Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas...

Last Monday night after finally washing most of my dishes, I started making Christmas in my home. I have a few changes from the norm this year.

1. I have a mantle! I cannot tell you what joy it brought to my heart to hang stockings where I feel they were made to be.

2. You will see that the traditional Auburn hat on the top of the tree has disappeared. The replacement is an actual star tree topper. I found it on sale last year after Christmas for the ridiculous low price of $4 and couldn't help myself. (Have no fear the Auburn hat might make another appearance next year...)

3. I did not hang all my ornaments up this year. Shocking, I know! This year I decided that my skinny tree was a tad small to hang them all up because this year I had even more. So I decided that I would keep all traditional (aka- Hallmark) ornaments in their box and put only the most whimsical on my tree this year. (It goes with the star tree topper!) The plan is to snag another tree after Christmas and on sale so next year....
I will have two trees!! :)

After putting all the lights on the tree and then the ornaments, I plugged lights in only to find that one strand was out. Fail. As a Christmas expert, I was disappointed in myself. Last night I went to pick up some more and only had to redo a portion of the tree. Now we can sit all cozy by the tree.

I have a new tablecloth for the dining room table and even a couple of things for the kitchen that I will put up after Thanksgiving break.

I think Christmas on Stockell will be extra snuggly and beautiful this year.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Graphic Designer: Lauren

Tonight I finished writing the copy for my Christmas cards and settled on a photo. This year my friend Lauren is creating my Christmas cards. I am really excited!

Lauren and I have been friends since 4th grade. We used to make pendants and sell them on the school bus. A Barbie was never without blankets when we were together. We lived on the same street. Our names were practically the same... Elizabeth Lauren and Lauren Elizabeth. Destined to be life long friends.

Lauren is a talented graphic designer now. She has helped me design the Deeply Rooted Race for the Cure shirts for the past two years. (Below is the 2009 shirt) She has created graphics for the teacher line at Dollar General, campaign materials for a candidate for governor, wedding announcements, baby annoucements and countless shirts for youth groups, social clubs, etc.

Check out more of Lauren's work on her blog.

Thanks Lauren for being such a good friend and sharing your talents to bless my life!

Murphy's Law

Another example of Murphy's Law...

Settling on a night to set up your Christmas decor, putting up the tree, adding the lights, and plugging in only to find a strand does not work.

Big bummer.

Tradition! Tradition!

Over the weekend, Amy and I drove to Gatlinburg, Tn for the 2nd annual China Reunion.

We stopped in Cookeville to see my sister Caitlin and Amy's family. I'm so glad that is becoming an annual pit stop.

Friday night was spent catching up with our friends and watching You Tube videos. (Another tradition!)

Saturday morning, we ate brunch at Apple Barn (tradition) and went to play putt-putt. The score card said Brian won. The girls then did a little shopping while the boys headed back to the cabin. I fell in love with a kelly green pea coat at Old Navy, but sadly they did not have my size. After shopping, we headed home to cook a Chinese feast. Feast it was! It had been a long time since I had some authentic Chinese and I ate like it had been. (Note: When I say "please take the todu si away" that really means I am going to have another plateful.) I thought that we would all fall into a dinner induced coma, but I was wrong. Way wrong.

The next four hours were spent playing Toy Story Mania on Wii. Let me just say, don't knock it til you have tried it. Super addicting and super fun. It ranks up there with Christmas. The next morning my arm was sore. The only break was for a Tim Tam Slam. Tim Tams are these Australian chocolate cookies that you bite off opposing corners and then slurp up some coffee through before shoving the cookie in your mouth. It is an art.

Sunday morning, we spent time singing and lifting each other up before God. (A little cry fest tradition) This group of people is very honest with each other and I truly wish we all lived in the same city for more small group time. Each time we all walk away encouraged and with a renewed sense of hope and love. I am so thankful for Amy, Jeremy, Brian, Rachel, Danielle and Heidi.

Of course, the trip could not end before a visit to Christmas Village. (Tradition) Apparently, I have a new love for partridges in pear trees. I don't know where it came from, but everything I loved was a partridge in a pear tree. I settled for a cute tree ornament (tradition of getting an ornament wherever I travel to) and a glass bottle of Cheerwine (a North Carolina soft drink).

After saying goodbye to our sweet friends, Amy and I stopped in Knoxville for some Christmas shopping. I found the pea coat in my size! $35. Major score. We stopped again in Cookeville to have dinner with Caitlin. We managed to get home by 10 pm.

A weekend of tradition. A weekend I needed.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Recipe Cards

I dream of having an organized life kitchen.

My cookbooks stand proudly between my hand-painted fruit/veggie bowl and a bottle of a Malbec wine. I have the staple Julia Child, a chocolate lovers, a Gooseberry Patch, a Habitat for Humanity, and my Hao Chi Fan cookbook. Hao Chi Fan was a cookbook that Amy and I created while in China. Over the years, I have stuck other recipes in and now it sits with papers sticking out every which way. Not so pretty.

Today, I heard about Skip To My Lou's recipe maker. How adorable are these! Free printables to help me get organized and look cute at the same time... yes, please!

One step closer to another dream come true ;)


ps- Thinking Christmas might go up on Thursday or next Monday!


They Are Taking Over!

They are taking over my house.
(Insert Jaws theme song here)

A smothering of children's book characters lie all over my house in anticipation for tomorrow's Family Reading Night. Not shown would be 300 books scattered in my living room waiting to be labeled, creates of literacy centers and games, a pile of dirty dishes that will be done on Wednesday, and one very tired Beth. This will be the biggest event I have coordinated so far in my new job as Family-School Coordinator. I am so excited! (Insert Jersey shore fist pump here.)
Special thanks to Katie "Skinny Scrubby Scrubber" McGunnigal and Amy "Don't Mess With Nona Puff" Pratt for there much welcome, much needed, and much loved help yesterday. It was so much fun!
Recap of the event on Wednesday (after I do my dishes...)

Friday, November 12, 2010





Taking a mini-break tonight and tomorrow. Will come up for air again soon. :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Tidbit

You know the best thing about living on my own?

I can decorate for Christmas anytime I want.

I don't feel it is quite time yet, but there is no day-after-Thanksgiving stipulation this year.

It will be magical.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

SHeBrews at Suzy Wong's House of Yum

On Wednesday night, I meet with my girls small group. We are affectionately known as SHeBrews. (Yes, it is typed that way for a reason.) We usually meet at Fido's for coffee, encouragement, prayer, and some times crafts. It is a nice standing appointment with girls that are like-minded.

Last week while at Fido's, we stumbled across a little book of Nashville's original/local restaurants and an idea was born. Why not try a new place each Wednesday night? We were pleased to see that Fido's is included. The plan is that each week we will take turns opening to a random page of the book- whatever restaurant is on that page is the restaurant we will go to the following week. If it is a restaurant that is pricey then we will share an appetizer or dessert.

Our first pick of the SHeBrews and Nashville Originals was Suzy Wong's House of Yum. We tramped out to Church St. in the rain this past Wednesday for some wonderful eats! We had Red Curry Queso, Pineapple Red Curry Shrimp, Peanut Sauce Chicken, and Wanton Deluxe Nachos. The plate says it all. Yum. My appetite was not up to par so I am looking forward to going back for some more yum. The prices are very reasonable and the atmosphere is chic. SHeBrews will be going back to see Suzy Wong again.

I got to make the random pick for next week. Next Wednesday we will be at Cha Chah. Spanish and Mediterranean tapas, already can't wait.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wisdom of Solomon

I only wish I had the wisdom of Solomon.

Last night I made a decision that with all honestly was out of love for someone. The decision lead to large amounts of hurt and hours of worry.

Did I handle it right?

What else could I have done?

I thought I knew what I was doing.

I thought it would help. Help them and help myself.

There were flashbacks of a past that used to control me.

How do you shed hurt and pain?

How do you love?

The clock's hands seem to turn so slowly as I wait to hear.


I wish I had the wisdom of Solomon.