Friday Faves - Edition 23

Friday Faves – Edition 23



This week has been a strange week for me. But here we are at Friday! And I definitely have some faves to share today!

Big Mr was invited to go to Myrtle Beach with a friend (luuuckyyyy) and left on Saturday. He’ll finally return home sometime tomorrow. Mr. D is helping his dad rebuild the entry. And of course, as it is with most home projects, under the surface were more problems (I think there’s some kind of correlation to life in this truth). Anyways, its a big project, but they are making steady progress. Miss Sunshine has had a social-filled week.

On Monday and Tuesday, I was the decluttering queen. Purging left and right… mostly papers! I finished up the laundry (which is usually a never-ending cycle, so I was pleased as it would set Wednesday up quite nicely). I thought people might like to eat so I did a little grocery shopping.

Have you ever been at the store and something jump out and say you need to eat this? No, not chocolate! Something you think is a little strange that you’re craving and something you’ve had about twice in your life.

Well maybe you haven’t, but I did.


And it was radishes! Radishes! I thought they might be tasty on my salad. I almost didn’t get them, but I have a tendency to listen to my body. And if it said radishes, it must want some nutrient found in them.

I looked up their benefits and found that they contain folate, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, copper, manganese, and of course, fiber.

I’ve been adding them to my salads and they’ve been very tasty. I did not expect to like them because they can be hot. These happened to be pretty mild. What about you? Do you like radishes?

I’ve spent some time trying to learn the different controls on my Sony Alpha this week. I’m still having an issue figuring out how to change the aperture, so I will be digging into the operating manual. I was very used to my Nikon’s controls, so I was a little frustrated by not being able to have this camera do what I wanted.


Since my children weren’t around, Maverick got to be my test subject. However, sitting still when outdoors isn’t his strong point! But, oh my goodness! That face!

Speaking of faces…


Miss Sunshine mentioned facial masks. And it got me thinking… while not perfect, I am conscientious about her toxic load.

I remembered that I had won this skincare set by TruSelf Organics on an Instagram giveaway (and ya’ll, I never win anything!) It came in right before my trip to Europe and then life was busy so I haven’t had a chance to test it out.  I’m excited to try it because it says that its made with organic ingredients and has no parabens, no sulfates, no bad stuff. Perfect for my preferences for Miss Sunshine! And while I’m at it… me too.

Also, their products are cruelty-free and according to the FAQs, with the exception of their raw honey lip gloss, they are vegan-friendly.

Plus their mission is about #selflove. And I know that I could stand to learn a little about that!

I shared on yesterday’s post that I took Wednesday off.


I blew bubbles on the back porch every time I took the dog outside.

I stayed away from social media.

And the biggest reason that I stepped away from that space for the day was because I was beginning to base my self-worth on whether or not people liked me enough. It takes work to build something out of nothing. I get that. I have no problem with working hard. But the follow/unfollow game made me feel like I was a pawn in somebody’s game.  The up and down numbers, the need for constant usage to hope to be seen in the algorithm, basing the quality of my photography on whether I garnered enough likes… it made me feel like I was in high school again, hoping to be popular (for the record, I was not. I’ve even given serious thought to throwing out my yearbooks during my decluttering because of the negative memories they dredge up. But there were good times and good friends as well, so for now, they still remain on the shelf).

I needed to step back and assess whether I was still finding joy in social media.

I did post yesterday, but I will be conscientious in the future of what I’m allowing to have power over my thoughts. Positive thoughts lead to a positive life. Numerous studies show that what we tell ourselves about ourselves is what we come to believe.


My mother posted this photo of me in Glasgow on her Facebook page. And while I wanted to pick it apart because I am hypercritical of myself… I’m sharing it because of what she said:

Of all the photo’s I took in Scotland this is my personal favorite. It reminds me of “Audrey Hepburn” in a classic photo.

And so I decided to see myself through her eyes. 

And I felt beautiful.

Our words can have such an much impact on somebody’s life.


