Sunday, April 6, 2014

New Site Location

Titus2Girls has moved to a new location!

You can view old and new posts at the following link:


Thanks for stopping by! Please check out the new site :)


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

How I Earn FREE Gift Cards

I love free. 

Free books, free clothes, free food. 

Free moneyI like that most of all.

Here are some ways we earn free money in the form of gift cards.



















  • Cashback on our Discover card. We get 5% on everything we purchase. Sometimes we put the money right towards the credit card bill, other times we use if for gift cards.
  • Inboxboxdollars.com offers users payment in the form of a check or gift card. You can watch video's, do survey's, or simply confirm the e-mail to get rewarded. 
  • Mypoints.com gives points for surveys, clicking on e-mails, or shopping on-line. We get most of our points for on-line shopping. By saving up points, we get 50 dollar gift cards for places like Wal-Mart and Lowes. 
Here are some other popular sites that I don't personally use, but have heard great things about.
  • Swagbucks- you can earn points for watching video's, searching the web, and shopping on-line
  • ebates- users get cash back for shopping on-line. 
Do you use any of these websites? What do you think of them? Comment below!


Image courtesy  http://mrg.bz/AGhJyb

Monday, March 3, 2014

March Monthly Meal Plan

I can't believe it is March already, can you? It seems like the year just started.

A new month means it is time for a new meal plan! So, here it is.

Does the thought of making a meal plan for the entire month overwhelm you? Check out my tips here!
Did you do a meal plan for the month? Are you trying any new recipes? Let me know in the comment section!

Friday, February 28, 2014

DIY Lighted Glass Gift Box

If you are on Pinterest, you might have noticed all the cute projects a girl can do with glass blocks. (If not check out my DIY board for examples.) My husband and I recently tackled such a project this week.




















Materials:

  • Glass cube (We purchased ours at AC Moore for 5.00 on sale.)
  • Lights (We used snowflake ones, about 2.00 after Christmas clearance, Wal-Mart)
  • Ribbon (2.50 Christmas clearance, Hobby Lobby)
  • Ornament (optional, 25 cents, Wal-Mart Christmas clearance)
Instructions:
  • Place lights inside cube. You may have to do a little bit of maneuvering to get them looking the way you want.
  • Wrap your ribbon around it like you would a gift
  • Tie a bow or add an ornament or accessory
Cost
9.75

I wish you could see how ours turned out in person! Sometimes a picture just doesn't cut it. We chose "wintry" colors so it could stay out all season.


Have you done any DIY projects lately? What do you think of decorating with glass cubes? Share your comments below!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

How to Stop Being a Clean Freak

Image courtesy  http://mrg.bz/hQyEhL

If you've been following my series, Confessions of a Clean Freak, then you already know my first two secrets:

- I am a clean freak (go figure).
- My house is not as clean as you think.

Here's my third, and final, confession:

I hate being a clean freak.

It's time consuming. Stressful. 


When I first got married, I couldn't leave the house with dirty dishes in my sink. Now, every once in awhile, I let them go until morning. I used to dust almost every day! Now, it's more like twice a month. Although I don't think I will ever be completely rid of the clean freak within me, at least I am making progress.

Do you want to stop being such a perfectionist when it comes to your home? Here's some advice I need to take myself!

  1. Compare yourself to others- Yes, you read that right. Start looking at the homes of your friends and family. There are dirty dishes, dirty laundry, and clutter. Most people with normal lives live this way. And they are happy. They are okay. Try being normal, whatever that may be!
  2. Don't compare yourself with others Remember, I have no kids. Less clutter, less crumbs. Some people work all the time. They are never home to make a mess. 
  3. Remember no one is judging. The most important people in your life are not looking at your dust. Even us clean freaks! I don't care if there's clutter on the counter, just as long as I don't have to be afraid to use your restroom! I compliment dinner, not complain about dirty dishes. Get jealous of the cute decor. Covet the furniture. 
  4. Don't forget what matters. At the end of your life, do you want to be remembered as a basket case and perfectionist? Be the mom who plays with her kids, not the mom who constantly yells for the toys to be picked up. The mom who loves having her daughter bake with her, and doesn't worry about the mess. The wife who doesn't nag about a towel on the floor. 
Are you a clean freak? Have you been trying to work on that area? Comment below!

