Friday, September 30, 2011

little things #1

it's friday!!!!! it's time for the weekend and all the fun that comes with it.
every Friday I want to share with you "little things"
little blessings, little joys that make my heart rejoice.
i'll admit, there are some days where the blog takes on heavier stuff.

in the midst of looking for jobs, of hurting, of grieving, of whatever is your story
there are little things, little gifts to recieve and give thanks for.
and the giver of the "little things" makes them not so little.
makes the little HOLY things.
and I will rejoice in them.

here are my little things.

1. My brother and his girlfriend, Rachel, are coming to stay with us this weekend. We are SO pumped to have them. and how cute is Forrest?
2. I love the bloggers I follow and have gotten to know.  Jessi is such a sweet woman who radiates Christ in her blog and her etsy prints. I just ordered this one this morning and I am pumped to get it:
AND this weekend you can use the code JUSTBECAUSE in her shop and get 30% off. Do it. I did.

3.  Our chevron rug has a home now..we have placed it and I love it more and more each day.  All that work (and soreness!) was so worth it!

4.  Goodies: Since we have company, I am making this bread this weekend (well, trying to at least).
Last night Sam told me "Lauren, it's not fall here. It may be fall everywhere else, but it's not fall here"
I'm sticking it to this weather and pretending anyway.

5. Coupon code: who doesn't like a good deal on their weekend shopping???  Don't forget to use the code GIVEAWAY for 20% off when you do  your weekend shopping.
Have a happy weekend.

What are your little things this week?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

i'm wearing lipstick. my first ever lipstick.

Joy is the realest reality, the fullest life, and joy is always given, never grasped. God gives gifts and I give thanks and upwrap the gift given: joy

This is as real as it gets. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

200 followers {and a giveaway}

Happy Wednesday!

I can't believe how much this little blog has grown--back in May, I only had 20 followers! Now it's September, and there are 200! I am thankful for all of you who read!

To celebrate this momentus occasion, let's have a GIVEAWAY!
The {winner} will recieve: the item of their choice from my shop
have you seen my newest fall items? They are included as well!

To {enter}:
You must be follower of Seek first
+ follow me on twitter here
+ favorite Seek First on Etsy
Leave a separate comment for each entry!

Also, for your shopping pleasure, use the coupon code GIVEAWAY for 20% off.
I love all of you.

This giveaway will end next Monday night, October 3. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I live life on a tight schedule.
my days are calculated, precise.
my plans are set, my dreams are in motion.

and yet, none of it's mine.
as the husband and I go though this rough-ish period that we're in, nothing is really changing at the moment.  we're not making progress, but we're not as bad as it could be.  we're just waiting. sitting in the uncomfortable, and finding that God is right in the midst of it.

so for now, we'll sit in the dark, clinging to each other and waiting on His timing.

Monday, September 26, 2011

DIY Chevron Rug

note: this post has a TON of pics.  sorry if you are downloading forevs. 

In my crazy pinning state, I decided we needed to make a rug.
because rugs can be really really expensive.
and I don't want to go drop $200+ on a rug.
but I want my living room to look cute, you know?

so I saw these on pinterest:
and I promptly decided I was qualified enough to make one.
my qualifications: really really wanting one. and other bloggers did it.
after some searing for stencils on line, we decided to go with the chevron.
you could use a roller on the chevron, and had to hand paint the stencil.
sorry stencil.

I'll tell you the ending now: we did it, it worked, and it's AWESOME.

here how we did it:

1. Go to ikea and get a cheap-o rug.  You want the weave to be flat (translation: non-puffy).  think flat and floppy rug.  This is the rug we got from Ikea

2. You will need 2" painters tape, floor paint, and a carpenters triangle.  You can get them all at home depot or Lowes.

3. Measuring:  Our rug was 55" wide, so we decided we wanted two "peaks" of chevron on our rug. Thus, our "midline" was at 27.5; thus, our two peaks were each 13.25 inches from the edge of the rug.
I know, I know, math in real life.  Figure out how many peaks you want for your rug, and measure. Mark where you want  your peak.

4. TAPING. Taping takes forever!  Use the carpender's triangle to get your peak for your chevron going.  I measured four inches on each arm of my triangle. The mark you made for where you want your peak will be helpful here.

You want your "stripes" to be 4" each so use two pieces of 2" tape.  Try to overlap as little as possible to prevent any length shorter than 4", but don't leave any gap (could cause issues during painting!)

To prevent having to measure each time, I used a little "jig" system.  Take two short pieces of tape, and back with a small notecard to keep them together.  This will by your 4" reference for spacing.
In picture above, I have my first row of chevron done, and have used "jig" to mark 4" to where the next row should start.  Just place your carpenter's triangle over the 4" jig's and use as a reference for your next row.

