Wednesday, August 31, 2011

HELP! Need Ideas!

As my computer battery dies...
I'm putting out a call for help!
Hurricane Irene pretty much destroyed my
plans for Mr.and Mrs.Keepers
10th wedding anniversary!

Anyone have any
creative ,
ideas for
Usually I'm great at this sort of thing...
but I am so zapped by the last week of prep
and cleanup.
Just looking for some things maybe I hadn't thought of
to pull this off last minute when my original plans had to be scrapped!
Leave me a comment please!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Checking in....

We survived hurricane Irene...
still sitting without power,
no internet,
(I had to go 45 min away to my parents to get online!)
cell service back and forth
The main thing is we
just have a lot to clean up
no major damage or flooding like during Isabel.
Two of our grills bit the dust though.
So thankful for the good outcome
Just thought I'd share a few photos until I get back up and running

I have a few more photos of the worst..
but of course my computer charge is starting to go...
just wanted to let everyone know we are fine and I will be back soon...
Have a happy Tuesday!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Two days after an unheard of earthquake
for our area,
we are now preparing for what could be a devastating
I have lived here my whole life
and have weathered many hurricanes...
This one seems to have the potential to be the worst of my lifetime...
so keep me in your thoughts
and if my posts are random over the next week you'll know why.
I thought I would share a few
peaceful photos from our visit last weekend to one of my
favorite places on earth
Colonial Williamsburg

Even though it can have its touristy points,
It has a peaceful,lovely,step back in time atmosphere
no cars are allowed on the original "mile"
Duke of Gloucester Street...

Think positive thoughts for us and I'll
hopefully be back soon.

Happy Thursday All....

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A chance to live life to the fullest.....

I usually blog about family,thrifting, my art, and photography
lots of random thoughts....
Today I want to share some information
on a more serious side of things for me..
and it has to do with my health.
Take a trip to Jeanne Oliver's site
to read about her journey into food allergies...
some very scary stuff simply from food additives and dyes!
#1 to become aware
#2 because Dr.Shamanie Haneca is offering
a free chance to win her e-course on better living
and eating!
I would like to share how Jeanne
(whom I have never met)
is changing my life.
I read her story about a year ago
and thought
I have had some of those symptoms myself
I don't fit the "typical" profile.
I mentioned her story to my mom in a conversation and to my surprise
my mother told me that I had been diagnosed with Gluten allergies as an infant/toddler!
My doctor told her however I would outgrow the allergy.
As I started to eat and become a normal weight
she lost concern and assumed I had in fact "outgrown" them.
Life got busy and I never pursued some of the thoughts
about food allergies I had floating around in the back of my head.
Then Jeanne revisited her story
and shared that her young daughter and her sister both have been
diagnosed with Gluten allergies among others in the past year.
I decide to do some research of my own
and to my surprise found that some of my preconceived notions as
to what a typical person with Gluten allergies symptoms are
aren't typically true for 80% of adults who have it!
Most adults who were diagnosed like I was as a child
in that time period when not as much was maybe known about it,
are actually overweight as adults!
As a child I was so underweight ,
I didn't really eat
and I didn't keep anything in.
My pediatrician actually
made my mother feel like he suspected her of child neglect or maybe
as having Munchhausen syndrome!

After I was diagnosed with the Gluten allergy she took me for a 2nd opinion
and that doctor agreed.
After I went Gluten free I gained weight and remained at a normal weight
for most of my childhood.
Looking back now though,
I always had the symptoms there
and as a child I know we may not complain as much as we do as adults.
Horrible acid reflux, stomach upset,weird electrical like feeling chest pains where
I couldn't breathe they hurt so much.
I even had these until my early 30's.
 I can't remember a time in my life when I have not had headaches.
A few years my husband and I had quite a lifestyle change in the way we eat.
Looking back now
we cut a lot of Gluten laden foods out with our new diet unknowingly,
but not all together.
I think this accounts for a lot of my symptoms calming down.
After Jeanne's story this year
I have decided to go and get an official blood test for piece of mind.
Last week however I did a little experiment.
I ate Gluten free for 2 days
**No headache! Energy waay up**
On the third day
I ate Gluten free but after dinner had a dessert that lets just say was probably
laden in Gluten
To my surprise
within a half an hour
Palpitations, slightly short of breath, and I felt flushed!
I always thought that was my blood pressure!
Definitely not a reaction you should have while lying on the sofa after a
The next day totally Gluten Free.
5th day Gluten free
and then dessert
same reaction!
SO my dears...
after years of talking to my own patients about
food additives and preservatives, nutrition, and my thoughts on
prepared foods.
I have decided to walk the total walk!
This could be the beginning to a whole new chapter in my health / life
and if it is a matter of what I eat
Please go read Jeanne's story and check out Dr.Hanecas blog as well.

