Wednesday, August 31, 2011

More throw pillows.

I went “shopping” at Grandma Dottie’s {Eugene’s grandma} house a couple weeks ago. She had some deep teal floral fabric & two 16”x16” pillow inserts that she kindly gave me to use to make some free throw pillows for our bedroom.


I took the same approach as when I made throw pillow covers for the couch. I’ll include the step-by-step pictures, but if you want the written out instructions, check out the post linked above.  FYI, for the 16x16 size, I ended up sewing a 14.5” x 14.5” square cover.













They’re definitely better than nothing…especially for free! I still think they’re a little too plain, so I have a plan brewing in my crazy brain to spruce ‘em up someday soon. But I guess you’ll just have to stay tuned for that one. :)


Tuesday, August 30, 2011


We scored free tickets for the Red’s game this Saturday. {Thanks Eugene’s Dad!} So Eugene & his brother & sister picked me up at work and we headed to Cincy for an evening game.


It was perfect weather. Warm, but not hot, with a nice late Summer/hint of Fall breeze. {The weather was my wondrous thing…especially driving back with the windows down at night.}





Sunsets at the ballpark  are beautiful.


Red’s won. That means my husband was in a good mood. That means I was in a good mood.


Eugene’s brother & sister were fun to have along too. :)


It seems so American to play baseball under the lights.


It was a nice get-away to sit for a few hours in Cincy and people watch see a baseball game. With the high school football game Friday night, the Red’s game Saturday, and then I played in my college alumni volleyball game on Sunday too – it was a fun-filled, sports-filled weekend!


Monday, August 29, 2011

High school football.

It’s high school football time. Warm afternoons, cool evenings. Hotdogs in foil wrappers. Cheerleaders smiling at their friends in the stands. Middle school teeny-boppers walking around the track, pretending they’re way older than their actual age. Proud parents. Fired up coaches. Eager athletes.





On Friday night, we went to the high school where Eugene now teaches for their first home game. I only stayed until halftime & honestly I didn’t even really enjoy the time I was there because I was so exhausted from a full work week, but it did make me look forward to going to another game in the future {more rested.} ;)

Hopefully ya’ll get a chance to enjoy & support some high school sports in your town!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

DIY art upgraded for free.

You’ll have to forgive me if I’ve already blogged about this. I don’t think I have, but it’s been so crazy busy lately that I could easily be mistaken.

Anyway, quite a while ago, I was given a beautiful bundle of wheat by a friend. {Thanks, Sarah!} She knew I love wheat, hints my wedding & the “winter wheat” color I picked for our walls strictly because of its name. I have the bundle in our kitchen, but I picked three pieces of wheat to add to my DIY art above the fireplace. The original “art” was just a spur of the moment, quick-fix that was a $1.99 fat quarter piece of fabric that I picked up months ago framed in an Ikea frame. I planned to use the fabric for a pillow, but once I put it in the frame, it just stayed.

You saw it first in this post. Simple enough. I decided to try to spruce it up a bit, while keeping it neutral, natural {and free}, by adding some dried wheat.


It’s really simple and understated. And I still love the fabric as the background.


I think I like that it’s not quite noticeable until you get closer to the frame, mainly because there’s a lot of visual interest in art already going on in that room thanks to the gallery wall.


And here’s another pic of the free diy art upgraded…


And from a bit wider angle…


Now we just need to build a mantle someday so that the DIY art doesn’t look so small. {Preferably in time to hang Christmas stockings on it!}


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Weeping and rejoicing.

I’ve been struck just this week by how broken our world is. Crazy terrible things have been happening to people I know. Death mainly, but sad, tragic, unexplainable death for people we can’t help but to label as “too young.” I’m reminded yet again of my own mortality. My husband, my family, my friends, myself – we’ve got no guarantee for another day.

“You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
   the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,
   even those who seem secure”. Psalm 39:5


Ever since I lost a good friend in high school to a tragic car accident, God made my heart much more sensitive than usual. I’m sure it’s also part of an answer to my regular prayer that God give me His eyes and His heart for others too. I know it’s a blessing, a gift, to feel so hard for people, but it also is truly gut-wrenching sometimes. My heart breaks for those around me this week. Absolutely breaks. So much so that I actually feel physical pain in my chest when I think of what some people are having to trudge through – death of an infant, drowning accident, death after a stage in Indiana collapsed at a fair, damaged relationships, cancer diagnosis to a college athlete, dementia diagnosed to a nationally recognized coach. The tears just come automatically these days. I’m flat-out overwhelmed by the brokenness of this world.

Overwhelmed, but not overtaken.


Our sermon this Sunday was on bringing life under God’s control. The perfectly timed scripture is found in Proverbs 3:5-6. Many people know it. Many can recite it without much effort, but it’s packed full of such assurance, comfort and peace that meet me right where I am today.

  Trust in the LORD with all your heart
   and lean not on your own understanding;
   in all your ways acknowledge him,
   and he will make your paths straight.

Three clear directives for us to find one perfect path…

1) Trust in the LORD with all your heart. The object of our trust is all important. We will be severely misguided if we trust in our riches, resources, religion, or self-righteousness. Anything less than complete trust, is no trust at all. We’re to trust in the LORD with all our heart, including our emotions, thoughts, will, and actions.

2) Do not lean on your own understanding. Only God is in a position to know all the details. We have just a small snapshot of our life, but God sees and orchestrates the big picture. {Isaiah 55:9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

3) In all your ways acknowledge {which is literally to “know”} Him. Know Him. Have fellowship with Him. Delight in Him. Pay constant attention to His revealings. It’s almost as if God is telling us personally, “{Insert your name}, You can trust Me. Just know Me in all your ways. I love you, and I’ve got you covered.”
If we honor God in the daily process of life, even despite all the brokenness of this world, He will take care of the final product. I’m so saddened by the heartbreak all around me, but I’m overcome with thankfulness and reassurance that although this world is a sad, broken place, we have a hope and a future that will not disappoint {Jeremiah 29:11}! Praise the Lord that one day there will be no more crying, sadness, pain, no more brokenness.

Oh how glorious it is to know that “weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning {Psalm 30:5.}


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Strawberry shortcakes.

I broke out my The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook to try out another recipe. The last recipe I posted from there – the blondies – was pretty darn good, so I had high expectations for this one too.


It met my major criteria of only including ingredients I already have on hand.

Strawberry Shortcakes

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for the work surface & biscuit cutter
5 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons {1 stick} unsalted butter, cut into 1/2” chunks
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon half & half or milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

First, you’re supposed to adjust your oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Add the flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar {I accidently added too much sugar…oh well, I like it sweet!}, baking powder, and salt in a food processor & pulse until it’s well combined.


Next you add your butter pieces & pulse until it resembles coarse meal. Transfer it to a larger bowl.


In a separate bowl, whisk the milk & whole egg.


Then pour that into your flour mixture, and stir it with a rubber spatula until large clumps form.



Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface & knead lightly until it comes together. Pat the dough into a 9x6” rectangle, about 3/4” thick. You’re not supposed to overwork the dough. I then used a simple drinking glass to cut out my shortcakes.


Place the shortcakes on your greased baking sheet {or in my case, my pizza stone} about 1 1/2” apart. Brush them with the egg white & sprinkle with the rest of your sugar.


Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through {I forgot to do this, but they turned out just fine.}


Move ‘em to a wire cooling rack & prepare your fruit & cool whip for the summery treat.



These sweet biscuits were a light & fresh dessert that I can see myself making again next summer.


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