18 Ways to Throw a Can’t-Miss Summer Party


I know entertaining intimidates some of you. Just the thought of preparing an event for guests leaves you shaking. It doesn’t have to be an ordeal, though. Especially when the wonderful folks at Country Living offer you ways to entertain this summer that are simple & fabulous!

Stylish Projects from Vintage Books


I hate throwing anything away. Instead, I try to find a use for every bit & scrap I find. If I can’t use it, I pass it on to someone that can repurpose it. BHG has come up with creative ways to use the pages from old, damaged books. These clever craft projects give old books new life in a new form.

Sporty Name Bags


These versatile bags from Crayola are perfect for your kids. They can use them for many activities all summer long. Easy to make for you and your kids.

Strawberry Banana Bread


Fresh baked bread for Bible Study tonight. LOVE using fresh strawberries in my recipes. Going to make lemon strawberry cake mix cookies tomorrow. Photos to follow!

It’s the Little Things that Mean the Most


In our family, we don’t make a big deal out of special events. That doesn’t mean we don’t celebrate them or that we don’t sometimes do incredible things for one another on a special day, like our darling daughter & Mr. D. giving me an iPad Air for Christmas this year. That was pretty incredible. However, I stray from my point.

Most of the time, we refrain from going overboard on one specific day so we can spread the celebration out of several days. for example, we went out to dinner for The Child’s birthday but I also took her shopping a few days later. A few days after that, we helped her buy a new iPod for her London trip. Spreading things out reduces the stress of having to make one specific day “special” & perfect. Instead, we enjoy celebrating over time.

Which brings me to the real point of all this. For me, the celebration is every day of the year. Mr. D. isn’t one to buy me flowers or cards for special days. Instead, he fixes my coffee for me every single morning. He buys me special treats, like the bottles of Classic Coca-Cola (Heche in Mexico!) and the packs of coffee beans from Starbucks. Mr. D. listens when I mentions something casual in passing & remembers it when he is able to get me something really special, like the iPad. Every time we go to the small local hardware store, he asks if there is anything I want or need for my Dremel. He brings me snacks & something to drink when I work & pours my martini as we relax in the evening.

Mr. D. does the laundry, ironing & the dishes. All. The. Time. None of these things are headline news. None of them are lavish or extravagant, except the iPad. All of them mean more to me than anything I can ever, ever, ever put into words. I would never criticize someone that spends money on expensive gifts for someone they love. Those gifts just aren’t my style. It doesn’t take much effort or thought to spend large amount of money. Just watch the reality shows if you are in doubt. I also know expensive gifts, lavish events, exotic trips, etc. don’t bring happiness. Oh, they give you a rush at first but that feeling wears off. Then what do you have?

Me? I have a fresh hot cup of coffee fixed just the way I like it brought to me before I ever get out of my bed. EVERY MORNING OF THE YEAR! It’s truly is the gift that keeps on giving!

Do You Need This Patch?

Every woman should be using this revolutionary beauty item! The impact & change it made for these women brought tears to my eyes! Wait! Watch the video to the end before you judge!

Kudos to Dove for seeing the true beauty in every woman & then helping HER to see it too!

Varoom-varoom! The OTO Car Show!

Join me as I wander the Plaza of Old Towne Orange, enjoying the vintage cars on display during the Car Show!

You’re Grown Up When I Say You Are!


Today is daughter, Katy’s birthday. She doesn’t like a fuss so I’m not going to say much about this fact except, Good God, when did she become a grown up? How can I have a 31 year old daughter? Facts are facts, whether I want to admit it or not. However, this is not about her birthday.

Katy is leaving in a few days to spend a week in London. She is going with a group from her former school, led by her favorite instructor. They are going to have a incredible time, seeing plays, traveling, meeting people & doing exciting things. So why do I feel like I’m sending my little girl to camp for the first time?

She’s traveled before. Even been to London. I don’t even have to DO anything to help her get ready. She paid for the trip, has bought the few things she needs for her time away. She exchange her money & purchase a special card she can use in England, like a debit card. She is laying out all her clothes & carefully planning every detail. In fact, she is taking care of everything just as she should. Yet, when I look at her, I see a little girl, not the mature woman she has become.

Of course I can’t tell her this. It would embarrass her & possibly aggravate her to pieces. It’s a Mom thing. Until she has kids of her own, she just won’t understand.

For now, I’ll keep asking if she remembered her toothbrush.. oh, and her passport. That’s important too. And I worry a bit & pray a lot until she comes back home. You see, she may think she’s a grown up but she’s not a grown up until I say she is… and I’m just not ready to say it yet!

Too is Just Way Too Harsh!


My darling husband, the infamous Mr. D. coined a phrase a number of years ago. He came up with this expression after observing women over an extended period of time. He believes woman (maybe not all but many of us) suffer from “chick guilt.” He says this affliction cause us to apologize profusely over things, lots of things, many of them out of our control. Someone comments that it’s raining outside & we say, “I’m sorry!” Why? Are we responsible for the rain? We do this apologizing frequently throughout the day. When I speak at conference & retreats, occasions when I spend a significant amount of time with women, I tell them about chick guilt & suggest that, over the course of the event, they listen for other women expressing chick guilt & gently, very gently call them out on it. Believe me, it is an eye opening experience! Before long, women are calling THEMSELVES out on it! But enough of that.

I bring up chick guilt as an example of how hard women tend to be on themselves. I know men can be hard on themselves but we really tend to beat ourselves up. Over the course of my adult life, I have held jobs where my co-workers were mostly men. In fact, on 2 occasions,  I was the only woman in my workplace. The men I have spent time around do not beat themselves up over things. When they make a mistake, they blow it off & move on. They might apologize but then again they might not. I’m not criticizing, just making an observation. Why, you ask? Good question.

These last few days I have been rather discouraged. One of those situations where a number of things happened all at once, things that, by themselves probably would not have bothered me but occurring all in the span of a few day, well, they brought me down. This led to refection. Not a good thing when you are down. As I considered where I’ve been, where I am & where I want to be, that’s when the gloves came off & I began beating myself up. I tried to get at the heart of my problem but couldn’t… until tonight. That’s when I realized my problem was the word “Too!” I was using it much to often & in all the wrong ways.

“I’m TOO old!”

“It’s TOO late for me!”

And perhaps the very worst one:

“I’m TOO scared!”

Oh, there are more TOO statements but you get the idea & I’m not going there! Instead, I’m finding a new TOO!

“I’m TOO experienced to let anything stand in my way!”

“I have TOO much to offer women to stop now!”

“I’m TOO smart to let my fear slow me down!”

Too can be way too harsh but it can also be very uplifting. You must simply decide which too is right for you. If I can do it, you can TOO!

Be Strong & of Good Courage


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