Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Recycled Wrapping Paper

I made a couple promises to myself about the holidays this year. One, that I would stay OUT of the malls and do my shopping elsewhere for my own personal sanity and contentment. Two, that I would not buy a SCRAP of wrapping paper but instead use up my leftover paper from last year and/or recycle/repurpose other creative wrapping.


I used newsprint for nearly everything this year. If anyone gets a colorful newsprint catalogue like Lush or a weekly newspaper from their university like I do, these are great alternatives to wrapping paper! I dressed them up with ribbon I had saved and one bag of shiny bows from the dollar store.


I just love the idea of something that is normally thrown away being repurposed and made beautiful again. And I’m super excited to share these packages with my family…

Some other ideas for wrapping: recycled brown paper grocery bags, magazines, and old calendars.

What about you? What crafty Christmas tricks are you trying out this year?

love, elizabeth

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Elizabeth Gets Christmas-y

Thanksgiving weekend, Kyle and I decorated the tree. Oh, let’s be honest. I decorated and Kyle admired (and did the heavy lifting bits). Decorating for Christmas is kind of on my top five list of things to do. Thought I’d share a few of my favorite snapshots…






I’ll have more in the weeks to come. I’m excited to peek around all of your blogs and hear more about your holiday plans! Anyone else been decorating?

love, elizabeth

Monday, November 28, 2011

Let it…drizzle?

The weather here hasn’t exactly inspired visions of sugar plums in my head. It’s kind of just been blahblah drizzly fall. Which I will probably be longing for come February in Ohio. But with the tree and the lights and the Christmas carols blaring…I guess I was just hoping for a little snowflake. I was thinking this December might be a bust until I saw THIS.


Now THAT’S what I’m talking about. Bring it on, December.

Oh, and if you haven’t stopped over to enter Ashley’s adorable holiday giveaway at A Recipe for Sanity, you need to go there right now! If you haven’t had a chance to read and follow Ashley, you should probably get on that. Because she’s seriously an awesome cook and an awesome writer AND one of my favorite blogs out there. Stop by and say hello!

love, elizabeth

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Button-Swapping and Giveaways: Sponsor Without Spending a Dime

I love blogging. I am always humbled to know that people take the time to read anything I write and to care a little about what’s going on in my life and I am so delighted to get to know all of you through your own blogs!


Many of my best blog friends are sponsor-friendly places and many are striving to be successful blogging and etsy businesses. That’s never really been the purpose of this blog and that’s okay. But sometimes I wish I could sponsor a few of the blogs I really, really love. Because, like many of you, I’m on a teeny-weeny budget, I can’t really afford to sponsor anyone.

And since I’ve decided not to sell ad space here, I’d like to offer a couple non-monetary ways to sponsor Love is the Adventure so that if you, too, are looking for cost-effective ways to gain readership or business, you have the opportunity to do that.

Ways to Sponsor:

Button Swap for December and January

If you’re interested in this option, just drop me an email and let me know! I’ll need the html code for your button and I’ll be happy to keep it in the sidebar through January 31st.

Sponsor a Giveaway

Do you have an Etsy site or business that you’d like to promote? I’m happy to advertise it if you’d like to give something away to readers! I’m happy to advertise your blog, your business, and/or your Twitter/Facebook feeds in a post and with a button.

If you’re interested, send me an email at and let’s chat about it! If you have another creative idea for blog exchange, I’d love to hear it.

Regardless, I love all of you. Thanks for sharing yourselves with me every day.

love, elizabeth

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Watch Me Cook A Turkey

Well, guys…your life-long dream has come true because this morning, in a weird need to connect with the rest of the world (because I am all alone all day cooking while Kyle is slaving away at Starbucks), I made a YouTube video about cooking our turkey. It’s riveting stuff.

In all seriousness, oven bags really do make turkeys a breeze. So if you’re totally bored and feel like watching me be silly about Thanksgiving, here you go…


I forgot to mention three things in the video: one, don’t forget to cut several 1/2 slits in the top of the bag before putting it in the oven, two, oven bags cut down turkey cooking time by almost a half, and three, I clearly have no life.

So how’s everyone’s day going? Anyone cooking the whole feast alone? I’m feeling needy. Happy, happy Thanksgiving! I’m especially thankful for all of you…

love, elizabeth

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Horror

Hopefully my Thanksgiving is nothing like THIS…

And a lot more like this…


And this…



I’m considering uploading a video tomorrow of my Thanksgiving cooking endeavors. Does anyone want to see that? Let me know…

What about all of you? What are you most looking forward to this holiday?

love, elizabeth

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Paper That Wouldn’t Die

I don’t talk a whole lot about grad school on here because…well, because my blog is my happy, safe lala-land place where I don’t have to cite my primary sources or think too far ahead. But I thought I’d take a minute to talk about how thankful I am for school. I love my school. I love learning. I love teaching. I love my faculty. I love my students. I love my tiny mailbox in the corridor. I love my desk in the office. I love my stacks of library books and the bigger stacks of ungraded papers and my goofy student id photo. I even love the chilly early morning hike from the parking lot to my classrooms. School has been a great place for me to grow and figure out who I am, what I value, and how I can best serve my community and make art I care about at the same time.

