When my friends call and ask for help on finding great deals- I’m always ready to pull out my laptop and get to work. I love it that they feel they can come to me, because I really do love finding those hard to find products, or find great prices that not everyone has the time and patience to search for. I’ve become so many friends’ ‘go to’ person for that kind of information- and just earlier this week I’d found a pedalboard available at Musicians Friend for my favorite neighbor, who also happens to be a great musician. It isn’t a big thing to me, but it is to them & that is something that brings me great joy!

What do you do for others that brings you great joy?

As much as I love the longer daylight hours of summer, I also embrace the shorter daylight hours of the Autumn and winter season. There is something about the weather- the brightness of the sun, the crispness of the air. It makes me SO joyous. The sunsets are breathtaking and even though it gets chilly in the house, I can’t help but leave the doors and windows open until later in the evening. It feels good.

Tonight, I’ll be home alone, and I already have a plan mapped out. Take a hot bath, curl up on the sofa and play catch up on two of my favorite television series that I’m currently behind on.

What about you? What is your favorite thing about Fall?

… I remember as a child my parents would try to get me to say that tongue twister and I would always breeze through it without a blink. It brings back fond memories, and today while I was out- I came across some gorgeous bags of sea shells. Now, being a Gulf Coast girl actually purchasing sea shells is something I’ve never done, at least not until today.

I had this itch to have a summer look on my coffee table-, so I removed all the mustard yellow and warm ‘Autumnish’ colors and added something more summery with the sea shells.

I bought a blue colored vase, a cream colored one, and I had a coral one. I grouped them all together, added them to the center of the serving tray, and put the shells all around them. It looks so festive and totally changed the look of the living room. A few changes and a big difference in how things look.

That is often the case isn’t it? If we take a moment to look around, we can often find small items that will make a big change in our home- where it feels more seasonal, but also like we’ve done something big without spending a small fortune.

I love the look.

Next up- I’m on the prowl to find someone who can custom frame some prints for me. I suspect that one isn’t going to be nearly as cost effective, but I know it will look great.

While most of you have never been to my parents home, they have a beautiful space on quite a few acres of land. We’re home for vacation and as much as I adore this place, it would be AMAZING if they would add paver patios off the back door area.

Now I know most of you don’t know what my parents home looks like, but let me give you a little visual. The back door opens to a huge field with a tree line in the distance. In fact, it’s my ‘go to’ space to have coffee each morning and I have been really envisioning how amazing it would be with the patio, filled with beautiful furniture and colorful cushions. Of course, since we usually visit in the wintertime and not this time of the year, I believe a fire pit is also essential to giving it the total look. Granted, that also means that I can enjoy a fire during the winter from a great space and not the edge of the woods sitting on a log where we usually find ourselves doing the winter bonfires. Can you tell that ‘creepy crawlies’ aren’t my idea of fun?

So I’ve been putting a little bug in my parents ear about how wonderful it would look and how great it would be for entertaining, plus sitting outside and enjoying the evening before it gets too warm to sit outside. This evening would be perfect- a cool breeze, a storm brewing near the coast and temperatures that have dropped nearly 15 degrees from earlier today. It was perfect, only missing that great space to really get the full enjoyment factor.

I’m not sure that they are ready to take the plunge yet, but it’s definitely something to discuss with my brother as maybe a surprise Christmas and birthday gifts. I know they would love it, and there’s not question that everyone else would too, myself included.

For Christmas, Marcel gave me a new Nikon DSLR. I had needed one for a while, since my ancient Nikon had a shadow on it that couldn’t seem to be removed and no one could figure out what was causing it, including the folks at Nikon. It was an older Nikon- a D50 to be exact, and it served me well. I lost my photography mojo when the shadow appeared though, as I’d take some amazing shots- only to find the shadow on the photos. Some it was obvious- some not so much, but I knew it was there. I retired the camera and went to exclusively taking photos with my iPhone or my little Panasonic Lumix (also a great little camera), but it wasn’t quite the same as the Nikon.

Since the beginning of the year- we’ve been doing some major home improvements. I’ve loved seeing things come together, but a lot of things still aren’t where they need to be, as I’m also making changes in the house. I don’t do that great with disorganization.

Tomorrow I’m taking out the Nikon to shoot together with a friend- She’s bringing her camera and we’re going to go on our first photo adventure together- It should be fun. Well, truth is I know it will be fun, because we ALWAYS have fun simply being in each others company, much less doing something we both enjoy.

I wanted to get my batteries charged and ready to go- and when I went to grab my charger- it wasn’t where it should have been. I looked in other places it ‘could’ have been, but nope- it wasn’t there either. I grabbed my old Nikon charger- but it wouldn’t work. I searched, searched and searched more- but my search wasn’t fruitful. I called Marcel, who acted like I was speaking another language when I asked him about it.

Finally, I took a pause, and thought- I’ll wait a few and gain some perspective, and maybe I’ll remember where it was. I decided to go back to the computer / work-out room, where it shouldn’t be, but I wanted to check anyway. Wouldn’t you know- there it was. Needless to say- I was VERY relieved, and now both batteries are fully charged and ready to go.

Oh, and the battery charger- it’s where it should have been all along, with the rest of the chargers.

The shorter daylight hours and cold weather tend to send me to Netflix and binge watching a show here and there. A few weeks ago, I saw a good friend post on his Facebook about how he and his fiancée (also a good friend) were binge watching The 100 and loving it.

My BFF chimed in and also mentioned how much she was loving it too. As it happened, I was just finishing up with the Gilmore Girls (that I’d never watched back in the day) and I needed a new show on Netflix to watch. I’d browsed over The 100 countless times before, but with this recommendation from several people who I share the same taste in television with, I decided to give it a go and WOW!

I am hooked- I finished the first two seasons on Netflix with two days to spare before the new season started, so I couldn’t have timed it much better. I was SO ready to see what was going to happen next. It’s not my usual genre- and it’s violent, typically not something I watch in television since Sons of Anarchy- but because this doesn’t seem realistic to me, it’s much easier to digest the craziness that happens. I don’t see it happening in our near future. Still, with all that said- I can’t wait until the next episode, which airs tonight.

If you haven’t caught it but love a good story line that will keep you guessing- then this is the show for you. Don’t miss it.

With diddy here, he and Marcel have been doing quite a few do-it-yourself projects and I believe he’s been bitten by the home improvement bug. I have to say, this makes me thrilled, since it means that some of the list of projects I’ve had on the ‘to do’ list may finally get finished. YAY!

I also love that he’s feeling inspired to build some cabinets and shelving in our shed and has been itching to learn more about doing it from scratch. I will admit, I’m curious to see what he comes up with, and even more so= I’m excited about the possibilities. They sky is the limit when it comes to creativity!

I was reading an article in “O Magazine” about Summer and what it means to each of us- Vacations, relaxing by the pool or other body of water with a good book, gardening.. the list goes on. Relaxation- enjoying the longer daylight hours- time spent with friends, so many wonderful memories waiting to be made.

July, which happens to be my birthday month- and celebration worthy all month long- is also a month filled with fun plans with friends- some of which will include some learning experiences- like a pizza making workshop- and cooking it in a wood fired oven. Enjoyed with friends, life doesn’t get much better than that-

Travels- that’s also on the agenda- as trips to Paris, Berlin, Denmark and beyond are starting to unfold- Full itinerary unknown, but one thing is for sure- it’s going to be an awesome time.

What are your favorite travel destinations?

Shopping, it’s one of those things that we ALL do at some point or another in our lives. Some of us absolutely love shopping, and some of us find it falling more in the do as a necessity kind of thing. I happen to fall in the love group when it comes to shopping, so much so that friends and family often ask me to help them find certain hard to find items, because with a keyboard and a little patience, I can pretty much find even the hardest to find item. If it’s out there somewhere- I’ll find it.

The Internet has made my love affair with shopping even stronger, and to mae my love affair even stronger was my humble discovery of coupon codes. It happened by chance quite a few years ago. I had something in my shopping cart at an online merchant, and before I ordered, I wanted to double check that I couldn’t get a better price somewhere else. A little searching here and there, and I came across another site- with the same item, but it also offered free shipping, plus a coupon code for 15% off your first purchase. That made my already great deal item, an even better deal. I was hoooked.

Since then I’ve saved literally hundreds using websites like VouchaCodes to find codes that offer additional discounts on sites that I already shop at. I’ll admit that I do a little happy dance inside when I can find something for a great price, and then make that price even better because of a discount code. Add to that the fact that I can shop at all my favorite places in the comfort of my own home, PLUS in my PJs if I want- and that’s a combination that can’t be beat, at least not in my eyes.

When I find websites or products that I love-  I can’t wait to share them with my family, friends, and you- dear readers.     For several years now I’ve been a loyal customer of iHerb and I think it’s about time I shared it with you.      They have all of my favorites-   Bob’s Red Mill products,  (think grains, flours and steel-cut oats)iherb

In addition to ‘food stuffs’  they also sell essential oils, shea butter, vitamins, gelatin capsules, and the list goes -on and on and ON!   In addition, often times their products are cheaper than buying in a supermarket or natural foods store-  so definitely worth checking out..  Plus free delivery to your door-   YES!

Don’t believe me?  Check it out for yourself.  I can assure you- you won’t be sorry!