Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Summer of DOING!

Hey Y’all!

Well since this is the first summer in SEVEN years that I have not taken a class, taught a class, had to attend a seminar, conference, adopted a puppy, etc, I have taken advantage of this time off! And, my house has been my main focus! In the past month I have redone my half bath downstairs with paint and wallpaper, redone my kitchen with new wallpaper, changed around my upstairs guest room and CLEANED OUT MY ENTIRE GARAGE. What. Did y’all think I appeared in a viral video, got famous and went to the spa? Hee, hee!

It was time for some changes around here and I finally had the time to get things done. I have been wanting to make my house have a more “coastal” theme and trust me, we are there. Besides redoing rooms I have also been making all of the “artwork” to go in these rooms.  I am on a TIGHT budget these days, so any way I could do something myself was the way I chose to go. And. Pinterest is slightly addicting. And, I have been doing some thrifting to help out with the new d├ęcor too. But that is another post for another day. Y’all want pictures! Let me apologize if you follow me on instagram or watch my feed on the blog. Some of these pics are repeats.

It all started over the first weekend in June when I found a sea turtle wallpaper I just LOVED. But it was almost $40 a roll and I knew I could not make that happen. Then I started toying with changing the wallpaper in the kitchen too. Mom is an expert in all wallpaper.. so I consulted with her. We knew she was coming for a visit over the July 4th weekend, so we had a block of time. I ended up going to see Mom on June 19th so we could go to the Jimmy Buffett Concert at the Drive Inn. (So MUCH FUN!) After that I found a place that carried wallpaper in Hilton Head. After a short drive from Beaufort we found ourselves in an awesome wallpaper store. When I inquired how much each border roll was, I nearly fell on the floor when I was told that they were $10 a piece. I was bound and determined to find what I needed in that store! See my smile below? That is the “I HAVE FOUND A BARGAIN SMILE!”

JKP wallpaper smile

bathroom pic

For the downstairs half bath I found a Lilly Pulitzer-ish paper. Which of course resulting in us painting the bathroom during Hurricane Arthur!


kitchen paper

kitchen paper 2

For the kitchen I found a great crab and lobster boil paper that is so cute. You want to know something not so cute? Guess who is allergic to wallpaper paste? Of course me. I was covered in hives after I had to take all of the old wallpaper off from both rooms. I thought my mom was going to kill me because she had to do the kitchen by herself!

During the same trip we found the wallpaper, we found a great sailboat quilt to go in the upstairs guest room. The bathroom upstairs already had a flip flop theme, so the sailboats fit right in. I went on Pinterest and found a great way to make your own canvas art. So I went to AC Moore armed with coupons, bought some canvases and made ART! I also did some for my bedroom too. I planning a future blog post giving y’all my “artsy” tips!

sailboat quilt

boat pics

Here are two of the finished pics for the upstairs. I made a whale one too (below) and I have one more to finish. It is a captain’s wheel.


I also made some for my bedroom. I actually just finished these yesterday!

bedroom pics

I love the “Keep Calm and Mermaid On!” and “Seas the Day.” Love, love, love it!

We also couldn’t leave out the living room. We found a great new rug that Pitty Pat just adores. In the middle of the July 4th redo weekend Pitty Pat got his summer do! He is such a HAM!

new rug

To go with the new rug and coastal theme, I decided to switch up the artwork in the living room too. I found a great print for $12 at the same store we found the rug (Old Time Pottery… I love ya!). But I still felt that something was missing. Mainly a sea turtle element. Because let’s face it, I am a turtle lady now! So. I went to my addiction.. Pinterest and found a way to make canvas photos from some of the sea turtle nest inventories I have been too. Oh yes. I DID! I’m telling you. I had a TON of AC Moore coupons. Plus, my teacher discount!



In between all of this redecorating, organizing, and cleaning out, one of our second grade teachers got married and I attended the best wedding I have been to in a long time. We had a ball! Here’s a pic of me and my friend Wendy using the photo props!

jkp wendy

I am also still walking for SCUTE (South Carolina Sea Turtle Enthusiasts) every Tuesday and Sunday. We FINALLY got our first nest, a green sea turtle nest 10 days ago. But, it was not found in my section, but it was moved to my section. The mama green has been back twice this week and hopefully she will nest tomorrow. My best friend came the week of the fourth, and Marie and her family got to walk with me on a Tuesday. Their beach rental was right on my route!

jkp marie 

So as you can see, I have been quite busy. This has been one of the best summers I have had in a really long time. I have been busy doing some awesome things. I can’t believe it is the middle of July. I am really not ready to think about school yet. If you check out “Reads from the Beach Chair” on the right hand side of the blog, I have updated my recent reads. Last night I stayed up to 1 a.m. (that’s a first for this summer!) reading Elin Hilderbrand’s The Matchmaker. Lawdy I cried over that book. But it was a good book cry. I have also gotten several of Archie Carr’s sea turtle books on an inter-library loan that I can’t wait to sit down a devour. Finally I am getting a chance to sit down and read!

pitty pat lazy

I think Pitty Pat is ready for me to have some lazy days with him! Hopefully I will pop back on tomorrow and share all of my thrifty finds that I have found over the past few weeks. It involves some artwork and dishes… my new thing!

Y’all have a great night! Tootles!


Monday, June 16, 2014

Catching Up!

Hey Y’all!

Well I have been out of school for a few days and I have gotten a lot done. Well sort of. At least as of today our 15 minutes of fame seems to be over. I am still getting messages on facebook about our video still being shared, but the GMA moment seemed to have peaked our 15 minutes of fame last week. It is still so unreal. So I can check “appear in viral video” and “appear on Good Morning America” off of my bucket list! In fact, if you notice on the left hand side bar I named my Spotify Summer listening playlist “Summer ‘14 Bucket List!” Listen to it… it is a GOOD ONE! I just wish I could play Spotify in Miss Mitzi Mazda!

Anyhoo. I am still walking on Sundays and Tuesdays looking for sea turtle tracks and nests. So far we have zip, zilch, nada in Garden City. North Myrtle Beach got their first nest last Thursday. Several beaches south of us, Huntington Beach and Hobcaw have several. Each time we walk we cross our fingers, but this season is just turning out to be a slow one for most beaches. Yesterday, we found an intact conch shell on our walk. It was so intact that it still had someone living in it. We threw it back to the ocean, but it was a nice find.


A few weeks ago we came across a true message in a bottle. We were supposed to blow into a conch shell and battle a mermaid. We left it on the beach for some other folks to find!

bottle message



One of my favorite things about walking so early in the morning are the sunrises. Here’s one from last Tuesday. We didn’t have one yesterday because it was soooooo foggy.

Last Wednesday I went to a presentation about the SC Aquarium and their plans for expansion, especially the Sea Turtle Hospital. It was very interesting and a lot of turtle folks were there. It just warms my hear to see so many folks concerned  about the welfare of sea turtles.

turtle meeting

My bestie Marie came for a visit last week too. We had a great time eating in Calabash and doing a little browsing in Callahan’s. I am getting ready to re-do my kitchen and downstairs half bath. I am going with an ocean/beach theme with some sea turtles thrown in for good measure. I didn’t realize how much sea turtle accessories are out there. I have my work cut out for me!

Today I didn’t make it to the beach, I have some errands to run. I did got and sit for a little bit yesterday, but thunderstorms interrupted my beach time. I plan to spend some time there tomorrow.

That is about it for the catch up. I am just enjoying summer and being lazy. I am sure in a week I will be bored. But, I am loving it now! I’ll be back with an update after my turtle walk tomorrow… fingers crossed we see some tracks!



Thursday, June 12, 2014

And Then There Was Good Morning America!

Hey Y'all!

 So guess who made an appearance on Good Morning America this morning? That's right. OUR SECOND GRADE TEAM! This is a copy of a copy from GMA. By 8:15 this morning my phone and computer were BLOWING UP! Thanks for all of the shares and likes y'all!

I promise fame won't change a thing! Hee, hee! I'll be back a little later. BFF is on her way into town!
:) JKP

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Summer We Went Viral.....

Hey Y'all!