Don't forget to check out the rest of the posts in my series, Confessions of a Clean Freak!

The Power of 15 Minutes

Clearing the Clutter

Developing a Routine

How to Keep Your Car Clean

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How to Keep Your Car Clean: 6 Tips


You vacuum your house weekly. Go on a "disinfect everything" craze when someone is sick. The trash gets taken out weekly.

But what about your car? When was the last time you vacuumed it out? Disinfected the interior? We eat, cough, and sneeze in our cars, not just our houses. 

If you have trouble keeping your car cleaned out, here are 6 tips to help!
    Image courtesy http://mrg.bz/I10rZs
  1. Lysol Wipes- keep a container in your car and use to wipe down interior while you wait  for something or someone.
  2. Trash pick up- clean out any trash while you are at the gas station
  3. CD's- get a regular CD case or one for your visor, so you don't have to keep CD cases in the car
  4. Items that don't belong- take them out of the car as soon as you get home- work papers, trash, books, etc.
  5. Don't let the little things add up- Just as our homes become messy by letting little things add up, our cars are the same way. You're going in the house anyways- take your purchases, or whatever it is that doesn't belong, with you. The garbage can is right there at the gas station for your soda bottles and gum wrappers.
  6. Make it a priority- Schedule a day in the month (if needed) to vacuum out your car. Mark it on your calendar. Set the time and place, and stick with it. 
Do you have any  tips for keeping the interior of your car clean? Place a comment below!




 Do you do a great job at keeping your car  clean, but maybe not your  house? Check out    the rest of my series!




Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Confessions of a Clean Freak: Developing a Routine


If you think people who have clean homes spend hours working on it, you are wrong.

They don't spend hours working on a clean home, but may have spent hours developing the habit of a morning or evening routine. 

Here is my morning routine
  1. Put all dirty laundry in the laundry area
  2. Make bed
  3. Wipe down bathroom counters if needed
  4. Take out bathroom trash if needed
  5. Clean toilets if needed
  6. Clean bathroom mirror if needed
Evening routine
  1. Take out trash as needed
  2. Do dishes as needed
  3. Sweep kitchen/vacuum as needed
  4. Take items from living room and kitchen that don't belong
My morning routine probably takes less then ten minutes. The evening routine is longer, depending on the amount of dishes, and if the "as needed" things are actually needed. 


Am I consistent with my routine? No way! Life happens. I get tired. Other things are more important. But even doing this routine half of the time keeps my house from becoming chaotic. 

Challenge
If you don't have a routine, write down three tasks for the morning. You may have to get up earlier to do these things, or take time away from something like social networking. Once your morning routine is a habit, try an evening routine or adding items to your list. Don't try to do too much at once! This is when you become overwhelmed. 

Do you already have a good routine? Are you challenged to start one? Comment below! I love hearing from my readers!

Image courtesy  http://mrg.bz/vEjSqX


Monday, February 24, 2014

Confessions of a Clean Freak: Clearing the Clutter

If you read this post, then you heard my first confession: I'm a clean freak. Here is my second confession:

My house is not as clean as you think it is.

There are crumbs on my floor, dust on the shelves, and my shower always seems to need a good scrubbing. Thankfully, nobody seems to notice these things (at least I hope). 

My house looks clean because I know how to clear the clutter. Here are some things that have worked for me that you may want to try.

