We went on vacation, and we all fell in love. ¬†The plan was to keep close to home, while exploring somewhere we’d never been. ¬†So we headed to Arkansas. ¬†I was hopeful, but I kept my expectations in check. ¬†I hoped we’d have a good time. ¬†I hoped the kids weren’t bored. I hoped it would be nice enough that we’d be comfortable. ¬†I hope to find it “ok”. ¬†Well folks, it was more than “ok”. ¬†It was fantastic!

Petit Jean State Park is a jewel in the Arkansas Park system.  The first state park in Arkansas, many of the buildings at the park are stone structures built by the depression era Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration. This includes Mather Lodge where we stayed.  Entering the breezeway of Mather Lodge is like stepping through a frame into a picture.

The hiking was amazing. ¬†Some hikes were easy. ¬†Some hikes were challenging. ¬†All of them were beautiful. It’s so wonderful to see your kids outdoors! ¬†Scrambling across rocks and running toward their next adventure.

We hiked down to the base of Cedar Falls. Unfortunately, the state is in the middle of a brutal drought, and the water was only a trickle as it reached the edge. If you look very closely, you can see it.

The kids were undaunted and declared the water cold and wonderful. ¬†We’ve vowed to return when we can see the falls in full glory.

We explored and went swimming and feasted on hamburgers with an appalling frequency.

It was exactly what a vacation should be.

We bickered and laughed and argued and teased and told each other “I love you” at least one hundred times each.

Memories are made of this.








This is a Serious Bag…



Serious in that, I decided to go big. ¬†Without reservation, I took those brilliant rainbow hexagons and cobbled them into one mother of a beach bag. ¬†How big? ¬†In the picture above there are no less than three gigantic beach towels tucked inside, and there’s still plenty of room to spare.


Serious?  Long handles to swing over your shoulder without worrying about it bumping into anything else that might be hanging there.

Handles crocheted with two strands of worsted weight cotton and doubled up on each other….that kind of serious….

The lining? ¬†A repurposed pillow case….because a serious bag should have a seriously competent lining. ¬†But mostly I thought it was pretty…and easy….I cut the top off, hemmed it, and stitched it in. ¬†Easy is cool…and serious….

This is a vacation bag, and this girl is going on vacation!  Have a wonderful weekend and week my friends!



I'm loving this!

I’m loving this!

I don’t get to make it everyday, but when I do, I’m very happy. The perfect home-brewed latte. ¬†Brew Cafe Bustelo (or your favorite espresso) on the stove top…

Heat fat free milk – I nuke it for a minute or so….the mason jar is a requirement because I give mine a good shake before heating. ¬†Your call-if you like a little foam (and I do like a very little foam)…

Then I get out one of my favorite cups-today’s happened to be ¬†this mossy Frankoma number….I squeeze a small amount of light agave syrup in first, followed by the espresso (quantity varies by taste-I like mine strong!) and the the hot, frothy, milk. ¬†Spoon out a bit of foam and dollop it on top. ¬†Delicious!



We were thankful for our midweek Independence. So easy to take our freedom for granted. So difficult to imagine the realities of those who have never tasted it.

We embraced the day and gave into a couple of kiddos who couldn’t wait for night fall to pop their treasured fireworks!


Gardening · General


It’s been an incredibly busy week. ¬†We are a household in chaos. ¬†Drama camp, Sewing camp, Vacation Bible School, two full time jobs….it’s depleted all of us. ¬†The children are fussy, the parents are fussy, the uncut grass is tall, the laundry is piled in a chair, and takeout reigns supreme.

But this morning, I had a few minutes…


To look around…to enjoy things that are beautiful today…in this moment…

The morning glories have overtaken my favorite birdhouse. I love the messy¬†opulence¬†of it…

The illusion of the trailing vines spilling onto the ground…as opposed to their herculean effort of reaching toward the sun.

Zinnias so bright and beautiful that I had to capture them, just for a moment.

And bring them inside with a little Lantana

and Lemon Balm….heady stuff!

Just a few minutes of peace and purpose, tucked in at the end of a flurry of summering.




A Retreat from the Heat…

It’s officially summer in East Texas. ¬†Our temperatures hit the century mark this week for the first time this season. ¬†The downside of 104 degree days is obvious. ¬†Doing anything outside is brutal-especially when ¬†the heat is accompanied by stifling humidity. ¬†The upside is a¬†re-surging¬†motivation to come in from the garden and crochet or sew…(or just lay down under a ceiling fan, motionless…)

This week, I opted to play with hexagons. I think I love them….I actually had a pattern delivered to my email inbox that used these colors, and I knew immediately, I must make them…Big, beautiful rainbows….love!

I'm loving this!

I’m Loving This…

I love fragrance. ¬†I stock up twice a year, and I don’t necessarily economize. ¬†¬†Because of this, there tends to be a bit of excitement when I make my semi-annual selections. ¬†And naturally, when I’m excited, I like to share!

Jo Malone Iris and lady Moore Cologne. ¬†Feminine and floral but deliciously different. ¬†I love the packaging as well-it’s what first caught my eye! Its’ light but lingering at the same time. ¬†Floral, almost powdery, but with a spicy edge.

Bulgari Omnia Crystalline-A mingling of lotus flowers, nashi and balsa wood. ¬†It’s floral, yes, but very light with a fruity edge to it. ¬†It makes for a great summer scent.

And I always come back to Estee Lauder. ¬†This time, I opted for Sensuous Nude-despite a very warm fragrance core, this scent is light and delicate. It’s described as a woody musk, but is fragranced with Bergamot, Rose and Jasmine petals. Wonderful!