Birthday Fun!

In this family, we truly never get tired of birthdays.  Yes...even the adults!  And this past week it was MY birthday and I have celebrated for days now.  And am not sure that I'm finished yet.  Thursday was the actual day and it started with stopping by a local bakery to pick up some Paleo treats that Caitlin had ordered for me...
Wrapped in this pretty package, I didn't wait long before I broke into it to see what goodies lay in store for me.
                                                  OH.  MY.  GOSH!!!  Where to start?...
                                                  A CHOCOLATE PALEO CUPCAKE?!
 OK, so, to be totally honest with you...that cupcake was GONE by 11 a.m.  And it was AMAZING!

I had a meeting that day but I didn't care; that cupcake I had eaten made everything good.  After my meeting, I went home and jumped onto the computer to see that SO MANY PEOPLE had sent me birthday wishes on Facebook.  WOW!  Makes a girl feel good.  I was still fiddling around on my computer when Hubby came home with my birthday present...
This awesome new printer for my photos!  I can send photos not only from my computer to print but also from my camera and phone.  I so love this and cannot wait to have a moment to sit down and print some of my favorite photos I've taken of the Grands and beautiful spots around the world I've visited.

Then, Hubby asked where I would like to dine that evening and I chose The Red River Grill in Marksville.  It wasn't crowded on a Thursday night and the food was OH, SO GOOD, as usual...

I had a wonderful time on my birthday but by Saturday was pretty worn out.  We spent the day at home; Hubby working out in his shop and me lounging in my recliner, knitting and watching movies.  Oh yea...and making the yummiest homemade vegetable soup with Paleo cornbread muffins (I will blog about this delicious meal later in the week).

And it was a good thing I had rested up on Saturday because Sunday was another big day.  After church, Hubby made lunch for the crew (11 on this particular day) and had a birthday cake for me!
                        This was the most colorful and happiest birthday cake I have ever had!
                       Yep...That's my middle child that hopped in the picture at the last minute.

See!  It was a rainbow cake.  Hubby said because it reflected my artsy, hippy personality.  I'll take that as a compliment!

I LOVED my birthday!  I LOVED my birthday party!  I LOVED my birthday cake!  But most of all I LOVE getting to spend it with the ones I LOVE! 

Monday Flowers and Fat Tuesday

Grocery shopping had become such drudgery to me that I had pretty much stopped going on a regular basis and just popped in for meals.  I'm sure none of you have been there.  Anyway, last week I decided that I would try to make an attempt to do better at this buying food so we can eat thing.  And just as I walked into the grocery store I saw the floral department.

I began to peruse the flowers and found that simply doing so was really improving my mood.  I decided to go ahead and make it through the store, gathering up what I needed and then go back and pick myself out a bouquet.  I put all of the groceries in the back of my vehicle while I carefully placed the flowers on the front seat beside me.  They were bright and cheerful and I was really happy that I had made that purchase.

This week, keeping with my promise to myself to get into a Monday routine of grocery buying, I did the same thing as the week before.  I first visited the floral department, deciding on my favorites and then did my shopping.  After such a warm, beautifully sunny weekend, the beginning of this week had turned gray, wet and cold but I was going to brighten it up with another fresh bouquet of flowers.  I think this just might become a new Monday ritual, this buying myself flowers each week...
                               And because it's Fat Tuesday, there is a little mask stuck in there.

Monday flowers really do make grocery shopping so much better.  And do you know what adds even more to the Monday flowers?  The Starbucks that can also be purchased while I do my shopping.  Hey...whatever it takes!

                                                          HAPPY FAT TUESDAY!!!


Valentine's Day Weekend in The Big Easy...

Having been in a "funk" for a while, the hubby thought it would be a great idea to get me out of town for the weekend.  Since Justin and Sarah were going to be moving into their new remodel here in town, he suggested we take Parker Ann with us and also visit David, Codi and Beckett.  His thought pattern was:  Surely the grand kids can get her out of this.  So, we checked Parker out of school early and hit the road Friday afternoon heading for New Orleans.  It wasn't until we hit the tremendous amount of traffic that it occurred to me that this was Mardi Gras Weekend...yea, the one right before Fat Tuesday.  The one we ALWAYS try to avoid.  WHAT.  WERE.  WE.  THINKING?!

Luckily, our hotel was close to David and Codi's apartment, in River Ridge, and we didn't have to actually go into the city.  However, that didn't mean there weren't parade routes all around us.  We would have to do some creative driving to avoid all of that but it was doable.  Parker Ann was extremely excited to 1:  Get checked out of school early and 2.  Getting to go to New Orleans with Poppi and YaYa and sleep in a hotel. 

We arrived sort of late but Beckett was still up waiting for us and met us at the door with a big smile on his face.  He was ready to play!  After visiting for a while, we headed over to our hotel, where Parker Ann was elated that she had a "couch bed" to sleep on for 2 NIGHTS.  We made plans to go to City Park the next day.

Unfortunately, City Park was closed.  You got it...because of Mardi Gras.  All of the big floats were lined up over there so we had to think of another plan quickly.  The Audubon Zoo it was.  The weather was "perfect" February weather in south Louisiana; in the 70's!  And the kids (and adults, alike...) enjoyed the day outdoors.

I started the day off with my ripped jeans and Starbucks.  A Skinny Cinnamon Dolce' Latte...with whipped cream.  Because it was Valentine's Day.  And I had worked hard in the gym this week.  And when one had been in a "funk" this drink makes everything right.  Right?!
 And I polished Parker Ann's fingernails with my special polish from Julep.  Look closely, there are red hearts in the polish!
                                           The sunshine.  The Grands.  Best medicine ever.
                         Watching these two play brought a lift to my spirit and smile to my face.
       Later that evening,  Poppi took his two girls out for a Valentine's Day Dinner at P.F. Chang's.
And then to Sucre' for dessert!  If you ever go to New Orleans you MUST make a trip there.  Trust me.  Just do it.

Meanwhile, while we were basking in the warm weather, the poor Ohioans were in the midst of a winter storm...
       That looks pretty terrible, doesn't it?  And totally the reason for people retiring to the south!

However, Cupid warmed my heart up with this little photo...
Holli does quite a bit of modeling for different companies.  In this photo, she is modeling the scarf from Lemons and Lace and the crown from Love Crush Bowtique.  This, too, brought a smile to my face.
And definitely not be left out was this photo Sarah sent me of sweet, Lila Kate, sporting her Mardi Gras outfit.

I think the hubby was right.   The cure for the "funk" was definitely some time spent playing with the Grands. 

Here's my "Monday Flowers" from last week.  I bought them while grocery shopping.  My treat to myself.  I hope your Monday and entire week is wonderful!


It's Valentine's Day...

I LOVE (no pun intended) Valentine's Day.  Well, actually I love February because it is my "Birthday Month" AND Valentine's Day.  I hope you spend this year doing what makes you happy with those you LOVE...

                                                   Share a cupcake with someone...
                                                                        Or a kiss...
                                               Or maybe just make a mess having fun.
                    Whatever you decide to do, I hope you have a HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!


Drawing Inspiration From a 1 Year Old

It had been quite a while since I had picked up my watercolors.  Life had just gotten too busy.  WHAT?!  Did I just say that?  Life had gotten too busy to paint (sigh...)?  It wasn't that I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it and how it truly relaxed was that I had just gotten into this funk.  And when I get to that place I just don't feel like doing much.  However, my daughter-in-law sent me some photos of my grandson finger painting yesterday and it made me smile.  And as I looked more closely at him creating his masterpiece, I, myself became inspired to pick my own paints up again.

                   There's just something about putting your fingers in paint and getting messy...
        Now, I like the way he paints in the true fashion of an artist (almost nude).  He-He!
                                          He's seriously getting into his "creativity mode".
                                                          SO...What do ya think?

Whenever I Face Timed him that evening, the first thing he ran to show me was his beautiful new piece of artwork.  And I said I LOVED it!

And so I picked those watercolors up and began to work on my own project.  It is not finished by a long shot but it is serving its purpose.  It had given me some relaxation and peace.  And that's enough.
Here's my watercolor work in progress.  Oh, how I love to look at that messy palette.  All of the disorder and mixing of colors somehow makes sense to me.  Thanks, Beckett.  Thanks for giving YaYa the inspiration she needed to pull those paints out again.


Wordless Wednesday...(Go Forth and SPARKLE...)

Well, almost "Wordless".  Because some days you only need to focus on the positive.  And these images are positive.  And they make me smile.
                                                            HAPPY HUMP DAY!
                                                         Go Forth and SPARKLE...