Friday, June 24, 2011

I Heart Weekends :)

Friday - 9:45 AM
Since I have off on Fridays, my weekend begins now! My favorite part of weekends in general, and Fridays in particular, is getting to catch up on all the sleep I’ve missed throughout the week.

Today I wake up to discover that one of the actors in the Vacation Bible School dramas I’m directing needs a ride to rehearsal later that afternoon; since I only have room in my car for two people, and Maggie will be riding with me, I call another actor to see if he can give him a ride. He can – problem solved!

Friday mornings are my time to do little tasks and relax. I wander around downstairs greeting my family, then I put away my clean laundry, write emails, make my bed, and generally tidy my room. I think about breakfast but lack the motivation to fix anything real so instead I snack on low-point things from my fridge – nonfat string cheese, blueberries, etc. I go to brush my teeth and take a minute to spray the upstairs bathroom with cleaner to make it easier to deep-clean later.

I also get my first “Good morning!” text from my best friend, Robin, who lives in Alabama. We make sure to keep in touch via text and phone call throughout the day – it makes us feel more connected even though we’re hundreds of miles apart! We text back and forth for a while about our plans for the day.

I realize I’m free tonight and text another friend to set up a dinner date – we’ve been meaning to get together to reconnect for weeks but this is the first time both of us have had free time! We plan a meet-up for 6:00.

12:00 PM
Time to get dressed. I’m in a quandry, since I want to be comfortable for rehearsal but also look nice for dinner. I try on various outfits – it’s one of those days. In the middle of my “fashion show”, Maggie comes in to ask my advice on a project she’s working on. Once she leaves, I choose a long denim skirt and fuschia polo – bingo!

12:45 PM
Time to leave for rehearsal. Maggie and I load into my truck and discuss where we want to grab lunch. Strangely, both of us are craving McDonalds (something I NEVER crave!) so we make a pit stop for Chicken McNuggets and a grilled chicken sandwich.

On the way to rehearsal, I get a call from one of the actors, saying he’s running late and will be at the church “in thirty minutes.” I’m confused, since rehearsal doesn’t start till 2… right? There is some momentary confusion but we eventually confirm that yes, rehearsal starts at 2 and he is in fact running early.

On the way to rehearsal, Maggie and I run through our scene together several times, getting the dialogue right. I was originally going to only be directing, but one of our actors needed to be relieved and I discovered that I had read the part so many times that I knew 90% of the lines anyway. Now I’m just trying to get the other 10% down.

1:55 PM
Four of the six cast members are already here, and while we wait for the other two members to arrive, we start an epic discussion, topics including but not limited to: whether the Lord of the Rings books are waaaaay better than the movies (definite yes, although we all agree the movies were well done); whether anyone can rival Tolkien in creating the most far-reaching fictional worlds (possibly George Lucas’s Star Wars galaxy); whether you can really credit George Lucas with the development of the Star Wars galaxy since so many people have contributed to it (at least a lot of credit – he was a definite before-his-time visionary); whether George Lucas has lost his filmmaking talent (we’re split here, with half of us saying “No way!” and the other half saying “Yes”); whether Steven Spielberg ever HAD any filmmaking talent (again, we’re pretty evenly split on this issue); whether “aliens” can be used as a catch-all plot twist to solve any and all gaping plot holes (believe it or not, we’re split on this issue, too); whether the newest Indiana Jones movie was good or ridiculous (slight majority says “ridiculous”); whether George Lucas should remake Star Wars with a younger cast (only one person dares voice this, and he’s loudly booed); whether Tron: Legacy was any good as an extension of an older movie (yes).

By the time these important issues have been hashed out, the rest of the cast is here and it’s time to rehearse.

4:00 PM
Rehearsal is over – time to get Maggie to her OTHER rehearsal on the other side of town. Since she’ll be in rehearsal till late tonight, we stop to get her a sandwich.

5:00 PM
I drop Maggie off and head towards the bank to cash my paycheck. Our bank is sooo slow, but I still have a few minutes until I have to meet my friend, so I duck into the nearby Kohls in search of some summer shirts. The sales are great and I find several nice shirts. By the time I get through the checkout line, it’s time for dinner.

