Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011
Welcome ya'll to the peach state.  You've found your way down to Georgia.  I'm a southern girl, born and raised.  I love, love, love it down here.

This is my 3rd year partying at the Ultimate Blog Party and every year has been a blast!

I'm a single girl who loves her nieces and nephews, Starbucks white chocolate mocchas, shopping, Friends re-runs, getting packages in the mail, my friends, comments on blog posts, my family, flip flops, and the beach.  By day I'm a middle school teacher and by night (or on the weekends!) I run a bloggy carnival, Saturday Stumbles, write curriculum for Core Essentials, a Thirty One gifts consultant, a contributing writer for Cumming Local, and I try to squeeze in time for friends and family.

As part of today's party, I want to introduce you to some of my favorite bloggy frirends, the Sisterchicks! There are 10 of us who each have a word photo included in their post. These words make up a sentence. We will each link you up to the chick who has the next word in the sentence—but keep in mind that I might not have the first word in the sentence!

Once you have the sentence, e-mail it to with “UBP11″ in the subject line. Each person with the correct sentence will be in a drawing to win a $100 Target gift card! The winner will be announced on all of our blogs on April 11 and the winner will be e-mailed. The winner has 48 hours to respond or we’ll pick someone else.

To find the next word, go check out my friend Jill of Diaper Diaries.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Saturday Stumbles

It's been a beautiful week here in the south, but looks like our weekend is going to be wet.  I brought papers home to grade.  Did you ever play school growing up?  If you didn't, then just let me fill you in that grading papers was the best part of it!  Using that red pen and putting little stickers on the papers was every little girl's dream come true.

But let me tell you, now that I *get* to do it all the time... I HATE IT!!!  If I could pay someone to grade all my papers, I would be in heaven!  There's one week until spring break and the students AND I are so ready for it! 

But in the mean time, here's what I stumbled this week:

Discipleship Starts At Home - A great post by my pastor's wife about how she trains her tween daughter to spend quiet time with the Lord.  She celebrates her daughter's baptism as a "spiritual birthday".  If you've got tweens, you've got to check it out!

Mary Poppins Themed birthday party - A friend of mine contacted me about helping her with her daughter's birthday party.  She wanted to do Mary Poppins and shared this site with me.  Such cute ideas and I think it's a perfect idea for a child's birthday party!

Art Inspired party - Another birthday party idea for the budding artist.  I just love all the details and how the theme is incorporated down to the food labels.  

Crafting with 2x4's - I love this craft and think it'd be perfect for a grandma with all her grandkids' names. 

Black Bean & Mango Chicken Salad - And because what's a Simply Staci post without a recipe!  What a great, light lunch dish.

And while you're at it, why not "like" Simply Staci on facebook.

Alright stumblers, let's hear it!  What did you find stumble worthy this week?  Check out the guidelines and then link up below. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Saturday Stumbles

So here we meet again.  Another week behind us and another weekend (and beautiful one here in GA!) upon us.  What did you find stumble worthy this week?

I found some great birthday party ideas.  I don't have little ones, but I love a good party...and a themed one at that!

Butterfly Vintage by with joy
photo by with joy 

What is a parent's role in the education of their child?  Ms. Paradise has some great advice!

...and just because it wouldn't seem right without posting a recipe, this Cookies & Cream Peanut Butter is just waiting for me to eat it up!!

So have at it!  Check out the guidelines and link up below:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Life to the Fullest

Who knew you could love so much about a plate? Well, you're getting ready to find out 10 reasons why I love this 16" Oval Platter from Dayspring

1. It's encouraging
   In the center of the platter, it has the verse "I have come that they might have Life, and have it to the full. JOHN 10:10 NIV".  I have mine sitting out on my counter and it's a constant reminder that God wants my life to matter.  He died so my life could be full!

2. It's a great conversation starter
   The next time you have to take an appetizer or dish to a get together, what a great way to encourage all the guests.  They'll pick up your bacon wrapped jalepeno thingies and slowly unveil this amazing verse.

3. It matches my kitchen
   My kitchen opens up to my living room which is blue.  It matches beautifully!

4. It's educational
   A plate?  Really?! features the word life in 15 languages!  Some of those languages are Afrikaans, Italian, Croatian, Polish, and French.

5. It's dishwasher safe
   Frankly, that's the only way to go.  If I can't put it in the dishwasher, then I don't need it!

6. It comes in another color
   It also comes in red if that's more your taste.
Photo from Dayspring
7. It has matching pieces
   It comes from the Life to the Fullest collection.  There are lots of other pieces that coordinate with it.
Photos by Dayspring
8. It's on SALE!!!
   I mean, that should seal the deal right there!!  It's regularly priced at $26.99, but during the month of March the whole "Life to the Fullest" collection is 30% off when you use the code LIFE30.  That makes the platter only $18.89!  What a great gift for someone...or for yourself!

9. It's a piece of art
   If you didn't want to use it as a serving piece, it would look great hanging on a wall or propped up in book holder.


   Dayspring has provided me with a $20 coupon code to offer to one of you!  Leave me a comment about what living life to the fullest means to you.  That's it!  Of course, you could spend it on whatever you like :) I will draw the "lucky" winner on St. Patrick's Day!

This post is linked to Oh Amanda's Top Ten Tuesday & Incourage Me

Disclosure: Dayspring provided me with the platter to review and the coupon code to give to a reader. Shipping charges do apply to order.  All opinions are mine.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Saturday Stumbles

Welcome Stumblers! I hope you had a great week full of lots of stumbles. It's been rainy and cold here in Georgia and I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say that we are SO ready for spring!! (and I think some of my stumbles might reveal that!)

38 Kid Crafts and Boredom Busters from Tip Junkie

Sandwich idea from just imagine heaven
I'm always looking for variations to sandwiches because that's what I usually take to work.

Beverage Carrier gift tote from Positively Splendid
What a great (cheap) gift for a baby shower!

So now it's your turn!  Check out the guidelines if you're new or link up below if you're a regular.  Thanks for coming back week after week!  I really enjoy reading all your finds!!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Saturday Stumbles

I've had company come in this weekend from out of town and Saturday Stumbles has slipped my mind!  But I still want to see what you've stumbled this week, so link up below! And if you're new, check the guidelines before you link up.

Hope your weekend is as much fun as mine has been!

Friday, March 04, 2011

My Family

I am so blessed! I truly have the best family ever and I want to share them with you!

At the head of our family is my dad, Tom.

He is the epitome of a good dad. Everything you can think of that a good dad does, he is. Because my dad grew up with animals (he had a pet fox!), we always had animals around whether it be dogs, stray cats that used to climb the screen porch, hamsters, fish and horses. My dad loves jokes. At Christmas, us kids would usually get one big gift that we could all enjoy. He loved to wrap it or present it in a way that threw us all for a loop. One year we got a four wheeler. He wrapped up the helmet and told us it was for us to use on our trampoline. (Can you imagine kids jumping on trampolines with helmets?) We all knew that didn't make sense and we finally put it together and ran outside to see the four wheeler with a bow on it! On other occasions, I've gotten random messages on my phone. One time he called to let me know that the rapper Gucci Mane got arrested. (I've never even heard of Gucci Mane.)

Right beside dad is my mom, Cheryl.

Mom extraordiannaire. She was always an active part of our lives. I look back now that I'm an adult and can't believe all the events, practices, camps, games, festivals, shows, that she drove us to...and I never once heard her complain about it. And one thing I can say is that our house was always clean. Always. We were to make our beds every day. No exceptions. Even Christmas morning couldn't happen until our beds were made and our hair was brushed. She also taught me that to properly clean the kitchen counters, you had to bend down and get eye level with the crumbs. Then and only then could you really tell if you had gotten them all.

Second child born into the family (I was the first!) is my sister, Mandi.

We were your typical sisters who had our fair share of fights and arguments. I remember one time after a fight (don't really remember what it was about!) mom made us hug and apologize and then told us that one day we'd appreciate each other. There was lots of eye rollings going on, but oh how right she was. Mandi is my younger sister, but only in age. She got married first, graduated college first, and had the first grandchild. I look up to her so much. And, just like my mom said would happen, we are good friends now. Out of all my friends, she's the one I'd rather hang out with. One of my favorite things is when she gets laughing, she laughs so hard she squeaks and can't get a word out.

Rounding out us kids are my twin brothers, Matt and Clint.

I always thought it was fun being able to say "I have twin brothers". And it was fun growing up with them. We always had enough kids for games and could easily split into teams. At times they drove me crazy and in fact I believe it was Clint who drove me to say my first curse word. (Yes, I still vividly remember it) Matt is the prankster and always has us laughing at his latest venture. There was the time he tried to sell some old tires out in our front yard and just looped a chain through them and placed it around the fire hydrant in our yard. Mind you, the chain wasn't attached to anything...just laid over the hydrant. Or his most recent endeavor...raising goats. Yep, he's got about 15 goats. Clint, on the other hand, is infectious. His charm, smile and deep laugh are contagious to anyone he comes in contact with. He makes me laugh so much!

Those are the people that I grew up with. Our house was never dull. You could always count on an occasional flood in the basement, game of touch football in the yard, slamming of doors, smell of steak dinners on Saturday nights, hustle of trying to get all 6 of us out the door and on time to church, and a host of other things.

And I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Since then, our family has grown.
My sister's husband Pepper and their two kids, Megan and Evan.
My brother Matt, his wife Tera and their 3 kids, Blake, Brooke, and Bo.

Here's some extended family.  My aunt Jean and cousins Raechel, Hannah and her fiancee Ryan.  Also pictured is my brother Clint's girlfriend, Keri. (Psst...she will probably be more than his girlfriend!)
Then there's my grandparents, Mama-Lou and Ca-Ca.  Yes, those are their legal names.  No?  Don't believe me?  Ok, well, since I was the first grandchild, that's what came out and it has stuck for almost 35 years.

So that's where I come from.
My family.
and I love them!

This post is linked to Show Us Your Life.

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