Saturday, February 28, 2015

Bedder Covers


My husband has just launched his new business: Bedder Covers - the better truck bed cover! We will be attending One Spark, "the world's largest crowd-funding festival" to promote it and to seek funding to make our product a reality. We are project #21857 (vote for us!)
What is a Bedder Cover you want to know? I'm so glad you asked! It is, to put it simply, a better truck bed cover. It is a one-time use, easy-to-use flexible, recyclable material that will adhere to your pick up truck's bed, covering and protecting your goods from dirt and rain. 


Yup! Say you are moving a sofa to your house and it looks like it might rain...you need a Bedder Cover! 

Or let's say you are hauling a load of mulch for your flower beds (or sand for your new sandbox) and you don't want the mulch/sand to blow out while driving down the road... a Bedder Cover to the rescue!

What is currently available on the market for covering your stuff is a blue tarp. These covers are hard to secure, flap incessantly, and leak. Bungee cords that used for attaching the tarps are either too long, too short, don't have enough attachment points, snap, come off or scratch paint. 
Enter the Bedder Cover. This flexible material adheres to the truck creating a seal that will prevent water and dirt from entering your truck bed, protecting your stuff inside. The sticky material comes off easily and leaves no residue nor does it damage the vehicle's paint. 

Are you interested in finding out more? Here's what you can do...
  • Like us on Facebook 
  • Follow us on Twitter.
  • Visit our Bedder Covers website. We will eventually be selling product on the website. You can sign up to receive our newsletter. We will periodically send out information (like when we are selling product or when new products are available) through the sign up link on the home page of the website
  • Attend One Spark on April 7-12 and vote for us! We are creator # 21857 and we will be hosted at the Landing. We are also looking for volunteers to help us in the booth. Email us at beddercovers {at} gmail {dot} com to sign up to help!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sonlight Blog Party: How did you decide on curriculum?

We first heard about homeschooling after my husband spoke to a guy from Idaho whose family was doing it. I hadn't, personally, met the family, but my husband returned from a training trip with this zany idea and tried to convince me of it. At first I thought he was crazy, but he managed to pique my curiosity by talking about how we would be able to travel as a family when all the other families were in school. We could travel to Europe in the low season and take advantage of lower airfares, cheaper hotels and uncrowded cities! It's true. That's what got me thinking about it at first. We love to travel and we wanted to pass that love on to our kids. Plus I wanted to visit my family in Italy and it would be waaaaay cheaper to go in September/October than it would be to go in July/August. I was willing to give it a second thought.

Later, over time, and many discussions, research and prayer, we developed better reasons, loftier reasons. But it's true that at first our reasons were pretty shallow. No matter. In the end, the end justified the means, or the reasons anyway.

We decided that our school needed a name. People were forever asking where our kids were going to go to school. Our brother and sister-in-law's kids were attending Hickory Christian Academy (HCA for short) so we decided that DCA or DelCharco Christian Academy sounded good. In time, we got to where we would answer the Where do your kids go to school? question with a nonchalant Oh, they go to DCA.

We not only named our school, but we sat down one day to to develop our goals, mission statement and vision for our school. I'll recreate them here for posterity's sake. Plus it might help a new homeschooler out - inspire them to create their own goals and mission. Or you might just think we're crazy. Whatever...

DelCharco Christian Academy (DCA) 

WHY WE HOMESCHOOL: [So on those days when I wanted to call it quits, I could pull out this list and remind myself. If my reasons had changed, I could enroll them in Beauclerc Elementary. If they hadn't, well...it was time to suck it up and just.do.it.]

1) Nobody can love or teach my kids better or want them to succeed more than me.

2) We want to be the major influence in our children’s lives; to have some control over the influences in their lives.

3) We want our children to have uncompromising character; for us to be proactive in their character development and education.

4) We want our children to have compassion for others; a heart for others; time before money; people over things; a true love relationship with Jesus.

5) We want our children to be able to work at their pace; explore their interests further; fill their loving cup when they need it; pace their maturity with appropriate exposure to sensitive material; teachable moments extended throughout the day.
 Mission Statement:

To develop bright, intelligent kids, who have a strong moral character, a heart for God and others and a life-long passion for learning.
[We then defined what some of these key words mean.]

