Thursday, October 31, 2013


There's something about hitting that little orange button with the white pencil on it. All the thoughts in my head are suddenly ready spill onto the blank, white, rectangular, form on the window. This space is inviting to me. I'm strangely encouraged to share all I'm feeling here. It's like a safe place to me, although that makes no sense since it is shared with all this great, wide world to see. Writing has always been a way for me to really explain how I'm feeling. When my mom and I would get into tyrants,  oh yes I was one of those teenage girls, it always helped me to sort things out by writing her a letter instead of hashing it out in the moment, though I did plenty of that too. As I grew I noticed I would continue this through friendships, eventually dating and now sometimes in marriage. Just getting all my thoughts out there in an organized and tangible way was and still is a release for me.

Oh how to start this next part, writing about the way the Lord has blessed me over the years and then about His most recent out pour of love on my life has been incredibly encouraging for me to put out there and the responses and sweet encouragement I've received from all you in blog world has completely overwhelmed me. Thank you!  

With the incredibly blessing the Lord has given me also comes some sorrow and heartache. To put it simply, leaving my work family is so difficult and I'm tearing up now as I think about it, clearly I'm writing this earlier than the day I'm posting since as you read this I've completed my time at OU. I've thought for the past month how to put into words how much I'll miss them and how much I've grown to love each of them over my course of being a designer in this office at OU. So what better way than to get it out on this open space I've come to enjoy so much over the past almost two years. Here we go!

Dear A&E Services Staff,
Thank you. Thank you for allowing me to step in your doors nearly three years ago to begin my career in interior design as an intern with all of you. Over these last few years I have learned so much and it is thanks to all of you for teaching me along the way. You all have encouraged me, taught me, and lead me. Thank you for that. Thank you for showing me grace in the mistakes I've made. Thank you for trusting me with your projects. Thank you for giving me the chance to try. Thank you for the immeasurable gifts you've blessed me with. Thank you for giving me incredible reviews in my job search. For all, each of you have done, thank you.

All of you have in many ways become my family over my time at OU. I have truly enjoyed getting to know each of you and I greatly appreciate you all taking the time to get to know me. Each of your talents and abilities have been a pleasure to watch and an honor to get to be a part of. For all the tough days, with we all know who, there have been so many more wonderful ones full of laughter and joy. 

For my final farewell, I thought I'd write out some of the memories, moments and everyday things I'll miss as I leave Architectural and Engineering Services at this great university. 

I'll miss: crimson and creamwhite all over the office on Fridays. maneuvering golf carts around students, in fact just simply the golf carts, CA/PM meetings- probably my favorite office meetings honestly, meetings with Deb at McKinney- you know why Deb, random student events that we take part in- like free snow cones on the south oval, the crazy when the president asks for something- wait not really, staff lunches out together at couch, touring new buildings on campus regularly, getting to work for my Alma Mater- BOOMER SOONER YALL, our Christmas party white elephant game, driving into campus the Fridays before a game,  that time we learned about the skype capabilities of the new tv- it reminded me of a scene on The Office, the Pcard-actuallynot at all, Amber's and Tara's silly days-when everything is just funny, gluing things to tables so students wouldn't steal them, OU discounts around town- I can just pretend I'm still staff right?, getting the chance to learn about all different kinds of projects- from restaurants to dorms and everything in between, the laughter in this office, the quiet and OU clothing filled Fridays, 30 paid vacation days- I mean really, the joke of the day on the whiteboard, and working along side all the fabulous people of A&E Services

