Saturday, December 1, 2012

House Tour 2.0

Well friends, here it is. Out own little parcel of dirt. We're finally moved out of our home, and settled temporarily while our home is being built. We were terrified that it might take forever to sell in our little bitty town, but it surprised us all and flew off the market at a great price. Moving is the pits ya'll! We are thankful beyond measure to be surrounded by loving friends and family, all who are pitching in to make this transition as easy as possible! Our home should be finished in February, and until then we're building memories with my sweet parents.

Am I excited about our new home? Yes! I think it will be perfect for us. Although I will say that I never expected to settle on a new construction home in one billion years. Honestly, it is exactly what I was opposed to when we began looking.

We looked and looked. At places close to Daniel's work, in the country, foreclosures, suburbs  historical homes, and on and on. At some point we realized that much of our life in the past four years has been about the home we just sold. We loved that little historical treasure back to life, but it took us years of working, and saving, and doing project after project to finally complete our home. Somehow that little house became attached to my identity. Silly, I know.

Simply put, we didn't feel led to go in that direction again for our new home. This upcoming season will be one of enjoying our time together as a family and focusing on doing things together, other than re-doing a house. So, we decided on a new construction home. This affords us the ease of moving in a clean (gasp), finished (gasp) home, and simply unpacking our boxes.

I'm still coming to terms with living in an actual neighborhood, in a suburb, in a 'new' house. All of those things feel foreign, but I know that what we've decided is best. I'll get to pick the paint colors, and make decisions regarding the flooring, and counters, etc.. which will be fun!

I'll keep you posted on construction and our fun antics in the meanwhile!

Lots of love,

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday

Partially because it's Cyber Monday, but mostly because we just finished moving out of of house (and i can breathe again), I wanted to offer you guys a great deal on holiday silhouettes!

P.S. I'm never moving again.
P.P.S. life update coming soon!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Real Estate 101

Do you know what it's like to try to sell your house, while living with a toddler?!
...Maybe you super-moms do, but I didn't! It's hard!

I am constantly fighting off the ever-lingering poop smell, and trying to pick up messes all-day-long.

We went quite a while without any showings at all. So, after being cooped up a few days (and accumulating quite a mess) I decided we should get out and run some errands. I debated whether or not to clean before we left, but I decided to chance it JUST THIS ONE TIME.

It goes without saying, then, that as I was in the checkout lane at the grocery store that a lovely realtor called and asked if I would mind a last minute showing of the house... in about 45 minutes.

AHHHHH! I raced home (got stuck in a massive traffic jam), took a clever back route through my little town, and flew past the police station about 12mph too fast. As soon as it happened,  I knew it was too late. I knew I was going to see those flashing red lights, so I panicked and turned on my windshield wipers in an attempt to...blend in? I don't know. I just..knew I couldn't slam on my breaks, so I had to do something!

Yep. I got pulled over. I sputtered and talked a million miles an hour about dirty dishes, and my sleeping baby, my house showing, how I was only three block away from my house.....and I think the officer just wanted me to shut up, because he sent me on my way before I could even finish.


The lovely (and well-trusted) neighbor was in her yard, so I asked her to keep an eye on Selah as she napped in the car, and I raced through the house and completed the world's fastest house tidying. I felt adrenaline in my fingertips, friends. There was no time for crying, just shoving dishes in the oven, throwing trashbags out the back door, and furious frantic cleaning.

The showing lasted less than 10 minutes. It was a single guy. He didn't did my grandma-chic vibe, or the chandelier in the bedroom. Oy vey.

p.s. We have since accepted an offer on the house! Fingers crossed the rest of the process goes through smoothly. I'll keep you updated!

Saturday, October 6, 2012


I love being a mom more than I ever even imagined I would or could. Lately, I just find myself laughing and laughing, and wishing these days would last forever. Even silly little moments, like asking about Selah's snack preference make me smile and promise myself to remember these tidbits forever.

p.s. We still haven't moved yet
p.p.s. We still haven't sold our (ADORABLE) house yet
p.p.s. The first is obviously related to the second!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Insta-shopping Network

Guuuyys. I've had such a blast buying (& selling) on Instagram lately, I just had to share. It's great to be in a little group of moms with similar aesthetics, and who aren't trying to gouge on shipping prices *cough, cough* (like EBay).

My 'personal' Instagram tag is @OutOfAlabaster and my 'shop' tag is @AlabasterCloset. Come take a peek and say hello!

I have some adorable holiday dresses available right now!

Monday, September 17, 2012

I Spy Bottles

One of my friends recently had the brilliant idea to host a 'busy bag' swap! If you've never heard of busy bags, they are simple little activities that are kept in individual bags, and can be brought out to buy a desperate mommy a little time to accomplish something!

In a busy bag swap, you create one activity for each mom participating. This way, when you swap activities, you have a collection of unique and ready-to-go busy bags! What I like about this is, you don't have that annoying little bit of left over supplies from making one little craft, and of course, I got a ton of thoughtfully created activities for Selah to play with!

For this busy bag swap, I made 'I Spy' bottles. These are great for the car, or on the potty!

To make the I Spy bottles you will need:
an empty bottle
(optional) disposable trays for rice dying
liquid food coloring
rubbing alcohol
trinkets and tidbits for the kiddos to search for
hot glue gun

1) Color your rice.
I bought a huge bag of rice for $9.00 at the grocery store, and disposable aluminum pans for each different color. Use food coloring/alcohol in a 1:3 ratio. For example, I dyed an entire pan of rice with 1 Tbl food coloring and 3 Tbl rubbing alcohol. The alcohol helps spread the coloring evenly, and drys the rice really quickly!

2) Take pictures of each trinket for the 'I Spy' booklet 
Here's where your trusty smart phone comes in handy. I snapped a quick photo of each item. Then, I used my Phonto app to label the picture, and made them into collages with my Diptic app. Viola! Then you can print, and laminate (if you want).

3) Put the trinkets into your bottle and fill with colored rice, leaving a little space at the top

4) Don't forget to hot glue the lid on! 

5) Tie on your  'I Spy booklet'


6) Let your toddler play with the leftover rainbow rice. Then teach her to sweep! 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wowee wowzers!

Well, friends. I'm excited to share that I'll be making my big debut tomorrow over at! You should come check out the sale :) I'll be listed under the 'Modern Americana' section, which runs through Sunday.

Thanks for all of your kind words and love lately. It means so much to me. You've supported and encouraged me from the very beginning of this endeavor, and seen Out Of Alabaster custom silhouettes grow into a real and thriving business.

I remember vividly the first silhouette I created, and how nervous I felt opening my little shop. It's hard to believe that it was only a little over a year ago! Your sweet comments and great ideas have immeasurably guided me, and I can't thank you enough for being a part of this little community.


Lots of love,

Monday, September 3, 2012

the Ebola.

You guys. It is hit us hard, and we were completely unsuspecting. One day we were happy, living our lives as content little clams, and the next struck with a stomach virus so awful, it can only be referred to as


Selah- Sunday all day
Me-  Sunday night and all day Monday
Poor Daniel (while away for work)- on Monday night and Tuesday
Daniel's sweet hosts took good care of him while he was away.
Holy smokes. We were taken out, and poor little Selah still seems to be struggling through. She's been throwing up (only at night) for the past few nights. My little sick goober. She's her sprightly self during the day, but it seems to catch up with her in the evening. 

I feel like I've neglected to fill you in lately, and I feel so guilty! .. but this miniature little in-between season has been challenging, if I might be brave enough to share. Then the Ebola hit, and I was just leveled out. Literally.

But we're (mostly) back, definitely on the mend, and one hundred percent ready for some good times! 

Lots of love,

Friday, August 17, 2012

Hoot hoot.

I'm not a crazy owl-lady or anything, but I couldn't help but get this little guy when I saw he was the Scentsy special for the month of August! I'm working all the psychological mojo I can to get this house sold, so right now our home is filled with the delicious aroma of apple pie. Mmmmmm; I hope those buyers are hungry!

