WARNING: Rebecca D. shows flagrant disregard for the rules of punctuation... She uses ellipsis with wild abandon... Punctuation interventions have been done to no avail... If you are offended by such irreverence to the rules of grammar... The very glue that holds our society together... STOP READING NOW... Move on... There is a little button at the top that says "next blog"... You would be well advised to use it... You were warned...

Snowed In...

Saturday, March 7, 2015

 It's March... And not much has changed in my neck of the woods...

As I am sure you have heard on the evening news by now, New England is having one of the snowiest winters on record. Here in our little home town we have had well over 100" of snow and most of it since mid-January. 

This is what over SIX FEET of snow looks like in my front yard... That rail you see there is over my head when I am standing on the ground in front of it. Most of this snow came in blizzard after blizzard, storm after storm... Separated by about three days. Our lives for the second half of January and all of February went like this: Day 1 Snowstorm keeping us home, Day 2 Dig out/Snowed in, Day 3 Freedom, Day 4 Repeat. There was occasionally some variation as in it snowed for two days once (we got over 2') and it took us two days to dig out, but it was pretty much every 3-4 days we got a major storm. 

This is how I feel...

It has slowed down a little bit now that March is here... It has snowed a couple times so far this month but it was 6" or less each time. I am hopeful I will be able to back out of my driveway without feeling like a kamikaze pilot since I literally can no longer see past the snow banks, at some point this month. I want spring so bad it hurts. I love snow but too much of a good thing will wear you down fast! 

There is good news... I have once again earned the Mary & Martha Incentive Trip and will be jetting to Cancun, Mexico at the end of April. 

In about 50 days I will be here for an all expense paid vacation for two!! I even get $1000 spending cash! 

This resort just opened in November of 2014 and since I earned it at the highest level we will be staying in one of their luxury suites. WooHoo! Look at the conspicuous lack of SNOW!!! 

This is the THIRD incentive trip I have earned in the last 19 months since I started with Mary & Martha! I also have gotten to go on THREE other business trips to San Antonio, TX, Kansas City, MO & Fayetteville, AR! Yes, that is SIX trips in 19 months!! When I joined in the late summer of 2013 I was just hoping to earn enough to buy their dishes for my family! I never in my wildest dreams imagined this would happen. Don't get me wrong, I work extremely hard, but the fruits of this labor are so much sweeter then I could have ever dreamed! 

If you want more information or want to join my team, just let me know! 

I am off to dream of palm trees and the green grass in that one photo... Oh how I miss grass!!!

(PS. I updated my "About Me" tab up there if you want to take a peek... I'd love some feedback!)

Thanks for listening,


Monday, February 23, 2015

Right now I am alone... Totally alone at home... For the first time since December. 

It happened accidentally. A family friend took my mother out to see my step-father at the nursing home. Paul took Katy & baby to run some errands and I am totally, blissfully alone. I turned off the TV and am basking in the sweet symphony of quiet. All I can hear is the furnace and occasional car drive by... I have to tell you, I lead a crazy busy life and I LOVE it, but there are times that silence is truly golden!

Thanks for listening,

A Random Allison Update...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

 Tonight as I was chatting on the phone with my sweet Allison, I realized it had been awhile since I had given you guys an update on her life in Montana...

I figured I would swipe use some of her Facebook photos and share a few quotes from tonight's phone call to catch you all up to date... That's why I am calling it a "random" update since the quotes have nothing to do with the photos... 

"Seriously Mom, the hardest thing about being an adult is the choices. I mean the ones between right and wrong and good and bad are simple it's all the choosing between things that are equal that is enough to give you a panic attack. Do I come home, go camping with friends in Moab or just stay here for spring break? Do I change my major or just go undeclared for awhile? Do I live in the dorms or move in with friends off campus next year? There is no clear answer to these."

"Why is it that the guys I don't have any interest in pursue me like crazy, but the ones I do like don't seem at all interested... No wait... It's more like I run from them... Hahaha...  Ughhh..."

"I can't decide if he's has a warped sense of humor or just not a nice person... Seriously, be nice dude!"

