Friday, November 28, 2014

Uncommon Gift Wish Lists

I was provided compensation for this post however the work is my own and this is my honest opinion.

If there's one thing I love, it is gift giving! I probably think of something daily that I would love to give to someone I know. I find or think of a gift I'd like to get for my sisters probably more than anyone, which basically means I'm constantly practicing self control. Budget living. That's where my Christmas list comes in handy. I sit down every year and write down gift ideas for certain people, the amount of money we're able to spend for them and where to find the gifts.

Today I'm sharing some unique gift ideas for a college kid and a husband:

My 20 year old, sister loves pink and is a total hipster, if she tells you otherwise, she lies. She loves classic items combined with totally unique items.

1. Shower Squids: these are just SO cute and I mean come on... every college kid needs fun ways to organize plus I can't help but smile looking at them! Click here to see more.
2. Pedestal Jewelry Holder: this item was designed after vintage fabrics and I love how it can play as an "antique" yet it still very hip with the color. Click here to learn more about the piece.
3.Soup and Sandwich Duo Tray: my sister has been getting into cooking more and I think this would be a fabulous addition to her kitchen. Everyone loves a soup and sandwich combo for lunch plus the combos don't end there. Click here to snag this sweet gift.
4. Agate coasters: talk about something unique and beautiful! These beauties are teasing me and if I don't click away soon, both collections will be in my cart immediately. Click here to see the other set.
5. Stackable Lunch Pot: I took my lunch on the go all the time in college so I thought this handy dandy lunch pot was pretty awesome. Click here to get one for your college sibling.

Looking for more gift options for women? See here for UncommonGoods full collection of Christmas gift ideas.

For my husband, who loves all things sports and professional I thought of the following:

1.Shoe socks: my husband loves funky socks. It's become his "thing" over the past couple of years. He dresses professional for work so it's fun to throw a little something funky into this assemble. Click here to check them out.
2.Beard Pack: anything to help my handsome bearded man out is a plus in my book. I love the items in the set and the design of it, very man friendly. Click here to learn more.
3. Eye Glass Holder: so this one kinda makes me laugh but since my husband sometimes misplaces his glasses, I think this guy would be a great place for them to land. Click here to put this guy on your man's list.
4. Baseball Stadium Tie: like I said, the man loves sports so this tie would be a nice addition to his wardrobe and would support his love of sport. Click here to see more detail.
5. Football Cuff Links: quite possibly my favorite item on this list. These cuff links are made from pieces of old seats from the stadiums! How cool is that? My husband would love something like this. Click here to see what stadiums they have represented.

Looking for more gift options for men? See here for UncommonGoods full collection of Christmas gift ideas.

I love finding thoughtful, well made, and unique gifts. If I can find gifts from small business owners, companies that give back, companies that are mindful of the environment, or companies based here in the great United States, I'm even happier. And I just love that companies like these are growing in number and becoming more and more successful. UncommonGoods is rocking all of this and so much more and I'm super pumped about their Christmas goodies this year. I had the privilege of working with UncommonGoods once before and shared about how they work with non profits like RAINN and Women for Women, and others. Their purpose and and vision is to  "feature unique designs and hand crafted gifts created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people."

If you were to pick one thing for your wishlist from UncommonGoods, what would you pick?
Click here for their Christmas gift ideas!

If you love learning about new products available and the stories behind them, follow their blog, see here.
Their instagram is full of fabulous inspiring photos plus they love doing instagram challenges. Follow along here.

Which items do you like most?

The pictures on the boards are from the UncommonGoods website.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I survived 10 days without a phone

A puppy picture is appropriate for any blog post...right?

A few weeks back I was at Target getting groceries. I checked out, having successfully saved many pennies with the ever so handy Cartwheel app, was pushing my cart toward the door while simultaneously fumbling with my phone to drop it in my wristlet when...

my phone slipped and fell to the ground.

