Monday, August 24, 2015

Final Summer Vacation Trip!!!

One of my favorite places: Turkey Run State Park!! Okay, so I've only been there twice. It's still one of my favorite places. Maybe top ten. :) Can you see why??

This was my sister Sara's and my final vacation outing. My other sister didn't really want to come, and my oldest sister lives around 20 hours away, so it was just the two of us. 

There are several environments in the park: woody, wet, cliffy, and canyon-y. I like to call it the Grand Canyon of Indiana. :)

Even though I am afraid of heights, there was little fear climbing up these ladders! Adventure waits for no one and for no fear!

This area is the best!!!! You actually walk through/over that little stream in the above picture. Or you can climb the steps embedded in the canyon wall, walk on a ledge, and climb more steps down. If you ever plan on going here, trails 3 and 4 are a definite must!!

Around the time we reached the bright red, covered bridge, we were sore, tired, and slightly worried because of an incident involving a snake. And I may have been slightly muddy because of an incident involving mud. :)

Unfortunately, we weren't at the end of our adventure. Somewhere among the trails, we got lost, ending up on something called "Bridle Trail". Let's just say it wasn't labeled on the map and there were lots of hoof prints and horse cookies. :) We walked and walked until we found the horse stable thing which, thankfully, was on the map. A long walk across field and parking lot, and there was the van. HALLELUJAH! Then we got the brilliant idea to look for a vending machine I thought I had noticed earlier... :)

 Moral of this story: Spend time with your family. It's a great thing to do (even if you tend to get a little impatient with them). There's nothing like the bond of brotherly (or sisterly!) love. And there's nothing quite like adventure... :)

Monday, August 17, 2015


 Hello, friends!
I promised to show you (and tell you) about Florida, so here you go.

It was a loooong drive down (and up)! I mainly slept, read an Amish romance book, and watched some episodes of the only season of Family Affair we own. And panicked when I woke up after a very early morning doze to find that my dad was still driving. How anyone can sit in a van for 8 hours, then drive for about 13 hours straight is beyond me. But the view was pretty terrific at times!


This year, we actually stayed in a house instead of a hotel. It was soo nice! If you have the opportunity to rent a house (and for five people, the cost was about the same as two hotel rooms), I would say go for it! It's definitely worth it. Just be sure to do your homework. Because if you decide to rent a place and it ends up being a dump home, I want to be clear from any blame. :)

The gulf in the backyard, animals everywhere, tropical plants..... Ahhh, yes. Vacation is a great time to enjoy God's great and diverse creation.


We had a lot of fun feeding the ducks- and the greedy gull things. :)

  Now you may have heard about Florida in the news, and not just because of their sunny beaches, scary sinkholes, or summer homes. Florida has had an abnormally large amount of rain, thus
flooding. Roads were blocked, parking lots closed, and occasionally cars got stuck.

Speaking of sunny beaches...We enjoyed swimming and tanning on this new man-made beach during one of the only non-rainy days. But for some strange reason, I actually didn't tan very much. :(

So, after a week of shopping, swimming, and relaxing, it was finally time to say goodbye to our temporary home, and hello to 21 hours of blissful driving. :D

Monday, July 27, 2015

Clothing Dilemmas, Revival, and Piano

 Well, folks, it's vacation time again. You know what that means- packing!! And that also means coming up with a week's worth of outfits. If you're like me, then you want to cry in a corner, because you remember that most of what you will wear is the same as what you wore on last year's trip. And people will think that you are too poor to afford more than those 7 outfits. But wait- could it be that there is hope for us?  That there is a way to make old outfits look new?  


Did you hear that?


Could adding different accessories really help? YES!

I've been looking at other blogs and they say that belts, scarves, shoes, and purses can change a plain or an I've-already-worn-this-one-thousand-times outfit into something different! And sometimes it's okay to try new combos or ways of wearing things. Try tucking in a shirt, tying a scarf or belt differently, pairing patterns, or putting dressy and casual items together. It's amazing what combinations work!

This last week has been VERY busy! VBS in the morning, calling in the afternoon, then revival at night. We had some incredible preaching, though. The first couple of nights were definitely high-energy.
Yesterday, I was inspired by a very good pianist who came to my church. I'm a pianist, but not a very good one. Note to everyone: If you have hands, you should learn the piano! It's not too hard to play, once you learn the basics. I know some people who have this regret: that they 1) never learned or 2) never practiced.

