Friday Finds: Give me all the Converse

I’ve always been a creature of habit. Pretty much from ages 10-20 I wore one kind of shoes: Keds. White Keds, black Keds, knock-off Keds.  Now that I’m well into my (much wiser) 30’s I’ve found a new obsession: Converse. I even got Jerm to wear them for a while ,which he thoroughly hated, calling them the most uncomfortable shoes he’s ever worn. (I disagree, but whatevs.) Even so, he looked pretty cool for the year he had them. 🙂

I had just purchased a new black pair after having completely worn through my previous ones when I saw that I could buy them in PINK for just $35 shipped through Brad’s Deals (it was actually a Nike promo, but I saw them in a Brad’s Deals advertisement). Since that’s close to half off and shipping was free I couldn’t resist. So now I can switch off and pretty much wear nothing but Converse for the rest of my life. 😉 And look how cute the pink is!

Do you have a favorite brand of shoe? Any other Converse lovers out there? Let’s be friends. Cause despite what Jerm thinks, they’re the best.


Road Trippin’ in 2016: Part 3 (AKA: the end)

Day 7: Chattanooga – Alabama – Mississippi

We let the girls spend the entire morning in the pool in Chattanooga instead of doing much sight-seeing. We were tired and it was overcast so it seemed like the thing to do. I’d like to go back someday, though, because it seemed like a really interesting place. We did go up to Point Park before we left to see the view and it was pretty awesome (and totally worth the drive up the mountain to get there).

One of Jerm’s many poses. He was especially into modeling this day.
Yall, let’s talk about my hair on this trip. It was a horrible disaster-y mess. I’m trying to grow my grey out and that awful blonde was not doing me any favors. I was in the process of trying to figure out what on earth I could do to it because I didn’t want to dye it dark again, but looking back my indecision was probably not the way to go….
Dramatic much?

We accidentally detoured into Georgia while trying to create our own “shortcut.” Turns out it wasn’t our best idea and added like an hour to the trip. I had planned a stop in Birmingham, just for the fun of it, but we ended up skipping it because we had spent so much time that morning before leaving Tennessee. So our grand total of experiences in Alabama was blaring “Sweet Home Alabama” while driving through it as fast as we could. Honestly, I don’t think we missed much.

Two time zones!

We pulled in to Jackson around dinnertime and were pretty much ready to be home at this point. I remember being grouchy and tired and done with the sightseeing and hotels and car and all of it. We had the pool all to ourselves that evening and let the girls swim until they were exhausted. And then I somehow managed to forget all our swim stuff in that last hotel. At least it was the last night or I’d have had a mutiny on my hands.

Day 8: Jackson – Vicksburg – Louisiana – Dallas

We were ready to head home, but we didn’t want to skip the Military Park in Vicksburg, and we’re so glad we went. It was one of those places where you really need hours and hours to explore and read about, but we took an hour or so and drove through, seeing all the high points. Pretty amazing stuff. I remember memorizing a speech in 5th grade about the battle at Vicksburg, but seeing it in person made it so much more real.

We only made one stop in Louisiana. These guys aren’t really my thing, but Jerm likes them and we were literally driving right past it so we stopped to see what we could see. Which was pretty much a lot of duck calls.

And that’s it, folks! We got home, returned the car, and vowed we wouldn’t leave home again for a good, long time. And then the next week I drove to Temple. It was just one of those years.

Road Trippin’ in 2016: Part 2

Days 4 and 5: Florence – Cincinnati

So the main reason we were up in Kentucky was to visit the new Ark Encounter in Williamstown, but Jerm wanted to see the Creation Museum while we were up there, too, so we did that on Monday. Yall, I’m not a science-y person at all, but it was still a pretty cool place to wander around. My favorite part was the fossilized dinosaur eggs and the camels you could ride outside (I so wanted to do it, but sent my kids instead). 😀 Jerm could have stayed there all week I think; he thrives on technical, science-y things. And guess who met us there?!

It was so cool to get to meet the rest of Amber’s family and the girls were thrilled to have Harley and Hudson and hang out with for a few days. My in-laws also flew in that night so we had a big, happy group to have dinner and spend the evening with (Red Robin, for old time’s sake). The kids were all very sad about the no pool thing so we took them to a spray park in Cincinnati for the evening and let them be wild hooligans for a few hours. If you check out the photos you can see that they didn’t enjoy that at all.

