Monday, February 27, 2012

GO....Register and BID!!!

We've all had those things that show up in our lives where we just can't see what's fair about it. Why can't the bad stuff in life be equally dished out to the folks doing bad stuff! We like fairness right? Problem is, we look at the world through our own eyes and try as we might, we will never understand His plan.

Meet Ashley from Lil Blue Boo. Ashley is one of those people after following on the internet, you can't but help feel you know her. She invites you into her life, you know her family, and her design ideas and capabilities seem to have no limit. She is one of the most generous artist you will find who shares her ideas and passion for what she loves to do through her website. What an inspiration.

These days, she seems to be offering up a new kind of inspiration. Choose JOY. I love it, knowing it's a choice. Ashley is fighting the big battle, the cancer battle and she chooses JOY amidst all the struggle and the pain. Amazing! We are granted this one life, I'm in awe of how she makes hers count and it inspires me as I reflect on my own.

Hundreds of fellow designers have jumped in to help raise money for the medical bills that come with the territory. What a blessing to give back to someone who gives so much and to ease their burden. I took a look at all of the items available for bid and there is some AMAZING stuff. Many vendors I've seen and so many new ones I've found. Take a moment, register with the Hyena cart and go bid! All auctions go live this evening, Monday the 27th at 8PM. We have donated one of our new Sunshine Knot dresses in the size of your choice.

The items up for auction can all be found HERE.

If you haven't seen the necklace created with Ashley's phrase, "Choose JOY" well you need to. They sell out fast but more are coming. I'm waiting to catch one before they are sold out.

Fredericksburg...a gem in the Texas Hill Country

I have been meaning to do a post on my little weekend getaway to Fredericksburg for quite some time but I had so many pics it has taken me a while to get organized! This is such a fantastic little town I thought it was worthy to share some of my highlights. Live in the central Texas Hill Country? If so, Fredericksburg is a must visit! Go without plans and you can easily fill in your time just by exploring the town and seeing how things unfold or if you like to have things on your radar, read along, I'll share some of my faves and there are many websites that can give you some ideas.

Click on any photo if you'd like to see it enlarged and enjoy!

If you happen to plan your visit on the 3rd weekend of the month then I have to insist you stop here! Yippee!!!!! my blood pressure immediately went up as we passed through the gates of Trade Days.

Trade Days takes place each month and is on several acres of land. 6 barns are filled with antiques, collectibles, old things, new things made to look old, repurposed things, foods, crafts....well this list goes on and it's entirely my love language. In addition to the barns, the outside area is filled with temporary booths, RV's turned storefront, and little homes that are situated throughout the area where dealers have all brought their wares.

This caught my eye although it didn't come home with me. A reclaimed portion of a door. I loved the big handle and was seeing this on our lakehouse back porch. Loved the rustic feel but this beauty stayed there. Pacing myself, it was early in the day.

Wow, look at all this architectural salvage. Anyone who knows me knows I love the concept of creating art out of old window frames. Here you will find just about any size and condition a person could want.

Oh how I love a sweet little church pew. I actually already have one but this one was definitely talking to me. It was talking to me at the same time my husband was talking and saying, "We already own one!"

booth upon booth with dealers selling the things they love.

This dealer was a fave of mine. What luck that they permanently reside just outside of Austin so I can go see them anytime I like. If you have some time, I highly suggest making a trek up to Georgetown to check out the store. The store is called Blends. They are in an old house where there is a vintage truck out front and fencing made from old bikes. Diane the owner is as charming as can be and her husband is muy talented at restoring furniture and giving it a fresh spin. Pure eye candy when you walk in their store.

More from the Blends booth.

Every now and then I'd lose track of the hubs. No worries if you drag hubby there, there is live music out in the food pavillion and he can enjoy a little Willie Nelson or just checkout the blacksmith and see what he's got going on. When lace and old furniture begin to bore them, there are escape paths for them.

oh yes, these needed to come home with me and they were selling like hotcakes. Reclaimed moldings from torn down homes turned into picture frames, yes please!

Several of the next pics are just some of the booths. You can see what seems to be hot in collectibles.

Old gym locker baskets seemed to be trendy. Who knew! What used to store sweaty gym clothes turned beautiful accessory in todays home!

Beautiful vintage sink....sigh :)

Adored this painted sign from some reclaimed wood.

An old cream can from France. This spoke to me and said take me home. I obeyed, it's sitting next to my church pew in my house!

Then we happened upon this precious older man standing at a booth that you'd normally find his wife at but she was home sick. He was eating chile out of his crock pot and about the sweetest thing ever. That's the thing about people at markets like this, they are truly salt of the earth. The kindest bunch you'll ever meet! He had some reclaimed doors stacked in back and my eye went straight to them and this one is now mine. I haven't done this project yet but this will be a headboard one day! Needs to be cleaned up and painted a bit and then I can't wait to see it in place. I've been obsessed with old doors and projects to create with them. Saw this project on Pinterest and that's what we're shooting for.

Wow, this little barbeque joint is a MUST visit. I love a good meal and love barbeque but even now, I'm thinking about this little hole in the wall! They are only open for lunch and they feed a packed house! On the outside would you give this spot a second glance? Nope, probably not but I assure you it is worth stopping for lunch. I'd call it a hole in the wall serving some of the best barbeque around.

I'm not even one to take pics of my food but clearly this time I did. That brisket was amazing. I like brisket lean and often times it means it's a bit dry. I can spot fat and gristle in my food a mile away and it turns me off. Well, whatever they do, I wish I could replicate it at home. The perfect plate of moist, no fat to be seen brisket. The sides are unlimited so if you subscribe to the notion in life you want the biggest bang for the buck. Well, you can eat beans, coleslaw, potato salad and banana pudding to your hearts content. Enjoy!

The towns Main Street is as charming as they come. After lunch that's where we head.

Shops galore but bring your wallet lined with cash. Prices jump considerably from Trade Days prices. ouch!

I am drawn to farmhouse style antiques but on Main Street you will also find dealers specializing in Old European antiques...expensive ones!(note, they do not like you walking in with a camera!)

At about this point my hubby found an outdoor patio with football games on and they were serving beer. He excused himself while I continued my trek!
I ventured off of main street and found one of THE most beautiful stores ever called Spice. The owner is a delight, welcomed me taking photos and she had such a wonderful arrangement of pieces. Prices were very reasonable and you are bound to find things that will certainly add some warmth to your home. She has transformed an old home into her antiques and collectibles store. Plenty of old mixed with a bit of new which is the fresh approach I'm drawn too. Each room has a distinct feel whether it's turquoise, neutrals, kitchen things etc.

Look at these adorable metal rose knobs. love these! oh and let's not forget that silver tray. I grabbed 2 of them from this store. They are such simple ways to ground some pieces you have on display in a group or one of them I put on the backside of one of my bookshelves because it just needed a bit of shine and umpf. Yes, extra umpf made perfect. Silver trays = goodness.

These brightly lit rooms cheer me up to walk in. Did I need cheering up? No but it just elevated the day!

A sweet painted mirror. Oh how I wish my girls embraced this look and would let me put these pieces in their rooms.

For the love of burlap! The owner Tonya is in this pic but she's hidden behind that chair. Darnit, wish you could see how adorable she is on top of friendly.
But what I do see is the little old piano stool that I bought. See it there on the right just right of the table? It's adorable with it's round seat and adjustable height. Who needs ordinary pieces or accent tables holding decor or plants when you can have a cute piano stool doing the job.

After that I headed over to the Red Baron Antique Mall. Booth upon booth of collectibles. I always enjoy seeing what people stock their booths with and sometimes I get a good chuckle at what people have saved over the years or found to sell.

Hello shabby old ladder. SOLD to moi. If you follow me on Pinterest, you know I have a thing for old ladders too! This is one of my favorite ladder inspiration pins.

Feed sacks, love but spendy so these stayed there.

Shabby Goodness

Speechless, just loved stopping and staring!

I love old carrier boxes. Perfect excuse to collect something new and fill them!

Old baskets...I wonder where all in the world you've been.

I did end up grabbing this beauty at the antique mall in addition to my ladder. They proudly informed me this scale can still accurately weigh things. That is of little concern to me! It was beautiful, the right color and I knew just where in my kitchen it was going to go where it'd never weigh a thing!

This is the one thing that made me snicker. Really, are little troll dolls collectible? Maybe his blinged belly button makes him rare. I guess to each his own but this 4 inch high doll with a price tag of $15 stayed on the shelf with all the other troll dolls being sold by this dealer but it did make me laugh. To each his own.

This is another store I made it into. A young gal, mid 20's I guess owns it and is a sweetheart. Just a small charming store where I knew I was going to buy something just to support this eager young dealer. What a pleasure meeting so many people who share the love of old things that have a story.

We ended our day at this restaurant on Main Street. The atmosphere feels like a European bistro. We both had fish dinners and they were delish. My only other recommendation that I must throw in even though I don't have a photo was our dinner from the night prior. Hop in your car and have dinner at the Cabernet Grill. Oh was it amazing. I had a filet kabob and the hubs had buffalo enchiladas and we walked out stuffed leaving no leftovers. Try it, you won't be disappointed!

So that about sums up our Fredericksburg trip. We went in January, it's considered a slower month because of weather but we lucked out with high 60's and sunshine! I will make it back soon. I'm eager to be back at Trade Days to see all the dealers who don't come out for the month of January as they are getting a little R&R from the busy holiday season! That's the thing with this sort of shopping, you never know what treasures will be there so a revisit will always be in the works.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What I wish I wore Wednesday

So it seems like Wednesdays in blog land are all about what we wore. Hhhhmmm, okay, I'll play but I'm just going to have to change it up a bit. Here's my what I wish I wore this Wednesday outfit.

