Thursday, April 28, 2011

Friday Favorites, 4-29-11

I love Costco.  I know many of you shop there and like it, but I seriously love their quality, prices and customer service.  Last week, I bought the movie Tangled for my kids' Easter basket.  The receipt showed I paid for it, but, somehow, it didn't make it home.  It either was left at the cash register or in the cart in the parking lot.  I returned to Costco about 45 minutes later to see if someone had turned it in.  Nope. 

You know what?  They showed me grace.  They had me go pick out another Tangled movie for free--without me having to cry, beg, give them puppy dog eyes or even ask for another copy.  THAT is why I like Costco.  Plus, you can buy anything from a swing set to socks at a Costco, all while munching on free samples of snacks.  Genius.  I thought they deserved some kudos for their awesomeness.

Now, let's move on to some great crafting inspiration.  This week, there was a lot of amazing creativity, as usual.  I picked out various topics and projects this week, so something is bound to catch your eye.  Enjoy perusing and have a great Friday!

I love any project that calls for spray paint and mod podge.  Richmond Thrifter did a makeover to a file cabinet.  I love the colors and patterns.  This would be really easy to do if you have a file cabinet acting as "furniture" in any room in your house.

This project is completely something I would do.  You know those adorable cupcake stands you see at trendy parties?  You can make one.  It only requires boxes, wrapping paper, bows and some tape.  Ta da!  Fabulousness.  My Blessed Life shows us how.

The Exchange did a wonderful post on how to make these fabulous pillows with painters tape and screen print paint.  I am inspired.  I want to try this soon!  Look how expensive looking and beautiful they turn out to be!

I have to admit, the name of this blog gave it an advantage to catching my eye.  If you know me at all, you know the marriage ministry my husband and I co-lead with another couple is called Thrive.  Well, Choose to Thrive Blog made an easy and practical ribbon organizer.  Whether you sew, craft, do party decorations or even make cards, chances are you have random rolls of ribbon.  Check out this cheap and easy solution for organizing the mess.

Okay, I HAVE to try this project, because it seems to good to be true.  You can update a pair of shoes with some fabric and MOD PODGE.  For a non-sewer like me, this is awesome.  Funkytime took a boring brown pair of wedges from Walmart and made cute spring shoes.  If you DO sew, imagine being able to match your kids' shoe fabric to the fabric of the outfit you made them?  Adorable.

Momma Go Round made the CUTEST nautical necklace.  She guest posted the project on Tatertots and Jello here.  I think I could actually even successfully make this, which means you definitely can. 

Rae Gun Ramblings made an eclair cake.  I LOVE eclairs.  They are sugary, creamy and delicious.  This cake looks really good, and it is fairly easy to make.  I loved the pictures of her two kiddos "helping" their mom clean the bowl.  Don't drool on the picture.  Yummy!

In case you are keeping track, this is my second project featuring Momma Go Round.  She has some serious skills!  This mason jar vase is extremely simple, and that is what makes it so fun.  Imagine this little beauty holding a tea light or freshly clipped summer flowers on your backyard patio table.  Simple. Beautiful.

How Sweet it Is made smores in a jar, and, folks, they look AMAZING!  They look like the type of dessert that make it worth cheating on your diet.  I don't have to say much here.  Just look at the picture and then go click on the link for the recipe.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Baby Girl Gift

As most of you know, I have two boys.  My fabric flower creations have to be gifted to friends with girls, though an occasional flower makes it into my wardrobe too. 

Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity to create some girly clips for a friend who was just blessed with a beautiful baby girl. 

First, I made a barette and clip holder.  She is doing a safari/jungle theme with her nursery, so I went with zebra print fabric and pink ribbon.  Then, I started her collection with three flower clips--she can clip them to baby headbands, dresses, diaper bags and, someday, little girl hair!