"The weirdest thing happened... I saw a girl on campus who looked just like someone I went to high school with. She was a year ahead of me but in most of my classes junior year, but she was studying overseas so I thought I was just seeing things. Then she messaged me, and it was her. That's THREE people from my tiny high school in Maine going to Montana State. What are the chances?"

Allison:"...so he just showed up at my door and said, "You are a really nice girl, and I really like you but I don't want to put up with your christian baggage" and I was just like "okay..." 
Me: Isn't he the boy you went on one date with and then had the "let's be friends" talk with last semester?
Allison: Yes... Ughhh... Hahahahaha
Me: Well at least he's cute.
Allison: You're not helping mom.

"I am at the point of the semester where you literally can't get ahead... You know, you work, and work and work and finish all your assignments just in time for the next batch to be due... It's ridiculous."

(and my personal favorite) 
"I love you Mommy... I'll call later on."

(PS. Those last three shots were from their "girls only" Valentine's party.) 

Thanks for listening,

My Cinderella Story...

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I got this a few days before my trip to Mary & Martha's Leadership Conference. 
I love receiving these little luggage tags in the mail since it means big fun is in store!

This year we were headed to the DaySpring headquarters in Northwest Arkansas. I am sure it is very pretty there most of the year but in January it was kind of blah looking. That being said, it was in the 50s and sunny most of the time so I'll take blah for a few days of warm! 

I wanted to create a big gesture for the ladies in my up-line & our particular branch of the family tree, so I surprised them at the airport with this little number!

It was a lot of fun and a few of them had never been in a limo so we all felt special! 

The theme of this years event is "The Big Picture" and I will share what my big picture was in a later post.

This group of ladies were all part of a "rising stars" program and we all worked hard and cheered each other on. They are a very special group of ladies!! 

I loved how they used our products as centerpieces! 

The new guide with yours truly's quote on page 14! 

I felt like such a Rockstar all weekend then this happened...

My true cinderella moment...

There are very few awards and most of the women who win them have been doing this a long time and have multimillion dollar teams...

So when they called my name nobody was as surprised as I was.

It turns out that I had the 3rd highest personal sales in the entire company! 

I have only been with Mary & Martha a year and half so to get called up for an award was HUGE... I didn't know wether to cry, laugh, or concentrate on my body shaper that chose that moment to decide to not stay put... But that's another story for another day! 

I decided to be in the moment! 

This is Kathy and this was her Cinderella weekend too.. We have become good friends so it was amazing to share this with her! 

It was one of the most amazing weekends of my life and was over in a blink.

Unfortunately because of the award I had other obligations and didn't get a chance to meet up with Conny... Boo!! But I will be back in that area again so I will purposely schedule an extra day next time! 

Thanks for listening,

Hodgepodging Before I Leave Town...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I am joining up with Joyce of "From This Side Of The Pond" for her weekly Hodgepodge before I leave on my trip...

1. American Idol is back for a 14th season. Are you watching? Have you ever watched? If you were to audition for the show (or were made to audition), what song would you sing?

I watched back when it first started, but soon gave it up before the end of the second season... I don't sing horribly but I am not good either so I wouldn't audition but if I were forced to I would probably choose something like "Hello my name is" by Matthew West and hope it ministered to someone before I was booted.

2.  Mark Twain is quoted as saying, "If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first." 
So when did you last have to 'eat a frog'? Or two? How'd that work out? 

I love this quote but don't live by it enough... In Mary & Martha I always have phone calls I need to make but am horrible about making them... I just hate chatting on the phone 99% of the time. I don't mind it if I know the person well, but customer calls always feel awkward and I hate that feeling.

3. If you were going on safari, what is the number one animal you'd want to see?

I don't have a huge desire to go on a safari... I know this might sound crazy to a lot of you but the safari "ride" at Walt Disney World was enough for me... You take the ride, see the animals then get off and go back to a five star resort... The older I get, the less I want to "rough it" in uncomfortable vehicles on bad roads and sleep in tents... Gosh, I sound old...

