life is always about the journey...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Boot Stompin' Fun!

I like music.  I like all music unless its screamo. Yes I will even rap some for you.
I have over 15,000 songs on my very first iPod (yes its old as dirt, don't judge).
My music goes thru all decades and genres.
 I love finding new artists. ReverbNation and I are BFFs. 

I love following artists on Twitter...and a lot of them follow me. I like supporting artists that are deserving of good fortune and for folks to take a listen to.  In another life I would so be a music concert/artist promoter!
Oh and I'm a Twitter fiend..can't help myself.

I don't censor music for myself or my teens..I never have.
Nor do I censor books.
 My teens listen to all types of music which makes me happy.
I only have to hear a song twice and I know all the words...I'm weird like that.
I can sing along with most any song you play...and my daughter inherited that gene..we are real annoying like that.  ;)

But my favorite genre is country...I can remember listening to country at age 4 in the backseat of my parent's station wagon singing along to songs on the 8-track.
Yeah I'm that old...I've listened to 8 tracks, records, tape cassettes to digital music.
 I love that fact even if it makes me old, like a dinosaur :) shhhh.
John Denver, Jim Croce, Bread, Clearwater Creedence, Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Willie those songs take me back.

And to think record players are back on makes you hipster to listen to "vinyl" they call it.
I still call them records. I'm still confused by this "hipster" annoys me. I have no idea why.
Alexa got a record player for Christmas...its pretty cute! (see pic above)
I want to steal some of my mom's old day...when she's not looking (ha)!

I spend my extra money on books for my Kindle, music, antiques and concerts.
Things that make my heart and soul happy.
There is nothing like going to a concert and listening to music live. Its a whole 'nother level.
You are listening to this music, this artist...with others that know all the words and love it too.
The sound reverbates in your body...if you don't dance & shout & sing...well I don't know what to say.
It will move you......

during Florida Georgia Line's "Shine On" performance

I think I went to 29 concerts last year. And each one was a fabulous experience.
Tim McGraw was the best...we were right at the stage..yep touched him a few times <sigh>..but oh
just the whole experience...unforgettable.
I will go to concerts when I'm old and in a wheelchair...I will rock the hipster style in my jazzed and blinged out doubt. Because I can.
Watch me!

Tyler Farr

I collect stories and experiences along the way. To me there is nothing better than having a memory, an experience and a story to share and remember.
Stories follow me.
It's just who I am.
Life is all about the stories.

Brian of Florida Georgia Line

My mom, my daughter and I like to go to concerts together.
We will travel and spend the night if need be..have car will travel I say.
We've stood in lines for 5+ hours to be first in the "pit" and right at the stage.
I've run like a crazy woman to be first at the stage...yes I will run you over.
I have almost passed out from the heat and frozen from the cold.
I have crazy, fun, weird experiences at most concerts.
Oh the stories I could tell.
I will tell you just one today.
This isn't the craziest...if you follow me on Facebook you've heard some of the craziest!

Tyler of Florida Georgia Line (my fave)

Recently my mom, me and my daughter traveled to Charlottesville, VA to see
Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line and Tyler Farr in concert. I won't tell you how many times I've seen the first two acts...its a lot...I may be obsessed...not roadie obsessed but close to it!
 And Charlottesville is our second home...we are there a lot to see concerts.
Its a pretty town...great restaurants...home of UVA...lots to do.
But concerts are my #1 reason for visiting.

Florida Georgia Line

This year I picked up our tickets at will call in the 10 deg weather and stood in a very LONG line to get in.
They scanned our tickets and told us the tickets were cancelled and we had to go BACK to will call.
You probably don't know me well...if you do then you are holding your breath waiting to see what I did..because you know how I am...ha!
  I lack a filter at times and I don't back down easily, nor can you think you can walk over me. Don't underestimate me at any time. I'm very a point...then all bets are off.

I told them there was no way IN HELL we'd go back around the huge arena to will call in that weather when I had just been there...their problem, not mine.
After much consideration on many people's part....
They decided they could walk us through the arena instead...and were worried we might run away.

The people in front of us at will-call were told their tickets were fake...the woman was stunned...
she said nothing.  Ummm that wouldn't have been my reaction at all.
My mom and daughter were slowly backing away from me and the window...they knew what I was going to do or say and it wasn't going to be pretty...if they told me the same.
Luckily for them we didn't need to go there ;)
They had moved us from Row J on the floor to the front of the stage behind the pit...they had to move our row for whatever reason. So we ended up with much better seats and I didn't have to make a scene.
My migraine and rant was receding from memory at this point.

Of course there was the issue of my car..ummm ya could possibly be towed.
We park at the outlets and walk over because of time we were stuck in the parking garage for 1.5 hours AFTER the show ended..yeah never again.
Its just easier to park at the outlets, walk and I've done it before.
Well this year there were signs..ummm I didn't see those..someone knocked them over <wink>
I texted the hubs that we could be towed but that he shouldn't have to worry.
His response...."ok"...the man knows me too well...he never gets overly excited.

I mean being towed would be easier to explain than a phone call from jail right?
And he's always waiting for a jail call...hmmpppftttt...wouldn't be my fault if that happened ;)
I mean if you are drunk and touching or annoying me, I will make sure you know I'm not happy.
If you spill stuff on me because you drank too much, you will know I'm not happy.
If you try to push my daughter or mother, you will know I'm not happy.
If you hit my car, you will know I'm not happy.
Get the drift?

Florida Georgia Line put on the most amazing, hoppin' concert it will blow your mind.
They are my fave!

But we had a good time.
The concert was amazing...our seats were the best.
And I got these great pictures.
So I could remember...and share with you.
Aren't you lucky?

Jason Aldean

We finished up the evening with our usual trip to the Waffle House.
That's good eatin' right there...mmmm.
Open 24 breakfast foods.
Just say yes to smothered hash browns, egg sandwiches and chocolate chip waffles.
Does a body GOOD...real good!

And we came home with some more stories.
To add to the memory bank.
Because that's what its all about.
Being together, having fun, laughing and enjoying!

Have you been to a great concert lately?
Who is your favorite act to see?
Are you a music addict like myself?
Tell me!!!


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Cool Beans--Innovative Products!

HI everyone!  Hope your end of January is going well! February will soon be here and we have a super BUSY month!  We are an excited Olympic watching family...cannot wait till the Winter Olympics start soon...we schedule our TV watching around it.  And we can't forget the SuperBowl..always a big event in our house.  We've had lots of SuperBowl parties and last year we watched it in Baltimore, in a great pub surrounded by other Ravens fans. After the Ravens won it was such a cool experience to see everyone in the city pour out into the streets, horns beeping and people just celebrating...something we will never forget!  And then my son turns 16 in did that happen LOL?  Then its my mom's birthday the next day and then Valentine's a very busy but happy month (minus the snow & cold temps of course)!


I thought I'd share some NEW and COOL innovative products that I've been introduced to recently.  Some may toot your horn and some may not...but always fun to see new ideas and things that help us along in some way through life! And quite a few that made me go "hmmmm why didn't I think of that?"

My daughter packs her lunch for school everyday...she's never been interested in the cafeteria meals like my son.  And she complains the lines are too long to use the microwaves so she will sometimes take soup in a thermos but never anything else that needs to be warmed up.  UNTIL I found these Lava lunch bags...heat your food and these bags keep them HOT for 6 hours.  Great alternative for those that have no access to an oven or microwave for their meals out. Invented by a mom too :)

My son goes thru laces like water...I like to think its just because he's a boy LOL. But he also hates tying his shoes and the laces just hang out and get stomped on arghhhh.  So someone recommended these to me and I thought "how cool...why didn't I think of that?"  They come in all colors including white and black and are a nice alternative if you don't want to lace or worry about tying.

I saw this pinned on Pinterest a few weeks ago..then I went and watched the video HERE and I fell in love..not hard to do for me!  I usually peel things over my trashcan because I don't want to clog my garbage disposal (don't ask about the time I clogged it with potato peels before 16 people showed up for Thanksgiving years ago). But this would be awesome to have to put in my sink to peel things, rinse produce and the video and you will think "hmmm why didn't I invent that"!

I think these are super can use them to easily pour anything you may have canned or bought that is in a mason jar. Use them to create fun drinking bottles, great for kids too!  So many uses!

I'm a ponytail kinda girl on days I'm working on projects or if I'm being active outside or at an outdoor event.  Sometimes a problem when its super cold out like this winter we are having.  I saw these Peekaboos Ponytail Hats on Pinterest and I think they are so cute..great way to wear a hat and have your ponytail too (and not smooshed). These similar hats on Etsy are custom made and cute as well!

