16 Apr

eisleyGuys! Eisley!

Let’s be honest. I heard about this band all throughout high school, and never listened to them. Well, when Sucre came out with their first album, I fell in love with Stacey’s voice (who hasn’t? am I right?), and then I ventured into the land of DuPree family music.

They are all musical, fairy geniuses. Eisely, Sucre, Merriment, Perma, Rising Fawn. They just can’t stop making amazing, beautiful things…

And guess what! I get to see them TONIIIIGHT!

I can’t wait!

And that is all.




15 Apr

wpid-2014-04-15-11.41.42-1.jpg.jpegEver since Corey bought me my juicer, this corner of our kitchen has been filled with beautiful fruit. And that makes me happy.

Do you have a happy place in your home? Tell me about it!



11 Apr

weekendGood morning!! Happy Friday to you and you and you! Last night we got to see Local Natives. And they were great. Duh. So tonight I plan on resting, because we stayed up later than normal. But Saturday and Sunday I am going to work work work on some special projects. Like the one I mentioned at the end of my post about being a dreamer. So I’m turning into a doer! I’ve enlisted the help of my brother-in-law for one of the projects, so that will be fun! On Monday I will give you an update, to keep myself accountable.

Here are some fun links to kick off your weekend!

sleeveface. i didn’t know this was a thing, but I’m glad it is.

on writing memoir: Cheryl Strayed. And if you haven’t read her book, Wild, what have you been doing with your life? The movie is coming out soon!

an art installation.

it’s that time of the year.

the coolest gal. I met Sharon at TXSC last year, and I love reading her blog!

Rachel just has the best style, and I love how she made do with the small space they have.

this is so close to my Sylvia Plath experience.

the smell off Sriracha is a public nuisance!

Elise has a podcast now! This woman cannot be stopped.

She also shared 3 things about small business.

These are brilliant!

this bedroom makeover is magic. the macrame, the himmeli heart, the gold stamped wall. (and her name is Mandi, so yeah, she’s pretty cool)

this weeks posts, in case you missed them: portraits of reconciliationa weekend updateon being a dreamer2014 books (so far)

Do you have plans this weekend? Tell me everything!



10 Apr

Good morning and happy Thursday to you! I thought I would just do a brief update of the books I have read so far this year.2014books


Have you checked out BookDigits yet? If not, you should give it a try. You can now easily import your Goodreads history!

Have you read any good books so far this year? Please share!



9 Apr

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetThere are two kinds of people in the world. Well, there are lots of kinds of people in the world, but they can usually be fit into one of these two broad categories: dreamer and realist.

I am wholeheartedly a dreamer. Down to my core. I believe that anything is possible. That you shouldn’t let your circumstances hold you back. That if you have a passion for something, you should chase that.

I believe that this is the way God made me, but also my parents had a huge role in developing the dreamer in me. They never stepped on my dreams. They always told me I could try anything I want. And when things didn’t pan out as I had hoped, they were always there for me. Not everyone has the support system that I grew up with, so not every dreamer feels as safe to dream as I do.

I married a man that is a straight-up realist. He likes for things to be concrete before he can even think about them actually happening.

Hello conflict.

For a long time it felt like he was squashing my dreams every time I told him one. I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t see my dreams the way I did. When we realized that we were opposites, we discovered that we could actually balance each other.

He grounds me and I help him see the possibilities.

We’ve decided that I would try to become more of a realist, and he would try to become more of a dreamer. Here are three things I have discovered on my quest towards realist-icity:

1. Come to terms with the fact that you (probably) won’t get immediate results. You can’t just expect the universe to hear your dream and deliver it at your doorstep. If you want your dreams to become reality, get a notebook and make a list of everything you need to do. It’s nice and fluffy in your mind, but when you write it down, that’s when the real work begins. Big dreams take hard work. Big dreams take time.

2. To get your dreams from a plan to reality you have to set an end date. As a dreamer sometimes it’s hard to make rigid plans. You can let your mind wander and wander over the possibilities. If you set an end date it becomes a goal. Something you now have to work towards. (see number 1)

3. Don’t get distracted by a new dream. The bigger we dream the more possibilities we can see, and that can distract us from what we are currently working towards. I’m not saying that you should promptly stop dreaming once you are working towards one. But don’t get side-tracked from the planning and doing. Sometimes my mind can get so distracted by the “new dreams” that I forget the things I have been working towards, and it’s an endless cycle of accomplishing nothing. It’s ok for your dreams to change and evolve. But be careful of abandoning what you have been working towards.


And in the interest of transparency here is my current dream: For a long while I have wanted to have hand-lettered art prints in my shop. Yesterday I got tired of it being “just a dream” so I sat down and wrote out a plan. All the things I need to do before it can become a reality. And I set an end date for April 22nd. I have a lot of work to do, but you can be expecting them then!

Happy dreaming!



