Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Surprise Introduction

Introducing.....A New Family Member
Hello Everyone! I'm excited today to introduce our newest family member! Please meet "Frisky Furmat Ross" our new kitten that we adopted two days ago from the Asheville Humane Society. He is a chunk of sweetness.
We wanted to wait a respectful amount of time, after losing Gracie, before getting another cat. Our house felt so empty, though, that we needed to go ahead with a new kitty. Our pets are never "replacements," because you can't replace a family member. They are "additions" to our family. We feel like we have Gracie's blessing with this little guy.
Because it has been seventeen years since we brought Groucho and Gracie home as kittens, we have forgotten just how small kittens are! We are told that this little guy is five months, but we are wondering if he might actually be younger. His behaviors are really young. He cries some when he wakes up and makes little noises when he eats. He was up and down the first night we had him but last night he slept well through the night.
Needless to say, we are enamored with this little guy. We kind of surprised ourselves picking out a boy. He came to us immediately when we entered the kitten room at the shelter and climbed up on both of our laps without hesitation. He is a real snuggler! We have debated names back and forth but finally settled on Frisky. His middle name is a play on the famous mathematician, Fermat. We just changed the spelling to Furmat. (Wink, wink). As proud fur parents we just know he will be the smartest cat around! If you are curious to know more about Pierre de Fermat, the mathematician, you can read about him here

So what's new in your life? Big upcoming plans for the 4th? Hope you will take a moment to let me know. And please remember to recommend to all your friends! Follow me on Google+ and Facebook. Sign up for blog posts by email so you never miss a post! 

Until Next Time,

"Shhhhh....Frisky's sleeping....."

*Photography be William Ross. All photos property of

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Casual Styling with Jeans and Quote T-Shirt

How To Style A Casual Look

Can you keep your outfit super casual and yet still be stylish? That is the question of the day. I think you can, especially if you have a stylish "Quote T-Shirt" which are so popular right now.

It seems as if everywhere you look on the blogs these days folks are wearing shirts with words or quotes on them. I honestly was never a big fan of shirts with words on them. For a long time I thought they were "tacky" and they are still not a style that I purposely look for. But, I have truly enjoyed this particular T-Shirt with a quote by Tolkien. I got this T-Shirt when I donated to a fundraiser for the son of a colleague of mine who was embarking on an Outward Bound trip and was raising funds. The T-Shirt is a color I love and it is a "woman's fit" which means it has a flare at the bottom rather than a straight cut like a man's T-Shirt. I probably shouldn't admit this, but I honestly didn't know they made T-Shirts cut especially for women. Duh! I love the way this shirt fits and feels and I really like the quote. 

Adding my Vintage Blues skinny jeans, my Gloria Vanderbilt jeans jacket and my comfy tennis shoes completes my casual outfit. 

This is a style I could literally live in every day! This is a very "Debbie" outfit!

Are you a fan of casual styling? Are you "yay" or "nay" on word/quote shirts? Hope you'll chime in and let me know your thoughts. I always enjoy hearing from you. And, please remember to recommend to others.

Until Next Time,

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturday Scriptures #22-Finding God in Nature

God's Glory On Tour In Nature

God's glory is on tour in the skies,
God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
Professor Night Lectures each evening.

Their words aren't heard,
their voices aren't recorded,
But their silence fills the earth;
unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.
Psalm 19:1-2 (The Message)

In my opinion, nature is a teacher. When I look at the beauty of the earth in the woods, the sky and the seas, I know that God is alive and working not only in my life and the lives of others, but also in the world around me. I always feel close to God when I am in nature. The silence speaks volumes to me of God's love and plans for me and those I love and care about. The silence speaks of the truth of God. How can someone look at the world that God has made and not believe? For me, that is impossible. Some people feel that they worship best when they are outside in nature. I don't believe that is true for myself, but I understand those who feel that way. My husband calls the outdoors, "The Green Cathedral." I hope you can take a few moments to enjoy "The Green Cathedral" and to feel close to God in this space that He has created for our pleasure and enjoyment. 


*Your thoughtful comments are always welcome. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Creating An Updo With A Hairpiece

Accessorizing With A Hairpiece

Hey there readers! Ninety percent of the time when you see me, my hair will look something like it does in this picture. Somewhere around shoulder length, or a little bit longer. But, from time to time, I like to update my look with an "updo" and today I'm going to share one of my secrets for creating the updo look. 

