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...