Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Who Told You?

An Open Letter To Anyone Who Has Ever Struggled with Self-Esteem:

I have a friend. I know all stories begin that way, but really, it's true. She is absolutely beautiful. She is a beautiful mother, a loving and faithful wife, and a child of God. She has a servant's heart, and her friends admire, respect, and appreciate her. 

What people don't know is that she struggles. 

She struggles to believe she is a good mom. She reads blogs and sees pictures of moms on Pinterest and Facebook that do more craft projects with their kids than Martha Stewart, and she struggles to believe she is good enough- creative enough, smart enough, there enough- for her kids.

She struggles to believe she is beautiful. Her nose is a little bit crooked, her ears a little big, her legs a little long and chicken-like, and her hair a little limp. She struggles to believe she is beautiful enough- stomach flat enough, hair long enough, teeth straight enough - for her husband.

She knows she is a child of God because she has been told so many times before. She knows He loves her unconditionally. She knows there is nothing she can or cannot do to change His love for her. 

Yet she struggles. 

It starts long before we ever realize it. Those thoughts of being creative or smart enough? It didn't take Pinterest or Facebook or even being a mom for her to realize she struggles believing she possesses those traits- it started in the 4th grade when a cute boy in class called her "stupid" or her mom threw away her art project because it wasn't creative enough to hang on the fridge. Beautiful enough? It didn't take her husband or even her first boyfriend for her to realize she struggles believing she's beautiful- it started when she was six and another little girl made fun of her big ears.

These voices inside her head are nothing new. They are real, and they have been there for a long time. Voices that told her she wasn't creative enough, smart enough, beautiful enough.

There is a passage in the Bible that many people would say shows God's anger. It's in Genesis 3, right after Adam and Eve decide to take the plunge and eat from the tree of of the knowledge of good and evil. After they ate the fruit, they heard God walking in the garden and hid. God called to them and asked where they were. They said they were afraid because they were naked, so they hid. 

God then asked them, "Who told you that you were naked?"

Many people believe He was asking it out of anger, but I disagree. I believe His heart was breaking.

Who told you...? 

Who told you...
...you weren't beautiful enough?
...you weren't smart enough?
...you weren't creative enough?
...you weren't good enough?

You are my child! You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:13-15). I see you, I hear you, and I am concerned (Woman at the Well in John 4; Exodus 3:7). I have a plan, and it's a good one (Jeremiah 29:11). My ways are perfect, and I will work everything out for good according to MY perfect will (Romans 8:28). I am mighty to save,  and I rejoice over you with singing! (Zephaniah 3) I am close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18), and I am the God of all comfort (2 Cor. 1).

Where I truly believe we see God's character is in verse 21. I've missed this a few times. 

"The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them." Genesis 3:21

Can you imagine? The God of the universe, sewing together clothes to cover you. Clothes to cover your shame. Clothes to cover your nakedness. Clothes to cover your inadequacies.  

Clothes to cover your not good enoughs. 


He loves us with a perfect love- and it is deep and it is wide and it is more than we can even fathom (Ephesians 3:16-19). Our names are written on the palm of His hand, and before we were even born, He spoke our name (Isaiah 49).  

I am enough because He is enough. Period. My validation comes from Him and Him alone.  

So the next time you go to believe some of those voices- no matter how long they have been there- forget who told you and forget what they had to say. There is only One voice that matters.

And at the end of the day, I want to hear that voice say well done. How about you?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Short Sunday Project

I still had a few other areas of the house I wanted to add a little "spring flair" to. One of them is the table/IKEA shelf my ginormous tv sits on.

My friend Rachael gave me this flower shaped charger sometime last spring, and I knew just want I wanted to do with it. I dug some yellow polka dot ribbon out of my bins, grabbed my glue gun, and went to work framing the center. I then just added some simple glittery alphabet letting in the middle.

The yellow candle was a housewarming gift from my friend Jess, and the candle stand was my free with purchase pick at Bath and Body Works a few weeks ago.

An essentially free new decoration that took less than 15 minutes. 

 (See my ginormous tv in the background?)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Spring Mantel

A whole weekend of spring decorating, and my mantel still needed some serious help! I decided to take an extra trip to Hobby Lobby on Saturday to see if anything caught my eye. I purchased a few items to take them home and see how they looked, but I wasn't in love with anything I bought. I then decided to just head over to the dollar store for fun. I picked up a few more items but still wasn't sure what direction I was headed. I came home and put everything I thought about including on the table. Here's how my thought process began:

Hot mess, huh?
I slowly started getting rid of some things and adding to other pieces. I went out into my garage and found a container I was looking for with extra decorations. I liked the "SPRING" banner and the burlap and ribbon runner, so I knew I wanted to stay with those items. After some re-arranging, here is what I came up with:

(Yes, I'm that OCD to have my books in descending height order.)

