September 30, 2014

Girly Daydreams

This past weekend I drove down to St. Louis to celebrate my Cousin M's bachelorette party.  Naturally, this sparked a lot of thoughts of my own party and weddings and a good part of the drive back up with Sister T. and Cousin S was filled with talk of what we wanted for our own weddings someday.

Most girls will agree that there's nothing more fun than sharing daydreams and hopes and plans for the day when we get to say "I do" to an awesome and incredible man.  So I thought, I'm going to share some of my favorite wedding Pins with y'all and feel free to write your own post or share your own daydreams in the comment section!

(No pictures of my dream wedding dress of course, because my Knight reads this and *Spoilers*!)

Colin Cowie Weddings

I've been on a purple wedding color kick lately... for a long time it was cornflower blue, but purple is my favorite color, and it just looks so elegant and different than what a lot of brides choose.

Outer Dress
Speaking of bridesmaid dresses.... isn't this style just GORGEOUS?  I'm pro-letting my bridesmaids choosing the neckline and sleeve type that best flatters their figure, but this dress is just so gorgeous and flowey.  

THIS RING THOUGH!  I actually would prefer a ring that isn't diamonds, but this is just so beautiful and perfect.

Tea party for a bridal shower?  Yes please!  Haha, my mom and I already have my bridal shower planned out and and decided that we are going to have it at the local tea room that is absolutely adorable and our favorite place to go out for lunch to.

Blushing Bride Wedding
Mad Libs has always been a favorite game of my family, and having something to do while waiting for dinner and the party to get started is a great idea... so what better way to entertain the guests than Wedding themed Mad Libs???

Signatures by Sarah
Isn't this a great idea too?  Talk about some memories in the making. ;-)

Apparently sticking marbles in balloons makes them float upside down.  Um, YES?

It would be super cute to do this idea with favorite romantic quotes from books and movies and songs that we love, and pair it with the idea of using wine bottles to paint the table number on...

Spirit Stitches
Of course when I got home from the trip, I started searching up bachelorette party shirt ideas, and this is I think one of my favorites.  I like the ones that say "Team Bride" as well... so maybe combining that in there somewhere, and instead of saying "Bride", "Bridesmaid" and such on the back, have their names?  Although I do like the ones where the number on the jersey is the number of years they've known the bride.  Hmm... we'll have to see.

This may work better for one of the bridal showers.  Our couple name is Panda, so this would be absolutely perfect for us!  I knew as soon as I saw it that we had to work Panda cupcakes in there somewhere.

I'll stop with those pins for now, but if you want more you are more than welcome to visit my board on Pinterest!  And please, please do share your own boards or pins or posts!  I would absolutely love to see your ideas and daydreams as well.

September 26, 2014

Finally Friday!

1. I'm a little disorganized for my normal type of Finally Friday, but the point of this type of series is to be *real* anyhow so... here we go.  I don't have a lot because I've been a bit scattered and procrastinating, so you get me for as long as I can focus on this.  Sound good?

2. Starting today I get a whole three days off of work!  I'm headed down to St. Louis tonight to celebrate my cousin's bachlorette party tomorrow.  It's the first one I've ever been to, and I am super excited.  Got my dancing shoes all set to go!  Here's a little sneak peak of my shiny new outfit...

3.  In the midst of my procrastinating today, I decided to figure out what a few Disney princesses would look like if they were Lord of the Rings characters...

Elsa would be an elf of course, and I think Anna may very well be a woman of Rohan

I think Belle would definitely be a Hobbit.

Rapunzel is definitely an elf, and Flynn is TOTALLY a Ranger

I can definitely see Merida as a Hobbit with a spirit for Adventure
4.  Two more weeks until my Knight comes!  I can hardly wait...

5. Ah, I believe my laundry is done, and my attention span has come to an end.  I probably should attempt some homework before I hit the road....

Have a lovely Friday!

September 19, 2014

Finally Friday

1. In just three weeks my Knight is coming to visit ME!  While his job has been very good in some regards... he doesn't get any kind of vacation or time off, which stinks because it makes it hard for him to come out here. He worked out shift switches though so he could get a four day weekend.  It'll be short, but it will be absolutely wonderful!  And long overdue... he hasn't been out here in a year!

2.  I absolutely loved reading Clare's post on being a new mother.  For a very long time, when anyone would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up I shrugged and said I didn't know because I felt shy about saying "I want to be a mom."  While I have found an interest and love for the hospitality industry, and I know that is where I want to spend at least part of my life, being a wife and a mother is still my first dream, and I just love reading Clare's beautiful posts about being a new mother and seeing her sweet pictures of Alice.

