A Few of My Favorite Things

I have LOTS of "favorite things" and I thought I might begin to share some of those with you.

THING 1: BOOTS

How ironic is it that I live in "Da Boot" (Louisiana) AND I simply LOVE wearing da boots! Robby told me the other day that I was just a "regular old cowgirl" with all of the cowboy boots I wear. Which got me to thinking...(ah oh!!! THAT can be dangerous) "Hey", I said, "I really wish I had a horse." He sort of looked at me strangely because where we live, there is definitely NO place to put a horse. Then I continued, "I know, I know, to have a horse, I would need to have a barn...and then if I had a barn, I would need a big, fenced in pasture...and to have THAT, I would have to have a ranch..." He looked at me and I saw it coming...that "eye roll" thing he does. So, before he could even comment, I put him at ease by stating, "SO...I guess I will just settle for wearing my cowboy boots!" Pretty clever way of getting him to THINK I am actually saving him money by just buying multiple pairs of cowboy boots, huh?

Now, I don't just wear my boots with jeans; that would be WAY too "conventional" for me! Think outside of the box when putting your boots on...I wear them with dresses, skirts, jeggings and even shorts! After all, boots can really be a fashion statement and that little "pizzaz" to an otherwise ordinary outfit. Need an example of this?...My 6-year old niece, Rylee put on her school uniform the other day and then slipped on her calf height boots that have little fur balls hanging off of them. When her mother informed her that one did not wear boots with skirts, she replied, "Aunt Barbara does!" At that point, a picture was snapped and sent to me as they headed off to school (wearing boots and uniform skirt...). Ahhh...we have transformed another little girl into a "fashion diva".

There is only ONE little problem that I have with boots...it's that I just CAN'T seem to resist buying another pair! However, for this season (notice I did NOT say year...) I think I can resist and wear the ones I have.

TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF MY BOOTS!

These boots were bought at the Canton, Texas Flea Market years ago...I STILL get compliments whenever I wear them. They have little crystals all over them!


You can see some of the crystals here!


My first pair of Old Gringo Boots I bought!


Don't you just LOVE the color and design on these boots?


OK now, WHO couldn't resist these Old Gringo Boots? They are a shorter boot and don't you just LOVE the RED?! I wore these all over New York City this past fall and my friend who traveled there with me liked them so much she had to buy a pair just like them when we got back! OH...and by the way, they are Super Comfortable too!


These Old Gingo Boots were a "Must Have"! Not only are they Super Cute and the color GREAT to wear with anything, their name caught my attention too..."LUCKY"!


See why the name is "LUCKY"? Notice the horseshoe on the toe of the boot!


And, of course, there are other types of boots too...ones for rainy weather, cold weather and just plain chic, dressy events! I LOVE 'EM ALL!!!

OK...HAVE I INSPIRED YOU TO GET THOSE OLD BOOTS OUTTA YOUR CLOSET, DUST THEM OFF AND GIVE THEM A NEW PLACE IN YOUR WARDROBE? I HOPE SO, BECAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE TO "LIVE IN DA BOOT" TO LOOK GOOD "WEARING DA BOOT"!


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                                                       FAVORITE THING 2:  KNITTING and YARN!


Well, here is ANOTHER of a "Few Of My FAVORITE Things"... THING 2: "YARN...and KNITTING"

I just ADORE lovely YARN! When I was a very young girl, my great-aunt, Rose, taught me how to knit and crochet. While my mother was in nursing school, I would often times spend the day with her and I believe the first thing she taught me to knit was a cute little pair of slippers. In the last few years, I decided to pick that knitting up again; at first, it wasn't as easy as I remembered.

Robby and I had paid a visit to his aunt while in Niagara Falls. I noticed that she was knitting something and commented on it. She encouraged me to "pick knitting up again"...you can easily start with just knitting a scarf. OK; so it had literally been DECADES since I had attempted to knit, but I felt pretty confident that I could catch on again fairly quickly...after all, wasnt' it like riding a bike? Well, I quickly found that it WASN'T "just like riding a bike"... I had forgotten EVERYTHING about knitting (Ugh...)!

I found that I didn't really remember ANYTHING about how to even get the yarn on the needles, must less "knitting" or "pearling" so I bought a book. The only problem with the book was, I've never been very good at reading directions; I'm that person that has to be "shown" how to do something. Well, Aunt Rose was no longer with us, my mom is now legally blind and my sister...well, my sister doesn't do ANY sort of sewing. That only left one person who could help me refresh my knitting skills again...ROBBY! I KNOW that those of you who know him are most likely laughing right now, but Robby has that personality that won't allow him to say he CAN'T figure something out. So, I sat there and fiddled with that yarn and those needles with the directions in front of me for the longest while, mumbling about not being able to figure the directions out. Then he did what I KNEW he would eventually do...he said, "Here, give me that stuff and I will figure it out!" We were sitting in bed watching TV. and as he sat there reading the directions on "How To Knit", I began to doze off. Suddenly, he shook my shoulder and said, "Wake up!..." I was in the "sleep zone" now and really didn't want to know how to knit until the morning, however, he said, "If I can sit up and learn how to knit so I can teach you, you're going to learn how to do it right now." OK...so, he DID have a point there.

Well, learning how to even hold those knitting needles again was quite difficult to me, but with practice, I became much more proficient. I was using only those knit and pearl stitches to make scarves of all kinds and I must say I really enjoyed sitting down with my yarn in the evenings. Before long, I became OBSESSED with beautiful yarn! We don't have any specialty yarn shops where I live, so when I would travel, the souvenir I would come back with would be YARN. I have bought yarn in Colorado, Virginia, Napa Valley, Katy, Texas and Washington, D.C. And the WONDERFUL thing about these places is that they all have web sites! (I KNOW...dangerous for me, huh?!) When I went to visit Caitlin in D.C., she took me on a "Yarn Crawl" they were having that weekend around the city...I was in YARN HEAVEN!!! That is also when I got her hooked on beautiful yarn too. She didn't even knit and found herself shopping for yarn and snapping picture to send me to see if I wanted to buy it.

This is one of the yarn shops we visited on the "Yarn Crawl" in Washington, D.C.



When Caitlin returned home from D.C. at the end of her spring semester, she decided that she also wanted to learn how to knit and I was more than happy to share my love of what I consider such an enjoyable hobby. She learned the knit and pearl stitches and in the meantime, I had branched off to learn some new knitting skills of my own. Remember how I told you that I needed someone to "show" me how to do the different stitches? Well, the Internet came through for me again! I found this GREAT web site that has all sorts of helpful information to instruct people on knitting; they even have videos! I began visiting www.knittinghelp.com regularly and learned how to read patterns and also more advanced knitting skills. While Caitlin was knitting baby headbands and bows, I decided I would attempt to take on a couple of garments (YEP! You heard me right...pretty ambitious!).
Parker Ann modeling one of the handband and bows Caitlin made!


I'm not going to lie...while learning to knit these garments, I spent a great deal of time ripping out and starting over. Robby would be watching television, glancing over at me from time to time and then notice a big pile of yarn on the floor: "Did you seriously just rip all that out again?", he would ask. I told him that I wanted to "get it right"; and I did EVENTUALLY!
This is a little baby halter top I am finishing up. The rest of the pink will be used to make the bloomers! (I had to learn to knit using circular needles for this project.)

All that's left on this baby sweater is the buttons! I'm working on the matching hat now.
(Working on circular needles was required for this project also)

When Robby came home and saw the completed sweater, he said, "I can't believe you did this!" Smiling from ear to ear, I said, "ME EITHER!" I just LOVE knitting...It is truly one of "My Favorite Things!"

*****If you are a knitter or just want to be a knitter, please check out a "Few of my Favorite Knitting Web Sites too!*****

www.knittinghelp.com Learn to do EVERYTHING on this site!
www.ravelry.com This site contains SO many FREE patterns! (Baby Halter found on here)
www.loopedyarnworks.com This is one of the shops we visited on the "D.C. Yarn Crawl"
www.yarnsonfirst.com I bought the yarn for the baby sweater here in Napa Valley
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FAVORITE THING 3:  CHRISTMAS THINGS!!!


I just LOVE Christmas and EVERYTHING about it. Well, I will take that back. I do NOT like the over commercialization of the holiday. I believe that people put WAY too much emphasis on "things". Instead, this should be a time of reflection and good cheer and making memories with family and friends. I always look forward to taking out all of the Christmas decorations that I have collected over the years; some date back to Robby and my first Christmas together. One thing that I have come to collect over the years that can be considered one of my "FAVORITE THINGS" are...CHRISTMAS PILLOWS!

Although I don't usually buy a lot of Christmas decorations any more, I do enjoy looking at them in the shops around town. However, one of the items that I will indulge myself with are Christmas pillows. OK, I will admit that I wait until they go on sale to buy them too because...HEY! Pillows are pretty expensive. And so, over the years, I have collected quite a few that I would like to share with you...Along with some "Other Favorite Christmas Things" too!

Frosty and Santa pillows are a MUST!


And WHAT Louisiana home wouldn't have a Christmas Fleur de Lis pillow?

I saw these at Marshall's, fell in LOVE with them and HAD to have them!

My collection of "Vintage Elves" is one of my FAVORITE THINGS to put out for the season...

And the Family Stocking hung on the hall tree...even the doxies have one!

And each new family member gets their very own stocking too...

