Friday, August 28, 2009

My new (potential) logo

Question of the day. Which option do you like better? Do you like the logo? Just curious.

This logo is not for this website, per se, but rather for my crafty pursuits should I care to sell them. I hope that makes sense!

Option 1:

Option 2:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Check out the Thirty by 30 list!

That's right! I finished the Lord of the Rings book/trilogy last night. :) I know, I'm amazing. :)

I couldn't fall asleep afterward because I was so stunned that I had done it. :)

Oscar likes to read too. Or at least sleep on books. I know the picture is random, but it makes me smile. :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

After and After - UPDATED!

Instead of titling this Before and After, I went with After and After. I forgot to take a before shot. But I think that is okay. I will just describe the way it used to look.

Imagine a black tray with a hideous orange and red and yellow floral design. Got it in your head? Make it look a little worse. Now, that is the before.

Here is the after.

It is now my message board in my office. The little magnets you see are old vintage buttons that I made into magnets by gluing the buttons to tiny magnets. They work great. It is a fun way to show off some of my favorite pictures from work (and from friends).

Just a little Tuesday Trash to Treasure for you...on a Wednesday!

I should also mention that I used my favorite spray paint to paint this. See this post for more info. The hanger is just a simple satin ribbon glued on with Gorilla Glue. I love that stuff for gluing on things that don't show! It holds really well. However, you should know that a little goes a long way. It has a tendency to "grow" as it dries, so you will want to test it on projects where it won't show (like this project) before moving on to other crafty pursuits.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Spontaneous Crafting

I did this over my lunch break.

Here is a close up of the stitching on the ends. It is in white, so it is harder to photograph. Don't you love the yummy Amy Butler print?!

Why did I make this? Because I have been watching CSS and Dreamweaver tutorials all day and my elbows were hurting from leaning on my desk. Hence the spontaneous lunch craft. Here is a brief tutorial if you are so inspired. I call it a Wrist Wrest. I know. I'm so creative!

How To Make a Wrist Wrest:

1. Get an 18" by 8" piece of fabric.

2. Hot-dog fold it in half (i.e. fold it so it is long and skinny) with the right sides of the fabric facing the inside of the fold.

3. Sew up the long side and up one of the short sides, leaving the last side open for filling it with rice.

4. Turn the bag inside out and poke out the corners nicely.

5. After poking out the corners, stitch the already closed short end again, this time with a decorative stitch about .25" from the edge of the bag. This step is optional, but I like it because then, when I close the bag, I can stitch the other end closed with the same stitch and they will match (with no hidden stitching required)!

5. Fill with your filling of choice. I suggest rice as it lays nicely and can be used as a hot or cold pack in a pinch! However, you could also use lentils (nice round beans that feel fun), corn, cherry pits, flax seed and even a pinch of lavender in there to make it smell nice. As you fill, be sure to feel the bag. You don't want it too full. Otherwise the filling can't move and adjust to your body.

6. Fold in the rough edge on the open part of the bag about 1/2" and finger press the seam so it is straight. Then use the same decorative stitch to close the open end of the bag.

Want one? Want me to make it?
I will, for only $7! Let me know if you would like to order one by leaving a comment on the blog. They make a great wrist cushion for those of us who work on computers all day. They also double as great hot and cold packs!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Anniversary Celebration Weekend

Here is the kickoff photo from our anniversary weekend. I got off work early and we left for Fort Worth at around 1 on Friday. What fun!

As I checked in at the infamous Hilton, I made sure to ask if it was a non-smoking room on a non-smoking floor. The front desk clerk assured me that it was. Curiously, as we arrived on the non-smoking floor it did not have one of those handy non-smoking signs. "No problem," we thought, "I'm sure that it is non-smoking. They can't have messed it up again, right?"

Bottom line? Never say never. The room smelled like stale icky smoke. We called the front desk, feeling a little like hard-to-pleasers, and asked for a new room.

As the bellhop (do they still call them that? - no matter, this guy was really old, so it is possible he has worked there since they called them bellhops) walked us to our new room. We noticed this interesting sign posted next to all the doors on our new non-smoking floor.

This OBVIOUS sign caused us pause. Hilton, do you really think we are that dumb? We can read the signs. I know a non-smoking sign when I see one. And I can only interpret the absence of the aforementioned sign means that it was not really a non-smoking room.

