The Adventures of Stinky Sweet:

Sometimes stinky. Sometimes sweet. But it's our life - and it is always good.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Homemade gifts 5 and 6 (and sorta 7).

I gave my mom these two things with a tag that said "to the woman who taught me to love sewing and art". A pear watercolor that I painted and is now living in their dining room and a hot mat that I "quilted" for her.

I also made her, uncle J and dad B a calendar of pictures that I took in the last year which I am always very proud of - both the time it takes to design the calendar and the photos that I choose for each. This is the first year I have done one for J and B but 3rd or 4th year for mom. Hers was all pictures of things we did together - I think- and that was fun too. Hiking trips, hot air balloons, etc. Sorry - no pics of those.

Handmade gifts 3.

I followed a super simple Pinterest recipe from here and made my mom and sister hand scrub. I used the instructions found here to make them some lotion/body cream. Each was suepr easy though I probably wouldn't do the lotion again because the ingredients were a little pricey (and I didn't exactly meausre ingredients so I personally think it is a bit oily). The hand scrub is just Dawn hand renewal soap and sugar - easy, inexpensive, and feels amazing on hands. Smells great too!

Sorry for the phone is all I had at the time. Left my camera over Christmas. Silly photographer girl.  

Homemade gifts 4.

One of the semi-major craft projects - only because it is time intensive - was making my mom cards. She is a staunch supporter of the U.S. Postal Service and snail mails lots of things daily. I made her cards a couple of years ago and I figured it was time for some new ones. K and I spent some time a couple of weeks ago working on these, spread out all over her kitchen counters. I tried to make a variety of types - birthday, thinking of you, holiday - so she could send them throughout the year. I think I ended up giving her around 40 cards and it was super fun to come up with all the different designs and ideas - some new, some borrowed from Pinterest.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Homemade gifts 2.

This is another thing I saw on my sister's Etsy list that I was sure I could make. As you saw in a previous post, I made some for myself which actually took place after I made hers and realized how easy it was to do. Time-consuming, but easy. I would totally take orders for parties, showers, etc. :) her bunting is fun, bright colors and it appears it has already been hung with love in her house.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Homemade gifts 1.

I failed again at taking pictures of handmade gifts so I will post them as their recipients will send me pictures. I did get a picture of this one though before I wrapped. My sister has this neat ombre knot thing on her Etsy list and I was convinced that I could make it...and I did! I googled videos on how to make french knots - a fancy sort of 3D embroidery knot - and made this! It only took a few hours and was way cheaper than the one on Etsy. I am pretty proud of it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fail. Oops.

Well, I wrapped almost all my Christmas presents on Saturday as an attempt to cure my "I have a cold at Christmas-time" blues. You'd think that was a good thing, right? Well, it is and it isn't. My tree looks so much happier that pretty little gifts under it. But, I forgot to take pictures off all my secret craft projects. So, family, bear with me. As soon as you open your gifts, I will be whisking them away for a quick photo session. You are welcome - only because weird is genetic.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Christmas Craft = 3 blogs in a day.

This is my 3rd blog today. You are welcome.

I made these for a little Christmas decor where there was lacking in the is across from the tree so this side of the room looked so sad!

Don't be jealous.
Again, sorry for the blown out flash picture. It gets dark way too early for nice daylight pictures these days!

December Birchbox!

My December Birchbox came early this month (meaning earlier than it usually comes) which is awesome! I guess they are making up for being late last month due to Hurricane Sandy and I really appreciate it!

 So, this is what it looks like when you open it up. I love that there is always a fun little wrapped bit on the a double present!
Sorry about the lame/fuzzy pictures this month...light was low and I was lazy/too excited to wait.

This is the Number 4 brand clarifying shampoo. It says it is a low lather which should be interesting to try! Definately NOT a cheap shampoo so I probably won't be buying it but it will be a fun try...

theBalm cosmetics blush - just enough to try! It is a beautiful peachy shade which I hope will look like a nice flush. It has a little shimmer too so that should be nice.

Mox Botanicals lip butter in Pomegranate and Fig flavor. It is an exclusive scent to Birchbox so that should be nice. It does smell delicious and is made with avocado oil and shea butter which is great for skin!

Tweezerman is my go-to brand for great tweezers so their nail files can't be bad right??

Juicy Couture brand's signature fragrance. It says it sweet and floral - smells nice - I think I have gotten a perfume in every Birchbox so I have a good collection of choices now!

This is what it looks like when it is all together!
Pretty good box this month!
(p.s. also got a $50 off coupon for "Rent the Runway" dress rental. Pretty cool but I can bet that I won't ever be using it. Anyone interested?)

