Sunday, July 31, 2011

Jewelry Storage

So, I've been trying to figure out a good way to hang my necklaces and earrings. I had this frame that I found on the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby (I <3 Hobby Lobby) and I came up with this. I had to touch up a few spots on the frame...nothing a stain marker and a paper towel can't fix. The tool not shown is a drill. I didn't think I would need it. I did. I drilled holes 1" apart, screwed in the hooks, and stapled the screen material to the frame. I have extra screen material. I'm thinking of finding some more frames and making desktop earring holders to sell. I'm thinking Etsy.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thought Provoking Thursday - July 28, 2011

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Welcome to Thought Provoking Thursday! Link up below.

1. What makes you smile?
-Amelia Blakely at her voice lesson - such a funny kid
-thinking about the dancing portion of our wedding reception (Precious is NOT a dancer)
-my soon-to-be sis and bro-in-law when they 'fight' (I'm not sure I can really explain this one. They love each other and drive each other nuts which ends up being great entertainment for everyone who happens to be around.)
-going home after you've been away
-thoughts of decorating a house (or apartment - or cardboard box)
-cool weather
-sitting on the porch with friends (when it's not 5 million degrees)
-And just now: Kelly from Kelly's Corner posted a video of Harper singing (she's trying to figure out what song it is). You can check it out here. Too cute!

2. What do you want most?
God's will. I know that sounds very non-descript but I just feel like there are so many things going on in my life that I don't have answers for. So many things are up in the air. I want to live where God needs to use us-where He wants us to serve. I want Precious to have the job that God desires for him to have. I want to be open to whatever God has in store for us.

I also want to be able to eat whatever I want and still lose weight (without exercising because I HATE exercising - I am doing ZUMBA but it still sucks!). Heck, I would settle for being able to eat sensibly and lose weight but I can't seem to even do that. What is up with that? I am pretty sure my body wants to be fat so perhaps I'll just help it out. Ice cream. After Wednesday Hodgepodge I really want ice cream!

3. What three questions do you wish you knew the answers to?
-Did Precious get the job in Ohio (or at least make it to the next round)? Call people. We need to plan.
-How DO beauty queens get their perfect make-up to stay on for HOURS and their hair to stay in a perfect curly state for HOURS? It just isn't fair. My hair WON'T curl and after about 5 hours at work it looks like I don't have any makeup on. UGH!
-Did Noah miss the unicorns? (Yep, I'm serious. I think there were unicorns, they didn't make it on the ark and are no longer with us because of it.)

Link up!

Wednesday Hodgepodge - July 27, 2011

1. July is National Ice Cream month...your favorite flavor? Soft served, hand dipped, or frozen yogurt...which do you prefer? And technically yogurt is not ice cream but its hot outside so I'll let that slide for today.
I love ice cream! I love ice cream! Rah! Rah! Rah! I like vanilla, but I have recently discovered Kroger's Private Selection and I like Butter Pecan, English Toffee Caramel, Sea Salt Caramel Truffle, and Cookie Dough. I really just like ice cream. I'll pretty much eat any ice cream you give me.

I love frozen custard too! We recently got a Culver's. YUMMMMMMY!

2. When you travel do you tend to pack too much or too little?
HA! Are you kidding me? I ALWAYS pack just the right amount (however, most people would probably say too much). A couple years ago I went to a conference and I had to fly, so one suitcase was ideal. Except one suitcase was NOT enough for all of my stuff UNTIL...until I found space bags. Pretty easy to squish stuff in them. Suck the air out with a vacuum cleaner and pack. I DID think about what I was going to do when I repacked, but I thought, "certainly I can find a vacuum where I'm staying" - except NOT. So, I laid on the bags, squishing as much as I could and I sucked the air out during my last attempt to lay on the Space Bags. It was sad! I DID get everything back in my suitcase, thought. Go me!

3. What's your favorite cleaning product?
If we're talking old school things that clean really well: Vinegar and Baking Soda.

If we're talking ones that you purchase: Method's All-Purpose Cleaner (Pink Grapefruit)

4. Which is the greater tragedy-an innocent person imprisoned or a guilty person set free? Explain.
That's tough. I think I'm gonna go with an innocent person imprisoned being the greater tragedy. A guilty person set free may feel like they've won the lottery, but I honestly believe that God repays evil for evil. I don't like the idea of a guilty person being set free, but I think the idea of an innocent person being imprisoned bothers me more.

5. What's the longest trip you've taken by car?
NYC by bus - 24 hours. SHOOT ME! NEVER AGAIN! It was a college trip. Our music department took enough people to fill an entire bus. The trip was good, the ride was miserable. And THEN we had to come back.

6. tennis-golf-canoeing-biking...pick one.
umm...none of the above. I don't particularly care for outdoor activities. I suck at tennis and golf. My dad always tipped the canoe, so I refuse to get in one - EVER. Biking. HA! BAHAHAHAHA! Right!

7. What sound drives you crazy?
Clicking. Like when someone sits around clicking an ink pen.
The lawn mower at 7AM.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Ok, so I totally tried baking bacon in the oven. My aunt told me that's how she did it, so when we decided to have BLTs I thought I would try it. I HATE to fry bacon. It pops and you smell like bacon when you're done and you have to stand over it and turn.
I will NEVER fry bacon again! I placed it on a broiler pan and baked it at 400 degrees for about 20-30 min (until it's brown and crispy - probably depends on your oven and the thickness of the bacon). The grease drained down. So easy and clean-up was too. Try it!

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Tomorrow is Thursday - time for Thought Provoking Thursday. Answer the questions, post them on your blog and come back Thursday to link up!

Questions for Thought Provoking Thursday:
1. What makes you smile?

2. What do you want most?

3. What three questions do you wish you knew the answers to?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Prayer Mondays - July 25, 2011

Join us for Prayer Mondays. You simply state your prayer requests, link up, then visit others who have linked up. You pray for them then leave a comment telling them you did so. Join us @ A Life in Ordinary.

I am posting this from my phone....we'll see how it goes (and I just typed 'hoe' instead of 'how' so not very well). NOTE: I can't format on my phone so I had to drag out the computer.

The biggie this week is Precious' job interview results. Please just pray that God would have His way. We are both a little nervous and there are a lot of things up in the air until we hear from them. We are praying that doors would open and doors will close and that God would make His Will abundantly clear.

Please also pray for my mom. She goes for another round of chemo today. Please pray that God will continue to heal her body.

And for me, please pray that God will draw me closer to His side. I feel like in the middle of all of this chaos in my life I often lose focus. I want to be more passionate about the things God wants to use me to do...I want to be more enthusiastic about serving Him. I don't want to miss a 'divine appointment' because I was too busy to see it when it passed my way.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Buying a Mature Woman's Bathing Suit

So, a friend sent this to me today and it made me laugh. I had to share.

