st. charles, mo | travel tuesday

One thing I did hope to do during my trip to visit my parents was to find a sunflower field to photograph.  Once I realized sunflowers were in bloom when I was visiting I did some research and happened upon some recent photographs taken in a sunflower field in St. Charles, Mo., the next county over.  However, after further investigation and research by both me and my Mom, we were not able to pinpoint an exact location.  But we decided, after some lunch and rest after our trip back from the lake, that we would give it a go and ask around when we got to the area.  

However, we were unlucky.  We did stumble upon a roadside market with fresh fruits and vegetables though.   The fresh tomatoes, corn, and fruit we bought made the trip worth it.  As we were leaving we spotted these amazing fields of corn (pictured below) that were so tall that I would not have been able to see over them if I stood on my mom's car.  I kept waiting for Shoeless Joe Jackson to walk out. 

St. Charles is an adorable little town with cobble stone streets lined with shops and restaurants that look like they are straight from the Wild West.  My mom and I spent the rest of the afternoon walking around, stopping in the different shops to cool off - and to buy a few things - and taking in the scene.  We ended the afternoon with some drinks at a bar while we watched the Cardinals play.  

^check out that pups face!  totally posing too. 

^view of the Missouri River from one of the pathways to the park behind the main street.

As always, the night ended with wine and a game of rummy.  I have already asked my mom if we can visit St. Charles the day after Thanksgiving when we are there.  I think it will be so cute all lit up for the holidays.

 What are some of your favorite places to revisit?
Do you have parents/relatives that live away that you enjoy visiting with?

Linking up with Bonnie and Tiffany today!

post signature


weekly wishes

 I know you all missed me so, so I apologize for my absence last week.  We spent a lovely weekend visiting with my SIL and her boyfriend in State College that I didn't get the chance to write any posts for the week.  I know I could have written some during the week but I had laundry, cleaning, and The Good Wife watching to do.  Free Cary.
(or two weeks ago)
track: I need to get back on track tracking MFP.  Negative.  Since getting back into weight lifting, I have just been eating whatever while being aware of my sugar and carb intake.  
gift: order prints for my Mom for her Christmas gift. nein.
list: make a packing list for our trip to State College. done.
lunges: be able to do at least two sets of 10 lunges at the gym. yes!  I have been able to do three sets.  And I even added weights:)

dmv: My ID expires the day after my birthday.  I need to head down to the DMV to get a new one.  Doesn't that sound like fun?
gift: order bulk card stock paper (do you recommend any good places to order them from?) and order prints for gifts.
journal: While cleaning out the drawers and bedside table for a friend who is staying in our guest room for a few months, I found my old journals.  It reminded me how much I enjoyed and missed journaling.

What are your goals for the week?
What are Fall shows are you looking forward to?

Linking up with Melyssa, Leeann, and Meg today!

post signature


we have to try | weekly inspiration

If I could go back in time it would be either during the Renaissance time period - only if my family was rich and I got to attend all of those glamorous balls - or the 1960s during the Civil Rights Movement.  I have always found injustices fascinating.  Maybe it is because I grew up in the south but I think it is because it is something I could just never understand.  Treating another human being as an object to be bought, sold, abused, and used just because of the color of their skin or beliefs is unfathomable to me.  

So once I read the description of The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd, I knew I would enjoy it.  A story of two girls - who become impeccable women - who live in Charleston in the early 19th century, one a plantation owner's daughter, Sarah, and the other a slave of the plantation owner, Handful.  The story of how these seemingly two different people's lives come together and how each are affected by the other is beautiful.  This was another one I could not put down.  I loved the different perspectives of the two characters and hearing the story told from each point of view. 

Pictured below is one of my favorite lines from the book.  Anyone with an ounce of compassion and empathy wants to help those who are in need.  I mean isn't it human nature to what to change what is wrong with the World?  
"Life is arranged against us, Sarah.  And it's brutally worse for Handful and her mother and sister.  We're all yearning for a wedge of sky, aren't we?  I suspect God plants these yearnings in us so we'll at least try and change the course of things.  We must try, that's all."

Have you read The Invention of Wings?
If so, what did you think?
If you could go back to  any time period, what would it be?

Linking up with Shanna and Julie today!
post signature


St. Louis, MO | travel tuesday

Back in July, I visited my parents in St. Louis.  It is still one of my favorite cities to spend time in and explore.  Since I have already done the whole arch thing I never want to really do anything but relax and play games (with drinks of course) when I visit.  This time was no different.  However, I was thrilled when my Mom called a few days before my trip to tell me to pack my swim suit because we were heading to my dad's friend's lake house for the night.  Since my parents sold their lake house in Arkansas a few years ago I have missed lazy days on the water so I was pretty pumped.
^view from the window seat:)

^Charlie, my mom's cat, chillin' waiting to be fed.

^morning sunshine in University City.

^morning sun from my parent's front yard.

^Charlie's morning photo shoot.  

Our morning was pretty lazy, as pictured above, so we didn't get as early a start as we had hoped.  Which is pretty  typical and not really a surprise.  The first order of business before hitting the road was to stock up on beers for our lazy afternoon on the lake.  We hit up Craft Beer in Clayton.  Heaven for any beer lover.  And the staff were so helpful and friendly.  They found me a good gluten free beer to get. We then hoped back in the car and were on our way.

^there are few things better than a good book, a hammock and a sunset.

After a day of water biking - yes there is such a thing - and a delicious dinner of Mexican and giant Margs the intention was to play shuffle board.  However, the Cardinals were playing so my parents had to watch some of it. Of course my Mom fell asleep on the couch while watching the game so there was no shuffle board.  So I headed out to get some photos from the dock and the cool moon.  A beautiful night to end a great day on the lake. 

Are you a lake or beach person?
Do you have a favorite place to visit in the Summer?

Linking up with Bonnie and Tiffany today!

post signature


weekly wishes

 How was everyone's weekend?  
A friend of ours was in town from Richmond, VA.  His girlfriend is the head girls soccer coach for VCU and were in town playing Pitt so him and I met up for dinner and happy hour before the game.  VCU was not supposed to win but they did.  I must admit, I was a bit torn on who to root for.  I am glad VCU won since they came all of that way (and because my friend's girlfriend is the coach) but still sad  to see the home team lose. 
Saturday I spent the morning running/walking with Barb for our weekly work-out then came back home and snuggled in bed while I got the blog prepared for the week.  Saturday night the husband and I met up with our friend and to listen to him play at a bar.  I have not seen him play before so it was nice to finally be able to do so. 
We didn't get to bed until late Saturday night so I didn't get out of bed on Sunday until 11.  It was lovely. 

crochet: I would like to work on a few rows here and there throughout the week. I am single crocheting my way to make a giant blanket for our couch.  It will take a lot of time but with football games and Harry Potter to watch I am sure I will have plenty of time to work on it.
gym: workout at the gym three times this week. only made it twice. 
gift: print off quote for my sister for her Christmas gift.  made the quote. just need to find a place to print it off.  any suggestions?

track: I need to get back on track tracking MFP.  As much of a pain in the ass it is to keep up with it does hold me accountable.  Thanks for the reminder Samantha.
gift: order prints for my Mom for her Christmas gift.
list: Making a packing list for our trip to State College this weekend to visit with my SIL and her boyfriend.
lunges: be able to do at least two sets of 10 lunges at the gym.  I forgot how hard these are when your not used to them.

What are your goals for the week?
How did you do last week?

Linking up with Melyssa, LisaMolly, Elizabeth, Meg, and Leeann today!

post signature


close-up | find beauty friday

I have been struggling with accepting the upcoming weather change since July.  Every year I wonder how am I going to survive yet another Winter.  And after last Winter, I am really dreading this one.  BUT I have to keep reminding myself that I still have a few weeks left of warm-ish temps before it even gets to the unbearable, hurts to breath cold that is always inevitable in the NW.  These flowers in my mother-in-law's garden certainly helped brighten my mood over the weekend and reminded me that there are still few weeks left of great weather.  

Other posts from flowers in my MIL's garden: here and here

Are you looking forward to the change of season?
What are some of your favorite moments you captured this week?

Linking up with Aimee today!

post signature


scars | weekly inspiration

When I first set my 2014 reading goal I had every intention of sharing a little review on the books I read.  Alas, it is now September and I have not shared one review.  I honestly cannot remember what I liked, or didn't like, about each book.  I mean I have a hard time remembering yesterday. 
Instead I thought I would share some of my favorite quotes from some of the books that stood out to me.  

I have not finished Little Bee yet - had to take a little break not because I don't like it, in fact I found it rather hard to put down, but because it's pretty dark at times and I found myself getting too emotionally involved in the characters' stories (and it's fiction).  Does that happen to anyone else?  Anyone? No? Bueller? 

Anyway, the quote (below) from the beginning of the book really struck a chord with me.  Accepting our imperfections and not allowing others to knock us down is something everyone needs reminded of on daily basis.
"... and I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly.  That is what the scar makers want us to think.  But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them.  We must see all scars as beauty.  Okay?  This will be our secret.  Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.

Have you read Little Bee?
What does that quote mean to you?
What are you currently reading?
Any favorite quotes that have stood out?

Linking up with Shanna and Julie today! 

post signature


destination dreaming: peru | travel tuesday

Every day now and then I like to check out Kayak Explore (thanks Rachel) to see where in the world I could travel at the price I want to pay.  When I searched the other day, there were flights to Peru starting at $667.  The only thing holding me back, besides having the actual funds to go, are the dates available to travel at this price.  The husband and I have a pretty flexible schedule but if we don't work, we don't get paid.  Until I do get there, I will be dreaming of the beaches, bright colored handmade crafts in the markets, and taking in the views from atop Machu Picchu.  
Source via Pinterest

Have you ever been to Peru?
Have you heard of Kayak Explore before?
Where are you destinations are you daydreaming of?

Linking up with Bonnie, Niki, and Tiffany today!

post signature


weekly wishes

How was everyone's weekend?  I watched Divergent on Saturday while the husband worked.  I really enjoyed it.  Like more than the book.  And trust me when I tell you I hate to say that because the books are normally always so much better than the movies.  However, I was not overly impressed with the book to begin with so there's that.  But of course I will keep reading because I want to know what happens.  And yesterday, we watched the Steelers home opener.  And by watched, I mean I crocheted while the husband watched.  That's how I roll during football season.  

health.  I need to start planning meals for the week ahead of time.  I found a really delicious and easy chicken salad recipe. 
exercise. I want to get back into weight lifting. lifted once. 
routine. I need to get back into a routine. done.

crochet: I spent $94 splurged on yarn yesterday to make a blanket for our couch.  I would like to work on a few rows here and there throughout the week. 
gym: workout at the gym three times this week. 
gift: print off quote for my sister for her Christmas gift. 

What are your goals for the week?
How did you do last week?

Linking up with Melyssa, Molly, Meg, Leeann, and Elizabeth today!

post signature