Tuesday we went to the Ark and it was pretty amazing. Fun fact: it started POURING when we got ready to leave so we were stuck there for a while waiting it out, but seriously, what better place to be during a torrential downpour? 😀

(See that tiny door in the first photo of the ark? That’s the same door the girls are standing next to a few photos down. (!!!!) Not so tiny after all.

Amber and Jared had to head home after we finished the tour; we were sad to see them go, but so grateful for the opportunity to meet up with them for a couple days. Love em.

Day 6: Cincinnati – Chattanooga

We spent Wednesday morning in Cincinnati because I kind of loved it there and had lots more must-see places on my list. Jerm’s parents were still with us for part of the day so we explored Smale Riverfront Park (such a cool park!), walked the Purple People Bridge (I don’t care how dorky it makes me, it was cool to walk over a river and into a different state), and rented a bike to ride along the riverfront. It was hard. I wouldn’t recommend it with all the people we had crammed in that thing. 😀 But definitely an experience to remember. I also had to try Tom +Chee‘s grilled cheese glazed donut sandwich. It was AWESOME. I realize that I sound like a donut addict, but truthfully donuts aren’t even really my thing. Grilled cheese, however, kind of IS. I also sampled the macaroni and cheese grilled sandwich and gave it an A+, too.  What?! Food is an important part of a road trip, yall.

We spent some time in Cincinnati when I was 6 or 7 and I have a very distinct memory of this double-decker bridge.

This was after half of us had disembarked. 🙂

She wasn’t impressed.

After the in-laws headed back to the airport we went to Findlay Market and drove out to an actual castle built by a guy who served in WWI. It was an interesting story. I’m still not sure exactly why he wanted a castle, but hey, cool place to stop and explore.

We spent so much time in Cincinnati that it was pretty late by the time we got to Chattanooga, so we headed straight for our hotel.

Looks like I need to break this up into three parts since this is getting so long. Stay tuned for the final couple of days of our epic road trip! 😉

Road Trippin’ in 2016: Part 1

There’s no logical reason for me to be posting about this now, but I realized I never wrote about our road trip last summer and fully intended to, so I figured now is as good a time as any.  We traveled in late July so it was boiling hot everywhere we went (but let’s be honest, probably not as boiling as it was in Dallas). We were gone for eight days, traveled over 2,000 miles, visited 8 states (although Georgia was mostly an accident), visited with friends and family along the way, and were very sick of the car by the time we made it home.

Day 1: Dallas – Little Rock – Memphis

After waiting around on our rental car for a while (why do they never have the car ready that you’ve reserved?) we hit the road mid-morning and made it to Little Rock around lunchtime. We didn’t have much time to spend in Arkansas, but needed a break from the car so we stopped at the Old Mill to stretch our legs and I’m so glad we did – it was gorgeous! It reminded us of a fairy garden and was full of bridges, secret pathways, blooming plants and frogs (which made Mad happy of course).

We didn’t stop again until we reached Memphis, but because of construction traffic we missed the duck parade at the Peabody Hotel by about thirty seconds (no joke), so we were pretty sad about that. The hotel was still cool to see, though, and we saw some of historic Memphis while we walked to The Arcade for dinner where I tried A Memphis Thang sandwich (turkey, brie, red peppers, Creole mustard – pretty good!) and the floors were literally slick with grease (GROSS!). We walked past the Lorraine Motel and attempted to ride the trolley (it was down for repairs) before deciding to head to our hotel for the night so the girls could swim before bed.

DAY 2:  Memphis – Nashville

We only had to drive about four hours to Nashville so we got there around lunchtime and hit the Parthenon (which was both weird and cool because…why?!) before heading downtown to see the sights. It was extremely crowded and hot so we didn’t spend all that much time there, just walked around a bit, had lunch at Biscuit Love (we wanted to try the bonuts, a biscuit/donut cross) and walked a pedestrian bridge to get a good view of the city. We stopped at an old Confederate cemetery on the way to our hotel in Franklin, which ended up being quite a bit more interesting than the city anyway.

