Fresh Friday – Last 10 on Pinterest

Some recent Pins that have made me happy, inspired me, or just piqued my interest:

via daisiesforviolet.com – How to Finish an Embroidery Hoop. This has been the bane of my existence, finding an easy way to finish a stitching framed in a hoop. I think this is probably one of the easiest I’ve found. Felt at Michaels for $.29/sheet!!

via gardeningknowhow.com – Pruning Pepper Plants

via goodhousekeeping.com – 11 Exercises You Should Never Do

via gardeningknowhow.com – Overwintering Pepper Plants – mine are all tucked into the garage for the winter. Hoping this will help me kick start a harvest when the weather turns for Spring!

via megduerksen and raisinguprubies on Instagram – LOVE anything related to the states and crafting 😀

via kitchenstewardship.com – 20 Ways to Use a Random Half Cup of Pumpkin – I hate wasting that last bit of pumpkin puree after a recipe!

via swingncocoa.blogspot.com – Covered Greenhouse Garden – My goal in life is to have a greenhouse!

via guff.com – 20 Lesser-Known Travel Destinations – yep!

Orphaned baby elephant Themba was unable to feed himself and faced certain death until Albert the sheep provided some much needed company and assurance. The six-month-old elephant was orphaned after his mother died in a fall down a cliff. The pair now spend every hour together at their home in the Shamwari Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.

My favorite! Sleeping Beauty! (although the Once Upon a Time version of her was kind of weak…)

You are welcome to find me on Pinterest. There is a quick button to the right of this post, just under the Instagram feed.

See you there!

 

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Fresh Friday – Last 10 on Pinterest

Some recent Pins that have made me happy, inspired me, or just piqued my interest

from OneGoodThingByJillee.com – Always looking for practical ways to reduce my keratosis pilaris. It does seem to be getting better as I get older, but the bumps are still noticeable sometimes

from ShugarySweets.com – mmmm, pumpkin, spice, biscotti, coffee…all so yumm

from MyBakingAddiction.com – chocolate and pumpkin in brownie form?! Yummm…I’m sensing a theme here

from HomemadeGinger.com – always looking for new crafty ideas. This sounds like a great cheat!

love embroidery. I have been wanting to try embroidery with ribbon too. Oh, maybe I can use it on this quilt I’m working on!

from SomethingSwanky.com – are you saying I have a problem here? Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip is totally normal in the fall 🙂

from LandscapeDesignAdvice.com – I have some fresh dirt patches that will need to be filled next Spring. Great ideas!

from TwoPeasandTheirPod.com – pumpkin again, yes. But they’re PUMPKIN DONUT HOLES!!! 🙂

I just love elephants. They are gorgeous and lovely and special.

by MeadowTea on Etsy.com – Pun intended!

You are welcome to find me on Pinterest. There is a quick button to the right of this post, just under the Instagram feed.

See you there!

Fresh Friday – Last 10 on Pinterest

Some recent Pins that have made me happy, inspired me, or just piqued my interest:

Soft Glazed Pumpkin Sugar Cookies…um, these look amazing and I’m sure I’ll be making these at some point this Fall. Plus, I usually end up with a half can of pumpkin puree, so it’s a perfect use!
31 Bits has their new 2014 Fall and Winter Collection! Paper bead fashion that saves lives – awesome!
John Piper
I am such a nerd….I don’t like to consider myself a grammar nazi, though. 🙂
American Bellflower – wildflower throughout many of the parks in southwest Ohio and across the nation
I have read so much Elisabeth Elliot stuff over the years. She was a fabulous lady!
Honey and Olive Oil Zucchini Muffins – also with maple syrup. Have I told you I made these??!?! And they are amazing?!?!?!?! Yes!! – by Pinch of Yum
another Pinch of Yum recipe – Beef Biryani. I am going to have to try to make my own Indian food at some point. It’s just getting to be too much. Plus, the Huz can’t handle the bones in the stuff we got at the restaurant.
Halloween Mason jar craziness!
Candle Lampshade Craft – Good Housekeeping

You are welcome to find me on Pinterest. There is a quick button to the right of this post, just under the Instagram feed.

See you there!

Getting Married: 3 Weeks – Shower #2

Are you nervous?

This is the question I’ve been fielding since the final month started. I can honestly say, I’m not nervous…about getting married. That part is not an issue at all. I am so ready! It gets harder and harder to drive up to The House that will be our home and then have to leave at night. And usually that 40 minutes drive is after Matt and I have been cuddled up on the couch watching a movie – the perfect activity to get you all ready to go to sleep…and then I have to get in a car and be alert and responsive. It’s much the same when Matt comes down to see me some evenings.

But, there’s light at the end of the tunnel! We took one more big piece of furniture from my room – my electric piano. Hey, it’s looking for a good home, if you know of anyone who might be wanting one. We haven’t thought out a price yet, but if you let me know, we can start negotiating. Good piano. Privia. I love it, except that we already have a piano at The House. And when only one person can play it, that’s all you really need, right?

Back to the question. No, I’m not nervous. I’m anxious. There’s a difference. But again, I’m not anxious about getting married. I’m anxious about everything getting done. Of people having a good time. Of things and people being where they’re supposed to be. I’m anxious about money.

I could try and soften it and say, “Oh, the Bible says not to be anxious, so I’m not. I’m actually ‘concerned.'” But for transparency, yes, I am anxious. It’s not an overwhelming anxiety, but it’s there. I’m not asking for comfort or whatever, just being honest. The extra attention embarrasses me. I know, I know. I’m putting it out there on a public blog, so I must be fishing for something. Nope, just being real.

Anyway, just wanted to answer the question for any of you who might be wanting to ask that question up there. Hopefully, we’re all straight on that.

Back to the post title.

SHOWER #2!!!!!

Yay! I was so touched by how many people came to the shower at my church. I know how crazy the end of the school year can get, and there were a good few who weren’t able to stay because of that wild schedule. You know, the local high school planned their graduation on my wedding day?! Can you believe it?! And then they had the nerve to plan the arts fair on my shower day.

I’ve been there too. I graduated from the school myself, and was frequently required to be at the arts fair, what with art classes and being in the orchestra. I miss playing in a large group setting, but I don’t miss the time commitment. Especially now that I have this huge time commitment of a wedding.

Everyone did a great job of the shower. It was put on by our ladies group and my two bridesmaids, er, matrons, er…that term is awkward.

This is the only picture I got of the shower and it’s not very good at all. I don’t know if anyone else took any. It was beautiful, delicious, and fun. 🙂

Week 3 07

My dear friend Amy, made all those yummy desserts. Which reminds me…

Week 3 06

For real

We got a bunch of stuff for the kitchen. I’ve been so jazzed about this kitchen. I can’t wait to live there. Can I please just be barefoot and…in the kitchen all the time? Baking…I could move my project room to the kitchen and then I could do all that stuff in the kitchen too. Ok, ok…I’m just kidding. But check out these colors.

week 3 kitchen

We also got these.

week 3 house

Those elephants are from my dad and step-mom and they’re two pieces with trunks that wrap around each other. Cute, huh? Matt was excited to have something to put together and right now, it’s housing the bedding we’ve received so far until I get up there with some clothes to put in it.

And then we will move outside, to my next favorite thing…probably my favorite right now because it’s so green and alive and I have so much hope for it.

week 3 garden

That’s an azalea flower on the left. Yes, we have a beautiful little azalea bush and I love it dearly. I talk to it and I think that’s why it decided to have just one bloom early this year because it knew I’d be happy.  Top right are the pink flamingos my nieces and nephew got us for the garden. We think they’re a hoot and are probably going to keep them out indefinitely…and put funny outfits on them when the kids are coming up to visit. Bottom right is Rose #1 at 3 weeks. She is so happy where she is, it’ll be a shame to move her after we put together the raised bed in the back, but it’ll be for the best. Rose #2 isn’t doing so great. I had to relocate her to more sunlight. We had a hostas that decided to throw its leaves all over the back of the garden and shade her from the sun. She wasn’t happy. Hopefully, we can get her back in gear.

Here is Rose #1 Week 4.

Week 3 17

Such a happy rosebush.

Oh, and I told you about how I planted some tickseed, right?

Week 3 14

We’ve got buds! So excited to see them pop out all yellow and red and bright.

I debated showing you some of the things I had worked on this weekend, but I think I will keep it all a surprise for you. Unless you follow me on Instagram and then you will probably already have seen it. So, I’ve got a bunch to get done. I will see you again next week!

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I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on WeddingWire.com

Getting Married: 4 Weeks – One Month Mark

We are under a month folks!

I can’t believe it.  As Mom says, “We’ve hit Code Orange-Red. Next week, we’ll be at Code Red.”

I had my second dress fitting last weekend. I forgot to mention that in the last post. They had to take in material at my back because I’m so short. The shoulders fit much better at the second fitting. However, my wonderful little (this time Brazilian) seamstress informed me that they might have to let it out because it was too tight. Have I really gained that much? Is it because I was working in the basement at work for so long and put on some weight? Can we blame the birth control for this too? Please?

I asked her if I walked around my block a few times a week and did crunches, would that be enough. She said, “You’ll be juuuuust fine.” (thick Brazilian accent)

She was great and actually knows/is family with, through marriage, a woman at my church.

My mom was out of town for this particular visit, so I called in Matt’s mom and aunt to come and be my designated adults. We stopped for Firehouse Subs before. Maybe that was my problem. Darn Firehouse…so yummy.

We had a good time. Nice time chatting. I haven’t had much, if any, one on one time with Matt’s mom so it was enjoyable to chat with “just girls.”

I’m watching what I eat right now. I’ve been doing crunches in the mornings and at night before I go to bed. I walked around the lake at a park near my work. I was severely distracted by the beautiful things though.

week 04 redbudweek 04 virginia springbeautyweek 04 white oakweek 04 ducks.

I love Spring. If only it loved me too. My eyes have been raging balls of fire this week.

Here’s a little something for you. I found the recipe on Pinterest. I don’t know if it’s really helping me lose anything. I feel like I have a bit more energy, though, and it tastes great!

week 04 detox

The original recipe calls for a pitcher of water – I think 2 liters, 1 apple thinly sliced, 1 cinnamon stick, and ice. I have my little 23 oz water bottle here from Matt’s work and decided I’d adapt it to my portion.

I filled the bottle 2/3rds with cold water (you should probably use filtered, but since I don’t care about tap water, I used that.) Dropped in the cinnamon stick and several slices of the apple (about half). Then, I filled the bottle the rest of the way with ice. Leave it in the fridge for about an hour and the flavor is incredible! I have only used red delicious apples so far, but I just bought some granny smith and I can’t wait to test that out.  Great thing is that you can refill the bottle about 3-4 times before the fruit and stick lose the flavor. The slices will stay nice and fresh in the water and not turn brown, so long as they are covered by the water. The pin says that it can last in the fridge for 24 hours. Oh, and munch on the rest of the apple while you’re waiting for the water to steep.

I love cinnamon. It does amazing things for your body. It’s zero calories too – boosts your metabolism, cleanses and regulates your blood. One of my favorite things is to have a piece of toast, drizzle raw honey on it and sprinkle cinnamon on top. It’s so yummy and I feel good after eating it. (You can click the picture above to go to the original link. You might get a warning that it’s a suspicious link. I don’t know why. It’s about the safest thing online.)

I don’t have much else to tell you. I have my second shower this coming Sunday at MY church this time. So excited for that. I bought these beauties in preparation.

week 04 stamps.

Yes, I’m one of those people.

I am hoping to get some things paid up this coming week too – our reception venue, cake, etc. Those are a big deal and not something we need to wait until the deadline of 2 weeks prior.

I’m also thinking ahead for some pretty things at The House. Namely, our lavender plants. 🙂 And tickseed (coreopsis)…and the strips of wildflower seeds that a dear friend sent me as a gift last year.  Why does it have to get cold again on the weekend when I can actually do stuff outside?! I want to get the garden to at least a mild form of chaos and then dial back from that after the wedding.

“After the wedding”…

That’s a glorious phrase.

We are so ready!

By the way, I’m not super concerned about losing weight. I tend to drop some mass when I just do a little more exercising. Probably won’t be that way for much longer, but right now, I’m grateful for it.

—————————–

I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on WeddingWire.com

 

Getting Married: 5 Weeks – Marriage License and Blogs

It’s official now. We got our marriage license! We drove over to the Butler County Courthouse Thursday morning (after I got some new glasses!), filled out our application, laid our cash down and then were quickly on our way.

If you are getting married in Ohio, here are the requirements (as of 4/2013):

Official US ID. Driver’s licenses work just fine.
$40 cash
Any divorce decrees

Since Matt and I live in different counties, I was concerned about where we needed to apply, BUT the lady said we could apply in either county. That was great! I don’t know much of anything about Warren County, but I’ve worked and been through and around the Butler County seat of Hamilton, so we went there.

It’s a beautiful, old building.

We sat on a bench that might have been there since the building was put up.

It creaked…and twisted, when we sat down.

I didn’t move much.

Matt had his pocket knife with him and we had to go through the metal scanners before we got into the courthouse. The deputy confiscated it from him until we were done with our visit. When we came back to the entrance, he was nowhere to be found. He must have cameras, though, because he soon appeared from a back room…with a toothbrush in his mouth. Fun times.

(Matt got his beloved knife back too…amidst our stifled laughter)

Thursday continued to be a busy day. We stopped by a friend’s restaurant downtown called Pappa Luigi’s. It’s fab. You should go…unless you don’t live in the area, and then you should travel here and go eat there. 🙂 Next door is a little shop called Jelli’s Fudgery. I bought some pizzelles and some fudge for Matt and I. He got the Dark Chocolate Rocky Road while I picked up some Inferno.

IMG_20130425_125809Doesn’t that look yummy? The ingredients say that there is Habanero powder mixed in. Love me some chocolate with some spice mixed in. Gives it a kick.

Don’t be fooled. This stuff gives you a kick, then punches you in the face a couple times, throws you to the ground and sits on your head while you are gasping for air…it might even pull your arm back and make you cry “Uncle.” Notice that only a smidge of the corner is missing. That little corner left Matt and me crying for some UDF shakes…which we promptly got.

After a little time we drove down to KY to meet our photographer. You can find more about her in this post. For now, I’ll just say that she’s awesome and I’m way excited!

We met at a Frisch’s and decided to grab our dinner there. I had a kid’s meal…then Matt wanted dessert. The waitress was so sweet and brought out two forks for us to share, but I never had a chance.

IMG_20130425_173053Someone gets a little excited about chocolate and ice cream.

Yep.

We stopped over at Florence Mall to do a little shopping. I found some cute things for certain people who are going to be in a certain big event of mine. Ahem. Also, we found a replica of the water tower nearby in the kids area.

IMG_20130425_185428Then, we almost got run over by a train…in the mall…twice.

The only rider was the man driving it. He seemed to be enjoying himself.

So, I wanted to share some fun things with you. I have a sickness, see? I mentioned before a sickness of buying Thank You notes. Ok, that’s legit. THIS sickness is that I like to read other artsy, creative blogs. Right now, I have five ladies that I follow. I get their latest post shot through my email to me and most days my eyes widen with delight, drinking in the wonder of their lives, and my heart whispers promises to someday be like them.

Ok, not exactly like them, but they are pretty fab – women of God, creative, and REAL! They don’t really sugar-coat anything and that’s refreshing.

I will share them with you now.

It started with:

I found Alisa on Pinterest and fell in love. Her photography urges me to run for the west coast, the deciduous rainforest of the northwest. *sigh* I really AM a gypsy at heart.

Then I found:

I’ve shared Meg’s shop with you before in this blog series. She is fab. Has a brood of kids that I can’t keep straight, lives in Kansas, loves sunflowers, has chickens and a dog named Waffle, and hosts a craft weekend for ladies all over the nation to come and create together. She loves Jesus too, and shares some raw stuff.

I stumbled on this blog mostly by accident.

This blog is very sweet and intimate. With Matt and my crazy schedule right now, this kind of communication has been an inspiration to us. We might not have a lot of time to say a lot, but we definitely have time to say a little, and sometimes that’s all you really need.

Now, this one:

I don’t really know how to describe her. She is quirky, creative, passionate, admittedly full of faults, and committed to striving forward. She emboldens me.

And the last one is a new find:

I’m still learning about this lady. She seems really cool though. I love her DIY home creations. She’s not afraid of a hammer and nails. Geez, she’s building a chicken coop with her dad! I’m enjoying this blog a lot.

Let me leave you with one thought, too.

Do you have a God-kiss? You might not know what that is…especially since I think I made it up.

I have several, but let me explain a little bit. Sometimes, often out of nowhere and very subtle, I will have an experience that will point my mind overwhelming to how much God loves me. I call it a God-kiss. It can be a sight, a sound, a smell, a touch, etc. Here are some of mine: cloud shadows, most anything yellow, fog, laughter, reunions, sunflowers, first times…

To go with the “most anything yellow,” I will share that we got a mesh bag filled with seed as a gift at our first shower. Matt put it up in te back, near the kitchen window. Since I don’t live there yet, it didn’t bother me much that the birds were taking their time finding it. But find it they did, and there has been a lovely little goldfinch couple enjoying the bounty of that little pouch. The other day, I was up and got to see them hanging on and pecking for the seeds. As soon as my camera came out, they flew off. Seems to be a trend for me. Red-wing blackbirds are notoriously shy of my camera.

The next day, Matt, knowing how much I wanted to have a pic of them, emailed me the following.

IMG_20130425_101044Isn’t he just the sweetest thing?! Yes, I mean Matt…of course! But that goldfinch is such a handsome little guy. I’m smitten, and so excited that we have goldfinches up at The House. I can’t wait to get up there and make it our home!

—————————–

I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on WeddingWire.com

Getting Married: 17 Weeks – Prep Work

This post will be a bunch of random items. So, here we go!

week17 sailor

I found this on Pinterest and it is so true. I have no aspirations to be a sailor, or have any skill on the sea itself, but you know, it’s not literal, just representative.

week17 keys

It seems as though people have decided I should be the keeper of their spare keys. As such, I have a hard time remembering which key belongs to which person (maybe they should rethink their strategy! lol). After seeing this Pinterest project, I decided it was high time to work it out myself. I really enjoy the colors and the polish seems to be staying on without much issue. For those keys that are unknown, maybe I should just start going around to everyone’s house and start trying out keys. Hmm…I think the middle of the night would be the best time, especially if they have dogs. 🙂

week17 jars

We have all these baby food jars. Well, this isn’t even all of them and we have more promised to come! They have all this wonderful sticky gunk on them too. This was a great Sat avo project.

week17 cleaning

The tools. I will say right now that the acetone worked above and beyond the best. I don’t like vinegar because I’m allergic to it, but you know, it’s said to have amazing abilities at, oh, everything. So I gave it a try. It was a fail. Nail polish remover was the best. Our hands were a little sticky following, but that washed off. Fumes weren’t too bad either.

week17 bottle

We also have a whole bunch of glass jars and bottles. A WHOLE bunch. We’re repurposing them for the wedding. I’m excited. We tried spray painting this one months ago to see what it would look like and discovered the issue with the glue AND the little factory printing on them. That stuff bled right through the spray paint. Let me point out that the nail polish remover took that stuff right off too! I was so excited!

week17 bulbs

Remember this post when I said I planted bulbs in the garden in the spring and summer? With southwest Ohio’s goofy weather, they have begun pushing up early. Eeek! But hey, at least that means I planted them the right side up!

week 17 finds

Matt and I ran over to the antique mall and found 4 of these sunflower plates for $10! Yeah! We also found a glass jar in the shape of a bear and that super-sweet cranberry tin. I love them all.

??????????????????????week17 Maggie

This was my last week tutoring. I’ve been working with these kids since I came home from Japan. When I first started with David, he really couldn’t stand reading at all. He still stumbles over words and skips lines when we read out loud together, but what kid doesn’t? What inspires and encourages me the most is that this kid loves to read! We started with The Chronicles of Narnia, moved on to Moby Dick, The Hunger Games, and the Redwall series, plus a few others. He has learned how to identify the stories that will interest and challenge him and he “theater reads.” That is my description of when someone is able to read with inflection and in the character’s personality. He does it really well and I would often have to tell him to keep it down since we mostly read together at the family restaurant. I am so going to miss this kid and his 104 million stories and questions. He is a dear little Brother.

His sister, Maggie, hasn’t been with me as long. She is the epitome of the cute little girl who gets all the attention from patrons of the family restaurant. She has sass and personality galore. She and I have had a fun time getting to know each other and some dear characters in the books we’ve read. We like series books, most especially the Ivy and Bean collection and the Ramona books. She is goofy and can throw out one-lined zingers out with the best of them, but I will miss our spunky time together each week. I have such precious memories to keep with these two kids. I can’t wait to see what happens in their lives over the next years and onward. I pray for them and their family constantly. They have been a sweet chapter in my life.

—————————–

I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on WeddingWire.com