Have ya'll seen this yet?

Probably everybody everywhere has seen this before, but I'd somehow missed it.


The dramatic cupcake dog.
I laughed so hard I was crying :D

Our Courtship - Part 1

our wedding rings

"Then the Lord God said,
'It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.' "
Genesis 2

Hmmm...so I wanted to share our courtship story.
The basic version though, because like all things in life:
it wasn't drama-free or pain-free.
However,  God used the drama and the pain to draw us
closer to Him and to each other and I think that made for
a really solid foundation in our relationship before we ever said "I do".

While there are many, many aspects of our friendship,  courtship, 
and then marriage that would add to my story and help it make more sense and give me even more
cause to praise God's name;  some of it is just not what I want to broadcast over the internet.
It's intensely private and some of it brings back painful memories.
I'm fiercely protective of those I love and it would be too easy to say too many things.

So maybe we should start with what exactly IS courtship?

 Everyone always wants to give their own definition of what courtship is or means to them.
 That right there is the answer.
 You can't really define it. Not really.
 Every single courtship is different. Each relationship is made up of two people.
 Different people. Different families. Different churches.
 Different backgrounds. Different likes and dislikes, etc.

What model works for one family might not work for another.
 Sometimes there is a great distance involved geographically.
 Some courtships are brief,  but others require longer periods of time to determine whether or not the couple is meant to be married.

 Courtship is NOT engagement.
Courtship is the time given to the couple to determine if they are meant to be married.
 Entering into courtship is not binding in the way that engagement is.
 Engagement is a commitment to each other - you're making an agreement to marry that person.

Courtship is to be the time when you decide if he or she is "the one".
 Of course there are instances after a couple get engaged that require the breaking of that agreement and I'm not suggesting otherwise.

Just like courtship is not engagement ...
Engagement is not marriage.
Courtship is practiced by those who do not want to "date around" in order to find a spouse.

Just for the record:
Please do not think that I'm looking down on
those who found their spouse by dating.
I know many godly couples who have found their spouse
this way.
My parents included.
I am NOT trying to lump all daters together.

My parents and I had studied A LOT on the subject courtship and listened to
talks from Doug Phillips at Vision Forum and read books by all kinds of people like Joshua Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye) plus about a dozen others at least.

Studying up on the topic is a good idea.
I still don't think it can ever totally prepare the parents or the guy/girl for the experience of courtship.
My parents just read a wide variety of books and articles on the topic and paired that with our own situation and that just produced the sort of courtship that was tailor made for me and Caleb.
My parents did the same thing with my sister and her fiance.
Their courtship was tailored to suit them, because they aren't Caleb and Adri.
They are Gary and Ariel. or Gariel, if you will *snicker*
They're their own couple and two very different people.
That's how my parents handled things anyways :)

I believe one of the main reasons dating is not desirable is the whole mindset behind it.
Too many people want to be free to date around and jump from person to person.
 Isn't that emotionally exhausting?

Now practicing courtship doesn't guarantee that you won't get your heart broken.
 Entering into ANY relationship in this world makes you vulnerable.
 Whether through friendship or romantically - you put your heart at risk when
 you grow close to someone.

My desire as a single woman was to not jump from one guy to the next
hoping that Mr. Right would be made obvious to me and
then we would get married and live happily ever after.

I asked the Lord to bring me one man only - the man He wanted me to marry.
There were some complications to my plan, but God is good and He decides the who and when.

 It was a wonderful day when He opened my eyes
 to the wonderful man that He had placed before me - Caleb!


thrift store find - an owl statue!

before & after

 I got this owl at Goodwill the other day. It was only a couple of dollars and I thought it had
lots of potential. It just needed to leave the brown behind.
I spray painted it white (Valspar white in gloss).

Look at this similar one
From West Elm ($99).
check it out here.
Cute white owl bookends!
Check them out at Barnes & Noble.

Owl nightlight from Mod Cloth.

I love this white owl figurine from Heliotrope.
It's only $15!You can't beat that.

