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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Inspirations



Everyone needs inspiration. I need it every day. In fact, I often times pray, "Lord, inspire me to walk with you today." As humans, we run out of gas so easily and quickly. Most days I have to fight to be productive. Some days it comes easier. Lately I've found some inspiration I'd thought I would share with hopes to inspire you. I'll break it down into categories.



Exercise
Find an outlet to be active. It doesn't necessarily have to involve lifting weights, running, or pushups. I cleaned out my garden for 45 minutes the other day. Hey that frog was getting a workout while I was pushing all that dirt around! I checked it off as a workout. It was hard work! I was squatting, reaching, lifting, walking here, and there...It was work! I love to join my man in his workout when Lucy is napping. He has created his own crossfit gym that he sets up in the backyard. Tires, bags, weights, all kinds of things. Switching it up and getting outside can be very motivating.




                                                        
Spiritual
Memorization = Meditation. I decided to take on Anne Voskamp's challenge of 100 days. You can read a little more about it here: Building Habits. One of my items that I wanted to do every day for 100 days was memorize Philippians. Honestly, I have a hard time with meditation. Let's face it. It's hard for a lot of us to focus on one thing in such a stimulating world that pulls on our attention from a thousand directions. But as I began to memorize Philippians verse by verse, I realized I was in fact meditating. I was thinking about it, trying to understand it so that it would be written in my mind and on my heart. And, I think about it throughout the day. I didn't do it today, and noticed my thoughts dwelling on petty, negative, meaningless, worrisome things...And I had an epiphany, so if it's not truth that I meditate on throughout the day, this is what I dwell upon...I'm tellin' ya--memorization leads to meditation which leads to a sanctified mind, happy heart, and better living. :)

Home Decorating
THRIFT. Pinterest can be pretty draining. It's really fun but there's just. so. much. When I am trying to be creative in my home, following someone else's idea doesn't always leave me satisfied. Don't get me wrong--I love being inspired by the ideas of others, and inspiring others with my ideas :) But sometimes you just have to find your own dang inspiration! So go to your local thrift store. Find something cheap and make it amazing. Then blog about it or pin it! Like my mirror I thrifted..I didn't even do anything to it...Just gave it a new home and it made my home so much better! :) I can check myself out as I walk out the door. A serious need for us mommies.



I really like the number 3. That was three areas of inspiration. Think that's good for now :) Next time I'll have to bring you some Lucy love. 18 months is a tough age, i need to focus on the great. Bye for now;)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Guest Bathroom Makeover

   

My best friend, Blaire, came into town in the beginning of September. She lives in Kansas City, way too far away, so when she comes we try to pack in as much as possible. We met during our DTS with YWAM and have been besties every since. We went to college together after that. She's my girl. Our birthdays are two weeks apart, so as a present to me, she helped me redo my guest bath...it was my least favorite part of the house. Now it's my favorite.

We rent. We would love to own our very own house, oh man the plans I have for our own house!! But until then we will make our home as beautiful as we can :) The bathroom was painted yellow when we moved in. As you can see the the towel racks were falling out of the wall. If you look closely, you can see that large whole in the wall. It's where the other end of the rack hung... And the yellow.... it's AWFUL. Ugh. It gets worse...




These over the toilet things are a nice idea..But don't really store very much and are just, sorry to say, ugly. But don't you love the picture of our feet and African wooden bowl (from Blaire's travels) filled with christmas ornaments? Yikes. They've been there since Christmas last year.


My counter does't normally look like this but we were about to start painting and I almost forgot to take before pictures! Everything is builder-grade. The mirror, light fixture, hand towel fixture....Yeah...


The shower curtain we've had since we've been married. Still in great shape, but not the direction I'm wanting to go. For now it will be stored in the closet. The curtain rod must go.

And now the fun part!

