Friday, July 31, 2015

Summer Reading: July Book Review {The Patriot Book Tour}

There's just something about summer and reading.  Most days I have intentionally spent some time reading a book, as it is one of my favorite activities of summer!  I pretty much keep a book with me at all times, never knowing if I will end up somewhere with time to kill or grabbing something to eat I have my book to keep me company. You can catch up on my June reading here:  Summer Reading: June Book Review and here's what I've read in July...

American Sniper. I am more a book than movie person, I haven't seen this movie, but have wanted to read the book for a while. I read this book over the 4th of July weekend and was reminded again of our troops and their sacrifice for our freedoms. It was equal parts amazing insight to how gifted Chris Kyle was and heartbreaking to know at the end his story doesn't continue. His intuition for how to fight in a war coupled with his bravery and intensity for his purpose to serve his country is truly legendary. I know there are hundreds of thousands of soldiers who could have this same book written about them.  It seems an even greater loss to know his level of military intelligence and war strategy is gone, he could have continued to make such an impact for our troops!  The line that stuck with me from this book that I hope gives his family left behind comfort is this: "I am a strong Christian....I believe the fact I've accepted Jesus as my savior will be my salvation".
The One and Only. After 430 pages of fighting the war on terror I needed to lighten it up a bit.  I've never read Emily Giffin, but after finishing this I have heard from several friends who have read other books of hers that this is their least favorite. So, maybe I should have started with Something Borrowed/Something Blue. Oh well.  The main thing I didn't like about this book was I knew how it would end within the first couple of pages. It was a good story, I love a romance (a la Nicholas Sparks) but I like a little less predictable. I did like that story was set in Texas and centered around football. Easy, breezy, light, fun read.
Service. Back to what is turning out to be my July Patriot Book Tour, I have had Service for a couple of years and hadn't read it, but was determined to this summer. Both of these books were written in 2012, however, reading American Sniper and then Service follows the SEALs and their missions chronologically. When Chris Kyle's SEAL Team left Ramadi, Marcus Luttrell's SEAL Team went in. I read Lone Survivor when it was released, but Service also goes back to Marcus' rescue from Operation Redwing in greater detail and it is truly a miracle that team was able to get in and retrieve him. Both books give a real insight to the sacrifice given and lifestyle lived by our service men and women, to do a job they feel called to do. One statistic that has stuck with me from Service is the last counts of service members on active duty is 0.77% of the population in the US, that's less than 1% serving the greater than 99%.  I'm in the 99% and humbled by the sacrifice of our service members. In the words of Marcus "Service is selflessness--the opposite of the lifestyle that we see so much of in America today....But you don't have to be a Christian, or even particularly religious, to serve. You just have to be willing to understand your place and put yourself at the end of the line." Thank you to those who serve selflessly in our Military.
Beautiful Day. Once again, a light read was in order after continuing battles in Ramadi. Elin Hilderbrand was another author I've seen recommended by several people who read a lot of the same types of books I do, which is how this book got on my list. It was another I wasn't super impressed with, but was a quick and light read, a love story on Nantucket and family mishaps and drama along the way. Sometimes seemingly far fetched, but often times likely relatable to some family circumstance you've endured. I read this in a weekend because my next books were ready at the library and this was the last of the 3 I had checked out and it was time to trade out! :) #LibraryAddict (Perks of my library system: put in the request online and they pull the book for you, or get it from any County library, and it's ready on a shelf right by the checkout. Easy in and out in 2 or 3 minutes without having to search the shelves!)
American Wife. Back to my July Patriot Book Tour. If you are a spouse of a service member serving away from home, this book likely takes a page from your life and that life is tough. You have my utmost admiration and respect. The roles a spouse behind plays are too numerous to name all while living for 2 and 3 minute phone calls, sporadic emails and unknown outcomes. What Taya does and American Wife details goes beyond. She is committed to marriage where SEAL marriages are most likely to end in divorce, like 80% likely. Taya is raw and honest about life stateside while her husband was deployed, she fights for her marriage and for her family while supporting Chris and learning to trust him to lead their marriage and family. The aftermath of Chris' death is ongoing - lawsuits, financial strain and trials coupled with how to continue his legacy and move forward as a widow and mother.