4. January 21st is National Granola Bar Day. I know. Do you like granola bars? Chewy or crunchy? Your favorite flavor? How about regular granola? Let's exhaust this topic in honor of the holiday okay?

I am not really a huge granola fan... I think the chewy ones are good but lets face it, they are basically candy bars with fiber and the crunchy ones are not my cup of tea. I do like granola on yoghurt from time to time but I am not the primary granola eater in our home.

5. If only__________________________________________. 

If only people would react the way I think they will... I tend to project qualities onto people they don't actually possess.. Like loyalty or being who they seem to be. Generally with me I am who I am... I am not "simple" but my life is an open book and try to keep it real as much as possible. I am no longer surprised by other people's hidden agendas but if only...

6. You can add one item to your bedroom. What will it be? Keep it family friendly please.

I love our bedroom but we live in a tiny little house and whenever there is clutter that needs to be cleared in a hurry it ends up in our bedroom. So I wouldn't "add" a thing but I would take a bunch of stuff away and bar it from returning! 

7. What is one thing you've enjoyed about winter thus far? If it's not winter in your corner of the globe, what season is it, and what is something you've enjoyed about whatever season it happens to be?

I love snow days... We haven't had enough lately, but we had a few good ones in November. I love when we get a big storm and can all hunker down, watch movies and just have an excuse to not go anywhere or do anything but spend quality family time.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

This weekend I will be at the Mary & Martha Leadership Conference. While I am there they will be "launching" our new spring catalog (we call them "guides")... I am always excited for new products but this time I am doubly excited since I will be featured in this new guide!!! Yes, you read that right... I am so incredibly honored to be included in it and can't wait to see it!!! Woo Hoo!!
BTW: If you want me to mail you the new guide email me your mailing address to highmaintenanceaspirations@yahoo.com and I will send you one of the new guides with my smiling face in it as soon as I get back from conference! 

Thanks for listening,

Random... Like Me...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I feel like I have so much to tell you and at the same time I am not sure how much I can share... There are big changes in our household but I literally can not share many of them so for now I will stick to my random thoughts... Here is a bunch of stuff not big enough to be it's own post but that is rambling around in my cranium these days... It's mostly useless and very random... You were warned...

First off, there is a new blog I have been reading that really blows my skirt up so to speak... The blog name is "Giving Up On Perfect" and Mary is the blogger... She is so real and funny and I adore her! She is a much bigger deal blogger then I could ever hope to be so she in no way needs my plugging her on my poor little neglected blog, but she is great and I am adding her to my little sidebar of peeps... Wether she likes it or not. (Pop over, say "Hi"... You'll love her too!) 

I am headed to my Mary & Martha Leadership Conference later this week... It is in Northwest Arkansas home of our parent company DaySpring. I am more excited to go to this conference then I was about Christmas. I LOVE this company and the fellow leaders and... Well, I feel like a little kid about to burst with anticipation! I will share more abut my trip soon, but one thing M&M always does is send us these little luggage tags... 

I know somebody has to sit there and make all of these and that just makes it feel even more special. The second mine comes in the mail I feel like the trip is real and the excitement builds! 
Northwest Arkansas is also the home to my bloggy friend Conny from "An Ordinary Hausfrau" so I plan to email her asap and see if we can steal a few minutes to hug and gab in person! 

And finally here is my unsolicited opinion that falls into the category "The grass is not always greener"...

First off... I have a Keurig... My coffee snob friends in the Pacific Northwest may never speak to me again because, I not only have it... I love it! So when the shiny new 2.0 came out with it's cute little carafe and bells and whistles I really, really wanted it. I asked for it for Christmas, and not much else... I have a perfectly good Keurig but I wanted the new one bad... Being a good husband of course Paul got it for me (among other things... Love him!!) It was pretty, and shiny, it lit up on my counter and had all kinds of features... It didn't have the smudge on it from where the painters dripped on it and it never really came out or the buttons so worn you can no longer tell which cup is the big one and just have to remember... It was new and I banished the old one to the basement planning to finish it's banishment to the camp* (*Mainer for vacation cabin) at a later date. Fast forward three weeks when my "new" coffee maker DIED! Yes, that fancy thing lasted a whole three weeks before it became a $130 paper weight. I looked it up online... Called the 800 number to be told to return it to the store where we bought it for a refund or replacement. You know by now there is little shopping near me... This was purchased on one of our trips to a "city" so I had to wait a bit to return it. In the mean time the old one came out of the basement looking a whole lot better to me... The smudge is now endearing, a reminder of how long we have had it and the lack of features means I don't have to remember how to run it with my very slow "pre-coffee" morning brain. When we took it back this weekend they didn't even ask why even though it was clearly used... When I tried to tell the clerk she just held up her hand and said, don't bother, we get so many back I just assume it's not working! What!?!?!? Buyer beware... The grass is NOT greener!

Thanks for listening,

A Quick Spruce Up on Works For Me Wednesday...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The whole premise of Works For Me Wednesday is to share a tip of something that works for you then link up at Giving Up On Perfect. Years ago I did a few of these posts but since I have recently become totally addicted to Mary & her blog I thought I'd link up today. Here is my "tip"...

You know that phenomena that happens when you paint a room or get a new piece of furniture that makes everything else seem kind of shabby so you deep clean and rearrange and before you know it, it feels like you live in a whole new house? Don't you love that feeling? The problem is a new sofa or painting is costly and messy if you do it yourself. I have found an inexpensive way to get the same effect for a fraction of that cost... If you are savvy it can be a tiny fraction! It's all about the fabric accessories! 

Nothing gives a bathroom a face lift quicker then a new shower curtain... And they can usually be purchased for between $15-$40!! People who know me, know I have a whole collection of shower curtains. If I am out at say Target or TJ Maxx/HomeGoods I usually browse the selection. I keep a bin of them in my basement. 

Curtains are another weakness... I have several sets I switch out in the living room to make an instant difference... I will show you some pictures of this, but please don't judge as most of these are cell phone pictures snapped for other reasons...

Here are my favorite spring green Waverly curtains that I found at Lowes of all places!
(Thank you for ignoring the messy slipcover!) 

Here is a horrid picture of Allison on Christmas morning... She would kill me for posting it, but I hope she is too busy in school to read her mom's blog right now... Especially since the point isn't her but the red, brown and gold striped drapes behind her. I take these ones out in the fall to make things a little warmer...

About a week after Christmas this year I added o my collection with these Navy blue curtains I found at HomeGoods. 
They really are brighter then they look and both panels were a mere $26!!! 
(Please ignore the circa 2000 curtain rods... I intend to switch them out someday but they seem easy to put off!)

But while I have you in the Living room, another "accessory" I change frequently are my pillows. I used to buy throw pillows all the time but they started to take over a whole closet so out of necessity I discovered pillow covers! I invested in good down pillow inserts and just swap the covers. I buy most of mine ready made but you could whip them up quite quickly if you have any prowess with a sewing machine at all. If you scroll up you will see the blue dots turn red and back again... I actually have quite a few, not just dots... They store nicely and take up very little room.

The last change I make are duvet covers... Here is a shot of my bedroom from this summer...

Ironically this is my "fall" duvet but also my favorite at the time so it makes frequent appearances.

My new "favorite" is this print I just got for Christmas...

Clearly this is not my bedroom... Paul was unwilling to get up for me to take pictures right now... (It's only 11:55 PM... He is so selfish! Hahahaha) So I snagged this picture and the next from the Pottery Barn site...

Here is my actual summer bedding... Just the duvet and shams... I have a light beige quilt and a chocolate brown one I switch back and forth between.

In fact that is the key. I have a VERY neutral palate in my home... My girlies joke that everything in our home is some variation of beige, brown or green and they are right! It is on purpose. I know I like and even need frequent change so I planned my neutral palate very carefully. 

So that is what "Works For Me"... I can't wait to see what works for everyone else! Let's head on over to Giving Up On Perfect to find out!

Thanks for listening,