Taking a Break from Blog Hopping for Meal Planning

I am methodically working my way through the other 209 participants' blogs in the Bead Soup Blog Party. I've still got about 100 blogs left to go, but soooooo many other tasks on my plate (in my soup bowl) that it's taking me a bit of time to work through each of them. How far have you gotten? If you are here to see what I made with my soup, you can just scroll down to the next post, or click HERE to be taken to my bead soup post.
One of the pieces I completed with my Bead Soup

I'm really loving this blog hop and have found quite a few more blogs to follow (as if I needed any more in my feedreader.) Even though my attention really should have been on the soup party, Pat and I had all kinds of plans for the weekend: dinner with friends, a wedding reception (for which we had to get hairs cut and a present bought), and the longing to and actuality of spend some time outdoors (on our bikes again.) We stayed as close to the water as we could almost all weekend without actually getting in it since the water's still a bit too chilly.
Wedding reception
Bike Riding view

Since I've got all kinds of tasks that I need to get done today (blog hopping, grocery shopping, jewelry making, description writing, etc.), let me share my weekly meal plan for Menu Plan Monday and be on my way. Be sure to check out all the other meal plans over at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

B: Cereal
L: Bagel pizzas
D: Ham and Broccoli casserole

B: Muffins
L: Tuna noodles
D: Roast Chicken, mashed potatoes, peas

B: Waffles
L: Soup and grilled cheese
D: Three cheese stuffed shells, salad

B: Bacon & cheese omelets
L: Turkey & cheese quesidillas
D:  Pat has gig, Hope on own

B: Breakfast parfait
L: Chicken salad sandwiches
D: MEXICAN - out

B: Biscuits, fruit, sausage
L: Leftovers
D: Beef and snow peas, rice

B:Breakfast burritos
L: Turkey sandwiches
D: Ham, rice mix, green beans

I can almost guarantee that you'll see many of these recipes repeated next week. This week will be full of Mardi Gras parades and merriment, so I may not got to making dinner. Wait and see!
That's it for today. Later gators.

Rectifying the Situation

Remember Wednesday?
I was a little embarrassed posting that picture of my messy craft desk for Bead Table Wednesday. Because. . . well. . .you only got to see the one desk. You didn't get a peek at the other surfaces in the craft room. And, you know what? You couldn't have seen any of the other surfaces anyway. They were COVERED with. . .stuff.

I had intended to clean house yesterday. However, my hopes to get the laundry done, kitchen cleaned, and living room picked up were thwarted by the mortification of you seeing those pictures I hastily shared. Well, I'm ashamed no more. I spent the bulk of yesterday cleaning the craft room.

The craft room is clean! Now, I'll just stay in there and hide from the mess in the rest of the house.

Seriously, I paid for my cleaning spree and had a day-long allergy attack as I did so. The sneezing, wiping, and blowing wore on me. As such, I failed to get anything else done. So, I apologize for my blog absence yesterday. I knew I shouldn't have promised something exciting for you. Promises like that always get me into trouble.

Well, I will make ONE more promise. Check back tomorrow for the Bead Soup Blog Party! It's going to be a BLAST!!

Since it is Friday, here's a little "Feel Good Friday" for you:
  • Rainbow jelly shooters. I like all things rainbow and I do like me some 'jelly shots.' These are just so pretty and so very coo. Oh, and here's a few more neat jello shots for fun - rock candy jello shots
  • This video seriously made me howl with laughter - Nonsense
Happy Friday Y'all. I'll see ya tomorrow!

Beady Basics

How'd you like that picture-fest yesterday?

Today, let's rock it old-school with just the basics.
First, here's a sneaky peek at my completed Bead Soup Blog Party pieces.

Don't forget to check back on Saturday to get a much better look at what I made with the lovelies Patty sent me.

Today's Wednesday and that means it's Bead Table Wednesday.
Bead Table Wednesday
Close up on my table, you see the remnants of my crafting the bead soup pieces.
However, if you back up all you can see is the mess left behind from working on and sending out a custom piece as well as the Bead Soup spillage.

I'll tackle that mountain of a disaster tomorrow. For now, why don't you go check out some really cool bead tables in the BTW flickr group.

This morning I listed one of my most FAVORITE pieces. It just screams SPRING IS HERE to me. And, since I started seeing traces of spring in the yellow pollen that's begun to settle on my car, I thought today was the perfect time to go ahead and list it.
Secret Garden Necklace

Now for the routine of some
~*Crafty Links*~ (topic: Embroidery)
Finally, how about some "Wild, Wild Web Wednesday" Links also:
I'm hoping I can share something more exciting with you tomorrow. Check back to find out.

    Beach Weekend on the Alabama-Florida Gulf Coast

    Before I get into telling you about our weekend, let me make a correction from yesterday's post. The prizes I showed off that came in the mail were my winnings from Kristen Robinson's blog. I've made an addition on that post, but wanted to make sure it's clear.

    So. . . our February weekend at the beach was VERY NICE!!
    I don't know if you saw the moon on Friday night, but it was HUGE and awesome. I tried my darnedest to get a photo of the beauty of the big, beautiful, full moon just after it had risen. However, that didn't work out so well for me. Once we checked into the condo, I was able to snap this okay shot.

    By the way, that photo was taken with my new favorite iPhone app - Instagram. If you have an iPhone, you should TOTALLY check it out!

    Since it was Friday when we got there, we knew it was a must that we partake in what we call Margarita Friday.

    Saturday was spent recovering from the margaritas, eating at some of our local favorites, and enjoying just being at the beach. I did squeeze in some creative time and made this necklace.
    I'd REALLY like to know what you think of the necklace.

    Sunday was one of my favorite days of all time.
    Since we took our bikes down to the beach with us, we decided to check out the walking/biking trail at the Alabama Gulf State Park. We explored one part of the trail on foot several weeks ago. Come to find out, we barely made a dent in the trail that time. The main trail is about 5.5 miles long and paved the whole way. Of course, there are a ton of unpaved walking trails just off the main path AND several paved branches and forks off the main trail. There are benches, porch swings, and picnic tables all along the pathway. In addition, there was this screen-enclosed picnic area with porch swings on the front. This building was just near the bathrooms and water fountain.
    Almost the entire trail (at least the route we took) is wooded and lovely. There are patches of sand and palmettos on the side of the path, reminding you that you're at the beach. However, this was my favorite spot on the trail, reminding me that we were at the beach in Southern Alabama.

    Pat and I rode from one end of the trail to the other for a total of 11 MILES!!! Of course, there were forks off the path that we didn't take and are excited to explore next time.

    After that long ride, we were thirsty and hungry. We headed back to Perdido Key to check out a restaurant we've never visited before. We'd seen the Oyster Bar from the bridge that it's almost under and had wanted to check it out since it had a nice looking deck along the river.
     Oh my gosh! It was GOOD!! We both wanted to eat somewhat healthy after the exercise we had gotten, and lucked out with the yummy Mahi Mahi and sauteed crab claws. (the Bushwackers were to die for also!!) But the view absolutely sold us on the place. We'll be going back there!

     Back at the condo, we relaxed and enjoyed our last night on the beach.
    In the morning, we took one long gaze off the balcony.

    I should let you know that we rented the condo from Meyer Realty and stayed in Perdido Key.  We usually rent from Meyer because I really like the way their website search works and the amount of info you can get on each of the properties available. As well, they're almost always offering some sort of special. In this case, we got the "rent two nights get the third free" special that they were having for Valentine's.

    Now that I've been home for a full day, I'm getting back into the swing of things and knocked a few tasks off the to do list.
    These simple earrings were listed
    Flower Power Earrings
    As well, I knocked out a custom piece and finished up a few more for the Bead Soup Blog Party on Saturday.
    Now, I'm ready to relax again.
    Oh well, vicious cycle.

    I hope you enjoyed my little review of the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast and recognize that there is plenty to do down here other than swim in the water. Of course, had it been warmer, we would have TOTALLY been in the water. We were on the beach two days and saw lots of cleaning activity, but not a single tar ball. Come on down, there's lots of fun and food to be had!!

    Taking Care of Business

    Though I mentioned that Pat and I were going to celebrate Valentines over the weekend, I didn't reveal our plans. Now that the weekend is over, I figured I'd let you know that we rented a condo on the Gulf (in Perdido Key, Florida.) I've got lots to share today, so I'll overload you with pretty beach pictures and details tomorrow. For now, this is what the view looked like when we left this morning.

    It was very hard to leave, but we missed the kitties.

    I've got a whole hoard of tasks to take care of this week.
    • I sold a pair of earrings and the buyer asked me to make a matching necklace. 
    • PLUS, the Bead Soup Blog Party reveal is Saturday!! I've got one piece made but I'd like to knock out a few more with the soup ingredients Patty sent me. 
    • And, I've got a bunch of items made whose pictures need to be cleaned up so they can be listed. 
    • In addition, these goodies arrived in the mail on Friday and I really want to play with them! **Added - these goodies were won from Kristen Robinson's blog**

    I have also added this little spark of fun in the shop.
    Doodle Whimsy Bracelet

    Of course, today is Monday, and I did take a little time on the ride home from the beach to do some Meal Planning for Menu Plan Monday. Don't forget to take a look at the other menus linked up at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

    B Out
    L Out
    D Ham steaks, mac-n-cheese, green beans

    B Muffins
    L Leftover pizza
    D Taco soup, tortilla chips

    B Cereal
    L Ham sandwiches
    D Grilled chicken, cauliflower, rice

    B Eggs, bacon, toast
    L Brats, baked beans
    D Pork chops, scalloped potatoes, corn

