Friday Faves - Instagram Edition

Soooo, technically this could be called Follow Friday instedda Friday Faves, but let's not quibble, huh? Whichever way you slice it, I'm gonna serve you up some of my current (and some are long-time) favorite Instagrammers. Let's roll!


KAYLAH DOOLAN ~ The Dainty Squid

I started following Kaylah way back in my Flickr days - she has such a vibrant and fun feed - full of color, character and OH those animals! Her cats Professor Stingray (the Siamese shown above) and Squid (the namesake of her blog and IG account but not as often seen - she's shy!) and adorable doggy pal Klaus* are always sure to make you smile with their antics and expressions. She's a huge fan of her home city Cleveland, and takes glorious photos of her surroundings whether it's an abandoned building, a cicada-crowded cemetery, or the shores of her favorite "trash-collecting" lake. I'm never disappointed by a Dainty Squid post, and I bet you won't be either!

*I am almost 100% pawsitive I mess the spelling up EVERY.TIME. on this pupper's name! Kaylah's folks have a big hunka dawg named Krum who is featured occasionally too, and I never know which one is spelled with the "C" and which with the "K" haha! mahbad ๐Ÿ˜…

LOTUS CARROLL ~ Lotus Carroll

Another "Former Flickr Friend" - I started following Lotus when I kicked off my 365 self-portrait project in ... 2011? (and she was a huge inspiration for my getting a nose piercing at the same time!) She is a FANTASTIC photographer, and has some of the most interesting and creative self portraits you'll ever see. She also has a knack for captions that make you get all the "feels" when you look at her imagery. AH JUST LUB HER ๐Ÿ˜  

NINA BAGLEY ~ Nina Bagley

Actually, I think this lady is ANOTHER one I first "met" on Flickr - found & followed via another artist I believe - Nina's pictures are usually of her home and surrounding area in the NC mountains, so it's not hard to figure out why I love them so! Her dog Walter features prominently as well, and he is as charming a fellow as can be. I remember once posting a comment to Nina stating that I always got the feeling from her that we'd meet one day (a statement which was probably NOT made less creepy sounding by me prefacing it with "Not trying to sound like a creeper, ...") but my point is that every image of Nina's - whether it's a lovely vignette of a spot inside her Heartrock Hill cabin, a shot of one of her beautiful handmade jewelry pieces or a capture of a moment of a view from her front porch, you instantly feel like you are at home, sitting with a dear friend.

KATIE DAISY ~ Katie is a Daisy

One of my very favorite artists, Katie Daisy has such an organic & beautiful vibe to her illustrations and paintings - and one look at this shot of her home art studio sums up her style perfectly. I've ALWAYS dreamt of having my own woodsy-cabin-art-studio one day, and when I saw Katie's it was exactly as I'd always thought mine would be. It's so cozy and inviting, and when she posts her "woodland winter snow as seen from the studio" pictures? Well, I DIE from the charming! She also happens to have the most adorable lil boy, and he has been appearing a lot lately with paintbrush in hand - like momma like son!

KARLA REED ~ Karla Reed

Speaking of moms - this one is the bomb! I honestly don't even remember how I came across her feed originally - I no longer have little kids and I'm not really into fashion (though I do love thrifting), but whatever it was that got me here, I love it. Her momstyle is so real but also fresh and charming, and her kids offer up some of the most PERSONALITY FILLED photos you will ever see. In fact #littlecharlottefashions, while I don't think it's kept up anymore (hello? 3 kids now!) - is one of the best hashtags you're gonna see all day. GO LOOK AT THEM ALL! ๐Ÿ˜‚  Karla also does really great product reviews for beauty and kid stuff, if you're into that you'll dig'em.

PAM KESSLER ~ House of Hawthornes

If you like vintage, and thrifting, and cute and creative decorative displays - this is your place! Pam not only finds awesome things for her home, but combines them into artfully arranged seasonal and holiday themed displays (wait until Christmas, OH! mygosh) that are so fun and charming. I posted just today on my own Insta about a thrift-store-score of vintage badminton racquets - WHICH I knew to grab when I saw them BECAUSE of a House of Hawthornes post. So, you might learn a thrifting trick or two, too. Stop on by "The House" - I'm sure you'll feel more than welcome!

WELL, folks! I could keep going - I have so many favorite IG people and would love to share every single one of them with ya right here, right now. But I'll save a few for next time, how'a'bout? I hope you enjoy taking a peek at this small selection, and hope at least a couple of'em become faves of YOURS, too.

Enjoy your weekend!

FRIDAY FAVES - Six Things - April 1, 2016

No foolin'! I'm back at the blog, with another Friday Faves roundup, which coincidentally is where I left off, but a ton has changed since that last post - mainly, we moved from Florida to Tennessee (yay! liefelong dream!) and so the busyness of that took precedence and I wandered away from blogging again. I'll do an in-depth update on the move an all next post (and it WON'T be like, a year from now, haha! promise!) For now though - here's a buncha stuff I am into right now!


