Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 in Review


"We spend our years as a tale that is told."
Psalm 90:9


Preserving memories has always been important to me.

I've kept a diary since I was old enough to write; took my first picture when I was five years old; and started scrapbooking when I was 13.

I still do all these things and I think that's why I enjoy blogging- it combines all three and I can do it from my iPhone!

When I first read Psalm 90:9 several years ago, my first reaction was to get it in vinyl and stick it on my wall!  I still haven't done that, but that verse has certainly helped shaped my philosophy about how I view the events of my life.  Everything...the good and the bad...is part of my story, my journey to live a life of hope.

As I close out 2011 here at Hope Overflowing, I thought I'd focus on the best parts of the year.  If you're interested in the worst parts of 2011, give me a call and we can go cry into a mug of hot chocolate at Panera!

So here's my countdown...in no specific order!
{Click each header if you want to read my original post on each of the countdown topics}


 10.  The Royal Wedding

If you think it's odd I'd include someone else's wedding on my countdown, you don't know me very well!  I love celebrations, especially romantic ones involving beautiful people with beautiful clothes!  The bit of sadness here is that this grand event took place just a few hours after the horrific tornadoes devastated my beloved state.  It was an odd mixture of heartache and happiness.





Whoever expected a new website to cause such a gush of craftiness?  I've crafted and baked more this year than I have in forever!  I've also tackled several sewing projects and got caught up on my scrapbook.  It's added such a sense of accomplishment and creativeness to my life...how did we live without it?


8. BSF

No yearly countdown would be complete without including BSF.  The beginning of the year was finishing up our study of Isaiah and we started the study of Acts this fall.  This group of ladies, combined with such personal application of the Word, is truly as necessary as the air I breathe. 





Completing a 5K was never on my Long Term To Do list, but I can now write it down and then mark it off...cause I did it! Being able to train with my friends from church was challenging and in hindsight, so much fun!





Our vacation this year was all about our love of Southern Gospel!  Three days of concerts?  Pretty much my ideal vaca!




I had the opportunity to travel with my good friend, Barb, up to PA to see my good friend, Julie!  Barb is a blast to travel with and I enjoyed spending time with Julie and her family.  Baby Jayce joined the family just a few weeks after my visit!  



4. Time with Friends

As I've gotten older, I've seen even more clearly how important Godly friends are.  I can't possibly list all my friends or the wonderful times I've had with each of them this year, but I can say- I'm blessed.   My friends pray for me and with me...they listen to my broken-record rants...they bring laughter to my life and so much love.  Best of all, they love me for who I am...for who I really am, cause goodness knows, they see the good, the bad and the down right ugly! 




Turning 30 with a big deal for me. I had an absolute blast at our 80's themed roller skating party, but there were a lot of emotional and spiritual things going on in my heart...but that's a hot-chocolate-Panera conversation!  Not only did Abby and I welcome 30, both my parents welcomed 60.  They opted for non-costume celebrations, but they were both loved on on their special day! 









In June, my parents moved from House A to House B and Abby and I moved out of House C into House A...or something like that!  Our poor postman...I think he stayed confused for about six months!  I love my new home and have thoroughly enjoyed getting settled in!




I know I said this countdown wasn't in a specific order, but this is number one!  2011 was the year I realized it was time to pursue my dream of being an Interior Designer.  What started as tentative steps of a few evening classes, ended up with me scheduling decorating clients regularly and signing up to be a full-time student at the University of North Alabama to get my Interior Design degree. The Lord's taught me so much about obedience, fear, trust and how His timing is practically never what I would have chosen or thought.  




I'm happy to say that I'm ending 2011 more hopeful than I started it.  The contentment that comes with doing something I'm passionate about is a new feeling for me and one I could get used to!  2011 brought many, many twists and turns I never expected so who knows what will make my year end review next year, but I do know this:  My family, friends and Lord will see me through anything!  


May 2012 be a year of unexpected blessings to you, my lovely blog reader...


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sewing Like Crazy

Now that all my sewing supplies are organized and easy to get to, I've been a sewing maniac. Tonight, I tackled several projects:

1. Camera Strap Cover

My friend Jennifer made a fabric cover for her camera strap a few years ago and I've been waiting to get a camera with a strap...so I could make one too. Well, Santa didn't disappoint and brought me a new Nikon!

To make my cover, I came up with a short cut and decided to use ribbon instead is fabric, so I wouldn't have to finish my edges! Laziness is the mother of all necessity, right?



2. Purse Covers

I got addicted to Thirty One skirt purses last year (let me know if you need my consultant's name!) and bought both the black and brown purses with several covers.

I was thrilled to find a tutorial (click here)on Pinterest.

For one purse skirt, I used the extra fabric from the lazy Susan I made last week.



I needed a new black purse skirt, so I just bought a yard of a cute pattern I found.



I adore digging through remnant tables, so now I have an actual use for all those random fabrics I buy!


3. Window Treatments

I also made five valances for a friend, but I'm not going to post final pics yet, since she hasn't even seen them, but here's a peek at the fabric from Joann's (my new favorite place, by the way!)




Sew long, friends...till next time...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Goodies


What a fun afternoon I had making goodies for a party at my friend's house tonight!

I needed some Aleve after being on my feet so long but I had a blast cranking up my iPod Christmas mix and trying new recipes!



Up first, Veggie Pizza. A lady in choir makes this for all our parties and I inhale it! I'm so not a veggie pizza girl, but I guess my taste buds are changing cause I love it!


Veggie Pizza
2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent rolls
1 cup sour cream
1 (8 ounce) tub whipped cream cheese
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 (1 ounce) package ranch dressing mix
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup grated cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a jellyroll pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pat crescent roll dough into a jellyroll pan. Let stand 5 minutes. Pierce with fork.
Bake for 10 minutes, let cool.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine sour cream, cream cheese, dill weed and ranch dip mix. Spread this mixture on top of the cooled crust. Arrange the broccoli, bell peppers and broccoli and cheese on top of the creamed mixture. Cover and let chill. Once chilled, cut it into squares and serve.


My next goodie was cake balls, which are so popular this year!



I wouldn't really call this a recipe, cause you literally bake a cake, crumble it, mix it with a tub of icing, make into balls and dip in chocolate! You can use any combo of cake, icing and toppings, but I decided to keep it real with chocolate, chocolate and chocolate!


My last treat (and cutest!) was Santa Hat Snack Mix off Pinterest. This was a bit time consuming and I might tweak the ingredients next time, but how insanely cute are these little hats?!?!!






For this recipe, I'll direct you to this blog I found on Pinterest.

Happy baking to my blog friends!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday Randomness

Randomness #1

Sunday's Winterlude was my church's grand finale of Christmas programs. It's always an evening of beautiful music highlighted with four grand pianos and eight grand pianists!

This year also featured our jazz band and they were fantastic!






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Randomness #2

As I was flipping through a magazine this weekend, I saw a $40 lazy susan I feel in love with!

It had this funky, colorful pattern and I could just see it on my table.

But $40?!?!! I knew I couldn't swing that so inspired by my recent craft craze, I figured I'd make one myself!

I used an old lazy susan from my mom's garage and with $10 worth of supplies, I turned this:



Into this:



I love it more than the one I saw in the magazine! I simply traced my circle onto craft paper and used it as my pattern to cut out the outdoor fabric (it's water-resistant). I glued the fabric down and then hot glued the rope border around the edge.

I can't wait to find a cute napkin holder and salt and pepper set and create my new tablescape!

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Randomness #3

My mom bought a Living Social deal for the Art Museum and since it expires next week, we stopped by today.

We aren't exactly fancy schamcy art people, but we enjoyed the kids area!



Look at this giant kaleidoscope!



We also enjoyed seeing seven beautiful stained glass windows rescued from a church that was being torn down in Ohio.



But the best part of the day?




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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Words to Live By


I've run across several quotes lately that have greatly encouraged me on my new journey of pursuing my Interior Design degree.

I wanted to share them here to
encourage you, but also so I won't forget them!
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These first two are from a blog I follow, Thoughts From Fabs:






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Here's one I found on Pinterest:



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And just this morning, I passed a Sunday School room with this quote written on the board:

Stay fearless in your obedience.
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I love how the Lord speaks to His children through so many outlets...even blogs, Pinterest and random white boards!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas with Point of Grace

I headed up to Nashville last night with Jeana and Keri to see Point of Grace in concert. Our quickie road trip was filled with horrible traffic, tons of laughter and beautiful music!

My first memory of Point of Grace is from 1993 when they first rose to fame and were on the cover of Brio magazine. Those first songs of theirs sure do bring back some memories! It was great seeing them after all these years!












Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tall, Dark & Sixty

My dad never lets my mom forget that she's a month older than he is. But now they've both reached the big 6-0!
My parents celebrated with a weekend getaway to Gatlinburg...how cute are they? It's such a HUGE blessing to see my parents enjoying each other's company.



Do you see the handsome young football player? I thought it was the perfect companion to Abby's surprise- a Peggy Ann's coconut cake!




I found the absolute BEST birthday present at the thrift store! We don't drink, so I had never heard of "Old Forester" bourbon, but it CRACKED me up! An "old Forester" looking at "Old Forester!" Glad my dad can take a joke!


Happy birthday, Daddy! You're a huge blessing to so many, but especially to your three girls!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The halls are decked!

It took a bit longer than normal for me to get my house decorated but it's done!

Here's my downstairs tree...with a topper made from burlap seat reinforcer...$0.99 a yard! For the tree skirt, I used the leftover burlap from my mom's birthday party...no sewing or hot gluing needed!


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I love my homemade (lined!) burlap stockings. For the initials, I painted $3 Target lapel pins. You can't tell in this picture, but the cuff is a beautifully textured upholstery fabric that was $40/yard, but I just needed a little so it was affordable.


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I'm thrilled to be using my mom's first set if Christmas dishes this year!


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Proud to be a Southern girl!


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I'm crazy about my kitchen tree! As a Home Ec grad, I've been collection kitchen themed ornament for years. Who doesn't love a mini blender or toaster?!?! Plus I have it paired with my new green reindeer I found in Florence...love him!





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I have vivid memories of my Nanny using this biscuit cutter, so I love displaying it year round, but how cute is it with Santa?!?


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Halls decked.
Stockings hung.

Guess its time to wait for Santa!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I love a parade!

Saturday was a beautiful day and perfect for Huntsville's Christmas parade!

First up was the Rocket City Rednecks of National Geographic Channel fame!






Here are my two favorite parade buddies...Jeana & Keri:



I went with Jeana's family to see her son march in Grissom's band. I tried to get a good picture of him, but not sure he's in any of them!












While at the parade, I ran into my BSF friend, Jennifer, who was there to see her daughter march with my alma mater- Covenant Christian Academy!

Jennifer loves self-portraits too!



I love beautiful weather, time with friends and all things Huntsville...so it was a great day!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone