Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Blueprints & Instagram

and happy Thursday!!

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate that Picnik will be no more after April 19.  How else am I going to compose these apartment blue prints for you? Also I better warn you there isn't much to this post but I just thought I'd document so I can remember years from now what some of our apartments were like. 

I find it comical that our internet is sparse around here. Do you see the red star? That's where most of my internet work gets done. Blogging, photo editing, adding new products, Pinterest, you name it. The first few weeks I sat out on the patio. The more I was out there, the more little bugs decided to start biting my ankles.  I do not like itchy legs one bit.It was somewhat ridiculous, and warm, sitting outside with socks and pants on in Florida. 

I moved on inside to the bottom of our stairwell (red star). I feel kinda creepy cause the neighbor has a date on the patio and I can hear them chatting. Oh well. It's cute too because BD will go play on the iPad and say things like, "I'm going to get on the internet for awhile," like he is leaving the apartment. It's the closest thing we have to another room. Randomly we can occasionally pick up the WiFi from our couch, only when our neighbor leaves the sliding door open while she is sitting out there. Weird huh? 

I've become extremely behind on blog reading and writing. Sometimes I feel like I'm in timeout sitting on the stairs so I haven't been excited to come sit and write here.

In other randomness...

I'm going to attempt making this skirt this week/weekend from Cotton Lane. She has wonderful tutorials and I really want to try them all.  

Instagram is currently my favorite iPhone app. Follow me larnlevydickson. If you do it's like getting little  friendly love notes randomly. Here are some of my favorites. It's become a daily thing to give my followers something positive, encouraging, or funny. I tried the photo-a-day challenges and I had to quit. I was tired of hunting  for photos to take. So now I'm doing this instead. I love it, hope you do too!

Own your Wednesday...

I dare you...

A reminder from The Help...

I hope YOU had... 

Do it. I dare you. 

That's all from Florida for now. I am going to try, try, try and get better posting and reading.

P.S Only 23 days until #hungergames. Just saying.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Wristlets

The latest additions to the laurendarlings shop for only $8 + shipping. Enjoy!

Be sure to email me if there are colors you want but don't see in the shop. I'm pretty flexible. Thanks!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Bold Prayer

A quick Sunday lesson. I heard something in church that I thought I'd share. It's a different kind of prayer. A bold prayer.

'Lord, I'm going to [ fill in the blank ], stop me if you want.'

I can't explain exactly why this resonated with me but it did. As we were leaving church I told Brandon of all things from the message, that one stood out to me. He agreed. It's similar to the the saying, "you'll never know unless you try."  So many people are afraid to do things because they don't believe they can or will have the means to do such.

Are we supposed to be patient and wait for His timing? Yes, I fully agree with that. But I often think opportunities are missed because we deny them before we even give Him the chance. 

The other night I was in a bummed out mood. I've been spending lots of time sewing and  starting up this new shop of mine. I was comparing my new venture to all the successful ones already out there. Then I started talking myself out of what I really love doing. 
Not long into my pity party I get a text from a friend of mine asking if I made bows. I don't make them much anymore but I can. It turns out that lots of my friends rely on me when they are in need of something along the creative route. I was flattered and more importantly encouraged. He wasn't stopping me, I was.

Be bold and take the leap. This could be applying for a new job, college, buying a house, or even starting a family.Think of the times you didn't get that job offer or someone else bought your dream home.  Don't deny these opportunities before God does.

Lord, I'm going to keep sewing and creating, stop me if you want. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hi-Lo Skirts

The weather here in Florida has been quite awesome. For some reason when I packed for six weeks I didn't bring a lot of fun warm-weather clothes. I didn't bring winter boots and sweaters, but very casual shorts and boyfriend tees. There is nothing wrong with this look, it's my favorite, but I've been in a comfy/casual look slump for a while. Too long actually. 

Before we started dating, the mr. said one of the things that caught his attention (besides the camo shorts) was that I dressed up. I don't tend to do that too much anymore because we usually don't have many places to go. Now due to our lack of a full functioning kitchen we tend to dine out most nights of the week in turn I have a reason to dress up again. Plus I know my husband likes when I put in a little bit of effort to look nice for him. 

So since I've started sewing and we are a little bit settled here I've been dying to make a skirt or two. I received an email the other day with some dresses/skirts and I fell in love with the style. The Hi-Lo style. The Pinterest search began. Here is what I found for my skirt making if only there was an easy tutorial online. I'll just have to do some experimenting. But please if you've seen one, send it my way.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Let's Talk A Little Baseball

My husband has been playing since he was a little kid and all growing up. From high school he went on to play at a two year community college. In one of his last games there he was sick but decided to pitch what he thought could be his last game anyways. At that point he had nothing lined up as far as baseball for the following year. A scout from a Division II college was there looking at another player and ended up seeing BD pitch. They liked what they saw and from there he went on to the D2 school to start a third year of college ball. 

Junior College

D2 - Tusculum College

After his first season there one of his hometown friends (and forgive me I don't know/remember exactly how this part goes) had an opportunity to throw for a Cardinal scout and had Brandon come throw for this guy too. Turns out they liked him enough to sign him as a non-drafted free agent. [Brandon is only the second non-drafted free agent to make it to the Cardinal's major league team. This would be comparable to a walk-on going pro vs someone getting drafted to the pros. Pretty awesome.]  They flew him out to join the rookie ball team to finish up the 2006 season. 

Okay hang with me cause it gets tricky. When you start in an organization you may start at the very bottom and work your way up OR you start somewhere in the middle. It just depends how big of a prospect they player is. In BD's case he started from the bottom and over the past seven seasons has worked his way to the majors. 

The order is...Rookie Ball, Low A, High A, AA, and AAA. If you think like me.. you think A is better than AAA, but it's actually reversed. AAA is the highest place you can be in the minor leagues. You may bounce up and down between the levels getting called up or sent down. You pack up your things and go. Think about it for a second. If you have a wife and kids what do they do? They pack up and move with you. I've heard stories of moving 11 times within a season. I pray that never happens for us, but it may. 

Low A - Quad Cities

AA - Springfield Cardinals

AAA - Memphis Redbirds

The most common question we've heard this off season is where will he be playing this year? For BD, there is that possibility that he plays in AAA again. But it might not be for the entire season. He could bounce between the majors and minors. Yes, I it is crazy. For several guys, including Brandon, spring training is a try out. There are only so many positions on the big club and that's what his goal is this year to leave spring training on the major league roster. Until spring training is over we don't know a thing. He just goes out there every day and gives everything he has.

It isn't an easy task but if you know BD then you know he is going to be so grateful no matter where he is asked to play. He has been doing this for seven years. He will be the first to tell you dreams don't happen over night. Clearly he has been working on this since he was a kid. His faith is a huge part of where he is today. He isn't afraid to tell you there are plenty of other guys more talented than he, but God has been faithful to Brandon through his entire baseball career. 

It's been a joy for me to watch so many of his games the last couple of seasons. It was the most proud I have ever been watching him last year live out his dream and I'm so hopeful that there is a lot more of that this year. Plus he looks goooood in a uniform. 

Fun Facts about BD: 

  • Height : 6'5'' - lucky me I can wear heels and still be shorter than him.
  • His first at bat in the big leagues he got a hit. [on the first pitch]
  • He was part of a Pujol's grand slam.
  • He doesn't ice his arm.
  • Butterscotch milkshakes are his favorite.
  • There are two seasons for him. Baseball and Hunting
  • His favorite color is Camo.

Not so fun fact: BD took a line drive straight to the mouth when he was 15 or 16. They wired his mouth shut and he had all his meals through a straw. To this day, I don't think I could pay him to drink an Ensure. Had it been me, I would never taken the mound after  for the pure fact that it could happen again. However, he recovered and is still doing what he loves today. Just another reason he is so unique and special.

If you'd like more be sure to read about his call up and his big league debut. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Choose Joy

Aside from writing here on my blog I really enjoy reading others blogs. I like the small new ones that I can relate with. We write about things like planning a wedding, decorating a home on a budget, and share new recipes. I also like the medium size blogs that have a good readership posting on more specific topics like fashion or DIY. Then there are the mega blogs, the big kahunas. And I like these too.  I can't read them as regularly because sometimes they are about topics that I need to know nothing about at this time in my life such as remodeling a kitchen or designing a nursery. However I occasionally check up on them for future references.

But there is one huge blog out there that I never let have any unread items before I go to bed. LilBlueBoo. I found this blog through a page I like on Facebook. She shared a link to a video called "Rite of Passage: Shaving My Head."  My curiosity was heightened and I clicked on it. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it. Tears literally streamed down my face as my heart broke for a complete stranger. Grab some tissues..

Rite of Passage - Shaving my Head from Ashley Hackshaw on Vimeo.

As I began to read through posts I realized this wasn't the first time I had been on this blog. It had been several months ago that I found it, maybe a year, but never clicked the subscribe button. I guess I didn't feel the topics of her blog pertained to much to my life at the time. I remember because there was a video of a Mom and her daughter dancing in their own homemade video. My thoughts were,"That's awesome I want to make YouTube videos with my kids someday." Sure enough, here I am watching a video of that same mom and daughter in a completely different type of video. A heart breaking video.

A few days passed and I decided to show this video to my husband. He didn't have much to say about the video which is normal for him but I knew inside he felt some sadness. He is they type of guy that given the worst situation will be positive about the outcome. I'm very blessed. I love that quality that he and Ashley share.

I do believe Ashley is a miracle. She will beat cancer. If you read her blog you might agree, and if you don't well I highly recommend it. It is truly a blessing. I often read her posts to Brandon because they are just so hilarious some times. Who else can talk about poo on their blog and get away with it? I promise it's NOT in a gross way don't get freaked out.

I am so inspired by her positivity. The days I get upset over tiny things I think of Ashely and how she doesn't let this one BIG thing rule her life. And neither should you, life is too short. If you know anyone who is needing encouragement or tired of fighting a cancer battle please, please pass this link along. Maybe they need a little bit of sunshine she is sure to spread.

I hope you decide to choose joy in everything you do.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bloggy Blues

Hi friends! So... what do you think?

If you didn't notice because you're reading this in a reader then open up my site and check it out. 

I got a makeover! Actually, my blog did. 

I have had the bloggy blues. Yes it is a real thing and if you're a blogger you have probably had them before. You know..blinking cursor syndrome, writer's block, etc. I decided maybe some changes would inspire me. If you're looking for some help for your own blog I followed an easy tutorial by Sweet Verbena

I tried to make it easier for you to navigate around here. I was inspired by the bows from my new clutches and brought them and some polka dots into the design. [Hint: the clutches in progress have polka dots/not yellow] 

All last week I was so excited to finally get some items in the shop. I also made my first sale! I started eagerly on more with a bit of variety in the style but decided to take the weekend off and re-energize. I think you'll love them and will hopefully have them ready mid week. I also forgot this AWESOME photo from the new clutch photo shoot. 

In getting the shop up and running I haven't been inspired to write much. Our schedules are pretty monotonous so there is nothing to report there. I have not tried any new recipes or been crafting since we don't have a full kitchen and I left all my supplies back home. The two things which I rely on most for blog material. I am happy to report we did successfully make panini's for dinner the other night but I'm not talented enough to turn that into and entire post.

I'm sure something will provoke me or maybe just some Pinterest inspired posts to get over the hump. If you're not working today I hope you have a great day off. Happy President's Day.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Our Valentines Day

I have a few minutes here on the patio before it starts raining. 

Valentine's Day was Tuesday. Monday Brandon brought home a beautiful arrangement of flowers. It threw me off because that would have been fine if there was nothing else. Tuesday he surprised me with a new lens for my camera and a sweet card. He got a home cooked meal from me. 

We had pancakes. Nothing fancy. The add water kind. Umm... they were really good actually if you ever get in a bind with limited supplies. We brought along a crock pot, a griddle, and a toaster. I may have already told you this but so far I haven't gotten creative using just these three pieces of cooking equipment. A challenge I've yet to conquer. 

Tiny kitchenette. 

This is what happens when you don't have a spatula.

Not to shabby.

We visited our friends newborn baby.

Visited the beach.

But more importantly our day was spent together full of love and laughter.

I learned the right and wrong ways to write in the sand. He lost his camera privileges after this.

Then we laughed at these guys picking up some last minute flowers before heading home after work.

The greatest gift of all though is his love.

Dear Valentine - I love you so much. You are the best husband a girl could ask for. You work so hard for our family and I apppreciate that even if I forget to tell you. I love sharing this crazy life with you. We may not know what the future holds for us but that it's going to be good because it's together. I love how you come with me to shop for fabric and get in line for me to have it cut before I'm done shopping.  I also love all your crazy accents that you talk in all day long and I'm not sure why.  Looking forward to many more years to celebrate our love. Xoxo.