Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Day at Noccalula Falls

My family and I live downtown in a small Alabama city called Gadsden, which is in the northeast part of the state about 2 hours northwest of Atlanta. We are in walking distance to the main part of the downtown, with shops,some restaurants, banks, and an old five and dime store that I just love. And only about three miles from our house there is the mountain area of town, and our main tourist attraction, Noccalula Falls State Park. Right now, the waterfalls are impressive, since this region has had a lot of rain all winter and spring. (last year is was kind of a "trickle", but the weather has certainly changed that!)
Whenever friends or family come to visit, we always make our way there. It only costs about 7.00 to get in, and you get to ride a fun train with an old fashioned conductor, all around the park. There are a few stops you can get off if you want to go to the farm area where there are various farm animals and a totally out of place female Lion who eyed our aunt Carol hungrily last year when she came for a visit. And if you knew Aunt Carol, you would know that it wouldn't be a big meal for that big cat!
The grounds are beautiful, with flowers, trees and shrubs. There is even a free roaming deer that can be found grazing by the old pioneer buildings. We have seen cute bunnies just hopping around the place, even a meandering mule one time!
Last year we came upon a baby bird that looked as if it was just pushed out of momma's nest and it was hopping around my daughter Jenny's feet just outside the barn area.
The falls are so beautiful to look at, and you can feel at peace there as long as you don't look too hard at the lifelike statue of Princess Noccalula about to leap to her death at the bottom of the falls! Yep, another gruesome legend that gets a monument!
To make you totally jealous now, I must tell you about their Christmas Light Extravaganza that starts on Thanksgiving Night! The whole place is decorated with Christmas lights and trees , and holiday music is playing throughout. Kids can write letters to Santa in the old Post Office or decorate Christmas cookies. This past year we went on Thanksgiving night and it was magical!! It was the funnest time because my daughter Christina (, her husband Suj, and there sweet baby boy, Kavi were all there with us! And we even bought way too sweet but very inexpensive hot cocoa!
You can picnic there and camp or rent one of their log cabins with a gorgeous view!
Today, My husband and daughter and I were there for a little impromptu picnic with friends that were in town and it was beautiful weather and very refreshing! Honest, I don't work for the tourism department! I am just a fan of this region of the country especially after coming from Florida!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Blue Heaven

When summer comes upon us,I think of blue skies, blue ocean, blueberries and bluebirds!
And, scorching hot weather of course! There is something so tranquil and soothing about the color blue, so, I thought I would highlight some of these Etsy finds that have a blue theme!
Just click on the pictures to be directed to their Etsy Store.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Makeup Must Haves!

So... I thought I would just give my two cents worth on the topic of makeup. I know that there are a lot of natural beauties out there in blog-land, but I myself need help in that department! For many years I struggled with finding just the right foundation that blended well and wasn't too light or dark, or too pricey! Several years ago, my friend Rachel suggested I try "MAC Face and Body Foundation", and boy was I glad I did! First of all, it comes in four ounces which is double or even quadruple what you get in most foundation bottles, so the 32.00 price tag is very reasonable.
What I like about this product is that it is a water based foundation, therefore it is sheer and light. It goes on very smoothly and evenly, which makes life easy with almost no chance of making a mistake. Even in natural light, it looks like you have nothing on!
It is worth a trip to your MAC store to have them match your complexion and tell you your foundation color type. And if it's not close by, ( I have never lived less than one hour away from one!)you can re-order online. If you sign up for their e-mails you will often get notices about free delivery.
Now, for face powder, I use "Loreal True Match" face powder. It can be found in Walmart, Target or any drugstore for a reasonable price and has been in Allure Magazine as the best face powder. It is a perfect finish over foundation, and can be matched to your skin tone with plastic cards that you hold over your wrist.
Well, I hope this was helpful to someone out there! Like I said it's just my two cents worth!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tag Pics

Here they are.....

Tag....your'e it!!

My daughter Christina (consider the coffee) just suggested that I make some gift tags to sell, and I know well enough to take her advice, cause she is very wise! I have been giving free manila gift tags which I have hand stamped, with any purchase from my Etsy shop for a while now. So... today, I got my inks, stamps and tags out and made some new creations which I will be adding to my Etsy shop, soon!
Here are some pics of these handy and unique gift tags! ( they can be used as book marks too you know!)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sail Away Matey!

Here are some adorable Etsy finds that are nautical themed. I hope you like them as much as I do!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Homage To The Front Porch

After 25 years of living in Florida , last year me, my husband and family relocated to Alabama. Now, whenever I tell anyone here that I moved FROM Florida TO Alabama, they are always, like... WHY???? Well, it's a long story, but I believe it was Divine direction to get us here, cause we are originally from New York, and NOBODY that I knew in New York EVER said they wanted to live in Alabama.
And it is a shame, because this area is truly beautiful. We are at the beginning of the Appalachian Mountain range, there are hills, mountains, SEASONS!!! A river runs through the town, and even though it is a muddy brown river, I still think it is quite picturesque!
And there are beautiful birds singing all day long, which brings me to my topic of front porches. In Florida, I avoided the outside heat as much as possible, especially when those darling hot flashes entered my life. Don't get me wrong, Alabama isn't exactly Alaska in the summer either, but at least it only lasts for the actual summer season!
I have enjoyed my front porch here all fall, winter and spring. We have a bird bath and bird feeders that attract such cute and cheery birds especially right before dark. It is surprisingly refreshing to sit out there with a nice cup of coffee and just take in the sounds and sights. Sometimes tranquil, sometimes entertaining, if you have some unique neighbors like I do! I don't even mind the cars going by with their noisy radios blasting. Who needs an i-pod when you have a front porch?
Anyway,the sound of the trees rustling in the wind, and the melodic tunes of the birds just make me relax and think about how beautifully God created these things and how they are meant to refresh and entertain us.

If you live somewhere without a porch, then at least befriend someone with one, or go on vacation to a place with porches! You won't be sorry!

(My porch is the third picture from the top)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Summer Headbands

I just completed four new headbands which are a great accessory for controlling unruly hair during the warmer months! They are hand crocheted by me from 100 percent acrylic yarn and are totally adjustable. Each one ties according to your desired fit and are very comfortable and cool feeling!
They are great for all different hair lengths and thickness andI will soon be listing them on my etsy and artfire accounts.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Saturday Drive!

Yesterday, my husband Ray and I drove north on US 11 Antique Alley from Gadsden Alabama to Rising Fawn Georgia. This event happens every year, where people living along US 11 set up mostly garage sales and antique sales in their front yards. The drive was beautiful, especially north of Fort Payne, where the mountains became more prevalent. Good deals were made along the way, including four ladder back chairs for a little less than $30, an old fashioned push (not motorized) lawn mower that a friend has been wanting to get, some old paint by number floral pictures, a chair pad that massages and heats up for 50 cents, and a quirky wooden clog I want to use as a planter! What I would consider a very successful trip!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

New Kitchen Shelves Inspired by Anthropologie

One day last week, a big shelf in my kitchen came crashing down, breaking glass and spewing flour and sugar all over the kitchen floor! Thank the Lord that no one was hurt, because my daughter Christina and grandson Kavi were visiting us then, and Kavi had been crawling around in there before!
I was sad nonetheless because I loved those shelves and the vintage look they brought my kitchen. Well, I was wondering how to replace them inexpensively without attaching anything to the wall (plaster, which is why they didn't hold) when I came across an image from Anthropologie which used stainless steel looking shelves to display their goodies. Well, good old Walmart can always be counted on for good prices, so I picked up a similar one that only cost 35.00!

The following pictures will be the before crash white bottom shelf, the Anthropologie inspiration and my new shelves in the kitchen all set up! I actually put the shelves together myself which totally surprised my husband!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spaghetti Squash

The other day I bought spaghetti squash at the store and had it as a side dish for supper. It was delicious and so easy to make! The calories are very low compared to pasta (although I will NEVER give that up!) and it was very tasty. I cut the squash in half and scooped out the seeds, then placed it cut side down on a microwavable dish with 1/4 cup water, then covered with plastic wrap. 7 minutes in the microwave on high, then scoop it out with a spoon and add butter or olive oil or sauce and top with grated cheese! Try it you'll like it!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Even more....

In addition to the adorable bird plates, Christina also gave me two necklaces that she made. Sweet little bumblebee and honey, and mushroom and flower pendants! You can view her other items that she sells on etsy and artfire at:, and

More Mother's Day Treasures

My kids really do have the best taste and they know what I love! Jenny bought me this beautifully decorated bowl from Anthropologie in Birmingham, and also, she and Rachel chipped in to buy me the Pirate Ship necklace from a store in the Riverchase Galleria Mall in Hoover. My daughter Christina was visiting with my adorable grandson Kavi for a few weeks and we made some fun trips to these Birmingham area stores!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Treasures

I thought it would be fun to show you some of my mother's day gifts...

These are the cutest little plates I got from Christina which are handmade and hand painted from a shop on Etsy called Say Your Piece which can be found at I love them!

Also, Rachel got me an adorable vintage looking apron from Anthropologie, a store I also love, even though it is way too expensive! I love to see how they set up their displays which are very creative and fun. I have a small collection of aprons, which I have displayed in my 1940's style kitchen.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Some Crafty Things

A few months ago, I got interested in Block Printing and made several carvings for printing on kitchen towels,tote bags, etc. I love the handmade vintage look they have and they fit in perfectly with my kitchen. It was hard for me to give them up once I made them, but several of them are listed in my shop at

Christina ( my oldest daughter) has an Etsy shop ( as well, and makes beautiful pillows and jewelry. I have many of her things too! It sure is fun having a daughter with a store, it makes shopping even more fun!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

You've Been Framed!

A month or so ago, I was recovering from a bout of the flu which kept me bored and housebound, when I got the bug to rearrange all the pictures in my living room. I took everything down and just started putting them up in different places, and then remembered that I had a bunch of blank picture frames that I never used yet. I got these frames from various thrift stores, for less than a dollar each! I then began to place them willy nilly on my wall and put different items inside, like a plate, smaller pictures, Christmas ornaments, etc. and really liked the turnout! Check your local thrift stores often for fun, often one of a kind item

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Little Tea for Me

Lately, I have been addicted to Green Tea lattes, which started when I tried one at a Starbucks in Trussville about a month ago. almost four bucks a shot, I figured I needed a cheaper alternative to feed my need! So...I did a search on the internet to find the basic recipe for the Starbucks one, and found people who had a healthier version. Starbucks uses Matcha Green Tea Powder with a LOT of added sugar, so I found out where to get Matcha Unsweetened Powder so you can add your own sweetener to it. Here is a little blip about Matcha Powder from

Matcha is perhaps the most popular green tea on the market today. The first thing you will notice upon opening the packet is that Matcha is a finely powdered green tea and looks like an emerald colored flour. This characteristic truly sets it apart from other teas.

When brewed, the powdered leaf is not strained or left in the pot, but is whisked into a frothy concoction and consumed. Because the leaves themselves are imbibed, brewed Matcha contains higher concentrations of vitamins and antioxidants than most other teas, green, herbal, or otherwise. According to researches done in Japan, brewed Matcha contains nearly 10 times the polyphenols and antioxidants of regular teas, 2 times the antioxidants of a glass of red wine, approximately 9 times the beta-carotene of spinach, and 4 times that of carrots.
Listed below are some of the many health benefits of Matcha green tea.
  • Significantly increases energy (over 8 to 10 hours) without the caffeine "jitters".
  • Improves mental alertness (L-theanine component)
  • Increases calmness and reduces stress (L-theanine component)
  • Boosts metabolic rate by 35-40%
  • Powerful "Anti-Aging" activity due to the super-charged antioxidants
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Decreases level of LDL or "bad"cholesterol
  • Minimizes symptoms of PMS
  • "Super" cancer-fighting and cancer-preventative activity (due to extremely high levels of polyphenols and catechins)
  • Eases constipation due to high level of easily absorbable dietary fiber
  • Stabilizes blood sugar levels
  • Powerful anti-biotic and anti-viral activity
  • Strong blood detoxifier and alkalyzer, due to the high Chlorophyll content

I make my Lattes, using skim milk (Lattes, by the way are the ONLY time I use skim milk!)
powdered Matcha and one packet of Truvia or Splenda Sweetener, but you can use sugar or honey at any desired amount.
I use a milk frother which looks a lot like a coffee press to warm 1 cup of milk for 1:35 seconds in the microwave, then add 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon of Matcha and any sweetener to the frother, then pump it until it doubles in volume. Pour it in a BIG mug and enjoy! You can make an iced latte by using the same ingredients, except adding half a cup of ice in a blender and blend until frothy!

I purchased my Matcha Powder from for 8.99 for 4 0z plus shipping which came to around 13.00 for 50 servings. That's about 26 cents per serving! I found sweetened Matcha powder at Whole Foods for 10.99, but for only 10 servings, so I think you are way better off ordering it online!