Wednesday, December 29, 2010

When Life Gives You Plants, Make A Terrarium.

I'm slightly obsessed with terrariums, which probably stems from my horticultural tendencies. I just think they are so neat!  A couple weeks ago I was having some fun Google imaging terrariums and came across some pretty awesome ones. Here are some I loved...

You can reuse old light bulbs!
A modern look.
I'm making this next Christmas for sure!
Fun for a fiesta.
This is a great jar!

These next pictures I found are from a couple of weddings. I absolutely LOVE how they incorporated terrariums into it all, and the jars they use are fabulous! 

This is my kind of style!
Loving all the different containers (and moss).
I decided I needed to make one! Christmas was just around the corner so I decided to make a few and give them as gifts.  I suggest if you make one yourself, to do so outside or somewhere you have plenty of space and can allow for a little bit of a mess. It was extremely cold and rainy outside the week of Christmas, so I covered my bathroom floor with newspaper and made do with the space I had. 

The Making of My Succulent Terrariums

I choose 3 different glass containers (bought at Wal Mart).  For succulents you will need open containers that will provide good aeration. 
You'll need pebbles, succulent soil (both bought at Home Depot) and activated charcoal (carbon) found at pet stores in the aquarium section.
My little succulents from Home Depot (and my mom's garden).
To get started, put a small layer of pebbles at the bottom of your container, this helps with drainage.
Add another small layer of activated charcoal. This will also help with drainage and to keep the terrarium fresh.
Add a top layer of your succulent soil.
After the soil layer is in place and you have planned the arrangement of your plants you can use a plastic spoon to dig a small hole. Next, remove your succulent from its growing container and loosen up the root ball a tad. Once removed, you can now plant your succulent where you want it in the terrarium. When your plantings are finished you can add a finishing touch of bark, rocks, miniature figures, etc. I choose to add moss and some of the extra pebbles I had.
 Here are my three finished products!

When the terrariums were complete, I used a spray bottle and just slightly moistened the plants and the very top of the soil.

This was tons of fun, and I would highly recommend making one of your own. They are great to have around and can add a lot to a table, desk, shelf, counter etc. I hope to acquire some apothecary jars in the near future and maybe make some terrariums with ferns, moss and coleus plants. The types of jars I like tend to be pretty pricey, so I'm just going to have to keep my eyes peeled.

I may sound a little nerdy for saying this, but I don't care. 
Plants rock!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Expecting the Unexpected

My first week at home has been quite a week. Let me start off by saying, it has not been going the way I was expecting it to, of which I am extremely thankful. It is very clear that God is working in my life right now. Challenging me, growing me and providing for me in unbelievable ways!

When reflecting on the past week, this is what I've come to find.....
  • I Got a 3.02 GPA this past quarter. Closest I have ever come to a 3.0 was a 2.9 (what a let down) a couple years ago. So it looks like having no social life and not cleaning during finals week paid off :)
  • My senior project group got an A on the first half of our project.
  • A professor who (for unknown reasons) has had issues with me since my first quarter at Cal Poly and has given me a C- EVERY quarter for no reason, gave me a B-. Maybe it was the meeting with the dean of the college that helped? God only knows I guess :)
  • I didn't get sick once this past fall quarter, that never happens.
  • I have been given the opportunity to work (pretty much full time) in both my sister's and her husbands financial advising office's while I'm home for break. I haven't worked since the beginning of September, my wedding floral design job won't pick up until wedding season starts in spring. I came home this past week with $0 to my name and now this job has been handed to me on a sliver platter.
  • I can now buy my family Christmas gifts! (thanks to the above)
  • I just got a second job up in SLO working at our on campus floral shop and will be working with my horticulture friends!
  • I had a little discipleship time via Skype with a wonderful woman.
  • I have a new found respect for people in business who work in offices. It's not easy!
  • My "phone phobia" is being challenged every day with all the phone calls I take and am asked to make in the office. It's been rough, but I'm learning.
  • I have learned that I really am more of a scientific, hands on kind of girl. I'm good with scientific names, being outside, working in labs, writing lab reports, and knowing how plants function. This whole financial planning, business stuff is like a foreign language to me. Taking a horticulturist and throwing her into a business world makes for a great show, I'm just saying.  
  • I have learned that I am more of a dependent person rather than an independent person.  And that is not necessarily a bad thing.
  • Lastly, I've learned to expect the unexpected. It makes life exciting!