I've added him to the other white birds on the mantle.
I didn't mean for their to be a theme going on ...
but I realized yesterday that I have so many white bird figurines.
I think I might just go with this idea :)

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Stuff and Nonsense


About my vintage jewelry business

Yesterday I listed quite a few vintage necklaces in my Ebay store.
I've been selling vintage and antique jewelry on Ebay since 2004.
Until the time that I got married last March, my mom and I had our own successful
Ebay store Not Forgotten Vintage Jewelry.
The Lord blessed our business more than we ever expected.
The only reason we aren't still selling together is because of the 1hr 45 minute distance between us now.
It just made it too difficult to work out, so I started my own vintage jewelry business.
My mom and I still have lots of fun with selling the jewelry and are always asking the others advice
about this piece and that piece, which is fun.

My store is The Gray Bird Vintage Jewelry Store.
I still have a long ways to go before I have the store as stocked as I would like it to be.
The Lord has already blessed me so much in my efforts the last few months.

I try to keep quite a few things up for bid, but I keep the majority in my store,
available for Buy It Now.
I don't sell altered jewelry or craft jewelry - it is all original vintage and antique jewelry.
I sell designers like:
Miriam Haskell (one of my personal favorites!)
Sarah Coventry
David Andersen

I also love Victorian era jewelry, so you'll usually be able to find some in my store.
My mom's store usually has great Victorian pieces and cameos too!

Check out some of the cute vintage necklaces I just listed for auction:

vintage silver tone charm necklace

Check out this necklace!
It's really nicely made and so cute!

Vintage Pewter Rune Tennesmed Scandinavian viking ship necklace
Signed "R Rennesmed Sweden".
Great modernist necklace!
Circa 1960's.

Vintage chunky amber plastic bead necklace
This necklace is SO heavy!
It's one of my favorites and I was tempted to keep it for myself...
but I already have so many necklaces.
The photos really don't do it justice.

1960's gold tone & yellow bead necklace
This necklace is nice and long and could be layered.
Perfect for summer!

vintage gold tone & faux pearl wrap necklace
A beautiful and nicely made piece!

that's just some of the necklaces I have listed.


Make Your Own Cameo Paper Clips

I bought a package of cute flower paper clips at Goodwill yesterday for .50cents.
Most of the flower pieces had come off of the paper clips, so I was
going to grab some glue and repair them when all of a sudden
 I remembered that my mom had recently
given me quite a few boxes full of
old jewelry pieces I bought years ago.
I'm not into making jewelry...therefore, I'm not
really sure why I ever bought them...
they seemed perfect for making cute paper clips!
I'm not for one second taking credit for this idea...
I'm sure someone out there has made these a million times before.
So credit goes to YOU, person who made them before me.

I made all different kinds, but my favorites are the tiny cameos!

I used some of my E6000   glue.
If you haven't bought some of this stuff - you must!
I've tried SO many glues over the years for jewelry repair, crafts, and just repair on any old thing.
This stuff is by far the best.
I think I saw it recommended on a site for repairing vintage jewelry a while back.

Didn't realize until I got home that I went all green and everything.
Go ME!
Saving the earth one paper clip at a time...

Aren't ya'll insanely jealous of my 1980's tan and pink tone palm leaf patterned counter top?
It's gonna be a real good day when that puppy is replaced with black countertops of some sort.

A real good day!

Anyways...I just dabbed some glue onto the backs of
the vintage findings
and then pressed the paper clips onto them.
So fast and easy!

My finger looks like it's just coming out of nowhere.
Kinda scary.

I just love these vintage plastic red bow shaped findings.
I bought all of my vintage findings on Ebay a long time ago.
I'm sure they still have different kinds listed.
Etsy probably has lots of them, as well.
I got the box of paper clips for .57 at Walmart.
So, you can make TONS of these for mere pennies.
Wouldn't they make such cute gifts for friends?
Also could be a fun summer time craft to do with your kids before school starts.
I'm thinking these will come in handy for me while I sort through my 9million recipes.

Random picture:
My little sister (who just got engaged!) & me 2 weekends ago at the lake.
I have no idea who took the picture, but Ariel edited it. She's good at that.

Random story of the day:
After I was done shopping at Walmart today, I was unloading my groceries into the blazer. I put up my shopping cart and as I was headed back to get in...this older man was getting into his car next to mine and he looked right at me, smiled really big, and loudly said to me "YING YANG!"...I wasn't sure what sort of a response to give to such a greeting, so I just smiled and said "hi!" and got into the car and drove away...pondering ..."am I missing something?". haha Random things always happen to me :)

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Transformation Thursday

9pm on a Thursday

Time to play Racko!
Caleb and I have been playing Racko like non stop lately.
He was beating me pretty bad until I whooped his behind at it last night.

It all started innocently enough with me giving him a sad puppy dog face.
He asked me what I wanted.
Notice that he didn't ask "what's wrong babygirl?", he wanted to know what I wanted.
I'll let you come to your own conclusions.

So I silently walked over to the fridge and took down a coupon I had for Kroger ice cream.
Their Private Selections brand rivals Breyers.
And Breyers is always my favorite.
Private Selections has AMAZING varieties to try.

So Caleb sweetly took the coupon and ran over to Kroger.
I told him to get something chocolately.
So he got Extreme Moosetracks and Mocha Cheesecake.
Both were really yum, but I was partial to the moosetracks one.

Caleb is SO sweet like that!
Plus the man loves him some ice cream.

My mom recently gave us a pile of old family games that no one was playing anymore.
I hadn't played Racko in years, but I remembered loving it so...
now Caleb loves it too.
We get really competitive with each other.
So ya'll should check it out.


Sliced Tomatoes

Is there anything better in the summer than sliced tomatoes I ask you?
Don't answer that.

A couple of nights ago I made this recipe that was emailed to
me on the "About Southern recipes" newslettter.
Tomatoes in a creamy dill sauce.

I put it on a bed of lettuce because...well...I just felt like it.

It was pretty yummy.
Easy and simple to put together and nice for warm nights
when you don't want to cook up a side dish.

Recipe here.


I'm challenging myself to...

finally start using some of the 4587034589million recipes I've been collecting to try out...

I was flipping through this beast of a recipe collection and decided I've got to get cooking.
I've been saving recipes from websites, friends, and magazines for close to 10 years now.
I haven't sorted through it in a while and let me tell you:
it's a scary mess!

Caleb wanted me to bake him some bread today so I sat out on the back porch and went through quite a few recipes before settling on an English muffin recipe.
The piece of paper shows that I printed it out in March of 2005.
That's making me feel old.
Really old.

So anyways...
I whipped up a loaf.
The recipe makes 2, but I halved it just in case I didn't like it.

It's way yum!

English Muffin Bread

Makes 2 loaves

5 c. all purpose flour
2 envelopes of yeast
4 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 c. milk
1/2 c. water

In a large bowl, combine 1 1/3 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and baking soda.
Heat the milk and water to 120-130 degrees.
Gradually add to flour mixture.
Beat 2 minutes at medium speed in a mixer.
Stir in remaining flour to make a stiff batter.
Spoon batter into 2 loaf pans that have been greased and dusted with cornmeal.
Cover; let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
Bake 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.


I finished sewing my new picnic blanket!

Today I finished sewing a quilted picnic blanket.
I saw on Centsational Girl this really cute pattern and decided to make one for Caleb & myself, in hopes of going on many picnics this summer.
There's a really cool sewing place new my parents house that has GORGEOUS fabrics.
All the fat quarters are only .99 each.
My sister helped me pick out lots of fabrics all sort of in a similar color range.
I'm horrible at mixing and matching patterns.

I'm really please with how it came out.
I bought the vinyl polka dot tablecloth at Walmart for about $5.
They also had cuuuute matching plastic plates that I bought to fill my picnic basket.
The picnic basket is from a thrift store and I think I paid $6.
It's a really nice canvas one. It barely looks used at all.

Here you can see the vinyl backing.
I love love love the vintage inspired yellow and green pattern.

See the cute matching plates?
They're a nice hard plastic - not the kind that warps in the dish washer.

Now I just need to find the perfect picnic spot...which isn't difficult since
Virginia is loaded with beautiful little spots here and there.