10 Plus Crafts I Want to Make

For the last several months, I’ve been telling myself, just wait until after you’re finished with school, then you’ll have time to make that. It’s almost July now, and I graduated at the beginning of May. It’s high time I got started on all the craft projects I’ve been putting off!

I told Brian yesterday, “I’m going to make a bunch of craft projects, that way I’ll use up some of my craft supplies and it will be less to fit into an apartment or put in storage!”

“But… then we’ll have a bunch of crafts to put in storage, or fit into our apartment…”he said.

Oh.

Good point.

Hence, I organized my list of craft projects into the following categories:

  • Cheap, and useful
  • Cheap, and not useful (aesthetic)
  • Useful, but not cheap
  • Not useful, and not cheap
I’ll start with the “cheap and useful” first, and then, I’ll try the “useful but not cheap,”and then if there’s still time before we move, the “cheap and not useful.” Anything that falls into the “not useful and not cheap” category probably isn’t ever going to get done!
Want to see what’s in my categories? Well, I don’t want to give it all away, but I’ll give you a few clues. 

Cheap and Useful


Pony Stamp Dress
Source: designmom.com via Emily on Pinterest

DIY Monogram Mugs

Chalkboard Paint

Personalized Tool Set

No Sew Pillow Cover

Not Cheap But Useful


Repainting Furniture

Recovering Desk Chair

Padded Headboard

Not Useful But Cheap


Paper Flowers

Straightener Holder (ok, this is somewhat useful if you travel often)
That makes a total of ten crafts, and those are just the ones I found on Pinterest! There’s even more on my list! Looks like I’m going to be plenty busy for a few months, and it’s going to be a blast!

Have you made anything crafty lately? Tell me about it in the comments, or leave a link to your blog post! 

Loneliness and Vulnerability

Ever felt alone in a crowd? Ever felt alone in a crowd at church?

One of our biggest struggles since moving to Arizona for both Brian and me has been loneliness. Although we got plugged into an amazing church right away, and we made some great friends, we missed having friends around our age. We also realized it’s a lot harder to hang out when everyone has full-time jobs. Eventually, we adjusted, for the most part. I especially have had a hard time, because I was home doing school alone, and now that I’m graduated, I’m home doing work alone.

So when Brian suggested I listen to a sermon series by Chip Ingram from Living on the Edge about loneliness, I listened to it the very next day. I had bathrooms to clean anyway, since we have a house guest this weekend. Well, not really a guest. He owns the house, and he’s our landlord. Anyway, he’s here for the weekend working on putting the house on the market.

You would think that being a believer and having a relationship with Jesus should be enough to take away any loneliness, right? While that’s true in a way, Chip explained that we were created to desire relationships with others. In the Garden of Eden, Adam had perfect fellowship with God. And yet God said it was not good for man to be alone, and made a companion for him.

I don’t want to give it all away, but in part 2, Chip says there are two keys to curing loneliness:

  • Have a right perspective of church
  • Have a right perspective of relationships
Whoa. Hold up. I’m the one who has to change? The problem is with me
Sound familiar? It’s so easy to think that the problem is with everyone else. If only we lived closer to our friends. If only people at church were nicer to me. If only… etc. 
But if the problem is in my perspective, that means I’m the one who has to change. I’m the one who has to make the first move, and it might mean I have to be vulnerable. 
I’m not good at that. I like listening to other people’s problems. I like emphasizing with them. I like giving advice (aren’t we all?). But I’m not good at sharing what I’m going through, my internal struggles, or even good things, like what I’m learning spiritually. 
I highly recommend listening the two-part series, each segment lasts about half an hour. The perfect length to get some laundry folded or bathrooms cleaned! It’s called “Breaking Through Life’s Biggest Barriers: Overcoming Loneliness.” 
Let me know what you think!

What I Wore Wednesday, Anniversary Edition

Fancy, or casual, light or dark? If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I had quite a dilema when trying to decide what to wear Friday when Brian and I went up to Scottsdale to celebrate our anniversary.
If I went with fancy, I had to choose between my cream colored dress that I wore for Easter and graduation, or my dressy black dress, which I wore last year on our anniversary. If I went more casual this time, I could choose my lacy romantic top or my silky black tank. Kopek wasn’t very helpful. 
That look says:”Hurry up and decide already!”
Brian got home from work early, so he helped me decide. 
Attractive bathroom shot, lol
 Black tank: Soma
Pearl earrings and bracelet
Skinny jeans: Old Navy
Headband: not sure

Here’s a somewhat blurry close up picture:

I almost wore these shoes, but decided against them since I’m not used to wearing heels yet. 
We stayed at the Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center. It was very, very nice. 

We went swimming, and then got ready for dinner at House of Tricks. 
Image from House of Tricks website

We started with salad, Brian ordered the chef’s “Caesar Salad with Garlicky Dressing,” and I ordered the “Spring Mix Salad with Tomato, Cucumber, Radish, Goat Cheese and White Balsamic-Honey Vinaigrette.” Amazing!

Brian ordered “Grilled Filet Mignon with Charred Scallion Potatoes, Sautéed Spinach and Brandy Demi Glace”:

And I orded “Sugar-Spiced Salmon with Chinese Long Beans, Mustard Sauce, Sweet Soy-Ponzu, Sticky Rice and Nori.” 

We both agreed it was the best food we’d ever eaten! The portions were just right, so we were able to still get dessert. Brian ordered their Tricks bar, a large candy bar type dessert with ice cream, and I ordered the tiramisu with coffee bean brittle. 

We are so photogenic.

Saturday we went to the Phoenix Zoo. I knew it would be quite hot, so I wore a sundress with a tank underneath, and sunscreen! I’d never tried converse with a dress before, but it was really cute!

Oh so photogenic…
On our actual anniversary, yesterday, I wore the 3rd outfit in the first picture, with my hair in a loose romantic braid. Unfortunately, I’m having some issues with my camera and can no longer use the self-timer. I guess that means more attractive bathroom shots in the future! 
Thank you all for the happy anniversary wishes, we had a truly refreshing weekend! We’ve experienced moving cross-country, changing schools and majors, finding a new church, becoming youth group leaders, job stress, moving, losing said job, unemployment, illness and death in the family, a funeral, multiple weddings, college graduation, and starting a new job. And probably a lot more than I can remember, but it’s been action packed. Here’s to many more happy years!
pleated poppy

Our Two Year Anniversary Weekend!

Brian and I are heading up to Scottsdale tonight to celebrate our two year anniversary!

We found a great deal on a very nice resort, and I’m looking forward to spending some time at their pool and hot tub this afternoon! Unfortunately, the restaurant that’s become our anniversary tradition closed down sometime during the past year, so we have to find a new place. I’ve been wanting to go to House of Tricks for some time, so I’m excited to try it out tonight.

Brian told his coworkers that we were celebrating our anniversary this weekend, and his boss came to him and said, “Remember how I said we’re pretty flexible with our hours around here? I expect you to be gone by lunch tomorrow!” How nice is that?! Have I mentioned how much I like Brian’s new job?

In the spirit of celebration, I thought I’d show a few pictures from our wedding, June 19th 2010!

Getting me ready was a team effort!

One of my favorite pictures!

My uncle officiated our wedding:

Formal on the outside, fun on the inside! Brian and I both love confetti cake, so that’s what we had! The cake topper was used in several of Brian’s family member’s weddings.

I love how happy Brian’s best man looks!

Send off time!

That’s all for today! Maybe next week I’ll show you the staged pictures of just Brian and me.

Brian and I were reminiscing about our first anniversary a few days ago, how we supposedly booked a “resort” but it ended up being a not very nice hotel, and I forgot my dress shoes, but we had a lovely dinner with complimentary dessert 🙂

So now, for all you married folks, share with us in the comments any special memories from your first or second anniversary! If you a really great story, I’ll feature it in a post on Newlywed’s Bliss!

Attack of the Monster Bugs

This week, I’ve been very grateful for my brave husband!
Apparently, black widow spiders enjoy a little pampering now and then. They like hanging out around our hot tub.  
This is a little scary for me, because our hot tub isn’t too far from the doggie door. I worry about Kopek, and also, the doggie door doesn’t close all the way. There’s a gap around the edges, a gap that a spider could definitely fit through if they decided to pay a visit to my cozy little office. 
That particular spider above took two days to kill. God really protected us, because we’d been wanting to use the hot tub for several days, but never got around to it. Then one night, I flipped on the porch light, and there she was. Brian tried to get it with this metal ended tool first, but it crawled up inside the side of the hot tub. 

The next night, we got her with a shovel. 

For a couple months, we didn’t have any problems. In May, the webs were back. I washed them away almost every day when I watered my plants, but they always came right back. I tried to catch them out at night, but they seemed to know I was watching for them, and stayed away. 
So Monday night, Brian was working on the car, and I decided to hang out in the garage with him. Cool night breezes wafted through the open garage door. I brought my laptop and got comfortable on the carpeted area of the floor, and worked on some research, occasionally reading out loud to Brian. The dog curled up contentedly next to me. 
BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ Thunk! 
I saw it crash into the garage light and fall to the ground for a split second. “It” was the the largest bug I’d ever seen. In a flash, I knew “It’s coming for me!” But before I had time to react, it flew STRAIGHT AT ME. I shrieked and almost threw my computer, but instead I set it down, and in that split second, it landed on me! I smacked it off, screaming at the top of my lungs “BUG! BUG!” 
I ran to the door into the kitchen, but before I could get inside, IT ATTACKED AGAIN. It flew at my legs, at which I shrieked even louder and shook it off, and slammed the door shut behind me. This whole time, instead of defending me, Kopek was every bit as terrified as I was. He squeezed into the kitchen right behind me. 
“Babe?” 
I heard Brian’s voice on the other side of the door. 
“BUG!” I sobbed uncontrollably, hyperventilating.  
“OH. Yeah…that’s a BIG bug!” 
“IT GOT ON ME…” I lost the ability to form words, and trailed off in a whine. 
Brian came inside and hugged me. “I thought you got stung by a scorpion and we needed to go to the emergency room,”he started laughing, and I started laughing through my tears, realizing how utterly pathetic I must sound. 
The bug had crawled under a pile of furniture, bikes, and tools. I begged Brian to kill it. But how? He asked. He insisted it was too big to step on, it needed to be killed with a baseball bat. But he didn’t want to get any of his bats messy. And he wanted to finish working on the car first. 
We didn’t know what sort of insect it was. I was sure it was a cockroach, but Brian thought it was too large. I did some research while Brian went back to working on the car, and discovered that Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches are the largest roach. Maybe one escaped from a zoo? 
But they don’t fly, and this bug had definitely been flying. I called my friend Tara, who studied animal ecology in college. Her husband answered, and told me Tara was busy putting the kids to bed. I said she could call me back, and I must have still sounded panicky, because he asked, “Is everything ok?” 
“Um, there’s a giant bug in our garage. I wanted to find out from Tara about how to kill it.” I started laughing, imagining how pathetic I sounded.
“Like, how big?”
“Three to four inches long, and an inch wide.” 
“Wow! Sounds like a borer beetle. I killed one of those in our garage with a 2×4. But you could just step on it.” 
So Paul talked to Brian, who told him it was only 2 1/2 to 3 inches long (I disagree), and told Brian to tell me to cut off its head, quarter it, and bury it in four corners of the backyard, or else it would come back to life.  So helpful. 
Tara determined that the bug was indeed a Palo Verde borer beetle. “Although they look super scary and they CAN pinch you, they are not really that dangerous as long as you don’t stick your fingers in their pincers.” 
Not that dangerous. But still dangerous! 
I couldn’t get close enough to take a good picture, but this is what it looks like. And no, I don’t know why this crazy person is holding it:
After Brian finished working on the car, he went after it with a long board. Unfortunately, it scurried away, further underneath the stuff. I started getting ready for bed, resigned to hoping that he had wounded it and it might die of injuries, or run out in front of the car sometime and get run over. 
But Brian backed out the car, and started removing the items one at a time. Twenty minutes later, he marched inside triumphantly. 
“VICTORY IS MINE!!!” 
Sure enough!