  • Bright
    • Clear thinking/think on feet
    • Common sense
    • Articulate
  •  Intelligent
    • Depth of knowledge
    • Well rounded/founded
    • No fear of any subject
  •  Strong moral character
    • No compromise
    • Clear on absolute truths
    • Biblically based – no situational ethics
    • Respectful
    • Well mannered
    • Gal 5:20 – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness gentleness, self-control
  • Heart for God and others
    • True desire to be in communion with Him
    • Selfless – thinks of others as more important than self
  • Life-long passion for learning
    • School does not end
    • Research options to make well informed decisions
5-year: daily QT, solid relationship with Jesus, voracious reader; strong math skills.
10-year: fully-orbed human beings; making wise decisions; not easily swayed by peers; to be capable sailors; finding their niche in sports; active lifestyle (camping, hiking, fishing, running, biking, etc…); wouldn't consider drugs because they're just stupid.
Life: loving disciples of Christ following His lead; Servant heart; discipling others.

We have mostly met those goals. Not all. And we are still homeschooling so we are still a work in progress, but for the most part, we are doing well. But I digress. I'm supposed to be explaining how we decided on curriculum. 

I had read several books on homeschooling. [I do that. I like to research and do my homework whenever tackling a new project.] I was deciding between Abeka and Bob Jones when I learned about a homeschool convention that was in my town. A friend from church had told me about it and had photocopied the workshop descriptions and schedule for me. She had circled the ones she was going to go see. I poured over the schedule and workshop descriptions and did the same, circling the ones that seemed relevant and interesting to me. For one particular hour, there were no workshops that grabbed me so I decided to attend the one my friend, Beryl, had circled. It was about Sonlight. 

Shawne and Katie, the consultants, spoke about learning from "real books."[I *love* reading!] They told of the world focus that Sonlight has. [I want my kids to learn about the world!] They explained how the founders' desire was for a missionary family to remain in the field for one more year by providing them with a box of books and everything they'd need to homeschool their family for one year. [I want everything I need to come to me directly!] They explained how you could teach history, Bible, science and do read-alouds with multiple aged kids. [Hey, that's gonna save me time!] And how these books would be able to be reused with subsequent children. [Hey, that's gonna save me money!

I was hanging on to their every word. [That sounded like FUN, not school!] I  was incredulous to learn that you could teach using real books, not textbooks. [Can you DO that??! Is that  even ALLOWED?!?]  I took the catalog home and poured over it with my husband. I was hooked. I was a BELIEVER! We started our first year of homeschooling with Sonlight's Basic K (now Core A). Best.decision.ever.

Linking up with Sonlight's Blog Party.

Sonlight Blog Party

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Recipe: National Margarita Day!

Rumor has it today is National Margarita Day so in honor of that I'm going to share my husband's delicious recipe of one of my favorite drinks. We used to make it frozen with a can of limeade and it tasted just like Chili's frozen 'ritas. But over time it didn't taste as amazing as I used to remember it. Maybe my taste buds were growing up but it just wasn't as good.

Plus when I started eating the Trim Healthy Mama way, I didn't want to drink that much sugar. So I asked my hubby to create a more on-plan indulgent drink for me. Now I love them again and prefer to drink them at home, on the rocks.

One thing he did to make them more on-plan is to use real limes and sweeten with my homemade on-plan sweetener. Then to reduce the amount of sugar even more he substitutes part of the triple sec with fresh orange juice. Have you heard of Cara Cara oranges? I just recently discovered them at our BJs and they are ah-MAZ-ing!

 I admit that it doesn't taste like the traditional margarita this way but in my opinion it's even better. Plus I get real vitamin C this way so it's practically good for me, right?? Interested? Here's what you'll need to make it!

juice of one lime
juice of one Meyer lemon
juice of two Cara Cara oranges
1 T sweetener (can use sugar if you'd prefer)
2.5 oz gold tequila
1 oz triple sec

Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Pour into a frosty salt-rimmed glass and serve.

Today, we decided to try it frozen. It turned out great! Here's what you do.
First you squeeze the fruit. We love this squeezing tool.
Add the juice and the sweetener to the blender.
Add the alcohol and ice then blend.
While the concoction is blending, use a lime or orange rind to wet a frozen glass and then it dip in salt.
Pour into glasses and enjoy! Salud!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Style Me Bloggers: All glammed up and no place to go

I have a confession to make. You ready? It's pretty serious. Here it is:

I don't care about the Oscars, the Grammys, the Emmys, Golden Globe, CMAs, etc.

It's true. I also don't read People Magazine, or know who is married to whom, who is having whose baby, what so-and-so named their baby, who is sleeping with whom or any of that stuff. I have a hard enough time keeping up with my family members and my friends that I have relationships with, so keeping up with strangers is at the very bottom of my interest list.

And I don't watch much TV or go to a whole lot of movies so I'm usually in the dark when it comes to what people are winning prizes for. And the hype! I can't stand hype which is one reason, the main reason, that I don't watch the news.

So I'm probably the last person you'll want to go for information regarding any of these topics.

That being said, if I EVER were to go to a gala event, you can bet your last dollar on the fact that I would not wear anything revealing or scandalous. I believe in a classy look rather than a shock inducer. Here are a few examples of things I might consider if money were of no consequence.

I love the lightness of the fabric and the appliques!And black is always elegant, don't you think?

 This two-toned dress is simple but the shine and weight of the fabric adds a level of lux. Also I like the empire waist to create an illusion of height. We short girls need to think of things like that!
The simplicity of this dress is brought up a notch by two things. The high-low hemline is modern and the bright kelly green is a fun alternative to black.
I love this dress! The flowy fabric is reminiscent of a princess's ballgown, and the periwinkle color is so different! The off-the-shoulder neckline adds a level of sophistication without baring all.

So there you have it. I would be delighted with any of these dresses. Do you notice the similarities, a pattern? My body type looks best with a fit-and-flare dress style. I am not as comfortable in shift dresses or mermaid style (like the one in the background of the above picture.) It's not that I dislike them; I just don't look good in that dress style because I am so short waisted.

What is your favorite fancy-schmancy dress-up dress? Do you watch the various awards? What do you like about them? I really am curious and would love to hear!

Check out the other Style Me Bloggers to see what their take on the subject is!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

First week of Create 28!

I realized I never published the first week summary! Oops! Here it is!

The stylish Carrie of A Lovely Little Wardrobe has been giving some great guidance on how to style certain pieces, shopping from our own closets. She has great tips and I've been having a lot of fun trying out her recommendations. Here are the looks I styled this past week:

 1. Your favorite look - Sunday
           I chose to style a favorite outfit combo for a church day. I took my usual formula of skirt+tshirt+cardigan+scarf for color and changed it up by adding a knit blazer and heels.
2. A monochromatic look - Monday
          I went with grey for my monochromatic look, styling grey skinny jeans, a grey polka dot top with a grey bf cardigan and a light grey scarf. I added red quilted flats for interest.
3. A neutral look - Tuesday
          My neutral look was also monochromatic. I wanted to do a lighter color, like white or cream but it was cold this day so I went with what I have in my closet: navy. I paired dark skinny jeans with a navy sweater layered over a light blue tank and a blue ombre scarf. I wore leopard print flats since they are a neutral.
4. A colored bottoms look - Wednesday
          I bought these red jeans last year and I've gotten so much mileage out of them! I paired them with a black/white flannel shirt and did a little pattern mixing with the leopard flats.
5. A dots look - Thursday
          I just love polkadots and I love how this top has a contrasting wrist on the inside. I paired it with black jeans and a red puffer vest for a pop of color and my trusty leopard flats for more pattern mixing (can you tell I was out of town and limited in my shoe choices?)
6. Show your denim - Friday
         It was cold again this day so I paired bf jeans with lots of layers! A tank under a grey turtleneck sweater under a denim jacket and black boots kept me warm.
7. Your favorite cardigan or cozy sweater look - Saturday
          I realized I forgot to get a picture of this look. I paired jeans with a brown sweater under a waterfall cardigan for this busy errand-filled day.

8. Style a skirt - Sunday
          Since Carrie styled a pencil skirt, I decided to do the same. I've had this skirt for years but it's so simple and classic that it's timelss. I paired it with a light blue shirt and a tweedy blazer. Instead of wearing heels, I wore black tights and tall black boots. Off to church!

Next week will be tricky. I'm traveling for work and I'll be wearing a uniform on two days. So on those days I won't participate in the challenge. But I'll do as many as I can!

