Thursday, December 30, 2010

cleaning house.

I've been cleaning house (um, well, room) for the last few days. It had reached a point where I couldn't exactly see the carpet and I was out of clothes. And, well, Mom was about to go crazy. So, since there was a threat of "when you leave for college I'm entering your room with a gazillion trash bags and throwing all your belongings away because I'm a little concerned you have officially become a Hoarder", I decided something needed to be done. Since I'm normally really bad with house cleaning deadlines, I gave myself a deadline of this weekend. As in, to be done by the time I leave for Passion. And well- I think we're almost there. I have a load of laundry in the washer and dryer that still has to be sorted and put away, but I think that's completely do-able. And I still have a sizable pile of trash that needs to be taken out (after trash day. the trash can is full from after Christmas fun). But, I think that a sizable accomplishment has been done. So, I figured I should blog about. Even though I forgot to take before shots so I only have afters. You're just going to have to trust me on the "borderline Hoarder" status of my room pre-cleaning craziness.

My bed. All made and pretty. :)

My closets. They're clean and organized inside, I promise! I just like the curtains closed. It makes my room brighter!

 My bulletin board. It's full of pictures and letters from Sandra.


I decided to organize my clothes in these plastic tubs.I have a tub for warm and a tub for cold weather. Then, I sorted the clothes between keep at home and bring to college. They're labeled with duck tape!


My library. It's full. I'm thinking that when I grow up, I'm going to have a whole room devoted to library space in my house. And some chairs and a couch, so that you can read all comfy! :)

I had to throw this one in. Its all the trash from my room (minus the two bags already brought out). Inside this pile? My 9th grade math notebook and my 8th grade science binder. Okay. So, I might have a hoarding problem. But, we're working on it!

And that's my room all clean! Yay! :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

G.O.A.L.S.

New Year's Resolutions. I'm not really a huge fan. Mostly because of the fact that I'm not all that great at remembering them and so they never happen. But, I also tend to make very specific resolutions that never happen because, well...they're too hard. So, this year, I'm trying something a little different. In addition to my 101 in 1001 list (which is fairly specific and cover a bunch- well, 101- things that I will be also working on this year) I am going to be working on five goals. Why goals? Because it's a prettier and nicer and friendlier word that doesn't scare me as much as resolutions. These goals are going to be fairly broad and open to interpretation throughout the year. Oh- and I'm going to be blogging about them. Why five? Well, you'll see in a minute.


If you were wondering, I came up with the acronym all by myself. That's why it doesn't flow all pretty like and has random elements, like sewing. :)

1. God- Experience Him in a new way. I'm going to be participating in this and expanding my bible reading repertoire (I'm not going to commit to reading the entire Bible over the course of the year, but I want to read it more than I currently do). Oh- and I'm going to Passion 2011 this weekend, so I think that will be a great start to this one!

2. Organize- Clean up my room. File all the random papers. Clean out all the junk that has accumulated over the years.

3. Attitude- Positive. Enough said.

4. Loving- Everyone I meet. Finding ways to find the good in everyone. And finding ways to love the unloved in the community around me.

5. Sewing- Learn how to sew new things (other than elastic waist skirts and pillowcase dresses!). Not give this hobby up. :)

So, over the course of the upcoming year (2011), I'm going to try and work on these five areas of my life. And possibly blog about them when appropriate and all.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

christmas happenings.

I thought I would share what went down in the Adam household this Christmas weekend.
It was pretty fun, you should know.

Christmas Eve, the family and I went to the Christmas Eve service and then over to Mrs. Barbara's house for a small get-together. It's something we do every year we're in town. It's tradition. Just like how we always watch part of Charlie Brown Christmas during the Christmas Eve service at church while we hold candles and sing "Angels We Have Heard On High". It's what we do.

When we returned home on Christmas Eve night, I tried to start a new tradition. Since I've heard the Christmas Story a thousand times and have pretty much memorized it (in the KJV version people. I'm that good), I started telling it to the boys. Who looked at me like I was kind of strange. Until I came to the part about Mary giving birth, and then Desmond decided he wanted to act it out. Because he's a little strange like that.
 
Then, we opened our Christmas jammies present. Every year, we get to open up two presents on Christmas Eve. One is our pajamas so that Mom can control everyone wearing proper clothing for Christmas morning pictures. Then, we get to pick one present to open.
In our jammie jams. Aren't we cute?
Then, we all went nighty-night and waited for Santa Claus to come. (Which- side note: I saw Santa when I was six. I'm not even kidding. I was on the stairs and saw him. Then, I ran back to my room and hid in my bed because I was scared he saw me and would take away my presents. My parents say this was simply not possible and I was dreaming, but I beg to differ).

At the bright and early hour of seven o'clock, the festivities began. Technically, the boys opened stockings at around 6:30, but the present unwrapping did not commence until seven. 

Then, as I got to my last present, I got a surprise. You see, I've reached the age where I don't get many surprises. I mean, I picked out my Kindle and case. But this? Was a surprise. :)

I GOT A SEWING MACHINE! 

Blurry. But it describes how I felt.
Now, I can have one for my dorm room when I move out. Which is really good because I'm on a fairly large sewing kick right now. It's light weight and could easily be stored in my closet until I need it. And...I'm really happy.

We also got another Christmas present. Mom took pictures...but since the SD card wasn't in the camera, you're just going to have to take my word on it. We got a semi-White Christmas in Alabama. It's the closest I'll ever get to a real one. It SNOWED. In ALABAMA. On CHRISTMAS. It didn't stick, but it sure was pretty! :)

And that was Christmas. Yay. 

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!




In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
-Luke 2:1-20

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Spirit

I've been doing a little Christmas baking here recently and thought I would share some pictures of what I've been making!

