Team Mom – Great Game Day Sources

team momThere’s nothing like having a kid on the team to make a girl proudly wear some of the world’s ugliest color combinations. Team moms everywhere are proof positive that a few great accessories and a little bling can make anything look good! ;)

My oldest son started football this year, and we find out today if his team made the playoffs. Do you have a big game in the future? Here are a few fun sources for stylin’ game day gear…

Start with the basics in black, white and grey. They add a little edge to most team colors. And frankly, green and gold can use a little edge.

Quarter Zip Pullover- Shown here in heather grey, from It’s Personal, my favorite local monogram shop. Get it in any team color with a monogram for just $40.00.

Bright Jeans- I love the red skinnies the teachers and moms are wearing on gameday at my sons’ school. Grab a fun pair in your school colors at Old Navy for about 20.00 bucks.

Quilted Vest- Warm, cute and comfy. Pretty much perfect! This one’s from The
North Face, $100.00 at Nordstrom, but Land’s End has great options for about half that.

Then Layer on that Team Spirit!

Jewelry – YT Clothing hits it out of the park with trendy separates in school colors, but what I really love is their amazing selection of sweet jewelry in colors to match any team. Too fun! Go for the Megan, Hillary or Julie bracelets, $18-$34.00, or stack up super-cute Knotted Leather Rings, $15 each.

A Cozy Scarf – Meesh and Mia’s selection of licensed college and pro team apparell is pretty much unmatched. Where else can you get boutique-style pieces with your team emblem right on the sleeve? Here, I showcase the Crystal Logo Ruffled Scarf, $34.00.

Shoes – Have you seen the University Collection from Lilly Bee? Snatch a pair of these fun, striped flats in your school colors for $48.00, and add an adorable clip-on bow, $18.00, with or without the team logo.

What are you wearing for game day? Show us! We’ll be cheering for your kid, too!

You are so Cute, Smart and Organized!

Ginny
A little p.s. … I have no idea why everything’s bold & italicized today, but we’re just gonna roll with it! ;)

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Blushing Gardener

Blushing Gardener Mood BoardNow, before you go reading this post about landscaping, let me make it clear right from the start that this is what I want to plant- not what I am going to plant, around my front door this fall.

You already know about my gardening skills, but we also have dog issues to contend with at our house.  I’ve given up on putting any effort and money into the yard that will be pulled up and devoured the moment I try to make a milk run to the Dollar General.  When we move past chewy-puppy stage in our family, I’ll be a little more willing to get back into the curb-appeal swing of things.

That being said,  I still wish my yard looked like the after pics of a Yard Crashers episode.  And there’s nothing like October weather to put you in the mood for a pumpkin on the porch.  Which explains my recent trip to the Lowes gardening center with no intention of making a purchase, whatsoever.

There’s no question blush is having a moment now, and when I saw a table of palest pink begonias alongside ornamental kale, inspiration hit.   It reminded me of this photo shoot I saw a few days ago on 100 Layer Cake.  I loved interesting effect the pastels had on a typical mix of autumn color:  a little bit fresh and modern, a little bit reminiscent of the glowing areas of light against rich dark backgrounds in old Dutch Masters paintings.  Love!

Here’s a look at some of the flowers and color combos I played with at Lowes:

Unexpected Blush in the Garden

Isn’t it a Beautiful mix? Sources for photographs follow post.

Want to give this look a try on your own front porch this fall?  Below, a general recipe for a Blushing Fall Garden:

The Blushing Gardener

What are your fall decorations looking like this year?  Any of you trying a mix of pastels in your decor?  Share them with us!  I’m sure they’re wonderful.  Maybe even worthy of the after shots of Yard Crashers.

Me?  I’ll be seeing you on the next episode of Hoarders: Dog Owners Edition.

You are So Cute, Smart and Organized,

Ginny

Sources for photography :  Light-colored pumpkin with berries on black background by Michael Graydon, from the October 2009 issue of House & Home.   Red-orange mini pumpkins on straw by Danyelle on Dandee.

Neither Lowes nor HGTV know who I am or that Im writing this. :)

A Mom’s Car Emergency Kit- no, not that one…

Car Emergency Kit
School is in full swing, and we are settling back into our crazy little routine around here.  You, too?
I’ve found that our lives run a lot more smoothly with a few helpful essentials in the glove compartment of the car.
Here are the top things we cant seem to live without:
Tangle Spray and a Detangler Comb
For all the mornings we load the baby up in the car before he’s even awake.  (Or, his big brothers, for that matter.)
Do you have one of these combs?  Ours looks a little different than this – it’s a blue one from Sally’s – but its like an un-tangling, not-hurting miracle.
Pencils AND Sharpener
Pencils, for when they mysteriously remember a homework assignment on the way to school.
And sharpener, so they have no excuse.
Pens
For Mom.
Index Cards
For writing notes to the teacher on the way to school, and…
Paper Clips
So I can clip them to their folders.
Masking Tape and a Sharpie
So I’m always prepared to price things for the resale shop, but that’s another post…
Scotch Tape, Scissors and Rubber Bands
‘Nuf said.
Bank Envelopes
For after -and before- hours.
Note Cards
So I can catch up on thank you‘s and the like in the school pick-up line.
And a Cute Little Bag to Put it All In.  Ours is pink.  Because I picked it out, and not the five men or two male dogs that live at our house.
What about you?  What are the essentials needed to keep your family going while you’re on the run?  Share them with us!
You are so Cute, Smart and Organized,
Gin

Water Park Ready

This August heat has my family headed for the water park.  You, too?  Pack these essentials, based on what I forgot last time, and you’ll be water park ready, easy as 1, 2, 3!

Water Park Ready!

1.  Our water park doesn’t allow outside snacks and drinks, but they are more than happy to give free ice water refills.  Be ready to take advantage of some free hydration with your own water bottle.  Shown:  Bobble in Blue, about $16 at Oliver Bonas
2.  About halfway between the kiddie slides and the concession stand, my feet were reminding me of the perfectly good water shoes I left at home.  Keep your tootsies off the hot concrete with this adorable, streatchy, red pair from Ocean Minded by Crocs, $32 at Zappos.
3.  I don’t know about your two-year-old, but when mine feels the need for a snow cone, he’s not too excited about having to wait for me to hike back over to the beach bag to get the money, across the park to the snow cone stand, and back to to beach bag to put the change away.  Save yourself a few steps by tucking your money into a waterproof wallet strapped to your wrist.  Shown:  Alligator by DRY PAK, just $7.28 on Amazon.
4.  Why, oh why do I burn even when I try my hardest not too?  I hate sunburns!!  So since my sunscreen didn’t hold up on our last visit, I’m definately packing a swimming shirt.  Don’t you love this sea-worthy, navy and white option?  Your shoulders will love it, too.  $39 at Land’s End, (Nab it TODAY for 25% off!)
5. Chasing kids in the splash zone calls for a suit that covers and stays in place.  My go-to-choice, again, is Land’s End.  Go for the Supplex Swim Shorts, or, as shown here, the Swim Mini, in a variety of pretty brights and prints to match your suits.  $30- $40.00, depending on style.
6.  Finally, don’t forget a tube of lip gloss with sunscreen.  BalmShelter in Pinup Girl will keep a pretty touch of color on your face while preventing sun burned lips.  $19 at Beauty.com
What do you pack for a day at the water park?  Share your ideas with us!  We need all the help we can get! ;)
You are so Cute, Smart and Organized!
Gin

Finally Friday- Summer Nights

moonlit
This weekend, take a moonlit stroll.  Don’t let the summer pass by without a chance to look at the stars and hear the crickets singing.
You are so Cute, Smart and Organized,
Ginny

Finally Friday: Arnold Palmer Style

this weekend- lemonade tea
This weekend, run to Trader Joe’s for a bottle of this tea.
A sweet Hostess just introduced this to me at her party – I’m so glad she did!
It’s guaranteed to put you in a Summer state of mind :)
You are so Cute, Smart and Organized!
Gin

Day Trip to Clark Gardens

Running through the ShadeIn the Summer, my boys and I like to take a drive to Clark Gardens in Mineral Wells. Have you been there? Well, it’s time you went!

Not too far from Fort Worth, but just far enough to feel like an adventure, it’s an easy day trip with kids.

Here’s how we do it…

We try to start out early to beat the summer heat, but, trust me, we’ve never gotten there when they open at 7:00 a.m. It’s a pretty straight shot from Weatherford on US 180, but I can’t resist taking I20 to 281. It’s a little out of the way, but totally worth it to see the hilly terrain and Brazos River.

When you turn on to Maddux Road a little East of Mineral Wells, you’ll wonder why you bothered making the trip. Scrubby cactus and mesquite line the drive. But trust us and go on in; we promise you’ll be surprised.

Owners Max and Billie Clark started landscaping their yard for their daughter’s wedding years ago, and just kept on going.

And going. And going. I’ve told you about my gardening abilities – or lack thereof – before, and how a mesquite patch could be transformed into something this lush and beautiful is just too much for my little flower-killing self to imagine.

We like to start off through a series of lily ponds and butterfly islands. My boys keep their eyes out for frogs and turtles perched on the lily pads, and, this year, the gate attendant gave us something new to watch for: Big Bertha. Apparently, a huge water snake has lived around one of the water falls for years and we never knew it. We searched high and low, only to find out she was spotted on the other end of the park that day. You could take that as a big loss or big win, depending on your opinion of snakes.

Next, feeding the ducks and goldfish keep the boys busy while we relax under the ceiling fans of one of many pavilions around the gardens. We make the boys pose sweetly for a few more pictures than they would like.

Then head off to their favorite part of all: the Train Station.

And what a train station it is. Inside, trains pull into models of old Mineral Wells and Weatherford. Outside, they chug past each other through miniature farms, nearby towns, over bridges and across rivers. My boys are captivated, watching from every angle and always hoping to see a lizard or a squirrel on the tracks.

When we’re all finally satisfied at the train station, we mosey through the rest of the park. My boys call to the peacocks while we make our way through rose gardens and daylily beds. They put up with our interest in the Historic Tree Trail, and run through the shade to an overlook high above the valley. They tiptoe into the chapel, and then sing at the top of their voices when they notice the booming echo and realize no one else is inside.

clark-gardens-2

We typically pack some snacks and drinks, and there are drinking fountains all through the park. Still, by lunch we are very hot and very hungry, and very happy to have seen the whole park one more time.We drive back in to Mineral Wells for barbecue at the Mesquite Pit, and then head home, exhausted.

A house full of sleeping kiddos is the sign of a very good day trip!

What fun little trips do you like to take with your family? Tell us about them!

