Old Fashioned Strawberry Cake

Oh goodness, I have been walking down memory lane, will you walk with me?

Let's celebrate this Fourth of July like we used to, homemade ice cream, sparklers,

maybe even a cap gun and oh anxiously anticipating the Fireworks in Town after the sun sets.

Lets have just one slice of  strawberry cake before we venture out...

the kind just like Mom used to make.




Oh remember these cakes, the ones that tasted just as sweet as a sugar cookie and if you were lucky

you could eat the batter straight from the striped mixing bowl, as soon as the cake pans were filled.

And oh the fluffy, swirly frosting made with butter and powdered sugar and just maybe if we

were lucky we got to lick the spoon, or maybe stick a finger in the bowl when Mom wasn't looking.




One of the very best things about this recipe is the no nonsense list of ingredients, and just so

you will know-My oldest daughter told me "Mom, this tastes just like a cake Grandma would make."




Grab a patriotic candle or two just for good measure, and if the cake isn't picture perfect,

no worries, the flavor is.



I am chilling with a couple of the granddaughters a few days this week while their parents are

vacationing, I'll be stopping by to visit you all very, very soon!

Please Join Me~

The Charm of Home

French Country Cottage

Cedar Hill Farmhouse

Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Ivy and Elephants

xoxoxo 

Dresses and More


Happy Friday Lovely Ladies!

Well, you won't believe this, well you might, this was suppose to be a sponsored post.

Yes indeed, a sweet little deal where I was going to do a review and then there were some perks

for you and I.

I was envisioning you using the coupon to  purchase a casual and feminine dress or top maybe in a

soft tropical floral or stunning solid, and then wearing your new outfit out to dinner...

Well, the coupon for you all, just didn't seem like much of a deal to me, so I wrote

back to the company and said hey, I am ready to move forward but the coupon you are offering is

going to need to be for a bit more, if you are sincerely interested in this post.




Well, as you can tell by the looks of things, they weren't interested in increasing the perks.

So, here I am with my Friday picks for you and they are dresses and more.

There is a reason I chose dresses-comfort and style.

Comfort ladies in this hot Texas heat, or wherever you might live.

We are all in the middle of Summer heat.

I actually think that dresses are so flattering to all women, all shapes, and all ages.

Slip on some amazing sunglasses and a cuff bracelet and you are accessorized for a

Summer afternoon, simplicity is the key.





Some of the items I included today are some of the things in my own closet this season, they are

comfortable and fashionable.

Extra plus is that many of these items are getting ready to go on sale!

The maxi dress is fashion forward and transitions from daytime to evening very easily.

I discovered that I am a fan of the Reba line, her sizes run true, moderate pricing and comfortable.

I love my Vera Bradley Tote and I have this exact color-it nearly works as a neutral and is a

smashing color for Summer.

Have you tried Tocca Violette (Paris in Springtime) notes of african violet and cashmere musk.




Soft Surroundings has a mix of quality clothing, you may want to go down a size

 as they tend to run large.

Some of their styles can be a little boxie cut, so watch out for that, even when choosing dresses

it is important that we have a waistline-as you can see in this neutral maxi.

Don't forget to check out Old Navy and Gap for some great cotton shirt dresses.

I have several for this Summer, I always wash them on gentle in cold water and then hang to dry.

Yes, we have to iron them...pssst...but I secretly like too...

Kendra Scott has the perfect earring and the perfect color earring to add just the right pop of color

effortlessly to your Summer wardrobe.

If you are a little shy with adding bling to your style, try it on your feet first!

Love bling on a Summer sandal.




Hope your weekend is lovely and if it isn't quite what you had anticipated,

just remember some days we have to look a little harder for joy!

Be safe my dear friends!!

Please Join Me~

A Well Styled Life


xoxoox

 





DIY- Patriotic Summer Wreath

You all know that I live in Texas and I am just a little bit proud of the Lone Star State.

Did you know that our super size state is synonymous with Football,

Longhorns (with horns that can extend 7 feet!)

We make a State Fair Worthy Chili with a heap of heat and I mean heat-blazing heat,

with a long burn.

Here in Texas we do the two step, Love Willie Nelson and the gang, and enjoy a Friday night on the

patio with some Tex Mex.




As I was designing this wreath I wanted to incorporate a little natural, some patriotism and

a symbol of our State, which you might think would be cowboy boots, but in our household

it's jalapenos.

Seems we add jalapenos to just about everything now, salads, mashed potatoes and even grits.

I did not used to be like this, but after all of these years of living here, I crave some

spice and heat and myself.





So when I found these precious bright red jalapenos from Hobby Lobby-I snapped them up

quicker than a wink.

I am thinking that you could add some symbol which your state is known for as well or, if you like

a little spice and style of this one, then add jalapenos too!