8 Apr

Good morning! I posted about forgiveness yesterday instead of my usual weekend update. So back to regular programming today!

This past weekend was full of adventure.wpid-2014-04-08-10.08.28-1.jpg.jpegOn Friday night we went to the beeeeaaaach! We have a group of friends that we go to the beach with 2 or 3 times a year. We always go at night to a section of beach that is usually empty. We have a small fire, some s’mores, some good music, and just hang out by the water. We had a bigger group than normal, and even some surprise visitors. The only bad thing about the beach is we always get home at 3 in the morning. And I am too old for 3 in the morning.wpid-2014-04-08-10.20.59-1.jpg.jpegSaturday we had a nice relaxing morning, trying to catch up from the night before. We had some fresh juice and toast for breakfast. That night we headed to the Houston Dynamo soccer game with Corey’s brother and our friend Jake. It was my first time to go to a real soccer game. It was so neat! Soccer has such an interesting culture. There are songs and chants, and when your team scores a goal people throw streamers! I wish we would have scored more than one so I could get a picture. The first time it happened was such a shock! People are into this game. Nearly every person I saw was wearing orange (that’s the color of the Dynamo), and most people had Dynamo gear (shirts, scarves, etc). I really enjoyed it.wpid-2014-04-08-10.20.31-1.jpg.jpegAlong with all our adventure, we watched a couple episodes of House of Cards (we only have 2 more!) and I finished 2 books: Looking for Alaska by John Green (the same author as The Fault in Our Stars) & The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry.

How was your weekend? Did you have any adventures? Or read any good books? Tell me everything!




7 Apr

Good morning! This is a bit heavier of topic than usually posted here. But one that I think we can all learn from.06rwanda_ss-slide-MUCR-jumboI remember learning about the Rwandan Genocide in 4th grade. My little mind couldn’t comprehend the magnitude of what had happened in a country around the world that I had never heard of. I knew that people just like me and my family had been senselessly murdered. Murdered for no reason. Neighbors turned on each other. Families turned on each other. Whole villages were wiped out. 20% of the population. 70% of the Tutsi population. In 100 days.06rwanda_ss-slide-WXFC-jumboI don’t know a lot about this tragedy, but I found this website today about the reconciliation that the Rwandan government has been trying to guide. Basically, the perpetrator can plead guilty and go to the survivors of their crime and ask for forgiveness. If the survivor decides to forgive them, they are pardoned.06rwanda_ss-slide-MDSG-jumboCan you imagine the man who killed your children, who raped and murdered your neighbors, who pillaged your village, who burned down your house coming to your door and asking for forgiveness? Most people’s reactions would be to wish them dead. To hate them for the rest of their lives. To repay the same evil deeds that they took part in.

But the survivors are forgiving the perpetrators.

They are learning to live with them.

They are learning to support one another.

They are becoming neighbors again.

They are taking care of each other like family.

Reconciliation is happening.

“Ever since then, I have started to feel better. I was like a dry stick; now I feel peaceful in my heart, and I share this peace with my neighbors.”

Hate in your heart breeds bitterness. Forgiveness brings peace.

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Acts 3:19

A time of refreshing.

Oh, that we could learn to forgive one another. That we could show each other mercy as our Heavenly Father has shown us.

I dare you to let go of the bitterness in your heart. To forgive the person who has wronged you. To show them the love of our Father. So that we may have a time of refreshing. I promise it will do your heart some good.

I hope you have a wonderful Monday!


(all of the photos in this post are from this article and are not my own) 


4 Apr

weekendIt’s Friday, y’all! This weekend we are planning on going to the beach and going to a Dynamo (soccer) game. Maybe we can fit in some time to finally see Divergent. But most of all I hope to get some good rest. Here are some links to fun things to kick off your weekend:

the dreamiest photos you ever did see

dirk+conan+texas= these are a few of my favorite things

if this doesn’t make you smile…

maybe this will…

a book i’d like to check out.

NPR’s April Fools Joke.

children’s bedrooms across the world

i want to make these cupcakes

i love the onion for pieces like this.

what happens when you clean the Sistine Chapel after a few centuries. That would be so satisfying.

my husband has practiced this every day for a week. And I think he has conquered it. (Don’t tell him I told you)

the book I stayed up too late reading every night this week.

the books I hope to complete this weekend: One, Two, Three


What are your weekend plans? Any good books you’re going to dive into? I hope your weekend is beautiful!




3 Apr

yessuitcaseOver the past several months I have been sharing our love story. It starts here, with the day we met. Then here is the post where we are sort of dating, not dating. And last time, I posted about our long distance relationship. Today, I’m sharing the proposal!

Corey and I started dating sometime in December of 2008. We had known for most of that time that we wanted to spend our lives together. But the logistics are what put a long delay on that. We were both in school full-time and working full-time. We both had low paying jobs. We lived about 300 miles apart. We wanted to get married, but the timing just wasn’t right. So we waited. I would ask him over and over, “When are you going to marry me?” And he would always respond, ” I have to get my ducks in a row first.”

Corey, the responsible one in the relationship, wanted to graduate from college and at least have a teaching job lined up before he would propose. Those stupid ducks were in the way!

Corey spent two Summers in Beaumont taking classes at Lamar University, and living with some friends. I took a couple days off work to come spend some time with him. We were out with some of our friends, and we had some time alone, and I asked him again, “when are you going to marry me?” And he told me, “I will propose sometime before the end of the year.”

That was all I needed to know! It was coming!475208_554546234517_580071734_o

That very next weekend Corey came to visit. The plan was that Saturday morning we were going to go somewhere in downtown Dallas to take some pictures. My mom had a new camera and she wanted to try it out, so we were her lucky models. We spent Friday evening with some friends at In and Out and then went to Half Price Books (that’s what that picture is from. Thanks, Jaime!). We stayed out too late, and I told Corey, “I’m sorry it’s so late. Hopefully mom will decide not to go.” Well, she woke us up and we went. I could tell that Corey was acting a little strange, but I knew it was because he was tired and he doesn’t really like posing for pictures.

beforeWe get to the location, and Corey is super stiff in all the pictures. And I keep telling him, “Relaaaaax! It’s not a big deal!”

We are walking around just looking for neat places, and we turn down this one street, and I see some steps with a hand rail on it. On the rail there is a row of rubber duckies, and at the top there are a bride and groom rubber ducky. I am still 100% clueless at this point (I’m thinking the proposal is going to happen in the Fall, or closer to the end of the year) and I’m like, “How cute! Let’s see what this is about!” And I walk towards it and then turn around and look at Corey, and I realize that this is IT!

theproposalThen I start giggling. He says something sweet about how patient I’ve been and how he finally has his ducks in a row. Then he gets down on one knee and (to be honest I don’t remember what he said because I was giggling too much) asked me to marry him. My response is “giggle giggle giggle” and he puts the ring on my finger and says, “You never answered me!” Then of course I said yes, and we hug and I giggle some more. Here is a diagram to show you how this went:diagramThen my mom (who has been taking pictures of the whole thing) says, “Mandi, look!”

I turn around and see my sister and brother-in-law, and Corey’s parents and brother. They were hiding and taking pictures from their angle! We all went to lunch together and had a wonderful time. familylookma!Then Corey told me, “Tonight we are going to the circus!”

Aaaaahhh! Best day gets better!

It was my first time to go, and we had a BLAST! We had special tickets that allowed us to be part of the show. So for a portion of the show, we sat on the floor with the performers.

Other details:

We chose the date of the wedding that day with our families. June 23rd. I have always thought that sounded like the perfect day. So it became our perfect day.

handsThe ring: My rings were from my Mem-Maw’s marriage to my mom’s dad, who died when my mom was only 8. After my Mem-Maw passed away we were looking through her jewelry, and my mom asked if I would be interested in any of her wedding rings (there were a few to choose from…). I told her I wasn’t sure, but after I left I couldn’t get this one out of my head. So, I told mom this was the one I wanted to use. I had only seen it maybe two times, and I’m sure it hadn’t been cleaned in years, so when he proposed it was like a brand new ring. I love it so much, and it is more me than any other ring I have ever put on. And I know that Mem-Maw would be so proud to know that I’m wearing it.

So, that’s the story of how a man uses 14 little rubber duckies to ask a woman that can’t stop giggling to marry him.

Now we get to the fun stuff. The wedding!

Have a fantastic Thursday!






1 Apr


Good morning! It’s time for another edition of happy places in my home!

I’d like to introduce you to Jeffrey Jamal Crosstimbers.

When we were dating our primary source of communication was the phone (because we dated long distance, read more about that here). After a few months of this, Corey and his family went on vacation. Not just regular vacation. They went on a cruise. 7 days of zero communication. Let’s just say that when Corey got back into his service coverage area, he had a couple of voicemails. Probably 15 or so. I missed him, okay??

Anyways. A couple of weeks later I went to Houston for the first time to visit him and he gave me my souvenir. I was expecting some lame t shirt or something (sorry my expectations were so low…), but I was pleasantly surprised. He gave me this super, sweet giraffe carving from Jamaica, and we promptly named him Jeffrey Jamal Crosstimbers. This was perhaps the moment that confirmed that Corey Holmes was indeed the one for me. Instead of some lame, last minute gift, he got me the coolest giraffe around.

I picked up this print from a vendor at the Renegade Craft Fair in Austin several years ago. I so wish I could remember her name. It’s a great reminder because it sits so close to our tv. “Hey you, read a book instead of watching this pointless television show!”

What places in your home are making you happy?

Have a fantastic Tuesday!




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