3. Its awesome when people do unique and intriguing covers of songs.  Like Dark Horse, sung in 20 different styles.   I don't think I've ever heard the full song before, but the link popped up in my YouTube newsfeed and I had to listen to it.  It's pretty awesome!  My other favorite is Let it Go, sung diva style by Christina Bianco.  That woman is hilarious and can do some great impressions!

Bread-in-a-mug seasoned with Italian herbs, a Cran-Raspberry la Croix and an advacado/tomato/hard boiled egg/pepper jack cheese/spinach/ranch salad
4. About three weeks ago my mom finished reading a book called "Trim Healthy Mama" and announced that we were going to try (another) new way to eat healthy!  I'll admit, I initially groaned a little in skepticism because we've tried stuff before and it just hasn't worked but I will also admit that I am now totally sold and love it!  I'm still getting to the point where I completely understand the whole concept behind it but so far its been easy and, to be honest, fun.  I haven't missed cutting out breads at all and I'm getting to the point where I'm starting not to miss sugar.  I get cravings for cookies and stuff, but the moment I eat just a bit I end up feeling so bleh that I regret it.  The best part about it is that it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle mindset so there's no counting calories or having to microcontrol your portions.  It's simply understanding what foods your body processes the best without leaving behind the excess fat that makes us gain weight.

5. Can I just say how incredibly excited I am for the new Piano Guys CD coming out?  October 7th cannot get here fast enough... I NEED to hear that Batman medley! 

6. Reasons why Anastasia is the best animated film ever.  Yep. (Well, after the Lion King, anyhow.)

7. And finally, a little laugh to get your Friday started:

The Surreal McCoy

Have a great Friday!

September 16, 2014

Imagining with Music

I'm fairly certain I'm not the only one who has ever imagined a soundtrack playing along as they go about their day. That they are the starring character in a film that someone is watching somewhere.  It's fun to imagine, and wonder what kind of story that you are in.

Sometimes the perfect song comes on the radio, on your iPod, plays over those hidden speakers on a downtown street or in the mall and for a magical moment... you feel like you are in a movie. Soundtracks to films started out in the age of silent movies where the music had to tell the story, because there was no dialogue, and music continues to be an essential element of movies.  Its easy to pretend you are in a film when you have the right music playing along.

When I'm driving in the car is my favorite time to imagine I'm in a movie... it's easy, because you have music that you can play right there.  Listening to CDs is my only source of music while I'm driving, and I dislike driving in silence, so the CD I pick out at the start of my drive is often carefully selected based on the mood I'm in or the mood of the weather outside.  For example....

My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark, by Fall Out Boy is the first track on a mix CD that I put together. (And put together very well, if I do say so myself.)  Its a fantastic pump-me-up and get me going kind of song.  When I put this on and pull out of the driveway, I feel like a B.A. heroine in an action adventure film about to race off and do something crazy and cool and all the things that guys get to do when they are the stars of awesome action adventure films.

Ed Sheeran is the perfect soundtrack for a rainy day.  I made a mix CD of my favorite songs of his, and the first one that comes on is Photograph, which I absolutely love. It was a chilly, rainy day out when I left for school this morning... and it felt like the fitting background to the start of a romantic story, a drama, and I was the leading lady driving and missing my man who was off somewhere in the world. Perhaps he was in the military, maybe he was traveling, maybe he just lived far away.  Actually, the more I listened to my CD, the more I realized that someone really should write a movie using Ed Sheeran songs as the soundtrack.  It would be practically perfect in every way.

Listening to Punching Bag by Josh Turner on a bright, crispy early September day makes me feel like I'm the star in a chick flick somewhere in the south heading off to work at my dead end diner job.  (Why do the girls in films that take place in the south always work in diners?)  It fits perfectly.... up-beat country song from a Carolina boy, about being a punching bag.  What other plotline could the movie have?

If Ed Sheeran is the start of a rainy, romantic film than What Makes You Beautiful by the Piano Guys is the end of the story.  Its still raining, but it's a happy rain now and instead of driving away sad, I'm happy and the love of my life is in the car beside me.

Every song you put on has the potential to become the soundtrack to the story in your mind.  What do you imagine when you listen to music?  What is your story?

September 14, 2014

What's with Hair?

