Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Me and My Juice Box: A Valentine’s Day Giveaway

If you’re like me, you mostly think being a grownup is awesome. But then there are those days when you think, ‘The only thing I want to be responsible for is me and my juice box.’ Remember all that stuff that made being a kid so great?

So just in time for Valentine’s Day, I am giving away a box of sweet, sweet nostalgia. I’ve put together a whole bunch of kid things and I’m sending my favorites to one of you…


- 24 Crayola Crayons, fresh in the box. I read a study that said sniffing Crayola’s regularly lowers your blood pressure. I can’t disagree.

- Absolutely legit and authentic Barnum’s Animal Crackers.

- Brand new 7-foot jump rope.

- A scrunchie ball.

- Pixy. Stix. You heard me.

- Lip Smackers. Surprise flavor.

- A handmade Valentine to keep or give.

- And… (are you sitting down?) a make-up bag from every seven year old’s favorite designer, the queen of posh and purple kittens, Lisa Frank.

Like a freakin’ time machine.



So how do you win this little box of happiness?

Four possible entries (leave a separate comment for each):

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

Tweet about the giveaway and include a link to this post.

Mention this giveaway in a blog post and include a link.

Like Love is the Adventure on Facebook.



The giveaway will close on Friday night (2/3/12) at midnight and I will announce the winner on Saturday morning!

What do YOU most miss about being a kid? What thing makes you really nostalgic for that time of your life?

love, elizabeth

Monday, January 30, 2012

Girl Confessions

I’ve had some girl-thoughts this weekend and it’s time for me to share them here. That’s how utterly consequential they are.

1. I really love wearing make-up. And Kyle’s old band t-shirts. It makes me feel like I’m still 17. Sometimes I miss being 17. My friend Sarah over at Sarahcastically is sharing hilarious eye make-up tips today. Check it out.

2. Sometimes I pretend I’m in a music video. Like this one. Just for example.

I probably couldn’t pull off that sweater.

3. While I remain faithful to both my real-life husband Kyle and my movie husband Ryan Gosling, I need to say that Billy Baldwin is really beautiful. I know, I know. He is sooooo 1991. But let’s be serious. How is he not a cop/fireman/fbi agent in real life? He really makes diving into the water sideways while shooting ex-KGB militants look like a cake walk. And he does that surprised/man sad look so well. Plus he’s the only actor who wear that much hair gel and not look like a New Jersey car salesman.

4. I really, REALLY love Valentine’s Day. Sometimes I just walk up and down the Valentine’s aisle in the grocery store, just to try and absorb all the hot pink gorillas and conversation hearts. It’s a problem.

Here’s a tiny preview of what you’re all going to have to suffer through in the month of February…


I made that.

And that’s ten minutes you just spend reading this that you are never going to get back. You’re welcome.

Bring on the Monday!

love, elizabeth

PS: Be sure to stop back for the Valentine's Day giveaway tomorrow!

Friday, January 27, 2012


I’m having a disjointed, unorganized Friday and obviously, the blog is going to reflect that. And honestly, I have been feeling funky, blog-wise. And what do I do when I’m feeling disjointed and unorganized?

I make a list.

This is going to be lame. You have been warned.

List of Things coming up on Love is the Adventure

(Don’ t look at me like that. I warned you.)

1. A post on St. Augustine – I read something from Confessions this last week and it just cut me to the quick, you know? Say what you will about S.A. of H. but the man had a way of just completely opening his heart on paper. Or papyrus. 

2. Valentine’s Day giveaway. Um, I am so excited about this. I kind of wish I had the magical ability of giving this away to EVERYONE but since I don’t…I hope you’ll come back and enter.

3. DIY project for the sweetheart in your life. I’m sensing a theme this month…

4. Sun-lamps. This is a thing and we’re gonna talk about it.

5. Movie review of One for the Money. I’m going to see it tomorrow and so help me, if they have screwed this up, I am going to be mad as heck. Heck, I tell ya. If you too decide to indulge in le cinema weekend, be sure and tell me what you see!

6. Re-vamping my About Me page. It’s lacking.

Oh, yeah, AND I’m wondering if anyone is interested in guest-posting over here. I am going to be at a conference the third week of February and I need someone to babysit LITA! If you have an idea for a post, email me.

What kinds of blog plans do you have?

love, elizabeth

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Celebrate Everything


1. My brand new sun lamp (post to follow). What up, Seasonal Affective?

2. Holding an actual second folio of William Shakespeare in my hands (published circa 1632). Magic.

3. Getting a haircut. My bangs are thanking me.

4. Losing 4.6 pounds this week! I do not even know how that happened but I almost cried when I saw the scale at Weight Watchers.

5. Kyle. I came home from school tonight to a spotless house and two baskets of clean, folded laundry. All of which he did today on his one day off this week. It was such a selfless act of service on his part and I was so humbled by his thoughtful gift to me. I want so badly to be the kind of woman he deserves but on days like today, I feel like I fall so short. And he loves me, anyway. Wow.

6. A really encouraging meeting with my faculty advisor. I have been feeling nervous about my candidacy exam in the fall but now I’m just so excited to start reading officially!

It was a week to celebrate and I’m so thankful.


What about you? What are you celebrating this week?

love, elizabeth

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Happy Birthday, Marine

My baby brother turns 21 today. He’s not home from his deployment yet so say a prayer for his safe return!




Here’s a song for you, Ben. I love you and I can’t wait until you’re home!

Have a good Wednesday everybody!

love, elizabeth

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Newlywed Game

A few nights ago, we had some new friends over for dinner and board games, Danny and Janelle! This last summer I found a game from 1986, the board game version of the television show, The Newlywed Game.



Janelle and Danny are actual newlyweds (they got married in October) and they had such a great sense of humor about this ridiculous game…



After awhile, all we did was crack up at the silly outdated language on the cards and count every single time the card referenced “making whoopie.” Hilarious.

It was such a fun night and it made me want to make more time to play board games! What about you? What board game are you playing lately? What’s your favorite game to play with other couples?

love, elizabeth

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Reason for Blogging…

One of my favorite bloggers, Alana, recently wrote about why she blogs. You can go read about it here. Her post had me asking myself the same question. Why do I blog?


Here’s a little list of reasons:

1. Having a blog is a good excuse to take pictures of everything.

2. My blog is my safe place. I work really hard to make sure it stays that way.

3. Blogging makes me a more adventurous person. (Hence the name of the blog…) I want to try new things and visit new places so that I have something interesting to write about!

4. Being a blogger has helped me practice introspection. Being able to confront my fears and struggles and the good stuff, too, is making me more self-aware (I hope).

5. My blog has given me the opportunity to connect with other writers and artists and creative people and I think it’s made me more open to learning about new things or ideas.


What about you? What keeps you blogging?

love, elizabeth

PS: Thank you, Alana, for prompting this post! Be sure to stop by and visit her at mrs. alana’s miscellany

Friday, January 20, 2012

Parting the Sea

I had a discouraging morning. Without boring you with the details, let’s just say I made some discoveries during a graduate school event that have reminded me of exactly HOW slim the chances of employment are for someone with a PhD in theatre. It’s actually really, really frightening. I’ve spent the last couple of hours mourning. Mourning my decision years and years ago to major in theatre and not something else, to pursue not one but THREE degrees in this field, to move across the country away from my family and friends and put myself through academic hell for this seemingly useless piece of paper. It’s a dark place, you guys.


I’ve always said that every time I’ve asked for a clear sign, God has opened the door, led me farther down this path. I said, “God, if I’m supposed to go to graduate school, please let me be accepted to the one school I really want to attend.” And then I was accepted. I said, “God, if I’m supposed to go to graduate school, please let me have funding.” And I got funding. I said, “God, if I’m supposed to get my PhD, please let me get accepted into the ONE program I applied for.” I got in. Every step, every time.

And this morning, I had a moment of anger and bewilderment. I found myself crying out to God, “Why did you bring me here to Columbus to this program? Why did you get me halfway to my doctorate only to let me discover it’s almost POINTLESS to keep going? Why didn’t you just let me major in nursing??”

And then I was struck, full-force, by a passage in the book of Exodus in the Bible. God has led Moses and the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt (uh, let’s be clear that I am in no way comparing my academic career to actual human slavery). He’s taking them to the Promised Land. God has delivered them from their captors, from their suffering. He has sent plague after plague upon their oppressors. He has delivered them at every. turn. He is actively working to fulfill their dream of freedom and hope and a new life. And then…the Pharaoh of Egypt sends his army after them, to chase them down where they are trapped against the shore of the Red Sea. And so naturally…

"The people began to panic, and they cried out to the Lord for help. […] ‘Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? Why did you make us leave?’” (Exodus 14:10b-11, NLV).

And then…God parts. the. sea. WOW.

It’s like He says to us, “No way forward, huh? I’ll make one. If you would just trust me, Israelites. If you would just trust me, Elizabeth…Trust me and I will part the sea for you.”



This morning I am so humbled by this. I have absolutely ZERO idea what the future holds. Will I finish my PhD? Will I get a tenure-track faculty position at a well-respected university? Will I do something else entirely? I don’t know.

But today, I am asking God to part the sea for me, not so that I can have the most lucrative or high-paying or well-respected job or even so that I can have a steady, stable income and career. Not even that. I am asking God to part the sea and lead me down the path to His dream for me. God, you don’t have to fulfill my dreams. But please, God, fulfill yours through me. Part the sea. And I will cross it.

What about you? What sea are you hoping to cross in your life? I hope today you are ENCOURAGED by the knowledge that God has dreams for you.

love, elizabeth

PS: Stay tuned…a Valentine’s Day giveaway is on the horizon…

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Making My Own Sunshine

Yesterday, I talked about suffering from seasonal affective disorder (you can read that post here).

I want to talk about fighting it. I have to consistently remind myself that while the weather is out
of my control, I can exert control over some pretty important things. I call it my battle plan.
Eating right. Part of my effort to fight SAD this winter is to make a conscious effort to eat good,
high-nutrition food instead of blowing through empty carbohydrates in an effort to control my
mood (especially in the evening). I started Weight Watchers just before the new year and so
far, I’ve felt really successful at managing my mood swings and cravings. WW is great for me
because I don’t feel like I have to deny myself when I’m hungry but it’s great for helping me
determine portions.
Creating safe refuge space. Keeping the apartment neat and the clutter to a minimum keeps
me from feeling overwhelmed at night (when I’m more likely to be depressed and anxious).
Comforting scents. Along with some woodsy, cozy candles, I’ve been using more scented
lotion this winter. I’ve noticed that smell has a lot to do with my mood. And though I tend to
stay away from fruitier or more tropical smells, I’ve been using lotion with coconut in it because
it reminds me of sunscreen (and inevitably, the beach).
Strategic lighting. I avoid fluorescent or harsh lighting at night and instead opt for softer lamps
and candles after dark. I’m also trying a combination of grow/sun lamps for short intervals in lieu
of actual sunshine. Eventually, I may have to try professional light treatment through my doctor
but I’m going to try this for a little while first.       
Not leaving important decisions/difficult work for late at night. As a grad student, this is difficult
but I’m trying to change my study habits to manage my depression.  
Making fun plans with people. It gets easy to isolate myself in the winter but I’m working hard to stay
involved with friends and make time for fun outings with Kyle and other couples.
And if all else fails…fantasize about how amazing spring break is going to be in Myrtle Beach.

If I close my eyes tight enough, I can almost feel the rays. March can’t come fast enough.

love, elizabeth

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Throwing the Switch: Seasonal Affective Disorder

Every winter, like clockwork, I. get. sad.

Like really sad.

It’s most difficult at night or on overcast days. Last winter, it was so bad, I started attending counseling. And I couldn’t figure it out. I didn’t understand why it was impossible to feel motivated, why I felt like curling up in a ball and crying in the evening hours, why all I wanted to do was eat or sleep, why I gained weight so quickly. I didn’t understand it, at all.

Until one day last February, when I woke up to the sun shining and the birds tweeting and an unseasonably warm winter day and I had the best day I’d had in months. I was singing in the shower. I was smiling at strangers. I felt like I had energy zinging from my fingertips and the ends of my hair.
It was like someone had flipped a light switch.

And when other people comment on the change in me, I knew there was a connection.
I feel a little like a mad scientist somewhere is screaming, THROW THE SWITCH, IGOR! THROW THE SWITCH!

Like any other kind of depression, seasonal affective disorder stems mainly from things outside of my control. I can’t send the heavy Ohio clouds away or keep the sun from going down by 5 pm all winter. Sometimes it feels like I’m stuck in a fog or weighed down by a heavy load of bricks. For someone like me who is constantly moving and doing, this lack of motivation is confusing and frustrating and disempowering.

This year, I’m trying to be more proactive about my SAD. I may not have control over the weather or the sun. But I do have some measure of control and I am determined to find it. More on that, next post.

Anyone else suffer from seasonal depression? How do you take care of yourself?

love, elizabeth

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

DIY: Phone Book Stationery

I felt the urge to be crafty Sunday afternoon and this is what happened.

I started with some blank colored stock card stationery that I’ve been saving.


I cut out a tiny bird pattern from a craft book and traced it out on the yellow pages of an old phone book (these days, I seem to have like eight of them lying around).



I don’t even know how many of my DIY projects involve this glue but it’s my favorite. Mod-Podge – inexpensive and easy to find in lots of different stores.


I patterned several birds on each individual card.


I layered pages of the phone book with lighter card stock and bird details.



I ended up creating a similar pattern with hearts that I like, too.


