Wednesday, August 13, 2014

update: silly hair

So...heya... I told you of the adventures of growng my hair out here!
Welp, I'm still at it! Here's an updated pic taken just a couple Sundays ago after church -- what do you think? I'm thinking I might do some light highlights -- not a bunch, still natural. Yeesh, I'm really liking the ashy hair look though. Oh, our first world things we think about. Shame, Jacie.

also...i cut my hair in the beginning of July. Yes, I cut my own hair. Some days I cut it waaaay too short -- like this last time -- mullet layers, people. But, that's okay. It'll always grow back (I hope). Side note, do you know how much money I've saved doing that? And husband shaves his head. I don't think we've actually paid for haircuts in YEARS! :) 

Try it out. Well, unless you give yourself a bad cut & it makes you cry. Then, don't.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

transitions: silly hair.

I'm in the midst of lots of transitions in my little heart, body & spirit! Some important, others not very relevant at all... Which brings us to my hair. 

My hair...hmmm... It's in the middle of a "change". You see, I think I'm growing it out. I say "you see" because I've said I'm going to do this before. Where I just let it totally go & see what happens naturally. Eventually, I'll get super tired of my darker roots (I am a natural blonde -- really! BUT, it only naturally BLEACHES in the summer). I'm thinking summer will be the perfect time to grow it out because it will be more subtle... It will still be bright blonde because the sun does that to me. But, it will fade in fall/winter. Yeah, we'll see if I last. 

It's just, I have been seeing so many heads of BEAUTIFUL, natural color of hair (& old ones of me w/out my hair bleached). Don't get me wrong -- I like the bright blonde, but... natural IS beautiful. Gosh, is this because I'm getting old? Oh yeow, I don't know. 

My mama would never let me get my hair done in High School because it bleached out so much in High School... she didn't see the point. I may not of liked it at the time, but it makes sense! I never even touched my hair (as far as color goes) until I was maybe 19 or 20... I wanted to get some subtle highlights...and that's what I did. Just a few here & there! It was still very natural! Then, I got some black streaks -- WATCH OUT! 

My friends have always done my hair, so I've never paid much. And I never want to. So, I got a wild hair one time & went & bought a box of color. I LOVED it! And seriously, have gotten so many compliments on the color -- even from hairdressers! When I tell them it's from a box they can't believe it! HA! Take that $150 salon hair color! :)

After getting it done for a few years & then bleaching it, I always thought I looked terrible if I didn't keep up with it. I'm sure this is the case for many gals. Don't get me wrong, I like it, but really...come on...we need to be comfortable with how God made us. We are made beautiful IN HIS IMAGE! And you know what, HE thinks you're beautiful! I've been reading this book, Simple Obsession by Jamie West Zumwalt, and I just passed a part where it's speaking to how beautiful we are in Jesus sight. That we, the church, are like His bride. What do husbands think of their brides -- that they are BEAUTIFUL in every way (I could keep going, but I suppose this is a topic for another post). The point I'm making is that you are a beauty...with OR without your hair done...with OR without your make up done...with OR without a super dark tan...with OR without the list goes on & on... 

So, here's to seeing if I can last & go natural. Atleast for a little while until I feel like a little bright color on that noggin of mine! :) 

Xs & Os & bleach hair with dark roots!

INSPIRATION TO KEEP GROWING (my natural OR minimally highlighted hair):

forgive my ducky face -- like 7 years ago! :)

i think i'd maybe highlighted it once, so all of the long hair is still virgin hair...i like that!

FOR COMPARISON (bleach vs non-bleach)
(side note: miss that puppufriend, SHANIA! :) )

TELL ME, what do YOU like?


transitions: silly wardrobe.

So. In the grand scheme of things, this is not a big deal. Yeah, I get that. But I'm still in the midst of trying to transition. I would wear black for every single event ever, every single day...for the rest of my life. Give me a few ivory or cream accents...maybe a scarf & call me set. No, seriously though. Black is my favorite. I'm not sure quite when this happened because I was NOT this way in High School. I wore lots & lots of color. 

