Thursday, February 24, 2011

Starring Drew Hussell..... My Bro.

My brother is seriously talented. Every time I hear him sing, he gets better and better. He recently, recorded himself covering the new Chris August song titled, I Want to be Real. In this song, his voice sounds so clear. I noticed a little bit of country flair mixed in too. I especially love the high note escalade at the end. He is a really funny guy, but completely pulls of the seriousness in this song. I really think this is the only time he is serious! I also posted a video that he and his friends recorded a few years ago in a local restaurant in Point Pleasant. This video explains his personality very well-- showing off his not-so serious side. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Feeling at Home: Simple Spaces

On Jan. 4, we landed in our new house in Mount Holly. Now, nearly 2 months later,we are nested and tucked away nicely in our home. Winter has given us the opportunity to organize and simplify spaces throughout our home. Now that our hearts are here we have gone from a house to a home. I decided tonite, that there should be an equation for this transformation, so I made this up: house + heart = home. Do you agree?
We have gradually worked on spaces throughout our home that needed " loved" We started in our kitchen by painting our chalkboard wall and writing song lyrics on it. Next, we moved into the office and gave our books a home by adding shelves along the wall. Currently, I am working on the "behind the couch" space. I convinced my helpful husband to put up our long white shelf. I added a few picture frames, but it needs more! I have been blog browsing and have found a few pictures of spaces I love. I'll post pics when I am finished. Having a home is a blessing. I want my home to be a place of peace and laughter, a place where family and friends gather, nature is appreciated, and love is present. For me, the more I can make my home feel like "outside" the better!

Love came first, then came marriage, next a new home.... I wonder what will be next???
Below are pictures that are inspiring me to create.

(I love the white picture frames and the simplicity of this space).

(Loving the chalkboard picture with the word dwell in the center. I also love the striped curtains. Bold but beautiful)

(Simple and Sweet)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Good Health

Since the beginning of the year I have attempted to change my lifestyle in regards to my health. Overall, it has been an up and down rollercoaster ride. Some days are great. Some days just stink. Others are so-so. I have noticed though, that when my diet and exercise are present, lots of other things fall into place. I feel better, look better, and have more energy. You would think I would have learned this by now and made exercise and eating well a habit. Well it's not! So how do you make the change? In my attempt to figure this out, I am challenging myself to a 30 day Shape Up Challenge. Beginning in March exercise will take a higher priority, as well as making healthy food choices. I have always read that flat abs start in the kitchen. This means selecting clean foods with a balance of protein and healthy carbs. This challenge will require a change of attitude, strength, and lots of pray. Anybody want to join me? I need accountability!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Inspired: 5 Things

Life inspires me. Life is full of moments and spaces in time that are forever impressed in my mind. Good things. It has also left me feeling drained and highly uninspired at times. I never let life take away the inspiration though. I promised myself that. I always keep searching. Sometimes it is hiding. Other times, it is essentially non-existent. The month of February always leaves me uninspired. It is my least favorite month. Why? Not sure. However, because God has been so gracious in giving us a little supply of Spring, the inspiration has snuck through my door. I'm locking it inside, and not letting it out! What inspires you? What takes hold of your inner being and stirs you? Right now, these 5 things are inspiring me.
Hopefully this has left you feeling inspired.

My 5.

1. Music- Music always stirs me up. Currently, I am loving Joshua Radin's new song Road to Ride on. I have to watch my speed in the car if I am listening to this song. It makes me press on the gas pedal (too hard). The beat is fantastic and the words are awesome. The first line says. "We've been waiting, anticipating, your arrival!" I think I will sing this to my future children. I just like it. Below is the song. You must listen!

2. KIDS- My students inspire me daily. I have been helping with our upcoming Broadway production, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. These kids are amazing. I love watching them put their heart and souls into their work. I always say that we perform based on how we practice. I can't wait to see their performance, because they are already practicing as if they are actually performing.