It is important to keep using the same angle when you are making your "peaks".  We used the carpender's triangle to get a 45 degree angle on each peak. Just keep taping...

When you get where you need to cut part of your tape, the method that worked best for us was using a ruler as a straight edge and a box cutter.  This is far easier than trying to cut or tear the tape straight. This will give you clean, straight edges.
EVENTUALLY, your rug will be taped.  I promise.  I messed ours up (USE YOUR CARPENTER'S TRIANGLE, PEOPLE) but Sam re-did it for me.  Taping will end.  It won't seem like it, but it will end.

Then, paint.  I used a 2" roller and it took about half of a gallon of paint.  We used floor paint.
I did a first coat, which took about 2 hours and soaked up a lot of paint, and let it dry overnight.  I finished with a second coat the next morning (much easier and only 20 minutes!)

Here's our rug reveal:

Friday, September 23, 2011

things you probably don't want to know

I've seen this on a few different blogs now...and thought it was time to fill it out?
maybe not? maybe you don't care? i'm filling it out anyway.

A. Age: 22
B. Bed size: Queen! We upgraded from that tiny full
C. Chore that you hate:. ......none?
D. Dogs: none. and none anytime soon
E. Essential start to your day: coffee.  lots of coffee
F. Favorite color: navy
G. Gold or Silver: silver
H. Height: 5'2"
I. Instruments you play: piano and french horn
J. Job title: Cancer Researcher
K. Kids: none. and none anytime soon
L. Live: Houston, TX
M. Mother’s name: Monica
N. Nicknames: my husband calls me "little one"
O. Overnight hospital stays: none that i can think of
P. Pet peeves: chewing with mouth open. gross
Q. Quote from a movie: "when your head comes away from your neck, it's over" anyone know this movie? i'll be impressed if you do.
R. Right or left handed: left!
S. Siblings: a younger brother, Forrest
T. Time you wake up. anywhere from 630-7 am
U. Underwear: is a necessity
V. Vegetable you hate: ....beets
W. What makes you run late: sleeping
X. X-Rays you’ve had: knee, ankle, wrist.  
Y. Yummy food that you make: Mongolian beef
Z. Zoo animal: LION! 

have a blessed friday, Friends.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

school days

sidebar: I could have also titled this post "I look like a pack mule most of the time"

Now that I feel we are officially in the swing of the semester,
I thought I'd give you a little insight to what my days are like on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

6:30-7:00 am : Sam wakes me up.   I normally ask for 5 more minutes (I am a snoozer).  Coffee is ready; I make lunches

7:15: Sam leaves. I blog for the day.
should get in the shower at 7:25.  Sometimes blogging takes over. What can I say?  Non hair days (I only do my hair every other day, people) I get to blog up until like 15 minutes before leaving.

8:20: I'm out the door complete with change of clothes for work, (if we are cage changing I have to get out of those nasty clothes once we are done.  Lots of mouse poop = necessary change of clothes).  my lunch, dinner, backpack, laptop, and purse. 

4:50: Squeeze out the door a little early so I can start fighting traffic to get to class. I normally talk to Sam for a few minutes on my drive.

5:30: Class starts; teacher drones.

8:30: I stumble back to the truck, ready for dinner and tired from the day.

8:50: I am home!  Day is over. It's crafty time.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

halfway there

Hello friends! We are halfway through the week!
here are my favorite things this wednesday:

I took my first test in my class last night, and it went so well! I am so relieved!

 I love how easy these bags are--and so cute!
 This comb is so adorable--and would be easy to make many with different colors!
 I saw pumpkins at the grocery store this weekend--I think it's time!

Happy Wednesday! What are you loving this week?

Monday, September 19, 2011


I am a dreamer, a planner
a liver in tomorrow-er
I have dreams of homes, of babies, of new jobs, of more education.
I want to be the best at what I do; I want to be appreicated by those I work with
I dream of being the Proverbs 31 wife, of helping my boss find the esterase.
I dream of  a PhD.

but in all these dreams, who am I?  sometimes I wonder if I am fit to be a wife, a mother, to get more education? In all of these dreams, am I missing things now because I am focused on things to be?  I do not want to count the life I have now as a failure because I didn't fulfill these dreams.

dreams hurt. when I share these innermost desires; I am admitting pain when they don't happen.  but I want to feel. to feel the joy, and the pain. I don't want to be numbed to disappointment and quit dreaming.

I want to relinquish the utter control of those dreams.  I am not saying those are not still things my heart desires, but to know that I have  God who is good, and who delights in giving good gifts.  and if He fills those dreams, or if He gives new dreams, I can be full and giving thanks. I want my dreams to be able to change. I want a new dream; a dream that seeks only to bring glory and praise to the one who made me. a dream where the glory is not in my accolades, but in the goodness of God that I have seen.

because I still have dreams, and a God that fills them.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Morning lovelies

Happy Friday Friends!

