Friday, April 29, 2011

A Recipe Index...Finally!




Happy Friday!! Did anyone set their alarms extra early this morning to watch the Royal Wedding?? In honor of that fine occasion, please read this post with an English accent...in your head, I mean, 'cause I only write in American! ☺

I have a problem with stuff, as in... I have too much of it. I also have an issue with organization, as in...I have too little of it. I also have an on going conflict between the things I WANT to do (crafts) and the things I really SHOULD be doing (cleaning/organizing). But, this week the crafting stars and the get-organized stars aligned!

I have a food magazine that comes in the mail that I really do love. I LOVE looking through it and I do actually try many of the recipes! The problem is, I have been receiving said magazine since 2003 and I have saved them all! I have the space to store them (kinda) but, now that there are so many it has become impossible to actually find a recipe a second time. So, a couple of years ago I started putting tabs on the recipes I thought sounded good.


Except, there were so many recipes that sounded good, I ended up with out of control tabbing!! And I still had the problem that once I make a recipe and want to make it again, I can't find it easily. I needed an index!


Totally out of control tabbing, where are the tabbing police? The English would say "that's a lot of bloody tabs!"
 So, here is the plan...I bought a stack of spiral bound index cards (in neon colors, nice and happy). Then I dolled it up with scrap book paper on the front and back, a sticker and some trim. I tied ribbons on the spirals just for cuteness.


Then I added adhesive file labels to make four sections...dips, sides, main dishes and desserts. Dips will include any appetizers, I just couldn't fit that many letters on the tab!


So, here are the rules (for me, you can all do whatever you want☺)...for a recipe to make it into the index I have to actually make the recipe and have it family approved. This is an index of tried and true recipes, not just a wish list. But, once I know it's something I will make again, I add it to the index along with the issue, year and page number.




So, I still have to go through a lot of issues and find my favorite recipes but then I am good to go. Ahhh, there is peace and harmony in recipe land. Such a small thing but a problem solved nonetheless.


Lulu and I have decided to retire our "smiles and frowns for the week". We are going to switch it up and start sharing the "best thing we ate this week!"☺
So, here it is...the best thing we ate this week was a sandwich that has no name because I made it up! I bought these delicious ciabatta rolls from Sam's. They were the Member's Mark brand Artisan European Ciabatta Rolls. They were soft on the inside and crusty on the outside and oh, so yummy. I split them and spread pesto on each side, then put fresh sliced tomatoes on one half and baby spinach leaves on the other. Then I put a slice of mozzarella cheese on each side and put it all under the broiler until the cheese melted. We had them for dinner with a green salad. Yum! It was the BEST thing we ate this week!!


 Until next Friday...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

because 1 in 8 is someone you know

 (In)fertility Myth: It's easy to get pregnant.

While this may have been true for you, it is not true for all.  The truth is, 1 in 8 US couples (over 7 million) are dealing with infertility. That means that someone you know has probably gone through it, or is silently going through it. I'm sure you might want to chalk it up to all the hormones in our foods or all those modern day pills and shots we have to take, or some other reason for the high numbers...but it's not that simple. Like I said, today's odds are that 1 in 8 couples will have some sort of infertility struggle.  30% of cases are female factors, 30% of cases are male factors, and 20% of infertility cases are unexplained. 10% of cases are due to a combination of these factors (source). As a matter of fact, it can take a healthy, fertile couple up to a year to conceive before many doctors will consider them for infertility screenings.  Even if there's nothing wrong, it's not always easy to get pregnant.

So, if you'll keep reading, I want to take a Biblical spin around the ole fertility block if you'll let me, to try and disprove the myth.  Below, I have listed 20 well-known women in the Bible. I know there are more women in the Bible mentioned, obviously, but I have picked out the more recognizable for the sake of this post.

Eve
*Sarah (Genesis 16-21)
Hagar
*Rebekah (Genesis 25:20-26)
*Rachel (Genesis 30:1-24)
Tamar
Miriam
**Shunammite Woman (2 Kings 4)
*Hannah (1 Samuel 1)
Deborah
Delilah
Bathsheba
Jezebel
Ruth
Esther
Mary, mother of Jesus
Mary Magdalene
Martha and Mary (sisters)
**Elisabeth (Luke 1)

Now you'll notice the starring system I have added. I gave one star to those women who dealt with infertility (probably female-factor or unexplained). Two stars are for those I would guess struggled with male-factor infertility. I will detail those right now to eliminate confusion.  I double starred the Shunammite woman because she specifically says she can't have children because her husband is old. I double starred Elisabeth as she and her husband were both very old, and in this case it may have been a combination of male and female factors.

