Wordless Wednesday: Paul’s Graduation












Pinterest Challenge

Last Tuesday, Sherry announced that she would be hosting The Pinterest Challenge on her blog along with three other bloggers (one of them happens to be a Design Star winner!). I knew immediately that I had to participate. As I’m sure you are well aware, I am kind of addicted to Pinterest. Ok, with 1,329 pins, I guess it’s safe to say that I’m completely addicted to Pinterest. It’s a sickness, people! 

Once I found out about the challenge, I had to tell Paul about it. I told him that all I needed to do to participate was find something that I had pinned on Pinterest and make it. After it was made, I just needed to link it up on Young House Love’s blog

I decided the best place to start in my brainstorming was my DIY folder on Pinterest. Paul and I looked through everything I had pinned and decided to make this sunburst mirror that I pinned from The Lettered Cottage

We decided that this mirror would be perfect over our console table where we hung the wreath. The wreath was supposed to be a place holder anyway until we found a round mirror. 

Paul and I also discussed what color the mirror should be. At first, I thought about some kind of a wood tone, but there are enough wood tones in that area, so we needed something different. Next, I tossed out the idea of an all white mirror. Paul wasn’t too sure about that, though. This is a constant struggle in our marriage. I love all white furniture and prefers dark furniture. Finally, Paul suggested a compromise. He suggested painting the mirror white, but having a few pops of color. I loved this idea!

After we had the color figured out, it was time to pick up supplies. I first went to Lowe’s for the shims and ended up picking up five bags total. That’s 70 shims! After my Lowe’s trip, I headed to Michael’s to pick up three wooden floral craft rings. I didn’t have any luck there, so I went to Jo Anne’s but they didn’t have any either. Finally, I went to Hobby Lobby, but once again, nothing. I decided to paint all my shims in Franklin and wait until I was in Huntsville to look for the rings. 

I decided to use three colors for the shims, white, light blue and dark blue. The white paint was the only paint I bought and the dark blue was left over from painting our apartment. To make the light blue, I just mixed the white and the dark blue paint. I also cut all the paint with water because I wanted some of the wood grain to show through the paint. It took me all day to paint all 70 shims! 

I didn’t do anything with my project until Tuesday. I finally found two of the wooden rings I needed at a Michael’s in Huntsville. Since I needed three, I decided to pick up a styrofoam ring for my third ring and hope for the best. 

Finally, a week after I started my project, it was time for assembly. I did a couple tests to try out a couple of lay outs before I started gluing.

I decided I liked the last layout the best. It was time to bust out the Liquid Nails and get to work. 

Assembly was pretty easy. I glued the back of the shim to the larger ring for the first layer and then glued the shim to the smaller ring for the front layer. 

Once everything was in place, I gave it a quick coat of polycrylic. 

Once the poly dried, I added the mirror. I turned everything over and put paint cans on top for added weight as it dried. 

And here is the final result:

I will post an update when it is hanging on the wall, but I want to give it a little more time so I can be sure it is completely dry. It was a lot of fun to make and it was pretty easy (once I found the floral rings). 

***Be sure to check out Young House Love to see what everyone else made in the Pinterest challenge.***

I promise to have some posts with a little more content later this week, but for now, enjoy a little music from my hubby. This was recorded last night at the evening service. The arrangement of “Softly and Tenderly” that Paul is playing and singing is his own arrangement. Enjoy!

Obsession Confession

Can you guess what my latest obsession is???











Did you guess yet? I definitely have an obsession with white bedding! 

All of these images and more can be found here

Farkie Photo Shoot

Some of you may know that I really enjoy photography. I know next to nothing about it, but I enjoy taking pictures and learning how to manipulate my camera to do what I want it to do. Normally I take pictures outside either during the day when there is plenty of light, or in the evening as the sun is setting. By the way, I’m pretty sure anyone can produce awesome looking pictures just before sunset. The lighting is magical! If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself! 

If you couldn’t tell from the paragraph above, I do not like taking pictures indoors. I can’t ever figure out how to make my pictures look the way I want them to look and I normally end up frustrated. This morning, I decided to change that. I first went to The Pioneer Woman’s website and started reading various articles in her photography section. I also decided to download the manual for my camera and read through it as well. Let me tell you, it was an exciting morning!

Once I did some reading, I picked out a couple of techniques I wanted to try and decided to have a photo shoot. Poor Farkas was my victim, but she was kind of sleepy so she didn’t mind me putting the camera in her face. Here are some of the pictures I took of her today:

Now these are nowhere near perfect, but slowly I am getting over my fear of taking pictures indoors. I also just realized that I forgot to adjust the white balance on my camera before taking these pictures. Shoot! Oh well, you can’t win them all!

