Friday, April 27, 2012

Bookmarks for April

*Bookmarks is an online book club hosted at Creative2xmom.  Here we discuss the books we've read in the past month as well as the suggested reading.  Our suggested reading for April was Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis.

These are the books I read this month:
Every Body Matters by Gary Thomas--You can find my review here.

The Scent of Cherry Blossoms by Cindy Woodsmall--You can find my review here.

Our monthly reading for April was Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis and Beth Clark.

I have a confession to make.  I haven't been a good reader this month.  In fact due to a glitch in the ordering at Barnes and Noble, I didn't even get this book till two days ago and I'm only two chapters in.  So far I like, but what can you really say after two chapters?  Did anyone else get a chance to read?  I'll be posting my thoughts on this book after next week.

So what are your bookmarks this month?

Tell us in the comments about the books you're chewing on.  Or link up a review from your own blog.  Let's share the books we're finding, good and bad.  And give us your thoughts if you've had a chance to read Davis' Kisses from Katie.

And come back Friday May 25 as we discuss Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas and others that you're reading.

*Linked to these Parties

Redeemed Giveaway Extended!

I love this Redeemed line from Dayspring and wanted to give you all a chance to enter the giveaway. The deadline was supposed to be this evening, but I really want to give you a chance. So the deadline has been extended till Monday midnight. Good luck!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Do-It-Yourself: Sourdough Bread

Ooops!  This was one of the DIY projects I was most looking forward to and you know what?  I completely screwed it up.  For starters, the holiday threw me off at the beginning of the month and I forgot to even get my starter going.  About mid-way through the month, I finally did that, sat it in a nice warm corner for my kitchen,... and forgot about it.  About a week later, I saw it sitting there and realized I hadn't fed it at all.  That poor little starter was looking pretty pathetic.

So I finally put together another starter on Monday, but that's not enough time for me to follow through and give you results in this month.  I probably won't bake till this weekend and then still won't have time to work the kinks out.  Sorry!  Chalk this one up to a FAIL on my part.  But I promise I'll be back in May with a Part Two to this post and I'll let you know if it worked.  In the meantime, here are some of the resources I've been using to get started.

Starting a Sourdough Starter

Sourdough Starter

How to Make a Sourdough Starter

Monday, April 23, 2012

That Works for Me {Review}

This EBook Works for Me!

For five years, Works for Me Wednesday has been helping homemakers, parents, and bloggers alike search for real solutions.  Solutions that really work and fit into our ever-filling lives.  

And for years, readers have clamored a book that would compile some of the best tips and tricks in an easy format.  A book that would put so many of these solutions right at our finger tips.

Well, this month... it's here!

That Works for Me is an EBook containing over 800 tips by over 300 contributing bloggers, organized into 24 categories!  This easy to navigate books has clickable links taking the reader to the very tip post, providing for more in-depth information.  Each solution has a brief senopsis and the reader can click over to find full details.

Want to know how to babywearing, dry skin brushing, or how to choose the best clothes for your body shape?  How about enabling google reader, making crafts with your kids, or becoming a coupon family?  Or what about planning a romantic date night at home with your hubby?

This books features some of the best tips that Works for Me has to offer.  I'm already learning a ton from this book and can't wait for you to enjoy it too!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Redeemed Review and Giveaway

Dayspring is now offering an incredible line entitled Redeemed.  These are just a few of my favorite pieces:
Vintage Glass Vase

Truly Beautiful Make Up Bag

Everything Beautiful Decorative Lantern

Dayspring also asked me to review both the: 
Redeemed Necklace


Tabletop Mirror

Both of these pieces are just stunning.  I'm not usually one for having a mirror out in the mornings, but I really like how sturdy this one is.  I was afraid it would wobble with every bump of the dresser, but it's very well made.  And I love the verse etched in the glass: He has made everything beautiful in its time.  Ecclesiastes 3:11.

The necklace is beautiful as well.  Although the pendant is larger than I imagined, the chain is also longer and balances out the size of the pendant.  The detail is incredible and although big, it remains feminine.

So for a little good news, during the month of April, 10 items from the Redeemed line are on 20% discount, including both of these review items.  Click here for the discounts.

