Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chopping block.

See my nephew's wicked creepy Zombie costume? Totally has nothing to do with this post. 
See my hair? That's the point of the post. I've been growing it long for an eternity 2 years with regular but minimal trims. And it's been various shades of red forever. I have a love affair with my red color. It's vibrant and fun and feels right. It's also really really really bad for my hair. Red fades fast which means I usually color every 4-6 weeks. Combine that with the fact I've been coloring my hair since I was 13 and you know it's taken a toll on my hair.

So....I cut it all of and had it colored close to my natural color.
Holy crows feet. Where did those come from?!
You can't see the color there obvi. I was in haircut adjustment mode and just couldn't find a flattering color photo angle of myself. It looks really good - you'll just have to trust me.


Otherwise, I'm MIA around here lately. Life's busy and full of stuff to do and sometimes things need to be on the back burner.

Later, loves.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Maybe I've lost my mind.

We've been talking about getting another dog recently. It's been pretty limited to talking about it but not really saying "Hey! Let's get another dog!" We have a Bichon Frise. (A fluff dog. All bark - no bite. Kind of shameful looking.) His name is Gizmo and I've had him since I graduated high school. As long as there isn't a full trash can around, he's a good boy.

This picture always makes me laugh a little. It needs a meme.


Needless to say, Noah doesn't feel very manly driving down the road with that head hanging out the window so we wanted a "man's dog." I've been researching breeds & different breed qualities so I can feel like we made an informed decision. Cuz' that's what responsible people do right?

Side story: We had a boxer early in our marriage but that didn't last long because this boxer was crazy. Crazy with a capital Crazy. She liked to pee on my side of the bed when Noah left for work - she pretty much hated me and she constantly jumped our chainlink fence when we left her outside to run off her energy. We gave her to someone with a farm. They gave her to someone with a bigger farm. She kind of ruined boxers for me so I said "No boxers."

Last weekend was also Noah's 30th birthday (yay for birthday!!) and we thought we'd just take a trip Sunday afternoon to "just look" at the pound.

Lesson learned:
You can never "just look" at the pound.

Meet Gandalf.


He's a mix but he's primarily boxer. Yea, I might have lost my mind.

I have a un-housebroken puppy and a potty training toddler. Definitely some crazy there.

He's cute & gangly though and it makes up for it. (The puppy - not the kid.) Skinny, little, malnourished thing but hopefully a good home and good food will have him up to his estimated 60-65 lbs. range.

Have I mentioned that I might have lost my mind? Life is busy, and crazy, and sometimes you gotta throw a little extra crazy in there to keep things alive I suppose. ;)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Different lights.







IMO, sunrises & sunsets are the most splendid handiwork of God visible by the naked human eye. Everyday, everytime they happen and none are the same as before.It's fascinating and wondrous and I might be a little obsessed because I seem to take a picture everytime I capture one that catches my breath for a second. (Then I filter it on Instagram which might kill some of the naturalness but it brings out the intensity of them so I do it.)

 Not much more to say besides that. Thankful for eyes to witness each one.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sunny Sunday.

We took advantage of probably the most perfect summer closing days yesterday. You know...sunny and warm with clear skies. Sunday perfection. We like hiking and try to always make it a point to go where there is something unique which is almost always a waterfall. This little place is called Blue Hole and is actually a series of waterfalls all relatively close to each other. 

It's like...perfect. See?
 

 This is the main attraction...it's the plunge pool where people swim (without regard to their fingers or toes cause it's COLD, dude.) I can't imagine jumping into it from the waterfall but people do that, too. It might be thrilling....I'd probably chicken out. ;)

We did a little exploring, too. With the exception of the main pool, it's not really a marked trail kind of deal so we were climbing up and down rocks, over creeks, over a beaver dam (yes, a beaver dam) all with a three year old. We discoverd this:

You can't see behind me obvi but there is a small river rock bed area in a small clearing right in front of this little grotto. Totally perfect. If I wasn't a little scared of bears, I would like pitch an air mattress and build a campfire and spend all night there.

I'm very happy that Zeke seems like enjoy exploring & hiking. It makes me happy cause not only can we enjoy it all together but it's good for us, too!

We finished the day off with a last chance swim in the pool and a ridiculously delicious dinner. A  best-day-ever kind of day. I'll end with a picture where I feel like I'm photo bombing my own photo....



Friday, September 6, 2013

Hot Fudge Cake: Fail.

I have a little shindig this evening with some dear wonderful friends. I opted to bring the dessert because I love to try new desserts off Pinterest. (Ironically, I'm not a very good baker OR cook. Please see: cinnamon rolls.) But  sure - I can tackle a hot fudge pudding cake from scratch.

I found this recipe from Brown Eye Baker.

Picture Credit: Brown Eyed Baker
It looks amazing and it seemed easy enough (you can find instructions there) and I totally trusted a great grandmother recipe.  Plus, all I needed to buy was the cocoa powder so it was going to be cheap, too! (Don't you hate it when you find a dessert but need to buy 8 ingredients you don't even ever use?) This was great!

Zeke helped me mix all the ingredients together and into the oven it went for 40 minutes. Timer goes off - cake is still liquid. What's a girl to do? Keep cooking it I suppose so I just kept cooking it...and cooking it....aaaaaaaand cooking it. Once I smelled it burning, I gave up. I took it out and I had fudge sauce with blackened edges.



I was seriously scratching my head people. I tried Googling it but all that gave me was more hot fudge recipes. I am apparently only the one who has ever wondered why "my hot fudge cake is so runny". I thought maybe I was crazy. I thought maybe the great grandmother really liked gooey liquid cake and I was misinterpreting what it was supposed to look like. I thought I messed up when I one and halfed the recipe. I blamed it on Zeke - he must have thrown an extra ingredient in there when I wasn't looking. It was the oven's fault. I need a new oven. I was dumbfounded.

I decided to make the best out of it and posted my fail on Instagram/Facebook and stated my innocence in any wrongdoing in the creation of this cake. One of my friends commented something alone the lines of "I did that once. I used powerdered sugar instead of flour."

Enter the lightbulb. And the bell. DING!DING!DING!

Yup, I used powdered sugar instead of flour. I grabbed the wrong canister without even thinking. Darn you Pinterest and your gorgeous pictures convincing me to fill my pantry with clear organized jars.

Brown Eyed Baker - I'm sure your great grandmother's recipe is wonderful. I'm sorry I ever doubted her!! I totally am going to try to redeem myself and try again with flour.

:D

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Walking on the Water.

I'm gonna be straight up honest with ya'll here (whomever that is that reads this) - life's been tough lately. I'm not one of those wear-your-heart-on-your-sleeve type gals so I tend to smile and wave and when someone asks me how I'm doing say "I'm good ." Put happy pictures up. Say "Amen. God is good" when I'm not sure I've meant it. It's the appropriate response, yes? Because really - most people want to hear that. We don't like to hear ugly/uncomfortable/sad stuff. We like sunshine and smiles & rainbows and unicorns. We don't like their ugly counterparts. Seriously though, the last few months, I've been struggling a lot with joy, and life, and God. What if? Why? I wish...

The reality is that we've had several big life setbacks in the past year and even more so in the past few months. I won't go into detail because the purpose of this post is not to gather sympathy. I know there are bigger, more complicated, and dramatically more difficult lives and circumstances - not only around the world but here in the good ol' USA, too.

A lovely, wonderful, and honestly true friend sent me an article about faith.It brought up the story of Peter walking on the water with Jesus. You know - where Peter walks on the water with Jesus and suddenly becomes afraid and begins to sink because he took his eyes off the Lord and focused on the waves and turmoil? Or that other time when the storm hit the boat with the disciples and they pretty much said "Why are you sleeping?! Lord, save us!" It seems they didn't doubt that the Lord could save them but that the fact that he was sleeping means He didn't care about what was happening to them. 

In the midst of all this, I've realized that I am Peter. I have focused on the waves and not the Savior. I am the fearful disciples. I have focused on the what-if scenario where my life capsizes and leaves me drowning. I've accused God of slumbering and of not caring and a host of other negative thoughts/reactions. I don't wanna be like that. I mean where's the gal who wrote this and this? The one who finally recognized suffering and sorrow as part of this world and prayed for God to change her dramatically. I know she's still here but she has let fear take a vice grip on her heart and the result of fear is never freedom.

So here's to freedom - to searching and seeking everyday until God one day finishes the work He started in me.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Recipe for a Quick Beach Getaway.