What is the purpose of hair, exactly?  I suppose to cover our heads and help keep them warm, but really... what's the point? It's not like our whole head is covered with hair.  And if warmth was the main purpose, why grow it out?  And when you think of what hair is made of.... basically we are all walking around with long strings of dead cells hanging from our scalps.

I was thinking this yesterday as I was doing my hair for work.  I was sighing, thinking about cutting it short again and then thinking "but I don't want to cut it, I like it when it's long."  Then I stopped and thought.... well so what if it is long? I put it up all the time anyhow, who even notices how long it is?

I can see the point of styling your hair, I mean, if it's long already you might as well do something.  We braid it, we curl, we style, we color and dye it, we straighten it, we comb it over.  And why not? It's there and if we don't do anything with it becomes all kinds of annoying. It's an odd thought.

Think about it.  When was the last time you heard someone say "Oh my gosh I LOVE LOVE LOVE my hair, every day, it's awesome and I thank God for this marvelous gift."?  No, we complain about our hair a lot, wish it was curly when it was straight, straight when it's curly. If you're like me you alternately cut it short and grow it out again because you can never quite decide how you like it.

So really... what's with hair?

These random thoughts were brought to you by a perplexed mind.  She will now leave you wondering what is with having hair, while she goes and puts up her hair for work again.

September 12, 2014


1.  Today, I worked on homework for my wine class.  Sort of.  I've been really terrible with doing homework so far this semester... it doesn't help that three weeks into school and between holidays and classes being canceled, I haven't had a full week or any assignments.  So that makes the little bit I do have very easy to procrastinate on.

2. My Katniss Cowl is coming along nicely!  The scarf portion (above) is nearly finished, and the vest portion is next.  I had to increase it a little to make it my size, so I'll have to do the same with the vest.  I've not done much alteration with patterns before... so we'll see how that goes.

3. Today I went shoe shopping!  All my winter shoes wore out at about the same time, unfortunately, so today I got paid and started replacing my basic black and browns and heels for Sundays and fancy occasions.  The brown shoes are soooo comfortable!

4. New tea!  I wanted something spicy and fall, so I picked up a cranberry blend, Fire Light Chai and Chocolate Chai.  They are all very good and perfect for the sudden fall weather we are having!  We dropped from a high of 85 to a high of 65 over night and September is definitely here now!

5. I got over my fear of lighting matches yesterday, and now I realize that I love lighting candles. Light ALL the candles!

6.  Despite the rain, Sis M still had soccer practice so I volunteered to drive her out.  I bought my first pair of yoga pants today, they are so comfortable and I can't believe I've never gotten around to getting a pair before!  I was only going to sit in the car, so there was no changing!  I spent the hour sort of reading homework, but mostly blasting music and sending videos to my boyfriend and pretending to be Elphaba while making a video while singing "The Wizard and I" that may or may not end up on YouTube. Maybe.

Now I'm back at home, enjoying a Sam Adams Pumpkin Harvest ale and grilled cheese, and about to watch Mom's Night Out with my family.  Have a good rest of your Friday!

September 11, 2014

We Remain - A Tribute

I didn't record this song with the original intention of sharing it today.  I didn't have time to finish the editing earlier, and when I sat down to finish it up this morning... I realized that it was September 11th.  Thirteen years ago two buildings went up in smoke on millions of TV screens, and it is one of those few days where I can remember exactly what I was doing when we heard the news, even though I didn't fully comprehend the events at the time.

To all those who died, and all those who survived... this is for you.

September 9, 2014

Back in Books

Technically I'm three weeks in already, but it only just feels now that I've started up school again for the fall.  I'm on a Monday/Wednesday schedule, and the first week we had first day of class on Monday, then no class Wednesday because my teacher had family matters to attend to, then it was Labor Day, then we did have class Wednesday last week and then it was the weekend.  This week will be my first "full" week of classes!

If we're going by number of 'years' that I've been in school, I'm somewhere between a Junior and Senior. Going by number of semesters that I've spent in college, I'm a Junior.  If you're going by the number of years I've been at community college, I'm a sophomore.  Or, I'm just a student.

Going back to school this fall was different, and interesting.  I'd forgotten how good it feels to not be the new kid on campus on the first day.  What it's like to walk down the halls and smile knowingly when you see the bewildered first-years wandering around with their schedules and scanning for the right classroom.  I have a lovely red leather bag for my books now, instead of a backpack, and I did feel so grown up and knowledgeable as I walked down the halls, knowing exactly where I was going and what to expect.

I have a new teacher this year (there are two in the department, one does mainly morning classes and the other afternoons) but there are plenty of familiar faces among my fellow students and I feel like I'm getting to know my teacher very well already.  I'll be learning service, catering and understanding wine this year.  Understanding Wines is proving to be a huge wealth of information, we've only had two classes and already I have learned so much.  We tried our first four different types of wines yesterday, and I discovered that I really shouldn't go into class hungry because I will end up walking out with a slight buzz.  Hmm.

I'm looking forward to the semester, to continuing to learn, to continuing to develop acquaintances.  To planning the food for my other teacher's wedding in my catering class. (I know... no pressure right?)  I think it's going to be a good year.

September 5, 2014

Friday is Finally Here!

1. I have Friday off again!  If this is going to become a regular scheduling thing, I am certainly not complaining!  It's hot and humid out (I don't mind heat as much but, ugh! Humidity? Can we be done with that please?) so I'll be chilling inside today working on homework and maybe getting started on a crocheting project for fall.

2. Speaking of fall, I sure hope we have one this year.  Last year it got really warm in September, was fall weather for about two weeks and then we plunged headlong into winter temperatures.  Fall is my favorite time of year, and yes I am that stereotypical white girl that adores pumpkin spice everything and scarves and tea and it's just NOT the same when you don't have that fall chill in the air and the leaves don't turn colors. I think they call this first world problems...

3. I finished buying all my favorite Ed Sheeran songs and put them together on a mix CD to have in my car yesterday.  I don't have a working radio, and I don't have an iPod or a smart phone to play music off of, so CDs are my source of music while driving.  Putting together CDs of songs and arranging them so that the tempos and styles of music flow smoothly together is a lot of fun.  Ed Sheeran was pretty easy to do, of course. He's on a few of my other CDs, but I'm enjoying having all the music of his that I enjoy on one disc!  Can I say how perfect his music is for driving in the rain?

4. Going back to my crocheting project... I'm going to attempt to make Katniss' awesome Cowl from Catching Fire.  I did a lot of searching around on the internet before I finally found a pattern I liked.  A lot of them were for knitting, and many of the crochet patterns looked more like a drapey shawl than an BA Archers Cowl.  I finally found this pattern on Etsy, and the girl selling the pattern was awesome in answering a few questions I had about adjusting to make sure it would fit me. The pattern looks fairly easy to do, and I'll try to either share photos as I go along or do a "Making Of" post when I'm done!

5.  I'm a sucker for romance stories... so this article sharing thoughts from some guys about when they knew their girl was 'the one' was right up my alley.

6.  A few weeks ago Pemberly Digital finished their YouTube series of Emma Approved, based on the classic Emma by Jane Austen.  It wasn't as huge of a favorite with me as was the Lizzy Bennet Diaries, but it grew on me and the folks at PD know how to make a good show.  So I was pleasantly surprised to go onto YouTube last night and discover that they've started up a new show, Frankenstein, MD. I've never read Frankenstein, but I was interested and this seems as good of an intro as any into the story!

7. Yesterday a good friend of mine who lives up in Alaska came down for a school interview, and we were able to meet up for lunch!  We've only met in person once before (through a very random and last minute does-this-happen-in-real-life set of circumstances) so it was nice to get together in a little more planned fashion this time.

Have a great Friday!

September 3, 2014

Hymn to the Midwest

This morning I got into my car, driving off at around seven thirty in the morning.  I put on the Titanic soundtrack, there was one track I had left to listen to after having it on the day before.  As I pulled out of my drive to the sound of quiet singing, I couldn't help but be struck by the beauty of the countryside around me.

The sunlight still had that early morning glow to it, and there was a light fog hovering over the fields.  The sunlight danced and glinted and everything was golden and beautiful.  The sky was blue, the clouds were drifting overhead and with haunting bagpipes as the backgrodp, it was so heartrendingly peaceful.

I live in the middle of corn and bean fields, the farmlands of Illinois.  I've done a bit of traveling around the country, not much, but I've seen some beautiful sights... and I must tell you, that the fields of the Midwest can compete with the best of them.  

There's nothing quite like the deep, golden glow that covers the world when the a summer evening hits the fields.  It's magical and and it is breathtaking.  There is nothing like looking out at night and watching lightening flash in the clouds so far to the south that you can't hear the thunder.  There's nothing like standing in a field at night, far away from the lights of the city and looking up and catching your breath at just how many stars manage to fit in that night sky.

It may not be the Rocky Mountains, it may not be the ocean waves or the rolling hills of the south... but it is home, and it is beautiful.