But wait there's more.  Dayspring has graciously donated a coupon code for one lucky Creative2xmom reader to receive this Redeemed Tabletop Mirror.  Please note that the winner will be responsible for shipping costs and the code expires July 31, 2012.  I really do love this piece and would be excited for one of you to own it as well.  

To enter: Simply leave me a comment telling me what Redeemed means to you.

Additional entries: Follow Creative2xmom on Facebook, Twitter, or through Google Friend Connect.  Simply leave an additional comment(s) letting me know which one you choose,  (Feel free to choose all if you don't mind my jabbering.)

Entries will close Monday April 30th at 12pm PST.  I will post and email the winner on Friday.

Good luck to all the entrants.

*Disclaimer: I received the Redeemed Necklace and Mirror from Dayspring free for my review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday Muddle

So this was a crazy weekend for us.  In fact, I'm just sitting down now to get some writing done for this week and I'm not sure how I'm going to get it all done.  Life is busy.

I woke up Friday morning feeling so sick.  I called my husband to see if he could get off work a little early, but he was stuck.  So I pulled together all my strength to take Noah to school and the baby to a Dr's appointment.  By the time I got home, I was beat.  The rest of the day was a blur for me.  Luckily, my husband was awake enough from working all night and took care of the kids.  Family movie night was fun.  We watched Herbie Goes Bananas.  My kids love those old Disney movies.

Saturday morning I felt so much better and we got so much done.  My husband got tires on the car then took the kids out front to wash both cars.  I worked on a bunch of laundry and planted a ton of vegetables.  I'm hoping the spot I picked for the pumpkins will work.  Noah had a T-ball game that afternoon and later we went to a friend's birthday party.  It was a fun day, but oh, we were exhausted.  I fell asleep on the couch watching a movie with my hubby.

Sunday was much of the same: homework, kids, housework.  I can hardly believe the weekend flew by so quickly.  What ever happened to those long luxurious weekends of lounging in my jammies?  Oh, yeah, those disappeared with my waistline.  We're busy packing and making last minute surprises for the kids this week.  I guess what doesn't get done just won't get done.  But oh, that's hard for a perfectionist like me.  Pray for me.  :-)

Here's our menu for the week:

Oatmeal and bananas
Chai overnight oatmeal
Oat porridge with berries
Toast and smoothies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sammies
Salads in a jar
String cheese, carrots and dip, fruit

Monday: Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken, brown rice
Tuesday: Spinach Calazone, green salad
Wednesday: Chicken Salad Wraps, snacks (T-Ball game)
Thursday: Grilled Veggie Sammies, pea salad, green salad
Friday: Taco Salad, fruit pops
Saturday: Potato Bar, green salad
Sunday: on the road

Fruit pops
Homemade Pineapple Blizzards

Making for the road:
Peanut butter cookies
Banana Nutella muffins

Projects I'm working on this week:
Finishing T-shirts
Finishing book

We've got a Winner!

So I ran the numbers through this morning for the Starbuck's Gift Card.  Out of comments 1-13, the winning number is....


Congratulations, Audrey!

You'll be receiving an email from me later today.  So excited for you!

Thanks to everyone who entered.  And thank you for being a part of this year's UBP experience.  I loved hearing from all of you.

Lee's To Do List

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mickey Mouse Toes

Our Disneyland trip is coming up so quick and I'm just dying to tell the kids.  I've been putting away little treasures, planning surprises, pick up last minute purchases, and considering taping my mouth shut before I blab to the kids.  So in the spirit of this trip, I decided to paint Mickey Mouse Toes.
I found a couple of different ways to make these and I'm sure all you Creative Mamas out there can come up with a few more.  In any case, they are pretty easy and a lot of fun.  Let's get started!

The red is super bright so I started with a base coat and then added NYC Big Candy Apple.  It's a true red color that's perfect for Mickey Mouse.  After the red has dried, you have a several options for the Mickey head.  The first two options involve punching a template from cardstock or index card.  If you have a Micky punch, measure that to your toes.  Mine was too big, but it's worth a try.  If you don't have a Mickey punch, you can create a template with a regular circle punch.  Or there's a third option.  You can use a Q-tip dipped in the black to create the Mickey as well.  That was the best option for me.  Make your Mickey head slightly bigger by lightly swirling the end of the Q-tip.  Cover with a top coat and you're done!

