September 30, 2022

Full Circle

Good Friday morning! In place of the cozy, autumn-ish lake photos this morning, I am sharing a picture of my favorite city, Pittsburgh!

Why? You may ask. Or maybe not. But I am sharing it because this past week, I left the comfort of my little piece of the world to travel here with some of my favorite people to see one of my favorite artists!

On our way! And not me being so thankful for a son that loves to drive.

A mandatory stop for dinner before the concert and photos to document the night. And the fact that I do indeed own clothing that is not and does not resemble pajamas.

As well as documenting the fact that I am blessed with children that love and enjoy spending time with each other.

And then there was the concert. We saw Post Malone, one of my favorite artists ever. I titled this post "Full Circle" because that is what I thought as I stood there with three of my four children. Music has always been a part of our lives and one of the first things I shared with them as babies and toddlers. Back then, it was tapes of Mozart as they slept and old nursery rhyme songs as we played. Specifically, it was Walt Disney Records children's favorite songs Volume 3 with Donald Duck on the cover of the cd. We listened to and sang songs like Oh Dear, What Can The Matter Be? and Grandfather's Clock. 

Eventually, those little toddlers grew, as children tend to do, and developed their own taste in music. Or, as in Peyton's case, a preference for reading instead. A few years ago, Rhett introduced me to a new young artist named Post Malone. And I loved his music. Does it fit the vibe of a 50ish mother of four who likes cozy, coffee, books, and being home? Maybe not. But when Rhett heard he was coming to Pittsburgh, he got tickets. Really good ones too. It was a fantastic night, and it was not lost on me that these young people were so happy that their mom was along. 

He was amazing, even with a cracked rib from falling into a hole in the stage last week! 

Thoughts and prayers to all affected by the devastation the hurricane left and will leave behind. It is worth remembering that while the initial shock is broadcast on tv during the event, the loss and destruction remain long after for those affected. 

Finally, because I cannot finish without sharing some cozy autumn pictures...

There. That's better. Have a lovely weekend, my friends! Thanks for visiting!
And thanks for the fun on my last post too!

Billie Jo


September 28, 2022

This Or That ~ Autumn Edition


Hello there! Because I like to pour a heavy dose of autumn into every aspect of my life when I can, I thought I'd share yet another post on all things fall. I love reading about your thoughts on my favorite time of year.

In these cozy months of fall, do you get excited about...

1. Pumpkin or Caramel flavored everything?

2. Harvest or Spooky decor?

3. Sunny days outside or rainy ones inside?

4. Movie nights inside or campfire nights outside?

5. Creamy soups or hearty stews in the crockpot?

6. Dunkin or Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte?

7. Halloweentown or Halloween movie marathons?

And finally

8. Living in all things autumn or looking ahead to Christmas?!?!

Have a cozy day, my friends. And prayers for all in the path of the hurricane.
Be safe.

Billie Jo

P.S. For the record...

1. Pumpkin for me. I strongly dislike Carmel.

2. Tough one. A bit of both, but primarily spooky!

3. Rainy. Always.

4. I am an inside girl.

5. I love soup. So soup and bread for me.

6. We don't have Starbucks around here. Dunkin works!

7. Halloween. I love those movies!!!!

8. I try to stay in autumn. But I do start planning in my mind!

September 26, 2022

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Good morning, my friends! Pour a cup of your favorite coffee, tea, or cocoa, and we will share a moment or two. Today is one of those autumn mornings I wait for all year long. It is overcast and cooler outside, with a few slight hints of color in the trees. I light the candle in our kitchen, pour some hot coffee, and grab a soft pumpkin-covered throw blanket before I snuggle in my spot on the couch to begin my day. As I sip my coffee, I start my prayers. The house is quiet since I get up before everyone else does. Soon my Rhett will come down the stairs, all dressed and ready for work. He and I have a short time every morning together to visit while he eats his breakfast and before he heads out the door. 

This morning routine differs greatly from when I had babies and young children. Years ago, my mornings began even earlier with diaper changes and cozy rocking chair time. Later, I started my mornings rushing around, getting littles ready for school, packing backpacks, and finding matching shoes. Later, as a homeschool mom, I began the mornings making breakfast and watching game shows before we headed to the schoolroom to start our days. 

We all go through different seasons in life, I suppose. Each one is special in its own way. I remind myself to embrace the season I am in and to look back with love at seasons past, all while looking forward to the ones yet to come. They pass so quickly, don't they?

Have a cozy Monday, my friends. I will do school with Flynn, who is loving seventh grade, by the way, work on laundry, and not cook dinner today! Steve made meatloaf last night and made enough for tonight as well. We had mashed potatoes with it last night, so I think I could boil a bag of egg noodles and heat up some carrots. I don't want to get too fancy now, do I?! 

Thanks for visiting. I will be around to see you all soon!

Billie Jo

September 23, 2022

The First Friday Of Fall


Happy autumn, my friends! Officially, that is! Here in Pennsylvania, autumn arrived bearing cooler air and cozy rain outside. As a result, the throw blankets and pumpkin spice candles have made an appearance, along with a general overall feeling of calm and cozy. 

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, whatever you have planned. Here it will be quiet and uneventful. My favorite. I plan on cleaning the bathrooms and changing the bedsheets because I need to do something besides reading and drinking coffee. Right??

Please enjoy these random photos from my camera roll. And have a happy, healthy Friday!

Billie Jo

September 21, 2022

Just A Thought On A Wednesday


So, it's here! The days I wait for all year long. The cooler, colorful, cozy days of autumn have arrived! Yesterday, I was washing dishes and looking out the window where all summer long, I see the neighbor kids playing, boats on the lake, and green on the trees. This time, when I looked out, I saw the empty trampoline in the neighbor's yard, the still lake with only ducks silently paddling, and the first glimpse of red, orange, and yellow replacing the bright green of the leaves. 

I realized that I need to appreciate these days because they are fleeting. I also realized that although I enjoy scrolling through Pinterest for ideas and inspiration for autumn activities, and I love looking through magazines and websites for the latest, greatest cozy autumn decor, I don't need to. I could keep buying more ceramic pumpkins and Halloween-themed placemats. I could make fall bucket lists of everything from painting pine cones to organizing a neighborhood scavenger hunt or chili cookoff. If that is your thing, that yes. Embrace it! If, like me, it isn't and you feel like it should be, ask yourself this.  Am I really enjoying this lovely time of year? Or am I spending my time trying to imitate someone else by creating an image that isn't me? Lately, I feel the need to stop comparing myself and my home to Instagram influencers and Pottery Barn catalogs and just BE.

My home may not look like a spread from a magazine. But should it? Those photos in catalogs and magazines are taken months in advance, carefully curated to appear perfectly perfect, and showcase items they want readers to think they must have to be happy. I would much rather live in the moment with the pop-up ghost that Madison played with on her first Halloween and the not-so-gently loved pumpkin from Ames that has rested on our fireplace hearth for years and years. I would rather flop on the couch with my family and watch Halloweentown yet again, enjoying some boxed brownies with Halloween sprinkles, than create a themed viewing party with coordinated food items.

We do celebrate holidays. I do splurge on things from time to time. But I am starting to remind myself that enough is enough. The pressure and noise of the outside world telling me what "popular" is and what is "out" for the season is just that. Pressure. I remind myself that peace and happiness are found from within. Not from the inside of yet another package on the doorstep. I'm sure my husband would agree. : )

Happy Wednesday in September!
Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

September 19, 2022

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Good Monday morning, my friends! It is a cloudy, rainy, cozy day in Pennsylvania, and I am not unhappy about it. This past weekend was sunny and hot and, quite frankly, a bit too summerish for me. I mean, I realize it's technically not autumn yet, but really? I have super cute hoodies I want to wear! 

But seriously, it was a lovely weekend, despite feeling like July. And looking around, I am comforted by scenes of autumn that are but a prelude of things to come. A quiet lake, some growing fawns, a backyard fire on a crisp evening, and colorful, crunchy leaves on the deck all give me hope that fall is near. 

I enjoyed a wonderful visit with my sweet momma yesterday! We sat outside and visited and enjoyed the view, the birds, and each other. I am thankful for every moment, smile, and laugh we share. She is the best person I will ever know.

And I will leave you with this. This is my Mocha, as I found her this morning. Clearly, she considers herself human, and who am I to argue with that sweet face? And yes. I do have Snoopy sheets on my bed. Because I am quirky like that.

Today will be schooling and laundry, and dinner. I am making homemade chicken tenders and lemon garlic pasta with broccoli. I hope you have a relaxing, happy day! Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

September 16, 2022

Turning 53!

Hello there! Happy September Friday! Thank you all so very much for the birthday wishes. You made my day that much more special. And special it was. I celebrated turning 53 in the best way I could imagine. I enjoyed a relaxing day at home, complete with homeschooling, a wonderful phone call with my momma, and dinner with all my people! Peyton made lasagna with garlic bread and my very favorite dessert. Madison brought ice cream and party decorations, and we all ate, visited, and laughed together. Rhett captured the evening perfectly in the group selfie! Some more photos of the happy day...

Pretty flowers from Steve's sister Sally and her husband. Hi Greg!

My not-so-little littles and three others that I am blessed to count as mine too...

Me and the hubby! ( We met when I was 17, and he was 16!!)

Cake? Who wants cake when you can have Chocolate Chip Cookie dessert????

I was blessed with thoughtful gifts from my friends and family, including this from Madison and Nicolas. She has had it since January! She found vintage Halloween wrapping paper and had Nicolas frame it. I love it. 

And a photo of 53-year-old me, just so I can remember how blessed I am.

But enough about me! How are you, my friends? Any plans for the lovely weekend? Whatever you have planned, enjoy! Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo


September 14, 2022



Two of my very favorite moms from when I was young. They were, you know, moms. They were...old. Today, I turn 53! Several years older than they were at the time!!!!!

Happy Wednesday!

Billie Jo

Oh! Another favorite, who I was sure was ancient!!!
She was in her 50's. 

(Images from Google)

September 12, 2022

Monday Morning Coffee Talk


Good Monday morning, my friends! Welcome to a new week. Is your upcoming week busy? Full of appointments or activities? Or is it quiet, with a few commitments here and there? Mine is the latter, thankfully. I cherish these empty days, free to fill with whatever I choose. My favorite ones are those we enjoy now, these early autumn days. 

Once these cozy September days roll around, I am ready for a more structured schedule. I enjoy the long, carefree days of summer. I do. But autumn brings that need for routine. My daily routine has changed many times, but some aspects remain the same. I am always the first one awake and the first one downstairs. I start the coffee, unload the dishwasher, and light the candle in the kitchen. Depending on the season, I go around and plug in any lights I have around the downstairs, adding to the cozy feel, of course! Then I pour my coffee and sit in my spot on the couch. I say my prayers and look through my planner. Then I read your blogs and work on my own. This is my special time, the quiet time I have to set the tone for the upcoming day. 

After dinner, I begin my evening routine. I clean the kitchen, pack the leftovers for lunches, load the dishwasher, and wipe the counters. ( With help from the family, not all on my own! ) Then I settle in for a quiet evening with my family for a program or two or to read a chapter in the current book I keep on my end table. We usually end the night with an episode or two of Seinfeld, the show I will never tire of watching. Then, I fold the blankets, pick up the dog toys, tidy the tv room, blow out the candles, and turn off the lights. Those few minutes in the evening make my mornings that much easier. 

Now in between my morning and evening routines, I do daily life. Showers, cleaning, schooling, calling my momma, writing out bills, and other activities we do daily as home keepers. This is the life I dreamed of, and I know how blessed I am to be able to live it every single day. 

Oh. I forgot to add that I take a little ride in the Jeep and treat myself every now and then.  We need to take care of ourselves if we are to care for others, right? At least that is what I tell myself! 

Happy Monday, my friends!
Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

September 9, 2022

Early September Morning


I was up and about early this morning. I took this picture of the marina right near our house on my way to my yearly checkup with our family doctor. I always take one of the earliest appointments they have. I figure the earlier I go, the fewer sick people have been there, and the greater the chance the office is clean and germ-free. Plus, when I know I have something to do, I prefer to get up and get it done so I can return home to my little safe place and enjoy the day. 

Fortunately, the checkup went smoothly, and I am home already. This appointment completes my round of scheduled health appointments for the year. Beginning in March and continuing through early September, I schedule an eye doctor appointment, a dermatologist appointment, a mammogram, a gynecological appointment, and a yearly physical exam appointment. Welcome to life after fifty, right???

I do love the early September mornings. I love the slightly cooler temperatures. I love the way the sun shines on the leaves that are just starting their transformation from bright green to vibrant colors of autumn. I love that as beautiful as the day before me is, the cozy evenings come just a bit earlier. And I love the promise of all that is to come. 

And finally, sharing one of the many beautiful tributes I have seen in memory of Queen Elizabeth II. This was shared on Instagram, and it really touched my heart.

(Credit to the creator.)

Thanks for visiting,

Billie Jo

September 7, 2022

September Signs

Cozy throws adorned with colorful leaves ~ Freshly sharpened pencils and shiny new schoolbooks ~ A brand new month in my favorite planner ~ Lists of fall movies, meals, and desserts ~ And a favorite quote to welcome my favorite time of year ~

Have a cozy Wednesday, my friends! It is cooler and cloudy today here in Pennsylvania. Homeschool, dinner, and a relaxing evening of tv with my family are what is on tap today. How about you!

Billie Jo