Free Photo Book Today!

We interrupt this “Using What You’ve Got Series” (that I just made up today since I told you about the pillow and the runner to make using stuff you probably already have) to tell you that I FINALLY made a photo book on Shutterfly for FREE! Hurry! Use the code STORYTIME and you can choose a simple path (and it will be made for you) OR a custom path and make it fit for you! 🙂 I used our Christmas pictures and…

All I had to pay was shipping and for a couple of extra pages I added!

Check it out here!

Click here to view this photo book larger

Build your own high-quality photo books at Shutterfly.com.

Don’t you worry…in no way am I getting compensated for this…just trying to help you get a good deal!

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Baby Blanket Pillow

My friend, Tammy, uses polka dots so well. She makes them look neutral, cute, and pretty all at the same time!

One day, digging for something in the “linens trunk,” I saw a pretty fuzzy polka dot blanket and a light bulb went off!

Just earlier that day, we were putting some items away and I found a teal pillow we had used in our guest room before it was Kuy’s big boy room.

I had the perfect solution…all it took was some safety pins! (I still haven’t learned how to sew!)

I folded it over the pillow and ta-da!

baby blanket pillow text

I’m telling you, it’s really possible to use things you have to freshen up around the house.

baby blanket safety pin pillow

You just have to notice. I’m not implying you become a hoarder but notice things in a different way. I am constantly changing things from room to room (probably causing my husband much turmoil as he already loses his keys everyday so moving the bowl to put them in doesn’t really help). BUT, all that said, just moving a lantern from the fireplace to the dining room table, made a new centerpiece without going to buy something for spring.

baby blanket covered pillow

What can you use around the house? What can you easily change around creating something new in another room?

 

 

 

Linking up here: http://www.cozylittlehouse.com/2014/03/tweak-it-tuesday-83.html?m=1

http://www.homestoriesatoz.com/tutorials/tutorials-tips-link-party-151.html

The Blissful Bee

http://www.ohmy-creative.com/whimsy-wednesday/whimsy-wednesday-link-party-108/

http://tatertotsandjello.com/2014/03/link-party-palooza-daybreak-utahs-lulu-lemon-giveaway.html

One Year Later…

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5

I cannot believe one year ago today I wrote this little bitty post and people.actually.read.it.

THANK YOU for that!

Thank you for hanging as we have grown, I have grown, and we have been on this unbelievable journey, constantly grounded by God’s sovereignty.

But, I did put together this cute little thing to commemorate my top ten most read posts after one year.

One Year

Then, today, I finished Radical, and that was no coincidence.

In the last chapter, David Platt challenges us to a ONE YEAR challenge. See, not a coincidence that it coincides with my one year anniversary as a blog (is it weird I don’t like the term “blogiversary?”).

So many of you have messaged me privately, or e-mailed, or commented on how some posts actually impacted you. For that, I have no words other than God spoke through me. I seriously pray every time I hit publish because I still get so nervous. SO, thank you. Thank you for sharing that with me and thank you for allowing these words to hit close to home. This is me. This is our life. There is no gray area (except for the shades of gray I so greatly love around my house).

Now, what was the challenge?

For one year:

  1. Pray for the entire world…Platt also suggested a book called Operation World to help guide you through this process. He mentioned a kid’s version but I haven’t quite found it but if you have, please share with me! I would love for it to be something my family could do at night!
  2. Read through the entire word….I REALLY want to do this. Mama has done this numerous times and she is so knowledgeable. I’d love any suggestions for this, as well.
  3. Sacrifice your money for a specific purpose…he puts this perfectly:

“The key word here, again, is sacrifice. The challenge is not just to give away excess stuff that you don’t really need anyway. That’s not sacrifice. Sacrifice is giving away what it hurts to give. Sacrifice is not giving according to your ability; it’s giving beyond your ability.”

  1. 4.       Spend your time in another context…

”The point is not where we go, how we get there, or even how long we stay. The point is that we simply go.”

  1. 5.       Commit your life to a multiplying community…

He says, don’t we pray, “OUR Father in heaven…” it is ours. Not mine specifically or yours, but OURS. WE MUST SHARE THIS.

These may seem problematic or too much of a sacrifice but he mentions over and over that this is not a multitude of years, but if implemented, unknowingly, it will become your lifestyle.

After simplifying from reading Seven, and reading Radical, and learning from this yellow house journey , we are so humbled.

We were taken down to what we perceived as almost nothing but we are still so blessed with health, our children, each other, a roof, and actual food to eat and money to buy it in case a chicken goes bad (as was the case tonight).

I’m ready for this, y’all. I’ve told you I felt a change…I sense it looming around the corner but I feel so strongly we are on this journey together.

Are you in? Can you commit with us to these things for one year?

If so, please comment by saying, “I’m in!” and immediately, you’re going on my prayer list. We cannot do this alone. Jesus made sure of it.

After all, He He rescued us with both hands…we must trust that it means we can let go.

Are you in? Let me know or share your thoughts…

I’d love to know if you read the book, too!

Platt, David. Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah, 2010. Print.

