Categories
Inspire Musings

Frosty February

The frosty days of February are coming to a close and as I gleefully bid adieu to the frigid cold and snow, I shall miss the splendor of her magical daybreaks and awe inspiring sunsets.

Frosty February

February and I have always had a tumultuous relationship. My sunshine craving soul seems to lose its lack of luster once the holidays are 

Categories
Inspire Musings

Apple Orchard Adventure and Other Things

Apple orchard

 

Times are a changing around here. My girls are growing like beautiful flowers that are blooming into the most delightful young ladies despite all my worry, constant conversations and continuous praying.

Apple orchard

The days seem to slip away in a millisecond as the seasons melt into one another and I find myself trying to memorize yet another year to write on my checks.

Apple orchard

But this past year in particular has been especially blur-like. My eldest learned to drive, my youngest became a teenager, and my life perspective began to dramatically change. The little take for granted’s  became monumental. My faith grew like it hasn’t in years and my constant enamor with social media and online life dissolved into disenchantment. I didn’t really know who I was for awhile. Has that ever happened to you? My senses were overstimulated as I tried to balance my life on what seemed to be a very tiny beam. My focus that was usually multifaceted, narrowed into an ability to focus on only one task.

Apple orchard

I craved simplicity, stability, structure.

And my family.

 

Apple orchard

I almost considered taking my blog down even though my mind kept a silent tally of ideas and notes as I went through my days.

I prayed for answers and waited.

And then I’d pray again.

Slowly I started to hear God’s whispers.

Family was first.

Apple orchard

Apple orchard

So I continued to pray and be a mom and a daughter and a sister and a wife and a child of God. By spring I started feeling the familiar little flutters of butterfly wings in my stomach that let me know when something is a changing. I went on a weekend getaway with some dear friends. Conversations unfolded and God started speaking to me rather than whispering.

I started getting answers to prayers.

I was in awe. Why do I always respond with surprise when answered prayers come? 

Blessings can come in such beautiful packages.

Apple orchard

And unusually surprising ways.

I knew that I had to keep going. My passion for inspiring people was planted in me before I was born. Nothing makes my soul smile like making people feel something stir inside. Whether it comes from sharing a delicious recipe that we’ve enjoyed or a table I’ve set to decorating my foyer or fireplace mantel and everything in between, I love to inspire you. And I believe that is what God has called me to do.

Apple orchard

So for the past few months my husband, My Yanni, and I have been working on a new blog as I’ve been trying to keep up with the constant flow of creative ideas, recipes, decorating suggestions, and DIY projects as we decide on fonts and layouts and widgets and designs. We’re working on the last little details and kinks and hope that the new Wenderly will be up in a few weeks.

Apple orchard

*photos credits for this pic go to my eldest daughter*

I hope that you’ll join me for all the new inspiration that I would love to share with you.

Apple orchard

First on the list are homemade carmel apple hand pies made with the apples we picked from our magical family trip to the apple orchard.

With love and anticipation!

Wenderly

Categories
Inspire Musings

Winter Scenes, Winter Thoughts

winter-scene-pond-park

Winter.

Moments.

Reflection. 

Contemplation.

Grace.

Appreciation.

Grateful.

Humbled.

Miraculous.

Treacherous.

Glorious. 

Curious.

Raw.

Rejuvenating.

As of late, I have found myself deeply moved throughout the day by snippets of winter scenes that unfold in front of me. My iphone has become one with my hand as I have felt compelled to capture the beauty before me and tuck it away for future enjoyment.

This is a strange and foreign behavior for me because winter is usually a season that I find myself head down, eyebrows furrowed, energy focused on doing everything possible to get through the dreary months lickity split.

But as I  laid my sleepy eyes upon this glorious sunrise, my soul was stirred.

winter-sunrise-winter-scenes

This quiet snowfall that caused a hush to fall over the land as it wrapped itself around every nook and cranny left me silent and peaceful.

winter-scene-snowy-road

This magnificent sunset stopped me dead in my tracks with shivers running up and down my spine whilst bustling through a frozen parking lot. 

winter-scene-sunset

And this morning as I was frantically dashing through the snow, this capture made me realize that it’s time for me to slow down and savor every moment.

