This blog is about two friends, miles apart, striving to pattern our lives after the Proverbs 31 woman. Here you will find our daily journeys, whether serious, funny, practical, or inventive. Thanks for stopping by and we hope you'll stop by often!

~Lauren & Page

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Greek Turkey Burgers

Greece is definitely one of my dream places to visit, and on my "bucket list" of course. I'm sure you've seen many pictures similar to the one above - brilliant blue ocean contrasting against the alabaster white villages. Ahh, I would LOVE to go there!
In addition to the breathtaking scenery, I'm sure I'd love the food. We love Mediterranean cuisine and my cooking often reflects that style. These Greek Turkey Burgers are a tribute to my love of Mediterranean food- and Greece!

I'm sure you're like me and get tired of the same old boring burger -don't get me wrong, I enjoy them, but sometimes I want a burger with a little more pizazz. I love coming up with new recipes, or simply putting my own twist on them. Here's a recipe I got from a Taste of Home magazine a few years ago, but have changed it up to our liking.

~Greek Turkey Burgers~


2lb Ground Turkey
1lb Ground Beef
1/2 c Kalamata Olives, chopped
1/2 Red onion, chopped
Seasoning of your choice, liberally!
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Mix together with your hands and form into "mini burgers". Grill or cook to your preference.

Now, you will need:

Pita bread
Feta Cheese, crumbled
Avocado, lightly salted
Minced Garlic
sauteed mushrooms
Arugula (or lettuce of choice)

Additional yummy garnishes: tomatoes, cucumbers, sprouts, bell pepper, banana peppers, pepper jack cheese, fresh spinach, etc.

Take Pita Bread and cut in half, making 2 pockets. Take your mayo and crush garlic into it, adding a bit of salt to taste. Some may like more or less so this garlic mayo is really to be created to your taste. Spread on insides of pita pockets, and then proceed to spread avocado inside as well. Sprinkle with feta, and place mini burgers into pocket. Complete with sauteed mushrooms and peppery arugula (or lettuce of choice). Feel free to add or omit whatever you like. If you have cucumbers or tomatoes on hand, those would work perfectly as well! There are so many possibilities, unfortunately your pita pocket will only hold so much (trust me, I speak from experience).

This will be one of the most flavorful sandwiches you will ever eat! It's definitely a favorite at our house!!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Tis the season... Already!

1 John 4:9-10 "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

Wow. What a week! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Can you believe that there is only 26 days left until Christmas?! Holy moly cannoli!

The Christmas music has been playing, Walmart and every other store on the face of this planet is already decorated, gifts are already being purchased, Little Red's 2 year old eyes are lighting up (He is just crazy about "Kipim Wites" (Christmas Lights) and "Kipimees" (Christmas Trees))... It's all happening so quickly! : )

Doesn't he just look like a little elf? : D

Anyways, this quick Monday Meditation is about getting the season started right. It's so easy to get all mixed up in the craziness of the Holidays. We some how lose the true spirit of the season. But read the above verses again. God so lovingly and mercifully sent His Son so that "we might live through Him" (How. Beautiful.) and "to be the propitiation for our sins."
And just in case you were wondering:



The act of atoning for sin or wrongdoing

Classified under:

Nouns denoting acts or actions


atonement; expiation; propitiation

Hypernyms ("propitiation" is a kind of...):

redemption; salvation ((Christianity) the act of delivering from sin or saving from evil)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "propitiation"):

amends; reparation (something done or paid in expiation of a wrong)

Don't miss it this year. Our God is an incredible God--Who does incredible things.

1 John 5:11 "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son."

Make sure that He is the start of your season, and any and every season after that, too! : ) Because He truly is the reason for our EVERY season! : )

Happy Monday!


Friday, November 26, 2010

A bed that thaws cold paws!

Everybody has a sweater in there closet that they will never where again! There are sooo many ways you can repurpose that sweater into something useful! Today, I am going to show you how to turn a sweater into a warm and cozy pet bed for your cat or dog!

What you'll need :

* An old sweater or fleece blanket
- My sweater was a XL and was big enough to make a bed for a cat or smaller dog. If you want to make a bigger pet bed I suggest repurposing a fleece blanket
* Stuffing
- I ripped open an old pillow : )
* Sewing Machine
* Marker
* Pins
* A Stick or something to poke your stuffing into the bed. I used a paint brush!

First, choose an old sweater that you don't mind giving up.

Make sure the sweater is clean and doesn't have any sequins or beads sewn onto it that your pet could possibly choke on.

Turn the sweater inside out. I cut the arms off, so they wouldn't get in my way.

With a marker, draw a large circle or oval shape on one side of the sweater.

Make sure that the sweater is laying flat and the bottom hems match up.

Now, pin the front and the back of the sweater together. Put your pins about 1 inch or so inside of the circle you drew.

With your scissors, cut out the circle you drew earlier.

Now it's time to sew! I really suggest using a machine for this project. Sweaters usually unravel when cut and a close, tight stitch will keep your bed intact longer and keep the stuffing in. About 1/2 from the outer edge, sew around the circle and leave about a 3 inch opening. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end.

Turn your circle inside out through the 3 inch opening you left.

Now draw another circle about 3 or 4 inches from the edge. Put a handful of stuffing in the middle of the circle through the hole you left open. This will give the bottom of the bed a little more fluff. If you are making this bed for a cat you might want to put a little cat nip in with the stuffing!

Now with your machine sew all the way around the circle you just drew leaving no opening this time. It' okay if you sew over some of the stuffing, but try to keep the stuffing in the middle.

Now it's time to fill the edge with stuffing. Grab a small handful of stuffing and put it into the opening. With your stick (or paintbrush in my case) poke the stuffing about half way around the edge of the circle.

Keep adding handfuls of stuffing and keep poking it in until you reach the opening. Now start stuffing the other direction until the whole outer edge is full.

You can either machine stitch the opening close, or you can hand stitch it with some strong thread. I hand stitched my opening.

Now, your done! My bed only took about 20 mins to make, and it didn't cost a thing! I have made many of these beds before, and the animals love it!

The bed made in this crafty creation was donated to a wonderful, local no-kill shelter. My husband and I are major pet lovers but don't have any permanent pets yet. Instead, we choose to foster animals in need. Fostering is very enjoyable and rewarding! Whenever our shelter is at capacity and our home is empty we go and pick up a momma and kittens so they will not be euthanized. We would foster dogs as well, but we don't have a fenced in yard : ( We get them healthy and vaccinated, and when they are of age we take them to Petco every Saturday until they find their furr-ever home and get adopted! Fostering is fairly easy to get started in. Your shelter may require a home visit and some paper work to be filled out before you take a animal into your home. And, they provide a great support system incase you have questions or concerns! If fostering isn't your thing and you are looking to add a pet permanently into your family, consider adopting from your local shelter!

There are so many animals out there that need a loving home. PetFinder.com is a great website that you can visit. There you can put in what kind of animal you are looking for, what sex, and even what breed, and search for animals that are near you. I personally suggest going to a shelter and visiting the animals one - on - one and choosing them based on there personality instead of their picture : ) You never know what mangy mut will melt your heart!

Oh, and keep checking the blog! DEC 1ST - 7 will be a week filled of Christmas Crafty Creations! I can't wait! I have some great tutorials that will show some great gift ideas and decorating ideas!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Psalm 95:1-3 "O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods."


Here at AP31, we are all wishing you the happiest Thanksgiving, the safest travels, the most fun gatherings, the warmest hugs, and lots of yummy eats...

We are also wrapping up our Thankful Challenge today... Hasn't it been great? Counting our blessings, whether big or small, serious or silly, and being reminded daily of how awesome God truly is! I know I have enjoyed it immensely!

There are still a million things we are thankful for. And we will continue to practice daily thanksgiving to God, long after Thanksgiving is gone!

So what is the last thankful challenge for today? Well, hold on to your socks 'cause it's a comin'... (ha ha!)

Today, I'm thankful for my family. Yeah, yeah--I know... REAL creative. But in all seriousness--God made this family and put it together just for us, perfect for me. We all love each other tremendously and endlessly.

Thank you, Lord, I love my family!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful Challenge, Nov 24th

Colossians 2:6-7 "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving."

Here it is! Thanksgiving Eve!! : D For some reason, this year just doesn't feel quite like Thanksgiving yet... I think I've been so busy that it just crept up on me! But, seeing my family tomorrow will definitely bring out that "Holiday feelin'"... : )

So, here is my Thankful Challenge post for today! I am thankful for...

Packages. I love getting packages in the mail! Since we've been getting our studio together--we've had LOTS of packages rolling in... and it NEVER gets old!! : D To me, every package and letter I get is like a mini Christmas... : )

So what are you thankful for today? Drop a line in our comment section, and let me know!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful Challenge, Nov 19th-23rd

Colossians 3:15b "...be ye thankful."

Time to play a little catch up! I love that we have something to be thankful for each day! Lauren, I am so glad you got this challenge together for AP31, to keep us accountable to our Lord for all the wonderful things He does! It's been an uber blessing to me! ; )

So here is what I have been ever so thankful for these past few days!!

Nov 19th: Good news. I love getting good news! Especially good, rock-your-socks-off, tear-in-the-eye, big-smile-all-over-face news that would make anyone's day!

Nov 20th: Hobby Lobby sales. I just love H.L. (or as Little Red calls it, "Wobby Wobby") When I go to H.L. and see items for sale 50%, 60%, or even 80% off--my heart just melts... And they have been having all the perfect sales for me lately!! : D

Nov 21st: Babies. Today, I went and photographed two, brand-spankin' new, newborn twins. They were adorable! I oversee the preschool and nursery ministry at our church, so I get first glimpses at all of our little bundles... Ohhhh... Little toes, little hands, coos, and cuddles... I just love babies!

Nov 22nd: A studio. One of the reasons I have been so busy lately (and quite behind on blogging) is because we are in the process of opening up a studio! We have been working day and night on our studio space--and I am totally thrilled with how it is all coming together! I will get pics up soon! The Lord has blessed us more than a gagillion ways from the very beginning of our space--and I am soooooooooo thankful and grateful!!!!!!

Nov 23rd: Rain. I love a rainy day. I could live in dreary, rainy days most of the year and be more than happy. I woke up this morning to the pitter patter of rain, and it is still going now... Makes me feel good. I know most people prefer the sun, but give me a rainy day any day! : )

And now, I am thankful to be caught up! : D


The Home of Crafty Creations! : D

I have been posting Crafty Creations for a while now and, if you haven't noticed, I have my hands in just about every type of craft imaginable! That means I have A LOT of doo-dads and what-nots to organize and store. I decided to give you a small glimpse into my workspace and share some craft and organization related tips that have helped me stay sane : ) I live in a 2 bedroom house, and one of those bedrooms I have turned into my craft/work room.

Okay...so it's not that impressive, but I try hard to keep it organized and somewhat manageable : ) Not only is this where all of the Crafty Creations are born, it is where I run my small home business!

Since the room is quite small, I have to make the most of each square inch. I don't have enough floor space to have traditional shelving so I opted for wire shelving that you install onto your walls. It doesn't take up any floor space and you can easily rearrange the shelves any time you want! I bought my shelving in a kit at Lowe's, but you can also find this kind of shelving at Walmart and Target.

Since I mostly sew, I have tons of fabric and thread. I keep my fabric on the wire shelving and I keep my thread on thread racks next to my sewing machine. Thread racks can be found at most fabric stores and are totally worth the $ if you have tons of thread like me.

I also store my bobbin thread in a bobbin thread box that has a lid. My mother-in-law just told me about another ingenious way to store bobbins....Toe separators! Toe separators are used to separate your toes during a pedicure. They are dirt cheap and will keep your threads from unraveling! Thanks for the idea, Becky!

This table is where all the crafts are made and where all my sewing is done. In the background of most of my tutorial pics, you will often see the yellow mat that is laying on the table. It is a self healing cutting mat and it keeps my table from getting cut up when I use my rotary cutter.

The measurement guides up the sides of the mat are also helpful! I also use clear measuring rulers. They are meant for quilting, but they are dead useful in just general sewing. Be careful when choosing your rulers. Some brands have measurement marks that eventually rub off. I like Omnigrid brand. Their marks are engraved into the plastic so it will never fade or disappear.

Underneath the table is where I keep all of my scrap fabric. I never ever throw away scrap fabric because there are soooo many thing you can make with scraps!

As for my pins and needles, I store them on a magnetic thingy I found at the dollar store. Anything with a strong magnetic surface will work.

I also have a metal board on my wall that holds tins with a magnetic bottom. These are great for storing beads and other small items.

Another option for storing small items is compartmentalized plastic bins. This one is from ARTBIN and I got it from Joann's Fabric store. They stack nicely and you can adjust the compartment walls
to fit your needs.

When purchasing ribbon you can buy it by the roll or by the yard. If you purchase it buy the yard, ask the person cutting the ribbon if she has any empty ribbon spools she plans on throwing away. After having your ribbon cut you can roll the ribbon on the spool and store it neatly until you are ready to use it.

I didn't acquire all of this stuff overnight : ) I am very patient and wait for good sales to roll along! The stores that I shop at most often are Hobby Lobby, Michael's, Hancock Fabrics, and Joann Fabrics. They all have great sales and even better coupons! If you go to their websites, you can view the week's sales flyer's and sign up for e-mails. Their e-mails often send you bonus coupons and give you a heads up on big sales coming your way! If you don't feel like pursuing all of the different sites for coupons, you can go to http://www.mycraftcoupons.com/ . They do a good job of posting all of the current craft coupons for many different craft stores.

I hope this post has given you some useful tips and good ideas :) With Christmas season practically here, it's more important than ever to stay organized! Speaking of Christmas... I can't wait to show you all of the Christmas Crafty Creations I have coming your way! Check in this Friday for a tutorial geared towards the furrier family members in your home... And, also make sure to keep checking in because, starting December 1st, we are kicking off a week long string of tutorials geared towards Christmas decorating and gift giving! Yeah!

If YOU have any great tips or tricks to stay organized, we'd love to hear them! Leave a comment below, and maybe we'll post your idea on the blog!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Consider Your Latter End

For our "Monday Meditation", I'd like to share yet another wonderful devotion by Pastor Tom Smith in St. Clair, MO. We pray it's a blessing to you as you begin another week!

"O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!"
Deuteronomy 32:29.

Moses, the aged prophet, had rehearsed God's dealings with Israel, placed before them a challenge to obey God, and publicly charged Joshua to be his successor. He then taught the children of Israel a song. The verse of Scripture we are considering is actually part of the song that Moses is leaving his people. In speaking of a shortcoming of his beloved people, Moses describes a mistake that is all too familiar today: "O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!" Moses laments the fact that they were too shortsighted in their vision. They did not consider where their present decisions and choices might lead them.

This is good advice for each of us. CONSIDER YOUR LATTER END. If people "would consider their latter end," it might serve as a strong deterrent to disobedience and an incentive to resist temptations. Israel was guilty of disobeying God's commandments. They had made marriages with the heathen in defiance of the Word of God. Rather than separating from the ungodly worship of their neighbors, Israelites participated in their idolatrous practices. Where did they think these decisions would lead them? What might be their "latter end"? Are there not consequences for rebellion and disobedience? Chastisement would surely come. The sins of the fathers would invite greater abominations by their children. Idolatry accepted in the high places would open the door for idolatry in the house of God. Eventually, the nation would be overcome by its enemies, the temple destroyed, Jerusalem ravaged, and the people taken captive. They would not "consider their latter end."

Satan wants us to believe that willful disobedience will bring no consequences. He wants us to think only of the immediate, with no regard for the future. God wants us to think about where our journey will lead us. What will be the "latter end"? Where will a life of selfishness end up? Will we be thankful we lived for self rather than for God? Will our children be left with a good example of what Christian living is supposed to be? What about that appointment we all have at the Judgment Seat of Christ? Many heartaches and disappointments could be avoided if people would "consider their latter end."

Pastor Smith's daily devotions may also be read by visiting www.mzbc.com/devotions.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Seeking His Presence

Another great devotion that I'd like to share from Pastor Tom Smith in St. Clair, MO. I pray it's a blessing to you!!


Devotion for November 20, 2010

"And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart."
II Chronicles 9:23.

Solomon's wealth and his wisdom were beyond imagination. People traveled great distances to witness the magnificence of the temple and Solomon's court. He "exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom" (I Kings 10:23). He wrote three thousand proverbs and over a thousand songs. Much of our Book of Proverbs in the Bible is attributed to the writings of this wise king. Our text says, "all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom." Imagine the respect and interest these dignitaries had, with a desire to be in Solomon's presence and to hear his wisdom. Had we lived in the days of Solomon, it would have been a great privilege to be in his presence and to hear his words. However, we are reminded that Jesus said in Matthew 12:42, referring to Himself, "a greater than Solomon is here."

There is no king like our King. As much of a privilege as it would have been to sit in Solomon's presence and to listen to his wisdom, we have an even greater opportunity. We can be in God's presence and hear His Words and wisdom. As earnestly as the kings of the earth desired to be in the presence of Solomon, we ought to seek to be in the presence of Jesus. We want to live in His presence, walk in His presence, sing in His presence, and serve in His presence. Of course, we realize that God is everywhere, and we are always in His presence. But He has also promised to manifest Himself in our hearts and lives and dwell, particularly, where He is welcome. He said, for instance, concerning the assembly of His churches, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:20). When the New Testament church assembles, Jesus promises to be in their midst.

It is interesting that kings would travel great distances to be in Solomon's presence and to hear his words, while many who claim to belong to Jesus will not choose to gather with fellow church members to learn of One greater than Solomon. Through prayer, the child of God is invited to "come boldly unto the throne of grace" (Hebrews 4:16).

If kings passionately desired to visit the throne of Solomon, should we not more so desire to visit the throne of God in prayer? May it be said of us that we "sought the presence" of our Savior.

Pastor Smith's daily devotions may also be read by visiting www.mzbc.com/devotions.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fall Felt Flower Wreath

This will be my last Fall / Thanksgiving crafty creation of 2010! As sad as I am to see this beautiful season pass by so fast, I am super excited to start thinking about Christmas! On December 1st I will be kicking off a week long string of tutorials geared towards December decorating and home-made Christmas gift ideas!

So, the first Giveaway was a success!!!...but it left my door wreath-less :/ With thanksgiving just 1 week away, I needed another wreath! Here are the materials I needed for this crafty creation :

* A wreath
- I bought a straw wreath from Hobby Lobby but you can re-purpose an old wreath like we did in our October Wreath Tutorial found HERE
* Yarn
* Different colors of felt
- Felt is really cheap @ 4 squares for $1 at most craft stores!!!
* Hot glue gun
* scissors
* Pencil
* Piece of paper
* A decorative craft stem....We'll get to that later : )

First, I wrapped my wreath with yarn. Secure your yarn on the back of the wreath with a bit of hot glue and start wrapping. This took a while, so I caught up on the news while I wrapped : )

After the entire wreath is wrapped, hot glue the end of the yard to the back of the wreath.

For the felt flowers, I started by drawing a petal shape onto a piece of paper, and then I cut it out.

Place your petal template on top of a piece of felt and cut around it. Cut out 5 petals.

Now on your template draw a smaller petal inside of the large petal shape and cut it out.

Using the smaller petal shape cut out 5 more petals in a coordinating color of felt.

Place a line of hot glue on the back of one of the smaller petals and place it on top of a larger petal.

Before the glue hardens, quickly fold the petal in half and hold in that position for a few seconds while the glue sets. Your petal should have a little more shape to it and look a little more 3 dimensional.

Next I cut off the ends of the petals.

Cut a small circle out of the same color felt as your big petal and start hot glueing the petals into the center.

When you are done your flower should look something like this.

For the center of the flowers, I bought a decorative Christmas stem from the Christmas section of Hobby Lobby. It was 1/2 off and cost about .50!

I cut off a ball and hot glued it the center of the flower.

I made 5 flowers in all, varying up the colors and sizes of petals. You can make more or less depending on how you want your wreath to look.

All that's left to do is position the flowers onto your wreath and hot glue into place!

All together the wreath cost less than $6 to make! Here is a break down of the costs:

Wreath - $1.75
Yarn - $2.30
Felt - $1
Decorative Stem - $0.50

This proves you don't have to spend a fortune to make beautiful decorations! I always shop sales and use coupons to get the most bang for my buck. Make sure to check in next Teusday because I will be blogging about where I shop for all my supplies and how I get my coupons! I will also give you a sneak peak into my workspace where all of the Crafty Creations are made!