Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful:

--that my husband is OFF of work tomorrow!  He's on a turnaround (for those of you who are not familiar with the world of refineries, that's when they shutdown and overhaul a machine/unit.  It requires 24 hour manpower and the people on the job work 12 hr shifts and only get their 14th mandated day off for OSHA.)  Well since my guy is the engineer, he has to be there for all the meetings too that happen at shift change, so instead of 12 hr shifts, he's been working 14-17 hr shifts--everyday.  And the first four of those were graveyards--with a whole 20 hours off to transition into days.  Needless to say, we haven't seen much of him and he is absolutely exhausted.  So the fact that he gets to sleep in tomorrow and then spend the day with me and AJ makes me so excited!  That little girl has also been missing her daddy...

--for a sweet friend coming to sit with Bella while I brought my car to have the windshield replaced. It was early (for me and Bella...) and I really didn't want to have to wake her up and then deal with moving carseats and all that jazz; my sweet friend prevented all of those!

--that I'm getting my windshield replaced!  It's been cracked in two places for over a year, steadily getting worse; and now it's finally bad enough that it had to be replaced before getting my inspection.  I've enjoyed putting it off because I didn't want to pay for it, but at the same time, those cracks were driving me nuts!  It'll be so nice to drive with a smooth, clear view (and I better not get a rock chip anytime soon!).

--for the opportunity to teach our teenage girls on Wednesday nights.  They are so beautiful and precious, and I love my time with them.  I pray that the Spirit gives me the words and the wisdom that their hearts need.

--for a "well" report at Bella's follow up appointment today.  The sickness hit us at the same time which made for a very difficult and unpleasant couple of weeks--and of course it was when Hunter started his turnaround...  We still have a little bit of a lingering cough, but both of us are so much better than we were.

Be grateful, give thanks.

love, angie

Monday, January 21, 2013

My 2013 Planner!

I am a loyal follower of Jen at IHeartOrganizing!  I stumbled across her blog through Pinterest--she was actually the first blog other than my friends' that I started following--and boy am I glad I did!  Her habits and home are ones over which I swoon...  She does such a great job at not only organizing spaces (and keeping them that way), but also making them all visually appealing and just so much fun!

At the beginning of the month, she posted her planner that she created, and I immediately fell in love.  Enough so the I ordered the planner kit from her, as well as the similar system she used to hold the pages.  Well, it all came in today and I am SO pleased with it so far! 
(If you go look at hers, which I strongly encourage you to do, I will warn you that it is SO much prettier than mine!  The girl has skill--perfect, beautiful, Midas Touch of Organization skill.)

I loved the planner documents so much (purchased electronic files) that I visited her Etsy shop and got a few more organizational documents that I could use in our family planner.  Oh, the color and coordination and personalization is almost too much for me to take in!  I just love it.

*The pictures are horrible because the lighting in my house is horrible--but I went ahead and took them without any natural light because I have time to blog and I'm just that excited about it!*

I ordered the Discbound System (by Martha Stewart) from Staples.  I loved this pattern; although, the one Jen got was the Discbound System also, her cover is a different material and offers other features (pocket and pen holder) that mine doesn't.  Had I known that, I might have swayed my choice; but regardless I still love the pattern!  Mine is also a soft cover so it bends like a notebook would. (she got the textured cover--offered in Black or Blue Wave--and I got the smooth)

There she is!  I love the cover sheet (well, I actually just love all of the pages SO much!) as the first thing I see when I open it.  All of my little tab labels off to the side add a bit of character while keeping things in order.

Each month gets a full page calendar like this one...

and also a full spread per week like this one (LOVE this feature).

The full spread includes a space to write out the meals you have planned for that day, making it super easy to get a glance at your complete day.  Each page also has a space for notes--we all have to have those little reminders--and that quote that I have come to love as such a fun reminder: 
"It's a FABULOUS day to have a FABULOUS day!"

The year, month, and week's end are also written at the top of the left page of the week at a glance.

While a full month's view of the past, current, and future months and a space for the weeks goals are on the right page.

I also have coordinating "Notes" pages at the back for those random lists that I always find myself writing; a Special Dates page where I have important birthdays and anniversaries are written out in one easy to see format; an idea sheet for blogging (personalized); and a media inventory list (I'm a bit of a movie fiend--and the worst is being at the store and not remembering if I already have the movie I'm thinking about getting--especially in a series...).

I've only had it for 5 hours and I already LOVE it!  Who wouldn't want to look at all those fabulous colors and layouts on a daily basis?  So pretty and yet so functional!

