Friday, July 29, 2011

New Items in the Shop

Don't forget you can go use the coupon WINNERS on etsy for 30% off.
and yes, these new babies are included on that


Hi friends!
We have made it to Friday, and I could not be more thankful.

I am so excited about all the new friends and people I am meeting through blogging!  There are so many kind bloggers out there with sweet generous hearts.  I am loving all the sweet comments and encouraging words that so many of you have to say.  I am loving all the news ways I am seeing Jesus work in those close to me and far from me.  I love seeing sisters worshiping him in all walks of life.  I love the wisdom from those who are wiser than me, and I love reaching out to those in the same place as me.

But, I am so ready to UNPLUG.  I am ready to  turn by brain off and just focus on my husband.  (Who, by the way, comes home TONIGHT!!)  I am not going to worry about commenting, reading, or posting.

I can become so easily overwhelmed by blogging.  So many ladies who seem to have it all together in their real lives and "blog" lives.  It can become a place for me to compare, and not a place to worship. And when it feels like work and trying so hard and not just an outlet to let Jesus shine, then it's time to unplug.

So for the weekend, I'm unplugging.  I am napping with my husband.  I am sleeping late.  I am reading the words of my Savior and letting Him work in me.  I'm living satisfied in the life I have here.

and if you didn't win the giveaway this week or just want to secure yourself a little something, go shop with the code WINNERS for 30% off.  because I love you all. 

I'll see you Monday morning refreshed.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

To Bless Others

In Genesis, when the Lord is calling Abram, he says this to him

"I will bless you and make your name great so that you will be a blessing"

The purpose of the Lord's blessings is not for us to hoard to ourselves.
This is so counter what America screams at us.
We are not to pour our wealth and perfume over ourselves
We have drenched ourselves in so much perfume that we sink.
We reek.  We are sticky, horribly pungent, and we scream look at me.

In a culture of gluttony and hoarding, I want to give.
To pour the perfume over the feet of the needy.
I don't want to reek of selfishness.
I want to pour out all my perfume on Jesus.

Friends, I want you to win these two very awesome giveaways because I love you so.

First, the giveaway at Naptime Diaries ends today, so get over and enter!  You could not only win a headband, but so so many other cute items!  Also open to those is a coupon code--go get it and get that discount for my shop!

And there is a great giveaway still going on at The Sweetest Petunia

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

All in a day's work

As most of you know, my day job is cancer reasearch.
pretty vague.
I mean, you can guess I work with cancer.
and it's probably a lab.
but what EXACTLY do I do for 40 hours a week?

well, I will show you.

We have mice that we work with.
Over 3,000 of them.
On Mondays and Tuesdays we change their cages.
In a sterile enviorment.
Because, you see, these mice are no normal mice.
They have no hair--they are nude. 
(Think pinky and the brain style)
they also have no immune system, which makes them great for cancer research, as most cancer patients have little to no immune response because of chemo and radiation. 

This is what is looks like:

These are two different days, but it looks like this on Monday and Tuesday.  We have three different hoods--which is what you see here.  Each hood has a person that "goes under"--aka the sterile person that changes the cages.  (That's the guy in the blue gown).  Then there is the assister--they bring the person under all the cages to change. 
FYI: I am a person that "goes under" but it's hard to take a picture of yourself if you are sterile. 

This takes pretty much the full two days. 

The rest of the week, I do the more "traditional" research.  Lab bench, gloves, boiling potions, etc.
It looks like this:

I am currently working on isolating a protein.
Our drug is very toxic in its active form, and so we have to create a differernt form (that is less toxic) to give to patiens.
There is a protein that activates this less toxic form into the active form naturally in the body.  When this works, we see great results. 
We want to isolate this protein so we can give more of it to patients on our drug.
That's kind of what I do in a nutshell.
Thanks for visitng the lab with me today!

