Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Britt Nicole

Have you guys heard of Britt Nicole? I just recently heard some of her music over on The Wiegands and am loving her work. She's a Christian music artist with a beautiful voice!

Listen. Enjoy.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Meaningful Monday-- Mumford & Sons

Oh, Mumford and Sons. How I love thee.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Garage sale finds

Aren't these flowers gorgeous? I picked them from my mom's garden this morning. So lovely and feminine. 

Today my husband, parents and I went to a massive estate sale. It was beyond huge. Every single room was crowded with things-- vintage items, antique furniture, craft supplies, clothing, garden art, household supplies, collector's items, you name it-- even the house itself was for sale!

Here are some of the wonderful items I scored:

Some beautiful vintage fabric. The lace will be perfect for a t-shirt project I have planned.

A 634-page collection of classic poems-- copyright 1936. Compiled by a New York Times Book Review writer, Hazel Felleman. I can't wait to dive into these poems!

Some more fabric pieces and some old Oregon/Portland maps-- also for another project idea. Stay tuned!

And finally, an entire tin of Book Darts for a quarter! Have you guys ever heard of these? They are only the most genius way to bookmark a page-- these little guys are metal and are extremely thin (much thinner than a penny) so they won't mess up the pages of your beloved book. Which is important if you are trying to preserve the integrity of your novels, like myself :-) Plus, they are in the shape of arrows-- so when you place them on the side of your page, you can point directly to a specific line. How wonderful is that? And did I mention they are made in Oregon?!

If you'd like your own Book Darts, they can be found here.

Do any of you go to garage sales? Have you found anything wonderful? I'd love to know!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Check out what I won!

I just found out I won this HeartSOUL skirt suit from Classy Career Girl. I'm really excited! I've never owned a matching suit before-- only separate skirts and blazers and pants. I'm really looking forward to having such a must-have staple in my closet-- something that's simple to throw on and look professional in.

Also, if you haven't already checked out Classy Career Girl's blog, you should! They have so many tips for those looking to progress in their careers (or start fresh!).

Thursday, June 23, 2011

1st anniversary & writer's insight

I can't believe Kyle and I have been married almost a year already (We were married July 18, 2010)! The time has flown by-- but I've truly treasured every moment with this man of mine. ♥

I've had some inquiries from followers in regards to my "story"-- who I am, what I'm all about-- and I've realized I've never really shared much personal history of mine on this blog. But that's about to change!

So (to start things out), as our one-year anniversary is quickly approaching (less than a month away!), I've planned some personal posts to share with you in regards to my husband and I-- including stories of how we met, our engagement, and our big day!

I hope you are as excited about this as I am! I used to think it was somewhat vain to simply write about my life-- why would my readers care? What makes me so special that people would read about my ordinary life? (Do you, as bloggers, ever feel this way?)

But the more I think about it, I realize writing about personal things and what's close to my heart is... meaningful. Substantial. Important to me. And enough. 

Being a writer doesn't mean only pleasing an audience. It doesn't mean covering only monumental topics. It doesn't mean finding all the answers.

I write because I enjoy it. I enjoy sharing my thoughts and ideas. I enjoy expressing myself through words. I enjoy following my heart and being true to myself. I enjoy the growth that comes with writing-- the discovery, the introspection, the observation.

And in order to enjoy writing, I must write what is personal. What I know. What I care about. Even if it is ordinary, mundane, and no one reads it. (Although I do hope you will read it!) 

So stay tuned! And to leave you with a quote:

"Writing is an exploration. 
You start from nothing and learn as you go."
E. L. Doctorow

Monday, June 20, 2011

Meaningful Monday-- Celebrate!

Life is a gift. It's worth celebrating. 

So sparkle and shine and treat each day like a party! 

Here's to another good week! :-)

A WWII wedding dress story

Here's a romantic story for you:

In 1944, B-29 Pilot Maj. Claude Hesinger and his crew were returning from a bombing raid over Yowata, Japan when their engine caught fire. The men were forced to bail, and drifted safely to land with the use of parachutes. Hesinger then used his parachute as a blanket and pillow through the night, waiting to be rescued. In the morning they were taken in by some friendly Chinese.

Hesinger held on to the parachute, and later in 1947 when he proposed to his girlfriend, Ruth, he offered the parachute as material to make a wedding dress from.

Here are the results (based on a Gone with the Wind dress Ruth had seen in a store window):

Can you imagine making your wedding dress out of something that had saved your husband's life? How incredible is that?

And the fact that Hesinger made the effort to hold on to the parachute. It's almost like he was saying the parachute saved his life, but this woman made his life meaningful and worth living. Like he'd been saved all over again with the love they shared. (Or maybe he simply knew the difficulty of finding material during the war... but that's not nearly as romantic, is it?) 

This dress can be viewed at the Smithsonian, and you can read the whole article here.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Yarn + Wire DIY

I found this idea on Pinterest (if you have an account, you can follow me here! Or if you need an invite, give me your email address.) and thought it was rather cute!

The example:

My version:

It was so simple (although a little time-consuming) and a great way to keep your hands busy while lounging on the couch :-) I originally wanted mine to be bright red, but I didn't have any on hand, so I opted for this robin's egg blue instead. It sits perched on top of a mirror frame in our front room, and I'm loving (no pun intended) the way it looks.

Mine is about four inches tall at its highest point, so definitely on the small side. I'm thinking of trying out a longer word (maybe "inspire" or "believe") in a larger scale next.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wedding date collage

I've had a picture frame for quite awhile now that I just couldn't figure out how to use. It holds three 2 1/2 in. x 3 in. pictures-- which, if you ask me, is too small for regular photos: how are you supposed to see faces or scenery when they are so small? I prefer much larger pictures, where you can really see every facial expression, every action, every detail of the background. 

But the frame ended up being perfect for a date collage. I found interesting pictures of our wedding numbers online (I tried going around town to actually find the numbers I needed, but that proved to be too time-consuming!), printed them off, and voila! The numbers are large and simple, so even in such a small space, they stand out. 

Very easy and meaningful. (I also love that the frame says "Live, Laugh, Love" right under our wedding date). Have any of you ever made a date collage before? I'd love to see!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Creativity through pancakes

I came across this today:

Amazing, right? It most certainly puts my typical round pancakes to shame. Guess I better start getting creative in the mornings! (And if only I could do this in my classroom; my preschoolers would love it!)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Meaningful Monday-- A garden close to my heart

Normally I post thoughtful quotes for Meaningful Monday, but today I decided to do something a little different. I want to give you a little tour of a beautiful garden that means a lot to me-- my mom's.

My mom loves to garden. She loves to hunt for garden art at garage sales, spend hours weeding and trimming her plants, browse through magazines and books for inspiration, and get creative with her green thumb. She takes a lot of pride in her garden and I think it brings her great pleasure and joy. Gardening is by far my mom's favorite past-time, and she actually finds something as simple as mowing the lawn relaxing. (That's how I know she is a dedicated gardener!)

 This used to be our playhouse when I was little. My grandpa built it for us!

 A rustic potting bench.

Love the country cottage/ shabby chic look. 

 That metal plant stake is actually a recycled part of a wheelbarrow! 

An up-close view. 

 Recycled light-switch covers. 

The shed.

She definitely has the country-cottage, shabby-chic, rustic and vintage look figured out-- I love every little detail of her garden (and I'm not just saying that because she's my mom!). Do any of you have green thumbs?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lela Rose

Have you guys seen the new line Lela Rose is doing exclusively for The Loft? There's just something about Lela Rose that I love (including the name!)

via here

Effortless, feminine and classic all at the same time. Cute, right?

I also really love the things they've been selling exclusively for Payless Shoe Source. I have this blue suede pair of ballet flats from a line a few years ago and I adore them!

They have a lot of cute pairs of shoes (and bags!) right now too:

via here

And all of these lovely items are just from their much more affordable lines; don't even get me started on their designer and runway material. :-) Anybody else love Lela Rose as much as I do? 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Meaningful Monday-- Tomorrow is a new day

I can never get enough Emerson. I tell ya, everything I read by him is enlightening and inspiring. He just had a way with words. ♥

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Lately I've been longing to own a pretty locket.

