Everything Southern & So Cotton Pickin Cute

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

More Than 50 Random Things About Me

We've all seen the "50 Random Things About Me" post here and there.  Well I thought it was about time for me to share a bit about myself too.
Today is my mama's birthday.  I know she watches out for me from heaven everyday.  I would like to dedicate this post to her.
Happy Birthday Mama! XO
Mama in front of the fridge and my sister Joni is standing up.

Here we go:

1. My birthday occasionally falls on Easter. Since Easter's a floating holiday it's rare but it has happen a couple of times.
2. I used to NEVER leave the house without makeup.  Like in "No mom, I can't run to the store and get a loaf of bread now, give me 30 minutes." I've since reformed, big time but I still ooh and ahh over it a lot.
3. I actually went to modeling school when I was 13.  Give me a break, it was the 70's.
4. I was a clothes horse with a serious shopping addiction.  I still love pretty clothes but on a much smaller level.
5. I was a shoe freak way before shoeaholic became a real thing.  I've worn heels since I was at lease 13 years old.
6. Ditto with purses!
7. I can't shop without touching everything.  If it's pretty, my hands are on it.  It drives Neil crazy.  I'm a totally tactile person. I love fabric that has dimension.  I love quality.
8. I'm a dreamer.  Asleep and awake.  I remember a lot of my asleep dreams
9. I love scents.  I love color.  I love texture.  Those are the kinds that make life exciting.  When you think of special memories you can almost smell what happened at the time.  The colors are vivid in your mind and who doesn't remember a special touch.  That's why I love paint - it's so vivid!
10. I never liked mid-century design and I was born in the 60's. *Secret - I'm starting to find it more attractive.  Weird.  I think I'm just sick of clutter.
11. When I was a little girl I clearly remember telling everyone "when I grow up, I'm moving to London so I can learn to talk like Twiggy".
12. I also remember asking my mother how will I see and know everything in the world before I die?
13. I've dreamed of going to Egypt since I was 6 years old!
14. I love sweepstakes and giveaways.  Now that I blog I rarely have time to enter and win.
15. I've won some great prizes including a luxury vacation to the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.
16. I have 4 cats and 1 dog.  Was never a cat person and now seem to be the cat lady.
17. In the past I've had bitties (baby chicks), ducks, a rabbit, and 2 raccoons named Rocky and Rockie.  I always wanted a horse, giraffe, monkey and tiger.
18. This formally prissy girl has spent years remodeling a 1920's house that I seriously doubt I'll see finished before I die.  I've torn out every lath and plaster wall in it and have had some awesome muscles to show for it.
19. I have 1 sister - Joni, and we talk almost every single day.  I don't know what I would do without her.
20. I learned to drive when I was 12.  Flipped my convertible when I was 16.
21. When I was little I decided I wanted 6 kids, 4 boys and 2 girls to be exact.  I grew up and got over that silly thought.
22. I was blessed with 1 truly special son!  I would have liked to had at least one more child but it wasn't in the cards for me.
23. I was married young and divorced after just 2 years.  With no ill-will feelings.
24. I've been with Neil for 25 years!
25. I'm a grandma to a very sweet and beautiful tween girl and a deeply sensitive teenage boy who's a real cutie pie!
26. I'm an organizing geek who has almost lost her mind being in a house of constant construction.
27.  I've never like working traditional 9-5 jobs.
28.  I worked in apartment management and mortgage lending for years.
29. I learned to sew from my mother and I'm so glad I did. She was a wonderful seamstress.
30. I remember thinking "why the heck would anyone want to blog. I just don't get it".  I've been hooked for 5 years! The jokes on me.
