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

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mmmm....COFFEE!!!




How many of you LOVE coffee?!?! I DO, I do, I do!!! I even drink decaf for the sake of my little guy and still love it!

Well, did you know that you can actually use it as an odor neutralizer?? Have a stinky fridge? Place some grounds (please use cheapo coffee for this and not your good stuff!) on a shallow tray and place inside your fridge. You'll soon notice that those darling coffee grounds have absorbed all of those icky odors!

For more intensive smells - such as a room that has just been painted (aka my nursery), recently stained furniture, etc. You can simply take an
open container of fresh coffee grounds to absorb the odor. BUY a cheap brand for that purpose, but then make sure you throw it out afterwards. ;-) It really works!!

See, I bet you didn't realize that coffee had more than one delicious purpose?!


Have a Quick Tip to share? Please leave it in the comments below and we'll feature it on our blog!!


~Lauren & Page

Monday, June 27, 2011

GOD IS PERSONAL

This is such a wonderful devotion, I pray that you all take the time to read it!! What a privilege to know the Lord and to be able to call Him my friend! He wants to have a personal relationship with YOU too!


GOD IS PERSONAL


Written by Pastor Thomas Smith, St Clair MO

"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."
John 17:3.

This is one of the most wonderful and frequently misunderstood attributes of our eternal God. He is personal. He wants us to know Him. As a matter of fact, this is the primary purpose of man: to know God. He knows us individually and completely. He wants us to fellowship with Him. We see this characteristic in action in the Garden of Eden. God is seen walking with the first man, Adam, and talking with Adam. This is the nature of God. When Adam sinned, that fellowship with God was broken, but our personal God came into the garden calling for Adam. Because sin separated man from his Creator, God made provision for man's sin in the sacrifice of His Son. God's love for the human race is so strong that no price would be too high to pay to redeem sinners to Himself. God wants all mankind to be saved, and God saves us that we might fellowship with Him. Our Scripture says, ""that they might know thee the only true God."

How is it that we can know God? How might we have a personal relationship with the Lord? God has designed that we know Him by faith. We have not seen God, and we have not heard His audible voice. However, because He loves us so much, He has given us the record and revelation of Himself in the Bible. We can know about God through the pages of the Scriptures. We know how God is because of what the Bible, God's Word, teaches us. However, it is not enough to know about God. He wants to know us personally. The only way we can be brought into a personal relationship with God is through Jesus Christ. It is through faith in Jesus Christ that our sins are forgiven, and the enmity between our Holy God and us is removed. When we repent of our sins and receive Christ as Savior, we are born into God's family. Immediately we have the capacity to know Him personally. We can talk to God and know that He hears us. God can communicate with us through His Spirit and His Word. We can walk with God by faith.

It is our great privilege to know God. Abraham was called the friend of God. Just prior to His death on the cross, Jesus told His disciples that He would no longer call them servants; instead, He would call them His friends. What a joy it is to know that God is personal and can be our Friend!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Baby Nursery {Part III- My Artsy Changing Table Redo}

As I was planning my nursery, I shopped around for various pieces for my nursery that fit my taste AND my budget. That's tough to do because I have expensive taste yet I'm super frugal.
I was SO excited to find this changing table on my local online yard sale site for a steal of a deal- $20!!! Most of you probably would've liked it just the way it was, as it really wasn't
too bad. However, I wanted something unique, with character that was fun, artsy and colorful. I bought a $15 quart of Sherwin William's paint (on sale) and for a total cost of $35 (plus my brother's time) -I now have a changing table that was totally what I envisioned! My bro did such a great job, he made the ordinary into extraordinary!! I LOVE how this piece turned out!!

Now, I'm gonna blame it on the prego brain, but I failed to take a good "Before" picture. :-P Forgive me!! Please use your imagination and pretend like the drawers are still in place.




My brother removed all the drawers and hardware and did some light sanding to it, but because of the awesome primer we used (see pic below), it really required no sanding (my favorite kind of project!)



The key to good priming is to have a lot of fun.... oh and to cover all areas that you'll be painting. :-)


Once primed, we let it dry and then began to apply the 1st coat of paint - in my accent color, Sherwin William's Refresh - once that dried, we (meaning my brother) applied a 2nd coat.



As you can see, it's looking good but doesn't have any real dimension to it yet. Some people MIGHT be ok with this as it is, but not me! ;-)



My brother then proceeded with the "fun" part. He used several tools to distress it. When doing this - try to think of places that would naturally be distressed. Don't forget the drawers! It's the details that really gives a piece that extra "wow factor".




Afterwards, we went down to the basement and found some dark wood stain in my collection of paints. Using a rag, he dipped part of it into the stain rubbed it in the cracks and edges of the piece, wiping off the excess. This is where your creative, artistic side comes into play. You can apply however much you'd like, but the goal is for it to look natural and not overdone. Rubbing the stain into the grain of the wood and cracks really gives it that distressed look. Be careful not to apply too much! You must wipe the excess off!


Once we were satisfied with how much "distressing" had been done, he put the hardware back on and drawers back into place. Thankfully I liked the original hardware and didn't have to do a thing to it!


Here is Baby Shaffer's super artsy and one of a kind changing table, refinished with love by his Uncle Caleb.





I hope this inspires you to look past the outward appearance of a piece of furniture, and envision creating it into something you love. Don't be afraid to take a piece and transform it to your liking, it really isn't that hard (especially when your brother does it for you! haha) With a little bit of effort, you can transform "junk" into something AMAZING!

~Lauren

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Crazy Weather Blues!


Mark 4:36-45

36And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.

37And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

38And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

39And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

40And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?


Let me just tell you... The weather around here has been crazy! In the last month or so, we have had massive hail damage (think ping pong ball to baseball size hail) to all of our vehicles, lost 3 windows in our house, and our metal roof and exterior log walls looks like a giant toddler took a hammer to them.




One of these storms, we were actually in our car. It was one of the most incredible, yet scary things I have ever seen...

It would be really easy for me to be discouraged by all of these things--but... I'm not. I know God has a plan, a great plan, for all that He has allowed to happen.

I have seen some of His Greatness and Mercy unfolding already, and I am really looking forward to how He will take care of the rest!

So, this is my quick Thankful Thursday. God is great!

A side note... Here is a verse that has meant a lot to me the last few days...

Proverbs 21:30 "There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD."

So, tell me, what are you thankful for today? : )

~Page

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cleaning Shoes!



This Quick Tip Wednesday might seem a little strange, but it really works!
We women know that a woman's work is never really done, there's always SO much to do around the house. Why not try cleaning in some supportive, tennis shoes?? They will motivate you to get moving and will support your back in the process. My friend, Ashley, mentioned this great tip and I agree - I definitely notice a difference when I have my "special shoes" on. :-) I'm much less likely to just feel like sitting down on the job.


Do YOU have a quick tip to share? Comment below and we'll gladly feature it in our Quick Tip Wednesday posts!


~Lauren & Page

Monday, June 20, 2011

God Is Just

GOD IS JUST

by Pastor Smith in St Clair, MO

"He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he."
Deuteronomy 32:4.

In a world overtaken with corruption and compromise, there is a source of truth and justice; it is found in the living God, "just and right is he." Words that help explain the meaning of just are right, lawful, and equal. God is morally right and righteous in all that He does. Friendships, fears, flatteries, or false information may influence men and thus pervert justice. However, God - because of His holy character and perfect nature - will always act justly. The Lord God is a righteous Judge. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25).

Because God is just, He establishes and imposes just laws and then executes them righteously. He will give to everyone what is due. Because He is just, He is impartial in His judgment. God cannot be deceived, and it would be futile to attempt to bribe Him. "God is no respecter of persons" (Acts 10:34). We may not always understand or fully agree with God's judgments, but we can have complete confidence that what He does is always right.

God is just in the penalties He exacts for transgression. "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). Because He is just, He requires that proper payment be made for sin. Also, He allows a substitute to pay for the sin of another. Thus, His Son made the just payment for our sins through His death on the cross and completely satisfied the just judgment of our sin. The penalty has been paid in full and God can and will forgive the sins of those who accept His payment. He is at one time "just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Romans 3:26).

One of the common cries of the Old Testament prophets was the lack of justice among the corrupt leaders of Israel. The moral character and weakness of men today have resulted in a dearth of justice. In our current political climate, many government leaders are for sale and will champion any cause that wins them favor. Even in the arena of professing Christians, truth has fallen in the streets. There is a great need for men and women of justice and integrity who look to the Rock for wisdom. Thank God, there is a day coming when Jesus Christ will return to this earth and will judge the world in righteousness.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Baby Nursery {Part II- the Transformation & Book Page Wall}

No, I haven't forgotten about my Baby Nursery blogging - however, I have been super busy finishing up this darling room for our little boy. Now that I just have the finishing touches left to do, I feel much more comfortable in taking the time to catch everyone up on the progress made so far. :-)

In case you missed my first post, you can go here to view "my inspiration" for the color palette and overall feel of the space.

I chose these three paint colors based on my inspiration fabric seen in my first post. I used Sherwin Williams Embellished Blue for the walls, Refresh as the accent color used to transform my changing table (stay tuned!) and Alabaster for the trim and doors.

Here is the Nursery - BEFORE we even began the transformation. Notice the light pink walls (eek!).
And here it is getting it's beautiful coat of Embellished Blue by my beautiful decorating crew!


We live in a charming 1920's home, I really do love it - however, the walls are a bit different in our upstairs bedrooms (as you can see from the above pic)- making it kinda difficult for any type of creative paint job, mural, etc. That's ok though, because I was feeling lazy and totally unmotivated to do anything too extreme. :-P

Instead, I decided to do an infamous "Book Page Wall". Many of you have probably seen this idea on countless blogs, and I'm telling you - it is SO fun and SO easy!

Sean & I both loved to read as kids (still do!) and hope our little guy will enjoy it just as much. Yes, we were those naughty kids that stayed up reading with a flashlight underneath our covers well after our parents told us lights out (because the book was THAT good). So....that's part of what led me to create this "Book Page Wall". I knew it would be artsy, fun, totally unique, and reflect our love of reading.

I used these classic storybooks to give it a vintage vibe. I purchased them for 50 cents each at a thrift store and since the binding wasn't in the greatest shape, I didn't feel so bad tearing out all the pages.


Once torn out, I simply had my lovely crew apply a *strong* spray adhesive to the back of the pages and randomly place them on the wall. We learned the hard way that it must NOT be a flexible hold, but a strong hold (best purchased at a craft store vs a hardware store). That's why this is considered** Decoupage (or d├ęcoupage) is the art of decorating an object by gluing colored paper cutouts onto it in combination with special paint effects, gold leaf and so on.**

With true decoupage you apply a sealer on top, but I didn't want to make my pages THAT permanent. As it is, these pages are perfectly adhered to the wall and if one or two pages should try to escape, I still have my spray adhesive and can easily reattach - so far so good! Definitely make sure you use a strong adhesive spray, found at most craft stores - my fav being, Hobby Lobby. :-)

As you can see, these randomly placed book pages create a lovely accent wall that is truly artistic, unique, vintage inspired and an incredible point of interest, as seen here in my nursery. It turned out soooo perfectly!



**A special thanks to my sister, Heidi, friend, Morgan, brother, Caleb, and last but not least - my hubby, Sean for all the hard work you put into this wonderful nursery!! I couldn't have done it without you!!

Stay tuned for the final stages of the nursery transformation and the Grand Reveal coming SOON!!

~Lauren

Thursday, June 16, 2011

True Friends

Proverbs 18:24 "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."

This "Thankful Thursday" I'm thinking about how grateful I am for good friends. Most of us have quite a few acquaintances, but good friends are few and far between. This past week I was reminded of how blessed I am. My sweet friend, Missy, helped me SO much by helping me finally get my garden in (it was long overdue and next to impossible for this prego girl). Missy is always willing to lend a helping hand, always there for me, and never fails to let me know that she's someone I can count on. I know the Lord has placed her in my life and I'm so thankful for her! By God's grace I want to be the right kind of friend for her as well.

What about you? Do you have special friends in your life that you can depend on? Why not take a moment to let them know how thankful you are for them? While you're at it, thank the Lord for placing these dear ones in your life and ask Him to help you to be the right kind of friend for them.

Have a Thankful Thursday, everyone!


~Lauren

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hobby Lobby, How I LOVE Thee!!





This week's "quick tip" might be pretty exciting for those of you addicted to Hobby Lobby (like me). I frequently fail to print out a HL coupon and find it frustrating to realize it AFTER I am in the store and filling my cart with wonderful goodies.

Did you know that you can pull up a Hobby Lobby coupon on the internet via your cell phone and show it to the cashier at checkout? They simply need the coupon code from the online coupon. I was SUPER excited about this fact and have already done it twice (thank you Page, for informing me about this!).

Have a quick tip to share with us? Comment below and we might just feature your quick tip in next Wednesday's post!!

~Lauren