Wednesday, July 31, 2013

He makes a home for the lonely

It's currently Sunday - it's after church but before our evening plans. We spent the day out at the lake with one of our home stay students, Ana. We floated and rested and my back and heart thank me for today. We came back in time for church - and my heart even more so thanks me for that choice. My spirit is encouraged - God was working at church. On top of that I am continually amazed by God's gift of His people. These are broken, flawed people. I talk to them and sometimes their insecurities are obvious, sometimes not. Sometimes their flaws are blatantly obvious and sometimes they seem perfect. They are human - wonderfully so. They have the power to hurt other people, and in their humaneness they are selfish (as all people are) - and yet they are the biggest gift to me imaginable. The joy of being in community that is real and engaging is unbelievable - unless you experience it you won't understand. It seems impossible to get such joy from flawed people. And yet, that is the system God has put in place. He calls us into community. He makes a home for the lonely. 

I was lonely for so long. Growing up I had family and community but was still so lonely. It was God, first winning my heart and giving me a reason to be secure and be significant that allowed me to embrace family and community as He intended. As He moved in my heart He showed me how to accept and receive love from others. For years I felt the weight of my loneliness as a stone in my heart. When I was young I stopped crying. I will cry in movies and books, no problem - annoyingly easy. But for my own pain, I learned to stop that flow of emotions or I would have cried endlessly in elementary school and Junior High. I would hear about people experiencing community and long for it so much - yearn for that feeling. You know that feeling, like when someone compliments you, and you feel like inside you're just so so so happy and you can't believe they're saying such nice things about you, but equally feeling so awkward to receive the compliment? It's like that - I yearned for it, craved it, but could never imagine it happening. 

The Psalms say that God makes a home for the lonely, He brings the prisoners out of captivity. I was captive in my insecurity and sin for so long - I was in bondange to wishing for relationships and friendships - they seemed impossible to attain. When Christ saved me from my sin - when He forgave me and died for me and EMPOWERED me to live FOR HIM - he did so much more than just save me - He gave me a new life and part of that is community. He gave me girlfriends. He gave me a husband. He gave me friends I can call to talk to. When my back went out last year two friends came with Paul and I to the ER and helped me change and move. When we moved 15 people came out to help even though they knew we owned lots of heavy books. People text and facebook and email to see how we are - to see how trying to get pregnant is going, and how our hearts our doing, and how Paul's job prospects are and how our day to day lives are going. God has given us people that genuinely care about us. He has made a home for two lonely people. 

Paul asked 8 girls to prom and they all said no. I didn't ask anyone to prom because I'm a girl, but I was also not asked to prom or any high school or junior high dances. When Paul and I were young our parents worried about both of us because we both tended to gravitate to adults to talk to since people our age didn't want to talk to us. God has given us a home now and friends. He used those years to make us tender, to teach us to care for others and to know acutely how it feels to be "on the outside". And He now gives us the opportunity to use those painful lessons to love others and draw them into the community He's given us. Now that's fun. 

Now some of you reading this don't have community or feel like you don't have friendships like these. And also you love Jesus. And it's hard. I wish I could tell you that there is an easy answer. I can't. I won't pretend that we never feel lonely. I won't pretend that we don't get hurt by people and get let down by friends. One of my biggest fears is that I will hurt a friend somehow unknowingly and they will cut me off - and that happens at least once a year (to my great sadness). I do know that God is good. He is kind. He has a plan and he is bigger than our pain and our hurts and our joys and our shame. I can't control people. I can't build a community. I can only turn to Christ as Lord of my life - offering Him control of my life in thanks for His graciousness and pray that He meets me there - and He does. Even if it doesn't always look how I expect. 

**Note: None of these pictures are mine. Because I'm in them. Thanks Facebook! 
(and three from Stefany Mailhiot Photography)**

Monday, July 29, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday with Laura at Org Junkie
This week's Menu Plan Monday is full of Zucchini. Paul planted us three Zucchini plants and man they are growing! I'll also be making Zucchini Chocolate Chip Loaf, and Chocolate Zucchini Cake - mmmmmm. 

