Wordless Wednesday


 

Welcome to my blog, and my first installment of Wordless Wednesday.

I’ll stop talking now. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace, love, and silence,

In which I justify my intelligence


Four days ago I apologized to my blog readers for including URL addresses in the body of my posts instead of underlined text with URL links. I assumed it was USER error. This afternoon, I realized it might be SYSTEM error. If this is an error in my judgement, I will re-post with a correction. At this particular moment, I believe WordPress.com has issues it needs to address immediately.

I feel the need to justify my intelligence for WordPress.com staff.

 

  • I went to preschool at Lollipop Campus. 
  • I graduated the sixth grade at Robards Elementary School.
  • I graduated the eighth grade at Clay Elementary School.
  • I graduated from Webster County High School with an honors diploma.
  • In 2006, I graduated from Texas A&M University – Commerce with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in marketing.
  • Two months ago, I became a Certified Teacher with the State of Texas.

 

It has come to my attention through WordPress Support Forums that I am NOT the only customer experiencing difficulties with their blog service. Since Saturday, I have been unable to add or edit links in blog posts. Instead of appearing as an educated, intelligent, and capable blogger who “links” her text, I have included full URL addresses in parenthesis. This is extremely annoying. And it makes me look like an idiot.

I am not an idiot.

I am an educated woman with the ability to highlight text, click the “add link” icon, type in the URL address, and click OK. I’ve submitted a Help Forum post explaining this issue and within two hours received 12 replies from other WP users about similar complaints. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

Please, WordPress, fix the links icon so I can get on with my life.

Thank you,

 

Tuesday Truths


Here we go again, it’s time for another round of Tuesday Truths.

Here are my three truths:

  • Many days, I consider playing golf again ~ not competitively, but for pleasure. But my fear of not being as good as I once was is holding me back.
  • Except for trips to Kentucky, Husband and I have never been on a trip (a.k.a vacation) together ~ we didn’t have a honeymoon either.
  • I learned the alphabet backward…….Z, Y, X, W, V, U, T, S, R, Q, P, O, N, M, L, K, J, I, H, G, F, E, D, C, B, A. 

Now, it’s your turn! Add a comment to this post with your own Tuesday Truths. Once you’ve added a comment, share with your friends and encourage them to post too!

Peace, love, and Tuesday Truths,

 

 

 

 

p.s. Is this not the best therapy ever?!

I Heart Faces ~ WHITE


I don’t quite understand the direction that I Heart Faces is going with this week’s photo theme, but I’m just gonna go with it.

Here is my WHITE photo….featuring Blue, a.k.a. Mr. Handsome.

Yes, people, I understand my photo is automatically out of the competition because there is not a HUMAN face in my photo. Blue thinks he’s human, so get over it!

He’s white. But his name is Blue.

I’m pulling for strings here, please don’t judge my mediocre photography skills. I’m desperately trying to get better. I promise. Pinky swear!

Be sure to visit http://www.iheartfaces.com/2011/08/photo-challenge-white/ to see more “white” photo entries!

See y’all tomorrow for another round of Tuesday Truths!

Peace, love, and white horses,

“Over the Top” and I’m A Winner!


I love giving gifts, especially gifts as “giveaway” items on this blog. It’s great to share some of my favorite things with my readers and this is one of the reasons I especially love to host product giveaways. As a matter of fact, I got a question for you:

Do you have a product you’d like to share with me? If so, send me a note and let’s get this party started!

I’m about to impress your socks off….are you ready?

In the past six ~ count them: one, two, three, four, five, SIX ~ days, I’ve won three ~ count them: one, two, THREE ~ online giveaways! How sweet is that?! Seriously, I never win anything. Well, until now. 

Here’s the lowdown…..

Margaret Feinberg (www.margaretfeinberg.comsent me an AUTOGRAPHED copy of “The Stories I Keep” by Dr. Roseanne Coleman (www.roseannecoleman.com). I didn’t realize it was autographed until I last night. I missed that little detail!

 

Sidenote: I proudly crowned myself a “blogger” when 27 & Counting reached 10,000 all-time views. That’s a big number, folks! Even more shocking, the number keeps going up. At press time, the view count was approaching 16K. Y’all are amazing! Anyway, I’m glad to introduce the next two giveaway prizes from REAL bloggers. They know their stuff. They’ve been doing this a while. I’m privileged to be in their web-world, not to mention receiving a personal shout-out on their blog for winning a giveaway. WHOOP! WHOOP!

