Wednesday, August 29, 2018

pecans...pecans...and more pecans!

Our last suggestion actually doesn’t have an IG account—yet. Should be coming…at some point. However, I want to share their website and encourage you to follow them on Facebook!

Nearly 40 years ago, my darling sister (3rd of the four of us kids—and the “middle” sister) and her husband, Timothy P, opened The Pecan Shed in Wichita Falls, Texas. Today, this is a family owned and operated pecan business with the CUTEST gift shop!  My sister, Mary V., who worked her you-know-what off for many, MANY years, helping to make this business the success it has become, retired. (She deserved retirement. Trust me.) Her daughter/my niece, JP, has run both the Wichita Falls’ store and their newer store located in Henrietta, Texas for several years. By The By: The Wichita Falls' store is perhaps the most "famous" of the two, but the Henrietta store is fast becoming quite The Talk-o'-Texas, with a Grill that serves the YUMMIEST food ever! I'm talkin' Slap-Your-Mama (seriously don't really go slap your mom...) DELISH, Y'ALL.) 

I like to tease that JP is the REAL BOSS, although her Dad and my handsome nephew, JW, her older brother who manages all of their pecan orchards, might want to take me to task on that statement. Winky Wink.

This is a picture of the Wichita Falls’ store (Yes. It was taken at Christmas! TLC’s most favourite time of the year—so works perfectly for our purposes, right?):



And this is a picture of the Henrietta store and gas station:



Again, t
he Pecan Shed website is:


When you have a bit of time, check it out! Read their story and see their FANTASTICALLY yummy products! I’m telling Y’all, they sell the best pecans in the State of Texas! Possibly the United States! I am seriously not exaggerating. Their pecans and fudge, etc., make the most awesome gifts. Especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although—and this is IMP0RTANT—they’ll ship them all year! (Note: Shipping of agricultural products to different states and countries can vary. JP or her staff can tell you, when you call or email them, if there are any special requirements in the state for which you want to send said pecans, etc.)

JP has a Masters’ in Business (she graduated With Highest Honors!) and is an amazing Marketing/Branding Gal! She is a Buyer Extraordinaire. The gifts she has at both of their stores are SWEET/beautiful/charming/rustic/country chic/fun/FABULOUS. (TLC can testify, under oath, that JP has the cutest gals’ ballcaps in America.)

JP posts her gifts/products on their Facebook pages. (*Simply Search for The Pecan Shed in Wichita Falls, Texas and The Pecan Shed in Henrietta, Texas. Easy. Peasy.) As well as on the above website.

Their website will have more gifts as time goes on. Currently, if you see something you must have, give The Pecan Shed a call on their toll-free #:

800-317-3226

By the way: JP is also a gifted writer. Check out her new book entitled:


It’s her journey through marriage, motherhood, divorce, single parenting and running their family business…while she builds her faith in Our Dear Lord God and His Son, Jesus Christ! (You can order her book from Amazon or from the store’s website!) JP writes with candor, wisdom, humor, creativity and charm. TLC, Little Leighton, Baby Elle, and I love, LOVE, LOVE Our JP and her precious daughter, my second oldest great-niece, Dotty.

We've come to the end of TLC’s and my adventure through Our Favourite Instagram Pages! Surely you’ve checked out one or two or seven by now? 

In a matter of days, My Sweet Hubby and I will be celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary! Forty. Four. Zero. 40. Which is crazy to me. TLC will be taking the month of September off while I entertain (or bore—whichever is most appropo…hopefully it’s the former and not the latter…) Y’all with posts about our life, marriage, communication, and the many things I’ve learned on my journey with this man I’ve loved, adored and cherished for over 41 years. It's been...real. WONDERFUL. Magical. Exceptional And extremely...real.

Thank you to each of Y’all who continue to read our blog! We’re grateful. Sincerely and deeply grateful.

HUGS,

ELC

Sunday, August 26, 2018

skinnytaste...

Happy Sunday evening, Friends! I hope you have had a restful, peaceful, lovely weekend and that you feel refreshed and ready to start a new week.

For my last favourite Instagram account, I wanted to share with y'all:

@skinnytaste

Gina is the author of many "Skinnytaste" cookbooks! (I was just gifted one last Christmas.) I can't remember exactly how I started following her. Perhaps Facebook? But two things I ADORE about her:

1. Her recipes (most of them!) can very easily be made gluten-free! She's so super-duper-gluten-free-friendly. Her awareness and inclusivity bring joy to my heart.

2. She always lists Weight Watchers' Points for her recipes. I love that, given ELC's amazing dedication to her weight-loss journey through that awesome program.

Gina also has a blog (I'm thinking that's how she got started?), and thought I would share two of my FAVOURITE recipes:

The first is her "Gluten-Free Lightened Up Banana Nut Bread." I typically use "Cup4Cup" flour, and I also use Go-Go Squeeze Cinnamon-Applesauce! Y'all. Ohmygosh. It makes two loaves of bread, which is perfect for our family because Little Leighton does NOT wants nuts in her bread but my Hubby wants extra walnuts in his! It. Is. So. Stinking. GOOD. Try this. Freeze a loaf. It would be perfect for a healthy and quick breakfast before school.

Skinny Cranberry Bliss Bars. These bars. There truly are no words for how yummy they are. They have become one of my new traditions during the holidays. This is her version of the Starbucks' Cranberry Bliss Bars. But, news flash: Gina's are BETTER. And better for you, too! I sub Cup4Cup flour and just make sure all of my other ingredients are gluten-free. They are DELICIOUS. You must-must-must try these this year!

I pray you all have a blessed week, and, as our Worship Leader at church says every Sunday, be a blessing to others.

TTFN!


Friday, August 24, 2018

biscuit...and melanie...


Somehow it’s Friday! Sheesh.



Last week was hard. TLC and I didn’t expect it to be. Wednesday was going to be Little Leighton’s (aka LL aka Biscuit) first day of public school. Kindergarten. (With her birthday in late July, more than likely, she’ll be one of the oldest—if not the oldest—student in her class.) This was a decision TLC thought long and hard about. Because Biscuit is already an amazing reader! She’s smart, Y’all. She’s also got one of those “old souls.”



She was actually in a “real” kindergarten class last year. She semi-sort-of didn’t realize it. She might have thought she was in what is now called a “transitional” kindergarten class. For those kids who have late summer birthdays or whose parents want to told them back a year. It was from 9-2…four days a week. They didn’t go on Fridays. There were 17 in her class and her adorable teacher had a wonderful “aide.”

TLC and I believe her decision to hold LL back a year is going to be the right one. We’ve understood that, in terms of actual learning progress, all the kids should be at about the same learning/aptitude level by 3rd grade. Meantime, LL will enjoy being one of the oldest. We’re quite confident about this.

Anyway, Wednesday went well. TLC, Her Hubby and Baby Elle (aka Belle) all went with Biscuit to her class. The teacher was taking pictures of the kids with their parents/families. When TLC picked Biscuit up? She said it was a good day. She did, however, talk about how “long” the day was and shared that the school was really big. A tidbit scary to her.

On Thursday morning? Oh. My. MY. MY. Biscuit was NOT a Happy Camper. TLC shoved her out of her car door (TLC was actually and accidentally in the wrong drop-off lane—which was traumatic for everyone—but most especially for Biscuit.) and watched her precious oldest daughter turn around to look at her with utter fear. There didn’t seem to be any adult waiting for these children heading to the entrance/ big doors. TLC called me. Crying. The whole experience was upsetting to her. She then texted a good friend of hers whose 3rd out of four daughters is in LL’s class. Her friend told her LL looked alone, confused and upset in the Cafeteria—while the kids waited for their teachers to take them to their classes. Her daughter, too, was getting stressed.

