Featured Blogs http://tofw.com/ Featured Blogs The Christmas Service Star http://www.tofw.com/Christmas-Service-Star-Natalie-Lets-Get-Together/s/959 http://www.tofw.com/Christmas-Service-Star-Natalie-Lets-Get-Together/s/959 Wed, 04 Dec 2013 17:30:00 -0700 <div> by Natalie from Let's Get Together <br /> </div> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://lets-get-together.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/starvertical.jpg" _mce_href="http://lets-get-together.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/starvertical.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Christmas Service Star" class=" wp-image-382 aligncenter" src="http://lets-get-together.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/starvertical-682x1024.jpg" _mce_src="http://lets-get-together.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/starvertical-682x1024.jpg" height="651" width="434"></a><br _mce_bogus="1"></div> <br> Many of my most vivid holiday memories have very little to do with the “prettiness” of Christmas. Pictures of these moments-if we even had them-would surely not be very Pin-able. I was probably wearing my over-sized basketball shorts, the lighting would have been awful, and there were definitely no burlap banners with matching drinks in mason jars.<br> <br> No, none of that was there. And funny how that doesn’t seem to matter.<br> <br> One memory in particular stands out.<br> <br> I remember my nine-year-old self walking between the tables and sweeping up the remnants of a holiday dinner in a downtown Houston homeless shelter. I understood so little about the people who were there-but I began to understand that as I swept and smiled, I was doing what Jesus might have done.<br> <br> It was one of hundreds of little experiences when my parents, figuratively speaking, invited me to the manger-to find Christ in Christmas.<br> <br> But it wasn’t about the homeless shelter. It was about people needing to feel a little love, a little goodness.&nbsp;And those kind of people are easy to find.<br> <br> Those kind of people live right down the hall.<br> <br> And that’s the power of the Christmas Service Star. The Christmas Service Star is an uncomplicated and sweet way to remind us-all of us-that the Spirit of Christmas is love and that all of our homes could use a little more of it.<br> <br> So here’s how it goes. You make, re-purpose, or find a star that accompanies small acts of service throughout the month of December.&nbsp;When you’re anonymously served and the star is left on your sneakily-made bed or in your miraculously-emptied dishwasher, it’s your turn. You have 24 hours to pass on the star by doing something for someone else. <br> <br> And there you have it. Warm fuzzies. Everywhere.<br> <br> It’s easy to tie in a <a href="http://lets-get-together.com/2013/12/02/christmas-service-star/" _mce_href="http://lets-get-together.com/2013/12/02/christmas-service-star/">Family Home Evening</a> at the kick-off or the wrap-up (or hey, the in-between) of the Christmas Service Star.<br> <br> The main idea goes a little something like this: A long time ago, wise men followed a perfectly placed STAR to find the Christ child. When they found him, they gave him precious gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.<br> <br> You and I are on a similar journey as we seek this Jesus. And we find him and prepare ourselves with precious gifts to give him as we love and lift and serve the people around us.<br> <br> So, here's to a little more love in all of our homes this holiday season.<br> <br> For a list of great resources to use during this Family Home Evening, click <a href="http://lets-get-together.com/2013/12/02/christmas-service-star/" _mce_href="http://lets-get-together.com/2013/12/02/christmas-service-star/">here</a>.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #333333; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 25px;" _mce_style="color: #333333; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 25px;"></span><br> <hr style="background-color: white; border-bottom-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); border-bottom-style: initial; border-bottom-width: initial; border-color: initial; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-top-color: rgb(179, 210, 205); border-top-style: dashed; border-top-width: 1px; color: white; height: 1px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; width: 620px;" _mce_style="background-color: white; border-bottom-color: #ffffff; border-bottom-style: initial; border-bottom-width: initial; border-color: initial; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-style: initial; border-top-color: #b3d2cd; border-top-style: dashed; border-top-width: 1px; color: white; height: 1px; width: 620px; margin: 0px;"> <div style="-webkit-hyphens: auto; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px; word-wrap: break-word;"> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JScAPIsIy-Q/Up_G4fT48II/AAAAAAAAFF0/fZQaaCp0CLE/s1600/natalie+bio.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JScAPIsIy-Q/Up_G4fT48II/AAAAAAAAFF0/fZQaaCp0CLE/s1600/natalie+bio.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JScAPIsIy-Q/Up_G4fT48II/AAAAAAAAFF0/fZQaaCp0CLE/s1600/natalie+bio.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JScAPIsIy-Q/Up_G4fT48II/AAAAAAAAFF0/fZQaaCp0CLE/s1600/natalie+bio.jpg" border="0" height="200" width="193"></a><br _mce_bogus="1"></div> <b style="font-weight: bold;" _mce_style="font-weight: bold;">Natalie</b>&nbsp;is the proud new mama of a really cute baby boy and one of the contributors (one of the sisters) of <a href="http://lets-get-together.com/" _mce_href="http://lets-get-together.com/">Let's Get Together</a>, a blog all about family living and fun. She loves all kinds of cooking but has an extra soft spot in her heart-and her kitchen-for Latin flavors and can make some mean (and pretty authentic) enchiladas verdes. One of her favorite places to be is in a bubble bath with a good book.<br> <br> Come visit <a href="http://lets-get-together.com/" _mce_href="http://lets-get-together.com/">Let's Get Together</a> for some quirky ideas about the things that have made us laugh, made us memories, and made us friends. <br> <br> &nbsp;</div> <br> <br><h4> </h4> YUM: Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Chip Trifle http://www.tofw.com/YUM-Pumpkin-Spice-Cinnamon-Chip-Trifle-Kelli-Kristi-Lolly-Jane/s/728 http://www.tofw.com/YUM-Pumpkin-Spice-Cinnamon-Chip-Trifle-Kelli-Kristi-Lolly-Jane/s/728 Wed, 06 Nov 2013 12:51:00 -0700 <div> by Kelli & Kristi from Lolly Jane <br /> </div> Hi there TOFW readers! Are you soooo excited for Thanksgiving weekend coming up? If you're planning your dessert menu then be glad you stopped by today because we have a tasty treat you will love:<br> <br> &nbsp; <img alt="" class="size-large wp-image-8149 aligncenter" src="http://lollyjane.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Pumpkin-Spice-Cinnamon-Chip-Trifle-600x770.jpg" _mce_src="http://lollyjane.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Pumpkin-Spice-Cinnamon-Chip-Trifle-600x770.jpg" height="770" title="Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Chip Trifle" width="600"><br> <br> <a href="http://lollyjane.com/about/lolly-jane-twins-2/" _mce_href="http://lollyjane.com/about/lolly-jane-twins-2/" rel="attachment wp-att-5956" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" class="aligncenter" src="http://lollyjane.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Lolly-Jane-twins1-300x179.jpg" _mce_src="http://lollyjane.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Lolly-Jane-twins1-300x179.jpg" height="179" title="Lolly Jane twins" width="300"></a>&nbsp;Before we share the recipe, we would love to give a quick intro about the girls behind the blog, <a href="https://www.blogger.com/lollyjane.com" _mce_href="https://www.blogger.com/lollyjane.com">Lolly Jane</a>. We are twin sisters Kelli and Kristi who love anything handmade, DIY or yummy! <br> <br> We have a boat load of <a href="http://lollyjane.com/category/home-improvement/" _mce_href="http://lollyjane.com/category/home-improvement/">home improvement tricks</a>, <a href="http://lollyjane.com/diy-tutorials-project-gallery/" _mce_href="http://lollyjane.com/diy-tutorials-project-gallery/">craft tutorials</a> and<a href="http://lollyjane.com/category/furniture/" _mce_href="http://lollyjane.com/category/furniture/"> furniture revamps</a> on our site and love to bake so occasionally you will see a family friendly dessert or two pop up, (like today!) Well, we love this trifle because it only requires a handful of ingredients and wasn't time consuming. Win-win for these busy momma's!<br> <br> &nbsp; <img alt="" class="size-large wp-image-8148 aligncenter" src="http://lollyjane.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/supplies-600x484.jpg" _mce_src="http://lollyjane.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/supplies-600x484.jpg" height="484" title="supplies" width="600"><br> <br> &nbsp;Want to try it?<br> <br> &nbsp; <img alt="" class="size-large wp-image-8156 aligncenter" src="http://lollyjane.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Pumpkin-spice-cinnamon-chip-trifle-RECIPE-600x609.jpg" _mce_src="http://lollyjane.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Pumpkin-spice-cinnamon-chip-trifle-RECIPE-600x609.jpg" height="609" title="Pumpkin spice cinnamon chip trifle RECIPE" width="600"><br> &nbsp;I think I'm going to make these for Thanksgiving dessert but I'll make it in a large trifle bowl instead of the cute individual mini trifle bowls as shown.<br> <br> &nbsp; <img alt="" class="size-large wp-image-8147 aligncenter" src="http://lollyjane.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Pumpkin-trifle-600x514.jpg" _mce_src="http://lollyjane.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Pumpkin-trifle-600x514.jpg" height="514" title="Pumpkin trifle" width="600"><br> <br> &nbsp;Tell us, what are YOU making for Thanksgiving? Dinner, side, drinks, dessert or are you simply bringing the ice? ;) LOL We'd love for you to stop by the blog and see other <a href="http://lollyjane.com/category/holiday/fallautumn/" _mce_href="http://lollyjane.com/category/holiday/fallautumn/">fall</a> or <a href="http://lollyjane.com/diy-tutorials-project-gallery/" _mce_href="http://lollyjane.com/diy-tutorials-project-gallery/">dessert ideas</a> and be sure to catch up with us on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lolly-Jane-boutique/121245281241393" _mce_href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lolly-Jane-boutique/121245281241393">FB</a>, <a href="http://pinterest.com/lollyjanetwins/" _mce_href="http://pinterest.com/lollyjanetwins/">Pinterest</a> or <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/lollyjanetwins" _mce_href="http://twitter.com/#!/lollyjanetwins">Twitter</a>.! Thanks again to TOFW for having us! Happy holidays! <img alt="" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-8155" src="http://lollyjane.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/LollyJane2.jpg" _mce_src="http://lollyjane.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/LollyJane2.jpg" height="154" title="LollyJane" width="367"> 5 Tips (+5 Recipes) for Healthier Holidays http://www.tofw.com/5-Tips-5-Recipes-Healthier-Holidays-Jenny-Happy-Gal/s/942 http://www.tofw.com/5-Tips-5-Recipes-Healthier-Holidays-Jenny-Happy-Gal/s/942 Tue, 15 Oct 2013 11:40:00 -0600 <div> by Jenny from The Happy Gal <br /> </div> <p class="separator" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; clear: both; text-align: left;" style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; clear: both;"><font face="inherit"><i>The relationships we have with our family and friends are some of the most important connections we will make. To strengthen these relationships during the holidays, we anticipate you will have the opportunity to cook and bring the family or friends together. Having great food makes for a happy family, but not only great TASTING food, HEALTHY food is the best! Our blogging friend Jenny has shared five delectable recipes that will definitely make your family happy...and healthy. Enjoy!</i></font></p><p class="separator" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; clear: both; text-align: left;" style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; clear: both;"><font face="inherit"><i><br></i></font></p><p class="separator" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; clear: both; text-align: center;" style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-g2I3vbsjZOs/Ul1xccuFOrI/AAAAAAAABW4/LI_LfkSGULY/s1600/PicMonkey+Collage.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-g2I3vbsjZOs/Ul1xccuFOrI/AAAAAAAABW4/LI_LfkSGULY/s1600/PicMonkey+Collage.jpg" imageanchor="1" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-g2I3vbsjZOs/Ul1xccuFOrI/AAAAAAAABW4/LI_LfkSGULY/s640/PicMonkey+Collage.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-g2I3vbsjZOs/Ul1xccuFOrI/AAAAAAAABW4/LI_LfkSGULY/s640/PicMonkey+Collage.jpg" width="640" _mce_style="cursor: move;" style="cursor: move;"></a></p><p _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><br></p><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="'Times New Roman', serif">With the holiday season just around the corner, there is a lot of celebrating to do. Which usually means a lot of food, of course. Sure, there are times when the rich appetizers and tempting desserts are part of the fun. But with parties coming one right after the other, indulging all season long can add up to a lot of extra calories—and a few unwanted pounds.</font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">As The Happy Gal, I encourage you to live your best life—mentally, emotionally, and physically. Taking good care of yourself and having a healthy body are an important part of being happy and fulfilled. You might have worked hard to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle all year long, or you might not have given your diet much thought. Either way, eating your way through Thanksgiving and Christmas can create a taller mountain to climb when New Year’s resolutions set in.<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">If you find yourself feeling a little anxiety about how you’ll resist all the party food, or if you just want to avoid holiday weight gain this year, this post is for you. With a little strategy (and the right recipes), making good food choices this season will be easy—and taste great! And be sure to check out&nbsp;</font><a href="http://www.thehappygal.com/" _mce_href="http://www.thehappygal.com/"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">www.thehappygal.com</font></a><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">&nbsp;for even more great fall recipes, health and organization tips, and inspiration for living a happy life.<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Happy Holidays!<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Tip #1—<i>Contribute something healthful to the party.</i>&nbsp;Volunteer to take a salad (such as the Pomegranate Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing,) a low-fat appetizer (the Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip) or dessert (Low-Fat Caramel Brownies.) Everyone will appreciate having a healthful option, and you will have something delicious to look forward to that won’t add to your waistline. See below for these great recipes.<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Tip #2—<i>Choose wisely.</i>&nbsp;Sometimes there is a piece of cake worth every single calorie. Give yourself permission to indulge in only the very best, and choose wisely. Budget calories the way you budget money, and save up for that treat you’ve been looking forward to all season long. Fill up on more healthful options, and then enjoy a practical serving size of that anticipated treat.<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">3.&nbsp;<i>Healthy up the family traditions.</i>&nbsp;Holiday traditions often include sugary and fattening foods and can leave you feeling conflicted when they don’t support your healthy lifestyle. You might want to be a part of the fun, even though you don’t want to indulge in the fare. The best remedy for that is to look for healthful versions of your current traditions. For example, replace traditional pumpkin pie with the delicious Healthy Pumpkin Pudding Pie recipe below. Instead of your regular pumpkin cookie, muffin, or bread recipe,&nbsp;<i>use these great-tasting&nbsp;<a href="http://thehappygal.com/low-fat-pumpkin-recipes/" target="_blank">low-fat versions</a>.&nbsp;</i></font><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Decorate gingerbread houses (that can’t be eaten) rather than sugar cookies. There are many creative ways to preserve your traditions while also allowing you to maintain your healthy standards.<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Tip #4—<i>Start new traditions that are healthful.</i>&nbsp;There’s no rule that says you have to stick to the old ways. There are so many resources for fun ideas at Christmas time, and they don’t all have to include food. As you keep yourself healthy, you can also teach your children the important emotional skill that fun and food don’t always have to be intertwined.<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Tip #5—<i>Don’t let the treats pile up on the kitchen counter.</i>&nbsp;Thoughtful friends and neighbors will likely deliver goodies to your door this season. Such treats can be hard to pass by, and unfortunately your willpower won’t last forever. Sooner or later, you’ll likely give in to that plate of cookies&nbsp;you've&nbsp;been trying to ignore. This year, try honoring the giver without indulging in the gift. Take those treats to your next party, or have the “Two-Day Rule:” treats have a two-day shelf life before they go in the trash.<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><b _mce_style="text-indent: 0.5in;" style="text-indent: 0.5in;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><br></font></b></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><b _mce_style="text-indent: 0.5in;" style="text-indent: 0.5in;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><font size="5">Pomegranate Salad with Poppyseed Dressing</font></font></b></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dCS4D27iC6M/Ul1wgzhYOUI/AAAAAAAABWY/l_20NikyWgQ/s1600/Healthy+Pomegranate+Salad+with+Poppy+Seed+Dressing.jpg" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dCS4D27iC6M/Ul1wgzhYOUI/AAAAAAAABWY/l_20NikyWgQ/s1600/Healthy+Pomegranate+Salad+with+Poppy+Seed+Dressing.jpg" imageanchor="1" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="220" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dCS4D27iC6M/Ul1wgzhYOUI/AAAAAAAABWY/l_20NikyWgQ/s320/Healthy+Pomegranate+Salad+with+Poppy+Seed+Dressing.jpg" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dCS4D27iC6M/Ul1wgzhYOUI/AAAAAAAABWY/l_20NikyWgQ/s320/Healthy+Pomegranate+Salad+with+Poppy+Seed+Dressing.jpg" width="320" _mce_style="cursor: move;" style="cursor: move;"></a><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1 12-ounce bag Spring Lettuce Mix<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">½ cup low-fat feta cheese<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">½ cup pomegranate seeds<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1 pear, sliced<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">¼ cup sugar<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1 cup walnuts<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Heat 10-inch skillet on medium-high heat. Add walnuts and sugar. Stir until sugar melts and almonds are coated. Cool on wax paper. Toss remaining salad ingredients, add walnuts, and serve with Poppy Seed Dressing. (For best health benefits, use dressing and walnuts sparingly. Substitute plain walnuts for caramelized.)</font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><b _mce_style="text-indent: 0.5in;" style="text-indent: 0.5in;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><font size="5">Poppy Seed Dressing</font></font></b></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">3/4 cup sugar<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;MS Mincho&quot;">
</font><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1 tablespoon dry mustard<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1/2 teaspoon salt</font><font face="&quot;MS Mincho&quot;">
</font><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1/3 cup cider vinegar<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">2 tablespoon chopped onion<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1 cup olive oil</font><font face="&quot;MS Mincho&quot;">
<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1 1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">½ teaspoon lemon juice<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Mix sugar, mustard, salt, cider vinegar, and onions. Beat oil in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=663942446230429546" _mce_href="http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=663942446230429546" name="Editing" class="mceItemAnchor"></a>gradually until smooth. Stir in poppy seeds. Chill before serving.</font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><b _mce_style="text-indent: 0.5in;" style="text-indent: 0.5in;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><font size="5">Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip</font></font></b></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; margin-left: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; margin-left: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1ZBNt-okurY/Ul1whHX_GVI/AAAAAAAABWU/ZBxYA-0QV_c/s1600/Hot+Spinach+Artichoke+Dip.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1ZBNt-okurY/Ul1whHX_GVI/AAAAAAAABWU/ZBxYA-0QV_c/s1600/Hot+Spinach+Artichoke+Dip.jpg" imageanchor="1" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1ZBNt-okurY/Ul1whHX_GVI/AAAAAAAABWU/ZBxYA-0QV_c/s320/Hot+Spinach+Artichoke+Dip.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1ZBNt-okurY/Ul1whHX_GVI/AAAAAAAABWU/ZBxYA-0QV_c/s320/Hot+Spinach+Artichoke+Dip.jpg" width="320" _mce_style="cursor: move;" style="cursor: move;"></a><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">2 cups artichoke hearts<br>1 cup frozen spinach, rinsed in warm water<br>2 8-ounce packages cream cheese<br>1 cup parmesan cheese flakes<br>2 teaspoon red pepper flakes<br>1/2 teaspoon salt<br>1/4 teaspoon garlic powder<br>1/8 teaspoon pepper<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Drain the artichoke hearts and boil in a pan filled with water for 10 minutes to soften. Drain and mix with remaining ingredients. Pour into a 9x9-inch pan and warm in the oven until heated through. Serve hot with whole wheat crackers or such vegetables as carrots, celery, or cucumbers.</font><b><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><o:p></o:p></font></b></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uwK7brrDxCE/Ul1wgFScP4I/AAAAAAAABWI/vpGjb23uxWk/s1600/Caramel+Brownies.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uwK7brrDxCE/Ul1wgFScP4I/AAAAAAAABWI/vpGjb23uxWk/s1600/Caramel+Brownies.jpg" imageanchor="1" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="221" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uwK7brrDxCE/Ul1wgFScP4I/AAAAAAAABWI/vpGjb23uxWk/s320/Caramel+Brownies.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uwK7brrDxCE/Ul1wgFScP4I/AAAAAAAABWI/vpGjb23uxWk/s320/Caramel+Brownies.jpg" width="320" _mce_style="cursor: move;" style="cursor: move;"></a><b><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><font size="5">Caramel Brownies</font><o:p></o:p></font></b></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1 chocolate cake mix</font><font face="&quot;MS Mincho&quot;">
</font><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1 15-ounce can pumpkin</font><font face="&quot;MS Mincho&quot;">
</font><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1/4 cup fat-free caramel ice cream topping<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1/4 cup sugar-free chocolate chips</font><font face="&quot;MS Mincho&quot;">
</font><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1/4 cup chopped peanuts, if desired<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray. Mix cake mix and pumpkin until smooth. Spread into pan, and bake for 16–20 minutes. Cool completely. Drizzle with caramel, and top with chocolate chips and peanuts, if desired.<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><b><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><font size="5">Healthy Pumpkin Pudding Pie</font><o:p></o:p></font></b></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-WY6LvmwZc5E/Ul1wgywzVEI/AAAAAAAABWM/C6qK_1Bt288/s1600/Healthy+Pumpkin+Pudding+Pie.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-WY6LvmwZc5E/Ul1wgywzVEI/AAAAAAAABWM/C6qK_1Bt288/s1600/Healthy+Pumpkin+Pudding+Pie.jpg" imageanchor="1" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="221" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-WY6LvmwZc5E/Ul1wgywzVEI/AAAAAAAABWM/C6qK_1Bt288/s320/Healthy+Pumpkin+Pudding+Pie.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-WY6LvmwZc5E/Ul1wgywzVEI/AAAAAAAABWM/C6qK_1Bt288/s320/Healthy+Pumpkin+Pudding+Pie.jpg" width="320" _mce_style="cursor: move;" style="cursor: move;"></a><font color="#343434" face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1 1/4 cup cold fat-free milk<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font color="#343434" face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1 package (4 servings) vanilla flavor, fat-free, sugar-free instant pudding<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font color="#343434" face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font color="#343434" face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1 cup canned pumpkin<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font color="#343434" face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1 scoop vanilla protein powder<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font color="#343434" face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1 tub (8 oz.) frozen reduced fat non-dairy whipped topping, thawed and divided<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font color="#343434" face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1 reduced fat pie crust</font><font color="#343434" face="&quot;MS Mincho&quot;">
</font><font color="#343434" face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font color="#343434" face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">In a large bowl, beat milk, pudding mix and spice with a wire whisk for 1 1/2 minutes. Whisk in pumpkin. Fold in half<b><i>&nbsp;</i></b>of the whipped topping. Spread mixture evenly onto crust. Top with the remaining whipped topping and refrigerate for 2 hours. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Store pie in the fridge.<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font color="#343434" face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><br></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-oDxIyP-Dm3g/Ul1wi9d6RRI/AAAAAAAABWo/qsBuSehed08/s1600/Yams+and+Apples2.jpg" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-oDxIyP-Dm3g/Ul1wi9d6RRI/AAAAAAAABWo/qsBuSehed08/s1600/Yams+and+Apples2.jpg" imageanchor="1" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="221" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-oDxIyP-Dm3g/Ul1wi9d6RRI/AAAAAAAABWo/qsBuSehed08/s320/Yams+and+Apples2.jpg" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-oDxIyP-Dm3g/Ul1wi9d6RRI/AAAAAAAABWo/qsBuSehed08/s320/Yams+and+Apples2.jpg" width="320" _mce_style="cursor: move;" style="cursor: move;"></a><b><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">&nbsp;</font></b><b><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><font size="5">Yams and Apples</font></font></b></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">2 pounds yams, peeled and cubed into&nbsp;</font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1-inch chunks<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">3-4 apples of choice, cored and cut into&nbsp;</font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1-inch chunks<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">2 tablespoons olive oil<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1 tablespoons fresh thyme<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1/4 cup sugar-free maple syrup<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus zest<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1&nbsp;</font><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">teaspoon&nbsp;</font><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">kosher salt<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; line-height: 32px; text-indent: 0.5in;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">1/4&nbsp;</font><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">teaspoon&nbsp;</font><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">ground black pepper<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place prepared yams and apples in a large bowl. Mix the rest of the ingredients together, pour over the yams and apples, and toss until they are all coated evenly.<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Line a large, rimmed cookie sheet with tin foil. Spread mixture onto the cookie sheet in one thin layer (use 2 cookie sheets if needed) and cook for about 40 minutes or until apples and yams are soft, stirring every 10 minutes.<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p class="separator" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: center; clear: both;" style="margin: 0px; text-align: center; clear: both;"><br></p></div><p _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><br></p><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;">Serve warm and enjoy! This is a great side dish for Thanksgiving dinner.<b><o:p></o:p></b></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p class="separator" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: center; clear: both;" style="margin: 0px; text-align: center; clear: both;"><br></p><p class="separator" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: center; clear: both;" style="margin: 0px; text-align: center; clear: both;"><a href="http://thehappygal.com/" _mce_href="http://thehappygal.com/" target="_blank" _mce_style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left; margin-right: 1em;" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left; margin-right: 1em;"><img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SGfP6-th29g/Ul10sKeQBMI/AAAAAAAABXY/lFOm0-iaAG4/s320/Capture.JPG" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SGfP6-th29g/Ul10sKeQBMI/AAAAAAAABXY/lFOm0-iaAG4/s320/Capture.JPG" border="0" width="320" height="200" _mce_style="cursor: move;" style="cursor: move;"></a></p><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><br></font></p><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><br></font></p><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><br></font></p><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><br></font></p><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><br></font></p><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><br></font></p><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><br></font></p><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><br></font></p><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><br></font></p><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><br></font></p><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;"><br></font></p></div><p _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-foveo1Rp49Q/UlwNrNgJSeI/AAAAAAAABVA/RmRA2Q9Atsg/s1600/JennyLayton+0052.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-foveo1Rp49Q/UlwNrNgJSeI/AAAAAAAABVA/RmRA2Q9Atsg/s1600/JennyLayton+0052.jpg" imageanchor="1" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="133" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-foveo1Rp49Q/UlwNrNgJSeI/AAAAAAAABVA/RmRA2Q9Atsg/s200/JennyLayton+0052.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-foveo1Rp49Q/UlwNrNgJSeI/AAAAAAAABVA/RmRA2Q9Atsg/s200/JennyLayton+0052.jpg" width="200" _mce_style="cursor: move;" style="cursor: move;"></a>Jenny Layton is the creator of the blog The Happy Gal, and the author of the newly released cookbook&nbsp;<u>Healthy Eating The Happy Gal Way</u>. Through writing, speaking, and blogging, Jenny draws upon her background of professional organizing, health, and nutrition, along with her personal life experiences, to inspire other women to create a life they love, full of peace and purpose. Jenny lives in Kaysville, Utah with her husband and five children.</p> Pumpkin Muffin Miracles http://www.tofw.com/Pumpkin-Muffin-Miracles-Allison-Ruth/s/672 http://www.tofw.com/Pumpkin-Muffin-Miracles-Allison-Ruth/s/672 Wed, 05 Sep 2012 10:00:00 -0600 <div> by Allison Ruth <br /> </div> <p>We LOVED this article LAST Fall so we're sharing this wonderful recipe again! Who doesn't LOVE a Pumpkin Streusel Muffin?</p><p><br></p><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Afiq1i6K5Fo/UEZe_6i97LI/AAAAAAAABU4/AKJStaJ9ieY/s1600/pumpkin+streusel+muffin-007+copy.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Afiq1i6K5Fo/UEZe_6i97LI/AAAAAAAABU4/AKJStaJ9ieY/s1600/pumpkin+streusel+muffin-007+copy.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Afiq1i6K5Fo/UEZe_6i97LI/AAAAAAAABU4/AKJStaJ9ieY/s640/pumpkin+streusel+muffin-007+copy.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Afiq1i6K5Fo/UEZe_6i97LI/AAAAAAAABU4/AKJStaJ9ieY/s640/pumpkin+streusel+muffin-007+copy.jpg" width="448"></a></div> <br><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit">I have a special place in my heart for muffins. It sounds silly, but for me, muffins make all the difference.<br><br>When my husband left me three years ago, I was scared and heartbroken and ashamed. &nbsp;I didn't know how I was going to get out of bed in the morning, let alone raise three young children all by myself. &nbsp;I couldn't see good things anywhere on my horizon.<br><br>As my world crumbled to pieces around me, I realized what it means to be a mother. &nbsp;I was hurt and broken and lost, yet I had three little ones that depended on me. &nbsp; My problems felt huge, but as I prayed I realized the answer I was seeking was simple:&nbsp;</font><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: x-large; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="font-family: inherit; font-size: x-large; color: #000000;">Make breakfast.</span><br><font face="inherit"><br>I didn't know how to parent on my own. &nbsp;I didn't know how I was going to pay the mortgage. &nbsp;I didn't know how to heal a broken heart. &nbsp;I did know how to make breakfast. &nbsp;Muffins were my miracle.<br><br>Today, I can still see the wisdom in the guidance I received that day. &nbsp;When we are facing seemingly insurmountable challenges, the best thing to do is the most simple thing we are capable of doing. &nbsp;For me, that was making breakfast. &nbsp;It was a small step forward and it made all the difference.&nbsp;<br><br>I cooked a meal for my kids, and though it was a small thing, it was a moment in which I was looking for what was right instead of seeing everything that was wrong. &nbsp;Three years and many meals later, I have found hope, happiness, and joy in being a mother. &nbsp;Life is good. &nbsp;&nbsp;<br><br>This wasn't the path I intended to take six years ago when I became a parent, but finding good things around any corner is as simple as a dozen hot muffins just out of the oven. &nbsp;I still worry about my kids' well being, I wonder about God's plan for me, and I'm still figuring out how to pay the mortgage, but I know that even when I have more questions than answers, &nbsp;I can feed my kids a home cooked meal and feel good about something.<br><br>If you are in need of a good thing right now, here's a recipe for twelve really good things! These Pumpkin Muffins with Almond Streusel are a favorite at our house, and our friends' and neighbors' houses too. &nbsp;Enjoy!<br><br></font></p><div class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xa_FzcGgqHU/UEZe318V3JI/AAAAAAAABUw/YaUC1CgNdQs/s1600/pumpkin+streusel+muffin-010+copy.jpg" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xa_FzcGgqHU/UEZe318V3JI/AAAAAAAABUw/YaUC1CgNdQs/s1600/pumpkin+streusel+muffin-010+copy.jpg" imageanchor="1" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><font face="inherit"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xa_FzcGgqHU/UEZe318V3JI/AAAAAAAABUw/YaUC1CgNdQs/s400/pumpkin+streusel+muffin-010+copy.jpg" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xa_FzcGgqHU/UEZe318V3JI/AAAAAAAABUw/YaUC1CgNdQs/s400/pumpkin+streusel+muffin-010+copy.jpg" width="266" style="cursor: move;" _mce_style="cursor: move;"></font></a></div><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><font size="6"><u>Pumpkin Muffins with Almond Streusel</u></font><br><br><b>Ingredients:</b><br>2 cups all purpose flour<br>3/4 cup sugar<br>3 teaspoons baking powder<br>1/2 teaspoon salt<br>1 teaspoon cinnamon<br>1/2 teaspoon ground ginger<br>pinch of ground nutmeg<br>pinch of ground cloves<br>2 eggs<br>3 tablespoons canola oil<br>1 cup pumpkin puree<br>1/4 cup whole milk plain yogurt<br>Streusel Ingredients<br>4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces<br>4 tablespoons packed brown sugar<br>4 tablespoons chopped almonds<br>4 tablespoons all purpose flour<br><span _mce_style="color: #000000;"><br></span><b>Directions:</b><br>Spray each individual cup of a 12 cup muffin pan with non-stick spray, set aside. &nbsp; Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. &nbsp;&nbsp;<br><span _mce_style="color: #000000;"><br></span>In a small bowl, combine streusel ingredients. &nbsp;Work mixture with fingers until well combined. &nbsp;Cover and refrigerate until ready for use.<br><br>In a medium bowl sift together dry muffin ingredients. &nbsp; In a separate medium bowl, combine wet muffin ingredients and whisk well. &nbsp;Make a well in the center of flour mixture and pour wet mix into flour mixture. &nbsp;Stir only until just combined. &nbsp;Gently fold in half of the streusel mix.<br><br>Spoon batter into muffin pan, filling each cup 2/3 full. &nbsp;Top with remaining streusel mix. &nbsp;Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until muffins are lightly browned and spring back when touched.&nbsp;</font></p> <br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <address class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fJq1YGQ-qKc/UEZfCzRPmoI/AAAAAAAABVA/x5PMPYxTnak/s1600/somethewiser-author-photo2.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fJq1YGQ-qKc/UEZfCzRPmoI/AAAAAAAABVA/x5PMPYxTnak/s1600/somethewiser-author-photo2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fJq1YGQ-qKc/UEZfCzRPmoI/AAAAAAAABVA/x5PMPYxTnak/s1600/somethewiser-author-photo2.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fJq1YGQ-qKc/UEZfCzRPmoI/AAAAAAAABVA/x5PMPYxTnak/s1600/somethewiser-author-photo2.jpg"></a></address> <address class="MsoNormal"> Allison Ruth, mama to three hungry girls, blogs at <a href="http://somethewiser.danoah.com/" _mce_href="http://somethewiser.danoah.com/">Some the Wiser</a> where she takes life as it comes and tries to learn a little something as she goes.<br> <br> Whether she’s baking bread, sewing, or contemplating the fate of socks gone missing in the laundry, she looks for the peace and creativity life offers to everyone who is paying attention.<br> <br> Living life deliberately isn’t easy, she admits, but it helps when you have good things to eat.<o:p></o:p></address> <div class="MsoNormal"> <br></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://somethewiser.danoah.com/" _mce_href="http://somethewiser.danoah.com/"><img border="0" height="63" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9P0l0Juh-M8/UEZf8RzmAWI/AAAAAAAABVI/ioFD4y7vMd8/s400/somethewiser.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9P0l0Juh-M8/UEZf8RzmAWI/AAAAAAAABVI/ioFD4y7vMd8/s400/somethewiser.jpg" width="400"></a></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <br></div> <br> <br> Healthy Snacking for Happy Kids http://www.tofw.com/Healthy-Snacking-Happy-Kids-Trisha-Parry/s/915 http://www.tofw.com/Healthy-Snacking-Happy-Kids-Trisha-Parry/s/915 Mon, 26 Aug 2013 10:06:00 -0600 <div> by Trisha Parry <br /> </div> <div _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" class="MsoNormal" style="background-color: white; box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 20px; padding: 0px;"> </div> <div class="author_wrapper" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: 10px;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: 10px;"> <div _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: 10px;" class="author_wrapper" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: 10px;"> <div _mce_style="margin: 0px; clear: both;" class="separator" style="box-sizing: border-box; clear: both; padding: 0px;"><div class="author_wrapper" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: 10px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: 10px;"><p class="separator" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; clear: both;" style="margin: 0px; box-sizing: border-box; clear: both; padding: 0px;"><a data-blogger-escaped-target="_blank" href="http://training-tidbits.com/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); text-decoration: none;"><img border="0" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yDR2jqi7bu4/UhOjdSOno6I/AAAAAAAAA2Q/tr_u2FvWcEY/s1600/back+to+school.jpg" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="cursor: move; border-style: none; box-sizing: border-box; padding: 8px;" height="293" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yDR2jqi7bu4/UhOjdSOno6I/AAAAAAAAA2Q/tr_u2FvWcEY/s1600/back+to+school.jpg" width="400" style="cursor: move; border-style: none; box-sizing: border-box; padding: 8px;"></a><a href="//pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tofw.com%2FHealthy-Snacking-Happy-Kids-Trisha-Parry%2Fs%2F915&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-yDR2jqi7bu4%2FUhOjdSOno6I%2FAAAAAAAAA2Q%2Ftr_u2FvWcEY%2Fs1600%2Fback%2Bto%2Bschool.jpg&amp;description=Next%20stop%3A%20Pinterest" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pin_it_button.png" _mce_src="http://assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pin_it_button.png"></a></p><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;">&nbsp;<font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="color: #000000;" style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 20px;">I have pretty vivid memories of coming home from school after those&nbsp;<i data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;">long&nbsp;</i>days as an elementary school girl.&nbsp;</font><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="line-height: 20px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 20px;">My younger brother and I would walk home from school and it was just a matter of seconds before our backpacks were on the ground and we were seated at the counter ready for our “after school snack”.</font></font></p></div></div><div class="text" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 20px; padding: 10px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 16px; line-height: 20px; padding: 10px;"><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="color: #000000;" style="box-sizing: border-box;">There are so many things I loved about those days and those “after school snack” moments. It was a time to talk with my mom and brother about the day. It was a time to unwind. It was a time to decide what friend I would play with after I got my homework done. And most importantly, it was a time to get some healthy food in my little body to have energy for the rest of the day.</font><o:p style="box-sizing: border-box;"></o:p></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="color: #000000;" style="box-sizing: border-box;">So maybe I didn't realize that last one at the time I was sitting at our kitchen counter, but I realize it now! I’m excited to share some ideas for how to use that “after school snack” time to connect with your kids and give them the extra energy boost they need.</font><o:p style="box-sizing: border-box;"></o:p></font></p></div></div><div align="center" class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="color: #000000;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" size="5" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><a data-blogger-escaped-_mce_href="http://training-tidbits.com/aboutme/" href="http://training-tidbits.com/aboutme/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); text-decoration: none;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;">Trisha</b></a><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;">’s Favorite After School Snacks</b></font></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="color: #000000;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" size="5" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br></b></font></font></p></div></div><div align="center" class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div></div><div align="center" class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px; text-align: left;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><a data-blogger-escaped-target="_blank" href="http://training-tidbits.com/boost-your-smoothie/" style="box-sizing: border-box; clear: left; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-decoration: none;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><img border="0" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-uZu7o8QYlY0/UhadkTiPJ5I/AAAAAAAAA58/w20bJD7iWvE/s320/smoothie!!!.jpg" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="cursor: move;" height="320" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-uZu7o8QYlY0/UhadkTiPJ5I/AAAAAAAAA58/w20bJD7iWvE/s320/smoothie!!!.jpg" width="240" style="cursor: move; border-style: none; box-sizing: border-box; padding: 8px;"></font></a><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><a href="//pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tofw.com%2FHealthy-Snacking-Happy-Kids-Trisha-Parry%2Fs%2F915&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-uZu7o8QYlY0%2FUhadkTiPJ5I%2FAAAAAAAAA58%2Fw20bJD7iWvE%2Fs320%2Fsmoothie!!!.jpg&amp;description=Next%20stop%3A%20Pinterest" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pin_it_button.png" _mce_src="http://assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pin_it_button.png"></a></font></p></div></div><div align="center" class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="color: #000000;" face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"></b></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;"><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="color: #000000;" face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;">-&nbsp;<a data-blogger-escaped-_mce_href="http://training-tidbits.com/boost-your-smoothie/" href="http://training-tidbits.com/boost-your-smoothie/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); text-decoration: none;">Green Smoothies</a>&nbsp;(picture to the left, click for recipe)&nbsp;</b></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"></p></div></div><div align="center" class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="color: #000000;" face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"></b><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><o:p style="box-sizing: border-box;"></o:p></b></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="color: #000000;" face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" size="3" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;">-&nbsp;Ants on a Log:&nbsp;</b>A stick of&nbsp;celery&nbsp;filled with peanut butter and&nbsp;</font>raisins<font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" size="3" style="box-sizing: border-box;">.&nbsp;</font></font></p></div><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="color: #000000;" face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="color: #000000;" face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;">-&nbsp;<a data-blogger-escaped-_mce_href="http://training-tidbits.com/frozen-yogurt-pops/" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="font-size: 12pt;" href="http://training-tidbits.com/frozen-yogurt-pops/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); font-size: 12pt; text-decoration: none;">Frozen Yogurt Pops</a></b><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;">:&nbsp;</b>These are light, fruity and cold. Perfect for those warm afternoons!&nbsp;</font></p></div></div><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="color: #000000;" face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="color: #000000;" face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;">Try them with greek yogurt and you’ll be giving your children a great snack of protein, fruit and dairy!</font></p></div></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="color: #000000;" face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="color: #000000;" face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;">- Cheese, Turkey &amp; Crackers<o:p style="box-sizing: border-box;"></o:p></b></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;">-&nbsp;<a data-blogger-escaped-_mce_href="http://training-tidbits.com/back-to-school/" href="http://training-tidbits.com/back-to-school/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); text-decoration: none;">Zucchini Muffins</a></b></b></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div></div><p class="separator" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: 16px; clear: both;" style="margin: 0px; box-sizing: border-box; clear: both; padding: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; box-sizing: border-box; clear: both; padding: 0px;"><a data-blogger-escaped-target="_blank" href="http://www.glad.com/food-storage/blog-view/apple-sandwiches/" style="box-sizing: border-box; clear: right; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; text-decoration: none;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><img border="0" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-fhGrAkffHiI/UhadhruaCPI/AAAAAAAAA5c/gOWXerGFnJU/s320/APPLE!.jpg" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="cursor: move;" height="320" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-fhGrAkffHiI/UhadhruaCPI/AAAAAAAAA5c/gOWXerGFnJU/s320/APPLE!.jpg" width="320" style="cursor: move; border-style: none; box-sizing: border-box; padding: 8px;"></font></a><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><a href="//pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tofw.com%2FHealthy-Snacking-Happy-Kids-Trisha-Parry%2Fs%2F915&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-fhGrAkffHiI%2FUhadhruaCPI%2FAAAAAAAAA5c%2FgOWXerGFnJU%2Fs320%2FAPPLE!.jpg&amp;description=Next%20stop%3A%20Pinterest" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pin_it_button.png" _mce_src="http://assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pin_it_button.png" style="float: right;" _mce_style="float: right;"></a></font></p><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif; box-sizing: border-box;">-&nbsp;<a data-blogger-escaped-_mce_href="http://www.glad.com/food-storage/blog-view/apple-sandwiches/" href="http://www.glad.com/food-storage/blog-view/apple-sandwiches/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); text-decoration: none;">Apple Sandwiches:</a></b></p><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 20px; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;">&nbsp;</b>Core the apple, then slice it width-wise so you have some circle slices. Fill the slices with peanut or almond butter and snack away!</font></p></div></div></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><o:p style="box-sizing: border-box;"></o:p></font></p></div></div><div align="center" class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="color: #000000;" face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;">- &nbsp;Healthy Popcorn Mix:&nbsp;</b>½ cup popped popcorn with some nuts and chocolate chips mixed in</font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="color: #000000;" face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;">-&nbsp;<b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;">Yogurt with Fresh Fruit</b></font></p><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: right;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: right;"><br></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><a data-blogger-escaped-target="_blank" href="http://training-tidbits.com/banana-chia-muffins/" style="box-sizing: border-box; clear: left; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-decoration: none;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><img border="0" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-W4JRUKsbqdk/Uhadi-sHJsI/AAAAAAAAA5s/eWJZQ6ArgMc/s320/Muffins!!!.jpg" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="cursor: move;" height="320" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-W4JRUKsbqdk/Uhadi-sHJsI/AAAAAAAAA5s/eWJZQ6ArgMc/s320/Muffins!!!.jpg" width="241" style="cursor: move; border-style: none; box-sizing: border-box; padding: 8px;"></font></a><a href="//pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tofw.com%2FHealthy-Snacking-Happy-Kids-Trisha-Parry%2Fs%2F915&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-W4JRUKsbqdk%2FUhadi-sHJsI%2FAAAAAAAAA5s%2FeWJZQ6ArgMc%2Fs320%2FMuffins!!!.jpg&amp;description=Next%20stop%3A%20Pinterest" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above"></a></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><a href="//pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tofw.com%2FHealthy-Snacking-Happy-Kids-Trisha-Parry%2Fs%2F915&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-W4JRUKsbqdk%2FUhadi-sHJsI%2FAAAAAAAAA5s%2FeWJZQ6ArgMc%2Fs320%2FMuffins!!!.jpg&amp;description=Next%20stop%3A%20Pinterest" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pin_it_button.png" _mce_src="http://assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pin_it_button.png"></a></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif; box-sizing: border-box;">-&nbsp;</b><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif; box-sizing: border-box;"><a data-blogger-escaped-_mce_href="http://training-tidbits.com/banana-chia-muffins/" href="http://training-tidbits.com/banana-chia-muffins/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); text-decoration: none;">Banana Muffins</a>&nbsp;(picture to the right, click for recipe)</b></p></div></div><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;">- Homemade Trail Mix (pretzels, nuts, chex mix)</font></b></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></b></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></b></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;">- Turkey &amp; cheese quesadilla<o:p style="box-sizing: border-box;"></o:p></font></b></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;">- Homemade&nbsp;</b><a data-blogger-escaped-_mce_href="http://training-tidbits.com/at-it-again/" href="http://training-tidbits.com/at-it-again/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); text-decoration: none;">Granola Bars</a>&nbsp;(Click for recipe)</font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="color: #000000;" face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"></b></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></b></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;">- Sweet Potato Fries<o:p style="box-sizing: border-box;"></o:p></font></b></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></b></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><br></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><a data-blogger-escaped-target="_blank" href="http://training-tidbits.com/grab-and-go/" style="box-sizing: border-box; clear: right; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; text-decoration: none;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><img border="0" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Nv84CfjR00k/UhadjlvHenI/AAAAAAAAA50/UkfVdE2ZC0g/s320/pbbb.jpg" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="cursor: move;" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Nv84CfjR00k/UhadjlvHenI/AAAAAAAAA50/UkfVdE2ZC0g/s320/pbbb.jpg" width="320" style="cursor: move; border-style: none; box-sizing: border-box; padding: 8px;"></font></a><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><a href="//pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tofw.com%2FHealthy-Snacking-Happy-Kids-Trisha-Parry%2Fs%2F915&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-Nv84CfjR00k%2FUhadjlvHenI%2FAAAAAAAAA50%2FUkfVdE2ZC0g%2Fs320%2Fpbbb.jpg&amp;description=Next%20stop%3A%20Pinterest" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pin_it_button.png" _mce_src="http://assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pin_it_button.png" style="float: right;" _mce_style="float: right;"></a></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></b></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="background-color: transparent; box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;">-&nbsp;<a data-blogger-escaped-_mce_href="http://training-tidbits.com/grab-and-go/" href="http://training-tidbits.com/grab-and-go/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); text-decoration: none;">Pea<font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;">nut Butter Banana Bites</font></a></b><o:p style="box-sizing: border-box;"></o:p></font></b></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></b></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;">- Fruit Kabobs</font></b></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;">- Cheese Sticks<o:p style="box-sizing: border-box;"></o:p></font></b></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;">- Carrots and Hummus or Ranch Dip</font></b></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><b data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br></font></b></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><a href="http://pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tofw.com%2FHealthy-Snacking-Happy-Kids-Trisha-Parry%2Fs%2F915&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-3-PtZgQ9MFQ%2FUhadiei1PKI%2FAAAAAAAAA5k%2FLfQMpYB1ZS4%2Fs320%2FCARROTS!!.jpg&amp;description=Next%20stop%3A%20Pinterest" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><img src="http://assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pin_it_button.png" _mce_src="http://assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pin_it_button.png"></a></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><a data-blogger-escaped-_mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3-PtZgQ9MFQ/Uhadiei1PKI/AAAAAAAAA5k/LfQMpYB1ZS4/s1600/CARROTS!!.jpg" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3-PtZgQ9MFQ/Uhadiei1PKI/AAAAAAAAA5k/LfQMpYB1ZS4/s1600/CARROTS!!.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="box-sizing: border-box; clear: left; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-decoration: none;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><img border="0" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3-PtZgQ9MFQ/Uhadiei1PKI/AAAAAAAAA5k/LfQMpYB1ZS4/s320/CARROTS!!.jpg" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="cursor: move;" height="320" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3-PtZgQ9MFQ/Uhadiei1PKI/AAAAAAAAA5k/LfQMpYB1ZS4/s320/CARROTS!!.jpg" width="245" style="cursor: move; border-style: none; box-sizing: border-box; padding: 8px;"></font></a><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;">You may have already heard about many of these snacks before and maybe your child has dismissed them.&nbsp;</font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" size="5" style="box-sizing: border-box;">One important thing to note is that kids like fun presentation.&nbsp;</font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" size="5" style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;">So…here are some fun presentation ideas to incorporate in your healthy snacks!<o:p style="box-sizing: border-box;"></o:p></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;">- make a face on your granola bars with chocolate chips</font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;">- put the ingredients of the trail mix in a muffin tin and let them fill their own cup or bowl with the things they want</font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;">- create a “snack menu” with a few choices they can pick from each day<o:p style="box-sizing: border-box;"></o:p></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;">- cut and arrange fruit &amp; veggies in the shape of animals or faces<o:p style="box-sizing: border-box;"></o:p></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;">Hopefully this gives you some ideas to jump start this school year. Here’s to making the most of the time we have with our kids and doing our part to keep them healthy and strong!&nbsp;Be sure to stop by&nbsp;<a data-blogger-escaped-_mce_href="http://training-tidbits.com/banana-chia-muffins/" href="http://training-tidbits.com/banana-chia-muffins/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); text-decoration: none;">my blog</a>&nbsp;for future posts on healthy eating and healthy living for the whole family!</font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><o:p style="box-sizing: border-box;"></o:p></font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="box-sizing: border-box;"></font></p></div></div><p class="separator" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center; clear: both;" style="margin: 0px; box-sizing: border-box; clear: both; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><a data-blogger-escaped-_mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Ra0QoknQtR8/UhOooLVvPwI/AAAAAAAAA3I/53hJ3icKXNg/s1600/DSC_7752.jpg" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left; margin-right: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Ra0QoknQtR8/UhOooLVvPwI/AAAAAAAAA3I/53hJ3icKXNg/s1600/DSC_7752.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="box-sizing: border-box; clear: left; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-decoration: none;"></a></p><div class="MsoPlainText" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: medium; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p class="separator" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center; clear: both;" style="margin: 0px; box-sizing: border-box; clear: both; padding: 0px;"><a data-blogger-escaped-_mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Ra0QoknQtR8/UhOooLVvPwI/AAAAAAAAA3I/53hJ3icKXNg/s1600/DSC_7752.jpg" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left; margin-right: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Ra0QoknQtR8/UhOooLVvPwI/AAAAAAAAA3I/53hJ3icKXNg/s1600/DSC_7752.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="box-sizing: border-box; clear: left; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-decoration: none;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><img border="0" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Ra0QoknQtR8/UhOooLVvPwI/AAAAAAAAA3I/53hJ3icKXNg/s1600/DSC_7752.jpg" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="cursor: move; border-style: none; box-sizing: border-box; padding: 8px;" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Ra0QoknQtR8/UhOooLVvPwI/AAAAAAAAA3I/53hJ3icKXNg/s1600/DSC_7752.jpg" width="132" style="cursor: move; border-style: none; box-sizing: border-box; padding: 8px;"></font></a></p><div class="MsoPlainText" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><div data-blogger-escaped-_mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" size="2" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;">Trisha is a Community Health student ( in her last semester!) and Wellness Specialist at UVU. Her goal is to one day work for a corporate wellness company, helping instill healthy habits in people that spend their days at work. Or better yet, creating programs for kids to get active and stay active and learn to create healthy habits now. She is a seasoned triathlete and runner, and loves learning about health and fitness and how to help people make healthy changes. In her spare time you can find her hanging out with her husband (Mr. Parry), reading, eating broccoli, or doing something outside. Come visit her blog,&nbsp;<a data-blogger-escaped-_mce_href="http://training-tidbits.com/" data-blogger-escaped-target="_blank" href="http://training-tidbits.com/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); text-decoration: none;">Training Tidbits</a>&nbsp;to find great workouts, healthy recipes, and quick tips on being well.&nbsp;<o:p style="box-sizing: border-box;"></o:p></font></p><div><font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" size="2" style="box-sizing: border-box;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;"><br></font></div></div><div></div></div></div><div style="font-family: 'Times New Roman';" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman';"></div></div></div></div></div> </div> <!-- AddThis Button BEGIN --> <div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style "> <a class="addthis_button_facebook_like" fb:like:layout="button_count"></a> <a class="addthis_button_tweet"></a> <a class="addthis_button_pinterest_pinit"></a> <a class="addthis_counter addthis_pill_style"></a> </div> <mce:script type="text/javascript"><!-- var addthis_config = {"data_track_addressbar":true}; // --></mce:script> <mce:script type="text/javascript" _mce_src="http://s7.addthis.com/js/300/addthis_widget.js#pubid=ra-521b8f133e1f0b0e"></mce:script> <!-- AddThis Button END --> Improve"mints" in Sharing http://www.tofw.com/Improvemints-Sharing-Jill-Manning/s/902 http://www.tofw.com/Improvemints-Sharing-Jill-Manning/s/902 Sat, 03 Aug 2013 07:51:00 -0600 <div> </div> <h3><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;">Jill Manning is coming back to TOFW this fall and will be presenting in the following cities:</span></h3><h3><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><a href="http://tofw.com/events/30" _mce_href="../../../events/30" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); text-decoration: none;" _mce_style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; box-sizing: border-box; color: #f1563f; text-decoration: none;">Austin, TX</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://tofw.com/events/12" _mce_href="../../../events/12" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); text-decoration: none;" _mce_style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; box-sizing: border-box; color: #f1563f; text-decoration: none;">Kitchener, ON</a>&nbsp;&amp;&nbsp;<a href="http://tofw.com/events/25" _mce_href="../../../events/25" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); text-decoration: none;" _mce_style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; box-sizing: border-box; color: #f1563f; text-decoration: none;">Reno, NV</a>.</span></h3><h3 style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; text-align: left;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: medium; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="font-size: medium; color: #000000;">“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.” —Eleanor Roosevelt</span></h3><div><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: left;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: left;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: left;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: left;">Last week, I pulled a small container of mints out of the bottom of my church bag and noticed, for the first time, the words written beside each of the two openings on the hockey-puck-shaped container. One opening had “to share” written beside it while the other opening had “not to share” by it. At first, I was amused by my candy’s fine print, and I chuckled over not having spotted it before, especially given the frequency with which my four year-old “needs” a mint.</p></div><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><a imageanchor="1" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JSYY_piWuQc/Uf-wmXyWI-I/AAAAAAAAArU/fACNZMw1VKA/s1600/JManning.Improvemints.JPG" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JSYY_piWuQc/Uf-wmXyWI-I/AAAAAAAAArU/fACNZMw1VKA/s1600/JManning.Improvemints.JPG" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; float: right; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; float: right; margin-left: 1em;"><img src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-JSYY_piWuQc%2FUf-wmXyWI-I%2FAAAAAAAAArU%2FfACNZMw1VKA%2Fs1600%2FJManning.Improvemints.JPG&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" border="0" data-orig-src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JSYY_piWuQc/Uf-wmXyWI-I/AAAAAAAAArU/fACNZMw1VKA/s1600/JManning.Improvemints.JPG" width="400" height="373" style="cursor: move;"></a><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;" _mce_style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #000000;">Out of pure curiosity, I decided to open b<a name="Editing" class="mceItemAnchor"></a>oth sides of the container, and guess what I discovered? The “<i>to share</i>” side was only a fraction of the size of the “<i>not to share</i>” side! The apparent message was clear: if you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to share a mint with someone, you can take comfort in knowing your mint puck has a built-in security system—a stingy side.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #000000;">For the next few days, I found myself unexpectedly reflecting on the mint container and its different sized openings. It was one of those quirky things that got stuck in my mind, like a song or jingle that you just can’t shake. I became curious about who had come up with this clever, tongue-in-cheek marketing tactic. A chocolate lover was my first guess.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #000000;">The more I thought about it, the more intrigued I became with how our own stingy and generous sides manifest themselves. After all, aren’t we all a little like that mint container? Don’t we all encounter people or situations with which we feel more generous? On the flip side, aren’t there also people and situations that invite us into being more guarded, closed, or protective?<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #000000;">In the scriptures we are taught that Heavenly Father “giveth to all men liberally” (James 1:5) and that we are to trust “in the living God, who&nbsp;<span class="highlight">giveth</span>&nbsp;us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17). When I read such verses, several questions come to mind. For example, how well do we know and trust His generosity with each of us? What, if anything, gets in the way of us opening the “<i>to share”&nbsp;</i>side of ourselves with Heavenly Father, family, friends and neighbors? Do we hold on to any habits or beliefs that hinder us from sharing more meaningfully? How do our “<i>not to share</i>” tendencies develop in the first place?<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #000000;">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; color: #000000;">I am not suggesting that we can or are even supposed to share all things with all people—that would be unhealthy and problematic on many fronts—but the mint container certainly got me thinking about how often I extend my “<i>to share</i>” side with others and to consider when and with whom I can share more. May we taste of greater joy and feel more of His love as we make improve<b><i>mints&nbsp;</i></b>in the quality and amount of our sharing.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><i><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;" _mce_style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;</span></i></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><i><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;" _mce_style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Care for a mint?<o:p></o:p></span></i></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><i><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;" _mce_style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br></span></i></span></p><p class="separator" style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center; clear: both;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center; clear: both;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><a imageanchor="1" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bTAVdjttlk4/Uf-xQF6caOI/AAAAAAAAArc/9uXgsxaaWXc/s1600/JillManning.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bTAVdjttlk4/Uf-xQF6caOI/AAAAAAAAArc/9uXgsxaaWXc/s1600/JillManning.jpg" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left; margin-right: 1em;"><img src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-bTAVdjttlk4%2FUf-xQF6caOI%2FAAAAAAAAArc%2F9uXgsxaaWXc%2Fs1600%2FJillManning.jpg&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" border="0" data-orig-src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bTAVdjttlk4/Uf-xQF6caOI/AAAAAAAAArc/9uXgsxaaWXc/s1600/JillManning.jpg" style="cursor: move;"></a></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px 0px 0.0001pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; color: #000000;">Jill C. Manning, Ph.D., is a licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in research and clinical work related to pornography and its impact on marriages and families. Dr. Manning is the author of What’s the Big Deal about Pornography?: A Guide for the Internet Generation, and Let’s Talk about the Elephant in the Room: How LDS Women Can Protect Families from Pornography (CD).&nbsp; She has been featured in television programs, documentaries, and radio talk shows, and has authored numerous research articles. In 2005, Dr. Manning was selected to be a visiting Social Science Fellow at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., and, as a result of her research there, she testified before a Senate sub-committee. A native of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Dr. Manning currently resides in Denver, Colorado, with her husband and two daughters.</span></p> INTERNATIONAL TOFW - Part 1 New Zealand http://www.tofw.com/INTERNATIONAL-TOFW-Part-1-New-Zealand-Chrislyn-Woolston/s/899 http://www.tofw.com/INTERNATIONAL-TOFW-Part-1-New-Zealand-Chrislyn-Woolston/s/899 Thu, 01 Aug 2013 12:12:00 -0600 <div> by Chrislyn Woolston <br /> </div> <p class="separator" style="margin: 0px; clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; clear: both; text-align: center;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit">Last night we arrived in Sydney, Australia, and after a long day of travel from New Zealand and having it be day 9 of this journey, let’s just say we were a&nbsp;<i>little</i>&nbsp;exhausted. All we could muster up the energy to do is go across the street to Pie Face (the much loved meat pie shop Down Under) and eat a long awaited meat pie.&nbsp;</font></span>In the words of our friends in New Zealand,&nbsp;“it was LOVELY.”</p><div style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><div><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></div></div><div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><o:p></o:p></font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit">We found ourselves sitting on a little bench right on the Sydney Harbour, looking up at all of the buildings and saying to ourselves,</font><font face="inherit">“just when we thought everything revolved around our own little world back home, we realize we are just one small piece of this big amazing masterpiece.”</font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><font size="2">We felt small.</font><o:p></o:p></font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><font size="5">But not unimportant.</font><o:p></o:p></font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit">And actually, we felt known. We hope you have experienced that feeling lately.</font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit">Have you ever been to New Zealand?</font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit">If you haven’t, put it on your bucket list for sure. It’s worth every saved penny!&nbsp;</font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit">Let me share with you a few reasons why.</font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><b style="text-indent: -0.25in;" _mce_style="text-indent: -0.25in;"><br></b></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><font style="text-indent: -0.25in;" _mce_style="text-indent: -0.25in;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</font><b style="text-indent: -0.25in;" _mce_style="text-indent: -0.25in;">1)<font style="font-size: 7pt; font-weight: normal;" _mce_style="font-size: 7pt; font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</font></b><b style="text-indent: -0.25in;" _mce_style="text-indent: -0.25in;">IT’S BREATHTAKINGLY GORGEOUS.</b></font></span></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><b style="text-indent: -0.25in;" _mce_style="text-indent: -0.25in;"><br></b></font></span></p></div><p class="separator" style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EXfBFWlcAUw/UfmgjZQNL3I/AAAAAAAAAnY/Lsb1D_NkRIs/s1600/NZ+Collage.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EXfBFWlcAUw/UfmgjZQNL3I/AAAAAAAAAnY/Lsb1D_NkRIs/s1600/NZ+Collage.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><font face="inherit"></font></a></span></p><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p class="separator" style="margin: 0px; text-align: center; clear: both;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: center; clear: both;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><a imageanchor="1" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rjtEPOzz7-s/Ufqo--DlRNI/AAAAAAAAAos/SKj1UZg4IjQ/s1600/Labeled+NZ+Collage.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rjtEPOzz7-s/Ufqo--DlRNI/AAAAAAAAAos/SKj1UZg4IjQ/s1600/Labeled+NZ+Collage.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rjtEPOzz7-s/Ufqo--DlRNI/AAAAAAAAAos/SKj1UZg4IjQ/s640/Labeled+NZ+Collage.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rjtEPOzz7-s/Ufqo--DlRNI/AAAAAAAAAos/SKj1UZg4IjQ/s640/Labeled+NZ+Collage.jpg" border="0" width="640" height="320" style="cursor: move;" _mce_style="cursor: move;"></a></span></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit">Yep. We actually went zip lining in the bushes of New Zealand.</font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><b style="text-indent: -0.25in;" _mce_style="text-indent: -0.25in;"><br></b></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><font style="text-indent: -0.25in;" _mce_style="text-indent: -0.25in;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</font><b style="text-indent: -0.25in;" _mce_style="text-indent: -0.25in;">2)<font style="font-size: 7pt; font-weight: normal;" _mce_style="font-size: 7pt; font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</font></b><b style="text-indent: -0.25in;" _mce_style="text-indent: -0.25in;">THEY HAVE INCREDIBLE HERITAGE.</b></font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-style="margin-left: .25in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-style="margin-left: .25in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><a imageanchor="1" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SuOEWWoPV0g/Ufmi9GX-i2I/AAAAAAAAAno/03hu4QB5irs/s1600/RRq9HfyqIi878h-YMb_ZofKJQtztEwmCSpYngdlv0Q0.jpg" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SuOEWWoPV0g/Ufmi9GX-i2I/AAAAAAAAAno/03hu4QB5irs/s1600/RRq9HfyqIi878h-YMb_ZofKJQtztEwmCSpYngdlv0Q0.jpg" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em; float: left;" _mce_style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em; float: left;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SuOEWWoPV0g/Ufmi9GX-i2I/AAAAAAAAAno/03hu4QB5irs/s320/RRq9HfyqIi878h-YMb_ZofKJQtztEwmCSpYngdlv0Q0.jpg" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SuOEWWoPV0g/Ufmi9GX-i2I/AAAAAAAAAno/03hu4QB5irs/s320/RRq9HfyqIi878h-YMb_ZofKJQtztEwmCSpYngdlv0Q0.jpg" width="320" style="cursor: move;" _mce_style="cursor: move;"></a><font face="inherit">We had the opportunity to visit the New Zealand Church History Museum and to meet Sister Parker.&nbsp;</font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-style="margin-left: .25in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SuOEWWoPV0g/Ufmi9GX-i2I/AAAAAAAAAno/03hu4QB5irs/s1600/RRq9HfyqIi878h-YMb_ZofKJQtztEwmCSpYngdlv0Q0.jpg" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SuOEWWoPV0g/Ufmi9GX-i2I/AAAAAAAAAno/03hu4QB5irs/s1600/RRq9HfyqIi878h-YMb_ZofKJQtztEwmCSpYngdlv0Q0.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><font face="inherit"></font></a></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-style="margin-left: .25in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit">You’ll want to visit her when you come.&nbsp;</font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-style="margin-left: .25in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-style="margin-left: .25in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit">This woman has spent the last 26 years gathering the history of the Saints in New Zealand, and continues to serve today. We all felt an incredible amount of gratitude for these Saints and all of their family members who continue to carry on their heritage.</font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-style="margin-left: .25in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><b style="text-indent: -0.25in;" _mce_style="text-indent: -0.25in;"><br></b></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-style="margin-left: .25in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-style="margin-left: .25in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><b style="text-indent: -0.25in;" _mce_style="text-indent: -0.25in;"><br></b></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" data-blogger-escaped-style="margin-left: .25in;" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><b style="font-family: inherit; text-indent: -0.25in;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit; text-indent: -0.25in;"><br></b></span></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><b style="font-family: inherit; text-indent: -0.25in;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit; text-indent: -0.25in;"><br></b></span></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><b style="font-family: inherit; text-indent: -0.25in;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit; text-indent: -0.25in;">3)<font style="font-size: 7pt; font-weight: normal;" _mce_style="font-size: 7pt; font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</font></b><b style="font-family: inherit; text-indent: -0.25in;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit; text-indent: -0.25in;">We can’t forget THE FOOD.</b></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><a imageanchor="1" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8ylWVT6JPSM/UfmjH7bJ7ZI/AAAAAAAAAn0/FxaUmEBDYGE/s1600/IMG_4599.JPG" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8ylWVT6JPSM/UfmjH7bJ7ZI/AAAAAAAAAn0/FxaUmEBDYGE/s1600/IMG_4599.JPG" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; float: right; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; float: right; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8ylWVT6JPSM/UfmjH7bJ7ZI/AAAAAAAAAn0/FxaUmEBDYGE/s400/IMG_4599.JPG" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8ylWVT6JPSM/UfmjH7bJ7ZI/AAAAAAAAAn0/FxaUmEBDYGE/s400/IMG_4599.JPG" width="300" style="cursor: move;" _mce_style="cursor: move;"></a><a imageanchor="1" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UhszBhviXiI/UfmjH5lm33I/AAAAAAAAAnw/e0PL_nThhB8/s1600/IMG_4514.JPG" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UhszBhviXiI/UfmjH5lm33I/AAAAAAAAAnw/e0PL_nThhB8/s1600/IMG_4514.JPG" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UhszBhviXiI/UfmjH5lm33I/AAAAAAAAAnw/e0PL_nThhB8/s320/IMG_4514.JPG" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UhszBhviXiI/UfmjH5lm33I/AAAAAAAAAnw/e0PL_nThhB8/s320/IMG_4514.JPG" width="320" style="cursor: move;" _mce_style="cursor: move;"></a><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><a imageanchor="1" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-oVxJZu7HG-I/Ufqpdd3V73I/AAAAAAAAAo0/e7lOORmW1jI/s1600/156212629.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-oVxJZu7HG-I/Ufqpdd3V73I/AAAAAAAAAo0/e7lOORmW1jI/s1600/156212629.jpg" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left; margin-right: 1em;"><img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-oVxJZu7HG-I/Ufqpdd3V73I/AAAAAAAAAo0/e7lOORmW1jI/s200/156212629.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-oVxJZu7HG-I/Ufqpdd3V73I/AAAAAAAAAo0/e7lOORmW1jI/s200/156212629.jpg" border="0" width="200" height="131" style="cursor: move;" _mce_style="cursor: move;"></a><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;">Do I need to say more?</span></p></div><p class="separator" style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center; clear: both;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center; clear: both;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><b style="font-family: inherit; text-indent: -0.25in;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit; text-indent: -0.25in;">&nbsp;4)<font style="font-size: 7pt; font-weight: normal;" _mce_style="font-size: 7pt; font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</font></b><b style="font-family: inherit; text-indent: -0.25in;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit; text-indent: -0.25in;">Last, but not least, THE WOMEN.</b></span></p><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit">We meet a lot of women around the world, and there is a unique spirit of goodness here in New Zealand. (We are pretty sure it’s because of what is in their chocolate.)</font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><o:p></o:p></font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yRdUR-o2vKo/UfmjswDC7rI/AAAAAAAAAoA/_VcyVjIBWaQ/s1600/IMG_4462.JPG" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yRdUR-o2vKo/UfmjswDC7rI/AAAAAAAAAoA/_VcyVjIBWaQ/s1600/IMG_4462.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><font face="inherit"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yRdUR-o2vKo/UfmjswDC7rI/AAAAAAAAAoA/_VcyVjIBWaQ/s400/IMG_4462.JPG" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yRdUR-o2vKo/UfmjswDC7rI/AAAAAAAAAoA/_VcyVjIBWaQ/s400/IMG_4462.JPG" width="400" style="cursor: move;" _mce_style="cursor: move;"></font></a><font face="inherit"></font></span></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit">For example,this woman had these sweet twins just 5 weeks ago and was determined to be at TOFW.</font></font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit">And so with the help of a lot of friends, she made it!</font></span></font></font></p></div><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></font></font></p><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2Ypwi67jGpk/Ufmj5FPs4iI/AAAAAAAAAoI/to-6gTlD-ng/s1600/IMG_3504.JPG" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2Ypwi67jGpk/Ufmj5FPs4iI/AAAAAAAAAoI/to-6gTlD-ng/s1600/IMG_3504.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><font face="inherit"></font></a></span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit">These women helped us for hours to make the logistics of an international event possible!&nbsp;</font></span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: center;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: center;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit" size="5">(And we may have roped in Sheri Dew &amp; Laurel Christensen Day to help a little as well…wink.)&nbsp;</font></span></font></font></p></div><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></font></font></p><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p class="separator" style="margin: 0px; text-align: center; clear: both;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: center; clear: both;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><a imageanchor="1" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2Ypwi67jGpk/Ufmj5FPs4iI/AAAAAAAAAoI/to-6gTlD-ng/s1600/IMG_3504.JPG" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2Ypwi67jGpk/Ufmj5FPs4iI/AAAAAAAAAoI/to-6gTlD-ng/s1600/IMG_3504.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2Ypwi67jGpk/Ufmj5FPs4iI/AAAAAAAAAoI/to-6gTlD-ng/s320/IMG_3504.JPG" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2Ypwi67jGpk/Ufmj5FPs4iI/AAAAAAAAAoI/to-6gTlD-ng/s320/IMG_3504.JPG" width="320" style="cursor: move;" _mce_style="cursor: move;"></a></span></font></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><br></font></font></p></div><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="font-family: inherit; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="font-family: inherit; color: #000000;">And of course, they are fun and just lovely.</span></font></font></p><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p class="separator" style="margin: 0px; text-align: center; clear: both;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: center; clear: both;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><a imageanchor="1" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HPzvppAWkEE/UfmkO17Le_I/AAAAAAAAAoQ/4ZX5YMQeKl4/s1600/IMG_4479.JPG" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HPzvppAWkEE/UfmkO17Le_I/AAAAAAAAAoQ/4ZX5YMQeKl4/s1600/IMG_4479.JPG" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="298" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HPzvppAWkEE/UfmkO17Le_I/AAAAAAAAAoQ/4ZX5YMQeKl4/s400/IMG_4479.JPG" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HPzvppAWkEE/UfmkO17Le_I/AAAAAAAAAoQ/4ZX5YMQeKl4/s400/IMG_4479.JPG" width="400" style="cursor: move;" _mce_style="cursor: move;"></a></span></font></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit" size="5"><br></font></span></font></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit">We had nearly 1800 women join us at our AUCKLAND event and they took SUCH GOOD care of us.&nbsp;</font></span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p class="separator" style="margin: 0px; text-align: center; clear: both;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: center; clear: both;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><a imageanchor="1" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Br-BbS_5hXQ/Ufmkc1WcvnI/AAAAAAAAAoY/6QMMhnJqwYA/s1600/r3M_5p5lN6auPw2HQEozThloEJPZcXNhPaKnuttf_k4.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Br-BbS_5hXQ/Ufmkc1WcvnI/AAAAAAAAAoY/6QMMhnJqwYA/s1600/r3M_5p5lN6auPw2HQEozThloEJPZcXNhPaKnuttf_k4.jpg" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; float: right; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; float: right; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Br-BbS_5hXQ/Ufmkc1WcvnI/AAAAAAAAAoY/6QMMhnJqwYA/s320/r3M_5p5lN6auPw2HQEozThloEJPZcXNhPaKnuttf_k4.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Br-BbS_5hXQ/Ufmkc1WcvnI/AAAAAAAAAoY/6QMMhnJqwYA/s320/r3M_5p5lN6auPw2HQEozThloEJPZcXNhPaKnuttf_k4.jpg" width="320" style="cursor: move;" _mce_style="cursor: move;"></a></span></font></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit">Our favorite part of being with them is their tradition of singing a song to us at the end of every event.&nbsp;</font><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Br-BbS_5hXQ/Ufmkc1WcvnI/AAAAAAAAAoY/6QMMhnJqwYA/s1600/r3M_5p5lN6auPw2HQEozThloEJPZcXNhPaKnuttf_k4.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Br-BbS_5hXQ/Ufmkc1WcvnI/AAAAAAAAAoY/6QMMhnJqwYA/s1600/r3M_5p5lN6auPw2HQEozThloEJPZcXNhPaKnuttf_k4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="text-align: center; clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; display: inline !important;" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; display: inline !important;"><font face="inherit"></font></a></span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="font-family: inherit; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="font-family: inherit; color: #000000;">THANK YOU to our Kiwi friends. This was the highlight of our trip!</span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><br></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;">This trip has been one incredible moment after another of realizing that the Lord knows EACH and EVERYONE of us.&nbsp;<p><br></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></font></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="font-family: inherit; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="font-family: inherit; color: #000000;">And how cool is it that he helps us find JOY in what we each are doing, all around the world.</span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: right;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: right;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit">We have spent the last few day visiting the members of the Church in Samoa, Tonga &amp; Tahiti and cannot wait to tell you about the women we have met.&nbsp;</font><font face="inherit">They have changed our lives.&nbsp;</font></span></font></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="font-family: inherit; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="font-family: inherit; color: #000000;"><br></span></font></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="font-family: inherit; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="font-family: inherit; color: #000000;">And we are now starting our adventures with our Australia friends and will be sure to give you a list of reasons as to why you should also be sure to come visit them!</span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit">Thank you to everyone that has been praying for us. We are so grateful you are all a part of the TOFW family.<o:p></o:p></font></span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></span></font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><font face="inherit"><font size="6">Cheers!</font><o:p></o:p></font></span></font></font></p></div><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><font face="inherit"><br></font></font></font></p><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"></div></div> DIY: Kid's Shark Hooded Towel http://www.tofw.com/DIY-Kids-Shark-Hooded-Towel-Amber-Price-Crazy-Little-Projects/s/890 http://www.tofw.com/DIY-Kids-Shark-Hooded-Towel-Amber-Price-Crazy-Little-Projects/s/890 Tue, 23 Jul 2013 06:00:00 -0600 <div> by Amber Price from Crazy Little Projects <br /> </div> <h1 _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: left;" style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: left;"><span style="color: rgb(128, 128, 128);" _mce_style="color: #808080;">Summer is in full swing around here, so we thought we'd share a great idea that will make getting your family out of the house to bond in the sun just a little bit more fun! If you're feeling adventurous, you could even use this easy DIY project to teach the older kids how to sew before you head out to the water. &nbsp;</span></h1><h3 _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><br></h3><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit">Hello Time Out For Women Readers-</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><a imageanchor="1" href="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcrazylittleprojects.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2012%2F12%2FAnimalhoodedtowelsforkidsgraphic.png&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" _mce_href="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcrazylittleprojects.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2012%2F12%2FAnimalhoodedtowelsforkidsgraphic.png&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; float: right; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; float: right; margin-left: 1em;"><img alt="Animal hooded towels for toddlers and babies" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-1736" data-orig-src="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Animalhoodedtowelsforkidsgraphic.png" height="235" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcrazylittleprojects.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2012%2F12%2FAnimalhoodedtowelsforkidsgraphic.png&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="235" border="0" style="cursor: move;"></a><font face="inherit">This is Amber from&nbsp;<a data-blogger-escaped-target="_blank" href="http://www.crazylittleprojects.com/">Crazy Little Projects</a>.&nbsp;</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit">I blog about all things crazy and crafty. Lots of&nbsp;<a data-blogger-escaped-target="_blank" href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/category/sewing-patterns" title="Sewing Tutorials for Free">sewing tutorials</a>&nbsp;and lots of&nbsp;<a data-blogger-escaped-target="_blank" href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/category/crazy-little-kids-projects" title="Kids Craft Ideas">fun things to do with your kids</a>, among other things. I also have a&nbsp;<a data-blogger-escaped-target="_blank" href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/2012/11/learn-to-sew-with-crazy-little-projects.html" title="Learn to Sew online free classes">Learn to Sew Series</a>&nbsp;on my blog.&nbsp;</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><br></span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">Every month I make a new&nbsp;</span><a data-blogger-escaped-target="_blank" href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/category/hooded-towels" title="Animal Hooded Towels for Baby Tutorials" style="font-family: inherit;">hooded animal towel</a><span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">&nbsp;with the tutorial.</span><span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">And with summer upon us I thought we needed something summery for a hooded towel tutorial.&nbsp;</span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit">Who's ready for a ....cue the Jaws theme song... SHARK!!!&nbsp;</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit" size="6"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit" size="6">It's a Shark Hooded Towel!</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p><div style="font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><a href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Sharkhoodedtowelpattern.png" _mce_href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Sharkhoodedtowelpattern.png"><img alt="Shark Hooded Towel Tutorial and Pattern" class="aligncenter" data-orig-src="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Sharkhoodedtowelpattern.png" height="641" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcrazylittleprojects.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F06%2FSharkhoodedtowelpattern.png&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" title="Shark Hooded Towel Tutorial and Pattern" width="430" style="cursor: move;"></a></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit">I totally love how this one turned out! I can just picture a cute kid walking around the pool or the beach wearing this towel this summer. Want to learn to make it? &nbsp;</font></p><h3 style="font-family: Times;" _mce_style="font-family: Times;"><strong><font face="inherit" size="6" style="text-decoration: underline;" _mce_style="text-decoration: underline;">Shark Hooded Towel Tutorial:</font></strong></h3><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><font style="text-decoration: underline;" _mce_style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Supplies Needed:</strong></font>&nbsp;Bath Towel (obviously I used gray but I think could also make a cute light pink or light blue one) Matching hand towel White hand towel Small amounts of white fabric, black fabric and Heat 'n' Bond&nbsp;<a href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Sharkhoodedtowelpatternpieces.pdf" _mce_href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Sharkhoodedtowelpatternpieces.pdf">Shark Hooded Towel Pattern Pieces</a>&nbsp;</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit">&nbsp;Optional: stiff interfacing for your fin Note: You may want a heavy duty needle for your sewing machine for this project as well. You will be sewing through many layers of terry cloth at a time. Some machines may struggle with this a little and a stronger needle may help. &nbsp;&nbsp;</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><strong><font style="text-decoration: underline;" _mce_style="text-decoration: underline;"><br></font></strong></font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><strong><font style="text-decoration: underline;" _mce_style="text-decoration: underline;">Instructions:</font></strong>&nbsp;Because I do so many hooded towels on my blog, I don't usually write out all the instructions for creating the basic hooded towel. I have a tutorial for that,&nbsp;<a data-blogger-escaped-target="_blank" href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/2013/01/hooded-towel-tutorial.html" title="Hooded Towel Tutorial">here</a>. I'm going to teach you how to create the head and then that tutorial will teach you how to attach it.&nbsp;</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p><p class="separator" style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center; clear: both;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center; clear: both;"><a href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Dorsalfin.png" _mce_href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Dorsalfin.png" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left; margin-right: 1em;"><font color="#000000"><img alt="Dorsalfin" class="aligncenter" data-orig-src="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Dorsalfin.png" height="200" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcrazylittleprojects.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F06%2FDorsalfin.png&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="133" style="cursor: move;"></font></a></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit">Start out by cutting your hand towel in half horizontally (so that you end up with a fat piece, not a long skinny one). Now cut a shark fin out of the other half of the hand towel using the pattern pieces. With your white hand towel cut out a bunch of teeth. You need 2 pieces per tooth and I used about 9 teeth for my towel, so cut out about 18 of those teeth pieces. Sew the fin together leaving the bottom open to turn it right side out.&nbsp;</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit">Note: this fin is floppy. If you want to make it stiffer I recommend putting some heavy, stiff interfacing inside of it. Turn it right side out and set it aside for later.&nbsp; With your half hand towel, cut the&nbsp;<a data-blogger-escaped-target="_blank" href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/2012/12/sewing-dictionary-with-pictures.html" title="Sewing Dictionary with Pictures">selvaged</a>&nbsp;edge off about 3-4 inches up:</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Tooth.png" _mce_href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Tooth.png" style="text-align: center; clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left; margin-right: 1em;"><font color="#000000"><img alt="Tooth" class="aligncenter" data-orig-src="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Tooth.png" height="211" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcrazylittleprojects.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F06%2FTooth.png&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="320" style="cursor: move;"></font></a><font face="inherit"><a href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Hoodedtowelpattern.png" _mce_href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Hoodedtowelpattern.png"><img alt="Hoodedtowelpattern" class="aligncenter" data-orig-src="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Hoodedtowelpattern.png" height="132" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcrazylittleprojects.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F06%2FHoodedtowelpattern.png&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="200" style="cursor: move;"></a>&nbsp;</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit">&nbsp;Now sew all of your teeth around the two long sides, leaving the bottom open: And turn them right side out. Use the end of your scissors to push out the tips to make them nice and pointy.&nbsp;</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit">&nbsp;Now lay the teeth along your hand towel so that the tips point up and the bottom of the teeth is even with the edge of the hand towel: (ignore the eyes in this picture. We'll add those later.)<a href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Sharkhoodedtoweltutorial.png" _mce_href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Sharkhoodedtoweltutorial.png"><img alt="Sharkhoodedtoweltutorial" class="aligncenter" data-orig-src="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Sharkhoodedtoweltutorial.png" height="386" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcrazylittleprojects.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F06%2FSharkhoodedtoweltutorial.png&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="576" style="cursor: move;"></a>&nbsp;</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit">Now take your piece that you cut off from the hand towel and place it on top of your teeth and pin it all together:</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><font face="inherit"><a href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Animalhoodedtowels.png" _mce_href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Animalhoodedtowels.png"><img alt="Animalhoodedtowels" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-4078" data-orig-src="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Animalhoodedtowels.png" height="214" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcrazylittleprojects.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F06%2FAnimalhoodedtowels.png&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="320" style="cursor: move;"></a>&nbsp;<a href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Makingasharkhoodedtowel.png" _mce_href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Makingasharkhoodedtowel.png"><img alt="Makingasharkhoodedtowel" class="aligncenter" data-orig-src="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Makingasharkhoodedtowel.png" height="214" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcrazylittleprojects.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F06%2FMakingasharkhoodedtowel.png&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="320" style="cursor: move;"></a></font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><font face="inherit">Sew through that line (this may be tricky if you sewing machine isn't tough. Be patient and guide as needed.) Turn it all flat and then tuck that hand towel piece at the bottom under and top stitch along the&nbsp;</font>selvaged<font face="inherit">&nbsp;edge AND along the part near the teeth to hold it all in place:</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><font face="inherit"></font><a href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Howtomakeasharkhoodedtowel.png" _mce_href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Howtomakeasharkhoodedtowel.png" style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><img alt="Howtomakeasharkhoodedtowel" class="aligncenter" data-orig-src="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Howtomakeasharkhoodedtowel.png" height="268" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcrazylittleprojects.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F06%2FHowtomakeasharkhoodedtowel.png&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="400" style="cursor: move;"></a><font face="inherit">&nbsp;</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><font face="inherit">&nbsp;Cut out your eyes from the white and black fabric as well as coordinating Heat 'n' Bond pieces for each eye piece. Iron the Heat 'n' Bond to the backs of the eye pieces. Place your eyes where you want them on your hand towel. Applique around both the black and the white parts of the eyes.&nbsp;</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><font face="inherit" size="6">&nbsp;Let's add the fin!</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><font face="inherit">Cut your towel up above the eyes:</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><font face="inherit"><a href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Sharkhoodedtowel.png" _mce_href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Sharkhoodedtowel.png"><img alt="Sharkhoodedtowel" class="aligncenter" data-orig-src="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Sharkhoodedtowel.png" height="200" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcrazylittleprojects.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F06%2FSharkhoodedtowel.png&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="133" style="cursor: move;"></a>&nbsp;</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit">&nbsp;With your fin turned right side out, fold your face in half and stick the fin into the slot that you just created: &nbsp;</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Insertdorsalfin.png" _mce_href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Insertdorsalfin.png" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left; margin-right: 1em;"><font color="#000000"><img alt="Insertdorsalfin" class="aligncenter" data-orig-src="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Insertdorsalfin.png" height="214" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcrazylittleprojects.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F06%2FInsertdorsalfin.png&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="320" style="cursor: move;"></font></a><font face="inherit">&nbsp;Sew the slit shut, catching the fin in your stitch. And then stitch down the back of the head as well. I use a zigzag for the back of the head to hold it extra tight:&nbsp;&nbsp;</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><a href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Howtomakeahoodedtowel.png" _mce_href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Howtomakeahoodedtowel.png"><img alt="Howtomakeahoodedtowel" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-4081" data-orig-src="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Howtomakeahoodedtowel.png" height="214" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcrazylittleprojects.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F06%2FHowtomakeahoodedtowel.png&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="320" style="cursor: move;"></a></font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><br></p><div style="font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit">Now you just need to&nbsp;<a data-blogger-escaped-target="_blank" href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/2013/01/hooded-towel-tutorial.html" title="Hooded Towels Pattern">attach your head to your towel</a>&nbsp;and you are all done!</font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><a href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Sharktoweltutorial.png" _mce_href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Sharktoweltutorial.png"><img alt="Sharktoweltutorial" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-4090" data-orig-src="http://crazylittleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Sharktoweltutorial-685x1024.png" height="639" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Fcrazylittleprojects.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F06%2FSharktoweltutorial-685x1024.png&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" title="Shark Hooded Towel Tutorial" width="427" style="cursor: move;"></a></font></p></div><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><a data-blogger-escaped-target="_blank" href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/category/hooded-towels" title="Hooded Towel Patterns" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left; margin-right: 1em;"><font color="#000000"><br></font></a><font face="inherit">Now be sure to check out all of the&nbsp;<a data-blogger-escaped-target="_blank" href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/category/hooded-towels" title="Hooded Animal Towels">hooded towel</a>s at . . .</font></p><p class="separator" style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium; clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/" _mce_href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/" target="_blank"><font color="#000000"><img border="0" data-orig-src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Od2EigH1uwU/Ue2GrGyg4tI/AAAAAAAAAlU/GockNMVJJ-k/s1600/Screen+Shot+2013-07-22+at+1.22.47+PM.png" height="104" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-Od2EigH1uwU%2FUe2GrGyg4tI%2FAAAAAAAAAlU%2FGockNMVJJ-k%2Fs1600%2FScreen%2BShot%2B2013-07-22%2Bat%2B1.22.47%2BPM.png&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="640" style="cursor: move;"></font></a></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><font face="inherit"><br></font><font face="inherit"><br></font></p><div style="font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="font-family: Times; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><font face="inherit"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit; font-size: small;">And join me on&nbsp;</span><a data-blogger-escaped-target="_blank" href="http://pinterest.com/crazylittleproj" style="font-family: inherit; font-size: small;">Pinterest</a><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit; font-size: small;">,&nbsp;</span><a data-blogger-escaped-target="_blank" href="http://www.facebook.com/crazylittleprojects" style="font-family: inherit; font-size: small;">Facebook</a><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit; font-size: small;">&nbsp;or by&nbsp;</span><a data-blogger-escaped-target="_blank" href="http://crazylittleprojects.com/subscribe" style="font-family: inherit; font-size: small;">email</a><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit; font-size: small;">.</span></font></div> What to Put in YOUR Shoebox? http://www.tofw.com/What-Put-YOUR-Shoebox-Mary%20Ellen-Edmunds/s/889 http://www.tofw.com/What-Put-YOUR-Shoebox-Mary%20Ellen-Edmunds/s/889 Mon, 22 Jul 2013 09:39:00 -0600 <div> </div> <div class="MsoNormal" style="background: white;" _mce_style="background: white;"><div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: Times; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><div class="MsoNormal"><div class="MsoNormal"><div class="MsoNormal"><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit">Here is a game you can play to have an interesting experience with ideas of simplifying and sharing. My friends and I call it<font size="6">&nbsp;the Shoebox Game.<o:p></o:p></font></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8g3-Mr9xKsk/Ue1ny8EEswI/AAAAAAAAAks/x24zOf9Sgww/s1600/139474029.jpg" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8g3-Mr9xKsk/Ue1ny8EEswI/AAAAAAAAAks/x24zOf9Sgww/s1600/139474029.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><font color="#000000" face="inherit"><img border="0" data-orig-src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8g3-Mr9xKsk/Ue1ny8EEswI/AAAAAAAAAks/x24zOf9Sgww/s1600/139474029.jpg" height="293" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-8g3-Mr9xKsk%2FUe1ny8EEswI%2FAAAAAAAAAks%2Fx24zOf9Sgww%2Fs1600%2F139474029.jpg&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="320" style="cursor: move;"></font></a></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit">The idea is this: For some reason, you are left on a deserted island alone for one year.&nbsp;The island already (coincidentally) has the “basic necessities,” such as food, water, soap, towels, sheets, and essential clothing, but you have the freedom to take with you a shoebox filled with whatever you want.<o:p></o:p></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit">&nbsp;Now ask, “What would I put in my shoebox?”&nbsp;I learned a lot about myself when I was tempted to ask “How BIG can my shoebox be?”&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit">It’s fascinating to play this game with others.&nbsp;It can go on forever, because you can change your mind. You can take some things out and replace them with other things.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit">Most of us start with a set of small scriptures and a hymnbook. From there we begin to explore additional answers to the question,&nbsp;</font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font size="6">“What would I take?”&nbsp;</font></font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font size="6"><br></font></font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><a imageanchor="1" href="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-41ihZLMAQCw%2FUe1oo-Nw05I%2FAAAAAAAAAk4%2FMZ97ZhCXtG8%2Fs1600%2F166513334.jpg&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" _mce_href="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-41ihZLMAQCw%2FUe1oo-Nw05I%2FAAAAAAAAAk4%2FMZ97ZhCXtG8%2Fs1600%2F166513334.jpg&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; float: right; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; float: right; margin-left: 1em;"><font face="inherit"><img border="0" data-orig-src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-41ihZLMAQCw/Ue1oo-Nw05I/AAAAAAAAAk4/MZ97ZhCXtG8/s1600/166513334.jpg" height="212" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F4.bp.blogspot.com%2F-41ihZLMAQCw%2FUe1oo-Nw05I%2FAAAAAAAAAk4%2FMZ97ZhCXtG8%2Fs1600%2F166513334.jpg&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="320" style="cursor: move;"></font></a><font face="inherit">For years I had a drawer that was about the size of a shoebox, and I kept some things in it&nbsp;<a name="Editing" class="mceItemAnchor"></a>I would put in my shoebox.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit">I remember going back and forth between a harmonica and a kazoo. I wanted to have some kind of music with me.<o:p></o:p></font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit">Here are some other things you might consider:&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0.5in; text-indent: 0in;" _mce_style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0.5in; text-indent: 0in;"><font face="inherit">·&nbsp;Patriarchal blessing<o:p></o:p></font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0.5in; text-indent: 0in;" _mce_style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0.5in; text-indent: 0in;"><font face="inherit">·&nbsp;Pictures of your family and other loved ones<o:p></o:p></font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0.5in; text-indent: 0in;" _mce_style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0.5in; text-indent: 0in;"><font face="inherit">·A&nbsp;<i>long</i>&nbsp;novel (then restrict yourself to only so many pages a day)<o:p></o:p></font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0.5in; text-indent: 0in;" _mce_style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0.5in; text-indent: 0in;"><font face="inherit">·&nbsp;With your hymnbook, you can spend time learning each one and perhaps adding a verse to some of the hymns<o:p></o:p></font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0.5in; text-indent: 0in;" _mce_style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0.5in; text-indent: 0in;"><font face="inherit">·&nbsp;Some materials for writing or drawing<o:p></o:p></font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0.5in; text-indent: 0in;" _mce_style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0.5in; text-indent: 0in;"><font face="inherit">·&nbsp;A little calendar<o:p></o:p></font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0.5in; text-indent: 0in;" _mce_style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0.5in; text-indent: 0in;"><font face="inherit">·&nbsp;Pictures of the four seasons (you can pretend you’re going on trips)&nbsp;</font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0.5in; text-indent: 0in;" _mce_style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0.5in; text-indent: 0in;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit">I’ve played the Shoebox Game with lots of friends, including a sweet friend named Ann. She and I went to Africa together to help with a child health project. We smiled (and got emotional) as we said to each other, “It’s time to pack the shoebox.”&nbsp;</font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit" size="6">So . . . what would you put in YOUR shoe box? Or in your TOFW bag?&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 32px;" _mce_style="line-height: 32px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 32px;" _mce_style="line-height: 32px;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YJnbq4gg5kA/Ue1r_IP3hoI/AAAAAAAAAlE/MqWTXcS-JyY/s1600/Mary_Ellen_Edmunds_2012.jpg" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YJnbq4gg5kA/Ue1r_IP3hoI/AAAAAAAAAlE/MqWTXcS-JyY/s1600/Mary_Ellen_Edmunds_2012.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><font color="#000000" face="inherit"><img border="0" data-orig-src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YJnbq4gg5kA/Ue1r_IP3hoI/AAAAAAAAAlE/MqWTXcS-JyY/s1600/Mary_Ellen_Edmunds_2012.jpg" height="200" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-YJnbq4gg5kA%2FUe1r_IP3hoI%2FAAAAAAAAAlE%2FMqWTXcS-JyY%2Fs1600%2FMary_Ellen_Edmunds_2012.jpg&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="200" style="cursor: move;"></font></a><font face="inherit" size="2" style="line-height: normal;" _mce_style="line-height: normal;">Mary Ellen Edmunds was born in Los Angeles, California, and now lives in American Fork, Utah. She happily qualifies for all senior citizen discounts.&nbsp;She received a bachelor's degree in nursing from Brigham Young University and taught nursing there for several years.&nbsp;She served as a missionary in Taiwan, Hong Kong, twice in the Philippines, and in Indonesia, and she directed a child health project in Nigeria, West Africa. She was a director of training at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, and served as a member of the Relief Society general board for eleven years. Mary Ellen is the author of several books and talks, including Peculiar—in a Good Way, You Can Never Get Enough of What You Don't Need, and her most recent, Tug of War, which will be released this spring. She enjoys her family, teaching, writing, people, music, thinking, serving, and being a happifier.</font></p></div></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 32px;" _mce_style="line-height: 32px;"><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"><br></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"><br></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"><br></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"><br></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;">Mary Ellen Edmunds will be speaking at the following events: <a href="http://tofw.com/events/29" _mce_href="http://tofw.com/events/29" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); text-decoration: none;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #f1563f; text-decoration: none;">Phoenix, AZ*</a>&nbsp;-&nbsp;<a href="http://tofw.com/events/30" _mce_href="http://tofw.com/events/30" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); text-decoration: none;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #f1563f; text-decoration: none;">Austin, TX</a>&nbsp;-&nbsp;<a href="http://tofw.com/events/7" _mce_href="http://tofw.com/events/7" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); text-decoration: none;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #f1563f; text-decoration: none;">Indianapolis, IN</a>&nbsp;-&nbsp;<a href="http://tofw.com/events/33" _mce_href="http://tofw.com/events/33" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); text-decoration: none;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #f1563f; text-decoration: none;">Salt Lake City, UT</a>&nbsp;-&nbsp;<a href="http://tofw.com/events/22" _mce_href="http://tofw.com/events/22" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); text-decoration: none;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #f1563f; text-decoration: none;">Tacoma, WA</a>&nbsp;-&nbsp;<a href="http://tofw.com/events/13" _mce_href="http://tofw.com/events/13" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(241, 86, 63); text-decoration: none;" _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #f1563f; text-decoration: none;">Logan, UT</a></p></div></div></div></div> Independence Day Classic Recipes! http://www.tofw.com/Independence-Day-Classic-Recipes-Camille-Six-Sisters-Stuff/s/879 http://www.tofw.com/Independence-Day-Classic-Recipes-Camille-Six-Sisters-Stuff/s/879 Tue, 02 Jul 2013 15:28:00 -0600 <div> by Camille from Six Sisters' Stuff <br /> </div> <div style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;"><span style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;">One of the best parts of the&nbsp;<font size="6">Fourth of July</font>&nbsp;is having a family barbecue. There is nothing better than eating delicious food outside, with family and friends, on a beautiful summer day. We have the perfect recipes to help you celebrate Independence Day!</span></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><span style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"><br></span></p></div><div style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium;"><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: center;"><a href="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/BBQ-Bacon-Burger.jpg" _mce_href="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/BBQ-Bacon-Burger.jpg" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; float: right; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; float: right; margin-left: 1em;"><img alt="BBQ Bacon Burger" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-4976" height="467" src="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/BBQ-Bacon-Burger.jpg" _mce_src="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/BBQ-Bacon-Burger.jpg" width="342" style="cursor: move;" _mce_style="cursor: move;"></a></p></div><div style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font size="6"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font size="6"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font size="6"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font size="6"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;"><font size="6" color="#ff0000"><strong><a href="http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/04/bbq-bacon-burgers.html" _mce_href="http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/04/bbq-bacon-burgers.html">BBQ BACON BURGERS</a></strong>&nbsp;</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;">It just wouldn't be a barbecue without a yummy hamburger! This is one of our family's favorite ways to make hamburgers- there is bacon INSIDE the burger. It's pure genius and incredibly delicious!</p><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div><div style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;"><br></p></div><div style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: right;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: right;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><a href="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/grilled-pineapple-pork-chops2.jpg" _mce_href="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/grilled-pineapple-pork-chops2.jpg" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="grilled pineapple pork chops" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-4977" height="585" src="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/grilled-pineapple-pork-chops2.jpg" _mce_src="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/grilled-pineapple-pork-chops2.jpg" width="390" style="cursor: move;" _mce_style="cursor: move;"></a><font size="6"></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font size="6"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font size="6"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font size="6"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font size="6"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font size="6"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font size="6"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font size="6"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font size="6"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font size="6"><br></font></p><font size="6"><strong><a href="http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/06/grilled-pineapple-pork-chops.html" _mce_href="http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/06/grilled-pineapple-pork-chops.html">GRILLED PINEAPPLE PORK CHOPS</a></strong></font><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: right;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: right;"><font size="6"></font>I guarantee you will never have pork chops as flavorful and juicy as these ones! With only five simple ingredients, these couldn't be any easier. Even those skeptical about pork will LOVE this recipe.</p></div><p class="separator" style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/5-star-grilled-teriyaki-chicken.jpg" _mce_href="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/5-star-grilled-teriyaki-chicken.jpg" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; float: right; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; float: right; margin-left: 1em;"><img alt="5-star grilled teriyaki chicken" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-4978" src="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/5-star-grilled-teriyaki-chicken.jpg" _mce_src="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/5-star-grilled-teriyaki-chicken.jpg" style="cursor: move;" _mce_style="cursor: move;"></a></p><div style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><strong><br></strong></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><strong><br></strong></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><strong><br></strong></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><strong><br></strong></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><strong><br></strong></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><strong><br></strong></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><strong><br></strong></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><strong><br></strong></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><strong><br></strong></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><strong><br></strong></p><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;"><strong><font size="6"><a href="http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/05/5-star-grilled-teriyaki-chicken.html" _mce_href="http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/05/5-star-grilled-teriyaki-chicken.html">5-STAR GRILLED TERIYAKI CHICKEN</a>&nbsp;</font></strong></p><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;">My mom is famous for her delicious marinades and this one is hands-down my favorite. The longer you let your chicken marinade, the more amazing it tastes!<strong></strong></p></div><div style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><a href="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/Marinated-Steak-Shish-Kabobs1.jpg" _mce_href="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/Marinated-Steak-Shish-Kabobs1.jpg" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Marinated-Steak-Shish-Kabobs" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-4979" height="584" src="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/Marinated-Steak-Shish-Kabobs1.jpg" _mce_src="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/Marinated-Steak-Shish-Kabobs1.jpg" width="389" style="cursor: move;" _mce_style="cursor: move;"></a><font size="6"></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font size="6"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font size="6"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font size="6"><br></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><font size="6"><br></font></p><div style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><br></div><div style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><br></div><div style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><br></div><div style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: right;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: right;"><font size="6"><strong><a href="http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/06/marinated-steak-shish-kabobs-recipe.html" _mce_href="http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/06/marinated-steak-shish-kabobs-recipe.html">STEAK&nbsp;</a></strong></font></div><p style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: right;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: right;"><font size="6"><strong><a href="http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/06/marinated-steak-shish-kabobs-recipe.html" _mce_href="http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/06/marinated-steak-shish-kabobs-recipe.html">SHISH KABOBS</a></strong>&nbsp;</font></p><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: right;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: right;">My kids will eat anything- even vegetables- if I put it on a stick, and these shish kabobs are some of their favorites. The flavors of the fresh produce pair perfectly with the steak.</p></div><div style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: right;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: right;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p class="separator" style="margin: 0px; clear: both;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; clear: both;"><a imageanchor="1" href="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/No-Bake-Reeses-Fudge-Bars.jpg" _mce_href="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/No-Bake-Reeses-Fudge-Bars.jpg" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; float: right; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; float: right; margin-left: 1em;"><img alt="No Bake Reese's Fudge Bars" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-4980" height="428" src="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/No-Bake-Reeses-Fudge-Bars.jpg" _mce_src="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/No-Bake-Reeses-Fudge-Bars.jpg" width="264" border="0" style="cursor: move;" _mce_style="cursor: move;"></a></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;">And don't forget dessert!</p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;"><font size="6"><strong><a href="http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/04/no-bake-reeses-fudge-bars.html" _mce_href="http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/04/no-bake-reeses-fudge-bars.html">NO BAKE</a></strong></font></p><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;"><font size="6"><strong><a href="http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/04/no-bake-reeses-fudge-bars.html" _mce_href="http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/04/no-bake-reeses-fudge-bars.html">REESE'S FUDGE BARS&nbsp;</a></strong></font></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;">With warm summer temperatures, no one wants to turn their ovens on. These amazing treats only take a few minutes to prepare (with help from your microwave) and will be the hit of the party!<a href="http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/04/no-bake-reeses-fudge-bars.html" _mce_href="http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/04/no-bake-reeses-fudge-bars.html"></a></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div><div style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;"><font size="6">Have a safe and happy holiday!</font></p></div><div style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;"><em>-The Six Sisters</em></p><p style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;" _mce_style="margin: 0px; text-align: left;">&nbsp;<strong><a href="http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/" _mce_href="http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/">SixSistersStuff.com</a></strong></p><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div><div style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><p style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"><a href="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/sisters-picture.jpg" _mce_href="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/sisters-picture.jpg"><img alt="sisters picture" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-4981" height="424" src="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/sisters-picture.jpg" _mce_src="http://media.sixsistersstuff.com/uploads/2013/06/sisters-picture.jpg" width="640" style="cursor: move;" _mce_style="cursor: move;"></a></p></div><div><br></div><div><a data-blogger-escaped-_mce_href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/" data-blogger-escaped-target="_blank" href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"><img border="0" data-blogger-escaped-_mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gFoQ7WhMeRM/UbdrjjjhRoI/AAAAAAAAASo/1e3tezUH0OY/s320/Screen+Shot+2013-06-11+at+12.24.38+PM.png" data-orig-src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gFoQ7WhMeRM/UbdrjjjhRoI/AAAAAAAAASo/1e3tezUH0OY/s320/Screen+Shot+2013-06-11+at+12.24.38+PM.png" height="95" src="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-gFoQ7WhMeRM%2FUbdrjjjhRoI%2FAAAAAAAAASo%2F1e3tezUH0OY%2Fs320%2FScreen%2BShot%2B2013-06-11%2Bat%2B12.24.38%2BPM.png&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" width="320" style="cursor: move; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"></a></div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; font-style: italic; font-weight: bold; text-align: center;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; font-style: italic; font-weight: bold; text-align: center;">Want more OUR BEST BITES goodness? &nbsp;</span></div><div><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; font-style: italic; font-weight: bold; text-align: center;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; font-style: italic; font-weight: bold; text-align: center;">Click here to download&nbsp;</span><a data-blogger-escaped-_mce_href="http://deseretbook.com/Taste-Deseret-Book-Various-Authors/i/5110287" href="http://deseretbook.com/Taste-Deseret-Book-Various-Authors/i/5110287" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; font-style: italic; font-weight: bold; text-align: center;">A Taste of Deseret Book</a><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; font-style: italic; font-weight: bold; text-align: center;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; font-style: italic; font-weight: bold; text-align: center;">, a FREE ebook sampler from Deseret Bookshelf featuring Our Best Bites.</span></div><div><br></div><div style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: center;"></div> A Parent's REAL Support Can Change A Missionary's Experience http://www.tofw.com/Parents-REAL-Support-Can-Change-Missionarys-Experience-Brad-Wilcox/s/871 http://www.tofw.com/Parents-REAL-Support-Can-Change-Missionarys-Experience-Brad-Wilcox/s/871 Wed, 26 Jun 2013 08:43:00 -0600 <div> </div> <div class="MsoNormal" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;" _mce_style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="'Times New Roman', serif">In the last General Conference President Monson asked us to consider making donations to the General Church Missionary Fund. I leaned over to my wife and said, “We need to remember to do that.” She then leaned over to me and said, “We have TWO missionaries out right now. I think we ARE donating!”<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><a imageanchor="1" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qi79mpSWJMs/UcoEHJERDLI/AAAAAAAAAYo/tkL-4zY-7A4/s1600/Braddaughter_edited-1.jpg" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qi79mpSWJMs/UcoEHJERDLI/AAAAAAAAAYo/tkL-4zY-7A4/s1600/Braddaughter_edited-1.jpg" _mce_style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; float: right; margin-left: 1em;" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; float: right; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="140" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qi79mpSWJMs/UcoEHJERDLI/AAAAAAAAAYo/tkL-4zY-7A4/s1600/Braddaughter_edited-1.jpg" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qi79mpSWJMs/UcoEHJERDLI/AAAAAAAAAYo/tkL-4zY-7A4/s1600/Braddaughter_edited-1.jpg" width="200" _mce_style="cursor: move;" style="cursor: move;"></a><font face="'Times New Roman', serif" size="6">We have a son in Japan&nbsp;</font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="'Times New Roman', serif" size="6">and a daughter in Spain.&nbsp;</font></p><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="'Times New Roman', serif" size="6"><br></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="'Times New Roman', serif">Getting their emails is the highlight of our week. We can’t wait to read them. We love hearing about their&nbsp;</font><font face="'Times New Roman', serif">companions, wards, and how their investigators are doing.&nbsp;</font><font face="'Times New Roman', serif">We have never even met these people and yet they fill our prayers.</font><font face="'Times New Roman', serif">&nbsp;</font></p><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="'Times New Roman', serif"><br></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><p class="separator" _mce_style="margin: 0px; clear: both; text-align: center;" style="margin: 0px; clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--ClMa4xNatI/Uctqp82PR3I/AAAAAAAAAbo/U73a-HW0FRE/s1600/005.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--ClMa4xNatI/Uctqp82PR3I/AAAAAAAAAbo/U73a-HW0FRE/s1600/005.jpg" imageanchor="1" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--ClMa4xNatI/Uctqp82PR3I/AAAAAAAAAbo/U73a-HW0FRE/s320/005.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--ClMa4xNatI/Uctqp82PR3I/AAAAAAAAAbo/U73a-HW0FRE/s320/005.jpg" width="215" _mce_style="cursor: move;" style="cursor: move;"></a></p><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="'Times New Roman', serif" size="6">Most of the communications we receive are positive, but every now and then we can sense that they are feeling a little down</font><font face="'Times New Roman', serif">.&nbsp;</font></p><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="'Times New Roman', serif"></font><font face="'Times New Roman', serif">A few weeks ago both of them were discouraged the same week. I started writing an email encouraging them to keep a positive attitude, but half way through it I decided they didn't need me to preach to the</font><font face="'Times New Roman', serif">m. The best support I could give was to</font><font face="'Times New Roman', serif" size="6">&nbsp;validate their feelings.</font><font face="'Times New Roman', serif">&nbsp;</font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><br></p><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="'Times New Roman', serif">I deleted my sermon and wrote this instead:</font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="'Times New Roman', serif"><br></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_it9XziubUo/UcoIy2kCn7I/AAAAAAAAAZA/UZ7CcMlOei4/s1600/Squareparents.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_it9XziubUo/UcoIy2kCn7I/AAAAAAAAAZA/UZ7CcMlOei4/s1600/Squareparents.jpg" imageanchor="1" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="291" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_it9XziubUo/UcoIy2kCn7I/AAAAAAAAAZA/UZ7CcMlOei4/s1600/Squareparents.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_it9XziubUo/UcoIy2kCn7I/AAAAAAAAAZA/UZ7CcMlOei4/s1600/Squareparents.jpg" width="320" _mce_style="cursor: move;" style="cursor: move;"></a><font face="Times New Roman, serif">When you get discouraged and down, sometimes the best thing to do is just get a good night's sleep. It makes a difference. You see things a little differently when you wake up and you can do one more day. Think back to down days you have had before and remind yourself that they passed. These down days will too. As mad and angry as you may feel (and as justified as you might be in feeling that way), it will pass.</font></p><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="Times New Roman, serif">The blessing is that between the downs of a mission there are a lot of ups. Give yourself permission to feel both. Remember that time when we were on vacation and the van broke down and started smoking? It was horrible. I was so upset. We couldn't afford a new one and I was sure the vacation was ruined. I was stressed to the max. I’m sure you recall how I lost my temper and got mad at all you kids. Then mom got mad at me for losing it so royally. I finally said, "Hey, don't I deserve a bad day? Everyone else can have one, but not me? I always have to be positive? I always have to be 'the dad' and hold it all together?" That’s when your mom said, "I guess you have the right to have a bad day just like everyone else." That made all the difference. Just the fact that Mom gave me permission to have a bad day made me feel better and suddenly things&nbsp;didn't&nbsp;seem so bad after all. Well, I hereby give you permission to have a bad day now and then. It's okay. In fact, it is quite normal and even healthy. Mom and I totally understand. We are not "judging you" or "feeling disappointed in you." We believe in you. We are thankful for your honesty. We are always cheering for you no matter what.<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><p class="separator" _mce_style="margin: 0px; clear: both; text-align: center;" style="margin: 0px; clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-lW-MVtfRJ5E/UcoEWmeF3bI/AAAAAAAAAYw/oyaw0_IvnI0/s1600/246.jpg" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-lW-MVtfRJ5E/UcoEWmeF3bI/AAAAAAAAAYw/oyaw0_IvnI0/s1600/246.jpg" imageanchor="1" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><font color="#000000"></font></a></p><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="'Times New Roman', serif">Feel all our love a</font><font face="inherit">nd support.<o:p></o:p></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal"></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><font size="6">Big hugs, Dad</font></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><font face="inherit"><br></font></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><span _mce_style="color: #333333;" style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span _mce_style="font-size: 13.5pt; color: #000000;" style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"><font face="inherit">My wife and I love to get these letters from our kids, but I've learned that it's most important for me to really listen when I read and ask myself a few questions before I respond. &nbsp;Am I trying too hard to give advice and tell them how to be or am I really validating every part of their mission experience - the good and the frustrating? &nbsp;Do our letters talk only about things going on at home or do we engage with the things that are happening to them as missionaries? &nbsp;Do we support and show empathy? I have found that when I do these things in my letters to my missionaries, they feel more fully supported and loved from home.&nbsp;</font></span><span _mce_style="font-size: 10.5pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif;" style="font-size: 10.5pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif;"><o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><span _mce_style="color: #333333;" style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><font face="inherit"><font size="6"><br></font></font></span></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><br></p></div><div class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><a data-blogger-escaped-style="clear: left; display: inline !important; font-size: 12px; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" href="http://www.tofw.com/images/presenters/1/BradWilcox.jpg?1361922920" imageanchor="1"><font color="#000000"></font></a></p></div><div data-blogger-escaped-style="background-color: white; box-sizing: border-box; padding: 0px;"><p _mce_style="margin: 0px;" style="margin: 0px;"><a href="http://www.tofw.com/images/presenters/1/BradWilcox.jpg?1361922920" _mce_href="../../../images/presenters/1/BradWilcox.jpg?1361922920" imageanchor="1" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Bradwilcox" border="0" src="http://www.tofw.com/images/presenters/1/BradWilcox.jpg?1361922920" _mce_src="../../../images/presenters/1/BradWilcox.jpg?1361922920" _mce_style="cursor: move;" style="cursor: move;"></a><font size="2"><font face="inherit">Brad Wilcox grew up in Provo, Utah, except for childhood years spent in Ethiopia, Africa. As a young man, he served a mission for the Church in Chile. Brad earned a PhD from the University of Wyoming and is now an associate professor in the Department of Teacher Education at BYU. Brad and his wife, Debi, lived at one time in New Zealand, where Brad directed a Study Abroad program for Brigham Young University. They recently lived in Santiago, Chile, where Brad served as president of the Chile Santiago East Mission from 2003-2006; he currently serves as a member of the Sunday School general board. Brad and Debi are the parents of four children and reside in Provo, Utah</font><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">.</font></font></p></div></div></div> Creative thank you notes . . . and thank you treats. http://www.tofw.com/Creative-thank-you-notes-thank-you-treats-Kierste-SimplyKierste/s/867 http://www.tofw.com/Creative-thank-you-notes-thank-you-treats-Kierste-SimplyKierste/s/867 Tue, 18 Jun 2013 15:17:00 -0600 <div> by Kierste from SimplyKierste <br /> </div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"><i _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="text-align: left; font-family: inherit; color: rgb(128, 140, 147); font-size: 16px; line-height: 20px; box-sizing: border-box;"><span _mce_style="line-height: 115%;" style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 18px;">True joy overwhelms a relationship when gratitude is involved. Now is</span></i><i _mce_style="box-sizing: border-box;" style="color: rgb(128, 140, 147); font-family: inherit; font-size: 16px; line-height: 20px; box-sizing: border-box;"><span _mce_style="line-height: 115%;" style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 18px;">&nbsp;a great time to live a little higher by showing extra love or remembering to say thank you to a dear friend in a fun way. This featured blogger shares a creative-and easy-way to do just that.&nbsp;</span></i></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br></div> </div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> I'm a big believer in thank you notes. And thank you treats.&nbsp;</div> </div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/thank-you-7-LOGO.jpg" _mce_href="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/thank-you-7-LOGO.jpg"><img alt="thank you notes | simplykierste" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-8908" height="610" src="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/thank-you-7-LOGO-750x610.jpg" _mce_src="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/thank-you-7-LOGO-750x610.jpg" width="750"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> This technologically savvy world we live in has provided us with super fast ways to communicate, including text and e-mail, but when it comes to saying thank you, nothing beats a hand-written thank you note. I'm talking about a good, old fashioned, lick the envelope, put a stamp on the front and drop it in the mailbox kind of note. Isn't it the BEST feeling when you check the mail, and find a letter addressed to you that's not junk mail or a bill? Something meant just for you?</div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br></div> </div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> When you take the time to write out a note, you're telling someone that they are worth the extra effort. It doesn't have to be fancy, just a simple expression of your appreciation. Even when job interview etiquette dictates that an e-mail thank you is acceptable, a written note goes the extra mile. Who knows? It might be just the thing that helps you get the job! When you get married or have a baby, and receive lovely gifts, send written notes--they will tell each person how much you appreciate their thoughtfulness.</div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br></div> </div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> I'm trying to teach this to my children, and I hope that starting them young will ingrain in them the importance of gratitude, and taking the time to show it.</div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br></div> </div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> Do you want to write a note, but aren't sure what to say or how to say it? I have six steps that I follow every time I write a thank you note, and they'll make it a lot easier to put your thoughts down on paper.</div> </div> <a href="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/thank-you-steps1.jpg" _mce_href="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/thank-you-steps1.jpg"><img alt="thank you steps | simplykierste.com" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-8833" height="937" src="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/thank-you-steps1-750x937.jpg" _mce_src="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/thank-you-steps1-750x937.jpg" width="750"></a> <br> <center> </center> <center> </center> <center> </center> <center> </center> <center style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> I also love dropping by a cute bag of cookies, a mason jar full of chocolate, or some other fun treat as a token of my appreciation. I know I love when some yummy treat shows up at my door!</center> <center style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br></center> <center> </center> <center style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> I've created some really fun printable tags for just this very purpose! I use a 2 inch circle punch to cut them out, but you can use also use scissors. They fit perfectly on top of a mason jar lid, which I LOVE to use, along with some baker's twine tied around it! Ribbon, twine, or even a strip of fabric would also be really cute. You can also punch a hole in the top of the tag, and tie it on a clear bag or box filled with goodies!</center> <center style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br></center> <center> <a href="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/thank-you-3-LOGO.jpg" _mce_href="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/thank-you-3-LOGO.jpg"><img alt="thank you notes | simplykierste" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-8909" height="456" src="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/thank-you-3-LOGO-750x456.jpg" _mce_src="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/thank-you-3-LOGO-750x456.jpg" width="750"></a></center> <center> </center> <center> SO easy, and SO cute!</center> <a href="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/thank-you-4-LOGO.jpg" _mce_href="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/thank-you-4-LOGO.jpg"><img alt="thank you notes | simplykierste.com" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-8910" height="603" src="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/thank-you-4-LOGO-750x603.jpg" _mce_src="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/thank-you-4-LOGO-750x603.jpg" width="750"></a> <a href="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/thank-you-5-LOGO.jpg" _mce_href="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/thank-you-5-LOGO.jpg"><img alt="thank you notes | simplykierste.com" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-8911" height="562" src="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/thank-you-5-LOGO-750x562.jpg" _mce_src="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/thank-you-5-LOGO-750x562.jpg" width="750"></a> <br> <center> </center> <center> <br></center> <center> <strong><a href="https://www.facebook.com/kierstesimply/app_160291820682178" _mce_href="https://www.facebook.com/kierstesimply/app_160291820682178">Click HERE to download your free printables!!!</a></strong> </center> &nbsp; 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<br> <br> <center> <img alt="" src="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/signature_kierste_2013_05_05.png" _mce_src="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/signature_kierste_2013_05_05.png"></center> &nbsp; <br> <div style="border: 1px solid #dddddd; color: #333333; padding: 10px 10px 15px 10px;" _mce_style="border: 1px solid #dddddd; color: #333333; padding: 10px 10px 15px 10px;"> <img align="left" alt="" id="img-no" src="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/themes/bpp_theme/images/kierste.png" _mce_src="http://simplykierste.com/wp-content/themes/bpp_theme/images/kierste.png" width="150px;"> <br> <div style="color: #333333; font-family: century gothic; font-size: 14px; margin-left: 170px;" _mce_style="color: #333333; font-family: century gothic; font-size: 14px; margin-left: 170px;"> <strong>About the Author: </strong>Kierste is the girl behind the blog <a href="http://simplykierste.com/" _mce_href="http://simplykierste.com/" target="_blank">Simply Kierste</a>, where she shares her love for all things creative and DIY. When she's not chasing around two sets of twins, a teenager, and a baby, she's working on a project, training for her next race, reading one of her favorite books, or baking something with chocolate in it. Please add her to your <a href="https://plus.google.com/107447548268479261111" _mce_href="https://plus.google.com/107447548268479261111" target="_blank">Google</a> circles. You can also find her on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/kierstesimply" _mce_href="https://www.facebook.com/kierstesimply" target="_blank">Facebook</a>, <a href="http://pinterest.com/kierste/" _mce_href="http://pinterest.com/kierste/" target="_blank">Pinterest</a>, and <a href="https://twitter.com/simplykierste" _mce_href="https://twitter.com/simplykierste" target="_blank">Twitter</a>.</div> </div> <br> RECIPE: Favorite Father's Day Recipes http://www.tofw.com/RECIPE-Favorite-Fathers-Day-Recipes-Sara-Kate-Our-Best-Bites/s/861 http://www.tofw.com/RECIPE-Favorite-Fathers-Day-Recipes-Sara-Kate-Our-Best-Bites/s/861 Thu, 13 Jun 2013 00:43:00 -0600 <div> by Sara & Kate from Our Best Bites <br /> </div> <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><i>How do you show love to the men in your life on Father's Day? &nbsp;Kate &amp; Sara from Our Best Bites show us a few ways that we can express our appreciation from the kitchen, maybe proving that old adage that the best way to a man's heart is through his stomach. &nbsp;But don't forget to give him hugs too!</i></span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" _mce_style="color: #000000;"><i></i></span><br> <span style="font-family: inherit; color: rgb(136, 136, 136);" _mce_style="font-family: inherit; color: #888888;">I don't know about you guys, but Father's Day is such a tough holiday! Growing up, my dad was impossible to shop for. Now that I have a family of my own, not only do we have about 52,000 birthdays in June, but we also have Father's Day. Which often falls on my husband's birthday. I'm a fun girl and everything, but come July, I'm ready to stop celebrating. Since Father's Day is so hard to shop for, I always show them how much I love them with their favorite foods!<br> <br> <a href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/BBQ-Chicken.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/BBQ-Chicken.jpg" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="BBQ Chicken" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-13066" src="http://www.ourbestbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/BBQ-Chicken.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.ourbestbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/BBQ-Chicken.jpg" height="274" width="400"></a>Here are a few of Our Best Bites' very best man meals, guaranteed to make them happy. Unless they're vegetarians. These <a href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/2009/04/old-fashioned-bbq-chicken-legs/" _mce_href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/2009/04/old-fashioned-bbq-chicken-legs/">BBQ Chicken Legs</a> are a guaranteed hit among kids and grown-ups alike! I've seen grown men lick the sauce from this chicken off their plates. Just sayin'. <br> <br> </span></p><div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"><span style="color: rgb(136, 136, 136);" _mce_style="color: #888888;"> <a href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/carnitas.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/carnitas.jpg" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img alt="carnitas" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-13067" src="http://www.ourbestbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/carnitas.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.ourbestbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/carnitas.jpg" height="480" width="319"></a></span><br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br><span style="color: rgb(136, 136, 136);" _mce_style="color: #888888;"> If you're running into weather trouble or want to have something in the oven while you're at church, these <a href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/2013/04/carnitas-mexican-pulled-pork/" _mce_href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/2013/04/carnitas-mexican-pulled-pork/">Carnitas </a>are the way to go. One of our family's favorite meals <em>ever</em>! &nbsp;</span></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"><span style="color: rgb(136, 136, 136);" _mce_style="color: #888888;"> <a href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/ribs.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/ribs.jpg" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img alt="ribs" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-13072" src="http://www.ourbestbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/ribs.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.ourbestbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/ribs.jpg" height="266" width="400"></a>&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"><span style="color: rgb(136, 136, 136);" _mce_style="color: #888888;"> Does he love ribs? Does anyone <em>not</em> love ribs? If not, <a href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/2008/05/babyback-ribs/" _mce_href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/2008/05/babyback-ribs/" target="_blank">these ones</a> will surely win them over.&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"><span style="color: rgb(136, 136, 136);" _mce_style="color: #888888;"> <a href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Sliced-NY-Strip.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Sliced-NY-Strip.jpg" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img alt="Sliced-NY-Strip" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-13069" src="http://www.ourbestbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Sliced-NY-Strip.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.ourbestbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Sliced-NY-Strip.jpg" height="333" width="500"></a>&nbsp;</span><br> <br><span style="color: rgb(136, 136, 136);" _mce_style="color: #888888;"> If cuts of beef and how to cook the perfect steak always leave you a little flummoxed, <a href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/2011/08/how-to-grill-the-perfect-steak/" _mce_href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/2011/08/how-to-grill-the-perfect-steak/">this tutorial</a> will help you make the perfect steakhouse steak right at home!&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br><span style="color: rgb(136, 136, 136);" _mce_style="color: #888888;"> <a href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/sweet-and-savory-flank-steak.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/sweet-and-savory-flank-steak.jpg" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="sweet and savory flank steak" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-13071" src="http://www.ourbestbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/sweet-and-savory-flank-steak.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.ourbestbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/sweet-and-savory-flank-steak.jpg" height="300" width="400"></a>Speaking of steak, if you love flank steak, this <a href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/2008/06/sweet-and-savory-flank-steak/" _mce_href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/2008/06/sweet-and-savory-flank-steak/">Sweet and Savory Flank Steak</a> is one of the very best!</span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> </div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"><span style="color: rgb(136, 136, 136);" _mce_style="color: #888888;"> <a href="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ourbestbites.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F06%2Fspicy-honey-chicken.jpg&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" _mce_href="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ourbestbites.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F06%2Fspicy-honey-chicken.jpg&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="spicy honey chicken" border="0" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-13070" src="http://www.ourbestbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/spicy-honey-chicken.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.ourbestbites.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/spicy-honey-chicken.jpg" height="266" width="400"></a>And finally, this <a href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/2008/06/spicy-honey-chicken/" _mce_href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/2008/06/spicy-honey-chicken/">Spicy Honey Chicken</a> is one of our all-time most popular recipes.&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br> <br><span style="color: rgb(136, 136, 136);" _mce_style="color: #888888;"> We have dreams about this chicken.&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"><span style="color: rgb(136, 136, 136);" _mce_style="color: #888888;"> We hope this gives you some ideas to help your family&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"><span style="color: rgb(136, 136, 136);" _mce_style="color: #888888;"> have a very <strong>happy</strong><b> Father's Day!</b></span></div><div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"><span style="color: rgb(136, 136, 136);" _mce_style="color: #888888;"><b><br></b></span></div> <div _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;" class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <span _mce_style="color: black;"><a _mce_href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/" href="http://www.ourbestbites.com/" target="_blank"><img _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gFoQ7WhMeRM/UbdrjjjhRoI/AAAAAAAAASo/1e3tezUH0OY/s320/Screen+Shot+2013-06-11+at+12.24.38+PM.png" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gFoQ7WhMeRM/UbdrjjjhRoI/AAAAAAAAASo/1e3tezUH0OY/s320/Screen+Shot+2013-06-11+at+12.24.38+PM.png" height="95" width="320"></a>&nbsp;</span></div> <div _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;" class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;" class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;" class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <em><strong><span _mce_style="color: black;">Want more OUR BEST BITES goodness? &nbsp;Click here to download&nbsp;<a _mce_href="http://deseretbook.com/Taste-Deseret-Book-Various-Authors/i/5110287" href="http://deseretbook.com/Taste-Deseret-Book-Various-Authors/i/5110287">A Taste of Deseret Book</a>, a FREE ebook sampler from Deseret Bookshelf featuring Our Best Bites.</span></strong></em></div> "&" I'm Married http://www.tofw.com/Im-Married-Laurel-Christensen%20Day/s/856 http://www.tofw.com/Im-Married-Laurel-Christensen%20Day/s/856 Tue, 04 Jun 2013 17:13:00 -0600 <div> </div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2RKKcmJmmn0/Ua5hk_vwt0I/AAAAAAAAANM/f7TmNBM2UKM/s1600/stephen_laurel_wedding_dinner_051.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2RKKcmJmmn0/Ua5hk_vwt0I/AAAAAAAAANM/f7TmNBM2UKM/s1600/stephen_laurel_wedding_dinner_051.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2RKKcmJmmn0/Ua5hk_vwt0I/AAAAAAAAANM/f7TmNBM2UKM/s1600/stephen_laurel_wedding_dinner_051.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2RKKcmJmmn0/Ua5hk_vwt0I/AAAAAAAAANM/f7TmNBM2UKM/s1600/stephen_laurel_wedding_dinner_051.jpg" height="426" width="640"></a></div> <div align="center" class="MsoPlainText" style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> “…<span style="font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-size: large;"><i>and</i> </span>all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> <br></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> It’s not unusual to have a theme for a wedding, but perhaps it’s a little unusual to have that theme be a scripture. (I blame it on all my years working with TOFW where we believe good themes have accompanying scriptures.)<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> <br></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> I fell in love with the ampersand a few years ago and wanted to somehow incorporate it into the wedding celebration. And (no pun intended) then my Mr. found a really perfect scripture that went with it: Matthew 6:33. It. was. perfect. <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-KOEcEg876G8/Ua5jteriUJI/AAAAAAAAANc/KhdFBE4heYQ/s1600/stephen_laurel_wedding_dinner_209.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-KOEcEg876G8/Ua5jteriUJI/AAAAAAAAANc/KhdFBE4heYQ/s1600/stephen_laurel_wedding_dinner_209.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-KOEcEg876G8/Ua5jteriUJI/AAAAAAAAANc/KhdFBE4heYQ/s1600/stephen_laurel_wedding_dinner_209.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-KOEcEg876G8/Ua5jteriUJI/AAAAAAAAANc/KhdFBE4heYQ/s1600/stephen_laurel_wedding_dinner_209.jpg" height="212" width="320"></a></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> And yet, I didn’t fully appreciate at the time how meaningful the entire theme would be—not just for the wedding but as a symbol of our new life together and a representation of how I got here to this place. <o:p></o:p></div> </div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: right;" _mce_style="text-align: right;"> You see, a few years ago I received a lovely ampersand paperweight as a gift. I was kind of taken back at first. It had never been on my list of "things to get Laurel". . . but when I read the card that came with it, it came to the top of that list. In my friend's note she said, "You look at life with a constant '<span style="font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-size: large;">and</span>'.” I loved the sentiment.</div> </div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> And I fell in love with the ampersand.<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kjzPd7r3Sls/Ua95OuQ8FeI/AAAAAAAAAPU/Iy2O4fZVKmA/s1600/laurel.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kjzPd7r3Sls/Ua95OuQ8FeI/AAAAAAAAAPU/Iy2O4fZVKmA/s1600/laurel.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kjzPd7r3Sls/Ua95OuQ8FeI/AAAAAAAAAPU/Iy2O4fZVKmA/s1600/laurel.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kjzPd7r3Sls/Ua95OuQ8FeI/AAAAAAAAAPU/Iy2O4fZVKmA/s1600/laurel.jpg" height="320" width="320"></a></div> <br></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> But I knew that it was probably more accurate to say that I looked at life with a constant “<b>but</b>”—<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; For example —<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoPlainText" style="text-indent: .5in;" _mce_style="text-indent: .5in;"> <div class="MsoPlainText"> &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;I believed God heard and answered prayers, <b>but </b>He didn't seem to be answering many of mine.<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I believed blessings followed obedience, <b>but </b>I didn't see how or when.</div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I believed God wanted me to be happy, <b>but</b> it seemed He more often wanted me to struggle.<o:p></o:p></div> </div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> <br></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> <div class="MsoPlainText"> I had become really good at never expecting anything and never asking for very much and finding reasons for the circumstances in my life and then just accepting whatever those circumstances were as "God's will". BUT then I got the ampersand paperweight and the sweet note. And it started a path that led to a journey to really understand the principle of faith.<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> <br></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> I wanted to look at life with a constant "&amp;"—regardless of the circumstance and regardless of the outcome. I believed that would help me find the true essence of faith.</div> </div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> <div class="MsoPlainText"> <o:p></o:p></div> </div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> <br></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> That journey—that <a href="../../../Chasing-Better-Dream-Laurel-Christensen/s/685" _mce_href="../../../Chasing-Better-Dream-Laurel-Christensen/s/685" target="_blank">faith experiment</a>—led me here: a newly married, 41-year-old woman. <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sJRV7SCm-X4/Ua5ks_mq5EI/AAAAAAAAANs/-muu8bNAabo/s1600/stephen_laurel_wedding_dinner_106.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sJRV7SCm-X4/Ua5ks_mq5EI/AAAAAAAAANs/-muu8bNAabo/s1600/stephen_laurel_wedding_dinner_106.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sJRV7SCm-X4/Ua5ks_mq5EI/AAAAAAAAANs/-muu8bNAabo/s1600/stephen_laurel_wedding_dinner_106.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sJRV7SCm-X4/Ua5ks_mq5EI/AAAAAAAAANs/-muu8bNAabo/s1600/stephen_laurel_wedding_dinner_106.jpg" height="200" width="133"></a><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> Don’t misunderstand: I do not believe I’m here simply because I finally had enough faith to get married. <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> <br></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> Rather, I believe that part of my journey—part of my coming to understand the power of faith in my life—was because marriage, for all the possible reasons, had been delayed for a time. And during the delay, I was given the opportunity to better understand that I could use faith to overcome fears that held me back in really significant ways, how I could use faith to get me out of my comfort zone, the need to use faith to pray for what my heart wanted most. I believe for me, it was the best way to come to understand that faith is about accepting God’s will AND coming to have a “knowledge that the course of life one is pursuing is acceptable to God” (LDS Bible Dictionary, “Faith). The combination of putting into practice what I came to understand (in addition to God’s granting a miracle)—that is what got me here.</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> <br> And so, the "&amp;" is now a symbol of faith as well as a representation of all the things that have been added to my life in this process: my 41 years have added to his 49 years; his family relationships have added to my family relationships; my circle of friends has added to his circle of friends; and his life experiences have added to my life experiences.<br> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bR7qrnAf2nU/Ua9inBHQe_I/AAAAAAAAAOc/-9PdTEUfRvo/s1600/laurel+temple+doors+2+Randy.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bR7qrnAf2nU/Ua9inBHQe_I/AAAAAAAAAOc/-9PdTEUfRvo/s1600/laurel+temple+doors+2+Randy.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bR7qrnAf2nU/Ua9inBHQe_I/AAAAAAAAAOc/-9PdTEUfRvo/s1600/laurel+temple+doors+2+Randy.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bR7qrnAf2nU/Ua9inBHQe_I/AAAAAAAAAOc/-9PdTEUfRvo/s1600/laurel+temple+doors+2+Randy.jpg" height="213" width="320"></a></div> <br></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> <o:p><br></o:p></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> And so much more has been added: a deeper understanding of love and hope and commitment and covenants and agency and God's omniscience and works and blessings and laws and obedience and consequences and promises—such sweet promises.<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> <br></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> “…&nbsp;<i style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;">and&nbsp;</i>all these things shall be added unto you.”</div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoPlainText"> These things—<span style="font-size: x-large;" _mce_style="font-size: x-large;">&nbsp;&amp; </span>many more things yet to come . . .&nbsp; <o:p></o:p><br> <br></div> <table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container mceItemTable" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody> <tr><td style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://pinterest.com/pin/259731103482596238/" _mce_href="http://pinterest.com/pin/259731103482596238/" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" _mce_style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hXM3FDyoclI/Ua94uWT1oEI/AAAAAAAAAPM/fQe1coIhocc/s1600/laurel+ampersand+quote_v2.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hXM3FDyoclI/Ua94uWT1oEI/AAAAAAAAAPM/fQe1coIhocc/s1600/laurel+ampersand+quote_v2.jpg" height="400" width="400"></a></td></tr> <tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"><br></td></tr></tbody></table> <br> <a href="//pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tofw.com%2FIm-Married-Laurel-Christensen%2Fs%2F856&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-hXM3FDyoclI%2FUa94uWT1oEI%2FAAAAAAAAAPM%2FfQe1coIhocc%2Fs1600%2Flaurel%2Bampersand%2Bquote_v2.jpg&amp;description=Look%20at%20life%20with%20a%20constant%20%22%26%22%20regardless%20of%20the%20circumstance%20and%20regardless%20of%20the%20outcome.%20That%20is%20the%20true%20essence%20of%20faith.%20-Laurel%20Christensen%20Day%20%23TOFW%20%23Faith%20" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="none" target="blank"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pin_it_button.png" _mce_src="http://assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pin_it_button.png" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" _mce_style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"></a> <div class="MsoPlainText"> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <br></div> </div> RECIPE: Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins http://www.tofw.com/RECIPE-Mini-Chocolate-Chip-Muffins-Emily-Bakes-Me-Happy/s/849 http://www.tofw.com/RECIPE-Mini-Chocolate-Chip-Muffins-Emily-Bakes-Me-Happy/s/849 Wed, 29 May 2013 00:36:00 -0600 <div> by Emily from It Bakes Me Happy <br /> </div> <div _mce_style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"> <span _mce_style="font-size: 16px;" class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #999999; font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;"><i>We love that this is a family recipe-and that they actually made a family cookbook to remember and pass on the yummy food of a kitchen-experienced generation. Food can be a great way to bring the whole family together. And who doesn't love a mini-chocolate chip muffin?</i></span><br> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;"><span _mce_style="font-size: 16px;" class="Apple-style-span"><br></span> </span><br> <div _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;" class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-o2d5aioMIdQ/UZpsvws8KtI/AAAAAAAAFAQ/BYLsPDaEtZc/s1600/emily.jpg" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-o2d5aioMIdQ/UZpsvws8KtI/AAAAAAAAFAQ/BYLsPDaEtZc/s1600/emily.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="color: black; font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="color: black; font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;"><img _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-o2d5aioMIdQ/UZpsvws8KtI/AAAAAAAAFAQ/BYLsPDaEtZc/s1600/emily.jpg" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-o2d5aioMIdQ/UZpsvws8KtI/AAAAAAAAFAQ/BYLsPDaEtZc/s1600/emily.jpg"></span></a></div> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">My name is Emily Dicks and I blog over at <a _mce_href="http://www.itbakesmehappy.com/" href="http://www.itbakesmehappy.com/">It Bakes Me Happy</a>, a blog I started a little over 3 years ago, not long after I married my husband.</span><br> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;"><br> </span><br> <div _mce_style="font: 16.0px Times; margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px;" style="font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;"> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">If you are married and have experienced the chaos and joy that is wedding planning, then you may also be familiar with the void that appears once it is all over. After marriage, I was still working full time, but I had free time that needed a hobby. My husband was in law school &nbsp;so just think of all that study time I needed to fill. I decided that I should be able to cook, which is not a skill I had spent much time perfecting prior to marrying. I could cook, but it was limited and so I began my journey into trying new recipes and learning new skills.&nbsp;</span></div><div _mce_style="font: 16.0px Times; margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px;" style="font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;"><span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;"><br></span></div> <div _mce_style="font: 16.0px Times; margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px;" style="font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;"> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">A few months after I began my cooking/baking, I finally took the plunge and started my site. I think I spent about 3 months brainstorming the perfect name... it was a little excessive. Slowly I began building my collection of recipes, accompanied by some pretty horrific photos when I remembered to snap one.</span></div> <div _mce_style="font: 16.0px Times; margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; min-height: 19.0px;" style="font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px; min-height: 19px;"> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;"><br></span></div> <div _mce_style="font: 16.0px Times; margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px;" style="font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;"> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">I especially enjoy preparing and sharing family recipes. &nbsp;I love the feeling of nostalgia that comes when I cook something my great grandmother used to make. This past December my aunt compiled a family cookbook, which featured many of her favorite recipes that my grandmother used to make &nbsp;as well as recipes of her own and her grandmother. I've had so much fun exploring and experimenting in the months since receiving this book for Christmas! I can't help remembering the times I shared with my family as a child and the great food we enjoyed. I'm so glad that I have a printed source I can turn to when I want to feel close to my family, I hope one day to be able to do the same thing for my own children and grandchildren.</span></div> <div _mce_style="font: 16.0px Times; margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px;" style="font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;"> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;"><br></span> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">Today I am sharing a recipe for muffins, an adaptation of a blueberry muffin recipe passed on from my aunt.&nbsp;If there is one thing my family and friends know about me, it is that muffins are one of my absolute favorite breakfast treats. If you visit my recipe archives you'll see I have a slight obsession. These miniature muffins are moist, lightly sweet and filled with little bites of chocolate goodness; enjoy and happy baking!</span></div> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;"><br></span> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;"><br></span> <br> <div _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;" class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uWEJU2TheHc/UYQwPT6wJUI/AAAAAAAACTI/A4CaDbBFp6w/s1600/ChocolateChipMini_IBMH.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uWEJU2TheHc/UYQwPT6wJUI/AAAAAAAACTI/A4CaDbBFp6w/s1600/ChocolateChipMini_IBMH.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="color: black; font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="color: black; font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;"><img _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uWEJU2TheHc/UYQwPT6wJUI/AAAAAAAACTI/A4CaDbBFp6w/s640/ChocolateChipMini_IBMH.jpg" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uWEJU2TheHc/UYQwPT6wJUI/AAAAAAAACTI/A4CaDbBFp6w/s640/ChocolateChipMini_IBMH.jpg" height="640" width="426"></span></a></div> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;"><br></span> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">Ingredients:</span><br> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">1/4 c coconut oil</span><br> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">1/4 c brown sugar</span><br> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">1/4 c sugar</span><br> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">1 egg</span><br> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">1/2 tsp vanilla</span><br> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">1 c flour</span><br> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">1 tsp baking powder</span><br> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">1/4 tsp salt</span><br> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">1/3 c milk</span><br> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">1/3 c miniature chocolate chips</span><br> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;"><br></span> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">Directions:</span><br> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">Preheat your oven to 375º and line a mini muffin pan with papers. In the bowl of your stand mixer, or a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer, cream the coconut oil and sugars until fluffy. Add the egg and blend well, then add the vanilla. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and milk and mix until just combined. Add the chocolate chips, mixing just until incorporated. Spoon 1 Tbs of batter into each baking cup and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden on top. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, remove to a wire rack and cool completely.</span><br> <span style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;" _mce_style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;"><br></span> <i><span _mce_style="font-size: x-small;" class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">Yields 2 dozen mini muffins. For more great recipes, visit Emily at:</span></i><br> <i><span _mce_style="font-size: x-small;" class="Apple-style-span"><br></span></i> <br> <div _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;" class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a _mce_href="http://www.itbakesmehappy.com/" href="http://www.itbakesmehappy.com/"><span style="color: black;" _mce_style="color: black;"><img _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-z-CMGNrQgsw/UZps4xRcy4I/AAAAAAAAFAY/jnnx7f9wQCY/s400/bloghrdrcopy.jpg" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-z-CMGNrQgsw/UZps4xRcy4I/AAAAAAAAFAY/jnnx7f9wQCY/s400/bloghrdrcopy.jpg" height="73" width="400"></span></a></div> <i><span _mce_style="font-size: x-small;" class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: x-small;"><br></span></i></div> Articles of Faith FREE Printables http://www.tofw.com/Articles-Faith-FREE-Printables-Kari-U-Create-LDS-Lane/s/848 http://www.tofw.com/Articles-Faith-FREE-Printables-Kari-U-Create-LDS-Lane/s/848 Wed, 22 May 2013 00:58:00 -0600 <div> by Kari from U Create and LDS Lane <br /> </div> My name is Kari Sweeten and I’ve been blogging about all things crafty over at <a href="http://www.u-createcrafts.com/" _mce_href="http://www.u-createcrafts.com/" target="_blank">U Create</a> for 5 years. I’m passionate about creating beautiful things for my home, doing fun projects with my children, and sharing ideas with women around the world. I’ve been up to something new lately and haven’t announced this anywhere until now.&nbsp; <br> <br> I’ve started a new website called <a href="http://www.ldslane.com/" _mce_href="http://www.ldslane.com/" target="_blank">LDS Lane</a>. It’s a blog where I share inspiration and ideas for the latter-day saint. It’s a place where I share gospel-centered projects and I cannot tell you enough how rewarding this journey has been so far. You’ll find Family Home Evening, Young Women, Activity Days, Primary, Free Downloads, and More!<br> <a href="http://www.ldslane.com/" _mce_href="http://www.ldslane.com/" target="_blank"><img alt="LDS Lane" border="0" height="750" src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-oMlrSndnWUs/UZrhPXMOEFI/AAAAAAAAkRA/lCvEfBnygUU/SLC%252520Temple%252520Kari%25255B12%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800" _mce_src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-oMlrSndnWUs/UZrhPXMOEFI/AAAAAAAAkRA/lCvEfBnygUU/SLC%252520Temple%252520Kari%25255B12%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800" style="background-image: none; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" _mce_style="background-image: none; display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; border-width: 0px;" title="LDS Lane" width="500"></a><br> <br> This year our family is focusing on the <a href="http://mormon.org/articles-of-faith" _mce_href="http://mormon.org/articles-of-faith" target="_blank">Articles of Faith</a> and memorizing all 13 of them. We print out the following cards, slap some tape on them, and move on to the next one to memorize!<br> <br> <a href="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-8UQe-HppFQ4/UZrhQGZNN5I/AAAAAAAAkRI/jOGo2J-NNHI/s1600-h/LDS-Article-of-Faith-Cards-PRINTABLE%25255B5%25255D.jpg" _mce_href="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-8UQe-HppFQ4/UZrhQGZNN5I/AAAAAAAAkRI/jOGo2J-NNHI/s1600-h/LDS-Article-of-Faith-Cards-PRINTABLE%25255B5%25255D.jpg"><img alt="FREE PRINTABLE: Articles of Faith Memorization Cards" border="0" height="667" src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/--bEZ7vqW4dw/UZrhQ6lwVmI/AAAAAAAAkRQ/aGRtm45sz6U/LDS-Article-of-Faith-Cards-PRINTABLE_thumb%25255B2%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800" _mce_src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/--bEZ7vqW4dw/UZrhQ6lwVmI/AAAAAAAAkRQ/aGRtm45sz6U/LDS-Article-of-Faith-Cards-PRINTABLE_thumb%25255B2%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800" style="background-image: none; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" _mce_style="background-image: none; display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; border-width: 0px;" title="FREE PRINTABLE: Articles of Faith Memorization Cards" width="500"></a><br> <br> This system is such a huge hit with our family and a great way to achieve a goal together.&nbsp; <br> Well, today I’m excited to share our Articles of Faith Memorization Cards with you in case you want to try this with your own families. I also have to say this has helped my husband and I remember them, too. Great for everyone!<br> <br> <a href="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-oMEZwneQInQ/UZrhRWRW-wI/AAAAAAAAkRY/fWxqgzrIyIE/s1600-h/Article-of-Faith-Cards%25255B6%25255D.jpg" _mce_href="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-oMEZwneQInQ/UZrhRWRW-wI/AAAAAAAAkRY/fWxqgzrIyIE/s1600-h/Article-of-Faith-Cards%25255B6%25255D.jpg"><img alt="Article of Faith Cards - free printables by ldslane.com" border="0" height="622" src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-FKxTpS0ufns/UZrhR6hI84I/AAAAAAAAkRg/aUZXrJ0iM-8/Article-of-Faith-Cards_thumb%25255B3%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800" _mce_src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-FKxTpS0ufns/UZrhR6hI84I/AAAAAAAAkRg/aUZXrJ0iM-8/Article-of-Faith-Cards_thumb%25255B3%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800" style="background-image: none; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" _mce_style="background-image: none; display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; border-width: 0px;" title="Article of Faith Cards - free printables by ldslane.com" width="500"></a><br> <br> Click the following links to download each file:<br><div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"><br></div><div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"><strong><a href="https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2LoSAerqYroM0xqdnZXVER6NGM/edit" _mce_href="https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2LoSAerqYroM0xqdnZXVER6NGM/edit" target="_blank">Articles of Faith Cards 1-4</a></strong></div><div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"><strong><a href="https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2LoSAerqYroVHpwQkp6UUNTYTQ/edit" _mce_href="https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2LoSAerqYroVHpwQkp6UUNTYTQ/edit" title="Articles of Faith Cards 5-8">Articles of Faith Cards 5-8</a></strong></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2LoSAerqYroMlRrZXlLSi1xcWM/edit" _mce_href="https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2LoSAerqYroMlRrZXlLSi1xcWM/edit" target="_blank" title="Articles of Faith Cards 9-11"><strong>Articles of Faith Cards 9-11</strong></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <b><u><span style="color: blue;" _mce_style="color: blue;"><a href="https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2LoSAerqYroV3REZWlYbmxPYXc/edit" _mce_href="https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2LoSAerqYroV3REZWlYbmxPYXc/edit" title="Articles of Faith Cards 12-13">Articles of Faith Cards 12-13</a></span></u></b></div> <br> <strong><em>The best part?</em></strong><br> Punching the Article of Faith punch cards!<br> <br> <a href="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-VoQ8o81rj-8/UZrhStucn7I/AAAAAAAAkRo/C4PKsErO4SA/s1600-h/Articles%252520of%252520Faith%252520Free%252520Printable%252520Punch%252520Cards%25255B6%25255D.jpg" _mce_href="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-VoQ8o81rj-8/UZrhStucn7I/AAAAAAAAkRo/C4PKsErO4SA/s1600-h/Articles%252520of%252520Faith%252520Free%252520Printable%252520Punch%252520Cards%25255B6%25255D.jpg"><img alt="Free Printable: Articles of Faith Punch Cards by ldslane.com" border="0" height="502" src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-D1ltT5RfTkQ/UZrhTUaN6yI/AAAAAAAAkRw/A6gIPD7bLGM/Articles%252520of%252520Faith%252520Free%252520Printable%252520Punch%252520Cards_thumb%25255B3%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800" _mce_src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-D1ltT5RfTkQ/UZrhTUaN6yI/AAAAAAAAkRw/A6gIPD7bLGM/Articles%252520of%252520Faith%252520Free%252520Printable%252520Punch%252520Cards_thumb%25255B3%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800" style="background-image: none; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" _mce_style="background-image: none; display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px; border-width: 0px;" title="Free Printable: Articles of Faith Punch Cards by ldslane.com" width="500"></a><br> <br> We punch each circle as they pass them off and when their card is all punched they get a reward.<br> <br> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="https://www.box.com/s/wabm1t8b0asmgzg2ephb" _mce_href="https://www.box.com/s/wabm1t8b0asmgzg2ephb" target="_blank">Article of Faith Punch Cards</a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <br></div> Great motivation for a wonderful achievement! Enjoy and make sure to visit <a href="http://www.ldslane.com/" _mce_href="http://www.ldslane.com/" target="_blank">LDS Lane</a> and <a href="http://www.u-createcrafts.com/" _mce_href="http://www.u-createcrafts.com/" target="_blank">U Create</a> to see more of our projects! Food Storage Cooking Meets Real Life: Easy Pantry Pie Crust http://www.tofw.com/Food-Storage-Cooking-Meets-Real-Life-Easy-Pantry-Pie-Crust-Megan-My-Food-Storage-Cookbook/s/843 http://www.tofw.com/Food-Storage-Cooking-Meets-Real-Life-Easy-Pantry-Pie-Crust-Megan-My-Food-Storage-Cookbook/s/843 Wed, 15 May 2013 00:36:00 -0600 <div> by Megan from My Food Storage Cookbook <br /> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-i4qu6siqGlY/UZLJTTIygXI/AAAAAAAAE-Y/NeCS4Y1SaQM/s1600/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+(5)words.jpg" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-i4qu6siqGlY/UZLJTTIygXI/AAAAAAAAE-Y/NeCS4Y1SaQM/s1600/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+(5)words.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-i4qu6siqGlY/UZLJTTIygXI/AAAAAAAAE-Y/NeCS4Y1SaQM/s640/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+(5)words.jpg" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-i4qu6siqGlY/UZLJTTIygXI/AAAAAAAAE-Y/NeCS4Y1SaQM/s640/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+(5)words.jpg" width="640"></a></div> <br> Hi, I'm Megan. I have a husband and five kids (ages 14 to 9 months) who like to eat. They've liked to eat ever since I can remember, so thanks to them (and their sometimes picky tastes) I found an interest in cooking and now find it quite fun! To keep tummies happy, I cook regularly from a compilation of recipes put together in a binder we call our family cookbook. Once tried, if a recipe's a winner, it's removed from it's previous cookbook or other location and joins the ranks of "the best" in our cookbook. Many of you probably do the same thing.<br> <br> <b>Food Storage Cooking Meets Real Life</b><br> <b><br></b> About three years ago I realized something big. All of the food storage I'd carefully tucked away, trying to be prepared for a rainy day, would be entirely useless to me unless I learned to cook real food with it that my family would eat. Having been consistently urged by prophets for so long (ever since the 1800's) to gather food storage there might be a chance, at some point, of having to depend entirely upon it. This hadn't occurred to me when buying it, but thanks to a friend who decided to find out if feeding a family while relying exclusively on food storage was even possible, I came to realize the necessity of having a plan. <br> <br> I realized I needed recipes and a system of organizing them. I needed to know exactly what to make from what I stored, which products were good (as well as which ones weren't) and how much I needed to have stored that would equal "a year's supply." Also, another light bulb turned on. If I could find food storage recipes my family honestly enjoyed, there was a built in perk -- the dilemma of using the food and keeping it rotated would be eliminated! Patterned after our family cookbook, my goal became creating a customized family "food storage" cookbook that would be our "go-to" if we ever had to depend entirely on the food we stored. Easier said than done! I quickly discovered this was not going to be an easy project. We tested, we tried, we cooked and many times we tossed...into the trash can.<br> <br> After much prayer and pleading with the Lord to help me find a way to do this, the recipes I share at <a href="http://myfoodstoragecookbook.com/" _mce_href="http://myfoodstoragecookbook.com/">myfoodstoragecookbook.com</a> are the success stories. &nbsp;Most, quite honestly, have been brought about due to answered prayers, so I can't take credit for finding or coming up with them. Through all of this I've learned that the Lord cares deeply about the temporal independence of his children and is eager to help those with a desire to be obedient! Because it's been such a gift for my own family, I'm only too happy to share it with others. By seeing what's worked for me, I hope to save people from making frustrating mistakes associated with the learning curve of a completely different way of cooking.<br> <br> <b>Who Wants Some Pie?</b><br> <br> What many people don't realize is that cooking with food storage can sometimes actually cut your time in the kitchen. This recipe is a perfect example of that! A big dilemma for those of us who like to cook but lack the time to do everything perfectly is whether to go to the effort of making a pie crust from scratch or buy a frozen store bought version. If deciding to make your own there are multitudes of methods out there for doing so and every cook and cookbook seems to have a favorite "secret" to get it right.<br> <br> Well, this recipe, thanks to it's pantry friendly ingredients, is hands down the easiest pie crust you're ever going to make! A food processor isn't necessary (since there's no "cutting-in" of butter or shortening) and it works whether your water is ice cold or room temperature. With a little help, even a child can make this pie crust, which to me is awesome!!<br> <br> <b>Easy Pantry Pie Crust&nbsp;</b><br> <br> Ingredients:<br> 3 cups flour<br> 1 1/4 tsp. salt<br> 2 tsp. baking powder<br> 1 TBS sugar<br> 1/2 cup shortening powder<br> 1/2 cup butter powder (*I prefer Thrive's brand)<br> 2 TBS oil<br> 1/2 cup + 2-3 TBS water<br> <br> Instructions:<br> Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add oil and water and stir to combine.<br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YMP9VBtfitU/UZLIEo1DOnI/AAAAAAAAE-E/JOCVZV7x6Eg/s1600/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+(9).JPG" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YMP9VBtfitU/UZLIEo1DOnI/AAAAAAAAE-E/JOCVZV7x6Eg/s1600/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+(9).JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YMP9VBtfitU/UZLIEo1DOnI/AAAAAAAAE-E/JOCVZV7x6Eg/s320/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+(9).JPG" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YMP9VBtfitU/UZLIEo1DOnI/AAAAAAAAE-E/JOCVZV7x6Eg/s320/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+(9).JPG" width="320"></a></div> <br> Roll about half of the mixture between a flexible cutting mat and wax paper (or between two sheets of wax paper, I like the cutting mat base because it's sturdy while rolling out the dough, plus it saves me a sheet of wax paper).<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KaCZUmfzz04/UZLIAMolNOI/AAAAAAAAE9U/DRzLN4FMUP0/s1600/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+%252815%2529.JPG" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KaCZUmfzz04/UZLIAMolNOI/AAAAAAAAE9U/DRzLN4FMUP0/s1600/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+%252815%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KaCZUmfzz04/UZLIAMolNOI/AAAAAAAAE9U/DRzLN4FMUP0/s320/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+%252815%2529.JPG" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KaCZUmfzz04/UZLIAMolNOI/AAAAAAAAE9U/DRzLN4FMUP0/s320/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+%252815%2529.JPG" width="320"></a></div> <br> <br> Once rolled, flip over and carefully peel back the cutting mat. Fit the dough with wax paper into a pie dish and peel off the wax paper. Repeat for the top crust.<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XYQNUYAlqTE/UZLIA7oPUeI/AAAAAAAAE9c/cUnKfNGzFAQ/s1600/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+%252816%2529.JPG" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XYQNUYAlqTE/UZLIA7oPUeI/AAAAAAAAE9c/cUnKfNGzFAQ/s1600/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+%252816%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XYQNUYAlqTE/UZLIA7oPUeI/AAAAAAAAE9c/cUnKfNGzFAQ/s320/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+%252816%2529.JPG" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XYQNUYAlqTE/UZLIA7oPUeI/AAAAAAAAE9c/cUnKfNGzFAQ/s320/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+%252816%2529.JPG" width="320"></a></div> <br> <br> &nbsp;If wanting to make a lattice top, use a pastry wheel to cut lattice strips, removing from the flexible mat using a metal spatula. <br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zsy8Fv8Afbs/UZLIBkRyp1I/AAAAAAAAE9k/CPRS3PMl-2U/s1600/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+%25283%2529.JPG" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zsy8Fv8Afbs/UZLIBkRyp1I/AAAAAAAAE9k/CPRS3PMl-2U/s1600/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+%25283%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zsy8Fv8Afbs/UZLIBkRyp1I/AAAAAAAAE9k/CPRS3PMl-2U/s320/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+%25283%2529.JPG" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zsy8Fv8Afbs/UZLIBkRyp1I/AAAAAAAAE9k/CPRS3PMl-2U/s320/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+%25283%2529.JPG" width="320"></a></div> <br> <br> Bake filled pie in a 400 degree oven for 40-45 minutes until crust is golden brown. After 15-20 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. <br> <br> If planning to bake (without electricity) using a sun oven, use a spray bottle to spritz the top of the pie with water before baking. Ideally, the sun oven should be heated to at least 300 degrees. After placing pie in the preheated oven, use a pencil to allow steam to vent from the closed oven door and bake for 90 minutes.<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-l_r_RSeSs1s/UZLIDdFmltI/AAAAAAAAE90/KcGQ1RvfXUQ/s1600/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+%25286%2529.JPG" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-l_r_RSeSs1s/UZLIDdFmltI/AAAAAAAAE90/KcGQ1RvfXUQ/s1600/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+%25286%2529.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-l_r_RSeSs1s/UZLIDdFmltI/AAAAAAAAE90/KcGQ1RvfXUQ/s320/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+%25286%2529.JPG" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-l_r_RSeSs1s/UZLIDdFmltI/AAAAAAAAE90/KcGQ1RvfXUQ/s320/Easy+Pantry+Pie+Crust+%25286%2529.JPG" width="320"></a></div> <br> Cool at least an hour before serving.<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <br> <br> <div> <br></div> <br> A Mama's Song http://www.tofw.com/Mamas-Song-Aleisha-Beckstrand/s/839 http://www.tofw.com/Mamas-Song-Aleisha-Beckstrand/s/839 Fri, 10 May 2013 00:41:00 -0600 <div> by Aleisha Beckstrand <br /> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ULizS-6fxww/UYwXWTbTp3I/AAAAAAAAE6Q/tAfRKI2aOuM/s1600/146966144.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ULizS-6fxww/UYwXWTbTp3I/AAAAAAAAE6Q/tAfRKI2aOuM/s1600/146966144.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ULizS-6fxww/UYwXWTbTp3I/AAAAAAAAE6Q/tAfRKI2aOuM/s640/146966144.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ULizS-6fxww/UYwXWTbTp3I/AAAAAAAAE6Q/tAfRKI2aOuM/s640/146966144.jpg" width="640"></a></div> <br> My first piano recital was when I was ten years old. &nbsp;The recital was held in a small room located on the top floor of an old, local book store. &nbsp;Two baby grand pianos--shiny and ominous--sat on a carpet-covered stage at the back of the room. &nbsp;Fruit punch and Milano cookies were laid out on long tables draped in white tablecloths, refreshments to be served at the conclusion of the program.<br> <br> After sitting through a variety of pieces--everything from "Mary Had a Little Lamb" to "Canon in D"--it was my turn to perform. &nbsp;My stomach was in my throat and my heart was racing. I slowly crept towards the piano bench, dragging my Mary Jane-clad feet. They felt as heavy as cement.<br> <br> I distinctly remember thinking, as I sat on the bench, that the slick, black and white piano keys looked enormous and foreboding! The keyboard--like a toothy monster anxiously waiting to swallow me whole--appeared to be wickedly grinning at me, daring me to place my tiny, ten year old fingers at Middle C.<br> <br> I began to play an off tempo version of "Pop Goes the Weasel." &nbsp;The choppy way I played the song was blatant evidence of my terror. I had never been more nervous in my life! There was a "repeat" at the end of the song, so I was to play through it twice. The first time through was barely decent, and the second time through the song was unrecognizable. I didn't even play the same ending! I hit a couple of wrong notes, then stopped abruptly. I took a bow and quickly got off of the stage.<br> <br> I felt a sense of relief when I sat down next to my parents. But the relief soon turned to disappointment. I had made many mistakes. My parents encouraged me to avoid dwelling on them and to move forward. At that moment, I decided to practice more and to work hard. I would grow and improve, and then I would do my best.<br> <br> I occasionally think of that recital, and how the experience I had then is similar to my life now. I have "taken the stage" to perform my own rendition of "motherhood"--a role that plays like an extraordinary song--and I am scared! I am going to have to work hard, and it is going to be difficult. There will be mistakes--discordant notes of worry and doubt, choppy and off tempo melodies of fear and insecurity and adversity--but I can choose to learn from them. I can choose to keep moving, keep "practicing."s I will grow and improve, and then I will do my best.<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--QOL59h5hDA/UYwXDcmAcBI/AAAAAAAAE6I/S0lyETNqcEU/s1600/momsong.jpg" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--QOL59h5hDA/UYwXDcmAcBI/AAAAAAAAE6I/S0lyETNqcEU/s1600/momsong.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="278" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--QOL59h5hDA/UYwXDcmAcBI/AAAAAAAAE6I/S0lyETNqcEU/s400/momsong.jpg" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--QOL59h5hDA/UYwXDcmAcBI/AAAAAAAAE6I/S0lyETNqcEU/s400/momsong.jpg" width="400"></a></div> <br> If motherhood is like a song I must learn to play, I know it will be my most challenging piece.<br> <br> I know it will be my greatest performance.<br> <br> <br> <div _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;" class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Ib_zMagaz_Y/UCLEROxzRDI/AAAAAAAAA6Q/qlUlvY4D8Sw/s1600/mamaleishabutton.jpg" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Ib_zMagaz_Y/UCLEROxzRDI/AAAAAAAAA6Q/qlUlvY4D8Sw/s1600/mamaleishabutton.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Ib_zMagaz_Y/UCLEROxzRDI/AAAAAAAAA6Q/qlUlvY4D8Sw/s1600/mamaleishabutton.jpg" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Ib_zMagaz_Y/UCLEROxzRDI/AAAAAAAAA6Q/qlUlvY4D8Sw/s1600/mamaleishabutton.jpg"></a></div> My name is Aleisha, but my zany and adorable five-year-old calls me "Mama Leisha." My secret for getting through the "crayon on the walls, apple juice spilled on the floors, laundry piled as tall as Everest, toilet clogged with Fisher Price 'Little People'" kind of days? DIET COKE. (And a side order of fries!) Aleisha blogs at <a _mce_href="http://www.callmemamaleisha.com/" href="http://www.callmemamaleisha.com/">She Calls Me Mama Leisha</a>.<br> <br> <br> <div _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;" class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <br> Meaningful, Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas http://www.tofw.com/Meaningful-Handmade-Mothers-Day-Gift-Ideas-Missy-How-Does-She/s/831 http://www.tofw.com/Meaningful-Handmade-Mothers-Day-Gift-Ideas-Missy-How-Does-She/s/831 Tue, 07 May 2013 00:10:00 -0600 <div> by Missy from How Does She <br /> </div> &nbsp; <br> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/beautiful-meaningful-handmade-mothers-day-gift-ideas/" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/beautiful-meaningful-handmade-mothers-day-gift-ideas/"><img alt="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-39281" height="600" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/Meaningful-Handmade-Mothers-Day-Gift-Ideas.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/Meaningful-Handmade-Mothers-Day-Gift-Ideas.jpg" title="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" width="600"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Mother's day is THIS WEEKEND! What a great chance we have to show our appreciation for those wonderful women in our lives! We gathered some of our favorite and most popular gift ideas to inspire you to spoil all the women in your life...including you! :)</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Our favorite gift idea, by far is doing something similar to <strong><a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/a-mothers-day-tribute-to-you/" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/a-mothers-day-tribute-to-you/" target="_blank">this adorable (short) video</a> </strong>of kids answering questions about their moms.</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/a-mothers-day-tribute-to-you/" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/a-mothers-day-tribute-to-you/"><img alt="mothers day video pic" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-43395" height="300" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/mothers-day-video-pic.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/mothers-day-video-pic.jpg" width="600"></a><a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/a-mothers-day-tribute-to-you/" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/a-mothers-day-tribute-to-you/" target="_blank">Click over</a> for a guaranteed smile...so precious! Technology has made it easy and fun to capture stuff like this so you can have it forever, what a treasure. The PERFECT gift idea. This video is one you will want to share.</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> For the rest of our ideas, click on the title or photo for directions on how to make them. And don't worry, they are all simple enough to have ready to give for Mother's Day!</div> <h2 style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/3-12-window-box" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/3-12-window-box" target="_blank">$3.12 Classic Window Box</a></h2> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Make this beautiful window box. Don't be scared, it's really simple!</div> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/3-12-window-box" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/3-12-window-box"><img alt="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" class="alignnone" height="400" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/1Flower-Box-055.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/1Flower-Box-055.jpg" title="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" width="600"></a> <br> <h2 style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/silk-pillowcase-homemade-beauty-sleep/" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/silk-pillowcase-homemade-beauty-sleep/" target="_blank">The Can't Sleep Without It Silk Pillowcase</a></h2> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> After you make and give one of these, the receiver will wonder how she slept without it.</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/silk-pillowcase-homemade-beauty-sleep/" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/silk-pillowcase-homemade-beauty-sleep/"><img alt="lara silk pillowcase (16)" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-27300" height="400" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/lara-silk-pillowcase-16.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/lara-silk-pillowcase-16.jpg" width="600"></a></div> <h2 style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/diy-all-natural-lip-balm-hard-lotion-doterra-giveaway/" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/diy-all-natural-lip-balm-hard-lotion-doterra-giveaway/" target="_blank">All Natural Lip Balm or Hard Lotion</a></h2> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Try this lip balm, you will never go back to buying it...and you can do it super fast!</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/diy-all-natural-lip-balm-hard-lotion-doterra-giveaway/" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/diy-all-natural-lip-balm-hard-lotion-doterra-giveaway/"><img alt="missy doterra lip balm (1)" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-27534" height="400" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/missy-doterra-lip-balm-1.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/missy-doterra-lip-balm-1.jpg" width="600"></a></div> <h2 style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/30-minute-button-necklace" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/30-minute-button-necklace">30 Minute Button Necklace</a></h2> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> This is a perfect way to customize the perfect gift for your mother, find her favorite colored buttons and string them together in less than 30 minutes. She'll think of you every time she wears it! (This is a great one for the kids to do too!)</div> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/30-minute-button-necklace" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/30-minute-button-necklace"><img alt="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" class="alignnone" height="400" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_9451-copy.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_9451-copy.jpg" title="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" width="600"></a> <br> <h2 style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/friend-board" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/friend-board">Admiration Subway Board</a></h2> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> What a beautiful way to share positive words that express your sincere thoughts about that special woman in your life.</div> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/friend-board" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/friend-board"><img alt="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" class="alignnone" height="400" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/friend-050-f.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/friend-050-f.jpg" title="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" width="600"></a> <br> <h2 style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/give-mom-a-jar-of-sunshine-this-year" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/give-mom-a-jar-of-sunshine-this-year">Love-Note Jar of Sunshine</a></h2> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> How about a jar full of treats and love notes to lift someone's spirits both inside and out!</div> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/give-mom-a-jar-of-sunshine-this-year" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/give-mom-a-jar-of-sunshine-this-year"><img alt="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" class="alignnone" height="400" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/jarofsunshine-may2012-12.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/jarofsunshine-may2012-12.jpg" title="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" width="600"></a> <br> <h2 style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> </h2> <h2 style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/mothers-day-gift-idea-money" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/mothers-day-gift-idea-money">Green Thank You Bundle</a></h2> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> What's better than a bunch of thank you notes mixed in a bunch of green bills? Yeah...I don't know either. ;)</div> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/mothers-day-gift-idea-money" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/mothers-day-gift-idea-money"><img alt="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" class="alignnone" height="400" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/money-082.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/money-082.jpg" title="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" width="600"></a> <br> <h2 style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/mothers-day-gift-ideas2" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/mothers-day-gift-ideas2">"Forever Lasting" Seeded Paper Flowers</a></h2> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Why not make her beautiful flowers that will last forever rather than buy the ones that will soon fade away?</div> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/mothers-day-gift-ideas2" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/mothers-day-gift-ideas2"><img alt="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" class="alignnone" height="400" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/thank-you-101.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/thank-you-101.jpg" title="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" width="600"></a> <br> <h2 style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/holiday-giftdecor-ideas" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/holiday-giftdecor-ideas">Magnetic Paint Photo Board</a></h2> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> This sweet magnetic board can double as a photo frame or a reminders board. Add a photo you know they will love to the board, tie a ribbon around it, and you have an instant meaningful gift that they can change up over time.</div> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/holiday-giftdecor-ideas" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/holiday-giftdecor-ideas"><img alt="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" class="alignnone" height="765" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/DSC_2542-copy.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/DSC_2542-copy.jpg" title="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" width="600"></a> <br> <h2 style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/grandmas-sweet-treats" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/grandmas-sweet-treats">Sweet Treats Jar</a></h2> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Add your mother's name, a little vinyl to a glass jar and you have an one-of-a-kind, personalized gift!</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/grandmas-sweet-treats" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/grandmas-sweet-treats"><img alt="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" class="aligncenter" height="750" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/gma-treats-5.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/gma-treats-5.jpg" title="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" width="500"></a></div> <h2 style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/gorgeous-book-box-tutorial" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/gorgeous-book-box-tutorial">Gorgeous, Secret, Book Box</a></h2> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> This book box would be so fun to personalize with color, photos, and meaningful trinkets inside for that special lady! Definitely a keepsake for the years to come...</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/gorgeous-book-box-tutorial" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/gorgeous-book-box-tutorial"><img alt="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" class="aligncenter" height="450" src="http://www.keylimedigitaldesigns.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/book2.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.keylimedigitaldesigns.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/book2.jpg" title="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" width="600"></a></div> <h2 style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/my-favorite-things-with-2x4s" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/my-favorite-things-with-2x4s">Stackable "My Favorite Things"</a></h2> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Put some of those old 2x4's to use and create this adorable 2x4 family craft!</div> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/my-favorite-things-with-2x4s" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/my-favorite-things-with-2x4s"><img alt="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" class="alignnone" height="400" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/my-favorite-things-stacked-1.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/my-favorite-things-stacked-1.jpg" title="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" width="600"></a> <br> <h2 style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/visual-journal-part-ii" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/visual-journal-part-ii">Visual Memory Journal</a></h2> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> This might take a little more planning than the others, but what a gift! Fill it with stories, memories, and love notes for that special someone!</div> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/visual-journal-part-ii" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/visual-journal-part-ii"><img alt="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" class="alignnone" height="400" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/vj6.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/vj6.jpg" title="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" width="600"></a> <br> <h2 style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/hello-therapeutic" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/hello-therapeutic">Therapeutic Hot/Cold Pack </a></h2> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> These are not only beautiful, but very useful and simple to make!</div> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/hello-therapeutic" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/hello-therapeutic"><img alt="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" class="alignnone" height="400" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/lara12.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/lara12.jpg" title="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" width="600"></a> <br> <h2 style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/fabric-covered-cork-board-frame" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/fabric-covered-cork-board-frame">Fabric Covered Cork Board Frame</a></h2> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> This project is also simple, yet beautiful and useful!</div> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/fabric-covered-cork-board-frame" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/fabric-covered-cork-board-frame"><img alt="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" class="alignnone" height="400" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_7998HDS600.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_7998HDS600.jpg" title="Handmade Mother's Day Gift Ideas" width="600"></a> <br> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Have fun giving these meaningful gifts and don't forget to make a couple for yourself...you deserve it. :)</div> <h1 style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Happy Mother's Day!</h1> DIY: Mother's Day Card http://www.tofw.com/DIY-Mothers-Day-Card-Liz-Love-Grows-Wild/s/829 http://www.tofw.com/DIY-Mothers-Day-Card-Liz-Love-Grows-Wild/s/829 Fri, 03 May 2013 00:49:00 -0600 <div> by Liz from Love Grows Wild <br /> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> Hi! My name is Liz Fourez, and I am the blogger behind <a href="http://www.lovegrowswild.com/" _mce_href="http://www.lovegrowswild.com/" target="_blank">Love Grows Wild</a>. I'm a mother of two boys, and when I'm not chasing my little super heroes, I love to cook and create. On my blog you'll find the creative crafts, beautiful home decor, and delicious recipes I make!&nbsp;</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> One of my favorite hobbies is creating handmade cards for people. I got into card making a few years ago, and not only is it a fun way to show my creative side, but I love the feeling of sending a personalized, meaningful card to someone. I don't know about you, but I think there is nothing more exciting than opening my mailbox to find a something fun inside (besides all those bills)! It's the perfect way to brighten someone's day!</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EpvFaPhh9LM/UXXTS8oWjqI/AAAAAAAAIgU/pp6Koevi-SE/s1600/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-1.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EpvFaPhh9LM/UXXTS8oWjqI/AAAAAAAAIgU/pp6Koevi-SE/s1600/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Mother's Day Card by Love Grows Wild for Time Out For Women" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EpvFaPhh9LM/UXXTS8oWjqI/AAAAAAAAIgU/pp6Koevi-SE/s640/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-1.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EpvFaPhh9LM/UXXTS8oWjqI/AAAAAAAAIgU/pp6Koevi-SE/s640/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-1.jpg" height="426" title="Mother's Day Card by Love Grows Wild for Time Out For Women" width="640"></a></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> Mother's Day is right around the corner, and I wanted to make some cards for the special women in my life. My Mom lives almost 6 hours away from us, and I miss her everyday. We talk on the phone all the time, but it's not the same as getting to see her, hug, her and spend time with her. I never would have known this in my teenage years, but my Mom really is my best friend!&nbsp;</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> Many holidays and special moments pass without getting to see each other, but I always try to let her know just how much she is loved and missed. And sending her a beautiful handmade card for Mother's Day will do just that!</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6edHXUes3e8/UXXTT512PEI/AAAAAAAAIg0/P16A5ok6Tto/s1600/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-4.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6edHXUes3e8/UXXTT512PEI/AAAAAAAAIg0/P16A5ok6Tto/s1600/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Mother's Day Card by Love Grows Wild for Time Out For Women" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6edHXUes3e8/UXXTT512PEI/AAAAAAAAIg0/P16A5ok6Tto/s640/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-4.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6edHXUes3e8/UXXTT512PEI/AAAAAAAAIg0/P16A5ok6Tto/s640/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-4.jpg" height="426" title="Mother's Day Card by Love Grows Wild for Time Out For Women" width="640"></a></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> I started with a plain white piece of card stock and folded it in half to create my card. Then I added a strip of yellow polka dot paper across the middle and tied some pink twine around the center. I cut a small tag shape from ivory card stock and used letter stamps to create the "happy mother's day" message. I also used another piece of pink twine to add a small bow to the tag. Adhesive foam squares made it easy to attach the tag to the card and gave it depth and dimension.&nbsp;</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-PciE3yonwTA/UXXTTH47AxI/AAAAAAAAIgg/wJvh3HVAlqw/s1600/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-3.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-PciE3yonwTA/UXXTTH47AxI/AAAAAAAAIgg/wJvh3HVAlqw/s1600/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Mother's Day Card by Love Grows Wild for Time Out For Women" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-PciE3yonwTA/UXXTTH47AxI/AAAAAAAAIgg/wJvh3HVAlqw/s640/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-3.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-PciE3yonwTA/UXXTTH47AxI/AAAAAAAAIgg/wJvh3HVAlqw/s640/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-3.jpg" height="426" title="Mother's Day Card by Love Grows Wild for Time Out For Women" width="640"></a></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> I love using sheet music or book pages on my cards, and I made a darling 3 dimensional flower with sheet music from an old piano book I have. It adds a vintage touch and lots of fun detail to the card!&nbsp;</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bLJGyCATDcc/UXXTT5wgllI/AAAAAAAAIg4/yGVs1BZ0kg8/s1600/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-5.jpg" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bLJGyCATDcc/UXXTT5wgllI/AAAAAAAAIg4/yGVs1BZ0kg8/s1600/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-5.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Mother's Day Card by Love Grows Wild for Time Out For Women" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bLJGyCATDcc/UXXTT5wgllI/AAAAAAAAIg4/yGVs1BZ0kg8/s640/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-5.jpg" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bLJGyCATDcc/UXXTT5wgllI/AAAAAAAAIg4/yGVs1BZ0kg8/s640/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-5.jpg" height="426" title="Mother's Day Card by Love Grows Wild for Time Out For Women" width="640"></a></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> To make the flower, I cut a bunch of wavy-edged circles with scissors in different sizes. I stacked them on top of each other from biggest to smallest and poked a brad through the center of the circles to hold them in place. Starting with the smallest circle, I folded the "petals" upward around the brad until I had a nice, full flower. I attached the flower to one side of the card with a white doily peeking up behind it. The most fun part of card making is all the layering! I didn't like the look of the gold brad in the middle of my flower, so I hot glued a white button on top and added two pink rhinestones over the button holes to match the pink twine.&nbsp;</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ufRWpLRUvPg/UXXTT8QLJOI/AAAAAAAAIgw/Kxl6p-MiAW4/s1600/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-6.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ufRWpLRUvPg/UXXTT8QLJOI/AAAAAAAAIgw/Kxl6p-MiAW4/s1600/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-6.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Mother's Day Card by Love Grows Wild for Time Out For Women" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ufRWpLRUvPg/UXXTT8QLJOI/AAAAAAAAIgw/Kxl6p-MiAW4/s640/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-6.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ufRWpLRUvPg/UXXTT8QLJOI/AAAAAAAAIgw/Kxl6p-MiAW4/s640/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-6.jpg" height="426" title="Mother's Day Card by Love Grows Wild for Time Out For Women" width="640"></a></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> In today's age of texting and Facebook, not many people still take the time to write letters or send thoughtful cards. So when I mail one of my handmade cards to someone, it makes me so happy to know how special it will make them feel. It's a great way to "fill your cup" as they say. Doing something good for others makes you feel good in return.&nbsp;</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-aciF1WCmZIE/UXXTTAMo1WI/AAAAAAAAIgc/A2zTN7Ug1VY/s1600/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-2.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-aciF1WCmZIE/UXXTTAMo1WI/AAAAAAAAIgc/A2zTN7Ug1VY/s1600/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Mother's Day Card by Love Grows Wild for Time Out For Women" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-aciF1WCmZIE/UXXTTAMo1WI/AAAAAAAAIgc/A2zTN7Ug1VY/s640/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-2.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-aciF1WCmZIE/UXXTTAMo1WI/AAAAAAAAIgc/A2zTN7Ug1VY/s640/Mother%2527s-Day-Card-2.jpg" height="426" title="Mother's Day Card by Love Grows Wild for Time Out For Women" width="640"></a></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> Happy Mother's Day to all you beautiful mothers out there!&nbsp;</div> DIY: Inspiration Wall http://www.tofw.com/DIY-Inspiration-Wall-Adrienne-Free-Time-Frolics/s/826 http://www.tofw.com/DIY-Inspiration-Wall-Adrienne-Free-Time-Frolics/s/826 Wed, 24 Apr 2013 01:32:00 -0600 <div> by Adrienne from Free Time Frolics <br /> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> On conference&nbsp;weekend, I was sewing up a project when my daughter came in and asked if she could play with some fabric. I told her that would be fine. She&nbsp;promptly&nbsp;went to the scrap bucket and pulled a few&nbsp;pieces out. She&nbsp;pretended to iron and pin them to my dress form to make her own dress. I told her I was happy to have her in my craft room. Her reply stopped me in my tracks. &nbsp;</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> "I want to do everything you do, Mom. I want to be just like you."</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> Her whole life has been spent with a creative mother. Even the sound of my sewing machine when I was pregnant with her calmed her in my belly. She is my little Muse.</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> The experience started me thinking, who were my examples? &nbsp;What did they teach me? &nbsp;My whole life I have been surrounded by strong women, amazing friends, strong leaders, and a wonderful family.</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-tA7cPwUcpjg/UWTjV_YnrLI/AAAAAAAAIaA/Aqh4F4EYBPo/s1600/generations+collage.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-tA7cPwUcpjg/UWTjV_YnrLI/AAAAAAAAIaA/Aqh4F4EYBPo/s1600/generations+collage.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-tA7cPwUcpjg/UWTjV_YnrLI/AAAAAAAAIaA/Aqh4F4EYBPo/s640/generations+collage.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-tA7cPwUcpjg/UWTjV_YnrLI/AAAAAAAAIaA/Aqh4F4EYBPo/s640/generations+collage.jpg" width="462"></a></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> These women taught me to love, to give service, to create, and to be myself. &nbsp;To stand up for what I believe in and to make good choices. I am so grateful for their love and support of my choices!</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> Which makes me think about my own daughter.</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> What kind of example am I setting for her?</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> What am I teaching her?&nbsp;</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> Am I teaching her to live higher?</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> I want her to be proud of herself and her choices. I want her to know that I will always love her and everything about her! &nbsp;To help reinforce this in my home I created an inspiration wall for her to look at. I was inspired by a talk by Hillary Weeks at Time Out for Women.&nbsp;Thinking positive words about yourself creates happiness. It boosts our self esteem. To help her get a daily boost of positive reinforcement I created this wall of inspirational thoughts.&nbsp;</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> I started with a few funky wooden frames and paint. Next I added a few thoughts or sayings I love.</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5sejCfTnm9w/UXWDG3850XI/AAAAAAAAEzM/jG3nuRYbMP4/s1600/inspirationwallwords.jpg" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5sejCfTnm9w/UXWDG3850XI/AAAAAAAAEzM/jG3nuRYbMP4/s1600/inspirationwallwords.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5sejCfTnm9w/UXWDG3850XI/AAAAAAAAEzM/jG3nuRYbMP4/s640/inspirationwallwords.jpg" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5sejCfTnm9w/UXWDG3850XI/AAAAAAAAEzM/jG3nuRYbMP4/s640/inspirationwallwords.jpg" width="640"></a></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.freetimefrolics.com/2013/04/girls-inspiration-collage-wall-free.html" _mce_href="http://www.freetimefrolics.com/2013/04/girls-inspiration-collage-wall-free.html">Girls Inspiration Wall</a>&nbsp;(find printables here!)</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> With that and a few added details my wall was complete. Right now she can not read. She just sees me doing something for her and she loves it. I love creating things for her. Her eyes brighten up like stars. I never want her to lose that.</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div class="sidebar section" id="sidebar-right-1"> <div class="widget HTML" id="HTML2"> <div class="widget-content"> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Pmo5HklL9Vk/UW4fbNEAyaI/AAAAAAAAI0I/Il2OM4NZb_k/s1600/family+2012.jpg" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Pmo5HklL9Vk/UW4fbNEAyaI/AAAAAAAAI0I/Il2OM4NZb_k/s1600/family+2012.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Pmo5HklL9Vk/UW4fbNEAyaI/AAAAAAAAI0I/Il2OM4NZb_k/s320/family+2012.jpg" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Pmo5HklL9Vk/UW4fbNEAyaI/AAAAAAAAI0I/Il2OM4NZb_k/s320/family+2012.jpg" width="320"></a><i>Adrienne and her husband met in a Singles ward 14 years ago. She is the mother of 4 Crazy, beautiful children. Before&nbsp;becoming&nbsp;a stay at home mom she graduated from Utah State University and enjoyed a career as a flight attendant traveling all over the world. She has been sewing and creating since she was 6 years old. She is the owner of <a href="https://www.etsy.com/shop/cosettescloset" _mce_href="https://www.etsy.com/shop/cosettescloset">Cosette's Closet</a> a sewing pattern company for children's clothing. &nbsp;She blogs over at <a href="http://www.freetimefrolics.com/" _mce_href="http://www.freetimefrolics.com/">Free Time Frolics</a> where she shares her creativity and Inspiration through recipes, DIY, and sewing.</i> &nbsp;</div> </div> </div> </div> </div> Cooking with Kiddos: Easy Orange Dinner Rolls http://www.tofw.com/Cooking-Kiddos-Easy-Orange-Dinner-Rolls-Kimberly-Five-Little-Chefs/s/818 http://www.tofw.com/Cooking-Kiddos-Easy-Orange-Dinner-Rolls-Kimberly-Five-Little-Chefs/s/818 Tue, 09 Apr 2013 00:40:00 -0600 <div> by Kimberly from Five Little Chefs <br /> </div> <a href="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/easyorangedinnerrolls.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/easyorangedinnerrolls.jpg" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="easyorangedinnerrolls" class="size-medium wp-image-2483 aligncenter" src="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/easyorangedinnerrolls-199x300.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/easyorangedinnerrolls-199x300.jpg" height="400" width="265"></a><br> <i>We love how this blogger works to combine two important things: spending time with family and preparing dinner. It can be tricky to involve little ones in food prep, but Kimberly from Five Little Chefs shares an easy and yummy recipe and some great suggestions for spending time with the kiddos in the kitchen.&nbsp;</i><br> <br> Hi! I'm Kimberly from <a href="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/" _mce_href="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/" target="_blank">Five Little Chefs</a>. Sunday means family dinner with our immediate family, extended family or friends. No matter how many we are cooking for, a staple for our Sunday dinner is rolls. We have a couple different types of dinner rolls we try to alternate. Some are homemade while others are not.<br> <br> In our home, my Little Chefs are the ones who like to help or make the meal with supervision depending on their age and ability. <a href="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/" _mce_href="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/" target="_blank">Five Little Chefs</a> is all about their experiences cooking and creating. Sometimes we are successful but other times we are not. My Little Chefs love to share those memories-the good and the bad over and over again! That is how I really know they are enjoying this journey!<br> <br> &nbsp;If you are looking for something a little different and easy for your Little Chefs to cook, try our delicious Easy Orange Dinner Rolls. This is a great recipe for all Little Chefs because the skills required are not technical.<br> <br> The first step is to make the orange sugar. In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup white sugar with the zest of an entire orange. My Little Chefs discovered it is easier to use team work. One holds onto the microplane while another zests the orange while another watches waiting for her turn.<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/gratingorangepeel.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/gratingorangepeel.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="gratingorangepeel" class="aligncenter" src="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/gratingorangepeel-300x199.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/gratingorangepeel-300x199.jpg" height="199" width="300"></a></div> &nbsp; <br> &nbsp;Next you will need kitchen scissors, which is a great tool for Little Chefs. They are much easier to control and safer to use than a knife. Try cutting lettuce, herbs, chicken or defrosted rolls to see for yourself. Little Chef D cut the defrosted roll down the middle with kitchen scissors almost all the way through. Cut cross-wise one half at a time to make four almost separate mini rolls. Remember to cut almost to the bottom, but not quite. This will make it easy to pull apart after cooking as well as allowing the orange sugar to coat the dinner roll more completely. <br> <br> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/cuttingrolls.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/cuttingrolls.jpg"><img alt="cuttingrolls" src="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/cuttingrolls-199x300.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/cuttingrolls-199x300.jpg" height="300" width="199"></a>&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/cutrolls.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/cutrolls.jpg"><img alt="cutrolls" src="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/cutrolls-300x199.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/cutrolls-300x199.jpg" height="199" width="300"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <br></div> Using one roll at a time, dip the top of the roll into the melted butter. You can dunk it completely in the butter, but we found it was easier to dunk only the tops to have a place to hold on to. The dough can become a little slippery when completely covered in butter!<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/butter.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/butter.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="butter" class="aligncenter" src="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/butter-300x199.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/butter-300x199.jpg" height="199" width="300"></a></div> &nbsp; <br> <br> &nbsp;Next, dip the buttered roll into the orange sugar and cover as completely as possible. The butter will make the orange sugar stick like magic to the roll which is fun for the Little Chefs to watch. Place in a greased muffin tin<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/orangesugar1.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/orangesugar1.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="orangesugar" class="aligncenter" src="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/orangesugar1-300x199.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/orangesugar1-300x199.jpg" height="199" width="300"></a></div> <br> Bake according to package. Enjoy!<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/easyorangerolls.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/easyorangerolls.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="easyorangerolls" class="aligncenter" src="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/easyorangerolls-300x199.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/easyorangerolls-300x199.jpg" height="199" width="300"></a></div> &nbsp; <br> While this might be a dinner roll, it is also a fun after school snack because it is quick to make. If you want to make it a dessert roll, add a drizzle of orange glaze or premade cream cheese frosting to the top after baking.<br> <br> Cooking with your Little Chefs is a memorable and fun experience. Easy Orange Dinner Rolls is a great starter recipe if you want to try cooking with your children or grandchildren. My Little Chefs will always eat whatever they cook because they are proud of their accomplishment. Because I let them choose their recipes they are able to experience new foods and flavors even I would not have chosen. I have discovered they will be adventurous with their food if I regularly give them the opportunity. Give your Little Chefs the opportunity to expand their culinary skills and taste buds by letting them help out in the kitchen.<br> <br> &nbsp;Easy Orange Dinner Rolls Five Little Chefs - fivelittlechefs.com Ingredients <br> <ul> <li>frozen dinner rolls</li> <li>1/2 cup sugar</li> <li>1 orange</li> <li>butter, melted</li> </ul> Directions <br> <ol> <li>Preheat oven to temperature on frozen dinner roll package.</li> <li>Defrost dinner rolls.</li> <li>Combine sugar and orange zest.</li> <li>Cut each defrosted dinner roll in the pattern of a "+" almost all the way through.</li> <li>Dip each dinner roll in melted butter, then into orange sugar.</li> <li>Place in greased muffin tin.</li> <li>Bake according to package directions.</li> </ol> <div> <br></div> The Power of Positive and a Grilled Cheese Sandwich http://www.tofw.com/Power-Positive-Grilled-Cheese-Sandwich-Traci-Wennerholm/s/815 http://www.tofw.com/Power-Positive-Grilled-Cheese-Sandwich-Traci-Wennerholm/s/815 Thu, 04 Apr 2013 00:54:00 -0600 <div> by Traci Wennerholm <br /> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ExpuoiwJzSQ/UVtRVHa1koI/AAAAAAAAEu8/mdI52-gTww0/s1600/labels.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ExpuoiwJzSQ/UVtRVHa1koI/AAAAAAAAEu8/mdI52-gTww0/s1600/labels.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ExpuoiwJzSQ/UVtRVHa1koI/AAAAAAAAEu8/mdI52-gTww0/s1600/labels.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ExpuoiwJzSQ/UVtRVHa1koI/AAAAAAAAEu8/mdI52-gTww0/s1600/labels.jpg" width="265"></a></div> As a woman I carry many badges that others can see. Mother. Wife. Student. Business Owner. Employee. Cook. Runner. Okay, more like long distance 'slightly faster than a turtle" jogger, but that's too long for a badge. These badges don't necessarily define me, but they do help explain me and who I am. It's the badges that others don't see that can weigh me down. The stress of mounting medical bills, the vet bill, the trip to the ER with my husband who has Type 1 diabetes. The stress caused by those internal badges are the things that others can't always see but still weigh me down.<br> <br> <div class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <br></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> I'm often asked with everything on my plate from jobs in my church to driving carpool to trying to get a new recipe written and up on the blog or a paper written for school how I can handle everything. I do get tired, I do feel burdened down at times, I get overwhelmed and sometimes the road just seems hard and the only thing left to do is take a minute to cry. But I've learned one thing:<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <br></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <i>The Power of Positive is Everything.</i><o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <br></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> I didn't grow up with parents who were positive. In fact, a lot of things in my home especially during my teen years were negative. I knew that I didn't want to live that way, but I didn't have the necessary tools to know where to look to change. So I started looking for examples outside of my home. As I got older and became a parent, I just started noticing that some people just "got it." They had huge trials being thrown their way, and yet they just seemed to sail through them. I wanted to learn what the trick was and how I could be more that way. I learned that positive thinking and actions were crucial to change.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <br></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> Do you notice that when you are crabby the whole family is crabbier? The kids fight more, and everything seems to keep you in a sour mood. Negative attitudes seem to breed more negative attitudes. I have a lot in my life that I could be negative about. But I choose not to be.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <br></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> If you are struggling it can be hard to find the positive when everything around you seems negative. Start by smiling. Just do it. Once you got that down, look for the positive in your life. Write in a journal every night those things that you are grateful for <i>from that day</i>. Focus on eating well and exercising. A simple walk around the block helps so much. In fact, many companies now have indoor soccer, basketball, and ping pong tables set up for employees. There has proven to be higher productivity and creativeness from employees who regularly take a break and engage in physical activity. Find opportunities to serve. I found that by serving others I didn't focus on myself as much. There were others that I was surrounded by who were struggling with much more.&nbsp;</div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-o3saGUXo3hw/UV33jlg2skI/AAAAAAAAEvk/qIxvu9lP0c4/s1600/sandwichsquarewords.jpg" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-o3saGUXo3hw/UV33jlg2skI/AAAAAAAAEvk/qIxvu9lP0c4/s1600/sandwichsquarewords.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-o3saGUXo3hw/UV33jlg2skI/AAAAAAAAEvk/qIxvu9lP0c4/s320/sandwichsquarewords.jpg" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-o3saGUXo3hw/UV33jlg2skI/AAAAAAAAEvk/qIxvu9lP0c4/s320/sandwichsquarewords.jpg" width="320"></a></div> In honor of grilled cheese month and the Live Higher Challenge to CREATE, I've made a delicious fruit filled grilled cheese sandwich. It's a perfect meal anytime of the day and you can change it depending on what fruits are in season. Creating, in any form, can summon positive thoughts and feelings.&nbsp;</div> <div class="MsoNormal"> </div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <br></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> Fruit Filled Grilled Cheese Sandwich</div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <br></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> 2 pieces whole wheat bread</div> <div class="MsoNormal"> 1 oz (1-2 tbsp) reduced fat cream cheese</div> <div class="MsoNormal"> 1-2 tbsp organic strawberry jam</div> <div class="MsoNormal"> Fruit of your choice: Blackberries, blueberries, or strawberries (I used blackberries this time)</div> <div class="MsoNormal"> Butter, softened</div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <br></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> Heat a large pan or griddle to medium high heat. Butter one side of each slice of bread evenly. Spread an even layer of cream cheese on the non buttered side of bread. Top with a small layer of jam. Slice and assemble fresh fruit evenly over the top of the jam. Place sandwich together. Grill on each side of sandwich for approximately two minutes or until bread becomes golden brown. Flip sandwich and grill on the other side. Remove sandwich from heat, cut and enjoy while warm.</div> <div> <br></div> <br> <div class="MsoNormal"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Yjrb7_t6ftE/UVtQoaoX5jI/AAAAAAAAEu0/f1qA_qWtQms/s1600/traciburntapple.jpg" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Yjrb7_t6ftE/UVtQoaoX5jI/AAAAAAAAEu0/f1qA_qWtQms/s1600/traciburntapple.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Yjrb7_t6ftE/UVtQoaoX5jI/AAAAAAAAEu0/f1qA_qWtQms/s1600/traciburntapple.jpg" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Yjrb7_t6ftE/UVtQoaoX5jI/AAAAAAAAEu0/f1qA_qWtQms/s1600/traciburntapple.jpg" width="199"></a></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> Traci is the author of <a href="http://burntapple.com/" _mce_href="http://burntapple.com/">BurntApple.com</a>, a blog that includes healthy recipes, lots of great desserts, and talking about what life is like living with a husband with Type 1 diabetes. She also throws in some crafts and advice from time to time. She is a mom to three kids, two dogs, loves jogging, and is currently studying to become a counselor.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></div> Peeps Bouquet http://www.tofw.com/Peeps-Bouquet-Heidi-Honeybear-Lane/s/807 http://www.tofw.com/Peeps-Bouquet-Heidi-Honeybear-Lane/s/807 Tue, 26 Mar 2013 00:20:00 -0600 <div> by Heidi from Honeybear Lane <br /> </div> <br> <div class="MsoNormal"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4yHpEybPx5E/UVNPnOSAK5I/AAAAAAAAEsE/B9KXb-L-nMU/s1600/heidi.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4yHpEybPx5E/UVNPnOSAK5I/AAAAAAAAEsE/B9KXb-L-nMU/s1600/heidi.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4yHpEybPx5E/UVNPnOSAK5I/AAAAAAAAEsE/B9KXb-L-nMU/s1600/heidi.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4yHpEybPx5E/UVNPnOSAK5I/AAAAAAAAEsE/B9KXb-L-nMU/s1600/heidi.jpg"></a></span></div> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><i><span style="line-height: 115%;" _mce_style="line-height: 115%;">Easter is right around the corner, and at least in our little corner of the world, it looks like Spring might finally show up! It's a great time to live a little higher by showing some extra love or remembering to say thank you to a dear friend in a fun way. This featured blogger shares a creative-and easy-way to do just that.</span></i></span><br> <div class="MsoNormal"> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><o:p></o:p></span></div> <br> <br> Hello! I'm Heidi from the creative blog <a href="http://www.honeybearlane.com/" _mce_href="http://www.honeybearlane.com/">Honeybear Lane.</a> I started it as an <a href="https://www.etsy.com/shop/HoneybearLane?ref=si_shop" _mce_href="https://www.etsy.com/shop/HoneybearLane?ref=si_shop">Etsy shop to sell my puff quilts</a>, but shortly after discovered my love for sharing creative tutorials with all of you! I blog about crafts, sewing, quilting, cooking, home DIY and decorating, holidays, and pretty much everything I love. I am also a mom to three little ones who are adorable and keep me very busy--just the way I like it! I'd love for you to visit my blog, <a href="http://www.honeybearlane.com/" _mce_href="http://www.honeybearlane.com/">www.honeybearlane.com</a>, and say hello! <br> <br> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> Today I'm sharing with you a very easy Easter gift idea. Easter seems like the time when all of the kids get Easter baskets full of goodies, but what about the rest of us? There is always a reason to give a little something extra to the loved ones in your life, or even as a way of saying "thank you" to anyone at all who has helped you out or lifted you up. Plus it's cute!&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://s245.photobucket.com/user/h2orem/media/EasterPeepsBouquet_zps05711b1c.jpg.html" _mce_href="http://s245.photobucket.com/user/h2orem/media/EasterPeepsBouquet_zps05711b1c.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img alt="Easter Peeps Bouquet" border="0" class="aligncenter" src="http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg43/h2orem/EasterPeepsBouquet_zps05711b1c.jpg" _mce_src="http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg43/h2orem/EasterPeepsBouquet_zps05711b1c.jpg" height="717" style="border: 0px;" _mce_style="border: 0px;" title="Easter Peeps Bouquet" width="477"></a></div> <br> &nbsp; <span style="text-decoration: underline;" _mce_style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Supplies:</strong></span> <br> <ul> <li>Peeps Marshmallows</li> <li>Colored chocolate melts</li> <li>Skewers</li> <li>Floral Foam</li> <li>Small container</li> <li>Easter paper grass</li> </ul> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://s245.photobucket.com/user/h2orem/media/HowtomakeaPeepsBouquet_zpsda7d566c.jpg.html" _mce_href="http://s245.photobucket.com/user/h2orem/media/HowtomakeaPeepsBouquet_zpsda7d566c.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img alt="Easter Peeps Bouquet" border="0" class="aligncenter" src="http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg43/h2orem/HowtomakeaPeepsBouquet_zpsda7d566c.jpg" _mce_src="http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg43/h2orem/HowtomakeaPeepsBouquet_zpsda7d566c.jpg" height="614" style="border: 0px;" _mce_style="border: 0px;" title="Easter Peeps Bouquet" width="546"></a></div> <br> First, I melted the chocolates in the microwave by cooking for 1 minute, then stirring, then cooking for every 30 second intervals and stirring until it's fully melted and combined. I had broken the skewers in half and pushed them into the Peeps (I got the Peeps bunnies). Then I dipped the Peeps into the chocolate on both sides and let it harden on some wax paper. I refrigerated them so the chocolate could set fully. I didn't cover all the Peeps in chocolate because the blue ones were so pretty. :) To make the base for your bouquet, I used the top of my container (a small pastel bucket from a craft store) to make an indentation in my floral foam (which you can also find at any craft store and it's not very expensive.) Then I used a knife to carve around the circle shape and made it slightly smaller than the circle so it would fit well inside the bucket. There should be about an inch or so of room between the foam and the top of the container. The rest is easy: Just place your skewered Peeps into the foam! You might have to shorten some of the skewers by breaking it further. Put the longest ones in the back and the shortest in the front. Push them pretty close to the foam so you can't see the skewers. <br> <br> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> Then fill in the extra space with the Easter grass. I used a skewer to shove it in the small spaces to make a nice, full bouquet. Then you can add a cute little tag on the handle or another skewer as well.&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://s245.photobucket.com/user/h2orem/media/EasterMarshmallowBouquet_zpsbd3cfd50.jpg.html" _mce_href="http://s245.photobucket.com/user/h2orem/media/EasterMarshmallowBouquet_zpsbd3cfd50.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img alt="Easter Peeps Bouquet" border="0" class="aligncenter" src="http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg43/h2orem/EasterMarshmallowBouquet_zpsbd3cfd50.jpg" _mce_src="http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg43/h2orem/EasterMarshmallowBouquet_zpsbd3cfd50.jpg" height="395" style="border: 0px;" _mce_style="border: 0px;" title="Easter Peeps Bouquet" width="540"></a></div> <br> I gave these fun treats to the church class I teach and they loved them! I'm super excited to celebrate Easter with my own family...what traditions do you have? I'd love to hear! Don't forget to stop by <a href="http://www.honeybearlane.com/" _mce_href="http://www.honeybearlane.com/">Honeybear Lane</a> and say hello! Shine http://www.tofw.com/Shine-Ashley-Flats-Flip-Flops/s/803 http://www.tofw.com/Shine-Ashley-Flats-Flip-Flops/s/803 Tue, 19 Mar 2013 00:24:00 -0600 <div> by Ashley from Flats to Flip Flops <br /> </div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gn7KvAH8KZ4/UUc-veEKXDI/AAAAAAAAHLw/hojm3p3PBfg/s1600/100_2705.JPG" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gn7KvAH8KZ4/UUc-veEKXDI/AAAAAAAAHLw/hojm3p3PBfg/s1600/100_2705.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gn7KvAH8KZ4/UUc-veEKXDI/AAAAAAAAHLw/hojm3p3PBfg/s400/100_2705.JPG" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gn7KvAH8KZ4/UUc-veEKXDI/AAAAAAAAHLw/hojm3p3PBfg/s400/100_2705.JPG" height="300" width="400"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <br></div> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">After I had my first baby, my whole world changed.</span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">It was all no sleep, late night feedings, spit up and dirty diapers.</span><br> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">This little guy's eyes, little toesies and kissable cheeks melted me on the spot.</span><br> <span style="font-family: &quot;Courier New&quot;, Courier, monospace; font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Courier New&quot;, Courier, monospace; font-size: large;"> </span><span style="font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-size: large;"><i><span style="font-family: &quot;Courier New&quot;, Courier, monospace;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Courier New&quot;, Courier, monospace;">&nbsp;</span></i></span><br> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><i>I was now a mom.</i></span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">That was my new identity. We had spent 4 years trying desperately to get this baby here and now I wasn't really sure what that meant for me.</span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">What was "a mom" supposed to do?</span><br> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">What was "a mom" suppo<i>s</i>ed to say?</span><br> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">How was a "a mom" supposed to act?&nbsp;</span><br> <span style="font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-size: large;"><br></span> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">And most importantly in my life:&nbsp;</span><br> <span style="font-family: &quot;Courier New&quot;, Courier, monospace; font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Courier New&quot;, Courier, monospace; font-size: large;">&nbsp; </span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><i>What was "a mom" supposed to wear?</i></span><br> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><br> As vain as it sounds (and I know it sounds vain), clothes and fashion were always an outlet for me.&nbsp; Maybe a little too much so as I used this passion to fill the void of not being able to have a baby. But crafting, decorating, and baking? These were just never my things. Believe me, I tried. Putting together outfits? This was my creative process. My chance to create.</span><br> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><br></span> <i><span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;">-President Uchtdorf (Nov 2008)</span></span></i><br> <span style="font-family: &quot;Courier New&quot;, Courier, monospace; font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Courier New&quot;, Courier, monospace; font-size: large;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-size: large;"><i><span style="font-family: &quot;Courier New&quot;, Courier, monospace;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Courier New&quot;, Courier, monospace;"> </span></i></span></div> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">But in the midst of a changing body and raging hormones, I had lost that girl. The girl with the passion for clothes.</span><br> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">In truth, I was kind of lost and overwhelmed with this new identity of mom. A good day back then was just being able to take a shower.</span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <div> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><br> Looking back now? I now know it's normal and ok. And the word lost doesn't seem quite right.&nbsp; Different is probably better.</span><br> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><br> I wasn't lost, I was just different now. In a good way. And that girl that loved fashion?&nbsp; She eventually came back, just in a new (and better) form. Now my passion is blogging. Not only <a href="http://flatstoflipflops.com/" _mce_href="http://flatstoflipflops.com/">blogging</a>, but blogging about modest fashion for the everyday woman.&nbsp; For that mom that needs a little extra inspiration to get out of bed and get dressed.</span><br> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">Know what I figured out?</span></div> <div> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">&nbsp;<i>&nbsp;</i></span><br> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><i>I was a mom, but I was me too.&nbsp;</i></span></div> <div> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><br></span></div> <div> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><a href="http://flatstoflipflops.com/" _mce_href="http://flatstoflipflops.com/">My blog</a> has become an extension of that a-ha moment.</span><br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-f_gudwLv1oQ/UUdEMAwCUHI/AAAAAAAAHL4/RiN8YttWo08/s1600/200x300-1.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-f_gudwLv1oQ/UUdEMAwCUHI/AAAAAAAAHL4/RiN8YttWo08/s1600/200x300-1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-f_gudwLv1oQ/UUdEMAwCUHI/AAAAAAAAHL4/RiN8YttWo08/s1600/200x300-1.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-f_gudwLv1oQ/UUdEMAwCUHI/AAAAAAAAHL4/RiN8YttWo08/s1600/200x300-1.jpg"></a></div> <br> <div> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">I know all too well what it feels like to feel sad and ugly and fat and to not really even want to be seen.&nbsp; Sadly, I think a lot of us fall into that trap<i>.</i></span></div> <div> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><br> We shouldn't.</span></div> <div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5CKuiFp5I-8/UUjMdtcNuQI/AAAAAAAAEoQ/nMdbzIxhMXc/s1600/week03_18_13.png" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5CKuiFp5I-8/UUjMdtcNuQI/AAAAAAAAEoQ/nMdbzIxhMXc/s1600/week03_18_13.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5CKuiFp5I-8/UUjMdtcNuQI/AAAAAAAAEoQ/nMdbzIxhMXc/s1600/week03_18_13.png" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5CKuiFp5I-8/UUjMdtcNuQI/AAAAAAAAEoQ/nMdbzIxhMXc/s1600/week03_18_13.png" height="320" width="274"></a></div> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><br> We are women. We are moms. We are daughters, and sisters, and wives.</span></div> <div> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">We should be happy and want to be seen.</span></div> <div> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">Because we are incredible, if I do say so myself.</span></div> <div> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">We shouldn't shrink and hide.</span></div> <div> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><b><i>We should shine.</i></b></span><br> <br> <div class=""> <i><span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">You might say, “I’m not the creative type. When I sing, I’m always half a tone above or below the note. I cannot draw a line without a ruler. And the only practical use for my homemade bread is as a paperweight or as a doorstop.”</span></i></div> <i><span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"> If that is how you feel, think again, and remember that you are spirit daughters of the most creative Being in the universe.</span></i></div> <div> <i><span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">&nbsp;If you still feel incapable of creating, start small. Try to see how many smiles you can create, write a letter of appreciation, learn a new skill, identify a space and beautify it.&nbsp; <span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;">President Uchtdorf(Nov 2008)</span></span></i></div> <div> <br> <div> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">Whether you create thru your clothes, your work, your children, your craftiness or any other talent you might possess. </span></div> <div> <span style="font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-size: large;"><br></span> <span style="font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-size: large;"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;Courier New&quot;, Courier, monospace;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Courier New&quot;, Courier, monospace;"><i>PLEASE SHINE.</i></span></b></span><br> <span style="font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-size: large;"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;Courier New&quot;, Courier, monospace;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Courier New&quot;, Courier, monospace;"><i><span style="font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-size: large;">PLEA<span style="font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-size: large;">SE CREATE.</span></span></i></span></b></span><br> <br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0bf-KiVvE88/UUdFzjEHORI/AAAAAAAAHMA/e9i8AKDBf2I/s1600/Up+Close+Head+Shot.jpg" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0bf-KiVvE88/UUdFzjEHORI/AAAAAAAAHMA/e9i8AKDBf2I/s1600/Up+Close+Head+Shot.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0bf-KiVvE88/UUdFzjEHORI/AAAAAAAAHMA/e9i8AKDBf2I/s320/Up+Close+Head+Shot.jpg" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0bf-KiVvE88/UUdFzjEHORI/AAAAAAAAHMA/e9i8AKDBf2I/s320/Up+Close+Head+Shot.jpg" height="320" width="212"></a></div> <span style="font-family: inherit;" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><b><i><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;">A<span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;">shley Stallings is a self pre<span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;">scribed diet coke and c<span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;">h<span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;">ocolate addict, wife, and momma to 2!&nbsp; She</span></span></span> blogs over at <a href="http://flatstoflipflops.com/" _mce_href="http://flatstoflipflops.com/">f</a><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><a href="http://flatstoflipflops.com/" _mce_href="http://flatstoflipflops.com/">lats to flip</a><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><a href="http://flatstoflipflops.com/" _mce_href="http://flatstoflipflops.com/"> flops</a> about fashion, faith<span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;">, a<span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;">nd philanthropy<span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;">.&nbsp; Modest fashion for the everyday wom<span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;">an and sharing her mommy moments is something she is passiona<span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;">te about.&nbsp; She is al<span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;">so the author <span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;">of the Ebook, <a href="http://www.flatstoflipflops.com/p/my-ebook.html" _mce_href="http://www.flatstoflipflops.com/p/my-ebook.html">Discovering Your Style in 7 Da</a><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><a href="http://www.flatstoflipflops.com/p/my-ebook.html" _mce_href="http://www.flatstoflipflops.com/p/my-ebook.html">ys</a><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><a href="http://www.flatstoflipflops.com/p/my-ebook.html" _mce_href="http://www.flatstoflipflops.com/p/my-ebook.html"> or Less</a> and is co<span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;">-founder of <a href="http://www.thehudsonfoundation.com/" _mce_href="http://www.thehudsonfoundation.com/">T</a><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><a href="http://www.thehudsonfoundation.com/" _mce_href="http://www.thehudsonfoundation.com/">he H</a><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><a href="http://www.thehudsonfoundation.com/" _mce_href="http://www.thehudsonfoundation.com/">uds</a><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><a href="http://www.thehudsonfoundation.com/" _mce_href="http://www.thehudsonfoundation.com/">on Foundation</a>, a non profi<span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;">t char<span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;">ity that helps give hope to couples struggling with infertility.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></i></b></span><b><i>&nbsp;</i></b><br> <span style="font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-size: large;"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;Courier New&quot;, Courier, monospace;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Courier New&quot;, Courier, monospace;"><i><span style="font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></i></span></b></span><b><i> </i></b></div> </div> </div> </div> Swap It Up! http://www.tofw.com/Swap-Megan-Brassy-Apple/s/800 http://www.tofw.com/Swap-Megan-Brassy-Apple/s/800 Wed, 13 Mar 2013 11:06:00 -0600 <div> by Megan from Brassy Apple <br /> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9HDKmT5OiSc/URnRC6mfibI/AAAAAAAAQQ8/TAvRLHhuW6M/s1600/brassy+apple+header1.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9HDKmT5OiSc/URnRC6mfibI/AAAAAAAAQQ8/TAvRLHhuW6M/s1600/brassy+apple+header1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9HDKmT5OiSc/URnRC6mfibI/AAAAAAAAQQ8/TAvRLHhuW6M/s640/brassy+apple+header1.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9HDKmT5OiSc/URnRC6mfibI/AAAAAAAAQQ8/TAvRLHhuW6M/s640/brassy+apple+header1.jpg" height="118" width="640"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> I love to refashion, reuse and upcycle lots of things! It's the thrill of the hunt at thrift stores, the clearance racks in the department stores and yard sales in the summer! Hey I love a good bargain. I'm always sharing refashion tutorials on my site, <a href="http://www.brassyapple.com/" _mce_href="http://www.brassyapple.com/">Brassy Apple</a>, and ways to reuse what you already love! </div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> I want to share 2 ways with you today to "swap" out what you're not using and get something new in return without spending a dime. The first is a Swap n' Drop.&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-p6Owx27qfC4/URnTGn5MdWI/AAAAAAAAQTY/i-cMK17oOgY/s1600/swap+n+drop.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-p6Owx27qfC4/URnTGn5MdWI/AAAAAAAAQTY/i-cMK17oOgY/s1600/swap+n+drop.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-p6Owx27qfC4/URnTGn5MdWI/AAAAAAAAQTY/i-cMK17oOgY/s400/swap+n+drop.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-p6Owx27qfC4/URnTGn5MdWI/AAAAAAAAQTY/i-cMK17oOgY/s400/swap+n+drop.jpg" height="135" width="400"></a>&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Gather a group of friends together, set a date and time and get to cleaning out! Think of it like a giant swap meet or yard sale with the cost part! Everyone brings items they are no longer using and can "swap" them out for items they might like. Those invited can come to just pick up items, swap out items, drop off items or just enjoy socializing!&nbsp;</div> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2saI1tJMr_M/URnYCBnzYcI/AAAAAAAAQWc/MDJNtjjhGr8/s1600/swap+n+drop.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2saI1tJMr_M/URnYCBnzYcI/AAAAAAAAQWc/MDJNtjjhGr8/s1600/swap+n+drop.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2saI1tJMr_M/URnYCBnzYcI/AAAAAAAAQWc/MDJNtjjhGr8/s400/swap+n+drop.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2saI1tJMr_M/URnYCBnzYcI/AAAAAAAAQWc/MDJNtjjhGr8/s400/swap+n+drop.jpg" height="227" width="400"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> We set up lots of tables to keep the items organized and easily seen. Different tables were assigned for different items with a sign on them so people knew where to drop their items: </div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <b>Home Decor</b></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <b>Kitchen</b></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <b>Books</b></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <b>Toys</b></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <b>Entertainment</b></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <b>Clothes</b></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <b>Misc.&nbsp;</b></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kDhBwRvtZqU/URnYCK9nqMI/AAAAAAAAQWY/iUS1UsJnXOQ/s1600/swap+n+drop+2.jpg" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kDhBwRvtZqU/URnYCK9nqMI/AAAAAAAAQWY/iUS1UsJnXOQ/s1600/swap+n+drop+2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kDhBwRvtZqU/URnYCK9nqMI/AAAAAAAAQWY/iUS1UsJnXOQ/s400/swap+n+drop+2.jpg" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kDhBwRvtZqU/URnYCK9nqMI/AAAAAAAAQWY/iUS1UsJnXOQ/s400/swap+n+drop+2.jpg" height="400" width="326"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> If the attendees have larger items they simply brought a picture of them or made a list of items and set them on the appropriate tables with their contact information. We set a start time and an end time. Then we gathered all the left over items in boxes and bags and donated them to local second hand store.&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> The second idea is one of my favorites! It's an accessory swap party!&nbsp;</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1nVRjRhS12c/URnVDRIluwI/AAAAAAAAQTk/Rwc0VcsWQkQ/s1600/accessory+swap+party.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1nVRjRhS12c/URnVDRIluwI/AAAAAAAAQTk/Rwc0VcsWQkQ/s1600/accessory+swap+party.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1nVRjRhS12c/URnVDRIluwI/AAAAAAAAQTk/Rwc0VcsWQkQ/s400/accessory+swap+party.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1nVRjRhS12c/URnVDRIluwI/AAAAAAAAQTk/Rwc0VcsWQkQ/s400/accessory+swap+party.jpg" height="156" width="400"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> I love to do this at the end of the winter before Spring hits because everyone is ready for fun, bright colors and tired of winter!&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-CzeuOGq2VMk/URnW5hLh5tI/AAAAAAAAQU4/dx1yhrXgcxg/s1600/ap+invites+edit.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-CzeuOGq2VMk/URnW5hLh5tI/AAAAAAAAQU4/dx1yhrXgcxg/s1600/ap+invites+edit.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-CzeuOGq2VMk/URnW5hLh5tI/AAAAAAAAQU4/dx1yhrXgcxg/s400/ap+invites+edit.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-CzeuOGq2VMk/URnW5hLh5tI/AAAAAAAAQU4/dx1yhrXgcxg/s400/ap+invites+edit.jpg" height="285" width="400"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Here's a little poem I wrote up for the invites and "rolled" them to resemble a bracelet: </div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <b><i><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;">The big Spring clean out is drawing near</span></span></i></b></div> <div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <b><i><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;">Forget your house, think your wardrobe my dear</span></span></i></b></div> <div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <b><i><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;">Accessories! That’s the perfect way</span></span></i></b></div> <div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <b><i><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;">and exchanging them will make your day!</span></span></i></b></div> <div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <b><i><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;">So clean out your baubles, scarves and rings</span></span></i></b></div> <div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <b><i><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;">Totes, purses, hats and bling</span></span></i></b></div> <div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <b><i><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;">Wrap it up, we’ll see you there!</span></span></i></b></div> <div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <b><i><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;">Swap it for a new accessory to wear!</span></span></i></b></div> <div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <b><i><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><br></span></i></b> </div> <div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <b><i><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Kristen ITC&quot;; line-height: 115%;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Kristen ITC&quot;; line-height: 115%;">~Accessory SWAP!~</span></span></i></b></div> <b><i><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;"></span> </span></i></b><br> <div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: center;"> <b><i><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;">When:</span></span></i></b></div> <div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: center;"> <b><i><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;">Time:</span></span></i></b></div> <div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: center;"> <b><i><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;">Place:</span></span></i></b></div> <div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: center;"> <b><i><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;">etc</span></span></i></b></div> <div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: center;"> <b><i><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;"><br> </span></span></i></b></div> <div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: center;"> <b><i><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;">Bring a wrapped Accessory to exchange that you no longer use.&nbsp;</span></span></i></b></div> <div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: center;"> <b><i><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;">Accessories need to be in good condition. </span></span></i></b></div> <div align="center" class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: center;"> <b><i><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Bookman Old Style&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; line-height: 115%;">Questions &amp; to RSVP info here</span></span></i></b></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Then as each guest arrives they pick a number and accessories are swapped white elephant style where you can "steal" and one an item is taken 3 times it's "frozen".&nbsp;</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-p_5irSl1Y5A/URnXGkwfJtI/AAAAAAAAQVI/ykFQEBL38Lw/s1600/ap13.jpg" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-p_5irSl1Y5A/URnXGkwfJtI/AAAAAAAAQVI/ykFQEBL38Lw/s1600/ap13.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-p_5irSl1Y5A/URnXGkwfJtI/AAAAAAAAQVI/ykFQEBL38Lw/s400/ap13.jpg" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-p_5irSl1Y5A/URnXGkwfJtI/AAAAAAAAQVI/ykFQEBL38Lw/s400/ap13.jpg" height="400" width="373"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> You can have lots of fun decorating for an accessory party with girlie things and colors, mirrors, baubles and more.Dress up all the nooks and crannies and make it a early tradition for you and your girlfriends! </div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-937hFb3U3NM/URnW5k8nlDI/AAAAAAAAQU8/k9BM61KUR2Y/s1600/ap4.jpg" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-937hFb3U3NM/URnW5k8nlDI/AAAAAAAAQU8/k9BM61KUR2Y/s1600/ap4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-937hFb3U3NM/URnW5k8nlDI/AAAAAAAAQU8/k9BM61KUR2Y/s400/ap4.jpg" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-937hFb3U3NM/URnW5k8nlDI/AAAAAAAAQU8/k9BM61KUR2Y/s400/ap4.jpg" height="266" width="400"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> So swap it up this year! You can find more ideas and tutorials over at <a href="http://www.brassyapple.com/" _mce_href="http://www.brassyapple.com/">BrassyApple.com</a></div> Six Sisters' 4x4 Challenge http://www.tofw.com/Six-Sisters-4x4-Challenge-Camille-Six-Sisters-Stuff/s/798 http://www.tofw.com/Six-Sisters-4x4-Challenge-Camille-Six-Sisters-Stuff/s/798 Wed, 06 Mar 2013 12:36:00 -0700 <div> by Camille from Six Sisters' Stuff <br /> </div> <br> <div _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;" class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://sixsistersstuff.com/" _mce_href="http://sixsistersstuff.com/"><img _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-R-5CamSLcFM/UTZHVTSzW_I/AAAAAAAAEkY/fTHjCY32B4o/s1600/4x4challenge.jpg" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-R-5CamSLcFM/UTZHVTSzW_I/AAAAAAAAEkY/fTHjCY32B4o/s1600/4x4challenge.jpg" height="320" width="640"></a></div> <br> <i>In July, the Six Sisters shared one fantastic <a href="http://tofw.com/story/611-the-magic-of-a-marshmallow-brownie" _mce_href="../../../story/611-the-magic-of-a-marshmallow-brownie">brownie recipe</a> here on tofw.com. We loved it, you loved it, and now they're back to challenge us to eat dinner with our families! Their new cookbook, <a href="http://deseretbook.com/Six-Sisters-Stuff/i/5097495" _mce_href="http://deseretbook.com/Six-Sisters-Stuff/i/5097495">Six Sisters' Stuff</a>, is now available to help us meet the challenge with family-friendly, easy recipes.&nbsp;</i><br> <br> The statistics these days are frightening: only 40% of families eat dinner together, and even then it’s only 2-3 times a week. The practice of eating dinner together as a family is a dying tradition. On the flip side, children who eat dinner with their family tend to be healthier, happier, and perform better in school. Children are also less likely to drink, use drugs, and stay out of trouble when family dinner is a common routine in their household.<br> <br> Research has also shown that the average parent only spends 38 minutes a week in meaningful conversation with their children. We are so connected to our smart phones and tablets, computers and iPods that we are not connecting as a family anymore. Even families who do sit down to eat together admit that children will text their friends or the TV will be on in the background; totally defeating the purpose of spending time together as a family. <br> <br> Growing up, dinnertime was the one time each day when we could be together as a family. Between six involved kids and two busy parents, our schedules were incredibly full, but we knew that dinner would be ready at 5:30 each evening and it was important that we were there. &nbsp;Dinner was a time that we could talk, share experiences from our day, and be together without any distractions (no phones were allowed at the table). We had our parent’s undivided attention and we loved it; that dinner table was a safe place to be. Some of our happiest memories and inside jokes stem from our large dining table and being there together as a family.<br> <br> When my sisters’ and I started our blog (<a _mce_href="http://sixsistersstuff.com/" href="http://sixsistersstuff.com/">SixSistersStuff.com</a>), we wanted a place to record all those yummy and easy recipes that our mom would make for us each night. We have come to realize that family dinner doesn’t have to be some elaborate meal; in fact, most of the dishes we grew up with were incredibly simple. Our goal with our blog is to share simple and delicious family-friendly recipes that can be put together in no time. And because family dinner was such an important part of our lives growing up, we have made it a priority with our own families as well and want to share that with as many people as possible.<br> <br> The 4x4 Family Dinner Challenge is something that we decided to do to encourage families to make family dinner a part of their lives. We hope that by sitting down with your family for dinner four times a week for the next 4 weeks would instill some habits and grow some desires to continue what you started.<br> <br> There is magic in eating dinner together as a family and we want to challenge families everywhere to put it into practice in their own homes.<br> <br> So, rearrange schedules. Turn off the TV. Leave your phone in your bedroom. And challenge yourself and your family to make family dinner a priority. Reconnect with those people who are most important to you over a delicious meal and make your family that much stronger, one meal at a time.<br> <br> <br> <div _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;" class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <a _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-p7vadQpfLVk/T-3ToyPyfVI/AAAAAAAAAco/m9bDahwLXD4/s1600/Camillesignature-001.jpg" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-p7vadQpfLVk/T-3ToyPyfVI/AAAAAAAAAco/m9bDahwLXD4/s1600/Camillesignature-001.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-p7vadQpfLVk/T-3ToyPyfVI/AAAAAAAAAco/m9bDahwLXD4/s1600/Camillesignature-001.jpg" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-p7vadQpfLVk/T-3ToyPyfVI/AAAAAAAAAco/m9bDahwLXD4/s1600/Camillesignature-001.jpg"></a>Camille blogs over at <a _mce_href="http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/" href="http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/">SixSistersStuff.com</a> with her five sisters. They share easy family recipes (and lots of their mom's famous recipes!) along with fun crafts and other ideas for making your house a home. Camille currently lives in Utah and is married to her husband Jared. They have three darling children. She loves her family, escaping to the gym for a quick workout, and marshmallow brownies.</div> One Good Thing: Homemade Laundry Detergent http://www.tofw.com/One-Good-Thing-Homemade-Laundry-Detergent-Jill-One-Good-Thing-Jillee/s/797 http://www.tofw.com/One-Good-Thing-Homemade-Laundry-Detergent-Jill-One-Good-Thing-Jillee/s/797 Wed, 06 Mar 2013 00:39:00 -0700 <div> by Jill from One Good Thing by Jillee <br /> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zRxd_qjzSz0/UTaHCa1oOFI/AAAAAAAAEko/p4XdmTIXVs0/s1600/jillee_portrait.png" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zRxd_qjzSz0/UTaHCa1oOFI/AAAAAAAAEko/p4XdmTIXVs0/s1600/jillee_portrait.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zRxd_qjzSz0/UTaHCa1oOFI/AAAAAAAAEko/p4XdmTIXVs0/s1600/jillee_portrait.png" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zRxd_qjzSz0/UTaHCa1oOFI/AAAAAAAAEko/p4XdmTIXVs0/s1600/jillee_portrait.png"></a></div> February 20th, 2008 is the day I celebrated my 46th birthday. It’s also the day I graduated from a residential treatment program for substance abuse.<br> <br> How I got to that place is, of course, a long story, but in Reader’s Digest form it goes like this:<br> <br> About the time I turned 40 years old, I started going through what I can only describe as a mid-life crisis. I was married with 4 wonderful kids and had everything I thought I ever wanted…and I was miserable. I decided I wanted “more” than the life I had carved out for myself to that point and started looking for new ways to live it…in all the wrong places.<br> <br> I started drinking socially at first. I just wanted to have a little “fun!” Or so I thought. But what I was really doing was trying to numb the pain in my life. Pain brought on by not nurturing myself all those years I spent nurturing my family. The bitter irony of it all was that drinking to numb the pain only multiplied it later on. It was a frighteningly short time before my life was spinning so out of control that my family sought help for me that I couldn’t find for myself. That’s when the miracle of The Ark, a substance abuse treatment center, entered my life.<br> <br> I entered The Ark on December 5th and graduated 72 days later on my birthday. So now I have two birthdays to celebrate on that date. My belly button birthday and my RE-birthday, when I began a "new" life. I often say “I should either be dead or in jail,” and not just for the shock value either. I really should be one of those things. But because of an amazing family, my Heavenly Father's unconditional love, and the very real blessing of the Atonement, I have been given a second chance at life.<br> <br> When I was in treatment, I learned a lot of things about myself, but the one thing that was crucial for me was I needed to find my passion and pursue it! As I walked out of the doors and into my "new" life, that became my goal.<br> <br> Since that time life has just continued to get better and better. I am living proof of so many cliches it's kind of ridiculous. It's Never Too Late, The Best Is Yet To Come, The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow, Follow Your Bliss….I could go on and on. But what all those corny little slogans really say is….God still loves me and always will, no matter what mistakes I have made. So pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep going….because you can't know what wonderful things await you just around that next curve!<br> <br> Now that dark period is behind me and the lessons learned (of course, I'm sure I have many more lessons ahead…just hopefully not the same ones!), I get to spend my days sharing and caring for others in a very fun and creative way….via my blog <a href="http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/" _mce_href="http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/">One Good Thing By Jillee</a>. I have to pinch myself on a regular basis to make sure this isn't a dream….because I am literally doing my heart's fondest desire….everyday. I get the distinct privilege of sharing ideas that I would be trying regardless if I had a blog or not, and I get to help others in a very real and measurable way to LIVE HIGHER at the same time.<br> <br> For example…one of the most popular categories I write about is how to make your own homemade cleaning and health &amp; beauty products. At first this amazed and bewildered me! Why were my posts about how to make your own laundry detergent SO incredibly popular? Well, this is the way I see it. We all need to be wise with the assets (blessings) we have been given….be it money or resources. That's just being a good steward. When we are more in control of our resources, we are better equipped to deal with the "winds of change" that life inevitably blows in our direction. Armed with this type of "D.I.Y. know-how" we gain a sense of accomplishment and competence that allows us to focus on more important things….like family and faith.<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IMxsfgA3pyg/UTaHOA9BrpI/AAAAAAAAEkw/C8C2SuEQuxU/s1600/laundrydetergentwords.jpg" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IMxsfgA3pyg/UTaHOA9BrpI/AAAAAAAAEkw/C8C2SuEQuxU/s1600/laundrydetergentwords.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IMxsfgA3pyg/UTaHOA9BrpI/AAAAAAAAEkw/C8C2SuEQuxU/s1600/laundrydetergentwords.jpg" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IMxsfgA3pyg/UTaHOA9BrpI/AAAAAAAAEkw/C8C2SuEQuxU/s1600/laundrydetergentwords.jpg" height="320" width="275"></a></div> That's giving a lot of credit to a humble recipe for laundry soap, I know! But I've seen that one simple idea change lives as it replaces worry and uncertainty with peace and confidence.<br> <br> This is the laundry detergent that I make and use, everyday. No matter how much money I make, or how busy I get, I will never go back to buying it. Fanatical? Maybe. Simple, natural, practical, frugal? Definitely!<br> <br> <a href="http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2013/02/homemade-laundry-detergent-trial-size-version.html" _mce_href="http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2013/02/homemade-laundry-detergent-trial-size-version.html">Jillee's Homemade Laundry Detergent</a><br> <br> <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;" _mce_style="white-space: pre;"> </span>•<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;" _mce_style="white-space: pre;"> </span>1 bar grated Fels Naptha soap<br> <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;" _mce_style="white-space: pre;"> </span>•<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;" _mce_style="white-space: pre;"> </span>3 cups Borax<br> <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;" _mce_style="white-space: pre;"> </span>•<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;" _mce_style="white-space: pre;"> </span>2 cups washing soda<br> <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;" _mce_style="white-space: pre;"> </span>•<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;" _mce_style="white-space: pre;"> </span>3/4 cup baking soda<br> <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;" _mce_style="white-space: pre;"> </span>•<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;" _mce_style="white-space: pre;"> </span>4 1/2 cups oxygen bleach<br> <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;" _mce_style="white-space: pre;"> </span>•<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;" _mce_style="white-space: pre;"> </span>1 cup (heaping) fabric softener crystals (optional)<br> <br> Grate your bar of Fels Naptha either with the small holes on your cheese grater, in your food processor, or, if you have a powerful enough blender, use that!<br> Add all the ingredients to a large container, preferably one with a lid so you can shake it all up.<br> This amounts to roughly 100 ounces of laundry detergent and using 1/4 cup per load you should be able to get approximately 50 loads of clothes clean with it!<br> Works very well in High Efficiency washing machines because it is so low sudsing….but check with your manufacturer's guidelines first.<br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Adventure Makes Me a Better Mom http://www.tofw.com/Adventure-Makes-Me-Better-Mom-Jessica-Bring-Kids/s/766 http://www.tofw.com/Adventure-Makes-Me-Better-Mom-Jessica-Bring-Kids/s/766 Wed, 27 Feb 2013 00:32:00 -0700 <div> by Jessica from Bring the Kids <br /> </div> <a href="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/IMG_0584.jpg" _mce_href="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/IMG_0584.jpg" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" src="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/IMG_0584-300x225.jpg" _mce_src="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/IMG_0584-300x225.jpg" height="240" title="IMG_0584" width="320"></a><a href="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/176.jpg" _mce_href="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/176.jpg"> </a><br> As a parent, I’m always trying to find that “silver bullet” that will unlock the key to family happiness and peace. In reality, it’s hard to find, especially when my kids whine, hit, cry, ignore me and a whole host of other things that constantly test my patience. I just want to be a better mom, is that really so hard? Well, in the last few years, I’ve figured out one of the best things that makes <em>me</em> a better mom – ADVENTURE. Not the kind that happens in forts under the kitchen table (those are fun too). I’m talking about the kind of adventure that gets my whole family outside, trying new things, pushing our limits. I always bring my kids on those!<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xluOSSHko1Y/USvVP4P9fsI/AAAAAAAAEZY/Yjdo9sL6HyE/s1600/adventure.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xluOSSHko1Y/USvVP4P9fsI/AAAAAAAAEZY/Yjdo9sL6HyE/s1600/adventure.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xluOSSHko1Y/USvVP4P9fsI/AAAAAAAAEZY/Yjdo9sL6HyE/s1600/adventure.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xluOSSHko1Y/USvVP4P9fsI/AAAAAAAAEZY/Yjdo9sL6HyE/s1600/adventure.jpg"></a></div> Now before you go labeling me a crazy child endangering adrenaline junkie, let me tell you a little about myself. I’ve always loved going on adventures. I grew up in a family that spent our winters skiing, summers rafting and kayaking and everything else in between outside. When I became a mom, I knew that I had a choice to make. I could stay home and forego the adventures that I love in the name of keep our kids “safe”. Or instead, I could keep being myself and enjoy all of the things that I love <em>with</em> my kids. Adventures anywhere from camping and multi-day rafting in the summer to skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. Not an easy feat with three kids ages 5, 3, and 7 months, but when you choose to make it happen, it is well worth it.<br> <br> <a href="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/032.jpg" _mce_href="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/032.jpg" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" class="aligncenter" src="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/032-300x200.jpg" _mce_src="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/032-300x200.jpg" height="200" title="032" width="300"></a> <a href="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/2012-10-15-canyonlands-390.jpg" _mce_href="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/2012-10-15-canyonlands-390.jpg"> </a>As we went out on adventures, something amazing happened—I felt I could be my best as a mom. I naturally became closer to my family, laughed more, and really learned how to enjoy being around those I love most. With every new adventure we go on, I get to know who my kids are. On adventures they came alive and I see them in a different light. Instead of being the restless, obnoxious kids that they often are inside, they are suddenly strong, helpful, caring, and brave. I get to see their courage and resilience as they explored and discover the world. Through adventuring, I’ve learned both who my children <em>really</em> are and how to be the best mom I can be for them. <br> <br> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <a href="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/IMG_0634.jpg" _mce_href="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/IMG_0634.jpg" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img alt="" src="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/IMG_0634-225x300.jpg" _mce_src="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/IMG_0634-225x300.jpg" height="300" title="IMG_0634" width="225"></a>Better yet, through our adventures my kids know who <em>I</em> really am. They can see that deep down I’m not the person who’s constantly nagging them to clean their rooms or to stop screaming at each other. I’m the person who will smile and encourage them to go farther than they have before. I’m the one who’s there for them when they literally cannot take another step. I’m the one they can laugh and play with who’s always up for one more hill to climb or run to ski down. I’m at my best. </div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp; </div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <a href="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/IMG_0709.jpg" _mce_href="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/IMG_0709.jpg" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" class="aligncenter" src="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/IMG_0709-300x225.jpg" _mce_src="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/IMG_0709-300x225.jpg" height="225" title="IMG_0709" width="300"></a></div> Out on adventures, I can be 100% devoted to my family. I don’t need to worry about emails or phone calls to return. I can focus on what really matters in life and make the memories that will last. It is a time where I can teach my children about life, God, and making good choices. By doing these adventures now, I can build a foundation that will give us common interests to share as a family, which will be very important during the teen years. When it comes down to it, building a strong family and enjoying life is why we really adventure together. Our kids probably won’t remember the lasagna I worked so hard on yesterday, but I know they’ll never forget when we spent days on the river, playing on as a family and showing them that <em>they</em> are our world. Adventures have a power that is unrivaled to bring our family closer together and to make me the best mom that I can be. <br> <br> <a href="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/2012-10-15-canyonlands-390.jpg" _mce_href="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/2012-10-15-canyonlands-390.jpg" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" class="aligncenter" src="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/2012-10-15-canyonlands-390-200x300.jpg" _mce_src="http://bring-the-kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/2012-10-15-canyonlands-390-200x300.jpg" height="300" title="2012-10-15 canyonlands 390" width="200"></a> <br> <div> Follow all of our family's adventures at <a href="http://bring-the-kids.com/" _mce_href="http://bring-the-kids.com/">Bring The Kids</a> where we prove that outdoor adventures don't end when you have kids, making us the best family we can be.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> You Rock, Valentine! http://www.tofw.com/You-Rock-Valentine-Kristyn-Lil-Luna/s/767 http://www.tofw.com/You-Rock-Valentine-Kristyn-Lil-Luna/s/767 Wed, 06 Feb 2013 00:52:00 -0700 <div> by Kristyn from Lil' Luna <br /> </div> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: left; clear: both;"> <div style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"> </div> <br> <br> <a href="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Lil-Luna-Guest-Post-Header.jpg" _mce_href="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Lil-Luna-Guest-Post-Header.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-27122" alt="Lil' Luna Guest Post Header" src="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Lil-Luna-Guest-Post-Header.jpg" width="600" height="200" _mce_src="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Lil-Luna-Guest-Post-Header.jpg"></a> <br> <br> Hi there! Kristyn from <a href="http://lilluna.com/" _mce_href="http://lilluna.com/">Lil' Luna</a> here. I'm a mom to three and have one on the way, and cannot wait to add to the craziness. When I'm not busy spending time with my little family I LOVE to create and find joy in sharing those creations with others. On my site I try to have tons of cute and easy crafts, recipes and tutorials for all occasions. Be sure to check it out! Valentine's is one of my FAVORITE holidays! It's so fun for me to celebrate a holiday about LOVE and to have one more excuse to show that love to those around you. As this holiday approaches I am always trying to think of cute, simple and unique valentines that I can give to the hubby and kids to make them feel extra special on February 14th. This next tutorial is one of those. I had seen some very realistic rock candy at our local candy store and knew they would be perfect for this next creation. <br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Flilluna.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F01%2FYou-ROCK-Valentine.-Rock-candy-in-a-jar-Cute-idea-with-free-printable-on-lilluna.com-valentines.jpg&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Flilluna.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F01%2FYou-ROCK-Valentine.-Rock-candy-in-a-jar-Cute-idea-with-free-printable-on-lilluna.com-valentines.jpg&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" imageanchor="1"><img class="aligncenter" border="0" alt="You ROCK Valentine. Rock candy in a jar! Cute idea with free printable on { lilluna.com } #valentines" src="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/You-ROCK-Valentine.-Rock-candy-in-a-jar-Cute-idea-with-free-printable-on-lilluna.com-valentines.jpg" width="533" height="800" _mce_src="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/You-ROCK-Valentine.-Rock-candy-in-a-jar-Cute-idea-with-free-printable-on-lilluna.com-valentines.jpg"></a></div> <br> <br> Perfect, right? Cute, simple and fun. The candy looks so realistic too which makes even that much better! I put my candy in a a little jar that I got for a dollar at Hobby Lobby, but these can put in almost anything and the tag can be attached in so many different ways Here's how you can do it too: <br> <h1> SUPPLIES:</h1> - Rock Candy - Jar/Container - Printable (available below) - Glue Dots/Tape <br> <h1 style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> DIRECTIONS:</h1> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/You-ROCK-Valentine-Free-printable-on-lilluna.com-.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/You-ROCK-Valentine-Free-printable-on-lilluna.com-.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-27121" alt="You ROCK Valentine! Free printable on { lilluna.com }" src="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/You-ROCK-Valentine-Free-printable-on-lilluna.com-.jpg" width="400" height="500" _mce_src="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/You-ROCK-Valentine-Free-printable-on-lilluna.com-.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> &nbsp; <a href="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/You-ROCK-Valentine-1.jpg" _mce_href="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/You-ROCK-Valentine-1.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-27101" alt="You ROCK Valentine - 1" src="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/You-ROCK-Valentine-1.jpg" width="700" height="467" _mce_src="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/You-ROCK-Valentine-1.jpg"></a> <br> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> 1. Print and cut out your Tag. To download, click on the image above and then right-click and save. Open in a program like word and re-size it to the size you need.</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/You-ROCK-Valentine-2.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/You-ROCK-Valentine-2.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-27102" alt="You ROCK Valentine - 2" src="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/You-ROCK-Valentine-2.jpg" width="501" height="700" _mce_src="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/You-ROCK-Valentine-2.jpg"></a></div> <br> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> 2. Fill your jar or container with your candy.</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/You-ROCK-Valentine-3.jpg" _mce_href="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/You-ROCK-Valentine-3.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-27103" alt="You ROCK Valentine - 3" src="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/You-ROCK-Valentine-3.jpg" width="500" height="700" _mce_src="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/You-ROCK-Valentine-3.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> 3. Add your tag to your jar. I used Glue Dots to do this.</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <a href="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/You-ROCK-Valentine-4.jpg" _mce_href="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/You-ROCK-Valentine-4.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-27104" alt="You ROCK Valentine - 4" src="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/You-ROCK-Valentine-4.jpg" width="700" height="467" _mce_src="http://lilluna.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/You-ROCK-Valentine-4.jpg"></a> These ended up costing a bout $1.50 to make and turned out so cute. The kids love these rock candies too, which helps. My daughter wants to eat the candy rocks and then fill it up with her favorite rocks from our walks and hikes, which is a pretty good idea. For more easy and cute idea, come on over to <a href="http://lilluna.com/" _mce_href="http://lilluna.com/">Lil' Luna</a>. I have several new Valentines prints and crafts I think you'll love. :) ENJOY! </div> {DIY} Ruffled Skirt http://www.tofw.com/DIY-Ruffled-Skirt-Lindsay-Southern-Lovely/s/776 http://www.tofw.com/DIY-Ruffled-Skirt-Lindsay-Southern-Lovely/s/776 Wed, 30 Jan 2013 10:47:00 -0700 <div> by Lindsay from Southern Lovely <br /> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4Bh1T8qLP9I/UQlZ9oOKE9I/AAAAAAAAD9c/X5XoJaNbzR4/s1600/ruffle+skirt-6.jpg" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4Bh1T8qLP9I/UQlZ9oOKE9I/AAAAAAAAD9c/X5XoJaNbzR4/s1600/ruffle+skirt-6.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4Bh1T8qLP9I/UQlZ9oOKE9I/AAAAAAAAD9c/X5XoJaNbzR4/s1600/ruffle+skirt-6.jpg" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4Bh1T8qLP9I/UQlZ9oOKE9I/AAAAAAAAD9c/X5XoJaNbzR4/s1600/ruffle+skirt-6.jpg" height="456" width="640"></a></div> <br>With Valentine's right around the corner, I knew I wanted to make something festive for my girls to wear.&nbsp; I'm not sure how long they will want to wear 'holiday attire', so I have to take full advantage of it now. :)<br> <br>While I was at a fabric shop over Christmas, I came across this lovely ruffled fabric.&nbsp; And I had a 50% off (score!).&nbsp; I asked the woman who was cutting the fabric for a few tips.&nbsp; I couldn't believe how simple it sounded to make a skirt for my little girls out of this fabric.&nbsp; <br> <br>Here it goes...<br><br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-L_SO2gJnsoc/UQlZ66urY1I/AAAAAAAAD9M/Zz2uEo3JzLI/s1600/ruffle+skirt-3.jpg" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-L_SO2gJnsoc/UQlZ66urY1I/AAAAAAAAD9M/Zz2uEo3JzLI/s1600/ruffle+skirt-3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-L_SO2gJnsoc/UQlZ66urY1I/AAAAAAAAD9M/Zz2uEo3JzLI/s1600/ruffle+skirt-3.jpg" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-L_SO2gJnsoc/UQlZ66urY1I/AAAAAAAAD9M/Zz2uEo3JzLI/s1600/ruffle+skirt-3.jpg" height="265" width="400"></a></div> <br>&nbsp;**For my 6 year old I cut my fabric &amp; elastic to 23 1/2 inches.&nbsp; No need to add more beyond the 1/2 seam allowance, since it is a stretchy fabric.&nbsp; <br> <br>When cutting ruffled fabric, I found it is best to cut by hand, since you want to make sure to not cut through a ruffle.&nbsp;<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-nKxrQk9lDn4/UQlZ2RmkpoI/AAAAAAAAD80/i0DBuYv3rPA/s1600/ruffle+skirt-2.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-nKxrQk9lDn4/UQlZ2RmkpoI/AAAAAAAAD80/i0DBuYv3rPA/s1600/ruffle+skirt-2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-nKxrQk9lDn4/UQlZ2RmkpoI/AAAAAAAAD80/i0DBuYv3rPA/s1600/ruffle+skirt-2.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-nKxrQk9lDn4/UQlZ2RmkpoI/AAAAAAAAD80/i0DBuYv3rPA/s1600/ruffle+skirt-2.jpg" height="265" width="400"></a></div> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Ggapza0XlMA/UQlZ8IzeB3I/AAAAAAAAD9U/U1A_zFOlo1A/s1600/ruffle+skirt-4.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Ggapza0XlMA/UQlZ8IzeB3I/AAAAAAAAD9U/U1A_zFOlo1A/s1600/ruffle+skirt-4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Ggapza0XlMA/UQlZ8IzeB3I/AAAAAAAAD9U/U1A_zFOlo1A/s1600/ruffle+skirt-4.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Ggapza0XlMA/UQlZ8IzeB3I/AAAAAAAAD9U/U1A_zFOlo1A/s1600/ruffle+skirt-4.jpg" height="265" width="400"></a></div> <br>It really is that easy.&nbsp; <br> <br>Only three places to sew &amp; you have a finished skirt!&nbsp; Ruffle Fabric can be kind of expensive (mine was $19.99/yard), so I would suggest using a coupon or watching for a sale.&nbsp; I was able to get 2 skirts (for a 4 &amp; 6 year old) out of one yard, with left over fabric.&nbsp;<br><br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YFCk4crgfhc/UQlZ_PBLYYI/AAAAAAAAD9k/FFp5Unkg1io/s1600/ruffle+skirt-8.jpg" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YFCk4crgfhc/UQlZ_PBLYYI/AAAAAAAAD9k/FFp5Unkg1io/s1600/ruffle+skirt-8.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YFCk4crgfhc/UQlZ_PBLYYI/AAAAAAAAD9k/FFp5Unkg1io/s1600/ruffle+skirt-8.jpg" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YFCk4crgfhc/UQlZ_PBLYYI/AAAAAAAAD9k/FFp5Unkg1io/s1600/ruffle+skirt-8.jpg" height="265" width="400"></a></div> <br>I’m so happy this was a simple sewing project.&nbsp; It seems those are the only kind I can get to these days, between carpooling three little ones around. :)&nbsp;&nbsp; <br> <br>I will definitely use more ruffled fabric in the future!&nbsp;<br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0Kik-mJexYE/UQlaGBARJSI/AAAAAAAAD90/XXDSL00_TTE/s1600/ruffle+skirt-10.jpg" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0Kik-mJexYE/UQlaGBARJSI/AAAAAAAAD90/XXDSL00_TTE/s1600/ruffle+skirt-10.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0Kik-mJexYE/UQlaGBARJSI/AAAAAAAAD90/XXDSL00_TTE/s1600/ruffle+skirt-10.jpg" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0Kik-mJexYE/UQlaGBARJSI/AAAAAAAAD90/XXDSL00_TTE/s1600/ruffle+skirt-10.jpg" height="265" width="400"></a></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uXd1sfvTQhU/UQlZ3Y7r3zI/AAAAAAAAD88/1Ks57CrE3g4/s1600/Lindsay.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uXd1sfvTQhU/UQlZ3Y7r3zI/AAAAAAAAD88/1Ks57CrE3g4/s1600/Lindsay.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uXd1sfvTQhU/UQlZ3Y7r3zI/AAAAAAAAD88/1Ks57CrE3g4/s1600/Lindsay.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uXd1sfvTQhU/UQlZ3Y7r3zI/AAAAAAAAD88/1Ks57CrE3g4/s1600/Lindsay.jpg" height="200" width="141"></a>I'm Lindsay, a late night, when-ever I get a chance, crafter.&nbsp; Being a mom to three little ones keeps life interesting &amp; oh-so busy.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.southernlovely.com/" _mce_href="http://www.southernlovely.com/"> Southern Lovely</a> is my creative outlet, and also helps to supply any 'me' time when needed.&nbsp; My family recently started a new chapter in our lives by relocating up north.&nbsp; </div> <br><br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.southernlovely.com/" _mce_href="http://www.southernlovely.com/"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oqe6XOsOCnc/UQlbqdtMceI/AAAAAAAAD98/3uT91PNUuHg/s1600/SouthernLovely.jpg" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oqe6XOsOCnc/UQlbqdtMceI/AAAAAAAAD98/3uT91PNUuHg/s1600/SouthernLovely.jpg"></a></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> The Things That Get Me Through http://www.tofw.com/Things-Get-Me-Through-Lisa-King/s/774 http://www.tofw.com/Things-Get-Me-Through-Lisa-King/s/774 Tue, 29 Jan 2013 08:06:00 -0700 <div> by Lisa King <br /> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SNAqrtve688/UQcZY2VH3GI/AAAAAAAAD7I/IUpxMETOTHM/s1600/beach1.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SNAqrtve688/UQcZY2VH3GI/AAAAAAAAD7I/IUpxMETOTHM/s1600/beach1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SNAqrtve688/UQcZY2VH3GI/AAAAAAAAD7I/IUpxMETOTHM/s1600/beach1.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SNAqrtve688/UQcZY2VH3GI/AAAAAAAAD7I/IUpxMETOTHM/s1600/beach1.jpg" height="426" width="640"></a></div> <br> In Australia, the twenty-sixth of January is Australia Day.&nbsp;It was always the day when we would head to the beach with family and friends to celebrate the beautiful, free country that we live in.<br> <br> As of last year, Australia Day now has a totally different meaning to me.&nbsp; <br> <br> Australia Day will now always be remembered as the day that Aaron passed away and left me a widow at the age of thirty-seven.&nbsp; <br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sgH2JCbE-_o/UQcZwJjY67I/AAAAAAAAD7Y/5ew24JNZN6o/s1600/photo.JPG" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sgH2JCbE-_o/UQcZwJjY67I/AAAAAAAAD7Y/5ew24JNZN6o/s1600/photo.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sgH2JCbE-_o/UQcZwJjY67I/AAAAAAAAD7Y/5ew24JNZN6o/s1600/photo.JPG" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sgH2JCbE-_o/UQcZwJjY67I/AAAAAAAAD7Y/5ew24JNZN6o/s1600/photo.JPG" height="320" width="320"></a>It has now been a year since Aaron passed away and fifteen months since we sat around Noah’s bedside together as we said goodbye to him.&nbsp;It’s hard to understand how each day can seem so long without them, yet it has been the fastest year of my life. </div> <br>They say the first year is the hardest. I’m not sure what I think about that.&nbsp;It’s been a hard year, but it seems to be harder now as the shock wears off and reality sinks in.&nbsp;I feel like I have made it through the first year without Aaron, and now what?&nbsp;Now I have to face the rest of my life on earth without my best friend and eternal companion. Now I have to continue to be a single Mum to my three boys who miss their Dad and brother so much.<br> <br>I never could’ve imagined a year ago that this would be my life.&nbsp;When Aaron and I were sealed in the Sydney temple seventeen years ago, I imagined us growing old together.&nbsp;I imagined that one day we would get to travel the world together.&nbsp;I imagined we would be looking after our grandchildren and seeing our boys with their wives.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IFkcg0TXtNg/UQcZTLo_fhI/AAAAAAAAD6w/pMrr7fnn6N8/s1600/14406_440277929364669_350234166_n.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IFkcg0TXtNg/UQcZTLo_fhI/AAAAAAAAD6w/pMrr7fnn6N8/s1600/14406_440277929364669_350234166_n.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IFkcg0TXtNg/UQcZTLo_fhI/AAAAAAAAD6w/pMrr7fnn6N8/s1600/14406_440277929364669_350234166_n.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IFkcg0TXtNg/UQcZTLo_fhI/AAAAAAAAD6w/pMrr7fnn6N8/s1600/14406_440277929364669_350234166_n.jpg" height="240" width="320"></a></div> I am beyond grateful&nbsp;that we are sealed for time and all eternity, but eternity seems so far away when you are spending the rest of your time on earth without your best friend.&nbsp;Eternity seems so far away when a third of my family is no longer here. <br> <br>The scripture in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 reminds me that although my trials right now are so big and at times seem too much to bear, there is a bigger picture.&nbsp; <br> <br><em>For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; </em><br> <em>While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.</em><br> <br>President Harold B. Lee once said, “Sometimes when we are going through the most severe tests, we will be nearer to God than we have any idea."<br> <br> Australia Day 2012 was not only the day that Aaron passed away, but the day that made me rely on my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ more than I have ever before in my life.&nbsp; <br> <br>This year I’ve felt closer to God than I ever have before.&nbsp;I feel the Spirit often and it confirms to me that things will be okay, even though right now my heart is broken and I wish things were so different.&nbsp; <br> <br>Many times I have heard&nbsp;it said,&nbsp;"God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle," but recently I’ve heard a different saying. And it’s one that I know to be true, because I know I couldn’t do this without the help of my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ.&nbsp;It is that "God doesn’t give us what we can handle.&nbsp;God helps us handle what we are given."<br> <br>I often wonder what my life a year, five years or even ten years from now will be like. I find it hard to imagine that I will ever feel true happiness again without having Noah and Aaron here with us, but I am looking to the future with faith and hope that there will be happier days ahead.&nbsp; <br> <br>I recently came across a beautiful song by a Christian singer, Laura Story, which reminds me that after a trial come blessings if I can hold on.&nbsp; Some of the lyrics are: <br> <br><em>What if Your blessings come through raindrops<br>What if Your healing comes through tears<br>And what if a thousand sleepless nights<br>Are what it takes to know You're near<br>What if my greatest disappointments<br>Or the aching of this life<br>Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy<br>And what if trials of this life<br>The rain, the storms, the hardest nights<br>Are Your mercies in disguise</em><br> <em></em><br>Another quote which I love says:<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Cywm-hp2HdY/UQcZUR_SzhI/AAAAAAAAD64/4SCIQWa3Bik/s1600/258745941061113999_lzHJda95_c.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Cywm-hp2HdY/UQcZUR_SzhI/AAAAAAAAD64/4SCIQWa3Bik/s1600/258745941061113999_lzHJda95_c.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Cywm-hp2HdY/UQcZUR_SzhI/AAAAAAAAD64/4SCIQWa3Bik/s1600/258745941061113999_lzHJda95_c.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Cywm-hp2HdY/UQcZUR_SzhI/AAAAAAAAD64/4SCIQWa3Bik/s1600/258745941061113999_lzHJda95_c.jpg"></a></div> <br>I hope that in the future I can look back at this time in my life and say that my mess has been turned into a message, my test has strengthened my testimony of the gospel, and I that have triumphed over my trial.&nbsp; <br> <br>. <br> <br> <br> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s1600/LKing+bio+pic.jpg" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s1600/LKing+bio+pic.jpg" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s200/LKing+bio+pic.jpg" width="200" height="132" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s200/LKing+bio+pic.jpg"></a><i>Lisa King is a woman of faith with a zest for life who loves photography, chocolate, helping children with special needs and being a mum. TOFW first met Lisa at the Sydney, AU event in July 2011. We have been amazed at her ability to SEEK THE GOOD thru the trials that have come her way, including unexpectedly losing her son and husband within 4 months of each other. Lisa was born and raised, and continues to live in the beautiful area of Tasmania, AU and looks forward to the day when she can introduce her boys to Rexburg, Idaho, USA, where she has incredible memories of a year at college before returning to Australia where she met and married her sweetheart, the late Aaron King.</i><br> </div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <i>Photo by <a href="http://alanaastonphotography.com/" _mce_href="http://alanaastonphotography.com/">Alana Aston Photography</a> </i></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://lisajking.blogspot.com/" _mce_href="http://lisajking.blogspot.com/"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bY_PdZU7lNo/UFedUPC3slI/AAAAAAAABik/m2J7Ay4MuHs/s1600/kingsbutton.png" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bY_PdZU7lNo/UFedUPC3slI/AAAAAAAABik/m2J7Ay4MuHs/s1600/kingsbutton.png"></a></div> Sunburnt http://www.tofw.com/Sunburnt-Kathryn-Daring-Young-Mom/s/765 http://www.tofw.com/Sunburnt-Kathryn-Daring-Young-Mom/s/765 Wed, 23 Jan 2013 20:01:00 -0700 <div> by Kathryn from Daring Young Mom <br /> </div> <br> Sunbeams are warm and lovely, vibrant and life-giving. But if you get too close, they will incinerate you.<br> <br> This was my line of thinking as I drove away from church last Sunday after my first week teaching a room full of Sunbeams with my husband Dan. Our new calling is to teach the three-year-olds at church, including my sweet, occasionally potty-trained daughter “Wanda”.<br> <br> We taught them that they were children of God. We also taught them to sit in their chairs for the lesson and for sharing time, that dresses should be used to cover our bodies, not our heads, and OH-FOR-THE-LOVE-if-two-of-you-sit-still-at-the-same-time-for-30-seconds-I-will-buy-you-all-a-pony.<br> <br> That’s what we <i>taught </i>them.<br> <br> What they learned was – Sister and Brother Thompson love us, sharing time is long, and moving up to big kid primary is a lot like getting kicked out of the Garden of Eden. One week you’re playing with cars and trucks and snacking it up in luxury, and the next you get to follow up sacrament meeting with an hour sitting in hard chairs in a huge room full of big people, followed by another hour orbiting hard chairs in a prison cell with two crazy dancing grownups waving pictures from the gospel art picture kit. HUZZAH! By the sweat of their brows, indeed. Big kid primary is hard work. For everyone.<br> <br> And it’s a big change from the Young Women organization, where I’ve been serving for the past six years. I like to think of it as mini Relief Society, only better. You get to teach them the gospel and they actually learn it. There’s something amazing about being part of their lives right at the time that they’re deciding who they are and what they really believe. Also, in the Mia Maid class, the girls are loving and sweet and they notice everything about you.<br> <br> “Sister Thompson! Did you do something different with your hair? I love it! That is the cutest dress. Where did you get it? OhMyGoshYourEarringsAreSoFUN!”<br> <br> In primary they notice things about you too.<br> <br> Halfway through sharing time I noticed one little boy staring up at me intently. He was stroking the hair on my arm.<br> <br> “Sister Thompson?” he asked.<br> <br> “Yes, honey?”<br> <br> “Why do you have so much hair on your arms?”<br> <br> “It keeps me warm, I guess.” He looked unconvinced, squinting his eyes suspiciously.<br> <br> “No. I think it’s because you’re gonna grow up to be a daddy.” He then reached down and plucked one of the hairs from my arm. And then another. I didn’t scream. I didn’t even tear up.<br> <br> With the Young Women, I’m a fashion maven. In sunbeams, I’m a Yeti with man arms. Oh, how far we fall.<br> <br> The class pretty much ate us for lunch. There was crying, yelling, jungle-gyming it all over the chairs, kids lying on the floor moaning, refusing to participate. It was amazing.<br> <br> But I refuse to give in. Dan and I brought our four man-arms home, rolled up our sleeves and got to work. We have a plan. We have activities. We have stories. We have cheddar bunnies, and scarves that can be used for dancing or tying people to chairs. We spent this Saturday night preparing and packing the bag and then repreparing and then repacking the bag. We were almost ready.<br> <br> And then I remembered that I’d planned on printing out pictures we’d taken of each of the kids to use in our lesson tomorrow. So, I pulled them up in Photoshop and…<br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QiuvgHF5NYU/UP78oq9fNrI/AAAAAAAADpY/e3ajV4bV_Hs/s1600/Sunbeams.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QiuvgHF5NYU/UP78oq9fNrI/AAAAAAAADpY/e3ajV4bV_Hs/s1600/Sunbeams.jpg" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QiuvgHF5NYU/UP78oq9fNrI/AAAAAAAADpY/e3ajV4bV_Hs/s1600/Sunbeams.jpg" width="640" height="400" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QiuvgHF5NYU/UP78oq9fNrI/AAAAAAAADpY/e3ajV4bV_Hs/s1600/Sunbeams.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> Look at their FACES! Look again. For realz. I cannot stand the cuteness. It cannot be stood for.<br> <br> Yes. I have the best calling. Ever. Sunday may be total chaos and the only thing they learn might be that we love them. But that’s okay. We will sing and play and look into those little faces and know that we’re doing a good work. And we will wear long sleeves. And carry hand sanitizer.<br> <br> <br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qo0KQmQL-wY/UP7-eqOojbI/AAAAAAAADqw/ZVlSjmaxINQ/s1600/Kathryn.jpg" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qo0KQmQL-wY/UP7-eqOojbI/AAAAAAAADqw/ZVlSjmaxINQ/s1600/Kathryn.jpg" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qo0KQmQL-wY/UP7-eqOojbI/AAAAAAAADqw/ZVlSjmaxINQ/s1600/Kathryn.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qo0KQmQL-wY/UP7-eqOojbI/AAAAAAAADqw/ZVlSjmaxINQ/s1600/Kathryn.jpg"></a></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> Kathryn Thompson is a writer and stay-at-home mom who lives outside Seattle with her computer genius husband and three frequently delightful kids. Her blog <a href="http://daringyoungmom.com/" _mce_href="http://daringyoungmom.com/">DaringYoungMom.com</a> has been featured everywhere from The Today Show to the Seattle Times and she was a founding blogger at The Parenting Post, an award-winning blog run by Parenting Magazine. Kathryn’s fiction appears in agent and editor slush piles across the country and every once in a while, she throws a post at her food blog <a href="http://biteuponbite.com/" _mce_href="http://biteuponbite.com/">BiteUponBite.com</a>. Kathryn has a degree in English and Media Arts Studies from Brigham Young University. Before having kids, she worked as an Associate Librarian at the world’s greatest public library and enjoyed using the bathroom without spectators.<!--?xml:namespace prefix = o /--><o:p></o:p></div> <br> <div> <br></div> View from the Top http://www.tofw.com/View-Top-Lisa-King/s/768 http://www.tofw.com/View-Top-Lisa-King/s/768 Tue, 22 Jan 2013 12:14:00 -0700 <div> by Lisa King <br /> </div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IpOpl3lUNmA/UP7jrjWQByI/AAAAAAAADoA/FgbBbI-m79Q/s1600/photo(1).jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IpOpl3lUNmA/UP7jrjWQByI/AAAAAAAADoA/FgbBbI-m79Q/s1600/photo(1).jpg" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IpOpl3lUNmA/UP7jrjWQByI/AAAAAAAADoA/FgbBbI-m79Q/s1600/photo(1).jpg" width="640" height="640" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IpOpl3lUNmA/UP7jrjWQByI/AAAAAAAADoA/FgbBbI-m79Q/s1600/photo(1).jpg"></a></div> <br> Last summer, Aaron and I and our three boys hiked to one of Tasmania’s most iconic destinations, the Wineglass Bay Lookout. Wineglass Bay is only accessible by boat or by hiking there, first by going to the lookout and then down to the bay. The trail is good, but it is steep and at different stages there are a lot of steps. Once you make it to the lookout, you are rewarded with breathtaking views of a beautiful beach with pure white sand and turquoise water. <br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LVmK3gxbghs/UP7jiSXTgLI/AAAAAAAADng/Lz7dVexYwUU/s1600/IMG_2140.JPG" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LVmK3gxbghs/UP7jiSXTgLI/AAAAAAAADng/Lz7dVexYwUU/s1600/IMG_2140.JPG" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LVmK3gxbghs/UP7jiSXTgLI/AAAAAAAADng/Lz7dVexYwUU/s1600/IMG_2140.JPG" width="320" height="240" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LVmK3gxbghs/UP7jiSXTgLI/AAAAAAAADng/Lz7dVexYwUU/s1600/IMG_2140.JPG"></a></div> My brother, Christian, spent some time with us on our recent holiday. Even though he had been to Wineglass Bay as a child, he couldn’t remember it well. We had boated there just days before with my other brother and his family, but it is even better to see it from above, so we were keen to hike to the lookout to get an aerial view of the bay. <br> <br> I knew that it wouldn’t be an easy hike for Kobe, so I was grateful that my Mum said she would stay with my two younger boys while we did the quick forty five minute hike to the top. We headed off thinking we would run most of the way so we could get back to Mum and the boys as quickly as possible. <br> <br> Within a few minutes I realised that my fitness levels have really&nbsp;decreased over the last few months. I usually love going to the gym, but being a grieving and busy single Mum&nbsp;has not been good for my physical health. As much as I know how good exercise is and how good it makes me feel, it’s hard to find the time and energy to work out regularly. Because we had planned on just doing some sightseeing that day and hadn’t planned on the big hike, I was unprepared and wearing sandals, which were not at all suitable for the hike.<br> <br> <a style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; float: right;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-C1PuyuTvo-U/UP7jl5INtGI/AAAAAAAADnw/uhRTnTtj8Fo/s1600/DSC_1732+copy.jpg" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-C1PuyuTvo-U/UP7jl5INtGI/AAAAAAAADnw/uhRTnTtj8Fo/s1600/DSC_1732+copy.jpg" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-C1PuyuTvo-U/UP7jl5INtGI/AAAAAAAADnw/uhRTnTtj8Fo/s1600/DSC_1732+copy.jpg" width="320" height="213" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-C1PuyuTvo-U/UP7jl5INtGI/AAAAAAAADnw/uhRTnTtj8Fo/s1600/DSC_1732+copy.jpg"></a><br> My idea of running most of the way ended up being a semi fast walk as I tried to keep up to my brother. <br> <br> We would stop at different points to enjoy the view or sit down for a little rest. As we were walking quite fast, we passed other tourists along the way. Some carried umbrellas to shade themselves from the sun, some carried babies and toddlers in packs on their backs, and some were also lacking suitable shoes or clothes for the steep hike. One group of tourists even had music playing loudly as they laughed and talked together all the way to the top. <br> <br> The hike was a lot harder than I remembered last summer. My eldest son, Jalen, was right behind me and was also struggling with the pace and three quarters of the way up he said, "I’m going to go back down to the car. I’ll see you at the bottom."&nbsp; I would usually tell him to keep going, but I was struggling myself and actually considered joining him. I knew it wasn’t far to go, so I kept walking and within a couple of minutes my brother and I were at the top. <br> <br> The view was as incredible as I remembered, and I was so glad that I didn’t give up and turn around before reaching the top. During the hike back to the car I kept thinking about how it was just like my life at the moment. <br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-CWmDfGp00i8/UP7jkccZ-tI/AAAAAAAADno/gsaDao_3u3c/s1600/IMG_2254.JPG" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-CWmDfGp00i8/UP7jkccZ-tI/AAAAAAAADno/gsaDao_3u3c/s1600/IMG_2254.JPG" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-CWmDfGp00i8/UP7jkccZ-tI/AAAAAAAADno/gsaDao_3u3c/s1600/IMG_2254.JPG" width="240" height="320" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-CWmDfGp00i8/UP7jkccZ-tI/AAAAAAAADno/gsaDao_3u3c/s1600/IMG_2254.JPG"></a></div> I am feeling unprepared for the trials I have at the moment. I didn’t plan on traveling this path at all. Some days I feel fit and strong, and other days I’m out of breath. Some days I’m more prepared than others to face the big climb. Some days I feel like I’m being protected by the hot sun as others help to bear my load. Other days I feel like I have music playing as family, friends and even strangers help bring some joy back into our lives as we walk together. Every single day I want to turn around and go back to my old life, but I can’t. Just like my brother Christian encouraged me to continue to the top, I couldn’t continue on in my life right now without my brother and Savior, Jesus Christ, who is carrying me as I go through trials that I couldn’t bear on my own. <br> <br> I am trying to continue on with the steep climb as best I can, resting along the way when I need to, knowing that when I get to the top all the pain that I felt along the way will be mostly forgotten and the rewards will be incredible. <br> <br> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s1600/LKing+bio+pic.jpg" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s1600/LKing+bio+pic.jpg" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s200/LKing+bio+pic.jpg" width="200" height="132" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s200/LKing+bio+pic.jpg"></a><i>Lisa King is a woman of faith with a zest for life who loves photography, chocolate, helping children with special needs and being a mum. TOFW first met Lisa at the Sydney, AU event in July 2011. We have been amazed at her ability to SEEK THE GOOD thru the trials that have come her way, including unexpectedly losing her son and husband within 4 months of each other. Lisa was born and raised, and continues to live in the beautiful area of Tasmania, AU and looks forward to the day when she can introduce her boys to Rexburg, Idaho, USA, where she has incredible memories of a year at college before returning to Australia where she met and married her sweetheart, the late Aaron King.</i><br> </div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <i>Photo by <a href="http://alanaastonphotography.com/" _mce_href="http://alanaastonphotography.com/">Alana Aston Photography</a> </i></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://lisajking.blogspot.com/" _mce_href="http://lisajking.blogspot.com/"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bY_PdZU7lNo/UFedUPC3slI/AAAAAAAABik/m2J7Ay4MuHs/s1600/kingsbutton.png" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bY_PdZU7lNo/UFedUPC3slI/AAAAAAAABik/m2J7Ay4MuHs/s1600/kingsbutton.png"></a></div> 700 Loaves and 200 Fishes http://www.tofw.com/700-Loaves-200-Fishes-Melissa-320-Sycamore/s/762 http://www.tofw.com/700-Loaves-200-Fishes-Melissa-320-Sycamore/s/762 Wed, 16 Jan 2013 00:02:00 -0700 <div> by Melissa from 320 Sycamore <br /> </div> Hello, TOFW friends! I’m Melissa, and I blog at <a href="http://www.320sycamoreblog.com/" _mce_href="http://www.320sycamoreblog.com/">320 Sycamore</a>. My blog is all about bringing out the charm and potential in our homes and families, with a bit of nonsense and good deals scattered here and there. I am a stay at home mom of 5, I'm so NOT a professional, but I love to look at possibilities of what can "become" with limited time and money.<br> <br> One of my favorite quotes I have seen floating around online is this:<br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gBhogQWdPdw/UMe3UE_bQ2I/AAAAAAAAC5s/XFjxGTOpLDM/s1600/gratitude+turns.jpg" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gBhogQWdPdw/UMe3UE_bQ2I/AAAAAAAAC5s/XFjxGTOpLDM/s1600/gratitude+turns.jpg" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gBhogQWdPdw/UMe3UE_bQ2I/AAAAAAAAC5s/XFjxGTOpLDM/s1600/gratitude+turns.jpg" width="640" height="425" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gBhogQWdPdw/UMe3UE_bQ2I/AAAAAAAAC5s/XFjxGTOpLDM/s1600/gratitude+turns.jpg"></a><a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="https://www.blogger.com/$gratitude%20turns[5].jpg" _mce_href="https://www.blogger.com/$gratitude%20turns[5].jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" unselectable="on"></a><a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="https://www.blogger.com/$gratitude%20in%20home[3].jpg" _mce_href="https://www.blogger.com/$gratitude%20in%20home[3].jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" unselectable="on"></a><a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="https://www.blogger.com/$gratitude%20in%20home%202[4].jpg" _mce_href="https://www.blogger.com/$gratitude%20in%20home%202[4].jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></a><a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="https://www.blogger.com/" _mce_href="https://www.blogger.com/" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"></a></div> It reminds me of the account in the New Testament <strong>:</strong><br> Matthew 15:36 “<em>And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled…”</em> <br> <br> <em>Jesus <strong>gave thanks and there was enough.</strong></em> &nbsp;It’s so easy to get on blogs and Pinterest and Facebook and see what others display in perfectly lit&nbsp;and styled photos and start feeling very discouraged about the situation in our own homes. <br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; float: right;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5we3Zv6Qbc8/UPXer8WT64I/AAAAAAAADgI/PCbb6WU5LMQ/s1600/gratitude+in+home+2.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5we3Zv6Qbc8/UPXer8WT64I/AAAAAAAADgI/PCbb6WU5LMQ/s1600/gratitude+in+home+2.jpg" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5we3Zv6Qbc8/UPXer8WT64I/AAAAAAAADgI/PCbb6WU5LMQ/s1600/gratitude+in+home+2.jpg" width="213" height="320" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5we3Zv6Qbc8/UPXer8WT64I/AAAAAAAADgI/PCbb6WU5LMQ/s1600/gratitude+in+home+2.jpg"></a></div> But what if we gave thanks for what we had in our homes, right now, in it’s current condition? Would it make it enough? <br> *What if we gave thanks that we have our children, to ourselves, under our roofs, for <em>one-fifth of our lives, a short 18 years</em>? <br> *What if we gave thanks for the monotonous tasks like folding laundry, dishes, showering, or weeding because they can give us precious quiet time to think and come up with insights and solutions that usually don’t come in the chaos of life? <br> *What if we took time to serve someone in more humble living conditions than our own? Would we we have more gratitude for our own situation? <br> *What if we turned off the computer, opened the curtains, cleaned the kitchen, lit a candle, and played some beautiful music? Would the feeling in our home and about our home change? <br> <br> It seems some are given 700 loaves and 200 fishes and a custom home, body, and perfect family to boot, but if we follow the Savior’s example in giving thanks, we will find that He is enough to fill us<em> and</em> our homes. <br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.320sycamoreblog.com/" _mce_href="http://www.320sycamoreblog.com/"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Jh2lqe2C4tk/UPXeqBEJtrI/AAAAAAAADgA/ARUOeEQT-LU/s1600/signature.jpg" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Jh2lqe2C4tk/UPXeqBEJtrI/AAAAAAAADgA/ARUOeEQT-LU/s1600/signature.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> Sunny With a Chance of Storms http://www.tofw.com/Sunny-Chance-Storms-Lisa-King/s/761 http://www.tofw.com/Sunny-Chance-Storms-Lisa-King/s/761 Tue, 15 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0700 <div> by Lisa King <br /> </div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3d5lbhnDo7Q/UPSTEwinQMI/AAAAAAAADeU/9UPDwfSx2BE/s1600/photo.JPG" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3d5lbhnDo7Q/UPSTEwinQMI/AAAAAAAADeU/9UPDwfSx2BE/s1600/photo.JPG"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3d5lbhnDo7Q/UPSTEwinQMI/AAAAAAAADeU/9UPDwfSx2BE/s1600/photo.JPG" width="640" height="480" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3d5lbhnDo7Q/UPSTEwinQMI/AAAAAAAADeU/9UPDwfSx2BE/s1600/photo.JPG"></a></div> <br> The beach is still one of my favourite places to be, even though that’s where we were when Aaron passed away. It’s so therapeutic to sit and look at the ocean and soak up the sun, so I was grateful for a week to do just that, as some friends offered us the use of their beautiful holiday home for a week.&nbsp; <br> <br> Some of my family came to spend some time with us, and it was lovely to be with them. My brother is a keen fisherman and brought along a friend’s boat, large enough to hold all of us. We loved going to different beaches, stopping to fish along the way.&nbsp; <br> <br> Tasmania is well known not only for its beauty, but also its unpredictable weather. It is not uncommon to experience four seasons in one day. My brother often checks the weather forecast on the internet to work out what the boating conditions will be like, so one beautiful morning we headed out knowing that conditions could change in the afternoon.&nbsp; <br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-03nsNofM_zA/UPSTE63gYuI/AAAAAAAADeQ/ZYvRywA0pzU/s1600/photo1.JPG" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-03nsNofM_zA/UPSTE63gYuI/AAAAAAAADeQ/ZYvRywA0pzU/s1600/photo1.JPG"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-03nsNofM_zA/UPSTE63gYuI/AAAAAAAADeQ/ZYvRywA0pzU/s1600/photo1.JPG" width="240" height="320" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-03nsNofM_zA/UPSTE63gYuI/AAAAAAAADeQ/ZYvRywA0pzU/s1600/photo1.JPG"></a></div> The ocean was very calm as we boated out to a beautiful beach where we enjoyed some time swimming and hiking before getting back on the boat, just as the weather was changing. As huge waves crashed over the top of the boat, we huddled together, trying to shield all the kids, and quickly realised it was going to be a rough trip back. The kids started to panic and cry as wave after wave crashed on top of us.&nbsp; <br> <br> We were all drenched and decided that we needed to go under the boat to protect ourselves from the waves and wind. Two of my brothers stayed out on deck as my other brother, Eden, steered the boat through the waves to get us back to safety. <br> <br> For my boys and me it was a scary time, especially as we are not used to being on boats. As we huddled in the cab together my eldest son, Jalen, said a prayer, asking Heavenly Father to help us get back safely. I could see the panic on my boys’ faces which made me sad, because even though I tried to reassure them that we would be safe, I was nervous myself.<br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; float: right;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xmaVFvM-CHs/UPSTEz9Q2uI/AAAAAAAADeY/hNsKuJGa3-c/s1600/photo3.JPG" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xmaVFvM-CHs/UPSTEz9Q2uI/AAAAAAAADeY/hNsKuJGa3-c/s1600/photo3.JPG"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xmaVFvM-CHs/UPSTEz9Q2uI/AAAAAAAADeY/hNsKuJGa3-c/s1600/photo3.JPG" width="240" height="320" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xmaVFvM-CHs/UPSTEz9Q2uI/AAAAAAAADeY/hNsKuJGa3-c/s1600/photo3.JPG"></a></div> My brother had done this many times before and knew exactly what to do to get us back to shore safely. He knew how to navigate across the waves and when to go faster or to slow down, so that the impact of each wave was lessened.&nbsp; I could hear my brother saying, “This is a great boat,” as he saw how well it handled the rough seas. He wasn’t worried at all and knew that we would once again be back in calm waters.<br> <br> After a long half an hour we were back within the protection of the bay. We all climbed out of the cab and couldn’t believe the difference just a few minutes made. The sun was now shining and the boat was still.&nbsp; <br> <br> I was reminded of the scripture in Ether 2:2.<br> <br> <em>&nbsp;And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come. Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?</em><br> <em></em><br> I couldn’t help but think about how it is so much like my life at the moment. Right now it feels like I’m being thrown around on the rough seas. I’ve tried as much as I can to prepare for them by checking the weather, knowing storms may come, and by having a strong boat, but it doesn’t mean I’m not scared as the big waves crash upon me.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br> <br> To not be swallowed up by the depths of the sea, I have learnt to constantly pray – to pray for strength, to pray for guidance, and to pray for help, relying on my Heavenly Father and Savior more than ever.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br> <br> I have faith that one day I will be able to look back and remember how rough the seas were while I’m back in the protection of the bay, enjoying the calmer waters.&nbsp; <br> <br> <br> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s1600/LKing+bio+pic.jpg" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s1600/LKing+bio+pic.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s200/LKing+bio+pic.jpg" width="200" height="132" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s200/LKing+bio+pic.jpg"></a><i>Lisa King is a woman of faith with a zest for life who loves photography, chocolate, helping children with special needs and being a mum. TOFW first met Lisa at the Sydney, AU event in July 2011. We have been amazed at her ability to SEEK THE GOOD thru the trials that have come her way, including unexpectedly losing her son and husband within 4 months of each other. Lisa was born and raised, and continues to live in the beautiful area of Tasmania, AU and looks forward to the day when she can introduce her boys to Rexburg, Idaho, USA, where she has incredible memories of a year at college before returning to Australia where she met and married her sweetheart, the late Aaron King.</i></div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <i>Photo by <a href="http://alanaastonphotography.com/" _mce_href="http://alanaastonphotography.com/">Alana Aston Photography</a> </i></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://lisajking.blogspot.com/" _mce_href="http://lisajking.blogspot.com/"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bY_PdZU7lNo/UFedUPC3slI/AAAAAAAABik/m2J7Ay4MuHs/s1600/kingsbutton.png" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bY_PdZU7lNo/UFedUPC3slI/AAAAAAAABik/m2J7Ay4MuHs/s1600/kingsbutton.png"></a></div> {RECIPE} Cinnamon Tortilla Cake http://www.tofw.com/RECIPE-Cinnamon-Tortilla-Cake-Krista-Budget-Gourmet-Mom/s/754 http://www.tofw.com/RECIPE-Cinnamon-Tortilla-Cake-Krista-Budget-Gourmet-Mom/s/754 Wed, 09 Jan 2013 07:00:00 -0700 <div> by Krista from Budget Gourmet Mom <br /> </div> <a href="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Cinnamon-Tortilla-Cake-www.BudgetGourmetMom.com_3.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Cinnamon-Tortilla-Cake-www.BudgetGourmetMom.com_3.jpg"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-5404 aligncenter" title="Cinnamon Tortilla Cake {www.BudgetGourmetMom.com}" alt="" src="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Cinnamon-Tortilla-Cake-www.BudgetGourmetMom.com_3.jpg" width="640" height="480" _mce_src="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Cinnamon-Tortilla-Cake-www.BudgetGourmetMom.com_3.jpg"></a><br> <br> As a mother to four boys it's not very often things slow down enough for us to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Even if it did, helping mom cook is quickly getting bumped down the list for Legos and Angry Birds. My nieces, however, jump at the chance to help and the boys, while not big fans of the cooking, don't have any problems being taste testers. And so was the story the other day.<br> <br> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Cinnamon-Tortilla-Cake-www.BudgetGourmetMom.com_.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Cinnamon-Tortilla-Cake-www.BudgetGourmetMom.com_.jpg" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-5400 aligncenter" title="Cinnamon Tortilla Cake {www.BudgetGourmetMom.com}" alt="" src="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Cinnamon-Tortilla-Cake-www.BudgetGourmetMom.com_.jpg" width="400" height="300" _mce_src="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Cinnamon-Tortilla-Cake-www.BudgetGourmetMom.com_.jpg"></a>My nieces and nephew were hanging out, the kitchen was clean, and I had a hankerin’ for some fun. Luckily, so did the girls and I am a firm believer that a clean kitchen is not all it’s cracked up to be. We started brainstorming some ideas of what to cook up. It couldn’t take too long since their mother would back in about an hour and it needed to come from things I had in my pantry. We thought of a dessert pizza but you have to wait for butter to soften or dough to rise. Then we moved on to something with peppermint…cookies? Doughnuts? Cake? Clearly we are all peas in a pod since the thought of something savory never even crossed our mind. Sweet is where it’s at.<br> <br> <a style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; float: right;" href="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Cinnamon-Tortilla-Cake-www.BudgetGourmetMom.com_1.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Cinnamon-Tortilla-Cake-www.BudgetGourmetMom.com_1.jpg" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-5401 aligncenter" title="Cinnamon Tortilla Cake {www.BudgetGourmetMom.com}" alt="" src="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Cinnamon-Tortilla-Cake-www.BudgetGourmetMom.com_1.jpg" width="300" height="400" _mce_src="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Cinnamon-Tortilla-Cake-www.BudgetGourmetMom.com_1.jpg"></a>&nbsp; As we were scheming my niece mentioned some yummy cinnamon tortilla roll ups her mom had made the other day. Not only did I have tortillas in my pantry but I love cinnamon and sugar tortilla roll ups. My mother made those for me as a little girl and the combination of melted butter, cinnamon, and “dough” is enough to send me into nap mode. It’s hard to improve something that is already wonderful but I wanted to add a bit of flare to the mix. My mind immediately turned to cinnamon rolls. And what goes better with cinnamon rolls then cream cheese frosting? Pretty much nothing. <a href="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Cinnamon-Tortilla-Cake-www.BudgetGourmetMom.com_2.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Cinnamon-Tortilla-Cake-www.BudgetGourmetMom.com_2.jpg"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-5402 aligncenter" title="Cinnamon Tortilla Cake {www.BudgetGourmetMom.com}" alt="" src="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Cinnamon-Tortilla-Cake-www.BudgetGourmetMom.com_2.jpg" width="300" height="400" _mce_src="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Cinnamon-Tortilla-Cake-www.BudgetGourmetMom.com_2.jpg"></a><br> <br> &nbsp;So the idea was proposed and it was a yay all around. We quickly got to work in the kitchen and I set up some props for a photo shoot. Are these not the most beautiful girls in the world? My kids are adorable but when I’m taking pictures of them it’s not unusual to hear, “Just one more picture and I’ll give you a fruit snack!” Apparently I’m not above treating my children like pets and rather than making them suffer through one more picture my nieces were eager to stand in.<br> <br> <a style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; float: right;" href="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Cinnamon-Tortilla-Cake-www.BudgetGourmetMom.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Cinnamon-Tortilla-Cake-www.BudgetGourmetMom.jpg" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-5403 aligncenter" title="Cinnamon Tortilla Cake {www.BudgetGourmetMom.com}" alt="" src="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Cinnamon-Tortilla-Cake-www.BudgetGourmetMom.jpg" width="300" height="400" _mce_src="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Cinnamon-Tortilla-Cake-www.BudgetGourmetMom.jpg"></a>After all was said and done I let the kids decorate their own slice with sprinkles. Just a word of caution, limit the amount of sprinkles to just ¼ cup. Sprinkles are inherently addictive, especially in the hands of my little rugrats. With my part done, I sent them home with their mom. Completely high on sugar and beaming with pride over the fabulous treat they made. Out of all the recipes I have made with kids I have to say this is one of my favorites. It’s simple, requires a minimal amount of actual cooking, and makes me feel like an awesome mom after having given them at least 30 minutes of my undivided attention.<br> <strong><br></strong> <strong>Cinnamon Tortilla Cake</strong><br> <br> &nbsp;Ingredients<br> <ul> <li>6 - 6-8 inch flour tortillas</li> <li>2 tablespoons cinnamon</li> <li>1/4 cup granulated sugar</li> <li>1/4 cup butter, melted</li> </ul> Cream Cheese Frosting <br> <ul> <li>8 oz cream cheese, softened</li> <li>1/2 cup butter, softened</li> <li>4 cups powdered sugar</li> <li>1 cup heavy cream</li> </ul> Directions <br> <ol> <li>Begin by making the frosting. In a medium bowl beat the cream cheese and softened butter until fluffy.</li> <li>Add the powdered sugar, 2 cups at a time. Beat until combined then slowly add the cream. Set aside.</li> <li>In a small bowl mix the cinnamon and sugar until incorporated.</li> <li>On the plate you intend to serve it on, lay down one tortilla. Brush with melted butter then sprinkle generously with the cinnamon and sugar. Spread approximately 1/2 cup frosting on the tortilla.</li> <li>Repeat step 4 until all of the tortillas are gone. On the top of the cake spread the rest of the frosting, allowing it to drip down the sides. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon and sugar and sprinkles, if desired.</li> <li>Chill in the freezer for 30-60 minutes then serve.</li> </ol> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-j5C44EeFzkg/UO7rlcQVVzI/AAAAAAAADWQ/jUUKYvGUT1I/s1600/krista.jpg" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-j5C44EeFzkg/UO7rlcQVVzI/AAAAAAAADWQ/jUUKYvGUT1I/s1600/krista.jpg" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-j5C44EeFzkg/UO7rlcQVVzI/AAAAAAAADWQ/jUUKYvGUT1I/s1600/krista.jpg" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-j5C44EeFzkg/UO7rlcQVVzI/AAAAAAAADWQ/jUUKYvGUT1I/s1600/krista.jpg"></a></div> <span id="goog_1067093628"></span><span id="goog_1067093629"></span>I'm obsessed with cheese way too much. I usually have a Diet Coke in one hand and chocolate in the other. I have a knight in shining armor and I think my kids are as cute as they come. Join me on my journey as I try to balance everything on a budget at <a href="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/" _mce_href="http://www.budgetgourmetmom.com/">Budget Gourmet Mom</a>!<br> <br> <br> <ol> </ol> New Day Resolutions http://www.tofw.com/New-Day-Resolutions-Lisa-King/s/756 http://www.tofw.com/New-Day-Resolutions-Lisa-King/s/756 Tue, 08 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0700 <div> by Lisa King <br /> </div> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-R9PwTwwPPd4/UOtrv8v5oBI/AAAAAAAADTA/44dHZ8mfX0A/s1600/DSC_0180.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-R9PwTwwPPd4/UOtrv8v5oBI/AAAAAAAADTA/44dHZ8mfX0A/s1600/DSC_0180.jpg" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-R9PwTwwPPd4/UOtrv8v5oBI/AAAAAAAADTA/44dHZ8mfX0A/s1600/DSC_0180.jpg" width="640" height="424" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-R9PwTwwPPd4/UOtrv8v5oBI/AAAAAAAADTA/44dHZ8mfX0A/s1600/DSC_0180.jpg"></a></div> <br> As the New Year comes around I always reflect on the past year and wonder what the next one will bring. When Noah was alive I was always so grateful that we were blessed to have another year with him but always worried that the next year may be the year that he would pass away. Because of that I often felt sad on New Year’s Eve. <br> <br> New Year’s Eve 2011 was our first one without Noah. Aaron and I sat on a riverbank with our boys and talked about how it was the hardest year of our lives. I looked forward to the coming year for the first time in a long time. The New Year would mean we could put a very sad year behind us.<br> <br> We were extremely heartbroken, but we looked forward to the future with our three beautiful boys who were still with us. We planned on making 2012 a good year for our family.<br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fb5R3AVznmI/UOtryZc0tgI/AAAAAAAADTM/_tMJSyvDRIQ/s1600/photo9.JPG" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fb5R3AVznmI/UOtryZc0tgI/AAAAAAAADTM/_tMJSyvDRIQ/s1600/photo9.JPG" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fb5R3AVznmI/UOtryZc0tgI/AAAAAAAADTM/_tMJSyvDRIQ/s1600/photo9.JPG" width="320" height="320" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fb5R3AVznmI/UOtryZc0tgI/AAAAAAAADTM/_tMJSyvDRIQ/s1600/photo9.JPG"></a></div> Like other years, Aaron and I talked about making some resolutions for 2012. Each year we would make some of the same resolutions, which usually included wanting to get more fit and losing weight or spending our time more wisely.<br> <br> Twenty six days into 2012, my eternal companion and best friend passed away right in front of me. And last week I sat on that same riverbank with my family and friends as we celebrated New Year’s Eve together. I was relieved to put 2012 behind me, but I was also sad that we were going into 2013, the first year that Aaron hasn’t been here for. <br> <br> This year I didn’t make any New Year's resolutions. I would still like to lose weight and become fitter, but that’s not as important to me anymore. Every day for the past eleven months I have made “New Day" resolutions. I’ve discovered that each day is an opportunity to make a resolution or choice about what I will do to get through another day and to cope with what has happened. <br> <br> Richard C Edgley said, &nbsp;“<i>Because of the conflicts and challenges we face in today’s world, I wish to suggest a single choice—a choice of peace and protection and a choice that is appropriate for all. That choice is faith. Be aware that faith is not a free gift given without thought, desire, or effort. It does not come as the dew falls from heaven. The Savior said, “Come unto me” and “Knock, and it shall be given you”. These are action verbs—come, knock. They are choices. So I say, choose faith. Choose faith over doubt, choose faith over fear, choose faith over the unknown and the unseen, and choose faith over pessimism."</i><br> <i><br></i> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; float: right;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Im2408Yo_m0/UOtrxxOGBoI/AAAAAAAADTI/Hi_rg6NVNz0/s1600/photo8.JPG" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Im2408Yo_m0/UOtrxxOGBoI/AAAAAAAADTI/Hi_rg6NVNz0/s1600/photo8.JPG" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Im2408Yo_m0/UOtrxxOGBoI/AAAAAAAADTI/Hi_rg6NVNz0/s1600/photo8.JPG" width="240" height="320" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Im2408Yo_m0/UOtrxxOGBoI/AAAAAAAADTI/Hi_rg6NVNz0/s1600/photo8.JPG"></a></div> I don’t have a choice in how I am feeling. I can’t choose to not be sad. Some days I can’t stop the tears from flowing no matter how hard I try. I can’t choose to stop those feelings, but I can choose what I do each day to help me deal with the grief I’m going through. <br> <br> Some of those choices or resolutions I make every day are things like just getting out of bed and going to work, or doing fun things with the boys when I’d much rather just stay home and hide away from the world. Other choices I make are to pray constantly to our Heavenly Father to ask him for help to get through each day, or to count my blessings when it would be much easier to look at all the negatives in my life right now.<br> <br> Neil L Andersen said, <i>"By definition, trials will be trying. There may be anguish, confusion, sleepless nights, and pillows wet with tears. But our trials need not be spiritually fatal."</i><br> <i><br></i> <br> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" class="separator"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Bg_spnh0ru8/UOtrxHuzpVI/AAAAAAAADTQ/IYh9v-UnQG8/s1600/photo7.JPG" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Bg_spnh0ru8/UOtrxHuzpVI/AAAAAAAADTQ/IYh9v-UnQG8/s1600/photo7.JPG" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Bg_spnh0ru8/UOtrxHuzpVI/AAAAAAAADTQ/IYh9v-UnQG8/s1600/photo7.JPG" width="264" height="320" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Bg_spnh0ru8/UOtrxHuzpVI/AAAAAAAADTQ/IYh9v-UnQG8/s1600/photo7.JPG"></a>Along the same lines the Apostle Orson F Whitney said, <i>“Trials give us opportunities to show the Lord and ourselves that we will be faithful. We can choose to feel sorry for ourselves and ask, “Why me?” or we can grow from our trials, increase our faith in the Lord, and ask, “How can I be faithful in the midst of this trial?” We can let adversity break us down and make us bitter, or we can let it refine us and make us stronger. We can allow adversity to lead us to drift away from the things that matter most, or we can use it as a stepping-stone to grow closer to things of eternal worth.”</i><br> <i><br></i> Even though it’s very hard, I am trying every day to make a “New Day” resolution to continue on in my life with my boys in the way that I know that my Heavenly Father, my Savior Jesus Christ and also Noah and Aaron would want me to, so that I can one day be with them again.<br> <br> <br></div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s1600/LKing+bio+pic.jpg" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s1600/LKing+bio+pic.jpg" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s200/LKing+bio+pic.jpg" width="200" height="132" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s200/LKing+bio+pic.jpg"></a><i>Lisa King is a woman of faith with a zest for life who loves photography, chocolate, helping children with special needs and being a mum. TOFW first met Lisa at the Sydney, AU event in July 2011. We have been amazed at her ability to SEEK THE GOOD thru the trials that have come her way, including unexpectedly losing her son and husband within 4 months of each other. Lisa was born and raised, and continues to live in the beautiful area of Tasmania, AU and looks forward to the day when she can introduce her boys to Rexburg, Idaho, USA, where she has incredible memories of a year at college before returning to Australia where she met and married her sweetheart, the late Aaron King.</i><br> </div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <i>Photo by <a href="http://alanaastonphotography.com/" _mce_href="http://alanaastonphotography.com/">Alana Aston Photography</a> </i></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://lisajking.blogspot.com/" _mce_href="http://lisajking.blogspot.com/"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bY_PdZU7lNo/UFedUPC3slI/AAAAAAAABik/m2J7Ay4MuHs/s1600/kingsbutton.png" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bY_PdZU7lNo/UFedUPC3slI/AAAAAAAABik/m2J7Ay4MuHs/s1600/kingsbutton.png"></a></div> Ta-Da! List http://www.tofw.com/Ta-Da-List-Stephanie-Somewhat-Simple/s/751 http://www.tofw.com/Ta-Da-List-Stephanie-Somewhat-Simple/s/751 Wed, 02 Jan 2013 15:04:00 -0700 <div> by Stephanie from Somewhat Simple <br /> </div> A couple weeks ago, I attended Time Out For Women in Phoenix, AZ. This was my 3rd time attending TOFW and it was fabulous! One of the speakers (Julie de Azevedo Hanks) suggested that instead of keeping a "To Do List" we should instead keep a "Ta-Da List" and record the things we do each day that are praise-worthy. Isn't it more exciting to remind ourselves how much good we accomplished in a day rather than beat ourselves up over all the tasks we didn't get to? <a href="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ta-da-list-somewhat-simple.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ta-da-list-somewhat-simple.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-15400" title="ta da list somewhat simple" alt="" src="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ta-da-list-somewhat-simple.jpg" width="732" height="1024" _mce_src="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ta-da-list-somewhat-simple.jpg"></a> I made this free printable "Ta-Da List" just for you! Right click to save the image and print it, or <a href="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/TaDa-List1.pdf" _mce_href="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/TaDa-List1.pdf">CLICK HERE</a> to download the PDF. <a href="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ta-da-list.png" _mce_href="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ta-da-list.png"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-15566" title="ta da list" alt="" src="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ta-da-list.png" width="600" height="450" _mce_src="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ta-da-list.png"></a><br> &nbsp;The PDF has a 5x7 print as well as a print that fits the entire page so you can stick it in a notebook or journal. You can print it as many times as you'd like and save your daily accomplishments in your journal, or you can print it once, frame it and write on it each day with a dry-erase marker! <a href="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ta-da.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ta-da.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-15567" title="ta da" alt="" src="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ta-da.jpg" width="700" height="1002" _mce_src="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ta-da.jpg"></a>However big or small these tasks may seem, they are important. So let's make sure we are recognizing our accomplishments and giving ourselves something to smile about! <br> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> ENJOY!</div> <a href="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/sdulgarian-300-round.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/sdulgarian-300-round.jpg"><img class="size-thumbnail wp-image-14995 alignleft" title="sdulgarian 300 round" alt="" src="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/sdulgarian-300-round-150x150.jpg" width="150" height="150" _mce_src="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/sdulgarian-300-round-150x150.jpg"></a><em>For more creative ideas, visit Stephanie on her blog, <a href="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/" target="_blank" _mce_href="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/">Somewhat Simple</a> and track her down on<a href="http://pinterest.com/somewhatsimple/" target="_blank" _mce_href="http://pinterest.com/somewhatsimple/"> pinterest</a>, <a href="http://www.facebook.com/somewhatsimpleblog" target="_blank" _mce_href="http://www.facebook.com/somewhatsimpleblog">facebook</a> and<a href="https://twitter.com/SimpleStephD/" target="_blank" _mce_href="https://twitter.com/SimpleStephD/"> twitter. </a><em>Get inspired by simple tutorials, including </em><a href="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/dry-erase-glass-calendar/" target="_blank" _mce_href="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/dry-erase-glass-calendar/">The Dry Erase Glass Calendar</a> and <a href="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/how-to-frame-your-bathroom-mirror-over-plastic-clips/" target="_blank" _mce_href="http://www.somewhatsimple.com/how-to-frame-your-bathroom-mirror-over-plastic-clips/">How to Frame Your Bathroom Mirror over those Ugly Plastic Clips! </a></em> Broken Hearts Like Mine http://www.tofw.com/Broken-Hearts-Mine-Lisa-King/s/750 http://www.tofw.com/Broken-Hearts-Mine-Lisa-King/s/750 Wed, 02 Jan 2013 12:16:00 -0700 <div> by Lisa King <br /> </div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ehHMg3PyAVw/UOSEKC2wxnI/AAAAAAAADMM/J3EvhAr-mAk/s1600/224837_10151653642599572_1407914319_n.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ehHMg3PyAVw/UOSEKC2wxnI/AAAAAAAADMM/J3EvhAr-mAk/s1600/224837_10151653642599572_1407914319_n.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ehHMg3PyAVw/UOSEKC2wxnI/AAAAAAAADMM/J3EvhAr-mAk/s1600/224837_10151653642599572_1407914319_n.jpg" width="640" height="426" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ehHMg3PyAVw/UOSEKC2wxnI/AAAAAAAADMM/J3EvhAr-mAk/s1600/224837_10151653642599572_1407914319_n.jpg"></a></div> <br> During the week someone emailed me and mentioned a song by Cherie Call called <em>Broken Hearts Like Mine</em>.&nbsp;I hadn’t heard it before but have since listened to it with tears streaming down my face.&nbsp;Some of the lyrics are:<br> <br><em>I can feel the tenderness of friends who care<br>I can see the children playing everywhere<br>I just try to fade into the scenery<br>‘Cause everyone is meant to be Christmasing<br>I am not homeless or alone or poor<br>Sometimes I’m content to be ignored<br>But that doesn’t mean that I don’t believe<br>Believing is what saves me in times like these</em><br> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: left; clear: both;"> <a style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; float: right;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-68YkilZE8N4/UOSEIq49NYI/AAAAAAAADME/rYQs6K6DXFo/s1600/148947_10151653633599572_409312578_n.jpg" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-68YkilZE8N4/UOSEIq49NYI/AAAAAAAADME/rYQs6K6DXFo/s1600/148947_10151653633599572_409312578_n.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-68YkilZE8N4/UOSEIq49NYI/AAAAAAAADME/rYQs6K6DXFo/s1600/148947_10151653633599572_409312578_n.jpg" width="213" height="320" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-68YkilZE8N4/UOSEIq49NYI/AAAAAAAADME/rYQs6K6DXFo/s1600/148947_10151653633599572_409312578_n.jpg"></a><em>Jesus was born in a stable, so He must know how it can be<br>Sometimes I feel like this holiday doesn’t have a place for me<br>But when it’s all I can do just to make it through this bittersweet Christmastime<br>I remember Jesus was born and He lived and He died<br>For broken hearts like mine</em><br> <em></em><br> <em>I’ll be singing once again, I just need a little time<br>I’m thankful that Jesus was born, and He lived, and He died for broken hearts like mine.</em><br> <br> This beautiful and tender song described my Christmas Day perfectly. <br> <br>Harri woke me up on Christmas morning with a big grin as he said, "It’s Christmas!" It took me a few seconds to wake up properly and realise where we were.&nbsp; We were staying at my parent’s house so we didn’t have to wake up on our own on Christmas morning. <br> <br></div> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jneh5yrSV5c/UOSEF0z1s9I/AAAAAAAADL0/ZWVy0egTTjc/s1600/13710_10151653637914572_1333180062_n.jpg" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jneh5yrSV5c/UOSEF0z1s9I/AAAAAAAADL0/ZWVy0egTTjc/s1600/13710_10151653637914572_1333180062_n.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jneh5yrSV5c/UOSEF0z1s9I/AAAAAAAADL0/ZWVy0egTTjc/s1600/13710_10151653637914572_1333180062_n.jpg" width="213" height="320" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jneh5yrSV5c/UOSEF0z1s9I/AAAAAAAADL0/ZWVy0egTTjc/s1600/13710_10151653637914572_1333180062_n.jpg"></a>All three of my boys were so excited and couldn’t wait to get downstairs to start opening up their presents.&nbsp;I was glad that they were so happy, but my heart just felt empty as I faced the first Christmas without both Aaron and Noah.&nbsp; </div><p> <br> If it wasn’t for my boys, I would’ve preferred to have just hidden away at home.&nbsp;After breakfast at my parent’s home we headed to my brother and sister in laws for Christmas lunch. I was grateful for my family who all tried to make the day as easy as possible for me.&nbsp;My two beautiful sister-in-laws took charge of organising everything, and when they gave out food assignments it was obvious that they were making things even easier on me by taking on the load of the food preparation themselves. <br>It was lovely to see my family, but I kept wishing the day would just hurry up and be over with, so I could say that I had gotten through it and I could get on with facing the next anniversary.&nbsp;We sat outside in the warm sun and ate a delicious lunch and afterwards the kids put their bathers on and squealed as they ran through a sprinkler and shot each other with water pistols (the joys of an Australian Christmas).<br> </p><div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> I felt happy as I watched my boys run around with their cousins and uncles.&nbsp;My brother pulled out a big roll of plastic and made a massive water slide in their backyard.&nbsp;It was so fun watching the kids on the slide and my heart felt lighter as the day went on. </div> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> &nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <a style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; float: right;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5h3QSTjPAgc/UOSELr5tP-I/AAAAAAAADMU/3UsFfkqXwJw/s1600/262703_10151653641904572_809445759_n.jpg" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5h3QSTjPAgc/UOSELr5tP-I/AAAAAAAADMU/3UsFfkqXwJw/s1600/262703_10151653641904572_809445759_n.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5h3QSTjPAgc/UOSELr5tP-I/AAAAAAAADMU/3UsFfkqXwJw/s1600/262703_10151653641904572_809445759_n.jpg" width="320" height="213" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5h3QSTjPAgc/UOSELr5tP-I/AAAAAAAADMU/3UsFfkqXwJw/s1600/262703_10151653641904572_809445759_n.jpg"></a>After watching the kids on the water slide, I couldn’t resist any longer and got my bathers on so I could join in on the fun too.&nbsp;It’s amazing how the sun, some water and bubbles and black plastic can change your mood.&nbsp;We had a wonderful time on the home made water slide and by the end of it, my heart felt a lot lighter.&nbsp; </div> <br>We were blessed with beautiful weather, so we headed to the beach in the early evening to meet up with some of my extended family.&nbsp;It was lovely to end off Christmas day with swimming, playing cricket and throwing a Frisbee around together. <br> <br> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> I appreciated the love and kindness shown to me by my cousins as they asked me how the day had been and understood that it was a hard day, despite having a smile on my face at times. I knew how blessed I was to be surrounded by family members for Christmas and know that not everyone is blessed with the same.&nbsp; </div> <br>I was grateful that although I felt very sad in the morning, by the end of the day I was smiling and laughing and thinking about the fun memories we would have of our first Christmas without Noah and Aaron. <br> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s1600/LKing+bio+pic.jpg" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s1600/LKing+bio+pic.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s200/LKing+bio+pic.jpg" width="200" height="132" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s200/LKing+bio+pic.jpg"></a><i>Lisa King is a woman of faith with a zest for life who loves photography, chocolate, helping children with special needs and being a mum. TOFW first met Lisa at the Sydney, AU event in July 2011. We have been amazed at her ability to SEEK THE GOOD thru the trials that have come her way, including unexpectedly losing her son and husband within 4 months of each other. Lisa was born and raised, and continues to live in the beautiful area of Tasmania, AU and looks forward to the day when she can introduce her boys to Rexburg, Idaho, USA, where she has incredible memories of a year at college before returning to Australia where she met and married her sweetheart, the late Aaron King.</i><br> <em>&nbsp;</em></div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <i>Photo by <a href="http://alanaastonphotography.com/" _mce_href="http://alanaastonphotography.com/">Alana Aston Photography</a> </i></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://lisajking.blogspot.com/" _mce_href="http://lisajking.blogspot.com/"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bY_PdZU7lNo/UFedUPC3slI/AAAAAAAABik/m2J7Ay4MuHs/s1600/kingsbutton.png" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bY_PdZU7lNo/UFedUPC3slI/AAAAAAAABik/m2J7Ay4MuHs/s1600/kingsbutton.png"></a></div> The Real Meaning of Hope http://www.tofw.com/Real-Meaning-Hope-Lisa-King/s/748 http://www.tofw.com/Real-Meaning-Hope-Lisa-King/s/748 Wed, 26 Dec 2012 09:40:00 -0700 <div> by Lisa King <br /> </div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dql5vtA1ngM/UNsnGgQPoYI/AAAAAAAADJE/YxgwBt4XNpg/s1600/attachment+%25283%2529.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dql5vtA1ngM/UNsnGgQPoYI/AAAAAAAADJE/YxgwBt4XNpg/s1600/attachment+%25283%2529.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dql5vtA1ngM/UNsnGgQPoYI/AAAAAAAADJE/YxgwBt4XNpg/s1600/attachment+%25283%2529.jpg" width="640" height="424" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dql5vtA1ngM/UNsnGgQPoYI/AAAAAAAADJE/YxgwBt4XNpg/s1600/attachment+%25283%2529.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <span style='color: rgb(47, 57, 58); font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";' lang="EN-AU" _mce_style='color: #2f393a; font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";'>Along with the rest of the world my heart broke last week as I watched what was unfolding in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:state w:st="on">Connecticut</st1:state></st1:place>.&nbsp;To hear that twenty children and six adults were killed was incomprehensible.&nbsp;I can’t imagine how hard it would be to lose a child in that way, yet I watched in amazement as two parents spoke about their beautiful daughter, Emilie, who was killed and their compassion for the man who killed her.&nbsp; <?xml:namespace prefix = o /><o:p></o:p></span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <span style='color: rgb(47, 57, 58); font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";' lang="EN-AU" _mce_style='color: #2f393a; font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";'><br></span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <span style='color: rgb(47, 57, 58); font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";' lang="EN-AU" _mce_style='color: #2f393a; font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";'>What an amazing example they were to me as they said that they had felt no anger towards the man who killed their daughter. They expressed their extreme sorrow, but said that they felt blessed by their Heavenly Father that the natural anger they expected to come has never surfaced in them.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <span style='color: rgb(47, 57, 58); font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";' lang="EN-AU" _mce_style='color: #2f393a; font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";'><br></span></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; float: right;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5pm8CIBrEjc/UNsnEMt0P5I/AAAAAAAADI8/Okdz69nC474/s1600/attachment+%25282%2529.jpg" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5pm8CIBrEjc/UNsnEMt0P5I/AAAAAAAADI8/Okdz69nC474/s1600/attachment+%25282%2529.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5pm8CIBrEjc/UNsnEMt0P5I/AAAAAAAADI8/Okdz69nC474/s1600/attachment+%25282%2529.jpg" width="212" height="320" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5pm8CIBrEjc/UNsnEMt0P5I/AAAAAAAADI8/Okdz69nC474/s1600/attachment+%25282%2529.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <span style='color: rgb(47, 57, 58); font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";' lang="EN-AU" _mce_style='color: #2f393a; font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";'>Since Noah and Aaron have passed away I have heard a lot about grief. I have to admit that I haven’t read very much about grief because grieving is enough on its own, but I’m aware that there are supposed to be certain stages of grief, anger being one of them. <o:p></o:p></span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <span style='color: rgb(47, 57, 58); font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";' lang="EN-AU" _mce_style='color: #2f393a; font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";'><br></span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <span style='color: rgb(47, 57, 58); font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";' lang="EN-AU" _mce_style='color: #2f393a; font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";'>I’m not sure exactly what stage of grief I am at right now, but I have also been so blessed to not feel any anger about Noah and Aaron passing away.&nbsp;I know that losing Aaron and Noah is nothing like what the parents and families of those who were killed in <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Connecticut</st1:place></st1:state> are going through, and if I was going through the same thing I’m not sure I would feel the same way.<o:p></o:p></span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <span style='color: rgb(47, 57, 58); font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";' lang="EN-AU" _mce_style='color: #2f393a; font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";'><br></span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <span style='color: rgb(47, 57, 58); font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";' lang="EN-AU" _mce_style='color: #2f393a; font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";'>I know that despite what has happened to us in the last fourteen months, I have also been blessed by my Heavenly Father to feel no anger about what has happened.&nbsp;I feel sad every day and do wish things were so different, but I’m so grateful that so far I haven’t had to deal with feelings of anger about what has happened.&nbsp;I sometimes wonder how it can be fair to lose Noah and Aaron so close together, but those feelings don’t stay with me and for that I am grateful. <o:p></o:p></span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <span style='color: rgb(47, 57, 58); font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";' lang="EN-AU" _mce_style='color: #2f393a; font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";'><br></span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <span style='color: rgb(47, 57, 58); font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";' lang="EN-AU" _mce_style='color: #2f393a; font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";'>Even though I have lost a child and my husband, I have no idea what the families in Connecticut are going through, and my heart breaks for them as I know how much they are missing their loved ones, especially at this time of the year. <o:p></o:p></span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <span style='color: rgb(47, 57, 58); font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";' lang="EN-AU" _mce_style='color: #2f393a; font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";'>Christmas is usually a time to celebrate, but for many it is a very hard time of the year. This year, more than ever, I’m aware that so many people are struggling in one way or another.&nbsp;So many people are grieving, going through divorce, suffering from depression or loneliness, are caring for loved ones who are sick, or are suffering bad health themselves. <o:p></o:p></span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <span style='color: rgb(47, 57, 58); font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";' lang="EN-AU" _mce_style='color: #2f393a; font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";'><br></span></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kmHfhxNLzPo/UNsnDJNYzKI/AAAAAAAADI0/P-qJAHdJT4Y/s1600/attachment+%25281%2529.jpg" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kmHfhxNLzPo/UNsnDJNYzKI/AAAAAAAADI0/P-qJAHdJT4Y/s1600/attachment+%25281%2529.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kmHfhxNLzPo/UNsnDJNYzKI/AAAAAAAADI0/P-qJAHdJT4Y/s1600/attachment+%25281%2529.jpg" width="320" height="213" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kmHfhxNLzPo/UNsnDJNYzKI/AAAAAAAADI0/P-qJAHdJT4Y/s1600/attachment+%25281%2529.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <span style='color: rgb(47, 57, 58); font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";' lang="EN-AU" _mce_style='color: #2f393a; font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";'>Elder David A. Bednar said,&nbsp; <i>"The Savior has suffered not just for our iniquities but also for the inequality, the unfairness, the pain, the anguish, and the emotional distresses that so frequently beset us. There is no physical pain, no anguish of soul, no suffering of spirit, no infirmity or weakness that you or I ever experience during our mortal journey that the Savior did not experience first. You and I in a moment of weakness may cry out, 'No one understands. No one knows.' No human being, perhaps, knows. But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He felt and bore our burdens before we ever did. And because He paid the ultimate price and bore that burden, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy in so many phases of our life. He can reach out, touch, succor—literally run to us—and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do through relying upon only our own power."</i><o:p></o:p></span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <span style='color: rgb(47, 57, 58); font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";' lang="EN-AU" _mce_style='color: #2f393a; font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";'><br></span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <span style='color: rgb(47, 57, 58); font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";' lang="EN-AU" _mce_style='color: #2f393a; font-family: "Lucida Sans Unicode","sans-serif";'>Today I read a quote that said that hope stands for "hold on pain ends."&nbsp; I’m not sure if the pain that I feel after losing Aaron and Noah will ever end during this life, but I know that the pain I feel is lessened and a weight has been lifted by my Savior who bore the burden for me. And without that I could not deal with the things that have happened to us as a family.&nbsp;For that I’m eternally grateful. <o:p></o:p></span></div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br></div> <br> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s1600/LKing+bio+pic.jpg" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s1600/LKing+bio+pic.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s200/LKing+bio+pic.jpg" width="200" height="132" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s200/LKing+bio+pic.jpg"></a><i>Lisa King is a woman of faith with a zest for life who loves photography, chocolate, helping children with special needs and being a mum. TOFW first met Lisa at the Sydney, AU event in July 2011. We have been amazed at her ability to SEEK THE GOOD thru the trials that have come her way, including unexpectedly losing her son and husband within 4 months of each other. Lisa was born and raised, and continues to live in the beautiful area of Tasmania, AU and looks forward to the day when she can introduce her boys to Rexburg, Idaho, USA, where she has incredible memories of a year at college before returning to Australia where she met and married her sweetheart, the late Aaron King.</i><br> </div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <i>Photo by <a href="http://alanaastonphotography.com/" _mce_href="http://alanaastonphotography.com/">Alana Aston Photography</a> </i></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://lisajking.blogspot.com/" _mce_href="http://lisajking.blogspot.com/"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bY_PdZU7lNo/UFedUPC3slI/AAAAAAAABik/m2J7Ay4MuHs/s1600/kingsbutton.png" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bY_PdZU7lNo/UFedUPC3slI/AAAAAAAABik/m2J7Ay4MuHs/s1600/kingsbutton.png"></a></div> RECIPE: The Edible Snowball http://www.tofw.com/RECIPE-Edible-Snowball-Carrian-Sweet-Basil/s/724 http://www.tofw.com/RECIPE-Edible-Snowball-Carrian-Sweet-Basil/s/724 Wed, 19 Dec 2012 09:51:00 -0700 <div> by Carrian from Sweet Basil <br /> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Qt5XyvbDrcE/UJ2cWDc9INI/AAAAAAAAHNQ/VACfbv76n1Y/s1600/family+photo.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Qt5XyvbDrcE/UJ2cWDc9INI/AAAAAAAAHNQ/VACfbv76n1Y/s1600/family+photo.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Qt5XyvbDrcE/UJ2cWDc9INI/AAAAAAAAHNQ/VACfbv76n1Y/s640/family+photo.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Qt5XyvbDrcE/UJ2cWDc9INI/AAAAAAAAHNQ/VACfbv76n1Y/s640/family+photo.jpg" width="424"></a></div> <h3 style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;Sometimes it Takes a Trial</h3> Three years ago, I was lying in a hospital bed pregnant with our second daughter. We really weren't sure what the future held for us. I was incredibly sick, and no matter what we tried my weight just continued to plummet and our baby wasn't growing on schedule. I was miserable. I was tired from the insomnia that had set in, my body ached from the hospital bed, and the atrophy that my muscles were going through, and I was so tired of not being able to keep anything down. The every day&nbsp;occurrence&nbsp;of throwing up all day and night had really taken it's toll. Our Doctor, who is an amazing man, was encouraging, but honest. We needed to get control of things otherwise we would need to end the life of our baby in order to save mine. I frequented the ultrasound room and my arms were bruised and bloody from the IV's that no longer were going in due to deflated veins. We were told by a specialist that it was now or never. If I dropped below 80 lbs we would need to take drastic measures to protect my life. My husband and I were prayerful and I received a beautiful blessing that told me to "endure my trial well". (Not exactly what I wanted to hear. Hello! How about, You will be healed!) <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-b7DaX1TP7SQ/UJ2kTUVyXZI/AAAAAAAAHOg/6GUmkqzDKJQ/s1600/maternity.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-b7DaX1TP7SQ/UJ2kTUVyXZI/AAAAAAAAHOg/6GUmkqzDKJQ/s1600/maternity.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="224" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-b7DaX1TP7SQ/UJ2kTUVyXZI/AAAAAAAAHOg/6GUmkqzDKJQ/s640/maternity.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-b7DaX1TP7SQ/UJ2kTUVyXZI/AAAAAAAAHOg/6GUmkqzDKJQ/s640/maternity.jpg" width="640"></a></div> Gosh, it was harder than I ever imagined to be that sick. I've realized just how easy it is to take our healthy bodies for granted. I grasped onto those words, "Endure your trial well" as we moved through the next few months. At times I couldn't stand being alone in a hospital, and so sick that even breathing made me want to vomit or pass out, but I began to seek out the good, in fact on some days it's what helped me to survive. In the end I spent my 8th month happy and healthy before I started to get sick again, and because I didn't lose one more pound, our little one made it too. <br> <h3 style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Seek the Good</h3> With the troubling pregnancy and all that we endured through those months of sickness and uncertainty I learned my true purpose here in life. I learned that I would need to seek the good no matter what situation I was in, even when I couldn't see past tomorrow. <br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BazH3I1Lem0/UJ2kiZZAf3I/AAAAAAAAHOo/pd_RVFMN_qc/s1600/Biscoff+Truffles.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BazH3I1Lem0/UJ2kiZZAf3I/AAAAAAAAHOo/pd_RVFMN_qc/s1600/Biscoff+Truffles.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BazH3I1Lem0/UJ2kiZZAf3I/AAAAAAAAHOo/pd_RVFMN_qc/s640/Biscoff+Truffles.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BazH3I1Lem0/UJ2kiZZAf3I/AAAAAAAAHOo/pd_RVFMN_qc/s640/Biscoff+Truffles.jpg" width="480"></a></div> <br> How do I "Seek the Good" everyday? I start with myself. I choose to see the good around me and to take care of my spiritual self first. I look for opportunities to be grateful and to create the good instead of just expecting it to come to me.<br> <br> <div class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> We teach our children to carefully watch for those who could need a pick me up and then to act. This also means that we have to be open to listening to our children. If they&nbsp;recommend&nbsp;that we take something to someone we do it, because you never know if they are more in tune than we are. The more we serve, especially together the more we've been able to notice the good around us.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> We surround ourselves with good music all day long because it helps our minds and spirit's to be open to promptings and it keeps the spirit in our home. Music is such a powerful tool and can help us to make good decisions and to see the good in our every day lives. &nbsp;<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <br></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> Cooking and baking with my family helps us to open up and talk while we create something together.&nbsp;This is a recipe created for my little 2 year old with my 6 year old. Our youngest loooooves Biscoff. If I'd let her she would eat spoonfuls of the stuff, and our oldest loves to create things. We talked about what we could make for our little one as a surprise and then how we could use it for good in our area. Our oldest mentioned dipping balls of the Biscoff in chocolate and I was all in. Then we discussed our neighborhood and if there was anyone that could use some good in their life. My daughter mentioned a woman that is always working now, and has three children to care for. We cooked, laughed, and grew together as we did something good for others, and hopefully our children will recognize more of good versus bad as they grow older.<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <br></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> Seeking the good starts with a desire. If you begin your day with the thought that you want to seek the good your heart will be more open to seeing it. It should definitely start with you, but you should always include those around you. The more you seek the good the more apparent it becomes in your life and just like choosing the right, the more you do good yourself the more of a desire you have to choose good things and recognize them in your life.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ozvLmoTUd5o/UJ2knQsMQZI/AAAAAAAAHOw/jrUxOMLv1Lk/s1600/Biscoff+Truffles-2.jpg" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ozvLmoTUd5o/UJ2knQsMQZI/AAAAAAAAHOw/jrUxOMLv1Lk/s1600/Biscoff+Truffles-2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ozvLmoTUd5o/UJ2knQsMQZI/AAAAAAAAHOw/jrUxOMLv1Lk/s320/Biscoff+Truffles-2.jpg" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ozvLmoTUd5o/UJ2knQsMQZI/AAAAAAAAHOw/jrUxOMLv1Lk/s320/Biscoff+Truffles-2.jpg" width="320"></a></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> 1/2 Cup Biscoff Spread 2 Tablespoons Butter, softened<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> 1 Cup Plus&nbsp;2 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> 6 Ounces of White Chocolate or Almond Bark&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> Sanding Sugar<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <br></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> &nbsp;In a small bowl, using an electric mixer, add the biscoff, butter and powdered sugar.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> Mix until smooth and the "dough" appears tight and almost dry.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> Roll into balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> Melt the chocolate in a glass measuring cup or microwave safe bowl, stirring every 20 seconds until smooth.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> Dip the biscoff balls in the white chocolate, coating all sides, and carefully lift the truffle out, allowing excess chocolate to drip (I use my two fingers or a fork).<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> Place on the parchment and sprinkle with a little sanding sugar. All the chocolate to harden and enjoy!&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <br></div> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3ZsRv5EO-dw/UNNVCTnpzyI/AAAAAAAADGM/qKWMNAKnMc4/s1600/Headshot.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3ZsRv5EO-dw/UNNVCTnpzyI/AAAAAAAADGM/qKWMNAKnMc4/s1600/Headshot.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3ZsRv5EO-dw/UNNVCTnpzyI/AAAAAAAADGM/qKWMNAKnMc4/s200/Headshot.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3ZsRv5EO-dw/UNNVCTnpzyI/AAAAAAAADGM/qKWMNAKnMc4/s200/Headshot.jpg" width="133"></a></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> Carrian Cheney was born and raised in Vancouver, Washington. She now resides in Utah with her husband and two children. Carrian writes the site, "Sweet Basil". Sweet Basil focuses on "reinventing family dinner" with an aim at educating and inspiring people everywhere that you can and should cook at home, especially with your loved ones.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> You can follow Carrian at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ohsweetbasil.com/" _mce_href="http://www.ohsweetbasil.com/">www.ohsweetbasil.com</a></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> <o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> twitter: @ohsweetbasil<o:p></o:p></div> <div class="MsoNormal"> facebook: <a href="http://www.facebook.com/ohsweetbasil" _mce_href="http://www.facebook.com/ohsweetbasil">http://www.facebook.com/ohsweetbasil</a><o:p></o:p></div> <h3> <br></h3> A Different Kind of Christmas http://www.tofw.com/Different-Kind-Christmas-Lisa-King/s/745 http://www.tofw.com/Different-Kind-Christmas-Lisa-King/s/745 Tue, 18 Dec 2012 13:10:00 -0700 <div> by Lisa King <br /> </div> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-HNi0BEKwDJw/UNDMoiK3UwI/AAAAAAAADBY/_cRP5v17al0/s1600/DSC_0058web.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-HNi0BEKwDJw/UNDMoiK3UwI/AAAAAAAADBY/_cRP5v17al0/s1600/DSC_0058web.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-HNi0BEKwDJw/UNDMoiK3UwI/AAAAAAAADBY/_cRP5v17al0/s1600/DSC_0058web.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-HNi0BEKwDJw/UNDMoiK3UwI/AAAAAAAADBY/_cRP5v17al0/s1600/DSC_0058web.jpg" height="424" width="640"></a></div> <br> The excitement of the Christmas season always began in November with the Christmas parade in our town. &nbsp;After the parade I would beg Aaron to let us put the tree up, even though it was the end of November.<br> <br> Noah would usually end up falling asleep while the rest of us busied ourselves decorating the tree. Aaron would put on one of his many Christmas CDs, and I would rearrange the ornaments on the tree (while the boys weren’t watching!). Aaron was in charge of the rest of the Christmas decorations.<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VgPypeHS6Io/UNDMnWBEa0I/AAAAAAAADBQ/VR0kSVSz67k/s1600/DSC_0051.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VgPypeHS6Io/UNDMnWBEa0I/AAAAAAAADBQ/VR0kSVSz67k/s1600/DSC_0051.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VgPypeHS6Io/UNDMnWBEa0I/AAAAAAAADBQ/VR0kSVSz67k/s1600/DSC_0051.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VgPypeHS6Io/UNDMnWBEa0I/AAAAAAAADBQ/VR0kSVSz67k/s1600/DSC_0051.jpg" height="320" width="212"></a></div> We filled our Decembers with Christmas events, including Carols by Candlelight in the park. &nbsp;By the end of the evening the park was always full of twinkling candles, making it a really magical time to be with family and friends.<br> <br> The boys always looked forward to the night when we would let them stay up extra late so we could go out and look at Christmas lights. &nbsp;It always took a long time because we would have to get Noah’s wheelchair in and out of our van but it was one of our favourite nights in December.<br> <br> Aaron was a big kid at Christmas and absolutely loved watching Christmas movies and listening to Christmas music. &nbsp;During December, it wasn’t unusual for him to watch a Christmas movie almost every night. &nbsp;He would put all of his favourite Christmas music onto his iPod or would make a CD for the car, so that on the way to work he could listen to it.<br> <br> Each year we would take the boys to visit the same Santa Clause to get their photo taken with him. &nbsp;He was the most beautiful Santa, and every year he would surprise us when he remembered Noah’s name. &nbsp;If there was ever a real Santa Clause – then he was the real one! &nbsp;It meant so much to us that he remembered Noah every year, &nbsp;and we were especially touched when a beautiful man came up to us at Noah’s funeral and told us he was that Santa Clause.<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZguUbvtaYuI/UNDMp1wu6WI/AAAAAAAADBg/Octbc37yrkY/s1600/DSC_0216.jpg" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZguUbvtaYuI/UNDMp1wu6WI/AAAAAAAADBg/Octbc37yrkY/s1600/DSC_0216.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZguUbvtaYuI/UNDMp1wu6WI/AAAAAAAADBg/Octbc37yrkY/s1600/DSC_0216.jpg" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZguUbvtaYuI/UNDMp1wu6WI/AAAAAAAADBg/Octbc37yrkY/s1600/DSC_0216.jpg" height="212" width="320"></a></div> During December our Family Home Evenings would be focused on the real meaning of Christmas as we would remind the boys that although it was fun to get presents at Christmas, the reason we celebrate is because of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. <br> <br> On Christmas Eve we would read the story of Jesus Christ’s birth from the Bible before getting some very excited boys in bed, ready for Christmas Day.<br> <br> But last December was different.<br> <br> It was our first Christmas without Noah, and we didn’t feel like celebrating Christmas at all. Just two months had passed since Noah had passed away, and all we wanted was to have Noah with us. &nbsp;Although it was hard, we did all of our usual Christmas traditions as a family.<br> <br> This December is different again.<br> <br> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9RWqM07g1R4/UNDMswq0MfI/AAAAAAAADB4/waecmnNObbM/s1600/photo4.JPG" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9RWqM07g1R4/UNDMswq0MfI/AAAAAAAADB4/waecmnNObbM/s1600/photo4.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9RWqM07g1R4/UNDMswq0MfI/AAAAAAAADB4/waecmnNObbM/s1600/photo4.JPG" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9RWqM07g1R4/UNDMswq0MfI/AAAAAAAADB4/waecmnNObbM/s1600/photo4.JPG" height="320" width="320"></a>As I saw the months pass and knew December was approaching, I felt anxious and almost a sense of dread. &nbsp;Last Christmas was our first one without Noah, and this year is our first Christmas without Noah and Aaron. <br> <br> The boys and I watched the Christmas parade in town and we had a lovely time, but the magic and anticipation was missing. I knew it was the night I had always put up the tree. But looking at a Christmas tree on my own every night was the last thing I wanted to do.<br> <br> I felt sad for the boys but explained my reasons to them for not putting up a tree this year, and to my surprise they all understood and agreed.<br> <br> This year our decorations are very simple and reflect the real meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ. &nbsp;I love my nativity scene more than ever this year and love that it is the focus in our home.<br> <br> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IhZ1TFQ_f3w/UNDMqwwR79I/AAAAAAAADBo/sO0PS9A3hzo/s1600/photo.JPG" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IhZ1TFQ_f3w/UNDMqwwR79I/AAAAAAAADBo/sO0PS9A3hzo/s1600/photo.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IhZ1TFQ_f3w/UNDMqwwR79I/AAAAAAAADBo/sO0PS9A3hzo/s1600/photo.JPG" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IhZ1TFQ_f3w/UNDMqwwR79I/AAAAAAAADBo/sO0PS9A3hzo/s1600/photo.JPG" height="320" width="320"></a>The tree at Noah’s grave is our tree this year. &nbsp;The boys decorated it together and we bought a live potted tree for Aaron’s grave which we go and water each day. &nbsp;I promised my boys that we’d put up a tree again next year, and I’m grateful for their patience with me.<br> <br> I still can’t believe that this is my Christmas, and as much as I wish we didn’t have to go through this month, I also realise that I should be celebrating Christmas more this year than any other.<br> <br> Without the birth of Jesus Christ, I really would have no reason to celebrate this month. Without his birth, I could not be with Noah and Aaron again. &nbsp;Without his birth, then I would have no hope right now.<br> <br> I hope that next year I will be feeling a lot stronger and that our Christmas season will be a lot happier. &nbsp;I also hope I will continue to focus more on the real reason we celebrate Christmas, not just during December, but throughout the whole year. <br> <br> Despite my deep sadness, I feel very blessed to know that December isn’t about trees or Santa or presents or lights, but it is about my Savior, Jesus Christ, the giver of the best gifts. <br> <div> <br></div> <div _mce_style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: left;"> <a _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s1600/LKing+bio+pic.jpg" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s1600/LKing+bio+pic.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s200/LKing+bio+pic.jpg" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s200/LKing+bio+pic.jpg" height="132" width="200"></a><i>Lisa King is a woman of faith with a zest for life who loves photography, chocolate, helping children with special needs and being a mum. TOFW first met Lisa at the Sydney, AU event in July 2011. We have been amazed at her ability to SEEK THE GOOD thru the trials that have come her way, including unexpectedly losing her son and husband within 4 months of each other. Lisa was born and raised, and continues to live in the beautiful area of Tasmania, AU and looks forward to the day when she can introduce her boys to Rexburg, Idaho, USA, where she has incredible memories of a year at college before returning to Australia where she met and married her sweetheart, the late Aaron King.</i><br> <em>&nbsp;</em></div> <div _mce_style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: left;"> <i>Photo by <a _mce_href="http://alanaastonphotography.com/" href="http://alanaastonphotography.com/">Alana Aston Photography</a> </i></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://lisajking.blogspot.com/" _mce_href="http://lisajking.blogspot.com/"><img _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bY_PdZU7lNo/UFedUPC3slI/AAAAAAAABik/m2J7Ay4MuHs/s1600/kingsbutton.png" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bY_PdZU7lNo/UFedUPC3slI/AAAAAAAABik/m2J7Ay4MuHs/s1600/kingsbutton.png"></a></div> Babes in Hairland: The Braided Braid http://www.tofw.com/Babes-Hairland-Braided-Braid-Becky-Babes-Hairland/s/732 http://www.tofw.com/Babes-Hairland-Braided-Braid-Becky-Babes-Hairland/s/732 Wed, 12 Dec 2012 08:37:00 -0700 <div> by Becky from Babes in Hairland <br /> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="https://www.blogger.com/$gratitude%20turns[5].jpg" _mce_href="https://www.blogger.com/$gratitude%20turns[5].jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" unselectable="on"></a><br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="https://www.blogger.com/$gratitude%20in%20home[3].jpg" _mce_href="https://www.blogger.com/$gratitude%20in%20home[3].jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" unselectable="on"></a><br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="https://www.blogger.com/$gratitude%20in%20home%202[4].jpg" _mce_href="https://www.blogger.com/$gratitude%20in%20home%202[4].jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></a><br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="https://www.blogger.com/" _mce_href="https://www.blogger.com/" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></a><br></div> <div style="text-align: justify;" _mce_style="text-align: justify;"> <a href="https://www.blogger.com/" _mce_href="https://www.blogger.com/" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"></a><a href="https://www.blogger.com/$gratitude%20in%20home%202[4].jpg" _mce_href="https://www.blogger.com/$gratitude%20in%20home%202[4].jpg" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"></a><a href="https://www.blogger.com/$gratitude%20in%20home[3].jpg" _mce_href="https://www.blogger.com/$gratitude%20in%20home[3].jpg" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" unselectable="on"></a><a href="https://www.blogger.com/$gratitude%20turns[5].jpg" _mce_href="https://www.blogger.com/$gratitude%20turns[5].jpg" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" unselectable="on"></a>I'm so happy to be able to be sharing a little bit about myself over here at Time Out for Women! I'm Becky a.k.a. "The Mom" at<a href="http://babesinhairland.com/" _mce_href="http://babesinhairland.com/" target="_blank"><strong> Babes in Hairland.com</strong></a>. I've got three beautiful daughter's and one amazing husband who puts up with a lot around our house with all that estrogen! With three girls, that also means we do a lot of hair. I'm not a beautician, but just a mom who enjoys trying new things in my cute girls hair! The main stars of our blog are these 3 cuties that we've nicknamed Goose, Bug and Bee.<br> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/Nov2011Girls.jpg" _mce_href="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/Nov2011Girls.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-5884" src="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/Nov2011Girls.jpg" _mce_src="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/Nov2011Girls.jpg" height="420" title="Nov2011Girls" width="339"></a></div> <div style="text-align: justify;" _mce_style="text-align: justify;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: justify;" _mce_style="text-align: justify;"> Everyone knows that school mornings can be crazy trying to get everyone ready and out the door on time, and mine are no different. And while my girls do sport all kinds of <a href="http://babesinhairland.com/hairstyle-gallery/" _mce_href="http://babesinhairland.com/hairstyle-gallery/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="color: black;" _mce_style="color: black;">great hairstyles</span></strong></a> and get their hair done every day (well ok - maybe not Saturday's!) ... the point behind all the hairstyles we create isn't that I want them to look like a supermodel or that they have the cutest head of hair in their classes at school.<br> <br></div> <div style="text-align: justify;" _mce_style="text-align: justify;"> The main reason I <em>take the time</em> to do their hair, is just that -- <strong>the time</strong>. Most mornings I maybe spend maybe 10 minutes or less doing their hair (sometimes a bit longer combing out knots &amp; the hairstyle from the day before.) But those 10-15 minutes are precious moments that I cherish. It's like the world slows down a little. I hear about the boy they think currently likes them or the latest trick they can do on the monkey bars. I hear about the upcoming test they are studying for. They tell me about the silly dream they had during the night or the favorite part of the book they are reading. They talk! And while it may cost me a few less minutes of sleep each day, having them share things during our one-on-one time makes our relationships stronger .... and for me -- that is priceless. Like they say, love is spelled T-I-M-E, and so doing their hair is a win win!<br> <br></div> <div style="text-align: justify;" _mce_style="text-align: justify;"> More than 4 years of blogging has amounted to countless <a href="http://babesinhairland.com/tag/baby-hairstyles/" _mce_href="http://babesinhairland.com/tag/baby-hairstyles/" target="_blank"><strong>hairstyles for babies</strong></a> and <a href="http://babesinhairland.com/tag/toddler-hairstyles/" _mce_href="http://babesinhairland.com/tag/toddler-hairstyles/" target="_blank"><strong>toddlers</strong></a>, <a href="http://babesinhairland.com/tag/braids/" _mce_href="http://babesinhairland.com/tag/braids/" target="_blank"><strong>braids</strong></a>, <a href="http://babesinhairland.com/tag/updo/" _mce_href="http://babesinhairland.com/tag/updo/" target="_blank"><strong>updo's</strong></a> and everything in between. We love showing that there is a lot more you can do with hair than just braids and pony tails. And speaking of braids, we'd love to share with you a fun and pretty simple style using braids. This is similar to one of our older posts <a href="http://babesinhairland.com/hairstyles/braid-into-a-braid/" _mce_href="http://babesinhairland.com/hairstyles/braid-into-a-braid/" target="_blank" title="Braid into a Braid"><strong>A Braid into a Braid</strong></a>, but leaves half the hair down in back.<br> <br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8209G.jpg" _mce_href="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8209G.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Braided Braid (7)" class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-7024" src="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8209G-380x506.jpg" _mce_src="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8209G-380x506.jpg" height="506" title="Braided Braid (7)" width="380"></a></div> <h2> Step 1 - Divide hair into 3 sections</h2> <div style="text-align: justify;" _mce_style="text-align: justify;"> Part the hair from ear to ear to make a half pony. Then part from the temples back to the first part you made so you have 3 sections of hair parted out. Temporarily secure each one with a clip or rubber band.</div> <div style="text-align: justify;" _mce_style="text-align: justify;"> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8198A.jpg" _mce_href="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8198A.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Braided Braid (1)" class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-7018" src="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8198A-380x506.jpg" _mce_src="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8198A-380x506.jpg" height="506" title="Braided Braid (1)" width="380"></a></div> </div> <div style="text-align: justify;" _mce_style="text-align: justify;"> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8199B.jpg" _mce_href="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8199B.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Braided Braid (2)" class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-7019" src="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8199B-380x506.jpg" _mce_src="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8199B-380x506.jpg" height="506" title="Braided Braid (2)" width="380"></a></div> </div> <h2> Step 2 - Make a braid</h2> <div style="text-align: justify;" _mce_style="text-align: justify;"> Braid the top middle section of hair. This can be a regular 3 strand braid or whatever kind you prefer. Braid all the way down and secure the end with a clear rubber band.</div> <div style="text-align: justify;" _mce_style="text-align: justify;"> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8201C.jpg" _mce_href="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8201C.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Braided Braid (3)" class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-7020" src="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8201C-380x506.jpg" _mce_src="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8201C-380x506.jpg" height="506" title="Braided Braid (3)" width="380"></a></div> </div> <h2> Step 3 - Add the side sections of hair</h2> Once you've secured the braid in the middle, smooth out the side sections of hair &amp; pull them toward the back of the head. <br> <div style="text-align: justify;" _mce_style="text-align: justify;"> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8204D.jpg" _mce_href="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8204D.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Braided Braid (4)" class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-7021" src="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8204D-380x285.jpg" _mce_src="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8204D-380x285.jpg" height="285" title="Braided Braid (4)" width="380"></a></div> </div> <h2> Step 4- Braid around the braid</h2> <div style="text-align: justify;" _mce_style="text-align: justify;"> Using the braid you made in step 2, simply make it the middle strand for a "new" braid using the 2 side sections for the other parts of the braid. Braid as far down as you can braiding those 2 straight sections of hair around the braid from step two. So you're basically making a regular braid with 1 part that is braided, and 2 parts that are straight.</div> <div style="text-align: justify;" _mce_style="text-align: justify;"> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8205E.jpg" _mce_href="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8205E.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Braided Braid (5)" class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-7022" src="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8205E-380x506.jpg" _mce_src="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8205E-380x506.jpg" height="506" title="Braided Braid (5)" width="380"></a></div> </div> <h2> Step 5 - Secure the end with a rubber band</h2> <h2> Step 6 - (optional) Curl the rest of the hair</h2> <div style="text-align: justify;" _mce_style="text-align: justify;"> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8207F.jpg" _mce_href="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8207F.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Braided Braid (6)" class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-7023" src="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8207F-380x506.jpg" _mce_src="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8207F-380x506.jpg" height="506" title="Braided Braid (6)" width="380"></a></div> </div> <div style="text-align: justify;" _mce_style="text-align: justify;"> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8210H.jpg" _mce_href="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8210H.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Braided Braid (8)" class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-7025" src="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8210H-380x506.jpg" _mce_src="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8210H-380x506.jpg" height="506" title="Braided Braid (8)" width="380"></a></div> </div> <h2 style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Finished!</h2> <div style="text-align: justify;" _mce_style="text-align: justify;"> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8213I.jpg" _mce_href="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8213I.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Braided Braid (9)" class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-7026" src="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8213I-380x506.jpg" _mce_src="http://babesinhairland.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_8213I-380x506.jpg" height="506" title="Braided Braid (9)" width="380"></a></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> </div> <div style="text-align: justify;" _mce_style="text-align: justify;"> That's it! See? It's just braiding, but has such a pretty look when it's all done! And you don't have to have waist length hair to try this style! It'll work on toddler's too! Feel free to check us out on <a href="http://babesinhairland.com/" _mce_href="http://babesinhairland.com/" target="_blank"><strong>our blog</strong></a> for hundreds of other hairstyles, or <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Babes-in-Hairland/123497904387061" _mce_href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Babes-in-Hairland/123497904387061" target="_blank"><strong>Facebook</strong></a> too! And if you want to see other stuff I like besides hair, you can find us on <a href="http://pinterest.com/babesinhairland/" _mce_href="http://pinterest.com/babesinhairland/" target="_blank"><strong>Pinterest</strong></a> as well!</div> An Australian Thanksgiving http://www.tofw.com/Australian-Thanksgiving-Lisa-King/s/742 http://www.tofw.com/Australian-Thanksgiving-Lisa-King/s/742 Tue, 11 Dec 2012 10:21:00 -0700 <div> by Lisa King <br /> </div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jAxvKvCxvGM/UMdocHwMWnI/AAAAAAAAC4E/-v8i_7X8BcI/s1600/TheKings-57.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jAxvKvCxvGM/UMdocHwMWnI/AAAAAAAAC4E/-v8i_7X8BcI/s1600/TheKings-57.jpg" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jAxvKvCxvGM/UMdocHwMWnI/AAAAAAAAC4E/-v8i_7X8BcI/s1600/TheKings-57.jpg" width="640" height="426" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jAxvKvCxvGM/UMdocHwMWnI/AAAAAAAAC4E/-v8i_7X8BcI/s1600/TheKings-57.jpg"></a></div> In Australia we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but I’m always aware of it because my newsfeed on Facebook is full of my friends posting about it.&nbsp;I love hearing what they are thankful for and hearing about their Thanksgiving celebrations.&nbsp;I imagine it to be a beautiful holiday, and really wish that we did celebrate it here. <br> <br> I have much to be thankful for, but over the past few months my heart has just felt sadder and sadder as the reality of this year has sunken in more.&nbsp;As I reflect on my year, I still can’t believe what has happened. It’s still hard to believe that my son Noah and husband Aaron both passed away within the last fourteen months.&nbsp;It still blows my mind that this is my life now.&nbsp;I have joined the ranks of the widows and the "angel mums."<br> <br> Considering what has happened, I’m doing okay, but as time goes on I find it’s getting harder and harder to live without Noah and Aaron.<br> <br> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nEJSR0noqNA/UMdofWlWT8I/AAAAAAAAC4M/ggBmkIp5AAM/s1600/DSC_0079web.jpg" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nEJSR0noqNA/UMdofWlWT8I/AAAAAAAAC4M/ggBmkIp5AAM/s1600/DSC_0079web.jpg" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nEJSR0noqNA/UMdofWlWT8I/AAAAAAAAC4M/ggBmkIp5AAM/s1600/DSC_0079web.jpg" width="320" height="212" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nEJSR0noqNA/UMdofWlWT8I/AAAAAAAAC4M/ggBmkIp5AAM/s1600/DSC_0079web.jpg"></a>Every day I find myself thinking, "I can’t wait to tell Aaron that,"&nbsp;and for just a second, I forget. But then I remember and it hits me all over again.&nbsp;I can’t send him a text message or&nbsp;expect him to&nbsp;walk in the door after work to tell him the things that have been happening throughout my day. </div> <br> Every day I think about how different my life is now.&nbsp; It has gone from watching the clock all day and night to make sure that Noah had his feeds or medications on time, to watching the clock wishing that the day would hurry up so I can go to bed,&nbsp;knowing that I got through another one without Aaron and Noah. <br> <br> I still feel comforted and at peace to know that for some reason Noah and Aaron are where they are meant to be right now, but my heart still feels heavy and I have days where the tears just flow.&nbsp; <br> <br> With the time difference between Tasmania and the USA, Thanksgiving fell on the same day that would’ve been our seventeenth wedding anniversary. Our anniversary was a particularly hard day, so I was grateful that it fell on Thanksgiving, as it made me reflect&nbsp;on my many blessings.<br> <br> And there are so many things that I’m thankful for.&nbsp; <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; float: right;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FrldokEt8tU/UMdok721HdI/AAAAAAAAC4c/g7LpNN_soVE/s1600/154281_10150132844574572_688399571_7839907_1353179_n.jpg" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FrldokEt8tU/UMdok721HdI/AAAAAAAAC4c/g7LpNN_soVE/s1600/154281_10150132844574572_688399571_7839907_1353179_n.jpg" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FrldokEt8tU/UMdok721HdI/AAAAAAAAC4c/g7LpNN_soVE/s1600/154281_10150132844574572_688399571_7839907_1353179_n.jpg" width="207" height="320" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FrldokEt8tU/UMdok721HdI/AAAAAAAAC4c/g7LpNN_soVE/s1600/154281_10150132844574572_688399571_7839907_1353179_n.jpg"></a></div> Every night as I go to bed I’m thankful that I’ve made it through another day.&nbsp;Even if the day was&nbsp; a sad or hard one,&nbsp;I remind myself that&nbsp;I'm one day closer to being with Aaron and Noah again. <br> <br> I am so thankful that seventeen years ago, Aaron and I were sealed for time and all eternity in the Sydney temple and are blessed to be the parents to our four beautiful boys.&nbsp;My biggest blessing right now is to have three beautiful boys who keep me so busy.&nbsp;They may not need me like Noah needed me, but they need me more than ever. <br> <br> They need me to help them feel safe and secure again because of everything they have gone through.<br> <br> &nbsp;They need me to remind them that although this is extremely hard we have each other and we can get through it together. They need me to remind them and teach them that we aren't alone in this.<br> <br> They need me more than ever, and I need them more than they will ever realise.<br> &nbsp; <br> I am particularly thankful that Noah was able to come to our family and teach us what is important. I often wonder how different our lives would’ve been without Noah.&nbsp;Life would’ve been easier in many ways, but we would have missed out on so many blessings. And we wouldn’t change it for anything. <br> <br> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-McW1sOYtDjg/UMdoiYGXMRI/AAAAAAAAC4U/MRii7lKIbZ0/s1600/101_0120.JPG" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-McW1sOYtDjg/UMdoiYGXMRI/AAAAAAAAC4U/MRii7lKIbZ0/s1600/101_0120.JPG" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-McW1sOYtDjg/UMdoiYGXMRI/AAAAAAAAC4U/MRii7lKIbZ0/s1600/101_0120.JPG" width="320" height="240" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-McW1sOYtDjg/UMdoiYGXMRI/AAAAAAAAC4U/MRii7lKIbZ0/s1600/101_0120.JPG"></a>Aaron spent the last ten years of his life making the most of every day, because he knew that our time with Noah would be short.&nbsp;We had no idea that his life on earth was also coming to an end, so much sooner than we ever imagined. </div> <br> This year has been the hardest of my life, but I am so thankful for the hundreds of people who have helped me through it.&nbsp;Some are close family and friends but many are strangers who have done so much for us as a family, to bring some joy into our lives and make the burden just a bit lighter.<br> <br> As strange as it sounds, I’m thankful that Noah and Aaron are together.&nbsp;It comforts me to know that they are with each other, watching over&nbsp;us.<br> <br> I’m most thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, who makes it possible for us to be together again as a family.&nbsp;I’m so grateful for the gospel that teaches me that this life isn’t the end and that I can be with Aaron and Noah again.&nbsp;Without that, I know that there is no way I could’ve coped with what has happened in the last fourteen months. <br> <br> I have so much to be thankful for. <br> <br> <br> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s1600/LKing+bio+pic.jpg" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s1600/LKing+bio+pic.jpg" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s200/LKing+bio+pic.jpg" width="200" height="132" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jyxrD9BfKKI/T-HW-iMNPhI/AAAAAAAAAUk/aJsIRY_NhzY/s200/LKing+bio+pic.jpg"></a><i>Lisa King is a woman of faith with a zest for life who loves photography, chocolate, helping children with special needs and being a mum. TOFW first met Lisa at the Sydney, AU event in July 2011. We have been amazed at her ability to SEEK THE GOOD thru the trials that have come her way, including unexpectedly losing her son and husband within 4 months of each other. Lisa was born and raised, and continues to live in the beautiful area of Tasmania, AU and looks forward to the day when she can introduce her boys to Rexburg, Idaho, USA, where she has incredible memories of a year at college before returning to Australia where she met and married her sweetheart, the late Aaron King.</i><br> <em>&nbsp;</em></div> <div style="text-align: left;" class="MsoNormal" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <i>Photo by <a href="http://alanaastonphotography.com/" _mce_href="http://alanaastonphotography.com/">Alana Aston Photography</a> </i></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://lisajking.blogspot.com/" _mce_href="http://lisajking.blogspot.com/"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bY_PdZU7lNo/UFedUPC3slI/AAAAAAAABik/m2J7Ay4MuHs/s1600/kingsbutton.png" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bY_PdZU7lNo/UFedUPC3slI/AAAAAAAABik/m2J7Ay4MuHs/s1600/kingsbutton.png"></a></div> {DIY} Rolled Flower Necklace http://www.tofw.com/DIY-Rolled-Flower-Necklace-Mandy-Sugar-Bee-Crafts/s/735 http://www.tofw.com/DIY-Rolled-Flower-Necklace-Mandy-Sugar-Bee-Crafts/s/735 Wed, 05 Dec 2012 00:00:00 -0700 <div> by Mandy from Sugar Bee Crafts <br /> </div> Hi everyone! I am Mandy and I blog over at <a href="http://www.sugarbeecrafts.com/" _mce_href="http://www.sugarbeecrafts.com/">Sugar Bee Crafts</a>.&nbsp; It's awesome over there so you should go check it out :)<br> <br> <span class="widget-item-control"> <span class="item-control blog-admin"> <a class="quickedit" title="Edit" href="http://www.blogger.com/rearrange?blogID=176687184924990920&amp;widgetType=HTML&amp;widgetId=HTML19&amp;action=editWidget&amp;sectionId=header" target="configHTML19" _mce_href="http://www.blogger.com/rearrange?blogID=176687184924990920&amp;widgetType=HTML&amp;widgetId=HTML19&amp;action=editWidget&amp;sectionId=header"> </a> </span> </span> Here are&nbsp;some projects you might know me by:<br> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;<a href="http://www.sugarbeecrafts.com/2012/01/giant-picture-tutorial.html" _mce_href="http://www.sugarbeecrafts.com/2012/01/giant-picture-tutorial.html"><img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-g8lD9yI9Qv8/TwjEaEQdzNI/AAAAAAAAvgw/ixHusS_NPs4/s200/028+copy.png" width="133" height="200" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-g8lD9yI9Qv8/TwjEaEQdzNI/AAAAAAAAvgw/ixHusS_NPs4/s200/028+copy.png"></a><a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://www.sugarbeecrafts.com/2011/03/plywood-rug.html" _mce_href="http://www.sugarbeecrafts.com/2011/03/plywood-rug.html" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-ZBqzUKv2rXo/TYEFyl3wS4I/AAAAAAAAhGc/ifFOvR10Z2Q/s200/047+copy.png" width="200" height="133" _mce_src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-ZBqzUKv2rXo/TYEFyl3wS4I/AAAAAAAAhGc/ifFOvR10Z2Q/s200/047+copy.png"></a><a href="http://www.sugarbeecrafts.com/2008/08/craft-room-chair.html" _mce_href="http://www.sugarbeecrafts.com/2008/08/craft-room-chair.html"><img style="padding: 4px; border: 0px solid rgb(68, 136, 153); border-image: initial;" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_jjzZ1M1Qh-A/TGxB5NPddCI/AAAAAAAAYjo/RnaN_btWKB4/s200/Untitled-1.png" width="200" height="150" _mce_style="border-image: initial; border: 0px solid #448899; padding: 4px;" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_jjzZ1M1Qh-A/TGxB5NPddCI/AAAAAAAAYjo/RnaN_btWKB4/s200/Untitled-1.png"></a> </div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br> <br> <br> I am excited about the opportunity to post here on Time Out For Women. <b>&nbsp;We as Latter-Day Saint Women&nbsp;</b><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); line-height: 18px; background-color: white;" _mce_style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 18px;"><b>are encouraged to share our talents, expand our minds, and foster our creativity.</b> &nbsp;It is worthwhile to spend a couple of minutes viewing this short clip -<i> it is so powerful:</i></span><br> <br> <iframe height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/RhLlnq5yY7k?rel=0" frameBorder="0" width="640" _mce_src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/RhLlnq5yY7k?rel=0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> <br> YOU will make this world a better place. You are creating in everything you do. &nbsp;I just know it.<br> <br> With the spirit of creativity sometimes comes crafting, which I&nbsp;thoroughly&nbsp;enjoy (obviously, since I have a whole blog dedicated to it :) &nbsp;). &nbsp;I feel that crafts can do several things - you feel accomplished in creating something of worth, you feel proud that you made something, and you oftentimes can be thrifty making something versus buying something.<br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-d6oZNlNXOpw/UKVaGEzERwI/AAAAAAABATw/mq3uMxfh1bw/s1600/Rolled+Fabric+Flower+Necklace.jpg" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-d6oZNlNXOpw/UKVaGEzERwI/AAAAAAABATw/mq3uMxfh1bw/s1600/Rolled+Fabric+Flower+Necklace.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-d6oZNlNXOpw/UKVaGEzERwI/AAAAAAABATw/mq3uMxfh1bw/s640/Rolled+Fabric+Flower+Necklace.jpg" width="640" height="426" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-d6oZNlNXOpw/UKVaGEzERwI/AAAAAAABATw/mq3uMxfh1bw/s640/Rolled+Fabric+Flower+Necklace.jpg"></a></div> <br> <span style="font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-size: large;">Today I want to show you a brief tutorial on how to create a Rolled Fabric Flower Necklace. &nbsp;No sewing required!!</span> &nbsp;Not only will it be fun to make, but you'll feel great wearing it! &nbsp;Around the holidays, there are several chances to dress up. &nbsp;But there are also several holiday parties that are casual - I wanted to create a fun necklace that would bring in some holiday color to a casual outfit.<br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yvjLFp-aklk/UKVp_leZk-I/AAAAAAABAVo/gzBJku0D1Nw/s1600/144+copy.png" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yvjLFp-aklk/UKVp_leZk-I/AAAAAAABAVo/gzBJku0D1Nw/s1600/144+copy.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yvjLFp-aklk/UKVp_leZk-I/AAAAAAABAVo/gzBJku0D1Nw/s320/144+copy.png" width="213" height="320" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yvjLFp-aklk/UKVp_leZk-I/AAAAAAABAVo/gzBJku0D1Nw/s320/144+copy.png"></a><a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zLaSSx0dmkw/UKVp9ohUuNI/AAAAAAABAVg/gr8rPlLhiHg/s1600/132+copy.png" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zLaSSx0dmkw/UKVp9ohUuNI/AAAAAAABAVg/gr8rPlLhiHg/s1600/132+copy.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zLaSSx0dmkw/UKVp9ohUuNI/AAAAAAABAVg/gr8rPlLhiHg/s320/132+copy.png" width="213" height="320" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zLaSSx0dmkw/UKVp9ohUuNI/AAAAAAABAVg/gr8rPlLhiHg/s320/132+copy.png"></a></div> <br> Everyone can make this! &nbsp;Let's get started...<br> <br> <u>You will need:</u><br> -fabric - there are squares of prepacked fabric called "fat quarters" - they are only $1-2 and are perfect. &nbsp;Or any scrap fabric you have laying around is great too.<br> -a piece of felt - you can buy it in the craft department of most stores for $0.25<br> -scissors<br> -hot glue gun<br> -necklace chain<br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-b0fG3XNVWvU/UKVZ6AX37xI/AAAAAAABASo/DMZsj0oScWE/s1600/087+copy.png" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-b0fG3XNVWvU/UKVZ6AX37xI/AAAAAAABASo/DMZsj0oScWE/s1600/087+copy.png" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><br></a><a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-b0fG3XNVWvU/UKVZ6AX37xI/AAAAAAABASo/DMZsj0oScWE/s1600/087+copy.png" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-b0fG3XNVWvU/UKVZ6AX37xI/AAAAAAABASo/DMZsj0oScWE/s1600/087+copy.png" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><br></a><a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-b0fG3XNVWvU/UKVZ6AX37xI/AAAAAAABASo/DMZsj0oScWE/s1600/087+copy.png" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-b0fG3XNVWvU/UKVZ6AX37xI/AAAAAAABASo/DMZsj0oScWE/s1600/087+copy.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-b0fG3XNVWvU/UKVZ6AX37xI/AAAAAAABASo/DMZsj0oScWE/s640/087+copy.png" width="640" height="426" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-b0fG3XNVWvU/UKVZ6AX37xI/AAAAAAABASo/DMZsj0oScWE/s640/087+copy.png"></a></div> <br> I fell in love with the orangey-red of these poinsettias from the Alpine Wonderland fabric line from Riley Blake. &nbsp;I also think the necklace would look good in a deep red. &nbsp;Or lime green. &nbsp;Or any color really!<a style="text-align: center; margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-I7sffvgTJtQ/UKVZyWE-mkI/AAAAAAABAR4/DRati5wqRS0/s1600/074+copy.png" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-I7sffvgTJtQ/UKVZyWE-mkI/AAAAAAABAR4/DRati5wqRS0/s1600/074+copy.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: center;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-I7sffvgTJtQ/UKVZyWE-mkI/AAAAAAABAR4/DRati5wqRS0/s640/074+copy.png" width="640" height="425" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-I7sffvgTJtQ/UKVZyWE-mkI/AAAAAAABAR4/DRati5wqRS0/s640/074+copy.png"></a><br> <br> Rip the fabric into 5 strips that are about 1 inch wide. &nbsp;No need to be perfect. &nbsp;To do this, cut a slip at the edge with scissors, then hold the fabric firmly with one hand and rip down with the other hand.<br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_IPtx7gitzg/UKVaIOtU7_I/AAAAAAABAT4/6Z2BAdH8z3c/s1600/Untitled-1.png" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_IPtx7gitzg/UKVaIOtU7_I/AAAAAAABAT4/6Z2BAdH8z3c/s1600/Untitled-1.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_IPtx7gitzg/UKVaIOtU7_I/AAAAAAABAT4/6Z2BAdH8z3c/s640/Untitled-1.png" width="640" height="462" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_IPtx7gitzg/UKVaIOtU7_I/AAAAAAABAT4/6Z2BAdH8z3c/s640/Untitled-1.png"></a></div> <br> I like to iron my strips after I rip them, but you don't have to if you'd rather skip that step:<br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BPuxnkX0VHE/UKVZ0LBPtvI/AAAAAAABASA/vhPl80yYy6o/s1600/078+copy.png" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BPuxnkX0VHE/UKVZ0LBPtvI/AAAAAAABASA/vhPl80yYy6o/s1600/078+copy.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BPuxnkX0VHE/UKVZ0LBPtvI/AAAAAAABASA/vhPl80yYy6o/s640/078+copy.png" width="640" height="426" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BPuxnkX0VHE/UKVZ0LBPtvI/AAAAAAABASA/vhPl80yYy6o/s640/078+copy.png"></a></div> <br> Take one strip and tie a knot in the end - that will be the center of your flower:<br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7MrrC87CeDc/UKVZ1qf5g6I/AAAAAAABASI/nej_V30dj38/s1600/081+copy.png" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7MrrC87CeDc/UKVZ1qf5g6I/AAAAAAABASI/nej_V30dj38/s1600/081+copy.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7MrrC87CeDc/UKVZ1qf5g6I/AAAAAAABASI/nej_V30dj38/s400/081+copy.png" width="400" height="266" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7MrrC87CeDc/UKVZ1qf5g6I/AAAAAAABASI/nej_V30dj38/s400/081+copy.png"></a></div> <br> Holding the knot, start rolling an twisting and rolling and twisting as you coil around the knot. &nbsp;Hold the flower flat as you go. &nbsp;This part is hard to explain so I have made a <a href="http://www.sugarbeecrafts.com/2010/09/rolled-fabric-flowers.html" _mce_href="http://www.sugarbeecrafts.com/2010/09/rolled-fabric-flowers.html">How To Make A Rolled Fabric Flower Video</a> if you need additional instruction. &nbsp;If you need to, you can hot glue the rounds as you go, but it's not necessary if you hold it tight enough.<br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yN1J8NSYgvA/UKVZ2iOYdUI/AAAAAAABASQ/007QEgwT7tY/s1600/082+copy.png" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yN1J8NSYgvA/UKVZ2iOYdUI/AAAAAAABASQ/007QEgwT7tY/s1600/082+copy.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yN1J8NSYgvA/UKVZ2iOYdUI/AAAAAAABASQ/007QEgwT7tY/s640/082+copy.png" width="640" height="426" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yN1J8NSYgvA/UKVZ2iOYdUI/AAAAAAABASQ/007QEgwT7tY/s640/082+copy.png"></a></div> <br> When it's the desired size (mine is about the size of a quarter) cut the strip where you want it and secure the end by using hot glue and tacking it to the underneath side of the flower:<br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-rtab_AcsoP8/UKVZ37I7LfI/AAAAAAABASY/_WGenQL8wCY/s1600/083+copy.png" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-rtab_AcsoP8/UKVZ37I7LfI/AAAAAAABASY/_WGenQL8wCY/s1600/083+copy.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-rtab_AcsoP8/UKVZ37I7LfI/AAAAAAABASY/_WGenQL8wCY/s400/083+copy.png" width="400" height="266" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-rtab_AcsoP8/UKVZ37I7LfI/AAAAAAABASY/_WGenQL8wCY/s400/083+copy.png"></a></div> <br> Then cover the back in hot glue, avoiding the very edge of the flower. &nbsp;While the glue is still hot, press the flower onto the felt.<br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0zrRukp6kFk/UKVZ47BBVyI/AAAAAAABASg/3QD4BzoGBe8/s1600/084+copy.png" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0zrRukp6kFk/UKVZ47BBVyI/AAAAAAABASg/3QD4BzoGBe8/s1600/084+copy.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0zrRukp6kFk/UKVZ47BBVyI/AAAAAAABASg/3QD4BzoGBe8/s400/084+copy.png" width="400" height="266" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0zrRukp6kFk/UKVZ47BBVyI/AAAAAAABASg/3QD4BzoGBe8/s400/084+copy.png"></a></div> <br> After it dries, carefully cut around the flower leaving the circle of felt on the back, like so:<br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VJQhgNMAZ6w/UKVaJT1SkyI/AAAAAAABAUA/UTIkBkFqyk4/s1600/Untitled-2.png" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VJQhgNMAZ6w/UKVaJT1SkyI/AAAAAAABAUA/UTIkBkFqyk4/s1600/Untitled-2.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VJQhgNMAZ6w/UKVaJT1SkyI/AAAAAAABAUA/UTIkBkFqyk4/s640/Untitled-2.png" width="640" height="492" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VJQhgNMAZ6w/UKVaJT1SkyI/AAAAAAABAUA/UTIkBkFqyk4/s640/Untitled-2.png"></a></div> <br> Repeat until you have 5 separate rolled fabric flowers:<br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fiTzN9rTcRM/UKVZ7YvXdwI/AAAAAAABASw/_CfZMgFEAHY/s1600/088+copy.png" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fiTzN9rTcRM/UKVZ7YvXdwI/AAAAAAABASw/_CfZMgFEAHY/s1600/088+copy.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fiTzN9rTcRM/UKVZ7YvXdwI/AAAAAAABASw/_CfZMgFEAHY/s400/088+copy.png" width="400" height="266" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fiTzN9rTcRM/UKVZ7YvXdwI/AAAAAAABASw/_CfZMgFEAHY/s400/088+copy.png"></a></div> <br> Arrange them on your felt in the shape you would like. &nbsp;A slight curve seems to look best:<br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-txXetSGfR5Q/UKVZ8mSYQAI/AAAAAAABAS4/ztE1vLeAyF4/s1600/089+copy.png" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-txXetSGfR5Q/UKVZ8mSYQAI/AAAAAAABAS4/ztE1vLeAyF4/s1600/089+copy.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-txXetSGfR5Q/UKVZ8mSYQAI/AAAAAAABAS4/ztE1vLeAyF4/s400/089+copy.png" width="400" height="266" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-txXetSGfR5Q/UKVZ8mSYQAI/AAAAAAABAS4/ztE1vLeAyF4/s400/089+copy.png"></a></div> <br> Once you know the arrangement, grab the middle flower and cover the back in hot glue, then stick it back into it's spot. &nbsp;Then work your way to all the flowers. &nbsp;Make sure they're positioned close to each other so you can't see the felt between the flowers.<br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gL9Yp-Rvkm8/UKVZ9-jggSI/AAAAAAABATA/bkzKUT6RGD4/s1600/090+copy.png" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gL9Yp-Rvkm8/UKVZ9-jggSI/AAAAAAABATA/bkzKUT6RGD4/s1600/090+copy.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gL9Yp-Rvkm8/UKVZ9-jggSI/AAAAAAABATA/bkzKUT6RGD4/s400/090+copy.png" width="400" height="266" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gL9Yp-Rvkm8/UKVZ9-jggSI/AAAAAAABATA/bkzKUT6RGD4/s400/090+copy.png"></a></div> <br> Even when you have the flowers positioned close together, when you pick up the felt, it will bend open inbetween the flowers. &nbsp;So you'll need to put a line of hot glue on the edge of the flower and glue it to edge of the flower next to it, like so:<br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JWknZHmRJAA/UKVZ_Mn_mZI/AAAAAAABATI/Y1I6GSLBqIQ/s1600/092+copy.png" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JWknZHmRJAA/UKVZ_Mn_mZI/AAAAAAABATI/Y1I6GSLBqIQ/s1600/092+copy.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JWknZHmRJAA/UKVZ_Mn_mZI/AAAAAAABATI/Y1I6GSLBqIQ/s640/092+copy.png" width="640" height="426" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JWknZHmRJAA/UKVZ_Mn_mZI/AAAAAAABATI/Y1I6GSLBqIQ/s640/092+copy.png"></a></div> <br> After all the flowers are glued down, carefully cut around them. &nbsp;This will leave a smile shape of felt on the back, connecting all the flowers.<br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hgHqb8UejlE/UKVaAFO-MQI/AAAAAAABATQ/Bs7-wZWz13g/s1600/093+copy.png" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hgHqb8UejlE/UKVaAFO-MQI/AAAAAAABATQ/Bs7-wZWz13g/s1600/093+copy.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hgHqb8UejlE/UKVaAFO-MQI/AAAAAAABATQ/Bs7-wZWz13g/s400/093+copy.png" width="400" height="266" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hgHqb8UejlE/UKVaAFO-MQI/AAAAAAABATQ/Bs7-wZWz13g/s400/093+copy.png"></a></div> <br> Grab your chain and cut it in half. &nbsp;If it's a ball chain like mine you can just use regular scissors. &nbsp;Other chains might require something stronger.<br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GhyjAJV-6aQ/UKVaB_w0vTI/AAAAAAABATY/QjHzpiRfcqY/s1600/095+copy.png" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GhyjAJV-6aQ/UKVaB_w0vTI/AAAAAAABATY/QjHzpiRfcqY/s1600/095+copy.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GhyjAJV-6aQ/UKVaB_w0vTI/AAAAAAABATY/QjHzpiRfcqY/s400/095+copy.png" width="266" height="400" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GhyjAJV-6aQ/UKVaB_w0vTI/AAAAAAABATY/QjHzpiRfcqY/s400/095+copy.png"></a></div> <br> To attach the chain, just put a glob of hot glue on the end of the row of flowers. &nbsp;Lay the chain on top of the hot glue while it's still hot. &nbsp;Quickly press a small square piece of felt on top of the glue and chain to cover up the area, as shown:<br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-lnedw8di8V8/UKVaKTwKR2I/AAAAAAABAUI/sKZo1aQBbPg/s1600/Untitled-3.png" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-lnedw8di8V8/UKVaKTwKR2I/AAAAAAABAUI/sKZo1aQBbPg/s1600/Untitled-3.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-lnedw8di8V8/UKVaKTwKR2I/AAAAAAABAUI/sKZo1aQBbPg/s640/Untitled-3.png" width="640" height="454" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-lnedw8di8V8/UKVaKTwKR2I/AAAAAAABAUI/sKZo1aQBbPg/s640/Untitled-3.png"></a></div> <br> That's it!! &nbsp;In less than an hour, you have created yourself something cute and fun to add a little spunk to your wardrobe.<br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DdIaRV0qT1A/UKVaFOYbMCI/AAAAAAABATo/P9pUU4AITgc/s1600/108+copy.png" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DdIaRV0qT1A/UKVaFOYbMCI/AAAAAAABATo/P9pUU4AITgc/s1600/108+copy.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DdIaRV0qT1A/UKVaFOYbMCI/AAAAAAABATo/P9pUU4AITgc/s640/108+copy.png" width="640" height="426" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DdIaRV0qT1A/UKVaFOYbMCI/AAAAAAABATo/P9pUU4AITgc/s640/108+copy.png"></a></div> <br> Wear it proudly!<br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yvjLFp-aklk/UKVp_leZk-I/AAAAAAABAVo/gzBJku0D1Nw/s1600/144+copy.png" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yvjLFp-aklk/UKVp_leZk-I/AAAAAAABAVo/gzBJku0D1Nw/s1600/144+copy.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yvjLFp-aklk/UKVp_leZk-I/AAAAAAABAVo/gzBJku0D1Nw/s640/144+copy.png" width="425" height="640" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yvjLFp-aklk/UKVp_leZk-I/AAAAAAABAVo/gzBJku0D1Nw/s640/144+copy.png"></a></div> <span style="font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-size: large;">I hope to see you over at <a href="http://www.sugarbeecrafts.com/" _mce_href="http://www.sugarbeecrafts.com/">www.SugarBeeCrafts.com</a>, where it's a creativity party everyday!</span><br> <br> <div style="border: currentColor; text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="border: currentColor; clear: both; text-align: center;"> <span style="clear: left; font-size: large; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; font-size: large; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="javascript:void((function(){var%20e=document.createElement('script');e.setAttribute('type','text/javascript');e.setAttribute('charset','UTF-8');e.setAttribute('src','http://assets.pinterest.com/js/pinmarklet.js?r='+Math.random()*99999999);document.body.appendChild(e)})());" _mce_href="javascript:void((function(){var%20e=document.createElement('script');e.setAttribute('type','text/javascript');e.setAttribute('charset','UTF-8');e.setAttribute('src','http://assets.pinterest.com/js/pinmarklet.js?r='+Math.random()*99999999);document.body.appendChild(e)})());" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img class="aligncenter" alt="Pin It" src="http://www.clickinmoms.com/cmprodaily/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/pinit.jpg" _mce_src="http://www.clickinmoms.com/cmprodaily/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/pinit.jpg"></a><br><img style="border: 0px currentColor;" align="center" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_jjzZ1M1Qh-A/TEZiwH6ucgI/AAAAAAAAWts/2DRE3cfw1R8/s1600/signaturesmaller.png" _mce_style="border: 0px currentColor;" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_jjzZ1M1Qh-A/TEZiwH6ucgI/AAAAAAAAWts/2DRE3cfw1R8/s1600/signaturesmaller.png"><br> <br> </span></div> <div> <span style="font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-size: large;"></span><br></div> </div> </div> Watch Out for Weeds! http://www.tofw.com/Watch-Out-Weeds-Macy-Robison/s/738 http://www.tofw.com/Watch-Out-Weeds-Macy-Robison/s/738 Tue, 04 Dec 2012 14:11:00 -0700 <div> </div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rB0mvjRxRGs/UL5laTkOyJI/AAAAAAAACu4/zwraxFscyJ8/s1600/weedgarden.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rB0mvjRxRGs/UL5laTkOyJI/AAAAAAAACu4/zwraxFscyJ8/s1600/weedgarden.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rB0mvjRxRGs/UL5laTkOyJI/AAAAAAAACu4/zwraxFscyJ8/s1600/weedgarden.jpg" width="640" height="426" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rB0mvjRxRGs/UL5laTkOyJI/AAAAAAAACu4/zwraxFscyJ8/s1600/weedgarden.jpg"></a></div> <br> That familiar pit in my stomach was back. I could feel the tears burning at the corners of my eyes. My second marriage was only a few weeks old, and I felt like I was back in the middle of some of the most awful moments from my first marriage. Why was I always so stupid? Why did I continually mess up and make mistakes and get myself in trouble? I was so convinced that this time was going to be different, and I was back in the same mess I always found myself in before. <br> <br> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> As I could feel myself starting into my ugly cry, I looked up at my husband and saw a face filled with love and concern – something I wasn’t used to in my previous marriage. I was already well into my ugly cry and between hiccups, asked, “Aren’t…you…mad…at…me? I…don’t…want…to…be…in…trouble… with…you…” As he shook his head and told me that I could never be in trouble with him and wondered why I would ever think that in the first place, I said, “I…think…this…must…be…one…of…the… weeds…Liz* was...telling…me about…” </div> <br> <a style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; float: right;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Q-S0KbIbx4M/UL5lqKjIWmI/AAAAAAAACvQ/IyMplYILqXM/s1600/bl121201DessertParty_142.png" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Q-S0KbIbx4M/UL5lqKjIWmI/AAAAAAAACvQ/IyMplYILqXM/s1600/bl121201DessertParty_142.png" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Q-S0KbIbx4M/UL5lqKjIWmI/AAAAAAAACvQ/IyMplYILqXM/s1600/bl121201DessertParty_142.png" width="320" height="256" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Q-S0KbIbx4M/UL5lqKjIWmI/AAAAAAAACvQ/IyMplYILqXM/s1600/bl121201DessertParty_142.png"></a>A couple weeks before my wedding, I had a final voice lesson with my dear friend and mentor, Liz. I was her last lesson of the day, and as we chatted at the end of the lesson, she asked if I had any concerns about getting remarried. I couldn’t think of any concerns at all. I got along well with my soon-to-be step-kids, my in-laws were fantastic, my fiancé was a dream – everything was looking great. Thankfully, Liz shared some wisdom with me that day that has made all the difference in my second marriage. <br> <br> Liz had also been married previously – a difficult marriage similar to mine. But her second husband was a wonderful man, and they had a strong marriage. Which is why what she said next was such a surprise.<br> <br> <em>“I’ve been divorced from my first husband for over 20 years, and have been happily re-married for most of those years, and I’m still dealing with emotional issues from the time I spent married to my first husband.”</em><br> <br> My heart sank as she went on.<br> <br> <em>“But the thing that has made all the difference in the happiness of my second marriage is this: I think of those old issues with my ex-husband as weeds. Ugly, emotional weeds in the beautiful new marriage garden I’m creating with my husband. I didn’t put the weeds there. I don’t want them there. But like real weeds, they still pop up, even after all these years. </em><br> <em></em><br> <em>“When I notice that a weed has popped up, I have a few choices – I can ignore it, I can get upset about it, or I can pull it immediately. And just like in a real garden, I can promise you that your new marriage garden will be so much happier and healthier when you can recognize the weeds and pull them right away.”</em><br> <br> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EYPqYLrknNo/UL5ljQFe3aI/AAAAAAAACvA/KeHmnhNByKM/s1600/bl121201DessertParty_138.png" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EYPqYLrknNo/UL5ljQFe3aI/AAAAAAAACvA/KeHmnhNByKM/s1600/bl121201DessertParty_138.png" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EYPqYLrknNo/UL5ljQFe3aI/AAAAAAAACvA/KeHmnhNByKM/s1600/bl121201DessertParty_138.png" width="256" height="320" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EYPqYLrknNo/UL5ljQFe3aI/AAAAAAAACvA/KeHmnhNByKM/s1600/bl121201DessertParty_138.png"></a>I went home that day and wrote Liz’s counsel down in my journal. I’m so grateful I did. The “weed” analogy immediately changed the conversation early in my marriage (once I settled down from my ugly cry), and it’s been one of the most valuable pieces of advice I’ve received as I’ve navigated through my second marriage. </div> <br> I try to recognize the weeds when I see them, and pull them as quickly and as thoroughly as I can. There have been times in my life when I’ve been more successful at it than others, and it’s a different kind of work than I expected to be doing in my marriage relationship, but it’s one of the most important ways I can choose to seek the good in my marriage as my husband and I continue to build our life together. <br> <br> So, the next time something difficult and unexpected pops up in the garden of your life, ask yourself, “Is this a weed?” (There are lots of different kinds of “weeds,” after all.) And if it is, pull it out by the roots as soon as you can and get back to enjoying the beautiful life you’re creating. <br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BfW6fXtCXB4/UL5mOROVaWI/AAAAAAAACvY/O_eJcoUleiM/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BfW6fXtCXB4/UL5mOROVaWI/AAAAAAAACvY/O_eJcoUleiM/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BfW6fXtCXB4/UL5mOROVaWI/AAAAAAAACvY/O_eJcoUleiM/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" width="130" height="200" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BfW6fXtCXB4/UL5mOROVaWI/AAAAAAAACvY/O_eJcoUleiM/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png"></a></div> <em>&nbsp;Macy Robison is a performer, photographer, and mom. She lives with her husband and two kids in Austin, Texas. She loves Time Out for Women and can’t wait to cheer for her friends on the 2013 tour as she works on her next performance project. To read more about Macy, her family, her photography, and her continuing efforts to seek the good in her life, visit her <a href="http://www.macyrobisonphotography.com/blog/" _mce_href="http://www.macyrobisonphotography.com/blog/">blog</a>.</em><br> <br> <em>*name has been changed</em> Four Minutes and Thirty-three Seconds http://www.tofw.com/Four-Minutes-Thirty-three-Seconds-Arianne-Cope-Still-Parenting/s/723 http://www.tofw.com/Four-Minutes-Thirty-three-Seconds-Arianne-Cope-Still-Parenting/s/723 Wed, 28 Nov 2012 09:14:00 -0700 <div> by Arianne Cope from Still Parenting <br /> </div> <div _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;" class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZGzbVXNV9pM/UJb5DL8rsCI/AAAAAAAAKpQ/rFBQIh5nZnA/s1600/TOFW+1.JPG" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZGzbVXNV9pM/UJb5DL8rsCI/AAAAAAAAKpQ/rFBQIh5nZnA/s1600/TOFW+1.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZGzbVXNV9pM/UJb5DL8rsCI/AAAAAAAAKpQ/rFBQIh5nZnA/s640/TOFW+1.JPG" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZGzbVXNV9pM/UJb5DL8rsCI/AAAAAAAAKpQ/rFBQIh5nZnA/s640/TOFW+1.JPG" height="426" width="640"></a></div> <br> <span _mce_style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;" style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;">My favorite song is a three-movement symphony by experimental composer John Cage. It can be played by any person regardless of age or musical ability. In fact, I’ll bet you’ll play it from memory by the end of this blog post.&nbsp;</span><br> <br> <span _mce_style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;" style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;">It’s called <i>Four Minutes, Thirty Three Seconds</i>, or <i>4’33’’. </i>The instructions for the performing musician are simple—to sit still and silent for the duration of the piece. The sounds of the environment that the listener hears during this silent score fill the composition.</span><br> <br> If you’re thinking that a stack of blank pages does not a symphony make, you’re not alone. The premiere of <i>4′33″</i> was given in 1952 at Woodstock, New York as part of a recital of contemporary music. The audience watched aghast as David Tudor sat at the piano and started the symphony by closing the piano lid. <i _mce_style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;" style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">This isn’t music. This is insanity</i>, many listeners have asserted.<br> <br> <span _mce_style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;" style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;">Not I. Call me crazy, but I love the piece. Inspired by Cage’s studies of Zen Buddhism, the piece was, in his opinion and mine, his most important work.&nbsp;</span><br> <br> <br> <div _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;" class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jsL8eDg_uaU/UJb5D5g4B9I/AAAAAAAAKpY/xPzQ7KSkDNA/s1600/TOFW+2.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jsL8eDg_uaU/UJb5D5g4B9I/AAAAAAAAKpY/xPzQ7KSkDNA/s1600/TOFW+2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jsL8eDg_uaU/UJb5D5g4B9I/AAAAAAAAKpY/xPzQ7KSkDNA/s640/TOFW+2.jpg" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jsL8eDg_uaU/UJb5D5g4B9I/AAAAAAAAKpY/xPzQ7KSkDNA/s640/TOFW+2.jpg" height="426" width="640"></a></div> <br> <br> <span _mce_style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;" style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;">In my perfect world every time a yellow-robed Chinese spiritualist was spotted wandering planet earth you’d find a Mormon woman close behind taking notes. Those Zen Buddhists know the art of mindfulness. They know how to find and honor stillness. They know how to meditate in the midst of chaos. Not exactly things Mormon women are famous for.&nbsp;</span><br> <br> <span _mce_style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;" style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;">We know how to serve. We know how to organize. We know how to prepare a Relief Society lesson while driving the little ones to dance class and putting mascara on. We have lives bursting with good things. But mindfulness? Hmmmm. We mean to have it. Just let us dig through our purses a minute. It’s on a forgotten sticky note buried in there somewhere amongst the cough drops and baby wipes and receipts.&nbsp;</span><br> <br> <span _mce_style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;" style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;">But stillness isn’t found on a to-do list. It’s around us all the time. It has to be breathed in, deeply. This isn’t easy to do. It’s an art, really. Like playing beautiful music, it takes practice.&nbsp;</span><br> <br> <div _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;" class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZkONbNZh20c/UJb5EtyTVoI/AAAAAAAAKpg/kTsI8AFcJVI/s1600/TOFW+3.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZkONbNZh20c/UJb5EtyTVoI/AAAAAAAAKpg/kTsI8AFcJVI/s1600/TOFW+3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZkONbNZh20c/UJb5EtyTVoI/AAAAAAAAKpg/kTsI8AFcJVI/s640/TOFW+3.jpg" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZkONbNZh20c/UJb5EtyTVoI/AAAAAAAAKpg/kTsI8AFcJVI/s640/TOFW+3.jpg" height="376" width="640"></a></div> <br> <br> <span _mce_style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;" style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;">My days are as crazy as yours. The bills seem to propagate on the counter. The cell phone beeps while the spaghetti boils over and the neighbor pounds on the door holding our escaped pet rabbit.</span><br> <br> <span _mce_style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;" style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;">It’s in these moments I play <i>4’33’</i>’. I know the piece by heart, though my skills as a mindful musician are still developing. It’s not as easy to perform blank pages as you’d think. But embracing stillness is the only way to really see and honor the beauty in this brief experience we call mortal life.</span><br> <br> <span _mce_style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;" style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;">Next time you’re in a traffic jam or waiting at the doctor’s office, try playing <i>4’33’’</i>. Forget Facebook or Pinterest this afternoon. Sit and watch your child nap instead while singing him <i>4’33’’</i>. Notice his little chest rising and falling with each breath. Notice the chubbiness of his little fists and the smoothness of his skin. Breathe in and out with him. </span>Show him his mama knows there is beauty in blank pages. <span _mce_style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;" style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;">Dinner can wait. The phone can wait. The whole world can wait for four minutes and thirty three seconds.&nbsp;</span><br> <br> <div _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;" class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WBUXE8mTy4w/UJb5FiFjl0I/AAAAAAAAKpo/FLba1J813d0/s1600/TOFW+4.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WBUXE8mTy4w/UJb5FiFjl0I/AAAAAAAAKpo/FLba1J813d0/s1600/TOFW+4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WBUXE8mTy4w/UJb5FiFjl0I/AAAAAAAAKpo/FLba1J813d0/s640/TOFW+4.jpg" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WBUXE8mTy4w/UJb5FiFjl0I/AAAAAAAAKpo/FLba1J813d0/s640/TOFW+4.jpg" height="408" width="640"></a></div> <br> <span _mce_style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;" style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;">In and out you breathe. The refrigerator hums. Far away a train horn blows low and longingly. A car backs out of the neighbor’s driveway. There’s a thump, thumping of children skipping rope across the street. Birds flap their wings in the tree outside. The breeze is blowing leaves across your porch. In and out, and in and out you breathe. Listen. It’s a symphony.</span><br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3YvH3lEew1g/ULY4k9w12mI/AAAAAAAACqI/aK9yuFkBXCo/s1600/Arianne+photo.jpg" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3YvH3lEew1g/ULY4k9w12mI/AAAAAAAACqI/aK9yuFkBXCo/s1600/Arianne+photo.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3YvH3lEew1g/ULY4k9w12mI/AAAAAAAACqI/aK9yuFkBXCo/s1600/Arianne+photo.jpg" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3YvH3lEew1g/ULY4k9w12mI/AAAAAAAACqI/aK9yuFkBXCo/s1600/Arianne+photo.jpg" height="213" width="320"></a></div> <i><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; font-size: 12.0pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin;" _mce_style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; font-size: 12.0pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin;">Arianne Cope is an award-winning novelist, journalist, and photographer living in central Utah. Her days are filled to the brim crafting, learning, and exploring alongside her four kids. Catch a bit of stillness and mothering inspiration by visiting her popular blog,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stillparenting.blogspot.com/" _mce_href="http://www.stillparenting.blogspot.com/">Stillparenting</a>.</span></i> When Holidays Go Awry http://www.tofw.com/When-Holidays-Go-Awry-Macy-Robison/s/731 http://www.tofw.com/When-Holidays-Go-Awry-Macy-Robison/s/731 Tue, 27 Nov 2012 10:43:00 -0700 <div> </div> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DmvFBa4z96M/ULT6QsT14LI/AAAAAAAACnA/Q7p0BIkBVH8/s1600/Christmas+at+the+Hipskinds+05.jpg" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DmvFBa4z96M/ULT6QsT14LI/AAAAAAAACnA/Q7p0BIkBVH8/s1600/Christmas+at+the+Hipskinds+05.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DmvFBa4z96M/ULT6QsT14LI/AAAAAAAACnA/Q7p0BIkBVH8/s1600/Christmas+at+the+Hipskinds+05.jpg" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DmvFBa4z96M/ULT6QsT14LI/AAAAAAAACnA/Q7p0BIkBVH8/s1600/Christmas+at+the+Hipskinds+05.jpg" height="426" width="640"></a></div> <br> I was really looking forward to my first Christmas married to my husband.<br> <br> But as the holiday grew closer, I could see that my image of our first married Christmas wasn’t to be. To spend as much time as possible with my new husband’s kids, we’d be spending our first married Christmas in Texas at my husband’s ex-wife’s house.<br> <br> Yes – you read that right.<br> <br> We would be spending our first married Christmas at my new husband’s ex-wife’s house. Not staying in a hotel down the street. Not dropping in for a visit. Sleeping in the guest room in the home of my husband’s ex-wife and her husband.<br> <br> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ypcX4pKe0bs/ULT6TCjD2uI/AAAAAAAACnQ/xVXaNEc0gfM/s1600/Macy-Amanda-Chris-Heather+12-05.jpg" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ypcX4pKe0bs/ULT6TCjD2uI/AAAAAAAACnQ/xVXaNEc0gfM/s1600/Macy-Amanda-Chris-Heather+12-05.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ypcX4pKe0bs/ULT6TCjD2uI/AAAAAAAACnQ/xVXaNEc0gfM/s1600/Macy-Amanda-Chris-Heather+12-05.jpg" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ypcX4pKe0bs/ULT6TCjD2uI/AAAAAAAACnQ/xVXaNEc0gfM/s1600/Macy-Amanda-Chris-Heather+12-05.jpg" height="213" width="320"></a>Now, my husband’s ex-wife and her husband are delightful people. They’ve worked together with my husband over the years and have done an amazing job raising my stepkids. I’d been a guest in their home before. But this was different. This was Christmas – our first married Christmas - at my husband’s ex-wife’s house.<br> <br> We arrived in Texas, and things were nice, but they were just…different. The house wasn’t my house. The decorations weren’t my decorations. And I’d never in my life been to see Christmas lights while wearing a light jacket instead of a parka, hat and gloves. Where was the cold and the snow and the hot chocolate?<br> <br> I found myself surrounded by unfamiliar traditions. For example, my husband wraps EVERY SINGLE THING in the kids’ stockings. I found out about this tradition in the wrapping paper aisle at Target. (<i>I went along with it, of course, because it was his tradition. But I’ve never wrapped so many tiny presents in my life. Like Chapstick</i>.)<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-rxBYoc_6SGo/ULT6OwaEPgI/AAAAAAAACm4/wBC1pCWd1c4/s1600/Amanda-Macy+12-05.JPG" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-rxBYoc_6SGo/ULT6OwaEPgI/AAAAAAAACm4/wBC1pCWd1c4/s1600/Amanda-Macy+12-05.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-rxBYoc_6SGo/ULT6OwaEPgI/AAAAAAAACm4/wBC1pCWd1c4/s1600/Amanda-Macy+12-05.JPG" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-rxBYoc_6SGo/ULT6OwaEPgI/AAAAAAAACm4/wBC1pCWd1c4/s1600/Amanda-Macy+12-05.JPG" height="240" width="320"></a></div> Then there were the traditions that my stepkids have with their mom and stepdad that we were going to be a part of since we were celebrating Christmas in their home. They didn’t have a Christmas Eve dinner like my family does – they have a huge, fancy dinner on Christmas night. And the food wasn’t the same food we served at our fancy dinner on Christmas Eve. They didn’t act out the Christmas story with costumes. They didn’t open any gifts on Christmas Eve. Everything was so different from what I knew and loved about Christmas. I was feeling the loss of what I had hoped to start with my husband, I was missing my family and the traditions I knew and loved. I felt out of place and awkward in a super-awkward situation.<br> <br> I was nearing my emotional breaking point on Christmas Eve. I excused myself to go upstairs and call my family in Utah. As my dad picked up the phone, I heard my siblings laughing and could hear my niece and nephew in the background, and I burst into tears. From zero to full-on-ugly-cry in two seconds. My dad listened as I explained why I was so upset, and then he said, “We miss you, and of course we wish you were here, but you need to enjoy and appreciate the new family you have now.”<br> <br> He was right.<br> <br> I’d waited so long to be happily married, and I finally was. I’d wanted for so long to be a mother, and I had stepped into this amazing situation as a stepmom where I felt like I was joining a championship parenting team that worked things out instead of fighting things out. Even in the midst of the awkwardness of staying at my husband’s ex-wife’s house, there was a lot to be grateful for.<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BnekZokO9GE/ULT6R0cwXuI/AAAAAAAACnI/iXGZPncfsGo/s1600/Heather-Amanda-Neal-Chris+12-05.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BnekZokO9GE/ULT6R0cwXuI/AAAAAAAACnI/iXGZPncfsGo/s1600/Heather-Amanda-Neal-Chris+12-05.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BnekZokO9GE/ULT6R0cwXuI/AAAAAAAACnI/iXGZPncfsGo/s1600/Heather-Amanda-Neal-Chris+12-05.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BnekZokO9GE/ULT6R0cwXuI/AAAAAAAACnI/iXGZPncfsGo/s1600/Heather-Amanda-Neal-Chris+12-05.jpg" height="213" width="320"></a></div> So, I had a choice. I could pout my way through the rest of Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, or I could choose to have a good attitude and figure out how we would meld our families and traditions together. Thankfully, I chose the latter. And I learned some great things that Christmas.<br> <br> I even contributed a tradition of my own. In my family, we open pajamas on Christmas Eve. When I knew we’d be spending Christmas in Texas, I thought it would be fun to make pajamas for my husband and the kids to open on Christmas Eve. I spent a lot of time picking out fabric and sewing the pajamas for everyone, and we opened them after I finished talking to my dad on the phone. And just like that, we had a new Christmas Eve tradition as a new family.<br> <br> Our traditions today aren’t the traditions I imagined when we started our family. We’ve celebrated Christmas in a different place with a different group of people almost every year of our marriage. Sometimes we get to see my stepkids close to Christmas or on Christmas Day, and sometimes we don’t. And now that my husband and I have young children, we’ve had to come up with some traditions that are ours. We always read the Christmas Story on Christmas Eve. We always wrap the stocking presents. I always have pajamas for anyone staying the night at our house on Christmas Eve.<br> <br> This year, all of our kids – younger and older – and their spouses will be in our home on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day all together for the first time. Time to break out the sewing machine.<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DofCsOggPhE/ULT7FL9TQ9I/AAAAAAAACnk/xn27Zd0GqF4/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DofCsOggPhE/ULT7FL9TQ9I/AAAAAAAACnk/xn27Zd0GqF4/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DofCsOggPhE/ULT7FL9TQ9I/AAAAAAAACnk/xn27Zd0GqF4/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DofCsOggPhE/ULT7FL9TQ9I/AAAAAAAACnk/xn27Zd0GqF4/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" height="200" width="130"></a></div> <i>Macy Robison is a performer, photographer, and mom. She lives with her husband and two kids in Austin, Texas. She loves the holidays. She is also so very grateful to be stepmom and mother-in-law to some pretty amazing adults, and is forever grateful to the lovely couple her younger kids call Aunt Jenn and Uncle Steve for their friendship and hospitality through that first Christmas and many visits since.&nbsp;</i><br> <br> The Parable of the Butterfly (Craft Included!) http://www.tofw.com/Parable-Butterfly-Craft-Included-Andrea-J-Company/s/726 http://www.tofw.com/Parable-Butterfly-Craft-Included-Andrea-J-Company/s/726 Wed, 14 Nov 2012 10:18:00 -0700 <div> by Andrea from J & A and Company <br /> </div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jsALCsPcrqE/UKLYJW4KvSI/AAAAAAAACfo/AyqKPGwaH7Q/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0286.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jsALCsPcrqE/UKLYJW4KvSI/AAAAAAAACfo/AyqKPGwaH7Q/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0286.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jsALCsPcrqE/UKLYJW4KvSI/AAAAAAAACfo/AyqKPGwaH7Q/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0286.jpg" width="640" height="456" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jsALCsPcrqE/UKLYJW4KvSI/AAAAAAAACfo/AyqKPGwaH7Q/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0286.jpg"></a></div> <br> Have you ever had one of the moments when you are teaching a principle and learn a lesson for yourself in return?<br> <br> I recently had that happen to me.&nbsp; As the first counselor in our primary, I have been trying to teach our overly rowdy primary children about reverence.&nbsp; I came up with a brilliant plan that has worked wonders in our primary.<br> <br> You see, I told the children a story about two irreverent girls.&nbsp; They were so disruptive that the primary president decided to pay them a visit.&nbsp; She then took the girls on an outing that they would never forget.&nbsp; She took them to the zoo.&nbsp; At the zoo, these girls had the opportunity to visit the butterfly exhibit. They were so excited to catch a butterfly. These girls chased after these butterflies and became quite frustrated when they couldn’t catch one. The primary president then showed the girls how to stand quietly and soon the butterflies came to them.&nbsp; <br> <br> That is how reverence works. When we are still and quiet, the Spirit comes to us and fills our hearts. I also reminded the primary children that once they catch a butterfly, they shouldn’t scare it. We must remain still and calm or the butterfly will flutter away.&nbsp; <br> <br> Reverence is the same way. We can easily scare it away.<br> <br> After sharing the story, I knew I had been prompted to think about reverence for my own benefit.&nbsp; How often have I been the one to chase the reverence out of my own home? Hasty thoughts, actions and deeds often leave my home without the feeling of peace that I desire. <br> <br> I had spent weeks working on the reverence in the primary, but how hard had I worked on reverence in my own home? I realized that reverence begins with me. When I get upset or frustrated the reverence quickly goes away.&nbsp; Often times, I am the one to scare away the butterfly. I scare away the reverence, and in turn the Spirit leaves. <br> <br> I decided that I wanted the reverence butterfly to be a symbol in our home. <br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cyQEDPJoohA/UKLYdt83NmI/AAAAAAAACgY/fGCZUSmnrdE/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0294.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cyQEDPJoohA/UKLYdt83NmI/AAAAAAAACgY/fGCZUSmnrdE/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0294.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cyQEDPJoohA/UKLYdt83NmI/AAAAAAAACgY/fGCZUSmnrdE/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0294.jpg" width="400" height="265" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cyQEDPJoohA/UKLYdt83NmI/AAAAAAAACgY/fGCZUSmnrdE/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0294.jpg"></a></div> <br> <br> I decided to make a beautiful framed piece to help remind our family of reverence. Each time I walk by these butterflies, I am reminded to keep my reverence in check. I thought you might enjoy having some reverence art in your house too. Here is how I did it:<br> <br> I already had this frame in my house.&nbsp; I decided this would be the perfect frame for this project.&nbsp; If you don’t have a frame like this at home, you could use some canvases or even a frame with just one butterfly.<br> <br> I started with a small chipboard letter R for Reverence. I sprayed it with spray adhesive. Then I dumped some glitter on it.<br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RYhsTw1YkD4/UKLX00zxFfI/AAAAAAAACew/rDQ5_O24M5k/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0276.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RYhsTw1YkD4/UKLX00zxFfI/AAAAAAAACew/rDQ5_O24M5k/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0276.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RYhsTw1YkD4/UKLX00zxFfI/AAAAAAAACew/rDQ5_O24M5k/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0276.jpg" width="320" height="212" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RYhsTw1YkD4/UKLX00zxFfI/AAAAAAAACew/rDQ5_O24M5k/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0276.jpg"></a></div> <br> Luckily I have a wonderful sister who was willing to cut out these butterflies for me with her silhouette.&nbsp; If you don’t have a machine that will do this, I have seen butterfly punches as well. I wanted them white because it reminds me of reverence. I folded them in half to give that 3D effect.<br> Once I folded them, I added a pop dot to the back to make it stand out.<br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1exSAhuTLqM/UKLYFn-W5RI/AAAAAAAACfU/QRnZSV4G0Rg/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0283.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1exSAhuTLqM/UKLYFn-W5RI/AAAAAAAACfU/QRnZSV4G0Rg/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0283.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1exSAhuTLqM/UKLYFn-W5RI/AAAAAAAACfU/QRnZSV4G0Rg/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0283.jpg" width="320" height="212" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1exSAhuTLqM/UKLYFn-W5RI/AAAAAAAACfU/QRnZSV4G0Rg/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0283.jpg"></a></div> <br> I covered the back of my mat for the frame with paper that I ripped out of a book, and attached it with scotch tape. I used my paper cutter to cut it to the right dimensions.<br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2P6zWGTV2mY/UKLYMYKsgYI/AAAAAAAACfw/_dL1Yp4svV0/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0288.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2P6zWGTV2mY/UKLYMYKsgYI/AAAAAAAACfw/_dL1Yp4svV0/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0288.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2P6zWGTV2mY/UKLYMYKsgYI/AAAAAAAACfw/_dL1Yp4svV0/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0288.jpg" width="212" height="320" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2P6zWGTV2mY/UKLYMYKsgYI/AAAAAAAACfw/_dL1Yp4svV0/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0288.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> &nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> Next, I typed up Reverence on my computer and printed it out. I used the font Selfish. I printed it on white cardstock, and then I used scissors to cut it in to a fun flag.</div> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <br></div> I put them all together in the holes of the frame.