This project didn’t take a whole lot of concentration or brain cells which is exactly what I was hoping for. I plan to tie up the two sets with some twine and give them as gifts.

What about you? Working on anything creative?

love, elizabeth

Monday, January 16, 2012

Breakfast is an Occasion

Sunday made me long for luxurious mornings every day when one might rise and set the table and light candles and serve fresh blackberries and eggs on toast instead of what usually happens (I wake up late and stuff a handful of Life cereal in my purse.


These little guys were a gift from Sarah courtesy of Paulova Ceramics, available on Etsy here. They make me happy.


Fresh blackberries…


And a pot of my new favorite coffee, the Starbucks blonde roast, Veranda Blend. One of the many perks of being married to a barista.

The point is…breakfast should be an occasion and I just rush over it to all the rest of the stuff in my day. Maybe this will be the motivation I need to wake up earlier?

What about you? What’s your favorite meal of the day?

love, elizabeth

Sunday, January 15, 2012


We spent the first half of this weekend with our best friends, Beth and Zach, who came up from Kentucky to visit us. We haven’t had a chance to see them since the end of the summer and we were so excited to spend some time…

We ended up at one of our favorite spots, B.D.’s Mongolian Grill for lunch…



And Beth let me drag her to the Yellow Sale at Bath & Body Works (I have a problem…I realize).


And while the boys went out and saw Mission Impossible, we painted our nails (I’m a recent fan of J. Crew’s electric pink…) and watched the greatest romance of all time, The Notebook.


Uh, PS: Henceforth, we are replacing the word ‘hot’ with ‘Ryan Gosling.’ As in, ‘Wow, it is so Ryan Gosling outside…we should go to the pool!” or “Dang, you’re looking real Ryan Gosling today. Have you been working out?” or “These chocolate chip cookies just came out of the oven and they’re still pretty Ryan Gosling. Do you want some milk?”



I’ve been a little sad since they left this morning but so, so thankful for the time together.


Bonus of having company? The house is totally clean. How has your weekend been so far?

love, elizabeth

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dance Break: The Pipettes

Here’s a song to dance your way through Friday…it’s almost the weekend! This one is keeping me happy lately…hope you enjoy.

What’s on your playlist right now?

love, elizabeth

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Celebrate Everything

Continuing my commitment to celebrate the little things, here’s my weekly celebration list:

1. A cup of tea with my friend Rosie. We had the loveliest conversation.

2. Losing 3.2 pounds this week.

3. A spontaneous date with my husband. I didn’t even realize how much I was craving his undivided attention and advice.

4. Starting the compilation of my candidacy exam reading list. This may sound silly – celebrating a list I haven’t even finished writing (let alone reading) but this one was weighing on my mind and just getting started makes it seem less scary.

5. The Yellow Sale at Bath and Body Works where stuff in the store is up to 75% off. This is a trivial one but I scored some really happy-scented lotion and some cozy candles. Smell is a big one for me, especially in the winter time. My new favorite? Strawberry Sparkler. (Girls, the travel-size is $1.25 online right now…just saying…)

Well, there we go. Operation: Celebrate Everything continues…


What about you? What are you celebrating this week?

love, elizabeth

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Every Morning

I’m having one of those slump-weeks. You know what I’m talking about. One of those weeks that starts out with all the good intentions of a Sunday night but peters out by Wednesday at noon.

The apartment is a mess. I feel behind I’m on my work already. Perpetually behind, in fact. And I feel like I have no. energy. I know a huge part of this is my Seasonal Affective Disorder and I have to keep reminding myself that it’s the light deprivation causing a lot of this.

This is the verse that got me going today.

“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:22-23



God’s compassion and mercy is new every morning and that makes me feel new every morning!


What about you? How’s your Wednesday shaping up?

love, elizabeth

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

“I get awesome, instead.”

Well, the cold germs are making the rounds here in Kyle-and-Elizabeth-land. I’m doing my best to stave the onslaught but I suppose, in the end, it will be unavoidable.

Alright, time to make this cold run for its miserable snot-nosed life. Where did I put my multi-vitamin?

Which makes me think of when Barney gets sick on How I Met Your Mother.

What do you do to fight illness?

Stay healthy.

love, elizabeth

Friday, January 6, 2012

For the Love of a Good Dog…

Kyle and I were talking tonight about the best things about owning a dog and, as per usual, waxing poetic about Madigan and how sweet and fuzzy and perfect she is in every way (in our opinion).

I know not everyone is a pet person and many of you love cats, too, but I just have to say that, for me, there is nothing in the universe like burying your nose in a dog’s fur or feeling a cold, wet nose nuzzling under your chin in the middle of the night or coming home after the longest, worst day to that big smile and those barks of delight and howls of consternation.