So first we had to pick out the paint. I definitely learned a TON about decorating through this project. I learned that i LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I was staying up late working on it. I had a blast. There was much trial and error during this project, which I appreciate because that is where you learn--through trial and error. Originally I was going to do the same colors I had in the living room and hallway, a really pretty blue and a few shades up from the blue. I wanted to paint stripes. Like this bathroom from one of my favorite blog's: Young House Love



 Blaire is really good at getting me out of my shell. She urged me in her I'm going to change your mind tone, "Jen, let's get away from the blue...It's in every room in your house. Let's do something Bold." She was right. I'm an aquaholic. It's everywhere in my home. I'll show you another day. The bathroom is a small space, so you can get away with going bold. I decided I wanted something bold yet whimsical because it is Lucy's bathroom. We were flipping through a magazine on the way to World Market and saw this really pretty plum. I love plum, let's do plum...with pops of Chartreuse (Chartruese is another way of saying warm, mossy green)  So we had our color scheme. Couldn't really find a shower curtain that had those colors in it just yet. So we went to home depot and got the paint. We wanted to find something sort of purple-ish, peach-ish to go against the plum.

First we painted the entire bathroom the purple-ish pink-ish color. I would have more pictures but I'm a dummy and dropped my iphone in coffee soon after we finished the bathroom and lost a lot of pictures. Thankfully Blaire took some from her phone. After we painted the bathroom we began to figure out the chevron pattern. We used ideas from three different tutorials:

1.  The Grid

2.  Funny Pregnant Lady

3. Tall Chick

It took us four days to figure out the chevron. It is much more complex than you would think. I may just save how we did the chevron for another post. We really liked the grid the bloggers from tutorial #1 used. We attempted the pattern idea from the pregnant lady's blog. She did her chevron pregnant....yeah. She's a champ. We loved the thickness of the chevron from the Tall Chick's tutorial.

I believe the above picture is from our second or third attempt.


Paint is up!! Already looks so much better...


You can really see the color in this picture...



Oh and the shower curtain. We finished the paint and then went looking. Can you believe we found it AFTER? It's nearly the same exact colors. We prayed. We asked the Lord for the perfect shower curtain. You know what? God loves blessing up with things that may seem petty...He loves being involved in our every day.
I also very much like Ikat. That's what the type of pattern on the curtain is called. I love mixing patterns and styles!

Like I said...I had a ton of pictures from each of the steps of the bathroom. But like I said...I dropped my iphone in coffee...the day before my birthday...yeah. But we spray painted the shower curtain rod a brushed bronze color. Found dark brown bronze shower curtain rings at TJMaxx for $4.99.

--Towel Hooks DIY. $6 each!

Oh, the Light Fixture...
Installed it myself! Got it from Habitat For Humanity's Restore for $8. Just painted it my satin bronze color. It made a big impact. 


BEFORE BLEH...


AFTER AAAAAHHHHH..... 


Painted wooden frames you can get at Michael's and put leftover scrapbook paper from the light switch project:


Gotta love Kohl's $10 gift cards. Got one in the mail and bought the soap dispenser for $2.


Candle and Holder $2, yard sale.


DIY Shelves. Total of $20! Notice how I match the room? :) 


Here is anothe picture I took this morning. I've moved things around a little bit. I know...I can hear your voice Blaire...The feet. But it's our feet from our wedding day. Maybe in a new frame??


Very cool mirror tray, thrift store, $3.



VERY cool Vintage Reader Digest Books found at Habitat Restore. $1.50 each.



Free printable from www.thehandmadehome.net to go in $5 frame from TJMaxx.


Medallion Place mat $2.99 TJMaxx. Yeah I'm a Maxxinista. Another $10 Kohl's gift card landed me this white chevron towel. DIY Light Switch Cover inspired from one of my favorite blogs: Jones Design Company




Yeah we were pretty proud of our chevron. It looks friggin' awesome. And so do we...We may be nearing the end of our 20's but I think we still got it goin on!



 BEFORE:
 AFTER:

Total Costs:
Paint: $55
Accessories: $80
Shower Curtain: $28 (with 10% coupon)

Phew...This post has taken me forever. But my bathroom is a different, better place!! Lucy loves taking her baths in there. Well she did before too. One day she will understand. Thanks B for my awesome Birthday Present! We make a great team!

