching an episode of Alias where Sydney Bristow uncovered a government-run community of children who had been genetically engineered for speed), but oh, the little guy took his goalie responsibilities ever-so-seriously. He threw on the red jersey and ran to the goal and gave D and me a big thumbs up before he assumed a stance that was half-baseball home plate umpire, half-nature guide on the lookout for wild boars.


But the main thing that I want to tell you is that there is all sorts of goodness in store this Tuesday, and I’m not even talking about the fact that there are election primaries in Alabama (I love election day because I love taking A with me; my parents always took me with them when they voted…it made me deeply aware of the privilege of participating in the process, and for some reason I get teary-eyed when I see people lined up at the polls, though that’s probably a tangent for another time).

All righty. The Tuesday goodness. Ready?

1. The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier

I didn’t think a cookbook could be more beautiful than Ree’s first one, but I was wrong. The new one is even more gorgeous than the first, and it’s CHOCK FULL of great recipes. I pre-ordered it for my sister-in-law Rose for Christmas, and I cannot wait to hear her reaction when she sees it for the first time. It’s one of those cookbooks that will be dog-eared and well-worn within a few months of owning it (in other words: the very best kind).

2. Stories to Tell – Dave Barnes

There are a hundred reasons why the people in this family love Dave Barnes to pieces. He’s a Mississippi boy, he embraces his rich Mississippi State heritage, he’s stinkin’ hilarious, he adores his family, and he makes dang fine music, just to name a few. His new CD comes out tomorrow, and, as always, the songs sound like home to me. They are blues-y, pop-y, and soulful all at the same time – and on this CD, there’s a mighty delightful 70s-esque brass section (I have long been of the opinion that modern music needs more horns).

The bottom line is that you can’t go wrong with a Dave Barnes CD. It’s great music that your whole family will enjoy. Forever and ever amen.

3. White Flag – Passion 2012

Every January, when the Passion conference is over, I start counting down (in my head – not out loud) to that year’s Passion CD release day. Last year’s CD, Here For You, ended up being one of my favorite worship CDs of all time, and I can’t wait to hear what White Flag has in store. I pre-ordered it, and I will probably listen to it at midnight when it starts downloading to my iTunes. BECAUSE THAT’S TOTALLY NORMAL FOR A 42 YEAR-OLD WOMAN.

So there you have it. My personal Super Tuesday list. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have approximately 24 hours to catch up on about 78 hours worth of TV. Thanks to a faulty hard drive, our DVR is being replaced on Tuesday, and all the shows I haven’t watched yet (30 Rock, Modern Family, Survivor, etc.) will disappear when the new DVR is installed.

I’m drinking lots of water and eating plenty of protein. I AM READY FOR THE TASK AT HAND.

Selection Sunday, Manic DVR-Watching Monday, and a new kind of Super Tuesday.

We’ve got a big week in store, my friends.

A Few Friday Favorites

one thing that changes life

“Let the dying moments remind us where to find the living…” – an absolutely beautiful post by Emily.

Black Bean Hummus

Yes, Lord. Thank you, Lord.

And just an FYI: I prefer lime juice over lemon juice in black bean hummus, but the Holy Spirit may lead you in a different direction.

Kingdom: A Journey through Matthew

Our church has been studying the book of Matthew for the last few months, and the whole series has been so rich and timely and good. I thought several weeks ago that I wanted to link specifically to Bart Box’s sermon on The Sermon on the Mount, and the fact that I just remembered probably says a lot about my current mental state. Anyway, the whole series is excellent (this past Sunday’s message was exactly what I needed to hear), so I thought I’d share.


I love having a notepad right by my computer, and if it can double as a mousepad, all the better. This past week I ran in the bookstore for a few things, and when I saw this cute, encouraging notepad/mousepad, it made me smile. It’s colorful and handy – especially if you’re like me and still like to write out your to-do lists the old-fashioned way.

This one is also mighty cute.

ESPN Tournament Challenge

If you’re interested in joining our 4th Annual NCAA Tournament Challenge, you can join our group now. We can’t fill out brackets until after Selection Sunday (March 11th), but feel free to go ahead and join the group.

Fatao’s Heart

A six year-old little boy named Fatao lives in poverty in Burkina Faso and suffers from a heart defect called ventricular septal defect. He needs heart surgery, and he’ll have to travel to India to get it. So while Fatao is part of a Compassion Child Development Center, his medical expenses – approximately $23,000 for travel, visas and surgery and follow-up care – are so great that Compassion is helping him through their Medical Intervention Fund.

You can get more information on the Compassion blog, and you can make a one-time donation on the Compassion website. Just a few dollars from each of us would help so much.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Please Excuse My Absence

I haven’t been a very good blogger this week. In fact, if not for your mighty entertaining comments about grandparents’ nicknames, there wouldn’t have been much at all going on around here, I’m afraid.

I don’t even have a decent excuse. It’s just that after spending the first half of last week with the Granthams and the Crawleys, then spending a big chunk of this past weekend with my BFF Microsoft Word, I have had to pay the responsibility piper this week. Mostly I’ve just been trying to catch up on a few things – like, for instance, the fact that the laundry situation in this house is officially past the point of all reason. Hopefully it’ll be under control soon.

I don’t really think it’s going to be under control soon, by the way.

I just tell myself that so that I don’t feel quite as tempted to throw all the clothes in the driveway and SET THEM ON FIRE.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for your great comments and for being kind about my current state of bloggy unpredictability (no idea if that’s an actual word or not, but I’m running with it). And just so you know: our 4th Annual NCAA Tournament Challenge will be up and running very, very soon. I’ll post details this weekend.

(Oh, I do enjoy March Madness.)

(It’s a delightful time of year, my friends.)

Hope y’all are having a great week!