Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What I Learned When I Was Tardy for Church, and My Recipe for Bunny Bait

Three reasons Why I was Late for Church Sunday:
1. I bought Carrington sweet seersucker pants at the Danville Kids Consignment sale last week in his usual size 8, and they fit beautifully around the waist, however, they were about three inches too long. I realized that when he tried them on about an hour before he had to be at church. 
2. About the time I realized the pants needed hemming, I remembered that I needed to prepare something for a post-church service covered dish luncheon.
Since I didn't have time to pull out my sewing machine, I ironed Carrington's hems in place and fastened them with hem tape. While I was working to ensure the boy's pants were presentable, Courtland and Mark mixed together a bag of pastel M&Ms, a bag of pretzels, popcorn, and drizzled with melted white candy chips to make "Bunny Bait," a favorite springtime snack mix in our home.  It's not exactly a green bean casserole, but it would have to do, plus the children (and husbands) love it! I sent Mark and the children to church without me while I finished mixing the Bunny Bait. I made a cute little sign with lavender cursive font that read, "Bunny Bait The Easter Bunny's Favorite Spring Snack Mix." (Recipe is posted at the bottom of this blog post.)
3. In a rush to get to church with the rest of my family, running out the door with a giant bowl of melted white chocolate chips and crushed pretzels, heart pounding, I was stopped by God's gift of hostas beginning to peep through the still cold ground. I looked around for a brief moment to realize the new green growth on my Lady Astor rose bushes. I was already running a few minutes behind, so I made myself stop to listen to God in this very moment, to give thanks, and to heed His advice that he was giving me in the here and now. No matter how rushed I am, I try to stop and give thanks for these gifts. These moments are reminders that if we must slow down so that we do not miss the beautiful gifts we are given - The spring days, the plants bursting through the soil, the sunshine and blue skies... My God, this day was gorgeous and I was so busy worrying about hems and popcorn that I nearly missed it! These moments also serve as a reminder to me that a little planning goes a long way. I need to do a better job of cutting out those things which do not matter to me, and planning ahead for those things that do.
I did make it to church in time to see Carrington sing in the youth choir - it was beautiful. Like tears in my eyes, proud mama moment beautiful. I had forgotten my little bunny bait sign, and since there was no explanation as to what this was,  people would just have to think I brought a big bowl of popcorn to the covered dish luncheon. Oh well. The children didn't mind. They ate the bunny bait and hunted eggs on the playground behind the church, then emptied their eggs, picked prizes from the prize table, filled up on sugar, then ran it off. It really was a glorious afternoon.
Since I had driven separately to church, when I left, I took the long way home. I drove through downtown and stopped to admire the blooming trees decorating the exterior of the historic Main Street buildings. Aren't they pretty? If I were still in a rush, I might have missed this. 
Life is full of stress. We can't always avoid it, but we can allow ourselves quiet little moments to appreciate those gifts and to find meaning and beauty in the mundane. My hope for my friends is that you will notice the little things, pause to give thanks, and allow yourself a moment to smell, or take pictures of, the flowers. 
Wishing you the very best,
Erin, Southern Virginia Mom

One bag of popcorn (Either buy a bag of plain popcorn or pop your own and try to sift out the kernels the best you can)

One big bag of pretzels broken into pieces
One bag of pastel M&M candies
One bag of white candy chips - Follow directions to melt in a bowl.
Mix the popcorn and pretzels together in a large bowl.
Melt the white chips according to package directions.
Drizzle the white melted candy onto the popcorn pretzel mixture. While still warm and gooey pour the M&Ms in and continue to stir. (I do this after the melted candy goes in, so that the M&Ms don't all sink to the bottom of the bowl.)
If you want, add colorful sprinkles. It adds a little bit of pretty.
Enjoy, but be sure to leave some for the Easter Bunny!

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Collingsworth Family in Concert April 4, 2015 South Boston, Virginia

For the second year in a row, The Collingsworth Family returns to South Boston, Virginia. This family of gospel singers and musicians, including the renowned pianist Kim Collingsworth, will perform a concert on Saturday, April 4, 2015, at 6:00pm at the Halifax County High School auditorium. Tickets are $10 each for General Admission, and $20 each for Inner Circle Seating. All proceeds will benefit the Halifax County Cancer Association. 
Last year Mark and I took the children with us to see this phenomenal group in concert. I was especially impressed to learn that they travel with their own grand piano everywhere they go. The matriarch of the family, Kim, has a grand piano named Lucille that she plays at every concert. I have never seen anything like this. I found this youtube video, which wasn’t taped here in South Boston, but she did play this song here last year. It was such a powerful and moving song.

Two daughters also impressed last year when they played Andrea Bocelli's "The Prayer" as a violin duet. In addition, the whole family sings in the most beautiful harmony, sometimes a cappella. You have to see this in person to fully appreciate it, but here's another clip I found of "Come Thou Fount."
When we saw this group last year, I remember feeling as if I had stepped back into my childhood church. This group is sometimes referred to as gospel, also as Southern praise. Regardless of what it is called, those familiar hymns took me back. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to see them before, and our whole family is really looking forward to seeing them again next Saturday night.
Whether you've followed their music for decades or are you just hearing of this Southern gospel group, here is what to expect from this concert, as well as a little history about the group, taken directly from their website.
Excitement, spiritual anointing, family-emphasis, and musical excellence are what you can expect to find when you step across the threshold of the auditorium for an Evening of Family Worship and Praise with The Collingsworth Family. Since their first engagement together as musicians for a church camp in Petersburg, Michigan in August, 1986 until now, the ministry God has given Phil & Kim has expanded and flourished until it is a full-time livelihood that involves their entire family. Their boundaries of influence have expanded until they have sung and played all over the United States (as well as internationally) into their 27th year of ministry. Their constant, persistent attention to cutting-edge arranging, musical excellence, and a proper balance of spiritual emphasis are the keys to success God has helped them tap.  Read more and see their discography here…
There are only 1300 tickets available, and as of earlier this week, over 900 had already been sold. Because there will probably be a sell out, if you want to go, buy your tickets this week in advance. They are for sale in the community, including at the South Boston-Halifax County Visitor Center. There are two tickets available - $20 Inner Circle seating, and $10 General Admission seating. Thanks to a wonderful group of involved community volunteers, this group is able to come to South Boston. They are donating all proceeds to the Halifax County Cancer Association. 
Have you seen this group in concert? Are you planning to attend this concert next week? Do you have a favorite hymn? Please share in the comments. I hope to see you there next week. We're in for a great night of praise and worship!
xoxo, Erin
Southern Virginia Mom
SoVA Mom Home
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Danville Kids Consignment Sale , March 26-28, 2015: I Came, I Shopped, I Conquered!

