Friday, July 29, 2011

Meet Alexandria (Part 2)

This summer, we live on a lake. My husband is savoring every moment being out on his boat, fishing for hours. We don't have very many opportunities to spend time together alone while we are here, so being on the lake creates a perfect window. It also becomes a family event. We couldn't help but bring our pride-and-joy, Kona. She brings the entertainment for the night.
She is frustrating and wonderful all packed up in one bundle. We love her through her consistant chewing on our limbs.

We reached our spot and then, we fished. 

I do enjoy fishing. A lot. As long as I catch something. Last night was rough. I caught more of this

 than this

yep. I caught this one. I am the master fisherman.

and my attention span becomes less, and less.

Kona loves going fishing. She stares in to the water and waits for a fish rise out of the water on our line. She gets so excited as a fish lowers into the boat. She jumps, paws at it, and hops like a bunny.
I wish I was excited about anything as much as she is about these fish.

Then little miss ADHD gets bored and moves on to the next exciting thing.

Watching her chase her tail never gets old. Round and round she goes. Funny girl.

I enjoy the moment, the adrenaline rush, the excitement of getting a fish on your line. Even more than that- I love sharing something that is so special to my husband. 
I am so blessed to have this little family. You would think these two have always been the perfect duo.

My attention drew thin as I had only caught three fish. Thankfully, there was other entertainment. I have never seen a water plane take off. Pretty neat. We don't have a lot of these on the Minneapolis lakes.

Sun started to fall behind the horizon, and we headed back in. We ended our night with a quick game of fetch.

sit. stay..... no stay..... fetch!

She is still getting over this unknown fear of directly jumping in the water. She goes for the shorter dock. Step 1, Step 2, splash!

She has become great at this game. She aims to please, which makes life a little easier as pet owner.

She grabs the stick and swims on in. She learned how to swim a couple weeks ago- properly. Before was cute- paws up to her face, splashing and she slowly worked her way around the water. As she approaches the shore we applaud her with praise as if she has accomplished an amazing feat. Pride beams from us as we pat our 5 month old puppy on her head. It's amazing how these little furballs can have such a tight grip on our hearts.

Mosquitos are thick. The sun is going down. We feel full as we head back to the camper. A beautiful, peaceful night in a favored location.

And a Minnesota summer night captures my heart again.


Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Banana Nut Muffins...

You know those recipes you love so much that your mom used to make when you were little? The ones you ask your moms for so you can start making them just the way they did? Well, tonight... that's what I did with these banana nut muffins. Except one thing is off... it's not my mom, it's Sara's mom. :) I love having two moms. 

Tonight, I called up my Rochester Mom (Sara's ACTUAL mom) and asked her for her recipe for her amazingly delicious healthy muffins! As they are baking in the oven, I thought I'd blog about them :)

Now, I'm not sure if this is a secret family recipe that can't leave the Whelan household except for special loved ones (that'd be me) so, I'll share a little. Lets just say, whole wheat flour, honey instead of sugar and a whole lot of smashed up bananas and walnuts!

Can you believe this turns into a muffin?

 mix the dry together. Mix the wet together. 

 Put'er in the oven and wait...

Wait until you can smell the banana melting with the walnuts that make this amazing aroma of home-cooked goodness... Rochester Mom home-cooked that is!
Then, when you open up the oven, hopefully you have this awaiting you...

Thank you Rochester Mama bear! 
I love you!
I love your healthy-ness that my family lacks! 
My heart and body are forever grateful. 


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My amazing crazy life!

 I had quit my job at the salon I was at a month before school was scheduled to start and was absolutely going nuts with nothing to do and money running low. I would sleep in, not do a whole lot, take a nap, grab a coffee, watch some tv, maybe go hang with friends then go to bed and do the same thing over the next day. Unemployment is not a pretty color on me. I eat like crap, become super lazy, I wouldn't go as far as depressed but, I wasn't myself. I had visited Florida for a few days and came back wanting to move there. I was completely set on going. I knew God had something huge coming my way and I thought moving to Florida and starting a women's ministry at a church was it... little did i know!

July 12th I started school at Aveda Institute Minneapolis in the cosmetology program. I have been thinking about going since i graduated high school in 2006 and have worked in a salon since i was in 10th grade. I freaking LOVE school, which is weird hearing me say! I'm STOKED for all the opportunities that have already happened and the ones that are arising! 

