Friday, September 30, 2011

My Sweet Friend Sadie

Let me introduce you to my friend Sadie
She lives in Arkansas (Go Hogs!)
 Shares my love for chocolate covered strawberries!
 Is a great help in the kitchen
 Celebrates her birthday with me! (She is one day older)

 Is always up for a little cake smashing!

 Has two of the most wonderful parents!
 Loves a good bookstore

 Is not so great at the jumping pictures!
She is my "Johnathan" and a friend for life!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Just a few more days left of September and I am getting so excited for many new beginnings come October. This is going to be a big month for me, I'm sure of it.

#1 I start volunteering at St.Mary's High School in Annapolis. Can't wait to see how this opportunity begins to open doors

#2 Our exciting and much anticipated move to base housing, there should be some pretty comical photos from this endeavor to share with you

#3 The thing I am most excited about is the beginning of the 31 DAY CHALLENGE!

I am going to try my best to cook 31 different meals from Rachael Ray herself and learn as much as I can from her quick and easy cooking style. But with the move and all there may be a few nights where I post things about her show etc rather than trying my hand at a recipe.

I'd love for your to join in for one or all of the recipes. Here's the button below for you to grab if and when you choose to cook along with me. (paste the link in an HTML/JAVA gadget on your sidebar or simply, paste the image in one of your posts but remember to link it back to this blog)

<a border="0" href="" target="_blank"><img src=""/></a>

I'm going to try a few different ways of sharing my experience, pictures/videos/text and would love your feedback on what is easiest to follow.

So jump on board with me, it should be fun!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Little Things: Arkansas Style

I know this is a day late, but I loved this link up and got lots of little things to be thankful for.

This week, I am in Arkansas with my sweetest friend Sadie and have been having the best time! I have forgotten about how these little things like

LAUGHING until your belly hurts...

GIRLFRIENDS to chat with until the wee hours of the morning about nothing in particular

BOOKSTORES finding $3 books and the That Thing You Do Soundtrack

and COOKING chili, pecan pie, and sweet tea together on our lazy movie day

can bring such joy!

Join the link up here, it's fun!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

in memory: Russell Williams Farley

I have been waiting to write this post for a while now,  trying to leave time for the emotions to fade and the dust to settle a bit. But the reality is that when tragedy happens emotions run deep and the dust cloud of unanswered questions sometimes never settles.

On Thursday, September 9 Russell Farley (Chris' Uncle) died suddenly at just 42 years old.
Until now, I have never been to a funeral or dealt with shocking tragedy like this before. Sharing this experience with Chris and my new family was a wonderfully difficult thing to walk through together. When people go through tragedy like this it strengthens relationships and connects people at the heart level.

Russell was the youngest of 5 siblings (2 brothers and 2 sisters) and I watched in amazement as the family bonded together to honor Russ as best they could in the midst of their tears and heartache. Church members, community friends, and even the cable man showed up to share tears and stories about Russell and what he meant to them.
You see, Uncle Russ was one of those people who understood what it means to be a servant of the Lord. He spent hours upon hours working for others and gave all that he had even when life's aches and pains overwhelmed him. He connected and cared for the lost sheep and did what little he could to share Christ's love, even when he didn't always feel it himself.
I'll will never forget the way he cared for children. The kids would jump and scream with excitement when "Uncle Bubba" walked in the room at the many family gatherings. He gladly spent more time with the "little kids" than the "big kids". Big 'ol Uncle Bubba knew how to care so tenderly and modeled the life of Jesus when no one was looking.

If Chris and I ever have children, I know that Uncle Russ would have loved and cared for them just as he did with the others.
We have done what we can to honor his memory and find closure from the viewing to the funeral service, but the sting still lingers. And finding comfort in the promises of Scripture are not always easy. But I do know this, that one day I will get to give Uncle Russ a great big hug again, and will thank him for the example of service he has set for our family. And that through the sadness of his death, we have found joy in knowing that he is pain free in the arms of the Father.
Psalm 4:8 "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."

Monday, September 19, 2011

a little creativity goes a long way

I'm getting so excited to have a new home to decorate and fill with little touches. As I was parousing some of my favorite decorator blogs I found some great wreath ideas and couldn't wait any longer.

So I whipped out my glue gun and went to town!

This first one is inspired by this Halloween Wreath from Tatertots & Jello.

You'll need
A wreath form
Ribbon: (One thick to cover the form and 4-5 other types 5-7yds each)
Glue Gun

 Start by wrapping the thicker ribbon around the wreath form and secure with a dab of glue

Next cut the other ribbon into 4.5inch strips (go ahead and plan on using the whole roll)
 Fold each strip over and secure with a staple or dab of glue. (It helps to do this before adding to the wreath so you have all your ribbon loops ready to go)

 Go to town adding the loops to the wreath with a glue gun. Start with just one layer, then continue alternating the ribbon patterns until it is full. You can also try switching up the direction of each loop for a fuller look)

 TA DA!!! This one is a 9 inch, I plan on making this big patriotic one for our new front door on base!