Oh how I love white pants and I love Pinterest. I've been known to shop as if I wear white pants, white shorts or white skirts every day of my life. When picking out tops, I've said many a time, "This would look so cute with some white pants." Well this is no exception, I loved this outfit the second I laid eyes on it. Such a classic look. I hotlinked it just in case you love it like me and want to repin! I love white pants, love the grey added in for contrast and then adore the necklace and yellow jacket to brighten and liven it up. Of course, can't overlook the belt and bag. Nothing too fussy, just classic pieces to love. perfection! I'm convinced Pinterest is going to help me become better dressed each and every day. My pinboard says that :) I admit, I'm wearing more jewelry, not forgetting that the accessories can often make the outfit. It's like adding sparkle. I tend to lean towards comfort, a jeans and t-shirt kind of a girl. Hhhhm, we'll just have to see if next week I don't step things up. For now, here's what I wish I wore.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Austin Half Marathon Complete - bucket list check mark!

I did it! February 19th, The Austin Livestrong Marathon and Half Marathon finally arrived, and I am happy to say, I hold the title now as "Finisher"

What an incredible journey this has been and I'm thrilled to have a check mark added to my bucket list! I'm typing this right now still on a bit of a high....and with achy legs! This never started with me having a goal to run a half marathon. More than anything, this took shape and became more clear to me what that bucket list item was going to be when I started adding together the descriptives of things I wanted to do. Demonstrate a really cool life lesson to your children. Exercise is important. Commit to something long term that's hard. Do something you're afraid of trying for fear of failing. Your body is in good physical health, use it, don't waste it. Conquer the inner dialoque that often whispers words like, "You can't. It's too hard. You're too old. It's boring. You should be doing other things right now that need to be done." Oh I could go on, inner dialogue can be such an enemy to oneself can't it?

I started by trying to recruit some friends. I figured my best bet at enjoying this would be to do with friends. Share in the progress and push each other through the slumps. I am not one of those folks that wakes up and looks at my running shoes saying to myself, "oh goodie, time to go run" While I trained solo, I had my peeps that I checked in with and many many neighbors I saw driving while running. Always great to have so many friends honk and wave while you're out doing your thing. I loved that!

Thank you Pinterest, it became so much easier heading out when I saw this quote someone pinned. How true that is. Letting those endorphines out was a guarantee I looked forward to at the end of each run. Here was my other FAVORITE quote when it came to my running goals.

I spent the next 4 months training. My dog may have been the most excited family member in the house. All I had to do was motion towards my running shoes and my ever so faithful running partner exploded in excitement. I often thought to myself, "If only I could share his natural enthusiasm!"

Here we are, the compadres from our section of our neighborhood. The race began at the Texas Capitol which was a really cool place to be to kick things off. It was freezing (according to my cold standards) out so I started out with my "throw away clothing." I learned that tip along the way from other runners. Wear something you're done with because it's still dark out and cold when you arrive and then just take it off and throw it away when the race starts. I hate being cold. Sorry to my hubby, I wore one of his company sweatshirts and added that to the piles of clothing found all over the starting line area.

I admit, I can get emotional :) There were so many moments along the way where you are struck with a tidal wave of emotions. Since this is the LiveStrong Cancer fundraising marathon, you absolutely cannot miss seeing t-shirts of people running in honor of "fill in the blank" or folks along the way holding signs cheering for you saying "Keep going, you are running for me!" Or seeing someone running with a shirt that reads, "I'm stage 3 cancer and I'm running this race" the wheelchair and other special needs competitors leave you in awe and the list goes on. I am so grateful for my healthy body and what it is still capable of doing. Getting older but working fine!
It's not all somber, so many things made me crack up. I enjoyed the posters that read things like, "Ryan Gosling is 100 feet ahead, keep running" or the huge #'s of people dressed in crazy costumes as if it's Halloween. Yes, this race started at 7AM and either some spectators parties started early that AM or they never quite shut them down from the night prior.

Of course nothing struck me like seeing my husband with my kids near the end at the finish line. I could see their huge smiles, crazy colorful hats and bright clothing and could hear their voices from far away. The genuine love and support and enthusiasm coming from them melted my heart. Their posters were a surprise, I wasn't allowed to see them til the end. Who wouldn't love seeing this at the final half mile!

My little guys poster.

My middle daughters poster who fancies herself a runner as well. So fast, flames are coming off those shoes.

My oldest daughters poster who is my deeply thoughtful child.

Of course my husband couldn't be more proud and it felt amazing seeing his face when I finished. I am such a lucky gal as I look at my life. I look at what's past, what's present and where I'm heading. None of this has fallen into my lap and I'm so grateful that all along the way, I've been in touch with Him who powers me through lifes challenges. My children have felt inspired and are working on their own goals and talking about things they'd like to try. Through all of this I've learned my most powerful means of influence over these kids. Stop talking so much and model the behaviors and attitudes I want them to embrace. As a mom, it makes it so worthwhile and I'm ready to sign up for my next one. This week though, I think I'll take a break!

p.s. I have a rockin' playlist to run to. Doing some running of your own? email me, I'll email you a screenshot of my playlist if you are looking for new songs. I love seeing other people's lists, makes for a great range of tunes to power you on!