Sunday, December 19, 2010

An Unexpected Party

A friend from church and I made plans to go and see Shannon and have a tea party. Now that my sister doesn't live down the hall, almost every visit turns into a tea party. Well, we certainly had a fun one:
Oh, why is there an IV bag hanger, you say? Why is Shannon wearing a hospital bracelet, you say? Why does Shannon not have a baby bump, you say? Wait are you in a hospital, you say?

YES! I say! The location of the tea party had to be changed because this little one made an unexpected appearance:
But seeing as he is the most adorable little thing on this earth, we had to forgive him. Plus it was just fun to pack up china and tea bags and use a hospital tray to have a tea party. And if he hadn't made his appearance, I wouldn't have been able to do this:

And there certainly wouldn't have been any of this yet:

Yes, it was an unexpected party, but a fun one! And there were no dragons or dwarves involved in this Unexpected Party. :D

*A very happy aunt* Tiffany

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Dream Bookshop

*The link is fixed now. Thanks for letting me know!*

I've always wanted to open a bookshop. I knew that I wanted it to have an Alice in Wonderland theme. But I thought it was far in the future.

Then as we decided to move to New Zealand and I realized I needed to cut down on my library (which has grown to almost 500) and I found out that Etsy allowed vintage books to be sold, I realized I could have my dream.

True it's not a brick and mortar store (which I would still love to have one day), but I think it's the next best thing.

I would love to have you stop by and visit: Adventures in Bookland

See you there!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Another Movie Review

Over at Take Two, I reviewed the newly released in the USA Voyage of the Dawn Treader.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Home Again, Home Again Jiggety Jig

New Zealand was amazing! After being home about a week and a half, I think I've been able to process and articulate what was so wonderful about it.

The People:
The people in New Zealand were so kind and friendly, and not just the ones at the church (who were absolutely lovely!). Everywhere you went there was a distinct lack of "I must push past you because I need to be somewhere" that you see in the US. Their mindset, what I saw of it, was very laid back and others focused. It was so heartwarming to be able to smile at people and not have them look at you like you were crazy. Also, I don't think I went into any shops or things like that where I felt that I was a nuisance, which was also very lovely.

The Place:
Well, I don't think words could ever really describe the beauty of New Zealand. I'll just show some more pictures instead.

The Food:
The food is actually quite close to England with a few additions. I grew up in England and really like the English food. And the additions the Kiwis add are scrumptious! If you are ever in New Zealand near Auckland, there is an amazing Fish and Chips shop in Ponsonby. It has a sign out front that advertises the best fish and chips in Auckland.....and they are RIGHT! Another, or couple of, benefits food wise to me is that all the chickens (and hence eggs) are free range and not fed hormones or anitbiotics. The same goes for their beef. They have lovely exotic vegetables (we had Kumara with dinner one night) that I can't wait to try! Also, I would love to be able to set up some gardens when we move: vegetable, herb, and flower.

I know I'm going to love living in New Zealand. Christchurch, where we'll be living, has many suburbs that are a short walking or bus distance to the city center. My ideal environment! The amazing people, truly awesome scenery, and wonderful atmosphere is truly a draw to move and stay!

Now, if only I can figure out how to move a certain part of Florida where my sister, brother-in-law, and soon niece or nephew lives to Christchurch, everything would be perfect! Seriously, I KNOW I will love living there when we move, but as I visit my church family and my sister and her family I can't imagine living halfway around the world from them.

But God is good. He gives a peace that passes understanding!



Friday, November 5, 2010

Lovely...Lovely, Lovely

Even though it was forcasted to rain, we made a trek to the Christchurch Botanical Gardens. Here's the results:

I think this is the rose from Beauty and the Beast.

This was not in the Botanical garden, but the dry riverbed from the family camp we went to last weekend.

If you're interested there are some more here .

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Heaven on Earth

...Otherwise known as New Zealand.