How fun is that?  I've been wearing them with my flip-flops and have gotten so many compliments.  Everyone's really liked them.  What do you think?  Leave me a comment or send me a picture on Facebook if you try them.  They're so much fun!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Scent of Cherry Blossoms {Review}

In The Scent of Cherry Blossoms, Annie, a young Mennonite girl, and Aden, an Old Order Amish boy, discover a new romance that threatens to drastically alter their worlds.  And the world of those they care about.  Complicated by religious difference, deep family histories, and sibling relationships, these two fight between what their heads say and their hearts scream.  

I'm finding that I really enjoy Cindy Woodsmall's style.  She has a way of crafting a story that keeps you flipping the pages.  Having said that, Scent of Cherry Blossoms was a good read, but I felt it was limited by its structure.  A quick read, it left me wanting more.  Slightly underdeveloped, the story could have been fleshed out more fully by exploring the family relationships in greater depth.

Quick, fun, and endearing, Annie and Aden's story gives a peek into the Amish world and provides for a light read.  But if you're looking for one of Woodsmall's more substantial books, check out the Sisters of the Quilt Trilogy.

*Disclaimer: I was supplied with a free copy of this book for review.  All opinions are my own.

Fantasy Shopping Trip

For those who know me in real life, you know my wardrobe mainly consists of ripped jeans, 10 year old T-shirts, and tennis shoes.  If I'm really trying to "dress up" for a night with my hubby, the T-shirt might turn into a summery top and possibly swap the tennis shoes for a pair of nice flip flops.  There's a part of me that dreams of breaking out and trying something new, but with three kids to clothe and chase, most of my shopping is window shopping.  So come along with me as we take a Fantasy Shopping Trip for spring! 
casual Friday

casual Friday by shauna-rogers featuring marni handbags

This just looks like me: cute and casual.  Plus I love the green.
I can just see this one for a fun Saturday morning at the Farmer's Market.

Spring on a Cool Day

Spring on a Cool Day by bieberfashn featuring flat heel shoes

This one is a little beyond my comfort zone, but I love the top.
Ditch the jacket, and bring the heels done just a little,
and I'm one happy Mama.
blushing summer

blushing summer by shauna-rogers featuring a horizontal striped shirt

This just screams Day at the Beach.
I love everything about it.
In fact, I might have to take this one into a real store with me.

cotton candy

cotton candy by htotheb featuring short sleeve shirts

I'm on a pink kick lately.
The scarf is so cute and the flats are adorable.
Plus fitted white T's are classic.


Boots by dixi3chik featuring stack rings jewelry

I love this whole look too.
The orange is cute and unexpected,
the boots remind me of my roots,
and the jewelry is spectacular.

Did you have fun on this Fantasy Shopping Trip?
I did!

What's on your Fantasy Shopping List?

*Come check out more shopping on my Pinterest boards
*Linked to these Parties

Monday, April 16, 2012

Join me in breaking The Sugar Habit!

Monday Muddle

Hey Everyone,
How was your weekend?  Was it nice in your part of the country?  Did you stay away from the crazy weather in the mid-west?

We were pretty busy.  My husband was away at a men's retreat so I was on my own with the three kids for my first weekend.  I have them on my own most of the time anyways, but three days with no relief crazy.  Maybe that's why I haven't been able to get this post up till now.  It was BUSY!

Friday we had our annual house licensing inspection for foster care.  Those things are always nerve wracking, but it all went fine.  Just had to have everything picked up and cupboards locked.  We had a friend over for dinner that night, an other church woman who's husband was gone.  She was great about helping out with the kids and what mom doesn't love to have a little adult conversation?

The rest of the weekend was crazy.  The rain finally stopped and Noah got to have his first T-Ball game on Saturday.  At 9 am!  That's right.  Mama on her own had to get all three kids packed, ready, snacks packed, diapers and stroller, and everyone to the park by 9 am.  I forgot Noah's waterbottle, but luckily I had a team snack stashed in the car for a couple of weeks from now and both the kids got Capri Suns from that.  They didn't complain.