Late morning, Biscuit’s teacher emailed TLC. Told her Biscuit was having a “very rough” day—but she and the counselor were doing everything they could to help her. When TLC picked her up that afternoon—Grammy and Belle in tow—Biscuit looked tired. Pale. Red-rimmed eyes. Not her happy, sweet, peppy self. TLC and I did everything we could to be upbeat—but in a lowkey way. We were fighting total devastation.

Within an hour of being home? Little Leighton was crying. Screaming. “I am NOT GOING BACK to school. I AM NOT. It’s too long of a day. I miss you, Mommy! I’M NOT GOING.”

Sigh. Although TLC and I were both extremely upset, we worked hard to continue to be upbeat and calm. On the outside. On the inside, our hearts were sad.

Friday was just as…well…awful. Maybe worse. Friday had the counselor, a PE coach and a couple of other teachers involved in Biscuit’s Ordeal.

The counselor and TLC talked on the phone for over 30 minutes that afternoon. She gave TLC some tips/suggestions. She assured TLC they were going to get LL through it. Might take a few weeks, but she’d be okay.

The weekend was iffy. A “Reward” Chart was made and discussed, at length, with LL. Was that the way to go? Biscuit needs incentives. We’ve all learned this. A snowcone. A froyo. A small treat from Target. The counselor had suggested TLC come up with some things Biscuit could look forward to while attempting to cope with her fears and, well, anger. Anger at being forced to go to this new school. From 7:45ish to 3:10ish. Five days a week. When she “really REALLY REALLY” missed her Mama.

Monday? A WHOLE NEW BISCUIT! There were a few tears in her eyes at the dropoff. The school was ready for her! Those tears were the last she had.

HAPPY NEWS: She’s had a FABULOUS/MAGNIFICENT Week!

Will she have some future rought spots? Yes. Yes, she will. (Her Mama/TLC told me on the 4th day of 2nd grade, after breaking her arm at Recess on the 3rd day of school, she was NOT GOING BACK TO SCHOOL. EVER. That six weeks? NOT. FUN. For any of us. We all survived.) We feel confident LL will overcome any adversities she faces along her journey and will love school as much as I did—as much as her Mama did (Except for that six weeks in 2nd grade, the first part of TLC's 7th grade year and her Senior year. TLC got through all of those rough spots with FLYING COLORS. Mostly. Winky Wink.)

So my suggestion today for a special IG account to follow?

@melanieshankle

Y’all might remember I talked about Ms. Melanie in my June 6th post entitled “little moments.” I just finished her devotional book called “Everyday Holy” this morning! (I’m going to actually start over on September 4th—as per an IG post Melanie made this week.)

Y’all must trust moi:

She’s wise. Funny. Smart. She’s real. Honest. She’s one of my most favourites writers. Her faith inspires me.

Check her out!

Y’all have a Wonderful Weekend—wherever in this World Y’all are…don’t refuse to do something you really have no choice to refuse, ‘kay? You’ll get make it and be stronger. You will.

Friday Smooches and Hugs,

ELC

p.s.--LL's Beta fish, Nancy, who they've had for almost a year, was gone this past Wednesday afternoon. Discovered by TLC as she got dinner ready. Her Hubby snuck out of their house and went to two places to find a new one. TLC said...and she was right: "LL cannot lose Nancy. Not now. Not today. Not this week." Her Hubby found a male blue beta at the second place. The difference being that this male is bigger than Nancy and has a poofier tail. Of course. Sheesh. Her Hubby was skeptical this lie would work. LL never noticed New Nancy that evening. Not yesterday. This morning she walked by the tank and literally jumped in the air, screaming: Mom! Look at Nancy! She got bigger! Look at her tail! Tracey downplayed it with an Oscar-worthy performance by saying Nancy'd basically had a growth spurt.When this Nancy is gone? They'll help her process it. I approved. 100%.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

fig and twigs

So I have no clue how I found this Instagram account. Someone I follow must have liked something on it. I. Don’t. Know.
IT DOES NOT MATTER! It is AMAZINGLY magnificent!

figandtwigs

Y’all. It is a beautiful IG to follow! She lives in Newport Beach, California. And has the CUTEST DOG EVER named Daisy Rhubarb. Her website/blog has recipes! The most exquisite pictures of absolutely splendid flower arrangements and decadently luscious food/desserts.



Her website is:


She writes a FUN and interesting blog. Her photos of everything are spectacular. (She, unlike moi, apparently knows how to put photos on her website/blog. I can load them on my Instagram. And Facebook. I guess I’d be EXTREMELY pathetic if I couldn’t do that, right? Instead I’m just very pathetic and dependent on TLC for our blog photos. Sigh.)



I’m also unclear if she’s an event planner (she 1000% SHOULD be)—or just an incredibly gifted person who loves her (magazine-worthy) home to be filled with stunningness. PURE STUNNINGNESS.



All I can tell you is this:



When I have 15 minutes to scroll through IG? And one of her posts is there? I’m in heaven. H.E.A.V.E.N.

Happy Saturday! Happy Weekend! Find figandtwigs ASAP and ENJOY!!!



Hugs,

ELC

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

shop 'til you drop...

Happy Tuesday, Friends!

My Sweet Little Leighton starts Kindergarten tomorrow. I am doing everything I can think of to NOT think about it. I blinked. Tomorrow a new chapter starts. At church Sunday, we had the "Blessing of the Backpacks." I was a hot, teary mess. The moment I have to leave her in her classroom, I think my husband might have to carry me out. There are so many things I wish for her: bravery, kindness, excitement, hope. Y'all. I have to stop.

One of my favourite forms of distraction? SHOPPING!

Two of the best shopping Instagram (IG) accounts I follow?

@targetdoesitagain
@costco_doesitagain

They are both run by the same ladies. I believe they are moms that live in Southern California. I have found some of the yummiest and cutest things via their accounts.

Exhibit A:



We purchased this for Little Leighton's birthday soiree this year. It was a huge hit! It's so adorable. The kids (and adults!) loved it.


So, I haven't actually purchased these yet. BUT, I tried them on last week, after seeing this post. They are fabulous. Seriously amazing quality. They remind me of a similar (almost exact) style from "Free People." I think these will be the perfect bandaid for my heart tomorrow. Wink. Wink.

Exhibit B:



Both of these Costco finds are Certified Gluten-Free and certifiably delicious. I would recommend adding your own peanuts, cilantro and green onions to the Pad Thai. It is super easy to prepare. Perfect for busy school nights. The Heavenly Hunks? I have to hide them from myself. And ELC. I truly think they make a great, and quick, breakfast (don't judge me) or afternoon snack.

I hope y'all will check these two accounts out, especially if you love shopping at Target and Costco as much as I do.

Pray for Little Leighton tomorrow. And me. Pretty please?

TTFN.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

JesusCalling...


From Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young, today, August 12th:



COME TO ME when you are weak and weary. Rest snugly in My everlasting arms. I do not despise your weakness, My child. Actually, it draws Me closer to you because weakness stirs up My compassion—My yearning to help. Accept yourself in your weariness, knowing that I understand how difficult your journey has been.

Do not compare yourself with others who seem to skip along their life-paths with ease. Their journeys have been different from yours, and I have gifted them with abundant energy. I have gifted you with fragility, providing opportunities for your spirit to blossom in My Presence. Accept this gift as a sacred treasure: delicate, yet glowing with brilliant Light. Rather than struggling to disguise or deny your weakness, allow Me to bless you richly through it.

ISAIAH 42:3; ISAIAH 54:10; ROMANS 8:26

My next Instagram suggestion is Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I cannot emphasize enough how much this book means to me. I cannot tell Y’all how much I NEED to scroll through IG and come upon my daily post from Jesus Calling. They’re short. To the point. IMPORTANT. Wonderful. Peaceful. Encouraging. If you don’t have any of the books I’ve talked about in the past, please consider following Sarah on Instagram.

[TLC and I had a super busy week beginning last Monday.. Little Leighton (aka LL) starts kindergarten this coming Wednesday! Public school. She and TLC attended a “Meet the Teachers” night last Thursday and both are TRES excited about her teacher. She seems positively lovely.