After 18 hours in three planes and completely skipping Wednesday, I landed in Christchurch, NZ...our new home in about 3 months. We're here for a visit and to sort out some things and I've already taken a load of pictures:

Here are a few:
A picturesque spot across from Christchurch. We were on top of a hill looking on Christchurch on one side and here on the other.

I love taking pictures in planes because you see from above the shadows of the clouds.

This was sunrise over the Pacific ocean.

And here's a link to the others.
Be assured (or scared), more are on the way.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Moving is a Process

Yes, it's true. Moving is a process. Right now I am trying to process down some of my things. :)

One of the hardest things to go through has been my books so far, but honestly I do have to many to move halfway across the world.

So I've set up an ebay account to sell some of my more vintage items. I just listed a Children's Classic Robinson Crusoe with illustrations by N. C. Wyeth here .

Stay tuned for more books and some vintage glasses and an 1840s baby's gown and other various and sundries.

I'll try to keep my posting updated with more moving info. I'm excited to get all of this organized and started! :)


Monday, October 11, 2010

Pillowcase Dress

A couple of weeks ago, I found this fabric stashed in my---stash. So I decided to use it to make a pillowcase dress for a little girl I babysit. After some cutting sewing and bias-tape-using.....
this is the result:

Then I was able to take it the other day while babysitting and we had a fun photoshoot. At the house, she wore a long sleeved onesie underneath to show winter wear. After a few minutes of that, it got hot, so...

We went to the park to swing. Although the basketball game was much more interesting than smiling at the camera.

Then came the dog wandering by who was more fascinating than all my attempts to get her attention.
Once the game was over and the dog had left, she finally recognized all my lip-smacking, tongue-clicking and face-making.

Then we started having a good time! :)

This was a fun project and so cute on such a cute little girl!

Friday, October 8, 2010

A New Movie Review

I just posted a review of the movie "Like Dandelion Dust" on Take Two. Here's the link.


Monday, October 4, 2010

A Treat!

My mom and I went to a new Smoothie cafe down the street. It was delicious! So, well, smooth and creamy. Mmmmm. The only downside was the price. Worth it, definitely, but not as often as I'd like.

So this morning, I decided to try to make my own. Armed with three strawberries, an orange, and a handful of blueberries, I plopped them in our blender and in a few minutes has this yummy looking treat:
Then I thought for a minute and decided to add something. I came up with this delicious breakfast this morning!

I was about half done when I noticed that the pulp was separating from the juice, so I strained the rest of it and had the best fruit juice. I drank it so fast there was nothing left to take a picture of. ;D

Now, I had a wonderful, delicious, healthy breakfast, discovered how to make great juice, and I even kept the pulp to add into some muffins or something later on!


Friday, September 17, 2010

Cookbook Surprise

If you saw my last post, you might be wondering why I was looking at a recipe book from Christchurch, New Zealand. If you are, or aren't, I'll tell you why.

In exactly 4-ish months, our family will be moving to Christchurch, New Zealand. Dad has been called to a church there. While it will be hard to leave daughters, sisters, grandbaby, and neice/nephew, we are so excited at this new adventure God is giving us!

Please pray for us as we sort through our belongings, have numerous yard sales, apply for visas, and pack as the list of "To-Do"s seems to be getting longer rather than shorter!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wise Advice

Recipe for Preserving Children
  • Take one large grass field
  • Half a dozen children
  • 2 or 3 small dogs
  • a pinch of brook & some pebbles

Mix the children and dogs well together. Put them in the field, stirring constantly. Sprinkle field with flowers. Spread over all the deep blue sky and bake in hot sunshine. When well browned, remove to the bath tub.

~Taken from the Reformed Church of

Christchurch, New Zealand Cookbook

Friday, August 27, 2010

New "Take Two" post

This one really isn't a specific movie review, more of a general reminder of what to look for in movies. You can find it here.


Sunday, August 8, 2010


I was just featured in my first Etsy treasury! The theme is Fall and there are some splendid reminders that cool weather IS coming. Follow this link to see them. A warning: don't scroll down to the end, there is an immodest picture.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Just Opened-Again!

As you might have noticed in my side bar, I have recently reopened my Focus This and my Simply Scrumptious Scarves Etsy shops.

You might find things such as:


Come by and take a peek!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

In Memorium

Today is the One month anniversary of loosing Tiggles. I have tons of pictures that I took of her so I thought I'd put some of them together with the captions I thought of as I was taking them.

"Why did you put me in here again?"

"You woke me up to SEW!"

My Two Girls

"Mom, there's a big black thing pointing at me!"

"Is it safe?"

"Ooooh! My favorite shoulder!"

"Ooooh, there's something over there! I can smell it!"

"MOM! There's the big black thing again!"

"I can't smile at the big black thing. I'm too shy."

"Really, Mom, all I want to do is curl up and got to sleep."

"I'm not sure about this, Mom. I mean it's big and black."

This one is just too sweet not to put up.
She was SO cute!

Friday, July 23, 2010

God's Blessings

What exactly do you say after you've disappeared off the planet for three months? Simple. God is GOOD!

In the ast three months I have been able to:
~Go to New York City
~Meet wonderful new friends
~Get better aquainted with old friends
~Witness the marriage of a best friend
~See Wicked on Broadway with front and (almost) center seats
~Experience my first dance tech week
~Experience my first dance recital
~See my parents off to New Zealand for three weeks
~Go to Indiana for a month for the Masterworks Festival
~Say "Goodbye" to my beloved Tiggles
~Be blessed in being part of such an amazing cast of The Miracle Worker
~Be blessed by that wonderful cast
~Be a part of the truly awesome things God did at Masterworks

Right after school let out, I flew to NYC to be a part of a friend's wedding. What a beautiful picture of God's covenant with us that was. The Lord was so glorified that day and I know all the days since in that new family created for Him.

While in NYC, a new good friend won tickets to see Wicked on Broadway. She was so kind to let me tag along with her. What an experience! We could literally have reached out and touched the conductor's head! (Not that I think he would have appreciated it much. :-) Every sequin was sparkling for us to see. Every curl was visible. Every facial expression was right there for us to see!

The week I came back was the week of my first ever dance tech week. The dance class I was in was involved in two of the three performances. So I attended a couple of dress/tech rehearsals. Then came my first ever dance recital. It was SO much fun! I think I've found a new interest (because, you know, the four or five.....or six I already had weren't enough. ;-)

Then came my fourth year at Masterworks. Every year I come back and say, "That was the best year, ever!" And it is always true! God brought together such an amazing cast from so many different places. He used us all in our own unique ways to create and amazing production of The Miracle Worker. He blessed us with a packed house all four performances......even the afternoon ones! If you've ever been involved with a production that has afternoon performances you know what a blessing that is.

Sadly, two weeks in, (on my birthday) I found out that Tiggles was very sick. My wonderful sister, Shannon, and her husband were hedgehog sitting for me. I was so glad they were there and willing to cuddle and be sweet to her. Two days later I was told that my baby had passed away. Again, God used that amazing cast to be there when my sister couldn't be and my parents were in New Zealand and only able to communicate through e-mail.

God did so many amazing things that month. He continued and continues to bless me.

"Blessed be God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which hath blessed us, with all spiritual blessing in heavenly things in Christ."
~Ephesians 1:3~

Sunday, May 2, 2010

At Last!

One of the things that is required (quite rightfully) of the teachers at the school where I teach is that we create lesson plans each week. Now, I would always make mine up, put it in the binder where I keep all of mine, put it on a music stand that doubles as my podium, and then struggle each day to make my way around the second music stand I have instead of a podium, almost knock it over and catch it just as I glanced at the lesson plan I was looking for. A lot work for something I look at multiple times a day.

So I thought, "I'm spending all this time creating lesson plans and I go through this twisted dance just to use them." I use an index card system to keep track of what needs to be done each day. Then, six weeks before the end of school mind you, I came up with the idea of putting my lesson plans on index cards.

It works brilliantly! Each day is on one card and I file them with all the other things I have to do during the day. My second music stand has a one area that is cleared. I had a binder clip that I stuck on the edge and slip the lesson plan for the day in there. Now it's right in front of me all day. And I love it.

Now if only I had thought of this at the beginning of the year.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Something to Think About

I would like to introduce you to My Adventures in Shadowland. I love the book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and I also love C.S. Lewis' description of our world as just a Shadowland of what we are looking forward to in Christ. When I decided to create a blog for my personal Bible Studies, I wanted to combine both into a title for it.

So it has begun!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

After almost a year....

....I have written a new movie review here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hobbit Feet

18 days ago our landlords gave us 30 days to get out of our house. The Lord has been so good and allowed us to find a house to buy (which we were not expecting) within a week and a half. (I'm going to be totally redocorating my room, so I'll be posting plenty of pictures of the house later.) So we've been busily packing and going through stuff. I found something today that amused me greatly.......Hobbit Feet!

Shannon and I hosted a get-together/party when the last Lord of the Rings movie came out. Shann and I and some good friends decided to dress up. Because I was the shortest of the group, I was going as a hobbit. I had gotten the rest of my costume together, but couldn't figure out what to do for my feet. Then Shannon saw a pair of sandals at a garage sale that just had a mesh over the top. I bought them and we glued hair on them and voila, perfect hobbit feet!


Friday, February 12, 2010

Interesting Choice

My dad has been out of town this week (but coming home tonight! Yay!) leaving Mom and I alone. Between busily packing and school, Mom and I have done some fun things this week. For instance, Monday night we put on our pajamas, made breakfast for dinner and watched 24-great fun! We've been random and quirky, but I think the most quirky thing I've done this week is my dinner for tonight. Mom made a pasta and shrimp meal for herself. I don't care for pasta, but I do like shrimp so I decided to have shrimp cocktail. But I didn't just want red cocktail, I really wanted a white sauce as well. So I just mixed some sour cream, lemon juice, sea salt, and garlic powder together. I poured both into a stem glass (much to my mom's confusion) and placed the shrimp around the edge. For crunch I put some chips around the bottom. To add some nutritional value, I'm drinking a fruit smoothie. :D

Bon apetit!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How To Make A Knight

Supplies: 1 pillow case
1/2 yard of sequin fabric

Note: Measurements are for a small "knight". Make sure to measure your "knight" to get a proper fit.


1. Iron pillowcase
2. Fold in half lengthwise and mark center with pin.3. Open back up and measure down 2 inches on center. (2 in. makes the neck come all the way up. For more room, measure 4 in.)
4. Stop and take a break to look for the pins that grew legs and walked away. Finally give up and get your mother's old pincushion.

5. Once you've marked 2in down, measure 5 1/2 in. on both sides of center pin. This gives you an opening of 11 in. Adjust according to your knight's head. You now have the markings for the opening of the neck.

6. Cut out neck area.

7. Measure down 6 in. on each side.

8. Carefully slice the edge off, just enough to create an opening. Repeat on other side.

9. Invite your favorite hedgehog to join you...even if she is really grumpy.....

.......really, really grumpy

At this point try your armour on your knight. If everything works, continue.

10. Cut out two 13X20 rectangles from the sequined fabric

11. Sew sleeves into tubes.

12. Pin sleeves in armholes and sew.

13. Have knight try on his armour and hem sleeves to appropriate length.

Now let us make a hood.

14. Cut a 9X12 rectangle out of a paper bag and round 2 of the short edges.

15. Place on fabric and cut out 2.

16. Sew 2 halves together

17. Hem neck edge of hood 1/2 in.

18. Take time to de-sequin iron.

19. Put more sequins on when you iron the outside edge of the hood under 1in. Sew.

20. Iron neck edge of body over 1/2 in. and sew.

21. Re-de-sequin iron.

22. Pin hood to the back edge of the armour (you get to decide which is the back edge) right sides together. Sew.