The Random Writings of Rachel: October 2012

Vlog Time

video

Hey ya'll, no apologies for this vlog, because I only apologize for important matters. But you should still watch it, because I make a very shocking confession (hint: it's about coffee).

5ohwifey

Green, Red, and Hot Pink




Remember how I mentioned before that I name my outfits? This one is named "Valentine's Day." I actually do wear my red turtleneck and hot pink dress combo every February 14.

And yes, I know I was wearing this in late October but it's too happy of an outfit to relegate to once a year.

And may I just add, in my best fashion blogger voice, "I just can't get enough of the green, red, and hot pink color combo that is so big this season! Everyone's wearing it and I just had to jump in on such a fun trend!!"

:) Get it? Or am I only amusing to myself?


Further Notes: Sparkly Converse are the best shoes in the world and Papa Johns makes the best pizza in the world.

Do You Want to Sponsor Me?

 I promise it will be fun!

 See how excited I am? How could it not be fun?

If you've been hanging out here for a while, you'll notice that I haven't had any paid sponsor posts or guest posts on my blog yet. Here's the thing. I love writing. All the time. The main reason I started a blog was so that I could write everyday without it seeming like too strange of a hobby. And, I believe what most readers want to see when they come to a blog is that blogger's own voice, for the most part. That's why I'm not big on inviting other people to come on over here and start writing. There's some blogs out there that I really enjoy, and I love visiting them, and while it's nice to discover new, interesting blogs through guest and sponsor posts--It's also kind of disappointing when you head over to read your favorite blog for the day, but there's nothing new from the author of that blog--instead, a post written in a completely different style and voice.

What I'm thinking right now, is that, as I start encouraging you guys, possible sponsors, to advertise on my blog, instead of doing the stereotypical "Sponsor Spotlight" post, which would involve me making up random questions and asking you to send me pictures and short bios of yourself, what I'd like to do is write about a sponsor myself. If you pay for an ad on my blog, I'll read your blog, find out what I can about you from the info you've posted, and write about you and what I like about your blog and which posts of yours I think my readers would like. Honestly, I kind of see it as a bit of laziness on the part of a blogger who gets paid ads that they have to ask for a whole bunch of information from their paid sponsors in order to promote them. I'd rather get to know your blog in such a way that I can genuinely and knowledgeably promote you in my own words.

I currently have one paid sponsorship option available, for the low price (everyone says their price is low, I have to join them) of $7. Check it out, and my stats, at my Sponsor page.

The Newlywed Question

Angel and I have been married nearly two years, and we still haven't provided our parents with any grandchildren. In spite of our remarkable hesitancy to achieve that milestone, the question, "So when are you guys going to have kids?" has popped up with startling frequency from the day after our wedding till now.

 I can't remember if it was this summer or last summer, but one fine day I invited some relatives over for a party and, before we ate, I said, "I invited you guys all here for a reason."

My aunt interrupted, "You're going to have a baby?!!!!"

"Umm, no." I said, "We needed more muscles to  help Angel carry the computer desk upstairs."

Angel has his own way of dealing with the fact that everyone related to us constantly seems eager to hear news that we're adding a third member to our family. Some months ago, while we were visiting family, Angel casually asked my aunt, "What would you say if I told you Rachel was pregnant?" My brother Isaac, who knows Angel pretty well and overheard the conversation, immediately said, "Not believe you." but my aunt started getting all excited. Angel has played exactly the same trick on several more occasions since then, but I've tried my best to talk him out of it. I've told him the story of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" in order to teach him about not lying to people, but I have a sneaking suspicion that he thinks it would be great if when we did finally announce that I was pregnant--that no one believed us. He's strange like that.

And, in case you're wondering when we are going to have a baby. I'll tell you.

Not Today!

Baby Rachel

Baby Angel

Bare with Me

I'm not one of those grammar-correctors. You know, the people who go all prim and proper on you and say "It's not "Can I go to the bathroom?" it's "May I go to the bathroom?" or who send you back the letter you wrote them with red pen markings where your grammatical and spelling errors are.

I actually find those people very annoying. Currently, there's a kid in my class who goes around correcting everyone's grammar and pronunciation as they are speaking throughout the day, and sometimes I feel like shaking him. Either that or asking him if he got a perfect score on his ACT.

Okay, most of the time I'm really good but I still laugh about the time he told me that he thought "No Loitering" and "No Littering" meant the same thing, because they sounded the same, they were just spelled a little differently
 
I know English grammar, and spelling, very well. The most thrilling job I've ever had was when I graded papers for a busy professor when I was in college. But I choose not to correct the speech of people around me. I'm fundamentally opposed to it, for one thing, because I believe that spoken English need not follow all the rules laid out in our high school textbooks. Any language, when spoken or written informally, should have a little more color to it than the textbooks allow. For the second reason, I've spent a large part of my life around non-native English speakers. I'm even married to one! Most of the time, non-native English speakers aren't going to speak as correctly or as naturally as a native speaker does, and that's okay! You know what, I'm impressed with everyone who learns English as a 2nd, or 3rd, or 4th language. It's a hard language to speak, and learning any languages as an adult is difficult. I'm okay with the errors a non-native speaker makes, and unless I'm in a teaching position, or if they've specifically asked me to help them with their English, I'm not going to correct them, instead, I'm going to choose to understand their meaning even if they don't have the right words.

Few things irritate me more than native English speakers who stubbornly refuse to understand broken or strongly accented English. I choose to understand, or seek to understand when it's difficult, because Mandarin Chinese is my 2nd language and Spanish is my 3rd. I'm not fluent in either. My tones in Chinese are a little sketchy sometimes and, in the heat of the moment, I usually start putting all of my Spanish verbs in the present tense. But I know I appreciate it when the native speakers I talk to don't laugh at me or act like they can't understand anything I've said because I made a few mistakes.


However, even though I don't correct other people's speech. I feel there is one thing I need to address. I have seen this phrase so often on so many people's blogs: "Bare with me."

And it always makes me giggle. I do not usually have a childish sense of humor, but I can't seem to help it in this case. The sheer frequency of this phrase makes me think that the meaning of it is not commonly known among bloggers. "Bare with me", at least to me, implies being bare with someone....as in not wearing any clothes with someone. The term most bloggers are searching for is "bear with me," as in, perhaps, bear with me the burden of this long explanation in my blog post.

So, for future reference, you'll almost never run into a situation where you need to write "bare with me," though you may find plenty of uses for "bear with me."

My Red Plaid Purse

I've discovered that, in the blog world, people like purses.

I find that somewhat strange, just because, try as hard as I might to imagine what it must be like....I'm just not a purse girl.

Give me a pair of shoes, and I'll be super excited. Give me a purse, and I'll very politely say--It's okay, I don't need a purse, I already have one. See below:

 Angel gave me this purse our first Christmas together. And yes, the rubber band ball was inside it. Why, I don't know. Angel's presents are extremely random.
And yes, I wear my red plaid purse with everything. I hear that mismatching is in right now, which always works to my advantage. In reality, if I didn't have to carry one, I'd never carry a purse. Before I started driving, I never carried a purse--I'd just put a little cash and my house keys in my pockets and go. But now I need a wallet and driver's license, and car keys, and who knows what else I keep in there. Sometimes I keep forks in there in case I forget to put a fork in my lunch bag for school, but that's beside the point.

The main reason I don't like carrying a purse is because they're so easily lost and left behind. Angel and I were at one of our favorite restaurants--one where the waiters recognize us because we've been going there so long. After our delicious dinner, we headed out to the car, and just as we were getting in, we were surprised to see our friendly waiter chasing us down with my purse in his hands. "This is a very nice gift," he said, as he returned it to me, "But I don't want it."

I don't want it either--but the only alternative to carrying a purse (or similar bag) I can think of is cargo pants, and I really don't think I have the right legs for those.

The Post where Angel talks about Rachel

 Linking up with Kay and Allie for Wedded Bliss Wednesdays, and I am even more excited about this week's post than usual.  Because Angel wrote it! I quite literally could not stop laughing as I was reading what he wrote. Now, his answers might not make quite as much sense to those of you who don't know Angel, so let me warn you, he's a character. My sister was saying to me just last week how she was so excited to find out what her birthday present was. She said, "I'm even more intrigued because you said Angel bought it. I know if you bought it I might be able to guess the general idea or type of present you might get...but Angel's so random, you never know what it might be!" She's right. You may also notice that he slightly changed the wording of some of the questions. Oh well, one must grant artistic license! ;)

What was the first thing you noticed about your wife?

