Saturday, October 22, 2011

What flags am I supposed to be looking for again?

Well, I edited my last post after finding out that I give people too much benefit of doubt.  My brother called the other day to find out what happened and I was explaining how I didn't see any red flags this time, so that's why the whole thing scares me.  Then, I started to tell him about a few little things that made me uneasy, but I didn't really see them as flags.  I'm starting to realize, though, maybe that feeling in my gut is the red flag.  The moment I start to feel insecure - is that the point I need to say I'm done?

About a month into dating this guy, someone used the word "boyfriend/girlfriend" about us and we hadn't used those terms  yet.  I kind of laughed and said, "So... are you my boyfriend now?"  What I envisioned to be a cutesy moment where we start using the title turned into a conversation that left me feeling uneasy about our relationship.  He spouted off things about how we needed to take it slow and I was so determined to not make the same mistakes of my past relationships that I confused that for wisdom.  He assured me that he really liked me and that I was the only girl he was dating and the only girl he wanted to date right now.  (Yes, he used "right now," why did  I not run away then?) After that night, I thought about it a lot and decided that he was really being a grown-up about this because I really didn't know him well enough to be his girlfriend, after all.

The whole "taking it slow" thing came up when I wanted him to meet my friends and family, as well.  Man, I should have seen that as a red flag, right?  Is it ever really too early to meet friends and family?  When you're younger, you meet the parents on the first date, right?  So why should that be different when you're older, unless you have to take a trip to meet them or something like that. Right?  Right??  I should have seen it.  It scares me to death that I didn't see it for what it was.

My schedule was crazy busy because of the play I am in, so I didn't have many weeknights available.  He went home to see his family almost every weekend that we dated.  I thought it was sweet that he is so close to his family (of course now, I'm thinking not all of those weekends were filled with family time) but in the back of my mind, I wished he would block out some time just for me.  Early on, he mentioned that I would meet them all, but he never asked me to go with home with him.  That should have been a red flag, too... yes?

I tried so hard to go into this with my eyes wide open.  Maybe that's why I am still single... maybe I still haven't learned how to tell the jerks from the good guys and God is just waiting on me to learn that lesson.  But it's scary because even when I'm actively trying to be aware, I overlook the "little things" that really should be HUGE FLASHING RED FLAGS.

Whoever reads this - thanks for listening.  I just had to get my thoughts out there, it's that whole "open book" thing.  Please say a prayer for me - that God send someone to me and/or that I have the ability to open my eyes and trust my gut.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A little update... a little ramble... a little about me.

So, in my previous post I talked about the guy who made my heart flutter.  Oh yes, he made it flutter an awful lot!!  And then... all of the sudden... he just wasn't into me.  It's interesting, I have the book "He's Just Not That Into You" as I am sure I have mentioned here before, and it really should be required reading material for girls who are dating.  Not everything in the book will line up with people's values, but the general concepts in the book are spot-on.  I pulled out that book about three weeks ago because I was having a weird gut feeling about the boy and wanted to see what the wise book said about my situation.  Seriously, that should be my first clue.  If I have to consult a book "He's Just Not That Into You" to determine what the guy is thinking, I should count that as good intuition and just start the healing process, right?  Well, the book was inconclusive - kind of - it was too early in my relationship to really tell if I should worry yet or not, so I went with the whole not-worrying thing.

Apparently, I should have worried.  What I wish I could figure out, though, is... WHAT IS THE DEAL?  I guess guys are born with a different switch in their brain that can be REALLY into someone and then all of the sudden not.  Maybe it's not a gender thing, but I was just not born with that.  I was so happy with this guy... as I said in my previous post, he made me feel beautiful - something I haven't felt in many years.  Everything just seemed to be... well, perfect.  I guess I was the only one who felt that way, though... and that's okay.  He wasn't a jerk, so I am not mad at him.  He just wasn't into me and you can't fault a guy for that, right?

People tell me I need to be more careful about guarding my heart and waiting to trust.  I can't believe I am going to say this, but I think they're wrong.  Yes, that means I get hurt more than my fair share, but after all I have been through, I think it is a testament to God that I have the ability to trust like I've never been on the receiving end of unfaithfulness and the ability to love as if I've never been hurt.  I'd really rather go into new relationships all in, than to try to be someone I'm not - guarded and emotionally closed.  That's just not me.  I am an open book.  An open, trusting, loving, optimistic book.  I just pray that God send someone my way that can appreciate that and treat it carefully.  And man, I wish He would hurry.

****EDIT 10/22/2011 - Yes, I will keep on trusting and loving... but thanks to speaking to him again one more time and the wonders of the internet, I found out that yes, he was actually a jerk and yes, I was getting played for who knows how long.  He has a girlfriend now and I can't believe I fell for the nice guy thing... AGAIN.  Lame.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Life's a Stage

I am doing theater again!  WOOHOO!!!  I honestly thought the day would never come, but after interpreting for Level Ground Arts' last production, Xanadu, I got an opportunity to actually be in the next show - A Samurai Nosferatu.  I am so excited to get back to my first passion - I didn't realize how much I had missed it!  This show is a bit weird and a bit creepy, so what better time do it but October!  Please come see the show!  It will be running every Friday and Saturday in October (yes, even on my birthday which I am slightly bummed about having to change my big plans for my first annual 29th birthday, but being on stage almost makes up for missing Randy Travis at the TX state fair). :)

COME SEE IT!  Check out the link for more info... I'm so excited! :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hmmm... I like that!

You know the saying "you never know what you had until it's gone."  Well, I have recently decided that you also don't know (or forget) what you're missing until you have it.  I have done a lot of dating... okay, not a ton but I have had a few relationships in my life, some more serious than others, some just a few weeks long, some a few months, and a couple for a few years.  Those guys are all special people and each have unique qualities that attracted me to them, but it's like Bono sang so beautifully - "I still haven't found what I'm lookin' for."

It's interesting, while I was in these relationships, there are behaviors and red flags that I was completely willing to ignore because I would think "he's such a good guy" or "he has a good heart and means well," when in reality, I deserved better.  For the past year or so, people in my life would ask me why I wasn't dating so-and-so and my response was always, "I am getting too old and life is too short to waste my time with someone who isn't crazy about me."  The funny thing is, deep down, I really didn't think it was possible to find someone who was crazy about me.

So I signed up for internet dating a while back in order to officially "move on" and immediately started talking to a guy that - on paper - was everything I thought I wanted in a man.  We got out all the deal-breakers up front (which, by the way, I do not recommend.  It seems like a good idea, but it creates a very false sense of intimacy with someone you don't really know.  Figure those things out as you get to know one another!) and when we met, it was obvious (in hindsight) that he was very under-whelmed with me.  I don't know if it was my looks, personality, or what, but he was just not that into me.  The problem, though, is that I didn't see that so clearly at the time.  I attributed his behavior to nervousness, poor social skills, and a plethora of other excuses.  I am not knocking this guy, seriously... he seems like a really amazing guy that is going to be a wonderful husband and father when he finds what he's looking for, but that wasn't me... and I was already willing to settle for a feeling of doubt before we even started dating.  Is that messed up or what?

After not hearing from him for a while and realizing what was going on, I decided to spend some time on me and just have fun doing what I love to do, so I went to sing karaoke with some friends and randomly met a guy there.  Fast forward to now, and we are learning so much about each other, getting the deal-breakers out as they come up, but the thing that I can't believe I was missing for so long is that he tells me all the time that I am beautiful and that he likes being around me.  I had forgotten what it was like to feel beautiful!  Words can not express the confidence boost of a man telling you that you are beautiful (especially when they see you on a day you weren't planning on seeing them so you don't have any makeup on and your hair is dirty)!  Let me be clear - I am not shallow enough to think that looks are the end all-be all, but for someone to make you feel beautiful is a gift.  And maybe this relationship will work out, maybe not, it's too early to make predictions, but I hope I remember this feeling forever and never settle for less! :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday - Back in the Swing!

Just trying to get back in the habit...
Absolutely no makeup on, but hey!  It's summer! :)


Shirt - Target
Skirt - Old Navy
Shoes - DSW

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Internet dating - round 2

Yes, you read that right.  I recently signed up on match.com.  For those of you who followed my internet dating drama of 2007 (it was an era!) I'm sure you are wondering what crack I have smoked to make me high enough to sign up for that again.  {Side note, does one smoke crack?  I don't know how that works.  I thought you did something else with crack.  My drug knowledge is limited.}  Well, yes I signed up and I have received a barrage of emails from guys that think I'm hot. heh  And where are all these guys when I go out for a girls night and feel invisible next to my beautiful friends?  Oh yeah, they're sitting behind their computers, surfing match.com.

Well, it's always fun to see what people say when they are trying to put their best foot forward.  It amazes me how, instead of "forward," they put it straight in their mouth!  An email I received today is a good example of that.  "Wow, you are gorgeous! It seems as though we have a lot in common. You are probably too stuck up to reply. But if you aren't, I would like to get to know you better, text me 469-464-xxxx."  Really?  Really???  Oh, yeah, that's a good way to get a woman interested.  Tell her she's stuck up!  Another email titled "Hey how z going cow girl."  Um... did he just call me a cow?  Another one is titled "Willing to lie about how we met?"  Seriously, it's 2011.  The 90's called and they want your internet dating embarrassment back.


There's a little tid-bit for your entertainment. Wish me luck and pray that I don't go on any dates with creepers like last time! :)



Friday, May 27, 2011

Insecure? Who, me?

I have been reading Beth Moore’s book “So Long, Insecurity.”  Wow!  It’s funny the way that things come into our lives just when we need them, even though we aren’t sure we needed them at the time.  Am I right?  I have a couple hours every day when I take Marco to a daily appointment and just find things to do for two hours.  There’s a Weir’s Furniture nearby and they have a “Christian Book Nook” and the cutest little country store you’ve ever seen.  I was browsing the books the other day, wanting something beneficial to read, and saw this book by Beth Moore.  She had several books on the shelf but this one jumped out at me.  And the funny thing is, I never really considered myself insecure, but something told me I needed this book.  So, I bought it.

The first half of the book is recognizing what insecurity is.  She quotes different specialists’ definitions of insecurity.  In a nutshell, insecurity is self-doubt, self-consciousness, fear of rejection, uncertainty about whether your feelings or desires are legitimate.  Um, yes, that’s me.  She points out “…insecurity is not the same thing as sensitivity… Not everyone who is sensitive is insecure, but make no mistake: everyone who is insecure is usually sensitive to a fault.  Confusingly, these are often people who can dish out all sorts of things they can’t take.”  Um, hello!  Read ya loud and clear.  I need this book!

There are lots of examples of what this insecurity looks like and how it affects our relationships and our trust in God.  One thing that really struck me was about helping other people.  On the surface, helping others is always a good thing, right?  Well, yes, except when you help them so much that they are incapable of helping themselves.  Sometimes that is our insecurity being shown by “playing God” in our relationships with others.  Can we not trust God to do the work in them that he needs to do?  He uses his people to do his work, but there comes a point where you are no longer doing his work, but getting in the way of his work.  Ah, I am not saying it nearly as clearly as the book did, but that point really stuck with me.  I’m the kind of person that just wants to get in there and “fix it.” So it was something I needed to hear.

The last half of the book deals with how to overcome this insecurity.  She has a lot to say, but one “exercise” was to think about the thing we are insecure about (for me, it’s most often the fear of rejection in just talking to people!) and then let our minds keep going to what the worst case scenario would be.  What do we envision happening? and then what?  and then what? …and then what?  If you keep asking this question, you’ll eventually get to an end point.  For me, no matter what the situation is, I get to the end point and then think, “and I’ll just keep on keepin’ on because I already know God has brought me through much worse.”  And then it’s okay, then I can get over myself and who cares if that person rejects what I’m saying?  I just finished the book yesterday and already it’s helped so much with my fears.  I even answered the phone when a number I didn’t know called today.  Hello?!  Big step!!!

Obviously, I recommend this book to any woman who has the time to read it, even if you don’t think *you* are insecure.  You might be able to help someone else who is. J

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Breaking Point

Hello, My name is Sarah and I'm a commitment-aholic.

So, yeah, I tend to over-commit myself and it never fails, I'll get to a point where I feel like I can't juggle it all and I'll say to myself, "I am taking a year off!  I will not commit myself to anything for a year!" and then something happens and I just can't pass it up, and the vicious cycle starts again.

Unfortunately, I'm at that breaking point right now.  So much has happened in the past month and so much is due to happen in the next month - I'd appreciate some prayers on just getting through it all!  And hopefully somewhere in the midst of all this stuff, I'll have some time to do a real blog post! :)

OH YEAH

Happy Mother's Day to all you Moms out there, and especially mine - cause she is awesome! :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

But... but... but... I want it!

Our world is filled with people that have a sense of entitlement.  People who can’t afford luxuries complain if they don’t get them and expect others to pay for them.  A lot of times kids, even kids that are being raised in low-income homes, expect a hand-out and get mad when there isn’t one.  I often get so infuriated that these people feel like they deserve things just because they want them.  But my anger quickly turns to sadness because I realize that these people are missing out on the “little things."

I had a great childhood, but our family was not one that had extra money.  Things got better as I got older, but for most of my life, I remember being *that kid* that went down every aisle of the grocery store (my favorite thing to do, btw) and ask for every single thing.  I don’t know why I never seemed to grasp the meaning of “we don’t have money for that” or “no, not this time.”  Despite hearing these things every time I asked, I continued to do it.  One day, I must have been 6 or 7, I went with Papa to K-Mart to get some car part or something else Papa needed.  They had a concession stand type thing at the front of the store and a big Icee machine.  Every time we went to K-Mart, I asked for one of those.  Every time.  You already know the answer I got!  Well, this time, I asked again and was shocked beyond belief when Papa said he’d buy me one.  We waited in line and got an Icee, and I thought I was in heaven.  Not one to stop while I’m ahead, I saw the photo booth by the exit door so as we started to pass it, I asked if we could get our pictures taken in the booth.  Papa said okay to that, too!  I was so happy, as you can see in the picture below.  

It was such a small thing – a trip to K-Mart with an Icee and some pictures – but it is something that has been etched in my mind ever since.  It’s the “little things” that really matter.

*I have the other three somewhere and couldn't find them! :(

Friday, April 8, 2011

What I Wore Yesterday, which was Thursday, the day after Wednesday and the day before Friday

Sorry, had a Rebecca Black moment.

Okay so I totally missed WIWW but I liked my outfit today (which, since it is now after midnight, is actually yesterday.  I think we should count time in sleeps, it just makes more sense.  So, it was 0 sleeps ago, so.. yeah... today). 


Jacket - Gap (clearance!!)
Shirt - Gap (clearance again!)
Skirt - Hilfiger
Shoes - stole from Mom and completely wore out
Necklace - Forever 21 (I think... it's been a while)

I have an assignment in my Interpreting 2 class to perform a song (basically, a loose interpretation) and I'm seriously considering doing Friday by Rebecca Black.  Oh man, I could have a fun time with that one! :P

Have a happy FRIDAY and enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

God's Plan

So today is my 5-year divorciversary.  Ya know... that thing.  Maybe I am supposed to be sad today, or reminiscent, but honestly I am not.  I really forgot all about it until I was just looking at the calendar and thinking, "why does this date stick out so much to me?  Am I forgetting someone's birthday?"

I still don't know why things had to happen the way they did, but I fully believe in the verse that says God works things out for good for those who love Him.  Because I love Him and the trauma from five years ago has turned out to be one of the most obvious blessings in my life.  Yes, there is an occasional frustration from loose ends that never got tied up (mostly money issues) but I would rather deal with that any day than be on a life plan that wasn't what God had planned for me.  God is SO good!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday + a bonus Swap Outfit!


Undershirt - Target
Shirt - Gap (clearance! yeah!)
Jeans - swapped
Shoes - Dillards Outlet
Earrings - Claire's - love me some cheap jewelry! ;)

Here's a view of my earrings for you, Hannah. :)

Bonus outfit:
This is what I wore yesterday for an observation and last night for a presentation in class.


Shirt - Ann Taylor Loft
Jacket - Jones New York (2 sizes too big)
Skirt - swapped!
Shoes - hand-me-downs

I received compliments on the shoes all day, so I wish I had a for-real camera to take a nice picture of them... or the ability to take a picture of my shoes without showing you my cankles, but here is the best I could do:


Stop staring at my cankles!!!! 

No, really, it's okay.  God gave me cankles for some unknown reason, so I will just assume it's a good reason.  One day something in my life will happen that I would not have been able to do if I had normal-sized ankles, and then I'll know.

Happy Wednesday!

Peace out.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A New Shade of Green

I was talking to a friend of mine last night about being jealous of another person.  I recently noticed some beautiful compliments paid to a very sweet friend, well deserving of said compliments.  I was getting more and more frustrated, though, because I realized how jealous I was.  I kept thinking to myself, “Wow, I wish someone thought that of me” or “I wish I was more like them” and other things of that nature.

Before, if you had asked me if I was a jealous person, I would have said that was not one of my weaknesses.  I would have said that I want what other people have, but not that I wanted to take it from them, so that couldn’t be considered jealousy, right?  Unfortunately, I was mistaken.  Not only was I jealous of that person, but I was also deceiving myself into thinking I was better or more spiritually mature than I actually was. 

Recognizing that recent jealousy of my sweet friend has really made me aware of an attitude I never thought I had.  I’ve sometimes been a “why me?” person, and isn’t that just an attitude that stems from being jealous of others’ circumstances?  When others are successful with something which I have attempted and failed, I’ll often ask God why I am not being blessed in the same way.  Like, somehow bringing God into it makes it not jealousy.  Wow, I have been deluded!