    B Cereal
    L Tuna noodles
    D MEXICAN - out

    B Omelets
    L Bagel pizzas
    D Wedding reception

    B Breakfast parfaits
    L Grilled cheese and soup
    D Roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, peas

    Before I go, let me share a few "Made Me Smile Monday" links for the fun of it.
    • Here's a cute little video that I've been saving. I've seen it around a few different places online, but I thought I'd share in case some of you haven't seen it yet - ladybug plays with sprinkles
    • This firewood sign made me chuckle. 
    • The grammar freak in me wants to remind you that commas are important -

    It's taken me WAY too long to write this post. I keep getting distracted since I'm still totally in vacation mode. So, I need to go ahead and publish this in the hopes that it'll spur me to actually get started on some of those other "need-to-do" tasks.

    Lesson Learned - Love It or Leave It

    Prepare yourself for some over-analytical rambling on the topic of what is selling for me and what isn't. I've scattered some pictures of my jewelry though the post to distract you! You're welcome.
    Loved it - SOLD it!
    Since I started selling jewelry (just over 6 whole months now) I've been trying to find a pattern in what people buy from me. I can't seem to find a definite one. However, what I HAVE come to notice is that the pieces I absolutely LOVE tend to be the items that sell. And, the ones I'm not really a fan of . . . Well, it seems that no one else is either. That's not to say that I love EVERY item I've sold or that EVERY item I love gets sold. (Yeah, read that last sentence real slow and it will make sense, kinda.) But, the items that I'm no big fan of, they just don't sell.
    Didn't love, didn't sell
    What has all this over-analyzing taught me? Well, I've learned that if I don't really like an item, it's not worth listing. Just because I made it doesn't mean that it's a winner. Not EVERYTHING I make has to go into the shop.
    In simple terms: 
    If I like it, I list it. If I don't like it, leave it out.

    I've got to remember that the shop is a representation of who I am. It can't just be a pile of beads that kinda look good together.

    I see now that this is something that should have been blatantly obvious to me. However, I reasoned that not everyone has the same taste as I do in jewelry. So, I was making and including jewelry pieces that I thought would meet other tastes. That's got to stop.

    A favorite - SOLD

    Apparently, my distaste for those piece shone through. I am going to have to be more critical of what I use to represent me and seriously take a look at each item. Then, decide if it's a piece I would personally wear. If not, it gets taken apart and I start over.
    Not a fan = expired without a sell

    I've got two finished pieces right now, a necklace and a pair of earrings, that I KNOW I'm not particularly thrilled with. I think the necklace can be salvaged with a a few adjustments, but the earrings. . .they just need to be taken apart completely and the beads worked into something else.


    This is still a learning process for me, and I'm enjoying every minute of it.

    And, here's a bracelet (that I DO LOVE) that is now on sale over 15% off!
    Rosy Glow Bracelet

    The necklace from Lorelei's 2nd Michael's Challenge was also listed in the shop. I am quite fond of the focal on this piece.
    Naughty or Nice Necklace

    What lessons have you learned?
    Do you have any tips or comments about the jewelry in my shop?
    I'd love to hear from you!!

    Feverish and Falling Behind

    What does it mean when you wake up Monday morning with a fever? Does that mean you had a good weekend or not? I'm going to go with GOOD weekend, or at least with heck-a-busy weekend. Sooooo crazy busy that Pat and I were both sick on Valentine's Day. That's not too big of a deal since we were planning on celebrating V-Day this coming weekend anyway.

    So, what kept us so busy this weekend? Port Trio (Pat's band) played Friday, Saturday was consumed with my Mardi Gras Ball (decorating and hosting it), and Sunday was a day at the beach (literally).

    Of course, as I've already stated, I woke up with a fever yesterday and spent all day battling it. I'm feeling a bit better today. However, this week is just going to be a bit off. There will  be no meal plan (sorry) and I have no Valentine post for you. . .oh well. Instead, there will most likely just be randomness. (Hurray?)

    First random topic - when not sleeping yesterday, I spent my time trying to decrease the amount of blogs in my feed reader. I stumbled upon a Valentine giveaway for some Industrial Chic pieces and found out this morning I had won. Check out Kristen Robinson's blog  and her Valentine post to see the goodies I'll be getting.

    Secondly, I was featured in another treasury. This time the treasury is made of Etsians from the Red Dirt Crafters Team.
    From the Red Dirt of Alabama

    There's also a new collage bangle in the shop.
    French Blaze Bangle

    Since I'm going with random today, here's a few links that fit that description.