I think it was when I got my job at The Limited. You could wear black & white (brand didn't matter), but if you wore color, it had to be from there. And so I wore lots of it. PLUS, I just think it looks 'classy'. And I don't care what anyone says, IT IS SLIMMING (normally). I think another reason I wear it is because I wear a LOT of bronzer usually (which I'm trying to back away from). So, my bronzer doesn't stain my black clothes! It's a bit trickier with colors/white clothes.

Anyways, husband makes fun of me for all the black I always wear. And he was being silly poking fun at me the other day when something just clicked that hasn't the last 6 years we've been together. Maybe I should wear color. Bet he'd like that! So, we chatted about it & he said that he'd love some color (but he also says all the time that I can wear what I want & what I love -- and believe me, he's a trooper because I wear some crazy things...)! So, there began my mission to work some color in my wardrobe. HEAR ME: there will still be lots of black...but, it's a work in progress. Especially if I'm going out somewhere, I just feel more confident. I don't know why, it's just an easy go-to for me...

So...we headed off to date night & swung by Goodwill on the way home. I seriously grabbed probably 40 dresses (it's in a wealthy neighborhood, so there's lots of goodies)! Hunky husband -- bless his heart -- was such a good sport. Hung out in a recliner directly in front of the dressing rooms! Out of the 40(ish), I only found 2 that I was loving AND that had color!!! So, we picked up those bad boys. The next day, I went back to that same goodwill (we'd closed it down the night before) & filled my cart up with skirts & shirts that have some color. I came out with a few more. After that, I went to 2 other Goodwills & found 2-3 more dresses & a few tops! And a new pair of jeans! I'm on my way! And seriously people, why not thrift -- you can get SO much more bang for your buck! I didn't use to be such a thrifty person, either! Changes, changes...

see my love for blackness:

see me trying some color:

So, here's what I'm doing to help the change along... ask husband what he wants to see me in... we had a date night the other night & I asked him to pick out my outfit (see Left picture with all the cubbies gear). His ultimate favorite thing is me in some cute sweats (I'm a lucky girl because that's my favorite thing, too)...his second favorite is, that was it. 

Another thing I've come to realize is that even though he'd like to see more color, he doesn't have strong opinions on what... that's been an adjustment. So, I'm just buying things that I'm comfy in & that are brighter (dress in Right picture -- Old Navy via Goodwill for $5.89 -- SWISH). The pink dress was actually this morning at church. Paired it with a neon yellow belt & some sandals... I got a couple different compliments! Husband's like, "see! you look great in color!" ... :)... 

Anyways, not super important or anything, but something I'm trying to transition to!

What do you think? Has this been something that you've made efforts on?
xoxo, j

Sunday, April 27, 2014

WEAR: neon & maxi

So... I cannot for the life of me remember where I wore this outfit to! It's driving me crazy! But, I must tell you, I do love it! Honestly, for weeks I've been trying to come up with a way to wear this skirt my mama gave me (because I love it), but without looking pregnant. And then I came across this picture! I hadn't even remembered wearing it! 

Anyways, I love the contrast of classy black & white with the neon pink! 

Happy Blogging!

all-star husband!

A few weeks back, Adam participated in an Annual Alumni Tournament that he does every year! I always have a blast going & watching him play -- not only does he present himself with high character & sportsmanship, he is absolutely a fantastic athlete! :)

Adam, me, Adam's mama, brother & brother's fiancĂ© 

Sidenote sort of piggy-backing on my above statement of his character, there were many men who were reliving old high school rivalries, which is okay I suppose, was to the point where they were literally getting in fights! We walked in to one game & heard the (grown) men calling each other names & making fun of each other's knee braces! AHHHHH HAHA! Seriously? All I could think was how embarrassing that must be for their wives AND how their children are sitting there watching them. These are their role models, their daddys to whom they are looking up to & learning from. I made sure to tell my husband how proud I was of him AND thankful that I would not need to worry about that! :)

Happy Sunday, 

date night: golfing!

When I was growing up, one thing I remember my mom & dad always talking about was date nights being important AFTER marriage. Especially after kiddos come into the picture. They said that this advice had actually come from our family doctor -- he always encouraged them do this & they did & do! This is something that Adam & I have purposed to do. It doesn't have to be anything extravagant, but just some time to go out together & do something.

For us, it started as cooking something together every Friday & picking out a new movie from our collection. More recently, it's been picking a new place to eat or just doing something different. This past Saturday evening, we went & hit some golf balls in this dome in the area we live. Adam has had a coupon to do this for FREE for quite some time now, so we finally decided to take advantage of it...and I must say, we had a BLAST! Even me who only stayed on the golf team in High School for 1 practice (HA!). We had fun just being there together, placing silly bets & goofing around!

So, if you don't do this, I encourage you to start this habit! And if once a week isn't attainable, maybe once a month -- just some time frame you guys can cut out of your busy schedules to focus on each other! Even if it's just going to Hardee's for a delicious burger (yes, we do this often -YUM)!

Kind of a funny side story, the first day of work at my job, we get taken out to eat. It must have been a Friday because I said something about 'having a hot date tonight'. My boss said, "Wait, what? I thought you said you were married?" I joyfully exclaimed that I was & that we still have date night! Awkward silence, but I later learned that they thought our tradition was pretty cool! And, we've gotten so much more encouragement from friends & family on this! Funny how there's a stereotype of people not dating after marriage -- BREAK IT, PEOPLE! Keep dating each other & falling in love over & over & over again! :) 


Perspectives on the World Christian Movement.

We don't get each other Christmas gifts. What we do is get a 'couple's gift'. Like, the first year, we bought a Wii & a couple games...and then we bought a gun...and this year, we bought this class & are taking it together. 

Lucky for us, our church is putting it on this year, so we got a pretty killer discount, which is always nice! :) But seriously you guys, this course is intense. It's pretty much a college course (yes, you can actually get college credit). It's a 14-week course (with homework, personal responses, 3 hour weekly seminars & a ending project) exploring God's heart for the Nations (in a super tiny nutshell).

We're nearing the end of it -- like 2 Tuesdays left! Our favorite part has been listening to all the missions workers & their stories (and the food)! The most challenging part has been enduring all of the reading (like I said, college book with homework -- no joke)! This is a large commitment! But, all in all, it has been pretty beneficial & opened our eyes to future possibilities where God may use us!
Like I was telling you in this post of becoming debt free, who knows where the future will bring us. But, one definitely cool thing we've chatted about is the prospect of missions work. Previously when we'd discussed it, we talked about how poor we would feel leaving a church to have the responsibility of our student loans (some churches help to cover that stuff when you leave). Something just didn't feel comfortable with that. BUT, since the Lord has been providing us with financial freedom, no mortgage, etc, the possibilities are endless. 

We were joking with our pastor & friends the other day about how Adam keeps me level. I'm all like high in the clouds and, "Let's move to Africa tomorrow & share God's love!" He brings me back to logical reality! :) "Maybe there's a better way to ease in, Jace..." or something like that. I'm glad God blessed me with a level-headed chap like him... It's just...I get excited! :) I'm super-de-duper excited to see where the future years will take us!

If you can scrounge up the money & are willing to take a time commitment for 14 weeks, I'd encourage you to try this course. You'll journey through Old Testament & New Testament & get to learn about God's purpose for every believer's life & learn how to share it with others! :)

Sidenote, before making the time & money commitment, they'll let you take 2 classes for FREE! Just to get a feel -- so, if you're interested, look up one in your area & give it a try! This a national class!


our tentative plan...home, babies, debt, etc.

I just wanted to share a bit with you guys our life as of lately. The following is what 'our plan' is... I say 'our plan' because that's what it is -- and sometimes God has a different plan that completely turns 'our plan' upside down. Let me be clear, we're pretty much open to that happening, too! :) 

This past summer/fall, we were house hunting pretty hot & heavy. We found so many prospects. We were looking back around my hometown & family. My dad & brother were faithful to help us since we don't know too much about foundations & fixing things...they tagged along to make sure that we wouldn't be getting in over our heads! 

Well, we found a home that we absolutely loved & had just about everything that we wanted. We've kind of been thinking that we were going to get a fixer-upper & turn it into EXACTLY what we wanted. A fun project, if you will. Well, this one had been foreclosed on & someone had already turn keyed it. It was beautiful, you guys. Completely remodeled, brand new kitsch, 4BR, 2BR, finished basement with more potential for expansion, fenced in backyard, huge deck. The works. IN OUR PRICE RANGE. Perfect. Well, our realtor had called us & said that someone was going to put an offer in on it & the other realtor called to tell her this because she wanted us to have it first, if we wanted. So, we went to look through a second time. This was moving fast -- so exciting & scary all at the same time! So, after we'd all looked through it, Adam & I told them we were going to chat & get back to them ASAP. Everyone left & there we sat in our potentially future home's driveway. We had to make a decision that night -- right then & there. 

We went back & forth with the pros & cons, should we, shouldn't we, etc. You see, we're planning on me being a stay-at-home mommy. So, even though I'll most-likely have an additional source of income, we are buying a home on just Adam's income. (side note, I came home one day & Adam had already made a spreadsheet with our budget now with both incomes, our apt, etc...and a future one with one budget & a home, etc... it was so cute & smart & I loved it). Anyways, Adam said he thought it may be the smarter move to get our student loans out of the way -- to set ourselves up a little better for the future. Be completely debt-free before making that big purchase. And I have to tell you, I completely agreed. Not to mention, it is definitely God-honoring to be debt-free! So, that was our decision. And we both felt so at peace with our decision. Once we get done paying off our student loans (our only debt), that will be an extra $600/month extra! Which will definitely help on one income! Sure, it'd be nice to have a home, but not knowing exactly where to go anyhow, we're pleased with our decision & the current place the Lord has us! We're knocking down the remaining of husband's student loans & are planning to be COMPLETELY debt free before 2014 is up! 

On the subject of babies, our current plan is to have a little home first, BUT...who knows what God has in store for us... Guess we'll just wait  & see. :)

Easter 2014 @ Dadsies & Momsies


God provides in funny ways...

Hi there, pals!

It's so amazing to me how God provides. He tells us that He'll provide & it's super-de-duper fun to see it put into action...and the creative ways He does it! 

I think I've told you before, but...when Adam & I very first got married, we did not tithe. I mean, I would here & there in college, but not faithfully. And when we got married, honestly, we were just being selfish & untrusting. Our excuses consisted much of, "That's sooo much money each month!" or, "Things will be so tight if we actually do that. How can we afford that?" Silly things like that. Seriously, it just makes me want to laugh now at how naive we were. 

Pastor had a sermon on how our money is not actually our money. It's God's money -- we just get to manage it while we're here. And in a very condensed version of this, it's sort of like stealing from Him. He gives you so much & asks for just a bit of that back. Huh, who woulda thought. That's a really good way to put it. We would have nothing...I mean nothing without God giving it to us. After that, we knew things had to change & immediately started tithing, have NEVER looked back & have been faithfully, cheerful givers ever since!

New American Standard Bible 
Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 
-2 Corinthians 9:7 know what, guys? What happened next was insane & sort of confusing to be honest. Our bank account just kept growing & growing. It was nuts. We had tried saving before & it just seemed to keep slipping from our grasps. But once we trusted in Him & willingly obeyed, we were financially blessed more than we could have thought. It just doesn't make sense on paper. 

We recently have just been able to pay off a very LARGE student loan of mine -- all in one foul swoop. Just got rid of it like that. And you know what? It's because God has been faithful to us. We got rid of that loan, but didn't want to deplete all of our finances (I've had my car since I was 16 & let's just say it's...a little rough, so we wanted to keep enough in there to get a new car, if need be, at least). Still, we have less in our account than we're used to, so we decided to keep building it up so we could do the same thing with Adam's loan -- delete it in one foul swoop! Well, we needed to get a CT scan for hunky husband which was going to cost us around $800...okay, no biggy. Stinks, but we can handle that! Things like that happens. And you know what, guys... God provided. He provided almost $1,100 through a garage sale that I had in my little hometown of only like 800 people. Isn't that nuts? Garage sales like that aren't too common. I'm humbled. 

See what I mean? Isn't it so cool to see God's blessings in action? That garage sale is going to pay for husband's CT & then some! We have to get some eye exams, new glasses, much needed dental appointments, etc & it will help to cover those, too!

Anyways, I so just wanted to share this because I've been so excited to share. And I would encourage you to trust his faithfulness. Even if you're heart is unsure. Make the leap -- you'll sure be glad you did!

Big hugs from over here!

happy belated Easter!

Good Friday started our Easter weekend off to an amazing start. We had a Good Friday service at our church where one of our pastor's played the role of  a Roman soldiers, Tiberius, and told us the story of our Christ. In year's past, they've done a live reenactment of 'Stations of the Cross' sort of a thing, but this year's different services was fun. 

It was super encouraging to see a HUGE turnout to all of the services throughout the weekend! I know that some people just go on Christmas, Easter, etc, BUT it was still encouraging to know that there may be hearts in that place that the Holy Spirit may be encouraging to come back & know Him closer through that place.

Easter was my favorite this year over any other year...I'm not quite sure why. I think each year that my love grows deeper for our Lord, the more I realize the magnitude of the amazing sacrifice He has made for me...and you. Plus, I love seeing it presented in new & different ways that shed new light on something important that I'd never thought about before.

If you've never heard about the love of Christ, feel free to email me or shoot me a comment below & I'd love to chat with you & share His love with you through myself!

My new pearlies that I wore to Good Friday services AND to Sunday service! There's something so timeless about pearls -- ESPECIALLY when paired with sequined bunny ears! :) HA!

So, here's a different thought...well, maybe more of a question...OR even more than that, just tell me your thoughts. Hunky husband & I have been chatting about this previously & recently. What do you think of incorporating The Easter Bunny, Easter Egg Hunts, Santa Claus & things like that within the Holidays? Does it distract from what you're actually celebrating? Is it just fun or can it be damaging...or both? Is there room for it when teaching your kiddos about the true meaning of the Christ-centered special times? 

We have thoughts from both sides & are still unsure of how all of this will be presented/handled when we have kids (lucky us, we have a while to decide), but would love to hear your thoughts & maybe someday soon, I'll compile what we think at this stage in our lives on this little bloggy! :) 

***sidenote, we decided my little bunny ears & bunny tail would be a-okay for this Easter because the group we were around knew that it was just fun...and they knew the EXACT reason we were actually was just fun for the Easter Egg Hunt!***


kindness from neighbors & PB&J cookies.

Every once in a while, I finally decide it's time to try a new recipe. I mean, sure... I pin a ton of recipes, but the actual 'doing' part is where I struggle. Well, I was at that point the other night while browsing through some blogs. I found a recipe for PB&J cookies on Lee La La. I made sure I had all of the correct ingredients & off I went. 

Why is it that even when I follow a recipe EXACTLY, I still fudge it up somehow. The bottoms were a bit burnt. We still tried them & they weren't too bad with a big glass of milk to wash down the very VERY peanut buttery part of the cookie. The important thing is that... I tried my darndest! :)

When we got home from my family's house for Easter, we were greeted with amazing smells coming from our neighbors! I had some Easter bunny ears on from my family's Annual Easter Egg Hunt, so my neighbor came out to greet us, laugh at my bunny ears, ya know...We told him their food smelled awesome & he asked if we liked fish...sure! A while later, he brought us this plate of AWESOME grilled food he'd made (mushrooms, potatoes, steak, fish, tomatoes -- I ate that asparagus like there was no tomorrow). Hunky husband wasn't too hungry, but it was so good he kept going back! It was too funny because I had just heated up leftover pizza, took a couple bites when he knocked on the door (so it became tomorrow's leftovers)!

Anyways, this gave us a great opportunity to share kindness back...and who knows, even if we weren't huge fans of the cookies, maybe someone else would be! So, we warned them to grab a big glass of milk & enjoy!

