Diamond Craze

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Yes, I know, it’s been a long time right? But today I finally got some inspiration about one of the things I have been totally obsessed with this spring/summer… DIAMONDS (specifically diamond art)! This craze all started with Jessie’s birthday preparation. As I was searching for a theme for her party, I discovered a diamond themed party here, (at one of my favorite blogs). While searching the internet I realized just how many fun diamond/geometric art, DIY’s, and party themes there are out there, (like this, this, and this). And I guess that’s where my love for diamonds blossomed. I’ve been itching to have another diamond themed party, maybe to celebrate the end of school. For now I’ll just share with you guys some diamond art that I am crazy about and one or two pics of how Jessie’s birthday turned out.

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pPhoto Credit: one, two

Jason’s Porch

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As I’ve been absent from the blog for a while, let me share with you some stories from my first month of summertime in Pittsburgh.

Last time you saw me, I was high up in the Arizona mountains, enjoying breathtaking landscapes and equally spectacular company. I so cherish that get-away, treasuring the rest and comfort I experienced during it.

Early the next week I traveled back. As we soared over Pittsburgh’s deep green hills and towering trees, the one thought that crossed my mind was, “I’m home.” And what a glorious thought that is! Ending my first year of school, I am finally coming out of that crazy transition that college throws your way.

My first day back was spent with good friends; a coffee date for brunch, errands around campus in the afternoon, and dinner on Jason’s porch. To all of our appreciation, Jason prepared a delicious dinner for the group composed of a brie cheese spread, arugula salad, and sour-dough, turkey sandwiches. While we ate, the sun set directly in front of the little home we sat at. Surrounded by such amazing friends, those moments of golden rays were my favourite of the day.

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We sat there on his little porch for a long time talking and munching on the prepared Hors d’oeuvres, when Chalisse, Lydia and I decided to head out on a late-night-walk. Call the boys lazy… or scared, but either way they decided to hold down the fort while we explored. You see, I have a favourite lookout spot in the large park behind campus, but walking there in the dark was a first. We set out enthusiastically but by the time we had crossed campus, courage began to falter. It was one dark pathway in particular, in combination with traipsing through knee-length, aboding grasses that sent us running back. We must’ve looked absolutely hilarious as we bounded back to the street, trying to get out of the grasses that clung viciously to our legs.

This is definitely a day that I will not forget.

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Flagstaff, Arizona

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Traveling this weekend with three of the loveliest ladies, has been such a treat. About a month ago, I was invited to join them for a sewing workshop located in the beautiful mountains of Arizona. School is now out for the summer, and what better way to spend my first week of freedom than among such wise and endearing friends.

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Aunt Lori works for Baby Lock machine company as an educator. She travels to various locations around the United States hosting workshops to inspire and teach the use of Baby Lock sewing machines. I’ve so enjoyed getting to watch her interact with the students and thrive in this area that she so enjoys. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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We ate at a delicious Italian restaurant after our first session of workshopping. My favourite was the pizza with chilli-sautéed brussels sprouts, Italian sausage, and honey (pictured below)!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Sunday Frittata

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Since our church service ends around 9:45 each Sunday morning the family is regularly placed in a dilemma about what we should eat. Should we go home? Should we try and find an open restaurant? It’s always a battle to decide where we are going to eat. Well, finally we’ve put an end to the back-and-forth and decided from now on we’ll go home to make a late breakfast. I can’t believe that the plan has actually worked so far! Both Sunday’s since we started, I’ve made a Breakfast Frittata. I had heard the name tossed around but I never really knew what the dish was (or looked like) before I started watching Master Chef! After seeing all the delicious frittata’s being made on the show I decided I’d try my hand at making this delectable breakfast food. The  recipe basically consists of Sauteing your vegetables (spinach, onions, ham, bacon, potatoes, etc.), adding your egg mixture, cooking it on the stove for a while, then putting it in the oven for about 15 minutes. It’s super easy, and quite delicious if I do say so myself! I’ll definitely be keeping you guys updated on my other breakfast experiments each week! Any good breakfast recipes?
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Monster Movie Marathon

Rachel,

I’m dedicating this post to you because you inspired me to make this movie marathon weekend. I still remember coming home from a tiring day of school to the most adorable card with a sombrero and a sparkly piñata saying “Mexican Themed Weekend!”. Last week, while I was missing you, I was inspired to host a Monster’s Inc. Marathon for Maddie and Megan with “monster pretzels” and “monster tea”. To be honest, I was pretty proud of myself for pulling it off just like I imagined! Friday, when we got home from school, Mom and Dad had already left for their Valentines stay at the Astor hotel. So I whipped up the giant soft pretzels while we watched ‘The Road to Eldorado’ in the kitchen. While the pretzel dough was rising we ate a quick dinner of ramen and fried rice. After the whirlwind of baking the pretzels we carried our warm crispy pretzels and giant Arizona tea upstairs to watch ‘Emperor’s New Groove’ and ‘Monster’s University’.

To be honest, I have just watched too many serious romance and action films lately, so it was really refreshing to see some light-hearted Disney movies! I know you have been having a difficult week, but I would encourage you to take a break, and just like you suggested to me – give yourself the chance to relax. I would totally recommend one of the following movies: ‘Frozen’ (adorable like ‘Tangled’), ‘Emperor’s New Groove’ (the oldy), or ‘Monster’s University’ (if you want to laugh).

Our Monster Movie Marathon was not complete without you – we all miss you so much!
Thanks for teaching me how to be a better older sister!
xoxo, Jessie

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Called Me Higher

Lately I have wrestled with a perception of how ambition and motivation play a role in my life. It may be the fact that New Year’s goals are still resonating in my mind, or it could stem from my life here at CMU among passionate, high-achieving students. Whatever it may be, this song by “All Sons and Daughters” is such a clear representation of  how I feel. It is both unsettling and humbling to assess the ways that I have fallen short in this area. How many times have I “settled” for completion instead of striving for excellence? Too many to count.

All of this reminds me of swim team in Kansas City. I remember Grant urging us to shoot for our “best” effort in everything that we put our hands to (whether that be surging through water, academic learning, etc.).  I truly hope this song encourages you, also, to strive for *excellence in the pursuits that are present in your own lives.