Thursday, August 25, 2016

Why I color in my Bible and how to get started


I first saw Bible Journaling almost 2 years ago on Instagram. Several mom that I follow because of our adoption connection were either posting pictures of their Bibles or selling covers, bags, etc. I had been contemplating going back to using an actual paper Bible and not just an app as my main source of study for a while but this pushed me over the edge. I was excited of the idea of doodling my thoughts and keeping notes in the margins. At that time, it was actually difficult to get your hands on one. I actually purchased the cover and it sat empty for months as the only Journaling Bible I could find on Amazon was on backorder. They finally cancelled my order completely and I searched high and low until I finally was able find one online to order. Now, it seems like the the Journaling Bible drought is over and they should be pretty easy to find at your local Christian bookstore or online.

So why do I color in my Bible? I'm not particularly artistic and I don't have a flair for hand-lettering. It does let me try to express myself in that way but mostly, I take the time to doodle in the margins because it gives me a chance to meditate on what I've just read. I base my Bible study time off the First 5 app and I try to find something that pops out at me. Maybe it is something I've never noticed before or something that God has been saying to me in prayer. Whatever it is, I usually write it out and try to make it as beautiful as this non-artist can. 

This page is a great example:


There are people with far more artistic ability who can turn each page of their Bible into a work of art but I just enjoy the meditation and freedom of it. It does also give me a lot of room to keep sermon notes as well. 

If you want to get started with Bible journaling, here are a few recommendations:
-Gelatos are a great way to add color. Faber Castell makes some great collections of shades and they are easily available on Amazon.
-Micron pens are specifically designed not to bleed through thin Bible pages. 
-Accu-Gel Highlighters do a beautiful job highlighting without being too wet and again are designed for Bible use

I keep all these goodies in a tote bag and throw in some must haves for church like tissues, mints and lotion. It's a great way to keep everything accessible and easy to grab when I'm heading out to a Bible study, weekend service, or just out to my back patio in the mornings with my cup of coffee. 

Happy journaling!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Cherry Pecan Cookies



I've been meaning to blog about this recipe for a long time and I'm finally getting around to it. This is the perfect cookie recipe if you need to make a very large batch or are just looking for something very different than a standard chocolate chip. They also are great for a Christmas cookie exchange because the red color makes them so festive. They are very soft if you take them out quickly enough before they get too crisp and they cherry flavor is a hit with kids. I love them any time of year and I just made a batch the other day with my littles. This is a family recipe and what I love is how simple it is. It actually is a modification of a very famous old cookie recipe. It originally started as the "Prize Cookies" recipe from None Such Mincemeat but we aren't much of a mincemeat family so we throw in what we like. 


1 cup shortening (I used the butter flavored sticks)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 cups flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
8 oz maraschino cherries chopped
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375. Beat shortening and sugar until fluffy then add eggs. Mix flour, salt and baking soda separately then slowly add to shortening mixture. Fold in cherries and pecans.  Drop rounded teaspoonsful onto greased cookie sheets about 2 inches apart and bake for about 10 minutes until they just start to turn golden on top.

Should make about 6 dozen. 


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Next Door as it is in Heaven

I was very excited to receive this book to review because this is a subject that has been on my heart for a while. This book is packed with scripture and convicted my heart about how to share God's love in my neighborhood. The best part is that it isn't just a theological narrative to be pondered, it is full of real ways to make a difference. The authors, Lance Ford and Brad Brisco, take the reader through the ways that American neighborhoods have changed and how we have morphed from living and working in social villages to cocooning in isolated suburban homes.

They quickly move from the historical to the practical as they show countless examples of how to be a light in your neighborhood. The one that all of us can do right now is to pray for your neighbors. My husband and I have already started this part and now we are looking for new ways to interact.

I opened an email from Nextdoor.com where a neighbor just posted looking for a prayer group and feeling like God was opening a door, I offered to host the first one. I'm looking to hosting an ice cream social before school starts. There is also a monthly coffee group that meets in our neighborhood and I'm planning on attending my first one this weekend.

I highly recommend this book if you are looking for ways to be a light right where you are. One of my favorite parts is where they discuss hospitality and how our homes really belong to God and should be used for His glory. It was a convicting and powerful read.

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these. Mark 12:31

I received a complimentary copy from Tyndale House.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Drugstore Makeup All-Stars

I'm a drugstore makeup lover. Having four kids and a modest makeup budget means I have to find the best for less. I think drugstore level cosmetics have come a long way in the last 20 years. I remember when they were much lower pigmented than the luxury brands. Now, you really get far more for your money. I browse a lot at superstores but I buy most of my makeup from Amazon. Prime allows me to get it quickly and the prices are just as good as brick and mortar stores if not better. I also really like reading reviews and knowing that these products are rated highly. I supplement this with goodies from my Ipsy box subscription. Here are some of my current drugstore favorites:


My current foundation is Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse. It doesn't have sun protection but I use a moisturizer that has SPF30 so I don't feel I need it. It goes on super smooth. I use a beauty blender type sponge from H&M and it blends great.


This blush is so cheap, lasts forever and is amazing! It has a luminous finish and leaves a soft glow.
I have this Burt's Bees lip gloss in Fall Foliage because I love soft neutral lip colors. This moisturizes and lasts long. Great over a lipstick or by itself.
This is a great eyeshadow palette I bought from Amazon. It is a copycat of that popular but pricey palette from Urban Decay. Great assortment of colors.
I saw this mascara in a review in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and couldn't resist based on their reviews. They were right! This mascara really lengthens and thickens! I love the curved brush and that I only need one quick coat.
I'm usually not a liquid eyeliner fan but this one won me over. The title says it all. It is so precise! It's like the finest point marker you can imagine and then it blends very well.
This concealer gets great reviews and it is easy to see why. It works great to illuminate under the eyes and works well to cover the redness I have around my nose. I don't know why but I love getting a new one and cranking it until I can see the liquid rise to the surface of the applicator. It's the simple things people!
This powder has a beautiful finish. It is great if you just want a sheer foundation alone or also nice over a liquid foundation. I let my tween wear it and it has a great finish.
What drugstore finds are you loving right now?

Friday, May 27, 2016

Perfect Marriage Artwork with Freebie!

I went to a painting party the other day and decided to make something I could use in combination with my Silhouette machine. My master bedroom is in yellows and grays so I made this simple bird painting and left room for a quote I love about marriage.



I will be honest and confess that forgot how hard it is to get vinyl (Oracal 651) to adhere to canvas. You have to go slowly, burnish hard and I think using a blow dryer helped a little. I am adding the free file of this quote here: perfect marriage (studio3 file)

This would be a beautiful wedding gift on a mirror, shadow box, or anything for the newlyweds!

I love this quote because it states so much truth. We are imperfect and the best marriages are between people who know that about themselves and walk in humility. I'm currently reading this book by Dave Harvey and it is a great picture of how we need God's grace but also need to give that grace to our spouse. We are going to make mistakes. We are going to have rough days. As Christ followers though, we can remember that we are far from perfect and ask for forgiveness. Each day is a new opportunity to love and live better.


“A great awareness of one’s sinfulness often stands side by side with great joy and confidence in God.” 
― Dave HarveyWhen Sinners Say "I Do": Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage

Thursday, May 19, 2016

French manicure freebie

When I saw white nail polish at our little store, I decided I had to try a homemade french manicure. I didn't see a kit with the little stickers strips and I knew it would be horrible if I tried to freehand so I designed some strips for my Silhouette machine to cut. I used a scrap piece of Oracal 651 vinyl and cut. I applied the strips, painted the white, dried, removed the strips and did a coat of sheer pink. I then sealed with Sally Hansen Hard As Wraps. I find it is a great top coat that lasts for quite a while.

Here's a free file for 10 strips you can cut with your Silhouette machine to try your own french manicure!



Friday, May 13, 2016

Rebooting my blog and my body

I've neglected this blog badly after focusing on our adoption blog for the last 2 years. I'm still going to keep writing about our journey over there but this blog will be more for crafts, recipes, tips and other ramblings unrelated to adoption.

In writing my first new post over here in 3 years I thought I would focus on what's new with me. I'm on a 6 month journey on the other side of the world and while I miss my family terribly, I decided to make the best of where I am. I've been here for over 4 months and in that time I've lost 20lbs with about 7lbs to go before I come home.

I did it by the same method we were able to pay off our debt after attending Financial Peace University. I have a food budget on MyFitnessPal and I pay attention to what I'm eating. Winning with money is about spending less than you make and having a plan and losing weight is the same. I burn more than I eat and plan out my food. MyFitnessPal is free and the majority of my workouts don't even require a gym membership. I have mostly just been running or walking outside.

I set MyFitnessPal to lose 1lb/week and I've lost that or better every single week I've been here. I am a huge fan of "prelogging" my food the day before. That just means that I put in what I plan the eat the next day. I pick mostly healthy options that I know will make me feel full but make sure there is room for chocolate.

I've also been running more than ever. I have run a 5k each week since Easter and because of the encouragement of my coworkers, I ran my first 10k last week. I'm hoping to run another one in October in Texas.

Now the big question...how will I keep it off when I come home? I will apply the same methods of how we have stayed out of debt and recently purchased a 2015 van with cash: I will keep paying attention. It may mean that using MyFitnessPal is a daily little task. Some people would balk at the idea of using an app to track their food forever but it seems like a small chore in comparison to feeling great and being healthier.

More pics to come but here is my post-10k glow...okay the reflective belt is really glowing but safety first night runners: