Tag Archives: New Year

2014 52 Week Photo Challenge…1/52: Goodbye

As we look forward to the new year and all of its possibilities we must pause for a moment and think on all that the past year was and wasn’t…Then it is time to say Goodbye!  Although 2013 wasn’t the blogging year I had hoped for it was a great year overall.

So to kick off the year with a blogging bang I have decided to host my first blogging challenge.  The 2014 52 Week Photo Challenge begins today with saying Goodbye to 2013.  I am looking forward to getting to know you and your part of the world through your interpretation of the challenge prompts.

A sunset is the only goodbye I look forward to…each one is beautiful in its own way and entirely unique.

sunset

Saying goodbye to 2013…

Also be sure to use the #NolaGirl52weekchallenge so everyone who is playing along can follow you and see your photos.

Follow nolagirlatheart here:

nolagirlatheart.wordpress
facebook.com/NolaGirlatHeart
twitter.com/nolagirl4real
instagram.com/nolagirl61

Related Posts:

Git’er Done! @ aroundustyroads
Last 2013 Post @ neihtn
It’s a Wrap @ AngelineM’s Blog 

 

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Filed under Blogging Challenges, Weekly Photo Challenge

January 2013 Photo a Day…Something New!

Day 2. Something new: Take a photo of something new. Something physical, the sunrise, a new attitude. Be creative!

Welcome to our guest room reveal…

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…The vintage crystal and silver pieces are from the resale shoppe…

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…The curved front occasional table is from my favorite furniture store…

DSC00169… The beautiful lamp with the pleated black shade and rhinestone trim is from the HomeGoods Store…

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… The accent pillows are also from the HomeGoods Store…

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…The upholstered headboards with nail head trim are a special order from Bernhardt…

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…The gorgeous silver curtains are from Target…

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…The crystal beaded trees are from Bed, Bath and Beyond…

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…The framed shopping bags were inspired by a pin on Pinterest….

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Voila, there you have it something new our guest room redo!!!

Jump in and join the fun and add your interpretation of the daily prompts…

What do the prompts mean?

There are no rules when playing along with photo a day, you can be creative as you like! Interpret the prompt as you please. For those that need a little help, some more suggested details about each prompt are below:

3. Heart: Take a photo of a heart, or a heart shape.
4. The view from here: With many people around the world on holidays, it’s a great way to see where people are. Take a picture of your view from where ever you are.
5. Movement: Get moving and take a photo. You could take a photo of cars whizzing by, somebody jumping or you could even take a run and take photos as you’re jogging along.
6. Mine: Take a photo of something that’s yours. Perhaps it’s a thing, something you’re proud of or a person you call ‘yours’.
7. Street: Take a photo of a streetscape.
8. Something beginning with ‘T’: Take a photo of something today starting with the letter ‘T’.
9. Paper: Take a photo of something made from paper. Perhaps it’s someone reading the newspaper, or it could be wrapping paper. Think outside the square.
10. One o’clock: Take a photo of whatever you’re doing in the hour between one and two. It could be in the middle of the night {you party animal, you!} or during the day.
11. Water: Perhaps it’s the beach, a river, water in a glass, the bath {keep it PG!} or even the rain.
12. Surprise: I love when I stumble across coins when I’m walking. It’s a lovely surprise. That would be a lucky photo for me. Can you think of a way to capture surprise?
13. Circle: Look as you go about today for things shaped in circles. Is it the tyres on a bus? A big sign? Or something else?
14. Something yellow: Find something yellow in your travels today and take a photo.
15. An ordinary moment: Choose an ordinary moment and capture it. Is it you grabbing your daily coffee? Or playing with the kids? Or something that you do often and consider it as kinda ordinary?
16. Two things: Look for things in pairs today. Is it a lovely old couple that you see from behind? Or the salt and pepper shakers sitting on the bench? Find two things and take a photo.
17. Ready: Is it a photo of your dinner being ready? Or you ready to catch the bus? Or something else. It’s a toughy – but it will get your mind thinking!
18. Shadow: Find a shadow and shoot it. It could be your own, or a shadow of something else. Shadows look great with a black and white filter over the top {just sayin!}.
19. Delicious: What’s delicious to you? Is it the chubby cheeks of your toddler, the hunk at the gym or a cake you plan on eating for afternoon tea?
20. Something you saw: Go about your day with eyes wide open and take a photo of something you saw.
21. What you do: Do you go to school? Train elephants at the circus? Write at home? Play mum to your kids? Act as CEO to a big business? Paint in your spare time? Dance when no one is looking? Take a photo of what you do {something that makes you ‘you’} and share it.
22. Corner: It could be a sharp corner of a building, a corner of an artwork, a corner of your home or something else. Corners are everywhere. Shoot one.
23. Electric: This could be a simple photo of your toaster {but get creative} or something else electric.
24. Stripes: Look for stripes in your everyday. They could be in the zebra crossing on the road, or in your outfit or somewhere else.
25. Landscape: Step back and take a photo of a landscape near you. Or even take a little trip just for the photo. Would be nice to explore your town for a beautiful photo.
26. Together: There are many definitions for together. One is: In or into a single group, mass, or place. Take a photo of together, whichever definition you’d like to use.
27. Sun: Whether the sun is out in full force, or hiding behind the clouds today – take a photo of it. Or you could get creative and take a photo of sunlight or some other interpretation.
28. Through: Take a photo of looking through something – through the window, through the gate, through the trees… whatever you please.
29. Grow: People do it, plants do it too… get creative and take a photo of something that grows.
30. Down: Is it looking down or something that makes you feel down? Interpret it however you like.
31. Yourself: Take a photo of yourself. Or something that represents you.