6:00 PM
I meet my friend Becka at a local Asian cuisine restaurant and we pore over the menu Рeverything looks so good! In the end, she orders veggie lo mein and I get an order of dumplings and an order of water chestnut pudding Рsoooo good (kind of like cr̬me brulee)!

7:15 PM
We have a lot to get caught up on, but by now we’re ready to stretch our legs, so we head to the nearby Marshalls to do a little window shopping. We have fun trying on clothes in the dressing rooms, checking out the housewares department and imagining decorating our own little apartment someday, and hitting the clearance aisle, where we find: a plastic bunch of grapes, a glass artichoke...

...and a ceramic taper candle holder than looks like a lumpy avacado.

We head to the checkout line and make a quick stop at the bookshelf, where I pick up a book, skim through it, and am immediately sucked it. Arg! It goes in my cart. We go back to my truck and listen to a few songs from Jackie Evancho’s “Dream With Me” album – love!

8:30 PM
Time to go pick up Maggie, but I arrive with a few minutes to spare, so I pull out my book. I love little quiet moments like this in a hectic day!

9:07 PM
Maggie is out! I’m craving an IceFlow slushie from AMC, so we pull in.

9:27 PM
This may be the longest I have ever waited for a slushie, no matter how good. I snag a few more moments of reading in the drive-through line.

9:37 PM
Slushies in hand, we head home.

10:00 PM
Maggie fixes a snack while I chat with my parents. I remind them that I am taking Maggie, Anna, and Ruth with me to the movie theater to see Cars 2 with our cousin tomorrow, and I get handed ticket money (yes! J). I head upstairs to my room. I want a shower, but Maggie beats me to it. J I relax on my bed with my issue of Rachel Ray Everyday magazine that came today. I see an article about doing Disney World with children and make a mental note to pass it on to Abby’s parents.

10:30 PM
My turn in the bathroom! I finish my magazine in a warm bubble bath.

11:00 PM
I comb out my hair and let it air dry while I light my favorite sandalwood candle, relax, and use my computer to journal the day. A friend texts me with a list of books she needs for an upcoming college course, so I hop up to check my bookshelves (the upside of being an English major is that you can locate almost any book in your personal collection). I have quite a few on her list, so I text her back and set them aside for her.

12:01 AM
Time for bed! Where did time go?!? :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, Abigail June!

Abby turned 3 this past Saturday - 3! I can't believe it, it's just too much to believe the last year and a half have gone by so quickly. My "silly goose" is growing up... all last week she would come to me very serious, and say gravely, "Sa'ah, I all growed up now. I big, like you. I not little anymore." :*(

On the other hand, there are moment when she still tickles with her childishness... for instance, last week she was sitting at the kitchen counter eating breakfast while I was brushing her hair and putting in pigtails at her request. I had one pigtail done and was working on the other when all of a sudden -
"Stop!" she ordered. "Shh!"
I paused, listening, but I didn't hear any airplanes or helicopters (the usual sounds we stop to hear) so I finally said, "What do you hear, Abby?"
"My pigtail!" she whispered. "Hear it? Oink, oink," she added surreptitiously. I cracked up.

Her party location - my grandfather's pool - sprang a leak, so we celebrated with a small group of family.

Her beautiful cake... Abigail was absolutely entranced in it and would have literally dug right in if her parents had let her, I think. :)

Natalie set up a craft table for the kiddos.

Daddy lit the candles.

Then it was time to blow them out!

And open gifts. Momma helped. :)

So much fun!

Trying out one gift - a little beach chair, just her size, with TinkerBell on it to boot!

"Aw, a bunny rabbit!" :)

Abby wasn't really sure what to do with the cards... she'd open them and then had a rather cheated look, lol.

Her love of balloons being no secret, almost everyone brought some for her. :) I love balloons too!

I wonder what sort of things we'll learn and do in the coming year... she has changed so much in the last year that I can only imagine.

Some things we're currently working on:

  • Eating with silverware... especially now that she's outgrown her highchair and eats at the kitchen counter with the adults!

