Tuesday, September 19, 2017

River Cruise

Our friends, Meg and George, are about to set sail for the Great American Loop, a year-long journey around the East Coast, across to Michigan and back down to Huntsville.  To give us a quick taste of their adventure, they took us out on their boat Sunday afternoon!  We started at Ditto Landing and went all the way down the Tennessee River to Paint Rock.  The scenery was just beautiful and we had a great time visiting with Meg and George.   You can read about their Loop adventures here!














Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Livin' it up in Dixie {crafts & art}



What: Adoption Yard Sale

When: Saturday, September 16, 6am-1pm
     
Where: 8042 Lauderdale Road, Huntsville


My sister and brother-in-law are having another yard sale to raise funds for their adoption.  We're so eager to welcome Baby Hayes and every penny helps make that possible!  Stop by and find a treasure!

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What: NEACA Fall Craft Show

When: Friday, September 15 - Sunday, September 17
       
Where: VBC South Hall

Cost: admission is free

Parking: take some cash if you want to park in the VBC garage


Nothing kicks off the holiday season like the NEACA craft show!  This is a great weekend for start your Christmas shopping...or find yourself a little something too!  This particular craft show can have more "homespun" items then other shows, but there are still plenty of hidden gems to be discovered.  Don't forget to make a round (or two!) at the party dip booth!

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What: Monte Sano Art Festival

When: Saturday, September 16  |  9am-5pm
            Sunday, September 17  |  9am-4pm
     
Where: VBC South Hall

Cost: admission is free

Parking: $10  |  cash only

Weather:  clear and sunny  |  high 80's

Website: click here


I'm not sure how this festival has existed for sixteen years and I've never been but I hope to change that this year!  The Monte Sano Art Festival promises all you want from a festival- local artisans, food trucks, live music...all at our beautiful state park!



Recurring Weekly Events:

What: The Greene Street Market

When: Thursdays, May-October, 4-8pm

Where: corner of Greene Street and Eustis Avenue in Downtown Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: should be free on surrounding streets and lots, but take cash just in case

Website: click here

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What: Village of Providence Artisans & Farmers Market

When: Saturdays, April-November,  8am- noon
     
Where: Village of Providence Park on Town Center Drive, Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free

Website: click here

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Adoption Update

My sister and brother-in-law, Abby and Nick, are in the second year of their adoption efforts and have  been busy raising the funds needed.  I'm pumped to share they've surpassed the $10,000 mark!  That's a TON of money and my entire family thanks all the friends, family and strangers who have helped!


Abby and Nick are $4,500 short of their final goal so they are holding another yard sale on September  16 at their home in South Huntsville.  If you have any items to donate to the sale, let one of us know and they'll be glad to come pick it up!

That same weekend (September 14-16) Kids Kloset has chosen Abby and Nick as their Fall 2017 Family so shoppers will be able to donate to the adoption after they shop!  Kids Closet is in the Jaycees Building on Airport Road if you want to stop by.

Make sure you follow Abby's blog, I Know the Plans, for other adoption updates!  You can also visit their Go Fund me page to see the progress or donate.  Don't forget to use this Amazon link for your shopping, Abby and Nick will get a small donation from Amazon too (don't worry- it's doesn't effect your shopping and they can't see anything about your account!)

The adoption process is tough...full of ups and downs...hopes and fears.  As important as money is, support, prayer and interest is just as important to Abby and Nick, so let's love on them anyway we can!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Livin' it up in Dixie {Concert & Diner}




What: Concert on the Dock

When: Friday, September 1, 6-9pm
       
Where: Lowe Mill's East Dock, 2211 Seminole Dr, Huntsville, AL 35805

Parking: $5 suggested donation

Weather: mid 70's with possible rain

Website: click here


Kicking-off the Fall Concert Series is a husband and wife team from Chattanooga.  Their music is folksy, acoustic and calming.  If the weather forecast holds, showers Friday morning should have the evening feeling very fall-ish!  Bring your Piper & Leaf jars, lawn chairs and picnics for a fun evening out.

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What: Metro Diner
     
Where: 7620 Hwy 72, Madison, AL (in front of Kohl's)

Website: click here


The original Metro Diner, that was featured on Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives on Food Network, is in Jacksonville, FL (Chris' hometown) so we were so excited they're expanding up to North Alabama.
We went a couple of times when we lived in Jacksonville and really enjoyed sitting at the bar, watching the short-order cooks prepare breakfast.  The Madison location is set to open this winter so go on and start dreaming of Stuffed French Toast, Chicken and Waffles or Homemade Pot Roast!



Recurring Weekly Events:

What: The Greene Street Market

When: Thursdays, May-October, 4-8pm

Where: corner of Greene Street and Eustis Avenue in Downtown Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: should be free on surrounding streets and lots, but take cash just in case

Website: click here

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What: Village of Providence Artisans & Farmers Market

When: Saturdays, April-November,  8am- noon
     
Where: Village of Providence Park on Town Center Drive, Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free

Website: click here

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Livin' it up in Dixie {Polar Opposites}




What: South Lincoln Market & Lucky's Deli
       
Where: 3249 Huntsville Hwy, Fayetteville, TN 37334
             (just north of Hazel Green across the state line)

Website: click here

I saw a local news article about this place and can't wait to try it!  It's located in a Shell station but good fried chicken is good fried chicken!  They offer breakfast, lunch, dinner, even family packs...all while filling your car up!  I think this falls into the "don't knock it till you try it" category so next time you're driving north and crave some country cookin', give the South Lincoln Market & Lucky's Deli a try!

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What: 2017 Twickenham Fest
     
Where: several local venues

Cost: general admission is free

Website: click here

Billed as "a premiere summer chamber music festival", the Twickenham Fest has been around since 2010.  There are several events this weekend including Bach by Candlelight and Saturday Night Classics.  If you're not able to make an event, you can listen to previous year's concerts here.




Recurring Weekly Events:

What: The Greene Street Market

When: Thursdays, May-October, 4-8pm

Where: corner of Greene Street and Eustis Avenue in Downtown Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: should be free on surrounding streets and lots, but take cash just in case

Website: click here

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What: Village of Providence Artisans & Farmers Market

When: Saturdays, April-November,  8am- noon
     
Where: Village of Providence Park on Town Center Drive, Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free

Website: click here

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Great American Eclipse

Chris and I spent our lunch break in MZBC's parking lot, watching the Great American Eclipse.



Moma, Daddy and Abby watched from Daddy's work parking lot.


This is what happens when I'm not around to take a group pic!  We can either have Moma's head or Daddy's head!


Nick watched from his work parking lot!  We were all watching together, separately!

Here's a shot Abby grabbed...

...this is the best I could manage.

The coolest thing to me is how the shadows through the tree leaves reflected the crescent of the sun!


Save your glasses...next eclipse is in 2024!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Livin' it up in Dixie { books, sculptures & eclipse}




What: 2nd & Charles
       
Where: 8050 Hwy 72 W, Madison, AL (behind Salsa Rita's)

Website: click here


There's a new bookstore in town!  2nd & Charles will buy your used books, games, movies and music and give you store credit or CASH!  You might know my family's slight obsession with McKays Used Books (located in Nashville & Chattanooga) so it was only natural I'd compare 2nd & Charles to McKays.  McKays feels more like a used bookstore while 2nd & Charles felt a little more like a Books-a-Million.  However, it was still a lot of fun to browse and was still cheaper than full-priced.  I suggest you spend a lazy Saturday exploring and finding your next great read!

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What: SPACES Sculpture Trail
     
Where: Huntsville area

Website: click here


Want to go on a treasure hunt?  Several local art groups in town have worked together to create a sculpture trail with 39 installations.  Download the SPACES HSV app to find the locations and visit.

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What: Solar Eclipse
     
When: Monday, August  21, noon-3pm

Website: click here


By now you know the once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse is coming!  The above website lets you enter your zip code to see the exact times you'll get to view the eclipse.  Don't forget you need special eclipse glasses for viewing safety.  We got ours at Kroger, but here's a list of other retailers as of Tuesday.




Recurring Weekly Events:

What: The Greene Street Market

When: Thursdays, May-October, 4-8pm

Where: corner of Greene Street and Eustis Avenue in Downtown Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: should be free on surrounding streets and lots, but take cash just in case

Website: click here

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What: Village of Providence Artisans & Farmers Market

When: Saturdays, April-November,  8am- noon
     
Where: Village of Providence Park on Town Center Drive, Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free

Website: click here

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Tree Doesn't Fall Far From the Apple

My Thursday:

12:00pm - Lunch break that consisted of sitting in my car (with the air on, of course)

1:00pm - Return to work from lunch

2:00pm - Step out to the parking lot to make a phone call and hear what sounds like my co-worker's  car on, but it wasn't

3:00pm - Step back out to the parking lot to make another phone call and still hear a car running

3:03pm - Realize it's MY car running.  Keys in.  Doors unlocked.  I had left my car running for THREE HOURS!


Moma's Friday:

5:30pm - Get home from work, unload the car with Daddy's help

5:33pm - Moma carries in something Daddy didn't need to see (read: Christmas gift), so he goes inside

5:34pm - Moma carries in the package, closes the garage door and goes about the evening.

8:30pm - Torrential downpour

9:30pm - More torrential downpour

6:20am Saturday- Daddy comes in to tell Moma she left her driver door open ALL night.  During the torrential downpour.

6:22am - Daddy attempts to empty the swimming pool that's formed in Moma's car.


Truly, the tree doesn't fall far from the apple!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Living the Dream

My good friend, Rhega, blogged about my design business as part of her "Living the Dream" series.  Thanks, Rhega, for the sharing my story!

If you haven't read it already, click here to visit Rhega's blog.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Livin' it up in Dixie {Restaurant Week, Art Walk & outdoor movie}




What: Huntsville Restaurant Week

When: Friday, August 11- Sunday, August 20
     
Where: Madison County

Website: click here


Huntsville is fast becoming a foodie mecca! Restaurant Week is a great time to try some new spots and take advantage of the specials with a set price.  Lunches are either $10 o $15 and dinners are either $10, $20, $30 or $40 and most specials include several courses.  I scrolled through all 690 restaurants listed to find you the most interesting offers!  You're welcome.  Here are the spots I'd recommend (click to read full details).




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What: Friday Night Art Walk

When: Friday, August 11, 5-8pm
       
Where: Huntsville's Historic Downtown Square

Weather: high 80's, possibly stormy

Website: click here


The Art Walk will be full of local artisans selling their creations.  Strolling, shopping, live music, good food options...what's not to love?!?!

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What: Movies in the Park

When: Friday, August 11, movie starts around sundown but the park is bustling with activity well before that
     
Where: Big Spring Park East

Weather: high 80's, possibly stormy

Website: click here


I've actually seen this week's movie- Sing!  I thought it was a really cute movie and family-friendly.  Bring your camp chairs, picnics, babies and dogs and pray it doesn't rain!




Recurring Weekly Events:



What: The Greene Street Market

When: Thursdays, May-October, 4-8pm

Where: corner of Greene Street and Eustis Avenue in Downtown Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: should be free on surrounding streets and lots, but take cash just in case

Website: click here

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What: Village of Providence Artisans & Farmers Market

When: Saturdays, April-November,  8am-noon
     
Where: Village of Providence Park on Town Center Drive, Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free

Website: click here

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

DIY Clipboards

As my co-worker's milestone birthday approached, I wanted to plan something special for her.   I looked into painting and craft classes around town but I couldn't find anything under $40 and that was more than any of us wanted to spend.

My solution?  Teach my own class!

I've been on a decoupaged clipboard kick ever since I made them for Moma's Favorite Things Party and figured all my co-workers would love to make one for themselves. 

I collected $5 from each of the 5 ladies coming and was able to buy all the supplies we needed for only $32!  I found $1.50 clipboards at Dollar General, used a coupon for the Modge Podge at Hobby Lobby and all the paper and fabric ribbon was on sale.  My favorite part was that they all let me choose their paper and ribbon!  I had so much fun putting it together!

Before the girls go to my house, I set up Craft Central with all the supplies we'd need.  {important note if you host your own clipboard party: have heavy-duty twist ties to tie up the clip as the glue dries}


For Mandy, the birthday girl, I chose a trendy feather paper with red ribbon...

For Beverly, who's expecting her first grandchild, I went baby pastels with pink ribbon...

For Lynell, who loves reading, I found pages that had Scripture on them and paired it with a beautiful printed paper and cream ribbon...

Amy requested floral and I paired her paper with turquoise ribbon...

And for mine, I picked a really cute floral stripe with polka dots and black ribbon.

Here's Mandy's all done...isn't it so cute??!?


And my finished product that I just love!


It's such a blessing to work with ladies who are also my friends!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Adoption by Design {update}





Back in the April I launched Adoption by Design, a fundraiser for my sister and brother-in-law's adoption.  Six different clients scheduled appointments so my summer has been full of shopping, brainstorming, hanging pics and raising money!  

There's still one project to finish, but once that's completed, the grand total raised by Adoption by Design is....$300!  

Abby and Nick couldn't be more grateful for the generosity of our friends and I join them in thanking those that participated in Adoption by Design:

Susan
Melanie
Meg
Jennifer
Rhega
Emily 


If you missed Adoption by Design but would still like to support Abby and Nick's adoption, click here.

Friday, August 4, 2017

7UP Themed Dinner

Since I work with the Student Ministry, promoting 6th graders up to 7th grade is a big deal.  To introduce them to the Student Ministry, we host a 7UP Dinner...get it?  Coming up to 7th grade??  I think it's the cutest theme and I loved being able to decorate for it this year.

The dinner is held in what we affectionately refer to as the "green gym" so you can imagine it isn't an easy space to decorate.  For obvious reasons, I color theme was yellow, lime and red.  I was most excited about the 36 inch round red balloons I found online because they look like the dot in the 7UP logo.


For the centerpieces, I sprinkled multi-colored paper shreds in the middle, topped with a 7UP bottle. I had originally planned on tying a balloon to each 7UP bottle, but I ran out of helium.  Plan B still looked cute, though!

I find it tricky to decorate large round tables because puny centerpieces just won't cut it.  To solve this, I placed the napkins, hand-out and colorful straws at each place.



Overall, the room was festive and certainly screamed 7UP!



Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Livin' it up in Dixie {buy local}




What: Phillips-Head Woodworks
     
Website: click here



I'm excited to share the Etsy shop of Andrew Phillips, son of my close friend, Jeana.  I first met Andrew when he was in middle school but now he's a successful Auburn student, honing his woodworking skills.  Pictured above are some headboards he made but his Etsy site also has beautiful cutting boards and tables.  Andrew's a solid Christian guy who desires to honor the Lord with his skills, so go help his business take off!
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What: Walker's Market
     
Where: Historic 5 Points, 603 Pratt Ave, Huntsville, AL 35801

Website: click here


Walker's Market is a small local market focusing on small batch artisanal products from all over the county.  In addition to food, they offer gift items and specialize in gift and care packages.  Each week a local chef will create fresh entrees you can pick-up to take home.  This week's offerings include Coffee Spiced Pork Tenderloin with a Peach Sauce, Chicken Divan and several options for sides and desserts.  Let me know if you go and what you love!

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Recurring Weekly Events:

What: Concert in the Park

When: Mondays, 6:30-8:30pm (last concert is August 7!)
   
Where: Huntsville Museum of Art outdoor stage

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free, park along the street or in the surrounding business lots

Website: click here

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What: The Greene Street Market

When: Thursdays, May-October, 4-8pm

Where: corner of Greene Street and Eustis Avenue in Downtown Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: should be free on surrounding streets and lots, but take cash just in case

Website: click here

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What: Village of Providence Artisans & Farmers Market

When: Saturdays, April-November,  8am- noon
     
Where: Village of Providence Park on Town Center Drive, Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free

Website: click here

Monday, July 31, 2017

#servelikesarah

No doubt those in the Huntsville area have seen or heard about the #servelikesarah t-shirt campaign at Chick-fil-a supporting the Lottie Moon Mission Offering while honoring the memory of our MZBC student that lost her life in June.

Another company has stepped up to offer more shirts, hats, decals, etc. to continue getting Sarah's testimony spread.  Some items say "live redeemed" and others "lead me to the rock that is higher than I."

If you're looking for a tangible way to honor Sarah's life, go take a look here.



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Livin' it up in Dixie {stories, antiques, music & Christmas}




What: Stories Under the Stars

When: Thursday, July 27, 6:30-8:30pm (gates open at 5:30pm)
       
Where: Burritt on the Mountain, 3101 Burritt Drive, Huntsville, AL 35801

Cost: $10

Parking: free

Weather: mid 90's and clear

Website: click here


Enjoy a beautiful evening overlooking Huntsville as you listen to true stories from local storytellers.  There's even a "wildcard spot" if you have a story to share!  Bring your camp chairs and money for the food trucks.

