Thursday, July 31, 2008

New page!

my first scrapbook page since I got home....It's also my first design team page for this term! I think its a good page that anyone would be able to scraplift!

I used:
american crafts ribbon
my mind's eye papers
bazzill flower brads
flower chipboard ( i covered and sanded the flower with the pink polka dot paper)
sewing machine (I sewed white threaded lines up and down on the pink polka dot paper margin)
thickers Pin It


Found this at a blog I was reading today. It takes words from your blog and makes a collage! Pin It

Competition Among (Women) Friends

I would like to talk about an issue that happens with every single woman out there. There is no denying that it happens, and its constant. I can go out on a limb here and say it happens to every single woman because whether you feel it or someone feels it against you, its out there (and I can even bet that it usually goes both ways)....

Competition amongst us.

Bigger or nicer homes, better jobs, comparison between children (or if you don't have children, wanting them), greater husbands, nicer looking bodies, nicer cars, cooler clothes and accessories, greater haircuts, more money, more stuff, even petty silly things like nicer bigger more read cooler blogs, better more greater nicer bigger whatever anything.

It doesn't matter WHAT the age, from little girls to little old ladies, there is competition amongst us. "I want that Barbie, she has so many, I only have two" or "Everyone always wants to hang out with her, what about me? I live alone too." Yes, even when you are old and gray it happens. There is no stopping it.

And its a disease...spreading around, preventing us to grow stronger and more secure with ourselves as women.

"She always gets everything she wants." "She always looks like she doesn't even have to try." "It all just comes so easily to her in life" "She has a nicer body, I can never look like that" "Why does her house always look like..." "Gosh, I wish I could...."

It is horrible! Keeping up with the Jones' is an understatement. Its a feeling of inadequacy. You feel inferior because you don't measure up. It starts to make you feel resentful, angry, bitter, and also results in wallowing in your own self pity. "No one likes me" "I have no friends" "I am so alone" "I feel so ugly all of the time" "No matter what I do, I can't be me, everyone else is the same way, I want to be different"

But guess what! YOU ARE DIFFERENT! We are ALL different! And we are all beautiful!

Its easier said than done, but think about it. When you get into the rut of comparing and competing, you lose who you really are. The qualities that we all have, that should compliment one another, strengthen our friendships, uplift our lives are instead ruining us. Its tearing us apart, putting us against one another.

Let's stop the cycle. Is it easy for me to sit here and say this? No. I am horrible with this. I get down on myself all. of. the. time. I couldn't sit here and count how many times I have cried to my mom, my husband, my friends, myself, to my God. I just want it to go away.

No one has it easy, no matter how much it seems like it. There is so much going on in my own life right now that isn't apparent to ANYONE, no matter how much they think they know me. And it goes the same for anyone. We all have different lives. We all hurt.

No one is better than someone else. No one is a better wife, mother or friend unless they are more focused on what is wrong with themselves, then they are hurting their family and selves.. Focus on yourself. Give what you can to your relationships. If someone does it a different way, good for them!

Don't judge. Don't compare. Don't belittle people's lives or feelings. We all get our feelings hurt. And when someone acts ugly out of jealousy, it really hurts. It hurts relationships, minds, lives. And you know that beauty everyone has? When jealousy comes out, the beauty goes away.

My husband always tells me that I am prettiest woman in the world when I smile, but when I am angry...... What he says makes me laugh, but its true. Think about someone you know and admire. Are they kind? Do they have a good heart? Do you think they are pretty? Or is it what's on the outside that you admire? Think about if that person you admire so much because of their "stuff" .... Stuff means nothing.

Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Focus on what is on the inside. That's what matters. Figure out who you are on the inside, and nothing on the outside will be worth fighting about anymore. Love each other. Support and uplift each other. Let's not tear down and separate. Pin It

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fray Quilt

When I was pregnant with Jaden, my friend (Texas Brandy) made him a baby fray quilt. It's adorable, and once the boys are up I will post pictures of it later.

While visiting, I saw a big one in her living room and thought "duh, a big one. i want to make one too!" and she explained to me how to make it. Once I cut all the squares out though, I thought it would be cool to add some crosses to it, so I added a bit more to the directions :)

This was my first project coming home and I am so happy with how it came out! I want to make more! I made it to match our bedroom, which is the room I am still fixing up and playing around with. With cutting, it took me Monday afternoon into the evening, and then off and on yesterday to complete. It also helped that my sewing machine kept breaking, so my mom gave me her old one, which I instantly fell in love with.

What you need:
depending on size of quilt you are making:
  • 3 yards per color
  • two spools of thread
  • good pair of scissors
  • measuring tools
  • washer/dryer
(if you do a baby quilt, its half the supplies)
  1. cut your squares whatever size you want. I did 7 inches so when its sewn it was 6 inch squares. *do this for all of your colors.
  2. layer them so that its the pattern you would like. i did black on back and the alternated the other two.
  3. lay them out so that its how you want it sewn
  4. this is where i added the crosses. cut out your desired shape as many times as you want it on the quit. sew it on to the squares of your choosing (only the top layer) and you can choose to fray the edges of the shapes as well.
  5. sew each set of 3 together how you would like. I did an x. do this for all of your squares of three.
  6. then sew the squares together long ways.... sew the columns together after.
  7. once sewn, go through and cut each seam into little "grass" type patterns. remember the grass you cut in kindergarten on paper? same effect. this is the tedious part, so make sure you have a good pair of scissors and a sweet husband to help. make sure you put your soap opera on while he is helping, it makes it more fun (for you, anyway...he let me know how he felt about the afternoon)
  8. wash and dry the blanket as much as you feel necessary to give you the desired fray effect. I washed mine 4 times and dried it twice.

Fast and easy project!

(the back side)

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Monday, July 28, 2008


I think I am going to start canning- if not this summer, definitely next. I have been looking at books all weekend on how to start, and it looks fairly simple once you get the food and jars to prepare it all!
Anyone else can things before?
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I get to get crafty tonight!

So excited! In between laundry and babies, I hope to get a couple of page layouts done, a sewing project started, or anything else that I feel like doing! When I got home, I went into our laundry room (aka the craft room) and stared longingly at my supplies. Ahhh :)

Just wanted to share a couple of pictures from last night :)

Saturday night I had a meeting and I came back to these!

I think I'll keep him :) Pin It

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Remember the glove incident?

Ya know....the horror, the bruises, the weirdness...

Well, I came home today to find a box with this waiting for me! Happy Anniversary to us! Woo hoo! Midwest Gloves Co sent us this package to replace the yucky 99 cent gloves that went nuclear meltdown on me.

Inside was: a pop up hat with case, a carry bin, a knee pad (and its so cute!), a brown tote, a polka dot bag holder thing with a mini shovel and trowel, another hat, a bucket organizer, oh yeah and 20 pairs of different types of gardening gloves!! All the gloves are made for different things, and Micah even scored a few pairs! Some of the gloves here are gloves they even want us to test that haven't been released yet. The bags are so much fun! I think that's my favorite part of the package.

This rocked my socks. The company was so awesome about this.

And the best part was, coming home and taking a peek out at the garden! I will post pictures of the garden this week! A lot of things were hit by the heat, but some of the stuff we planted from seeds are growing like crazy! Time to put our new gear to use! We have a lot of yard work to catch up on and this will make it fun! Pin It

Happy 5th Anniversary to Us!!

5 years of marital bliss, awww :)

On July 26th, 2003, we began a new life together, and have since bought our first home, had two beautiful boys, moved to Oregon and back in the span of 10 months, I finished my bachelor's, he has continued moving up and succeeding in his career, we both grew up a lot and have grown together spiritually. If all this can happen in 5 years, its exciting to see what more there is to come!

I love you Micah Daniel! You are truly my soul mate, the best husband a woman could have and the most amazing father to our two children. I can't imagine life being any better than this!

....And to show just how cheesy life was 5 years ago, I will now share an embarrassing part of our life...our old wedding website. Ahhh hahahahahaha. And remember, a lot has changed in photography AND website in 5 years...our wedding photographer didn't have go digital yet! So....enjoy a good laugh. Mr and Mrs

(let me know if the link doesnt work, its being finicky!) Pin It

Friday, July 25, 2008

Books I read in Texas

One of the best things about books is sharing, and I have been pretty lucky on this trip to have a best friend so close by who loves reading too!

Since getting to Texas, I have read these books:

Twilight- Stephanie Myers

New Moon- Stephanie Myers

Eclipse- Stephanie Myers

Something Borrowed- Emily Giffin

Something Blue- Emily Giffin

Love the one you're with- Emily Giffin

Peace like a river- LL Enger

The Wedding (which i realized i had read before)- Nicholas Sparks

love walked in- Marisa de los Santos

The Last Sin Eater- Francine Rivers

(..and of course, I have been reading:)

So that wraps up our Texas trip! See ya all when we get home!

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One more..

And if you thought that was an interesting article, here is another for you:

Recession Proof Groceries Pin It

Cool Article on Yahoo

**Saw this article today and thought I would share. It's so hard dealing with the cost of food and gas these days, and it's always great to get new tips on how to help!

