Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Healing Process Must Begin

Well, as I'm sure many of you know, there was a historic outbreak of storms that hit the southern states yesterday. My hometown of Pleasant Grove, AL was one of the hardest hit. I lived there for 12 years, started elementary school there and graduated high school there, my mom still lives there and it is devastated. I know every inch of that town, I learned to drive there after all, but when I was looking at the images around the internet and news media, I didn't recognize one bit. It is seriously heart breaking. 

I've never been through anything like this before, not really. 
I was 7 when an F-5 tornado ripped through Oak Grove, AL, a neighboring town to Pleasant Grove, but I was 7, I didn't understand nor do I really remember anything other than little bits and pieces of my small frame of mind. 
I was 10 when 9/11 happened, but I was 10, I didn't really understand. I was learning history as it was being made before my innocent eyes. 
I was 16 when Katrina hit New Orleans, but I had never been there before. I felt for them and prayed for them, but I didn't understand, not really. 

I am 19 now and I watched UStream live as a tornado formed in Tuscaloosa, ripped that town apart and headed for Birmingham...MY city. I've been through tornadoes before, and I didn't think this one would be any different. It would miss everyone I care about and hit somewhere that I would want to help but wouldn't, because I wouldn't understand. That all changed when I saw that tornado in the background of Birmingham's skyline. The worry building in my stomach like a steam pot about to whistle as I thought of my friends and sisters who were in dorms downtown. Then I felt the relief as it headed away from downtown. It's all over I thought...I was wrong. They mention Pleasant Grove on the weather saying take shelter if you are there, but they've said that before so I texted my mom who still lives there to make sure she heard the warning and went about studying for my finals that would be the next day. My mom texts me about 20 minutes later saying she is okay and I think "yep, just a regular April in Alabama" but then I get on Facebook and see the status updates from people I graduated high school with saying "my house is gone...please pray" and "our town is destroyed" and I couldn't believe it. It had to be an exaggeration, right? No way their house could be actually GONE, right? wrong. They uploaded pictures today standing in their front yard. This is all that is left:

I'm 19 now, married, trying to figure out my life, and learning to trust God every step of the way. I've moved on to a new stage in my life and into a new house with my husband. But this takes me back. Right back to that place I grew up in, where I learned what school spirit was, and everyone knew everything about everybody. 
I'm 19 now, and I understand.
I'm going to go volunteer and try to help clean up. Quite honestly, I'm wondering how exactly you start cleaning this up:

But I'll go and take it all in and try to help whoever I can. And I'll pray for those in the rest of my state who need help and comfort. I've been praying that rescuers hands would be guided to survivors and for peace for those who have lost loved ones and homes.

This is a devastating time, but we will pick ourselves up and move on. We will start the healing process. For me, writing this has started my healing process and when I put my hands to work that will be my next step and I will see what is next after that. I am so thankful that the tornado missed my family and that my high school friends only lost homes and not loved ones. Please pray today for those affected and those working these areas. With the death toll in Alabama right at 200, those search and rescue officials need prayer just as much as those whose lives have been torn apart by this storm.

Also know that there is a way to look at the bright side of this devastation. Those people who did survive. Those who were saved by the technological advancements of the warning system. And just in the fact that the night is darkest before dawn. The Word says in John 16:33, "In this world you will have many trials and sorrows, but take heart because I have overcome the world." So take heart Alabama, we will bounce back from this.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Alpha Xi Car Dangly Thing!

Who out there has something dangling from your rear-view mirror in your car? Well, in my hometown, it is the cool thing to have your graduation tassel hanging from your rear-view mirror and me attempting to be cool has had it up there since I got it a little over two years ago.

As I've gone through my college career, gotten married, joined a sorority, and gotten even more involved in church, my life has gone way beyond my high school graduation. And I decided it was about time for my car dangly thing to show that!

So I set out upon my quest! My mission: make an Alpha Xi Delta car dangly thing for as little cost as possible! So I went where anyone would go on this kind of mission: Hobby Lobby! I decided while standing in the scrapbook paper aisle that I would layer the paper with dark blue as the border color and a lighter blue with some sort of pattern as my main letter color (because our colors are light blue, dark blue, and gold)! Here's what I got:

When I got home I planned out what I wanted it to look like exactly (while watching a fantastic House episode!) I played with some different stuff, I could cut out each letter and attach them all with ribbon, I could cut all the letters as one piece of paper, or I could do the letters horizontally. I went with the cut the whole thing as one piece! Here was my planning paper (I know it's basically picasso) ;)

Then I just free-handed the letters with a pencil and cut them out with scissors (I would recommend using a stencil from the internet instead of free handing, I went through quite a few attempts before I got something I could live with)'s what the background part looks like: (remember to cut these bigger than you will want the actual letters to be)

Then I cut out the patterned paper to fit the background...I don't have an exacto knife yet and I couldn't find our box cutters so I had to cut them out with scissors which is why they look a bit weird in the middle parts. Of course as soon as I was finished I found the box cutter...doesn't it always happen like that!

Once I had them laid out the way I wanted, I put a dab of glue to hold them in place and I modpodged the whole thing!

I got the glossy kind but if I had to do it over again I would get the matte finish stuff. I've never used mod podge before so I don't technically know what the matte looks like, but I think the glossy makes this look a bit cheap...which it I guess it isn't that bad :)

Then I got some yellow ribbon...well it really isn't ribbon, it's more cord I guess...and I hot glued that to the back of my Alpha! (remember to measure before you go to gluing, because you need to have enough length to get the cord around your mirror) Then I went outside to see how it looked.

 It was a bit long for my I tied a little knot in the top to decrease the length without having it permanently fixed to my rear view mirror:

Then it was too short....Dang it!

So I re-did my knot a little looser and got this:

And I think it's juuuust right :)

So what do you guys have hanging from your rear-view mirrors these days? Have you had that something up there forever? Or do you like to change things out from time to time?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bear Cookies

A little while before I started blogging, Blake was taking a nap and I was bright-eyed-and-busy-tailed! There was no way I was going to catch any sleep, so I decided to do something sweet (literally) for my hubby pants :)

One of my amaXIng sisters got me 101 cookie cutter for my wedding present and I had yet to try them out 4 months or so into the marriage (a shame I know), so I figured it was time to be all wifely and bake some cookies for my hubs!

Also, the week before, I found out that the whole time we had been married I had been making us chocolate chip cookies while Blake liked sugar cookies better! How terrible! This was all about to change though....! I turned on my oven, got out my cookie dough, rolled it out, and started cookie-cutting! (which was bunches of fun until I tried to get them to the cookie sheet without them falling apart!)
Here's what it looked like before they went in the oven:

And here's what they looked like out of the oven!

The bear is a little pudgy, but that's okay! The cutest things usually are! :)
And I don't know if you noticed the John Hancock at the bottom of the plate:

But, yep! My husband painted that plate when we went to Painted By U for my 18th birthday (back when we were merely girlfriend and boyfriend...ah...nostalgia)

Anywho, I was so proud of my accomplishment, I went right into the bedroom, woke Blake up, and said "look what I made for you!" To which he mumbled some incoherent, sleepy words and I realized I was crazy to try to talk to him while he is in sleepy mode! Later on he was really happy that I made them and was super cute (I should have known to wait a bit...lesson learned...) :)

See! Here we are super happy and making weird faces (semi-weird...I actually don't remember if we meant to look weird or if it was just because I tried to take this picture like 10 times...)

Either way, he was happy, his tummy was full, and I felt like a good-wifey-bearness! :)

So I have a little challenge for you! Try to do something like this for someone you love (whether it be a significant other, parent, best-friend, whoever) and come back here, comment, and tell us what you did! It's really amazing how great it feels to do something benevolent for someone you care about! Or even someone you don't care about!!! Ready, Set, GO! :)


I am certainly not the first in the blogging world to talk about Pinterest! It seems to have hit the blog world by storm here lately!! I found out about it through Sherry at Young House Love and then a bunch of the other blogs I follow started talking about it.

Pinterest is a website that collects images that you want and shows you (and whoever else finds your images) where you found it. I requested an invite and about 3 or 4 days later I got my link to start pinning! I installed a "Pin It" button at the top of my Google Chrome browser and now whenever I find something awesome, I just click that button, choose the image I want, type a brief description, and voila! No more saving to My Pictures and hoping I remember where I found it! No more having a paragraph for a photo description so I can remember how much something costs or what store it is from!

I started using it for the usual decorating stuff (like cute wreaths, martha stewart tutorials, room inspiration, etc.), but then I started using it to collect ideas for Fall recruitment! Now I have where I am getting things from and how much they cost and I can just send a link to my page to my advisors to get things approved instead of having to send them an email! Aye-maXIng!!!!

You should definitely get one, start pinning, and then follow me!! Here's my link: Click Me! Go check it out! You are sure to be amazed! Or have you already been amazed since I am apparently super late jumping on this bandwagon?
Either way Happy Pinning! :)

Painting The Night Away

In our master bathroom our color scheme is supposed to be blue and brown, but you wouldn't know that by just looking at it other than the random towels in the baskets in the bathroom. So! I decided to bring in some blue and brown action with some art on the walls! Well, I couldn't find what I wanted so I was going to take the fabric I used in this post and wrap it around some canvases to make some cool, easy art. Unfortunately after looking at the colors intently and putting the fabric up on the wall, Blake and I decided it just wasn't quite right. So, we set out to find something different! We had already bought the canvases and didn't want to return them so we settled on painting a picture! After some debate about what to paint (including a bird, stripes, a tree, and a couple of other things) we decided to paint a tree. And off to google I went, where I found this image:

I picked up some acrylic paint from Hobby Lobby in Light Blue, Dark Brown, and Khaki and these 11x14 canvases from WalMart (husband not included) ;)  

We decided we would do mirror colored images after Blake played around on photoshop a bit... we could determine what we wanted to do without wasting a canvas! 
So Blake would do a light blue tree on a dark brown background and I would do a dark brown tree on a light blue background.
Here's how Blake's got started:

......aaaaand that's as far as he's gotten so far. It was pretty late when we started this project so Blake took a nap and said he would finish his the next day...that was 2 months ago lol

Here's how mine started out:

Notice the tree picture to the right of the canvas...I am like the least artistic person ever so I definitely couldn't do it without something to look at. I wanted to use that as a stencil, but I don't have an exacto knife yet so I would have had to cut each leaf and bird out by hand with I just used the picture as a reference!

I went in stages with my painting and I highly recommend that! Also, I would just used the smallest brush you have in your pack to do the whole thing. I think mine would have turned out better had I not tried to use the medium brush on the branches...anywho here is the picture play by play:

I started with the trunk and main branches that everything else branched off of. Unfortunately I didn't do my branches just right so I had to adjust a bit, but it kept things interesting :D
(def wish I had used the small brush on this part)

Then I added the "vines" which branched off from the main branches but still had things coming off of them: 

Next I added all the extra leaves and swirls: 

Then I added the birds in the khaki color! I thought it would give it some dimension and I like how you have to look a little more closely to see the birds :)

I really like this a lot! And it's not too bad for my first attempt at DIY art, right? Of course I would love to touch it up and somehow take an eraser to some of the massive branches, but I think the little imperfections give it character! Once Blake finishes his, we'll hang these up and I'll show you what it looks like, but for now they are chilling in the living room floor...poor things!

Have you guys tried any DIY art? Did you use a stencil or go free hand? How did it turn out?

Guess Who Came To See Us!!!