I decided to start collecting images or words to create a vision or dream board. Granted, I only have Yoga Journal magazines available right now, but the image on the left was the first that I tore out. That night, mere hours later, I kid you not, I walked into my room and the magazine on my nightstand was open to the page of the ad in the middle. I think the Universe is trying to tell me something. The only other photo I have so far is the long exposure shot of a rushing stream. It was a soothing photo. The article with it was quite interesting as well. It talked about how we shouldn’t meditate in complete silence because silence increases our instincts of listening for danger.

I wonder what photos I’ll end up adding.

Have you ever created a vision or dream board? Did you notice a pattern?

My song this week, I stumbled across some weeks ago. I’ve been waiting until the time I felt was the moment to share it. I looked up the inspiration behind the lyrics and found it’s about the human instinct of fear and conformity rather than risk. This version has people talking about “what it means to be human”. It speaks to my soul every time I watch it. I hope it speaks to yours as well.

As you go into the weekend, I hope that you’ll take a moment to have your eyes meet those of a stranger. An entire conversation of kindness and compassion can be had in just that moment.

Everyone wants to know they have worth.

Show them that they do.


Let your light shine!








Friday Faves Edition 22

Friday Faves – Edition 22


Do you ever have a week that seems like a blur?

My week was chaotic. There are still so many moving parts with decisions to make, things to complete, and places to be.

However, I did find beauty in those moments. Here are some of my faves for the week.


On Sunday, I met a girlfriend for coffee.

I’m not a person who needs lots of friends, but I do need some that I consider my safe zone. These are the friends with whom I can speak freely. I can tell them about my trials in parenting, talk about the personal stuff of marriages and relationships, and the details I tend to keep private about what’s going on in my life.

Without fear of judgement.

She is one of those friends.

We decided to go to Sweet Donkey Coffee which is in South Roanoke. It’s a cute little coffee shop that always has something going on. I’ve been wanting to go since it opened (some years back), but hadn’t been yet.

Why hadn’t I been yet, you ask?

Confession time: some of you may already have guessed, but… I don’t parallel park. It wasn’t required for a driver’s license in Florida and I find it very intimidating. I did discover that that is plenty of  places that I could pull along the street and just walk back a few blocks, but for that day, my friend picked me up and we rode together.

When I visit a place, I like to try something that I can’t get anywhere else. Sometimes it works out, others times not so much (like the Carbonara that I had in Paris, which I didn’t realize came with a raw egg on top).  I decided to try the lavender latte. It could have gone either way. I’ve had a lavender kombucha that was tasty, but I hated the floral macarons that I tried from Ladureé in Paris (I felt like I was eating perfume).

The latte turned out to be amazingly tasty. And we had a great time catching up on everything happening in our summer so far…so much so that it was a 3 1/2 hour visit.


My next fave doesn’t look so faveish (I don’t think that’s a real word) yet. Our home is wood frame. Wood rots over time. The wall and steps had finally gotten to the point where they need replaced.

Especially given that Feng Shui principles are that the entry to your home should be inviting. Rotted decking is not inviting.

The original entry was sheathed the same way as the house. The layout of the interior of the house is very contemporary and we have decided that we want light allowed through the railings. We haven’t completely formulated what that will look like.  I have been scouring through Pinterest and pinning things to my Pinterest page. I’m very excited about the prospect of a nice entry to the front door.


Some of the books that I had on hold at the library came in…actually a bunch came in at the same time. I haven’t started this one yet, but I love the title because that is what I have chosen to do. I kept wanting to find a different house (and we will still probably downsize once we have less kids at home) and I have decided that in this moment I need to embrace this one.

I am still working on my goals of simplicity / minimalism by decluttering. I’ve found that one of the things that works best for me is to set a 20 minute timer and work diligently in that location. Then I set the timer again in a different location. I work in as many of these 20 minute bursts as I can fit in around the other plans for my day. Sometimes I work on my bedroom closet, sometimes my office, sometimes the filing cabinet, and sometimes the garage or other specific area that is cluttered. The 20 minute bursts keep me from getting overwhelmed (and thereby paralyzed and unable to move forward) with the projects in front of me.

Of course, Maverick has kept me super busy. He had his first check with our veterinarian last Friday. Getting him at 14 weeks meant that he was behind on socialization so she told us to get him out as often and to as many locations as we can. We visited my mother-in-law and took him for a swim in the pool. He wasn’t in love with the pool, but he did love my mother-in-law (dogs know that she’d choose them over a human 😉 ).

While I was at coffee with my friend, Miss Sunshine and the hubby took Maverick to the dog park and then over to splash around in the Roanoke River.  He did love the river! 🙂

Getting him socialized, teaching him “sit”, and potty training have consumed quite a bit of the week. Yesterday, he went in for his final distemper shot. We also opted to get him the leptospiroris shot since he will be hiking and playing in the river. It ended up making him sore and I spent the day wondering if it was the shot or if he had fallen on the stairs when I wasn’t looking. By the end of the day, he was back to his normal, crazy self.


I don’t know if it was the fried foods, the alcohol, or just too much overindulgence, but I didn’t feel great after I got home from the beach. I decided to go back to having a glass of lemon water every morning to start the day.

Yes. Even before coffee.

yoga mat and bag

My shoulder was bothering me over the weekend, but I still decided to go to the gym.

On Monday, I went to Pilates. I take these as a group exercise class at my gym, not at a studio.

And I got called up in front of the class!

I was nervous because I wasn’t sure whether it was to correct my form or show that my form was correct. It ended up that I was doing it properly, keeping my shoulders in place and not using my trapezius which wants to take over on the specific exercise.

On Tuesday, I went to the new Bodyflow release (the yoga class that I take). It was release number 77, which I thought would bode well since that was the year that I was born. It was a great release, but there was a lot of shoulder work and I opted to do the “flip your dog” into a “wild thing” and finish out in the backbend. The back track also included scorpion push-ups and fireflies. I think on a good day I would have been sore because the other shoulder felt tired. But it was a little too much for the shoulder that was bothering me.

I decided to honor my body and take Wednesday off, even though I really wanted to be there.

Thursday, I felt better and went back to Bodyflow. I did not “flip my dog” and took the back track from my knees and skipped reps when I needed to skip them.

Today was Pilates. This instructor does not teach this class often at my gym. All the instructors have their own style. I knew this one focuses a lot on breath work. This is an area that I don’t work on often, but I know that it is so beneficial, so I knew that I wanted to go. It turned out to be the entire class focused on getting our breath into those spaces that we don’t often take it… into the back of our ribs, into the thoracic spine… it required such concentration that I was totally in that present moment for the entire class.

Just what I needed to realign my focus and head into the crazy life that I call mine.

Every day is a blessing. Embrace it fully.

I know I’m always hoping that your weekend is filled with sunshine, but if your days have been as hot as ours, I’m hoping for a little cloud cover 😉 But still wishing you lots of smiles and days filled with kindness.

Mountain sunset with ee cumming quote

Let your light shine!




Friday Faves -Edition 21

Friday Faves – Edition 21

I can’t believe that I’ve already been back from the beach for a week! Time flies when your a mama to three teens and new puppy!

Time for my weekly round-up of faves!


One of the items that my hubby found made his and Miss Sunshine’s trip across the bridge and to the seashore much easier. It was a SUP/Surfboard carrier strap. It made it possible for them to distribute the weight and not have to try to get their arm under it or carry it over  their heads.  Miss Sunshine commented numerous times on how wonderful this addition was for her toting of her surfboard.


This fave is more about my journey toward body positivity. It was the main bathing suit that I wore for my week at the beach. The bottoms are DKNY from a tankini set that I have and the top is J. Crew that I picked up at the J. Crew Clearance Store (which has sadly closed) a year of two ago.

Wearing a bikini has been a journey for me. I loved my body from ages 17-21, maybe even before that. I was a late bloomer, but wasn’t overly bothered by that. I had the Big Mr. (my firstborn) at 22, Mr. D (my 2nd child) at 23, and Miss Sunshine (my 3rd child) at 26. I really didn’t think much too much about my body changes. Yes, there were some stretch marks and my belly didn’t look exactly the same, but it wasn’t until I saw a photo of me in a bikini playing with an 18 month old Miss Sunshine that I was bothered by my body. I decided at that point that I was not going to wear another bikini in public. At 30, I took out the belly piercing that I had worn for the past 10 years, and decided my belly would never be seen. Not in a midriff and definitely not in a bikini.