DAY 3: Nashville – Ft Knox – Florence (KY)

We got up super early to make it to church near Ft Knox where my little brother lives and barely squeaked in on time. We didn’t realize we’d crossed the time zone while driving that morning so we missed Sunday school and got to services right as they were starting. Ty and Shannon fed us an amazing lunch at their home and it was so nice to visit with them for a few hours. I’ve barely known him as an adult so it’s pretty cool getting to see him with his cutie wife. We made it to Florence that evening and visited a favorite burger place from my childhood, Big Boy. We finally had a few hours to relax that evening but the girls were devastated to find that the pool in our hotel was out of order. Sadly, I somehow lost most of my photos from that day. 🙁

Stay tuned for part two later this week! Turns out it’s kind of fun looking back over the photos and reminiscing over this trip. 🙂

Tuesday Letter

Dear old world, Happy Heart Day! It’s one of my favorite times of year – give me all the hearts and sprinkles and pink glittery things. Dear Texas, once again you’ve gypped us out of a real winter. Don’t expect forgiveness. Dear When Calls the Heart, I’m dying for the new episodes on Netflix. Hurry up, hurry up, 2/19!! Dear anyone who cares to listen to my general complaints about the world, here is what has been particularly bothering me lately: #1 – Why does everybody gotta hate everybody else these days? #2 – This quote – “In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take” Um…I regret plenty of the chances I DID take. Worst/dumbest saying ever. #3 – How Charlie’s grandpa was completely bedridden and let the poor overworked mom take care of everything until POOF! he was suddenly healed when he had the opportunity to go to the candy factory. No amount of niceness could make me like him after that. Horrible man.

Around Here: January

My mind refuses to accept that we’re already well into February, but computers don’t lie. Except when they do…mainly when I log in to Facebook and see all kinds of malarkey. (That whole thought was just an excuse to use malarkey cause it’s an awesome word.) But anyways. Here’s a bit of what we’ve been up to so far this year.

  • Not pictured, but taking up gigantic amounts of time: school. Lots and lots and LOTS of school. We’re all tired of it and it’s only February, yall. Our schedule has been kind of weird and wacky so we’re fitting it in around all the crazy.
  • We had a tiny dusting of snow early in the month and the girls promptly bundled up and reveled in it for about five minutes. Then they got cold and came inside forever. 😀

    Cause Southern girls gotta do what they gotta do
  • Jerm took me out to a gorgeous little bakery/restuarant downtown called Bread Winners where we had the most amazing smoked gouda fondue I’ve ever tasted. We split the chicken and waffles and I was seriously sad that we couldn’t finish the fondue…my heart has been longing for it ever since. 😉
    Isn’t that brick wall behind Jerm awesome? It was such a cool building!

  • My sister made an impromptu visit at the end of the month and we had such a good time having her here with us. We spent a few days in Temple with grandma and the fam there, had some amazing Mexican right on the river, and of course made the obligatory stop at Buccee’s to load up on completely unnecessary trinkets/treats/etc.  
  • We also stopped by Magnolia Market on the way back to Dallas. It’s one of my favorite places to wander around, ever. You might even say the bakery there is my happy place. 😀 
    I’ll never get used to Texas weather. It was chilly in the morning when we left, but by the time we left the market I was DYING in those boots and flannel. I hold to the belief that it should NOT be 80 degrees in January.


    So those are the highlights. We have a lot of stuff happening in the next month or two, so I’ll share about that as it happens. Remember how as a kid January and February were like the slowest months ever? I’d be down with that.

Friday Finds: the Perfect Stamping Tool

Yall, don’t hate cause I’m posting about craft supplies again, okay? Especially because this stamping tool is pretty amazing if you’re kind of a terrible stamper like me. If you’re killer at stamping then you might not need this and if you aren’t a stamper maybe this will make you one (dad). 😀

Stamping is a pretty new obsession of mine. I used to go to the Stampin Up parties and never bought any because I wasn’t a card maker (still not…I’m okay with buying them.) When I started journaling a few years ago I realized that stamps weren’t just for cards and I started collecting sets that I could use in my books. (I’m especially fond of Unity stamps and have about a billion.)

But even though I stamp quite a bit, I’ve never been very good at it, especially when it comes to placement, so I was super excited when I saw a video demo of the new stamping tool by Hampton Art. I picked one up at Michaels a few weeks ago for about $12 (using a coupon).

So here’s how it works. You hold your page/card/journal/whatever in place with the magnets, position your stamp facedown where you want it on the page, then press the plastic part down onto the stamp. You can then open the lid and the stamp is perfectly positioned for stamping.

Next you ink up your stamp, press onto your page, and voila! perfectly stamped image. Or not. But no worries if you don’t get it right the first time, you can re-ink and re-stamp in exactly the same place until you have a perfect impression. It even makes it easier to use multiple ink colors.

Pretty cool, right? I may even try layering stamps, which have always intimidated me because, hello, horrible stamper.

So that’s my new favorite. I don’t even care that I’m a total nerd. 😀