Master Bathroom Renovation - Day 1

If I haven't mentioned it before, we are beginning the process of renovating our master bathroom. Not sure why it is called a master because it is super teenie - same size as our hall bathroom - but it is the only one in a bedroom so I guess that makes it the master. We will eventually renovate both bathrooms and the kitchen because the people who "flipped" our house (a realtor and her brother) did an absolutely terrible job on most things. Mainly, they made cosmetic fixes instead of actually fixing the problem leaving us with a leaking roof (who's stains they painted over), and 3 layers of tile on the bathroom walls, among other things. I guess it means that we get to a bathroom that we love so it will eventually be OK. We've saved for this for a while so we are attempting to do it with no debt and then we will save again for the next bathroom and kitchen, etc.

Anyway, today was Day #1. I am not sure why we decided it was a good idea to demo a bathroom after inviting my entire family up for Christmas but it's fine. In all honesty, the "dirty work" will hopefully be done the end of this weekend (meaning most of the demo in the shower area). We won't be finished by the time they come up because it is going to probably take us a couple of months of weekends to finish our weekend warrior project. Today we tore down 2 layers of tile with drywall between each layer. I guess I can't blame the cruddy job on the flippers because someone before them obviously did the same thing. Either way, the bottom layer is a plastic tile, very thin, so it will just come off with the last layer of drywall. The walls have been patched so many times that we are just going to take it down to the studs on 3 walls. The 4th wall is the outside wall of the house and has a window so we should just be able to sand and make that one look nice. 8 bags of trash later and we are on our way. I've taken before and during pictures so far so one day I will show you the ewwwww that is the inside of the wall. :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Things to do.

Because of Chad's new work schedule, he isn't going to be able to travel on Christmas like we have the past 4 married Christmases together. Traditionally, we have spent Thanksgiving with his family and Christmas with mine since they live farther away and we got more days off for the Christmas holiday. This year, we will be moving my family's Christmas to Chattanooga; I won;t be waking up at my parents house on Christmas for the first time in 28 years. I am both incredibly excited and a little sad; I am not usually a girl who likes change so this is an adjustment but it will be so nice to wake up in our own house - the one we lovingly take care of and call home - with the rest of my sweet family nearby. So, hurray for new traditions and honoring old ones too!

In the spirit of inviting my family into my home, I have started my to-do list prior to their arrival. With the hopes that I will actually get some of it all of it done, I am going to share it publically and let you in on my progress. Some of it I know I can't do until the day before (vaccuuming anyone?) but some I can do before and some are unfinished Christmas projects:

- clean off and set dining room table (after adding leaf to the middle to accomodate more sweet family!)
- finish mom's christmas project
- wrap Christmas presents (this isn't a chore...I LOVE this part!) (Edited to add: I do plan on taking pictures of all the cool stuff I made and sharing after Christmas. The suspense is killing me.)
- purchase/make 3 more presents (including a Dec. 26th birthday present for a bestie)
- clean up kitchen
- plan for and buy groceries for lots of fun family meals
- replace strand of lights on front porch decorations (thanks Dad B for making them work again!)
- sweep and vaccum floors
- clean bathrooms
- change sheets on all 3 guest beds (we will need them all! woohoo!)
- make one last Christmas decor project
- wash and return couch cover (this is a day before project...we should have taught the dog to just not get on the couch but like her too much)
- clean up craft room (this will obviously have to wait since I will be trashing it to finish projects)
- make giant batch of cinnamon rolls for all the neighbors (we are christening my friend K's new kitchen for this project! yippee for new double ovens...!)
- wash and put away clothes prior to company arriving
- figure out where another chair can go in the living room since we remove one for the Christmas tree and need the space for rears now that family is coming!
- acquire Wooby and Gwen's Christmas presents - a new long leash for Gwen so she can roam the backyard without chasing the neighborhood dogs and probably some cat grass for the Woobster. Gwen broke her leash and long leashes are cheaper than fences (which is on our "someday" house to-do list)

Surely this list will grow and shrink as the time goes on...I'll refer back and keep you updated (like you are really interested!)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dad - stop reading! Christmas spoiler alert!

I am pretty convinced that my Dad does not read by blog but if he does - stop reading now!! I am about to disclose his/your Christmas present so stop reading now (if you even know that my blog exists!) :) Love you!!