I only drink white wine gives me massive headaches so I skip it. And my favorite is Ice Wine from Upstate New York and Canada...its so yummy and it must be really cold when you drink it. I like all my white wine really chilled and you know it gets warm quickly when sitting out.  My mom got me this Corkcicle for Christmas and I love just freeze it and pop it in your wine after opening and it keeps it nice and cold without having to put it in a bucket. Also good for bringing red wines to room temps if need be. Great for when you the weather turns nice and you are eating outside too!

And for the techies like myself I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how awesomely rad & cool Google Chromecast is!  Yup turn any HDTV into a Smart content from the internet with a WIFI that means shows/videos from Hulu, Netflix, Youtube & more using your smartphone, tablet or computer/laptop to control it.  For only $35!
And for even more high powered tech news...check out Google Glass...this is the future baby!


This is just a short list of some of the cool items I've read about, seen on TV or have myself.
I could go on and on for days...I love innovative products and I'm a huge techie so I always like to see all the new ideas.  CES (Consumer Electronic Show) in Las Vegas is super fun if you ever get to go...I was like a kid in the candy store when I went in the past!

Any new, cool and innovative products that have caught your eye lately??


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

For the Love of Books!

Do you like to read?  It is one of my most FAVORITE things to do when I have down time.  Now I don't have much down-time (LOL) but I do read every night before bed no matter what. The house is quiet, everyone is in bed and no one is needing you can usually find me reading late into the wee hours. I have been known to read a book until 4 am..shhhh..but if its truly a page turner I HAVE to finish it.  Books have never ever put me to sleep..instead they keep me awake LOL! I try to read 3-5 books a week...I'm a pretty fast reader and I have a lot of books begging to be read on my Kindle.  And I usually have 2 books going on at once...yes I know that's odd but its what I do.

I like to read all types of books-- memoirs, mysteries, fantasy, drama, action, etc....but it MUST have a good compelling story. If its not written well or doesn't have a meaty story than I lose interest real quick.  Romances are fine as long as they have a good story along with the romance...I don't like the light and fluffy stuff much any more these days.  And yes I read Harlequin romances when I was a teen and they are OK but not something I read these days...been there and read all that. And don't get me started on those 50 Shades of Grey books LOL. I understand the "appeal" but they weren't for me and yes I tried to read the first one but couldn't get through it.  I've heard the other two in the series are better but that's ok...I don't feel I'm missing a darn thing by NOT reading them! And that's the beauty of books I do think. There is a book and a genre that suits everyone and you get to choose what you wish and read when you can.  And I never judge someone for the books they read...its such a personal endeavor and everyone has favorite genres depending on their place and time in life.  One year you may need the excitement of Clancey's Jack Ryan & John Grisham's spy books and the next year need a Christian romance like those of Colleen Coble or a fun memoir of Julia Child.  Its ALL GOOD...never be embarrassed by what you read..that's silly and if someone says something otherwise than perhaps they are having a very "stoooopid" moment in their own lives. ;)

To me books are like the best on-going movies in your read the story, you picture what they look and sound like and you pretty much get to be the imaginary set designer. You get to visit all these places you might not be able to in real life, envison what the past may have been like to live in, and wonder what the world may be like in the future.  I think that's why so many times the movies based on books are not as good...because we've already set up the characters, the sounds, the sets and more in our heads ever so diligently and beautifully right?  And with a book there is so much more description of characters and sets, more back story, so much more emotion going on than can ever be displayed on a big screen.  Although some book-based movies take on their own flavor and work their own magic like The Help, Fried Green Tomatoes, Charlotte's Web, and Narnia to name a few.

I am a Kindle addict although I will admit when they hit the market a few years ago I was skeptical. But my husband got me my first Kindle for Christmas that year and I was hooked within hours. Yes there is nothing like the FEEL of a book or the smell of an old book...but there is also nothing like being able to download a book in 5 secs and easily carry 200 books in your purse ;) Ask my mom..she was a slow convert but she's hooked now hahaha!  I've graduated from that first Kindle to a Kindle Fire and Alexa has one as well...we both are the readers in our family. My son and husband do not read for pleasure and I always thell them they are so missing out. I also share books with my mom and sister as well, they are linked to my account so I can easily do that.  So if you share books with your family you may want to link accounts and there is more info on Amazon Help about that.

