Christmas Prep

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Christmas rush has begun. While I did not get out on Black Friday, I have been shopping around online and getting ideas for gifts, decor, and even some yummy holiday recipes!

(2 year old nephew, Houghton)

At mom's house we added three new stockings to the mantle. The dogs even get their own stockings this year!

(new wrapping supplies!)

(christmas cards & cranberry spice candle)

So, the personalized Christmas cards I ordered just arrived. And what is more annoying than realizing you forgot to add a very important apostrophe on your cards??

not much.

Happy prepping!

Project: Rocking Chair Update

Monday, November 28, 2011

We've begun work on our chair. Pulling the entire thing apart was interesting, especially when I took a closer look at the cushion and batting. That is straw you see in the above picture. Creative way to make your cushion a little thicker I suppose. I'm convinced this chair was originally constructed on a farm somewhere.

Gotta love the potato sack cushions. All I have to say is, "bye, bye, orange vinyl!"

Stay tuned.

Bye, Bye Fall

Friday, November 25, 2011

(favorite tree in our front yard, taken a few weeks ago)

The first day of winter is not officially until December 21st, but now that Thanksgiving is over it feels like a new season (despite the 60 degree afternoon we had). Let's take a look back at my Fall Bucket List and see how many items I can cross off.

Carve a pumpkin

Only buy things I love...(Fall for me means shopping.)

Attend a football game

Take a color tour

Make hard cider

Weekend getaway with the husband

Pull out the ol'e crockpot

Have a bonfire in the backyard

So, I guess 6 out of 8 isn't bad. I think it's important to write down goals and even something as silly as a fall bucket list, because then you kind of feel like you're being held accountable. At least I do. All work and no play makes Karlee a dull girl:)

Bring it on, winter.

A different kind of thanks

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

This Thanksgiving while we are chowing down on turkey, rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, and an assortment of desserts, I want you to take just a minute and thank God for all you have. The every day things that most of us seem to take for granted. And while we're at it, let's continue to give thanks that we, as Americans, are in a position to help others--not just this time of year but all year long.

A wise man spoke to my group while we were in Haiti. He said, "Don't feel guilty for what you have when you walk around the streets of this impoverished city. Feel blessed. Feel grateful. And realize that each one of us is in a position to give back. In different capacities, but we're all called to give back."

I was sent this photo today from my friend, Manes, who lives in Haiti.

Here he is, standing in front of his "house" with his mom, brother, and two nieces, who all live there-along with his sister. His family wasn't fortunate enough to move into one of the temporary houses provided by Samaritan's Purse, like the one nextdoor. They made their shelter out of whatever they could find after the earthquake destroyed almost everything 22 months ago. And they are still there. He oftens complains about being tired and then I found out it has been raining constantly in Haiti and their house floods. So while we are home, tucked snug in our beds, he and his family are trying to get through the night without getting soaked.

I opened this picture today and I started to cry. I wish I could do more. My mom and I have been raising awareness and collecting money for him and sending it so he can attend the University and make something of himself. (We have to send money weekly for food and tap-tap a.k.a. taxi.) But I'll be honest, it's a struggle. And admittedly, not enough.We need help. His family needs help. If anyone is interested in donating to the "Manes Joseph Fund" please email me at:

And please remember to be thankful. Not just tomorrow but the whole year through.

Happy Thanksgiving,
from my family to yours:)

"Home Church"

Monday, November 21, 2011

I no longer feel like I have a home church. That is one of the downfalls of moving so frequently. Just when you start to feel at "home" somewhere, it's time to move again. I enjoy going back to the church I grew up in- although it has gone through a lot of changes and even switched buildings since I moved away.  I also like going back and visiting my most recent "home church" that I had to leave behind in June. But I don't have a steady Sunday morning retreat. I have quite a disfunctional "home church" life, and I hope that will change in the near future.

Sunday I went to church with a friend. It's a Baptist church. And I heard it was a little on the charasmatic side. 'That, I can do.' I thought. The first thing I noticed? The bright, colored foam microphone covers. Ya know, the ones from the 90's??

circa 1998, via my scrapbook

Yes, that's me in the orange. Sara's in the yellow and Krista's in the green-with matching mic covers, respectively. Aren't you loving the crooked teeth, hairclips, and baggy jeans? The 90's ruled.

It turns out the pastor had a good message to share, and being in a room full of believers is better than sitting home watching the ever-present catholic mass on television anyday...and it sure brought back some good memories!

Project: Glitter High Heels

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I bought these gold high heels at a "barn sale". Yes, I said barn sale. They were 50 cents. I had an idea to spice them up for the holiday season.
Insert fabric glue and multicolored sparkles!
I coated the heels in fab glue, then over a shoebox, sprinkled the glitter all over them.

These photos were taken shortly after so there are some stray sparkles scattered about. The shoes really need 2 good coats.

