Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I got an email the other day about sale items from shop it to me and I thought these shoes were so cute!  I could seriously go on a major shoe shopping spree.  Ahhh, I can daydream though right?

As I sit here and type this I am getting all my ducks in a row to get my skin care business off the ground.  I am planning on launching my etsy site by the end of this week.  I am very nervous and excited all at the same time.  I can't sleep at night because my mind is going a mile a minute with ideas that I can't wait to be able to put into action! 

My sister is a photographer, you can check out her website here.  She has been helping me get pictures ready to post and they look fantastic.  I like that I can snap a crappy picture and she is 1500 miles away and I just email it to her and she makes it pretty.  :)  I really have no artistic talent whatsoever when it comes to taking pictures, so I'm glad she does. 

Well, that's about it for today's post.  I hope everyone has a really great day!  I've got another all natural remedy coming up this week for ear infections and a good recipe post too.  So check back!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Ok, so I hope I don't sound terribly anti holiday here, but Thanksgiving really is not my favorite holiday.  I think I'd have to say Christmas is by far my favorite time of the year as far as holidays go.  We did have a good Thanksgiving, don't get me wrong.  We spent the afternoon at a friends house and my mom and stepdad were in for the week visiting.  Sometimes I just feel like all the holidays bring anymore is a bunch of stress.  Everyone is so caught up in buying presents, preparing food, shopping that we forget the true meaning of the holidays. I think as I get older it has become easier for me to say NO to certain things surrounding the holidays that are just going to be more stress that its worth, and say yes to the more important things.  Things that will last, that my kids will remember.  Little family traditions that we've started with them that I want them to pass on to their kids because they want to create memories with their families one day.  I don't want them to think that all Christmas is good for is Santa and presents.  Because that's totally not the point!  I won't even get into my thoughts on Santa.  :) 

Anyway, I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving and took some time to really be thankful for everything you have right now.  Here are some pictures of our little Thanksgiving.

ps.  Be on the lookout this week for the opening of my Etsy shop.  Barring any major issues, I should be ready to launch my site this week sometime!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Lesson in Gratefulness by Holly Furtick

If you've never been to Holly Furtick's (wife of Pastor Steven Furtick) blog, you should check it out sometime.  She has a great post today about being grateful and teaching your kids how to be grateful.  Go check it out.  And while you're there, enter her giveaway!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Enjoy your day and be GRATEFUL.


Monday, November 22, 2010

It's Monday!

Why do Monday's have such a negative stigma attached to them?  It's the start of a new week, shouldn't that be exciting?  Like we get to start all over again.  Anyway, I'm thankful for do overs because my half marathon training has been pretty non existent.  I hate that I've been so flaky about it.  So this week I am pretty much starting over.  Good thing the marathon isn't until the end of March so I have plenty of time to get ready....

I have also been working hard on getting my esty shop and products ready to sell.  There is alot of preparation and it's been keeping me busy.  I am almost ready to launch two of my skin care products.  I will have a face wash and moisturizer for sale very soon.  All natural, organic - which I am very proud of.  So be on the lookout.  I am hoping to launch by December 1st.

Happy Monday everyone!  Do you need a do over too?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pinecones, Glorious Pinecones

So, here in East Texas pinecones are definitely not in limited supply.  I've been wondering what I can do with them.  There are so many, it's kind of sad to see them just laying out there being put to no good use.  :)
So the girls and I along with the help of Grammy (my mom who is visiting from Massachusetts) made some Christmas decorations with a few of the larger ones today.  The girls really love crafting and this was easy enough for them to help with without getting hurt or needing any grown up help.  All we did was dry out the pinceones in the oven at 350 for like 10 minutes.  This helps to kill any little critters that might be hiding in there and dries any sap so they aren't sticky. We got our work area ready - we covered a table with paper - then we put glue on the cones very carefully so we didn't break them, with a small paintbrush to get it on all the stems good.  Then we sprinkled glitter all over them and glued a glittered, wooden star to the top with hot glue.  I plan on displaying these on our mantle, and I will put them in some vintage teacups that I have and some bud vases.  Take a look at our pictures and let me know what you think.  These might not be Martha Stewart quality, but it was fun and easy, and we all had a good time, even the grownups.  :)  Perfect activity for a chilly, cloudy Saturday afternoon. 

Sorry the pics are all over the place, I was having a little trouble getting them where I wanted them.  oh well.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Sweet Snack

Ok so today's favorite recipe really isn't very good for you, but it is good.  It is so fast and easy, great for a quick snack on the go.  I don't recommend eating it in large quantities, although it is very easy to do. 

Sugary Trail Mix (not the official title, but i don't have a name for it)
1 Package vanilla flavored almond bark - most grocery stores should have it, I got mine at Walmart in the baking section next to choc. chips etc.
golden grahams cereal or similar
unsalted peanuts
mini pretzels

You could really use almost any snacky items you wanted.  This is just what was in it the first time I tried it and I liked it, so I kept it the same.  Let me know what else is good if you switch it up.

Melt (over a double boiler so it doesn't burn) 3 squares of almond bark.  When it's melted toss in approximately 1 cup of pretzels, 1 cup of peanuts and 1 cup of cereal.  There really is no wrong measurements.  If you want it gooier add more bark and less snacks and vice versa.  Mix it all up and put it on wax paper or foil lined tray to cool.  Once it's cooled break it up a little and store in air tight container or zip lock freezer bag. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pink Eye

So if you have kids, they have probably had pink eye.  It's inevitable, they will get it at some point no matter what you do.  If your kids have never had it I'd love to know you're secret! 

Instead of giving them a harmful antibiotic try this all natural remedy instead.  Now, if there is a serious eye infection and you are not sure what it is, you should take them to the doctor.  But if the diagnosis is pink eye, this remedy works great in our house.

All natural, organic (if possible) chamomile tea!  Most stores carry chamomile tea. You brew a tea bag, let it cool for a bit.  Then dip a cotton ball in the tea and rub on the infected eye.  Make sure not to dip the same cotton ball back into the tea, because you will contaminate the whole cup and will need to brew more.  You can also use a q-tip to coat the corners of the eye good.  Make sure not to reuse cotton balls or q-tips.  Always use a new one for each application.  After you do this, you can place the cooled tea bag on the eye for several minutes, then discard the tea bag.  This will help to soothe the itchiness.  You can save the cup of tea to use throughout the day as long as you didn't cross contaminate. Do this several times a day until the infection is cleared up.

It is also helpful to make sure your child is washing their hands alot.  Kids love to itch even when you tell them not too.  You will probably need to treat both eyes at the same time because of this.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wishlist & Big Announcement

Today's wishlist is a bit different.  There is a house out here in our community that went up for sale not too long ago.  I saw it, and it is the cutest house.  We have a lease at our current house until the end of February, and we are not sure what we will do at this point, but it sure is a cute house. 

I also have a big announcement to make... Well, big for me at least.  :)  If you follow me on twitter or read my blog at all, you know that there is something I have been working on.  I am in the process of making my own skin care products that I will have available for sale by the first of December.  (hopefully)  I am always trying to find a good all natural, organic skin care routine and it hit me that I should make my own  and sell them.  I feel like this is a product I can stand behind and be proud of.  There is still some testing and tweaking going on right now.  But I really believe I have come up with a good product and I can't wait to be able to share it with everyone.  The best part is that everything I use will always be all natural and organic with no preservatives or synthetic ingredients.  Just good for you and your skin.  I will even be using recycled packaging materials.  So be on the lookout in the coming weeks for my big unveil.  :)  I have an etsy shop that I am getting ready and will let you know when it is up and running. I would appreciate continued prayers over this.  This is a big step for me, but overall I want to promote a product that people will love and I can be proud of.  

Monday, November 15, 2010

Too Cold

So, last week was my first week of training for the half marathon.  I have to be honest, I didn't do so well.  I had good intentions though, that has to count for something right?  We were so so busy this last week, and it seemed like I just couldn't quite squeeze it in anywhere.  Plus, its getting cold now, and I really don't like running in the cold.  I know I have to deal with it but brrr.  So this will be a better week.  :)

This past weekend was our work weekend at Allaso Ranch.  With the help of about 150 volunteers, we got so much work done at our camp and retreat center.  For those of you that don't know, this is where Brandon and I work.  He is the conference coordinator and I do office work and oversee the bookstore.  East Texas is very pretty this time of year.  All of the leaves are changing colors.  Right out my office window is the lake and all the pretty colors.  Even when we are crazy busy, it's still nice to be able to look around at all of that and feel very blessed that God has picked us to be a part of all that is going on at Fellowship Church.

Last Friday I shared briefly about something I have in the works.  I am getting a little closer to revealing exactly what that is.  Things are coming together and I can't wait to let you all in on my little secret.

Well, that's all I have for now.  Tune in tomorrow, I'm going to share pictures of a house that is up for sale that we really like. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy...

Wow, these last few days have been quite busy for me... We have been preparing for a big volunteer work weekend at Allaso Ranch which is where we work.  There is a lot of preparation that goes into this.  We are ready to host a LOT of volunteers this weekend and I'm ready to finally get some work done around the ranch that we have been planning on now for months.

On top of that, there is also something that I personally have been working on.  I don't want to share details just yet because it is still very much in the planning and thinking through everything stage.  But it's something I am very excited about.  Hopefully in the next few weeks I will have more to share with everyone, but for now I will just ask you to pray for wisdom and direction as I move forward.  Sorry to be so vague about that.  But I hate spilling the beans about stuff and then what happens if it doesn't work out?  I will say that I have been praying about this and even though it is in the very beginning stage, I feel like God is showing me things and directing me.  So that makes me really excited too!

Anyway, that's all I have for this Friday.  Hope everyone has a GREAT weekend.  And if you are reading this and will be at Allaso Ranch later today, SEE YOU THEN! 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Who Doesn't Love Bacon?

This recipe is one of our very favorites.  I forget where I found this recipe, but it's so good.  There's a little bit of everything in it, even the kids like it.  Well, the kids don't have a choice, they eat whatever we make, but they really do like it. 

Chicken & Tomato Bowtie Stir Fry
2 c. uncooked bowtie pasta
4 slices bacon cut into 1/2"pieces
2 bonless, skinless chicken breast cut into strips
1 c. fresh baby carrots halved lengthwise
1/4 c. water
2 c.sugar snap peas
1/2 c. halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 tsp. garlic pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
6 tbs. shredded fresh parmesan cheese (fresh really does make it better)

Cook and drain pasta.  Cook and stir bacon in large skillet until browned and crisp.  Remove bacon, reserving 1 tbs. drippings in skillet.  Add chicken, cook and stir 3-5 minutes or until browned.  Add carrots and water, cover and cook 3 minutes.  Stir in sugar snap peas, tomatoes, garlic pepper and salt.  Cover and cook 3-5 minutes until veggies are tender and chicken is no longer pink.  (dont over cook the tomatoes or you'll have mush)  Stir in pasta, bacon and 4 tbs. of shredded parmesan.  Cook until fully heated.  Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese.  Serve with homemade garlic bread.  MMM, makes me want this for dinner!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Grapefruit Seed Extract

Ok, so if you know me even a little, you know that I try to be as all natural as possible when it comes to healing, medicine etc.   We don't give the kids antibiotics unless it is absolutely necessary.  Personally I feel like antibiotics are way overused.  You go to the Dr. for a sniffle and they are prescribing an antibiotic before you can finish describing your symptoms.  So anyway, as a family we've taken the all natural approach to healing whenever possible.  This is great to keep on hand.  You can buy it from most health food stores.  It comes in a little bottle and lasts forever.  It's the extract from grapefruit seeds.  It's an all natural, antibacterial, anti fungal, and you can use it for so many things. 

I was a little skeptical too when I first heard about it.  But we use it around here for all kinds of things.  Sore throats, flu symptoms, stomach issues.  I even had an infection in my thumb once, it hurt so bad for like 3 days.  I was getting ready to go the urgent care and I tried putting a few drops of GSE on it instead, and the next day the pain was gone and it was already starting to clear up.  I know I sound like an infomercial - LOL.  But what have you got to lose?  Dr's will even tell you that if you overuse antibiotics, they lose their effectiveness.  So why not switch to something more all natural?  Antibiotics also kill off any good bacteria in your digestive tract along with the bad stuff, so that's why you tend to get sick with something right after you finish a round of antibiotics.  Because you've killed off everything, even the good stuff that your body needs to fight infection! 

Ok, I'm off my soapbox for at least a week.  ;)   But trust me, go get a bottle of GSE, it costs around $12.  It's safe for little ones too.  You can even take a drop or two a day to ward off sickness.  Especially good for cold and flu season. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I really like this pair of shoes from DSW.  I am loving ankle boots/booties right now and I don't own a pair.  I think there are like 6 pair that I want.   LOL   I wish my birthday was coming up because then I could probably talk my loving husband into a pair.  :)   I'm not really sure when my love of shoes started.  I guess I've always liked shoes.  I feel like you can change your whole outfit just by changing your shoes.  Maybe that's why I'd rather buy shoes than clothes (most of the time).  I can wear the same outfit with different shoes and it looks like a new outfit!