Create28: A few looks

The lovely Carrie of A Lovely Little Wardrobe has been challenging us to create outfits from our closets and she helps us by giving us prompts as part of Create 28. Today's prompt is Leopard Print & Patterns. I was going to go with my usual (I say 'usual' but it's new to me as of the Fall Challenge) stripes and leopard like this one:
But then I read her blog post and her outfit inspired me to try something different. I mixed a black and white gingham shirt with leopard print scarf. I was going to pair it with my leopard flats, but today is cold in Florida so I opted for riding boots instead to go over dark wash skinny jeans.
Surprise, surprise - I like it! I used to NEVER mix patterns but lately I've branched out and tried a few combinations. I like the way this looks. I also used to never mix warm and cool colors, like this black and brown, but I've gotten to where I like that too! Do you mix patterns or warm and cool colors?

Here are a few more looks from this past week.
Day 10: Bright Colors Look
Day 11: A Stripes Look
Day 16: A Thrifted Look (tank, shirt and jeans all thrifted)

Day 17: Vest or Jacket Look
Days 12- 14 this was my look. I was working.
I missed several days this past week. I was either traveling or wearing the above uniform. I sure am having fun playing along with this challenge! You can still join in! It's free. Just follow Carrie's blog to see what the OOTD is. You can share your look on Instagram with the hashtag #Create28BLovely.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Style Me Bloggers: Random Acts of Kindness

You see it on bumper stickers: Practice Random Acts of Kindness. You hear the heartwarming stories on social media. It can also be called Pay It Forward, presumably from the movie of the same name.

My brother and his sweet family performed RAKs over Christmas time. They left a little note with a candy cane on people's cars or in their mailbox. They also left gifts at people's houses without saying it was from them. In fact, another friend and I received a cryptic text from a friend saying, "I know it was one of you!" The friend informed her that it was not us but she knew who it was and she wasn't telling. My brother and his wife want their children to get into the spirit of giving at Christmas and not just receiving.

Our pastor shared a story of a parishioner who paid for the car in line behind them in the drive through line at a local fast food restaurant. She drove off and didn't think anything of it. The next day, she had to return to that restaurant and the gal in the drive through window recognized the lady as the one who had performed the random act of kindness the day before  and was excited to share with her what had happened after that. The car that she had paid for had paid for the car behind them, and that car had paid for the car behind them and that continued for a full 40 minutes! This story brings to mind the song "It only takes a spark to get a fire going..."

Since hearing that story I have been inspired me to pay for the person behind me in a drive through line. Once I paid for a policeman in line behind me at Chik-fil-a, and more recently it was at Starbucks. The one at Starbucks was *really* random. The gal at the check out window had misunderstood my husband's order. She gave my husband a wrong drink. When she realized what she had done, she gave him the right drink but then in another misunderstanding she charged him for our drink and the car behind us. When she realized her mistake (the second time) she was really mortified. We just let it go and happily paid for the car behind us and were very pleasant to the cashier. She clearly was having a bad day!

One thing that I appreciate a lot is when someone lets me out in traffic. I know it's a southern thing and it happens a lot down here, but when I travel to other cities where that's not the norm, it reminds me to be thankful for those little things. Or lets me get in line in front of them at the grocery store when I only have one or two items and they have a cart-full. I've done it myself for other people. It really doesn't take much to put a smile on people's faces.

It just so happens that next week is Random Acts of Kindness Week, an annual seven-day celebration of kindness. On the surface, it’s a week dedicated to performing simple acts of kindness. But really? It’s an opportunity to make kindness the norm instead of the exception. Take a step out of your routine or your comfort zone to perform a new random act of kindness each day. Why? Well, Scientific studies show that performing acts of kindness actually improve health and life satisfaction. They increase energy, optimism, self-worth and our sense of belonging and connection in the world. PLUS they decrease anxiety, depression and blood pressure. But really, Jesus tells us that "it is more blessed to give than to receive."

If you decide to participate in this positive movement, you can post  your act of kindness on social media using #RAKWeek2015. If you need ideas, check out the graphic below for 10 simple ideas of things you can do to spread good cheer.

And then check out the Style Me Bloggers to see what kinds of RAK deeds they've performed to get more ideas!

Being a mom...

Being a mom means that when your son needs you, you go! Even if he's 19 and lives an hour and a half away, because when he needs surgery, he still needs his mommy!

Thomas broke his finger in early November at the Florida-Georgia football game. He actually broke it at the tailgating picnic when he hopped out of a friend's pick up truck. Initially we just thought he had hyper-extended it but an x-ray showed that he had, indeed, fractured it. The x-ray also revealed a bone cyst which we were assured was nothing to worry about.