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Filed under 2013 Photo Journal, Photo a Day Challenge

A Southern Tradition…

Did you welcome in the New Year by eating a traditional meal of cabbage and black-eyed peas?  We went with the traditional meal and we added a side of good ol’  Texas comfort food, smothered steak.  So according to the old wives tale we are almost guaranteed that 2013 will be filled with comfort, luck and prosperity…Just to clarify

Comfort – contented well-being, satisfying or enjoyable experience

Luck – a force that brings good fortune, the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual

Prosperity the condition of being successful or thriving; especially economic well-being

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Filed under All Things Foodie, Life in Texas

New Plans for the New Year….

My friend over at Emjayandthem’s Blog has posed a few questions concerning the new year…In response to those questions….

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In 2013 I would like to learn something new. I will definitely learn how to use my new camera and maybe learn to speak Creole French.  I would like to release the spirit living within me and become the person I was created to be; I want to be free to be ME…I want to go somewhere I have never been, Haiti or Nicaragua…I would like to change my schedule so it allows for more time investing in others and I would like to try reupholstering a couple of chairs that I picked up on one of my junking trips…

365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months, 1 year…2013!

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book.  Write a good one.” – Brad Paisley

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Filed under You Inspired Me

A year without regrets…


How many people in this world ever accomplish all they set out to do at the beginning of the year?  Well, I for one am not one of those “accomplished” types…I start the year off thinking and planning,  plotting and scheduling and making all sorts of plans.  Then reality presents itself and life takes a new course.

I started 2012 off much the same… a year of grand plans.  As I read a few of my posts from January I had to shake my head and laugh to myself…”Oh you silly girl, what were you thinking?”.   Life is a journey with unexpected twists and turns, ups and downs, good days and not so good days.  There were projects and trips planned that fell by the wayside…but when looking back at 2012 I remembered all the things that were accomplished,  trips taken and memories made.  So instead of dwelling on the undone…I will rejoice in all that was done…2012 was a year without regrets!

I will look forward to the new year with great anticipation.  I will  be thankful for everyday. I will look for that one thing that made the day worth getting out of bed for…I will laugh at myself, I will love with all my heart, I will live this year one day at a time…I will be present in the moment…I will hold my loved ones tighter, call them more often, tell them I love them without hesitation.  I will invest time and energy into the people who come into my life and pray that through it all I will become a better person, that my faith will grow and that 2013 will be a year without regrets!

beauty in simplicity

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Filed under encouragment, Life..such as it is

You Inspired Me…to change

You inspired me to change…my blog layout.

I think it is great that WordPress gives bloggers the opportunity to choose from so many great free layouts.  This past year my blog layout included the option of  a custom header.  I chose to highlight my beautiful companions, Ripley and Chloe.  I loved the pretty pink background that framed my rants and raves.  Viewing my blog was like going to my happy place.

I have heard it said by someone I respect…if we are not changing and growing we are dying.  So in order to prolong the life of this blog I began to think about shaking things up.  I thought a new blog look for 2012 would be a good place to start.

I wanted my blog to have a fresh clean uncluttered feel.  I knew choosing a new layout would take time and energy.  Hours of searching and test runs.  I thought it would be a long process.   Then inspiration struck like lightning!

This week I linked a related article suggested by WordPress to my Suncreek Garden Chronicles post. When I clicked over to make sure the suggested post was indeed a relatable article I was smitten.  When is the last time you were smitten, or have you ever been smitten.  Anyhoo…. I immediately thought how much I liked the look of the  layout.  Then I spent a little time absorbing the feel of the blog.

The blog I visited is hosted by Bridget @  arignagardener.  I liked that I could see her 3 most recent posts at a glance.  The layout had a clean contemporary feel.   My immediate attraction to her blog page could also have had something to do with her recent posts.  They were very similar to my own.  There was this one on her garden.  Then there was this one on Welly Boots.  And then there was this one on Seasonal Recipes.

So here’s to Bridget and her awesome blog postings and layout…Arignagardener for inspiring me…to change!

Have you changed your blog layout for the new year?  I would like to hear what inspired you to make the change.

The layout is called DePo Masthead by Automatic and it’s FREE!

Related articles

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Filed under Thoughts on Blogging, You Inspired Me

You Inspired Me…to cook! Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide

Sometimes I just want to be INSPIRED… Inspired to think, to read, to dream, to act, to move, to help, to stand firm, to give or to share.

Today, I was inspired by Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide to try out this recipe for Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Cakes.  We do not eat black eyed peas and cabbage on New Years Day becaues we are superstitous.  We eat them because we are Southerners and well…its what Southerners do on New Years Day.  Well that and watch football!

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups cooked black-eyed peas
  • 2 minced serrano chiles
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 red onion minced
  • 1 green or red pepper minced
  • 1 cup diced ham (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 to 1 cup bread crumb
  • 3-4 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Mix garlic and serranos in a large bowl. Add peas and mash to a pulp. You can throw in the eggs at this point if it’s difficult. Once peas are mashed add eggs (if you haven’t already) ham, green pepper, onion, cilantro, salt and pepper and mix to incorporate. Add 3/4 cup bread crumbs and form into patties. Heat enough oil in a large skillet to cover the bottom f the pan and brown patties on each side, until crisp on the outside and warm inside, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Garnish with fresh pico, or hot sauce and sour cream.

The first item listed in the ingredient list is 4 cups of cooked black-eyed peas.  Therefore, this sent me in search of an easy recipe for cooked black-eyed peas.  I found one @ foodnetwork.com.  Its one of Emeril’s recipes, Stewed Black-Eyed Peas and Country Ham.  It is super simple and I had the fresh shelled peas stewing on the stove top in no time at all.  I opted to omit the bay leaves, salt and pepper from th recipe because I want all of the flavors to come from the seasoning in the recipe for in the Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Cakes.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 5 to 6 ounces (about 1 cup) roughly chopped country ham pieces
  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas, soaked in cold water overnight and rinsed well
  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup cold water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a medium stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and country ham. Add the black-eyed peas, chicken stock, and 1 cup cold water. Bring the liquid up to a boil, partially cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the peas for about 25 minutes, uncover and cook an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until the peas are tender. Season the peas with salt and pepper as needed.

While the peas are cooking I will take a few minutes to take in a few minutes of the Texans Football Game.  After all it is New Years Day…

On a side note, I have been thinking about trying to narrow the focus of the nolagirlatheart blog.  If you have spent any time at all this past year reading my blog you probably noticed it all very random.  Random postings, random thoughts, random, random, random.  Not that random is a bad thing…but a little more focus could be a good thing.  I have been tossing a few thoughts around.

The one idea that has stood out more than any other is this one… “You Inspired Me…“!  Hopefully once a week I will write a post about a blogger that has inspired me to try something new.  It could be anything;  a new recipe, a photo challenge, a upcycled recycled craft, a painting technique, geochaching or zip lining in the dark.  There are so many possibilities to be inspired.

You Inspired Me...to cook!

Here is my version of Rufus’ Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Cakes along with a side of grilled cabbage!  I hope I get inspired to take better pictures, because this one needs some help.  The food was ready, the family was hungry and the flash washed out the cabbage.  The black-eyed pea cake was very tasty.  I am looking forward to having the leftovers tomorrow.

Here’s to being Inspired!!!

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Filed under All Things Foodie, You Inspired Me

Hopes and Wishes for 2012

My Hopes and Wishes for 2012 are simple.  To live the life that God has planned for me…a life filled with Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness,  and Self Control.  Galatians 5:22-23 

I hope to love without fear of heartache.

I wish to laugh until it hurts.

I hope I will never stop trusting that I am on the path that will lead me to a life everlasting.

I hope to offer up grace and mercy to those who cross my path.

I wish for everyday of the new year to include random acts of kindness, so much so that they become a part of who I am and not something I do.

I hope to live my life above reproach so that my actions do not cause others to stumble.

I hope to have the faith of a child..to believe in the wonders of the world without question to why or how.  “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

I hope to continue to grow a spirit of gentleness that has only come to me through stopping to consider the other persons situation before reacting.

And lastly but certainly not least of all…I hope to continue to grow in my understanding that self-control does not come from my self-centered mind-set but a mind centered on the Spirit that dwells within me and the small quiet voice leading me, guiding me through all that is my life.

I hope to continue to live a life filled to overflowing.

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

This past year has been filled with many blessings. My husband blessed me with his unconditional love and support without fail or hesitation, he is my biggest fan.  I have watched my son treat his girlfriend with love and respect that can only come from the example set by the way his Dad treats his Mom.  Although a few friends have passed away from this life my life is richer for having known them and called them friend.  I have enjoyed a renewed love and passion for writing.  I have realized a long time desire to have a little junk resale business of my very own.  I have entertained my friends and family in my home.  I have seen my prayers answered when the Doctor finally found  a treatment for my Dads Parkinson’s that has given him back his quality of life.

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” unknown

This past year has been filled with many new friendships.  I have met their families; rejoiced at the arrival of precious little ones and experienced heartache over their losses.  I have enjoyed a cup of tea as well as delicious desserts at their kitchen table.  I have watched the sun rise and set from their decks and patios.  I have heard them sing in church and I have celebrated their anniversaries and birthdays.  I have even traveled with a few of them on their wonderous and amazing vacations. I have come to appreciate the differences that make each of us unique.  But it is our uniqueness that draws us together and links us together.  Our camaraderie comes from our willingness to “just write”.    My friends have shared their lives with me yet we have never met in person.

Here are some their reflections of the past year as well as some of their hopes and wishes for 2012.

Making Room (emjayandthem’s blog)

“Your closet should contain 3 categories of clothing: clothes you love, clothes that fit you now, and clothes that garner you compliments whenever you wear them.” Peter Walsh, organizational expert.

View Outside My Window for 2012 (This Man’s Journey)

“I wish for 2012, more love, inner peace, loads of smile and laughter, of happiness that comes from a contented heart for me, for my family, for my friends but more importantly for those whose 2011 had been covered with anguish and struggles.”

Zen Living for Idiots (Spirit Lights the Way)

“As we cultivate mindful awareness, we begin to view the world with alert curiosity, rather than through the distorted lens of stale judgments, attitudes, and opinions.  We start to see things as THEY are rather than as WE are.”

Failure Succeeding In the Opposite Direction (Janna T Write’s Blog)

“My relationship with God is the glue that bonds me as a wife, mother, friend, writer, employee, leader, and compassionate human being. Sometimes I feel like parts of me threaten to peel away, but I want my life to be held tighter than crazy glue between fingertips.”

Reflecting on… this past year, today and the coming year (Pocket Perspectives)

May those of us who might be reflecting during the next few days…

review with clarity
ponder with insight
consider with love,
gentleness and forgiveness

appreciate with heartfulness

prioritize with wisdom
wonder with depth and imagination

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Filed under Blogging Challenges, postaweek2011, Thoughts on Blogging

Resolutions vs. Habits

A RESOLUTION is a resolve or determination to make a firm resolution to do something.
A HABIT is an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.
I admit that I have made the occasional New Years Resolution only to be forgotten within days.  Years ago I decided to forgo the guilt and feelings of failure by not making resolutions.  This decision proved to be just as disappointing as making a resolution and not following through.  So,   I decided that if nothing else I would resolve to become a better person every year.   This particular “resolution” has been my stand by for several years.     This has been an easy one to accomplish.  To be better means to not be as bad.  All that I have to do is be “nicer” this year than I was last year.  Or, not to be mean or ugly to one person who more than likely deserved an earful for cutting me off on the freeway, or hogging the isle in Wal-Mart, or even borrowing something and not returning it. 
 
This year, after reading a new blog I stumbled upon, I decided to try something new.  Instead of resolving to do something that requires major life changes and probably comes with an expensive price tag and a big fat I told you so at the end when it didn’t happen.  How about developing new habits.  Healthy Habits!  I don’t know about you but this past year I developed new habits without so much as a second thought.  Most of which are not bad for my health but they aren’t especially good either. 
 
How long does it take to develop a new habit?  The experts say it takes 21 days to develop a habit.  Also, the goal should be to develop only good habits or replace bad habits with good habits.  I have chosen to develop a new habit of drinking more water.  I will achieve this by always having a glass of water with me when I am on the computer, which is most of the day.
If in fact I fail to follow through with this plan it will get chalked up to another failed New Years Resolution.  But if I succeed I will have developed a new healthy habit.  Just so you know I am not off to a very good start. 

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Filed under Life..such as it is, plain and simple

So Long, Farwell, Alveterzane, Adieu, Au Revoir, goodbye…2010

Well it’s that time of year.  The time when I pause for a moment and reflect on the  passing of another year.  I take time to think back on the years short comings and accomplishments.  I think back to this time last year and the New Years Resolutions that were made.  I  think about the passing of time and people. 

2010 was a very interesting year. 

After this pause in my otherwise busy life, it’s time.  It’s time to look forward to the coming year and all that comes with it.

FAITH, FAMILY, FRIENDS AND of course BLOGGING ABOUT IT!

Happy New Year!!!! 

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Filed under Christmas Traditions