Friday, October 29, 2010

Deck the Yard with...bounds of Hallow

Just a breezy day, driving back home from the inlaws' cabin...I spotted this:

Oh yes, that's a house with its ENTIRE lawn flaunted with Halloween decor. I'm guessing they probably rocked $1000 or more on these animated, lit, and blown up figures. It made my evening. In fact, I couldn't resist pulling a U-ey and taking a few more shots.

This is my efforts of trying to get as close as possible while stile trying to be inconspicuous with my phone sticking up in the air out the car window.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dilemma: choosing your bridesmaid dresses

Nope, this isn't becoming a bridal blog (at least as far as I can see). But, I do have soo many talented, creative friends -- and my bestest friend happens to be in the industry. So, when she posts something sweet, cool or relevant I tend to enjoy reposting her (and others') material.

A reader asked Kirby for some advice when it comes to picking bridesmaid dresses, whether to stay with a single dress option, give her girls color options, or provide style options. Me -- I chose to pick a single color/dress but with multiple style options for my six bridesmaids to choose from.

My lovely ladies here~

And although I loved loved loved my bm dresses (search Cotton Cady) from JCrew, there are soo many more fun alternatives you could do if this isn't your cup of tea. For some more great ideas visit
Kirby Margaret @ Colors of Honey.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Read This: Fab Freebie: IKEA, IKEA, IKEA!

Gosh, you may have already gathered that I'm in love with Young House Love (YHL for future reference) and their amazingly cute blog life. Their post today has me yipping with excitement though! I can't stop smiling.

Some days I wonder how super it'd be to stop working so that I can do so many of the things I long to do. But practicality always steps in, I need the money. I need to pay my bills, la-ti-da.

Our wonderful furniture friend -- IKEA started up this amazing thing called "The Life Improvement Project." Purpose something like...simply to improve the world of others. Wonderful, right? Well, IKEA contacted YHL to do a little give-away...a $350 gift card to IKEA, and a little promo on their new program.

Sherry and John write it well, so I'll just share their explanation: "'...The Life Improvement Project' where {IKEA will} award one philanthropic individual $100,000 to take a one year sabbatical to help others (start a non-profit, volunteer for a year, etc). Plus they’re hosting free seminars in their stores about improving your life through your living space."

So spread a little blog love, go visit Sherry and John at YHL for the possibility to win at IKEA, or write up the ways you long to help others over at The Life Improvement Project.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

For Drier for Poorer: Wedding Highlight Video

So opened my reader this morning to discover my MOH beat me to the punch at posting my wedding highlight video on her blog, Colors of Honey, so I figure I better get on the ball also. :)

Out of all the things I paid for on my special day, hiring a videographer was by far one of the best investments I made. They were with Dustin and I ALL day, and captured every single moment. Thank you Capture Studios for all your hard work and fun!

Readers, enjoy!

Dustin + Sheena // For Drier For Poorer from capture studios on Vimeo.

To spot some photos of us getting ready, visit my girl's blog at Colors of Honey. Our amazing photographer was Chloe of Chloe Photography!

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Living Water: Blog Action Day

Water. The single most important thing we consume. What would we do, where would we be without it? Dying of dehydration, that’s where, sadly.

This year’s Blog Action Day is all about water.

I’d like to talk about living water. Yes, there are worries about the actual water we drink on a daily basis, but I believe the real concern is peoples’ lack of living water. Living water is that provided by Jesus Christ. His promise to bring life and life abundantly to those who believe and follow Him.

Jesus, the Source of Living Water:

John 7:37: “On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as[c] the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.”

John 4:7-14: “When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give me a drink?’

The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.’

‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?’

Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’"


To read about my post on 2007's Blog Action Day - read about my love of trees.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Read This: Foundations of an uncluttered life...

It's hard to keep things clean and organized when the seasons change. Especially when you're uber busy (aren't we all, right?). As you clean the closet this fall to make way for winter sweaters, warm pajamas, etc. remember some tips from Unclutterer.
This post begins with a quote by William Morris, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
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Monday, October 11, 2010



This weekend was SUPER beautiful in the Twin Cities, sunny and 80 degrees. Yeah, I know. Pretty much unheard of for October around this area. Hope everyone enjoyed the outdoors a bit!

Although a lot of it was raking up leaves, and preparing the outdoors for winter, it was still very nice to be outside. Happy Monday!

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Happy Friday!

"Wine is constant proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

-Benjamin Franklin

Enjoy a glass and relax.

Happy Friday!

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Let's just call this fall week...another Amalgamate post

Smother in the beauty of fall.

Some lovely photos outside at the U of M I took a couple years ago, and were from my previous blog, It's Miller Time.

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Fall trail blazing

My dear friend Shelly and I went on a walk through some nature trails behind the Tamarack Nature Center this past weekend. And, we took our four-legged friends with us. I grabbed the in laws' dog, the furry brown and white, Cavachon. My friend's dog is half long-haired chihuahua/half chinese crestid.

It was super beautiful out, prime time in the cities I think. We walked for about an hour and a half (tiring out the dogs) and didn't re-walk a single trail. AND, these trails are less than a mile from where I live and I didn't even know they existed!

There was a point in the trail where it turned into a board walk which led out to a dock on a lake/pond also. Missed that photo op, but I definitely plan to return soon and show Dustin.

Enjoy more of fall's beauty. It's only around a little bit longer!


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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Amalgamate: Into

Amalgamate - to me, merging two blogs into one. Another post at 3pm from my previous blog.

Hesitant (yet willing),
Wary, concerned,
Fearful, brokenhearted,
Bewildered, unknowing,
And unchanged,
Merciful participation,
Humble adoration,
Provision, security,
Visioning, the deep,
Fulfilling, meeting,

"All that you touch 
You Change
All that you Change
Changes you.
The only lasting truth
Is Change."

~Octavia Butler

“It isn’t enough to talk about peace; one must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it; one must work at it.”  

~Eleanor Roosevelt

“It would be na├»ve to think that peace and justice can be achieved easily. No set of rules or study of history will automatically resolve the problems… However, with faith and perseverance,…complex problems in the past have been resolved in our search for justice and peace.”  

~Jimmy Carter

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Amalgamate: Photos on the 'Go Twins!' Star Tribune Album

In 2008 I posted some photos of the year's Milwaukee trip for the Twins vs. Brewers games on the Star Tribune's 'Go Twins!' album. 

Although this is another amalgamate, tonight is the Twins' first post-season game. Whew hoo!

Enjoy, and Go Twins Go!

My friend Dan=Twins Fan

Friends at Miller Brewery

Ron Gardenhire is a sexy beast

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Amalgamate: Dream BIG

A post from 12-06-07 on It's Miller Time.

I want to live 'where soul meets body.'
I want to be where grace thrives.
I want to do justice with compassion,
mending brokenness, seeing dreams become alive.

I want to bring peace to the lowly.
I want to provide smiles for their dismay.
I want to uplift well being, encouraging right living.
I want to acknowledge inherent dignity,
embracing difference, creating way.

I want to fix inequality.
I want to change the world.
I want to dream big, breathe trying.
Uniting, glorifying, reconciling.

I want to love the other.
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
~Philippians 2:1-4

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Welcome Fall

I absorb all that this season has to offer. Too bad it always feels like one of the shortest seasons. Here's a bit of my Halloween/Autumn fall home happenings sprung into action!

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Amalgamate: Beauty for Ashes

A post of mine from my previous blog, It's Miller Time. Beauty in the eyes of the Holy.

"Last night was a much needed thing...I'd love to share some of it with you. A friend and her mother organized a day for all of the women close to them to come together to proclaim August 7 as a 'Day of Beauty.'

Below is a passage of Scripture that was read that sort of encompasses a large part of our night. We took this passage and tried to personalize it. It was a night of redemption, beauty and celebration.

Isaiah 61-62: "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has appointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to announce that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord's favor has come, and with it, the day of God's anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, praise instead of despair. For the Lord has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory.
"They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities long ago destroyed. They will revive them, though they have been empty for many generations. Foreigners will be your servants. They will feed your flocks and plow your fields and tend your vineyards. You will be called priests of the Lord, minsters of our God. You will be fed with the treasures of the nations and will boast in their riches. Instead of shame and dishonor, you will inherit a double portion of prosperity and everlasting joy.
"For I, the Lord, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants will be known and honored among the nations. Everyone will realize that they are a people the Lord has blessed.
"I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels. The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, filled with young plants springing up everywhere.
"Because I love Zion, because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch.

"The nations will see your righteousness. Kings will be blinded by your glory. And the Lord will give you a new name. The Lord will hold you in his hands for all to see--a splendid crown in the hands of God. Never again will you be called the Godforsaken City or the Desolate Land. Your new name will be the City of God's Delight and the Bride of God, for the Lord delights in you and will claim you as his own. Your children will care for you with joy, O Jerusalem, just as a young man cares for his bride. Then God will rejoice over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride.

"O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray to the Lord day and night for the fulfillment of his promises. Take no rest, all you who pray. Give the Lord no rest until he makes Jerusalem the object of praise throughout the earth. The Lord has sworn to Jerusalem by his own strength: 'I will never again hand you over to your enemies. Never again will foreign warriors come and take away your grain and wine. You raised it, and you will keep it, praising the Lord. Within the courtyards of the Temple, you yourselves will drink the wine that you have pressed.'

"Go out! Prepare the highway for my people to return! Smooth out the road; pull out the boulders; raise a flag for all the nations to see. The Lord has sent this message to every land: 'Tell the people of Israel, Look, your Savior is coming. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.' They will be called the Holy People and the People Redeemed by the Lord. And Jerusalem will be known as the Desirable Place and the City No Longer Forsaken."

Jude 1: 24-25: [24] To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy -- [25] to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen."

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Amalgamate: Emperor of the empty self, Peer Gynt

One of the things I used to really enjoy was writing reviews of musicals, plays or movies. Here's one I did in 2008 that I posted of Peer Gynt at the Guthrie Theater in Mpls.

Robert Bly’s Peer Gynt provides mystical bliss and pulls off noteworthy humor. Friday night’s opening performance was one of the best for Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theatre

Bly’s adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s 1867 Peer Gynt shows how a troubled man’s misfortunes and behavior unravel hardship in life, love and relationships. A mother’s boy, turn liar, turn drunkard, develops a nasty reputation in his hometown. 

“What I need is a big cleaver so I can cut their guts out!” murmured Actor Mark Rylance, the amazingly talented, yet distressed, Norwegian Peer Gynt. After being humiliated and drunk with wine, Peer extricates himself from civilization as he knows it, and decides to try a new way of life among the unpopular trolls…unsuccessfully.

After escaping from engagement, a child and an indefinite troll life, Peer tries to mold his being around the unattainable troll king’s motto, "Out there, where the sun shines so much, people say: 'Be true to yourself, increase and grow.' Down here in the dark, where everything's rough, we say, 'Just be yourself, you're good enough.'"

Giving a realistic account for the number of professional changes often found in modern life, Peer tries himself at sea, convinces a religious group of ladies he’s a prophet, becomes a European capitalist and ultimately ends up fulfilling his professional dream of being emperor…alas, of an insane asylum in Cairo. 

With countless scene changes, foreshadows and flashbacks, Bly’s rhyming rendition reflecting Ibsen’s original Peer Gynt left some themes feeling incomplete. The lively opening surprise party for Peer amid an already bustling audience didn’t seem to receive the attention it probably deserved. Not only did it take minutes for them to quiet the audience, but after realizing that this wasn’t entirely important to the show itself it was rather disruptive. 

Even with the sometimes non-comprehendible, otherworldly events and scenes, Rylance’s self-awareness over his powerful ability to engage and captivate the audience was remarkable. It’s not very often an actor can stop an orchestra’s music mid-script through humor and wit without worry of losing the audience. 

Unfortunately man years too late, Peer seemed to be reconciled to his faithful empire, Solveit, played by Miriam Silverman, just before accepting punishment for his sins. 

With energy that blew through the roof and a special closing appearance from the playwright himself, Peer Gynt receives my highest recommendation for play of the season and vote for best leading actor.

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Read This: "8 Bad Habits that Crush Your Creativity and Stifle Your Success"

Having creativity problems? Feel unmotivated? Read this and you won't today.

Dean Rieck on "8 Bad Habits that Crush Your Creativity And Stifle Your Success"

"...research shows that once you get beyond an I.Q. of about 120, which is just a little above average, intelligence and creativity are not at all related."

Read More.

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

North Shore Camping Extravaganza-aaa

Last weekend D and I went to Duluth to do a little camping with a couple married friends of ours. (It's taken me a while to get the photos uploaded due to an incredibly busy school week. Done with that - whew.)

Twas an adventure. I’ve never camped in Duluth before, and both of us couples haven't camped with our spouses before (well at least not as married folks).

We aimed to go to Split Rock to camp and if they were full then we would go to Goosberry Falls, and if they were booked we would just head to our friends’ parents’ house or cabin – which is in a pretty woodsy area of Duluth (so maybe it’d feel like true camping anyways). Well, we got up to Split Rock …and luckily they had three campsites left. We picked the most secluded one and by the time we started hauling our stuff up to the campsite the other two had been taken as well. Whew.

We hiked around a bit, gathered wood and then huddled by the fire both nights as the temperatures drooped down to nearly freezing.

Saturday we went up to Beaver Bay where we hiked around and jumped the river rock-to-rock. It was quite a feat and I must say I pushed my confidence quite a bit. Probably the bravest I've had to be in a while.

We huddled around the fire again that night, but instead of bearing the winterish weather, we ended up going to our friends' parents' cabin where there was heat, fearing we might have froze to death in the night otherwise (temps got down to 25ish or so - ick).

Anywho - Duluth, for those who haven't been there, is such a beautiful place to be in the fall. Sooo colorful. Here are some pics from our mini-vacay:

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Friday, October 1, 2010

Amalgamate: The work of his hands

A post from three years ago, seems to be very true today as well.

"This past weekend was beautiful. Actually, this season seems to always be beautiful. But where I was this past weekend was specifically so.

Despite the occassional rain on Sunday in Long Prairie, Lake Beauty's colorful fall leaves overwhelmed and surpassed any I'd seen so far this year.

We took a hike on Sunday through a mostly wooded area only to find ourselves eventually completely surrounded by colorful fall leaves! Everywhere. Above, below, ahead.

As if things couldn't be proved more beautiful, Shelly Pagitt, an amazing woman (and wife of my pastor) led us to participate in the tree pose, a yoga posture, in a circular fashion among these towering trees. The stillness of our breath, the balancing of our limbs, and our ever-praising hands and spirits lifted above ourselves to acknowledge our God's work in all creation."

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October 15 - Take Action on Water recently announced the 2010 change topic for Blog Action Day: Water.

"Blog Action Day is an annual event that unites the world's bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion around an important issue that impacts us all."

Take part in the action.

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