Monday, August 31, 2015

You Got This!

For anyone who starts back to school or work, or a new job, I wish you nothing but the best!!

Download this cute little print for your room/office ---> here.

Many Blessings,

Friday, August 21, 2015

Smash Book Memory Making

I love pretty journals, but even more than that, I love documenting life. There is something about creating beautiful pages filled with memories. I have tons of journals filled with drawings, quotes, scriptures, pictures, and stickers, all documenting the major moments of my life. It's like scrapbooking in a way, but more like a diary of memories that are logged almost daily. Some of my journals are designated for specific things like taking notes when I read my bible or writing down ideas and thoughts for future projects or blog posts, but most of them are dedicated to documenting life.

These are only half of my collection

A little over 6 months ago I stumbled upon a pin on Pinterest labeled "Homemade Smash Book". The picture was enough to capture my attention, so of course I had to read more about what it was. I found out that it is very similar to what I did with my journals already. It's basically a diary of memories. You fill out a page for everyday and decorate it however you like. I figured since I had received a really nice hard back journal for Christmas that I would do a smash book for 2015.

Here are a few pages of what I have done so far.....

It has been so much fun decorating each page and documenting all the fun stuff I/we have done so far this year. I don't fill it out every day, just days that I want to remember. Sometimes I will do 2-3 pages at once, but I try to fill it out as soon as I can, so I don't forget about the stuff I want to document. I love that I have this and my other journals to look back at for years to come!

If you want some more ideas on how to create a smash book, just head on over to Pinterest and you will find a ton of ideas! Have fun making memories!

Many Blessings,

Monday, August 17, 2015

Summer Essentials Wrap Up

1. VERSE: I have two verses for you this week as I close out this Summer Essential Series. When I first started this year I claimed Jeremiah 29:11 as my verse for the year. I had been praying a lot about my future, my sons future, and our future as a family. God had been really speaking to me through this verse and even though I wasn't quite sure what His future for us looked like, I trusted in this promise. Just a few weeks ago we put an offer in on a house and they accepted! We close late September! I could not be more excited! His Word in Luke says, 'Blessed is she, who believed that the Lord would fulfill her promises to her". I know that God had this planned for us all along we just needed to trust Him for His promise. I hope that theses verses will encourage you throughout the rest of the summer and for the remainder of the year. God has a plan for you and He promises to bless you, if you if trust Him for his Word!!

2. WORD: I don't know really know what I was thinking when I started this series and decided to include a word of the week. I guess I was trying to be hip and funny, but I just ended going crazy trying to find 'good' words to talk about. So for this last week, I am choosing a word that pretty much sums up how I have been feeling this summer, and that is, serene. This has been a very peaceful, relaxing summer. I have been able to enjoy so much time with my lil' boy & husband and have just been stress free. I hope that you have been enjoying your summer as well! What is one word that you would use to sum up how your summer has been?

3. RECIPE: I want to leave you two awesome recipes for you to try before the summer is over. They are super easy and I promise you, they will not disappoint! 1. Summer Salad: Pick what ever kind of lettuce you like, some shredded cheddar cheese, fresh strawberries, & walnuts. The dressing is my favorite part. You'll need, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/4 apple cider vinegar, 1 clove minced garlic, 1/4 tsp of salt & paprika, and 1/8 tsp of pepper. Shake really well and pour over your salad!  2. Cucumber & Cheese Delight Snack: This is probably my all time favorite snack!! I love the combination of textures. You start with a cracker. I use the artisan gluten free almond crackers but you can use, Triscuits or Wheat thins, or whatever cracker you like. Next you put a thinly sliced cucumber on top along with a piece of mild cheese. I use gouda, but you can use white cheddar. Finally, I top it all off with a dab of hot & sweet mustard from Trader Joe's! It is to die for!

4. BLOGGER(S): For my last week of Summer Essentials, I bring you two of my favorite bloggers. One is someone that I have been following for some time now & the other is someone that I just started following after I read her book, The Fringe Hours.

First, I will talk to you about Emily, from Jones Design Company. What a beautiful designer she is!! The minute I stopped over to her blog, I fell in love. She does a lot of beautiful things with graphic design, some of which you can download for free in her archive. I think I have downloaded almost all of it (I am a little obsessed with her work). I also signed up for her paperworks collection, which is perfect for all of you planners/organizers out there. She hand designs a set of paper items that you can download directly, or for a higher price, have printed and delivered directly to you. I also signed up for her simplified graphics design course, which has helped me a ton with my blog. Before signing up for this course, I knew absolutely nothing about Adobe Illustrator. Now, after a few short sessions with her, I feel like a pro! She has much to offer and I admire her so much! Thank you Emily for inspiring me to do more with my blog and for helping me to tap into a creative side, I never knew that I had.

