Friday, May 20, 2011

Date Night {OUT}: Progressive Dinner

I love progressive dinners!

Here's the main concept: you eat a different course at different restaurants/houses.  That's it!

This date can be done two ways: solo or with a group of friends. Read on!

SOLO:

If it's just going to be you and your husband, map out some restaurants you'd like to eat at.  Go to restaurant #1 for an appetizer.  Go to restaurant #2 for soup or salad. Go to restaurant #3 for a main course.  Go to restaurant #4 for dessert.  Go to restaurant #5 for drinks/hot drinks.

You can choose to do this fast food style to keep it fast and cheap OR make a night of it and go to sit down restaurants.  Sure your servers might think you are nuts but leave a good tip and they'll forgive you!

GROUP DATE:
Get together 3-5 other couples.  On five slips of paper, write down a course (appetizer, soup/salad, main, dessert, drinks).  On another five slips of paper, write down a theme.  For examples, you could do countries (US, Mexico, France, Italy, China) or colors (red, white, black, yellow, green).  Put the slips in two different bowls.

Now, have one person from each couple grab a slip from each bowl to let them know what course/theme to follow.  For example, you could have to make a Italian dessert or a red main course.  Encourage couples to go ALL OUT decorating in their theme.

Finally, schedule times to be at each others homes.  For example, start appetizers at 430.  Move to soup house at 5:15, etc.  Whoever has the final course should prepare games for people to play or provide another form of entertainment.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Things I Love: Making Stuff

My friend Sarah is hosting a sewing night for our mom's group.  It's not until June but I'm already scoping out a few projects I would mind whipping up while chatting with the ladies.

Here are some of my top picks!

Summer Flower Tee (which Disney promises is FAST to make.  I like fast).

Photo from Ruffles and Stuff
I'm thinking navy shirt with white and red flower?  Or maybe white shirt with green flower?  What say you?

Then there are these No-Sew Flowers.  Cute, aren't they?  I like the idea of adding them to shirts, shoes, headbands ... really, you cover up a lot of stains with these cuties.  But then again, these are NO SEW--is that against the rule on sewing night?

Photo from Ruffles and Stuff
One Pearl Button posted a tutorial knock off of this Anthropologie shirt.  I like it.  And I like that if and when I screw it up I will be at Sarah's house and she can save me, or--er, the shirt I mean.
Photo Source One Pearl Button

Finally, there is this cute scalloped skirt.  I love it.  Problem is, I'm not sure if I can pull it off in one night.  But maybe I could leave it with the directions and Sarah could finish it.  Maybe not!

Photo Source Ameroonie Designs
So much to make, so little talent time. 

What's your vote?  What should I make on our lady's sewing night?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What I Think About: Beauty from Ashes

Regret.

The R word.

{shudder}

I'm kind of over the good old days of cliche songs and sayings telling us to live with no regrets.

Can anyone do that?  SHOULD anyone do that?

Last Monday I had a blue day for reasons I'm simply too proud to admit.  While I was feeling sorry for myself the worst thing happened--like it always does.

I started to drudge up old regrets.  Not just the "I wishes" but the "I wished I hadn'ts." The list of my regrets grew.  And Grew. AND GREW and by about 8:30 I was on the phone with my sister--nearly crying (which should *really* say something!).

I felt like the worst kind of human possible.

Untrustworthy. Unlovable.  Unworthy.

And no amount of "live in the moment" crap could make me feel better.

I just had to navigate my feelings.

Thoreau said, "Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest.  To regret deeply is to live afresh."

Tend our regrets and sorrows?  Regretting deeply refreshens us?

It's so counter-intuitive.  I mean, it just feels easier to ignore our regrets.  To push past them with an "I can't change the past attitude" feels doable.

But then they come back. On dark days when we are alone and ashamed.  Our regrets come back and they haunt us--when we don't handle them.

I know the Biblical accounts of regrets and how God casts our sin far from us (Psalms 103:11-12) but we can never fully do that.  We can't pretend to have no regrets.

So what if there was a change in perspective?

What if we did tend our regrets?

What if we faced them head on?

What if we felt our way through them--the shame, the pain, the dishonor?

What if we didn't beat ourselves up for shortcomings but we used them--like a mirror--to see exactly why we need Christ?

Why we need forgiveness? 

To see exactly what. grace. looks. like?

What if we let our regrets send us running to the throne room in loving humility to be comforted?

What if our regrets were simply a matter of perspective and instead of letting them paralyze us with fear or self-loathing, what if we simply accepted them, learned from them, and lived from them?

Wouldn't that be living proof that He makes all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28)?  Even our regrets.

What I think is that regrets can have a terrible hold over us.  They can keep us living in guilt and fear.  But I also think, when we work through them, our regrets can restore, rebuild, and redeem us--beauty from ashes (Isaiah 61:1-4).

Thanks, Shell, for hosting this post at Things I Can't Say!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Days of Play: Gettin' Around

Nothing is so lovely as a child blowing the puff-ball seeds of a dandelion into the air. 

M.E. did just this as we walked from the library to our car last week.  And then she asked what the puffy things were.  I told her they were seeds and that by blowing on them, she was helping to plant more dandelions (sorry to those of you who hate dandelions). 

It dawned on me that I should show M.E. how plants can be spread by humans, animals, insects, the wind, etc.

To do this, I put a big puffy sock on the OUTSIDE of her shoe (and one on the outside of her brother's because he was insistent) and we went for a brief walk in the little field outside of our house.

When we came back in, I took the socks off and set them on the table (which, by the way, I 409ed before we ate there).  We looked at all the weird pokey things attached to the sock.  I was able to point out things that were seeds (I think) and was able to tell her that insects like bees help pollinate plants because the seeds stick to their legs like they stuck to her socks.

She found this very fascinating for about five minutes.  {Sigh}

Oh well, hopefully this will fun lesson will stick with her in the future.

If you want to do this--get a sock, go for a walk, have a talk.  The End.

Monday, May 16, 2011

F All Y'All! {This is Christian--Trust me}

Okay I first saw this on another blog and it is so funny.

It's pretty naughty but worth a Monday laugh.  I could use a Monday laugh.