Thursday, March 31, 2011

3 things to Make this Weekend: A DIY Tutorial List

It's that time of the week again! Are you figuring out what's on your to-do or to-make lists yet?  I know I am.  I'll mostly be painting orders, but if I get a few spare minutes, I might just tackle one of these easy DIY projects. 

1.Twenty Minute Totes by the Purl Bee {found via IHOD
These look super simple, even for a novice seamstress like me.  I think it's all about finding cute fabric!
2. Coffee Can Lanterns via Design Sponge
I've had this tutorial tucked away for ages, and now with warm weather approaching, I'm ready to make it a reality. I'd love to stick some citronella candles in these and help make some mood lighting for drinks on my patio.
3. First Project:  Easy tshirt Scarf via Made This Love This
Have you heard about Indiana Austin's newest project?  The darling face of Adored Austin just launched a new social, DIY site called Made This Love This.  It's just getting started, and this is the first project.  Indiana learned to sew not too long ago and is looking for a community with which to practice and share.  Sounds super fun to me!  This first project doesn't even involve sewing and is super simple.  I made a quick version the other day, but I'm determined to whip up another one this weekend!  Come join us

I need your help...

                                                     Source: None via jennifer on Pinterest


Good morning, friends!  I'm hoping you might be able to help me with something.  My little sister is turning Sweet 16 in just a few short weeks, and I've been racking my brain trying to figure out something special to give her for her birthday.  Do you have any ideas?  I know many of you are Etsy sellers and/or diy-ers, so I thought you might have something brilliant up your sleeves. 

A little about her:
She's girlie, and beautiful, loves sparkles and shine.
She's a little fashionista for sure. 
She's also a fabulous athlete and is playing Varsity Soccer as a Sophomore.
She loves dinosaurs, and knows how to be a goofball and have fun.
She's incredibly smart, and responsible.
She's grown up way too fast.

I want to get her something that will be a keepsake, but useful too.  I keep thinking some kind of jewelry, but I'm not dead set on that.  I think I just picture her going off to college in a couple of years, and feel like I want her to have a little piece of me close to her. 

Any ideas?  I'd love help with general ideas, or if you have links to specific things you think would be a good fit, that's great too!  

Thanks so much, in advance for your help!  

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I love this...




Are you a runner?  I'm trying to be. 

Basket Factory....

A peak at my evening last night. 

Our night was also made up with some Biggest Loser, some chocolate chip bars {ironic}, and a little Bible Study.  All in all, it was a great evening.  

What do you usually do with your evenings?  

We're usually at home.  Most nights we make dinner I paint orders while we watch TV.  By 9:00 I start turning into a pumpkin, and have to go to bed.  If I'm up til 10:00, I get really grumpy.  :(  Poor Jon.

{To order an Easter basket for your little one, visit the shop today.  Limited quantities remaining!}  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Who I was....

Raytown Mo High School

                   Photo by Reddogiedog on Flickr.

{I realize I should have posted a pic of me from high school, but I'll have to dig one up, and I'm not where I can do that right now.  I'll share later!  So instead I'll share this fun vintage High School class photo from the 1930's.}

Ashley recently did a post about her high school experience.  It got me thinking about how different I am than the girl I was back then.  At least, I think I'm different.

In high school, I was shy.  I'm still shy, but I'm so much more comfortable in my own skin!  Mostly, I remember carrying around a huge sense of sadness.  I don't think it really left me til last summer.  I was always really worried about what other people thought of me.  As I've gotten older, I've realized that it really, really doesn't matter what other people think.  It's not their life, and quite frankly, what the heck do they know?

Anyway, in high school, I was smart.  {I say, I was smart, cause I haven't retained much!}  I was on honor roll, and took honors math and science classes. I was in AP Calculus as a senior, and it got me out of math entirely in college.  Can you believe that!?  I struggle with basic addition and subtraction these days.  Oh, and I finally admitted to my husband last year,  that I never really learned my 9's in my times tables.  I had the chicken pox in 3rd grade for the two weeks that we learned the 9's, and I've struggled with them ever since.  It was my little secret, til I told him.  {And, I guess now the whole world knows.}
Anyway, I was smart, despite my issues with 9's.  I graduated with a 4.2 or something like that.

My freshman year, I tried out for cheerleading.  I didn't make it, and I was devastated.  So, instead, I decided to attempt to be an athlete for the first time in my life.  {I never played sports as a kid, cause I didn't like the uniforms...seriously, I was such a priss.}  I tried out for volleyball, and actually really liked it!  Then I played basketball for the first time ever.  I had no idea what I was doing!  I remember at the first practice, traveling, and double dribbling and the coach was like, WTF!?  It was embarrassing, but I gave it my all.  Luckily for me, not so luckily for our team, no one was very good.  We finished the season at 2-17.  One of our wins was a forfiet, and the other was against a team who fouled out all but 3 of their players, so we were playing 5 on 3.  We were so excited to win a game, though!   I ran track that year too, and "dragged my wagon" with my friend, April.  Oh, good times.

Sophomore year, I made the drill team, which I continued through the rest of high school.  I loved it, and would give anything to have that to keep me in shape now.  Zumba's the closest thing I've found to it as an adult.  {I need to go to Zumba more!}

Anyway, those are the things I did in high school, but they're not really who I was.  I struggle to really define who I was.  I thought I was a total dork, but looking back, I know I wasn't.  I certainly was nowhere close to the most popular girl in school, but I think I was generally liked.  I realize now, that most everyone around me was probably more worried about themselves then I ever imagined.  All that teen angst.

I wore Doc Martins, Birkenstocks and Abercrombie sweaters.  

I had a group of girlfriends.  April, Kathy and Lauren.  We were great friends, and would cruise for boys in Jeeps on the weekends.  Only problem was that when we'd get said boy's attention, we didn't know what to do.  We were so innocent, but we sure had fun!  Lots of trips to Sonic and Blockbuster.

I did have a boyfriend, but that's a whole other story. 

What about you?  What were you like in high school? 


Monday, March 28, 2011

If this image doesn't rip your heart out...

I don't know what will.


                                         Source: imgfave.com via jennifer on Pinterest



Thank you to all the service men and women fighting for freedom in our world.  You're amazing.

This weekend...

         Source: flickr.com via jennifer on Pinterest



This weekend I...
  • Watched my team win :), and then watched them lose.  :(  
  • Drank some delicious brew.
  • Proved myself stronger than I thought I was.  {more on this later}
  • Spent time with some of my favorite people.
  • Marveled in the last snowfall of the season's big fluffy snowflakes.  {last...according to the farmer's almanac}
  • Watched this movie.  
  •  Fell in love with my husband all over again.  He really is the best.  
What did you do?  Is it still snowy where you are?

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Pretty Bicycle Picture and Random Thoughts from the Week....

                        Source: designspongeonline.com via jennifer on Pinterest


Does Olive Garden really have a school in Tuscany?  I bet if they do, it's not nearly as cool as the one in the commercials.

How do the people in the front row behind the judges on Dancing with the Stars see anything?  Are they just looking at the back of the judges the whole time?  I mean, they probably are all excited cause they have "front row seats" until it starts, and then I bet they're sad.

What do you think it's like to have a tail?

My cube mate has been listening to what can only be described as japanese harp music for the last two days.  It's driving me crazy.

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It's Friday, it's Friday, it's Fridaaaaay!  Wheeee!

I'm so excited for this weekend!  Tonight we get to watch our Jayhawks battle it out to move on to the Elite Eight, and hopefully we'll have a game to watch Sunday as well.  Oh, I love this time of year!

I'll also be working on some orders, and cleaning cause our small group is coming over on Sunday.

We're supposed to have some cold, wet weather over the next few days.  I was really loving that sunshine and 70 degrees, but I guess I can wait a little bit longer for real spring weather.

What's going on with you this weekend?  Anything special?

In case you missed it:

Send a card to a little fighter.
Say "Awwwwwe".
Check out my new favorite design.
Make Do and Mend #1.
Three projects for your weekend.
My first Treasury ever!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Real Men Don't Ask for Directions...

Just created my first Treasury evahhhh!  Can you believe it?  I'd be so grateful if you showed it some love.

3 things to Make this Weekend: A DIY Tutorial List

I don't know about you all, but this is about the time of the week that I start thinking about what to do this weekend.

I have an ever growing pin board of things to make, and I thought I'd start sharing some of them here with you, because I know alot of you like making stuff too.  I'm constantly amazed at the incredible DIY tutorials from around the web, and all the pretty things one could spend their time creating. 

1. DIY Paperclips by Chelsea from Lovely Indeed {found via The Sweetest Occasion}

Wouldn't these be an adorable add on to greeting cards?  I'd love to sit down with my calendar and make up a bunch for upcoming events!

 2. Mini Cupcake Stand DIY Tutorial by Modern Moments {found via Papernstitch}

I mean, seriously, who can resist a mini cupcake stand.  For reals.

 3. Make Up Magnet Board by LauraThoughts

I LOVE this idea!  Sort of reminds me of my necklace holder.  I could totally see the two next to eachother, and that would free up a drawer in my bathroom vanity!

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Have you found any great tutorials lately?  What's next on your to-make list?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Make Do and Mend #1: Elbow Patches


I've had this jean jacket forever, and last year it developed a dreaded hole in the elbow.  I wore it with the hole for a while, but then I started feeling like a bum, so I put it away in the closet.

There it sat.

I'm not one to rush out to buy something new, just cause something I have needs mending.  I'm frugal like that. 


One day, while browsing through the Gap on my lunchbreak, I came across a jean jacket with leather elbow patches.

Ah-Hah!  {Insert lightbulb above my head}

So, for months, I've had this little project on my to-do list.

Saturday, it finally happened.

Easy peasy.  I made a trip to JoAnn's and picked up some suede elbow patches with pre-punched holes for stitching and some matching thread.

I covered the hole with a patch and pinned it in place.  Then, I tried it on and checked the placement in a mirror.  Once I was satisfied, I lined up the other sleeve and placed that patch accordingly.

Once both patches were placed, I tried it on again, just to make sure I liked the way they sat.

I'm not going to lie, this did take some time.  Since you're adding patches to a sleeve, it has to be hand sewn, so you might want to watch a movie or something while you sew.  I listened to Pandora while I worked on it.

Then again, I'm not the most experienced seamstress, so you might be faster than me.  It took me a while to get the hang of it.

And I most definitely got the needle turned around once and stabbed myself pretty good.

I'm happy with the way it turned out.  Part of me kinda wishes I'd used brown patches, but I do wear black alot, so it will match almost everything. 

Now I have a like-new jean jacket, and just in time for spring! 

Have you mended anything lately?  I'd love to hear about it!  If you've done a post, leave the link in the comments.  If not, tell us about it!

What are you Making Do with?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Perhaps my favorite bank....

This piggy bank was done by request a few weeks back.  I've wanted to do a bug themed one for a long time, but had never made it happen.  I am absolutely thrilled with the way it turned out!  {I think it's now my favorite!}  So stinkin' cute!
Do you have a great idea for a piggy bank theme?  I'd love to hear it! 


{if you'd like to order your own, come visit me and we'll discuss!}

Crazy for kitties...

I don't know if you all remember, but a few weeks back, my bestie and her adorable family came to visit.

Well, the moment they walked through the door, Ava was looking for some kitty love!  That girl LOVES the kitties.  {She's after Auntie Jen's heart!  I did my fair share of kitty chasing when I was little.  I just wanted to hold them sooooo baaaad!}  They all, of course scattered on the commotion of the arrival, but eventually, Miles made his way down to see what was going on.  I was amazed that he actually wanted to play with Ava!  Not that she's not fun to play with, just that he's never really been around kids, so I wasn't sure he'd be comfortable.  I should have known, my Miles is the biggest sweetheart of them all!  He wasn't, however as fond of Ava's little brother.  Something about a bobbling toddler that freaks cats out beyond belief!

 
So, now for a collective "Awwwwwwww".

So glad Ava got her kitty lovin and I'm such a proud mama of my Miles.  What a good boy!

And seriously, could that girl be any cuter!?  I seriously want her outfit.  Do they make that in my size?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mighty Max...

Good morning!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  Spring has burst forth here in Kansas, and it is absolutely gorgeous.  {I hope it sticks around.}  I could go on and on about all the things that were packed into this weekend, but I have something else I want to share with you all this morning. 

I just came across this story.  There actually was a call for letters on our company "Trading Post" and I googled "Mighty Max Low" to verify that it's the real deal.  Obviously, that link takes you to a Des Moines article from just a few weeks ago. 
This is Max.  {photo from the article linked above}

Max is a 12 year old boy who's been battling Leukemia since Kindergarten.  According to the article, he's had some relapses and is now facing a bone marrow transplant.  Although it has looked bleak at times, there is hope for Max.  In 2008, a project was started to lift Max's spirits in hopes of sending him 1,000,000 get well cards.  It has recently picked up speed, and the cards are pouring in by the thousands every day! 


If you'd like to send a get well card, the address is:

Mighty Max Low
P.O. Box 111
Neola, IA 51559

I believe wholeheartedly in prayer, and positive thinking.  Let's help shower this kid and his family with love from around the world!  Join me?

p.s. this is a cause that hits close to home for me.  Some of you may know, that Jon is a Leukemia survivor.  He was diagnosed with ALL {the form most common in children} at the rare age of 26.  We are blessed beyond words to have celebrated 7 years remission in December.  I can attest that anyone fighting through Leukemia is a true rockstar. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

A pretty bicycle picture and random thoughts from the week....

                                  Source: thecitycradle.com via jennifer on Pinterest


I've been noticing a lot of nude photos on Pinterest lately.  What up?
{added later}  Apparently I'm not the only one!  

I really have some amazing friends. Looking back over the last year, there have been some major ups and downs in the friend department, but overall, I'd say I've definitely come out closer to the right people and am better for it.  I'm feeling very blessed this week.

*Warning, this one's totally lame: Last night I was watching a youtube video about KU's Championship win in 2008. It got me thinking about what a great metaphor that game was for life. I remember watching it and with about 2 minutes left thinking it was over, it had slipped away. {I was rocking back and forth in the fetal position at this point...not kidding} Then, things started coming together, maybe it was possible. With the seconds winding down, Chalmers threw up that shot, the shot that could tie the game and give us a chance in overtimeJayhawk fans across the country held their breath, and it went in. It went in!  Of course, you all know we went on to win the game.  It was glorious.  Anyway, I was thinking how that game actually taught me something.  It really isn't over til it's over.  Sometimes, it seems that you're down by 9 with 2:12 left.  It doesn't look good.  But, if you keep the faith, you just might get there.  I realize this is not always the case, but it is just one of many examples from my life that I rely on for that glimmer of hope when I need it.  Cause, sometimes that's all it takes, just a glimmer. 

We had our first grilled mushrooms and peppers of the year this week and, oh my goodness!  I have missed those babies.  Seriously could eat them every. single. day.

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What's up, friends?  It's Friday!  {Insert collective sigh of relief here}

This week has been a long one, no?  Daylight savings got really diffucult about Thursday for me.  Hopefully I'm on the upswing from here. You?

I've heard Spring starts on Sunday, is that right?  How awesome does that sound?  Why am I asking so many questions?

Anyway, this weekend, I'm going to work on some orders...two piggies and two Easter baskets, work on a new project that may or may not involve the opening of a new shop {eek!}, and watch some basketball!

Jon will be working alot this weekend, too.  He recently got his real estate license and has his first open house on Sunday.  Wish him luck!  I'm so excited for him, and I just might take his picture like my mom used to do on my first day of school. 

Other than that, we're planning dinner with my family tomorrow night and hopefully some church in there somewhere too.

What's on your agenda this weekend? 

Oh, and conclusion from yesterday:  Shamrock shakes must not be all their hyped up to be.  I guess people just go nutty over stuff that's only around for a specific period of time.  At least, that's my guess.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A little green...

for your St. Patty's Day!

McDonald's Shamrock Shake Copycat via BabbleSt. Patty's Day cake via NotMarthaGreen VW Bug by define23 on FlickrGreen door via TinyWhiteDaisiesLatticed concrete via Oh Joy!http://thecraftsdept.marthastewart.com/2010/04/i-just-felt-like-crafting.htmlImage Map
FYI, my friends, that is a McDonald's Shamrock Shake copycat.  I actually have to confess, I don't know that I've ever had a shamrock shake...but I hear they're delicious! Perhaps I'll have to whip up a batch this evening.