I grumbled to myself and bent down to pick it up. If I could earn money for the many times I have dropped my phone, I thought. It had landed face down so I picked it up, turned it over and to my horror found a seriously cracked screen.

My immediate reaction was wait no, that's not real! And then I grumbled the rest of the way to my car, highly irritated with myself. I sat in my seat, looked at the phone screen and thought about how I was going to break the news to my husband. It was so severely cracked that I couldn't even unlock the screen to access messages.

The next day, a Wednesday, I took it to one of those mall kiosks, who couldn't help me,  they only did iphones. Another day went by. By Friday, we found a local phone repair shop near our home. Kevin took it in and we crossed our fingers it would be done the following Monday.

Since Kevin and I were rather good at keeping in contact via google hangouts or skype during the day at work, it didn't really hurt out communication. I'd learned that I could text my mom with my ipad since she had an iphone, so we stay connected. Lately, in the evenings, I had been working on not using my phone and just being present with my husband so not having a phone just strengthened that. But communication with those without iphones or facebook, etc, like my dad was not exactly the easiest.

I really missed my driving-home-from-work-phone-talks with people.
I didn't miss having to keep up with my phone and being mindful of where I'd put it last. Seriously.

On Monday, the phone wasn't finished due to a late part. Tuesday was veteran's day, no mail came.
Cue meltdown.

At that point, it had been a complete week. I was fully expecting to come home from work that night to a phone and when it didn't happen that way, I flipped. I was leaving the next day for a business trip and was not happy about being out of town without a phone, to put it kindly. And boy did my husband get a mouthful.

Some deep breaths, I'm sorries, and hugs/kisses later, I chilled out. I got on the plane the next day and came home on Friday safe and sound, and my phon,e with it's newly repaired screen awaiting me on the kitchen table.

10 days.

I'd do those 10 days over again any time. I really didn't miss the nagging of the cell phone, the need to check instagram, my text messages, or twitter constantly. What I missed the most is what the phone was originally invented to people.

I think I'm going to train myself to put my phone down and away more often.

Ever gone a long time without your cell phone?!

And on a side note...I'm pretty much obsessed with listening to the Bobby Bones show everyday...anyone else with me?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

When I met my husband...

On Sunday, as Kevin and I sat in our church service I looked over at him taking notes and smiled as I remembered the way he used to take notes, the way he took notes when I met him. And that's when this post idea sparked.

When I met my husband he,

took notes with three different colored pens that stored nicely in his Bible and journal carrier, which came with him always.

wore jerseys with a plain white t underneath often. And paired them with baggy jeans and black basketball shoes.

made a Dr. Pepper "wall" in place of his dorm window.

went to bed by 10pm almost always despite whatever crazy plans our group made. (side note: we were freshmen in college and stayed up late late late doing ridiculous things like playing sardines in the student union).

watched football, baseball, soccer, volleyball, basketball...anything that is considered a sport every day.

ate chik-fil-a like it was disappearing at the cafeteria

attended more OU sport events than I even knew existed.

wrote in an online journal. 

had only two ties. 

got to football games hours earlier just to sit at the front row.

thought he should wear large sized t-shirts because he was tall.

had a pop-tart for breakfast every single day. 

made mix CDs for road trips or events. 

worshipped with his hands in the air giving his all to Jesus.

sang loudly in the car with his mix CDs.

spent most of his free time with his best friend and roommate.

was the driver for our group 90% of the time.

had a shaved face.

didn't  wear glasses and had to ask his best friend the score/stats on the board at football games.

was  willing to help me with anything I needed, anytime even though we were just friends.

was your typical, introverted, sports-loving, type-a, Jesus-loving, kind-hearted, college boy.

Some of these things haven't changed and some have just adjusted, like he still makes mixed CD's but now they're on his thumb drive that he just plugs in...or he still eats pop tarts frequently but not every single day. Others, I'm so happy to say have totally changed, like owning more than 2 ties, and wearing size small t-shirts. And others I think back to fondly, like his Bible study notes. Then there's those that he still does to this day, and those things I'll forever love about him, like the way he worships at church. 

