Happy Thanksgiving 2013

A thankful heart makes everyone a better human being, opening that heart up to God’s blessings and His joy. And there’s so much to be thankful for. When I’m down, I start being thankful for, first of all, Who God is. He is everything the human heart is made to crave and whatever your circumstances, turning your heart toward Him will find you unexpected joy.

I am thankful for heroes who are willing to be away from home and family on this day:

thanksgiving for our troops 2013

I hope they can feel the love and prayers of loved ones across the ocean.

I’m thankful for friends and family.

For work – we started our own business together this year and it’s been exceeding our expectations above everything we could ask or think.

For the things in life that make life meaningful, and the little things that make it fun.

I’m thankful for a husband who is also my best friend and the most awesome business partner, for how he keeps me cheered up and seeing the beautiful side of life. I’ve never gotten any other answer from him when I ask “what makes you happy, Nate?” than, “seeing you happy,” and it’s doubtful I ever will.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  
-John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Here are some we can express our gratitude this year.

From love146:

On behalf of the children we serve, we give thanks to you.

Thank you for helping us protect, defend, restore and empower boys and girls all around the world.

This beautiful post will touch your heart: http://www.love146.org/blog/the-children-saw-it-first/

rescue children through love146

Send a Christmas card or a donation on behalf of a loved one to help Love146.

International Justice Mission is on the front lines of rescue. They are my heroes.

Use this IJM Gift Catalog to buy your gifts this year:

ijm catalog gift giving 2013

Pray for the 27 million slaves who have yet to find rescue and hear of God’s love.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Greeting my dear friend Holly after a two week absence.

I have a Berner (Bernese Mountain Dog) named Holly. She’s a rescue who’s been with Nate and me a year and a half.

Holly’s been at a friend’s house for two weeks and I just about went nuts without her.

I just couldn’t take the silence. I kept going to the door to let her in. If she was not in one room, it was proof that she was in another. The mornings were really sad and quiet as she was not there to greet me and smile and wag her tail.

On Saturday we got her back. She jumped up on me twice and then leaned against me as if to say, “This is my human and this is where I belong.”

Smiling because she’s happy to be home.
bernese mountain dog2

Smiling for a rare looking at the camera picture – she hates cameras.

bernese mountain dog

Berners are some of the most amazingly loyal  dogs in the world. Holly thinks it’s her job to look after me, to follow me around and make sure I’m ok. One night when I was sick, she literally sat up all night with me. Every time I woke up and opened my eyes, her eyes were open and she was watching me. When she was assured that I was alive in the morning, she went to her bed and slept.

New York weekend goodies for my friends wedding

kaboodle makeup case sonia kashuk paulas choice tarte and inglot

I didn’t know I had a lot of makeup until I got this case.

kaboodle makeup professional case sonia kashuk paulas choice inglot

I kind of like it.
kaboodle makeup professional case sonia kashuk paulas choice inglot makeup storage

A few of my favorite things.
sonia kashuk ultra luxe glosses and bronzer

I remember kaboodle as a pencil case from childhood. I was going to get a SoHo, but this did the trick.
kaboodle makeup professional case sonia kashuk paulas choice inglot makeup storage

I hope my hair and my friend’s makeup hold up (she’s the bride).not your mothers hair brands

Some days you gotta rock some Sonia Kashuk lip sheer in melon.
sonia kashuk lip sheer melon

Or Fuschia.
sonia kashuk lip sheer fuschia
Make sure you take the pictures while seat belted. That’s important.

And Paula’s Choice Great Big Lashes.
paulas choice great big lashes

Neither of which will break the bank.
So we can afford dog food.
And wedding trips.
bernese mountain dogs

Congratulations Michelle and Tim!!

E.L.F. in Toys R Us?

e.l.f. sugarkiss beauty book

I don’t know why my husband likes to sometimes steer us towards Toys R Us whenever we are in that plaza. I think he was deprived as a child.

So there we are looking at the building sort of toys, puzzle things and stuff like that. Besides that we just wander around and indulge in simultaneous boredom at each others choice of aisles.

Him: Star Wars Legos

Me: Diaper Bags (gotta find fashion somewhere)

Him: Strange action figures (can we please get out of this aisle)

Me: E.L.F.???

Yup, E.L.F. in one of the toy aisles. Just look at the bright colors.


On second thought, these colors look like loads of fun. Why is this only for little girls for dressup?


The price is the same as grownup girls ELF Beauty Books.


And so is the formula.


They even had a mega book with completely wearable shades.


Now I’m not a huge E.L.F. fan, given the choices I have of Pop Beauty and Inglot. But if you are, maybe you should check out Toys R Us?

There’s a little town called Reston

There’s a little town in Virginia called Reston, and whenever we go we feel like we’re in a home away from home. We like the charming shops, the same shops you can find other places, but in a Reston sort of way. It one of the best 7 places to live in the United States, according to CNN Money. We like the bike trails and the countryside right around it, too.


anthropologie quilts

anthropologie soaps


I can’t remember the name of this shop but there were a lot of clever things there.


These could also be used by a busy Mom.

good idea for college students and pesky room mates

can't remember where this was svensk drom

clever note holder

And Nate left his heart at Vapiano’s. He loves business and good food, and good restaurants are a hobby and passion of his.

in wine there is wisdom in beer there is strength is water there is bacteria

Really yummy not overly-filling pizza.


Quite possibly the best salad I’ve ever had. Greek. Lots of dill. It reminded me of Grandma and Mom’s dill spinach soup.

possibly the best salad in the world - vapianos mediterranian saladivapianos 3 vapianos 4 vapianos-credit-card

The system for paying was really interesting. You could see the chefs cook your food fresh, and you swiped your cards at the different kitchen booths (for lack of a better term), and then at the end you gave the host your card to get the total and pay for your meal. This precluded the need a waiter or waitress, but the food was fine restaurant quality. It was also very family friendly. They had two full time cleaners at all times, so it was even cleaner then a nice chain restaurant, like Ruby Tuesdays or Carrabba’s.

The drive home is so peaceful. Like someone took all the hills and roads of Pennsylvania and shook them out like blankets.

in virginia it looks like someone took all the disorganized hills in pennsylvania and shook them out like a blanket

ok so its actually maryland but theyre pretty much the same

My Pinterest is one of my favorite places

When I want to think more clearly and cheer myself up, I go to my pinterest. Instant pick me up.

wear your vitamins pinterest

So many goodies in the mail all at once

Friday was a great day for goodies in the mail.

I got gourmet organic Organo coffee samples from my friend:

organo coffee and tea

This coffee was so good I can drink it black. It’s better with heavy cream and Nectresse, however.

I got Miracle Shine Spray from It’s a 10. I now know that I cannot do without this. I do not want to try again.

must have smooth and straight thermal protection for straightening hair it's a 10 miracle shine spray

I got the scarf that I’m giving away on this blog:

nepali trades of hope scarf

AND, I got paid! I’ll be good for a few more weeks now. 🙂 Can’t beat that, can you?

Weird Scents Tag

Thanks to Anouchka for this fun idea: Weird Scents Tag:

Cigars. These remind me of my childhood. There was a neighbor who smoked a cigar – it was sweet and heavy and so delicious. I didn’t even know what it was – because nobody in my family smoked cigars. It was months before somebody told me.

Now when I am walking around in a store or park or something I say, “Mmmmmmmm, cigars.”


I’m with Anouchka on Chlorine. Can’t help it. My childhood’s crowning glory was bible quizzing. You heard right. The church I was in made a highly competitive sport out of memorizing Bible facts. There were these boxes someone rigged, with red and green lights. I loved being on the green team. You would hit your buzzer, the light would go on, the judge would call your Id = “Green number 3”. You would rattle off your memorized answer to the question. If you were really good, you had the questions memorized and would buzz in before the question was asked to finish the question, and then answer it. We were really good. We had all the cards marked exactly where the Judge needed to get to before you knew it was THAT question and no other. It’s a huge shame nobody ever took and uploaded a picture of a quizzing box – a hijacked briefcase really, with four green and red lights and buzzer pads that looked like sewing machine pedals but smaller.

What does this have to do with chlorine?

Because being qualified to go to state or regional championships was the only time I ever stayed in a hotel when I was a child. And hotels had pools. We would swim for a couple of hours, stay up all night studying, and compete the next day.

So Chlorine smells like victory. And random Bible facts. I have a state championship medal, and some other precious memorabilia from my life as a quiz champ.


Oh yeah, victory.

My dog. She smells like dog shampoo, dog food and rawhides. She smells like a dog I suppose, but a clean healthy yummy one.


Garlic crackling in olive oil.


White tea.


New books. I loved school. I loved my new school books. I always opened and smelled each one.51v+a1RGldL__SL500_AA300_

Rubber Tires. When I was in Africa, almost every smell was foreign and strange to me and I was soon homesick. Then in the back of a LandRover I smelled it – rubber tires. A smell of my homeland. Something familiar. I’ve loved them to this day.


New Violin Varnish.

Don’t be fooled – it is a new violin.


New Clothes. My yellow and white shirt from my Marshall’s shopping trip still has this smell. It’s sleeves – do I have to wash it?

My Birthday – by Nate

marshall's home decor

When Nate picked me up from DC airport after visiting my sister and family (Tim’s Graduation), he celebrated my 32nd birthday this way. All the following images are new additions to the house. The bouquets are arranged by Nate. There were so many bouquets (made up of two larger ones), that I kept finding them after this photography.

The house was beautiful. Nate said for 2 of the 3 days I was gone the house was a mess, as he simply pulled everything out of closets and cupboards and threw it everywhere. Then he went through it, hauled “many boxes” to Goodwill, and organized the rest back into where it belonged. He said, “I missed you too much to do anything else, and wanted to work on your birthday present.” After organizing the house, he filled it with the things in these pictures. It was an overwhelming birthday present.

Awwww…How did I get so lucky? Thanks honey. I don’t take your extra special love for granted. And I missed you a lot, too.