Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Mama, cuddle with me.

     Quietly I laid Little Man down in his crib and barely dared to breath as I backed out of the room. Then I heard, “Mama, 'cuddohl' with me.” Inwardly I groaned and outwardly I sighed. It had been a very long day and I was exhausted and needed some time alone. She had a rough day too, her budding personality and curiosity clashed with my attitude and fatigue mixed together. It had been a bad Mommy day of countless accounts of lost tempers and raised voices.
    “Mama, please will you 'cuddohl' with me?” I let a small groan escape and laid down beside my little 3 year old girl. She wound one arm around mine and used the other hand to stroke my face. It was as if the whole day had been forgotten when she said, “You’re my best mama.”
    Those words hit me hard. I had not been her best Mama today. I had not shown her the grace and love that Christ continually shows me. I had not shown her patience as she learns to navigate this world. I apologized to her for being harsh and not loving to her during the day. Then, I asked if she would forgive me. She did, and asked me to stay with her just a little bit longer.
    My hardened, exhausted heart had been softened, and I conceded willingly. How much longer would she ask me to cuddle? How many more nights would she stroke my face and hair and speak the words that I needed to hear? And how many of those nights would she beg me to spend just a little more time with her? She was growing so fast. I knew that before too long she would beg me to leave her alone and just give her some time to herself.
    I pulled her warm little body closer to me and used my hand to smooth her hair and touch her face. Taking in the feeling of her soft skin, and hearing her breathing patterns become steady. My little forgiver had fallen asleep, and I didn’t want to leave, even to have some time to myself. I silently prayed, thanking God for the sweet gift He had given me in her, and in Little Man. I pleaded for God to make me more like Him, to help my show His love to my little blessings. I thanked Him for the day, and looked forward to the chance to do better in the morning.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

DIY Minnie Mouse ears: A last-minute Halloween costume

      When a halloween costume is not in the budget, I DIY! :-) This is one of the cheapest DIY's I've ever done. The total cost for a pair of Minnie Mouse ears? ONE DOLLAR!!! 
      I knew my sweetie's Minnie Mouse costume had to be free or low-cost. I had a little skirt with polka dots already and I found a red shirt at a local thrift store. It was 50% off, so it ended up being about 75 cents for the shirt. :-) But no Minnie Mouse costume is complete without the iconic ears and bow! I knew I could make one for muuuch cheaper than what I could buy one for, and since Halloween is....a day away, this had to be done myself.  I was inspired by this tutorial!
     Thankfully, I got sooo lucky at Dollar Tree and found a headband that had a big red bow on it already! It was the perfect base to build my Minnie Mouse ears off of.  Here's the step-by-step.

     1. Carefully remove the bow from the headband. 

     2. Use a cup (or anything round) to draw a couple circles onto some cardboard and cut them out. Cut them slightly smaller than the marked line. The cardboard is necessary so that the ears will stand up on their own and not be flimsy.

     3. Next, use that same cup to measure circles on the black felt for the outside of the ears. I made the front and back of the ear into one piece and just kind of eye-balled a length of felt in between that would allow for the headband to be glued in there too. 

     4. Whip out that hot glue gun and get to it! I used a dot of glue to secure the cardboard to the felt, then a line of glue to secure the headband to the inside of the ears. Lastly, glue all around the edge of the cardboard and press the top part of the felt ear to that.

     5. Now, reattach the bow to the middle of the headband. 

     It looked great when I was done gluing everything on, and you could tell it was Minnie Mouse, but it was really missing those polkadots. I experimented with using craft paint to make some dots, but I hated how messy it looked. So, the only solution? Use trash. YES! I had used my hole punch on some white paper ages ago, and I knew the "punches" would be the perfect size! And they would all be uniform! Yay! 
     For the polka-dots, I used a touch of Aleene's tacky glue on each one, and eye-balled the placement of the outer 3 dots. Then I filled in the rest of the bow until I was happy with how it looked! These ears aren't perfect, but they are going to be perfect to top off baby girl's costume!! For something that will be worn one night, $1 is a great price for a costume accessory!
    Drop me a comment down below, I'd love to hear about homemade costumes and accessories that you've made!  Hope you have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Secret Ingredient: Peach Cobbler

     Is there anything more summery than a bowl of warm peach cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream? The warm crispy edges are my FAVORITE! Peach cobbler has always been one of my most-loved desserts, and it's one of the easiest desserts to make! My Mom always had a little something special she would add to peach desserts, so really, the credit for this Secret Ingredient recipe belongs to her. *blows kiss to mommy*

     First things first, for an extra delicious cobbler, use FRESH peaches! You can always use frozen peaches that have been thawed, or canned peaches. But there really is nothing better than a fresh peach! I leave the skin on my peaches because I don't mind eating it, and I think it gives such a nice pop of color in the cobbler. If you prefer no skins, feel free to peel them before adding them to your cobbler.
     Now for the secret ingredient. Almond Extract. !!! I add some to the batter and also drizzle it over the peach slices. It is amazing the added layer of flavor that the almond extract gives! You will love it. I promise! :-)

Secret Ingredient: Peach Cobbler
1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. almond extract, divided
3 c. sliced, fresh, peaches (about 3 peaches)

     Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place butter in a 9x13 pan and put it in the oven. Let butter melt completely and brown slightly. While the butter is melting, mix sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Add the milk and 1/4 tsp. almond extract and stir until the batter is smooth. Set aside. Slice peaches, peel if desired, and drizzle remaining almond extract over the slices. Once the butter is melted, pull the pan out of the oven. Pour batter over the melted butter. Do NOT stir! Place peach slices on top of the batter. Bake for 40 minutes or until the batter is slightly browned. Serve warm with ice cream. :-)

     Hope you enjoy making this easy and satisfying peach cobbler! Don't forget to add the secret ingredient! Would love for you to comment and let me know how you liked it. :-)

Monday, June 30, 2014

All Natural Silverware Cleaning Method

     A dear friend recently gave me a set of silverware. YAY! It was very tarnished and definitely needed some work. I wasn't about to spend hours polishing silverware that would only be used a few times, so I decided to research a bit to find a better, easier way to clean my sad silverware.

     I have already done a similar post on how to clean your jewelry with items from your kitchen, and I wanted to clean the silverware with something other than harsh chemicals, so I used *almost* the same method, with a few adjustments.
     All you need is a sturdy pan, (preferably made of glass), aluminum foil, baking soda, and a big pot of boiling water.

1. Line the pan with aluminum foil. This method of cleaning WILL NOT WORK without the foil!

2. Lay out your silverware in a single layer, then sprinkle with baking soda.

3. Pour boiling water over the silverware, making sure that it is all submerged. 

4. Watch your sad silverware turn into happy, gleaming silverware in seconds. 
5. Use tongs to carefully remove the silverware from the pan. It will be hot!
6. Buff with a soft cloth and enjoy your beautiful silverware!

       Isn't that ridiculously easy? I loved that I didn't have to go out and buy some expensive polish that was full of harsh chemicals! If some of your pieces end up with a little bit of a white film, just rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth again. I had a few pieces do that, but I think it was just excess baking soda that had dried on there. 
      I would love to see some before and after pictures of pieces that you've cleaned using this method! Feel free to follow me on here, or also on Pinterest! Happy Cleaning! :-)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Trusting during the hard times

     Trust. Not a strong point for me. I want a plan. I want to know what the plan is way in advance. I don't want unknowns. I want to be in control. 
     God has been stretching me lately! He knows that I need to work on trusting Him. Oh it hurts sometimes! This verse has been an encouragement to me in times of not knowing what the future holds. 

          Joshua 1:9
     Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

     "WHEREVER you go", HE will be with me! MY God. The comfort in those words! I don't need to be anxious about the unknowns because God knows already! If I could just give up control to God my stress level sure would diminish! God knows our troubles, He is a safe place to run to, He is our refuge!

Psalms 62:8
Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

Thanks for letting me express my feelings and struggles here. :-) What are your favorite encouraging verses? I'd love for ya'll to share them with me! :-)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Are you ready to go No 'Poo?

