Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday Snapshot

I rarely take photos alone, 
and even when I do I rarely post them.

Enjoy the rare treat:
 We hit up the zoo and I'll have more photos of that in a later post, 
but for today I thought I'd share this one. 
I know it's not Wednesday, but I had so many people
ask me where I got my dress so I thought I'd share.

I hadn't even planned on wearing a dress. 
I didn't want to be the over dressed girl at the zoo.
I did however want to be cool instead of sweaty. 
It worked.

I got the dress recently at Target
It is so comfy. 
Unfortunately though I got the belt 6 years ago 
when I was the assistant manager at The Limited. 

Hope everyone has as pretty of a Saturday as we did! 
Don't forget to share your snapshot!
yellow songbird



Friday, April 29, 2011

Pouring out what's "On My Heart" (3)

This week my hear it ALL over the place. 

Storms, letters, love, and clearing something up.

I'll just jump in. 
(Photo by my hubby Brad Collins)
Dear God,
Make it go away forever.
Until then,
"I will praise you in this storm and I will lift my hands
For you are who you are, no matter where I am.
And every tear I've cried, you hold in your hands.
You've never left my side, and though my heart is torn
I will praise you in this storm"

Just an F.Y.I.
Misery doesn't love company in the sense that people imply. 
I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say
"They are only unkind because you're so happy, and they are not. Misery loves company".
You know what misery loves? Itself. Anyone who listens but never speaks. 
Anyone who pretends. Not too happy, not too needy. 

Dear Misery,
"Take what you want. Steal my pride. 
Build me up or cut me down to size. 
Shut me out and I'll just scream.
I'm only one voice in a million, but you 
ain't takin' that from me"
Love, Me
(great song from Morning Glory that resonates strongly with me this week)

I love my friend Tina. Whether I'm happy or sad, right or wrong, she always tells me:
"I miss you, I'm praying for you, I love you."
If you don't have a friend like her....find one.
Life is much easier having a faithful friend to walk with.

"He was pierced for our transgressions. Hung for our sins. 
The punishment that brought us peace was upon him.
By his wounds, by his wounds we are healed"

I so desire to be who God wants me to be. A faithful daughter. 
A loving wife and mother who is seeking wisdom and his plan for my life.
In that search I have started reading my Bible one book at a time.
I've found answers that I was seeking. 
Sometimes I post those out of complete excitement. 
 Last week I posted this verse:

Proverbs 20:1 
"Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler,
whoever is lead astray by them is not wise."

In posting that I wasn't trying to mislead. 
I wasn't trying to preach something to the masses.
I wasn't trying to ruffle up feathers.
I was pointing out that I found an answer to my question. 
Are we or aren't we "drinkers". Socially or otherwise. 
Yes I know it can set a bad example, yes I know it can lead to foolishness. 
Do I have a problem with my consumption? Nope. Never have. 
So after a TON of responses, messages, text, here is what is in my heart about
the subject.

Was Jesus a sinner? No. Did he drink wine? Yes. 
Can I in ANY way compare myself to Christ? NO! 
I am a HUMAN being and ONLY that. 
He was fully God and fully man. Without sin. 
He wasn't ever going to drink too much. 
He wasn't ever going to say the wrong thing or do something foolish. 
He wasn't going to embarrass himself or his friends. 
He wasn't having his drink to escape a harsh reality in his life. 
He is JESUS CHRIST. Free from sin whatsoever. 
The only time in his 33 years that he EVER had an ounce of sin was 
when he was on the cross carrying MINE. 
He IS better than me. He is perfect. I am not. He doesn't struggle with 
temptation the way that I do. He doesn't misrepresent himself accidentally.
I can't walk on water, I can't feed the masses, and I can't even begin to justify doing something 
in my humanity that the Bible says is unwise based on the fact that it says in the Bible
Jesus had wine. 
If we could all be perfect then the risks of drinking...all of the risks wouldn't apply. 
But we are human, and they do!
Here is to letting go of one more selfish desire.

" Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about , seeking whom he may devour." 1 Peter 5:8

My son has been the bright spot on every day of my life for the past 3 and a half years.
Dear little boy of mine,
You are amazing. 
You are so precious. 
So serious.
So caring and tender hearted.
You have SO much to say. 
You're learning to pray and that is 
the single most precious thing I
You love your Bible and ask us
to read it to you constantly.
You are just three.
I will pray for you every single day 
of my life that these 
foundations will stay with you forever,
Even as I type you are
playing with my belt like it is a snake
and remembering our day at the Zoo
Maybe you should be in bed, but
quieting you sweet voice for me will
never be easy.
I wish I could bottle your wonder and imagination. 
I love you so much my heart aches.
That will never change. 

Told you I was all over the place. 
Where is your heart this week? 


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tutorial Thursday - pjs from pjs

There is a reason I don't sell everything I make. 
Quite simply it is because there are things that others make MUCH better than me. 
You might even be one of those someone's. 
We could all try the same project and get all different results. 
That being said.. I've made some super cute sweat pants before.
Like these:
So naturally when I realized that all of little sister's PJs 
were hot winter jams I decided to make her some for summer.
I got the brilliant idea to use some old jersey sweats
That I don't wear anymore. 

And so begins Tutorial Thursday...
pjs from pjs:

Here is what you'll need:

-old adult or bigger kid pants
(or adult t-shirt. will explain)
-matching thread
-fabric for embellishing bottom
(i used felt)
-sewing machine
-elastic band.
-spare pair of fitting pj pants to measure by.

Begin by laying out one leg of the pants on a flat surface
lay the existing pants out flat on the fold like this:

Cut out around the pants. I lined up the bottoms of both pair of pants to eliminate some cutting. 
Remember to give yourself seam room. I didn't leave enough at the top to really please my eye, so leave more than I did:
Repeat this step with the other pant leg. 
Then you are left with two identical pieces.
lay them on top of one another right sides facing in.
Pin and stitch the curves. 
guess what else I did wrong? 
I stitched the WRONG curves. 
When using a material like jersey it is easy to stretch it out a bit. 
That left me with 4 curves. My bad. Even if you do the same mistake though it will all work out.
Don't panic. keep sewing. 
Stitch the TOP.

Once you reorient the project you will see pants!
All that happened was that I made the legs the waist and the waist the legs. lol.
Luckily I allowed enough extra that the pants still cover her rump, but are now full length pants instead of cute summer capris. 
Next I added embellishments to the bottom to make them look more "finished" and girly.
I laid them back out wide again but with the right sides facing out.
Then across the bottom of one leg I added a 2 strips of felt.
I had cut them both straight across the top and wavy on the bottom. 
Stitch the bottom one on first and the top over it. 
 Once you are done flip the pants back inside out and reorient them into pants again. 
Pin and stitch the crotch. Again with a zig zag stitch and then another straight over top, or a triple stitch. I find zig zag is easier with jersey.

Flip down the waist and pin for the waistband. 
See those two pins facing the wrong way? 
They remind me NOT to sew there so I can get my elastic in.
Once it is time for elastic I just measured around E's little tummy..ha. little tumy.
and cut accordingly.
I always run elastic through with a hard plastic straw and a straight pin like this:
and once both sides are through I pin them together for a minute to be sure all of my insides are straight and not twisted.
Then I pull out some excess and stitch them together with a triple stitch. 

Finish stitching the open part of the waist and turn inside out. 

They are cute and they will work, but I need some practice. 
If you try them LET ME SEE THEM! 
If you want to try making them from a t-shirt just follow the same instructions. Place the pants on the fold of the t-shirt under the sleeve and then repeat on the other side of the shirt.
I love to know when something I've posted has been of use!



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Willing to SHINE! + WIW

So this is my sweet friend Ashely:


And she LOVES to SHINE!