One that's big enough to hold a picture of my parents on one side and a picture of my in-laws on the other. I just love the idea of having their pictures so close to me all the time and being able to admire them throughout the day. Whenever I'm discouraged or upset, I can look to those pictures for comfort and inspiration and support.

Cheesy? Maybe. Oh well.

Here are some I'm loving right now:

via here
I love the colors and pattern of this one, as well as the fact that it has a plain back-- 
so I could engrave my initials in it. 

via here
I also like the idea of a book locket, considering how much of a bookworm I am :-)

via here.

via here.

I love these last two options because they are classic and gorgeous, yet modern at the same time. 

Do any of you wear lockets? Or is it kind of an old-fashioned thing? 
I'd love to know your thoughts!

DIY fabric button headband

This afternoon I decided to break out my Craft Cover Button Kit and some cute purple fabric I bought at Joann's (They just opened a new store near me, and I received three ten-dollar gift cards at their grand-opening!).

Originally I thought about using the covered buttons for a necklace or possibly a few rings, but for some reason I ended up making a headband (which is usually the case with my crafting!).

The supplies:

Fabric of your choice
Button kit (with plain-back buttons)
A basic elastic headband (not pictured)
Glue gun

All you do is cover the buttons (which is explained on the back of the button kit and is extremely simple and fast), hot glue them to the headband, and ta-da! You are finished.

The results:

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Soft and snuggle-worthy

Just for kicks and giggles... Have you ever seen a bunny rabbit THIS LARGE? 

I just want to snuggle with him and tickle his giant feet-- Is that weird? Maybe so. Either way, have a wonderful, sunny evening!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tiny little raindrops, just for you and I

Now, I realize the title of this post isn't grammatically correct, but there is a reason I typed it that way!

This afternoon I was lounging on the couch with my cat, simply enjoying a cup of earl grey and writing an email, when it started to pour. And then hail. And then pour some more. And let me tell you, it sounded absolutely... wonderful.

Being an Oregonian, where it rains pretty much nine months out of the year (if not more...), I hear a constant whine in regards to the rain. And don't get me wrong, I loooooong for those hot summer days where the sun seeps into my skin and spikes my happiness tenfold. But, I do also love the Oregon rain. Hitting the gutters, splashing off the sidewalks, slipping down the leaves of bushes. Cascading this way and that. Leaving tiny droplets on the windows that slide ever so slowly to a rest. It's all perfectly soothing.

And I love what leads up to a downpour. Watching heavy, dark and impending clouds roll in, their magnitude overwhelming. The anticipation of what is to come ringing in my chest. Waiting to feel that first droplet on my skin. (Not to mention having the opportunity to wear cute polka-dot rainboots and go puddle-stomping.)

Maybe we Oregonians are tired of the rain because of how mundane and ordinary it seems. Rain today, rain tomorrow, rain for the weekend. It gets a little boring, if not a little overwhelming or discouraging. 

And yet, I can't help remember that what is ordinary can actually be extraordinary. Just think of the rich earth. The soil becoming fresh with energy and springing to life by the pure simplicity of saturation. The vegetation, previously hungry with thirst, now rejoicing with gratitude. And maybe the angry wrath exploding from the black clouds is actually powerful joy bursting at the seams to replenish and refresh the community.

Makes you view the rain in a whole new light, right? Not to mention all of the places around the world suffering from drought, unable to cultivate the land and being forced to travel miles and miles for a drop of water...

Appreciate the rain. Find light in the ordinary. Look at the mundane in a whole new way. That's all I'm saying.

And on a side note, whenever it rains, I always remember a song my mom used to sing to us when we were little. Well, maybe not quite a song, but more of a little rhyming tune she came up with:

Pitter-patter, pitter-patter go the little raindrops,
tiny little raindrops falling from the sky. 
Tiny little raindrops playing on the window,
tiny little raindrops just for you and I.