Thursday, January 31, 2013

Nothing left?

Hello world.  Just thought I would drop in with some musings and share a little bit from the heart.

There is something that I read the other day that really hit home.

Genesis 1:1, 2a "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty..."

The story goes on to describe God creating this majestic world that we live in.  But in the beginning, it was "formless and empty".

God created something out of nothing.

Have you ever felt like you have nothing left to give - just ... empty.

I know I have.

But God can take our nothing and turn it into a beautiful masterpiece.

He sees all the heartache.  He sees the pain.  He sees the empty places ... and He fills them.

So if you feel like you have nothing to give, give God your nothing.  Present your blank canvas and ask Him to create a masterpiece.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Photo a Day recap (Days 21 - 27)

Day 21
January 21

I was tired.  Could not think of anything creative.  Saw sparkly little Christmas tree (that is now a permanent fixture on top of my bookcase).  Thought, "I guess the light reflects off the little crystals".  Took picture.  Done :-)

Day 22
January 22

Oh my geez!!!  This was the day before I went to see Alice's Adventures in Wonderland at the Kennedy Center.  It was magical.  I love ballet!  I got to go with two of my favorite people, Karisse and Carol.  I was so happy and excited I almost cried.  I just sat there watching this fabulous production and thought, "Thank you God for this moment."  I felt very blessed to have been able to do something that brings so much joy and happiness to my heart :-)

Day 23 
January 23
"Something old"

My grandmother gave me a big box of family silver.  I love having this family heirloom.  What I don't love is having it sitting in a box not being enjoyed.  I have been thinking recently about this box of silver and how we pack away silver and china only to bring it out on special occasions, but life is a special occasion.  Every day is special.  So I pulled this little tray out of the box and am using it to sit in my bathroom and hold all my poo-pouri (this product cracks me up - love it).  And as soon as I get some silver polish I will pull out the silverware to use, because I want to enjoy it :-)

Day 24
January 24
"Guilty Pleasure"

A guilty pleasure for me is Anthropologie.  When I feel blue or have a bad day, sometimes I will go get something - usually from the sale corner - usually a plate or a mug.  The store just makes me happy.  I have also recently discovered Modcloth.  Oh goodness.  I can waste a good amount of time perusing that sight.  Last week I received my first Modcloth purchase.  That yellow duck umbrella had been on my wish list for awhile.  It's such a happy item to have on a gloomy rainy day :-)

Day 25
January 25
"Something you made"

I made this huge infinity scarf a few years ago.  It is called the GAP-tastic cowl and I followed a pattern created by Jen Geigley.  I didn't really like it very much when I finished it.  It is so big and bulky that I felt like a football player when I wore it.  At least, what I thought a football player would feel like :-)  But, I'll tell you what - this winter season I have grown to loooooove this scarf.  It's so warm and cozy. It also serves as a pillow when I ride the bus.  All I have to do is lean my head to the side and it instantly meets some cushion.  Oh, but there's more!!  This scarf is so thick that I can also flip it up to cover my head.  So basically, this is the best scarf ever!!!

Day 26
January 26

I got crafty and finished two projects over the weekend - ponytail holders and some plaques to hang in bathroom.  It all turned out great.  Perhaps I will share more later :-)

Day 27
January 27

I also made some chicken and dumplings over the weekend.  A batch of delicious comfort food that I sadly finished yesterday.  I don't eat much meat.  I consider myself to be a flexitarian.  While I do adhere to a primarily vegetarian diet, there are some foods that I don't ever plan on giving up - like chicken and dumplings ... and proscuitto ... and barbecue. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Musical Monday - the MLK day edition (Up to the Mountain)

Today is MLK day which spurred me to share one of my favorite songs.  It was written by Patti Griffin about Martin Luther King.  There have been many times I have listened to this song when at the point of wanting to give up and it has inspired me.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Photo a day recap (Day 14 - 20)

Day 14
January 14
Something you are reading

I have subscriptions to three magazines - Fitness, Whole Living, and Traveler.  Fitness and Whole Living always seem to arrive on the same day.  It's mailbox healthy day :-)

Day 15
January 15

I was listening to my "Happy Running List" playlist while getting ready for work.  I love this playlist.  The music puts a smile on my face and gets me moving.  It is also my favorite running list and contains my all time favorite song.  I know that I have probably shared this video before, but just in case you haven't seen it, here it is again:
("Smilin' so hard my mind looks like a capital U" - love that line!)

Day 16
January 16

It was a rough morning ... getting out of bed was sooooo hard.  I had to rush and missed my morning coffee and bagel, so I stopped at the deli in my building.  They actually have awesome coffee - hazelnut flavored.  This sister needs her caffeine :-)

Day 17
January 17

Just water running from the faucet.  I took this picture at the end of a not very good day.  I was feeling very discouraged after some things that happened in my day.  As I was on the metro coming home, I thought about water and it's cleansing properties.  It washes away dirt and nourishes our body.  I definitely needed to wash away a bad day.  So, I had a glass of wine and took a lavender scented bath :-)

Day 18
January 18
Something you bought

How cool are my new running shoes!!  I was so excited to see them come in the mail.  I bought them in the store a few days earlier, but had to place an order if I wanted the hot pink ones.  And of course I wanted the hot pink ones :-)  They make me smile.  I tried them out today and I love them.  However, after about 3 months of no running, I definitely have a lot of ground to gain back.

Day 19
January 19

I was pretty pleased to realize that this was about the sweetest treat in my possession - that was before today when I discovered the chocolate covered espresso beans in the back of the pantry :-)  I actually really love this juice.  I discovered it when I was sick a few weeks back.  It's a great juice for when you are not feeling well - or for when you just want some immune system boosting juice :-)

Day 20
January 20
Someone you love

I love Jesus so much and I have been thinking about grace a lot.  Grace is so amazing.  So many times I feel like a complete screw up.  I feel like I let God down and I let myself down.  But regardless of whatever happens, grace is always there to rebuild and restore me.  I am learning to receive it and I think that this word "grace" is a big theme for me this year.  It's definitely an area that I am growing in.  For someone who is really hard on themselves, grace is like a breath of fresh air - I just need to remember to inhale it.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Musical Monday - Tomorrow is a Chance to Start Over

It has been awhile since I have done a Musical Monday post.  In fact, I forgot that I even used to do Musical Monday posts.  And when I say that I used to do them, what I really mean is that I might have done it a couple of times :-)

Well, I thought that I would bring it back.

I recently discovered that Anthropologie has a station on Spotify.  They posted a New Year's playlist that I absolutely love.  In fact, I love it so much that I went and downloaded all the songs to put on my iPod, so now it is pretty much all that I have been listening to.

Do you remember the song that I posted in my Photo A Day recap last week.  That song was discovered on the Anthropologie New Year's playlist.

I wish that I could embed that playlist with you here, but I am not able to figure out how to post it from Spotify - sorry :-(  You can click the link HERE to reach the playlist.

But in the meantime, check out the video below for another song from the playlist that I am loving:

One morning as I was listening to it, the words began to sink in and brought tears to my eyes.  I have been needing a new start.  Sometimes life is just hard.  People may disappoint you, and you may disappoint yourself, but tomorrow is a new start.  I love that.


Lie down on your pillowIn the shadows, close your eyes Turn out the old lamplight and sing goodnight lullabyes 
You are another day older Soon you'll be through the dark Tomorrow is a chance to start over Start over again 
Like the setting sun dear As it lingers, falls to rust I'll see you in my dreams love, let the long day turn to dust 
You are another day older Soon you'll be through the dark Tomorrow is a chance to start over Start over again 
You are another day older Soon you'll be through the dark Tomorrow is a chance to start over You re-ignite the spark Tonight you can like here on my shoulder Soon you'll be through the dark Tomorrow is a chance to start over Start over again

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Photo a Day recap (Days 7 - 13)

Day 7
January 7, 2013

I like to watch sports - especially football - especially SEC football.  Any guesses on my favorite team ... only the best college football team there is.  And it was proven Monday night when Alabama blew Notre Dame off the field.  It was good for Bama - bad for Notre Dame.  Roll Tide!!  Go Amabala.  I mean Go Alabama - I took the pic in the mirror, thus the backwards lettering :-)

Day 8
January 8, 2013
"Your Sky"

This is the view that I saw when I stepped off the bus Tuesday morning.  Completely perfect for the photo prompt :-)  My friend Dianne wrote a blog post that pretty much sums up the wonders of a pretty sky.  Check it out HERE.

Day 9
January 9, 2013
"Daily Routine"

I wake up  open my eyes,  roll out of bed, shower, start coffee, and drink coffee while I put on make up.  And then I am awake enough to function :-)

Day 10
January 10, 2013

Do you remember these glasses?  They are from Pizza Hut.  These are not the ones from my childhood, but I have been collecting them over the years and it makes me happy to see them in my pantry.  The most recent addition is the Funshine Bear glass that I found at Goodwill a few weeks ago for $1 - thrift store score!!

Day 11
January 11, 2013
"Where you sleep"

I sleep on a bed that has these really cool ruffle pillow shams.  I happen to have designed and created those awesome ruffle pillow shams all by myself :-)  I actually took a bunch of pictures to post a tutorial. Hmmm, maybe I should write that tutorial someday :-)

Day 12
January 12, 2013
"Close - up"

I pulled out my colored pencils to start my current work in progress project.  I am making a planner because I can't find the design that I like anywhere.  I was inspired by this post by Alisa Burke and set about making my own.  It's about half way done.  Here's a little sneak peak :-)

Day 13
January 13, 2013
"In your bag"

I carry lots of stuff and these are the things that I always have with me:
1.  Kindle:  I love that I can have tons of books with me at all times.  Before my Kindle, I would always carry at least one (usually more) book in my bag.  I love love love that I can have multiple books on one device and it saves my back from carrying around all the weight of a book.  I do miss actual pages sometimes, so I tend to have my Kindle that I read during my commute and a book on my bed stand that I read at night.  Reading is fun :-)
2. Watercolor field kit:  I love this thing.  One of the best buys that I have made.  It has vibrant shades and the brush has a water reservoir that it attaches to, so you don't have to have a cup of water in your possession.  The paint dries pretty quickly too.  I love that I have the option to paint whenever I want to. 
3. Make up bag: pretty self explanatory :-)
4.  iPod:  I like to always have some tunes with me.
5.  Journal:  My journal is not just a place where I write down thoughts.  I paint in my journal and stick random things (like the sticker I got for voting and post its where a cute 4 year old wrote his name for me) in my journal.  I like my journal to be think from paper crinkled with paint and bulk from random items.  So, there is also a rubber band that holds my journal shut tight :-)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Photo a Day challenge recap (Days 2-6)

I am doing a photo a day challenge that I found on Pinterest:
Source: via Melany on Pinterest

I thought that I would do a recap of each week here on my blog.  So here it goes:

Day two (because that is when I actually started)
January 2, 2013

This is a new bowl that I bought at Anthropologie (My favorite store.  I love you Anthro!).  They have had all their clearance marked an additional 30% off.  That sale ended today (sad face).  

Day 3
January 3, 2013
"Something I adore"

I had a lot of difficulty with this photo prompt.  I struggled because "adore" is such a strong word and seems a little much to describe a thing.  So, I went with something that I really enjoy and I do really love the display that I have on my bedside table.  I like decor with an antique/vintage feel to it.  The lamp is something that I found at a thrift store and you can tell it is vintage just by looking at the plug.  The photo is one of my favorites of my Mama Doris and Papa.  I just love old photos!!  

The photo sits on top of a stack of books one of which is a very old copy of "Kim" by Rudyard Kipling.  It caught my eye when I was at my grandmother's house.  I just loved the old vintage binding, so she gave it to me.  

The crystal votive holder is the first gift that I ever received from Tiffanys.  There is actually a cool story behind it.  

One year for Christmas my mom started this thing called a "theme gift".  Basically it is a bunch of gifts in a bag that all have a common theme leading to the last "big gift".  For this gift, first I opened a pair of really long black opera gloves and thought perhaps there would be tickets to a show at the end.  Then I opened a tiara and thought, "Um, ok."  The next gift was the movie "Breakfast at Tiffanys" and I thought I had reached the end.  "Oh, I get it - Breakfast at Tiffanys.  The gloves and tiara like what is on the cover of the movie.  Cool."  But my mom told to keep going - there was one more.  And then I saw it - the blue box with white ribbon.  At that point, I did not even care what was inside the box :-)  I just exclaimed "Is this really from Tiffanys?"  To which my dad replied, "It better be." I think he was thinking of the price tag :-)  I opened the box to reveal the crystal votive with a Tiffany scented candle.  The candle is long gone, but that little votive holder is pretty special to me.  I love how it looks with my pearls sticking out of it.  I like pretty things especially when they come from Tiffanys :-)

Day 4
January 4, 2013

This box is my most treasured possession and I will probably get a little teary eyed just writing about it. This box holds notes and letters from very special people.  Each piece of paper in this box has words of encouragement written on it.  When I am feeling really down about myself, this box helps to remind me of who I really am and what people think of me.

This box got started on my 21st birthday and I am going to tell another story about my mom that is going to make you wish she was your mom :-)

For my 21st birthday my parents took me to a fancy restaurant to celebrate.  It was a very special evening.  I received this gift containing a box of notecards and it made me cry right there in the middle of that fancy restaurant.  

My mom had contacted all my friends and family and asked them write "My favorite Melany memory".  That is what each note card said:  

She made all these cards, embossed the word "Memories" on the front of each one, sent them out to people with a return envelope, and put them all in this box for me.  The first note that I opened was the following:

That's when the waterworks started :-)  I was so overwhelmed as I sorted through the many cards inside.  There were too many to read sitting there in the restaurant so I finished them when I got home - and got no sleep that night :-)

It is by far the best gift that I have ever received.  Over the years I have added to this box.  In fact it is so full that I need a new box :-)  It is one of my most treasured possessions and I will tell you about my other most treasured possession in a little bit :-)

Day 5
January 5, 2013
"Something you wore"

A smile.  It's the world's greatest accessory.  It looks good on everyone and makes the world a brighter place.  I was listening to the following song when I took this picture:

Give it a listen.  It will make you smile :-)  And while we are speaking of smiling ...

Day 6
January 6, 2013
"Makes you smile"

This is my other most treasured possession - my journals.  I am a huge advocate for journaling.  More on my journaling journey here.  These notebooks tell my story - and what a story it is.  I love reading through my journals.  It reminds me of where I have been and how God has always come through for me.  There are lots of smiles and lots of tears poured out in these journals.  There is lots of triumph and lots of heartache.  Each story ends with God's faithfulness shining through and when times are tough I like to look through them and be reminded of how my Father in heaven will never leave or forsake me.  He has been and always will be good. 

There is week one of the Photo a Day Challenge.  I think that when all is said and done, I am really going to love having this to look back on.  Fun times :-)

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