Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Feeling hangry?

For All Those Prone to Getting Hangry
from The Kitchn
I need a stack of these to keep around. Seriously. And this reminds me - I should probably eat something before Robby gets home!
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Monday, April 29, 2013

How-to: Simple Fabric Flowers

Last year for Chelsea's wedding, I (along with my mom and a couple of friends I begged to help) made 125+ fabric flowers. They were part of the table decor, looking quite lovely around the centerpiece cakes. For Camille's wedding, it seems we'll be doing a bit of reusing (stay tuned!), but I wanted to share the quick tutorial since I took tons of pictures last year.

Materials and Supplies
Fabric for flowers - it helps if the fabric doesn't have an obvious front and back to it, since both sides of the fabric are visible
Scissors
Hot glue
Optional - Other "layers" of fabric, such as tulle, organza, etc.
Optional - rhinestones, pearls, buttons for the center of each flower

Steps
1. Cut out three circles all in different sizes. You don't have to be too precise here, although you do want the edges of your circles to be nice and neat. The example I'll show is a 5 inch circle, 3.5 inch circle, and 2 inch circle.
 2. Take your largest circle and fold it into fourths. Crease well.
 3. Open it up and place a thin layer of hot glue along one of the folds.
4. Fold it so that the glue is on the inside. Press it, let it cool, then open it up. Do the same thing to the other fold. This one will be slightly more difficult, but it'll work.
5. Your flower should already be taken shape. 
 6. Do the same with the other two circles so that you have three of these flower pieces.
7. Take your largest flower, place a dot of glue in the center, then quickly layer the next largest flower on top of it, placing it so the folds don't line up.
 8. Do the same thing to the third layer. (Note: You could have as many layers as you'd like!)
9. If you'd like, place a tiny dot of glue in the center and add a rhinestone, pearl, button, or some other cute little piece.
Once you have the basic idea, you can add to your flowers by throwing in extra layers of other materials, such as tulle or organza. We made all different kinds for the wedding, dusting some of them with glitter or adding extra bling. It didn't matter that the edges were unraveling a bit - that gave extra character.
I've used up a number of these flowers, pinning them to throw pillows, bags, even throwing them in large hurricanes for quick decor. For Camille's wedding, we'll be adding some color!!! Time to get out the dye again!
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Sunday, April 28, 2013

All Wrapped Up: New weekly summary!

I so appreciate my friends and blog addictions who provide a weekly summary for me. I don't always get time to read my favorite blogs each day, so sometimes the weekend is a catch-up time. I've been wanting to do this for awhile, ever since I saw Design*Sponge (my long time blog crush) do their Weekly Wrap-Up. Since I write multiple blogs, this will provide a one-stop summary of the different aspects of my life these days.

I also want to confess that I have become addicted to pixlr. (Oh, you were just dying with anticipation for me to share how I made the incredibly chic and classy birthday pic and award pic?) As much as I'd love my super talented friend Steph to design every post of mine, I realized I needed to learn a few simple things myself. In comes pixlr: an easy online photo editor that at the very least allows me to make collages and add text in about two minutes. You will love it, so you might as well give in and check it out now.
Okay, that took a long time. Granted, I spent way more hours in blogland than I usually do, thanks to bedrest, the flu, and a husband who is convinced I shouldn't be moving around for more than a bathroom break.
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The Final Downpour!

We celebrated with Camille at her last bridal shower this weekend, given by Scott's aunts. Everything was lovely right down to the perfect peach napkins. We had a delicious lunch of fruit salad, pasta salad, and chicken salad croissants...followed up with the tastiest cake ever! Camille's new aunts certainly showed her lots of love.

A sweet touch was when one of her aunts-to-be gave a little devotion, focusing on the things she's seen in Scott over the past year. Scott has proven his undying love for Camille over and over...right down to making sure their new home is just what she wants. (He is sanding and painting cabinets for her this very week.) When his aunt asked him what his favorite island in Hawaii is (she was planning a trip there), he said Kawai. The reason? Camille was with him. (Cue aww's.)
Only three more weeks to go!
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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Happy Birthday, Kelly!

I've recently written about Kelly's and my "meet cute" -- and how our friendship started and grew from that day. (Check it out here.) Today, in honor of my sweet friend's birthday, I thought I'd do something very English teachery: make an acrostic poem out of the letters of her name.

K is for Kelly, her name, which I love because when I was growing up, I thought Kelly was an awesome name, right up there with Stacy and Crystal. How I wished I could have had one of those rad 80's names for myself. Kelly's name also means vibrant and lively, which does indeed describe her! (See how I sneaked two more descriptions in? Her name is only five letters long! That's not much to work with!)

E is for Encouraging. Kelly is an incredibly encouraging person, one of those "always-on-your-side" people. I love that. I only have to hint that I've received some negative comment or criticism, and she's there defending me!

L is for Loving. Kelly loves, and loves deeply. She also loves sacrificially, which is the highest form of love, wouldn't you say? I know that all I'd have to do is ask her to be somewhere for me, and she would rearrange her life and make it work.

L is for Learner. This girl epitomizes the phrase "life-long learner"! When she takes an interest in something, she does not rest until she knows it well. This makes her great in a number of things, but lately, I'm most impressed with her cooking. We've had some amazing meals a la Kelly!

Y is for Youthful. She may be another year older, but I swear she doesn't age. Where are the wrinkles?  Youthful also describes her passionate love for life.

May this day and this year be full of God's wonderful blessings, Kelly!!!
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Friday, April 26, 2013

And the award goes to...

Rob Feely! For Best Husband!
Some notable scenes from his recent work:
-Waiting on his wife hand and foot six days
-Doing multiple loads of laundry
-Preparing all meals and cleaning up said meals
-Staying up all night while his wife succumbed to the stomach flu
-Disinfecting the bathrooms after such events
-Assuring his wife that even after all that, she's not useless and she is beautiful.

Has your sweetie won any awards from you lately?
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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Showered Again!

Saturday, we celebrated with Camille at her second lovely bridal shower. It felt like an afternoon at a wonderful restaurant filled with all of our favorite people. Delicious food, tasty drinks, great company, and a guest-of-honor who is the prettiest and sweetest. Yeah...it was fantastic.

After enjoying a scrumptious lunch and dessert, Ali (our cousin) shared a sweet devotional. It was really neat: she asked three generations to share something they see in Camille that will be developed into a quality of a great wife. The years of experience spanned from about two to over fifty! Ali shared (2 years), I shared (8 years), Mom shared (31 years), and Grandma shared (50+ years!) I can't remember what everyone said, but I will at least paraphrase what I said.
Camille has the utmost respect and admiration for Scott. When Robby and I went to dinner with them one night, and I was digging a bit to get an idea for a song for them, Camille said she loved Scott because she could trust him. She was safe with him. So sweet! And of course, she offers this trust and respect because he's worthy of it. He's taken care of her, protected her, and promised to love her their whole lives. 
After the devotion, we had a fun game where Camille had to answer questions, guessing what Scott said in response. For each wrong answer, she had to chew a piece of gum. Even though she did quite well, she did end up with a mouthful!

Lauren then presented her with a beautiful cookbook. She compiled favorite recipes from many of us at the shower, order a fabulous book from Shutterfly, and included the recipes and favorite photos for Camille. It was so sweet, and we all wished we had one, too!
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Monday, April 22, 2013

IVF Updates

If you're interested in how our IVF went, hop on over to my other blog!

Two Are Waiting - the results of our egg retrieval/aspiration
The Transfer - the day of the embryo transfer
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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Is this really happening?

Today I left work early because I'm sick. Right now, I'm on the couch, trying to soothe a sore throat with hot tea and settle an upset stomach with saltines. Even though I am achey and uncomfortable, it also feels normal. Just a normal cold. A normal afternoon. A normal weekend ahead.

But then I remember, nothing is normal right now. Tomorrow, as in less than 24 hours from now, I will go to the hospital and have the tiny eggs inside of my body taken out. They will quickly be fertilized, and on Saturday, we will wait for a call to tell us how many embryos we have. In the nearly eight years Robby and I have shared together, never have we anticipated such important news. I can barely comprehend how amazing and huge this is, and any attempt to truly grasp it just leaves me a sobbing wreck.

