27 March 2012

the saber..

just one of the many awesome things my uncle can do. enjoy.

p.s. "safety girl" wasn't even down with this happening in the first place, so i'm sure the knife drop will really raise her blood pressure. sorry, aunt! :)

north carolina. january. 2012. 

26 March 2012


rubygirl loves to paint, and now that it's warmer outside i'm very happy to set a little station up for her to paint outdoors and away from our carpeted apartment.

just after a nice rain, so it was much cooler (and less pollen-y) than it has been lately. she was in her own little world.

hard at work. i recommend reusing an egg carton for paints. the lid works nicely for keeping the paint brushes from rolling around, and it washes out easily for another use. we also have an unloved t-shirt that's turned into one she always wears when painting or doing other messy crafts. also, i do my best to keep a stack of old newspaper around to lay down and make clean-up as quick as possible.

she even looked up for a quick shot. she's all about the closed-mouth smile lately. it seems very grown up to me.

hip-hip-hooray for warmer weather and a little girl who likes getting her hands dirty. she gives this (sometimes) tight-laced mama a run for her money. <3

24 March 2012

thrift fix [two]..

i'm uber behind on thrifting posts right now because, even though i'm a little ashamed to admit it, i've gone a ton lately. i'm feeling a little like it's becoming a bit of an addiction for me, and i'm kind of glad that we're in the process of making a budget because i think i need a cap or i could go overboard. ha "thrifters anonymous" anyone?? for realz though, i LOVE what i've been able to find lately, especially because now and then i can go with a specific thing in mind and actually find that thing. case in point, the 3T jeans for rubes pictured below. i have, ashamedly, been dressing my small child in major high waters lately. like, i'm surprised kids at the play place haven't been asking her when the flood's coming. her legs are just SO LONG, and i'm also kind of in denial that she's two months from turning three and probably definitely needs to go up a size in clothes. anywho, on this particular thrifting day, i went with the sole purpose of finding her some new jeans.. and it's made obvious by the rest of the goodies that i found a few other things on my jeans journey. :)

i have to say that i am kind of too lazy to do the "price each item" thing that i did on my last thrifting post, so i'll just tell you what we have here with a grand total of the dolla$ spent at the end of the post. 

(from L to R):
..sleeveless "merona" blouse (i feel like such an adult lady when i use the word "blouse) that i really really love and goes to show that you HAVE to try things on. when i saw it on the hanger, i wasn't so sure, but i gave it a whirl and was so glad i did. just like my mama's always told me, things always look different on. yet another thing she was right about. :)
..super sweet "nine west" three-quarter length sweater. not that it will ever be cold enough in indiana for me to wear a sweater again.
..aforementioned jeans for rubes. both from "old navy".
..brown sweatshirt hoodie for ruby. either from "target" or "old navy".. i can't remember, and i'm too lazy to go check.
..and the cherry on the clothing cake, the sweetest ever ever ever vintage baby girl "dress". i put dress in quotes because (i'm not sure if you can tell) it actually doesn't have sides but rather just straps that connect the front and back together. it's purple corduroy and those little fabric flowers actually open and it is so soft. i will have another daughter just so she can wear this sweet thing.. well, i'd love another daughter because girls are the best and because that would be a blessing and because i would love for ruby to have a sister.. but let's face it, it's now mostly about this dress. :) 

(i got fancy and made my bed for you guys before taking the picture.. oh wait)

ok, now onto the non-clothing items. all of the clothes were found at "goodwill", and everything below (except for that awesome blue stool) is from my very favorite place, the "second life resale shoppe".

here we have:
..a very neat rustic wood frame.
..a blue frame complete with field of pretty flowers.
..vintage chutes and ladders game. it only came with three of the four little people, but there are three of us, so i'm good with that.
..a twin sheet sized piece of upholstery type fabric. i'm thinking about recovering a couple of our couch pillows with it.
..old school large pyrex mixing bowl in this style. i'd actually love to re-sell this one, but i'm not totally sure about it yet. it's in great condition.
..and lastly, the cute stool. it's sturdy and steady, and ruby and i already use it a ton. i'm a shorty, and it can never hurt to have an extra stool around.

everything pictured and mentioned came in at about $25. not too shabby, if you ask me.

so, there you have the spoils. once again, i hope this encourages you to take some time to second-hand shop, and that it also goes to show that you can (even if you find a few extras along the way) actually find things you're looking for. [happy dance]

linking up with "the haps" for HOTT!

23 March 2012

tiny dancer..

ruby has been taking dance classes downtown for several months. there is a sweet little dance school that charges super reasonable prices for forty-five minute weekly classes. it's been really neat to see her progress since the beginning. at first, she was in total observation mode unless one of the teachers would coax her to interact. i think she was just really taken aback by all that was going on since she's never been in any kind of setting like this before. it was kind of hard for me at first because she would come home and do all of the moves and little dances they were teaching them in class, only to stand stone still whenever she was there. it was definitely a lesson in patience with her for me though, and i'm thankful that we stuck with it and gave her time. she is now totally interactive and fun during the classes, but also an extremely great listener and very obedient to the teachers. if ever they tell the girls that whoever is the quietest can go first for a certain activity, it is almost always ruby that they end up choosing. that makes me very thankful and proud of her!

here are a few little shots and videos of her from this past week's class. daniel has never gotten to go with us before, but since he was off on wednesday this week, we biked downtown and he got to see her in all of her dancing glory. it was such a treat.

needless to say, she is pretty much always the most colorful dancer there. :)

 ready to go.

hooray for dad and dance class!

starting out class with a bit of warm-up.

hiding from the "butterfly catcher". cut short at the end for a potty break. :)

and, ruby's fave, "animal action" to end class.

one of the most fun things about ruby getting older is that she can now do organized (mom free) activities.. i'm evening going in the morning to try and get her a spot in the Y preschool near us! 

it's bittersweet how quickly she grows up, but things like this are just plain sweet.

16 March 2012

walk it out..

sometimes i like to let my inner gangsta take over and peruse youtube for dance videos (yes, "peruse" is used frequently by gangstas). here are a couple of funny/entertaining ones for your viewing pleasure.

i burst out laughing when mr. white shirt came on the screen. that shirt size is truly impressive.

i love all ridiculous movies like this.. i'll watch stomp the yard or save the last dance with you any day. if you know of a dance battle going on somewhere, let a sister know. fair warning though, i will most likely behave like the old lady they show in this clip, so you might want to stand on the other side of the room from me if you care about your reputation.

other than us going for a walk the other day, these videos have nothing to do with what i intended for this post to be about. but, i wrote the title, and my mind wandered from there. 
you're welcome, faithful blog readers. :)

walks with a tall daddy are fun.

they're sweet.

then a little hallway chasing ensued. it didn't last long.. we don't love torturing our neighbors.

and then ruby dressed like a p-i-m-p. maybe i passed a little of my gangster swagger on. :)

15 March 2012


i scored a walgreens coupon for seeds and soil a few days ago, and that launched a full blown planting party for ruby and i a couple days later. i cannot wait for the yard that is hopefully somewhere in our future, but for now it's so fun to plant what we can and watch it grow.

it was so sweet to see how meticulous rubes was about shoveling the dirt and poking little holes for the seeds. i love outdoor activities like this that allow for her to really get her hands (and everything else around us) dirty without me worrying about it. i'm so thankful for a little back balcony.

little girl with the green thumb.

look, i know i'm biased, but she is so super beautiful. and just look at that sweet little hand full of seeds. one of my favorite things about planting is seeing what different seeds look like for whatever you're growing.. it amazes me every time that those tiny things turn into such amazingness.

thanks you, pinterest, for the coffee filter idea. it kept our dirt from escaping through the drainage holes.

 she was very particular about the plant placement.. and i think that slight booty crack glimpse makes it even cuter.

proud of her handiwork.

it's fun that this is an ongoing activity since we'll water them and eventually thin them out once the pots get too crowded.

it's not done right without the concentration face.

sweet girl. and look at that - flip flops! in indiana! in march! this weather is off the charts and awesome.

we planted: cherry tomatoes, zinnias, cilantro, parsley, and re-potted the little jade plant i bought recently. they're my favorite, and i killed the most amazing one i've ever seen while we were living in our raleigh apartment. it was a sad sad day, but i'm hoping to redeem myself by giving this little guy a nice, long life.

happy (almost) spring (that already feels like summer)!

10 March 2012


this is how boring a reality show about our life would be, but i figured i'd let you tune in anyhow. hey, at least it won't rot your brain like "jersey shore" or make you scared to step outside like "doomsday preppers".

[just found from 16 december 2011 - i thought i might distract ruby whilst trying to make dinner by letting her look at and talk to herself. as you can see, it worked for less than six minutes.]

09 March 2012

so good..

He is always good. but sometimes He does things that are just so good the joy from them spreads quickly and deeply. and this is one of those good things..

my sweet sister, valentina, committed to tie her life forever to this great man, kyle, last night. theirs is a story of redemption, purity, true love, and His grace and mercy. so good.

october, hurry up and get here.

07 March 2012

street cred..

i love it when people throw away stuff i want. few things (especially while driving) make my face light up more than seeing some piece of rusty or dusty gold sitting on a curbside. just that thing happened, not long after we moved to the midwest, when i spotted a house near us that was having some remodeling done. i flipped a U-ey one afternoon as soon as i saw this little beauty that had been cast aside to that disgraceful roadside spot. as you can see from the cloths and q-tips below it, it was quite filthy. you should have seen me the day i picked it up, acting like a crazy person, trying to barely touch  it while putting it in the car because of all the little spider egg sacks clinging to it. eeek. but, we made it home, and it has been sitting on our front step ever since.

but low and behold, a couple eye hooks and a little wire later, here it is tonight. nothing fancy, but i love the little extra something it adds to our room. the best thing about window panes is all of the possibilities they have. i didn't want to do a ton to this one because i know we won't live in this apartment forever and i want to keep my options for it open.

also, see those little spots of color on the candle? those are color changing drip candles.. my mom gives awesome gifts. 

hooray for old things made new.

06 March 2012

the list revisited: two months in..

i feel like i'm already needing a refresher on my list of goals for twenty twelve, and it's only march - i'm hoping this isn't a grim foreshadowing of the rest of the year. i thought i'd take a little look back and update on where i am with each one. 

the list. twenty-twelve: revisited..

..work to improve and strengthen our marriage through more intentional conversation, servanthood, a commitment to intimacy, and seeking the Lord as the center.
i feel like we're not doing spectacularly on this one, but we're definitely making an effort and some strides. i really think that our five or so days in north carolina in january put us at a great place to keep making good progress in this area, and we've already had a date night since i've been back in town; which is awesome since we have very few babysitting prospects in our new town so far. but overall, i feel good at where we are with this one right now.

..work to be a more patient, sacrificial, and intentional parent and focus on teaching ruby more about the Lord.
man, reading back over these makes me realize what a high bar i set for myself. i was actually just thinking today about how much more patience i feel like i'm in need of, so good thing it's something on my list to work on. :) i will say that i've been more intentional lately about putting something not so important aside to give rubes my full attention when she asks for it. i hate that that can be so hard for me to do, but i'm trying hard to slow down and appreciate a time in her life that i know i'll look back on and miss.

..read at least six books.
i'm still reading radical, but i'm craaawling through it because i really want to absorb all that i can, so i've been thinking about overlapping it with an easier read (hunger games anyone?). 

..have another baby and be patient with the Lord's timing in that area.
well, i will say that we're working on this one :), but i cannot say that i'm fully being patient and not worrying about the timing. it's hard for me that every month that goes by is just that much farther apart that our next babe and ruby will be in age. the timing of our baby that we lost just felt so perfect to me, and it's still hard all the time when i think about what happened. i miss that baby, and it makes trusting the Lord with blessing us with another that much harder. i do all i can every time those thoughts and worries come into my mind to give them to him though, and i'm confident that He's pleased with that.

..find a small group through our church.
this one hasn't happened yet, but i've been in talks with some women who i've met through church about it. the main obstacle is finding a sitter or even a group that offers childcare while they meet. i'm planning on e-mailing the small group coordinator at church soon, so that should get me even more info.

..workout at least three days a week, and be up to five days by the end of the year.
i finally got my booty back to the Y earlier this week, and i'm hoping to amp up the time i spend there. i love it every time i actually go, so my next feat is making it a point to go earlier in the day so i don't run into ruby's naptime, that turns into dinnertime, that turns into it being too late for me to go.

..get better at self-evaluation and retrospection - take time to see how i'm doing before hitting bottom.
i think, as of right now, i'm at a pretty good place with this. i'm sure that blogging is a big factor in that, and also having some good talks with d here and there when i know i need to.

..set and stick to a realistic budget.
we're starting financial peace university at our church this sunday, so that should help big time with this one! i'm nervous, but also looking really forward to it.

..get better at sending birthday/anniversary/just because cards.
eh, not doing awesome at this one. one thing that's thrown me way off is that i accidentally threw away january-august of our old calender when we first moved into our new apartment. i know it sounds dumb that that matters, but i had been transferring events/birthdays/milestones from years past onto the new year's calendar for more than three years, and now it's all gone! i really don't know what i was thinking when i did that, but i'm working to recover everything i had on there as best i can. boo.

..plan our week before it starts (things to do on d's days off, who gets to sleep in and have "me" time on certain days, date nights planned in advance).
this one's going pretty well too. daniel's schedule is way more predictable than it was during the holiday season, so we know what's coming pretty far in advance. it makes me less of a crazy person, so i'm glad we're working on at least that little bit of planning

..blog at least once a week.
other than while i was in NC, i think this is one that will keep being on track. i'm enjoying it more and more, and love having this outlet and space to feel creative. i installed a new commenting format, so i'm hoping that helps with me being more interactive with anyone who has things to say about what i'm sharing here - and i think that's exciting!

..memorize at least one verse of scripture a week.
well, i've memorized one so far this year, so this one is in the pooper as of right now. i'm gonna get on it tonight actually, and i'll share the verse that i choose as soon as i know it. on the bright side, i still remember the one verse i did memorize. :)

well, that was long. thanks for hanging in there, and tell me, how are you doing with any goals you made for this new year?

true dat, c.s.

03 March 2012

i'm learning: kitchen edition..

i've been thinking lately of starting a little segment about things i'm picking up and learning in different areas of life, and i'm getting the ball rolling with this, the "kitchen edition". i will never claim to be a fantastic chef, but i do feel like i'm gathering practices and information here and there that are helping me to like cooking a lot more than i have in the past, and, i mean come on, you know i've got opinions to share. :) so, without further adieu, let's get this party started!

.. cooking on a gas range is the bomb. since moving to indiana, i've had my first experience with having a gas stove, and i l-o-v-e it. it's quick, even heat, and if you realize you wish you had started something on that back burned instead of the front, BAM, just move it back there.

.. kitchen shears are the jam. i've been wanting a set for quite some time, and my sweet mama gave me a pair during our visit to north carolina. i use them constantly for things ranging from trimming fat off chicken breasts to cutting the edges off bread (yes, i wash them between doing those two things. and i know you're probably judging me for being a pushover of a mother and not making my daughter eat the crust, but she wastes more bread eating around it, so add that to the list of things i said i'd never do when i was a parent). i mainly love having a pair of scissors that are only used in the kitchen.. because i'm controlling like that.

.. when in doubt, thaw it out (you can frame that slogan if you'd like, i didn't copyright it or anything :)). i know i'm not the only one who has gone back and forth all day about dinner plans, not wanting to thaw any meat out just in case i ended up not need it, only to reach prep time for dinner and not having anything thawed to cook. so, i've learned to just set out some chicken breasts or ground beef at the start of those indecisive days, allowing whatever it is that i chose to help dictate what ends up being for dinner. i know this isn't a rocket science type of realization, but it's one i had so i'm sharing.

.. a good cutting board is a lifesaver. i'm a cheapo, and i have no problem admitting it. i want to think that i can find any and everything that i'll ever need at a thrift store or yard sale, and for just that reason, i've been working with janky, cracking, and warped cutting boards ever since having my own kitchen. i finally broke down at target (I LOVE TARGET) last week and bought a large, square, bamboo cutting board (on sale, of course), and it has been the sweet to have in our kitchen. it's nice not to risk cutting off a fingertip trying to slice a potato beside a mound of others piled 1/2 an inch from hand, or to dirty tons of bowls with chopped up meal components. has anyone ever loved a cutting board so much before? i'm guessing, no.

.. your crock pot (and/or dutch oven) should be your friend. i love what i've learned so far about using the dutch oven my mom got me for christmas, and i highly recommend having one, but i've been best friends with my crock pot for quite awhile. if you are a beginning cook and think you can't make a successful dish, google or pinterest search some crock pot recipes, and prove yourself wrong. they are easy and so satisfying because you can throw a few things in and be amazed at dinnertime by what went on under that lid. trust me, and try it.

in case you're wondering, this is what's stewing in there at the moment.

.. music and cheerful touches make you love it even more. ever since my sweet sis passed on a little ipod dock to me, i'm seldom in the kitchen without some tunes playing. it makes the time go by faster, and puts a little pep in your sauteing step. also, i'm a lover of any and all knick knacks, and my kitchen feels that love just like the rest of my house. i love being surrounded by little memories or inspiring words while i cook, and i think you would too.

.. watch cooking shows. i know i would stand there for the entire twenty minute appetizer round with my mouth hanging open if i were ever to be a contestant on "chopped", but even though i'm nowhere on those chefs' level, i've learned a lot of little tips and tricks from watching shows like that. whether it's a competition based show or something more along the lines of rachael ray's thirty minute meals, cooking shows will give you more knowledge and boost your confidence and know-how more than you might think. 

.. if you have one of these little people living with you, let them in there now and then to get their hands dirty. ruby loves even the simplest of jobs.. like me letting her wipe off an already clean counter or place cut up tortillas onto a cookie sheet. it helps me to take a deep breath, enjoy her tiny and fresh perspective on things, and keeps her out of the trouble she'd probably get into if i tried shooing her out of there.

ok, i think i'll stop there before i make myself sound like even more of a dork and continue to tell you things you probably already know. i'm going to try and start posting more recipes that i've tried and loved here and there, so be on the look out for that too.

now get out there and kick your kitchen's booty.
oh, and, happy friday! :)

02 March 2012

thrift fix...

i feel like thrift and yard sale loving is kind of in my genes. i have distinct memories from growing up of both going to and hosting yard sales, and spending weekend nights or driving long distances for auctions was the norm when i was a kid. if it's warm enough for the sellers to be out, there's not a visit to my mom's house that doesn't include rising early for a drive around town to search for sale signs followed by a late, local breakfast. the first person i call after a really exciting thrifting find is my mama, and i'm thankful to her for helping to instill in me a love of used and lovely things.

i wanna start sharing my second-hand finds here. not only because i'm excited about them, but also to encourage others to take a chance on what they can find to love that someone else has grown tired of. for me, it's a thrill, and i want to pass that exciting challenge on to you!

if you're local, my very favorite thrift store is the second life resale shoppe in crown point. for one, they spell their name the fancy way with two p's and an e. they also have super cute display windows, everyone is really nice, it's clean, and all of the proceeds go to crown point christian school.

here are the things i came away with on my last visit:


..i truly did a bit of a happy dance and sported a big, goofy grin directly after trying on these cowboy boots and finding out how perfectly they fit. they're genuine leather, and wonderfully worn in.
..the floral serving tray is metal and pretty old, from what i can tell. there's a little sticker on the back that says "ruth w.", and i love imaging some sweet old lady loving this tray for years and setting it out to serve tea or little treats to friends she had over.
..i was excited about the painted flower basket because i've been wanting something to keep cards, pens, and stamps in to always have note writing supplies on hand. as you can see, i've already put it to use.
..the pale yellow cloth napkins are a set of seven, and will be added to the hodge podge collection that i already have. if you ever come to our house and i give you a cloth napkin, we're not fancy, i'm just too cheap to use paper.
..the hangers came in a pack of twelve. i guess there are people out there somewhere who have a hanger surplus, but i'm surely not one of them.
..the floral printed beauty that snow white is gazing at is a super cute bubble skirt that rubes picked out. she is a girl after my own heart - all about scouring the racks and then hitting up the dressing rooms. there was a slight meltdown once we got home because she realized that we didn't buy everything she tried on.. we had a little talk about how we don't get everything so we can get something next time, and after a prospect of going back, she was all smiles.
..if you know my daughter, you know that she loves snow white. and cinderella's castle, for that matter. so when i spotted this cutie patootie shirt with the tags still on, i knew it was meant to be. she was over the moon when i showed it to her.
..the pasta measurer will surely get its fair share of use in our kitchen. puh-lease tell me i'm not the only person who never knows how much to make.
..that little beaut of an owl is the beginning of a collection i'd like to start on our sliding glass door.
..and the crown jewel of the thrifting adventure, the moccasin kit. from the look of this thing, it's fairly old, and how someone had it in their house for all those years and never stitched those babies together is beyond me. but i'm also glad they didn't, because rubes is going to rock those things when she can someday where a size 11/12 shoe. :)


..this little guy got put right to work as well because the cabinet situation in our apartment leaves much to be desired. the clementines box has been working its magic as spice storage for awhile, but i was still in need of something for the bottom shelf. enter random, rectangular box that i'm pretty sure was made to hold cassette tapes. queue the "hallelujah" chorus anytime i need the onion powder.

i also purchased a $2 shirt from the gap for myself, but i was wearing it while i took these pictures so it got left out. poor shirt.

there you have it. my latest treasures. here's another post that i wrote not long ago about another super exciting find that i made at our local goodwill.. i'll never stop loving that sewing table, or being amazed that i found it.

thanks for looking, and hopefully you feel at least a teensy weensy bit inspired to go and do some digging of your own. you literally never know what you might find.

linking this one up with harper's happenings "high on thrifting thursday"!
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