Stop letting the imperfect tell you how to love yourself!


I m so burdened by the constant refrain “I need to lose weight, I wish I looked like <insert name off scary skinny, muscled up person here>” coming from so many gorgeous, successful, loving women that I know. If you are morbidly obese, if your weight is creating life threatening illness in your body, then PLEASE lose the appropriate amount of weight to get yourself physically healthy. 

If you assess your self-worth by the cut of your muscles and size of your clothes, then work on letting that sick mentality go to get yourself emotionally healthy. Read this excerpt from Glennon Melton’s blog...
 … I was raised in a sexist culture. I was raised in a world that tried to convince me through media, through certain religious organizations, through inadequate history books and through the beauty industry – that female bodies are worth less than male bodies- and that certain types of female bodies (thin, tall young) are worth more than other types of female bodies.
The daily deluge of images of women’s bodies for sale and the onslaught of emaciated women’s bodies held up as the pinnacle of female achievement and the pervasive message that women exist to please men was the air I breathed.

Who are these people and what grand worth are their opinions to make us believe that??? It’s unreasonable and embarrassing, really. 

I’ve learned the key for loving myself is to love others, to help others in real situations of need, not by achieving superficial expectations that someone else has set. The best selling book of all time says our bodies are the “temple of the Lord.” Have we ever really stopped to consider what that means? 

Who are these “they” that say my body is imperfect? Hell, one hundred years ago no one but a spouse or a doctor even saw the naked bodies of others! Do you believe there wasn’t beauty and attractiveness before the age of anorexics in g-strings? Honestly.

Take some time to recognize what you love about yourself, give honor to it, and flaunt it, baby! 

My Sunroom Makeover


Our house has an absolutely delightful sunroom that was being sadly neglected and under used. Here’s photographic proof:


I visualized a lovely, cozy retreat for myself with a funky vintage, shabby chic feel. Where to start? Naturally with a request to my go-to girls, the get-er-done gang: my mother Linda, my best friend since 1977 Tam, and Tam’s mother Wanda. Three days later they were in my driveway Sanford And Son style:

Tam immediately proceeded to chalk paint an old, brown, cobwebby desk she had dug out of her barn and this fabulous chair from my mom’s supply of vintage pieces.

The result:


That Tam is one cool not-so-shabby chick!

Mom and Wanda began working their brand of magic by bringing in pieces they had brought from Tam’s and their homes and a few gems they drug out of my garage and attic and some fantastic finds from Home Goods, Hobby Lobby, and my newfound addiction At Home. Have you been to an At Home store? Find one! Bargains galore!

The AFTER shots:




I enjoyed my special space for three hours after the Dream Team headed out on their two hour trek back to Kentucky. Angus likes it, too.



It’s also the perfect morning spot. 


Mothers Day is timeless.


Today is Mother’s Day 2015 and although I didn’t see my son, my mother, nor any of the other special women in my life in person, I have enjoyed talking with some of them and looking at these precious pictures.


When we were both wee ones – 1986




When we got to see UK play in the Music City Bowl, Nashville


That time he surprised me with a birthday dinner at Ruth’s Chris in Nashville.


My mother, Linda Baird 

Oh, how I miss Gran, Mamaw, and Nanny. 


Gran Hazel Johnson , me, Mamaw Ree Baird- December 1995


Todd, Jordy, me, Nanny Winnie Simmons, Tony, Tara – 1993


Nanny with a picture of her main man, – 1984


Mybeautiful stepmother Linda Simmons, Tony, Tara, me – Graceland. 1979

I was honored to know my Great-grandmother Hala Elizabeth McGahan Roy for 25 years of my life. Not many people can boast of a Great-great-grandmother, but Jordy had one for over six years. Grandma Roy passed away at age 100 in March 1993.  

Great-grandma Roy and me – 1990


Five Generations – my mother, me, my great-grandma, my son, my gran

I have been incredibly and bountifully blessed with extended mothers. A host of aunts on all sides of my family and special friends. Here are just a few… 

The Baird aunts – Velma, Myrna, Glenda, Pat, Linda (mom)

These two beauties on either side of mom have loved and supported me for well over 35 years. Anita Tucker and Wanda Mitchell

My two favorite reasons for Mother’s Day are also my two favorite singers.  

Jordy and Mom

My flowers and card from my hubby, Bradford   


Bison Chili


Like most chili eaters, I made up my own recipe for this thick, hearty, comfort soup. And it goes a little somethin’ like this.chili recipe


Ground Bison – 1 pound
Tomato Puree or Crushed Tomatoes – 28 oz can
Vegetable Broth – 1 cup
Onion – 1 diced
Garlic Cloves – 2 or 3 minced
Kidney Beans and/or Pinto Beans and/or Black Beans – 15 oz can each of two varieties
Salt – 2 tsp
Ground Black Pepper – 1 tsp
Chili Powder – 1/4 cup (I blend together a combo of cumin, garlic powder, cayenne    pepper – all to taste preference.)
Water – 1/2 cup

Now do this with all that:

1. In a large Dutch oven, add the ground bison and diced onion. Brown the meat over medium heat. Drain excess fat if necessary. I usually don’t have to with bison. Stir in minced garlic.