The Bathing Suit

When I was a child in the 1950s, the bathing suit for the mature figure was-boned, trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered.  They were built to hold back and uplift, and they did a good job.  Today's stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a figure carved from a potato chip.  The mature woman has a choice, she can either go up front to the maternity department and try on a floral suit with a skirt, coming away looking like a hippopotamus that escaped from Disney's Fantasia, or she can wander around every run-of-the-mill department store trying to make a sensible choice from what amounts to a designer range of fluorescent rubber bands.  What choice did I have?  I wandered around, made my sensible choice and entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room.  The first thing I noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material.  The Lycra used in bathing costumes was developed, I believe, by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which gives the added bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you would be protected from shark attacks.  Any shark taking a swipe at your passing midriff would immediately suffer whiplash.  I fought my way into the bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder strap in place I gasped in horror, my boobs had disappeared!  Eventually, I found one boob cowering under my left armpit.  It took a while to find the other.  At last I located it flattened beside my seventh rib.  The problem is that modern bathing suits have no bra cups.  The mature woman is meant to wear her boobs spread across her chest like a speed bump.  I realigned my speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take a full view assessment.  The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately it only fit those bits of me willing to stay inside it.  The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from top, bottom and sides.  I looked like a lump of Play-Doh wearing undersized cling wrap.  As I tried to work out where all those extra bits had come from, the prepubescent sales girl popped her head through the curtain, "Oh, there you are," she said, admiring the bathing suit.  I replied that I wasn't so sure and asked what else she had to show me.  I tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking tape, and a floral two-piece that gave the appearance of an oversized napkin in a serving ring.  I struggled into a pair of leopard-skin bathers with ragged frills and came out looking like Tarzan's Jane, pregnant with triplets and having a rough day.  I tried on a black number with a midriff and looked like a jellyfish in mourning.  I tried on a bright pink pair with such a high cut leg I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows to wear them.  Finally, I found a suit that fitted, it was a two-piece affair with a shorts-style bottom and a loose blouse-type top.  It was cheap, comfortable, and bulge-friendly, so I bought it.  My ridiculous search had a successful outcome, I figured.  When I got it home, I found a label that read, "Material might become transparent in water."  So, if you happen to be on the beach or near any other body of water this year and I'm there too, I'll be the one in cut-off jeans and a T-shirt!  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thought Provoking Thursday - July 21, 2011

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Join us back here tomorrow. Answer the questions on your blog then link up.

1. WHAT do you love?
I LOVE cookies. A LOT!
I LOVE eating (mostly sweets). I eat when I'm happy, when I'm sad, when I'm stressed, when I'm relaxed, when I'm with a group of people, when I'm by myself, when I'm....well, you get the picture.
I LOVE cool weather (although it seems to be MIA).
I LOVE the color green.
I LOVE cooking (guess that's good since I like to eat - or maybe not).
I LOVE spending time with my Precious - he's not feeling the love - says I'm getting on his nerves (not his last nerve just his nerves).
I LOVE the fact that a little girl at church thinks I'm "awesome".
I LOVE my new phone.
I LOVE my wedding dress.
I LOVE my family and Precious' family.

2. What makes you uncomfortable?
-Unruly children in public make me uncomfortable. It really makes me think twice about having children myself. Some people say it's because they lack discipline and others say its because they're kids. Its the 'its because they're kids' part that bothers me because I'm pretty sure I would institute some serious spankings right there in front of God and everybody - they'll put me in jail and the rest is history. I'm labeled a bad mother all because I was attempting to discipline my children because they were 'just being kids'. Such a dilemma.
-Being left alone with someone I barely know and can't seem to find anything in common with. Awkward silence makes me uncomfortable.
-Church people make me uncomfortable. Don't get me wrong - I go to church and I love people at my church, but there are far too many people who are worried about their own agendas and it makes church really uncomfortable for me. And sometimes church people can just be downright rude and mean. Also uncomfortable.
-I thought I was finished with this question, but I just saw and advertisement for a new show on Lifetime called Dance Moms. IT made me uncomfortable!

3. What do you think about when you lie awake in bed?
You mean at 4AM which is when my body insists on being awake? My thought process is a little something like this: (looking at the clock) UGH! Not again. Might as well go pee. (I go pee and lay back down) Ok, back to sleep. Hmm...I have 2 more invitations I need to send out - gotta get those addresses and I have to get that PowerPoint done. My foot itches. (looking at the clock again - 4:07) If I go back to sleep now, I can still sleep for almost 2 1/2 hours before I have to get up and exercise. Oh how I HATE to exercise. Do I hate exercise more than I hate being fat? I think I might - especially at 6:30 in the morning. GO TO SLEEP. GO TO SLEEP. (insert prayers for everyone I can think of - at least something good is coming from my 4AM insomnia!).