Easy, she dressed weird. There was no telling what her style was. I was from California and everything you can think of exists there in terms of style, but with Rachel I couldn't figure it out. I could tell that her clothing was not second hand clothing because they were clean and neat looking, but it never seemed to fit with a style.  


 So, I wore this to one of the first few Bible study meetings where Angel got to know me.

What was the first thing that attracted you to her?

I found out that she was a genius (superbly intelligent) which I've only met 3 people in my life with that kind of intelligence and she is one of them. I said to myself, "Yes, I need to procreate with her in the near future because of her brain and those child bearing hips looked healthy enough.

 What's your wife's best quality?

Physically, her feet. They are perfectly proportional to her size and weight. Not wide, not webbed, no elongated toes, toenails perfectly rounded and squared, no bunyons, not hairy like mine, and her feet never smell.


Favorite thing to do to my wife or with my wife? I love playing arcade games with Rachel, especially games that involve tickets and ticket prizes. I'm always amazed at the amount of tickets she can rack up within the first attempt of any game. Our biggest game we play is Wheel of Fortune. My spinning gets the highest tickets and with her knowledge of figuring the words out we always win. If only we could make money some way like that then that would be my favorite thing to do.

What are you most excited for for the future with your wife?

 How far in to the future? I'm excited for the next weekend I have off to hang out with her. Far far in to the future? When I have to make the second biggest purchase in my life and that's buying her a car. I think that will be fun.


How do you make your wife feel loved?

My wife's first love language is words of encouragement or endearment. It makes sense to me since she is a writer. I'll leave her random sticky posts around the house before I leave to work. I write in our love journal telling her what I think about her. The way I try to make her feel loved is by buying her shoes.

A "Unique" Outfit and Hairstyles.

I went to visit my grandparents and siblings this last weekend. When I took my coat off at their house, the first thing my grandpa said was, "Oh, now I know why you can blog about clothes and stuff. That outfit is quite...unique."

And my brother said, "Actually, Grandpa, I think it's kind of tame for Rachel."

So, it's either a unique outfit or a tame outfit, it all depends on perspective.

 I was also able to use my newfound cosmetology skills over the weekend, because while I was there, I gave Isaac a clipper cut, colored Lizzy's hair black and practiced my fishtail and butterfly braid techniques.


This is Isaac showing me how the taking pictures of yourself from an arm's length away trick really doesn't work with fancy cameras. I guess the lens he was using wasn't great for this type of shot? Oh well, that's something my point-and-shoot has on his camera. Angel and I are always taking pictures from an arm's length away!

Fabric Map of the USA

You probably haven't noticed, but I've noticed, that the quantity of time I've spent crafting has gone down significantly ever since I started school. I've been crafting when I can, though! Since I just started sewing, I want to make sure I don't forget how to use the sewing machine just after I learned how!

I came across a Scrap Map Tutorial at the blog See Kate Sew, and thought it was the coolest project ever! Some of her tips came in really handy for the project--such as how to print off a poster-size map of the USA and to use the purple heat-n-bond and not the red kind.


 If you look at her project though, you can tell that I made a few modifications. Hers was a wall hanging, but I thought it would be cool to make mine into a pin board so that I could put pins in the places where we've traveled, so I stretched the fabric around a cork bulletin board. I also didn't have enough fabric scraps to use a different fabric for each state...so I repeated some fabrics a few times (Hey, I've only been sewing since June, I haven't bought 50 different pieces of fabric yet! That's probably a good thing.)
 

I only pinned the states where Angel and I have traveled together--all the states we've been to pre-marriage didn't count, for the purposes of the map, I decided. Because when you make the crafts, you make the rules.

I'm very happy with how it turned out, and I'm sorry East coast people, but a project like this really, really makes one appreciate the states like Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah when they are compared to all those tiny, oddly shaped states on the East coast!

Courtship-- Rachel and Angel Style

If you've been reading for a while...you may have picked up some hints that Angel and I didn't start out as a couple in the usual way. Instead of the flurry and excitement of dressing up for a first date and seeing where things went from there...we met at college and, after Angel graduated and moved away, began courting long-distance till he moved to my state two weeks before we got married. It was weird, I tell you, now that I think about it. We said, "When we get married..." to each other before we ever said "I love you." But I wouldn't trade my experiences for anything!

If you want the whole story, you're going to have to go visit Shaylee at Mother {at} Heart because I'm guest posting on her blog today!

Bed and Breakfasts

For our honeymoon, Angel and I decided to try a mode of accommodation that was completely foreign to the both of us: bed and breakfasts. We'd camped with our families growing up and stayed in motels, but we thought it would be fun to try something a little different for that special vacation.

However, after trying B&B's, we feel like we never want to stay in a normal hotel again! I think a big reason why people, especially those around our age and in our financial circumstances might avoid bed and breakfasts on vacation is because they are thought to be more expensive than hotels. From our experience, all three of the bed and breakfasts we've stayed in, in three different states, have had rates comparable to or cheaper than the local hotels, and all of them were from $70-$90 a night, three-course breakfast included. Of course you do have to shop around, as there are some bed and breakfasts that charge several hundred a night, but with a little research, you should be able to find one in your price range.

But I wanted to give you three big reasons why you should consider a bed and breakfast for your next vacation.

1. The Bed--usually much prettier than the bed you might come across at your average hotel chain.


2. The Breakfast--besides the three courses, there's usually fancy table settings and sometimes roses on your table, too! We thought this was way cooler than the mini boxes of cereal at a the complimentary continental breakfast bar.


3. Being mistaken for honeymooners. This was, obviously, not on our honeymoon trip, and to this day we're not entirely sure why the owners decided that it was our honeymoon, but we weren't complaining!


Have you ever stayed at a bed and breakfast? What do you think of them?

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And just in case you didn't notice, my 300 follower giveaway began earlier this week. There's still a few days to enter, so get to it! Okay, I'm done now.

Red Leather Gloves.

Once upon a time, I told Angel that I'd always wanted a pair of red leather gloves.

Like many of my feminine dreams...he couldn't quite understand my intense desire for red leather gloves. But, sweet husband that he is, because I didn't have any gloves, he bought me the perfect pair of dark red leather gloves at the beginning of the winter season, and I was ecstatic over my new treasures!

They kept my hands comfortably warm, too.


However, this is a true story, not a fairytale. I wore my gloves to school and back the day after Angel bought them. I wore them again the next day when I headed off to school, but I didn't wear them on my way home. That is to say, I wore one glove home, but not the other.

When I exited the building after my last class of the day, heading for my car, I reached into my coat pocket to pull out my beautiful pair of gloves, but only one glove was there. I immediately turned back around, fled down the hallways I had just walked, and frantically searched the last classroom I'd been in for my other glove. It was not to be found.

I went home, and facebooked kids that I had class with, asking if they'd seen a red glove anywhere around. None of them had. With great reluctance, I confessed to Angel that I'd lost my brand new glove, but I said, bravely, that he didn't have to but me another pair--I'd go with one glove for the rest of the season. Angel thought we ought to look around some more, and wait and see if the glove showed  up, but that he'd buy me a new pair as soon as he could, just in case.

A week went by, and then another. Angel bought me a pair of gloves, but they weren't red leather gloves. They were brown, and they fit well, and they were practical. I still missed my red gloves, even though I'd only owned them for a day, really. After another night class, I trudged down the hallway, headed toward my car, and then home. But, I saw something hanging on the bulletin board. It was a glove, pinned with a thumbtack to the bulletin board usually used for college announcements. But it wasn't just any glove.


It was a red leather glove, the match to my other one. Someone, somewhere, had found it, and hung it on the board for me to see it. I rushed back home to display my reunited pair of gloves to Angel.

And we all lived happily ever after.

I guess that actually was a fairy tale. Sure, it's a fairy tale about a pair of gloves, but hey, there's nothing wrong with that.