But people…writing the modern drama paper I’m turning in today was like…well, it was kind of like this:

Every woman becomes a slave to…the paper that wouldn’t die.

love, elizabeth

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Forget All the Time

Someone told me recently that we're all just steps away from our selves as children. We are all so fragile, so breakable and I think we forget that. Sometimes I make eye contact with a stranger and think, "You are seconds away from shattering."

And I want to reach out and take your hands and say, "I am so sorry."

Because for a second, I forgot. I forgot you were a human heart, pumping blood through a human chest, and I forgot.


God forgive me, I forget all the time.



Sunday, November 20, 2011

Black Friday: Shop Safe, Sane, and Sensational

1. Give yourself plenty of time to park.

Nothing is more frustrating to the harried holiday shopper than the endless searching for a parking spot outside the crowded mall, outlet, shopping center, big box store, or downtown. And while walking from the outer regions of Siberia where you parked your car may suck, nothing will ruin your Black Friday like one of those fender bender/side scrape run-ins with the gigantic SUV parked too close to you.

2. Budget earlier in the week and stick to your plan.

Remember that 42” plasma screen isn’t really a good deal if you weren’t planning on buying a new television, at all. Buying something that isn’t on your list doesn’t actually save you any money. And sometimes all the hustle and bustle and good smells and cheerful music make us emotional.

3. Dress for comfort.

You know those incredible boots that make your calves look fantastic but your feet want to fall off? Leave ‘em home and stick to cozy sneakers for those long, long lines you’ll be waiting in. Layer for warmth and leave the heavy coats in the car. Those department stores get toasty fast!

4. Scan ads before you plan your day to get an idea of prices and deals.

Here are two of my favorite online sources for Black Friday ads: HERE and HERE. It’s easy to get lost in the rush and if you’re looking for something specific, you may wind up frustrated and disheartened.

5. People first, things second. Always.

Courtesy and kindness are always the way to go! We all hear the horror stories of pushy shoppers trampled to death in a mad rush to get whatever amazing deal is being offered to the first 8 people in line. But if you have to risk your humanity, your sanity, or your personal safety to score the bargain, consider the true cost before you dive into the fray. No thing is that important. After all, it’s Christmas.

I mentioned a few posts ago that my family is exchanging books only this year so most of my shopping is done but I AM making a short Black Friday trip for some stocking stuffers and a couple Secret Santa gifts.

So lay it on me. Are you a Black Friday fanatic? What are your shopping traditions? Any tips and tricks to share?

love, elizabeth

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Vote for Thanksgiving Stuffing and a Giveaway Winner

First of all, many apologies to my blogging community for my nearly week-long absence. It was a crazy week at school and I lost my blog time. But I am BACK.

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday because it’s the one day I feel totally confident about my cooking. I love making a mountain of food and eating leftovers for the whole next week. I love getting up early and starting the turkey. I love peeling potatoes and watching cheesy Christmas movies and drinking cheap wine and dancing around in my apron and pajamas. It’s pretty much my favorite day of the year.


For whatever reason, homemade dressing is the thing that always intimidates me and I always end up with a box of Stove Top and a whole lotta shame. But not this year. THIS year, I am going to conquer Thanksgiving dressing. I’m torn, though. I have two recipes I'm thinking of trying. So I need your thoughts…

Should I make Carmelized Onion and Herb Stuffing courtesy of Real Simple Magazine OR Cornbread Dressing handed down from my grandmother?

Decisions, decisions.

Oh, yeah, and I’m pleased to announce the winner of the vintage handkerchief giveaway!


And entry #4 is…



Congratulations, Kate! Send me an email with your address and I will get your gift in the mail right away…

love, elizabeth

Monday, November 14, 2011

DIY: Junk Mail Christmas Tree

When Christmas rolls around and the malls are extra full of extra shiny, pretty things, it’s easy for me to get wrapped up in a desire to buy and to have. So I’m always pleasantly refreshed to discover a free way to create Christmas magic at home! I’m a huge fan of recycled crafts and this one caught my eye.

The Junk Mail Christmas Tree…

It was pretty time consuming but I think the finished result was totally worth it and it didn’t cost me a cent! Bonus: I used up a huge stack of junk mail flyers for the coming Black Friday sales. Fitting, I think.


In progress…


The finished product…

You can find the instructions to make your own by visiting here.

What about you? Anyone have a fun recycled Christmas project they’re trying out?
love, elizabeth

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Christmas Shopping

That’s how many shopping days till Christmas. A little frightening how quickly that happened.

This year, I have vowed to stay out of the malls (they just make me feel sad and lonely most of the time) and to give more creatively. My family has agreed to exchange only books this year and I’m so happy about that! So except for one more book and some stocking stuffers, I am DONE with my Christmas shopping for 2011! And it feels grreeeeeeeeeat….

What about you? Any special gift-giving strategies this year?

love, elizabeth

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Birthday, Kyle

Today is my husband’s twenty-sixth birthday…I wish I could think of something wonderful enough to say about that. I really can’t. I met Kyle shortly after his 19th birthday and to see him all the way til today is a little mind-boggling. Every year, he grows wiser and funnier and more handsome. I swear, sometimes he looks at me and I feel my knees buckle.

There are not words for how much I love November 10 for being the day my sweetheart was born.

Happy birthday to the great love of my life. SOMEONE’S going to be getting 26 birthday spankings…bwahahahahaahaha….I just killed the mood, didn’t I?

love, elizabeth

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Vintage Giveaway

So excited to share this one with all of you!

This month I’m giving away a set of vintage Fisba Stoffels handkerchiefs, new and still in their original packaging. Fisba Stoffels was a well-known Swiss scarf and handkerchief manufacturer and their pieces are now sold in vintage stores. I don’t have a date for these but I can estimate they are at least forty years old.



I think they would be fun to display in a bathroom or on a dressing table but they would also make a lovely Christmas gift!

So here are four ways you can enter to win…(leave a separate comment for each)

Be a follower of Love is the Adventure through Google Friend Connect (only mandatory entry)

Tweet about the giveaway and include a link to this post

Mention this giveaway in a blog post

Like Love is the Adventure on Facebook


The winner will be announced next Wednesday!

Let me know…anything awesome in blog world that I should really be checking out?

love, elizabeth

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

And when October goes…

No secret that I love fall but it’s slipping away so quickly! Made a trip to the mall last week and was alarmed to see that Christmas (the commercial version, anyway) is in full swing.
Trying to savor the autumn sun and the last of the beautiful leaves before it gets freezing and gloomy until April, Ohio-style.

Fall Leaves

This time of year makes me think of this song by Nancy Wilson…

What about you? Anyone else thinking seriously about Christmas yet?

Oh, and be sure to stop by tomorrow for the vintage's going to be rad. And stuff.

love, elizabeth

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Weekend With You

It has been a stressful couple of months trying to balance our work and grad school schedules so when this weekend rolled around, Kyle and I tried to spend it as quietly as possible. I made French toast before church this morning…


And Kyle sang this song to me a lot…

How was YOUR weekend?

Stay tuned...vintage giveaway WEDNESDAY!

love, elizabeth

Friday, November 4, 2011

Prayers for a Marine

Today, like everyday, I’m thinking about my little brother, Ben. And missing him. And wishing him home safe. Here’s a recent picture of him aboard ship.


I love you, Benjamin. If you read this, know that I pray for you whenever I drive your car or see your picture or hear your favorite songs or sit in the pew at church. Can’t wait until you can come home.



Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful Thursdays

In honor of Thanksgiving…I thought I’d take this month to blog about thankfulness. So on Thursdays, I’m highlighting things I forget to be thankful for.

And here’s the first one…mail.


I was listening to the news this morning and they were talking about the United States Postal Service crisis. If the government legislature isn’t able to find a solution, the USPS is going to have close something like 3200 post offices nationwide. Amazing…

I admit it. I take the mail for granted. For me, the entirety of the postal service is based on a conglomeration of shiny metal boxes. How does the mail get there? I don’t think about it – it’s magic.

With the convenience of modern mail and internet and all that that involves, I have forgotten how precious communication is. I have forgotten the value of the mail and the people that deliver it.

So do me a favor…the next time you see your mail carrier, tell them ‘thanks.’ My dad was a mailman many years ago. It’s a hard job.

Today, I’m thankful for the post office.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

That One Time I Judged a Beauty Pageant

So I mentioned this last week but a couple weekends ago, I had the privilege of judging a beauty pageant for a local charity event.

I was kind of hoping it would be something like this…


Or maybe something like this?


But it was, unfortunately for my own amusement, a pageant full of very intelligent, sweet women with LOADS of talent. I got to see some incredible cultural dances and singing (and even some free-style rapping). It was the most random, surprisingly enjoyable evening I have spent in a really long time. And if it was a little cheesy, it was all part of the charm.


The three finalists


The contestants, emcees, and judges. I was so surprised they wanted me in a picture!


So I’ll just go ahead and check that off the bucket list.

What about you? Have you had a chance to do anything out of the ordinary lately?

love, elizabeth

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Little Turkey Told Me…

it's almost Thanksgiving! Actually, it was a 14 pound turkey on sale at Giant Eagle. Word to the grocery-savvy, three to four weeks BEFORE Thanksgiving is the day to buy the bird. Kroger and other major grocery chains usually have an awesome sale…ours was just $0.59 a pound! So our 14 pound turkey was about $8. For which I am very, very thankful. (Also very thankful for my smart husband who gently reminded me that a 25 pound turkey would probably not fit in our freezer!) 


I can’t believe how quickly November has appeared. With Thanksgiving just weeks away, I have loads of grading and paper-writing to do but I’m excited all the same! What about you? Are you making your Thanksgiving plans yet?

love, elizabeth

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