As souvenirs to each vacation we've taken, I purchase a Christmas ornament to remind me of not only the location but all of the fun memories made there with my family; This past year we visited San Diego...
And Key West...
And who could forget Hawaii?
Or New York?
And on my tree hangs an ornament from each of my 4 children's First Christmases
I try to buy a new "Family Ornament" each year too...I'm not sure how many more people we can get on one!
And what tree in Louisiana would be complete without some LSU ornaments? GEAUX TIGERS!
But HERE is the REAL "Reason for the Season" and MY MOST FAVORITE THING!

I hope that you all enjoyed taking a walk with me through a "Few Of My Favorite CHRISTMAS Things" and will also enjoy taking all of YOUR memories out of dusty boxes in the attic too!


MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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FAVORITE THING 4:  LEMONS & LACE HEADBANDS!


I'm humming that song from "The Sound of Music" again..."These are a few of my FAVORITE things".  One of my NEW FAVORITE things is a little shop called, Lemons & Lace.  The owner of this shop is a friend of Caitlin's who lives in Cleveland.  Caitlin met her because her husband is also a resident at the same hospital where Kevin works.

Lemons &  Lace sells mostly unique headbands.  And just to be clear...I am in LOVE with them.  Well, I guess as much as one can be in LOVE with an inanimate object, that is.  Caitlin and Holli have both been wearing them for quite some time now and I just recently got started on my own little collection.
          These two are my favorites because they are so classic and go with just about anything.
Soft and silky, this twisted knot style holds my hair in place most days.  They are especially good for me to wear to my yoga class.  And YES, I get compliments on them!
                       The style and fabrics, both texture and prints,  are just so fun and original!
And these two I can barely wait to wear!  One is for my New Orleans Saints team, the other for the LSU Tigers.

The Lemons & Lace web site is great.  Look through it first to see the different styles of headbands on models and then go to Design Your Own to create the exact look you want!  Here are just a few of the creations we have purchased...
                                      A "Duo" for a matching look for mommy and daughter.
 Here's Holli using her Lemons & Lace headband in a different way to dress up her hat that is equally as cute!
I ordered Parker Ann and Holli these matching headbands to wear with their Easter dresses this year.  Aren't they adorable?!
       And here's Holli and YaYa ready to go out for the evening wearing our cute headbands.

The headbands are my personal "favorite" but there are some more really cute items on the site as well; scarves, little boy bow ties and binky clips.
            This little floral wreath was also made by Lemons & Lace and I just adore it.

So, there you  have it...My newest obsession and FAVORITE THING!  What are you waiting for?  Click now and start shopping.  But beware, these things are very addictive and you too may have a NEW FAVORITE THING!
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FAVORITE THING 5:  The Scent of Lemons

I'm not sure what first attracted me to the scent of lemons.  Their freshness, the fact that my maiden name was Lemmons or even maybe memories of those commercials featuring Mr. Clean.  Whatever the reason, the fact is I am simply obsessed with the fragrance of lemons!  And today I want to feature a few of my "Favorite" lemons products.

I suppose the first lemon products I fell in love with were the Verbena L'OCCITANE Products.  When I first discovered this store several years ago and popped in, I took a sniff of this spray and instantly knew it would soon become one of my favorites...
                                                                                                      
The fresh scent grew on me so quickly that I had to also purchase more of their lemony scented products...
                                                            Verbena Body Lotion
                                                              Verbena Body Salt Scrub
                                                           L'OCCITANE Deodorants

Nothing makes me feel more relaxed and refreshed after a long day than pouring some bath gel into the tub and sinking into some fresh lemony bubbles.  Followed by drying off and spraying myself with the Eau de toilette and slathering on the body lotion.  Over time this has become my "official scent".  I didn't really realize that until my daughter moved 1200 miles away and one of the first things she purchased to ease her feelings of homesickness was some lemon spray (Click HERE to read post). 

So nowadays I am always on the search for new lemon scented products that will live up to my standards of "worthy of purchasing".  I must admit that I am a bit of a "Lemon Snob" and will not purchase just any old item that has the word lemon on the label.  That's why I was so excited to FINALLY find some other products recently that I just can't live without!  One is the Meyer Deep Cleansing Soap...
I try to keep this soap by my kitchen sink at all times.  It is a great product that smells wonderful AND you can get 5 soaps (all Lemon scented if you prefer) for only $18 at Bath & Body Works!!

After tucking my "New Favorite Hand Soap" into my shopping bag, I continued to browse the shelves and came upon Bath & Body Work's Sparkling Limoncello Luxury Hand Lotion...
I actually kept 2 bottles of this on hand during the summer months because I not only like to put it on my hands but also use it after swimming and sunbathing on my entire body.  It contains Olive Oil extract that simply takes moisturizing one's skin to another level.
                                                                   (Photo Credit)
     And Yes...I hope to one day soon have a lovely lemon tree growing in my very own back yard.
                                                    Ahhh...The Scent of Lemons.