Don't forget to go enter yourself in some giveaways!
The Sweetest Petunia  and Naptime Diaries

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jalepeno Hand

Yes, it exists.
It is VERY real.
if you handle tons and tons of jalepenos without gloves, your hand will look like this:

and then you might cry.
and keep you hand on a bag of frozen vegetables for 8 hours. 
You will rotate the bag with others from the freezer as it thaws.

but your sweet sweet husband will bring you ice cream and flowers.
he knows how to speak to my heart.

date night going out will turn into-date night staying in, but the company can't be beat. 

and finally, after some benadryl and a very long Sunday,
you will pass out
and Monday morning it will all seem like a bad dream.

but you will remember to always wear gloves when handling jalepenos.

or at least you will if you are me.

Dont forget to go enter the giveaways for two different, but both adorable headbands!
Naptime Diaries and the Sweetest Petunia

Monday, July 25, 2011

In two places at once

What a Monday!
Come visit me at both of the places I'm hanging out today!

 Jacky is a sweet girl with a heat of gold; and she's planning her wedding set for October! 
come see her at The Sweetest Petunia

Jessi is a mom of 3 who is always inspring me on her blog and speaking tons of truth.  She radiates kindness, and I know you will love her as much as I do!

Come visit me over here, too! I'm hangin at naptime diaries

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Fever

I've got weekend fever.
so, to celebrate it being Friday
and only 2 ish more hours of work,

I have created a code for 15% off on my shop!
use use the code: FEVER
forget the code, we are having a sale!  it's all marked 20% off.  
get your shop on here.
Good until Monday morning at 8am. 

have a happy weekend!

fill in the blank friday

it's friday!  can I get a hallelujah?
this week has been a doozy.
today I am linking up with another Lauren
over at the little things we do
for some summer fun.
join the party. 

1. One of my happiest moments ever was  ... my wedding day. it went so perfectly and it was everything I had hoped it would be.  it was a gloriously wonderful day, and the best part is I get to be his wife forever! 

2.  Summer is wedding season and weddings are... fun if they are people you love and know.  but mostly they are lovely.  and they put the hubs and I in a romantic mood.  weddings are great.

3. This summer... is my first summer working as a real adult.  it's flying by. 

4.  My summer food of choice has been.... anything that doesn't require turning the oven on.  it's already 110 degrees here, people.

5. My summer uniform has been.... work clothes.  ick.  the second I get home I put on something cooler and more comfy.  aka: athletic clothes.

6. If I could spend the summer in one location I would choose....CABO! It's where we honeymooned and I would love to spend every day reading by the beach.  dream on.

7.  My summer anthem is... JT.  all sorts of JT; old stuff, new stuff.  I love dancing and jamming to Justin.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

1% Changes

what is a 1% change, you say? as Jessi said over on her blog at naptime diaries

"If you're new to the phrase, it's basically the idea that in an effort to be healthy, you make 1% changes every day or every week. Just tiny (yet still costly) changes that you can sustain and that add up. You can apply it to anything - your physical health, your marriage, your decorating, your relationship with the Lord. Just slowly, by grace, getting a little closer to your goals day by day."

and I don't think I could have said it better.  so we are going to 1% change it up this week.

Samuel and I recently ish (june) got rid of our gym membership.  it was just a bill that we didn't need to be paying each month, so we let it go.  we talked about it.  we don't want to give up working out, but wanted to find ways around pays tons of money to get a good workout.

so we've been running.  or walking.  some of both.  we have a nice mile and a half track around our house, and it has been our main form of excercise. 

so what's the change?  to get out there at least 5 times a week.  I would love to be able to say I am running all of those times, but as long as I am getting out there; I'll be happy.  we're aren't complete slackers, but as of now, we are getting out there around 3 times a week.  yark. gross.  it's time to change.

you can hold me to it.  ask if we've been out. 

what's your 1% change ?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

some lovlies

horray!  we've made it halfway through the week.
to celebrate, I think a look at some lovlies is in order.
I'm linking up with Jamie today!