I came, I shopped, I conquered! At the Danville Kids Consignment Sale, that is. I was invited to take an exclusive look at the inside of the sale before it is open to the public, and I got to shop with the volunteers and consignors, as well.  When I showed up about twenty minutes before the doors opened, there was already a line of women, some with strollers and little ones by their sides, and all with large organization bin-tote bags.
I quickly spotted a few Danville friends and exchanged hugs and status updates before hitting the aisles. Here is my friend Kim with me gearing up for the pursuit of a great bargain! We were like two runners stretching for a 5k with the row of friendly cash register volunteers being our finish line! 
On your Mark! Get Set! Go!
DKC Sale volunteers are always allowed to shop first before the sale is open to the public. Volunteers can also have their consignor fees, or part of them, waived. If you are interested in shopping, consigning, and/or volunteering for a future spring or fall sale, go to www.danvillekidsconsignment.com for more information and to join the mailing list. 
This is a huge sale with numerous volunteers, consignors, and shoppers, and it does get hectic and a little, maybe a lot, crowded at times, but it is very well run, and I have noticed over the years that patrons are very patient with the long lines. The volunteers are just that - volunteers - and work very hard to make sure that the sale is as organized and efficient as possible. I think they do a great job! All clothing is organized by boy/girl and according to size. The girls clothing is on the right, and Courtland's size-8 was toward the end of the right aisles. This seems to me like a good place to start. 
When your children are small, it is easier to shop without them, but when they get to be my children's ages, 8 and 10, it can be harder. I had to pick out what I thought they would like, things that weren't too old or too young for them, that would be comfortable, but also met my standards. You know how tricky that can be. At the end of the day, I had found many items that the children and myself all agreed upon. There was only one thing that I bought that my daughter did not care for (and I'm going to keep that one between her and me.)
I really wanted the children to try on and model their outfits for me to share on the blog, but no, that didn't happen. Anyway, we''ll have to settle for hanging clothes instead. Carrington made out with 4 shirts, 4 shorts, 1 pair of pants, and a pair of Crocs.
I especially loved this pink polo shirt and plaid shorts. These Kitestrings seersucker pants look nice with the pink shirt, too. I love this!
I felt like I had finished the race in first place with these sweet Vineyard Vines shorts for Carrington. Luckily, Carrington liked everything that I bought for him. No complaints!   
Courtland is a little more discriminating, but she did like almost everything I bought for her. One thing we both agreed upon was this darling outfit. They were sold separately, but I put them together-navy blue Gap skirt with a subtle ruffle at the neckline, and these kelly green Gap ankle pants with belt detail. She came away with 4 shirts, 4 shorts, 1 pair of ankle pants, a pair of like-new Sperry Topsiders, and 3 dresses. Another win! 
What did I spend? My grand total after tax was $125.00 for 23 items. I'll gladly take that.
If you missed my previous post this week about the Danville Kids Consignment Sale, you can read it here. Again, visit the website at www.danvillekidsconsignment.com for more information and to sign up for their email list.   The sale is just beside Food Lion in the Market Square shopping Center at 3300 US 29 North in Danville, Virginia. There will also be a Women's and Home Sale April 15-18. If you would like to shop, consign, or volunteer for that sale, please sign up at www.danvillekidsconsignment.com. Please tell them that you heard it here from Southern Virginia Mom's blog! Have fun, and best of luck finding exactly what you need!

Thursday March 26 -  9am - New/To-be parents and grandparents
Thursday, March 26 - 10am-7pm
Friday, March 27 - 9am-7pm
Saturday, March 28 - 9am - 3pm**
**Saturday - tags marked Discount "YES" are 50% off**
Want to shop the 1/2 price sale on Saturday early?
Bring a money or food donation for God's Storehouse to the door Saturday morning and get in at 8:30am!

April 15-18, 2015
Market Square Shopping Center
3303 US Highway 29 North - Business
Danville VA 24540

Have fun and good luck shopping at this consignment event, and I hope you find everything you're looking for!  Wishing you the very best!
xoxo, Erin
Southern Virginia Mom
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Monday, March 23, 2015

Thanks Caffe Peroni, that was just what I needed!

I enjoyed a fun dinner with my friend Blair at Caffe Peroni on Main Street in South Boston tonight. Not quite sure what I wanted from the menu, I told Saul to surprise me with something that included Italian sausage, tortellini, and a la vodka sauce, and to make it super spicy. He did not disappoint! This dinner was delish. Thanks, Saul!
I brought half of this meal home, and now Mark is working on it. So much for leftovers! I have a big day ahead tomorrow, so I'm heading up. Have a great night! 
xoxo, Erin
Southern Virginia Mom

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Danville Kids Consignment Sale: What You Need To Know, Plus a Sneak Peek at the Spring 2015 Sale!

I just got home a little bit ago from dropping my children's gently worn clothing off at the Danville Kids Consignment Sale at the Market Square shopping center in Danville, Virginia. If you didn't read about my unnecessary emotional attachment to the clothes and how I finally made the decision to part with them, you can read about that here
Danville Kids Consignment is a huge children's consignment sale that happens in Danville, Virginia for three days at a time, twice per year.  This year, the sale will be held at the Market Square shopping center, located at 3300 US Highway 29 North, Danville, Virginia, directly beside Food Lion.  For the record, I did keep a couple of things, and surprisingly, it was my husband who insisted, but the rest has moved on, hopefully to a new home.
Here is a sneak peek at what is in store for you during the Danville Kids Consignment Sale, which is open to the public beginning this Thursday, March 26. Rows and rows of children's clothing, from boutique items to play clothes in all sizes. This was day one of the drop off, which means that these photos reflect only half of what will be available during the sale. Onesies, toddler clothing, and for my runner friends, jogging strollers galore! Plus big girls clothing, riding toys, pack and plays, books, movies, Barbies, and so much more! 
Danville Kids Consignment accepts only clean, quality clothing in excellent condition. Clothing is typically priced between 1/3 and 1/5 of the retail price. A red or blue ribbon tied around a hanger indicates a boutique item.

Thursday March 26 -  9am - New/To-be parents and grandparents
Thursday, March 26 - 10am-7pm
Friday, March 27 - 9am-7pm
Saturday, March 28 - 9am - 3pm**
**Saturday - tags marked Discount "YES" are 50% off**
Want to shop the 1/2 price sale on Saturday early?
Bring a money or food donation for God's Storehouse to the door Saturday morning and get in at 8:30am!
I can't imagine that you wouldn't be able to find what you are in need of for this spring and summer. Here are a few more items I found today, like swim trunks and floatation suits, baseball pants, Easter suits, smocked dresses, My Little Pony, and even Rapunzel's castle. And I bet you can't live without this Hokies cheerleading uniform, can you?   
I have to be honest. I have been having baby fever lately, and these adorable outfits are not helping at all! Look at this pink ruffled swimsuit. 
The smocking is what does me in, though. This Alice in Wonderland smocked dress is possibly my favorite item I saw today. I love this. 
 And more smocking...
 And Cinderella smocking...
And one more, a Bailey Boys golf themed smocked bubble romper.
I can't wait to get back over to the Danville Kids Consignment Sale later this week. I saw several things for both of my children, and I'm looking forward to getting a head start on their spring wardrobes.  We are heading to the beach the first week in April, so I'm looking for shorts for Carrington and sundresses for Courtland. At these prices, I'll be able to get everything I need to keep them well dressed for our trip! I'll add the money I saved by shopping at the consignment sale to our "Family Fun'd" so we'll be able to do some extra activities while we're there, too!
Again, the sale is located at the Market Square shopping center at 3300 US 29 North, Danville, Virginia. This is what you're looking for:

For more information about the Danville Kids Consignment Sale, see their website at www.danvillekidsconsignment.com. I plan to post a few more pictures from my shopping excursion later this week. I'll be sure to post more of my top picks and greatest finds. If I don't see you before then, have a great shopping trip. Good luck, and I hope you find everything you're looking for!  Wishing you the very best!
xoxo, Erin
Southern Virginia Mom
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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

