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Skateland

11 Jul

We are expecting…

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I had a friend tell me the other day that she doesn’t know anyone else whose life does a 180 degree turn around as often as mine does. And this, my friends, is the truth.

I am actually sitting here at the computer, eating a toaster scrambler at 10:45 at night, reflecting on our recent life changes. There are too many that are still raw for me, and some of you who personally know me, know the challenges we have faced recently.  And you know what I know through everything? The one thing that stays in the forefront of my mind and heart is that God is good. No matter what, God is good. I know God has allowed me to go through these things to bring me closer to him, and to continually grow me spiritually. And while I am in the midst of these times, it’s not fun, but I know God has a plan for our family.

Sunday night God’s plan for our little family changed yet again when we headed to the airport.

So yes, we are expecting, but not like I led you to believe. Sorry about that.. it was mean, wasn’t it??

But we are the proud new host parents to a wonderful, sweet girl from China, Yufei. She is here as a foreign exchange student visiting the U.S.A.

And you don’t even know how BLESSED I am. My heart is full of joy and excitement looking forward to the journey ahead of us.

I can already tell you that she is a wonderful addition to our home, and just her being here has started the healing process for me already. I have no idea how to be a “mom” to a 15-year-old. So you all pray that she has patience with me.  (And my horrid accent.)

Not only is this going to be an experience for this BRAVE sweet girl, but it will be a true exchange; An exchange of cultures where we will all grow and learn more and more about each other. I know we won’t ever be the same again, and for that I am thankful.

Welcome Yufei! 

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Stitch Fix #1

19 Aug

I haven’t blogged since 2013… but i figured it was time to start back!
Have you heard of Stitch Fix? I honestly don’t even know how I happened upon it…but I did, and I thought it would be fun to try out.

How it works: You sign up for a monthly “Fix”. It costs $20 initially. This is a stylist fee. Your stylist then picks out 5 items to send you. (You specify price range, size, style, etc. when you fill out your online profile.) You can decide once the package arrives, and you see your items, whether or not you want to keep them and pay for them, or send them back.  You also have the option to attach one of your Pinterest boards to your profile onoine, which I did. I attached my Fashion board. If you keep at least one item, the $20 fee that you paid earlier gets credited back to you. If you keep all 5 items, you get a 25% discount off of your total.

You can also get a referral credit. SO.. click my link if you decide to sign up and help a sister out!  (Stitch Fix)

Y’all.. I LOVE this.  I can tell this could get addicting. I wish I could afford to have it sent more than once a month. (Which by the way, you can do. You can have it sent more frequently, or less frequently.)

My stylist really paid attention. I loved every single piece that was sent to me. My stylist is FABULOUS.  Picked clothing out for me better than I could have.

  1. Kate Boyfriend Jean $78.00
  2. Brook Dot Print Tie-Waist Top $44.00

I am in LOVE with these jeans. I have a hard time finding jeans that fit me right because…well, I am more than blessed in the backside. Usually, if I find jeans that fit right in the butt and legs, they are too loose around the waist. These were a PERFECT fit. I wore them today, and they didn’t get all saggy and baggy after wearing them for 30 minutes like most of my jeans do.

And the top?? Polka dots?? So up my alley. For some reason I associate polka dots with “I Love Lucy”… and that’s always a win-win for me, because y’all know how much I do love Lucy!

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Say hello to Charlie. He’s not worried about my new outfits.

I love how this top is lower in the back than the front too.🙂

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3. Moni Geo Print & Camisole Blouse $58.00

imageI love the studded detail of this blouse. I actually pinned several of these in different prints. The undershirt wasn’t the right fit but hey, it came with it, so no biggie. I will probably wear a navy cami underneath instead. image

4. May Chevron Print Knit Back Top $54.00

This was the one thing I was unsure of when I pulled it out of the box. It’s not something I would traditionally pick for myself. But I L.O.V.E. this shirt. It also has a zipper detail in the back that I didn’t photograph.  It’s actually the first of all of the shirts I have actually worn out, surprisingly.

(And speaking of photograph. Next time.. I MIGHT charge up the Nikon for some better photos. No promises though.)

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The last item was this necklace. I love the quatrefoil pattern, so this was a definite win for me. I like that it’s gold too. I have quite a lot of silver necklaces, but not gold, so I will incorporate this into my outfits for sure.

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Trisha Clover Charm Layering Necklace $32.00

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But let’s be honest. I was heading to the grocery store…so even though the heels looked better, I opted for my sandals. I am on the hunt for a pair of ankle boots that I can wear with these jeans when fall gets here.

Charlie was totally bored with my fashion show, as you can see.

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Cascade Quilt Top

11 Oct

I recently responded to a post on IG from Susannah Kate,asking for quilt pattern testers, and in return, I got to make this fabulous quilt top!  I LOVE it…and it was really easy to do. I can’t wait to quilt this and show you all what I picked out for the back, binding, and all.  I think picking out fabrics is such a fun part of quilting, but can also be quite maddening. These were not the original fabrics that I picked out. I totally cut the original fabrics an inch too short somehow, so I had to regroup. I actually like my color choices better this go around anyway, although I will be doing SOMETHING with the 1930’s repro fabric that I have cut up.

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It is an overcast and windy day here, so I enlisted some help to hold the quilt down so that it wouldn’t flap around in the wind.

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AND they were oh, so helpful! hehe

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Serious only for a split second, but I love it.🙂

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Anyhow, here it is! I am proud of it. The pattern was super easy to follow too. Very doable for a beginner! Go check it out on her Etsy shop! You will be glad you did!

