Outdoor Country Themed Wedding

This past weekend my friend Helen and I attended a beautiful wedding.

The wedding guests sat on bales of hay covered with white lacey material and burlap as the bride rode in on a horse drawn carriage. The wedding was almost as beautiful as the bride!

Although I was born and raised in the south, I’m not really a country person, but I loved every single detail of the country chic, burlap, lace and pearls décor!

I did not have anything to do with the organization, planning or coordinating of the wedding–thank God–because I don’t prefer to plan weddings. But I did help with some of the décor items and I just wanted to document the pics. So here goes….

I made this sign using some old fence boards.

I made this sign using some old fence boards.

 

Mason Jar Vases hung on shepherd hooks along the wedding aisle

I decorated Mason Jar Vases which hung on shepherd hooks along the wedding aisle.

 

Mason Jar Vase Close Up with Burlap, Lace, Pearls and Twine

Mason Jar Vase Close Up with Burlap, Lace, Pearls and Twine

 

Mason Jar Vase--there were 12 total Jars.

Mason Jar Vase–there were 12 total Jars.

 

My beautiful friend Helen….

 

My beautiful friend Helen.

My beautiful friend Helen.

Y’all come back now, ya hear!

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Guest Post: Healthy while Traveling

Hey Peeps!

I know it’s been a while since I posted. I recently started a new day job and my life and energy has been focused on learning a lot of new processes. So when I was contacted by a fellow blogger about sharing some of his healthy travel tips with you, I decided it would be a great opportunity to keep my blog moving along. I’m also excited to meet new people. He has a lot of experience in ways I do not, so I’m very interested in what he has to share. I introduce you to:

Cole Millen.

cole millen

Cole Millen, is an avid traveler and foodie who never forgets that life’s best memories are made through real life apprehension of legitimate “experiences.” Follow his blog at Cole’s Mill.

Healthy Options for Your Vacation

**Edited to add links.

If you’re like many people, you’ve probably worked really hard to shed those excess pounds before your upcoming trip. It would be a shame to undo that hard work during your vacation. Luckily, there are ways to eat healthy while on vacation. Below are some tips for a healthy vacation.

Fruits-and-Vegetables
The first diet saboteur is the airport. To offset the allure of their fast food options, be sure to eat a healthy meal prior to your arrival at the airport. Of course, you may be there for an extended period for layovers or delays. If this is the case, seek out the healthy options: salads, fruit cups, or baked chicken. Avoid fried foods. However, the best thing to do is pack a snack: dried fruit or nuts are a great source of energy and protein, and they are convenient to carry. Also, burn some extra calories by using the stairs, if you can carry your luggage. If you have time before your flight, use it to walk around the airport. This will keep you energized for your trip.

You’ve landed, and now you’re checking into the hotel. The concierge offers you the key to the minibar. Remember: alcoholic beverages can contain even more calories than a meal. If you refuse the key, then the temptation won’t be a problem. Once you’re settled into the hotel, scope out an area health store, so you can stock up on healthy snacks to eat in your room. Instant soups and oatmeal’s are quick and easy to prepare. Traveling with a crockpot is an option too, allowing you to prepare healthy meals like chicken, rice, and vegetables easily. When ordering room service, always look at the menu for the healthy options, but if you don’t see what you’re looking for, ask. Many places will accommodate your request. Even if they can’t accommodate your exact request, they’ll likely offer something similar.

When planning a trip, it is a good idea to compare the area hotels and restaurants to find which places will accommodate you best. Once you choose your destination, a Google search will likely reveal the hotels in the area. Most information you’ll need can be found on the hotels’ websites, but often times they can be misleading. I’ve found consumer reviews to be extremely helpful in this aspect of planning. On my latest trip I was traveling to Sin City and was extremely worried about being able to maintain my healthy lifestyle in this buffet ridden city. With a little research I found a great site called Gogobot that listed reviews for Las Vegas hotels regarding their amenities and services as well as the restaurants in the nearby area. This made it easier than ever to remain healthy even in this nutrition lost city.

Finding a healthy restaurant can be difficult. You’ll want to avoid buffets and fast food restaurants. Seafood restaurants and salad bars are typically healthy options. Before leaving your hotel, it’s a great idea to check the restaurants’ menus for the healthiest options. Remember to eat an apple before you leave for dinner. That’ll cut down on the urge to munch before your meal.

You’ve made it to the restaurant. Remember there are safe words and warning words throughout the menu. Safe words include: baked, boiled, broiled, fat free, fresh grilled, high fiber, light, multi grain, steamed, whole wheat, etc. Warning words are basted, battered, breaded, buttered, cheese, creamy, fried, etc. Stay wary and steer clear of items containing those warning words.

When ordering, stick with the leaner meats and have vegetables as your sides. A good rule of thumb is to aim for bright colored foods on your plate. Bright colored items are typically the healthiest. Also, remember to remove the skin from your chicken to cut out those calories.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to keep off the pounds you’ve lost for your trip, and you’ll return home feeling great.

~Cole

Thanks for sharing your tips Cole. I’m sure a lot of people will be traveling this coming week to celebrate the 4th of July!

Happy Independence day and healthy travels to you all!

Angie

Make It Monday: Crafty Projects

If you follow my facebook page, you have probably seen most of the projects I have completed.

In case you don’t follow my facebook page, here are a few of my most recent projects. FYI: This does not include all the 1/2 done or barely started projects that I’m currently working on (Tess–I haven’t forgotten about you!). Can someone pay me to stay home and just do crafty things for a living? 😉

Since pictures are worth a thousand words, I’ll just let the pics do the talking. By the way, if you click on the picture it will expand in size.

Sign for my sister. One of the letters fell off in shipping so I have to send a letter with the letter!

Sign for my sister. One of the letters fell off in shipping so I have to send a letter with the letter!

flip flops

Sign I made for a friend to give her mother in law for her birthday.

flip flop card

Flip Flop card to go with the Flip Flop Sign

pirate sign

Special project for a friend.

sunshine sign

Sunshine sign made for fun. I repainted the Laugh table a while ago. And I LOVE this owl Vase from Z Gallery.

manatee photo

For fun: We went to a Manatee Viewing center in Apollo Beach.

   If you’re interested, here’s info on the Manatee Viewing Center.

Thanks for stopping by!

Angie

Soulful Sunday: Be-You-tiful!

There was a lot of social buzz this week about the CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch and comments he made about his target audience. Although I disagree with the words he used (according to online articles) I understand what he was trying to say.

I appreciate all the internet fiasco it created, but I became concerned when I started thinking about the individuals that could be affected most by the negative connotations his comments created.

Young people, especially women, but also including young men struggle so much with their identities. Bullying has almost become the norm. People internalize their insecurities to the point they harm themselves and/or others.

We need more positive role models. We need acceptance. We need encouragement. But if you really think about it, we need the negative as well. If it weren’t for some of us being bullied as kids we may not be strong adults. If we had no struggles in life, we wouldn’t have anything to overcome and therefore we would not be overcomers.

Whenever I hear someone be/say something negative, instead of taking it personally I have begun to learn how to see and understand that the nastiest of people are really the ones who are hurting the most.

My first reaction to hearing Mr. Jeffries quotations made me feel sorry for him. I can’t imagine living in a world where my body and size would be so critiqued. If I had to be around someone like him, I’m sure I would feel uncomfortable eating a piece of cake.

My second reaction was to take action. I brought in the big guns. My mom.

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I went to the thrift shop (Macklemore and me, Angie McLemore have a lot in common).

I bought an Abercrombie & Fitch shirt.

My mom helped me re-fashion it into a plus size shirt.

And I felt the desire to share it with the world.

Image

I’m into quotes. I find much inspiration in words. I’ve heard a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt that says “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Making this shirt is my way of making a statement. My protest is this: “I wear what I want when I want.”

If I were thin I am pretty sure I wouldn’t wear Abercrombie and Fitch. I’m more drawn to the style of clothes at Buckle. But a CEO is not in charge of my attire, and definitely not my self esteem or identity!

Our clothes, size, race, orientation, financial status, religion are NOT what define us. Our differences make us unique. Not inferior.

I want you and the whole world to know:

YOU are cool!

YOU are amazing!

YOU are YOU!

Bea-YOU-tiful!

Abercrombie Plus Size Shirt

Abercrombie Plus Size Shirt

Abercrombie Plus Size Abercrombie Plus Size

Sharing at:

Three Mango Seeds

Where am I?

During the month of November I focused on getting my house in order. I hosted Thanksgiving for my family at my apartment.

As an avid arts and crafts freak–my mind and home are full of project ideas. Many have been started and not completed. Not only did I host Thanksgiving, but I also hosted my sister and her husband. Which meant that I had to clean and organize my craft room to make room for an air mattress and their suitcases.

I spent many hours that I would’ve probably been blogging and/or crafting–cleaning. BTW, the most annoying thing I’ve ever experienced is scrubbing a floor clean–only to be full of dirty mess the very next day! But that is one of the sacrifices one must make when one agrees to have people over for Thanksgiving!

Expect the Unexpected 

On top of all that goes into a big holiday event at home, a few other things occurred unexpectedly but with reason and purpose.

1. I donated a Christmas Wreath to a local charity that is raising money to help Habitat for Humanity with Project Patriot. The wreaths are available for purchase through a silent auction. The profits will go to help ensure that no veteran in Marion County will suffer because of no housing or poor housing standards. Although I know many people that criticize the homeless population, they are near and dear to my heart because my uncle was murdered on the streets while homeless. The unexpected part was that I had to have it done and submitted by Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Because of all of my preparation on my house I had to complete the wreath on the day it was due. Here is how it turned out!

2. While I was working on this wreath, my former roommate called and asked if I could take a plate of food to her grandmother on Thanksgiving. Through some family difficulties that happened at the last minute she was going to be alone and with no turkey on Thanksgiving! How horrific! Ideally I would’ve loved to have her join us, but she lives almost an hour away from me and we were unable to make arrangements for a ride. After our festivities were complete on Thursday, I drove out to her place and brought her a plate of food. She was ecstatic I was able to share some of our delicious meal and I was blessed to spend about an hour with her just talking and visiting. My friend said her g-ma doesn’t let people take pics very often, but she let me! 🙂

3. On Thanksgiving morning, my friend asked if I could watch her 1 year old baby for a few hours as she had to work. Because I love her son and he is so much fun, I didn’t even hesitate! I had helpers who were able to keep him company while I prepped the Turkey and worked on other elements of our celebration. Here’s a pic of us all having fun with the baby and my sister’s dog.

    From Left to right: My sister Josie, Baby Luke, Mr. Cuddles & Brandi

The moral of this story is that in the busy-ness of life, holidays and all that entails, don’t forget the important things: Family, loved ones and giving. Also, even though things happen that are not always planned, they create more memories in the long run.

Hope you all are having a great holiday season.

~Angie

Feature Friday: Fashion Finds

Feature Friday

Today I’d like to discuss how I find fashion for less when I want to save money on clothing, shoes, and accessories.Like most women I love to buy new clothes but with how the economy has become sometimes buying a tank of gas is more important than buying a new pair of shoes. However, even with money being tight I have perfected my method of finding clothes for much less.

I have always been a bargain hunter meaning, I don’t usually buy anything unless it is on sale. My family says I have a knack for finding deals but I think anyone can do it if they look where some are not willing to. While growing up in Florida one of my favorite stores to find deals was at Bealls’ Outlet. They had certain days where you automatically get discounts. Friday’s were discounted for 49 years old and under and Monday’s were discounted for 50 years old and up. Not only can you get those discounts on everything but you can find sale items and end up paying almost nothing.

Where I am living now, in California, we do not have a Bealls’ Outlet and the Ross Stores in my area are pretty picked through. So I have had to search out other places to save. My best place to save is in my most recent find: the Goodwill. As a military wife I get a 20% discount on everything in the store.  I have always liked thrift stores but haven’t utilized them as much as in the last year because I could find brand new clothes in Florida for about the same price as a lot of thrift stores; however, where I live now I have been able to find the best deals on clothing in thrift stores so I’ve broadened where I search.

This also helps me since I work in a preschool class and we do a lot of crafts, play on the playground, and sit on the floor a lot. I have not wanted to spend a lot of money on clothes for work if there is a chance I will just end up ruining them. I will show a couple of examples of clothing that I have purchased from thrift stores recently. I’d like to encourage you to be open to looking for nice quality clothing at places you may not expect to find them for amazing prices.

Paid: $3.99

 

Paid: $2.50

$4.99 plus 20% discount, Paid: $3.99

$7.99 plus 20% discount, Paid: $6.40

Happy Shopping,

Josie

Blog Follow Up: BB Cream

2 weeks ago I posted about a tinted face cream (BB Cream) in this post: Nails/Face Care.

I am an avid coupon clipper and try to save money as much as possible, so I came across a free sample for this product for those of you who would be interested in trying the BB Cream but maybe not willing to pay full price at first.

Free BB Cream Sample

Please note this asterisk on the website: 

*While supplies last.
Sample is Light/Medium shade.

Lastly, I just want to thank all of you who have followed my blog so far. I appreciate your readership and I want you to know that I do not take it lightly. If you have any feedback/questions/input that you would like to share with me personally,  you may send an email to me at angiemusic@hotmail.com.

Tasty Tuesday: Marshmallow Delight

A few weeks ago one of my bosses (I have 4) was telling me about this “Marshmallow Delight” from Publix.

See picture below.

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I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

So I went and bought two containers of it. I shared some with my mom, and then the 2nd container I shared with coworkers. But it was gone in 2 days.

Then I decided to make it on my own.

I looked up some recipes, and there are so many out there, I just decided to wing it. If you want to google it, you’ll find it under a variety of names, but the most common and familiar name to me is Ambrosia.

If you want to make some yourself, I will share the ingredients I used, and really it’s up to you what types of fruits you like and how fresh you prefer them.

I started mine by making whipped cream. Ever since first trying fresh whipped cream (I think at Cheesecake factory) I can not go back to the whipped topping in a bowl. I will eat it, if that’s what is served, but it’s not my preference.

I took a quart of heavy whipping cream and added a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Then used my hand mixer with whisk attachment to beat the cream into stiff peaks. You have to be careful not to whip too far, or then you have sweet butter!

I did not measure the exact ingredients, just eye balled it.

1 8oz container of sour cream
1 can of mandarin oranges (drained)
1 can of crushed pineapple (drained)
1 jar of maraschino cherries (drained)
1/2 bag of coconut
small bag of crushed pecans
1/2 bag of small marshmallows

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Edited–Super Craft Saturday: Sequin Wrapped Beads

To my subscribers: Please disregard my earlier post from tonight. I apologize for posting in error!

Many of my friends and family would consider me crafty. Although I can do and have done crafts, I do not think I’m more crafty than the next person, I’m just more open to learning new things.

If I see something in the store or online that is expensive to purchase, and I can see that it’s easily constructed, I’m apt to spend more money on the supplies to create my own version. Then if it goes well I will make more to give as gifts. And depending on how interesting the item is I will occasionally sell the item.

I do think of myself as artistic and I have moments of creativity. However, to make a craft, I do not think that one needs to be creative or have special skills. With all the projects and tutorials online (Uh, Hello Pinterest), crafts are a dime a dozen. Almost any craft I have ever completed has usually been inspired by someone else. Even if my project turns out a little differently.

More than anything, if I create or craft something, even if it is a replica of someone else’s project, I feel a sense of accomplishment. To me using my motor skills is therapeutic. Whether it be time consuming or a quick project, focusing my mind on the task at hand relieves a lot of stress and occupies my thoughts with creative energy and expression versus mundane daily tasks.

Some people have said “I don’t have the patience for that.” But if they were to actually try, they may be surprised.

I have never taken a jewelry making class, but reading a Martha Stewart tutorial for a project inspired me to make a necklace.

Here is the Martha Stewart tutorial if you are interested: Sequin-Wrapped Beads.

The next picture is my version. The cost of this project was very inexpensive and I ended up giving it to my BFF Tash, in Texas.

 

The only thing I had to buy for this project was the glue to attach the sequins and the wooden beads, I already had the sequins and ribbon. For the ends of the ribbon I used a lighter to burn the edges and seal them to prevent fraying.

