Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Month of Challenges: Day 18

     Today's challenge is to get your craft on.  You may take the next few days to plan out your craft, and work on it this weekend if that is what your schedule allows.  I always feel so accomplished when I finish a project, and can stand back and say, "I made that!" If you need some inspriration, hit up Pinterest.  Here are a few easy and cheap projects I found as suggestions.  Check 'em out, and get crafting!

 This bulletin board, shown by two twenty one, can be made simply by covering a cheap bulletin board with pretty fabric, and adding tacks along the edge.

 These coasters are made with cheap ceramic tiles from any home improvement stores.  Decoupage any napkin, paper, map, etc, and have personalized coasters!  I think it would be great to have a map of every place we've lived, so we take a little bit of that place with us on each move.  See Carolina Cottage if you would like to purchase them instead!

This lip gloss is made with only two ingredients!  How much fun would this project be to include the kids?  See Meet the Dubiens for instructions!

What kind of craftiness will you get into this week?

Thanks for following our month of challenges.  I hope it has been a fun time for you!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Month of Challenges: Day 17

Today's challenge is all about your wellness. As women, we so often put others ahead of ourselves, often to our detriment. Today I want you to focus on something you have been putting off that really needs to be done. Especially when it comes to our health, we tend to prioritize ourselves right off the calendar. No more! Take the time today to call up your dentist, gynecologist, family doctor or counselor. Get that mammogram or teeth cleaning you need! Has your back been killing you for the last three months? See a chiropractor! What have you been putting off? Make your health a priority TODAY!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Month of Challenges: Day 16

Well, it's tax season, and if you're anything like me, you filed the absolute second you could. Why let the government hold on to my money any longer than they should, right? Here is your challenge. If you are getting a return, I would like you to at least consider giving a bit of it to a charitable cause. It doesn't have to be a ton, but even a little bit goes a long way to the people who really need it. It seems we most often think of the needy at Christmas time, and not other times of the year. Well, here's your reminder! Make a difference in someone's life today!

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Month of Challenges: Day 15

So, unless you've been living under a rock, you know that elections are around the corner, and if you're a Republican, the primaries are happening right now. Your challenge for today is to research a candidate you're interested in. Go to their website, or even Wikipedia, and see what there is to know about him. Where does he stand on the issues that are most important to you? What is his voting record? Be an informed voter! Go!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Month of Challenges: Day 14

Okay, so I haven't gotten around to posting a challenge every day. Guess that's what happens when you live with all boys. Hudson is home from school this week for Winter Break, and our days have been filled with fun. These boys have tuckered this Mama out! I apologize if you were counting on a challenge every day, and were disappointed, but here is a challenge for today. We all have a junk drawer, or closet (or house!). Today is the day to tackle it. It's one of those things that we dread, but really doesn't take that long, and you'll feel so good afterward. It might even inspre you to do more! Give it a shot!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Month of Challenges: Day 13

     This weekend is President's Day, and I hope you are lucky enough to have Monday off.  If you are, here is your challenge.  Fight the winter blues by getting out and doing something.  Take the kids to the zoo, go for a walk, head to a museum or out to lunch.  Hudson has this week off from school, so we are using it to get in some activites we've been wanting to do, like head to the local aquarium and movie theatre.  What can you do that will recharge your batteries?

Mason Jar Edibles

     If you know me, you know I just love the homey, old fashioned feel of mason jars.  They used to be used only for canning, but now people are using them more and more for creative purposes, such as storage, utensils, and home decor.  I actually made a post a while back about different uses, which can be seen HERE.  Glass jars are inexpensive, and can be used for so many things. Today, we will focus on edible uses, which are many.  Here are a few I've compiled from around the web. 

 This clever person poured cupcake batter in a jar, baked it, and when it cooled, frosted it for a unique look for parties.  Go HERE for full directions.

 Check out these adorable pies for one HERE.

 This jar holds a mini pot pie.  So cute!  HERE is the recipe.

Here is my favorite of all.  This is such a cute way to make your own corndogs.  Pour batter around a hotdog, and when it rises, it covers the hotdog completely making a corndog.  Love it!  HERE is the tutorial and recipe.

Do you bake in your mason jars?  What have you made, and how did it turn out?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Month of Challenges Day 12

     Today's challenge is not really a challenge at all.  It's just a silly activity that will hopefully make you laugh.  Head on over to  Scroll through the tragic photos that people have posted of their family's awkward moments, and realize that maybe your childhood wasn't as bad as you thought!  Have any funny family stories to share that will put a smile on someone's face?  Leave a comment below!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Month of Challenges: Day 11

     In honor of Valentine's Day, today's challenge will be a little mushy.  Valentine's Day is a happy, fun-filled day for many, but for others it is lonely and sad. (I really don't mean to be Debbie Downer, I promise!)  Your challenge for today is to think of someone who has no valentine, and let them know you care about them.  It could be a widow, a single person, the spouse of someone deployed.  Some people care nothing about the holiday, but others care a lot, and are sad by the reminder that they are alone.  So get to it!  Give them a call, shoot them and email, heck, drop off some chocolates!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

     Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope today will find you feeling loved and cherished!  Hud's kindergarten class is celebrating with a party, and instead of buying some boxed valentines, I decided to get a little crafty.  What can I say, I am nesting, and have odd bursts of random energy which I use for projects that have no real value or bearing on my life. :)  I found this idea on Pinterest, and knew it was perfect for his little buddies.
     I took a photo of Hud holding his fist out.  Word to the wise, the lower your child holds his hand in the frame, the easier it is to punch the hole for the sucker, as a hole puncher will only go in so far. I had the photos printed at Walmart. I then glued cardstock as a backing for him to write his message, punched the hole, and threaded a sucker through it.  I placed a sticky dot on the sucker so it would stay in place, and not come loose in transit.  You know how kids are!  Here is the finished project.

24 Valentines
Cost: About $8 for photos and suckers
Time: 1 Hour

A Month of Challenges: Day 10

Have you ever seen the hilarious Jim Carrey movie, "Yes Man?" The plot is that Jim Carrey's character agrees to say yes to things he normally wouldn't. In fact, he's not allowed to say no to anything. Today, and for the upcoming week, I want you to find something you would normally say no to, and say yes instead! Your kids want you to read one more book? Yes! An aquaintance invites you to lunch and you're not feeling quite like it? Yes! The possibilities are endless. Who knows what our lives have been missing? Give it a shot!

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Month of Challenges: Day 9

Today your challenge is simple. Give a genuine compliment to someone. It can be at work, at the grocery store, or anywhere else. Take a second to make someone feel good about themselves! For extra credit consider going the extra mile and making the compliment a personal one. Instead of saying, "I like your shirt," how about, "I really respect how seriously you take your work," or, "I'm really impressed with how patient you are with your kids." Get to it!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Month of Challenges: Day 8

Today's challenge will enrich the life of someone else. Your challenge is this: Do a random act of kindness for someone around you. Pay for the person behind you in the drive thru. Anonymously leave flowers on a friend's porch. Stop and give money to a homeless person. The possibilities are endless. What will you do to make someone's life better today?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Month of Challenges: Day 7

My family was sick yesterday, so you all got a pass for yesterday's challenge. :) Today's challenge is simple. Do something for yourself. Take a long bath, sit down and read a magazine. Go grab a Starbucks. Carve out a little time to watch a favorite tv show, or go for a walk. You're worth it!

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Month of Challenges: Day 6

Well, New Year's is now a month past, and you have likely succeeded in or completely scrapped your resolutions for the year. Here's your second chance. Now that you have a better idea what is actually do-able, how about a do over? Your challenge for the day is to set one goal that you would like to attain in the near future. You already have figured from January that that 250 calorie a day diet isn't going to work, so how about something realistic that will boost your confidence and enrich your life? Set out to read a book you've been wanting to read, or finish that project you started last September. You can do it!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Month of Challenges: Day 5

Today your challenge is planning for this coming weekend. Choose some friends and invite them over for dinner or games. We love entertaining, and while it can take some work, having friends over to visit is a nice break, and something to look forward to during the work week. Want an extra challenge? Make your evening together themed, such as Mexican food night, Greek night, etc. Have fun catching up!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Month of Challenges: Day 4

     Here is your challenge for today: Try a new hair style.  It doesn't have to be dramatic.  I'm not suggesting a Billy Idol look, unless that is what you want to try.  Maybe you've been bored with your regular ponytail, or just brushing your hair and going.  Why not try a braid, an updo, a tease?  Pinterest is a great resource for this, but if you are not yet a member, Google some ideas!

Want to try this?  Go here for the tutorial.

Or follow this picture tutorial.

Or maybe you're feeling reaaally adventurous!  Kidding, of course! This kind of reminds me of a hair style from Braveheart, minus the pink.

Get crack-a-lackin!

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Month of Challenges: Day 3

     Today's challenge is one of a personal nature.  What do you want to accomplish in life?  What is most important to you?  What are some fun activities you want to do before you "kick the bucket?"  Your challenge is to create a Bucket List of the things to want to do before it's too late.  Dream big, the sky's the limit!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Heads Up!

Just wanted to inform you of an awesome deal on Living Social today (and for the next 2 days!). You can buy a $20 gift certificate to for only $10! Overstock has everything from baby stuff to home goods, jewelry and more. They even have a clearance section so you can make the most of your voucher. You will definitely be able to use it. I already snatched mine up. If you're interested, go HERE to get yours!