AND, incase you'd like to try them out yourself, here's the recipe! :)

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c creamy peanut butter
1 stick unsalted butter
1/3 c brown sugar
1/3 c granulated sugar
1 egg
1tsp vanilla extract
2 c strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together.
Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 mins. Remove from oven, and indent centers with a spoon. Return to oven for 6 mins.
Transfer cookies to wire rack and cool completely.
Once cookies are cool, spoon 1/2 tsp jam into each indentation.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

little sweets.

honestly, it's the little, thoughtful things that husband does for me that makes my heart feel joyful... 

for example, i woke up this morning to this note. husband had already left at like 5:30 am to play ball at this Church & i was having my weekly Bible study with my dear friend, Erica. even that early in the morning, he knew it would melt my little heart to wake up to this. just something simple. something so sweet.  it is now hanging on my bathroom mirror for me to look at everyday. i love it. 

the other thing i noticed is that he took the little friend's collars off. this may not seem like a big deal, but it's just something sweet we do to think of each other. because these little friends are noisy...anytime they move they jingle with their collars. so, in order to let the other person sleep without distraction, the collars go off. and he was too sweet to do this today. 

thanks for the little things, mi amor!

love you!

do something sweet.

challenge! right now, go & do something sweet for the hunky husband in your life... it doesn't matter how small the gesture -- just something to let him know you're thinking of him. something to let him know he's loved. here's what i did the other night after i got some $.10 lipstick! :)

so, if you have some old lipstick you don't like, go fill up your bathroom mirror is what i'm saying! :) 


DIY: birthday poster (take II)

remember how i showed you HERE the birthday poster i made for a coworker's son FIRST birthday?! well, another PAL of mine -- her niece is celebrating her first birthday tomorrow & she requested one, too! 

just wanted to share my FUN work with you! i figure that God blessed me with creativity, so its happiness to share it with others! :) 

let me know if you want me to make something for you! :) 

walgreens deals.

you know how some things are 'too good to be true'... well, it's cheesy, but this deal i got was too good AND true!

my friend texted me a picture of her coffee table FILLED with goodies (things like full size body was bottles, etc) with a little note that said, "got all of this for under $9!" i asked her how figuring she had done some extreme coupon-ing! NOPE! a local Walgreens had all of their clearance items for $.10! YES... TEN CENTS!
i asked her if she left anything & she said not really... but i had a little extra time & decided to swing by anyways... well, i found PLENTY of stuff! in fact, i found 119 ITEMS & got them for under $12. woah. crazy deal, right? 

i might resell some at a garage sale, but the rest of it is going to our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes for next year! normally, we go to Dollar Tree, but this is even cheaper yet, which means more goodies & more kids to helP! :)  LOVE IT!!! :) 

OH YEAH! so then...i wanted to go to the other Walgreens to clean them out... but sad face, they didn't have the same deal! oh well, i got all sorts of good stuff for little gals to make them feel loved by God! :) 

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo! :)
happy deal hunting! :) 


seasoned pretzel recipe.

a friend that i used to work with gave me the recipe for these goodies & i just made them so thought i would pass them onto you. they're delicious, but BEWARE -- LOTS of saltiness!

(4) 8 oz bags of butter braid pretzels (i used all different kinds of pretzels)

1 Cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pkg ranch dip mix (i used generic)
1 TBS McCormick's Montreal Chicken Grill mate  (used the whole pkg of Montreal Steak Grill mate)
1 TBS dillweed
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper



and then...the most important part...SHARE! i made little baggies for all my neighbors in our building (most of which i don't know -- to try & build relationships with) & included little notes & hung them on their door... THEN, i made a big bag for another office of coworkers (who gave me the recipe) & sent them a miss you note! :)

pass the love on! :) 

this post made me want to snack on them, so i am as we speak! :) mmm.
 let me know what you think!

caprese lasagna roll ups.

hey all!

a while back, a friend gave me the recipe for these & i loved 'em. they are perfect for when you have company over & you could easily feed 8 people (we have bunches of leftovers). 

ps. I just bought marinara & didn't make my own :)

let me know what your tastebuds think! :)
your not so cooking expert, Jacie NOELLE

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