Football Wreath

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 No comments
I'm headed to GMT this morning to do football crafts.
I'll post the segment later on facebook.
I saw a wreath like this via pinterest I'm planning to bring..  The original watermark is from a website called mamadish, but the link is broken (I like to give credit where credit is due, but I don't like to lead people to hackers, so.....).  I adjusted the tutorial a bit....
I cut 1 1/2 inch strips of fabric and glued them around a Dollar Tree wreath with some hot glue.  It took me about four strips, which was perfect.  
 Once it was wrapped...
 I used some of this yarn (a dollar from Hobby Lobby) and wrapped it randomly (both colors) around the wreath to give it....some pizazz?  Depth?  Character?  You pick.
 Then I cut strips of felt about 1 1/2 inch and I fringed it to about 1/4 inch.  Then I rolled it and gued the bottom....this becomes your pom poms.
 I cut out little pennants and used some 'Thickers' (thick letter stickers from Hobby Lobby I got for half off) to spell out my team's name.  You could also use your Cricut or painted wood letters.
 I glued these on to some string.  I sandwiched the back to hold it secure.
I glued all these pieces on to the wreath along with a wooden football I got from Hobby Lobby for less than a buck.  Again, you could make these with felt, but I took the easy route.  
I have literally made 20-30 wreaths using similar techniques (yard, fabric, and that trust Dollar Store Wreath).  Scroll here.  

Vintage French Phrase Frame

Sunday, July 29, 2018 No comments
 One of my goals is to redo my guest bath sometime over the next year.  Hopefully sooner, but I'll let my pocket book determine that.  I have been collecting a few things here and there.  I saw this frame at Target and I fell in love.  I was looking for a vintage print, but it's a bizarre I googled vintage paperwork and these old French/English phrase cards popped up on Etsy.
I used some double sided tape to float them in the frame.  This meets my French standards and my quirky standards.  Win.

Greek Mustard Sauce

Friday, July 27, 2018 No comments
This past spring I went to Greece.  I had a lot of grilled chicken with this really delicious mustard sauce on top.  It was generally drizzled over the chicken.  I've been working on recreating it, and this one was a good one.  I bought the chicken already cooked on skewers at Costco and it was so delicious.
Greek Mustard Sauce
1/2 c. spicy mustard, 1/2 c. Greek yogurt, 2 T of honey, and a pinch of salt (to taste)

Hosting a Group Baby Shower

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 No comments
I've hosted a lot of baby showers in my day.  When you host with a group things can get a little complex.  Who brings what?  How do you 'split the bill' etc.  This is one of my favorite group themes-milk and cookies.  I've done several versions of this.  A cute alternative is 'milk mustache' for a boy.  I put the milk and cookies link below to some of the more elaborate parties.  The easy thing about this one is that you can just assign each person a few cookies to bring.  This way, you don't have to worry about if someone wants to get plates from the Dollar Tree or Nieman's.  You do you, I'll do me, and we all bring equal shares and skip the cake serving.    I recently threw a shower with three other ladies and we just each decided which cookies we wanted to bring (points for pink).  I used scraps of fabric I keep in various colors to cluster under the food.  
We signed messages on the diapers for the new parents to use as they change diapers.  I also LOVE to get a book for everyone to sign-useful, and fun (especially since this was a shower for a teacher friend of ours.....hosted by a bunch of teachers).  We got "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie."
I also have a bunch of pink pom poms and'll see these again for a flamingo party I'm throwing next spring.  
This time we served pink lemonade, tea, and pink (strawberry milk).  A little hint-not many will drink the milk, but it sure is cute!  I also put out some bags for people to fill up with cookies to take home with them.  
And that's all she wrote in this chapter of party prep.  

Strawberry Crinkle Cookies

Monday, July 23, 2018 No comments
These are the easiest cookies in the world to make, and they really are delicious.  My friend made some lemon crinkle cookies recently and  a watching audience is the only reason I didn't take the whole plate.
Last week I helped host a shower and we wanted to have a bunch of pink cookies for dessert, so this was one I made to add to the mix.
All you need is a box of cake mix, an 8 oz tub of whipped topping, an egg, and a bowl of powdered sugar.
Mix the cake mix, tub of whipped topping, and the egg.  Make balls (it's pretty sticky) and roll each one in powdered sugar (each ball should be about 1 T.).  Place the cookies on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for ten minutes.  You should be able to get 32 out of your batch....or 31 if your lab sneaks one off the tray before it goes in.

Soda Shop Party

Saturday, July 21, 2018 No comments
I forgot to share this little party I helped throw a few months back.  Every summer (for the last 9 years) a group of friends and I go to a retreat house we rent out for 4 days.  One of the gals was turning the young age of 70 this year on our first day of the retreat.  
 She likes old soda shops, so we put together a little lunch to greet her when she came.  I found this old drink crate (apparently Frostie was a drink in the 40's)-we had coke floats, and then used the little paper boats (from Party City) to serve up frito pie (all those ingredients were in the kitchen.  I also made shirts for each of the ladies to wear so that when Louise showed up, we were all there to great her without any doubt to our willingness to party.
This is most of the group at dinner in the evening.  Simple and fun.

