Friday, June 7, 2013

Keep Instagramming Your Life, We All Know It's Not Perfect

A while back, I read an article called Instagram's Envy Effect.  The author talked about how people present a perfect picture of their lives on social media and the negative effect this can have.  The article made some really great points, and I completely agree that we have to be very careful not to compare and envy other people's lives.  It's a wonderful article that's a great reminder to keep things in perspective.  If you haven't read it, you should check it out!
 
And while I completely agree with the author, I love seeing pictures of everyone'e beautiful moments.  It doesn't mean there aren't times when I feel like my life is much less exciting and glamorous than everyone else's, but that's when it's time for a reality check brought to me by one of my favorite quotes:
 
 
So, just in case social media has given you the false impression that my life is perfect, let me set the record straight now.  My life is far from perfect.  I make mistakes.  My kids throw temper tantrums.  My husband and I disagree.  My house gets messy.  And you generally won't see pictures of any of those things.  Why?  Because when my child is screaming at the top of his lungs in Walmart, I'm not thinking, "Ooh, let me take a picture of this so I can share it with everyone and make them feel better about their children."  Umm, no.  I'm dealing with the immediate problem.  But do we really think that because we don't see those behind the scenes moments that they don't happen? 
 
Let's not make social media a place where people feel guilty about sharing their beautfiul moments.  Coming from someone who has 90% of her loved ones and friends out of state, I love seeing everyone's adorable kids, exciting adventures, and wonderful memories.  After all, isn't that what photography's for?  To capture moments that we want to share and remember?  And, in twenty years when my babies are grown up and gone, I won't need a picture of their meltdowns to remember that they happened.  Believe me.  Some things you never forget. :) 
 
So, just keep capturing and sharing your life.  Period.  The good, the bad, the crazy, the beautiful.  And on the other end, when we're viewing pictures and status updates on social media, let's try to keep it all in perspective and be thankful for the life God has blessed us with! 
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  Take lots of pictures! ;)
 
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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Let Them Eat Cake!

I thought I'd share these super easy cupcakes I put together for our church bake sale last weekend.  All of the goodies were supposed to be individually wrapped, and I'd seen this idea on Pinterest, so I knew what I was making! :) 
 
 
It really is a quick, inexpensive idea that could also be used as party favors.  In addition to the baking supplies, the packaging only cost $5 total.  The clear bags were $2 from Walmart, the ribbon was $2 from Walmart, and the punch cups were $1 for a pack of 10 from the Dollar Tree.  I made the tags myself, punched a hole in them, and tied them on!  The whole project only took about 10 minutes, not including baking time.
 
So, there you have it!  A quick, easy, and cost-effective idea for bake sales, showers, and birthday parties alike!
 
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! :)
 
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Monday, May 20, 2013

A Most Peculiar Circumstance

Many of you know that I am an avid reader.  With the right material, I could seriously read all day and night.  My favorite genre, and the only one I really read any more, is Historical Christian Romance.  I seriously love a good book!  I have a few authors that are my absolute favorites, and a new one has recently joined the list.  I found Jen Turano when I was searching for free books on my Kindle.  Her debut novella, Gentleman of Her Dreams, completely hooked me!  It's still available for free in eBook form from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  I then devoured her debut novel, A Change of Fortune.  I absolutely loved both of these, and started searching for more of her books.  The next novel in The Ladies of Distinction series, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, is available for preorder from Amazon.com, Baker Retail, Barnes & Noble and Christianbook.com.  It will also be available in stores in June 2013.  I actually received a copy of it this past week to review.  I was like a kid at Christmas when it came in the mail! 
 