We've been so busy getting ready for the transition, that I feel a little badly for neglecting my bliggity-blog. I'll quickly catch you up!

Other happenings around our home include:
1) the making of super yummy goodbye gifts for Daniel's co-workers.

2) the realization that we have way too many clothes. then the subsequent closet purge.

3) the purchase of many fancy dress-clothes for Daniel's new fancy job, and the hyper toddler dancing in the three-way mirror.

4) the backing up of my beloved car into the dumb tree at the end of our driveaway. and perhaps more sadly than that, the end of my perfect driving record and bragging rights.

I'd love to hear your moving tips! Got any?

Lots of love,

Friday, August 3, 2012

House Hunters- Toddler Edition

It's official, friends. Our little family is moving up the I35 corridor from our teeny little town to a great big one. Dallas, here we come!

Bye bye to my delicious little kolaches, just around the corner...Daniel was offered an incredible, unpass-up-able job in the big city, and I couldn't be more proud of him. We're in a period of transition and are packing, cleaning, and fixing little things around the house. Fingers crossed, the house will be listed late next week! 

Anyone want to buy our cozy little bungalow (tour here)? Selah thought she'd give you her little tour..

We have: Original hardwood floors are perfect for break-dancing.
A porch, perfect for waving. 

Love-filled rooms, with bouncy beds. 
There's an awesome swimming pool. 
Travertine floors make cleaning up my messes a breeze..
A looong hallway, perfect for dramatic entrances. 
An outdoor spa. 
aaand super-fun extreme sports. 
We hope the next family will love our house as much as we have. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

No more Lankford girls on the market..

Sorry boys. All of the Lankford girls have now been spoken for! My youngest sister, Leigh, just got engaged, and we can't be more excited for her. I'm just looking forward to helping plan a Pinterest wedding!

( I still can't believe she can even drive.. ridiculous.)

The engagement took place on a perfectly romantic evening at the local suspension bridge, and her sweetie fiance, Austin, did a great job recruiting us sisters to set it all up. Kelley (my middle sister) and I created a rustic dessert table in the center of the bridge.

Leigh and Austin had witnessed a proposal at this very spot on their first date, so it was a special place to the both of them.

Kelley, and I had a fun time fending off silly skateboarding teenagers, and generally shooing people away! These are the photos I grabbed with my phone, but there was a *real* super-sneaky photographer taking pictures for them as well.

Austin is still getting used to being in the family with a blogger..

Monday, July 23, 2012

Life in the in-between

Hi friends. I know I need to offer you an apology for my ill-explained, err, not explained at all absence. I have received several sweet inquiries and encouragements, checking in to see if everything is all right. And, the answer is.. yes! 

I tend to be an internal processor, and that's just what I was up to...

Our little family will soon be embarking on a new journey, to a new city, and I just needed a moment to gather my bearings in the midst of all this change. Thanks to everyone for your support! I'll be a little more forthright in the next couple of weeks, but for now, all I can say is exciting things are coming!

p.s. I finally found some time to fiddle a bit with my new camera !

Thursday, July 12, 2012

It's ok.

A little while ago I started taking pictures of Selah every night after she goes to sleep. It started off as a way for me to capture the quickly fading evidence of her baby-ness, but it's become a comforting nightly ritual for me. I enjoy sneaking into her room for one last peek before bedtime, and I sometimes imagine little captions for nighttime poses.

I shared this on Sashes to the Merchants a few days ago, but I'm pretty sure she'd tell me It's ok. 

It's ok.

It's ok to be behind.
It's ok to have unanswered e-mails.
It's ok not to respond to every Instagram tag.

It's ok to turn off your computer for 3 days.. (or not blog for 2 weeks.)
It's ok if you want to quit.
It's ok to turn down business. 

You don't have to feel guilty for fully engaging in your tangible life.

Stomp in puddles.
Grill out with your family.
Swim until you are pruney. 

And then, if you want..
Make something for yourself.
Make something that is so bad it's funny.
Make something just for fun.

It's ok.
You have my permission.