I like it! Those teal tins are from the dollar store (imagine that?!) as well as the moss. I made the paper flowers last year for my sister-in-law's wedding shower, and the candlesticks and candles I already had. The gray pitcher I found on a Target clearance rack for $5.19 a couple weeks ago, and the hydrangeas are from Michael's. Total cost was a little under $15!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Spring Decorating Continues

After the wreath went up, I had to figure out what to do with my "mantel". I loved the colors I used, but the orange color was a little off from the more pink color of the burlap I had purchased, and I just couldn't deal with that. I still wanted to use the beach glass color again, however, so I painted the inside of a pickle jar my mom gave me and added the orange hydrangea stem and the burlap. While I knew this wouldn't work for my "mantel", I still loved the look!

It now sits in the center of my dining table!
(Yes, I know I need to iron the gray cloth napkin under it- I'm just lazy sometimes.)
(That comment was particularly for my mom. Sorry, mom, I know better. I'll iron it next time.)

Spring mantel coming in my next post!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Spring Wreath

As soon as I got home from the store, I began working on my spring wreath. Wreaths are some of my favorite things to make, but they are definitely a process. I usually spend an absurd amount of time working through the items I want on the wreath, paint some things, cut, place, etc....all to then decide I don't want to use anything I just created :)

This wreath was no exception. I cut some burlap pieces into pendant shapes and painted "S-P-R-I-N-G" on each piece, but I decided not to use them (look for those later). I really loved the colors of the hydrangeas and the paint I came home with and wanted to incorporate both. I then remembered I had a "Welcome" wooden sign I had picked up at a discount craft store for around $.50. I quickly painted it in the beach glass color. The grapevine wreath I actually got from Goodwill for $1.50. It was the perfect size. Hydrangeas were my most expensive item (they were $6.99/stem at Michael's), but I got them while they were 40% off! I added a burlap bow at the top, and that was that!

Here it is on my living room floor, pre-attachment :)


I love the way it all came together! 
And my door is so bright and cheery. Perfect for the still mostly cold days.

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Friday, March 1, 2013

Spring Is Coming!

Anyone else so excited for warmer weather? I know I am!
I went to the store tonight and purchased these items. Stay tuned to see what comes of them!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Yikes, I've been a bad blogger! 

To be fair, I've been house/cat sitting for the entire month and haven't been at my house. Thankfully, I moved back in tonight! There is just something about being in your own home, no matter how humble it may be, that immediately lifts your mood. It's good to be back!

I also starting coaching softball at the beginning of this week. My plate is pretty full, but I'm determined to practice excellent self-discipline for these next few months and keep plugging away at the many different things I have my hands in! 

I also (gasp!) still have my Valentine's Day decorations up! Look for an update this weekend with some new decor for spring. I'm excited to show you what I've put together so far!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Simple Valentine's Day Gifts

Have a group of girlfriends or co-workers that you want to recognize on Valentine's Day but aren't quite sure what to do? Here's an idea!

Who doesn't love a cute pair of holiday socks?! I found a variety at Meijer's (only store I looked!), and I picked a bunch of different styles. I then headed over to Michael's and bought some take out boxes on clearance, and of course, had to add some conversation hearts. I just added a piece of white tissue paper into each box, the socks, and the hearts. I was a little pressed for time, so I had to buy some already made tags rather than make my own (I know, I'm terrible!).

I made these for the ladies on my leadership team to pass out at our meeting tonight. I always enjoy shopping for little gifts for them! Here are some other ideas I had that could be used for your girlfriends, teachers, sisters, or co-workers:

- nail file or manicure set and some pink or red nail polish
- foot scrub and some socks
- mini valentine loaf pan with your favorite bread recipe (even better if you bake them a mini loaf IN it!)
- it's winter, so who doesn't appreciate some mini lotion from Bath and Body Works? wrap it up in a take out box or cute ribbon to personalize it, and you're good to go 

Also, if you spend over $5 on any of these, you're doing it wrong! Let me know if you need some tips on where to shop ;)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cupid Wreath

It's hard to believe it's been two years since my dear friend Laci asked me to make this wreath for her! Time sure does fly when you're having fun. 

I used a heart straw wreath form and wrapped it in gray yarn. I then used a dowel rod, snapped it- actually- and stuck it into the wreath. (It is in three different pieces.) It worked out great that it was a straw wreath because the broken ends of the dowel rod made it stick really well in the wreath. I then used pink and red felt to create the accents in the arrow. I hand-stitched some edging to give it more of a homemade look.

I then shipped it off to Charlotte, North Carolina for my friend Laci to enjoy! The check I received from Laci and Brandon is the first official dollar I have ever made from selling my crafts :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Valentine's Day Cake Pops

Happy Valentine's Day!

Okay, well, it's still a week away. 

