Gather to Give: Sandwich making for the homeless

Every few months, a group of friends and I gather together to give.

There was a wreath making party to support a friends adoption in December. Shoe cutting to support Sole Hope in April and in June, we made over 600 sandwiches for the Operation Sandwich project of Charlotte’s Urban Ministry.

My goal for these posts is to show you just how easy it is to gather a group of friends and neighbors to give to one of many needy organizations or individuals. It takes a little prep and a little promotion, but it is worth it. So very worth it when you see others wanting to give and getting excited about the difference that is being made.

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How quitting the gym helped me with my fitness goals.

At home workout

Naturally skinny. That is my downfall.

Many of us are skinny as children. Bony, lanky, slim, and then we blossom as we come of age where we fill out and take on a new struggle to go back to skinny, if you will.

I barely blossomed.

I weighed 104 pounds on my wedding day and 128 pounds at my last OB appointment before my first child was born. I ate whatever I wanted and worked out a minimum amount. I did not own a scale until a few years ago.

When you live in a small body, where changes in size are minor, you barely notice until one day when your pants don’t fit or your arms look jiggly, or your husband has a health scare and starts watching his cholesterol and loses 25 pounds, and then weighs the same as you. Ouch! You find the scale and step up on it…with a number in mind.

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The Enneagram: Whats your number?



The Enneagram is fascinating. As in….I am fascinated by it.

As far as personality tests go, it gets me.

Answer a series of questions, and get thrown into 1 of 9 personality types. It’s interesting to say the least…and amazing, mortifying and humbling…if I can be  truly honest.

The cool thing about this assessment is that, not only does it tell you your personality type, it also tells you what your personality becomes when you’re threatened and hurting or when you’re healthy and fulfilled.

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Garden Vegetable Pie, a summer favorite

garden vegetable pie

I’m a sucker for garden vegetables. Add the word PIE  and it makes it even more appealing. I especially love this easy Garden Vegetable Pie recipe because it can be served as a main dish for dinner with a yummy salad, or as a breakfast dish with a side of fruit.

I’m by no means a food blogger, and it’s obvious I’m no food photographer, but I promise, this recipe is easy, family approved and totally worth trying.

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Gather to Give: Sole Hope Shoe Cutting Party

gather to give

shoe cutting party gather to giveThis is the second (first official) event of the Gather to Give community that I recently started with some of my friends and neighbors. If you’d like to read more about the purpose of Gather to Give, go HERE to catch the vision.

I first heard about Sole Hope a few years ago at the Allume blogging conference in Greenville S.C. Being a nurse, I was immediately drawn to their mission of healing the feet of children in Uganda and then providing them with shoes to combat the overall problems of foot health that result from their unprotected feet.

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Gather to Give: My new year’s intention

In March of this year, I sent an email to a group of about 50 women.

Most of them were neighbors, friends, volleyball moms, my children’s friends moms, and a few co-workers. In the email, I expressed a desire of mine…that I was finally ready to take action on after waiting for “just the right time” for too many years.

You see, I am that person that loves hospitality, but worries about silly things like unfinished hardwood floors, or having no furniture in the living room. I forget that  by inviting people into my imperfect home, it allows them the opportunity and freedom to be imperfect too.

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 Kombucha, the immortal health elixir.


kombuchaLast Spring, my daughter spent a semester as an intern at a Young Life camp in Colorado. It was there that she learned about Kombucha. When I visited her in March, she encouraged me to taste it. But before I tasted it, I smelled it, and from there I needed to know what in the world it was.

She talked about the benefits to your body, mind and immune system. She talked about black tea, and sugar, and scobys, and about how” the mother” had to grow and evolve for weeks before being made into a valuable fermented drink.

I was intrigued, but at $3.85 per 14 oz bottle, I wasn’t sure I wanted to invest. I finally took a chance on a minty flavored Kombucha locally brewed and sold in the cutest local market. The bottle was pretty enough to make up for the taste in case I didn’t like it, but in fact, I loved it enough to sip it until was gone.

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For the love of painted pianos

Painted pianos make a bold statement. “I’m here. Notice me. Come, sit and explore the keys. Let’s create and entertain.”

One of the things I’ve noticed as my kids have grown older, is that I have more time to do some of the all consuming things that I may not have considered when they were younger and more active underneath my feet. You know.. the types of things that can’t be done if you expect interruptions.


A few years ago, my dear neighbor and friend was doing some home renovations. He had an old piano that he was hoping to give to a budding musician. At the time, no one in our home played the piano, but our daughter dabbled on an electric keyboard and was somewhat musically inclined.

The piano was old and worn, the mirror that covered the top ledge was cracked and broken. The keys needed repairing and tuning. I thought of it as a (soon to be) beautiful piece of furniture, rather than a instrument. I was mostly excited to incorporate it into my whimsical decor.

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Advice for parents of teenagers entering the workforce

teenagers enter the workforce

There are a few things that I wish I would have known before my teenager entered the workforce. Now that I know, I’ll share them with you.

I will not forget the day that my daughter, Emily found out that she would be a member of the next group of new hires at her favorite fast food restaurant, Chick Fil-A. She was so excited…and we were excited for her.

We were excited that she would learn about responsibility and the value of the dollar earned. We knew that she would encounter all types of people in front of the counter and behind the counter, as well. She would learn to schedule her time and budget her money and we looked forward to hearing all about it along the way.

Emily was mostly excited about the money.

We did not realize, however, that having a teenager in the working world may cause life to become more difficult for all of us at times.

There are a few things that we would have liked to have known , so that we could have been more prepared. There are a few things that probably should have been put into writing and perhaps even signed by our working girl.

You live and learn…and then you make adjustments so that when the next teenager enters the workplace, you’ll be more equipped. Right? Then you share what you’ve learned to save others the heartache…and that is where you come in.

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Sharing meals and playing games

*Reposted from January of 2014…because my heart feels the same way this year!*

One of our goals for this year is to have more meals around our dinner table.

Our formal (not formal to us) living room is currently under construction.We are adding wainscoting and molding. We have a half painted piano and no light fixtures. We thought we would wait until it was all finished, but we decided that could be months from now.

We also realized that we don’t have a non- Christmas time table cloth and we don’t have more than 6 matching place mats. I couldn’t find our old cloth napkins and napkin rings, and almost none of dinner glasses match…unless you count the mason jars.

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