Life By The Pool. . .it's just BETTER!

Feb 4, 2016

Baylor Bears Baseball 2016

Kameron with the girls last March at Minute Maid Park (2015)
We are so proud of our nephew Kameron Esthay.  I introduced you to him here last March.  Here he is on Twitter announcing there are 20 days 'til Baylor's Baseball season begins.

Baylor Baseball (@BaylorBaseball)

Years ago, when Kam was about 8 years old, he told me he wanted to be a professional baseball player.  He has worked very hard, practiced, played many a ball game, practiced, travelled to games, practiced and worked hard to get where he is.  We have enjoyed watching him play the game over the years.

We look forward to seeing him play in Houston the first weekend of March.  We are planning to go see him play a home game in Waco, TX and make a stop by The Magnolia Market.  Maybe we will get lucky and see Chip and Joanna Gaines of the Fixer Upper.  How cool would that be?

Here are some highlights of Kam's (Kameron's) 2015 season.

We wish him and the Baylor Bears the best of luck for 2016.

Go Bears!!!



Feb 3, 2016

Happy Wednesday

Let me start by apologizing to you for not getting this post up yesterday afternoon.  I wish I could say I was off busy doing something really exciting but I wasn't.  I was pulling up an obnoxious amount of weeds from our front beds as they were taking over.  If I had known how long it was going to take me I probably would have chose to write my post.  :)

Yesterday was Sweet P's official birthday.  However, we all celebrated it on Monday night.  She REALLY wanted to have a surprise birthday party.  She tried really hard to control the details but her mom told her it wouldn't be a surprise if she knew what was going to happen.  So here is how it played out.

Brooke, Brad, the hubs and I all went to Texas Roadhouse and had seating set up for nine people while they (Tiff's family) were out running errands.  They just so happened to stop there for dinner and saw us.  Sweet P was so excited to see us.  She told me I saw your sweater and your hair and I knew it was you.  Ha!  I guess I could be known for much worse, right?  :)  She asked me if I knew she was coming and I told her no.  She then asked why was the table set up for them, too?  I convinced her it was that way when we got there.  She seemed to go for it.

After dinner the servers came around with the saddle and sang Happy Birthday to her.  She was so excited.

The entire time we are there she is telling me about a surprise she has for me and she can't wait to give it to me.  So sweet.  We left the restaurant with her thinking she was going to drop by our house to drop off the Girl Scout cookies we ordered.

We had a Happy Birthday sign outside for her....

a banner hanging in the foyer....

party decorations....

and a Descendants cake waiting for her.  She was very surprised and quite happy.  Can you tell?

Let me preface the cake by saying it is nearly impossible to find any Descendant's decorations very similar to how it was for her Frozen party.  I didn't want to pay the ridiculous amount they wanted for shipping so I came up with my own design.

Sweet P wanted to open her presents first.  We gave her some hand soap from Bath and Body Works. The last time she was here she told me she needed ten of them for when she ran out and wanted to take my stash.  :)  I have started something here.  Can you tell she is excited to get new soap?

We also gave her a card with a check to go towards her summer gymnastics camp.  She will be attending Karolyi's Camp which is ran by Bela Karolyi.  

It is the designated Olympic training site for the USA Gymnastics National team.  She is so excited.  Sweet P goes to gymnastics three times a week and is constantly working on her form.  She loves it.  Ms. A calls her the next Gabby Douglas.   She is convinced her sister is going to the olympics.  We certainly hope so.  She asked us if we would go see her perform at the Olympics and we assured her if she goes, we all go!

She is so grown up reading her cards aloud to us all.

Nonnie and Uncle Brad gave her a Princess card....she is our little princess.  She loves all things sparkly and never has too much bling.

They gave her two super cute dresses from J.Crew.  

She loves to wear dresses.  I wish I would have taken a pic of her trying them on.  They looked so cute on her.

I think we succeeded in giving her a surprise birthday party.

Here they are counting as Nonnie is hiding from them.  They were so excited when I told them they could play hide-n-seek because I didn't have anything hidden in the closets.  :)  Mr. W is supposed to have his eyes closed while he is counting.  He is getting so big.  He is going to be 3 in two weeks.

Tiffani sent me a text today....

"Wish you could've been a fly on our wall during lunch!  The girls were going on and on about how good the cake was.  How professional it is.  Sweet P suggested that Ms. A have you make her cake next year!  They were cracking me up."  If only Sweet P knew how many of Ms. A's cakes I have made over the years.

How sweet is that?  It makes all the time and effort involved worthwhile.  And did I mention the clean up?  :)

Hope you are having a wonderful week....



Please say a prayer for my sweet friend Leah and her kiddos.  The love of her life passed away of brain cancer and his funeral was today.  My heart breaks for her.

Feb 2, 2016

Happy Birthday Sweet P

Today is a very special day.  It is Sweet P's birthday and she is seven years old!!!  It seems like it was yesterday that we brought Ms. A to the hospital to see her new baby sister.  Time has flown by so fast.

Sweet P is a very talented gymnast and has her eye on the Olympics!!!

I hope you are having a great week so far.  I'll have more pics for you later today!!!



Jan 29, 2016

Thank You For a Beautiful Day

Yesterday was a beautiful day.  I received the best wishes and love from so many friends and family.  Love you all right back!  Sweet kiddos sang Happy Birthday on my voicemail.  Something to treasure always.

The hubs left for work so I thought only to come back shortly after with beautiful roses, a sweet cake and my most favorite card ever.  I was very surprised.  I immediately called my bestie Patty and told her I was going to be running 30 minutes behind in meeting her as I had roses to arrange.  :)  I think I did a pretty good job if I must say so myself.

The beautiful card from my hubs reads like this:

For My Wife

You are the woman
who came into my life,
capturing my heart
and my imagination
and making me want
to be a better man
than I'd ever been before.

You are the woman
who turned our house into a home
and a haven where I can find
warmth, comfort, and peace,
and a kind of love I've never known.

You are the woman
whose gentle goodness
softens my rough edges
and whose caring encouragement
gives me all the support I need.

You are the woman
who is the heart and soul
at the center of my world...
my partner, my friend,
my reason for living...
my wife.

Happy Birthday

I'd say Hallmark aced that one!

I love these roses.  I have no idea what kind they are...if you know please leave me a comment below. 

The white on the outside makes the color red so much more pronounced.

I met Patty at Baybrook Mall in Webster (just down the road).  Here's a peek at what the new outdoor section looks like.

There are all kinds of restaurants lining along the courtyard area.

We could not have asked for a more beautiful day.  The high was around 54 degrees.

We had lunch at our favorite restaurant the Cheesecake Factory.  I chose the salad I got last time.  Patty had a chicken and pasta dish.  It was so good!  Can you believe this was the lunch portion?

For dessert we shared the Red Velvet Cheesecake.  I forgot to take a pic because we were so excited to dig in to the cheesecake.  It was so good!!!

Patty gifted me with this beautiful brown, sparkly infinity scarf.  I can't wait to wear it!  I really wish we would have had the server take our photo but we forgot...we were so busy talking.  Our server could not believe we have been friends for 26 years...after all he was only 24.  Still a baby...just kidding.

Nelly sent me this beautiful Edible Arrangement.  I have always wanted one.  It is so pretty and oh so good!

Those are pineapples cut out like cookies dipped in chocolate with sprinkles.

Oh how I love strawberries dipped in chocolate.

I want to thank my mother-in-law for the money and the beautiful card.  I really appreciate it.

For dinner the hubs and I went to Red Robin and I got the grilled chicken wrap with the chicken tortilla soup.  So good!

Sweet P and I will be having a joint birthday party on Monday to celebrate both of our birthdays.  I had asked her if she minded if we shared our parties together...she looked at me so seriously...paused...then asked if she could blow out the candles.  How sweet is that?  Of course I said yes!  We are going to dinner at Texas Roadhouse (her and my fav) and end with a "surprise" party for her at our house.  She is so excited as she requested the surprise party so she is unaware of the details  She has tried really hard to control the party who does she get that from?  I need to get busy making her cake.  I am not sure what it will look like just yet.  The theme is Disney Descendants.  Wish me luck!!!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!




Please say a pray for Nellie and her family as they lost a beloved family member this week and are having the funeral this weekend.  Thank you.

Jan 27, 2016

White Coffee Filter Wreath

Hello and Happy Wednesday!!!

I am SO happy to report I am finished with my white coffee filter wreath.  Woo Hoo!  Was it worth the time and effort?  Absolutely.  If you would have asked me while I was making it I might have told you the jury was out because I thought I would never finish.

Here is a pic of all of the filters fluffed out all around the wreath.  That would be over 200 filters please!!!

In this photo I have a colander inserted in the middle to raise the wreath up off of the counter.  Here you can see a few gaps where the filters did not stay together.  

I used Zots (from my secret stash of scrapbooking stuff) to help bind the filters together so there weren't any gaps.  The next thing I did was I grabbed a pair of scissors and trimmed any pieces that were standing out.  This helped give it a more rounded look.

I am very happy with the results and it only cost $10.00 to make this beautiful wreath.


However, there are a few things I will do differently on the next one.  :)

I will fold and staple at least 200 filters before gluing them to the wreath form.  It goes so much faster if this is done before hand.

I will glue the inside row first and I will not place the filters in the center of the inner ring.  I will place them on the inside edge of the wreath towards the top ring of filters.  (Hope this makes sense to you.)

I will make sure I have Zots on hand to fill the spots where needed.

The next wreath I make will be with the tea stained coffee filters.  Similar to this one by Martha Stewart.  It is so beautiful!  I copied her in attaching my ribbon.  :)

I think these wreaths would be beautiful used in a wedding setting, be it at the church or the reception hall.  You get so much "wow" for so little money.  I can envision smaller wreaths placed on the end of the pews, hanging on the doors to the church, the doors to the restrooms, in the center of a table with a hurricane glass and a large candle, etc., etc.  You could embellish them with so many things to add a little sparkle or a little bling.


Here's an up close shot of my new lamp.  I am so happy to finally have the lamp that belongs here.  I believe this is the fourth lamp I purchased trying to find the right one.  Can you believe I got this one for $34.00 at Hobby Lobby on the Clearance aisle?  I love it!!!  It has the mercury glass look I wanted and the slim shade.


I've been tweaking the mantle and here is the latest look.  I think it is still missing something.  Maybe I'll finish playing with it by Spring.  :)

Have I inspired you to make a coffee filter wreath?  If not for you maybe as a gift for someone?

Hope you have a wonderful day,