Monday, February 28, 2011

Haitian faces and little American hands.

Today was busy/stressful/fill-in-the-blank. But, since negative blogging is a bummer and doesn't help anyone (the reader or the writer), I will leave it at that and move on by talking about the moments that made life so wonderful today:

- little Matilda snuggling on my lap, even after I took her to the vet for four shots
- my brother getting into Northwestern's AuD program this coming fall (seriously impressive)
- Harbor deciding that we needed grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner
- my little sister's gentle, loving heart
- running a mile and a half when I didn't feel like I could even walk two blocks
- sweet goodnight kisses
- 100 little instax photos arriving in the mail today just in time for LV's wedding this weekend
- very kind and unexpected text messages from good friends
- brand new soap and shampoo that smells like flowers
- thank you notes from the Gemini Elementary School kids for sharing about Haiti last month
- remembering my time in Haiti last November

God, may we always remember the bigger picture, and find ways to love those around us, and ourselves.

I hope you can take a moment to recall the special, fleeting moments that made your day wonderful too. Feel free to share some in the comments section. 

And now, it's off to bed (as soon as I get my new Sleeping At Last "March" ep in their YEARBOOK series). 


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sweet Saturday.

Hey guys, happy Saturday. Our house is quiet except for the dishwasher running in the kitchen, the sun is warm and inviting outside, and it just feels like it's going to be a good day. This weekend I've got a lot of boring things to take care of, like cleaning, running, and applying to grad school while I sit outside on the patio at Starbucks. So after I finish my cereal it's off to the river to run! I'm going to try for two straight miles without stopping. 

And goodness, speaking of running, my friend Holly ran her first 5k today, and she shaved off five whole minutes from her estimated time. Her roommate Nichole was texting me after the race, and she said that Holly was so happy that she was crying and that it was one of the best experiences ever. Holly is such an inspiration to me. She began running this year in order to lose 99 pounds, and her journey toward "health and happiness" has been the coolest thing to get to experience along the way. She's one of the most positive people I know in my life, but to see her tackle the goals she's setting for herself is really something so special. I can already tell how all her running and healthy life choices are giving her the confidence to keep her head held high, run when she doesn't want to, and admit when she needs encouragement from others. I think that's the sign of someone with true inner strength, and I think we're all capable of it but we often refuse to admit when we need other people in our lives. 

It's a scary thing to let others into the spaces in ourselves where uncertainty and doubt dwell, but Holly is a shining example of someone who's doing it well. I am so proud of her. So, now that I've gotten all pumped up by Holly's story once more, it's off to run two miles with a positive attitude and a healthy goal in mind. And then maybe enjoy an iced latte with my grad school application. 

Thanks for reading.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Night ride!

Some of my friends and I went for a bike ride along the Indian River tonight. It's still pretty chilly in the evening, so we're taking advantage of it before the blazing heat of Florida summer returns.

Here are some sweet action shots from our ride.

Allie, Skyler and Harbor.

Allie with a basket full of necessities for our trip.

A very sorry attempt of an "action shot."

Harbor bein' fancy.

We rode all the way down to our church, which is a little over six miles from our house. It was pretty creepy to be out there in the woods so late at night, but I'm always so proud when I ride far and don't get winded anymore. This was our third attempt at a group shot. Allie's the best. 

That's about it from our ride. Be sure to check out my blogger friend Chelsea's blog today. She very kind, has a wonderful blog that I read daily, and today she highlights a non-profit I'm pretty fond of. ;)

Happy weekend, everyone! Goodnight and sweet dreams.

Another crochet project.

Good morning, everyone.

It's been a busy week, so sorry for the lack of posting for a few days. I'll be doing two posts today to make up for my absence. :)

Last night I began another blanket project. I've been wanting to make a chevron blanket since before I knew what they were actually called. I just kept telling my friend Nichole that I wanted her to teach me how to make "stripped" or "zig-zag" blankets. hah. I've been eyeing tons of chevron patterns on Elsie's blog lately, and it seems that the chevron pattern is really making a comeback this spring. By the way be sure to check out Red Velvet's new spring line! So cute, and as always, styled to perfection.

Here is a photo I found that is really inspiring me:

I haven't nailed down my color pallet just yet, but since my last blanket was super earth toned, I know it's going to be bright and cheerful, like the great colors in that blanket. My goal is to have it completed by the end of April. Let's see if I can do it!

When I first finished my blanket, I was so burnt out from large project that I took a break from crocheting for a bit, and found myself wandering in the direction of small, silly projects. I've decided that while I'm working on this blanket, I'll be making small gifts for friends so I keep a little variety in my crafting.

I think that this House Crest case is really cute. I've only read half of one Harry Potter book (I know, I'm sorry) but tons of my coworkers are HP fanatics. Though, I do have to admit, I think that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is one of the best places on earth. I think these iPhone/iPod cases would be great birthday gifts.

Another project I can't get out of my head? Crocheted flower headbands. I think little floral details are the sweetest, and perfect for spring. I haven't found a flower tutorial, but my friend Nichole says she'll show me how, and that most of the time you just make them up! I found this little field of flowers here.

Doilies and coasters are something else I'd like to learn how to make. I like how these shapes all feel so organic, but are so unique and different. Love the colors too. That magenta and mustard yellow are beautiful. (Maybe some blanket inspiration too?)

Anyway, I'd better finish getting ready for work. Are you tackling any projects this spring? If you could learn how to craft something new, what would it be? 

Have a great Friday!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Our first date, one year later.

Well, people. Wintertime is leaving Central Florida, and it's gotten up to 80-something degrees the past two days. I think that I had a miniature panic attack when I realized that soon I'll be sweating every single morning when I wake up. With the heat comes wavy hair every single day thanks to a little monster called "humidity." Every time I need to travel out west for a work trip, I notice such a difference in my hair and skin. I'm more dry and wayyy less frizzy. But, anyway, enough about such nonsense.

(By the way, I'm wearing the necklace that I bought for the wedding I'm in the weekend after next. It's actually pretty heavy and really sparkley.)

Tonight is really special. Harbor and I went on our first date ever exactly one year ago. I can still remember the outfits we were wearing, and how the rain started pouring two minutes before he arrived. But, he showed up to my door like a true gent, soaking wet and ready for our date. We joked and said that we should get ready for tonight and then have one of my housemates hose us down so we could recreate the date exactly. (I think we'll pass though.) We're planning on doing the same things we did one year ago: swinging by Thai Thai for sushi and sitting at the same table we sat at, then driving through Starbucks for coffee and mint tea, and taking our drinks to the beach and walking along the shore in the moonlight. Sounds sort of cliché, but it's still cute. We spent tons of time getting to know each other and having some of the greatest conversations while walking up and down the shore during the early days of our relationship. :)

What are some of your first date stories? Does anyone else commemorate special dating moments by recreating them later?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Art journal = All I want to do right now.

Too much happening today.

Drink a hot cup of tea and work in my art journal.

This is not a possibility, but a part of me needs this before bed. Hope to find a way to make this happen tonight.

What do you like to do when you need to unwind?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Nonstop weddings.

This year, I have attended the most adorable weddings with great "Florida vibes." Last night my friend Jessica married a great guy named Ryan in an old theatre in Winter Garden, Florida. Take a look at the marquee, it's super adorable.

The wedding was beautiful and unique, and the message was surprisingly refreshing. I really appreciate wise words during weddings, and I thought that Ryan and Jess must have worked hard to create a really welcoming and comfortable experience for their guests on their special day. 

Here are some photos from the ceremony:

Really, how great is this venue? 

 And of course, the kiss... 

The wedding was so great. Really pretty colors and cute yard sale and thrifted details all over the place. I really should've taken more photos... 

Jess' parents have a tangerine grove, so each table's centerpiece included a bowl of sweet citrus. The food was very southern-themed and there were plenty of pescetarian-friendly options, which I enjoyed. I ate some sweet-glazed roasted carrots, sweet corn hush puppies, grilled shrimp and goat cheese flatbreads, an amazing butternut squash mash. There were also crazy-good horderves, including pieces of locally grown watermelon with a balsamic vinegar reduction, sweet potato wedges wrapped in bacon and drizzled with sweet bbq sauce, and little chicken finger on-a-biscuit finger sandwiches. I didn't eat the last two, but I did pick out sweet potatoes and give all the bacon to my friend Katie. :) All in all it was a great evening with good friends I hadn't seen in ages. 

In other wedding-related news, I was really thankful to discover my ModCloth box waiting for me in my room this Friday evening when I got back from working in Orlando for the day. I have been really curious (and a little worried) about whether or not one of the four dresses I ordered would fit me, and also be suitable for the wedding's theme. So after church this morning I did a mini fashion show for Harbor and my roommate Lindsay and we found the winner: 

I also bought a gold necklace from Target after lunch to go with my dress, and a pair of lacy black tights. I will more than likely end up wearing another pair of heels I have, but I'm still trying to figure everything out. 

This isn't the exact necklace I bought earlier today, but it's pretty close. And, I'm still hunting for a cute gold leaf headband my friend Carter wore to the wedding last night. It would be perfect!

That's all I've got! I'm off to go do a little crafting while Harbor wraps up an article he's been working on for a bit... 


Just one photo before bed.

Congrats to Ryan & Jessica Kelly. The wedding tonight was beautiful... more to come when I'm not blogging in my sleep.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Guess what I finished?

After five months of learning how to crochet granny squares, my blanket (or throw, really) is ready for use.

It must be a pretty cozy afghan if both Harbor and Matilda approve. :) And, sorry to use camera phone photos to commemorate such a grand occasion, but hopefully its beauty still shines through, despite the low-grade photo quality.

Happy Thursday to one and all!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The hunt for the perfect bridesmaid dress continues.

I wanted to let you all in on my search for the perfect bridesmaid's dress for my friend Lindsey's wedding. She is one of my dearest friends in the world. She has so much Godly wisdom, loves others well, is gentle, compassionate, and patient, and is hands down one of the most talented artists I've ever known in my entire life. (She even designed my tattoo for me!) 

(LV and me, circa 2009)

This was the last time I was in wedding, and the bride's name was Lindsay as well. I'm on the far left. Our dresses were $20 from the Liberty of London summer line at Target, and the shoes were only $40. We made our own hairpieces and bouquets, I spent well under $100 for this wedding, so I think that should be my goal for this upcoming wedding as well. 

So far, I've purchased four dresses, and I hope they arrive today or tomorrow so I can start narrowing down, and getting my money back for my returned dresses. Yesterday I spent a pretty significant amount of time scoping out the new, highly-anticipatd BHLDN website. And I almost screamed when I saw this dress:

 (Dress found here)

Because I knew that I had this dress coming to my house from ModCloth. I couldn't believe how similar the two were, and all the gorgeous photos gave me so much inspiration on how to style the rest of my bridesmaid look.

(Dress found here)

I'm daydreaming about fun gold shoes with handmade gem clips, a nice new (recycled) gold clutch, and my hair in a wispy updo after I get a newly dyed shade of red at the end of the month. It wouldn't be very hard to craft these accessories, either. Little creativity and patience and they'd be adorable with that dress.

 (Hairpiece found here)

(Clips found here)

(Clutch found here

I can't wait until the dress arrives. Here's to hoping it fits me well and flatters my body type. If so, it looks like I've got some great crafting ahead of me. Getting excited!

Have you gotten the chance to check out BHLDN yet?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Salad, spaghetti and "meatballs."

So I got tricked on Valentine's Day, and I loved it. Harbor texted me just before he was going to arrive to pick me up and told me that he was "running late" so I had to drive over to his apartment and when I walked in, I saw this little setup in his living room and got so excited. A romantic dinner at home, cooked by my favorite boy. 

See, I've been hearing about these famous meatballs his mom makes since we started dating, but because I don't eat meat (I mean, I eat fish - I'm a pescetarian - so technically yes, I do eat meat) and I've never been able to sample their deliciousness. So guess what the sweet boy did? He looked up a recipe for vegetarian meatballs and used lentils to recreate his mom's recipe. They were SO good, like better than we could have imagined good, and we'll be eating the leftovers tonight. (Maybe he'll let me post his recipe on here... I'll have to ask him.) It was his first time using the kitchen in his place, and that was a challenge as well. Look at that teeny-tiny stove!

We enjoyed delicious sparkling peach cider from our IKEA visit the day before, and he bought me my favorite brand of red wine too. I got Harbor the latest Wild Nothing record for Valentine's Day, so we enjoyed the sound-quality that only vinyl has to offer while we dined. Super romantic and just really cozy and fun.

And it wasn't over yet. We were craving a sweet treat after dinner (but, when are we not?) so we brainstormed and decided that it was late enough to brave the restaurant world and take advantage of an evening out. We went to Carrabba's and hoped a yummy dessert would catch our eye. Turns out they make canolis with pistachios in them! I was in heaven. Harbor got an espresso and I finished the evening with a crazy-good chocolate dessert martini.

Hope your evening was special, whether you spent it with someone or not.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Matilda wants you to know you're purrfect.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone. Well, since I've passed out all of my valentines, I suppose it's time to show them off to the world wide web. I am really happy to finally be able to reveal the special valentines I ordered from Fuzzy Mug a few weeks back. I was super pleased with the way they turned out, and think it's so great that one of the cats looks so much like the Little Tiny herself!

These cards are supposed to be reminiscent of the cards you passed out in elementary school as a kid. Small shape, fun prints and simple, sweet phrases. My set contains four different cats wearing heart headbands sealed inside cute green envelopes with a paw print punched out. They are really unique and the seller is super kind and easy to work with. She created a custom cat order because the original came with cats and dogs, but I really only wanted cats in my stash because who needs dogs, right? (I'm kidding.) Plus, Fuzzy Mug supports local rescue shelters, and since I adopted Matilda from a shelter here in town, I think what they're doing is pretty great.

Hope your Valentine's Day is really sweet. Both literally and figuratively.


I woke up before my alarm went off today. It wasn't by my own doing, however, because I caught a very sneaky bf in my room putting these on my vanity on his way to work:

Really cute, and sort of serves me right. See, I used to be pretty cynical about relationships (right? who hasn't been at some point) and I thought that most guys only gave girls flowers on Valentine's Day if they were 1) majorly uncreative, 2) in the dog house, or 3) wanted something more. And while I'm sure many guys do this, I can attest to the fact that it's not always true. Like I said, I was really jaded and thought that most guys were immature and incapable of dating girls. Many still are, I'm sure, but let me vouch for one who definitely isn't. I'm really glad I didn't date through college some days, and this is one of them. Patience, patience, patience.

Oh, and he also got me treats that are perfect for me. Savory and sweet! I like sweet things, but I would pick salty over a sweet treat any day of the week. So he got me dark chocolate and almonds, some hazelnut chocolates, AND some cheese munchies! Yesss. Plus, he makes the best cards in the entire world. I can't prove it to you though, because I'm not letting your read what's inside. <3

A nice little spin on the traditional Valentine's gift, don't you think? Hope you get to celebrate others and feel celebrated today too. Or, that you just don't celebrate this holiday because you think it's dumb. Whatever you do just make sure you have fun today. Be kinds to others and allow them be kind back to you as well.