Saturday, January 21, 2012


When we took down the Christmas decorations, Son2 was a little sad to see the "happiness go away". So, he and I conspired to decorate my possum belly for winter. I always leave my little metal tree decorated with snowflakes and silver balls for winter, so the hutch in addition to that helped.

I sat out to find ideas for decorating for winter that weren't some of the same things people did for Christmas. There aren't a lot of those! I pinned a lot of them on my Pinterest Winter board.
Then Roo and I set out to decide which ones we'd actually do. I accomplish more on the computer than I do in real life. I think Pinterest only adds to that. You feel like you can do so much when you're pinning ideas. But, in reality, a lot of my pins are ideas that may never come to be.

We chose the styrofoam ball snowmen. This is what we came up with. We recycled tin cans as bases for our snow people. He recycled a hat and scarf from a Christmas goody bag for his snowman. I got to use some of my neglected art supplies in the whole process. I love the way they turned out and look on the display. We off set the whole display with creamy white candles, pinecones and silver beaded strands along with the winter themed printable in the frame that you can see.
Definitely made up for the drab scene outdoors and the regular decor.

Next up - Valentine's Day!

Monday, January 16, 2012

A dog and his boy

There isn't a lot to do on this cold day off from school.
So, the dog is enjoying being snuggled under a half dozen blankets on the couch,
watching cartoons with his boy and napping a little here and there.

In looking at this photo, I'm reminded of that segment of Aladdin where
the tomb guard is awoken and asks, "Who disturbs my slumber?" in a very evil voice.
Remember that?

It's a good thing chihuahuas don't have evil voices. ;)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Defining Me - More New of the New Year

I logged on thinking I should update my blog today. I've had several blog worthy moments and thoughts lately, but there are too many distractions that keep me from putting those moments and thoughts into real words resulting in real blog posts. You all should be able to read the wonderful blog I have in my mind. It's top-notch and receives a lot of traffic from many places. Ok, well, maybe not, but a girl can imagine for a moment, can't she?

That all leads to my thoughts of what to actually blog about today. I got to blogger and that Christmas blog banner was staring me in the face. So, as with my other distracted tendencies, I just decided to redo that banner. My main question was what did I want to reflect with a new blog banner? My blog doesn't have a theme. I couldn't go with that. Fall and Christmas were easy to make. With no real idea in mind for the banner, I started going through my photos. I was led to photos that were "ME". Photos that reflected who I am - Simply Gwen. I'm a mix of many things, but add them all together and you just have me in the end.

Let's take a look at how each of these photos describes me.

#1 Gwen = simply a friendly gadget lover
I love my iPod Touch. I never thought I was much of a gadget person until G-Dub purchased this for my birthday a few years ago. I use it to connect with friends on Facebook, check my email, browse the web in lazy manners and play one of my favorite games - Words With Friends. It keeps me connected with my people - my friends near and far - and I like it. I like my friends too.

#2 Gwen = simply a girl with some creative talent
Or at least that's what people tell me. I'm not one to take compliments well, so I shrug stuff like that off. But, I do like creating things though the word create has always bothered me in that regard. (It goes back to my eighth grade English teacher stating that humans can't create things because creating means making something out of nothing and only God did that when HE created our universe! Thanks, Mrs. Stephens, for giving me that complex!) So, I like to make things! And I like to do things myself. I have a can do attitude in regards to a lot of things. And I guess I have some imagination in there somewhere.

#3 Gwen = simply a wife to G-Dub, aka living the life of an Army Wife
What more can I say about that? I broke up with my high school boyfriend turned military guy because I could never imagine myself moving away from my family in north Mississippi and being a wife of a military guy. Well, a few years of maturity and falling in love with Mr. Right all changed that way of thinking. As I told him the other day, he's my best friend. The end.

#4 Gwen = simply Mom
Love these two to the moon and back! Being a mom is sometimes like looking at all the good and bad aspects of yourself and your husband all packaged uniquely in two other beings. Along with those reflections of us are the wonderful unique and individual personality traits that keep you guessing and loving life as a mom. I always think of that saying, "You're not just raising children, you're nurturing lives."

#5 Gwen = simply a Dr. Pepper Addict
Oh my, what do I say here that isn't already obvious to anyone who knows me well? Probably nothing. So, let's just go with the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. Ok? Work for you? Works for me.

#6 Gwen = Simply Joyful {most of the time}
When we moved from TN to AL, I was miserable. The first time we'd lived in AL, I loved it, but that was only for a short time. I'd made good friends in TN and I missed that when I got to AL. One night, in a late night phone conversation with a wonderful Christian lady who had lived down the street from us in TN and had also been moved to AL by the Army, I poured out my feelings and shared my disappointments about our new home. She said something that night that has stuck with me since. I can't quote her exactly (should have written it down at the time!) She said that joy would never come knocking at my door or searching me out among others regardless of where I was or where we lived especially if I stayed home and kept to myself. She told me that it was up to me to go out and seek joy. I would be the one to find joy and bring it home with me to live within my home and heart.

Wow... those weren't words that were easy to hear at the time, but like I said, they stuck with me because I knew deep in my heart she was right. I listened. I opened up my heart to others that I met. I found friendship and happiness in Alabama. I cried when we once again moved on with the Army. In Kansas, I did the same thing - sought joy to insure sanity during that tour of duty because we were the farthest away from family that we'd ever been and G-Dub was to deploy with that Kansas unit. I kept an open mind and I found joy. I literally found it - the Christmas decoration pictured above - in one of the little shops we liked to visit downtown. I literally brought Joy home with me that day and have it displayed as a reminder of what my friend told me that night. Joy has followed me or at least it's been easy to find in every home we've lived in. For that, I'm simply thankful and simply joyful!

So, that's it in a blog post. I'm Simply Gwen.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


The new year is all about new beginnings and resolutions, right? Well, I didn't make any resolutions and haven't started anything new except the new year. Is that a Ba-hum-bug attitude? Maybe so.

For my first post of the new year, I decided to show you a little furniture makeover I completed during our hectic December.

I was in a thrift shop one day looking for a cheap an inexpensive table that would serve as a tv stand in the basement. At my second stop of the day, I was walking around the store when my eyes fell onto this tucked back in behind some other things.
It was ugly. Yellowed white from years of use and misuse. It had definitely seen better days. It was dirty and icky and I almost left it there because I didn't have many wet wipes left in the car to clean my hands after touching it! LOL Yeah, a little dramatic, but did I mention it was dirty? Then I looked at the price. "95" Wait? What? Does that mean $9.50 or $0.95? I knew the answer to that by taking a second look at the ugly duckling. So, I picked it up and took it to the counter, handed the girl my $1.07 and walked out holding it carefully so as not to get the dust off of it onto my jeans.

A little oops of not sanding before painting led to a lot of sanding before repainting. All was well though because the final result is this little gem. I really hated to give it over to the boys for the tv in the basement when I might could do something else with it - something more fun. But, instead, it sits in the basement with a tv atop. (for now...)

Not too shabby for a dollar and the cost of a can of spray paint.