3. My Mom- My mom has in so many ways shaped me into the woman I am today. She left my brother and I with a lifetime of memories that no one can ever take away from me. That is priceless. I hope I can pass the same love for life onto my children (one-day). We love to share ideas for our classrooms, fun places we would like to visit, and so much more. We just love to learn from each other. This is a picture of her with my sweet cousin, Drake. He inspires me too. He is so caring and always takes time to call, text, or message me to see how things are going. I love them both.

4. LISTS- I am a serious listmaker. This is just the way my brain makes sense of life and all of its expectations. One of my favorite places to find great printable lists is There are loads of lists that help with organization. I also have a monthly budget printable that makes budgeting a "bit" more entertaining. It is colorful and makes sense to me. The PDF is located at:

5. THIS COLOR. AND THIS COLOR. I am loving blue and yellow. I am thinking I want to use these colors in my yard this year.

Now... inspire me back by leaving me a comment and let me know what inspires you! Love my friends!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

May Today There Be Peace.....

I found this inspirational picture and quote on one of my favorite sites: The words of Mother Theresa always bring a sense of peace and kindness. Have a great week everyone. Shine on!
mother teresa blessing

Thursday, February 17, 2011

This must be a Thursday....

This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
- Arthur Dent in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Tonight I drew a blogging blank. I sought out the mind of my husband, asking him what he suggested blogging about. He said, "why not blog about Thursday's" At first I wasn't so sure but then I thought, "why not." I was pleasantly surprised that there is a vast amount of research regarding the history of "Thursday's. Enjoy my findings. Thursday's were always one of my favorite nights as a kid because it was pizza night!

The Mystery of Thursday

Do you ever get that feeling? A feeling that you just get somedays? A feeling that you have when you wake up in the morning and that stays with you all day? A feeling that something's just off, that something's not quite right?

If you get that feeling often, about once a week, check the calendar, it may simply be Thursday. Yes, Thursday. Millions of people feel the effects of Thursday every week. It's not Friday yet and it's too late to keep surfing the wave from last weekend. Is it simply the place it has in the week? So close to the weekend, yet so far. Or is there something more? Is it a curse, a hex from thousands of years ago? No one really knows for sure, but the fact remains, Thursday is an odd day.

Origins and History

The name 'Thursday' derives from a mix of Classical and Norse mythology. The day was originally attributed to Jupiter (Zeus), who is often considered equivalent with Thor. Thus, when Jove's Day became assimilated into Norse mythology it was known as Thor's Day, which passed from the Germanic Anglo-Saxon from days of old into the modern Thursday.

In the Romance languages the word for Thursday derives directly from the Latin Jovis dies, 'Jove's Day'. The French jeudi, the Spanish jueves, and the Italiangiovedí have retained the initial 'j' or 'g' letters, but the etymological link is from Jupiter. The German word for Thursday, Donnerstag, literally means 'thunder day' and comes from Donner, another name for Thor.

Placement in the Week

Much of Thursday's nature may simply be due to its placement within the week. Other days have more straight-forward importance from their positions, but Thursday's placement is arguably the oddest of them all. By Thursday, people can be resentful of the week's length while not feeling Friday's proximity to the weekend as a counterbalance.

Happy Thursday Everyone!

Monday, February 14, 2011

I love love.

Today was a good day. I surprised my husband with heart toast and eggs. He surprised me with a Mexican meal accompanied with Spanish music and pictures from our Honeymoon in Mexico.
We shared memories. We laughed. We remembered. It was a good day. I love love. This evening I also came across some of our engagement pictures. They reminded me of how much I love him. I hope we have all felt love today in some way. If you have time, please listen to this absolutely beautiful song by India Arie, called "I Am Ready for Love." I remember singing this song at the top of my lungs when I was single, wishing God would put the right man in my life. In the midst of my doubt, Love Walked into my life on February 7, 2008 and decided to stay. This ordinary day turned itself up a notch, in preparation of an amazing future. Daniel lifts and lights me up. He makes me quicker, smarter, funnier. He is gentle when I need gentleness. He is quiet when I need peace. He is loud when I need excitement.
He knows me better than any other person I know.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Real Love Story.

My perspective shifted a bit this weekend. Friday night, Daniel and I had the privilege of having dinner with our friends Charles and Frances Black. They are special to us. They sit in front of us at church and have always treated us like family. They have been married 65 years and have so much to share. We arrived at 6:00. The room was filled with the scent of ham, corn, fresh rolls, and pound cake. Each prepared with so much love. The conversation was slow and easy. Sweet exchanges between the two. They still teased one another, and I loved that. We heard their love story. How it began and better yet, how is was still going on. Each story offered laughs and each story left us with hope and a strong feeling of love and what it really means. I held fast to every single word. My husband said that their calm spirits, their commitment, and the time they took to share their lives with us meant so much to him. What I found most beautiful was the fact that they were still living their lives..... fully! Frances and Charles love their families and their God so much and take advantage of every day they are in this world. I hope I can always live like that. Charles spent an hour with Daniel, telling him stories of his service in WWII. He shared experiences when he served as the mayor of Mount Holly for over 20 years. He has outlived his life. Frances shared stories about her friends and all the trips she and Charles have taken. She got out her favorite recipes and shared her secrets with me. What a legacy they have left their family, their friends, their church---- their world. What if we listened more to the wisdom of this committed and hard working generation? There is so much to be learned from them.
I wonder what our love story will be? I hope it will be one worth sharing one day. In the mean time, I'm gonna keep on loving and learning! Happy Valentine's Day to all my friends! Love Y'all!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dr. Oz advice about our SKIN!

There are few television personalities that I listen to and believe about everything they say: When it comes to my house, I always believe Mike Holmes. When it comes to my cooking, I always believe the Barefoot Contessa (she is one of my favs). Lastly, when it comes to my health, I always believe Dr. Oz. I was perusing his blog and read a brief article about taking care of our skin. Following the article, was an interesting video of Dr. Oz explaining the importance of protecting our skin. Sometimes I forgot how badly our environment effects our skin... Below is the article and video. Enjoy!

Proper skin care helps to keep our outermost surface layer of skin intact. This layer maintains skin's overall hydration and serves as our primary defense against the environment, so keeping it strong and healthy is critical. Harsh cleansers, for example, can damage the outer layer by stripping essential lipids and moisture. Using a proper skin care regimen daily can help preserve this important protective layer.

Over fifty years ago, Dove® discovered the importance of moisture in maintaining healthy hydrated beautiful skin. Dove® believes that outstanding moisturization and mild cleansing can genuinely improve the look and condition of skin.

In this video presented by Dove®, Dr. Mehmet Oz explains how skin works and gives you tips for keeping skin healthy.

Copy and paste this in your URL to view.

Monday, February 7, 2011

There's Hope

There's Hope.... It doesn't cost a thing to smile. You don't have to pay to laugh. You better thank God for that!

These words rang true tonight as my husband and I were driving home. I popped in my favorite India Arie cd, that has been neglected lately. This song, There's Hope, reminded me of how grateful so many of us need to be, even in times when things seem so terribly confusing and messy. We all get scared, unsure, and at times, ungrateful. God understands this, but he doesn't want us to stay this way. He has big plans for us. The book of Jeremiah says so!

Stand up for what's right. Keep shining your light. And show the world your smile!
Enjoy this beautiful song!

Sunday, February 6, 2011


What does God Want From Us?

I love lists. I am always making a to-do list. Planning meals. Planning parties....with lots of lists...and more lists. It helps me.
However, in the short book of Micah, God reminds us of his short to-do list, regarding what He wants from us... "To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him." This is one of our pastor's favorite verses, that is now one of mine. So, this is God's "To-do" list! I ask myself how well I am doing with this list? Can I check these requirements off daily? In verse 8 it is very clear what God wants from his people..a loving heart and a Godly life. I am praying this week I am given the opportunity to work on this list and hopefully place a check beside each part of this verse. Be blessed this week!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Gumball Reading Incentive

If you know me, you know I love to read and you know I love gum. I found this amazing idea on Givers Log that satisfies both loves!!!

A fun way to get your kids to want to read and to know how long they should read for. A lot more fun than a regular old kitchen timer. Just make sure they brush extra well to remove the sugar. I may need to find sugar free gumballs. I can't wait to try this!