Bible Journal Walk Through Link

Friday, July 20, 2018 No comments
I head to GMT today to talk about bibles.  I won't have time to walk through my journal on air, but I did a quick walk through here, with several more videos that are much more specific also on the channel.
I'll post the segment later on facebook.
A few follow up tips:  
-A great site for ordering stuff online is  They have a super cute print and pray shop you can also order from.  I buy full size mailing labels, print the sheets of on these and then cut them out and stick them down to my bible.  I really like the clear ones b/c you can still read the words through the pictures.
-They have also started selling some of their products at Michael's and Hobby Lobby in the scrapbooking section, which means you can use your coupons!  They also occasionally go on sale!
-Some online sites with adorable printable pages you can put under the pages of your bible/trace and color can be found here.
-This site has a bunch of really cute doodle how to's that take you step by step.
-AND here and here are a few older videos with some 'how to's' on bible journaling start/details.
-AND here is a blogpost about using napkins as bible decorations.
I'm going to commit to doing more and posting more because it's one of my favorite crafts right now.  One of my goals is to journal every chapter in the bible (not this year, but.....I'm working on it...).

Travel Journal Brazil

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 No comments

I just finished my travel journal to Brazil.  Instead of photos I did a quick video.  This time I  journaled and left blanks.  I waited to decorate it when I got home-the Amazon River is not conducive to adhesive...go figure.
Here's the Link.

Bacon Jalapeno Bites

Tuesday, July 10, 2018 No comments
I have a favorite jalapeno recipe I take to a lot of pot lucks.  This week, I brought a few dishes to a bbq themed birthday party for a friend.  The hostess was already making corn bread (which my favorite recipe is stuffed with), but I wanted to bring some jalapenos, so I brought this recipe, which is also delicious....because....bacon.
It's super easy-jalapenos, 1/2 c. cream cheese (softened),  1/2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, and 12 pieces of bacon.
Cut the jalapenos in half.
I use gloves to remove the seeds and the white innards.  Mix the two cheeses and stuff 1/2 of the jalapeno with the cheese mix and then place the other slice back on top so the jalapeno is 'whole' again.
Wrap a slice of back around each stuff jalapeno.
Line a pan with foil.  Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees (until bacon is crisp).

Brazil 2018

Monday, July 02, 2018 1 comment

I just returned home from my 7th trip to Brazil (over the last 8 years).  To say that I love Brazil would be an understatement.  Ten years ago, the idea of traveling on a boat into the remote jungle, swinging the nights away on a hammock on an open deck with no AC would have not even crossed my mind.  Regardless of whether I go 18 more times, or never again, it will always be one of the highlights of my life that I was given the opportunity to serve with the Brazilian people on these shores.  
Each trip is unique.  Some years we struggled up the river, and sometimes it's a trip with double rainbows and villages full of baby monkeys.  This year the team I traveled with were mostly new to me, which is always a little scary, but they were INCREDIBLE.  Everyone worked hard without complaint, despite some injuries and illnesses-everyone was all in, which makes all the difference.  We traveled with some of the translators I've been with in the past, and new ones I met this trip.  One morning, the pastor performed Baptisms in the Amazon River-a first for me to witness.  

Our focus this year was the Bucket Ministry one of our trip members began the ministry about five years after realizing the river is the source of water for these villagers, and their lives are gravely impacted by this.  He began working with a company to provide filters and buckets for the families.  We work with established missionaries in the area who utilize these filters to help improve the lives of the people in these jungle communities, and open doors to start building relationships.

I've thought a lot about how to sum up this year, and the truth is, I think the stories are still being written, so maybe I'll bring them back in pieces from time to time.  Or maybe I'll let the pictures tell the stories where my words can't.  
Another highlight of the trip-I finally held a sloth!  Most of the folks who travel to Brazil a lot of have done this before, but they have never been a part of my trip.  This little guy was a pet to one of the gals at a store we stopped at on the last day.
One of our amazing translators (Lia) offered a few of us a ride around her city (Manaus) while we waited on our airplane on the last day.  The World Cup was going on, and something I have learned about Brazil (and South America) these last 8 years is that they LOVE their soccer.  Lia took us to a street totally decorated for the world cup from top to bottom.  Each building was playing the soccer game (not even a Brazil game at the time).  We see this over and over.  No matter how remote the village-they find a way to hook up a satellite and a generator for these events and gather around a small tv.  I didn't have cell service for over a week, but I was always apprised of how Brazil was doing on the soccer front!
This trip will be one of my favorites and I can't wait to hear from the missionaries we got to love and left behind and hope to see them again soon!