October 17, 2011

fabric necklace

Yesterday I had the crafting bug, especially since I found a tutorial for this necklace I have been wanting to make for forever. It was really simple, and turned out great! I was able to use some leftover fabric from our wedding, which is so great. Some of my biggest advice for bride to be's is: buy practical things for your wedding. It had been such a blast decorating with things that we bought in Thailand for our wedding. It is such a great way to remember my most favorite day.

Here are some pictures from the construction of this simple necklace. First you sew a long strip of fabric together (the print side facing inward).
 Then you pull the correct side through with a safety pin.
 Then I found some old beads from an old bracelet and slid them through the fabric. The sequence was just bead, knot, bead, knot, etc.

Then I cut out material for a mini bow/flower. 
 You can see the small stick on the flower next to the button. Even though that was a mistake, I love the "rawness" of my creations. I love the imperfections, that it was makes crafting so fun.
 Lastly, I hemmed the edges of the yellow fabric that was added onto the necklace for length and fabric variety. This is still some of my favorite fabric that I own. It is from Ikea, and I just love the texture. It is a tad more flexible than the ordinary upholstery fabric, but I love that it still has strength.
 Here the finished product is in all its glory!

October 16, 2011

a tour of Ben's work

On Wednesday,  my Dad, Hayley, and I drove up to Lowell, Arkansas to visit Ben's work! It so fun to finally see where Ben spends his day. It was also nice to meet all the people he has been talking about. So here is a tour! 

Ben is the "Shipping guy" at Spring Creek Custom Machining. In the morning he puts in job orders, and in the afternoon he does errands: delivering orders, and going to ship them at the Post Office. The job is really perfect for Ben: he gets to go to work casual, and work with his hands all day. Another plus is that his boss is an avid deer hunter. He is so blessed to have such great relationships with his boss & co-workers.
 Here are a few pictures of the things that they make. I don't really know what they are or what they are for, but I thought they looked cool. {girl comment}

 My Dad really enjoyed seeing the tour because of his former days working at a John Deere tractor factory. Hayley just enjoyed the special trip :)
 I had to get a picture of Ben & I together. Can you notice my embarrassing "tour" glasses Ben made me wear?
 And take 2. Notice the little stinker that wanted to be in the picture?
Thanks Ben for putting up with your silly wife. It was so great to finally see where you spend most of your waking hours!

October 15, 2011

my Dad & Collin's Birthday!

I decided to take this past Wednesday off from work to spend time with my Dad. It just happened to also be my nephew, Collin's birthday! I really wanted to get some intentional time with my Dad, since his trip was so short and since I am a working girl now. So luckily I was able to take a day off!

We started off the day with breakfast at I-Hop with Ben before he went into work. I love me some Chocolate Chip Pancakes with my two favorite men!
After breakfast we then drove the kids to school and took Hayley on an outing with us to go see Ben's work. It was sooo good to finally see where Ben works. I have always tried to imagine what it was like, but to see it in person and meet the people he works with was so good. {blog post to come}

Then we went to Jon and Marisa's house to help them finish up packing their house. [The Foltz's just sold their home, and moved into a temporary apartment while they look for a new home.] After we packed up a few boxes, we headed to Collin & Summer's school to eat lunch with the Birthday boy, Collin.

