Weekend Simplicity

Weekend Simplicity

Welcome, Summer.  We’re glad you’re here.  Here’s a few highlights from the week.

Nobody loves a methodical post more than me so I’ve switched things up on Weekend Simplicity. Sorry, Andrea- I know you don’t like change. xo

k bike riding-1


Weekend Links:

Art Lessons for children (by grade) from Deep Space Sparkle (thanks, Edie!)

Looking for a fun AND educational summer activity with your kids? I’ve already downloaded this free copy of Egyptian Faces art lesson plan 

Artist Teil Duncan’s beautiful work is no longer a secret.

Finally, I love Big Mama’s take on the end of the school year


Father's Day Portraits Art project by Deep Space Sparkle

Father’s Day Portraits Art project by Deep Space Sparkle. (Get your paintbrush ready, Kenley)


Fashion Find:

One word. Swoon.  While it would take years and thousands of lat pull downs at the gym to ‘pull this  off’ (sorry, swim suit humor) this Trina Turk one-piece is mighty purty.

Trina Turk 'Folkoric' One-Piece Suit | Grateful Simplicity

Around the House:

Love Kristin’s tips on one lamp styling.  Incidentally, one lamp styling is my love language and I always love a good ‘how to’ guide.

Console Styling Tips by Hunted Interior | Grateful Simplicity

Source: Hunted Interior

Rach Parcell is a fashion blogger but if you follow her Instagram feed you are in for a real treat.  Her new home is absolutely gorgeous and if I ever win the Florida lottery, my dream house would look a lil’ something like this.

Weekend Simplicity- Around the House | Grateful Simplicity

Source: Pink Peonies



Favorite Photo:

We are headed out on the boat again this weekend because that’s what summer means to us.  (That, and it’s one activity that caters to adults and children alike.)

boat -Weekend Simplicity | Grateful Simplicity

Shipmate in training


Grateful that summer is here!



Interview with Prissy Elrod, author of ‘Far Outside the Ordinary’


Well it’s no secret that Prissy Elrod, affectionately known as “Sassy” on this blog, is the author of ‘Far Outside the Ordinary.’  I’ve discussed it here on the blog before- the birth of a book, and the book launch party

It’s not surprising to me (okay, we are thrilled really) to receive such overwhelming positive feedback.  Great reviews that have now spread beyond our little town of friends and family.  In fact, as of today ‘Far Outside the Ordinary’ is in the top 7% of all books currently selling on Amazon. Go, Mom!

Thought it would be fun to capture an interview with The Author (yes, that’s a proper noun. Mom is a proper noun and clearly, has moved up in the world). Here we go.


 Interview with Prissy Elrod

Far Outside the Ordinary- Prissy Elrod, Author Interview | Grateful Simplicity

Prissy Elrod, author of ‘Far Outside the Ordinary’


Q: What inspired you to write your first book?

It was a timeless and a universal love story with elements of sacrifice, loss, survival, forgiveness, romance, comedy and second chances.  I listened for years to family and friends encouraging me to write this book.  I woke up one morning, my birthday as I recall, and decided to just do it.

The experience and characters who entered my life through that difficult time changed me for the better.  I hoped what I lived through could help others. Perhaps, someone who might make the wrong choice for the right reason and shoulder their blame and pain for years, if not forever.


Q:  What was the single hardest thing about writing this book? Anything in particular you feared?

Dangling modifiers. I had no idea what they were and I had plenty of them dangling!


Q:  When writing your memoir, what surprised you the most?

Sometimes, many times, I read what I tapped on my keyboard with shock. I had no idea where in my head it came from.  My typing could not keep up with my thoughts, memories, and story.


Q:  What is your favorite scene in the book?

Without exception, Du and Sally’s wedding.  It was the most fun I think I can remember.  It would be hard to find a day like that ever again.


Q:  Do you have any advice for other writers?

Since I didn’t have a master’s degree in creative writing like many writers, my advice would be for someone like me.  You just study the craft, challenge yourself, hone your story to the best of your ability and when you think it’s finished –listen to me now –it isn’t!  Surround yourself with people smarter than you who can professionally grade your little jewel.  Pay attention ‘cause remember, they really are smarter than you when it comes to fine-tuning.  Truly!


Q:  What book are you currently reading? 

I read two books at the same time.  Serious and not serious.  Right now I am reading Emily Giffin’s new book The One and Only (I like her style) and also The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.  (My book club chose this one)


Q:  What do you hope readers will take away from your book? 

Inspiration and belief that one can survive hardship, pain and disappointment and become a better version of oneself.  And perhaps the magic of fate is real and there are second chances in life, love and new beginnings.  Look for a shining star at the end of the road because you will always find one somewhere.

Far Outside the Ordinary- Prissy Elrod, Author Interview | Grateful Simplicity


Far Outside the Ordinary can be purchased here, Nook book here, or downloaded here.

Lichgate House

Lichgate House:

My family has lived in Tallahassee for 4 generations.  One might think I’ve been there and done that when it comes to knowing the historical, cool places in town- but we all know better than that.  Just last week, after Mom begged asked me to visit her Garden Club, The Violets (and no, they don’t wear hats- I was surprised too), I visited a quaint, shaded property I had never even heard of:  Lichgate.

