Welcome

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

Friday, October 29, 2010

Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls of FABRIC!

Decorative balls are so popular right now... And for a good reason--they are so cute!! There are so many different kinds, to match ANY home decor--but have you priced these bad boys?!?!? Let's just say, $$$. So, here's AP31's best crafter ever to the rescue, with just one example of how to make your own for ¢ !! : )


I love to repurpose stuff! It's a great challenge! I am lucky enough to have some great thrift stores in my area, but by far my favorite is the Goodwill Last Chance Warehouse! They sell stuff by the pound, and the more you buy, the cheaper it is! I seriously LOVE this place. I went there the other day and picked up these 10 shirts for under $5!!! I decided to rip them up and make decorative rag balls out of them : )


To do this project you'll need :
* New or repurposed fabric
* Scissors
* String
* Hot Glue Gun

First, anytime you repurpose fabric, make sure you WASH IT FIRST! 'Cause you just never know... ;P

After they're clean and dried, cut the back panels out of the shirts and rip off thin, long strips. To rip fabric, make a small cut with your scissors first, then grab each side and RIP! (I find this VERY enjoyable...) Remove any loose threads.


My strips were about 1/2 inch thick.


For the ball, I cut up t-shirts and balled some fabric up in my hand. I secured everything in place by wrapping some string around the ball. Try to make it as round as possible.


Instead of balling up fabric, you can use styrofoam balls--but for me, the purpose of this craft was to re-purpose! : )


Next I started wrapping the strips I ripped around the ball. Hot glue the end of a strip to the ball and tightly wrap until you reach the end of the strip and hot glue that end in place.


Continue wrapping with new strips until your whole ball is covered.


The flannel prints reminded me of Fall!


This craft can be done in ANY fabric. Choose any theme or color scheme, and use your imagination!



Send us some pictures and we'll host them on the blog! Can't wait to see your designs!

*Jes*

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Walk Down Memory Lane....




I am sitting here at my Grandma's house in the "Mile High City" as I write this. I LOVE Denver and I'm enjoying being here with my family. I have to say that it's truly a walk down memory lane. Being an Air Force "brat" I'm rarely able to return to places that hold memories for me, but Denver is one of them. It's the one place that I've been returning to for years, and it's quite nostalgic. I have lots of family here and every visit is accompanied with a flood of memories of times gone by.
This "Thankful Thursday" I'm praising the Lord for several things - One being, we left ND right as the first winter storm was approaching!!! We prayed for good traveling weather and it was as if the Lord parted the storm clouds for us and gave us clear skies. The weather radar showed that bad weather was all around us, but we had a beautiful path of blue skies to travel by despite!

I'm also praising the Lord for my family. I used to live with my grandparents and just being back at their house brings back so many wonderful memories. I'm thankful to be able to take that "walk down memory lane" and know that it holds precious, wonderful memories. There are so many who haven't been as fortunate to have had a loving family, and lots of wonderful memories. It's a blessing to be able to reflect on all that has happened over the years, while spending time with my aunts, uncles, cousins, and relatives that I rarely see.

In addition to this, we're here to help celebrate my Grandma's 80th birthday! My Grandma is so cute! She's funny, stylish, looks 60 (instead of 80) and even has an Ipad! She's techy, stylish, funny, and almost everyone thinks she's Betty White's twin!
My Grandfather passed away four years ago, and we miss him immensely. I'm so grateful to still have my grandma here with us, she means a lot to me and I'm thankful to still have her in my life. Cherishing our loved ones while we can is so important!


I'm signing off to go spend time with my family now.....have a Thankful Thursday, everyone!! :-)


~Lauren

p.s. I would've included a picture of my Grandma in this post, but she refuses until I'm able to take some good portraits of her. haha!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Perfect Pumpkin Bread


I LOOOOVE anything pumpkin, and tis the season! I frequent Starbucks quite often and love their pumpkin bread. I like to challenge myself to be able to figure out how to replicate some of our favorite foods at home and this one was no exception! I find that it's VERY similar to Starbucks (maybe even better), which of course makes me really happy. :-)
I have a love/hate relationship with Fall, but one of its best qualities is that it truly is such a cozy time of year. I love cuddling up with my hubby in front of a warm fire, drinking coffee and a enjoying a slice of this moist and delicious bread. If you'd rather make cute lil pumpkin muffins, feel free to do that and just reduce the time accordingly. Try it and let me know what you think!!

*~SPICED PUMPKIN BREAD~*


3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 16-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional), toasted

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans (or make 24 muffins). Beat sugar and oil in large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin. Sift flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions. Mix in walnuts, if desired.

Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes (or reduced time for muffins). Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Using sharp knife, cut around edge of loaves. Turn loaves out onto racks and cool completely.

Makes 2 loaves or 24 muffins.

Serve the day you make them. Wrap the other loaf or muffins in foil and freeze up to one month so that you'll have on hand for unexpected company. Pairs perfectly with your favorite coffee or tea!


Bon App├ętit

~Lauren

p.s. I've heard that there's a pumpkin shortage, better stock up so you can make lots of great pumpkin bread/muffins!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Our Pumpkins! ~Jes

Military families often have to spend holidays apart, but this year--I am lucky enough to have my husband home!

I love being an Air Force Wife, and I am so very proud of my wonderful husband, Sam. So, I decided to light up our front porch this week with the Air Force logo : ) My husband decided to go the nerdier route and chose a Spider-Man themed pumpkin! : D


Instead of carving our pumpkins, we decided to try out a new technique. Using a Speedball Linoleum Cutter, we carved off the top layer of the pumpkin. The Speedball is commonly used in print and stamp making. It has 5 interchangeable carving tips, and you can purchase one at nearly any craft store for around $8.



We started out with cutting the tops off of our pumpkins and cleaning them out.




I sketched out the designs we were going to use and then taped the designs onto the pumpkins. I used a needle quilling tool to poke holes along the lines of the design. You can use any pointy object to do this.



Then we started carving out our design. The deeper you carve, the more the light shines through the walls of your pumpkin.


Since candles need oxygen to stay lit, we cut a hole in the back of our pumpkins to allow oxygen in.


To help our pumpkins last until the end of the month, we rubbed petroleum jelly on the carved parts and inside of the pumpkins.




One pumpkin represents a fictional child-hood hero, and one pumpkin represents a real hero... my hero... my husband : ) I love you, Sam!

*Jes*

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dealing With Offenses

Psalm 119:165 "Great peace have they which love Thy law: and nothing shall offend them."


Do any of you ever struggle with being offended?

Lauren & I picked this as our first verse to memorize together, and this week--it has been quite necessary for us both!

The Bible talks A LOT about love and forgiveness. Christ was the ultimate example of love and forgiveness. And in our endeavor to be more Christ-like, we are called to to do the same!!

Trust me, this is not always easy (or maybe it's never easy)--but that does not change the fact that it is what we are supposed to do!

Zechariah 8:16-17 "These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD."


1 John 4:7-8 "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."


Galatians 5:13-15 "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty (or freedom); only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself". But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another."

Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."

Philippians 2:3-4 "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."

And, I guess this one sums up the purpose of the post perfectly:

Philippians 1:9-11 "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God."

We all try to justify our actions, especially when we are mad or upset--but read the above verses! None of them say, "unless they were really ugly to you--then it's ok" or "if your hormones are so wack, you just can't help yourself". Trust me, I've been there... : )

Remember,

1 John 4:20-21 "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, That he who loveth God love his brother also."


How guilty am I of not loving "my brother". And how dare I? Jesus gave Himself for me, and yet I get wrapped up in silly resentments and animosity.

John 3:16-17 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved."


To be truly Christ-like, a true Christian, I must reflect His principles and His laws--and that includes in my offenses!

How different would our families, and even our churches, be if Jesus Christ and His command: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself" Luke 10:27 was our first and foremost thought in every situation?

So, today, let's resolve to do as He says! "Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise." Luke 10:37 !!

~Page

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wheat Candle Holder

Psalm 147:14 "He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat."



Isn't wheat just beautiful? There is something so breathtaking about a field full of sparkling, golden stalks of wheat!! Definitely gets me in the mood for fall! : D

Here, I'll show you a cute, cheap, and easy way to bring some into your home...

Here's what you'll need :


* Glass candle holder
* Candle or flameless candle
* Scissors
* Hot Glue gun
* Wheat - I was lucky enough to find a bunch of dried wheat stems at my local Dollar Tree for $1!!! You can also find wheat bunches at craft stores like Michael's and Hobby Lobby in the dried naturals section.

First, Start off by cutting off the tops of the wheat stems.


Place a line of hot glue all the way down the back side of a piece of wheat and place onto your glass holder.


Keep gluing wheat pieces onto the glass holder, placing them closely together, until you cover the entire outside.



If you are using a flameless candle, you can keep the ends of the wheat long, BUT if you plan on using a real candle, you must cut the ends off since dried wheat is *extremely flammable*!



Cut the ends of the wheat even with the top of the candle holder and you're done!


If using a real candle, always keep a close eye on your candle holder. And, if it eases your mind, just stick with a flameless candle. It is just as beautiful!


I just love how the light shines through the golden wheat!

Enjoy!

*Jes*


Thursday, October 21, 2010

"For I Am Fearfully And Wonderfully Made..."


Psalm 139:13-16 "For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!


This past week I had a newborn shoot with the prettiest baby girl! There is something so challenging yet so amazing about photographing a precious newborn! They're tiny, little people, that require you to work off THEIR schedule. Needless to say, she didn't really want to cooperate for the first half of the shoot. ;-) Despite that fact, as I sat there working with her, I was once again reminded of how God forms each and every one of us in the womb. Life begins at conception, and He creates us individually and wonderfully. As the verse above states, we are "Fearfully and wonderfully made". It's definitely important to remember that each one of us is made by the hand of God.


Friend, if you're struggling with your self worth, read the verses above! If they don't humble you to the fact that your Creator loves you and has a plan for you, I don't know what will!


Jeremiah 1:5a "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; "


This Thursday, I'm reminded of the fact that I'm fearfully and wonderfully made by a righteous and holy God! I have a purpose for living, for He knew me even before I was in my mother's womb. What an amazing thought!


How thankful I am for a God who created me for a purpose, loves me, and sent His very own Son to die for my sins on the cross.

Think on this as you go throughout your week and may you be encouraged!


~Lauren



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Carving Pumpkins... With Little Red. : )

This week has been a week!

Photo shoots lining up for the fall...


Because it looks like this at my place... : )

I had my first s'more... Yes. My FIRST s'more.

And, we carved pumpkins!!

This was the first time for Little Red & I! : D It was so much fun!

And this is how it went:


First, get your pumpkins. We chose one for each of us. Come on now--isn't that the cutest, little, tee-tiny pumpkin ever for L.R.? Awww....


Then get your utensils. We didn't go out and get any fancy carving kit or anything... We just used what we had and made the best of it! So here is our hodge-podge of doodads and whatnots... : ) And the pictures of what we wanted to mimic--or stencils, which you can find lots of here!


Next, my big, handsome, hunk of man cut the tops of the pumpkins...


So we could scoop out the "stuff" in the middle.


L.R. thought this was pretty cool...


until daddy scooped the "stuff" out...


and, of course, he wanted to help!



Then, either use your stencil, or freehand your drawing on your pumpkin.


Then start making the cuts!!


I just love what Scott picked for his pumpkin! So him...

At this point, your L.R. helper may get a little bored--and go take a puppy break...



They are so cute together! : D



And this will give you a chance to finish your pumpkin carvings...

And then help out L.R. with his pumpkin...



So cute--just like my Little Red...


See? : )


And here they are on our newly finished front porch... Yeah!!

And then the grand finale!!!!




I had such a blast!!

Already looking forward to next year!!

~Page