Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Life Lately...

     So for those of you who read my blog regularly, you've noticed that I've been posting a bunch of random short snippets of stuff lately.  For instance, I've been posting about Fleet Foxes, and how I wish they would come out with some new stuff already, and I'm always posting songs of the day.  And not a whole lot beyond that.  There's a reason... actually, there are many reasons, starting with: I'm losing my mind.

#1.  I'm in Hermeneutics this semester.  What is that?  It's pronounced: Herm-en-oot-ics and it's the principles of Biblical Interpretation.  What's the purpose of the class?  You can't just interpret the Bible however you want, there's an actual meaning and purpose intended for each passage that are meant to be interpreted exactly how the author intended.  Studying the hermeneutical part of Scripture helps to determine what Scripture is actually saying, not just what we want it to say.  There's a lot of effort that needs to be put into interpreting the Bible the way it was meant to be interpreted.  I spent easily over 30 hours working on my Herm mid-term these past few weeks.  I was in the library every minute it was open while I wasn't working or in class.  Now that it's all over, I have to start working on the Final.  I'm ready for school to be done... It's all I've been able to do to post a song of the day a few times a week.

Blogging is one of my biggest stress outlets.  I love blogging.  I love the blogger world.  I feel better after posting something on my blog.  Even if I can only post something small and menial, I have posted something: stress relieves a little.

#2.  I've been struggling on my own internally.  There are a few things inside that I brought into this semester.  Personal struggles have been casting a shadow over my life, it seems.  I feel so disconnected from everything and everyone around me.  I feel alone.  I haven't been pursuing God like I've been needing to.  I've been so caught up in school requirements that I haven't made a lot of time for friends.  Thankfully, God has been gracious with our marriage, even in this time, as Frank and I have been able to keep our marriage a priority in all the craziness.  Anyways, I just feel alone right now... I have nothing to really talk about.  I'm trying to keep myself interested in things I like doing (like blogging) by consistently pursuing those things.  Why am I doing this? (See #3.)

#3.  In high school I suffered from severe depression.  Lots of people suffer from depression.  The thing about depression is: it can come back - especially once you've experienced it for long enough.  I have recurring, or chronic, depressive bouts.  I slip in and out of depression regularly; anything can trigger it for me, really.  I've had enough fight with depression to know when I'm starting to go downward, and I know how to catch myself from getting too severe.  Even though I haven't been posting anything of real substance lately, I have been making myself do something that I enjoy, that makes me feel better, and that's why my posts have been so short and possibly boring to some people.  There are two kinds of people who suffer from depression: the ones who give in, and the ones who know they can fight it.  I try always to be the latter; I am strong enough to fight it.  I have God ;)

So in all, right now, I have been ...feeling alone, I guess.  From having constant work to do, from being exhausted from school and work, and housework, I haven't done a good job with pursuing God first, and pursuing people as I would want them to pursue me, and I've been fighting off depression again.  If you want to pray for me, you can pray for me in these ways:

#1.  I keep up my energy as I tackle the Final for Herm, all while studying for every exam in between for my other classes.  It has been by God's grace that I have been able to keep on top of everything.

#2.  Pray for the [un-named] struggles I'm dealing with right now.  The enemy is really trying to use these struggles to his advantage right now.  I need to know in my heart that God is sufficient for the needs I feel I'm lacking.  I can't rely on human beings to fill the needs that only God can fill.

#3.  God supplies me with the strength I need to handle my constant fight with depression.  I'm not always depressed, but it visits me regularly, and I always need to be on guard.  God is good.

#4.  I pursue God more vigorously than I have been in a while.  I know He's there, and He's always there for me - even when I'm not pursuing Him.  He is worthy of my time, love, affection, and everything I have to offer, and more.  I need to re-connect with Him again.

#5.  Our marriage.  We are actually really growing a lot together through this time, and the impact life has had on our marriage has actually been positive.  Praise God for this!  But also ask that God continue to protect our marriage from the enemy, and rather continue growing it to be more and more for His glory.

Thanks for checking in with me, those of you who have read.  I really appreciate your prayers and love.  And always remember: if you need prayer for anything or need someone to talk to: please message me privately, send me a text, send a messenger pigeon.  Please know that you can trust me - I want to share your burden, too (Galatians 6:2).