Last weekend, I was 1 of 4 people picked out of my class of 30 to try out for a model call (something I would normally NEVER do). Thought it'd be fun to try with my new friends at school.  Well, they ended up picking me to be in their couture fashion show and had my hair cut and colored by 2 stylists Lisa Vann and William Edge (I believe their haircuts and colors run around $800). Lisa Vann owns two salons in Seattle, WA and is always teaching classes about new and upcoming looks and doing hair for fashion shows and runways (what I want to do after school) and William Edge owns a salon in Texas and is absolutely PHENOMENAL!

I had my first haircut ALREADY... on an actual human being and not Ronnie my manikin and ROCKED it! I finished my haircut before everyone else in my class and my educators did not have to fix a thing on my cut and told me I did an absolute fabulous job! I'm going into my 3rd week and learning my 3rd haircut and understanding everything (which, again... is weird hearing from me). 
 Ronnie my Manikin

I have more energy, I'm eating healthier, I'm happier, I'm actually working out, I'm keeping my life organized for more than just a few days, my car has been clean for 2 weeks now,and I do my devotions every single day! School is the best color on me :). 

Tomorrow we have a career day at school. A bunch of salon managers/owners will be at school looking for new recruits one day when we're finished with school and there are a lot of amazing salons that will be there tomorrow. I have my hopes up for one of those salons. The only salon that will be there tomorrow that isn't in MN. Van Micheal Salon has many Salons in Georgia and one in Miami and Van Micheal travels constantly doing fashion shows, runways, classes, shows... perfection. If a student sticks out to him, he will sometimes ask them to come visit during christmas break and be able to help assist him, check out his salon, meet his crew all expenses paid. (fingers crossed so tightly). 

I'm just very excited. Aveda feels right. I know that this is where God wants me. I hope the reason I'm getting extremely wide-eyed and giddy whenever someone mentions runways and fashion shows is because that's where God will put me after school. I know God has put the dream to travel to the end of the world and back in my heart and I think that hair is the way to do that. 

What's your dream and what are you doing to get there?


You're missed.

Lindsay, I miss you. I hope you are enjoying school. I will be home in 10 days. Miss being with you every other day.

When I return, we will relax together.

When I come back from AZ, we will do all sorts of wonderful things.

- Go to the farmer's market (On a Sunday, due to school cramping our Saturday style.)
- Martha's something or garden something ( I can't remember the name :) )
- Finish our dress sewing project
- make something delicious
- take some fun pictures
- road trip?
- You do something to my hair. Show my your sweet, new-found skills.
- I was thinking, let's write our story. Friendship timeline. We'll go crazy with the scanner and some old pictures. It will be bliss.

I love you best friend; sister.

See you soon.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

This Is Why.

We work long hours. We don't get a lot of sleep. We have a good time. We work at youth camp. We dedicate an entire month to be here.  It's more than late night pizza, more than competitive rec games, more than being with friends. It's much, much more than that.

Junior High 1 camp- 500 teenagers from across MN

There are people that spend their lives trying to share hope and love with these kids. We try to provide a week where the youth of our culture can escape from their lives. They can be away from pressures, addictions, even some of their homes. A place where they can hear about hope- that there's more to life than depression, peer pressure, anger, hurt, frustration, hopelessness- you name it, it's there.

I stepped back and just watched in this service- completely overwhelmed at this group of students. I couldn't help but think wow. God you are good, so good. There is nothing like being in a room with 500 passionate teenagers.

There is nothing quite like the moment where you see a student find God for the first time. Where walls are broken down. Where addictions are kicked. You wouldn't even believe what a 12 year old goes through. It a beautiful thing to see a spark in their eyes. Watching their tears fall from their eyes as pain melts away from their hearts. What has God done in your life this week?

This is our next generation. They are our future leaders. Next time you see a teen, smile at them. Encourage them. Believe in them. Tell them you love them for them. Tell them that God loves them and cares about them. Don't look down on them because of what they have done or because they are young. If I haven't been given a second glance at that age, I don't know where I would be today.

If they don't have a good foundation set today, what will tomorrow look like? If we don't set a higher standard for these kids, who will? How will they know they don't have to go down a broken road? Why can't they return to a child-like innocence?

I can't believe how I have changed. I've have fallen in love with them. All of them. I pray for them. I cry for them. And I don't even know them. My husband's passion and burden for them have consumed me. God, teach me how to love them more through thick and thin, prepare me for my future.

Change your perspective. You might be saving a life.

This is why we do what we do.

It's day 2 of Senior One. 1 week left after this one. Keep us in your prayers.

Happy Tuesday!


Monday, July 25, 2011

I Couldn't ____To Save My Life

It's a nice thought to think about everything we are good at. However, wouldn't you think it's a little more fun to think of things you are terrible at? What about things that someone else is terrible at?

We'll share a few things with you, but we want you to share with us the things you are terrible at!

