Thursday, March 24, 2011

real. life. time.

you know.
i had someone mention not too long ago that they much prefer to read the "real" blogs, and not just the blogs where everyone has something happy to say. not the ones where people talk about how good their lives are.

but.
my life is good.

and i'm not just saying that. it really is good.
i'm seeing more and more how truly blessed my family is.
and i'm not just observing. i'm reacting.

not that i need to provide you with examples, but i think i will. mmmkay? because this is my happy post. and, since you came to visit my blog, you have to read my happy post. because you know what? my happy post is my real life post.

example #1: husband and i are paying down debt. not just paying it down, eliminating it. this frees up money for us to have the ability to bless others as well as put some in savings. one way that we bless others? donate to mycharity:water. now, i know what you're thinking. but, but... you've already told us about that silly water donation site three or four times! and you're right. i have. but you still have access to fresh water, and they still don't. so until the playing field's a little more level, i'm going to keep mentioning it. yes.

example #2: settling into married life has been good for my soul. i am learning to be a wife to my husband, and he is learning to lead the family. we have been blessed in so many ways since our marriage, from example #1, to our living situation, to new friendships and relationships... so we react by sharing our home, our blessings, and expanding our relationships within the church.

example #3: my health! praise god. no, seriously, praise him. because there is no other explanation for the fact that my rheumatoid arthritis has gone into remission. i don't post much about my RA on here, because it's mostly been under control for a while, but let me give you a quick lesson. RA is not arthritis. it is an autoimmune disease, where your own body attacks junctures. this can be joints, or it can be where your intestine connects to your stomach. where you heart connects to the protective tissue around it. anywhere. it's painful, it's exhausting, and it's gone. it may come back in two months, or a year, or five years. but for now, my RA is in remission.

i could go on. and i'm sure i will in future posts. but when i post about my happy life, i'm posting about my real life. i'm happy to have time to craft and time to do homework and time to prepare a good meal for my husband. i'm happy that he makes the bed and that he helps with the dishes and that he makes me tea while i'm busy studying.

i'm in love.
i'm happy.
and i'm definitely not ashamed of that.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

a challenge!

have you noticed the birds chirping outside?
are you thankful that we have more daylight in the evenings?
are you dreading swimsuit season?

well, then, do i have a proposal for you.

fit button

click the picture to check out the fitness blog i participate in. we have a challenge coming up! you can see all the details in the most recent posts, but it's a 30-day challenge. we're basing it on the wii active 30-day challenge. do you have a wii? and wii active? participate with us! it starts on monday the 28th. don't have a wii? or don't have the wii active? that's fine, too. just be active, and tell us in the comments what you did that day. did you take the stairs instead of the elevator? did you walk around the block two extra times? whatever it is, it doesn't take much. the wii active 30-day challenge days are only 15-20 minutes, and there's even "rest" days scheduled in there. so it's not impossible. but it's important.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

princess problems

running out of chapstick
not being able to find my nail file.
getting a scuff on my new shoes.
figuring out which pair of jeans to wear.
wondering if my hydrangea will live.
running out of salsa.
yeah. not exactly living a troubled life right now, huh?
so i'm trying to focus my energy on others that don't have "princess problems". like, people without water. like, donating more to the church. like, giving more instead of throwing more away.

that is all.

Friday, March 18, 2011

i love getting mail!

so, it seems i have a thing for wreaths! but aren't they perfect? they can go on a door, or just as part of a grouping on the wall.

i got a new one! i received it in the mail this week from my darling friend danielle at take heart. please go check out her blog. she's always doing giveaways, and her posts are so entertaining! she also has a shop, where you can find a wreath like mine, and others that might better fit your style. don't see one that works? contact her and she'll work with you for a custom wreath!

talk about service!

the pictures on her shop are much clearer!

i love the look of this one, with the felt flowers on a stick wreath. and i asked for green since i have green in my living room. i can't wait to hang this in the new place once we move!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

are you thirsty?

i'm not. 

