My 2017 Goals!

Instead of New Year’s Resolutions, which most often are broken, last year I decided to make a list of Goals. Goals may change throughout the year or they may carry over to the next year. Still, they can be a reminder of the direction I would like to see my life go in the next twelve months. Due to unforeseen circumstances (surprise pregnancy and related health issues), most of my 2016 goals went to the back burner of my life. This year I have  again made 10 personal goals for my life. They are not listed in any particular order and I have made most of them vague. Not being completely strict in my goal setting will allow for some flexibility and will allow for some grace should things not go exactly as planned.

  1. Journal daily

  2. Read my Bible more frequently.

  3. Spend more quality time with my husband and children.

  4. Increase my Norwex business.

  5. Organize and purge my house.

  6. Keep up with book reviews for publishers.

  7. Budget monthly.

  8. Finish craft projects.

  9. Try something new.

  10. Keep a prayer journal.

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What are your top goals this year? Post them in the comments!

Experimenting With Cookie Decorating!

My oldest daughter (almost 9 years old) and I went to a cookie decorating class in December! We had so much fun learning how to decorate cookies with royal icing! Before now, I have always used a powder sugar glaze on my sugar cookies. Now, I am loving the look of the royal icing.

Here are the cookies I decorated at the class:

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Here are several other photos of Christmas cookies I decorated since the class:12345561_10208275397351707_9197156553318296614_n

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And these are character cookies that I was just experimenting with. Chewbacca is my favorite! My husband wanted me to try and duplicate his patch and that obviously needs a lot of practice.

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It has been fun! I will post more photos whenever I experiment again. There are a ton of Pinterest ideas that I want to try!

My 2016 Goals!

Happy-New-Year

Instead of New Year’s Resolutions, which most often are broken, I have decided to make a list of Goals. Goals may change throughout the year or they may carry over to the next year. Still, they can be a reminder of the direction I would like to see my life go in the next twelve months. I have come up with 10 personal goals for my life this year. They are not listed in any particular order and I have made most of them vague. Not being completely strict in my goal setting will allow for some flexibility and will allow for some grace should things not go exactly as planned. Maybe in December, I can post an update on how these goals panned out!

  1. Read my Bible on a regular basis.

  2. Pray for my husband and children daily.

  3. Keep the same day planner all year (I tend to change day planners every 4-6 months).

  4. Journal regularly.

  5. Blog way more frequently than I did last year.

  6. Stay caught up on my book reviews.

  7. Have household decluttering and cleaning routines.

  8. Be more consistent and successful with my Norwex home business.

  9. Write more letters and cards to mail to family and friends.

  10. Visit somewhere I have never been before.

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What are your top goals this year? Post them in the comments!

 

Frozen Birthday Party-Part 2: Decorating

Finally, here is Part 2 discussion & photos of our Frozen themed birthday party from back in January! This post will focus on decorating! Thank you to my friend Erin who took the photos for me!

If you missed Part 1 click here:

Frozen Birthday Party-Part 1: Food

Thanks to Pinterest, there are a ton of great ideas for a Frozen themed party! Many of my ideas came from Pinterest and other ideas are my own! Frozen allows for many great possibilities but way too many for one party on a limited budget.

IMG_2602To recap about the food table, I started out with a purple plastic tablecloth. I stretched out blue and purple tulle over the length of the table as runners. We used paper plates (with purple & blue flowers), plastic forks, and purple & blue napkins, blue basket. The party favors included, Frozen notebooks & pencils,  and Frozen tattoos. I also used blank food tags & water bottle labels to label everything! See where I found everything  in my Part 1 post.IMG_2606

I bought helium filled balloons from our local grocery store to scatter above the food table. During Christmas season, Hobby Lobby has many items that can be used for a Frozen theme. I bought fake snow,  purple  &  teal glitter snowflake ornaments, purple & teal snowflake garland strands, and clear icicle garland strands all from Hobby Lobby. If you are on Hobby Lobby’s mailing list, you get weekly 40% off coupons and if you watch their sales you can find whole sections of the store already discounted.

IMG_2604I bought these lovely Frozen themed decorations from Oriental Trading Company. I hung the banner above the window in the dining room. I hung the swirl decorations around the dining room above the table and in the living room above all the doorways. They just added the needed touch to complete the actual Frozen theme. IMG_2603

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IMG_2655We already had these Frozen pillows that the girls received for Christmas! Olaf of course was the favorite among the guests! Olaf was purchased at Target and the throw pillows were purchased at Walmart.

 

 

 

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IMG_2629Now comes the kitchen bar decor. I topped it with fake snow, hung the snowflake & icicle garland, and the snowflake ornaments. I put the cake & dessert plates on the bar until it was time to serve. The glass candy jars are filled with decorative candy from Hobby Lobby. A friend uses these for baby shower decorations and she allowed me to borrow them. She tied ribbon on them to match my color theme. Of course, a Frozen themed party is incomplete without Elsa & Anna! These dolls were given to the girls two Christmases ago and were the perfect addition to the bar. IMG_2624Under the bar, I used Frozen bags that we found at Target (in the dollar section!) and stuffed them with tissue paper. You can also see a single snowball! We have a set of indoor snowballs that I scattered all over the living room floor. These were the highlight of the party because the kids had an indoor snowball fight!

IMG_2642IMG_2635 And last but not least: the gift table! I covered the coffee table with the same purple table cloth that is on the food table and topped it with the Frozen mylar balloons found at the local grocery store. Gifts for the girls were placed on and around the table. I tried to specify one side for each girl but that did not work out so well (and it really did not matter).

 

 

Here are some free party tips!

Party Keepsakes!

  • Buy a Mylar Balloon that matches the theme of your party. When it looses most of its air (or when you are tired of looking at it), cut a small hole at the base of the balloon to let out the remaining air. Fold the balloon and place it wherever you keep your child’s keepsakes.
  • Save one filled out invitation to put with your child’s keepsakes.

Save Gift Wrap!

  • Gift bags are getting to be expensive! Fold and save all gift bags for future use then you have a stack on hand to choose from without having to run to the store last minute.
  • Tissue paper can be smoothed out and folded neatly for future use. Since tissue paper is usually scrunched into bags, most people will not notice that it has been reused.
  • Wrapping paper can also be smoothed out and folded for future use. Unfortunately, my kids tear into wrapping paper and most of the time it is not salvageable.

Liar, Lunatic, or LORD

As we enter the Easter season, we reflect on the greatest sacrifice ever made since the beginning of time! Jesus came to us; both God and human. He lived a sinless life, showed us by example how to love and minster to others, became our sin as he died on the cross, and conquered the grave when he was resurrected. Unfortunately, there are many who still have not experienced the life-changing gift of salvation that God has offered. Most people recognize that Jesus lived as a teacher and prophet but many deny that Jesus is God. One of my favorite authors is C. S. Lewis. In his book, Mere Christianity, he states the following:

41w67GRujWL“I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him; ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic… or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

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May we remember who Jesus truly is! May we honor Him as Lord and Savior of our lives! May the Fruit of the Spirit grow and thrive in us so that the world will see Jesus in everything we say and do! Jesus is Alive!

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Frozen Birthday Party-Part 1: Food

My girls have birthdays that are 2 weeks apart in January. We have always had joint birthday parties for them which makes it more convenient for me! Until they start putting up a fight and insisting that they have separate parties, we are going to continue the tradition! On their individual birthdays, we allow them to choose a restaurant of their choice for their birthday dinner so that their day is special. For the parties, we always invite entire families who all of us spend time with on a regular basis (instead of random friends who get dropped of at the house). This allows for fellowship with our friends while we are celebrating the girl’s birthdays. We pick a theme (discussions for the next year’s theme usually starts soon after the party is over) and throughout the months leading up to the party, I keep an eye out in stores or online for decorating ideas. I always have a ton of fun decorating and making the party day special! I have finally gone through the hundreds of photos taken at my girl’s Frozen birthday party and narrowed them down to just… 55! So, I do not overwhelm you, I will post the pictures in different blog posts. This post will focus on food! Thank you to my friend Erin who took the photos for me!

Thanks to Pinterest, there are a ton of great ideas for a Frozen themed party! Many of my ideas came from Pinterest and other ideas are my own! Frozen allows for many great possibilities but way too many for one party on a limited budget.

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I started out with a purple plastic tablecloth. We bought a tablecloth roll about 5 years ago and we have used the same roll for every birthday party since then! A friend gave me blue and purple tulle after an event that she decorated for. I stretched them out over the length of the table as runners. We used paper plates (with purple & blue flowers), plastic forks, and purple & blue napkins from the local grocery store. The blue basket came from Hobby Lobby. The party favors, Frozen notebooks & pencils, came from the dollar section at Target. Frozen tattoos came from Big Lots. I found my blank food tags & water bottle labels from a pinterest post from Delicate Construction.

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Hallmark has a new product called Itty Bittys! I bought the entire princess line for the girls for Christmas. I saved Anna & Elsa for their party. They were very excited! Chocolate hearts were labeled “I wanna stuff some chocolate in my face!” Hershey Hugs were labeled “I love warm hugs!” I found the blue & white swirled lollipops and blue diamond gems  from Oriental Trading Company.

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Strawberries dipped in candy melts from Hobby Lobby are labeled as “Frozen Hearts.” Sandwiches labeled as “We finish each other’s sandwiches.” I made chicken salad, scooped it on hamburger buns, and cut them in half.

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Powdered donuts are labeled as “Snow Balls” and the veggie tray is labeled as “Troll Food.”

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I set up several snacks (marshmallows, pretzels, carrots, raisins, snowflake candy, and labeled them “Do you want to build a snowman?” The kids had fun and were really creative!

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The “Stormy Seas” Punch is made from Blue Hawaiian Punch, Sprite, raspberry sherbet, and vanilla ice cream. There is not a set recipe, just make it to taste. Pour the sprite over the ice cream to get the fizzy look on top! Water bottles are labeled as “Melted Snow.”

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And of course, the Frozen birthday cake! There are many cool ideas for custom cakes on Pinterest. I did not have the time (or the talent) to try and attempt to make one. This came from the local grocery store. The decal is printed on edible paper. I told them the colors I wanted for the colored frosting (to match the rest of the party decorations).

See Frozen Birthday Party-Part 2: Decorating for more!

Sarah E. Brooks: Simply Christmas (Free Preview)

My friend Sarah has incredible talent for playing the piano (and singing… but this post is about her piano music)! She has made a Christmas album of piano music that is now for sale. You can hear the album for free today! I highly recommend that you listen! The music is beautiful, relaxing, and the perfect background for any holiday setting!

Sarah E. Brooks: Simply Christmassarahbrooks1_large

If you miss the free preview, the album is currently available to order for $9.99 on Amazon and iTunes

The Legend of the Candy Cane

This book written by: Lori Walburg and illustrated by: Richard Cowdrey is a thick board book with beautiful illustrations. It tells the story of a new candy shop opening in a small town. A little girl named Lucy helps the shop owner unpack the candy jars and fill them. She comes across a candy that she was unfamiliar with and the shop owner tells her the story of the Candy Cane. J is for Jesus, Shepherd’s staff for the shepherds that were told by angels of Jesus birth, Red stripes for the blood that Jesus shed on the cross, and white for Jesus making us pure.

This is a cute book that tells the legend of the Candy Cane to young children. The board book style makes it perfect for the younger children while the illustrations are perfect for any age. I think that this book will make a great gift for my young nieces!

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Zondervan provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Order at Christian Book Distributors through the following link!

I get credit for all purchases made through my CBD links!

The Legend of the Candy Cane (Board Book)

By Lori Walburg / Zondervan

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