Nov 29, 2011

a short list of likes, loves, and can't stands

2011 11 29a

I like
Making homemade pizza.
Finding a treasure in a jacket pocket from last winter.
Playing in the leaves.
Pretty patterns.
Hot chocolate.

2011 11 29b

I love
Taking photos.
Doing something creative.
Fashion and styling.
Spending time with husband.
Laughing until I cry.
Listening to Christian radio stations.
Going out to dinner with friends.
Watching movies with family.
Visits from old friends.

2011 11 29c

I can't stand
Cleaning dirty dishes. Or even touching them.
Driving in a town/city I don’t know.
Realizing I spent an entire day being lazy.
Onions. In any form. That includes onion salt.
Spiders and the like.

If you make a list like this, leave a link in the comments so I can read each and every one.

Nov 28, 2011

a case of senioritis

via Occasionally B

If you don’t already know what senioritis is, let me give you a brief explanation. It usually occurs in the last year of high school, college, or graduate school. It is a decreased motivation towards studies and often includes procrastination and sometimes a drop in academic studies. It has to do with the urge to be finished with the last year in that particular education level and is usually a result from a bad transition period. Sometimes the term ‘senioritis’ is used in a joking manner, but it’s actually really serious.

I have senioritis.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful to have the privilege to go to college and get an education. Really, I am. But after consecutive semesters of working hard, it has started wearing down on me. I’m majoring in accounting, which has proved to be a much more difficult subject than I expected. The further into it I get, the less ‘fun’ it becomes (if it ever really was that to begin with, maybe it was just easy at first). Adding to the difficulty is the type of professors that I have dealt with. I’m not sure what it is about college professors, but something seems to go to their head. They seem to think that every student in their class cares more about that particular class than any other.

Exams and projects all hit at the same time. I recently had two weeks full, in which every day that I attend class consisted of an exam in at least one of the subjects. Maybe that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it is. Especially when the difficulty level of the exams require hours of studying and preparation. It’s hard to cram all of that into one day and still make time to eat, sleep, and actually get to talk to my husband. The absence of free time really bothers me. I remember one day thinking, I just wish I had even a couple free minutes to do something as simple as painting my nails. I either attend class all day, or I work all day. Then, whenever I get home, I continue working on homework, projects, and studying. It’s like it never ends. There’s never a break. And in the end I start feeling like the professors don’t even care about their students anymore. I probably try to put the blame on more things than I should. The real truth is that the problem is me and the level of extremity with which I want to be finished with college, degree in hand.

source unknown, please contact me if you know

I have had so many friends and family members try to be encouraging to me. I know they mean well. But it isn’t always encouragement for me, but it’s no fault of theirs because they don’t understand what I’m going through. The most common phrase of encouragement that I have gotten has been, “It’s almost over,” because they know I will be graduating in May 2012. Well, I will admit that it is almost over. However, ‘almost’ doesn’t help me. I don’t want it to be over next semester, I don’t want it to be over next week, I don’t want it to be over tomorrow. I want to drop everything right this second and be done with it. That’s how I know I have senioritis. That’s how I know this is serious.

But I am so thankful that I have a husband that is willing to put up with me through all of this. He ends up being the one to cook dinner so may nights. He stays up with me as late as I need to in order to get my studying done. Before every exam or presentation, he tells me I can do it and that everything is going to be ok. And best of all, he puts up with my tears whenever I breakdown in the middle of studying for an exam. And he prays for me.

Which brings me to the next thing. I am so thankful to have a God that is in control. A God that knows the plans he has for me, and knows me better than I could ever know myself. I’m thankful that he says, “Child, give me your worries, because I can handle them,” because he knows that I can’t. As long as I stay close to him, turn to him with my worries and fears, and trust in him, what can go wrong? Nothing. He is in control and he is going to make it so that things happen just as they should. His plan is perfect.

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm. Proverbs 1:33 (NIV)

May he grant your heart's desires and make all your plans succeed. Psalm 20:4 (NLT)

Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26 (NIV)

via Pinterest, source unknown (please contact me if you know

I hope that you can possibly find some encouragement in this. I know I already feel better just opening up and sharing all of this. If you have anything that has been on your heart lately that you want to share, please leave it or link to it in the comments so we can all share with each other and be encouraging. And please let me know if there is anything I can pray for you about. {you can email me at jessicadtingle at gmail dot com}

Nov 25, 2011

Black Friday & a Christmas wishlist

You know what Black Friday means to me?
Making Christmas wishlists
Spending girl time with the ladies in my family
Dipping Dots at the mall
Finding new thrift stores downtown in our neighbor city
Hometown Pizza for lunch (& yummy cheesesticks)
Buying a lot of gifts for people

It does NOT mean…
Waiting in long lines
Knocking people down
Waking up at the crack of dawn
Going to extremes to get a particular item
Pushing people out of my way

But sometimes it does include…
Rushing to beat someone to a parking place
A trunk full of packages (there’s four of us in one vehicle)
Playing lookout for a table in the food court while others order food

Black Friday has been a tradition with the girls in my family for a long time. But we aren’t into getting up early and waiting in long lines. We actually usually try to avoid the mall until later in the day when the crowd has died down. We hit up the thrift stores and things like that before we head to the mall. And we don’t start until about 11AM. It’s not a day for crazy shopping and getting sales for us. It’s just a special day that comes once a year that is set aside for the ladies in my family to spend all day together and knock out a lot of Christmas shopping in the process. We try to avoid the craziness at all costs.

But with the spirit of all this, I decided it was time I make my Christmas wishlist. Here ya go!

2011 11 25

1. Hunter Boots in black $125.00
2. Gold glitter nail polish from Sephora $9.50
3. Creative Walls from Anthropologie $29.95
4. Statement Necklace from ModCloth $24.99
5. Empire Coat from Ruche $140.99
6. Zig Zag Dress from Sosie $43.00
7. Tan Peep Toe Heels from F21 $22.80

What's on your Christmas wishlist?

Nov 24, 2011

why I love fall

or autumn, or whatever you wish to call it

1. hot chocolate

2. boots

3. scarves

4. leaves

5. painting & carving pumpkins

6. more cuddle time
7. online time: Pinterest, blogging, Christmas list making
8. crocheting...which for some reason I only like to do when its cold
9. darker nail polish. red.
10. good food

Nov 23, 2011

thank you X200

Sometimes I forget just how much there is to be thankful for. And just how many people or things I could absolutely not live without. I definitely don't thank God for them as much as I should. I need to work on that. Maybe this is the start.

I hope that some of these you find serious and inspiring, I hope that some of them make you laugh, and I hope that some of them just remind you of some of the sweetest things in life that we take for granted. I thought it would be hard to make such a long list at first, but when you truly think about every little thing in your life and what it would be without that, you can make a long list. Maybe it seems a little silly or materialistic to be thankful for a cell phone, but when I was in another city and the transmission on my car went out, I really needed that phone to be able to call my husband. And bobby pins? Well for me, they are also headache preventers because they hold my hair out of my face when I am working hard on a project. There are so many things in this life that are awesome.

what if

image by me, please give credit for use

1. I'm thankful for my husband, Ryan.
We've been together for almost five years and we've been married for almost four months. The entire journey has been a blessing. He is my support system, my should to cry on, my best friend, and the one that makes me laugh even when I don't want to.

2. I'm thankful for our families.
It's nice to have so many loving people living so close to us, I couldn't imagine it any other way. I'm thankful for all the support they have given us and just that they want to be a part of our life and our story.

3. I'm thankful for my God.
My savior, my redeemer, and the one who carries me through everything. The one that died on a cross for me, because he loves me that much. I've been going through some struggles, particularly with choosing a path for my future, and I am so glad that I have a God that says "Give it all to me, I've got this."

4. Our friends.
The older I get, the more and more I cherish the friendships that I have and the ones that I know are going to stick around. And they're pretty good for laughs, too.

5. Our jobs.
I know I definitely complain about my job alot. And I complain when Ryan has to work on Saturday mornings. But when I truly think about it, we are so lucky to have the jobs that we do and be able to work. I really am thankful for it and I need to stop taking it for granted some days.

6. I'm thankful for the house we rent.
You can read about that here.

7. I'm thankful for music.
There are so many talented artists out there, and the music that they make touches so many lives. It feels so good whenever a song comes on the radio that just fits the situation that I am in and speaks to my heart.

7. I'm thankful for laughter.
And I'm thankful that it's such a part of mine and Ryan's lives everyday. Sometimes we just get to laughing so hard together that I forget about anything and everything that's gotten me down that day. It's pure bliss. And since supposedly laughter keeps you young, I'm thankful for that, too.

8. I'm thankful for creativity.
It's what makes me feel whole. I haven't had the studio space to do anything creative since we moved into this house and I definitely miss it. But that makes me thankful for it.

9. I'm thankful for bloggers.
Yes I am. Because you all are so inspiring both creatively and with your life stories. I just think the blogoshere is great. So, thank you lovely inspiring blog writers.

10. I'm thankful for my mom.
And how much she has sacrificed for me over the years. The unconditional love she has given me. And all the memories that I will always cherish.

11. My best friends
12. My car
13. Smiles
14. Tears
15. Education
16. DIY ideas
17. Pinterest
18. The Internet
19. Snickerdoodle cookies
20. Double fudge brownies
21. Movie nights
22. Rain
23. Singing
24. The radio
25. Etsy
26. Handmade things
27. Inspiration
28. Cameras
29. Photographs
30. Starry nights
31. The Bible
32. Prayer
33. Friendships
34. Tickle fights
35. Cuddle time
36. Babies and kiddos
37. Long talks
38. Strawberry lemonade
39. Blankets just out of the dryer
40. Riding with the windows down
41. Dancing around our living room
42. Sleeping in the sun
43. Cooking dinner with husband
44. Phone calls from my mom
45. Staying up late
46. Watching my favorite re-runs
47. Crying during a movie
48. Laughing so hard that I cry
49. Having a friend confide in me
50. Crafting with friends
51. Making something for someone
52. Watching puppies play and run
53. Our church family
54. The musical talents in our church
55. Seeing old couples still in love
56. Weddings
57. Driving without the rush to be somewhere
58. Feeding animals
59. Seeing a smile on a child’s face
60. Comments on my blog
61. Looking through old photographs
62. Receiving a package in the mail
63. Receiving any kind of snail mail other than bills
64. Writing my new last name
65. Having friends over for dinner
66. Date nights with husband
67. Going to our favorite restaurants
68. Taking photos for people
69. Neighbors that bring brownies
70. Reading a really good book
71. Talking with a friend
72. When the entire church sings with no music, just voices
73. Playing in leaves
74. Playing in the snow
75. Being able to take a vacation
76. Driving on a long trip
77. Turning the radio up really loud
78. Mexican queso dip & chips
79. Listening to the rain
80. Very sweet tea
81. Vintage things
82. Reading old notes from school
83. Making our house a home
84. Writing in a journal
85. Operation Christmas child
86. Seeing an old friend
87. Keeping in touch
88. Going outdoors
89. Going out to eat with family
90. Birthdays (mine & others’)
91. Getting flowers
92. Finding treasures in a thrift store
93. Hanging out with just my mom
94. Colored pencils
95. A blank page
96. Scriptures & quotes
97. Painting
98. Dancing
99. Memories
100. Promises
101. Chocolate
102. Puppy dog licks
103. Running
104. Our health
105. Christmas lights
106. Christmas trees
107. Christmas music
108. Family time
109. Encouraging friends/family
110. Kisses from husband
111. Hugs from husband
112. Memories from our wedding
113. Freedom
114. The right to vote
115. My faith
116. Our God
117. Eternal life
118. Clean laundry
119. A warm house on a cold day, a cool house on a hot day
120. Having a forgiving yet just God
121. Life
122. Rain boots
123. Candles and all their yummy smells
124. Hot cooked meals
125. Handmade gifts from friends
126. Crafting
127. My wedding band
128. Seeing husband's wedding band on his finger
129. Girl time
130. Fashion bloggers
131. Faith bloggers
132. Walking to class on a pleasant day
133. Hot chocolate
134. Apple cider
135. Pajama pants
136. Sharing a plate w/ husband at a restaurant
137. Sitting on the same side of the booth
138. All the furniture we got for free from family when we moved in
139. Husband siblings (because I'm an only child)
140. A mother-in-law that loves to take pictures
141. Being silly
142. Having a husband that speaks in sarcasm with me
143. Breakfast food
144. Boots
145. How soft husband's hair is when he gets it buzzed
146. Southern lifestyle, a slower pace
147. Professors that actually want to see you succeed
148. (this site saves lives!)
149. Drawing
150. Coloring books
151. My cell phone (honestly, you know you love it too)
152. Bobby pins
153. Hair spray
154. Toilet paper (Am I right? Just being honest.)
155. Chewing gum
156. Memory cards
157. Hot showers
158. Cold sodas
159. Autumn leaves and how they crunch beneath your feet
160. The smell of freshly mowed grass
161. A husband that mows the grass
162. Fans, and the hum that puts me to sleep
163. Holding hands
164. The GPS
165. Family that is always willing to help
166. Friends that are always there
167. Double dates
168. Giving someone a gift
169. Surprising someone
170. Love
171. Letting go of what holds you back
172. Hearing someone say "thank you"
173. Lazy afternoons
174. Roadtrips
175. Optimism
176. Trees
177. Flowers
178. Water
179. Scarves
180. Umbrellas
181. Yummy food
182. Being an adult and being able to eat dessert first
183. Watching comedy TV shows with husband and laughing at silly stuff
184. Not having homework or projects to work on (this only happens between semesters!)
185. The people I work with and all their craziness that makes me laugh
186. Toasty fires that warm your hands and feet
187. Tutorials
188. Haircuts
189. Chick-flicks
190. Movie theater popcorn (it's like a extra special treat for being good all week!)
191. Husband's grandmother that has survived cancer twice, and his other grandmother that has just pulled out of it, too.
192. Answered prayers
193. Unanswered prayers that God knew better for
194. High school football games
195. Twirling baton
196. Flashlights
197. Getting to take the backroads
198. Dogs that are incredibly excited to see you, always
199. Alarm clocks (I'm only thankful because it gets me to work on time, not because it wakes me up)
200. Being married to my best friend that always tells me "everything is going to be ok"