Can you tell I'm wearing a hairpiece? I am, and I think the piece matches my hair color really well. 

The hairpiece I'm wearing uses a simple clip. I'm holding the clip open in this picture so you can see it. 

This is what the other side looks like. This is the side that people see when I'm wearing it. This particular style clip is kind of the "messy bun" look. 

The fun thing about wearing this hair piece is I can create different looks wearing it higher or lower on the back of my head. It's so easy. I just pull my own hair into a ponytail holder, but on the second loop I stop pulling the hair through about halfway so I have a little "loop" of hair sticking through the rubber band. Then I clip the hair piece on top of my ponytail and spread out the hair on the hairpiece to make sure my ponytail is covered. I always check the back with a mirror to make sure you can't see my own hair in the ponytail holder.

Depending on the length and/or the thickness of your hair you may need to use hairpins to secure your own hair flatter against your head. I didn't need to do that, though. 

So, do you ever wear hair pieces? I actually own several different hairpieces. Some work with a clip like the one today, some work with a "claw" clip that clips on the back of my head and a couple have braids that spread out from a ponytail holder that I simply place over the "loop" of hair that I pull through the ponytail holder and then I secure the piece with hairpins. I'll try to show you some of my other pieces in future posts. Now here is the best part about these pieces; they aren't that expensive! I have purchased my pieces over the years mostly at the drugstore from the hair section. One, however, was purchased for $1 at a Dollar General store! And there is a fun story about that particular piece. I was wearing it at church one day and the person behind me in the choir line said, "How long did it take you to braid your hair that way?!"  They had absolutely no idea I was wearing a hairpiece! Obviously, if you are thinking of getting a piece, you want to make sure to match the color as closely to your own hair color as possible. Unless, of course, you purposely want to make a statement with different color hair! I have found that most of the drugstore hairpieces tend to have sort of a "highlighted" color look so that the piece blends well with different hair colors within that particular color family. And there are always lighter, medium tone and darker tone choices available. So, have some fun with your hair! Even if you have shorter hair, you can wear these clip pieces as long as you can make a tiny little ponytail. The hairpiece will cover the tiny ponytail up! Hairpieces are a great way to help you cope with those bad hair days or days when you just want to change up your look a little. Hope you enjoyed today's post. Let me know what you think!

Until Next Time,

Monday, June 19, 2017

Places to Hike in the North Carolina Mountains

Places to Hike in North Carolina

Hope you have your hiking shoes on today, because I'm going to take you on a couple of recent hikes that I have done with Mr.thisandthat. I'll wait if you need to go put your shoes on!

As you can see from the first image, this hike was in the Pisgah National Forest. We started at the Big East Fork Trail head and then headed down off the trail to our destination; the Big East Fork Pigeon River. 

There weren't a lot of miles on this hike, but there was a whole lot of beautiful scenery! The Pigeon River has rushing water over huge boulders surrounded by lots of trees and shrubs.

The sound of the rushing water was both soothing and relaxing.

I'm not a long distance hiker like my husband, so when we hike together we usually go for shorter distances and really pretty views. This hike definitely fit those requirements for me!

The Mr. was in his element snapping photos.

And I was in my element sitting on a rock enjoying the beauty that surrounded me! It was a happy day on this river hike. Now....are you ready to go up high? Follow me onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and we'll get you up into the high country. 

We're going to head up to Craggy Gardens area on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  This is a hike we just did this past Friday.

We took a friend along on this hike. This is "Sophie" the exchange teacher from China who has been teaching Chinese at my husband's High School this past year. She heads back to China in a few days and had not had the opportunity to hike while she has been here. 

She was excited to see the mountains and it was fun for us to see her reaction to the scenery. She really enjoyed the hike!

Craggy Gardens area is known for its beautiful rhododendron blooms. Sophie was unfamiliar with this flower and learned about it on the trail.

It was rainy and there was distant thunder on the way up, but we still managed to get some pretty good views. Sophie told the Mr. that, "Debbie hikes slow."  Tell me something I don't already know! She then told him that I must hike slow so I can "go all day." That is definitely not me!  I'm like the tortoise from "The Tortoise and the Hare." Slow and steady wins the race when I hike....but, I don't typically go all day! I'm always at the back of the pack, though. Oh well....

We had a good time together. Here's Mr.thisandthat and I at the top.

And, of course, we had to take a "selfie" at the top! For reference, the trail we were on is not the main trail that goes to the top of Craggy Pinnacle, but rather a side trail that begins at the lower visitor center. It still gets you up high with beautiful scenery and balds at the top. There is also a covered shelter about mid-way up the trail that is a pretty site. We went past this to the top of the bald. 

*Hope you had fun hiking with me today!  Do you like to hike? Where do you go? I'm more of a "walker" than a "hiker" but I do enjoy when we are in the beauty of nature. And, it's always more fun with a friend, so thanks for going with me today! Hope you'll leave a comment. Let me know what you are up to this summer. Your comments make my day! And, please remember to recommend to others!

Until Next Time,

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Saturday Scriptures #21-Belonging to the Family of God

A Sense of Belonging

That's plain enough isn't it? You're no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You're no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone.  Ephesians 2: 22

Some things just belong together don't they? Like cake and ice cream for instance. What would a birthday celebration be without these go together favorites? One belongs with the other. That's just the way it is. There are many things that go together in life. Like husbands and wives, children and their parents, shoes and socks, the list goes on and on. These things simply belong together. One without the other doesn't make sense. 

Todays' scripture speaks to the idea of belonging. Except this belonging is the most important belonging of all. Because in this case, we belong to the family of God. As believers, we are no longer wandering about trying to figure out what we believe. We are not strangers or outsiders. We have faith in Jesus and we belong as part of the family of God. 

This idea of belonging has been on my mind lately. Probably because I have had some experiences recently that made me question my sense of belonging. Has that ever happened to you? You attend a function, but, somehow, you feel that you don't really belong there. It could be because of people's attitudes or their actions (or lack thereof). Whatever the reason, you just don't feel like you belong. It's not a great feeling. It's awkward and leaves one feeling like they are on the outskirts of everything that is going on in the moment. There is very much the feeling of being an outsider. 

As believers, we belong to a family. And, as such, we have a sense of belonging with other believers. We may attend different houses of worship, or worship more or less formally, but we all belong to God's family. As the scripture tells us, our faith is our "home country." As we meet other believers, we are meeting our family members of the faith. There is no room for leaving others out, or causing others to feel that they "don't belong." No one need be exiled in God's family. We all belong. Thanks be to God. 

"For in Him we live and move and have our being." 
Acts 17:28


Monday, June 12, 2017

How To Incorporate Veggies (and fruits) At Every Meal

Powerhouse Breakfasts Lunches & Dinners

(I am not a dietitian or nutritionist and this is not a sponsored post. All writing/opinions are my own.)

Think you can't eat vegetables for breakfast? Think again! I'm going to give you some ideas today for how to incorporate veggies (and fruits) into every meal of the day! 

Breakfast can be a tough one for incorporating veggies.  However, I have grown to love sauteed spinach and tomatoes over my eggs in the morning. Sometimes I saute the little grape tomatoes and sometimes I use canned Italian diced tomatoes. I saute the spinach in olive oil and some onion powder and then add in the tomatoes. Delicious! And, yes, technically tomatoes are a fruit. So I am having a little fruit and veg on my morning eggs!

Now, let's move on to lunch! How about a delicious veggie pizza? We like ours with lots of broccoli, tomato, onion, mushrooms, and banana peppers.

Or sometimes we go for spinach, green pepper and black olives. Either way is OK. We like to go light on the cheese and pile on the veggies. 

Now, although I'd love to eat pizza for lunch every day, I know I can't! So to get in my veggies I might opt for a great spinach salad. I like to add in chopped up almonds, apples and Craisins for a great taste sensation.

I like the reduced sugar variety of Craisins. If you've never tried these, I highly recommend it! Craisins are dried cranberries with the texture of a raisin. They really add delicious flavor to my spinach salads. If I don't have Craisins, I throw in some raisins. Still a great flavor topped with my balsamic vinegar and olive oil homemade dressing. 

Now, I don't know if you're like me or not....but, I tend to rely on certain tried and true vegetables at dinner time. Sometimes, I think I'm going to turn into green beans and potatoes! So, I like to hunt for variety in the types of dinner vegetables we eat and the ways I prepare them. These vegetable skewers were a hit for dinner recently! 

So delicious and easy to make! I simply soaked the wooden skewers beforehand in water and then poked the skewers through grape tomatoes, green peppers and mushroom pieces that I had cut into bite size pieces. I used my Caphalon stove top grill pan sprayed with a little olive oil and drizzled some additional olive oil over each skewer. The veggies came out soft and were grill marked to perfection. Served with tilapia over a bed of rice, this was a tasty meal!

And now, let's talk dessert! What?! Can we get our veggies in our desserts? You bet, if you are eating this delicious zucchini cake! I can't take credit for this amazing cake as it is made by my sister, Sharon. She makes this for me every time I come home to visit in West Virginia and it is such a treat! Mmmmm....wish I had a big old piece right now!

Guess I'll have to opt for my tried and true fruit salad!

So, there you have it! Veggies (and fruits) for breakfast, lunch, dinner and...even dessert! I try to get in my fruits and veggies every day. But, I have to admit that I sometimes fail. I love all types of foods and have a MAJOR sweet tooth! So each day presents a new challenge to me to make healthy food choices. How about you? How do you incorporate vegetables (and fruits) into each meal? Anybody got a great recipe for spinach cookies?

Until Next Time,

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Saturday Scriptures #20-Finding Strength and Courage in Tough Times

Finding Strength In Tough Times
Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”(Deuteronomy 31:6)

Tough times come to all of us and can come for a variety of reasons. Day to day living, decision making, health issues, anxiety, job worries, financial situations....the list is endless and depends on what each individual person is going through at any given time. When tough times happen, we often feel as if we are at sea floating all alone. Tough times are universal, however. As humans, we all experience them. Today's scripture is a powerful reminder to me that, during whatever tough times life may bring, we are not alone. The Lord our God is with us. He goes with us through the difficulties and is right by our side strengthening and sustaining us. Sometimes, because of our humanness, it is hard to "feel" the Lord beside us. During these times, we must rely on faith and not on feeling. Easier said than done, I know. Because, I have been there many times. I remember when my husband went through a very difficult heart surgery. I was stressed to the max and full of fear. I had faith....but, I just couldn't seem to "feel" God with me. I remember a family member telling me that I had to "allow God to take care of things." It was hard to understand what this meant at the time. But, I came to realize that I was trying to be the one in control, rather than letting God be in control. God was in total control during my husband's surgery and recovery. But, I wanted to be the one in control. When I was able to "let go and let God" I was able to relax more. I continue to struggle with this even today. It is human to want to be in control of our life situations. This scripture reminds me, and can remind all of us, that God will never fail or forsake us. I hope that today you are not experiencing tough times. But, if you are, take hope in the fact that you are not alone. God is fully present with you in whatever you may be going through.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2


*Your thoughtful comments are always welcome and appreciated.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Do It Yourself Decorative Laundry Area Signs

Crafty Wooden Do It Yourself Signs

These do it yourself wooden signs were fun and easy to make for the laundry area in our home. I only needed a few supplies and used scrap wooden blocks left over from Mr.thisandthat's wood working.

These are the supplies I used to create these wooden signs. I used leftover white paint we had to paint the wooden blocks. 

I chose colors of ribbon that would match well with the colors on our washer/dryer set....

And the rug on the laundry area tile floor....

Since our laundry area is next to my husband's shop area, separated by a low wall, I chose a saying that I felt incorporated both areas. The tool stickers were purchased from AC Moore and stick right onto the painted wood with no problem. I used a Sharpie metallic paint marker for the writing. 

Get it?  Laundry Builds Over Time.....I think I'm so clever sometimes, Ha!  I thought the clothes pins looped through the ribbon on top added a nice touch, as well.

No words on the companion piece, just tools. 

These decorative wooden signs sit so nicely on the half wall between the laundry and shop area and add a colorful and festive look to the area!

Have you created your own do it yourself decorative signs for your home? They are quite popular right now and I have purchased several for around our home. This is my first foray into do it yourself wooden sign craftiness and I'm pretty pleased with the results! Hope you'll leave me a message and let me know what you think!

Until Next Time,

Linking with: A Delightsome Life (In future posts this will be added to my Where I Party tab. )