Madigan has been sick this week and we had to take her to the vet. She’s been pumped full of antibiotics and probiotics and on a special diet for her digestive tract but we’re happy to say she seems to be feeling better today.

And if you’re a dog person like me, this video will make you happy, too. It’s an old one but I hadn’t seen it before. This soldier was returning from Afghanistan and his dog ran outside to greet him. Just watch.

I’d write more but Madigan is busy trying to shove her entire body between me and the laptop so I guess that means it’s time to go to bed.

love, elizabeth

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Celebrate Everything

What would my daily life be like if I intentionally celebrated not just the big stuff but the little stuff, too? Sometimes I think I get so wrapped up in the big picture goals that I forget about all the little baby successes I had along the way. So I’m trying something new…


This week I am celebrating…

1. Seeing “Doctor of Philosophy” for the first time below my name on the graduate student photo directory in the lobby. I’m not a PhD yet but seeing those words reminded me how excited I am to be a day closer to my degree.

2. Eating right. I just got back from my Weight Watchers meeting and I lost four pounds!

3. The first real snow in Columbus. It may only have been an inch or so but it was a glorious powdery delight to me and Madigan.


I think I’m going to try to do this every week. What about you? What little (and big) successes can you celebrate this week?

love, elizabeth

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Hour

How much can I actually get done in an hour? We’re going to find out.

This year, this January anyway, I’m implementing “the one-hour system.” With graduate school and Kyle’s crazy hours and church and outside obligations, it’s easy to lose sight of the house, of the laundry, the dishes, of making meals, and other daily chores. I’m committing to using the one-hour system Monday-Friday for at least this month.

The rules are…

  • I get one hour a day. Knowing myself, it will probably be an early evening hour, maybe around 4 or 5.
  • During that hour, no internet, no television, no studying, no working out.
  • Instead, during my hour, I can take Madigan for a walk, make dinner, pick up around the apartment, do a load of laundry, keep up with my new filing system and/or any other household maintenance.
  • I’m trying to make this hour a fun thing – I can listen to some of my dance albums on vinyl. I can have a cup of coffee. I can call my mom. All as long as I keep myself busy being productive around the apartment.
  • When the hour is up, it’s up. I have to wait until tomorrow’s hour to work again. Then I can turn my attention to my (no doubt plentiful) homework and study and hopefully squeeze in a work-out.


One hour. How much do you think you could get done if you really gave yourself a whole hour?

love, elizabeth

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ever Had One Of Those Fights…

Ever have one of those fights where you and your husband scream at each other and slam doors and freak out and don’t even stop twenty minutes in when you realize you can’t remember what you’re upset about but instead continue to loudly bang pots and pans around in the kitchen and huff indignantly and roll your eyes like you’re getting paid for it?

Yeah. Me neither.

But you guys…I have discovered the SECRET to conflict resolution.

I swallowed my pride. I opened the bedroom door and I showed him…this.



And Kyle, bless his heart, did this.


This is why I love being married.

What silly tricks have you and your spouse/partner learned to help resolve arguments?

love, elizabeth

Monday, January 2, 2012

Papers, papers everywhere and not a drop to…

I am so tired of piles of paper littering every surface of my apartment. Junk mail and bills and syllabi and magazines and pamphlets and greeting cards. It’s. never. ending.

But no more. NO. MORE. I just read a fantastic how-to in the January 2012 issue of Better Homes and Gardens (which, incidentally, is so sneaky, it lured me into subscribing with a sneaky $5.99/12 mos introduction offer…see what I mean? PAPER EVERYWHERE!).

Anyway, I’d like to share my new attempt at keeping papers filed.


So all paper that comes in goes into the ‘Action File.’ If I can sort it everyday, I should be able to keep the mess under control. ‘Do Now’ is for stuff that has to happen THIS WEEK. ‘Do Later’ is for stuff that has to happen in the next three months. ‘Pending’ is for stuff I have to wait on – textbook orders, invoices, a call back, whatever.



This little guy is a refuge from a 1940’s department store (he used to hold ladies’ stockings). I found him in an architectural salvage here in the city. Anything else goes either in the trash, the shredder, or in one of these slots. Once a week, this gets emptied and everything filed in the filing cabinet in the office or, as Better Homes and Gardens calls it, “my long-term storage solution.”


This could be really  hard to maintain. But I’m going to try. Which brings me to my new “one-hour system.” But that’s a post for tomorrow.

What kinds of new organizational tools are you trying this year? Happy January 2nd!

love, elizabeth

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...