Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I have had the pleasure of teaching three precious study abroad students from Norway this semester.  Veronica, Jenny, and Sara have taken the Ole Miss campus by storm and have fallen in love with Oxford and our southern ways. On Sunday, David and I took them to Taylor Grocery for their first experience of fried catfish, fried okra, and hushpuppies.
Yes I know that I am short!!
On Easter Sunday, the gals and Veronica's boyfriend Mats joined us for church and Easter lunch.  This was their first church experience in America.  The Norwegian tradition on Easter Sunday is to leave a burning candle on your loved ones' graves.... I like that idea and think that it would be nice to start that tradition here.
The Easter bunny found his way to our house.
I love to set a pretty table! 
We decided that it was totally necessary to wear the paper hats that were in our Easter poppers.
There were some firsts at Easter lunch for the Norway crew: deviled eggs and strawberry pie!
Tomorrow will be a bittersweet day- it is their last class session with me! I am so proud of how much they have learned and grown as educators yet I am sad to tell them GOODBYE!
These girls have embraced our southern ways.... they love fried pickles from Ajax and sweet tea! They have made the most of their time here in Oxford.... Ole Miss baseball and basketball games, Graceland in Memphis, New Orleans, Panama City for Spring Break, a Grizzlies basketball game, fraternity parties, and a visit to Six Flags in Atlanta.  They are mesmerized by  Wal-Mart and selection of products! I asked them what food they are going to take back with them to Norway, and they answered "POPTARTS"!!
Warm wishes and many blessings to my Norway gals..... your sweet smiles, open minds, willingness to learn, and love of Oxford will be missed!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Celebration of Kate and Southerlin

In my next life, I want to either be a veterinarian, food writer, travel critic, or lady of leisure. But in this lifetime, I will settle for teaching, being the hired help at Oxford Floral, and party planning.  I love to plan a party... in fact, I think that I am constantly planning a party in my head! By far one of my favorite parties that I have ever planned is the celebration of my BFF Kate and the upcoming arrival of her baby girl Southerland.
The lovely Kate opening her gifts...

Anna, Katie, and Ashley

 The "Southerlin": Champagne and Pink Lemonade
Asparagus wrapped in Prosciutto
Baked Brie
Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Hot Artichoke Dip
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Petit Fors


Do you think that being OCD is hereditary, because I do!! I know that I developed it at a very early age from my mother, who got the gene passed down from her mother.  That being said, I thoroughly enjoy an organizing project, although it has taken me 3 years to get my side of the closet exactly the way that I want it! So this blog post is calling out my craziness of a regimented way of hanging things and organizing clothes, shoes, handbags, and accessories in my closet.  This is only MY side of the closet... David's side looks much different!
I wish that I had some before and after pics, but I only have the after pics.
So I am one of those who hangs things by similar colors... it makes it easy for me to find what I am looking for. The black and white photos hanging on the wall are of my grandparents.

I have become a huge fan of velvet hangers... they are a slim line hanger which allows for more clothes to be hung, and they are much snazzier than the plastic or wire hangers. It is the little things in life that makes me happy!

Since I am letting my craziness all hang out in this post, I must admit that I am a shoes and purse whore!!!

It does bother me a tad bit that my sneakers aren't lined up straight on the bottom shelf.

The top of my closet is very utilized as it is full of shoes, luggage, and travel bags. The plastic boxes are $1 shoe boxes from the Dollar Tree. I keep a small step ladder in my closet so I can always reach the top shelf.


Moving on to one of the most important things in life... handbags!! If you have a wall in your closet that is blank wall space, add some hooks to hang your handbags!

 Martha Stewart has wonderful organizing products for closets... of course she does! This Martha Stewart cube organizer is available at Home Depot. It is where I stash my t-shirts, running shorts, socks, pjs, and unmentionables! The colorful bowls are catch-alls for jewelry and loose change.

 My next project is to organize David's side of the closet, which will probably result in WWIII... the last time I cleaned out his closet I got in major trouble for trying to get rid of his Wallabes from college!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


After visiting the Ron Clark Academy with 2 of my colleagues from the Teacher Education department at the University of Mississippi, I am 100% convinced that every educator should go check this school out! It is truly amazing, and I left inspired and full of ideas that I want to implement and model in the college courses that I teach.

If you want to learn more about the Ron Clark Academy, then you should check out this video called "The Education of Dreams". It is the story of a school built to inspire and defy expectations.

So, Ron Clark was there, doing what he does best.... teaching!!

 He spoke to us about the 3 pillars of the Ron Clark Academy, which really makes sense to me.
3 Pillars of the RCA:
1- Student Engagement
2- Rigor
3- Climate and Culture

I challenge all of my educator friends to really think about these 3 pillars!

Who sponsors the RCA?

