Saturday, June 21, 2014

Complete Surrender - I Surrender All

   This is more of a reflective and light bulb type of moment for me than my normals posts on my blog about crafts, my sweet little boy, and my family moments. This is a growing moment for me spiritually. 
   My family, like every family, has various situations that we struggle with from time to time, but lately there has been an echoing phrase that keeps coming to us in so many ways and I needed to share... "The strongest position you can be in is complete surrender"
   This past Thursday a complete stranger by all aspects, but yet an instantly dear and precious support team said this to me and I noted it immediately as it is so true. 
   As I shared this talk with my parents my mom had tears well up in her eyes because just the day prior a sweet aquantance, but someone she really just came to know said the same to her, but related to a different current trial. 
   Over the last week my family and I have been brought into the path of strangers, friends, and family members saying this phrase to us word for word and some with different wording, but identical meaning...
   I was told "The strongest position you can be in is complete surrender" sounds like an oxymoron and they knew this, but it truly is the strongest place to be in your life because then God is in total control and he is guiding you. He is completely guiding you on a path that is of his intent. 
   I'm thankful for this truth, thankful for my wonderful family who are my dearest friends and supporters and I am thankful for the complete strangers as well that God puts in our paths as wonderful new friends and loud/clear constant reminders to us all that this place we are in right now is again as follows... "The strongest position you can be in is complete surrender".
   Where I am at now may be a turning point in my profession, but it is definitely a turning point in my faith and hopefully my ability to remember that God is in control ALWAYS. When we feel we have lost our handle on the wheel and are swirling out of control He IS steering us more accurately towards His plan for us than ever before. 
   I just wanted to share how these words keep coming up and from people totally unrelated to each other as clear reminders from God of how we should be viewing our trials and that we need to not be upsetting ourselves due to the lack of control, but instead excited to know God has control always and that is far better than our ability to handle any and all situations anyway. So in these moments of fear instead have faith and remember "This is the strongest place you can be in", pray, be at peace, and walk in the way He is leading you. 
   Though I know it seems silly because it is a prayer said for my audience without any of you actually being a part at the time I say it I still need to and just know when you read it I did pray this for my family and all of you. God Bless. Lots of Love From Mia :)


Dear Lord,
   I prayer you be with each and every one of us experiencing trials and moments of total confusion as to where our path is taking us next. I pray you allow us all to have the strength and peace to know that "The strongest position we can be in is complete surrender". Please give us the ability to walk as you are leading us and to know the steps you want us to take so that we are fully living Your plan for us and not our own. Please forgive our constant need to take control and help us let go so that we may rise to new levels of faith and success in our relationships with You. Bless and protect us all dear Lord and please put peace in our hearts as we go through these times of total blindness as to where we will end up. May we all know and realize though that this is exactly where we want to be and continue to be to reach our full potential for God and as examples and caretakers for our loved ones. Thank You for your many blessings and constant patience! 
Amen

"The strongest position you can be in is complete surrender"

   Thanks so much for reading this and being a part of my blog, but most importantly for taking this message to others as I hope it impacts and uplifts you all as it has me and my family. 





Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Upcycling! Pallet Projects at Their Finest!!!

   I am loving the wonderful reuse of items we find around us!! Beautiful projects created from up cycled things giving new life to old pieces or remaking something into a totally different use by the end. 
   We are reusing, recycling, up cycling, saving money, and making our spaces our own!! Just love it!!!
   This time I'm totally focusing on pallet up cycling. I have project finds and some of my own that are money saving and just lovely additions to your home or anywhere really. I hope you enjoy this compilation of creativity!!! 


   
~~ Pallet Trunk ~~ 
   A pallet trunk! Love it! There are a million different ways you could alter this idea too! Colors and stains can very, design and hinges to finish it off can be personalized, you could even go shabby chic and paint some of the boards in various colors and then sand to have that aged and beautifully colored finish!! I really want to work on this concept with a full lid and hinged on the back. Trunks are one of those things that you love to have in your house, but often the price tag can keep them from finding their way out of the shop! Use pallets to make a trunk and wow no expense and beautiful! Love the ideas! Love the finished product!  

http://m.instructables.com/id/Pallet-Trunk/


~~ Shelving for the home ~~ 

   This blog is actually showing crates for shelving through out the home and crates are so versatile and awesome really! I say though take this project one step further and if you want to then make a crate out of a pallet you have on hand! 

http://chicksandgluesticks.blogspot.com/2011/11/more-january-ideas.html?m=1


~~ Pallet Trays ~~
   Wish I knew where this idea originally linked to, but I cannot find so I have just included on here and I love it!!! What a super idea with nails and handles being the only purchases involved! :) 

~~ Pallet Bench Ideas ~~ 

   This one incorporates the sanded paint on boards and I really love that look! Beautiful piece! 

http://bec4-beyondthepicketfence.blogspot.com/2012/04/patchwork-pallet.html?m=1


~~ Pallet Art ~~ 

   This has unlimited possibilities. I love this one specifically, but think you could do cute fishing sayings, family quotes you love, your family Bible verse, or that quote "You Are My Sunshine" which I love so much in baby rooms and used for those types if decor! ;) Love this! 

http://www.infarrantlycreative.net/thanksgiving-pallet-art/

~~ Pallet Bed Frame ~~ 

   This is my king size bed remade with pallets and upholstered head board for less than $90! I was so excited at the money saved and the finished project for our home! Again possibilities are endless and you can chose colors for upholstery that match your preference. I chose neutrals and a pattern I just loved from Hobby Lobby (while using my 40 % off coupon) and then I went back and added throw pillows with pops of the accent colors we wanted. We added ocean blues and greens with the colors on the below pictures as our base :) 

http://mommamiamoments.blogspot.com/2014/05/diy-king-headboard-total-king-size-bed.html?m=1

~~ Pallet Outdoor Bench ~~ 
   I love this idea for a front porch or garden space! You could take it indoors too! Love the design though :D 

http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/2011/08/how-i-built-pallet-sofa-part-2.html


~~ Pallet Towel Holder ~~ 

   The link included below this project idea actually links to about thirty other projects ideas! So this link has a lot to offer and so many great ideas!! 

http://palletfurniturediy.com/pallet-furniture/30-diy-furniture-made-from-wooden-pallets/


~~ Pallet Wine Rack ~~ 

   Really neat looking piece. Very clean lines and I love it! 

http://m.hometalk.com/#!/1161493/diy-15-wine-rack


~~ Pallet Wine Rack # 2 ~~

   Here is another approach to a wine rack that I also love. Cannot find a link on this one, but it's pretty self explanatory. Ask if questions, but this is a great looking DIY wine rack with pallets as well! 



   These are some favorite pallet project of mine! Hope you all enjoy them too! 

~~ Mia ~~ 




Friday, June 13, 2014

July 4th Fun & Food Ideas, Recipes, Crafts!!!

   It's approaching the 4th of July and this is a great list of fun finds and recipes to make the celebration special These will make memories and enjoyable moments for all ages!! :)



~~Favorite Food Finds for the 4th~~
   
Patriotic Pie! 
Love this!! Perfect pie for the holiday. A special conversation piece and delicious addition to your gathering on the 4th. 
Visit link: http://thewinthropchronicles.blogspot.com/2013/06/american-flag-pie.html?m=1


An Awesome Fruit Grill 

Really speaks for itself! I love it and had to share! Directions in following link: http://www.projectdenneler.com/2013/07/a-grill-to-thrill.html?m=1

~~Decor Options for the 4th~~

DIY Linen Table Runner 

DIY table runner. This is a really pretty linen table runner or you could adapt the idea to a table cloth!! This was on Babble, but I can't find a link that works so FYI it was a Babble find. Just make slits tot he width of your ribbon choice and weave through. Again you could go so many directions with this one: a wreath, a full tablecloth, the runner as shown, a cute DIY apron for Dad or Mom on the 4th! A lot of options!! 

Entrance Door Hanging 

This is available on Etsy at below link and I think it's adorable! 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/99975370/4th-of-july-wreath-door-hanger-4th-




~~Arts and Crafts for the 4th~~

Fun American Flag

This one is really neat because it is an opportunity to get hand and foot prints preserved while making an exciting project for you little ones to create!! Take the chance to teach them a little history behind our flag and the holiday while they do this fun painting! 

Ball Jar 4th of July Theme 

This is an easy DIY project and it looks great! Simple way to decorate at your party and not overwhelm yourself with preparation that is too much to even take on. Love this one as well!
Link to visit for more details:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/99975370/4th-of-july-wreath-door-hanger-4th-


HAPPY 4th OF JULY!!! I HOPE YOU, YOUR FAMILY, AND YOUR FRIENDS HAVE A BEAUTIFUL DAY!!! 




Friday, June 6, 2014

New Baby On The Way !!! My List Of Favorite Items for Mommy andBaby :) / DIY, Personalized, Custom Made Options, & Must Haves

   This is a list of my very favorites items that I have come across as a mommy. These are things I am planning for my sisters when they have little ones. All are wonderful gift options for yourself or someone else who is expecting. This list offers items that make and record endless special moments, provide comfort for mommy while pregnant, offer convenience and efficiency after baby's arrival, and just items that you need, I promise you, and you will love!!!
   When I was pregnant my family bought me a few things that I would say were absolutely my favorite gifts that I received!! I would NEVER be without them they meant so much to me while pregnant. 

1) Personalized Birth Information Stuffed Animal
   One of my lovely sisters just loves monkeys and Curious George. She has always been a fan. I will absolutely have to get this sweet little monkey with personalized birth information embroidered on it!! I love, love this!! It's just like the concept where they put birth information or first home information on pillows, but this is even more special as a baby gift because the info is on this stuffed monkey and he's so cute! 


Listed on Etsy at the following link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/176687817/personalized-baby-gift-monogrammed?utm_source=OpenGraph&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share

2) DIY Personalized Growth Chart 
   I absolutely love these. Wish I had one of these from the moment my son was born. I have made one now and plan to go back and mark prior heights on it along with his birth information to complete it since I have gotten a late start on this. He is 1 1/2 now so I still have plenty of marks ahead of me, but I want some prior ones too! :) 
   I have included some neat links to both a step by step DIY growth chart and then also some really pretty things you can purchase from Etsy that are pre-made markings for the rulers in your requested information. I would kind of blend both links and do as much as you like on your own and then jump to Etsy or your local hardware store for number and letter options! :D I also really love the DIY rulers with full birth stats positioned on it somewhere and those types of things are also available on Etsy. 

Etsy Link for letters:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/124464581/growth-chart-ruler-add-on-custom

DIY Link with Full Tutorial: 
http://dailymom.com/nest/diy-growth-chart-ruler/

3) Pacifier Holders 
   There are tons of pacifier holder options that attach to your baby's clothing, car seat, toys, etc. My favorite is the handmade crocheted pacifier holder! It has a loop on either end and is made from the softest crocheted yarn so that it won't pinch or poke baby with metal attachments. These attach to everything wonderfully. You just loop it around the pacifier and loop it around a button, belt loop, etc on your baby's outfit. They come in all colors and different styles, but here are a couple of my favorites. 
Link below: 
https://www.etsy.com/listing/177256901/pacifier-clip
ref=cat_gallery_1&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery




Link of another style I love: 
https://www.etsy.com/listing/180955060/shell-style-crocheted-pacifier-holders?ref=cat_gallery_1&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery




4) Muslin Swaddling Blankets
   These are awesome! They are larger than normal receiving blankets and wonderful for swaddling your little one. They are the perfect weight to use as a cover for your little one or a breast feeding cover on the go for you. Also perfect size and fabric thickness to use as a throw over your car seat or stroller when baby goes into public places. Excellent must have item!!! You will not regret them. :D 


5) Double Electric Breast Pump 
   If you are breastfeeding and a working mommy you will love this. It really helps you provide and meet the needs of your little one with flexibility on time invested while you are dealing with your hectic day at work. Absolutely a great addition!


6) Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Bag
   I have to admit this one was a splurge, but a wonderful gift from my family! I absolutely love these diaper bags. They are excellent quality, incredibly spacious and organized with excessive amounts of pockets, and a few of the styles even have a full fold out changing station on the side (this is the style I have) and it is absolutely amazing!!! A good diaper bag is a wonderful, wonderful addition to the new mommy supplies!! I stand firmly behind this brand and their efficiency!!


7) Stroller with a reversible seat 
   There are various brands that make the stroller seat so that it can be reversed for baby to be facing you instead of everyone else while they are in their stroller. The design is normally so that you can set the stroller seat front facing and it can fit from a little one to an older child with just a few adjustments and snapping on/off the tray across its front. You can also flip the seat around the other way and there is a foot rest that folds all the way up to close off the end of the seat, the seat lays completely back, and the little hood completely covers the seat creating more of an on the go bassinet type of layout. I have one by Graco and love it!!! My little one wakes and can often be startled if he opens his eyes to a room full of strangers and this way I would have him facing me so he could wake and feel secure that I was there. Also, when they are little things we know avoiding sickness is a big deal and keeping them away from anything dangerous is a concern. This design stroller is a wonderful way to protect your little one during those early months and beyond. Wonderful, convenient, awesome!!! 


8) Snoogle Pillow
   When I was about 4 months along my sister bought me a Snoogle. If you have never heard of these please note you must not forget this!!! Haha, but seriously you will not want to forget this! :) They are an amazing, wonderful, miracle working provider of restful sleep! I mean there will still be times as always with pregnancy where you find difficulty settling in and making you and baby comfortable, but as a general rule that thing did NOT leave my side! They are sold at various places as the market has expanded for these, but you can definitely find them at places such as Motherhood Maternity, Baby's R Us, and Buy Buy Baby. 

