Monday, November 30, 2009

monday thoughts...

This morning the sunrise was beautiful over my city. It's supposed to be kind of dark and rainy today, so it was such a wonderful surprise to see the vibrant oranges and pinks peeking out over the skyline.

As I drove to the gym, I was so struck by how beautiful God's creation is - and how loudly it proclaims His glory. I think Psalm 19 sums it up perfectly:

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.

There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.

Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.

On the theme of God's creation, I feel the need to give one more nod to the beauty of fall before jumping headlong into this Christmas season. (Totally listened to Christmas carols yesterday and loved every second of it!!)

Since it's been so warm and fallish these last few days, I feel justified in sharing this post with you, which blew me away with the gorgeous colors and shapes.

Speaking of holidays, Thanksgiving was fabulous. I spent a couple of great days at home with my extended family (and got to play with my sweet little cousin!) and then spent the rest of the weekend at my place with my immediate family.

We had a couple of small projects to do together around my apartment, but for the most part just enjoyed spending time together. I feel so blessed to be able to just soak up their company and have fun with them. There was lots of laughing and chatting, and it was wonderful.

Now I am counting down until I get to see them all again for Christmas...only a few weeks!

Hope your Monday is lovely and that you're still enjoying all the Thanksgiving leftovers - I know I am!

*images via GoogleImages, A Life More Fabulous, Sister, GoogleImages

Saturday, November 28, 2009


While I am a devout reader and lover of books, I must say that this photo tempted me to buy a house someday with a library...just so that I could pull all the books off the shelves and line up my shoes.

Pretty enticing, isn't it?

(Don't worry, I'm pretty sure the books will win out. Emphasis on pretty sure...)

*image via Pink Wallpaper

Friday, November 27, 2009

happy friday!

This is another one of the animal photos that I've been sitting on for a while and can't seem to come up with a reason to post. So I figured that on this day when I'm at home with the family, still digesting all that turkey & pie, I would show off his sweet face. Just because I can.

Today Sister and I plan to go take artsy photos up at our old family property for her thesis project, and she's asked me to be her model. While that's weird and I feel completely unqualified, I'm all about I'll report later how my first modeling experiment goes!

Hope your Friday is filled with lots of leftovers and joy!

*image via This Is Reverb

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

hit the road, jack...

I'm off to a (hopefully) short day at the office and then heading northward for most of the long weekend for some time with the family!

(I'm bringing them all back to my place for the tail end of the weekend, yay!)

May you have many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and a wonderful time with those you care about most!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

they're coming...

Does anyone else feel like the holidays have sneaked up on us this year? While I am slowly getting excited for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, I feel a little ambushed by how fast everything has arrived.

It's not just the stores who put out Christmas decor in October that have thrown me for this loop - it's everyone around me who is already doing crazy things like listening to Christmas carols
(before Thanksgiving!!) and making holiday party plans. Plus, there's a definitely a house on my drive to church that is fully decked out in Christmas lights, blow up creatures, and has a fully decorated tree in the window. I mean, wow...two weeks before Thanksgiving is a little early, people.

But for fear of sounding like a scrooge, I will admit that I am started to get excited for this season - but we must have Thanksgiving first!!

I am excited to go home to see my wonderful family this week for all of our traditions. I can't wait to hear all my grandparents' cute stories that they store up for these sorts of occasions, and I'm thrilled to see how much my little cousin has grown up in the last year. I can't wait to cuddle up next to Daddy after we've eaten too much turkey and pie
(oh pie!) and drink tasty coffee and listen to all the family conversations...both the good ones and the bad.

(For some reason during the big Thanksgiving meal, I feel like I'm allowed to revert to that childhood position of listening in without being required to contribute too much of value...and it's kind of lovely,

And once Thanksgiving has had it's chance to shine, I think I'll be ready to get excited for Christmas. This morning I did have a passing thought about when we could put up our white twinkle lights, and I have definitely started my Christmas shopping, so it will be fun to get into the full swing of finding the perfect thing for the people I love. Plus I just marked the remainder of my vacation days on the calendar at work, so I'll have six glorious days
in a row to celebrate!

What about you? Are you ready?

*1st image via Taste{Full} & others via my friend google image search

Monday, November 23, 2009

a song of praise & gratitude

God - you're my God!
I can't get enough of you!
I've worked up such hunger and thirst for God,
traveling across dry and weary deserts.

So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open,
drinking in your strength and glory.
In your generous love I am really living at last!
My lips brim praises like fountains.
I bless you every time I take a breath;
My arms wave like banners of praise to you.

I eat my fill of prime rib and gravy;
I smack my lips. It's time to shout praises!
If I'm sleepless at midnight,
I spend the hours in grateful reflection.
Because you've always stood up for me,
I'm free to run and play.

I hold onto you for dear life,
and you hold me steady as a post.

Psalm 63:1-8 (the Message)

*image via Shutter Sisters

Saturday, November 21, 2009

sweet saturday

I love how quiet the world is on Saturday mornings - there is less traffic rushing by outside, and someone everything seems a little more serene. It's such a welcome break, and I don't know how we could sustain the pace we do without these wonderfully quiet moments.

All quietness aside, I'm off to work shortly (boo) and then heading out to a concert tonight with friends. I am less excited about the working part, and more excited about the concert part!

What's your Saturday look like?

*image via A Life More Fabulous

Friday, November 20, 2009

happy (soggy) friday

This is about what Sir H. and I look like at the moment. (Pretty glam, huh?)

Despite his protests (refusing to step outside or get out of the car) I took him for our morning walk in the pouring rain...and he was miserable the entire time. Not only did he give me dirty looks every time he splashed through a puddle, he also tried to hide under anything that looked like it could provide shelter - bushes, cars - or even rocks!

But since it's finally Friday and we're home and drying out now, I thought I'd share a few fun links with you - something to make Friday go a little faster and the weekend show up a little sooner!

Hope your weekend is happy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

a happy addiction

Hello, my name is Amanda and I am an this television show.

On the whole, Twin and I don't really watch a ton of tv - we have many other things that keep us busy, and we only have basic cable so that we could get our internet at a cheaper price. (I'm still trying to figure out how that one makes any sense at all...)

However, we do follow a few shows religiously, albeit in a slightly strange way. Thanks to our two-year stint without tv in the apartment, we started the habit of buying entire seasons of shows on dvd. While this means we're always a season behind everyone else watching it the normal way, it also means that we can devour an entire season in a very short amount of time.

And thus enters the addiction.

We just finished watching Season Four (and no I won't tell you how quickly we powered through 22 episodes because quite frankly, it's a little embarrassing) which was great until the very end of the season...when they left us stunned with a pretty serious cliff hanger.

See these characters? They're the reason the show is so darn good. Yes, the plots of each episode are great, and yes, I think they do a good job with sets and costumes and all of that, but it's the character development that has me hooked.

Now for you people who are too good for tv addictions, or for those of you who haven't ever had to tell yourself that a character is indeed fictional, you should probably just stop reading before you completely judge me.

For anyone left reading (welcome to the loony bin) I have to tell you that I was so distressed about how they left us hanging that I actually dreamed about these characters after watching the season finale.

Yep, I am that lame. Maybe even a little pathetic.

(Alright, it's a lot pathetic...let's not rub it in.)

But that's okay, I recognize my addiction, and that's a healthy step, right?

So for anyone still reading and wondering why, here's a summary & some take away points from this long and rambling post:
1 - I love this show, and am perhaps a little too interested in completely fictional characters.
2 - If you do watch the show (in the normal, weekly way), please don't tell me anything about Season Five...because I'm pretty sure the anticipation of waiting an entire year is good for my addiction.
3 - And finally, if you don't watch this show and you like crime fighting duos with a great sense of humor, then you should probably join me in this addiction...I'll even lend you the dvds.

Happy today, everyone!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I can not resist the sweet face of a cow.

It's true - I'm completely powerless when I see pictures like this one. (Come on, look at those wispy eyelashes! No beast that large should have such delicate eyelashes!!)

So yesterday when I saw this great series of photos (below), I immediately saved them onto my computer, thinking that I would use them someday.

Well, someday is today, because I couldn't wait to look at them again.

I told you - completely powerless...

Heh heh heh...

It kills me.

Have a great day, everyone.

And remember to laugh at something foolish...It makes all the difference!

*images via Pioneer Woman

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

spiffy bathroom makeover

I found images of this bathroom makeover, and couldn't help but be impressed with the dramatic results!

As someone constantly wanting to tweak our place (in both big & small ways) I love seeing such a successful project - very inspiring. Isn't all that crisp blue and white lovely? And how about the rubber duckies on the quirky and adorable!

*images via Design*Sponge

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Poem

I am Now Ready to be Offered
Lilias Trotter

Measure thy life by loss
and not by gain,
Not by the wine drunk, but
by the wine poured forth
For love's strength standeth in
love's sacrifice,
And he who suffers most
has the most to give.

This week a dear friend passed along this poem with the following explanation:
Lilias Trotter was a missionary to Muslims in Algeria for 38 years (as a single woman too!) in the Victorian era. She was also an artist and poet.

Good food for thought, huh?

*image via le love

Saturday, November 14, 2009

and we laughed...

I bought this book yesterday, and it has already proved itself to be worth every penny of my $12.99. (It probably was worth it before I paid for it, since I stood in Borders laughing out loud by myself for about five minutes, scaring other patrons away from the cooking table, but that's another story...)

Do you remember when I blogged about this crazy funny blog a while back? Well, let me tell you, the book is even better! The cakes are hysterical, but her snarky commentary totally takes it over the top.

Last night a few of our favorite ladies came over for a relaxed dinner night (eggplant parm, yum!) and we spent pretty much the entire night laughing hysterically at this book. And the best part was that whenever someone new showed up, we would all look through it again and still find it funny.

Here are a few recent cakes off her blog, just to give you an idea of what we were giggling at:

(When decorators get very literal...)

(Misspellings just make a cake, don't they?)

(Poor Big's not his fault)

Go buy the book, people - it would make a great Christmas present that will definitely have everyone laughing around the tree. (Or you could just keep it, like I'm going to do!)

Happy weekend!

*images via Cake Wrecks

Friday, November 13, 2009

we could play hookie...

I'm thinking that today would be a great day to run off to the beach and play.

It's crisp and cold, but it looks like the sun will come out and we could drink gallons of coffee and hot cocoa to stay warm.

Or we could run and dance, just to be silly.

Who's with me?

*image via le love

Thursday, November 12, 2009

diy bulletin board project

A few weekends ago, I tackled a small project that I've been thinking about for months - and I couldn't be more happy with how it turned out!

Due to some changes to our living situation, Twin and I now have a designated office space, which is pretty exciting. We've been shifting furniture around for a couple of weeks now, and are having so much fun getting everything settled in new configurations. And, as you know, new furniture arrangements and new spaces mean that there are new walls to fill!

This brings us to my little DIY project - a bulletin board!

I started with this
very blue frame, rescued from our frame shop at work. (A definite perk of working there) I popped it apart, but saved the backing & glass to use for later.

I bought a package of cheap corkboard squares at Target - the ones meant to hang directly onto a wall. (If you were really good, you would go buy a roll of cork, which would be wider so that you could have one continuous piece. I couldn't easily find any of those, so this worked out just fine.)

After measuring the inside dimensions of the frame, I trimmed a couple of the corkboard squares with a utility knife so that I could fill the entire frame. Measuring carefully is important here, because you really don't want uneven pieces that will leave gaps and look messy. (I found that putting the pieces against the backing that I pulled out of the frame made measuring much easier.)

Then, using regular clear packing tape, I put all the corkboard together. It's hard to see in this picture, but make sure you tape in at least two directions on each seam. This will help prevent the pieces from pulling apart when you hang stuff on them.

Before painting, I roughed up the surface of the frame with some sandpaper. If you have a brightly colored frame like I did, make sure you cover the carpet or do this somewhere where you don't care about bright blue dust. Then wipe down the entire frame with a damp cloth.

I happened to have a large jug of gesso hanging around from all my art classes in college, so that was my paint of choice. (translation - it was free) I'm sure you could use pretty much whatever paint you want to, although keep in mind that the lighter the color you are using, the more coats you'll need to cover up whatever was underneath. I did two coats, which didn't cover completely, but since Twin and I both liked the slightly distressed look, we decided that a third coat wasn't necessary.

When you're painting, make sure to paint inside the rabbet of the frame so that you don't have the old color showing through next to your corkboard.

Once the frame is completely dry, assemble the bulletin board by putting your corkboard into the frame first, then the glass and backing you took out earlier. An alternative to putting the glass back in would be to use a piece of foam core or gator board (found at your local frame shop) for stability and to fill the depth of your frame.

(I didn't think to grab either of these before leaving work, so just put the glass back in. Also, I wasn't patient enough to wait for the globs inside the rabbet to dry, so when we put it all together, some oozed out onto the corkboard. Oops.)

If you have small finish nails, use these to secure the pieces into the frame by putting them around the edges of the back. I used the packing tape again to hold everything together. Then add either a wire or hooks to hang on the wall!

Here's mine, happily hanging above Twin's printer. Isn't it cute?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

fall color!

Some delicious & cheerful color for your Tuesday...

And, let's please note the adorable shoes in the top left corner!

*image via delight by design

Monday, November 9, 2009

for twin...

Yesterday, I get an email from Twin, linking to this picture:

"I so wish I could get this into my classroom huh?"

How could I not love this girl?

Hope your Monday is happy!

*image via the mogg blogg

Friday, November 6, 2009

Happy Friday!

Thank goodness today is Friday. For some reason this week has felt super long and I'm so ready for the weekend!

I get to end my work week a few hours early tonight and am heading up north for an overnight retreat with some of my fellow church leaders. We're going to stay at the lake and spend some quiet time together away from all the distractions, which should be excellent.

For today, a random post full of some fun links that I've been enjoying:

Happy weekend, everyone!

*happy cloud image via le love