Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Easter Wish

I had to buy some eggs at the store last night. It's Easter Egg dying time!

We have two chickens in our backyard coop that we keep clean and cozy and let them run around our yard on nice days, so I don't normally buy eggs from the store. Especially after I walked around the 'organic' farm that I rescued one of my chickens from and saw some of the conditions.

We now keep our own, and I know they are loved... a little too loved with my kiddos!

A lot of others will be joining in the fun of dying Easter Eggs this weekend and heading to the store for a fresh carton of eggs. Our chickens lay brown eggs, so I have to buy some white ones for dying. But as I stood there looking at all the beautifully healthy, cage free, brown eggs I couldn't bring myself to buy the pale, see-through, battery caged, white eggs. I have seen first hand what those chickens lives are like, and I am positive Jesus wouldn't want to use those birds' sacrifice to celebrate his own. Positive.

I even went so far as to ask a random stranger, (well, a very cute older woman who was buying her little carton of brown eggs), if she'd ever tried to dye brown eggs. She informed me that Easter was the one time of the year her family would buy the white eggs. I figured as much. 

But how could I, in good conscience, buy those sickly looking eggs when I knew why they looked so sick!! The poor chickens are stuffed into cages the size of a piece of paper for their whole lives, pecking their own feathers out, pooping on the birds below them, covered and eating chemicals and drugs... I just knew I couldn't, especially to celebrate the day Jesus made the ultimate generous sacrifice to forgive us our sins.

In the end I found the light at the end of the tunnel!! I found WHITE cage free, free range eggs with a conscience from Nest Fresh! (If you're wondering, certain chickens produce white eggs naturally.)

I will not ruin your coffee by putting pictures up of the battery cage chickens. Here are some pictures from  the Nest Fresh website. They use a network of family farms to use all natural, free ranging chickens.



I completely  understand that it is not feasible for everyone's budget to buy the $2+ carton instead of the $1 carton every week, but if everyone could just spend the extra $1.50 or so on Easter, think about all the good we would have done supporting the farmers who are doing the right thing and treating God's creatures with compassion.  I can think of no better way to celebrate God's love for us and the world.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Chalkpainted Bathroom Vanity

One more stage of my kids' bathroom is complete. The floor and countertop are tiled thanks to my husband. I finished building the towel holder, shelf, and 'stuff' holder out of a pallet. [see it here] And last night I finished the vanity! It only took a few hours and was my first foray into Annie Sloan's chalkpaint. Started at naptime and finished after bedtime, I'm so happy with how quickly the painting goes when I don't have to sand and prep!!!

I am very happy with the work. I had to take very strategic pictures because the walls are still that pale lime green... hideous. Yes, I did it, but I was going for 'sage green' and it turned out pale lime and then I started having babies and landscaping our yard so it has stayed. It's atleast better than the yellow and dark green sponge painted mess that was there when we moved in. Whoever did it even sponge painted the ceiling?!?

Yes, my toilet is labeled toilet. You can take the 1st grade teacher out of the classroom, but... well I can't figure out how to finish that saying but you get the idea.

I hope to have this bathroom done in a week or so... but you know how that goes, especially since we're going to the mountains this weekend and the next weekend the girls and I are flying to New York for a wedding.

I used Old White Chalkpaint with Clear Wax on top. If you are thinking of doing this and have any questions please feel free to comment!

ps like every Thursday sharing here!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Making Sense of the World

bad things happen. it's sad.

We can't help but turn our eyes and prayers up and wonder why. Especially about the really bad things. Especially about the innocent children.

We praise God and thank Him for all our blessings, but it is a lot harder to be grateful when we are struggling with pain and sorrow. It's a lot more tempting to wonder and ask why.

Vintage Framed Crewel Embroidery God Bless Our Home
Our knowledge is so limited. Like when we tell our own very young children they can't have every one of their little hearts' desires.... like watching movies all day and night or chocolate bars for every meal or skipping brushing their teeth every day. It's very clear to us why we have to be strong and keep them safe and healthy, but they are just heartbroken that they can't have what they want.  My two year old likes to fall to the floor in utter despair when she can't have another cookie, or it is time for a nap.

I have to believe it is the same with our own Father.

Religious Inspirational Quilted Pillow BEAUTIFUL Amen
I do believe he loves us enough that His heart does break when he sees our sadness, and He will make it up to us in other ways, just like we do our own children.