I started a family binder last year (again, after following Pinterest to a blog of ideas...).  I've seen multiple variations since and will probably use this more and more as our family grows.  However, since I was already on a spree, I went ahead and gave it some sprucing!  Since I am a sucker for all things chevron, this cover design had me at first sight.  And now all of the colors and patterns blend between it and my planner which makes me super happy :)

I had a flimsy planner in the front of this last year and it was my main family calendar.  It worked well except carrying around a hard binder all the time or to go grocery shopping or on trips was just annoying.  It was too bulky, and I didn't need to tote around all of the information in the other tabs all the time.  So I printed out the same calendar that's in my planner (only the whole month views).  So I still have a calendar here that gives me a reference, but it's no longer my main source of schedule organization.

With the planner kit came these fabulous meal plan sheets.  I had used a variation of these last year, but they weren't near this pretty!  I love having the space for the meals and the grocery list so that all of the planning gets done at once (my other sheets also had this feature so it's already something I appreciate, but again, they were just too dull).  I have 52 of these bad boys printed out and ready to go for 2013.  My plan is to fill out my menu and grocery list as I'm able to--even weeks at a time--and then when pay day/grocery day comes around, the two weeks I'll be shopping for will get punch and put in my planner.  I plan to carry that planner most (hopefully all) of the time, so this way I won't be carrying anything extra to the store.  I tried shopping with that bulky binder a few times last year and it was terrible (especially now with trying to juggle it and a toddler).  Then I resorted to just taking the paper, but I ended up folding it and shoving it in my purse or just flat out forgetting it at home--both of which strongly annoyed me.  So hopefully this method will ease my shopping woes!

I ordered this Babysitter planning sheet to fill out when we have a sitter (especially someone who doesn't sit for us often).  Again, I already had something similar to this, but it wasn't as pretty and I liked the info spaces on this one better.  Since they're digital files that I now own, I can print out as many as I need whenever I need them! (huge score in my book...)

I love having a place that I can organize my gift ideas and what I've already bought.  Plus this design has a place to track your spending budget--all must haves in one pretty location!

Here are the party planning documents that I fell in love with!  I regularly find myself hosting some sort of shower or shindig, making so many lists in so many different places that I can't keep track of them all.  This way, I can keep all my info together, and I can always write random thoughts and tid bits on the back.  Regardless, it's all together.

I also ordered the Password Log (who doesn't need help remembering the usernames and passwords to all of those online subscriptions and memberships?!) and the Paint Color Reference (to keep track of where you used a color and what it's name was) that both live in the binder.

How pretty are all of those pages?!  She is such a great designer of all things, but here we're focusing on those printables.  Again, these are sold as digital files, so once you get them, you can print them out as you need them.  The personalization is something else that gets me giddy.  Function + Beauty + Organization = Happiness and Sanity

I'm so excited to get this year going!

What do you use as your planner/home organization system?  I'd love to hear any tips or ideas you have that work for you and your family!

love, angie

Reminder:  I bought these printables from Jen at IHeartOrganizing.  Please visit her blog and her store and show her some love for her fantastic work!  You'll fall in love quickly!

Martin Luther King Day

Happy MLK day!  I hope you take a moment today to appreciate the historical significance and bravery of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Enjoy your day off (if you don't have to work), enjoy the weather (if you have it as pretty as we do), and enjoy your family (always)--but take a second to enjoy and appreciate more than that.

Dr. King was a wise man who fought incredible fights to defend his beliefs and warrant the change he dreamed.  No words I could ever say would come close to expressing his passion as well as his own.  So here are a few of my favorite quotes of his:

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power.  We have guided missiles and misguided men."

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.  He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."

"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.  Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education."

"We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive.  He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.  There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us.  When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies."

"If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward."

"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake.  Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way."

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

"Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve.  You don't have to have a college degree to serve.  You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve.  You only need a heart full of grace.  A soul generated by love."

"I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, quality and freedom for their spirit."

"The time is always right to do the right thing."

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"

Think.  Learn.  Hope.  Live a life of conviction.  Act.  Serve.  Love.  Change the world...

love, angie

A Day Out!

We woke up to a beautiful Monday down here in the south!  What great weather to enjoy for all of our friends and small children who get the day off!

My sweet bug woke up late, as usual (which is so OK with me...).  So after breakfast/lunch, I decided we too would head out and enjoy this weather!  As sad as this may be, this was my first time to take her outside for the sole reason of playing...  I'm just not an outside person, so I really have to think about going outside since it's not something I crave.  Hopefully I'll get better about that as she gets older and can actually play :)

We took a few rides in her Cozy Coupe--too fun!  Our driveway is slightly inclined too, so I was able to let it go and let her "chase" me in it.  The cackling laughter was uncontainable--we both loved it!

Why are you taking pictures mom?  Get back there and push me around!

Mama even gave me a special treat while we were outside!  There was drool and stickiness everywhere--but she loved it and she felt like she was big (which I refuse to acknowledge how big she is...) so it was worth it--and we were outside ;) 

Yum to the um!

Like our driveway barricade? ;)  She only tried to get by it once and that was when a man walking his dog walked by--you can't do much to keep that girl away from a puppy!  A few of the neighbor kids were out running around and being silly too, and she was fascinated by (they're what she's staring at here).  It was a short little afternoon out as it ended tragically when the sucker was gone and the stick had to be thrown away...  Oh well--fun times while they lasted!  

Enjoy your day with your family, especially the wee ones and the aged ones!

love, angie

Saturday, January 19, 2013

a Pinterest Menu

Earlier this week, my BFF sent me to her board to find a Pinterest recipe she had found, tried, and loved.  This may have led to a small Pinterest stalking session of her food board (I mean, I had to scroll through there to find the one I was looking for anyway!), which gave me what I hope was a fabulous idea!

For the first pay period/two weeks of February (and if it goes well, maybe the whole month), I will be trying a new recipe from Pinterest every night.  I'm taking these last two weeks in January to go through and find the ones I want to try, print out the recipes, and make out a grocery list.  Then starting February 1, we'll be off to the exciting task of a new to us meal every night!

Hopefully I'm up for the challenge and hopefully I get some fabulous new recipes to add to my book of keepers :)

I'll post the recipes I make on here as well as our review after I cook it.  So hang around--and maybe even join us on our challenge!

love, angie

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful:

--for feeling better!  I've been under the weather for about two weeks now, but this past weekend, I went downhill big time and quick.  I don't think I have ever coughed so much which in turn led to a throat that has never been so sore.  I was miserable.

--for modern medicine and butt shots!  I never thought I'd be one to volunteer for a shot (I utterly despise needles), but that's how bad I felt when I finally made it to the doctor yesterday morning.  After negative tests for the flu, strep, and mono, all he could do was give me a shot, antibiotics, and some cough syrup.  By last night, I was already feeling a lot better but still not great.  Today, I feel good again!  I'm still coughing and I don't completely have my voice back, but I've been able to have some energy and not be miserable all day!  It has been FAB-u-lous!

--for my mama.  She came over last night to help me with Bella (and give me a little TLC too).  So I got to sleep without the monitor and with my door closed....mmm...and the hydro-codone laced cough syrup helped knock me smoothe out as well as help me not wake up 15 times every hour coughing and hacking.  Again--FAB-u-lous!  Plus today, she did my laundry and dishes, helped me clean out and organize both freezers, and made me broccoli casserole.  It was great.  We got to visit and giggle and catch up--we hadn't seen each other since Christmas--and play with the sweet little Bella bug.  My mama's pretty great :)

--for my mother-in-law.  I jokingly put on Facebook late one night as I lay awake coughing my lungs up and listening to my also sick daughter (ear infection) scream, that I was taking offers for people to come take care of us.  I woke up the next day to a message that my husband's mom was taking off half a day of work to come take care of us and make us chicken n dumplins (aka, one of my favorites and the BEST comfort food).  Oh man.  We also got to catch up and visit, and it was a pleasant evening even though at that time I still felt absolutely terrible.

--that our church family came together and donated so many school supplies for the restocking drive I organized last fall!  My intention was to hand them out in January, mid-school year, as students' supplies usually need a little boost again at that time.  Well, this week, we've been able to deliver those supplies to local schools and it has been a tremendous effort to be a part of!

--for my husband.  He's a work horse and rarely complains about the crazy hours and work load (even on this turnaround...and besides, I usually take care of the complaining for him :/).  Thankfully he loves his job, and even more than that, he loves being able to support me and Arabella.  He's one of a kind, and I am so grateful every day that the Lord chose me to be his helper.

--for my sweet angel baby who makes my heart happy.  Watching her learn and grow and change is one of the neatest experiences.  And on top of that, she's a dadgum cool kid.

Be grateful, give thanks.

love, angie

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

SU! Promotions Galore!

Stampin' Up! is offering so many different promotions right now it's almost hard to keep them straight!  So this post will be my best effort of letting you know all the gritty details about each of these fun offers :)

1.  The single stamps promotion from last fall was such a hit that they are continuing the trend with TEN brand new (never-before-seen images) stamps that are offered individually!  There are some super cuties in these assortments--I have a feeling I'll be snagging up each and every one of them!

  • Individual stamps are only available in clear mount option (wooden block not available).
  • Clear blocks and cases are not included with these stamps.
  • Promotion ends March 31, 2013

Assortment 3--view PDF file here

Assortment 4--view PDF file here

2.  Stampin' Up! is celebrating 25 years of stamping fun this year, and they came up with a fantastic way to help celebrate this!  They have chosen sever "best of" stamps from their 25 years and compiled them into 12 stamp sets.  Each month during 2013, they will be releasing a new themed set of these "best of" images!
  • Although they are releasing one set per month, all of the sets will be available for purchase through March 31, 2014!  
  • All of these sets are available in clear mount only.
  • All "Best of" stamp sets will include 3-5 images, including a never-before seen image, and will be priced at $14.95.
  • As a special incentive to collect the "Best of" stamps, starting in February, they will be including a collector's card and 25-year proof of purchase sticker with every "Best of" set.  Collect six stickers, and send it in to redeem a FREE set of your choice, valued up to $14.95!  Free sets must be redeemed no later than April 30, 2014.
  • January's theme is "Best of Birthdays".  Click the link below to view the flier and images of the stamps in the set.
View January's PDF flier here.
3.  Dude, You're Welcome! Product Kit.  Stampin' Up! has come up with a kit designed specifically for the men in your world.  Guys don't always have the easiest time expressing themselves, but with the Dude, You're Welcome! kit, they'll have
  • Four wood-mount stamps (double mounted) with the perfect sentiment for every occasion
  • Twelve 4x6 postcard in four different (manly) colors
  • Twelve gray envelopes
  • A Basic Gray Classic Stampin' Pad
  • An instructional guide (for the most novice stamper!)
Basically, the kit includes everything a dude needs to create the perfect manly card that any woman would adore, all packaged in an appropriately masculine box.

Dude, You're Welcome! Kit

4.  Stampin' Up! is proud to offer Paper Pumpkin, their new monthly stamp club all its own!

I'm Paper Pumpkin...
I come to your door each month (a fully decked-out creativity carriage).  I'll help you to escape your life with some paper fun.
I come in a sweet box, but you'll really love what you find on the inside:
All the stamps, ink, paper, and accessories to create pinable projects.  Create stuff like cards, journals, decor, and more!
Paper Pumpkin by Stampin' Up! is a new monthly kit program that anyone (even you) can enjoy!

Get Started:
It's so easy to get started.  Simply sign up for the program starting Monday, January 14 by visiting and click 'Get it'.  Please be sure to select me as your demonstrator during the ordering process.  Every month a new, surprise project kit arrives at your doorstep.  Just think of the anticipation of creating a fun project to pin, showoff, and share with your friends and family--every month!

Of course, you'll want to know more.  So here's the nitty gritty:
  • Each month we send you a unique, surprise kit with a project--cards, journals, decor, and more! (We've even color-coordinated, measured, and cut everything for you!)
  • Each kit includes stamps, ink, paper, and accessories--everything but adhesive.
  • Each kit gives you a 30-minute creativity escape.
  • We will ship your Paper Pumpkin on or around the 15th of the month.
  • You need to sign up for a kit by the 10th of the month to get that month's kit.  If you sign up on the 11th of the month, your kit will come the next month.  (Let's say you sign up on May 10th--we'll send your kit around May 15th.  If you sign up on May 11th, we'll send your kit around June 15th).
  • A Paper Pumpkin membership is $19.95 per month (and shipping is included!).  
  • There's no commitment, you can cancel your monthly Paper Pumpkin at anything.  You can also skip a month if you want.

Starting in early March, we'll offer a "Try-It" kit if you'd like to try Paper Pumpkin for one month.

5.  Don't forget about the Valentine's promotions going on now (until January 21)!  See my previous blog post about these offers here. 

View the PDF flier here.

6.  Sale-a-Bration starts January 22nd!  Be looking for details on this famous sale with great products!

7.  The Spring Catalog is up and running strong!  Take a peek inside at the beauties it has to offer for your spring craft sessions.  Some of the favorites from the Holiday catalog even snuck in!  These products will be available through May 31, 2013.

View the PDF file of the entire catalog here.

As always, visit my online website and store any day, anytime, anywhere for all of your Stampin' Up! purchases and needs!

happy crafting,

Friday, January 11, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful:

--to know what is wrong with my AJ (ear and have medication to fix it.

--for the ability to be ok with a less than perfectly clean house.  Most days, I wish I had the drive and personality to have a house that is always clean--I often envy those people.  However, right now, while my baby is sick and I'm busy crafting baby shower supplies and planning service projects and chorus practices, I am very thankful that I'm ok not to be freaked out by the piles of laundry on my couch or the dishes in my sink or my cluttered kitchen table.  I'll get to it later.

--for today's sunshine after the many days of rain and yuck we've had!  (I could stand for it to be a little chillier though, but I'll take it vs. the rain.)

--that our shows came back on this week!  (Biggest Loser, The Office, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Parenthood--and hopefully Duck Dynasty and Parks and Rec will be back next week!)  Whoop!

--for our new preacher and his wife who officially started this past Sunday!  I see great things happening working alongside them; and after the craziness and unrest our little congregation has battled over the past year, some stability and forward movement is beyond refreshing.

--for frozen dishes (home cooked, freeze the sauce).  Easiest way to a great meal, and sometimes they just hit the spot!

give thanks and be grateful.

love, angie

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Liebster Award Part III

The Rules, Should You Be Nominated:
1.  If you were nominated, post 11 things about yourself.
2.  Then answer the 11 questions that the person who nominated you created.
3.  Create 11 more questions to ask the bloggers you decided to nominate.
4.  Choose 11 bloggers to nominate with less than 200 followers.
5.  Make sure and let those people know you nominated them!
*No tag backs, so don't nominate someone who nominated you.

In case you missed them, here are my parts I and II.

Here are my 9 nominees (since I don't follow 11 blogs that fit the criteria):
Rachel at A Sassy Utterance- Rachel is my person.  We met in college and grew a pretty strong bond during a mission trip to Honduras.  She has one of the cutest little boys you will ever see and he's one of the main focuses of her blog.  She helps me remember to find joy and simplicity daily, and her blog is a reflection of that.

Kristen at The Bellon Family- I have known and loved Kristen as long as I can remember; literally.  Our moms were friends and then we were in the same classes in Kindergarten and First grade.  We lost touch when my family moved the long trek of 20 miles away, but got it back in Middle School.  Our birthdays are a day apart which has always been a fun celebration for us to share every year.  She has a precious little family and she's super crafty!

Jennifer at Bittersweet Blessings- Jennifer and I knew each other from school (she was our district's diagnostician), but we became good friends through our Stamp Club that she started (and I now took over since she had SO much going on).  On her blog she shares the journey of faith that she and her husband have gone through to have a child.  And their sweet baby is due in April :)  Her story is powerful and her message is pure.  

Katie at Guiding and Guarding Their Hearts- Katie and her husband were alumni of the church group we were members of in college (and my family has known her in-laws forever...).  She has such a sweet spirit and incredible gift for teaching.  She uses this blog to document her adventures in homeschooling with her sweet girls.  

Amanda at Traveling Light- We met when we were both bridesmaids in my brother-in-law's wedding.  We didn't spend much time together, but it doesn't take much time to understand and grasp Mandy's spirit of adventure.  I am not adventurous--pretty much at all, haha!--so her stories and experiences amaze me.

Lindsey at Lindsey's Closet- Lindsey is my sister-in-law and she is working on starting business as a personal organization coach.  She's located in Baton Rouge and this is the blog for her business.

Courtney at Living Peacefully Less Stressed- I've known Courtney's family for a very long time as her parents were ministers at a neighboring congregation (actually the one my husband grew up attending).  She has a big heart for Jesus and loves sharing all she's learned in her walk with Him.

Lindsey at Pigtails and Parsley- I've only met Lindsey once and it was very brief (she's married to a friend of a friend--close connection, I know!).  Anyway, once I was introduced to her blog, I fell in love with it.  How she has time to write one or even accomplish what she writes about, I have no idea!  But she has a beautiful family at the center of it, along with some recipes, tips, and love.

Kristina at Kristina's Cackles- Kristina is another one I feel like I've known as long as I can remember.  Our parents have been close friends for years, which means the kids got to spend time together as well.  Her blog is about life--the ups, downs, laughter, and tears--just honest, life.  She and her husband also have an incredible story she shares on their journey to parenthood.

Now for the questions you need to answer for Part II:
1.  What are 3 things you love about your life?
2.  Why did you start blogging and why do you still?
3.  What's your favorite book (or author), song (or artist), TV show, and movie?
4.  What are your biggest pet peeves?
5.  What is your favorite meal that you make?  Provide the recipe please.
6.  What's your favorite pastime?
7.  If your life were made into a movie, who would you want to play you?  And for fun, who would play your husband?
8.  What are you looking forward to most this year?
9.  What word would you use to describe your personal style?
10.  If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
11. What is/are your favorite scripture(s)?

Kudos to you, winners!  I think you deserve a high five, from me to you.

Go readers deserve one too :)

Now go read some new blogs and spread the love all around blogland! 

love, angie

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Liebster Award Part II

For the second part of the Liebster Award nomination, you have to answer 11 questions created by the nominator.  In my case, this was my friend Brooklyn at Hoot Knows.

1.  What is your favorite Bible verse?
--I have so many verses that speak to my heart and offer encouragement and guidance.  The ones that have been on my heart a lot lately and come to mind first are Jeremiah 29:11 ("'for I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord.  'Plans to prosper you and not harm you, to give you hope and a future.'") and Zephaniah 3:17 ("The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing.").

2.  How did you meet your spouse?
--We attended congregations in neighboring towns who often held and attended area wide events together.  Somehow, we always managed to sit together at dinner or devo...  (he claims to have never noticed me at those...whatever.  I had my eye on him for a couple of months).  Anywho, his name came up in my Math class--Defe, our teacher taught at both my high school and his at the time--and my friends looked at me and started giggling.  This led us to explain to my teacher that I not only knew him, but also might have a small crush on him.  As luck (or the Lord) would have it, Hunter--who no longer even had Defe as a teacher--called her that night for help with his Calculus homework.  Being the dear that she is, she told him the story of what happened in class that day.  The next night (Wednesday), my sister's boyfriend/now husband called to make sure Hunter would be at church because I was going to their congregation with them.  I was mortified and terrified that all of these people were seeking him out on my behalf (but now that I know him, he requires obvious and blunt to get the idea).  We all went to services together and went to Wendy's after.  There he asked me to his Senior prom (which was in 10 days...).  The Sunday after that, we became "official" and have been together ever since...May will be 10 years.

3.  What is something cool about your job?
--Well since my full time job now entails taking care of the coolest one year old there is, my whole job is pretty cool :)  We have been blessed and fortunate enough for me to be able to resign from teaching (8th grade English) to stay at home and take care of our family and household.  It's exhausting, sometimes overwhelming, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

4.  What is your favorite dessert? Please share the recipe.
--Oh man, that is TOUGH!  I have a sweet tooth the size of Texas; dessert is my favorite course!  And I don't know the recipe for Blue Bell ice cream :P  Here's a family fave:

Strawberry Pretzel Salad (if you call it a salad, you don't have to feel as guilty when you chow down!)
--6 oz. Strawberry Jello
--2 cups boiling water
--1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
--20 oz frozen strawberries (with sugar), thawed
--2 cups crushed pretzels
--1 1/2 sticks margarine, melted
--1 cup plus 3 Tbsp. sugar
--8 oz cream cheese, room temp
--8 oz Cool Whip

*Pour boiling water over Jello.  Stir to dissolve.  Add pineapple and strawberries.  Chill until mixture thickens.
*Combine pretzels, margarine, and 3 Tpsp of sugar.  Mix well and pat into bottom of 13x9 pan.  Bake 7-10 minutes at 400*.  Allow to cool.
*Cream together cream cheese, Cool Whip, and remaining cup of sugar.  Spread over pretzel layer. Pour jello mixture over cream cheese layer.
*Refrigerate 4-6 hours before serving.

5.  What is the best advice you would give to a couple just getting married?
--Never stop dating--keep things fun and interesting; surprise each other; dress nice for each other; giggle together; remind yourself and each other what you love about the other.
--Marriage takes three--your marriage will function best and most fully when you allow God's love to be the center of your love.
--Don't go to bed angry with each other.  You may be exhausted and you may stay up crying and fighting even though you don't want to--but you will sleep better and you will wake with more peace.  You aren't guaranteed any of your time together, so take advantage of every second you get.
--Never part ways (physically or verbally) without stating your love for each other.  It's something that can't be said or expressed enough.

6. Where is your favorite place to travel?
--Out of the places we've already been--Alaska.  Hands down, the most beautiful and intoxicating area we've visited.  However, both of us have dreams and plans of making it to Europe (specifically Italy and Greece) and Australia someday.

7.  What made you decide to live in your current city?
--Good ole ExxonMobil.  We chose our specific location because it got us out of town a bit and the houses were cheaper; but we're in Texas and this area because of my boy's job.

8.  Describe your personal style in one word.

9.  What is your favorite childhood memory?
--I have a ton of favorite memories that all get rolled up into one experience.  Every summer from the time I can remember until my oldest sister graduated high school, we loaded up and hit the road to Colorado.  We stayed up there in the same campground for six weeks, so basically the whole summer.  My grandparents went with us which gave us some incredible and irreplaceable time with them.  Those summers captivated my childhood, and I remember them often and fondly.

10.  What is a pastime that you love?
--Reading.  This is probably the pastime I enjoy the most and definitely the one I have enjoyed the longest--even before I started school, the library was my favorite place to be.  Nothing soothes me and passes my time more easily that cozying in with a good book.
--Another one that is a very close second is crafting; especially with my stamping girls.  Love.

11.  If you could meet one person, who would it be?
--This is a tough one.  I'm pretty fascinated by the heart and life of Mother Teresa.  I have a feeling an encounter with her (especially in her element) would be life changing.
--Fun ones--Shaine Claiborne, Francis Chan, Paula Deen, Drew Brees, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, Norah Jones, Ty Pennington, Todd Beamer, just to name a few...  :)

Stick around for the third and final part of the Liebster award.  I'll get to introduce you to some pretty fantastic people and their blogs.  See you soon!

love, angie

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Liebster Award Part I

I had never heard of the Liebster Award until I read about it on a friend's blog a few days ago.