Next giveaway prize…….

Dana over at My Little Celebration (www.mylittlecelebration.com) is sending me Real Simple (www.realsimple.com) magazine’s most recent cookbook. I am a big fan of Real Simple, maybe Santa will bring me a subscription this Christmas. With an e-reader.

Thank you, Dana!

Last, but certainly not least…..

Christy at Love From The Oven (www.lovefromtheoven.com) is sending me a Babycakes Cupcake Maker and Cupcake Cookbook (www.thebabycakesshop.com).

I’ll be sure to get busy baking ASAP. In all seriousness, I’ve wanted to try the cake “pops” for a while. I don’t have any excuses left NOT to make them at home.

Thank you, Christy!

This weekend has been FAN-TABULOUS. Since Friday morning, I’ve been at the American Airlines Center in Dallas attending Women of Faith (www.womenoffaith.com). The faith-based organization hosts two-day conferences in multiple cities across the U.S., including Dallas. The event features contemporary Christian and Gospel singers, actors, and speakers. This weekend, I saw Andy Andrews, Patsy Clairmont, Katharine Evarett, Amy Grant, Mandisa, Marilyn Meberg, Sandi Patty, Brenda Warner, and Lisa Whelchel. What a great line-up for an incredible weekend!

I have laughed, cried, sang, danced, and praised Jesus all weekend. Really, it’s that much fun and the Holy Spirit is movin’ and groovin’ and changin’ people’s lives! It’s amazing how an ordinary arena can be transformed into Holy Ground when hearts are inspired and lives are changed.

If you’ve never heard of or attended an event, please visit www.womenoffaith.com and look for a city near you. They are adding new events in each city and they also include one designed for teenage girls, The Revolve Tour (www.revolvetour.com). Check it out!

I wish I had better photos to upload, but I have three wonderfully pathetic excuses: our seats were in the clouds (not an exaggeration); it was dark inside the arena; and, honestly, I wasn’t focusing much on taking pictures. I was listening to every word these wonderful women (and Andy) had to say!

Peace, love, and CELEBRATE!,

 

I’m really sorry about the excessive links in this post but I could not for the life of me get the “link” button to work on the sidebar. I realize my technological ability is slim-to-none but this is the first time I’ve been unable to use that particular button. I’m sure it’s the USER and not the MACHINE. I’ll reboot later.

New words in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary


So the dysfunctional intelligent folks at Merriam-Webster have released a list of words they’re adding to its Collegiate Dictionary. Read the full article here.

I’d like to take this opportunity to offer my own reaction to these new inductees to the dictionary.

Americana: genre of American music with roots in early folk and country music

My reaction: “HEEEEEE YAWWWW and pick yer git-tar!!!!”

cougar: slang term for a middle-aged woman seeking a romantic relationship with a younger man

My reaction: “Whatever floats your boat, my dear”

fist bump: a gesture in which two people bump their fists together, as in greeting or celebration

My reaction: “You gotta ‘blow it up’ too!”

helicopter parent: a parent who is overly involved in the life of his or her child

My reaction: “I know some of these…….bless their hearts.”

tweet: a post made on the Twitter online message service

My reaction: “I’m a  tweeter……you should follow me on Twitter @nmhutch!”

There, my ridiculous profound responses to a few “new” entries of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary.

Do you feel smarter? Do you feel more intelligent?

I don’t.

Peace, love, and dictionaries,

doing something more


When you are open to the possibility, the opportunity will present itself.

I found this but I don’t remember how. In the big scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. In doing so, I met Tara Mohr, a writer, coach, and creator of Wise Living. After reading some of her material and articles (such as this), it occurred to me that I want to take steps and do something more.

Her website, blog, and coaching have kindled a fire in me to pursue things I have considered out of my reach, unrealistic, unreasonable, or just plain silly. I’m silencing this inner critic and throwing caution to the wind. Tara has inspired me to take the first step.

I’ve made a pact with myself to become my own best friend. I am accepting opportunities, trying new things, and available for new experiences. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone. I’m going to do things I never imagined.

Ready? Let’s go! 

The first step I’m taking on my “doing something more” journey is to participate in the 2011 Girl Effect Campaign. This is a collaboration between hundreds of bloggers coming together to write about The Girl Effect on October 4, 2011.

What does this mean?

Adolescent girls are uniquely capable of raising the standard of living in the developing world. It’s been shown: she will reinvest her income and knowledge back into her family and her community. As an educated mother, an active citizen, an ambitious entrepreneur or prepared employee, a girl will break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.

That is the girl effect.

If you are interested in learning more about Girl Effect, click here. If you would like to participate in the blogging campaign, click here.

I’m nervous about my post for 10.04.11, but the cause is worth the effort.

Speaking of cause…….

If you’ve been following my blog, you already know about my recent mission trip to Haiti. As soon as I found Tara’s website and her invitation to join the Girl Effect Campaign, I remembered these three young girls I met in Port-au-Prince. My post for the Girl Effect Campaign will be in honor of these beautiful, precious, and influential faces.

I haven’t decided the topic/subject/theme for my Girl Effect post, but I’m comforted knowing that I don’t need all the answers. I am not an expert on Girl Effect (or any topic for that matter!), but this is for raising awareness and supporting a good cause. I will use the resource available ~ my blog ~ as the platform for educating others.

To help with my post, Tara offers several suggestions:

  • Post one of the six Girl Effect videos along with your reflections
  • Use stats from the website
  • Write about how you see the responsibility of the developed world to support the developing world, or how you see your own personal responsibility
  • Write about action you’ll take to take to make a difference
  • Post related photography, art or poetry
  • Focus on one specific issue related to the Girl Effect: girl’s education, AIDS in the developing world, child marriage, child prostitution, domestic violence, population growth, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, micro-finance, global poverty, human rights.

I hope you choose to participate and support Girl Effect with a blog post on October 4.

Peace, love, and do something more!

 

 

 

 

One more thing: let me know you’re participating so I can “bookmark” your site and read your post on 10.04.11.

We each have the capacity and ability to make a difference in the world. One small act at a time.

 

Paint Your Own Pottery


If you read this post, you are familiar with my favorite local business, The Art Barn Studio. I had so much fun last Saturday that I returned for another project.

This creation was made especially for a sweet couple getting married next month in Kentucky. I’m excited to attend Josh and Lindsey’s wedding and personally deliver their gift…along with a batch of homemade secret BBQ sauce for Josh ~ but that’s a different post.

I know Josh and Lindsey both read my blog, but I am the world’s worst at keeping giftsa secret. I am “Fort Knox” when it comes to keeping secrets, but presents make me happy and I want to share them immediately If I ever become a parent, I’ll be the worst Santa ever.

I decided before I arrived at The Art Barn that I would use the couple’s last initial as the focal point. I found a beautiful scroll border online and selected a 15-inch square platter as my “canvas.” It had wide rim too, perfect for a decorative border. This particular platter is perfect for displaying on a shelf or piece of furniture.

Once I had an item, I needed paint. I chose four colors: Basketball (burnt orange), Deep Purple, Dark Olive, and Chocolate Brown ~ all beautiful, autumn, and earthy tones. Of course I had help selecting these colors when I talked to Lindsey and she willingly answered all of my specific questions (i.e. what are your wedding colors? What colors are in your home?) without hesitation!!!!

tee hee hee

I just realized something: Josh is a former basketball player and current coach. I didn’t think about this when I chose the paint named Basketball!

 

I used Publisher to place a font inside the scroll image (for spacing) and carefully traced the design onto the plate. I didn’t use any magical measurements or even graphite paper (which is a suggestion and can be purchased at any craft store). I used a plain ol’ pencil…with an eraser. You see, when the pottery is “fired” inside the kiln, all particles ~ including pencil lead and rubber eraser marks ~ burn off. I wrote the letter “S” by hand. Handwriting is about the only artistic ability I have. I can’t draw a straight line WITH a ruler. Seriously.

I learned from my friends at The Art Barn (hey Hilary, Katie, Lindsey and Adriene!) that a minimum of two coats, preferably three, are best for intense color. The above photo shows the scroll design painted in Dark Chocolate and the “S” is Basketball (burnt orange). I applied three really thick coats of paint to ensure proper coverage and reduce streaking, or brush lines. I’m pleased how this turned out.

