My DIY Valentine Apron

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Valentine’s Day is this weekend!  Yay!  I love the love day.  :)

To celebrate the holiday, I made a pretty little apron to wear while I am cooking meals for my loved ones.  (Or putting donuts on a plate. hee.hee.)

 valspar marsala

 

 

I made this project as part of the #10daysofvalentines challenge from Valspar and Porch!

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We were given a gallon of Valspar paint in the beautiful Pantone Color of the Year, Marsala.

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We were also given a “mystery” item to create with.  I got a pretty little stencil, and for some reason, immediately knew I wanted to make an apron with it.  I think because it resembled “lace.”

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I lined up the larger part of the stencil on top of the bottom part of my apron.

 

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I always spray the back side of my stencils with this adhesive spray to make the stencil stay put when painting.  It also keeps the paint from bleeding underneath the stencil.

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For my paint mixture, I mixed together even amounts of paint and fabric medium in a small bowl.  The fabric medium helps the paint to not be stiff when it dries on the material.  You will need to heat set the paint before the first wash.

Then I used a small sponge “dobber” to apply the paint on top of the stencil.

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Then I did the same thing to the right and left of the painted stencil pattern. 

I repeated this process at the top of the apron using the other half of the stencil. 

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Then I bought some ribbon from Walmart and used fusing tape to attach it to the middle of my apron.

I love the way it turned out!  It was hard taking a selfie of me in this apron!  I need to invest in one of those “selfie sticks!”

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This project was super easy, super quick, and super cute!  

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It will be fun to wear it on special occasions like Valentine’s Day!  (Well, unless my hubby takes me out to eat!)  :)

 

Thank you Valspar and Porch for sponsoring this project!

“Porch is much more than just a home improvement network. It is the place homeowners come to find the right professionals, get inspired, and manage their homes.”

 

To see more great Valentine’s projects, check out these other bloggers!

 

Feb 1- Restoration Redoux
Feb 2- East Coast Creative
Feb 3- Simply Darrling
Feb 4- Brepurposed
Feb 5- Persia Lou
Feb 6- DIY Playbook
Feb 7- Honeybear Lane
Feb 8- That’s my letter
Feb 9- Live Laugh Rowe


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Love Like Him (new bible study)

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Hey friends!

I’m in the car with my sister heading back from Nashville today.  We were at the Thrive Conference, which was a Young Living essential oil conference.  (My first non-bloggy conference.)  It was a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to share some of the stuff I learned with you!

My sister and I led an online bible study group the first 15 days of January.  We did Katie Orr’s study, The Focused15.

We had over 500 women in that facebook group, and it was such a blessing to study God’s word with them!  Many of the women wanted to continue with another study, so we are doing one called Love Like Him beginning February 16th. 

 

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We have created a private facebook group for this study, and you can ask to join by clicking HERE.

We will be adding members all week, but will close the group on February 16th.   Only because we want to go through this study as a group and when we add people in the middle of the study, it gets a little confusing. :)

Love Like Him is an 8-week study, with each week focusing on a different aspect of Christ-like love.   You will dig into various passages that detail God’s beautiful love, while also being challenged towards self-reflection to determine if His love is visible in your everyday life.

This study only takes about 10 minutes a day, five days a week. 

This bible study only costs $2.99, and  you can download it HERE.

Cyndi and I would love for you to join us in this bible study.  If you have any questions, just let us know!  xoxo

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Letters of Love…from kiddos! (American Greetings Giveaway!)

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Happy Friday!!

I hope you are enjoying my series on Letters of Love!

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I am reminded again and again of how powerful words can be.  They can wound us deeply, or they can bring healing and nourishment to our soul. 

I prefer the latter, don’t you?  :)   I wish I could say that my words always only bring healing, but unfortunately that would not be true.  God is still teaching me.

But I LOVE how written words from loved ones, spouses, or special friends can bring so much joy into our lives.   

And wouldn’t you agree that there is nothing more beautiful than love notes from our kids?!!!!

 These are the types of notes that melt our hearts…

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I wish ALL of the notes from our children were so sweet, but sometimes they contain a little “truth” too…  

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HA!!  I like how “horific”  got sneaked in there.  :)  

And then there are those love letters from children that make us laugh…

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Hey, if your child LOVES cows, than consider this a HUGE compliment!!  

This is an example of a letter Eli would write to me…

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Such a “boy note.”

And if you are blessed enough to get a picture to go with your love note….well, enough said.

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 See how great letters of love are?!!!

I didn’t even receive any of the above letters, but they made ME smile!