Bloggers nominate their friends' blogs for the award, introducing blogland to even more goodies for its members to mentally munch on.  What a great way to feel honored as well as discover so many new and fantastic bloggers!

My sweet friend, Brooklyn, over at Hoot Knows nominated me.  So now I'm following the rules and passing on the prize.

The first criteria for being nominated is to post 11 facts about yourself.  So here we go...

1.  My heart and my life belong to my Jesus.
2.  I have the most amazing husband and coolest daughter that I could ever dream up.
3.  I'm a Louisiana Tech graduate and oh so proud to be!  How Bout Them Dawgs?!  I never knew how much I loved Louisiana until I had to leave it.  My roots lie there always.
4.  My heart is stirred by orphans and I feel deeply called to adopt (praying daily that my husband's heart opens to that vision for us!).
5.  I love cold weather--mind you, when I say cold weather, I mean like 30s-40s.  Anything below that, I can't handle for long.
6.  I adore music.  I learn lyrics and tunes easily; I miss playing instruments (and wish I had put more effort into becoming a better musician); I love to sing and often burst into song at random times during a day--if you pay attention, so many song lyrics fit your everyday life occurrences!
7.  I dream of opening my own tutoring company some day.
8.  I recently became an independent Stampin' Up! demonstrator, and I absolutely love it!
9.  I'm really not a pet person.  We have a dog, but I'd really be ok with no pets ever...
10.  Giving random gifts warms my heart--big or small, leaving someone with something they didn't expect is one of my favorite things to do!
11.  I live in organized chaos.  I may have a lot of stuff and it may seem a bit cluttered to the outsider, I know my system and it works well for me.

The next part of the award criteria will debut tomorrow.  Stick around and check it out!  Maybe you'll find yourself receiving a Liebster nomination soon :)

love, angie

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Simple Sunflower Card

I whipped this little pretty up in under five minutes tonight :)  It's a great card that would work well for multiple purposes since the sentiment is easily changed.  The Sunflower stamp makes a bold statement easily.

I used Early Espresso, So Saffron, and Very Vanilla as my color palette.  I wanted a little more detail on the front so I did a triple layer showing off all three colors.  The inside is layered with So Saffron only (Early Espresso as the base).

A little piece of baker's twine tied around it (tied all the way around the yellow/white pieces before mounted on the brown) added a little extra something.  I adhered it with glue dots (#103683).

I love running my envelopes through the Big Shot with an embossing folder to give them a little pizzazz!  

Materials List:
  • Early Espresso Paper (#119686--8.5x11)
  • So Saffron Paper (#105118--8.5x11)
  • Very Vanilla Paper (#101650--8.5x11)
  • So Saffron Ink (#126957)
  • Early Espresso Ink (#126974)
  • Sunflower Stamp (#123606-W, #123608-C)
  • Word Play Stamp Set (#120308-W, #120651-C)
  • Early Espresso Baker's Twine (#123124)

happy crafting,

Friday, January 4, 2013

Little Girl, I hope to remember

Sweet little girl,

There are so many moments I want to keep fresh in my mind, able to pull them to memory at the slightest thought when I am swept away with how quickly you're growing up.  But I also want to remember the little things too.

Things I hope I never forget:

--the crinkle in your nose when you smile.
--the way your eyes light up when you see something new that intrigues you.  Wonder is written all over your face.
--how you crawl up in my lap (even as I sat down to write this post, here you came and here you sit).
--the sweet little "hey" you give your daddy when he comes home before you run/waddle up to greet him.
--the snuggles you give me in the middle of the night.
--your laugh.  It is the best sound in my world.  I know you'll always have a great giggle, but it'll change as you get older.  I want to remember each sound of it.
--the way you dance; you already know how to boogie.
--your sweet full open mouth kisses.  One morning last week, I went and got you out of bed and brought you back to lay down with me and daddy for a while.  The first thing you did when I sat you in our bed was lean over to each of us and give us a huge kiss.  You melted both of our hearts in that moment.
--how you blow kisses when I tell you I love you.
--the look on your face when you're trying to figure something out: dedication, determination, and curiosity.
--the way you giggle and suck in when I put my cold hands on your tummy.
--how you love on your babies and stuffed animals.  I don't think you could hug them any tighter, and you do that every time you pick one up.
--the sweet pat pats you give me when I pick you up (your sure sign of approval and gratitude).
--that you already love to read.  You drag book after book up to me and daddy to read to you (I also hope I never forget your daddy reading to you--I love that).  But you'll also sit on the floor and dig through your book basket, "reading" on your own.
--the way I feel when you reach for me.
--how you run away when I stand up and you're in a playful mood.  You are always on the lookout for someone to chase you.  (even if my errand started out not for the reason of chasing you, it quickly changes to that when I see you scurry away giggling!)
--and so much more.

love, mama

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful:

--for my love of reading.  I don't understand how someone cannot enjoy sitting down and getting lost in a written world.  I've had the chance (ahem, stayed up ridiculously late) this week to sit down and read some, and it made me realize how much I'd been missing it.

--that I became a Stampin' Up! demonstrator.  I really do enjoy it and it's increased my crafting abilities and confidence (and supplies!).  Plus, my monthly rendezvous with my Sassy Stampers send my heart soaring.

--for the chance to spend the weekend catching up with some great friends that we don't get to see often.  This also included a weekend in Louisiana, soaking in all the culture of home--something else I dearly miss.

--that I have discovered patience and even some enjoyment when Bella wakes up in the middle of the night (as long as she's not screaming the whole time...then I get flashbacks and the pleasant feeling vanishes).  Those sleepy snuggles in the quiet of the night do something to my heart.

--for my boy and his willingness to put up with me.

Be grateful, give thanks!

love, angie

Stampin' Up! Spring Catalog and Some Valentine's Love

The Spring catalog is here!  There are some super fun pretties in this little book along with some goodies from the Holiday catalog that we just weren't ready to give up.  Take a look through it using the links below and see what you can find :)

From January 3 through January 21, Stampin' Up! is offering two valentine deals! 
DEAL #1:  MY LITTLE VALENTINE STAMP SET EXCLUSIVE.  Get the Sealed with Love Simply Sent Kit FREE ($7.95 value, pictured below) when you purchase the brand-new My Little Valentine Set ($9.95). This four-piece set was created exclusively for this promotion and will not be available again after January 21!  No limit!Stampinup stampin pretty simply sent kit
The My Little Valentine Stamp Set is only available in clear-mount.  Stamp images shown below:
132242My Little Valentine (English; clear-mount)$9.95
132245Enamorados (Spanish; clear-mount)$9.95
132248Mon petit amour (French; clear-mount)$9.95
DEAL #2  VALENTINE TREAT BUNDLE.  This  special bundle offer contains the brand-new Happy Valentine Heart Single Stamp (coordinates with the Stampin' Up! Full Heart Punch, #119883 which is NOT included in the bundle) and a package of 1" x 8" cellophane bags.  No limit on the number of bundles you can order!  The Happy Valentine Heart Single Stamp and bundle deal are ONLY available through Jan. 21.  To get the bundle pricing, use item #132771.
Bundle Item
DescriptionRetail ValueSpecial Bundle Price
132771Valentine Treat Bundle
Includes the Happy Valentine Heart Single Stamp (clear-mount) and 1" x 8" cellophane bags

As always, you can visit my website at any time to place an order.  Grab these goodies while you can!

happy crafting,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year

Here we go again.  It's that time of year that everyone starts resolving to be better people in aspects of their lives, ranging from weight loss to financial responsibility to being a better spouse/friend/employee/whatever role to basically anything you can imagine.  

Sadly, many times these resolutions don't get far past the first week, if they're even acknowledged for that long.  Still, we continue trying to make the promises.  Maybe this year, we can stay a bit more focused.  

For 2013, some of my personal goals and resolutions are:
  • Stop letting other people and their issues steal my joy.  Focus on the blessings and happiness that surround me daily and stop allowing the Deceiver to overcome my thoughts through other people's troubles.
  • To continue and do better at meal planning.  It has been a fabulous habit, especially since Hunter's able to take the leftovers for lunch the next day.  
  • Become a more dedicated housekeeper.  That role has never come easily to me, but it's a skillset that it very important to my fella.  
  • Sew lots of pretties with my new machine and hobby!
  • Prioritize correctly.  I have a whole bunch of irons in the fire, and I need to make sure my priorities stay in the order they should.
  • Become more faithful in study and prayer time.
  • Play harder, laugh loudly, take tons of pictures, try new things, travel all over, make memories last.  Live.
 Now for two of my greatest roles in this life--they constantly need to be forged and molded into something even more beautiful.  

Family resolution:
  • Eat dinner at the table together whenever we're home (especially when AJ is awake to eat with us).
Couple's resolution:
  • Give each other more attention that speak our love languages.  We've listed some specific ways to do this to each other--hopefully we'll be better than every this year at expressing our love for each other fully.

Now that they're out here in blogland, I'll be able to have some virtual accountability :)

Don't let your attempts to make yourself and your life better be limited to the turning of the year.   Each day is new and fresh.  Constantly live a life of self-examination and craving for betterness.  

Love completely; live fully.

Make 2013 splendid!

love, angie