We have a busy catching up night - laundry, grocery shopping, etc and need something easy. 

Is lifegroup and is a great way to use up a lot of Zucchini - plus our gang LOVES my Zucchini Lasagne - I use noodles and Zucchini and it's excellent. 

Wednesday we have a date with the Lim's at 8, so there's time to make real side dishes if I use the slow cooker on the meat. I'm excited to use up the Pork tenderloin I got on sale at Costco. 

Thursday is my time with Jenna, so slow cooker meals are the way to go!

Friday: Pasta, Zucchini and Meatballs
Easy and uses up things that need to be eaten.

Saturday: YOYO (You're On Your Own) 
Paul and I are away for the day so our housemates are on their own!

Sunday: Zucchini Burgers with Broccoli Salad and Devilled Eggs (from BooMama's book)
I love a good hearty summery meal after church - this fits the bill perfectly. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Miracle time

Back in April Paul and I were in a place where we wondered about God. Not His existence but in His abundance. In the bible it says,  Matthew 7:11 "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”

And while we have seen God do wonderful and abundant things, we've also had a lot of just making it or barely making it or moments of giving things up because it didn't work out. And for some of March and all of April and May two of our rooms have sat empty. No student income. That’s on the low end a $2600 loss, and on the high end a $3700 loss. That’s significant. My husband is a student. Now of course we have saved to make sure that we can afford our house without it being full, and that is why it was ok that in January we only had one student and why we were still doing ok. But it’s not ideal. And it is hard to know what trust looks like in this time. Because I am human and I am sinful, and my memory of the good things gets clouded by the hard.

So, how do I trust that our God is the giver of good gifts when things aren’t panning out as I expect?  What does it look like to step out in faith and obedience – engaging with God in the midst, knowing that provision isn’t necessarily around the corner as I would hope, but in fact around 2 corners at the 13th hour, and not even the 11th?

So I sat with Paul that week and we prayed. He held me; dejected, discouraged wife. He held me and prayed. He asked God for faith for us, for relationship with God, for trust. He prayed for our home and those currently in it. He prayed for our marriage. He thanked God for all of those things and for the hard moments so we would know we need God. And he prayed for provision and abundance. His faith moved me and God strengthened me. We went about our week knowing we had no idea what was happening or would happen, but knowing that God had given us our home and has called us to the things we fill our life with and that He would guard these things.

Now at the time this story takes place, I wish I could tell you that we got an email telling us that we would now had students for May. I can’t tell you that – we didn’t. But hindsight is 20/20 and I can tell you that we ended up getting a student for June, and another student for 5 weeks this summer. This fell short of our original goals and yet was the biggest blessing we could imagine. Looking back over the summer I can see that God had hand chosen our students. We couldn’t be more grateful for the people he placed in our home. But I didn’t know that when this story begins, in April. So I can’t tell you about a student miracle, because I didn’t know about it yet. I can tell you about a different miracle God did in response to our moment and Paul’s prayer.

May 1st was our 3 year wedding anniversary. My husband is a student. We aren’t rolling in the dough, as one might assume. We knew we could feel ok about putting aside some money to do something – a nice dinner or a cheap dinner and a show or dinner at home and a night at a reasonable hotel. If I could have chosen what to do for the night it would be, of course, a nice dinner out and a night at a hotel. This was obviously a pipe dream.

We originally decided to go for the dinner and I dreamed of eating at Chambar. Chambar is one of the top 10 ranked restaurants in Vancouver and comes highly recommended by our foodie friends. Paul thought it was on the high end of our budget, and realistically he was probably right. That doesn’t mean I didn’t want to go there though – and the death of that dream was sad for me. We planned to eat elsewhere and catch some theatre sports – our standard date night plan.

Then we got an email saying that an event we had planned to go to was being held at Chambar on Tuesday, and that the meal would be complimentary. What?? When I saw that email, I felt a nudge in my spirit from God saying that He wanted to bless us. Plus its with great friends and that’s even better, honestly. Paul feels out of place in fancy places, but loves our friends and I love people all the time, so friends make everything better, especially good food. This event is Answered Prayer #1. Because you can be sure I’d been praying about Chambar.

We decided that since we would be having an amazing dinner out Tuesday that we wanted to instead chose to spend the night in a hotel for our anniversary. When we looked at rates for downtown it was pretty steep, but I knew that since I work downtown, I’d rather have something not quite as nice but near to work for the morning. My dream was for the Sutton Place Hotel. I’d been there for a work function and it was lovely and I knew that would be a treat. Their prices were over $200 and I knew that was further than we could stretch. We both looked around online but in the meantime I told someone (confidentiality prevents me from saying who) what we were wishing to do in the hopes she could help us find a good rate, and by that afternoon I’d gotten a message from her saying she’d booked us in at the Sutton, and that we didn’t have to pay, she’d used points to cover us as a gift.

To recap: Dinner at Chambar Tuesday with friends and Wednesday night at the Sutton Place Hotel downtown Vancouver all for free, including breakfast the next morning. Are you kidding me? At the end of our time there I only had a 5 minute walk to work in the morning, we’d enjoyed an AMAZING night at the hotel and even better, we’d found a gift card from the church and had a pretty great dinner at Earls for $12 after the gift card.

And as all of that sunk in, God nudged my heart and reminded me that He is abundant and that He loves us and wants to bless us.

My word. That God. I am humbled by His love. 


Wow, it's been a while since I last wrote - 13 days to be exact! What a crazy couple weeks. 

We had our big office move this past week and wow - what an ordeal! Myself and the other admin staff worked hard to make it happen. Our boss Leigh is amazing and can work tirelessly. I am so glad we're done. Leigh has let Irene and I go to town on organizing and labelling and we've made sure to go for function and looks and man, this place is looking great. A few long days (last wednesday was 12 hours), a bit of weekend work (Irene and I dragged our husbands in to help us Sunday) and it's starting to get back to normal around here. 

1. Part of the view from our new building  2. Labels in our new kitchen  3. Sugar, Tea & Nespresso holder with labels

Lunch after our move at work with our husbands and our manager, Leigh. 

On top of the work move, life itself is as busy as normal. Each day I make dinner for the 6 of us, and pack lunches for everyone. Add to that normal laundry and tidying and that adds up to a lot of time! On top of that I'm decorating and redoing some furniture. I'm partway done two furniture revamp projects, and have completed 3 projects already. Details to come on those, but here's a sneak peak of some spaces. 

Revamped Entryway

As well it's still very much summer - which means friends, fun and weddings! We've had patio BBQ's with many of our friends - we love our BBQ and patio. What a blessing. We've gone to people's houses, sat in backyards and roasted food over fires or played cards to lantern light. We attend picnics and brunches and meet up with folks whenever we can. We're living like it's summer and we love it! 

TC's birthday brunch

Cards and Backyard BBQ's

Church Picnic   1. Girls   2. Boys Playing football (Paul in his happy place)   3. Me and my sister

Also Paul got to officiate a wedding! Sadly my uncle (and our pastor) wasn't feeling feeling well and needed Paul to step in with a week's notice. Paul was stoked for the opportunity and did a wonderful job - his little sermon was truly a great start to a marriage - conviction, purpose and joy. And this was one wedding I got to just attend and not work at! On top of that it was full of friends that I really really like. We don't know the bride and groom super well yet, but they're a couple that we have always wanted to get to know, so this was a great introduction. Plus there were philipino's and dancing - that's a win no matter what else happens. 

1. Larry and Yhan  2. Julie & I   3. The happy couple with Paul
4. Arlene & I   5. The other happy couple, me and Paul
6 & 7. Wedding shots

More #vanbeauty at the wedding venue, Brock House. 

In the spirit of weddings I attended my friend Ereka's wedding shower which was Movie Character themed - I couldn't decide who to dress up as (as they invite requested) and finally decided to go as the Runaway Bride, complete with sneakers and my wedding dress. I felt a bit silly but it was a lot of fun and I would have won if I hadn't had to leave early - the runaway bride truly did runaway!

