Sunday, November 29, 2009

it's happening again

Once again, I have been recruited to be the elf at my work's Christmas party.

This will be my third year as elf.

Oh the disadvantages of being small.

While I am looking forward to seeing the sweet little smiles and expressions on all of the childrens' faces, I am not excited about the head to toe felt suit.

Here are a couple of sneak peaks from last year.

Sorry about the red eye. When I tried to edit it out in iphoto a giant black blob appeared in the middle of my hat!

One thing I am looking forward to a little bit more than being an elf .... GRADUATION!!! {given that I pass my comps on WEDNESDAY ... please pray ... right now ... }

Here I am two December's ago when I finished up with undergrad. I cannot wait to wear that same silly grin and flat hat!

tuning my heart

Oh, Come, Oh, Come Emmanuel

Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come, our Wisdom from on high,
Who ordered all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come, oh, come, our Lord of might,
Who to your tribes on Sinai's height
In ancient times gave holy law,
In cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come O Rod of Jesse's stem,
From ev'ry foe deliver them
That trust your mighty pow'r to save;
Bring them in vict'ry through the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come, O Key of David, come,
And open wide our heav'nly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come, our Dayspring from on high,
And cheer us by your drawing nigh,
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Oh, bid our sad divisions cease,
And be yourself our King of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Friday, November 27, 2009


Happy Black Friday bloggers! Sorry there is no fancy picture to go with this post. I am posting from my parent's PC, and I have become totally PC illiterate. I use a Mac at home and work, and somehow over the past couple years using a PC has become foreign to me. Oh well.

I just wanted to let you know that I am offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders placed today at

Happy Shopping :)

and the winner is ...

This week's giveaway goes to JEN!! She is the lucky winner of the white chandelier burlap pillow case! Congrats Jen! Don't forget to stop by Styled Spaces this Christmas.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

rachel's {not oprah's} favorite things

It's late and i'm not sure why i am still up ... but since I am, I thought I would share a couple of my recent etsy fave's. Enjoy and goodnight {even though most of you will get this in the morning}.
All photos are linked to their owners.

it's time to place your order

I wanted to give all of you a heads up that Stella Bella Boutique is currently taking custom orders for Christmas!

If there are a couple of things you're interested in, or you would like to mix and match just let me know!

Right now the store is still small and the back stock of items is limited. Please let me know if there is anything you're interested in and I may be able to reserve it or make a custom order!

You can go here to check out the items I currently have to offer.

Simply click on my email button and shoot me a message if you're interested.

This Christmas, when you're thinking of your sisters, mothers, girlfriends, coworkers, or any other important female in your life, please remember Stella Bella Boutique.

thanksgiving burgers

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and I can hardly keep my butt in my office chair this week. I am so desperately awaiting a relaxing Thanksgiving vacation. I am sure all of you are with me.

Does your family have any quirky Thanksgiving traditions?

Last night E and I served one of the most unique Thanksgiving dinners that I have ever heard of. E has become friends with a man that struggles with many mental health conditions. This man is older and unfortunately he does not have any close family ties. In conversation a couple of weeks ago, E invited him and a couple of his friends over to celebrate Thanksgiving.

When E extended the invitation, I felt excited and anxious at the same time. I love to cook and have people over, but I am T minus 7 days until my comprehensive exam. Not to mention I have never made turkey, stuffing, or anything of that sort before!

About a week after the invite was extended, this man told E about his excitement to eat dinner at our home, and that he would love it if we made cheeseburgers. Yes, cheeseburgers ... for Thanksgiving.

Needless to say, I was relieved! Grilling up a couple burgers was so much easier than fixing a full out Thanksgiving dinner. I believe that God knew my current circumstances and thought that cheeseburgers would add ease and humor into my life.

Last night and a lot lately, God has been teaching me the truth in His word that says

It is more blessed to give than to receive.

This truth of God seems so backward, especially in todays economy. However, I have been so encouraged lately that His word stands true no matter what the present circumstances. Praise Him that He is a God whose word and truth seizes to change.

... One last thing that is totally not related, but I thought would make you laugh.

Last night I was totally exhausted after a long day of work, practicums, and cheeseburgers, so I decided to run myself a hot bath. I started running the water and walked into the kitchen to clean up while the tub filled. After a couple of minutes I walked into the bathroom to check on the water level ... and what did I see ... STELLA STANDING IN MY BATH WATER. I guess she decided that she wanted to take a warm bath first! Gotta love the joys of being a dog owner ...

Monday, November 23, 2009

a little birdie said...