You are so Cute, Smart and Organized,

Ginny

Vacation Bible School Cookies: A History

vbs snacks
It’s VBS week at our chuch right now, and my boys and I are having so much fun.
Yesterday, every kid there munched on a herd of cupcakes made to look like happy little cow faces, all lovingly made by one generous lady in our church.
It made me think about VBS snacks when I was a kid…
I call them “Vacation Bible School Cookies.” Do you know what I’m talking about?
Funny little windmills, hard coconut bars and store-brand sandwhich cookies that sweet Grandmamas would place on a white paper napkin beside a cup of red KoolAid in the fellowship hall. A much appreciated feast in the middle of soap bar crafts and duck-duck-goose.
I’ve always loved Vacation Bible School.
I have so many happy memories of VBS weeks around our little town: games of tag outside the Church of Christ on sticky summer nights, Going on a Bear Hunt in music class at the Methodist Church, and bright mornings at First Baptist, making crafts with all my friends.
And always, those funny little cookies you didn’t see anywhere else.
We live in the age of Pinterest and Martha Stewart now, though, and if you walk into VBS snack time today, things are just a little different.
Fellowship Halls everywhere are being transformed into tropical luaus, carnival midways and castles, and the sweet Grandmamas are carefully constructing elaborate snacks to match the theme of each day’s lesson.
Snacks have changed, but one thing has stayed the same. At churches all over, dozens of adults have given up a week of their summer to organize games for rowdy fifth grade boys, lead squealing girls through a Bible lesson, and hold a little one’s hand on the way down to the fellowship hall.
My mama says that when she was a kid, Vacation Bible School went on all day for two weeks straight. Amazing. Today, we sculpt edible, colorful object lessons for 100 wiggly kids, all while avoiding peanuts, tree nuts and gluten. Incredible. Either way, it’s an impressive show of love for the children around us.
Are you helping with Vacation Bible School this summer? Thanks for making sure our kiddos have lots of happy, and yummy, memories!
You are so Cute, Smart and Organized,
Ginny
P.S. Come visit us at VBS this week! We’ll have plenty of cookies for you :)

Finally Friday…Popsicle Style

this weekend...flavorice style
This weekend…pick up a box of these babies and put ’em in the freezer.
Because it’s summer now.  And it’s your duty as a parent.
Here’s to Fridays, Summer and Fun!
Gin

Save Summer in a Jar

beach-sand-jar-completeMy family used to go canoeing in the summer, and my parents were always sweet to help me keep an eye out for small, flat stones with a tiny hole eroded in them from the river water.  I would bring these rocks home and lace onto a piece of string to make a necklace.  If the stone just happened to be heart-shaped, it was all the better.

My boys are constantly bringing home their own little keepsakes like this.  Seashells, an especially pretty branch of pinecones and special rocks all come home from our trips in pockets and suitcases.

I recently ran across this picture in a Ballard Designs catalog that gave me the idea to make little jars for all the treasures they bring home.  Aren’t they pretty?

Inspiration for the Project.  Click for Info

Inspiration for the Project. Click for Info

beach-sand-jar-suppliesHere’s what you’ll need to make your own:

Glass Jars:  I used a three-pack of spring-hinge jars by Spare Parts at Hobby Lobby, $5.99

Clear-drying Glue for Glass:  Try Weldbond, $6 on Amazon

Sea Shells

Metal Label Holders:  I used a multipack by Spare Parts at Hobby Lobby, $2.99

Jute Twine

Paper, Pens, and Scissors

-Get your 40% off Hobby Lobby Coupon Here

…And here’s what you’ll do:

Following package directions, glue your sea shell to the lid of the jar and give it plenty of time to dry.  Patience, patience…

Using your Metal Label Holders as a template, cut the Paper into rectangular labels.  Give each label a title, such as the name of the beach where you collected your sand, or the year of your vacation, and write it out in your prettiest (or your child’s cutest…or your printer’s trendiest…) handwriting.

Mold the Metal Label Holders to match the curve of the jar by holding the Label Holder against the jar and pressing with your thumbs from the center of the Holder to the edges.

beach-sand-jar-directions

 

Thread a 10-inch piece of Jute Twine through the Label Holder, going in the hole from front to back on the right, across the back, and out the hole, back to front, on the left.  Center the Label Holder on the jar, wrap the Twine around the back, and tie tightly to secure.  Trim the tails as needed.

beach-sand-jar-thread

Wrap another 10-inch piece of Twine around the mouth of the jar, and tie it in the front with a handsome square knot.  Fray the ends of the twine.

Slip your Label into the Label Holder, and you’re all set to fill your jar with treasure.

Here’s another look at the finished product:

beach-sand-jar-complete-another-look

Does your family save mementos like this from your vacations?  Show us how you display them!  What kind of keepsakes would you store in your jars? 

You are so Cute, Smart and Organized!

Gin