Tuesday, July 27, 2010

ocean isle, aspartame, work, and other updates

 {Tree from NC ... I wish I could dig it up and plant it in my backyard}

Hello Bloggers!
Again, I apologize for being so MIA lately.
I don't know what's going on with me. I feel like I've always possessed a gift of being able to juggle a thousand things at once, but lately my juggling act sucks. 

Things are great. I don't want to seem like I am complaining about anything. I'm just in need of the Lord's counsel on balance and how He wants me to prioritize my life. 

So, here are a few things that have been going on ... 

1. E's dad is doing so much better. He is still in the hospital, but his condition has dramatically improved over the past couple of days. His blood count finally started rising on its own! Such a praise. 

2. The new job is going well. It's a huge learning curve, and a lot of times I feel like ... "how in the world can I be some kid's therapist??" But ... the kids are lots of fun. Even the really bad ones have their cute moments. However, I will be honest ... I have met a couple kids where it's been difficult to find anything cute about them. I think that has something to do with being in middle school. The job is emotionally difficult. Each kid that I meet with has a heartbreaking story. So, all that to say, I know that this is exactly where God wants me right now. 

3. The jewelry business is booming. So much so that I don't know what to do with it. E wants me to hire an assistant. I don't even know how to do that. I am in desperate need of business counsel. Anyone have any to offer? Also, Street Scene sales are fantastic. I brought in approx. 50 items on the 15th of Aug, and I went in two days ago and everything but like 10 things were sold! Crazy! 

4. I have been aspartame and caffeine free for almost 2 weeks! It has been crazy hard, but I am trying to prepare myself for the day when God hopefully blesses us with a little baby. Oh ... I hope it's sooner than later. 

5. Last {but not least}, E and I enjoyed a super relaxing trip last week to Ocean Isle, NC. We went down there with 4 other couples & two babies. We loved it. I probably could have stayed for a month. On that note, I will leave you with a couple snap shots from our trip. {Sadly, I don't have a lot of pictures from the trip. Every time I took my outside, it fogged up like crazy}

Thursday, July 22, 2010

hello again

Happy Friday Bloggers! 

E and I are back from the beach ... safe and sound.
We had an absolutely fabulous trip. It couldn't have been better. Good food, great friends, and lots of time in the sun.

However, getting back has not been so fabulous. 

I know I've said it before, but adjusting to my new job has been a little bit more difficult than I thought it would be. Maybe it will take a couple more weeks before I feel like I am in the swing of things again. On the other hand, I am learning a ton and meeting lots of fun & crazy kids ... so I can't complain.

One thing that I do want to share with you.
A couple of months ago E's dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I never shared about this on here because the doctors assured us that the cancer had not spread and that they could remove all of the cancer by removing his prostate. 

Well, on Monday he went in and had his prostate removed. Thankfully, the initial surgery went well. However, there have been some recent complications. 

While he was sleeping in the hospital after the surgery, his blood pressure began to drop.

Long story short, the doctors believe that he may be suffering from internal bleeding. He may have to undergo another surgery tomorrow to stop the bleeding. They're hoping that the bleeding will stop on it's own, but if it doesn't they will have to do another surgery to correct the problem.

Please be in prayer from E's dad and the rest of the Ridd family. Please pray for peace and comfort for our family, and divine wisdom for the doctors. 

Thanks in advance for all of your prayers! Hope to find time to post again soon.
Until then, take care of yourself and have an amazing weekend out there in the hot July sun.

Friday, July 16, 2010

beachin it

Hello Bloggers! 

Sorry for being MIA lately.
I'm still learning how to balance the new job, jewelry sales, and ministry.
To be honest, I'm completely wiped. 

So ... it's absolutely perfect timing for a little beach vacay! 
E & I ... and a couple friends are heading out bright ( actually I think it will still be dark outside around 4am) and early tomorrow. 
Hopefully around dinner time we will be relaxing on the NC beaches. 

Oh how I love the summer.
Sweet sweet summertime.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I splurged

I usually stick to my budget so well ... but this weekend I splurged. I didn't necessarily go over, but I spoiled myself a little extra and now things will be a little tight for the rest of the month :) 

On Friday I treated myself to a pedicure. It was fabulous. Worth every penny. If you're local, then I suggest you run over to Fantasia off of Southland Drive and get a pedicure. I'm not sure the girls name who did it, but there's only two nail techs and if you say the blonde one, then they'll know who you're talking about. 

Getting the pedicure at the salon got me thinking about my hair. I started thinking about how I wish my hair looked like hers.

I told you all about how my Chi blew while I was in Europe. Well, since then my hair has gone way down hill. I pretty much haven't styled it since then. I love the extra time that I have in the mornings ... and I love the my hair is healthier. However, when my hair air drys it gets this wavy frizz going on. Can anyone relate?

Well, I don't really have the money or motivation to go out, buy another chi, and straighten my hair every morning. So, I went on a search for hair products that would create lovely beach waves without the frizz. 

I ended up splurging and buying this shampoo + conditioner. 

It is the most delicious smelling thing that I have ever put in my head ... and I think I have  less frizz. I've only used it twice so I can't really tell if it's the shampoo or the frizz ease cream that is helping with the frizz ... but I think the waves are a little bit more tamed.

The pedicure and products were totally worth the splurge. Even if they did make the budget a little tighter {I'm not so sure E would agree}.

I am realizing that I've mentioned out budget twice in this post, but I have never really told you about our budget system. E and I operate the spending part of our finances on the cash envelope system. More on that later.

Anyways, I'm off to spend some time watching Band of Brothers with E, but someday some I'll try to write a post about the budget that has given us so much financial freedom ... with a little room for foot rubs and yummy shampoo!

Monday, July 12, 2010

now selling ...


Today, Stella Bella Boutique took a brave step outside the walls of online.

We've expanded! 
I am now selling my handmade - vintage inspired jewelry line at Street Scene in Lexington, KY. Street Scene is a fabulous vintage consignment store that specializes in clothing and home goods from the 50's, 60's and 70's. If you're local and haven't been there yet, then I would highly suggest that you pay it a visit ... and check out my jewelry there as well! I took about 35 pieces ... several of the designs were made specifically for the store and cannot be found online. If they don't mind, then I'm going to go in tomorrow and take a picture of the precious display to share with you!

I also mailed out a smaller consignment order for a photography studio/store in Shelbyville, KY - Lizzie Loo Photography! You can check the studio/store out here.
I believe that my designs will fit in perfectly with Lizzie's vibe. 

I am trying to get into a few more local stores. If you own a store or have any insider connections then please share!

Also, if you're not local and would like to order via wholesale  ... then I do that too! 
Please email me and I will let you in on the wholesale discounts that I offer. 

Yay for Stella Bella Boutique! Today has been a good day. 
This has been such a fun adventure ... I hope that it continues to grow!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Holly's Ghost Lamps

I saw this DIY over at Life in the Fun Lane
It is one of my favorite DIY's that I've seen in a long time.
So so creative that I just had to share.

Check it out here.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

back to the grind

Hello Bloggers
I'm back from camp. Camp isn't officially over for our students until Saturday, but I had to come home last night because of my new job.


Sadly, I am not living the good life anymore. My life for the past two months has included ...traveling to Europe, laying out at the pool, having lunch dates, hanging out with friends, doing fun projects, sleeping in with E, reading lots of books, and making lots of jewelry.

Well, all of that came to a halt last Monday. I say a lot of this sarcastically, but with a little truth mixed in. I feel totally blessed to have the job that I have. I went to school for my Master's in Social Work so that I would do counseling and therapy with children. It took a couple of months, but I landed a great job doing just that. I have the opportunity to work with children, adolescents, and their families. I won't lie though ... It wasn't easy getting back to work after having two fabulous months off.

Today was the first day that I spent most of the day around clients. It was a little crazy. In the morning we have a summer camp group of about 15 elementary school aged children who come from 8-11. 

When I say that it is a little crazy ... I am lying. It's a lot crazy. The kids are fun for sure, but also a handful. It's like taking the bad difficult kids from each grade and sticking them in a group together. In a typical classroom there might be a couple kids we are hyper, act out, or can't control their emotions. This group is like taking those kids from each classroom and making one happy little group out of them. 

It is crazy! 

At any given moment they're each acting out, distracted, unable to focus, or acting crazy in their own little ways. 

There are times when one of the kids has a good day. However, I am learning to change my expectations of what a good day looks like. 

Like I said, it is nuts ... but I love it. 

It's exactly what I should be doing right now. It's not easy, but I don't think it is supposed to be. These are kids that have had some pretty difficult things happen to them.

