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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

#GivingTuesday: Who I Support

It's #GivingTuesday, so I thought I'd share about a few of the non-profits/ministries I support and why I've chosen them.


Adoption/family causes and performing arts access for kids are two of the main things near and dear to my heart. I always encourage people to find a personal connection or at least an organization that is very transparent about where their funds go and the work they are doing. These are some of my considerations:

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful Thursdays: Thanksgiving Edition

It's still technically Thursday/Thanksgiving for a few minutes (in my time zone anyway). So here's a quick list of things I'm thankful for today. I don't know about you, but it puts my life in perspective and really helps me have a positive attitude if I sit down and make a list of my thankfulnesses (probably not a word, but whatevs, it's 11:30pm) once in a while. 

  • Mocking the parade with my silly family
  • Traditions:cutting paper snowflakes, teaching little bro all the techniques and watching his excitement as he gets better at them throughout the day. 
  • A not-so-fun Thanksgiving day run to the grocery store for cold medicine for my parents that turned into a fun time with littlest bro. He turns on full charm mode when we go out together. 
  • The Grinch (Ron Howard/Jim Carrey live action version)
  • Quoting the Grinch (most quotable ever, am I right?)

  • Monk DVDs out from the library. Reliving the glory days of watching it with my family and laughing out loud even at funny moments I've seen over and over before. 
  • Also Christmas music. 
  • Oh yeah, all the things that made those things possible: electricity, DVDs,  DVD Players, iPhones, stereos, the Internet, mp3 technology....
  • Cuddling with the cutest Jack Russell Terrier. 
  • A simplified Thanksgiving dinner that means I don't feel like I'm going to explode after the meal. Everyone's delicious contributions made the workload lighter: Mom's mashed potatoes, Papa's smoked turkey and Grandma's gravy, my sister's cranberry sauce and my pumpkin cheesecake. 
  • Impromptu communion because we have Martinelli's and little bro insists that we always do "the thing with the bread and the juice" on Thanksgiving. 
  • Encouraging coffee business growth and suddenly feeling extra motivated about it. 
  • Cast, crew, friends, fans, creativity, collaboration---everything that is Project Dashwood so far. I'm having so much fun, learning so much and blown away by everyone involved. 
  • Friends friends friends. The past few years I've made new friends and deepened old friendships. Sometimes I feel like I should pinch myself because I didn't know that I could have friends I love this much. 
I could go on and on and on but I need some sleep. I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgivings! Stay safe out there if you're going Black Friday shopping tomorrow or better yet, skip that and join my family in our tradition of the last few years: Crepesgiving! What could be better than all your Thanksgiving leftovers stuffed in to crepes?

As we head into the craziness of the holidays, the consumerism and dissatisfaction, the family conflict, the busy, busy, busyness, let's remember the one thing we can always be thankful for and the whole reason we're even having a holiday: Jesus, sent to earth to save us. 

What are you thankful for today?

Thankful Thursdays Link Up:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Free Taylor Swift Lyric Background

you got that James Dean 
look in your eyes
and I got that red lip
thing that you like

Anyone else loving T-Swift's new album? I got carried away and made myself a phone background with lyrics from Style by Taylor Swift. Full resolution for iPhone 5 and 1366x768 desktop here. Feel free to resize/use however you want, just credit me! 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Spring Cooking Projects in Pictures

I didn't want to overwhelm my instagram with tons of food pictures, so I saved up all the snapshots I took of various food/cooking projects over the past few months: 

chopping ingredients for tacos

grilled steak soft tacos

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thankful Thursdays: Dance

Today I'm thankful for dance. 

I am so thankful for the way dance has been a part of my life. I have been blessed to get most of my training at a studio that has taught me how to dance for Jesus. I've had exposure to many wonderful teachers over the years and learned so much.  I've had opportunities to worship God with this art in my town and around the world, through performing and teaching. I've gotten to learn a little bit of everything from Swing to Hula to Modern.

My first ballet class at age 5. I decided I couldn't handle wearing tights and tried gymnastics the next year.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

DIY David Tennant Bookmarks

My book club requested some David Tennant bookmarks as a follow up to my Benedict Cumberbatch ones. So I whipped some up using the image of Tennant as the Tenth Doctor from the David Tennant in Places He Shouldn't Be Tumblr. Print, cut, mod podge or laminate and enjoy!

Get the full size file here.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Learn How to Live Your Life

It recently struck me that I could be graduating from college this month. I could have spent the last four years earning a degree. But I’m really happy that I didn't. 

I've thought quite a bit about the lifestyle I want to have:

I want to get married and have kids more than I want a career. I want quality time with people. I want to glorify God and serve others. I want enough money and time to pursue my hobbies. I want to create things. 

With those goals in mind, here are some of the things I've done with my last four years:  

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thankful Thursdays: My Mom

Today I'm thankful for my mom. 

I'm thankful for how she will listen to me talk through every single little thing in my day. For how she goes out of her way to make things easier for me. For her amazing cooking skills. For her never-ending encouragement. For her dorky jokes. For always being a phone call away when I need to know where to find something in a grocery store. For the best advice. For how she is one of my best friends.

What are you thankful for today?

Thankful Thursdays Link Up:

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thankful Thursdays: Potential

Today I'm thankful for potential. 

I'm thankful that some things are moving in good directions in my life right now. I'm feeling really encouraged about the coffee business right now. Business is falling into our laps really naturally and I'm getting more and more confident in doing things that have felt really hard. It's looking like I may have some cool dance opportunities coming up in the next several months. I have some projects and travel plans in the works for the summer. I'm praying a lot and excited to see where all of these things go. 

Photo Credit: my sister Peace

What are you thankful for today?

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy 450th Birthday, Shakespeare!

Today we celebrate William Shakespeare's 450th birthday. (And incidentally, the day he died.) There is no official record of Shakespeare's birth, but he was baptized on April 26th, 1564, so it's a pretty good guess that he was born three days before that. Let's party like it's 1599!

Celebrating Shakespeare: 11 Adaptations Available Online

It's Shakespeare's 450th Birthday today, and I've made a list of several great film and filmed stage productions of Shakespeare's work that are available online. (I've added a * next to the ones I've seen.) I've written a bit more about the Bard and his birthday in a separate post.

So without further ado....

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thankful Thursdays: Siblings

Today I'm thankful for siblings.

It's Sibling Day today and I'm pretty thankful for my best friends!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thankful Thursdays: Glasses

Today I'm thankful for glasses.  

I have a new found respect for people who takes selfies all the time. It was surprisingly difficult to get a shot with decent lighting, no blurriness and no reflections on the glasses. I took about 50 photos before I got this one.
I went to the eye doctor a couple weeks ago and got my first-ever pair of glasses. I'd been noticing my eyes getting tired if I read a lot, so they gave me a super tiny prescription for reading. I wasn't expecting that it would make a huge difference, but my eyes feel a lot less strained and they adjust back to looking at far away things more quickly. Plus, it was always my childhood dream to have glasses and I'm pretty excited about my new green frames.

What are you thankful for today?

Thankful Thursdays Link Up:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Quick Update

Hello loyal readers!

Sorry I haven't posted in a while; it's been kind of chaotic around here. Performances coming up, travel plans in the works, family members traveling, the Olympics, knitting orders to fill, coffee websites to build, friends to see, naps to take, books to read.....blogging hasn't been a priority.

Anyway, here's what I'm planning on getting up here in the next few weeks:

Thankful Thursdays-Will be back tomorrow. 

About Lent-I've had a few friends who choose to DO something instead of giving something up and I'm going with that idea this year. I will explain in a full post in the next few days. 

Aerial Silks-you might not even know what this is, but it's a really cool thing I'm learning and I want to share about it. 

Knitting-I am making progress on my Katniss Cowl and I also have a super cute baby sweater in the works for a friend. I will share some pictures soon. 

Cooking-I haven't had a lot of time for adventurous cooking projects lately, but I have a couple of things I want to try out soon, experimenting with some fermented things. My mom just picked up a super cool book on making Kimchi!

Update on my 2014 goals-I will soon have a few things crossed off my list.

Fiction Writing-I have a few stories swirling around in my head and maybe I'll share them eventually.

What are you keeping busy with? Do you have anything you'd like to hear me write/share about? 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thankful Thursdays: Small Things

This week I'm thankful for small things. 

Homemade Enchiladas. The Olympics. Family Time. Aerial Silks. Good deals on online shopping. Being caught up on Etsy orders. African Dance. Creme Brulee.

What are you thankful for today?

Thankful Thursdays Link Up:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Current Inspiration: Winter Olympics

I am finding lots of pretty things in the Sochi Winter Games so far. There were SO MANY beautiful stranded knits in the parade of nations and now I just want to knit all the Fair Isle and Nordic patterns! And have you noticed that Finland's snowboarding team has been knitting a scarf? Read the story here

1. Andorra. 2. Latvia. 3. Estonia. 4. Belarus. 5. Poland. 6. Serbia. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Remembering Shirley Temple

When I was little people often told me I looked like Shirley Temple with my mop of curls. Once a year we went to Colorado to visit my dad's family, and I was always in awe of the huge collection of Shirley Temple VHS tapes that my Great-Grandma Johnson owned. I would usually take a few back to my grandparent's and watched them there. The ones I remember best were from some of my favorite books: Heidi and A Little Princess. When we went to restaurants, I ordered a Shirley Temple and my little brother ordered a Roy Rogers. 

I see some resemblance between Shirley Temple and little me. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thankful Thursdays: A Snow Day

Today I'm thankful for a snow day.

We've already had one of the biggest snow storms I've ever seen this year, so I'm honestly not that excited that there's a few inches on the ground today. But it was really nice to have everyone's events cancelled. I had a fairly relaxing day, and I'm thankful for long conversations with my family, baking, knitting (I finished my last Etsy order for now, so I'm free to work on my own projects for a while!) and catching up on a few of our favorite TV shows.

What are you thankful for today?

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

DIY Book Scarf Tutorial

The book scarf idea has been going around for a while. It's the perfect accessory for the fashionable literature nerd. There are lots of lovely ones on Etsy, but I looked at them and decided I could make my own for quite a bit less money. Most of them are screen-printed, but that's kind of spendy and tricky. I've done some of the great fabric paint stencil tutorials for t-shirts, etc, but because I wanted lots of small text, and making a stencil for that sounded incredibly tedious. I settled on using iron-on transfer paper, and made two for birthday gifts for my friends. 

It's super easy sewing project: basically cut a rectangle, apply your iron-on transfers, and sew a few straight seams. (If you're really not into sewing, you could use a pre-made scarf, just make sure its fabric will work with your iron-on paper.)

Friday, January 31, 2014

Cake for No Reason

I haven't been doing a lot of cooking or baking lately, but I had the urge to make a pretty cake for no reason yesterday, so I did. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thankful Thursdays: Asian Food

Today I'm thankful for Asian food. 

Last night we did a meal to celebrate Lunar New Year, which for us basically meant a chance to make really good Asian food. We had Korean BBQ beef, sushi rolls, Korean-style dumplings, stir-fry veggies, kimchi, mushrooms, ramen noodles, rice, oolong tea, plus lots of yummy sauces. I'm thankful that I got a chance to go to Asia and get exposed to all these wonderful foods and that I have an authentic BBQ recipe from one of my school staff. I'm thankful that we have a fantastic Asian market here that has everything I thought I would never find in the States and way more, and really friendly employees. I'm thankful for my family who all pitched in with the cooking, decorating and cleaning and for a nice time visiting and sharing a meal. 

What are you thankful for today?

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thankful Thursdays: Sunshine

Today I'm thankful for sunshine.

We have had nothing but cold, grey, foggy days here for about two weeks. It gets really hard to be motivated to do anything except nap in the depressing weather. Today on my way to dance class I actually prayed for some sunshine, and was very happy to see the sun peeking out from the clouds on my drive home.

What are you thankful for today?

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Detergent (Divergent Parody)

I had a lot of free time on my hands yesterday and I got carried away and thought it would be fun to write a laundry-themed parody of Divergent, called Detergent:


One wash can transform you.

I rub my palms down my pants again, trying to dry the sweat that insists on collecting on them.

“Alice Tryor.”

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Book Review: Divergent

I've started with all the shortest, lightest books I plan on reading this
 year, so my progress looks so great right now.

I read Divergent and I didn't really like it, so I wrote a snarky review:

(There are some spoilers if you haven't read it.)

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Divergent by Veronica Roth
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I thought this book sounded sort of interesting and the trailer for the movie looked pretty good, so I decided to see what all the fuss is about.

I honestly am not sure how this book is a bestseller.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thankful Thursdays: My Boots

Today I'm thankful for my boots.

I'm back to taking a dance class at the university this term and that means I've been walking around in the cold, rainy, foggy weather a lot more. My feet are pretty thankful for my comfortable, warm, cute, waterproof boots. I barely scraped up enough money for them last fall and they've served me well ever since!

What are you thankful for today?

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

New Year's Not-Resolutions

I don't want to make strict resolutions that I won't meet, but the changing of the year is a good time to reflect and think about ways you want to grow and change.  2013 was a little bit of a blah year: I didn't travel, I didn't really set any goals and I feel like nothing really changed. I don't feel like I did much spiritual growing. It was a good year and a lot of great stuff happened. I learned a lot about being content even with "less exciting" things going on. I feel like 2014 will be more significant somehow.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thankful Thursdays: Inspiration

Today I'm thankful for inspiration.

I'm not big on doing New Year's resolutions, but around this time, I do inevitably end up thinking about the past year and coming up with plans and ideas for the next. This year I'm inspired to create. To make crafts and dance productions and write stories and make food. These are my kinds of art. I currently have way more ideas than time, but I'd rather than that have no inspiration. My prayer for this year is that I can use these things to glorify God and bless other people.

My friend from A Vibrant Medley and I made watercolor maps: tutorial here. If I'm not careful, my entire room will soon be plastered with only map art. 

What are you thankful for today?

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thankful Thursdays: Friends

Today I am thankful for friends. 

I'm blessed to have a lot of great friends right now. Real, fun, caring, silly, nerdy, creative, generous, smart, genuine, funny friends who I love hanging out with.