Well, my brain is giving me a hard time- I can't seem to motivate myself to post regularly! After my trip, I should have TONS of photos and maybe some stories, so stay tuned!

Check out these great modest fashion blogs for more great tips! Modern ModestyModest Blog

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Random Summer Stuff

Since I haven't posted for a while, I have plenty of things to write about. Such as... this incredible pattern I found on Pinterest!!! I am SO excited about this (can you tell??!). Now, I know that my version certainly isn't perfect, but I think it turned out pretty well. And it's in my favorite pattern/color!!!!!

The tutorial can be found here
Some of the instructions were difficult to understand, but other than that, it's a great tutorial for beginner sew-ers. This is actually a make-up bag, but since I don't wear make-up, there are plenty of other uses for a bag like this!

Now, on to flowers! I planted different seeds and bulbs in late spring. So far, my bulbs aren't growing and they keep coming to the surface to the soil (this is my first time planting bulbs). But my zinnias, which I grew from seeds, are coming along nicely! 

Gardening really is a great hobby! It can teach patience (I'm busy wishing for them to hurry up and grow, knowing that they'll bloom when they are ready), and it brings us close to nature, which gets us close to our Creator. And, of course, it adds color and beauty to your yard. :)

   Speaking of nature, how about a little nature/photography walk? I don't know about you, but I LOVE walking through the woods with my sister and my camera, snapping pictures as we go, discovering, exploring, etc. etc. Unfortunately, it has been raining a LOT. And we didn't think about bug spray. And there were LOTS of mosquitoes. Yeah. It was bad. Not so much for me- mainly my sister! I can't even tell you how much fun I had on this adventure!!! We explored new areas, climbed under and around, and it was just amazing!

Love the macro function on my camera! Talk about a close-up!

Because of the flooding, some of the dirt paths were covered in water. Even so, we didn't always go on the plank-covered paths if there were non-water-covered dirt trails available.We learned that that wasn't the greatest idea we've ever had... 

Wildflowers and wild flies in their natural habitat. 

The lighting was perfect for this spot! If you could have been there, you would have seen brightness on the left fork, and darkness on the right. 
"But I, I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference...."
-Robert Frost 
(This picture really reminds me of that poem!)

 Finally, I would like to conclude this post with words of warning (and encouragement!). There are many things happening in America- controversial things- where we have to make a decision: right or wrong. If we take a stand for what is right, what the Bible says is right, what God says is right, we are in for a hard time. The world sees us as interferers, narrow-minded, judgmental, and lost in the old-fashioned days. They are partially right- those who choose right are old-fashioned. But a wise man put it like this: If someone was driving down a road, and you knew that the bridge was out on that road, you would warn them. It would be your duty to tell them to go a different way, or else they would be in danger. By telling them this, you aren't judging them. You aren't being intolerant of that road. You are simply doing your part to save someone, to help someone. 
Don't give up on what you know is right. There are plenty of voices speaking out for evil- we need to join the battle and speak out for what is good! Guess what? I've read the back of the Book- we win!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Head and Shoulders Product Review

Hair is a very important part of us- if our hair looks good, we look good. I'm not the type of person that spends a lot of money on hair care products, but my sister thought this would be good for my *ahem* problem. I'm so excited to share this product with you! It's Head and Shoulders' Dry Scalp Care. I bought it from Walmart for less than $5, and it was definitely worth it!

You massage the moisturizer through your scalp and hair after shampooing, let it set for 2 minutes, then rinse it out. I like to finger-comb my hair while I rinse it out, so it's less tangled later. When your hair dries, it is super soft and airy (I'm not sure how much it helps with the dandruff, but the other benefits are definitely great!). 

What's your favorite hair product? 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

DIY Hair Bow!!!

I've been looking for something to do with my leftover chevron material and.... I've finally done something!! A big, chevron hair bow! It didn't use up all of my material, but I might find a need for it later.

It was simple to make. I tried looking up a diy for it, but the projects I found weren't as easy as I wanted. I ended up using others' instructions mixed with my own thing. :)

Here's how to make it:

1. Cut a piece of material into a rectangle ( I didn't bother to measure it at the time, but it should be about 7" by 8"). Cut a second piece that's about 1/2" by 2". You'll use this to wrap around the center of the bow.

2. Fold the rectangle, putting long sides together, with the wrong side of the fabric facing you. Sew a straight seam on the long side, close to the edge of the fabric. Turn right side out.

3. Fold each short end about 1/4 of an inch over, and sew the ends down. 

4. Pinch the middle of the bow and wrap the small piece around the center, so that the ends are facing the back of the bow (the side where the edges are sewn over).

5. Sew down both sides of the center piece. Push a bobby pin through the back and... voila! A big hair bow!

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!! If you don't want to make your own, you can find bows of different sizes and patterns on Etsy.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Virtuous Woman #5

I don't know about the rest of you, but summer vacation is kinda losing its charm. Basically, it's been card-making and Etsy managing this week.

 I did have fun paddle-boating yesterday, but when we got back, there didn't seem to be too much to do. Today was pretty productive, though, with hem lowering, ironing, watching the Walton's... :)

So, we are now back to Virtuous Woman #5 (I'll start posting about two or three verses so we can move on sooner).

"She considereth a field, and buyeth it; with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms."
Proverbs 31:16-17

I like these verses, for one thing, because I enjoy planting and working with my hands. We again see that the Virtuous Woman is a good businesswoman. She carefully looks at land, or whatever, and buys it at a good price. She isn't afraid or ashamed to get her hands dirty, either. That reminds me of my late pastor's wife, who, even in her seventies, wasn't too scared or refined to sled down a hill, walk through a park, or feed the geese with her elementary class. That is a Virtuous Woman.
Gardening is a great way to get close to God. It teaches patience, and is a good activity for kids to participate in. The Virtuous Woman gardens, but in this verse, I believe a vineyard could refer to something that brings in a little extra cash. This takes work and time, but in the end is worth it to provide for her family.

And, it's funny, in a way, about how it specifically says the Virtuous Woman strengthens her arms, since arm strength is something I occasionally try to work on and lack greatly. But the Virtuous Woman truly is strong in body, mind, and soul. She exercises and cares for her body, keeping in mind that our bodies are God's temples. I'm pretty sure this doesn't mean we can't have chocolate ice cream. If it did, I would have a serious problem. A really serious problem. But, like with everything, we have to be careful about how much we consume. And if we eat three bowls of ice cream in one day, that's okay- as long as you work it off, right? :) I think that we can fulfill these verses by being cautious and wise in business, hard-working, and keeping ourselves (body, mind, and soul) fit.

Adam Clarke Commentary: Proverbs 31

Have a great day!!

Friday, June 5, 2015

New Look, Pastries, and Not-So-Deadly Toads

Hey! Have you noticed the new look? Thanks to my sister Sara and The Cutest Blog on the Block, Sammy's Notions is looking better than ever! Different background, header, fonts... If you're a new blogger, I would definitely recommend the above link for a great-looking blog. My profile pic is also new, again, thanks to Sara. Yesterday, we had a beautiful walk/picnic/photo shoot through some gardens on campus, then came home to do yard work. I also made cupcakes... Then today I made chocolate pastries.... I have a dessert obsession, I admit it!

These were so easy to make! 

What you need:
     1 pkg frozen puff pastry                                              Peanut butter (optional)                                               1  bag Hershey's Kisses                                            Powdered sugar (optional)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
1. Thaw puff pastry for about thirty minutes. Cut the thawed sheets into thirds, then cut each third into             halves. 
2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper (or if you don't want to          wash two pans, you can just reuse one).       
3. If you're using peanut butter, spread it on the center of the pastries, leaving about a one-inch border on the long sides, and a two-inch border on the short sides without peanut butter. You can also add two Hershey's Kisses to each pastry on top of the peanut butter. If you just want Kisses, put four in the center of the pastry rectangles. 
4. Now for the folding! Pull two sides over the filling and into the center of the pastry. Pinch the open ends, and roll them up. Put the pastries folded-side down on the parchment-covered cookie sheets and bake for about 14 minutes.
5. Pull out of your oven and top with powdered sugar. Let cool, and enjoy!

(Modified from Chocolate, Chocolate and More's chocolate-filled pastry.)

One last thing. I learned today that if your dog seems to be chasing/looking for a phantom creature, it's probably best to keep him away from this said creature. Because he might find it. And he might put it in his mouth. And then he might shake his head around like he just tasted something really bad and you wonder if the toad he found was poisonous and when he throws up everywhere and has other stomach-related problems you are pretty sure that maybe it is. But don't worry: rinse his mouth with water, and once he stops vomiting etc. he will be just fine. Because apparently there is no such thing as frog-dog poisoning. :)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Seeewwww Wonderful... Summer Vacation!!

Whew! Another year of homework and finals is over and gone. It's sad to see old friends go before you do, but exciting to see what the future holds! For now, I'll just enjoy the summer with all of its blessings, busyness, and, unfortunately, boredom. So far, I have managed to fail at macaron-making, finish sewing a skirt, begin working on a dress, and make a card (to see my cards, check out my family's Etsy shop, craftycolllaborations). Oh, I also got a hair/bangs cut by my sister (who has thought I should get bangs for a while and ended up being right!). Hopefully, I can keep busy for the rest of vacation!

I have recently been asked what my favorite Bible story/verse is. I would like to share mine with you, and would love to hear what YOUR favorites are!! In answer to this question, I wrote that my favorite chapter is Hebrews 11- the faith chapter. If you have read this, you know why it's so popular!! When you need an encourager, or a reminder to stay strong, read Hebrews11! How can you feel down and out knowing all the things that our forefathers have gone through? Or thinking about the hope that there's something better for those who believe: For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.. and it sure isn't an earthly country!
My favorite verses would probably be Romans 8:38-39: For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. That's pretty powerful! The only thing that can separate us from God's love is ourselves.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Goodwill Grab

Talk to friends or family who have gone shopping with me, and you will probably get the same response: I'm a picky buyer. I like my clothes to be just right in modesty, style, and especially price. Even at places like Goodwill, my sisters can come home with a big bag of clothes, while I only find one or two things that work for me. Sometimes, it's depressing. This most recent trip was no exception, but the one thing I did find was nothing to be depressed about. It was a dress, perfectly colored, in a pretty, feminine pattern, and in a trendy style. Unfortunately, it had several problems: no sleeves, a see-through, lacy back, and it was a little too short.

Thankfully, I have a fashion-loving sister who has fixed problems like this before. So, by adding a below-the-knee skirt, a white cardigan, and a scarf, it is now one of the best pieces in my closet! You don't have to sacrifice style for modesty- you can have both!

P.S. Goodwill is a great place to find cute clothes at super cheap prices. What are you waiting for? Go check it out!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Virtuous Woman #4

Hello everyone! It's been a while since I've posted (when you get out of a habit, it's hard to get back into it!), but hopefully I'll be able to get more regular about this. It looks like we are on our fourth Virtuous Woman post, and I hope this will be an inspiration to you!

"She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens."   
                           -Proverbs 31:15

The great Bible commentator Adam Clarke put it like this: "She is an economist of time." He goes on to say that the virtuous woman's family works in the night, gets up early, and lives an orderly life. They aren't lazy. They use time wisely. There is order and structure to their lives.

 I think many of us just muddle through life like pigeons (I needed to make the picture relevant!). We don't know where we're going, and we don't particularly care. To be honest, we won't always know where we are going. Right now, I can't tell you precisely where I'll be in 15 years- maybe I'll be exactly where I am today. Maybe I'll be on a missions trip in Africa (which is a very real possibility). No one (except God) knows! But that doesn't mean I can't do things to prepare for my future. By doing your best in what you do now, you are preparing good characteristics for the future. By stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something different, you are preparing yourself for the future. I used to be a really introverted person who couldn't talk to anyone without panicking. Thankfully, I had people and situations in my life that helped me break out of my shell a little (though I still blush and get nervous in most situations...).

 It is not God's will for us to sit down and let life run past us. We should grab hold of it, and enjoy the adventures that God has prepared for us!  

For more Adam Clarke, check out

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Organization Tips!

Every so often I get into this crazy "go through your room, get rid of lots of stuff, and find different ways to arrange things" kick. My closet took a hit, especially when I realized that I should start getting clothing I really liked instead of buying it because it fits. Anyway, I've found some neat ways to organize scarves, and shoes.

1. Shoes.

My shoes were originally thrown in one of those pop-up hampers, until I looked up cheap shoe organization and got this idea. A great storage solution for shoes is.... shoeboxes!! Pretty cool, huh? Just wrap them up with pretty wrapping paper and- voila! Instant awesomeness!

2. Scarves.

For scarf organization, I have this nifty little owl hanger I got one Christmas from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. This isn't a DIY thing, but it's still pretty cool! It has 10 or 12-ish rings for your scarves, so if you have a large scarf collection this might not be the thing for you.

For more awesome organization, check out Pinterest!