Step 1:
Start with a early morning & a long car ride....


...until you hit the sweet sight of sunshine & palm trees and the sounds of the ocean.(much better than fast food bags and whiny children.)


Step 2:
Throw in two days of of sun, sand, salty water, & smiles:







 














  
Step 3:
Add in late night beach walk and one shining moon...

Step 4:  
Say goodbye till next year.



Sunday, August 25, 2013

I used to hate the color gold...

When we bought our house, I hated the color gold. Really - it was like one of the first things I swore I was going to wipe out when we first moved in. (Of course, I still haven't wiped out all of those lovely builder grade gold fixtures but I'm working on it one at a time.) Anytime I saw something gold, I cringed a little. Lately, I've seen quite a few "pins" about using gold as an accent and I noticed that I stopped cringing as much. Eventually, I thought to myself "maybe it's not that bad." Don't get me wrong - I still cringe at builder grade "gold" but I've seen that when used correctly with the right accents & the right colors - it can actually really enhance a piece or a room.

Now onto my example - what I will call my happy little accident table.

 
I bought this little gal for $8 at a thrift store last year. I don't know why - I wasn't even sure I liked it so it sat and sat and sat for months until I finally decided that I needed to do something with it. I've been wanting a red accent piece for my living room and I needed another lamp for the evenings so I thought "why not?". I headed out to Lowes, found a deep red color swatch, and went home to promptly start painting.....where I discovered that what I swore was deep red in the store was actually a hot pink/coral. Oops.

In comes the dreaded gold: I remembered that I had a can of gold spray paint I inherited and thought I'd never use but also couldn't stand to just throw out. (To the other members of the "I can't throw it away because I might use it one day: this is a perfect example to our husbands of why our argument is valid.)

Coral/pink + gold = good.


The best way I could accomplish the combination of spray paint and regular paint is that I tackled the spray paint areas first and then applied the regular paint in the other areas. I also used 18 Qtips and several un-ladylike words attacking the areas where the paints would intersect.


It's good, yea? She won't work in my living room anymore but she'll work perfect in my bright colored eclectic dining room/office combo once it's finished. It's the one room where I let my love for bright colors overtake. ;)

 Really what do you think...is gold a yay or nay for you?

Monday, August 5, 2013

All You Need is Sunshine.

Is it really August already?! Ay. Yi. Yi. Kids here all went back to school today...yes, school time. Where has summer gone? No joke. I feel like I've completely missed it. I haven't even gotten a tan.

Which quickly brings me to what I did all day yesterday....

Sometimes the day just calls for a bikini and tanning oil.
To be a little more accurate, I spent my entire day at my Mom's at the pool in the sun with my Zeke. This particular picture just happened to be while he was "napping" (I use that term loosely since Mom said napping meant he threw pillows in the air and talked.)

The sun was beating down, the pool was cool, the kid was happy, the Vitamin D was coursing through my veins. It was so refreshing.

I mean...I honestly didn't realize that I haven't really had one entire day of just fun and sun all summer. It's been so full of work and the other stuff life throws at you that somehow it just never happened. In fact, I couldn't remember the last time I just spent a day doing...nothing or a day just having fun with Zeke minus distractions. You need those days, ya know? The funny thing was that I didn't even realize that I wasn't taking hardly any time for myself or for Zeke & I just to have fun together. It didn't even dawn on me until I was driving home, windows down, hair all crazy flipping in wind, & singing that I was more relaxed than I had been in a long time.

I've got about a month of summer and a couple months of fall left - here's to having more fun with Zeke, making more memorable memories, & giving myself a break more often.

And here's to Shark week:



Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hello, new fire pit.

Here in Tennessee, we like our fires. And dislike shoes. (Ok, somewhat kidding about the shoe thing. I don't know how most Tennesseans feel about the absence of footwear but I could be barefoot almost all the time.)

We built a "fire pit" a couple of years ago. I use the word "built" and  "fire pit" loosely because really it just consisted of plopping down 9 or 10 cinder blocks in a circle. It was supposed to be a temporary one to mark where we were going to put a better one  and it ended up sitting there for two years. This year it had pretty much morphed into a overgrown-grass-in-the-cinderblock-holes, broken cinderblock, pile of old wet logs and weeds catastrophe. Shameful, people, shameful. I didn't think to take a before picture but I coincidentally came across this collage from on of the first "work outside spring days" we had:

 You can see my favorite tree that blooms right during that most glorious spring awakening and in the upper corner the fire pit of shame.