Lots of love,

Sunday, June 24, 2012


If I had a picture of myself in the 5th grade to show you, I would. And you would laugh and laugh and laugh and laaaaaaaugh. Sadly, I don't think any pictures survived my post-pubescent shame. I ripped them all to shreds, because of THAT HAIRCUT.

I'm 28 years old, and I only achieved victory over THAT HAIRCUT last week. May I introduce you to the newest member of the Cazac household, my BAAaangs. I've begun referring to my life in terms of  "before the bangs" and "after the bangs." B.B. and A.B, respectively.

I love them.

They have super-powers. 

You see, ever since THAT HAIRCUT, I've been terrified to change my hairstyle. These bangs won a long and arduous 13 year battle with fear. It might seem silly, but living life in the A.B. (After Bangs) I feel like more change is possible. I feel freer to express myself and my opinions than I ever have before, and I'm loving it.

(I realize a man would never understand the superpowers of a haircut.)

I'm not yet fully accustomed to my new-found bang-fueled confidence, and I recently posted a few pictures on Facebook and asked, "So.. what do you think??"  

Hrrrrm. Kind of a mistake. I already knew my opinion. I'm still learning, even now that I'm a mom, exactly what my style is and how I want to carry myself. I've always thought women who wear nose rings are intriguing for their confident beauty. That's something that I'm aiming for, too... I really meant to say:

Here's my new haircut! 
Don't you love my bangs?! I do! 
Here's me with a  nose-ring. I kind of adore it.
These things make me feel confident, fun, and more like the 'self' I know deep down.

Lots of love,

Monday, June 18, 2012

Granny-Chic Instagram Sale

Thanks so much to all who participated!! The Granny-Chic Sale went Splendidly! There are two remaining lovelies still available. Just leave a comment if you're interested :) Prices are as marked, and shipping will be invoiced separately according to your location!

As you already know, I'm a sentimental hoarder. I recently ran across a collection of gorgeous crochet blankets that needed to be re-homed. From 9pm Central to 12am (midnight). I'm having an Instagram sale to adopt out these lovelies.

Look me up on Instagram: @OutOfAlabaster

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Scary Momma Moments

Someone once told me that motherhood is equal parts joy and terror, and this Sunday I think I experienced healthy dose of the latter.

Our family went to a nice backyard get-together with some new friends. We had lots of fun chatting, and noshing on some yummy sandwiches. Most of the children were playing on a rental inflatable, one that was actually a huge waterslide with a nice-sized pool at the base. The slide was much too big for Selah, so the hosts offered to fill up a little kiddie pool instead. I politely declined, since we didn't bring a swimsuit for her anyway.

Then, the host said, "Good. I don't like those things anyway. They're really dangerous, you know.. more kids drown in those kiddie pools than anywhere else." I remember thinking, "Huh.. I guess I never thought about about, but it's not like she is going to be unsupervised or anything."

The evening went on, Selah played with bubbles, and parked her little booty in the sandbox for the majority of the evening. Three of the ladies and I were sitting withing two feet of the sandbox, watching the little ones with their shovels and buckets, happily digging away.. 

The other ladies and I were having deep conversation, comforting a friend who had just had a miscarriage and sharing our own journeys through heartache, when I heard one of the kids yell, 


I looked over at the water-slide, and oh my G*d. There she was, in the pool, about 50 yards away. I could see her little head, just above the edge of the inflatable. She was laughing, and splashing, and running around in chest-deep water at the base of the water-slide. 

I have no idea how long she was in the pool. I have no idea how she even climbed over the  inflatable's edge. I have no idea how she went from being right next to me, in the sandbox, to into the water. But there she was. 

I ran across the yard as fast as I could, hoping she wouldn't slip under the water before I reached her. She didn't. She was rosy-cheeked, soaking wet, and having tons of fun. She LOVES the water. Any water. And she just hopped right in. 

I don't think the gravity of the situation hit me until we were on the way home, and I starting playing the 'what ifs' through my mind.
What if no one saw her?
What if she had slipped climbing in?
What if.. the unthinkable had happened?
Then, I got goosebumps as I remembered the host's previous warning about baby pools, and I felt a wave of nausea as I realized I completely missed the Lord's gentle reminder to keep an eye on my baby around water.

