Hello There, Spring!

Lake trees and pollen(edit)

Apple Blosoms

Blueberry blossoms

Dogwood flower

It may have taken a little longer than I wanted, after such a cold winter, but spring is finally here and it is beautiful!  The flowers are blooming, the trees are greening, and the onions need a’ mowing.

We spent this last weekend soaking in every bit of it.  In fact, as I write this, I am still a bit flushed from being outdoors the whole day, but I am hoping it is only the heat that has me red and not my first sunburn of the season.  I do hate getting burnt the first day that I spend outside.

It wasn’t all yard work that we did either, there was a little bit of fishing as well.  In fact, we even got a few days head start with a short fishing trip last Thursday evening.  Even though there were no fish to be caught that night, the beautiful sunset more than made up for it, in my opinion of course.  The boy could care less about sunsets and really all he wanted was to catch a fish.  He didn’t have to wait too long after though, because bright and early Sunday morning, he had a few that managed their way onto his hook and into the boat.  Only briefly because they were all too small to keep,  but it was a start to hopefully a really long fishing season.  It has been two years since we last fished, and I think we all missed it.

Sunset at Brown's Lake

Now it’s time to put the fun aside and get back into the books.  I may have let the boy have some slack with school work last Friday, so today there is plenty that needs to be done.  Oh, and I must not let grading all those papers get away from me.  I want to end school with nothing school related left to do.  High hopes, everyone, high hopes!

Fifteen school days left to go… Wow, is that all?  Hope everyone is enjoying their spring.

Dogwood Lake

A Very Friday, Thursday Thrift

casual outfit

casual outfit for a Friday

It is a casual Friday opposed to a Thrifty Thursday this week, readers.  Sometimes every other Thursday just catches me off guard, and before I realize, it is time for another Thursday Thrift post and I haven’t even gotten my laundry done from the week before.  I would probably be in trouble if I did this every Thursday.  Not being up to speed on laundry though doesn’t usually hinder my outfit selections for the blog, but what does hinder my outfit posts is the time to get a good photo.

This week, my Thursday Thrift is taking a bit of a casual turn.  Although, all of the outfits I post on the blog are actual, everyday outfits that I do wear, so I guess you could call them all casual.  But this week’s is very casual for my normal attire.  I think I have been wearing pants a bit more than usual the last couple of weeks.  And probably the weather has something to do with that; not quite cool enough for tights, and yet not quite warm enough for bare legs.  So pants it has been.

I am kind of happy to be wearing these pants this week, even though they are only a plain pair of brown pants.  You see, I got them probably two years ago in the middle of summer and haven’t worn them once.  A yard sale find for only a quarter, but not appropriate for summer, and a little too snug for winter.  This spring, they fit perfectly!  I guess those few pounds I have been working to get rid of have finally gone away.

So, a nice pair of brown, wide legged trousers – that fit – for this week’s Thursday Thrift.  What items have you recently thrifted?  Leave me a link.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Outfit details:  Shirt – Maurice’s // Pants – Cato (thrifted) // Necklace – Cato // Shoes – Doc Martens

Moseying Along the Tennessee Wine Trail

Blooms and Vines

Natchez Hills Winery

Natchez Hills

Natchez Hills vines

Amber Falls Winery

Amber Falls Vines

It started about two summers ago. We made a trip one Sunday afternoon to a nearby winery and found out it was part of this wine trail that isn’t too far from home. We had big plans to continue on, tasting and trying all the wine along the way, but that was almost two years ago.  We’ve not made much progress,until this week.

I was alone one Friday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, I am never alone on a Friday afternoon.  I had some free time and I thought to take a peek at some upcoming events that might be happening over towards the big city, and what did I find? A blues and BBQ day at one of the wineries from the trail.  A day at a winery has proven to be a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, so why not give this one a try.  It sounded like delicious fun to me.

We made the trek, only this time leaving Yuki dog behind, and headed out towards the middle of the state.  The boy had an ipod stocked full of new games so he didn’t grumble too much.  Tennessee is a pretty big state in case you didn’t know, but a mere hour and a half later, we were at the Natchez Hills Winery.  The wine was good, and the BBQ wasn’t that bad either.  (The only meal of the day so come to think of it, it was really good!)  There was music and friendly company; it couldn’t have gotten much better.  And then, we reminded ourselves that there was another stop just down the road, Amber Falls Winery.  We packed up and headed west.  Unfortunately, we missed the live music at our next destination, but there was still plenty of time to try the wine.  There was quite a bit more to choose from at this place, and the owners of both venues were some very nice, talkative folks.

After all was said and done we made it back home with four bottles of wine more than we started the day with, and even several empty ones.  Not that we drank so much while we were out, but that the nice people of one winery were more than glad to give us their empties – I being an aspiring winemaker myself.  There were a few good wines that we liked that day, and I would definitely make the trip again.

Now, we have one stop left on the list.  Yes, it was a good day down the Natchez Trace Wine Trail if you ask me.

Silly selfie at the winery


*PS – I should have a Thursday Thrift post up tomorrow.  It has been a busy week, and I haven’t had a free moment for any outfit photos.

Surely there is someone who was wondering why I was writing about wineries today instead of thrifty finds.  Maybe just one person…?

