Whew. What a whirlwind last few days...
I have really had such a blast since Wednesday night. We went out and experienced our first "Blackout Wednesday" - oh the crowds!! It was so much fun to see friends from college again! How do we ever let so much time pass? Highlights of the night for me were a dance party in Alli's living room to LMFAO and an impromptu Sound of Music performance on our way downtown. Very fun night.

Then of course, Thursday was filled with food, family, and overall togetherness. Great food and a slow, but competitive game of Balderdash (I came in a close second) wrapped up that get-together. We headed home to the in-laws house and played some Guesstures (Girls rule!!) then watched Rocket Man. I had never seen that movie before, really hilarious. :) Sometime throughout the evening, someone thought it would be a great idea to hit up Target at midnight... and for some reason, the rest of us agreed! We showed up literally at midnight (no waiting in lines in the cold for this family!) and just meandered around the store snatching up some sweet deals. I also needed obligatory shampoo, conditioner, and a back pack, so I got those things too. The cash registers were crashing like nobody's business and I have never seen so many 50" TVs loaded up on carts. It was a lot of fun though, no pushing, trampling, or pepper spray for us!

Friday we spent most of the day preparing for our upcoming trip and cleaning up the apartment. Then, like a crazy-person, I went BACK to the stores! Not as many sweet deals at 7pm, but a really sweet Target cashier did give me a movie that I was going to buy for $3 for $1.96 because that's what they were selling it for at Wal-Mart. (Oh, the coupon-crazies I saw! Alli, you would have been proud!) So, I came home, curled up, and watched Night at the Museum 2. I had forgotten how fantastically hilarious that movie is. Love it.

It has certainly been a hectic, fun-filled week. And now, I am going to go book some last minute excursions for our vacation! I will probably be off the blogosphere for the week!

Still Alice - A Review

 Still Alice is a compelling debut novel about a 50-year-old woman's sudden descent into early onset Alzheimer's disease, written by first-time author Lisa Genova, who holds a Ph. D in neuroscience from Harvard University. Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children and a house on the Cape, is a celebrated Harvard professor at the height of her career when she notices a forgetfulness creeping into her life. As confusion starts to cloud her thinking and her memory begins to fail her, she receives a devastating diagnosis: early onset Alzheimer's disease. Fiercely independent, Alice struggles to maintain her lifestyle and live in the moment, even as her sense of self is being stripped away. In turns heartbreaking, inspiring and terrifying, Still Alice captures in remarkable detail what's it's like to literally lose your mind... Reminiscent of A Beautiful Mind, Ordinary People and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Still Alice packs a powerful emotional punch and marks the arrival of a strong new voice in fiction

This book was given to me to read by one of my resident's daughters. She said it had been a powerful read for her and helped to give her insight into her mother's disease. As a director of a dementia-care unit, I felt compelled to read it, not only for the person who recommended it to me, but for all of my residents too. I feel a responsibility to do as much as I can to understand where they are emotionally, cognitively, and physically. This book was an amazing picture the heartbreak that surrounds this disease.

I cried my way through the last half of this book as Alice begins to deteriorate further. It gave me such perspective on the lives people have before this disease robs them of themselves. This book also has helped me to empathize more with the family members who struggle so much with the Alzheimer's diagnosis. I would absolutely recommend this book to people working in the long-term care field and those who have a loved one struggling with dementia. No, it is not an uplifting book, but it will leave a lasting impact on those who read it.

Pinterest Project #1 - Fluffy tulle wreath - complete!

I am halfway to one of my November goals! I have completed a pinterest project!!

I was inspired by this beauty here:

Unfortunately, there is no tutorial, just a link to the etsy shop, so I had to wing it on how to make it. Luckily, Mama Derry and I made tulle tutus a couple years ago, so I had a good idea on what to do.

Twine/jute string
Tulle (in different shades of silver and white and GLITTER!)
foam floral wreath
push pins

I wrapped a foam wreath in jute/twine first. Then I started tying on tulle.
Here is a halfway photo: (I ran out of jute string!)

I just pinned on the flowers and the twine one is actually an ornament. That was a flea market find!

Here she is pre-flowers and in dire need of a hair cut:

Unfortunately, I had no idea how much tulle to buy, so of course, I overdid it. I have a TON of it left over, but good thing I am hand-making lots of Christmas decor this year! yay!

The finished product (who may still get another haircut):

Stay tuned for another project... or 2... or 3!!

What I Wore Wednesday

Here we go again - significantly less pics this time!! Linking up with the Pleated Poppy for WIWW!
pleated poppy


detail on the hair


#4 - please don't mind the mess here folks ;)

And just for fun! A Halloween pic that didn't make it up!

Weekend Catch-up

Oh gosh, I feel like this weekend absolutely flew by. It hasn't even really registered that today is Monday, and it is nearly Tuesday!

Christmas came a little early at our house this year. The tree is trimmed, presents wrapped, and I am basking in it all right now. I promise though, no decorating posts until after Thanksgiving! :)

I packed a lot into Saturday, including the aforementioned decorating. I also cleaned, took the pups to the park, bathed them, and completely kicked my husband's shoe collection out of our shared closet. I'd say it was quite the productive day - plus a couple episodes of Dr. Who thrown in there made it quite enjoyable as well.

Yesterday was truly a day of rest. It was so nice, and probably the last restful weekend we will have for awhile. Lots of plans coming up in the next few weeks, so hopefully lots of blogs to look forward too!

