The Adventures of Stinky Sweet:

Sometimes stinky. Sometimes sweet. But it's our life - and it is always good.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

SLC.

I know I talk a lot about loving my job and I hope that never changes no matter where I work. It is weeks like this that remind me how blessed I am to be doing something that I love and believe in and that it also affords me the opportunity to get to do some really amazing things. It is almost funny how we talk about giving girls amazing memories/life experiences/"firsts" when in reality, sometimes we are getting the benefit of all the same things. I've been in Salt Lake City for the last 5 days for the Girl Scout National Convention. I went to the last one back in 2011 (it only happens every 3 years) in Houston, Texas, and this one was in Utah. I'll be passing to torch to someone else for the next convention in 2017 so this might have been my last one for a while.

We took 10 high school aged girls to participate in the Girl Scout Leadership Institute (GSLI) as a part of convention plus we had 2 girl delegates to represent our council. I am always thrilled that we have girls who are still interested in the Movement when they are in high school and it was a great trip. My co-chaperone - MPT - is always a riot to travel with and we get along just fabulously. We missed doing any sightseeing back in Texas so we weren't going to make the same mistake this time and got permission to stay an extra day. We filled that day with a trip over the mountains to Park City for a ride up the ski lift and then a trip over to Antelope State Park (in the Great Salt Lake) to check out the views - and free roaming buffalo!

I've never been to this part of the country before - flying over mountains, farmlands, the Rockies covered in snow, and deserts to arrive here. It was incredible. The scenery was amazing, the weather was perfect, and I am so thankful for the experience. So, ready for some pictures?

The Rockies.

Somewhere west of the Rockies. 


Salt flats around the Great Sale Lake.


MPT and myself with the outgoing National Board President, Connie Lindsey.

The Temple in Temple Square. The building to the right is the administration building that also hosts the twice annual LDS conference. Pics of that later but it is the building that we got a tour of on Saturday.

We pretty much missed the fall leaf changes over there but there were a few beautiful trees in downtown. 

This is the organ in the assembly hall for the LDS church. Might look familiar if you've seen any of their choir or Christmas specials. The auditorium seats 21,000 people. It was shockingly huge.

A view of the temple and city skyline from the roof of the administration building. 


Utah State Capital Building.


Our group with the giant trefoil.  It was a little sunny that morning so we're all a bit squinty.

Headed up the chairlift in Park City. I said on FB that I throat punched my fear of heights and it truly feels like I did. I won't be going skiing anytime soon but that thing was much higher off the ground than I thought it might be!


View coming back into the resort.





Don't think I'll ever need these folks.

The Great Salt Lake from Antelope State Park. 




A herd of roaming buffalo on the island at the state park. 
The views from here were unreal. 

It was an amazing trip full of memories and firsts and laughter. I always wish that my guy had been able to travel with me but I am even more happy to get home to him. I rolled in about 12:45am this morning and crashed, happy to be in my own bed. Back to the real world tomorrow so doing lots of laundry today. :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

#nccraftweekend

I had an lovely weekend in NC with 3 hilarious and fun ladies. Dani invited us to come up and craft all weekend and we surely did! We made lots of fun projects, taught each other a few new things, and just generally enjoyed each other's company. Not to mention some delicious tacos at White Duck Taco Shop (so yum!) and finishing out the night with some sweet treats at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge. So delicious.

 Danielle did "quilt academy" so we made small table runners...a project size that we could complete in one day (though it did require an after midnight bedtime). I'm pretty excited about this one, now shown on my dining room table. I picked all fall colors for one side and a light, green all over print is the backing so I can always flip it over for Christmas decor! I'm really happy with the way it turned out and now I feel ready to tackle something a little bigger. Chad wants to quilt too (don't tell him I told you) so it might be a fun project for us to do together. 

 We made these scrap wreaths on a core of pool noodle! (Shhh...don't share all our secrets). This is totally a Pinterest project and easy and fast to do. You could make a ton of them as gifts or for yourself (ahem...Katie) to match every season! Also a great way to use up scraps of fabric too. Everyone else did more colorful ones than I did but I like this B&W on my front door.


I taught "earring class" and while they made lots of fun earrings, I made a necklace and earrings for a friend at work. These are all even made on handmade earrings hooks, since that's truly a handmade gift!


We also made these fun string art things. Two other girls did words and one did a last initial that turned out SO STINKING CUTE. We all agreed that it looked like something from Antropologie and she could see them for a million bucks. This one is happily residing on my front porch. This is just a sample of one from another blog because mine has my house number on it. Sorry creeper.

I also taught them how to make the little pennant flags like the ones in my Etsy shop  (geez, I really am giving away all my secrets) but it was SO fun to see how all of theirs turned out. One of the gals even ingeniously made her to be reversible. It has two fabrics on one side, and two fabrics on the other side. I might be stealing this idea to make some for the shop!


Finally, we made these fun wrapped twine stars out of a bunch of old rulers that one of the girls brought. Sadly, none of us realized how much twine they would take so this again is a picture from the internet. In all honestly, this is about how far each of ours got on Saturday so we'll all be watching our weekly shows and spinning twine for weeks. I'll show it to you when it is finished. :)

I had such a good time that now I want to host craft weekend of my own. Looking at the calendar right NOW!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Static.

Always apologies for the silence on my end. Life has been busy - isn't it always - and I just haven't found time to write. I've still been sewing some...a few new things on the Etsy site and enjoying some sweet time at home in the evenings with my guy. I'm so thankful that he's been on first shift since about June. I'd forgotten in the 18 months prior what having a life, eating dinner together, and seeing each other's face in the daylight actually looked like. It is lovely and sweet.

Things are busy at work, gearing up for a new year of fun. I'll be with a group of our girls all day Saturday for a team building and training session prior to our National Convention in October. The 12 of us - 2 adults and 10 teenagers - are headed to Salt Lake City, Utah for 5 days in addition to our council's national delegates and some executive staff. Convention is always loads of exhausting fun. Its been a while since I've flown anywhere and almost exactly 3 years since I've had to fly while keeping my eyes on a pile of teenagers so it should be interesting/stressful/hilarious/educational.

I'm also looking forward to a fun craft weekend in Asheville with my sweet friend Dani + more lovely ladies. I've been pinning ideas to Pinterest like a mad woman and already plotting what craft supplies to take (all of them?). I'm super excited to get away for a weekend and just hang out. However, my good friend K is in the have-a-baby zone about that time so we'll see if the best laid plans include a trip back to Knoxville for a baby welcoming.

Chad and I have been talking to the pastor at our church about starting a college-aged small group for the folks from Covenant College who go to our little place on the mountain. Everyone seems to be on board and this Sunday is the last of 3 meetings at the church to see who is interested. There are about 6 girls who have been coming regularly so we are excited about getting it off the ground. It means we are committed to being there every Sunday night but I think the consistency will be good for everyone. Pray for us will you? This was, frankly, my idea first and Chad and I have prayed a lot about it before we jumped. I am a little nervous about being the role model, confidant, and friend to this group - I know how much grace I have been given and I want others to see that in me too.

My life is full and I am more aware than ever of the good parts and the time spent with people who mean the most to me. Maybe that is why words don't make their way here as often.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Been sewing!

I've been sewing a lot and I've added a few new things to my newly minted Etsy store.

Check it out at St. Elmo Sweetness.

Here's a few things:


I made 3 of these embroidered, free hand french knot things in 3 different sizes because I thought I wanted to hang them in the bathroom. I've changed my mind, due to them not fitting in the space like I wanted so why not sell them!




I have 3 of these little card wallets on there which are perfect to stick in your pocket and go! Fun patterns on each of them...


My current obsession is making these fabric pennants/flags. I have about 5 different color combinations on there with plans to make more. It is an easy way for me to get rid of my fabric stash and I've really been enjoying making them. 



If you want to purchase something, I'd love for you to (of course!). Since my 6 readers are also friends, use the "Friends15" code at checkout and get 15% off your purchase! Yay!



Friday, August 22, 2014

6 years.

We both agreed that it feels more like 3 years but 6 years has flown by.


This guy I'm married to...I can't imagine someone who would have fit me more perfectly. It is so amazing to see how our relationship continues to grow and stretch and change as the years go on.
I am so thankful for him... his calm nature (admittedly, bordering on TOO laid back sometimes) but providing the voice of reason when I get worked up about something...the way he puts his relationship with God at the top of his priority list and is constantly studying and reading the Word...the way he makes me laugh - and when I get to make him laugh and his face lights up.



I love being his wife. He is so consistent, kind, generous, and hard-working. He gives, gives, gives - expecting nothing in return.

So, a little throwback to that sweet day in the park by the river.

 I'm glad we had nearly 4 years of dating to decide that we wanted to get married. I'm glad that our marriage is built on a strong friendship - that we actually LIKE hanging out together and just being friends. I like that he rolls his sleeves up. I like that he lets me be silly and weird and loves me just the same.

As we have made it our sometimes tradition, we are going to take a picnic to the park and eat in the same spot we got married. I love this guy - and I hope we get 70 more years together.



Friday, August 15, 2014

August Birchbox!

Pretty good Birchbox this month! Thought I would just do one picture instead of lots of low quality, phone pictures. You are welcome!
Amika dry shampoo - I am really excited to try this. I have been seeing things from their line for a while now - with bright, fun colors - and I am excited about trying this product.  The full size is a teeny but cheaper than the dry shampoo I currently own and periodically use so it will be good to see how it goes!
Laura Mercier eye gel creme - smells good, eyes are a problem area for me so will be good to see how it works. Nice little jar!
ModelCo shimmer bronzer - I saw this one on the teaser and wondered if I would get it. I don't often do bronzer - I like pinky blushes too much but it looks like a nice color so I'll try it!
Super goop hand cream - I've gotten lots of things from this brand and haven't loved them (mostly because I have a pretty set skincare routine) but I will happily put hand cream in my purse and enjoy it!
Hello breath spray - this is the lifestyle extra this month.  I've seen this brand in the store and wondered about it. Pink grapefruit mint makes me a little nervous and a full size mouth spray for $11.50? Unlikely to purchase but it'll be fun to tuck away too!
Yay Birchbox!

Best laid plans.

Chad and I do our best to be super responsible when it comes to finances - cutting anyplace we can, turning off the AC (ahem, not my choice) when it is cool at night, and sticking pretty religiously to the Dave Ramsey envelope system (don't get me started). This means that we don't just decide to go on vacation and go do it, though we are willing to still be a little spontaneous when we can! We've been saving for over a year (since our trip to Seattle/Portland last spring!) to take a week off and go do something fun and we finally settled on Savannah. Neither of us had been in years and it would be a fun mix of historic sites, lighthouse climbing, walking, and beach sitting. Plus, neither of us can just drop out of work for a week without quite a but of warning.

We rented a little cottage in downtown which I found on VRBO.com for an awesome price. We were pretty excited and geared up for our trip but I got an email from the rental company a couple of weeks ago letting us know our reservation had been cancelled (insert a giant WOMP WOMP here). Apparently the city of Savannah has been fighting local rentals/people without hotel licenses (like VRBO or Air BnB) because they aren't getting their cut/paid taxes for these rentals and recently the City Council won a round and changed the laws. So, unless we wanted to rent the cottage for 30 days (nope), our vacation plans would have to change.

And they have!
We aren't going anywhere! Yay (?) (!)

I'm obviously pretty bummed about our original plans changing - and both my mom and my in-laws have tried really hard to find us another place to stay - but I think we will just try a little stay-cation. We will probably go check out a few nearby state parks, do some hiking and maybe camping for a day or two, and work on some projects around the house. Our 6th anniversary falls during this time so we'll celebrate and enjoy a week off work and just hanging out together. I think it will be fun to just be tourists in our own town. We'll make the best of things, not spend all our hard-saved money, and start thinking about next year's vacation!