Something I've always heard as a "must do" in Sydney is the walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee beach. When I came back from The States I had a little time to kill in Sydney so I decided to try it. I took an Uber from our hotel to Bondi Beach and started the track. This was a beautiful coastal walk. This coastal walk reminded me of Noosa trail without as much bush land. There was a beautiful trail along the side of the ocean mixed with beaches, surfers, runners, walkers, picture takers, a cemetery, dog parks, beautiful houses, and amazing views. This took around two hours for a slow stroll, but I would warn anyone thinking about doing the track, you change elevation a lot throughout the walk. I loved all the awesome beauty and creativity and I got to see.
Just incase you wanted to, your golf clubs must stay in your car, and you can't get close to the edges.
What is your favorite costal walk?
Job 1:8 Isn't that a powerful verse? I mean God was bragging about someone who truly fears the Lord. If the Devil came to God and asked about you, would God brag about how you turn away from evil and fear God? Look at this verse!
Job 1:10 This verse is Satan talking to God asking about the hedge that has been placed around Job. How cool is that? There is proof that He guards those who fear Him, turn from evil, and love Him. Our God is so powerful! Do you have a faith that is strong enough for God to brag about you? Would you have enough evidence to "convict" you for being a Christian?
I know this is a short one, but it is something that I have really been thinking a lot lately and has been on my heart to share.
*disclaimer - I am in no way perfect, and not saying I am! I have been hungry for some "meaty" time with God, and writing my own devotionals. I really needed theses words, I figured someone else could benefit and decided to share. I have decided to share my thoughts, enjoy, take to heart, do whatever you want with it
Albert Pike was a MUST see on our Arkansas staycation. I grew up spending many hours in this park during all seasons of the year. One thing my mother taught me growing up is a deep love for the outdoors. I can not tell you how many Saturdays were spent somewhere outdoors hiking, playing in the water, and exploring.
The picture above is taken of crawdads being held captive in a gallon milk jug.
There were so many days we gathered with friends, or just the two of us, and laced up our hiking boots and explored this beautiful place. Now, this day we did not do much hiking. Instead, we joined our "framily" (friends who are family) and did a lot of sitting in the creek, enjoying the cold water, and catching crawdads.
If I had to think of a place that really described my childhood it would be this place. Somewhere you can go, enjoy life, see God's beauty, and make memories all for the great low price of.....FREE!
I am so blessed to have a wonderful Mamma who has taught me an appreciation for the great outdoors and the fact that it doesn't cost a penny to have fun.
If you had to think of one place that sums up your childhood, with one sentence describing why, what would it be?
Reminder - There is a giveaway going on right now, click here to read about it. Don't worry about putting in your email address. I have put mine in on others, and never gotten any junk mail. The e-mail address is only so we can locate the winner.
I have decided to team up with three other amazing blogs and do a giveaway. This is not just any giveaway! This is a custom watercolor painting that will be delivered to your house no matter where in the world you live.
I hired This Painted Life (click the green lettering to go to his Etsy shop) to paint our Conway house with our dogs in it, and the view from our balcony in Brisbane. I was blown away by his talent. I put the picture he painted over the pictures I sent him. Like I said really talented!
He does not just do houses, he does amazing paintings of families.
Now that I have convinced you that you need a custom painting from...
I know you are wondering how you can win. It is simple! Follow theses amazing blogs from fellow bloggers who live in Australia on Bloglovin, then sign up on rafflecopter below. While you are waiting on the contest to close check out their blogs, click the links below. The contest will be open for a week, Good Luck!
So it is easy, sign up with raffelcopter on post, follow the blogs on blog lovin, send a tweet, visit all the blogs, share with others, and wait until the winner is announced.
I was raised with the attitude "Work Hard, Play Hard!" Now while usually I post playing hard on my blog, I had to share some of the fun projects my Mamma and I did while I was home. As you can tell in the pictures above, we worked hard. Beautiful one inch oak floors were hid below carpet. Walls and closets had already been repainted. We pulled carpet, foam padding, staples and tack strips until we were dreaming of hands with no blisters. I could not quite figure out the stand up sander, so of course I tackled this challenge with a HAND sander. My back sure did wish I would have master the "Big Boy" sander.
How about that beautiful black lab? He is eleven and mamma adopted him while I am out of the country. It was great spending time with my boy and spoiling him. Not sure it is possible to spoil him any more than he already is!