{Psychotic Girl || The Black Keys}

Today's Song of the Day

No matter what, The Black Keys are my favorite band.  I realized last night, while cleaning, that I hadn't listened to them in quite a while so I turned them on.  Ahhh good old blues rock played by two of the most chill people I know.  Regardless their popularity status right now, I still have a place in my heart for them ;)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

{Another Favorite Commercial!}

So a few months ago, I decided what my favorite commercial is.  Classic.  Now I have another group of commercials to take second, or to just tie with first.  This is so humorous! And perfectly thought of ;)

So Dr. Pepper 10 is pretty manly, right??

Friday, October 25, 2013

{Fleet Foxes}

It has been two years since Helplessness Blues came out by Fleet Foxes.  I am getting anxious, wondering when they will be blessing the world with yet another marvelous album.  Come on, guys, get it together!  Then my hubby reminded me that in the past two years, it has gotten easier for hipster-poseurs to jump all over this kind of great mountain music and be all "hipster" about it... so I guess it's not a bad thing that they're laying low right now.  But seriously, you guys,... spare me.... come on, where's the new stuff!?

"Helplessness Blues"

"The Cascades"


"Your Protector"

"Blue Ridge Mountains"

"Ragged Wood"

"Tiger Mountain Peasant Song"

Please hear me out, Fleet Foxes: it's been two years, let there be more music!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

{Hermeneutics MidTerm}

This has been my life for the past few weeks.  I hate taking selfies, I think they're dumb... and can be a little vain... but I have been in desperate need of entertainment while I've been working.  So yes, I took these selfies as I was working.  Every morning for the past few weeks, I have been up around 7 to make it to the library by 8.  I have stayed in the library until my class starts at 1:30 pm, or I have left for my 3 one-hour classes, leaving my stuff in my spot so that I can pick up where I left off and work until the library closes at 11 pm.  Last Saturday, I made it to the library by 8 and it turned out they opened at 10.  So I sat outside the library and did work while I waited for them to open.  These pictures below are depictions of what my life has been like when I haven't been in class, sleeping, or working.  I have even been eating my meals sporadically throughout my time doing homework.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

{Lonesome Dreams || Lord Huron}

Today's Song of the Day

I just love this song.  This is probably my favorite band in the moment.  Interesting video, but I think this song is a good one for the way it feels out today: Fall, windy, middle of the week, no clouds in the sky... ahhh...
Yeah, this is a good song for today ;)

Holding Time in a Capsule

    You know how some people like collecting celebrity's hair and spit and tissues?  Those people have some serious issues.  They are so obsessed, or "in love", with those celebrities that they never knew personal that they will do anything in their power (and then some) to get memorabilia of any kind to add to their collection.  It's just weird.  But now consider, how many things that belonged to your grandpa do you still save in some safe place?  Letters between your grandparents from the war?  Old jackets or shirts that your mom really loved?  Drawings from your children when they were still so young and sweet?  You have the memory, sure, but something tangible, something physical, can keep you connected to that memory even after the memory starts to fade.  Then there are those items you want to collect that are intangible. Someone's voice that was never caught on tape, the feeling when seeing the mountains for the first time, touching the softest little animal.  Some of you might think these things are weird, but a lot of you know exactly what I mean.  You know the wish of wanting to hold something intangible in your hands so that you can remember it over and over again every time you hear it or touch it or see it.  The memory itself just doesn't do for you.

    Have you ever heard of Harry Potter?  Silly question for everyone, but have you ever read the sixth book or watched the sixth movie (Half-Blood Prince)?  Dumbledore holds a tool that is a blessing in some ways and a curse in others.  It's called a Pensieve.  A Pensieve, to the untrained eye, looks merely like a bowl of still water.  However, when 'memories are extracted' from one's mind, they can be put into the Pensieve and experienced once again.  Think about that: if I take a memory from my mind that I don't have anything tangible to assist it, put it in the Pensieve and watch it all over again.  Of course, I understand the price to pay with this, but I'm not going to talk about that today (since the Pensieve isn't real, and we're not at risk of destroying ourselves.

I always miss band, and I always
miss my friends.
I miss my black tenor saxophone,
and I miss playing in jazz band.
    My point, to be clear, is that I often wish that I could hold time in a capsule, such as a Pensieve holds memories.  There are days when I'll think back to a certain instance in my life to which I have no tangible connection to and I will want to relive it, just for the amazing experience.  I wish I could hold the time I spent at the USC Band Clinic in 2010 - that time was amazing, and I wish I could be a part of that band forever.  But I can't.  I would really like to feel the surprise of being proposed to again, all the excitement and astonishment.  But I can't.  I wish I could go back and be in high school band again, all those performances, and band practices, and jazz band, and band clinics.  But I can't.  I wish I could hold these brilliant experiences in some sort of time capsule so that I can go back and reflect on them again and again whenever I want.  But I can't.
Our senior year of high school
after our last sweaty day of band camp!

    This blog post is not about working through those wishes, necessarily; I don;t really have a way to make it any easier.  All I know is that holding those times we wish we could experience over and over again is something that I would love.  But I know the dangers of that, too: I could get lost in the past and miss out on all the other experiences I have, never making new ones to reflect on and never getting the best out of the short time I have been given.

    That doesn't stop me, sometimes, from wishing I could relive certain memories.  Holding time in a capsule isn't as easy as looking at pictures and reminiscing, or seeing certain clothes and remembering some fantastic time.  But since it can't actually happen, and if I'm careful not to lose sight of the present, I don't think it can hurt to think about it.

What are some memories you wish you could revisit, if only once?

Monday, October 21, 2013

{Team || Lorde}

Today's Song of the Day

I want to see her live!  This is a great song to get me pumped for the day and it reminds me of the city I grew up in.  In fact, all of her songs remind me of living in a small town in the United States.

{Bottles of Yarn}

There are a few ways that I have decorated parts of our house using glass jars and bottles.  Here is a simple way to do this: use yarn (or some other form of stringy thing) and wrap a bottle.

  1. Tape the end of the yarn to the bottle.  Don't bother cutting the yarn's length yet - I've always found it more useful to just unroll the ball of yarn as I go rather than ending up too short or long when I'm finished.  Tape the end of the yarn vertically, pointing the very end down towards the ground.  
  2. Hold the tape in place there as you begin wrapping the bottle in yarn.
  3. When you get towards the end of the bottle, or when you are getting ready to stop, put a piece of tape right below where your yarn is - not yet at the bottom, but within an inch of the bottom.  Let it hang a little off the bottom of the bottle.
  4. Once you get far enough down the bottle, over the tape, lift up the bottom sliver of the tape and place the end of the yarn underneath it.  
  5. Then cut the excess.  Ta da!  Bottle wrapped in yarn.  You can see my label in the end result - this won't happen if you don't put it in front of light or if you use a label-less bottle ;)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

{November | No Junk Food}

    Back during the summer, I got into this great exercise routine where I would run easily 9-12 miles a week, and cross train twice a week in between miles.  I was slimming up, getting toner, feeling better, had less aches and cramps and headaches.  I was also eating better, much more healthy foods than usual. {We eat fresh and healthy foods anyways, but we cut out all the little excess crap that we didn't need too!}  I was nervous about starting the semester because I knew school would come in and ruin everything... :P  And it kinda did...  I still try to run at least a mile or two...every week... just to keep myself in some sort of shape.  And I've allowed all of those little extras back into my diet, too.  I'm back to not feeling as confident in myself as I did when I was on a regular kick-butt schedule and routine.

    To battle this mindset and way of feeling, and in an effort to help my body out a little since I truly don't have a whole lot of time to exercise, I've decided to stick to something for the month of November; you know how guys (and some girls...) do the whole No-Shave November?  I'm going to [attempt with all my might!] do my own rendition: {November|No Junk Food}.  That's right, I said it.  Two things that are ever present in typical American, and even more so, Southern culture are going to be cut out for at least a whole month.  Obviously, I know that this alone won't do as much for me as combining diet with exercise, or prolonging this diet over time, but it's the least I can do right now.  Besides, small goals are good places to start ;)  I'm already noticing when I'm craving foods that aren't good for me (like every flavor of ice cream in the caf...) and have been working on avoiding them, and also working on moderation of those kinds of things.  I know that, like any other habit and addiction, it takes time to break yourself of them.  I have hope that God will equip me with the strength to stick to the denial of such foods beyond November 30th.  I am already getting started by weening myself back off of these foods again.