We first saw Summer, and she was totally embarrassed of such a big group (Papa, Uncle Michael, Aunt Bethany, Aunt Jenn, Mommy, Daddy, & Hayley) coming to see her and Collin. I hope I don't embarrass my future children as much as I embarrassed Summer. :) Here is her "please stop taking pictures of me" face.
 Summer's Fayetteville aunties.
What a great birthday lunch! :) I was ready for a food fight, but the lunch-duty teachers were on their A-game.
 Collin was able to open Hayley's present to him during our visit, which was a matchbox car that she picked out all by herself. So precious!
 Can hardly believe that he is SEVEN years old. I just love the lil stud.
 That night we headed to Jim's Razorback Pizza for a night of fun & games! It was such a great place for kids, similar to Chuck E Cheese, but way more chill. Marisa, Collin, and I really got into Skee Ball. Like our rolled up jeans and ankles? Bethany is such an artsy photographer :)
 Mmmm, pizza!
Then we let Collin & Dadopen up their presents. The Allens & us decided to go in together for Collin's gift and ended up getting him a game, and {my fav}"Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein. Such a kid's classic! I was able to read it to him before he went to bed last night, and we both had such a great time reading together. I love encouraging children's creativity, and this book was a great outlet!
I know this picture is ridiculously bad quality, but it cracks me up! Jon & Marisa got Collin a new scooter for his birthday, and literally the FIRST thing he did was a jump on it. Collin is super fearless, and we joked about him getting his fourth set of stitches with his new gift. 
 What fun it was to celebrate two great Birthday. Dad & Collin, we sure love you and are so thankful we get to call you family!

October 9, 2011

dinner at the seilers

Tonight we had my Dad & the Allens over for dinner. Each of us girls claimed a night to have everyone over, and tonight was my night. I was looking on Pinterest earlier today and found this mouth-watering recipe for potatoes. It was literally the easiest thing ever- the hardest part was slicing the potatoes thinly without completely slicing through the potato. 

The main course was Chicken Pot Pie. I think it was my 3rd time making this dish. I have always loved Chicken Pot Pie & this family recipe has the perfect amount of veggies, chicken, and crust. The crust is a perfect amount of flaky & doughy. Yum. I also always make the top crust differently, and went with random vertical stripes this time.

This probably wasn't the healthiest dinner, but it sure was good! Now I'm trying to slowly switch my mind off of the weekend & into the working week mode. Here goes nothing :)

October 8, 2011

my DAD is here!!

We have had a great weekend so far :)

Last night, the Allens & us had the Foltz kiddos spend the night at our house. Jon & Marisa are currently moving  so we decided to spoil them with some focused packing time. It was nice to relax & hang out with the kids at the same time.

Then this morning we woke up, played a while, & then welcomed my DAD to Fayetteville. Both of my parents have been missionaries with Cru for over 30 years in Thailand. They are still overseas so we treasure time with them. My Dad's trip was an unexpected trip to Florida for meetings & he was so kind to stop by NWA for a visit to three of his daughters!

We just finished dinner all together as a family & had a blast together. I love how crazy/loud/chaotic it gets when are (mostly) all together. Of course, we were all watching the Razorback game too :)

I am looking forward to the next 4 days with my Dad, and really hoping to get some 1-on-1 time with him. I love his wisdom & perspective on life. He is the best Daddy a girl could ask for :)

Here is a picture from my phone at our reunion lunch today. Sweet Nathan is getting SO big too!

October 5, 2011

cupcake stand

I saw the cutest craft idea a while ago on on Pinterest {here}. I seriously LOVE Pinterest. It was such an amazing source of inspiration before we moved into our first apartment. I especially love being able to manage my boards (sorry for Pinterest lingo). Organizing & craft = my love language.

Back to the craft though... One Saturday afternoon Ben & I were doing errands with the Allens, and we went to our local thrift store, Potters House. I saw some cake tins and candelstick, and decided it was time to mark this project off my to-do list! [Ps, I adore outside lighting for pictures please notice the difference in the two pictures.]
It was probably the simplest project ever. I love the tin and how is has so much character. I did soak the tins in boiling hot water just to make sure that it didn't have any thrift store germs!
My sweet sister, Marisa let my borrow some of her fun spray paint. Someday I would love to have a rainbow of spray paint colors.
I think this will be so great if we ever have a party or even just to display appetizers on, or even to put in our guest bath for soap and perfume things.

