Friday, September 30, 2011

How to clean Make-Up Brushes

If you use make-up brushes instead of the tiny size that comes with most over the counter make-up then you know how pricey they can be. The advantage is that if you take care of them they last a long time. But if you've kept them longer than you can remember and they are so coated in colors that you've thought of tossing them out and buying new, think again. Try washing them yourself! Just take a small amount of your facial cleaner in the palm of your hand and rub each brush around in the soap. Rinse gently in water till you get all the soap out and there you have it - a good as new make-up brush. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Step Out for Diabetes Walk/Ride

A beautiful day for a walk (or ride if you're my kids).

In love and support of all our family and friends who are living with Diabetes and for the hope of a cure.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Step Out for Diabetes

Stop Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors appear to play roles. There are 23.6 million Americans living with diabetes, a disease that is outpacing heart disease, cancer and AIDS. Diabetes is a disease that has deadly serious consequences, and there is no cure. If current trends continue 1 in 3 children face a future with diabetes. 

Diabetes often goes undiagnosed because many of its symptoms seem so harmless. Recent studies indicate that the early detection of diabetes symptoms and treatment can decrease the chance of developing the complications of diabetes. Diabetes symptoms include: frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss, increased fatigue, irritability and blurry vision. If you have one or more of these diabetes symptoms, see your doctor right away. You can also take our Online Diabetes Risk Test to find out if you are at risk for diabetes.
Above text copied from the American Diabetes Association.

Diabetes is personal to our family. My mother has been a diabetic most of my life. I've seen her struggle with managing blood sugar, a kidney transplant, and other side affects from Diabetes. My mother in law also has diabetes and has neuropathy in her legs and hands. Both of these amazing women had to quit work years before they otherwise would have chosen to because of disability. What seems so unfair is that they are not to blame for their disease. Neither of them are obese, inactive or smokers. There is no known reason why they got diabetes. Even more frustrating is that it often feels like diabetes has them instead of them having diabetes. Sudden and unexpected side affects happen for no apparent reason. She eats a healthy meal and goes off to do housework and suddenly her blood sugar bottoms out. The glucose monitor is helpful but only gives you a reading for what your level is at that moment in that one drop of blood. You would have to prick your fingers every hour to see how your body responds over time to see if your blood sugar is rising or falling.

I know what its like to have that weird internal feeling that your body isn't doing what its supposed to. You feel hot then cold sweats, sometimes nauseated or dizzy, shaky hands, confused thoughts. Like something inside is just not right. Just last year I found out that I am insulin resistant, which is considered a pre-diabetic condition. My body doesn't handle sugar well because my cells don't respond to the insulin my body makes to control blood sugar. I'm making choices to be more physically active and limit my diet to try to prevent diabetes long term. I don't fit the profile of someone who is "at risk" for diabetes, yet I find myself fighting it with all I've got. I understand that the choices I make now will affect my long term health. 

My family will walk in the Step Out for Diabetes walk Saturday, September 24 in Baton Rouge in support of all of our family and friends living with diabetes and for the hope of a cure! Join us in stepping out for diabetes. You can donate to the American Diabetes Association here. Even if you can't donate you can take a personal step to fight diabetes by simply walking. Walking is one of the most accessible forms of exercise for all people. You don't need any fancy equipment, just a pair of shoes. Walking strengthens your heart, lungs, and muscles. It also helps keep you at a healthy weight, lowers blood pressure, and helps delay or prevent type 2 diabetes! So enjoy the cooler air of autumn and enjoy a nice long walk. With each step you are making a positive difference in your own health. As you walk this week, say a prayer for someone you know living with Diabetes.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Yummy Popcorn Snack

Here's a yummy alternative to greasy butter popcorn. It's easy to make and is a nice salty & sweet treat without being loaded with sugar.

1 bag microwave light popcorn
1/2 cup chocolate chips (melted)
1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries

Pop the corn then drizzle the melted chocolate over the top and mix in the dried cranberries. Toss gently and enjoy warm or cold.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Craft-full weekend

Friday my creative husband found an old unused stainless steel table and re-purposed it for a bench for our sons desk. The kids love it because it looks cool and has wheels. I love it because I don't have to drag a chair from another room to sit beside them to help with homework - there's room for two!

Saturday we (the boys helped) made a wreath. I didn't have a wreath form so we used an old towel folded in half lengthwise then half again then twist into a circle and tape ends together with duct tape. And the best part - it's free! Then we wrapped it in yarn and I cut out the flowers from felt and pinned them on with straight pins. Finally, I hot glued some old buttons in the centers of the flowers and hung it with ribbon. I liked this project because it is totally uncommitted. When I get tired of it the whole thing can be disassembled and reused for something else. The only thing hot glued together are the buttons and felt flowers. Cheap, easy, recyclable!

I also made another baby dress for my friend's baby.  I found black and pink fabric that I loved so I sewed a skirt onto the top part of a black onesie and made a belt out of white and black ribbon. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Blessed to be Mom to Boys

I'm feeling very blessed to be mom to my two boys. Sometimes in the trenches of being a homemaker and mother I lose perspective and forget what a huge blessing it is to be able to be home with them all the time. The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy! Psalm 126:3

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Weekend Sewing Projects

I love my husband. He not only went with me to the fabric store last weekend, he also played with the boys so I could sew in peace. How divine.

