Monday, October 31, 2011

the one on halloween

Happy Halloween!! :)

To celebrate this holiday, me and my two older sisters (becca & sarah) got together for a pinterest potluck! it was so fun!! i think we are gonna start doing it every season :) becca provided dinner, sarah got dessert, and i brought the pinterest inspired craft!

we made mummy candles! i am obsessed with them. they are the cutest things i ever saw.

finley + mummy in the background

close up of becca's mummies! eek!

my mummies

look how awesome they are in the dark! 

i also wanted to share some more of my halloween decorations...
including these GORGEOUS flowers from rob (from a few weeks ago)!

i dried out some of the flowers to keep them for our table...
i love those little punkins.

happy halloween! hope you have a fun night :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

the one on how to trick yourself into being productive

i discovered a new trick this week. i learned how to trick myself into getting things done around my home, after a lonnnnng tiring day at work.

usually this is my routine: walk in, drop my purse wherever it lands, limp over to the couch or bed, binge watch 2-3 episodes of FRIENDS, look at the clock - it's 6:30, and slap myself on the forehead because ive done absolutely nothing to get dinner ready.

me and the gang. i fit right in.



but here is my new plan!

1. come home and immediately walk into the kitchen to start preparing dinner. NOTE: this will take a serious pep talk (either in your head or out loud as your drive home). what you really want to do is go take a break (and if you have good self-control, you may be able to do that...but not me). you MUST stop yourself from collapsing onto the couch...once you do, there is no turning back.


2. trick yourself into thinking it is fun. you can do this many ways: music (i jammed out to rent yesterday while making chili...you wanna pick some music you can really sing along to), candles, a funny outfit while you cook, or maybe even FRIENDS playing in the background from a safe distance.



3. before you know it you are getting.things.done. wahoo!
4. maximize on your productivity/domesticity. while the chili was stewing, i started a load of laundry, and picked up our bedroom/bathroom. keep moving. once you stop: game over.

be domestic...like her!


5. once you've accomplished all you set out to do, lay back and bask in your productivity! you did it!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

the one featuring wisdom from my momma




today i wanted to share a little something my sweet momma wrote. it's about some things the Lord has been teaching her about how He prunes us because He loves us (and it is good for us)...and i just love it.

as if you need more motivation to read it after seeing those two beautiful pictures of her above, here are a couple reasons why you should read on:: 
  1. she's the kindest, most forgiving, most loving, most supportive, most patient mom in the whole world
  2. by the grace of God, she has raised 7 children to know and love the Lord
  3. she's British (aka she can't help but be wise)
  4. she's an excellent writer
  5. most importantly, she loves the Lord above all else and knows Scripture backwards and forwards. 

reading this reminds me of how blessed i am to have such a godly woman and mentor as my momma.

Horses, Roses, and Tomato Plants 
Discipline has always carried the connotation for me of corrective action; an unpleasant consequence of bad behavior. For this reason, I don’t feel that I have been able to embrace much of the Scripture that speaks of this issue, without cringing. 
I have recently, however, come to understand the purpose and reason for discipline in the context of training horses to the bridle and bit. Though they fight it, and resist the loss of their independence, the reality is that they reach their greatest purpose in life when yoked to the will of their rider. In the same way, my beautiful roses will bloom best when I am vigilant about pruning and training them. I don’t cut them back because I am upset with them. No, I love them: their explosion of color and form, and I know that pruning will only cause them to bloom brighter and fuller in the way that they were created to. 
I have a long-running mutual disrespect for my tomato plants however. After years of being spindly, unyielding, ungrateful, wimpy-looking things, this year, they finally grew to enormous heights, with promise of a bountiful harvest. Of course I couldn’t bring myself to cut back the healthy-looking shoots – I had waited years for this kind of success. Just as the first tomatoes were ready to ripen, a strong wind blew the whole thing down, hiding the ripening fruit where the sun could no longer reach it, and limiting the amount of nutrition the plant was able to obtain….something to do with photosynthesis, I think. 
So all of this helped me finally to a new understanding of the importance of pruning. John 15:2 says, “Every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit”. This is a good thing, a compliment even, despite the fact that branches don’t necessarily relish the pruning process. Deuteronomy 8 adds this perspective: “Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD”. Somehow it helps so much just to know that pruning and discpline is for a purpose – for greater fruit, and ultimately, to enrich our delight in Jesus, and our joy in Him as the One who alone can satisfy our deepest needs and longings. 
So now, instead of shunning them, I cherish the comfort of these verses in Hebrews 12, ”For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” 
How do we know when God is pruning and disciplining us? My answer to this is that pain, and the sense of being squeezed is usually a good indication. What is the “one thing” that if you could remove from your life, would make you so much happier? Chances are good that that very thing is God’s means of discipline and pruning in your life. 
So, 2 things – first, don’t miss the point by underestimating what your circumstances mean: “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,”, and second, don’t be discouraged,“nor be weary when reproved by him”. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” 
Be glad that God views you as fruit-bearing, and loves you enough to use your present circumstances to create in you the potential for greater productivity. At the same time, He loves you enough to squeeze your heart until all the things that masquerade as soul-pleasers are exposed, and we come to know Jesus in greater ways as our only source of satisfaction and delight.