As of yesterday I am "officially" on summer break! These past few weeks have been busy ones. I am now a "real" turtle lady and I have taken many walks since May 11th! And now that school is out, I have taken up another day of walking in a different section of the beach. So now I walk Sundays and Tuesdays and I just LOVE IT! We haven't had any nests in Garden City Beach yet and nothing north of us either. South of us is booming. Hobcaw Barony, Litchfield Beach and Charleston all have several nests. We have been very quiet. This week we had two strandings back to back. One on Monday and then another one on Tuesday. The Monday stranding made it to the Sea Turtle Hospital in Charleston, while the other Loggerhead did not make it in time for officials to help it. We are all quite stumped as to why we don't have any nests yet, but then again we are dealing with Mother Nature! Tonight I am going to a talk at the North Myrtle Beach History Museum. They are having a sea turtle photography show and some folks from the Sea Turtle Hospital are coming to give a talk. I am so excited to hear what they have to say!

 Now. Ahem. If you are friends with me on Facebook or Twitter you know that my second grade team made a "little" end of they year celebratory dance video and posted it to Facebook. Y'all. We are viral. As of this morning our little video has been shared over 21,568 TIMES. We were shared over 8,000 times just yesterday alone! We are hoping we will end up on Ellen. But for now, it feels strange to be viral, but yet, I don't have a temperature! And the fact that over 21,000 people have seen me dance! When you watch the video, I am the one who twirls. Hee. Hee! We had so much fun doing this. It was not choreographed and one of our student teachers filmed us.


 Today I am off to clean my house because my best friend is coming for a visit tomorrow. And let's face it, I have been very neglectful to my house lately. So it is time we had a "Come to Jesus" meeting. I'll be back tomorrow to share the cool things I have found on my turtle walks. Just last week we found a message in a bottle! Also make sure you follow me on instagram. I post like crazy over there!

Have a great day!
 :) JKP

Monday, May 19, 2014

Under Construction!

Hey Y'all! Don't be alarmed if you notice a few changes on and around the blog for the next day or so. I am trying to "pretty, pretty" things up for the summer. So just hang tight and know I am working some kinks out! Also... check out the number of sea turtle nests we have in SC right now! We still don't have anything here, but from the looks of it, we should have some soon! Hang Tight! Tootles! JKP

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Howdy… and Guess Who’s an Official Turtle Lady Now?


Hey Y’all!

I am so sorry for taking a few months off from the blog. But, as with any major change in life, sometimes you have to sit back for a little while and let everything sink in. And. That is what I did during February,  March, April and this part of May. If you have kept up with my instagram feed on the left side of the blog, you know that we have been busy. But, I just couldn’t get myself in a blogging frame of mind. So many folks have told me how much they miss reading the blog, so I thought it was time for me to end by blogging vacation. Just in time too, because folks… it’s Loggerhead Turtle Nesting season.. and guess who is an official Turtle Lady now? ME!!!!!

Y’all may remember that last summer I attended several turtle nest inventories in the Garden City Beach area. I met several folks and I was very interested in volunteering. Fast forward to April and I finally got to take my turtle training! I walk the beaches in the wee hours of the morning.. well 6:00 and look for turtle tracks and signs of turtle nests. It is still early in the season, so we haven’t seen anything yet. But we hope to in the next week or so. We also monitor the beach for erosion, pick up trash and educate folks about the turtles when folks get curious. I am walking on Sunday right now, but I hope once school gets out I can add another day. Our group has a lot of volunteers this season so getting one day already is a blessing! I just love spending time on the beach and it is very peaceful early in the morning. Right now we have a ton of jellyfish in the area and I have seen several sharks too. While walking this morning we saw evidence of ghost crabs that had been VERY busy.


My walking buddy is actually one of my former parents! My former student Hayleigh sometimes walks with us too.


One of the most moving things I get to see on my Sunday morning walks are the sunrises. They are so beautiful!


After we walk, we go to the pier and look in the water. Last week we saw a HUGE Horseshoe crab and then a few seconds later we saw a loggerhead sea turtle! It was such a neat experience! This week we just saw a ton of jellies… which is good because the turtles like to snack on those!

Pitty Pat is doing great and is marking off the days on the calendar until summer. As of right now we have 14 days. Woot!!!! I am not doing anything major this summer. No classes. Just turtle watching!