So, I listed 20 women.  SIX of them are starred. That's a 30% infertility rate.... in BIBLE times.  Ok, so that's not exactly a high pool number of participants, but we gotta work with what we got. There are more cases of women and infertility that are lesser known (ex: Samson's mother (Judges 13) and Michal (2 Sam. 6:15-23)) just as there are more cases of lesser known women who did have children.  And we don't even know if Miriam, Deborah, Mary Magdalene, or Martha and Mary ever went on to have children.

The Bible is one of our most ancient books, and God felt that these infertility stories were important enough to be written about. Not just a story here and there, but actually littered throughout the whole book!  If you take the time to read the stories, you'll find that through much prayer almost all of these women did go on to have children. Sometimes they didn't always wait on HIS timing, but He kept His promises to all of them. Some of these women became well known because of how they acted in the face of their adversity (infertility).   Women have been going back to these stories for encouragement for thousands of years.  Why?

Because never, in the whole history of the world, has it EVER been proven that it's "easy" to get pregnant.  
Myth: busted.

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. If YOU have 8 friends, chances are, one of them is going through, or has been through infertility of some sort.  What can you do for them this week? Hug them, learn your manners, get educated, and join the Bust a Myth challenge

He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.
Psalm 113:9

Monday, April 25, 2011

All Dolled up in Homemade Dresses

A few months ago I got the idea to make my girls their Easter dresses this year. At the time I didn't own a sewing machine yet, nor did I know how to sew. However, what I did know was how to crochet. I have to encourage anyone out there that has ever wanted to learn how to crochet to learn it someday because there are endless adorable projects to be done! And I mean ENDLESS!! This dress pattern was actually the first patten that I found on etsy that started my clothing making frenzy! 
Now crocheting a dress for a one year old and a four year old is not an easy thing to do. In that it took me a while to accomplish. But every night I would just do a row or too and then put it down so I didn't get tired of doing it. I love that I stuck with it because the girls looked perfect! I found the pattern, along with many other sweet patterns at the CrochetGarden shop on Etsy.com. The pattern is called Lollypop Sundress and they come in both baby or toddler sizes. Happy Crocheting!
This is how my girls dresses turned out. I made my one year olds purple and my four year olds pink. I left out the lollypop pocket in the end because I felt like it took away from the beautiful skirt on the dress. Plus it looked more Easter like without the pocket. I also sewed my own sash for both of the dresses instead of using ribbon because it just made it look a little fancier. And lastly I sewed the bow to match. (Next week: A full tutorial on how I made the bow).

Little L's: My little Fancy Nancy!!



Little E's: I just loved these colors!! So Springy!


 So Cute Matching Bow!


 I hope everyone had a lovely Easter!

PhotobucketThe DIY Show Off
          
              

The Girl CreativeMakingKeeping It Simple

craft



  
All Things Heart and Home



Sunday, April 24, 2011

Do-it-yourself-chalkboard

Looking for a place to leave your sweetie a note, or a place to remind you what to buy at the next shopping trip or just a place for the kids to doodle?  Here is a sweet solution, seven sister style.



Things you need:

Any Frame (this one found at Hobby Lobby)
Spray paint
Chalkboard Paint


How To:
I started off by sanding the frame before spray painting (this allows the paint a place to stick).  Spray paint the frame, I did two coats.  Then I measured out the inside of the frame and lined the edges with tape.  Paint the inside with chalkboard paint.  Allow three days for the chalkboard paint to set before writing on.  Mount the frame over the painted area. 


I placed ours on the outside of the pantry, and we LOVE it.  Guests even find it hard to resist leaving us a note or smiley face!  


Linked Up To...

IHeart Organizing

Saturday, April 23, 2011

He's Not Here...♥

He is not here! 
He has risen, just as he said. 
Come and see the place where he lay...
Matthew 28:6 



Random side note: check out these cutie pattooties!! 



I made these out of Turkey Hill 1/2 gallon plastic iced tea jugs, but the original instructions were for 1 gallon milk jugs...those were neat, but these are super cute & little...they measure 4" high by 4" wide...perfect for trinkets...
and super free!!


Find the original instructions here at Family Fun

Happy Easter Sunday!


linking to:




Photobucket

All Things Heart and Home 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Yarrrr, I be looking for Treasure

So I really loved Mar's idea with the homemade birthday box.  Making them for girls is so easy, I had a tough time coming up what to do for a boy.  My nephew's birthday was coming up (he's going to be 5) and I decided to make him a birthday box.  I found some cute scrap-paper at Joann's called All About Boys.  I really liked the page with the pirate ship on it and decided to go with a pirate theme. 


 I decorated the front with the ship, the sides with the collage of words and the inside the the ocean bottom scene.   


I happened to have some left over scrapbook paper that had a treasure map on it.  I had an awesome idea, so I burned the edges of the map to make it look used and old and rolled it up and put it in his box.  Now he can go on a treasure hunt for his gold coined candy!


 I had a fire at the time in the fireplace, so I carefully placed the paper inside and gently burned the edges.  Please use caution in duplicating this procedure.


