Tag Archives: KariAnne Wood

Fall Garden Planning (and a Giveaway)

It’s finally here! Have you been waiting for summer to end like me? Here in Florida, there’s only a handful of items we can grow during the summer. It’s so hot and I long for fall so I can start planting again. I just planted a few rows of green beans and speckled butter beans a few weeks ago and they are popping up nicely.

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I’ve been gardening for years and every year, it’s always a trial and error. If something goes wrong one season, I just learn from it and try again the next season. Do you ever have those “so close to amazing” moments in the garden? Ok, I’m the only one LOL?

I always start with designing my garden each season with a scratch piece of paper. You have to draw it out so you don’t plant the same crop in the same spot. Crop rotation and companion planting are the biggest points in laying out the garden. Once you get that accomplished, it’s easy breezy!

So, I created some cute sheets to help me manage my crops better and so I can see at a glance just how everything is doing. I also made this book where I tear out pages in magazines that I know I will want to reflect back on. Oh, you do this too? So glad I’m not the only OCD person over here LOL.

So here is where you come in. I am launching my super cool amazing garden planning sheets soon, but I need a few “testers” to try them out. Are you in? All you have to do is download them, print them out and start using them in your own garden planning. Did I mention they are “FREE” to you? If this sounds like something you’d like to help me out with, then comment on this post and I’ll email you the link so you can get started. I want your honest opinion. Tell me what works and if you want to see anything else on them. Our next planting date is September 5-6, according to the Farmers Almanac. I pretty much follow their guidelines. Once you provide me with your email, I will send you a more detail list of how this whole TESTER thing works.

After I get everyone’s feedback back, I am going to list these downloadable sheets in my Etsy shop. I want to help as many people as possible have successful gardens. We are all busy and these sheets I feel are going to minimize the stress and trial and error in the garden. Looking forward to meeting you TESTERS!

Now, on to the amazing GIVEAWAY!!! If you’ve been following along lately, then you know I’ve been part of a book launch team for KariAnne Wood’s new book “So Close to Amazing”. She is the blogger behind Thistlewood Farms.

Live Party & Book Giveaway!

This book made me laugh and cry, was inspirational, uplifting and full of hope that we don’t always have to be “perfect” and we all “mess up”. I’ve been honored to be a part of this team and I’m also part of the Book Tour. You can read all about it HERE.

So, in honor of my friend, KariAnne, I am giving away two, that’s right TWO copies of her book and they are both signed by the amazing author herself!!

This book needs to be in the hands of every woman out there. Give them to new mom’s, grandma’s, friends, sisters, etc. They make awesome gifts!!!

If you want to pre-order, you can do so HERE and KariAnne has some amazing gifts if you order by September 4th. You can get it on Kindle right now for $9.99 and hardcover is only $12.36. Both such a great deal!!

To enter the giveaway, here’s all you need to do:

1. Like my Facebook Page – Little House Simple Living
2. Comment on this post. I want to hear about all of your “So Close to Amazing” stories. We all have them right? Let’s build each other up and encourage one another.

CLICK HERE to ENTER – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oh, and I forgot to mention, at the end of each chapter of “So Close to Amazing”, KariAnne is sharing some amazing DIY’s that you can try out at home! Isn’t she the coolest!!!

Good Luck and I can’t wait to pick the lucky winners! There will be 2 of them drawn using Rafflecopter.

Blessings,

Wendy

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We Can All Be Amazing

Do you ever have one of those days where everything is just perfect and amazing? Or what about a whole week worth of amazingness? The kind that nothing goes wrong. Everything you do is done well. Everyone you come across has a smile on their face. You go to reach for your Halo Top ice cream and your regular flavors are packed full and in-stock. OK, me neither…..let’s bring it down to reality now LOL. We all have moments in our days where there might be something that was absolutely amazing, right?

What about when you talk with your friends or new people that you meet? Do you ever compare yourself to them or build them up when they’ve done something amazing? Can’t we all be amazing? Absolutely! This life isn’t about me. I strive to always encourage everyone I come in contact with no matter what it is. It not only gives me joy, but that person will shine and we both rise!

So, today is one of those AMAZING days!!!

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I’m excited to announce that the blog tour starts today for the book I’ve been reviewing called So Close to Amazing by my friend, KariAnne Wood of Thistlewood Farms. This is going to be a blog tour of stories and reviews of anyone’s “so close” experiences. We all have them! I’m excited to be co-hosting along with 12 other amazing bloggers. Please join our linky party and share your #soclosetoamazing moments as well as those amazing ones.

So Close to Amazing will be available on September 5, 2017. Pre-order HERE by September 4, 2017 and you can receive some amazing prizes included with your purchase.

You will find this book heartwarming, super funny, filled with faith and there’s even these cute pages with DIY projects straight from KariAnne at the end of each chapter.

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A Blog Tour of So Close to Amazing – Stories and Reviews

August 21 – September 16, 2017

I invite you to link up your book review about So Close to Amazing so we can share with others all of our #soclosetoamazing moments and encourage one another. You don’t even have to have a blog. Just share away! Have you had a DIY project gone bad? Maybe you found that garage sale dresser that you just thought would look so cute if you stripped it and re-painted it in a cute chalky paint color but ended up being a big flop? We want to see these! We’re all imperfect but we’re also here to build everyone up and hopefully laugh a little once we look back on these little mess ups LOL. #soclosetoamazing

PRIZES. Did I mention PRIZES?

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Each time you link up to the party on any of the 13 bloggers, you will be entered to win one of the two prizes. How cool is this?? (2) winners will be announced randomly on Thistlewood Farms blog on September 17, 2017. Good luck!!!

CO-HOSTS

Please visit all of our co-hosts and I hope you enjoy reading all of their reviews and stories of their #soclose moments.

Thistlewood Farms

Botanic Bleu

My Creative Days

A Fresh Squeezed Life

A Delightful Glow

Kim Ink

Not a Trophy Wife

Nourish and Nestle

Bluesky Kitchen

Noting Grace

Not Just Paper and Paint

Sondra Lyn at Home

Evey’s Creations

I pray you will be touched by these heartwarming reviews. It’s been such an honor to stand alongside with these 12 bloggers and to be part of the launch team with my friend KariAnne. If you have any questions on how the linky party works, please email me at wendy@littlehousesimpleliving.com.

Don’t forget to PRE-ORDER So Close to Amazing by KariAnne Wood by September 4, 2017 and get those amazing PRIZES just because she loves you! 

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Blessings!
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Under cooked Cornbread and new friends

I’ll never forget the time that we moved to our cute little town in the country. It was 2006. I loved this place! But I was missing something. My husband worked all day and I spent time with my two kids. Don’t get me wrong, we had a great time playing and learning all kinds of fun things. Something was missing. I needed people other than the four of us, like friends. I was new here and didn’t know a soul.

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About a year after we moved here, I got settled and got the nerve to go to our local community club for their annual meeting and potluck. I was so excited that I got to cook for someone other than my family and maybe I might see a friendly face there. I started my cornbread around 5:30 and made it just as usual.  Because I wasn’t sure how large of a crowd there was going to be, I cooked it in a 9×13 tin foil pan and figured I’d cut it into squares. After preparing it, I put it in the oven and let it cook like normal time, pulled it out and wrapped it in foil.

When we got to the club, I was so nervous and when we got out, everyone said hi to us and I thought to myself, “This is going to be such a fun place.” We went in and introduced ourselves and grabbed a seat at one of the tables. The president then called everyone into the kitchen so we could say the blessing and dig in. A real nice lady had taken my cornbread to the kitchen so she could cut them into squares to make it easier for people to grab.

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I was so excited for everyone to taste my cornbread. I wondered if people ate it like we did. I was in line to fix our plate, and that same nice lady came out and told me my cornbread wasn’t done. “What do you mean it wasn’t done?” I asked her. I cooked it just like normal. But, wait a minute…..I just remembered I doubled the recipe and forgot to double the time to cook it. Really? How could I forget that. It was supposed to be amazing or so I thought. The lady was so sweet and just laughed and said, “It happens.”

So, needless to say, no one really got to taste my amazing cornbread but I did end up walking out of there with a few friends that night.

Let’s fast forward to today…..I have some of the most amazing friends now and I owe it all to God for nudging me to go to a meeting at the club. I love this little club I am a member of. I served as treasurer for three years and as a board member.

So, here is my update for Chapter 8 this week in KariAnne Wood’s new book “So Close to Amazing”. Just like me, KariAnne wanted to make friends and joined a garden club and brought an under-cooked roast to the meeting. Can you imagine the laughs at her meeting too?? I can’t wait for you to read the rest of the chapter when the book comes out.

Speaking of the book release, I have some exciting news for you! KariAnne is offering some pretty sweet goodies if you order her new book before September 4, 2017. Check  it out! You can pre-order HERE.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!
Pre-order bonuses also include:

A FREE set of downloadable planning printables from Just a Girl and Her Blog
80% discount off a Lightroom Essentials Class from UnSkinny Boppy
25% discount off my Painted Fox collection
A FREE set of Paris graphics from The Graphics Fairy
A 50% discount for a brand-new handlettering class with Jocie from One Project Closer

How cool is this? You get all of these amazing goodies just for pre-ordering her new book, So Close to Amazing.

I have to tell you, I am one of the hosts for the Pre-Launch Party, so yay, you can party with me. More details to come…..

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Have an amazing week!!

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From Trash to Treasure in the Minivan

I’m back from my trip to North Carolina and boy, am I glad to be home! Don’t get me wrong….I absolutely love going to visit my family and I’d probably move there if I could, but when you leave and you’re driving on the interstate and you finally get home and back in your groove, it just feels good.

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Ok, so let’s re-cap from where I left off. You can read last week’s post here.  I got up to Jacksonville safely with my charged battery and walked into the car rental place. When I pulled in, they had Tahoe’s. My husband really wanted me to drive one as he thinks we are going to buy one some day LOL. He said that renting it would give me an idea if I would like it or not. Ok, he’s right ha ha. I asked the guy if I could get the Tahoe since they had two sitting on the lot. He said, “Sure.” I handed him my debit card and he said that I can only go up to a mini-van if I use a debit card. Well, we strive to live debt free and do not have a credit card.  So, I guess I’m driving the mini-van after-all.  They told me that I’d have much more room to bring stuff back than the Tahoe anyway. Score!

I get to North Carolina on Friday afternoon and I got straight to work.  I told my family to get tables out while I started organizing piles within the same categories. In the midst of doing this, my family said take anything I want. Really? No, I can’t do that. They are trying to make some money so I’m here to help them sell. Stay focused Wendy. I started pricing everything accordingly and then my family said, “Are you sure you don’t want this?” as they show me a bunch of garden tools, a scroll saw, an old wooden sled and so much more. If they didn’t sell, they were just going to take it to the local thrift store. I said, “Let me think about it.” As the night went on, I started adding a few items. Next thing I knew, I had a ton of stuff to fill my mini-van with LOL.

IMG_9662Saturday came and we had an amazing yard sale. Pretty much everything sold except some Christmas items and a few other odds and ends. (What actually is an odd and an end???)  I guess it’s just too hot to think about decorations. We were sweaty and tired but we hung in there. Kind of reminds of that song by Survivor…..Face to Face, out in the heat, hangin’ tough, stayin’ hungry….the Eye of the Tiger. Oh yeah!

My family kept saying, “Please take this or that”. We can’t take it to Texas (where they are moving to). I can’t believe all of the treasures I brought home with me. Let me tell you. That mini-van was such a blessing. There is no way that I could have gotten everything in the Tahoe so in hindsight, this was the way to go. I packed it so efficient too. I came home with these two beautiful white rockers that are going to look amazing on my future front porch. I packed boxes tightly in every nook and corner, making sure nothing gets loose while I’m driving. I also received a plow and sickle that are over 100 years old as well as two ladder-back chairs that were my great grandparents. What gifts and items that I will treasure forever!

“I learned that sometimes what looks like trash is actually treasure. And that God doesn’t make junk.” I love this quote from KariAnne Wood’s new book I’ve been reviewing for the past six weeks. I just finished up Chapter 6  and it is no coincidence that every week, the chapter resonates with what is going on in my life right then and there.

You can pre-order her book and I know you are going to love it! I can’t wait to get my hard copy. Ooh, I almost forgot! Save the Date for September 5th as I’m going to be doing a Launch Party and will be going Live on my Facebook page.  It’s going to be so much fun! I hope you’ll join me!!

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Have a great weekend!

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Life Lessons in a Dead Battery

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It’s Thursday…..how’s your week going? I hope it’s been filled with pockets of joyful moments! I’ve had an amazing week! My friends and I had a pre-Bible study gathering just so we can plan out everything and I got to meet a few new ladies. We are starting Beth Moore’s – Believing God and I can’t wait to see how God moves in our group.

So, the week has been going great, that is until yesterday. I got in my car to go somewhere yesterday and it wouldn’t start. I thought, “That’s weird.” It’s a 2016 and I couldn’t imagine that the battery would be dead. Uhmm, so I called a friend and they came over and gave me a charge and let me borrow their jumper cables, just in case. I was able to get it going and then it shut off on me again. Meanwhile, I’m trying to put a trip together to go to North Carolina to help some of my family with a moving sell. Does my car not know that I need it work so I can leave? On top of that, I had to be at the airport in an hour to pick up my husband’s 93 year old grandmother and his aunt. Scream….well, no I didn’t LOL. I wanted to but I dropped everything I was doing and asked God to help me. I looked over and saw my son’s truck there. Light bulb??? I’ll just take his truck to get nana. Perfect, then I will deal with the car issue later.  I picked up nana and Aunt Rita and drove them back home. I called my son and asked if he would check out my battery when he got home. He called me and said he was able to start my car and took it up to the auto store and they checked it and everything was fine. Uhhmmm again….

So, here we are today. I went to go start my car and nothing. Absolutely nothing. I have a rental car I have to pick up at 1pm and a million other things to do and my car won’t start. Really?

The car rental place called me and said they don’t have the SUV that I wanted available. But I need it so I can bring some antiques from my family back home with me. So, the lady offered me a mini-van and she said it’s actually got more cargo room. BONUS! I can bring more stuff back with me LOL. Things might be looking up!

I called my husband, who is out of town, and he told me, go up to the auto store and buy you a set of cables to have in your car and then use Kyle’s truck to start your car, drive it to the rental place and pick up the rental. He said the car should have enough charge by then. Your battery isn’t dead. It sounds like a light got left on. So, it’s that simple. Why didn’t I think to have jumper cables in my car??

If you’ve been following me each week, then you know about me reviewing KariAnne Wood’s book , So Close to Amazing. This was a #soclose moment.

My favorite quote Chapter 6 is “You’ve got this,” I whispered. “It’s just a floor. These are just nails. They can’t keep winning forever.”

My battery is just like the issues that KariAnne had with her floor removal job in the book. God’s got this. He always does. I will fill you in next week when I get back from my trip. Can’t wait to share with you all my finds!

Have an amazing weekend!

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And I, too am beautifully and wonderfully made

That’s what resonated with me this week as I read Chapter 5 of “So Close to Amazing”.  If you’re following me, every week I am reading a chapter in KariAnne Wood’s new book, “So Close to Amazing” and it’s really hard not to read ahead to the next chapter LOL. I’m part of the launch team, yeah I know, little ‘ole me and I’m so honored to have been chosen to be a part of this. The book is due to come out September 5, 2017 but you can pre-order the book right now on Amazon and it will be shipped to you as soon as it’s released. How cool is that?