  • Trying new foods, and eating a wider variety of foods - she'll now take one bite of a new food without any protest. Once she's taken one bite, I don't care if she has any more - the point was to try it - but I think she's surprised herself at how many new foods she's ended up loving!

  • Following directions - we're not really working this one too hard yet, but I know it's a skill that will help get her ready for preschool/kindergarten, so I got her a workbook with a simple color-by-numbers so she'll get used to following instructions. So far, she loves it. That it's Pooh Bear-themed only helps. :) And I've started giving her multi-step directions around the house to get her used to them - such as when we come home, I might say "Can you take your shoes off, put them nicely away, and then bring your toy into the house?" She's really good at verbal directions!

  • Listening to the teacher for instructions - mostly this only applies at gymnastics, lol, but we just started music class so we're learning it there, too. Abby is very good at this and only needs to be reminded once in a while. :)

  • Saying "Hello!" and "Goodbye" to our teachers/adults around us... This one is a little tougher, since Abby is a bit shy, but we're going slow. Right now I just encourage her - "Can you say hello?" Sometimes she substitutes a very shy wave in place of words, but we're definitely moving in the right direction. :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Recipe Roundup

The wild, wild West has been on my mind lately, as both drama productions I'm involved in are set in the old West. It looks like we've got most of the kinks worked out and we're getting ready to jump into rehearsals. Can't wait!

In the meantime, here are two yummy things I've made recently that are both Weight-Watchers friendly! :)

Sunday Evening Pizza

1 whole wheat personal-size pizza crust (6 points)

1/4 cup no-sugar-added pizza sauce (1 point)

1/4 cup fat-free shredded mozzarella cheese (1 point)

1/4 cup reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese (2 point)

You can add your favorite low-point toppings if you like - sweet peppers, onions, fresh pineapple, tomatoes, and any other veggie is 0 points; a slice of canadian bacon chopped up or a tablespoon of bacon bits are only 1 point. I'm a cheese freak, so I'm happy with just cheese. :)

Assemble, bake, and enjoy!

Asparagus Pastries

1 tube of refrigerated crescent rolls

8 slices reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

1 bunch thin asparagus spears

Steam asparagus until just tender; divide into 8 servings. Divide the crescent rolls into eight balls of dough; roll each ball into a square and place asparagus spears in the center. Place one slice of cheddar cheese over asparagus, and wrap in dough. Bake according to directions on crescent roll tube. Makes 8. (5 points each pastry)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Accepting The Facts

Everyone has read "that" blog - the one where the blogger goes on a long rant about some real or perceived character flaw or facet, on and on andonandon... and then ends the post one of two ways: they either 1) declare "That's just the way I am!" and thus stubbornly refuses to initiate any sort of change, or 2) renews her determination to change at whatever cost neccessary, including her marriage (if married), her children (if she has any), or her sanity.

I think both approaches are wrong. I think that if you see a flaw in yourself, and make no move towards fixing it or improving it, you're cheating yourself out of becoming a person you'll like better, and that marvelous experience of growth. Growth is sometimes painful, sometimes uncomfortable, but the end result is always worth it. Conversely, I think that if you spend your life wrapped up in your perceived flaws, you're cheating yourself out of seeing yourself as God sees you - as His creation. Flawed? Yes! Precious? Priceless? Being made Perfect in Him? Yes Yes YES!

I've realized lately that part of the learning you get when you grow up is learning what to accept and what to leave. What matters and what doesn't. What you CAN change - and should - and what you can't, and will only break yourself against in the trying.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

It's all in the little things...

Summer is on its way - all the signs are here:

  • Most nights now, a cool shower, rather than a hot-as-you-can-get-it bath, feels like the perfect prelude to bedtime.

  • Come Saturday morning, I can't wait to get out to the farmer's market to see what produce looks good. And for the rest of the week, I'm dog-earing issues of Rachel Ray Every Day in search of incredible ways to cook said produce.