Hope you are inspired to makeover a space in your home!



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

For the Wearisome Mama...




Good Morning. Or evening or afternoon. It's morning for me. It's still dark, the sky is beginning to shine hues of blue and pink and purple. I've got a candle lit. Hot coffee near. It is just me, my journal, and the Word. These mornings have been getting me through the day. It's like stopping at the Exxon on the way to work. I fill up. Zoom on when I hear that sweet little voice calling me to come get her.

"The first one is definitely the hardest," she said. "It's the biggest transition in your life because you are dramatically changing. You have to get used to the new you." I was honestly shocked hearing this from the mother of three, all under the age of four. At the same time a little encouraged that it'll get easier from here. I'll get into a rhythm. And I have been getting into a rhythm. Like this waking up before she does thing. That's a first for me. But it's my Bread. I know what He meant when He said man must live on more than Bread alone (John 4)...to the woman at the well.

This is my well. Because...

"Even youths become weak and tired..BUT those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31-32.

Hey there are some days when I'm sure all of you feel like you're going to faint. I was in a rhythm a few weeks ago. It was blowing my mind. I was experiencing His grace. I was keeping my house clean most of the time, rather than some. I was in the Word every day..It was pretty awesome. But then Lucy hit a week of tantrums and fits...And it threw me off. I knew how tired and worn out I was when I broke an egg into my coffee...Yikes. It made me laugh. But it also made me realize I need some serious grace. I realize we have off weeks. Especially us women, with all our crazy hormones. We get hormonal, sleep deprived, Word deprived, romance deprived, dangerously dehydrated because coffee is just getting us through the day....Poor husbands. Watch out!

Even youths become weak and tired...It's okay. His grace and strength are right there. We just have to look up. Into His eyes. Just stop. Glance....Grace. There it is. I'm thanking Him this morning for pulling me through the weariness, back into His arms of Grace. He empowers and He ignites. I just wish I could stay here longer. But I believe I am and I will...As He continues His Work within me (Phil 1).

Okay weary mama, do this with me. Sit down. Take a deep breath. And say, "Jesus. I need you. I look to you for help. I believe you will renew my strength because it is what you promise."

And watch the rhythms of grace return to your days.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bolognese, Béchamel, Lasagna!

I am no food expert or chef...But I would say I'm a good cook. I made lasagna the other night and it was incredible. I made a small dish because when I usually make it, we have it sitting there in the fridge for days and days..It never seems to go away and I end up throwing a third of it away. Well with this lasagna, I wish I would've made more! It wasn't as heavy...Because I didn't put any cottage or ricotta cheese in it. I am not a big fan of those cheeses. I was talking to my European friend, who is an incredible cook, and he told me that when he has lasagna it's made with a Béchamel sauce. Sounds fancy, right? And most websites I found with this sort of recipe were European. Béchamel is less difficult to make than it is to pronounce. And I made a delicious Bolognese sauce I found from one of my faves, The Pioneer Woman. So here's what I did...

First I made the Bolognese...

 It was so YUMMY. Click here to get the recipe. I think the longer you can cook this the better. The flavors will get infused deliciously and the carrots will get nice and soft. You will have leftovers. I let it cool and then put my extras in a freezer bag for another lasagna...or Spaghetti.
Then the glorious Béchamel sauce! It was yum. Heat the pan to medium heat. You'll use equal parts flour and butter. I did 3 tbs each of butter and flour. Melt the butter first, then whisk in the flour. Then I added 2 cups of milk SLOWLY while whisking. I found that it was not getting as thick as I wanted to i just sprinkled a little flour in until it was the consistency I wanted. Then I added salt, pepper, and paprika to taste. Then I added 3/4 cup of a parmesan/mozz/asiago mix. I just bought a bag of that 6 Italian shredded cheese. Seems not fancy enough for Béchamel but I went the easy and cheap route, and it still was very delicious.