Stop by her blog today and check out all her beautiful creations --> www.jonesdesigncompany.com

Next up is Jessica Turner, from The Mom Creative. As I mentioned earlier, I recently read her book, The Fringe Hours, which I will talk more about in my upcoming book review post. It was a life changer!! I really love her as a writer. I feel like I can relate to her a lot because we have a lot of the same interests. I only recently started following her blog and I am already hooked.

Stop by her blog today to check out some of the awesome memory keeping ideas and crafts that she blogs about. I know you will love her blog as much as I do --> www.themomcreative.com

5. CLOTHING ITEM(S): My last two summer essential clothing items are my short summer dress & white gladiator sandals. Everybody needs the perfect little sundress for the summer. It is a classic staple for your wardrobe. I was careful to select one that had some color but not too much. I choose one that had a cute aztec print, but made sure that it was not too distracting and I made sure that I felt comfortable in it. I purchased my from target (see the photo below). I have already worn it to a cocktail party, Father's Day brunch, a baby shower, & and our 4th of July Party. I was able to accessorize accordingly and I can't wait to where it again.

Another staple for your wardrobe is a good pair of sandals that you can wear with almost anything. It was so hard for me to choose just one new pair this year, because as soon as spring arrived, the shelves in most stores, were filled with tons of cute sandals! I decided for this --> white pair since I don't already own any white sandals. I opted for a little bit more of a dressy sandal. Most of my wardrobe this summer consisted of lots of dresses and skirts so I needed something a little more fancy. I got them from Target and they were the only pair left in my size (thank God)!!

6. NEW USE FOR SOMETHING OLD: And finally, if you are looking for a few more projects to do this summer, I have two really great ones for you. This first one is pretty easy. All you need is an empty glass wine jug and chalkboard spray paint. After you finish drinking all of the wine from your jug, empty it out and remove the label. After it has dried thoroughly you can spray it with chalkboard spray paint. I gave mine two coats. Once it is completely dry, you can write whatever message you like on the outside with chalk and use the jar to store your loose change. Here is a picture of my completed project ---> Trip Funds Jar I ended up decorating mine, but I wish that I would have hand-lettered a message on there instead!

This next project was a little more difficult. I made knotted pillow cases for my bed pillows. I took some old sheets (white), dyed them, cut them according to the pattern, and then tied them onto my pillows. I chose taupe as the dye color, because it matched the colors in my comforter pattern.6767 Here is the link for the complete instructions and you can see a picture of my completed project below. Even though this was a little bit harder and took me some time, I really love how they turned out!

I really hope you enjoyed this Summer Essentials Series even though I had to cut it a little short!

Many Blessings,

Friday, August 14, 2015

Behind Closed Doors

--> The woman at the register who got annoyed at you because you asked her a question about a sale item and was then rude to you during the remainder of your checkout.

--> The guy at the bank who completely cut you off and then yelled at you when you beeped at him, like it was your fault.

--> The young teenager at the fast food restaurant who completely got your order wrong and then gave you an attitude when you asked if she could please fix it.

What do all of these people have in common, you wonder? Besides the fact that they would probably make you mad or upset and cause you to go to someone else and complain about it. Complain that you can't believe they did or said what they said and you don't understand how they could they be so rude and nasty.

Well, did you ever think that maybe there is a reason why people act the way they do sometimes? I only ask this, because it happened to me just the other day. I was in line at the checkout counter and all I did was ask a simple question to the women and she was so rude to me about it. I didn't know what I did wrong. As soon as I got to the car, I started complaining to my husband about how rude and nasty she was. As we were pulling out, I had to get out to move one of the shopping carts and I saw the woman walking towards me. I was like, 'oh great', but what she said completely shocked me!

She had come out to apologize to me! I could not believe it. She went on to say that she was just having a really bad day and that she didn't mean to take it out on me. What??!!! I wanted to cry and just give her a big hug. I told her that it was ok and not to worry about it. I totally understood how she felt, because I have been there! I have been the one who was having a terrible day and probably cut someone off while driving, or said something nasty to someone, only to feel really bad about it right after. Immediately, I felt terrible for my reaction. I should have been more gracious to her inside the store and asked if she was ok. I said a quick prayer and asked that God would help her day to get better and that whatever she might be going through that God would be with her.

Behind closed doors we have no idea what is going on in the lives of others...

--> The woman at the register.... Maybe someone very close to her is in the hospital and is really sick.
                                                   Maybe she has to pay all the medical bills and can't afford it anymore.

--> The guy at the bank who cut you off.... Maybe he is out of work and can't afford to pay his bills
                                                                     anymore and could possibly lose his home.

--> The young teenager at the restaurant... Maybe her parents are going through a divorce right now
                                                                    and all they do is scream and fight and she gets caught in
                                                                    the middle.

Next time someone is rude or mean to you, or cuts you off in line, let's offer them grace and be kind to them instead, because you never know what they may be going through.

Many Blessings,

Monday, August 3, 2015

Summer Essentials Series: Week 3

So last week, instead of posting week three for my Summer Essential Series, I decided to write from the heart. That's the beauty of having your own blog. You can dictate what you write about and when you write it. I can re-arrange my schedule or push a blog post back a week or two and nobody cares. I decided that what I had to share last week, on Monday, was more important than week 3 of my Summer Essentials.

This week, I re-arranged a few things and now we are back on track. As long as there are no more detours, this series will run till August 31st, the day before I return back to work. I hope you enjoy the rest of this series.

1. VERSE: This week's verse comes from Galations. I love the book of Galations, along with Ephesians and Philippians. They may actually be my three favorite books of the Bible. It's from chapter 1 verse 10, and it says, "For am I now seeking the approval of man or of God? Or am I trying
to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ". I love this verse because it reminds me that too often I get caught up in trying to please everyone all the time. It's very stressful and disappointing. The only person that I should worry about pleasing, is Jesus. It is impossible to make everyone happy all the time. If Jesus is happy with your heart and what you are doing for Him, then that is all that matters.

2. WORD: This week's word is one that I have never heard before, but I really like it and I would like to start to include it more in my vocabulary. Liminal: occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or a threshold. For example, you are waiting and waiting for the elevator to reach your floor, pondering whether you should just go and take the stairs. You know as soon as you walk away, the light will ding, so instead you decide to stand there and wait, only to question why you are still waiting, because you could have been down to the first floor by now! This is so me!! I also like to think of it as a word to describe many feelings that you are having all at once. It's a great word. Go ahead and surprise someone next time you are in the office at work, and tell them how liminal you feel about your job. They will probably have no idea what you are talking about, but thats ok, at least you'll look smart!

3. RECIPE: Another one of my favorite recipes is this banana bread. I make mine gluten free though, so I use King Arthur All Purpose Gluten Free flour in place of the regular flour. This has been one of the best tasting banana bread recipes that I have made, and it's super simple. There are only 7 ingredients. I love it! It's perfect for breakfast, as a snack, or as dessert. I like to add some flax seed in there sometimes to make it little more healthy.

4. BLOGGER: This week I want to talk to you about my favorite blogger, Myquillyn Smith, aka 'The Nester". She was probably the first person that I ever started to follow on a regular basis. I have a love for beautiful things and everything about her as a person and her blog is beautiful. I think what I love the most is her decorating style and creativity. She has such good taste and is so creative with her design. She recently wrote a book called The Nesting Place, and like her blog, I can't say enough good things about this book. She inspires and encourages you to love the home you are in right now. Whether it's a rental, temporary, or permanent home, she shows you how to see the beauty in your limitations and create a home that is beautiful and serves a purpose. She helps you to see that it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful and I LOVE that!! I could go on and on about how much I love her and her work, but you will just have to see for yourself. ~> www.thenester.com

5. CLOTHING ITEM: A new summer favorite for me is the jumpsuit. I really wasn't a fan until I found one that I absolutely loved and realized that I didn't look as ridiculous as I thought wearing one. See, I never actually tried one on until this spring, because honestly, I assumed that they wouldn't look good on me. I guess I should know by now that nothing good ever comes from assuming things. The jumpsuit I purchased is black with white paisley print and I got it from Target. I love that I can dress it up or make it casual just like my maxi's. It's perfect for the summer and you can find them almost anywhere now!


6. NEW USE FOR SOMETHING OLD:  I am always looking for ways to reuse old frames. The most functional way for me id to turn them into chalkboards. I have made mini ones, that I have written one word on, such as 'believe' or 'dream'. I took a medium sized one and made into a cute birth announcement of my son and hung it on his wall in the nursery. My favorite one though, was my big frame that I turned into a chalkboard/message board and hung it in my kitchen. I wrote prayer requests on there, weekly to-do's, love notes, and weekly meals. I used it for so many things!!! All you have to do is take the glass out of the frame, spray it with 2 coats of chalkboard spray paint (make sure you use spray paint, NOT liquid paint), let it dry for 24 hours, and then re-attach it to the frame. Make sure you run a piece of chalk over it, to season it, and then use it for whatever you want!

Many Blessings,