Friday, May 29, 2009

St. Simons Island and A Surprise!!

As most of you know, me and my hunky hubby
went away a couple of weekends ago for a
little romantic getaway!!

What a great time we had!!
The first night we stayed on Jekyll Island
in southeast Georgia. It's our favorite place
for a getaway...well...maybe not...maybe it's
St. Simons Island!!!

We decided to not reserve hotel rooms and to
see if we could get a better rate as walk-ins.
So when we arrived on St. Simons, we started
looking for hotels.

This one made my heart skip a beat!!
But sadly no vacancies! A bit too rich for
our blood, too!! But oh so lovely!!

A close up of the fountain

We went just a little further up the road into
the area known as "The Village" and found
The Ocean Inn and Suites.
And guess what? They had one vacancy!!
As a walk-in our price was $139, and then
when we checked in, Abbie, a part owner,
upgraded us to a room that was just vacated
for the same price!!

God knew I'd love this one what with the
earth tones, Spanish tile roof, balconies and
wrought iron!!

This is our room. Notice the rich looking
teak floors. No wall-to-wall carpet anywhere!
Love that!

I took this photo to show these black and white
marble tiles. These are everywhere in the hotel.
They line the walls in the lobby, and the hallways.
Different...but they grew on me!!

They also have a salt water pool!! I thought that
was such a cool feature since chlorine isn't
that great for our bodies!! We didn't go in it
but maybe next time!!

While they were getting our room ready we
began to explore the area a bit.
Here we are...the happy thrilled to
be away by ourselves!! It was really windy
and I'm trying to not have my hair stick
to my lip!!!

Across the inlet is Jekyll Island where we
stayed the first night.

Had to take a pic of the steps to nowhere!!

I will have more to post from our time in
The Village in a day or so, but want to show you
the other souveniers I brought home.

I bought the starfish and the scallop shell
at an awesome shell shop on the main drag.
They are going on a shelf in my
spa/beach bathroom.

I also fell in love with this mug as soon as
I saw it!! It just screams beach to me, and
I knew how much I'd enjoy having my morning
coffee and remembering our wonderful
getaway. The next thing I knew it jumped
into a bag and made it's way home with me!!
YAY for me!! LOVE it!!

It is handmade and I think this thumbprint
at the base of the handle is so cool!!

OH MY!!! What is that on top of the conch??!!
It looks like a bracelet...yes...a bracelet...
made from paua shells and...
Swarovski crystals!!! Let's have a closer look!!

Here's the surprise!!

I design jewelry...and
you thought you knew all about me, huh?

Well, I've created my own designs for a few years
now and have given most of them away as gifts.
I have sold some, but haven't ever seriously
attempted to make a profit off of them.
ANYWHO....this is one of my absolute
favorites, and when we got back, I just knew
I had to share that island vibe with my
Sweeties, and...


So, you have a chance to own a look alike of
this FAVE of mine!
Good quality paua shells are awesome because
they change color and become irridescent
with movement and light!! These are so pretty!!
The camera just can't fully capture their beauty!
If they don't sparkle at a certain angle...
the Swarovskis will!!

Sooo...just leave a comment between today and
THURSDAY by 6:00p.m. EST and I will enter
your name in the drawing. I'll announce the winner
Thursday at 10:00 p.m. EST

Please don't advertise this giveaway on your blog.
This is for bloggin' sweeties who daily
brighten my world with your kindness, caring,
and prayers. Thank you so much!!
More on St. Simons on Sunday!!
Love and great big hugs,

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Just Beachy!!

This morning we hit the road and headed guessed it...
the beach!!!
Hope you're not sick and tired of my beachy
posts, but have I told you that


OK, I'll hush up now and just let you take in
the beauty of the Atlantic ocean,
and my little Emily having lots of fun in the sun!!

Right before we left the weather was changing
and the waves were simply mesmerizing as
the sunlight danced across them!! When they
began to curl, it looked like thousands of brilliant
diamonds sparkling!!

You can click this next one to enlarge!
Don't have any idea why the others won't!!
It certainly was a wonderful way to begin the day!!
Now, I'm off to get some work done!!

Love and Hugs to you,


Monday, May 25, 2009

Joy For Our Journey~~Soaring To New Heights

Good Morning Sweeties!!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend
and pray that your week will be a good one!!
I just HAD to share this with you!!! The following
quote was on world renowned Bible teacher
Beth Moore's blog.

If you enjoy straight talk, teaching from the heart,
with life humor mixed in...
Please go check out her blog.
She is a blessing!!

photo taken by my brother, Randy

"Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Grab life by the mane. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.

Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons.

Accumulate experiences. Consider the lilies. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life.

Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshipping what's right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze a new trail. Criticize by creating.

Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you're not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out.
Quit holding back. Quit running away.
Chase the lion."
- Mark Batterson
Doesn't this just address it all??!!
I am printing this, framing it, and hanging it in
my family room!!
Come soar with me!! The best is yet to be!!
Love 'n Hugs, Friends,

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Weekend Getaway Part 1/Jekyll Island

Flawless. Lovely. Perfectly delightful.
Tantalizing to my senses.
Completely indulgent.


All these words and so many more describe my
weekend away with my darling hubby.

I was completely exhausted Friday afternoon after
2 days of Keeper's at Home Club events, and
scurrying here and there in preparation.

So tired in fact, that I made a passing suggestion
that we postpone our getaway.
Thankfully, hubby would hear nothing of it!!

So we saddled up the "burb" (Suburban) and hit the
road. Our destination...Jekyll Island, Georgia.

Jekyll is like no place I have ever been. This was our
third trip there, and I never tire of it.
You feel as if you are stepping back in time.

The island was settled by wealthy bankers
of the early 1900's who escaped the rat race
of the financial world among the moss covered
majestic oaks and the marshes of Glynn County.

They built their "cottages" on the
marsh side of the island to protect them against
the onslaught of the Atlantic storms.

We have stayed here at the Beachview Club Hotel each
time we've visited the island. It's a lovely little hotel,
and the people remember us and treat us with care!!

It is so pretty and well-appointed that it is the sight
of many a wedding!! You can walk right out the
back and onto the beach.
For room pics etc... click link at
the bottom of this post.

The Book Store on Jekyll is in the historic district,
and is in the building where the old infirmary was.

It's a grand building, and the book store is LOADED
with all kinds of books, boutique items etc...
I always visit when we're there. This time...can
you believe it...I didn't purchase a thing!!!!
I know I should have taken some photos inside,
but was too busy browsing!! NEXT TIME!!

The property surrounding the book store is so lush
and green. The mood on Jekyll is one of quiet
reflection, and is such a great getaway.
The speed limit on the whole island is 35 mph.
You really don't even want to go's
just the pace there...slow, timeless, enchanting,

There are some really HUGE oak trees lining the
streets. This photo doesn't do this amazing tree
justice, but I tried.

Here is a shot of the massive trunk to give a little
better perspective. Moss sways gently in the breeze
and beckons you to relax and just take it all in!!

This is the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. It was built in the
early 1900's, and is so charming.

Little known fact...the bankers who pushed for the
formation of the Federal Reserve met here secretly
to hammer out the details of how the idea would
be presented to the people and government of the U.S.
I haven't seen it yet, but a little plaque commemorating
their meeting is hung outside one of the conference

This antique phone is the same model that the
first trans-Atlantic phone call was made on!

If you want to see a little more of Jekyll,
click here and scroll all the way to the bottom
of the page for my post about our last trip there.
Weekend Getaway Part 2/St. Simon's Island
coming soon!!
Hope you all are having a wonderful holiday weekend!!
I'm trying to visit everyone!!
Love 'n Hugs,

Monday, May 18, 2009

JOY For Our Journey--Turtle Truth


Did you miss me? I missed you, sweeties!!

Boy oh boy!!! Did we have a great time on our
little romantic getaway!! More about that

Right now I want to share a little turtle I fell
in love with and brought back home!!

He is handmade of clay and is adorable, don't ya think?

He will fit in the palm of your hand, and has
cute little swirlies stamped in his shell.

Each little turtle came with a tag and an
inspirational message. I picked this guy as
my favorite and then was delighted to
read the message on the tag..

I haven't been very at ease in my shell lately...
trying to lose weight, dealing with the effects of
gravity, cellulite, the notion of putting this body
in a swimsuit....YIKES!!!!

Well, my God knew all of that and wanted to
clear it up for me!!!

What a precious message to receive and pass on!

God knit you together in your Mother's womb,
and beamed with utter delight the day you entered
the world...the crown of His creation...
fearfully and wonderfully made!!

What makes you uncomfortable in your shell?

If it's something within your control...set some goals
and work towards changing it. God will give you
all you need to accomplish it!!

If it isn't within your
control, it's the YOU God had in mind when He
created you and is PERFECT just the way it is!!

Even when I weighed 102 pounds, my upper arms
and thighs were a bit out of proportion to the rest of
my body. Do I like that? Not especially. But the God
of the universe designed me that way!!

How can I not be pleased??

He doesn't make mistakes!!

So sweeties, whatever it is that may make you
a bit uneasy in your own shell, embrace it,
work on it if you can, and delight in the truth that
YOU were a GREAT idea in the mind of GOD
before you breathed your first breath,

And He doesn't do ANYTHING that isn't

Blessings and Hugs, Sweet Friends,

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Booty, New Blog and A Break!!

WOW!! where have I been??!!

I have been doing a little bit of visiting, and
it sounds like most of you had
a wonderful Mother's Day!!
I can't think of a more deserving group of Moms!

You all are the best!!

My Mother's Day was great!! Hubby fixed breakfast,
and our adult children and grandchild joined us!!
And of course...there were cards and gifts!!
Little Miss Emily picked out the gerbera daisies
for Nana!! She sure knows what I like!!
What a divine blessing to be a Mom and Nana!!

Sweet, loving cards!!

And of course, one of them had to be a birdy card!
(from our oldest Sam, 28 years old)

Can we all say Aaaawwww!!

Sam also got me this "Bread" CD!!! How fun is that??
I told her one time how I hadn't heard their music
in sooo she bought it!!

Baby, I'm a want you, Baby, I'm a need you....
Come on...sing it with me!!!

And how about a little cha-ching??!! They know how
I adore gift cards!! This one...already spent!! YEH!!!!

Here is the list of songs. Some of them I have never
heard of, but some I could sing in my sleep!!

Well, now on to that NEW BLOG!!!

I have a special friend named Nellie who has just
started her blogging adventure. We have known
each other for over 20 years!! She is so sweet,
creative, and just BEAMS God's love to
everyone she meets!!

Now I have told her that my bloggy friends are
awesome and will give her a great big blogland
welcome by visiting her and introducing themselves!
I'm counting on you Sweeties!!

Her blog is...are you ready...

Nellies Cozy Place

Please click on her blog's name and
pop in for a visit!! It will make her day!!


I am going to be REALLY busy from now
until Sunday. We have our Keeper's At Home
Mother/Daughter brunch, and then

I will be riding off into the sunset with the
love of my life for a romantic getaway!!

And it is MY BIRTHDAY, too!!!

What a great gift!!

Time spent is one of my love languages,
and when we go away like this...

I get to pick what we're going to do!!

You know me, I'll have my camera and
will capture the sights and fun
to share with all of
my sweeties!!

I will be back Monday!!

See you then!!

Love and hugs,

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Would You, Could You, Jump From a Plane?

First I want to say


To all of you wonderful bloggin' moms out there!!
May your day be filled with love, joy, and special


Now I would like to share a little something
about myself that you don't know yet...

I have a not-so-secret desire to skydive!!!

Yes!! You heard it right!! I want to be
attached to an experienced jumper, go up
in a plane til we reach 13500 feet, jump out
with said jumper...

FREEFALL 9000 ft., and then feel us get
jerked upward as the chute is pulled
and we float gracefully through the bright
blue sky and begin to descend
down to our designated landing spot.



Well, I was going to do a tandem jump for
my 40th birthday. Only problem was when my
birthday rolled around, I was 7 1/2 mos PREGGO!!

Someone said to me then "God is just trying to keep
you from doing something really stupid!"

Ever since then, I have lost my nerve!!


Whenever I am up in the Deland area, about
20 minutes north, I like to go watch other people
jump if I have the time.

Today my niece and I did have some time, so
we went. She had never seen them jump before.

This is Skydive Deland!! It is suppose to
be the premier skydive spot in North America.
Teams come from around the world to practice
here. I've watched the teams and it is so cool!!

The jumpers fly in right over your head, and
you can hear their chutes flapping in the wind.
I just love it!! Lots of people go just to watch
(or they're trying to work up the nerve to jump!!)

Here is a guy named Dave as he was descending.
Jumping is his hobby, but he has considered
joining a jumping team.

Here is Dave after he nailed his landing
and gathered up his chute.
He was nice enough to indulge this ol' gal
and discuss jumping with me. He has jumped
over 600 times and speaks confidently of the safety
of this sport. He encouraged me in my fitness
pursuit, and said that you are never too old to jump!!
(I don't know about that but I liked hearing it!!)

So... any of my girls out there wanna join me
if I can work up the nerve???

They video your whole ride down, too, and
you get to keep it!!


Please do tell!!!!

Have a joyful day!!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Legacy of Love

Hello Sweeties!!

I have a very special person that I want to tell
you a little bit about.

