30th Dec2012

Chicken Noodle Soup with Cheddar Drop Biscuits {On the Table}

by Daenel

Have you ever roasted two whole chickens because your family swore up and down they were starving and then they only ate like half of one so you’re left with all of this chicken and you’re thinking what do I do with this? That’s what happened to me last week. I had one and a half delicious fresh roasted chickens sitting in my fridge; I didn’t want to toss it and I wasn’t in the mood for more roasted chicken. So I started thinking and thinking and thinking and it hit me: Chicken Noodle Soup. And a side of Cheddar Drop Biscuits. My family was all kinds of excited and I was too.

Chicken Noodle Soup and Cheddar Drop Biscuit Dinner {Living Outside the Stacks}

Naturally, I had to share the recipe with you, so here it is:


For the Soup

  • Roughly chopped roasted chicken (seasoned well; I used 1 and 1/2 chickens)
  • 3 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 1 box Stelline pasta
  • 4 cups chicken broth (to make your own by boil chicken, vegetables, seasoning; strain and retain the liquid)

For the Cheddar Drop Biscuits

  • 2 1/4 cups Original Bisquick mix
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


For the Soup

  1. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large pot
  2. Add vegetables. Boil for about 15 minutes. Add Stelline Pasta and chicken, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat and let sit for 20 minutes so that the flavors blend.

For the Cheddar Drop Biscuits

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl
  3. Drop by the spoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet
  4. Bake 8~10 minutes or until golden brown

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve hot with the biscuit in the bowl
  • You can also sprinkle the soup with Parmesan Cheese
  • To up the flavor factor on the biscuits, add a smidge of garlic powder

If you make it, let me know how you like it!

29th Dec2012

December Photo A Day {Instagram}

by Daenel

Day 22: Decoration

Decoration {Living Outside the Stacks}

A Christmas ornament that I received during the ornament exchange for the ladies at might church. Right now it’s hanging on my door knob because we didn’t decorate this year. Lazy.

Day 23: Joy is _______

Day 23 Joy is hanging with my girls {Living Outside the Stacks}

Hanging with my daughters. They make me laugh like crazy. The boy is OK too. {from the vault}

Day 24: Tradition/Something I always do

Day 24 Tradition {Living Outside the Stacks}

I love grinding my own beans for my morning coffee. There’s something therapeutic about that whirring sound.

Day 25: Lunchtime

Day 25 Lunch {Living Outside the Stacks}

The girls and I decided to bake cookies on Christmas afternoon. They were, uh, edible. But we had a ton of fun. Notice the boy isn’t around for this either.

Day 26: Mess

Day 26 Mess

We woke up the day after Christmas to a beautiful mess…

Day 27: How I relax

Day 27 How I Relax {Living Outside the Stacks}

I relax with a nice cup of freshly brewed coffee. How else?

So that’s my week in review. Nothing super exciting, just a life that I thank God for every single day. How was your week?

Are you on Instagram? If you are, give me a shout out, I’m 4daenelt!

28th Dec2012

Things That Leave Me Scratchin’ My Head {Coffee Talk}

by Daenel

Coffee Talk {Living Outside the Stacks}Wow! Y’all, this is the last Friday of 2012. Is that crazy or what? I just want to take this time to thank all of you for hanging in there with me for the past year. I enjoy reading your comments on my blog, talking with you on Facebook, and sharing our lives on Instagram.

I’ve celebrated with some of you as you’ve added to your families and I’ve cried with others of you as you’ve lost loved ones. You’ve wished me well with all the changes in my life and laughed with me when I’ve had moments of silly. We’ve been through a lot this year and I thank you for sharing with me. My fervent prayer for each and every one of you is that you will find love, health and happiness in 2013 and that God will bless and keep you always.

Now enough of that, let’s bring on the crazy…

1. When I taught at university, I witnessed a lot of helicopter parents and I dealt with a lot of co~dependent kids but I never dealt with anything quite like this… A college student won a restraining order against her helicopter parents. According to newspaper accounts, the student’s parents would drive 600 miles from Kansas to Ohio for unannounced visits. They also installed keylogging software on her computer and a tracking device on her cell phone so they’d be aware of her every move. The school even went so far as to hire guards to keep the parents out of the music major’s performances.  Whoa I’ll admit, when I thought I was leaving my daughter in Pennsylvania, I cried for weeks but it never occurred to me to stalk the girl. That is the epitome of cray cray.

2. A man in Sweden has been granted disability benefits because of an addiction to heavy metal music. blank stare Apparently, his addiction is so bad that this guy can’t function without his skull and crossbones jewelry and long black hair. Nor can he stop attending heavy metal concerts, which led to his being fired because of reliability issues. I think this is just a case of a grown man not wanting to be a man, get a job and support himself. Hope springs eternal for all the gamers living in their parents’ basements.

3. Soooo, TLC has another reality show. It’s called “Wives with Beehives” and it’s all about modern women who live the lives of 50s housewives. insert one~eyed eye roll The four women featured were, um, interesting. On the one hand, I admired their dedication to the lifestyle and one of them even had a valid point about that being a time when “men were men” I have issues with men who spend more time getting ready to leave the house than I do But that being said, I also think those women are delusional. The 50s weren’t all pearls and fresh baked apple pies. Blacks were still being lynched, women were just this side of chattel and men were trying to escape the role of “the other”. I could do a whole history course on women and the 50s; oh, wait, I did. Women, if you want to dress like you live in the 50s, I think that’s fabulous but don’t glamorize the subjugation of an entire race of people and the submission of women to a standard that only June Cleaver could live up to.

This post is one of my most popular features and I look forward to more head scratchin’  in the new year.

26th Dec2012

Fashionable Legs {In the Closet}

by Daenel

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of No nonsense for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I learned something about myself this year: I absolutely love skirts. For years, I was anti~skirt. I thought they were just too fussy for me and, honestly, I thought the only things that looked good on my body were jeans and sweaters. After a couple of trips to the thrift store, I found out that I was wrong; all it takes is a great pair of tights, cute shoes and some fun accessories and anyone can rock a skirt.

One of my favorite brands for tights is No nonsense because, well, I like the control tops. I’ve given birth to four kids, I needed a little added support in the tummy area and these give just the right amount. And I don’t have to worry about VPL (visible panty line).  So when I was given the opportunity to be a part of the campaign for No nonsense tights and leggings I was all kinds of excited.

No nonsense is a leading brand of women’s tights, leggings, hoisery with 90% of its products made here in the USA. And this fall, they teamed up with fashion expert, Jill Martin, to introduce their new colorful tights and leggings collection. Jill will be active on a variety of social media platforms, offering tips for how to incorporate these bold new looks into  your wardrobe.

Here are two looks that I created with my No nonsense tights and leggings:

Cream Cardi, Black Button Down, Gray Skirt, No nonsense black tights, and Mary Janes  {Living Outside the Stacks}

Cardi, Button Down ~ Walmart

Skirt ~ Goodwill

Tights ~ No nonsense

Mary Janes ~ Madden Girl, Burlington Coat Factory

This skirt has been hanging in my closet for about a month and a half now, just waiting for the right completer pieces. Because of the fringed edge and the embroidery around the bottom, I knew I wanted to go bold on the bottom. I know, you’re thinking Daenel, you’re wearing black tights; but the old me would have worn nude pantyhose or bypassed the skirt altogether.

The black patterned tights stand out against the gray skirt and the gray, navy and beige in my Mary Janes.

Teal Cardi, Greige Blouse, Aubergine No nonsense corduroy tights,  and Booties {Living Outside the Stacks}

Cardi ~ Deb’s

Blouse, Necklace, and Booties ~ Target

Corduroy Leggings ~ No nonsense

The No nonsense corduroy leggings were incredibly fun to wear! One of my fashion goals this year was to step outside of my normal neutral color range and these leggings certainly helped.

And purple is my all time favorite color but I still wasn’t sure how I was going to incorporate these corduroy leggings into my wardrobe.

I ended up pairing them with a floaty top with deep purple and pale lavendar flowers and a teal cardi. The booties were also something I normally wouldn’t have worn with leggings. I tend to go with knee high boots but I thought the booties added a little bit of edge. Side note: when my daughters saw those leggings, they started begging me for them. Fist bump to No nonsense for capturing the attention of my teens.

No nonsense tights and leggings can be found in your local retail stores or you can shop online by clicking here.

You can also like No nonsense on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to learn more about their exciting line of fashionable and affordable tights and leggings.

For more styling ideas, check out the video below:


How would you style your No nonsense tights and leggings?

Visit Sponsor's Site

26th Dec2012

My Favorite Outfits {What I Wore Wednesday}

by Daenel

Hi, everyone! How was your Christmas? Mine was wonderful. The hubs read the Christmas story to the kids and we talked about why we celebrate Christmas, how we’ve been blessed over the year, and then gave the kids their gifts. Even though our kids are teenagers, I like the tradition that we established when they were little people. It feels comfortable. Do you have any Christmas traditions?

Another tradition I have is to do a review of the past year’s blog posts. It’s fun to look back and see how I’ve changed and to see what goals I’ve accomplished and what goals I need to push with me into 2013. So I thought it’d be fun to start my review with some of my favorite outfits from the past year.

What I Wore 6 June

Brown, Cream and Green Sleeveless Dress {Living Outside the Stacks}

Dress ~ Dress Barn

I bought this dress to wear to a wedding years ago. Unfortunately, we were unable to attend the wedding so the dress sat unworn for months. Since then I’ve worn it twice. And every time I put it on I feel so elegant. Almost like I should be on the cover of a magazine.

What I Wore 11 July

Print Blouse and Jeans {Living Outside the Stacks}

Blouse ~ Deb’s

Jeans, Wedges ~ Kmart

Hands down, this is one of my favorite summer outfits. The colors on the blouse light up my face and the jeans fit like a dream. And, well, you can’t go wrong with wedges.

What I Wore 5 September

Denim Jacket, White Sundress  and Cowboy Boots {Living Outside the Stacks}

Denim Jacket, Sundress ~ Walmart

Cowboy Boots ~ Thrifted

This outfit was totally built around those cowboy boots. When I saw them at the store I literally squealed; I’d been wanting a pair of cowboy boots forever. And, come on, they’re red and they’re fabulous.

What I Wore 8 October

Citron, Purple Polka Dots, Jeans and Boots {Living Outside the Stacks}

Cardi ~ Target

Blouse ~ Thrifted

Jeans ~ Kmart

Boots ~ Payless

I’d been trying to get more color into my life and I think I nailed it here. The citron in the sweater goes with the purple, greens and oranges in the blouse without being all matchy matchy. Nothing but fun.

What I Wore 17 October

Black Cardi, Tank, Khaki Skirt, Tights and Boots {Living Outside the Stacks}

Cardi, Boots ~ HSN.com

Tank, Skirt ~ Walmart

Tights ~ Rite Aid

Again, it’s all about the boots. Aren’t they fabulous? They’re Sebago and they’re sold on HSN.com. I do believe they are the best boots ever. They’re incredibly comfortable and versatile; I can wear them with anything. And that sweater? I waited months for it to go on sale. It was totally worth it.

What I Wore 13 November

Teal Cardi, Tank and Brown Skirt {Living Outside the Stacks}

Cardi ~ Deb’s

Tank ~ Kmart

Skirt ~ Thrifted

I absolutely adore the color combination here. Normally, I would’ve played it safe and worn a brown sweater but popping it with the teal just pulled it all together. I also stepped outside of my comfort zone and wore a belt around my waist. I almost never do that but I like the way it defined my waist. You can check out my favorite thrifted outfits by clicking here.

What I Wore 11 December

Black Sweater, Brown Cami, Floral Skirt and Black Boots {Living Outside the Stacks}

Sweater ~ Walmart

Floral Pins ~ Handmade by Me

Cami ~ Kmart

Skirt ~ Thrifted

Boots ~ Payless

I heart this skirt so much! It makes me feel all girly and fun. I just wanna grab the hem and twirl like a little girl. And the boots keep everything from feeling too precious.

So that’s it, my favorite outfits from 2012. I’m looking forward to sharing a happy, healthy and fashionable 2013 with you.

Are you doing an outfit review? If so, leave a link in the comments below.

I’m linking up with:

Please check them out for more fashion inspiration.

22nd Dec2012

Weekend Fun {Saturday Share}

by Daenel

Teal Cardi Teal and Brown Floral Skirt Mustard Tights {Shoe Style Saturday}

The hubs and I went on an impromptu date last night to Starbucks for some coffee. The hubs always gets a plain coffee. Drives me insane. I usually get one of the seasonal flavors, last night it was a Salted Caramel Mocha. While we were sitting in the parking lot we decided to go see what was playing at the theater; we ended up seeing “This is 40″.  That movie was alternately hilarious and sobering. Honestly, it was quite possibly one of the most realistic portrayals of what happens to individuals and couples as they see middle age staring them in the face. If you do go to see it, I have to warn you, there is a lot of vulgar language. And I do I mean a lot.