You can see in the photos that I needed to reapply in a couple of spots, which I went back and did later. A little trick is to give the shoes a coat of hairspray and that keeps most of the glitter from falling off and tracking everywhere.

Now I'm ready to pair my "new" heels with my new emerald green silk shirt for holiday parties!

Interested in making a difference?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Here is your chance to make a difference in the life of a young person. 1200 students at Mission of Hope Haiti are still in need of sponsorship. The $35 a month covers their tuition and nutritious meals everyday. For the majority of the students, school is the only place they are fed. Please visit the MOH website for more information.

Read about my visit to Mission of Hope HERE.

Etienne Aigner

Friday, November 11, 2011

          Meet my new favorite boots:

(The Chassity wide calf...does this mean I have wide calves?)

I am truly in love with them. I found them at TJ Maxx a couple of months back. I didn't whip the money out that day and then instantly regretted it. I knew they would look good with so much of my fall wardrobe! So, a week later I went back and purchased them for $50!
I somehow stumbled upon them recently while surfing the net. Macy's carries them for $179.99 and they are currently on sale for $139.99. I would say I got a great deal. And I love a great deal.

 Purchase them HERE

(wearing my etienne aigners with a gold dress and back tights)

(And here I am wearing them with black leather pants on my birthday:)

Bucket List

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Anyone like contests?
I'm not a super competitive person but when a vacation's involved...
just maybe. (Who couldn't use an all expense paid vacation?! For real.)
This one's over at Todays Mama.
Feel free to share 15 things from your bucket list and enter to win!

The Grand Prizes are:

Here are 15 items off my bucket list: (there are many more)

Learn to play guitar...for real this time
Watch Manes graduate University in Haiti
Live on a farm with a white house and red barn
Graduate with a useful degree
Travel Europe
Meet Stevie Wonder
Have lots of babies
Take my husband back to Haiti with me
Cook a Thanksgiving meal for my family
Go on a mission trip to central Africa
Ride horses on the beach
Write a book
Learn to sew
Be completely debt free
Celebrate at least 50 years with my husband

Now, what's one thing on your bucket list??

This is my entry in the Just Ask Bucket List Getaway Giveaway. Just Ask offers a breast and ovarian cancer screening and is encouraging people to share 15 things that I want to enjoy in my lifetime as a reminder to be aware of my health. Want to enter? Head over to to get the details.

too early for a christmas card?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I made up my parents' Christmas card that they'll be sending out today and I thought I would share. (Maybe this will get y'all motivated to do your own.)

Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Shutterfly has great design options and an easy to use website! I will share my own card soon!

Project: Rocking Chair

Monday, November 7, 2011

Jake and I found this beat up retro rocker at Goodwill and decided to take a chance on it. It has strong bones but needs a serious makeover. I narrowed it down to 2 fabric options...say goodbye to the orange vinyl. Orange vinyl makes me think of bars and since when do bars house rocking chairs?
So, I need a little help deciding. Please weigh in on your favorite.



I'm leaning toward option A and painting the wood black, but Jake is leaning toward B and painting the wood a grey tone. We are a house divided.

What do you think??

It's kind of funny...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

How God works.
Picture this: I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish this evening, then realized my computer would not connect to the internet...again.
"Just great!" I huffed, while throwing my hands up.
I decide to restart the computer. While it's loading I pick up my Jesus Calling devotional by Sarah Young. Irritated, that once again, this old laptop can't just do its' job, I open up to November 3rd and this is what it reads:

"Everytime something thwarts your plans or desires, use that as a reminder to communicate with Me. This practice has several benefits. The first is obvious: Talking with Me blesses you and strengthens our relationship. Another benefit is that disappointments, instead of dragging you down, are transformed into opportunities for good. This transformation removes the sting from difficult circumstances, making it possible to be joyful in the midst of adversity.
Begin by practicing this discipline in all the little disappointments of daily life. It is often these minor setbacks that draw you away from My Presence. When you reframe setbacks at opportunities, you find that you gain much more than you have lost. It is only after much training that you can accept major losses in this positive way. But it is possible to attain the perspectice of the apostle Paul, who wrote: Compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus, I consider everything I once treasured to be as insignificant as rubbish."

 What an awesome opportunity to turn losses into gains when everytime something frustrates or irritates us we can sit back and connect with God. It could be with a prayer or even a quick "Thank you, Jesus."
What a great reminder.

Fall Fun

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

We have been enjoying Fall over at our little house. We spent an evening raking and trying to bury Layla in the leaves (which is part of the reason she won't look at me in the above photo). We also carved very first time ever (so don't make fun), and made the most delicious pumpkin cookies. Mmm.

Then last Saturday night I attended a girls' night at my parents' cabin. I dressed up as a cowgirl last minute. We danced, sang karaoke, and had a LOT of laughs. Can't wait till next year, ladies!
Have you all done anything fun to commemorate the season???


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