Last year, after having been on my health and yoga journey for about a year, I began to feel more confident in my body.  Sure, the stretch marks are still there and I still don’t like how my belly looks when I stand sideways to the mirror, but not wearing a bikini because I felt ashamed of my body began to bother me more than anything. And so last year, I wore a bikini in public for the first time in about 10 years. And this year, I wore it more.

It is still a journey. You will not find photos of me in it. There were some last year and when I saw them, it brought up feelings that I don’t want to have for myself. So I choose to feel confident and continue the process of beginning to love my body… where it is today… strong.


While we were down in Carolina Beach, we took a day trip over to Southport. Since we already knew that we would be picking up Maverick, our new GoldendoodleMiss Sunshine wanted to find him a collar. We found this collar at a little boutique. Unfortunately, somebody was a little eager to clean out my Jeep and threw away the business card that named the maker of this cute Starfish dog collar.


After I posted on Monday about our new puppy, I went to check our mail that had been delivered after week on hold.  In it, I found this card. Our veterinarian’s office had made a memorial donation in honor of Kiwi. The back of the card tells about the mission and reads: “Around the world, people depend on their animal for income, nutrition, labor or companionship. For 40 years, Christian Veterinary Mission has equipped veterinarians to serve in communities that need animals the most, using their expertise to build sustainable livelihoods and express Christ’s love through veterinary medicine.”

It was such a touching gesture. For the dog we lost and and receiving it so shortly after the one we’ve gained. But also because we sponsor two boys in Africa. One through World Vision and one through Compassion. And I see what a difference animals make in their lives. The project that the boy we sponsored for many years through World Vision reached the point of no longer needing World Vision last year. I will never forget the photo that I have with him and a cow and supplies for a school, showing that even the smallest things we do make a difference in people’s lives.


I also returned to the library for some more books to encourage my simplicity / minimalism / decluttering journey. I have some on hold, but these are the two that I am currently reading. I started two because SoulSpace by Xorin Balbes encourages a process of going through spaces in a way that isn’t accomplished in a day. I’m also reading Simple Matters by Erin Boyle, who I discovered upon reading the book, also has the blog Reading My Tea Leaves.

Interestingly, her intro begins about talking about how many minimalists narratives begin with too much. And about how hers did not. I found it interesting because I am beginning with too much, but I also feel like my desire comes from the roots of my childhood where there was enough, but never too much. A very simplistic childhood filled with imagination and days in the sunshine.

So my song this week is back to the roots of simplicity:

I hope you all have an amazing weekend filled with love and sunshine!!

Thoreau quote "Our life is frittered away by detail...simplify, simplify." Ocean background

Let your light shine!



Friday Faves Edition 20

Friday Faves – Edition 20

Today is our last full day at the beach.

Friday, you’ve come too soon.

Some of my faves this week are things that I’ve brought from home to make my stay at the beach a little simpler and safer.


SPF and I have a love/hate relationship when it comes to my face.

I have family members who have had skin cancers removed from their face and I grew up in Southern Florida, so I am especially conscience of the dangers of not protecting my skin.

As a fair-skinned girl, I need to wear it daily.

Really, we all need to wear it daily.

But then I end up rubbing it in my eye… and the burning and watering makes me curse its existence.

Until I stumbled upon this Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer with an SPF of 47 and Sunboost ATB. I have not experienced any burning near my eyes. I don’t think this is waterproof, but my face isn’t often underwater at the beach.

Another perk is that I love the smell of it! I’m very particular about how something on my face smells (for example: I can’t wear any product that smells like roses. I have a past life theory on that one…). The main ingredients are argan oil, jojoba oil, and green tea, which I find to smell amazing.


I have a tendency to forget about my lips needing protection from the sun as well. Sometimes, I just rub the Josie Maran moisturizer across them as well. But with the need for reapplication due to eating and drinking, I try to carry a lip balm with SPF as well.

This time I’ve brought a few different flavors of Softlips, which has an SPF of 20.

Watermelon is a fun, summertime flavor.


While at the beach, I like to keep my routines short and sweet.

Ok… who are we kidding?! I ALWAYS like to keep my routines short and sweet.

I like this Bliss triple oxygen instant energizing cleansing foam.  It cleans my face and removes my makeup and I get the added benefit of oxygen and Vitamin C. Of course, the fact that it doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin gives it a thumbs up from me.


As much as I enjoy watching the surfers in my family, I rarely surf. But I love to boogie board. Last year, two of our boogie boards finally finished their 8 or 9 year run and had to be retired. We knew that we would replace them on our next trip to the beach, so we bought a BZ and a Morey boogie board from a surf shop here in Carolina Beach.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, then you know that I had to have my ritual donut from Britt’s Donut Shop. Also, I’ve been trying to share regularly on my Instagram Stories.


Thursday nights in Carolina Beach brings music and fireworks to the boardwalk. I shared some of those on my story last night. I even went Live to share some of the music (going live was really scary and out of my comfort zone!).

It is a lively and fun atmosphere down on the boardwalk. 


To close out the night, my middle son and I went to Squigley’s for some ice cream. He opted for Fudge Tracks, while I went for Nutty Coconut.

If you have any idea about the ups and downs of raising teenagers, then you completely understand why this moment was so special to me.

And lastly my song choice..

Life should be about spreading love. 🙂

I hope that you have an amazing weekend filled with light and positivity!

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King Jr.

Let your light shine!






Friday Faves Edition 19

Friday Faves – Edition 19


It’s Friday! Hallelujah, it’s Friday!

Yesterday I shared some of my favorite beaches.

And by tomorrow afternoon I’ll be putting my toes in the sand at one.

That’s right! Carolina Beach, here we come!

So as I wade through laundry, try to remember what size sheets need packed, and decide whether to bring any groceries or buy them all there… I wanted to pop in and share some of my favorites this week.

I can assure you that the irony is not lost on me that I’ve told you I am working toward more simplicity… more minimalism… and then I share new things that I’ve added to my life.

However, minimalism looks differently for everyone. 

And I think (or overthink) through most of my purchases.


I am really enjoying photography. You may recall that I recently purchased the Sony Alpha 7 II. It is my first full-frame camera and is a mirrorless system. At the moment I only have the 28-70mm lens that I purchased with the camera.

Since most of my photography is outdoors in nature and landscapes, I wanted to get a polarizing filter. I will only be at the beach for a week and while I’m well aware that the golden hour and the blue hour are the best time to shoot, there is a real likelihood I will be taking some shots in the middle of the day. A polarizing filter darkens the sky and manages reflections and glare.

I also have a love for long exposure photography and the ocean is a beautiful place to work on this. Quite often a ND (neutral density) filter is needed to be able to create this effect. I only picked up a .6 filter, so I may be bringing along my Nikon D3200 as well since I have a stackable set of 3 ND filters for it.

The quality of filters that you put over your lenses does make a difference. Tiffen had good reviews.  There are other filters that I am looking at and learning about that I may add. Specifically, I will probably move to a drop-in filter system that covers a broad array of lens sizes.  As you can see my Sony has a 55mm lens, while my Nikon has a 52mm. As with anything, the higher the quality, the more the $$$ and since I don’t have the knowledge and experience under me, I couldn’t justify spending any more than I did.

Most of my photography is hand held, but long exposure requires a tripod. So I will be bringing my tripod along, even though I’m not a fan of this one and have been researching others. I would like one that gets closer to the ground amongst other things. I looked one up that was mentioned and when I told my hubby the price, he asked if it was made of carbon fiber and gold.  Carbon fiber: yes. Gold: No. 🙂 I’m also in the market for a 50mm (aka nifty fifty) lens probably with f/1.8, since f/1.4 costs substantially more. My camera can have adapters bought which will mount other brands of lenses.

