Archive for August, 2012|Monthly archive page

DIY August: Paper Rose Wreath

In Uncategorized on August 30, 2012 at 12:27 am

So I finally finished my last DIY project for the month of August.  And it’s back to grad school for me. 

That said, I would like to keep this trend going–so I’ll have a once monthly DIY post I’ve decided.

For this paper rose wreath I used a pattern found here.  It was fairly easy (after the sequin mirror disaster) so I was happy.


The Unseen {Featuring The Advice of Others}: Day 67

In Children, Faith, Family, Happiness, Humanity, Kids, life, Love, Mother, Teaching on August 19, 2012 at 1:07 am

{photo compliments of poshbabystore.com}

This beautiful post by Ashley Sullenger at Time Out For Women really struck a chord with me today.

Her post focuses on her recognized purpose in this life, a purpose designed specifically for her alone.  Of course, her journey isn’t one of isolation though, no, she talks about her daughter, Preslee, and the role little Preslee plays in helping her to see that purpose more clearly.

It’s hard, when you’ve experienced a loss, to see other people living on, doing the things you had planned but that your loss interjected, it’s hard to take 50 steps backward, only to know that you’ll have to make your way forward again.

She entitles her post, “The Princess Dress I Never Saw.”  I’m learning, as I grow and develop in my life and my own journey, that there are so many things we imagine happening or plan for–and they just don’t.  It’s like Ashley says,

Not long after my daughter died, I remember expressing to my mom how painful it was to watch everyone else reach different milestones with their children….It felt like salt being rubbed into a big open wound, being forced to watch other people’s children accomplish what I longed to do with my own daughter.

I felt this exact same way in my lifetime.  It’s been really hard to watch my friends move on with their spouses and build and grow their families.  It is like salt to a wound, and it does ache sometimes.

However, someone put it nicely to me the other day,

It is about sowing the seeds of the future and looking forward to the harvest you have planned for.

Sometimes in the midst of everything, it’s hard to remember to rejoice in the reached milestones and the joy of meeting them.

sometimes it’s easier to be mad.

though, it’s always better to be happy

there will always be princess dresses not seen.


But this doesn’t mean we won’t see other things.

a whit who is thankful for good advice.

Better: Day 66

In Uncategorized on August 16, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Today is a better day. It seems I had a heat rash {itchy though}.

I am thankful for writing.  That’s the one thing I always realize when things get stressful, I can always write about them and then those problems are released.  For me, they then belong to the paper, and that always makes me feel so much better.

That said, I’ve been working on a new DIY August posting, stay tuned…


Stress: ?

In Uncategorized on August 16, 2012 at 6:23 am

My legs are covered from top to bottom in an itchy, red rash.  I’ve had this before, stress induced.

My tooth has absessed twice in the last two months (I think we might be headed to #3)

going back to grad school for my last semester seems like the biggest nightmare ever.

i just drove 16 or 17 hours straight in the car (with a dementia ridden grandmother who asked (i counted) 45 times when I go back to school and where she’s going)

my face was clear but now it’s breaking out, again.

tomorrow is the first day of school (for e) and I forgot to go to the grocery store–we have no milk (aside from the fact that we got home from a 17 hour car ride at 9 pm add that into the mix).

my stomach, back, eyes, all,


i just want someone to rub my back and lie next to me. sometimes it’s not alright–for the moment.



Vintage Photos: DIY August

In Anthropologie, Children, Christmas Pictures, DIY, DIY August, Home Decor, Kids, life, Love, Photography on August 11, 2012 at 5:30 am

I  am not a photographer.

Back when I was married I paid this lady $500 to do a full 1 year-old photo shoot of little e. I value photos, and she did a wonderful job, so I have no regrets and I think every penny spent was worth it.  They are beautiful.

But then I got divorced and we resorted to the crappy Picture People alternative–not my favorite but my kid is just so cute and photogenic he even looked good in these. 😉

Though, I did long for those eclectic photos that I had paid so much money for (back when I had money).  So, I needed to figure out an alternative. Lucky for me, my sister had just purchased her boyfriend a 3k Canon.  Gracefully she agreed to let me borrow it (although I had no idea how to use–still don’t–I just pretend like I know what I’m doing).

Now with camera in tow, I needed to figure out a location for my shoot, hm. I knew I wanted it to be indoors…

I thought, I love the window ‘scenes’ and decorations at anthropologie so why not there?

I dressed e in some cute winter gigs and we headed to our local store.

I took lots of photos, with e and ini (my goal was to use these specifically for our 2010 Christmas Cards). A little photoshop and here we go, $500 saved.

Unspoken Friendship: Day 64

In Blogging, Friends, Friendship, God, Thoughts on August 9, 2012 at 11:38 pm

Today I am thinking a lot about friendship.

This morning my friend called me, I think I’ve mentioned her on this blog before, her husband is dying of cancer.

As I got off the phone, my mind thought of this post.  I can remember it as if it was just yesterday, it’s hard to believe it has been over two years now since we met.

It was the third day of school (for little e), I was distant and very careful. I had just been through a terrible divorce, I was coming out the other end, but I was scared. I was different, and I was closed off. I was just finding my way through single mothering, and I was surrounded by beautiful, whole families. Intimidated.  So, I dropped off my e and walked out of the school toward my car (quickly and looking down to avoid conversations), she stopped me, she was just so beautiful, so put together, and I remember thinking she must have the perfect life.  In her bubbly way, that I now know is so her, she told me we were having a play date. We were going to the park, she hadn’t even introduced herself yet. She knew my e though, she said I’ve decided e is such a wonderful boy and he is the perfect friend for my son. I thanked her and said we’d have to get together, just so I could hurry on my way. She didn’t give up though, she found me in the class directory the next week and I got the call. After much hesitation on my part, I agreed to meet her at the park. I wondered why she’d want to be my friend–she was happily married, living in a great house in a great location, established, everything.

When we went to the park, it was there that she told me.  She told me her husband was sick, and with fear in her eyes she said, “It’s bad.” That’s all she had to say, and I knew.

Time passed.

Her predication proved true, our sons have grown to be great friends–the kind of friendship that will last a lifetime. Something else happened too, she became my friend. My first real friend after my divorce.

She’s helped me over these past couple years in ways I can never repay her for.

She’s let me help her and, it has meant the world to me. It has helped to rebuild me.

So when she called me today and told me the “it’s bad” is coming to an even worse spot. and end–for now…

I remembered.

She wondered how life would be OK. How would her son be OK. How would he live without a Dad.

I told her, I am always…

She stopped me, “I know. You don’t even have to say it.” Then I realized this, those are the beautiful friendships, the unspoken ones.

Like a friend has said on her blog,

Losing someone changes everything. But if you have faith, God will create a miracle out of your life that would have otherwise been ordinary.

My friend was never ordinary, ever, so now, in light of this, she’ll be extraordinary.

Perhaps fate brought us together. Perhaps she knew I could be a friend she needed throughout this trial. But I like to think that she has served a much greater purpose in my life than I could ever serve in hers. She means so much to me, thank you for saying hi and letting me be your friend. I’ll always…

dedicated to my special friend whom I love very much. ~ a whit.

Book Folding Wall Art: DIY August

In Blogs, DIY, DIY August, Home Decor on August 7, 2012 at 2:31 am

I found the idea of bookfolding on Pinterest. I had an old Atlas sitting around, so it worked out for a perfect DIY. I opted for a very simple one fold design; however, there are some very extravagant patterns out there. Fab Diaries has the most comprehensive list I’ve found on the web.

Voila…great, free wall art.



Carrying Each Other: On Marriage: Day 63

In life, Love, Men, Women on August 7, 2012 at 2:06 am

I read Ashley Sullenger’s post Five Years today.  It was a great reminder of what marriage and love is truly about. Ashley and her husband lost their little girl a couple years ago to a canal drowning.  Because of this, her words seem so impressionable:

[On out wedding day] “look how innocent we were, we had no idea what was in store for us. I am extremely grateful to have had Patrick by my side.”

It should be a reminder to everyone out there, those married, those looking for love, and those loving their way into new marriages. True love is about being there during all of the tough stuff, reinforcing one another, and pulling each other through.  Someone once told me, sometimes you have to ‘carry’ the other person through hard times in their life–it’s all you 100%–but what is reassuring is they’ll be there to carry you when you need it.

life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.

love a whit. ing addict

I Do Free: DIY August

In Couponing, DIY, Family, Money, Money Management, Mother on August 6, 2012 at 7:02 am

DIY is well on it’s way. Pardon my cynicism.

Anyway, today’s cupcake is dedicated to DIY: HOW I DO FREE.

My friends all make fun of me, laugh really, when I tell them how much I love coupons and how devoted I am to cash register ring-ups totaling less than 50 cents. Some may call me cheap, I say what my Mom’s friend once told her, “why pay for things you don’t have to pay for? That’s just plain stupid.” She’s right.

Over my past year of couponing, I’ve realized a few things:

Krazy Coupon Lady really is the most organized and comprehensive couponing site on the web {and always my go-to}

Always wash your hands AFTER jumping through the dumpsters for coupons–I seem to contract colds when I forget this very important step. Puzzling.

Because I eat mostly organic, I tend to enjoy couponing household goods (versus food).  HOWEVER, you can coupon organic and definitely Whole Foods–I do it all the time.

People will not laugh at you when you coupon, they won’t, they’ll just stare on jealously.  Or give you a mental high five.

I started couponing to save money, in reality though, I coupon now for fun. It’s a game (between me and the retailers of America), and my goal is to always win.

Almost all retail chains (I use this term here to refer to clothing stores) have coupons and a quick google search will show you the money.

Most importantly,

Couponing the right way does not yield a bunch of useless shit you don’t need. The trick is, get what you need (and a few extras of what you need) while it’s on sale, with a coupon, and have enough product to sustain you until it goes on sale again (all items sale cycle by a few months).  No, you don’t have to have thousands of bottles of Pert Plus under your bed, just 3-4 bottles will do because that’s how long it will take to go to rock bottom price again.

So, my DIY Couponing for the week:

I spent  52 cents at Victoria Secret

total: 30$

{tip for this retailer: sign up for their mailers and also make sure to print their online coupons}

Ace Hardware (I like to paint furniture, remember?):

I spent 0.00$

total: 25$

{tip for this retailer: Ace does free paint weeks every couple months–watch their mailer}

Target (school supplies trip):

I spent 32 cents on my first trip and 3$ on my second, for all my son’s school supplies (markers, paints, crayons, glue sticks, Purell-2, erasers, pencils, pens). Oddly, we ran into another mom from our class and she rang up in front of me–I felt bad for her lack of knowledge–everything that she bought could have been free w/ almost no effort.

total: ~25$

{tip: Target is my go-to couponing store because it’s super easy to ‘stack’ coupons here. Just use a target coupon with a manufacturer coupon w/ an item that is on sale or clearance…voila free}

Shutterfly: free address labels till Sunday. {thinking ahead for xmas cards}

Cardstore.com: free greeting cards till tonight. {customize w/ photos too}

Last trick.

get your coupons from old people. honestly, they don’t use them, and old ladies love to help out younger ones. if you’re truly desperate (and unwilling to dumpster dive like me) buy your Sunday paper at dollar store.

There you have it. Couponing DIY whit-style.

Sometimes Adults Play Pretend Too: Day 62

In Humor, life, Love, Travel, Writing on August 6, 2012 at 6:30 am

{image compliments @soho_press}

I’ve visited NYC/Manhattan/Soho a few times now, and I love it.

I don’t live there.

In my mind I live in the garbage dumpster of Manhattan (actually that would probably be better than my current city of dwelling).

In reality–there’s a boatload of people, mostly living in the midwest, that would give their right ball to live in my sunny CA town.

I’ve lived all over now, Idaho/Utah/San Diego and traveled Europe a couple times–everywhere seems better than here.

I don’t know what does it for me, but I feel the culture literally ready to explode when I walk the streets of NY. The Soho girls with their high top sock buns make me jealous.

So I pretend.

I pretend that I live in lower Manhattan, and I’m beginning to pretend that I can create what those Soho girls have. It’s going, eh.

There are some upsides to my pretend game (versus the reality of those who do reside in Manhattan).  I was watching Wanderlust tonight and comically the guy skypes a tour of his NYC home by gently turning the macbook in several directions–kitchen, slight turn, bedroom, slight turn, bathroom, slight turn, me again.

My friend told me the other day, “maybe you can buy a retirement home on the east coast.” Little does he know, I just might. Until then, I’ll keep pretending to hail taxis with a flick of my wrist, have coffee in the poshest of shops followed by a familial stroll through Central Park.

My therapy: lots of Sex And The City re-runs.

signed–a dreamer {who was born in the wrong place}

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