After that, we went to the library, farmer's market, did homework, and had dinner at a friend's house.  Noah stayed the night while Lydia and I had a little girl time making cookies.  She loved being able to pick out her own dessert that evening and breakfast the next morning as well.  Oh, the life of an only child!

By the time we came home from a birthday party on Sunday afternoon, we were all beat.  Daddy finally arrived home as well, and we had a relaxing evening at home with BBQ burgers and homemade sherbet.  It was perfect.  Busy, crazy, and I'm finally getting this posted on Monday night.  Sorry guys.  I just went grocery shopping this morning though and I'm super excited about the Lettuce Wraps on Sunday.  If you try them, let me know what you think.

Here's the rest of our week:

Oatmeal and bananas
Overnight Oatmeal
Freezer Pancakes
Quinoa Oat porridge

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sammies
Chicken Salads
Snacks: Peaches, pears, grapes, cheese, crackers

Monday: Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Tuesday: Lentil Tacos
Wednesday: Cucumber Wraps, snacks
Thursday: Cheesy fish, steamed broccoli
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday: Homemade Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes, green salad
Sunday: Turkey Lettuce Wraps, sauteed zucchini

Homemade Wheat Thins
Hawaiian Blizzards
Fruit Popsicles

Projects I'm working on this week
Finish Review Book
Mickey Mouse Clippie
Journal on  5 old layouts
Scrapbook Christmas photos
D-land shirts

What are you up to this week?

Oh, don't forget to check out my current giveaway!
Well, worth your time!
Love ya!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

There's a party going on!

5 Minutes for Mom is hosting their annual Ultimate Blog Party and we are ready to party!

If you're new to the UBP, 5 Minutes for Mom host this party to introduce bloggers  to other bloggers and fun, new blogs. I've met some wonderful new friends through the UBP and I'm so glad you're able to join us this year.

My name is Lee.  I'm a wife of nearly 11 years and the mother of three.
Life is all about learning and growing and nothing has made me stretch as much as my kids.
At 6 years, 4 years, and 7 months, they keep me busy and always growing.
Hence, Creative2xmom, which is celebrating its fourth year of growing, too.

Creative2xmom is a blog dedicated to all things Mommy and somethings not.
I love blogging about my kids' parties.
Again, who doesn't love a party?

And I love good books.
Which is why I host a link up every month called Bookmarks.
It's a fun way for readers to be introduced to wonderful new reads.

You'll find all kinds of ideas here.
Creative2xmom is about a real woman,
living a real life,
parenting real children,
and following a great God.

So what's any party without some gifts?
During the UBP, I'll be giving away a $10 Starbucks gift card
to one lucky winner.
Just leave a comment below telling me 
what speaks Creativity to you.
Entries will be open through April 20th @ midnight.
Winner will be chosen by random number generator
and announced on April 21st.
Don't forget to leave your email as well so I can contact you.

And don't forget to leave me some love!
You can follow Creative2xmom through GFC,
I share all kinds of fun ideas through each venue,
so subscribe and don't miss a thing.

Do something Creative today!

*Linked to these Parties

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Every Body Matters {Review}

I have a secret obsession with fitness.  I CRAVE my sessions at the gym, am constantly looking for new fun workout ideas, and get a little giddy when I pull out my yoga mat.  Since Little Man has come along, we've been focusing on bonding and my gym time has been cut drastically.  It's so sad.  Although there are days it's a push to get there, I really do feel so much better.  Just my way of pounding out some stress and getting some perspective.

So when I got a chance to review Gary Thomas' new book, Every Body Matters, I was ecstatic.  And a little confused.  This is Gary Thomas of Sacred Parenting and Sacred Marriage.  What was he going to say about fitness?