And to think with all I have experienced, I haven't even been out of school a week yet.  As the first week of break comes to a close, I am excited to see what God has in store for me in the weeks ahead! As for the weekend, I am off to get in some much needed snuggle time with my baby niece. And I must say, I'm pretty excited for the upcoming week, things are going to be getting pretty crafty around here. So stay tuned!

Hope you're enjoying your wintery week!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Chaotic State of Mind

The last two weeks of school were filled with, what seemed like endless projects, presentations, papers, and exams. Honestly, I didn't have time to do anything; eat, shower, I barely had time to breath. Ok, I ate and I showered and obviously was breathing, but for some reason the end of this quarter felt like it was the end of the world.  

I decided to try something different this quarter...NO cleaning during finals. Typically I find every excuse to clean when finals week arrives, but this time around I was determined to change my ways. Academically, I was doing well and there was no reason why I shouldn't finish strong.  Let me tell you it was NOT easy for me. All I could think about when I was studying was the crap that was piling up in my room. The chaos of my life was displayed for all to see. Just by looking into my bedroom you can tell what state of mind I am in. Here is a glimpse of what my life looked like....

My room is tiny and I couldn't actually get a picture of the whole thing, so these photos hardly do it justice. It was out of control! For someone who is slightly OCD (ok fine a little more than slightly) it was complete and utter torture to not do anything about my room disappearing under piles of who knows what. 

 I attacked my room with full force only seconds after submitting my final research paper online and it was oh so gratifying.  

It was a glorious night, it has never felt so good to clean anything. And just like that, my state of mind had changed. I went to bed a happy camper. Not happy that finals were done, but happy that my little life was clean and in order. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Momma!

Yesterday we got to celebrate the birthday of a wonderful woman...
my mom.
Amazing doesn't even begin to describe her.
She is everything a mother should be and more.
One of her biggest attributes is her servants heart. Always looking for ways to serve her family and others, never thinking twice about it.
She loves her Savior, husband and children unconditionally.

I ended fall quarter on Thursday night, and decided to come home Friday afternoon and surprise mom.
I drove a couple hours and made it in time to wait outside of the school where she works.
I stood out by her car and waited her to come out.
I loved seeing the smile on her face when she saw me standing there, priceless.

We got to celebrate last night with an amazing dinner hosted by my sister and her husband in their home.

The menu was fit for a queen...

Heart of palm salad with basil, tomatoes, blue cheese and a Dijon vinaigrette dressing
Baked potatoes with ALL the fixins
Glazed brussel sprouts with caramelized Parmesan cheese
Cheddar and Parmesan cheese rolls
 Filet Mignon grilled to perfection
topped off with some fine wine.
And for dessert, Reese's homemade Tiramisu!

It was the perfect way to celebrate such a fabulous mom!

Dad doing his thing.

Reese's Tiramisu.

Maggie Mae.
Abbey even enjoyed the evening.
Assuming the position.
Happy Birthday Momma!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Andrew Belle - The Ladder

Finals week has arrived here at Cal Poly. You know what that means....time to find everything to do besides studying. Just kidding mom and dad :) 

Anyway, I love music. When school becomes busy, typically my headphones don't leave my ears. Music helps my stress level and the stimulation helps to keep my mind focused.

I came across a new artist this week that you may already know, but he is new to me. His name is Andrew Belle and his music is perfect for studying! This song came on my roommates iTunes while we where mid conversation in her room and I immediately fell in love. So enjoy!

Friday, December 3, 2010


It was a rough week to say the least.

A little fact about me, I am emotional. You know when I am happy, sad, angry, hurt, frustrated, excited. I can laugh and I can cry, my emotions are easily expressed (just ask my family). I now consider this a blessing though, a blessing that I can feel. I'm not saying I enjoy heartache or anger, I don't. But God made woman specifically to be emotional beings. Our emotions are a reflection of just how mighty our God is. We were made in His image, and God definitely feels things. He has felt it all, more than I will ever feel. My emotions are a gift and are what make me unique as a woman of God.

I experienced something this week that I never have before. 
And it scared me.

My heart was aching, but I felt nothing. I was numb. For the first time, I wanted nothing to do with anything. Things that normally make me happy I had no desire to participate in. I didn't want to do any dishes, or any cleaning for that matter.  I did all my school work, but there was no heart behind it. I wanted to cry so badly, but couldn't. I had no motivation to do anything. I'm not even sure how I got anything done at all. I wasn't me.

I did manage to get a run in yesterday evening and it was beautiful, no amount of apathy could make me deny that. I have run this particular route lots of times, but for some reason this time it felt like the first. I noticed so many new things throughout the neighborhoods and I was enjoying what I saw. The colors of fall were everywhere, and its vibrancy was breath taking. God knows exactly what I need in every situation. He spoke to me gently and suddenly, I was feeling again.  Quite ironically, as my ipod was on shuffle, "Goodbye Apathy" by OneRepublic came on, I couldn't help but laugh out loud and wear a smile all the way home.

 It wasn't until after bible study last night that I began to process this past week and finally begin to feel like me again. Fellowship always does wonders for my heart.

I went to bed joyful last night, thanking God for blessing me with the ability to feel. Something I hope to never take for granted.

Today, I was Rachel again. I scrubbed the kitchen, put up some Christmas decorations,enjoyed being around people, had a great time meeting up with a wonderful woman I get to disciple, and even cried a little. All I have to say is...

Sunday, November 28, 2010


In this season of thanksgiving I have been trying to think of all the things I have to be thankful for, and I must say there are far too many to count. God provides for me every single day, from when I take my first breath in the morning to when I close my eyes at night and every single thing in between. With every breath I take I should be thanking the Lord, because his provisions are unending. I do find it a little sad that we take only one day a year to be thankful.  Don't get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving, it really is a special time and the food is fabulous. But shouldn't thanksgiving be more than just one day out of the year? Shouldn't we be living our lives in thanksgiving every day? Easier said than done, I know. I will be the first to admit I am guilty of not being thankful enough because I get caught up in my own life on my own time. I suffer from an extreme case of selfishness.  But thankfully, over the past couple of years God has really been challenging me in this area.

So, in honor of Thanksgiving here are some things my Savior has given me to be thankful for.

1. Number on my list...That He saved me and has given me new life, in Him I am a new creation.

2. My wonderful family that loves me despite my short comings. A patient father, a giving mother, 2 very encouraging sister's, a younger brother who has a big heart (even if he doesn't like to show it) and my dog who is STILL with us after 14 (almost 15) years. 

3. Functioning feet. They may not be the most stable, but I am able to run!

4.My friends who are so different from each other and yet so compatible with me. Friends who I love, adore, and can't get enough of.

5. Financial provisions. Always at the times when I need it the most.  It always blows my mind when I have an unexpected and important expense and money just shows up at my door step.

6. My job. Even if I am not working at the moment because it isn't quite wedding season, I have the greatest job. God provided when I needed it the most even though I was the least qualified.. I'm so blessed that I get to be surrounded by gorgeous flowers and help make someones wedding beautiful. I love getting to see the brides face when she see's her flowers it's very special.

7. Polly my car. She is a trooper!. My grandmother, one of the most generous people I know, gave my parents her old car for me to use when she got a new one. 125,00 miles and still going strong!

8. College. I may not like Cal Poly and school may not be my "thing", but the life lessons I have learned these past 5 years I will take away with me and use years from now. I will say, I will probably be more thankful once I graduate though :)

9. My mistakes. Most of which have ended in a broken heart, but thankfully I can look back on them now and see that with out them I would not have learned to fully rely on God.

10. My bible study. The best part of my week.

11. Being an aunt. I am so in love with my baby niece, she is such a gift from God who has blessed not only her parents, but me as well.

"Give thanks to the Lord our God and King, His love endures forever."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Things I'm Digging

This past week has been full of it all! Big decisions, babies, family, friends, tons of school, roommates, Harry Potter, more school, long nights, early mornings, lots of car time, oh, and way more school...

Here are some things I dug this week:

1) I got to spend a couple extra days in So Cal snuggling this little one...

2) I got to visit with my best friend Jodi.

3) My cousin Lauren drove up from San Diego to meet Adelyn and we had a wonderful time catching up on life.

4) I baked my first homemade pie, pumpkin with graham cracker crust!

5) I enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner with my roommates on Wednesday night. Complete with a turkey and all the fixings! 

And what is dinner at the Shire without dancing?...
And some of Bercha's Bruschetta!

6)Had my last working Disease and Pest Management Lab on Thursday. I will miss it though, I mean who doesn't want to wear outfits like this?!
Me and my group for the quarter.

7) Had a great bible study Tuesday night on being content. It was a biggie!

8) Had a wonderful Friday coffee date with the beautiful woman I get to disciple.

9) Got to go on a beautiful run with my roommate Caitlin.

10) My roommates hosted a Harry Potter Party at our house complete with goodies and treats to eat from the movie, costumes, and the H.P. soundtrack in the background. The night culminated with going to see the movie, and it was good! May not be the best movie for little children though. None the less, I loved it!
Compliments of Steph
Dobby is by far my favorite.
Enjoying the company :)
So excited!

11) Last, but certainly NOT least. God has really been answering my prayers by showing me and giving me confidence in decisions I have to make. I am about 99% sure where I will be applying to Intern with Crusade next year and I couldn't be more excited. Can't wait to see what God has in store!

Hope you dig your Monday!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


This past week I was (and still am) extremely inspired by my sister's. If you know me, then you know how much I adore my wonderful parents and younger brother and look up to my older sisters. Well, in the span of three days my sister's both did some amazing things. To start with, on Sunday, November 7, my oldest sister Reese ran the New York Marathon!

Reese with 1 mile to go!

She did awesome too, this woman is a maniac! With horrible asthma, cold  weather, a time change and 26 miles against her, she dominated! I couldn't be more proud of her. We spent that entire morning tracking her, her husband was running all over the course to see her and give us updates at every checkpoint. There was so much excitement in the air! I was training for a Marathon in high school, but had to back out due to an injury, I was bummed.  But, after watching my sister complete this marathon it reignited my desire!

Then, Tuesday provided to be an exciting day as well, I became an Aunt!!!!  My sister Beth had a rough pregnancy. She has had HG (Hyperemesis gravidarum) and I have to admit, it was very hard to watch my sister have to go through that. She was sick her ENTIRE pregnancy and was on Zofran, an anti nausea medicine for chemo patients. Even with the medicine she was just plain sick. I spent the first 9 weeks of her pregnancy pretty much living with her and her husband and taking care of her while she was on bed rest and unable to do anything. We have all been counting down the days to when the little one would arrive.  So after a very long and painful 9 months and 39 long hours of labor Adelyn Grace Brady was welcomed into the world with open arms.

7 lbs. 4 oz. and absolutely perfect!

First time holding my niece! 

I can't even begin to tell you how amazing God is. I look at Adelyn and think to myself how on earth do you do this God?  How did this intricate, little being start from nothing bigger than a sesame seed? She has been handmade, knit together, and wonderfully made by our creator. That just blows my mind! I could go on and on about all the little things I have seen and learned about pregnancy and post pregnancy and how crazy it all is, but we would most likely be here for a long time. I can tell you that whenever I have this beautiful baby in my arms, I can't help but ask myself how people can witness the miracle of life and not believe that there is a God who created it? Only God knows why I guess.  

I can't get enough of her, I am in love.
I think it is safe to say that my sister's are amazing and that I have a lot to live up to! I love how different both of them are from each other and I love to think I have a little bit of both of them in me.  I have and always will look up to them, love and adore them.

 After watching each of them this past week it really got me thinking of things I would love to be apart of and do during my time here on earth.  Now that college is coming to a close (FINALLY) I have a real life to start living and I am so excited for what the Lord has in store. A while ago I came up with a "Life To Do List" of all the things that I would love to be able to do, some of which I actually have been able to! Here are just some of the things I have in mind (in no particular order).

"Life to Do List"

Marry a wonderful, Godly man
Get over my fear of heights
Get over my fear of flying
Have my own garden (complete with a water feature)
Go to New York City
Run a Marathon on the East and West Coast
See a show on Broadway
Travel through Italy
Graduate college (SO CLOSE!!)
Swim in the Jordan
Walk where Jesus walked
Intern for a year for Campus Crusade for Christ (NEXT YEAR!)
Be a mom
Be a (good) mom
Climb Mt. Whitney
Hike half dome
Speak another language fluently
Experience an East Coast Autumn
Play piano again
Have a white Christmas
Experience another culture
Be a good Auntie
Learn to love more and forgive easier

What inspires you and what are you inspired to do?