because i'm blessed. i live in america, a developed country where all i have to do is turn on the faucet, or bring my glass to the fridge, or flush the toilet or run the shower... and water appears. it's cheap, it's easy to access, and it's necessary for health and hygiene.



not everyone has this luxury. are you aware that a billion people on this planet don't have access to water? that's one person out of every eight. what would you do if you had to walk 3 hours to get your water for the day?



it's sad. but it's also fixable.

you can help.

i am.

check out my donations page and think about whether you'll be able to make even a small donation. make a donation in honor of someone. ask people to donate instead of providing gifts for your birthday. anything. and please, share this page. pass it along to anyone who even might donate. i have a big goal-- $5,000-- because that's the cost for one well. i think, together, we can fill that goal.

remember. even $10 helps.
BUT... i will be hosting a giveaway here for the person who makes the largest donation. aren't things always better when there's a prize involved?

so, we've got three months to meet this goal. will you help?

frame jewelry holder

i've seen a lot of these online, so i can't give credit to just one site.

i took a frame that i bought at the thrift store and touched up the paint on it a little. it just needed a fresh black, even though it came black, to make it look nicer. then i bought some screen from lowe's, cut it larger than the opening of the frame, and stapled it-- using my regular desk stapler, because it's a pretty thin frame.



then use a utility knife to cut the scrap screen outside of the staples.



i wanted something a little different to hang it with, so i got some small black chain from lowe's, and wove some turquoise ribbon through it.



then i used some furniture tacks that i had lying around to attach the ribbon/chain to the frame.



i decided where i wanted my jewelry, and added the small S-hooks (from lowe's) right through the screen.



then i hung my jewelry on it, and...
taaa daaaa!!!



and it's cheap!
frame: thrift store, $3
screen: lowe's, $5 (used a fraction of it though, so lots leftover!)
chain: lowe's, $1.06 for two feet
ribbon: already had at home
tacks: already had at home
s-hooks: lowe's, $0.80 for 10 hooks

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

magic milk

it's not quite as exciting as it sounds. to me, it's always been magic. because my daddy used to make magic milk for me when i had a hard time sleeping. it's "just" warmed milk, vanilla, sugar, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. but it's so much better when daddy makes it.

picnikfile_R30qX0

desperate times call for desperate measures. i had to eventually make it for myself. i'll just call it warmed sweet milk when i make it, because it sure didn't have the magic properties that it did when daddy would make it for me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

book page wreath

i found this great tutorial for how to make a wreath from a book. i won't reinvent the wheel, so you can go here to see it. it's a great step-by-step, with video even!

now, all my fellow bibliophiles out there, don't worry. i used a free trashy novel that i got from the fair last year. it was so bad, they had to hand it out for free. and i didn't need to get past the cover to know just how bad it was.

the only thing i did differently, which made it so much easier, is that i made my paper curls, then stapled the end together. so i got a lot of little paper curls ready and then hot glued them to the wreath.

picnikfile_8Ca-fU

after looking at my photo, i see that i need to fill in some texture on the left side. but i'm still pretty darn happy with how it turned out, and i can fill it in later. oh, and you notice the few pages that are a different color? it's important to make sure you have enough pages in the book you're using. i didn't, so i had to fill in with a different book. but the good news is you can't tell so much about the color difference in person as you can in the photo.

i hope you like it!

Friday, March 11, 2011

eventful week

you may have noticed i've not been as active this week.
or, maybe you didn't.
either way...

i've had a crazy week. and not always crazy in a good way.

1) we signed the lease for the place we'll be moving to in may.
2) we came home to find our apartment under construction and being treated for radon. seriously.
3) the following day, i went home with a migraine.
4) then we were woken up after midnight by our busted hot water heater and an inch of water throughout our home.
5) no water for a day.

that about sums it up. here's some photos of the radon construction:

picnikfile_IJSHJt
new pipe in our living room...

external vent, like a chimney

radon monitor

so sorry i didn't get pictures of the flood. it was 1 am. then i didn't get much sleep after that. and we came home the following morning to a new hot water heater and a fan drying the carpet, but they'd removed the carpet pad-- say it'll be replaced on monday after it's treated.