  1. Clear the counters. If you have cluttered counters, then there is no space for the eye to rest. Do you use that small appliance all the time? If not, tuck it away. Remove toothbrushes and bottles from bathroom counters. 
  2. Use Baskets. I keep one in my living room for books I'm currently reading, store ads, and a few other items. I clean my basket out periodically so it's not overflowing. This keep things off of the floor, tables, and other random spots. 
  3. Take care of the mail. It takes seconds to go through mail. Throw away junk, and have a designated spot (not on your kitchen counter or table) for the rest.
  4. Limit items in your entryway. Only the shoes that fit on the boot tray stay. If there is no room for it on the coat rack, it goes in the closet. I go up the stairs multiple times a day, so it's not a big deal to grab these items and take them with me.
  5. Don't let things add up. Do dishes before they overflow to the counter. Don't let laundry, clean or dirty, sit out. These things don't take a lot of time to do. Taking care of little things keeps your home from adding up to a state of overwhelming chaos. 
  6. Continually purge and stop buying. All of those items have to go somewhere. 
Clearing the clutter really makes a difference. Here are examples from my home.
The top pictures are what my kitchen normally looks like (unless I'm in the middle of cooking). I don't like to have more than one or two items in each section. In the bottom pictures I set out items most people have out: appliances, food, mail. Most kitchens I see usually have every available spot covered. 
 

Our bathrooms are tiny.  Having clutter only makes them feel smaller. 

By the way, please don't feel bad if your house doesn't look like mine! For one, I don't have kids. You may even be okay with having lots of items out. That is okay, too! It is your home. My definition of clutter may be different from yours, and I promise I won't judge you for it!

Here's your challenge: look at your kitchen and bathroom counters. Does it make you feel overwhelmed? Is there any dead space? If not, then remove a few items. Comment below and let me know how things look!


 


Image courtesy http://mrg.bz/Qxe5WC

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Confessions of a Clean Freak: The Power of 15 Minutes

"How do you keep your house so clean all the time?"

"Your house is always so clean!"

These are some of the comments I get when someone pops over for a visit. Here is my answer:

I am a clean freak.

A common misconception of clean freaks is that we clean all the time because we LOVE to clean. This is not true. Over the next couple of days I'm going to show you how you can keep your house guest ready at all times without cleaning for hours a day.

My first post in the series "Confessions of a Clean Freak" has to do with the power of 15 minutes.



You may have already heard of this. Set your timer for 15 minutes and see how much you can get done.  I've never put this in practice before, but decided to give it a try today. Here's what I was able to accomplish:

  1. Removed bathroom trash
  2. Wiped down shoe tray
  3. Switch a load from the washer to dryer
  4. Cleared clutter in spare bedroom

These were all things that needed done. Picking up the spare bedroom had been on my to do list for two weeks. I was able to have the satisfaction of finally crossing this, plus two other items, off my list.

Here's your challenge: set a timer for 15 minutes and then tackle some small tasks that need done around your house (here's a list of ideas). If you have kids, involve them. Make it a fun game or contest, complete with a reward at the end. Then leave me a comment below and let me know how it goes! I would love to hear about it!

15 Things in 15 Minutes

15 minutes does not sound like a lot of time, especially when you think about all that may need done around your house. You can't do everything in 15 minutes, but you may be able to do more than what you think! Here's a list of some things you can try to do. 
  1. Empty trash cans
  2. Wipe down bathroom counters
  3. Switch a load of laundry
  4. Put a new load of laundry in
  5. Wipe down kitchen counters
  6. Remove items that don't belong from a room
  7. Sweep the porch
  8. Sweep your kitchen
  9. Vacuum high traffic areas
  10. Spot mop the kitchen or foyer
  11. Disinfect light switches, knobs, or handles
  12. Make your bed
  13. Choose a room or two to dust
  14. Remove bad items from refrigerator
  15. Tackle the mail or other pile of papers
When you set your timer, make sure to focus on small tasks. Just remove your bathroom trash, wipe down the counter, and move to the next thing. Don't get distracted by everything else that might need done in the bathroom. If you clean the closet, only pick up stray shoes or clothing. Don't get caught up in purging. 

Do you have any other small tasks that can be accomplished in a short time? Let me know!

 If you would like to find some more tips on keeping your house clean, don't forget to check out my series "Confessions of a Clean Freak."