One exciting thing that has happened is that I got a Fitbit from the Easter Bunny! I have the Zip and I just love it. I also love that by 10 am on Sunday I usually have all 10,000 of my steps in from walking the beach. You’ve got to love that!

That’s about all that is going on here. I have also added a SC Sea Turtle Nest counter to the left side of the page so you can see how many nests we have on the coast. The box is a clickable link that will take you to the website. There’s tons of great info on there!

Well let me run, tomorrow is a school day and I have been up since 5:15. Well. I did sneak in a nap, but it is bed time y’all!



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wintermaggedon-2014 Edition

Hey Y’ all!
Wow. We are experiencing the craziest winter here at the beach! When I last posted, we were on the verge of a four day snow/ice/slush event. Yes. Four days. We missed four days of school! Here is a pic of our backyard….

snow and pp
Pitty Pat was not thrilled with all of the frozen precipitation. Luckily our portion of the beach melted quickly, but other parts of our county were not that lucky. It warmed up by Groundhog day and Pitty Pat and I took a trip to the beach just to show Mr. Groundhog what we thought of his predictions!
beach with pitty

But late last week, I started tracking a storm and knew the news was not going to be good for us. Today we got hit with a HUGE ice storm. So far I have lost 3 trees in my back yard and one is very close to taking out my fence. The temps have warmed up to 32 degrees, but with melting trees are continuing to lose limbs.

Backyard ice

They just announced that we won’t have school tomorrow either. Oh well. I will enjoy being home with Pitty Pat and working on my new hobby…. Loom  knitting!

Several years ago, when loom knitting was just getting started, I bought a set of looms and never used them. With losing Granddaddy, I just haven’t been able to pick up my knitting needles and concentrate. So the other night I went upstairs and picked up the smallest loom in the pack. Within 30 minutes I had made a preemie hat! I have so enjoyed making them and usually make at least one a day! If you follow me on instagram you have seen my progress. For now it is a great activity to do, especially while watching tv. It doesn’t require a lot of concentration, but you still get the satisfaction of making something everyday! And the hats are just precious!
loom knitting
I have found some great websites with some easy patterns. I plan on trying a cowl tonight. If you see a loom, pick it up… it is a great activity! Here is a video that helped me get started with making a preemie hat. Just grab some bulky yarn and a loom and go!

Alright, I am off to enjoy my night. Keep your fingers crossed that we keep our power!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Heavy Heart

Hey Y’all,

If you follow me on facebook, twitter or instagram, you know by now that last week my precious Granddaddy Abe passed away on Monday.

JKP Granddaddy



This past week has been very surreal. I took last week off from school and went back to work yesterday. I am having good days and bad days, but mostly I am still in a fog getting used to this change in my little world.

Today, believe it or not, we have a snow day! We have an impending winter weather event that is about to hit the SC coast very hard. I think Granddaddy knew that I needed a few days to stay in my pj’s, drink coffee, and snuggle with the Pitty Padster. I haven’t been able to pick up my knitting needles since I lost Granddaddy. I am hoping that over the next few days of being home, I can get my crafty rhythm back again. My heart is just kind of heavy right now.

I am currently trying to charge every electronic device I own just in case the power goes out. We are expecting almost an inch of ice and snow on top of that. I have my heat running on 75 just to get the house really warm in case we lose power once everything starts this afternoon. I have my ipod, ipad, kindle, laptop and phone full of books, knitting podcasts and music to keep us entertained. I also plan on catching up on some much needed sleep!

Every time I let Pitty Pat out this morning he keeps sniffing the air and pawing the ground. Yup. A winter event is coming!

Hopefully I will hop back on here with a weather update soon.



Monday, January 13, 2014

Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili and Thank You Baby Jesus… The Prednisone is WORKING!

Hey Y’all!

I am back today with one of the yummy crockpot recipes that I cooked up yesterday during my two crockpot Sunday! This Chicken Chili is one of the best things I have made this year… Hee, hee… well. It is ONLY January 13! No but really… this is so yummy. I plan on making it a staple in my freezer!

When I checked in yesterday with the ol’ blog I was still having some major issues with swallowing and ulcers in my esophagus. I am happy to report after being on prednisone since Saturday, I am feeling LOADS better. I am still having some pain, but I am able to eat most soft mushy things right now. I am hoping by tomorrow I will be be back to myself. I still can’t have carbonated beverages right now, so I am sticking to tea and water. But I am feeling so much better than I have been. Now if I can just get this sleep thing going… I was up at 3:45 a.m. this morning. Oh well. I will take eating over sleeping right now!

Now on to the recipe! I found this on Pinterest.. so you can go there and look too. I didn’t take my usual photos of me cooking.. sorry y’all. I just wasn’t up to it!

To make Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili you will need:

1 can black beans
1 can corn, undrained *You can use yellow corn or a mixture of sweet and yellow. I did the mixture!
1 can Rotel, undrained … if you don’t like Rotel you can substitute diced tomatoes without the green chiles. I had to do that this time. Rotel and esophagus ulcers REALLY don’t mix.
1 package ranch dressing mix
1 tsp cumin *I did not add this…. cumin and I DO NOT GET ALONG
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 8 oz package light cream cheese
2 chicken breasts *I added 3 this time. I was trying to get some more protein in since I haven’t been eating.

Drain and rinse black beans. Place your chicken at bottom of your crockpot, then pour out whole can of corn (undrained), Rotel, and black beans. Top with the seasonings and ranch mix. Stir all ingredients together. Place the cream cheese on top of the chicken. Cover with lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours. As it cooks, after about 3 hours, you may want to go ahead and blend your cream cheese into your mixture. After about 6 or so hours use tongs to remove the chicken breasts. Then  use 2 forks to shred chicken. At this point your chicken is really falling apart, so it won’t require a lot of effort to shred. Add the shredded chicken back into the crockpot and cook for 20 or so more minutes. Then serve!

It is really yummy! On piece of advice I would give is to double the recipe if you are cooking for more than 3. For me I got 6 Julia servings, which was about a cup and a half each. If you want to cook this and have leftovers, then I would absolutely double the recipe. When I added the third chicken breast it made it less liquidy, which is what I was wanting. If you want it more soup like and you are only cooking for a small group, then just add the two chicken breasts. But go ahead and print this one out y’all… It’s a GOODIE!

Here’s a my plate with a taste…. tomorrow I will be back with the Crockpot Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo… which is now tied with this recipe for recipe of the year!

chicken chili




Sunday, January 12, 2014

Easing My Way into 2014!

Hey Y’all!
I hope so far 2014  is finding you well! 2014 so far has been a bit bumpy for me! After being on a strong antibiotic for the sinus thing I could not shake, then another antibiotic and then another steroid…I have found myself in the midst of a Crohn’s flare from the antibiotics. At least it is not my tummy… just my esophagus. Sometimes when I have to take an antibiotic or two, my esophagus will rebel a little and decide to throw a hissy fit. Boo. So I have ulcers that have decided to line the lining of my esophagus. So. NOT. Fun. And a wee bit painful. So I am back on prednisone as of yesterday. But as of today, it has helped tremendously and I hope to be back to myself in the next few days. It just has thrown a wrench in the whole swallowing and eating thing! Today has been much better and I have been able to eat mushy food and drink some tea. I actually had to take Wednesday off from school because I was feeling so yucky. I should have known this was coming! Anyhoo… Life with Crohn’s. You never know what you’re going to get!

This past week I was able to get our New Year’s Cards in the mail! They were delayed shipping slightly by the big winter storm last week, so the day they arrived, back in the mail they went! Here is this year’s card… I think it is one of my favorites! Of course I had to add a turtle too!

New Years 2014

For the past few years I have used Snapfish. I have been very pleased with my cards and with coupons they are much less expensive than Walgreens. Also, the choice of card templates that you have are just fantastic! I really like the letter cut outs of “happy” this year.

