February Gracie Update

Gracie is 11 Months Old.
Gracie's nanny wrote this update:

Gracie is now able to sit upright and crawls by herself. She can grasp toys near her and is able to change them from one hand to another. She enjoys observing her surroundings and recognizes her name being spoken. She has a big, beautiful smile and enjoys hugs. She has established a routine diet and normal sleeping pattern. She enjoys the company of adults and the games they play with her.

For those unfamiliar with Gracie's story.... Gracie arrived at New Day Foster Home in China last fall while I was volunteering. I instantly fell in love with her. Despite coming from poverty conditions, suffering from malnourishment, and needing heart surgery Gracie was sweetest and happiest baby I had ever met. After returning to the U.S., I decided to sponsor Gracie for the year. As a result, I receive monthly updates on Gracie's progress. Notice how tiny Gracie is in the photo with me and how much she's changed since last fall. What a difference; God is good!



Sorry I’ve been M.I.A in blog land this week. I’m having the busiest week and I don’t think it’s going to slow down until the weekend. Thank goodness for hump day! It’s almost over.

Brittney at Running in High Heels tagged me. She asked, “What’s on your spring wardrobe pallet this year?” I’ve been so obsessed with cleaning out my apartment and closet, I hadn't put much thought into it until Brittney ask.

The most exciting thing about spring for me is dresses! Unfortunately, Houston has a short spring. Summer comes too quickly and stays for a long time. So, we have many, many, many months to wear spring and summer clothes.

Here are a few things on my wish list this year…

I live in casual dresses in the spring and summer!
Love this little dress from Old Navy. It's perfect for running errands
and it's only $24.50.

This dress is also from Old Navy for $29.50.

Love this red dress from J. Crew.
It would be so cute with sandals for a casual look.
This would be the perfect dress for happy hour margaritas.

I love aqua blue! This J. Crew dress is SO cute.
It's a great Sunday church and brunch dress.

I also love the same J. Crew dress in black.

I purchased this dress last winter but I haven't worn it yet.
It will be a part of my spring wardrobe.

This Kate Spade bag from last spring will be a great addition
to this years wardrobe.


A Busy Weekend

After work Friday evening I decided I could no longer procrastinate… I had to clean out my closet. It took a looong time. I was working on it well into the night but it feels good to finally have it done. I didn’t take any before photos because I was too ashamed.

Saturday night Maria and I saw Legally Blonde the musical. I think I smiled throughout the entire show. I saw it on Broadway in 2007 but this time was just as fun! Maria and I decided to have dinner at my house before the show. We didn’t want to feel rushed at a restaurant. It worked out perfect because I love to eat at home.

For dessert we had pink cake!

Sunday was also a busy day. I haven't decided yet if I'll post about Sunday. Now it's Sunday night and I'm in San Antonio for work this week. Hope y'all have a Happy Monday!


Handwritten Letters and Cards

I love receiving handwritten letters and cards in the mail. Who doesn’t? As I sort through the junk mail and bills, it’s so exciting to find a letter addressed to me, in real handwriting. It’s always the first thing I open. Why don’t we send more handwritten letters, notes, or cards? These days it’s much easier to send a quick email or a text message.

About 5 years ago, I made a New Year’s Resolution to write one card a week to a friend or family member just saying, “Hi and I’ve been thinking about you.” One card a week, not hard. I stuck to the resolution for about 2.5 months!

I was recently reminded of how much I like receiving cards in the mail. My friend, Paula F., from church sent me the sweetest card.

Paula wrote...

Dear Jill,

I wanted to write you and tell you that I really enjoy reading your blog. I love being able to see into your life, your cute apartment, the fun you have with your friends, and your passion for Chinese babies. You live in the moment and enjoy your life and you will not regret that when you look back on your life later on. Thanks for sharing. Let’s get that drink one of these days.


Isn’t that sweet? Thank you, Paula! Your letter completely made my day.

A few weeks ago my neighbor, Mary, left a card on my door. The card was so funny. I must tell you a little history before I tell you what she wrote. Ever since Hurricane Ike, I’ve had this terrible smell in my kitchen. It comes and goes. I’ve called maintenance and they can’t figure out where it’s coming from. I have an idea of what it could be but I will spare y’all the possible details. It’s not a pretty picture. Mary and I share the kitchen wall so I asked her if she had noticed it. At the time, she told me “No.” Great… was it just in my apartment?

Mary wrote…

Hey Jill,

Kitty photo cards aren’t exactly my taste but once people learn you have a more than one cat, they assume you want “cat stuff!”

Anyway, I believe I have smelled the “kitchen stench.” It arrived about six this evening and although it is somewhat diminished, it is still around… and yes it is horrid! I think it is coming from under the sink. I’ve put baking soda into the disposal, but the smell continues. Is it worse when the weather is warm and humid?

Just want you to know I’ve smelled it too.


My mom sent me this card in 2007. It was really sweet and encouraging. I keep it in my day planner and it goes everywhere I go. I have had bad days at work and I take it out and read it.

Mom wrote...

Dear Jill,

I am so proud of you and thankful for God’s spirit that lives in you. I see the radiance of Him in your more and more. I love you and miss you. I’m excited to see the blessings that God is yet to send. May God richly bless your day!

Love from your cheerleader,

The card has this Bible verse on the inside...

“…My people will receive a double portion… and everlasting joy will be theirs.” Isaiah 61:7

I've never done this on my blog... I'm challenging myself and everyone else to send someone a card and tell them you're thinking about them. You never know, it might just be the one thing they needed to get through the day.


Car Accident and The Real Housewives

Car Accident~

This morning on the way to work I was in a car accident. It wasn’t my fault and I’m okay. However, I’ve been shaky all day. It really scared me.

The Story~ I was driving in the right lane towards a red light. The cars in the left lane were stopped. As I was heading toward the red light, I noticed a minivan in the left lane start to enter my lane. He didn’t look over his shoulder to see if anyone was coming. I honked my horn, slammed on the break, and swerved over as far as I could. He hit me. The guy stopped and gave me his insurance information. I told him to wait while I made a phone call. It’s a company car and I have to touch base with our fleet company for direction in the event of an accident. He fled the scene. I wonder if he thought I was calling the police. Oh well, what can you do?

Anyway, it’s been a long day. I can’t open the driver’s side door. So, the car had to go into the shop today. Also, I had to stop at the police station to fill out an accident report for my company. I had to get in and out of the car on the passenger side. That was embarrassing. As I was walking into the police station, my knees were shaking. I haven’t had shaky knees since the earthquake in California last year.

I’m thankful it wasn’t worse. Not that this matters but my rental car is gross. Y’all, it doesn’t have power locks or power windows. I didn’t know they made cars without power locks anymore!

The Real Housewives of O.C.~

Last night was the season finale of The Real Housewives of O.C. Most of the former housewives attended the finale party. Remember Quinn from Season 3 (pictured below), did anyone else notice she didn’t attend the party? I wonder why? How about Jo? Ugh! Did anyone else think Jo looked like Pocahontas with her new haircut? I don’t like bangs on her.

I can't wait until next season. I wonder if Gretchen will return for Season 5? Whooo Hooo! If you watch the show, you know what that's about. :) Love her!


I Wish I Could Sew

My parents were in the Houston area last weekend visiting friends. They came by my house on Sunday afternoon for a visit. My mom loves, loves fabric. She was Home Economics major in college and taught Home Economics after college. I WISH I could sew they way she does.

My mom has tried to teach me how to sew. I can do a few things but I'm terrible. A couple of years ago I purchased some fabric and a dress pattern. I cut out the pattern at my house and brought it to San Antonio to sew. My mom and I worked on it together and finished it. It fit me perfect but too bad I picked a weird printed fabric. I thought the printed fabric would make a cute dress and it just didn't work. A sweet lady from my church was going to Haiti to volunteer and ask for some clothing donations. The first dress that I ever made is in Haiti... I just couldn't keep it.

Last year my mom and I went fabric shopping in Fredericksburg, TX. We ended up with these pieces for a dress that she made for me.

The final result~ my profile picture.

Sunday my mom wanted to shop at High Fashion Fabrics. I was not planning on buying anything; so of course I left with a bag of fabric! Luckily, it was small bag. We found this really cute Asian Child Print with coordinating fabrics. The plan is to someday make a quilt for my daughter. I told my mom she has about 7 years to work on it since I'm not even close to that point in my life. Boo Hoo! I usually don't buy things for the future. However, this fabric was so cute we were scared when we actually want it, it would no longer be available.


Chinese Cooking Class

Friday night my friend Lindsay and I went to a cooking class at Central Market in Houston. Last summer I helped Lindsay decorate her house. As a thank you Lindsay purchased me a Chinese Cookbook by Dorothy Huang and Chinese cooking class taught by Dorothy. Soooo sweet. She really didn't have to do anything for me. I loved helping her. Decorating doesn't feel like work to me.

The cooking class was SO much fun. Seriously, it was the most fun I've had in a long time. Central Market has locations in the DFW area, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. If you have a Central Market in your area, you should definitely take a cooking class. I promise you'll love it!

If you're interested in Chinese Cooking, this is a great cookbook!

The Menu for the Evening~

Fried Wontons

Kung Pao Chicken

Stir Fried Vegetables

Beef Fried Rice

Almond Cookies

Lindsay and I got to help Dorothy make the Fried Wontons. I'm so glad we were picked to make the Wontons. They were the most complicated thing we made in the class and I'm glad I we got hands on practice. They're really delicious!

Okay~ Friday I was having such an off day. I looked SO bad....my make-up didn't go on right. My hair was a mess and I looked pregnant in this baggy shirt. I really don't think I'm going to wear this shirt again. I'm DONE with it!

Isn't Dorothy cute? I just want to take her home.


The Bag Game

I was tagged by Anna at Pocket Full of Pink. I recently discovered Anna’s blog and absolutely love it. Pocket Full of Pink… isn’t that a cute name? Stop by and say "Hi" to Anna.

Here's the rules~

1) Post a picture of whatever bag you are carrying as of late. No, you cannot go to your closet and pull out that cute little purse you used back before you had kids. We want to know what you carried today or the last time you left the house. No cheating!

2) Say how much it costs. This is not to judge. This is for entertainment purposes only. So spill it. And if there is a story to go along with how you obtained it, do tell.

3) Tag some friends.

I change purses all the time. The last two days I’ve been carrying my LV bag. The LV bag was a gift from my friend, Mark (not to be confused with Dr. Mark). Remember when I said I have five Mark’s in my Blackberry? I wasn’t kidding.

Mark and I have been friends for 11 years. Mark moved from Houston for about 2 years and then back to Houston in 2003. As he was looking for a place to live, he stayed on my couch. One day we were at lunch and he told me as a “thank you” gift, he was going to buy me a LV purse. I about freaked out! First, you don’t need to buy me a “thank you” gift for sleeping on my couch. That’s what friends do for each other. Second, that’s waaaaay too much. He insisted.

Mark and Me at my 30th Birthday Party.
(He's not my boyfriend)

I went with Mark to pick out the purse. I know how much it cost but really don’t want to post it on my blog. I’m sure y’all know how much a LV costs. When I first got it home, I sat the purse on the couch for weeks. I would sit next to it to watch TV and sometimes I would just stare at it. Anyway, it’s been put to good use since and I’ll never get rid of it. The traditional LV's are timeless.

I tag...

Sisters Jessica and Danielle. They always have the BEST purses.

Andrea at My Chihuahua Bites. Check out her new blog design. SOOO cute!

Julie at Wearing Mascara.

Alice at A Balancing Act in Heels.

Abbi at A Tid Bit of the Taylors.

Cyndi at Waiting for Lilly Rae.

Natalie at The Brocks Rock.

P.S. It kinda makes me crazy when blogger doesn't space correctly. Does anyone know how to fix it? Okay... I just added another photo to try and fix my spacing issues. Now instead of running together, there's too much space. It really bugs me when my posts are spaced right.



Last week I got the cutest announcement in the mail. This week M.A.C Cosmetics introduced a Hello Kitty line. It's too cute! If you're interested in purchasing any of the products, hurry to the M.A.C store or the online store. They're already running out of products.

Hello Kitty was introduced in 1974. She is 34-35 years old. So, she's for us older girl's too!

Cute Announcement

The Hello Kitty Collection

Items I Purchased Today

Isn't this Powder Cute?


Alphabet Meme

My friend Andrea posted an Alphabet Meme on her blog. Since I'm working in town this week and bored out of my mind, I thought I would play along. I am supposed to post something about myself or something I like corresponding to each letter of the alphabet.

A- Aprons

B- Bubble Baths

C- Condiments~ I'm not kidding... my refrigerator is full on condiments and no food.

D- Day of Our Lives~ Back in the day, I went to afternoon kindergarten. Before my mom dropped me off, we'd have lunch and watch Days. I record it everyday.

E- Elope~ When the day comes and I get married, I really want to elope. The key word being, "want." I realize it may not happen; I could end up with a wedding. Be careful what you say you'll never do, right?

F- Faith~ My faith is the most important thing in my life.

G- Gossip Girl~ Such a good show.

H- Handwritten letters

I- International Adoption. I can't wait!

J- Jet Setting~ I'm home for two weeks.... what will I ever do with myself?

K- Kids~ Well, kinda.

L- Legally Blonde~ The movie and the musical.

M- Mizuno~ The best running shoes! I might purchase a new pair this week.

N- New York City

O- OPI Nail Polish

P- Picture Taking

Q- Quilts

R- Real Housewives of Orange County~ I don't think it's a secret that this is one of my favorite television shows, ever. Next week is the season finale. Cry! Tueday nights won't be the same.

S- Swoozies

T- Thunder Storms

U- Upgrades~ I fly so much for work, I often get upgraded to first class. It really makes my day!

V- Vintage Finds

W- Wine

X- TeXas~ Okay, I had to get creative on this one.

Y- Y’all~ A great word.

Z- Zucchini~ One of my favorite veggies.


Thank You and So Cute

Thank you History of the Harveys, Fun with Super Munns, and Pearls and Bows for the Honest Scrap Award. Check out their cute blogs.

I saw this commercial last night during the rerun of Gossip Girl. How many reruns can we possibly handle? Anyway, I think the little girl in this commercial is soooo precious. I know it's a commercial but her fish is named Dorothy; love it!


Valentine's Day Swap

Sunday night when I arrived home from my weekend in San Antonio, my Valentine's Day Swap package was waiting for me. My partner was Natalie from The Brocks Rock! Natalie is so creative; she sent me the cutest things. Thanks, Andrea for hosting the swap.

A cupcake towel~ so cute!

Check out all the cute card making supplies

Stamps, Fingernail File, and a Super Cute Ring

Thank you so much, Natalie!