So I’m calling on y’all. If you have any recommendations for either of these or even your favorite filter system – holler at me in the comments!


I’m super excited that we finally bought a hydrangea.

Classic southern charm.

I do not have a green thumb. I killed a succulent last year. Yes. A succulent.


I have wanted a hydrangea since we moved to Virginia. We have very shaded property so I’ve decided this first go round to plant it in a pot that we had. That way if it needs moved around due to sunshine, we’ll be able to figure out where it thrives.

Do you have a green thumb? What is your favorite plant/flower?


I needed to add some beach towels to our collection. Inevitably towels from the past get left at someone’s house or stay in a bag so long that no matter how hard I try, the sour smell lingers.

There is almost nothing that I hate worse than the smell of a sour towel. That smell lingers in my hair ALL DAY LONG. So new beach towels it is.

Do you have any must-haves for beach going?

Mine are sunscreen, water, beach towels, blanket, hat, umbrella, and sunglasses to name a few. I’m a little high maintenance with my fair skin.


While I was checking out with my beach towels, I saw this adorable set of frogs.

No, I didn’t get them. But I just had to share how adorably cute they were.

Huge jump at the quarry today 🎥: @taylorlovingg

A post shared by Hunter Smith (@hunter02222) on

Another fave of the week was this video from the oldest’s Instagram.

I’m not gonna lie, I had mixed emotions when he told me that he was gonna do this jump. He had been going to this spot with a group of friends and had already jumped from the spot that was 25 ft high. Some of his friends had already jumped from this next higher one, which is 80-85 ft high. My son is close to 6’5″ and built like an NFL player. I was a little stressed about the impact from jumping so high.

While I have no interest in jumping from those kind of heights, I can admire him overcoming the natural fear that rears its head when you are standing on the edge of a precipice.

And we all have our different limits of where we find joy in adrenaline. My husband was a regular skydiver when we met, and yet hates the drop tower that sends a gleeful adrenaline rush through me (Dr. Doom’s Fearfall at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando anyone?).


The fave of the week shown above doesn’t include anything that is newly purchased. Just something I plan to wear on vacation.

I bought the Billabong dress at the end of last summer from a surf shop in Jensen Beach, Florida. I didn’t get a chance to wear it because it was at the end of warm weather season.

You’ve seen the sunglasses in a different Friday Faves.

I purchased the canvas Gap wristlet many years ago and love its size for strolling around town.

The Puka Shell necklace belongs to my husband. I think it once belonged to one of his brothers, bought during the years they lived in Hawaii as Navy brats.

Every beach gal has to have a Lokai bracelet. Right? And the bangle goes along with my other bangles. This one having been bought at a surf shop in Carolina Beach and filled with local sand inside of the wave.

The other is just some stone and technically an anklet.

The seashells and sea glass are just a small bit of my collection gathered from years of beach visits.


I can’t leave without a song. Chosen because… it’s Summertime. And I remember Will Smith from before he played all these amazing acting roles.  I was in high school when this song came out. I owned his CD. I regularly watched Fresh Prince of Bel Air (and yes.. I can recite/sing the entire intro song).

I hope that you’ve enjoyed the faves this week!

I’m hoping for lots of sunshine and wishing the same for all of you.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Quote "It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all." Background - boardwalk through a salt marsh in Carolina Beach, North Carolina

Let your light shine!




Friday Faves - Edition 18

Friday Faves – Edition 18


It’s hard for me to believe that I’ve already been home for a week!

The girlie went to her first sleep away camp last Sunday…

3 nights!

So there was the hustle and bustle of preparing for that. Which included rounding up some summertime clothes. You’d think she was a growing teenager or something. 😉

The oldest got a part time job. Manual labor. Which I think is a good fit for him.

The middle son has started applying for jobs. It’s a little harder for 15 year olds to find work, typically because child labor laws are stricter for 14-15 year olds. I have finally ridden as his passenger while he is learning to drive.  I was very pleased that he didn’t make me push my imaginary brake or grip the door (I don’t passenger very well).


