Friday's Letters . 4

Dear New Camera, I like you a lot. However learning you is like learning a foreign language. no entiendo. I've read a portion of the manual but I still don't quiet understand all the photography lingo. Anyone have any good tutorials they'd like to recommend?
Dear Static and Milo, Thanks for letting me take lots of pictures of you with my new camera this week. You were quiet entertaining. 

Dear Static, you love swimming with your whole little dog heart but when it comes to taking a bath, well, you shake and act like death is knocking on your door. 

Dear Work Spouse, Helping plan and host your bachelorette party turned out grand. I'm looking forward to seeing you as a bride and look forward to having another married friend.

Dear BFF, I know you love attention and all but getting viral meningitis just isn't the way to go about that. I'm glad you are ok and that it wasn't too serious. Dear Labor Day Weekend, Yay for holidays. Dave and I will be heading to the Great Sand Dunes as well as Taos, NM to hike Mt. Wheeler. We will also be camping and taking Static with us. Dear Dave, telling me in a casual voice that we will just be hiking 14 miles in one day makes me laugh and it makes my legs scared at the same time... ha! I hope Static and I can keep up with you.

What are your plans for Labor Day?



DIY chevron burlap bags

Ok folks, so during my 'funemployment' phase I've been crafting away. I saw a tutorial for diy glitter bags. I absolutely loved the tutorial but since spray paint is around $6 a can I thought I would make them a bit more cost effective. They make great gifts and are quiet fun to make. The bags can be used as a clutch a cosmetic bag or whatever you like. 

*burlap bags - from Hobby Lobby. You can use a 40% coupon with the Hobby Lobby app.
*painters tape
*paint brushes
*hot glue gun
*cloth flower - also from Hobby Lobby - you can get a package of 8 flowers for around $5
*paint - under $1 at walmart
*glitter paint - under $1 at walmart
Here is the DIY. Put two strips of tape down the sides

  1.  Cut 14, two inch strips of painters tape and fold them in thirds.
  2. After the tape strips are folded, connect them to make a 90 degree angle. 
  3. Place them on your bag and be sure to press the tape down firmly so the paint won't bleed through.
  4.  Put tape over the top of the bag to avoid painting the zipper.
Slather that bag in paint. 
Remove the tape and apply the glitter paint. It might look like the color is distorted but it will look fine once it is dry. 
After the paint is dry glue the flower on the bag and you are all done. 
Here are some more other burlap bags I've made. 
What's your favorite easy DIY craft? I'd love to hear and try some new things out. 


Washi Tape

Washi tape - have you ever heard of it? Let me tell you a bit about it. It comes from Japan and is made of rice. It's great for DIY projects because you can tear it, reposition it, write on it, etc. It's very easy to work with and you can do all kinds of things with it. 
Korea also sells some washi tape. (If you are one of my friends in Korea reading this ... go to Daiso and stock up on it before you move home). Sometime this summer, I started thinking again about washi tape and how I want to make Christmas cards with it. I began my hunt for an on-line store and I stumbled across cute tape. The store has many varieties and options. Thanks to my granny, as a birthday gift, I got to pick out 11 washi tapes. =) !!! You can also buy a different form of washi tape at craft stores (Hobby Lobby, Michaels and even Walmart) but if it isn't from Japan and made from rice it won't be as versatile for crafts. 
Here are some of the ways I have used washi tape 

labels / organization in the kitchen

I made this canvas by cutting paper toilet rolls, spray painting them gray and hot gluing them onto this canvas. 
I then added washi tape as a border. 

I have made many cards with washi tape but here are my Christmas cards.

It's a fun craft product. Have you ever used it? 


Fridays Letters . 3

Dear Blog Readers, Thank you for reading and spending some time on my blog! I'm at 10,000+ views and can't wait to write and share more. I have some new things planned for this little ole' space of mine, so stay tuned. Dear Blog, designing you is a lot.of.work. When I figure something out (like my new blog header) I wanted to do a big happy dance. I'm determined to learn more on DIY blog design.
Dear Becky and Byron, Congrats on your upcoming wedding! I hope your big day is everything you want it be plus more. Dave and I love you and are happy to celebrate with you. Dear Weekend, I'm looking forward to you. I can't wait to have a date with Dave at a new coffee shop in Wichita. Also, at the wedding this weekend, it will be Dave and I's first time to officially dance together. Dear Crossfit and Running, this week went much better than last week. I managed not to throw any temper tantrums and I could actually walk, sit and move normal instead of hobbling around like last week. Some of your intense workouts push me to my limits but I feel like a million bucks when I'm done.  Dear Kindys in Korea, I got to Skype with you on my birthday and it topped off my day. You were all screaming loud as usual and were as cute as ever. You have grown and some of you have lost some teeth. I never thought I'd miss you like I do!
Dear Jin, You completely surprised me! You were one of the sweetest kids I taught last year but when you saw me on Skype you were disappointed that the 'surprise' was me and not candy and toys. Don't worry though ... they are in the mail and on the way! Good thing you are so cute.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 


Chemex Coffe Maker

Meet Mr. Chemex, one of my new favorite brewing methods. This little coffee maker produces one of the best cups of coffee by removing all the bitterness and leaving a pure coffee taste. 
Before we talk about how it brews, make sure you have good coffee. Check out a local coffee roaster or buy beans from a coffee shop. Store bought packages of coffee just don't taste the same. Back to the brewing method... just by looking at it you can tell it brews a little differently so here is how it works: 

You can use regular or chemex coffee filters. If you use a chemex filter, they are a big circle folded into a cone. You want to place the side that has 3 layers toward the pouring spout. After you added your coffee grounds (1 tbsp. for 5 oz.) you want to boil your water. Once the water is boiled, wait until it stops boiling vigorously. You will then pour a small amount of water on the grounds; just enough to wet them without floating. This allows the coffee to 'bloom' and this little part of the method is what takes out the nasty bitter taste some other brewing methods have.
 After a minute or so you can pour more water and finish brewing. The total time to brew is about 5 minutes. It really does taste great. Also, I think the coffee maker in and of itself looks awesome. 
If you are interested in purchasing one you can check out the chemex website for more information. Are you a coffee drinker? What's your favorite brewing method? 

Also, I'm featured today on one of my favorite blogs, Will Run for Margaritas, where I talk about my fun running adventures. Check it out and also check out Melody's blog! She writes all about running  and is a great inspiration. 


Weekend in Review - Camping and Museums

This past weekend Dave and I camped out for the first time together. We went to a park nearby called Alabaster Caverns. We were kind of excited that no one else was there camping. The quiet camp site was so nice ... until the boy scouts arrived that is... : / oh well. The evening started off cloudy but when I woke up in the middle of the night, the sky was clear as could be and the big dipper was smack dab above our tent. I love the big dipper!
 I had a big craving for burgers so that is what we took for our camping dinner. I mixed some diced onion, pepper, Lawry's seasoning salt, liquid smoke and some worcestershire sauce (I hate trying to pronounce that stuff...) into the ground beef. We put some jalapeƱos, tomato and cheddar cheese on these big bad boys and bam! They were so good!
The next morning we hiked. The hiking was pretty good except for the muddy, slippery, death slope Dave took me up. The spider (and my imagination) made it a death slope! I was calm the whole time screamed and cried and had a 'cone of shame' moment. 

Sunday morning we attended church. Church here is so good and I'm grateful God led us to such a great church. 

Dave loves museums
He loves them so much so that he took me to 2 of them this weekend. We also toured the Washita Battlefield site where the US Calvary and Native Americans fought. Dave loves loves loves museums and history. I told him he likes to read 99% of all the signs in the museum and I like to read 1%. However, I'm learning to like it and I read more than I thought I would. The self guided battlefield had lots of interesting stuff and was my favorite part.   

 Here are some little friendly lizards Dave found along the way too. 

How was your weekend? 



A short poem from my journal. I'm not sure who wrote it or where I found it, but it's so good.


Lately #13

  • Chemex coffee maker - one of the best brewing methods I've yet to try. It takes out all the bitterness of a coffee for a pure taste. My mom got it as a birthday gift for me and I love it.  
  • Summer time with Dave - It's our first summer being married - we've had lots of fun and I'm grateful. 
  • Phase 10 by candlelight - with all the storms Dave and I lost power several times. 

  • Driving through Oklahoma - I appreciate the simple beauty here
  • Chevron Clutch - My Mom and I went shopping at a cute boutique in Wichita called the Cottage Collective. They have the cutest homemade crafts.
  • Diamond Scratch Off Cards - I'm looking forward to help host my work spouse's bachelorette party! It will be fun. 
  • Running and Crossfit - This is my first week of half marathon training. It's also my first week to combine running and crossfit. It's been good but hard. Honestly, my body isn't used to doing all this activity. After throwing a tantrum during my first training run, Dave had the privilege of pointing out how I need a better and positive attitude. I needed to hear that from him! I'm thankful that marriage is a place where our spouse can lovingly point out areas we need to work on. It isn't always fun to hear but it's needed.  
Those are some small tidbits on my life lately. What have you been up to? 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know when it comes to chocolate chip cookie recipes so many exist, but this recipe here, is by far the best one I have tried. My friend Shenel, who bakes all. the. time.  told me about this recipe. I thought "yeah, whatever" and then ... I tried it. These were the cookies I served at my wedding instead of cake. I'm pretty sure the secret lies in the amount of brown sugar. 

