Thursday, January 30, 2014


Last summer our family was so incredibly lucky to be able to celebrate my brother-in-law's wedding in Mykonos.  I know I posted a few pictures when we got home from the trip but I remember thinking to myself at the time, save the best for later.  So I did.  During the winter months there are days when we all need a little summer and the time is now.  Summer in Mykonos is perfect, really perfect.  So I'm sharing a few pictures of a perfect place,  and some Mykonos warmth - it's more than sun. 

Today I'm linking up with The Tablescaper, sharing a warm and sunny place for Oh, the Places I Have Been!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Alexa Hampton, Jennifer Boles, Paint and Happiness

What a terrific week.  The week began with a special treat.  Alexa Hampton was in Atlanta and what a treat it was to meet her, all because of a blog!

I follow Jennifer Boles blog, The Peak of Chic and she was so kind to invite her followers to a private reception, book signing event and the opportunity to meet Alexa Hampton. The event was hosted by Hickory Chair and was open to the trade only so  I was beyond excited to be included as a guest.

It was a wonderful event and Alexa was such a captivating personality, not to mention an amazingly talented designer.  You have to read about her "decorating by Sharpie" advice.  I'm loving her new book Decorating in Detail.  Let's be honest here.  Sometimes these big coffee table books are pretty to look at but not necessarily interesting to read but I'm really enjoying reading Alexa's book. And not only is Alexa beautiful and talented, she's funny!  Thank you Jennifer for including your readers in a great event.

So the week continued with a decorating theme. 

We are so lucky and excited that my son and daughter-in-law have been relocated to a military installation in our state!!!!   It's so exciting that my son, DIL and the grands are now less that 2 hours away after living overseas for the past four years!  Now comes the paint.  This weekend we all met up at their new home and everyone painted.  We painted yard sale finds, walls and old pieces of furniture.  We are all so excited! Here are a few pictures highlighting the "masterpieces."

Lots more to come y'all!!!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Remembering the Best of 2013

2013 was an incredible year and many of the best moments were not necessarily planned events and because of some of the best unexpected moments, I learned a few things like:

- being flexible;
- continuing to work hard; 
- being open-minded;
- learning to relax more and enjoy;
- and that putting things on hold isn't necessarily a bad thing.

We had some amazing family moments in 2013. My daughter's band came through Atlanta twice which meant we got plenty of down time with Mimi and Fruition. My schedule stays booked so it was fun to have to clear the calendar to make time to dance to the music.  
The granddaughters spent three weeks with us during the summer. It was fun to make crafts, play games and enjoy summer fun with the girls. I had to put a few work events on hold to be able to have evenings with the girls but the memories were worth the schedule changes.  Then to add to the grandgirl fun, we learned in August that my son and DIL were being transferred to Robins Air Force Base, Georgia!  They will be back in the states in just 10 days and will be just a two hour drive away.  Then came a really big event - my husband's brother got married in June so unexpectedly almost our entire family went to Greece. But I'll talk more about that under the travel heading. 

As the year began I was determined to work really hard at my job, and honestly in many ways I worked harder than ever.  It wasn't as if I hadn't been working hard but I set some specific, significant goals for myself and in some ways the year ended with amazing results.  Our firm ended up winning national recognition and it was gratifying to know that my efforts played a part in the recognition.  My workplace was proud which made me proud. 
The work I do impacts communities and I'm honored and humbled every day to be able to make a difference for those less fortunate and while my goal is not to gain recognition I was touched to have been personally recognized too. Now I'm feeling pressure to do even bigger things in 2014. The anxiety has set in!

Sometimes keeping up with work creates conflicts for keeping up with friends.  There are many friends I owe visits, letters, calls or emails but I'm happy to celebrate being able to meet with my vision group twice, participate in two book clubs and occasionally meet up with a few of my closest friends. While I'm still struggling to be a better blogger, being able to go to a bloggers' conference was one of the highlights of the year for me.  
I didn't just make new friends, I had so much fun meeting so many of the bloggers I follow. WOW!  2014 will be better for friend visits...I just know it!

Travel was really big for me in 2013 and let me tell you how lucky and grateful I am for every travel experience. Our family started out the year planning to go to the California coast and to do some exploring in Mexico but wow did life take us in a different direction.  We moved forward with our trip to Bodega Bay and had a great time seeing sights in the region but Mexico got put on hold.
In March my BIL sent an email asking us to plan to be in Mykonos for his wedding in June.  While it took a lot of planning and doing, we took a family trip to Greece.  Sometime this winter when it is cold and gray I'm hoping to share some of the photos. It was as beautiful as I'd imagined and when you coupled the near perfect location with being able to spend time with loved ones and lots of wedding fun, IT WAS AN INCREDIBLE WOW LIFE MOMENT!
Check out the Naja men!
  As the fall rolled around my husband arranged for me to join him in Beirut so Thanksgiving ended up being a family reunion mixed with vacation time.  We had the best trip ever and I made a new friend too!  I cherish the memories.
I love Lebanon and was so happy to spend time with family.
My daughter decided not to come home for Christmas so at the final hour I decided to travel to Portland, Oregon to be with her for Christmas.  And WOW, what a visit it was.  A sunny day at the beach...whale watching (yes we spotted at least 7 whales)....unbelievable food....Voodoo donuts....a visit with my Goddaughter and best friend....boat tour...elk...Tillamook cheese....hazelnuts...Stumptown coffee....gorgeous countryside....snow!  I love Oregon too!
So I'm thankful for 2013 and all the friendships, time spent with family, travels, work experiences and lessons in being more flexible, open-minded and patient with life situations.  In the end the year brought me so much joy and beautiful memories that I will cherish forever.  

Now, on to 2014!