I found this adorable little frame and art piece on Etsy and I just had to have it. Now I am trying to decide which room it fits best in. Decisions decisions. Oh, I can find so many ways to procrastinate at the end of the semester...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

my cup of tea

This Anthropologie candle is my cup of tea ... or wax. To make this candle even more luxurious, it comes in the following scents ... peppermint hot cocoa, mulled wine, hot buttered rum, and hazelnut latte. Oh so warm and cozy! This little candle would make the perfect gift for that oh so difficult person to shop for.

Friday, November 20, 2009

weekend plans anyone?

Happy Friday blog stalkers! Anyone have any big plans for this weekend? This weekend I am going to be tackling these two things...

I am going to hit the books this weekend. I've mentioned it before, but I will say it again - I AM ALMOST DONE WITH SCHOOL!

As excited as I am to be finishing up school, I think I am equally anxious about the comprehensive exam that I will be taking on December 2nd. Does anyone else real
ize how freaking soon December 2nd is??? Way too soon! Please pray - that's all I can say.

It was a little treat to watch a Beth Moore video in my bible study last night about peace. God certainly must know the anxiety I am feeling about this exam. Beth make one profound yet simple point last night that I am clinging to. She simply laid out the truth that peace is not about our circumstances, but all about submitting and being under the authority of God. Living under the umbrella of God's authority is what brings real, lasting peace. This is so encouraging to me, because it means that peace is possible no matter what the si
tuation or circumstances are! Praise God for His power and authority.

The second thing on my to-do list is to see my grass again. Yes, my yard looks a lot like this one. Thankfully, my wonderful mother and father in-law are coming up on Saturday to help us tackle the yard. Everyday I look outside and think "if we don't get those leaves off soon, the grass is going to DIE!" This weekend I also get to meet with newest addition to the family, my in-laws new dog. Is that not the biggest dog you have ever seen in your life? Let me remind you, Stella is a golden retriever, and while she is petite for a golden, she is no little lady. Their new dog makes Stells look like such a little shrimp! I am excited to see these girls play in the leaves.
So that's about it! I may make a little bit of jewelry too. OK, I will probably make a couple pieces. Don't worry, they will show up on the side bar!

What are your weekend plans?
Anything more exciting than raking leaves and studying?
Surely not...

and the winner is ...

This amazing giveaway goes to our winner of the week ... FRENCH REVELATION!
Thanks again to CANDY'S ART for sponsoring this lovely giveaway - and a big thanks to all of you who entered.

If you didn't win this week, don't forget, next Monday we will be offering another giveaway.

Don't forget to stop by CANDY'S ART this holiday season.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I am fessing up. I stole this picture from another blog, but I saw the idea and fell in love with the inspiration. You all know how I love old windows. Here is another creative use for these little treasures.

Paint the inside of each pane with chalkboard paint and use it as a message board! Why didn't I think of that?? This may be a little weekend project {something I can do instead of studying or raking leaves}.

I can't wait to post soon and let you all in on my Thanksgiving plans ...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


So a couple of weeks ago, I blogged about wanting a pair of jeweled flats. It seemed like every pair I found was rounding or over $100. I knew it was going to get cold, and soon my feet would be freezing in ballerina I improvised! I found an old pair of metallic flats that I had been neglecting all season and headed for the nearest Michael's. I found some rhinestone jewels that complimented the color of the shoes. Then came the hot glue gun, and the rest is history!

gray and yellow

My favorite Fall color combo

Monday, November 16, 2009

free holiday decorations

The best thing about decorating with nature is that it is free.

Here are a couple creative uses for pine cones. Take a walk around you neighborhood, it's lovely outside, and I am sure you will find a couple that have recently fallen.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Things that are unbelievable

1. Cincinnati Bengals are 7 -2.
2. I have the flu.
3. I haven been camping out on my couch for the past five days.
4. Now, I think I am getting an ear infection - seriously?

Friday, November 13, 2009

under the weather

I have been fighting something for going on three days now ... and I am getting worse.

I have all the symptoms of the flu {body aches, stuffy/runny nose, headache, sore throat, cough} but I do not have a fever.

Strange huh? What could this be?

Today I have finally broken down and decided to see a doc. I have an appointment later this afternoon. I guess I'll find out what's wrong with me after all.

This weekend is our church's high school retreat. I lead a small group of 11th grade girls, and I was really excited about going. Please pray for a speedy recovery so maybe I could at last go down for the day tomorrow.

For now ... here I am ... in my dots ... being cared for by my puppy

and the winner is...

This amazing giveaway goes to our winner of the week ... SARAH D.
Thanks again to Poppy Chic Designs for sponsoring this lovely giveaway - and a big thanks to all of you who entered.

If you didn't win this week, don't forget, next Monday we will be offering another giveaway.

Don't forget to stop by Poppy Chic Designs this holiday season.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

twig reindeer

Is anyone else already starting to think about holiday decor?

I can't believe it is right around the corner! E and I were just talking about how close it is until we get to go pick 0ut a tree! These twig reindeer from Pottery Barn are one of my favorite seasonal decor items.