and as for the pipe in our living room, it's permanent. unfortunately. but on saturday, someone is coming over to build a sort of planter over it. i can't wait to see what it looks like {sarcasm}.

but it's funny how these things end up being blessings. we were going to need to clean our entry carpet (you know how dirt gets tracked in) and now we don't, because the apartment company cleaned it for us. and coming home to that right after we signed the lease for our new place just solidified that we were supposed to move there. as for the hot water heater? there is no hot water heater in our new place-- so no risk of it rupturing in the middle of the night!

it looks like we're in the process of moving, even though there's almost two months until we move-- because our furniture is everywhere, and there's things from the laundry room in the guest room, and things from the coat closet in our bedroom. it's a mess around there, but not really worth cleaning up until the carpet is fixed all the way.

totally unrelated, my heart is breaking for people in japan this morning. keep them in your prayers.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

my color of the year

mid-march isn't too late to do something that affects you all year, is it?
great. let's continue.

i've decided to designate a color for this year. i don't know what that means, exactly, except that it's currently my favorite, and i plan on incorporating it even more into the living room decor once we move.

any guesses yet?

duh.


not green.
green is boring.

chartreuse is fresh grass
chartreuse is a new throw pillow
chartreuse is spring
chartreuse is the beginning
chartreuse is even fun to say

 it's possibly my power color. whatever that means.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

february progress and march goals

if you haven't noticed, i updated my 2011 goals page.

seeing as february was a major fail (hello, 8-day vacation during the shortest month, which also had a lot of goals), i made march manageable. not necessarily easier, as some february goals got transferred to march, but they're not as intimidating. especially since one of my goals is to visit my best friend!

i'll also be working on that year-in-progress quilt, and finishing the frame project that i started in january.

it sounds like it'll be a crafty month around here!

Friday, March 4, 2011

uncomfortable, for all the wrong reasons

our church is awesome. it's not always flowers and fireflies-- rather, you often leave there having been taken down a notch. our pastor is amazing at making you uncomfortable. uncomfortable with your own thoughts, uncomfortable with the state that the world is in, uncomfortable with your actions (or lack thereof). but always in a good way. in ways that make you want to change yourself, your actions, and even the world.

i also attend the woman's bible study on tuesday nights. i get uncomfortable there as well.
but not because i'm challenged.
not because i'm told to change the world.

because it's full of women.

doesn't make a lot of sense, right? i know. but here's where i'm at right now:
i feel like the woman to my left thinks i'm stupid, because she can answer the bible questions and i can't, but i'm older than her. or when i say something, it's the wrong answer.
i feel like the woman to my right thinks i feel like i'm better than her, because she seems to glare at me and my finished assignments while hers sits blank because she doesn't do it before "class".
i feel like my leader thinks i'm this adorable little lost sheep, who has this huge desire to learn the bible and overcome some huge obstacle from my past. but i don't have that desire, and i have no obstacle to overcome. of course, just my saying that shows that i do have an obstacle.

and the women at the other tables? they look at me funny. like my clothes don't fit right, or my hair's not done perfectly, or i don't have enough makeup on, or my bible is too big.

and because i can't get past these things, i can't concentrate on the lessons. even doing the lessons at home-- i'm so scared i'm writing the wrong answers down, that i don't even do the whole thing. because i don't want one of my tablemates noticing what an idiot i am.

the good thing is that my church makes me uncomfortable.
the bad thing is that my bible study makes me uncomfortable.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

open window season

do you know how much i love open windows?
a lot.
a whole lot.

enough to bundle up in sweaters and blankets in order to have the crisp, fresh air throughout my home.

enough to sit outside with a glass of wine, squinting through the freezing breezes.

enough to encourage my husband to bundle up instead of closing the windows.

and it's finally open-window-season.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

attack of the killer pineapple

remember my february goals? well, it seems i forgot i was taking 8 days of vacation during the shortest month of the year. so my goals were a little lofty, and you'll see some go to march.

but, just in time, i tried pineapple. i was able to try it on feb 28, so it counts, even though i'm not blogging about it until today.

here's how it went down: