Category Archives: Holidays

Happy 4th of July

What does today mean to you? Maybe you’re going to a BBQ and then watching fireworks afterwards? That’s what we do, right? But, what if, we dug deeper to find out why we celebrate this holiday?

So, when we think about July 4th we think of the Declaration of Independence, right? The day America was born, July 4, 1776. You can read all about the history HERE. It’s pretty interesting to go back in time and learn of all the neat history stuff of America.

I usually spend this day reflecting on how fortunate and blessed we are to live in America. It’s such a cool place! Of course we are having a BBQ and my hubby and his friend Mike are setting off a huge firework show in our pasture as a grand finale for the evening. We are having some close friends come over, nothing big and fancy. Sometimes, it’s the simple gatherings we have with our close friends and family that make it so much more memorable.

So, what are your plans for today? Stay safe and have a wonderful day no matter what you are doing!



*Photo Credit: These images are not my own and I have no knowledge of their source.



It’s Finally Here!



I’ve been waiting all year for this day!  I absolutely love this time of year!  Is anyone else as crazy about FALL as I am?  I say this every year but it’s so true!  There is just something about the cooler air, the pumpkins, making apple butter, festivals and well, you know…..all the fun stuff!  Unfortunately, we don’t have the beautiful scenery of the leaves changing here in Florida, but I do try to make it as “Fally” (I’m pretty sure that isn’t even a word) as I can.


The first thing that comes to mind is making my Aunt Linda’s Pumpkin Bread.  I’ve tweaked it a little bit to make it a healthier version (sorry, Aunt Linda) but it tastes just as yummy as hers does.  You can get the recipe and make it yourself HERE.

Aunt Linda's Pumpkin Bread

I’m also usually making apple butter that I go up to Tennessee or North Carolina in the fall and go apple pickin’.  We have a trip planned to Virginia this year so I’ve got to look and make sure I can bring a bushel back for my canning.

So, here’s to FALL! I hope you have some fun and relaxing things planned this season.  Just spending it with family and friends maybe around a fire or tossing a football on Sunday afternoons is perfect enough.


Oh, I almost forgot to mention, but here are some FREE printables for you to use.  Check out all the goodies HERE.

bop fall printable distressed

I also wanted to mention that I have some new FALL signs listed in my Etsy shop.  I keep adding more from time to time and I will be adding a Painting Workshop so you can learn all my techniques.  Be sure and sign up for my newsletter so you can be first to know!



Fall Blessings,





Why We Didn’t Have a BBQ Today


This year is a little different.  I’m not trying to be unsociable, but I’m looking at things differently now.

You see, my father passed away at the end of January and he was retired from the US Army.  He also served in two tours in Vietnam.  He died from an Agent Orange related illness caused in Vietnam.

I guess I never really understood when I was younger why we “really” celebrate Memorial Day.  The real definition is this…..


Memorial Day, an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May, honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer.

Memorial Day, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars.

In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees; the change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.*


Gatherings and BBQ’s are nice, don’t get me wrong, but we decided to not do anything this year.  We went to the Florida National Cemetery where my father was buried.   I’m still in awe at how many graves are just at our state cemetery.  As I walked past row by row, I just thought to myself, how many families are hurting on a daily basis because of a loved one that didn’t come back from war or died later as a result of that war.

Each of these gravestone markers has a story and history.  They were all unique, brave and courageous and fought the good fight!

This Memorial Day, I salute you soldiers, both men and women, who died in any of the wars and who died later as a related illness from that war just like my dad did.  This is why we celebrate Memorial Day!

I miss him so much!  I am so glad he’s rejoicing with our Father in Heaven and no longer suffering.  He is healed.  This is my dad on the left and his brother on the right.  How cool would it be to be in Vietnam with your sibling?

I hope you enjoyed your holiday no matter how you celebrated it. J



Simple Gifts

rom Alex & Samantha

I love gift giving!  Not just at Christmas, but anytime throughout the year.  I’m always trying new things and experimenting, so it’s fun giving your goodies away, especially when they turn out nice!

Every year at Christmas, I plan to give homemade gifts to my friends and family.  They truly are gifts from the heart.  Not all of my family is “country” like me, so I try to make things that everyone will love!

Here are my Top 5 Simple Gifts to make:

  1. Beeswax Candle –   I got these cute little jars on clearance at Hobby Lobby.  They are roughly 4oz. jars so I decided to make candles.  I love how they turned out! Stay tuned for my recipe 🙂DSC_2109.JPG
  2. Homemade Apple Sauce & Apple Butter – I don’t add any extra sugar, so this is very diabetic friendly or if you just avoid sugar altogether.  It takes a few days to make it, but so worth it.  I used apples I brought back from a trip from North Carolina back in October.DSC_2110.JPG
  3. Pumpkin Bread – This is the best Pumpkin Bread ever!  I seriously mean it.  It’s moist and yummy and makes the perfect gift for someone!  CLICK HERE for the recipe.DSC_2111.JPG
  4. Wood Ornaments – I gave (3) ornaments to each of my nieces and nephews for Christmas.  I placed them in these cute little bags and tied ribbon and wrote their name on the outside of the bag. We ended up making ornaments tonight with glass balls and these were a perfect addition to them.  I brought all my paint and embellishments, while my sister-n-laws brought the rest.  Too cute!DSC_2113
  5. Lip Butter – It feels just like “butta” on your lips.  Well, not the taste of it but the texture.  Everyone uses lip balm.  So, why not give something that is healthy and healing to the lips.  CLICK HERE for my recipe.DSC_2114.JPG

I hope you and your family had a joyous and blessed Christmas!  Keeping it simple is how I do it around here.  There’s nothing like homemade gifts!  When you make something, it comes from the heart!

Lots of blessings!




Untitled design

As we approach this Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, I reflect back on my life throughout the year and realize just how “Thankful” I am.  I strive to show through myself to others just how appreciative and blessed my life is.  I’ve been married for 20 years to a great man, have two awesome kids, local photographer, very active in my church and community and you know…..Sometimes we take for granted just how simple our lives should be.  I’ve been working really hard at not running around and being so “busy” all the time.  When I feel hurried or like I have too much going on, I just stop and ask God to intervene – to give me peace and make this day what he wants it to be!

Doing all I do is a lot of work, but I love every minute of it.  Back in August, my pastor’s wife made a post on Facebook about needing someone to watch her baby.  I prayed about it and told God if he wanted me to do, then open up some free time.  So, I told her I could do it on Thursdays and she wrote me back and said “That was the only day that hadn’t been filled”. Love how God always makes things work out.  Their little girl is now one years old and she brings such joy to my Thursdays now!  I’m GIVING THANKS to God for letting me see that post and for trusting me to watch their child.

Last Thursday I knew I wouldn’t get to see her tomorrow because of Thanksgiving but I wanted to do something cute for her mom and dad, something they could keep as a memory and give to her when she gets older.

So, after her morning nap, we sat down and I traced her hand.  I can’t believe she sat still long enough for me to do that LOL.  I brought over all my crafty stuff and just made a simple little card for them out of her hand.  It’s important to document our lives even at one years old.

I wanted to show my pastor and his wife just how thankful I am that I get to watch their little girl on Thursdays.

I pray you have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow and as you go around the table or throughout the day, tell someone just how thankful you are!





It’s that time of year ya’ll…..


I look forward to this day all year long!  Do you get giddy when the heat of the summer ends and you start waking up to cooler weather?  I sure do…..

It’s been a few months since I posted last.  Not that I haven’t had anything to say; I spent the summer hanging with my family and just really wanted to enjoy myself.

So, I am back and I have a bunch of new stuff that I will be sharing with you over the next few months.  But, for now, I have to share with you why I love this time of year…..


We aren’t fortunate enough here in Florida to receive God’s beauty of the blanket of leaves that happen in October.  I’m a WV girl and miss it so much!  I actually try and go somewhere north of here every fall so I can capture a glimpse of the vibrant colors!  They’res just something about the change of season from summer to fall.  My poor hubby doesn’t get it.  But, he’s a Florida boy so I guess I can’t expect him to (sigh).

I am excited to tell ya’ll that I have a trip planned in just a few weeks to go to my home state of West Virginia and then stop in North Carolina on my way back to visit with some more of my family.  I can’t wait!  With that in mind, I can’t help but think of my sweet Aunt Linda as I’ve always thought of her as a 2nd mother.  She makes the best Pumpkin Bread and you can find the recipe HERE.  You have to try it – fresh and hot out of the oven, it is just so scrumptious!

Aunt Linda's Pumpkin Bread

Fall Blessings!  I would love to hear about any activities you have planned for Fall.  Feel free to share them with me on my Facebook Page.

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Being Grateful and Thankful


Today is the day that I give thanks….

I’m thankful for an amazing God that we serve and for my friends and family that surround me each and everyday!

Wishing you a day filled with lots of blessings and the joy of love in your heart!