22 Ways To Fight Rising Food Prices

Thursday July 17, 3:26 pm ET

Lisa Smith Food, clothing and shelter generally top the list of basic human needs. While shopping at a discount store instead of the mall generally takes care of the clothing issue, and living in a small apartment instead of a McMansion can address your housing situation, rising world food prices can lead to some significant challenges in the food department. Everything from rising transportation costs to the development of biofuels, such as biodiesel, push up the cost of food and put a pinch on consumers' wallets.

While the need to eat isn't something you can avoid, there are some steps you can take to keep the costs in check.

1.Eat at Home
Dining out is an expensive proposition. Just about any nutritious meal that you buy in a formal restaurant can be made at home for a fraction of the price. Even good coffee is cheaper to make if you do it yourself. Fast food is excluded from the category, as high-calorie, low-quality food can be had a bargain price, but the impact on your long-term health overrides the benefit of short-term savings.

2. Shop With a Plan
If you stumble around the grocery store and fill your cart with everything that catches your eye, chances are you will spend a lot more money that you needed to spend. To minimize your cash outlay, prepare a shopping list before you leave home. Plan your meals for the week ahead, and make careful note of what you need to buy in order to prepare those meals. Once the list is made, purchase only the items on the list, and avoid impulse buys.

3. Put on Blinders
Grocery stores are designed to make you go through a maze to get to the most basic items you need in the hope that you will make a few impulse buys along the way. If you keep to your planned list of needed foods, you won't be tempted when you get forced down the junk food aisle to get at the milk. Because most necessities and basic cooking items are found along the outside perimeter of the store, start there and work your way around the edge of the store, only stepping into the maze to grab any leftover items on your list.

4. Eat Before You Shop
When you are hungry and you walk into a building full of food, there's a high likelihood that you are going to fill you cart with unnecessary and expensive purchases that appeal to your taste buds. To keep your costs down, eat first and shop on a full stomach.

5. Avoid Prepared Foods
Our fast-paced society encourages convenience, and the grocery store has capitalized on this trend. Ready-made meals are easy to buy, but come with a premium price tag. Instead of putting that rotisserie chicken and macaroni salad in you cart, buy the ingredients and prepare the meal yourself. The same concept applies to frozen entrées, baked goods and any other food that has been prepared in some way for added convenience.

6. Skip the Bottled Water
If you don't like the water that comes out of the tap, buy a water filter. The per-gallon cost is significantly less than the cost of bottled water - and without all the plastic bottles to discard, it's a lot easier on the environment.

7. Shop Without the Kids
Hungry, tired, cranky kids increase the amount of time it takes to get your shopping done. Every extra minute that you spend in the grocery store increases the likelihood of extra items finding their way into your cart, including toys and snacks designed to keep the kids quiet while you try to focus on finding a few bargains.

8. Buy in Bulk
Bulk buying can save you a significant amount of money. Pay attention to the prices and pick up the family size package if the per-unit cost is lower and you have a place to store it. Shopping at big-box bulk retailers like Sam's Club and Costco can also save on your bill if you shop there frequently enough to cover the cost of membership, but pay careful attention to your spending habits. The big boxes are often no bargain at all when compared to sales prices and coupon savings at other stores. In addition, they may encourage you to buy more than you need, driving up your grocery bill.

9. Use Store Reward Cards
If the store that you visit most frequently has a reward card, be sure to sign up. In some cases, stores raise their prices when they offer reward cards, and without the card your bill will certainly be higher. If the reward card offers other benefits, such as a ham for the holidays or a discount on gasoline, be sure to maximize your benefits by paying attention to the cutoff dates and cashing in your points before they expire.

10. Use Coupons
Coupons provide an easy way to save money. Clip them and cash them in, paying particular attention to stores that double the value of manufacturers' coupons. A number of websites also offer coupons exclusively, and they are a great place to search for discounts on the items you have on your list. If you frequent a website of your favorite brands, they will often offer discounts to their faithful public. A few minutes of surfing online can make a difference at the till.

11. Buy Locally
Locally grown or produced food is often available at a cheaper price because you don't pay for long transportation costs. Farmer's markets, fairs, and the local aisle at your grocery store are all game for deals on tasty and fresh food.

12. Look Down
Stores often place the most expensive items at eye-level. To find less expensive items, look down. Also, looking around your brand-name food can find you a cheaper generic alternative. Generic label products are often nearly identical to name-brand goods (in fact, they're often produced in the same factory), so don't pay for packaging when what you really want is the food inside.

13. Avoid the End Caps and Checkout Temptations
Those displays placed at the end of each aisle often feature premium brands. Rather than grabbing those high-priced batteries or that extra box of cereal, walk down the aisle. Chances are good that walking a few extra feet will reward you with a less expensive option.

Many grocery stores now offer checkout lines that don't feature candy. Using these lanes not only helps you avoid the temptation to spend your money on sweets, but it also encourages a healthier lifestyle.

14. Compare Prices and Stores
Some consumers have trouble calculating the cost per unit in their heads, but it's something that gets a lot easier with practice. You can even carry a calculator. Looking at the brands and comparing prices is an easy way to shave a few cents off most purchases.

The store that features the lowest average prices in your area is often the best place for routine shopping, but the higher-priced competitor may run sales on specific items that undercut the cost at your most frequented venue. Watch for these sales and take advantage of them when possible.

15. Shop for Sales
As mentioned above, sales can be a great incentive to switch stores – but only if you need the items on sale. Pay attention to sales on necessity items and stock up on non-perishables and freezer goods. Keep an eye on the prices so that you know when a sale price is merely a small savings or when it is a significant discount to the normal price.

16. Watch "Best Before" or "Sell By" Dates
As the "sell by" or "best before" date approaches, you are virtually guaranteed a discount. For example, grocery stores lower prices as meat ages. Ask the butcher when the meats get marked down. Most stores have a fairly regular schedule that you can learn and follow. When you get a good deal, stock your freezer so you can avoid buying when the price is high. And if you plan on freezing the food, "best before" dates shouldn't worry you; the product will stay fresh until you thaw and cook it.

17. Substitute Recipe Items
If you have a higher-priced item that reoccurs in your favorite recipes, it may be time to shake up your taste buds. Often a lower-priced alternative can be found. For instance, if you consistently bake with olive oil and you see that the price has skyrocketed, a simple switch to applesauce (something that you might even be able to make if you have an apple tree) is a great cheap and low-fat substitution for many recipes. To help decide on a cheaper substitution, see The Cooking Thesaurus.
18. Keep Your Kitchen Stocked
A well-stocked kitchen means that you won't run out of staple items and need to buy them on the spur or the moment. Knowing what you have in the cabinet means that you can wait to make your purchases until items are on sale.

19. Shop Infrequently
Reducing the number of trips that you make to the store each week or month reduces the odds of unnecessary purchases, and minimizes the amount of gasoline spent getting there.

20. Pay Attention To Time
Weekly sales often run from mid-week to mid-week. Hold off on your shopping until after you've had a chance to clip coupons from the Sunday paper and you'll not only enjoy the sales prices but you might also get a coupon. Shopping during the evening or early morning also helps you avoid the crowds and spend less time in the store.

21. Pay In Cash
When you put groceries on your credit card and don't pay off the card in full each month, you pay interest on the purchase. To avoid this extra cost, pay in cash when you shop and keep necessities off your credit cards.

22. Check Your Bill
Electronic scanners make the shopping experience faster and more convenient, but scanners aren't perfect. Be sure to take a look at the receipt to make sure your coupons and discounts were taken into account.

Shop Smart
Food is one of those purchases that you just can't avoid, but careful shoppers can minimize the amount spent on this necessary purchase. All it takes is a little time, patience and effort.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Barn Star Class!

I am very excited to share my good news with you all!

On August 25th, at 6 pm, I will be teaching my barn star class at Devine Memories! Make sure you sign up if you are interested, as spots are limited! Check the class calendar for more info!

Here is the star that inspired the class! Class example to come soon :) Pin It

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sponge Balls!

I saw these on Martha Stewart awhile back and have been wanting to make them for the boys.

Well, I got a pair of scissors at Staples this week on sale for 99 cents and then last night I had to buy laundry supplies and when I went in, I got a coupon for 2 dollars off a 10 dollar cvs purchase, so I scored a pack of free sponges out of the deal. What better time to make some sponge balls?

I used a pack of 4 sponges and made smaller ones than she had, but it still made three. I just cut them all up into 1/2 inch strips and then tied them together with some of the yarn I have here from crocheting. It was a ten minute project and the boys played with them in the bath tub today for a very very long time!

Cost: Cheap!
Skill Level: No skill needed! :) I didnt even use a ruler and they weren't cut straight.
Entertainment: Lots!

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More pictures from the Gaylord...

So as I mentioned on Frday, we went to this beautiful resort here called The Gaylord Texan. I took 200+ pictures of anything and everything that was inspiring. This place was enormous. Micah had looked at the pictures on Friday night, and wanted to go check it out today, and when he got there, he said he had no idea how big it really was from the pictures. And everything was indoors!

Here is a recap. There are a lot of pictures, and it might get boring, but I weeded out tons and tons. :)

This actually isnt from the resort, this was from dinner on friday night.

Ok, here they are :)

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