So, with the hand made Christmas attempt - my Dad is super, duper hard to shop for. He doesn't really need anything and his only hobby is reading. He got a e-reader last year so I made him a cover for it (which ended up being a little big since I didn't actually have the object to work with when I made it - though it seems to be getting good use still). This year, mom said he needed a new belt but I didn't think I was THAT talented so I still wanted to make him something (mostly since I am making everyone else something and I didn't want to leave him out!).

So, I was trying to decide what to make him and I thought this: In case you don't know my dad, he does have a series of health problems that lead to him having both thin skin and thin blood. He is constantly bumping into things and ending up with a gusher that just won't stop bleeding - where you or I might not even bruise. Lightbulb!! I could make him a band-aid holder. I have one that is in my personal/camping first-aid kit that holds multiple sizes of bandaids and it is super convenient - surely I could make something like that! So I did!

This one is a little larger and holds lots of sizes of band-aids, including some mid-size gauze bads in the largest section there in the upper right. I even made a slot big enough for a small thing of antibacterial ointment - I just didn't have an extra/un-used one for show! This set he can keep in the little pack that rides around with him on this motorized scooter chair. There is a button on the backside so it folds closed and the elastic loop (hair elastic! shhh!) holds it closed.

This one is a smaller version and only really holds two sizes of band-aids. It folds closed in the middle and is perfect for pockets.
 I am pretty proud of this hand made gift and I hope it is useful for him! I used some fabric scraps in my stash and tried to pick the "manliest" of the bunch - though I realize dots don't exactly scream manly. I actually took pictures throughout the process so if anyone is interested, I could write a simple tutorial. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Homemade Christmas.

A couple of years ago, I tried to do an exclusively homemade Christmas and I realized that it is more difficult than I anticipated. Most people already have an idea of what they would like (and C's family conveniently sends their wish list around!) And I can't make everything! This year, I am going to try to make as many gifts as I can and I am off to a good start! I will take pictures and gladly show you after the gift giving occasion has past! I am so excited to give the things I have made! And from what I hear, Chad is making some of his own gifts too so I can't wait to see what he does!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Quick report: We had a wonderful, low-key Thanksgiving with family today here in C-town. It was nice to not have to go far and to just enjoy the company of people we love. Came home and took a nap so I'm not quite tired but the nap was totally worth it! Got our Christmas tree put up and decorated today so we can finisht the rest of the house tomorrow. I LOVE our house when it is decorated for Christmas because everything looks so festive and happy - and I am always willing to keep it cleaner so hello holidays!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

November Birchbox!!

It is November Birchbox time!!
I am still totally thrilled each month when I get my Birchbox, even when my husband tries to sneak it in the house without me knowing it came. He might not realize that I get an email when it ships so I know when to start looking for it!
I got a fun holiday gift giving guide and a coupon in this batch so that at least added to the fun value!
This month was a pretty decent haul though I will have to go in and edit some of my preferences (see why below).
This is everything that was in my box! There is a fun little "something for you" wrapper that is re-useable. Someone might see that at Christmas!

stila's all over liquid shimmer in a beautiful bronze/gold-ish color. I am excited about using this as a base for eyeshadow. Tried it on my hand and it is a really pretty color and not greasy at all even though it is a brush on, liquid.

Jouer's Fragrance Cornucopia - a roll on perfume oil. Gardenia, jasmine and honeysuckle scent - pretty strong - something I would use for a switchup on a night out! This really is a nice size to tuck in your bag for a day to night switch-e-roo.

Chuoa Chocolatier's honeycomb ChcoPod. I am excited that I got the honey flavor so that I can share with my guy that loves honey! This is the "lifestyle extra" for this month.

Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper was my hair product for this month...this is supposed to keep curls shiny, defineed, and frizz-free. In case you don't know me, I don't really have curly hair. This is where I finally went in and edited my "what is your hair like?" on my beauty profile and took out "curly" - though I know a certain curly-haired sister that will enjoy this!

And finally, this is ModelCo's Fibre (sic) Laskxtend mascara. It appears to be a full size product (at least it is the same size as all my other mascaras) which retails at $24 so this is a really awesome score. Best part is that it has a little mirror on one side for those touchups! Fun! (I had another picture of this one but I sort of liked the one with the cat photo-bomb in the back so this is what you get.)
So there! Birchbox delivery day STILL rocks (along with my sister).

Friday, November 16, 2012


I promise I really am going to blog again one of these days. I have been really busy with work (in fact, working every weekend this month except the one closest to Thanksgiving - and two of those are at camp all weekend). My Birchbox came on Wednesday so I will be posting pictures soon...and giving a life update. Check back! (This is for you Sis....)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Nov. 6th

The “winner” in today’s race – presidential specifically – doesn't really “win”. They earned the right to represent me, for better or worse. They have earned the right to be ridiculed, laughed at, made fun of, scoffed at, disagreed with, and made to look a fool. That doesn't sound like a winner to me. However, it is your choice how you treat this winner. You can choose to do those things or you can choose different. You can choose to respect our President – whoever he might be – to have healthy debate with those who do not agree, fight for what you believe in, and do your part to make America better. I suggest you do this – choose respect and continue to be involved in your communities, your churches, your schools. Be involved so that our children and their children will continue to live in a land that gets the right to choose respect.

I voted today. But I also vote every day. I vote with my heart, I vote with my actions, I vote with my wallet. I think author and speaker Shane Claiborne said it best when he said, “So, we may vote on November 6. But we will also vote today, and tomorrow, and the next day. We are convinced that change is not confined to one day every four years. Change happens every day. We vote with our lives. And we are convinced that voting for a new President may be little more than damage control. For Presidents and Caesars do not save the world. But there is a God who can…
Enough donkeys and elephants… long live the Lamb.”

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Dress Up at Work Day!

Chad reports that the job is going well (of course, 2 days in doesn't make it a great assessment of what it could be but it is a great start!). I am still not sleeping well - feels weird not having him where he is supposed to be. I am having more and more sympathy for couples who experience career related deployment of any sorta stinks.

Today is Halloween and our office was full of contagious fun. There was a purple skittle, a gypsy, a solider, Carmen SanDiego, a femme fatale, a paper doll, Hermoine Grainger, half the cast from the movie "Up" (real dogs included), and my Mrs. Potato Head. Yeah. Rocked that.

Home early today to make a batch of cinnamon rolls for a rehearsal dinner on Friday. Excited about what the weekend will hold. Chad does have to work through Friday night but is off Saturday and Sunday - thankfully to be my date to our friend's wedding! Fun! Uncle J and I have a bet going about whether or not Chad will dance with me at the reception. He has literally never danced with me and I don't think he is about to start. So, my bet is that he won't. J bets that he will. I am going to get a mani and pedi out of this. Woohoo!

Monday, October 29, 2012

12 hours.

I stayed up too late last night - brain wizzing, sleep evading. I think I somehow knew that Chad wasn't in bed and I was fighting going to sleep without him. I guess I am going to have to get over that and quickly!

Got up super early this morning and was on the road at 6:45 to go to a school talk in Cleveland. I really love doing school talks - going in each classroom and telling girls about Girl Scouts and all the fun opportunities there are out there for them. Seeing their little faces light up and the gasps when we say "there are horses at our camp!" is totally worth every minute of lost sleep. Only downside was a training tonight too making my work day 12 hours long. Its really ok though - I am going to try to sleep in with my dude so I can ask him how his first day of work went. I shall report in.

Off to sleep off a long day.

Big changes.

Chad officially starts his new job today. He will be working as a nurse tech (CNA) at one of the large hospitals in town. I am really excited for him; he has been wishing and hoping for a change for some time now and was finally able to take the class required to make that change. I know that he enjoys helping people so I hope and pray that this job will be something that he will thrive in doing.

The biggest downside is that he will be working second shift. This means that our work schedules aren't completely opposite but pretty darn close. I mean, I already do work a lot of nights but I am pretty much guaranteed to not ever be home with him at night. He works from 3pm to 11pm - which isn't THAT bad but he isn't really a night person either so this will be an adjustment for us both.

I am so thankful for employment. We've been without 2 paychecks for almost 2 months now and while I fully realize that is nothing compared to what some families are going through these days, it has not been easy. Chad is so careful with our finances that I have not worried about money - per se - but it is sort of always in the back of your mind that something unexpected is going to come up with the cash flow isn't there. God has provided everything we have needed so far and I know He will continue to do so...

So here is my prayer for Chad on this first day of a new job:
I pray for peace and comfort while he is learning. I pray for an open heart and an open mind. I pray for his co-workers - that they will be patient and kind. I pray that God will bless his obedience in waiting in his old job for so long until this door opened. I pray that he will find a place at this hospital where he can truly be himself and enjoy daily work. I also pray that I will be more intentional about the time we will have together and that time will be even sweeter then it happens.

Good luck Chad. You are going to rock!

p.s. his face looks AWESOME these two weeks out. God has really done something extraordinary in quick healing. It is barely noticeable, with the exception of his nose which still has some little bandage strips on in, per doc's instructions.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


This has been a lovely weekend full of fun things, beautiful weather and not getting nearly enough things marked off my To-Do list - and that is perfectly alright with me.

