Monday, June 25

10 Plus Crafts I Want to Make

For the last several months, I've been telling myself, just wait until after you're finished with school, then you'll have time to make that. It's almost July now, and I graduated at the beginning of May. It's high time I got started on all the craft projects I've been putting off!

I told Brian yesterday, "I'm going to make a bunch of craft projects, that way I'll use up some of my craft supplies and it will be less to fit into an apartment or put in storage!"

"But... then we'll have a bunch of crafts to put in storage, or fit into our apartment..."he said.


Good point.

Hence, I organized my list of craft projects into the following categories:
  • Cheap, and useful
  • Cheap, and not useful (aesthetic)
  • Useful, but not cheap
  • Not useful, and not cheap
I'll start with the "cheap and useful" first, and then, I'll try the "useful but not cheap,"and then if there's still time before we move, the "cheap and not useful." Anything that falls into the "not useful and not cheap" category probably isn't ever going to get done!

Want to see what's in my categories? Well, I don't want to give it all away, but I'll give you a few clues. 

Cheap and Useful

Pony Stamp Dress

Source: designmom.com via Emily on Pinterest

DIY Monogram Mugs

Chalkboard Paint

Personalized Tool Set

No Sew Pillow Cover

Not Cheap But Useful

Repainting Furniture

Recovering Desk Chair

Padded Headboard

Not Useful But Cheap

Paper Flowers

Straightener Holder (ok, this is somewhat useful if you travel often)

That makes a total of ten crafts, and those are just the ones I found on Pinterest! There's even more on my list! Looks like I'm going to be plenty busy for a few months, and it's going to be a blast!

Have you made anything crafty lately? Tell me about it in the comments, or leave a link to your blog post! 

Friday, June 22

Loneliness and Vulnerability

Ever felt alone in a crowd? Ever felt alone in a crowd at church?

One of our biggest struggles since moving to Arizona for both Brian and me has been loneliness. Although we got plugged into an amazing church right away, and we made some great friends, we missed having friends around our age. We also realized it's a lot harder to hang out when everyone has full-time jobs. Eventually, we adjusted, for the most part. I especially have had a hard time, because I was home doing school alone, and now that I'm graduated, I'm home doing work alone.

So when Brian suggested I listen to a sermon series by Chip Ingram from Living on the Edge about loneliness, I listened to it the very next day. I had bathrooms to clean anyway, since we have a house guest this weekend. Well, not really a guest. He owns the house, and he's our landlord. Anyway, he's here for the weekend working on putting the house on the market.

You would think that being a believer and having a relationship with Jesus should be enough to take away any loneliness, right? While that's true in a way, Chip explained that we were created to desire relationships with others. In the Garden of Eden, Adam had perfect fellowship with God. And yet God said it was not good for man to be alone, and made a companion for him.

I don't want to give it all away, but in part 2, Chip says there are two keys to curing loneliness:

  • Have a right perspective of church
  • Have a right perspective of relationships
Whoa. Hold up. I'm the one who has to change? The problem is with me

Sound familiar? It's so easy to think that the problem is with everyone else. If only we lived closer to our friends. If only people at church were nicer to me. If only... etc. 

But if the problem is in my perspective, that means I'm the one who has to change. I'm the one who has to make the first move, and it might mean I have to be vulnerable. 

I'm not good at that. I like listening to other people's problems. I like emphasizing with them. I like giving advice (aren't we all?). But I'm not good at sharing what I'm going through, my internal struggles, or even good things, like what I'm learning spiritually. 

I highly recommend listening the two-part series, each segment lasts about half an hour. The perfect length to get some laundry folded or bathrooms cleaned! It's called "Breaking Through Life's Biggest Barriers: Overcoming Loneliness.

Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, June 20

What I Wore Wednesday, Anniversary Edition

Fancy, or casual, light or dark? If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I had quite a dilema when trying to decide what to wear Friday when Brian and I went up to Scottsdale to celebrate our anniversary.

If I went with fancy, I had to choose between my cream colored dress that I wore for Easter and graduation, or my dressy black dress, which I wore last year on our anniversary. If I went more casual this time, I could choose my lacy romantic top or my silky black tank. Kopek wasn't very helpful. 

That look says:"Hurry up and decide already!"
Brian got home from work early, so he helped me decide. 

Attractive bathroom shot, lol
 Black tank: Soma
Pearl earrings and bracelet
Skinny jeans: Old Navy
Headband: not sure

Here's a somewhat blurry close up picture:

I almost wore these shoes, but decided against them since I'm not used to wearing heels yet. 

We stayed at the Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center. It was very, very nice. 

We went swimming, and then got ready for dinner at House of Tricks. 

Image from House of Tricks website
We started with salad, Brian ordered the chef's "Caesar Salad with Garlicky Dressing," and I ordered the "Spring Mix Salad with Tomato, Cucumber, Radish, Goat Cheese and White Balsamic-Honey Vinaigrette." Amazing!

Brian ordered "Grilled Filet Mignon with Charred Scallion Potatoes, Sautéed Spinach and Brandy Demi Glace":

And I orded "Sugar-Spiced Salmon with Chinese Long Beans, Mustard Sauce, Sweet Soy-Ponzu, Sticky Rice and Nori." 

We both agreed it was the best food we'd ever eaten! The portions were just right, so we were able to still get dessert. Brian ordered their Tricks bar, a large candy bar type dessert with ice cream, and I ordered the tiramisu with coffee bean brittle. 

We are so photogenic.

Saturday we went to the Phoenix Zoo. I knew it would be quite hot, so I wore a sundress with a tank underneath, and sunscreen! I'd never tried converse with a dress before, but it was really cute!

Oh so photogenic...

On our actual anniversary, yesterday, I wore the 3rd outfit in the first picture, with my hair in a loose romantic braid. Unfortunately, I'm having some issues with my camera and can no longer use the self-timer. I guess that means more attractive bathroom shots in the future! 

Thank you all for the happy anniversary wishes, we had a truly refreshing weekend! We've experienced moving cross-country, changing schools and majors, finding a new church, becoming youth group leaders, job stress, moving, losing said job, unemployment, illness and death in the family, a funeral, multiple weddings, college graduation, and starting a new job. And probably a lot more than I can remember, but it's been action packed. Here's to many more happy years!

pleated poppy

Friday, June 15

Our Two Year Anniversary Weekend!

Brian and I are heading up to Scottsdale tonight to celebrate our two year anniversary!

We found a great deal on a very nice resort, and I'm looking forward to spending some time at their pool and hot tub this afternoon! Unfortunately, the restaurant that's become our anniversary tradition closed down sometime during the past year, so we have to find a new place. I've been wanting to go to House of Tricks for some time, so I'm excited to try it out tonight.

Brian told his coworkers that we were celebrating our anniversary this weekend, and his boss came to him and said, "Remember how I said we're pretty flexible with our hours around here? I expect you to be gone by lunch tomorrow!" How nice is that?! Have I mentioned how much I like Brian's new job?

In the spirit of celebration, I thought I'd show a few pictures from our wedding, June 19th 2010!

Getting me ready was a team effort!

One of my favorite pictures!

My uncle officiated our wedding:

Formal on the outside, fun on the inside! Brian and I both love confetti cake, so that's what we had! The cake topper was used in several of Brian's family member's weddings.

I love how happy Brian's best man looks!

Send off time!

That's all for today! Maybe next week I'll show you the staged pictures of just Brian and me.

Brian and I were reminiscing about our first anniversary a few days ago, how we supposedly booked a "resort" but it ended up being a not very nice hotel, and I forgot my dress shoes, but we had a lovely dinner with complimentary dessert :)

So now, for all you married folks, share with us in the comments any special memories from your first or second anniversary! If you a really great story, I'll feature it in a post on Newlywed's Bliss!