    And, a few general Crafty Links

    Now, I'm off to get a few more tasks complete and maybe even FINALLY start on my Valentine Project(s) for Pat. Here's hoping your week is going much better than mine started off!

    Knocking it Out

    If you read my post yesterday, you  know I was delaying the inevitable. Basically, I was putting off cleaning. I'm working to remedy that burden today with my "timer method".  This method involves me setting a timer (on my phone or iPad) for 30 minutes. I work (as I am now, writing this post) until the timer sounds and then make myself do something on my chore list. So far today, I've gotten the kitchen cleaned and most of the laundry done via this method. When the timer sounds next, I'll have to go clean the bathrooms. (Booooooo!!) I use this method all the time to help motivate me to get up from the craft I'm absorbed in or to pull myself away from the internet in order to complete some of my more despised tasks (i.e. anything related to cleaning). It really does help. Just thought I'd share and let you know that I do, indeed, clean my house.

    Other than cleaning, I have been busy getting some work done also.
    To prove this, I took some shots of my craft desk this morning for Bead Table Wednesday.

    Check out some of the other Busy Beaders on the Bead Table Wednesday Flickr Group
    Bead Table Wednesday

    I also listed a new set of earrings
    Royal Affair Earrings

    The dang timer just went off. . .let me go ahead and share some Valentine links before I go all scrubby in the tubby.

    Alright, I'm off for my long overdue appointment with a toilet brush!

    Delaying the Inevitable

    This was YESTERDAY'S Craft Desk, but I really liked the organized chaos of it!

    I was just thinking how much I got accomplished today (delivered a custom piece, made breakfast, grocery shopped, etc) when I spotted a WiiMote in the floor, a few cups on the side table, and an article of clothing or two strewn about the living room. Let's just say I've been busy with other tasks. And, well, I'm not a 'cleaner.' I love to organize, but cleaning. . .not so much. Oh well, you can't win them all. I'll get to it, eventually.

    For now, let's focus on the fun!
    Like. . .  .

    This new necklace in the shop.
    Glass and Glam Necklace

    And, another treasury that I'm featured in. I love the shade of purple that she has for this list. Luscious!
    I Feel Like a Queen Treasury

    Somehow, it took me until today to realize that Valentine's Day is on Monday. I kept thinking it was on a Tuesday. Doesn't matter, I don't think Pat and I will be celebrating it on either day anyway. (no worries, It WILL be celebrated) Of course, I do need to get a jump on my gift to him so I can share it with all of you, hopefully!
    Until then, here are some other fantastic V-Day Ideas
    I've got plans to bust out some earrings today before I head to Mobile this evening. So I best get to it!

    Going Through The Motions

    I said on my Facebook Page on Friday (I think that's right) that I knew it was going to be a low craft weekend because of the busy-ness I had planned. Unfortunately, it ended up being a NO craft weekend. Booooo!!!

    The entire weekend was focused on some parties in preparation for my society's Mardi Gras Ball (which is this upcoming weekend.) After prepping and partying all weekend (though the parties were tame), I'm EXHAUSTED. I feel like I'm just going through the motions this morning. For some reason, the components for this post were fairly easy to gather, now let's see how they come together. Please forgive me for the lack of cohesion and smooth transitions.

    There's a new soldered necklace in the shop.
    Unique Inspiration Necklace

    And some earrings went on sale.
    Purple Power Earrings - Now 25% OFF

    Last week I said that the Alabama Accents team has been busy with Treasuries. Here are two more I'm featured in!!
    True Love Stories Never Have Endings

    what was I saying about TURQUOISE?

    Since it is Monday, I've got my meal plan all ready for you. Please note that last week most of the plan did not get executed, so it just got slung over to this week. Exciting aye? Please, please check out the other, most likely more inventive Menu Plan Monday posts over at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

    B: Cereal
    L: Ham sandwiches
    D: Turkey filets, mac-n-cheese, green beans

    B: Muffins
    L: Tuna noodles
    D: Crockpot Curried Chicken, rice

    B: Bagels w/cream cheese
    L: Soup and grilled cheese
    D: Tacos, corn

    B: Cereal
    L: Leftovers
    D: Hope at a Pot Luck, Pat on own

    B: Eggs, bacon, toast
    L: Bagel pizzas
    D: Pat gig, Hope on own

    B: Cereal
    L: Lunch with room members
    D: Mardi Gras BALL

    B: Out, brunch?
    L: Bean burritos
    D: Chili, with rice

    Finally, a few more Valentine crafts, cards, ideas, and more
    I've got a few custom orders in the works and really should get back to them before I can start on anything new to show. It's going to be another busy-preparing-for-the-ball week, so here's hoping I can get my craft on! What does your week look like?

    Winding down the 100DayProject

    I awoke the other day with many thoughts about the 100 Day project and decided to jot them down here to share with you. Some of the bits I g...