I then took a black marker and made the "X" on the map more distinguished and made a little route showing how to reach the treasure.



I rolled up the map and tied it with some ribbon.


We filled the box with the gold chocolate coins.

 Now he can use his treasure map to find his long lost coins!  How exciting!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"every famous last word"

The other day, a song came sing-songing its way through my brain - a song I haven't heard in a loooong time, but often listened to while I was in college (which seems FOREVER ago!!!).  It's called "Every Famous Last Word" by Miracle of '86.  Probably a band you've never heard of, and honestly, this is the only song of theirs I ever knew.

Anyway, the lyrics go;
"for every famous last word
there are a million last words
and they're last words that no one's heard."
Famous last words.  It's a catchphrase we've heard often before. The phrase usually makes me think of (aside from this song) soap opera dramas, or movies...how many treasure hunt movies began on the lips of someone's last words?? Why do we put so much stock into last words?

And what about THE MOST famous last words?  Who's were they?  Who would you attribute the most famous last words ever to?  Personally, I think Jesus!  Would you believe there were seven phrases He said while on the cross?  (Coincidentally God's number).  With Easter coming up quickly, it can be a lot easier to brush by the painful journey of Good Friday and skip to the happy ending of Resurrection Sunday. But Jesus' attitude towards the cross and His "famous last words" can still teach us something so important.  (By the way sisters, do I get Sister Points for moving from obscure indie rock to Good Friday in one graceful swoop?  No? Maybe?) Ok, on with the show...  Jesus' last words before His death were...

Jesus forgave us.
Luke 23:34 "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do"
Ok, my husband could eat the last Snickers peanut butter egg and I'd have trouble forgiving him for AT LEAST a week. But Jesus forgave us for crucifying Him WHILE IT WAS HAPPENING. It makes my every day skirmishes seem petty in comparison.

Jesus saves us.
Luke 23:43 "Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise."
Jesus' famous last words to one of the theives being crucified with Him.  Jesus didn't just forgive His "good" followers, He forgave ALL of us.  His forgiveness and salvation is immediate, all we have to do is believe Him and ask for it!

Jesus wants a parent/child relationship with us.
John 19:26-27 "When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold they mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home."
Jesus understands the need for a caring parent/child relationship. Not only on earth, but a heavenly one as well. Just as He said to Mary, "behold thy son," He wants to say about us, "behold MY son" or "MY daughter."  Jesus is proud when we seek and desire a personal relationship with our heavenly Father!

Jesus was willing to separate himself from God to show us His love.
Matthew 27:46 "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
If His love for us isn't clear by the painful death on the cross, let's not forget that Jesus actually spent over 30 years away from His heavenly home. He had to pray to God just as we do to communicate. There was no more "throne to throne" conversations as I imagine there are today.  He was just as human as you and I.

Jesus physically, emotionally, and spiritually suffered for us.
John 19:28 "I thirst."
The pain on the cross was real.  Jesus REALLY FELT IT. As I said above, he wasn't in some supernatural body that didn't feel pain.  God didn't give him some spiritual anesthesia. He suffered the worst possible death, because He felt the love of a father towards His children. He would do anything to take our place.

Jesus ushers in an era of salvation by grace through faith.
John 19:30 "It is finished"
The pain He felt was not for nothing. Jeus closed the door on an era of salvation through countless rules and sacrifices and works. He opened the door to a simple message, salvation by faith through grace. Jesus' blood on the cross on "Good Friday" covered our sins and opened the doors for anyone willing to come to know Jesus.

The ultimate reward for salvation is everlasting life with God the Father!!
Luke 23:46 "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit"
In the end, Jesus found Himself back with His Father once again. He had suffered and died a physical, human death as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, and so we would never have to pay in like manner. He had risen from the dead and proven that He was who He said He was. Because He loves us.


These were Jesus' last words before His death... but they weren't His last words on earth. His last words included a commission for us to share His story with others.  I hope I have been able to successfully do so today. And if you take one thing away after reading, I hope its that God's ultimate goal is for your salvation. As Good Friday approaches, I hope it's a reminder to not let another day go by without a personal relationship with Jesus.  He can change everything!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cute Easter Basket Goodie....

Here is an simple and cauuuute idea for your kids Easter Basket.....   


Spring Chick Bird's Nests





SUPPLIES:  
White Chocolate Wafers
Thin Pretzel Sticks
Jelly Beans
Peeps (chick ones, not bunnies...)








In a double boiler, melt white chocolate wafers....
 
                                    
     Once melted... 

Stir in pretzels and place "globs" onto a cookie sheet...   
Decorate with Jelly Beans

Place "chick" peep on the very top.....


EASY as 1..2...3.....  



"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son:  
That whosoever believeth on Him
should not perish but have ever lasting life."

John 3:16





:)

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