for moms who are more.

rad finds

thursday:LLP’s, Jones Design Company.

I’ve mentioned on here before how much I love checking in on the ladies over at The Creative Mama for all things, well… mommy and creative. They continually bring something to the table that is fresh, and helpful, and beautiful to boot.

This morning as I fumbled around in bed for my phone, I saw the latest tweet and headed over to TCM blog to find an amazing woman being featured; Emily Lex of Jones Design Company.

Emily is a lover of all things creative, design, paper, home, and most importantly she loves Jesus and is a great mama to her kiddos and wife to her hubby.

The post on TCM has a few before and after room designs that she had done. They were stunning. But what drew me to click on her site was the sentence that read, “I also really love her post about time management.”

Dunzo. I was at her website within mere seconds.

I am a sucker for 1) all things self help and 2) a fellow mommy who blogs about her life struggle with the dreaded term, ‘time management’.

What I read, I wasnt prepared for. I was expecting a checklist of sorts, “do this, get rid of this, organize your entire life and then you can start this checklist, get a nanny and a housecleaner”, etc. What I actually came across were 9 totally do-able, totally down to earth, totally normal and ATTAINABLE goals to keep in mind when trying to manage your time.

Please,before going any further, read her post about time management and then come back to me.

There. Feel better dont you? a little more “as it turns out, im not as crazy and manic as i thought” huh?

1. some things can wait.

2. do little things as you go.

3. multi-task

4. stay focused when it matters most

5. delegate and ask for help (and then accept it)

6. create a schedule

7. limit tv watching and internet searching

8. let go of guilt

9. grab hold of the really valuable moments.

the two things that hit me most? First,  creating a schedule and sticking to it. Obviously I’m bad at this. And honestly, its really difficult when you’re children are young like mine are. Nothing is ever planned, there’s no schedule that they adhere to day in and day out. Its also difficult when you work from home, and when you’re currently living paycheck to paycheck i.e. needing to work your tail off whenever you have a spare moment.

Hopefully Ben will find a job. Hopefully I’ll learn to have a schedule around my kids non-schedule. Hopefully we’ll get out of debt and wont have to ship out everything we get in so I dont have to work all the time. But if none of that happens how we need it to happen, I’ll refer to #5 and #8 and it’ll all be ok.

The second thing, is how she referred to the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible when she was talking about taking a hold of the real moments. All of my life I’ve been afraid of missing out. Convinced I’ve been getting the shaft. Tortured by the guilt of trying to do it all and it never being enough. Wrestled with working my life away whilst the world happens around me. I know someone like this, exactly like this, and I pray for her…constantly. That God would release her from her chains that she’s wrapped around herself, that she would know real love and real peace and real rest and that Jesus would literally just give her some breaks now and again. That he’d bless her despite how much she worries He wont.

And I’m her. I am that very girl that I pray for. I am Martha.

2011 is looming and all I can think about is the many things that need to change around here. How I need to change. This new year I hope to actually be disciplined enough to keep any goals, let alone resolutions.

Emily, thanks for being normal.

And to close, the most amazing thing about this post on Time Management from Emily, is that she gives you two free downloadable pdf’s at the bottom of the page; how to balance work and children, and how to delegate.

And, the “I can not do it all” jpegs? Also available for download, so you can print them. I just placed an order with my print company for a million 5×7’s of these to put in strategic areas around my home. And one big one to go in my office. Obviously.

Emily and her husband also do a workshop called Be Inspired, all about starting and maintaining a successful small business. If any of you ladies are interested, definitely check on info for that here. I believe registration for the current one is closed, maybe you could contact her for info on the next one!

I hope her post inspired you ladies, I truly feel like it has changed my life. Or it will change it…very, very soon.

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wednesday: design, homemade jewelry box

not sure how I came up with the idea, but I was brainstorming Christmas gift ideas and decided I was going to get my niece miss K a real necklace..a real piece of jewelry. She’s 6 years old now and I remember how special I thought it was at that age to get something of real value.

I’ve ordered her a pendant necklace from The Vintage Pearl…it has her initial on it and its sterling silver. I cant wait to get it in the mail!

Then like I always do when I simply buy something for someone, I think…”wow, how much more would I appreciate giving a gift to someone if I’d sacrificed my time and my efforts and talents or LACK of talent, to make that gift?”

And then it came to me. I’m going to make her a jewelry box. Out of an old book. A beautiful vintage jewelry box that I make myself, where she can keep said necklace.

Ingredients:

old book. I’ll be enlisting ben’s help to hollow out the inside of the book with a box cutter of sorts, leaving about an inch of book pages around the edges to form the wall of the box.

pretty pink fabric for the cushiony bottom of the box. I’m going to sew some cotton balls and good smelly stuff inside of the fabric.

razzle dazzle. i’ll be decorating the outside of the book with these beauties. every little girl loves rhinestones!

paint and glue. i’ll be painting the outside edges of the pages all the way around the book, in order to keep them stuck together. (a little emerald green and gold shall do the trick!) I’m also gluing the bottom pages to the back of the book so everything stays in place.

 

 

This weekend is my last weekend to get my crud together for christmas. It never fails…every year…something drastic happens to us financially around the holidays and we’re stuck waiting until the last second to get things done. Anyone else out there pining away for the day when they arent scared to fill up their gas tank for fear of draining their bank account? Such is our life right now. Ben’s still looking for a full time job and helping me out, and thats where life is right now…it just is. Christmas isnt about gift-giving though, remember? I did write a blog post about that. Guess I should down some spoonfuls of my own medicine.

I’ll let you all know how the jewelry box turns out. I cant wait to put it all together! Tomorrow we are back to our regularly scheduled programming, with Thursday’s LLP post! stay tuned!


friday: real simple recap, november issue!

TGIF and TGIRSRF! that means thank goodness its real simple recap friday. I’ve been trying to get this post up for 3 fridays now. Its quite the undertaking, but I love it!

Love this issue, as I do all of them. In the editors note, Kristin talks about to-do lists (my language, for sure), how crazy the holidays are and how crazed we get in preparing for them. She ended with encouragement to all of us to get to a point where we are comfortable tossing out the giant list, and concentrating on whats really important..family, and friends, and memory makin. I like Kristin.

Without further ado…

THOUGHT – page 14, from George Carlin. “on thanksgiving at our house we like variety. so we dont have turkey every year. last year we had a swan. it was nice; everyone got some neck. another year we had a seagull. delicious! its a little fishy, but at least theres no need to add salt…this year we’re expecting a few people over, so we’re having a flamingo. and im getting the leg that folds up. they say the meat is sweeter and more tender because the flamingo doesnt use it too much”

THE SIMPLE LIST – page 18. the approximate number of pairs of shoes that American women have in their closets? 2.9 billion. GIVE SOME AWAY LADIES.

FAVORITE DESIGN AD – page 20-21. Its always been a dream of mine to have a nautical theme decor in my bedroom. To me, its so serene and peaceful…i think of oceans and salt spray and rocking gently back and forth…This ad by Nautica is exactly how I would want that room.

QUOTE – page 23. “Delicious autumn! my very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” Beautifully said.

YOUR WORDS – page 44. Favorite cookbook? I’d like to get my hands on How to Cook Everything! it has over 2,000 recipes. I dont know about you ladies, but if I cook, its from a recipe…so this would be great.

TRENDS WORTH TRYING – page 52. I am usually not a huge bow fan…(ask my older sister. i cringe at the sight of little girl hair bows) but Im digging these Rocket Dog grosgrain ribbon flats. And Rocket Dog is in my budget, at just $39.

page 58 – Five Minute Wow eyes. I really like this look and it totally does awaken the eyes. Covergirl Liquilineblast eye liner for $8 in bunches of eye popping colors.

page 60 – 10 finds for $50 or less! this is probably my favorite page in every real simple mag. And I’m loving the cotton coasters, the TSA approved peel down perfume pencil, and the Mulberry for Target patent leather satchel.