I just finished some baby projects for my best friend in GA, although I forgot to make pictures before I mailed them. Hopefully I'll get some photos of the baby with them once he's born. ;) So while the sewing machine was out I decided to give baby clothes a try. I'm mostly self taught in sewing and can do just about anything with straight lines. I've made blankets, quilts, burp cloths, pillows, curtains, toys, etc. but haven't ventured into clothing much. I found a pattern for a itty bitty baby dress and when I found this fabulous fall print fabric I had to give it a try for my friend's baby girl. I loved it so much I almost wanted to make one for a doll since I don't have a girl to dress up. It only took about 3 hours start to finish which I thought was pretty good for a newbie to sewing clothes like me.

Next, my darling husband picked out some fabric he liked and asked me to make him a pillow to take on work trips (kids camp, mission trips, various other children's ministry things). It is cool and fun and most importantly, washable! It is made like an envelope pillow sham so that it will stay on the pillow when getting tossed about. I had to make my own pattern for this one but it was fairly simple and only took about 45 minutes to sew together.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Homemade Pop Tart

We go through so much bread in a week with all the toast, peanut butter, and nutella sandwiches. So here's an idea for breakfast to mix things up a bit. It's like a homemade pop tart. Yes, it takes a little longer than a pop tart, but this one tastes good instead of like cardboard out of a plastic wrapper. And it's healthier with less sugar and preservatives than the boxed kind.

All it takes is some refrigerated pie crust dough and some jam.

I used my Cut N Seal cutter from Pampered Chef to make circles of the pie dough. Put about a teaspoon of the jam in the center. 

Top with another pie dough circle and press to seal. I recommend sealing it from both sides to make sure the jam stays on the inside while baking.

 Brush with a little bit of milk. Bake at 375* F for about 10 minutes until golden and flaky.

Yummy! You can also make these ahead of time and freeze them then bake as needed.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Why fear God's voice?

Our ladies group at church is currently studying Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer. So far this is a great study that really makes you look inward at your own loyalties. The idea is that interruptions are just insignificant people or tasks that distract you. However, when God speaks and gives you a significant task it is a Divine Intervention. Instinctively, Christians would automatically think, "yes, I would obey if God gave me a divine intervention." But when faced with an actual God sized challenge we often run away just like Jonah did.  Our running away may not involve chartering a ship in the opposite direction and ultimately getting swallowed by a fish, it may mean we just decided not to decide. Priscilla says, "most disobedience involves just that - a simple choice to stay put."

So why is it that so many people fear Divine Interruptions? Maybe because we fear God will ask us to do something like he asked of Jonah, go share with those people. That could be a whole lesson itself on why God calls us out of our comfort to increase our faith. Participating with God in a task that is so beyond yourself that only He could do it not only places the credit where it is due to God, but it also increases your trust in God. In your weakness, God is strong.

Pride keeps us from accepting Divine Interruptions because we are afraid to fail. We automatically think God is asking us to do the task He gives us on our own. If you are a child of God, you are never alone! The Spirit of the Lord is in you - always. He will equip you for any task He gives you.

Disbelief is another response that results in running away from God's work. We simply don't believe God can equip us for His service. We have so much guilt, anxiety, and self-doubt hanging over us that we fail to trust that God can still use us. Listen, God can use anybody! Throughout history God has changed the lives of people to dared to follow Him - Ester, the Jewish queen who saved her people; Mary, the virgin mother of Christ; Rahab, the prostitute who became part of the lineage of Christ because of her willingness to obey; Peter, the fisherman turned disciple; Billy Graham, son of dairy farmer turned evangelical preacher; and You!

Let's commit today to surrender our pride and arrogant disbelief and trust God and His plan for our life because He is who He is (Holy) and we are who we are (sinners). Trust that God had a plan for your life from before you were born {Jeremiah 1:5}. If you really want to make a mark on this world, "your eternal significance will be found in yielding to the divine intervention God sends your way" (P. Shirer).

"For we are His creation - created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Best Won Ton Recipe



Is chicken on your dinner menu for the third time this week? Are you thinking you’ve cooked chicken every way possible? Well, have you tried Won Tons? Make your own homemade version of Chinese take-out. You can even use leftovers and a few extra ingredients you probably already have on hand. We have been making these for a while and our family loves them. Seriously, even my picky kid eaters! Here’s our best won ton recipe. Keep in mind this is not baking, the measurements do not have to be exact. Experiment, taste, and make it the way you like best.

Our Best Won Tons:

1 package Egg Roll Wraps (in the produce dept. at grocery)

2 chicken breast, grilled, then chopped or shredded

6 strips bacon

1 apple

1/4 cup raisins

2 Tbs parsley

1 baby Bella mushroom

2 Tbs. Soy sauce

1 clove garlic

1 Tbs onion

Cook the bacon in a skillet on stovetop until crispy. Remove bacon to cutting board and chop finely. Cook chicken in same pan as bacon seasoning to taste with salt, pepper, garlic, soy sauce. Mix finely chopped bacon, apple, raisins, parsley, mushroom, with the soy sauce and cooked chicken. Put about 1 Tbs of the chicken mixture into the center of the egg roll wrap. Wet two sides of the wrap with water using your finger. Fold the wrap into a triangle making sure to get any air bubbles out then fold over the corners like an envelope. Fry each little package of deliciousness in a skillet with just enough canola oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook on both sides until golden and crispy. Remove to plate covered in paper towels to drain. Serve warm.

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