Well, that's all for now, I have a very sleepy pup in my lap and a very busy week ahead of me!

God Quest

Our most recent sermon series at church is following The GodQuest, which is basically a church-wide Bible study. There are weekly lessons, a book, and videos that coincide with the weekly messages at church. We are meeting weekly as a small group with the in-laws and some other church-goers. This study/quest was designed by Sean McDowell, son of the famous author, Josh McDowell. As I understood it, the God Quest is supposed to answer some of those really difficult questions that Christians and non-believers (those who may be considering Christianity) face about God, Jesus, and religion in general. (ex: Why does God allow suffering in the world?)

As I write this now, we are about 3 weeks into the study and I am less than impressed with parts of it, but it may be accomplishing what it is supposed too... Jury is still out. So, I am going to list my gripes and end on a positive note.

First of all, Sean McDowell is really, really irritating to watch and listen too. He is obviously passionate about what he is teaching, which is wonderful. However, I. can. not. stand. him. I think it has something to do with his eye-brow waggling and the way he emphasizes his words. And I find the setting of his videos to be pretty cheesy.

Secondly, this series was "advertised" (for lack of a better word) as having all of this great input from Biblical experts, which is does, kinda. I would much rather hear from the likes of Josh McDowell (who is not nearly as annoying as his son), Lee Stroble, and other experts, but they only get a 30-90 second snippet of the weekly videos. I would like more from them.

Lastly, I really don't feel like I have any answered questions yet. I have learned a lot of great facts, but the weekly questions that are presented have not been fully answered for me yet. Now, to be fair, we are only halfway through the series, but as it is going so far, I still don't feel like my questions are going to be answered.

I suppose though, that the point of this entire "God Quest" is to make people more actively seek to know God and know about God. This series has started lots of discussions at home about God, His plans and purpose for our lives, among other things. One of the main point that has been made is that those who often criticize the Bible have never sat down and read it and studied it, which is a valid point. So, I am going to embark on my own little "quest" to read through the Bible. I found a schedule to read through it in a year and am planning to follow it as much as I can. I have chosen to read through it chronologically, which makes the most sense to me personally. I am using a study-Bible too, so that I can read commentary as I go to further explain the context of what I am reading.

So there you have it. My thoughts on the God Quest.

November Goals

OK - new month, new set of goals:

#1. Continue working on my fitness (Fergi style)!
#2. Keep me house clean, so that when people pop over unexpectedly I am not running around throwing piles of clothes into closets, piles of dirty dishes into dishwashers, lighting candles and shutting all of the doors.
#3. Try again to take advantage of local free stuff. This might be tough as the holiday season approaches, as we tend to get verrrrrry busy.
#4. Try 2 new vegetarian recipes. I have piles of new recipes just sitting in my kitchen, waiting to be cooked. Problem is, I am terrified. I need to get over my fear and just jump in!
#5. Complete 2 Pinterest projects! I think I have my 2 picked out already, but I want to make sure I get them done! They are both for Christmas decor!
#6. Enjoy a stress-free vacation - I will tell you more about it when I get back (ya know, paranoid about internet stalkers and such)

Whew - How about ya'll? Have any goals for the month?

The Rest of my October Goals

I am continuing to look back at my October goals and let ya'll know how I did. So, today, I address goals #2-5.

Goal #2:
Take advantage of more local amenities.

I think I almost met that one. I only went to 1 event, but am planning on going to that flea market again this weekend! Does that count??
My small group hosted our church's second annual Barn Dance and I was in charge of decorations, so obviously, we attended the barn dance! It was super fun! Here are some more pics:

Goal #3:
Learn more about the vegetarian diet.

This is going to be an on-going goal for me. I am working on it, but so far am really OK with this meat-free diet. I am working on being aware of where my proteins and essential amino acids come from. Honestly, I think I am more aware of the food I am putting into my body than I ever have been in the past. So, I think I am meeting this goal and want to continue on my learning journey!

Goal #4:
Get another large chunk of Christmas shopping done!

Winning! I have almost completed Christmas shopping for the immediate fam AND most of their gifts are wrapped (not fancy yet, but just wrapped in the paper). Boo-ya!

Goal #5:
De-allergy-ify our house.

*sigh* I hate allergies. But I would say we are making good progress on this one. The number of mornings we have both woken up wheezing has decreased. After some research and a facebook poll we purchased an air purifier and a humidifier. I think we are going to looooooove the humidifier for winter, especially since this week we are making the great change to flannel sheets. We are more vigilant about vacuuming and I have started taking a nightly antihistamine. Next step? Allergist? Hopefully we can put that off til Spring.

Whew - that's the end of my October goals. Did you set any goals for the month? How did you do?

What I Wore Wednesday - October edition

pleated poppy

So, I am linking up again with The Pleated Poppy for her What I Wore Wednesday post. I had thought posting weekly was too much, so I dropped it down to once per month. Wellllll.... I might have to do bi-weekly. haha I have 17 (17!!) outfits to share with you. This may have just turned into overkill. Yikes. Anyway, I still want to hear all of your great feedback! I love that this keeps me accountable and creative in my clothing! So, thanks, in advance for all of your lovely comments!

I am going to try to group up the pics so that they won't be so overwheming!

Group 1: A little bit Bohemian!

Group #2 : Work dresses

Goup # 3: Blue Jean Casual

                       Group #4 : Black and Red, Black and Red, Black...

Group #5: Halloween Chic

Ok, now tell me your favorites!! :)