when I get a few of my first sales from my products (which you can go over and purchase here this headband will be one of the first things I buy.  photo from here). 

lace toms.  yes yes yes.  

matte nail polish.  trying this next.  (photo credit here.)

 this lady.  really.  if you don't know her blog; go check it out.  she loves the Lord; loves her kids, and has a heart that is bursting with kindness.  go visit her at

and I will leave you with this for today:

love you friends.  have a happy and blessed wednesday. 
also, if you haven't yet, check out those new-ish pages up there (FAQ and Etsy, and the must reads).  they are really fun, I promise. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Houston Project

Last week our church participated in a city wide event to reach those who don't know Christ through other local churches and organizations.
Samuel and I participated and did VBS at a church only a few minutes from where we live.

it was exhausting.
it was relevant
we spoke truth to little kids.
we danced and sang
we made crafts
we ate lots and lots of sno cones

I was so moved at how much the spirit of the Lord was working in these kids! They were asking HUGE questions...such as "Are you born a Christian or do you have to become one?"  "Does being baptized make you a Christian?" and "Do you have to be a grown up to be a Christian?" were just a few of the things they asked.

with each questions I was so thankful that the Lord was using me to tell these little babies truth.  They hungered for truth; they desired to know, and I was amazed that I was being used in this situation. 

on Wednesday, a new brother in Christ was added to the Kingdom.  DeShawn (on the far right of the picture below) received Christ!  We laughed, rejoiced, and celebrated together. 

at the end of the week
my legs were sore like I had run a half marathon
i was running out of songs to make-up and sing
i fell asleep at 7pm on a Friday night
my house was a wreck; laundry was everywhere
but it all paled in comparison to the joy of loving on those kids.
it paled compared to the smile on DeShawn's face when he said "I want to become a Christian"
in the end, it all pales to the glory of God.
some days I miss it--the other (non-glory filled, meaningless) stuff seems better.
but last week, last Wednesday, the Glory of God was shining in Houston.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Good Wife

Proverbs 18:22 says:
He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.

Samuel tells me this daily.

I want to become a good wife by the things I do.
grocery shopping
dry cleaning
and the list goes ever on...

but the Lord tells me that I already have been made a good wife. the Lord declares that nothing I ever do will earn me anything. I can't earn my salvation; I can't earn favor from the Lord; I can't work my way into being a good wife. Into being a perfect helper for my husband. I will never be a perfect wife.

but I have been given grace, so there is no reason to wait. my heart, my soul, my life has been changed by the God who saved me. so what am I waiting for? to finish the list of things that I think makes a good wife?

The Lord has been speaking to my heart to be present. To be present to Him. To wait in eager anticipation of His words for me each day. To be present, involved, and active in my interns at work. To devote myself to them in the time I have with them. and most of all, to be present to my husband. to sit with him after dinner; to give him my full attention. to let go of the list and sit with my husband while he plays ncaa.

I am reminded too often that in the story of Mary and Martha; my heart learns towards Martha's. I am convicted when the Lord says in Luke chapter 10 "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but only one thing is necessary." Only one thing is necessary? and it's not a clean house.... In my business and desire to be a good wife, I often overlook the one thing that is necessary.

so this day, this Monday; I am going to be the good wife that I have been transformed to be. I'm not going to wait another week until I have that one last thing done off my list to be the good wife. I am going to chose the good portion.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

New Items in the Shop

Happy weekend friends.
I have been busy at work adding more items to the shop for you to enjoy!

Head on over there, take a look, and find yourself something pretty!

Friday, July 15, 2011

how we got here: part 3

the drive was smooth. the move in was anything but.

the unit wasn't ready. the carpet was horribly stained. some of the walls needed painting. the washer and dryer were rusted. the lock on the door didn't work; I couldn't lock the door to my house. i put on a smiling face and tried to stay positive. inside, my decision to move to Houston and this apartment seemed the worst. I was anxious. I was scared. I wanted to pack it up all up and just leave. At lunchtime I knew Sam and Ben were worried to leave me there. I kept my resolve up knowing my parents were driving in from Austin and would be staying the first night with me. I wanted to just say "I made a mistake" and it would all go away.

But something better happened. Samuel and I reported all the things that were wrong to the management, and all of it was fixed the same say. Before Sam and Ben had even left, there was a new lock (and it worked!), the walls were painted, carpet had been scheduled to arrive Monday, as would brand new out-of-the box washer and dryer. 

My parents arrived Saturday night and spent that first night with me. It was so good to have them there.  

I went to work Monday morning, nervous and timid; my first real day as a "grown up". I loved my job immediatly; the people I worked with could not have been better. The Lord provided in ways beyond what I could have dreamed.

The first at home week was rough; it was lonely. It was hard to talk to Sam in the evenings sometimes; because he had family dinner, and I just wanted to talk to him. I found myself jealous for him. I stayed busy getting ready for the wedding; filling my nights. But the days passed, and time until the wedding shrunk from months to weeks, and finally days.  And then, as if it was only an instant, that time living by myself in Houston was over.

Looking back on the time leading up to Houston now--it all seems so wonderfully planned; all the details worked perfectly.  In the midst of the situation, it felt like a Houston hurricane (we have yet to expierience an acutal one of those yet).  If I had planned it the way I wanted it, life would be SO very different.  But I am daily thankful that I didn't plan it.  I'm not in control.  Becuase if I was, I would miss this; because life would be SO very different.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

how we got here: part 2

Saturday morning I took a final, and then Samuel and I drove to Houston to look for apartments.  We stay with his (and now my) Aunt Kima, who lives in the Woodlands. (An hour from Houston for all you non-Texans).  Saturday apartment searching didn't look too promising.

Sunday we started day two of apartment hunting.  We found our current apartment around lunchtime, and after eating lunch and discussing it.over Pappa's BBQ, we went back to sign the lease.  Oh, and yes, I needed to move in in only 6 days.  We signed the papers, worked out the details, and went back to Aunt Kima's feeling much better about this move. It was real.  I was moving to Houston. I would have a real job.  I was a grown up, and it was all happening so fast.

Monday morning we woke up and drove to Fort Worth.   The visitation was Monday; funeral was Tuesday.  My family is unique in that up until two years ago, I had all my grandparents and two great grandmothers alive.  I had never experienced family death.  If you aren't quite sure just who Nanny is, I will refer you here and here spare you the pain of that story in this one.

Wednesday we drove back to Austin.  I packed up my life belongings (and half of Sam's) on Thursday and Friday.

Friday night was Samuel's graduation party.  We ate at Saltgrass and had a wonderful time with family.  Friday night we packed up everything into the UHaul after dinner and went to bed exhausted.  It was my last night in Austin; my last night in the same city as my fiancee until we were married; I cried.

Saturday morning my (to-be) father in law (at the time), Samuel and I loaded up and got on the road at 7am.  It was surreal.  I can remember hugging my to be mother and sister in law, and thinking how in the world was I going to survive in Housotn without them.  Without Samuel.

Up until this point I was so sure of myself, so sure of our new adventure.  But in the car that morning doubt began to creep into my mind.  I knew everyone, (including Samuel at some times), thought I was crazy, and I was beginning to think they may be right.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

how we got here: part 1

We are in the middle of our first summer in Houston.
and it's hot.
and it reminds me of moving to Houston last August.
I can't believe at the end of the summer I will have been here for a year.
A year post college. A year of working.
It makes me remember the crazy journey the husband (but during the story he fills all the roles of boyfriend, fiancee, and husband)! and I took to get here to Houston. It has been a great thing for us,
I think back on that week now and see the hand of the Lord in every moment.

it all really starts with the engagement: June 12, 2010.
We were both finishing college and set to graduate in August 2010.
We had the date we wanted for the wedding picked out the night we got engaged. So convenient that Sam had a surprise party planned where both sets of parents were present. It was going to be December 18, 2010. After a few weeks of convincing the church of this, the date was set.

Then August came. I had two interviews in Houston. We seriously considered moving out of Austin. Sam wanted more than anything to stay in Austin. While I wanted to stay, I didn't see it as a real possibility job-wise.

I had a third interview in Austin. The position was an overnight shift. newlywedness + overnight shift = not promising start to marriage.

Samuel graduated August 15th. I accepted the job in Houston that day. They wanted me to start on Monday. In three days. I told them I needed a week. I had to find a place to live. I "officially" graduated the next day. (We had both done our ceremonies the past May).

Friday night Sam and I were at dinner with his sister and Dad. I got a call from my Dad. Nanny had gone to be with Jesus. My parents knew she had been sick and in the hospital; but had kept the severity of the situaion from me as I finished my last set of finals. Sitting at the dinner table with the phone to my ear, speechless, tears streamed down my face. Sam knew.

The day I accepted my first real job, the day before my last ever day of college, Nanny went to be with Jesus. I didn't cry for her soul; she was far happier than this Earth could ever make her. I cried for my loneliness. I cried for the phone calls I wouldn't have with her. I cried for her missing my wedding day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Garage sell finds

I have been wanting to find some lovely things at garage/estate sells
but the quality of the sells I have been to seems low; that is,
until this past weekend.

On Saturday morning, on my way home from my book club,
I stopped by a garage and estate sale, and found just what I have been looking for.

You may remember a while back I wanted to do this project. (credit pinterest)
Well, I still want to.  My heart has been wanting and I have been searching for some doilies.  And Saturday, the collection began. I was only able to find 2 (I didn't get to the sale as early as I had hoped), but for just a single dollar, I have started this project!

then, at the estate sale I found these neat cases.  We love mid century modern things, and these play into our style just perfectly

 and, inside, there are perfectly maintained and beautiful games! both game cases cost $5.
then, I stumbled upon these neat wood napkin rings for just a buck.they look like something I had seen at pottery barn, and will complement our navy and white gingham napkins wonderfully.
and the most exciting find of the day: 3 vintage coke bottles!  I had been eyeing this project on pinterest, but didn't want to spend the $8 to buy the izzie drinks.  3 bottles, $3.

these were the perfect buy to do this project!  I was thrilled.
after a little work, they are now like this!

i loved the finds i found at my sales.  i'll be going out again, for sure.

Monday, July 11, 2011

DIY laundry and dish soap

If you are anything like me you love pinterest and crafts.
and you might cringe at spending gobs of moolah on laundry and dish soap.
because that extra $15 gets closer to a pedicure.
and pedicure > soap.
so, based on some ideas from pinterest, this is my version of how to make your own laundry and dish soap.
it's a great weekend project (that you can do in less than an hour!) once you have your supplies, that is.

so, here is how you can make your own laundry and dish soap and put those pennies toward the pedicure instead.

These are all the supplies you will need: (to complete both soaps)
From left to right: 
  1. white vinegar
  2. washing soda (Arm and Hammer brand, but NOT baking soda. I found mine at Kroger.)
  3. Kosher Salt
  4. Lemi-Shine  (you will find it near dish soaps in most grocery stores)
  5. Borax.  (Target sells it, as does Kroger)
  6. Fels Naptha soap bar. (I forgot to add it to my picture)
DIY Dish Soap
 2 cups  borax
2 cups washing soda
2 cups lemi shine
1 cup kosher salt

Mis all ingredients together.  Make sure to stir many times for the first 2-3 days (2-3 times a day).  If not, your powder will form a solid lump and you will have to use a knife to break it up.  There will be small "balls" in your powder, but they are just fine.  Use 1 tablespoon per load.

Cost per load: about 3 cents!