9) Maternity Support Belts & Tummy Sleeves
   Maternity support belts and tummy sleeves were a wonderful and comforting addition to my daily attire at home and at work while pregnant. Again my sweet sister is the type to research things as her family and friends are experiencing new things. She tries to find things to be supportive and beneficial when she gifts. Wonderful gift and I will do the same in return! 
   In regards to the maternity support belt I noticed cramping in my lower stomach and discomfort far worse on my days that I would forget to put my support belt on versus the days I wore it. Most days I made it a point not to forget, but forgetting it happened from time to time and I definitely noticed the difference. They are so wonderful! I just cannot say the difference they made in how I felt not to mention they are supposed to be very beneficial in assisting your body with bouncing back post pregnancy. 
   As far as the tummy sleeve is concerned, it was a comfort thing to me. I'm not sure if these actually offer benefits  that are massive, but comfort while pregnant is key. They certainly made my belly feel more wrapped and supported in a comfortable and snuggled sort of way if that makes sense. I loved them and suggest them highly as well. 


10) Morning Sickness Snack Pack
   You need a nightstand beside you with a pre-packed and prepared snack tray. Things that appeal to your cravings most importantly and settle in your stomach when morning sickness hits. 
   When you roll over in the morning I was always told that if you are feeling morning sickness try to avoid lifting your head, grab a few bites (crackers and things of that sort are most settling), and a sip of something before sitting up. Generally this eases the nausea. The pre-packed snack box beside your bed is just an excellent, convenient, life saver for the many moments of morning sickness that we experience and anything to ease that is wonderful. If you are not expecting, but wanting to customize this idea to someone that is expecting then try and gift an organizational/fun tray of some sort with an assortment you may know they like as an easy encouraging option for them to start a morning sickness cheat tray. :) 

11) A Pregnancy Journal
   You can find these anywhere or you can just grab a generic journal and make it your own with DIY touches which I love. You will just find there are so many things to keep up with, so many questions and thoughts that are experienced, and just an endless amount of special moments and feelings that you will want to note so trust me these journals are so worth it and just priceless in the end for you and your little one to look at in the future.  
   After I got married my mom gave me the pregnancy journal she kept while pregnant with me and this was a very special keepsake with all of her thoughts and feelings. These are priceless for you and your little one. 

12) Mommy Gift Basket 
   Preparing gift baskets for an expectant mommy with thoughtful and encouraging little gifts are wonderful! It was done for me and I will do it for my sisters without a doubt! 
   A favorite, funny gift I received was a mood calendar. I could flip to my current mood no matter if it was "don't mess with me" or an "all is right in the world" type of day! :) I loved this gift and it stayed by my bed every day for my entire pregnancy (and after haha). My husband said this gift was a favorite gift for him as well because he could be pre-warned of where my emotions stood at that time and respond appropriately! :D 
   Add things to the expectant mommy gift basket like: 
* Lolly pops and teas for nausea and various other symptom relieving natural options for things experienced during pregnancy. 
* Place some belly butter in the basket 
* Maybe a frame or booklet for ultrasound pictures to be displayed. 
* A book about the pregnancy experience for reading and preparation and a book they love to just cuddle up with for fun
* A voucher for a pregnancy pampering day
These are just some ideas to name for examples and to inspire. Just go according to the person as you know their likes and dislikes best and just customize this to them, but no matter the content this will be so appreciated! 

13) Hanging Diaper Organizer 
   This is wonderful!! I love these no matter if you use cloth or store bought diapers. My mom gave me one of these and they are an excellent storage and organizational piece!   
Link for one offered at Target is below:
http://m.target.com/p/eddie-bauer-hanging-diaper-organizer-ivory/-/A-14770567

15) Gift for Daddy
   I know this doesn't keep with my theme for Mommy's, but my mom made a Daddy Diaper Bag for my shower. It included my husband and was really sweet because they are expecting and excited too! You see them called "Daddy Doody Bags" (instead of Daddy Duty Bag) and cute names like that. :) Just customize it according to the sex of the baby and the personality of the Daddy. My husband loves back packs and she packed a back pack with little boy items and neat finds like pacifiers that snap shut if they fall so the pacifier nipple stays clean, some blankets and burp clothes, an outfit or two, and some cute little toys, etc. Just a really neat idea and a good way to include the entire new expectant couple! :) 
Below is one cute list idea I saw that includes some other funny options for humor as well! :) 


15) Handmade / Personalized Burp Clothes
   My mom made some precious personalized burp clothes for my little guy when he was born. She crocheted edges on prefold cloth diapers in little boy colors and also put ribbons on the edges of some with her sewing machine as well! All precious details and I, my son, and everyone that sees them loves them! All of our friends get a set per their request when they find out they are expecting! :) 

16) Handmade Hooded Baby Towel 
   Another awesome piece that my mom made for me! She took a towel and a hand towel cut in half and made a hooded towel. She lined the sewn edge with a patterned ribbon for my little guy and again this is another one of those things everyone asks for and she gifts for each new arrival! :D 

17) DIY Nursing Tank Tops
   Love this link and it's DIY projects! Also, if you are not able to make these you can stop in at Motherhood Maternity or various other places and they sell the click open and close tank tops too, but this is an awesome alternative!! Love it!!!

Link below: 
http://www.babybellykelli.com/diy-nursing-tankcami-in-under-10-mins/

   I hope you love this list as much as I do!!! Congratulations if you are reading this because you or a loved one is expecting!!!!! :)

Coasters, Placemats & More: Beautiful Free Crochet Patterns


   I found a great post that gives a list of very pretty free crochet patterns and the links to the sites that offer them. These are some excellent sites with really wonderful patterns. Hope you enjoy!!! 
The link is listed below. You all will love it! 


http://www.omgheart.com/2014/06/01/free-pattern-summertime-crochet/







Thursday, June 5, 2014

Healthy & Homemade !! Recipes for Natural Cleaning Products, SkinHealth, Kitchen Cupboard Staple Item Recipes, Eliminating Preservatives

   I have found some very good sites and lists with excellent alternatives to the store bought staple items for around the house. Homemade versions of some basic necessities in the kitchen, laundry room, and more....



   All of these sites offer healthy, money saving, preservative limiting options for the health of your family and home!! I hope you enjoy these finds and they are helpful to your family as well!!

   At the top of my list is a site that shows homemade recipes for a variety of things including: ketchup, mayo, yogurt, salad dressings, shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, and the list goes on! This site offers some excellent choices for the family that are a healthy and frugal way to approach daily living. You can control what your family ingests and not be left questioning how many preservatives and "unknown ingredients" they may be consuming on a daily basis or what their eventual effects may be. These types of recipes are excellent as well for individuals with allergies to better monitor and control what everyone it taking in to avoid unknown negative reactions. 
   To read the article and get the full list visit: http://www.naturallivingideas.com/50-things-to-stop-buying/2/



   A homemade recipe for Febreze taking the average cost of around $5.00 a bottle to $.15 cents is another must have for your day to day home DIY lists! Money saver and very useful. 
View the recipe at: http://starneslifefamilylove.blogspot.com/2012/06/homemade-febreze.html?m=1




   The next site has 10 DIY cleaning recipes for everything from carpet stain removers to dishwasher cleaning solutions. 
Visit the site and view all recipes at: 
http://www.picklee.com/2012/04/13/10-remarkable-diy-cleaning-solutions/#.T4isz9WlfNI



   The following find offers lots of informative uses and purposes for items around the home with dozens of recipes for DIY cleaning products you need to try! 
Visit the site at: http://www.younghouselove.com/2009/10/clean-up-your-act-all-natural-homemade-cleaners/



   Here is a homemade balm recipe useful for a variety of things such as eczema, chapped lips, dry hands, and more. 
Visit for the recipe: http://www.livingunrefined.com/2013/05/homemade-balm.html?m=1




Thanks so much for reading this and I hope your family finds it as useful as mine does!! Feel free to please read and share. :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Mommy Moment / Reflection

   The honor of being a parent is not something to be taken lightly. It is such a special job with such a true love at it's core. I just can't imagine life without my little guy. He makes me smile when no one else can. He is my little light.
   I'm so thankful to God for his presence in our lives and the sweet little heart he has, for his smile and his laugh, for his singing and loud jabbering in his own language. He's just the perfect little piece that stole my whole heart.  
   I tried before he was born to do as I should, but since he's been born it's even more my main focus. I want to be an example that gives him the foundation he needs. He inspires me to be better and work harder and try even more than before. 
   I'm watching him sleep tonight and just had to share my hearts thoughts. I don't know what I would do without that sweet little angel and we all need to remember in the stressful times and overwhelming times as parents and just as people dealing with life's challenges how blessed we are for the special people in our lives and the fact that we have someone always there watching out for us as well. 


Sunroom Makeover: Part 2!

   Well, with life’s chaos this second part of the makeover took a touch longer than planned! :) Since our third little ones arrival we have...