A couple weekends ago, we had a 1.5 day all-out exterior revival of the house and I'm sure our neighbors are thankful that creating a new fire pit fell into the mix. (We also weeded, replaced dead plants, re-mulched, power washed, & cleaned up in general. I never realized how much I had let the outside of the house go. Oops.) Yesterday, I smeared mud from the sandbox all over a chunk of the side of the house. *insert sigh here*

Back to the point - The new fire pit looks SOOOO much better. It only took us about 2 hours to complete and only cost us $6.98 to build.

We started by removing the old blocks & shoveling out all the old debris and rotted logs from past evening fires. Since hardly any part of our yard is flat, Noah had to dig out the area on one side to create a more level area. (I think that was probably the most time intensive & laborious part.)  We got 39 stones -  12 blocks on each row with alternated  positioning and then used the three extra to create an area to prop the wood up so we could create better air flow to keep the fires going well. The stones were given to use so the only thing I had to purchase was 2 bags of sand for the bottom. Yippee!!!


There it is. I'm regretting not having that before picture now because it would make this all the more spectacular. I do feel like it could use some sprucing up around the edges but I'm not sure. Any ideas? I was thinking a pretty mulched ring but it's impractical. It's in the middle of an area in our yard so grass clipping would end up all over it and it would probably become a fire hazard. I might just have to let the grass grow back and fill in the bare spots.

Since the summer has been a lot cooler, especially in the evenings, we've already given it two runs and it works great! I like the glow that emits from the spacings in the stones. I am looking forward to some cool evenings & nice fires this fall.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Loss.

I know I said in my last post (a whole two months ago) that I'd be posting again...spring had gotten the best of me and I was a bit overworked & overtasked and overwhelmed so I took a little break from crafting and blogging and just did what I needed while trying to just relax and enjoy the nice weather. .... I had also recently found out that I was pregnant and I was experiencing that first trimester "How can I be this tired and unmotivated?!" phase which I'm sure was contributing to the over worked and over tired feeling.

I wish I could continue this post with some pretty belly bump picture and lots of exclamation marks. It would be a lot easier than having to say that our sweet blessing went to heaven before we ever were to meet. It wasn't meant to be in this lifetime on this Earth.

 Fortunately, I was not past my first trimester yet though I did end up in the ER and had an emergency D&C. Frankly, it's been hard. Really hard. It's been about a month since it happened and a lot of the emotional pain surrounding it has dimmed but it's still there and I finally decided to share it here.I mean...this is a life blog and that's a big life deal. Part of me goes with the whole "Don't air your dirty laundry" deal cause people don't want to hear bad stuff. Part of me says that if I can't be "real" to an extent then what's the purpose of sharing any life on this blog? So I choose to share (not everything mind you) but some personal things like dealing with anxiety issues and my body image/weight loss. And this.

Of course, we could still definitely use prayers if you wanted to throw some our way.

I really do anticipate that I will be back to this little space soon. I've had a few projects pop into my head & I'm looking forward to getting back into some semblance of a routine again and for my little lefty brain to get some exercise in.

Might I leave you with a pretty waterfall picture from a hike we took recently (when I saw we - Zeke went, too! First hiking trip and he was awesome!):



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Latelys.

I'm still kind of in blog neglect. Writer's slump. Creative slump. Whatever it is - I've just been doing lots of other stuff lately and haven't really had anything meaningful or cute or crafty to post but...

  • I celebrated my 26th birthday Sunday.

  • My sweetest baby boy turned 3 on Monday. I swear I never really understood the phrase "bittersweet" until he started growing up. I mean, that squishy little newborn with his magical baby smell and complete dependence is all of a sudden a walking, talking, strong willed, energy filled little boy with his own personality. THREE?! How?! When?! Has it honestly been three years?! I am a proud Momma though - I have no doubt that he will bring some awesomeness to the world someday somehow.
  • There will be another fun update to put here later ;)
 Other than that, I've been patiently waiting for warm weather to arrive....permanently... and it looks like it's here to stay. This back & forth spring to winter thing had overstayed it's welcome. So I'm off to enjoy it...