Hilton, I think I should clarify our terms. Non-smoking means that no one can smoke in the room...ever. It does not mean that the current paying customers happen to not be smokers, thus making it a "current" non-smoking room. I am thinking they must have misunderstood what we meant. Because it seems impossible that one hotel could get it so horribly wrong...twice.

The new room smelled fresh and wonderful. The bed was deliciously inviting and the down comforter was super comfy. The stay there was pretty great, for the Hilton.

Oh yeah, Hilton, one more thing. What are those little yellow "Do Not Disturb" signs for? I always thought they meant do not disturb. Apparently not. At nine in the morning (checkout isn't until noon) we were awoken by a housekeeper trying to get into our room. So, Hilton, what are the signs for?

They also charged for high speed internet and charged us twice for our valet parking...but at this point we kind of expected it.

For any blog readers or blog stalkers (I know you're out there and I still like you) who may think we sound a bit cranky or critical, please know, we are not hard to please. All we ask is for a good, clean room with no smoke smell and some peace and quiet when we put up the "Do Not Disturb" sign. We really think that this can't be too much to ask.

Enough of that. Here is a picture from our first evening in Fort Worth. We were at Reata. Yum! Behind us are some cigars. I tried to convince Marc to smoke a "Winston Churchill," but he declined. Sad! :)

On Saturday, we went to NRH2O. What fun! It is a great waterpark. We had a blast on the lazy river in our double inner-tube. We also enjoyed the wave pool and the SplashFactory!

On Saturday night we went to an Ethiopian restaurant. It was really yummy!

Here is the outside of the restaurant. It doesn't look like much, but the food was wonderful.

The spice of the food reminded me of Indian food. It was very flavorful. We ate it with this special bread called injera. The bread is kind of like a pancake that you tear off and use as a utensil. It tastes a lot like sourbread and is textured like a pancake. It is served lukewarm (at least in our case). No fork required! Our meal looked a lot like this (I didn't feel comfortable taking out the camera and looking like a total weirdo, so I lifted this photo off a google search).

I also enjoyed a GREAT cup of coffee and Marc enjoyed a cup of tea. What a great evening. Thanks, babe. Check one off the Thirty by 30 list!

For all of you wondering, I am currently on page 880 of Lord of the Rings. 128 more pages to go!

August 12th, 2009 - Four Wonderful Years!

Here are some "Happy Anniversary" pictures. Here are the pearls from my wonderful hubby! :)

We ate (on our actual anniversary) at George's. It is a very "Waco" restaurant that serves your basic burger and fries. I had a chicken sandwich with pico de gallo and guacamole on it. Marc had a philly cheesesteak. We shared some great beer battered onion rings. We had to work out hard to get that off. :)

Friendly Fun

We love kid movies. :) Here are our friends, Adam and Lynne, watching Ice Age 3. It was really fun! :)

And here we are, looking silly! :)

One evening, Jalon and Dianna came over and we had yummy "Matilda" cake and ice cream. After our yummy food we were inspired to share our handy homemaker tricks. I know, we're weird. I showed Jalon how to fold a fitted sheet. Thanks, Martha, you might be full of yourself, but you did teach me how to fold a fitted sheet and it has changed my laundry loving life.

After mastering the art of folding a sheet, we moved on to folding t-shirts. I remembered that I once saw a video online that demonstrated how to fold a t-shirt in two seconds. It was in Japanese. That could explain the looks on our faces in the next picture.

Here I am trying it on my own.

Here we are trying it together.

Don't worry. We totally mastered it because we are awesome. Then, one week later, we showed off for our other friends. I would like to say that they were impressed, but I think they just thought we were weird for watching a video in Japanese.

One of those things that drives me crazy...

As I said to Jalon when I saw it, "This is everything I hate about modern Christianity in one simple pin."

I'm pretty sure that Christ didn't die so we could make shiny rhinestone pins that advertise our "in" status, but...

Great idea for a cheap side-table

Need a cheap side-table for a bedroom or guest room? Here is a GREAT idea that I stumbled upon today. I got the idea from Primatives ~ Life ~ Art. This is a great site for fun trash to treasure ideas. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Primatives. Seriously.

1. Find an old drawer. I would suggest going to a junk store or an estate sale. I haven't done much on Craigslist yet (it is pretty picked over in the Waco area and I just haven't had the time to devote to browsing the "nooks and crannies" of the site. Or, perhaps you even have a great shop in town like Laverty's here in Waco! I know I have seen tons of old drawers there at Laverty's, and since they have no obvious "purpose" to most people, they are usually very cheap and affordable.

2. Here is a photo of the "before" from the Primatives site.

They chose to take off the knob and fill it with wood filler to make a smooth top to the side-table. I think that it could be fun to leave it on there so that you can tell what it used to be in its "former" life.

3. They then cut some wood for the middle shelf and attached some 2x4s to the bottom for legs and then painted it. Here is the after picture from their site. Isn't it cute?

If I were making this, I think that I would try to find some fun old legs at the junk shop rather than using simple 2x4s. I am thinking that they probably chose the 2x4s (as Marc suggested) to make it a little sturdier. What a wise hubby! I still think it would look cute with fun legs, but it would all depend on what you could find.

I think this would be perfect for a little lamp in a guest room or for some bedtime books and a night-light lamp in a baby room or kids room. You could also use this idea (minus the legs, of course) to make a wall shelf for toys, figurines or even (hint hint, Marc) Willow Tree figurines. :)

Thanks, Primatives!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

New Obsessive Idea

I have a new obsessive crafting idea that I just picked up. I want to create a headboard from an old door! Here is a picture of one that I think is neat. I am not sure yet if I like the shabby chic look more or the clean and smooth classic/traditional look. What do you think?

Also, does anyone out there have a great down alternative comforter that they love? We are on the lookout for an affordable down alternative and we want to hear from you if you have any recommendations (or warnings).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Update on my Thirty by 30

I finished the second book in the Lord of the Rings "trilogy." I put trilogy in quotes, because all true Lord of the Rings fans know that it is really one very very large book with three distinct parts that just happened to be separately bound and published in different years. Confused?

I finished part two. It was good. Not in a "Oh my word! I can't believe I didn't know about this book sooner! My life has been changed and I am now a better person!" kind of way, but it was tolerable. I can see why Marc likes it. I can also see why I have not read it yet.

I asked Marc last night if he was surprised and proud of me. After dunking me for a kiss (ooh la la!) he said, "Yes. I thought you wouldn't make it through the first chapter." Thanks for the vote of confidence, sweetie! Now, by saying that, he knows I will finish the third installment of the non-trilogy... even if it kills me. I am shooting for this weekend.

This weekend is officially our "Celebrate our Anniversary/Knock a Few Items Off the 30 by Thirty List" weekend. We will be going to Ft. Worth to stay at the Hilton...for free! I would be more excited about the free part, but they owe it to us. Trust me.

Last year, we spent our anniversary weekend at the Hilton in Ft. Worth. When we checked in they gave Marc a smoking room. He took one sniff and knew the room wasn't for me and my sensitive nose. After going back for a second replacement room we walked up with our luggage. It also smelled like smoke. I am not kidding.

That would have been bad enough for a little complaint to the manager, but gets better.

After getting our THIRD room and settling in for the evening we thought all was well. We went out to eat at a great restaurant (Riata in downtown Ft. Worth - it is awesome and we're going back this year!), we enjoyed walking around the downtown, we even paused to hear a crazy "end-times" sidewalk evangelist (just for fun). As we settled into bed and turned out the lights we slept peacefully.

our phone rang at midnight. No one was on the line. Odd, I thought, but not a huge deal. About five minutes later our door opened. No knock. They just opened up the door. Thankfully we had the security latch on. The guy at the door said, "SECURITY, OPEN UP!" We did. He asked us who we were and why we were in this room. We said, "We are Marc and Carrie Anderson and we are here because we paid good money to be here and were given this key!" He said, "Oh, whoops. Must not have gotten you in the system correctly. We saw a light in the room earlier and we wanted to check on it. You guys have a good night."

Yeah, buddy. We'll have a GREAT night.

So I think that was enough for a free stay, right? Well, there is more.

The next morning as Marc consulted with the manager and told them of our frustrating evening, I went out to retrieve the car from the valet parking guys. When Marc came out a half hour later with the manager to confirm the story I was still waiting for our car. They lost it. Yep, that's right. I know.

After carefully describing our car they finally found the misplaced vehicle. Needless to say, the manager on duty was very apologetic and got us a voucher for a free stay. We asked if we could get a free stay at another Hilton, but he said he couldn't do that.

So, that is a really long way of saying that, while I am happy we get to stay there free, I am trying to remain very cautiously optimistic.

Other plans for the weekend include resuming our NRH2O fun by going to North Richland Hills Water Park (like last year), eating at Riata, eating at Queen of Sheba and doing some browsing around the downtown. So that means after this weekend I will get to cross off #2, and hopefully #5. Hey, we might even go for #27, but don't push it.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Here is a string of random thoughts connected only by the fact that they have all happened lately. Enjoy.

Lately #1:
I've been obsessed with vanilla yogurt and fresh strawberries. My Mom is fainting right now. I know, Mom. I know.

As a child I HATED yogurt. In fact, the doctor once suggested I eat yogurt, and because ten-year-old Carrie kept refusing we had to buy these expensive refrigerated "good bacteria"
pills. Yes, that is right, Blogland. I took pills rather than eating yogurt.

Somewhere along the line things changed. I still can't eat plain yogurt, but I have conquered my dislike enough to develop a taste for yogurt and strawberries.

I would have a picture for you all, but it didn't photograph well. Trust me, the photograph wasn't good.

Lately #2:
I am so glad that we are no longer the token Midwesterners in Waco. I know we weren't really before, but it sure felt that way. I got kind of tired of hearing people describe us as the only people they knew that were from South Dakota. I know it was true, but it is weird to be that person that represents a whole state.

Dianna joined us last August, RJ and Julie Robinson came in January, Lacey DeJager and Jalon Schoonover came in July along with Chris and Amber Meyers. Then, this past weekend, they were joined by Dave!

In celebration, we decided to go out to Buzzard Billy's for food on Saturday evening. Then we played games at Common Grounds. But one night wasn't enough for our group! We also hung out on Sunday afternoon. I seriously had the most fun I've ever had in a pool. We were in the water for over two hours!

At one point, I was sitting on my towel and reading and I looked over and saw the rest of the group hanging out. I could almost feel my heart soar just knowing that we had shared experience. Poeple are people no matter where they live, but it is still nice having people around who know your past. It is so nice to have people who know my college professors and the city streets of Sioux Falls.

I couldn't help feeling blessed.

Lately #3:
I miss cooler temperatures. Seriously, 100 degree days have got to stop. I would look hopefully toward the fall, but these temps won't be significantly falling until late October. Maybe if I just keep telling myself that I can do it... :)

Lately #4:
I can't wait until Marc graduates. Obviously that will be amazing, but I am also looking forward to having more time to hang out! It has been so nice spending the last few days doing what we want and not having homework to answer for. I can't wait!

Lately #5:
I'm afraid to pull the cord. For those of you following the "Attic Saga," you will remember my desire to know what is in the attic of our building (at work). But I'm afraid. I'll lay it out for you. The attic stairway/pull-down is located in the upstairs hallway of our building. That hallway also happens to look out onto the foyer area below. I am scared that I'll open the attic on a Saturday and someone will walk in to get something from their office and I'll be caught red-handed, or dusty-handed. I'm also afraid the stairway will get stuck down. Now try explaining that one at the office on Monday morning...

Why is it...

Why is it that it can be 89 degrees outside right now with an expected high of 99 and I still need to have a little office heater on under my desk?

Why is it that when you are a little kid all you want to do is grow up and have a job and not have to go to school and take naps and then when you are an adult all you want to do is be a little kid and go to school and take naps?

I may add to this list as the day goes on. Feel free to add your own in the comments section.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

To my Beloved...

Marc, this is for you. I love you so much that I worked on this in my spare time. :) Thank you for showing me Christ for the last four years, may we have many many more.

After four years, the words of our wedding song still ring true. Perhaps even more so now. I appreciate this song so much because the song is not just about our love, but the love of those around us. And that is how real love is! It causes you to turn outward and want to share with others the joy you have found.

I know that for both of us, this season of being separated from family has been long and hard, but thank you for giving me every moment. I love you more than words can express.

Every Minute
By Sara Groves

I am long on staying
I am slow to leave
Especially when it comes to you my friend
You have taught me to slow down
And to prop up my feet
It's the fine art of being who I am

And I can't figure out
Why you want me around
I'm not the smartest person I have ever met
But somehow that doesn't matter
No it never really mattered to you at all

And at the risk of wearing out my welcome
At the risk of self-discovery
I'll take every moment
And every minute that you'll give me

And I can think of time when families all lived together
Four generations in one house
And the table was full of good food
And friends and neighbors
That's not how we like it now

Cause if you sit at home you're a loser
Couldn't you find anything better to do
Well no I couldn't think of one thing
I would rather waste my time on than sitting here with you

And at the risk of wearing out my welcome
At the risk of self-discovery
I'll take every moment
And every minute that you'll give me

And I wish all the people I love the most
Could gather in one place
And know each other and love each other well

And I wish we could all go camping
And lay beneath the stars
And have nothing to do and stories to tell
We'd sit around the campfire
And we'd make each other laugh remembering when
You're the first one I'm inviting
Always know that you're invited, my friend

And at the risk of wearing out my welcome
At the risk of self-discovery
I'll take every moment
And every minute that you'll give me
Every moment and every minute that you'll give me
Every moment and every minute that you'll give me
Every minute

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Two Songs

These two songs have really blessed me in the the last two days. The Crowder song came on K-LOVE as I was driving back to work after lunch on Tuesday. I had not heard it before and the words seemed meant for me at that moment. The Groves song is one that I know well. I always listen to music on my MP3 player in the morning and this morning was no different. Yesterday I listened to Caedmon's Call and I assumed that is what would play when I turned on my iPod. However the Sara Groves song, "I Just Showed Up For My Own Life" immediately started playing when I pressed the "Power" button. There is no earthly reason why this should have been queued up to play, so I can only assume it was a God thing.

Thanks, God for loving me enough to break through the monotony of the everyday mundane and the noise of my fears to bring me a little piece of you!

How He Loves
By David Crowder

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realise just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.
Yeah, He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
So Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way…

He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.
Yeah, He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

Just Showed Up For My Own Life
By Sara Groves

Spending my time sleep walking
Moving my mouth but not saying a thing
Hoping the changes would take by working their way from the outside in
I was in love with an idea
Preoccupied with how a life should appear
Spending my time at the surface repairing the holes in the shiny veneer

There are so many ways to hide
There are so many ways not to feel
There are so many ways to deny what is real

And I just showed up for my own life
And I'm standing here taking it in and it sure looks bright

I'm going to live my life inspired
Look for the holy in the common place
Open the windows and feel all that's honest and real until I'm truly amazed
I'm going to feel all my emotions
I'm going to look you in the eyes
I'm going to listen and hear until it's finally clear and it changes our lives

There are so many ways to hide
There are so many ways not to feel
There are so many ways to deny what is real

And I just showed up for my own life
And I'm standing here taking it in and it sure looks bright

Oh the glory of God is man fully alive
Oh the glory of God is man fully alive

There are so many ways to hide
There are so many ways not to feel
There are so many ways to deny what is real

And I just showed up for my own life
And I'm standing here taking it in and it sure looks bright

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dang Taco Plate...

I got food poisoning (or at least I think so). I was down for the whole day yesterday and a lot of the night too. today I feel much better, but i am still weak and my stomach hurts (just kind of achey). I seriously might never eat at Rosa's again. Sorry, Rosa's. Your tacos may be cheap and your tortillas may be delicious, but they aren't nearly as good the second time around if you catch my drift...

I planned on blogging something substantial today, but I feel like I got hit by a dumptruck and I have a lot of work to do playing catch up. Sorry if I sound cranky, I am not good at being sick. :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Making Progress

I am making progress on my 30 by Thirty goals! I just finished patching the top of my first quilt tonight! It was fun to work on...ahem...more like it was a pain in the butt, but I finished it! Now I need to get some safety pins and sandwich the batting, do the edging, and tie it off!

I am also making progress on reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I am about 3/4 of the way through the first book. It was horrible for the first sixty pages (lots of info without knowing what pieces of info will be important), but now I am enjoying it more.

Marc and I have plans to go to Ft. Worth for our anniversary celebration in late August. Yesterday he said to me, "So do you want to knock out one of your 30 by Thirty goals and eat Ethiopian food in Ft. Worth?" Of course, I thought it was a brilliant idea! We are going to go to Queen of Sheba! :) Here is their website:

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