This next one was inspired by the book release party The Nester threw for her sister. I can't wait to hang it in the new office to inspire my own creative writing. You can find a great tutorial here.

You Need:
A wreath form
Text heavy book pages
Glue Gun

Begin by tearing the pages of a book. Text heavy pages that are light weight work best 
 Simple roll or fold each piece any way you like, keeping the binding side of the page near the top, and secure it to the wreath.
I have to admit, I got a little frustrated for a while and wasn't sure if it was going to ever take shape, but if you work in layers, filling in gaps all the way around, it fills up rather quickly.

Done anything crafty lately?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Featured on The Session

I am honored to be featured on The Session blog this morning.

My dear friend Amber works with The Session to engage 20's and 30's to make a difference in the community.They inspire some really great conversations and I"m thrilled to be a part of it. Check it out here!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Little Things: A Link Up

Really having fun with these link up parties!

Today I'm joining Aisle to Aloha's "Little Things Fridays" challenging us to recognize the little things in life that bring about smiles and grateful hearts. So here I go, opening a bottle of sunshine and passing it along to you! Things like...

Trips to the craft store inspiring creativity in me that has been hiding for so long...

 yummy flavored coffee creamer making stale coffee taste delicious, on a crisp fall morning...

Hot pink hot glue guns ( more on my new DIY projects to come)...

Precious resting puppy...

The view outside my window that I will cherish for just a short while longer. We got an offer to move to base housing and are thrilled about it! While I'm not looking forward to packing up again, I can't wait for a bigger house with more walls to decorate and space to host parties!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

Linking up today for What I Wore Wednesday!

At UMW we used to called Wednesday "Wack'd Out Wednesday", because between busy schedules , preparing for the weekend plans, and way too much homework everyone seemed to be a bit, well "WACK". So instead of letting our "WACK'D" attitude ruin our day we would simply blame it on the Wednesday.

Today I am resisting (or embarrassing depending on how you look at it) the WACK and using the power of great clothes/jewelry to power me through the day.

 Trying to squeeze every last bit of wear from my summer clothes I've paired a summer beech dress with a comfy sweater for a day of grocery shopping and writing.

dress: (Athleta)
Sweater: (Target)
Necklace: (Target)

P.S. Not sure why these photos are so grainy, sorry bout that

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11

2 towers...

3,000 names...

Two hearts...

Now united...

10 years of mourning...

1 year of adventure...
This day brings about a mix of emotions. Honor and sorrow for the events of September 11, 2001 paralleled with hope and joy of our first anniversary September 11, 2010. Every day I spend with my husband I become more and more aware of the sacrifices that were made 10 short yearrs ago. So glad that this day can now be filled with hope.

"And now these three remaind: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13

Friday, September 9, 2011

From the Outside In

Now I'm no fashionista by any stretch of the imagination. But yesterday I fully understood what Stacy & Clinton preach about on What Not to Wear. The power of a great wardrobe and fresh new look can totally transform your soul!

I took a risk, and chopped all my hair off leaving a cute bob reminiscent of my younger years.  I love how easy it is to take care of and feel totally refreshed!

After the haircut I splurged a little more and used to birthday money for a new pair of black pumps. Feeling great about the way I looked on the outside completely changed my mood and confidence on the inside. I felt elated and so full of energy.

There is no reason to not feel this great everyday if I just took a few extra minutes in the morning to throw on some cute jewelry instead of my classic hoops. Or standing up straight in a pair of heels instead of flip flops. (Even if I'm just working around the house that day)

"I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works my soul knows it very well." Psalm 139:14

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Birth-i-versary Weekend!

This past weekend Chris and I got out of town for a little R & R and the early celebration of my birthday and our one year anniversary. ("Birth-i-versary")

Now, we don't have any kids or a very busy lifestyle so I didn't expect to feel quite as elated and refreshed as I did, but I was pleasantly surprised. Matt Paxson gave some great advice during our pre-marriage counseling that couples should plan on spending 1 night a week, 1 weekend a quarter, and 1 week a year alone together. He is was so right, time away from the "honey do" list was a much needed breath of fresh air.

Here are the highlights...

Took the train to Hoboken, NJ and waiting in line for pastries from Carlos Bakery from the one and only Cake Boss!

The goods!
Got on another train for a short trip to New York City!
Honored the victims at the World Trade Center memorial opening next weekend

Found a great spot for Anniversary cannolis  by the river!
Saw the peaceful...
...and the business of NY (this one is for Katie)
Visited Terhune Orchards for
wine tasting,
flower picking,

and apple picking!

Yup, a good time was had by all!
P.S. What do you think of the new blog design?