My mom LOVED to send cards to people.  It is my goal this year to be better at sending cards to loved ones, and I hope to encourage others to do so as well!

 So, I was super excited when I was contacted by American Greetings to host a giveaway for them because it fit right in with what I was already doing on my blog!

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American Greetings wants to “share the love” by giving away

 

FIVE One Year Subscriptions to their ecards and printable cards!!

 

Yay!!  THAT’s FIVE WINNERS!!

 

It’s easy to enter!  Just use the Rafflecopter widget below!

 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This giveaway ends in one week.

 

 

P.S.  If you need some printable Valentine’s Day cards for Kids, click HERE.

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 *This post was sponsored by American Greetings.  All opinions and ideas are 100% mine.

 


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Letters of Love…to our sweet little girl

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Friends!!

I have THE MOST EXCITING NEWS to share with you!!!

In July, our family is hosting a sweet little orphan girl from Latvia in our home!  WE ARE THRILLED!!

Is she the sweetest thing you have ever laid eyes on?!!

sanija flowers

 

We are so in love with her already, and we cannot wait to shower her with love!

All of this has taken place in the last week.  That is why my schedule went wacko last week, and I didn’t get to post like I had hoped. 

We were busy getting things squared away with Project143.

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Have you heard of Project143?  

“Project 143 changes the lives of orphan children – ONE child at a time, by providing them an experience that will change them forever – life inside a family.  We change the lives of host families, too. There is nothing more nourishing to the soul, than the experience of giving a child… HOPE. Your family will feel more blessed than you ever imagined after hosting an orphan child.”

I found out about it last fall at the Allume Conference, and I knew that God was tugging at my heart to love on these orphans.  But I didn’t know when or where.

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But now I do. 

God has lead both Cy and I to this sweet little girl, and we cannot wait for her to be a part of our family this summer. 

Here’s the other crazy part!!!!

We are starting to fill out adoption paperwork, so IF THE LORD WILLS, she will be our forever daughter!!!! (This is NOT through P143.  Project143 is a HOSTING program, not an adoption program.  Our adoption paperwork is through another agency.)

There are a whole lot of “ifs” ahead of us, and we would covet your prayers, but we have such a Peace knowing that God’s hand is in all of this!

For the record, THIS WAS NOT PLANNED!  This is a total God-thing that unfolded last week.  But we couldn’t be happier. 

I look forward to sharing this journey with you!!

Since I am focusing on Letters of Love this week, I wrote one to our sweet girl.

sweet baby girl

 

Thank you in advance for your prayers!!!


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Letters of Love…from Mom

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Hey friends!

I’ve been a little MIA on my blog.  Something really exciting happened last week, and I hope to share it with you on Thursday!  :)

It has been somewhat consuming, both mentally and physically, but TOTALLY worth it. 

This week on my blog, in honor of this month of LOVE, I will be focusing on Letters of Love.Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 10.57.55 AM The idea for these posts came from what happened to me last week.

In the effort to organize my office (which I haven’t shared with you yet,) I went through a bunch of paperwork and keepsakes that needed to be organized better. 

I was sitting in my office room floor late one evening when I happened upon a stack of letters from my mom.  I’ve shared a little about some of these letters on my blog before.  I’ve share how much my mom loved to write.  I’ve shared how her letters to me brought me comfort after her death.

It seems that these letters from my mom, some over 40 years old, always make it to my heart when I need it the most. 

Tears flowed down my face as I re-read these precious notes from my mom.  I cannot explain the amount of love I felt when I read them.   I wonder if Mom knew all those years ago how much comfort her notes would give me now?

This is one of the earliest notes from Mom that I have.  I was one year old.

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Here is a picture of Mom holding me in our matching outfits that she made for my first Christmas.  Isn’t she beautiful?!!

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Here is another letter she wrote when I was three.  I love how she told me things I did and said. 

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In case you can’t read her writing, it says…“Dear Traci, Well you’re 3 years old today.  You and Blake have started fighting this year.  One day you were fighting and I came in the bedroom and asked what was the matter.  You said, “He hit me, and I hit he.”  I laughed so hard that no one got spanked.  (Back) You loved to talk on the telephone.  One day I went in the kitchen and you were talking away.  I said, “Traci, hang that phone up.”  You said, “I talking to de operator.”  One day I was making your Christmas dress.  It was a long red one.  I had some white material to make you a pinafore.  I said, “Traci, Mommy’s going to make you another dress out of this white material to go over that one.”  You said-“Oh Mommy, jew gonna make me look just like an angel!”  At that moment, honey, you were an angel to mommy.  I love you.”