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The day has come…

8 Oct

To let the cats outside. I am not going to lie, I am nervous. BUT, I just don’t think we can keep them from darting out the door any longer. They are fixed and still have their claws. Lets hope that it all works out! So far, so good.🙂

This is Charlie. He is a super sweet cat. He lets the kids drag him all over the place, and doesn’t care. All you have to do is approach him, and he starts purring. He is the more timid of the two cats. He was our “Rescue” cat. We saw him in the local newspaper, and wanted to give him a home. We already had Gatsby, and thought he might need a friend.DSC_0038

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The look on his face here makes me think of Garfield. Hahaha  He is such a good sport.

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Addison and Charlie…dirty face and all. (I just gave her chocolate.)

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They are playing “Doc McStuffins”.  MK is the doctor.

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And here is The Great Gatsby. He definitely has a wild spirit. He has been itching for a chance to get outside since the first day we brought him home.

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So, this is what’s going on here on this beautiful Tuesday! We just got back from the Great Wolf Lodge, so I have laundry to do… but at least I am doing it with the windows open while I listen to the kids play outside!

XOXO

Amber

UPDATE: While I was folding laundry, I was watching an episode of 2 Broke Girls on CBS called Kitty Kitty Spank Spank. It was so ironic.. I had to post. This was the conversation:

“We can’t become cat ladies! It always starts out innocently, rescuing a stray, then you have to get another one so that they can entertain each other while you are a work. And then somewhere along the line, four more sneak in, and you think, “We are good, we are cool. We are the cute girls with 6 cats.” And then one day, there you are on Animal Cop, screaming, “Don’t take my babies! These 27 angels is all I got!” That’s how it goes Max, once you get one, you get 27!”–Caroline

Totally reminds me of me and my friend Cassidy! haha

Noodlehead Super Tote

26 Sep

I finished my Noodlehead Super Tote! It was a fun pattern, and I feel such a sense of accomplishment now!  You should really go over to her website and purchase the PDF if you are thinking about making one. I promise, if I can do it… you can do it!!!

Without further ado…. here is the photo dump of all of my pics. Can you tell I am proud of it?!

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Now, I had never used a pattern like this, so I was really not sure where to start. I was REALLY confused after printing out the pattern, because the pieces looked so small, but the photo on her website made this tote look big!

What I didn’t realize was that you are supposed to TAPE THE PIECES TOGETHER! LOL seriously… what a dumb mistake. I cut the gusset pieces first, and I knew something had to be amiss, because her photo didn’t have seams around the gusset, and if I cut every piece out, there would be seams all over the place. So anyway, take a tip from me.  #1. Read through the whole pattern first. #2 Re-Read the pattern to make sure you don’t miss the sentence explaining how to tape pieces together. My friend Roxanne was about to do the same thing!

 

I also thought it would help maybe if I put up pics of what pieces I cut out of what fabric. I was HOPING I was doing this right. It was confusing to me to see which pieces went where. I didn’t use her suggested layout, because I wanted it to be really colorful and funky. Here is what I did:

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Just a small note on this Koi fabric (above with plus signs on gray back ground), it was ridiculously thin. I had to back every single piece with Pellon 101, which makes this fabric even more expensive than it was in the first place. Boo. But I was afraid not to. I wanted my bag to hold up and I didn’t want anything to rip through my lining.

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I also wanted to make sure you were able to tell which prints I used. I have already had people asking what fabrics these are. Hopefully this helps!

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The material I used for the gusset was a Robert Kaufman fabric called Essex yarn-dyed linen in black.  Go back a few posts, and I think I linked it when I was planning out my bag. Of course, I added a few extra fabrics from my stash that I wasn’t originally planning on, but I like how it turned out!

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This fabric is what my friend Shai picked out! She is participating in the SAL too, as well as Cassidy!!  As soon as Roxanne gets me her photos, I will post them too… and here is my friend Amy’s! You can hop on over to her blog to see all of her photos! It was so fun doing this pattern with everyone!🙂

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XOXO-Amber

Gingerbread Cookie Bites

16 Sep

Gingerbread NoBake

 

If you like gingerbread cookies, you will love these. If you don’t like gingerbread cookies, you will STILL love these.  I whipped these up this morning to have with my cappuccino. (I have a RIVO and I LOVE that machine! It’s like a coffee shop in my own kitchen.) These seriously took about 5-minutes to make, and SO tasty and filling.  Want the recipe??!  I thought you might.

No Bake Gingerbread Cookie Bites

Yields about 15 bites

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup rolled oats

sea salt (just a dash or so)

3/4 c. pitted dates

2 Tbsp. Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter

1 tsp. vanilla

dash of cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a blender, mix oats and sea salt until finely ground. Add all of the other ingredients until mixed well. You may have to add a splash of water in order to roll these into balls.  Then take the balls and roll them in whole oats to coat the outside.

 

NOW, these are ALMOST vegan…and they could be. The reason they are not is that I used Trader Joe’s cookie butter. This gives them a gingerbread flavor that I like, but it does state on the label that it COULD contain traces of milk and eggs.  If you are vegan, feel free to substitute your own almond butter or peanut butter, or whatever kind of butter suits your fancy.  I am going to take my chances, and hope that my jar is free of all of that.  I am an “Almost” vegan anyway.  I am just trying to cut out as much meat and dairy from my diet as I can.  I am also cutting down on processed foods too, but give me some time! This is a lifestyle change, and hard to do overnight! I am proud of my resolve to eat better though. AND, since eating an “Almost” vegan diet, I have had more energy, felt better overall, and have not had a craving for sugar or cokes! (Minus the sugar in cookie butter. hehe)

Hope y’all like these! I know I do, and so does MK! She gives them two thumbs up! (They are pretty filling too. Three of them, and I am done with breakfast!)

Oh..and isn’t that the cutest Pyrex Pixie dish you have ever seen?! Thought so.

—AMBER

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