I was also able to catch up on some blog reading this week and thought I’d share some of my favorite posts with you:

  • Easy 4 Ingredient Thumbprint Cookies {Mama Dweeb} ~ Annie is making cookie baking so easy for me this year.  Four ingredient cookies? Yes, please. And they’re four ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboard.
  • Last Minute Gift Making Ideas {Oh, Sweet Joy!} ~ I’m the queen of procrastination. Also I’m not very good at picking out gifts for people. Are you the same way? Well, Kim shared 5 tutorials for some really cute last minute gifts that’ll leave establish you as the chicest gifter of all.
  • Macadamia Nut Bark  {Kleinworth & Co.} ~ Gina shared a recipe for Macadamia Nut Bark that’ll make your mouth water just from looking at the pictures. This year the kids and I plan to spend Christmas Eve baking cookies, I’m hoping to give these a whirl.
  • Molly {What I Wore 2Day} ~ I’ve always been told that I have a quirky fashion sense, but Kasmira takes it to a whole new level. I just love the way she mixes patterns and color. You can tell she has a lot of fun with her clothes. And, um, can I mention how much I heart her Miz Mooz Boots?
  • Spray Painted Twigmas Tree {Five Days… 5 Ways} ~ Raise your hand if your house doesn’t have any Christmas decorations up yet. Oh, it’s just me? Well then, I think it’s a little late to start decorating for Christmas now but I do need to decorate so my house can look more, um, finished. And these painted twigs by Abbie are absolutely perfect not just for Christmas but for filling in empty corners any time of the year.

How was your weekend?

21st Dec2012

Things That Leave Me Scratchin’ My Head {Coffee Talk}

by Daenel

Coffee Talk {Living Outside the Stacks}

1. Hey, you’re reading this, so that means we’re still here. And the reason we’re still here is that the world is never going to end! Stop listening to those idiots who keep predicting that the world is doomed. It’s not. They know nothing! Need I remind you of Y2K?

2. I’m going to have to ask the powers that be to pass a law that males are not allowed to make any judgments regarding rape because when they do they say the dumbest things. A Southern California judge reprimanded a woman for not fighting back hard enough against her rapist. The judge went on to say “I’m not a gynecologist, but I can tell you something: If someone doesn’t want to have sexual intercourse, the body shuts down.” blank stare He said this to a woman whose ex~boyfriend threatened to mutilate her face and genitals with a heated screwdriver and beat her with a metal baton before he raped her. I think before men can have any say on women’s reproductive health, they should have to take and pass a biology course. There should also be ongoing sensitivity training. I don’t want to paint all men with a broad stroke, but are they really that clueless about how women’s bodies work?

And one more thing when a woman says “No” and a man has intercourse with her anyway, it is rape. There is no ifs, ands or buts about it, NO MEANS NO!

3. Trendy Tops are stupid. It’s a tub top, y’all. If your shirt is too small or your jeans show too much, buy a size that fits. Or buy a camisole or a tank, you know you can get a handful of them at the dollar store for like $5, right?

4. If I could have any cosmetic surgery it would be a tummy tuck. The reason I haven’t had it done is because it’s expensive to have a legitimate doctor perform the surgery in a surgerical center. And that’s the only way I would have the surgery performed because that is the right way to do it. However, there are some women who think taking the cheap way out is the way to go. A woman in Queens was arrested for giving another woman a “faulty butt injection”. The faux surgeon was arrested and charged with assault, reckless endangerment, and unauthorized practice of a profession. I just wanna know what charges are the “victim” facing? Didn’t she know she wasn’t seeing a doctor when she went to the woman’s home for the surgery? How about a little personal responsibility? If you’re dumb enough to have an unlicensed person do something to your body, shouldn’t you just have to deal with the results?

What had you scratchin’ your head this week?

20th Dec2012

December Photo A Day {This Or That Thursday}

by Daenel

Hi, everyone! This has been such a long week. Most of the students are gone, so work has slowed down significantly, making for long days. I’ve been spending it putting together work schedules for the student workers for next semester. And doing clean up work.  But, mostly, I’ve been counting down to vacation. How’re you spending your last week before Christmas?

Day 13 Lights

Day 13 Light

Old St. Vincent’s Church in Cape Girardeau, MO. I love taking pictures of old buildings. There’s something mysterious and romantic about them.

Day 14 Something Green

Day 14 Something Green

My favorite green eye shadow from Bare Escentuals. It’s called “Glamourista”. Sexy, no?

Day 15 Outdoors

Day 15 Outdoors {Living Outside the Stacks}


I love the rocks in our front yard, I’m not much of a gardener. These I can maintain.

Day 16 Something You Made

Day 16 Something You Made {Living Outside the Stacks}


I’m making a throw out of the many skeins of scrap yarn that I have around the house. My next project will be some flowers for a couple of my Instagram buddies.

Day 17 On the Floor

Day 17 On the Floor {Living Outside the Stacks}


Cute shoes that I’ve had for years but can’t wear because I need to have the heels repaired. I found a cobbler a couple of days ago, pay day they’ll be going into the shop.

Day 18 Makes You Feel Merry

Day 18 Makes You Merry {Living Outside the Stacks}

Beginning tomorrow at 5 PM, I will be on vacation until 8 AM on 2 January 2013. This makes me incredibly merry.