I used an old coffee container as my dish soap container

Liquid Laundry Soap
3 pints water
1/3 bar Fels Naptha soap, grated
1/2 cup Washing Soap
1/2 cup Borax
2 gallon bucket to mix it in (one with a spout for pouring is best)
1 quart really HOT water

Mis grated Fels Naptha soap in saucepan with 3 pints hot water and leave on low heat until all soap is COMPLETELY dissolved.  This may take a while (10+) minutes, but you want to make sure the soap is completely dissolved.

 Stir in washing soda and borax.  Stir until thickened, and remove from heat.

Add 1 quart hot water to your 2 gallon bucket.  Add soap mixture, and mix well.

Fill bucket completely with addditional hot water, and mix well.  Set aside for 24 hours, until mixture thickents.  You can add additional hot water is your mixture becomes too thick.

Your soap may gel, but do not worry.  Just give it a good shake before you use it each time and it will be fine.  Use 1/2 cup mixture per load.  This makes around 64 loads, and your cost per load is about 3 cents!! 

Happy soap making.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


oh, someday.  you steal joy from today.
I make wishes and lists of all the things I want.
all the things I have to have until my life really starts.
someday, you make me miss the joy of today.
you make me regret not valuing each day.
you make me miss moments in the past that I was so eager to pass.

you are the opposite of contentment.
you are vile and hold a promise you will never fulfill.
you leave me always waiting for one more day, one more thing.

so i'm trading you in.  i'll trade all the dreams of someday for today.
today is someday.  today is all that I had wished for.
today, i am blessed with
a job
a loving husband
a home
food on our table

this verse rings true in my heart today
"Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned
how to be content with whatever I have."
Philippians 4:11

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

required summer reading [and kale chips]

I love reading.
like, I used to get in trouble for staying up too late reading as a kid.
one of my favorite post college activities is reading anything, anytime.

and my kindle makes it so much fun.

thanks to some great friends, I am currently making my way through Harry Potter.
this is my list of everything I want to read (or finish reading) this summer
  1. Harry Potter.  I know I am like 10 years too late on this trend, but not having to wait years between books makes it sooooo worth it.
  2. Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls.  I have read her book The Glass Castle and loved it.  Hoping for more great storytelling.
  3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  I have seen this book everywhere and heard a lot of buzz about it.  I am curious to see what it's about.
  4. Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis.  I know, I know...I had a strange childhood where I read everything I could get my hands on, but missed Narnia.  It's being fixed, ASAP. 
What are you reading this summer?  What's been good?

Also, I made Kale chips last night, and Sam and I devoured all of them before dinner.  Oops.  It WAS a vegetable
To have some of this yummy goodness for yourself, just buy a single bunch of a kale.
Then wash and rip it up into bite sized pieces.  Wash in your salad spinner.
Drizzle with olive oil and salt.
Bake in your oven at 400 for 10-15 minutes.
Eat all of them. .

Happy Hump day--I'm off to pinterest.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Weekend Update

I hope you all had a great 4th of July weekend. 
Here in the Battershell household, we had craft a palloza.
I tackled a lot of the things I had been wanting to make, and had my Mom in town to help! 
Friday I found all the materials to make homemade dish soap and laundry soap.
After searching all over, my local Kroger had every supply I needed.

We are now paying less than .03 cents a load for all of our laundry and dish washing.  Horray! (and I just noticed, yes that is Sam in the background behind all my ingredients...he is hardcore playing video games)

When Mom arrived, she brought her sewing machine and we were able to make some new napkins.  Go ahead, enjoy the gingham. Oh, and yes, I did get that fabric on clearance from hobby lobby.

And rosettes.  I have been a rosette factory this weekend.  Saturday night we went to a Houston Astros game and I sported my favorite, the coral rosette headband.  I am in love.

and the really big news:  over the weekend I have officially opened my etsy shop! You can check out all my goodies here.  You too, can have as many rosettes as your heart desires without breaking the bank. 

These are some of the goodies for sale

Happy Tuesday!  Go buy some rosettes.