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...

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,

And The Word Is...

Friday, January 9, 2015

{drumroll}

Gratitude...

I like to think I am a grateful person and I am in most circumstances but not some that have revealed some serious heart issues. 


If this quote is true then I may have put the cart before the horse... 


You see I am grateful for what I have... But frequently what I have is not enough for me. I am driven which is a good thing in business but frequently a bad thing in life. 


I think this is true... If true gratitude is being grateful for who you are, what your gifts and talents are and what you have then you can focus on the now... If you are focused on "improving" who you are (not always a bad thing if the focus is right), and your situation you can focus on being present in your life. 


I know I need to learn this lesson... 


My verse... 



PS. Be prepared if I completely change my mind and settle on a different word... I always reserve the right to change my mind! 



Thanks for listening,

See you in March...

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Maybe April...


Hahaha... I saw this on Facebook today and it made me laugh since it is currently -4 at our house with a feels like temp of -18... Brrrr... 
But then I realized at 42 I may be inside for awhile...


Thanks for listening,

At a loss for words...

Monday, January 5, 2015

Ok, let's face it, I have never been at a loss for words, so let's revise that as "At a loss of a word" You see last year I chose a word to be my "word of the year" so to speak. I would pray and otherwise focus on one word as much as possible to see if a change would come from it. That word was "Joy" and it really, really, really worked. 




I managed to find joy in the mist of some huge trials and storms but beyond that I started to choose joy in many mundane day to day activities and I saw a huge change in my overall attitude. 



Not that I was this amazingly chipper Pollyanna all of a sudden, but I did feel a change happening in my heart. Some days I would say "Today I choose Joy" over and over and over until I found it but find it I usually did. 



Now it is 2015 and I do not have a word...

I have been looking for weeks... I tried "connect", "restore", "focus" and many others on for size but none fit... Do I need another year of "Joy"? I a pretty sure I can carry my joy forward without it being my word of the year. 

I love the idea of a "verse" for the year but I need to keep it simple and boil it down to one word although that word can come from a verse I will also focus on... Like Joy did... 1 Peter 1:6 NLT - "So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while."



Do you have a word or thought you focus on each year? Do you have any suggestions of a word or words for me? I will pray over any suggestions you have to see if it fits. 

Thanks for listening,

A Whole Lot of Nothing to Say...

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Random thoughts post ahead... You were warned!

Christmas was lovely but I am having a hard time putting the house back the way it goes and ironically this is annoying me! We usually have a live tree and sometime between the 26th and New Years it is usually shedding needles at such a rapid pace I can't take it another minute. It turns out this is what prompts me to un-decorate... This year we got an artificial tree so everything else seems to be a higher priority but the fact that the house is still topsy turvy is driving me nuts!

I found new living room drapes this weekend and although I desperately need new rods (the ones my mother put up back in 2000 are showing their age) I went ahead and hung them to try to inspire me to put the house back together... They are Navy blue & white and I have a poorly lit picture that doesn't do them justice...


I feel new pillow covers coming on. 
Pillow covers are my new obsession... I like to change up the look of my throw pillows often but storing extra pillows is a bulky proposition. Pillow covers have ended that madness in my life. I have one smallish bin in the top of my closet that holds several "seasons" of covers and room for plenty more! 
(Thank you for once again ignoring my "popcorn" ceilings... One day we will have to deal with them, but this is not that day!) 

I am having a hard time un-Christmasing the kitchen... I love, love. love the preserved boxwood wreaths I found this year and put on each of the "larger" cabinets. They make my sad cabinets feel so fresh... Here are more poorly lit pictures I took last night before I bit the bullet and put it all away.



Here is a close up of the counter display I did... I un-Christmassed it immediately after snapping this picture but couldn't bring myself to take down the wreaths yet. 

See that little wax burner there? It is actually kinda cute when it's lit up. It was a gift from a good friend and it brings up a question about gifts. 

I am about to say something so horrible you may not ant to be my friend anymore... I LOVE to give gifts but I don't want to receive any more. I love when someone gives me something made for me or something they truly believe I will love, because they are usually right... It's the endless march of candles, picture frames, coffee mugs, "gourmet" gift baskets, and other various bric-a-brac that I usually receive. I know that sounds super ungrateful and I am sorry... I want to love everything I receive, I really do but after the oohs and ahhs I now feel obligated to keep and use all these gifts. This is just not possible and I don't know what to do... I don't want to re-gift as that is fraught with problems. How do you deal with this? I literally got 16 dishtowels between my birthday in October, hostess gifts in November & December and in gifts at Christmas time... Tips please... 

I have lots more random junk rumbling around in my head but I will spare you for today...

Thanks for listening,