No, it’s not perfect but it’s handmade. Love it or leave it.

Here’s the platter as it looked when I left the studio. It’s ready to be glazed and then it will spend 24-hours in the firing kiln. When complete, it will have a glossy finish.

I promise to post pics of the final-final platter!

Whether you live in Texas or Wisconsin (don’t ask where that came from!), I encourage you to find a paint-your-own studio in your area. I’m fortunate to live less than five minutes from The Art Barn Studio.

Before the end of the year, I want to create “something else” at The Art Barn. In fact, I’ve added this to my 2011 Bucket List.

If you are in the Fort Worth area, I encourage you to visit The Art Barn Studio in Joshua. Tell them I sent you! If you’re located elsewhere, find your own creative sanctuary and have fun getting your ART on!

Peace, love, and custom wedding gifts,

 

 

 

 

 

p.s. Congratulations, Josh & Lindsey! Please don’t hate me because I couldn’t keep your gift a surprise. Love y’all!

Three Truths Tuesday


Because I’m honest…..

Because I’m bored…..

Because I’m sometimes the weird, goofy, and silly one……

Here’s my heartfelt attempt at sharing three truth with you each week and my hope is that lots of you will leave truths about yourself.

C’mon, don’t roll your eyes at me. It’ll be fun!!!!

Welcome to the first edition of Three Truths Tuesday.

 

 

Every Tuesday, I’ll post three truths about myself. Then, you leave a comment with three truths about yourself.

I promise to keep the material clean enough for my Mother to keep me in her will…..I’m an only child, so my chances are pretty good! Besides, I love it when she calls and says, “Nicole Marie, I can’t believe you put that on your blog!” It makes me laugh. It makes me smile. It makes me want to tell more stuff!

 

Let’s get started, here are my Three Truths:

  1. I’m not always Polly Positive. My feelings get hurt really easily.
  2. I can harvest corn, green beans, peppers, tomatoes and a whole host of other produce but I am unable to plant tobacco. To me, it’s one of those pat-your-head-and-rub-your-belly acts. I can’t do it. I’ve tried….and failed (miserably) many times!
  3. I dream of doing something incredible ~ something people will remember.

 

Now, it’s YOUR turn!!!!!!!

Leave a comment with Three Truths about YOURSELF.

 

Peace, love, and Tuesday Truths,

I Heart Faces ~ PETS


His name is Blue.

But he’s white.

He’s handsome. Weighs 1,100 lbs. Very photogenic. Spoiled rotten and a camera-hog.

But he’s my spoiled rotten, handsome, 1,100-pound, photogenic, camera hog.

Husband hates when I feed Blue the apple-flavored horse treats my Mother sends throughout the year for her “grand-horse”, but I ignore the rants. What he doesn’t know about the daily routine Blue and I share won’t hurt him. hahahaha!!!!!!

Many of you have already asked about Blue’s name, here’s the story:

Husband has known this horse since he was a colt born at a friend’s place in East Texas. Husband got started in team-roping because of this guy. Anyway, when Blue was born, he was dark gray. When the horse would perspire or get wet, he looked dark blue. So, Original Owner named this horse Blue. Good idea!

Blue has a really fancy ~ and official ~ AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) name on his papers but I don’t remember what it is. And, I’m too lazy to go dig around Husband’s stuff to find out. Besides, Blue wouldn’t answer to that silly name anyway!

As Blue got older, his hair “bleached” in the sun. Blue has black skin and white hair with lots of red freckles. Genetics are a funny thing, aren’t they?! When Husband purchased this horse from Original Owner and transferred ownership on Blue’s AQHA registration, we had to re-submit paperwork from the vet’s office with past and current pictures of Blue’s brand (markings) to confirm this was the same horse.

I’m serious when I say this horse likes the spotlight. He LOVES having his picture made!!!!!!

 

So, there you have it. The horse in our pasture likes to be a show-off. He does it quite well.

Last tid-bit on Blue: besides enjoying apple-flavored treats, he LOVES Kellogg’s Frosted Strawberry Pop Tarts. He’ll eat the Frosted Brown Sugar and Cinnamon ones, but strawberry is his favorite.

 

Check out the other PET entries at I Heart Faces!

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