A Dress for April

geometric print dress

Simplicity 1803

Well hello there, blog readers!  It is another month in this sewing challenge of mine, and I have once again finished another dress.  Let me tell ya, I get happier and happier every month with my sewing-self, and it seems I am accumulating many new favorites!  Yet another favorite, if not my most favorite, of the homemade sort, April’s Dress.

1803I went with a different pattern this time, Simplicity 1803.  It was one of five I bought back in January when Joanne’s was having a 5 for $5 sale.  The material came from fabric.com and it was a bit of a splurge for me since I usually only shop the clearance racks.  Not too bad price wise really, just over $20.00 for the three yards.  I love a good geometric print, even more so when it is some of my favorite colors!

The dress was easy to make.  I had no troubles at all, until it was done that is.  I initially made the armhole openings a bit bigger just because of my last dress, but then once I got it all together realized it was unnecessary.  It was an easy fix to get that taken care of though, so no problems there.  Then, when I was done and trying it on for the third time, I thought it might be worth it to take it in just a bit at the front center bodice seam.  Should be easy, just a little unpicking here, a small stitch up there and… Well, it was easy to do all of this, but I messed up and serged the facing just a bit too short and therefore lost that nice flat, under-stitched look at the front center.  My only option without redoing the front facing was to finish it with a top stitch, which I was initially really happy not to have to do.  Oh, well, it still looks great.  I just need to perfect my perfecting!  (It was fine before I went and messed with it.)

I put in some cap sleeves opposed to my usual no sleeves.  I was nervous because I always seem to dislike the look and feel of most sleeves that I make on dresses.  Not this time, I was very happy with the way they came out.  I found that the instructions for this pattern had better directions for most of the things that I normally have trouble with.  This got me thinking.  I read a few months back how the cheaper patterns are the hardest to work with, and while I wouldn’t exactly call Simplicity patterns high-priced, they usually run just under the $10 range, they do cost more than the $3.00 New Look patterns I have sewn from the most.  (Wal-Mart is my hometown mall after all.)  After this dress though, my conclusion is that Simplicity is a much better pattern brand to work with.  I think I will be skipping the cheap brands and finding the equivalent in something a little more tried and true from here on out, even if it means I have to wait until I get to the big city.  I haven’t noticed too much trouble with New Look skirts though, so I guess I can still get a few of those now and again.

Next up on my sewing agenda, I am planning on a quick skirt.  I finally got the backing for my quilt, and I threw in a few yards from the sale pages to make the shipping free.  Although, my sewing time is gonna now have to be shared with my outside time, and I am not too sure how I feel about that… But if this rain and dreariness or wind continues, I won’t be outside much anyway.

a dress in the windA dress that holds up well in the wind, bonus!  And I promise I really do iron my dresses.  It just never looks like it.

This blog of mine is just all over the place, I know.  From dresses, to photos of insects, and really everything in between!  Funny thing is that my sewing posts get me some of the most feedback, and I love it!  Stay tuned, my next post will be about something completely different, that I am sure…

Thanks for reading, and as always, I would love to hear what you have to say.

Outfit details: Dress – made by me // Shoes – Route 66 // Necklace – made by me

Linking up with: Passion for Fashion, Simple Sequins, Sew and Tell Saturday, Maybe She Made It


A Nature Walk

Nature reflection

When it finally decided to start warming up, it was towards the end of last week, a day outside was in order.  It had been cold up until last Thursday.  There was wind, rain, and even snow – nothing that stuck, but still it was snowing last Tuesday!  So after this crazy winter weather rolled on out, the temperature started to rise and the sun, well the sun just stayed behind the clouds, but at least the temperatures started to warm up, so the boy and I made a short drive to Mousetail State Park here in West Tennessee.

I really like this park.  It is so pretty!  It isn’t nearly as big as Natchez Trace, my backyard park, but still it is a nice looking place.  I really haven’t seen that much of it either.  There are plenty of hiking and bike riding trails that we have yet to explore.  But on this particular day, we were there for a nature walk.  There was talk of canoeing, but I think all of the rain from the night before may have messed up those plans.  That was alright though, I was happy to be outside and in the nice fresh air.

We saw quite a few things on our short little walk.  There was plenty of pretty spring flowers and even a petrified coral reef.  Yeah, I thought it was just a plain ole rock wall.  Nope, a petrified coral reef was there on the side of the road all this time.  It’s great going on a nature walk with a park ranger!

Nature rock wall

Nature coralthat white thing in the middle is a piece of a coral and there is another one off to the left of it

Nature Daffodil

I saw what an eagle’s nest looked like compared to a squirrel’s nest, now if only there was an eagle to see!  It almost looked like something poked its head out, but it was too wooded to really tell for sure.  There were a few little creatures to check out though.  Someone found a salamander, and the ranger had picked up a millipede to show everyone.  He had been carrying it around in his pocket for a while, which I don’t think I would ever want to do.  I am really not a fan of creepy crawlies, especially ones with lots of legs, and I especially would not want them as close to me as they would be in a pocket.  I am glad my boy doesn’t bring those things home with him.  He at least leaves them outside if he ever does.

Nature nest

Nature Salamander

Nature millipede

It was a wonderful way to spend a few hours of the afternoon, and it was also nice to not be shivering outside for once this season.  Hooray for spring!