Happy New Years Eve everybody! I’m trying decide which of my new nail colors I’m going to wear out tonight to celebrate. Fran has an impressive collection of non-toxic nail colors, and for Christmas, she helped me start my own. Check them out for yourself here. They are cheap, apply really nicely, and I can’t wait to add even more to my collection!
The start of my collection. Frilling glitter!
What kind of little frills did you get this Christmas?
Lyle was so excited to have received the Star Wars movies on blue-ray for Christmas, and seeing as how I have never seen them, we decided to watch all six of them in a span of three days. I have to admit, this was not the most exciting prospect in my opinion, so I knew we would have to frill things up a bit with some fun, after Christmas treats – one for each night.
Everyone knows that it’s nearly impossible to get back on track with things right after Christmas. New Years is just around the corner, so there’s no point in laying off the sweets just yet, right? Recipes below!
Amaretto Stone Sour:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Chex Mix:
Yesterday was my birthday, and because we planned on being in Austin for most of the day and night, I decided it would be easiest to simply adjust my look rather than bringing an entire change of clothes for the night time festivities. Here’s how I transitioned from day to night.
Day: More neutral makeup, loafers and knee highs, and a blazer.
Top: Gap, Blazer: Urban Outfitters, Skirt: gifted, Knee Highs: DSW, Loafers: Ralph Lauren, Bag: Macy’s, Scarf: gifted, MAC lip gloss.
Night: I think a great nighttime look is all about simplifying and glam-ing it up with a few key accessories. In this case, I used glittery gold pumps and red lipstick.
Highlight of the night: Fran made a gluten free birthday cake for me! Love!!
This weekend, Lyle and I hosted a Christmas dinner party for my Truett Covenant Group and their husbands. What started as a required small group over three years ago, has now become a cherished source of sweet community in my life.
We were able to make the get together even more festive and frilling thanks to Lyle’s mom’s Christmas china, which we are happily watching over while they finish building their new house. I love anything that makes Christmas extra… Christmas-y, so naturally, I had a blast with the table setting.
I made cupcakes again so that the girls could take their favorites home, too!
This is one of my favorite photos of us from the night. So many things have changed since we all first met in 2008. Ashley (not pictured), our original small group leader, has graduated and moved to North Carolina with her husband and their baby boy. Raquel, on the far left, has graduated and now has twin girls. Kelly (next to Raquel) and I both have our Masters of Social Work as of last May. And we will graduate this May, along with Melaina – who is pregnant (as you can see), with our Masters of Divinity. I love these girls! This picture cracks me up!
One thing I love about this time of year is the fact that you can always count on great blockbuster hits. What makes this even better is that Austin always has films showing that are only in limited release, making it easy for me catch movies like My Week with Marilyn and The Descendants, which are already generating Oscar buzz. Here are the trailers to the films I am most excited about seeing over the next few weeks. We are going to see Sherlock Holmes tomorrow for my birthday!
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
My Week with Marilyn
Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
What movies are you excited for this holiday season?
Thursday happened to be national cupcake day. I had no idea initially, but how fitting that I ended up making 6 dozen different types of cupcakes for a small and intimate get-together.
A while back I had a dream that I opened a chic little shoppe that sold cupcakes and cocktails. It was totally girly, fabulous, and – you guessed it – FRILLING. While, I have no plans of actually doing anything like this in real life, I recently had fun with the concept!
Here’s what happened: I made an assortment cupcakes, had a few friends over, and they were able to taste test the six different kinds. Meanwhile, there were also a variety of fun cocktails to choose from. At the end of the night, each girl took home a personalized box full of her favorite cupcakes from the bunch.
White cupcakes with chocolate-cream cheese icing.
Spice cupcakes with spice molasses icing.
Chocolate cupcakes with mint chocolate chip icing.
White cupcakes with key lime-cream cheese icing.
Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing.
Spice cupcakes with chai latte icing.
Here are the girls at the end of the night with their favors.
I have been searching for the perfect Mama bag for well over a year and a half. Maybe you’ll recall, I’ve posted about this before. My trusty backpack is not cutting it anymore- it’s such a pain to dig things out of the bottom of it. Here were my criteria:
a) Must have ample exterior pockets for quick-grab items like phone, wallet, hand lotion, sanitizer, lip gloss, etc.
b) Must have a cross-body shoulder strap AND handles, preferably two handles as opposed to one.
c) Must have divided interior sections.
d) Must not have the kind of zippers that hurt my fingers to open them. (You know, the toothy metal kind.)
d) Ideally, would be medium brown.
Well, I finally found one that meets four out of five of my criteria, and I’m FRILLED. Meet my bag. I’m in love.
The interior has three sections, two with magnetic snap closure, the middle one with zip closure.
Notice that the lining is actually of a tasteful and attractive fabric.
And the ample front pockets keep wallet and phone handy, among other things.
Look at what this baby holds, with room for more!
In case you’re curious, here’s a run-down of what I often carry:
I’m loving this gal. The only criterion she didn’t meet was that she’s black instead of brown. Oh well, she’s still smart and stylish and very non-diaper-bag-ish. A best of all, I got her on SALE for $65, originally $200. Can’t beat that, right?
Yesterday I officially finished my second-to-last-semester-of-school-EVER, and my top priority became putting together a Christmas box for my brother-in-law who is currently deployed over seas.
I don’t even want to imagine what it would be like to have to be away from family at all, much less at such special moments like the holidays. Chris will have missed Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and his daughter’s second birthday before he gets to come home next year.
I want my bro to know that we are thinking of and praying for him this Christmas, that he is not forgotten, that we wish he didn’t have to be alone, and that the holidays definitely aren’t the same without him here. I’m telling him this in the best way I know how – through Christmas sweets and goodies. Plus, there is NO way he is getting away with missing out on the defeated, yet joyful feeling of constant loss of self-control the rest of us experience during the Christmas season thanks to tons of sweet treats everywhere we turn!
The package includes gourmet popcorn, M&M Christmas candy, Louisiana Hot Sauce and Tony Chachere’s Famous Creole Seasoning (I am from Louisiana – you NEED these things wherever you go, believe me.), sugar cookies, yogurt pretzels, toffee, an Itune’s giftcard, and a dvd I made for him during Thanksgiving at my sister’s house.
Of everything I sent, two have the most meaning behind them:
This is the best homemade toffee EVER. EVER PEOPLE. My mom-in-law makes it every year along with spritz cookies, and we make ourselves sick all month long eating it. It’s a tradition. I LOVE traditions. I had to share the love with Chris.
Second, during Thanksgiving break, I was able to make this silly little video of my sister and niece (his wife and daughter). I’m hoping he loves it. I think it’s FRILLING and adorable.
Here’s a picture of everything all packed up and ready to go. Don’t worry, I stored all the food properly in ziplock bags within the tins so that it will stay fresh!
Do you have any special Christmas boxes you are sending this year?
A couple of weeks ago, I shared a project I completed with you all that is really special to me. Although I explained the meaning behind it with you already, I wanted to share in more detail why I used each specific character.
Here is the final product. Unlike the last post, I was able to tighten the fabric so that it was not so wrinkled. From left to right, the stories portrayed are that of Deborah, the unnamed concubine, the Tamars, and Elkanah and Hannah.
Deborah, the judge (Judges 4-5)
Not only was Deborah the only woman judge recorded among the story of the judges, but she was a legitimate leader, not just for a woman, but in her own right. Deborah has become one of my biggest inspirations. Many women were used by God to accomplish his purpose in the Old Testament. However, oftentimes, because of their role in society this was done inconspicuously. Deborah, however, was an outright leader over men and women alike. They came to her to mediate disputes, and they followed her in battle. Deborah was legit!
The Unnamed Concubine, Judges 19
This story is considered one of the four “texts of terror” in the Old Testament. It’s horrible, it’s gruesome, it’s completely unjust. This “unnamed” concubine was essentially tossed outside to a group of horrible men threatening to come in and rape her husband. Instead, he threw her outside to spare himself. She was brutally sexually abused throughout the night and left at the threshold of her masters home in the morning. Alive or not – we aren’t told – he cuts her into twelve pieces and sends each piece to the 12 tribes of Israel appealing to them to act because of this injustice. What is so tragic about this story is that at the end, her husband is treated as the victim, while she is left unnamed. This story touched me to the core. I chose this picture of the unnamed concubine for all those who have experienced domestic violence or sexual abuse. Though we don’t even know her name, she will not be forgotten.
The Tamars, 2 Samuel
There are multiple Tamars mentioned in the Old Testament, but this is a picture of Tamar, son of David. Tamar was the sister of Absalom. Amnon was Tamar and Absalom’s half brother, and he was in love with Tamar. One day, he decided to rape Tamar because he wanted her so badly. She appealed to him to ask David for her hand in marriage, but he did not listen, and she was dishonored. She was forced to live as a desolate woman in Absalom’s house. Absalom loved Tamar, and was so upset about what happened, but David did not punish Amnon or really even acknowledge the situation. Over time, Absalom became bitter, and he ended up killing Amnon and trying to overthrow his own father, David. This story is so sad because it shows how awful things can happen when those of us in ministry focus on being good leaders, to the detriment of our families. Before the story ends, Absalom names his daughter Tamar. He loved them both so much; he spoke out for Tamar when no one else did. Though she was forced to live a life of dishonor through no choice of her own, I like to imagine the peace she felt when she held the beautiful babe that shared her name.
Elkanah and Hannah, 1 Samuel 1
Elkanah and Hannah were the parents of the great prophet Samuel. I love their story because Elkanah loved Hannah and saw her identity even a part from bearing children. I like to imagine them walking side by side, true lovers, a real team. They are one of the only examples of exceptional parenting I have been able to find in the Hebrew Bible. You can tell that they are great people from their great faith and character, but mostly from how great their son turns out. Samuel is one of the few great heros of the Hebrew Bible to not only start out well, but to also finish well. He was a consistent, faithful servant of God from beginning to end, and I think his parents played a large role in that!
That was a lot of reading, but if you made it this far, you can probably see that pretty much all of these stories revolve around women. When I started this project, I reflected a long time on who I would use as lasting memories of my learning from this course. I knew I wanted to use people who did great things in my eyes, but are often overlooked. I compiled a long list, but these are the final four I chose. If you are interested, other people whose stories spoke to me include: Benjamin (brother of Joseph), Shiphrah and Puah (Midwives in Egypt), Caleb (in the story of Joshua), Othniel (Caleb’s brother and a judge), Huldah the prophetess, and Josiah (last good king of Judah).