Are you celebrating St. Patty's? 

This post is about the extent of my celebration, but I am wearing my cute green bow headband that I won in a blog giveaway from Sandy A La Mode. It definitely has me feeling festive!

Most importantly, am I missing out on the Shamrock Shakes? Worth it?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sweet tooth...

So, I think I have a problem.  54 of my 83 recipe pins are desserts, or might as well be.  Good thing I don't actually eat that much dessert!  The dessert pictures are just always so pretty that I have to pin them.  {at least that's what I'm telling myself.}


What about you, do you have a sweet tooth?  How do you manage it?

psst...if you'd like to see more of my pins, come follow me on Pinterest.  If you're on there too, let me know so I can follow you back! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Who tall are you?

                                                             Source: whotallareyou.com via jennifer on Pinterest


Ever wonder how you measure up to celebrities? Yeah, me neither, but it's sort of fun, I guess! Who Tall Are You? is a company out of the UK. You can order a variety of charts from them in Politicians, Women, Celebrities and Athletes. 

The charts do require some mind bending for us Americans.  You can find a conversion tool here.  ;)

I'm James Brown/Pamela Anderson tall.  Jon is Paul Bettany/Samuel L. Jackson tall.
 
Who tall are you?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Productivity...

                                         Source: lottaagaton.blogspot.com via jennifer on Pinterest


Good morning! How hard was it to get out of bed this morning? Ugh.

I have a whole to dig myself out of today, but I wanted to stop in and say hi.

In other news:

1. I'm completely caught up on orders! {that's good and bad}
2. It was 70 degrees on Friday, and now there's snow on the ground. {oh, Kansas}
3. March Madness has begun! HOORAY!!!

Are you a college basketball fan? If so, who's your team? Are you participating in a bracket challenge?

We're Jayhawk fans all the way!  Rock Chalk!

Have a great day, see you tomorrow!

Friday, March 11, 2011

A pretty bicycle picture and random thoughts from the week....

                    Source: tumblr.com via jennifer on Pinterest


If you have your daily astrology posted to Facebook every day, please remove it.  I don't want to look at my own every day, let alone someone else's.

I wish people would learn the difference between Reply and Reply All.

It completely freaks me out that 1990 was 21 years ago.  I mean, how did that happen!?  That means kids born in 1990 can drink...legally!  Holy smokes, I'm old.

I seem to know so many people who have the same birthdays.  I wonder if I know someone who has a birthday for every day of the year?

If the sink in the break room is going to get clogged despite the sign reading:  "this sink does not have a garbage disposal.  please do not put food down this sink.", why don't they just put in a garbage disposal?  They're not that expensive.

I find the whole concept of time strange.  I mean, right now it's the middle of the night somewhere.  Somewhere it's dinner time, somewhere there's a kid being put to bed.  I guess Jimmy Buffet was right, it really is 5:00 somewhere!

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This morning I'm thinking of all those affected by the earthquake and tsunamis.  So very sad.

This week has been a long one, which is weird since I had Monday off.  I've been painting piggy banks, and sold my first boy Easter basket of the season!  Yay!  I love it.  Yesterday, the battery in my car died...didn't love that.  All I can say is good thing my dad is retired and lives close so he could come to my rescue!

It is supposed to be beautiful today!  High of 67...sixty-seven!!  Wish I was outside to enjoy it!
The weekend is looking quite lovely as well. Only in the 50's, but I'll take it!

My only plans are to do some running and painting tomorrow, and get to church and small group on Sunday.

What's going on this weekend for you?  And...what time zone do you live in?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Campfire Chic Blog Party...

I'm participating in the Campfire Chic Blog Party today, wishing Kam a Happy Birthday!  Head on over to her blog to check out the festivities and drop her a birthday wish.  There are all kinds of goodies, tutorials, freebies and giveaways going on.  My post is scheduled for 1:00 pm Pacific time.  {I'll post a link when it goes live!} It's live!

If you're visiting from Campfire Chic, I'd like to extend a warm welcome!  I hope you'll look around and if you like what you see, I'd love it if you became a follower.  I look forward to getting to know you!