A Month of Challenges: Day 2

     Today's challenge is this: Send a letter of encouragement to a member of our armed forces.  A Million Thanks is an organization that organizes and distributes mail that caring people write to our troops.  So how do you do it?  Simply write a letter (or more, if you're feeling inspired) letting a service member know you are thinking of them.  You can include personal information, encouraging words, bible verses, poems, quotes, whatever you have on your heart.  Stick it in an envelope, and send to the address below, and take a simple step to show gratitude to those who sacrifice so much.  See for more info.

A Million Thanks
17853 Santiago Blvd #107-355
Villa Park, CA 92861

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Prayer Journal Tutorial

     I have been so blessed the last few months to be leading a bible study at my church.  The women are terrific, and I am learning so much in the process.  One important part of our meeting is prayer time when each woman can share what is going on in her life, and the other members remember her in prayer throughout the week.
      Prayer is a huge part of our faith.  It is our way to commune with God, and petition him our requests.  What an honor to talk to the maker of the universe, and a priviledge to lift up others' troubles to him.  In my quiet time last week, I started thinking about prayer and our daily walk with God.  I have been reading through the Old Testament, and one thing that has stood out to me is God's desire for us to remember him, and what he has done for us.  So often we pray and pray, and when we get an answer, we say a quick thank you, and forget about it soon after.  There are numerous times in the Old Testament when God actually commands his people to do things in remembrance of his mighty works.  In Deuteronomy, when God instructs the Israelites how to tithe, they are to bring their offerings forward, and they recite a speech of sorts, listing the ways God had been good to them.  They are to recall how they were saved from the Egyptians, were given the Promised Land, and shown many miraculous signs.
     Jewish traditions that still exist today orginated in God's command to remember a certain event.  Passover is celebrated to remember their escape from Egypt, and the death of the firstborn.  Purim is celebrated to remember how God delivered the Jews from destruction during the Persian Empire.  Countless festivals were instated so people would be routinely reminded what God had done for them.
     Often in the Old Testament, God commands someone to build a monument to something, or name a place something as a tribute to what happened there.  When Joshua led the Israelites across the Red Sea, God instructed him to have each tribe pick a large stone from the center of the water and place it on the other side.  He also instructed the Israelites to tell their children and childrens' children the story of God's divine intervention.
     Why am I making such a big point of this?  We know God is the same God yesterday, today and forever.  I think God wants us to constantly be reminded of what he does for us, too.  When we attended  a bible study in Virginia, we were given prayer journals.  On one side, you wrote down the prayer request of your own or someone else's, and on the other, you made a notation when and how that prayer was answered.  It was so interesting to look back and see God's undeniable hand on each person's life!  I still look back at my journal from time to time to be reminded of just that.  I wanted the ladies from my current bible study to experience the same thing, so I made a (slightly prettier) version of the prayer journal.  Here is how I did it.
     First, I cut a cover from a 12" piece of sturdy scrapbook paper with the dimensions of 11 1/2" x 8 3/4".  I took a piece of letter sized cardstock and folded it in half.  This became my page divider.  I cut tabs at 2 1/2" x 2" and folded them in half.  I used a corner rounder to make them look like tabs on a file folder.
     Next, I formatted a Word document for the prayer pages.  I made the orientation a landscape, and chose a 2 column format.  I typed the words, "Name and Prayer Request" on the left side, and, "Way prayer was answered on the right side."  I printed 5 of these double sided. (We have 10 women in our bible study, so this allows for 12 people's requests.  Make more if you have a larger group.)

On a second page I made a cover for the prayer request journal which had a title and bible verse.  On the back I printed the first page again.  This will all make sense when you do it.  It ensures that your book will read like a book without any missing pieces.

Once all the pages were printed, I folded them in half and organized them like a book.  I placed them in the folded cardstock sheet that serves as a page divider (with tabs on each side), and placed that inside the cover.  I stapled everything together along the spine with a super big stapler.  If you do not have access to one of these, you may want to bind your journal with a piece of tied ribbon.

I left a place in the back for the handouts I give during the course of the study.  They are loose, but stay put pretty well.

Here is the stack of finshed books ready for Friday's study.  Now we are all set to record the concerns of others, and remember months and years from now how faithful God is to us.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

A Month of Challenges: Day One

Who's up for a challenge? How about a whole month of them? February is the month of love, and a challenge a day is just what we all need to love on ourselves and others! These challenges will range from things that will enrich your lives, to putting a smile on someone else's face. So who's game?

Your mission today, should you choose to accept it, is this: Try a new recipe. It can be anything, from an appetizer, main dish, or dessert. Just do something new! Some resources to get you started:

Let me know what you decide on!  What's on your menu?