Monday, April 28, 2014

Rattlesnake Rodeo Recap

This post is a couple weeks late, but better late than never. The band that I sing in, the JT Jordan Band, had the opportunity to play at the Opp Rattlesnake Rodeo.  It is the 54th annual rodeo, but it is the first year that they had a family day on Sunday, which featured Christian artists. They have always only had country acts on Saturday nights in the past, so this was a welcome addition. (This year, Easton Corbin headlined on Saturday night, and in the past I have seen Blake Shelton and Sugarland there just to name a couple.) We had so much fun and cherish every opportunity we get to play. 

 Let me introduce you to the band!

 John Akridge// bass

 Jonathon Hornsby// drums

JT Jordan// rhythm guitar and our fearless leader 

Tanner Jackson// lead guitar 


After we finished with our set, I hopped on over to the Feed the Children table and volunteered for the remainder of the event.  Feed the Children provides food and other essentials to poverty-stricken children worldwide. 

I got to man the table with these two lovely gals!  So glad I got to spend some time with Anna and Bethany.

Sweet Bethany and this girl!

While we were volunteering, we got to hear some amazing music! (And I am happy to say that a lot of children had new sponsors after that night!)

Hawk Nelson

Family Force 5

Crank it like a chainsaw!  These guys are so fun! I have a couple of their songs on my workout playlist. 

Building 429

The music was amazing and family friendly! I appreciate having something like this in our city and hope they continue it in the years to come. 

I couldn't leave you with a post about The Rattlesnake Rodeo without a picture of a real rattlesnake, could I?  (My brave Ashlyn standing fearlessly close to the cold-blooded thing, being professionally handled I might add.)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day is fast approaching!  (It's May 11th.) That's really not that far away and if you are like me, you need the reminder. Here are some items I found that would make excellent gifts, and they are all under $40!

1.) For the "Hard to buy for" mom.  Why not get her a beautifully hand illustrated card? Add a gift card to her favorite store and she is sure to love it.  Love You Heaps Card $4.50 from Littlelow
2.) For the "Prim and Proper" mom. If your mom writes thank you notes for everything, then this is the gift for her.  Return Address State Stamp.  $35 from Stephanie Creekmur.
3.) For the "Jet-Setter" mom.  Is your mom always traveling, planning her next getaway as soon as she gets home from her latest travel? Get her the Largo Travel Accessories. $19.99 from Z Gallerie
4.) For the "Foodie" mom.  Does your mom love to cook for her family and for others? Then this adorable Personalized Family Cake Stamp is just the thing for her. $29.22 from SophiaVictoriaJoyLtd.
5.) For the "Artsy" mom. This art print is colorful and has a beautiful message. You Are So Loved Art Print. $18 from The Wheatfield. 
6.) For the "Tech" mom.  Get her the Largo iPad Cover in her favorite color. $19.99 from Z Gallerie.

Have a great weekend!  And don't forget to get that Mother's Day shopping done. 

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring Curb Appeal

Since the year I got married, nine years ago now, and had a home of my own to beautify, I have been faithfully decking out my porches, pots, and flowerbeds with beautiful spring color.  As soon as Southern Belle Nursery gets their spring plants in, I am chomping at the bit to get there and pick out plants for the spring and summer. (And Mrs. Jan Bloxham, owner of the quaint little nursery, has patiently answered my many, many questions about the plants each spring.  I knew absolutely nothing about gardening and plants when I first got married and have been gleaning all the knowledge I can from those in the know.) 

Since we have only been in our current home for almost two years, I am still getting adjusted to what I can plant where.  I have a lot more shade in the front yard than I did at our other home, so I have had to change up some of my go-to plant selections.  To fill my pots, Mrs. Jan helped me pick out some plants that coordinate well together and compliment each other nicely. 

I have two rather large pots at either side of our side entrance.  The picture really doesn't do it justice as to size.  All I had planted was some asparagus fern that my friend Stephanie gave me. (I'm not going to say, "Thank you," for the plants she gave me.....because as any avid gardener here in the South will tell you, if you say thank you for a plant given to you, it will die. You have to say, "I appreciate it.") So, Stephanie, I appreciate the lovely asparagus ferns you gave me!  (And I still appreciate the Scrabble tile you gave me as well.)

I put the plants in the pot in their little containers to see how I wanted to plant them all. It's always a good idea to do a trial run to make sure it will look like you want it. 

And here it is with everything planted in its place.  The pot on the other side of the doors mirrors this one. 

I used:
Asparagus Fern
Purple Fountaingrass
Joseph's Coat
Dusty Miller
Red Hot Sally Salvia

I look forward to it all growing in together.  The Fountaingrass in the middle will give the pots some nice height and the asparagus fern and Joseph's Coat should spill over nicely.  I love the green, red, and purple together. It is a good contrast against the orange brick. 