So that’s my week in review. Nothing super exciting, just a life that I thank God for every single day. How was your week?

I’m linking up with Deb Duty for This or That Thursday.

Are you on Instagram? If you are, give me a shout out, I’m 4daenelt!

19th Dec2012

Thirty~Three {What I Wore Wednesday}

by Daenel

I have a problem. First step crossed. I totally dig thrifting. Second step conquered. I don’t want to stop. Third step failed. I so enjoy taking my $21 that’s my limit and  going into the thrift shop and coming out with 7 skirts. Yep, it’s always skirts. Well, except last week when I found the cutest sweater that I cannot wait to show you next week. Anyway, skirts were never a part of my wardrobe until I started hitting the thrift stores, now I can’t get enough. And they’re all so fashionable. I mean they are really trendy pieces, yet oh~so~classic. I don’t know why whoever is getting rid of these skirts is but THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

What I Wore Sunday {Living Outside the Stacks}

I felt so girly in this outfit. I’ve never really been a tweed girl but when I saw this skirt I simply had to have it. I like it with the cream turtle neck, but I think I could wear it with just about any color sweater and it’d work. Add a denim jacket and it’d be all kinds of funky.

What I Wore Sunday {Living Outside the Stacks}

The one accessory I’m still trying to get used to wearing is a belt. When I look in the mirror, I feel like it’s not doing much for me but when I see myself in pictures, I can see the waist definition. And that’s where I need the most help.

What I Wore Sunday {Living Outside the Stacks}

Can you believe I found that skirt at Goodwill? How cute is it? That bottom ruffle is everything, right? And those tights are from Dollar General! They’re actually sweater leggings.  So warm and cozy.

What I Wore Sunday {Living Outside the Stacks}

What have you added to your wardrobe this year that you never thought you’d wear?

I’m linking up with:

Please check them out for more fashion inspiration.

17th Dec2012

Be Strong {Words of Encouragement}

by Daenel

Be Strong {Living Outside the Stacks}

I’ve gone back and forth over whether I should write anything about the tragedies in Connecticut and China that occurred last week… How do I respond to the senseless taking of innocent lives? What words of comfort do I offer to those who’ll be left with the physical and mental scars? There simply aren’t enough words to convey the sympathy that I feel for all of those who’ve been touched directly by these tragedies.

I can’t begin to say I understand how the parents feel to lose their children in such a senseless manner, but I do understand the spirit of fear that grips your heart when you’ve been touched by the unimaginable. But God did not give us a spirit of fear, he wants us to face each day with renewed strength and courage. To those who are dealing with grief, fear, and anger I want to say draw strength from your family and friends, accept the kindness of strangers,  and lean on  the Lord.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. Always.

14th Dec2012

December Photo A Day {InstaFriday}

by Daenel

I had my performance evaluation this week. I was so nervous. Even though you kind of have a rough idea of how things are going, it’s still unnerving to sit there and listen to someone break your work down. I always expect the worst because I stress decisions. I always wonder if I made the right one. Or if there are things I could have done differently. I replay conversations and have to stop myself from calling, texting or emailing the person to clarify. I’m not sure where this lack of confidence comes from because I know I’ve accomplished a lot. And under some difficult circumstances: young kids, cancer, a husband, full~time employment, etc. But my evaluation went well. Probably one of the best evaluations I’ve ever received. I give all glory and honor to God for giving me wisdom, a good sense of humor and grace under pressure.

Relaxing {Living Outside the Stacks}

I celebrated by relaxing in the tub… I thank the hubs for doing me a solid and getting me a house with the perfect tub.

Day 8:  Someone You Love

Day 8 Someone You Love {Living Outside the Stacks}

Eighteen of the longest years of my life. Bwahahahaha

Day 9:  Out & About

day 9 out and about {Living Outside the Stacks}

Driving home from church with the hubs. The weather changed so quickly, from the high 70s to the mid 50s in a matter of days.

Day 10: Under

day 10 under {Living Outside the Stacks}

It totally skeeves me that the kids let the dog sleep under the covers.  But it makes me laugh that he nearly pushes them off their beds.

Day 11:  Sweet

day 11 sweet {Living Outside the Stacks}

Nothing’s sweeter than a cup of coffee and some chocolate coins.

Day 12:  Hat

day 12 hat {Living Outside the Stacks}

I cannot believe I wore this hat to work. It was a few years ago. I must have been feeling silly that year.

So that’s my week in review. Nothing super exciting, just a life that I thank God for every single day. How was your week?

I’m linking up with Life Rearranged for InstaFriday.