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 22, 2011

home sweet rental

from our honeymoon
This picture was taken on our honeymoon in August. I miss my long hair.

So last week I said that I was going to start sharing with you all more, and today I am going to do that. I wanted to share with you all the story of how Ryan and I came to find the house that we are currently renting. For a while, we didn’t think we were going to have a place to live, but God’s timing is far more perfect than ours could ever be.

We got engaged in December 2010 and our wedding was to be July 30, 2011. We had planned on finding a place to rent, and our families joined in helping us on the search. We quickly found out that the places for rent that were not falling apart were way out of our budget. That broke my heart.

So my family graciously found a way to come together to help us come up with a down payment on a house. We found one that we loved and as we were on our way back to take a second look at it, we got a call that it had just sold. It was a cash offer. I couldn’t help but be bummed out over it, but I knew that it meant that just wasn’t in God’s plan. Ryan knew that even better than I did.

We kept looking for about two more months and found nothing that was both in our budget and suitable to live in. We looked at a lot of foreclosures but most all of them required more work than we were going to be able to put into them. A month before the wedding we decided to start looking at places to rent again. Not much luck. We finally found a place that would be at the top of our budget, and we made an appointment for a tour. At the tour we found out, they had no openings.

I could not believe it. The wedding was getting so close. My mom’s basement was already full of boxes that I had packed to move out. All I could see happening was us living in one room of her basement. I do realize that it would be better than nothing and it is more than a lot of people have, but I just couldn’t shake the disappointment of coming home from our honeymoon with no real place to live.

About a week and a half before the wedding,
God gave us the miracle that He had been
planning all along.

We found a house to rent that was less than half of our budget and bigger than anything we ever thought we could afford. Not only that, but our landlord allows animals and let’s us paint the walls and hang things and make the space completely personal. Things could not have worked out any more perfectly.

I guess this was God’s way of teaching me to trust in Him more, something that I sometimes forget. It was a wonderfully peaceful feeling knowing that He had everything under control. I struggle with worrying about things, a lot. I have to remind myself to give it all to Him and let Him take care of it.

He knows what is best, and His timing is perfect.

We ended up not being able to move in until the day we arrived back from our honeymoon. And we had a lot to do. But we had a lot of family to help and it actually turned out to be a fun experience and I'm glad to have the memories.

Nov 21, 2011

I am blank because

2011 11 21d

I got this idea from Casey Leigh who got this idea from Little Miss Momma.

I am blank because...

I am weird because...
I don't drink milk from plastic cups, and the glass has to have been in the freezer.
I don't like red sauces. (like salsa, pizza sauce, ketchup, etc.)
I have to turn the light on before I enter a room.
Dirty dishes gross me out.
I like to have Ruffles original potato chips with milk.
I keep my nail polish bottles. Like forever.
I can't stand empty hangers amongst the clothes hanging in my closet.
I get freaked out driving in the city when it's raining and all the lights are reflecting off the road.
If my hair is short, I want it long. If my hair is long, I want it short.
I am intnesely afraid of spiders, and the like.
I don't like to be in water where I can't see my feet.
I'll call someone back before I listen to the voicemail they left because I hate voicemail that much.
I have an email folder titled "facebook keepers."
I use the term "preggers" instead of pregnant, alot. Husband can't stand it.
I set my bedside clock to run ten minutes fast so I don't run late. But I know it's fast. And I do run late.

2011 11 21c

I am a bad friend because...
Sometimes I don't reply to texts until the next day. Even serious ones.
I usually only check my facebook once a week, so it takes me a long time to reply.
Sometimes I think compliments but don't actually say them.
I don't know if all of my friends know Christ.

I am a good friend because...
I'll listen to anyone and about anything. And always do my best not to judge.
I am loyal.
I love taking photos of people.
I want to see my friends succeed and feel good about themselves.
I am trustworthy and honest. Just not, brutally honest.

2011 11 21e

I am sad because...
My college classes keep getting harder and I struggle alot.
I can't please everyone.
The transmission on my car went out, and it's going to be expensive to replace.
We have several different family Christmases that are overlapping this year.
We might not be able to afford to fly out to Cali for my cousin's wedding.
I worry too much about what other people think.
There are never enough hours in the day to do what we need to do and see who we need to see.

2011 11 21b

I am happy because...
I am married to my best friend, and our marriage is great.
It's the holiday season and Christmas will be here before we know it. (Lots of good food!)
We have some really great friends that we love to be around.
I only have one day of class this week because of Thanksgiving.
Friday is a girls day out for my family.
Husband keeps wanting to look at different dog breeds on google. Maybe there's a pup in our future! :)
Everyday I get one day closer to graduation and a college degree.
We made snickerdoodles last night.
Two of my real life friends are also now my blogger friends.

2011 11 21a

I am excited for...
Christmas decorating and our first married Christmas.
Date nights and movie nights.
Getting to be creative again.
Acutally beginning to pursue my dream.
Graduating in May.
A new year with new opportunities.
Seeing my Savior's face one day.
The first snow. That hopefully comes soon!
Babies. In a few years.
Throwing someone a baby shower. Can some of my friends hurry up and get married and pregnant?
New blogger friends.
Snow man building.
Hot chocolate drinking.
Warm blanket cuddling.
Family time.
And dancing to Christmas music.

Nov 20, 2011

weekend movie

Um, yes. I did go see Breaking Dawn this weekend. Of course I thought it was good. But, I read the books first. Therefore, nothing ever measures up because they can never include all of the details. I will say that the ending was great, I thought it was the perfect point to split the movie. But, then I found out we should have stayed for after the credits because there was another scene!

Katie and I went and took our boys. They suffered through it, but never fell short of letting us know how much they didn't want to be there. The line we had to wait in to get into the theater didn't help either. Oh, and husband and I ordered a drink and our cup happened to have the Breaking Dawn cast on it. Husband was thrilled. Katie and I decided we are going to go see part two next year, just us girls. I know the boys will be really disappointed, but somehow they will survive.

I was incredibly excited though because before it started they showed the preview for The Vow. I can hardly wait for it to come out. My two favorite people are the main stars, Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams. And it's from the same director that directed The Notebook. So this movie is just bound for my top five all time favorites.

