It wasn't Starbucks......

......but it was still really, really good coffee!  You know the kind of coffee in the cheapo make a tree hugger gag Styrofoam cup.  (Just for the record I am a bit of a tree hugger).  It was too hot to really drink and the only cream to put in it was powdered (how does that come from a cow?). But seriously the best coffee I had had in weeks.

The coffee came by chance after an early morning run at the Y.  Being the proverbial procrastinator trying to avoid the Mt. Everest of laundry at the house, I decided to anonymously join a group of older friends.  This a group who seem to live at the Y. Forever parked with their cheap coffee and uncomfortable chairs.  I choose a more comfortable chair with a round table separating it from a empty, yet equally, comfortable chair.  Smart phone in hand I ventured on to see what the world of free Wi-Fi had to offer.  Then came the coffee.

Ten minutes into my moment of silence, he sat down across from me.  His eyes were sad.  His face looked gloomy.  He sighed.  I thought to my self, "Hasn't this guy read my blog, what in the world does he have to be worried about?"  Then came my out of body experience --I blurted out loud, "What are you so stressed about?"  He looked at me stunned, shrugged his shoulders, and replied with a bit of a grin, "Nothing, I'm just bored."

I  put down the phone, went over to the coffee station, and poured what would be a 15 minute conversation that would carry me thru the rest of the day.

My coffee partner's name is Herb.  He is originally from the Boston area.  At one time he worked as an electrical kind of guy.  He has a few kids.  He has a bunch of grand kids.  He attends the seniors workout class at 10:30 everyday.  He moved to Georgia three years ago after the passing of his wife.  He misses her so much.  Sure he lives close to his daughter now but, they are busy living their "young lives."  He lives alone.  He is lonely.  "Everyday is the same," he said.  The coffee is the most exciting part of his morning.

So, I spent some time with a perfect stranger.  It was valuable to learn about someone and to know that when I see him again, I can try to make his coffee a little more exciting -- that's not something a smart phone can help you with.

Invest in the unknown- the return is the greatest cup of coffee you will ever have.  


Tapped Out

That was me last week.....just tapped out.  
Tired again.  
Confused Again.  
Yup, great week. 
I had N.O.T.H.I.N.G to share with you all except bad news.  
You know, the "poor me" days that just keep going and going -- never to end.  

In the past 12 months, we have......
Been lied to by fellow believers.
Been treated like outcasts by our supposed safety net.
Suffered a devastate income loss.
Found a new job. 
Lived off the savings that God told us we would need. 
And now today, live in a house that is under contract.

It is the last event that set my week over the edge.  I love my house.  This is the house my kids were suppose to bring their kids to to visit.  They are safe here.  They can ride their bikes here.  There is a fort in the back yard that has been an ongoing two year project.  My beloved dogs are buried here.  There is a creek in the back. 

It is where I wanted to be.  
But God has other plans.....
and right now, I'm thankful but questioning, searching for answers.  
Waiting to see what comes next. 

One important thing I have learned from a week off from blogging is that I do not have to tell you all everything. But as a community, we need to hold hands thru the valleys and lift those hands up together in celebration at the mountain tops.  


Conquering Giants

I have read the story of David and Goliath to my kids so many times.  You know the one where the little guy relies on God and beats the beast of a giant.  The words are ingrained in my mind.  I remind my ankle biters to do what David did -- to grab God on their side and follow his directions.  I read & remind but really do I listen?  

I mean, I KNOW that God is on my side.  I KNOW he loves me.  But I take more time running than to face the giants.   So dear giants, I take you on, but first I must figure out who you are.....

Giant One - Success..
Yup, you heard that one correctly - I'm scared of being successful.  Even after 35 years on this planet, I still can't believe that I can do something and do it well.  Freaks me out!

Giant Two - Food....
Food is my friend and yours - - especially in times of stress.  Food, you are really not a comfort.  You are necessary for living and that is God made you.  Now, I can enjoy a brownie once in a while but not five! right?  This is something I have really been able to handle more over the last year so I guess you can say it is a bit of a silent giant -- but still there. 

Source: leila.se via Leila on Pinterest

Giant Three - Being Judged......
If I put myself out there, whether in my art or my writings - their will be joy stealer's, haters if you will.  And as scary as it is, I think I am to the point of jumping my made up cliff and taking a dive into something interesting.  

Giant Four - how fast my children are growing.....
I know they are leaving, one day, and as much as I joke about getting time away from them it scares the heck out of me to be without them.  So much of my life revolves around them, that I can not imagine a life that doesn't.  I pray that GOd will change my heart as this adjustment takes place.  I also wish it would slow down a little bit. 

Giant Five  - Faith....
I am a believer of something Big and have the faith of something small.  I mean seriously, why wouldn't I trust a God who sent his son to die for me?  What is wrong with that picture?

Giant Six - Change...
Whether asked for or unsolicited it scares me! Honestly, every time I scare myself with change - I think of that ridiculous Garth Brooks song......oy vey

Giant Seven - Letting People Down....
Ironically, this now takes two forms -- either not showing up or showing up too much and burning out.  It is something I am aware of and hope to handle...

So while the Giants won't leave on their own, I think I am getting more prepared each day to face them, head on - with a big stick!


Book Review - Craft inc.

One thing I NEVER get to do is read books.  Not a book in about 6 years (after baby three came).  I have read parts of books, I read my bible, I read magazines, I read blogs, but have not read a book from cover to cover in FOREVER.  But the time of not reading books (and for you Kindle people that is a paper book) is over!  In just one kid free quiet weekend, I finished Craft, Inc. by Meg Mateo ILasco.  

Now, I am crafty.  Not like Martha Stewart insanely crafty, but I am a girl that can make almost anything out of anything crafty.  My fav' is sewing.  My unconventional methods of the art have brought together fabrics that would not necessarily meet.  It has tested pattern makers to go in a different direction.  It has taught me to create my own patterns. It has clothed, decorated, and made so many more things functional.  

But one thing I can not seem to do is find my absolute niche in the world of online craft selling.  I have an Etsy store, it has tons of cute things in it, but I just can't find that thing.  You know, the thing you are known for.  The thing you love to do.   

I can not say that this book cleared up any creative questions I have for myself but it is a useful reasource to have around.  Ms. ILAsco goes into great detail about business dealings ie - setting up a tax number, getting a business checking account, when or when not to take a lose on things.  She gives great ideas about marketing, advertising, and selling your wares.  Her examples of successful crafting business are inspirational true life stories.  I think the most important thing I learned from her writings is an insight into the creative mind -- explained in Chapter one.  

"Avoid the naysayers, those people who don't understand what you you're doing and therefore impose their fears upon you." - Meg ILasco

In all, a great read for someone in my shoes.  You know the person with tons of ideas, not enough time, and certainly not enough direction.  I am excited to see where I can take the things that I have learned from this book.  It gave me a new inspiration for my shop, for my blog, and being a Proverbs 31 woman.  


A letter to you



When you think you are ugly, I know you are beautiful.
The days you feel like you are not measuring up, you are exceeding my expectations.
Just when you think you haven't done enough, I step in and do the rest.
Where you find the end of the rope, that is exactly where I will be.
You are never alone, I am always near.
When your faith in people leaves, I will be there to hold to.
Occasionally you will walk/run away, I will be waiting to see you again.
When you wish for so much more, I am there to give it to you.
When you don't know what else to say, I am there to speak;
Hopefully at that time you will listen.
When you are weak, I am strong.
Some storms will come calling, but I am in charge of those too.  
When the road seems long, I have a map.
Sometimes the plan will seem to not exist, but I hold it right here in my hands.
The world will tell you that you don't measure up, except I know they are wrong. 
When hope is lost, I will remind you I AM. 

I love you only for who you are-- everyday.



Salted Caramel Mocha

When I first heard of it I thought, " that is just not right."  Who would want to ruin something as wonderful as a luscious caramel with S.A.L.T.  Yuck!  Besides, who would put salt in their chocolate?  What?  

Then one crazy day, the kids were screaming, the dog was peeing, I was tired, and Starbucks was calling.  I drove in getting ready to order my usual raspberry mocha when spontaneity hit me and I went for the salted caramel!  Before I even put my lips to the rim I was convinced I has just wasted 5.00 on a cup of nothing. 

But then the coffee heavens opened up.  My lips reached the rim and bliss was achieved!  It was the most wonderful concoction I have ever tasted.  A little tart, a little sweet, the chocolate hint was just enough.  I was in love.  Unfortunately my new love has come with a hefty price tag.  At 4.19 a cup, my salted caramel mocha is nothing more than an occasional indulgence and a lustful love of coffee.  

That was until I ventured into Cost Plus World Market this week!  There is was on the shelf - salted caramel hot chocolate mix.  In two sizes -- a three serving size for 1.99 or a 20 serving size for 5.99.  I brought home a two serving size sceptical if it would live up to my new love.  

Sunday morning, I started up the coffee pot with some dark brew.  I took the Tervis tumbler (which is sadly now broken) loaded it up with my traditional coffee and cream, added a few teaspoons of the hot chocolate mix and...........love, love, sweet love!  It was perfect.  Although,  I was seriously missing some whipped cream.  I carried it all the way to church with a certain glow of coffee perfection!  

So my answer to coffee love comes at .30 a serving!  Yippeeee!  If you do not have a Cost Plus near you, I'm so sorry!  Email me and I will be sure to send you some of the love.  This stuff is too good not to share!  


I can find some of me

Everyday, I venture out with at least one -- if not two, perhaps three, yes count them - four kids.  For me, taking little ones out into the world is just not that scary. 

Sure there are places I don’t go with my little lovelies in tow.  You know the art galleries, fine antique shops, or even the shiny stores are just out of reach when you have a gang of sticky fingered octupi with you.  What is crazier is when I am alone.  I don’t even trust myself to go into those places.  

On my own, I find my time is so less efficient than the time I spend dealing with four ankle biters.  I takes me a while to remember who I am.  Sometimes what my own name is is a difficulty in its’ own.  I find myself humming along to the Wiggles just to remember that I LOVE DMB.  I remember what it is like to stroll vs. jet out into traffic to chase a wee one.
Being a mom, having children is a true gift.  I wouldn’t trade the sleepless nights, boogers on my shoulders, poop wiping, toy picking up, and the dramatic episodes.  

But being alone, ahhhh, alone.  It allows me to remember a little piece of me.  The person I once was.  It helps me recharge this battery called mom. And to be a better one in the end.  


about me - hold on to your seats

Who am I?  I'm still trying to figure that one out!  But here is a stab at it.


Wife of 14 years, Mother of 4, Lover of Chocolate, Unconventional Seamstress, Driver of Mini Van, Occassional Cleaner of House, Pretty Crunchy, Insanely Interested in Economics and Political Systems, User of Cash Only, Straightshooter, Skeptic, Talks Big, Raised Yankee will die in the South, Hardly Takes Risks, A Proverbs 31 Woman, Student of Life's Lessons.   

For the Love of Neon

I do not do big decisions well.  Those usually involve some degree of change.  I like it, I love it- so just leave it the heck alone.  Or I might not even like it, but leave it the heck alone. Most days, I can't even decided what to get in my coffee.   Even when the writing is on the wall to move it like a money maker, I just sit on my money maker.  I ask God over and over again for neon printed in the sky.  You know, something like this....
Heather, follow me.  

I just continue to say that I just don't see it.  Like, right now. Michael and I have a giganto non-secure decision to make.  We need to follow a rope -- having no idea where it ends. We are paraylsized despite our faith. 

I write countless blog posts about this undying faith I have.  Not faith in myself but a faith in the Lord.  Yet, I flounder at best when it comes to show time.
                                                                                Source: thekitchn.com via Maxine on Pinterest

So if I am putting all my eggs with God, why for a golden minute would I think that he isn’t doing to same in me?  


Bags, Babies, Burp Clothes, Bundles for Blissdom.

Ok folks, who doesn’t like to read feel good stories?  You know the ones where the girl gets the boy.  Where the kid finds his dog.  The ever popular out of luck person who wins the lottery.  

I'm Going, Y'all! - Blissdom 

Well, in my little world, the lottery comes at a pretty cheap price.  Five Hundred Dollars to be exact.  Yup -- I have 50 days to raise 500 dollars.That is how much it will cost to get my cute little yankee turned southern gal butt to Blissdom (only the best blogging conference east of the MIssissippi).  

One2One Badges

Thanks to One to One Network, my fees have been dramatically cut.  They were amazing enough to give me free tickets!  But I still need gas in the car, and a place to stay (besides that gassed up car).  

This is where you come in.  I have 50 days to raise 500 dollars.  I will be selling anything from super cute boutique items, to sewing supplies, to offering to baby sit, to well, you get the idea.  I make it = you buy it (at a great price), and I gratefully go to Blissdom.

You will not only gain some new additions to your Nina Bina Collection (and feel good while doing it) but I promise that sending me to Blissdom will not be a waste of resources.  I plan to go into “sponge mode” while in Nashville.  It is an amazing opportunity to come back to the ATL with a war chest of blogging/business tools.  Things that I pray will benefit my readers.  I want to see a community come together.  A real community where we can share, reveal, learn, cry, enjoy and find something real in the muck of life.  
So when you see some super cute stuff on Facebook or Etsy, please considering posting it on your blog, twitter, or Facebook Page.  I will be forever grateful that you did!
Blissdom or Bust 

P.S. - Did I mention that God has given me a new direction and line to introduce this month?  Super excited for this one!  Includes basic boutique clothing pieces, something for the mamas - and things you just can not live without!  Come on!


Having Them Home

I see it on Facebook.  I do it myself.  UGh, they are home again.  What am I going to do with four kids stuck in the house for two whole weeks?  Can you imagine?  
But wait a minute - they are mine!  Why wouldn’t I know what to do with them for an extended period of time?  I need to remember that right now we are called to public school.  That means, for right now, my time to teach is short and I have an opportunity during break to equipped them and send them back out on the mission field they are in.  They are at school to learn and come home and learn even more.  
They are home.  Home is where you find your faith.  Home is where you are safe.  Home is where you learn to share.  Home is where you learn to care.  Home, there is no place like it.  Being with my children, with no interruptions, there is no place like it either.  


Piper the Puppy

Oh, the boy was lonely - he missed his dogs so much.  He knew one day they would meet again on the rainbow bridge but until then he longed for the companionship like no other.....

Until this packaged arrived......

She won't replace what was lost....

But she will remind us of what it is to laugh again,

to get sweet kisses again, 

to be a loyal friend again.

Now if the boy could only figure out a solution to the pesky little brother problem?


Spoiled Little Girl

So I read this........
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. and still I worry.

Isaiah 41:10

........and still have anxiety.

Then I look upon this......
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:17
........and still doubt.

Then this comes across......
'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'
Jeremiah 29:11
......and I still plan on my own.

So when, just when, will I stop being a spoiled child -- demanding that God proves something to ME?  To me, of all people?  When, just when, is it time that I set out to prove to God?  
To rejoice and behold -- 


Just when will I?  He has been waiting 35 years, I think he has waited long enough.  How about you?  


Blissdom 2012

This was in my in box yesterday............

Hi Heather!

Congratulations, you are one of our Runner-Up prize winners of a BlissDom conference pass! Thank you for entering the giveaway and for being a One2One Network member! We hope that attending BlissDom gives you the tools you seek for improving your writing and growing a business.

To accept your prize, please reply to this email by 5:00 pm (EST) on Thursday, January 5th.

We're looking forward to meeting you at BlissDom in February!


Malia Carden

I was SHOCKED, HUMBLED, EXCITED BEYOND BELIEF!!!!!!  This is big in my world!  
I NEVER win anything!  
Except now! 

I'm Going to Blissdom!

This is a huge answer to prayer.  I have been dying to share, create, and foster a community for woman to come and be real!  This is the opportunity to do that.  This is an open door to help my family. 

Thank you One to One Network!

One2One Badges

I can't wait to meet you all in February!!!


One more oncore! Please!

You know you have done it.  
Especially my sister friends out there.  
You planned to start off slow and only listen to a little bit.  
Then you ended up quickly buying the first album.  
Then, the second. 
 Then, the third.  
You listen until your ears pop.  
You turn it on when you are sad and relate to the songs of such.  
You turn it on when you are happy and listen to the songs of such.  
You run with it.  
You shop with it.  
You love it.  
Then drama hits the players.  
You will do anything you can to keep the show going. 
You have a history to relate to and that is important.  
Spend tons of time invested.  
Spend money. 
Spend more time.  
Cry, Read about it on Facebook, and try so hard to relate.  
Waiting for one more encore.

Until, you are done -- exhausted.   Just when you realize, you honestly didn't liked what you heard to begin with.  It was sticky/ill intentioned.  It was guiding you in the wrong direction.  The happy history was minuscule compared to the not so happy.  So, after a few encores, you must walk away -- remembering the good times but looking on to things maybe better.

Hoping you will find a new tune that will signify a change in the relationship. 

Resolutions - so cliche

Back to blogging 2012.
Why not start off with the cliche post of resolutions.  If I share them with thousands of adoring readers won’t that make me stick to them?  Or maybe it will be that just more embarrassing when I do not?  
Lets start with the most cliche 

To Workout.  
I workout a few days a week.  I loath it.  Seriously.  Maybe #1 should be to intentionally enjoy working out more.  The fact that I am able to do it is a blessing in its’ self.

Make wiser Investments. 
In so many ways.  In the people I spend my time with.  In the money I make.  In my marriage.  In the relationships with my children and the Lord.  

To act on ideas.  
I have a bunch of them.  I’m not sure where they will go - whether they will be successful or defeat.  But to remember that there are lessons in both. 

To read a few good books. 
Not business books.  Not crafting books.  Good books.  Like sit on the edge of your seat books.  Just no room for vampires here.  

  Source: smashingmagazine.com via Leona on Pinterest


To live fearless.
No, I’m not planning on cliff diving in 2012 but I am planning on risk.  Maybe the risk of following a blind lead.  Or perhaps, putting my self out there to be judged and being OK with the outcome.  Who knows?

To set goals beyond myself.
To see where they lead.  To execute to MY best abilities.  To recognize that God is the not so silent partner.  

                                                                           Source: en-cour-age.tumblr.com via Suzy on Pinterest

To pray before speaking.
Hard to do.  I’m a Yankee - - we like to talk.  I’m not going to stop talking, just put more thought in to it before I do?

Be organized.
In my world, this means I will have matching socks.  Or maybe remembering to get a kid at school.  But it is a step in the right direction.

To be intentional.
This does not mean throwing spontaneity out the window but it means knowing what I am doing, and why I am doing it (most of the time).

To run with the bulls
Totally joking here.  Just needed a 10.