Monday, May 23, 2011

{Willow House}

I’ve previously stated on this blog that I’ve decided to try new things. Well, I am officially announcing my debut as a Willow House Design Consultant.  Whew, that title makes me feel special! And talented!

After a few months of deliberation (that seems to be a pattern for me....hmmm…..), I finally decided to take a leap of faith and sign on. Fortunately for me, Willow House was offering an almost unheard of special sign up fee. I figured if I totally bombed my opportunity, I wouldn’t be out hundreds of dollars AND (this is the BEST part), I would get a few hundred dollars worth of my very own product for a very small investment.

But, in keeping with my “trying to remain optimistic” attitude, I am going to proclaim to you that not only will I NOT bomb this opportunity, but I will be successful! Well, successful by my standards anyway. I have no delusions of grandeur that I will be able to quit my full-time job or become Donald Trump wealthy, since this is a side venture for me.

I will determine my success in small increments. My motivation for signing on with Willow House was to meet new people in my new(ish) town and make a little extra money on the side doing something that I really enjoy. And I really enjoy decorating, entertaining, cooking and talking to people. A win-win situation, I think.

I would love to invite you to check out my consultant website and online store. You can also visit the Willow House outlet, where there are some amazing bargains on some amazing products. My website address is:

You may place an order on my secure website and have items shipped directly to you. It is really very simple! Or you can contact me for more information on Willow House and becoming a Design Consultant as well.

Don’t worry! No pressure involved! I am definitely not a “high pitch” salesperson. I mainly want to share my business and the beautiful products Willow House has to offer.

Look at these gorgeous beauties!

I just love Willow House's products! That's the main reason I decided to become a consultant. I can't wait to see some of these babies in my home.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

TTFN my friends,


Saturday, May 21, 2011

{Get the heck into Dodge!}

Dodge City, that is.
My husband and I took a short week-end excursion to Dodge City, KS recently. A friend of ours rode a train in from the Bluegrass State to visit us. So, we made the short drive from our home to pick him up.
Never ones to miss an opportunity to sight-see, take pictures, eat at new restaurants or SHOP (well, that’s mainly me), we decided to do a little exploring to pass the time before we met our friend at the train station.
Since neither of us had ever been to Dodge City before, we found that there were lots of interesting things to do and historical sites to visit. It was a short but sweet trip (and fun!) and I took lots and lots of pictures.
Is that your train, my friend? Alas, it was not.

A unique windmill we encountered along the way.
This windmill was actually part of an approximately half mile display on the side of the road on the drive to Dodge City. The sign stated that it was the “largest junkyard in the west” or something like that. Another view:
We made it to the Boot Hill Hotel & Museum with just enough time to get a good look around. The museum, which is a replica of Front Street, was built in 1947 as a way to commemorate the Old West way of life. It is a hands-on exhibit, with actual displays of saloons, blacksmithing and a general store. Unfortunately for us, the exhibits weren’t active yet. We may have to go back again in the summer!
A marker at the Boot Hill cemetery. I couldn’t get a good picture because of the sun. Poor Edward Hurley. Do you think if he lived today, he’d receive the same punishment? Probably not.

This is Front Street, the replica of the Old West storefront.
We also drove down to the Santa Fe Trail. You can actually STILL see the path and ruts in the land where the early settlers brought their wagons in. We actually passed up the entrance to the historical marker for the trail. TWICE! It was located smack dab in the middle of farms and houses; it was odd to see how things have just grown up around it.

Can you see the ruts in the road in this picture? That’s high plains short grass too, in case you didn’t know. I didn’t.

More wagon tracks along the fence line. Can you see them?
This little birdie serenaded us the whole time we were visiting the Santa Fe Trail, so I had to take a picture of him. For such a little guy, he sure was loud.

Entering Dodge City after leaving the Santa Fe Trail.

On the way back home, we saw an old theatre that has been restored. Isn’t it beautiful? My picture doesn’t do it justice.

Look at the architecture and the iron work. Love it!

One last picture. Because I love barns. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know. I thought this red one was particularly lovely though.

I hope you enjoyed our trip. I know I did. If you’re ever in the area, you should make a trip over to Dodge City. It has become a bit commercial, but all in all, still full of historical places to see.
Until next time.
TTFN friends,


Friday, May 20, 2011

{Confession: I never went to kindergarten}

Okay everybody, before you get all up in arms about my lack of primary education and contemplate accusing my poor mother of neglect, I must issue this disclaimer: “Kindergarten was not MANDATORY when I was five years old!” Now, that may give away my age a bit, but that’s okay. You’re only as old as you feel, right? Anyway, I am STILL within that 25-44 year old age bracket.

Getting back to kindergarten. You always hear the saying “All I really need to know, I learned in kindergarten.” Well, geez…. Hmmmm…. Wow. Apparently, I’ve really missed out on some very important life lessons. It’s a sheer miracle that I’ve turned out to be as normal and well-adjusted as I have (for those of you that know me – no laughing!).

Since I promised you I’d share things that interest me, I want to share with you this poem by Robert Fulghum. I daresay that I LOVE it.
All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten
by Robert Fulghum
Most of what I really need
To know about how to live
And what to do and how to be
I learned in kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top
Of the graduate school mountain,
But there in the sandpile at Sunday school.

These are the things I learned:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life -
Learn some and think some
And draw and paint and sing and dance
And play and work everyday some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world,
Watch out for traffic,
Hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.
Very wise words to live by, people. Even though I didn’t actually GO to kindergarten, I’ve picked up most of these lessons despite that. I hope you did too.

p.s. I’ll share the story of WHY I did not go to kindergarten another day. Maybe. J
TTFN friends,

{Punctuation Love & Other Stuff}

Here are some things you may or may not want to know about me as I am writing and you are reading this blog:
1.       I love exclamation points! In my opinion, they are the most under-rated form of punctuation. What better way to express your enthusiasm about things? You will see many an {!} in my writing, as I get excited about things and want to share it with you!!!!!

2.       I like to use (  ) in my writing to share an aside or comment related to what I’ve written. Also, because I am self-diagnosed with ADD, I get side-tracked easily and feel the need to share. Oh, look…there’s a butterfly…..

3.       I get excited about the smallest of things. A sale on toilet paper? YES! (See, I told you I love exclamation points!)  I find an “antique” to go with my collection for a mere $1.00. That would make my day! Maybe even my week! YAY!!!

4.       I like to use humor in my writing. I don’t take myself too seriously and don’t really enjoy people who do. I have a self-deprecating tone when talking about myself. That must’ve come from my up-bringing. I’ve always been taught to be humble (pronounced umble, in case you didn’t know. It’s a Southern thing). I have also been told by someone who shall remain nameless {my husband} that if I was half as funny as I THOUGHT I was, I’d be hilarious! I’ll take that as a compliment! Nevertheless, I haven’t let that stop me. I continue to foist share my joyful humor with the world.

5.       I’m a very modest person. That’s another reason I’ve been holding off on starting a blog. Parts of me think “Why would anyone want to read something I’ve written?”, while the other parts of me think “Oh, get over yourself and get to it!”  Finally, those were the parts that I listened to.

6.       I love to LOVE things. Seriously. I’m an optimistic person. If I didn’t have optimism, I may not have gotten through some things in this life! I like my glass half full, my eggs sunny side up and my attitude positive. I’ll never understand why there is so much negativity in this world. Bad attitudes and negativity really get me down, so I try to keep a positive attitude in life and be nice to people. So, if you hear me saying that I LOVE this or I LOVE that, I’m not kidding. Seriously.

TTFN, my new-found friends!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

{A little more about me}

(warning: long blog post ahead)
Well, as you know, I’m new to this blogging thing. One of the main reasons I’ve hesitated about writing a blog for so long is my concern that *gasp* I might not be as titillating and exciting as the person who lives inside my head. What? You don’t have someone living inside your head?
Anywho, as I begin my blogging journey, I plan to write about my favorite things; hence, the name of my blog. Creative, no?
I hope you’ll find my favorite things as interesting as I do. If you don’t, that’s okay. We can agree to disagree and still be friends, right?
So, as the song goes, these are a few of my favorite things:
1.       Family – I love my family! In addition to my nuclear family – me, my husband, and my daughter, I’m the youngest of five children. Three older sisters and an older brother, a wonderful mother, three brothers-in-law, one sister-in-law, five nieces, one great niece, one great nephew and one on the way and an extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins spread all over the states. And that’s just MY side of the family. On my husband’s side, I have a {wonderful} mother-in-law, a brother-in-law, sister-in-law and two nephews and an assortment of other relatives – many of whom I’ve never even met.
If you read my About Me section, you know that I recently moved to Oklahoma from Kentucky, a place where I had called home my whole life. I use the words “recently moved” in the most relative sense. Sometimes it feels like only yesterday that we packed up our belongings and moved “west” about thirteen hours away to our new home in northwest Oklahoma. Other times, it feels like we’ve been here forever.
At times, the transition has been hard. Moving as an adult, settling into a new home, beginning new jobs, making new friends and a new life was and is sometimes stressful for me. I miss my family EVERY day, even if they don’t always know it. Holidays and special occasions are the worst – not being able to be there to celebrate every little thing, even though my husband keeps his promise of making the trek “home” as often as we possibly can.
2.       Decorating –I am a decorating enthusiast, bordering on addict. Notice I did not say “expert”? I’ll be the first to admit, I’m an amateur. But decorating is a passion of mine and I am always decorating and re-decorating every inch of our space. I love decorating shows, decorating blogs, decorating magazines, decorating books, classes on decorating. Well, you get the picture. Did I mention I LOVE DECORATING?
In this blog, I plan to write about my decorating adventures and misadventures (and there are many!), with lots of photos and “how to’s” along the way. Again, I don’t profess to be an expert; just a happy “wanna be” who likes to try new things.
3.       Antiquing Thrifting - I love a bargain and, in my opinion, there is nothing better than discovering a hidden “treasure” among the rubbish. In today’s world, there’s already just too much stuff. So, why not give something old a new life? Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose – that’s my motto! Besides, I like things in my home to be original; not something you can just run out to _________   (pick your favorite big box store – mine is Target! Isn’t Target great? This is NOT a paid advertisement.) and purchase. It’s also the thrill of the hunt when it comes to antiquing thrifting that I love. You never know what you might find from one visit to the next.
Looking through items that have been previously “loved” also evokes so many memories for me. Seeing a cow creamer takes me back to my younger days. Of course, ours didn’t hold any cream. No sir, our cow creamer dispensed good old bacon grease; that liquid gold that enhanced the flavor of many a home-cooked meal. Green beans just don’t taste their best without a smidgen of pork fat. Gotta love the South!