The next day, Brian emailed me from work and mentioned all the things he wanted to get done once he got home: “….finish cleaning the car parts and put them back in, workout, kill more monster bugs as needed, maybe we can figure a way to drain the hot tub.”
Darkness had fallen by the time we went outside to drain the hot tub. I’d barely stepped out onto the patio when I saw something moving. 
“There it is! The black widow!” Sure enough, it was crawling around in it’s web, trying to get away from the light. 
“Yeah, I saw that.” Brian had been working on setting up the hose. 
“Well, I’m glad this one’s so much smaller than that last one.” 
“Smaller? What spider are you talking about?” 
Then I saw it. 
“THERE’S ANOTHER ONE.” 
And it was big. 
I showed Brian the one I’d seen first. Without hesitation, he took off his flip flop and smashed it into the patio. I held my breath as he raised the flip flop again, and before I could say anything, he’d smashed the big one!
I should be able to sleep a little easier, knowing that their bodies are smashed on the cement as a warning to any other spiders who might think it was a good idea to hang out at the hot tub. 
But with the borer beetle Monday, two black widow spiders Tuesday, I’m a little apprehensive about what we could find today. 
I’ve still never seen a scorpion. 
Knock on wood. 

A Horrible-Stinky-Rotten-No good-Miserable Day

Ever had one of those?

When you wake up late, decide to skip going to the gym, and since no one’s going to see you, you might as well skip showering and stay in your pajamas. Besides, your pajamas have an elastic waist, and it’s definitely an I-feel-fat kind of day.

When you get so frustrated with Illustrator that when you husband calls you at lunch, you burst into tears and tell him that this is the most miserable day of your life and you choose the wrong major in college and now your life is ruined.

When your husband responds with, “Ok, I’ve got to get back to work,” says goodbye, and hangs up while you’re still bawling.

When you scrap the whole logo you’ve been working on, and start over. When suddenly, it starts to click. And then, your day drastically turns around when you discover the perfect font you’ve been looking for for a long time, and the background patterns you’ve been looking for, and find out that they’re free. Then you cry for happiness, and life doesn’t feel so miserable.

When your husband gets home. When said husband comes through the door and without even saying Hi,  launches into why-does-it-stink-in-here, and why-didn’t-you-do-this-or-take-care-of-this-since-after-all-you’ve-been-home-all-day. When your once wonderful day turns back to horrible-stinky-rotten-no-good-miserable.

When you burst into tears for the third time, and then decide his apology isn’t sincere.

That was my day, last Wednesday. While I was storming around getting dinner ready, fuming on the inside, asking God why He gave me such an insensitive husband, I remembered that we had small group that night. And we were going to be talking about forgiveness. Crap.

Read the rest at Newlywed’s Bliss.

Free Printable and Mid-Year Goal Reflection

It’s JUNE. I know we say “time is going by so fast” often, but seriously, what happened to the first half of this year?!

I made myself a little sign for motivation, then I figured that you might like it too.

 To download the 8×10 size, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Since the year is half gone, it’s time to take a look at my New Year’s Resolutions. One of the reasons I think many people fail to keep their resolutions is that they make them and then forget them until December rolls around. Also, I’m a believer in flexible resolutions, because you never know what road blocks can come up in a year!  Instead of getting discouraged and throwing out all resolutions, I’m resolved to revise as needed to keep stretching myself while being realistic. 