Friday and Saturday at camp was cool (bordering on cold!) and beautiful. We made recycled paper beads for bracelets all day Saturday and hung out with the little Girl Scouts. It is always fun for me to sort of "get back to my roots" and remember why I love my job so much - and give so many hours to it every week.  I ended up coming back sooner than I thought I was going to be able to and made it home around 3 pm-ish. it was nice being able to hang out with my guy for more of the weekend than I anticipated.

Church online this morning since Chad thinks he will still "scare the women and children" and then movies and catching up on our TV shows from last week. I meant to fold clothes and clean up the kitchen today and all that got done was the kitchen (and only that with some help from my dude).

Small group tonight without him wasn't the same but it was good. I enjoy our sweet small group - kids and all - and it is always good to be learning from other sweet Christian couples - and just generally doing life together.

Busy week this week...gotta work tomorrow night after going with Chad to his doctor's appt. Then he starts his new job with a computer class on Wednesday and official hours next Monday. I am a little sad about our time together getting cut off sharply but I am looking forward to this new season of change in our lives.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Camp and an update.

Headed to Camp this weekend with a fun group of girls. Sadly however, we picked one of the coldest weekends so far this fall so I am taking lots of layers and hoping for coffee each morning (even though I am not a coffee drinker). K and I are the official fire builders for tonight's bonfire and then the official craft girls tomorrow. Not sure what we are actually responsible for but we're willing to fill in where needed to whatever is fine.

I think we are also staying in a cabin with girls as I am the backup camp trained person for a parent who has a child with some health problems. I would prefer to stay in the staff house where there is a shower with a door (instead of bath house style) and no little girls who are so excited to be at camp that they want to stay up all night....but it will be fun either way.

By way of a quick update: Chad is doing much better. I've tried to publicly downplay his bike accident on Monday for his sake but it was pretty bad. Thankfully he had on his helmet and had his cell phone with him. Don't be surprised if we avoid public places for a while - no offense meant to anyone! :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

A scolding and an update.

I've been well scolded by my sister for my lack of blogging most recently so I will try to write a little post just for her today...though she knows all of this so really, is it for her?

I've been out of town all weekend - still am, actually - on a girl's weekend with my mom. We left Friday morning and headed north by northeast to the Asheville area. Gratefully, my sweet friend Dani and her hubby live near there and willingly let us stay with them for a couple of days. Mom and I tooled around Waynesville on Friday, hiked Mt. Mitchell (just the last bit!) and ate lunch with a friend on Saturday then tooled around Asheville on Saturday afternoon. We just strolled some craft shops, bought chocolate to eat and enjoyed a Latin festival for a few minutes. After attending church on Sunday, we did some delicious lunch in Canton, NC and then headed to Atlanta to hang out with my sister.

I am currently waiting for my mom and sister to get back from an errand so we can go to Fernbank and see some exhibit that they are interested in. I am not even sure what it is but I enjoy their company so I am along for the ride.

I have enjoyed having my mom's undivided attention for a few days. It isn't all that often that we get to enjoy that so it is sweet when it happens. I hope that I am turning out to be more and more like my mother, funny crazy and all.

By way of another life update: Chad has accepted a job and hopes to start soon - by the end of the month if we keep our fingers crossed. He has lots of paperwork, etc. to do but we are super thankful for  God's timely provision. As always.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Neighborhood Night Out.

In case you didn't know, last night was National Neighborhood Night Out. Basically, this means that you would get together with your neighbors and hang out - maybe do some fun stuff together. Our neighborhood was totally on board and it makes me love St. Elmo even more. I knew we made the right decision when we bought this old house in Chattanooga's oldest neighborhood but it makes me happy to see our neighbors come together for a little fun.

Not only do we have beautiful old houses here in St. Elmo, there is a fun little shopping area with some nice restarauts too. Every place was open and offering discounts, activities for kids, or something free. I got a beautiful flower from the Making Arrangements florist, just for stopping in to chat. They were doing free activities for kids, the Chicken Legal folks were there (trying to legalize chicken ownership inside city limits....Chad and I are big supporters!), and possible the highlight of the night -
a Corgi parade.
With prizes.
Seriously. How awesome is our neighborhood.
Sadly, don't go searching for pictures of our gal here below. As you might or might not know, she isn't really a fan of other dogs, even a gathering of her own kind. However, you might not know that Corgi's come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Ok, maybe that is a lie. They are generally the same shape - and mostly the same size - with the exception of the especially husky or young ones.
Either way, here are some "cousins" of our Gwen...

