Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It wasn't about the presents underneath the tree...

...Instead it was all about their wrapping.
As you get older you get less gifts being that the things you want now cost a lot more mullah. So, in an effort to make every gift count and feel over the top special, I created a unique bow for each and every gift. Plus, I just love doing that kind of crap. You know, the stuff that takes so much time to prepare and then only has a very brief moment in the sun. That's why once I spent weeks doing paper mache on a bunch of balloons to make these ball center pieces for an event that was two hours long, and why in the eighth grade I would go to school extra early on a friends birthday to decorate their locker and fill it full of balloons so that when they opened it they would all come pouring out, and why I once drove ten hours straight home and cut up a huge refrigerator box to look like a giant gift box with a lid and wrapped it and got inside it and had my best friend open it up for her 18th Birthday... it's all about a moment. A moment to make something just a little more special for someone else. They may not remember the detail but they can probably remember the feeling.

So, I know I am behind on the whole Christmas thing but, I hope you can still enjoy.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside

It's that time to pull out your coats and bundle up. My BRAND NEW coat from last year no longer fits. I loved that coat! So, I was on the look out for a new love. It's hard to find a super cute coat for a good price but thanks to a spectacular deal at New York & Co. I found a winner. The coat was going to be like $120 so, with my coupon below, all I had to do was pick out $80 worth of other clothes and then the total would be $100 and since I had $50 from the grandparents for my Christmas gift I was able to put that towards the clothes. So... This beautiful coat was only $50 (plus I got two skirts and two tops). Deal!

^Can't pass on a deal that good!

^I love all it's multiple uses. Keeps things fun.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

She Changed My Life

Today on my way to work "This is Your Life" by Switchfoot came on the radio (yes, I listen to KLOVE on my way to work). It got me thinking about the journey of this past year and all that I am thankful for. Within this year I have lost 55+ pounds and truly committed to a life change; I value my health. I went from relentlessly looking for a job to working two months at a call center with some great people to having the company I work for now seek me out and offer me a job where I am doing what I went to school for, graphic design. Most importantly my relationship with God and my faith has grown immensely. He took away everything that I was hiding behind and exposed the truth to me. I am defined by His love and mercy, nothing else.

"This is your life, are you who you want to be
This is your life, are you who you want to be
This is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be
When the world was younger and you had everything to lose"

A year ago I was not who I wanted to be. My life was not everything I dreamt that it would be when I was younger. This lyric stood out to me this morning and got me thinking about that girl a year ago who was so desperate. She was in her room with this picture hanging on the wall.

And with this little girl staring back at her she broke down because she knew she was not who that little girl had dreamt of becoming. And that's when she knew there would be change. She was broke and had no idea about nutrition and how her body worked. So, fast forward to Christmas where she got some money and bought the book, "This is why you're fat, and how to get thin forever." She educated herself and she was resolute. Her life would never be the same again, because she refused to let that little girl down.

I am thankful for that girl. The girl that was truly desperate for change. I am thankful for her determination to rise above her environment. I am thankful for the fighter inside her that came out and fought for me and now burns in my soul. I would not be here at this place without her. She swallowed her pride and got to work. I am thankful for her and promise not to let her down.

Change IS possible but you have to want it more than what you have now. God has huge things planned for my life and I don't want to miss it, I refuse to settle. I will go shopping for clothes I want to wear, not just clothes that can fit. I will get my dream job because of my skills and talents and not have to worry about them wondering if I can keep up because of my weight. This 24 year old girl who has never been asked out on a date will find true love one day and not be looked over. I will inspire others to value themselves and fight.

I am thankful for a God that will never leave me or forsake me and has revealed even more his immense love for me. And I am thankful for that girl who changed my life.

MusicPlaylistView Profile
Create a MySpace Playlist at

Thursday, November 17, 2011

He Really Loves Me

If you follow my blog then you know about my wittle doggy, Manasseh. He goes by A LOT of nicknames. We call him: fudgie, fudge popp-e, Roy (short for corduroy), fudgie Roy, chicken little, little one, and on special occasions... Turd. After moving back home to save money and pay off student loans, he and I got really close. This past year was not an easy one as I looked and looked and looked for a job. Since I spent most my time at home (not spending money) Manasseh and I were always together. And then when I started getting in shape, he became my workout buddy, up for any adventure I threw at him. To be honest, I hate going on a run without him.