    I still have goals of getting in shape and feeling better about myself just because I know I'm healthier.  I am still working towards that!  And I still have a goal of running my first 10K, and running the Cooper River Bridge Run! :D  I will make it there!  Because of my workload and stress, it's hard for me to find motivation through all of the exhausted evenings of homework to want to go out and spend more energy on something that doesn't count towards my GPA.  (I don't want to hear about how exercise really does improve your sleep and work ethic and yada yada yada - yeah I know, that's not the point I'm making though.)  I'm going to avoid all of these following types of foods:
  • French Fries
  • Pizza
  • Tater Tots
  • Chips (Sunchips; I don't eat chips anyways unless they're sunchips)
  • Refined sugars as found in candy, ice cream, not-dark chocolate, hot chocolate, pie, brownies, cookies, pudding, soda pops, white bread, enriched white flour, etc.
Dark chocolate (in moderation) is acceptable.  The only time any of the fried food options will be acceptable are in the rare case that it's the only food served that isn't covered in meat, or if it is merely courtesy that I eat what's given to me - in both cases, they will be taken in moderation.  Otherwise, all such foods will be avoided.  Natural sugars from wheat, dairy, fruits, and vegetables should be enough to suffice since that's what my body was actually made for, food-wise.  I could you could also consider this as {November|No Fried Foods|No Refined Sugars}!

    Yeah... this will be pretty tough to conquer... but I can do it.  I have God and His strength on my side, even for this menial, man-made, me-made thing.  Because of Him, I can do this.  Now the question is: who wants to do this too?  You can tell me, we'll be accountabilibuddies!  You don't have to tell me, and you can get into better shape in thirty days than you are right now!  Obviously, this is not some weight loss program, but it is a "help your body feel better and work better" idea that I am after.  You are welcome to join!

    Weekly, I will give updates on how things are going on my end, and post a few recipes (just in time for Thanksgiving!)  If you happen to do this with me, feel free to let me know about your progress!  We have exactly two weeks to start weening ourselves off of the bad things, two weeks to find healthy replacements, and making more healthy decisions before we take on this battle!  We can do this!


This is the place where I grew up.  What you see is not the house I lived in, but what surrounded the house (I did that on purpose.)  The building you look at above is the old kitchen.  Back in the old days, people built their kitchens separately from the house for safety from oven fires and other hazardous things like that.  Learn something new every day, don't ya?

Everything else is just little glimpses of sights I saw daily around my house while living there for about 12 years of my life.  I lived with my mom, sister, and brother in the countryside of South Carolina.  A lot of people find places like this to take pictures at and call themselves "vintage".  I actually got to live here for most of my life, I was used to this.  While I was there, I couldn't wait to get out and get into an actual city.  Now that I've been in college, I miss living there in the countryside, surrounded by no people, surrounded by cornfields and snowy cotton fields, tractors trundling down the road, peace and quiet, and every star shining at night.  Yeah, I miss it :) And I miss my family, too.  I live elsewhere now, and it is technically my home, but when I go back to my family in the country, I actually feel home.

[I am not a real photographer with my own studio or whatever, but I don't want my pictures to be stolen, so I signed each of them ;) ]

Friday, October 18, 2013

Tin Can Lanterns

It's getting close to Halloween!

And I am getting stoked about decorating for it!  I've been a little slack on progress towards decorating, aside from all the pumpkins I got for the house, but it's comin' along ;)

I followed a tutorial here to make Tin Can Lanterns.  Here is my rendition of tin can lanterns for Halloween.  I actually made it last year, but never got them up in a post! Of course, this craft can be applied to any time of year! :

(You can tell this picture was taken last year because the paper this lantern is sitting on was the rough draft of our wedding invitations!)

Some pointers I learned while making this are:
  • Make sure you do this on ground that you don't mind ice melting on!
  • It's tough to keep the can still while you hammer the nails through it.
  • I actually ended up using a screw driver to make the nails - this was easier for me.
I hope you're enjoying this wonderful October month!  Halloween is right around the corner!

{Pompeii || Bastille}

Today's Song of the Day

This song has been in my head all day.  Love this song!  And this band!  I'm glad I stumbled upon them last year - they've been a regular theme in homework and housework.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lord Huron

I just want to inform the world about a fantastic, authentic aspiring artist:

Lord Huron

This man and his band are so wonderful to listen to while anything is happening.  I like them at work, I like them for homework, I like them for house-cleaning, I like them for reading, I like them for down time, I like them for background music, I like them for just about anything.  Their sound: kinda mountainy, old-sounding, using copious jungle-sounding instruments like drums, flutes, rain sticks (maybe), vocals embellishments, and they just sound so good.  I love it.  Take a listen to one of the best songs (in my opinion) that has been constantly stuck in my hand these past few weeks:

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How To Make Labels Using Microsoft Word

I learned from a very intelligent woman, whom I know only from the blogger world, how to make my own labels for my jars around the kitchen.  I want to share that skill with you!  Of course, giving her credit, and understanding that Word is open for everyone to use and discover ;)

Want to make labels that looks like these?

Or are you planning ahead for Christmas?  How about labels like these?

Here's how to do it:
1.  Go to Microsoft Word and find the "Shapes" tab option under "Insert".

Choose a shape.  I chose the shape called "Plaque".
You can change the color of your shape, the lining, etc. through the "Format" tab that will automatically appear when you draw your shape on your Word document:

2.  Go back to the "Shape" section under "Insert".  Select another shape (it can be the same shape as before, or you can switch it up.)  Draw this shape inside your first shape:

Under the "Format" tab, where you can change the color and lining of the shape, you can find the option to change the line to dashes.  I am going to change mine to dashes, but you can do whatever you would like with yours.

3. Now you can change the textures of each shape.  Under the "Format" tab, looks for the option called "Shape Fill".  Go down to the bottom where it says, "Texture".  You can do one of two things: 1) use a template texture, or 2) use your own texture downloaded from the internet.  


I chose to use my own texture from the internet; I looked up fair isle patterns - they remind me of Christmas! :)
4.  You can choose the color/texture/pattern of this shape now.  I chose something that matches my background.  However, you can do whatever you like.

6.  Now to fill in words.  Go to the "Insert" tab.  Find on the top right hand side of the page the option listed as "Add Text Box".  Click on this option, and go to the very bottom of the list where you see, "Draw Text Box".

7.  Draw your text box in the second shape to fit as desired.  Again, the format tab should appear for you text box; under the Format tab, you are able to take the lining of the box away, change the shape fill, and change the shape color.  All of this is up to you.

8.  Add your text.  A tradition my family had, aside from making cookies for Santa, were throwing seeds out into the yard for the reindeer.  I want to make cookies for the reindeer, too, this year!

A website that my husband and I found last year while we were decorating wedding invitations is DaFont.com. This website has thousands of fonts that people have made all over the place.  Most of them are free for personal use, some are free for public use, and then there are a few that you have to pay for to use.  If you can't find a good font for your labels, check out DaFont!  I downloaded the font called, "St. Nicolas" for this label.

Now all I have to do is print this off this label and stick it on the jar with the reindeer cookies!  I know about certain kinds of sticky paper that you can buy - at least I've heard of them.  I'm just going to cut my label out, probably laminate it, and use ModPodge or double-stick tape to stick it to my jar.  However, the intelligent blogger friend I have could probably tell you more about this is you visit her blog post on this tutorial: A Typical English Home.  

I hope you've found this helpful!  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comment section, I would love to help you if you need it.  Have fun making your holiday labels!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My Husband

Frank Brazell.  The sweetest man I know.  I am so thankful for him!

He takes care of me when I spend all my time working, come home and collapse from a migraine.

He makes the most superb dinners for me.

Date night is always so special!

He's so cuddly and fun!

I have so much fun with him; he really is my best friend.

His little quirks are my favorite.

I love dancing with him in the privacy of our home.

When I come home from work, or school, or anything else, he opens the door for me with a smile, saying that he's excited to see me again.

His hugs are the best!!!

When he holds me, I feel safe and snug as a bug in a rug.

He teaches me so many things I would never have learned without him.

He is so smart!  So intelligent!

He helps me with my homework, and encourages me when I feel I can't do it.

He reminds me how special I am to him, especially when I feel like I go unnoticed.

He prays for me, and he prays with me.

He leads our family with as much wisdom as he can, and calls on God for all help.

He is so special to me.

He's a silly goose!

He makes me laugh ALL the time! And cheers me up with how goofy he can be!

I just love him so much.

He reminds me every day how good he thinks I look.

He helps me see myself in a better light.

He dresses so spiffy all the time.

He's just a cool cat.

He makes me feel cool, too.

He reminds me of what God called me to be and helps me see that when times are tough.

I love the life we have together.

I love his sweetness in my life - every day.

I love our fun and crazy adventures!

I am so thankful for the blessing God has given me in him.

I love my husband, Frank.

I love the love we share.

I love the time we have together.

I love the little things we do that make us US.

My husband, Frank Brazell, is the sweetest man I know.  He loves me, and I am so thankful for him.

I love you, panky :)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Combining {The Craft Room}

The Craft Room    As some of you may know, a little over a year ago, I opened a new blog called The Craft Room.  I did so because I had so many craft project how-to's to share with the world.  I don't necessarily have a problem with Pinterest, but I don't really use Pinterest to say I'm crafty.  Since I was a wee tot, I found a lot of creative alternatives, partially because of my mom's influence, partially because of lack of video games and television in our house, and partially because I didn't really get new things growing up in a relative-poverty household.  Because of these reasons, I have always been able to somehow figure out how to turn paper towel rolls into bracelet holders, and so on.  Both of my siblings learned to be creative for the same reasons.  This was just how we lived out our childhood: without Pinterest.

    I have been thinking about doing something for a few months now;  If you have noticed, The Craft Room blog has gone pretty stagnant since the beginning of 2013.  There are a few reasons for this:

  1. I just have not had time for crafts, nonetheless everything it takes to take good pictures, document them into my computer, then type up a blog about it.  I just haven't had time.
  2. I wanted to share my own creativity with the world, but everything I did was made generic by asking first, "Did you see this on Pinterest!?" That really hurts me more than I let on.  I'm tired of putting things up and people asking that question.
  3. I use this blog (Jay Elle Bee) more than I do any of the other ones I have created.
  4. I just don't like the way I designed The Craft Blog layout, but I don't really feel like spending time to change it.
So for these reasons, I have decided to leave my Craft Room blog in the dust.  I tried, not as hard as I could, but I decided I didn't like it.  However, I cannot simply close it down and delete it.  For those of you who are on Pinterest, I have allowed people to pin pictures of my crafts and tutorials to Pinterest.  When people click on the pictures to find out how to do these things, I want them to be able to find my blog.  Yes, I could allow followers of my main blog to Pin pictures, but I don't want to have false representation of how many people view my blog each day.  Besides, this is my personal blog, where I talk about things that go on in my life.  I will start posting some crafts that I do along the way, not regularly, but whenever I happen to do them and take pictures of them.

    So in all, I might be copying the tutorials of my previous crafts on this blog, but I will not be continuing to use my blog known as The Craft Room.  I haven't decided on that yet, but we'll see.  For now, you have only the luxury of enjoying The Craft Room as it is.

    Thanks to all of you who read my posts and support my blogging habit - it means a lot to know that people care enough to read about what's going on with me!


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Frank's First 5K!

Saturday, September 7, 2013 marked a wonderful day for Frank: He ran his first 5K!

What was his finishing time?

Frank ran a 5k in 25:37!!!

Pretty great, right? He did such a great job, and I am so proud of him!  Unfortunately, I could not get photos of him starting this race because my camera died as they gave the beginning shot.  And more unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a photo of him crossing the finish line because some guy thought I was a race photographer for a newspaper and totally took up the space right in front of Frank... :(  However, these are the pictures I was able to get of him running! :D

So none of him crossing the finish line, but my baby still did fantastic in his first ever 5K! I'm a proud wife ;)