These ladies could have been Gwen's twins but I love that they were decked in their Tennessee orange.  (And it looks like they are getting a little love from their human boy).

I love these guys - grey, black, and white with their blue eyes. I don't think these are considered breed standard but I think they are so beautiful!

Then there was this little dude - Fergus. Only about 5 months old - whiich was just a tad bit younger than Gwendolen when we got her. Since our gal is 5 years old now, I can't believe she was ever that small but she was!

We enjoyed our night out with the neighbors. Can't wait till next year!

Monday, October 1, 2012

A picture.

Representing at Bristol Motor Speedway!

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Got up as early on a Saturday as I usually do during the week. Today is the last of our GS council's 100th Anniversary events - an overnight at the Bristol Motor Speedway, near our Johnson City office. I am pretty excited to head up there because I have never seen any of the Nascar tracks from up close and we will be doing lots of behind the scenes stuff too. However, it is a 4 hour drive and we are doing it both ways today because we (K and I) could not participate in the overnight portion (details below). So, it is 7:45 in the morning and I am showered, dressed, and about to walk out the door. We will be driving up to help with set up most of the day, our shift is working to serve dinner, and then we will be driving back tonight - really, really late. It should be a superbly fun day - K and I always have a giggle when we are together - but it will be a long day too.

Anyway, we have to come back tonight because we are walking in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure tomorrow in the early afternoon. Essentially, we could have spent the night in Bristol but if we come back tonight it means that we can sleep late in our own beds and get to the race on time. It is going to be a fun weekend of doing lots of new things but long too.

Then, Monday is back to work. But Tuesday, a few of us are driving to Ikea in Atlanta to buy some things for our shops. I am pretty stoked about that means I get to probably sneak a little time in with my sister and come on, who doesn't love Ikea. So, this weekend and week aren't all bad! :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012


I have had a few rare nights off recently and I am almost back in the crafting groove. I did say in this post that I was going to do something crafty with the acorns that I swept off the in-laws back porch and I did! Though while trying to get the pictures off my camera, the battery died, the hard drive wouldn't sync, and the computer needed to be plugged in so it has taken me a while to get them to you! So, it isn't all that crafty but it is fall-y and fun. (p.s. fall is my favorite season...photographically and in life...just so you were warned of the fall goodness that is to come). 

I already had everything on hand except the acorns so it was an easy fun addition to my table.
I lurve fall!!
Since my entire living room and dining room are painted yellow, white balancing these photos is insanity (thus why all pictures taken inside my house look yellow-ish).

Saturday, September 22, 2012


I have zero complaints about the weather recently. The rain moved through last weekend and early in the week and left us with absolutely perfect weather from Wednesday onward. Highs in upper 70's and lower 80's...high 50's and 60's at night. Our windows have been open for a few weeks now but this week the house temperature was just about as perfect as it was outside. Past few days have been sunny, clear, and breezy...makes me even more thankful to live around these mountains.

I flexed off some time yesterday afternoon from working Monday night and Thursday night and got to spend some time running errands with my guy. We went to dinner with my friend K and then went to see her house remodel progress. It is looking so amazing - I can't wait (for her sake!) till it is done and she can enjoy 2 years of hard work! And then we can cook and can things in her awesome kitchen too! I might just move in to her guest room - as long as Chad can come!

Today we've been doing mostly house our house and at the in-laws house. We went over first thing this morning so Chad could get on the roof and clean out some gutters. As it turns out, they were actually very clean just needed soma adjusting so things would flow correctly. I used my time to sweep off the in-laws upstairs deck. I was just sweeping all the leaves and acorns off the edge until I realized that there was a craft project buried there somewhere and bagged up all the falling acorns. You'll see what I will do with them soon. Came back home after lunch and we worked outside most of the afternoon. I/we replaced the screens on both back doors (one needed it badly and one just sort of badly) so now we can really do doors and windows open. Chad is working on our rain barrel stand - that gets them up off the ground about 6 feet so we get more gravity feed. It was a little wider than it needed to be and sticks out in the sidewalk. He is going to probably work on that some this week, since he has enjoyed his staying home week so far.

Please keep praying for us and the job front. A new employment situation for him needs to come sooner rather than later so please keep that in your prayers. We are trying to be patient, responsible with finances in the meantime, but it is a little stressful.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September Birchbox!

It's Birchbox time again! 
This month was actually a really decent month with a style focused theme so it was pretty good...
(apologies for the sorry pictures - again. I got too excited to wait to take good ones and it was too dark!)