Nov 18, 2011

the extended list

2011 11 18e
2011 11 18a
2011 11 18b
2011 11 18d

Blouse: Thrifted, Skirt: F21, Boots: Breckelles, Belt: Target

Well, if you were reading the blog the past two weeks, you’ve seen the Fall Essentials list. Now that I have clearly outlined for you what I consider the essentials within my closet, I think it’s time to share what would be on my fall wish list if money were no object and I could go on a purchasing frenzy.

(This list is more effective when you simultaneously think about apples, yellow leaves, cinnamon, pinecones, and carving pumpkins.)

1. More leopard print! Specifically in the form of some adorable little flats, kind of like these.
2. A blazer. Two blazers. One in a solid black, and one in a herringbone tweed.
3. Red. Red shoes.
4. A black pencil skirt.
5. A bright colored pencil skirt like this or this.
6. A pair of corduroy pants in a dark color like navy or black.
7. Glittery gold nail polish.
8. A pair of nude colored pumps.

Nov 17, 2011

awkward & awesome thursday

2011 11 17
First of all, I give full credit to the original awkward & awesome girl, Sydney because I have read her posts so many times and laughed out loud while sitting alone.

-My auditing professor that practically forces us to shout "I LOVE AUDITING" three times at the beginning of every class because she wants to increase our enthusiasm. Actually ma'am, that really just makes me dread coming to your class.
-Walking beside someone on the sidewalk that you don't know and you try to slow down to break stride, but they keep slowing down, too.
-Just the entire process of getting in and out of a car with an umbrella.
-Someone holding the door open for you when you are still so far away that you feel like you should run up to the door just so they can stop holding it.
-My boss asking me if I was pregnant because one of my co-workers gave me a hug. Um, that would be a no.
-Public restrooms. Need I say more?

-After today, I have no more exams until finals (but I'm not going to tell myself there's only three weeks 'til finals).
-Tomorrow night, I will be seeing the fourth addition to the Twilight saga with this girl, and our guys! We might be just a tad excited.
-Husband, myself, and the in-laws had Hometown Pizza last night. You guys, I seriously think it's the best pizza in the world. We're talking ooey-gooey-cheesy-goodness and the perfect thickness of crust.
-The number of compliments I get on my yellow purse with a big flower on it. Including the little girl in the van next to me in the grocery store parking lot that was banging on the window and going "I LIKE YOU FLOWER! I LIKE YOU FLOWER!"
-The Big Bang Theory. Husband and I are obsessed.
-Finding new & awesome blogs to read like pretty vintage, awkward girls, and Mr. Taylor and his lady. You girls rock.
-And, last but definitely not least: the comments you guys have been leaving fill me with so much happiness. Thanks ♥

Nov 16, 2011

encouragement & an open heart

2011 11 16b

Lately I have been reading Casey Wiegand’s blog. Her writing is so real and she is such a down-to-earth girl. I feel like I know her even though I’ve only read her blog. I think that’s amazing and I feel so inspired by that. One of the things Casey said is this

“Use your voice. No apologies.
We are all different and have been through different things, believe different things.... but whoever you are there is SOMEONE you can touch with your story.

Don't hold onto it.”

I think that is just beautiful and it really inspired me whenever I read that to share my own story. But, at the same time, it already makes me feel vulnerable and I haven’t even opened up yet. But Casey is right. The beautiful thing about blogging is that it gives us a chance to connect with other people. It can be more than fashion posts and DIY projects, although those are great and inspiring as well. But through blogging, you can get to know the true heart and soul of a person, if you are willing to open up and share. Every story is different, but we can relate to other people so many times and in so many ways. It’s refreshing to know that there are people out there that are going through or have been through similar things as you. I think it is all our responsibilities to encourage each other. And blogging is perfect for that.

“So encourage each other and build each other up, just as
you are already doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT)

2011 11 16c

And my husband is one of the greatest examples of this. I have never met anyone that is so encouraging to others, it is truly his gift. Sometimes I find that I love telling him my ideas just because I know he is going to be supportive and tell me that they are amazing. But it’s not just with me that he is encouraging. A lady from our church once came up to his mom and I and told us what a great young man he is. She said she had been having the worst morning and had been going through a lot of difficulties, and whenever he saw her he just came up and gave her a hug. She told us that it made her feel so much better, and that he had completely changed her day. The beauty that I see in that is that he didn’t even mean to. It’s just his gift, whether he does it consciously or not. He also has a great gift with children. Whenever there was a game of dodgeball going on, he made sure that even the tiniest of players were made to feel included and part of the team. I love watching him encourage others, it makes me feel inspired, and also so lucky to be married to this guy. He is a great example for me when it comes to encouraging.

So I want to be an encourager to all of you. I’m going to sometimes post things that are serious, things that are heavy on my heart, and I want you to be included. Feel free to leave me a comment or a link to tell me about things that you are going through, whether it’s a struggle, or something to be completely happy about. And I will do my best to both encourage you, and to pray for you.

As I was reading Casey’s post, she quoted something from Rachel, and I also would like to share it here…

"To be taken seriously, I must realize the seriousness of blogging.

Not in a "I take myself very seriously" type of way at all. More in the way that you realize the importance of the words, the faith and the beliefs that you hold.
I have a responsibility and far reaching arms when I share my words and


Use your blog, your words and your person to share the Lord (and your heart) with others.
They desperately need to hear your story as much as you need to hear theirs.

Be serious. Be passionate and Be you."

What beautiful words. We all need to hear each other stories. So please, share with me your story and I will do my best to share mine with you.

2011 11 16a

Nov 15, 2011

sorta, kinda, almost

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2011 11 15a
Blouse: Thrifted, Jeans: Thrifted, Boots: Glaze, Brooch: The Old White House

Remember the search for the plaid shirt? Well I sorta kinda almost found it. Seriously. I found this plaid shirt at a thrift store in a nearby town. I love it, I really do. It’s just not the white + one color plaid that I was looking for. Instead, it’s white + two colors. But, the more I wear it, the more it grows on me. By December we might be best friends. Who knows.

This now marks off a second goal from my 12 by 2012. Cha-ching.

Nov 14, 2011


2011 11 14b
2011 11 14c
2011 11 14a
Sweater: Target, Jeans: Thrifted, Boots: Glaze, Scarf: TJMaxx

1. I have to exams and two presentations that I am dreading this week. Well one is technically called a "quiz" but the time limit is 75 minutes and we have to answer three essay questions, so I call that an exam Mr. Professor, sir.

2. We had friends over on Saturday. That called for some major house cleaning. But now, it's just soooo clean and pretty.

3. I used to think I had an obsession with candles. Apparently husband is worse. I had to convince him to buy only one (as opposed to three) this weekend. But I kinda like that.

4. It took us a week to eat a pot of chili. Let's hope it's a while before husband wants it again. I'm a little burnt out.

5. My car is having some serious problems. I can't even drive it. We're praying that everything is fixable and isn't going to cost us a lot of money since we have Christmas coming up.

6. We had Thanksgiving dinner at our church last night. Now I'm officially ready to start decorating for Christmas. (It's so early though!)

7. I have eight more lectures to go to before this semester is over. The the countdown to the end of my final semester begins.

8. We now have curtains up in our bedroom. They replaced the extra shower curtain and sheets that had been there since we moved in.

9. There's a new Forever21 that just opened near by. Yes, I'm going.

10. My hair is now long enough to curl. Coming soon. :)

Happy Monday.

Nov 13, 2011

marriage and bacon

**This picture is from over a year ago, but I was feeling a little
reminiscent and decided to post it.  I didn't have a DSLR yet
and we weren't even engaged, much less married!  Time flies.**

So, I have a story from last weekend that I wanted to share with you guys but I was too busy posting the fall essentials. Oops!

Sunday morning we got that extra special extra hour of sleep thanks to Mr. Daylight Savings. Just kidding, we really got an extra hour of staying up late doing absolutely nothing important and then regretting it in the morning when we were wide awake but still tired. Anyways. So husband wakes up at the same time as me, which rarely happens. When I asked him why he said because originally he was thinking he would cook breakfast, but now he had decided not to. I said, um, what? You can’t just say that you are going to cook breakfast and not follow through. If you mention it, you have to do it. I didn’t think husband would actually do it, but whenever I got out of the shower, guess what was cookin’? Bacon. And eggs. But I was just mostly excited about the bacon. Did I mention that I married the best guy ever?