Even if you aren't in the allergy category I guarantee
everyone could use good whole advice on REAL - PURE food!
Thanks for Reading.
I will keep you posted on this journey as I seem to be on several as of late!
Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

like the store bought kind
an apple should

not some
genetically altered
that has been
sitting on a refrigerated truck
long before it was meant to be eaten
waiting to go on display.
I know not everyone can
have trees in their own yard.
if you have local growers
especially ones who deal with true seed
and even better if organic.
I strongly urge you to go and
their fruit.
You may experience a whole different taste altogether.
Due to some serious lifestyle
changes I will be posting some of
my favorite places to but produce,etc.
Also talking about canning,etc. soon!
I will share more...
but back to those apples.
it is the beginning of their "season" when they truly taste
the best.
Plan an excursion
and find an orchard.
Go and have a fun day apple picking!
Happy Sunday evening all!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A leap of faith
can sometimes be
chance to

Some unexpected and great things
are on my horizon
and it feels so amazing!
I will keep you updated as things become
more concrete.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

wanted to take a moment today
to congratulate
one of my bestest of friends...
English Major
Business Writer
Listener extraordinaire
Music aficionado
Coffee shop hopping partner in crime
All around cool girl
and now
Ordained Minister!
Wherever your road takes you
the people you lead will be the luckiest to have landed you!
Spread the Word Esta style.
Love you so much and wished we could have been there.
my favorite
gal pal.
We are so proud of you!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Etsy Spotlight.....

I have absolutely fallen in love
with this sweet illustrator
 She has a lovely blog and sells her works
at Etsy

If this print doesn't squeeze your heart a little...
So sweet...
Go and check her out
you won't be disappointed.
I am definitely adding her to my Christmas wish list!
Happy Weekend...

Thursday, August 11, 2011


If you haven't heard of  Melody Ross
you should go take a peek.
I have wanted to go on one of their retreats for a while
but they sell out insanely fast and are wait listed pretty quickly.
That must be a sign of just how well they work.
If you can't afford a retreat
they offer online classes too.
Right now
just their simple daily truths
give me such a boost everyday.
You can sign up for them by e-mail.
I wanted to share this information with you
some days they seem cosmically appropriate.
I decided a few weeks ago to take a leap of faith
and leave my job.
I want to pursue my own goals and dreams and not just go to
work for my check every week.
Don't get me wrong
I really like what I do.
But it was time to go after what I LOVE to do.
Maybe a tricky move in this economy
but I won't know unless I try.
I will be doing my -Trade- job on a temporary basis
and finally starting all those other endeavors
I have REALLY wanted to try!
Tuesday after a long LAST day at work
here was my
"Little birdie told me" truth sitting in my inbox...

Dear Incredible Girl,

One of the best ways to nourish your soul is to seek out and do the things that totally absorb you in happiness, things that call to you...things that you are naturally good at and things that fill you up.

It's important to balance your life with the things that MUST be done AND the things that we do simply because of the joy that comes in doing those things.

Life is meant to be enjoyed and not merely endured. There are simple and small things that we can do that will refuel our souls. We all need to make time to do these sorts of things if we want to live meaningful lives. We will be better at everything that we MUST do if we take time to do what we LOVE to do. We will be better wives, mothers, friends, daughters, sisters, aunts, partners and coworkers.......and we surely will FEEL better every minute of the day.

Please don't get sucked into the falsehood that taking time to nourish your soul is selfish and futile. It is ESSENTIAL. It doesn't take anything away from only adds to the goodness that you already have inside of you.

Be brave today and do something that puts a smile on your face...just for the sake of doing it. Little miracles will will see.

Great right?
So check out The Brave Girls site
and sign up.
Who couldn't use a little inspiration in your inbox?
I will keep you posted as to my new and exciting endeavors!
Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Curious Animals.....

As part of my "Silly" class
I started a series of animals that had human desires...
While I think my efforts are fun
I'd still like to loosen up my style a bit...
here is No.1
The tiny little mouse
who has a penchant for expensive sweets
quiet as can be in her satin slippers
while she is stealing your Godiva.
How can you hate her for her thievery when she stares
at you with those big brown eyes?

(The photo was taken w/ my I-phone
so not as crisp as I'd like)

Unfortunately this was based on a true story
(except the slippers!)
A few years ago I got a great deal on a dozen
Godiva chocolate bars.
I decided to give them with Christmas gifts as the Tags.
We were trying the open shelving thing and
one day I went into the kitchen
and picked up something near the box they were in
and noticed one was half eaten.
(one of those clear plastic boxes)
Of course ,
I went and accused my husband of
doing a horrible job of sneaking into the box!
After his Not Guilty plea,
I made him come and examine
the evidence.
As I picked up the bag
pieces of shredded paper fell out of the backside of
the box!
The little sucker had chewed through this hard plastic,
through foil, and paper to eat an equivalent of two
whole candy bars!
I salvaged the uneaten ones after careful inspection
and put them in a plastic bag.
Long story cut,
but she managed to find it and again eat a whole bar!
This was my first and last experience with
expensive thieving mice!
Lets just say the problem was taken care of.
At least I can say my pest had good taste!