1. Arlene and I   2. Corrie and I   3. Me in all my runaway bride finery

Paul graduates from University in 3 weeks as a teacher and his program was throwing a grad party at the Hyatt Regency downtown to celebrate. We went out for a night of great food, dancing and conversation. We had a good time - though I forget what it's like dancing with people who want to hook up. I'm used to doing a lot of dancing in a group full of people I know at weddings or church parties - I'd forgotten how weird and sort of sad it is back out in the real world. At our parties you get to dance with friends - no one is worried about trying to find someone to grind with - you just get to be silly and have fun - no need to look extra sexy. We attended this party the same day as the previously mentioned wedding, and it was such a shocking contrast to me to see how different the dance parties were - and how much more fun a dance party is when it's actually about dancing and have fun, and not be touching bodies and hook ups. I never would have believe that in my bar star days and am so glad to see the change. 

We've had a wonderful summer in our home - on top of loving our patio and BBQ we've also been loving our students. Langara sent us a 5 week Quebec student (Rachel) and a 4 months Brazillian Student (Ana). We lucked out with these girls for sure! On top of that we have our original student (original Rachel) who has taken these girls under her wing to make real friendships with both of them. It's like a girls night hang out every day at our house! On top of that Duncan continues to be a great addition to our house, and Paul and I sincerely thank the Lord regularly for the blessing our home and these students are to us. We could not be more grateful for all God has done. 

At the French Explore Program Picnic

1. Paul and TC, host Dad's extraordinaire  2. Me and my girls; Rachel, Rachel and Ana   3. TC & Emilie & Emilie and me

1. Our whole group French Explore Picnic   2. Paul and TC manning our picnic area

Paul playing football

Here are the views around the picnic    #vancitylove

Well wait, we could actually be more grateful if we were to find a job for Paul in the fall. We would definitely be over the moon grateful if that happened. We are believing God for opportunities, despite what a long shot that is. If you're a praying sort of person, would you join us in prayer on this?

Oh....and yes, there is another thing we are praying for that hasn't happened yet - we've started on the "trying to make a baby journey." Nothing intense yet - we want to start without stress or agenda. We trust that when God has a child for us, he will make that happen. In December if nothing has happened we will begin paying more attention to dates and charts and stuff, but for now we're trying to be carefree and not stress. I'm rather controlling (shocker) so I am trying to reign that tendency in for a bit. 

Some people might find it strange that I'm blogging about all this (and others will find it totally normal) but for me I like to document my life to look back later, and love to share what's really going on - I am terrible at keeping my own secrets (though good at keeping other people's secrets, I promise). When it comes to me though, I'm an open book. I just don't see the point of keeping things hidden, or having taboo topics. If you have questions, I'll answer them. If I'm wanting to "think out loud" on my blog on a topic, I'll do that. Within reason because of course I'm not stupid and there are some things that don't need to be said, especially on the internet. 

Alright - well that sort of catches us up to today - I'll be playing catch up for a bit though. What's next you ask?

  • Furniture Revamp Reveal
  • Entry Way Revamp Reveal
  • Summer Outfits!
  • Summer Eating
  • Cultus Lake Camping Trip. 
Lots of fun stuff coming your way soon!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Movies to see this summer

After Earth

Release date: May 31 / 1000 years after Earth has been abandoned, Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) and his father (Will Smith) crash. With his father injured, Kitai must go signal for help alone. The special effects look great, and we know those Smith boys can act -- this might be a great family film.

I don't always love a Will Smith action flick (see "I am legend" and more) but I often do (see "Independence Day" aka. best movie ever). I enjoyed watching Will and Jaden together, and usually enjoy a dystopian movie, ala hunger games. This is one to see with Paul.

The Kings of Summer

Release date: May 31 / This Sundance crowd-pleaser follows three teenagers (Nick Robinson of "Melissa & Joey," Patrick Keenan of "The Big C" and Moises Arias of "Hannah Montana") who decide to escape their overbearing parents by building a house in the woods and living there for the summer. Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie and Mary Lynn Rajskub have supporting roles in this sweet coming-of-age story. 

First up I love Alison Brie, and usually enjoy Megan Mullaly, and more than that the cover shows three teenage boys cliff jumping in to water - since I'd like to be jumping in to water currently, it seems like a movie I'd be in to. On a more serious note though the line "sweet coming of age story" makes an impact for me. 

Now you see me

Release date: May31 /A heist movie that pits an FBI agent (Mark Ruffalo) and famed magic debunker (Morgan Freeman) against "The Four Horsemen," a team of illusionists played by Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Jesse Eisenberg and Dave Franco. Sounds like "Ocean's Eleven" meets David Copperfield. Yes, please. 

I don't think I even need to say why I want to see this and I've already heard it's awesome. Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, and those are just the first two names? What up!

The Internship

Release date: June 7 / Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson reunite to do what they do best. This time, they play two salesman competing with a bunch of college-age geniuses for a Google internship. Bonus points for "Teen Wolf" star Dylan O'Brien, who is about to be a pretty big deal, wearing glasses.

Vince Vaughn is one of my celebrity crushes. Obvioulsy I value humour over looks, though I definitely don't think he's ugly. Him and Owen Wilson can make me laugh (see. Wedding Crashers, despite how awkward that movie makes me feel) - looking forward to this one. 

This is the End

Release date: June 12 / For "This Is The End," Seth Rogen basically got all of his friends together to make a feature-length film based on the 2007 short film he and Jay Baruchel created, "Jay and Seth vs. the Apocalypse." Rogen and Evan Goldberg directed and wrote the movie, which stars Rogen, Baruchel, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson as variations of themselves. It also features cameos from everyone from Emma Watson and Rihanna to Michael Cera, Paul Rudd and Jason Segel, so it is almost worth watching just to see how hilariously Hollywood's elite respond when the apocalypse hits Los Angeles. 

I'll admit I'm nervous about the content of this movie - I fear there will be a lot of swearing and crudeness, but that aside I LOVE the sort of story line here - a twist on reality - a what if situation, and famous people - this lets us feel like we're in on the joke in a new way. Also Emma Watson is in it and the part with her makes me giggle - she's great.  Definitely one to see with Paul

The Bling Ring

Release date: June 14 / Sofia Coppola puts her spin on the real-life story of a group of LA teens who target the young Hollywood "in crowd," making themselves at home in their mansions and making off with their property. Emma Watson plays a fictional version of real-life reality star turned jail bird, Alexis Neiers, who is already fuming over the film based on the trailer alone. The fact that Neiers spent time in jail alongside one of her victims, Lindsay Lohan, is just icing on this train wreck cake.

Again with Emma Watson - she's everywhere lately. This looks interesting and mildly amusing at least. One to see with a girlfriend - Paul would most likely hate it. He says if someone doesn't die in the movie it's a chick flick and therefore he's not interested. Broad minded that husband of mine is

The Heat

Release date: June 28 / "The Heat" finds Melissa McCarthy teaming up with Sandra Bullock and her "Bridesmaids" director Paul Feig in a female buddy-cop story. McCarthy, who plays a foul-mouthed Boston street cop paired with Bullock's straight-laced FBI agent to take down a drug lord, seems poised to have audiences laughing all summer long. 

Oh my word. Are you kidding me? Melissa McCarthy (who I have loved since Gilmore Girls) AND Sandra Bullock (who I have loved since Speed, including The Net - yes I do remember that film) in the same movie together? It's "The Other Guys" meets "Miss Congeniality"

White House Down

Release date: June 28 / The White House is under attack, and Channing Tatum saves the country -- with his clothes on? OK, we'll bite. Though this looks like a cliche summer action flick, full of muscles and explosions, the presence of the "Sexiest Man Alive" makes us willing to overlook his less captivating companion, Jamie Foxx. Now why is that "Channing all over your Tatum" song suddenly stuck in our heads?

This looks a bit more action-ey than I normally like - but I enjoy Channing Tatum and feel like watching this movie is a gift to Paul. 

The way, way back

Release date: July 5

The first directorial effort from Oscar-winning screenwriters Jim Rash and Nat Faxon ("The Descendants"), this coming-of-age tale stars Liam James ("The Killing") as Duncan, an awkward teen who's dragged by his mom (Toni Collette) to her jerk-of-a-boyfriend's house for the summer. He finds refuge at a local water park, run by Sam Rockwell's Owen. An homage to the coming-of-age tales in the '80s, looks to be the perfect answer for those looking for an alternative to the big blockbusters on Fourth of July weekend.

This seems sweet and interesting - and again, coming of age, usually gets me. I love a good story line. 

Grown Ups 2

Release date: July 12 / Just what you've been waiting for -- a sequel to the 2010 comedy starring Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Salma Hayek, David Spade, Kevin James and Rob Schneider. More hijinks ensue, lessons about friendship are learned, etc. 

Aaaaaaaand I'll admit I like Grown Ups and am definitely looking forward to this sequel.

The Spectacular Now

Release date: Aug. 2 / We already called it one of the best movies from this year's Sundance Film Festival, and this unusually sensitive high school romance just might blossom into a late summer sleeper hit. Rising stars Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley are excellent as the central couple, and the movie has the same authentic, naturalistic tone as TV's "Friday Night Lights." (Kyle Chandler is even in the cast, albeit in a role that's very different from Coach Taylor.)

I don't know what to expect but I'm feeling hopeful about this movie - probably one to see with some girlfriends.

We're the Millers

Release date: Aug. 9 / Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis star as a stripper and pot dealer, respectively, in this comedy that turns into a family roadtrip romp, of sorts. When Sudeikis' character finds himself in major debt to his marijuana supplier (Ed Helms), he goes on a drug smuggling run to Mexico and enlists stripper Rose (Aniston) and tattooed, streetwise Casey (Emma Roberts) to help him. What could go wrong?


Release date: Aug. 16 / This Sundance fave sees Keri Russell star as Jane Hayes, a New York girl who is secretly obsessed with Mr. Darcy -- the Colin Firth version from the BBC's "Pride & Prejudice," of course. This obsession is wreaking havoc on her love life because no one can possibly live up to Firth's Darcy (amen, sister). But when Jane is gifted a trip to a Jane Austen-themed resort in England, all of her wildest dreams start coming true. This under-the- radar comedy received great reviews at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, plus it has an especially likable cast in Russell, Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Seymour, "The New Normal's" Georgia King and "Battlestar Galactica's James Callis. 

1. Keri Russell is in this movie. 2. Keri Russell is in this movie. 
Do you need more reasons while I like it?
3. Keri Russell is in this movie without Felicity's stupid short hair cut. Win.

Release date: Aug. 23 / A movie called "Drinking Buddies" that stars "Office Space's" Ron Livingston and "New Girl's" Jake Johnson (pictured)? Yes, please. Throw in Olivia Wilde (pictured) and Anna Kendrick and we are down. Johnson and Wilde star as Kate and Luke, friends who might be more -- except for their current involvements.

This looks totally silly and probably kinda gross and yet totally guilty pleasure like.

Release date: Aug. 23 / Did you love "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz"? Then this is the summer movie for you. Creators of the aforementioned comedies are back in a film that sees friends reunite after 20 years in an attempt to recreate an epic pub crawl they did in their youth. However, they quickly find that the future of all humankind rests on their shoulders. For some reason. We have no idea, but we bet it's going to be hilarious."

I did love "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz" and I'm often saying to Paul that all I want in life is more movies like those and by those guys. Yes. I must watch it. Watch it, I will.

That Guy... Who Was in That Thing 

On Netflix now / Documentary about sixteen actors who detail their ups and downs as they struggle to forge careers in Hollywood. They've played cops, lawyers, bosses, best friends, psychopaths, politicians and everything in between. Now you'll know who they are

My actor friend (how awesome does that sound - or how phoney?) recommended this and I'm looking forward to it!

Phew, for the first time in a while there's a lot I want to see! And with movies comes popcorn. This summer's going to rock!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

To Do List: Projects, projects, projects

I'm slowly plugging away at my list of projects - it keeps getting longer and longer but I just keep going!

  • Linen Closet
  • The Cellar - food storage and holiday decor storage
  • Chalkboard Marker Conversion
  • Bathroom Cupboards
  • Under the Kitchen Sink
  • Junk Drawer Revamp
  • Kitchen Drawer Revamp
  • Chalkboard Calendar Creation
  • Command Center Makeover
  • Craft Room Overhaul
    • Shelving to complete
    • Plastic drawer until to fill
    • Frames & Rocks to put on wall
  • Craft Room Closet turned desk
  • Bookshelf Arrangement
  • Repair back wall of Command Center - cover with Zebra print contact paper
  • The Pantry
  • Can Cupboards
  • Drinks Cabinet Redo (similar to this)
  • Hutch Redo (like this)
  • Hyllis Shelving painted Turquoise and staged in entrance (similar)
  • Makeover for kitchen stool - chevron stripes
  • Bedroom Makeover
    • Paint Bedroom Furniture Set
    • Pick matching bedside tables
    • Make Headboard
    • Buy bed furnishings in new color scheme
    • Make Starburst Mirror
    • Decorate
That's a lot on my list!

Project to do this weekend: 
  1. Drinks Cabinet Redo (similar to this)
  2. Hutch Redo (like this)
  3. Hyllis Shelving painted Turquoise and staged in entrance (similar)
  4. Makeover for kitchen stool - chevron stripes?
Thus far we've sanded down the hutch and used solvent to strip the top of the cabinet - Paul just needs to sand the base this week. I plan to prime and paint both this weekend, time willing. 

While those pieces dry I also hope to paint the Hyllis shelving Turquoise and have Paul put them together for me (I can do it myself but hey, so can he).

Time dependent I'd love to sand down the kitchen stool while we still have my uncle's sander, and then might as well prime and paint it while I have the paint supplies out. I will prime, paint it white and then once that is all coated and dried, do chevron stripes on the seat. I will most likely mix my turquoise with some white to make it a bit lighter but I'm not positive. I may switch it up and use my maroon spray paint for the stripes, to keep the colour continuity in the room. 

For the inspiration: Here's what I'm aiming to accomplish. So freaking stoked.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Monday, July 8, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday with Laura at Org Junkie

Monday: Pasta Salad with Dill Vinaigrette and chicken wings.
We have plenty of leftover pasta from the weekend so I'm going to use that to make this pasta salad, and we have lots of chicken wings. We will either BBQ the wings or bake them in the oven. We're having two ladies over for dinner, the daughter might be interested in living with us in the fall, so we wanted an easy tasty dinner since I'll be getting home at 5:30, need to shower after my bike ride and will of course want to tidy the house a bit before they arrive. I'll also be prepping the food for the picnic the next day. 

Tuesday: Jericho Beach Picnic - Hot Dogs, Veggies & Dip and Bacon Cheddar Broccoli Salad
Our Quebecois student Rachel is part of the French Explore Program and they have a big BBQ with all their students and their families. Our whole "family" is going, all 6 of us, so we're borrowing my sisters van-like-car and heading over to the beach all together. We're bringing our grill so that we can have Hot Dogs - it's always so fun to eat Hot Dogs at the beach. I'm quite looking forward to it - since our friends the Chibota's and their student are coming as well. Sun, beach, friends - good times!

I wanted something easy to make - and I have lots of pasta still leftover and so this will be easy to make - and according to the website, tasty! Then I have Arlene and Ereka coming over for wedding talk time - I love to review weddings with brides a month before and a couple weeks before - that way they can make sure all details are taken care of. 

Thursday: Greek Shrimp Scampi
I found a packet for Greek Shrimp Scampi - so I thought it would be a good day to try it. 

Friday: Slow Cooker Italian Chicken (from package)
We're having the McCarthy's over after a long week of work and school. I wanted something that could cook all day, so that I just needed to do a bit when I got home. This is a great slow cooker recipe, our house loved it last time. I'm making it again but serving it with Asparagus rather than noodles so that the McCarthy's can eat it, since Lindsay is gluten free. I will also add some cream cheese near the end - I did that last time and it was a hit. I'll serve it with a side of rice, I want to make it pesto but I'll need to confirm that my pesto doesn't have any gluten in it. 

Saturday: YOYO (You're On Your Own) 
Paul and I are having a date at the Papali's new place with them - so our house is on their own for dinner. Our students usually have plans on the weekend, so it's a good time to be busy ourselves. 

This weekend was interesting. Thursday we had our 4th of July BBQ - it was a huge success. Roughly 20 people came and everything went so smoothly. It was fun and relaxing. More photos to come, but here's a sneak peak. 

Top Row: Jenna & I, Blueberry Pomogranate Mojitos and the dessert spread
Bottom Row: Jessika (JTT) & I, Me with Anacat & Maan and USA Paul.

Thursday night I noticed that my back was starting to hurt a bit, but hoped that a night of sleep would help. It didn't. I had to stay home Friday. But after sleeping all day my back was feeling much better. I got up around 4 and realized that I should start prepping something for dinner. I had leftover cooked pasta, leftover uncooked veggies and remembered that there was a ham in the back of the freezer. So I thawed the Ham and then cooked it in the oven using this slow cooker recipe. I grabbed an Alfredo package and made up a sauce for the noodles and roasted up the veg in the oven. So easy and all the food was so good. My roommates were very emphatic in their praise for the meal. It felt good, for sure. 

Since I was feeling better by evening I spent an hour cleaning out my cellar (or as the girls call it, "Harry Potters Bedroom" since it's a small room under the stairs) so that I would know what I had in the house as the next day was a USA shopping trip day. I also sat out on the cool deck and cleaned and then filled in our monthly chalkboard. 

Saturday I spent the day in the USA with our two students Rachel and Ana, and my friend Irene. We did the classic Seattle tourist stuff - Pike Place Market, Starbucks, etc. We also hit up Rancho Bravo Taco's (so good!) and we met up with friends (shout out to Rebekah!). We did grocery shopping and fun girl shopping and it was a fun productive day. Minus the speeding ticket I got in the AM - I didn't notice the speed change from 70 to 60 and was still going 75. Bummer. At least it's my first ticket in over 7 years and once I got pulled over and found out the speed limit, it was obvious I was in the wrong - but I'm glad to know I wasn't intentionally speeding - I take great care to stay within 5-10 of the speed limit. 

Me, Irene, Ana & Rachel

We were home by 9:30. Rachel, other Rachel, Ana and Duncan all helped me unload the groceries, and all helped me put them away. Our kitchen was so tidy by the time we were done. We all sat around and joked and talked, which was great. Paul was out at a whitecaps game with our friend John and then they both got home around 11 - John was spending the night. I stayed up with them for a bit to chat and then started feeling extra sleepy, so I let them continue and I went to bed.....where I ended up reading for 3 hours. It was relaxing and lovely. 

Sunday was project day. I got up early and made breakfast for our house and John and then headed to Home Depot with Paul. We were assisted by an amazing HD employee named Anna. She helped me last time and she was a lifesaved, and this time as well. She is a superstar. We got everything we needed for the two big projects we're working on.

I also hit up Micheals (so many good deals!), Ikea and Costco and then it was time for church - I was hosting and Paul was preaching. I joked that we should do worship as well - though I can tell you now, that would be a disaster. 

After church we ate an easy dinner outside with our household and then Paul and I got started on the projects - first steps was to sand and remove varnish. I got to working on the sewing table with solvent to remove varnish and Paul tackled the large secretary stand with the sander. 

Can't wait to show you our plans for the pieces! And the before and afters. 
It's going to be awesome.

We were done our work by 9:30 - thankfully lunches were already made by then as well, so I could go straight up to bed. My back needs more rest than normal, so lots of sleeping is key!

And that brings us to today. I rode my bike into work this morning for the first time in the three weeks since my back went out. It felt great! I so missed it. Not only was it fun, but the ride actually helped my back feel way better. What wasn't fun was the nausea that came with my bike ride - these meds make me me prone to motion sickness - super annoying. I was pretty certain I was going to be actually ill, but made it up to work where Irene pampered me with ginger ale and kindness. Both worked and I felt much better. 

Phew - now lunch break is over - back to work!


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