I even love the cover! :) 
 
Here's a brief review I wrote for some of the sites where it's available for purchase.
"After reading the author's debut novella and novel, I had high expectations coming into this new release. Jen Turano went above and beyond and has definitely earned a spot on my favorite authors list! I finished the book in less than a day, and hated to see it end! A Most Peculiar Circumstance is such an enjoyable read! With a combination of wit, humor, suspense, action, romance, and history, it draws you in and keeps you hooked! It's a clean Christian read that will seriously leave you wanting more. I love that the characters have strong personalities but are still completely lovable. I highly recommend A Most Peculiar Circumstance and all of Jen's other work!
*I was provided a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion. And honestly, if you don't want to miss a fantastic novel, you need to read this!"
 
I promise I'm not just saying this because I was given a free copy to review!  I started recommending Jen's work to friends after I read her first novella.  Seriously, I love all of her work!  It's very light-hearted, entertaining, but still has the power to touch your heart and make you think.  I'm just waiting to get my hands on her next novel, A Talent for Trouble!  So, what are you waiting for?  Go check her out!! ;)
 
Do you guys have any favorite authors to share?


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Saturday, April 27, 2013

DIY Necklace Holder

I have a confession to make.  I might have a slight addiction to "high fashion" jewelry. ;)  In other words, I'm in love with big, chunky, bright, colorful necklaces.  They're generally not that expensive, so that's not the problem.  Unless you have over fifty of them. :)  The problem I've encountered with my jewelry collection is storage.  I have a nice jewelry armoire that does a great job storing all of my bracelets, earrings, rings, and more slender necklaces.  Meanwhile, my larger necklaces have slowly taken over two whole shelves in our linen closet. 
 
I've been meaning to do something about it for a while now, but finally got around to it today.  Yay! :)
 
These are the supplies I started with:
 
 
The wood plaque and gold paint came from Michaels, the stickers and gold knobs came from Walmart, and I already had the spray paint. (Valspar La Fonda Mirage from Lowes)
I found these really cute knobs from Anthropologie, but they were $8 a piece and I needed 6.  $48?  No thank you!  So, I decided to try a similar DIY version.
 
 
I took the brass knobs from Walmart and put one of the circle stickers in the middle.  Then, I taped off the end and got to spray painting! :)  Here's how they turned out!
 
 
They're not perfect, but I like them!  And it only cost me $15 to make all 6 knobs!  If you want to save even more money, you can make all 6 for $8 if you buy unfinished wood knobs, but I opted for the quickest method. :)
 
I then spray painted the wood plaque white, but it was looking a little plain to me, so I freehanded a stencil and used a gold sharpie to add a little pattern.  Once again, it's definitely not perfect, but that's where being an impatient perfectionist causes problems. ;)
 
 
I actually drilled the holes myself and then screwed on the knobs. :)  It was finally ready for necklaces!  I took 13 of my favorite necklaces that took up the most space and added them to my new jewelry holder/artwork. ;)
 
And here's the final product!
 


 
I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out, especially since the cost of the whole project was less than $25! :)  Now I just have to figure out what to do with the rest of my necklaces. ;)
 
Hope everyone had a great Saturday!

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

{Home}

 
In November, my husband will be getting out of the Navy after eight years of active duty service.  It was not an easy decision for him to make as the sole provider for our family, but the Lord directed him and gave both of us peace about leaving a comfortable living to embark on an "uncertain" path for the future.  But it's not really uncertain, is it?  We have faith that the Lord will provide for us just as He always has.  And I believe that wholeheartedly!
 
But when my husband's plan involved selling our home and looking for a two bedroom apartment for the next four years, I said, "No way!"  We started out in a little apartment, and I had no desire to go back to that point.  I found out that it's easy to upgrade, but not quite as easy to downsize. ;)  I didn't realize how attached I'd become to our house until it came time to put it up for sale.  This was the first home we bought as a married couple; the place where we brought both of our boys after they were born.  I realized that even with as much as I had complained about the "builder basic" features that my husband wouldn't let me upgrade, I loved this home!
 
I rebelled against the idea for a week or so, and finally begged the Lord to change my heart.  I knew I couldn't do it on my own.  You see, I love beautiful things.  If you know me, you're saying, "Amen!" right now.  My mom even remembers me as early as age two picking out my own clothes and accessories and telling her what matched and what didn't. :)  Guess I was just born this way! ;)
 
Thank goodness, the Lord really has changed my heart!  Whereas two months ago the idea of a little two bedroom apartment had me in tears, I'm now excited about purging and simplifying and moving onto this next phase of life as we prepare for full-time ministry! :)  I've listed a lot of the items to sell that we won't have room for, and people have been so sweet about asking how I'm doing during what can be a difficult time.  And I can honestly say that I have no attachment issues to these items!  The Lord has truly done a work in my heart. :)
 
He helped me realize that it doesn't take a lot of money or 3,000 square feet to make a home.  It takes a lot of prayer, time, effort, and love.  So, I'm ready to make a little 800 sq ft. apartment our next home!  "Home" has been redefined for me.  I've realized that home for us is going to be wherever my husband and boys are.  Wherever we laugh, love, and live.  Where the boys wrestle with Daddy on the floor and give Mommy sweet sugar.  Where I sing my babies bedtime songs, rock them to sleep, and tuck them into bed.  Where we pray together, play together, and teach our children to love the Lord.  That's home.  It's much more than just a building. :)
 
I'm so excited for this next phase of life for our family.  And I'm ready to make a home wherever we may go.  After all, that's my job!  I'm the keeper of the home, and square footage doesn't change that!  Thank you all for praying for us and showing us so much love as we embark on this new journey!  We're excited about what the Lord has for us next! :)
 
And if you haven't read this article by Biblical Homemaking, you really should!  It encouraged me tremendously!

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Monday, April 22, 2013

So pinspiring!

Last Saturday we had a great time at our Pinterest ladies fellowship at church.  We ate brunch, had a time of prayer and praise, and then got to crafting.  There's nothing like sitting at a table crafting with sweet ladies while holding a hot glue gun in your hand!  Ahhh, good times!  We made spring wreaths, and they all turned out adorable!  I put mine on the front door and then decided to hang it in the hallway until the pollen dies down. ;)
 
Here's how my project turned out!
 

 
I found the unfinished wood frame at Michael's for $7.99, but with my coupons, I ended up only paying $4.50.  Two sweet young boys at church spray painted it for me. :)  I bought the spray paint at Lowe's for $5, and the color is La Fonda Mirage by Valspar.  I couldn't find a wreath form that was the size I needed, so I bought some hard backed felt from Walmart for $1 and cut it to size.  I then covered it with a Vera Bradley Peacock fabric napkin that I had stashed in my closet.  I used a fabric headband in the same pattern, but reversed for the ribbon to hang the frame.  I dug both of these out of my closet where they hadn't been used for years!  Yay for repurposing! :)  I found the turquoise flowers at Michaels for $1.50.  They're actually hair clips, so I just clipped them right on to the fabric. :)  The only thing I actually made was the yellow felt rose, which only took about 5 minutes.
 
Total cost: $12!
 
I love the way it turned out, and I think I might have to add some of these adorable frames to a gallery wall one day.  Wouldn't they be amazing to display kids artwork in? 
This project is truly a testament to the fact that anything is possible with a little spray paint and a lot of hot glue! ;)
 
 
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Thursday, March 7, 2013

It's Giveaway Time!

 I'm excited to announce our Girly Girl Giveaway!
 
 
 
This giveaway is for a complete girl's room design!  The winner will receive an E-Design consultation, a custom inspiration board, and online design services to guide them through every step of the decorating process.
 
Entering is easy!  All you need to do is send a photo of the girl's room and tell me why you'd like to see it transformed.
 
The contest begins on March 8, 2013 and ends on March 29, 2013.  Entries can be emailed to tashaaldermaninteriors@hotmail.com.

I'm looking forward to seeing your entries! :)  Happy Thursday, everyone!
 
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