Monday, October 24, 2011

the one with my current to do list

here are my next/in-process holiday projects that im really excited about! they are all, of course, from pinterest.  i really want to tackle them but right now i am lacking courage/energy to jump in so im hoping that by putting these up here, it'll make me do it :)

as always, click on each photo to see the source.

sparkly branches for christmas time :)

mummy candles for halloween! i <3 googley eyes!

some orange/fall colored rosettes for my "s" on my door

sarah did this last year and i LOVED it

i know you've all seen this all over the place on pinterest
but i really do want to do this

make my own advent calendar :)

pahaha love these ghosts!!!

i could go on and on...but im actually planning to DO all of these!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

the one with halloween cupcakes

check out my fun halloweeny cupcakes! made these this past weekend - they were incredibly easy and not impressive but aren't they so cute? :) 

i just love fall :)





Monday, October 17, 2011

the one where harrison heads home

hi friends! just popping in quickly to ask you to rejoice! and continue to pray with me for the smith family. you may remember me introducing you to him.... well sweet little harrison cole is growing and progressing so well that today him, his mom & dad are getting in the car (for the first time together) and driving from colorado to north carolina. we are SO excited to see him doing so well that he can go home, but this is obviously a HUGE undertaking by josh & erin. you can read their blog post today as they reflect and look ahead.

recent photos of harrison just a few days ago...


please pray for josh & erin as they make this long trip - pray for peace, wisdom, rest, and for their trust & strength to be anchored in the Lord. pray for sweet harrison to be strong and to stay healthy as they drive home.

cant wait to hold this little man in my arms one day!

Friday, October 14, 2011

the one with books i am reading

there are a few books im reading this fall that i.am.loving. reading is so good for me - it exercises my imagination and my brain, and it's much healthier than watching tv all the time or being on my computer. the only downside is that when im reading a good story, i can attach to/become the character too easily and it's hard to enter back into reality :)

1. im a little behind on this one but i LOVE it so far. superb writing. one of the ladies i work with (bonnie) lent me this little gem and im enjoying it so much! my dad also highly recommended this to rob & i.

2. this book is so good! as ive mentioned before, my pastor, jd greear, just came out with this book on october 1st and it's incredible. i highly recommend it (and not just because he's my pastor!)

3. this is next on my list. and i cannot wait! ive heard it's awesome...

4. whenever i want a break from my typical reads, i pick up "the diary of a young girl - anne frank". one of my favorites forever. (picked up this gem at a thrift store - check it out).

Thursday, October 6, 2011

the one about a safe

Last week, we had a robbery in our apartment building. Needless to say, it was a little unnerving and scary (mostly for me...Rob has no concerns about our safety :) ).

Some great things have come from this incident, though. I've compiled a little thankful list:

1. That we can have peace and rest, trusting our Father to keep us safe and provide for us.
2. The most important thing to us can never be stolen - our salvation.
...the next few are less important but still good...
3. It kicked our butts into gear to get some safety things done around the apartment that we have been putting off!
4. We've gotten to know all of our neighbors better and feel a real sense of community now. We are all looking out for each other. And Pam (our direct neighbor) is a single woman living by herself who we can tangibly care for now by watching her apartment while she's gone, or inviting her over when she feels uneasy being alone. I'm very thankful we live in such a friendly building where we actually know our neighbors.

So here are some safety measures we've finally completed!

1. Leave a nice note, just in case robbers come in :) (This is a joke, but it made me laugh! Pahaha I crack myself up...I was even going to leave cookies out but Rob said that was going a little too far)


2. Take video of all of our possessions for insurance. We have had renter's insurance for awhile but didn't have footage of all of our belongings so this motivated us to get it done. Let's hope no one ever has to see that because Rob's commentary is ridiculous!