Link up and visit the other links.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Prayer Monday - July 18, 2011

So, this morning I got up early. I exercised (SHOCK!). I fixed myself breakfast (scrambled eggs with sauteed peppers and onions and blueberries). I took a shower and got ready (sweating the whole time because my body doesn't seem to want to come back to a normal temperature EVER but especially after I exercise and sweat half to death - then add to that the fact that it's supposed to be 12,000 degree with 520% humidity this week...just sayin'). So, back to my story - The Knot told me yesterday that I have 90 days until our wedding (today it says 88 - someone doesn't know how to count). Regardless, I have decided that I have no control over practically anything in my life and I don't have a job (other than teaching at the studio - grateful, but it alone will not pay the bills), so my job is now to take care of me. My body doesn't respond like I want it to when I exercise or eat healthy, however, I know it's better for me. So, I'm choosing to focus on my 'temple'. Pray for me people. I'm not good at this whole being healthy thing. I HATE exercising - mostly because I don't like to sweat and I sweat profusely when I do. I don't mind the whole eating healthy, but it requires a lot of time and preparation and I run a lot (not like run exercise run - yeah, right - fat chance of that EVER happening, but run as in I'm never home).

My mom and dad (and other Neely family members), are heading home this week from a motorcycle trip. It's supposed to be HOT. Please remember them as they travel. My prayer: God bless the crazies that decided it was a good idea to ride on motorcycles in the middle of flippin' July. They're obviously suffering from some mental malfunctions. :-)

I have had a rather trying week with people in general. Truth be told, I don't like most people right now. Pray for me as I work on this. I'm thinking Jesus needs me to like people in order to love people, in order to be his light...I'm not even at the like people part today and I'm finding myself especially not fond of 'church people'. Sad, I know.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thought Provoking Thursday - July 14, 2011

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Welcome to Thought Provoking Thursdays where you are forced to engage your brain. Happy Thursday - can't wait to read your responses, so don't forget to link up.

1. Who is the strongest person you know?
Most definitely my mom - especially right now. She's been diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer, yet where is she? On a 2 week motorcycle trip with my dad's brothers and sisters. She's either strong or crazy (and perhaps a little of both). She has been such an inspiration to so many during the last few months. People can't believe how well she is doing. Doctors shake their heads. But my mom is strong because her faith is strong. She knows where her strength comes from and that makes all the difference in the world. I'm kinda excited that so many people get to see her strength and determination during this time. I've grown up with it, but others are just now finding out what I have known all of my life: my momma may be little but she a force to be reckoned with!

2. What are you uncertain about?
I'm uncertain about so many things right now, but it mostly boils down to this: I'm uncertain what God's will is for my future. I feel like I'm in a 'be still and know that I am God' stage of my life which leaves me constantly feeling uncertain. However, I'm certain that God is in control and that He has mine and Precious' best interest in mind and that His ways are much better than mine.

3. What has life taught you in the last week?
Life has taught me that mean people steal stuff from yard sales and that God often has much more different plans than we do. Yes, someone stole my Sony Cybershot from the yard sale (at the church - SHAME ON THEM!). Also, Precious had a job interview this week that would require him to move before the wedding and me to move once we're married....not at all my plan. God may be doing something different. Life is still teaching me to trust God. Do we ever fully learn that lesson?

Link Up!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - July 13, 2011

Joyce over at From This Side of the Pond hosts this great link party every week. Click on the logo above to hop over and link up!

1. How has your hometown changed since you were a kid? What has changed most about the neighborhood you grew up in?
It seems like a lot has changed, but I also have to wonder if it's just me that has changed. My hometown is really small. We have a small library (it has moved to a new building since I was a kid), a post office, a bank, a volunteer fire department, a barber shop and a park with a ball diamond. It's all still there, so I guess things really having changed all that much. I guess it IS just me!

2. What song makes you laugh?
Are we talking about silly songs? Songs that are so ridiculous they make me laugh?
If we're talking silly songs, I'm a huge fan of Veggie Tales and Silly Songs with Larry - a personal favorite is "I Love My Lips".  Songs that are so ridiculous they make me laugh: The Thong Song by Sisquo (remember that one?) and the first year I was at Cairo teaching,my kids like a song called Chicken Noodle Soup - also mad me laugh because it was so ridiculous.

3. Are you a fan of Harry Potter? Read the books? Seen any/all of the movies? Will you be standing in line somewhere close to midnight later this week? For those of you playing along today who live outside the US or UK is Harry Potter a phenomenon in your part of the world?
No. No. No. No. I don't have anything against Harry Potter - just not my thing.

4. If the truth hurts, will you tell a lie? Are we better off as a society in a world that allows no form of deception whatsoever?
Woah - that's pretty deep. I HAVE lied to keep people from being hurt (a little white lie is still a lie) and thinking back, I'm not so sure that I really helped the situation or protected anyone by lying. I really do believe that the truth will set you free and that deception generally leads to disappointment. I can't tell you how disappointed I was to find out that there was no Santa (OHHHH - you didn't know....ooops!).

5. What is your favorite 'sauteed in garlic and butter' food? Or garlic and olive oil if that makes you feel better.
Chicken that's going to go in alfredo. I can't wait to see what everyone else likes to cook. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

6. Attending any reunions this summer/year? High school? family? Other? Do these events stir up excitement or dread?
I HATE reunions! BLUH! I don't know why I loathe them, but its a rarity for me to attend these glorious events.

7. Lilac, hydrangea, peony...pick one.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Planning a wedding is a pain in the butt! Why would anyone want to spend this much time planning an event that is only going to last a few hours (reception and all)? Bride-zillas, chill the freak out. It's not that serious. I just can't help but think that a lot of marriages may last longer if the time spent planning the marriage equaled the time spent planning the wedding. Thoughts?

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Tomorrow is Thursday - time for Thought Provoking Thursday. Answer the questions, post them on your blog and come back Thursday to link up!
Questions for Thought Provoking Thursday:
1. Who is the strongest person you know?

2. What are you uncertain about?

3. What has life taught you in the last week?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Things I'm Considering

Today I found this:

Now mind you, Precious and I don't have a house yet, but I needed something to do that didn't involve balancing my checkbook or working on the wedding guest list (both equally depressing). So, I'm looking for house stuff for our non-existent house.

Prayer Monday - July 11, 2011

So, I get these daily devotionals through my email called Girlfriends in God. This was today’s and I SO needed to hear it. As you read through this, please just pray that God’s will would be accomplished in my life and in My Precious’ life. He has a job interview tomorrow and it would require a pretty big move and we really just want to be in the center of God’s will.
Also please pray for my mom and dad – they are on a 2 week long motorcycle trip.
The Purpose of Prayer by Sharon Jaynes
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:9-10 NIV).
Friend To Friend
Prayer is not meant to change God's mind, but to change ours.  Prayer aligns our thinking with God's will.  When we begin our prayer with praise, we take the focus off of ourselves and put it on God.  When we pray for God's will to be done, we take the focus off of our desires and put it on God's desires for our lives.
Jesus taught His disciples to pray, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." For those who recite what we've come to know as the Lord's Prayer on a regular basis, it is very important that we never take those words for granted or say them flippantly.  It is the cornerstone, the focus, and the ultimate purpose of prayer. Jesus himself prayed for God's will to be done. In the Garden of Gethsemane, just before his arrest, Jesus prayed, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me."   His prayer was so intense, capillaries burst and droplets of blood trickled down his forehead. And yet, as much as He would have welcomed redemption in any other way than the cross, Jesus prayed, "yet, not my will, but yours be done," (Luke 22:42).
I am so thankful that God has not answered each of my requests with a "yes."  My life would be much different than it is today - and I don't mean for the better. How thankful I am for my Heavenly Father Who knows what's best for me!  He has plans that are "above and beyond all that we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20) and in order to hear God speak through prayer, we must allow ourselves to think beyond our limited knowledge, to see beyond our limited vision, and to believe beyond our limited understanding.
Prayer turns our focus toward God and allows Him to rearrange our priorities and set our agenda. It is more than unloading our burdens and enumerating our desires. Prayer is more than telling God what we want. It is asking God what He wants.
Let's Pray
Dear Lord, I don't know what is best for me, but I know You do. Thank You that You don't give me everything I want, but You do give me everything I need.  Lord, help me to recognize when my desires do not line up with Your plans. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thought Provoking Thursday - July 7, 2011

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Welcome to the 2nd week of Thought Provoking Thursday. If this is your first week, welcome. If you visited the first week and are back for week 2, bless your heart. Glad to have you. Thanks for stopping by. Post your answers on your blog and link up.

1. Do you think crying is a sign of weakness of strength?
Yes. No. Maybe. Who cares?!!?!! I cry all the freakin' time and I am usually a sympathetic cry-er (which is amazing considering most people think I don't have a sympathetic bone in my body. I cry when I'm happy. I cry when I'm sad. I cry when I'm mad. Do you see a pattern? I really don't think crying is a sign of weakness, though.

2. What sustains you on a daily basis?
Ok, besides chocolate prayer. I seriously don't think I would make it through one single day. I have NO idea how people walk through this life without God. He is what sustains me.

3 .What do you do to relieve stress?
Exercise. HA! Right! For those of you who know me....stop laughing! I eat. No kidding. I'm pretty sure I need to join Stress Eaters Anonymous (and if that isn't an organization, it most certainly should be - am I the only one who does this?). I have a big exercise ball that I roll around on sometimes. It can be a de-stressor. I don't exercise with this ball, I just roll around on it. Sad. I know.

 Your turn. Link up.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - July 6, 2011

1. What is the most useful book in your house?
My Nook has proven pretty useful - it has a lot of books. Does that count as 1 book? I also have 3 household books that I really like:
Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook
Real Simple: The Organized Home
Real Simple: 869 Uses for Old Things

2. What's worse-being too hot or too cold?
Too hot. I can keep putting on layers if I'm cold but if I'm hot I can shed everything, be indecent and STILL be hot! Just sayin'!

3. Share something that made you smile this past weekend.
Future SIL's bday was on the 4th. We got her a gift certificate but I also made her a casserole carrying dish from a tutorial she had sent me about a month ago and she was really excited about it. (Note: I am NOT a sew-er, but I'm trying to get better). It made me smile to know that she enjoyed it that much! Plus we had a fabulous day! I haven't laughed that much in a LONG time!

4. How do you like your hamburgers? Or don't you?
I don't like mustard! I would rather have it with cheese and perhaps mayo and pickles.

5. What's your summer beach read? If its not summer in your part of the world then tell us what book you're reading while curled yo in front of the fire sipping cocoa.
Right now I'm reading The Fitting Room by Kelly Minter.

6. How was your birthday celebrated when you were a kid?
We almost always had a party (always cake - usually made by my mom to my specifications) and after we got a pool I sometimes got a pool party if it was warm enough (My birthday is May 15.).

7. What is something that is totally uncool that you love anyway?
I *heart* Bon Jovi! Sick, I know, but I still love him!

8. So, I have a lot of family coming to stay at my house tonight. They are all going on a 2 week motorcycle trip out west...yes, the word crazy has come up quite a few times. My mom and dad did it a couple of years ago, but now half of my dad's family are attempting this together. Pray, people, pray!

Thought-Provoking Thursday Questions
Come back tomorrow and link up.

1. Do you think crying is a sign of weakness of strength?
2. What sustains you on a daily basis?
3. What do you do to relieve stress?

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