Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Coming Out of a Whirlwind...


As you may have seen in my last post, my family and I recently relocated to Kentucky! This is partly why I've been absent from the blogging world for a little more than a month. In some ways it feels much longer than a month, but in other ways, I still can't believe I live in Kentucky already. This post may be more interesting to personal friends and family, but I thought I'd tell you a bit about our life for the last month. If you aren't really interested, feel free to skip this post until I can find my thread and start sewing again!
My husband and I had been praying for a new job for him for close to two years. His past job was very demanding and downright stressful for quite a few months. There were some extremely challenging and emotionally draining weeks and months there and times when our girls hardly got to see their dad. Family dinners were very rare and even going to church as a family was difficult without being disrupted by work. Needless to say, we really wanted a change in jobs. To make a long story short, we prayed fervently for almost two years about it. During that time, we learned many valuable lessons about Who God is. I have known for a very long time that God is faithful, but I grew to appreciate Him so much more during those challenging times. He loves, He forgives, He is always with me, His grace really is sufficient for every need and His timing is perfect.
Fast forward to July of this year. My husband had been putting in resumes all over the country and some even international (without my knowing!!) so when he started getting calls back from these places, I was a little nervous. He had a job offer in Maine previous to this that we had turned down. It was just way too far from 'home' and Winter hadn't exactly been nice there last year - who am I kidding?!? They still had snow on the ground in April when he received the offer. No, thank you! Then, he had an opportunity to go to Turkey. ?? Even further from home. So, we kept looking. In July, he had a few interviews all in different states. One was ruled out pretty quickly. It finally came down to the last two. One in NC, one in KY. So, we prayed more specifically and he went back for final interviews. We really didn't know which way to go. Through a series of events, we decided to choose KY. We were thrilled about it! This was an answer to a few very specific requests that we had prayed and hoped for for a long time. He accepted the job July 31st. And that's when the CRAZY began!
As soon as he accepted, he gave his two week notice at work. By August 4th, we had a realtor to help us sell our house, a moving company was lined up to give us a quote on moving our earthly belongings and I was hosting my 2nd sewing camp at my house. On the second day of sewing camp, the mover came to walk through the house during my sewing camp with 9 girls, including my own 3. That night, our realtor came to take pics of our house for the MLS. Meanwhile, I was cleaning and packing up personal belongings. August 8, my husband and I left for Kentucky to search for a temporary place to live. We had essentially one day to figure it out because he had to be back to work that Monday. On our way out of town, we sold my husband's vehicle because it wouldn't have made it to KY from SC. He had listed it on Craigslist and just a few hours later, it sold! So, we drove to this very unfamiliar city to try to find housing that we could move into 2 weeks later. We did find an apartment to lease short-term (which was harder than we anticipated!). By this time, we had also decided on a moving company and had already had a few showings on our house. We got back to SC and had to get our 'stuff' packed that we didn't want the movers to pack. We also had more important things to do like meeting up with all our friends for last-minute play dates and face-to-face chats since it would be awhile before we'd get back together. I'm SO thankful for those times. Leaving friends behind is so hard for the whole family, but being able to spend time with them was a real blessing.
On Friday, August 15th, the packers came and packed up everything that wasn't nailed down. There were boxes everywhere!! And we were still having a lot of showings on our house - sometimes even double showings!
August 17th was our last day at our beloved church. It was an emotional day for me personally, but also a very encouraging and hope-filled send off. Our sweet college class friends had a pancake breakfast and sweet time of prayer for us on our last Sunday morning together. That was a highlight of the day even though I had cried off half of my makeup by the end of it. Our pastor met us first thing when we walked into church that morning and gave us some encouraging words and a good perspective on moving and having to leave behind our church body. I knew it would be difficult to leave the church body we have grown to love so much over many years and it is still hard to be away from them. That has been the hardest part of this whole move. On Sunday night, our closest friends had a fellowship for us with homemade ice cream and some other yummy snacks and I took too many selfies with my friends and plastered them all over Instagram like only a true friend would do. It was a wonderful day. Many tears were shed over having to say goodbye, but that's what happens when God gives you the blessing of friendship. My, how blessed we are!
On Tuesday, August 19th, the movers showed up bright and early and began loading all of our earthly belongings onto a big truck. I had my doubts that it would all fit, but it did. About 7 hours later, they drove off with all of our possessions, minus those we were moving ourselves. It was kind of sad. We spent the rest of the day and night cleaning like crazy.