It doesn't seem real that this is happening, but it is. :)
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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Okay, friends, I share a lot of recipes, but let me just tell you that these cookies are amazing. As in drop what you're doing and whip these up right now amazing! I made them on a whim today, and since I had only one stick of butter in my fridge, it was convenient that this recipe cuts the usual butter requirement in half, replacing it with peanut butter. These cookies have the light crunch of a peanut butter cookie, but the soft gooeyness of a regular chocolate chip cookie. In other words, they're perfect.

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) softened
1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky...your choice!)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 cup chocolate chips (darker the better, in my book!)
Sea salt

Directions
Cream butters and sugars. Add egg and beat until fluffy. Add flour, powder, soda, and salt and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop onto a cookie sheet (press if you like a flatter pb cookie) and bake at 375 degrees for eleven minutes. Once out of the oven, immediately sprinkle with a little sea salt. Enjoy!!!
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Showered...or Pampered...with Kitchen Goodies!

Sunday afternoon, my younger sisters, mom, and I went to Reedley for Camille's first shower--Pampered Chef style! Had I known such showers existed, I would definitely had hinted at having one of these when I was getting married :) Instead of bringing a gift to the shower, you have the opportunity to purchase one of the items Camille has wished for from Pampered Chef. On top of that, Camille is considered the hostess, so she gets even more goodies! How fun!! And of course, since it was Pampered Chef, the food was delish!

Camille looked absolutely stunning in a beautiful white dress. I can only imagine what this girl is going to look like on her wedding day! Talk about a glowing bride! 
This party was thrown by a group of Camille's future mother-in-law's closest friends. It was really neat seeing these group of women come together and show such love to my little sister. It was obvious that they all love Scott and Scott's family and can't wait for Camille to be part of the crew.
Carly, the maid-of-honor, and Camille's best friend Lauren
Mom, Camille, and future mother-in-law Cindy
We all signed her official Pampered Chef apron!
A truly special moment of the day was when Scott's aunt and cousin-in-law gave a devotion. Since biking is a huge part of Scott's (and now Camille's) life, they shared a few tidbits of wisdom using the letters B-I-K-E, then presented Camille with an awesome bike clock. Here's my brief paraphrase:

1. B: Balance
Just like you need balance when riding a bike, you need balance in your marriage. You need to make time for what is important, pursuing those key things in life that create balance, such as a relationship with God, with your spouse, and with others, as well as those things that bring joy, health, and fulfillment to your life.

2. I: Inhale (and Exhale), Impel, and Intensify
You can't make a biking journey if you don't breathe. Sometimes, to get through a tough climb, you have to focus on inhaling and exhaling when the gut reaction might be to hold your breath. The simple act of inhaling and exhaling can help us in the everyday frustrations! Impel means to move forward. With biking, you work to move forward! (Unless you're coasting downhill, I suppose...) This is true in marriage: marriage takes work, but if we work at it, we do move forward in love, understanding, and joy. Intensify goes hand-in-hand with this: we may have moments where we have to push through, but we can do it, and there is joy at the end!

3. K: Knowledge
Not knowing where we're headed can be frustrating, in both a bike ride and in life. Of course, we don't often get to know every little bump that will come our way, but we do get the chance to know the God who directs us. Knowledge of where we're headed is important, but knowledge of the Holy One is most important. The more we know Him, the more we love Him, and the more we trust Him with every step of our lives.

4. E: Enjoy
Marriage takes work. After all, it is two people with two personalities and two backgrounds coming together to be one. How could that not require a little bit of give-and-take? But God gives us a spouse, a partner, a best friend so that we can enjoy each other and enjoy life with that person. It is a gift from God, and like all of God's good gifts, one that we can be forever grateful for and one that we can enjoy each day.

Isn't that sweet? I hope Camille and Scott take these words of wisdom to heart. It was helpful for me to hear, even as my hub and I get ready to celebrate eight years!

The next month is full to the brim with showers and parties and celebrations and DIY-ing! Let the fun begin!
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