Taya has strong faith and wrestles like anyone grieving would with understanding how Chris' murder happened, and how to have peace with God. "Whatever questions I have about faith, I know for certain Chris himself is in a place where he's happy. I deeply believe that. It's the people he has left behind who suffer, not him. And I know that life goes by in the blink of an eye. I have no doubt that we'll see him soon". The Chris Kyle Frog Foundation has been established to assist troops post-deployment with keeping marriages and families in tact. What an amazing gift to our military families out of such tragedy. Her book is written for any American wife, the best to the worst of marriages, there is always hope and Taya and Chris worked hard to fight being a SEAL statistic. We can all learn from these pages about fighting for faith, family, what's right and through grief . God bless Taya and their children and may Chris Kyle rest in peace.
Your Beautiful Heart. Throughout the summer I have been reading this devotional by Lauren Scruggs and finished it up this month. I don't think I'm likely the "target audience", but this was an encouraging book about the heart and pursuing God in all circumstances. I think it is perfect for 20-something women, post college, entering the workforce and learning how to navigate life. But, truly anyone would be encouraged by Lauren's heart and stories paralleled with scripture and discussion/thought questions.
Up next for me...The Kitchen House and What Alice Forgot. If you have a great book recommendation, i would love to hear it!

Keep reading, 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Good Home Finds from Home Goods {& Marshall's}

This summer I've added a few things around the house...

This wall is in my dining room (previously shown here) and I found one new sign at Marshall's "God is the reason why" and that brought on a little change up to the wall. (really - this should be a post dedicated to my love of home finds at TJMaxx & Marshall's/Home Goods) So, I picked up a couple of extra small signs to fill in at TJ Maxx - all around $4.99 which is hard to beat! This wall is such a good reminder to me on a daily basis. There is a lot of truth to the words on this wall and sometimes I need to be reminded when life's seasons can be challenging.
I have 2 metal stools at my kitchen bar and I have been on the look out for a 3rd since I moved in, which was 18 months ago. While I was home at my Mom & Dad's I dropped into their local Marshall's and eyed these 2 lemon/lime/sunshine beauties. I really only have space for 3 stools and have been intent on them not being "matchy-matchy" so I only picked up one.  And, it is the perfect addition. For the record if you looked through the previous post about walls linked above, no this doesn't really "match" anything in my house except for the pillow on my couch of pretty much the exact same color.  I think would be what interior decorators refer to as "pops of color". Also, helps that is it my favorite color.
Here's all 3 stools together, and rest assured I have taken the tag off.  I am a Minnie Pearl fan, and happy to rave about Marshall's but I don't leave the tags on. This was a quick pic, while I was sitting on the couch talking to my Mom so she could see what they looked like all together.

If you have followed along here, I recently did a bedroom update and have been on the lookout for a couple of additional pillows. I happened upon this lemon/lime/sunshine pillow the same day I found the "God is the reason why" sign at Marshall's. It is a Ralph Lauren pillow and was on clearance for $14.99. It took me a little longer than it took Barney to decide if it would work with my bedding.  But, with the decorator "fluff & slice" {which I learned from a friend who recently had a decorator give some opinions into their new house} and placing in in the middle, I ended up liking it! As I'm writing, looks like I've now added that same pop of color into the bedroom.
Last little piece...this cute storage cart, also at Home Goods. It was what I first saw that made me really consider what I could use to keep my painting supplies organized, but knew this wouldn't be functional. And, as I remember the price was a little high. Fast forward a month or so, and it's still in there taunting me and it's $29.  I swear it was $79 originally or maybe I need to wear my glasses more than when I'm at the computer...but that's not for today's discussion. If I happen to run across another one of these, I will pick it up and they will be my new night stands! Until now, it's perfect storage in my bathroom. 
The thing to remember about Marshall's/Home Goods is you have to swing through regularly, because the inventory is always changing and varies from store to store. Often finding things you didn't even know you "needed"...

As always - keep up with Signature You on Facebook or Instagram


Friday, July 24, 2015

Opinions. Are you looking to be Offended?

I grew up in the non "digital age"...I'm not THAT old, but I did, thankfully, grow up without the Internet, the Google, the Facebook, the Instagram, the Twitter, the (your favorite social media/online site).  Since I grew up without those online communities, when any issue or topic was discussed, it was typically hashed out face-to-face.

However, catty girls have always existed and in my day and age a 3 way call was placed with a silent 3rd party while baiting a "friend" to dish on the one listening in. That 3-way call today is played out by millions of users hiding behind screens and typing hateful opinions.

It seems the world wide web is no longer a space for knowledge and sharing life, but a space being quickly taken over to cast opinions and judge those who don't agree with said opinion. The topics range from....

Schools & Education 
...and on and on... 

The media is bating the listener with out of context photos and videos, snip-it's of not-the-whole-story "breaking news" and chatter to enhance their ratings and increase profits.

The public is scouring and waiting for something to offend them, becoming a society looking to tear someone apart, destroying reputations and businesses along the way. The intensity to cast the stones is epic. Oftentimes I think what people could do with all of that energy focused somewhere for the good of others!

It's ok to be offended.  
It's ok to have a conflicting opinion. 

It means you stand for something. 

How you handle the offensive and expressing your opinion is where the problems arise.  

Attacking isn't the answer. These attacks are on the trivial like commenting on Instagram about "putting your kids in danger taking pictures in the car" when viewer has no idea that the car is parked, nor any validity to comment and judge a parent.  Or, to the significant when decisions made by our government affect entire Nation.

Seeking to listen and understand someone before attacking is a much better answer.  Have ALL the facts, not a square frame of a picture, a 5 second YouTube clip, a media headline without the full story or make the initiative to sit down face to face with a person and listen, really listen, before casting an opinion.
One of the greatest pieces of advice I received lately about differing opinions/controversial topics was to put equal, or really more, effort into looking at yourself and your circumstances/what you represent before start casting opinions, advice (which is usually masked judgment) and other hate. For example: disagree with marriage equality ruling? Are you married? What does your marriage look like? What does it represent? Is there something you need to work on in your own marriage? Before you start tearing down decisions, focus on your own marriage and what it represents to the world and shine a light on what you believe because you are honest, open, working hard to live out what you believe.  Not married? Same rules apply in dating.
A lot of our opinions come from insecurity, but that is a topic for another day. However, see above: need to be happy and content with self instead of hating/judging/tearing apart others.
photo via Instagram
There will always be something to strike a nerve and we will all continue to fail at hurting those closest to us by speaking before we really should have. At the end of the day, we can work to make a small change every day and learn to look for how to love instead of how to hate and force our opinion.
Be kind, but that's just my opinion.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Start Marriage Right: On the Defensive

I'm happy to be back writing over at Start Marriage Right after a couple of years away... this website is a great resource for single, dating, engaged and married couples.  So many contributors and tons of wisdom and advice.

Click here for my article this month:  On the Defensive.  A little sports, a little relationships.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What I'm Wearing ~ Summer {Repeats & #Hashtags}

Summer has seen dresses, shorts, jeans and everything in's a few #LOTD latey.   {That's "Look of the Day", in case you're like me, late to hashtag acronyms, ha!} For previous summer #OOTD, #OOTN, #LOTD post, click here.

