Gift Name Tags

Wrapping presents has always been fun to me. Even as a kid I took pride in the fact that I could wrap my own gifts for others and get the corners right without help from our mom, unlike Kayla lol.

This year for the holiday season, I wanted to do a little nicer job at wrapping gifts for loved ones instead of tossing stuff into bags and calling it good, like I did last year. But I also don’t want to have to pay a whole lot more just to make it look good.

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This project was pretty simple. I used scotch glitter tape because using loose glitter or spray glitter gets messy. I bought two different colors for some variation. Each package of tags came with twine and 20 tags. I needed two packages of tags but that amount needed will vary on person. The only other item you need for this project is some scissors. All items can be found in the crafting section in Walmart and the whole project cost $9.

I laid out a few tags at a time to work in small batches in case of interruption (interruptions are a given when you have a 5 month old baby).

Next you’ll roll out the tape to cover the width of the tag and trim it at the edges for a clean finish. Repeat until you have the desired height. The first one I made I went with three stripes high, but I ended up making the rest of them only two stripes tall.

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Happy crafting.

Coffee Table Makeover

Tucked away in the far back corner of our old garage sat a beat up coffee table that I had never seen before. It had been abandoned by an old roommate of Dillon’s. It was covered in nicks and a nice chunk of wood was missing from one of the four legs. I thought about putting it on the curb for someone to pick up but I changed my mind and moved it to our new home.

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Ever since I received my power sander for Christmas two years ago I had been itching for a furniture project. I decided to turn this old coffee table into a bench for additional seating in our home. This is how I did it.

What you’ll need:
Sand paper
A power sander (if you don’t have one you can do this by hand)
Stain/Paint remover
New stain or paint

 

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These nicks and scratches needed to go. They were easily sanded out.

 

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My arm started to get tired from all that sanding so I called in a helper.

 

I applied a layer of stripper to the table and let it sit for about 10 minutes. I then began scraping off the stain with a scraper. After I scraped as much as I could I began sanding. I didn’t sand this piece down perfectly. I left spots of the original stain on the legs and sides to give it a distressed look.

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I think I despise stripping wood more than sanding it. It took me two applications of stripper and a lot of head scratching to finally realize the top of the table was fake vinyl but the rest of it was real wood. Lesson learned haha

 

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The first coat of white paint dried beautifully.

I used a black paint to cover the top of the table. After it dried it only needed a light second coat. The table originally had two bars running across the legs but one side was missing. The other was missing a chunk of wood. I contemplated replacing them but decided to remove it.

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The finished bench is tucked away in our front entryway. I love it.

-Kayla

How to Read the Bible Daily

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I acquired a love for reading at a young age. I could pick up a new book, hide in my room for a whole afternoon and have it finished by bedtime. This wasn’t the case when it came to the Bible. When I was about 14 years old I convinced myself that I would be able to read the Bible daily and read the whole thing cover to cover. And that NEVER happened. I have failed reading the Bible daily countless times. I would run into books of the Bible that were very, very, very hard to comprehend or even stay conscious reading. Leviticus anyone?

I know I’m not alone in this. I’ve had friends tell me that they would love to read the whole Bible or even read it daily but……

  • They are too busy.
  • It’s confusing.
  • It’s boring
  • They don’t know where to start.

Excuse alert! Excuse alert!

Believe me, I was right there with ya. Life does get busy, it is confusing, it can be a tad bit dry and finding the right place to begin is hard. Guess what?!? It is possible. I’m about to complete reading the whole Bible in a year and you can totally do this to. I achieved this goal with the help of God and taking it one day at a time. Reading your Bible daily builds your relationship with God and it can change your life.

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1.Prayer

Pray, pray, prayyyy, prayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy my friends. The first step before jumping into God’s Word is to ask him for help. Every day before I dive into the Word I pray that God would grant me guidance through my reading. This is what got me going and kept me going. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7

2. Pick a Time, any time

So you’re busy? Please show me a human being who isn’t. I use to use this excuse for not reading daily because well I’m an excuse maker. I would go three or four days straight of reading and then “life got in the way.” Then I would just stop completely. It wasn’t until I actually carved out time in my day that I started to succeed and grow. It’s about priorities.

I prefer to read a chapter right before work, a chapter on my lunch break and then again before I go to bed. I’m not saying you have to do this exact thing but find a quiet time in your day, no interruptions, and be consistent.

 

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3. Apps and Aids

Isn’t technology great? You can order pizza and read the Bible on your phone. Nifty. I cannot recommend The Bible App enough. I knew reading from Genesis to Revelations hadn’t worked for me in the past so I tried the OWNit365 Bible Plan. It mixes Old Testament, Wisdom books and New Testament all into an easy read. You can find the plan on their website here or find it on The Bible App here. It worked for me and I actually know people it also worked for. Try it!

Ask a friend, family member or church member to read along with you. You can help keep each other accountable.

4. Take it slow

Listen, no one says you have to read the entire Bible in a year. It is possible, yes, but if the thought of taking on God’s Word all at once is overwhelming start small. Start with reading a verse a day. Once you’re comfortable with that move to a chapter. Everyone learns and grows at their own pace.

This is not a race. Take your time and actually absorb what you’re reading. Mediate on it. Write down verses that stick out to you. There is not a prize for the fastest Bible reader.

I hope these tips are somewhat helpful. Reading God’s Word is such an amazing experience. I have grown spiritually more and more each time I sit down to read. I pray that you do to.

-Kayla

Chocolate Raspberry Cake

I wanted to bake a cake, but I didn’t want to take the time to make it from scratch. But I still wanted to feel like I was eating something a little more special than a cake from a box.

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I ended up taking my chocolate cake mix and turning it into a two layer raspberry filled chocolate cake.

The steps were pretty simple. Follow the instructions to make the batter. Bake and let completely cool. Once cooled you can cut the cake in half to make the two layers.

As for the filling, it was also pretty straight forward. I found the raspberry filling in the baking aisle, next to the other fillings you typically use for pie; such as apple and pumpkin. All I really had to do was spread it on the bottom layer to the thickness I wanted. (I had a small can of the filling and used just about all of it). Then it was just a matter of laying the top layer back on with out it falling apart.

All that was left was the decorating. It was just a simple application of butter cream frosting topped with some fresh raspberries for presentation purposes.

It turned out as expected. It’s one of the more moist cakes I’ve made to date. Plus who passes on the combination of chocolate and raspberries, am I right?

Happy baking!

-Sara

Guest Bathroom Makeover

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The guest bathroom before.

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The guest bathroom before.

 

We have lived in our new home for a little over a month now. We are loving the extra space. Before we moved in I decided to paint a few rooms. Every single room in the house was tan. In some rooms I don’t really mind the tan but in others I really do.

The first room I tackled (with the help of my paint loving mother-in-law) is the guest bathroom. I absolutely love blue and I think this color really helped make this bathroom pop.

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I found this fun shower curtain at Walmart. I love the design and how it ties in with the paint.

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When we first moved in we had a minor electrical issue in our master bathroom. No power = showering in the dark. As a result of that we used this bathroom for about two weeks hence the shelving with various bathroom items. Now our master is fully working (yay jacuzzi tub) and this bathroom is for our visitors. It’s also one of the rooms my cat likes to hang out in. Not sure why.

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I plan on framing this mirror and sharing the tutorial on the blog at a later time. This room isn’t completely finished but I’m loving the progress so far.

What do you think? Leave us a comment below.

-Kayla

 

 

October Favorites

Hey everyone! This is going to be a little collection of products I tried out in October for the first time that I ended up really liking. #notsponsored

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There are six items in total. I’m a big supporter of saving the bees, so I already love Burt’s Bees products.  I tried out these two products.

The Banzet side of our family gave us many blessings, but good skin was not one of those gifts. Both of these items became part of my nightly routine. The lotion although very concentrated compared to other lotions I’ve tried, was great. It made a huge difference with the softness and hydration of my skin. As for the wipes, it kept my skin feeling fresh and new and did a good job at getting all the daily gunk off my face.

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This is the other skin product I started using. I would use this in the morning; anything that the wipes missed, this would get, because it cleans deeper than the wipes. My favorite part about this item was there was no weird smell, and you don’t have to use a bunch of it for each application. Between the two skin care products not only was I able to get my acne under control, I was able to completely get rid of it. Which is something I hadn’t acquired since hitting puberty. A lot of youtubers have been putting this product in their favorite videos and I figured, sure why not, can’t hurt to try it. I’m really happy with it, and I highly recommend it.

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One thing I learned rather quickly about being a first time mom with a full time job is that personal time is hard to come by. And in order to get things done, you have to make sacrifices. Time and time again that sacrifice has been my hair. I have long, thick hair that gets tangled very easily. It takes at least an hour to brush my hair and I don’t always have the time to do the up keep for it and I can’t pull off short hair (reference any picture of me from 2005-2007, 2012-2013). One of my favorite youtubers is always talking about dry shampoo because shes always too busy doing videos, tours etc. So I picked one she has recommended a few times. And I really liked it. I would describe it as a combination of hair mousse and putting color spray in your hair for Halloween. It gets all the gross oil out of your hair so you can wait to wash your hair a little longer when you actually have the time.

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This eye shadow kit was a present from my husband and I absolutely love it. The colors are super easy to match. (I am anything but a makeup guru). Which cuts the getting ready time in half. Why spend 45 minutes getting ready when you can do it in 15?

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I bought this poncho wrap from Walmart and absolutely love it. It’s super soft and comfy. I feel like I’m just cuddled up in a blanket all day when I wear it. Plus it was like $15. Woot woot

What were some of your favorites this October? Let us know in the comments.

 

-Sara

Magic Bars

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This was my first time making this and it turned out pretty close to our mom’s version.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • package of graham crackers (honey or cinnamon)
  • container of sweet condensed milk
  • half a stick of butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 for metal pan, 325 for glass pan.

Put butter in pan, place pan in oven long enough for the butter to melt.Once melted, remove from oven.

 

Smash graham crackers and press them into the pan. You can use a rolling pin or just smash them with your hands in the packaging like I did. Be careful not to burn yourself because the pan will be hot. Use as many graham crackers it takes until you have the bottom of the pan covered.

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Next you will evenly distribute the chocolate chips, sweet  condensed milk and coconut.

If you want, you can always add more then a 1/2 cup of each. It’s not going to hurt anything by giving it a little extra love.

All that is left it to let it bake for 25-30 minutes.

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Cut into bars and enjoy.

Happy baking.

-Sara