6 Great Main Street Shops in South Boston, Virginia

My friend and neighbor Tracy was planning to go shopping in downtown South Boston today, specifically looking for a table and a couple of end tables for her beach home. I gladly invited myself, because I love window shopping and visiting the Main Street shops here in SoBo. I'm so glad I did. 
We first went to 3 Women No Truck, which happens to be having a moving sale. Everything in the store excluding candles and jewelry is 50% off. Tracy found this black console table for $125.00, which meant the price would be a breezy $62.50. She likes it as is, but thought she might chalk paint it a lighter color to go with her bright and airy beach decor. By the way, 3 Women No Truck is moving into the same space as Electric Service Company on North Main Street around the end of this month, or the first of April, so go see them and welcome them to their new location! 
3 Women No Truck's current location sits just beside the Global Friends Destination Gallery, so when we left one building, we casually strolled right in to the other. Mrs. Frances Harrell was volunteering today, and I was so happy to see her. Her enthusiasm for local and regional art is contagious, and I left very excited about the offerings we have here in South Boston. We talked about garden fundraisers and art dinners and auctions and all sorts of ideas. 
Matt Stafford has been the featured artist at the Destination Gallery. He is a potter and painter, and both of his media were on display and for sale at the Gallery. 

Linda Lumsden's line of LuLu for You handmade necklaces are also on display and for sale at the Global Friends Gallery. These fun pieces are one-of-a-kind, and each tells its own story. Although you may find them in specialty stores and boutiques everywhere from Danville to the Outer Banks, in South Boston, you can only find them here at the Destination Gallery. 

We left the Destination Gallery and strolled down the street to Enchanted Surroundings. This beautiful building is currently for sale. The business is not, but they were also having a 50% off sale, so we hopped inside to take a quick peek. 
This building and its interesting architectural detail are captivating.
 So is the inside.  
OK I went in for a quick peek, but fell in love with this chair while there. It is on sale for $50. I didn't buy it, but I figured I would go back by there when I get a chance and have some money with me, and if the chair is still there, then it was meant to be. 
We then popped in at a new furniture store that is opening on Main Street, which will be an extension of Heritage House. This store will feature new furniture by known brands such as Ashley Furniture, as well as pre-owned and antique pieces, and even some project pieces. Henkel Harris is one of my very favorite names in furniture, so when I arrived, the store owner Jim Lacks showed me to several pieces he currently has in stock. This one was my favorite. I really love this 12 glass pane Henkel Harris corner cupboard and the coordinating drop leaf table by the same maker. 
We then strolled over to see our friend Jeanette who owns and operates Keep It Classy, an upscale consignment shop on Main Street. She has the cutest items and no two days' inventory are the same when I visit. I adore this purple Milly dress on the mannequin. If you're lucky enough to wear a size 4, this dress is for you.     

I thought this white ruffled blouse was pretty, too. I especially love the large black bow tied around the waist. So sweet. 
Tracy and I had walked and talked so much that we nearly forgot to grab a bite to eat, which would have been a lunchtime travesty, because we would have missed out on the tastiest address on this side of Main Street.
We made our way to Southern Plenty Cafe, the brightest, most eclectic spot around with wonderful food and a nice selection of wines and gourmet goodies. I had the cream of asparagus and potato soup with a slice of bacon cheddar quiche that was to die for, plus a square of sweet cornbread that I drizzled juice upon from a fresh orange wedge and shared with my friend. There was nothing short of delicious about this lunch. The cheerful, yet cozy ambiance and friendly faces were a great bonus!  

What a fun way to spend the day, strolling along Main Street with a friend, enjoying the sunshine, window shopping, conversing with friends in the community, appreciating art, photographing historic architectural details, filling up on bacon cheddar quiche, and topping off the day with quotes such as this: 
We did make one more stop before heading home. Can you guess where? We stopped back at 3 Women No Truck, and Tracy bought the black table. How could she resist? It was exactly what she needed, and at $62.50 it was a steal! I wish the business the best of luck and am excited for them in their new venture with Electric Service Company. I was glad to hear that there are already new occupants waiting to move into the space. I am also excited for the expansion of Heritage House, and am hoping for lots of foot traffic in their direction.  I am hoping to make my way up to the other end on Main Street soon, and when I do, I'll be sure to keep you posted of what's going on that may be of interest. Listed here are only six spots, but there are lots more that I love to visit and even more, love to shop! Until then, enjoy your week and have a lovely spring weekend! 
xoxo, Erin