So then, I also decided to write out some memories and/or just special things I'll remember about each of you: 
Amber's and Tara's child bearing/child rearing/all things motherhood stories and all of our heart to heart conversations, Amber's oh so sweet and caring heart to everyone she comes across, Tara's sweet and gentle personality every day, Ron's construction stories- can't things just get built properly the first time?, David's plethora of information on any one event going on in the office or around campus, that time Blake didn't realize I had been working as a full timer for 8 months, Bill's skype dates for the Italy project- we're calling it Aretzoing (thanks Deb for that one), Roger's typical recap saying- that's what I'm sayin', Jeff's always dark office and his Vegas story, Mike's meticulous attention to detail and the random stories, Deb's quiet steps down the hall and her whispered stories, Ashley popping into the interiors area just to say hi- always bringing a smile with her, Dennis's family stories-there's usually a funny one applicable, Brent's witty jokes that takes everyone a moment to realize how funny they really were, describing purchasing fiascoes to Linda- so many strange situations for her to sort through, talking weddings, marriage and life with Jamie, Miranda being the first person I would see in the office most mornings, Kathy's sweet and smile everyday. 
It has truly been such a pleasure working with each and every single one of you. I don't have enough words to say how thankful I am for each of you. I love you A&E Family and I'll miss you deeply! I'll come visit some Friday afternoons!

Love always,

They threw me a going away/ celebration party for me! Who celebrates someone leaving them?! They made me feel incredibly loved and special. Complete with pink balloons, a pink cake (it was strawberry and OH SO GOOD), and a gift...a pink hardhat! Yep, MA+ probably has no idea they just hired a semi 12-year old. 

Meet my A&E Family
My director is also leaving by retiring, his last day is Thursday. He's the one in the OU polo. I know the team will miss him dearly as well. The pictures were bitter sweet for us all.

The lovely ladies that I adore and taught me all I know about design in the professional realm. A bit blurry. oops!
We were missing only two people in those pictures, Jamie and Jeff- sorry I missed yall!

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Exceptional Gifts: Bags, Babies, & Treasures

About a month and a half ago I was paroling etsy for some unique Christmas gifts for family and friends, also a wedding gift for a friends wedding that we would unfortunately not make it to. That's when I decided to make this blog series. I, like I am sure many of you, are doing gifts on a budget this year but still want to give my friends and family pretty, or fun or useful gifts, not something they're going to toss because it clearly said, hey I spent $10 on you this year. So every Wednesday tune in to find some unique, affordable and exceptional gifts for your family and friends. If you ever miss it, just click the button and it will bring up all the posts.

I stumbled upon Amber's sweet shop just a couple of weeks ago and then I teased you guys with her shop a bit ago on Twitter. Guys, what a pleasure it has been working with this sweet lady! And oh, how I love the products she has available. Amber's owns The Amber Rose Emporium shop on Etsy and hand makes or hand selected each item in her shop. She specializes in baby blankets and bibs but also has a selection of small bags and pouches, and similar to CurranStudios also has a variety of antique treasures she's discovered and saved up. She's also got a special offer for you today, read on!

Amber kindly sent me this pouch to review. I was particularly interested to see how much the husband would like it. I thought it might be beneficial for his upcoming trip to Japan but wanted to test how a man would react to chevron and a fabric pouch, as opposed to say a leather one, which would be way more expensive but generally gives off more of a "manly" vibe. 

I am SO pleased with the quality of the pouch. The seams are tight and I didn't see a single loose thread. The fabric is tough and still beautiful. Additionally, the bag is lined which to me is a requirement so I was very happy to see that. I loved the accent of the green zipper and it made Kevin happy too. It fits a toothbrush and toothpaste, ear plugs and eye covers and still has room. It's perfect for traveling and keeping those quick-need things close and easy to grab. There's loops on each end of the bag which would make it easy to attach to the inside of a larger bag so it wouldn't get jumbled around inside and lost. Additionally, at $8.95 this little pouch is the perfect little easy, useful and quality gift for any man or woman on your Christmas list.
I was excited enough to open the package and really play around with that pouch but Amber totally surprised me, didn't I tell you she was a sweetheart?, and sent something for me too! What?! I was complete taken aback and so unbelievably grateful. Amber sent me one of these wristlets. She is extra amazing for choosing to send me one in my favorite color! Made my day!