And here is what our little corner looked like at the beginning of this week. Last year, I used the ladder as a plant stand and it looked so cute.  But now, the poor thing has seen better days.  And the freezes we had killed a lot of my plants so I didn't have a lot to fill in anymore.  This corner had been pretty neglected through the winter and was looking pretty bad. 

I am kind of at a loss as to what to do in this corner because our gas line and dryer vent is right there.  I might try to plant something permanent there later when I figure out something that might can live there.  For now, I added a plant stand with ferns and few pots below to fill in that corner. (I still need to add pine straw to the ground there to make it look nicer.)

We just planted our landscaping last in the front early spring last year.  Everything is growing and filling in nicely for the most part.  (To see the before, go here.)

We still have a few bare spots to fill in, but for the most part I am satisfied with how it is looking. 

But on this side of the house, we have some issues.  Nothing is growing as quickly as the other side because of the shade here.  There is a large Crepe Myrtle and River Birch that keep the flowerbed shaded most of the day.  I think we will have to find some shade tolerant plants for this side and move the Knockout Roses somewhere else so they can thrive as the other side has. 

The two pots at my front door have coleus, alyssum, and I forget what those flowers are. 

I added Petunias and Alyssum to the flower box.  Right now it looks kind of puny, but I hope that it will grow well and fill in and spill over eventually.  

Just look at those puny Knockout Roses and Boxwoods compared to the other side of the landscape!  Too much shade to grow well. 

I really need to figure out what to plant on this side so it doesn't look so sad compared to the other side of the house. I think I will add some hostas and holly bushes like that one in the background that does well in that spot.  Not sure how to bring color on this side, though. 

And this little guy is my Canadian Hemlock.  He isn't very big now, but he will be.  They are so pretty and I can't wait until it grows. I planted it last fall. (I ordered it from the Arbor Day Foundation.)

Can you see my little friend there on my daylillies?  We have lots of those around here. 

And we have lots of these guys, too. They like to torture our dog, Molly. 

So here is where I need your help.  This tree I'm not sure what the name of it is.  It has little yellow blooms that smell just like banana Laffy Taffy.  We just call it our banana tree. 

Anybody know the correct name for this tree?  

Also, I'm not sure what this one is, either.  It has pretty white blooms.  Anybody know what it is?

Okay. I will stop over-sharing about my yard and flowers now.  I just can't help myself.  I love, love, love to get my hands dirty then see my hard work pay off when my plants thrive.  Have you had spring fever too? 

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Nightstand Makeover

Still in true fashion of keeping up the longest running room makeover in the history of room makeovers, I am just now getting around to refinishing a nightstand that has probably been sitting in my garage for at least a year. 

My grandmother gave it to me to refinish for her bedroom thinking it was solid wood.  It was not. It was in pretty rough shape with chipped corners and the top bubbling up where something wet had sat on it.  I gave her a nightstand I had that was in better condition thinking that this one was going to get trashed. Yet still, it sat in my garage. I couldn't bear to throw it away even though it looked so rough, hoping that I could maybe salvage it. 

That is where the Zinsser comes in.  This stuff is wonderful!  It is a primer, stain blocker, and bond coat in one.  I put two coats of primer on it.  The finish after the primer wasn't the best, but considering what I was working with, it was okay. I originally was going to paint this white, but after seeing what it looked like after two coats of primer, I opted to go with blue to cover better.  (I thought that the room needed some color on the wall where this was going so it worked out well.) To cover the imperfections on the top of the nightstand, I used Mod Podge to adhere scrapbook paper to the top.  Two coats of Mod Podge and a layer of clear sealer later, it came out looking great!

I spray painted the knobs gold so they would pop against blue drawers. I love the combination of black and white, blue, and gold. It goes so well together. 

(In case you missed the post about the gallery wall, click here. And the post about how to make the monogram wall art, here.)

As you can tell, the room is coming together, but it still lacks a few things that would make it complete.  Here is what my current list looks like......

Shared Bedroom To-Do List:
*Paint over tree wall 
*Paint polka-dot feature wall
*Get new (or in this case, gently used) matching beds
*Order Ashlyn a coverlet that matches Katlyn's existing one
*Get new blinds
*Hang new curtains
*Make throw pillows 
*Make monogram art
*Replace ceiling fan
*Find nightstand or table to put in between beds (refinishing one)
*Hang art on walls
*Find a throw blanket, quilt, or comforter to go at end of bed and be used during colder weather
*Spray paint existing lamp and get new lamp shade.  Actually ended up using an existing light fixture.
*Paint closet doors with chalkboard paint

Only four more things to cross off and I will be done. I have had a diffucult time finding the correct bedding/pillow covers/fabric to make them so I came up with an idea that I can't wait to tell you about. It is on its way, but I am going to stay tight-lipped about it for now. Have a marvelous Tuesday!

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