Thursday, July 24, 2014

Shepard Inn: The Place to Stay in Dandridge, Tennessee

Small-town Southern charm is not just a fallacy invented by advertisers to convince you to come to Tennessee.  It's as real as ever in Dandridge, Tennessee, and if you want to experience it for yourself, I know just the place you'll want to stay!

Dandridge is located in East Tennessee, just about 30 minutes from Knoxville and less than an hour from the Great Smoky Mountains.  

This is the Shepard Inn, located right on Main Street.  We had the wonderful opportunity to be invited for a special lunch here on Sunday for my parents' anniversary I told you about, and we loved it!

From the wrap-around front porch to the beautiful rooms full of fabulous antiques, this place is so quaint it's ridiculous.  It would be perfect for a weekend getaway or even for a night's stay if you're just passing through!  They can even accommodate groups for reunions, showers, or parties!

As soon as we walked in, I started snapping pics because I knew I would have to tell you all about this.

The house is full of so many original fixtures and elements. 

I absolutely love the ceilings in this sunroom!

It's just dreamy.  And the inn managers, John and Stephanie Shelton,  are so hospitable and knowledgeable about the history of the inn!  Click here to visit their site to see more pics and find out more about making reservations.

Bed and Breakfast lovers, put this one on your list!  And if you've been here before, I'd love to hear about it!  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Things That Must Be Said

Even if God had never included #5 in His list of Ten Commandments, I'd still have reason enough to talk about my parents every time the opportunity presented itself.  

And even if I hadn't been born into their family, and raised in their house, I'd still think they were the two most Christ-like and well-loved people I know.

But, since these things are so, and this is my blog, I can't help but write a few words about a very special milestone in their lives.

Over the weekend, we celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the day my dad became the pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Jefferson City, Tennessee.  

We celebrated all week-end with hundreds of people who know and love my parents.  Our sweet friends at Faith hosted a wonderful reception, and there were songs sung, words spoken, and tears shed (mostly by me), all in their honor.  

Chances are, you've never heard of my parents.  They're not rich, nor famous, nor have they written books or had buildings named in their honor.  And yet their influence has reached deeper than anyone I've ever known.  First, in the lives of the three of us behind them here...

And through the years, in the lives of those with them here...

And then farther and farther into the lives of virtually every person that has ever met them.  They are great people.  But that's not the power behind that influence.  It's the fact that Christ lives in them and they live Christ every. single. day.  It's that grace flows out of them and feels so authentic that when you've been with them, you feel like you've been with Jesus.  These aren't just my words.  It's how all kinds of different people describe them all the time.

But, since I'm the one with the privilege of writing here, I'll speak for the masses.  Thank you, Mom and Dad, for your influence.  When I "grow up", I hope I'm just like you, because you're just like Christ. 

If you'd like to get to know my dad through messages from the Bible that will point you to Christ, click here to visit their site.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

DIY Mason Jar Lid Coasters

Looking for a fun craft to do with the kids or some friends while you enjoy these fleeting days of Summer?  Here's an idea for you.  And it'll come in handy when you're relaxing on the porch after the job is done!

People are loving Mason jars for all kinds of decor, but the lids are super-cute, too, when you transform them into custom coasters!

I first saw this idea here on, but I've seen several other crafty bloggers pinning their own cute versions to Pinterest as well, so maybe you've seen this done!  

Here's my version, made with just a few basic supplies.  I'll include a little online supply list down below if you want to order online!

You'll need some wide mouth Mason jar lids, some self-adhesive thin cork (cork contact paper should work just fine), hot glue, and some stamps and paints to decorate.

Just use the lid insert to trace your cork for cutting...

Hot glue the insert to the outer ring to keep it together...

Then use some basic craft paint to decorate.  I used my letter stamps for an initial, then stamped on some dots using a pencil eraser as my stamp.  (Don't forget to wipe your stamps clean before the paint dries on them.)

Painter's tape helps make stripes, but obviously the possibilities are endless!

Once the paint is totally dry, just peel off the paper backing, and adhere the cork to the inside of your lid!

I took this project with me when I spoke to a group of ladies at a church recently, and it was so fun to see everyone's unique designs!  

Make a set of these the next time you need a hostess gift, or just make some for yourself.  Either way-- remember to have fun, enjoy Summer, and sip some tea with your favorite peeps!