I linked this post to:

The Trendy Treehouse


Transformation Thursday

Tidy Mom

504 Main

Women in the Word Wednesdays, 4-27-11, Jealousy

                                             (David and Goliath)

I thought it might be fun to start a new Wednesday tradition. Did you know I have another blog? Helpmate. I love it because I get to share Biblical truths to wives and women. I thought I would write a biblical post each Wednesday that gets posted on both blogs.  I'll call it Women in the Word Wednesdays. I can't promise it will ALWAYS happen every week, as writing about Biblical truths is more time consuming than posting pics of my recipe or craft. I want to make sure anything I post is correctly written, so it takes extra time and thought.  I'll try my best, though!

This week I want to write about ungodly jealousy.

I was recently reading I Samuel 18 and 19 in my quiet time. I was struck by the differing attitudes and actions of Saul and Jonathan toward David. 

After David kills Goliath, he is thrust into palace life in Israel, serving King Saul in his court. As the crowds praise and recognize David and God grants continual success in whatever he does, Saul increasingly grows a blind hatred toward David.

I Samuel 18:6-9 explains the scene in detail:  "As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. And the women sang to one another as they celebrated, 'Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands.'  And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, 'They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?' And Saul eyed David from that day on."

In jealousy, Saul assumes David's intentions incorrectly and, no matter how David spares Saul's life or honors him over and over, Saul refuses to see David as anything but a threat to the throne.  He is jealous.

Jonathan, Saul's son, and would be successor to the throne, has quite a different reaction to David's success.  It says his heart was knit to David's, and he became his friend.  I Samuel 18:1 says, "As soon as he (David) had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul."  He says to his jealous father, "Let not the king sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have brought good to you. For he took his life in his hand and he struck down the Philistine, and the Lord worked a great salvation for all Israel. You saw it, and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood by killing David without cause?”   I Samuel 19:4-5

Jonathan witnessed the continual success and popularity of David.  How humbling that must be to the successor to the throne!  However, Jonathan accepts God's will and extended blessing to David.  He rejoices with his friend because he is ruled by love for David and trust in God's plan--a plan for the "great salvation of all Israel."

Saul, on the other hand, is tormented with insecurity, jealousy and hate.  He is concerned only with his own ego and esteem. He spends much time pursuing David and trying to end David's life.

Wikipedia gives this definition, "Jealousy is a secondary emotion and typically refers to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something that the person values, particularly in reference to a human connection." adds that jealousy is "jealous resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another's success or advantage itself."

Both of these definitions speak well to the feelings Saul had toward David in these passages.

So how do we apply the eternal truths of this scripture into our own lives?

We need to be honest with ourselves.  We need to search our hearts and locate any seed of jealousy that has taken root.

This is a small example, but one day I was having a bad day.  The kids were whining, I was moody and I was sinning in my attitude.  I opened up Facebook to read status updates.  It seemed as if EVERY person had gotten breakfast in bed, coffee or flowers from their husbands.  Instead of rejoicing that God was being honored in marriages and friends were receiving love from their spouse, my sinful flesh bristled at the fact that I was not having the same experience that particular day (I have a fabulous, loving spouse, by the way. I was just a big, sinning mess that morning).  I got off Facebook full of jealousy, which led to a whole list of other sins in my words and attitude.  Yuck! 

How about you?  Can you identify moments of sinful jealousy?

If you blog, do you rejoice when another friend's craft is featured or given notice or do you first feel angry or resentful at their success?  Are you jealous or discontent when you read blogs that are bigger or more popular than your own?

Christian friends, do you rejoice when a sister in Christ is given a speaking opportunity at church or put in charge of a ministry responsibility that you have always admired?   

Single women, I was single much longer than I wanted to be before I met my husband.  I remember the struggle of hearing another friend had gotten engaged while I waited for the right guy to come along.  Do you have a similar struggle?

What is your reaction when you see someone eating anything they want and remaining skinny, while you are eating next to nothing every day and struggling to lose weight?  How do you feel when you come across a friend who has more material blessings than you?  How do you feel when a friend gets to stay home full time and you are forced to work to provide for your family? 

We need to be honest.  It is a struggle. 

What is the answer?  We need to have our esteem in Christ and not ourselves.  We die to self when we become Christians.  Christ tells us that whoever loses his life, gains it.  As Christians, we recognize this life is temporal and made for us to do God's will, not our own.  We  are promised that we will receive our reward and recognition in Heaven.  Right now, our importance and everything are placed on Christ and glorifying Him. 