The way to overcome that, I guess, is to be content in all circumstances and to be satisfied with the things God has uniquely given to me (looks, personality, etc).  Definitely something I need to work on!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What I Wore - Swap Edition 4


Earrings - Claire's
Sweater - Swapped
Shirt - American Eagle (like a bazillion years ago)
Skirt - Swapped
Shoes - Nine West
Bracelets - Premier Designs

Monday, March 21, 2011

What I Wore - Swap Edition 3


Jacket - swapped
Shirt - Ann Taylor Loft
Skirt - swapped
Shoes - swapped

Did I say I loved doing the swap already?  Cause I did. :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What I Wore - Swap Edition 2


Shirt - Ann Taylor Loft (clearance - love their sales!)
Skirt - swapped!
Shoes - don't remember where they came from - oops!

I desperately need to clean my room and put all the swap clothes away... 
so you can just ignore the background. :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

What I Wore - Swap Edition

I hosted a clothing swap this afternoon.  It was fun, but I really think that I got more clothes out of it than anyone else.  Didn't intend for it to be that way, but we didn't have a lot of participants so it was just one of those things!

To show what I got, though, I thought it would be fun to do a What I Wore - Swap Edition.  
Every day (or close to it) I will post an outfit or piece of clothing that I got from the swap.  
Here's what I wore out to a casual dinner with the family tonight.


I am always wanting at least one long jean skirt in my closet, so I was stoked to get this one today!  
Also love a t-shirt with some spunk, and I just loved this.  
Yay for swaps!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lent

Since the boys I nanny are Catholic, go to a Catholic school, etc. we've had a lot of discussion about Lent and Easter recently.  The fun conversations started on Wednesday last week.  I knew it was Ash Wednesday and wondered if they would ask me why I did not have ashes on my forehead.  Amusingly enough, when I picked them up from school, before even saying "Hello," Nando (short for Fernando) informed me that he had to wipe that stuff off his face because it was dirty.  Nando is five years old and says the funniest things!  He didn't seem to notice that I didn't have any ashes.  Marco is seven and hadn't wiped his off.  He is old enough to start to understand what it is all about, and one of the first things he told me is that they had to give up something for Lent.

Marco has decided that he is giving up video games.  What a sacrifice for a seven-year-old!  It will be a sacrifice for all of us, though, since it would be torture for us to play while he's trying not to! haha  Nando hadn't picked anything to give up, but was inspired (?) by his older brother and said that he would give up video games, as well.  Then, he decided maybe he would just give up Super Mario.  THEN, he decided that he would give it up in January, February, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December.  I informed him that he skipped March, and he told me he did that on purpose because he wants to be able to play in March.  I think the whole idea of Lent is a bit over his head! :)

As I expected, I was soon asked what I would be giving up.  Years ago, some friends and I would always give up something for Lent, but never participated religiously or anything.  I hadn't given it any thought at this point, so I told Marco I had to come up with something.  I'm with these boys every day, there was no way I could get away with not giving something up!  After much thought, I decided to give up frivolous spending.  Not that I do much of it these days, since I don't have much money to work with, but I do make excuses for myself to buy small things that I want.  It's really a self-control issue, and I guess that is part of the point, right?

Fun tid-bit:  On Wednesday, we had a couple appointments to go to after school, and while sitting in the waiting room for one of them, a family walked in and they all had ashes on their forehead.  Nando noticed this, looked at the woman and asked, "Are you a teacher at my school?" lol  Those kids keep me laughing!

Friday, March 11, 2011

I think it's official!

I was recently asked by my friend, Kathleen, to be involved in the planning of a charity fundraiser 5k and 1 mile Fun Run/Walk.  Well, we have the go-ahead so mark your calendars for May 21 and make plans to come to Irving, TX!  We are coordinating the event to benefit Family Promise of Irving.  I'll post the details as they are confirmed.  We will need people to be involved in every aspect - runners as well as volunteers!

Family Promise is really cool - it's an organization that partners with "host congregations" to provide a place for low- or no- income families to stay while they are getting back on their feet.  For more info, check out their website - clicky clicky.

This is just one of the many things that has kept me busy!  (I even missed WIWW this week!  Eeek!) Be on the lookout for a crafty blog post, soon! :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday


Headband - Claire's
Shirt - Target
Skirt - Ann Taylor Loft (love that store!  They have the best clearance!)
Shoes - Target

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Duck Duck Goose = 13 miles in 3 hours

As I mentioned on my facebook last week, I somehow injured my thigh just two days before the Surfside Half Marathon, for which I was registered and STOKED to run!  How did I injure it, you ask?  Well, I actually hurt it twice - both times, playing with a five-year-old.  I'm still not sure what happened, exactly, but all I know is the searing pain that struck my leg on Friday afternoon as I jumped up to be the "goose."  Talk about making you feel old!

I traveled down to my friend Ben's house in Houston Friday night and couldn't even lift my leg at that point.  I had to pick it up with my hands in order to get out of the car! Crazy.  I took some Nighttime Recovery and fell asleep as soon as I got there.

Saturday morning started so early!  I woke about 5:30 and was disappointed to learn that my leg was still hurt.  It wasn't as bad as Friday, but I wasn't sure I would be able to run.  I decided to get dressed and go anyway.  Thankfully, Ben was driving down so I could rest my leg for a bit longer.

We got there and met up with our friends, Aaron and Ashley.  Ash was running the half, as well.  (She is a marathoner and is pretty much awesome.  I can only hope to be as skilled a runner as she is!)  Aaron and Ben got to hang out while we ran and take care of A&A's baby, Lexi.  She is a doll! :)

I was surprised that my leg held up pretty well during the run.  For the first eight miles, I ran (slowly) for the most part because stopping to walk hurt more than running.  After eight miles, though, it kinda hurt no matter what I did!  At that point, I decided just finishing was good enough for me, so there was a lot of walking going on!

About half a mile from the finish, I spotted Ben walking over by the water.  I caught up to him and he ran with me until the end.  It was so nice to have that sort of support at the end.  After 12.5 miles, my body was definitely over it!  He ran ahead at the end to take a few pics.  My total time was 2:57:31 which is terribly slow.  I am trying not to complain, though, because I wasn't sure I'd be able to finish at all!

(Side note - I think I am going to require that Ben accompany me on all future races.  He also met me at the 4 mile water stop and handed me a Spark! :) That was awesome!)

I will definitely plan on doing Surfside again.  Running on the beach was so great!  The miles seem a bit longer, but the atmosphere is worth it.  Beautiful beach and lovely breeze... ahhh... it was great!  I think I'd like to try to full next year, though.  We'll see. :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday


Jacket - At Last (it's OLD... can't remember where it came from!)
T-shirt - Gap
Jeans - CK
Shoes - WalMart
Bracelet thingy - made by me from scrap material

(Hi Bricky-poo over in the corner!)

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

IMPACT

Irving Church of Christ hosted an event this weekend for teenagers called "Impact Weekend."  It's the 3rd time we've done it and this one was the best yet!  We started the weekend off on Friday night by watching the movie "To Save A Life."  If you haven't seen this movie, go get it NOW!
It's one of those things that makes you want to be a better person.  Good stuff.

I was a group leader, so I spent Friday night through Sunday morning with five awesome girls!  We had studies and discussions about situations we saw in the movie (things that teens face) and how the Bible tells us to respond.  There were 6 groups in all.  It sounds so cliche' to say this, but I feel like I got more out of the discussions and studying the Bible than the teens did.
Throughout the weekend, there were lots of games, laughs, tears, jokes, friendships, and sleep deprivation.  I wish that everyone could have that experience!

We wrapped up the weekend by attending church at Irving this morning.  The day started with a baptism of one of the teens (which is always great!) and worship was amazing!  Isn't it great to be with other believers and feel like Christ is right there with you?
I know it sounds a bit charismatic, but it's not that I felt like Christ was with us.
I felt Christ with us.  

After church, I got to eat lunch and talk to two friends that I love and respect so much!  Ya know those friendships that allow you to have real conversations?  Yeah... it was that.  And they are awesome and I wish their families could have come, too!  

Considering that I had 9 cumulative hours of sleep since 7 a.m. on Friday to Sunday afternoon, I came home and took a three hour nap.
It was lovely. :)

So, that's a very summed up version of my AMAZING weekend!
I already can't wait for Impact 2012!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday (and it was really Wednesday!)


This is my "I'm nannying all day and don't need to get all dolled up" look. :)

Sweater - Mossimo/Target
T-shirt - Mossimo/Target
Jeans - CK
Shoes - Walmart
Hair ties disguised as bracelets - Walmart :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stitched Valentines



As I mentioned on Tifany's blog, I love stitched paper!  Something about it just makes me so happy. :)  With that in mind, I made a few Valentine's notecards.  They are pretty plain, but they're cute enough that you can embellish or leave them plain!

Making the cards is really easy, but I'll give you some tips to make the process smooth.

First, you need a notecard (I used 4x6 cardstock), embroidery thread and a needle.


I usually freehand my design, but if you are not confident in your artistic abilities, just grab a cookie cutter and trace this bad boy out!  For this card, I just wanted a simple heart.


Don't try to be perfect.  I think imperfection makes them cuter. :)

Next, you just want to use your needle to make holes all along the outline you just drew.  You can space the holes fairly close together, just keep in mind that you make the hole bigger as you pull the thread through it, so if the holes are too close, that can be a problem.  It wouldn't be a bad idea to practice first (on a scrap piece of cardstock) and play with different spacing.


Now, you want to thread your needle.  Make sure to put a knot in the end to keep it in place!  Start by pulling the needle up through the back so you don't see the knot.  We'll be doing a back-stitch all the way around the design.  If you don't know what a back-stitch is, it's super easy!  Just pull the needle up through the first hole and then back down through the next one.  Like so:


Then back up through the 3rd hole.


And back down through the second, making a solid stitch.  Then, up through the fourth hole and repeat.


Then just continue until you have completed your outline!  Here's my finished heart:


I decided it was a little too plain for my taste, so I added another heart inside.  When you're finished, you just adhere it to a notecard of the same size, or on top of a tent card.

Here are some that I've finished:


Have fun!

~sarah

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

My first What I Wore Wednesday post, and I'm cheating.  This was Tuesday!  But, considering that we were iced in yet again today, I am still in my PJ's so you won't be seeing a picture of that! :)


*top to bottom*
Headband - made by me
Earrings - Avenue (they have cute, BIG jewelry!)
scarf - made by me
long-sleeve shirt - Target
jacket - A.M.I. (hand-me-down)
Blingin' ring - Avenue
pants - Ann Taylor Loft
The big mess that is my room - definitely made by me! :P

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cakin' - Bejeweled Blitz style


My best friend, Rachel, recently turned 25 and we went to dinner tonight to celebrate her birthday.  I wanted to make a fun cake for her and finally decided on Bejeweled Blitz - a facebook game that we both play!  Since lots of people ask me just HOW I make my cakes, I thought I would show the process!

First, I almost always use a cake mix.  People always tell me how amazingly delicious my cakes are, so why bother making them from scratch?  Also, I don't have to wonder how they will turn out because everything is so consistent.  My favorite brand is Betty Crocker and I love the French and Golden Vanilla the best.  Yummm


You might not be able to tell in this picture, but I always line the bottom of the pan with wax paper.  If you don't do this, DO IT!  I made cakes for a year or two before I realized how wonderful this step is!  Now I never have a cake stuck in the pan!


Also contributing to my non-stick success is THIS stuff.  I spray the sides of the pan with Bak-klene and this stuff is wonderful!  You can pick it up at Williams-Sonoma, but I'm sure other retailers carry it, as well.


Also from Williams-Sonoma (am I commercial for them today or what?), this spatula is great!  I guess you call it a spatula?  I'm not sure.  ANYWAY, the reason I love it is because it fits into all the openings of the KitchenAid beater attachment (seen below).  It also has a curved handle so that you can scrape down the sides of the bowl without lifting the arm of the mixer.  How genius is that?!?!


Mmm... cake batter...


Next, I started making fondant pieces for the top of the cake.  This was way more time consuming than I had planned!  It was fun, though.  I did it by making grids in the fondant, painstakingly measured to 3/4 inch squares, then shaped according to the game gems.


Here you can see the grid I was talking about! 


After that was done, I started stacking and icing the cake.  Yummmm, look at all that buttercream.  Oops, forgot to get pics of making the buttercream!  I usually make a non-butter version - 1 cup of crisco mixed with 1 tsp of vanilla, add 4 cups of powdered sugar a cup at a time, then about 5 TBL of milk.  I don't measure the milk anymore, just pour until it is the consistency I want.  It's also good with 1/2 vanilla and 1/2 almond extract.


You know how you can sometimes see the seam between cake layers, slightly sticking out farther than the rest of the cake?  The way to avoid this is to smoosh.  Yup, stack them up and smoosh them down with your hand.  If icing oozes out the sides, you can just run a knife around the cake the scrape off the excess.


Next, I iced the cake. You don't have to worry about making it perfectly smooth because the next step is smoothing it using the paper towel method.


In order to smooth the buttercream, you have to wait until it "crusts."  Crusting just means that the outside surfaces slightly harden to the point that you can touch it and it won't come off on your hand.  Most websites will tell you 10 minutes, but it seems to take a bit longer for me.  I usually find something else to do for about half an hour at least.  After it crusts, get a VIVA paper towel.  The reason you need that brand is because it is the only brand that doesn't quilt.  If you want a quilted pattern on your icing, than by all means, use whatever brand you want. :)  I love Viva, though!  Just rub your hand over the cake in a circular motion.  Make sure you pick up the paper towel and move it around frequently to make sure nothing is sticking.


After it was all smooth, I started assembling the board.  I was afraid that I would make an inaccurate board, so I played the game a few times so I could get some good screen shots.  (Side note, in the end it doesn't matter because no one even looked close enough to make sure the board was playable! haha)


Here is the board, finally assembled.  Now on to the details!


I added a simple border around all the straight edges and also added the time bar that tells you how many seconds you have left in the game.  Since it was her 25th birthday, I made it look like she only had 25 seconds left.  I thought that was fun. :)  Here is the finished product!


Sorry my pics are so bad.  My next "want" is a good camera!! :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

All blogged down with all these great blogs!

I have spent the majority of my day discovering blogs.  It's like a never-ending process because I find a blog I love and then notice all the blogs they love, so I go to those and see all the blogs that THEY love.  Whew!  I think I had about 50 tabs open in one session.  

Anyway,
 in the midst of my discovering, I came across Simply Handmade by Paige.  I dig this girl's style!  Also, she is having a GIVEAWAY for a gift certificate towards a bag made by Aubrey Plays.  The bags are simply adorable!  If you have a minute or two - check them out!  Even if I don't win this giveaway, I'm pretty sure I will be toting one of these bags pretty soon!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Pleated scarf tutorialish type thing


Before I get started, you must know that I am copy-catting from a great blog that I love, Make it and Love it. I saw this scarf tutorial months ago and am just now getting around to trying it myself.  Because, let's face it, I'm a procrastinator but being snowed in for four days really gives me no excuse!  So... here we go!

I found a little bit of black knit in one of mom's closets (she has gobs of fabric!) and thought it would be great for this project.  It's heavier than I like, but I didn't want to spend the money to buy fabric for such a simple project.  

Cut strips that are 7 inches wide.  No idea what the ending length of mine were because I was rushing through that process a bit and just cut until I ran out of fabric.  I would guess that the completed strip of fabric was about 12 ft long.  (Which turned out being a bit long, so keep that in mind if trying it for yourself!)  I had to piece several together, so that's why I don't know for sure.


Next, start pinning pleats.  I just eye-balled it.  The pleats in this picture are closer together than what I ended up doing.  I'll explain the bloopers at the end. :)


And keep pinning until you get really bored with it, cause then you're almost done!  Or, turn on Family Feud and pleat while you watch a whole episode.  Man, that Steve Harvey cracks me up!  Oh, oh yeah... anyway, keep pleating.


Now it's time to sew!  Yay!  You'll want to sew a border about 1/4 inch in from the edge, all the way around.  Be careful, though.  The pleats get tricky when you're sewing down one side, so you'll have to move slow.  Or, if you're smarter than I am, you'll just sew from the other side so it's a bit easier.  Then, stitch another seam about 1/4 inch towards the center from the previous seam.  I got smart on that one and went one direction for both seams!  Much, much easier.


And here's the finished product!  The only way to wear it (I think) is doubled up and and tucked in, as shown.  If I hadn't made it so long, I think you could probably wear it a few other ways.  Cute, huh?  Please ignore what I'm wearing.  I've been snowed in for four days and threw on a jacket to make this halfway presentable. Oh, also.  I need to clean my bathroom mirror pretty badly.  I'll get right on that.


So the original post from Make it and Love it said to use a thin fabric and double it up.  I did that at first.  Problem 1: the fabric was too thick so it wouldn't drape right.  Problem 2:  I did little pleats and that used up a lot of fabric while making it really bulky.  Problem 3:  I would have had a scarf that measured about 36 inches long.  So, I just used a single layer of fabric.  There are a couple seams that aren't hidden well, so if you're looking for them you can find them, but it's busy enough that it wouldn't be noticeable.

Okay, there ya go.  Let me know if you make it, too!  It was easy and I think it's super cute!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My current problem. Okay, one of them.


Although I bought the storage bins with the pink lids thinking they were the cutest ones available, I hate seeing them every time I walk in my room.


I thought that this lovely Waverly fabric would come to the rescue! I bought it years ago to make a curtain and then decided it was too busy to cover that much space.



I have toyed with a few different ideas and I think making an extra-long bedskirt (since my bed is extra high off the floor) is the best choice... I think. Before I start all this sewing, though, I'd like some opinions. Does this look like too much?



Whaddya think? Need to see more of the room? Is this just TOO much? Any other ideas? I'd love some advice!