One of my favorite things when traveling overseas is to try candy that I can’t find at my local store. We had a lot of fun doing this in Amsterdam and Paris. So candy was what I brought back for my teens.

Another reason for this being their gift was because as I’ve shared in the past and talked about extensively in this post

I am on a path to simplicity… or minimalism…

Or just less..

Less clutter.

Less distractions to steal away my time.

The candy creates a bonding time as we discuss which ones we like best and why. And best of all, it’s a consumable. It doesn’t take up long term residence in my home.


I had certain items that I knew that I wanted to purchase prior to going to Scotland.

Items that would not be consumable.

The benefits of living in a climate with a real winter, such as I have in Virginia, is that I actually wear scarves. I went to Scotland with every intention of adding some scarves to the few that I own (when I moved from Florida 4 years ago, I had zero).

It was important to me that the tag said “Made in Scotland”. Quite a few scarves sold along the Royal Mile are actually made in China. Some people may not care about that fact.

But part of my desire also had to do with my ancestry. My 4th great-grandfather, James Baird, is listed on the 1841 census as living on Flowerhill Street in Airdrie. His occupation: a hand loom weaver. On the 1851 census, his 15-year old daughter (my 3rd great-grandmother) is listed as a hand loom weaver. In 1881, Agnes is on Flowerhill Street listed as a shirtmaker. Her 16-year old daughter, Agnes McLachlan (my 2nd great-grandmother) is listed as a cotton weaver.

The tan scarf is Made in Scotland and 100% cashmere. The gray scarf is Made in the British Isles and is 100% Lambswool.


Another definite purchase that I wanted to make was having a Scottish throw. I was in the store picking out scarves when I saw this blanket on a lower shelf.  I had almost given up on a blanket actually having a tag with Made in Scotland. But here it was, and reminiscent of my Roger blanket. Lambswool and Angora and not another like it in the store. I was overjoyed!

After having a conversation with the sales lady at The Real Scot, which is on High Street, about whether or not they had the McLachlan or Scott tartan pattern in a scarf, she suggested that Roman and Paterson on Princes Street might carry those patterns and even called them to see if they did. They confirmed that they did and since our hotel was near Princes Street, we decided to stop by on the walk back to the hotel.



I did feel a little guilty about now having four scarves. In case you’re counting, the Smith scarf was a gift for my husband ;). The reality is that I would have only passed on the gray one if I had known the others were available. Having said that, gray matches my wardrobe very well and will be worn quite often.

IMG_1891At this point, there have also been some things that I bought on a whim. Things that while I bought them, I wavered in my mind, “should I”, “shouldn’t I” and bought them anyway. A bracelet…a wallet… a beanie… and some coasters.

The bracelet is a HeatherGem, which is actually nice. Made in Pitlochry, Scotland from natural heather stems. However, at the time, I didn’t notice that it was beginning to tarnish. The buying experience was not wonderful, hence why I am not naming the store, and I have no idea what the metal is made of and if it is able to be cleaned or will just continue to tarnish like a piece of costume jewelry.

The wallet was very much an impulse buy.  I was purchasing other things. I liked the tweed. I liked that it was woven in the Outer Hebrides. However, I did not spend time looking it over thoroughly. I do not like that it is made in China and that the interior is plastic and feels as such. Also, it was on sale at the time and I didn’t notice until afterwards that I was charged the full price.

The beanie and coasters I will enjoy, but could have taken or left them.  As a person pursuing minimalism, I should have left them.



I did purchase another consumable. This one for myself. A tea collection by the Edinburgh Tea & Coffee Company. They are blended in Edinburgh and the flavors include: Whisky Flavoured, Heather, Thistle, and Scottish Breakfast.  I’ve only tried Thistle so far, but it was delicious. I already shared about the amazing shortbread in last week’s Friday Faves.

The night that I returned home, I had a nightmare that I was decluttering and the piles were enormous and I felt almost like I was drowning in the overwhelming nature of it. I turned to my husband and said “we’re never going to get through all this”.