I think we were dealt an extra measure of grace and protection on Sunday, and for that I'm eternally grateful.

Lots of love,

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mama Natural Giveaway

Exciting news! I'm teaming up with my sweet friend, Genevieve, from Mama Natural this week to offer a custom silhouette necklace giveaway. You all had such a sweet response to the last necklace giveaway, that I thought you might be excited to hear about this one too!

If you haven't checked out MamaNatural before, I'd highly highly recommend you do so! Genevieve is the first lady I turn to with questions about natural health topics like: vaccines, circumcision, and healthy food for kiddos. I can't tell you how many times I have referred friends to her site. 

Genevieve ( and her husband Mike) share current and thoroughly researched tips for natural living in her bi-weekly videos. As a former health educator, I appreciate the soundness of her advice... not to mention the fact that her videos are always entertaining! 

AAnd if you want to see my You Tube debut (at 7:48 sec) you can hear all about the giveaway!

Lots of love,

Friday, June 1, 2012

Last chance!

Hi friends! I promise I have a real post to share tomorrow, but  for now, I just wanted to let you know I'm running out of these Father's Day gifts quickly!!

Because I'm just a one-woman show over here (and I can only stay up sooo late before it turns into morning again), I only have 5 more of these portraits to offer. *Eeek* So, hurry over to the shop if you're wanting one of these Father's day special portraits.
Lots of love,

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Father's Day Special

Hi Friends! I'm doing a little creating of my own, and I loved the result so much, I thought I'd share it as new item in the shop.. just in time for Father's Day :)
These daddy duo portraits are $40.00 and are just available for a limited time in my shop! I think they're the perfect Father's Day gift, and would make a lovely decoration for a daddy's desk!

I can make a silhouette using any photo of your special Daddy and kiddo(s).

Lots of love,

Monday, May 21, 2012

Grace-based Mothering. Tip #2 Hearing the Word

I'm tired, and the Proverbs 31 woman seems like she must be tired too. The passage says that not only is this highly esteemed model-woman's lantern burning late into the night, but she is also up early preparing breakfast for her household helpers, and quickly goes out to the city gate to sell her handiwork.


Personally, I'm just disappointed there are no mention of naps. 

Remember, Elise? Our resident mommy-consultant. She's sharing another tip for exhausted moms today. Here is the first one (Worship: Praise and Adoration) if you missed it. 

Tip #2  Hearing the Word.

I long for messages from the heart of God. I long to be full of the Spirit of Grace. I long for more and more faith. 

Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. 

Because I truly struggle to sit and read and keep my eyes open... the audio Bible app on my phone has become treasured by me. I can listen to whole books in the wee hours while washing dishes, folding laundry. Because I'm not tiredly skimming familiar verses--I become aware of things I did not even realize were in scripture. I absorb a lot more than I thought I would. I also sometimes listen to the audio Bible when I'm in the car alone on the way to a job etc. 

Selah also helps me to hear the word and keep my focus on Grace by reading to me from The Action Bible. It is her favorite book, hands down. She literally reads it to herself for hours every day, and asks to read it to me. I cannot emphasis enough what a jewel this book is and what a wonderful conversation starter it is. We come across stories I didn't even realize were in the Bible so then we look them up together and read them word for word and I am amazed a what a great job they did to make this Bible kid-appropriate and still Biblically accurate. 

Another wonderful way to hear the message of God even among the blessed chaos of kids is written right after that beautiful verse in Romans that says faith comes by hearing the message through the word of Christ:

"But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: 'Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.'" ~Romans 10:18

This is referencing Psalm 19 "The heavens declare the glory of God... their voice goes out into all the earth... "

Take the kids outside. Being outside of four walls is so soul-healthy. Look up. The heavens declare a message of glory and majesty and grace and His perfect control that we can listen to at the park, on a walk, or in my case, while the kids are on the front step "hunting" for roly poly bugs.

*Glory* Thanks so much to Elise for sharing. You can always read more of her story and writings on her blog Redeeming the Days