If you're going for more of the vintage look, I enjoy this little Etsy treasure...

What are some of your holiday decor favorites?

isn't she lovely

penelope poppy necklace

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

a new use for china

I saw these pictures and I fell in love. What a great way to display antique china and jewlery at the same time. So go ahead, get those pretty cups and saucers out of the cabinet. Show them off, use them to hold your precious jewels.

I also saw this unique little piece on etsy. I think that it would be adorable jewelry holder, or a eye catching piece in open shelves.

Challenge yourself to be a little creative.

Recycle the things you already have sitting around the house!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

brown paper packages tied up with string

I found this gift wrapping station in Country Living, and I fell in love. The more I see ideas like this one, the more motivated I am to turn one of our spare bedrooms into a craft room. Maybe I will start working on this after I finish up with school.

By the way, I take the comprehensive exam in T minus 22 days! Yikes! I really need to buckle down and study {and stop daydreaming about much more fun and creative things}

This holiday season, I have two things to be excited about....

1. The Joy of Christ & the meaning of Christmas
2. and....graduation!!

I hope these wrapping station pictures get you pumped for the holiday season! Have you all seen any new creative wrapping ideas? If so, please share here!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

house sitting adventures part 2

Call us crazy, but we've done it again. Today is the final day of E and I's house sitting adventure #2. I'm not sure why all of these parents trust us to stay with their kids.

WOW has it been a different experience from our last adventure. I'm not saying, I'm just's amazing how different kids can be.

This adventure has gone so much smoother! The kids are well mannered, self-sufficient, and really fun.

The youngest, their 4 year boy is HYSTERICAL! It's been so fun to watch the ways in which little kids can be so creative and have such little inhibitions.

My favorite thing about this little one is that he thinks he is a dog. Thinks AND acts like a dog. A boxer dog named Molly to be exact (although sometimes it changes to a hound named Coby).

To give you a little illustration ... Yesterday the mailman rang our doorbell...and this little one proceeded to get down on all fours and bark at him. As the mailman starred strangely, I didn't even know what to say! What can you say? No words could even begin to explain.

At one point during this adventure he put a headband around his neck, E attached a leash to it, and walked him around the house...on all fours.

Another one of my favorites is that he constantly wears a set of two keys around his neck. These are his know like the bell on a dog collar.

I could go on and on, but I'm sure you do not find it as humorous unless you're there in the moment!

I wanted to make a picture of him on all fours with his "jingles," but considering the fact he is not be child, I didn't think that would be appropriate.

So needless to say he is amazing. Most adorable kid ever. Praise God this house sitting adventure had a different ending. I guess I don't hate kids after all!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

the newest additions

I have added a couple new necklaces to my etsy jewelry store :

Stella Bella Boutique

I will be adding lots of new items to the store, so check back soon!

If you have any questions about the items in the store, please feel free to email me!

Friday, November 6, 2009

a friday tune

Click here to hear a fabulous Friday tune

Happy Friday! Congrats, you made it through another work week. Things have been a little crazy, but as soon as I catch my breath I will be sure to fill you in on all of the hilarious details from E and I's house sitting adventure #2.

I feel a little bit better about kids after this experience! I was questioning motherhood after my last experience, but this week has caused me to reevaluate, and maybe it wouldn't be so bad after all...

Don't get any ideas now.

and the winner is ...

This amazing giveaway goes to our winner of the week ... HOLLY!
Thanks again to BambuEarth for sponsoring this lovely giveaway - and a big thanks to all of you who entered.

If you didn't win this week, don't forget, next Monday we will be offering another giveaway.

Don't forget to stop by BambuEarth this holiday season.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

i'm still dreaming

Oh a full kitchen overhaul. Or maybe even a few cosmetic changes. Sometimes simply painting can totally change the mood of the room. I would go ahead and paint my cabibnets, but then I start thinking...what about the pealing countertops...or a backsplash...and the list goes on and on.

I desperately want to make some changes, but the funds aren't there to do a full overhaul. I'm not sure how longer I can stay still and do nothing...especially when I have so many ideas floating in my head! I am dreaming of a long table, big enough to fit all of my friends.

I love when the table is in the center of the room - like this one! I am also swoon by subway tile, white cabinets without the doors, and pretty serving ware.

What are some of your kitchen details?

If you could change anything about your current kitchen, what would it be?

Here is a sneak peak at my two sources of inspiration. I love the open cabinets, but I feel equally about taking the existing cabinets to the ceiling and adding a shelf. Both options are so much more clean, open, airy, and cheerful than what I have going on right now!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

go big blue

PS - Still no hat. I believe that I have been scammed.

PS again - I am house sitting again. I will update you on this soon. One thing I can say is that it is going MUCH better.