May 2014 archive

A Peek Inside the Craft Room

By Natalie

deskThis room is the only reason why I’m able to complete most all of my crafty endeavors. As an avid crocheter, reader, sewer, and all around crafter I longed for a space to house all of my hobbies, as they were quickly growing out of their homes. I had baskets upon baskets of fabric, and paper craft all over our apartment. When we bought our house we quickly realized that I had enough stuff to load up this room, and I adore the way it came together. Above is the desk that B and his dad built for me. They took my design and ran with it.

photo 1This entertainment center was happily discovered by B’s mom at Goodwill years ago, and if I remember correctly it was a steal at $10! It was in good shape to begin with, with just a few scratches. But nothing major enough that a little wood scratch pen, and murphey’s oil couldn’t solve.

photo (2)

photo 3

image_7

Of course, a quiet spot to read.
 

A few of my favorite pieces

photo 2

image_2   image_3

image_1   image_5

image_4

image_6

photo 4   image

photo (1)

image_8

 


Anniversary Weekend

By Natalie

5

For our anniversary this year we had last minute plans to stay somewhere for a night. However, having our anniversary fall on memorial day weekend is a double edged sword. If we don’t plan well enough in advance every hotel, bed and breakfast, and cabin will be booked. As I was trying to pull something together I told B that I’d like for us to at least do something on Saturday, I suggested a picnic. He suggested we hit the beach. Oh we’ll go with your suggestion then, I thought. “You’d want to do that? Go to the beach for the day?” Oh my wonderful husband who longs to make me happy. “Sure why not.” he said. Isn’t it wonderful when you expect something small, and someone surprises you with something greater?

So I drove myself to Target that Thursday afternoon, and picked up a sand chair for my love, and a little beach umbrella to shade him. Because I knew that I would be able to lay in the sun much longer than he would prefer.

image2

See. What a nice little seat. All propped up to read his book. He dissapproves of picture taking.. But that’s ok.

photo 3

And then he ended up like this. Utilizing this versatile seat as a pillow. This is the part where I convince myself that this was an excellent purchase.

photo 2  photo 1

We don’t go to the beach too often. We’re more cabin in the woods type of people. Getting away from it all you know? Peace, quiet, and campfires. But every now and then when we go to the beach I get really super excited, preparing for the trip the night before. Double check to make sure the his and hers sunsreens are in the beach bag. Cause in our household poor B needs Coppertone SPF 50, and I’m good with Hawaiin Tropic SPF 8. I also find it essential to toss the Aloe in the fridge so it’s nice and cold when we come home. Finally, a chance to use our personalized cooler. A chance to sit back and read my book by the water. A chance to work on my latest crochet project for the car ride. Yes crochet… The way I figure it when I’m a grandma, I’ll be expert level.

When we arrived I couldn’t help but think isn’t the beach lovely?

These days I’ve been rather pensive. Everything I see or do causes a stream of thoughts. My mind strives to take everything in at once. To remember things. To be grateful for the smallest parts of life by capturing them in moments. I sat there for a while soaking in the sunlight, and salty air. Giggling at all those who were attempting to lay their towels flat in the wind, only because Brandon and I had a hard time ourselves. Commanding one another to gain control over that corner as if the wind was not in charge. The sand pushing its way between my toes. Even remembering the feeling of small grains of sand that brushed against my cheeks with the ever advancing sea breeze. It was fabulous. But the best part is, it wasn’t just the beach. I was spending quality time with my husband. Reminicsing on three years of marriage together. Getaways are essential I’ve learned. It doesn’t have to be often. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t even have to be that long. Just find something that will be renewing, something to bring you and your loved one closer. Being in each other’s company can either be the best or worst part of a marriage.

image

Let’s make it the best.

It’s Here!

By Natalie

photo 1

3 years ago today we rang a bell to annouce our marriage. 3 years!!

How was I so lucky to be able to marry (pardon the ‘ol cliche here) my best friend? He truly is my best friend. I call him to let him know what I had for lunch and how it was. I talk to him before every decision I make. We laugh together. We have fun with one another. I confide in him with complete vulnerability, and that is something you could only do with the best of friends.

Here’s a little video my brother in law put together for us. Seems so surreal still to watch. I can’t believe it’s been 3 years already, and I’m sure the years will continue to fly by. Marriage has been the most beautiful blessing in my life, and I’ve grown to be a stronger more compassionate woman because of it.

Happy Anniversary my love. I love you so much more every single day. Thank you for being such a sweet and thoughtful husband. I love sharing my life with you, and I’m so excited for the future we have planned! Here’s to the rest of our lives!

Highway Blues & First Dances

By Natalie

This morning I made a discovery. I was listening to some blues on my way to work. Because it was one of those days. A cloudy morning, and a slow drive in. I like some good blues every now and then, you know.. deep soulful Otis Redding blues. I have to give it up to my brother in law Sean for sharing this wonderful taste in music with me. There I was listening to Redding refer to himself as Mr. Pitiful and I just started thinking. About this and about that, and my mind just began to wander all the way up the highway. Before I knew it I was at work. Those are the most wonderful drives, when you’re lost in your own world. Apparently, blues does that for me.

These Arms of Mine began to play.. the deep strum of the bass pushing its way through the speakers of the car. That’s when I started thinking. This song was runner up number 3 for our first dance. At Last by Etta James was a close second but I knew that song was a no go before I even really considered it. I love the song, but it seemed a little ridiculous to dance to a song stating “At last my love has come along.” when I was only nineteen.. not typically a long time to have to wait for love. And then there was the fact that my sister chose an Etta James song for her first dance.

Don’t tell me you’re thinking what does that matter? Oh, it mattered.. at least, back then it mattered while I was desperately attempting to be unique. When looking at rings I didn’t want the triple diamond because my cousin had that, I didn’t want the cushion setting because my sister had that. I liked my oldest sister’s ring but I wanted princess cut. Poor Brandon, I must have made his head spin. When looking at dresses I didn’t want one that looked like any bride’s dress I knew of in the past 3 years. “Why don’t you get married here like so and so?” Someone asked. “Is that a joke?” I thought. “I don’t want to hold a wedding that everyone just attended.” Mortified, I moved to the next subject. Getting married can make you a bit… crazy and.. selfish.. entitled even. Something to do with being the center of attention. There I said it. I was so concerned about doing something different from everyone else, that now I wonder if I made decisions according to what I actually wanted.

photo 2

I loved my wedding day don’t get me wrong. I just think I could have saved myself, and everyone else for that matter, alot of run around. In the end we decided to dance to “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” Ingrid Michaelson’s version. It suited us perfectly, with the way we fell in love, and being young newlyweds. Not to mention it’s always been one of my favorites. All these thoughts ran through my head this morning. As I was merging onto my exit pondering first dance songs I confessed to myself that the first dance was the most awkward moment of my wedding day. I really don’t think that goes for everyone, especially the couples who practice. The only time I’ve ever danced with B was high school homecoming. I figured on our wedding it would just come to us. Now, I don’t think we looked awkward or anything. It’s just that the song seemed to last forever, and everyone stares at you. I mean when do couples have a chance to dance these days? Legitimate dancing, not the twirls we do randomly in the kitchen during dinner prep. Not often enough it seems. Am I alone on this?

Candid

By Natalie

It’s my anniversary week, so weddings are on the brain. Look out.

I’ve been thinking about something as I was reminiscing recently on our wedding. As important as it is to get posed photos at your wedding, you’ll find that the candid shots turn out to be just as charming. After all, you can only capture one’s true emotion when they’re unaware they’re being photographed. Of course, you’re scrambling to make sure you get pictures with family, the first kiss, the bridal party, one with the ring bearer and flower girl, oh and then there’s the one with cutting the cake, and don’t forget one with the parents, oh, and then just the siblings. It’s alot to remember. But fret not, no matter how many posed wedding photos you take I guarantee you the candid shots are the ones that will make you feel nostalgic for that day. It’s part of the reason why I we wanted to do a first look. Looking at photos of people in their genuine expressions tends to takes you back to every emotion you felt, and all the love around you on your special day.

Some of my favorite candid photos…

photo 1

photo 4   photo 4

photo 3

photo 2

image_1

photo 1

photo 2   photo 1

Your photographer will surely capture the perfect moments, but I’m so thankful for the friends and family that captured a few moments themselves.

This photo… I adore it

image

This is exactly why I love picking out all the unposed pictures. Brandon does this thing, that I used to absolutely hate. Whenever we’re in public sometimes he’d just look at me and grab my chin to give it a little squeeze. Finally one day I found myself a little embarassed as he only did it when we were in front of people. “Why are you touching my chin like that?” I said.