The deacon at our church gave a sermon once. He explained how as a child he would watch his mother embroider from the floor and all he could see was a big mess. He would ask her what on Earth she was making; it looked horrible.


Have you ever seen the backside of an embroidery piece? It is all a big mess. Let's be honest, sometimes life looks and feels like a big mess... from our viewpoint. And let's also be honest, we have quite a selfish viewpoint. We all do, it's just human. We look through a lense of ourselves and our desires.

One day, with faith, we will look at the embroidery from above.

beautiful embroidery by Aimee Ray -
The stories we have of our afterlife are pretty darn good. So while we wait I pray that we all find peace amongst the sadness, and find relief by helping others through their own sad times. There is nothing that makes my heart happier than helping others... or finishing a painting project... it's kind of a tie. OK, not really... but close.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pallet Shelf and Towel Holder

My first pallet project is officially finished. I have joined the pallet Pintrest club. Well, if there was a club, I'd be in it.

It's not hung on our wall yet. I made it for the kids' bathroom. (I am desperately trying to tackle just one room at a time, starting with their bathroom since my husband retiled the floor and counter but everything else is... bleh. However... seeing as I moved our dining room table out of the front room so now the front room is stark and empty, and now desire a coffee station/hutch in the kitchen, and I'm halfway through doing my eldest daughter's room... my 'one room at a time' plan isn't quite working out for me!!)

Here is what used to hang in the girls' bathroom...

It's a cute idea, but was just at the start of my DIY days. I bought the shelf from Micheals and chalk painted (original chalk paint, that is actually chalkboard paint) the back so we could use chalk to write names on the pegs. I loved this idea because my in-laws stay a lot and I could give everyone a named hook. But now that we retiled and everything is looking so good I wanted something different... (plus, I hate all that stuff on the shelf, but since I am a licensed daycare provider I cannot have anything on the counter or even in the medicine cabinet!!! I was written up for kids' toothpaste being in the medicine cabinet last time, so started keeping everything up there.)

The plan is to replace it with this pallet shelf and towel holder. (First I have to paint the walls a nice creamy white...) The top will hold little decorative things like mason jars and a little plant. The hooks are for robes and towels and washrags. And that gap under the hooks is a shelf where I can store all that stuff that will also be partially hidden with the towels, but very accessible and easy to put away. 

Total cost out of pocket: $12 and some change for the hooks. The paint, stain, nails, and sandpaper I had on hand. The pallet was free from Murdochs. 

I am hooked. I will soon have a house full of pallets. 

UPDATE: I am now using it as a backpack holder in our laundry room/bathroom/mudroom area :)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Casual Mom Style for Spring and Summer

I don't pretend to be the most fashionable gal out there, but I do try... sometimes. When I'm not gardening or painting furniture or signs or cleaning the house with bleach that always leaves little pink spots on my clothes, which is all actually most the time. But I do have the occasional play date or museum trip or baby shower or doctor's visit or church on Sundays so I do need kind of cute clothes. I'm not a person to be uncomfortable, though, and have been known to wear black yoga pants for a week, okay a month, straight. I live in small town Colorado and, thank goodness, can get away with flip flops to most every occasion.

So that being said, here is the basics for my spring and summer wardrobe. I guess I'm dreaming of spring clothes and park days because we're stuck in another March 'blizzard.' It sure doesn't' look like a blizzard yet, but it definitely doesn't look like spring :(

Cute tees and tanks, scarfs over white tees, and casual skirts and dresses. Flats for church, flip flops for the grocery store... and mostly white with punches of blue and green to maximize the ability to mix and match the tops and bottoms...

Pretty much the entire wardrobe was picked off of the Old Navy website, though I had to bump up to Gap to find the perfect flats and the perfect casual drawstring skirt.

Here's some close ups...





ps linking up late at the Inspiration Gallery

Monday, March 4, 2013

Spring Linky Party

The adorable blog The Lily Pad Cottage hosted a linky party and I linked up. Check it out if you want some inspiration for Spring crafts! Too much inspiration if you ask me!!! Some very talented people in the blogosphere...

Gender Neutral Baby Shower Decor

The baby shower has come and gone! I feel like I have nothing left to do... oh, wait, I forgot in a month I am a bridesmaid and my daughter's are flower girls... off to hem dresses and make flower clips!