Disclaimer: What I'm Wearing is in hopes inspiration for your closet, that I can give you some ideas from what I'm wearing. What fits you doesn't always fit me. What fits me, doesn't always fit you. So, we all know the style of jeans that work best for us, the brands of shoes we love, etc. I'm not a "linker" to buy all of these outfits here. Truth be told, a lot of my clothes are many many years old and I pick up things all around the place. I'm don't update my wardrobe every season with the latest and greatest. I don't have signed up for Pinterest, so if there's something you like, you can "pin it" to save. Hopefully you're just inspired, maybe by something you have and didn't think about putting it together or maybe you are just looking for a simple accessory to add in and these posts can give you some ideas.

This is a #SundayStyle! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, I post these each week. This dress is a recent Target deal!  I picked it up from a clearance rack during a BOGO 50% off + had 20% off via Cartwheel app.  (Sidenote - I was a slow adopter to the Cartwheel app, but it has had some pretty good sales, and definitely is worth the download!)  So, I checked out with 2 dresses, next one coming up below, and asked the checker about BOGO sale. I guess he didn't really realize what BOGO meant and gave me both at 50% off plus Cartwheel 20% off! Thank you Target.  I will take a $6 dress everyday and wear it twice on Sunday!  This one is like a tank top - V-neck and swing cut.  Perfect for hot summer days! Earrings are a recent Walmart find, $5 and safe to say I've gotten my moneys worth from then within the first week! 
Early July 4th I went to the gym to swim laps, and left in Nike TEXANS (JJ WATT!!) shorts + a Hanes V-neck of course, it's my uniform.  One of my besties was having a neighborhood party outside with a bounce house/water slide for the kids, so I switched to a tank top and headed over for the afternoon and evening. It was such a simple holiday, required no make-up, dressing up or fixed hair and thanks to my Texans shorts I was still patriotic!  I also didn't know Coke made a #shareacoke Bestie can!  

And, keeping with traditional summer, I wore the 2nd half of my BOGO sale dresses to church on July 5th.  This one is seersucker and I have seen it still available online, so you might find it in the mazes of -- not the most search friendly site!

It's another day of flares + wedges, safe to say this is my favorite summer evening #LOTD/#OOTN, again I was headed to a happy hour/dinner inside and the place is always cold.  This tank is from Able's Mercantile last summer, and I love that the arrows trend is sticking around. They are a favorite for me.  Also, this leopard clutch is from Able's and it continuously gets used since #leopardisaneutral.  Able's is a home town shop that I love to browse as they always have something unique in the store. This summer I picked up a tiny arrow ring from Visible Faith Jewelry, a new line they are carrying. #arrowseverywhere

Can't stop, won't stop...#flaresandwedges.  These are high waist, years old, 7 for All Mankind flare jeans. This was a little out of the box for me, tank is cropped, not Taylor Swift cropped, but I'm much more likely to choose tunic than cropped.  Paired with a gold belt, white clutch and yep, those white earrings mentioned above. I recently told a friend if I had to choose only a few clothes to have to wear it would for sure be jeans and white or black shirts, but I would still want all of my accessories! Also, I would like cut offs and Nike shorts. ;) #oldhabitsdiehard

Some fabrics are just meant for summer and seersucker is one. Dress above and here are shorts.  These are from Target last year, but seersucker is traditionally out every year. Also, I've realized this is the 2nd time I've tied my shirt up, previously here, and it probably won't be the last, I can remember the last time this was "in". #whatgoesaroundcomesaround. Another repeat, a little leopard thrown in for good measure. Leopard and navy is a favorite, this is super casual, but here is a dressed up navy + leopard combo.

Bring on the brights!! The day after I picked up the new Asics at Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale I coincidentally kept the neon going for Sunday.  This dress is an Old Navy from a couple of years ago, but brights are still everywhere. I know nude heels/wedges/sandals are usually a favorite, but I am a fan of cognac.  In fact, I have on cognac shoes in 3 of the above #LOTD. (#hashtagabuse) The necklace is from Gypsy Soule and I got it while I lived on the road traveling for work, it is one of those pieces that reminds me of that season in my life. 