To my surprise Brandon was a bit puzzled himself. “I don’t know… It’s just a way to show affection.” And it made sense. He always does it when we’re in conversation. He’ll look at me, admiration in his eyes, smile, and then he just doesn’t know what else to do with himself in the moment but grab my chin. A subtle way to secretly say I love you. It’s kind of odd yea? But it’s also super sweet, and ever since he told me what it meant I’m alright with it.

DIY: Bookmarks

By Natalie

photo 4

So I’ve been on my reading kick lately, and with the new book club we’ve started I figured maybe some fun bookmarks were in order. Originally I had fantastic plans to use fabric scraps, and sew quilted bookmarks. However, I have found with Diy type things that just because something is small does not mean it’s going to be easy! After ruining two of the four quilted bookmarks I gave up. Who knows, maybe one of these days I’ll pick them up and try again, but in the meantime I settled for simplicity.

Personal bookmarks can be such an easy little project. I’m a huge fan of creating something out of things you already have. There’s no need to run to the craft store when you can work with what you’ve got.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cardstock
  • Cardstock Stickers
  • Mod Podge
  • Baker’s Twine
  • Hole Punch
  • Book Page
  • Corner Rounder (Optional)

photo 2

1) I sliced up a patterned piece of cardstock, and then cut hearts out of an old copy of the Wizard of Oz.

I love, love love, using old book pages to decorate. I’ve used them before with the family tree.

photo 1

2) I used a paintbrush to spread mod podge onto the back of the heart. Then applied it to the cardstock. Any type of adhesive would probably work fine.

photo 3

3) I usually like to round off my corners for a nice finish, But that is completely up to you!

image

4) Put a hole punch in the top, and tie off baker’s twine, or ribbon. Whatever you may have that works. I added our initial, and a little cardstock sticker on the back. I’ve been going for more of the minimalist look these days.

photo 5

And Voilà! A bookmark.

Happy Reading!

Happy Mother’s Day

By Natalie

I’ve been working on a little piece for the mothers today, and it seems so perfect to finish it on such a lovely morning. Can I just tell you how much I adore mornings? No, not weekday mornings where I’m in denial that in 10 minutes I can get ready, make my coffee, pack my lunch, feed Bing, and walk out the door. Weekend Mornings, Holiday mornings, vacation mornings. Where you can sleep in, and hubby has breakfast prepared when you wake. Those are the ones I live for. When It feels so beautiful out that I decide to go ahead and put my sundress on for the day, and sip my coffee while watching Bingley’s desperate attempts to catch a fleeting butterfly. Do I even have to mention the birds? Chirping is happiness, and I bask in it, just as much as the sunlight.

photo (2)

Now, for the mamas…

Happy Mother’s Day of course. Seems so silly really to dedicate one day to you, when you deserve to be praised every day. Because being a mom is about being there everyday, and every night. I’ve spoken on the subject before here.

If you were wondering what my mom is like this picture of her walking me down the aisle describes her to a tee.

 IMG_0458

Mother’s Day is kind of a big deal to my mom. And I don’t blame her, cause you know, she raised us on her own. Mother’s Day is hers, and recently Father’s Day has been dedicated to her as well. As she juggled the roles of mom, and Dad. I don’t believe I could ever do that alone, or as well as she did. There was one night when I was confused about why we were moving for the 5th or sixth time, and I sat in my room packing my things rather angrily. My mom came in and sat on the floor next to me, and she apologized. She apologized that she couldn’t give me more, and that we were always uprooting, and I’m sure she was hoping one day I would understand. Now… I do understand. I wish my mom never felt the need to apologize for the wonderful life she blessed us with. She must know that she was an incredible example of an obedient, and strong woman of God. She always put us girls first. She prayed for our safety, and futures daily. And we are only the women we are today, because she was faithful in those things.

There are so many motherly figures in my life that I feel deserve their shout outs today.

To my mom – I love you, and thank you.

To my beautiful aunt – Thanks for teaching me to cook! And always taking us in as your own.

To my loving sisters – You are my best friends, and I can’t thank you enough for providing me with guidance and wisdom.

To my Mama Poe – Thank you for welcoming me into your large, and beautiful family. One of these days, I really just need to let you teach me to garden.

To my sister-in-laws, and cousins – You’re all fabulous mothers, as I’m sure you know. Your examples of motherhood are as much precious to me as your children.

Cheers to you mamas, have a fabulous day!

Homeownership, & Growing Up

By Natalie

Sometimes, sadly, I find that I don’t have too much to talk about. I have a million and one drafts of things that I wish to share, but for some reason today, I just don’t know what to talk to you about. You know I’ve been bit by the reading bug again. You know about the Lupus walk we did recently. You know quite a bit about me now don’t you? But today, what shall I share with you? hmm. Perhaps that we bought a new ac unit? Hurray for home ownership! Our nasty 24 year old beat up ac unit was screaming desperately to be put out of its misery. And come to find out it actually had put itself out of its misery in the dead of this past winter. We only realized because as the sun began to warm the interior of the house these past couple weeks the house grew hotter and hotter. FInally we realized that the poor little thing wasn’t even running outside. Just puttering in some sort of air through the vents somehow.

And so, we young homeowners bit that horibble bullet and bought ourselves a new ac unit. Oh but it is grand. No really. It’s about twice the size of our old one. Making it quite a bit more efficient. After it was installed B and I ran outside to inspect it. Bingley sniffed around it, and I wrapped my arms around that unit and hugged it. “We might as well get excited about it you know. It’s brand new! We didn’t pay all that money not to get excited about it.” I said to Brandon, and he raised his eyebrows, and laughed.

It’s funny. The things you get excited about when you get older. I think the first time I realized I really grew up was the black friday that Brandon came home, and surprised me with a new vacuum cleaner. Never would you know that the smile I produced in that moment was due to a new vacuum cleaner. I opened the box as quick as I could, and began to vacuum our whole apartment. Every Nook and Cranny..

And then just recently we got this carpet spot cleaner. Where you can spray water, and cleaner and scrub, and suck it all up through this hose. It’s amazing! I got on my hands and knees, and cleaned the whole carpet in our bedroom I was so excited.

Can you believe that you just listened to me ramble on about that silly stuff? I know. You think I’m a clean freak… I kind of am. Something to do with being in control of my life I think. But who knows, that’s a different story for another day.

Happy Day. And don’t be ashamed of getting excited over the silly, or small stuff. I sure am not.

Of Sunshine & Good Writing

By Natalie

I went outside today to read for about an hour because it’s one of those lazy Sundays that the sun decides to grace us with its blinding presence so I figured I’d take advantage. I’ve recently finished a book, and I find that when I finish a book, I need to quickly jump on another because if not I won’t read for too long. And reading… it’s marvelous. There is nothing quite like the feeling of becoming completely entranced in a story, as all that’s around you begins to blur. For some reason I have an MO of not finishing books, and I really dislike that about myself. However, for some reason whenever I am reading a book that I can discuss with someone I am much more motivated to continue. Some of the best books I’ve read were the ones that my sister and I read alongside one another. And so, I thought why not start a small little book club. Because yes, I’m not your average twenty two year old, and I find excitement in the thought of a book club.

Graciously, some friends were equally excited as I was about the idea. So we kicked off our book club a few days ago, with a short and simple read. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. And I’m in love with it. I know, I know, you think I’m in love with alot of things, but I am. I love it when I find myself reading a sentence over and over again because I just can’t get enough of it. Each word dripping with symbolism, and creativity. I do love a good writer who captures my heart, and shares their story so eloquently.

photo (4)Having a perfect day to match a perfect read is beyond compare. I laid out in the backyard with my book basking in the sunlight with the rest of the day ahead of me to read on. Finally, I looked up from the pages of the book my mind still lingering on the last words of an exquisite sentence. Off to my left a certain little (Well not so little anymore) pup meandered his way over to me. Dogs always seem further than they actually are, and then all at once they just hit you with their tremendous weight, and drool. I was gifted with the sloppiest of puppy kisses I’ve ever known. I decided to finally step back inside as I was in need of wiping off said kiss much to Bingley’s confusion, and when I did step in from the cloud of heat I found that I had become a much browner version of myself. And B looked on in amazement.

I do so love when the weather is nice enough to read outside.. I do so love the way the sun chooses me to goldenly darken.. I do so love puppy kisses.. I do so love sharing my day with you..