He restores my soul.

I just wanted to share with you a passage that I was brought to this morning. 

Psalm 23:1-6
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul. 
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, 
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever

This passage kind of came out of nowhere, as I was reading Kings 16-25 right before and then all of a sudden the next thing in my reading plan is Psalm 23:1-6. Kings is all about famine and taking siege on cities and then this. Well, whoa. I wasn't even going to go forward with more reading but I thought, eh just one more passage. And man, this was just what I needed to read. Thank you God! Amen

If you are wondering what I mean when I refer to my reading plan, I am currently using the YouVersion Bible on my iPhone and am working through their "The Essential 100" daily reading plan. It's a great plan for new believers and for those who may have been believers for a while but are not very familiar with a lot of the stories from the Bible as myself. I have been following Christ for 5 years and I was feeling guilty when others would ramble off verses or talk about stories and I didn't know what they were talking about. So I challenged myself to search more. This plan is great for that! Disclaimer: I know that Christ does not want me to feel guilty for this as he is after our hearts, which he has of mine but, Christ calls us to change lives and it's hard to do this on a more Child-like faith level.     I'm challenging myself to know more so I can change/impact lives for Christ

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for you are with me. 

Enjoy your Sunday!
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Kitchen = Anxiety

Warning: This post is wordy. Sorry if you were looking for some cute pictures to look at but I'm on a mission tonight. 

I am currently experiencing an overwhelming dislike for the "kitchen". What kitchen stands for, what is done in the kitchen, what is supposed to come out of the kitchen, etc, etc are all sore subjects for me. 

I never really learned to cook, & I do not blame my mother or the way I grew up for this. As a child and into my high school years I did not know that there were more options outside of pasta, chicken pot pie, burgers, seafood, and a steak, potato, veggie plate. All of which I can whip up pretty stinkin' well. They are our household staples now  Then I went to college and met people from all over the world (enter ethnic food) and people who came from families where all their mother did was cook and read cook books as leisure reading (enter things called espresso rubbed chicken and quinoa). Add that I had never had any ethnic food outside of Chinese until my first year of college - Maine just does not have a ton of ethnicities represented. haha. I no longer was satisfied eating the same ole thing and went searching for great food. I found it, ev-er-y-where! My hubby introduced me to my first Mexican food experience in 2009 and I've been hooked ever since - especially to Guacamole. One of my besties is Greek so naturally Gyros were brought into the picture and feta too! I didn't even know feta existed people!

Most of you are probably thinking...so what's the problem? You found food you love. Well, the problem is that I fear cooking. I have been attempting dishes for dinner since getting married in 2008 and have failed miserably on many occasions. Lately we have thrown out 4 dinners in the last 2 weeks! What a waste of food!! It erks me to the core to do this and as a woman it's rough to go through the effort of preparing only to sit down to enjoy the meal together and find out it's not just gross but repulsive. This happens like 90% of the time I cook something that I wasn't taught how to make as a child. I've tried recipes, suggestions from friends, suggestions from the hubby, just winging it, and cooking for dummies. Nothing works and I'm just end up frustrated and overwhelmed. (I have found a few things over the years but 8 things I can cook real well is just not enough). The fact that we have nothing to eat in the house has actually become a joke between the hubs and I & I think it's mostly out of stress from the situation.

So tonight, for the first time ever, the hubs and I decided to go to Trader Joe's for our grocery shopping. This resulting after many long conversations over the years that go something like this:
Hubs: "I'm hungry."
Me: "What should we make?"
Hubs: "I don't know."
Me: "What do you feel like?"
Hubs: "I don't know"
Me: "Burgers?"
Hubs: "Maybe"
Me: "I don't really want to eat that either."
Hubs: "What should we make?"
Me: "I just don't know."
 Hubs: "Lets go find something."
Me: (after spending $100 on food every week) "No! We have food in this house. We are not wasting our money on take-out. Besides, it's not good for you either."
Hubs: "I know but, there's nothing in the cabinets."
Me: "How does this always happen?" (By now I'm super frustrated and starting to take it out on poor hubby)
Hubby: "I'm sorry, I shouldn't complain. I will have PB&J."
Me: "I'm sorry I can't cook or think of things to make."

Okay, now you may have a better idea of my frustrations. Just typing that make me sweat a bit thinking about those every night conversations. So, Trader Joe's was interesting. I have been told that it's expensive there and I'm not going to lie, it is. But, their sale things are good and we made it out alive and not broke. A side note on grocery shopping: The hubs HATES going to the grocery store and will do anything to get out of it. We have always gone to big box stores like Winco or Safeway but mostly Winco which is like a Food 4 Less and is just an empty warehouse with shelves. Lately, I have been dreading going there too. The atmosphere is chaotic and overwhelming. So for Hubs to go to the grocery store with me was HUGE! Anyways, I believe we have enough for 15 dinners so we agreed that there will be no take out for 15 nights. It will be interesting. It will be hard. I hate preparing things and still have the mindset that nothing tastes as good as when someone else prepares it and brings it to you. But for now, I feel better about the food making situation and hubs enjoyed his time at the grocery store. Woop Woop!

Thanks for sticking it out and reading through my digressions on kitchen angst. I hope I'm not the only one out there that experiences this. I love that I have blogging as a place to get this out. Any suggestions and/or tried-&-true recipes would be an extremely great blessing. 

P.S. Blair from Wild & Precious talked about anxiety today (her's related to pregnancy) but her post is really applicable to any situation - even cooking. Go on over there and read about it. Isaiah 26:3
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That's a whole lotta cat!

I get comments on this picture a ton so I wanted to share it with my blog friends. So, I figured I would do a little ode to my kitties since I'm posting a picture of them and well, the blog isn't called The.Kittys.Purr for nothing. Enter picture....
To which I usually get the response: HOLY MOLY! Those cats take up your whole body. 
While this is mostly a true and accurate picture (there are no edits done, totally real) I feel the picture over exaggerates but only a real little bit. 

A bit about our kitties:
Wednesday is the black kitty. He was found in March of '09 by me and the hubs back in Colorado on a nicer than usual spring day in March - it was about 40 degrees but usually in March it's like 0, no joke. He was in an abandoned lot and he literally followed us home on our walk. We didn't know if he was a boy or girl, I was sure girl, so we named HIM Wednesday after Wednesday Adams from the Adams Family. Well, later we found out he's a HIM. oops. Wednesday is a very special kitty - he has 7 toes on each paw which means he has "thumbs." He can open drawers so we have to "kid" proof tons of cabinets. He is also very regal and an extremely handsome kitty . I am his person but he loves all people! 

Otto is the cow-looking kitty. Literally, he is a fat cow. We don't know what happened but he just got really fat, really fast. (You can see from the pics below that he was tiny!! The hubs brought him home after work one day as a surprise for me. He was only 3 ounces and only 2 weeks old. He was found abandoned by one of his co-workers with other kitty siblings. He came to us in October of '09 in Oregon. He is not so regal and not so beautiful but he is so fun and entertaining. Since he was so young when we got him and never had a momma kitty, he never developed a meow. He just squeaks - all the time. Otto is not so much a people person either but we love him very much still!
Yes, I love my kitties and I think the world of them. They are like my children. Hope you enjoyed a glimpse of our kitties!
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Miscellany Monday: AGT and Crafting

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1. Hello America's Got Talent
For months I have been telling the hubs to "Just do it already!" Kindly referring to him auditioning for America's Got Talent. He plays guitar and sings. I know, cliche right? But, just wait, he's amazing! I knew the auditions were sometime this February in Seattle/Tacoma and 2 weeks ago I remembered and signed him up, without really giving him the option. We bit the bullet, he took time off from work, and we traveled into the night Friday for the audition Saturday with no hotel reservations made because everywhere was booked. If you know me, this is utterly insane. No plans, no exact timeline, woah! We found a "hotel" and lets just say we will never stay there again. But at 4:30am we got in line for the auditions and waited, and waited, and waited. Josh was #57!!! No pictures allowed inside so here are some outside shots. Stay tuned for the auditions on tv because I will be in the group shots!! {Please excuse the terrible shots, iphone and dark outside still}
 2. Work in progress
The hubs & I are working on some special projects together for our 1st home. We close in less than 3 weeks!! Here is a snapshot of our most current piece of art. Hubs is the artist and I am the designer. {Please no reproductions w/o my permission}
3. I scored 2 great frames at Goodwill today. I spray painted them today. You can still see wood grain through the paint. I love them.

4. Josh insisted we get this little guy from Goodwill. I'm not so sure but, it's growing on me. 
Fact: It's made out of ash form Mount St. Helen's. 
6. If you are ever in Seattle, you MUST go to the Lunchbox Laboratory for some good eats. Make sure you go hungry as the burgers are HUGE! Josh and I went here 1 year ago with Ari & Kim and their hubbies and dang, it was great so we had to go back. I really love their shakes.
5. Josh is sick now. He was not this morning. But man, poor guy looks like he has the flu. =( I really thought we beat it this year. Neither of us ever get sick, sick. Boo.