31.  I've never been shy but I've ALWAYS been insecure.  Most people would never know that if they met me.  Confidence is not my strong point
32. 98% of the time I see the best in others.
33. It takes a lot for me to be mean to someone.  ALOT!  But don't take my graciousness and manners as weakness.  I just like to think I have a little more class than to be like that.
34. I thought very highly of my previous late mother-in-law, from my previous marriage - Mary. So much so that I still try to emulate her grace.  I never-ever heard her say one negative thing about anyone ever.  She was the most Godly person I know.
35. I'm addicted to Coca-Cola but doing better at limiting it.  What do you expect I am from the South, land of coke!
36. I'm a sweet freak and have been from day 1.  I've always been a chocoholic but a little less so now. I could never live without sweets and breads.  Bad me!
37. I climb up on the roof to blow it off.  It's at least 35 feet high.  Pretty good for a girl who gets scared climbing down.
38. During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays I cry a LOT.  Even more so than usual.  It's those dang commercials and t.v. movies.  UGH....
39. I saw the Rolling Stones in concert at an outdoor arena when I was 14 or 15.
40. I'm a fish!! I have loved the water since I was old enough to walk and fearless when it comes to it.  Growing up in Florida - it's a must.
41. I have never had my own pool and it's a serious bone of contention!  I'm really tee'd about it and will never shut up about it.  It doesn't help that my new neighbor is putting one in as I write this, and my old neighbor that moved from that house just built one at their new home.  Well if they can do it in their 70's, I guess I still have a shot at it.
42. I miss magazines a lot but can't justify the expense of them.
43. I have a real pinning problem over at Pinterest. You can click the link to see my thousands of awesome pins!! At least I can save my favorite things without the clutter from magazines.
44.  I love fruit! It's wet, juicy and cool.  Probably a bi-product of being Southern.  In the oppressive heat and humidity of Florida my body craves it. Watermelon, scuppernong and muscadine grapes, strawberries, blackberries, oranges, cantaloupes, and more - I love 'em all!!!
45. For a girl who wants to travel, I've never left the U.S.  Still holding out hope on that one.
46. I'm always up for a road trip - even better an plane ride.
47. I could never be a doctor.  I couldn't even take splinters out of Ty (my son).
48. I grew up in a small town, but right in the center of town.
49. I'm a beach girl and always will be.
50.  My favorite authors are Margaret Mitchell, Harper Lee, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.
51.  Needless to say my favorite movies are Gone With The Wind, To Kill A Mockingbird, and Cross Creek.
52. I'm a huge fan of black and white movies.  Love anything with Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy and more.  Love the movies The Philadelphia Story, Wuthering Heights, Citizen Kane, and All about Eve. I could go on and on.
53.  I've battled depression for years.
54. By changing my habits and living healthier this year I've been able to get away from depression meds and learn how to cope without them. I've been off of them for over 6 months now.
55. The only medication I'm dependent on is for sinus allergies.  They're a necessary evil living in the South.
56. I love jewelry but don't wear it much anymore.
57. I never had to watch calories until now.  I always had a high metabolism and lots of nervous energy.  Good thing since I could never give up sweets.  I'd rather sweat than do without.
58. I have trouble focusing.  I'm easily distracted and all over the place.
59. I love country fairs, long country roads, antiquin' and junkin'.
60. I have just the tiniest bit of a Southern accent.  Yeah right!
61. I love clean jokes.
62. I love words.
63. Most of all I love the security that my spiritual relationship of being a child of God provides me.

