Saturday, October 21, 2017

{CoffeeShop Family Flying Circus Adventures} Chapter 12: Nacogdoches, TX Adventures!


Back in March of 2016 we bought a little 1970's 4-seater Piper and we have had many fun flying adventures.  Interested in reading more of the {CoffeeShop Family Flying Circus Adventures}? PrologueChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3,  Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7Chapter 8Chapter 9Chapter 10, Chapter 11Entire Series (newest posts first).

A special thanks to my husband Paul who flies the plane and edits all our videos. Please subscribe to his Texas Gooney Bird YouTube channel if you are interested in following our adventures. It would make his day!



It was a gorgeous weekend in the beginning of October so we decided to take a little day trip to Nacogdoches, TX. The flight is about an hour so that would give us plenty of time to explore the town.

There were some scattered clouds that day and they looked so gorgeous up there.


These clouds look a lot closer in this photo than they actually were.


We flew over Lake Livingstone. You can see the dam in this photo.

Talking about dams, I will never forget when we took a family trip to Las Vegas and I had to book a "Dam Tour" for the Hoover Dam. I kept on cracking up when I was ordering it on the phone.

"I want to order tickets for the "Dam Tour" for four.

OK, you want four tickets to the "Dam  Tour"?

"Yes, thank you. How much are the children tickets for the "Dam Tour"?

And it went on and on. And I was greatly amused and it made my day because I am a nerd and like cursing without really cursing.


I always get excited when we see the airport. Before we locate it there are always a few minutes of:

"Is that the airport?"

"No, that isn't the airport, but I think it see it over there."

"Wait, I think I see it now! Oh, that isn't it."

"There it is!"

And I breathe a sigh of relief that someone finally found the airport.


I also love watching Paul land the plane. He sets it down so much smoother than the guys flying the commercial jets.


Fill-er-up! Since the Gooney is small and basic she doesn't use much fuel. She almost gets the same mileage as my car. 

A L Mangham Jr. Regional Airport has a courtesy car and if you buy gas you can borrow it. Another perk of flying!


Of course everyone was starving so we decided to try out a new-to-us Mexican Restaurant called El Ranchero.

I cracked up when I read on the menubar sign that adults can get two free margaritas per meal  They apparently don't have a liquor license and can't sell alcohol so they also allow customers to BYOA (bring your own alcohol).

Pilots can't drink 8 hours before flying so Paul was out. And once I figured out how much sugar was in a margarita (especially the watered-down free ones!) they lost all their thrill. Give me a nice wine or dirty martini. But I just told Paul I wasn't drinking because he wasn't drinking. ;-)



 The food was inexpensive and decent. I would go back.


We decided to take the short drive to downtown Nacogdoches. It is really a beautiful historic town.


We had some coffee and the boys shared a milkshake at Dolli's Diner. The coffee was good but they only had artificial-flavored fake creamer so I had to have mine with milk. It really irks me when a place advertises they sell coffee and they don't have real creamer. So next time I will try out Java Jack's.

The milkshake apparently was quite delicious.


There are many really interesting buildings in town.

Luke is already as tall as me. 5'7" and only 12...


And there are also many fun things to explore. Notice that Paul is always getting in some extra exercise. Yes, he is a bit odd, but I still love him. I guess he can't judge me for skipping on free margaritas. ;-)


The weather was warm and the day was beautiful and we really enjoyed walking around. Many of the businesses were closed, but there was some really nice window-shopping opportunities. They also had quite a few antique stores but I knew I couldn't bring anything home that was larger than a shoebox.


We went to the visitor center and studied some of the local history.


Nacogdoches historical is very interesting. It was the first actual "town" in Texas, founded in 1779. That is OLD in Texas history.


Just before we had to head back to the airport Luke was able to get a free drum lesson. These guys were really nice.


But all good trips have to come to an end and shortly later we were packed back in our seats ready to head back home.


And what a view!


Finally we see Hook airport in the distance.


And Paul gently puts down the Gooney Bird.


It was perfect day with the family.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

CoffeeShop "Halloween Paper Pack"


Today I have a new free digital paper pack containing 6 papers with Halloween/Fall-inspired colors. These papers come with a free commercial license, so feel free to use them wherever you want.

I used some cute designs from Pixabay to make some of these papers. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Download the CoffeeShop "Halloween Digital Paper Pack".

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

CoffeeShop "16x20 Storyboard Set #39"!


Today I have a brand new set of 16x20 professional photographer storyboards to share with you. You can use these in any orientation, so the four storyboards included in this set actually contains 16 storyboards! They are layered psd files so you can add your images using clipping masks (tutorial and free action). Print them for display on your wall, on cards, or post them on your website/social media.

You can also make them bigger or smaller, but be sure to resize them before adding your images. Change the background color simply by clicking on the Color Fill layer on the bottom.

A special thanks to Lisa Rubel Photography (website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) for allowing me to use her stunning images in my example storyboard above.

Download the CoffeeShop "16x20 Storyboard Set #39".

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


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Sunday, October 15, 2017

CoffeeShop Sponsor "Pretty Actions: Fog and Rain Overlay & Action Collection Special SALE!"

Pretty Actions, a sponsor of my site, just released a new "Fog and Rain" overlay and action collection! Right now it is on special for only $24 (normal price $49). Read all about it below.

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Create mood and drama using natural fog and smoke overlays in a wide variety of styles: choppy, organic, puffy and wispy options.  Enhance the sense of mystery and depth with one of the included rain overlays. With over 100 different weather elements, we've got you covered!

The Pretty Actions Fog & Rain Overlays Collection includes:
  • 23 Choppy Fog & Smoke Overlays
  • 22 Organic Fog & Smoke Overlays
  • 27 Puffy Fog & Smoke Overlays
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The magic doesn’t stop there! We've also included 5 BONUS Lightning Bolt overlays giving your even more options to complete your look.  When it comes to fog, smoke, rain and environmental elements this collection has it all! Are you ready to push your imagination to the extreme? 
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Friday, October 13, 2017

{Friday Photo Bliss} Walks, Food, and Hair Dyeing!

On Fridays I like to post snapshots I took during the week that make me happy.


This morning Duke was at our neighbor's house for his writing class so I took Imp and Piper for a walk. 

"Come on Mom!"


It looks cool since it is foggy but it is actually warm and muggy this morning. We have had a few days of cooler weather (highs in the 80's rather than the 90's) so it is starting to feel a little like Autumn.


Sometimes we see the strangest creatures on our walks. This was some odd prehistoric-looking caterpillar-thing that crossed our path.  Do you have any idea what this thing is? It was about 1.5 inches long.


I bought the (affiliate link) "Ready or  Not" recipe book by Nom Nom Paleo and it has some excellent recipes. I made these chicken wings with fish sauce that the boys gobbled up almost instantly! I reduced the honey in the recipe from 1/4 cup to 1 tbsp and it tasted great. We had it on cauliflower rice. YUM!

This is one of those recipes I will probably make every week until I get sick of it.


Swimming season is almost over but not before the boys' best friend thirteenth birthday party! I can't believe I am going to have a teenager in two months. 


Here is a photo of me and my boys in Nacogdoches, TX. Notice that Duke is now as tall as me! He is 5'7'' and only 12 years old.


Now that it is slightly cooler we are really enjoying our walks at the Greenbelt.


Imp is always looking for interesting plants and insects.Thankfully no snakes were stepped on during this walk.


I included this unfortunately blurred image to show you that my hair looks more brown! Since I am a little hippie-dippy when it comes to chemicals in skin and hair products I have been living with my gray hair. Actually I have been barely tolerating/basically hating it. I don't feel my age at all and I can live with my wrinkles, but for some reason my graying hair really bugs me and even keeps me from feeling good about being photographed. Sad but true.

Finally I had enough of it so I spent some time reading about natural hair dyes and decided to try the brown hair version on Wellness Mama before resorting to using chemical hair dye. I modified it a bit and used (affiliate links) 1/4 cup sage, 1/4 cup rosemary, 1/4 cup nettle, 1 tbsp calendula, and 1 tbsp hibiscus (I added the last two hoping for a little bit of auburn tint) in 3 cups filtered water. Note: The 1 pound bags of herbs seem pricey but they are HUGE and will make enough hair dye for at least a year! Plus you can use them for tea or seasoning.

I simmered the tea for one hour and let it sit for a few additional hours until it was a very dark. Then I filtered it with a metal filter and then a coffee filter and stuck it in the fridge.

I make the spray for my shower fresh weekly. I mix 1/2 cup of the cold tea with 1/2 cup filtered water and add a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle. I store it in the shower stall and use it up in less than a week. I started spraying this on my wet or dry hair once a day and brush it in with this brush (I love this hairbrush as it goes through my wet or dry hair so easily) and I don't rinse it out. Within a few days it started blending in my grays. I was amazing! Within a week or two I could see a significant difference. Now I just use it a few times a week to maintain.


The gray is still there of course and more noticeable in bright outside light (like in the image above). But even in bright light it looks a little more subtle and more like highlights. This natural dye is similar to those semi-permanent dyes that "blend in the gray", not like permanent dyes that cover your grays. However, my "sideburns" were completely gray and now they are a soft brown, so it is really working. And I also think my hair is not falling out as much, so that is another perk. Paul is also using it on his hair and likes it.

I am shocked that a natural hair dye is so effective! And it is less work than dyeing my hair with normal chemical dyes. Just a little spray every week or so and I am good to go! And I feel so much happier about my hair and don't mind being photographed as much. It is funny how a little thing like dyeing your hair can improve your confidence so much.

I hope you have a great weekend!!!

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


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Thursday, October 12, 2017

CoffeeShop "20x20 Storyboard Set #38"!


Today I have a new set of 20x20 professional photographer storyboards to share with you. These can be printed for your wall, posted on your website/social pages, or used in scrapbooks/cards.

Both of these storyboards are layered Photoshop/PSE .psd files so you can add your images using clipping masks (tutorial and free action). You can also adjust the background color and size. If you want to make the storyboards bigger please do this before adding your images.

All of the images used in my example above are from Allef Vinicius at Unsplash.

Download the CoffeeShop "20x20 Storyboard Set #38".

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.

More from Rita:
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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

CoffeeShop "Halloween Mini Session" Storyboard!


I am frantically finishing the last of my Halloween/Fall-inspired designs and today I wanted to post this cute 5x7 mini-session storyboard. Add your own text and print or display it on your social media/website.

Some of the fonts used in this card can be found free at Font Squirrel.

I used cute vintage graphics from the (affiliate link) Graphics Fairy Premium Site. The pumpkin image is from Jill Wellington (Etsy ShopFacebook, Blog, YouTube Videos, Pixabay).

Download the CoffeeShop "Halloween Mini Session" 5x7 storyboard.


Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


More from Rita:
Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter