a little dream come true

Hello there!

This has been a tough week, a very tough week. Unfortunately, I can't explain all the details at the moment, but hopefully soon I'll be able to share some of what's weighing heavy on my heart.

For now, I'm happy to just share this little dream come true:


I've been searching for months to find a floor-length maxi dress, people! I know that by name alone I should assume they already graze the floor, but let's be honest here: I'm 5'10" and most only graze the tops of my ankles. When I saw this number hanging in the back of Forever 21 this week, its hem practically a puddle on the floor, I was in maxi dress heaven. 

And don't you just love this mustache necklace? It's the perfect amount of Gatsby quirkiness and style.


I'm pretty happy with it. But it is kind of see-through...so anyone know where I can find a floor-length slip?


Dress: Forever 21
Denim Shirt: Goodwill
Sandals: Target
Watch: Target (a gift from a friend)
Beaded Bracelet: A gift during my time in Kenya last year

when friends come to visit



Well hi there!

My bestie, Lauren, just got into town this week from Panama. I saw her for a day or two back in November, but it was such a short, whirlwind trip that I barely remember it. The last time we really had a good, long visit was when she came for my mom's birthday last summer. I'm pretty excited that she'll be here for threeeee weeks! 

We went out on Monday night to the newest Tin Lizzy's in town, which has the most amazing cheese dip and tortilla chips. I was good, for the most part, but I did have a few little dips in the cheese bowl. And on that note, I've got three more days left of my Daniel Fast, and I really feel an incredible change in  my energy and the lightness of my body. Plus, those two liters of water I drink everyday make me feel pretty awesome, too.








Around the House: Our Bedroom

I love our apartment, and we've had a blast living with my cousin for the past year. Our styles are extremely different though...she's very clean, contemporary, and modern, whereas I prefer a more cozy, antique style. Pierce really could care less about style; he's more concerned with the way certain things around the house operate (i.e. how we do laundry and how the dishwasher is loaded). So when we moved in together we had to compromise on the way we decorated. It wasn't too hard; Pierce and I had more shelving, so we loaded them up with all our books and kitschy decor while Brittany kept things simple with all things Ikea. But I'm looking forward to us owning our own home so Pierce and I can really take our time turning it into a space that's "us".

Anyway, I think what we've got now is lovely all on its own, so welcome to our home!

{Our dresser}


{My nightstand...and, yes, that's a replica of the Harry Potter
Mirror of Erised}
{What's a home without a Bella?}
{Or a Lady?}
{One of my favorite photos of me and Pierce, taken at a photo booth in the
Stonecrest Mall just months before our wedding}



{I've commissioned my very talented father to
build a headboard for us...can't wait!}

{My aunt, who made my wedding dress, also stitched
the poem she read at the ceremony as a gift for us }

{My next project is to tackle all my collages and create this for our
living and bedrooms}
{Because we HAVE to. The glass on mine is broken, but I have
a similar frame.}
{More GSU memories...our favorite place in the world.}
{Photos of my college graduation and our unity candle}
{I had this chair in my high school bedroom. It needs to be
re-upholstered, but I still love it!}

And, because this is a blog about my life and my life is in no way consistently pretty or organized, here's a photo of the huge pile of laundry I kept moving around the room while I took pictures. 




...and on Day 6 of the Daniel Fast, we found Fast-friendly burgers and fries.

Hi friends! Today has been SUCH a good day. Well, first, let me tell you that Brave is, in fact, an amazingly fantastical cinematic masterpiece and you MUST go see it. Second, Hubby ordered my birthday present (two months) early- a Kodak Easyshare Z5010- and I got it yesterday! He's so sweet, that guy. And impulsive, just like me. I've been playing around taking tons of photos all day.



