Jute Webbing Table Runner

When I first met jute webbing, it was love at first sight.  Rustic look, earthy smell and texture, the contrast of tan and red.  It was like there were little hobby gnomes that weaved me a perfect product to use in practically all my crafts. But alas, there are no such gnomes. Jute webbing's origins were in furniture upholstery until hungry creative types adopted it in their cadres of crafting supplies.  Like we do with everything....sticks, leaves, old doors...you get the picture. So if … Read More...

Five Things To Do For Your Health While Taking a Shower

I know, I know.  Really???  I have to multitask in the shower now?  Can't I take just...um...shower when I shower?  No. You're wasting valuable time!  I'm joking of course, and I'm the first to call out the ridiculous standards we put on ourselves as women, wives, and mothers.  But I'm passionate about staying healthy and I've had to be more, well, creative to do so as a working mom than I did as single 20-something.  That's why I am starting a series called the Five to Thrive, where I will use … Read More...

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Have you ever tried to make your own vanilla extract? This is my first time, so I am excited to see how it turns out. It's natural, cost-effective, and apparently the flavor is incredible. Natural: Just two ingredients, no synthetic or imitation flavors. The recipe is essentially 3-5 whole vanilla beans per cup of an at least 35% by volume alcohol.  You can use any alcohol, but vodka is a popular choice.   A 750ml bottle or a "fifth" is about 3 1/3 cups. Cost Effective: I chose a bottom … Read More...

Family Tree Image Transfer Project

A good friend of mine is having her fourth baby any day now. We were in a heated baby-making competition for awhile, but she has pulled out ahead as she is about to birth her fourth in four years. And she is a superwoman. She has schlepped heavy baby gear (e.g. double strollers) up the steps of a 4th floor walk-up for years, done laundry in the basement of said walk-up, and has, until recently, had her three oldest sleeping in one bedroom.  I know she does not feel sorry for herself and loves … Read More...

Fall Embodied in a Muffin

There is nothing like Fall. My absolute favorite season. The mild temperature, football, apple orchards, returning to routine. What's not to love?  Maybe winter coming, but I don't have to think about that until later. Do I? Fall inspires me to nest...and one way this manifests itself is baking. After tweaking several recipes, I bring you an original to enhance your senses, guilt-free. If Fall could be embodied in a muffin, this would be it. They're healthy, delicious and my kids love … Read More...

Pre-Trip Prep for Flying with Toddlers

Is a vacation really a vacation if you have small children in tow?  The answer, of course, is not really, and we learned this firsthand on our recent jaunt to Colorado. Airline travel can range from a minor inconvenience to actually kind of fun when you're by yourself or with a significant other.  With small children, it can be barely preferable to a colonoscopy.  You never want to be that family.  The one that while proceeding to the security line in the airport, people eye disapprovingly … Read More...

Easy Boys Belt

My son's wardrobe is a bit of an afterthought. Mostly because he doesn't care at all about what he is wearing. In fact, he'd rather wear nothing...and certainly does not want to be dressed in things that would prevent him from getting dirty. During my change of season closet organization, I discovered that a lot of his pants, except for the elastic waisted ones, (which are only cute on the very young and very elderly) are the right length but too big in the waist. And he doesn't have a … Read More...

They’re Watching You

Isn't this the truth? Our children watch us...our actions, our responses. We can "say" all that we want, but our true teaching will be in the way we discipline, the way we treat our spouses, the way we act towards the slow driver in front of us. We can't be on or perfect for them all the time. It's just not possible. We will slip up. Our our sin nature will be calling us to choose anger, to choose lust, to choose perfectionism. Only in submitting our parenting daily to Jesus and asking for … Read More...

Silhouettes

Silhouettes. Thank goodness for spell check...I would have never figured out how to spell that word. Basically, I love them. They're sweet, they invoke a by-gone era and they are so easy to do! What a great way to mark points of time in your kids' life.  Perhaps a new back-to-school tradition could include updated silhouettes?  If only you knew how to do them... Like most crafts, this one is so much easier than it looks. Here it is: 1. Take an up close side view picture of your … Read More...

Chai Tea Latte Mix

It is simply my coffee. I could go the rest of my life without another cup of coffee, but barely a day without a chai tea latte. Brand of preference: Oreg0n Chai. In the case that I should be located in a place without chai, I get panicky, and start brainstorming what is the closest place that I could go to find some.  I brought my Oregon Chai Tea Latte packets to Mexico for an anniversary trip.  I bring them to work and in my purse to Bible study.  You will find me at church during the … Read More...