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So, how was your 4th of July? We hosted this year and we had fabulous food, wonderful friends and the best fireworks ever with even music to go along with them! I even made my homemade yummy chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter butter cream frosting that are really quite healthy and I dare not tell anyone what’s in them. I’m thinking about sharing the recipe one day so stay tuned for that. I had primitive fabric cut perfectly for my tables and I even fresh picked sunflowers from my garden and put them in mason jars. Everything was perfect except for……the drinks. Well, let’s just say, they didn’t turn out the way I thought they would.

See, we don’t use regular “chemical” white sugar anymore and I had a great recipe to make a Peach Sweet Tea and Lemonade. I even made my simple syrup. Well, apparently you don’t put coconut sugar and honey in lemonade and my so called sweet tea was so bland and just not serving worthy. So, we made a dash to our local supermarket and bought their gallon jugs. I’ll have to work on that for sure. That will be another post down the road. #soclose

But what about my cute galvanized silo looking dispensers I bought at Wal-mart that I was going to put the drinks in. I didn’t have time to empty the non-worthy drinks, clean the dispensers and fill with fresh great tasting drinks.  But I wanted it to be perfect.

“Not only does God have a plan for my life, he understands room layouts and curtains and drapes and antique floors and bathroom sinks. Of course he does. He has a master plan.” This is quoted from KariAnne in the book. It’s not about my decorations at a party and how perfect my table looks or what I’m wearing or driving. God has a better plan for us. The next day after my party, I received text messages from all of my friends saying how wonderful and amazing everything was. See, no one even noticed.

Just when I stress out and try to make everything perfect, God steps in and does exactly what needs to be done, even with drink dispensers.

Isaiah 64:8 says this: Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand. Isn’t that the truth.

Sunday Blessings!

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PS. Don’t forget to Pre-Order KariAnne’s new book “So Close to Amazing” on Amazon. I promise, you are going to love it!!! Stay tuned in August, I’m hosting my own Live Launch Party…eek!!!

Pre-Order So Close to Amazing

I’m Not the Director Here

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What a whirlwind it’s been lately. Exactly one week ago today, I woke up to the text that my sweet friend Janet went to be with Jesus. But I don’t understand. I just saw her in the hospital less than 24 hours ago. Janet was diagnosed six months ago with Stage 4 Lung Cancer that went to her bones and brain. The doctor cleared her of any cancer in her body just a few weeks ago. But she woke up last week and couldn’t breathe. How does that happen? This wasn’t the way I planned it. We just had her service on Wednesday and all I keep hearing from words that her wonderful family spoke of is “This is the day that the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

I prayed and prayed with Janet over the past six months and believed that God would heal her. Janet did receive her healing. There’s no doubt in my mind that she is sitting in heaven with Jesus. I remember sitting with her a few months ago and a doctor’s office had called to schedule a scan. They said, ” You have cancer, right?” She looked at me and we both chuckled and Janet whispered, “What do I say?” I then said, “No, don’t speak it.” Janet then told the lady on the phone, “That’s what the report shows.” We just laughed when she got off the phone. Too many times we start believing what the enemy wants us to believe and if we truly are walking with God, then we know that we are healed.

I’m still in shock about Janet’s passing which brings me to this post. I missed last weeks reading of Chapter 3 of So “Close to Amazing” so I thought I’d combine Chapter 4 with it. What a fitting week in the book for what I’m going through right now. If you’re like me, do you try to write your own script for your life? Like do you live as if you are in a Hallmark Movie? OK, good, I’m not the only one. Life isn’t about us pre-planning and figuring out how our entire life will be. I do know that when I get out of the way, my life makes so much more sense. Just like losing Janet wasn’t part of my script but I realize now that I was here for the lessons that I was going to learn through her. She walked in grace and confidence and loved everyone. I’m going to carry that out and knowing how she impacted my life I will be forever grateful for her friendship.

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Have a wonderful weekend!!!

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