Almost Friday Blog Hop

I'm cohosting for Morgan's brand new blog hop today, you should all join in to find new blogs!
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hey friends! you heard it, it's thursday! which means we're one step closer to the weekend!
i'm proud to introduce to you an all new blog hop i've started over here at Quite the Blog.
the Almost Friday Thursday Blog Hop!

and i'm also glad have these lovely ladies as co-hosts this week!
the rules are:
1. add the Almost Friday Thursday Blog Hop button to site or blog post.
2. "like" the host and all of these lovely co-hosts on facebook and/or follow them on GFC!
3. link up your blog down below make new friends! follow! comment!
4. have fun! because it's almost the weekend!
your host:
Morgan
meet this week's co-hosts:





Marriage Advice


 Okay, we're currently at 22 and a half months of marriage, so "marriage advice" sounds funny, but bear with me! 

If you could give one piece of advice to any married (or soon-to-be married) couple, what would it be?
My Mom told me before I got married, "Mostly, husbands just want a clean house, a pretty wife, and good food." Now, that's just a basic generalization, and it doesn't really get into the theory of the marriage relationship and oneness or anything like that...but honestly, I think it's really good advice, because it works like a charm, as far as keeping Angel happy!

I asked Angel, and he said that his advice for marriage is in three parts:
1. Don't be lazy
2. Don't be selfish.
3. Pray.

What is an absolute MUST for any marriage/relationship?

Being able to put the other person first, and choosing not to seek your own benefits and your own desires all of the time.


What is the #1 no-no in a marriage?

To me, it's saying or doing anything with the express intent of hurting or annoying your spouse. Being married and living together allows you to get to know someone very well, to the point where they are more vulnerable to you than they are to most people. As part of the marriage trust relationship, I believe it's completely out of line to use your intimate knowledge of your spouse to hurt them. Obviously, you quickly learn all of the buttons that are easy to push, and you know the topics they are sensitive about, and the comments that can crush them--but no matter how mad you are, you should never purposely use what you know about them against them.


 Our First Christmas together, 2010

What is the biggest lesson you have learned from your marriage?

 So, funny story...actually not a very funny story...before I got married, I thought it was okay to  not forgive people whenever they didn't apologize for whatever they did wrong. I honestly, wholeheartedly believed that the Bible said that you only had to forgive people who were sorry. I know now, that that's utterly crazy. The Bible says no such thing. Forgiveness, choosing to not hold people's sin against them even though that's what they deserve, is a huge part of God's character. It was only after months of marriage, and tears, and frustrations, and a long conversation with my mom where she told me how crazy I was, that I learned I needed to be able to forgive people. I needed to forgive Angel, but not only him, every other person who'd ever hurt me, too. I've felt so freed ever since that day, I only wish I hadn't stubbornly held on to my 'right' to not forgive for so long!

Linking up with Kay and Allie for Wedded Bliss Wednesdays! 

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Have you entered my 300 Follower Giveaway yet? Because if you haven't, you should! 

300 Follower Celebration Giveaway!!

So. Guess what. Because of all you guys, I now have 300 followers!! This is so exciting for me. I've been at blogging since June...and I love it. I already feel a little bit like I can't imagine life without this opportunity to write and record my thoughts every day. Because, of course, my thoughts on such momentous things as why captcha really isn't that bad, and why changing your clothes in winter sucks are so profound that they ought to be recorded for posterity, obviously.

And, I said we would do a giveaway to celebrate 300 followers, and we are! Here we go! (Seriously ya'll, this giveaway is so nice, I wished I could have entered it. I secretly wish bloggers would just volunteer to give me stuff rather than volunteer to give my readers stuff...but unfortunately I've been told the world doesn't work like that!)

From me: A set of 4 reversible place mats. (Made by me!! You remember that sewing hobby, don't you?)


Pamela at The Songs on the Way: Two months medium (200x100) ad space


From Ech and Will: One Month 200x200 ad space

Halie at  Penguins, Pasta, and Polka Dots: A set of 5 bottles of nail polish


Kristin at Vignettes: One set of four hand-stamped cards from her shop



Christina at Wifey's Notes: An Owl Candle Pin



Leslie at Violet Imperfection:  60 days of 200x150 ad space.


Pamela at Macdonald's Playland: One month of 200x200 ad space

Angie at Glorious IMPERFECTion: Two months of 200x200 ad space


Mary at Little Bit of Class Little Bit of Sass: $15 giftcard to Target



One winner takes all! Unless the first winner chosen resides outside the USA, in which case, they will receive the ad spaces, and a second winner will be chosen, who will receive the stuff that has to be mailed. Sound like a deal? Good luck, and thank you all so much for reading!



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