  • Speaking of which - I have figured out how to eat pasta well, finally. In my "old life" pasta was something you gorged on, and even after doing WW for months, if I wanted pasta, I saved up all my weeklies and blew them on a dish of pasta on my night out. Or pulled out a Lean Cusine meal (which are good, in their own right, but... not real food. Not really). So, tonight I made one carefully measured portion of pasta, and loaded it with veggies to make it go further - zucchini, squash, asparagus (oh, asparagus, I think it may be my fav veggie of all time) - added no-added-sugar tomato sauce, and a sprinkle of fat free mozzarella. And it was incredible.

  • I have tasted watermelon for the first time this year. Not great watermelon, mind you, as it's really truly too early for good melon, but watermelon nonetheless.

  • Maggie and I were in the truck together today and for some reason we started talking about fruit, and the thought popped into my head and out through my lips that "fruit tastes like sunshine." Which, now that I've said it out loud, it does, in my opinion. Maggie looked at me funny for a second, thought about it, shrugged, and said, "Yeah." We then launched into a deep discussion about which fruit tastes most like sunshine. My money is either on a really ripe, beautiful, unblemished peach, and her pick was a lemon. Which I have to admit I don't get AT ALL, but to each their own.

  • Inspired by the fact that I apparently had no warm-weather shirts, I pulled down all my clothing bins and brought out all my summer clothes. I've worn a tank top already (granted, it was under a springish cardigan, but still lol).

  • While I was sorting clothes I pulled every piece of clothing that I owned out and tried it on. And I'm amazed and humbled in a grateful sort of way that everything I own fits in one of three categories: Fits, Fits for now (start looking for a replacement because in another 5 pounds, you're outta luck), and Too Big. There's no more "too tight, but I could layer something over it to hide it" clothes, no more "Maybe someday I'll be able to wear that again" clothes. It's all either Now or Then. And when I was done I sat between the two piles and thought about putting the Then pile back into rubbermaid bins just in case, and instead I shoved it all into trash bags and took it to the thrift store. Because keeping it because I liked the style, even if it no longer fit, is only taking up space, and there will be cuter clothes (much cuter clothes!) to buy in smaller sizes. Because keeping it because I'm afraid I'll fail means that part of me still hold on to failure as a viable option.

  • My windowsill is lined with pots of flowers, herbs, and veggie plants, all thriving and growing and reaching for the sky. This is a small miracle. Two years ago I wanted desperately to learn to grow plants, and I couldn't keep any plant alive longer than two weeks. Two years later, more of my seedlings thrive than die. Granted, learning to grow plants is of no moral consequence whatsoever. But there were a bunch of "seeds" planted in my life around the same time that my plants were committing suicide all around me, and whenever I see my windowsill of plants, it reminds me that more is growing than just plants.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Page From My Journal

This morning I stopped in at Starbucks to quench my insatiable craving for a caramel macchiato (iced and skinny of coursE :)), and sitting by himself at a table - no Kindle, no newspaper, no journal or computer in sight - was an unmistakeably Italian gentleman, who could have passed as Andrea Bocelli's thinner brother. His brown hair was longish and brushed around his ears, and he had a full, thick, but neatly trimmed beard covering his face. He looked completely content just sitting quietly with himself, thinking.

I have long loved Bocelli, and I'm a soft touch for beards, so I was watching him out of the corner of my eye as I got in line in front of a young mom and her daughter, who was just about Abigail's age. The little girl wanted a carton of chocolate milk, but was too shy to come near me to get one. I smiled at her and moved aside, she smiled back and came forward bashfully, retrieved her milk, and retreated to her mommy's side.

I was still smiling when I turned around, and he caught my eye - he was smiling, too, glancing from me to the little girl, then back again to me. He dropped his gaze to the floor and continued to wait patiently in line, and a moment later he smiled again - a different smile - and I followed his gaze and realized he was looking at my shoes - my "power shoes" - the ones that have random ladies stopping me on the street asking where I bought my shoes, and are they comfortable (they are).

These shoes apparently are fascinating to guys - most of my guy friends have commented on them, everything from "Wow, those are some shoes!" to "How do you walk in them?" Several weeks ago, a guyfriend came up to me and said "I saw YOUR SHOES in a music video!!!" :)

I placed my order and followed the curve of the counter around to the wall, where I could watch the back of the Italian's head while awaiting my drink. His hair - which had probably been washed that morning - had dried in alternating stiff and fluffy patches. I wondered if he had added a styling product halfheartedly - it would account for the patches - but I had to admit that unless a stranger were surreptitiously stalking him, as I was, no one was likely to notice. Besides that, his hair added an easygoing vibe to his appearance - suave enough to make an effort at styling his hair, but manly enough not to devote any real time to it, especially on a morning when his main activity was sitting in a coffeehouse, thinking.

In a perfect world, we might have struck up a conversation - he might have commented on those shoes, or notice my vintage owl pendant (another piece guaranteed to get me stopped on the street for fashion inquiries). I might have had the time to linger over my macchiato, and might have snagged the table next to him. Any man who can spend a morning lost in his own thoughts is worth knowing, in my experience.

But the world isn't perfect, so a moment later when the barista called my drink, I claimed it with a smile, walking towards the door in my powerful shoes, and slipped out into the beautiful, imperfect world.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ways to spend a Sunday afternoon

1. Working on the computer - right now I'm getting ready to get the VBS skits up and rolling.
2) Journaling/writing - did you know that April is National Poetry Month?

3) Sleeping - this is always a pretty popular choice around here, lol. Someone is always sleeping on Sunday afternoons (in fact, most of the time it's ME!). What is it that's so luxurious about an afternoon nap?

4) Reading - this is probably the next most popular choice; lots of Bible studying goes on around here, plus there's plenty of fiction and non-fiction to be read.

5) Watching old Westerns - not sure what this is, possibly The Virginian?

6) Taking a jog on the newly-fixed treadmill - no picture, probably not something you wanted to see me do anyway. :) Dad fixed the treadmill this weekend, and I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed it (when it was fixed, lol). I took my first jog in MONTHS today, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was - even though I haven't been doing any running at all, I've been faithful to my yoga, and I can definitely feel the change in my legs. Nice!

I love Sunday afternoons - getting geared up for the new week, doing little non-arduous chores (like cleaning out my little fridge and making up a grocery list for this week), and resting, physically and mentally.

I hope your weekend has been restful and beautiful. I've been blessed, and I look forward to seeing those blessings continue!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

And Here's A Post...

I did a little bit of online shopping this weekend (which ended up being super productive, by the way): I indulged and picked up a small army of jewelery from Forever 21's $1.50 sale. A few pieces were for me, but I also picked up a bunch as gifts. I love Forever 21's jewelery. I think you could walk up to their jewelery racks, close your eyes, put out your hands, and whatever you touch, I'd like. They have just that kind of style. :) I also picked up two things off of Amazon - a step aerobics workout video to use with the new workout step mom found me at the thrift store for $8, and a book that I remember reading as a child. I got this book from the library, read it, loved it, returned it, and forgot the name. For years I have yearned to read it again, but I couldn't remember the name. Well, on Sunday I suddenly remembered the name AND was near a computer! AND someone was selling a copy for a cent! I'm so excited. Can't wait to read it. And just in case you were curious about it - it's The Twinkie Squad, by Norman Korman. :) I had to duck into my fav clothing store this week to start the hunt for new skirts, as these last couple of pounds I've lost have killed at least one of my skirts, and possibly more (I haven't worn them recently, so I don't know yet). I am so sad - the length of a skirt I can adjust, I can bring in the sides to make them less full, gather my tops to make them smaller, but the waist of a good skirt is something I just can't seem to figure out how to alter. Time to go pull out my belt again and see if I can make them last at least a few more pounds. In the meantime, I did buy one really nice long skirt that will take the place of the skirt I lost. Speaking of clothes - they had their spring stuff out and I almost went nuts (I didn't, but it was sooo hard...). Beautiful ruffly tanks, cute cotton skirts, little shrug sweaters, and sandals, sandals, sandals - espadrilles, cute flats, heels to die for. I'm so psyched. Bring on spring! I was listening to the radio yesterday (to Tony Evans, I believe? Not positive) and he said something that caught my attention. I'm sure I'm misquoting, but basically he said something along the lines of "If you're not living by God's rules, you're cutting yourself off from the fullness of blessings that God wants to give you." I was instantly convicted. I can think, right off the top of my head, of several areas that I'm not honoring God in. I've been aware of them for awhile, but I've been kind of thinking, "Someday/soon I'll deal with that... just not now..." And I can also think of several things I want/desire, that I've taken steps to achieve or attain, and they're just not happening in my life. I've become kind of frustrated, thinking and asking "If God can make it happen for that person, why not me?" and I really think that this might be the answer. While our behavior and actions don't affect God's love for us, He is our heavenly parent, and just like all parents, he withholds certain things when we are not in step with His will. I have decided to lay aside some time this weekend in prayer, and to really look at these areas and what I need to do to make them right with Him. The encouraging thing to me is that I already feel blessed by God in so many ways, that I often feel just wordless to express my thanks. I can't wait to see how many more blessings God has in store for me along this journey. I hope you're experiencing the fullness of God's blessings for yourself! :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Just a quick note to say that today's scheduled tutorial will be posted later this week. I have a great project planned - but I started it too late, and it ended up needing an extra coat of paint, which needed extra time to dry (this is why I hate paint, lol!). See you then!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Back On Track