This is what it looks like when you first open the box. It is the little card with all the info about your products, which I avoid until I have looked at them all!
Wouldn't want to ruin the surprise!

The perfume sample of the month is Bvlgari's Mon Jasmin Noir.
It reminds me of my mom putting on Skin So Soft back in the day to keep the bugs off at the beach.
It is definately a heavier scent that I typically wear so we'll see...

I got a longer version of this Twistband in a previous box and can't seem to find it so I was super excited to open this month's box and see this shorter one.
I don't think I will be wearing it as a bracelet but we'll see...definately will be trying it in my hair!

This is the custom Birchbox Color Club color called "Put a Pin in it".
I already have a gold-ish color from Birchbox but this one is more a pewter that looks pretty neutral...I might just be painting my nails before I go to work today! I really like it.

This is Vasanti's Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuevenator.
I am actually really excited to try this...I think I need an exfoliator every once in a while and this one smells really nice and clean.

This is a fun little WEI to GO - Sleep Over Kit. It has a gel cleanser and then a face tint for the next day!
I finally went on to Birchbox and switched my face "color" to 'light' as I had it at 'medium' and everything I recieved was too dark for me. Hopefully this one will be a winner!

This is the fun little style "look book" that we recieved this month. It has some neat little style tips - including a fun twist braid that I've already tried and worn in my hair all day yesterday!

This month's "lifestyle extra"...The Brush Guard's variety kit. This - I believe - is a full size product.
Since I take my makeup with me to the gym when I go most mornings, it should be really fun to try these out in my makeup bag! Keeps your brushes from getting all wonky! Fantastic!

So that's September's Birchbox.
Still loving it!

Want one of your own? Go here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

She explains.

Tomorrow is Chad's last day with the Forestry.

He turned in his two weeks notice last week and is really looking forward to some changes in his life. It has been a good few years - he has been working there since before we got married, at least seasonally. But it is time to do something different. He took a CNA (certified nursing assistant) class at the local community college this summer (4 nights a week and all day Saturday, in addition to the regular ole' 9 to 5!) so now he is employable in that particular realm. It looks like there are a lot of jobs available in thie field - as well as a lot of turn over - because most people (not unlike Chad) use it as a jumping off point for more education and "movin' on up".

I am excited about what this means for us. It means Chad can go back to school - for whatever higher education he decides he wants - whenever he gets ready. It means a little more flexibility in his work schedule and no being "on call" 24 hours a day during fire season. It does also mean that he will probably have to start out at the least-desireable night shift but it is only for a season and we can totally handle it!

I totally trust my husband and that this is a decision that he has prayed over, thought over, and hoped for  - for a while now. I am really excited to see what God will do with him during this season of "new".

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Catching up.

Sorry that it has been so quiet on the home front. We’ve been really busy and suffering through a week of post-vacation work made it even more difficult to want to blog a bit. We just got back from another weekend away and I was thrilled to sleep in my own bed last night…nothing like your own bed, house, pets, pillow…the list could go on and on.

We’ve entered into our “busy season” at work though that is sort of a farce to say. We really are busy in seasonal spurts throughout the year – this is just our fall one. Recruitments galore, night meetings and trainings are slowly filling all of my weeknights on my fall calendar. I’ve signed myself up to work at camp a few weekends – including this weekend – so week days aren’t the only busy times.

Chad is thinking of making a major career change – and has taken and passed a class to that end – so please pray that we will continue to seek God’s will for our family, especially where employment is concerned. I LOVE my job and I want the same for Chad...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Leaving soon...

We are going on vacation this week. Not gonna tell you which days or where - no creeping allowed - though I am sure you will see plenty of updates on instagram where I am @stelmosweetness and on Twitter where I am @Love10984. Follow our vacay and 4th anniversary there.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Counting down.

I have two more days of work and then we will be on our vacation. I could not be more excited and I am trying to figure out how to disconnect my work email from my cell phone. If you literally do not hear from us for 4 days, don't worry. We'll call if we need you. Pretty darn excited.

Today at work was a little frustrating. I have a new responsibility at work that feels really monumental - though in reality, it probably is not. I am responsible for the twice monthly newsletters that go out to all of the volunteers in my area (and writing 100% of the content for them with the other 2 ladies that have my same position in our other offices). Previously, I was just writing a little simple reminder email for my areas and sending out a lot of emails in between with things that I forgot or info that other people needed me to annouce to my area. Now, we are compiling all the info for the entire GS council and putting it in a professional looking format using a web-based program called Mail Chimp. While I really like the layout and it does look a lot better than what I was putting together, I am nervous that people don't realize how important the information is and therefore, are not reading it. (In fact, I pulled the analytics for the last edition and it was depressing how many of them are sitting unopened in people's email inboxes.)