I'm sure I've told you more than you ever wanted to know about me but that's it in a nutshell. Maybe by the end of the year I'll have some exciting new facts to share.  I think I'll shoot for that!

Hugs Y'all...

"How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow?  Your life is like the morning fog - it's here a little while, then it's gone."  Our lives are like a mist. Slow down and enjoy the journey right now.
                                                                                         ~ James 4:14

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Make A Crepe Paper Valentine Bunting/Banner with Cricut

I'm missing my grandkids.  They were here last year for Valentines Day and it was so nice. It was a LOT warmer too. That got me thinking that I should share this oldie but goodie post from last year.  So here we go.  Enjoy!

I used my Cricut to create a banner/bunting that I want share with you.
You can see my vignette has a little old and a little new mixed in together.  It could use a little more height but danged if I could find anything that works.  Suggestions are welcome, if you have any.  The banner is really simple and you still have time to make one for your home.  It's pretty self explanatory but I'll break it down for you here.
I like to use whatever paper I have that might work when I craft. This pink made a good start.  I used the Cindy Loo cartridge in my cricut to cut out 7 hearts in pink.  I can't remember the size but I believe they were about 3".  Ignore the little teardrop shapes that it cut with the hearts.
Since I was using red and white doiles I also cut some red hearts just slightly bigger.  I only had enough red paper for 3 so I used one for the beginning, one for between BE and Mine, and one for the end of the banner.  I layer them behind the pink hearts using dot tape.  Sit those aside and while you make your crepe banners.
I found the lace doily hearts at Dollar Tree.  Gotta holla for Dollar Tree!!  I love this crepe paper I found at a thrift store years ago.  It's literally huge - 20" wide!  And a big roll for only 50¢ - Woop-Woop!!  Measure you heart and cut the crepe just a bit bigger.  You can probably find this at a party store.  Some other suggestions would be:
  • Paper bags
  • Book Pages
  • Fabric 
  • Scrapbook Paper  
After deciding how big I wanted the banners I folded a piece of paper in half cut the V and used it as a templete to cut 6 crepe pennants.  Be sure to allow enough to turn the top of them down to run you cord through.  I folded them at the top and tacked with a little hot glue.
Next we cut smaller heart in a cute floral paper to fit inside of the doily heart.  My D.I.L. Christal helped me pull it all together.  4 hands are better than 2.  Tape with more of the dot runner.
**You might want to use something different.  I found a couple of the hearts on the floor after coming unstuck.  I used Elmers Dot Runner.
Now you need some letters to spell out whatever sentiment you want.  I decided on "BE MINE".  I used the Plantin SchoolBook cartridge to cut mine on Cricut but you could use:
After cutting my letters I used the dot runner to attach them.
Then used used my Zig Squeeze and Roll glue pen to make dots which I sprinkle with glitter for a little bling.
I used some like pink tulle cut in strips to use as my cording but you could use:
  • Jute or Twine String
  • Ribbon 
  • Stips of Fabric
 Valentine Vignette 7 photo 100_8652_zpseac3cdae.jpg
I glued the little hearts between each letter pennant with the hot glue gun.  That's it. Easy as apple pie!  Then just scatter a few of your favorite things around, like this framed vintage calendar, tray and old romantic looking books and you have a sweet Valentine vingette.
And fresh flowers make everything prettier so I just cut some Camelia's and ferns for height and color.
In case you haven't gotten enough of the Valentine projects yet you can see my Heart Thumbprint cookies and recipe HERE.

I hope you enjoy the tutorial and are having fun making your on home sing with love.
OOXX's...Tracy ♥  

Second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.
                                                  ~ Mark 12:31

Put The Love In The Coconut For Valentines Day

Today, I was oh' so tempted to go to Publix and get a birthday cake. Nope, it wasn't anyones birthday here, just me, REALLY wanting some really thick, creamy, buttercream frosting.  Oh' yeah, that's a great way to get ready for swimsuit season.
I didn't go to Publix, but I didn't exactly win the battle either.  I half won.  I decided to save the money and make my own calorie buster.  I made a Coconut Valentine Cake.  Let's just say it was all for the sake of love and Valentines Day okay?
Now I'm walking around with "Put the love in the coconut" verse to the tune of "Put the lime in the coconut" running non-stop through my head.
Unlike this coconut cake I made for Christmas dinner a few months ago - I cheated.  Oh' the shame of it all.  No, this one wasn't as good as my from scratch cake, but I saved a lot of time and I'm guessing some money too.  I know I saved money making this instead of buying the grocery store cake. Do you want to know how to make a box cake a little more homemade?
Here's how I do it:
Start by purchasing a box cake mix and frosting.  I highly recommend the Duncan Hines Signature collection.  This isn't a sponsored post.  Just sharing what I love folks!
  • Duncan Hines Signature Coconut Supreme Cake Mix 
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp coconut extract flavoring
  • 1/2 cup Bakers Angel Flake Sweetened Coconut
Follow the instructions on the cake mix box.  Add coconut extract flavoring when mixing.  Stir in flaked coconut.  Bake following box instructions.