Friday, February 21, 2014

DIY Face Wash

Are you tired of spending money on beauty products that don't work? Have you ever tried making your own? If not, here is a recipe for homemade face wash that I love. 



Materials:
  •  baking soda
  •  water

Instructions:
  • Mix baking soda and water together. Some websites recommend equal parts of each, others say 1 tsp of water to 2 tsp of baking soda. I just eyeball it. Find out what works for you.
  • Wash your face
Things to Remember:
  • Just because this works for me does not mean it will work for you. Baking soda makes some people's face break out or irritates their skin.
  • Do your research when making any homemade cleaner. Some people do not recommend baking soda for your face because of the pH scale. 
  • If you find that it does irritate your skin you may have to play around with how much baking soda you are using. 
Does it work?
  • For me, yes. I have been doing it for about a year, only get a few pimples, and never major breakouts. 
  • In the beginning my face was a little irritated. I adjusted the amount of baking soda I was using, and began following up with lotion for dry skin. Now I have no trouble.
Does the thought of making your own face wash seem strange or intriguing? Have you tried this recipe or have another one that works? Let me know below!

Image courtesy Muybridge, Eadweard, 1830-1904 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The 23 Dollar Electric Bill

We are a three person household living in 1200 square feet. In our four years of marriage our highest electric bill was around 70.00. That was during one record breaking cold winter, when we were running electric heaters. Our average bill is about 35.00

But one summer month we only spent 23.00. 

Yes, you read that right.

23.00

Here's how we did it.





  1. Unplug Even if something is turned off, it is using electricity. I don't know how much, but those little things add up. I even unplug my wash machine and dryer.
  2. Only do full loads of laundry It takes the same amount of energy to do a small load as a large one. 
  3. Hang things to dry I really notice the difference in our bill between the cold and warmer months, when I use our clothes line. 
  4. Don't overload the dryer If there is no room for the heat to circulate, the clothes will take longer to dry.
  5. Use natural light Get decent and throw open the curtains. During the day we rarely turn on the lights. I crack the blinds in the bathroom enough to have light but still keep the privacy. Break the habit of turning on lights as soon as you enter a room. 
  6. Energy Saving Bulbs If you are not already using these I'm not sure where you have been.
That's it! Doing these six simple things saves a ton of money. What does your electric bill look like? Is it out of control, or do you have some additional tips to share? Let me know below! 

Image courtesy http://mrg.bz/uowbGs


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

7 Tips to Stay on Top of Laundry


Doing laundry. It is a never ending task. But it doesn't have to be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you out.


  1. Sort as you go. When there is enough for a full load of laundry all you have to do is throw it in. Sorting will be one less thing to do.
  2. Collect dirty laundry daily. I usually do this in the morning, and then again sometimes at night. Train you children not to throw dirty clothes in corners, closets, or anywhere else where you may not see it. Or have them put it in your laundry area themselves. 
  3. Take care of it right away. When I see enough for a full load I take care of it, usually first thing in the morning. Don't wait until you have no clean clothes, or there is a mountain of laundry to do. This is when you will start to feel overwhelmed. 
  4. Recruit others to help you. My husband sometimes does laundry on his day off, when I am at work. Have your children help out. I know one lady with nine kids. All of them help fold. 
  5. Have extra detergent on hand. I stock up when I find great deals or make my own. You need to do laundry. You finally have the time. And then you realize you don't have the right tools for the job.
  6. Have a less amount of dirty laundry. If you only had an item on for a few hours, does it really need washed? You can get away with wearing denim multiple times before washing it (unless stained). More washing's equals faster wear. Wear pajamas multiple times as well.
  7. Make it fun. Not just for the kids, but for you. Listen to music, a podcast, or even watch a favorite show while you fold.  
Do you do a great job on keeping up with your laundry? Let me know what works for you below! 

Image courtesy http://mrg.bz/d9qhen

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

10 FREE Things You Can Do For Your Husband


  1. Send him an e-card. There are several websites where you can get them for free.
  2. Make him a card. 
  3. Write him a love letter.
  4. Write something on a sticky note and place it in his car for him to discover in the morning.
  5. Send a text message, e-mail, or publicly acknowledge him on Facebook.
  6. Leave a message of love on his voice mail.
  7. Bake a favorite desert, wrap it up, and give it to him as a gift.
  8. Surprise him at work (make sure you are all dressed up!) with lunch or something else.
  9. Write him a silly song, poem, or list of reasons why you love him.
  10. If there is a task he really hates doing, do it for him. If you have been putting something off that he wants done, do it!
There are multitudes of other ideas all over the Internet. A great resource is Pinterest- just as long as you don't get stuck pinning and not doing! I am guilty of this.

What are some other ideas that you have? Let me know below!

Image courtesy http://mrg.bz/ZzKCNo

Monday, February 17, 2014

DIY Ruffle Pillow


Confession: I used to be intimidated by sewing ruffles. I wanted to add this super cute and girly item to my home and clothing, but, as a novice seamstress, I never got around to doing it.

Until this week.

Finally, after watching this video several times and writing down the steps, I gave ruffles a try. 

I was pleased to find that my project was not as difficult as I imagined. It wasn't super easy, and was a little time consuming, but I love the results. Give me grace if you look up close at the finished project, though! There's a black dot on the pillow from a Sharpie, and my lines aren't exactly straight, but, remember- I'm still learning!

The video does such a great job of showing how to do ruffles that, for now, I'm not going to do a tutorial. I just wanted to encourage you to attempt a project you've been procrastinating on because it seems difficult. 




What is something you have been wanting to do but have been putting off because it seems to hard? It could be a sewing project, exercising, or trying to save money. Comment and let me know, and then have the courage to start!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Treating Your Husband

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even 
so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12)

How is it that the people who see us at our worst also love us the most? 

I'm talking about family. Specifically, our husbands. They look past our bed hair, morning breath, grouchiness, and still love us at the end of our really bad days. In return, we say we love them more than anyone else on the planet, but sometimes treat them worse than a stranger in passing.

Did you know that the rule "treat others how you would like to be treated" also includes your husband? It doesn't matter if he is doing "his share" or not. If you want your husband to treat you like a queen, treat him like a king. 


  • If you want your husband to surprise you more with flowers, a card, or love letter, surprise him with something first. 
  • Does your husband have a really bad habit that annoys you? Well, guess what ladies....you have several bad habits of your own! Try to work on these areas and maybe he will do that in return.
  • Your friends husband always raves about what a wonderful wife he has, but your husband only manages to tell others about your latest and greatest disaster. Praise your husband in front of others every chance you get. On social networking, to friends and family, and the cashier. He might do it back, but, even if he doesn't, it never hurts to build your husband up!
  • Forgive and forget. Forgive even if he doesn't ask for it. You don't want to be reminded of your mistakes and wrongdoings, and neither does he.

We should treat everyone how they want to be treated, but especially our husbands. There is no one else, besides God, who loves us more or deserves our best actions and attitude. 

 Image courtesy http://mrg.bz/rjbBvQ


Goal Update: Week 2



Week 2 is over, so it is once again time for another goal report- even if I am ashamed of myself! But if there is one thing I want Titus 2 Girls to be about, it is honesty. So you will be getting the good, the bad, and the ugly around here! All from my own life, unfortunately!

  1. Wake up at 5:00- I have not done that ANY this week. Later this evening I'm going to re-evaluate this goal, get the the heart of my failure, and motivate myself.
  2. Work out four days a week- I did this three times. Failing in my first goal has meant failing here as well. However, I am not beating myself up too much. Going from no consistent exercise to three times in a week is still great! I've found that the more I make this a habit, the more I am wanting to exercise. This is a new and awesome feeling!
  3. Finish the Bible in a year- I am still ahead here, and have been learning so much from God's Word! 
  4. Write three blogs post per week- still on track here as well.
How are you doing on your goals or resolutions? If you haven't accomplished all that you wanted, like me, tomorrow begins a new week! Falling down isn't failure, but not getting up is. 
If you've been successful so far, do you have any tips for the rest of us? Let me know in the comment section!

Image courtesy http://mrg.bz/Bf0Kh4


Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Time to Say No: Saying No to Perfect




One of my goals for this year is to make sure I really live, and not just survive from day to day. In order to do this there are going be some times I'm going to have to say no- no to people, and no to perfection. Let me explain.

Maybe you have both the time and desire to attend the ladies meeting at church. There will be great food and fellowship, so you have no trouble signing up. But then you get to thinking about that "great food" part.

Your schedule this week is jammed packed. When will you have time to contribute to all of that great food? 

Susie Homemaker will be at that meeting, with a perfectly decorated something or other. Everyone will rave at her creativity. 
Supermom will arrive with a delicious and complicated dish that took hours to prepare. Everyone will request her recipe.
Your sister-in-law will top everything off with something tasty, healthy, and organic. There will be praise all around.

So you can't just pick something up at the local bakery, as hubby suggests. That would be cheating, taking the easy way out. Instead, you have to pull out your most delicious and time consuming recipe. It has to be perfect.

And you can't say no to perfect.

So maybe you skip date night that week to achieve perfection. Or you skip out on some sleep and end up grouching at your family. 

And all for what? A few pats on the back by the local ladies who don't have to live with your grouchiness.

You break the budget (without telling your husband) for a new outfit and hair-do for the upcoming family reunion.

Martha is stopping by your house later, so you stress out and cancel everything else on your to do list to clean up. Everything has to look perfect.

You skip out on your prayer and devotion time to get ready for a double date with friends. The other couple is thin, trim, and fashionable- you can't stand the thought of looking "dumpy" next them.

You can't say no to perfect.

I've been there. Even tried to live there. 

But not this year. Will you join me? 


Image courtesy  http://mrg.bz/zgVcuP


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Time to Serve

And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three 
measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth. 
(Genesis 18:6)

One day three unexpected guests showed up at Abraham and Sarah's door, and Abraham decided that they needed a meal. Guess who got volunteered to help in the job? 

His lovely and obedient wife. He he hurried into the tent and ordered, "Hurry up and bake some bread."

Kind of bossy if you ask me. No "please," or "if you don't mind and have the time."

Excuse me? You want me to do what? I didn't invite these men in. I don't even know them! These are your guests. If you want them to have a meal, then you do the work. 



Maybe Sarah was getting ready to meet with some friends. Maybe she was in the middle of cleaning up from the morning meal, and her kitchen was in chaos. A million things were on her to do list, and dear hubby expected a meal on the double.

Have you ever been there? What was your response? Did you fly off the handle, tell your husband or boss off, thinking you were in the right? Were you be proud of your response?

Or maybe you haven't been there. Your husband would never dare ask you of anything unexpected, or expect you to entertain strangers unaware. He knows the strife it would cause in your marriage and home, so he doesn't bother to ask. Your friends or co-workers don't ask you for help. No one comes to you when they are in a pinch, because they already know the response they will get. 

There's a time to say no, but also a time to serve.

Sarah was a servant. Her husband knew he could come to her when he got in a bind. He could count on her as a help-meet, and to never dishonor him in front of others. That's the kind of wife I want to be. The kind of friend and co-worker I want to be. 

That's what God wants us to be. 

Maybe your husband will come to you with a request this week. His might be bossy or have the wrong attitude, but two wrongs don't make a right. Do it cheerfully. Love in action. Selflessness is never easy, but it will make your marriage glorious. 

Do you have a story to share about serving others or your husband? I'd love to hear about it! Let's see who can be the first to comment!

Image courtesy  http://mrg.bz/MTcLZt


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Giving God the Ugly

This isn’t fair. I’ve been done wrong to. I know exactly what I’m going to say to so and so when I see them. I’m going to get out my phone and text such and such. Two can play this game.

There was recently a situation in my life where these thoughts, among many others, were going through my mind.  They were mean and nasty, and I wanted to turn those thoughts into words. I did not want to act like a Christian, but give people exactly what I thought they deserved. I was mad, mad, mad. I knew my thoughts weren’t pleasing to God, but did not know how to let them go.

