we have a winner...or two.

lovebirds.jpg picture by wakeworkrinserepeat
(Painting by me, adorable coasters by the very

lovely Naphtali of Second Street Designs.)

And the giveaway winner is...

Comment #19: Super sweet Jennifer of Rising Above the Storm! I know Jennifer in "real life", so it is with confidence that I can say that I just know she'll look SUPER sweet in that apron! :)

On to the cheeky challenge: The Award for Culinary Courage.

This one was tough, because truly, truly...y'all really brought your A-game. From nearly serving an uncooked bird, tomato explosions of epic proportions, flaming paper towels while trying to impress the parents, a mashed potato recipe that consisted of a butter to potato ratio of 32: 1...and so much more...I was nearly in tears as I read through these this morning! So, it was with great difficulty that I finally chose a winner...drumroll please...

LizzieBeth! Tilaplia + firey pan? Check. 12-fire-alarm chain reaction + summoned fire department? Check. Loathing neighbors + front yard walk of shame? Triple check. LizzieBeth, I painted you some lovebirds (see above). I noticed your new blog banner, and all the invites for your upcoming nuptials feature simple and sweet lovebirds. If you loathe this, please do pawn it off as a gift at a wretched baby shower. Pretend you bought it on Etsy for the event. Truly, I'll never, ever know. :)

Thank you all so much for playing...I can't believe how many of you took time to share your adorably, messily, undomesticated moments. You're all too funny, too sweet and so real. I adore Blogland. :)

Jennifer and LizzieBeth, e-mail me with your address at wwrinserepeat@gmail.com, and I'll ship your packages to you!

love mcmuffin'.

goodmorning.jpg picture by wakeworkrinserepeat

(Yes, I cut my sandwich into a heart shape. I realize this isn't normal behavior.)

Someday, I will be married and I will wake up early, sneak out to the kitchen and quietly make heart shaped egg sandwiches for my studly, sleeping husband...and maybe an adorable child or two...or five.
But for now? Waking up alone, clattering around in my tiny kitchen, setting off three fire alarms, photographing said heart-shaped sandwich and quietly catching up on your hilariously disastrous kitchen-related comments is A-okay. :)

Be back later with the giveaway winner...and the award for most-notable cooking disaster! In the meantime, if you're looking for another giveaway...head over to Hydrangeas and White Daisies and check out Cassie's adorable bouquet-themed giveaway!


giveaway update: erin's rule

weekendhurray027.jpg picture by wakeworkrinserepeat
(Me, greeting the morning. Typically not done with a camera and a 10 second
shutter delay, but the light was so lovely this morning, I just had to play.)

Hello, sweet, sassy weekend!

A giveaway update: I'm throwing into play a little thing called Erin's Rule, which came about during my last giveaway when the lovely Erin requested the ability to drop a second comment, in order to be double entered to win. Well, I really love Erin. And I really love giveaways. So, hence...Erin's Rule. Just a little helping hand to friends who read on a daily basis and see this post before midnight. Not that I don't love those who stop by once a month and catch up. Or those who stop once, hate me, but leave a comment anyway because they love free stuff. I love you all. I just extra love those who come around frequently.

Suffice it to say, if you haven't yet left a comment on my giveaway post, please do! If you've already checked that off your list, leave a second comment and be double entered to win!

Whew. Wow. So much energy right now. Happy weekend? :)

P.S. In case I forgot to tell you, life is sunny and colorful again. Thanks for sticking around through the clouds, and I hope you're still here for the sunshine. Life is good and God is greater, kinder to me than He needs to be. :)


no more waiting: giveaway!


Ahem. Tap...tap. Is this thing on?

I'm feeling quite rusty. Goodness, I promise that delay was not to build anticipation, but the effect of an onslaught of art history textbooks and late night still life paintings. Oy vey...if only I could remember how many hours I spent painting pears...or how many pears I've purchased in the last two weeks...

On to the giveaway, my dears! I'm a sucker for dreamy teal and green aprons. I rarely wear them, but believe nothing looks more welcoming than a crisply charming apron, hanging quietly from a hook...suggesting that I actually cook on a regular basis. Do not be fooled: I don't. Perhaps you do, and could put this beauty to use?

Perhaps you could also make use of this adorable starter recipe book...it's bound to look adorable on your shelf regardless. Filled with a handful of the sweetest, simplest recipes, as well as handy little categorized pockets to stash those pesky stray recipe cards and snipped magazine pages!

To enter: Simply leave a comment on this post before Sunday, February 21st...any comment will do! A simple hello...or if you're feeling cheeky, share your absolute worst kitchen disaster. (Best kitchen disaster wins a little token treat!) No matter where you reside... Connecticut, Canada or Costa Rica...manor, mansion or mobile home...this giveaway is so warmly open to all!

I'll post the winner on Sunday...until then, drop a comment! The more the merrier! :)


a lot of love to give.

lovetogiveaway4_picnik.jpg picture by wakeworkrinserepeat
This week I'm celebrating both my 200th blog post (a little late) and the wonderfully romantic, lovable holiday we call Valentines Day. A single girl has two options during the Valentine's holiday:

Hermitude: Hole up in her finest sweat apparel, lose herself in romantic comedies and waste days feeling sub-par due to a lack of man in her life.


Wholehearted Embrace: Throw herself into the spirit of Valentine's Day and spread the love anyway she knows how...even if it isn't with a dreamy man.

The latter is definitely more theraputic, and so I've chosen to embrace. Sincerely I hope you don't mind being my therapy...you don't mind? Fantastic. :) What better way to show some love than to host a little giveaway? Stop by Tuesday to check out the giveaway love...just a little something to encourage culinary creativity. :)

(Confession: This is me buying time so I can photograph my giveaway items.)

Have the very loveliest Monday imaginable. Typically, lovely Mondays don't exist in my world...but a girl can certainly dream and wish them for others. :)


to dad.

birthday1.jpg picture by wakeworkrinserepeat
(See P.S. note below.)

Dear Dad,

Happy Birthday! Although I've only been privy to 23 of your 51 years, those years have been incredible. This day in age, it means so much for a girl to have a loving, amazing father in her life...words can never say all that needs to be said to fathers like you. But, thank you. Thank you for:

...the late nights patiently explaining algebraic equations to a tearful 14 year-old me.
...the evenings spent in theaters watching my terrible musicals.
...not lecturing me when I drove to Chicago without asking.
...not killing me when my car broke down on that Chicago trip, and so patiently driving overnight to pick me up.
...rolling my hair into curlers at 1am for an entire week in the name of "theater".
...morphing a pillowcase into a poodle skirt the night before Halloween.
...buying Dana and I a kitten, even though mom nearly killed you for it.
...making me break up with that guy who didn't have a job when I was 16 (because, "How is he going to provide for you, Bethany?").
...never flinching when I painted my room at 2am, and instead showing me how to work the "W" with the roller.

For instilling in me a sense of creativity...encouraging the colorful girl within to emerge and find what she truly loves, no matter how bumpy the process. For telling me that I can do anything, if I put my mind and heart to it. For the loving encouragement when my heart gets broken. For teaching me how to find humor and laugher in life.

For being steadfast. For loving no matter what.

I love you. A girl couldn't ask for a better father. Thanks for being the man in my life. :)

Your 'B'

P.S. Concerning the above photo: Those are your drill bits. I wasn't sure how to reveal this to you, as last year when your power drill went missing, you swore to sniff out the drill thief and punish them mercilessly. I vehemently insisted that I'd borrowed and returned it. I was wrong. It was refound it a few months ago...but, I was scared to reveal that I am the drill thief. Whoops?


the sweetest woman in the blogiverse.

sweetpackage2.jpg picture by wakeworkrinserepeat
(I discovered a cookie-cutter hiding in the tissue paper after this photo!)

Have you met
Erin? Last week, Erin dropped me a little e-mail to say that she knew I was in need of some cheering up and had chosen me for a Pay It Forward chain...all I needed to do was send her my address! Happily, I agreed to participate.

And, goodness, does Erin know what cheers me! The package arrived...its crisp light kraft paper greeting me with sparkling rosy stickers and the very friendliest handwriting. Filled with carefully chosen gifts wrapped in aqua (!!) tissue paper, each item had a small Post-It note attached explaining why it had been chosen for me:

Teeny, tiny colored pencils: for the girl who loves to draw
A Starbucks gift card: to buy a cheery extra foamy chai latte and a treat
A bright 'B' magnet: because B is for Bethany
Sweet aqua cards: because I know you love teal blue!
The chicest pack of tissues: to wipe away tears, fashionably

A sunny notepad: a reminder to keep smiling
A soft pink cookie-cutter and yummy cookie recipe: perfect for a tea party with your girlfriends

It was far beyond swell. Infact, there aren't enough adjectives to describe exactly how wonderful it was. In the time that Erin and I have been reading each other's blogs, I've started to think of her a wiser, older sister. Always there with friendly comments and reassuring sentiments. Her blog is a space I love to visit...heartwarming photos of her little guys, thankful thoughts, sharing moments of days that are simply sweet. I could just hug her. :)

I realize I say this frequently, but Blogland is such a lovely place. Although most of us have never met, and are separated by hundreds, thousands of miles...so many of us have similar hearts. Hearts that cause us to stop and see beauty, to cheer strangers, to find meaning in a world that so often doesn't make sense.

Group cyberhug? :)


the eyes have it.

eyecontact4.jpg picture by wakeworkrinserepeat
(Confession: I collect salt and pepper shakers. Just a few of them, but I like to set them up like this. Uninterrupted adorable eye contact.)

Several days ago I found myself gazing into a very handsome man's blue eyes, and he into mine...both of us trying desperately not to blush as five minutes passed. Three hundred seconds of uninterrupted eye contact. The blushing was nearly unavoidable as we sat three feet apart, silently allowing our eyes to travel across every millimeter of the other's face. Exploring lips, skin, cheeks...colors and textures and shapes.

Talk about getting intimate with a stranger.

We were in a classroom filled with 20 others, and preparing to draw portraits. Thinking back to those few minutes, I felt so exposed. I couldn't hide anything. A flinch, a smile, an expression...he could see it all. The first minute felt like an agonizing hour, the second like an entire day, but by the third it began to feel comfortable, like I'd known those eyes for some time. Slowly, as the seconds slipped by, the vulnerability felt strangely therapeutic.

The experience now has me thinking about how infrequently we look into each other's eyes-even the eyes of close friends and family. If eyes are the windows to the soul, perhaps we elude eye contact so very much in an effort to avoid having our souls seen?

Just a thought.

Another thought: Perhaps I should routinely make a purposeful effort to sit next to handsome classmates? :)


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