What are some memories you have of your husband/fiance/boyfriend when you met him?

and yall thought I was joking about the Dr. Pepper

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Love Story: A Dark Gray T Shirt

If you're new around here you can catch up here.


When we finally talked on the phone again, Kevin was shocked to hear my interpretation of his email.It took a while but I was finally convinced he didn't mean it quite the way it sounded. We resolved to maintain a consistent date night monthly but not weekly, and of course see each other whenever possible. With Kevin moving into an apartment just down the street from my own, as opposed to the dorms, seeing one another was going to be easier anyway.

The weeks to camp were winding down. I was headed straight to Florida to spend time with my sisters and mom. Kevin and I talked over our plans of seeing one another for the first time in nearly two months. We wanted to have a weekend trip together before the crazyness of a new school semester settled in. We planned to go to Dallas and check out the zoo, tour the Dallas stadium and spend time with his grandparents.

I walked away from camp and back into the real world. I missed Kevin something awful but we were still a week away from each other. It felt like the time would never come to an end. In Florida, I filled my time with beach days and random things with my sisters and mom. I decided to be extra cheesy about seeing each other for the first time in two months and with the help of my mom and sisters sent Kevin a dark gray t-shirt to wear when he picked me up from the airport.

I dressed in a pink sundress and heals. My sister helped me curl my hair and I set off from Florida to Oklahoma City. I got onto my plane in Tampa all confident and happy. My heart was fluttering, I felt great in my outfit and I finally felt the time between Kevin and I coming to a close. We landed in Houston later than planned and my connection flight was halfway across the airport. I had only minutes to get there. I grabbed my heavy carry-on and started my trek across the airport.

Immediately, I regretted my decision to wear heals. Who in their right mind wears heals to the airport with a heavy carry-on?! Me, that's who. My carry-on was literally a carry-on too. There was no just pulling it on wheels behind was basically a suitcase version of a duffle. It was not easy to carry whether it was light or heavy, and it was half my size.

I arrived at my gate, sweating and cursing the heels on my feet. I collapsed onto my seat just barely in time before the door closed. The lady at the front of the plane motioned about how to buckle the seat belt and operate for emergency procedures...and I begged myself to quit sweating so my hair would be somewhat still curled in a couple hours when I landed in Oklahoma City.

Off the plane in OKC, I couldn't keep my heart from racing. I was nervous and excited and overwhelmed with happyness. I turned the corned and expected to see Kevin. Not there. I chose to go down to the baggage claim instead. My stomach was churning with eagerness,I scanned the room on my descent down the escalator. I saw him.

A smile spread across my face and we collided in a happy embrace. Today was most certainly a fairytale

Friday, November 21, 2014

Writing On Tables & The OCC Party

Wow, where did this week go yall? It's been a ghost town on this blog...last week and weekend were such a whirlwind that it left zero time to blog. Though I did draft one up on my ipad on the plane. 

But last week I did share about an organization that holds a special place in my heart, Samaritan's Purse's Operation Christmas Child. I did get totally behind, though and didn't get a chance to link up with the Beautiful Exchange, like I had shared about.

Kevin and I organized a party with our life group to assemble the boxes. Everyone knows, no party is complete without some good food so we made it a Friendsgiving!

On our facebook event, everyone signed up for what they wanted to bring. No one was up for cooking the turkey. so Kevin and I opted for  picking up some from a BBQ place...yep we had BBQ turkey as part of thanksgiving meal...and it was delicious among all the other fabulous prepared dishes.  I was so full!

Our party was actually held at one of our group member's restaurants, Chik-Fil-A in our local mall. He closed the gate up to the dining section and we made it our own little party room. I so loved sitting at the long table with everyone. We prayed, shared what we were thankful for about our group and laughed, boy did we laugh! Every time we hang out with this wonderful group of people we leave with sore cheeks from all the laughter. I love it.

After eating we all grabbed our box supplies and started putting together our boxes. I had asked for extra supplies from Operation Christmas Child so we had some stickers and bookmarks, and all the labels we could ever need. It was fun to see what other people picked out for their kiddos.

Seeing all the boxes stacked up, prepared with so much love and care just blessed my soul. I adore this organization and I simply love getting to share it with friends and am overjoyed seeing how much they loved it too. 

Box notes: using plastic boxes allows kiddos to keep the box for other needs they might have, such as holding food, or gathering water...also, wrap the inside of your plastic box but don't wrap it shut, OCC checks for the $7 shipping fee and looks through things to make sure it's all good to go.

Our Chik-Fil-A owner had been wanting to find a time for everyone to write Bible verses on the bottom of the dining tables at his restaurant, so once our boxes were assembled we went to it. Tables were constantly being turned upside down with at least two verses written on the bottom of each. It was a pretty fantastic site and I almost took a picture of the bottom of every single table but restrained myself.

And, we really put a lot on our agenda for this get together, we made some snowflakes with encouraging messages on them for a local school. One of the ladies in our group found a way for us to get involved in the community so we jumped on it.  I think we laughed most about paper snowflakes than anything else. It was pretty hysterical watching the competition that ensued about snowflake cutting.

Operation Christmas Child boxes are due THIS WEEK! Don't miss your opportunity to join!

And we waked out to this:

When was the last time you made paper snowflakes?
Ever written verses on the bottom of tables?
Tell me about your Operation Christmas Child box!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Christmas Magic is Coming

Sunday, I had a text message sent to me that stated "ALERT: Christmas Magic is officially HERE!"

We, among with many of you, had a good accumulation of snow on Sunday. I have to say, it definitely does put you in the Christmas spirit. But for reals yall, it's not even Thanksgiving yet...though I honestly, can't believe that it IS NEXT week. Kevin and I are prepping to trek all the way from Norman, Oklahoma to Troy, Michigan. That's 15 hours for you curious types. We have a Jim Gaffigan book and The Best of Me on audio for the drive.

Since I shared several of my Fall Favorite DIYs a little late, maybe I'll be able to get ahead better and share my favorite Christmas DIYs earlier this year...maybe.

I do have one today though! A reader recently emailed me that she gave my Nativity Pallet diy a try and put her own spin on it....LOVE! I think this is one of my most favorite emails I've ever received! I am so thankful to see my little project inspiring one of you. Plus, how much more awesome is her version?! Seriously...I might be a little jealous of the lights addition.

Here's her message:
Hi! I’m Larissa. ..  I love your pallet nativity! I don't have a lot of room outside my apartment, and this was a great way to decorate in a small space. My husband even drilled holes and strung lights to make stars, except for THE star, which I painted around a pre-existing hole. Thanks for the great idea!

 Christmas magic DID in fact show up at Starbucks recently. And in other news, I have my phone back! After 10 days without a phone, I finally have one...that's a story for another day. PLUS I'm loving jamberry nails...and that's all for this random Tuesday...

What's your favorite Christmas DIY?

Whatcha got going on this week? My week is jam packed! It's going to be crazy town in the Burns' home until we leave for that road trip next week.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Quiet & Loud Moments

I'm pretty sure every new month I think wait?! Where did ____ go?! And the coming of November is no different. I swear October was over in a flash...and yet some of these pictures feel like they happened many months ago instead of just last month!

With Paisley's birthday, a trip to Texas, halloween fun, the corn maze, a trip to the pumpkin patch, football games and just random life going on, it was a full full month. November and December promise only even more things on the calendar. I'm working hard to focus on the present, be fully rooted in my Christ and His teaching, and enjoying every quiet moment in between the loud ones.

How will you be preparing for these two crazy months?!
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