While in college, I lived just a few miles from this now public park, yet never knew it existed.  I must have jogged past it 100 times.  I must have been too busy doing other things like planning the night’s activities and trying to pop into a business class or two during the week.

I dragged my friend Amy and Ali along with me to Mom’s ‘Garden Club’ last week.  We will be back! If for no other reason than the food was delicious and…. there must have been 10 nice ladies that walked up to us and said, “It’s so nice to have young people here.”   Imagine that- us? Young? Sign me up.


Lichgate House | Grateful Simplicity

If you are in the area you should check it out. Lichgate is open to the public from sunrise to sunset, so long as there is not a wedding happening (and there are lots of weddings there!)


Lichgate House | Grateful Simplicity


Lichgate House | Grateful Simplicity


Lichgate House | Grateful Simplicity


Lichgate House | Grateful Simplicity


Lichgate House | Grateful Simplicity


I think I’ll be adding this location to my list of summer activities for my kids.  Preferably in the morning before it hits 105 degrees.

Lichgate House | Grateful Simplicity

Once an experimental-ist, always and experimental-ist…..



One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was when my first born, a dark headed and tan Britton, was just one week old.  I was complaining about how tired I was and my friend Sarah (who brought her first baby home from the hospital just months earlier) said to me, “Remember this is just a phase.  Everything is a phase and then you will move on to the next phase. This won’t last forever.”

How did she know this to be true?

Another phase is coming to an end for that same July baby… the phase of elementary school.  We’ve gone through  many phases: sleeping through the night, potty training,  leaving preschool to start the “big school”, the horse phase, the mermaid tail phase, and the punk gloves phase.

While I remember a good bit of my childhood, I don’t recall making a fuss about graduating from lower school.  Now that I ‘m a parent, moving onto middle school suddenly seems like a big stinking deal.  So much so that it deserves a graduation, distinguished speakers, diplomas, handshakes and a huge party.

Phases | Grateful Simplicity


Oh wait, all of those things did happen today.  My little girl graduated from 5th grade.


Britton walked across that stage, looked administrators in the eyes while she proudly shook their hands, with a big smile on her face.  Friends with young children, hear me when I say it goes by faster and faster the older they get.


Phases | Grateful Simplicity


My mind tells me that it was only yesterday that I was embarking on middle school life myself, while my achy hip and tired body tells me I am now the parent of a child embarking on their next chapter.  It must have happened between Brownies and that first slumber party.  It’s the only thing I can figure.  Somewhere along the way, when I was too busy doing to spend much time noticing, she grew taller, wiser, sweeter and older.


Phases | Grateful Simplicity


We love you, our sweet girl, and can’t wait for this next phase.

Weekend Simplicity

Weekend Simplicity

Kenley first swim of the summer


Three day weekend is here. I’ll be waking up our crew shortly for some boat to island adventures.  My poor little guy burned through his sun shirt yesterday during his end of year ‘water’ party so I’m hoping today’s SPF 50+ shirt does the trick.  It’s not easy being fluorescent white, folks.


Weekend Simplicity | Grateful Simplicity - Raynes at Pool

Little does he know that swim lessons begin next week. We’ll see if he is still smilin’ then….


Last week at this time we were volunteering at our church’s ‘Great Day of Service’ followed by dance recitals.


Kenley church service

Pulling weeds and learning to plant tomatoes and bell peppers at Trinity’s community garden (fresh, free vegetables for all!)


Weekend Simplicity | Grateful Simplicity- ballet

Kenley will be continuing on with tennis but has decided to give up dance for now. Sniff, sniff I will miss this.



Britton honed her crocheting skills at church when she helped create hats for the homeless.  She went there to give and wouldn’t you know it, she ended up receiving. A new crafting skill!  She made me promise not to post any photos of her sitting in a circle sewing- it’s hard letting go.


Weekend Simplicity | Grateful Simplicity - Britton ballet recital



What’s on my nightstand:

6 Weays to Keep the “Little” in Your Girl

The Aviators Wife: A Novel 

Unbroken by Laura Hillebrand (downloaded but haven’t started)

The Bible (still slowly working through reading it entirely)


What’s on my Amazon ‘Wish List':

The Conscious Parent by Dr. Shefali Tsabary

Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses in gold

Storage baskets for our beach house “revival”

Ray-Ban Aviator Non-Polarized Sunglasses

Ray-Ban Aviator Non-Polarized Sunglasses


Weekend Links:

Adorable flower girls (my niece!) and the gorgeous bride, Lucki Jo.  Here are the photos from our recent “family” wedding.  Terri Smith Photo did a knock out job capturing this fun evening.


Terri Smith Photo | Grateful Simplicity


This creative and gorgeous home takes bright to a new level. And I, for one, like it.

elizabeth schmidt for traditional home | Grateful Simplicity




And finally, while I like to play the part of a tech-savy knows all about the latest gadget kind of girl, the truth is usually I’m the last to hear about the latest gizmo.   Well there, I just gave away my age by using the term “gizmo” in referring to technology.  Be that as it may, I will have you know that I learned how to download and listen to a podcast on my iPhone.  I can hear your applause (or the sound of you rolling your eyes).  It is by Edie Wadsworth as she explores stepping into a life of calling.


And that’s my weekend. Plain and simple. Happy Memorial Day!


summer is here- kenley jumping into pool