A Grace Full Life

I started blogging in June 2010 as a doctor ordered outlet for my stomach problems. Little did I know what a huge lifestyle this would become and what amazing people I would meet. I am a stay at home mom of two awesome girls and wife to such a supportive husband. In my former life, I worked as a retail manager for 12 years, went to school for nursing and taught preschool for a month...hated it. Still get the shivers thinking about it. I love to decorate on the cheap because we are always on a budget with me being at home. I hope you will visit my blog and hang out for a while.

"The 4 1 1 On The ATL". That Means "The Details On Atlanta" For Those Less Hip. AKA- Me.

Over spring break, our little family got to go south to visit my parents.They live in Chattanooga and that area is lovely but since we have done the whole Chattanooga thing before, my mom thought it would be fun to explore the Atlanta area which is only two hours from their home.And apparently, always 10 degrees warmer.Good to know. This picture was taken just south of Nashville.People of the Midwest understand a picture like this.The last week of March.Notice anything.....different?Yes.YES.Green to the grass. Get used to the grass pictures.This is my foot on my parents lawn.By the way, my dad has already mowed his lawn.Twice ....more

Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner. Except When Baby Holds Magazines. Then It's Ok.

When my girls were babies, they slept in cribs.Scratch that.When my Ellie was a baby, she slept in a crib.My Annie slept in her crib for five hours.On night one.Then she slept with me on the floor of her room, next to her crib.Until we inched all the way to the couch, back and into my bed.Her crib was never used.Oh wait, yes it was.It was used for trampoline jumping contests during play dates with her little toddler friends.But for sleeping?No.When I was pregnant with my youngest, my friend and neighbor and her family were being transferred to Virginia with the military so they gave us their crib and dressers for free.Which made me so happy since I thought I would be going through the same "no baby sleep in crib" scenario with my next child.I had grand plans but I am weak when it comes to a baby crying.Because baby crying....more

My Weight Watchers Must Haves. Brownies. YOU CAN STILL HAVE BROWNIES. Annnnd a Weight Update.

My jeans are loose.The ones that used to be tight after you wash them?Then you reason that it's because you just washed them so of course they are tight!I mean, who has jeans that fit absolutely perfect just out of the wash?But then they don't get any looser.Even after you wear them for two days.Yeah.THOSE jeans are loose.Like, I have to wear a belt.On like the fourth hole.I am not a believer kind of person.I see people who lose weight on TV and think, pshaw, yeah if I had a trainer and chef I could be a size whatever too.I am a negative Nelly by nature, I hate that I am but I am.Negative Nelly is harsh, maybe more of a doubter.NOT a doubting Thomas more like a doubting Susie because who can't trust a Susie?Anyhoo, I don't always believe "the hype".Suuuuure you can lose twenty pounds on a weight loss program in two months.And I have some amazing land to sell you three miles east of Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.That's Lake Michigan for those who don't live here.When I started on Weight Watchers back in January, I was a little skeptical.I knew it was a good program and that I would indeed lose some weight but I didn't think it would be life changing.It is life changing.There.I said it.LIFE. CHANGING.Example:Last month on Fat Tuesday I had a breakthrough. Fat Tuesday in Chicago means Paczki Tuesday.A polish treat that is basically a cream filled donut.I don't turn donuts down.Like ever.I wanted to get one but instead went to the gym and had a salad for lunch.So on the day after Fat Tuesday, I was in Jewel and saw three packages left of Paczki's.They looked awfully lonely.There were six in each package.I looked at the hubs and said, Nope.Yes, I know the girls would eat them too but I couldn't do it.Old me would have bought TWO packages, ate one for a snack that day, one for dessert that night and one for breakfast the next morning.NO LIE.It's like I don't even know who I am anymore....more

Mrs. Pierce

The world lost an amazing soul last week.My high school English teacher passed away on March 19th.This isn't the first teacher to pass away since I have become an adult.But it was the first one that made me cry.Even though I haven't seen or talked to her since 1987.Mrs. Pierce was one of those great teachers.You know the ones.They stick out in your memory, you can hear their raspy voice, see her in her floral dress as she walks around the room to check on your work.I learned to love writing from her.In 1987 I was having a bad year.Think baaaad.Rebel streak.WRONG crowd.All my teen years up until this particular year, I had been an average student but my friends were all honor students, straight As, groomed for greatness with their early scholarship offers and college visits.I was just barely making the cut.So during the 1986-1987 school year I sat next to the girl, in Mrs. Pierce's class, who would open my eyes to a world that was quite different than what I had been accustomed to.Think skip class, the principal's office was on a first name basis, smoked during lunch break right outside the teachers lounge rebel, bad a@$ girl.And I was enthralled with all of it.I was exposed to drugs.Heavy drugs.I saw LSD, I saw acid, I saw marijuana.I touched none of it.I watched as my "friends" would go into drug dealers homes while I would wait in the car.Alone.In the dark.I would ride in cars who's driver's were high and completely buzzed ....more