For I don’t know for certain how many I’ve got left.

winter-scene-dashing-through-the-snowy-roads

It’s almost as if God has set a gentle hand upon my shoulder and whispered silently into my being…

Savor today. Every. single. moment.

I hope that you will too.

xoxoxo,

Wenderly

Categories
Decorate Inspire Musings

Oh, For the Love of Autumn

bushel-of-pumpkins

Autumn. Just whispering the word makes a warm smile spread across my lips.

Autumn.

Autumn.

Autumn.

I love everything about the season.

Bushels of plump, perfect pumpkins.

Small-orange-pumpkins-in-bag

Magnificent, brightly colored mums adorning the storefronts begging for a spot on your front stoop.

different-lovely-mums

Candy apple red shoes shining brightly out from beneath a dark, comfy pair of  jeans.

candy-apple-red-shoes

Glorious sunrises that seem to warm even the crispest of frosty mornings.

majestic-sunrise

Accompanied by fragrant pumpkin pancakes that warm your heart and soul.

pumpkin-pancakes

Golden trees that stand tall and proud as they show off their Autumn foliage.

golden-tree

While a rainbow of leaves gather on the ground amongst the still green grass.

rainbow-of-fallen-leaves

Radiant red leaves of a Japanese Maple borrow the brilliant blue skies to be their temporary backdrop.

Japanese-maple-leaves

And as suppertime rolls around, the sun on its new schedule, gently slips away through the trees.

auntumn-sun-rays-gold-leaves

While pipping hot brown sugar and cinnamon baked apples are pulled out of the oven and wait patiently,

cinn-baked-apples-2

to end the delicious Autumn day on the sweetest of notes.

Oh, for the love of Autumn!

Wenderly

 

Categories
Inspire Musings

**CLOSED**Guest Post from Girl Hunter aka Georgia Pellegrini (plus a Giveaway)

Have you ever met my sweet and talented friend Georgia Pellegrini otherwise known as Girl Hunter?

Well she’s fabulous in so. many. ways. Beautiful, sweet, kind, witty, not to mention a brilliant huntress and cook. She’s taking outdoor adventure to a whole new level!! 

(Make sure you enter the beautiful giveaway at the end!)

Take it away Georgia!!!

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Recently I have been thinking a lot about my close girlfriends and how important those relationships are to me. When I look back over the years I realize I met so many of them during those unforgettable bonding experiences that life brings your way. There is a lot that I love about the Adventure Getaways that I’ve been doing over the last two years, but my hands down favorite thing is watching women come together from across the country, meet each other for the first time on Friday afternoon, and leave on Sunday as lifelong friends.

Since I hosted my first Adventure Getaway a year and half ago, (where Wendy was a guest!), I have been amazed to see how many different types of women have had a desire to come on these adventure trips with me and challenge themselves to experience new things.

There is something about these Getaways, every single time I say to myself, “wow, I couldn’t have hand picked a better group of women to come together as total strangers and bond as if they had known each other for years.” I feel very lucky to witness and take part in this sort of togetherness and am grateful to have met so many wonderful people along the way and to share all kinds of adventures, laughter, and good food with them. I’ve made friends for life.
 
Girl in the Hay Trailer by Bakerella
 
Wendy joined me on the inaugural event along with some of my favorite food bloggers on the planet.
Since those first successful trips, I have expanded the adventures in weird and wonderful ways, and these are some of the highlights I thought I’d share.
2013-08-07_0007 One of my favorite parts of the weekend is the girl bonding by the fire pit. There are lots and lots of s’mores. Some women even bring their own retractable s’mores sticks, they mean business. 2013-08-07_0010

There are really cozy accommodations, sometimes we even each have our own little house with a wood burning fireplace. Other times, it is a log cabin with mountain views. 2013-08-07_0012 And my personal favorite are the many types of bubble baths. A woman needs that after a long day of adventure. 2013-08-07_0008 I also love the food we have had on our menus, from elk, to venison, to frogs legs, oh my! Plus the delicious berry mousses and beignets smothered in ice cream. Sometimes we even have special Bourbon Dinners with live entertainment. 2013-08-07_0009 Since I am a chef by trade, I’m all about the learning. We have cooking classes galore. Ever wanted to know how to clean and butcher a bird properly? No problem. How about some amazing Texas shaped cookies? We’ve got you covered.Girl Hunter Baking by TidyMom On special occasions, we even have guest teachers who teach us to make amazing cookies and cake pops. 2013-08-07_0011 Then there is the adventure. We ladies get together on ATVs and drive 10,000 feet into the Montana mountains. 2013-08-07_0006 Or walk in the snowy hills and hunt wild birds, wild hogs, deer and the likes, many of the ladies do this for the very first time with professional guides and beautiful bird dogs along with them. Sometimes you’ll even find yourself hunting with men in kilts (see above, yikes!). Fly fishing...

We fly fish and listen to the meditative sounds of the rivers rushing around our ankles while we wear our waterproof waders. 2013-08-07_0005 There are plenty of ranger rides…  

 

 

 

Wendy and Georgia by Lori 

…and clay shooting too, another first for many people. Look at Wendy go!

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And of course there are presents, because what’s a party without them?!

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Once a year, I host one co-ed couples event. As I like to say: The couple that prays and makes venison sausage together, stays together. And the best part of all…

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…is all of that girl bonding that happens. We all make friends forever, support each other to roll up our sleeves and step outside our comfort zones… we all have a desire to experience life more viscerally. 2013-08-07_0004 To surprise ourselves! And give each other hugs.

IMG_1283 Sometimes, we even dance the night away.

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And now if that weren’t plenty, this summer, by popular demand, I began hosting private customized Adventure Getaways, my favorite of which is for bachelorette groups! I’ve become familiar enough with the amazing venues around the country, that I can customize experiences each with their own unique attributes so that no one trip is ever the same. Here is my full Adventure Getaways Calendar to date. We have some exciting media joining us in Montana in late September and can’t wait to meet the great ladies that attend. (there are a few spots left!) As a special something for Wendy’s readers, we’re offering a 3rd night stay free for those who sign up with a friend for Montana. And of course, if you want to drop someone a hint for a future date, there are gift certificates too. 2013-08-07_0002 And as an extra treat today I’m giving away a piece of my favorite upcycled jewelry from one of the Adventure Getaway sponsors “Sure Shot,” who fills our gift bags with the most beautiful jewelry made from upcycled shotgun shells. 2013-08-09_0001 To enter to win my favorite necklace…

WE HAVE A WINNER!!! 

Congratulations to #6 Cindy!!! I will we emailing you about the prize details! Thanks so much for joining in the fun!

Sure Shot Giveaway!

Just leave a comment below telling me about your favorite outdoor adventure! (Or just say hello!)

Additional entries :::

*Tweet about giveaway and come back to tell me that you did so in the comments.

*Post the giveaway on facebook, and come back to tell me that you did so in the comments.

You get a total of 3 chances to win! 

Giveaway starts today, Wednesday, August 14, 2013 and will end at midnight EST on Saturday, August 31, 2013. One person will be randomly chosen to receive the above Sure Shot necklace and will be emailed about the details! Giveaway is for U.S. residents only.

Good luck!

Categories
Decorate Fetching Finds Inspire Musings

Fabulous Find Friday ::: Antique Measuring cups

I recently enjoyed an afternoon antiquing with a few of my favorite people, Amy, Bridget and Angie. We had a ball. Antiquing is one of my very favorite things to do but antiquing with some of my very favorite people? Well that is just sublime. My last Friday Find helped in tidying up the loo. This week my fabulous find whilst antiquing is something that I can use all around my house.

My find? These darling antique white measuring cups.

And I must admit that I am so very smitten with them.

 

antique-measuring-bowls-sitting-empty

I think that I may have actually squealed *out loud* when I saw them. I’m subtle like that.

I use them for so many different things in the kitchen.

And I have incorporated them into my home decor for Spring.

I mean if that isn’t the sweetest thing you’ve ever seen?