Work the System---Free/Discounted Books

There are a ton of great sites where you can get FREE or discounted books online and I've listed some of my favorites below.  I also recommend you sign up for the Amazon Kindle newsletters for daily discounted books as well.  I have gotten many books for free or under $2 so don't think you have to pay full price all the time.  I've also found new authors through free books offered on Amazon like Sarah Addison Allen. I'm reading her new book right now but her very first book was free on Amazon the first year I had my Kindle and she's now one of my favorite authors. So don't think just because its "FREE" that it isn't good or not worth reading...go ahead and try it out..its not like you are paying for it and you may be happily surprised.

SAMPLE a book...if you aren't sure of the author, the way they write or how the story will flow then click on "SEND SAMPLE NOW" and Amazon will send a sample of the book to your Kindle. Usually 1-2 chapters so you can check it out before you purchase.

Lending Library: If you are an Amazon Prime member you can also "borrow/rent" books through Amazon's Lending Library.  There is no deadline date for reading it however you can only loan one out at a time. See more info on that HERE.

A lot of Classic novels are offered for free on Amazon and other websites as well. So if you want to read Pride & Prejudice or Call of the Wild you can find them for free or under $3.

Most libraries do loaning of books to those with E-Readers...just check with your local library to see how to sign up and what they have to offer.

FUN TIP:  in the Amazon or Barnes & Noble search box type in 0.00 and a list of all free books will come up at once

Some authors do pre-book stories or short stories and offer them for free on Amazon. Lots of times these are lead-in stories for their next book and usually very good.  Or they may just be some short stories the author wanted to share.  I'm reading Sarah Addison Allen's new book "Lost Lake" which came out a few days ago. But in December she offered a FREE story "Waking Kate" (still free) that was a lead-in to the book I'm reading now. So it gives a bit more back story and prepares you for the book to come.

I do pre-order books from my favorite authors on Amazon..there is something super exciting about getting the book at midnight before its even hit the shelves..its gives me a bit of a thrill.  Because I am THAT book geek kinda gal!  So if you know your favorite author has a book coming out, check to see if you can pre-order it.  Do NOT ask me how much I spend on books and magazines...its not pretty...however it is something I enjoy and something I've always budgeted for.
discounted books daily

lists all the free Kindle books offered up daily

free and discounted books daily

If you've bought ANY hardcover books thru Amazon from 1995 till now, they 
offer the E-Reader version heavily discounted if you want to get it for your Kindle.

Free copies of classic books and many others



I list a lot of the books I've read, want to read or am currently reading on Goodreads...if you aren't a member it is free to join and you can follow friends and others to see what they are reading. Its great for new book and author recommendations as well.  I have also gotten free books from new authors on that site as long as I review it when I'm done.

If you really love, love, love the author or book you've read go and LIKE them on Facebook so you can keep up with them and any new releases or snippets of new books. They also list any book signings or places they may be to meet them..that's always fun.  One of my fave authors who isn't hugely known is Kathryn Wall and her books are all set in Hilton Head, SC (one of our fave vacation places that we visit each year)..she writes mysteries with a woman heroine named Bay Tanner and they are really good, but read them in order..I believe there are 12 so far! She goes to a local restaurant (Jump & Phils) some evenings and signs books and chats with readers...she's a hoot and I so enjoyed meeting her. We were lucky that we were the only ones there that particular night so she joined us for dinner and a nice chat...very memorable!

Most authors are on Twitter as well...if you tweet that is..and I've conversed with many of my fave authors on there.  They like to hear from their readers I assure you and its fun to pick their brains a bit as well!  :)

Suzanne's bookshelf: currently-reading

The Love Goddess' Cooking School
0 of 5 stars
tagged: currently-reading
The Invention of Wings
0 of 5 stars
tagged: currently-reading
Lost Lake
0 of 5 stars
tagged: currently-reading
The Splendour Falls
0 of 5 stars
tagged: currently-reading


So what's on your Kindle these days?  Reading something so good that you have to share?
TELL ME!!! I love to hear new recommendations!


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Organize It!

Its the New Year...that means a lot of folks (including me) are looking to CLEAN OUT THE CLUTTER and get their houses & spaces organized.  I don't know about you but clutter not only clutters my house but it clutters my brain...makes me feel a bit crazy.  I have been known to have huge mini meltdowns when there is too much clutter..whether its on my kitchen table, my closet, my craftroom, wherever.  And then I ATTACK...I will dump everything and go full steam ahead to clean and organize it until it makes me happy again. 

And once you get an organization system in place you have to keep at it and keep adjusting.
Because your needs change over time and you find out what works and doesn't work.

So I linked some of my reorganized projects I did last year below AS WELL as some ideas I've loved and use myself from the web.


I cleaned and decluttered a lot of areas last year so most of the big spaces have been done.
My craft room is always a continuing work in progress because new stuff is always coming in.

So this year I hope to get my basement in order (after the burst pipe flooding) and Riley's bedroom re-do. Finish my basement stairs and painting of those walls.  And to finish up my laundry room finally!
Those are the BIG projects for this year and I will be sharing those and the smaller ones along the way too!

I redid my linen closet  & it still looks GOOD amazingly because I found a system that worked well for me....see it HERE!

I also attacked my pantry which is always a place that I'm working still looks pretty good thankfully...see it HERE.

And I did random drawers in my house including the Homework Drawer and my side table drawers in my bedroom.

I redid the vanity in my bathroom and it looks the on my mission is my hubby's vanity!


More Great Organizational Ideas on the Web:
I love great INEXPENSIVE ways to organize my home...most of these ideas are easy on the wallet but make a huge impact on that war against clutter!

This is a great idea for so MANY things! For cars and other small toys, small displayed items and
in a craft room. Would be great for all those bottles of glitters, flocks and paints!
And made from shoe cool is that.

Pot Lid Storage {via Pinterest}
Great idea for storing those pot lids if you are short on space or just need a new way to store them.
The insides of cabinet doors hold a lot of useful-out-of-the-way space....these are hung small white 3M hooks.  Inexpensive & useful!

Baseball Hat Organizing
My son has a lot of hats...I mean A LOT!  And I've tried many ways to store them and none have worked well...aka he doesn't utilize the system well which means its the wrong system. So when I saw this on Pinterest I knew I had to try it because you just easily slide the hat on even if its not a snapback hat..I think I will need 3 hangers and a bunch of shower hooks LOL.

Alexa & I swear by these type of scarf hangers...we both have a lot of scarves and this keeps them organized easily and you can see what you have (mine are organized by color).  These are only $9.99 ...great price for a little organizational help.

I find that I use a lot of those drawer dividers in my home. They can be pricey to purchase if you need a lot. So I buy them in batches and use what I have on hand till I can get more. So I love Jen's idea of using old cereal boxes to create your own, for whatever size you want and make them pretty. Great thrifty recycle :)

I LOVE LOVE this idea by Cassie...I hope to have a batch of time this year to do this (ahaha sureee)! We have so many DVD movies and they take up way too much space, they are always a mess and never in any kind of order.  This would make it much easier on everyone in my house.

Spice Clips 
via Pinterest
Great idea to use those spice clips (like these here) on the inside cabinet doors.
They can be used for so many OTHER things than just spices!

Over-the-Door Shoe Hangers
I love these..inexpensive, easy to use and good for soooo many things!  Take advantage of
that area behind your doors!  Use them for cleaning products, toys, fabric, tools, pantry supplies and of course shoes :)  I use two of them in my craft room for all my paper punches...see pic above. I prefer ones that have clear pockets like these here, but that's up to you of course!

Using Magnets & Metal Sheeting
via Pinterest
Use metal sheets (pre-cut or have cut) and adhere to inside of cupboards with a strong construction adhesive. You can find all kinds of hooks and jars that are magnetic to hold your goodies these days.
Great use of space! These sheets here are 12x12 & inexpensive.

Pinterest is a GREAT source for ideas on organizing your home, car and office.  And of course many bloggers come up with more and more great ideas every day.  I just shared a few of my favorites and some I employ myself in my my home. And I'm ALWAYS look for new ideas that will work for me.
That's what you have to do is find systems/products/ideas that WORK BEST for you. Because it can be beautifully organized but if its hard to keep up or not organized right, you will find yourselves back at Square One...and that's just no fun!


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