My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and I kept Baby Elle (aka Belle) for a night while TLC and LL had two days of “Mom and Only Me Time!” My niece, JP, came to spend the same night with us that Belle was here. That was FABULOUS. She then followed me to TLC’s casa for a short visit. She had to leave late that afternoon for her home. We were all grateful for the time she shared with us, her humor and kindness! She ROCKS.]

This weekend I’ve felt puny. Off a bit. Allergies? The weather? Just...well...pooped? I don't know. (We did get a teeny bit of rain. TLC—and others—got much more than us. Dadgummit. But it’s been cloudy and humid since mid-week!) I did some work around the house yesterday and this afternoon. Waited for a call for two days about a “showing” to prospective buyers (which never happened…UGH…). Did errands with MSH in Fort Worth today—once  we knew for certain there’d be no showing.

Jesus. During all of my minutes, hours, days, and nights this past week, I’ve needed Jesus.

May each of you have a Wonderful Week—wherever in this World Y’all are! And may you find Jesus if you haven’t yet. May My Sweet Jesus fill you with His peace, comfort, strength, patience, and, most of all, His unconditional love!

Hugs,

ELC

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

brettandkara


My next suggestion for an IG to follow:



@brettandkara

Ft. Worth

I discovered them recently when I accidentally (literally it was kinda weird and a longish story) caught a show they did for HGTV called “Home to Last.” I’m crossing my fingers for them—because this was a pilot. I want more! Praying they get on the permanent HGTV schedule. Pray with me if you like 30-minute (Y'all know they're really just 22-ish minutes if you prerecord and who does not prerecord shows?) design/flippy/remodeling shows like moi. I’m obsessed. Which is odd. I am absolutely the most uncreative/untalented/notdesign-y-ish person you’ll ever meet.

I actually think they live pretty close to us! They are the CUTEST couple who help people re-do their homes. And, y’all, they are GOOD. If and/or when our country casa and place sells, I would be sooo tempted to buy an older home and get them to make it GORGEOUS. (Sadly, I don’t believe My Sweet Hubby—aka MSH—will be on board with this idea. God bless his “older/tireder” heart. He dream is to find a brand new home—or one that’s only a few years old. Not one that needs any kind of makeover. I can dream…right?)

So here’s their info (Y’all know I don’t get the significance of links, etc. I am what I am. A Senior Citizen. No Techie.):



#BrettandKara

linktr.ee/brettandkara

I clicked on both of these from their IG and got two different (interesting) pages.

They are FUN, Y’all. Seriously FUN. Nice. Kind. Talented. 

Happy Tuesday! Wherever in this World Y’all Are…

ELC

Sunday, August 5, 2018

motivational mamas...

Hi, Friends! Happy Sunday!

Tonight you're getting a BOGO FREE post from moi. I'm sharing my TWO favourite "Motivational Mamas" on Instagram (aka: IG):

Rachel Hollis: @msrachelhollis
Jen Hatmaker: @jenhatmaker

(P.S. These are called "handles," ELC. At least, I think.)

I've read books by both of these women. Well, technically I haven't finished Rachel's book, "Girl, Wash Your Face." I've read quite a bit of it but have stopped because my weekly Bible Study Group will be reading it this fall. (I'm so excited. This is an amazing choice for us.) The Jen Hatmaker book I've finished is "For the Love," but I'm anxious to read her others, specifically, "Of Mess and Moxie." (Is that not the cutest title? I just adore that word, MOXIE!) I actually have listened to several episodes of Jen's podcast (also titled: "For the Love") and have liked them tremendously! I need to make time to listen to more.

Both of these women INSPIRE me. They make me laugh, cry, think. They help me feel less alone, motivate me to do better and be better, and encourage me. Like a best friend (ELC) would. I get these women and they get me. They understand my struggles as a mom, a wife, a woman. Jesus lives in their hearts. They are LIGHTS in this world. And, they both, coincidentally, live in my all-time favourite town: Austin, Texas. They treasure Texas, y'all. I cherish them.

