Friday, July 30, 2010

friday favorites.

1. jewelry making. 
i've been searching through different etsy shops lately and seeing all of the sweet dainty jewelry that so many have listed. so may times i have been tempted to purchase some of these little treasures but i couldn't get myself to buy something that i might be able to make. tuesday i made a trip to hobby lobby and found myself lost in the jewelry making aisle. i found a couple sweet little charms that were exactly what i was looking for. and to top it all off, everything i bought was 50% off! ah, hobby lobby, you have my heart.

i ended up making a pair of earrings and a small necklace. total cost for both: $4.07
[pictures to come...i'm experiencing a little technical difficulty with my card!]

2. broadway plays. 
i am so so so so so excited because tonight we get to go see "beauty and the beast" performed at our local arts center! beauty and the beast was my favorite disney film growing up and i've always wanted to see it performed live. yaaay! i can't wait!!

3. playlists. 
i love playlists. i make a playlist in itunes, wear it out, and then create another. here's what this week's playlist has looked like:
  1. quelqu'un m'a di- carla bruni
  2. valentino- diane birch
  3. tighten up- the black keys
  4. just you and me- zee avi
  5. mushaboom-feist
  6. click, click, click, click- bishop allen
  7. the honey tree- mostar diving club
  8. today has been okay- emiliana torrini
  9. chasing pirates- norah jones
  10. hey na na- katie herzig
  11. you make it real-james morrison
  12. baby boomer- monsters of folk

have a lovely weekend and enjoy the company of those close to you. 
ps- thank you all of the sweet words, thoughts, and prayers. each means a lot to me and all effected by this sudden passing. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

finding peace.

before i go any further, i am warning you that this post is not one filled with projects, recipes, etc. this post is more or less all of the thoughts and emotions that have been swimming around in me over the passed 24 hours and here is where i have chosen to spill them. often times i piece my thoughts together in my head like i'm writing them all down in a chapter book. they're often jumpy and rarely all fit together, but so many different emotions have been evoked that i am writing it down, however it may turn out.

the passed day has been a rough one for me, my family, and many of my friends. last week i posted about praying for a close family friend as she went through cancer treatments and the roller coaster that cancer can set a body on. our sweet friend passed away last night and is once more whole in the presence of our Lord. 

to give a little background, the sweet friend that i am telling you about is the mother of one of my longest friends, erica. erica and i met on the first day of kindergarten and were best friends throughout our school years. our moms were both younger moms, and soon made a connection as well. our younger sisters were even the same age! before long, our families had become close. erica and i shared may of life's adventures together. from the excitement and suspense of first day of kindergarten, to slumber parties where we would stay up all night and write with a flash light the name of the boy that we just knew that we were going to marry someday in our middle school years (we were both entirely wrong), to moving to college together, and even up until recently when we both got engaged only a week apart. 

in may erica's mom, lori, was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma cancer, a cancer that is known for it's rapid growth and only effects 4 in a million people. lori's case proved to spread unbelievably quickly while the doctors continued to look for new ways to treat her. the cancer would not respond to chemo causing lori to become weaker and weaker. 

over the pasted day i have spent a lot of time in prayer searching for peace. i have had many loved ones die, and, while lori was not "blood related" to me, her passing away has hit me harder than any other death i have dealt with. 

i've been thinking a lot about how sweet lori was. she was beautiful and caring. and then i got to thinking about how it is such a shame that it took this for me to really appreciate her. isn't it sad that we wait until the death of a person to really point out all of their great attributes? while a person is here on earth we take them for granted. we don't give things a second thought....until someone is gone.

we are always told to "live for today, because it may be your last". we hear this, but having that actually sink in is an entirely different story. there are times when i find myself nearly thinking that i am invincible. that nothing bad will happen to me or my family. this is me in my obvious blinded state. and while i sit and think that maybe nothing bad will happen to me, i realize that just as easily as lori was told that she had cancer in may, and passed away less than 3 months later,...that could have been my mom. or sister. or dad. i've realized over the passed day that life is more fragile that i have ever believed it to be before. 

a scene in my head keeps playing over and over: erica and i were out to lunch earlier in the year and talking about how we were both hoping to get engaged soon. we giggled and dreamed about planning our weddings and living our married lives. i specifically remember saying "do you know how much fun it will be if we get to plan our weddings together? our moms would have a hayday!" and every time that this scene rewinds and plays itself again in my head, my heart hurts a little more. erica is getting married in october and i wish with everything that her mom would have been able to be there on her special day. 
while it's easy to dwell on the shock and darkness over this situation, God has promised us a bright side to everything. right now lori is not hooked to monitors or weak from treatment. she is whole. and just a beautiful as we all remember her to be. and while those effected by this death may not see the good that can come from this now, i continually pray that we will see the purpose for this someday. 

and if you read and followed all of that, thank you. say a prayer for this family and all effected by this quick loss. may we all find peace and comfort in our saviors arms. 

and if you would like to read about lori's journey or learn more about leiomyosarcoma cancer, visit lori's website at

Monday, July 26, 2010

yum yum!

ahh, i enjoyed my quiet weekend...i hope all of you did as well!

i have lots of little thoughts twirling around my head today, but my brain keeps going back to thinking about the peanut butter pie that is sitting quietly in the fridge. so, today i will tell you about this yummy little treat and suggest that you go out immediately for the ingredients so that you can enjoy your very own slice tonight. 

i decided friday that it had been far too long since i had enjoyed a nice piece of this pie so i took matters into my own hands. for this treat you only need a few ingredients: vanilla, cream cheese, cool whip, peanut butter, milk, powdered sugar, and graham cracker crust. is your mouth watering yet? cream cheese, peanut butter, AND cool whip!? yes please!!

peanut butter pie
8oz cool whip
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
3oz cream cheese
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
little bit of milk (this is what my recipe said, i just guess-timated)

directions: combine all ingredients in bowl. pour mixture into graham cracker crust. keep in refrigerator.

and that's it! 
your taste buds will surely thank you. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

friday favorites.

1. roald dahl.
sweet sweet roald dahl. this week i've found myself lost in the pages of james and the giant peach and matilda and remembering while i loved his work when i was younger. one of my assignments for this coming semester is to have several children's chapter books read by the end of the semester. i've been trying to get a head start on the assignment and have been enjoying journeying through the ocean on a giant peach and discovering the richness of books with matilda.

2. pretty houses. 
i've got the fever to live in a real house with real rooms and real decorations. this fever has probably been brought on by this post that i stumbled upon a few days ago. so many diy projects, colors, and pretty little trinkets that i just love. i can't wait for the day that i get to use all of these ideas that i've gathered up to decorate a home.

also, you are my fave just wrote a post about using barn doors inside. oh dear, my wish list for a home just keeps growing!
(photo credit:
3. quiet weekends.
for the first time in many many weeks there are no plans for this weekend...and i am so grateful. i'm ready for a relaxing, quiet weekend to re-coop from the week!

i hope you have a relaxing weekend as well!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

catching up.

this week:
1. i have been working photography and around the world camp. this week i have "visited" australia, china, and africa so far. it's so fun to watch the kids learn new phrases in different languages. fun and entertaining. next week is my last week of's gone by so so fast! 

2. i have enjoyed lots of catching up with friends. today i got to enjoy a yummy red velvet cupcake and a cup of coffee with my sweet friend elizabeth. she's at a "shift" in life and we had lots of catching up to do. one thing i love about elizabeth: her laugh. i left thanking god for her sweet laugh. 
this evening zach and i got to have dinner with our friend chad. i think i laughed for 95% of our dinner. chad is pretty indescribable but so fun to be around. 

3. i have prayed and thought a lot. recently a close family friend was diagnosed with cancer and the situation has gotten worse very quickly. over the passed week i have had this heavy feeling in me and i can't quit thinking about our sweet friend that is experiencing so much pain right now. i realize that all i can do is pray for her health, her family, and her sense of peace as she goes through this. i keep telling myself that we serve a god that is bigger than cancer. 

4. i have realized that summer has absolutely flown by. it's nearly august and i have no idea where my summer has gone. i am so not ready to start schoolwork yet...yuck!

5. i have had no time for projects. my project list is beginning to pile up, but between work, catching up with friends, and catching up on sleep, my little projects have had to take a backseat. but i have lots of ideas swimming around in my head that will hopefully soon be placed into reality. 

6. marks another week off of the wedding countdown. we're at 10 months to go!

7. i have missed a lot of my friends a whole whole bunch. and even though i'm not ready for the school work to start piling up quite yet, i'm so ready to see some of these cheerful faces on a regular bases:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

fun with friends.

friday afternoon zach and i left out to meet some of our friends in branson, missouri. what a fun weekend of laughing, shopping, visiting, and relaxing!

friday night we enjoyed a late-night round of mini-golf. i was not so good at it, but enjoyed the quirky-ness of the mini-golf course. i was so impressed with how many people were out mini-golfing at 11pm! i was fading fast since it was long passed my bedtime. we stopped for an icee break on the way back to the hotel and settled in for the night...or so i thought. before i knew it, the boys had turned our room into circus olay.
oh boys...never a dull moment. 

saturday morning we woke up and made our way down the street to krispy kreme. yum yum! then it was off to the outlet malls where we found lots of fun deals, including pants from gap for our groomsmen! it's a huge relief to have that checked off of our wedding to do list. 

saturday evening we had tickets to the dixie stampede, a dinner/show that incorporates the audience in a civil war "battle". they bring you lots of yummy food that you are required to eat with your hands while you watch the show. we had so much fun! i got in trouble at the beginning of the show for taking pictures, so all we have are pictures afterwards. 

after the show, we drove around town looking for our next adventure and, of course, the boys found their way to the go-cart track. us girls decided to be the photographers for this little event. 

today we woke up and rushed to breakfast, did a little last minute shopping, and all headed out on our separate ways. 

what a fun weekend with friends! several times this weekend i caught myself feeling so thankful for the great relationships that i have been blessed with. relationships that are filled with joy and compassion. thank you God for sweet friends and fun weekends. 

and now it's time to prepare for the week ahead. i can only hope that a wonderful weekend leads to a wonderful week!