Nov 11, 2011

Fall Essential #10 - oxford shoes

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Cardigan: gift, Blouse: Ruche, Jeans: Thrifted, Oxfords: Steve Madden (last fall)

Well, we have finally reached the last of the Fall Essentials list. All good things must come to an end, I guess. It’s been a really fun experience and I think I have actually learned a few things, such as:

-When you have no third party to take a picture of you and your friend together, you can easily come up with make-shift ideas such as propping the camera on a clutch that is sitting on the hood of a work van, or on top of a cinder block, although that requires a low to the ground picture (see the first picture in this post).

-If you are taking multiple outfit pictures in one day, remember to pack everything you need as to avoid driving back home to get the things you left behind.

-Your family may not understand why you wear fake, thick framed glasses. And, they might even call you out on it. But if nothing else, give them a break for being honest with you.

-Canon and Nikon lenses zoom in/out in opposite directions, which is surprisingly more confusing than you think.

-When in doubt, you can always result to the pose in which you cross one leg over the other. It works like a charm.

-Woodlad Friends is not the same as Woodland Friends. And thank goodness for chalkboard erasers (or paper towels in this case).

See Mackenzie's pretty little oxfords here.

Fall Essential #9 - woodland friend

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Tee: Thrifted (originally J Crew), Jeans: Thrifted, Oxfords: Steve Madden (last fall), Scarf: Francesca's

For some reason I associate the woodland friend theme with Etsy, maybe it’s something about the handmade/vintage culture. The sweater that Mackenzie chose as her woodland friend essential is actually something she purchased from Etsy, too. The tee that I chose was something I thrifted, but it is originally from J Crew. I just love the sequen/beaded antlers. The funny thing is, I actually told both Mackenzie and another one of my friends that this tee had a deer head silhouette on it. Um, no, it’s just the antlers, which I did not realize until putting it on to take these photos. What was I thinking?

Thinking about the woodland friend them reminded me of an Etsy Treasury that I created over a year ago, so it’s completely outdated but I still think it is really cute and fun to look at. Reminiscing on that treasury, I decided to create a new one just because it's fun to look at all the cute little creatures (and to see all the Etsy talent, of course!)

Do you own anything with a cute, furry little friend on it? Or maybe with an owl? You should see Mackenzie’s owl collection! It’s grown even more since she created that post.

Nov 10, 2011

Fall Essential #8 - a POP of color

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2011 11 10g
Sweater: Target, Jeans: Thrifted, Boots: Breckelles, Scarf: Thrifted

Personally I think that the “pop of color” theory works great for every season, but it’s particularly great for fall (& winter) for two reasons:

1. Darker, more neutral colors start coming out and the pop of color adds a great contrast.
2. Colder weather requires more accessories and layers, so it’s that much easier to add the pop of color in a small accessory or to add it to the layers.

And there is a story as to how this scarf was purchased. Husband and I were standing in line at one of our favorite thrift/second hand stores. You might know that they put a rack of scarves right next to the check out line, only increasing my temptations (it’s hard for me to resist a good scarf). So I started browsing. Obviously, this yellow one jumped out at me. I stared at it longingly, secretly hoping that husband would say something to encourage me to purchase it, releasing all my guilt at giving in to the temptation. He didn’t. So I turned back to face the front of the line. I think the scarf must have been whispering my name because I turned back to look at it about two more times before finally giving in and casually saying to husband, “You think I should get this scarf?” And he answered, “If you want to.” SO, I took that answer and ran with it, all the way up to the cash register and then I took it home with me. It has probably become my favorite scarf just because of the color alone. Oh, and those boots? I’m pretty sure I’ve worn them everyday this week (outside of photographing the fall essentials, of course) and people are probably starting to question if I even own any other shoes. Well yes, as a matter of fact I do, next week I’m wearing oxfords all week.

Don’t forget to take a peek at Mackenzie’s pop of green!