After six weeks, the finger had not healed so the doctor ordered an MRI which showed that there was some sort of growth. He suspected a giant cell sarcoma (I think that's the name). This doctor referred Thomas to his colleague, a specialist. When the new doctor took a look at the MRI, he ordered the surgery for the next day! Yikes! So this mamma tries not to panic, clears her schedule, packs up and heads south.
At check in, the lady behind the desk, whose name is Sheila (good sign?), gives us some information and then we wait a short time for our name to be called. The nurse hands Thomas a disposable gown and he is ridiculously excited to wear a backless gown. Like giddy. (What?)

In pre-op, Thomas is cracking jokes with the nurses and doctors. I'm glad I'm laughing rather than crying. I'm trying to be strong. I'm not *really* worried, but the "what ifs...?" try to creep in. I keep them at bay. The laughter helps. Praying does too. At one point, he laughs a little which causes the monitor to start beeping faster. He decides to see how fast he can make it beep so he hyperventilates.Yeah, that makes the alarm go off. He is delighted! *sigh*

I know that my son is in good hands. I know because my brother in law has assured me that this doctor is the BEST. He should know. He was a resident under him 18 years ago. But it's still nerve-wracking to watch two nurses wheel your son away on a gurney. It just is.
I wait in the waiting room, send out group texts updating everyone then head downstairs to grab a yogurt and a house coffee at the coffee shop. It comforts me to know how many people are praying for this doctor, my son, the surgery.

Soon enough, the doctor comes out to talk to me. The surgery went well. He explains what they did and what to expect next. I'm allowed to go back and I'm surprised to find that Thomas is already awake. The patient is but his arm is not. He says it feels weird to touch his hand but not not feel it, like touching someone else's hand. The nurse gives him a sling because he has no control over his arm.

In no time at all the nurse and I get him disconnected from tubes and dressed in his own clothes. We laugh as we have to "set his arm aside" which he puts his tshirt on. While wrestling with the sling, my hand slips and his arm falls limply to his side. We laugh. He gets to ride in a wheelchair to the valet retrieved car. He *is* still a little woozy from the drugs.
We go straight to fill his prescription for pain meds. The doctor assures us he will need them when the block wears off. After settling him in on the couch, I return to pick up the meds and then I go directly to pick up dinner at Chipotle since he had been fasting all day. We eat dinner together on the couches with the roommate, eating our burrito bowls and laughing about not being able to will his thumb to move. Then we snuggle on the couch and watch movies.

The next day feeling has returned to his arm and with it pain. The meds work but also keep him asleep off and on throughout the day. I administer pills and water as well as wash some clothes, clean the bathrooms, go shopping for dinner supplies. It's hard to leave him the next day but he assures me he's fine and I drop him off at class on my way out of town. I look forward to hearing what the doctor has to say today at the follow up appointment!

Despite the heartaches that inevitably come with the job, I just love being a mom. Best. job. ever.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Carrie of A Lovely Little Wardrobe is a lovely little lady. I've gotten to "know" her through the Style Me Challenges. Here is what I know about her: she is stylish, strikingly beautiful, yet friendly, humble and helpful.

Carrie is hosting Create28 on her blog, which is a challenge to create 28 different outfits by shopping from your closet. She gives you several options on how to do this. I'm choosing the second one: create 28 different outfits using as many pieces as you like from your closet. I don't think I could manage all of her prompts with only 28 different pieces! My wardrobe is not THAT flexible!

Although I will not have a daily post, my goal is to post daily on Instagram with the #Create28BLovely hashtag. Then I hope to have a weekly recap to link up with the link-up she is hosting on Mondays.

For Day One, she styled a "Favorite Go-to Outfit." I changed it up just a bit. Hers was for a casual outfit. Since day one is Sunday, I went with a go-to church outfit.
My typical go-to church outfit
I will often pair a skirt with a simple layering tee and a cardigan (because even in Florida, I'm always cold in church!) and then add a scarf for some color.
Easy to put together.
This is a prime example of my go-to church outfit.

But today, I wanted to wear a new-to-me black and white polka dotted knit blazer from Talbots rather than my usual cardigan.
The knit blazer is just a comfy as a cardigan
I kept the red scarf for color but I dressed up the outfit even more by wearing black heels rather than my standard flats.
The heels fit the blazer better
So here you have it: the before and after of my go-to church outfit!

Happy Sunday everyone! I'm enjoying the fine weather we are having before the mayhem of "the game!"