Author Archives: grace2882

Hawaii Day 2

Day two in Hawaii was just as fantastic as Day 1. We woke to perfect weather and this was our early morning view from the patio.

On Friday morning after breakfast I needed to sit in on a business meeting while Kristin spent time enjoying the resort on her own. She said she must have walked over 3 miles. She learned so much and was so happy when we met up for lunch.

After lunch Kristin and I jumped on a bus and went to a marina and hopped on board a rapid rafting boat with 14 other people from my company. They took us out for 3 1/2 hours and we enjoyed snorkeling at the site of Captain John Cook’s Memorial. I don’t have any pictures but Kristin did have a water proof camera and I will get to see her pictures at a later time.

You should have seen the look on the captain of the raft’s face when I informed him that I couldn’t swim and here he was about to help me into water that was over 100 feet deep. I was hoping that they would give me a life jacket but instead they said for me to try a pool noodle first and if it didn’t work for me they would give me a life jacket. I was very apprehensive but I am a true West Virginia girl and I accepted the challenge with a smile on my face. :)

I did fine with just the pool noodle but I really would love to learn how to swim this summer. I loved being in the water and the water was so clear that we could see all the way to the bottom of the ocean.

We arrived back at the resort about 5:30 and we had to immediately get ready for a formal dinner that the company was providing for us. Kristin and I got dressed up and joined over 1000 people from Bankers in a huge ballroom.

Our menu was amazing and I have to admit that I ate every single bite of it. Even the things that were not low carb. This was a once in a lifetime experience for me.

This evening was amazing. Every meal we had fresh flowers on the table and tonight was no different.

I learned from the night before and I took flip flops in my purse and even though we took the tram from the ballroom to the hotel I still changed my shoes before leaving the ballroom. :)

I found another picture from last nights luau. It is a bit blurry but the night was fantastic. The wind was raging and we all laughed and enjoyed the evening.

We had a big day planned for the next day so we turned in early. Well…. Early considering other people. :)

 

 

 

Hawaii Day 1

Last week I went to Hawaii. It was a dream come true and I am still in shock over actually getting the chance to go to Paradise. The way that this worked out is where I worked set goals for each of us for the year. I met my goal and so I was sent to Hawaii and I was able to take one person with me. Over the past year I have been tested, encouraged and led to push myself so far outside of my comfort zone that I have lost sleep over the stress of the many changes in my life.

My job has provided me an outlet that I could sink myself into when my personal life was a constant state of chaos. Having this time to relax and take a few moments to myself was exactly what I needed to reflect on my dreams and my wants. My job does allow me to reach for my dreams. It has allowed me to purchase a home that I love and each day I return home and look around in amazement that I actually live there. A co-worker once told me that I needed to allow myself to believe that I am worthy of having a nicer home and traveling to beautiful places.

I work for Bankers Life and Casualty as an agent. I enjoy what I do and I hope that I am able to continue to work there for many years but I will trust God to lead me where he wants me to be.

Last week my daughter-in-law, Kristin and I arrived in Hawaii and we were met there by wonderful people that Bankers had arranged to take us to the hotel. They took care of our luggage and later delivered them to our room at the Hilton in Kona, Hawaii. There are several buildings in the resort and it is very spacious and they have enough amenities to provide almost your every want.

We were in the Paradise Towers and this was a very fitting name. From the pillow top mattresses to the bath towels that literally wrapped around us twice to a shower head from HEAVEN we were pampered every moment that we were there.

This amazing fountain was what we found as we entered the foyer of the our tower.

We were located on the second floor but this actually meant that we had a patio that led out onto a beautiful lawn. We sat on this patio every morning and just enjoyed the view.

Kristin found a beautiful cat the first night and she tried for days to get this cat to come to her but it never did. She also found a mongoose and called for it to come to her and to my horror it did. I quickly screamed and ran into the room while she laughed at me from the patio.

We had to either walk a 1/2 mile to the area that our meals were served or we could take a tram. We enjoyed the walk and it truly helped us considering we enjoyed way more food than we should have over the week. But in the end I didn’t gain any weight. I didn’t lose as I should have considering our pace but I didn’t gain either. :)

Each morning we would sit at our table and enjoy our breakfast and this was our view.

After our first breakfast there we explored the grounds and took over 100 pictures. They have a dolphin training area and we loved watching the dolphins play and they were so sweet. I wish that I had room to have one at home.

Kristin just glowed during the entire week. She was a great travel companion and I was so blessed to spend this time with her.

The hotel had this beautiful life size statue in the Lagoon Lanai.

They had many shops located within the resort. I saw several things that would have looked great in my home. Unfortunately they were not in my budget. This is a quilted table runner.

I would have loved this little basket but I couldn’t make myself spend $18 on it.

The resort had many forms of wildlife for us to enjoy.

They also had many historical artifacts as well. This statue is reported to be used during tribal counsel meetings and speakers stand next to it and if they tell a lie they will become violently ill. I could think of a few people that I would love to have stand next to this. :)

This very nice lady demonstrated how to make leis. She was very talented.

Kristin and I were enjoying our stroll and we came upon this sign that made my heart sink. Those of you who are friends with me over on facebook know how badly I hate swinging bridges. I had to walk across this thing only once. I found ways to avoid it the rest of my trip. haha

The evening ended with a beautiful luau and I tried to take pictures but they all turned out blurry. The wind was fierce that night but the food was magnificent. There was a live band and hula dancers. They had people dancing on rafts in the water as well. It was a magical evening and we will cherish our memories of a few days in paradise.

I will be sharing more pictures of the vacation and our experiences in Hawaii. I am very grateful to be working at Bankers. I have learned a lot over the past 18 months. I am stronger and I have finally learned to use my voice and stand up for myself. I am no longer afraid to work to achieve my dreams. I have accepted that I am just as worthy as anyone else and that if you really do work hard that you can achieve your dreams.

 

My Next Furniture Project

I have been looking for a new project to do and my step-father surprised me with these two gems. The first is a small chest of drawers that I will be doing for the boys room here. I like to keep extra clothing just in case they get dirty or want to spend the night on the spur of the moment. Bill had this beauty in his workshop and he and Mom scrubbed it and presented it to me on Saturday. I will stare it for a few weeks to decide what I want to do with it to make cowboy ready for the boys. :)

Bill gave me this end table too. I will have to really study this one for a bit. The top is leather. I have always loved this table. Many years ago it was in their living room and then used in their bedroom eventually. I will find it a place of honor in my home soon too.

Thank you Mom and Bill for the new furniture for me to be creative with. I love them both already and I know the boys will cherish their new furniture for their room here. :)

 

House Update

First I have to apologize for not responding to comments that people have been making. With the move and working I have been swamped. I used to have a problem going to sleep at night and since I moved I am sleeping like a baby now. I think walking up and down the stairs so much has been giving me a lot of exercise. I love it.

My stepfather, Bill and my mother came to my home and painted my bedroom ceiling for me and then a co-worker came over and we painted the walls the next day. Bill came in later and just shook his head at our attempts. He wasn’t impressed with the trim work we did along the ceiling. When I came home from work the next day he had came over and fixed it. haha After that he and Mom took over the painting detail of my new home.

I chose to do one wall in the living room orange and the others a khaki color. The ceiling is white but the glow from the lamp makes it appear to be yellow. For now I will share my favorite 2 spots in the room. this is the corner where hopefully a piano will go someday. Do you like the lamp? My sister Donna invited me over to go “shopping” in her garage and guest room and I got the lamp at her home. Shopping at her house doesn’t involve money at all. haha The wall sconces Caleb bought me at a yard sale for $1. I think they are perfect in this corner. The picture came from Hobby Lobby.

I have a large bay window in my living room. It is very pretty during the day but at night it just draws my attention to it. The large round basket candle holders came from Donna’s home when I was “shopping”. She has great taste! I bought the lamps at the Salvation Army for $4.

 

 

The dining room is completed now. I am very happy with the way it turned out. One wall is green and the others are khaki too. Do you remember the chest of drawers that I renovated a few months ago? I am using it in the dining room to store my linens. It is perfect here.  The painting came from Hobby Lobby and the orange tiered candy dish came from a yard sale a couple of years ago for $2. I have added almond colored candles in the candle holders after taking the picture.

Once I had the linen chest in there and the picture on the wall the placemats that I had planned to use on my table didn’t quite seem fitting for in there. Donna and David blessed me with a gift basket and in it included placemats, candles, napkins and napkin rings along with a few more goodies that fit my color scheme. I love the way my dining room table looks now.  Donna had already given me the candle holder in the middle of the table but I needed 2 more so she came back the next day with the other 2 from her bedroom and now my table is complete. I love shopping at Donna’s home!! hahaha

I will be sharing more pictures along the way but this is it for now. I am holding off showing the entire living room and the bedrooms until I get finishing touches on them. I am sooooo close to be finished! Please forgive me for not posting a lot while I am getting settled. I promise to post again as soon as I can.

 

 

 

What A Day!

Yesterday it reached 73 here in WV and it was fabulous. I drove around with the AC on in my car and no coat at all. This morning when I left the house it was 57 degrees and by the time I came home it is 33 degrees and snowing. This is crazy.

Today after work I called my sister, Donna and the conversation went like this.

Me: I think I have time to come by your house.

Donna: Oh good. I have chicken to make for dinner.

Me: Do you have capers and lemon juice too?

Donna: Yep!

hehehe I am so spoiled. We had chicken piccata and it was wonderful.

I also went “shopping” at Donna’s house too. Shopping involves entering her guest room and seeing a lamp that I love and putting it in my car! hahahaha

I also saw a heated full body massage mat in her garage and I am currently sitting in my living room in my pajamas sitting on this thing and wondering why I haven’t gotten one of these of my own. I may have to actually try to buy this from them to keep it permanently. hahaha

Life is good. I am so close to being in my own home. I am so very blessed. God has a plan for me and I am confident that it will all work out in his time.

Cabinet Filled

I went back to the new house after work today and put a few things away. I hated leaving there to come home but it will be at least 2 weeks until I can get my furniture moved. I spent about 30 minutes filling the cabinet and moving things around until I got the look I was going for. I wanted to still see the stencil design in the background.

Figuring out where to put everything is going to take time to make it easier to use the kitchen. The cabinets are very high and I have to use a ladder to use more than the bottom shelf in any of my upper cabinets. I am not a short woman but I suddenly feel the pain of short women everywhere! :)

China Cabinet

Yesterday I closed on my new home and I am so happy. I will be slowly showing you what I am doing with it over the next few months. This kitchen is what made me fall in the love with it. I am going to be changing all of the colors of course.

Look at the cabinet to the far side which has glass in the front of it. I am going to put my china in this cabinet but I couldn’t just leave it white because my china is white. This picture was from when we were doing the inspection and some of the previous owners things were still there even though they had moved out.

First of all the color needed to pop. What other color pops more than orange? :)

This is the cabinet with doors open.

Doors closed.

I loved it but it wasn’t enough so I used a stencil and high gloss white paint.

I love this.

I can’t wait to put the china in it this weekend after the white has had time to dry.

The orange is Olympic One Field Poppy and the white is Olympic One Silver Feather. These are my color scheme for the new house. I am only making small pops of color and hopefully making it all work out. I will share a pic of the cabinet with the china in it over the weekend. :)

Vivid Orange Collection by Olympic One

Pier One Tastes on a Big Lots Budget

I have decided that with the move I am changing my style from a country type decor to a more contemporary look. I have chosen bright colors for accents and am amazed at everything that I have found to decorate with.

Last week Donna and I went shopping at Hobby Lobby and I found a few things that I dearly loved. I found this lamp but I didn’t like the price tag. I plan to do my own version of this lamp with spray paint and bright fabric. I will show it to you once I get moved.

I found this cute cowboy that would look great in Caleb’s cowboy themed room. I haven’t bought it yet though.

Today I went to Pier One with my neighbor Courtney and found so many things that I loved and hope to duplicate in some way soon. They had so many things in my color palette. Unfortunately I have Pier One tastes on a Big Lots budget. Aren’t these things beautiful?

This pillow was $40. I think I should be able to embroider something close to this. I need to think this through some more. This would look great on my couch in the living room.

This lamp would look pretty on my green sofa table or in the middle of the dining room table.

I liked these place mats even though I already have some really nice place mats already that would look great in there.

The following items all match and would look great in the dining room. I am in love but unfortunately I will have to come up with another plan and look for something similar to these. Just watch me come up with a more affordable alternative. Donna is very good at helping come up with ideas.

I had several items that I had on a list of things that I NEEDED for the move. I needed a new broom, curtains for the bedroom and a trashcan for the outside of the home. At this house the garbage collectors provided a trash can. I won’t have that option at the new home. I was able to get everything today on sale. I even found new pillows for bed that I have been needing. I only sleep on my side and I noticed that my neck is hurting so I needed a new pillow. It is amazing to me how God is providing all of my needs and helping me to afford these items. I am truly blessed.

Why You Should Cook For Better Health!

I love to cook but lately my heart hasn’t been in it much. I have been under stress to find a new place to live and with work and the divorce. Now that I have found a home and I am packing I am excited to get into my new home and prepare new healthy meals for myself and my family.

Today I was on Facebook and I saw a link to an article on why you should choose to cook for your health if you have Diabetes. Over the years I have heard so many people say that they can’t cook or they don’t have time to cook. This article addressed that and many other excuses too. I highly recommend taking a moment to check it out.

Click here for the article. 

Last night I had family members here until very late helping me pack for my move in about 4 weeks. I have about 3/4 of my home packed already. I think I only need one more day of packing and it will all be ready to go. I just need to get the inspection over with on Tuesday and then I will have the closing on March 3rd. I am nervous and excited all together. I am looking forward to getting into the new home and painting it and making it my own.

I hope you all stick around while I get my new life together and create new recipes!

Dingess Tunnel

For those of you who follow me over on Facebook you all know of my fear of swinging bridges and heights.  Well on Friday I quickly learned of another fear. I was in Mingo County on business and when I was leaving a clients home I hit HOME on my GPS and it told me to leave a different way that I had gone there. BOY OH BOY was this an adventure.

The GPS had me go through the Dingess Tunnel that is close to the Laurel Lake Park. I had never gone through this tunnel but I saw other people driving through it so I just got in line and drove through it too. I was quickly regretting this decision and I will NEVER go through it again. I had no idea how long and narrow this tunnel would end up being.

This the description of the Dingess Tunnel from another website.

“This 100 year old, former train tunnel was converted into a highway tunnel in the 1960’s and still serves the public today.  The Dingess Tunnel is just under a mile long and is rumored to be haunted by the victims of train accidents from its past.  Driving through the tunnel is an adventure in itself.  The tunnel road is only one lane wide so those driving through the tunnel must drive slowly, flash their lights and blow their horn to warn travelers at the other end not to enter. It’s like going on a fun house ride without ever getting out of your car.  Don’t worry though.  There have been very few accidents at the tunnel and its lots of fun.”

Source of information- Dingess Tunnel

This was not fun. The tunnel is so narrow that you couldn’t stop your car and open your car door even if you wanted to. The sides of the tunnel are very jagged and rough. You quickly realize that you are deep beneath a mountain and feel as if you are going to suffocate at any moment. If someone tries to enter the tunnel from the other side and you meet in the middle there is really no where else to go but for one of you to put your car into reverse through this curvy tunnel. Check out this youtube video that I found. I did not take this video myself.

The tunnel is very dark and during most of your time inside the tunnel you can’t see any light at the other end. I honestly felt ill and in a panic while traveling through this tunnel. I could tell by the people in front of me that this is a tunnel that they travel through often and had no qualms doing so. I have the utmost respect for the people who live in these rural areas. They are the nicest people who are always there to help their neighbors. They have learned to depend on each other and they have a tight knit family ethic that can not be divided.

One thing that I have noticed in Mingo County is that many of the homes are built on the side of the mountain. After I left the tunnel I had to take many back roads to get back to the main highway in order to come home. The roads were very narrow and the driveways that exited to the side definitely gave me moments of fear. You could tell that there was a home over the side of the mountain and that there was a driveway made there but you would have to go by faith that once you drove over the side of the narrow road that your car didn’t fall off into the abyss because you could not see the driveways.

So tell me. Would you drive through the tunnel?