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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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


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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Monday, March 4, 2013

Sophia's Sweet Shoppe

I was beyond excited to help my best friend plan her daughter's first birthday party!  Finally!  A girly party! :)  Now don't get me wrong, I would've helped even if she had a boy, but I get to do plenty of decorating for boys. ;) 

Jess lives in Oklahoma, so we did most of the planning online.  She already knew that she wanted to do a Sweet Shoppe theme, so then we just had to decide on a color scheme.  We narrowed it down to black, white, and pink pretty quickly and got started!

Here's a shot of the full dessert buffet. :)

The cupcakes were from Sam's Club and were delicious!  The cupcake stand came from Michael's.

I designed the labels and had them printed at Office Max and we made the sugar cookies ourselves. :)

We also made the rice krispy pops, which were scrumptious as well!  The cupcake liners came from Walmart.

The favors were kettle corn that we drizzled with milk chocolate and white chocolate.  The favor tags featured the birthday girl and said, "It was so sweet of you to celebrate with me!"  They were printed at Office Max and the favor bags came from Walmart.

The ombre rosette cake was beautiful and delicious!  It was made by Amber of Bone's Bags & Cakes by Design.


We had a great turnout for the party despite the snow, and most importantly, everyone had a great time!  I loved being able to help with such an important day, and best of all, I was able to spend some quality time with my best friend! :)
Stay tuned because I have an exciting giveway to announce tomorrow!
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Friday, February 1, 2013

Valentine's Day Inspiration

Tomorrow we're taking the boys to do a Valentine's mini session with Brandi from Immeasurable Moments Photography.  I'm so excited!  I have their outfits all ready to go, now let's hope they cooperate! :)  Since it's officially February now, I thought I'd share some great Valentine's day ideas I've found recently.
This link is seriously the treasure trove of cute valentines for kids.  I can't wait for school parties! :)

And how adorable is this newborn shoot?  Oh my word, I need a Valentine's baby!  Ok, not really, but this is too too cute!! ;)
I pretty much love anything with a chalkboard!  Must be the teacher in me. ;)  I might try a DIY version of this with the boys and their flirty little Valentine's Day tees. :)

And if you don't have kids, here's a neat idea for a couples session.  Gorgeous!  Check out the link below for the full post with even more great ideas.  Think "The Notebook" themed session. :)
Do you guys have any neat ideas to share?  I know Pinterest is bursting with them, so if you have a favorite, please share the link in the comments section! :)
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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Friday, January 25, 2013

You Might Be a Mommy If...

Just thought I'd share some of my most recent "Mommy Moments" with you. :)
You might be a mommy if...
1.  You cram days of work into an hour of naptime. :)
2.  Going grocery shopping alone is your version of "ladies night out."
3.  Your latest DIY projects involve baby food jars and formula cans.
4.  You still check baby monitors to make sure your child is breathing, regardless of their age.
5. Your latest play fight with your hubby involves weapons of diapers and baby wipes. :)
6.  You know the theme song to nearly every cartoon, but have no clue who One Direction is.  That is, until your 14 year old sister educates you. ;)
Happy Friday, everyone! 

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Colorful Family Photos

Maybe it's a case of the winter doldrums.  Maybe it's because it was 65 degrees here today.  Or maybe it's because stores started putting their spring collections out before Christmas was even over.  Whatever it is, I'm ready to break out some bright, fun colors in my house and closet! :)  May and June are going to be crazy months around this house as Cole celebrates his first birthday and Blake turns three!  We'll also be doing family pictures and pictures of the boys around that time.  Needless to say, this mama already has her planning hat on. ;) 
For this year's family photo shoot, I am going to attempt to break out of my obsessive compulsive habits and put together fun looks that aren't so matchy-matchy.  I have a hard time with this.  And home decor that is not symmetrical.  It's a weakness of mine. ;)  So, if you're like me and want to branch out and get crazy this year, here are a few ideas for bringing some color into your next family photos.
1.  Outfits
Clothing is the easiest way to add a little bit of color (or a lot, in this case.)  These are the looks I put together for our session, and they are definitely out of my normal comfort zone.  There's black in each outfit, which helps tie them together, and then I made sure that at least one color in each outfit coordinated with a color in someone else's.  The hubby's outfit is rather simple, but it's about all I can get him in during the warmer months. :)  Comfort is always a major consideration for my three men, and of course, for me since I'll be dealing with them. ;)

2.  Location
I love photos I see that have colorful walls as the backdrop.  It's such an interesting way to add gorgeous color to your session.  And it's completely free. ;)
3.  Props
I love the idea of using oversize balloons, or even a bunch of regular balloons, to add an extra pop of color.  And maybe it will even entertain the kiddos! :)
Well, there you have it!  Just a few ideas for how to add some color to your family photos!  What do you guys think?  Over the top or totally fun? :)
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Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 Home Resolutions

Hey, everyone!  I'm super excited to be guest posting for Lauran at The Real Young Housewife of Southern VA today!  Be sure to head over there to see my 2013 Home Resolutions!  And if you've never met Lauran, you're going to love her!  She's a beautiful lady with a great personality and fabulous fashion sense!  Stay and visit a while - you won't be disappointed! :)

The Real Young Housewife of Southern VA

I hope the new year has started out wonderfully for all of you!  We have quite a few home projects in various stages of completion, and I can't wait to share them all with you! :)  What about you guys?  Any exciting resolutions to share?

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