Friday, April 30, 2010

Feature Friday

One of my favorite blogs is entitled Kisses from Katie.  The blog features Katie, a young twenty something woman, who uprooted her life to follow God's direction.  She is a mother of 14 young girls in Uganda.  She left a loving family and boyfriend to do what many of us would never considering...even when God is pushing.  She details her experiences and the difficulties of many of her neighbors.  It is amazing to see her work and that of God's in such a needy place.  

I encourage you to check out her blog.  I will warn you; however, you'll spend hours wanting to know more, wondering how she does it, and shedding tears for the people she works with on a daily basis.  

Last week, Katie posted about a group of women who are working to overcome their slum living environment and provide food and a better life for their children.  They've learned to make gorgeous paper bead necklaces and are selling them through the 147 Million Orphan web-site.  

Regardless if you're buying or not (even though they'd make fabulous gifts), please take a minute to check out 147 million orphans and Katie's blog and the unbelievable work she is doing on a daily basis.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Week 2 Garden Update

As I've previously mentioned, I just returned from a conference in Nashville.  I was most excited about returning to my dogs, but a close second was my garden.  I know what you're thinking...that girl has fallen off the deep end.  Don't worry, I'm thinking the same exact thing!

I came home yesterday and took my weekly photo.  I was excited to see some fun new seedlings sprouting.    Also, I've begun planning the first dish/food item from my garden...more on that later.

Here are some photos of my seedlings...

and my two pumpkins keeping guard over the garden.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sewing Machine Sadness

Sadly, the day has come.  I broke my sewing first ever machine!  Do you hear the angst in my voice?  I cannot believe it.  I took it into my local sewing shop, and it is $89.95 for the technician to even take a look at it (the older women that work at the store took a peek, but they weren't able to fix it).  Considering I only spent $100 on it, I decided to bring it back home and lay it to rest.  

So, I need your help.  I want to get a new one, and now that I know how to sew I'm willing to spend a little more.  

What are your recommendations?

I'll Fly Away

I arrived in Nashville on Wednesday.  I'm here for work/school (to present at a conference), but I'm squeezing in plenty of fun too.

Tonight, I took the historical trip to the Grand Ole' Opry.  Honestly, I hadn't plan to go, but once I saw that Pam Tillis and the Charlie Daniels Band were scheduled...I was definitely going.

After a standing ovation for the Devil Went Down to Georgia, Charlie Daniels sang I'll Fly Away.  This was my grandfather's favorite song, and not a time goes by that I don't think of him when I hear it.  Well, tonight was no different.  I sat in the crowded audience, eyes closed, and tears rolling down my face. 

Such a special night.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Labeling the Garden

So, you saw the pictures of my lovely new just praying it grows!

Anyway, I really want to find a way to label each square.  Tonight, I was scrolling through Google Reader, and I noticed this amazing post on the blog Craft.

There is an etsy store which has them, but they only carry spices.  I love the idea, but I certainly don't have the metal stamps to create my own.

Any ideas??  

Monday, April 19, 2010

Square Foot Gardening

Have you heard of square foot gardening?  

My brother and his now 5 year old son began gardening with two raised bed gardens over two years ago.  Honestly, no member of our family has a green thumb, so I figure if my brother can do can I!

So, on his recommendation I purchased this book...

After a lot of reading, planning, and researching I finally decided to try it.  I (with the help of a friend) planted two 6x6 garden boxes worth of seeds and plants yesterday.  Here are pictures of my two boxes.

I'll upload pictures soon with details of what is in each square foot grid.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Buttoned Up Giveaway

Initially, I planned to wait until I had 100 followers for my first giveaway; however, tonight I made the cutest rings...and I just couldn't resist sharing the wealth.

Today while at Michaels, I ran across some adorable and inexpensive (I won't tell you how much since I'm giving one away) coordinating buttons.  While I was looking over the collection, I remembered the new craze of button jewelry that I see everywhere.  Have you noticed the trend?

Well, remember this tutorial...

See where I'm going with this?

I had such a hard time deciding on which buttons I liked best, that I ended up with six rings...way too many for me.  Take a peak below (and find out how to get one for yourself).







So, I decided to give one (or maybe two) away.  

Here are the ways you can enter to win the ring of your choice. Please make a separate comment for each of the three opportunities.
1. Make a comment below including which ring you would choose.
2. Become a follower of this blog (or tell me in a separate comment that you are already a follower).
3. Blog, Facebook, or Twitter about the giveaway and include the link in your comment.

The giveaway ends at midnight (EST) Sunday, April 18th. I'll announce the winner on Monday, April 19th.  Good luck, and I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Me: But Mom...where am I going to hang my stockings?

This was part of the conversation I vividly remember having with my mom.  Honestly, what does a girl do without a mantel?  Well, I'll tell you!  Her parents give her a fake one for Christmas.  This fake mantel is on the wall in my master bedroom.  I can light some "stuff" to make it look like there is a fire, but in my 7 years in this house, I've never done it!

What I have done with the mantel is decorate it.  In fact, I created this beauty over the past month.


Have you wondered where I've been for the past week?  I promised to finish my office organization posts, and then...MIA

Free Picture of a Yard Sale. Click Here to Get Free Images at Clipart

Yup! I've never had a yard sale before, but when my best friend suggested it...I jumped on board. 

If you've ever had a yard sale, you know what I'm feeling right now...pure exhaustion! I went to bed at 8pm last night, and I'm only up now because I'm laying on the couch watching the Atlanta Braves.

Anyway, the weekend was a success.  I met over 12 neighbors, and I have an abounding joy for my community.  How nice is this?  Today while in the mix of craziness, one of my neighbors shows up with a foil wrapped plate of hot out of the oven sausage balls!  I often feel this sense of community is gone, but today I was proven wrong!

Anyway, I hope to be back to regular posts in a couple of days.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Office Organization

I've received a lot of fabulous comments about my office, and I'm thrilled y'all seem to enjoy it as much as I do!  Several questions and comments focused on organization, so I figured I'd take the week to show you what works for me.  Let me start by saying, I used to be the most unorganized and messy person on the my sorority sister graciously pointed out.  However, if I can change...anyone can!

However, I've discovered life is much easier when you're organized.  The one and only thing I'll say before moving on is...organization takes work.  Once you're organized, you have to maintain it.  This means always looking to improve your system or purge what you don't use.  I think a lot of people get stuck on this one concept.

Okay, here is my first tip...

Whatever you use most often, should be stored closest to where you work.  Most often in my office, I'm sewing.  So, these supplies need to be front and center for me.

So, for my thread I've hung thread organizers on the wall (within arms length from where I sew).  I can quickly grab the thread I'm looking for because it is so close.  You'll see that I try to put all thread in the same color family together, so I can quickly find what I'm looking for at the time.

The next most often materials I use in my office are my sewing scissors.  I'm a little obsessed (as you can tell).  I used a magnetic knife organizer to hang all of my metal sewing scissors.  Because I'm a little fanatic, I hang my scissors in order of size...just my preference.

Another often used item in my office is ribbon.  I have way too much of it, but I use it across many crafts.  So, I took all the ribbon off their spool and put them onto old fashioned clothespins.  I taped the end to the ribbon to the clothespin and wrapped them until I ran out of ribbon.  Then, I used a straight pin to keep the ribbon in place.  I had so much, I wanted to sort them even more.  So, I put the ribbon clothespins in glass cookie jars.  Each jar is specific to a category: (1) polka dot, (2) stripes, (3) plain, (4) design, and (5) flowers.

The final spotlight for today is my photo boxes.  Last year, I purchased a bunch of these basic white photo boxes on clearance (specifically for my office).  None of them hold photos.  Instead, I store all sorts of materials (from paintbrushes to Mod Podge to glue to felt) in them.  However, I quickly found that they needed labels.  This makes it so much easier to quickly find the box I need.

Tomorrow, I'm going to walk you through my least favorite area of my office.  However, it is my command central.  You'll see how I had to let go of some of my rigidness and let it be.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Semi-Homemade Strawberry Surprise Shortcake

I know there have been quite a few posts over the past week or two about different recipes considering the Easter holiday.  Well, being "the baby" of the family, I have little responsibility when it comes to Easter dinner.  In fact, I didn't bring a thing this year.  However, when I do bring something I always aim for my Semi-Homemade Strawberry Surprise Shortcake.  This recipe actually came from a friend, but I have completely taken it as mine.  Here are the quick and easy steps...

Quick and easy ingredients: (1) strawberries, (2) Cool Whip, and (3) Pre-made Angel Food Cake.

Step 1: Slice the cake in half.

Step 2: Dig out a "moat" in the bottom half of the cake.

Step 3: Throw the leftover pieces of the cake into a bowl.

Step 4: Add half of the quartered strawberries and a scoop of Cool Whip to the bowl.

Step 5: Mix the three ingredients together (I use my hands).

Step 6: Fill the "moat" with the mixture.

Step 7: Put the top layer back on the cake.

Step 8: Using the Cool Whip, ice the cake.  I accidentally left my Cool Whip out too long...don't do that!

Step 9: Decorate with remaining strawberries.

Step 10: Stick the finished cake into the fridge so the Cool Whip will solidify again.  Your's shouldn't look this runny.  I got sidetracked and left the Cool Whip out, so it was a little runny.