Bathroom Bar Cart

I found this bar cart months ago and for some reason, my bathroom, not the kitchen or dining room, immediately came to my mind.

Soon, I will do a full bathroom update but here is what our bathroom looked like BEFORE:

the guest bath

Yeah, pretty bad.

You see, our house sat empty for three years and there was a leak in the roof that rotted out the ceiling and floor (You can read the entire story…well, almost all of it…..here.).

Anyway, back to the bar cart.

This is what IT looked like before:

before bar cart

But for $10, I knew it had potential.

Unfortunately, it sat outside for months before I could do anything to it.

Bless its heart, it even endured a snow.

snow bar cart

I finally got around to painting it this week. I tried and tried to scrape off as much as I could but I didn’t have much luck.

I ended up just spray painting it with gray primer then spraying on two coats of Azure Snow.

finished bar cart

THEN, my savior…this fabulous wrapping paper that I found at TJ Maxx! My friend, Tammy, always uses wrapping paper in so many creative ways so I grabbed it a few nights ago when I was checking out. Later that night, as I was walking up to my house, I saw the half painted bar cart still outside and it clicked!

The perfect little placemats!

bar cart top

I thought about mod podging (if that’s a verb) them down, but instead just laid it down on top.

bar cart bottom

I found this PRECIOUS FREE PRINTABLE  that I loved and put it in a frame on top of burlap from My Fabuless Life . I love this little saying because when Russ and I were on our honeymoon, we ate at this FANTASTIC little café every day for lunch and a bird would join us and eat a fry every day! This reminds me, of course, of the delicious jerk calamari and the blue ocean water….

bar cart

Easy as pie!

Before and After Bar Cart

What do you use as storage in the bathroom?

Linking up here: http://www.homestoriesatoz.com/tutorials/tutorials-tips-link-party-149.html

The DIY Dreamer
 
 

Embracing Change
DIY Show Off

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The Thing About Facebook

…is that it’s not all bad. It’s really not. I have learned about numerous life changing events because of Facebook.

I have learned of prayer requests, spoken and unspoken.

I have learned of births, deaths, sicknesses, praise reports, and even devotionals.

Heck, I even learned about the earthquake here in SC because of Facebook.

But I’ve also learned I’m finding out way too much about other people instead of learning about my God and how He wants me to SERVE His people.

I’m scared to make this commitment for fear of missing something. But truthfully, what is that? The only thing I am missing is time on things that are truly important.

The problem with Facebook is the time it takes from my family without me even realizing it….because five or ten minutes means the dishes are clean and there’s time to play. Not time to check my news feed.

This is when it hit me that we, as a society have become more concerned with sharing our memories so everyone can see our great our life is rather than enjoying the blessings in the moment for what they are. This is not a new revelation. People everywhere have realized this.

The problem is that we allow our judgement or jealousy to steal our joy instead of sharing in others’ joy. We compare. We judge and think, can you believe they put that? or the jealousy: I wish I would have been invited to that.

This.is.not.everyone.

In fact, over the last two weeks, I’ve been praying about “fasting from Facebook” (and struggling over this post) and I CAN FEEL my friends praying about it, too, because I have not felt insecure ONE TIME since I mentioned it at Bible study. The power of prayer, y’all. So once I realized this…that everyone is not fighting this same battle of insecurity as I am and that I have friends and accountability partners that can strengthen me….I felt relief.

This is just a post for me. A chance for me to express the way I am feeling about the power I give to media. My hope is that instead of checking my news feed, I’ll open my Bible app. Or my REAL Bible. I will spend time with my husband. With my kids. With my neighbors. With my friends.  Calling. Going. Helping. Serving. Being there. Being AWARE.

Because let’s be honest. We check Facebook without even realizing we check it and before we know it, five or ten minutes have passed.

I just know that during Media Free Week (part of our 7 study), I felt so much less pressured. I very much missed my blogs that I like to read daily and I really missed Pinterest (but that’s a story for another day!)

BUT, but, I didn’t miss knowing that I got.things.done. I accomplished so much doing things before I claimed I “didn’t have time to do!”

Is this weird?

Probably.

Are you thinking no way I’m doing that?

Probably.

Because several of my friends have told me, they don’t struggle with it in a negative way. WHICH IS AWESOME. That’s so great!

Right now, it’s just stealing my joy and I need it to stop.

I’ve struggled with giving it up altogether but selfishly, I think this: What do I do about blog posts? But then I remember the reason I started this blog was to document. Not for you. But for me. Our house changes. Our family changes. Our spiritual relationships changes and HUGE blessings that can only come from God. Our challenges. You see, I suffer from people pleasing so I will think I said something that offended you then I’ll remember why I started the blog in the first place….(but if you want to subscribe, I’d be super honored if you’d like click on over to the link on the right!).

Whew. Now that that’s out of the way. I’m taking a break. From Facebook? I’m not sure. I’m three days into the season of Lent and I cannot decide. I know God will certainly let me know.

Facebook Fast for Lent? Maybe.

Media Fast for Lent? I’m really not sure.

I do know this: my family needs me.

I need me.

And there needs to be less of me, and more of HIM.

John3.30