Wednesday, February 5, 2014

little scrappy quilt

Happy Thursday Lovies! First of all, I want to apologize for being so absent lately. If you saw my last post, you already know that my sweet dog, Solomon passed away recently. It has been so incredibly difficult for me. And the only way for me to stay sane is to throw myself into work. So, that makes for a really sweet baby quilt. This is the fastest quilt I've ever made, which is really surprising, because the whole thing is hand quilted. I know. I still can't believe I did it either.

I made this quilt in 18 days. And I think it's safe to say that this is my favorite quilt I've ever made. It has so much personality and I think it really shows a lot of me in it. This quilt began at our Savannah Modern Quilt Guild's "use up your scraps" Retreat. That's the best part- all of these are scraps! And I think in the end it looks like confetti, so that's pretty awesome. 

Alright, get ready for one big scroll party! See the Little Scrappy Quilt from start to finish.

A few days into the hand quilting, my elbow was killing me. I honestly believe I had "quilter's elbow," you know, like tennis elbow! I'm telling you, quilters are hard core. 

It needed a little POP!

All quilted! Each piece is quilted with a white pearl cotton, with about a 1/4 inch border. There are 4 scraps that have a radiant orchid border- gotta love that pantone color of the year!

Hand stitched binding, as always!

And it's done!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

we'll miss you, sweet boy

On January 2nd, we lost our sweet boy. He was my first dog and almost 13 years old. I am still in shock and just want him back so that I can rub that spot between his eyes once more. He loved that.

It's been really hard to accept this because when Bradley and I left to go to Virginia, we took him to my mom's and he was fine. Normal solly. And within two days, I think, my mom called to let us know that he had started to have seizures. Of course, I immediately freaked out. He's my baby. But my mom assured me that our vet thinks it's just epilepsy, and to not worry. We would get him on some medication to prevent the seizures and he would be fine. They put him on some epilepsy medicine and valium. This combo made him very out of it. When I came home on January 1st, I went into my mom's bathroom. He was completely drugged. He couldn't move. We, and our vet, thought this was just a reaction to the medicine. It was too much. So the plan was to take him to the vet at 11 the next morning. She was going to get an iv in him and get all the drugs out of his system and start over. She said this was normal that there is an adjustment period to find the right dosage.

Now it was time to go to bed, but I couldn't sleep, and I needed it because I was supposed to work at 9 the next morning. Every so often I would hear Solly whimpering and I would go lay beside him and calm him down, then go back to bed. This happened repeatedly throughout the night. Morning came and I went to take a shower. I found that Solly had thrown up and pooped during the night. I felt so bad because he was so drugged he couldn't move and we couldn't get him to go outside. And he's the kind of dog that never uses the bathroom in the house. So I'm sure he was doing everything he could not to go. After my shower I kept waffling on whether or not I should go to work. I decided not to. Within the next few hours he had thrown up again, but then seemed to be sleeping really well. But he still couldn't move. He would try to lift his head, but nothing. And then it happened. I was sitting at our kitchen table and my mom told me to come in there. I knew by the sound of her voice what was happening. He was gone. How did this happen? He was fine and now he's gone? How did we not know? So many thoughts were going through my head. I wasn't ready to let him go.

Our vet now thinks that he had cancer and that it had gone to his brain- causing the seizures. It's just so hard to believe because he had a full workup at the vet last March, to check everything. Something they offer for senior dogs. And nothing showed up! And in less than 5 days, all of this happens.

I keep battling with the fact that I want him back, for purely selfish reasons. But he was almost 13. He deserved to be able to go. I guess it's just hard without warning.

Monday, December 16, 2013

some more ideas

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1. Bare Minerals Customizable Get Started Kit: I have been using this makeup for 2 years now. I've never been one to put on liquid foundation because I love my freckles. I also don't like the feeling of a lot of makeup. When I tried Bare Minerals, I fell in love! It was the perfect makeup for me, because it could give me coverage on things I don't like (my dark undereye- thanks allergies!) and let me still show what I do like. I prefer the customizable starter kit over their other starter kit. In their other kit, I think they give you 4 small samples of foundation so you can find your best shade. But if you buy it at ulta or another store, they can help you decide what color you need and then you can get 1 big foundation. So you aren't left with makeup that you can't use!

2. Clarisonic Mia 2- Sea Breeze: Now this is on my wishlist this year. I don't have one, nor have I ever used one. But I know a ton of people who do and I have heard nothing but good reviews! I have never had a problem with acne, but I do find that I could use a bit more exfoliating and help with blackheads so I want to give this a shot!

3. Herstyler Grande Curling Wand: This is probably my favorite beauty item! I bought this wand in the mall about 3 or 4 years ago and I had no idea that it would turn out to be such an amazing product. If I curl my hair with a traditional metal curling iron, it doesn't hold at all. Even with hairspray. With this wand, I don't have to use hairspray and the curls last for days. I don't know their secret, but it could have something to do with how hot this thing gets! They include a glove to wear while you use it, which is necessary in the beginning. But once you get the hang of it, you don't need the glove.

4. OPI You're Such A Budapest: This is just a really sweet color that I found this summer. Love it!

5. Moroccan Oil- Light: Everyone knows about this, but I wanted to include it because it's such a great item to get as a gift. It can be somewhat expensive, so it's nice when you don't have to pay for it! This product is so amazing. I have been using it for about 3 years now. My hair has grown so much with the help of this. Normally my hair starts to look very rough after I grow it to a certain length. Moroccan Oil keeps my hair hydrated and healthy. I use the light version since I have fine, blonde hair and I only use it from the neck down- not for your roots!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

cheers to 5 years!

How we've made it five years without killing each other is beyond me! See, Bradley and I have that relationship where we can banter back and forth, giving each other a hard time, but we know deep down that we are obsessed with each other. I swear this is the only man who can put up with me. Honestly, we have a good understanding for each other and really know each other's faults. Like I know when he's had a long, hard day at work, I shouldn't nag him even more about the trash not being taken out. I know that will only lead to a bigger argument when it wasn't that important to begin with. And he knows to not make a big deal when our house is a complete wreck. He knows that I know it and don't want it to be, so complaining about it would do nothing but upset me. Ok, sorry for the tangent. This post is supposed to be happy, so let's move on!

We had plans to make a nice dinner at home that night and decorate our tree, but the universe had other plans. Bradley had asked me to pull the steaks out of the freezer early in the day so they could thaw. I did it (shocker that I actually remembered, I know) and put them in the sink. After a few hours they had thawed and I noticed that they had a strange smell. Like possibly they had gone bad. But what do I know? So I left them there for Bradley to inspect when he got home. And no surprise, he agreed that they had spoiled. So now do we go buy some new steaks or go out to eat? We decided to splurge since it was our anniversary and we went out to our favorite Japanese steakhouse. Ohhh and it was so worth it! Here is Bradley stealing picking me a rose from the parking lot of the restaurant! I swear this boy doesn't understand consequences. But I love his spontaneity.

We then made it home and started to decorate our tree! This is my absolute most favorite part of the holidays. Bradley thought it would be sweet to make it a tradition to decorate our tree every year on our anniversary. I love the idea for sentimental reasons, but I don't know if I want to wait until Decmeber 5th each year! The only reason it didn't feel late this year was because thanksgiving was a week later, but next year it might be back to the 3rd week in November. I guess we'll gap that bridge when we get to it.

Bradley always gives me a hard time for how many lights and decorations I like on my tree. I want it to look overdecorated. And I don't know that I've ever been completely satisfied with the number of ornaments! More is more in this case. But obviously that can rack up a rather large charge, so I just keep growing our collection each year!

Thank you babe for five wonderful years! You have truly made me the happiest girl.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

christmas lights don't like me

Ahh! It's that time of year again! I was so excited this year to get our christmas tree. It's our first Christmas in our new home, so I wanted to make it extra festive. Bradley works for a landscaping company/ nursery so we got a free tree! I couldn't wait to pick him out. He has to be a little chubby and have some awkward branches that Bradley would want to cut off.

Going through these aisles of trees was a little weird though. I got this unsettling feeling that the trees would all fall like dominoes and I would be burried alive. Haha, so much for it's the most wonderful time of the year!

These lights were my Nana's. I found them after she passed away. The woman kept everything. These are really old and they get super hot. Like so hot, I wouldn't dare put them on a tree. Unless I didn't care if our sweet little home burned to the ground. But I do. So they have a new home, adorning our arch!  

This sweet, little picture is from the third time that I strung the lights. The first time, I included some purple lights that I figured out I didn't like so much. But I didn't know this until they were on the tree. Guess I should have re-read this post! Would've saved me some time and frustration. The second time, I think I connected too many strands together because about 5 minutes after it was perfect, all the lights went out! Talk about a sinking feeling in your stomach! I had no idea what happened and the last thing I wanted to go was take them all off the tree, but that's what google told me to do, so I did. Sure enough, I blew a strand, so they all went out. I was just happy that I didn't have to go buy 15 more boxes of lights. The third time, I strung on all the white lights and plugged it into a power strip. Then I strung all the colored lights, not connecting them to the white lights and plugged them into a different outlet on the power strip. And then I strung all the white globe lights and plugged them into their own spot on the power strip. So far, so good, but I swear if something goes wrong and I have to take down all these ornaments and restring the lights, so help me God.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

our thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2013 really tricked me! A few months back, my mom let me know that she and my stepdad would be spending thanksgiving in California with his kids. Um, but we always do thanksgiving here. I'm not so good with change, you see. This left Bradley and I stranded. Where do we go now? My dad's? His dad's? His grandparents? Our friends in SC? Stay here and eat with my brother? So many choices, but we couldn't decide. Then my stepdad had some health scares (no worries, he's all better now) about a week or so before thanksgiving, and they decided not to go to California. And one by one our family made it work to be here for thanksgiving. We had the whole crew! I just think it's so funny because none of us were going to be together and then it all worked out in the end :)

This past year my mom has also had some health issues that have led her to go gluten free and dairy free. We were so proud to say that our entire thanksgiving feast was gluten free AND dairy free! I mean, who does that?! And the best part... everything was SO GOOD! And I bet if you had been a guest at our table and I didn't tell you, you wouldn't have even known. 

I really wish I had photos of every dish to show you, but I guess we were all too excited! Here's what we had:

Honey Glazed Ham 
Brown Rice with Pecans + Cranberries (this year's dressing)
Roasted Sweet Potatoes + Butternut Squash
Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan Cheese
Grilled Basil Corn
Sweet Potato Casserole with marshmallows
Maple Brussel Sprouts (Aaren's specialty! So freaking good)
Cranberry Salad (This weird jello that my Nana always made)
Deviled Eggs

And for dessert:
Mini Pumpkin Pies
Mini Chocolate Chess Pies
Chocolate Chewies
And more sweet potato casserole!

When planning this meal, we also decided to change some of the traditional dishes for healthier options, like instead of a greenbean casserole, we had the roasted asparagus. But we still had to have a sweet potato casserole! That is a thanksgiving staple! Roasting a lot of the veggies was so easy and fast! Just drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. And when it came to dessert recipes we just made a few substitutions. We used Bradley's Meme's Chocolate Chess Pie Recipe but just traded out the evaporated milk for evaporated coconut milk so it was dairy free. And my mom had already been trying some gluten free pie crust recipes, so she was all set. Instead of butter she uses ghee, which is clarified butter. This option still gives you that great flavor.

We had such a wonderful holiday and I am so thankful to have my family in my life. I hope you all had a great thanksgiving, as well!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

holiday gift ideas

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All I really want for Christmas is for our home renovations to be over! But there's no way they will be finished by then. So, until then, this list holds some pretty sweet things that I would love to get and maybe they could help you with your gift giving! Happy December!

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