Friday, July 16, 2010

friday favorites.

1. birthdays.
this week i knew three people celebrating birthdays, one being my sweet fiance zach. so this week has consisted of birthday treats, presents, birthday dinners, and sewing gifts. i love birthdays! (pictures to follow later on...)

2. skirt and dress tutorials.
i struck blog gold this week. i found two blogs that are right up my alley: posts full of how to make sweet little skirts and dresses....yaaaaaaaay!! i was so excited i just had to share this with everyone here.

first off: ruffles and roses- 
i found this blog and right off the bat i saw a link titled "summer of skirts" yeeeeek! here are a few of her skirts that i'm loving:

i ventured out and tried my own version of the red skirt tutorial that she posted. it ended up turning out pretty well! 

i found this blog through a link on ruffles and roses. grosgrain features lots and lots of fun dress/skirt/shirt/etc tutorials. love it!

3. trips with friends. 
this afternoon zach and i are heading out with a few of our friends on a little weekend getaway. we're heading to branson, missouri which in only about 2 hours from where we live. branson is a fun, cheesy little town filled with shopping, shows, and music. the boys are super excited to ride go carts while us girls have plans of hitting up the outlet malls. i've been so excited to get away for the weekend and spend some time with sweet friends.

enjoy your weekend!

Monday, July 12, 2010

project skirt.

i'm always in this constant dilemma: i love wearing skirts and dresses but they're always too short. during the school year when i am in the classroom teaching, i'm expected to dress nice and appropriate. the problem with a lot of styles you find today is that they're not exactly appropriate...let alone classroom appropriate!

which lead me to drastic measures saturday night. zach had left for the weekend to attend a friends wedding reception while i was stuck back home due to the fact that i had to work. so saturday evening i found myself with nothing to do but surrounded by stacks of fabric. solution: make a skirt.

whew! now i've got the first one out of the way and can hopefully make a few more a little more smoothly. 

Friday, July 9, 2010

friday favorites.

1. rainbow cupcakes. 
ever since meg over at "whatever" posted the recipe idea for rainbow cake, i have been wanting to try them out! and with zach's birthday this wednesday and my new pyrex bowls at hand, i had no excuse not to go ahead and whip these little goodies up.

2. she&him.
she&him has been on my ipod playlists for...well, a long time now. individually i love both zooey deschannel and m.ward, but collaboratively they're 1000 times better. august 29th they will be at a music festival in st.louis called loufest. i would really really really love to go. 

3. project sneak peaks. 
my etsy shop is about to get lots of fun new additions. here are a few teasers of what's to come.

happy friday!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

friends, fireworks, and fame.

bare with me...this post could get lengthy.

yes, yes, yes...i know that it's july 8th and i'm just now talking about how i spent the 4th of july weekend. i've been a little behind and "off" on everything this week, so it seems to fit that i'm 4 days late on posting about the weekend.

as i mentioned in my previous post, we began the weekend by visiting my grandparents. one of my favorite things to do is go to garage sales/junk stores/antique stores and rummage around to find little treasures. and saturday afternoon, we did just that. my grandparents live in a town full of junk/antique stores and i love it!

lately i've been loving old pyrex dishes. i think it's because it reminds me of going to my great-grandmas house when i was younger, but i just really love the look and feel of these little treasures. i found a few while we were out on saturday.

i also found a jade sugar shaker that i am so excited about!

did i mention that i really love searching for little treasures?

moving onto sunday...zach and i headed south to join a few college friends to celebrate the 4th. we got to see lots of our friends, ate yummy food, and had a great view of the fireworks. 

last week i won tickets to see kris allen perform on monday night. so monday afternoon my sister and i got to meet and greet with kris and listen to his sound! we had tickets for the show later that night but decided to skip since we already had our own private show and i wasn't feeling too hot. 

kris allen is super nice. i got all kind of nervous when we went to take the picture and couldn't think of anything to say that didn't sound dumb. i ended up blurting out "our mom is going to be so proud".  

and she was. 

Saturday, July 3, 2010

items for sale and a happy 4th to all.

while my etsy page isn't completely ready yet, i've added a section to the blog title "the knotted needle store" located on the left. you can view some of the items that i've been working on to place in my shop. if you are interested in any of the items, email me at or leave me a comment. i'm also available for custom orders, so if you seem something that you like but you think you might want a different color/pattern, just email me!

i have a few little ideas swirling around in my head for some new bags,  little pouches, fun earrings, and cute hair accessories. be sure and check back for new listings soon!

and last but certainly not least, i hope that everyone is having a wonderful fourth of july weekend. today zach and i tagged along with my parents to head south and visit with my grandparents. while the boys kept the fort down at the homestead, us girls decided to do a little antiquing. an entire post dedicated to my findings will be coming soon! tomorrow we are headed to a little celebration with some of our college friends. the fourth is such a fun holiday!

so, enjoy something off the grill, a piece of watermelon, fireworks, and time with family and friends tomorrow.
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