I'll let her tell you how this all started on her blog here

Each week Ashley issues to us a "Shine Challenge".
All requiring the reader to step just slightly outside of their comfort zone 
and getting to know, helping, caring for others. 

Last week during Earth week our challenge was to give back to 
this most beautiful creation we live on. 

I found out at the beginning of the week that Lowes was offering to 
give away 1 MILLION trees. 
I was ALL over that! FREE TREES y'all! 

Here we are doing our Shine Challenge
A bit late, but we were waiting for a good day. 
A with his tree!

Sweet thing trying to figure out what it is..

The beginning of life... tree life anyway.

Daddy got the soil ready and fertilized.

The trees even came with instructions.

A put his in!

And then watched it grow for a bit! So sweet!

And then it was little  miss's turn...

new life and new life?
 It was so fun to see the kids get so excited to "grow" something. 
After about a year those will join our yard and something else will grow in their pots. 
Who knows... maybe even more free trees from Lowes. 

 The Shine Project also has adorable necklaces and t shirts to get the word out and remind you to SHINE!

Now for my terrible WIW...
It seems like EVERY Wednesday I dress terribly, but here are my favorite parts...
My Evelyn's Closet Rosette Necklace   
that I paired with matching bud earrings.

and my fav. sandals again, though the more 
I wear them the more I need special camera settings
so you can't see what bad shape they are in...
Jeans from American Eagle in 2006... yes 5 year old jeans! 

Keyhole sandals from

Be willing to shine and love our earth every day! 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Evelyn's Closet Items

Evelyn's Closet 

Can be found on this blog! 

  All you need to do to find it is click the Evelyn's Closet tab at just under the blog title! 

Another option is to click on this link "Evelyn's Closet" and it will take you to the specific site for my items. It is still under construction, but gives a good idea of prices, and also explains who I am and how I got started!

Thank YOU so much for stopping by. 

Please feel free to email me with any questions@

and PLEASE check us out on May 7th at Kitt's Market at Kitt's Cafe


Gour-Make It Monday - From the reserve

Today wasn't a Gourmet kind of day.
It was a "I'm going to clean the house"
kind of a day.
A "I've not even considered thawing meat or whipping
up some yummy batter for something" kind of a day.
It is BEAUTIFUL outside, so 
thanks to my screened in porch
my kids are playing with the 
french doors open 
While I clean clean clean. 

What I want to tell you about to day is my reserve. 
It's like a personal family grocery store. A.k.a. a stockpile. 
 With the growing popularity of the new Extreme Couponing show 
that I have not had a chance to see, I've seen a ton 
of posting about it. 
As I understand it some people are addicted to 
couponing. Let me assure you... I'm not. 
I do love to follow the freebie and deal finders on 
FB and Twitter: 
To name a few. 

In reality though I don't think spending full time 
job hours hunting, clipping, and list making 
is a very efficient use of my time 
since my job is to be a mommy first. 

For me, starting the reserve was easy (due to some unique circumstances), but for others
I know it isn't. Trying to stock pile while already on a tight
budget can be difficult. 
I really recommend Grocery University to 
help with tips on how to start one when 
you don't have a good amount of cash
to start out with. 
I must add however, that recently some major grocery
stores have changed their policies on coupons, so know your 
store and their policies

So back to my house. 
It is so small and our storage is limited so finding a place 
to put my goods was the first challenge. 

Brad went to Lowes and bought 2 long boards about 12 inches deep or more
and hung them for me in my laundry room. 
I began shopping for bargains. I got so lucky to find that 
green beans, corn, and peas were all on sale one weekend for
10 for a dollar. So bam.. there they are.
Also Cake mixes go on that same sale often so I got those too.

Most importantly for me though is to stock up on meat when it is on sale and freeze it. 
Also my baking supplies such as sugar, flower, etc. 

I don't have a deep freeze

This is 6 months of meat. Each kind is divided. Wrapped in freezer paper, and dated.
I have 1lb a week of chicken, ground beef, and pot roast. 
I also buy the freezer pizzas when they are REALLY on sale. 
I freeze my flour because I don't want it to take bugs, and I freeze bread too. 
For days like today.
The most important thing is to USE your stockpile. 
Sale groceries aren't any good to you if they go bad.

Today I wanted to clean so...
I had previously baked some mini banana nut muffins and froze them.
Thaw those:
And then for lunch we dipped into our reserve of Pizza:

I usually try to keep it where I need to buy some sort of groceries about every 2 weeks, 
but milk and produce are a once a week affair. 

Here is a list of all that I buy on sales and store and how many I'll buy at a time:

Canned goods (only the ones our family likes) and I'll by 10 of each. ONLY on sale!
noodles (macaroni, spaghetti, etc.) and I'll buy 10 of those too. Then I could really have 6 months bought in one trip. 
Spaghetti sauce (I never buy more than 2 at a time because of the dates)
Deodorant - one or two when on sale and no more until the last one is going to run out. 
Toilet paper. I pretty much get some anytime the sale is less than 50% of the normal price. 
Paper towels are the same.
Peanut butter I'll buy about 4 of when on sale. 
Cake mixes. I'll buy 10 for $1 but not all the time. only when getting low on them. I bake A LOT!
Flour Sugar Syrup 

I'm just a beginner at this stuff. I have friends that would blow your mind with how prepared they are. 

Now once the pile is about 6 months full I only use the sales to replace what I've used. So I end up only needing one or two of some items on any given trip. Thus saving myself a ton o cash at the store. 

So while it wasn't Gour-Made... It was yummy and free-ish! 

Happy Monday! 


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunny Sunday In The South - Evenings Are For Lovers

My sweet sweet Hubby decided to take me on a date tonight. 
We went to dinner in downtown Knoxville at 
The Tomato Head
I had pineapple and bacon. 
And then we went for a walk down by the Tennessee Theater
by the giant man rowing. 
We've always wanted to do a photo scavenger hunt
I think tonight we inspired ourselves to make it happen. 

We ended up at the awesome movie theater to watch 
African Cats. 
It was FABULOUS!!!

I think we might have forgotten how much we love dating. 
I did have a photo of hubby with giant man, but he didn't like
the way it turned out. Silly man. 

I hope everyone had a blessed Resurrection Sunday! 
We went to church with family and did a little egg hunting
and the kids took LONG naps. 

So thankful for Grace available to me through Jesus! 


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Gour-Make It Monday (Saturday) Iced Bunny Cookies and a little Saturday Snapshot

Iced Sugar Cookies are a tradition in our house.
We make them for nearly every holiday.
I can remember my mother making several bowls for EACH child
of colored icing.
Giving us a stack of blank cookies and
handfulls of sprinkles and letting us
decorate "OUR OWN" cookies.

Here they are as stitched bunnies:

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsps. baking POWDER
2 3/4 cups flour
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add baking powder and flour mixture one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. The dough will be very stiff. It may be necessary to blend the last flour by hand.

Divide dough into two balls. On a floured surface, roll each ball into a circle approximately 12" in diameter. Dough should be 1/8 inch thick. Dip cookie cutters in flour before each use. place cookies on Ungreased cookie sheet. Bake on top rack of oven set on 400 degrees for 6-7 minutes.

Here is my version in photos:
First I mixed my ingredients for the dough and separated it into two equal size balls.
Then I prepared my rolling area:

Time to roll it out:
Then I use the cookie cutter and place them on a pan. They don't have to be too far apart as they bake up and not out.

and bake:

Then you make your icing.
I think I'll keep that part a secret for now, but any icing will do.
Ice and enjoy.

And now for a little Saturday Snapshot with Yellow Songbird

Evie Claire and Brad's Grandmother celebrating her 88th birthday with a little cookout!
My Hubby at the grill:
Evie and her Papa playing in the yard:
88 years and she is relaxing and enjoying the day!
and my sweet girl enjoying the sunshine!
As you can see I'm not very good with just ONE snapshot.

yellow songbird

Happy Saturday