  • 3 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. butter (softened)
  • 2 c. brown sugar
  • 6 T. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tsp. vanilla (if you can get Mexican vanilla the taste will go to the next level!) 
  • 12 oz. chocolate chips
  • In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.  
  • In a separate large bowl blend the butter and sugars until smooth and creamy. Once they are creamy add in the eggs and vanilla. Blend until smooth. 
  • Slowly mix in the dry ingredients with the sugar mixture until blended. 
  • Stir in the chocolate chips (a little more than 12 oz. is never a bad thing...)
  • For each cookie, spoon up approximately 2-3 T. Of the batter 
  • Bake at 300 degrees F for approximately 13 minutes. If you like them soft and gooey, 13 minutes is good. If you like them crunchy, 15-18 minutes is good. 
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! If you make them I'd love to hear how they turned out. 


Skydiving! 15,000 feet and falling...

I. went. skydiving.
I'll just say that a blog post, a video or pictures of skydiving can't do it justice. It's just something you gotta do!!!  Let me give you a little history of how this adventure came about....

While I lived in Korea Dave and I sent journals back and forth to each other. I'm really great at ruining figuring out birthday surprises (or any surprise) and in one of the journals, Dave wrote that next year my birthday will be really fun. Well ... being the clever gal I am 'will be' means an event not a tangible gift. We had also told each other skydiving was on our bucket list too and I just knew! Dave wasn't so thrilled I figured that out so quickly but that's ok.

About a month or so before my birthday I told Dave I wanted to see my brother and sister for my birthday. So being the nice husband he is, he told me to pick either Idaho where my sister lives or Washington state where my brother lives. We ended up picking Idaho but my brother and his family drove over too. Holly also hopped on a plane with us to Idaho and the siblings were reunited.

Dave, Holly, Luke and I all signed up for the big jump.
After a quick run down on the proper way to jump out of a plane they loaded us up two by two into this old airplane.  I'm naming this plane old faithful ... it was from the 1950's
Flying up to 15,000 feet raked my nerves more than anything. Don't I look nervous here? Also, they clip on a seat belt to your shoulder and then when you are way up high (I mean way way high) they open the air plane door. scary! I'll be honest, I almost cried. That is how scared I was but I couldn't stand the thought of Dave looking over at me seeing tears coming down my face... so I held it back. 
But then after being scared, I jumped and I'm so glad I did. The free fall makes you feel like one free bird. You're up in the sky, just screaming your heart out, looking at the world around you and dropping real fast. It's surreal! I think heaven is going to feel something like this. 
After you jump, they ask you how it was. I gave a big thumbs up! 
I also told him I was 'free fallin'. I should have sang the song...
Here are Dave and I post jumping. I love Dave's 'adrenaline rush' facial expression.  
Also, if you aren't convinced to take the jump yet, skydiving gives you that perfect messy but gorgeous hair look ... just sayin' =)

And for all who want, here is the handy dandy video. There are a few spots where it is shaky but the rest is really good. 


The Water Proof Bible

Say what??? Water proof and any book, let alone Bible, just don't sound right together, until now that is. A coupe of weeks ago a friend of mine asked me what version of the Bible I prefer. I thought she was going to send me a framed Bible verse or something crafty (which I would have loved too) but when I got a box in the mail, and opened it I found this...

A water proof Bible - great for travels

Our friends purchased us this Bible to take along on our traveling adventures. It will be perfect for trips, because although I love my leather Bible that has all my favorite verses underlined, I don't like getting it dirty or near water. Plus I think it's super important to read your Bible while traveling. 

This Bible is printed on 100% plastic. It is water proof and tear resistant. If it gets wet you can dry it off with a towel or by standing it up on it's spine with the pages up. If the pages get wet and stick together, just wait for them to dry and they will go back to normal. Also, after living in Korea and seeing lots of beautiful lotus flowers having one on our Bible seems so fitting and Dave's favorite color is green so it's just perfect, right? ;) 

Dave and I took the Bible to the pool the other day to test it out. Dave said he felt kind of felt blasphemous for throwing water all over a Bible but we wanted to test it out. It worked like a charm and our Bible dried out and is like new. Dave also says this Bible currently goes great with my 'trophy wife' status of lounging by the pool, not working and reading. Which, will soon come to an end as I will start working part time next month. 

Would you consider a waterproof Bible? What do you do on vacation to stay in The Word?