Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Change of Pace and Scenery

I've been at the office, in my chair since 10:00 this morning, in fact, I'm still sitting here.  And while I usually hate days like that, today it was a very welcomed change.  We've been on the go non-stop since last Wednesday, and I literally mean that; every day has been full of very active activities!  So, today I didn't mind sitting at the desk and working all day.  We've still got some big activities to pull off, like the first Well service of the semester tomorrow, which is why I'm still at the office.  I know tomorrow will be one of the busiest, craziest Wednesdays of the year, so I wanted to go ahead and get the bulletins printed tonight.  All 900 of them.  And I must say, the new Ricoh is working like a gem.  I think we are going to have a very good relationship this year, which I am thrilled about!

Also, since I posted last, all the students have moved back and school has started.  Instead of looking at a pretty empty street and parking lot, and seeing nothing but squirrels running around, it's nice to see a full parking lot and people on the sidewalks.

The view about two weeks ago...
...and today.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Farewell For a Few Days

This will probably be the last post for several days, because the next two weeks are our busiest of the entire year!  The last few days have definitely picked up, but tomorrow starts what I affectionately call insanity and insomnia...We'll be leaving the office tomorrow hopefully by 7:00am and driving to Bristol where we'll be working at the speedway for a fundraiser again.  We don't know for sure when we'll get back, but it will definitely be in the evening.  On Thursday we're helping move Freshmen into the dorms from 7:30-1:00, and then I'm taking a group of students over to Milligan to distribute our brochures.  Friday is race day again, but this time we're leaving at 5:30am, and Saturday is another day at the races, and we'll get home really late from that one.  Sunday evening we have a Ministry Team cookout.  Monday is the first day of ETSU classes and during the day we'll be on campus handing out ice-cream sandwiches and brochures, and telling people about The Well and our Back to School Bash.  Then that night is the Back to School Bash.  On Wednesday we'll be on campus again, handing out more stuff and inviting them to our first Well service that night, and then that night is the first service!  Aghh!  Over Labor Day weekend is our Ministry Team Retreat.  That Monday night is our first Class '15 event and then that Wednesday we have a huge thing going on before The Well starts.  Ugh, just thinking about all that makes me tired.  But it is exciting too, and I know that before I know it we'll be half way through the semester and August will seem so long ago.  I just hope tomorrow flies by as fast!

Monday, August 22, 2011

DIY Wrapping Paper

I sent my sister a little package last week, and I was getting it all wrapped up and ready to go on the same day I had picked up my tablecloth from Etsy.  Melanie's unique packaging had inspired me to do something fun, so I started digging around in my craft basket and came up with an idea.  I found some plain paper, and then gathered some paint and two round items, a bottle and the lid to a mason jar.  I poured some paint on a paper plate, then dipped the items in it and used them like stamps.  I would do little purple circles, then big purple circles, then little blue circles, then big blue circles etc.  I just stamped randomly, there was no method or pattern.  I really liked how it turned out, and am thinking I want to do some sort of DIY wrapping paper for my Christmas gifts!

If you get a lot of paint on the item, you might want to blot it first.

Ta-da!  Finished project!

Surprise Party

I went to a surprise birthday party tonight, which is kind of funny to say because I haven't been to a birthday party in a long time.  I mean, I've got out to eat for birthdays, but it's not the same as a birthday party.  It was for my friend Leslie, and the cover up was easy.  Leslie's younger brother will be studying abroad this semester and she was told they were having a surprise going away party for him, which was true.  And he was told that they were having a surprise party for Leslie.  So he was sent out to the store to get some things, and then all of his friends and Leslie's friends arrived at their parents house.  We (Leslie's friends) waited in their driveway, wearing Happy Birthday tiaras, and sang Happy Birthday as her and her husband Drew walked up.  Shortly after Colin showed up, and then all of his friends piled out of the house.  Leslie said, "I thought this was a party for Colin," and Colin said, "I thought this was a party for Leslie," and they were both right, it was perfect!  While all of the college kids gathered in the den, we hung out in "the library," and it quickly became dubbed the old lady party.  But we loved it and vowed to get together soon and have another old lady night at Leslie's house. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Feta & Sun Dried Tomato Dip

I'm having some girls over tonight, to do crafts and watch a movie and eat of course!  No hang out is complete without some good munchies, and having people over gives me a reason to try out new recipes.  I saw this recipe for Feta & Sun Dried Tomato Dip in July's edition of Real Simple, and it sounded delicious and easy, and as I just found out, it is!  Well, at least I think so, no one else has tried it yet.

Feta & Sun Dried Tomato Dip
4 oz. crumbled feta
1 cup plain low fat Greek yogurt
2 tbl. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped oil-packed sun dried tomatoes*
salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, mash together feta, yogurt, and olive oil.
Mix in tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper.
Serve with crackers of your choice (I'm using Melba Snacks and Stacy's pita chips).

*I actually added about another 2 tablespoons of tomatoes
** Also, when I had finished making it, the dip was still all white, and didn't look as appetizing as the picture, which showed the dip in a light orangish color.  So I decided to add a little food coloring.  In a bowl I mixed one drop of red and one drop of yellow to make orange, but it was still quite bright.  I took a knife and put some of the coloring on the tip of it, and then mixed it in the dip.  It gave it just enough color!

Bon appetit!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Welcome Friends

I remember when some of "my girls" were freshmen and I'd stop by the their dorm room from time to time, and their sophomore year I stopped by a lot.  And now they're going to be juniors and they're renting a house off campus.  They've had a few bumps along the road of finding a place, but now it's all settled and they're moving in this weekend.  Jillian was in town today so we stopped by to look at it.  I'd seen it before they moved in, but it's been all cleaned and fixed up since then.  And I had bought the girls a welcome mat as a house warming gift and I was so excited to give it to them!  I had figured I'd go to the house and just bring it in with me, but Jillian had stopped by the office and was going to pick me up.  So as we were getting in the car I told her to close her eyes and then I ran to get it out of the trunk of my car.  Then I got into her car with it and told her to open her eyes!  She loved it, but then I told her to put it in the trunk because it was shedding fibers everywhere.  Then we headed over, and the house looks much better now and I'm so excited for the girls to get all settled in and make it their little home for the year!
Jillian in front of their cute, little blue house.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Shopping on Etsy

Last week I ordered something from Etsy.  It was a vintage tablecloth and it was from my friend Melanie Little's shop: littlestmakings (hence the name).  She searches antique shops and finds cute, unique items to sell.  For those of you who like antique things but claim you can never find anything or don't have the time to look, then this is for you!  She has some of the cutest stuff, you should definitely check it out!  Since we live in the same town there was no need for her to ship it, so I met her at Starbucks today to pick it up.  I walked in and saw a box sitting on the table.  But not just a plain box, an adorably wrapped box.  See below:

How cute is that!?!  She said she sprayed the box with spray adhesive and then just covered it with the pages from an old book.  I am definitely going to use this idea!  Just seeing the outside of the box made me even more excited to open it up.  It was like Christmas!  I pulled off the top and even though I still couldn't see the tablecloth, I squealed with excitement.  The tablecloth was wrapped in tissue paper and tied with string and had a cute little sticker on it.   And there were some papers and things about her Etsy shop in there too, and of course they were all artsy and cute too.  As much as I wanted to open it up, I started digging in my purse for my camera so I could document every moment and aspect of getting my tablecloth.  But as my hand kept reaching around in my purse, I couldn't locate the camera.   Ugh!  I'd left it at home.  My friend Jessie who was there too took a picture on her phone and is going to send me the picture.  But my impatience came into play and I'm writing this post without the picture, but once I get it, I'll post it.  Anyways,  I finally tore open the tissue paper and was thrilled to have my tablecloth!

It matches the decor and colors in my kitchen perfectly, and I just love that it's soft and worn in and has character, like little patches worn in it.  As I was putting it on the table I wondered about the the story behind it.  I like to think that two little kids sat here before they left for school and ate pancakes covered in sticky maple syrup, and then after the kids were on the bus mom would sit there and drink coffee.  And now I will sit there and drink coffee.  But without the maple syrup drippings on the table  :)

Waterfalls and BBQ

Well, our leadership retreat went really well!  We spent time casting vision and planning for the upcoming year, as well as just lots of time to getting to know each other better.  On Tuesday afternoon we took off and headed into the mountains where we hiked up to waterfall where we rested for a while and some of the guys swam and jumped off the waterfall.  After we left there we surprised the students with a trip to Ridgewood Barbeque for dinner.  Going to Ridgewood is more than just going to a restaurant.  It's an experience.  Ridgewood is one of those hole-in-the-places with amazing food.  I don't think the decor or furniture or dishes have been updated since the late 80's or early 90's, but you don't really notice any of those things when the massive sandwich overflowing with sliced pork is placed in front of you.  And I cleaned my plate.  Spotless.  We were all moaning when we left from being so stuffed.  I don't think most of us had felt like that since Thanksgiving.  I was still stuffed when I got home yesterday!  But it was a great three days and I'm even more ready for the year to begin and get underway!

Eliza, me, Staci, and Tiffani

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Munchies

I'm writing this on Sunday evening, but scheduling it to release on Monday because I'll be gone on a retreat.  We're having a leadership retreat and I needed to make a snack to munch on.  A couple weeks ago at Wal Mart I noticed that they've come out with all these flavored marshmellows, one package was Caramel and Vanilla.  I didn't buy them, but have definitely been thinking about what I could do with them.  Then I thought that they would be great in Rice Crispie Treats!  So after church today I went to Kroger to pick up the marshmellows and Rice Crispies, but was so disappointed to find out that Kroger didn't have them. Nooo!  I really didn't feel like going over to Wal Mart.  And even though I had lots of recipes at home I wanted to try,  I didn't want to go home to find out what ingredients I needed and make another trip back.  So I was going to have to figure something else out while at Kroger, and I didn't want to make regular Rice Crispie Treats, so I turned around and looked at the cake mixes on the shelf behind me, since they have recipes on the sides.  That's when I found one for Peanut Butter Fudge Bars from Pillsbury and went with it!

1 package Pillsbury Moist Supreme Golden Butter Recipe Cake Mix
1 cup crunchy peanut butter (it called for Jif, but I used Kroger brand)
1/3 cup water
1 egg
1 16 oz. can of Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Chocolate Fudge Frosting
1/2 crunchy peanut butter
1 cup candy coated chocolate pieces aka M&Ms
1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Preheat oven to 350* and spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray.
In a large bowl combine cake mix, 1 cup of peanut butter, water, and egg.  Spread into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown (I baked for 20).  Cool completely.

In a small bowl blend frosting and peanut butter, spread on cooled bars.

Is there a better combination than chocolate and peanut butter?  I think not!
 Top with M&Ms and chopped peanuts.

That is 1 cup of happiness!  My friend Sherri wrote the M&M people and asked them why they put ugly brown in with all the pretty colors.  And they wrote her back and said it was so people wouldn't confuse them with Skittles.  Who knew?!?
When Jenni and I lived together, she had this handy little chopper thing that I would use a lot when I cooked and baked.  Well, since I don't have one anymore, I had to improvise.  At first I put the peanuts in a Ziploc bag and beat them with a wooden spoon.  But that just resulted in the bag busting and peanuts flying everywhere.  So then I poured the peanuts in a mixing bowl and crushed them with the bottom of a can of soup.  Hey, whatever works!

So cheerful!

Oh. my. dear. sweet. goodness.  This is good!  And rich.  And for me to say something is rich, it's rich!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Snoozing on Sunday

Once I got home from church today I was a total bum.  Ate lunch, started watching a movie, fell asleep in the movie, restarted the movie, read, fell asleep, read, ate dinner, baked and started watching Food Network Star.  And I don't feel bad about it at all.  I'm taking advantage of these last few summer Sundays while I can.  Once the school year starts I'll have Bible study from 5-7 and then 8-10.  Not that I'm knocking Bible study, but it does consume my whole evening.  I've got three more Sundays left to revel in all day freedom and idleness.  Too bad none of the Pats pre-season games are on Sundays, I don't get to watch many of those once the school year starts either :(  But they've won their first pre-season one!  47 -12 against the Jaguars.  Woo hoo!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tea Time

I've been reading a book that's set in England, and the characters are always drinking tea which made me want to drink tea too.  So I turned on the kettle.  And I love saying "I turned on the kettle," it makes me feel like I live in cozy cottage with fresh flowers everywhere, and I would always be baking muffins and cookies and wearing a cute apron...Ok, daydream tangent, sorry.  Where was I?...Kettle.  Tea.  Tea cup!  I had the cutest tea cup to use, I bought it in China this summer.  I can still picture perfectly the little store down the street from our hostel in the Hu Tong.  It's the perfect souvenir because it's pretty and practical!

Now, isn't that a happy picture?

Wall of Possibilities

When I moved in to my new place my green shutters ended up in a corner of my bedroom.  I didn't really like them there, but that's where they were for a while.  A few weeks ago I moved them to the corner behind my door and I really liked how it looked.  Since that's where my mirror, coat rack (that's covered in purses), scarves, and basket of hoodies are, it kind of gave the area a unified "dressing room" kind of look, especially when I hung hats on the shutters.  I loved it!  Then I turned around and was horrified by the large, naked wall that was now on the opposite side of the room.  But what's great about naked things is that they scream "COVER ME!!!"  That wall is a wall of possibilities!  How exciting!


There's this decorating scheme that I've always liked and wanted to do, but never had the space for, until now!  With this blank part of the wall I think I can finally make it work!  It's when you cover a whole wall with a collage of pictures and framed things.  The possibilities of how you can do it are endless, which is exciting but also a little overwhelming since I am such an indecisive person.  I do know I want it to be a combination of pictures and other things.  I'm always hanging on to stuff that makes me happy because I think it would look cute matted and framed, and now I have a place to put it!  Here are some pictures of my inspiration...

I liked the lay out of this one.

This is good example of a the variety of things that could be framed...

I'm always saving stationary that's cute, which would look kind of like this if framed.

I like that all of these frames are white.  Since I'm planning on having a variety of stuff framed, I'm thinking that having frames in the same color would help unify the look.

I love this one too, it's so fun!  It's from a magazine and I've had the page marked forever.

So...Opinions?  Suggestions?  Which ones do you like the most?

Friday, August 12, 2011

DIY Games

We have a leadership retreat coming up next week and I'm in charge of ice-breakers and team building activities.  There's this game called Whoonu that's a great get-to-know-you game and I thought it would be a good one to play, except that I don't own it, The Well doesn't own it, and it's made for 6 players, and we'd have 15.  So instead of buying 3 editions of it, I figured I'd make my own!  All I needed was some colorful card stock and poker chips, which we already had on hand at the office.  So tonight I popped in a movie and got to tracing, cutting, and taping, and had 3 games ready to go before it ended.  Now I just need to invent a new game, sell the idea to Hasbro and make some money off my creativity!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Skies are blue...

The sky was been nothing short of amazing this week.  I mean, ah-mazing!  Bright, crystal clear, blue with the brightest, fluffiest, whitest clouds stretching in every direction.  And since I've been driving all over town this week, I've also been stopped at lots of stop lights.  And while I'm stopped there, I've been leaning forward over the steering wheel just looking up at the sky.  And tonight while I walked around the trails at ETSU I was very thankful for the amazing scenery I had to look at!

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the 
work of his hands. - Psalms 19:1

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Life for a Lamp

I first got this cute, simple, little lamp in college.  Every hall in the dorm had a storage closet where each dorm room had a big shelf where people could keep extra stuff.  It had to be cleaned out at the end of each year, and there was a deadline to have all your stuff out or if you were leaving something there over the summer, it had to be labeled.  After the deadline, anything left in there was up for grabs, and that's where I got the lamp!  It was originally light blue and I repainted it light purple to match my dorm room and then bed room in my old apartment.  Well in my new apartment, the kitchen isn't very well lit and I thought a lamp in the corner of the table might look cute, and I also thought that lamp would be a good fit.  So, bring on the tape and spray paint!  The lamp has actually been painted for a while now, I've just been looking for a new shade.  I wanted a brown one that had a square base, and I finally found one at Ross for only $4.99.  Score!  So here's the finished product...


Krylon Gloss in Bright Idea

You could change the nozzle to spray vertically or horizontally.  Brilliant!

...and after!
So cute and homey!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...