It's been a little of everything this month and looks like that's not going to stop anytime soon! :)

I hope summer finds you well, and if it finds you in a challenging season, maybe this will encourage you.  Just like the calendar seasons, seasons of life will change, some hard, some easy, some fun, some heartbreaking, some with besties, some seemingly alone, some full of travel, some unknown, but the days keep going and the season will change. Keep pressing on! 


Saturday, July 11, 2015

New Shoes

Wednesday I walked reluctantly into Luke's Locker, I needed new running shoes. For well over a year I needed new running shoes. Not because I'm a pace checking, race entering, long distance runner, but because sometimes I like my breakfast to look like this and I want to maintain healthy lifestyle.
So, I'm not a runner, but I am a jogger, never really more than 3-5 miles, except the one time ten years ago that I completed a half-marathon.  That's a story for another day.  I remember the first time I went to Luke's Locker, I was very intimidated, but several people told me about getting fitted for shoes and it didn't matter that you weren't a marathon runner, proper fitting shoes would make a difference and so I finally went.  I pretty much skipped out of there with a new pair of Adidas that fit my foot like a glove. That was also well over ten years ago and I have pretty consistently worn Adidas Supernova/Adapt/Sequence ever since. The kind of shoe I can walk in, pick up my size, lace it up and it is just right.  
Unfortunately, as it happens, the "technology" and the style changes and the shoe is no longer the same and the loyal customer is forced into new territory.  I realized I needed to find a new shoe for the long run because it was obvious "Boost" was taking over Adidas and the shoe I was accustomed to was on it's way out permanently.  I gave the guy at Luke's my story, described the fit I was used to, and he went to work to find me a replacement. After a few tries, I checked out with a pair of Brooks. They weren't the same, but I felt like they would do.  Until I took them on a test jog, and before I was done I noticed I was overcompensating because I felt like my ankle was not supported and rolling in. Back to Luke's I went, returned the Brooks and thought I would look online again for old faithfuls, Adidas.

Today I was in town for breakfast with a friend and was planning to stop in at Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale. Shoes are one of my favorite things, so I stepped into the "Early Access" shoe tent and was browsing booties and new fall styles when the wall of Nikes and Asics caught my attention.  I asked the guy to bring me whatever color he had in the Asics in my size to try. I laced them up and I knew. They were it.

I rode my bike about 10 miles this morning, so had already worked out today, but decided to take the new shoes out for a test jog this evening. Nordstrom is in the city and I would be back that direction tomorrow in case I needed to return them, but I really felt hopeful. I know this is silly, it is just a pair of running shoes, and I've told myself that over and over. But, I know, bad shoes can really set back even a jogger like me.  
While I was jogging, I was thinking about how hard it is to change sometimes. Especially when reluctant to change things that seem like they fit so well and that have been a part of life for so many years. It is hard when it is simple like shoes that fit well or complicated like jobs and people and futures. It doesn't matter how many people you talk to, how you describe it, the unlimited options that are given...change is hard. It is letting go of something in exchange for something else. It might be.... 
Familiar for unfamiliar.
Comfortable for risky. 
Steady for unsteady. 
Known for unknown. 
Certain for uncertain. 
When seasons of change come, it's like stepping into new shoes. Lacing them up and going for a trial run. Sometimes the change might be like a familiar pair of shoes with a new brand name or like a pair of heels that take a little painful breaking in before they are bearable.   
Ultimately, after being tested and tried, change does bring about a fresh perspective. The old has gone, new and different is ahead. I might not know exactly what that looks like, it might take a long time to settle in, it might be painful, I might be hesitant, I try to hang onto the familiar, but above all I have to believe change is for the best. I can't believe it on my own, I believe it in faith and trusting God for his plan - He knows this life for me from start to finish.    

You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Psalm 139:5

So these new shoes are a reminder to me, even when it's hard to leave the old behind and embrace the new, I have faith in what is to come and that makes me run happy through life.  

Friday, July 10, 2015

Lettering Lately

I have continued to do lots of lettering projects this summer.  It's definitely been one of my favorite things - seeing words come to art...Click here to see previous lettering projects.

This one was for one of my college besties and it hangs in the perfect spot between their kitchen and living room.  She has lots of bright colors in her house, and this saying makes us giggle! She is an amazing wife, mama, daughter, sister, Aunt, friend and so much more and manages to always keep smiling and laughing, despite going through very hard seasons.

This was created for a friend's Mom who was recently elected to a Judge position and will hang in her office as a gift from her daughter.

I will confess, I didn't know who Albus Dumbledore was!?  #NoHarryPotterShaming  I love good quotes that make you think, and this one was for my Librarian and will be on display in our school.  Great words and lesson for our students.  Right isn't always easy, but right is always worth it!!

This is one of my favorite verses, and a friend requested it for a birthday gift to one of her besties. She has a beach/neutral theme house and this has {though hard to see} metallic background that reminded me of sand.

Renovations are hot topic right now, and canvas work can be renovated too!  I didn't do this original but took it from tans to grays for a sweet little boy in his new room in a new house with new paint! This was a gift from his grandmother, has hung over his crib and continues to hang over his bed. This project was very tedious, but I loved the results and it is fun to see how just a little color change changes everything!
As for how tedious...this was mid-dot...
I was at Happy Hour recently and a friend brought a little chalkboard for me to letter for a baby shower.
This chalkboard is one of my favorite things in one of my bestie's home.  She always has fun greetings written on it and I was babysitting the night before 4th of July and a party at their house, so I lettered the board for the party. I have another chalkboard coming up for a friend's wedding...I am going to re-do it a couple of times for different events from the engagement photos to  the wedding.
A couple of Sundays ago our Children's Pastor asked me to make a banner for the campus Children's Pastor return from maternity leave. I sat down behind the divider walls as children were gathering for church and lettered this banner. It was fun to see her back at church!
I've got several projects in the works including lettering on a wall and lots of other canvases to create. Here's one almost finished, a "Favorite Things" collage for a teenage girl's birthday! It turned out really fun, can't wait for her Mama to give it to her.  I will post the full view of this one in an upcoming Lettering Lately post!
As always, I'm taking orders and can ship canvas as well!  Let me know! 


Friday, July 3, 2015

Summer Reading: June Book Review

Just before the end of school I posted my Summer Reading List for 2015.  I've finished 4 books and here's a few thoughts on them, all of them great, I'd recommend each of them to read!

All The Light We Cannot See...I had seen this book in magazines, in the news, on social media and talked about among friends as a "must read", and my Librarian let me borrow it WAY back in the Spring, so it was my first read for the summer.  It certainly isn't a light read, but it is a great read.  I agree with Amazon: "From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II." Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres to read and this story is written with alternating chapters between the two main characters lives which is a style of writing I also really enjoy. From meeting a girl learning to navigate a city as she loses her sight to an orphan boy honing his skills in radio transmission and following their lives through devastation of war, this story captured me from the first page and kept my interest to the last page!
My Mom and I often discuss books and Invention of Wings was one she read with a Book Club and gave me several months ago, which I had forgotten about.  I picked it up when I saw it on a shelf as I plugged in my Kindle to charge. I also read Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees and this is another historical fiction read. Sarah and Handful are a pair of opposites trapped in a life of society and slavery of which neither wants to be associated with and both have deep desires to change their respective worlds. The story is tragic at times but laced throughout with hope.  The girls perseverance through circumstances and extreme courage standing up for their beliefs makes you think about what you will tolerate and what you believe in and how far you're willing to go for both.  
Lauren Scruggs hit the news in Dec 2011 after an airplane accident which she came in contact with a propeller after a flight to look at Christmas lights in the Dallas area. She was relatively unknown, but had worked in fashion industry of NYC and the story quickly caught national news attention. Lauren and her family give an honest look inside life both before and after the accident in Still Lolo. I have wanted to read this book since its release a couple of years ago and happened to catch it recently on a $1.99 Kindle sale.  It is a story of tragedy, even before the accident, of redemption, of hope, of perseverance and ultimately of faith throughout life's darkest and hardest days. I hope Tyndale has a sequel in the works because Lauren's life has continued to have an impact since this book released.
Shout out to LIBRARY CARDS! I finally got a library card and The Rosie Effect was my first checkout!  I loved The Rosie Project, which is now being made into a movie, so I was interested to read this sequel. The writing in both of these books fascinates me from the extremely detailed idiosyncrasies of Don to the free-spirited Rosie and how they connect and struggle together, both in their marriage and socially. I will say the first book was my favorite of the two, but this one was a light enjoyable read and reminds me perception isn't always as it seems.
Of course June also saw lots of reading like this and listening to new readers practice their reading while at Camp 4G with the Littles! 
Today I sat outside at a cafe for lunch and started American Sniper, and I am already deeply into this book, look for it in the July Book Review! I also checked out The One and Only by Emily Griffin and Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand to mix in with a couple of others in July. I am of course still working through Seamless by Angie Smith, a 6 week Bible Study that I take time to do several mornings a week.
Happy 4th of July!  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ramblings...a few thoughts about all kinds of things

None of these really warrant a long post, but a few thoughts about a few things lately...

I got a bike a couple of years ago for my birthday, I love having a bike and ride it pretty regularly, used to out in the country at my parents and now on the suburb sidewalks and trails. Since I got my bike I have looked for a basket for the front, something that could hold a phone, keys, lock, whatever - but all I could find sold separately were huge baskets. I finally found this bike bag at Target recently and it is perfect!! I got it the same weekend I was home and learned how to change my tire and successfully got my bike back together with new inner tube in/aired up and strapped this little bag on (it can also go on under your seat, but my seat didn't have place to attach) and it turned out to be just what I needed!
Garth Brooks is in the midst of his Houston tour and I hadn't really given thought to going to the concert - even though there were eight, yes EIGHT shows here in town. Until last Saturday morning when I started seeing on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter how great the Friday night shows were. I started to regret not getting tickets, so I did what any wise networking person does and posted it on social media to which I got a quick response from a friend with tickets for sale and Saturday night I was at Garth with one of my besties for what turned out to be the greatest concert I've ever been to!! It is hard to compete with George Strait on the 8th row of the floor for The Cowboy Rides Away tour, but Garth is so high energy and everyone in the place was on their feed for the whole show and singing along. It is a whole different story how many lyrics I could call up from 20+ years ago because we sang along to EVERY song!! I loved it and would honestly see the show again!
Fresh flowers in my house was one of my New Year's resolutions this year...and these spider flowers are one of my favorites to have around. They are only $3.99 at the grocery store and last at least 10 days. This week they were especially large and I have really loved them! Simple, little things.
My church recently moved locations and they think of everything!  I love the coffee they serve regularly -- Texas Pecan. Now serving at our new location...Iced Coffee! Brilliant! Such a summer treat!! I love Sundays, my church, our Pastor, the worship music, friends I've made there and coffee. In fact, this week I spent two afternoons with girls from my church I have gotten to know over the last year in my Discipleship Group. Friendship is such a treat and I am so thankful for the friends of all ages and stages of life that I have met through my church! They pray for, laugh with, cry with, cheer on, follow up and encourage me on a daily basis!
Have you seen these "Chilly Towels" at the checkout counter and thought "scam" as you passed them?  You should turn around and add one to your basket!  I had seen these, but not really thought much about them until my Mom got me one for my birthday last year. She said I needed something to cool off during hot runs jogs. I don't like carrying things with me when I'm jogging, and I don't carry this. But, I wet it before I leave and when I get home it is cool and refreshing and really does help cool me down, and soak up the extreme sweat. :) #sweatygirl
This is what I love about summer...the pool to myself and a good book! I've finished up 4 books and started the 5th. Click here for my Summer Reading: June Book Review!