Now I have a job. Praise the Lord!! But this means Fudgie is at home alone. So, we got him a little brother and they get along (as much as siblings get along) but we still have to leave them in their kennels while we are at work because Fudgie can jump the gate that is supposed to keep them in the kitchen and out of the rest of the house. We just can't let them roam the house free while we aren't there. I have been working for three months now and I think it's gotten to Manasseh.

Yesterday, while we were at work, Manasseh got to work on his kennel and literally chewed his way out of it.

When my parents got home they found the evidence of his escape (which sadly included some blood) and Manasseh on my bed. My poor little guy. So, we are going to have to figure out something better for him but, I can't just not work. When I got home my parents explained to me what they had come home to. Even though I had just gotten home from an hour long Zumba class I thought Fudgie needed some one-on-one time with his sissy. So we went on a long run.

Love this little guy and I HATE being away from him but, what's a working girl to do?

and yes, I am wearing a lovely white wife-beater over my black sweatshirt because I don't have any light colored sweatshirts and while I wanted to keep warm... I did not want to die.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Right Outside Your Window

Adventure. Is it right outside your window?

I have "the" travel bug, and I have it bad. I want to see the world and experience all it has to offer. Meet different people, ride in weird vehicles, listen to unique music, see all the art I've only studied in books. I want to do it all.

For five years when my mom was a young girl she, my grandparents, and her brother lived in Saudi Arabia. My grandparents were teachers for TWA and they got to fly all over the world for free. My mom has sled down the Swiss Alps, she swam with dolphins in the Red Sea (not Sea World, it's different), been on Safari in Africa, and been badly burnt after laying out for fifteen minutes be cause they were so close to the equator. This picture of the elephants is one of a zillion from all their travels. While on safari in Africa they stayed in a lodge where this site was just waiting in the backyard. I love this photo and I love the idea of waking up to this.

In my life so far I have not been fortunate enough to travel really much at all. I've never crossed an ocean and gone beyond North America. Heck, I've barely been to very many states here in the US. But I dream of road tripping across country and seeing every state (of course I'll fly to Alaska and Hawaii). And then I want to go to Europe and see the art and the historical architecture. I want to see where my Great Granddad grew up in England. I want to go on Safari and see animals in their real habitat. I want to go to Australia and climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge. I want to see the great wonders of the world natural and man made. I want to go to Romania to the House of Joy* where I have wanted to go and serve since I was a little girl and first heard of the ministry. I do hope for my travels to be more than just about me but rather an opportunity for me to connect with a broad range of people and share in the love of Christ through our similarities and differences.

I want it SO bad and I know God knows the desires of my heart so I know I will get to see this beautiful world he has created.

[*House of Joy: Kathy is the founder of the House of Joy in Cluj, Romania. House of Joy is a crisis pregnancy center, and offers an alternative for a country with the highest abortion rate in the world. Women staying at the House of Joy attend Bible studies, English classes, and receive life skills and job training, as well as child care classes. Kathy’s long-term vision is to bring a House of Joy to Tallinn, Estonia. Learn more at]

Monday, November 14, 2011

Can you tie it in a bow?

I LOVE wrapping presents. It's all about the bow, the bigger the better. You can really be quite creative with what you use to decorate your gift with. Think outside of the box (no pun intended). I love wrapping with brown paper and then using other things to make the package special.
Two weeks ago I got a friend her birthday gift at Anthropologie (she's pretty much obsessed with that store, and don't worry I shooed the clearance rack. I may have a new job but that store is still way out my budget). All this to say they put her dress I got in a lovely cream box. I likes the box and decided not to wrap it and to just add a great bow. I have this fabulous fabric that I've been able to use on a lot of different projects and I couldn't help but bring it out again. I cut several strips and then used the strips to make this fabulous bow. In love. So mix it up a little, but remember to keep in classy.

Young Adults Group

I was asked to help head up the Young Adults group at my church. This has not been an easy task at all. We are definitely still working out the kinks and trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. This generation is very difficult to reach and a tricky age range. There is such an enormous range of differences and life experiences from an 18 year old to a 30 year old and yet, somehow we have to make it work. How do you create a place for a married mother of two to hang out with an freshman in college?

I have been extremely frustrated with the lack of attendance to events. When I talk with people they say they want something to do, an opportunity to meet other people and yet I can't get them to show up. It's a very tricky group we are working with here. Just praying we can find our niche and get something consistent going.

I did this poster for our launch event and had them printed off in all the different colors to help catch people's attention around the church.

We created a Facebook group to be able to put information out to people while we work on getting a page on the church's website. Created this piece to be the picture for the group. I also wanted to kind of set the look and feel for the group and I think this is more of the direction I want to take the rest of the material I create for events. It has a youthful feeling, while not coming across like something for the Youth Group. Also, I am in love with Letterpress and this has that feel to it.

Now, doesn't this look fun? Who doesn't love a festive Christmas Party with a bunch of Tacky Sweaters? I'm excited.

It was fun to just design some stuff for fun and it gave me an excuse to download some new typefaces that I thought were pretty cool.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Great Grandbaby Shower

My lovely cousin is preggers with a baby boy. It's the first little one from a grand kid making Grammy and Papa Great Grandparents. So, it's kind of a big deal! We are all super excited. She is due early February and normally people have the shower like two months before but with all the holidays right around the corner we are putting on the shindig a little earlier.
Here's the invite I put together for the shower. She is decorating in a Safari theme. It's going to be super adorable!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Brother from Another Mother

Really, a brother from another mother. Zephaniah, Manasseh, and now our new little guy, Reuben, all have the same dad (Petey) but different mothers. So, they are literally, brothers from another Mother.

I know I have been MIA from the blog for awhile now, but my life kind of exploded there and I got super, crazy, ridiculously, busy but I love blogging and I have to make time for it.

For today I am going to leave you with the new family photo of the boys and their new brother.

Zephaniah, Reuben, and Manasseh. Aren't the adorable?!?!!

Zephaniah is the black one. He just turned five, and yes, we had a dog party for him... he's that special. He is my sister's dog and he pretty much saved her life. A year ago we almost lost him. It was pretty devastating, but with a lot of prayer and care, he was healed and you would never know how bad he was if you saw him today. Manasseh is the brown one. He is two and was supposed to be my mom's dog but when I came home from school he and I really connected and I kind of, accidentally, stole him from her. Oops. When I started working out he became my walking/jogging/running buddy and that pretty much linked him to me for good.

So, now that Henna is up in Omaha with Niah and I stole Manasseh, mom wanted her own dog and we wanted Manasseh to have someone to play with so we got this red fella, Reuben. He has a sable coloring which means he has red and black. Reuben is a ball of fire. He's either going a million miles a minute and wanting to chew EVERYTHING or he is crashing, but not for long before he's at it again. The first two days Manasseh was not a fan of the new addition. I think he was really just confused as to what exactly Reuben was. But, on the third day Manasseh warmed up to Reuben and now they play and play and play together. It is a HOOT to watch. Yes, I said "hoot."

And just so you don't think he is always a glowing angel I've included the photo below of the boys playing with Manasseh's girlfriend, Kissa. This little guy is intense.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mad Men Contest

I need your help! My best friend, Kinsey, has entered a contest put on by AMC's Mad Men and Banana Republic. As a promotion for Banana Republic's new collection inspired by Mad Men they have created this contest where someone could win a walk-on role on Mad Men. People submitted photos of themselves dressed up in their best "Mad Men Inspired" clothes and now the one with the most votes will be considered for this walk-on role. You can vote every day until September 9th.

Kinsey is a Theater Performance major and a huge fan of that era and it's whole style. She has a closet full of dresses from that 60's era. I couldn't think of a better fit. I know that this opportunity would mean the world to her. We only found out about the contest very recently and so I am trying to help give her a fighting chance to catch up in votes.

So, every single day until September 9th get on your computer and vote for Kinsey!
Click {here} to vote for Kinsey.

Spread the word and get to voting!!!

Mad Men
Banana Republic

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Big 50...

The Big 50 is just around the corner... and I am pretty excited! I'm not talking about a birthday (I'm only 23 for goodness sakes); I'm talkin' poundage. That's right! I'm just two pounds away from having lost 50 pounds since the beginning of my "life change." I started this journey to gain back control of my health in mid to late January and the time has really flown by. Now the weight definitely hasn't flown off, but slowly and surely it IS dropping off. I knew it would take time because I'm not doing anything radical where everything just melts away; but rather, I really wanted to create a new and healthy lifestyle for myself that I CAN maintain for the rest of my life.

I try not to focus on the "Big" picture with the ultimate goal because then it could all seem a bit too overwhelming and even impossible. But, by confronting this challenge pound by pound, it has been possible. Because, hey! I can lose a pound... and then one more... and then one more... and, heck! why not one more?! ...and it's amazing how the math just works it's way out and adds up and up. I still have a way to go, but I'm halfway there and I'm okay with celebrating the little victories along the way.

Weird... I can't believe I just made "Before & After" photos. But this is a good marking point to share some of the noticeable differences. I did my best to find similar photos to compare. The two top ones were both taken in a car, and I'm on the same side; and the two bottom ones, I'm facing the same direction as well. But what I can't show you is how good I feel. I love doing different activities and keeping my body moving. Also, as I've mentioned before on here, I have a really hard time eating vegetables, but I have been working really hard to reintroduce them into my diet and make them work for me. It's been baby steps, but it's working. For example, just last week... wait for it!...I ate an apple! ...and not a cut-up apple with no skins. I bit right into that apple and made my way around it. I know that sounds totally pathetic, but it was an improvement for me. Also, a couple nights ago, we had corn on the cob... and yes, you guessed it! I bit right in and made my way around that guy cleaning it up... And it was DELISH! I'm making progress and I'm not giving up. This is the new me.

Here's to 50 lbs. gone and to the 50 lb. journey still to go.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Amani ya Juu - Nairobi, Kenya

This past weekend I had the joy and pleasure of visiting some friends in Fort Worth, Texas. One of those lovely friends I had the privilege of seeing was my dear friend Michelle, and it has been nearly two years since I have seen her. Two years ago Michelle was called out to the mission field and joined The World Race for about ten or eleven months traveling to a different country each month. And then she went to the G42 Leadership Academy in Spain. You can read more about her journeys and experiences at either of these places: world race blog and personal blog.

All this to say that while she was out globe trotting and changing the world she picked up this beautiful necklace for me. She knows me well. I love a big statement piece.

This piece was made by Amani ya Juu, African Women's Sewing Project. What is Amani ya Juu? - Amani ya Juu means "higher peace" in Swahili. Amani is a sewing and training program for marginalized women based in East Africa. Women from many African nations and cultures are learning to work together through faith in God who provides a higher peace that transcends cultural and ethnic differences. A great cause and I love this necklace. Check out their website to learn more.

So, now I just have to find the right outfit to where this grand piece with. Do you think I can find something like this by Sunday so I can wear it to church?
Maybe I'll just wear a simple, plain top and let the necklace speak for itself. Needless to say I love it and it just makes it even better that it comes from a good cause.

^Michelle and me this past weekend. I had to keep reminding myself it had been almost two years since we had seen each other last because it was so natural hanging out together that it felt like no time had passed at all. I am so very blessed.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hindsight is 20/20

I think that in life we have all learned that hindsight is 20/20. Even now at my young age of 23 I can look back on my life and be so thankful that I did not get everything I wanted, prayed, and hoped so much for. I even have to wonder what ever possessed me to want some of those things so badly, be it a fashion (Doc Martins, those horrid monster shoes) or a boy (I won't list off all of those, but let's just say my taste was not always that great), they just weren't even worth my time. But, through all of that you live, you make mistakes, and you learn. As Maya Angelou says, "When you know better, you do better."

I'm sure everyone is familiar with this first song that reflects on this topic of being thankful for "Unanswered Prayers," by Garth Brooks. Then the next two are more recent songs with this theme. I love the line from "Blessing" that says, "And what if the troubles of this life are your mercies in disguise," because how often do we think of our troubles in that kind of light. Finally, Beyonce wraps it up with "Best Thing I Never Had," which might as well be an anthem that I am sure we would all love to share with some 'people from our past.' It's like, thank goodness I didn't get stuck with you, but man you sure did miss out on me.

So, enjoy the songs and reflect on all your "blessings in disguise."

Garth Brooks - "Unanswered Prayers"

Laura Story - "Blessing"

Beyonce - "Best Thing I Never Had"

(Sorry about the barely there clothing at the beginning of this video, I promise it gets better. Just close your eyes and listen to the lyrics.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cassatt Love

I am a huge fan of Impressionism. I have been moved me to tears... a couple times by these works of art. It's like realism with emotions. I can get lost in these pieces and I find that being able to see the artists strokes makes me feel connected with them. The Rock Stars of this style for me are Renoir, Degas, and Cassatt. And of course Monet and Pissarro are key members of this style but the former three mentioned are my absolute favorites.

