Surprise! We’re Dallas Bound!

In 20 days, we will be moving to the amazing city of Dallas. I must say, it will be a big transition. I’m not a city girl by any stretch of the imagination. I rarely visit a city bigger than my hometown of 60,000 people. So, moving to a city with a population of 1.2 million in that city alone will be a MAJOR change. What is the reason for the drastic change you may ask? Well, a change in our long-term plans would be my answer. For the past 5 years, my husband and I have grown to love and appreciate the area of natural health. We have seen how it can work wonders and want to be able to help other people see and experience the same things we have seen and experienced. My husband, Jason, will be attending chiropractic college at Parker University. I will be working through an 8 month massage therapy certification, a nutrition certification, an iridology certification, and a natural health certification. Our long-term plans involve opening an integrative natural health center in our hometown.

My, how time changes everything.

So, in 20 days it will be back to apartment living we go. I am not sure what to think about that part at the moment. I am so used to having my own home. A home in which I get to decide what the rules are about paint colors, wall hangings, and the like. It may be time to put my creative hat on just a little more snug. Luckily, there are tons of ideas on the internet…and a few floating around in my head as well. While I am staying in the home of my in-laws for the next 20 days, I will give you a little preview….

I found this quilt set on Overstock.com for only $80. I have fallen in love with chevron lately. I had been crazy about the colors teal and turquoise for a while. While I absolutely love the quilt set, I don’t want our room to feel immature, so I snatched a clearance 5×8 natural fiber rug ($125) and a set of clearance 96″ window curtains ($19 each) from West Elm.

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IMG_0240[1]I bought the large beanbag from my sister-in-law and ordered a new cover for it from Ebay. The butterfly pillow and dark blue throw pillow on the bed are both from Target.┬áThe painting above the beanbag is a painting I purchased from my sister-in-law. ­čÖé

There will be a large, empty wall above our sectional. I wanted something personal to fill the space (not just some generic painting), so I bought this frame collage kit from Bed, Bath, and Beyond for $40. It comes with 10 frames and a template for hanging the pictures.

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I love the layout of the frames, but I decided to go for something a little more personalized. I removed the mat from each of the larger frames and painted them the colors found in our living area (teal, orange, deep red, navy blue, and yellow).

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There are 5 other frames in the kit that did not have mats to paint. I can’t wait to get some black and white pictures in these frames!

I also found this kitchen art at 90% discount at Hobby Lobby. It only cost me a whopping $13.

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I figure this painting will look a little plain all by its lonesome on the larger dining wall, so I put together a couple of shadow boxes to go alongside it. Inside the 2 shadow boxes are a total of 5 bamboo cooking utensils…One for each color of our living area.

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Whoa Nelly! I am completely exhausted thinking about all of the work that is to come… Finish up that packing… Make a tedious 8 hour trip with a trailer full of our belongings… Lug everything up to a 2nd story apartment… Spend days rummaging through boxes, trying to find the perfect spot for each item… But it will be an adventure. It will be an adventure that we will enjoy. Bring on the hard work! We are ready…

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Kiddie Project: Leaf Turkeys

Need an easy project for a child during these beautiful autumn days? Let him/her collect leaves and make a leaf turkey! Hot glue a colorful leaf onto a piece of construction paper and tell your child it is a turkey’s big tail feathers. Then allow him/her to make a body, head, legs, etc. out of items you have around the house. Add google eyes for some extra fun!

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Kiddie project: Moon Sand

If you “pinterest”, you’ve probably seen the recipe for moon or cloud sand scroll down your screen. We decided to try it out since my kids are big fans of playing in the sand. It worked really well! The original instructions called for 8 cups white flour to 1 cup of baby oil. I added between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of extra baby oil in order to make the sand stick together a little easier. If your child likes the sandbox, this project is sure to be a hit!

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A “Tangled” Party Count-Down: Pascal Party Blowers

In two weeks, my oldest daughter turns five. Oh…my… I remember thinking the days of kindergarten and loose teeth were in the unforeseeable future. Well, the unforeseeable future is a little too clear now.

Both of the girls absolutely love the movie Tangled. I mean, seriously, what little girl doesn’t want to be the princess with the beautiful blonde hair? That made it easy enough to pick out a birthday party theme! So, over the next 2 weeks I’ll periodically be sharing some of the ideas and preparations for her big day!

Alright then! Preparation number one: Pascal Party Blowers

I actually found this idea on Pinterest. Cute little Pascal and, of course, that long tongue that he used to snap Rider out of his Rapunzel-induced sleeping spell (hopefully you’ve seen the movie so you’ll at least have some idea of what I’m talking about!)


To make little Pascal here, you’ll need sheets of craft foam in green, yellow, and black, as well as a party blower. I’ve provided the template I drew at the bottom of this post. Feel free to print it and use it! The only part I feel I might need to explain is the eyelids. Simply cut out a crescent moon shape that is a tad bit bigger than the white part of Pascal’s eye. Put hot glue all over the crescent shape. When you attach it to the eye, be sure to put half of it on the green foam (of the head) and half on the white foam (of the eye). Besides that, it is fairly self explanatory. Planning your own Tangled party? Be sure to stop back in for more ideas over the next 2 weeks and for the big party reveal!

Pascal blower template:

 

Hearty Basil Tomato Soup

Get your veggies with this hearty basil tomato soup. Try it with a fresh, warm quesadilla or grilled cheese sandwich.

*1 large onion
*2 Tbs. olive oil
*28 oz. can of whole tomatoes
*6 oz. can tomato paste
*14 oz vegetable or chicken broth
*2 Tbs. basil pesto (fresh recipe found here)
*1 Tbs. dried parsley
*1 Tbs. dried basil
*1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Saute onion in olive oil. Combine all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Top with more Parmesan cheese or cheddar cheese.

Oatmeal-To-Go Muffins

These little muffins are a great way to get in your daily bowl of oatmeal without the time and hassle of morning preparation. Simply grab and go! They’re great for an after-school snack for the kids as well! Oh, and did I mention that they’re delicious?

Ingredients:

*1 egg
*2 cups of your favorite flavor of instant oatmeal (or you can use 2 cups of rolled oats).
*1 cup apple sauce
*1/2 cup plain yogurt
*1/4 cup milled flax seed
*8 packets Stevia sweetener
*1 Tbsp cinnamon
*2 tsp baking powder
*1 Tbsp vanilla
*3/4 tsp salt
*1 Tbsp naturally sweetened jelly or preserves

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients until the mixture is moist. Scoop into greased muffin liners. Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool before eating. Makes 9 muffins. Approximately 115 calories/ 2.9 g fat each.

Recipe adapted from Sugar Free Mom.

DIY Summer Foot Jewelry

In our part of the world, it’s almost time once again to feel the soft green grass underneath your bare feet. But just because it’s almost that “bare foot” time of year, doesn’t mean your feet have to be…well…bare! Dress up those bare feet with some awesome, cheap DIY foot jewelry!

Gotta love having your feet on the net! Right? (Nope.)

Anyway, this jewelry is super simple to make. It can be made of several different combos of string and beads. I’m going to let you in on how to make one with glass beads and waxed leather jewelry string.

To start, you’ll need 2 pieces of waxed leather string. Each needs to be long enough to put your center toe in the center of the string and still be able to pull the ends up to your thigh (about 48″ to 60″). Take the two pieces and wrap them around your center toe. Tie the pieces together just below the toe to make a “ring”.

Place 1 bead on each of the outer strings. Tie again just below these beads.

Keep placing beads on the outer strings and tying a knot below them until you have five sets of beads on the strings. After you tie your last know under the fifth set of beads, separate the strings and take 2 on each side of your foot and tie in the back. Remember to slightly extend your foot while you do this! Too little slack will cause the foot jewelry to be uncomfortable but too much slack will make it too loose when your foot is in it’s normal position.

This should be your end result!

There are so many different materials and variations you can use to personalize your foot jewelry! Hemp, ribbon, yarn, leather, beads, shells, etc…Be creative and experiment!