I was feeling a bit off-track last week; not sure what was going on, but in all fairness to myself, there was a lot going on - I had a busy week without a lot of downtime, and part of the busyness was the wedding of one of my close guy friends. I've grown up with this guy and his family as my "brothers" and God has used them all to model biblical manhood in my life, since - living with four sisters and a brother who didn't arrive until second-t0-last - male models were lacking somewhat in my life. :) I have been so blessed and humbled in the last few years to watch him start a beautiful relationship and prepare for marriage, and Saturday was the big day. Talk about emotional! I cried and cried. :) He and his fiancee actually asked me to sing during the ceremony, which was such a compliment, and I held it all together until I sat down after singing. Then seeing his beautiful bride and the love that was so apparent in their eyes for each other, plus their vows - which they wrote themselves and that touched on every aspect of their future marriage, from child-rearing to their roles as man and wife - oh, the floodgates opened. They were happy tears. :) I pretty much came home and crashed for the rest of the day.

For those of you who have been - ahem, concerned - (and by concerned, I mean they assume I gave up on it) at the lack of Weight Watchers content on my blog lately... don't be. It's true, I "broke" with the program for a little while because I was dealing with other issues and just felt like I couldn't handle it all at once, but - and apparently this is a big but - I didn't regain an ounce of the lost weight and started back up again a while ago. :)

I think part of the reason I got so stressed and felt like I couldn't handle it all was because I never did get a good grip on the new program, PointsPlus. Which, I'm gonna go ahead and say right up front: do NOT like it as much as the old program. I have been slow in publicly saying this because I felt like until I could use the program successfully - and by successfully I mean being able to stick to it and lose weight while on it - I didn't have the right to bash it.

Well, it's been awhile now doing both successfully, and I still don't like the old program. There are definitely parts I like - I love that fruit is point free, and I love that you get the "encouragement" to eat high-protein foods, which I naturally gravitate towards - but the parts that I hate - the fact that it's nearly impossible to guesstimate in a pinch, the, ahem, "strong discouragement" over carbs (ANY carbs, white, wheat, whole grain, etc) - far outweigh the parts I love. However, learn it I did and stick to it I am. There is a LOT of fruit getting eaten in my life right now, lol, mostly to make room for carbs, which have been severely limited. Tonight's post-yoga-workout dinner, for instance, was reduced-fat PB & sugar-free J on whole wheat bread, with a big glass of nonfat milk. :)

Speaking of yoga - UGH! Spring break (read: two weeks with no practice)+first session back (and a challenging one to boot)=NOT GOOD. :) I was struggling all over the place today, but I laughed at myself and kept going, and I definitely feel good now, several hours later. My "yoga high" in on. :)

had some time today while Abby was in school, so I ducked in to Ross to check out their latest shipment. You know how sometimes you go shopping and absolutely nothing you try on looks good, fits right, etc? Well, the flip also sometimes occurs (albeit much more rarely): sometimes you have days where you lug a ton of clothes into the dressing room and EVERYTHING FITS! and looks great! Is this a real phenomenon or is it just purely a state of mind? I have no idea...

Anyway, I refrained from buying every piece of clothing that fit - believe me, I wanted to! - but I did score a Michael Kors top for $14.99. It doesn't really get any better than this.

I also found these two leather-bound journals - what writer doesn't love a new journal?! The crisp pages, the straight lines waiting to be filled up... and these two are particularly beautiful (and $6 a piece!)

You know how once in awhile when you've been out in the elements, and your lips get chapped, and you take some lip balm and smooth it over them, and it soothes your lips? Well... I have this theory that everybody has some form of "soul balm" and for me it's words by C.S. Lewis. Lately I've been enjoying this collection of essays by him and let me tell you - soul balm. I can't even count how many times I have burst out laughing, or suddenly teared up reading something that completely touched me. Love it. I can't wait to get to heaven and meet him. :)

Since I was in the mood for "lighter" reading material, I picked up the latest copy of ReadyMade mag... I lovelovelove this magazine, and it's impossible to describe. It has a little bit of everything - crafts, architecture, DIY, travel, cooking... Life, I guess. One of these days I'm going to get my own subscription.

Of course, I got home to discover my issue of Ladies Home Journal had finally arrived - and who was their covergirl this month but Mariska Hargitay, my new hero?!?

I get so pumped up by women like her. :) For those of you who don't know, Mariska plays the female lead of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a detective who investigates (mainly) sexual assault, rape, etc. However, Mariska has also founded her own organization, Joyful Heart, to help survivors of sexual violence. The article was terrific and really inspiring. Go, girl! :)

Well, the sun seems to have rolled back behind the clouds for now and I needed a pick-me-up, so I gave myself a DIY pedicure and chose a cheerful color. Two, actually - a fun lavender and a clear glitter. :)

I hope everyone is ready for a good weekend - I know I'm excited about the downtime to craft, sew, read, and be generally creative. :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Easy-Peasy Crocheted Flower

Easy-Peasy Flower
(for a pin, barrette, clip, magnet, etc!)

I wasn't going to do a crochet
craft, since not everyone can crochet, but this flower that I designed this week is so quick and easy I'm pretty sure almost anyone can do it! Plus, with the wedding of a close friend this week, and all the prep for that, I haven't had any time to do any other crafting. :( If you don't crochet, why not try it out? I've linked up all the stitches to tutorials from Crochet Today, and taken lots of pictures! :)

  • Size G crochet hook, or one slightly larger or smaller (you’ll get a larger or smaller flower, but the pattern will still work!)
  • Worsted weight yarn (this pattern doesn’t take much; it’s great for using up odds and ends!)
  • Worsted weight yarn in contrasting color
  • 1 button in a coordinating or contrasting color
  • Large needle & thread (not pictured)
  • 1 barrette, bobby pin, pin back, headband, etc (you can attach this flower to almost anything!)


Chain 4.

Join with slip stitch to form a ring.

This is your flower’s center.

Round 1
Chain 4, [dc in ring, ch 2] 5 times; join with sl st in 2nd chain of beginning ch 4.

Your flower should have six loops around it now; these will become the petals.

Round 2
In each loop around, work the following: sc, hdc, dc, tr, dc, hdc, sc; join with slip stitch in first sc.

Fasten off and weave in ends. Your flower is done!


Using your contrasting yarn, chain 10.

Slip slitch in second chain from hook; sc in next stitch, hdc in next stitch, dc in next stitch, tr in next stitch, dc in next stitch, hdc in next stitch, sc in next stitch, slip stitch in last chain.

Fasten off and weave in ends. Repeat (makes two leaves).


Position the two leaves on one side of the flower as shown; using needle and thread, attach leaves to flower.

Sew button in the center of the flower.

Using either needle and thread or a hot glue gun, attach the flower to a barrette, headband, bobby pin, pin back, magnet, etc.

You're done!

Enjoy! :)