The Easter Bunny!
So Tuesday, Blake is out pressure-washing the driveway after I dumped out a bunch of dirt out of our baby trees' buckets attempting to get all the water out from the monsoon that had come the night before (I didn't want them to drown!) when I see some movement in the grass beside our bushes! And I'm like is that! And I see his little tail hippity hoppity-ing over to our neighbor's house! So, naturally I go get the camera to take pictures :) I was afraid he would get scared and run away so I stayed really far away and zoomed in on the camera which according to my husband made all the pictures not so great for the ole blog....darn. But at least I got two! Focusing on the brighter things, right? And look at how cute he is all nestled in the grass!
(He thought we couldn't see him....well, that's what I think...technically I don't speak rabbit so I really have no idea, but judging by the fact that he didn't high-tail it out of there I'm thinking he thought he was safe) :) Oh I'm also assuming he's a he....maybe this is the easter bunny's wife...who knows!
Okay, back to the real world....not much else happened...we gave him some lettuce and left him alone so he wouldn't run out in the road or something. But it totally made my day! How perfect for Easter!!!
So, have any of you seen any easter bunnies around your place? Or have you just made your own cute decorative bunnies inside?

Songs of The Week!

Here are the songs for this week!!

  1. Again by Flyleaf here!
  2. Love Riot by Worth Dying For which you can listen to here!
  3. Say Goodbye by Saosin which you can hear here!
And for the sake of Easter, here is the real song of the week:
I just loooove that song, takes me back to my children's church days aaaaand it is now stuck in my head.....oh well! Happy Easter! :)

Songs of Last Week!

Here are the songs of the week from last week! :)
  1. Infiltrate by Worth Dying For which you can hear here!
  2. A Crippling Machine by A Rotterdam November which you can hear here!
  3. Who We Are by RED which you can hear here!
Hope you enjoy and they brighten your day! :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


So let me begin by saying I am super sorry for not posting in the past like million years! Wow school has been crazy hectic and when I said I was back in my previous post, the stress was just beginning. I still have finals, quizzes, papers, and exams left in this semester that is a mere 2 weeks from being complete (where has the time gone??), but I have decided to not skip out on the things I love (i.e. blogging) for the stuff I could do without (i.e. television)! So I am officially back :)
So here's what I have for you today: Due to the fact that my life has been so hectic here lately I really haven't had time to actually do anything blog worthy, but the rest of the blogosphere has! So I will show you some things that I totally heart and long to do one day when my world is not full of bologna sandwich like building a future by killing my present (i.e. school). All self-pity aside, school isn't that bad when you don't procrastinate (which I am an expert at leading to my present busy-ness). Anyways, Here we go!

I love this picture! I am thinking about getting a bunch of my sisters together and having them make this sign, a heart, and our Alpha Xi sign! That way it could be peace, love, and Alpha Xi Delta (which is one of my favorite quotes in sorority world) :) And then I would want to have it printed super big so that it could hang in my house somewhere and remind me that together we can achieve peace, love, and alpha xi delta!! :)

This is shaping up to be the color scheme of Blake and my new bedroom (once we sell our house and are no longer worried with what potential home buyers will like). I am going back and forth between the brown because it seems a little so last year but I will probably go back and forth for like months and finally decide to go with this scheme after all (I just know myself) ;)

I'm also considering this color scheme! I haven't run this one by the hubs yet, so I feel like it will probably not pass that test, but I love how the dark color draws you in while the lime says "let's have fun!" If we don't do this in the bedroom I would be aye-okay with doing this in another room like the dining room or the guest bedroom :)

I love love love this super dark wood! And super exciting! So does Blake!! Yippee! I love the contrast between the dark wood and the white just looks so modern! And I am such a sucker for anything modern :) Of course I also love color, so I highly doubt this color scheme would work for me, but throw some gray on the walls and lime green pillows on that white couch and we might have a game plan! But who knows! Tons of time to decide :)

Speaking of my love for modern, how amazing is this faucet?? The super cool thing about it is the color under the water changes based on the temperature of the water! If it is red it is hot, blue it is cold, and fuchsia it is juuuust right ;) I am in awe and in love...I want one!!

These I would love for the kitchen! They are just so...kitcheny! 

This is one of those mega-love-but-would-cost-way-to-much-to-actually-have things...But a girl can dream right? I mean what's not to love about this patio? Actually to call it a patio is an about this oasis? Yeah, that sounds about right...with all the greenery and the pop of grass from under the wood and the fountain that encases the whole place, I think oasis would describe it just right :)

Speaking of the outdoors, how cute is this diy yard flag from Peace, Love, and 2 Sisters?? It is made of burlap, an old yard flag sticky thing (that's a technical term), and some outdoor acrylic paint. How adorable! Totally want to do this like tomorrow!

Also I love this blue for a wreath! We're trying to bring some color onto our front porch and I think this would do just the trick!

And last but certainly not least, my laundry room inspiration from Centsational Girl! I love the brightness and happiness of this room. I am terrible about not doing my laundry, so maybe having a cheerful place that is so super cute would help me with my laundry procrastination! Or maybe I'll just walk by and be like "aww so cute...I'll do the laundry later..." Either way, I love it!!!!

So those are some of the things in my inspiration folder! Hopefully I can stop long enough to actually make some of them a reality in my home!
What do you guys think? Any suggestions for bedroom color schemes? Or how about ways to make me do my laundry?? Hope you are having a fantastic day! :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Curtains! Yippee!!

Sorry it's taken me so long to write loves! But I'm back! Are you ready for some curtain magic? (I am totally addicted to curtains now...don't tell the hubby pants) ;) I mentioned in this post that Blake and I put up some curtains in our office and how super pumped we are at how much more put together it looks in there! So here's how we went from this:

To This!
(Again, disregard the white balance terribleness)
It was a pretty straight forward process...
I wanted to hang the curtains as high and wide as possible to make the ceilings look super high and awesome (a trick from my friends at Young House Love) without making it look weird, so we decided to go half way up (between the top of the window and the ceiling), but we could only go as wide as the right side would allow (notice the close proximity between the right side of the window and the right wall). So I measured away and then Blake did the drilling! We decided to go with this curtain rod: 
We went with silver because I just love dark blue and silver next to each other. Also, we didn't feel that white would fit in well with the rest of our office decor (or at least it wouldn't if we ever get some). We got this baby at Wally World with a gift card (aka free to us! yay!!) So Blake went to hanging:
We thought that by going straight up from the sides of the window we would stay with a stud all the way. Too bad that wasn't the case so Blake had to get the little sheetrock anchors out and go hammering away. But no worries! After like 15 minutes, the curtain rod was hung by the window with care in hopes that our curtains would look fantastic there (oh yeah...Christmas reference!)
Unfortunately, even though we hung the curtains 13 inches higher than the window, the curtains were still too long (we almost made it though!). See what I mean?
So I grabbed the iron-on hem tape that came with the curtains (Ikea just thinks of everything don't they!) which looked a lot like cheese cloth to me...but I went to ironing (and I ended up ironing the curtains fully which took forever but was totally worth it) By the way, if you have the same iron as me, it turns itself off after a certain amount of time sitting upright. I found that out after going over the iron on tape like fifty times and the curtain being barely warm and Blake saying, that blinking light means it has turned itself off. Me: Ohhhhh...well that's lame...**turns iron completely horizontal**.....there we go! :)
And then we had our finished product!
Not to shabby if I don't say so myself! Especially for a girl who can't sew hardly at all (I sewed a strap back onto a dress I have, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to sew it again...sigh). And! The instructions for the hem tape said it was still washable and if if happened to come off in the wash, I can just iron it back on! How cool! I am thoroughly impressed! :)
Have you guys worked with iron-on hem tape before? Had any complaints? Or are you as thrilled as I am right about now?