Friday, May 27, 2011
Baby Nursery Part I :- The Inspiration
Ahh yes, I'm going on 32 weeks pregnant and have been brainstorming about our baby boy's nursery since day 1! I'm SUPER excited that my "painting crew" aka friends and family will be beginning the nursery transformation the 1st wknd of June! Yay! I will be sure to take pictures and share with all of you.
As I began thinking about what kind of nursery I wanted for our little guy, several adjectives came to mind - artsy, eclectic, vintage, unique, light and airy, fresh, and still baby appropriate. I have very expensive taste, but just like many of you - I had no intention of spending tons of $$ on this decorating excursion. In fact, I find GREAT satisfaction in finding exactly what I want for a steal of a deal or making it myself. I guess that's the treasure hunter in me, maybe I'm part pirate? Argghhh, matey. Ok, lame....anyway....I am thrilled to report that I've found exactly what I envisioned at the exact cost I envisioned. I'll be blogging about these various stages of the nursery decorating and hope you enjoy the transformation.
This is a "Crafty Creations" post because my inspiration fabric just happens to be a tablecloth! Yes, you heard right! How cool is that? It's just the right material, fits precisely with my color scheme, and exactly what I could NOT find in the fabric stores. This tablecloth is the inspiration fabric that the rest of the nursery will be designed around. Enjoy this sneak peek and stay tuned for "Crafty Creation" posts of the work in progress. I guarantee there will be lots of creativity going into this space. Turning a tablecloth into crib bedding is just ONE of the many ideas.
Be inspired by what you see around you and don't hesitate to turn the ordinary into extraordinary!
Stay tuned for more Baby Nursery posts in the coming weeks!!
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
It's time for another "Quick Tip Wednesday".
Don't you just love how you discover something by accident, or just be truly needing to be creative? I have discovered that I prefer crackers - Ritz crackers to be exact, in the place of bread crumbs. I realized this some time ago, when I discovered I was out of Italian bread crumbs while trying to make some delicious Eggplant Parmesan (Mmmm!). I simply crushed the Ritz crackers, added my favorite Italian seasoning and voila' -my husband LOVED it!! Now I can't even imagine making Eggplant Parm without using my Ritz crackers!
Have a recipe that calls for bread crumbs? Try substituting crackers instead (especially the buttery kind aka Ritz). I use them to top my homemade Mac n' cheese, to bread chicken, eggplant, etc. Next time you make dinner, consider "Puttin' on the Ritz" - I think you'll find it very satisfying!
Have a "Quick Tip"? Comment below and we might just feature your tip in next week's "Quick Tip Wednesday"!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
I came across this delicious recipe in one of my Taste of Home magazines and just HAD to share with all of you. This pie is light, easy, delicious and the perfect cold treat to accompany your next Summer cookout. In fact, Memorial Day is coming up....not a bad time to give this wonderful pie a try.
Frosty Toffee Bits Pie Recipe
- 6-8 Servings
- Prep: 10 min. + freezing
~Frosty Toffee Bits Pie~
- 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
- 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 1 package (8 ounces) milk chocolate English toffee bits, divided
- 1 graham cracker crust (9 inches)
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in cream until blended. Fold in whipped topping and 1 cup toffee bits.
- Spoon into crust; sprinkle with remaining toffee bits. Cover and freeze overnight. Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. Yield: 6-8 servings.
Monday, May 23, 2011
What a great reminder for us as Christians! We must never forget the pit from which we were dug, and the sins that were forgiven us! Only because of God's grace, we are where we are today. Thank you, Lord!!
SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
I Corinthians 6:9-11.
The Bible teaches the absolute necessity of the new birth. "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?" God is holy, and none of us are righteous within ourselves. Every person is in need of salvation. In our unregenerate and natural state, none will qualify for Heaven.
People are deceived about the seriousness of sin, the nature of salvation, and the requirement of rebirth and imputed righteousness. False teachers assure their listeners that good works or moral reform will gain an entrance into God's holy Heaven. This is not true. That is why the text says, "Be not deceived."
Thank God for salvation that brings forgiveness of sin and the new man of righteousness. God's gift of eternal life produces transformed lives in those who are redeemed. Only God can create a new person through the miracle of the new birth. We can identify with Paul's statement, "And such were some of you." We may not be all that we should be, but thank God we are not what we once were. God can change anyone. When we are born again, we become new creatures in Christ. Our past is exactly that; it is our past.
Sometimes new believers have a hard time putting their past behind them because of guilt over past sins. It is important that we take God at His Word concerning our former lives. Our sins are under the blood; we have been justified by His grace; and we have peace with God.
Because we remember what we once were, it should help us have compassion on the unsaved and a desire to reach them with the Gospel. Nothing could have changed us like the power of salvation. We should never look, with a critical, judgmental eye, at others still bound in sin. But for the grace of God, we would still be there. The next time we get irritated or frustrated with the behavior of lost sinners, remember this: "And such were some of you."
This devotion was written by Pastor Thomas Smith, St. Clair MO
Pastor Smith's daily devotions may also be read by visiting www.straightpaths.mzbc.com.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
HIS COMPASSIONS FAIL NOT
By Pastor Thomas Smith, in St Clair, MO
"It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."
How much does God care for His children? This is a question that defies a complete and suitable answer. We are not able to fully comprehend His love and concern for us. Considering any of God's attributes can stretch our imaginations, but some are harder than others for us to grasp. I can more easily understand His wrath because I know how much we have violated His commands. His jealousy is comprehendible because He deserves our complete love and devotion. But, His compassion is somewhat harder for some of us to wrap our minds around. Why would God so care for us?
His compassions never fail and they are new every morning. As hard as this is to imagine, that God persistently and consistently cares for us, it is nonetheless true. Not only is it true, but also it holds the key to much in the Christian life. We are challenged, first of all, to come to the awareness of God's great love, but we also need to learn to accept that love for our lives personally. The Scripture testifies to the great care God has for us. We must personalize the fact that this abounding love from the Eternal God is directed specifically toward us. He not only cares immeasurably for others, He cares equally for us. His compassions never fail. His kindness knows no end. He meets us every morning with new and tender mercies. This is the nature of our God. These words describe His care for His children.
By faith, we learn to see Him as the compassionate God that He is. No matter how much we come to receive His loving kindness, we know that we will never explore the depth of His care. This truth has the power to minister to every heart in a profound way. We can come to God when we fail because we know that He cares so deeply for us. We can ask Him for the things we need because we know He loves us and wants what is best for us.
When we begin to doubt His care or when the devil brings destructive accusations, we can know that God's mercies are real for us. When we think we are alone and no one is there for us, we are reminded that there is Someone who will never leave us nor forsake us. His faithfulness is great, and never changes. He will never cease to care. No one will ever care for us like Jesus.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
She tells us that you can FREEZE RICE!! Neat, huh? You can make your own little steamer bags and just pull them out when you need them.
"On a day with spare time pull out your rice maker, or whatever you use to make rice, and make a batch of rice. I like to do a large batch, 6 cup water 3 cup rice. Once it is done cooking I fluff it up, and fill up a Qt size freezer bag and seal it removing all the air. Be sure to label it "Rice Heat 4-5 min, High" then when you are ready to use it. just pull it out and plop it right into the microwave frozen and sealed.. the ice crystals will help it steam right up just like the store bought ones, When it is done place in a bowl and fluff it with a fork and there you go 5 min rice ! I hope you find it as useful as I do! "
Thanks for this great tip, Ashley!! :-D
Do you have a "Quick Tip" to share with everyone?? List it below in the comments with your name, and perhaps we'll blog about it in your honor!! ;-D
~Lauren & Page
Monday, May 9, 2011
Enjoy this "Monday Meditation" about the importance of maintaining a Christ-like testimony in the work place. We CAN be a witness to those around us!
|Devotions from Pastor Thomas Smith|
ADORNING THE GOSPEL AT WORK
"Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own master, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity: that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things."
How can we influence those we work with for Christ? One of the greatest mission fields many will ever see could be their place of employment. The majority of workplace associates are probably unsaved or unchurched. For many, the environment is very worldly, the philosophies humanistic, and the language deplorable. What can we do to help them see their need for the Gospel? What can we do that they might see the difference Jesus has made in our lives? The Bible speaks clearly about the relationship of the servant to his master. These principles are easily and accurately applied to our place of employment and our relationship to the boss or supervisor. Our testimony before those we work with and work for will be influenced by our obedience.
Paul told Titus to exhort servants to "be obedient unto their own master." If we want to make a good impression on the boss and on those we work with, let's begin by doing what we are told. We are to follow instructions and obey commands. Be on time and give an honest day's work for a day's pay. Too many in our day are always looking for a way to get out of work or doing the least amount of work possible. Find out what is expected of you, and do everything that you are told, if not more than you are told. We are to "please them well in all things." This should be our goal, not to please ourselves, but to please the one we are working for.
Paul further mentions, "not answering again." Christians should speak respectfully on the job, not arguing or talking back. Our work associates should know that we are honest and trustworthy. Purloining means "to hold back or embezzle." Literally this could mean taking things home that belong to the company, or even taking a salary when you have not done the work. We are not to take from our employer what is not rightfully ours. We are admonished to "adorn the doctrine of God" on the job. Witnessing and sharing gospel tracts when possible are important; these are ways we can direct others toward the Lord. However, along with those things, our work ethic will speak loudly of our faith in Christ.
Friday, May 6, 2011
My poor hubby and I have been battling the flu and it is NO fun! We hate having to miss church, but alas - we know that nobody wants our sick germs. The wonderful thing about technology these days is that we know of several Biblically sound churches that stream their services via the internet!!
Now, this should in no way be a replacement for going to church, as the Bible tells us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. However, on those sick days, or when your kids are sick, etc - this is a great thing!
It never occurred to me to BLOG about these wonderful churches, but I have several I'd like to share with you - in different time zones no less! Simply click on the link and you'll quickly find a link to their "live services" on each website.
Those of you in Central time zone, click here for Fargo Baptist Church with Pastor Tony Scheving
For those of you on EST click here for Temple Baptist Church with Pastor Clarence Sexton
or here for Lehigh Valley Baptist Church with Pastor Ron Hammet
or if you're PST click here for Lancaster Baptist Church with Pastor Paul Chappell
I pray this is a blessing to you, for the next time you're home on a "sick day" or are simply able to tune in to one of these live services. Sadly, I can't recommend just ANY church, but am thankful that I can safely recommend each of the above to you. They are Scripturally sound and base their teaching on GOD'S WORD alone! What a blessing!
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
For those of us who use Stainless Steel pans, this is an invaluable tip!!
"I use lemon juice to clean my stainless pans - it works even better than soap! You just squirt a little bit in the pan while the pan is still HOT and the mess cleans right up (but you MUST do it while the pan is HOT). I learned this handy little tip at a Japanese Steakhouse, where they cook right in front of you...works like a charm :) "
Do YOU have a quick tip worth sharing? Comment below and your tip might just be featured on our blog. :-)
Have a Happy Wednesday, everyone!
~Lauren & Page
Monday, May 2, 2011
Sometimes I really struggle with finding that "perfect gift". Perhaps I over-think, or just over-complicate things, but I really like to give a gift that's meaningful, practical and something the person will really love.
Here's a wonderful gift idea for the Mom that loves jewelry (what girl doesn't?)- a custom Jewelry Organizer! Now, I made my sister one of these for Christmas and my Mom one for her birthday and I have to tell you that they were a HUGE hit! My Mom LOVES having a beautiful place to neatly store all of her "bling". She enjoys being able to display it in such a way that she doesn't have to dig through a jewelry box, only to realize that she can't find that other earring. I'm sure you've seen several tutorials done on various blogs about the infamous framed jewelry organizer, but this is one I especially love because it has ample space for earrings!!
What you will need:
-Frame of your choice - spray painted to your liking (optional)
-Crafter's board to attach to the back of frame (and fasten fabric to)
-Fabric of choice, enough to cover the size of your board
-Heavy Duty Staple Gun
-Hooks for top of organizer (optional)
-Chicken wire - 1/2" mesh
-Hanging bracket hardware
Now I will tell you that I did not exactly plan too well for this craft. This was completely a "fly by the seat of your pants" craft, and my husband was the one to save the day. However, despite my lack of planning, the results were wonderful. These organizers turned out exactly how I envisioned. Yes, sometimes I'm a better visionary than I am a crafter. :-P
This craft can really be as inexpensive or expensive as you'd like it to be, it really depends on what kind of frame and fabric you choose to use. I purchased two oak frames at a garage sale for $.25 cents each and opted to spray paint them a beautiful glossy black. I used fabric that I already had for one, and purchased the other piece of remnant fabric at Hobby Lobby. This really helped to keep the cost down!
I purchased my chicken wire at my local home improvement store, be sure to wear gloves and have some kind of metal snips to cut the wire - it will hurt you otherwise!! I think the chicken wire was the most frustrating to work with, but if you're careful it definitely adds a special touch and a place to organize countless pairs of earrings! (totally worth it in my book)
Take an ugly frame and spray paint it! (optional)
Cut your board to fit snugly inside your frame, you will need enough room to fit the board with fabric AND chicken wire and still fit it inside your frame. It takes a bit of measuring, eye-balling, and tweaking to get it right. This is the part that my hunky hubby really came in handy. ;-) I could never have safely cut this board on my rug without totally destroying it. Ha!
Take your fabric and cut enough to overlap around the board, securing with hot glue.
(sorry, no pic - should be pretty self-explanatory)
Cut the chicken wire large enough to fold over the edges of the board. WEAR GLOVES and use wire snips that stuff is sharp.
Take your fabric covered board and carefully wrap with chicken wire (remember to wear gloves!!). Now firmly fit your fabric and wired board into the frame. Staple edges to frame to secure. This chicken wire is a PAIN to work with, but is SO worth it to provide place for all those earrings! It's so convenient.
Screw hooks for necklaces and bracelets along the top. If needed, spray paint them to match your frame, or purchase in the color of your choice.
*Attach a hanging bracket to the back of the frame to hang it on the wall.
The end result will be unique, functional, and beautiful! Take it a step further and buy your Mom some new jewelry to display on her new organizer!
Head over to my Etsy shop for beautiful handcrafted jewelry and take advantage of the Mother's Day special going on now. FREE SHIPPING and 10% off when you enter the promo code MOTHERSDAY2011. You have until Sunday, May 8th to take advantage of this special offer!
Let's celebrate Mom and let her know how important she truly is!
Devotion for April 30, 2011
"Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD."
God's ways are above our ways, and He wants to teach us godliness. He knows what is best for us and the kind of character He wants to develop in our lives. In doing so, God gives us clear and direct commands about certain responses, that often go against our natural tendencies. He tells us to humble ourselves because our natural inclination is to exalt ourselves. He tells us to give and share because we are selfish by nature. He commands us to serve others because it is normal behavior to want to be served instead.
In God's Word, there are numerous requirements or commands, forbidding us to take revenge or "bear any grudge" against others. The Lord knows our inclination to hold grudges, harbor ill feelings, or carry resentment toward those who have wronged us or offended us. He also knows how damaging these feelings or attitudes can be to us. Therefore He commands us, with no exceptions, to forgive others.
We are very capable of justifying grudges and making ourselves comfortable with a lack of forgiveness. Unforgiveness, however, is inconsistent with God's character. It has been said that we are never any more like Christ than when we forgive. God wants to forgive, and He wants us to forgive. Because God, in His wisdom, knows how beneficial it is for us to forgive others and how harmful it is to carry bitterness or unforgiveness in our hearts, He makes this a major issue in our spiritual growth and obedience.
Many of God's people are troubled with a lack of forgiveness toward those who have offended or wronged them. That lack of forgiveness will prove to be a source of spiritual defeat and an emotional drain until it is resolved. How can we forgive those who have hurt us so deeply? Because God requires it, we know He is available and able to help us forgive those we have not forgiven. We are also taught in the New Testament to forgive others as we have been forgiven. The forgiveness we have experienced becomes the pattern for the forgiveness we offer others. We did not deserve forgiveness, but received it freely through Christ. Because we have been forgiven of so much, we are able, by faith, to forgive others. It may seem impossible for us, but not for God.