An overview on Impressionism from Wikipedia - "Radicals in their time, early Impressionists violated the rules of academic painting. They began by constructing their pictures from freely brushed colours that took precedence over lines and contours, following the example of painters such as Eugène Delacroix. They also painted realistic scenes of modern life, and often painted outdoors. Previously, still lifes and portraits as well as landscapes had usually been painted in the studio.[1] The Impressionists found that they could capture the momentary and transient effects of sunlight by painting en plein air. They portrayed overall visual effects instead of details, and used short "broken" brush strokes of mixed and pure unmixed colour—not blended smoothly or shaded, as was customary—in order to achieve the effect of intense colour vibration. The public, at first hostile, gradually came to believe that the Impressionists had captured a fresh and original vision, even if the new style did not receive the approval of the art critics and establishment."

Being that I am of the female gender I have a very special place for Miss Mary Cassatt in my heart.
^This is what I love about the Impressionism style and Cassatt. There is this freedom in her strokes that create an emotion with the movement in the piece. Choosing to focus in on the face and then fade out to incompletion elsewhere.

^It is rumored that Cassatt and Degas had a bit of a love affair (love that). Can you imagine what that would have been like? Anyway, the story on this image is that Degas actually worked on part of it with Cassatt. I learned that in one of my Art History classes in college. I love little stories like that, brings things to life.

^So, this is the one and only Cassatt piece I have ever seen. Isn't that sad? And I only saw it once. I've been to museums in LA, Fort Worth, Dallas, and Omaha and while I think they all may have one of her pieces they are never up when I'm there. This one is a part of the permanent collection at the Nelson Atkins Museum of art, but out of all the many times I have been there, I have only seen it up once. I remember entering the room that it was in expecting to see the usual suspects and then as I turned the corner this precious baby was staring back at me. I teared up immediately. And then the next time I went, it was gone.

^My Junior year of high school we had to do a self portrait in the style of a famous artist. I chose Cassatt and took this approach. Still one of my favorite pieces I've ever done because it has significant meaning to me.

And on a related note, look what gem I found at the Joslyn Museum in Omaha when I went with Henna:
^So happy I had to hug it. -INFO FROM JOSLYN MUSEUM- Edgar Degas, "Little Dancer Aged Fourteen" about 1920-21. Among the Impressionist painters, Degas alone was also a sculptor. "Little Dancer," the only statuette he exhibited, reflects his fascination with the ballet, whose aspects - rehearsals and backstage activities - he like to observe and record. The model for "Little Dancer" was Marie van Goethem, a "rat," as novices at the Paris Ballet were called. Although reminiscent of a standard dance pose (fourth position), her stance is informal; seemingly unaware of being observed, she stretches her arms and shoulders. This "snapshot effect," the capture of fleeting moments, is characteristic of Degas art.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pink Ponies: A Case Study

Found this amazing video on Citizen Brand, a blog by Mike Swenson, the Founder & President of Barkley PR/Cause at Barkley. I started following Mike on twitter and then his blog because I am impressed with and inspired by his drive for Cause Marketing and using advertising/marketing to put some "Good" out in the world.

When I saw this video on his blog I had to share it because anyone working in the "Advertising/Marketing/Communications" world understands how difficult it can sometimes be to answer that question we always get, "So, what exactly do you do?" Well, from now on just share this video and it pretty much explains it all.

Pink Ponies: A Case Study

Monday, July 11, 2011

National Dance Day Announced

I am a big fan of SYTYCD and just this last week they posted the videos of the dances to learn for National Dance Day. July 30th is the day, now I just have to learn the dance and figure out just how I want to celebrate. Maybe I can get some friends involved or see if I can find anything going on already here in KC. I'm going to learn the Master Class dance choreographed by NappyTabs. This may in fact be the closest I ever get to having them choreograph me. I love NappyTabs and it doesn't look too tough, but we'll see.

So, pick a dance for you and on July 30th, boogie on down, get down with your bad self, bust a move, etc., etc.

Everybody (super-super easy)

Intermediate Intensive (easy)

Master Class (possible with more practice + swagger)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...