That's all for today. Hope you enjoyed my first Miscellany Monday. It's fun to not really have to blog about one thing, not that I have to anyways but, it's fun!
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Call Me an Old Lady But...


Today I got 4 sales in and I'm slowly learning the "rules" of these things. Last week was my first time going and I already feel like an expert. Weird huh? I've learned what it means to take a number, wait in line, wait for my name, get "sold tags," and bring a bag. I scored on a half-off sale today and got these:
Isn't the sewing basket/organizer adorable? I snagged it almost as soon as I walked in and for only $4.50. It's in immaculate condition with the original closure and everything.  The woman who lived at this place was stocked with more fabric, sewing machines, and thread than I have even seen. She had THREE craft rooms people!!
I was excited to see some vintage-y fabric that goes with the colors for our kitchen. I'm not sure what I will do with it yet but I will figure out something. Fabric is almost 10 yards and was only $2!

THe rest of my day I spent making 50 baby shower invitations for a dear friend. It is quite the undertaking but I love being able to make invitations for other people's special events in life. Here is a sneak peak at the process. 
It never fails that when I make something, the kitties have to be right there "helping." It's kind of cute but they end up getting in the way eventually.  

Well, I enjoyed my Saturday & hope you guys did to. What did you do today?
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House Project #2

I promised you guys that I would show you the re-do project that the hubs and I did together the other day & that's what I'm bringing you today! Story goes that I have been dying to make something that resembles this (below) for our new home. Yes we bought our first home...eeek! We are still waiting for some formalities but we close on March 11th. yay!! Anyways,
Credit (Lindsey @ The Pleated Poppy) I love her bedroom!!
One problem, I have all these great ideas in my head but man I'm scared! Neither I nor the hubs have ever really done anything like this before. So the hubs takes me to the Rebuild it Center in North Portland. AMAZING. You can get any household item from someone else's house like door knobs, cabinet fronts, old lamps, planks of barn wood and it's way cheap!! So I discover these:
9 old drawer knobs and 3 blueish cabinet doors

We paint each to our liking (grey of course) and add the knobs onto one door. We cover one with mustard yellow fabric and put foam board in the center of one. Here they are done!!

 The one with fabric will later become a place to put some sort of an inspirational word or phrase on it & the one with the foam core will be a place to put up pictures on love notes! I know they don't look grey in the middle but I swear we painted it a lighter grey and did not leave it blue.

Hope you like them!


Estate Sale Goodies

This morning I decided I was going to go estate sale shopping. I have never done this before and let me tell you I did not totally know what I was in for. Sign up sheets, waiting, lines, crazy people, you name it. Needless to say, it as an awesome experience. Man, are there treasures out there! Here are the goodies I picked up today. 
Starting in upper left:
Set of 6 Ball "Perfect Mason" Jars - $1
Fake pearls but my first pearls - $2
A vase made in Germany (my fav colors so i couldn't resist) - $5
A small cast-iron first aid kit (For the hubs) - $2.50
Close up of the masons - I love them!
MY FAVORITE: Vintage Tupperware (I saw these from the listing picture and went straight for them. Thank goodness after an hour of waiting some of them were still there) - $12

Hope you enjoy. If you live in the Portland area we should go together!!
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I'm a bad blogger & a lamp recover!

I admit it, I'm just a bad blogger. Not that my blogs are bad but that I just can't bring myself to complete the act of blogging. I want to and I have all these pictures about things I want to blog about but I can never find the energy to actually publish the post. Now, I do admit to spending ample time on the computer reading all your blog posts but, I just can't do my own. It's weird. Anyways, so this is my admittance to that and I'm letting you guys know that while I will be sporadic in my posting I will be here none the less. Now for the cool stuff that you are here for instead of my mumblings. 
I re-did a lamp! My first lamp re-covering ever, my first major craft project, and the first item to be made for our new house! Here she is before: 

As you can see, very basic. We got this lamp (along with its matching pair) as a wedding gift. They were cute for a while but after 3 years some of the glue was yellowing and the kitties had gotten to the shade. So I thought,  heck, I'll just recover it. Drumroll please......

There she is now! Way better. I found a tutorial on a blog but I can't remember what blog it was. Oops. Do you like it? I was pretty thrilled to complete my first real project like this. Stay tuned for the next project we did - hubby was nice enough to initiate this one and help me!

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