Anyway, these wishlist posts won't always be about shoes I promise.  ;)  As a matter of fact I think next week I'll share some pictures of a house out here in East Texas that we really really like that we have our eye on.

Have a great Tuesday everyone!

Monday, November 8, 2010

This is the Week

So I officially start training for a half marathon this week. 

I've been running since the summer, but just decided that I wanted to do a half marathon.  It's either really ambitious or really dumb I haven't decided yet.  I've never run further than about 4 miles, so this will definitely be a challenge for me.  I found a training program that I should be able to stick with without getting overwhelmed.

Since I've taken the last 2 weeks off from running/working out I'm ready to get back into it.  And what better way to jump back in than to start half marathon training right??

Pray for me

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A General Direction

So I think I've come up with some sort of plan for my blog.  I've narrowed down a few topics for my daily postings.  Hopefully this will give me some sort of direction.  Brandon said it was a Seinfeld of blogs - LOL. 

So, since it is Favorite Recipe Thursday and all.  Hope you enjoy it!  Have a great Thursday everyone.

Barbecue Chicken
1 tbs mustard
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. white vinegar
lemon juice
1/4 c. butter
1 lg. onion sliced
2 tbs brown sugar
Bring the above ingredients to a low boil for 15 minutes.  Then add 1/2 c. ketchup and 1 tbs worcestshire sauce.  Pour entire mixutre over 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and bake covered at 325 for about an hour or until done.  You can also put all in the crock pot and cook on low for 6-7 hours.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Money Doesn't Grow on Trees

Since we are a one income household for the next few months I have been trying to find ways to conserve a little extra money.  I came across this website the other day and thought they had a few useful tips on how to save a few bucks a month.  It's not rocket science, but helpful nonetheless.  Just little cutbacks can make a huge difference.  It's kinda funny how when you make less you find ways to save more...

Feel free to share some of your easy money saving tips!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Shop it to Me

Ok, so I just came across this website http://shopittome.com/.  It's basically like a personal shopping site, you pick some brands that you like, put your sizes in and they send you items they think you might like when they go on sale.  Since there are not a lot of places in East Texas for shopping, I'm liking the idea of virtual window shopping with styles picked out just for me! 

How cute is this pair of shoes from Steve Madden?  http://www.stevemadden.com/Item.aspx?id=50894&np=127_282-157_431&CID=cj_1827884  I really love shoes,  I mean really really love shoes.  I think a fabulous pair of shoes just makes whatever outfit you're wearing. 

Anyway, I just had to share.  Maybe someone out there loves shoes as much as me!

A Favorite Fall Recipe

Fall has finally decided to make it's appearance here in TX. This is one of my favorite times of the year.  I love fall clothes, fall food, and sitting by a warm fire.  So I thought I'd share one of our favorite recipes for this time of year.  We actually just finished off a pan of this not too long ago.  Let me know if you try it and what you think of it!

Butterscotch Pumpkin Cake
1 (11oz) pkg butterscotch morsels
2 c all purpose flour
1 3/4 c granulated sugar
1 tbs baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 pkg pumpkin or butterscotch pudding mix (optional)
1 c pure pumpkin
1/2 c vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

heat oven to 350, grease a bundt pan
microwave 1 c morsels until smooth allow to cool (they won't really be melted, just kind of smooth)
combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, pudding mix.  stir together melted morsels, pumpkin, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla then stir in flour mixture.  spoon into pan.  bake for 40-50 mins or until done.  serve with powdered sugar and whipped topping.  enjoy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Date Night at the Gun Range

So a couple of weeks ago we were at a friends house and she mentioned that she and her husband along with a few other couples were going to the gun range for date night.  It didn't take Brandon (my husband for those of you who may not know) more than 2 minutes to invite himself along.  So Friday night we all went to the Bullet Trap in Plano.  I shot a borrowed 22mm and 9mm since I do not own a gun of my own.  Brandon has wanted to keep a gun in the house and he was hoping our little venture would convince me of the same thing.  While shooting a gun wasn't totally terrible, I'm still unsure whether I want to keep one in the house or not. 

I will say though, that I'm actually not a bad shot.  Who would have thought?  The 9mm definitely has a little more kick than the 22.  Now I don't know how good of a shot I'll be if I ever have to shoot someone to save my life, but with a little more practice.... burglars beware!

Sorry for the bad quality of the picture, we had to take it fast and on the sly because you weren't supposed to have a camera in there.  shhh

Tune in tomorrow, I'm going to post a recipe for one of our favorite fall desserts.  Butterscotch Pumpkin Cake.  MMMM it's so good.