4.       Crafting – Making something out of nothing (see above) can be thrilling! I just never know how things are going to turn out when I start a project. They can be sometimes good/sometimes bad, but the process of making something with your own hands is what I love about crafting. I am a fly-by-the-seat of your pants kind of person when it comes to making things. I’m not good at following a rigid set of directions. I prefer to go with the flow and see how things turn out. Of course, that could be why my projects turn out “sometimes bad”, huh?
I’ll be posting pictures of my creations on this blog; the good, the bad & the ugly! If something turns out great, I’ll include a tutorial, just in case you might want to make it too.

5.       Photography – I love to take pictures! I’m, admittedly, not a good photographer. I long to be able to capture the images that I see in my head. To be able to translate what I see into a finished photograph is my ultimate desire. I’m a work-in-progress when it comes to photography. Nevertheless, I plan on posting lots (I’m talking bunches and bunches, people!) of pictures on this blog. It is my hope that, by doing this, I will become a better photographer. In the meantime, please bear with me as I continue to grow and learn.

6.       Food – I love to try new foods and ingredients! I am also beginning to enjoy cooking more too. My husband and I share a love of eating and cooking {our downfall!} and much of our time is spent watching cooking shows, looking at recipes and planning new meals.
Since food is such a big part of our lives, you will definitely hear more about it in future blog posts. I’ll post new recipes as we try them out and talk about new and exciting places to eat.
7.       Travel – another love! Unfortunately, time and budget constraints sometimes get in the way of new adventures. Hopefully, in the not-so-distant future, I’ll be able to travel and explore new places and cultures more. In the meantime, I can still travel close to home. You’d be surprised what you can discover within three to fours hours drive from your home, particularly if you’re new to an area like I am! As I come across interesting things and people, I’ll let you know and post pictures too!

8.       Animals – Our animals are our family too! We have an undisclosed number (lets just say SEVERAL) of four-legged (and one three-legged) friends that live in our home. We (me, my husband and daughter) love both dogs and cats and can’t resist an animal in need.  My husband and I could be considered what you’d call “suckers” when it comes to helping out needy, sick or homeless animals.
Since our furry friends are family too (what an alliteration!), I won’t be able to resist talking about, bragging about and posting pictures of them, as any proud momma would do.
Well, there you have it…. a few of my favorite things. Not a definitive list by any means, but now you know a little more about who I am and what this blog is about.
I hope I’ve kept your interest and I invite you back for next time.
Until we meet again….
TTFN my new friends,

{Ta Da!}

After many months of contemplating how to begin this blog, here it is. Finally!
I always say the hardest part of doing anything, is getting started. So, this is me getting started.
Now, where to begin?
Hi, I’m Susan and I am a married, full-time working girl (yes, I still consider myself a girl), with one child off to college. There are many words I’d use to describe myself besides wife and mother. I’m also a daughter, a sister, a sister-in-law, a friend and a life-long student. I’d also like to think of myself as a kind, compassionate person who can be creative, resourceful, imaginative, fun and funny. Yes funny, despite what my husband says!  
While I, like many women and men, work to “pay the bills”, so to speak, I have many outside interests, plans, hopes and dreams. I figure it’s high time to start exploring those interests, so I’ve decided to document my journey along the way. I’ll be blogging about any topic/idea that strikes my fancy, catches my attention or gets me excited.
I hope you’ll join me as I embark on my maiden voyage into the blogging world.
I’d like to thank anyone reading this (IS there anyone reading this? --  Hello?????) for welcoming me into your home, as I welcome you into mine.
We’re going to be great friends. I just know it!
TTFN (Ta ta for now) my new friends,