Despite whatever popularity, rank or success we get or have taken away, our faith in God's sovereignty and plan for our lives needs to rule our emotions.  When we understand He is in control of every detail, we can be content enough to rejoice over the blessings of others.  Like Paul, we can say we are content in any situation. (Philippians 4:12)

Finally, we need to allow our love for others to help us have a Philippians 2 attitude and consider others better than ourselves. Jonathan loved David more than himself, as evidenced by standing up for him against his father and by helping him to escape though he might possibly be king someday.

In Saul's life, as always, God's plan prevailed.  Saul was killed and the kingdom was given to David.  Saul spent his last years in vain--trying to protect his throne, hating David and pursuing personal glory. 

Jealousy is pointless.  It eats away at our happiness and contentment.  God already has decided what blessings and advantage will go to each person, so fretting with resentment and bitterness is a waste of time. 

Pray for contentment and repent of any jealousy you can identify.  Focus on your blessings and own advantages, always point to the amazing gift and grace of the cross, and listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit as you pursue holiness in this area.  Let's be women who follow the example of Jonathan, not controlled by jealousy or self seeking.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ham Bone Soup (Easter Leftovers)

If you read my past post, you know I hosted Easter this year.  My parents' sweet neighbor came over for Easter too, and he gave us a gift certificate to the Honey Baked Ham store.  They have the yummiest ham!  Needless to say, between brunch and people grabbing leftover bags, the delicious ham was gone quickly.

However, I had a beautiful ham bone sitting in my fridge.  It had some meat still blanketing it, so I grabbed it and decided to create a crock pot soup for dinner.

First, I put my ham bone and 2 boxes of chicken broth in the crock pot.  (I used no fat broth merely because it was on sale AND I knew that ham bone would boil off plenty of fat and marrow into the soup).  The chicken broth didn't quite cover the ham bone, so I added about 2 cups of water. 

I sauteed a chopped, sweet onion in oil and then cut up two slices of bacon and sauteed that with the onion as well.  (What isn't better with a little bacon?)  I added those to the crock pot.

If this soup were just for me, I would add different kinds of beans, but neither my husband or sons enjoy beans at all.  I am a pretty big fan, but I cook so they will eat.  Instead, I kept it very simple.  About an hour before dinner, I added some cubed potato and a whole bunch of dark green Kale.  I thought the sweet onion and ham would be a nice contrast to the more bitter taste of the Kale.

Before I dished up the bowls, I slid the ham meat off of the bone and into the soup.  Then, I topped each bowl with some shredded cheese and cracked pepper.

I wish you could smell my kitchen.  It smells AMAZING!  Next time you have a ham bone--save it and make soup.  This was DELICIOUS!

I linked this post to:
Today's Creative Blog

Tip Junkie handmade projects
Beauty and Bedlam

Beautiful Easter

Easter was wonderful.  We started the day at church, worshipping God and praising our risen Savior.  It was a great morning.
Afterward, I was able to host both sides of our families for brunch, and it was an absolute joy to see everyone together.  We had a Honey Baked ham, hashbrown egg casserole, baked French Toast casserole, fruit salad, croissant sandwiches, coffee cake, and caprese salad skewers (and then we had dessert!).  Though the weather was gloomy (it sprinkled for part of the day--and yes, I live in Southern California, and, no, this isn't normal.  Every party I've hosted this spring has gotten rained out), we made the best of it and still had a fabulous day! 

My cuties:

 Some Easter Decor:

These are real placemats that look like lettuce--aren't they cute?!

The kids spent most of the day jumping out their sugar.

 Spring garden:

 The Egg Hunt (116 eggs for about 8 kids)!

Eating the spoils of the egg hunt!

 Strawberry Trifle with Devon Custard.  I shared a similar recipe on my Friday Favorites.  View the original post here.  I used strawberries instead of raspberries in order to cut cost, sponge cake, Devon custard, whipped cream and mini chocolate chips.  Delish!

I pray your Easter was wonderful and blessed too!
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