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Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Welcome to the October Instagram challenge, Fall FUN 2014.   
The rules are simple---there really aren't any!   Each day, I will post a photo challenge for you to interpret any way you wish.  There may be some days that are busier for you than others and you just can't find time to take a picture.  No Problem!  As I said, there are no real rules.   You can post late or not at all---you choose!  Just be sure to tag each of your photos with the prompt itself (I try to type mine in all caps on Instagram) and the hashtag #fallFUN2014.  

Part of the fun of an Instagram challenge is to see how other other participants interpret the prompt---besides being fun, I often find it inspirational.  Type in the hashtag in the search box and see who else is playing along.  "Like" their photos and comment when you get a chance---it doesn't matter whether you actually know them yet.  You might even find a new friend to follow!

My personal goal for this October challenge is to collect photos that picture the beginning of the Fall season. I don't know what form it will take yet, but I plan to make some sort of book with my photos.   Here in Shreveport, the temperatures may still be soaring and don't feel very Fall-ish, but a challenge like this makes me more aware of my surroundings and allows me to take notice of the little things.  I hope you feel the same.

If you would like to receive an email prompt each morning, leave your email in a "Comment" below and I'll add you to the list.  There may be times that the email prompt does not arrive on time---I apologize in advance for that, but sometimes I have no idea what went wrong.  If that happens, in most cases, you can just check back here for the prompt and the email will arrive a little later in the morning.  I hope to have most of the kinks worked out of that system, but user error is definitely still a possibility! ;-)

And just in case you want to preview the list of prompts, here it is (you can probably drag the list below onto your desktop if you want to print it out).
See you on Instagram -- I'm looking forward to more fun and lots of "cool" pictures!

My Favorite

September SNAPS 2014 - Day 30 - MY FAVORITE
Wow!!!  Can you believe today is the last day of September SNAPS?  I don't know about you, but it really flew by for me.  I've had a great time looking for each prompt along with you.  Seeing what you post and how we all interpret things a little bit differently is so refreshing to me---and inspirational!  

For today, think about your favorite things---colors, hobbies, people. . . whatever!  Show us your FAVORITE on Instagram. . . or at least one of your favorites.  Pictured below is a bouquet from Ron, along with my FAVORITE candy, my FAVORITE popcorn and my FAVORITE word engraved on pewter (a gift from Jana. and Rob)

If you want to continue the challenges next month, be sure to let me know.  Tomorrow begins a new month and new set of challenges, Fall FUN 2014.   I've heard from a couple of you, but not everyone, so if you want to receive the prompts, shoot me a quick email or text.  While you are certainly welcome to interpret the prompts any way you'd like, I plan to use a Fall theme for mine, so that I can have a seasonal book when I'm finished.  Tomorrow, I'll also send out an overview of all the prompts, as I did this month, so that you can see what is coming.  I hope you'll play along and invite others as well.  In fact, if you know of someone else that wants to participate, send me their email and I'll send them an invite.   See you in October!
Monday, September 29, 2014


September SNAPS 2014 - Day 29 - LOCAL
Anytime Jana and Rob come into town (which isn't nearly often enough, by the way), they have a list of favorite places to eat.  Ranking high on the list is having breakfast at Strawn's Eat Shop.  First established in 1958, it is sort of a LOCAL icon, with several different locations now.  Not to mention that it is one of the few places that it is perfectly acceptable to have a big slice of pie along with your breakfast.
What represents LOCAL in your area?  Is there a favorite park?  A signature dish or perhaps a sports team?
Sunday, September 28, 2014

In The Mirror

September SNAPS - Day 28 - IN THE MIRROR

Lately, what I see when I look IN THE MIRROR is very different from what it was a few years ago.  There are more pounds looking back at me and my hair is whiter than before.  But, the truth is, that will probably change again in the next few years.  Of course, age brings with it some truths that the mirror just can't conceal.  But, if I focus on those things as negative, then I totally miss out on the joy of getting older.  Age also brings a confidence and satisfaction with life that sometimes seems a bit elusive when we are younger.
It's time for a selfie.  Perhaps you can capture that wisdom you've gained or the twinkle in your eye that replaced a previous loneliness.  Or maybe you will choose to capture yourself in the styles of today, or in the midst of a chaotic workday.  LOOK IN THE MIRROR.  What do you see?
Saturday, September 27, 2014

Another Rustic Wedding and A Little Exercise

This morning, Ron and I once again got up VERY early and headed to the park for the opening of this year's USA Fit program.  After a 6 month hiatus from running, we've both been slowly trying to get back into the habit.  This program is sure to do it!  This year, I am planning to focus on shorter distances, such as 10K's rather than a half-marathon, so I offered to be the person to stroll with Luke while his Mama and Daddy run the courses.
It was a beautiful morning and Luke seemed to enjoy our 2.5 mile stroll while we waited for the runners.
With six family members participating, the USA Fit organizer laughingly suggested that we come up with team name.  We decided "Team Luke" was perfect for us!  Now we just need to get him a little running suit . . .
I came home directly after running, showered and headed out to the Cottage Grove Plantation, working for Young Blooms, to set up flowers for my friend Cindy's daughter's wedding.  She chose to have a rustic, outdoor wedding at her aunt and uncle's family "farm" and it was just beautiful!!
Her colors were mint green and navy and she had collected lots of thrift store vases, bottles and cans which were painted and filled with flowers for the tables.
Of course, Louisiana in September means that we got pretty warm during the setup.  However, when Ron and I returned a few hours later for the wedding, some clouds had rolled in and a slight breeze kept the air moving.

Elizabeth did much of the planning herself and she and Colt filled the celebration with touches of their favorite things.   There were hand-lettered signs . . .
. . . a photo booth with all sorts of props that was set up on the back of a fence (which I think was hiding plumbing sruff). . .
. . . and even a place to play lawn games.
How cute are these bean bag toss boards that her big brother made?!?  And the monogrammed beanbags?
What a fun celebration for such a sweet couple!


September SNAPS 2014 - Day 27 - RUSTIC

It's been almost 18 months since Ron and I were married.  Both of us love being outdoors - running, walking, hiking, kayaking, camping - so a RUSTIC wedding seemed the natural choice for us.  From the venue, to the invitations, to the decor, to the service itself, we infused a touch of RUSTIC into every detail.  Even our cake stand was hand-made from an old tree stump!
RUSTIC elements are all around us.  If you don't find any in your own home, you might want to take a short walk through your neighborhood with your camera in hand.  
Friday, September 26, 2014


September SNAPS 2014 - Day 26 - FLORAL
Of all of the ports we visited on our Alaskan cruise, I think that Ketchikan was my favorite.  From the stained glass port signs to the breathtaking view of the mountains from a sea plane, it was all just beautiful.  And the FLORAL varieties were amazing.  Flourishing in the crisp, cool air, the colors were so vibrant and intense!
When I hear the word FLORAL, I also think of it in the sense of being a pattern---a fabric or even a wallpaper.  WHat comes to mind for you?   What FLORAL feature will you capture today?

Thursday, September 25, 2014


September SNAPS 2014 - Day 25 - BEHIND
To be honest, I was not at all sure what photo to use as a prompt for this at first.  As I looked back through photos on my computer, I remembered our "amazing squirrel rescue" Back in March, I found this tiny baby squirrel BEHIND our gate, causing much excitement among our dogs.
Who knows what you'll find!   Maybe a look BEHIND will open up a whole new world of possibilities----or at least some new inspiration!

And speaking of new inspiration, it's time to begin thinking about the upcoming October Instagram challenge.  Do you want to continue along with me?  Do you know a friend that might be interested?  If so, send me a quick email to let me know and I'll add you to the list.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tied Up

September SNAPS 2014 - Day 24 - TIED UP
This summer, I led a group of adults involved in our church's GED classes, through a series of art lessons.  One of the projects that we worked on was a set of frames that could be sold later at our Greater Gift Market.  Each participant sanded, painted and decorated their blocks of wood.  After applying a clear finish, they were TIED UP with twine, so that a photo or note could easily be slipped in.

What kinds of ties will you bind today?   Or will you run across something that is already TIED UP?

I hope that you have been enjoying seeing everyone's photos.  Each is so unique and it's great to be inspired by others---sometimes people we only know through Instagram!

#SeptemberSNAPS 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fall Foliage

September SNAPS 2014 - Day 23 - FALL FOLIAGE
Today is the first day of Fall!   We have had a few days of cooler weather--just enough to make me long for Fall.  I love the crisp air, the Autumn holidays and the FALL FOLIAGE.  Here in Shreveport, the trees are mostly still green, but a couple of years ago, Ron and I went up to New England to visit my brother and to view the FALL FOLIAGE in the area.  It was incredible!   

While FALL FOLIAGE is in short supply down here in the deep south, it is abundant in stores.  See what you can find--real or fake.

Monday, September 22, 2014

What's For Dinner?

September SNAPS 2014 - Day 22 - WHAT'S FOR DINNER?
Some nights I cook dinner for the two of us, and other nights we opt to go out.  I imagine you do the same.   With our busy schedule and my picky palate, sometimes it's hard to come up with new ideas to cook.  A couple of years ago, I was inspired to try "crockpot freezer meals" that I'd seen on Pinterest. (you can see my post on it over here)  I bought all the supplies, then chopped and mixed everything and bagged it all up, leaving us with about 10 meals ready to cook over the next few months.  Some were better than others, but all of them were good and it was so nice to not have to worry about WHAT'S FOR DINNER on those nights.
I really need to do that again---the freezer is bare and my schedule is busy!  What's on the menu for you tonight?  