     I really want to share the journey I've embarked on trying to cut some chemicals from my life. For a long time I've been frustrated with shampoo and how my hair felt after using it. I knew that shampoo AND conditioner had tons of chemicals in them but what's a girl to do? Have gross greasy hair because I didn't like chemicals? After reading TONS of articles and how-tos on taking a different route to hair and skin care, I decided to take the plunge.....
     The way I got started happened by accident. We traveled to my Mom's house for Christmas and baby and I were able to stay a week longer while the Music Man went back to work. Sweet of him to let us spend more time with my Mom huh? Anyways, since I wasn't planning on staying for 2 weeks I ran out of my shampoo and conditioner. And then I decided that now was as good of a time as any to start using something different for my hair.  
                                  *In walks the magical ingredient: Baking Soda!* 
     Yes, plain old baking soda. I've already been using it as a face wash for awhile so I had some with me. So I put a couple tablespoons of baking soda in my hand and made a very thick paste with a little water from the shower. Then I start applying it to just my roots. Massage into your roots for a minute or two until you start to feel the baking soda start to dissolve. Then rinse your hair well.  Now here's the part that most people have a problem with. The apple cider vinegar conditioning rinse.
     I personally use a 1 to 1 ratio of ACV and water. After washing my hair with Baking Soda, I spritz the ACV on all of my hair and let it set for a few minutes. I just finish the rest of my shower, making sure not to let the water rinse out the ACV too soon. After a few minutes, thoroughly rinse out your hair. Some people complain of a smell from the ACV. But I PROMISE there is absolutely NO SMELL if you rinse your hair!!! The only thing you will notice immediately after using the ACV conditioning rinse is your hair feeling clean and oh-so-soft!!! I couldn't believe how wonderful my hair felt after just one time trying the "No 'Poo" method!!! 
     After going "No 'Poo" for 2 months, I have noticed an increase in my hair growth, fewer flyaways, and my hair is softer! Right now, I use the Baking Soda to wash my hair every other day. And just wash with water and spritz with the ACV on the non-wash days. Let me assure you, my hair is not gross OR greasy like I had feared it could be. The Music Man even commented how soft my hair was! So, going "No 'Poo" is Husband approved! Yay!  So....Are you ready to get rid of the 'Poo??? :-)

     I'd love to hear of other all-natural beauty routines that I could add to my list of things to try!!! 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

DIY Christmas ornament

     This year is Little Girl's first Christmas!!! I really wanted to find just the perfect "first Christmas" ornament for her. You know, something adorable, yet unique, something she could take with her when she has a family of her own.  *sniff*     However, on my search I found two problems. One, all ADORABLE ornaments were waaay out of my price-range. Two.....ok really that was the only problem. I can't justify spending $20 on an ornament!! So, I decided to make my own! 
     After a quick trip to Michael's, I walked out of there with a 2" by 2" wooden block.  Anything else I needed I had on hand. So, at about $1.50, this ornament is much more affordable, and completely personalized since I made it!  
     Using scrapbook paper I had, I cut 2 inch squares for 5 of the 6 sides. Then, I cut a photo of her down to size as well. A layer of mod-podge, slap the paper down, smooth all the air bubbles out, then a layer of mod-podge on top! The hardest part about this project was waiting for everything to dry so I could admire it! :-)
     I decided to add her birthdate and weight and so on to 2 sides of the block. On another side I added the verse "...for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Lastly, I marked the center of the top side of the block and attached one of those hook/screw thingys. Yes, that is the technical term for that. :-) 
     After it was all done, I sprayed clear sealer all over it, let it dry again for a couple hrs, then tied a ribbon through the hook! It turned out so great! Now all we need is a Christmas tree for it to hang on! 
     The cool thing about this ornament is that you can completely personalize it! Attach pictures of the grandkids for a grandparents Christmas gift. Or, use pictures from your wedding for a First Christmas Together ornament! I would love to see what kind of ornaments this inspired you to make! Happy Christmas Crafting!