Wow!  Was I wrong!  This book was not what I expected at all.  It was thoughtful and challenging.  Thomas uses wonderful insight in targeting one of the most ignored sins in our communities today.  In his own style, the author shows how physical fitness and spiritual fitness play hand in hand.  Our bodies were made to serve God's purposes, not for us to serve them whatever we feel like.  Chapter 8, the Silent Murderer, is particularly insightful as it deals with laziness and its affect on every aspect of our lives.

Thomas approaches the subject with the right balance of sensitivity and boldness to challenge his readers and not alienate them.  Inspiring, insightful, and balanced, he also addresses the fact that a thinner Christian does not make a better Christian.  Fitness and stewardship of our bodies should focus on our ability to discipline our lives and enable us to follow God's calling.

Overall, I was highly delighted with this book and would wholeheartedly recommend it.

* I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.
*Linked to these Parties

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Muddle

Happy Easter!
Hey Everyone,
How was your weekend?  Did you have a good Easter?

These are my two oldest munchkins.  Lydia loves wearing dresses and was in all her glory yesterday.  That's my girlie.  Yesterday (as our entire weekend) was busy with happy memories and children all over the place.  We don't stay home for the holidays often, but we did this year and it just reminded me how much work my mom does for these crazy events.

We had church in the morning and everyone had to be dressed.  I'm trying to make it more of a habit for us to dress nicely for church, but it's aweful convicting for me.  With a six month old strapped in the carrier, I don't often want to put on a dress.  But my Lydia always turns it around on Mommy to wear a dress too.  I'm a work in progress.  Then we came home for lunch, Easter buckets, and a nap.  After nap (which all three kids needed), we finished making dinner and hunted eggs.  I took WAY TOO MANY pictures.  Can't wait for the day we can adopt Little Man and share his picture.  He's a cutie.  Easter with three was a lot of work, but entirely too much fun.

Here's our menu for the week:
Oatmeal and bananas
Cereal and fruit
Quinoa Oat Porridge
Green Almond Smoothie

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sammies
Egg Salad Sammies
String cheese, carrots, peas, fruit

Monday: Pasta E Fagoili
Tuesday: Pea Soup
Wednesday: sack dinners (T-Ball Game)
Thursday: Homemade Pizza
Friday: Tacos (Taco Salad)
Saturday: Burgers, pasta salad
Sunday: Cheesy fish, steamed veggies

Blackberry Frozen Yogurt

Projects I'm working on this week:
Organize and put scrapbook pages in albumn
Finish review book
Finish one creative project
Clean house for licensing

What are you working on this week?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

13 Non-Candy Easter Basket Ideas

Still looking for ways to fill those Easter baskets?  I am too.  Today's my shopping day so I've been brainstorming ideas.  Here's 13 Non-Candy Ideas for Filling Easter Baskets:

*Bubbles--My kids range from 6 years to 6 months and they all love bubbles.  Check out the Dollar Tree for a variety of sizes and scents.

*Swim wear--Summer's right around the corner.  Why not fill that basket with a new swimsuit?

*Pool toys--Diving sticks, squishy balls, and beach balls are all great ideas.

*Books--Check out your local library or the Target clearance section for a couple of new books.  This is an ageless gift.

*Puzzles--Whether your kids are just learning to put together puzzles or ready for a 1000 piece masterpiece, there are a ton of options.  Plus, it's a great way to spend family time together.

*Small Instruments--Look for harmonicas, tamborines, finger cymbals, or egg shakers.  And maybe a set of ear plugs for mom!  :-)

*Craft Supplies--Depending on your recipients, there's crayons and coloring books, paint and brushes, embroidery thread, glitter, stickers, construction paper, scrapbook supplies, etc.

*Small cars--Check the Dollar Tree toy section or Target for matchbox cards.  What little boy doesn't love them?

*Small Lego sets--Walmart carries these tiny sets with only a few pieces, but Legos are so fun, and a great addition to an Easter basket.

*Travel games--Smaller versions of classics can often be picked up at discount and provide fun both in the car and on family game night.

*Journal and stationary--My kids love writing in these little books,  Even better, teach them to write notes to family and friends far away.

*Jewelry--Make some bracelets for the little ones in your life.  Or pick up a special pair of earrings for that teenager.