Sunday, September 21, 2014


September SNAPS 2014 - Day 21 - SPOTTED
I love polka dots!  Even more than I love stripes.  Recently, when I visited Jana, we went to a huge fabric warehouse in South Carolina and it felt like Heaven to me!   Row upon row of fabrics---I loved everything about it--the textures, the colors, the patterns!  This is a row of some of my favorites--don't you love these SPOTTED patterns?  Without a clear project in mind, I used my very best self-control and left these in the store.
How will you interpret SPOTTED today?  Polka dots?  Spying something?  Looking forward to seeing what you do with this prompt.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


September SNAPS 2014 - Day 20 - Clean
I am the world's worst housekeeper.  Always have been, and I guess I always will be.  I seem to be much better at making a mess than cleaning one up.  And there is always a mess to be made around here, whether it be painting or sewing or scrapbooking . . .   But, every so often, I get a wild hair and feel the need to purge and CLEAN out.   Ron and I just bought a new mattress set---finally going from a full size to a queen size!  Woo-hoo!!!!  Of course, that means that I needed to do a bit (okay, a LOT) of CLEANing to get ready.  Our bedroom is not that big and we have little to no storage, so everything we own seems to always be on display.   It sure felt good to fill up a bunch of bags with things that I no longer need!   Next up . . . the storage building.

Now, I know that some of you are immaculate housekeepers---I've SEEN your homes.  So what does the word CLEAN mean to you?  A freshly dusted surface?   A groomed puppy?
Friday, September 19, 2014


September SNAPS 2014 - Day 19 - Relaxing
In the midst of all the busy-ness of life, sometimes it feels so great to just sit back and relax.  I have a really hard time "being still"---I almost always have a project of some sort in hand.  But, from time to time, what I really need is a just a nice, hot bubble bath.  Soooo RELAXING!!!   I dream of a day when I have a nice-sized Jacuzzi tub, but in the meantime, I plan to RELAX and enjoy in my 1960's builder-grade bathtub and unwind.
What is your favorite method of RELAXING?  Who is RELAXING while you scurry about getting all the necessities done?
Thursday, September 18, 2014

Trail Run

Slowly, Ron and I are trying to get back into running again.  After injuries in the spring, vacations in the summer and just plain laziness, we both have been missing the routine of running and are trying to become more disciplined about it again.  With a half marathon coming up in December for Ron, he has been a little bit more diligent about it than me, but neither of us have worked very hard at it-----yet.   All of that will change soon, when we begin USA Fit again.

Tonight, some runners from our local running group, Red River Roadrunners, were meeting up at the Red River Wildlife Refuge for a trail run, so we decided to join them.  Since that is one of our favorite spots, we are pretty familiar with the trails and we waited just a little later to begin than the rest of the group.
Even though it was later, it was still very hot and muggy, and the trails that we ran on were mostly rocky.  That makes for a difficult run (run/walk for me).   But, it is so quiet and peaceful out there, and we were lucky enough to see a nice sunset.
Trail running may not be my thing---at least not rocky trails, but it was good to be back out there again.


September SNAPS 2014 - Day 18 - HEIRLOOM
If you're one of my Round-Top/Canton buddies, then I know this will be an easy prompt for you. The hardest part about it, will be choosing which amazing HEIRLOOM to photograph.  But, chances are, we all have something that we hold on to, or something that has been passed down to us.  My wedding ring is one of those items--it belonged to my Grandmother Shaffer, my Daddy's mother.  When Ron and I got married, he picked out my engagement ring as a surprise to me, but I decided to pair it with my HEIRLOOM ring and I love them together.
Do you have a special HEIRLOOM that has been passed through generations of your family?  Or maybe it was someone else's HEIRLOOM that you're now in possession of and you wonder about its story?  Or even something that you hope will be your family's newest HEIRLOOM?

Tag your photos with #septemberSNAPS2014 and see you on Instagram!
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bird's Eye View

September SNAPS 2014 - Day 17 - BIRD'S EYE VIEW
It's not secret around this blog how much I love birds.  I love the colors, the markings, their songs . . . and their ability to fly!  Sometimes I think it must be so fun to fly through the air with seemingly no care in the world.  What a different view of the world they must have.  The closest I've come lately to that sort of  view was when Ron and I soared over the mountain tops of Alaska in a small seaplane. The view was incredible!  Even the large Dall Sheep looked like figurines from a model railroad scene.
Things that seem so large and insurmountable up close, look completely different when viewed from a BIRD'S EYE.  In the big scheme of things, even my problems must appear pretty small when you know the "grand plan".  I obviously can't soar above the ground today and I don't even always know the "grand plan", but I do hope to look away from my busy schedule a few times and look at things with a BIRD'S EYE VIEW.

I'm enjoying this project so much that I've already begun thinking of creating a new set of prompts for October.  If you are interested in continuing our Instagram project, let me know.  If not, no problem---no decisions are needed right away: just something to think about.

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