  • Duncan Hines Home-Style Cream Cheese Canned Frosting
  • 1/3 cup powdered confectioners sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons Coconut extract flavoring
  • Bakers Angel Flake Coconut
  • Brach Conversation Hearts 

Blend icing, sugar and coconut flavoring with mixer until stiff enough for the spoon to stand up.  ( I like my frosting STIFF)
Frost cake adding coconut to sides and top.  Decorate with conversation hearts.
*Tip:  For easy cleanup and pretty presentation, lay 3 strips of waxed paper around the edges your cake platter before adding the cake.  Frost and remove paper. 

All done and it was so easy.  Now what possibly be better than a day with cake?  A day where you open the mailbox only to find THIS!!!!
A card full of warm love!!! That's exactly what I found in my mailbox.  My sweetest bestest friend Julie from Mamawj's Moment Away sent me a oh so cute card to with a Starbucks gift card to warm my heart and make my Valentines Day all special.  I can't begin to tell you what that meant to me.  I must be the luckiest girl in the world to have such a thoughtful friend.  Dear Lord, what did I do to have such loving and giving friends.  Julie and I talk via facebook everyday and I have a dear, dear friend that sends me a boosting message each morning just so I know they care.  I'm not lucky, I'm BLESSED!
If you'd like to see an some more Valentine Projects, you can check out last years bunting tutorial HERE.

I'm partying over at The Shabby Nest - Frugal Friday.  Stop by and check out the party!

Hugs and Happy Valentine wishes to all of y'all...
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
                             ~ Psalms 28:7

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Dial Vitamin Boost Giveaway & Review - 2 WInners

Disclosure:  I received the Dial brand product to facilitate my review.  As always all opinions are 100% my own.

Has this winter weather wreaked anyone else's skin out there? It's been a harsh winter so I was excited to receive Dial's newest body wash, Vitamin Boost - Amazing B.
New Dial Vitamin Boost Body Wash gives your skin a daily boost of vitamins.  The advanced formula, with a moisturizing Vitamin Complex, helps draw vitamins and moisture directly to your skin.  What does that mean exactly?
Healthier Skin. Healthier You!
There are two new Vitamin Boost formulas:
  • Super C - Oil Infused Body Wash
  • Amazing B - Lotion Infused Body Wash
I'll be telling you about Amazing B, since that's the one that I received.  You can see the difference in this body wash.  Look at how rich, thick and creamy it is.  They're not kidding when they say "Lotion Infused".  Love the energizing green color.  If you take a look at the list of ingredients you'll find that it has Kiwi, Star Fruit and Mango juice in it.  No wonder I think of a tropical rain forest when I'm showering! But we're not talking a tooty-fruity smell that would stop your man from using it. It's clean and fresh smelling.  Even Neil uses it.
This year has been all about healthy changes for me.  Eating better, drink lots more water and exercising daily.  I'm feeling better and can see the visible changes.  Using Dial's lotion infused moisturizing body wash sounds like a no brainer.  One more positive change I can make.  I want my skin to be healthy, clean and soft, not dried out. With Dial's advanced moisture-attracting formula I get lasting, lightweight hydration with a great smell.  Personally, I think it smells like green apple.
All  this goodness rolling in at an affordable $3 price point. Wow!

So what would make me purchase Dial Vitamin Boost Body Wash again?

  • The fresh scent - 
  • How well it cleans without being harsh - 
  • Hydration and moisturizing abilities - 
  • Affordable Price - 
Dial has something for everyone in your family including products for men and kids.
Just wait till you see their Hello Kitty items, so cute I even want them.  Check out all the Dial Body Wash scents.

After you enter this giveaway be sure to enter the Purex Mountain Fresh Breeze Crystals giveaway HERE.
Win It Here:

Best of luck y'all...
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
                      ~Psalm 51:10