Anyone else in love with Pinterest? If so, let's be friends! :)

September 28, 2011

pasta e fagioli soup

Okay friends, I HAVE to share my new favorite recipe. I just made it for the second time tonight after some serious cravings for the awesome soup. Ben is all about saving soups for "soup weather". I don't know if we are quite in soup weather yet, but I couldn't resist.

I thought I would share this recipe for any of you that need some new recipes in your life. Enjoy!

Pasta e Fagioli Soup
1 lb. ground beef
1 T olive oil
1 onion
1 carrot
1 celery stalk, sliced
1 14oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15oz. can white beans (rinsed & drained)
4 cups beef broth
1 t marjoram leaves, crumbled
1/2 cup dry elbow macaroni (I used more)
2 T chopped parsley
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
2 T Tabasco sauce

Saute the beef in olive oil in a large saucepan over moderately high heat; remove beef with slotted spoon & set aside. Saute onion, carrot, & celery in the drippings for about 3-4 min or until onion is transparent. Add the tomatoes and their liquid. Cover & simmer 12 min. Bring the mixture to a boil & add the pasta. Boil 6-7 min or until pasta is barely tender. Stir in parsley, lemon juice & Tabasco. Serve Immediately & enjoy.

September 27, 2011

St. Louis Weekend pt.2

 The next morning we woke up and ate breakfast at the coolest restaurant, Rooster. It was a great placed to eat for breakfast and we all really enjoyed the crepes they are famous for.

 Then we packed our bags, and headed to the main event of the weekend. On our walk we enjoyed an up close view of the Court House. I really love the green faded copper that decorated so many of the buildings.
 The main event of the weekend was going to the St. Louis Cardinals game, aka the Seiler's all-time favorite baseball team, hands down. :) I had been to a few other games before by other teams in other states, but this was by far the best baseball game I have ever been to. The Cards played their hated rival, the Chicago Cubs which was a blast to see. We had great seats & I really enjoyed watching the game.

Side Note: if there are any other newly married wives who struggle finding the same love for watching sports as their husbands do, invest in a scorecard! :) It was really fun to learn all the codes (and make my own that Ben laughed at like "broken bat" or "fake pitch to first base") & it really helped me to focus on the game.

We ended up arriving early to watch the batting practice & Ben caught a fly ball. Here is the birthday boy and Ben

Here is the picture after the Cardinals won! Don't you just love the hands cheering? :)
We had such a great weekend! I am so thankful for such a great in-law family. They have accepted me with open arms & I already feel so at home with them. It was such a memorable weekend, & I feel privileged to have gone to St. Louis with the Seilers!

September 26, 2011

St. Louis Weekend pt.1

This past weekend, the Ben & I joined the Seilers (Jake, Sue, & Daniel) for a birthday celebration weekend! We left Friday after work, and drove to Branson for a football game & a brief hangout with good, good friends. Then Saturday we all woke up real early and drove to St. Louis. The whole weekend was for the birthday boy, so everything we did was Bens Dad, Jake's, choice.
 First stop was eating at White Castle. It was my first time eating there!

 Here are the real White Castle fans...
Here is our view off the balcony of our hotel room. We were so blessed to have such a fun room, and in the heart of downtown! This was my first real trip to St. Louis, and it turned to be a really cool city. It's so interesting to think that it used to be one of largest cities in America because of all the travelling people passing through.
 After we nested in our hotel room, we decided to see the famous arch up close. It was glorious. It almost gave me a headache from looking up so much. We really wanted to go up in the shuttle, but it was closed.

 Here we are under the Arch with the capital building in the background.
 Later that evening we travelled to The Hill in St. Louis, where Italians immigrated to back in the day. It was such a fun area full of culture & of course... great food! I loved the uniqueness of all the houses being so close to each other. It seemed like a great community to live in, especially if you only spoke Italian.
 Below are two pictures of pretty things that I admired at The Hill.

Saturday was a great day full of great food, walking, sightseeing, and enjoying my first day in St. Louis! More to come on our Sunday adventures.