It's so easy to get frustrated because a kid's behavior is terrible, but I have to remind myself that I have no clue that what child encountered or had to deal with that morning or the previous night. 

It breaks my heart to think about.

When I am not helping lead groups, I do individual therapy. Today I did my first intake with my first client. When I pictured my first client I naively imagined a shy but playful little 5 year old. My picture was dead wrong. 

My intake showed up, and they were a 17 year old who experimented with drugs after encountering years of physical abuse by their alcoholic father. 

The intake went well, and my first client actually seems like a decent kid who needs some structure and direction. 

BUT ... the intake went a little south when the mother decided to challenge and question me (in front of their child) about whether or not I could handle this kid. I've been working in substance abuse for the past 3 years, so I am not intimidated by this kid, but her questioning did put me on the spot. 

She literally said to me ... "Do you think you can handle him, or will you let him manipulate you? I mean, you're young and cute and he's thinking you're cute ... you're not going to let him sweet talk you - right?" 

I didn't even know what to say. I guess she thought I was some emotionally driven teenage girl who was going to be smitten by her delinquent son. Sick ...

It was a little discouraging, but I am confident that I can help this kid. 
I am curious, what age to you think you have to be before people view you as a qualified professional?

Who knows?? I'm sure this won't be the first time I encounter this. 

So there you go. A glimpse into the fabulous world of community mental health services. 
I'm sure I'll have many more stories to come.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Tonight, E and I were at Meijer picking up some last minute things for camp. We leave tomorrow morning for a week long summer camp with some high school and middle school students from our church. I am a little bummed because I can't stay the whole week. The new job wouldn't let me take off the full week. Oh well ... at least I'll be able to be there for part of it.

Please be in prayer for the students' hearts this week. Please pray that their eyes would be opened to the grace and love God has for them, as well as His divine purpose for their lives. 

On another note, while we were in Meijer, I picked up this magazine. 

I've seen Darby reference it a couple of times, so I thought I would give it a shot. It is loaded with tons of treasures. Lots of times I buy a cookbook or cooking magazine and over half the recipes are insanely complicated or contain a lot of ingredients that I don't like ... this is not the case with this one! Everything in it looks delish! Tons and tons of classic summer dishes. 

If you're looking for a little kitchen inspiration, then I would pick up Cook's Country. 
{And, no they are not paying me to say that ... although that would be fun}

I'm out of here for now ... I'll be back after camp.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

board and batten

I am loving me some board and batten.

Maybe someday I will find a saw and be brave enough to tackle this one on my own. I'd like to add this form of wainscoting to our hallway. What do you think ... easy or difficult? If I ever do it, then I'll be sure to create a DIY ... because if I can do it then anyone can. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

hanging in there

Hello Bloggers

I just want to thank you all for all of your sweet comments, emails, and words of encouragement. I am so blessed to have you during this difficult time. It truly is amazing to be able to carry one another's burdens. Thanks for helping me carry this burden ... it's a heavy one! 

E and I are hanging in there. I feel like I have waves of emotions. Sometimes I feel okay, and then other times I feel sad, angry, and anxious about our future. I'm sure the mood swings are a combination of dealing with a loss ... as well as the effects of my hormones going crazy!

So ... thanks to each of you! You're all too sweet :)
With everything going on, I feel like this week has lasted an eternity. Also, I haven't even had a chance to let you all know that I started my new job this week. Talk about something that will totally mess with you ... I found out I was pregnant on Friday (3 days before starting a new job), started on Monday, and miscarried on Tuesday. I told you ... this week has felt like a million years.

I am REALLY looking forward to the weekend. Getting back to work is hard after having two months off. I know I just said it, but the weekend is looking really good to me! So far I like the new job, but I'll tell you more about that later. 

I am also excited about the weekend because ...

#1 It's going to be a five day one for me! I'm taking off a couple extra days to go to a summer camp with our church's high school students. 

#2 It's 4th of July :)

#3 AND ... my bestie Shannon and her boyfriend Andy are coming to stay with us. So excited for the much needed girlfriend time! 

What are your weekend plans? 
Anything exciting? 
How do you celebrate the 4th?

On a totally different note, here are a couple pretties for you. 
I need a lot of pretty in my life right now. 
I might just have to buy some of these striped straws ... any ideas for how I should use them??