beauty for ashes

27 November 2011

tossed about

I feel like a wave tossed about in the ocean.  Unsteady.  Out of control.  Strangely, it's not the worst place to be.  But it is definitely uncomfortable.

My good friend Erin needs your prayers.  She is battling some wicked cancer.  You can follow her journey here if you would like.  She is amazing.  And her family is amazing.  I know God can use this situation for His glory.  And so does she.  I am praying that His plan matches up to ours.

Change is inevitable.  I just wish it was not so painful.  I am thankful for my family, and for my health.  Both are an amazing gift from God, and I pray I never take either for granted.

22 November 2011

How bad do you want it?

Once again, I have a ton to say.  But I do not want to babble on incessantly.  So I will have to file some topics away for discussion at a later time.
One thing I will come back to once I have done a little more with it is all natural beauty products.  I want to try using some homemade (read: cheap) beauty products.  So far, I am looking at shampoo, face wash, and hand scrub.  I am curious to see where this will go.  I am not sure if it will be life altering, or just a fad that I will have outgrown by next month. But I will keep you posted.
Mostly what is on my mind these days is weight loss.  I started weight watchers about 10 weeks ago.  So far, I have lost 10 lb.  That is over 5% of my body weight, which I feel pretty good about.  But, if I am being honest, I know I have not tried my hardest.  And I still look in the mirror and get depressed.
And so, recently, I have started asking myself "how bad do you want it?"  This question refers to the weight loss, not whatever I am thinking of eating or doing at the moment.  It stands to reason that if I stop and reflect on how badly I want to achieve a specific goal, it should motivate me to work harder to reach said goal.
And what it boils down to is: I want it badly.  I want to wear clothes confidently, not always tugging at this or trying to hide that.  I want to feel attractive for my husband.  I want to stop staring at my stomach when I pass a mirror.
A while back, my friend posted a picture of me on facebook.  I was standing in between three gorgeous ladies, all taller than me with amazing figures.  And I was short and dumpy looking.  The picture literally made me cry.

This is what I refer back to when I feel that losing weight requires too much discipline.  I am tired of being ashamed.
I need to lose 8 lb to reach 10%.  I really want to do this by New Years.
How bad do you want it?

23 October 2011

Holy Moly!

Has it really been that long since I last posted?  Life has a way of getting away from you, that is for sure!  Between taking care of my sweet nine month old boy (when did he get so big???), grad school, and training for my very first triathlon, time seems to have evaporated.

Isn't he the cutest thing ever?  I am blessed with a WONDERFUL baby.  He has such a good nature.  Except right now.  Because he is teething.  Nine months, and not one tooth.  My poor sweetheart is a bit miserable.
Anyways, I have so much to catch up on.  I started weight watchers (and have lost 5 lb!), I start a new job next week, I competed in a triathlon!  But currently, I need to go to sleep!  I will try to be more consistent with my posts.  Scout's honor :)

02 July 2011

Cloth Diaper Dilemma Solved!

So, in our teensy home we use every available inch as best we can.  And while part of the problem is that we have too much stuff, part of it is that we have a small place.  So, while we declutter and give things away, we are also trying to come up with space saving, creative, and cute storage solutions.
One of the areas we have been struggling with for nearly six months (I cannot believe my sweet boy is almost six months old!!!) is the diaper changing area.  We use cloth diapers.  And I love them!  But the shells cannot be put in the dryer.  They have to air dry.  And we have no where for that to happen.  I hesitate to put them out-of-doors for fear that they will get stolen, so here is my solution:

This was super easy and is really practical.  Here is how I did it:

Step one: assemble the supplies.  I used a piece of wooden trim that I picked up at Lowes, 12 clothes pins, and some yellow paint that I had purchased a while back.

 Also, we have recently been adopted by an outside cat.  We named her Nymphadora.  And if you know who we named her after, you are as big of a dork as I am...

 She supervised.

 Step two: paint everything the color you would like.   I kept it all yellow to keep it more streamline.  Jonah's walls are dark blue, so this color really pops.

Step three: hot glue the clothes pins to the trim.  I seriously love my hot glue gun.  So much I could not do without it!

 Step four: attach it to the wall.  I used Command strips picture hangers.

I like how it turned out!

Also, I got this sewing machine this week!  Hooray!!!

28 June 2011

revived lamp and a sneak peak for an upcoming project!

So, many years ago I purchased a lamp.  It wasn't terrible, but it could use a coat of paint.  I kept meaning to paint it...then I would forget again. I finally had a free moment and decided to get to spraying.

This is the lamp.  I got it from goodwill, I think.  Which has gotten a little full of itself in recent days.  So expensive.  I could get things brand new for a few dollars more.  But I digress.  Anyways, the lamp.  It had a slight green tint to it, and several discolored, minorly rusted spots.
Do you love the tinfoil?  I couldn't find the I went with what I had.
I grabbed my flat black spray paint and my handy spray paint trigger thing.  I love it.  It looks like this:

Much easier on the fingers.  And slightly less paint on them as well.  I cut up a paper bag to use under the lamp and got to spraying.  It turned out pretty well.

I then proceeded to spray paint these lovely drawer pulls that will be part of a future remodel.

They turned out brilliant!  I am really pleased with how much better they look!  I cannot wait to finish this project!

21 June 2011

more summer camp crafts!

Nothing like working at an out-of-doors summer camp in the middle of June to really help a person appreciate air conditioning.  I have been slowly melting into a tryna-puddle.  As if 100+ temperatures are not enough, let's throw in 100% humidity just for fun!  Whew!
Anyways, my annoying adorable little campers created a few more lovely pieces of art work that I am pumped to share!

First up: masks!  What summer camp is complete without animal masks made from paper plates?  These have been embellished with felt and pipe cleaners.  Also, they abandoned the tradition string around the back of the head for a popsicle stick.

Next, we have chalk drawings on black construction paper.  These depict prey running for their lives from predators.

And now, finger puppets!  The kids had a lot of fun creating these.  They also enjoyed setting up battles between them and seeing whose puppet was the ultimate fighter.  Gotta love 2nd and 3rd graders.

Sculpting with clay was a huge success.  The kids loved getting their hands all dirty and gross.  Here are a few birds:

And my favorite craft?  Pinecone owls, of course!

Aren't they adorable!?!  Such creative geniuses I had last week!

15 June 2011

summer camp fun!

As promised, here is a peek at what we have done so far this week at camp.  The theme was Wild About Art, and I had lovely little just-finished-second-and-third graders.

My favorite craft we have done thus far is a braided snake, complete with googly eyes.  I found instructions for this craft here.

Aren't they darling??

Another fave is the dried bean mosaics that I drew inspiration for from this site.  This one was a wee bit messy, so we headed to the great outdoors (in the 100 degree weather) for this craft.  I found that using a dixie cup with white glue and a popsicle stick for spreading said glue worked best.  Also, use a heavy weight paper.  A few in progress:

And some completed masterpieces:

We also made some super cute turtles that I found on this site.  These turned out to be rather complicated for this group's clumsy little fingers, but here are a few that still came out adorable:

We tried making pictures out of melted crayon wax.  The idea was to squeeze some crayon wax onto a paper from a plastic baggie in the shape of a bug or reptile and let it harden.  Then, you could pull the creature off the paper and have a cute wax friend.  But, the crayons hardened too fast, so we decided to imitate the great abstract painters using the melted wax and spoons.

We then poured the leftover wax into an ice cube tray and made new crayons!

We also attempted to make paper.  This was a time consuming activity that was not really worth it.  We put shredded paper and water in a blender and blendered it until it was good and mushy.  Then we pressed it into screens to dry (which took for. ev. ver.).  Most of them turned out horrid.  Here is our one good one:

And, of course, there must be painting at an art camp!  We took a stroll down the nature trail until we came across this lovely scene:

It is difficult to see in this picture, but there is a lovely view of a large group of cypress trees, complete with knees, in front of my hardworking little darlings.  Here is their interpretation of that scene:

Still to come this week: paper mache nests, animal track molds, finger puppets, and origami!