Second goal in designing this wreath was simplicity and keeping the process under one hour.

Here is how it all unfolded-even the hubby was amazed by my speed...

I am learning, I really am!

I kept this DIY wreath project super simple by purchasing a grapevine wreath, two bunches of petite

faux flowers in red and white, a little greenery as a filler, wooden star, jalapenos and burlap ribbon.





Step 1- Using Florist Clippers cut all of the stems off of the larger stalk and separate into sections 

Step 2- Weave all of the red stems into the grapevine wreath, followed by the white, then the

greenery in even increments so the wreath will be balanced. Secure with florist wire, if you feel you

need extra security.


Step 3-Each jalapeno has a wire on it, so I used the wire to secure the jalapeno to the grapevine.







After I was certain all of the faux flowers, greenery and jalapenos were secured I added the little

wooden Fourth of July Star.




I thought a burlap bow with some red and just a hint of a pattern would bring all of the components

together and complement the natural feel of this grapevine wreath.






This is a great and easy DIY project and I love the fact that I did not have to use a hot glue gun!

This is also a no-burn project...smiles...





Just in case you might have noticed the new look of my blog I am thanking my friend

Linda from Life and Linda.  She has spruced it up and made it a happy breeze to navigate.

Thank you for stopping by and I am looking forward to our next visit!

xoxoxo


Please Join Me~

Cedar Hill Farmhouse

Cozy Little House

Dwellings

French Country Cottage

Ivy And Elephants



They Call It Home Part 4

This month has flown by and here we are nearing the end of June, I am happy to share with you

the makeover and final chapter in our series They Call It Home, where Amanda and Preston share

their favorite part of their remodel on their beloved home in the Sacramento Valley.





I think one of the best feelings in any experience is to look back at where you came from and savor

in the beauty of where you are now.

I want you to bask in the triumphant glory of a kitchen that no longer has

green linoleum floor with me.

But to bring you to that point, you really have to take a look back at what the kitchen was when we

moved in.



.....Green linoleum 




Knotty pine, Formica counter tops, scratched up sink, poor lighting and a broken electric stove top ...


More knotty pine... 


Over the period of 6 months, we painted away the knotty pine on the cabinets,

 wainscoting, and doors.

We refinished our kitchen table from a white paint turned yellow (the polyurethane's fault!!) to a 

beautiful dark wood.

 Lastly, Preston and I also DIY-ed our back splash with subway tile and installed new hardware on 

the cabinets.




Contractors installed a new sink and faucet, counter tops, gas stove top,  recessed lighting, new light

fixtures, and tile for us.


Whew. It was a lot of work.

But So Worth it...












A few of the details: we put in "leathered" black granite counter tops, in an attempt to mimic the look

of soapstone, travertine stone floor, installed a gas stove top

and a ceramic, apron front farmhouse sink.







When you're in the middle of something hard, it seems sometimes like it will always be hard.

When Preston was away for 6 months is felt like he would always be away, and we would always be

struggling to get along.

When we were working on this kitchen, it felt like I would always have knotty pine cabinets, river

rats and dark, cave-like kitchen lighting.


But when we got to the end of it all, we got to experience victory.

Having the strength to endure through the middle of whatever muck- be it house remodeling,

relationship remodeling, self remodeling- is worth the end result.






I can say now, with pictures as proof, that what waits on the other side of the mucky middle is~

 good 

    and beautiful. 






Thank you for following us along in our journey!!!

I've loved reading your comments and encouragement.

I hope you enjoyed see our home transformation as much as we have!

They Call It Home Part 1

They Call It Home Part 2

They Call It Home Part 3


Please Join Me~

Cedar Hill Farmhouse

Rustic and Refined

Dwellings




Image Map



Aging With Style Detours

We began the Aging With Style Series back in January, and it has been awhile since I did a post on

this topic. Some things popped into my mind and heart as I was driving back from Oklahoma

yesterday afternoon, after spending a few days with our

youngest daughter and our granddaughter- Molly.

Naturally,  I just have to share them with you.



These thoughts popped into my mind as I was forced to take a detour home because of mudslides

along I35 from Oklahoma to Texas.

My altered route took me along 287 - a route which I had never been on, in fact my GPS annoyingly

kept recalculating and wanting me to make U Turns and go back to the familiar route that both of us

knew.

At one point I told my GPS to be quiet, that we couldn't go that way because the highway was closed.

Finally she gave in, and accepted that we had taken a detour and should make the best of it.





Detours-we have all had them, we fight them, they are uncomfortable, unfamiliar, unwanted.

We have to recalculate-our plans, our life, they affect our emotions, our thoughts, our outlook and

our attitude.