*Hair clips--Make some of these cute hair clips or look up any of the cute tutorials on the internet.  I have a couple more coming near the end of the month.

What creative ideas are you using this year?

Monday, April 2, 2012

2012 Goals: March Check-In

How are your 2012 Goals going? March was better than February, but I am going to print out my goals and post them somewhere in the house.  There are some goals on here that I completely forget about for the whole month and then wonder where my head was when I update the next month.  What tips have you found to work?

These were my 2012 Goals and how I did in March:

*Keep a consistent devotional time, memorizing verses through my discipleship group.--I'm still struggling with this. But the consistency of my discipleship group is helping.

*Memorize 12 verses with the kids.--We've done two so far in the past three months.

*Read 24 books.--I read 4 in Jan, 3 in Feb, and 5 in March.

*Tackle 12 DIY projects.--Tackled Homemade Wheat Thins in March

My Marriage:
*Plan a bi-weekly time of being together.--No date night this month. :-(

*Read 2-3 books together.--not yet

*Plan a yearly getaway.--Planning for this summer

My Kids:
*Plan a once a month date with each of the kids.--Took Lydia shopping, but never got a date with Noah.

*Homeschool/supplement preschool for Lydia and 1st/2nd grade for Noah.--Still working with Noah and started pre-reading with Lydia, although with other items

*Read through the Magic Treehouse series with them.--Finished book one and started listening to the series in the car again.

*Go on a field trip once a month.--Learned about the library with my son, and Lydia took a field trip to the grocery store.

Health and Wellness:

*Convert 4-5 items on our grocery list to organic, as budget allows.--Did some price research in March and going to do an experiment with 1-2 items in April.

*Develop a gym routine of 4-5 days a week.--Going twice a week so far. Love my Turbokick class.  Looking to add another day per week this month.

*Eat more seafood.--Bi-monthly so far

*Learn to make an incredible loaf of sourdough.--That's April's DIY goal.

*Plan posts one month in advance and write posts one week in advance.--Planning is good, but writing is hard right now. Usually about 4-5 days ahead.

*Spend 2 hrs a week writing on something other than the blog.--Ooops for March

*Budget my blogging time more appropriately. Do less work when the kids are around.--Getting into a better routine. March was a lot better for this.  I still spend too much time blogging, but I've been more conscious of doing it when the kids aren't around.

Link up below and just let us know how you're doing. Let's work toward real change in 2012!

*Linked to these Parties

Monday Muddle

Hey y'all,

How's your Monday morning?  Did you have a good weekend?

We're visiting my mom for a few days.  The kids have been outside for about a half hour already and they're keeping themselves busy.  My mom lives out in the country so there's a huge swingset, room to drive their car, and lots of places to roam and explore.  Plus Grandma spoils them so they love being up here.

This past weekend, my mom, grandma, and I went away on our annual scrapbooking trip.  Once a year, I go away and leave my hubby and kids to get some scrapbooking done.  That was this weekend.  I had so much fun, getting away and being creative.  I love having those photos scrapped and put into albums.  Although I just love being creative, scrapbooking will probably always be my first love and it was fun to get away with my mom.  I took the baby and he had everyone charmed, of course.  It didn't hurt that he was on his best behavior as well.

So we're at my mom's for a few days now and I've got a sick little one.  The baby's got quite a cold that's leaving him tired and cranky.  He'll be spending his time indoors while the big kids go crazy outside.  Posting might be a little sporatic this week.  We're visiting, planning for Easter, and dealing with a sick baby.  Not sure how thin I can stretch myself.  I do have a few post pre-planned so I'll still be here, just not as much as usual.  And don't forget to check out Facebook and Youtube for additional Creative2xmom material.

Hope you guys are having a great Holy Week!

Here's a few more things we have planned this week:

Easter Menu
Pork Tenderloin
Cabbage Salad
Lime Jello Salad
Homemade Rolls
Chocolate Pie

Extras this week:
Peanut Butter Eggs
Bird's Nests

Projects I'm working on this week:
Organize completed scrapbook pages
Journal on any necessary scrapbook pages
Finish review book/ Start a second
Make bracelet

What are you up to this week?
Related Posts with Thumbnails