Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Like shoes?

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and designer Stuart Weitzman is raising awareness and proceeds to support early ovarian cancer detection. This year marks the eighth year that the company has hosted a celebrity shoe auction. Shoes designed by Ashlee Simpson, Jessica Simpson, Christie Brinkley, Gwen Stefani, and others are up for bid here.

Of course I'm not interested in bidding, but the shoes are very creative and fun to look at! Here's one of my favorites...

Happy shoe "shopping"!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Baking Extravaganza

For the past 4 years my friend Sarah and I have gotten together on a Saturday in the fall to bake. We each select a recipe for the upcoming fall/Christmas season, bring the ingredients, and also make an apple pie to freeze and bake when we need it. This Saturday was our baking day this year. We made two kinds of truffles (Sarah's recipe)...

Swirled pumpkin bread (my recipe) - and yes, I did cut a slice off to enjoy with my breakfast Sunday morning...

and apple pie, ready to freeze and bake later this fall...

Tomorrow I am taking treats to the college Christian organization where A and I met. Sunday I baked these cookies called "Peanut Butter Spotlights." They are a peanut butter cookie batter with Reese's pieces throughout. YUM! I hope the students enjoy them.

So now we have a loaf of pumpkin bread that we're enjoying, another loaf in the freezer, a frozen apple pie to bake and enjoy later, several dozen truffles in the freezer (which will be perfect for Christmas parties), and cookies for the poor, starving college students. With all this baking, I almost feel like a decent homemaker again! ;)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My kind of town

In less than a week I'll be on a plane bound for Chicago. My dad lived in Chicago from age 11 on. My grandparents lived there until they died and my aunt and uncle still do. I have lots of wonderful memories of trips to Chicago in the fall to see my dad's side of the family.

Next week I'll be traveling with my mom and dad to spend 5 days at my aunt and uncle's house. On Thursday we'll move to a hotel for my cousin's wedding. This is one of my cousins on my mom's side of the family so I'll get to see most of my family over the course of the week. Talk about a family reunion!

A will be staying here to hold down the fort and take care of Jasmine. Traveling with my mom and dad without Hubby will almost be like being a kid again!

I'm determined to be ready for this trip without scrambling at the last minute. Too many last minute details equals stress and I'm not interested in that. I've been planning what to pack and have started putting stuff in the suitcase this weekend. Of course I also have to get ready to be away from home by getting food ready for A and taking care of stuff around here. And errands - why does it seem like the list of errands always doubles before a trip?!

So that's what I'll be doing this week - I'll keep you posted!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Patio Table: Before and After

This summer we decided to do a little refurbishing project on our patio table and shortly after we decided to do it, BooMama announced her Before and After event. I feel a little silly playing along because this isn't a whole room makeover or anything, but I figured I'd post the photos anyway.

This is our patio table before:

After washing, sanding, re-washing, and painting each piece and then recovering the cushions, here is the new look:

The whole project was completed for under $20 plus some time and elbow grease on our part. It's fun to look out the back and see this labor of love though - I am very, very pleased with how it turned out!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Job update and a prayer request

When I resumed working at the end of July, I indicated that I'd be filling in for my former employer for 5-8 weeks. I'm not sure if anyone else is doing the math, but 8 weeks would have put my last day at last Friday. And yet here I sit at my desk with a pile of work around me and no sign of a replacement.

My purpose for writing this post is two-fold. The first reason is to explain my continued absence from the blog world. And the second is to ask for your prayers.

I have committed to continuing to work through October. However, October begins next week and after that there are 4 weeks until I'm finished. That's 4 weeks to interview, hire someone, wait for that person to start (i.e. 2 weeks notice at their current job), and then train them. I hope this doesn't sound cruel, but I feel that I really need to stick with my deadline. When I signed on for this I never imagined that I'd be bringing in Halloween treats for my co-workers - I thought I'd be long gone before jack-o-lanterns ever started making an appearance. I'm used to the idea at this point, but I'm done playing the if-you-don't-hire-someone-I'll-just-stick-around-forever game. To complicate things a bit further, my employer has yet to even advertise the position. I had a verbal commitment that the job would be posted on Sept 4 which was 3 weeks ago - obviously that didn't happen.

I don't know their reasons for not posting the job opening, and maybe they are very good reasons, but it's a little hard not to feel taken advantage of at this point. While I am very flattered that they apparently like me so much that they don't want me to leave, I'm am unhappy that their end of the bargain has not been upheld. I am a people pleaser and I have a very hard time with confrontation and doing anything that I feel will upset another person, so imagine my joy about having to put my foot down about this. Ugh...

My prayer request is that God would bring someone quickly for this job. When the job finally does get advertised (and that is a prayer request of its own!), please pray that the interviewing and hiring process would be swift. I ask your prayers for the person that God already has for this job - that their mind will be sharp and prepared for all the training they will receive. And finally, please pray for me because some days it is very hard to come to work with a positive attitude and give my best effort. God has done a lot of work in me through this temporary assignment and I'm confident it's been a part of His plan all along. I am so thankful and blessed for that, but I am also ready to move on to the other plans He has for me.

Whew! That was kind of heavy, wasn't it? I'll try to bring something a bit lighter and more fun next time I post, but I wanted to share what's been on my heart and going on in my life right now. I love that prayer can be such a connection in the blogging community - thanks in advance for yours!


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Just a dab will have to do...

I have had very little time to craft, make cards, sew, or cook/bake lately - basically all my hobbies have been put on the back burner for the time being. I'm pretty okay with that since I know it's temporary, but the past couple of days I've especially missed being creative. This evening I sat down and made a birthday card for my sister-in-law. Her birthday is in October but I am taking her gift to her this weekend so I needed to get her card made.

The image is Lattebella from Stamping Bella. My sis-in-law loves coffee and Starbucks so this bella girl is perfect for her!

A couple of weeks ago I needed some thank you notes so I made these. The card design is quick and simple, which is what my schedule needed! The image is from Stampin' Up and the paper is from the DCWV fall 2007 paper stack.

I'm looking forward to having time for my hobbies again, but in the meantime these stamping interludes will just have to make do!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Weekend in Review

This weekend I had two projects on my "must-do" list.

1) Freeze peaches

2) Steam clean our carpets

My mother-in-law knows a guy who goes to the western Colorado slope every late summer/early autumn to buy peaches. They're sold in 25 pound boxes and I buy a half a box every year to use for pies and cobblers during the winter. They arrived this last week but I didn't have a chance to freeze them until this weekend. We ate some of them fresh during the week but this morning after church I peeled, sliced, and froze the rest of them. We now have 14 cups of peaches in the freezer for some yummy baking in the coming months!

Last weekend we visited my mom and dad in Colorado Springs. I'll see Mom again next weekend when we meet up in Denver for the Women of Faith conference. It's not often that I get to see her every couple of weeks, so I took advantage of the schedule and borrowed their carpet cleaner. It's kind of large so I don't really like to store it any longer than necessary and this way I can give it to her next weekend when I see her. Our carpet is just over two years old so it's still in really good condition and doesn't really require a full, professional cleaning yet. We borrow Mom and Dad's steam cleaner once a year or so and spot clean any areas that are looking a little shabby. Last year I took care of this by myself, but yesterday A got involved and he really got into it! I had three small areas in mind to clean, but by the time he was finished he'd cleaned probably 60% of the living room, our entire office, the area at the top of our stairs and the adjacent hallway, and the main area of our family room. Go hubby, GO - I am one grateful wife!

This afternoon we made a trip to the mall to get A fitted for a tux. A's brother is getting married in December and he is a groomsman. I love seeing him all dressed up in a tux!

While we were at the mall I got two new pairs of pants (jeans and a pair of cords) and a new pair of shoes - hooray for me! I feel like I did when I was little and we'd go back to school shopping. I'm really into ballet flats lately, so here's the cute brown pair I found today.

I love them and they are sooooo comfortable!

This evening I made cheesy potatoes and ham for dinner and it's smelling like they have finished baking, so I'm going to sign off. Hope you've had a relaxing and wonderful weekend!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Thank goodness Faith tagged me with this "quirky" meme because I have been seriously lacking for blogging inspiration. It's not that my life has been boring, just not necessarily blog worthy. Anyway, I was thrilled when Faith let me know I'd been tagged because this gives me a perfect excuse to blog!

Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about six unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag six fellow bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the six blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Here's the quirky scoop on me...

1) I hate having water on my face or in my eyes. I have been this way ever since I can remember and even have memories of being in the bathtub as a kid and having to tip my head way, way back so my mom could rinse the shampoo out of my hair without getting any down my face. To this day I have to shower with a washcloth and I'm constantly wiping the water off my face and especially out of my eyes. My husband loves to just stick his whole head under the spray to rinse off - I will NEVER do this.

2) My books have to be kept in pristine condition. No matter how many times I've read them, I don't like the cover wrinkled, the pages bent, or (heaven forbid!) the spine creased. Basically my goal after having read a book is to have it still looking like I just brought it home from the book store.

3) I can't have the covers over my head when I'm asleep (or at least falling asleep. If I do I feel like I'm being smothered and suffocated. Again, hubby thinks this is nuts and loves to burrow all the way down into the blankets, but not me. I will pull them way up over my head, but I have to make a little air tunnel between my face and the outside world lest I use up all the oxygen under those covers.

4) I organize my grocery list according to the store layout. I find that it saves me time and helps keep cold items from warming up while I wander to and fro along every aisle in the rest of the store. It takes a little more time when I'm making my plan, but since I make one big shopping trip a month, I'm already making a huge list anyway and organizing doesn't really take that much longer. Plus it really satisfies my control freak personality.

5) I am a neat freak everywhere in my life except on my desk at home. Even I can't figure out or justify this one. I thought for about .4 seconds about posting a picture just so you can see what a mess my desk is, but it's just too embarrassing for an organizational freak like me. I do prefer it clean and will straighten it up from time to time, but when the slightest bit of stress or craziness comes into my life, it is back to looking like a paper bomb went off. I'm so ashamed.

6) I love, love, love magazines. I buy them just because they make me happy. When I worked full-time I bought one or two nearly every time I went to the grocery store, but now I try and subscribe to the ones I really love, which is still around 10 or so. It's harder to keep up with them right now and I have a lovely pile of around 20 or so next to our couch that I'm still needing to flip though. Oh well - they'll keep! :) Still, there is nothing like coming home after work and relaxing and escaping into a magazine for a few minutes!

Now for the tagging part which makes me a little nervous. I honestly don't know too many people who read my blog, but I'll give it a whirl. I tag Kristin, Gretchen, Dawn, and Mer. I know that's not six, so if you want to play along, please join in!

Monday, September 8, 2008

It's Fall!!!

Since I haven't had time to put up any fall decor around home, I did a little fall decorating around my blog! Hope you like it and that it makes you feel like curling up under a cozy quilt with a mug of hot apple cider - YUM!

Faith tagged me on her blog so I'll be back soon with my post - till then!