Paul’s Recital In Pictures

Here are some pictures from Paul’s recital today. He did such an amazing job and I’m so proud of him!














Big Day!


Today is the big day of Paul’s graduate conducting recital! 

Doing What He Does Best

Paul’s boss is out of town this week, which means Paul gets to plan the music for Sunday’s worship service and lead the congregation in worship on Sunday. He also got to run rehearsals for both choir and orchestra last night. 

Since Paul was leading rehearsals, he asked me to take pictures and video for his resume and portfolio. Here are just a few of the pictures I snapped at rehearsal last night from both orchestra and choir rehearsals. 

Fourth Festivities

I hope everyone had a great Independence Day! I know Paul and I had a fun, relaxing family day. 

We started out the day the best way we know how- sleeping in! Once we got up, we quickly got ready and headed out to get the supplies for our picnic. We kept it pretty simple and picked up Lawler’s pulled pork, potato salad, Combos, and pop. It wasn’t the healthiest meal, but it was good!

We weren’t sure where we wanted to go, so I suggested the only two parks in Huntsville that I know, Monte Sano State Park and Big Springs Park. Paul thought Monte Sano sounded like a winner, so that’s where we headed. It was definitely the right choice. It only cost two bucks to get in and we had no problem finding a picnic table in the shade. We also had a great view from our table, which was a nice bonus. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal. By the way, if you haven’t had Lawler’s BBQ, you are missing out! 

Farkas also got in on the action and ate a little pork. 

She gave it two thumbs up. Well, she would have if she had thumbs!

After our picnic, we went to the lookout to check out the view…

… and take some family pictures. 

After that, it was getting a little warm for us northerners, so we decided to find a Redbox and rent a movie for the afternoon. It’s a good thing we left when we did because as soon as we left the park, Paul discovered a tick on Farkas’s tail. We hurried to CVS to pick up some tweezers, a lighter (I heard somewhere that ticks don’t like heat), and our movie from the Redbox. 

Once we got home, Paul removed the tick from Farkas’s tail and we settled in to watch our movie. We rented The Dilemma starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James. It was pretty terrible, but it was still fun to watch a movie together. 

After the movie, the temperature had cooled considerably, so we decided to get ice cream. We brought Farkas along, so Paul went inside to get the ice cream while I waited outside with her. There was another family sitting at a table close by and as soon as they saw Farkas, they started talking about how they used to kill the dogs that would come on their farms and eat their goats. Not kidding. Welcome to Alabama! Thankfully they left not long after Paul brought the ice cream out. 

We took our time eating our ice cream and took a quick walk to let Farkas burn off some of her energy and then headed home for the night.

Happy Independence Day from the French Family!

Taco Salad Day

I meant to post this yesterday, but I spent most of the day reading a new book so I kind of forgot. I’m sorry!

Wednesday is normally our taco salad day. It’s the day that Paul spends the most time at church because of evening services and rehearsals, so if he has time to come home at all, it’s a quick trip. In Nashville, we lived too far away from the church for him to come home for dinner, so I usually brought dinner to the church. Since I didn’t have much time between getting home from school and leaving to go to church, I needed a quick meal to take. Enter taco salad. 

I got this recipe from Paul’s mom who put in a book of recipes she gave me just before Paul and I got married. It is also a Weight Watchers recipe, so it is pretty healthy- score! Once I started making it, I realized that it was pretty quick to throw together- double score. And since the ingredients aren’t very expensive, (I normally can get a good deal on salsa and taco seasoning isn’t expensive) it makes for a fairly frugal meal- triple score! Oh and did I mention that it freezes beautifully- quadruple score! So basically, I am in love with this recipe and I want to share it with you. 

To begin, gather all your ingredients. If you want to set them up and take a picture of them, that’s up to you! 

You will need:

- 1 cup salsa

- 1 pound lean ground beef (we substitute ground turkey because we like it better, but feel free to play around with it and find something that works for you)

- 1/2 packet of low sodium taco seasoning (or you could make your own

Once you have everything you need, brown the meat. 

Then, add in your taco seasoning. 

And mix it up really well. 

Add the salsa. The recipe calls for a cup, but if you can adjust it to your preferences.  

And whip it, whip it good mix it, mix it good. 

Once the salsa is combined and heated through, you are done! Seriously, it’s that easy. You can use this filling for a bunch of different meals, but we like to use it on a taco salad.

This recipe is really easy to double if you need more or want to make extra to freeze. We have added black beans and green peppers to this recipe in the past and really like it. It would be good with corn, diced tomatoes, onion, olives, guacamole, or anything else you want!  Enjoy!