This is what I resolved in January, soon after my aunt passed way from cancer:

Others Goals:

  • Eat out less, have people over more. We have had people over more often than last year, but we still eat out too much. Trying to get down to once a week.
  • Reach out the the community regularly with the youth group (hopefully once a month). Brian and I finally sat down and made a schedule, so for the summer, we will have monthly outreaches. If we have another planning session for the fall, I think we’ll be able to keep it up.
  • Go to Mexico on the church mission trip (taking place in March)Did it!
  • Take time to celebrate my friendships and let people know how much I appreciate them. I’m still not doing well at sending cards and calling people, although in the last month I actually sent Mother’s Day cards (though late), two birthday cards, and letters to my brothers just because. This one definitely needs to stay on my resolutions list to keep working on.

Personal Goals:

  • Make my wedding scrapbook, preferably before our two year anniversary in June. I started working on it on Memorial Day, and put together two pages. I’m not too confident I’ll finish it by June 19th, but maybe by the end of the year. 
  • Make more art and crafts (this will happen this semester since I’m taking a drawing class) Finished drawing class, and still drawing in my free time.
  • Keep blogging 🙂 I slowed down quite a bit from my usual schedule for a few months, but I’ve picked it back up now. 
  • Grow as a writer and designer by learning new skills in school and seeking to get published. I have grown in my skills, and I have specific plans to continue growing.
  • Get published in something. Hasn’t happened yet.
  • Graduate college (this will happen in May!) Yep!

Physical Goals:

  • Do Jillian Michaels – 30 Day Shred (time to be determined, probably Jan-Feb.)
  • Exercising all year, keeping the goal of 3 times a week. I’ve been doing really well with exercise this year, although Brian being unemployed made it tons easier to find motivation since I had someone to work out with. I’ve been slacking off since he want back to work, and I’ve got to find a new way to stay motivated!
  • Take care of my health by seeking to eat balanced meals and going to the doctor/dentist/dermatologist regularly (and get Brian to go too). When Brian lost his job, we didn’t have health insurance. Our new insurance won’t start for a couple months, so this will have to wait. 

New Goals

I’ve expanded my goals and made the existing goals more specific. Here’s what I have now:

Spiritual

  • Read new devotional books regularly
  • Work on discovering my passions and purpose
  • Journal at least once a week
  • Have daily devotions
  • Serve at church

Self

  • Graduate from college
  • Grow as a designer
  • Grow as a writer
    • Send 2 or more queries a month
    • Write two or more articles per month
    • Get published 😀
  • Make arts and crafts
    • Wedding Scrapbook
    • Personal scrapbook
    • Drawing class
    • Make curtains for my office
    • Headboard for our bedroom
    • Pillow cases for our bedroom
  • Grow my blogs
    • Set up Newlywed’s Bliss contributor system
      • Email possible contributors
      • Set up accounts and schedules
    • Write and submit guest posts
    • Blog 3 times a week on Scribbles From Emily
    • Blog once a week on Newlywed’s Bliss
    • Grow Scribbles followers to 300
    • Grow NB followers to 100
  • Read
  • Physical
    • Keep working out three times a week
    • Eat balanced meals, restricting processed foods
    • Visit the doctor, dentist, dermatologist

Others

  • Celebrate my friendships and let people know I appreciate them
    • Write Edward (my brother)
    • Write Eric (my brother)
    • Write Bessi (our sponsored child)
    • Talk to Evi, Elissa, mom and dad regularly
  • Go on weekly dates with Brian
  • Eat out less, have people over once a month
  • Go to Mexico
  • Help with VBS
    • Teaching or assistant teaching the pre-primaries
    • Movie and photography highlights from the summer
  • Volunteer at church
    • Update and manage the website 
    • Design brochures
    • Design visitor packet
  • Youth Group
    • Plan monthly activities
    • Help promote activities
    • Girl’s Bible Study?
    • Youth Group Blog

Wow… it looks a little ambitious. But I have a plan – at the beginning of each month I’ll pick certain objectives from each category to focus on. At the beginning of each week, I’ll pick some of those objectives to tackle. I can break bigger tasks into week long chunks, and then into pieces small enough to get done in a day.

