.emma's visit.

This past weekend, my friend Emma visited. We spent a couple of hours together, walking around the farmers' market and a favorite local shop, The Mustache.

Here we are in front of the Crepes Paulette trailer. Emma was kind enough to treat me to a La Foster Crepe and Coke.

Isn't she adorbs?! She is crafty too, which I admire greatly. She has two little ones and still gets more accomplished in her day than I do!

See her cute yellow purse? She made that. See her crochet bracelet? She made that.

See her pink skirt? She got it on clearance at Target for $3. Bargain shopper too?! Bazinga. This chick rocks.

We found a really funny guy to take our picture, and he called a lot of attention to us, which embarrassed me, which led to uncontrollable laughing, which led to further embarrassment.

The crepes guy had an accent, and we liked that. We sat on a bench to eat our messy crepes. While Emma talked, I eagerly listened as powdered sugar dropped onto my skirt and syrup drenched my hands. I'm a messy eater, but Emma doesn't mind. ;-)

If you get a chance, check out my talented friend's online shop: Created by Emma.

Here's to friendship, laughter and sugar highs.

Oh, and to YOLO'ing, obviously.


.fall bucket list.

With September just around the corner, I've got Fall on my mind.

My sister texted me a picture of her Fall bucket list a couple of days ago, which inspired me to create my own.

I have quite the lengthy list of fun activities and new goals to accomplish. Good thing Fall always puts a little extra kick in my step because I'll need it in order to get everything checked off!

+ learn to crochet

+ go camping

+ spend the day in eureka springs

+ book a cabin at big cedar lodge

+ attend the lincoln, arkansas apple festival

+ participate in craft festival

+ attend all razorback home football games & tailgate

+ try new pinterest recipes

+ frequent the farmers market

+ take pictures with the hubs

+ re-do antique chair in living room

+ walk the crystal bridges museum trails

+ hike tanyard creek trails in bella vista

+ visit at least one pumpkin patch and/or corn maze

+ ride 4-wheelers

+ have at least one picnic

I'm pretty sure I say this every year: Come quickly, Autumn. Come quickly.


.school and my daddy.

I am 2 days into the new school year, and so far I am loving it!

Unlike the past few years, my class is majority girls. It is so different, a lot calmer and easier. And my hair gets played with a lot.

I seriously feel so blessed.

Here's my first day of school pic, with my lunch bag and everything!


My dad got released from the hospital last night, around 8:30. He had been started back on small meals yesterday, with the restrictions of soft foods only.

Bandages are off his stomach from the laproscopic incisions, and the insane bruising is the worst looking part of it all.

The pathology results revealed that his tumor is, in fact, malignant. That word would have really scared me had it been thrown out first thing, but the original diagnosis of benign gave me time to get used to my dad being in the hospital, needing surgery, losing blood, and just having a tumor in his stomach at all.

Even though it is malignant, it's the slow-moving kind. Chemo is still an option, but not a guarantee. We'll know for sure after my dad meets with an oncologist. 

The doctor is confident he removed all of the cancerous cells, and I have peace about everything.

I trust that God only allows people to leave this earth when it's His decision that they do, and we will be here just as long as he allows. He's allowed my dad more time with us, and I'm so grateful for that.

I'm grateful and humbled by the Lord's presence in all of this. The timing of everything, the doctor my dad received, the care of the nurses He provided...everything.

+ And, quick side note: My dad is the biggest flirt in the hospital. Those nurses sure get a kick out of him. +

I have seen a boldness for the Lord from my dad that I admire and wish I had in myself. He witnesses to pretty much every person he comes in contact with, including nurses and even other patients down the hall from him.

I'm so glad my parents are home now. Circumstances like they've been under the past couple of months have drawn them closer together and closer to God.

And I love, respect and admire both my parents right now more than I ever have.


.new year, new classroom.

Before I get into my classroom, I'd like to give a quick update on my dad.  He had surgery today to remove the tumor from his stomach. This tumor was originally thought to be benign, but upon closer inspection, we are being told it is most likely malignant.

However, there is good news. The dye test revealed no spreading of the cells to other organs, and the doctor is confident he removed all of the tumor and surrounding affected cells. Further testing needs to be done to reveal how aggressive the cells are splitting, etc. These tests will determine whether or not my dad will have to have chemo.

My dad lost 25% of his stomach today, and as bad as that may sound, it's so much better than the 80% we were given as a potential max. There are too many blessings here to dwell on the negatives, but I am still having to keep reminding myself not to worry because God has not given us a spirit of fear. Worrying does no good, especially since all the tests results could still come back negative for malignancy, negative for chemo treatments, negative for aggressive, etc. Even if these results don't come back negative, God is in control and He can still heal my Dad 100%.

I'm choosing to rest in the powerful arms of my Heavenly Father and leave my earthly father in His arms as well. There's really no safer place to leave our loved ones.


Meanwhile, I am gearing up for a new year of teaching.

We had Open House today, and I met about half my class. The other half didn't show, but that's ok. The ones I met were very nice.

This year is different for me in that I actually have a majority of GIRLS! This never happens to me, and I'm so excited! Out of 14 total kids, I have 9 girls and 5 boys.

I wanted to share pictures of my classroom. It's set up very similarly to last year because I believe it's the equation that works best for my space. I have spruced up a little art center with a DIY chalkboard, but for the most part, the other centers are the same as last year.

I have a center for art, blocks, books, home living, fine motor/Science, and dresss-up.