After working on the floor for a couple of days, we moved to furniture. We added our touch to two dressers and one desk. We cut off the legs of one dresser, painted it off white, painted the drawers a "happy" green and added caster rollers. This was my first time using chalk paint. WOW! it is easy, fun, and looks great. I would recommend it to anyone who has great pieces of dated furniture they want to incorporate into their house.
The lamp shade from a red cricket box was a hoot to create. It brightened up a dark room with a total re-purpose. A closet door was already "shabby chic" so chalk board paint was the only addition. Old windows created nooks for more creativity as it presents itself. The desk is home to a blah lamp that will be strutting a new shade soon fashioned from old family slides.
What are some of your favorite projects?
For every girl who lived in the south at any point of their life, Steal Magnolias is one of their favorite movies, and probably can quote the entire movie with the movie playing on silent. Not far from my families house in Louisiana is the friendly settlement of Natchitoches, Louisiana. Steal Magnolias was filmed in this quaint little town. The town is the oldest town located in the Louisiana Purchase.
Historic Natchotoches prides itself with an old brick street with quaint shops and eateries on one side and the Cain River Lake on the other. The food was amazing and the locations were perfect. For the small price of $12.00 per person you can take a horse drawn carriage touring most of the filming locations, as well as receiving a bounty of history and trivia. We had so much fun riding the carriage around saying quotes from the movie. After the carriage ride we enjoyed dining at a wonderful restaurant, Merci Beaucoup. We were told we must try the Cajun potato, bread pudding and man were they right!
See if you can remember who said these quotes at the different locations throughout the movie.
"I'm a chain!"
"There, my secrets out, I am having an affair with a Mercedes Benz."
We couldn't come up with any quotes from this location.
This was Aunt Fern's house. Got any?
"If he is trying to drive me crazy it's too late."
"Aww, thanks Ouiser. Nothin' like a good piece of..."
"I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful
than a lifetime of nothing."
"I haven't left the house without Lycra
on these thighs since I was 14."
"Well you know what they say: if you don't have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me."
"He is a boil on the butt of humanity"
"Let me tell you a story."
"There is no such thing as natural beauty."
"I am not crazy I've just been in a very bad mood for 40 years."
"Pink is my signature color."
"If you can achieve puberty you can achieve a past."
"I just like the idea of growing old with someone."
"Oh! He's a real gentleman!
I bet he takes the dishes out of the sink before he PEES in it!"
"I don't care what you do with your refrigerator,
but you will not keep liquor in mine."
"I'm pleasant. I saw Drum Eatenton this morning at the Piggly Wiggly, and I smiled at the son of a ... 'fore I couldn't help myself"
Want to know something else amazing about this town? You can stay at the house used for the wedding. It is a bed and breakfast named The Steel Magnolia House. Another one of my favorite movies, not as well known, The Man On The Moon, the movie that launched Reese Witherspoon's career was also filmed in this charming town.
If you are planning a road trip in the south I would greatly recommend this town, but you might try to go during Christmas Holidays. As you might remember in Steel Magnolia's they have a huge Christmas Festival.
So how do you think you did on guessing the quotes? What are some you would add? Here are the answers...
Truvy, Ousier, M'Lynn, Drum, Shelby, Truvy, Clairee, Ousier, Clairee, Truvy, Ousier, Shelby, Truvy, Shelby, Ousier, Annelle, Ouiser
*These quotes might have errors, it was all done in fun around quotes we had fun saying during the day.
During my trip home, I have had many people say they love reading my blog, but wish some of the adventures were closer to home. So I decided to treat where my mom lives like I treat Australia, Explore all I can and make memories everywhere possible. Our first adventure was seventeen miles out of Paris, Arkansas, in the Ozark Mountain region, it is the tallest mountain in Arkansas. Now, Arkansas is a pretty flat state, the tallest mountain is only 2,753 feet in elevation. With everything being short in comparison, it is a beautiful view from the top. On the top of the mountain is the beautiful Arkansas Mount Magazine State Park lodge. The first lodge was built over 100 years ago. There is an amazing history of the people who built the first lodge as well as visitors today. We saw cars in the parking lot from Alaska to Florida.
A couple of years ago, when we were trying to conquer every mountain peek in Arkansas, we rode our bikes to the top for breakfast. Before that time, I am sad to say I had never experienced this amazing place in our backyard.
