Thursday, October 30, 2014

What We Wore Wednesday (on a Thursday): Don't lose your sparkle. (also the post where I wear a nightgown to church)

This week, so far, we have donated three bags of clothes to a local thrift store that helps a local group home for differently abled adults. I've had some computer issues so I've been dealing with that, but I'm here today to post.

Since I was a kid, I've loved things that sparkle. This often led me to clash with my mother, and get some pretty harsh critiques. At a clothing swap the year Ella was one, I bought a green sequined tank top that my boss at the time told me looked like something a figure skater would wear. And you know what? It probably did. But you know what else? I loved that top. Ella did too.

Last weekend, Ella, Grandma Jean, and I went to the thrift store. I spotted something sparkly and my first thought was "Oh! I have to have it!" Picking it up off the hanger, I saw that it was a partly see-through nightgown (yikes). A couple thoughts ran through my mind

1) I guess this is supposed to be enticing to one's looks itchy

2) It's awfully see through

3) I bet it itches to wear

4) Did I mention I think it will itch?

I ended up buying it (for a whopping 50 cents), washing it, and wearing it with a tank top underneath and a sweater over it (because, hello, sequins and nylon thread= ITCHING)

Long story short: don't let anyone pigeonhole you into what you "need" to be wearing. If it's modest (and yes, I made that see through thing modest) and you are bringing glory to Christ, by all means, WEAR IT.

What I Wore:
Nightgown: (worn as top) Thrifted
Tank top: Old Navy
Cardigan: Old navy
Black Pants: Gap
Shoes: Marie brand

What Ella Wore:
Sparkly white/yellow top: The Children's Place, thrifted
Jeans: Wrangler brand, bought at Rose's/Maxway
Crazy Socks: Christmas gift
Shoes: Thrifted
Hat: Made by a friend
Owl flexi (worn as a hat clip): Lilla Rose

More Deets on the Giveaway!

Yesterday, I typed up the giveaway post super quick at church. I've been having some computer issues so I just typed up that I was doing a giveaway.


Here are the deets. Here's what you have to do to be entered.

1) Go to my website: you can find it right here

2) Order something awesome (you have two more days to order the Autumn's Delight flexi)

3) While you are ordering, register as a customer on my website so I can send your prize.

4) Email me at (if this link doesn't work, I apologize)

5) Cross your fingers that you win!

The giveaway will close shortly before midnight tomorrow night :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Everybody who orders from my website: here will be entered to win a free flexi of their choice!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Meal Plan Monday and Pantry Purge: This is the post where tomato soup stalks me...dun dun dun....

Gabe was off today, yay! We actually all had dinner at the SAME TIME. I know, I can't believe it either. I made enchiladas for dinner (for the first time ever)...and as nervous as I was about making them, they were awesome!




I used a container of organic red pepper and tomato (yes, tomato) soup that I found lurking in my pantry shelf. I thought I had gotten rid of any soup that seemed tomato-ey (yep, that's a word now), but apparently I didn't. I used this to make the enchilada sauce, and it was sooooo good.

Ella licked her plate.

We also processed ten pounds of chicken. By processed I mean: cooked in the crockpot, shredded, and froze. Ella labeled all of my freezer bags.

aren't they darling? :)

Without further ado, here is the Meal Plan for this week

Monday: Chicken Enchiladas (they were delish!)
Tuesday: Breakfast for dinner
Wednesday: Sandwiches and fries (church night)
Thursday: Chicken and Rice
Friday: (Halloween) Ghost Alfredo
Saturday: Pizza Soup
Sunday: One-pot Spaghetti

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pantry Purge: This is the post where I actually use a can of tomato soup (and not for fake Halloween blood)

...although, I had seriously thought about it.

I had ONE can of tomato soup sitting on my pantry shelf, staring at me.

"Do something with meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee."
Yesterday, I started to make steakhouse soup. Don't ask for the recipe. One day I will get around to writing it. It involves stew beef, diced tomatoes, and vegetables.
Only I didn't have tomatoes.
Or tomato paste.
Or even a can of diced tomatoes.
Except that stupid can of soup.
I ended up throwing in the whole can, and some spices, Worcestershire sauce and beef broth.
Gabe never noticed that anything was amiss.

Now, I will probably never ever buy a can of tomato soup (unless it's by mistake, I seriously think that is how I ended up with the few of them that I had...and I gave most of them away) but at least now I know that I can do something with it...besides make fake blood for Halloween.  Anybody else have creative ideas for canned tomato soup?


43/52: She's listening to the TV on Grandpa Bruce's headphones. She told me that they make her feel like a pilot in an airplane :)

43/52, Sunday: I'm finally getting used to her short hair. It really saves time in the mornings, that's for sure! And she looks so darn grown up!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fridays with Ella: Just a Thought

A lot of you know that last week, I cut 15 inches off my hair. 15 inches is a lot.

I went from this.... this

The other day, Mom and I were at the store and someone told me that I "stripped away my femininity" by cutting my hair. Mom was pretty upset.

I'm not.

Here's why.

First of all, the only people whose opinion matters that much to me are Jesus, and my parents.

Second, it's really not that hard to tell that I am a girl from the way I dress. I wear a lot of skirts and dresses.

If this person thinks that I don't look feminine with short hair, what would they think of a little girl with cancer, one who has lost all of her hair during chemotherapy and is completely bald?

This is why I cut my hair. So a little girl would get some of HER femininity back. So she could go to school, or go to the store, and not have some stranger stare at her and make snide comments.

People need to be more careful with their words. Not to me. Not to my Mom. But to those with disabilities, those who are sick, those who are already down, or hurt, or upset.

I can take it. I'm tough.

There are those who are not.

Be careful what you say.

Girls and Pearls, October 2014 Edition

Ella has been asking "When are we going to do Girls and Pearls, Mom? When?" And since it is INDIAN SUMMER (in all caps, that's how excited I am about it) today was totally an awesome day for it.

Even Gabe, who normally stays behind the camera, posed for pictures today :)

We got ice cream, and hit the park.

It's awesome how our conversation can range from "Mom, I hope my friend gets saved. I'm going to talk to her about Jesus" to "How do you think they got that chocolate all perfect inside the drumstick cone?"

Motherhood is so very, very humbling and amazing.

Tidbits from this week

Slowly but surely: Gabe is recovering from his cold. Woo-hoo! I hate to see him sick.

Girls and Pearls, October: It happened today. Stay tuned for post :)

Indian Summer, ya'll!: Seriously, the weather around here could NOT be prettier. I plan on enjoying every day of this loveliness.

Look!  The return of the couples selfie: I'm not good at keeping up with this, am I?

Whoot!: Ella got a package from her big cousins. It was full of clothes, and PRAISE GOD for that, because she is outgrowing everything.

Reason #90832 why my Dad rocks: I found out he has been calling others who were in recovery with them, checking up on them and praying with them. Wow!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Desperation in the Kitchen: Oven-Puffed Apple Pancake

I'm going to let ya'll in on a secret.

I cannot make a pancake to save my life.

I can make amazing crepes, and French toast, and pretty much any other breakfast food.



I don't know what it is: maybe I just don't have the touch. Maybe I don't let my skillet heat up. Maybe I just suck at making pancakes. Here's something I don't suck at though.

Oven-Puffed Pancake!

Here's what you need:

*1 cup whole milk
*4 large eggs
*3 Tablespoons sugar
*1 teaspoon vanilla
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
*2/3 cup flour
*4 Tablespoons butter
*3 medium-size apples, peeled and sliced (don't ask what kind, they came off my neighbor's tree)
*3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
*powdered sugar, optional

Here's what you do
*Preheat oven to 425 degrees

*Whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon

*Add flour and mix batter until smooth

*Take adorable pic of flour-spotted daughter

*Cut up your butter and place in the bottom of a 9x13 casserole.

*Stick it in the oven for about 5 minutes until the butter melts

*Arrange your apples however you want in the melted butter. Some people are all artistic about it. I am not.

*Bake that lovely mess in the oven until the butter starts to brown for about 10 minutes or so.
*Then, pour your batter over the hot mess.

*Sprinkle some brown sugar on the batter
*Bake for 20 minutes or so until it puffs up. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if you want.
*Watch it disappear.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Great Closet Cleanout and What We Wore Wednesday

So, it's absolutely no secret that I from North Carolina.
Yes, I have learned a TON here. Yes, God used this place to save my marriage and my soul.

But, I truly do think it is time for us, as a family, to move on. For starters, I cannot wait to move closer to my Dad. Also, I never realized how much I missed REAL Mexican/Polish/ethnic foods. Oh, and then there's the fact that I swear, I am the ONLY Polish speaking person in this county. It's freaking me out a bit.

And...I'm 709 (I counted) miles away from Riley's little spot in the cemetery. And that just doesn't sit right with me.

It's also no secret that I am downsizing everything. The pantry, the kitchen, the wardrobe. Ella's wardrobe.

Which brings us to THIS. The Great Closet Cleanout.

Over the next few weeks, months, whenever, Ella and I will be cleaning out our closets. Ella is shipping clothes to a little girl this Friday. I will donate to the local thrift stores as I go, unless I know of someone that is in need.

And the other part of this post is this:

As a (mostly) stay at home Mom, so much of the time, I am wearing yoga pants and a top or jeans and  a t-shirt or pajama pants (don't judge!)...

do you ever have that problem? (if you're reading this blog, I'm almost positive you do)

To keep myself accountable, I've decided to start posting a What We Wore Wednesday. Of course, I had to include Ella, because nobody puts together an outfit like Ella.

so, here is what we wore this Wednesday :)

What Ella wore:
Hat: gift! knitted by a friend
Shirt: Ink, Inc. (thrifted)
Sweater: Old Navy (thrifted!)
Denim Skirt: thrifted
Boots: (thrifted)

What I wore:
Lime green top: Tanja brand
White sweater: Loft
Blue jeans: Chico's brand
Flats: thrifted

Monday, October 20, 2014

Meal Plan Monday and a Pantry Purge Update: This is the post where everything is actually under control

For the past week or so, I have been able to walk past my kitchen shelves without anything dropping on my foot, sweeping along with me when I pass, or falling on the ground and shattering!
I will continue to get use up what I can, but I think I have definitely made progress! I'll be moving on to purging other areas in the house (stay tuned....)

That said, here is this week's meal plan:

Monday: Chicken Marinara over Angel Hair Pasta
Tuesday: Veggie Frittata (we got farm fresh eggs from Gabe's boss, whoop whoop)
Wednesday: Winter Soup (because it will be COLD out)
Thursday: Mexican Mac and Cheese
Friday: Beef Stew
Saturday: Chicken Tortilla Soup
Sunday: Lasagna Rolls

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Ten weeks left! Seriously!

42/52: This is the week Ella donated 15 inches of hair, and this is her new haircut, which apparently came with a propensity to put on Mom's heels and pose in a sassy way. On the one hand she looks so grown up with this cut...on the other hand, I swear, she looks exactly like that mischievous 18-month old she was the last time she had this haircut. Lord...the passage of time scares me.

42/52, Sunday. Here, she just looks grown up. All day today, I've been looking at her out of the corner of my eye. How did this happen? When did she get so BIG?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fridays with Ella: Two Years in the Making

Two years ago, my friend Ms. Lora died of breast cancer. The thing is, we knew she would die, but were surprised when she did. She died on a Tuesday. The day before, Monday, Mom and I went to see her. Mom didn't want to take me because I was only six...and she didn't think that six year olds don't belong in hospitals with the dying.

God worked it out so that there was no babysitter and I HAD to go with Mom. I remember standing in the hospital room and thinking that I missed Ms. Lora already. Ms. Lora was like a grandma to me. She would pull out every toy in her house when Mom and I came over. I remember hearing little bits of conversation between Mom and Ms. Lora while I played on the floor. If you were to look at them and not know that they were not related, you would think they were mother and daughter.

Ms. Lora's funeral was the first funeral I ever went to. I think that's when I decided that I wanted to do something so people would remember Ms. Lora. After the funeral. After a long time. I asked Mom what we could do. She told me about the first time Ms. Lora had cancer, and about how her hair fell out and she had to wear a wig. I asked where the wigs came from, and Mom told me that there are charities, places that give wigs to cancer patients.

I don't remember how the subject of little girls with cancer came up, but I do remember thinking that I had so much hair. I told my Mom I wanted to grow my hair out and donate it to a little girl, but to do it in Ms. Lora's memory so people would know that she made a big difference in my life. She really, really loved me, and she wasn't a blood member of my family. You could feel that love. Like a warm blanket.

Yesterday was two years since Ms. Lora went to be with Jesus. Mom cut my hair. She cried. I didn't. If my hair makes a difference to a little girl, then I am happy. If this means that she feels like a normal little girl while she fights cancer, then I am happy.

I will do this again in three years, on October 16, 2017.

Tidbits from this week

Recovery: I'm about 100% from the sinus infection which knocked me on my butt this week.

Remembering: What started as a visit to the woods behind my house turned into a Remembrance Project for our babies.

In Her Memory: As a way of keeping Ms. Lora's memory alive, Ella and I donated 27 inches of hair to two worthy charities.

Dad Update: Dad continues to do well. I know that your prayers are making all the difference. Thank you all!

My Fame is Spreading: Hah. I have my first paying haircut customer. What? I'm as confused as you are. ;)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

27 Inches.

I will keep this brief, as I know Ella has chosen to write about this in her post this week.

just know...27 inches may not seem like a lot....but...

...then again, it is.
And yes, our bobby pins are Breast Cancer Awareness ribbons.