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Now as a mother, I know those moments Mom wrote about all to well.  Those moments when you look at your children and you feel like your heart will bust open if you loved them any more.  

Here is a note from when I was four.  Mom always used to tell me that I couldn’t talk plain.  She said she was about the only one who could understand me at times.  :)   I guess I said “flaying” instead of  “playing,” and “bross” instead of “gross.”  She also said I was sneaky and a little bit of trouble.  Huh?  {wink}

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The next one was went I was eight years old.  My favorite part of this letter is the last paragraph on the back.  Mom said I loved to write stories and that I wanted to be a writer someday!!  Oh my goodness!  I can hardly believe that I “write” on my blog for a living!

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This last letter is front and back, and one of my favorite.  It is when I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior.  (I will write it out below the picture in case you cannot read it.)

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 Dear Traci,

Boy, this has been an exciting week for you!  You were saved!  You went forwardin church last Sunday.  Also took your 1st Lord’s Supper.  You will probably be baptized in another week or two.  I’m so proud of you.  More than anything in this world I want you to be in heaven with me.  Now you will!  I love you!  That’s the most important thing you will ever do in your life (be saved.)  

You’ve had a good 3rd grade this year.  Kim Cates is still your best friend.

I’ve got to take you to the doctor to have stitches taken out of your forehead today.  You fell at Satica’s.  You had to have 3 stitches.

Right now at school you all are working on a Japanese program.  I guess I’ll be working on a costume!

I don’t know yet whether you’re going to be on the swim team or not.  You’re a good swimmer.

You’re still taking piano lessons from Mrs. Giacone.  You’re starting your “5th” book!

I hope to get you in a gymnastics class soon. You’re so flexible.  You can do almost anything. 

I thank God He gave me such a precious daughter.  You’re just perfect!

                                                                                                      Much love, 

                                                                                                      Your Loving Mother

P.S.  I pray that God will guide you in your Christian life.  I love you and He does too.

You’ve enjoyed your own room in our new house.  You have slept with about 5 dolls and 2 stuffed animals every night.

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Letters full of love.  From a mother to her daughter.

Letters that still make this daughter feel so loved after all these years.  

Mom knew the power of words and the gift of writing.  She was known by family and friends as an encourager and prayer warrior through the countless cards and letters she sent to others. 

Some of her last earthly acts before she died was writing back all of the people who had sent her get well cards.

Mom may not be living now.  

I might not get to pick up the phone and talk to her when I need her.  

But she is forever in my heart.  Her words still encourage me.  They still inspire me.

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I pray that my boys feel the same love in the letters I write to them.

Is there someone in your life that needs a letter of love from you this week?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Haven 2015!!! Tickets go on sale on Monday!!!!!

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Oh my goodness!!  

I can NOT believe it is time for tickets

to go on sale for Haven 2015!!! 

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Jon Acuff is the New York Times Bestselling author of five books including his most recent, Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work and Never Get Stuck.

For 16 years he’s helped some of the biggest brands in the world tell their story, including The Home Depot, Bose, Staples, and the Dave Ramsey Team. Most recently he’s spoken to hundreds of thousands of people at conferences, colleges, companies and churches. Featured regularly on national media, Jon has been seen on CNN, Fox News, Good Day LA and several other key outlets.

In addition, Jon is also a big proponent of social media with blogs that have been read by 4 million people and more than 230,000 twitter followers. In 2010 he used his influence with his tribe to build two kindergartens in Vietnam. Jon lives with his wife Jenny and two daughters in Franklin, TN.

Visit John’s site HERE.

 

We have been super busy planning the BEST Haven yet!  

Meet or reconnect with some of your favorite bloggers

and sharpen your DIY and Blogging skills all at the same time!

I hope to see you there!!!

If you have been blogging for four years or more, and would like to apply to be a speaker,

you can do so HERE.

 

More details coming soon!!!!

team

 

On Monday, you can click HERE to purchase your tickets.


       

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Healthy Power Bites

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Hey friends!  Life threw me a crazy (but good) curveball this week, so I didn’t get to post yesterday.  I will post my video for my Organize Your Heart series soon.  :)

And I will share my “curve ball” with you next week!  EXCITING NEWS!!!

But today, here is sweet Ruthie with another GREAT recipe!  This looks great for a healthy start to then new year!!

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Hi everybody at Beneath my Heart! It’s Ruthie from Cooking with Ruthie

Happy New Years! I hope your new years resolutions are in full swing and keeping you headed in a good direction. I always find myself rededicating myself to a healthy life style after the holidays are over… which brings us to my Healthy Power Bites recipe.