This wristlet is great! It's easy to throw your phone,ID and some cash into for a quick run into the store and also a perfect little organizer in your purse, which is where mine is being utilized. It' has become the go-to place for me to stash my chap stick and other day to day necessities, like gum. I'm loving it because it keeps my purse nice and neat while making me smile because I can open my purse and see coral all the time! Like the above pouch, the wristlet is lined and durable, and again I've not seen a single loose thread. I'm smitten with the quality of these pouches!
Check out some of the pouches she offers, ranging from $4.95 to $14...these prices are spot on with my budget! And I mean, come on, how cute is that fox print? I know you've all heard the "what does the fox say" song by now.

Her baby items look absolutely precious. She has some uniquely shaped bibs which are just too much fun and her blankets are guaranteed to be soft and plush since they're made with the finest minky available! For $17.50 to $36.95 there are plenty of options that can fit in your budget! I'm loving the elephant blanket! Oh so precious!

Vintage and antique gifts are all the rage right now and I'm certain you have a specific person on your list who just be delighted by a treasure like one of the ones Amber has here. She has items from $5 to $15, with only one item at $40. I don't know about you but that works for me! Check out some of my favorites. The swan is calling my name!

OH!  And Amber loves working with custom orders! Check out this page for various options to choose from. 

Want that special offer? Use the code: pinkpearls for as special 10% off!!! 

What caught your eye? Think you'll be purchasing anything?

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Can't help myself

Crazy, Crazy, Crazy...

that's been life lately...

just crazy.

It's absolutely amazing to me how God always works so incredibly miraculously- just go with it- during the incredibly busy moments of life.

It was just over a month ago I found out I needed to find a new job.
It was just a couple weeks ago I announced finding a new job.
It was just at the beginning of last week that I took part one of the NCIDQ.
And it was just last Thursday that Kevin and I signed a lease on a new place.
It is just tomorrow that I complete my time at OU- expect a sappy post on this coming Thursday.
It is just in one and half weeks that I start my new job.

Oh wait, did you pause on that fourth point? Yep, you read it right! Remember this post? Yep, well God even answers the little prayers. Kevin and I are moving into a duplex! Doubling our square footage, gaining a small yard-paisley is ecstatic, and a small garage. YIPPEEEE!!!!

You know what's funny? When I posted about wanting to move months back, and wrote about how I didn't have the right heart about it, I still never prayed about it. I mean, when I found that one place I prayed it was the right one, but it wasn't. Then we found another place and I prayed it would be the right one, and it wasn't- in fact it was a scam! but that's a story for another time. But you see this time, this time Kevin and I said, okay we're just going to pray about finding the right place, at the right time, at the right location, at the right price. Two weeks later, a place was found and it WAS the right one. We prayed before finding a place, as opposed to my prior prayers when I'd already found one.

Prayer people. Prayer.

So yep, we signed a lease on Thursday and we get the keys this Thursday. We hired movers to come Friday, since it's a Friday and all our friends are working of course plus thanks to Groupon it worked out okay in the budget area (I should seriously be getting paid for all the advertising I do for that company). And then Kevin gets in a big 'ole airplane bright and early Saturday morning for Japan. Then my mom flies in that afternoon and we get to cleaning and unpacking! Oh gracious, what are we even thinking?

So, basically send some more prayers our way please? We've got lots more crazy coming. 

And because I just can't help myself, a sneak peak of the photos from the shower, taken by my talented sister in law:

Oh and needless to say, I'm not going to be around much here over the next week. But for sure come by on Wednesday for the newest shop I'm featuring, you won't want to miss this one! Also, If you're feeling up for a sappy post, I've got a farewell letter to my coworkers planned so there's that. Otherwise, peace homies, see ya on instagram and twitter till I come back here!

-Don't worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will take care of itself (Matthew 6:34)
-When moving, ask people for boxes and they will come! Don't be buying them cardboards crazies!
-Don't be afraid to ask for help, prayer or anything else. God gave us people to experience community with!

ps: Dear husband, what on earth would I do without you? You've gone through A LOT with me over these past few months. I think it's safe to say year two is shaping up to be quite a bit more difficult than year one of marriage was but also quite exciting and full of incredible blessings. I love you sweet man. I don't know where I'd be or who I'd be without you. Your love, encouragement and service, especially over this past month, has been unbelievable. I am far from deserving you but oh good gracious am I glad God gave me you. You are my one and only husby. I don't want any other! Love you! ps: we missed getting a picture with both trey and lydia at the shower! #oops!

