Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Product Reveal and a Giveaway Winner!

If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram (@outofalabaster), then you may have seen some of the sneaky peeky previews of my newest line of custom silhouette product, but today is the the big day! Custom silhouette totes and paper-cut silhouettes are officially listed in the shop, just in time for Easter and Mother's Day! Hop on over to check them out.

Congratulations to Dana from Crafted Niche! You were the lucky winner of a custom silhouette portrait from Out Of Alabaster custom silhouettes!!  Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway, I'm happy to offer you the coupon code BASICALLYBFFS for 15% off your order.

Lots of love,

Monday, February 27, 2012

Week 3: Mom Walk Challenge

Selah and I have been walking with such regularity that it has become one of my favorite parts of the day. Before I began the Mom Walk Challenge, I wasn't sure how I'd find the time to make walking a part of my daily routine, but I've worked out a little system that has made the evening  (aka cranky-baby time/dinner-making-scramble) much more peaceful around our home! 

Our routine goes a little like this:
  • 3:30 Selah wakes up from her afternoon nap, and eats a snack.
  • 3:30-4:00 While Selah is snacking and then playing, I prepare dinner. I chop everything, trim, clean, etc.. and/or assemble whatever it is we are having. 
  • 4:00-5:00 We go on our walk! 
  • 5:00 I come back to dinner all prepped, and now it's time to finish it. So, I simply put dinner in the oven, assemble, or saute whatever it may be. Cook the rice, steam the veg, etc.. 
Anyhow, that's my little system. It's not rocket science or anything, but it's really practical steps that have allowed me to carve out some time to get moving, while still being able to prepare a nice hot meal for my family at the end of the day!

Lots of love,

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Springtime Giveaway!

Spring is near, Easter and Mother's Day are just around the corner, and to be honest, I just really love you all. It's been 10 months since I started this little blog and business journey, and I wouldn't trade it for a million bucks. 

I'd need at least 1.5 million. JUST KIDDING ;) 

I think I'm just in an extra cheery mood today, because I got to eat lunch AND take a nap. I like to call this the maternal equinox... you know, because it happens maybe once a year.  Glory! It was wonderful. 

Up for grabs is one custom silhouette portrait! You can take a peek at my Etsy shop and  work here

In the next couple of weeks I will be debuting a new product line to include paper-cut silhouettes and silhouette tote-bags! It's so exciting. Here's a little peek at the tote.
And don't forget about the custom silhouette pendant necklaces. They make perfect Mother's Day gifts too :) These are already available in the shop.
Custom Silhouette Necklace (one pendant)

Giveaway Details:
Entry 1) Become a follower of my blog and leave a comment/ leave a comment if you already follow
Entry 2) Like my page on Facebook and leave a comment/ leave a comment if you already do
Entry 3) Tweet about this giveaway including my Twitter handle @OutOfAlabaster / leave a comment
Entry 4) Post on your blog or Facebook status about this giveaway / leave a comment

Good luck! Winner will be chosen by random comment selection on Tuesday 28th!

Lots of love,

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Mom Walk Challenge

Walking. 30 minutes a day. That's it. Please don't laugh that the word 'challenge' is associated with this level of activity.

I'm doing it, and it is making such a difference already. My thought patterns have become increasingly positive, my goals seems more attainable, my mood has improved, and I feel like a generally more sane person. Selah and I used to 'play' outside almost every day, but there is something different and energizing about getting moving!
Selah loves our walks!
On Friday I actually felt like jogging/walking/jogging/walking . I hoped that cars wouldn't be alarmed at the spectacle of a crazy curly-headed chubby lady running down the street with her stroller, and call the police after concluding that there was NO WAY I would be running unless there was an emergency of sorts.. But, I made it home without incident, and I felt so proud of myself.
evidence of my crazy lady workout hair
A while ago, I wrote this post about the fact that I was so ashamed of being overweight. I still am overweight, but I'm working on laying down the shame associated with it. Without the shame, I feel free to move forward, out of a place of hiding, and outside (where I can exercise!) and build other healthy habits.

Lots of love,

Thursday, February 16, 2012


I would have been content with the amount of revelation and refinement that I received by 10am yesterday, but it seems the Lord had other plans for my heart. I have never experienced a day of such constant an intense face-on-the-ground conviction in all my life. This was not what I had planned for my day. I just wanted brunch with friends and maybe a nice afternoon nap.

I suppose I was in need of a software update for my soul, a new operating system, and a re-boot. Or at the very least a boot to the *you know where*

I should have known better. He promises not to leave us in our junk, and to forever continue this process of character refinement. 

"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6 

A church breakfast meeting about marriage pulled back the curtain to show...Control. Judgement. Manipulation. A small-group gathering that evening brought confessions.. Shame. Gluttony. Despair. An evening at home revealed Pride. Dishonesty. Fear. I just wanted to shrink, shrink, shrink, and float away like a little speck of dust in the sunshine.

Funny how everything seemed grand the day before... but here, face to face with reality, my soul was so obviously and glaringly filthy. At the end of it all, (the confession, repentance, forgiveness) I felt stripped and raw, frustrated by my nature, and perplexed about whether I now felt free or just plain exhausted.

My questions were answered as I woke up this morning to the echoes of this verse in my heart:

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:23


Lots of love,

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sweetie Pie First Birthday Party

Selah's first birthday was so much fun! We had a sweetie-pie themed evening with friends, family, and lots and lots of pie. I can't believe my little girl is already one... I can honestly say this has been the best year of my life. We were blessed with the sweetest daughter in the world, and her little pie party was just perfect.

As much as I love creating beautiful events, it's important to remember that your measure as a mom isn't defined by how great a party is.. It's about celebrating your child in the everyday. Of course I love hearing your feedback, but just keep that little nugget in mind as you read through. Then, go play with your little ones! P.s. Selah ate a scrambled egg today, so I'm feeling like a lottery winner :)

You will also notice a secondary theme in this event: all of the accessories and decor for this party was handmade by small-business moms. I love seeing the disparate talents of mothers from all around the world coming together to create such a beautiful result. How exciting is that?! Whenever you get the chance, make the intentional decision to support handmade shops, small businesses, and other moms.
Pie-smash pictures were taken by Nikki Riggs of NikRiggsPhoto. She's a baby-wearing superstar of a photographer, and if you are in the Central Texas area, she's your lady. I adore how she captured the brightness of Selah's eyes, her joyful spirit, and the sheer glee at getting to have a whole pie to herself! 

The invitations were made by my amazingly talented blog friend, Sara Hinkle. She is a freelance illustrator (and mommy extraordinaire). If you are interested in your own custom illustration, you can contact Sara via e-mail at or via Twitter @sarawithoutan_h

Selah's felt party hat was a custom handmade piece by Amanda Pfeffer of Just A Squidge. It was excruciatingly adorable, and featured a bluebird in a party hat, a number 1, a piece of cherry pie, and the brightest red cherry topped it all off!  It is a memento that I will treasure forever. It took some tricky moves to get the hat tied on, but Selah forgot all about it once the pie arrived!

The ribbon garland, which was absolute perfection, was made by Nancy of A to Z Celebrations

The Sweetie Pie wreath was created by Kristin Bourdier of Fanciful Felt by Bourdiers. It was the perfect welcoming note to our little pie party. I loved how the felt 'crust' even replicates the lattice work on a pie!

The dessert table featured pie-pops, little mini pies, hand pies, and plenty of regular sized pies too. I the evening had a nostalgic and laid-back feel to it, which fit the occasion perfectly.  

I sewed the felt party streamers myself! It was the easiest sewing task ever.. don't be afraid to try :) Just cut little rectangles of felt and zip through the middle of each with your machine. Viola! 
The pie pops were as easy as.. pie! Use a cookie cutter to cut out matching crusts, fill, and seal with a lollipop stick. The kiddos especially liked the portable pie pops :) 
Selah's tiny friends had lots of fun! Aaand lots of pie!
Custom blocks from Michelle Swingle of StackBlocks added the perfect touch to the mantle! (Aand Selah loves to play with these, now. She is quite the pro at stacking.)
 The red and aqua Happy Birthday banner was crafted by Jean FitzGibbons of KeriKatDesigns. It's beautifully finished and hand appliqued. It makes me smile to think of all the years of use we will have with this sweet banner. 
One of my favorite touches to the evening were the party favors for  kiddos. Tiny rolling pins and felt apples from Mud Pie Kids made up little 'make your own pie' kits for everyone to take home. 

  That's it! My little girl is one. Here's to many more years of fun with my little sweetie-pie!

Lots of love,

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Goings on

Just some little bits from around here..

I'm crushing hardcore on the Harajuku Mini clothing line from Target. It's just so absolutely adorable with it's throwback nautical theme. Selah and I went out on a matching mommy and me date, just for fun. I'm loving the fun girly time we already get to have together.

Aaand it's official! Selah is really walking.  She's very cautious by nature, so it's super cute to see her toddling about while she carefully watches each step.

Are you proud of me? I didn't even move the boxes out of this picture.. Selah loves stacking up boxes like giant blocks :)

In other news, I stepped up to the fashion plate and tried some red lipstick. It felt... strange, but I think I could get used to it! General consensus is that I need to pump up the blush, use some dark eyeliner, and tweak the shade a little.. but I tried it :)

For reference sake, this is my 'normal' make-up. Foundation, a little blush, neutral eye shadow, and mascara. Nothing showy or very colorful. No lip color at all. I'm going to try my best to be brave an venture out into lipstick land, so if you see me out and about, please don't laugh! 

Lots of love!