Ever been there? Did you try to pretend like things were ok, stuff everything in, and then eventually explode?

I’m glad that, with God, you don’t have to pretend. I stopped trying to do that long ago. Even if my feelings and thoughts aren’t always righteous and godly, I take it to Him anyways.

Because He’s the only one who can take the ugly away.

God already knows what we’re feeling. When I went to Him about that situation and said, “God, I’m mad right now. I’m hurt and don’t understand,” it didn’t take Him by surprise. When everyone else defines you as sweet, pure, and kind-hearted, you know what’s really going on inside.

God knows what’s going on inside. So take it to Him.




That’s what I did. Thankfully, before I said or did something I regretted and destroyed relationships, I took the ugly to God. I confessed my sin, and He gave forgiveness to me and put love in me.

That’s how it can work out for you as well. Do you have hurt or bitterness that needs dealt with? Don’t try to work it out on your own, but come to God. There’s no more need to hide, no more need to pretend- just a need to get to God, to get to grace.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain
mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
(Hebrews 4:16)


Image courtesy http://mrg.bz/IuIusr


Burlap & Chevron Print Tissue Box Cover

It was burlap, chevron, bright green, AND 50% off all rolled into one.

I jumped on it. Oh, the project ideas!

When I pulled that little roll of cuteness out of the bag at home and then spotted my tissues in their sad cardboard box, I put two and two together. The burlap roll was the perfect size to make a cover. I wanted the project to be easy easy. My husband said sew, while I was thinking something else. Here's what I ended up doing:




  • I wrapped the burlap around my box to see how much I needed, making it nice and tight, added about an inch for seam allowance, and then cut. 
  • Turned the fabric inside out and pinned


  • Fit it around my box just to make sure it was the right size (it was)



  • Sewed a straight line.




  • Put it over my box. I was glad to see that it was still nice and tight.
  • Then I got out my hot glue gun. Remember I wanted it to be easy easy. The less sewing and cutting the better. Working one corner at a time, I folded and glued. It was like wrapping a gift.


Here is the finished project:


The top of it is a little lose and bumpy, but it does not look that bad in person. I still think it looks great in my living room! For a few dollars and about ten minutes I will take it!

Monthly Meal Plan

How could I ever plan out an entire month of meals? you think. I can't even get dinner on time for tonight!

If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of planning out your dinner for the entire month, then this post is for you. It is not as hard as you think, and won't take you hours to do or cause a headache. I started making a monthly meal plan in August of 2013 and love it! It's a huge help. 

Here is my menu for January. I also have February done. I just used the simplest, non-fancy calendar I could find on Microsoft Publisher.


  1. Repeat your favorites. My husband has his, I have mine, and then there are things we both love. Some of these meals get repeated twice a month, other things only once a month. 
  2. Plan for leftovers. Saturday is my day for this, but choose what works best for you. If there are no leftovers then we just do something quick.
  3. Repeat your favorites. Um, isn't this what you already said? Yes, and I want to repeat it because this is what makes things easy!
  4. Don't freak out if you get off schedule. This is going to happen. On Wednesday we went shopping, so we had dinner out. I just moved that meal, spaghetti, to Thursday. 
  5. Go through your cupboards when you start your new monthly menu. What do you already have on hand to make? This will save you money, and you will know what you have to buy for the month. 
What is your personal favorite? Put it on your calendar once. 

What does your whole family love? You might be able to make that once a week. 

Your husbands favorite? Put it on once. 

Plan for leftovers.

If you have new recipes you want to try, schedule them in. I usually try one or two a month. If it is something we like, then I have something new to repeat each month.

Before you know it you will have the whole month done! You will feel like the most organized person in the world. You will save time, money, and save your self some headaches as well. 

Do you have a meal plan that you follow or have any advice for newbies? Comment and let me know!


Goal Update: Week 1

The first week of the new year is almost over! That means it is time for an update on the goals I have set for 2014. Technically it hasn't been a full week yet, since 2014 did not start until Wednesday, so some goals may look like they haven't been fulfilled.

1. Wake up every day at 5:00 for 30 days- I confess that today was the first day of doing this! I got up at 4:30. There were some late nights earlier in the week, and I want to take care of myself this year by getting at least eight hours of sleep a night. That meant not waking up until later.

2. Work out 4 days a week- today was day 3 of this for me. There have only been four days in the new year, so I count this as success! It feels great starting out the day energized.

3. Read the Bible through in a year- I'm actually ahead of schedule on this.

4. Write 3 blog posts per week- this is number three.

I'm excited with the way I have started out. Three out of four is pretty good!



How have you been doing on your resolutions and goals? Did you set any, or were afraid of failing so you didn't even bother? It is not too late to write a few down! I encourage you to do some research on goal setting, and then set aside a block of time (not just a few minutes either) to really thing about what you want this year. Be specific, and then get going. You will never get to the finish line if you don't even bother to start.

Image courtesy  http://mrg.bz/G5rmnB


Friday, January 3, 2014

Goals for 2014

"This is your life are you who you wanna be..." (Switchfoot)

There has never been a time in my life when I have been more thankful for a new year and fresh start than now. Last year was one of the busiest I have ever had. Involved in everything, but doing my best in nothing. Busyness without productivity. Time was stretched thin, and I was stretched thin. Just a make it to the next thing, I thought. Cross it off the to do list.

I remember one instance in December shutting myself in our half bath, near tears and ready to breakdown. I thought, I don't have time to deal with this, and then continued into the chaos. There were many prayers to God that involved me saying words like "overwhelmed" and "quit." I'm sure my patient and understanding husband got tired of me saying, "I can't take this anymore." I don't mean to sound like a basket case, because I am not normally like this, but I'm just being honest. There are some people that thrive on being busy. They have an overloaded calendar, run on five hours of sleep a night, and love it.

Obviously I am not one of those people.

There were a few times that ministry activities were canceled due to weather and other reasons. I was glad. Glad and guilty. It was not a good place to be in, and I knew it.  Thankfully, God is merciful and doesn't give us more than we can handle (although sometimes it feels like it), and gave me times of refreshing just when I thought I was at the end.

I have made it out of 2013 alive, and my biggest goal is to make sure I don't have another year where I am always "at the end." I want to live, not just endure each day going from one task to the next, feeling like a robot. I am confident that if I learn to say no, set priorities and clear goals, then this can be the best year ever.

Here are the other goals that I have set for 2014:

1. Work out to Jillian Michaels "30 Day Shred" DVD four times a week.
2. Finish reading the Bible in a year.
3. Write three blog posts a week.
4. Wake up at 5:00 every day for 30 days (going to try to make this a habit).

There are a couple of other goals I have related to my walk with God that are a little more personal, so I will wait until the end of the year to share how those went with you. I will also write a little more on goal setting later, so look for the posts! Every Saturday I will post my progress as well.



What are your goals for the year? Have you written them down and been very specific? Comment and let me know!

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/venosdale/6156635313/">Krissy.Venosdale</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>


3 Free Videos From Michael Hyatt

Have you ever heard of Michael Hyatt? If not, then it is a privilege for me to be the first to tell you about him. He is not only a successful blogger (as of last count he has 372,898 followers) and speaker, but a best selling author as well. If you have never visited his website, http://michaelhyatt.com, then I highly encourage you to do so. He has numerous posts that will encourage and motivate you to set goals and help you grow in personal development.
Right now he is offering three free videos on how to make 2014 your best year ever. I have watched all of them more than once, taking notes as I go, and then applied his advice to my own personal goals for this year. Sharing examples from his own life, he offers tips on setting smart goals to make this year your best.
I'm not sure how long these videos will be free, so I really hope you take advantage of this great opportunity.

(I am not receiving payment to promote Michael Hyatt or his materials in any way, just in case you were wondering!)