However, I went to the craft store today, and it was so hard to find what I was looking for to assemble some simple gifts! So I guess I'm a little behind the game here, but I still have some super cute things to share. 

These are some cake pops the bestie and I made for our co-workers a couple years ago. We had just gotten really into cake pops and decided these were the ones we wanted to tackle. I think they turned out great!

For the cupcakes, we started with a small flower cookie cutter and molded the cake and frosting mixture into it, leaving a round piece sticking out of the top of the cutter. We dipped the lower half into the dipping chocolate, waited for it to dry, and then dipped the top part into the white melts and added the sprinkles and M&M while it was still wet. 

We used a small heart cookie cutter for the hearts and dipped them. We tried making them conversation hearts by using edible pens, but as I've said before, I've never had success with those darn things! So, we added a dab of melted dipping chocolate and attached real conversation hearts! I think they turned out well, and I like the 3D effect of the hearts. 

Stay tuned! I still have a new Valentine's Day wreath and some simple gifts to share.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Who's ready for Valentine's Day?

Even though I'll be house/cat sitting for the next month and won't be home much to enjoy them, I just had to get some decorations out for Valentine's Day. They're just too cute!

Besides the $5 I spent on ribbon for the garland and the $1 I paid for pink felt for the wreath, I didn't spend a dime! Just used things I had around the house. (Red hots were left over from 4th Week of July Party- yeah, I wouldn't recommend eating them either.)

I took my purple vases down and placed them in other parts of my living room, keeping their winter stems in them. I used the black candle holders I had on my Christmas table with their white candles. I then replaced the white, silver, and gold pine cones with red hots in my mason jars and added a tea light candle. The garland is serving as a runner over the burlap, and the wreath makes a nice focal piece for the table.
(Did you see that? I didn't even complain about not having a mantel.)

I also couldn't help putting up this month's free printable. It's just so cute!
Get yours here.

What's your favorite Valentine printable?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Valentine's Day Argyle Heart Wreath

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Some days I'm okay with imperfect. Not frequently, but it does happen. Especially if I'm not making it to sell or for a gift!

Today my friend texted me a picture of a cute wreath she pinned on Pinterest. I laughed because I had also posted a similar pin! I got home from work, had some free time before my volleyball game, and decided I was going to see if I could replicate it. I only had to run to the store for one missing supply, everything else I had on hand! Fortunately, I already had a smaller grey wreath that I needed to upcycle. I removed the previous decorations very carefully, cute some cute pink and red hearts-no template, just free-handed, hence the imperfections ;), and got to work hot gluing them to the wreath! I then wrapped some sparkly white yarn I had leftover from a Christmas wreath to create the argyle look. Overall, since the wreath was already wrapped, I think it only took me about a half hour and my only cost was the pink felt I had to run to the store to pick up. 

Not bad for under $1!

And here it is on my front door.

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Valentine's Day Garland

The bestie asked me to join her to run errands today. I've limited my budget for the month of January, so when she asked me to join her at Michael's and Hobby Lobby, I knew I was pushing my luck ;)

I saw this adorable garland at Michael's made out of scraps of ribbon, felt, and fabric. I immediately fell in love with it! It was $14.99, and I could've used a 40% off coupon, but I decided against it. We then traveled to Hobby Lobby and I found the cutest wired, checkered burlap ribbon. It was 50% off, so I paid $5 and some change for it. 

I got home and found plenty of materials to make my garland. Here it is!

Not bad for $5 and some change!
(and time...quite some time, actually)

A little closer look at the pieces I used.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Decorating for January.

Happy New Year! 
I'm excited for what this year may hold, 
and I'm excited to continue sharing more and more with you all. 

So remember how I said I was going to come up with some decorations for January that I love? Well, I did! But first, I had some sad news. The shelf I hung back in the fall to make up for my "lack of mantel" was terrible. The wall it hung on in my ever so humble place of living was too bowed for the shelf, so it was learning forward to the point that nothing would stay on it! I literally had to sticky tack my Christmas decorations to it. I decided that was too much of a hassle because I also couldn't put any thing with significant weight on it. I decided to take the shelf down (sniff sniff), and just leave the table I brought in for Christmas decorating in the room.

I covered the wall then with two upcycled canvases covered with a pretty, grey damask fabric I found. They conveniently covered all the holes in the wall that the shelf left ;)

I scored those white candleholders at Target in their after-Christmas clearance for 50% off. (I'd been eying them all season!) I also scored the gold and snow-covered branches in Michael's 70% off Christmas clearance. The cute printable in the middle was part of a set I downloaded from here. It says "It's a good day to have a good day." A good reminder for those of us in the cold Midwest!

As you'll notice in the second picture, those white candles had to go. I replaced then with cuter, silver pillar candles. I just didn't like the white ones.