Purple Daisy Boutique & build.Wise(IT) – Working Together Never Looked So Good!

I want to share a great online clothing store, The Purple Daisy Boutique. Purple Daisy Boutique has a store front in historical downtown Corinth, MS. The owner also happens to be my cousin. While the store opened last year to wonderful success, the need for an online option was clearly seen by constant request through their Facebook page. What a wonderful dilemma to have! Today the online store is in full operation mode! build.Wise(IT) designed a fully functional retail site for their specific needs. build.Wise(IT) happens to be owned by my husband. It has been a joy to sit back and watch these two companies work together to bring this site to life. 

Brittanie Howard
Stan Fields

Pearl, One Sexy Dog!

There isn’t much creativity with crafts, food or sewing going on around here. I came back from our trip to MS sick and have been doing the bare necessities by just keeping up with laundry and keeping the kitchen clean. 

I took this photo of Pearl this afternoon. She tickles me everyday. Since she is the only female in our home that is doing anything, I thought I would share her “sexy” pose with you today.

We are on the hunt for a wedding venue for our daughters big day. The first week of March we will be visiting several places. I am so excited for Hanna and Rob and can’t wait to nail down a few details.

Rum Balls and Family News

Rum Balls, yum….Don’t they look amazing? They are so delicious. The recipe is so simple but makes the most moist and flavorful bites of goodness. 

Rum Balls


11 ounce box of Vanilla Wafers, crushed 
1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts, if you prefer)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup rum
powdered sugar for rolling

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients except powdered sugar. I used my Kitchen Aid mixer to mix well. 
Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. I left mine a couple of hours.
Roll in to 1″ balls and then roll in powdered sugar. 
Cover and store in the refrigerator overnight. The best flavor is after 24 hours. 
Yielded 36 but this photo is one short! 😉
Then enjoy!

The biggest family news of the holiday season: 
Rob and Hanna are engaged! 
(Hanna, our daughter)
Isn’t her ring just beautiful? We couldn’t be happier for them!

 My daughter has wonderful taste! 😉 
And now all the planning begins! Woohoo!


A Day In Atlanta

The Saturday before Thanksgiving, we visited Hanna in Atlanta.  Stan and I traveled for Thanksgiving and knew this would be our one opportunity to spend with Hanna before leaving on Wednesday morning. One thing Hanna and I planned was to go to the Indie Craft Fair. Stan was not thrilled with the idea but said he would go if we went with him for a tour at the Braves stadium. This was not a hardship for Hanna or me because we both love Braves baseball. 

Hanna and Stan at the entrance to Turner Field. 

I love the next three photos. We were in the hallway by the locker room. I was taking this photo of Hanna. Stan walks up unaware that he is in the way. The expression on Hanna’s face was priceless. And then, Daddy is always up for a photo with his baby girl. 🙂
Stan and his rebellion documented. The only caution was to NOT touch the grass. Do you see that right heel? He couldn’t stand it!
Hanna and Stan in the dugout.
Stan and I in the dugout.
Hanna and I sitting on the largest Adirondack chairs. EVER. 
For two shorties, it was a challenge getting in and out of the chair!
My favorite shot. Hanna in a panoramic of the stadium.
Hanna and Stan at the Hank Aaron statue. 
After lunch, we headed to the Indie Craft Fair. There were lots of fun booths but it was too crowded for any photo opportunities except for this one. It is a Christmas tree made out of rolled paper plates. It wasn’t for sale but was used as a decoration. 
We headed back to Hanna’s apartment to rest and wait for Rob to get off work. When he joined us, we went to dinner and then a visit with his family. Stan and I then headed back home. It was a good day. 🙂

At dinner.

Rocky Mountain High Colorado!

We are home from our 8 day vacation to Colorado. We were so blessed to share the time with friends and we went somewhere each day as a tourist. Each evening we dined on Jill’s gourmet dinner and enjoyed our time with the family. The best way for me to describe our week would be in pictures. Here are just a few of our fun times.

Our view every morning. Our friends, Jill and Mark, have this wonderful sight from their back balcony. If I lived here full-time, I can’t imagine getting anything done. I would just want to sit and look at this incredible view.

 Our friend, Sarah, a student at the Air Force Academy, gave us a tour of the campus on Sunday afternoon.

Sarah and Stan in front of the 9/11 memorial.

Sarah and Allan on our first stop.

Inside the chapel using the Panoramic option.
The chapel.
Garden of the Gods or as our sweet little friend, Kenna, said, Garden of Jesus. 🙂

Stan and Kenna

The view from the railway window. The Aspens were just glowing.
The view from Pikes Peak with snow on the ground!
The Cog Railway we road to reach Pikes Peak.

On the Cog headed back down the mountain.
After leaving Pikes Peak, we decided to drive an hour further to the little Western town, Cripple Creek. We didn’t realize it was a mini Vegas.


Having never gambled, I decided to risk a whole $2.00’s! I won $10.00 and then lost $12.00. Easy come, easy go. 🙂

We rode this across and walked the bridge.

View from the bottom after taking the incline railroad.
Walking back to our car we came across this huge, hairy tarantula look for a cool spot to rest! Yuck!
View in Breckenridge. 

The Indie Craft Parade = Saturday Fun

 As Stan and I walked to the site of my first visit to the Indie Craft Parade, this fun sign greeted us. There was a line and wait, due to safety number requirements. The wait was about 25 minutes and the day was nice. We didn’t mind. Along side the walkway pretty banners led the way inside.

The parade was being held inside the historic Huguenot Mills building. It is a beautiful old facility.  The craft parade was upstairs. The following view is looking down to where the children’s area, workshops, photo booth and my favorite, Spoonflower booth. 

I have wondered about the quality of Spoonflower’s fabric and am intrigued with the idea of designing my own fabric. I was thrilled to find the fabric is wonderful. They had color charts, swatches, and a free project for the kids available. They also had a friendly representative who agreed to have her photo taken for this post.

On with the parade! I met some wonderful artist/crafters and had an opportunity to take a few photos.
Ivey Handcrafted had THE CUTEST FELT ITEMS! 
They have an Etsy shop that has the sweetest custom patches and other wonderful items. 

Brooke had a wonderful booth using vintage luggage in her displays that immediately caught my eye and then her unique items kept it there. Brooke makes the cutest circle skirts and then she designs items using fused eco plastic. They are just adorable. Her items can be purchased in her Etsy shop.

Stan is an avid bicyclist and Leslie’s booth for Off The Map was a hit with him. She uses map in her art. We purchased a bicycle art piece with the map of our town, Greenville, incorporated. We love it and are going to frame to use in Stan’s office. Isn’t this such a unique idea?

I was so excited to meet Rachel with Stitched in Color! I follow her blog and love her tutorials and projects. She inspires me to sew with her colorful projects. My favorite item Rachel had at the parade was her summer weight quilts. They were just beautiful. You can sign up for Online Sewing Lessons at her site or head over to her shop to purchase her patterns.

Johnson Benjamin  of Talant Trade Co. was a delight to meet and his bag collection are the highest quality with an up-to-date look but seems incredibly durable. Benjamin and I had connected prior to the show because we have a mutual friend. He is from the same small town in MS where I grew up. 

In the midst of all our shopping we stopped by Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery table. I indulged in a Brazilian Cheese Puff that was wonderful. It was a hard choice because she also offered Apple Walnut Scones and other goodies. My cheese puff was delicious and I plan to visit the cafe and grocery soon. 
Stan was such a good sport to take me to the craft parade and then to one of my favorite lunch spots in Greenville, the Brick Street Cafe, where I ordered my customary choice of Brick Street Fresh Fruit Plate. It comes with a generous scoop of their wonderful walnut and cheese chicken salad, a fresh fruit medley and a Love Muffin. Yes, that’s right, Love Muffin. Now I didn’t know if you would believe me when I tell you how delicious this muffin is without proof. 
The Love Muffin has a center of cream cheese and raspberry preserves. Yummy! I finished it off with their wonderful coffee and then asked Stan to roll me to the car. I was so full and that muffin was so satisfying. 
That was our day of Saturday fun. What did you do this weekend?

Celebrating 30 Years & We’ve Never Had A Fight…NOT!

Our friends surprised us with an anniversary dinner last night.
We thought we were just doing our normal wine and cheese  night.

Instead, we had a delicious meal and celebrated with champagne and cake.

Today is our wedding anniversary. Stan and I have been married 30 years, raised a son, 25, and a daughter, 23, and are still happily married. Through the years we have been asked how we have maintained our marriage and it be a good one. Depending on when we were asked, the answers were different. Life happens. Circumstances change. Disappointments come along. Grief rips through. But, joy happens. Circumstances change. Encouragement comes along. Love holds steady. So, there have been many answers during many times of our life. I thought I would share some of the life lessons learned over 30 years of marriage.

1. Have a firm foundation. Before we were married, Stan told me he would never discuss divorce NO MATTER WHAT. That was a solid foundation over the years. In the difficult times, and in 30 years there have been some, we have never discussed divorce or even a separation. Those two words were not in our marriage vocabulary. 
2. Love is a choice. Some days your spouse is harder to love, heck some days they are harder to like! But loving someone is a deliberate action. Most mornings we woke up and just loved one another. There have been days where it would have been easy to give in and say, “This is too hard, I just don’t love him/her any longer.” Instead, it is in those days that it is so important to decide, in spite of the way I feel, in spite of the circumstance that has me so upset, I am choosing to love my mate.
3. Love selflessly. This is one of the hardest actions of all. We are born selfish, we want our needs met and we want our way. Putting your self aside and love someone without any expectations of anything in return, that is selfless love. Some will say that marriage is a 50-50 deal but I believe that marriage is a 100-0 on both parties. If you are both giving 100 % of yourself, what else could that person need? Is this possible all the time? Of course not. We’re human and selfish but it is definitely worth striving toward.
4. Forgive unconditionally. Let me set a disclaimer here, Stan nor I have ever had an affair nor have I ever been abused. So this, and any of the other life lessons, are not reflections on those of you that are, or have been, in marriages of cheaters or abusers. In normal day-to-day living, little and big things can place barriers in your relationship. Forgive. Forgive before you’re asked. Forgive before it’s deserved. Forgive because we love selflessly. Forgive and it is much easier when we are the cause of the problem to be forgiven.
5. Support/encourage fully. When your mate makes a decision, when they love an activity, when they have a plan, support fully. This is one of my biggest failings. It is very difficult to support something I am totally not a part of but I know the importance and it’s something I work on daily.
6. Be physically affectionate. This should be an easy one but to some, not so much. I am a hugger and thankfully, Stan is as well. Be available to your spouse in bed and out of it. Hold hands, hug, kiss. It is difficult to place barriers in a relationship when the physical side of your marriage is good. And ladies, turn off your brain and focus on your husband in the moment. Enough said… :).
7. Have each other’s back in front of the kids. If you have children, be each other’s back up and never contradict one another in front of the kids. Discuss in private any disagreements about discipline, etc. Your children need to see you as partners. They will respect your husband/wife only if you respect first.
8. Do not take your marriage for granted or think you are immune to difficulties. In the last 10 years, my dad died of cancer, Stan’s best friend was killed in an accident, a friends marriage crumbled, Stan had a very serious bicycle accident, we became empty-nesters, our children had difficulties, a job was lost, we were notified and had to tell a dear friend her youngest son was killed in a helicopter crash. Life is hard and those hardships can rob a marriage of joy and closeness or it can draw you closer. This is another one of those deliberate choices to not let life tear apart but instead choose to build a firmer marriage. And in this same thought, make time for just the two of you. When money is tight, do free things by going to the park, take a walk, etc. When money is not an issue, go on date nights, travel. Either way, make your marriage a priority.
9. Cultivate friendships with other couples who encourage your marriage. We have been blessed over our 30 years of marriage to always have at least one or two very close couple friends. They have walked our marriage with us, encouraged in hard times, laughed in the good times and cried with us in the grieving times. They are invaluable to us.
10. Develop a mutual faith base. Stan and I spent the first 6 years of our marriage rootless. It was when we both made commitments to live a committed relationship, not with just one another, but with God, that our marriage really began to thrive. Has it been pain-free, effortless and easy? No, but with the same belief system in place and God’s merciful grace, here we are 30 years later. I can honestly say that I love Stan more today than ever. And tomorrow I will be able to say the same. 
Do Stan and I get all of these right all of the time? Of course not. But we continue to try daily and we never give up!

A Ride To Remember & Celebrating Stan’s Birthday

And no, the guys did not coordinate colors for each day. I asked. Seriously, doesn’t it look that way?  And you know women would have!
Stan and his friend, co-worker and fellow bike rider undertook a huge ride this past weekend. On Friday morning they started a 3 day bike ride that would total 253 miles! The ride was a benefit ride for Alzheimer’s Association. 50 riders participated and over $50,000.00 was raised for this worthy cause. In chronological order from left to right is the start of each days ride. 

This is the two guys at the finish in beautiful Charleston, SC. They are hot, sweaty, tired, sore and still excited to have finished such a great ride. I am so proud of these two. This was a personal journey, especially for our friend, Terry. His mother passed away with this disease earlier this year.  

Check out this snazzy lime green nail polish! I love it…Stan, not so much. He said it looked as if I need to order that fungus medicine advertised on TV! LOL. I guess I’ll not be sporting that again. Those new Oakley sunglasses Stan is wearing. They were my birthday gift to him, a tad early. He picked them out at our REI a few weeks ago. Easy gift buying. And last, a photo of us taken by our sweet waitress on the night of Stan’s birthday.
Stan celebrated his 47th birthday on Monday. We had a beach day for relaxing after such a tiring three days. He wanted steak for dinner and we found a great steak house that had a Bourbon marinade. Delicious.

Weekend At The Beach

Stan had to see a client in Goose Creek, SC on Monday morning. This worked beautifully for me. Since we were going to be only 25 minutes from the beach for this appointment, he decided we should go down on Saturday and enjoy the weekend at one of our favorite beaches, Isle of Palms in Mount Pleasant, just outside of Charleston. We had incredible weather both days and soaked up the sun.
This was taken just before Stan decided it was too hot, even under the umbrella, to sit in the sun while wearing a black tee shirt.

Sunday evening we were so glad to see our daughter’s two best girlfriends from college. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner with Julia, Allan and Leah at Sullivan’s restaurant on Sullivan’s Island. It was a joy to spend time catching up.

We headed home Monday evening but we get to turn around and go back this coming weekend! Yes, two weekends in a row at the beach! Stan is riding in A Ride To Remember, which ends in Charleston. I will meet Stan each night at the end destinations. We will have Monday for a beach day before heading home on Tuesday evening. 

Dave’s Run – Run to Remember

On Saturday, June 9, we honored the memory of our fallen hero, Captain John David Hortman. I have written about David in a previous post, 
David was involved, first in high school and then throughout his college and post-college years, with Boys State. In honor of David, Palmetto Boys State, the SC branch, organized the first annual Dave’s Run. The run could not have turned out better. It was well-organized, the weather was perfect, the course a good one and most of all, David’s memory was truly honored.

Following the race, Stan, our friends, Michael and Adonia, and I provided lunch for David’s family and his fellow brothers who traveled to be with us. In preparation for lunch, I made the wreath on the door out of netting cut in to two inch strips, wrapped them around a foam wreath and tied the strips in to knots.
I dyed rice with vinegar and food coloring using the tutorial found http://www.thingsforboys.com/2012/03/rainbow-rice.html. My friends, Adonia and Janice, helped load the Mason jars with the colored rice. We used pint size jars with a candle in the top and placed on each side of a quart jar. The quart jar was layered with rice and we added 4 flags for the center piece on each table. We set up 4 canopies with table and chairs for an outdoor lunch.
David’s mom had given Stan David’s motorcycle as a thank you for all my husband did for her and the family. Boys State requested he lead the run on the motorcycle. Once Stan made it around the course with the lead runner, he jumped off the bike and stripped down to his running clothes underneath and ran the course.
My daughter,Hanna, husband, Stan, David’s friend, Shane, Cody, my son and his girlfriend, Kristin, following the race. They are all hot and sweaty but so glad to have been part of this tribute.
David’s friends and Stan following the race.
David’s family with Stan. His mom, Brenda, sister, Jill, and niece, Kenna.
Stan with Doug, one of Boys State staff and a force behind the race. Doug has become a dear friend to us over the last 9 months. He and David met when David was in high school and Doug was starting his role as staff.
Lunch time.

Boys State had a ceremony to open their week on Sunday evening. Part of that ceremony was a tribute to David and a revealing of a memorial flag that is being flown all week.

If you are interested in learning more about the Boys State,
Bunny Tales

Sweet Sophistication with a Touch of Whimsy

domestic diva, M.D.

my mother raised the perfect housewife...then I went to med school

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