1. I can't open a cereal box without wrecking it to save my life. {S}

2.I can't NOT stare for long periods of time to save my life... {L}

3. I couldn't NOT spill food on myself to save my life.
Thanks for those genes dad :). {S}

4. I can't NOT get pulled over or get in a car accident to save my life...
 4 car accidents, 7 tickets (that i can think of) and two court dates later.

This doesnt look like much but it totalled my car
5. I can't run to save my life. Rollerblade for hours, run for 2 blocks and drop on ground dying.

6. I can't say certain words or sentences to save my life...
Working at one of my jobs, the way we're supposed to answer the phones is "It's a great day at Progressions, this is Lindsay, How can i help you?" but no, I answered it "Its a great day at Progressions, How may i do you?"

7. WE can't keep our purses clean to save our lives.

We know you can relate! Now share yours...


Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Craft Nook.

I have a little house. I have a lot of craft paraphernalia. How do you make the two work?

I have a few sealed bins in my basement full of yarn, a very tall basket of current/upcoming projects, and things stashed here and there. I wanted a place that was organized and available for me when I unleashed my craftiness. Having a small home presents a few prolems- clutter, messes, and no extra rooms.

I have been blessed with REALLY nice hand-me-downs from my mom. One being a smaller entertainment center/storage/computer desk. It's beautiful and from Pier 1. I used it for my computer until I got one of the best presents yet- a sewing machine for my birthday last February. Then I thought... Hey, this could work...

This is it when I first put it together. There is A LOT more in it now, but you get the basics of it. If you think you see toilet paper rolls on the top, your mind isn't playing tricks on you. They really are toilet paper rolls. If you are wondering "What on earth?!" Check out my wall art post. Unfortunately, it ends tragically.

To be perfectly honest, I hate using straight needles, therefore I don't have very many. I prefer circular for every project. I have a cd case like contraption I use to organize my circulars. Works great to separate the sizes! So how do you store straight needles? A vase of course!

I am looking forward to my next house and having my own craft space! and while dreaming of what it could be...this is what I hope to have someday. I feel more inspired just looking at it. How could you spend any time anywhere else? Beautiful. Brilliant. Oh yes.

Until then.. my little nook of goodness works great for me. Don't let lack of space get the best of you when it comes to the things you love!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Meet Alexandria (Part 1)

We have relocated for the summer, 5 weeks to be exact. A camper has become my humble abode. We started with family camp, and am now currently in week 1 of teen camp. During down time, we have the opportunity to explore Alexandria.

I have been coming up here since I was 7 attending all of the different camps- family camp, kids camp, and youth camp. Now, I have the opportunity to be on the other end and work at them (Minus kids camp). It's a love and a passion.

Being up here for so long, its very easy to have a routine of going to your favorite places. I love little boutique shops in small towns- and this place is full of them! Last week I had the opportunity to have a couple hours off and head over to downtown Alex.

We started with lunch at this adorable place "Bistro To Go"

This little restaurant has unending amount of charm, with an unbelievable menu. It's smaller than some, but you can't go wrong with anything you choose. Salads and sandwiches, mostly. Not to mention the owner is an absolute sweetheart.

Thai pasta salad is one of my many favorites here

Whole wheat pasta, chicken, sugar snap peas, carrots, peanut sauce... and then some. This place has become a tradition for my mom and I. We don't get to see each other all that often. It's times like these when we get to talk about life and memories and projects and more... I savor these moments even more than the food. (and man do I love food.)

After lunch, we walk around downtown stopping at the cute little shops. Then we get to the one that surpasses them all- Charlies Bazaar. Affordable Decorating heaven.

As we approach, my heart skips a beat and I get giddy like a child in a candy store. This is the best candy I have ever had. Materialistic? Fine. We all have our areas of weakness, right?

This place is owned by a mother/daughter duo and is stacked to the ceilings in wonderful items. They stage everything to perfection. Even if you don't purchase anything, you still leave inspired, and that's what I truely love about it.

I was drooling over the vase to the left on the wall. IN LOVE.

Everything has a place, every area a color scheme, every wall with something on it. I see places like this and think , how on earth do these people do it? Where do they find their limitless skills? I love places like this- where you could walk in everyday and find something you didn't notice the day before.

These are my two favorite places here in Alex. Now I am just looking forward to Art in the Park coming up at the end of July...


Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Summer Frappe Recipe

Thanks to my mother-in-law, I am addicted to this frappucino drink. It's delicious and made in larger quantities so it helps with the whole "I'm-addicted-to-coffee-but-trying-to-save-money" problem. (Not to mention easy!)Move over Starbucks! Get ready to "wow" at your next backyard get together! (Thanks for sharing Cheryl!)

1- 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 c light Karo corn syrup
1 pint half and half
10 c VERY strong coffee
Enough milk to make 1/2 gallon

Add the sweetened condensed milk and corn syrup to hot coffee. Stir until dissolved. Add half and half, then milk until it makes 1/2 gallon. Refridgerate.

To serve: Pour over ice, or blend with ice!

*If you hate watered down iced coffee drinks, try freezing coffee in an ice cube tray! Cold drink, less water!




Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Quick Headband & Tutorial Link

We're going to be short and sweet today. I have gotten a lot of complements on this so here we go!

These headbands are my new favorites to wear and make. Easy and affordable! all you will need is a strip of fabric, fabric glue, and elastic/headband. I like using the Ouchless stretchy headbands for myself, a strip of elastic for a baby.
It's a great excuse for messy hair!

Here is the link for the fabric flower tutorial. (and I love all of the projects on this site!) I used fabric glue to attach the flowers to the headband. Be sure to glue it once, let it fully dry, and it will possibly need another application of glue in places it didn't adhere. After your second application fully dries, it will be a strong hold! Fabric glue is very flexible, so stretching won't make the flowers fall off!



Sunday, July 3, 2011

10 Things I LOVE...

10 Things I Love...

1. Coffee!! 
First and foremost... I'm a newby coffee-drinker but could drink chai day and night! Spyhouse is my favorite Coffee shop, along with Uncommon Grounds and of course, Starbucks.

2. Laying out
Swimsuit, tanning oil, beach towel, Iced nonfat chai with a pump of peppermint (Thanks to C3), good friends, the beach (or lake) plus lots and lots of sunshine equals the perfect day!

3. Music/Concerts!
I love finding new music and could listen to almost anything (I can't stand country).
So, whats better then seeing your favorite bands/singers live? absolutely nothing... except if it's your sister who's the talent on stage. Kati Ray, check her out!
Cold War Kids Concert... yes, i bought a shirt.

4. Chute Widdle Puppums! (Dogs, that is)
If you know me, you know I'm always dog-sitting. Most single 23 yr old girls, when walking outside, would check out the guys... oh no, I scope out the cute dogs! I can NOT wait til I have the time for my own puppy! My oldest sister and brother-in-law breed American bulldogs, which is where the cutie from the picture below is from (Check out Dean's Doggies on Facebook). I've had my heart broken many times from having to say good bye to these precious pooches.

5. All things White, Black and Grey.
It's fresh, clean and just gorgeous. I'm going to have a huge house with tall ceilings, all windows and filled with all things black, white, grey, silver and glass. 

 I have worked for and used Aveda since 05' and I'm starting school at Aveda Institute Minneapolis for Cosmetology July 12th and I couldn't be more thrilled. It's been a long time coming! They are earth-friendly and just a great company with amazing products!

7. Large Purses. 
My motto is, if you're back isn't sore by the end of the day from your purse, it's not big enough. Totally kidding, but I do love my purses large... almost suitcases. I can't find a single thing in them but, they are fantastic!

8. My Best Friend. 
Sara Curran. No words could possibly describe how much she means to me. Sara and I have been thru absolutely everything together... and to think we didn't like each other at first (I was mean to her cause apparently you have to like Leonardo Dicaprio to hang with my crew) but we quickly grew to become best friends... even sisters. 
Growing up, you always have that close friend that you say you're going to live with sometime, have in your wedding, and just dream your whole life up with that best friend in almost every vision... most people don't follow thru. Sara and I, I can proudly say we've lived our dream together so far. I love you SJ! Thanks for being so freakin' awesome!
Her wedding rehearsal

9. Family
My family means the world to me. I would do anything for anyone of them, no questions asked. I have been beyond blessed with the family God's given to me. Yes, they are nutty, weird, strange, unique and  drive me NUTS, but they are mine and I love them and I know they love me just as much! Jesus didn't want to just stop with blood, he just had to go and add in the best brother-in-laws you could possibly ask for. My sisters couldn't have done better. and THEN He goes and gives the Dean/Tollefson's Francesca Ray Dean. Don't get me started (you can read my past blog about her).
And, of course... Pictures. 
Sisters and I
Brother Bear/Best Friend
The Whole family minus Benny (Beths hubby) and Francesca Ray
  My Sweet Niece and her papabear

10. God
My most important relationship in my life is the one I have with God. Without God I wouldn't have anything else on my list. He is my ultimate provider. He's my rock. He's had my family and I under extra protection these last few years and I am beyond thankful. I love You Jesus with all my heart.

{L }