I LOVE surprises!

Surprises show me that you put some thought into it ahead of time…you were thinking of me when I didn’t even know it. Or you were out somewhere and something you saw made you think of me…enough to make you take action on my behalf.

Some of my favorite surprises are…

My kids showing up at my house unannounced…just because they hadn’t seen me in a while.

A letter in the mailbox…those are rare these days.

Flowers in the hands of my hubby…this one always makes me smile as he awkwardly hands them to me.

Meeting a friend when I’m out running errands…sometimes I think I surprise them more than they surprise me (I always seem to meet up when I’m in sweats and haven’t brushed my hair!)

Finding a baby animal of any kind…such adorable miracles.

Maybe there should be a 6th love language…words of affirmation is my strongest one, but surprises could take a very close second!

What are some good things you have been surprised with? Who can you surprise with something good today?


Valentine ideas for creating memories…

I used to spend a LOT of time making valentines with my kids…they’re all grown now, but I always love the sweet memories that come back every year when I start to see all the valentine posts. The smell of Elmer’s glue, glitter EVERYWHERE, Crayola markers, “I love mom”, paper doilies are all connected to the nostalgic GIFs in my brain. Looking forward to repeating the process with grands at some point down the road…

Need some inspiration for making your own memories? I put together a Pinterest board of lots of fun ideas for cards, gifts and decorations…


Week 7: A Friend

“A true friend accepts who you are, but also helps you become who you should be.” (

This is an interesting topic to contemplate. What is a true friend in your book?

It’s not just a person who always agrees with you no matter what. My truest closest friends are the ones who look me in the eyes and say…

“what were you thinking?”

“you are more beautiful than you think”

“you can do it!”

“I’m here, feeling it all with you”

“remember the good things”

“don’t forget to let go”

“learning and failing are the same thing depending on how you look at it”

“snap out of it!”

“yesterday is over, this moment is a fresh start”

I’ve had “friends” who put on a good face around me and then stabbed me in the back.

I’ve had “friends” who judged me based on the sliver of info they thought they had.

I’ve had “friends” who laid guilt trips on me a mile deep.

None of those things are constructive or helpful or beautiful in any way.

But a true friend will tell you the truth and love you anyway. They will stand by you when you mess up and tell you you’re going to survive this and learn and grow from it. They will see your potential on your darkest days and hand you your armor to get out and fight for yourself while they walk by your side. They treat your heart with tenderness but give you a kick in the pants to get your butt moving in the right direction.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

I am thankful, grateful, and so blessed to have had “iron friends” by my side throughout my life. They come and go but God always has them cross my path at the exact moment needed to develop that trust before it is needed. I can honestly say, were it not for these people, I would not be here today….

Thankful, grateful, blessed, and oh so much more!

What things make you think of a true friend?

AirBNB life, Reflection

The Bunk House Posse: Our Sheriff

This guy seriously reminds me of Don Knotts. He enjoys being in the middle of everything and he’s brave until confronted… then he’ll gladly let some other guy take charge!

Odie has been with us for 3 years. We brought him home when he was just a little bitty pup and he has definitely stolen our hearts. Even though I’m not crazy about having pets on our furniture, he sometimes melts my heart enough to get me to bend the rules for him. It’s hard to say no to those big brown eyes!

I had a migraine the day this was taken…Odie curled up next to me all day!

Family Favorite Recipes

family favorite recipe: chicken pot pie

This is one of the ultimate comfort foods in our house and it’s so easy to make!

I use store bought refrigerated pie crust and frozen vegies, but I do cook and shred my own chicken (although in a pinch, you could use canned chicken and I still think you’d get the same appreciation from the fam) Obviously you could alter the recipe and use fresh vegies and homemade pie crust…I just like the quick, easy nature of this recipe when I don’t reinvent the wheel. And of course, beef would make a lovely meal too!

I can’t take credit for this recipe…it’s a Pillsbury classic!

Classic Pot Pie

1 (15 oz. pkg) refrigerated pie crusts

1/3 Cup butter

1/3 Cup chopped onion

1/3 Cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 (14.5 oz.) can chicken broth (1 1/2 cups)

2/3 Cup milk

2 1/2 to 3 Cups shredded or chunk chicken

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed (I use a peas & carrots mix)

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare crusts as directed on package for a 2 crust pie using a deep dish pie pan.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook 2 minutes or until tender. Stir in flour, salt & pepper until well blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk; cook, stirring constantly, until bubbly and thickened.

Add chicken and vegetables; remove from heat. Spoon chicken mixture into crust-lined pan. Top with second crust and pinch edges to seal; cut slits in several places to allow steam to escape while cooking. (I protect the edges of the crust with foil to prevent over-browning.)

Bake at 425 degrees F for 30-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4-6

Hair Tricks & Trinkets

Partied out

I’ve done my share of parties…

birthday parties

engagement parties

retirement parties

superbowl parties

new year’s parties

4th of July parties

Christmas parties

…you get the idea.

Don’t get me wrong, I love hanging out with friends and family and having a great time and I actually really love entertaining, so most parties are fun even though I do get a bit stressed while planning and prepping. I might be slightly OCD when it comes to the details, menu and decorations.

But there’s one kind I’m just plain burnt out on. It’s a tough one to turn down because it usually centers around a friend or family member and I’m a people pleaser, so “no” is doubly hard to begin with. I love my friends and want them to be successful, but I really hate the whole “throw a party for me so I can sell my stuff to your friends and family” thing. I bust my backside trying to get people to come, begging people to come, but they’re burnt out too and don’t want to do yet another “party.”

I have my own small business and I’ve done direct sales before. When I started my current business, that was one of my non-negoatiables….I was NOT going to bug my friends and family to have parties or even to buy from me at all. I didn’t want the people I love to dread me coming around. After 2 1/2 years, I can honestly say, I have not chased after anyone… not a single person.

How have I done it? I started with vendor events, then tried parties with those customers, and worked tirelessly on social media. All of those things work, sometimes, but now I am needing to work from home…literally from the office in my home, so I am having to shift gears and I am loving the results.

I am working closely with other bloggers as part of my strategy and the other part is a brand new modified “party” that isn’t really a party at all. It has taken all the pressure off of me to “SELL” and off of my customers to “BUY”. I LOVE that!!! And it’s actually fun for everyone!

Here are the deets:

No high pressure sales, no begging people to come, no cleaning your house or making food no one ever eats…literally everyone wins, even if they don’t buy a thing!

Curious to know more? Email me or comment below…

Oh! And during the month of February 2020, hostess credit doubles for every $300+ treasure hunt and that looks like this:

Self Care & Motivation

sometimes I crawl…

At what point have you failed? What does that look like? If you’re at a complete standstill, have you failed?

There are times when I’ve been moving backward without even realizing it. Or sometimes spinning my wheels with everything I’ve got and not going anywhere. I choose not to call that failure UNLESS… I refuse to acknowledge my reality and do something to change it.

I believe steady progress in a desired direction is success. It may not have all the recognition and WOW factor of having achieved a huge goal of some sort, BUT IF YOU’RE STILL MOVING TOWARD AN END POINT, YOU’RE NOT FAILING. Very few of us sprint to the finish line…life just isn’t that simple and the path isn’t often clear or straight. I walk….a lot, but that still counts as making progress. Actually, to be honest, I crawl… A LOT.

But crawling is needed to develop the habits of persistence and self discipline. Those muscles must be developed before we can stand or walk or eventually run and jump. And we have to be focused on exactly what we’re trying to achieve. That focus is what reminds us to try again, and again, and again…

So if you’re still moving, you’re not failing!

What are some things you have had to crawl to in order to succeed?

Self Care & Motivation


Do you struggle with self care? Can’t find the time? Feel guilty if you do take the time?

You and I are 100% alike in that regard!

I’ve tried scheduling my self care activities into my day planner, I’ve tried making self care be the first thing I do every day. I’ve tried setting timers and alarms to remind myself to do self care. I’ve tried so many suggestions to get it done, that I can’t even remember them all.

But I don’t think it’s a scheduling problem, or a not enough time problem, or an “I forgot” problem. For me the problem is 2 fold: 1) I do not feel like I am important enough to stop doing for others in order to do something for myself, and 2) I struggle with telling others I can’t do something because I’m doing something for me. The 2 reasons are really very entwined.

I struggle deeply with unfounded guilt and effectively setting boundaries. People do not always take advantage of this weakness (sometimes they do) but I often project my assumptions onto them and thus feel that they are manipulating, guilting, or shaming me into doing what they want. And I get angry at myself for not standing up for myself and stating what I am going to do…for not drawing a line in the sand and saying “I’m worth taking care of…here’s what I need.”

I cannot tell you how many times I have planned to go ride my horse (which is healthy in so many ways for me…physically, mentally, spiritually) only to have other things come up and I whisper “tomorrow” while knowing in my heart, the very same thing is going to happen tomorrow. So now I have shifted from feeling guilt from others to feeling guilt from myself about myself. SIGH…

So today, I am riding my horse! I am going to go this afternoon right after a meeting I have (which is not far from the barn) and I am going to take video &/or pics to post here when I get home. Today is the day I am going to stand firm in what I need to be healthy and whole and able to function at my best. Today is the day I will be accountable to myself. Today is the day I am going to thank God for this gift and actually use it…

a “btween the ears” shot while riding Doc…