December 30, 2013

More Paleo / Gluten Free Tips and Recipes

Zucchini noodles and meatballs HERE

Blackberry skillet jam HERE

Learn how to make your own ghee HERE

Paleo granola HERE

Chicken stock HERE

How to grow garlic HERE

Nigella’s chocolate olive oil cake (for the most special of occasions) HERE

December 27, 2013

Things I Love Thursday

1. I don't know what it is with me and dreamcatchers lately. I think it's the bohemian style they invoke. I love them now. I think you should pray and depend on God's promises for your hopes and dreams. However, these works of art sure make a pretty conversation piece.

2. Homemade hot chocolate mix – HERE

3. Turkey burger with bacon and guacamole. I mean, hello!?

4. Here's another great tutorial from The Beauty Department. Seriously, best website. 

5. Acid wash jeans are back, Baby. Love, love, love these.

6. And so begins the search for the perfect denim skirt to destroy. This length is PERFECT.

7. Awesome use of a sweet potato! LOVE this design, too.

8. This hat from Rag & Bone is a favorite of mine. I'm not sure I'd ever have an occasion to wear it, but boy howdy, I love it.

9. Now this is a Little Black Dress. With booties! YES.

10. Favorite outfit right here. Tights, boots, tee, faux fur coat, and a beanie. Uniform.

11. Thank God for this.

12. Le sigh, Miss Olsen. Also, I adore your tee and vest. And hair. What a beauty icon you are.

All images are Pinned for sources.

December 23, 2013

Favorite Christmas Ideas

I have a Holiday board on Pinterest, to which I post tons of Christmas-y goodness all year long. Then in late November, I go through it all again and its like an awesome Christmas decorating catalog, full of ideas to get my hiner in gear!

Since it's the season, how's about I share my favorites with you?

Perler bead ornaments also make great gift tags!

Pinecones, hung on a piece of twine or yarn is a great winter touch.

I just adore these cute little ornaments, which could easily be made with pipe cleaners and old holiday cards from your thrift. Or buy them upcycled at Old World Primitives HERE

DIY clay ornaments with some white baking clay, cookie cutters, and scrapbook letter stamps.

Paper ball ornaments, which I especially love made out of vintage Christmas cards.

Homemade garland with random bits of notions, ribbons, and poms.

Upcycled white ornaments with a Sharpie marker.

Glittered pinecones steal my heart!

Snowflake instructions.

This is easier than you think and I do it every year. 2 boxes of silver balls and white ribbon: string one box of bulbs onto a ribbon about 3 ft long. String the other box of bulbs onto a ribbon that is 30" long. Then tie the shortest to your light fixture, allowing the bulbs to hang naturally. Add the second string of bulbs beneath the first, giving just enough room to cradle beneath.

Glittered plastic animals make great ornaments and gift toppers.

Oh, peanuts!

Handmade gift wrap, using any stamp you have.

Wrap your gifts in vintage fabric or paper and tie with a string.

DIY felt ball ornaments.

My personal favorite: white pom poms.

Grab stick from yard, wipe off, and hang on wall. Add ornaments. Perfect for the top of a stairway, over a couch, or over a bed before Christmas.

Add black chalkboard paint to white mugs. Personalized every time!

All of these ideas can be found (and linked) on my Pinterest holiday board. If you have favorites, I'd love to hear about them, too!

December 20, 2013

A Week In Review

Mabel spent another day at home this past week. She woke up with an upchuck around 4am. And again at 5, 6, 8, and 9.  Eventually, with the help of Lucy (her furry, horsey friend), some ice cream, and Cinderella with mommy, she was on the mend. Kindergarten germs suck.

"I've always been olfactory that way," Mindy said to me once. Ever smell something and immediately a memory leaks into your brain? Yeah, that's why this is my favorite new candle. It's called Mountain Lodge. It smells a little like Hollister, a little like flannel. Oh I love it!

At our house, family Scrabble games include wrestling. Mabel is on the verge of reading, so she's a real joy to have present during Scrabble. "Mommy, you have an O! And a P! and a..." Trevor is a fantastic reader but the child can't spell worth a lick, therefore everything he puts down is phonetic. Mmmmm-no. Andrew, conversely, is a fantastic speller and came up with very nice and clever words, which made Trevor jealous. Made me giggle. By the end we ran out of tiles and made things up. Bryon and I were inspired to play adult Scrabble one night after the kids go to bed.

All of the kids have Christmas parties this week at school except for the 7th grader. He's thigh-deep in semester tests. Also, the 3 littles (Lord, can I even call them that for much longer?) watched Charlie Brown Christmas in class this week. How cool is that? You know what I'm getting at: the reason I live in Da Plains. Public schools teaching "Christ the Savior is booooooOOOOORN" Christmas carols in music class and watching Linus stand up and proclaim the true meaning of Christmas. Amen is what I have to say! I *love* that Jesus is welcome here. There are opposing viewpoints yes, but I am so grateful we live in an area where people say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays." Because you bet there is a difference.

We finished the winter session of volleyball last Saturday. We are very proud of Hayley and how much progress the entire team made over the season - wow. Girlfriend has a fantastic serve, too. I do project management daily, so its in my nature to plan and follow up on details. Prior to Hayley's final "tournament" game I sent an email to her coach. I wanted to know if we played more than one game, how early we needed to arrive, etc. I also verified the game time. It's just what I do. As it turns out, the schedule given to all of the parents was incorrect. Not only was the game time off by a whopping 5 hours, her team also needed to play at least twice, which wasn't previously mentioned. The coach quickly sent a note to all of the parents and corrected the details. Sort of makes me wonder what would have happened if I hadn't asked to confirm everything. I have been told my type-A behavior is called overbearing. Let me tell ya, I'm totally okay with that.

This weekend will be full of cooking and cleaning and all things domestic. Christmas is a-comin'.  I have wrapping to do and two meals to cook for. I'm hoping to make a thrifting trip because Trevor's afghan unraveled a bit too much before I could get to it, so it needs to be replaced. I also wouldn't mind finding any of the items on my Christmas list there (denim midi skirt, please). We will see. I've been known to rock it out, but all of the kids will be up in my pancreas. They always get up in my pancreas before going to their dad's house. Sort of reminds me of nursing and baby-wearing while vacuuming and doing laundry. Mothering, basically.

In closing this week, a word on consideration. Consideration is a manner of grace. It's careful thought for someone else. It means doing nice things for others even when you know it will go unnoticed. I believe in being considerate of one another every day, but especially this season as we all schlep and rush and try to cram 80 things into one day. Be nice to clerks who are crabby and drivers eager to take the last spot at the mall. And if you ask someone for help, say please and thank you. Remember they have their own things to be doing. Be gracious for gifts that you receive even if they aren't exactly what you'd imagined. Consideration is not selfish, it is selfLESS. We are working on this concept at home and I thought I'd share here as well.

The blog may be a bit quiet over the next few days as we ramp up to enjoy Christmas with our littles and then travel to take the kids back east. I do have an AWESOME tutorial coming soon on destroying your own denim to make the perfect cutoff jeans and distressed jeans.

Merry Christmas!

December 19, 2013

Things I Love Thursday

1. I'm not a purse person. I want to be, but I'm just... not. But this bag is... wow. So simple. Easy enough to make out of two thrifted rattan place mats honestly. But just wow. LOVE this. Maybe for a beach bag?

2. Pink melamine just steals my heart. I want a set just to look at. Maybe I'll run past one at my local thrift shop. The kids would never break it!

3. You know, one day I may actually find a jacket like this or that can be upcycled like this. Until then, a girl can dream.

4. If I were to have a cabin in the woods or a lake home, this would be my bedroom. Just in case you were curious.

5. Spaghetti squash lasagna boat (Paleo and gluten free) - yummo!

6. Black bean burgers with guacamole and pico.  

7. I love this lip color. I wore bright lipstick for 2 straight years in high school. Wish I'd get on that kick again soon! Love this color.

8. Blacks on blues on blues on black. YES.

9. The Beauty Department is one of my favorite websites. Completely easy tricks and tips for looking go-juss. 

10. I need to find this shirt!

11. DIY plate sets. Where have you been all my life? A sharpie and an oven. Easy.

12. This is such a beautiful bedroom. There is a lot going on, but I love the rug and the fur. The fresh flowers add a feminine touch, too.

13. Benjamin Moore Wenge. You WILL see this color again. Did you gasp out loud like I did? Oh my. Please forget that I ever said I hated burgundy. Amen.

14. Another beautiful bedroom. It wouldn't be the same without the stark contrast of the masculine, dark fur and pillows, and the white walls and linens. Love it.

All images are Pinned for sources.