2. Pour in the tomato puree and vegetable broth. Pour the half cup of water into the empty tomato jar/can, swish around to loosen remainder of puree and pour into pot.

3. Stir in the chili powder, salt, and pepper.

4. Drain beans and empty the cans into the pot.

5. Now don’t get in a hurry. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 2-4 hours. Allow the heat and bison fat to draw those wonderful flavors out of the spices. The longer it simmers, the more the flavors blend together.

6. Serve with biscuits or homemade croutons. Try my recipe for croutons here.

7. Top your serving with the usual suspects – cheese, sour cream, onions, relish, olives, jalapeno peppers. The choices for chili toppings are endless!

Chili is even better the next day so look forward to those leftovers!

Created equal

Glennon inspired me to share my feelings on this…..
When I first heard about the immigrant children coming into the US recently, my first thought was “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” Matthew 25: 35-40
As a Christian, these words of Jesus are familiar to me and his teachings are but one of the reasons I love him. As a mother and a human being, my heart mourns for the horrible plight of these innocent children and their mothers, who incidentally were created and born onto this earth the same way I was. Exactly the same way. As an American, these wordsGlennon Melton quoted in her blog post (see link below for entire essay)-“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

-these words humble me with extreme gratitude that I was born onto these United States of freedom and abundance of material things. I look around in so many areas, at so many situations, at my own heart and wonder where is the abundance of love for our fellow man, women, and children outside our loved ones and our own selves? I really want to be loving and unselfish and daily strive to do so even when it doesn’t look like I am. Who am I to think I deserve more love than any other person to whom I was “created equal”? God help me.


Extra Rich ‘N Chewy Brownie Bites


I was enjoying a lovely afternoon at home when I decided to make the day even lovelier by whipping up a sweet treat. Inspired by an Instagram photo posted by my childhood friend @coachb308 aka Shelley Bishop, I set about to satisfy my sweet tooth. I scrounged around in my kitchen cupboards and pulled out the necessary ingredients to make Extra Rich ‘N Chewy Brownie Bites (I just made that name up. I know, I know, not incredibly original but whatever…I digress). Here’s what to do:


1/2 cup coconut oil

1 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a mini cupcake/muffin pan with coconut oil.
  2. Mix together the oil and vanilla and beat in the egg.
  3. In a separate bowl pour in the sugar, then sift in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
  4. With your mixer on low speed, gradually stir the egg/oil/vanilla mixture into the sugar/flour/etc mixture until well blended. 
  5. Spoon in about one tablespoon of the batter into each muffin cup in the prepared pan. I like to use The Pampered Chef’s Small Scoop and Deluxe Mini Muffin Pan.
  6. It took 12-13 minutes in my oven, so watch these little dudes very closely as to not over bake them. Mini hockey pucks aren’t very rich ‘n chewy.
Some of the stuff you put into this recipe.

Some of the stuff you put into this recipe.

Yeah, so I tested one before they cooled. So?

Yeah, I tested one before they cooled. So?

Pan and scoop

I didn’t wash the pan and scoop before photographing them. Sorry about that.

This sweet little platter that belonged to my Gran is just right for Extra Rich 'N Chewy Brownie Bites.

This sweet little platter that belonged to my Gran is just right for Extra Rich ‘N Chewy Brownie Bites.

These would also be delicious with a pecan on top of each one or some powdered sugar sprinkled on top. Let me know if you make some!


Unwelcome House Guests


Unwanted guests (home invaders!) arrived at our house one recent spring day in the form of tiny black ants around the kitchen sink. My kitchen is one of my favorite rooms in the house, all bright and joyful with items I love and enjoy adorning the counters and shelves.

Kitchen windowEDIT

Imagine my dismay to wake up that morning to a dark cloud cast over my cheery kitchen. Okay, so it wasn’t that dark considering ants are so tiny, but you know what I mean. All I could see was lines of tiny, black ants scurrying about my sink and counter tops, no doubt being “extremely wise” (if you say so, Bible). While the best-selling book of all time recommends the ways of the ant – Proverbs 6:6-8, Proverbs 30:24-25, I personally do not hold the pesky creatures in such high esteem.

As I was hurriedly leaving for work that morning, I stopped and grabbed my spray bottle of ‘I Love Lemon’ (kitchen cleaner by Blessed Nest Natural Cleaning products that I like to make with essential oils – recipe here) and sprayed the little colony scurrying around. BAM! DEAD!

Then as a repellant, I flung a few drops of Peppermint Essential Oil* around the back of the sink where the ants seem to be entering the sink area, then I rushed out the door. I went home at lunch time and NOT ONE SINGLE LIVING ANT could be found in my kitchen! Several days later a few determined ants attempted to set up camp around my sink again. With another dousing of Peppermint Essential Oil – this time mixed with filtered water in a spray bottle, the problem was again taken care. It’s been weeks since I and my cozy kitchen have been bugged by unwelcome guests.

*I use Peppermint Essential Oil by doTerra, my favorite essential oil brand.