As a woman, I am acutely aware that I am aging-a detour that quite frankly has caught me off

guard just a tad-it may be a natural part of life, but I just didn't know our bodies would go in one

direction and our minds and souls go in another!

Seriously, this requires a certain mindset and a game plan.

It is more important to me today than ever to accept graciously the detours in my life and recalculate

wisely, intently, and purposefully in order to live a life with style.

A style which comes from within, from the heart and the spirit- a style that is timeless.

Oh, and when those pesky detours coming knocking at our doors, and they eventually find us all,

It is vital to learn how to manage those emotions, thoughts and anxieties.

To let go of the familiar, the comfortable, the journey which we had so carefully planned

and embark on the new route.




As I look back on my life, and as I look to the future, as I look into the eyes and hearts of my

dearest of dears-my children-and mostly centering in on my daughters.

(Because you do know, that women think, feel and hear different than men.)





I would want my daughters, the ones I gave birth to and those which I lovingly acquired from my

husband I would want them to know this.






Life is filled with detours, many of them hurt-badly.

They make our hearts ache and our heads spin.

Sometimes we want to run, but if we must run, run with intent and Run With Passion.

Emotions and thoughts are part of the process of detours, but  recalculate, knowing that

what you are thinking and feeling are just that-they do not define you.

Embrace your Faith, your connection to your Heavenly Father will comfort and guide you.

Seek comfort from those who love you.

Your previous journey has not been a waste, it has been a tool to prepare you for this detour.

Take these tools, add them to your handbook of life, punch the new destination in your

personal GPS of life and truly know that All of this is part of the remarkable journey of living.

Of Aging, at any age, with Style.


If you have a moment, please share how you have managed the detours in your life.

xoxox

Please Join Me~

Cozy Little House




Image Map

They Call It Home Part 3

This has been a true labor of love for Amanda and Preston as they transform their

mid-century home into a cozy cottage and haven for Wyatt and themselves.

If you are just joining this series, here are the links to the two previous posts-

They Call It Home Part 1They Call It Home Part 2.

Last week we saw how the sweet couple transformed the outside of their treasured home 

and this week Amanda shares with us some of their inside living spaces.



The hours of labor we have poured into our house not only served to restore the home,

 but also our marriage. 





Before moving to California, Preston had to be away from Wyatt and I for 6 months to train 

for his new job.

 We had survived a year long deployment and months of being away for various training's in 

the Army before, but something about this most recent time apart was more challenging.



That first night in our house when we slept on the floor, I got a great view of the baseboards.

Staring at them in the wee hours of the morning, trying to induce sleep, actually inspired our 

first inside project. 






Painting the baseboards, along with the paneling in the kitchen and family room, and removing 

the old built-in AC unit out of the kitchen and the built in baseboard heaters in the bedroom, 

were first on the list.

We hired someone to remove the AC unit, but the painting we left up to us.

We figured we only had 3 bedrooms- how bad could painting the baseboards be? 



Well, I am just glad we don’t have more than 1,000 sq ft. Cleaning, sanding, cleaning again, caulking, taping, 

and 2 coats of paint all administered while on our hands and knees was, quite literally, back breaking work.

After we finished, with my nose practically pressed up against the baseboards,

I crawled around on all fours and inspected the quality of our work.




I drove Preston mad with my OCD tendencies- making him scrape any little drip off the floors or repaint areas 

that didn’t get enough paint.





We got in tiffs over how things should be done, but mostly we talked while we painted, about big stuff and little 

stuff.

 I felt like we were literally working away and through the emotional distance the months apart from one another 

had created.




The street lamps in River Park are very quaint, except for when it’s time to go to sleep, and then they 

are very obnoxious.

Even though we were no longer sleeping on the floor, the light glaring in through our bedroom 

window made sleep nearly impossible.

It took a lot of selling on my part, but I convinced Preston we needed plantation shutters. 





Each bedroom got a pair of shutters as did our kitchen window.

Those beauties are expensive, but to me, worth every penny.

It not only took care of the light issue but dressed up the inside of the house and finished off the 

outside.



Right around the installment of the shutters I found out some surprising, but wonderful news;

 I was 8 weeks pregnant with our second baby!

 (I am now almost 7 months and we found out we are having a GIRL!) 





Our family was growing, our house was becoming a home, and Preston and I, despite the struggles 

we faced while he was away, were closer than ever. 

This house was truly becoming a wonderful gift.

Even the worst “fixer-upper" of homes can be beautiful with hard work; a lesson that can be applied 

to anything, even marriages. 




The news of the pregnancy didn’t slow us down.

 I’ve been saving the best for last- can’t wait to show you our kitchen!!! 




xoxxo


Please Join Me This Week~







"Hi I am Jemma~Passionate creator of this blog and always living
 life to the fullest with a grateful heart, please join me for more inspiration!"

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