Thursday, April 28, 2016

DIY: $15 Floral Wreath

Spring is officially here in Ohio! There have been several nice days and several rainy days but I am just so thankful that Winter is over! 

Although Spring took seemingly forever to arrive, I left my Winter wreath up for entirely too long. I can't remember what I've used the past few years, but I realized this year that I didn't have a Spring/Summer wreath. I started shopping and quickly realized that Dave Ramsey would definitely say "no" if he saw the price, so I decided to make my own. 

I always forget how simple wreath-making is. I bought all of my supplies at Joann Fabrics but any craft store would have similar supplies. [My favorite place to buy florals is Hobby Lobby but there isn't a local store. So, I shop at Joann's.]

Grapevine wreath
Season appropriate florals [I used three bunches]
Wire cutters
Wire or twisty-ties [I used wire but will likely use twisty-ties next time. The wire was sharp and difficult to work with] 

Buying your supplies: 

  • I started with a grapevine wreath. Mine was regularly $8.50 but there are always 40-50% off coupons. Never buy anything there at Joann's one! Here is the link to their coupon page. You don't even have to print them off! 

Grapevine wreath: $4.25

  • I always start by choosing a base color for my florals. This time I chose light green. Then I add an accent color [purple]. I also found a few light green berry stems to fill in the empty spots. The florals were half-off but if they aren't on sale, use your coupon. :) 

Flowers: $9.00

  • I had the wire on hand from another project, so it didn't cost me anything. I will likely use twisty-ties next time. 

Assembling your wreath:

  • Cut the flowers from the main stem, leaving approximately 1 inch to attach the florals to the wreath. You can leave as much greenery as you'd like.  

  • I arrange them on my wreath before attaching them. I like to place them in the every-other color pattern, but you can arrange them however you'd like. 

  • After you are happy with the placement, use small pieces of wire to attach the flowers to the wreath. I attached the berry stems last so that I could fill in flat/empty areas. 

  • Add a bow or a letter for a personalized touch. Attach to door with ribbon and command hook. Happy crafting! 


Monday, April 11, 2016

I'm Not in Love With the Man I Married

I have a confession to make: I am not in love with the man I married. In fact, he isn't in love with the woman he married either.

AND I AM SO GLAD. Because we aren't that same boy and girl anymore. We have grown and changed and I am so thankful that I am married to a man that will grow with me.

We will celebrate our anniversary later this month and it is fun to revisit the last few years. It's interesting to see how our priorities have changed. It's interesting to see the dreams that came true and the dreams that changed.

It's funny to remember the plan that we had for our lives when we now see how much greater God's plan was. Some parts of the plan we don't understand and some parts we likely won't in this lifetime. But we know that He is good and that it will all be okay. 

It's fun to remember how new and fragile our love was. Like many young marriages, we have had some tough times. We've had fights, lost loved ones, made difficult career decisions and processed some tough life changes. Even though it may have felt rocky, I love to see that our slightly battered and slightly aged love is sweeter than I ever imagined. Not that there aren't rough days. In fact, Steve joked recently that our house quickly escalates from an episode of Friends to WWF! Ha!

Happy 63rd anniversary! We miss you, Bob! 
We definitely don't have it all figured out, but I am so thankful I get to spend the rest of my years learning alongside my husband.

I love the leader that he has become and the woman that he makes me want to be. He encourages me and loves me even at my lowest point.

I am so thankful for the examples and mentors we have. They have taught us and shown us that if we both commit ourselves to the Lord and to each other, no problem is too big. I am thankful for parents and grandparents with long marriages and lots of advice - even when we don't think we need it.

I'm thankful that on the days we make each other want to scream, I can still sit down at the end of the day and write a post like this from the bottom of my heart.

He is the one that is there at the end of a hard day and he is the one that will still be there when the house is empty. He invests in me and in our marriage. He is a great dad and I am so thankful for the example he is for our kids!

The years are flying by and I can't decide if it feels like we've been married for 1 year or for 10 years. Either way, I am so grateful that the guy in the red hat held the door for the shy youth sponsor that October. I am thankful for ice-cream dates and Dariette proposals. I am thankful for learning and growing and changing. I am thankful for Steve.

Happy [early] Anniversary to my sweet husband! Love you to the moon + back again 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

An Open Letter to the Stay-at-Home-Mom

I see you there. Hiding behind the oatmeal in your hair and the screaming toddler. I see you questioning your worth and your purpose. If you are secure and confident in your season of being a stay-at-home-mom, I am so glad. [But keep reading so that you can encourage someone who isn't.]  If you're not, this is for you.

I just wanted to tell you that what you are doing matters. Your work matters. You are contributing to society. In fact, you are helping mold the next generations' society.

Your hair may never be done and your clothes are probably rarely pressed, but that isn't part of your job requirement.

You may not spend your days analyzing tax documents, drawing blood, performing surgeries, or selling houses, but your work matters.

The drawing you posted on the fridge this morning made a difference. The pretend shot you got from the Fisher Price doctor kit made a difference. The fort you built made a difference.

You may not have a tall peppermint mocha with skim milk every morning, but the 6 imaginary cups of tea you drank this morning made a difference.

You may not field important phone calls and respond to important emails all day, but the million times you answered "why?" "what is that?" and "what's for lunch?" made a difference.

You may not travel the world giving important presentations, but the trip to the zoo, museum, and library? Those all made a difference.

You may not edit important books, but reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" "The Little Engine That Could," and "Where the Wild Things Are" all matter.