3. Buy a safe. Now that we are grown-ups, we have a bunch of our important documents in our apartment (rather than our parents keeping them). We didn't want to lose these and also didnt want to just file them in a filing cabinet. So we've talked about buying a safe for awhile now...and we finally did! Some important things we were looking for::
-waterproof
-fireproof
-big enough for long term use (when we have kids, etc.)
-heavy enough to deter robbers (it's annoyingly heavy)

We actually found one for a great price at Target! (another reason to love that place). I wanted a serious one (like the one pictured below) and Rob wanted a cash box...so we met somewhere in the middle :)
4. Get to know our neighbors. We talked with Pam and told her we'd let her know anytime we'd be out of town so she could keep an eye out for our apartment. We also told her to let us know when she'd be gone... I think this has helped relieve her fears and helped her feel more comfortable. It's good to have someone looking out for you when you're not there! And it's a great way to get to know your neighbors.

Any other suggestions y'all have? I'd love any advice :) And I know this blog makes me sound like I'm super freaked out - I'm not. I just want to be careful and smart. I know God's in control and worrying will not help anything :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

the one about more thrift store finds

another successful thrift store shopping trip :) the items below + a pretty dress were bought for a grand total of $15... that's right... TOTAL. yes. i love.

probably my favorite find. 
beautiful watercolor painting of pretty little bottles of herbs.
already hanging in my kitchen,
going to paint the frame a light gray i think :)

almost overlooked this at first. 
a watering can made completely of wood & twigs!
i love it -  it's so autumny. 
going to replace the dried "flowers?" with fall flowers :)

eeek!! christmas decor!! :)
i would have paid $15 alone just for these two items...
i.love.christmas.decorations.

holiday china. (see explanation below)

rob and i decided not to register for nice china...instead we are going to buy all different patterns and plates from different antique/thrift stores to make up a mismatched eclectic holiday table :) i decided this weekend that im not going to buy even two of the same plates but each plate will be different and unique. i LOVE this first one... cream color with beautiful detail and gold rim. i cant wait for the holidays!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

the one where im a geek

there are a few companies that i just love... coke, apple, and google. this post will highlight one part of my obsession with google :)

since we've been married, ive obviously been learning a lot in the kitchen - trying lots of new recipes, ingredients, and even cooking tools! lately, ive been trying to focus on planning our meals better, rather than coming home from work, relaxing for 30 minutes, and then all of a sudden realizing im hungry and wondering what we are going to eat. (i cant tell you how many times this has happened...)

so about 3 weeks ago, i made a new google calendar and started planning our meals using our calendar. it's worked GREAT for us. 

not our calendar, but an example i found online :)

since rob and i both use our google calendars to schedule everything...we share our calendars with each other. so he can see my schedule and i can see his. since i can already see both of our calendars - it makes scheduling for meals SO easy because i figure out what nights i dont need to plan for based on his work schedule or our plans out. 

with google calendar, i can also easily move one meal to another day if we have a last minute change of plans...and i can see how long ago i cooked a meal. i also put my recipes in the "notes" section so that i can just copy the same meal to another day, including the recipe. 

example of a scheduled meal with recipe in the description section

(ps this recipe is alright...it wasn't the best enchiladas ive ever had so im probably gonna keep hunting for another easy enchilada recipe)

basically i love it so far :) ill let you know if i change my mind but i would highly suggest trying it out! especially if you have a smart phone - because you can take your meal plan to the grocery store and pick out your ingredients easily. 

hope this helps someone....and yes i know im a geek :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

the one featuring our new closet

The past few days have been quite eventful in the shields casa... mostly I've been in bed dealing with...

THIS

PLUS this...

Not too fun. (For those of you who didn't get that - I've had kidney stones) Let me tell you - worst pain I've ever felt. Sweet Rob has been taking such good care of me and I've forced myself to stay in bed pretty much since Thursday night. For those of you that don't know me, that is an incredibly difficult task so Rob said it was okay if we did one little minimal effort (for me) project :)

So we reorganized and "expanded" our closet! If you remember, I mentioned that we took the door off of our bedroom closet so that we could add a shelf to that wall and use all three walls. We've been trying to find the right size shelf, price shopping, and we finally got the shelf and got down to business this weekend. 

Before (door off, ready for change)

Rob did most all of the work. I just shifted some clothes around :) There is so much space! We can fit way more hanging clothes in there...I can't wait to shift things around more when I'm feeling better.

New shelf! Thanks, handyman.

Newly organized closet! Spaaaaace

New shelf with my dresses and baskets!

Rob's side (his clothes are SO big)

We've also been looking for a curtain to hang in the doorway to cover up the mess when we I want to :) I knew I wanted a gray patterned curtain (not striped) but couldn't find the right look for the right price. I was thinking about buying fabric and making my own but thennn we found these on sale at Target! Yay!

Whole shebang + our new curtain

The whole curtain - we probably won't leave it like this very much but I really love the gray pattern contrast in our room. It's such a nice break from the white walls!

Still need to make one or two more changes but there is already so much more space in there. Yay new closet!