So, it’s going to be vital that I seize the day!

Download the PDF here. 
Download the image file here.

If you’d like to just make the most of your summer, you might like this printable from Passion And Purpose:

Check it out here: Summer Planning Sheet.

Are you re-evaluating or checking up on your New Year’s resolutions? What’s on your bucket list for summer? 

Linking up here today:

Got it at Goodwill: Steve Madden Shoes

As I mentioned Friday, I decided to walk to Goodwill so that I wouldn’t be tempted to buy too much. I could only take home what I could carry, although I was reminded on Twitter that you can carry a lot if you really want to! Several items did tempt me, like this awesome chair.

I know the fabric is dated, but it was super comfortable and in great shape, and only $30.
I’m not sure what this thing is, but it’s definitely cool! 
At first I thought it was a plant stand, but now I wonder if it’s a stand for a gigantic globe? It looks too fancy for plants!

I almost carried this home for $4. It’s a vintage diagram of helicopter systems. I sent Brian a picture of it and asked him if he wanted it. He asked me how big it was, and we decided it was too big to carry home. Besides, we’re hesitant to get too much more stuff, since we plan to move in September. 

But the shoes I could not resist. 

 I tried on a black pencil skirt and three pairs of black heels. One pair of heels were too big, one was too high, and one was just right!

This sunny floral dress caught my eye.

I decided against it, since it was a few sizes too big. At the time, I didn’t feel up to another dress re-make, especially trying to navigate making the fitted bodice fit. Once I got home and looked at this picture of it, I kicked myself for not getting it. The fabric is awesome! It would have made a great skirt, or at least some really darling pillows!

Since I’m the “puppet master” for our church’s summer Bible program, I bought some assorted toddler clothes for the puppets. Those clothes and the shoes were all I had to carry home.

Kopek approves. 

I paid $5.99 for these. I’m pleased!

What’s the latest greatest thing you’ve found from thrifting? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Check out other thrifting sprees at Simple Design. 

Inspiration: Weekend Relaxation

It’s been a hamster-running-in-a-wheel week. You know, those weeks when you’re busybusybusy but not really going anywhere? And it’s June now! The year is half over. Next week, I’m taking a look at my New Year’s Resolutions and see how well I’m doing and what I need to change going forward.

Today, I decided to walk to Goodwill. I could get my exercise for the day, work on my tan, not have to drive, and I wouldn’t be tempted to buy something I don’t need, since I could only buy what I could carry.

Bad idea. 113 Degrees is WAY too hot to walk to Goodwill. I took a bottle of water, but on the way home, with the heat waves shimmering from the sidewalk stretching for miles in front of me and my stomach growling, a knot of panic tightened in my stomach. I pep-talked myself home, and made it with a few drops to spare. But never again!

I’ll share my thrifty find with you Monday, but today, I need some weekend relaxation inspiration. I’ve been so stressed this week, all because of some self inflicted deadlines. I thought I could write a magazine article, a query letter, and four blog posts each week, and design two websites at the same time. Ha!

As of last night, I’ve resolved to give myself some grace and set more realistic goals. And relax.

Source: luxefinds.com via Emily on Pinterest

Source: flickr.com via Emily on Pinterest
Source: google.com via Emily on Pinterest
Source: tumblr.com via Jessie on Pinterest
Source: squidoo.com via Alana on Pinterest

Source: 500px.com via Emily on Pinterest

Ok, enough looking at pictures. Get offline and enjoy your weekend!