My bulletin board theme is Dr. Seuss' "Oh the Places You'll Go."

I had a lot of fun putting my bulletin board together and hanging those hot air balloons from the ceiling.

Without further ado, my classroom:



.DIY dresses.

The creative bug bit me a few days ago (and, might I add, that is the one and only bug I enjoy). 

I wanted to make myself some dresses out of some Forever 21 fitted tees that I no longer wear and patterned polyester that my mom gave me from her stash.

I have a ton of DIY dress tutorials saved to my Pinterest board, but I wanted one which did not involve elastic. (I haven't exactly mastered the art of sewing elastic yet.)

I decided to go with THIS tutorial.  I just skipped the steps about pockets.

It helped that both materials I used for my dresses were stretchy, so they are very easy to get on and off.

Here is attempt #1:

This dress would've been perfect had I not cut my t-shirt off shorter that I needed to. That belt is covering the fact that the seam between the skirt and top is literally right at the top edge of the belt. This particular polyester is lightweight, so it flows perfectly without any extra bulk, despite being gathered.

Here is attempt #2:

This one turned out better in that I left my tee a little longer than I did on the first dress, making the belt wearable on a much more natural part of my waist. It's hard to see the print of the polyester in these pictures, but it is a khaki and white pinstripe. I love how Fall-ish this dress looks, and I can see it with a long cardigan and boots when the weather cools down. 
My only complaint about how this one turned out is that the weight of the polyester is heavy and not real flowy. I should have taken that into consideration and not gathered it much if any at all. The skirt sort-of stiffly flows out from my hips like a tent and makes me feel like I appear wide.

I'm thinking of adding khaki-colored lace to the bodice of the tee on my fall-colored dress, just to jazz it up a little.

If I wasn't in the middle of about 50 other projects right now, I could take what I learned from both of these dresses and make the perfect dress that I would feel comfortable wearing out and about.

In the meantime, I'm gearing up for the new school year, working on classroom decor, and sewing up inventory for an upcoming craft festival.

Fun, fun, fun!

+++ UPDATE, Y'ALL +++

I went ahead and put aside all the important stuff I need to be doing and made a 3rd dress. My first maxi dress. Here it is:

I used another lightweight polyester because they fall nicer and cut the shirt longer than I did either time. It worked!

Sadly, it took me hours to get the skirt cut right. Thankfully, I had plenty of polyester. The first time, I cut the skirt like a tube. Realized as I was sewing it, it would be skin tight all the way down and I wouldn't be able to walk.

Remedy? Laying out my polyester fabric and tracing a maxi skirt that I like. Fabulous! Well, not exactly. You see, I failed to double the polyester as I was cutting and only cut enough for the front or back of a skirt. Didn't have enough fabric left for another side.

Soo...I found another humongous piece to use for the skirt, doubled it, traced maxi skirt, cut out, and sewed it up.

Four hours later (slight exaggeration) I had my maxi dresses.

No more DIY dresses for while, I've decided. ;-)



Summers go by so fast. I can't believe I only have a couple of weeks left of vacation. I'm trying to do it all before I go back to work: relax, blog, create, sew, stay on top of house work, decorate, plan for the new school year, spend time with friends and family, etc.


A couple of weeks ago, I had the honor of hosting a baby shower for my friend Chrissy. She is having a little girl and is a big lover of animal print and all things girly and pink. Hence...

Chrissy's Leopard Print and Pink Baby Girl Shower:

I rented out my neighborhood clubhouse for the location. I'm so glad I did because there was at least 15 people there along with some kids. My house wouldn't have been near as comfortable. I used my Silhouette Cameo to make the Lynley Paige banner out of pink card stock and leopard print paper. The chalkboard was made from a framed yard sale wall art find. I just painted the glass with chalkboard paint. Then, of course, there were clusters of pink and leopard print tissue paper pom poms hung here and there.

The pink and white paper straws were my favorite touch. They were the first thing I ordered when I started buying decorations for the shower. I got them off Etsy (and have since ordered more, along with a vintage-style glass straw dispenser, for my own kitchen).

These girls are some of the best friends I've ever had. I can't begin to tell you how much I love them, how special they are to me, how blessed I feel to know them. This is Becky, Chrissy, me and Amiee. Becky and Amiee were my co-hosts.


Another very special celebration took place yesterday. My family and my sister-in-law's family, along with friends, got together to celebrate my nephew's 1st birthday!

The party had a construction theme and was so cute. Lots of finger foods, snacks and yummy cake. Levi didn't quite know what to do with his smash cake until his mommy put his hands in it, those hands inevitably made their way to his mouth, and he kinda slipped into his own little sugar-saturated world from there. It was hilarious when we all sang Happy Birthday to him. He looked around the room with a look of shock/curiosity, like, how are all those people singing the exact same words at the exact same time???

Levi got lots of age-appropriate toys. Hubs and I got him some pretty awesome pajamas. We had to scoop him up and have my brother snap the picture fast. Levi is in that stage where he wants to move and gets fussy sometimes if you try to hold him too long.

 Levi's party provided a reunion of sorts. Some college friends were there with their new baby girl, so we all got to meet her. Also, my sister and her husband drove down from their home 3 hours away.

The house was full of people celebrating my precious nephew's special day. I think back to when Levi was first born. He is the first baby in our family, and he will always be special. He's happy, silly and somewhat strong-willed. It is impossible not to smile when you're around him for any length of time. I'm blessed to be his aunt!