While I was home Mamma and I decided to have a week of hiking around the beautiful state of Arkansas. Mom fell the weekend before we planned on the beginning of our adventure and sprained her ankle. Yes, she stepped off a small curb, rolled her ankle, and made anything but a graceful roll. A quick trip to the Dr. confirmed we needed to rework our trip.
We decided to go to Mt. Magazine, sit on the balcony and enjoy the views, animals, flowers and just enjoy some time appreciating the beauty of God's creation.
There are many trails that embrace all ability levels and interests. Also, if you fancy waterfalls, rock climbing, biking, horse back riding, hang glide, or camping .... you will enjoy making sweet memories here.
If you head over to Mount Magazine take time to enjoy the sunset, watch out for bears, and plan some back porch sitting time. If you intend to come in the fall when the trees are changing, they suggested making your reservations a year in advance. This place is in high demand during the colorful season. What is somewhere in your backyard you have never really gone and played outdoors?
Warrior Dash is something I have done for many years. I have a lot of pictures through the years. Warrior Dash does something that most races don't do, give free pictures. My mother and I did it one year for mothers day.
Last year Earl and I did the race together. I talked about it HERE.
This year I was really exited when I saw I would be in The States on race day. The morning of the race I woke up at 4:15 and put on the same mud clothes as last year. Next, we attacked the trail.
This year's trail was a lot different than any other year. It had a lot of hills and the obstacles were a little harder. You can watch us running the trail in the video at the top.
What is a fun race you have done before?
Walmart gets a bad rap worldwide, (this is not to be a rant about Wal Mart) but let me share some good things that they do. As most people know Walmart originated in Arkansas. When Sam Walton began growing Walmart he required all vendors to have an office in Northwest Arkansas. This not only helped Sam Walton but it also strengthened the economy in the area. The Walton family generously gives back to the community. One big area of support is to enhance the cultural experience. They do many things like bring plays into the area and concerts but the biggest thing they have done lately is build Crystal Bridges Museum. This museum is not just any "rinky-dink" museum.
As you drive on to the campus you become enamored by the the pristine grounds abounding in flowers, trees, walking paths and breath taking sculptures. As you head toward the museum you get your first glimpse at the beauty of the building. The building itself is something worth going to see.
The building is very modern and does everything it can to embrace the outside while still being inside. The building does an amazing job using natural light as much as possible while still protecting the masterpieces.
The everyday collection at Crystal Bridges houses over 400 pieces that are displayed chronologically to help tell the story of American history though the eyes of the artists. Throughout the museum they have areas set aside to encourage the visitors to be creative and interaction with art. Supplies were readily available in an inviting and non threatening environment.
A separate area of the museum is set aside for special exhibits. The one we got to experience was titles Van Gogh to Rothko. Now this was pretty neat. Inside the exhibit featured Danali, Van Gogh, and Warhal. It thrilled this Arkansas girl to see those artists in an area of America that is considered pretty backwoods.
Now ready for the amazing part? Crystal Bridges is all free including the audio guides, thanks to the Walton Family. Pretty cool uh? The only part that ever costs anything is the special exhibit and it only cost $10.00.
We got to meet up with cousins and I got to meet her wonderful son!
What is muesum you have gone to and were unexpectedly at the content?
Have you ever thought about a little gem hidden in the middle of the woods? Well, one stop on our Arkansas staycation was Thorncrown Chapel, and we found the most amazing gem in the middle of the woods. Amazing does not even start to describe this place. As you drive the windy road to Eureka Springs there is a little turn off in the middle of a sharp turn. This driveway leads to an beautiful and graceful chapel nestled in the Ozark Mountains.
Over 6 million people have visited this hidden gem through the years. This woodland chapel was the brain child of Jim Reed. He bought the land in 1971 to retire on and opened this wonderful chapel in 1980. This little piece of heaven has no need for decorations. The glass ceiling and walls take advantage of it's surroundings and natural lighting.
Thorncrown is open throughout the day to encourage people to reflect on their life and have quiet time with God. When their doors are unlocked they have pastoral staff on hand to answer any questions you have. They also have full non-denominational services every Sunday. Now, as they don't want to be known as "The Wedding Chapel" they do occasionally rent this beauty for weddings and events.
What is a little gem you have stumbled upon?