Are you on Instagram? If you are, give me a shout out, I’m 4daenelt!

13th Dec2012

If You’re Stressing Over Christmas, You’re Doing It Wrong (Repost}

by Daenel

If You're Stressing Over Christmas, You're Doing It Wrong {Living Outside the Stacks}

The other day I was watching CNN and they were talking about how to soothe the guilt over not being able to give the number and types of gifts one would like to give this Christmas season and I was kind of thrown for a loop. I always thought Christmas was about celebrating the birth of the savior with the gifts being secondary (possibly even tertiary) on the list of importance.  Then I read an interesting post by Stefany on her blog To. Be. Thode. about how she and her husband want to refocus the meaning of Christmas from the secular to the religious by encouraging their children to choose 3 meaningful gifts rather than providing them with a list of “stuff” that they want.

What a brilliant idea!

Christmas has become so commercialized that the meaning (even if you don’t celebrate the Christian aspect of the holiday) has been lost.  I’m not sure I even understand why people feel the need to go into debt to celebrate this ONE DAY out of the year.  If you share your love with your family throughout the year shouldn’t that be enough?  And if your children are counting gifts, then it’s probably fair to say they may be a little ungrateful and you need to cut back until they can show a little appreciation.  Christmas is not supposed to be a time of angst and debt accumulation, it should be a time of celebration, joy and, dare I say, relaxation.  Seriously, if you’re stressing over Christmas, you’re doing it wrong.

Call us grinches if you like, but my husband and I don’t buy each other gifts nor do we buy for people over the age of 18.  Furthermore, we only buy what we can afford and we can only afford to pay for things with cash.  So you know what that means?  Our kids and grandchildren get meaningful gifts from us and we get the gift of appreciation from them.  For us, Christmas isn’t about how much money we spend or how much stuff we collect but about the joy we get from sharing the love that we have for each other and the knowledge that this holiday is about the greatest gift of all ~ God’s love.

11th Dec2012

Thirty~Two {What I Wore Wednesday}

by Daenel

Oh my word, these past two weeks have been crazy busy. It started with a 12 hour day last week and then a split shift yesterday. This would be fine if I worked in a hospital or something along those lines but I work in a library. A library! But I promised myself when I got this job that I wouldn’t complain, there are people out there who are looking for employment… Besides, I really like what I do. That being said, I’m seriously looking forward to Christmas break. I plan to do nothing.

What I Wore Friday

I did have Friday off, and I totally needed it.The hubs and I agreed to host a men’s breakfast and ladies’ ornament exchange at our house on Saturday morning. What were we thinking? So I spent most of Friday cleaning the house, grocery shopping and running all sorts of other errands.

What I Wore Wednesday {Living Outside the Stacks}

Lemme tell ya, preparing your house for an unknown number of visitors is no easy feat. I felt incredibly overwhelmed. By Saturday morning I was a nervous wreck. So the hubs stepped up and did all the cooking. I got to sit back and look cute.

What I Wore Friday Collage {Living Outside the Stacks}

All in all, it was a nice, relaxing weekend. That ended with me becoming the planner for the ladies’ group at church. GASP

How was your weekend?

I’m linking up with:

Please check them out for more fashion inspiration.

09th Dec2012

Easy Twist Out Tutorial {Natural Hair}

by Daenel

I’m doing it again. I’m giving up the Creamy Crack (aka hair relaxer). I know, it seems like I do this every couple of months but this time I’m determined to see it through. Last time I lasted a full year and was completely natural, then I went to my mom’s and the rest is history… As much as I loved being able to control my hair with the relaxer, I was seriously missing my curls.

Easy Braid Out Tutorial {Living Outside the Stacks}

And I started to develop a bad case of hair envy. Have you seen my Pinterest board? I’m obsessed. Check it out here.

I’ve been transitioning for 6 months now and so far my favorite style is a twist out. It allows my relaxed hair and natural hair to blend seamlessly without a lot of manipulation. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last 6 months, it’s this: DO NOT OVER STRESS YOUR HAIR. If you work your hair too much, it gets frizzy.

Here’s how I achieved the look in the picture:

  1. Washed and conditioned my hair with Organix Coconut Milk Shampoo and Conditioner
  2. Towel dried my hair. I know a lot of natural hair bloggers say not to towel dry your hair but I can’t work with sopping wet hair.
  3. I put a deep part on the right side of my head then went over the edges with Shine ‘n Jam conditioning gel.
  4. Then I put a good heaping handful of Beautiful Textures Curl Control Defining Pudding in my hair. I made sure I covered my hair roots to end.
  5. For the flat twists, I put 4 on the right side, one down the back and 4 on the left side. I rolled each twist with rollers. I sleep with a silk scarf on my head every night to protect my hair.
  6. The next morning, I put a little Africa’s Best Hair Oil on my fingers and then untwisted each braid.
  7. To get my hair really full, I pull each section apart, not all over, just random chunks.

Easy Braid Out Tutorial {Living Outside the Stacks}

This hairstyle will usually last me about a week with little upkeep. If I don’t retwist, my hair will get bigger and the curls will become less defined. If I retwist every night, my hair will look basically the same as it does in the pictures all week.

I don’t know how often I’ll update but I will try to remember to at least take a hair picture or two once a month.

What’s your favorite go to hair style? 

08th Dec2012

December Photo A Day {Instagram}

by Daenel

Happy Saturday! Do you have plans for this weekend? Today, the hubs and I are hosting a few couples from our church for breakfast. Eep I’ve never done anything like this before, so I’m pretty nervous. We’ll be serving scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes, French Toast, fried apples, and assorted juices.

The men will be having a whatever it is that men do when they get together meeting while the ladies will be having an ornament exchange. I find this more than slightly amusing sense I’m not putting up a tree this year. Long story short, the kids decided they don’t want to decorate this year. Grinches. And decorating really isn’t much fun when you’re doing it by yourself.

Anyway, here are this week’s pictures for the December Photo A Day Challenge…

Day 1: 8 o’clock

Coffee Crochet Sleeping Dog Collage {Living Outside the Stacks}

I spent Saturday morning relaxing with a cup of coffee and finishing up the scarf that I wrote about for this week’s Advent post about love.

Day 2: peace

Bible Verse on the iPad {Living Outside the Stacks}

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”

Day 3: something you held

Keys {Living Outside the Stacks}

Nothing like grabbing my keys to go home at the end of a long day at work.

Day 4: black & white

Salt and Pepper Shaker {Living Outside the Stacks}

Miss 19, my daughter, and I try to eat lunch together at least once a week. It’s a chance for us to catch up, share a laugh and relax.

Day 5: looking up

The Sky {Living Outside the Stacks}

It’s been unseasonably warm here in Missouri. I’m not complaining. Sweaters and no coats in December, I’ll take it.

Day 6: from where you live/your country

Bill Emerson Bridge Spanning the Mississippi River {Living Outside the Stacks}

The Mississippi River with the Bill Emerson Bridge in the background. This is where the hubs and I like to go just to sit and talk.

Day 7: stars

Star Pendant {Living Outside the Stacks}

One of my favorite brooches that I don’t wear near enough.

So that’s my week in review. Nothing super exciting, just a life that I thank God for every single day. How was your week?

Are you on Instagram? If you are, give me a shout out, I’m 4daenelt!

07th Dec2012

Things That Leave Me Scratchin’ My Head {Coffee Talk}

by Daenel

Coffee Talk {Living Outside the Stacks}1. Let me state for the record that I believe in that Jesus Christ is the son of God and the only way to Heaven is through Him (John 14:6, Romans 10:9~10). If you’d like to read more about my beliefs, read my Statement of Faith. There was a reason for that, I promise… A school field trip to see a church production of “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown” was cancelled because of atheist complaints. The organization said students shouldn’t be exposed to a production with Christian themes during a school trip. Seriously, guys, it’s Charlie Brown. The parent was going to allow their child to attend the production for fear of the child being singled out for ridicule. blank stare How about instead of having everyone  cater to you and your needs, you teach your child to stand up for your beliefs? There are many, many things that my kids encounter on a daily basis that go against my beliefs, I don’t shield my kids from that stuff; I explain to them what we believe and why I disagree with XYZ. You know what that does, it teaches your kids to respect and honor themselves and their beliefs. It also teaches them to think for themselves. If you truly believe what you say you believe, be prepared to defend it.

2. Oh, Penn State, as if your image hasn’t been tarnished enough, now you have sorority sisters making fun of Mexicans. Members of the Chi Omega sorority chapter posted pictures of themselves wearing sombreros and ponchos with signs that read “I  Don’t Cut Grass, I Smoke It”. dead How did you guys not know this was wrong? It’s racist, ladies!

What had you scratchin’ your head this week?

04th Dec2012

Thirty~One {What I Wore Wednesday}

by Daenel

As much as I love Autumn, there’s one thing about it that I simply cannot stand ~ the time change. It gets so very dark so very early. This makes it darn near impossible for me to take pictures for my Wednesday posts. Seriously, by the time I get home it’s pitch black outside. So I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I’ll probably only be able to take pictures on Saturdays and Sundays. How do you ladies deal with time change and photography?

What I Wore Saturday

What I Wore Saturday {Living Outside the Stacks}

I spent Saturday grocery shopping and chillaxin’ with the family. The kids said I was dressed up. Hmmm…. I’m thinking I must look like a hot mess on Saturdays because I thought this was a casual outfit. Really, just a step up from my usual Saturday uniform of jeans and a sweater.

What I Wore Saturday {Living Outside the Stacks}

Thursday Threads, a link~up for ladies who love thrifting!

So if you’ve been following my What I Wore Wednesday posts lately, you’ll know that I finally hit the thrifting jackpot. This has me beyond happy. So this week, I’m co~hosting

If you love thrifting and you wanna show off your stuff, just hit the link below!

I’m also linking up with:

Please check them out for more fashion inspiration.

02nd Dec2012

Love {Advent Bible Study}

by Daenel

The focus of this week’s Advent study is LOVE. Love means to have a strong affection for anther arising out of kinship or personal ties. It also means to have an unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.

Love ~ Advent Bible Study {Living Outside the Stacks}


1 John 4:7 {KJV}

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.


When I first looked up “Love” in the Webster’s Dictionary, the first entry was for maternal love, the second for romantic love and a bit further down, the love God has for mankind. This struck me as wrong. I know the dictionary isn’t a religious book but the first act of love ever demonstrated was when God sent His son to die for us {John 3:16, John 15:13).

God’s love is sacrificial, benevolent and unwarranted, this is how our love for one another should be.


This week, we’re challenged to demonstrate our love for one another through random acts of kindness. I love this. For the last week, we’ve had a mitten tree at work for collecting articles of clothing such as gloves, hats and scarves for those in need. So I decided to crochet scarves to go on the tree. To me, nothing says love more than something handmade. And while, I may not ever meet the person who gets one of my scarves, I’ll know that somewhere out there, someone is keeping warm with God’s love through my hands.


Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the example that you gave us of perfect love. Thank you for giving us the greatest gift of all, eternal life through your son, Jesus Christ. I ask that on this week, you help me to find ways to demonstrate your love to anyone who crosses my path. Let them see you in me. And, Lord, bless each person who receives something from the mitten tree. Keep them strong and healthy. Reveal your love to them.



This month, I will be participating in the Advent Study, Keeping Our Hearts Focused on Jesus, hosted by the ladies at Good Morning Girls. Good Morning Girls are a group of Christian women who email, Facebook, Twitter and text message each other to keep them accountable for their quiet times. You can even catch them on Instagram, just follow the hashtag #goodmorninggirls.

Having quiet time in the Word is a great way to begin or end the day. It gives you time to focus on God and His will for your life as well as to renew and refresh your strength. I encourage you to take a few minutes out of your day and spend some time just reading and thinking about the Lord.

If you’re joining in, please leave a comment below so I can pray with you.

01st Dec2012

November Photo A Day {Instagram}

by Daenel

cue the cheering crowds

I did it! I did it! I took 30 photos for 30 days. I cannot believe I did it. Some of the photos have been less inspired than others but, you know what, it’s my life and I thank God for each and every day of it.

Day 25: sky

Day 25 the sky {Living Outside the Stacks}

This is the view from my living room window, it never gets old. God is awesome.

Day 26: in the cupboard

Day 26 in the cupboard {Living Outside the Stacks}

One of my favorite dollar store finds, a coffee mug.

Day 27: tree

Day 27 tree {Living Outside the Stacks}

The Christmas tree in the library, decorated with book jackets. Creative, no?

Day 28: vehicle

Day 28 vehicle {Living Outside the Stacks}

My big and obnoxious baby. For the first time in over 8 years, my entire family can fit in the same vehicle.

Day 29: big

Day 29 big {Living Outside the Stacks}

The hubs and I went shopping for new silverware and we couldn’t get over how big silverware has gotten. Seriously, the teaspoons are the size of serving spoons. Why?

Day 30: on the wall

Day 30 on the wall {Living Outside the Stacks}

Our family motto is from Joshua 24:15: “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household,we will serve the Lord.”

December Photo A Day Prompts

December Photo A Day {Fat Mum Slim}

I’ll be posting my pictures on Instagram (you can follow me by clicking here) and then doing a weekly wrap up here on the blog.

Would you like to participate? Here are the rules:

  • Starting 1 December take a picture using inspiration from the prompt.
  • Once you’ve taken your photo, share the picture on your blog, Facebook pageflickr, Instagram or Twitter or other preferred social media page. If you’re sharing on Twitter or Instagram, use the hashtag #FMSPHOTOADAY so others can find your photos.

If you need suggestions or tips, Chantelle offers them here.

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