I know it's not as "sexy" as the DC cam for Mr President & First Lady who's baby eggs recently hatched, but - this one is semi-local to me and I've been maniacally watching it for weeks! Everytime you check in on it you have the chance to see something amazing - in fact, I JUST pulled it up on my phone to get a quick screenshot to put here and at that EXACT SECOND mama (or, daddy) flew into the nest with a fish - it was still flopping! haha, nature is great ... so's technology, for that matter ๐Ÿ˜‰

Harrison Bay Eagle Cam - LUNCH!

Harrison Bay Eagle Cam - LUNCH!


Like I said, we finally moved to our beloved Smokies this past summer, and while we're currently in a temporary home and area while we get acclimated and make decisions on the future, we LOVE this little town we ended up in, and the spot we call home for now is completely fitting and lovely for what we need at this time. I love to sit on the deck and look across the side road to our neighbors' places - one with a big old country barn in a field, the other with a totally charming yard that's picture-perfect with the spring flowers and trees blooming right now. There's also goats! ๐Ÿ  BAAAAAHAHAHA! Love'em!

My "across the road" neighbors - whatta charming place

My "across the road" neighbors - whatta charming place


The past several years I've been on a self-imposed self-improvement track, and while I've always been a big fan of books and a huge reader, I never really got into the whole self-help or inspirational positive message genre - then I started a new business and one of my mentors made a point of saying Leaders are Readers and gave a huge list of book recommendations and I was hooked! The Secret book is an older book that was real popular a few years back - I got it from the library recently - it's a really easy & fast read and it will change your attitude in a quick minute, believe that. The Crossroads of Should and Must is a well, MUST-READ for anyone struggling with how to find their true path in life - as an artist I was obviously drawn right to the cover (I saw it on a friend's Instagram feed last year) and bought it right away, but only just NOW started reading it! It's another really easy to digest format and it's just a lovely design as well.

note: those are Amazon links and I get a wee lil kickback from them if you order from here.
if ya do, thanks, if ya don't - no sweat, just full disclosure for ya ...
Two books you TOTALLY have time to read!

Two books you TOTALLY have time to read!


Ok, I guess I'm seriously turning into "that girl" - along with my mental outlook adjustment, I've been diving way deeper into the whole natural living thing (yes, I still do essential oils! DUH!) and while I'm not growing my armpit and leg hair out (gross. I mean, sorry, but- GROSS.) I am changing out a lot of the products we use in our home and on our persons. For me, I was never a super fanatic about wearing deodorant/antiperspirant anyway - turns out, that's kinda a GOOD thing! Have you read up on antiperspirant and how bad it actually is for you? We are SUPPOSED to perspire, it helps flush out toxins from your body, and if you're not flushing them out where are they going? They're hanging out in your lymph nodes, planning all kinds of "fun" things (hint: they're NOT even remotely fun.) Aluminum, parabens, petroleum based chemical ingredients? NAHTHANX. Kinda seems like a common sense no brainer really. So yeah I'm done with anti-persp, but I don't wanna stink, ya know! Cue this all organic, destinkerizer: Coconut Dream Natural Detox Deodorant by Organic Fields of Heather. Like, it seriously smells so good, feels like a literal dream going on, and I've been using it for a couple weeks now and I've noticed it lasts all day (I can still smell it when I go to bed) and my pit-skin feels so much softer and less bumpy & irritated. I know I had a commercial brand touted in my last FFaves post! but that was before I realized what a toxic garbage dump I was putting under my arms. DONE!

Just call me pina-colada pits, haha! *item shown not actual size < hah!

Just call me pina-colada pits, haha! *item shown not actual size < hah!


Along the same lines as the all-natural deo, I have been swapping out some other commercial made HBA products, and one of the funnest (and seriously, easiest) things to do is MAKE YOUR OWN SOAP! I went the super lazy way on these by using a pre-made goat's milk soap base which you can get at pretty much any local craft store (Hobby Lobby is MY choice but when your husband works there you're kinda obligated AMIRITE? haha good thing I also happen to dig'em!) and I added my own essential oils* - I used Bergamot, Orange and a Young Living blend called Stress Away, and added some coconut oil for extra yummy moisturizing softness. They smell so good I wanna eat them! You know you wanna make some too, now - don't worry, I'll be sharing recipes & DIY how-to's for fun stuff like this in future posts, you betcha!

*note: I use only Young Living essential oils, and am an Independent Distributor with them. The link will take you to their Seed to Seal page if you'd like to read more about the company, their oils, and their process - if you ever have question or want to know more about it, just ask!
Handmade goat's milk &amp; essential oils soaps

Handmade goat's milk & essential oils soaps


and finally, lest you think I'm some kinda full-on New Age hippie weirdo with all my natural products, let's have a fess up moment where I tell you yes I TRY to eat pretty healthy most of the time, and fresh, organic, local and responsibly sourced foods are a high priority BUT THEN THE WEEKLY FLIERS COME IN THE MAIL AND THERE'S A COUPON FOR BOGO BURGERS AT HARDEE'S AND YOU'RE ALL: MMMMMM, DINNNNNNER! Therefore, I give you:

There were also bacon topped cheese fries cuz WHATEVER, I'M GETTING CHEESE FRIES

There were also bacon topped cheese fries cuz WHATEVER, I'M GETTING CHEESE FRIES

Sweet & Smoky Moonshine Sauce, Crispy Onion Straws & Applewood-Smoked Bacon Strips on a 100% Black Angus Beef patty all served on a Fresh Baked Bun. (do not, I repeat DO!NOT! look up the "nutritional" data on this bad boy. just eat it and be damn happy.) Granted mine didn't LOOK like the picture on the flier (do they ever?) but it was so damn delicious I did not even care. They did forget the crispy onion straws on BOTH our burgers, and I think they used the wrong cheese, but that just means I'mma hafta go back and get another one, hehe. Oh, and hey - here's a coupon - you're welcome ๐Ÿ˜ 

And THAT, as they say - is a wrap! Enjoy this wonderful first day of April, may you not get pranked but if ya do fall for anything, I hope it's fun and funny (mean pranks make me mad) and have a super stellar weekend!

Friday Faves! July 3, 2015

Heyyyyy stranger! (you know - YOU, the one person who reads this stuff. Mom? That you? haha nope - I don't think even my mom reads my blog. HOW. SAD. is THAT?) Anyway, 3 months later. Hi.

Working up the energy to revamp things around here (turns out I DON'T like this template I chose after all the testing and previous decision making, isn't that awesome.) and in the meantime I was looking up old Facebook posts and remembered a thing called Friday Faves! which, is - exactly what it sounds like. My favorite things I've read or saw or whatever from the week. So let's bring it back! And awayyyyyyy we go!


Baby Bear Chatting Up His Ma

Baby Bear Chatting Up His Ma

One of my very very favorite nature (specifically, the Smokies!) photographers is Bill Lea. He documents (among others) the lives of black bears, and his images are beautiful to be sure, but the stories he shares about them are what really set his photos apart. He is all about teaching us humans how to responsibly interact with and appreciate these wonderful creatures, and for that, I thank him <3  You can find more stunning images of bears and nature in general at his website: Bill Lea and on Facebook: Bill Lea Photography - I promise, you will not be disappointed.


Apt. 9 Oversized Envelope Wristlet

Apt. 9 Oversized Envelope Wristlet

GAH! I KNOW! ISN'T IT GREAT?! So, I had to go to the DMV on Wednesday - they have this whole new check-in process using your cell phone and text messaging, where you can essentially check-in, get in the queue, and then YOU CAN LEAVE. They update you with current wait time periodically then alert you about 15 minutes from your number being called so you can get back. Pretty spiffy! I didn't trust it at first ;-) so I only went across the street to Kohl's to kill some time and $pend some of my birthday giftcard money. I saw this and my heart went ZING! plus it was on sale AND the only one left so I snapped that sucker up! B&W stripes on one side, B&W polka dots on the other. Bigger than a regular wristlet, not as huge as a fullsize envelope clutch. Plus interior pockets for cell phone and assorted other girly paraphernalia. All the wins. Get it here: Apt. 9 Luna Travel Wristlet @ Kohl's

OH RIGHT! the DMV - well, let's just sum it up by saying I ended up trusting the system, going home, coming back when they texted me - easy peasy! And then they were unable to solve my issue anyway. HAH! Whatever.  I gotta cool new bag!


Photojojo Wide-Angle Macro Lens Combo for iPhone 6

Photojojo Wide-Angle Macro Lens Combo for iPhone 6

Couple Christmases ago "Santa" brought the boys and I a set of cell phone lenses he apparently got on sale at Photojojo. There were three - a fish-eye, a polarizer, and the wide angle / macro combo lens (guess which one Mom got, heh.) Fast forward to me getting a new iPhone and BooHoo my old lens won't fit cuz it needs a different type of attachment piece (they're magnetic, so you apply the attachment ring or plate to your device, then the lenses interchange off of that. Plus they come with little keychain type holders and lens caps). This week PJo had a flash sale that I happened to be right on time for, and nabbed a new combo lens AND attachment for the iPhone 6 for like $10! It came yesterday, and save a tiny issue where my current case won't let the lens sit *quite* flat againt the phone - it still works great and I AM SO HAPPY to be back in macro action! Here are a few quick pics I took with just the phone + lens, no filters or edits.

The flash sale is over but even at the regular price it's a good buy for a sweet lil cell phone lens. And they have other lenses and are available for a buncha phone models, even Android. PLUS! If you go thru this link you get $5 off (I think it's a min $25 purchase) and then *I* get a $5 buck coupon for next time. An' not to put any pressure on ya, but - I been eyein' up a Gorillapod Mobile stand, sooooo ... jus'sayin' ...

Okay! That's the faves this week - (I know - short 'n sweet, that's how I do! ... well, not really  - long & convoluted is usually how I do, concise and succinct I really gotta work at) Tune in next week when I rave about new faves! WHEEEEEE!
And oh yeah - hey USA - Happy 4th of Fireworks and BBQs and junk! Hurrah! (uh, where's the dog?) ...