I spent a lot of my first year as a stay-at-home-mom feeling inadequate. I don't believe that staying home is the right decision for every mom. There are moms who are meant to make a difference in the workforce. I spent a lot of time questioning if this is the right place for me this season and after much prayer, I am finally feeling confident in my position.

So on the days when you've changed 10 dirty diapers, no one was happy with their lunch, and you're up to your eyeballs in imaginary tea..... know that you are not alone and your work matters. Even with oatmeal in your hair.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I am not equipped to be a mother...

Today was a tough one. My daughter spent most of the day screaming for various reasons. None of which I felt were valid reasons to scream.

I decided I needed a vacation so I locked myself in the bathroom and took a bubble bath. After all, a bath is a vacation to a mom, right?

I spent most of the bath thinking of all the reasons why I am a terrible mother. I love my daughter so much and I wouldn't trade her for the world, but I don't know why God chose me to be her mom. I won't invite you to my pity party, but I will say that today I decided I am not equipped to be a mother.

I started talking to God. I told him that I am not equipped to be a mom. And do you know what he said? He told me "No, you're not."

PSA God... This is when you tell me yes I am! That I am a great mom. I've got this! After all, you chose me to be a mom. You created me to be a mom!

And then he said "You're not equipped to be a mom, on your own."

I am with you and I am here for you. I am here for guidance, wisdom, peace, and patience.

I am here to hold you both on the bad days. I am here to love you when you mess up.

I am here to teach you both. I am here for strength in the difficult times and to share joy in the happy times.

When you are weak, I am strong.

You do not have to do this alone. In fact, you are not made to do this alone.

And this unequipped mom finds so much comfort in that.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

[ photo via aimee weaver ]

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Amazon Beach Buys

It is February and it is 44 degrees in Ohio today! I am so thankful for this wonderful heat wave but now I am craving summer. We're in the process of planning an extended family beach trip so I've started shopping for swimwear and summer clothing.

I rounded up five beach items on my summer must have list - all ordered from Amazon! Since becoming a mom, I have done a lot of shopping on Amazon. The prices are great, the shipping is free, and the couch is comfy.

I love this oversized beach towel. It is classy and sophisticated. 

How trendy is this coral nail polish? I love wearing bright polish paired with a neutral outfit + handbag. 

My post-baby body is absolutely not ready for my bikini. This year I'm opting for this vintage inspired swimsuit. It comes in 10 colors, but I chose the black. It has great reviews. I would recommend reading the reviews before choosing your size. 

Although I love the classy black swimwear, I needed some color. I plan to order this swimsuit coverup to brighten up my beach look. I'm usually not drawn to vintage fashion, but I just love this swimsuit and floral coverup! 

This black + white canvas bag is perfect for snacks, books, magazines, waters, and your sunglasses. It is water resistant and also has an inside zippered compartment. 

 [beach bag //  swimsuit // coverup // nail polish // beach towel]
This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

1-Week of Meal Plans // Complete with recipes + grocery list

In a perfect world, my house would have that "deep cleaned" smell at the end of every day. I would never be behind on laundry and my closet would be organized by color. My chores would all be done at the end of the day and my child would read quietly while I prepared dinner and listened to Frank Sinatra. 

However, this is not a perfect world. My house rarely has the "deep cleaned" smell, I am always a few loads behind on laundry, and I am lucky if my clothes make it to my closet. Although there are a few moments when my daughter plays quietly, those rarely fall around dinner time. 

Meal planning has been a game changer for me. Having a plan for each night of the week and having all of the ingredients in my pantry allows me to quickly throw meals together without spending time searching for recipes. 

In hopes of simplifying your dinner routine as well, please enjoy my free one week meal plan complete with recipes + grocery list! 

[*Please keep in mind, this list was made assuming you 
have parmesan cheese, garlic powder, 
salt + pepper, chili powder, + garlic salt in your pantry! ]

On the menu this week will be.. 

M- Chicken + Cheese Enchiladas ; Spanish rice
T-  Chicken tortilla soup
W- Lasagna 
Th-Tacos; Spanish rice
F-Fettuccine Alfredo 

You can access all of the recipes here. Enjoy your week of stress free meals + grocery shopping! 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Beef Vegetable Soup

A few weeks ago, we had a really chilly day here in Ohio. The ground was covered with snow and the roads were less than stellar. I was really craving vegetable soup but couldn't find a recipe that I had all of the ingredients for.

I am usually not very good at coming up with recipes on my own, but I was determined not to leave the house so I went with what we had. And it turned out really well. In fact, I have made it three times since then. 

I think that's kind of the beauty of vegetable soups... you can just kind of make it up as you go. But, for all of you out there who live by lists + recipes, here is my version of Beef Vegetable Soup. May it warm your days + your heart. 

Beef Vegetable Soup

  • 1 can beef broth
  • 2 can chicken broth
  • 3 medium potatoes; peeled and diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 
  • 1 can corn;drained
  • 1 can green beans;drained
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • Diced carrots; 1/2 cup

Stovetop Directions:
1. Brown and drain ground beef. 
2. Combine all ingredients in large pot and bring to a boil. Let boil for 10 minutes.
3. Reduce heat; simmer for 20 minutes or until ready to serve. 
4. Pepper to taste. 
5. Serve with cornbread or saltines. 

Crockpot Directions:
1. Brown and drain ground beef. 
2. Combine all ingredients in crockpot. Let warm on low for 4-6 hours. 
3. Pepper to taste. 
4. Serve with cornbread or saltines. 

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