A nest that’s nestled all snug in its own nest of antique measuring cups? Precious.

My coffee table is now happily adorned.

Which makes me happy as well.

I may just try them as jewelry holders next. What would you do with a stack of antique measuring cups?  Do share!

Happy Finding and have a Fabulous Friday friends!

~Wenderly

 

Categories
Inspire Musings

Full of Grateful

Being present and in the moment is a most glorious thing. Lately I have found myself quietly thanking God for all of the spectacular gifts that he gives me throughout each and every day…things that I usually take for granted have made me realize something…

The more that you allow yourself to stand in the moment of thankfulness the more grateful your heart will become.

The more grateful your heart becomes,

the less worry and stress you will feel.

The less worry and stress you feel,

the more you can focus on what really matters in this life.

Not to mention,

WHO really matter in this life.

 

Then you have more time to enjoy the little indulgent pleasures in life, like antiquing.

Or taking a stroll through your garden,

just in time to spot the very last blooming flower of the season.

The chaos of living life in fast forward slows into the present.

 

The place where you find the time to stand still in the moment of thankfulness,

which in turn brings about gratefulness.

And Peace.

Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving. May you find the time to allow your heart be full of Grateful.

~Wenderly

Categories
Inspire Musings

Meet Oakley Dokley

Meet Oakley.

Or Oakley Dokley as I like to call him.

Oakley is our beloved dog and considered a member of our family. We saved Oakley from the pound two days before Christmas two years ago. We had wanted a dog for some time but wanted to find the perfect fit for our family. After looking into different breeders, dog saving organizations, adopt-a-dog websites, and the Humane Society, My Yanni and I ended up going to the city dog pound on a cold gray December day. I was in no way prepared for what I saw that afternoon. As we walked through the dank cinder block rooms filled with wildly barking dogs in metal cages, I began to break down and cry. Blinded by tears and deafened by the desperate barking of the dogs, I became paralyzed and just stood there sobbing and staring. My Yanni took my hand and began to lead me out of the mayhem. There were so many rooms we got turned around and ended up walking into a smaller room of barking dogs by mistake. As we turned to leave we noticed one sweet little dog who was sitting quietly amidst the chaos and was staring deep into our eyes.

I just couldn’t leave the pound with this subdued sweet soul left in that cage. We found a volunteer to show us the dog. He walked us outside to a grassy area designated for visiting with the dogs. I took the leash to see what the dog they had named “Miller” would do. After milling around for a few minutes I stopped to ask a few questions. “Miller” instantly stopped walking, sat down on my foot and leaned into my legs. He was a *leaner-inner* as I like to call it. The kind gentleman who was helping us laughed and said, “I always say that they pick their owner.”

And that he did.

While signing the paperwork I noticed that “Miller” had been found on Oakley Avenue. In an instant we knew that Oakley would be the perfect name for our most perfect newfound friend.

Oakley has become such a treasured pet and special member of our family clan. I truly don’t know what we would do without him.

He is my daytime companion…

and litter box-cleaner-outer.

He is my gardening partner…

And hosta ponder-er.

He is my vegetable garden protector…

And stop-to-smell-the-flowers-and-herbs sniffer.

He can wear a leaf hanging from his chin with dignity.

and love his little stuffed animal “monkey-monk” like it was his very own.

Oakley is our daily reminder to take the time to appreciate the little things…

and give the underdog a chance to show you just how much a lost little leaner-inner can melt your heart into a puddle of mush in an instant.

We feel so very blessed that Oakley found us that day.

Go find yourself and lost little leaner-inner (littler box cleaner). You’ll be so glad you did.

~Wenderly

Categories
Inspire Musings

Captured Moments

Ever just melt into a moment?

As in be totally aware of just how awesome that very moment happens to be? It’s a delicious, extraordinary feeling isn’t it? Time seems to slow down, dangling in the air in front of you. You can almost touch the minutes as they slip into the next. Your eyes allow you to really see the moments unfolding before you. The glorious present becomes of the utmost importance. You find yourself wrapped in an exquisite awareness of being. The everyday struggles, trials and tribulations just seem to dissolve into the recesses of your mind and all of the things that matter most in your world become crystal clear.

Last weekend I traveled to The Pioneer Woman’s ranch after being invited by Ree to share in a weekend of cooking and time spent with girlfriends.

But it turned out to be much more than that.

For a week now I’ve tried to organize those moments on the ranch spent with a group of extraordinary women and weave them into sentences.

For once I’m at a loss for words.

The beauty that was seen in captured moments…

and felt within the heart,

seem to be almost too beautiful for words…like getting the chance to hug Julie, in real life. *Sniff*

Listening to the lovely and ever-so-witty Rebecca,

as she showed us how to make fresh mozzarella cheese,

delicious braided bread,

and scrumptious roasted red pepper spread,

fed not only our appetites, but our hearts and souls.

Herding cattle on horseback with her lovely family,


(photo by Ree) 

as the blazing hot day slipped into a gorgeous golden hue,

was invigorating,

eye opening,

magical.

 

The experiences we shared,

whilst the sun flared its last stunning rays before slipping into the horizon,

awakened my every sense.

I felt intensely alive,

invigorated,

aware,

and awestruck, by the vast beauty of the open skies.

I was honored to have the opportunity to experience a tiny taste of the hard work, difficult decisions and unforgiving circumstances that come with running a ranch. I was mesmerized by the grace of Ree’s children as they instinctively followed the lead of their father. How effortlessly they did whatever task they where asked to do. Watching them work in tandem with one another gave me a whole new appreciation for family and what it’s meant to be. I was humbled to witness what the past generations of hard workers had produced.

Life just seems so much bigger on the ranch somehow. Deeper. Fuller.

I was so grateful for the opportunity to have these new perspectives.

 

 

And for a chance to be reminded of how important it is, to really… see.

The captured moments shared with these lovely ladies…Bridget, Robyn, SandyAmy , Georgia


(photo by Ree)

 Ree, Meseidy, Stephanie, Julie and Shari, were life changing.

Beautiful hearts, generous souls, beautiful spirits, and a most gracious hostess.

It will indeed be a weekend that will be forever remembered and held close to my heart.

Wishing you the eyes to *see*…the many moments that are waiting to be captured.

~Wenderly

Categories
Inspire Musings

Antique Therapy

Have you ever heard the expression, “when the times get tough, the tough get antiquing”? You haven’t? Well…actually…neither have I until it just popped into my head. You see I love to go antiquing. I especially love to go antiquing when I need to unwind. It’s like therapy. Have you ever tried it?

Well if you haven’t you should. And if you have then you totally get what I’m talking about, right?

Antiquing is a playground for the imagination. An escape from the world as you slowly find yourself sauntering down memory lane.

Take these dishes for example…

I grew up eating chicken divan, lasagna, chicken curry and taco dip on these very same dishes. Well not the very same dishes, but dishes just like these. Merely seeing them transports me back to a place where dinner was waiting on the kitchen table as I ran in from whatever carefree-kid-adventure I happened to be enthralled with. It’s amazing how seeing them again can, in an instant, melt away whatever dilemma that happens to be occupying my mind.

Strolling down aisle after aisle my mind continues to swirl with ideas, images and emotion.

These dreamy green glasses would make the perfect vessel for some velvety chocolate pudding…

Or perhaps a refreshingly cold margarita on a hot summer day.

It’s so delightful to dig through these cookbooks and trinkets to find treasures that I never even knew I needed.

Antique glass milk bottles make charming vases or fun glasses to sip pink lemonade through a red striped straw.

Are you having fun yet? Me too.

Oh and then lookie at these little darlings! Perfect for my first cup of coffee or how about some tomato soup?

I think I must indulge in this dear straw hat, dontcha think?

And who doesn’t need and antique laundry detergent container?

Rolled bath towels in there would be precious! Or how about magazines? Or a toy bin? Or a shoe catch-all?

Or.

O.k. I’ll stop now. I just can’t help myself. Once my brain starts whirling there’s just no stopping it.

Now what was I worried about again?

Happy antique therapy!

~Wenderly