I share my projects with friends and family not to brag or boast, but to hopefully inspire others to try something new.

What have you made with your hands lately?

 

 

Throwback Thursday: Difficult Moments

The purpose of my blog is to share pieces of me and life from my perspective.

Being raised in a Christian home and deciding to follow Christ myself was not always easy.

I had my rebellious moments and still do.

But as a believer, one commitment I made was to always give honor where it is due.

The throwback part of today’s story is about August 5, 2009. My life changed forever.

If you don’t know me personally, then you should understand why. Here is a link to what happened that day. I worked for the company in which this article is about.

Taylor Bean & Whitaker Closes

If you google, or search on Ocala.com you will find hundreds of articles about why the company closed.

Now, I’m not here to tell a sob story. But my purpose is to tell you why I’m blessed, happy and hopeful about today and my future.

After I lost my job, I was unemployed for over a year. I can’t explain why. I applied at jobs around the country. I went to interviews and I went back to college.

I received a lot of emotional support and even financial support from friends, family and my church. It was a horrible experience. Job loss is tragic. As a community, we all tried to come together and help each other have hope and faith.

Long story short, I lost my car to repossession. I even struggled to keep my phone turned on–which was essential to obtaining interviews for jobs.

Fast forward 3 years later and I have a job. I was still without a car, but I got rides from faithful, loyal and devoted friends, family and fellow church members.

I even swallowed my pride and rode the city bus 3 times. I was okay with it. People were nice. The bus was icey cool and it was $1.50 for a trip home. Most of the time when people would see me walking to the bus stop they would stop me and insist on giving me a ride. One of my customers would not take no for an answer and even though I was a little uneasy I accepted the offer. (Currently that former customer is serving a pretty long prison sentence for something to do with drugs–so you see why I was a little uneasy).

Today, 10/4/2012, things changed for me.

I am now the proud owner of a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Limited.

So this is where I give honor where honor is due.

To my God & Savior: I know throughout it all He took care of me. Even when I couldn’t comprehend the pain & frustration. He held my hand and kept me from losing my mind.

To my dear friend Jeff, who gave me a job. Words can’t convey my gratitude. So I’m making you a pie, right now, as I write this. “Chess Pie.” (I’ll share pics and the recipe on Tasty Tuesday.) Oh yeah, and thanks for hooking me up with a car. And an iPad. And basically if it wasn’t for you, I may be living in a ditch somewhere.

To my amazing family. Mom, Dad, Josie: Your support was unwavering and I know that you prayed for me so much.

Brandi (and sometimes Joe)–you drove me around. What can I say besides thank you? I honestly don’t know. And Brandi, you can finally start sleeping in when you don’t have work or school!!

To my financial supporters, I don’t want to say your names, but you know who you are. You blessed me with gifts to help me with bills and to buy groceries, gas, and gave me entertainment like dinner and movies.

To my friends. Oh my. Where do I start. Helen. Helen. Helen. You have helped me so much and have NEVER asked for anything in return. You have given me rides to church and home. You have gone out of your way COUNTLESS times. You filled a huge void when my sister & BFF’s moved. I honestly don’t know what I would do without you. You deal with me when I’m crazy fun and crazy pissed off. I love you!

My BFF’s who moved. Tash, John, Holly, Mare. I miss you like crazy and even though you aren’t here, every time I see you or talk to you it feels like we never skipped a beat.

And to the rest of my friends, family and pastors who have prayed for me, given me rides (especially Shaion & Sarah), helped me stay positive, believed in me, given encouraging words, listened to me vent, etc, THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART AND LUNGS AND MY BEING.

I know I can’t name every single person who has ever done a kind thing for me, but please know I appreciate you.

I love you all and I know that this is just the beginning of a new season for me.

And if you are not in your new season yet or you’re feeling discouraged, please know this. Yesterday I did not have a car. I had to depend on others if I needed a ride for groceries, personal items, CRAFT SUPPLIES, etc. The difference in me not having a car and now having a car, was ONE day. Things can change in ONE day. Keep holding on. Keep believing. And NEVER give up. This is just the beginning!

This is what I looked like after bawling my eyes out writing this….

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