Have a wonderful Thursday, and I'll see you tomorrow for the return of my random thoughts!

Elliven Studio Giveaway Winner...

Congratulations Jessica!  I will pass your email on to Julie from Elliven!   She will contact you shortly to get your prize out to you!

{Add:   I just now made the connection.  Jessica and I go waaay back...we went to kindergarten together!  I knew her as Jessica N.  How fun is that!?}

Thanks everyone for entering.  Don't you just love giveaways?

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If you have a product you'd like to see reviewed here on jdavissquared, or if you'd like to sponsor a giveaway, email me.  Let's chat!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Choices...

                                                 Source: lottaagaton.blogspot.com via jennifer on Pinterest


I had a sort of revelation while watching the Biggest Loser last night.  {I know, lame, but bear with me.}

The only difference between active, fit people and couch potatoes is that the active people decided to get up and do it.   Sounds simple enough, right?

It's no secret that I've struggled with maintaining my weight and living an active lifestyle.  I've always thought "fit" people were somehow different than me.  They must have super powers or something.  They're just built different than I am.  They're born that way, more "talented" in the work out department.  But that's crap!  I'm not saying that there aren't people born with athletic gifts, because there clearly are, but the majority of people are just people.  The only difference is that one group says "I wish" and the other group says "I will".

I've decided I'm going to start choosing to be fit.  I've been running again since the new year, and it's amazing to me how fast it gets easier.  I'm not gonna lie, the first few weeks are brutal, but then, it just gets easier.  Fun actually.

But, I still struggle to drag myself out of bed in the morning.  This morning though, when that alarm started going off, I started saying my new mantra in my head.  Choose it, Jen.  Choose to get up.  Guess what?  It worked.  I got up and busted out my 3 miles, faster than ever.

I wonder what else I could choose to do?

Have you ever chosen to do something you never thought you could do?  Did it work?

p.s. Today is the last day to enter the Elliven giveaway!  This seriously is such a great prize, you guys.  If you haven't entered to win yet, you're missing out!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pretty, pretty weather...

I've been meaning to share this website by Kurt Riedi with you all.  I was introduced to it by Galit from Slow Noodle.  {She always finds the most amazing things.}  

The above is our local weather for today and tomorrow.  The rain is quite exactly how it looks today.  It's cold and drizzly.  I'm hoping that snow forcast for tomorrow is off.  The image sure is pretty though!  Helps soften the blow a little, I suppose.  Much better than the computer icons you normally see, don't you think?

Get yours here.

What are you most looking forward to this Spring?  {or Fall if you're in the Southern Hemisphere}

Oh, and don't forget to enter the giveaway!  It runs through tomorrow night at Midnight Central time.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Spring has sprung: Personalized Easter Baskets!

Hi all, I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I'm actually taking the day off to spend with my bestie, but I scheduled this post to let you know about the newest product offering in the shop.

I'm so excited to introduce to you, Personalized Easter Baskets!
They come in three sizes and can be painted in brights or pastels, for girls or boys. {The boy version would have minimal pink!}
Order yours today!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Big things...

                               Source: tinywhitedaisies.tumblr.com via jennifer on Pinterest


I have no randomness for you today, and no bicycle pictures.  This week has been busy....really busy!  We've experienced quite the little boom in Etsy sales, and for that I am most grateful.  Also, I'll be debuting a new product this weekend...stay tuned!

This week also brought with it big decisions to be made.  Like, really big decisions.  We're talking the kind of decisions you don't broadcast over the internet.  My mind is trying to sort it all out, and I feel myself retreating.  All I want right now is to lock myself away somewhere with my husband to talk and dream.  Someday, maybe I can share these things here, but not yet.  I hope you understand.

It seems somehow cruel to tease you like that.  I suppose I could have just not said anything at all here on the blog, but I wanted to document this nonetheless.  Just know that we've come up against something that is going to require alot of contemplation and prayer.

If you're the praying kind, we'd love it if you'd ask God to guide us.   We're waiting for Him to impress upon our hearts the right decision.  Our trust is in Him. 