First, I made a batch of sugar people cookies! I used a garlic press to give them some hair (I don't want them to bald!). Then, I made a powdered sugar/milk icing. I think they look like murder victims (see the "blood" splatters?), but they are pretty cute. :)


Then, today I made some cupcakes for a Christmas Eve get together that my family is attending after the Christmas Eve Service at church. As you should know, I really like cupcakes and I really like cookie dough, so when I saw this recipe, I decided that I should make them. So, I made Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Buttercream Icing. They are really good (I already did a "taste test"). But- fair warning, these babies use 5 sticks of butter. I'm not even kidding. But, they taste really good, and everyone knows that calories don't count on Christmas! :)
I used a box mix for the cupcakes since you don't really taste the cake and the cookie dough and frosting are the important parts! The secret to keeping the dough, well dough-y, is freezing it. So, make sure it's really frozen (I stuck mine in the freezer overnight).

The inside. Yum!
Have any of you gotten music from Amazon before? They have a ton of free mp3 songs (which can be imported into iTunes) and I got some Christmas songs yesterday. If you're looking for some last minute Christmas music, you should hop on over. I just thought I would share some of the songs I got.

Angels We Have Heard on High- Point of Grace
Joseph's Lullaby- MercyMe
You're Here- Francesca Battistelli
Silent Night- Sixpence None the Richer
Very Merry Christmas- Dave Barnes
I Believe in Christmas- 33 Miles

Also, if you (or someone you know) has small children, there is a free Veggie Tales Christmas Music CD that you can download. It's kind of cute, and everyone loves singing vegetables (or at least to entertain small children!).

Since these are on Amazon (and they like to change prices frequently), make sure you check the price before you download! And, I have no connections to Amazon...I just like free music! :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

book review: dining with joy

So, I received a book to review via BookSneeze a few months ago (as in October-ish). And forgot about it until I found it in the pile of books. Um, oops. Sorry. So, here's my review.

I loved this book. No, really. Dining With Joy by Rachel Hauck is an amazing novel about a young woman named Joy Ballard who hosts a cooking show. Since I like Food Network, I thought this would be an interesting read. You see, Joy and I have a few things in common. Such as...we both have a Daddy that cooks really good food. And...that we can't really cook all that great (Case in point, I was decorating some sugar cookie people for the holidays and those "little red dresses"? Totally make them look like murder victims. Um, oops.). And for Joy, the drama in her life flairs up...oh, right about the time she gets the big primetime TV spot (that she hasn't been wanting) and she falls in love with the ever-handsome, creative, I-really-need-to-meet-this-guy-in-real-life, Luke Redmond. Oh yeah, and did I mention...the cooking thing (or lack thereof) is a total secret to the rest of the world (aside from her family, producer, and sous chef). So, things are only going to get more interesting when Wanda, Joy's arch enemy that wants that primetime TV spot, finds out the secret and sets her mind on destroying Joy's career. So, is Joy able to find joy in the mess? How does she deal with the imminent disaster? Oh- and Luke. Do they fall in love and live happily ever after?

Well, you'll have to read the book to find that out.
I'm not telling. :)

(So, I really shouldn't put off posting these reviews. Because it makes me post a bijillion in a weeks time frame. Or so it seems. Sorry guys, this is the last for now. And- if I haven't made it clear before in reviews, I received this book from BookSneeze. For nada. You should join, especially if you like to read, because it makes the hobby a lot more affordable. And I didn't have do give a positive review. But, you know. I liked it.)

favorite christmas songs

I thought that I would share some of my favorite Christmas songs today since it is Christmas Eve Eve. Mom and I just finished the last of the Christmas shopping this morning, we did part one of the Adam Family Annual Christmas Lights Tour last night (tonight we will finish up with part 2!), and I am SO getting into the Christmas spirit now! Finally! It gets harder and harder each year as I get older. Getting busier and busier, I guess. So, these are a few of my favorite songs (not carols!).





And my favorite...




What if ribbons and bows didn't mean a thing
Would the song still survive without five golden rings
Would you still wanna kiss without mistletoe
What would happen if God never let it snow
What would happen if Christmas carols told a lie
Tell me what would you find

You'd see that today holds something special
Something holy, not superficial
So here's to the birthday boy who saved our lives
It's something we all try to ignore
And put a wreath up on your door
So here's something you should know that is for sure
Christmas must be something more

What if angels did not pay attention to 
All the things that we wished they would always do
What if happiness came in a cardboard box
Then I think there is something we all forgot
What would happen if presents all went away
Tell me what would you find

You'd see that today holds something special
Something holy, not superficial
So here's to the birthday boy who saved our lives
It's something we all try to ignore
And put a wreath up on your door
So here's something you should know that is for sure
Christmas must be something more

We get so caught up in all of it
Business and relationships
Hundred mile an hour lives
And it's this time of year
And everybody's here
It seems the last thing on your mind

Is that the day holds something special
Something holy, not superficial
So here's to Jesus Christ who saved our lives
It's something we all try to ignore
And put a wreath up on your door
But here's something you should know that is for sure
Christmas must be something
Christmas must be something
Christmas must be something more

There's gotta be more
There's gotta be more



What are your favorite Christmas songs?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

book review: under the overpass.

It's been awhile since I've done a book review. So, I thought it was time for another one!

I (well, my Dad) discovered a site called Blogging for Books a week or so ago. I have done reviews for other book review sites before, but I had been really disappointed in the quality of books up for review. I mean, I can't complain since I'm getting them for free, but really...I don't want to read a lame book. It's just not fun. Well, I was pleasantly surprised by Blogging for Books! They have some really great titles to choose from (From David Platt's Radical to Matthew Paul Turner's Churched and more...). I chose a book called Under the Overpass to review. It was a hard choice.

The forward to the book is by Francis Chan. So, I knew it had to be a good book. And, I wasn't disappointed. The book lived up to my expectations and then exceeded them. It's the story of a college student named Mike and his friend named Sam and how they experienced homelessness for 5 months in 5 different U.S. cities. What I liked was the fact that Mike didn't portray himself to be any better than the rest of us. He mentioned at many points that after he returned home, he wasn't suddenly perfectly kind to the homeless. And, he also warned that him and his friend were never truly homeless. They knew that they could never claim that title. They had emergency contacts and could return home any time they wished. But, they set out on a beautiful journey to experience homelessness and see what it was like on the streets of America. It wasn't easy: physically, mentally, or spiritually. But, through the experience, they gained so much in their knowledge of poverty and received a heart for the down and out. The Updated and Expanded edition that I reviewed had a "5 Years Later" chapter where Mike shared where they were at 5 years after the journey, which I thought was neat. It also included a Q and A with Mike about his adventures. Overall, this was an amazing book. It was an intriguing read; I read it all in a few hours. It would definitely be worth adding to your collection...and if it wasn't 4 days until Christmas, I would say that you should give a copy to everyone on your Christmas List! (Haha, maybe next year?)

I received this book for free in return for a review. I was not required to give a positive review...but I liked it so much that I had to! :) 

Monday, December 20, 2010

oh, darling don't you ever grow up...

I'm really into the whole sewing thing right now. Which kind of stinks because I'm leaving for college (yeah, you read that right, this girl is living in a dorm again!) again in January and I won't have Mom's little sewing machine. I guess I'll come home on the weekends to get my fix. Or learn to hand sew better than I currently do (I stink at it). But this sewing thing isn't all together bad, I mean, I can make cheap clothes! And since I'm kind of into the dress/skirt thing (well, sometimes), it works nicely. So, today, I sewed a skirt.

I paid $4.19 for a yard fabric (30% off at Hobby Lobby AND I only used a little more than half) and I paid about $3 for the elastic. $8ish isn't a bad price for a skirt, especially since I had leftover fabric. In my mind, at least.
This is my "look what I made" look. 

I used this tutorial over at Ruffles and Stuff. Though it is supposedly a "20 Minute Skirt", it took me a little longer. Of course, everything takes me a little longer. I need to work on my gathering skills a little so that the fabric doesn't bunch up in places, but overall, I really like how it turned out. Another thing I like about this skirt is the variety of ways to wear it. I made another skirt a few weeks ago from an old shirt (and it was a DISASTER, I'm not even kidding), and with that one (like most) I could only really wear it under a shirt. But, with this skirt, because of the wide elastic, I can wear it over OR under the shirt. Which is pretty cool in my mind, not gonna lie! :)

Photography by Desmond. Nine year old brothers
do come in handy sometimes!

Desmond and I did a little Christmas shopping this morning when we went into town to get the fabric. After we did our shopping, we stopped at Waffle House for a little bite to eat. I mean, really. Waffles are like the most nutritious lunch you could dream of, right? We listened to Taylor Swift in the car while we were driving. Because she's my fave right now. And, precious moment, people? He wanted to listen to the "never grow up" song" (listen here). I mean, it's like my favorite song on the CD and I love singing it with him. 

And that would be the title of the blog post... :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

seven's my favorite number

I got tagged by sweet Annie to take part in the tag game. Y'all, this girl is such a doll. She remembered way back when I posted complaining that I couldn't make my font "Century Gothic" (It's totally my fave) and commented with how to do it. Then, she tagged me in this fun game! Yay!

For this game, I have to share seven things with you, my dear readers, that you don't already know. Which is really funny because I was just thinking about how I needed to do one of those "share 25 random facts about yourself" things, but seven is a much easier number.

1. I'm on my fourth major and my third college. I'm hoping this is the one.

2. I'm terrified of snakes and refuse to go in the reptile house at the zoo. I have this reoccurring nightmare that is strikingly similar to the scene in the first Harry Potter book where all the snakes escape and they crawl all over my feet and I can't get out. Scary!

3. I have the names of my future girl children picked out. And it's a topic that will likely have to be discussed before getting married because honestly, they're not negotiable. I mean, I have options and all, but, really. I've been planning this out for-ever. I like double names (and names that are like "double names" but all one word, like Annabeth), but I also like "older" names (like Eloise!).

4. I have a habit of hiding things (like presents and birthday cards) so that the recipients won't find them and then forgetting where I put them. I apparently hide things too good.

5. When I grow up...I have absolutely no idea what I want to do. I have some ideas, like working with a child sponsorship program or running events or being a school superintendent...but honestly, I just want to be a mom. Which makes this whole figuring out a major thing really hard. I think I've decided business is general enough to cover it.

6. I've recently gotten really into College Football. As in, I read ESPN's blog. It could be connected to the fact that Auburn is doing really good this year. But, it is kind of cool to be able to hold conversations with people about football and not be completely lost. Now, if I can only remember that the goal posts aren't called "Touchdown Poles". Yeah. That'd probably be good. :)

7. Okay, so I'm totally obsessed with footie pajamas. And, I'm a tad bit ashamed of it (as in, I probably won't bring them along with me when I move into the new dorm room with the new roommate until I get to know them so that they don't think I'm a wierdo). And so, I've recently (as in, tonight) discovered these things called "Footie Pants". It's like if a pair of sweatpants and footie pajamas had a baby. So, it's like the best of both worlds.And like, they really make me happy.

And, I tag...
1. Mom
2. Ivy
3. April
4. Nicole
5. Kayla
6. Christine
7. Katie

Saturday, December 18, 2010

it's the most wonderful time of the year...

Next to opening presents, the absolutely best part of Christmas is decorating the tree. You have to load it up with tinsel or it will shrivel up and die. Everyone knows that!
-Eloise at Christmastime

Thank you Hallmark Channel for showing one of my favorite Christmas 
movies and getting me into the Christmas Spirit!
In other news, my mother is turning 29 for the 21st time. Haha! I love you Mom (even though I joke on you that you're getting O-L-D). I promise you're not that old. I mean, come on, you're hair isn't gray yet! (I'm going to quit before I'm not allowed to blog anymore!). I love you and I hope you have a great, great birthday. And that you stay warm using your Zebra print Snuggie. I told you they were warm. :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

dear santa,

Dear Santa,
If you could find me this pair of shoes in black in an 8.5 that would be great. Because apparently, people have decided to stop selling this style. And for people with narrow feet like me, flats that actually fit are hard to come by. And wearing the same shoes day after day causes them to wear out. As in, I can almost see my big toe, so I really need a new pair. I've checked Ebay...and Amazon...and just about anywhere I can think of. So, if you can get your elves to make me some...I'd be really happy. :)
Sam & Libby Zalis Ballerina Flat in Black

M'kay? Thanks. 

Love,
Lauren

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A chore.

I think I figured out my blogging slump. I've been trying for weeks to come up with "the-next-greatest-post-ever-in-the-history-of-mankind" and I came to a realization.

I don't have it. 


Why do I blog? Is it because all of my new blog friends? Is it to tell family members what's going on in my life? Is it to provide another outlet for my parent's to stalk me on? Really. Why do I blog? I used to find a hug joy when it came to blogging. Now, I'm pretty sure it just feels like "Oh no. I need to blog again. Or else people might get bored." I mean, I feel this huge  responsibility to entertain you. Seriously.

The greatest post ever written can't come from me. It can only come from God. I mean, he wrote the greatest story ever told. He speaks through writers, yes. But, I can't write that post. He can choose to do something through me, but I can't do it alone. So, I'm returning back to the basics.

But, today, I had a grand reality check. I realized that ultimately the reason I blog is to bring glory to Christ. I mean, if you look at some of the posts I've written in the past (um, back this summer), I blogged a lot about what God was doing in my life and the things I was discovering in His Word and what-not. But now? My posts are full of fluff. I mean, I feel like some of the glory is going to the Big Guy, but not all of it. Most of the glory is going right here. To this girl. And to someone who suffers from a lack of humility...that's not a great thing. Nope. Not good.

A couple things brought me to this.
First, this wonderful blogger girl named Annie wrote a post that really got me thinking. Not just about blog related things. Real life things (Yes, I have a real life. I don't live in a computer!). I kind of want to copy/paste it here because it's so...real...but that would probably be plagiarism, so I'll just encourage you to click that little link up there. Plus it saves me time. But, I will copy a line from her tumblr that talks about that really struck me.

She says, "I believe singleness is a gift even when it isn’t easy, that faith is a journey, and that it isn’t until i lose my life that i find it." I know, the lack of being in a serious, engaged-type, pretty-much-married relationship at the tender age of twenty doesn't condemn you to a life of misery. Or singleness. Or mean that you won't ever meet Prince Charming. But...let's just talk for a minute. I know of four people that graduated from high school at the same time as me that have gotten engaged in the last two weeks. Not even kidding. While I don't think getting married during college is a great idea...it's a little hard when everyone else is. I mean, I know that God has a plan for my life, but that doesn't make it easier when I'm sitting around with friends and everyone's talking about candlelights and such. Faith is a journey. Right now, I'm at the point in my journey where God is asking me to lay "that dream" aside. He's got it under control. I need to place "that dream" on the alter and give it to God and let Him work it out in his time. We all have different things to lay down. For me? It's that whole "you're supposed to have a ring on it by the end of Junior Year". I'm just thinking that one's not gonna happen. (And by the way- I really did have a "3 year plan" that was formulated during my Freshman Year in college. It was planned out on the top of a parking deck and everything. I had dates and deadlines.Let's just say...it didn't all go as planned. Haha. God's funny like that.) So. I'm here. Where I'm at. For a reason. That is still unknown to me. But, that's okay. Because I'm just going to serve my God with abandon and let Him iron out all the details. :)


Secondly, there's a bible verse I have hanging on my bulletin board. It's actually a paraphrase, but I like the wording better. 
"Seize the day! You were born now and positioned where you are for such a time as this. -Esther 4:14"
It reminds me I am here for a reason. That reason is not to be a princess. It's not to have fun. It's not to be crafty/creative. It's to bring glory to God and serve him. I am here for such a time as this. There is meaning to my life. I think that is simply amazing. God created me and God created you for a reason. We're not here to aimlessly wander the Earth. There's a reason. There's a purpose. Think about Esther. It wasn't always easy for her. I mean, she had to go before the king and tell him that basically his number 2, his confidant, Haman was trying to kill her people. And if that's not hard enough- oh yeah, there's the threat of death for entering the king's court without being summoned. But, God had a greater plan and he had it all under control. He placed Esther in her situation for such a time as that. He places us in our individual situations for such a time as this.

And, that's all for now. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

an early christmas present

Since I know that I like cute gift tags for presents, I figured that some of you guys might also like some free gift tags (that I think are pretty cute). Click here to download the pdf file that contains them! (Right click and "Save as") Yay!


Oh yeah. Please don't sell these or anything. Feel free to direct people to this post so that they can download them for themselves. Just keep it fun for everyone! :)

Yay! Christmas! We have our tree up and our stockings hung (on the stairs, with care...). Now, we're sitting around the TV watching The Blind Side. It's one of my favorite movies. We just watched the Heisman (Yay Cammy Cam!). And really, there are some striking similarities to the Cam Newton thing and The Blind Side. Just saying. Either that...or I've been watching way too much football.

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's not too late!

I blogged earlier about packing my Operation Christmas Child box and how my family packs several every year.  The boxes are normally collected before Thanksgiving in November, but if you by chance forgot and you still want to help a child in need, Samaritan's Purse has a program called "Build a Box" that is still going on! For $35 dollars, you can pick which gender and age group you want to send a box to. Then, you have several toy choices and miscellaneous items that you can choose between to put in your box! So, it's not too late, but you need to hurry up if you want to join in on the fun! Go here for more information!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

deeper still.

This weekend was a weekend full of surprises and fun adventures. I went to the Deeper Still conference in Birmingham with my Mom, my Mrs. Barb, and my Mrs. Angie. Yes, I was the lone college girl. But, I have to say, these "mommas" are pretty cool. I mean, they don't mind my "stopping every 30 minutes to go potty and stretch my legs" habit. And, they like P.F. Changs. Yep. I think I'll tag along! :)

Friday afternoon, we got to our hotel (We stayed at the Sheraton by the BJCC in room 1618. I feel safe posting that because we're already gone. Haha. I remember the room number because 16 and 18 are two very important birthdays. On one you can drive and the other you can vote!). Then, we walked on over to the BJCC to get in line. It wasn't too bad and by the time they opened the doors, we were one of the first through "our door". We didn't want to sit on the floor (because then you end up staring at somebody's head all night!), so we sat in the first row of the "stadium/auditorium style" seating. We had an amazing view and Kay Arthur (she talked that night) came and stood right in front of me. I'm for serious. I was on the jumbotron and everything. Haha. :)

We went back to the hotel that night and since we were there with 13,900 of our very best friends some things happened. The first was that I'm pretty sure we broke the elevators. They were being stuffed full. And while we were having issues getting ours to go up to floor 16 (it kept going up a floor, and down 2. And then up 3 and down 1. Scary), we heard the bell go off in the other. And since the elevator in my dorm Freshman year frequently malfunctioned, I know what that bell sounds like and what it means. It means most likely the other one broke down. So, when we finally got up to floor 12, we just took the stairs up to 16. It was safer. Trust me. Another thing to know about staying in a hotel with that many women? The hot water is gonna run out. I have to say though. Beth Moore's hair still looks better than mine even if she wasn't able to wash it. Some of us just don't get the genes. Or have the time. Or the effort. Or the attention span.

Saturday morning, we started with an "early bird" devotional with Kelly Minter. I love Kelly Minter. Then, we heard Priscilla Shirer (who was phenomenal!). When lunch time came around, that was when the real excitement started. Angie Smith, one of my favorite bloggers did a book signing of her book I Will Carry You. It's the story of her daughter, Audrey Caroline, that died shortly after birth. It's a really sad story, but what I find amazing is the way Angie has handled it all. While I hope and pray I am never in her situation, she still ministers to me by showing how there can be good in every bad situation and how God can use everyone (even the little babies!). I was very excited to meet her. Excited is probably an understatement. But, I have to say, she is every bit as sweet in person as she comes across on her blog. I was the first in line (overachiever), and she walked up to me and gave me a big hug. Then, she took the time to have a conversation with me while she signed my book. I was a little worried about taking too much time...but she was too sweet to walk away from. She shared with me how this was going to be her first time hearing Beth Moore speak (just like me) which was really neat. Oh- and her precious children came in with her husband and I have to say- they are every bit as cute as the pictures she posts on her blog. Presh.

The awful picture quality? Would be because these were taken on my phone, posted to twitter, and then copied to my computer. I was in a hurry to get this post up! :)

I also did something I've never done before. You see, I didn't feel super stalkerish getting a picture with Angie (we are totally on a first name basis now, btw). But, when I saw other blogger people I knew, I felt kind of funny asking to get a picture with them and talking to them and all. But, my one goal (outside of Beth Moore and Jesus stuff) this weekend was to meet Kelly. She's my all-time favorite blogger and she is a role model of the kind of mother I want to be someday (apart from my own Mom). I love reading her blog. Love it, love it, love it. So, when I saw her walk out of the "super secret, special people tunnel", I knew I had to find a way to talk to her. So...I did it. I got out of my seat and walked across the floor and said hi...and she was really nice and sweet. I'm serious, yall. Most of the people at this conference were really nice and sweet. And it was the icing on the cupcake to get to meet Kelly and talk to her. I know I sound crazy, but she's one of those women I admire. Her genuine faith and love of her family and the example she sets (especially to us single girls!) is really neat. So yeah, I got to meet two of my "spiritual heroes" today. I'm pretty sure that was a God thing. :)

So, after I met these awesome two women, I got to hear Beth Moore speak. And let me tell you- she can preach the word. And it was something amazing. And I'm still chewing on things that I heard this weekend and processing...but it was something special. I'm really glad I went and was able to hear messaged about growing deeper in your relationship with Christ. Were some toes stepped on (literally and figuratively)? Yes. But sometimes toes need to be stepped on so that we can evaluate where we're at. And that's the only way things will ever get better!

We left after Beth Moore spoke and skipped the Q and A session. We were tired, the SEC Championship game was on, and I later learned they talked about sex (awkward!). So, we got in the van and headed home (and listened to the game). And, as I'm sure you all know by now....

AUBURN WON! WAR EAGLE!

So, while all is not official and the BCS results are not in...we're going to the National Championship game! I think that shows how big of a deal football is in the state of Alabama. I'm not counting my eggs before they're hatched, but I think it would be cool to have the National Champion from the same state, different colleges 2 years in a row. :) Now, if only it wasn't on my first day of classes for the Spring! I hope I don't have any night classes so I can watch it! Let's just say...we Auburn fans are VERY happy. We haven't had a stellar season in awhile...so this change in pace is fun! War Eagle! :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

finished.

It is finished.
About halfway through the quilting, I thought, "Hey, I could totally do this!".
About halfway through the binding, I thought, "I am NEVER doing this ever again."
Funny.

Now that it's finished, I'm happy.
I learned a new skill and I'll probably make another quilt during some other point in my life.
And my heart gets the warm little fuzzies when I think about how someday (if this thing doesn't fall apart!) I'm going to have children. And be able to rock them in a rocking chair. In this sweet quilt. And someday they'll grow up and I can teach them how to quilt (Yes. I am SO going to be THAT mom. Haha). And then they can rock sweet grandbabies in their quilts. Haha. (No worries Dad. This will be far, far, FAR in the future.)

I (with some help from Mom) took some pictures of the process of creating this quilt. I'm going to hold off on posting that until next week because:
A. My new Photoshop CS5 came in the mail today. And it's not installed yet on my computer. And so, since I have this opportunity to edit pictures again...I'm going to wait.
B. I'm going to see Beth Moore tomorrow! She's going to be in Birmingham for a conference and I'm going with Mom and some of her friends. Since we're leaving in the wee hours of the morning (haha...like 9 am), I'm not going to have time to get it done tomorrow. But, I'm really excited. :)

And, now that this quilt is done...I can mark off a few things from my 101 in 1001!
6. Learn to sew. (I'm not an expert...but I can bind a quilt! I think that means something!)
61. Make a quilt. Yep. It. Is. Finished. :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

all YOU do is WIN?!

And...the verdict is in! We have a winner for the giveaway. I decided to get creative and do a video blog to announce who the winner is! Congrats!


Yay! Thank you to everyone who participated! :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

shorty is a eenie meenie miney mo loverr...

Black Friday. Daddy and I went to the outlets at midnight. I got some skirts, tights, a cardigan, and a cute anthopology-esqe shirt. Oh- and a dressy dress that I don't have an occasion to wear anywhere yet...but at $14, it was too good of a deal to pass up. I think all in all I saved a ton of money. Banana Republic had a 50% off sale, Ann Taylor LOFT had a 40% off sale, and I got my $14 dress from White House/Black Market. So, I'm pretty happy! :)

A great victory was won on Friday when Auburn won the IRON BOWL. Yes, it was quite miserable at times (and SCARY!) and I think that Auburn did not play well the first half--but a win is a WIN! Now, we just have to beat South Carolina next Saturday in the SEC Championship. One week at a time. :)

I did some sewing today. Worked on the pillowcase dress I mentioned a few posts down (Question: Have any of you made these before? What did you cut your arm holes? Mine look so TINY!). I'll post a picture when I get a chance. I also made a quick skirt out of a shirt (that's more like a tunic...but is actually a nightgown from Walmart) and some elastic. I'm not sure how much I like it (it's kind of short and all) but, I think it'll work over some leggings or as the bottom section of a dress like this. I'm still deciding. I'll also post a picture of this when I get a chance. Mom took some cute pictures of me sewing. Haha...I passed Home Ec- even if the iron was removed from my hands so I wouldn't singe the fabric and I didn't know how to cook!

I had a great Thanksgiving spending time with family and eating lots of yummy food. Pictures are somewhere on someone's computer...but I don't have them. Haha. So, I'll have to post those later. But, I found this graphic today on a blog I read and it made me think of how blessed I am. :)


One last note, the giveaway to my shop ends TONIGHT. So, make sure you comment on this post (for one entry), follow on Facebook (another entry), and tweet about it (for ANOTHER entry). You can go to this post for all the details. Make sure you get those "entries" in! :)

(EDIT: Giveaway is now CLOSED. Tune in tomorrow to see who wins!)

Title from J.Bieber's "Eenie Meenie". Thank you small brother for getting this stuck in my head so that I had you go YouTube it. In other news...who heard the news that Bieber got a haircut??!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

thanksgiving.

So. It's Thanksgiving.

And right now....this is what I'm thankful for.
They don't sell this in Alabama. :)
And seeing these people yesterday for lunch yesterday. Hanging out with old friends is fun. And girl talk with the besties to catch up on major life events is fun, too. I don't have a picture from yesterday (even though I had my camera!). So, we'll just have to imagine it. Haha. :)

And spending Thanksgiving with family is fun. I'm so happy to spend time with these sweet girl cousins. :)

I'll be back with a more meaningful blog post at a later time. I just don't know what to write about and my thoughts are all mumble-jumbled right now. I'm still half asleep! And...I need some Thanksgiving food. I've been sick for the past 3 years with a stomach bug on Thanksgiving day, so the food is way overdue. Haha. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's Like I've Waited My Whole Life...


Yes. It is complete. It is done. It is time for the GRAND OPENING of my shop! I am so excited about this new adventure. Right now, there are 2 products in the shop- "Forget Me Knot" scarves (available in Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, and Patriotic) and painted canvases. If there is another team or set of colors you would be interested in, please let me know. I am also planning on adding a felt flower hair clippie collection if I can ever find some hair things to attach my felt flowers to! :)

So, in celebration of this GRAND occasion, I am doing my first ever giveaway. This is going to be for one "Forget Me Knot" scarf. There are 3 ways that you can win this Giveaway:

1. Comment on this blog post. Easy peasy.
2. Send out a tweet about this giveaway. (You're going to need to follow me on twitter @Leadam for me to see it)
3. "Like" LE Designs on Facebook. Go here to do that. :)

Giveaway ends next Monday. Good Luck!
And....that's it! Go! :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

preview day.

Since I'm really enjoying this crafty kick that I'm on right now, I decided to work on number seven of my 101 in 1001. (If you don't have it memorized- that would be my "start a business-etsylike thing")

You can head over to LEdesigns to check my store out. Or, well. The frame of the store. I don't have anything posted quite yet, but more on that later. I'm planning to tentatively open the doors on Sunday or Monday. Check the blog for the exact date- I'll be doing something for the Grand Opening on that day.

But, I thought I'd do a Preview Day of sorts. Something to stir up the attention and get everyone excited. Because really, I think this kind of stuff is fun.

One of the items I am going to be selling are "Forget Me Knot" scarves. Yes, I came up with the name and think it's cute. :)

This would be my Auburn scarf. Right now, I only have Auburn ones. But I know some people from where I live might like Alabama ones (even though it would kill me to make them!). But, here's where you come in. What colors would YOU buy a scarf in? For you or for Christmas presents. And I may be a bit biased, but I think they're really cute. :)

I am also going to be selling some canvases like the one below. They are NOT going to be custom made (it's way to hard for me to manage), but once again, are there any bible verses or quotes that you would like on a canvas? I'm totally open to ideas people. I have ideas...but I don't want to be the only one that likes them! :)


So. I hope to have the shop opened by Monday. On that day, I'll be posting the GRAND OPENING FESTIVITIES on the blog. So, you should come back and check it out! :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Downside to blogging and my mom and dad being followers of aforementioned blog....

I can't post about the really cute Christmas presents I am making for the immediate family. I mean, the little brothers might read it too. Who really knows?

All I know if that I just placed an order for super secret supplies from Amazon (because they're cheap and I get free 2 day shipping for being an Amazon student member--which is FREE if you have a .edu email!) and will be getting to work on the presents as supplies arrive.

I'll have to take pictures and hide them on my computer so that I can post all about it on Christmas morning. Or. Well. Whenever I get to a computer that day. Because, you know...I'm a blogger like that! :)

And so...I was about to post pictures of the supplies...but I realized that would kind of give myself away. Real smart, Lauren. Real. Smart. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I think you're funny when you tell the punchline wrong...

It's been awhile since I did a link love. So, I thought I should do one.

1. Boyce Avenue. This is my new favorite band. I was introduced to them by Christine over at Bun and Borough. She kept featuring them on her weekend playlists and...I AM IN LOVE. For real guys. I thought I was excited about Chris Tomlin's album releasing (which I still am)...but, for real. You need to check them out. To make it easy, I'm posting my faves from YouTube.
Teenage Dream. Please let it be known I hate strongly dislike Katy Perry. You really don't need to hear my inner thoughts about her. But, Boyce Avenue's cover of this song is better than the Glee version (which I really like). And it changes some of those icky parts I'm not terribly fond of. Gotta be able to sing it in front of the little people. Haha. :)

Dynamite. Showed this one to Max. He's come up with a parody of the original. It's about Bologna. I'm trying to convince him to let me video him so that he can be a YouTube superstar and make me millions. But, Boyce Avenue's cover is pretty good, too.

2. I was thinking I needed another craft project to work on. Like, I don't have enough on my plate with the pants, dress, and quilt. But I saw this scarf on KevinandAmanda and I thought it was cute. And you know, I need a cute scarf for Friday night football games. And the Iron Bowl. And- to look cute everyday for that matter. And- if you're looking for cute fonts, she has some of those, too! :)

3. This is cool. Not gonna lie. If I tweeted more, it would so be on my Christmas list. But, I don't think my life is that exciting.

4. Can I please have cute handwriting like this please? Thank you. :)

5. Another good CD. As if I haven't given you enough to purchase (thank you #1!), you should check out The Church at Brook Hill's praise team CD called "The God We Praise". My favorite song: The Body of Christ. This would be complements of Secret Church. Amazing guys. Amazing. If you're wanting to look into their theology on worship, they have a blog here with some insightful information. It hasn't been updated in awhile, but still useful.

Monday, November 15, 2010

crafty/creative stuff.

Ruffle Pants.
Thank you Google Images.
Funny story. The Walmart in my town is remodeling. I hate everything about it except for the clearance aisle. Since they got rid of the fabric section, they had some kits and stuff on sale. So, I got a sew-yourself-some-lounge-pants set for A DOLLAR. No, I can't really sew all that well. But, the fabric is cute and it's got the pattern and elastic and all. So, I think I'm going to make myself some lounge pants. And since ruffle pants are so-darn-cute, I think I'm going to add some ruffles. Who really cares if I look five in my pajamas? (Not me clearly. See last year's christmas post for more details on how I embarrass myself on a regular basis.)

Pillowcase Dress
Picture from tutorial here.

There's a little girl that I need to get a Christmas present for this year. Or rather- I'm supposed to make one. She's six or seven and she lives so far away from me, so I still picture her as a little girl (I think she was 3 last time I saw her.) And since pillowcase dresses are sew cute (haha, get it?) I decided I should branch out a little in my crafty/creative mind and make some. I found some really cute vintage pillowcases on Etsy that I'm thinking about. But, I'll probably visit the local flea market to check before ordering. :)

found on Etsy

I mean, we all like Flea Market Montgomery. It's just like...It's just like...a MINI MALL!
Sorry. Can't help myself.


Moving forward then...

I also found some cute felt flower hair clips I'm thinking about making to go along with the dress. I mean, every girl needs to dress up their hair!
via eighteen25
via Raechel Myers
And of course, I'm still working on that quilting...
um....this one's all mine.
I have eight squares done now. Only twelve more to go. The squares pictured aren't sewn together (obviously!) but I wanted a picture of all of them. In the final quilt, there will be a plain white block in between each of the "bowtie" blocks. I just haven't cut them out yet... I'm not sure exactly how it will all pan out since I'm actually 5 "bowtie" blocks short (since I only got 4 blocks from each material...I apparently can't multiply right to purchase fabric!). I'm going back and forth between buying more fabric and just making the quilt 7 squares by 6 squares (I can add probably one more "bowtie" by piecing). Not real sure yet, but I think I have awhile before I have to make the final decision. :)
Mom's probably about to murder me for posting pictures of our ancient tile floors.
So what. They aren't pretty and scream 1970s.
I needed a picture of my quilt!
And the lighting? It's horrible. Probably because it's 7:30 at night.
Um...I don't think my brain can handle more of this crafty/creative gumbo-jumbo.
I think we'll call it a night at this one.
Maybe sew some quilt squares. Hand sewing is more time consuming than first thought. But, it is very relaxing. Especially when you're watching the Channel of Disney (that's what I get for living at home).

And...that's all. :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

All Auburn. All In.

So what? I like the sappy football videos. 


And I stand by Cam.
I stand by Auburn.
I LOVE the creed.
And I'm keeping the FAITH.



By the way. That would be a flash-mob pep rally. I'm kind of jealous I wasn't there.
It seems very sappy football movie-ish. :)

And I thought I would end with another football video.
Since that seems to be a common theme.
It made me smile. And laugh really hard. :)

sneak peeks.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

What's in YOUR box?

It's that time of year again.
Time to pack my Operation Christmas Child box! If you've never heard of OCC, I thought I'd share a little bit about what I'm doing and encourage you to pack one, too!


Operation Christmas Child is a ministry of Samaritan's Purse. Their mission is: To demonstrate God's love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. My family and I have packed many boxes over the last few years. One time, we even got a letter back from a family member of a child that had received one of our boxes. We always include our address- the box actually went all the way to Lebanon! You can go online here to find out the nitty-gritty details, so I'm just going to share the big picture of how to do it and what I put in mine.


1. Get a shoebox. Or a small rectangular plastic container (which can be reused by the child to carry things in, such as water!). Samaritan's Purse prefers that you use standard sized boxes and not the super-jumbo sized ones. It makes it a little more "even and fair" in the grand scheme of things. I mean, you wouldn't want one child to get a super-jumbo and another to get a teeny-tiny. Stick with the standard.

2. Decide whether you're going to make a box for a boy child or a girl child. Then decide the age of the child. There are three age ranges to choose from: 2-4, 5-9, and 10-14. Print the labels from the website and mark the information. Go ahead and tape it on the box so that you don't forget (unless you're going to wrap it. Wait until number 4 in that case).

3. Gather the gifts for the box. There are a list of items on the website that you are NOT allowed to include. It includes things like toy guns and things that would melt or break. Some things that you may want to include are small toys, school supplies, personal hygiene items, candy, etc. Make sure that you include things like a card/note, picture of you/your family, and name and address if you want your child to write you back. This obviously isn't a guarantee that you will get a response, but it's a fun thing to do. And- I've never had any foreign people try and stalk me from it. It's safe, I promise (Not that I really know...but it sounds reassuring). If you include bar soap, wrap it in aluminum foil and put it in a plastic bag. If you include candy, they ask that you double bag it so that the soap smell doesn't seep into the candy. That would be gross. :)

4. If you want to wrap the box (totally up to you, I don't usually do it since I use a plastic container) now would be the time to do that. Make sure you wrap the lid separate from the bottom since Samaritan's Purse has volunteers go through every box to check for items that are not allowed. Then, tape the label on the top of the box if you haven't done so already.

5. Include your donation to help ship the boxes overseas. They ask that you send in $7 or more to cover the costs associated with the shipping. You can give online before you turn your box in (and track your box to the country) or you can include a check. Check the website for more info on this one.

6. Drop it off! Place a rubber band around your box and you are ready to go. Many churches collect them, but Samaritan's Purse has a list of the official drop off centers if your church doesn't collect them. Collection week is November 15-22, so many churches have a deadline of this Sunday so that they can bring them in to the official drop off centers. They also have an address listed on the website if all else fails.

I thought I would end with a list of the things I put in my shoebox.


  • Monkey hand puppet from Dollar Tree
  • Dora hairbrush (also from the DT)
  • Magic towel (they take up less space!)
  • Bar Soap
  • Puffs to Go (Tissues)
  • 24 count Crayons
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste (Check the travel size isle at CVS, they have 99 cent Colgate full-sized toothbrushes!)
  • Raid from the Target Dollar Aisle/Bins: Notebook, Coloring book, Stickers, Socks, Chapstick, and Bracelet (All Disney Princess and really cute). Also got a cute pink and purple hat from the dollar bins.
  • Hair clips and ponytail holders. I got a pack from CVS that was Conair brand and also had some headbands (that didn't fit into the box) that was a $20 value for $2.99! I think it probably had enough for 2 boxes for little girls, but I just stuffed a bunch in. You should definitely go see if your CVS has any. Worth it. 
Have any of you done Operation Christmas Child boxes before or are you doing one (or two or three!) this year? What kind of things to you put in YOUR box?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

christmas cards.

Shutterfly has an amazing promotion for bloggers this holiday (well, Christmas!) season. In exchange for a review blog, they are offering 50 free Chrismas cards. I think that is totally a good deal and it sounded like a great idea for my family. I love Christmas cards (sending and receiving), but Mom doesn't like the cost (I mean, starving kids in Africa!). So, I thought I'd share some of the Christmas Cards I would pick. We're planning to take pictures later this week, so my pictures aren't in the ones pictured below (um, duh), but I'll be posting the pictures and all later.

I love this "Top 10 Moments" card.


And this photo card.

They also have a great selection of religious photo cards that are actually cute. That's not something I can find very often! :)

So, I would encourage everyone to go over to Shutterfly and check out their selection of Christmas cards (and regular cards and invitations and such) because they're really cute. I've never gotten the cards from Shutterfly before, but I have made scrapbooks through them before and they were very high quality. Bloggers can get free cards by going here for more information.