May 27, 2016

Happy Memorial Day weekend!


Never think freedom is "free"!    Thanks to all the men and women, past and present, who have put their lives on the line to keep us safe!

Hope you all have a safe and wonderful weekend!

May 21, 2016

Don't Blink

Twelve years ago today, at 5:00 a.m. and 5:02 a.m. these two angels came into the world and changed our lives forever.   

A little back story..... the day my daughter was going to find out the sex of the baby, I was supposed to go with her but both my husband and myself had nasty colds so I couldn't go.    Her husband was out of town on business and couldn't be there either.   We sat at home anxiously awaiting the phone call.    Finally the phone rang and she sounded a little upset, asked if I was sitting down and said she was having twins!    I really thought she was joking but she finally convinced us she wasn't.   She said when the ultrasound technician was checking her, the woman said "I know one of them is a boy"....Shannon said "what do you mean 'one of them'!!!   Apparently the doctor suspected she might be having multiples from things he said during his examinations and sent her for an early ultrasound.....we didn't suspect anything since it was her first pregnancy and we thought it was normal to have one that early.    Although twins do run in my family, my mom had twins and her grandmother had two sets of twins! 

It wasn't until the 2nd ultrasound a month later we found out the "other one" was a girl!


 3 years old

 We babysat them at a hotel in New Orleans while their momma and daddy attended a wedding there.  

They are fraternal twins, but I think they really look alike here

School days





Christmas at Jackson's "other" grandmother's house

I love this one

Rare snow day here in Alabama a couple of years ago


One of Jackson's great-grandmothers has a pool in her yard and he loves to swim!




One of Jackson's hero's letting him "play" with the big boys


Growing up way to fast for me








Jackson and his two best buds

I took this last winter....Taylor and I had one of our "special days" as she calls them.....movie, Starbucks and lunch out....I treasure those times

Thank you for indulging me in a little walk down memory lane.   

Happy birthday T&J.....we love you sooooo much!


May 7, 2016

Happy Mother's Day weekend!

We will be taking my mom out to dinner tonight with two of her grown "kids", some of her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

(this was taken a few years ago at my daughter's home....she will be 96 years young on June 22nd!)

Hope all moms have a wonderful Mother's Day....take time for yourself, indulge in a little pampering and enjoy your day. 

April 20, 2016

The Time I Took Viagra and Other Interesting Tidbits

I think we're all friends here, right?   And I hope this isn't TMI for anyone but if it is I apologize in advance!

So about the Viagra.....a couple of years ago I was at a doctor visit and mentioned that I was having to get up frequently during the night to go "potty".    He said he'd give me some samples of an Rx and if it worked, he'd give me the prescription for it.    The samples/prescription was Vesicare



Not long after that I was talking to some people and as "old" folks do, we were comparing our aches and pains and how becoming older was affecting our lives.    I said I was taking Viagra for my frequent bathroom visits during the night.    No one said anything and the conversation resumed.

Later on I was telling my husband about it and he said "you didn't really tell them you were taking Viagra did you?"   I said well, yes, I did.....then I realized it wasn't Viagra but Vesicare!     When I ran out of my "Viagra" I didn't get the prescription for the Vesicare as I couldn't tell it helped but it might be time to give it another chance (LOL).

ETA:   I was going to post a cartoon image of Viagra but when I googled it there were several sites but the one that caught my eye was the "before and after" page....uhhh, I don't think so.   

For some reason, I have a hard time remembering people's names, or call them something other than their real name.    I blame it on my BFF Judy.   She and her husband are the "king and queen" of calling people by their wrong names so I tell her that has rubbed off on me.     We have a friend named Scott but he looks like a "Chris" to me.    So I call him Chris and he's in my phone as Chris.    It doesn't hurt that he also looks like Toby Keith so every year he sends me a message on my phone that says "Merry Christmas from Toby Keith"!



Talking about my friend Judy and her husband, years and years ago she and her husband had a car for sale they had listed in a local publication that you advertised in for items to buy or sell.    Her husband was in insurance and worked at night sometimes.    So one night they got a call inquiring about the car for sale.   Judy told them she really didn't know a lot about it but to call her husband back to get all the details.    When the caller asked when was a good time to call back, she said that they kept "erotic" hours so they would just have to keep calling until they reached him.   Of course, she meant "erratic".   I don't know if the person ever called back though!

One year her husband asked me if "Bob" could get him some Auburn-LSU tickets.   I said "who's Bob"?   He said you know, your son-in-law.   I said "his name is Don" to which he replied "I've always called him Bob and he always answers." 


This next little "tidbit" I may have shared before but I love to tell it.    My mom and I were traveling to my sister's house to visit for the day a few years ago.    She's a huge reader and was always getting books at the local library before she got her Kindle.    She asked me to pick up a book for her when we got back home and I asked her what the name of the book was.   She said "Killing KFC".   I said you mean "Killing JFK" and she very calmly said yes!    Guess where we ate lunch that day.....yep, KFC!    One time she had a yard sale and sold a wheelbarrow without a wheel!   (You can't make this stuff up, right?)


When my granddaughter was around 3 we were at their house one night having a big Mexican spread.   My daughter had put all the fixin's on the table, including a carton of sour creme.   Taylor (my granddaughter) looked at it and said "I not like hiney creme mama"!    She thought the sour creme looked like the "hiney creme" she used when changing their diapers!



Whenever we're up on the lake and out on my son's boat, we love to see all the huge McMansions that are usually 2nd homes to some of the elite.    My son always calls that "stupid" money (ok, that's not really funny but it kinda is to me).



By the way, the above lake property belonged to former CEO of Health South in Birmingham, Al who is now serving time in prison.   Greed doesn't pay off!   It is amazing to see in person!

Just one more thing before I go.....(I can hear you breathing a sigh of relief)!    My favorite show is back on....Southern Charm!    It's trashy and classy, all at the same time.    Love me some Southern Charm!



My friend Katie from Preppy Empty Nester wrote a great piece about her love of this show over on her blog here.  

That's all the tidbits I've got for now (you can exhale now)!

Ya'll have a great week!









April 11, 2016

A Boy's Room In The Making

When my son and his family moved from Birmingham to Spanish Fort last year, my daughter-in-law immediately asked me to help her decorate their new house.   Well, now, you're talking my love language!   She has got a great start in the den with the addition of the sectional she ordered.    I have to say it is the most comfortable sofa I've ever sat on.    It's a gray linen fabric from the Paula Deen line (those of you that don't like PD please don't jump on me!).      There are two La-z-Boy leather recliners also.    We gifted them a rug (she picked out and ordered) and when we were down after Christmas I bought her a couple of lamps, one a floor lamp and the other a table lamp.    So "we've" got a good start and plans to finish out with wall art, pillows and accessories down the road.   I'm so sorry I don't have a picture to share but next time I'm down there, I plan on taking some interior shots of the den.   Since I don't have a picture of the den right now, how about a few of their backyard?





The other room she's concentrating on is my little 5 year old grandsons room.    His bedroom in Birmingham was just the baby bed converted to a "big big" bed and a changing table.     I'm kind of surprised my 10 year old granddaughter hasn't insisted on a room re-do (yet) but seems satisfied with what she has for now....thank goodness!

I'm very fortunate in that my DIL asks my opinion on her ideas and never seems to get insulted or mad if I am honest with her.    Some things are too pricey (she has good taste) and others just aren't to my liking, but in the end it IS her house and her child so that is always in the back of my mind.     But I must say, so far she's taken all of my suggestions/ideas and is implementing them in the room.  

The first thing (and only thing done so far) was deciding on a paint color.    The room has a chair rail and she wanted contrasting paint above and below the chair rail.      At my suggestion, she had the wall above the chair rail painted Kendall Charcoal and below is an off white (I'm not sure the name of that paint color, her painter suggested it).      I sent my DIL a photo of Melaine's son's bedroom (My Sweet Savannah) and she loved the wall colors which is the inspiration we used for the walls.     



She is looking for a headboard and nightstands.    She will also use a bamboo shade and possibly I'll be making drop cloth drapes, unless I can find something else that I think will work.    We are ordering the duvet from Ikea. 

The closet has a great closet system and built in drawers so there is really no need for a dresser in the room.    She wants him to have a little desk and chair and he got a teepee from us last Christmas which takes up a lot more room than I thought it would.   There is a playroom upstairs so he doesn't keep many toys in the bedroom.     Here is basically what she'd like to do....seems like it would not be too hard to DIY and fairly inexpensive, useful until he needs something more substantial.


She's been looking at some wall sconces from Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware, but I told her if she had to have them wired to the wall, she'd have to patch those holes if she ever wanted to rearrange the room but she seemed determined to use wall mounted lamps.    Last week on one of my numerous trips to Target (LOL) I found two table lamps almost identical to the ones she'd been interested in from PB and RH at a fraction of the price.    I face timed her and "convinced" her I thought she'd be better off with two table lamps vs. the hard wired wall ones, and she totally agreed once she saw the lamps.    They are nestled in my trunk along with some other goodies to take to her next time I'm down that way in a month or so.



Oh, and they were on sale!   Yay me!!!

I think she (we) have a good start on his room, even though it's only been painted.    She's taking her time finding what she wants, and trying to keep within a budget.  Once she finds a headboard and end tables we can start putting the room together, hopefully by the time I get there in a couple of months.     I'll definately be taking photos and sharing them on my blog.

One last thing....I've been having a lot of trouble with my left leg and foot since last November.    I've been to my orthopaedic doctor, a neurologist for nerve damage testing and my general doctor, and so far they can't determine what's going on.    I'm going back to my orthopaedic on Tuesday and I'm hoping he can figure it out.    It's so aggravating to hear "can't find anything" yet I'm in constant pain.    It hinders our traveling and my day to day activities.    I just hope we can figure it out and get on the road to recovery.

Ya'll have a great week and I'd love any good thoughts or prayers you could send my way on Tuesday.




February 23, 2016

Focus on Fashion Unfolded by Mandy

I go through what I call "stages" which chiefly revolve around decorating or fashion.    Right now I'm in my fashion "stage".    I've lost about 20 pounds during the last year which necessitated a new wardrobe (yay!).    However, I usually stay true to the style I'm most comfortable with....casual but classic.

I'm not sure how I found out about Mandy and her Instagram page but boy, am I glad I did!   She's one stylish lady that has given me a lot of inspiration about putting outfits together and even branching out beyond my normal comfort zone to try other things.

Please meet Mandy....the force behind the wildly popular fashion Instagram called Fashion Unfolded by Mandy.


I just love her hair too!   In fact, I recently changed my hairstyle (it was time too) and it's similar to hers, just not quite as short.    Since I had my hair cut in a similar style (just last Friday) I get compliments everywhere I go!   In fact, on my way home the day I had it cut, the toll booth guy said "darlin', I love your hair"!     The next day at a restaurant, the waitress took out her phone to take a picture of it!     But I digress......

Based out of Davenport, Iowa Mandy is a wardrobe stylist who helps women organize their closets.    She can help you weed out unwanted and unused clothing and accessories, take you shopping to buy needed items and style you so you look your best using things you have!

Look how she takes a simple classic black jumpsuit to get all these different looks.       You could also do this with a black dress or black top and pants.     I have styled black on black with a denim jacket and zebra scarf like Mandy and love this look!


This is one of my favorite go-to outfits....so simple yet looks fabulous!   And check out the red purse!
 


I'd love to find a denim tunic to wear with my black leggings....throw on a scarf and it takes it up a notch.



Does it get any classier than a great white shirt and jeans?  


I'm looking for a black denim vest to get this look....add some silver jewelry and you can go anywhere

I've featured the above outfits as they represent how I usually dress so I was happy to see I have a little fashion sense!   I love having simple, classic pieces that you can pair with accessories for completely different looks.


I recently had a chance to ask Mandy a few questions and wanted to share with you a little about her.

 1.   When you can't think of anything to wear, what's your go to outfit?

As of right now, I would say it's a pair of distressed slim boyfriend jeans, a pair of heels or booties, a long sweater/jacket/vest layered over a basic t-shirt or tank.   I also throw on a long necklace or scarf to balance it all out.






2.    What's the one wardrobe essential you can't live without?


A structured blazer!   Love, love love!!   A fitted blazer just looks so polished and put together.   I love pairing my blazers with boyfriend or flare jeans.



3.    What would you say is your favorite fashion piece at the moment?


That's a tough one.   I have so many right now!   If I had to pick one, it would be my long black leather vest from Vince.   It's a fabulous layering piece and adds interest to any outfit!


4.   Where do you get your fashion inspiration?


Being from the Midwest, I have always drawn inspiration from magazines and looks I have seen on television.   However, one of my favorite hobbies is to go shopping!   Not always to purchase items, but to see what the latest trends are.   This would be my main source of inspiration!   Of course social media too....Instagram!!

5.   Have you always been interested in fashion?


Yes!   Growing up in a small town in Iowa, my exposure to fashion was limited to say the least.   Despite this, I was particular about how I looked even from a very early age.   Fashion magazines and television were my resources as I found my personal style.   I learned to put together stylish outfits by using the clothes and accessories that I had, taught myself how to do my makeup, and even cut off my long hair myself to prepare for the new school year!



6.  Where do you live and tell a little about yourself.

I live in the Quad Cities, which is on the Iowa/Illinois border and my business is located in Davenport, Iowa.   We have all heard the expression, "If you love what you are doing, you never work a day in your life!"   This certainly has become true for me as I have decided to turn my love of fashion and great style into a business.   My name is Mandy Wiebenga, and I am the founder and owner of Fashion Unfolded by Mandy.    

My husband and I have been married 21 years and we own a landscaping company in the Quad Cities along with some rental property.

I enjoy traveling, shopping, working out and entertaining friends and family!

I appreciate Mandy sharing a little about herself with me.    My only complaint is she doesn't live close enough for me to get some help with my wardrobe!    Maybe one day she can do some kind of Skype or come into our homes via computer to help!

You can find Mandy on Instagram or Facebook here.

I hope you visit Mandy....I know you'll love her style as much as I do!







February 15, 2016

Annie Get Your Gun...and other random musings

What a week last week was!   If you read my blog you will recall I asked for prayers for a precious family whose daughter had taken her life on Super Bowl Sunday.   She was a friend of my 11 year old granddaughter, they had played tee ball and softball together for several years.    The memorial was held this past weekend at the high school.   There are just no words to describe something this horrendous....I still can't take it in.   

I started having a stomach bug that Sunday night and into Monday.   Then on Tuesday my daughter called saying she and the baby were home sick.   I went to her house and she was literally lying on the floor burning up!   I took her to an Urgent Care as the doctor couldn't work her in until Thursday!   I knew she couldn't wait that long.    Oh, and did I mention the baby had been diagnosed with the flu on Monday!?    She did not test positive for flu or strep but the doctor put her on Tamiflu and an antibiotic anyway.    I went to her house Tuesday through Thursday and by then she was much, much better.    But I forgot how much work a little 13 month old baby is....he's constantly on the move!   I had to run to the store to get some groceries for her as she had not had a chance to go.    Thankfully her husband has not been sick (yet)!

My husband and I had planned on going out of town on Friday then onto our son's house for the weekend but I got up Friday morning with major headache and sore throat.    I got my doctor to call me in a prescription and I stayed in bed all weekend.

Yeah, it's been fun around here but I think we're all on the road to recovery, finally!

This may be a touchy subject for some of you and I don't want to post anything that will bring about conflict or disagreements.    I'm talking about gun ownership.    For years my husband has wanted me to get a small one for protection.    I'm terrified of guns and don't even like to look at them.    But some things have happened to me recently that have me giving consideration to owning one.

About a month ago I was at one of our local malls.   I had picked something up I'd ordered and was just browsing on my way out to my car.    All of a sudden I heard a man yelling very loud the word "B_____________" (fill in the blank).    He yelled it several times and I thought maybe a couple was having a big argument in the store.   When I turned to see what was going on I saw this huge guy yelling at the security cop!   The guy was taking clothes off the racks and throwing them at security....he even threw the metal rack at the security man!   I was scared to death!   I hightailed it out and as soon as I got in my car I called the police who said they had someone either there or on the way (I was so shook up I couldn't remember what they said).     I later found out the guy had been banned from coming to the mall but he came anyway.

The very next day I was in a drug store and heard a woman yelling!    She didn't curse but she was telling the pharmacist she was "tired of it" and just generally making a fool of herself.    When she went to check out she had a small package of toilet paper and was yelling at the manager that if he wouldn't take her coupon that wasn't "the end of it".....I really don't know what she was talking about but when I checked out the manager said she didn't want to follow rules.    I guess with this happening the day after the mall incident, it brought home to me how vulnerable we are when we are out and about going about our day and something like this can happen anywhere and any time.

Now I know neither one of these incidents is extremely bad but they were (and are) upsetting to me.   I now am having second thoughts on having something to protect myself in the event I find myself in a precarious situation.     I don't even know if I could use a gun.    I do know that if I go that route, I plan on taking a course in the proper use of handling a weapon and defending myself.

Do any of you have a gun?   Did you take a course and do you feel that helped?   

I don't want this post to evolve into a political discussion....I will just delete those comments as I have found you can't argue politics or religion with anyone.    I simply want to know how you would go about defending yourself if you are even in a situation that you would need to.

On a different note, I hope anyone in the path of the severe weather headed your way stays safe and warm.   I think we are only supposed to get some pretty heavy rains.    Spring can't get here soon enough for me!




February 8, 2016

Prayer Request

I had a post ready to go this morning but last night we got some devastating news right in the middle of watching the Super Bowl at my daughter's home.   A precious 14 year old girl, who had played on my granddaughter's softball team, unexpectedly took her own life.   At this point, no one knows why and I can't even imagine what her family is going through.     They were a very close family who doted on and loved their two girls.   

Please keep this precious family in your prayers.    


January 6, 2016

I'm On Instagram!

You'd think since I can't post regularly on this blog I wouldn't have time to get on any social media but I am really enjoying following some great accounts on Instagram.     A year or so ago my granddaughter set me up on Instagram but I never did much with it (you 'll see some of my earlier feeble attempts!).    I still don't post a lot on it but I'm hoping to post more often as it doesn't take as much time as my blog and gives instant 'gratification'!

Here are a few photos I've posted:

 Fall den





Son's backyard






Lake neighbors


 Grandson (in swing) and my sister's grandson (they are 1 year apart)







Starbucks with granddaughter



I'd love for you to follow me on Instagram....you can find me here.

January 3, 2016

Favorite Things - Beauty Edition

I hope everyone had a happy New Year!   We went out for Mexican, then home to watch the Alabama-Michigan game.    My son-in-law is a huge Alabama fan so needless to say, he's a happy camper.   So happy in fact that he and their next door neighbor immediately bought their tickets to Glendale, Arizona for the National Championship game.

We went to their house on  New Year's Day for lunch....my daughter and I served ham, black eye peas, mashed potatoes, english peas, potato salad, two kinds of corn bread, and sliced onion.     The baby (who turned 1 on December 21st) is now on table food and I had a ball feeding him.   He loved the ham, mashed potatoes and english peas!

Now it's back to healthier eating!

I've shared some of my favorite beauty products in the past and wanted to update it.    You may see some of my favorites I've previously mentioned but that's because I really love them and use them all the time.

For years I used Merle Norman makeup.    I used to buy it here in town but the owner moved so I had to go about 20 miles to find another Merle Norman store.    Sometimes it wasn't convenient for me to go that far so I experimented with other foundations.    The one I'm using now is probably my favorite of all other brands I've tried.


L'Oreal True Match.   It gives pretty decent coverage and is a great match to my skin.   I wear "warm".

I apply it with a sponge I get at Target.  It's the Sonia Kashuk foundation sponge....two come in a package for around $5.79!

I set my makeup with a neutralizing powder I discovered a few years ago on one of the home shopping networks.   It also helps with redness on the face.



















I don't have a huge makeup routine but I like to stick with one that is tried and true and these are the products I use every day. 

I  also use  Merle Norman lasting cheek color in Dusty Rose.

Since I'm getting to a "certain age" my usual full eyebrows have started thinning.    I don't have to have my hairdresser pluck them anymore!    I don't like to have a harsh drawn on eyebrow so when I found this little eyebrow pencil it quickly became part of my makeup arsenal.






I also like to use a little illuminator around different areas of my face......down my nose, across the forehead and to highlight areas of my eyes.   I found this chart on Pinterest on how to use illuminator and it really helps know where to place it.



Before I put on my makeup I use this moisturizer.    It lasts forever and I really like it.





To remove my makeup at night I use these wet cleansing towelettes I get at Target.




 I also use baby oil to remove my eye makeup.   I rarely wear mascara anymore so taking off my eye makeup is easy. 

I've shared this product before but I thought it was worth mentioning again.   It's their Moroccan Infusion Dry Body Oil.   I squirt this on my legs and arms for a little healthy glow.  I also will squirt on some of the L'Oreal Magic Lumi on my shoulders and down my arms with the Dry Body Oil....makes your skin gorgeous!  



I know it's wintertime and we're not  thinking of looking tan right now, but it can't hurt to get a jump on a little color!   I have a couple of products that I've used that give a good, natural looking tan without being orange or streaky.   




Famous Dave's Self Tanning lotion is a good self tanner.   I always apply all my self tanners with a mitt that I buy at Ulta.  


Jergens Natural glow instant sun.   Right now this is my favorite of the two products.   I put a little moisturizer on my feet and then work my way up from my feet to my upper thigh area.   I don't have to use anything on my arms since they tan pretty easily....my legs not so much so I need all the help I can get on tanning my legs.   I NEVER use tanning beds at all (I have in the past but I know they are terrible for anyone to use).

A have a friend whose daughter has a little spray tan business in their media room.    I used her for the first time last summer for the 4th of July at the lake and it was the most natural looking spray tan I've ever received.....it lasted about 7 days too!    I'll get more spray tans from her this summer and found out the "tan" won't come off in a salt water pool which is what my son has.  

As far as my hair products, I don't use a lot.    My favorite hairspray is Kenra Professional Volume Spray.  



Sometime back I shared how I was looking for a new hairdresser.    You can read the original post here.    Basically, I was looking to change hairdressers after using the same one for a number of years.    When I wrote that post, I had just found someone I liked a lot but since I was "looking" I had another girl I wanted to try out before making a commitment to someone.    I liked the 2nd person better than the first one I changed to and she charges a little less too!     Believe it or not, I have one other person I'm considering for a haicut (not color) since a good friend of mine uses her and I know she can cut my hair in the style I want.    I just don't want to commit to one person like I did before until I'm sure I'm going to be happy!

A few years ago I wrote a post asking for suggestions on perfume.   For years I wore Beautiful by Estee Lauder but unfortunately my body chemistry doesn't work with that scent any longer.   I got some great suggestions but so far I haven't found anything that "speaks" to me.   I'm still looking and would love any suggestions you might have.

Well, I guess that about wraps up some of my favorite beautify products/tips.     I'd love to know if you try any of them and how you like them.    Also, please let me know your favorite products,  I always love hearing your recommendations.

Have you put your Christmas decorations away?    We got ours down and put away and my husband put away the floodlights today.      It feels good to have my house back in order!

Have a great week!












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