Friday, April 27, 2012

Portuguese Embroidery



This past week I've been working on this very special embroidery for a final project. Somehow, I managed to get an embroidery to count as my final project for my Intro to Literary Analysis class. This in itself is a miracle; a little bit of sunshine in the midst of cramming for Finals. 


I had to analyze a book, and trace any cultural aspect of the novel and map the results, a textual cartography. I decided to trace how the author uses birds to represent humans throughout this Portuguese novel. I am Portuguese and love Portuguese style embroidery. So, I used the apron from this post as inspiration for my embroidery. 



I know this photo is poor quality but, I did take it in my dorm room at night. When I get home in a few weeks I'm going to make it into a pillow! I just wanted to share with everyone what I've been working on as of late. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Currently...


Loving:
I am currently loving Alec! I know this is not new but, this week is his birthday. He turns twenty two on Wednesday. Unfortunately, I have to work for most of the day and his gift has not gotten here yet. I am looking forward to going out to dinner with him though to celebrate. I might even make him a little Oreo cupcake treat if I find time.

Thinking About:
Finals week approaching quickly. I have a paper to write, two exams, and then 3 finals to study for. I also managed to be allowed to do an embroidery for my final project in one class. More on this later but, I'm rushing to finish it tonight. I'd much rather be rushing to finish some hand stitching than a paper, though.

Anticipating:
Meeting Grace! Alec's sister Melissa just had her first baby on the 19th. She is absolutely adorable in pictures and I cannot wait to meet her this Friday. I got a picture of Grace in the outfit that Alec and I bought her today. Its huge on her and its "newborn" sized! Like I said, I can't wait to finally see her.

Listening To:
Truth for Life Sermons on Itunes! I found this wonderful Christian podcast today and can't stop listening. Alistair Begg is the pastor and he traces through passages in the Bible and speaks about how they apply to every-day life. I have not found the perfect church yet and really need the one day a week that I get to sleep in. This way, I can listen to his sermons while I'm doing homework or just surfing the internet. So far I have made better choices already today and came closer to reaching my goal about becoming closer to God. I highly recommend this podcast.

Eating:
Healthy! Today I ate right around my caloric limit and had 3 cups of tea instead of coffee! This is a result of my new goals, too. I even snacked on almonds as a healthy night-time snack. I am feeling rather hungry, though. So, hopefully I don't eat something between now and when I go to bed tonight. 

Wishing:
The weather would change. It literally snowed here in April today. It was frozen rain, too. So after my first class this morning my Uggs were already soaked through and I've been wearing my rain boots every since. I really just want to lay in the grass and read a book in the sunshine. Hopefully, this will happen soon enough.

What are you doing currently? Comment a link to your post if you do a Currently post, please!



Sunday, April 22, 2012

10 Things to Start Doing


Hello lovelies, How is everybody doing this weekend?

I have had a very uneventful weekend. Yesterday Alec and I worked door duty for the tours on campus and then mostly watched movies all day. We watched The Time Travelers Wife, which turned out to be really sweet. 

Yesterday I had a bit of a sore throat and ended up not being able to sleep all night because of it and waking up today with a sinus infection. Every symptom for a cold that you could possible get, I have it. You name it: chills, heat flashes, headache, sore throat, ANYTHING I have it. So, we made an emergency trip to Walmart this morning and returned with a bag full of medicine for me. So, today will be spent in my bed, with my laptop, surrounded by tissues and throat spray and cough drops. I hope everyone else is feeling better than I am and actually doing something fun with their weekend. Although, this does provide some down time for me to just relax.

On a more positive note, this little picture above here is of a gopher I almost stepped on yesterday! He was 3 feet away from me just minding his own business and eating leaves. He was adorable.

I have been thinking more about that "20 things to start doing" post. I decided to modify it to fit my own life and try to do them. I shortened the list so I could keep better track of what I want to try to accomplish everyday. I might even print out a daily check list so I can make sure (visually) that I'm working towards these goals and can track my progress. I usually try to make these little changes but I have trouble keeping up with them. Hopefully having them all written down together and on my blog will help me make the changes in my life.

10 Things to Start Doing:

1. Stop drinking Coffee
I really love the idea of sitting out on the porch with a big cup of coffee or getting one to warm me up. I do know how horrible coffee is for you, though. Also, I do not need to be drinking my calories in creamer and sugar. So, I want to try to stop drinking coffee so much and start opting for tea instead.

2. Eat a Big Breakfast, Average Lunch, and Small Dinner
This one will be the hardest. I am always afraid that if I eat a big breakfast I will give in and eat a huge dinner anyway, and end up being way over my daily caloric limit. I'm going to try and start by not snacking at night. Or snacking on light snacks or having tea instead.

