My church has a wonderful paster named Sam. He takes time out of every day to bake chocolate pies for the people he visits who are unwell. It’s a running joke that everyone looks forward to surgical procedures and illness because you can be sure Sam will be on your doorstep with a pie in hand.

Not too long ago, Sam and his pies were featured in a Charlotte Observer article and his recipe was shared with the world.

I have a large family and someone is always sick or having surgery so we are steady recipients of Sam’s pies so I had never tried to make one until this week.

I have a friend who is battling cancer and they have moved to a new town and don’t have a group around them to provide regular meals. I wanted to take them something and knew that if whatever else I brought was a flop, one of Sam’s pies would be well received.

These pies are so easy to make and I’m so glad that I will be able to share them with my friend. If you are looking for something to take to someone you care about, try this simple recipe.



Saturday, October 29th, my parents came to get me from work and took me to lunch at the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Asheville. We got there when the doors opened at 11am and it’s a good thing we did. That placed packed out in a hurry!

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This place blew me away. I had heard great things about it, but just hadn’t made it there until my birthday this year. The food was great and so was the beer. My mom, dad and I took a a self guided tour and were blown away by how beautiful everything was.

If you are planning a trip to Asheville, NC any time soon, you need to see this place for yourself.


Inspiring title, I know.

I haven’t been feeling very inspired lately. I’ve just been going through the motions and though I have been very productive at work, I haven’t really had time to do much more than run a load of laundry.

My problem; not yours.

In the spirit of keeping this thing going… here is a new candle I bought!


This is more significant than it may seem.

I rarely buy candles. I just don’t like most candle scents, but recently I was in Swoozies in Charlotte and came across this candle by Illume. I didn’t buy it in the store because I had another candle at home, but I had an Amazon gift card and decided to go on and get it. It has such an interesting yet clean smell. I just love it!


Easter baskets are just as fun now as they were when I was a kid and my mother still puts one together for me and my sister and brother every year. Any of us who come home get the basket in person, and those who can’t make it home get the contents of their basket by mail. It’s pretty great.

Sometimes we get heirloom jewelry, small items from our wish lists, kitchen supplies and other surprises. Two things we get every year are soap and chocolate. Any guest who spends Easter at our house also gets a basket that contains soap and chocolate. Sometimes it’s shampoo and not soap, but more often than not, it’s soap. It’s funny but I also love it.

Anyway… besides soap and candy, here’s what was in my basket this year:

A Nate Berkus Letter Opener
50238636_Alt01Two bottles of Essie Nail Polish (Ladylike and Master Plan)

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And a bracelet my grandmother bought my mother in Europe on one of their trips. I don’t have a photo of it and I haven’t unpacked so no photo for now!

I forgot to mention that Angus, our Maltese, also gets an Easter Basket each year. He loves it! Here’s an action shot of him pulling out his new carrot toy. Dad throws his toys away just about as fast as we buy them so Angus gets a new carrot toy every year. We consider it a major victory if a toy manages to stick around more than a month.


 I hope you all had a very happy Easter!


Last week we had visitors in the office so I threw together a couple flower arrangements to brighten things up. Usually we have a local florist handle the arrangements, but this time I did them. For these arrangements I purchased the flowers (many of them on sale) from the local Kroger. I have found that the flowers I buy at the grocery store last just as long as those from the farmers market. Whole Foods is my favorite place to buy flowers for small arrangements, but for large arrangements/orders Sam’s Club does bulk orders! I pick up all of my ribbon from If It’s Paper. The supplies for the two arrangements below only cost about $60.00. A florist would have charged that much for just one!

To be honest, I am not a big fan of formal arrangements. I usually end up taking them apart and rearranging them. (Sorry to anyone who has ever sent me flowers!) I believe I was spoiled by the fact that my mother always kept fresh flowers in the house when I was growing up and they usually came from our yard or from the side of the road. She always put out fresh flowers when we were expecting guests and I often helped arrange them.She still does this, but now I think it is more to keep my father’s wild garden in check than for her own enjoyment. By garden I mean front yard. Every time I visit their house it looks like The Secret Garden before the children cleaned it up. It’s quite a sight! We never know what, or where, plants will emerge come spring. The photos below are just a sampling of the things found in their yard. Not pictured are my father’s tomatoes, persimmons, figs, nectarines, tulips, and who knows what else is currently lurking below the surface.

I have much more to share regarding flowers and gardening. Stay tuned for future posts!