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What: Genealogy Antique Roadshow

When: Thursday, July 27, 7-8pm
     
Where: Huntsville Main Public Library

Cost: free

Website: click here


A certified appraiser will be available to appraise one or two personal items.  Dr. Marchelos has some serious credentials so if you are eager to find out if those giant glass grapes from 1971 are worth anything (no way, Moma!) head down to the Library to find out!

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What: WC Handy Music Festival

When: Now through July 30
     
Where: Florence, AL

Cost: varies by event but lots of free options

Website: click here


For 36 years, Florence has celebrated the Father of the Blues, WC Handy. There are all kinds of competitions, concerts and meals you can be a part of.  Check out their website for a schedule of all the fun!  

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What: Historic Mooresville Christmas Home Tour & Progressive Dinner

When: Saturday, December 9, 2-7pm
     
Where: Historic Mooresville, located right off I-565 about 10 minutes west of the airport

Cost: $75 per person

Parking: free & provided in the front of town

Website: click here


I didn't even know about Historic Mooresville until about 6 years ago when I went there for an architectural class I was taking and I fell in love with its quaintness!  Founded in 1818, Mooresville is often called "Alabama's Williamsburg."  For the Home Tour, residents open their homes and you can stroll through to see all the Christmas decorations.  There are also several shops open for Christmas goodies.  The Progressive Dinner sounds delish- Chicken with Applewood Bacon, Green Beans, Roasted Potatoes, Fresh Breads and Carmel Apple Pie.  Tickets go fast to this event, so grab yours soon!

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Recurring Weekly Events:

What: Concert in the Park

When: Mondays, 6:30-8:30pm (last concert is August 7!)
   
Where: Huntsville Museum of Art outdoor stage

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free, park along the street or in the surrounding business lots

Website: click here

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What: Park It Like It's Hot Food Truck Lunches

When: Wednesdays, 11am- 2pm
     
Where: Lowe Mill, under the water tower

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free

Website: click here

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What: The Greene Street Market

When: Thursdays, May-October, 4-8pm

Where: corner of Greene Street and Eustis Avenue in Downtown Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: should be free on surrounding streets and lots, but take cash just in case

Website: click here

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What: Village of Providence Artisans & Farmers Market

When: Saturdays, April-November,  8am- noon
     
Where: Village of Providence Park on Town Center Drive, Huntsville

Entrance Fee: free

Parking: free

Website: click here

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Urban Deliciousness

A couple of weeks ago I shared a new restaurant at Bridgestreet- Urban Cookhouse.  Chris and I met some friends there for dinner last night and were not disappointed!


The best place to park is that small lot between Belk and Bravo and on a Monday night we didn't have a problem finding a spot.  The interior has that modern farmhouse vibe but we enjoyed sitting on their patio.

Chris and I couldn't decide what we wanted so we each got something different and shared.  Hands down the star was the Urban Cowboy sandwich (pictured right)!  I'm talking "best sandwich in Huntsville" people!  Their menu describes it as "Lime-marinated steak, caramelized onions & peppers, pepperjack, aioli on a French roll" and I absolutely loved it!

Chris got the El Cubano that was grilled ham, chipotle-braised pork, housemade pickles, provolone, and mustard, grilled on white bread.  We both really enjoyed it too but it was a tad too much mustard for me.  Part of Urban Cookhouse's charm is all their smoked meats and on the El Cubano you could really taste the smoked meat.  I also loved the housemade pickles! 

We both got Hot Cheddar Pasta as a side but it wasn't as great as I had hoped, though I would get it again. 


We also shared an order of Millie Ray's Orange Rolls- they're a little sweet and a little orange-y.  They were ok, but I'd say the sandwiches are certainly the star!

Our friends were super nice and bought us a Half-Baked Cookie topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup all served in a mini skillet!  You see why we are their friends!  The cookie takes about 20 minutes, so order with your meal and they'll bring it out in these cute holders when you're done with your meal.

As you can tell, I'd totally recommend Urban Cookhouse!  Another great part?  The sandwiches are all about $8-$9 and come with a side.  You can barely eat at McDonald's for less than that these days!  I can't wait to go back and try another delicious sandwich!