3. Brush for 2 Minutes and Floss Daily:
I have a fancy electronic toothbrush that times how long you should be brushing you teeth. I usually am in a hurry to get to bed or get ready in the morning so I do not brush as long as I should. I know this seems insignificant but it bugs me, and therefore I'd like to change it.

4. Exercise 5 Times a Week:
I usually go to the gym 5 days a week but, I'm worried that when I go home I will stop running. Since I do not have access to an affordable gym at home, I need to go for jogs at least 5 days a week to stay fit and healthy.

5. Record What I Eat:
I have been doing this for years but, sometimes inconsistently. I know for a fact that when I do write down everything I eat, I hold myself more accountable for what I actually ate. If you want to try doing this too I highly suggest using www.livestrong.com.

6. Stop Thinking Negative Thought About Others:
I try to do this everyday. I know this isn't something that people think about often, but most of us do it without even meaning to. So, I"m going to try to stop cold turkey. It doesn't help anything to think badly about others.

7. Do Not Procrastinate:
This one is simple. Start a project when you hear about it, do what you need to do ahead of time without waiting to the last minute. Hello, college. This one will also be a challenge. 

8. Stay Organized and Clean:
Keeping a space clean brings me joy, but I find that it is difficult to keep up with during the week. I want to try to spend 10 minutes a day picking up so that my room stays clean and devote more time on the weekend to getting it back to spotless. Yes, this means dusting, vacuuming, and changing sheets!

9. Eat Healthy:
This means picking a salad over a slice of pizza, homemade trail mix over chips. I hope to make these changes and stick with them, so that being healthy becomes a lifestyle, not a diet.

10. Thank God:
Many of us go to God when we need help or guidance. Number 10 is all about thanking God for the little things like the beautiful weather, or the good hair day, or even helping you complete the goals on this list! This way you connect with Him while you are doing well and not only when you need something. Also, I'd like to try and work at reading the Bible more often and spreading His word.

Let me know if any of you are going to use my list, or make a list of your own! Link me to your posts if you create your own lists, I'd love to see them!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Smoothie Date in the Sunshine



I hope everyone is enjoying the day as much as I am! Today it was absolutely gorgeous out- a whopping 70 degrees! Alec agreed to go on a walk along the canal with me in the sunshine. We mailed back his birthday gift, Nike shoes that are a little too big, and got smoothies at Java Junction. Here are some photos I snapped along the way.


This tree looked so different in the fall, I could hardly recognize it. It was covered in thick green leaves and you couldn't even see the trunk. Its amazing what kind of transformations nature goes through in a single year. The color of the flowers is absolutely breathtaking, too. 





And here is a photo of my little Alice in wonderland dress and messenger bag. I had a green cardigan and yellow shoes on all day with it, too. What did everyone else do in the sunshine today?


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

20 Things to Start Doing

Here is a little food for thought. Let me know if you try any!

My First Bible


I remember going to church when I was growing up and looking at all the other kids with their Bibles. Our church had a way to get a free Bible but you had to earn it over years to get it for free. I've always wanted my very own but, I didn't want to just buy a random one. I wanted one that felt like my Bible. Well, I finally got my very first, very own, Bible!

There is always this table of people with a sign that says "ASK HERE: God, Bibles, getting saved" and I'm always too nervous to go up. Standing at tables and talking about some pre-determined subject always makes me feel weird- like the person I'm talking to is getting me to buy their product. But, yesterday it really hit me that the only thing these people are going to try to sell me is God, who I already have. So, I turned around and went back to the table. I have no idea why this made me nervous, but it did. I ended up speaking to the pastor as the local church and left the table with this lovely, free Bible. I am literally so excited to own it so I can underline passages and refer to it when needed. It even has a wonderful little schedule for reading main passages in 40 days.

Also, I said Hello to someone I really do not like yesterday, and felt better for doing so. These two little seemingly insignificant details of yesterday really made me feel happy and blessed.


Also, my lovely little plant's growth is making me smile!


Alec bought me this little bucket and the seeds for flowers for about $2 a few weeks ago, and waking up to check their progress daily is definitely bringing happiness to my life.
I hope everyone else is having such a wonderful week. What are little things that have been making you happy lately?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Farmer's Wife Quilt


I have been a reader of Carla's blog for probably over a year now. She has been working through this book and making the blocks with modern fabrics. She posts quotes from the book and inspirational tid bits that just interest me to no end. Finally, I decided to do some investigating and figure out what the heck this historical quilt book actually is.


According to the website, in 1922 The Farmer's Wife magazine asked its readers, "If you had a daughter of marriageable age, would you, in light of your own experience, have her marry a farmer?" It got back 7,000 letters in response. This wonderful little book takes the top 55 letters and the 111 quilt blocks inspired by these letters. So as you read the precious, historical stores of these farmer's wives you quilt blocks to go along with them. I want to get this book so badly and try it out! Hopefully I can get it for this summer and try to work through making the blocks over the next year or so. I just wanted to share this with everyone because I have been admiring it for some time now.