I have quite a few shop updates for you, but it could result in some mega discounts or winning a giveaway, so listen up!

1. I have submitted my work to Heartsy, a kind of groupon for Etsy. It could result in some MEGA DISCOUNTS for you.  I need votes to make it through the first round of the selection process.  Would you vote for me? 

2. Have you entered the Bloom giveaway?  My sweet friend Nicole is hosting it and you should absolutely go and enter.

3. As we enter fall, some of the shop items are going on sale.  When I'm out of fabric for them, they're gone!  Go get them while they are hot! Visit Seek First etsy shop.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

this season

the weather is changing.
well, sort of.  it's Houston. it's still hot.
but sometimes in the mornings it's a little bit cooler.
the promise of fall is there.

and maybe it's just me, but the changing of the seasons gets me all weepy with the changes of our lives.
this fall I started going back to school.
and it will be a three year journey of our lives.
a year of pre-reqs, and two years of nursing school.
a change to our lives; for the better.

for the first 8 months of our marriage, we both just worked.
just work, and home. work and home.

and now there's school.
and everything is changing just a bit.
i'm gone two nights of the week for now.
and studying on the weekends.
small changes now, more to come.
and in the spring it will be two classes.
and then nursing school starts next fall.

and i get all weepy thinking about those first 8 months
they were/are a huge blessing.
a time the Lord gave us to just be.

but I know the Lord has given this season as well.
and while I'm nervous about balancing it all.
and wondering how much I can work.
or if I will work during nursing school.

but as the seasons change,
I'm embracing this change as well.
excited for the season to come.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What I'm Loving

Good morning!
This Wednesday morning I am loving the promise of this verse:

You can go get yourself this print from Naptime Diaries.  You won't regret it-I have a couple and love them!

I am loving pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks!  I had my first one of the season last week, and love them!
 Love these mismatched bowls.
 Is everyone else as obsessed with chevron as I am?  This tape is to die for.  Thinking about the red one for Christmas wrapping.  Who wouldn't want a gift wrapped in brown butcher paper and that red tape?
 This weekender tote makes me excited for fall and all the trips that come!
 I love this perfect, simple necklace. It is beautiful and intriguing!

and, as always, I love giveaways!  Head on over to Nicole's blog Bloom
to enter a giveaway to win one of my necklaces!
Happy Wednesday friends! Know that in all of your weaknesses and struggles today, He can be glorified. His power is bigger.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


i woke up this morning with a headache.
and knowing that I had to spend the day with my not so great coworker.
and then, at lunch, I forgot to pack my applesauce.
i was ready to cry over applesauce.
really? did I just say that?
it's applesauce.
whatevs. I had been looking forward to it all morning.

and so I was sitting in my office, ready to cry.
over applesauce.

but the real issue was my heart had grown far from thanksgiving.
i was so mad about all the things going "wrong"
when what I want is to teach my heart to have open hands and recieve
all that God gives. in the easy and the hard.

I have counted to 92. 92 gifts. 
I want to keep seeing the gifts, even in the hard days.
empty of myself, full of His gifts
i want the language I speak to be thankgiving.

insurance money for stolen things
new machine and successful experiments at work
a husband who helps clean the house

Monday, September 12, 2011

felt flower tutorial

Last fall I made my first yarn and felt flower wreath.
I loved it so much that I made 5, and we use them above the TV in the living room.

(I had already taken down one)  oops. just pretend you see the last one in that hole.

when I made them, I was still new to crafting, and was not very good.
the flowers sucked.  they were weird cone looking things.  
i sewed floral wire to the bottom of them and then pushed them into the styrofoam wreath.
hot glue now solves all of my problems.
but it was my early crafting days.  i was thrilled.

about a month ago, I sat looking at the flowers and really hated them.
so, I started re-making all of the flowers.  
here's how to do it.

First, cut circles out of the color felt you want.  
cut as many circles as you want, in any size.
don't worry if they aren't perfect circles. mine are far from real circles.

then, cut a spiral in your circle.  
you want to have pretty thick "strips" in  your spiral.

once you have your strips cut, you have to "scallop" your felt.
to scallop, first lay out your felt in a circle (like it was before you cut it).  
this makes it easier to find the outside edge.

start at the outside edge, and start cutting scallops along the felt.
you want to make pretty high mountain tops, and pretty low valleys.
scallop the whole circle of felt.

once you have finished scalloping, you need to roll your flower.  Start at the center of the circle, and fold and roll.  Use a dot of hot glue every few turns to secure.

horray! much prettier felt flowers. looks so much better and so much more ready for fall in my house!