I hope you all had a wonderful week, and that you have great plans for renewal this weekend.  If you haven't entered this week's giveaway, you really must check it out.  Elliven is a great little Etsy shop, that I truly believe is destined for great things.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Elliven Studio Giveaway...


I'm super excited to announce this next giveaway!

I've been following Julie's blog, Elliven for a few months, and have absolutely fallen in love with her designs!  Julie has a fantastic eye for color and making things fun and girlie without crossing over into that obnoxious place.  {you know what I'm talking about.}  Not to mention she's a total sweetie! 

I've showcased my favorite designs in the collage above.  That green hounds tooth sequin clutch makes my heart go pitter-patter! 

I highly, highly recommend you hop over and check out her shop

The best part:

Julie is offering one small zipper pouch to one luck jdavissquared reader!
If chosen as the winner, you'll get to pick any item from this section of her shop.

aaaand, right now Julie has a fantastic promotion going.  She's fast approaching 100 sales, and to celebrate she's offering 20% off with coupon code: ONEHUNDRED


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This giveaway is now closed!  See this post to find out who the winner was!

OPI Giveaway Winners...


And the winners are....

Melody D., Andrea P. and Susan B. 

Congrats ladies!  I'll send out an email this evening to get your shipping addresses from you. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

First Three Words...

I was browsing through Pinterest this morning, and came across this:

                                                  Source: b-splendid.blogspot.com via jennifer on Pinterest



The first three words I saw were "Leave", "Fool" and "Nude".  Hmmm, wonder what that says about me?  Doesn't sound good.  Now I'm seeing all kinds of better words. 

What are the first three words you see?   Do you think they say something about you?

I'd also like to give a warm welcome to all the new followers out there! This litte blog has seen quite the growth in the last few weeks, and I couldn't be more excited.  Thanks guys!  ;)

Be sure, if you haven't already that you go enter this week's giveaway!  Today's the last day to enter!  I'll announce the winner tomorrow morning, and then I'll be posting another giveaway from a talented Etsy seller.  You guys are gonna love it!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A conversation on the history of chocolate chip cookies {plus the best recipe and some tips on a perfect batch}...

Photo by Jennifer Davis
Jen:  Chocolate chip cookies are one of the best inventions ever.  Whoever invented them was a genius.  I mean, can you imagine when they first came out?  I bet the women were all, "Have you tried those new cookie things?  They're all the rage!"

Jon:  Yeah, but why are they called Cookies?

Jen:  Well, they're cooked and they're small, so they're cook-ies.

Jon:  Nah, I bet the first person who made them called them sweet flats.  Sweet flats with chocolate chips.  Cause they're sweet, and flat, and have chocolate chips.


To learn more about the history of America's favorite cookie, read this.

I recommend the recipe posted on the Best Choice packaging as the best chocolate chip cookie recipe around.

Best Choice Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe:

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine flour, baking soda and salt, set aside.  In another large bowl beat sugars and butter until fluffy.  Mix in vanilla and eggs until smooth.  Gradually add dry ingredients.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop by teaspoonful onto greased baking sheet and bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

Tips for the perfect batch:

1.   Soft butter.  I've learned through trial and error, and by reading my Betty Crocker cookbook, that the consistency of the butter has a lot to do with how the cookies turn out.  If you're really on top of things, you could let your butter soften to room temperature naturally, but I'm never that prepared.  I microwave the sticks on the defrost setting watching for when they're soft to the touch but not melting.  This will make your cookies nice and fluffy!  {too-melted butter makes your cookies flatten when baked}

2.  Mix Well.  Mixing each part well is key.  It's very important to cream the butter and sugar, then the vanilla and egg before adding the dry ingredients!

3.  Don't over-bake.  My husband has taught me, the trick to perfectly soft cookies is not to over bake them.  {duh}  If you think they're not quite done yet, then they're probably perfect.  You want them just starting to brown on top.  This makes for wonderfully soft cookies for days!

*****************************************************************************************************************************
Okay, now for the important stuff.  Do you eat the dough?

I'm a sucker for cookie dough, and can't help myself.  I say it's one of the simple pleasures of life.  Jon, not so much.  I say, totally worth the risk of eating raw egg!  {I'm sure the first time I get sick from it, I'll be whistling a different tune.}