Another reason why our Saturday rocks is because- as we were waiting for Plato's Closet to sort through my clothes- we happened upon a burger joint called SmashBurger on Roswell Road. It looked like the kind of fancy-schmancy made-to-order place that's both fast and still green. And it was. We loved it! They had all different types of buns and burgers and fries, and I was practically in heaven when I realized I would be able to indulge even while still on the Daniel Fast. I ordered a black bean veggie burger with Smashfries (i.e. fries tossed in olive oil, rosemary, and basil) and oh. my. goodness. 






So good!

The only real difficult time I've been having on the fast is avoiding preservatives and artificial flavors. Everything, even organic stuff, has something man-made in it, so I'm simply doing my best. I don't want to make the fast so much about rules when it's really more about disciplining myself and choosing to eat more of what is good for the body God has given me. And, honestly, it's made me more clear-minded and my Bible study time this week has been nothing short of...hmm...how to word this? Affirming?  Encouraging? Mind-blowing? But more on that later...





I hope you're all enjoying the beautiful weekend! 

BRAVE

Hi friends!

I just want you all to know that if you need me tonight, I'll be snuggled up in a movie theater with two sweet friends, hugging my Daniel Fast-friendly tub of popcorn (smuggled in, of course!), watching this amazing movie:



One of said friends is my cousin, Brittany, who is both a Scot AND a redhead with unruly, gorgeous curls. I've only got the Scottish part of that equation, but it's good enough. I mean, seriously? Can we just jump around and sing happy songs about the fact that this bad-ass chick is the first of the Pixar characters to make the coveted Disney Princess line? (and did I mention that she's Scottish?!)

Is no one else excited about this?

Anyway...yeah. That's where I'll be tonight!

Enjoy your weekend, people. And one more thing:



The Daniel Fast


Hi friends!

Today is my second day on the Daniel Fast.

Last year, one of my co-workers completed 21 days on this fast (the typical length) and I really admired her dedication and commitment to God during that time. It couldn't have been easy (I'm finding out very quickly that it's not) and, despite what some might say, it's much more than a diet. It's a time to connect with God, to honor Him with your body, and get some refreshment going, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

(Right about now, I'm wishing those "refreshments" included Coke and sweet tea!)

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Daniel Fast, it's based on the passage of Scripture found in the Old Testament where Daniel refuses to eat from King Nebuchadnezzar's table and, instead, chooses to eat only fruit, vegetables, pulse (i.e. whole grains), and drink only water.  

Essentially, the idea was to prove that natural, whole foods were better for Daniel and his men, and that they would become stronger after ten days time than the men who enjoyed the rich, luscious food of the king. And Daniel was right. Once the ten days were up, Daniel and his men were presented to the king and found to be in much better health, and God blessed their sacrifice by giving them favor with their leader.

Up until today, I've only ever fasted one day at a time. To be honest, I never really took the time to care about the spiritual aspect of fasting, which is just as essential as the food part. I was always too busy waiting for the day to be over so I could get back to eating! Man, our flesh is so weak.

But, this time, I'm kind of excited to see how my body will change and how much more focused I'll become once certain chemicals and additives have been cleaned out of my system. It's not easy. I can't have caffeine, sugar or sweeteners (artificial or natural, including things like honey or nectar), white flour or yeast, dairy, or meat products. I've tried my best to avoid any kind of preservatives, too, but that's hard even in the all-natural, organic section of the grocery store. Nearly every item I picked up there had something artificial in it. I mean, where can a girl get some spaghetti sauce or bread without sugar? Even the Fiber One whole grain bread had sugar in it. I finally settled on rice cakes (since I won't be eating sandwiches...no meat or cheese? What kind of sandwich would that be anyway?), an $8 jar of sauce, and some organic, whole shredded wheat. I found out later that "evaporated cane juice" is, in fact, kind of the same as cane sugar, which is not allowed. And it was the only ingredient in the cereal I bought that wasn't allowed. How was I supposed to know? This is all French to me right now. But I've already talked to God about it and I don't think He wants me to waste my $6 box of cereal. Not when there are truly hungry people in the world. 

Besides, I know my husband won't eat it.

So far, I've stuck with easy pastas, a fruit salad, nuts, carrots, and some organic chips and salsa. It sounds better than it's tasted, I can assure you. I never realized how much JUNK is our food, and now I'm angry that said junk is what makes everything taste so damn good! 

I'm a little cranky right now, so please forgive me. I had a migraine last night after just one day without my coffee/Diet Coke. And I still have a dull, pulsing ache in my head today. I'm tired and lethargic. But you know what? This yucky-ness is helping me understand how addicted my body has grown to certain things. And even though I'm struggling to find recipes that don't taste like cardboard and doing my best not to fall asleep at work or yell at my husband, I know that after a few more days I'm going to be grateful I gave my body some rest. I  haven't really been craving anything because not eating so much fat and processed food has helped me limit my portions. Part of that is because I haven't started enjoying this kind of diet yet, and the other part is because I'm not filling up with stuff that makes me want more an hour later. 

I'm doing my best to stick with ingredients that are as close to the raw form as they can get, but here and there (like with the cereal) I'll realize there's some kind of preservative or sweetener I wasn't really aware of until I looked it up. So, honestly, I might have moments where I take in something like evaporated cane juice or derived calcium chloride because, well, I'm still new at this. But the point is that I'm grateful for the understanding God has given me in the last few days. I have been given so much by my Father in heaven so, really, what's a few days of no soda in return? I'm so blessed to have the choice to fast. I'm not starving or hungry. I'm simply spoiled and dealing with the growing pains of discipline. I'm excited to get my body clean. And I'm looking forward to what God is going to teach me.

And, yes, those few extra pounds I'm going to lose? Pretty excited about those, too.


Happy Father's Day!


This is the man who sat in our front yard with me for hours, waiting patiently as I gathered enough courage to try my first back-handspring. This is the man who ran out onto the field when I hit my first home run and carried me around on his shoulders, shouting, "That's my girl!" This is the man who read Bible stories to me and sang "Mary Did You Know?" at Christmas every year. This is the man who taught me how a woman should be treated, and gave me away to the only other man who filled those shoes. 

This is my Daddy. And I love him.



DIY: Lace Accent Tee


Hi friends!

I hope you've all had a wonderful Friday. After my disaster of a DIY shirt last week, I got inspired by my black pleated maxi skirt and decided to try out something new.

I really love men's undershirts. Ya know...the ones with the v-necks? I bought a ton of them for my trip to Kenya and they are SO comfy! I wanted to take the classically beautiful look of a pleated skirt and mix it up with a plain white T. But it needed a little something extra...so I cut up an old (beloved, yet falling apart) vest of mine and used the lace back to create a sweet little accent for the plain white T.

Enjoy!


1. Gather your favorite plain T-shirt, your chosen fabric (be it lace, a floral pattern, etc.), a mini sewing kit or sewing machine, if you have one, needle and matching thread, and a pair of scissors.


2. Carefully cut the entire neckline off the shirt, keeping close to the original hem. Cut your fabric into a more manageable size (I had to cut mine away from the vest).


3. Turn your shirt inside out and pin the hem down as you prepare your needle and thread. 


4. Measure the front neckline (i.e. the v-neck section) of your shirt and cut your fabric into a piece that's about 2x that size. 


5. Hem the entire neckline of your shirt. I had to do it by hand because I don't have a sewing machine and it takes a bit longer to do it this way, unless you are a pro (I am not).


6. Sew your accent piece into the neckline. Be sure to keep the shirt inside out while you hem!


7. Trim the extra fabric.


8. Turn your new shirt outside in and tell yourself how cute you look, even if your hem is a little uneven.


9. Put on some red lipstick. It makes you feel like a movie star, promise.

I'd love to see what you guys come up with for your own accent Ts! Feel free to link back to your own post in the comment section.

Have a fabulous, safe weekend!