Since I have been feeling under the weather, I have been hanging out at home with Mr. Paddington. This weekend between rounds of medicine, antispasmodics and trying to eat and drink, we hooked ourselves up with a 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime. I love it because I can stream shows like Downton Abby through my roku. Since I fell behind Downton Abby in season 1.. we are working our way through the seasons. It has been so nice to catch up. And you know anything English, I just love! We also had a free preview of Cinemax and HBO this weekend, so I have been restocking my DVR. I had to turn my old one in back in December and I was just crushed. But considering it overheated, I guess I was more than willing to give up all of the episodes of Castle, The Blacklist and my hoarded collection of Knitty Gritty. Not to mention all of the Christmas movies I had recorded from Hallmark. Also, I have been able to catch up on all of my network shows because of On Demand. So, it has all ended well.

I have done some sporadic knitting over the past week. I am back in a dishcloth phase right now. Dishcloths are the perfect knitting project because they are portable and you can finish one in just a few hours! And an added bonus is that dishcloth yarn/cotton yarn is cheap. And it comes in many, many, many colors. I have knitted dishcloths forever, but I felt like branching out a bit. So, here is the Lacy Round Dishcloth. She is just adorable! This cloth took a little under an hour to make.

Petal Dishcloth

I think my love of dishcloth knitting has come around again because often times the prednisone keeps me up and/or will wake me up at 3 a.m. During one of those nights I stumbled upon a great website with some great patterns. I am slowly making my way through all of the patterns on this blog. Check it out! I am currently working on the Into the Wind dishcloth.

Today I had to run a quick errand to Dollar General. I mean, come on… it wouldn’t be a day without a visit! I discovered that they had all of their Christmas ornaments on 70% off clearance. I had my eye on a few before Christmas. And even though they were originally just a $1.. I never made a purchase. I just love cardinal ornaments.. and low and behold.. they had a bunch of cardinals left. I stocked up and for $2.40 I have some new ornaments.

God bless dollar General

That is about all that is going on here! I am very sleepy, so I think I am going to head off to bed and sleep as long as I can. This week is a short one for us.. the kiddies have a half day on Thursday and we have a workday on Friday. Then school is closed next Monday. Ahh.. a three day weekend! I’ll be back soon… I did some crockpot cooking today… it was a two crockpot day at Casa de Pitty Pat! I have some yummy new recipes to share on the blog! I had the need for some mushy but yummy and fulfilling meals this week, so I can’t wait to share.

Have a great Monday everyone! Tootles!


Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year Round Up!

Hey Y'all!

Happy 2014! I found myself on New Year's Eve in my regular doc's office in more pain! It turns out I never really got over the sinus/ear stuff that hit me right Christmas. I left his office with a big antibiotic and another round of steroids. Pitty Pat and I rang in the new year in bed, trying to feel better! I am still not feeling great, but much better than I was. The insomnia from the steroids has hit me pretty hard this go round. In fact, I was wide awake last night with sinus pressure and insomnia. So I did what any normal person would do, I crocheted a scarf!  Here's this year's first finished object! Of course it is a ruffle scarf! The colors are so happy.

I used Bernat's Twist and Twirl yarn on this project. This was a quick an inexpensive project because the yarn is on sale for $1.99 this week at AC Moore. Plus my teacher discount, this came out to a great project! This yarn is mesh like and it was easier to use the "no crochet" method on this one. Do you want to make one of your own? Check out the video below!

That is not all I have been up to! Yesterday to get out of the house a bit, because you know if I don't Paddington will have a really hard time when I go back to school, I went and walked around Market Common. I actually went to see if Barnes and Noble had the Knitting Pattern a Day calendar, which they didn't. I can't imagine why, there shouldn't be a run on a knitting calendar! Anyhoo, many of the stores were open and it was nice to walk through. I stumbled into one of my favorite stores, Bijuju and they were having a SALE. One of the things that I have gotten really bad about lately is not wearing my jewelry. I love to wear bracelets and I have just gotten out of the habit. I bought myself some pretty arm candy yesteday... for all of $4. I love these bracelets! They also had a deal with their clearance stuff... buy one get one free and I loaded up on bangles too. I am so glad I did, I have missed my bracelets! 

Today has been COLD and rainy, so Pitty Pat and I have stayed in. I have tried to catnap through the day since I didn't sleep any last night. Also, our heat it out downstairs again.. so we will be sleeping upstairs tonight. My HVAC guy can't make it until tomorrow. So here's hoping for a full night's sleep and some rest for us. At least we will be warm upstairs! 

:) JKP