Each one of my animals has a short story with.
And then a long background inspiration.
I tend to ramble right?
I'll share more in the series weekly.
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 8, 2011


The Thrifting gods have been shining down upon me....
I found so much stuff this past weekend,
I'm going to split them up into two weeks!
This broke the Slump...
Went to an estate sale right around the corner from my house.
 I am not such a (what's a good word for it?)
that I want to wait in line an hour before a sale,
and then who knows how much longer
when it is 90+ degrees and 100% humidity!
There were tons of people on the lawn.
So I decided to come back later...
Boy was this place wiped out!
This company has a following...
and I know it is good for their business
 but for some reason I find it annoying!
I have also as of late,
 adopted the mentality that if an item
is there when I get in,
it was meant to be....
 I have noticed lately most people in our area are
truly looking for high dollar "antiques" or absolute every day stuff...
I've seen people buy open bottles of detergent,pesticides,and sponges?
Men are always after tools or gargae stuff or fishing items...
I found a few nice things in the slim pickings that were left.

How could anyone pass her up?
Someone in this family was a painter because there were several
paintings throughout the house by this person.
She was only $15!

Box of "thingys"
Have no idea what these went to?
But perfectly chipped and faded.
I'm thinking the pieces with the holes are perfect for candle holders,
just have to work out an idea on how to use them.
The metal pieces were maybe floor vent covers?
They are iron, but slightly off kilter they aren't perfectly symmetrical.
Any good guesses on them let me know.
Definitely should come up with something great to use them for..
I also found a world map
which my son has absconded so I'll get a photo of it next week!
Then I went to one of the oldest thrift stores we have around.
I hadn't been there in quite some time.
Seems like everyone is out to overprice in case they have something "Old".
But I came away with these great sewing patterns for .10 cents each!
Cute to use as Ephemera and the patterns are something I would wear.
Looks like the patterns range from the 60's-70's, maybe early 80's.
HUGE bag of vintage sewing notions.
 7 or 8 inches thick packed full!

Blue Mary
.45 cents
Lately I've found all sorts of religious kitschy figures
for super cheap...
Plan on using them in some of the Niches' I am creating...

Then on to the Goodwill...
I was actually in a certain one that tends to have more high end clothing...
but had more luck with vintage this time...
great Vintage Hawaiian Souvenir tray
for $2.25
and Italian chef spoon rest for $1.00
I actually saw this handbag as I was standing at the register
Snatched it up immediately...
Several of these will go into my Etsy shop when I open...
Overall it was a good weekend!
Like I said, I had so many finds some of them are still in the van waiting
to be unpacked...
For now lets say
To Be Continued!
Linking up with
for Flea Market finds!
Hope you had a great weekend!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Silly Session.....

The Art of Whimsy and Silliness
well taught by

I took a class from her in 2010
at Art and Soul.
She is a lovely,down to earth, patient, easy going teacher,
self taught in watercolors like me.
She has the most beautiful smile doesn't she!
She was a featured Etsy labs workshop instructor recently
and I wanted to let everyone know how
much I absolutely loved her class.
She gave me some of that freedom from the fear of not being "perfect"
or needing to be a realist master.
Plus I have to say I was very flattered when she
said my continuous line drawings were
"very fluid, someone who is obviously very comfortable with this style"
(this was in a blind critique)
Of course I felt a puff of pride ,
because I was truly horrified
to draw without looking at the paper.
Way out of my comfort zone knowing people might look at it across the table
when I was done and it could look like a first grader drew it.
To my surprise
I was actually pretty happy with them when I was done
(even before i shared it)
There was something freeing about her style of drawing!
I thought I would share a few of my SIMPLE
continuous line drawings

Two relaxed frogs...

Le Bicycle


(Sorry couldn't get this one to rotate)
Sitting Donkey
(Same apologies for rotation)
Potty Time!

Then I started a series
giving animals some human characteristics or "likes"
They are finished pieces.
Stay tuned for a series of posts featuring them.

I hope you follow the Linky above and check Carla out...
She has a wonderful Drawing lab book
and has several on-line courses.
Go and get your Silly on!
Happy Saturday!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Longing for Fall......

We had a wonderful rainstorm here yesterday
that caused the temperature to temporarily cool off...
It brought the humidity down a tad too.
When it has been 95 - 100 every day with 80 % or more humidity,
I hate to say it but it makes Summer stink!
I should be used to it
I have lived here my whole life.
I just don't remember Summer being so relentless
like it has been the last 10 years.
The other day we noticed trees here losing leaves like they do in the fall,
but it was because they were so drought stricken.
I love the sunlight
and we wait all winter for the chance to get outdoors and enjoy it!
I honestly would rather be cold
than in heat so bad you feel like you opened an oven when you
go out the front door and it takes your breath away.
After that rainstorm this morning
there was that smell in the air like September.
When the earth is cooling a bit , but still warm and the air gets easier to breathe.
September where are you?