Tag Archives: postaweek2011

uniquely the same…amazingly different

Macaroons and macarons…are very often lumped into the same category.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  A Macaroon is an American cookie made with a flowerless egg white base.  Most often made with coconut.  Macarons are french cookies made with crushed almonds and egg whites that are sandwiched around a cream based filling.  They come in a rainbow of colors and flavors.   The french macarons are all made using the same recipe, making them all macarons…but the color and filling is what makes them special…it’s what makes them enjoyable.

A blogger is someone who keeps and updates a blog. We are often lumped together in one general category by people who don’t quite get what we do or even why we do it.

I think Bloggers are like macarons…the french version…somehow uniquely the same and amazingly different all at the same time. We are colorful and full of flavors, flavors that come from uniquely different life experiences.

 Behind every blog there is an incredibly unique and special human being. 

 We are Men and Women, Husbands and Wives, Moms and Dads, Brothers and Sisters.  We are Designers, Painters, Photographers, Engineers, Doctors, Lawyers, Gamers, Techies, Gardner’s, Small Business Owners and CEO’s.  We are Athletes, Dancers, Musicians, Chefs, Students, Pastors, Teachers, Writers, Active duty Service Men and Women and we are Retired.  We are like-minded individuals and strangers.   We are from every continent, represent every race and practice every religion. 

We are uniquely the same and amazingly different!

Every post is the reflection of a unique life.

We have the desire to share our life with the world.  We lay our heart and soul out for people to embrace or trample on.  We hope that our words will inspire and encourage.  We are driven to write about everything and nothing. We focus on a specific category or post random thoughts. We have the ability to say something wonderful by sharing a single photograph. We can open someones eyes to a new point of view by sharing our own. We can make people laugh or cry, dance or sing by sharing who we are with those willing to spend a moment getting to know us through our shared writings.

 What drives us to share the stories of our lives?  Is our blog a true reflection of who we are or is it who we want to be? 

Who am I?  I am a child of God, a Christ-follower, a wife and a mother.  I am a daughter, a sister and a friend.  I have a heart for helping people find the one thing in life that will give them their greatest joy.   I love to travel but I love coming home more.  I am a city girl who lives in the country.  I love the sound of the waves crashing onto the beach but I prefer a snow skiing vacation.  My taste is eclectic.  I am a collector of other people’s discarded things.   I have a knack for creating an inviting and welcoming space.    I am a thinker!   I am a dreamer!   

And I Blog! 

 Who are you?  Why do you blog?  Do your friends and family get what you do?  Do they know you blog? 

A special thank you to my sister Heidi for sharing her photos from her recent trip to Paris!  je t’aime petit soeur!

This post was revised from a January 31, 2011 post…uniquely the same



Filed under Life..such as it is

Looking Back at Post a Day Challenge 2011 meme…

I am looking back at Post a Day Challenge 2011 as the end of 2011 is fast approaching.  Many of us are taking stock of the past years accomplishments and challenges.  I have been thinking about my January 2011 commitment to the post a week challenge.  Then the good folks over at The Daily Post offered up a post to help evaluate 2011 blogging and 2012 goals.

Here are the 11 Questions from the Daily Post to help break things down to bite size pieces.  I turned it into my first meme.  It took me all year to figure that one out.  Oh well, better late than not at all…Right? Right!

  • Why did you start the Post a Day/Week Challenge?

I began the Post a Week Challenge strictly as a way to stay focused on blogging.  I had been blogging for just less than a year and I wasn’t very consistent. 

  • Describe the state of your blog at the time you started the challenge.

In December of 2010 I was averaging 3 posts per week, 21 daily views, 9 total comments for the entire month, half of which were from my family. 

  • How did your blog evolve over the course of the challenge?

I can honestly say that my blog blossomed through the Post a Week Challenge.  I quickly met other bloggers who were committed to supporting bloggers involved in the challenge.  Their comments were supportive and encouraging!  My blog has quadrupled in followers and views.

  • Did you post as often as you had hoped? Why or why not?

I signed up for the Post a Week Challenge but found myself posting on an average of 5 days per week.  There was an incredible amount of encouraging and creative ideas being shared by bloggers that helped to keep the creativity flowing.

  • What type of blogging strategy works best for you?

I found that mixing up the type of posts helped to keep things fresh and interesting.  I participated in the Weekly Photo Challenge, the 30 day A-Z Challenge and Wordless Wednesday in addition to my general blogging topics.

  • If you could go back to the beginning, what would you do differently?

I definitely would have given more thought to the name of my blog.  Originally it was just “Jeanne’s Blog”.  I added nolagirlatheart later on and it really has become my blog name. 

  • What are you most proud of accomplishing this year?

The WordPress Challenge helped me find my voice and rekindle a passion that was smoldering under the surface.  I am a writer!  Even if it is only in my own mind.

  • Name 3 great blogs you discovered through the challenge.

NOLA Details  Carla takes me on a tour of New Orleans neighborhoods through her snapshots.  She loves New Orleans as much as I do.  This blog is always colorful and fun just like my beloved NOLA!

Incredible Lightness of Seeing Teresita hosts an incredibly beautiful photoblog.  Her posts are always beautiful with a dose of inspiration and a sprinkling of daily gratitude.  This blog is a quiet peaceful place in a world of noise and confusion.

This Man’s Journey This blog is the path of a man whose past has carried him to his present on the way to his future.  He loves his family and he has a unique way of sharing the depth of love in his heart while respecting the privacy of his sweet family.  I am always amazed at the thoughtfulness of his posts as well as the way he uses his photos to give us a glimpse of all that is his life.   

  • What surprised you about the challenge?

It was much easier to “just write” than I thought it was going to be.  When my creativity waned I found inspiration in the simple everyday experiences.  Especially the weekly photo challenge.  It became a game for me to find ways to think outside of the box when interpreting the weekly topic. 

  • What advice would you give to others who want to blog regularly?

Make a commitment!  Be consistent!  Just write!

  • What are your blogging goals for 2012?

I am hoping to figure that one out very soon.  I am considering committing to 3 or 4 focused weekly segments.  One being a photo from the same place, day and time of the week for 52 weeks.  I am also considering a weekly post highlighting a vintage find from my junking adventures.  I haven’t figured the rest of it out just yet.  I am hoping to find inspiration from the same place I have found it this past year…from my blogging buddies!

That’s my look back at the Post a Day Challenge 2011…How did you do?


Filed under postaweek2011, Thoughts on Blogging

Small Business Saturday…saving America one brick at a time…

Re-post from January 26, 2011
Invest in America, support the local brick and mortar businesses that our country was built on.  Investing in the  independently owned businesses in our neighborhoods helps our local economy.  These businesses employ our neighbors and strengthen our community.

The Local

I have a passion for locally owned businesses.  Not because I am a small business owner but because I appreciate the time and energy and the financial commitment local business owners bring to the game.  Small business owners are dreamers and risk takers.  They are passionate about what they do!

I have been a supporter of locally owned businesses for years.  I will always choose to shop, eat or use a service company that is locally owned over a big chain business.  Always!

The Patio @ The Local

I have posted about my favorite neighborhood businesses as well as local businesses I have discovered on weekend getaways.  My husband and I always gravitate to “the local” whenever and wherever we travel.  We had a couple of weekend getaways last summer; Galveston and New Orleans where we supported many locally owned businesses.  We supported the local restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, antique stores, and a couple of art galleries.  We met wonderful people who love what they do and we were treated like old friends.

Star Drug Store

A few of my local favs that I frequent at least once a month are; The Local Restaurant, Browse Aroun’ Antiques and  the Something Unique Gift Shop.  My #1 favorite local lunch spot, The Pear Tree Tea Room, closed it’s doors just before Christmas.  They had a great location, loyal following and delicious food.  I know things are difficult at best in this economy so the local businesses need all the support you can give them.

Acme Oyster House

Recently I began to follow the blog over at The Red Door Antiques.  While surfing through the blog site I noticed a button; the 3/50 Project, saving the brick and mortars our nation is built on.  My interest was piqued.  I clicked on the button and was directed to a website filled with some very interesting information.  I would like to share some of what I read;

3    What three independently owned businesses would you miss if they disappeared?

50   If half the employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned independent businesses, it would generate over $42 billion dollars in revenue.

The folks at the project say that  for every $100 spent in an independent locally owned business $68 returns to the community in payroll, taxes and other expenditures.  If that $100 is spent in a national chain $43 comes back to the community.  Shop on-line and $0 comes back to the community.  Check out the movement to save our bricks and mortar companies, they are what built this country.

Mosquito Cafe

What’s your favorite local independently owned business?  Have you supported them this month?  How would life in your community be different if you lost one of these businesses?

Make Time to Support your Independent Locally Owned Businesses


Filed under Made in America, My Local Recommendations, postaweek2011

Victorian Country Charm…Texas Style

The hubs and I took a little road trip this past weekend.  He managed to find us a Bed & Breakfast with  Victorian county charm…Texas style.

I have wanted to stay at a B&B for sometime, but the opportunity never really presented itself.  This past weekend the chain hotels were either booked or asking $199 per night.  The hubs found this out-of-the-way B&B for $116 per night.  It included great company, an evening dessert and a wonderful homemade breakfast.

Check out where we stayed…

Victoria Country Charm...Texas Style

We were greeted by the home owner Patty and her companion Scooter…

Victorian Country Charm...Texas Style

We were welcomed into a Victorian wonderland and quickly introduced to the other man of the house, Patty’s husband Bobby.

Victorian Country Charm...Texas Style

Patty is a retired teacher and Bobby is a retired football coach.  They are the most delightful couple.

Victorian Country Charm...Texas Style

This beautiful B&B sits on 20 acres in the east Texas town of Edgewood.  Edgewood is just north of the town of Canton, Texas.  Canton is home to one of the largest Market Days in Texas.  Canton Market Days is held the weekend before the first Monday of every month.  There are hundreds of vendors that carry everything from vintage americana to homemade arts and crafts.  If you ever find yourself in East Texas and in need of a place to lay your head…I recommend the Victorian country charm…with Texas style of Willow Pond Bed & Breakfast.


Filed under Life in Texas, My Local Recommendations, postaweek2011, Travel, Weekend Getaways and Vacation Spots

Evolution of a Junkers dream…

This is the evolution of a Junkers dream!  Does that line sound vaguely familiar to anyone else?  A great Segway to my next Music Moves Me post.  But I digress…

Before jumping in with both feet I read the best e-book, “Selling in an Antique Mall, A Beginners Guide, by Inis Lovely and Sue LaLumia”.  I found the content incredibly helpful.  There wasn’t a single question left unanswered at least not for a novice such as myself.  There were tips on 1)How to Choose an Antique Mall, 2)Setting up your Business, 3) Buying Inventory to Sell, 4) Get Ready to Move In and Sell and 5) Managing and Maintaining.

Looking over all of the vintage treasures I had collected and stored in our garage for the past year was overwhelming to say the least.  Where do I start? How much should I take with me?  What’s the first step?  No worries…the “Beginners Guide” was very clear on what should happen first, second, third and so on.  After choosing the right Antique Center for me and securing my space it was time to get organized.

On the recommendation of Inis and Sue,  we measured out and marked my booth size in the driveway.  Piece by piece we filled the “booth” with the overwhelming pile of stuff stored in the garage.  Little by little it began to evolve into a Junkers dream come true.

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Filed under Junktiques, Made in America, postaweek2011

Monster Mash..they did the monster mash

Halloween 2011

Have you ever done the Monster Mash?  I know a couple of people who really “kill it” when it comes to decorating for Halloween!

My Sister and Bro-n-law are the ultimate Halloweeners.  Can I say that?  Well, I just did.  They begin decorating for their annual Halloween bash in July.  The entire house is transformed into a very spooky place.  I visited them several weeks before the big day and I was…well let’s just say…not going inside her house by myself.  They do an amazing job!  They pour out their creativity into every nook and cranny.  Every year it gets bigger and spookier…they really should charge admission.

You tell me…Creative? Yes!  Scary? Absolutely!!  Worth Admission?  You betcha!!!

Halloween 2011 Zombie Graveyard

This video is not at her house, she just shared it with us several years ago and it is one of my husbands favorite videos to watch around this time of year.  It makes me laugh and then I do the monster mash


Filed under family, Music Moves Me

Weekly Photo Challenge…Opportunity

This weeks WordPress weekly photo challenge is Opportunity.

What is an opportunity?  According to Merriam Webster; An opportunity is a favorable juncture of circumstances.  A pleasing connection at a point in time where a condition or event determines another.

My mind immediately focused on the many opportunities that present themselves each and everyday… more precisely missed opportunities.

How many opportunities have I missed?  I hope not too many.  I do try to think of others needs before my own.  I am not claiming to be a Saint but I do try to live my life with JOY!   Remembering to follow Jesus first and put others before myself.  A life filled with JOY doesn’t have too many missed opportunities.

I believe that I have daily opportunities to reach my hand across the chasm of the unfamiliar and make a difference in one persons life.  A genuine smile, a warm handshake, an available shoulder to lean on, a listening ear, a hand to hold and a genuine heartfelt conversation.

How many times a day do I pass by someone who for the smallest random act of kindness would change their day, their week, their life?

I do not think that I can interact with every person who crosses my path in a day but I can take the time to positively interact with someone.

For this weeks photo challenge I am submitting a music video.

How many missed opportunities are there everyday?  How many times do we unconsciously make a positive impact in someones day just by our random acts of kindness?  I hope the random acts of kindness out weigh the missed opportunities in all of our lives.

Slow down…take your time…look for…the next opportunity…to make a difference…in someones day!

Nothing is so often irretrievably missed as a daily opportunity.  ~Marie von


Filed under encouragment, postaweek2011, Weekly Photo Challenge

Heirlooms…family treasures or pumpkins

Do you have family heirlooms?  You know things that have been handed down through the years…maybe your Great Grandmothers wedding ring or a rocking chair that has rocked generations of babies to sleep.  How about a writing desk that is worn from years of letter writing or even better, letters.  Hand written letters, love letters from a young bride to her army husband counting the days until their first child is born and he returns home.

I have a few family treasures… I have a hand embroidered tapestry made by my Mother while she was recovering from back surgery 45 years ago.  I have a handkerchief that belonged to my paternal Grandmother, a plain wooden hand mirror that was my maternal grandmothers.  A few handwritten recipes from family members, a handful of jewelry that has more sentimental value than monetary and a quilt from my husbands Grandmother that was given to her the night the family home went up in flames.   What are your favorite family heirlooms?

Heirlooms..family treasures or pumpkins google image

There are other heirlooms in our lives.  The wonderfully delicious home-grown  fruits and veggies that have not been genetically altered.

“The definition of heirlooms is less cut-and-dried. With seed-grown plants, only open-pollinated varieties are considered heirlooms. Unlike hybrids, open-pollinated seeds will reproduce true to type, meaning the offspring will display the same characteristics as the parent plant, and seeds can be saved from season to season. Since a conclusive definition for heirloom seeds and plants doesn’t exist, I turned to Peggy Cornett, director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants, for her interpretation of the term. “I consider plants heirlooms if they were once significant in gardens but are now rare or even extinct in cultivation,” says Cornett. “For example, there are many cultivars of iris or phlox or daylilies from the early 20th century that are nearly impossible to find.” Seeds are generally considered heirlooms if they were introduced into cultivation at least 40 years prior to the current date, though some heirloom experts consider seeds heirlooms only if they were introduced prior to World War II.”

You probably have heard of heirloom tomatoes…they have been all the rage for several years.  They are not the pretty perfectly round evenly red tomatoes found at the local grocery store. You know the ones that taste like cardboard.

The heirloom tomatoes are gnarly at best.  They are misshapen, have uneven color, bumps and cracks but the flavor is all that matters.  Intensely earthy with a wonderful balance of sweetness and acid, they are dense and meaty.  They are so delicious you can eat them like an apple.

Have you heard of heirloom pumpkins?  They are the pumpkins that are odd colors, squashed, bumpy, warty, striped and sometimes magical but always interesting.  They are my all time favorite…the less than perfect but always beautiful heirlooms!

Check out your local farmers market for a few of these beauties..I hope they will bring a smile to your face.

Here are a few of the varietal names; muskee de provence, rouge vif d’etampes, full moon, long island cheese, carnival, jarrahdale and fairytale.

What ever you consider a family heriloom…you should treasure it!


Filed under family, gardening and other green things

More than a couple of bucks….NUGENT: Can’t buy me love

more than a couple of bucks... google image

More than a couple of bucks…thats what it’s going to cost.  Cost for what?  For your vote!

I have been sitting on this post for a couple of months.  But with the Presidents job speech behind us.  The economy stagnant.  The current unemployment rate hovering at 10%. And the political mud slinging debates heating up.  I thought now is as good of time as any. 

Nugents article in the Washington Times, Saturday April 23, 2011 left me wondering, IF politicians and the like can raise 2 billion dollars for 2 political candidates to run for office what is stopping them from raising 2 billion dollars for more worthy causes. 

What exactly does it take to raise 2 billion dollars?  Does someone just pick up the phone and call Warren Buffet and he puts a check in the mail?  No it takes people, planning, phone calls, organizing, caterers, white tablecloths, world-famous chefs and fancy food and an elaborate setting.  It takes people who have money and who have the desire to see their political candidate succeed. 

I am just thinking that if this much effort is spent to raise money how much more could be achieved if the same effort was poured into creating new jobs or cutting the budget.  How much better off our country would be. 

If this kind of money is just lying around why are we laying off teachers and fire fighters?  Why are children going hungry?  Why are the elderly having to choose between buying medication or buying groceries?

It’s a free country and people can do what they want with their money, however spending 2 Billion dollars to get elected to a political office is just plain wasteful in my opinion.  But, if people have this kind of money to give maybe they should think about giving to a charity or organization that is trying to help those that the politicians seem unable to help.  I don’t directly give to political candidates but the companies who provide the goods and services I consume do give.  And I am watching how much they give and who they give to this time around. 

My political voice is my vote.  But louder than my vote is the voice of my wallet.  The real question to this President and those who desire to be President…How will your plans and promises affect my bottom line?  It’s going to take more than a couple of bucks and a few empty promises for this girl.  It’s going to take more than the onslaught of political campaign promises, debates, commercials, yard signs and mailers. It’s going to take more than a couple of bucks

NUGENT: Can’t buy me love
Votes of America’s wallet-watchers aren’t for sale

As a free market addict who believes capitalism is the most powerful force for quality of life ever devised by man, I believe the price of a product or service is generally set by what the market will bear.

However, when it comes to the incessant political campaigns on the national level, the amount of cash required is staggering. Our politicians spend as much time and money campaigning as they do trying to convince us that they are working hard on our behalf.

Reports say that President Obama’s campaign for re-election may raise and spend $1 billion. He won’t be alone. The GOP nominee will likely raise the same amount of cash. And I thought $4-a-gallon gas is outrageous.

It won’t be long before you start to see what a billion dollars buys. The tsunami of political television and radio commercials will soon begin to flood the airwaves. The amount of political junk mail that will pack our mailboxes may even be enough to postpone the economic collapse of the U.S. Postal Service for another year.

And not a single dime spent on crafty political advertisements will convince me to vote against my political gut instincts and values.

I’ll vote for the gal or guy who says Washington is much too large, spends way too much money, taxes far too much and unfairly, who advocates for a balanced budget, has owned or worked for a successful company (not including law firms), and who believes health care and retirement is an individual’s responsibility.

The billions that will be spent on the upcoming political campaign are not targeted at me. The money will be spent trying to convince so-called moderates to cast their vote a certain way.

Ironically, even the billions spent on campaigns will, in the end, not matter nearly as much as the money in the wallets of the voters.

Americans vote with their wallets. If their wallets are flush with cash, they generally stick with the same political horse. If their wallets are lean, the incumbent is in big political trouble.

And that is the millstone around President Obama’s neck. Out on the campaign trail, his golden tongue may wax eloquently that the economic malaise of high unemployment and even higher underemployment is the fault of President Bush, but that is a tired, out-of-tune ditty.

Young people rallied around Mr. Obama’s message of “hope and change” in 2008. With a large percentage of college graduates returning home to live with their parents because there are no good jobs to be had, the idealism they had in 2008 will succumb to harsh economic realities. This too spells trouble for the president.

The GOP candidate faces a split party – stalwart Republicans and Tea Party activists. The nominee’s job will be to unite the party while at the same time, spending hundreds of millions courting moderates and telling them happy days will soon be here again.

There is a powerful undercurrent of economic reality that Americans feel. Everyone knows someone who has been laid off, can’t find a job or who is underemployed.

Even a billion dollars will not be able to convince Americans otherwise. Their wallets speak loud and clear.

Ted Nugent is an American rock ‘n’ roll, sporting and political activist icon. He is the author of “Ted, White and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto” and “God, Guns & Rock ‘N’ Roll” (Regnery Publishing).

© Copyright 2011 The Washington Times, LLC  Re-posted with permission


Filed under Blog Re-Posts, Made in America, postaweek2011

Music Moves Me…Bring it on Home

Reportedly an improptu 2003 performance with Van Morrison, Tom Jones and Mr. Jeff Beck. 

Van Morrison, OBE (born George Ivan Morrison; 31 August 1945) is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician. His live performances at their best are regarded as transcendental and inspired. 

Similar Posts:

Music Monday – Matchbox 20 (nrhatch.wordpress.com)

Sir Thomas John Woodward, OBE(born 7 June 1940), known by his stage name Tom Jones, is a Welsh singer. Since the mid 1960s, Jones has sung many styles of popular music – pop, rock, R&B, show tunes, country, dance, techno, soul and gospel– and sold over 100 million records.

Geoffrey Arnold “Jeff” Beck (born 24 June 1944) is an English rock guitarist. He is one of three noted guitarists to have played with The Yardbirds (Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page are the other two). Beck also formed The Jeff Beck Group and Beck, Bogert & Appice.


Filed under Music Moves Me, postaweek2011