I showed up at the baby shower in an adrenaline and Starbucks fueled race to decorate, and was done with atleast 20 mins to spare, yahoo!

Here is how it turned out, and I have to thank my favorite little sister for helping me wield the glue gun at naptimes for a week :)

 The door or wall decor. Scrapbook paper, a Cricut, clothespins, and a ribbon. I hung everything at the party with Command Strips, because we could just stick things anywhere.

Because it's a 'surprise' baby, we don't have a name yet, so we printed off letters on the computer to spell 'baby bygott' (which is obviously their last name.) Letters are HERE. I put clothes pins on the tops of the cardstock for effect, but really they are stuck to the wall with Command Strips.

Our centerpieces. Because we held the shower at a clubhouse, we had a few small tables to decorate, so we used little antique milk bottles with marshmallow flowers. The signs in the marshmallows said 'baby' and 'eat me' and were made using the cricut, the same scrapbook paper, a glue stick, kabob sticks and stamps.  

Um, on a sidenote, the backside of the girl there is the 8 month pregnant mom-to-be... jealous? I am. You can't even tell she's pregnant from behind!!! I was totally laid up with my sweats by then :) I remember my mom bringing me maternity sweat pants in month 8, it was like heaven in a shopping bag. I don't think I took them off again.

I digress... the flowers were made using marshmallows, vanilla bark, kabobs, and sprinkles. The girls and I melted the chocolate in a double boiler (actually, I don't have one, so I stuck my glass Pampered Chef mixing bowl on top of my smallest sauce pan :) ) 

Either way, then when the chocolate was melted, you spear the marshmallow, dip it in chocolate, then dip it in colored sprinkles.

As part of my present, and part of the decor, we hung up little diapers, tiny little clothes, and the hand-knit hats I made them.

Next to the t.v. is the sign I made (see post HERE,) the matching hand-knit booties to the hat, and an old vinegar bottle filled with lemon drops and marshmallow flowers. Even though each bouquet of flowers had an 'eat me' sign, I think only 3 got eaten, so guess where they ended up? Yup, mostly my tummy during clean up or that night.

The appetizer table complete with diaper cake. The diaper cake used 1 1/2 big boxes of newborn and size 1 diapers, had Johnson's All Natural Baby soap and lotion on the top, two binkies, and a tube of Desitin. It was all part of my present, but doubled as decoration!

The antique 'BABY' blocks that are actually from my daughter's room. Switch them around and they spell her name :) I read HERE  that you should always look around your house and find decor that will tie the theme together that you don't need to buy. My sister found a jar full of lemons at her house that we set up next to the iced tea stand.

The favors- little baggies, (a pack of 40 at the Dollar Store!) full of lemon drops from Sprouts, with yellow card stock folded over and little umbrella's from the same green dotted scrapbook paper (cut with the Cricut) with 'thanks for dropping by!' on them. Inspiration HERE (though my sister and I agree ours were cuter.)

The girls in charge of the food brought along this adorable sign to set out on the food table.

If you read the sign above you'll know this was before all the food was set out, but I forgot to take a picture once all the delicious food was there, so here's the pic you get. In the middle of the table they also put together that adorable picture frame of the mom and dad when they were babies. adorable.

We used mason jars to hold the plastic silverware because I have a million in my basement, and it also went well with the color scheme.

Overall, we were very happy with how it all turned out. It all came together and was very affordable to combine the decorations with my gifts. I loved having it at a clubhouse because I wasn't as crazy worried that my daughter's would spill their Izze, though I still kept an eye on them!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

I'm a featured blogger!


Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit I was a featured blogger! I guess there is a first time for everything. Sure never thought it would be my pantry organization, but I'm super proud anyway :) 

Click the button to check out Blissfully Ever After's blog with all the goods.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Gender Nuetral Diaper Cake

This is just a preview of my sister-in-law's baby shower decorations. My sister and I collaborated to create the gender neutral decor for her baby shower tomorrow. Once it's all set up and beautiful I will snapshot it all with  my tiny little Canon Elph. For now, here is our masterpiece we finished during naptime yesterday...

It has newborn and size 1 diapers, binkies, diaper creme, and Johnson's All Natural Baby Bath and Lotion.

For our first diaper cake, I'm pretty proud. We're excellent bakers :)

 ps linking up here, and if you're looking to get inspired there are some seriously cute things this week!!!

Liz Marie Blog