Monday, July 30, 2012

Mani Monday: Olympic Pride

Ok, I know it's a little late in the day for this, but better late than never!  Tricia introduced me to the Mani Monday link up and I just can't wait 'til next week to join in on the fun.  :)  This was my attempt at being patriotic.  I saw a picture of some cool splatter paint nails and tried to get the same look.

What I used:
Base Coat: Blue (un-named color) from Funky Fingers
Splatter: White (#134A) by N.Y.C and Rose by Julep
Top Coat: L.A. Colors

The straw method was a little hard to get the hang of, these definitely get better with practice.  I also learned that next time I should use tape so my fingers don't get so messy in the process.  :)  But overall, I think they look pretty fun.

How are you representing your country this Olympic season?? :)

Linking up.... YAY! ;)

Friday, July 27, 2012

She Shares Friday

I started a new journal this week.  Which means I've actually been pretty good about keeping up with my daily devotions lately.  Maybe I shouldn't say this, but there's something about writing in a cute new journal that makes devotions a little more enticing than usual.

I gotta confess.... I've been struggling with the new #SheReadsTruth plan a little bit.  Taking a good chunk of time out of your day to just sit still, be quiet, talk to the Lord, and then listen for His quiet whispers.... it's not that easy.  I've been sort of procrastinating on it and as a result, I've been feeling real "stale" the past couple of weeks in my relationship with the Lord.  I feel like I'm not connecting; like I'm missing something.  Probably because I am missing something. (hello!)  I need to be connecting with the Lord each day.  And I know that.  It's just hard sometimes.

So this new journal has been helping me a little bit.  I've been writing out my prayers to help me stay focused.   I'm still struggling with the "being quiet and listening" part.  That time always seems to be the same time that I start thinking of all the other things I "need" to do that day.  Then I rationalize that if I just do them "real quick", I will be able to focus better for prayer time.  And we both know.... that list never ends.  Hence, the procrastinating.  I'm hoping that writing about this today will hold me a little bit more accountable and be the nudge I need to stop putting it off.  But I also know I need to just be disciplined and make it a priority.


I've also asked Doad to start praying with me before bed each night.  My hope is that praying together will be a bigger priority for both of us - and maybe doing it together regularly will help make it easier for me to do on my own too.  It is so motivating to me when I see my husband leading me by example.  He takes such good care of me physically, financially, emotionally, but it is by far the most attractive to me when I see the way he takes care of me spiritually, especially by praying for me and with me.

So that's where I'm at this week.  I'm looking forward to these last couple days of our Prayer study.  Not because I want it to end, but because I get another chance to maybe hear some of the lessons I've been missing out on the past few weeks.


Thanks for letting me share. :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Before and After: Hairstyle Hotties

I've been doing a lot of hair lately, and I thought I'd show off some of these beauties.  Last week resulted in a lot of fun hairstyles and gorgeous ladies walking out of my front door... what do you think? :)

My first appointment for the week was my cousin.  I had attempted to do pink tips for her previously, but the lightener didn't work very well and she was back for round two.  I absolutely LOVE how it turned out this time.  And do you see that huge grin on her face?  She loved it too. :) It's an awesome feeling when you totally nail the look they were going for.  She was practically giddy.

I also got to do my bff's hair.... *shameless plug*  Her name is Tiffany and you should check out her brand new blog, Rolling With Laughter

She went from light blonde to a darker, warm blonde with some highlights.  And then she let me spruce it up with a trim and fresh layers.  I love how much healthier it looks!  Aw, and she looks so happy too! :)

I was a very busy girl last week.

I worked at the office for three days, did lots of hair, and of course spent time sewing away on my surprise project.  :)  This week has been very busy too.  I am in at the office every day instead of my normal three days.  No sewing this week. *tears*  But I do have two birthday celebrations to look forward to attending and my sister is coming home from her missions trip to California.  I can't wait to see her, I've missed her TONS!

Now it's your turn! What have you been up to lately?  I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pinterest: Bacon Egg Cups

I found this recipe on Pinterest the other day and just had to try it.  Doad ate them in like .2 seconds.  I think they were a success.  :)

Bacon Egg Cups
Don't they look delicious?? :) 

I tweaked the recipe just a tiny bit and thought I'd share how I made them.

What I used:
6 Strips of Bacon
4 Eggs
1/4 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Healthy pinch of shredded Zucchini
Small handful of Baby Spinach
Couple shakes of salt
Few more shakes of pepper
Muffin Tin
Oven pre-heated to 350°

Step One: Partially pre-cook bacon.  The original recipe doesn't have you do this, but we like our bacon a little on the crispier side.  It also helps get some of the grease and fat out so it doesn't soak into the eggs.

Step Two:  Spray muffin tin with Pam and arrange bacon around the edges of tin.  This was a little trickier after pre-cooking the bacon.  It wasn't all flat and smooth anymore, so it doesn't stick to the edges of the pan that well.  I didn't mind, but if you want to keep all the egg on the inside of the cup - pre-cooking is probably not the way to go.

 Step Three:  Mix the rest of your ingredients together in a bowl - I used a pyrex measuring cup for easier pouring.  The pour into muffin tins, filling them about two-thirds full.

Step Four: Into the oven they go!  The original recipe says to bake for 30-35 minutes.  Our gas stove heats up pretty well so I only put them in for 25 minutes.  They were perfectly cooked the minute the timer buzzed so I guess the time is going to vary based on your appliance.  I also halved the recipe so that could have made a difference as well.

I added the zucchini and spinach to get some greens in (and I needed to use them up). We don't usually add this to our eggs, but it tasted delicious and felt super healthy! We will definitely be eating these again soon!  Thanks, Julia, for the delicious recipe!! :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Nail: Silver Crackle

Yayyyyy!!  Avon finally has the Mosaic Nail Polish in new beautiful glittery colors!  I've been waiting patiently for these to come.  :)  

Here's my first mani with the silver.

I super love these mosaic/crackle polishes.  They are a quick, easy way to add some flare to a plain color.  I've already ordered another one in blue.  ;)  This look makes me think of some underwater.... palace?  Yea, I bet mermaids would like this color combo. ;)

Here's what I used:
Base Coat: Aqua Fantasy by Avon (new formula - now called Sea Breeze)
Mosaic: Mosaic Mica by Avon
Top Coat: L.A. Colors

Hope you enjoy!

PS.  Does anyone else find it impossible to take good pictures of their nails?  I took like 207,384 shots before I ended up with the one above.  What are your tricks!??  I need some pointers!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

You Know You Have an Awesome Hubby When...

  1. You send him to the grocery store for milk and Midol and he also brings back ice cream and chocolate.   
  2. He offers to do the dishes so you can catch up on all the blog posts in your Reader.
  3. He doesn't mind spending "date night" shopping for fabrics for your next sewing project.
  4. He actually helps you pick out the matching fabrics for your next sewing project and is totally awesome at it.
  5. He watches chick flicks with you when you're sick.... and when you're not sick. 
  6. He isn't grossed out by the amazing amount of snot you produce when you cry.... or by how gassy you can be sometimes. :/
  7. He kills every single bug you point out/squeal at without complaint. 
  8. He doesn't roll his eyes when you blame it on PMS.... every week (jk!)
  9. You start making dinner and he offers to do it for you instead.
  10. He can tell when you're upset and actually knows how to get you to open up about it.
  11. He doesn't laugh when you ugly cry.
  12. He sings and dances like a crazy person just to get a smile out of you.
  13. You don't know what to wear, so he picks out your outfit for you while you're in the shower - and it's a totally rockin' one too!
  14. He ALWAYS cleans the bathroom and takes out the trash for you, since you have an overly sensitive nose and can't do it without gagging.
  15. You come home from work to find a trail of rose petals leading you to a candlelit bubble bath (true story!)

And I'm sure there are a million more reasons out there too!  Basically, I'm one spoiled little wifey.  :)  Love you, baby!

Got any more reasons to add?  Leave me a comment about YOUR awesome man.  :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Why My Weekend Was Awesome

Well, ok.... it started out pretty normal.  The hubs and I enjoyed a good Saturday morning sleep-in.  We ate a lazy breakfast and then I headed off to do a hair trial for a bride in Gaithersburg.  We watched some good 'ol Disney with some friends that night and I realized how inappropriate Lady and the Tramp would be for children if it was about humans and not dogs.  

Then on Sunday we went to church and out to lunch with my awesome huge family.  And now I'm getting to the double awesome part :)  

We spent Sunday afternoon/evening at the ballpark hanging out with friends, eating Dippin' Dots, and of course watching the game (a little).  Then we stumbled upon The Cuteness.  :)  My brother-in-law brought his family to the game too!  :)  We got to spend the rest of the game up in the box seats with my nephew, The Cuteness.  Take a look!

 [1. The ballpark shot]  [2. Me and The Handsome-ness :)]  [3.  Uncle Doad]  
[4. Cooling off? He left it in there forever! lol]  [5. So sweet]  [6.  His mohawk kills me! Too cute!]
[7. Flirt!]  [8.  Already smart-phone savvy ;)] [9.  Perfect end to the night :)]

I know I'm biased, but I seriously have the cutest nephew in the world.  After my husband, he is the second best at cheering me up on a bad day.  :)  And on a good day?  Well, just look at that face again and tell me you wouldn't be grinning all day.  :)  

Hope you all had a super fantastic weekend too! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Glorious Day

There is a certain Casting Crowns song that has been popping up around me lately.  We sang it in church on Sunday and it was on the radio when I got in the car yesterday morning and now I can't get it out of my head.  :) 

This particular song actually brought tears to my eyes on Sunday.  I think it was because I'm absolutely horrible at giving myself grace, but when I sing this song it forces me to speak about the grace I've received and what Christ has done for me.  

For. Me. 

I try really hard not to say stuff I don't mean or believe.  So when I sing this song, I'm confessing to myself that I actually believe He loved ME, He saved ME, and He justified ME.  Whether I feel I deserve it or not.  And that is such an amazing wonderful thing. God's grace and love is so huge and beyond my understanding.  But every now and then I catch a glimpse of it and it blows me away.  I guess I'm trying to say that this song does that to me.  Blows me away with a glimpse of God's unconditional love.  And so I wanted to share that with you.  Maybe you will catch a glimpse too.  :)

Enjoy friends.  Be blown away by God's love today.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ridiculousness and a Confession

Two quick stories:

1.  I've been so excited about my sewing projects that I pretty much thought about them all day at work today.  I was even hoping to maybe get the new pattern and cloth cut out before smallgroup tonight so they would be good and ready for pinning and sewing on Friday when I go to mom's house and hold hostage her sewing machine.  ;)

Here's a sneak peak of what's coming....

I was thinking all about it on my way home from work and then I turned onto my street and I saw the MOST RIDICULOUS road block ever.   Three teenage girls decided that the street would be an awesome place to hang out.  They were laying down IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD!!!! 

 Seriously?  Really??  

I just stopped and stared at them for a few seconds.  And then I waited for them to move.  And they just laid there, flip flops off and all, texting on their phones.  WHAT?!?!  If the horn on my car was working, you can bet I would have honked it and honked it good.  But it wasn't.  So I had to just drive around them and stare with incredulity.  Doad thought they were crazy too.  He was waiting at the door for me and laughing - I guess I looked pretty stunned.  But can ya blame me?  Crazy people.....

Ok, story #2... this one is shorter.

I had smallgroup tonight.  And I love it.  And I love the girls I get to meet with.  They are great friends and prayer supporters and I'm super thankful to know them all.  Buuuuu-uuuut...... I was so excited about sewing that's all I could focus on tonight.  :(  I'm sorry, girls.  And I'm sorry, Jesus.  I promise I'll be more focused next time.  Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.  :)

Ok, two posts in one night?  I sure like to do things in spurts.  Good night friends.  :)  

Sewing project #1: Blue Owl Tote

I have really been feeling the creativity fever lately and it has sparked in me a desire to learn to sew.  I have absolutely no talent when it comes to the drawing/sketching side of art.  Doad disagrees with me, but I think he just likes my childhood artwork for sentimental reasons ;)  He's sweet like that.

I did learn to knit and crochet as a child and loved it... for like a minute.  I have so many half-made scarves, it's embarrassing. Sometimes I still think about picking it back up again and finishing all those scarves... maybe someday.

 Anways, the point is that I'm not very artsy, but have been feeling the need to do something creative and make something beautiful.  Ever feel that way?

I decided to give sewing a try.  I saw this way cute bag online that was WAY out of my budget, but thought it might be possible to sew something similar.  I'm still working up to that bag, but the one I did sew for my first project this past week will more than do in the mean time. 

Isn't she beautiful??  

I'm so happy with how it turned out.  And proud! I guess I do have an artsy bone in my body after all.  I mean, I did follow a pattern, being a concrete, sequential type of person and all that.  But not too shabby, right?  

This was my first stitch ever sewn on a machine.  Sorry for the poor phone-camera quality, but this was a momentous occasion after all and could not do without a photo - high quality or not. ;)

I just love the little owls, so adorable!  Still can't believe that turned into this:

Teehee, I'm almost giddy with excitement! I made something! And it's really cute!! :)

I've already picked out fabric and a new pattern and CANNOT wait to get started on project #2.  :)  It's sort of a surprise for someone really special and I can't wait to give it to her!  Aaaand, to post pictures of it on here.  The fabric is just tooooo cute! I'm super, super excited!

Ok, enough gushing, Jess. Calm. Down.

How about you?  I'd love to see what projects you are currently working on.  I promise to gush over them with you. ;) Email me, K? :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

First official post and a tutorial! :)

First official post! Yay! :)

I took forever with this because I'm sort of a perfectionist and couldn't decide on the perfect "first post" material.  Then I finally just decided to just go with whatever I wanted so here's a fun little nail tutorial I've been planning for a while.

Simple Color Blocking

What you will need:

Three nail colors - I'm an Avon rep, so I used Avon's Nailwear Pro in Loving Lavender and Cotton Candy.  The white was Avon's Mosaic Effects top coat in White.
Top coat - All I had was cheap drug store top coat tonight.  Nothing special. :/
Scotch tape.  Good ol' Scotch. :)

1.  Paint your nails with the purple color.  Let dry and add a second coat.  
2.  Make sure nails are completely dry and then cover bottom corner of nail diagonally with scotch tape.  Press firmly.
2.5.  Apply pink color to untaped part of nail. Remove tape and let dry... for a long time. 
3.  Apply tape at same diagonal over pink and purple, covering about 2/3 of the nail. Paint untaped part of nail with the white and let dry.
4.  Apply top coat, let dry, and "voila!" :)

-  I just wanted a tiny bit of snazz so I only did the thumb nail, but this looks cute on every nail too.  
-  Or, if you have a steady hand, you can add a white tip to the other nails and just leave the thumb as the accent.  

Some other things to remember:
-  Make sure you wait until the nail is really dry before applying tape.  If it's even a little bit tacky, the paint will come up when you take off the tape.
-  To help minimize that issue, before you put the tape on your nail, stick it to the palm of your hand so it loses a little bit of the stickiness.
-  Take the tape off as soon as you finish painting.  Don't leave it on while you dry or... you guessed it... the paint will come off with the tape.

Hope you  enjoyed it!
Happy painting :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Gettin' a Little Real and a Blog Announcement

I've been pretty proud this week that I have stuck to my She Reads Truth goals.  I did miss one day and one posting, but I blame the electricity outage from the storm this weekend.  I had a lot planned for Friday and Saturday... and none of it got done :(  

But moving on... The heart behind these goals is to make sure that I do more than just read a paragraph or two each day and then move on unchanged.  I don't want to forget the little lessons being whispered to me each morning.  

If there is one message that has really stuck out to me, it would be from the devotional on Day 2.  It talks about disappointment when things don't go our way or when our dreams for our lives seem slow in coming.  The author reminds us that, "Our plans, even on our very best day, are nothing compared to the amazing plans God has for us."

This is comforting for me, a major dreamer.  I love the author's reminder that God is sovereign in his timing, never too early or late in fulfilling his dreams in and for my life. I know that some of my dreams are from the Lord, and that they will come to pass some day. 

I don't talk about my dreams very often.  They're hard to explain and some are pretty wild.  But I will say that I don't think I've ever struggled with dreaming big for myself or the future.  Even as a youngster, I dreamt of being the next child actress or famous singer.  But it wasn't really the fame or spotlight I craved, believe it or not.  When I day-dreamt about celebrity life, I dreamt about the influence I would have.  I pictured TV interviews where I shared about my faith in Christ.  I saw myself singing and sharing the gospel to huge crowds.  I imagined lives changed by the Jesus they saw in me.
So proud to be the angel in a Christmas Nativity play!

Those dreams have changed and evolved over the years.  Ovbiously, I'm not a child star and I've never been on TV.  But I still dream of impacting others in a large way for Christ.  So when I read that last question in Day 2 of the devotional about chasing after a mediocre future when God wants to give you the extravagant, it really resonated with me.  I know God has extravagant dreams for me.  Even bigger than my own wild dreams for myself.  And that is super encouraging :)

But I also don't want to settle for the mediocre while I'm waiting for the extravagant.  And I don't want to miss the great moments and opportunities I come across in the present because I'm looking for something bigger and better in the future.  So I've made another goal and decided to make it a priority to blog more regularly about the things the Lord is doing in my life.  
  1. To keep me in the present and to show myself the progress I am making in becoming more Christ-like.  And...
  2. Because when God does do extravagant things in my life, I am sure going to want to write those down!

On the blogging note, I've been thinking about my blog: the look, the name, all of it.  And I just wasn't feeling it anymore... so... *brace for blog announcement*

We're Moving!

Just down the street in the blogger neighborhood, nothing too crazy. *wink*  But I'm really excited about a fresh look as I share my hopes, dreams, and all that God is teaching me.  My new blog is called Extravagant Dreams and I think both the name and the new look are a better fit for me. But I'd also love to know what you think. Won't you come share this journey with me?

  These are the thoughts I've been chewing on and mulling over this week.  I apologize if this was a little all over the place.  Thanks for letting me share! :)