Monday, April 29, 2013

Cara Box {April}

I participated in the Cara Box exchange again this month. (You can read more about the Cara Box Exchange here. It's fun, you should try it!)

I sent a box to Ashely @ I'm Always Ashley. Ashely is a beautiful gal with a heart for Jesus & I enjoyed learning a little about her. You can see it here!

I got my box from Michele who e-mail signature states "Sent from the Millenium Falcon" so I imagine we would make great friends. She blogs over at Heart Made. I loved my box (represented by this poor quality cell phone picture. Sometimes cell pictures look great - sometimes they don't.)

I got some wonderful natural beauty products & soaps, reusable food storage like a printed Ziploc bag, handy little tool that turns bags into reusable snack containers, a reusable tote with a really cute seahorse print. She also got some snacks (already ate them all - very good!) She was thoughtful enough to throw Zeke some organic lollipops, plum organic mashable, & a car plate in the box which I thought was ever so awesome!
Thanks Michele - you rock!


Go check out the Cara Box exchange & participate in next month's swap!




Cara Box

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Spring Itch.

If you haven't noticed the lack of craftiness, refinishing, & thrifting that has been lacking from me lately, then you probably haven't been reading this blog at all. Frankly, winter sucks. I'm one of those seasonally affected people and my creativity & drive to create in the winter pretty much hums down to nothing. BUT my 10 day weather forecast shows warmer temperatures and more sunshine in our future and I'm starting to feel that all familiar tingle of creativity and drive. The itch to be productive and to give life to ideas and other people's junk.

YAY SPRING-TIME!

In other words, you should see more creative stuff in the works soon if that's what your here for. If not, you'll probably see whatever else it is you are here for, too. 


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Cara Box Reveal {march}

Last month, I participated in the "Cara Box" swap over at Wifessionals. (You can check out details there) It general you send a fun little gift box to a gal and a different gal will send you a box. It follows a different "theme" each month. "Cara" means beloved friend so the whole concept is to meet some new friends & show them some love.

Our theme was to fill the box with the first letter of the person's name. We each got a person to send & receive with a "J" name. This month I got to send a box to the lovely Jennifer at Bubbly & Buttercream. You can check out what I sent her here because I'm a goof who forgot to take pictures of what I sent her. :)

Joy over at The Sowell Life sent me some really awesome stuff! Joy is a super sweet gal and she picked out some great stuff!

A new journal, some jewelry (i.e. a new bracelet in my favorite color!), some Starburst jellybeans which are proving really handy for potty training Zeke (& also hiding so he can't find them) , a fun jewelry holder, a lovely new nail polish color, & the 'Just Go With It' movie. Thanks Joy...I love my surprises!! :D



It was nice to learn a little bit about both of you gals & I love the Carabox you sent me Joy! I'll definitely join in again...it was fun to have a little creative shopping for someone else. (I love giving presents!)

If you wanna join in the Carabox, go visit Wifessionals to sign up &  learn more.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bookwormish. (Literary Junkies #5)

1. What are you currently reading? Tell us about it.
City of Bones -The Mortal Instruments. I haven't ready a YA Fantasy in awhile. I honestly expected it to "grab" me more than it does. I think that the age of the characters really bugs me. I mean, the girl is 15. Come on, dude. I guess that's the point of YA and all. It's not a bad book by any means but I find that I can "put it down" which doesn't happen in books I love.

2. Recommend a book that has changed your perspective on life.
Ann Voskamp - 1000 Gifts. Amazing book.

3. What book do you recommend the most to people?
I recommend the Outlander series & the Game of Thrones series a lot.
4. What are the top 3 books on your “to-read” list?
(I'll make this my top 3 looking forward to coming out books.)
  • The next Outlander book this Fall. Most excited about this.
  • Shatter Me #3 (no idea when this is coming out)
  • Divergent book #3 (This Fall, too I think)
5. What do you “do” while reading? (i.e. listen to music, eat) Any weird reading habits?
I read wherever I can when I'm really into a book. Waiting in line, in parking lots on my lunch break, or while cooking dinner. I prefer to either read while taking a nice, long, hot bath or while snuggled on the couch (after Zeke has went to bed of course.)

Linking up with my fellow book nerds at Pink Heels, Pink Truck & By The Porchlight

Pink Heels Pink Truck