have you ever read a book and just been so challenged that you can't stop thinking about what you've read? that's where i am. i've been reading this book "when helping hurts" and it has been so very eye-opening and rather humbling. and i didn't even see it coming! my husband and i are participating in our local homeless shelter program again this week and today is our last day hosting. when we finished our week last year, a friend let me borrow this book. i put it off because i thought "what am i really going to learn from this book...this doesn't really apply to me...i'm not hurting the homeless...yada yada ya..." boy was i wrong. this book is not just about the poor in status or money; the author encourages and really challenges you to remember we all have an ultimate need for Christ, the ultimate healer and provider. here are a few quotes that have stood out to me along the way.

"What is the task of the church? We are to embody Jesus Christ by doing what He did and what He continues to do through us: declare--using both words and deeds--that Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords who is bringing in a kingdom of righteousness, justice, and peace. And the church needs to do this where Jesus did it, among the blind, the lame, the sick and outcast, and the poor."

this past week has been so challenging and i'm so thankful for this time of character stretching. there is brokeness all around us. we have friends and family that are hurting and in need. i'm so challenged to show compassion--not just when it is convienient for me, or expected. i want this compassion to stem from a need for Christ. this is going to be tough and a long process that will never be perfected here on earth...

i would imagine most people would think the church is where and who should help the needy and broken. this is true in a sense but if i'm viewing myself as thee one that is providing and being a superhero to the poor, then i'm just as bad off. romans says that no good deed is without selfishness. i'm pretty sure i will always have this battle over this feeling of "look at me, i did something great and helped someone else less fortunate, now someone please give me my gold star."
keep with me for a minute...i do want to enjoy the gifts and many many blessings given to our family. the one thought that keeps coming back and nagging me is this: i need Christ. to pray and desire this is a daily struggle since i think i'm pretty good at running the ali show. {which is so wrong} all this talk to say how i've been challenged to serve our community with a humble spirit and a heart that rests on God's promises.

some heavy stuff today but just wanted to share my heart and keep it real.

baby shower invitations

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my sweet friend, elisa, is having a baby soon...which means lots of fun planning, shopping and of course the baby shower. for the invitations i wanted to do something simple and personal which would also save money on the party and free up more for the gifts! elisa & her man aren't finding out the sex of the baby so we had to keep things a little neutral for the invitations but still make them charming. by no means am i a great drawer. hands down that gene went to my brother and skipped over me entirely. but i managed to squeak out a simple greenery design on her card with some watercolor pencils (same ones used here).

anywho. now that the invites have been mailed i can officially show the final product. nothing fancy at all -- just some cardstock, watercolor pencils and washi tape (used on the envelope which i forgot to snap a photo of!). keepin' it simple these days!

here is a link to another diy baby shower invite from last year. if only i had some of that fabric leftover....
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last minute DIY valentine's card

have you delayed getting your valentine's diy together until the day of? i fall into that category too many times. and that goes for any holiday actually...maybe this shall change in 2013.

so if you are looking for something to whip together quick, i have just the thing for you! this is a pretty simple diddy and all you creative birds out there could probably create some amazing drawings. my drawing skills are rather limited so i stuck to the classic valentine's heart and love. i think i love the washi tape the best....!

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these watercolor pencils are a great invention. i love that you can sketch first then watercolor. (who would have thought my brush techniques are not very graceful....

so there ya have it--a card & a piece of art. {art used loosely!} 

happy valentines my friends!

gilded bar stools

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my quick september project of updating a set of barstools has now been completed. what in the world. how do projects get put off for months on end? well my friends, 2013 is the year of getting stuff done. so here we are with a fresh set of barstools. i may tweek them here and there but for now am very happy with the new look. clean & crisp. for this project, i used martha stewart's gold liquid gilding which cost $6.99. this little bottle will go a long way. not much is needed to cover the area. i fancy the gold and see more items getting gilded (is that the slang?). have you gilded? i know i'm a little behind the times...won't be the first time!  photo 94e30d35-7f13-4c03-ab54-7f4b92e70426_zps4fbdcacd.jpg
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these are so bossy worthy. me & the lady-friends love to define things on a "ooh, that _____ is so bossy!" level. and i think these barstools can fall into that so glad to see that green gone!
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happy day my friends!

creating with the stars

Creating with the Stars

have you heard about this awesome contest/challenge by east coast creative? creating with the stars is a creative contest with a chance to work one on one with a BlogStar over a 4 week period and come up with the best project. it's such a great idea. the BlogStar lineup is pretty fantastic too. i mean young house love, vintage revivals, perfectly imperfect....the list goes on! check it out if you haven't already. and while you are over there--if you think #17 looks pretty awesome--give it a click. i've entered my diy chandelier! just click this link here and scroll down until you see all the projects linked up and click on #17. you all are a gem.


porch date night

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last week, derrick and i enjoyed an impromptu porch date night after work. it was so nice to sit outside and enjoy the last little bit of sunshine in the day. the sun set pretty quickly but listening to music and getting some fresh air was right on time.

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and who doesn't love an excuse to use a pretty tablecloth? i just love this fabric gifted to us by a sweet friend. oh, the christmas tree is still going strong! it seems like we purchased the tree so long ago but it hasn't even been two months. eeesh. seems like christmas was forever ago!

spread the love today, my friends.

photo wall

there is no denying my love for frames. settling on an arrangement of those beloved frames is not something i love. i tend to over-think the set up and make quick decisions on the placement.

let's take a look back at what once was:
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so here we have another photo wall. this time i tried a new location all together. i'm happy with the turnout and there is even room for one more row of pictures but doesn't look like it needs another row. perfection. {for now...!}

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