SOLUTIONS – page 63. 6 new uses for a book…genius! I LOVE the Christmas tree fashioned out of open faced books! I’m totally doing this next year. (ya like that? next year?)

page 66 – 9 problem solvers of the month! 1.) he mini survival kit is so key! $12 and in such a small easily hide-able bag. 2.) love the champagne carrier! I actually saw these at Total Wine yesterday and they’re pretty sweet. I dont know about you, but I’d love to get champagne as a gift! its my favorite. and my personal fave..5.)The User Friendly apron! what a fabulous gift this is! especially for someone who cooks a lot and is ADD. Factoids on an apron – rules.

page 72 – I want to take a moment to throw out minted.com and promote the heck out of them. Not exactly cheap, but super amazing for holiday cards, invites, newsletters, etc. Unique designers and studios submit their designs for you to purchase and love and send out. Look at this one…fun, huh?

page 75 – Speed cleaning your pantry. I love these features, and they’re usually spot on in timing if you get all your “ingredients” and supplies ready ahead for time. Check out the “secret weapons” part of the page to see what you need to get started!

LIFE LESSONS – Good Read, page 78. Do your self a major favor and enjoy this read by Garrison Keillor, host of Prairie Home Companion. You’ll laugh your booty off. Favorite part of the article? “It isnt a party until you sing a few songs. Group singing is one more thing for which I am thankful. Its civility in its purest form.”

Expertise, page 94 – 5) Reiterate the other person’s argument. I could see this working, really..with my children..hopefully..someday…” Begin by stating his opinion, before adding your two cents…even if hes reluctant to concede the point, he’ll appreciate the fast that you listened to him in the first place.”

BEST AD – Maxwell House International, page 98. “There are 1,440 minutes in a day. Take at least 15 for yourself.” ANTHEM TO MOMS EVERYWHERE. Amen and Amen.

FASHION- The GUIDE, page 103. Rocket Dog does it again with super cute pumps at the bottom of the page, for $59. Affordable and with glitter? yes please.

page 104. I am completely in love with the earrings on this page, Sandy Hyun…black vintage glass and white Lucite, they make me feel royal looking at them.

page 106. If I had $100 to spend on a holiday dress, it’d be blue. And velvet or satin. Blue is holiday and royal and rich looking and this Limited Dress is just the perfect pick for everything I just said.

page 110. Loving this high waisted mid-thigh tweed and chiffon skirt from Ann Taylor Loft. I love anything high waisted. Wanna know why? I’ve had 2 babies. Done.

page 113. BOOTS. Boots. boots. I love Frye boots and i’ll never be able to afford them. Well, maybe in 10 years. Maybe. For now I’ll pine over these Ciao Bella leather boots for $159 from shoes.com.

page 118. How do I care for these boots…where can I find my size in cute styles…how do I stretch them..what do I do when my boots get wet…All answered on this page!

page 128. I know I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again…as Clark Griswold would say, ” if anyones looking for any last minute gift ideas for me, I’ve got one…” . The Real Simple 869 New Uses for Old Things. I WANT THIS. Bad.

page 140. Here is an ad for that site minted.com!!! I adore adore adore the second card on the bottom.

THE GUIDE, Beauty – page 141-142. Road Tested Toothpastes! I am thinking about trying the Luster White 7 toothpaste..I need to find a good whitening toothpaste.

page 148. Great guide to finding a skin care regimen based upon your skin type. I think I’m in between oily and dry…if that makes any sense..but not exactly normal..So we will see if I can mix and match things I already have and some new items to make the perfect regimen. I say to myself every day, “rebekah, youve got to take care of your skin” and I never do. Well, I’m starting. January 1st, 2011.

THE GUIDE-Home, page 160. Jewel tone accents and colors…yes. I did a post about colored glass a few weeks back and this is so what I’m talking about and what I love. I’d be fine with white walls and neutral colors in furniture if I could jewel tone accent the rest of my house!

page 168. BENCHES. I love benches! they are very comforting to me for some reason. I’m on the hunt for one at thrift stores, something under $150 preferably, that has storage like the green bench on this page.

THE GUIDE, HEALTH – page 188. I asked Ben for one of these balls for christmas…well, I’m going to. (nothing like last minute..). And I aim to do this workout in my living room during jos’ nap times every day. A whole workout with one item? Sounds like a plan to me!

page 192- From sleep to oysters, read about some tips to keep you full of energy this holiday season. I’d like some of that sleep part please…

THE GUIDE, MONEY – page 201. the Top Five Rewards Cards. Such great info! Ben and I are trying to get out of debt and get rid of our credit cards that we have, in order to get one great rewards card that we can collect frequent flier miles on. With our job and the amount of travel we do, it just makes sense. This was great to read!

page 206. The amount of time the average woman spends shopping during her lifetime? 8 years. This is for real.

page 209. A cool thing AT&T is doing, a $12 charger that is universal and will work with any non AT&T phones. its biggest selling point is that it shuts itself off when its fully charged, “prolonging the life of the battery and avoiding so-called phantom power usage”. Pretty nifty.

REAL SIMPLE, FEATURES- page 213. Study this paragraph and read what is written. Pretty awesome, and I’d love to check out the book Home Stills once its out.

page 219 – Set, Eat, Love. Table settings for the holiday season! my favorite is on page 219, vintage mish-mash. I have a feeling when I finally do host a holiday dinner, that this is what you’ll find in my cabinets as opposed to matching sets…which is fine with me. Its me. I also love the blue and white china on page 223. Its comfortable.

Page 228, chunk knits – Love this image…its fresh and ethereal. And I am really digging this knit Ann Taylor Loft neck warmer for $34.50!

page 229. You all know my love for cardigans, and this one from Banana Republic is divine. $150 is a bit much, so I’d look for something similar for a little less chedda.

Page 236 – 4 Different Makeup Looks – These are my favorite types of articles. Before and Afters. The best! I love all three of these looks, and will be trying out the glamour girl look at my christmas party tomorrow night! I’ll take a pic and show you ladies in a post next week.

FOOD, Desserts – page 282. This looks so yummy. Pear and Apricot Tart, I’ve always wanted to make you. Maybe this holiday season I will get up the guts and maybe you will look as pretty as you do in this picture.

page 286. This Flourless chocolate cake can be made up to 2 days before your dinner party and refrigerated.  Simply bring the cake to room temperature before adding the powdered sugar on top and serving!

FOOD, Wine – page 294. Wines…whites! my favorite for sure. A great read to see what tastes suit you, and all under $20 a bottle.

FOOD, Weeknight Meals – page 307. 20 minute meal, Spiced Shrimp w/ green beans and lime, this will be on my dinner table soon! These 20 minute meals are so helpful for us hard workin ladies, eh?

REALSIMPLE.COM Tools – go to realsimple.com/holidaydecor for 30 decorating ideas. Realsimple.com/quicklooks gives you holiday hair and makeup tips!

Lastly, Dont forget to cut out the clipnsaves on the back page ladies. There is a goat cheese appetizer recipe on one of them! Yum!

 

thats it for this issue, hope you enjoyed! And seriously, if you’re not picking up an issue yourself and following along, you should!

 

TGIF!

 


thursday: LLP’s, hgtv.com

seriously?

when there is a website like hgtv.com out there, how is anyone…anywhere…EVER…supposed to get anything done? I could browse the site for hours and hours on end…

Today I want to share some pictures of some easier-than-you-think DIY christmas decorations and neato ideas that wont break your bank account and dont look like your grandmas craft attic either.

First, some gift ideas!

This is one of my faves. This is something I love to do, but I’ve usually done it with an old box. I’d like to try this with an tin cup or jar id otherwise throw away. Take magazine clippings, old cd cover jackets, scraps from posters, notes, anything to bring together a cohesive but eclectic look.

I love this idea! take a ball from a pool table and make it into a wine stopper! someone, anyone, get me one of these~!

Now for some easy and cheap decorating ideas!

This ones so simple, cranberries or what have you, with a matching candle in a bamboo or wood bowl? We all have this stuff lying around, or most of it!

Ok this one I fibbed a bit about…its not easy…and it might take some $$…but I really want to make it a project of mine for this coming year in preparation for NEXT Christmas. Its a super creative way for kiddos to countdown to Christmas. Read what the girl who shared it said, “Each envelope has a ‘coupon’ inside that is redeemable for something special (i.e., a family game night, a cup of hot chocolate, a piece of Christmas candy, Mom reading a book, etc.),” she says. It’s not only a fun family activity, but a creative piece of holiday decor, too.

SO EASY and super cute. I have tons of cookie cutters and im looking at some christmas ribbon on my table currently not being used. String em up!

Incredibly simple and very classy I think. Throw some epson salt into some mason jars as faux winter snow, or whatever jars you have, and pop a votive down in there. Done. Beautiful.

This is something that as I get a bit older and have more friends with kids and families, I’ll want to do. As it is right now we dont get a ton of Christmas cards in the mail (people, I’d love one from you to see who all my followers are! email me and I’ll get you my address!), but as the years go on and I DO get a ton in the mail, I think you’ve got to have a creative way to display them and this hits the nail right on the head. Plus its easy and cheap! Take thick ribbon, nail it in a overlapped star pattern, use some painted clothespins for hanging, VOILA!

This ones super cute. Right now, (dont laugh), my tree skirt is black..yea..super festive..and it is made up of my old moby wrap from when josiah was a baby, and a scrap piece of black fabric. I mean SCRAP…This girl took a cute apron and wrapped it around her tree! I’m gonna score a huge christmas apron and do this same thing.

Hows about an easy centerpiece idea that is wintery and beautiful? Yep, love this. Throw some branches in a tall vase and before you can say “holler if you hate crafting”, youve got a gorg christmas centerpiece.

 

Well ladies, one of lifes little pleasures TRULY IS HGTV.COM. So go browse and find some homemade handmade goodness that suits your style. Happy Thursday!


wednesday: pic of the week, get your cheesecake on.

so its no secret i love sugar.

i could have cinnamon toast crunch for breakfast, a fruit salad for lunch, and cake for dinner. literally, this is my world and im a prisoner in it. i love me some sweets!

cakes, pies, brownies, cookies, doughnuts, candy, fruits, sugar of all kinds….

over thanksgiving we always head up to tennessee to spend the holiday with bens family. the women cook for hours and hours day of, but we have to split our time between two sides of the family and eat two thanksgiving dinners, so its hard for me to contribute to the cooking sometimes. this year, i was determined to make a contribution. something in me is screaming to be cooking and cleaning and home all the time…what the deuce…

am i becoming suzie homeaker? did i just make my husband leave for 4 hours and deep clean my house like i was gonna host the president for dinner tonight? YES. do i sometimes cook dinner for my family “just because”, and secretly desire to roll around on the floor all day with my kiddos? (that nice vacuumed, swept and mopped floor?) YES.

so anyways, my suzie homeaker desires kicked in and made me a bit sad i wasnt having a thanksgiving at my own house and being dubbed “hostess with the mostess”…so i thought, meh, why not make a baller cheesecake to throw in the thanksgiving food mix…its not really thanksgiving food, but hey maybe somebody will eat it and i wont be too embarrassed now that i have something to bring to the table.

enter real simple magazine, november. (the recap going up THIS FRIDAY ladies so stay tuned for full details…). gingersnap cherry cheesecake recipe? yes please. minus the cherries plus some strawberries. yes please.

check out the recipe here ladies, and ive copied and pasted it below. for the crust half and halfed gingersnap cookies with gingerbread graham crackers (makes a nicer consistency in the crust). and i also bought fresh strawberries, chopped them up and added a bit of sugar to them before i let them chill in the fridge for a while.

the result? i happened to find the last piece buried in the fridge the day after thanksgiving. it was devoured people, literally devoured. certain family members had multiple pieces. said it was the best cheesecake theyd ever had. better than their mommas…and their mommas mommas…

make it. eat it. love it. its a great holiday staple peeps! bens family has already made me promise to make it and bring it every year now!

p.s. i felt very good about this cheesecake because it was the first one that id ever made, and it didnt split down the middle or break or cook funny…it was delicious and beautiful, so ben made sure to take a pic of me with the very first yummy piece. enjoy!

Serves 12| Hands-On Time: 20m | Total Time: 5hr 00m

Ingredients

  • 3 cups ground gingersnap cookies
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 8-ounce bars cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • large eggs
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cherry preserves

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350° F. In a medium bowl, combine the ground gingersnaps and butter. Using a straight-sided dry measuring cup, press the mixture into the bottom and 2 inches up the side of a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and 1 cup of the sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in ½ cup of the sour cream and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla.
  3. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake until just set, 40 to 45 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 ½ cups of sour cream, ¼ cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Spread over the hot cheesecake and bake until set, 3 to 5 minutes more. Let cool in the pan, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake before unmolding.
  5. Spread the preserves over the cheesecake before serving.

tuesday: design, colored glass jars

I’m finally taking steps to get that black bookcase into tip-top organized and decorated shape. My recent fascination is colored glass. I love yellow, blue, green, teal, and purples. The only ones ive been able to find thus far are green in color. I picked these up today from goodwill for under $5! I’m also going to add in some white to this shelf, because it is black and needs a bit of brightening up. I found a cute book-end today that I need to paint, so you’ll see that one later.

(p.s. i love bookends! please, if anyone finds a good cheap and cute bookend or knows a good resource to find them, let me know or snag it for me! I seriously have such a hard time finding them..)

I did a bit of browsing and here are some images of some colored glass that im diggin’:

And I stumbled across this article on how to make your OWN aqua blue glass jars with glass paint! who even knew glass paint existed, i didnt. I’m so stoked to try this! You can get a can of this paint from cheap joes art stuff for under $5. Omgoodness this is going to change my life! Stay tuned.

photo credit to indiebride, hoosier jar, apartment therapy, lushlee, tina crespo

 


friday: fab fashion, cardigans.

they’ve come a long way from your grandfathers polyester 3 button cardigan, am i right?

I am huge into them this season. Ive snagged a great cream and gold no button/hook cardigan from Target, a soft olive no button from Plato’s Closet, and a structured and pocketed dark gray one from Gap.

As you can guess, the most pricey one I purchased was from Gap, and only because I had a Groupon deal I jumped on a while back ($25 for a $50 Gap gift card). The other two pieces I spent $8 and $25 dollars on. There are many options out there ladies, and below I’ve put my favorites from my dream designers and stores, and then one similar in a price range I can more afford…

Now, before I go any further, I am fully aware that I posted a quote last week in the Real Simple Recap that went something like this…

“If you buy something cheap, its going to act cheap.”

Yep, that quote still stands. But ladies you’ve got to be choosy, find a good quality with a good deal if you can! But if you cant, buy a few pricier pieces and a few that you can wear for the season or the year that wont break the bank. Thats my plan anyways…does that make sense?

this is a $328 BCBG cardigan that I love…unstructured and comfy

And here is something similar from Forever 21 for $27.80

Another favorite designer of mine, Michael Kors. This cardigan is $69.00 on sale

And another similar style from Forever 21, for $24.80

Here are a few other favorites from Forever 21. Let me tell you, because I know my sizing at this store I am much more apt to shop online for items rather than in the mall. I dont know about you ladies, but have you BEEN to a Forever 21? Madness, rude and non-caring employees and MESS. Online is the way to go if you know your size! check out these lovelies..all under $30!

this is very boho to me, and I love the pairing with a shorter floral frock and leggings.

 

Im digging the 80’s vibe of this because as you all know, the 80’s are BACK what what. It is a structured messy look and paired with a form fitting T and skinnies, I’m a fan.

 

I love structured cardigans as well, and LOVE huge buttons, I think they give a very old world-mature vibe. Cardigans that button this high are sometimes a struggle for my body type, but I’d love to try this one on.

 

This one is very “boyfriend” style…or as I like to call, “hubby” style since I dont really believe in wearing your boyfriends clothes. (not that I wear my husbands clothes either..I just dont love the insinuation of the whole :boyfriend: trend…). Its long and slimming and can look great buttoned or not. Its very collegiate to me..I dig.

 

So ladies, if you’re on the hunt for some great cardigans this winter I hope you found this helpful. I’m loving Fab Fashion Friday, it gives me such a great opportunity to really research online and see what’s out there.

Happy Weekend all!