Next I boiled my lasagna noodles al dente then was ready to assemble. I don't really think there is a wrong way of assembling, or a set pattern to follow. Just do what makes sense to you. I put some béchamel at the bottom of the dish, then noodles, then more béchamel, then sprinkled cheese, then bolognese, then noodles, then béchamel, bolognese, cheese, noodles, béchamel, bolognese, cheese, noodles, béchamel, cheese. Bake at 350 for about an hour. I would keep it covered until the last 20 minutes.


I wish I would of snapped a pic of the finished product before we devoured it...But i didn't. As you can see it was very much devoured, and enjoyed :)






Monday, October 1, 2012

100 Days

      Happy October 1st! Last month Ben shared with me that the Lord told him we were to have a really good Fall. Now everyone has different interpretations of "good." We start to develop expectations...Man I am learning more and more that expectations are often a set up for disappointment,  but that's another post! I am anticipating that the Lord is going to bless us in unexpected ways. Fall/Autumn technically began September 22, my birthday :), but I think when Ben heard it, he thought, October. So it is October 1. Ben and I had an incredible date last night. The first in a long time. We went to this really cool place downtown and I had the most incredible glass of wine (it's affect on me felt like more than a glass wink wink) and truly enjoyed each other. I talked and talked, Ben just looked at me...good has begun.



Then this morning I woke up at 3:45am. Laid there for about 20 minutes and couldn't go back to sleep...The thoughts of having a few hours to myself with the Lord got me out of bed. Now let me back up a bit...I asked the Lord what He had for me this year of being 28, He said, "Grace." The kind of grace that empowers and ignites your endeavors. When the Lord spoke,"Good Fall" to Ben I think that is what He means. Grace. Grace to really do things that are in our hearts that seem so hard to actually do. Grace to Overcome Obstacles I know there will be "off" days mixed in, but I really believe what He spoke. There will be a powerful Grace on us....To Really Seek Him. To Experience Him. To Encounter Him. To KNOW Him. Intimately. To be better at life because of His Grace that empowers.  I mean, I can't really plan a morning like I am having right now. It's Him. There is no denying it. He is good. SO good.


So I'm doing this 100 Days thing that I discovered at Ann Voskamp's blog, A Holy Experience. It is a profound blog. Go see it. She gets it. I have not read her book, but hope to soon. You can read about the 100 Days here. I could not find an actual post on it, she talks about it in lots of her posts. You can also print out your own 100 Days if you get inspired. I discovered this a few days ago and just happened to begin today, oh it's October 1st, that's cool. See, it's little things like that that really woo me. For the 100 days you pick 3 things you're going to attend to every day. My Three Things are:
#1: I am memorizing Philippians.
#2: I am going to Blog every day.
#3: I am going to drink 8 glasses of water a day.

I have been wanting to be a better student of the Word, what better way than to engrave it in my mind and heart? Ben and I talked about it last night. We are doing it together. So I was not quite sure what to memorize, and I came across Philippians. My Bible's intro to Philippians says, "Although he is in prison, this letter from Paul brims with the theme of Christian Joy." For those of you that don't know, my husband works in the jail. Finding joy is a major battle. I would say this is.....Grace.




I am in the process of starting a new blog. For now, I will work on developing the habit by using the blog I have now, and will work on my new blog so that it starts strong.  I feel I have finally found my niche in the blogging world. I'm excited about it. I believe He will empower and ignite my endeavor, Grace.

With all my coffee and wine drinking...I am pretty dehydrated. I need more water. Today I memorized Philippians 1:6, 9-11. I decided not to memorize every verse. But I will do most of it. Some I don't feel necessary. But here is what I've gotten so far, I want to practice with you :)

"I am confident in this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of our Lord Jesus Christ...My prayer for you is this, that your love will abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may discern what is best and may be pure and blameless on the day of Christ Jesus, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Christ--glory and praise to God."

Did I get it right? Check for me, it's NIV Translation.