I’m not sure what led to a dream like that. I have known actual hoarders. And I don’t mean people who say that they are hoarders, but actually have lots of clutter or are packrats. I mean actual hoarding tendencies. And I think it scares the heck out of me. My accumulations of stuff give me no joy. In fact, they cause me quite a bit of anxiety. The next morning I woke up and started back where I had left off on the decluttering.

Each day a step forward toward simplicity…

Toward minimalism.

Toward freedom.

In searching for a song to share about simplicity, I bypassed some of the obvious and chose this one, which came up in the search because of the stripped down sound. I remember loving it when it came out. Simple and yet phenomenal in its simplicity:

I hope that you all have an amazing weekend!

Get lost in a good book, soak in the beauty of nature, eat that piece of chocolate.


Let your light shine!






Friday Faves - Edition 17

Friday Faves – Edition 17


I’ve finally arrived home!

And it’s Friday!

Actually, I arrived home at 11:30 last night.  That was after beginning my journey home from Scotland on Wednesday, the 7th, with a flight out of Edinburgh at 12:30 p.m. local time. Then arriving in Iceland for a 5 hour layover. Leaving there and arriving in Miami at 11:00 p.m. local time (essentially 4 a.m. according to my body) and after border patrol and luggage, driving 2 hours to my parent’s house in Naples, arriving at 1:45 a.m., where I promptly went to bed. I had to be to the airport in Ft. Myers by 5 p.m. the next day for a 7:00 flight. Flew to Charlotte, N.C. I had a very short layover, shortened by the fact that the first plane was late, so I power walked to my gate arriving just as they began boarding my flight to Roanoke, VA. Landed in Roanoke at 11 p.m. Gathered my suitcase and my son drove me home, where I promptly went to bed. To say that I’m still in brain fog mode is an understatement.

But life goes on. And I had all kinds of mother/parent jobs to fulfill today.  I’m now squeezing in a few moments to share some of my faves this week.  Obviously I have a ton, but haven’t even begun to sift through my photos or my thoughts! 🙂



My biggest fave of the week was that I was able to share this journey with one of my closest friends, my mother (FYI: Like most other moments in my life…I fly makeup free).

My Aunt Joann also accompanied us and we had a lot of fun building memories. My aunt has always been one of my big cheerleaders.  She took me to “take your daughter to work” day when I was 17 and trying to decide a career path. She introduced me to my future husband and was my Matron of Honor in my wedding. She was also the first person to leave a comment on my blog when I began it 1 1/2 years ago.

I took group shots of us on my mother’s camera so I’ll be waiting for those as well as sifting through my own.


During our time in Edinburgh, we stayed at Princes Street Suites. We had a three bedroom suite and given that we were there on two separate occasions, splitting it up with two nights in Glasgow, we actually had two different 3 bedroom suites.

Besides the packets of coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, the room also had a pint of milk in the fridge and a box of shortbread from the Shortbread House of Edinburgh. It was a welcome surprise. I’m sure that I’ll talk more about our hotel stays in future posts.


Once again, I found myself intrigued by the daisies growing amongst the green. Those above growing at Stirling Castle.


While I captured this pair on the grounds of the University of Glasgow.


While on a bus tour of Edinburgh, I also found Bedlam.  In the form of the Bedlam Theatre. Originally the New North Free Church built in 1849 near the site of the Edinburgh Bedlam Mental Institute, it is home to the oldest student-run theatre in Britain, the Edinburgh University Theatre Company. I have a few more photos of the building that I will share after I’ve continued processing the photos that I took while in Scotland.

I hope that you all have had an amazing week!  The weather held up beautifully for most of our time in Scotland, which was most unexpected and for which we are eternally grateful.

While summer will always present a chaotic schedule for me, I hope to be on a more normal schedule of posting in the coming weeks.

Lastly, I leave you with this song. Chosen because on our way to the Royal Mile, we heard music coming from another direction and chose to go see who was singing, where we stumbled upon Jack Stark covering this song. We stayed and listened to a few songs before heading on our way. However, I could have stayed all day, loving live music as I do!



Let your light shine!