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Football Yummies

A while ago I wrote this little yummy up for Never the Same Spice Twice as Stephanie's precious baby girl arrived and she eased into the day to day sweet task of motherhood.  It was such a fun and easy treat to make that I couldn't help but bring it back to my little blog today.

Today, I'm sharing the SIMPLEST little football fun treat EVER!

You will need:
- 1 box of Cocoa Pebbles (or Cocoa Krispies)
- 1 bag of marshmallows
- Vanillla
- Butter
and the back of the marshmallow bag for the measurements of your vanilla and butter  or you can follow these measurements.
- Football Shaped Cookie Cutters, I got mine in Michael's
- Wax paper
- White icing and tube tools for decorating

Simply heat the marshmallows and vanilla and butter on the stove until it melts, add in your cereal and prepare to mix until your arms feel like flubber,  you know basically until it is all combined. Use a spatula to spread the now warm, and really tasty, treats into a bar pan (or any cookie sheet) lined with the wax paper. Smooth the batch out till it lies pretty flat onto the sheet. Let cool. Once they have reached room temperature, move the sheet to freezer and give them about an hour to really harden up. 

Once the batch has frozen up some, they'll be easier to cut out with the cookie cutter. Take any leftover treat left out from the cuts and smush together to create more areas to pierce with the cookie cutter.

Then back into the freezer they go! As they harden up once more, prepare your icing to "draw" the lines of the football onto the treats (this may look like assembling the bag and nozzle with icing or it might be using a sandwich bag cut at the corner, or maybe you decided to go the easier route and just buy the vanilla icing that comes in a tube already). After they've had time to harden, pull them out and draw! I put mine back in the freezer again so the icing would harden and not get all messed up.

Then, finally, enjoy them! I sent our batch with my husband to his football fantasy draft. They will make such a fun addition to any football watch party though this fall season!

You can see he's dressed in his favorite, The Cowboys

- I wish I was the originator of this idea but of course I'm not, the idea came from a picture floating around pinterest that I posted about here. I couldn't find the original link.
- Be patient, the treats are easiest to work with when cold, the shape keeps better and they're easier to handle. This is an easy recipe but not necessarily a quick one.
- Eat them when they are at room temperature, just use the freezer when assembling and preparing them.

That's it, I hope some of you are able to make these tasty, yummies as I like to call them. 
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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Exceptional Gifts: Beauty Goods

About a month and a half ago I was paroling etsy for some unique Christmas gifts for family and friends, also a wedding gift for a friends wedding that we would unfortunately not make it to. That's when I decided to make this blog series. I, like I am sure many of you, are doing gifts on a budget this year but still want to give my friends and family pretty, or fun or useful gifts, not something they're going to toss because it clearly said, hey I spent $10 on you this year. So every Wednesday tune in to find some unique, affordable and exceptional gifts for your family and friends. If you ever miss it, just click the button and it will bring up all the posts.

Today's post of exceptional gifts is all about beauty goods! Who better to work with than a very good friend of mine, Bekah?! If you haven't read this sweet lady's blog you've definitely been missing out. And if you haven't experience Arbonne products then you're definitely missing out!

Bekah gave me the link to their digital catalog. Arbonne is a wonderful company that I've known about for quite a while actually. The family I nannied for way back when now sold it and I received some pretty great Arbonne goodies as a result. Arbonne is a safe, pure and beneficial towards your health, this I have experienced for sure.If you have delicate skin then this line just might work for you! In their own words, Arbonee is a, premium Swiss-formulated, botanically-based health &wellness products . Change your skin, your health, your financial situation! Another great feature of Arbonne's products is how long they last! Honestly, I'm telling you, I've had a little lip-gloss set since my 16th birthday! That was 8 years ago! 

As I've mentioned, I've had one of their lip gloss sets for a long time, I love the colors and the feel of the gloss, not too much slickness and great color, it's basically my daily lip-stick. Over my years of nannying I also loved the foot scrubs. I've always had rough feet and Arbonne's scrubs have always smoothed them out. My personal favorite was the Christmas peppermint scent, mmmm I might have to order myself a new container. And I also loved the bath salts, instant serenity. I loved the scents for those and I'm so glad to see they still have them.

Bekah kindly set me some newer and classic pieces to review since I have only the lip gloss left to attest to now. She is basically the sweetest because she wrapped it all in pink, favorite color, and left me a nice note explaining each product and how to use each of the products. Don't miss out on a special offer from Bekah! Learn more below!

I have really enjoyed the facial cleanser sample set she set me. It's been leaving my skin soft and smooth. The chews, I have to admit, weren't my favorite in taste but chew was great and I'm sure they'd be a great sweet fix for many of you! The body lotion she sent me is that perfect thick and pure moisturizer, my skin feels completely hydrated after I used it. I haven't yet tried the energizer fizzes but I'm sure a time will come for those to be needed. My favorite has to be the body cleaner, it smells delightful!

Arbonne has women's make-up and body cleaners, moisturizers, fragrances and so many more. There's even some items for the men! I've got my eye out on a facial cleanser for the husband. And I know the family I nannied for loved the baby line of products.

The prices vary by the items you choose but you can get anything some items for as low as $20. The best items are little pricier but keep in mind that their product lasts a long time! Truthfully. Quality and quantity? They take the win!

Currently, they've got a great holiday spread going on right now. I think my favorite part is how easy they make it on their website to view and distinguish which products you want to look for. For women? For men? The family? The home? They have a link for each! And even better? You can choose your price point to search under...that's my way of shopping for sure. Here's a look at some of my favorite products.

Ginger Citrus Body Wash from Arbonne

Sky for Men After-Shave Balm from Arbonne
ABC Bright & Bubbly Bath Set from Arbonne
Arbonne The Angel™ Candle from Arbonne

SeaSource Detox Spa® Renewing Body GelĂ©e  from Arbonne

I love quality products and I'm always willing to save a little more to spend a little more on a product I know is worth it. I know Arbonne is worth it!

Arboone's dedication to their mission is a promise you can have confidence in:
Arbonne personal care products are
formulated without:
• Animal products or animal by-products
• Parabens
• Formaldehyde-donating preservatives
• The following petroleum-based ingredients:
• Benzene
• Mineral Oil
• Petrolatum
• Phthalates
• Toluene

Arbonne nutrition and weight loss products are 
formulated without:
• Artificial colors
• Artificial flavors
• Artificial sweeteners
• Animal products
• Animal by-products
• Cholesterol
• Saturated fats
• Trans fats

If you're skeptical, Bekah can answer any question you have! Additionally, you can get samples to know if you really will like or use the product you're interested in. Additionally, she has an offer for you! So call her! Ready to order?

Check our Arbonne here.
Find Bekah here on facebook!
Read more about how Arbonne here.

You can find more about Arbonne by Bekah here and here.
And Kaitlyn's take, from Wifessionals, on Arbonne here. 

So, have you heard about Arbonne? What do you think?

All images besides the first few came from Arbonne's website. They are not my own and I do not claim them as such.
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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Send a Little Prayer

As you're reading this I'm sitting in a testing center working through an exam I've spent the last several months studying for...the NCIDQ.

I've talked a lot about this exam on the blog lately, mostly out of my sense of fear and dread of it, but to really give you a glimpse: it is an en expensive 3 part exam that with passing I will become a certified interior designer and then in turn a registered interior designer with the state. Pretty big stuff! You can learn more here about the crazyness that is this exam.
Today, I'm taking the first part of the exam. In the spring I'll take the following two sections.
So, if you would say a little prayer that I would have confidence in my answer decisions and not worry or have anxiety over it, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Psalm 16:8
source I couldn't find it with the link in the image but I found it via pinterest so that's the link

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