So, today I spent the entire day correcting errors (in 4 different versions of my newsletter because it is customized by area) and fighting with the email server. I love to learn new things and being able to use this program in the future will be a real benefit. Today, however, it did NOT feel like that. I had tons of questions that no one could answer, fonts weren't working, tables weren't looking right - it just didn't look good overall - and that is NOT what I am going for. Usually I can figure most technological things out but today, not so much. I finally had to put it away and go to a meeting tonight (that was wonderfully successful and just what I needed!).

I guess I should edit the bit about 2 work days left because I have to work Friday normal hours, Saturday and Sunday for events, and then normal hours again on Monday. But then - FREEDOM!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August Birchbox!!

It's Birchbox time! It finally came after what felt like months of waiting and everyone else I know getting theirs first!
There was a neat theme this month - Beauty School - so the insert (seen below) had lots of fun tips and tricks in it for "back to school". It also came in this fun yellow box - like a school bus - instead of the traditional pink box. Now, if you know me, you know I LOVE pink but I'm good with a little switcheroo every once in a while.

This is what is looked like when you first open the box...the pink insert is the tip sheet.

This is whish body butter and it smells absolutely divine. Not too strong a scent and really smooth feeling. Can't wait to put it all over my legs!

This is the Brightening Cleanser by DDF. I haven't ever heard of this brand so I am pretty excited to try it out. It is a nice sized sample too so I might actually be able to decide if I like it or not!

This month we also got a fun "Birchbox Find" which was this (new?) 5 blade razor by Schick. I am always looking for an easy, faster, and better shave so I am looking forward to trying this pre-beach next week! It also has a nice coupon on the back so if I like it, I will definately be getting more.

This is a curl cream called Pillow Soft by Miss Jessie's Orignials. Though my hair is a little wavy if it air dries and kind frizzy, I'm not really a curly girl. I got two samples so I will probably try one just to see and pass the other to my very curly haired sister. It does say that it helps frizz so I might like it after all.

Finally, the new perfume by Juicy Couture called Viva la Juicy la Fleur. Nice scent - fairly light and I like the hint of mandarin.
I think I have literally gotten a perfume sample in every single Birchbox so far and I am highly unlikely to splurge on any of the full size perfumes. However, I am amassing a nice selection of choices for days I choose to wear it!

The neatest part about this month's box is the partnership that Birchbox has made with Pencils of Promise, an organization that builds schools. I too believe that education is one of the biggest keys to lifelong success to I love that a portion of their profits this month go to this organization. Well done Birchbox!

Want more info or a Birchbox for yourself? Just click here.

Monday, August 13, 2012

4 years.

I would like to report that our 4th anniversary is next week – blessedly on the day we will be arriving at the beach for our vacation. So, I started thinking that now would be a good time to get started on Chad’s anniversary present. A little research later and I discovered: the traditional gift for a 4th anniversary is fruit and/or flowers. Uh. Ok. Let’s try modern…and that would be appliances. Which might be slightly amusing if our microwave didn’t die last week. Thankfully, my husband is super handy and believes that he can fix the microwave (the spring that holds the door shut appears to be broken) so I should expect some fruit. I’ll buy him a bag of apples.

Or wait, I’ll take my fruit blended in an adult beverage with a umbrella on top while I admire the ocean.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mt. LeConte Photos

Finally, posting a few pics from our journey up Mt. LeConte to the LeConte Lodge. It was quite foggy once we finally arrive about 3 seconds (ok, 10 minutes) before dinner time so I didn't take many pictures though I lugged my camera all the way up and back.

My guy loves his tea. Enough that he carried it up too. Good thing it isn't heavy.

Here is the and elevation. Further proof that we actually did this and hiked up to 6,593 feet (though thankfully the car took us to around 4,000-something). Great post-hike/rain-I-am-disgusting-picture.
Christmas card pic anyone?

However, the flowers at the top were gorgeous enough to make up for all the fog down below.
Dining hall in the background.

The building on the left is the office/shop (yes, I bought a t-shirt in a style that you can only buy at the top. Of course I did.). The building on the right are some of the toilets.
Running water - yes. Electricity - no.

The front porch of our little home for a night.

Nope, sorry. She didn't get to go. I sure wasn't gonna carry those short legs after the first mile or two.
But I couldn't resist putting that little mug on here. Mom in the background, probably writing a postcard (which will be funny if you know her).