Cute Chicks and Carrot Cake


This weekend Lizzy came home with me to the little village between the hills. Hopefully my family didn't scare Lizzy away for good. We went and got 12 adorable baby chickens a few towns over and they were so precious. They were all chirping non-stop in the car on the ride home. We each grabbed one and they fell asleep in our hands as we rode along. Here are some photos of the sweet little creatures.





After getting the chicks, we baked my Dad his favorite cake- homemade carrot cake. The recipe for this very rich, unique carrot cake is my Grandmother's and I have never made it before this weekend. This is the only kind my Dad likes though, so I finally tried it in hopes of making him a birthday cake he actually liked.



Here is Lizzy focusing on not covering the entire kitchen in powdered sugar.


The original recipe is for a 9x13 pan but, I'm a sucker for round cakes. Also my mother bought me this delightful little cake stand for Easter! I've been looking for one forever and was so excited to finally have one. It is light pink and is from the 1940's. Needless to say, I'm in love with it.


Here is the top view of the cake. I didn't have my piping kit at home with me or anything so I just did a scrappy decoration on the cake with a plastic bag. Also, we didn't put any birthday candles on it because all we had were an "8" and a "0". 


Here is the inside view. You cannot see it well but this baby has walnuts, pineapple chunks, and raisins on the inside, too! 


Since we made round cakes instead of a huge square one, we had enough batter left over to make a few cupcakes. I think they were even better than the cake. There is something about the portion control that a cupcake offers that makes me like them even more. 


I took this picture on the way home to school after our little weekend get away. This is the first real picture of my tattoo that I have so far! Hope everyone had a glorious weekend, as well. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Greatest Joy


"I should like to pause... and spend some time in the contemplation of God; to reflect on his attributes, and to gaze with wonder and adoration on the beauty of this immense light... For just as we believe through faith that the supreme happiness of the next life consists solely in the contemplation of the divine majesty, so experience tells us that this same contemplation, albeit much less perfect, enables us to know the greatest joy of which we are capable in this life."- Descartes

I took this picture at sunrise service Easter morning. As soon as I got out of the car and saw this, I was speechless. This photo is vivid proof of God's love for all of his children, and a visual reminder that He is with us every moment. The absolute beauty that I got to experience this Sunday was unforgettable. I hope that everyone had a glorious Easter with their loved ones and remembered the true meaning of the Holiday. God Bless.

I Love The 90s Party

Last Sunday the Honors Club held a "I Love the 90s" Party. The Honors Club is just about the only thing I'm involved in on campus. I posted earlier about The Potter Party. This is the same type of event, but our Spring semester event. I think it was a pretty big success considering the amount of people that showed up.


Here is the line waiting for the party to open. Alec was naturally signed up by me to help, so his job was handing out free t-shirts at the door. I had to sit at the sign in desk and hand people out their activity sheets. The line literally went down the hall and around the corner. We had 75 t-shirts to give away and they were gone by 2:05...we opened the doors at 1:50.


The activity sheet had a bunch of different activities listed on it. For each completed activity, you get one Lisa Frank sticker. Before you leave, you hand in your activity sheet and get a raffle ticket for each sticker you earned. These raffle tickets go in these little bags for a chance to win 90s prizes! 
 

Here are some pictures of the food counter. My friend Amy and I spent hours making these little food signs. They turned out wonderfully though. Needless to say, the candy was gone in what seemed like an instant.


Here is my wonderful roommate, Lizzy, and Shane and Jeremy. They were the only ones dressed up. There were all sorts of activities and games at the party that I didn't get to take pictures of. For example, we had the original bop-it, Tommy's Diaper Toss, Trivia, make your own slap-bracelets, coloring, and make your own fortune-tellers. We also had a Pokemon hunt. Alec and I only got to play bop-it and I made a slap bracelet.


Here is our little group picture before the party started. We all had to wear neon green shirts and neon headbands. Alec isn't even in the Honors Club but, we just pretend he is. 


Well that was the 90s Party in a nutshell. I love the 90s as a theme for a party. Let me know if you can come up with another good idea for a theme, we are always looking for suggestions!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches

These things are seriously to-die for. I got the original recipe for these delicious, fluffy cookies here. When I experiment with recipes I'm worried about my recipe not being as good as the original. I've wished many times that I stuck with the recipe so I could enjoy the little treats I imagined, instead of the ones that I messed up in an attempt to enhance them. This time, I really struck gold with my own version. I decided to make the cookies smaller and add a peanut butter frosting in between them. This, my friends, is the perfect treat for any peanut butter lover, cookie lover, after-school snack, or dish to pass. Seriously, go make them right now. You won't be sorry.

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