1- Oprah Winfrey
2- Delta Airlines
3- Inter Continental Hotels
4- Dell Computers
5- Coca-Cola
6- Promethium Boards

I know that it is not realistic for normal public schools to have these types of corporations support and fund their schools, but Ron Clark's motto is "You never know unless you ask."  So, I encourage all teachers to find sponsors to help out in their classrooms.....and they don't even have to be sponsors who make the big bucks... find an organization or people to help you make sure that every one of your students have the necessary supplies needed to succeed, whether that is a pack of crayons or money to attend a field trip.... you never know unless you ask!!   When I taught elementary school for 7 years, not one of my students went without thanks to wonderful friends and sponsors who bought school supplies, paid for baseball uniforms, took care of Santa at Christmas for over 8 different families, sponsored students to attend Art Camp, funded field trips, and the list goes on! The sponsors of the RCA ensure that every student visit 6 of the continents while they attend the RCA.

Ron Clark in Action

 Ron Clark and School Rules

1- Ron Clark believes that rules should be consistent throughout the school.
2- He meets with his staff to determine the consequences for broken rules, and they are consistent school wide with the consequences.
3- The "Essential 55" are the rules that must be followed at the RCA.  For a list of the Essential 55, click below:

The Essential 55 Rules are posted for all to see,right next to the slide that students can take from the second to the first floor!

More of Ron Clark's Classroom

 Please note that there is not a teacher's desk in his classroom.... there aren't teacher's desks in any classroom! Ron Clark believes that teachers should be up teaching, assisting students, and moving around the classroom at all times.

Most of the teaching done at the RCA is done through song, dance, and presentations on the Promethium Boards... every student that I observed was fully engaged. If you want to see all of this goodness yourself, check out the RCA website for more information and visit dates!

Last but not least, this is Kristen who tutored me in her 8th grade science class... she taught me a song about the periodic table... which I totally needed some brushing up on.  Look how nice Kristen looks in her uniform!

So, why did I go to the RCA? Not only did I need to see something new and innovative when it comes to education, but I desire to take my college students to the RCA on a field trip! So, a possible field trip is in the works for junior education majors!

Happy teaching to all of my educator friends.  You truly are making a difference, and remember that "The best teachers teach from the heart."


Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Spring Break sure has changed a lot since my college days! Oh how I miss those Spring Break beach trips! But don't worry, I was able to squeeze in some play during my work trips over SB!
While in Atlanta for National Writing Project training, I made sure to make a stop at Scott's Antiques.
One of my favorite booths at Scott's Antiques is the booth with all the botanical prints. Of course I had to make three of these beauties mine!

And then the French linen booth was calling my name, and these lovelies came home with me, too!

But I had to leave this beautiful mink stole.... if only I was rich!!

So, I had a quick plane ride back to Oxford, and that night David and I jumped in the car and headed to Lake Bruin. We ate, slept, ate, read, ate, watched T.V., ate, relaxed, and ate. See exhibit A below.

We made a stop at Fresh Market in Jackson on our way down and whipped this dinner right up!

After 3 days of lounging at Bruin, the Oxford Floral crew headed to market in Atlanta.  We had a blast and purchased great products, but we were mesmerized with a FURRY ANIMAL CONVENTION that was going on at the Westin, where we were staying! I won't go into detail, but please do some research on this very interesting topic. It was pure entertainment, to say the least!

We had dinner at JTC Kitchen while we were there, which was such a treat!

Norma Jean and Charli

Kathy and Jules

Me and Charli

Charli goofing off!

I hope that all of you had a fantastic Spring Break!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


When I came to Ole Miss, never in a million years did I think that I would fall in love with a Delta boy who created beautiful flower arrangements for a living. But I did, and then came marriage, and then came Oxford Floral.  David does not like crowds, especially speaking in front of them, but the "elite" Garden Club of Cleveland called him back to his hometown to do a presentation for them. Being the good Stepford wife that I am (yeah, right), I threw on a dress, painted my face with too much makeup, and sat in the crowd with my legs crossed and a smile on my face.
The theme for Cleveland Garden Club this year is "The Year of the Mannequin".
The Garden Club had decorated for their meeting with this lovely lady and her purse!
David in action.....
David walked the Garden Club ladies through the process of creating three arrangements....
A bridal bouquet..
A reception arrangement...
And a rehearsal dinner arrangement.
I enjoyed laughing, visiting, and oohing and ahhing with my mother-in-law.
I hope that all of these pretty flowers put you in the mood for Spring!!


In honor of St. Patrick's Day this week, I feel the need to post these green finds that I would have loved to have made mine when at market in Atlanta.
This would make the perfect bar in this pop of green!
The circle monogram on this tote bag is a precious, fresh touch of personalization.
What a neat, unique idea! The folks at the J. Douglas showroom covered all of the books on this shelf in green paper.
Sorry for the iphone photo, but these green and navy fabrics are a great combo.
I hope that all of you had a wonderful St. Patty's Day!