Please follow them if you're on IG. You don't have to have kids, be a wife, or even a woman to enjoy their humor, knowledge and passion for wanting to help make us be the best versions of ourselves. And, in return, make our earth/world better.

I pray your new week is full of magic and grace, Dear Readers!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

i told you to!


Hey—it’s AUGUST. Cannot even believe it. But you know what this means, right? A month of TLC's and My Favourite Websites and Instagrams!
I have the extreme honor of sharing with y’all our first website/blog we both LOVE LOVE LOVE.

And the winner is…drumroll…


This is also her Instagram tag. Name? ID? Y’all know I am the most incompetent technology person in the State of Texas. Possibly on the Planet. I have no clue as to the correct lingo/language/stuff. So I don't know what you actually call an Instagram "name." Hers is sheaffertoldmeto.

TLC has known about Sheaffer for several years. In fact, when TLC lived in Frisco, she, Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) and I were at the Mall one day (LL was maybe 2?) when we saw Sheaffer and some friends having lunch (like us!) at the Food Court. (They did not, however, have to ride the Carousel several times.) TLC had been telling me about Sheaffer’s blog. I’m not certain if TLC was on Instagram at that point. I can’t quite remember. Anyway, I was encouraging TLC to go over and tell her how much she treasured her website. TLC was too shy. (And frightened I’d go over to Sheaffer—where I’d make a complete fool of myself. I didn't.)

Sheaffer has DEALS. Like...GOOD Deals. She partners with many businesses. Large and small. Nordstrom being perhaps the BIGGEST retailer. But she has lots of medium and small businesses she writes about, too. She takes the CUTEST selfies in the MOST AWESOME clothes that she’s featuring—especially when they’re on sale or she has a “code” you can use for a discount. She also shares shoes, boots, purses and jewelry. (She has a PRETTY sister that is her model sometimes. For business/work/professional attire and accessories.) I honestly don’t know why Sheaffer hasn’t been featured on a Dallas/Ft. Worth TV show. Or why she doesn't have her own show. She is that adorable.

The other thing I truly love (because, frankly, at 64, most of the fashion she showcases would not work for me…as a Senior Citizen…just keepin’ it real…) are her weekly posts about The Bachelor and The Bachelorette seasons. (One of her good friends is Sean’s sister—so she has that connection to these shows.) I cannot wait for her thoughts each week and am getting extra excited about her blogs on the upcoming Bachelor in Paradise season! My oh my. This summer's starts soon--maybe next week? It looks like the cRaZiEsT season yet. 

Sheaffer. Is. HYSTERICAL. I’m not even jokin’, Y’all. Every time there is a new season, I threaten to skip watching the actual shows and just read her blogs on them. They are fancy, now. This gal DOES know technology. Like she's a genius to me. She has lots o’ pictures. I could literally ditch the actual time I spend watching the shows and getting bored/frustrated/disgusted/angry (mostly at myself for wasting my valuable “retirement” time—teeheehee!) and simply read her weekly updates. They ROCK.

She's not only smart and really beautiful...she is creative and clever and FUNNY. Very funny. 
From her Instagram:
"I'm a wife, mom, and accidental fashion blogger. I have a passion for sharing things I love with others!"
What she shares? It is all MARVELOUS. FANTASTIC. Chic. Affordable. Trendy. Classic.

Y’all must check her out. If you like fashion/shopping/browsing/dreaming and if you have a few extra bucks here and there to order the wonderful products she promotes OR if you love a funny recap of the useless-yet-fascinating Bachelor/Bachelorette shows, you will treasure Sheaffer as much as we do. Trust us.

It’s Friday Jr! Hope Y’all have a Wonderful Weekend—Wherever in this World Y’all are!

(TLC is up next! She follows GOOD peeps and businesses on IG. She excels in this. It's apparently a gift she got from me. Hahaha.)

Hugs,

ELC