300th Blog Post Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Our Little Red House for winning the 300th Blog Post Giveaway!

If you can just send me your address at sweetgumlife@outlook.com, I will send you your prize!  (I’m only using the address to mail the gift card, I promise.)

Stay tuned to next week when I hope our computer will be working better!

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300th Sweetgum Life Blog Post Giveaway!

Welcome to my 300th Sweetgum Life Blog Post Giveaway! It’s hard to believe that I’ve posted 300 times!


I hope you’ll celebrate with me by entering my giveaway. All you have to do is tell me your favorite post in the Comment section, below. Of course, I also want to know why you like the post so much.

I started my blog in 2013 after reading Kathryn Stockett’s The Help. I related to it so much because of my life growing up in rural south Alabama. We did have “help” while Mom worked in my parents’ store, Jachin Grocery. Things were a little different for us than Stockett’s fictionalized account of growing up in Mississippi during the upheaval of the 1960’s–I grew up in the post-Civil Rights era of the 70s-80s.

I do have the fondest memories of our help, Vianna, my beloved childcare provider. I’m sure she had a positive influence on my perception of African-Americans. One of my childhood playmates was not nice to her maid. But I loved Mary Anne to death and loved to cuddle up with her when I visited my playmate. Not saying that I was a perfect little child, but I look forward to seeing Vianna and Mary Anne in Heaven one day, because I’m sure they’ll be there.

What is Sweetgum Life about?

Www.sweetgumlife.com focuses on the beauty of a simple life with faith, warmth, nostalgia, and humor by sharing life and southern culture from a wife and mom’s perspective.

Sunflowers at Sweetgum House.

Sweetgumlife — A Southern Lifestyle Blog

No one can deny the cultural differences that are part of the United States. Television, film, and literature perpetuate these stereotypes–and I do too, at times. I also tend to romanticize life in the South. But just like the castles in Europe, no life is without problems common to the human race. I’m a very positive person, and I tend to focus on the good. We get enough nastiness from the news…that is, if we even bother to watch it anymore. I usually don’t and tend to get by just fine.

Faith

It’s true that southerners live in the Bible Belt, and for that I’m extremely thankful. It’s a great place to raise children. Faith in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit has brought me through some terribly dark days and nights. I hope my writing always reflects the Light in my life. 1 John 1:7

Stories

I wouldn’t be much of a southerner (or a writer!) if I didn’t fill my blog with stories! I like to include the occasional short story or flash fiction in a post.

Amazing People

I post a lot about amazing and inspiring people. Sometimes they are entrepreneurs of small mom & pop stores like I grew up around. (My Papa started Jachin Grocery in rural south Alabama, and eventually sold it to Mom and Dad.) Sometimes I write about other writers like my college friend and published author, Melanie Dickerson. Look around and you’ll find amazing people in every one you see.

Family

Families are at the heart of life in the south. Each one is unique.

Pin It!

My Pin It section covers beautiful southern homes, antiques, crafts, DIY, and all of the stuff you’d find on HGTV.

White house in Five Points

The Giveaway

All you have to do is to pick your favorite www.sweetgumlife.com post and list it in the Comments. You must be a resident of the U.S. and be 18 years old or older. I will draw names on Friday of all who enter. You get double points for mentioning why the particular post is your favorite. Win a $25 gift card to Amazon!

Black Angus cow.

Craft Room Challenge

What is the Craft Room Challenge?

A bunch of 14 talented craft bloggers have gotten together at the Craft Room Challenge for the month of January, 2018. They’re taking their craft rooms from cluttered to crazy-beautiful! As a busy wife, mom, and writer, it’s hard to get motivated to add something else on my to-do list, but I’m always up for a challenge! It’s like a triple-dog-dare-ya to me!

One of the biggest motivators for meeting goals is to have accountability. I don’t know about you, but I need to have someone to answer to when conquering a project that is less than fun. Be sure to see my video on my @Sweetgumlife Instagram account.

I’m not an organizer by nature, unlike my good friend C, an art major from Auburn University. Back in our single girl days, I’d go over to her house, and she was always finding creative, artistic ways to organize her art and crafts space. She is my organization role model! The Craft Room Challenge is right up her alley!

Stack of tubs–who knows what’s in those!

How to Participate in the Craft Room Challenge

So what you do, is organize and makeover your craft room to post on Facebook. My friend Shirley at Intelligent Domestications lists 4 goals in her post: function, organization, a pretty place to work, and a wall dedicated to organization and aesthetics.

I would suggest that you start out with your goals…keep them simple, because you only have until January 31st for the challenge.

When to Post in the Craft Room Challenge

Post every Wednesday, beginning in the first week of January. Okay, so I’m a little late joining the party. (Sigh!) But that’s okay. I’m starting t-o-d-a-y!

Sweetgum Life Craft Room Challenge goals:

1. Functional2. Aesthetically pleasing3. Organized (move everything but art, diy, home décor, and crafting supplies to the guinea pig room*)

That’s all I can muster for now with my time constraints. When we moved to Sweetgum House in summer 2016, I planned to have a craft room for me, a playroom for Princess Buttercup, and Lefty could have the garage.

Then we got the guinea pigs for Princess Buttercup. Those things stink! So, the “playroom” has henceforth been known as the guinea pig room. (Anybody know how long those things live???)

A mountain of craft detritus.

I challenge you to the Craft Room Challenge!

How ’bout you? You wanna join me as an accountability partner? Just send me a little message in the space below. I’d love to hear from you, and best of luck!

Craft Room Challenge Bloggers

I will list more as I meet the 14 crafters.

You guys! I seriously need organization, yes?

#confessmymess
#momwifelife
#sweetgumlife
#homedecor
#craft
#creativelife

Reuse your Christmas Tree

‘Bout time you took down that Christmas tree, don’t ya think?

I know, I know…it’s sad to see the tree come down, but here are some fun ideas to reuse your Christmas tree so you can extend your enjoyment into 2018!

Christmas Tree with birdseed

Becky’s creative Christmas tree upcycle idea.

Bring in the Birds!

I got the idea for this Sweetgum Life blog post from my friend Becky, who posted her upcycled Christmas tree on Facebook.  Simply take your Christmas tree outside and decorate it with edibles for your little feathered friends to enjoy!  I could not love this idea more!  You know how I’m all about recycling, upcycling, and reusing, right?

Okay, I confess…my Christmas trees are artificial, so I drug one in off the street to recreate Becky’s idea of using the tree as a bird feeder.  Ha!  I’m trying to imagine my neighbors’ faces if they saw me dragging the tree from the road to my forest outside Sweetgum House.  They probably thought, “There she goes again!”

Becky’s idea is easy-peasy to do:  Simply coat pine cones with peanut butter and cover it with birdseed.

Becky used pine cones…I used sweetgum balls (because that’s how we roll at Sweetgum Life!!!)

Find the Fish!

When I was growing up in rural south Alabama, we had a big pond in the pasture behind our house.  If you have a similar arrangement, dump your tree into the pond…it will make a great fish habitat.  You may also be able to donate it to the US Fish and Wildlife Departments as suggested by Eric at Wide Open Spaces.

Salute the Squirrels!

Lindsay at Social Moms recommends leaving your tree out as a squirrel or rabbit home.

Here’s where You Come in!

I know there are plenty of you creative-thinkers out there with ideas of your own! What are your creative ideas for reusing your Christmas tree? I’d love to hear from you!

#tricks #upcycle #tips #creativeideas #recycling #picoftheday #imadethis #diply #makersgonnamake #feelingcrafty #birdlovers