Here she is!! Isn't she adorable??
Her name is Georganne Goble,

And she is my Mom!

She was born in Tennessee to an extremely
talented musician named Sammy, and
a lovely, wonderfully creative woman named Rose.

Here she is with her Mom and two brothers.

Who knew what this beautiful young lady
would contribute to the world?

Days faded into years, and she became
quite a winsome, poised, self-reliant woman.
She carried in her heart the dream of the man
she would some day marry and begin a
family with.

Little did she know that her youngest brother
who was in the Navy would be the one to introduce
her to the man she had been dreaming of.

It was his Navy buddy Woody, a bright, friendly,
confident, somewhat cocky young man
that would sweep her off her feet.

Woody finished out his time in the Navy,
married Jan, and went to
college at University of Florida to get his
degree in engineering.

By the time he graduated, their fourth child,
that being ME
was born!!

A few years later Mom gave birth to two
more boys for a total of six kids.

This woman, my Mom, was the best Mom a
child could have. She was always there for
us at home, tending to her household and family,
and spent the
rest of her time volunteering at our schools,
with scouts and our church. Everyone's
needs came before her own.
She lived a life of complete humility as a shining
example of sacrificial motherly love.

When she was 72 years old, the doctors came to
the conclusion that she had developed Alzheimer's.

Within 3 years it was evident she wouldn't be
with us much longer. She and I were very close
and those years were quite difficult.

The Mom we knew slowly slipped into the past, and so
did her memory of all whom she loved and served
so well.

Here she is at our daughter Sam's wedding

We said goodbye to her in June 2004. I had
the amazing blessing of being at her side when
she stepped into eternity with God.

There just simply aren't words to describe
the depth of my love for this amazing
mother of mine. She was my closest confidant,
my cheerleader, my earthly example of Christ's
unfailing, unconditional love
and embodied everything one could desire in
a Mom.

In the 90's she came up with the idea of
having family reunions so this family, that was
growing larger everyday, would stay close to
each other through the years.

She and Dad handled all the arrangements,
and chipped in for those who couldn't afford to
make the trip on their own.

This was the beginning of the Allen Family Reunion,
a week long event that takes place
every other year in the Smoky
Mountains of North Carolina.

Yes, yes, we are one of those nutty families that
makes up our own reunion t-shirts, and that
spends an entire morning taking photos in our
matching t-shirts. Dorky, huh??

We LOVE it!!

Here is a photo from the last reunion Mom could
actively participate in. It's a photo of Mom and Dad
and their six kids.

I'm next to my Dad, my sister is next to Mom
with the four boys in the back. this day I still call them "the boys"

Dad passed less than 5 months after Mom.

In July, we are having our 3rd reunion without
them. Our reunions will never be quite
the same, but my Dad asked us to commit to
carrying on with them after they were gone.

The six of us made that commitment to him.
We promised to continue the tradition,
and pass on to the future generations the
legacy of love
they left us.

If you are blessed to still have your Mom with you,
please be sure to contact her and do
something special to honor her this
Mother's Day.

It is a commandment from God, you know!!
You will be blessed!

Love and Joy to You!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Met Monday!!! Family Heirloom Finds It's Niche!!

Welcome to Metamorphosis Monday!
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch hosts
this fun event every Monday!! I hope you will
go visit her and check out all the other
Met Monday participants!!


As some of you know, I have a family
heirloom that is also part of Orlando's
history. It is a beautiful carving of a girl
with flowers carved from a slate chalkboard
that was salvaged from Orlando High School
when they tore it down.

My Mom graduated from Orlando High School.
My Grandfather bought it for my Grandmother,
who was an interior decorator/upholsterer. She
adored it, and it hung in her living room.

Upon her death, Mom got it, and upon Mom's
death, I got it.

I took possession of it in 2004. It has been stored
just awaiting it's place of prominence in my home,
and it has finally...

found it's niche!!

This paint color was here when we moved in
and as you can see, it did nothing for the
carving. So...with a little help from my bloggy
friends, I came up with a color for it!

The base color is Martha Stewart Spun Sugar
satin finish. It was too bright by itself, so I
decided to try this raw umber translucent
glaze on top of it.

It gave the niche a bit of a time-worn
look perfect for the Tuscan style I love.

All finished glazing

The slate girl's new home!!

I couldn't be more pleased
with the results!! I know Mom is smiling, too!

I do want to make an olive leaf swag
to hang above instead of this one, and
I will be adding and accessorizing a
console table below it.

Just have to find one!!!


Thank you for stopping by!!
Have a wonderful week!!