Flowers

Flowers

Friday, October 2, 2015

Weekend Happenings, Restaurant Review (Tracy's Restaurant), Pinterest Stuff (Gift Ideas) AND Thrift Store Challenge Party

Good Friday evening!

NUGGETS AND TIDBITS - Okay. So Mikie and I saw The War Room last Sunday night. I urge everyone to go to the theater to see this movie. It was very good. Funny, sad AND uplifting.

As Christians, I feel we need to support these films in the theater, as well as purchase the DVDs for our movie collections...

Or as gifts this upcoming Christmas season.

By doing the above, I can easily answer the question, "What can I possibly do today to make a difference in this crazy mixed-up world?"

Go to this movie.

And don't forget to take a friend.

RANDOMNESS #1 - As I mentioned in last week's post, Roxie had a birthday in Auburn last Friday.

And Mike and I rode down to have lunch, deliver gifts and a few other things.

Roxie and I took Mike to "our place" for crepes (Crepe Myrtle's Café) and atmosphere (roaming chickens throughout the grounds), and once again, it did not disappoint.


I wrapped 19 gifts for Roxie to open...

And when I say "wrapped," I mean I folded them in tissue paper and threw them into a giant birthday bag...

And when I say "gifts," I mostly mean packs of gum.

Nineteen is a pretty big number.


We shared the Strawberry Dessert Crepe, and I obviously took this pic from the wrong angle. If you go to the other side, there is a pound of light-as-a-feather homemade whipped cream waiting to be eaten.

Next time, I am just ordering the Strawberry Dessert Crepe without the strawberries...

And without the crepe.



Me and Roxie.

Please ignore the hand that looks like a claw from a B-horror movie. You'll be glad to know I've been practicing "hand" selfies this past week, and I am much improved.


Roxie and Mikie.


And what makes any restaurant great...


A little chicken chasin' after lunch.



DISCLAIMER - No actual chickens were harmed during the filming of this event.

RANDOMNESS #2 - Saturday was a great day because all of my family was happy at the same time.

That isn't a given, you know.

Usually, I just hope for 50 percent on any given day.

Mike and Austin went to Auburn to tailgate with Roxie and Hunter and watch the game.

Melia and her Mom spent the beautiful day at Homestead Hollow.

Josh and Courtney had an afternoon date planned before the Auburn game came on television that evening.

AND I, Nana B, got to babysit Judith in Hartselle for several uninterrupted hours of one-on-one time.

Let's review, shall we...

Mike and Austin were happy because they were watching an Auburn game up close and personal.

Roxie was happy because...

Well...

Hunter.

Melia was happy because she and her Mom enjoy Homestead Hollow.

Josh and Courtney were happy because they got to spend some relaxing time enjoying a nice Fall day.

Judith was happy because I was with her...

And I was ECSTATIC because she is beyond precious, and she has the sweetest little baby toes.


We spent an hour outside strolling and exploring.


We read a ton of books.


I sang every baby song in my HUGE baby song arsenal...

And she didn't cry because of said singing.


She is such a good baby...


But when Josh and Courtney walk into the room, her little body becomes supercharged and she laughs, talks, shrieks (with joy) and simply cannot contain her happiness and excitement.


I get like that, too, but all it takes for me is one look at the piggies!

RANDOMNESS #3 - On Sunday, Mike and I headed to Auburn one more time for the Parents' Weekend Brunch. The food was delicious. The weather was, once again, very nice.

And two of Roxie's Gardendale friends stopped by for a visit.

A better brunch I have never attended!



Can you see how thin this top makes me look?

Can you?

Well, if you cannot tell from this picture, just hang around The Dale because I'm planning on wearing this particular shirt 24/7 during the next two months.


Andy and Scotty.

They made The Chick smile.

They made me smile.

All in all, a very good day.

RANDOMNESS #4 - Mike and I were sharing a car this week, and one night I picked him up and we started driving through Mountain Brook. It was cool and crisp and very fall-like.

Perfect.

We had about 30 minutes of daylight left when he said, "Let's go to the Botanical Gardens for a few minutes."

The man speaks my Love Language.

We walked around for MORE than the allotted 30 minutes, and as we were heading back to the front gate, something very BIG and white-ish and silent crossed the path in front of us.

Instead of offering a reasonable explanation, I stated, "That looks like a giant ghost bird, Mikie."

As so often happens when I state the obvious, Mike didn't answer.

We turned a corner, and there on top of a little sign sat the "giant ghost bird."

Some people would call it an owl.

And they would be correct.

It was beautiful, and we watched him as we walked closer and closer for several minutes. When he grew tired of us and silently flew to the top of a nearby tree, we knew it was time to go.

We made it back to the parking lot, and as if the walk and the owl wasn't enough to make my autumnal heart happy, Mike took over the driving, and we went to Crestline. There are so many little restaurants within walking distance of each other in that area, but on that particular evening, we chose Tracy's Restaurant.

Two words to describe the restaurant...

Simple and yellow.

Two words to describe the food...

Delicious and plentiful.

It is kind of like a "meat and three" restaurant, but they also have really good hamburgers, cheeseburgers, etc.

Mike ordered the cheeseburger, and I had the Greek baked chicken, carrots and squash casserole.

Everything was excellent and fresh. The waitress told us they use as many local ingredients and foods as they possibly can, and it showed.

There are about four other restaurants we want to try in this area, but we will definitely go back to Tracy's Restaurant...

Again and again and again.

Pinterest Stuff

I found this list on Pinterest and immediately fell in love with these ideas. I had to share.

Non-Toy Gifts for Kids

Tickets to an Event - One of my favorite birthday presents growing up was when my Dad took me to the symphony. Give your child tickets to an event that allows them to feel grown-up, special or just something to look forward to. Most of all, it’s something to do together.

Magazine Subscriptions - One of the most thoughtful gifts we received when our first child was born was a subscription to Babybug magazine, which morphed into Ladybug and Spider as she grew. Not only does she look forward to receiving mail every month, but magazines that are low on fluff and high on quality give a child an on-going dose of fun education and encourage their literacy skills!

Classes - Encourage what your child loves. Whether it is dance, art, athletics, horseback riding, music, storytelling or carpentry, give your child a chance to enhance their skills doing something they love or want to learn. The only word of caution here is to book the classes before you gift them. It’s all too easy to promise this gift and then not follow through on actually booking the classes.

Memberships - If there is a zoo, aquarium, museum, theatre or music venue in your area, gift your child with a membership so they can attend regularly. Not only will it provide on-going events together, but you’ll get to explore more in depth each time you attend. These are especially good for large families. Typically getting a “family rate” is significantly cheaper than purchasing a day pass once or twice.

Personal Travel Supplies - Whether it’s a toiletry bag to keep their toothbrush in the next time they spend the night at Grandma’s or a backpacking backpack all their own, having their own travel bag or supplies for trips gears children up for adventure, and helps assuage fears of the unknown by fostering independence. If you’ve traveled away from home before, perhaps slip a few photos from the trip into the gift, too.

Monthly Mail - One of my daughter’s absolute favorite gifts of all time was when my sister, who lives abroad, gave her the Christmas gift of sending her a postcard once a month for the following year. My sister was intentional in choosing cards with fun images which reflected the place where she lived at that time, and my daughter still treasures each of those postcards. Kids love getting mail, and it provides a wonderful connection between the giver and the receiver.

Piggy Bank - Help your child begin to learn important budgeting and saving skills by giving them a piggy bank. We especially love banks that have separate compartments for spending, saving, and tithing. You can seed the piggy bank with a cash gift if you so desire!

Musical Instrument - Listening to music is essential, but making it and creating your own sounds, melodies and rhythms is even more so. Whether it’s small, like shaker eggs and maracas, or large, like a guitar or keyboard, the ability to create music forms and shapes the mind AND spirit.

Audiobooks - A good story enlivens the mind and inspires discovery. Sometimes it’s just nice to hear a story rather than read it, especially when it’s read by a master storyteller. Give your child a gift they can curl up with over and over again.

Nature Gifts - Give a gift which will help your child observe and interact with nature on a regular basis. A few ideas include a butterfly garden to watch caterpillars morph into butterflies, a bird feeder with bird seed and a bird field guide, a bug house or even just a magnifying glass, a pair of binoculars or a telescope.

Kitchen Tools - It has surprised me over and over, but some of my kids’ favorite presents have been their own tools to use in the kitchen when they help us cook. Invest in simple-but-sturdy whisks, wooden spoons, measuring cups and measuring spoons. These can also make superb stocking stuffers if you feel they’re too small a gift to give on their own.

Work Tools and Outdoor Equipment - Give your child their own gardening tools, their own workshop tools, their own fishing rod, their own hiking stick or their own gardening gloves. These “just like Mom and Dad’s” type tools give a sense of independence while emulating their role models.

Personalized Recipe Cards/Special Dinner Cooking Date - If your child likes to join you in the kitchen, give them a pack of their own recipe cards. You may also want to include a cookbook that’s near and dear to you or a child-specific cookbook. Lastly, you may want to have a special dinner in honor of your child, and if so, decide a date and a theme, then plan a menu together around that theme. Clear your calendar and cook the meal together, serve and celebrate!

Sewing Machine - For older children, a high-quality sewing machine designed with kids in mind will help give children the confidence to create anything they can imagine with fabric and contribute useful items to the home.

Thrift Store Challenge

We had this challenge on a smaller scare (four of us participated), but my friend, Joan, wanted to try it as a women's Sunday School event.

We had a lot of fun, good participation AND great food.

SO much fun, in fact, we're talking about a day trip to an out-of-state thrift store area which we've been told is a MUST SEE/MUST SHOP.

I will post about that when the time comes, I assure you!

THRIFT STORE CHALLENGE

Purpose...

To purchase a brunch/lunch outfit from a thrift store or stores of your choice.

“Outfit” includes, but not limited to…

Top
Bottoms
Shoes
Accessories (scarves, handbags, jewelry, etc.)

Rules and Regulations...

You have until Saturday, September 19 to purchase an outfit for a brunch/lunch. The brunch will take place at ____________________. (The exact time will be announced soon.)

You may use up to THREE items already in your closet. These items can be any part of the outfit (top, bottoms, accessories, shoes, etc.).

The top OR bottom must be a thrift store item.

When we have our brunch, you must wear at least THREE thrift store purchases.

And the Winner is…

The winner will be determined by the following criteria:

Total cost of the outfit. (Least overall amount spent will count as ONE POINT.)

The amount of items bought at the thrift store. (Each piece purchased and worn counts as ONE POINT.)

A pair of anything (earrings or shoes) will only count as ONE POINT.

Everyone who attends the brunch will cast one secret ballot for the best outfit. (You CANNOT vote for yourself.) Each time your name is written on a ballot, you will receive ONE POINT.

A surprise will be awarded to the person who has the most points.

Have fun, and LET THE THRIFTING BEGIN!

Weekend Happenings

This weekend, Mikie and I will be staying in The Dale.

And it will be pretty quiet...

And maybe even a little dull by most standards.

1. Bright and early Saturday morning, Mikie and I are going to an estate sale before heading to Pepper Place for breakfast and pumpkin shopping.

The Auburn game will be on that afternoon, and I have planned an afternoon of massive piddling during this time.

For anyone interested, Roxie will be at Auburn, Austin and Melia will be at JSU and Josh will be at work.

2. Sunday is Josh's 22nd birthday, but since this is his work week, we're having his BIG birthday party next Sunday at our house.

However, I feel the need to see his face on the day of his birth and give him a big ol' hug, so when he wakes up to get ready for work around 4:00 p.m. or so, he's going to see my smiling face (Mikie will be there, too), and he will receive a gift to hold him until next weekend.

And there will be pumpkin bread.

Josh LOVES pumpkin bread.

It may be a quiet weekend, but that's okay.

"Quiet," "gray" and "autumnal" are three of my all-time favorite words.

But you already knew that, didn't you?

Have a lovely weekend. I'll be back next Friday with pics and stories and ideas...

Oh, my!

Take care.

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

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