Wednesday morning came and we had to drive to TN (our halfway point which happens to be where my family lives), but once we got to TN, my husband had arranged to look at some cars for sale in that area. (Yes, en route to our final destination - as if there wasn't enough crazy going on!!) We did that and then got to stop at my parents' house for lunch which was worth the trip! We spent a short time there and then drove on toward my sister's house, but not before looking at a few more cars.

Thursday morning, we got up and drove to KY. It was a beautiful trip and we were able to get the keys to our apartment in the afternoon. It was a little nuts, but since our furniture and stuff wasn't getting here until Saturday, we had time to explore our new city for a couple of days.....and, again, look at cars. {Sigh.} That night, we received an offer on our house!! And by Friday morning, we had a contract. {We close this month!!!!}
Finally, Saturday came and so did our furniture. It took awhile to unload, and I felt sorry for the guys having to haul boxes and furniture up three flights of stairs. We were exhausted by day's end, but so excited to meet up with our close friends from home that were on their way home from Michigan that day. We met up with them at our local Steak N Shake for a short time (too short!!), but it was great to be able to see familiar faces again. Especially their's - we've been friends for 15+ years!

All of that took place in 3 weeks time. My husband has been on the job now for almost 3 weeks. We did finally find him a reliable vehicle and we have managed to settle in to our temporary apartment as much as we are going to. I still haven't found my silverware or my cereal bowls, but I bought some cheap replacements!
Fall has come to Northern Kentucky. Or I guess I should say Fall weather! The leaves haven't changed yet, but the weather sure is cooler. It's time for this South Carolina girl to go buy some warmer clothes!

.....and that's what we've been up to. And might be the reason I haven't blogged lately.... I'll be back soon!

Oh, and I forgot to mention one little detail....as if our lives hadn't been turned upside down enough, we decided to start homeschooling our girls for the first time this year. Something I said I'd never do. Never say never?? Yeah, lesson learned. More on that later!
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Monday, August 11, 2014

We're MOVING!


The last 12 days have been a whirlwind of excitement around here! In these past 12 days, my husband accepted a job in Northern Kentucky, we got our house ready and listed our house for sale, sold one of our vehicles, traveled to Kentucky to find temporary housing, and have gone to some doctor appointments to get us ready for school, etc. in Kentucky.

This is our last full week in our home and our wonderful city so needless to say, this week is very busy with finishing up doctor's appointments and getting everything ready for the movers to come next week. I am ready to get settled in our new place and get into a routine.

Blogging will be set aside until I can get internet connections, etc. I'm guessing it will be a couple weeks until I can get back to the blog, but I'll be looking forward to it!!

Prayers appreciated!
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Friday, August 8, 2014

Shared Bedroom Makeover Reveal {Finally!}


I wasn't sure if this post was ever going to make it, but I'm finally able to show the AFTER post of this shared girls' bedroom makeover!

I finished the whole room back in June, but wasn't ready to show the pics because I hadn't decided what to hang above the girls' beds. I couldn't quite decide. And then I forgot to post the after pics until now. So, here's what the before looked like - during the painting process:
And here's the AFTER!



I'm so happy with how it turned out! The blue was a very welcome change for my girls. And the white bedding, I'm happy to say, is still bright white with no stains, etc. (some of you were worried it might not be a good idea in a kids bedroom - I say Go For It!!) Even after the kids being home all summer long and spending lots of time playing in their room, I know I made the right choice! It brightens up a room perfectly.

So, what do you think??

Read more about this makeover in these posts below:
How to Cover a Lampshade with Fabric

Shared Girls' Room Makeover {the BEFORE}

Shared Girls' Room Update

Hoop Art 5 Ways

Thanks for stopping by!
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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Grand Opening Announcement!


Yesterday was the official Grand Opening of my new favorite online jewelry boutique! I cannot tell y'all how long I've been waiting for this day. For a couple of years now, my sister-in-law, has been dreaming and planning for this big day. I've been so excited to watch this dream of hers become a reality and yesterday was that day!!
AmeliaLawrence is an online boutique of elegant, handmade jewelry. I've seen some of these pieces in person and have watched in amazement as she creates these gorgeous unique accessories. It's not really fair to call them accessories, though. I feel that each piece is the main event and the clothing worn with them just helps add to these one-of-a-kind beauties. Amy searches all over the world for just the right elements to put into each piece. She finds inspiration in vintage items that tell a story and makes them new again. You have to check out all of her pieces online - I guarantee you'll have a favorite. Or two. Or ten.

Here are a few of my very favorite pieces... {in no particular order - I can't narrow it down to just one!!}

Amy's vision behind this dream came from what she describes here: "having opportunities to travel parts of the world, has opened my eyes to style, color, textures and the truth that all women want something unique; to be fashionably different from the lady walking beside them." 

Read more about AmeliaLawrence and how it came to be here.

Go check out AmeliaLawrence.com! I know you will not be disappointed. Bookmark her page or Pin the items you love to Pinterest so you can go back often to see new inventory! And don't forget to tell your friends about this lovely new online boutique.

Oh! I almost forgot - you've got to see her beautifully subtle earring collection, too!! I have two of the first pairs of earrings she began making and am complimented every time I wear them.

If you love what you see, tell her Amy sent you! {Yes, we have the same name!}

Happy Shopping!
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Home Economics

This is a repost from last October when I blogged for thirty-one days about Home Economics. Thought it would be fun to repost!

Welcome to my first 31 Days series! More may be added in the future, but this year I'm posting every day for the 31 days in October  2013 on Home Economics.
There will be a host of topics covered here which will all be very practical. I have a B.S. degree in Home Economics and spent four years studying it, so posting for 31 days should be pretty fun with a broad range of interesting and helpful ideas and resources! Each day beginning October 1st a new link will be added here to this page. {Scroll down to see links to each day!}
Ways to follow me on this journey: Pinterest, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, subscribe by email in the sidebar, subscribe to my feed in the sidebar, add me to your home screen of your mobile device hereI hope you'll join me here every day in October! I'm excited to share this journey with you!

Day One: The Family Dinner {+ free printable}
Day Two: How to Budget Meals {+ free printable}
Day Three: Never Forget an Item on Your Grocery List {+ free printables}
Day Four: How to Plan a Party or Other Themed Event {+ free printable}
Day Five: The Key Ingredient to the Recipe for Success
Day Six: Sewing Kit Essentials
Day Seven: How to Read a Sewing Pattern
Day Eight: How to Cut Out a Pattern
Day Nine: How to Sew Without a Pattern
Day Ten: Sewing Tutorials for Beginners
Day Eleven: Sew Many Gifts Tutorial Roundup
Day Twelve: Home Management: How to Delegate {+ free printables}
Day Thirteen: Home Management Binder Roundup {free printables}
Day Fourteen: The Well-Managed Home: Time Management {+ free printables}
Day Fifteen: The Well-Managed Home: The Laundry Room {+ free printables}
Day Sixteen: The Well-Managed Home: The Kitchen
Day Seventeen: The Well-Managaed Home: The Linen Closet
Day Eighteen: How to Be a Hostess with the Mostest {+ free printables}
Day Nineteen: How to Entertain on a Budget: Food Edition {+ free printables}
Day Twenty: How to Write an Invitation {+ free printables}
Day Twenty-One: 5 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet {Welcoming Guests}
Day Twenty-Two: How to Say Thank You
Day Twenty-Three: Hostess Gift Roundup
Day Twenty-Four: How to Clean your Cabinets ONCE & NEVER Do it Again!
Day Twenty-Five: The Easiest Way to Clean a Ceiling Fan
Day Twenty-Six: The BEST Window Cleaning Tricks Around {Or so they say}
Day Twenty-Seven: 5 Benefits of a Clean Home
Day Twenty-Eight: No-Sew Ruffled Hipster
Day Twenty-Nine: Ruffled T-Shirt Makeover {Sew Easy}
Day Thirty: Who's With Me? {Fabric Stashers}
Day Thirth-One: Day 31

Go back and check out other bloggers from this 31 Day Challenge here. And stay tuned! This October I plan to do another 31 Day series - topic to be determined.

As always, thank you for stopping by!
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Friday, July 25, 2014

My First Sewing Camp


A couple of weeks ago, I held my very first sewing camp. I wasn't quite sure what to expect and I was a little nervous about it because of never having done it before, but it was a great success! I so enjoyed planning for it and then teaching young girls how to start sewing.
We had a fun week with much chatter, giggling and learning. The girls came every morning very excited to get to work on their projects and they really learned quickly.
Our goal was to make two projects while learning the basics of sewing. {I plan to write a post on how to throw your own sewing camp in just a few weeks, so stay tuned for all the details!}
We made skirts the first two days.
But their favorite project was making a cross-body bag. They were all about the bag! It's such a practical item and they were thrilled that they actually made it themselves.
It was a rewarding week. The excitement these girls had about learning a skill that will benefit them for a lifetime was worth every seam that had to be ripped out and resewn!

One more sewing camp is in my near future and then I'll post all about my planning process and share how you can host your own sewing camp! It was a blast!!
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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Creating Clothespin People: Hours of Fun on a Budget

At the beginning of every summer I tell myself I'm going to do more 'crafty' things with my girls. I have three of them and they all love crafting. I have to admit, I'm not really into crafting lots of things that I don't have a purpose for. I love sewing - especially when I'm sewing for a purpose or something I can and will use. I like making jewelry and other things, but getting out the glue and paint and glitter and all sorts of other crafty things --- not so much. I decided, though, that this summer would be different. I'd try to overcome my own dislike of making big, sticky messes and let my girls create things, to a certain degree. And you know what? They LOVE it. As it turns out, they are much more creative and imaginative that I thought they were and I love watching them.

A few weeks ago, I found a package of old fashioned clothespins at a local thrift store for $2.00. There were about 24 clothespins in there and I thought, "Hmm...these would be fun to make dolls with!" So, I bought them and a few days later, when I started hearing those all-too-familiar words, "I'm bored", I got them out. I decided to put a few pieces of scrap fabric in a bag with some yarn and my hot glue gun and then brought the bag out to the kitchen table {where all of our messy crafting is done} and then called my girls in. They went nuts! I gave them free reign of it all after a quick lesson in hot glue gun safety and they got right to it. They worked at least 2 hours on it before we had to go somewhere. And guess what they wanted to do the next day? A couple days later, their cousins came to town and they joined in on the fun. We ran out of clothespins quickly.

So, I went in search of more old fashioned clothespins and found something even better! While the girls had used the round clothespins previously, Hobby Lobby had the same type, only they are flat on the front and back. This gave me another fun idea - paint them! So, I bought one bag of tall flat ones and one bag of round ones.
As soon as we got home, I brought out my stash of craft paints and paint brushes and tried not to panic thinking about the mess that could happen and sat down with my girls to paint some people! I painted a few to help give them ideas of how to paint them and then I let them go crazy! They sat quietly at the table painting people and complementing each other on their work for FOUR hours!!! I could not believe it. No electronic devices, no TV, no fighting. Just happily painting together. Best.Day.Ever!
They ended up painting close to 40 people in one day. We can't wait to do this fun craft again! And they actually play with their clothespin people. I've found Pin People in all kinds of places in this house.
We ended up having some super heroes, pirates, girls, boys, fashionistas, and even Rapunzel in our little Pin People Family. There's even one that looks like Michael Jackson, although that wasn't the plan. It just sort of happened. I guess you could say it was a Pin People Fail. Makes me laugh every time I see it. My kids have no idea who that even is, but looking at it cracks me up! Can you pick him out?

They are easy to store and easy to play with at home or on the go. It's a great way to keep your kiddos busy this summer while encouraging their creativity and enhancing those motor skills. They're learning and growing without even knowing it!
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