Oh. my. goodness. I’m not lying when I say I totally crave these little things! Seriously, they’re amazing and SO easy to make. We love them for a quick snack and they’re great for the kids to take to school too.

Healthy Power Bites Recipe on www.cookingwithruthie.com You'll love this healthy for you snack!

 

 

Healthy Power Bites
 
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Ruthie
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 15
Ingredients
  • 1 C whole oats
  • 1/2 C all natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 C honey
  • 1/4 C miled flax seed
  • 1/4 C chai seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 C mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl.
  2. Using a wooden spoon; stir until combined.
  3. Roll into 1 inch balls.
  4. Store in air tight container and refrigerate uneaten bites.
  5. Enjoy!
 

 

Healthy Power Bites Recipe on www.cookingwithruthie.com You'll love this healthy for you snack!

Healthy Power Bites are full of good for you ingredients… omega’s, antioxidants, and protein just to name a few.

Y’all will love them as much as we do! Promise.

Here are a few more healthy and delicious recipes to kick start a Healthy New Year…

Healthy Omega 3 Cookies Recipe from www.cookingwithruthie.com Are a deliciously healthy treat!

Healthy Omega 3 Cookies

Truvia Raspberry Coconut Oats Smoothie is a healthy way to start the day! by www.cookingwithruthie.com

Raspberry Coconut Oat Smoothie

Gluten-free Cauliflower Pizza Crust will knock your socks off! YUM! by www.cookingwithruthie.com

Gluten Free Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Thanks so much for having me over to visit… I love coming and sharing some of the love from my kitchen with all of you.

You’re more than welcome to come by my place anytime… catch me at www.cookingwithruthie.com or connect with me on Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram !

xoxo~ Ruthie


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My Giant Command Center!

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Hey, Hey!

Well, we had a snow day here, and my boys are home.  That’s a good thing and a bad thing.  :)  Ya know what I mean?

I love having them here, but it puts a serious dent in my plans.  I’m still trying to get my office organized, and I am making progress, but it is slow.  I feel like the tortoise.  The Hare is kicking my tale!

Today, I am sharing my “throwback” post, so that I have more time to work on my office this week. 

This post was originally posted on August 27, 2013.  

Enjoy!

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I am so excited to show you my project today!

I have been wanting to make a “command center” in my home for like fo-ev-a!

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The biggest goal in my life right now is to be more ORGANIZED!  In our last home, I finally felt like I had a handle on all our “stuff,” and then we moved. Sad smile

It has taken almost 2 1/2 years in our new home for me to finally feel like I am starting to get more organized.  It has been so hard to be organized when, for the past two years, our house has looked like this…

installing kitchen floor

And this….

removing the kitchen soffit

Oh, and this…

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Just looking at those pictures gives me the hives!

 

So I cannot tell you how grateful I am that I now have an office space in our home where I can get my life organized!

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I’m loving my craft closet.

And I’m starting to enjoy my new desk space, even though it isn’t completely finished.

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But more than anything else, I am loving my Giant Command Center.

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I am a visual person, and I need to SEE things all laid out to help me stay organized.

So I painted a huge square on my wall with Chalkboard Paint from Lowe’s.

Then I used some inexpensive 1×3’s to frame it.

Since I like to see more than one month at a time, I decided to create 3 calendar grids on my wall.giant wall command center

I used a large level and a permanent white paint marker to create my calendar grids.

I decided to color-code the events on my calendar with Chalk-Ink markers.  (They are like chalk, but like a marker too.  I got mine at Hobby Lobby and Michaels.)

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The boys LOVE that they have their own color.  I hot glued a little wicker votive holder to the wall and placed my chalk markers in them.  Now, each event on the calendar is color-coded for each member of the family!

I bought a $5.00 clear plastic folder holder from Walmart, and spray painted it blue.  Then I hot glued that to the wall as well!  Smile

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The metal memo board is also from Walmart.  I use it to jot down important things that I need to remember to do.  I also use magnets to attach any appointment cards to it.  The little memo pad is magnetic, so it attaches perfectly to my metal memo board.  I use the memo pad to make my grocery lists or jot down any errands I need to run that day.  I tear the paper off and take it with me!

Hands down, my FAVORITE part of the Command Center is the four clipboards at the bottom!

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I have had a HORRIBLE time keeping up with all of my boys’ papers from school.  So I created a clip board for each of them to keep all of their important papers.  It has already saved my life this school year!  (I put four nails in the wall and hung a clipboard on each.)

When they bring home important papers from school about field trips or important school dates to remember, I say, “Clip it to your board!”

Now we always know where to find their papers.  It’s so much better than being buried in a pile of papers on my desk, like they used to be!

So there you have it!

Do I look organized or what?!

giant wall command center

 

I wish the rest of my house looked this way.  Smile

Baby steps, people, baby steps.

 

Do you have a command center

in your home?

 See you tomorrow for my last post in my “Organize Your Heart” video series!


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Tips and Tricks to Organizing Your Home Management

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Welcome to the last week of Organize Your Heart and Home!

Organize heart and home

This week, we are focusing on Home Management Organization.

 

THIS is the area of my home that needs the most help!  I am soooooo not good at keeping up with paperwork and keeping things organized in my office.   It is definitely not my “gift.”

It bugs me to death that I struggle so much in this area.  Last year, I spent a week in January printing printables and putting together binders for all of my important “home stuff.”  Those binders have basically sat on my shelves, unused, the entire year.  Ugh.

So I am spending this week getting my office organized again.  Here is some evidence on Instagram…

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I’ve been scouring the web for Home Management inspiration, and here are some of my favorite to get you and I going! :)

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Jen from I Heart Organizing shares how she does her budget binder.  She also has links to a lot of other great info too!

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 Here is another great post on a Home Management Binders

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I liked some of the simple stuff I found in this post at Modern Ms. Darcy.   There is a link to a book that I downloaded, and I am going to read soon.  I think I need it. :)

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I really liked the idea of this simple chore chart, from Not Consumed, for my boys.  Right now, we do not have a chore system in place, and we are needing one badly.  I might give this a try by adding one more zone.  :) 

Free-Simple-Chore-Chart

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Here are some simple and doable tips to help you manage your time at home from Cloudy with a Chance of Wine.

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This is one of MY FAVORITE organizing blogs, A Bowl Full of Lemons! There is SO much great information there!  You can find how to organizing your bills, organize your meals, and how to organize your cleaning schedule.  

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Hope these ideas will help get your started on organizing your home!  I will be sharing my “mostly” organized office on Thursday instead of tomorrow. :)  I’ve still got a LOT to do in there!

Have a blessed day!

 


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My Style Saturday

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Hey, friends!

I have not done a fashion post in a loooooong time, but I am going to try and do some more often, if that is okay with you?  :)

My sister is a fashion blogger, and I have learned a LOT from her.  Two years ago, you would have found me in yoga pants every day of the week, except Sunday.  I wouldn’t wear my yoga pants to church, but I wanted to!  I just could never figure out how to wear them with heels without looking like a hoochiemama.

But over the past year, I barely ever wear yoga pants except for when I am hanging out around the house.  And I have to tell you, I kinda like it.  I “try” to get dressed up each day, even if I am just going to Walmart.  And when I say “dressed up,” I don’t mean dressy, I just mean no yoga pants. 

And I have to say that it makes me feel better about myself.  I always felt a little “sloppy” in my yoga pants, but getting up and putting on an outfit makes me feel more professional and gives me a “go get them” attitude.  I’m trying to have a more “professional” attitude when working from home, and dressing up definitely helps me feel more professional.  That is one of the things I miss about being a teacher, getting up, getting dressed, and feeling professional.

So every now and then, I am going to share with you some of the outfits I wear during the week.  This week, I shared some of my outfits on Instagram.  If you don’t follow me on Instagram, I would love for you too HERE.

I wore this polka-dot blouse (from StitchFix) with jeans and my favorite brown boots that I got at JCPenny’s three years. ago.  I also wore some gray boot socks.

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For church on Sunday, I wore a brown and black striped dress (from StitchFix) with my black boots I got at Dillards on New Years Day.  (They have an AWESOME sale on New Year’s Day every year!)  The boots were 50% the already reduced price.  :) 

I added a black sweater that I already had with my dress because it is sleeveless.

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Lastly, I got this awesome infinity scarf in my StitchFix box this month, and I love it!  It is a grayish-brown with a few red stripes in it.  It goes with almost everything!

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Now to keep it real, here is a shot  I took at The Dollar Store one night.  I was already in my pj’s when one of the boys told me they needed something for school.  The pj’s are from Target a couple of years ago, and the slippers are from Kohl’s.  hee.hee.

I had to post it on instagram and tag my sister just for meanness.  

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So there you have it!  Just a few snippets from my week.

Do you like to get dressed up every day even if you work from home?  

What makes you feel motivated to get things done each day?

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