Why I Hate Getting My Picture Taken

I don't take a good picture.The pictures in which I look pretty good are random coincidences.Like snow rollers or crop circles.I come by it honestly.My gramma, God rest her beautiful soul, rarely took a good picture in her entire life. This is probably the best picture I have ever taken. I am 42 in this picture ....more

Dance Like Your Bra Is Showing

I submitted this piece to the Erma Bombeck writing competition.I didn't win but its all good.Because inside I am a winner.No, not really.It totally sucks I didn't win....more

The Big One. Dyson Review

The big Kahuna.The whole enchilada.The BIG ONE.Lots of terms are used to describe large things, big experiences, or heart attacks.Which is almost basically what happened to me when I found out that I would be receiving a Dyson vacuum cleaner.First of all, I want to clarify something that isn't sitting well with me.I don't want to come off as bragging.I am LUCKY.L U C K Y.If it wasn't for my friend Marianne hooking me up with Dyson in December, I would still be vacuuming my crappy carpets with my crappy other brand name vacuum.And it was crappy.Nothing against other brand name but when you have to roll over the same spot once, twice, three, four, five, six, seven times to pick up a piece of lint, well, you are indeed crappy.And yes, I am lazy.SEVEN TIMES I RAN OVER THAT STUPID PIECE OF LINT.I have been blogging for almost four years and I have been lucky to review some cool things.But this review experience has been the big cheese of my blogging career.Like I feel like I really should put Dyson on my resume.I don't know how Dyson feels about that.But they are TOTALLY going on there somewhere.With like extracurricular's or something.When I was given one of the newest Dyson machines, the DC 65 Animal, at the cool toga party I recently attended, I felt like maybe I won some secret lottery that no one got the memo about. OK maybe there weren't any togas (that is next time, right Cassandra???) but John Belushi was in my head the whole time yelling TOGA TOGA TOGA.Anyhoo, when we were given these machines, which Marianne pointed out was THE coolest goody bag from a party EVER, I wanted every one of you wonderful people to get one.I wish I had that Oprah power.You get a Dyson!You get a Dyson!YOU GET A DYSON!Someday if I ever have a talk show that lasts more than a season, I am totally handin' out Dyson's.Let me just say that we got home from the party at 9:30 on a Wednesday evening, which when you are a parent is LAAATE.....this puppy was out of the box and sucking up every non-living and semi-living thing in my house by 7:02 am Thursday.In fact, I wanted to open the box on the Edens Expressway on the way home. Is it wrong to be in love with an inanimate object?OK.But is it wrong to have strong romantic feelings for an inanimate object?...more

Netflix Stream Team. Just Like The Dream Team Only Better.

Ok so here is the thing: I had never tried Netflix before last Saturday night.Never.I heard all the cool people talking about shows like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards.And we all know how I am so not on the band wagon when it comes to shows that are hip NOW.Go here and scroll down to #4....more

How I Helped My Bestie Stage Her Home. And Wore a Tiara While Doin' It.

Years ago I came up with the tag line, Workin' With What Ya Got.I am sure someone will/is in the process of/already has stolen it because I don't know how to copyright anything.I don't even know if I used copyright correctly in that sentence.I made it up because that is something I have been doing my whole adult life when it comes to decorating.Using what you have around your house in other areas to spruce up places that are boring.I learned this from my mom and my gramma.They were the original HGTV.Old school.It really only started out because I am cheap.I don't like dropping lots of money on decor.Because as much as I love to decorate, home decor, like fashion, can be trendy.And trendy = expensive.So in order to not spend a lot, I look for classic stuff.Things that won't be dumped at a Goodwill next year.Except for chevron.I plan to keep that going until I my kids are birthing babies, if I can help it.When I first started this blog, I wanted to eventually start my own business of doing home staging.Then I looked online and saw how much classes to become a "professional" stager cost.I spent less on my Associates Degree in Science.So I let that dream die.Fade into the sunset on a horse.I just enjoyed blogging, decorating on the cheap, meeting cool new friends and writing about my adventures.Through the almost four years I have been doing this, I have meet some AMAZING blog friends.I used to call them blog friends but now they are just friends.Because you don't call your friends you meet at the supermarket, grocery store friends or the friends you met at your child's school, PTO friends, right?And through these friends I have gained more confidence in myself to do many things.One of such things is staging homes.Without a 5,000 dollar course.But Workin With What I Got.Apparently, my blog is just as good as using a portfolio according to my friend Lisa. And watching my bestie Jen...more

A Dyson Party is like Going to a Frat Party. But No Toga's.

A few weeks ago, I got to go to a cool party in the city.AND the hubs got to come with me so it was like a date night.A date night and a business party wrapped in one.For someone who has been to PLENTY of my husband's work related things, this was exciting.Like I was all fancy and city-like.I have no idea what city-like even means.But it sounds cool.So I have a history with Dyson. If you haven't read about it, go here first.Then go here to see my sexy photo shoot!I will wait.Sexxxxxy, huh????...more