&nbsp; I took the glass out of the frame so that butterflies could remain 3D. I added the glitter R and the reverence flag to the bottom right hole.<br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-LTAoOpTuCWQ/UKLYRGy6wHI/AAAAAAAACgM/WQA-TH543g8/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0299.JPG" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-LTAoOpTuCWQ/UKLYRGy6wHI/AAAAAAAACgM/WQA-TH543g8/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0299.JPG"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-LTAoOpTuCWQ/UKLYRGy6wHI/AAAAAAAACgM/WQA-TH543g8/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0299.JPG" width="212" height="320" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-LTAoOpTuCWQ/UKLYRGy6wHI/AAAAAAAACgM/WQA-TH543g8/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0299.JPG"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> This was such a simple project.<br> I love how the simplicity of it makes it so classic.<br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uapMzHqNrDg/UKLYPdV_rdI/AAAAAAAACgE/l-uM50XUQiE/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0298.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uapMzHqNrDg/UKLYPdV_rdI/AAAAAAAACgE/l-uM50XUQiE/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0298.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uapMzHqNrDg/UKLYPdV_rdI/AAAAAAAACgE/l-uM50XUQiE/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0298.jpg" width="320" height="212" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uapMzHqNrDg/UKLYPdV_rdI/AAAAAAAACgE/l-uM50XUQiE/s1600/Reverence+Butterfly+Frame-0298.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> &nbsp;</div> I hung this in our hallway upstairs to remind our family of the importance of reverence.<br> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <br></div> I made this frame more for myself than anyone else; I know that reverence begins with me.&nbsp;When we find opportunities to have reverence in our home, the spirit is more present. It also gives us opportunities as mothers to think more clearly; and receive personal revelation.&nbsp;Reverence is my new tool as a mother.&nbsp;I use a softer voice, and less haste. I feel more at peace.<br> <br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hOCvO9JLPQo/UKPRb8S19pI/AAAAAAAAChg/EbdVJFya6D4/s1600/AndreaS.jpg" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hOCvO9JLPQo/UKPRb8S19pI/AAAAAAAAChg/EbdVJFya6D4/s1600/AndreaS.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hOCvO9JLPQo/UKPRb8S19pI/AAAAAAAAChg/EbdVJFya6D4/s1600/AndreaS.jpg" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hOCvO9JLPQo/UKPRb8S19pI/AAAAAAAAChg/EbdVJFya6D4/s1600/AndreaS.jpg"></a></div> Andrea blogs at <a href="http://www.jandaandco.blogspot.com/" _mce_href="http://www.jandaandco.blogspot.com/">J &amp; A and Company</a> about decorating, thrifting, yummy food, organizing, and photography.<br> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <br></div> What's in a Picture? http://www.tofw.com/Whats-Picture-Macy-Robison/s/725 http://www.tofw.com/Whats-Picture-Macy-Robison/s/725 Tue, 13 Nov 2012 10:49:00 -0700 <div> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JnG6VT0z-WQ/UKKE6K95fTI/AAAAAAAACb8/8t36TssdGXw/s1600/blTOFWblog_003.png" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JnG6VT0z-WQ/UKKE6K95fTI/AAAAAAAACb8/8t36TssdGXw/s1600/blTOFWblog_003.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JnG6VT0z-WQ/UKKE6K95fTI/AAAAAAAACb8/8t36TssdGXw/s1600/blTOFWblog_003.png" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JnG6VT0z-WQ/UKKE6K95fTI/AAAAAAAACb8/8t36TssdGXw/s1600/blTOFWblog_003.png" height="434" width="640"></a></div> <br> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" _mce_style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> <i><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;" _mce_style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">"He needs time alone with a parent."</span></i><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;" _mce_style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><o:p></o:p></span></div> <span style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;" _mce_style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span><br> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" _mce_style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> <span style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;" _mce_style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">This thought came into my head just as clear as day this past week. My son needed time alone with either my husband or I. It didn't matter which one of us, but he needed time alone with one of us. My daughter was really sick this past week and was receiving a lot of parental attention, and my son needed some undivided attention for a while.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div> <br> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" _mce_style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> <span style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;" _mce_style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Because my daughter was so sick, my husband took on the assignment of going to dinner and the movies. My son was so excited when we told him that he was going on a "boys night" with his dad, and I knew the evening was going well when I received this picture:</span></div> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" _mce_style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> <span style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;" _mce_style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></div> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" _mce_style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2qjyjGdbWic/UKKG9pbBmNI/AAAAAAAACcc/5mGAxKfwX3o/s1600/popbooth.jpeg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2qjyjGdbWic/UKKG9pbBmNI/AAAAAAAACcc/5mGAxKfwX3o/s1600/popbooth.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2qjyjGdbWic/UKKG9pbBmNI/AAAAAAAACcc/5mGAxKfwX3o/s1600/popbooth.jpeg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2qjyjGdbWic/UKKG9pbBmNI/AAAAAAAACcc/5mGAxKfwX3o/s1600/popbooth.jpeg" height="320" width="320"></a></div> &nbsp;</div> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" _mce_style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> <span style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;" _mce_style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">There's just something about a picture that captures a moment and a relationship. I love that these silly photo booth pictures do just that. I love that when I see these pictures, I can see how much fun my son and my husband have with each other, how much they love each other, and that on this particular night, I was able to listen to a prompting and make sure my son's needs were taken care of.<o:p></o:p></span></div> <br> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" _mce_style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> <span style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;" _mce_style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">I'm a photographer. I understand the power of a photograph. It's a way to document the passage of time. To document the importance of certain events. To illustrate the relationships between people. I consider it a privilege when a family asks me to document their lives and relationships. And as I've been working on a lot of photo shoots as the holidays grow near, it occurred to me that there is another way I can share the good I see in my children - by making sure that I get in the pictures with them. By making sure that our relationship is captured and that they can see how much I love them.<o:p></o:p></span></div> <br> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" _mce_style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> <span style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;" _mce_style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">My mom died quite suddenly almost 13 years ago, and sadly, I don’t have very many pictures of my mom and I. I have a lot of pictures of her displayed around my home – mom with one of my siblings, mom with Katie Couric when we visited the Today Show. I have the photos from our last photo session together.&nbsp;<i>(That was a blessing – we had professional portraits taken a week before she died.&nbsp; My brother was leaving on his mission and we didn’t have recent pictures. We’re so grateful for those pictures now.)</i>&nbsp;But, I don’t have ANY pictures of the two of us displayed in my home and frankly, I couldn’t think of the most recent picture I have of just the two of us. I went looking through my scrapbooks and found it. We took this picture together in 1997 on a trip to the Miss America Pageant. And before this picture, I think the only one I could find of the two of us was from when I was a baby.<o:p></o:p></span></div> <br> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" _mce_style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bADYkMbN2K4/UKKE2iSkiEI/AAAAAAAACbk/qcQ1XVHoLTI/s1600/blmomandme.jpeg" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bADYkMbN2K4/UKKE2iSkiEI/AAAAAAAACbk/qcQ1XVHoLTI/s1600/blmomandme.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bADYkMbN2K4/UKKE2iSkiEI/AAAAAAAACbk/qcQ1XVHoLTI/s1600/blmomandme.jpeg" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bADYkMbN2K4/UKKE2iSkiEI/AAAAAAAACbk/qcQ1XVHoLTI/s1600/blmomandme.jpeg" height="263" width="320"></a></div> <span style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;" _mce_style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><o:p></o:p></span>&nbsp;</div> <br> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" _mce_style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> <span style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;" _mce_style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">I really am sad I have so few pictures of the two of us. I know the lack of pictures isn’t a reflection of how we felt about each other – she just hated being in pictures. So much so, she was known to cut herself out of pictures if she didn’t like the way she looked. And haven’t we all been tempted to do that?</span></div> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" _mce_style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> <span style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;" _mce_style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></div> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" _mce_style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> <span style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;" _mce_style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">I love being a photographer. I love creating photos that reflect the relationships my clients have with each other. I love documenting my own children as they grow. But if I’m being honest, I hide behind the camera when it comes to taking pictures of my family. I take the pictures because I don’t want to be in the pictures. I don’t want to be reminded that I haven’t been exercising. I don’t want to see the proof that I ate at too many drive-thrus when I was pregnant and still haven’t lost all the baby weight yet.&nbsp;<i>(From the baby who is now 5 1/2 years old.)&nbsp;</i>As uncomfortable as I feel in front of a camera right now, I want to leave my children with as many reminders as possible of what they mean to me and how much I love them. So today, while I was taking pictures of my entire family as we conclude a family reunion in Orlando, I handed over my camera and got in the pictures with my family and my kids.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div> <br> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" _mce_style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NkqPuKkr4f0/UKKE3usoe-I/AAAAAAAACbs/gFqZVkebvq0/s1600/blTOFWblog_001.png" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NkqPuKkr4f0/UKKE3usoe-I/AAAAAAAACbs/gFqZVkebvq0/s1600/blTOFWblog_001.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NkqPuKkr4f0/UKKE3usoe-I/AAAAAAAACbs/gFqZVkebvq0/s1600/blTOFWblog_001.png" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NkqPuKkr4f0/UKKE3usoe-I/AAAAAAAACbs/gFqZVkebvq0/s1600/blTOFWblog_001.png" height="320" width="212"></a></div> <span style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;" _mce_style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><o:p></o:p></span>&nbsp;</div> <br> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" _mce_style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> <span style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;" _mce_style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Do I love how I look in these pictures? If I'm being honest, I don't. I don't love how my hair turned out, I did my makeup way too quickly, and I was sorely tempted to Photoshop my fat away.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div> <br> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" _mce_style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> <span style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;" _mce_style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Do I love that I have some photographic evidence of how much I love my children and how good they are? Absolutely. And so it doesn't matter what I think I look like, because the truth is, they don't care. They have a mommy who loves them and is trying every day to be the best mommy she can be. They see the good in me, and I'm so grateful they can look at these pictures and see that I can see the good in them.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div> <br> <br> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" _mce_style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yyS_fdvf_8I/UKKHUxRHgnI/AAAAAAAACck/JNnF4oYo-2Q/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yyS_fdvf_8I/UKKHUxRHgnI/AAAAAAAACck/JNnF4oYo-2Q/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yyS_fdvf_8I/UKKHUxRHgnI/AAAAAAAACck/JNnF4oYo-2Q/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yyS_fdvf_8I/UKKHUxRHgnI/AAAAAAAACck/JNnF4oYo-2Q/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" height="200" width="130"></a></div> <i><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;" _mce_style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Macy Robison is a performer, photographer, and mom. She lives with her husband and two kids in Austin, Texas. She loves Dole Whip, Harry Potter, and meeting Disney characters and feels super lucky that she got to experience all of those things this week. Especially the Dole Whip.</span></i><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;" _mce_style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><o:p></o:p></span></div> <br> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" _mce_style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> <span style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;" _mce_style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></div> <br> <div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" _mce_style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"> <span style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;" _mce_style="mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></div> Hotel Living and a Cherry Cobbler http://www.tofw.com/Hotel-Living-Cherry-Cobbler-Mel-Mels-Kitchen-Cafe/s/720 http://www.tofw.com/Hotel-Living-Cherry-Cobbler-Mel-Mels-Kitchen-Cafe/s/720 Wed, 07 Nov 2012 00:04:00 -0700 <div> by Mel from Mel's Kitchen Cafe <br /> </div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-nYzLJKIQP1w/UJlbnl-XzCI/AAAAAAAACTg/mD_jDocSWS4/s1600/Cherry+Cobbler2+JPG.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-nYzLJKIQP1w/UJlbnl-XzCI/AAAAAAAACTg/mD_jDocSWS4/s1600/Cherry+Cobbler2+JPG.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-nYzLJKIQP1w/UJlbnl-XzCI/AAAAAAAACTg/mD_jDocSWS4/s640/Cherry+Cobbler2+JPG.jpg" width="640" height="438" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-nYzLJKIQP1w/UJlbnl-XzCI/AAAAAAAACTg/mD_jDocSWS4/s640/Cherry+Cobbler2+JPG.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> Howdy, TOFW friends! I’m Mel and I blog over at <a href="http://www.melskitchencafe.com/" _mce_href="http://www.melskitchencafe.com/">Mel’s Kitchen Café</a>, basically shoving tried-and-true recipes down anyone’s throat who cares to visit. It’s a fun place with lots of good food. Besides blogging, I’m a mom of four energetic (read: rowdy) boys and a tiny little human girl, which we know not what to do with, having four boys birthed before her and all. After six months, we still just sit around and stare at her to see what she’ll do next.<br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yhXZUTUM5QY/UJlbpSNlMeI/AAAAAAAACTo/_GbBdtarkEc/s1600/ss8.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yhXZUTUM5QY/UJlbpSNlMeI/AAAAAAAACTo/_GbBdtarkEc/s1600/ss8.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yhXZUTUM5QY/UJlbpSNlMeI/AAAAAAAACTo/_GbBdtarkEc/s320/ss8.jpg" width="320" height="213" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yhXZUTUM5QY/UJlbpSNlMeI/AAAAAAAACTo/_GbBdtarkEc/s320/ss8.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: left;" _mce_style="text-align: left;"> <br> Eight or so weeks ago, our lives were quite interrupted by a job change for my husband, which took us from Wisconsin to Northern Minnesota. I’m used to moving. We’ve done it five or so times in our ten years of marriage so when I found out we would be moving again, I was like, “Yeah, no biggie, I’m a mover, man! I could write a book about moving. I’m on it. We’re good.” And then my How-To-Survive-Moving-Guidebook idea was quickly thrown out the window as I found myself not knowing how to survive this move which had turned completely chaotic.</div> <br> What we thought would be a smooth transition was anything but and we spent the first seven weeks of our new lives basically living in a hotel with a few brief respites to visit family in Montana. And I’m here to tell you that continental breakfasts complete with Cocoa Puffs and not having to make your own beds are highly, highly overrated when crammed into a one-room-wonder with five children ages 8 to 5 months. To say it was a stressful time is an understatement.<br> <br> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0E2rOC2AWXs/UJlbmSRKpUI/AAAAAAAACTY/r0Ju_XHhan0/s1600/Cherry+Cobbler1+JPG.jpg" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0E2rOC2AWXs/UJlbmSRKpUI/AAAAAAAACTY/r0Ju_XHhan0/s1600/Cherry+Cobbler1+JPG.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0E2rOC2AWXs/UJlbmSRKpUI/AAAAAAAACTY/r0Ju_XHhan0/s320/Cherry+Cobbler1+JPG.jpg" width="320" height="217" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0E2rOC2AWXs/UJlbmSRKpUI/AAAAAAAACTY/r0Ju_XHhan0/s320/Cherry+Cobbler1+JPG.jpg"></a>I get that in the whole scheme of worldwide problems, me having to live in a hotel with a large-ish family rates really, really low on the spectrum. Duly. Noted. But I also can’t tell a lie and I have to admit that those seven weeks weren’t some of my finest moments as I tried mightily to dredge up as many coping skills as possible (other than shoving handfuls of chocolate chips in my mouth) to get through the madness of home-finding and other moving bedlam.</div> <br> Other than trying to convince the children that they were so lucky to be able to go swimming every day of their lives instead of going to Disneyland like some kids, our other methods for coping included legos, Uno, and homecooked meals. Homecooked meals in a hotel, you say? No way, right? <br> <br> Yes way, my friends, yes way. I admit that I tend to be a total nerd when it comes to food and cooking and I’ll own that, but I was determined, in order to save money and gastronomical distress, to not visit the local Dairy Queen more than once a week. So I pulled out my slow cooker that thankfully made the trip with us instead of getting stored on the moving truck and got to work. I became one with my slow cooker. And as crazy as it sounds, I really think it was that loveable little slow cooker that got us through the long hotel stay with minimal damage.<br> <br> Knowing we could have a homecooked meal and eat it sitting cross-legged on the hotel beds somehow made us all feel like we were almost at home. <em>Almost, but not quite</em>. One of the crockpot gems that managed to be a total knock-your-socks-off and let-me-live-in-a-hotel-forever hit was this Cherry Cobbler. A perfect concoction of warm, juicy cherries topped with cinnamon and sugar-dusted biscuits made absolutely divine with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. And it’s made in the slow cooker. I know, get out, right? We’ve had it several times since the hotel stay, living in a <em>real house</em> and all, and each time, it’s a total winner. Enjoy! (<em>And if you ever end up living in a hotel, longterm, let me know – I may have scrapped the Guide to Moving book but I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve to survive hotel living!)</em><br> <br> <span style="font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-size: large;"><strong>Slow Cooker Cherry Cobbler</strong></span><br> *Serves 4-6<br> <br> INGREDIENTS:<br> 2 ¼ pounds frozen sweet cherries<br> 2 cups all-purpose flour<br> 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar<br> 1 tablespoon lemon juice<br> 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon<br> ½ teaspoon almond extract<br> 1 tablespoon baking powder<br> ½ teaspoon salt<br> ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk<br> 4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled to room temperature<br> <br> DIRECTIONS:<br> In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the cherries, ¼ cup flour, 1 cup sugar, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and almond extract. Stir well to coat the cherries with the other ingredients. Microwave, uncovered, until the cherries being to give up some of their juices, about 5 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking. Stir the mixture really well to redistribute the cherry juice and transfer the mixture to a large, oval slow cooker (6-7 quarts). Spread the cherries into an even layer.<br> <br> In a large bowl, stir together the remaining 1 ¾ cups flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the milk and butter and mix until combined (add another tablespoon of milk if the mixture isn’t coming together very well). The mixture should be moist but not runny. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and remaining ¼ teaspoon cinnamon.<br> <br> Using a large spoon, scoop spoonfuls of dough and drop 8 or 9 dumplings around the edge of the slow cooker on top of the cherries, leaving a portion of the center empty (the dumplings will expand as they cook and they will get kind of gummy if they don’t have room to bake completely). Sprinkle the top of the dumplings with the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for about 4 hours, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the dumplings comes out clean. Serve warm with a scoop (or two!) of vanilla ice cream.<br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--SxZmO1UmrY/UJlsaBqnGVI/AAAAAAAACUw/P09iYy2K2MU/s1600/mel.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--SxZmO1UmrY/UJlsaBqnGVI/AAAAAAAACUw/P09iYy2K2MU/s1600/mel.png"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--SxZmO1UmrY/UJlsaBqnGVI/AAAAAAAACUw/P09iYy2K2MU/s1600/mel.png" width="200" height="161" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--SxZmO1UmrY/UJlsaBqnGVI/AAAAAAAACUw/P09iYy2K2MU/s1600/mel.png"></a></div> <br> *<em>Recipe adapted from </em><a href="http://www.melskitchencafe.com/" _mce_href="http://www.melskitchencafe.com/"><em>Mel’s Kitchen Cafe</em></a><em> adapted from one spied in the June/July issue of Cook’s Country</em>* A Spoonful of Sugar... http://www.tofw.com/Spoonful-Sugar-Macy-Robison/s/718 http://www.tofw.com/Spoonful-Sugar-Macy-Robison/s/718 Tue, 06 Nov 2012 00:00:00 -0700 <div> </div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bKau9osPlnA/UJgKuA10ibI/AAAAAAAACOg/inm-Jki5LCg/s1600/bl120328BluebonnetsKids_054.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bKau9osPlnA/UJgKuA10ibI/AAAAAAAACOg/inm-Jki5LCg/s1600/bl120328BluebonnetsKids_054.png"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bKau9osPlnA/UJgKuA10ibI/AAAAAAAACOg/inm-Jki5LCg/s640/bl120328BluebonnetsKids_054.png" width="640" height="424" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bKau9osPlnA/UJgKuA10ibI/AAAAAAAACOg/inm-Jki5LCg/s640/bl120328BluebonnetsKids_054.png"></a></div> <span id="goog_1283103847"></span><span id="goog_1283103848"></span><br> “Mom, I’m really sad because I missed free centers again today.”<br> <br> <em>(If you don’t have a kindergarten student in your house, you may not realize this, but free centers are a BIG deal. My little guy has been known to skip afternoon snack time to make sure he was able to go to the free center of his choosing.)</em><br> <br> “Why did you miss free centers today, buddy?”<br> <br> “Because I had to finish my work. C____________ (<em>the little boy who sits next to him</em>) was talking to me so much and he made it so I didn’t finish my work when I was supposed to.”<br> <br> Normally, a comment like this would have launched me into a huge lecture about the importance of getting your work done when it’s supposed to be done, with a few directives on why it’s important not to make excuses and blame others. <br> <br> But on this day, I remembered <strong><em>my</em></strong> directive for the week, and chose to seek the good in my son instead of correct him. <br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-j1as2tiL36g/UJgO-CuHC4I/AAAAAAAACP8/ZOGProUWmhM/s1600/meltonquote.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-j1as2tiL36g/UJgO-CuHC4I/AAAAAAAACP8/ZOGProUWmhM/s1600/meltonquote.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-j1as2tiL36g/UJgO-CuHC4I/AAAAAAAACP8/ZOGProUWmhM/s320/meltonquote.jpg" width="247" height="320" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-j1as2tiL36g/UJgO-CuHC4I/AAAAAAAACP8/ZOGProUWmhM/s320/meltonquote.jpg"></a></div> <br> <br> So, I took a deep breath, put on a big smile and said…<br> “You know, I noticed something when I was helping in your class today. I noticed that you are really great at helping the other kids at your table. You always answer their questions and you’re a really good friend.”<br> <br> My son (<em>naturally</em>) agreed with me and we went on to discuss and practice some ways that he could still help his friends after he finished his work. <br> <br> As we happily continued on our way home, I confess I was a little bit shocked. Shocked that the conversation had gone so well. Shocked that the result of the conversation – me communicating to him that he needed to finish his work at the right time – was the same, but the manner in which it was communicated, and the peace that both of us were feeling was so much different than it would have been if I’d given my normal lecture. All because I’d taken a moment to find the good in him and then communicate that to him. It was remarkable the difference it made.<br> <br> This exchange with my son left me wondering how to achieve the same results with my daughter.&nbsp; She is almost two and we’ve been working with her for several months now to overcome a communication delay.&nbsp; We’re a very verbal family, and she’s a very determined young lady, so it’s been a huge challenge to meet her needs and remain patient with each other. And while I can see the good in her, I have struggled with how to express it to her.<br> <br> I got an opportunity the next day when I turned around and saw this:<br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_deYR3jGnzI/UJgOzjdfHNI/AAAAAAAACPs/u5Ggfyo2GkY/s1600/laurenyogurt.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_deYR3jGnzI/UJgOzjdfHNI/AAAAAAAACPs/u5Ggfyo2GkY/s1600/laurenyogurt.png"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_deYR3jGnzI/UJgOzjdfHNI/AAAAAAAACPs/u5Ggfyo2GkY/s320/laurenyogurt.png" width="239" height="320" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_deYR3jGnzI/UJgOzjdfHNI/AAAAAAAACPs/u5Ggfyo2GkY/s320/laurenyogurt.png"></a></div> <br> Normally, a toddler covered in yogurt (<em>or anything else</em>) sends me running for the baby wipes in an effort to minimize any further mess.<br> <br> But this time, I tried to seek the good in my messy little lady. I took a deep breath, smiled and said…<br> <br> “Look what you did! You figured out how to feed yourself the yogurt!”<br> <br> She grinned back at me, kept eating, and when it was time to clean up, she didn’t put up a fuss like she normally does. She actually held out her hands so I could clean them. I was amazed. <br> <br> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <a style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; float: right;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-RFaI548EqEA/UJgKwwrVmWI/AAAAAAAACOo/5zFrJ3LPjJk/s1600/laurencups.png" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-RFaI548EqEA/UJgKwwrVmWI/AAAAAAAACOo/5zFrJ3LPjJk/s1600/laurencups.png"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-RFaI548EqEA/UJgKwwrVmWI/AAAAAAAACOo/5zFrJ3LPjJk/s320/laurencups.png" width="239" height="320" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-RFaI548EqEA/UJgKwwrVmWI/AAAAAAAACOo/5zFrJ3LPjJk/s320/laurencups.png"></a>Since the yogurt incident, I’m finding the phrase “Look what you did!” pretty useful. Because I’m realizing that when my daughter re-organizes our DVD collection or lines up all her sippy cups or tries to go downstairs carrying as many stuffed animals as possible or climbs on top of everything in the house, she’s not trying to annoy me or be naughty – she’s trying to figure out what her little body can do. Recognizing her accomplishments before I correct her behavior (“<em>Look what you did! All the DVDs are in a row. Next time, the DVDs go on the shelf, sweetie. Not under the couch</em>.”) makes both of us a lot happier.</div> <br> Things haven’t been perfect around here this week, but I can see my efforts in this Seek the Good project are making a difference. I’m discovering that as I consistently strive to seek the good in my kids and then take the time to communicate to them the good I see in them, it’s making a difference in our relationships with each other and the sense of harmony and love in our home.&nbsp; How about you? Has seeking the good in others and letting them know about the good you see making a difference in your world? <br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-suZ1cieRan8/UJgKrwrb9QI/AAAAAAAACOY/Y6mYuGP_6q0/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-suZ1cieRan8/UJgKrwrb9QI/AAAAAAAACOY/Y6mYuGP_6q0/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-suZ1cieRan8/UJgKrwrb9QI/AAAAAAAACOY/Y6mYuGP_6q0/s200/2011Headshot_001ed.png" width="130" height="200" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-suZ1cieRan8/UJgKrwrb9QI/AAAAAAAACOY/Y6mYuGP_6q0/s200/2011Headshot_001ed.png"></a></div> <span style='font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-US;' _mce_style='font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-language: EN-US;'><em>Macy Robison is a performer, photographer, and mom. She lives with her husband and two kids in Austin, Texas. She misses fall in New England, but absolutely loves that she got to wear flip flops today. In November.&nbsp;</em></span> {DIY} Easy Homemade Pumpkin Decor http://www.tofw.com/DIY-Easy-Homemade-Pumpkin-Decor-Tausha-Sassy-Style-Redesign/s/703 http://www.tofw.com/DIY-Easy-Homemade-Pumpkin-Decor-Tausha-Sassy-Style-Redesign/s/703 Wed, 31 Oct 2012 00:00:00 -0600 <div> by Tausha from Sassy Style Redesign <br /> </div> I am so excited to be chatting with everyone over here at Time Out for Women! I want to take a second and introduce myself if I may.<br> <br> My name is Tausha &amp; I am a mama to 3 girls, a wife to a fabulous man, a <a href="http://www.sassystyleredesign.com/2012/09/why-i-am-mormon_28.html" _mce_href="http://www.sassystyleredesign.com/2012/09/why-i-am-mormon_28.html">Mormon</a> and a the creator of the blog, <a href="http://www.sassystyleredesign.com/" _mce_href="http://www.sassystyleredesign.com/">Sassy Style Redesign.com</a>.&nbsp; I am passionate about a lot of things. Diet Coke, peanut M&amp;M’s, crock pot dinners, <a href="http://www.sassystyleredesign.com/search/label/Spray%20Painting" _mce_href="http://www.sassystyleredesign.com/search/label/Spray%20Painting">spray painting</a>, &amp; my hot glue gun. I love being creative,shopping for clothes that I don’t need &amp; <a href="http://www.sassystyleredesign.com/search/label/Home%20Makeovers" _mce_href="http://www.sassystyleredesign.com/search/label/Home%20Makeovers">decorating my house so it feels more like a home.</a><br> <br> There are a couple of things that you need to know about me. I can NOT sew a stitch. Truth be told, I don’t even know how to turn on a sewing machine. (I totally bribe my little sister to make pillows for me) I told you that I love to be creative, and this includes making new or showing my <a href="http://www.sassystyleredesign.com/search/label/Holidays" _mce_href="http://www.sassystyleredesign.com/search/label/Holidays">seasonal decor</a> a little bit of love.<br> <br> This year, I decided that I needed some more pumpkins. <a href="http://www.sassystyleredesign.com/2012/10/pumpkin-decorating-and-my-favorite-fall_6.html" _mce_href="http://www.sassystyleredesign.com/2012/10/pumpkin-decorating-and-my-favorite-fall_6.html">I love pumpkins</a>! Apparently, I decided that I was going to collect them, and now I have way more than one person should. But, does that stop me from making more? No, of course not! So, whether you have an addiction to pumpkins, or need a new &amp;&nbsp; simple, autumn, no sew project, these pumpkins will make you happy!<br> <br> Ready? Of course you are…<br> <br> First, you need to gather your supplies.<br> &nbsp;<a href="http://lh3.ggpht.com/-wcQd-oo7Blg/UI6VDszGmWI/AAAAAAAAGlo/02X2_dcz2vw/s1600-h/how%252520to%252520make%252520a%252520pumpkin%252520with%252520a%252520square%252520of%252520fabric%252520supplies%25255B3%25255D.jpg" _mce_href="http://lh3.ggpht.com/-wcQd-oo7Blg/UI6VDszGmWI/AAAAAAAAGlo/02X2_dcz2vw/s1600-h/how%252520to%252520make%252520a%252520pumpkin%252520with%252520a%252520square%252520of%252520fabric%252520supplies%25255B3%25255D.jpg"><img alt="how to make a pumpkin with a square of fabric supplies" border="0" height="395" src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-hAY1yZ2HDB0/UI6VEb8YxpI/AAAAAAAAGlw/IeJC24Ep9Xc/how%252520to%252520make%252520a%252520pumpkin%252520with%252520a%252520square%252520of%252520fabric%252520supplies_thumb%25255B1%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800" _mce_src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-hAY1yZ2HDB0/UI6VEb8YxpI/AAAAAAAAGlw/IeJC24Ep9Xc/how%252520to%252520make%252520a%252520pumpkin%252520with%252520a%252520square%252520of%252520fabric%252520supplies_thumb%25255B1%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800" style="border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" _mce_style="display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; border-width: 0px;" title="how to make a pumpkin with a square of fabric supplies" width="256"></a> <br> <strong><span style="font-family: Lucida Fax; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: Lucida Fax; font-size: medium;">Fabric</span></strong>-big enough to make the pumpkin you are wanting. I like big and fat pumpkins, so my fabric is about 24x24. I also went through my fabric, old tablecloth and blanket stash. Yes, I am one of “those” people. <br> <strong><span style="font-family: Lucida Fax; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: Lucida Fax; font-size: medium;">Batting</span></strong>-you can head to your thrift store and find a pillow to pull apart, or you can buy a bag of batting. I used both and they both worked great<br> <strong><span style="font-family: Lucida Fax; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: Lucida Fax; font-size: medium;">Jute</span></strong>-I found that this worked the very best to hold the whole thing together. If you already have some other ribbon in your stash, feel free to use that.<br> <strong><span style="font-family: Lucida Fax; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: Lucida Fax; font-size: medium;">Supplies to make a junk bow</span></strong>-what the heck is a junk bow? Well, I think that it was makes these pumpkins so fantastic! I did a <a href="http://www.sassystyleredesign.com/2012/10/how-to-add-spook-to-your-halloween-decor.html" _mce_href="http://www.sassystyleredesign.com/2012/10/how-to-add-spook-to-your-halloween-decor.html">post all about it</a>. Check it out and I am pretty sure that you will be addicted to making junk bows too!<br> <br><a href="http://www.sassystyleredesign.com/2012/10/how-to-add-spook-to-your-halloween-decor.html" _mce_href="http://www.sassystyleredesign.com/2012/10/how-to-add-spook-to-your-halloween-decor.html"><img alt="junk bow collage" border="0" height="414" src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-Gp8H0RC420Y/UI6VEweEeqI/AAAAAAAAGl4/t0S7CxUX6wI/junkbowcollage4.jpg?imgmax=800" _mce_src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-Gp8H0RC420Y/UI6VEweEeqI/AAAAAAAAGl4/t0S7CxUX6wI/junkbowcollage4.jpg?imgmax=800" style="border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" _mce_style="display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; border-width: 0px;" title="junk bow collage" width="403"></a><br> <br> How to make your No-Sew Pumpkins<br> <br> 1-Put your batting or filler in the middle of your fabric.<br> <a href="http://lh3.ggpht.com/-dcbSq6nEAcY/UI6VFdY35pI/AAAAAAAAGmA/rssGedxsItg/s1600-h/fabric%252520pumpkin%252520steps%252520collage%25255B3%25255D.jpg" _mce_href="http://lh3.ggpht.com/-dcbSq6nEAcY/UI6VFdY35pI/AAAAAAAAGmA/rssGedxsItg/s1600-h/fabric%252520pumpkin%252520steps%252520collage%25255B3%25255D.jpg"><img alt="fabric pumpkin steps collage" border="0" height="492" src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-FU8ci3atR24/UI6VGHMubOI/AAAAAAAAGmI/Ardiasw85Bg/fabric%252520pumpkin%252520steps%252520collage_thumb%25255B1%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800" _mce_src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-FU8ci3atR24/UI6VGHMubOI/AAAAAAAAGmI/Ardiasw85Bg/fabric%252520pumpkin%252520steps%252520collage_thumb%25255B1%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800" style="border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" _mce_style="display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; border-width: 0px;" title="fabric pumpkin steps collage" width="384"></a> <br> 2- Gather your fabric at the top and tie jute around it to make a stem.<br> <br> 3- Make and Add a junk bow<br> <br> <a href="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-MfqZdHpYOwc/UI6VGlhgzrI/AAAAAAAAGmQ/5ubx3FsuHsc/s1600-h/how%252520to%252520make%252520a%252520pumpkins%252520with%252520a%252520square%252520of%252520fabric-with%252520junk%252520bow%25255B3%25255D.jpg" _mce_href="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-MfqZdHpYOwc/UI6VGlhgzrI/AAAAAAAAGmQ/5ubx3FsuHsc/s1600-h/how%252520to%252520make%252520a%252520pumpkins%252520with%252520a%252520square%252520of%252520fabric-with%252520junk%252520bow%25255B3%25255D.jpg"><img alt="how to make a pumpkins with a square of fabric-with junk bow" border="0" height="407" src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-7nM8POxsSIg/UI6VHYrNuHI/AAAAAAAAGmY/WKJgV98CUmI/how%252520to%252520make%252520a%252520pumpkins%252520with%252520a%252520square%252520of%252520fabric-with%252520junk%252520bow_thumb%25255B1%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800" _mce_src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-7nM8POxsSIg/UI6VHYrNuHI/AAAAAAAAGmY/WKJgV98CUmI/how%252520to%252520make%252520a%252520pumpkins%252520with%252520a%252520square%252520of%252520fabric-with%252520junk%252520bow_thumb%25255B1%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800" style="border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" _mce_style="display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; border-width: 0px;" title="how to make a pumpkins with a square of fabric-with junk bow" width="458"></a> <br> <br> I told you that they were extremely easy! Anyone can make them! Warning-it is hard to stop at one! <br> I think that these would make the perfect hostess gift for thanksgiving or add to a , pumpkin grouping. Or if you are really nice,&nbsp; a gift for a friend…just because.<br> <br> <br> <a href="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-4Usdo1zdm3U/UI6VILDznvI/AAAAAAAAGmg/Q6fY7nYQSEo/s1600-h/how%252520to%252520make%252520a%252520pumpkins%252520with%252520a%252520square%252520of%252520fabric-pumpkin%252520fable%252520fall%25255B3%25255D.jpg" _mce_href="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-4Usdo1zdm3U/UI6VILDznvI/AAAAAAAAGmg/Q6fY7nYQSEo/s1600-h/how%252520to%252520make%252520a%252520pumpkins%252520with%252520a%252520square%252520of%252520fabric-pumpkin%252520fable%252520fall%25255B3%25255D.jpg"><img alt="how to make a pumpkins with a square of fabric-pumpkin fable fall" border="0" height="336" src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-pVf3hWa9Ae4/UI6VIj8XxcI/AAAAAAAAGmo/o1ScckmxHrg/how%252520to%252520make%252520a%252520pumpkins%252520with%252520a%252520square%252520of%252520fabric-pumpkin%252520fable%252520fall_thumb%25255B1%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800" _mce_src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-pVf3hWa9Ae4/UI6VIj8XxcI/AAAAAAAAGmo/o1ScckmxHrg/how%252520to%252520make%252520a%252520pumpkins%252520with%252520a%252520square%252520of%252520fabric-pumpkin%252520fable%252520fall_thumb%25255B1%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800" style="border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" _mce_style="display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; border-width: 0px;" title="how to make a pumpkins with a square of fabric-pumpkin fable fall" width="486"></a> <br> <br> Thank you for having me over here today! I had a fantastic time! I hope that you will come over to <a href="http://www.sassystyleredesign.com/" _mce_href="http://www.sassystyleredesign.com/">Sassy Style</a> and see what I am up to. I would love to have you! <br> <br> Oh, one more thing. I love Pinterest…a lot! I would love for you to come and <a href="http://pinterest.com/taushathoyt/" _mce_href="http://pinterest.com/taushathoyt/">pin with me</a>! After all, it’s the most productive you can be without actually getting out of bed.<br> <a href="http://pinterest.com/taushathoyt/" _mce_href="http://pinterest.com/taushathoyt/"><img alt="printerest button-" border="0" height="81" src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-lX_Sbxm3-S8/UI6VIxB7m6I/AAAAAAAAGmw/ugAeFOC0YJM/printerestbutton3.png?imgmax=800" _mce_src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-lX_Sbxm3-S8/UI6VIxB7m6I/AAAAAAAAGmw/ugAeFOC0YJM/printerestbutton3.png?imgmax=800" style="border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" _mce_style="display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; border-width: 0px;" title="printerest button-" width="244"></a> <br> <br> <div align="center"> <span style="font-family: Lucida Fax; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: Lucida Fax; font-size: medium;"><strong>Happy Creating my friends!</strong></span></div> <div align="center"> <span style="font-family: Lucida Fax; font-size: medium;" _mce_style="font-family: Lucida Fax; font-size: medium;"><strong><br></strong></span></div> <img src="http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m539/sassygirlshop/sign.png" _mce_src="http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m539/sassygirlshop/sign.png" style="display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" _mce_style="display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"> The Trouble With Tune Cooties http://www.tofw.com/Trouble-Tune-Cooties-Macy-Robison/s/714 http://www.tofw.com/Trouble-Tune-Cooties-Macy-Robison/s/714 Tue, 30 Oct 2012 13:30:00 -0600 <div> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1_Cni8QLlV8/UJAo6PIsxEI/AAAAAAAACHw/k1vnOcLoC7k/s1600/93465893.jpg" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1_Cni8QLlV8/UJAo6PIsxEI/AAAAAAAACHw/k1vnOcLoC7k/s1600/93465893.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1_Cni8QLlV8/UJAo6PIsxEI/AAAAAAAACHw/k1vnOcLoC7k/s1600/93465893.jpg" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1_Cni8QLlV8/UJAo6PIsxEI/AAAAAAAACHw/k1vnOcLoC7k/s1600/93465893.jpg" height="426" width="640"></a></div> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> I thought I would go online this week and add a song to my music collection. One of my favorite artists just released a new single, and I was excited to buy it. I’d seen the song performed on television, and this artist is a really talented performer; so I decided it was worth spending the money to add the song to my collection.<br> <br> I bought it, started listening, and was dancing along in my car when I thought I heard a lyric that was questionable. I dismissed it, thinking that the artist couldn’t really be singing those words…<br> <br> But, when the lyric came around again, I realized I was right the first time. Ugh. There they were. Those words. Words I don’t want to be singing along with. Words I really don’t want my kids to hear as we are driving around in the car. Catchy, fun tune notwithstanding, I couldn’t have those words blaring from my speakers. It was so disappointing as I deleted the song from my collection within an hour of buying it - knowing I just couldn’t listen to it anymore.<br> <br> The real trouble was - even though I’d removed the song from my collection, it was still stuck in my head. I couldn’t get it out. (I have a friend that calls those songs “<em>tune cooties</em>” or “<em>brain grout</em>” – you just can’t get rid of them.) Even a couple hours later, it was still there. Thankfully, I had my “Seek the Good” playlist to turn to. After a few minutes, I had great music in my head, and I was starting to feel the Spirit again.<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-pJ-0K3OazSo/UJAo9FWPOHI/AAAAAAAACIA/2UqptJYzS8c/s1600/c1007_tofwidf_021.png" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-pJ-0K3OazSo/UJAo9FWPOHI/AAAAAAAACIA/2UqptJYzS8c/s1600/c1007_tofwidf_021.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-pJ-0K3OazSo/UJAo9FWPOHI/AAAAAAAACIA/2UqptJYzS8c/s1600/c1007_tofwidf_021.png" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-pJ-0K3OazSo/UJAo9FWPOHI/AAAAAAAACIA/2UqptJYzS8c/s1600/c1007_tofwidf_021.png" height="320" width="212"></a></div> <span style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;">I’ve been pondering over that experience, and it has troubled me how easily the song with the questionable lyrics took over my brain. If I hadn’t been focusing on my music and media intake over the past couple of weeks, might that song have slipped past my radar? And what then? If nothing else, this portion of my project has reaffirmed that I need to be so diligent about the things I choose to surround myself with. Temptation doesn’t come my way with big things, but with small things that add up over time. Those flaxen cords that Nephi teaches about in 2 Nephi 26:22.</span>That point was really driven home by something I heard John Bytheway say this past weekend at the Salt Lake TOFW (wasn’t that live stream awesome?!):<br> <br> <em>“Regardless of your original intention, you will eventually become what you surround yourself with</em>.”<br> <br> If that’s the case – and I believe that it is – I need to keep doing what is necessary to surround myself with great things.<br> <br> And now, it’s time for a new “Seek the Good” project phase. Over the past couple days I’ve had a difficult time deciding what I should focus on next. I’ve made an effort to seek and record the hand of the Lord in my life; I’ve focused on surrounding myself with good music and media.&nbsp; It seemed time to turn my focus outward, but I wasn’t sure exactly how to accomplish that. A service project?<br> <br> I turned to the Internet for ideas, and came across this quote:<br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jEl95EFTxOQ/UJAo_TJ1CiI/AAAAAAAACIQ/iIV1ZUeWWMY/s1600/meltonquote.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jEl95EFTxOQ/UJAo_TJ1CiI/AAAAAAAACIQ/iIV1ZUeWWMY/s1600/meltonquote.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jEl95EFTxOQ/UJAo_TJ1CiI/AAAAAAAACIQ/iIV1ZUeWWMY/s1600/meltonquote.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jEl95EFTxOQ/UJAo_TJ1CiI/AAAAAAAACIQ/iIV1ZUeWWMY/s1600/meltonquote.jpg" height="320" width="247"></a></div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> I’ve been correcting my children a lot lately. I’ve struggled to work with my daughter as she learns to communicate. I’ve struggled with my son as he is at school most of the day and is picking up on some habits that I don’t love. But as I watched the two of them wrestle and play with my husband this evening and thought of this quote, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for them and remembered that I do already have two great kids. And instead of correcting them all the time, I need to seek the good in them.&nbsp; So for my project this week, I’m going to focus on and write down the good moments as they occur each day. I want them to have a written record of how good they are and how much I love them. The letters I have from my mom are the most precious things in the world to me – especially the ones that talk about how proud she was of me. I want that for my kids too. And I’m also going to make sure to tell both of them the things I’m noticing and writing down. I can’t wait to return and report next week.<br> <br> Is there a relationship in your life that would be helped if you took a step back and looked for the good? If you took the time to write and share those good things with the person? If so, I hope you’ll join me this week. 5 Steps to Vibrant Colors in Your Home http://www.tofw.com/5-Steps-Vibrant-Colors-Your-Home-Cassity-Remodelaholic/s/712 http://www.tofw.com/5-Steps-Vibrant-Colors-Your-Home-Cassity-Remodelaholic/s/712 Wed, 24 Oct 2012 00:53:00 -0600 <div> by Cassity from Remodelaholic <br /> </div> <p align="justify">Choosing colors for your home can make you feel a little nervous.&nbsp;Now, I know it is not a life or death decision, and paint is cheap… I’ve heard all the excuses, but our time is valuable, and if you are like me, you are painting till 1 in the morning to avoid little “helpers”.&nbsp;</p><p align="justify"><strong><span style="font-size: small;" _mce_style="font-size: small;">Okay, so the big question is, how do I pick colors?</span></strong>&nbsp; It is a question that I get A LOT!&nbsp; "How do I pick colors for my home!"</p> <p align="justify">This decision is usually associated with a lot of knuckle biting and fear!&nbsp; But let's save those knuckles and take some fear out of it.&nbsp; There are a few ways that you can easily narrow down the colors that you will enjoy in your home, and I am here to share them with you!</p> <p align="justify"><span style="font-size: large;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-size: large;"><strong>First:</strong></span> </p> <p align="justify">Go to your closet!&nbsp; HUH?&nbsp; Yeah, the <a href="http://www.remodelaholic.com/search/label/Closets" _mce_href="http://www.remodelaholic.com/search/label/Closets">closet</a> where all your clothes are hanging out.&nbsp; Take a good look at what you have there.&nbsp; (yeah, I know, don't we all wish our closet looked like this:)</p> <div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: center; clear: both; background-color: transparent;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: center; background-color: transparent; margin: 0px; clear: both; padding: 0px;"><a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7aMc2-6bEU8/TkVHROp6jqI/AAAAAAAAQPo/czNmhkE1Xe8/s1600/beautiful+closet.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7aMc2-6bEU8/TkVHROp6jqI/AAAAAAAAQPo/czNmhkE1Xe8/s1600/beautiful+closet.png"><img border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7aMc2-6bEU8/TkVHROp6jqI/AAAAAAAAQPo/czNmhkE1Xe8/s1600/beautiful+closet.png" width="424" height="480" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7aMc2-6bEU8/TkVHROp6jqI/AAAAAAAAQPo/czNmhkE1Xe8/s1600/beautiful+closet.png"></a></div> <p><br></p> <p> Now ask yourself- </p> <div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: left; background-color: transparent;" _mce_style="text-align: left; background-color: transparent; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"> <ul> <li>What are the colors I gravitate toward? </li><li>What are the colors I love to be in? </li><li>Are they there because they make me happy. </li><li>Why do I always seem to be buying ______ colored shirts? </li></ul></div> <p>What ever it is take a clue from here.&nbsp; If you love the color, why not use it in your home?!&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p><br></p> <p><strong><span style="font-size: large;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-size: large;">Second: </span></strong></p> <p align="justify">Now that you know what color groups you tend to like, lets take a trip to the fabric store... Yeah, not the paint store, not yet, let's go to the fabric store.&nbsp;&nbsp; One of the best color choosing advice I have ever heard is find a piece of fabric THAT YOU LOVE preferably one with several colors that work together well, and use this as your color scheme.</p> <p align="center"><a href="http://www.remodelaholic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Amy-Butler-Daisy-Chain-Deco-Rose-Forest.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.remodelaholic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Amy-Butler-Daisy-Chain-Deco-Rose-Forest.jpg"><img style="border-width: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-left: 0px; display: inline; background-image: none;" title="Amy Butler Daisy Chain Deco Rose Forest" border="0" alt="Amy Butler Daisy Chain Deco Rose Forest" src="http://www.remodelaholic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Amy-Butler-Daisy-Chain-Deco-Rose-Forest_thumb.jpg" width="200" height="200" _mce_style="background-image: none; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; padding-top: 0px; border-width: 0px;" _mce_src="http://www.remodelaholic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Amy-Butler-Daisy-Chain-Deco-Rose-Forest_thumb.jpg"></a>&nbsp; <a href="http://www.remodelaholic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Premier-Prints-Royal-Suzani-Chocolate-Natural.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.remodelaholic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Premier-Prints-Royal-Suzani-Chocolate-Natural.jpg"><img style="border-width: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-left: 0px; display: inline; background-image: none;" title="Premier Prints Royal Suzani Chocolate- Natural" border="0" alt="Premier Prints Royal Suzani Chocolate- Natural" src="http://www.remodelaholic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Premier-Prints-Royal-Suzani-Chocolate-Natural_thumb.jpg" width="200" height="200" _mce_style="background-image: none; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; padding-top: 0px; border-width: 0px;" _mce_src="http://www.remodelaholic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Premier-Prints-Royal-Suzani-Chocolate-Natural_thumb.jpg"></a></p> <p align="center"><a href="http://www.remodelaholic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Richloom-Cornwall-Garden.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.remodelaholic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Richloom-Cornwall-Garden.jpg"><img style="border-width: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-left: 0px; display: inline; background-image: none;" title="Richloom Cornwall Garden" border="0" alt="Richloom Cornwall Garden" src="http://www.remodelaholic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Richloom-Cornwall-Garden_thumb.jpg" width="200" height="200" _mce_style="background-image: none; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; padding-top: 0px; border-width: 0px;" _mce_src="http://www.remodelaholic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Richloom-Cornwall-Garden_thumb.jpg"></a>&nbsp; <a href="http://www.remodelaholic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Swavelle-Mill-Creek-Indoor-Outdoor-Gomer-White-Tea.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.remodelaholic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Swavelle-Mill-Creek-Indoor-Outdoor-Gomer-White-Tea.jpg"><img style="border-width: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-left: 0px; display: inline; background-image: none;" title="Swavelle-Mill Creek Indoor-Outdoor Gomer White Tea" border="0" alt="Swavelle-Mill Creek Indoor-Outdoor Gomer White Tea" src="http://www.remodelaholic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Swavelle-Mill-Creek-Indoor-Outdoor-Gomer-White-Tea_thumb.jpg" width="200" height="200" _mce_style="background-image: none; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; padding-top: 0px; border-width: 0px;" _mce_src="http://www.remodelaholic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Swavelle-Mill-Creek-Indoor-Outdoor-Gomer-White-Tea_thumb.jpg"></a></p> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: both;"></div> <p>P.S. be sure to buy a few yards at least!&nbsp; </p> <p>This fabric that is the whole foundation of your home, buy some and use it throughout, as pillows, as art, dinner napkins, a teddy bear... whatever!</p> <p align="justify">One of the pluses to choosing your color this way, is that you can see very clearly how the colors interact.&nbsp; And bonus- if the fabric is in a line you can buy coordinating fabrics for your home very easily!</p> <p align="justify">As a warning, be aware of choosing really seasonal colors!&nbsp; Sometimes while shopping for colors you will get caught up in a particular season. For example, if it is almost fall and you are loving fall colors.&nbsp; Be aware, that if you do all “fall-like” colors in your home you may be sick of them in the spring!... unless you followed step numero uno and that is where it led you!</p> <p align="justify">***I should mention here that it doesn't have to be fabric.&nbsp; It could be a special painting, a photograph, a rug, whatever speaks to you!&nbsp; Like this rug I have in my living room!&nbsp; There are a ton of colors to choose from and create the perfect base for a room.</p> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: both;"><a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--peMRijYdR8/TkVJsTD24xI/AAAAAAAAQQA/LBUzybqMt4E/s1600/3VC50_01400_MAIN.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--peMRijYdR8/TkVJsTD24xI/AAAAAAAAQQA/LBUzybqMt4E/s1600/3VC50_01400_MAIN.jpg"><img border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--peMRijYdR8/TkVJsTD24xI/AAAAAAAAQQA/LBUzybqMt4E/s640/3VC50_01400_MAIN.jpg" width="346" height="480" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--peMRijYdR8/TkVJsTD24xI/AAAAAAAAQQA/LBUzybqMt4E/s640/3VC50_01400_MAIN.jpg"></a></div> <p>&nbsp; </p> <p><strong><span style="font-size: large;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-size: large;">Third:</span></strong> </p> <p align="justify">One of the best tips I learned in college for getting a house color scheme to work together is picking about 5 colors total for the home.&nbsp; So, lets count it out on our fingers... yes I still watch Sesame Street!</p> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: both;"><a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WJb7DR9QcbI/TkVKlEDBQwI/AAAAAAAAQQE/nZ7C0NmxRxA/s1600/hand_1273576097+copy.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WJb7DR9QcbI/TkVKlEDBQwI/AAAAAAAAQQE/nZ7C0NmxRxA/s1600/hand_1273576097+copy.jpg"><img border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WJb7DR9QcbI/TkVKlEDBQwI/AAAAAAAAQQE/nZ7C0NmxRxA/s320/hand_1273576097+copy.jpg" width="293" height="320" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WJb7DR9QcbI/TkVKlEDBQwI/AAAAAAAAQQE/nZ7C0NmxRxA/s320/hand_1273576097+copy.jpg"></a></div><div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: both;"><a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WJb7DR9QcbI/TkVKlEDBQwI/AAAAAAAAQQE/nZ7C0NmxRxA/s1600/hand_1273576097+copy.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WJb7DR9QcbI/TkVKlEDBQwI/AAAAAAAAQQE/nZ7C0NmxRxA/s1600/hand_1273576097+copy.jpg"></a>1.&nbsp; A white (or black...if you are daring)&nbsp; This white will be the color of ALL your white surfaces be it moldings, doors, walls, ceilings etc.&nbsp; The nice part about this is that when you need to touch something up, there will never be the... ugh, what color was that... moments.</div><div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: both;"><br></div><div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: both;">2. A neutral - be it tan, grey or even a blue.&nbsp; Whatever color it is, it must be able to act as your neutral.&nbsp; This color should be a simple color that will be the neutral in your home it is an easy way to bring everything together and a simple choice when you are not sure... for example a hall, or a ceiling.&nbsp; This neutral might be the best color for your sofa too...</div><div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: both;"><br></div><div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: both;">3. Color of your choice (use your fabric swatch as a guide for theses three choices)</div><div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: both;"><br></div><div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: both;">4.&nbsp; Another coordinating color of your choice</div><div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: both;"><br></div><div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: both;">5. Yet another coordinating color of your choice'</div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: both;"><a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yluQu-XkQuk/TkVLv81-87I/AAAAAAAAQQM/OwE6UjKv9GY/s1600/77012279_iXSsGw59_c.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yluQu-XkQuk/TkVLv81-87I/AAAAAAAAQQM/OwE6UjKv9GY/s1600/77012279_iXSsGw59_c.jpg"><img border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yluQu-XkQuk/TkVLv81-87I/AAAAAAAAQQM/OwE6UjKv9GY/s320/77012279_iXSsGw59_c.jpg" width="320" height="284" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yluQu-XkQuk/TkVLv81-87I/AAAAAAAAQQM/OwE6UjKv9GY/s320/77012279_iXSsGw59_c.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: both;"><a href="http://www.photocardboutique.com/blog/2011/07/06/cool-color-7-6-2011/?utm_source=rss&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=cool-color-7-6-2011" _mce_href="http://www.photocardboutique.com/blog/2011/07/06/cool-color-7-6-2011/?utm_source=rss&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=cool-color-7-6-2011">Photo Source</a></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: both;">&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: both;"></div> <div></div> <p align="justify">Now the five finger thing might sound too boring, but in the words of Maria, "It is a very good place to start."&nbsp; If you are unsure of color this is the way to make it work.&nbsp; And then as you become more comfortable, add a little more.</p> <p align="justify"><br></p><span style="font-size: large;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-size: large;"><strong>Fourth :</strong></span> <p align="justify"><br></p> <p align="justify">Now, use these colors to pull the look together!&nbsp; From <strong>step one</strong>, you know what colors you love, from <strong>step two</strong> you have found the colors that work perfectly together, and finally <strong>step three</strong> you have narrowed down your major colors.&nbsp; NOW THE FUN BEGINS!&nbsp; Go collect as many paint chips as you can!&nbsp; Take them to your home, look at them with your fabric, at different times of day in different lights and rooms. Narrow down the paint colors you love that match the colors you think work best together.</p> <p align="justify"><br></p> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: both;"><a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-P4jE5z1dKtw/TkVOBWAcVEI/AAAAAAAAQQU/wmKGXIbd7FA/s1600/paintchips.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-P4jE5z1dKtw/TkVOBWAcVEI/AAAAAAAAQQU/wmKGXIbd7FA/s1600/paintchips.jpg"><img border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-P4jE5z1dKtw/TkVOBWAcVEI/AAAAAAAAQQU/wmKGXIbd7FA/s400/paintchips.jpg" width="400" height="322" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-P4jE5z1dKtw/TkVOBWAcVEI/AAAAAAAAQQU/wmKGXIbd7FA/s400/paintchips.jpg"></a></div> <p>&nbsp; </p> <p><strong><span style="font-size: large;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-size: large;">Fifth and Final: </span></strong></p> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" _mce_style="text-align: left; clear: both;"></div> <p align="justify">Where do I put these colors?&nbsp; Another SCARY question!&nbsp; If you want your home to flow naturally from room to room, this is where all the steps we've taken will make this process a lot easier.&nbsp; Let me explain by taking you virtually through a few rooms:</p> <p align="justify">Ding Dong! (that is the doorbell in case you are wondering, I wasn't calling you names!)&nbsp; Welcome to my home!&nbsp; When you enter the foyer, you will notice I have white trim and moldings... neutral walls and sea salt ceiling,&nbsp; There is also a fun display of bright red framed art.</p> <p align="justify">I invite you to come in and you walk from the foyer into the living room, that has sea salt walls, white trim and ceiling, on the neutral couch there are such fun pillows in pops of red, and another that was from my starting fabric on a pillow... gee it looks like that fabric was MADE FOR THIS ROOM!!! (see it is working already!)</p> <p align="justify">You walk into our dining room (hopefully you are lucky and I've made <a href="http://www.remodelaholic.com/2011/08/creme-brulee-recipe-link-party/" target="_blank" _mce_href="http://www.remodelaholic.com/2011/08/creme-brulee-recipe-link-party/">crème brulee</a>!) But the dining room is far more dramatic with white walls a red lacquered dining table, and sea salt place settings and mostly white furnishings with pops of sea blue throughout.</p> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: both;"><a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-putRcYWUU9M/TkVLIKZ8bAI/AAAAAAAAQQI/EPOsfKSHZTw/s1600/MixedBerry.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-putRcYWUU9M/TkVLIKZ8bAI/AAAAAAAAQQI/EPOsfKSHZTw/s1600/MixedBerry.png"><img border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-putRcYWUU9M/TkVLIKZ8bAI/AAAAAAAAQQI/EPOsfKSHZTw/s320/MixedBerry.png" width="277" height="320" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-putRcYWUU9M/TkVLIKZ8bAI/AAAAAAAAQQI/EPOsfKSHZTw/s320/MixedBerry.png"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: both;"><a href="http://www.design-seeds.com/2011/08/mixed-berry.html" _mce_href="http://www.design-seeds.com/2011/08/mixed-berry.html">Image source</a> and other great ideas are there too!</div>&nbsp; <p align="justify">Okay, so maybe a red lacquered table might scare you... but I hope you saw what I was sort of talking about.&nbsp; You take the colors you have chosen and switch them up with each room, but you have hints of them through out the entire house- the bathrooms, halls, living rooms, kitchens.</p> <p align="justify">Then as you enter each room, you don't think, "Wait, am I on another planet?"&nbsp; Instead each room flows into the next, your eye is able to enjoy the transition.&nbsp; It doesn't mean that you can't be bold with color, but that you bring a hint of what was in the last room in.</p>&nbsp; <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: both;"><a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--oqRqhbba_M/TkVMs6evZRI/AAAAAAAAQQQ/7sSpJQ20NsI/s1600/550_101412741.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--oqRqhbba_M/TkVMs6evZRI/AAAAAAAAQQQ/7sSpJQ20NsI/s1600/550_101412741.jpg"><img border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--oqRqhbba_M/TkVMs6evZRI/AAAAAAAAQQQ/7sSpJQ20NsI/s640/550_101412741.jpg" width="360" height="480" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--oqRqhbba_M/TkVMs6evZRI/AAAAAAAAQQQ/7sSpJQ20NsI/s640/550_101412741.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="text-align: center; clear: both;"><a href="http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/advice/budget-advice/small-remodel-projects-add-value-to-rooms/#page=14" _mce_href="http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/advice/budget-advice/small-remodel-projects-add-value-to-rooms/#page=14">Image From BHG</a></div>&nbsp; <p align="justify"><br></p> <p align="justify">I hope this helps you to make an easier decision when it comes to selecting colors for your next home or big project.&nbsp; Good luck!</p><p align="justify">Hey there, We're Justin and Cassity, and we are <a href="http://www.remodelaholic.com/" _mce_href="http://www.remodelaholic.com/">Remodelaholics</a>! Our idea of a date is ripping out a wall! Please join us while we make our boring house a comfy home for our family! Also we love to show off your fabulous projects! <a href="http://www.remodelaholic.com/about-us/" _mce_href="http://www.remodelaholic.com/about-us/"></a></p> Macy's Playlist http://www.tofw.com/Macys-Playlist-Macy-Robison/s/711 http://www.tofw.com/Macys-Playlist-Macy-Robison/s/711 Tue, 23 Oct 2012 10:04:00 -0600 <div> </div> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-A-7Dlhq-vWs/UIa5dVpLCNI/AAAAAAAACCw/KIPSAjELCRQ/s1600/78424142.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-A-7Dlhq-vWs/UIa5dVpLCNI/AAAAAAAACCw/KIPSAjELCRQ/s1600/78424142.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-A-7Dlhq-vWs/UIa5dVpLCNI/AAAAAAAACCw/KIPSAjELCRQ/s1600/78424142.jpg" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-A-7Dlhq-vWs/UIa5dVpLCNI/AAAAAAAACCw/KIPSAjELCRQ/s1600/78424142.jpg" height="424" width="640"></a></div> <br> This past week, my Seek the Good Project goal has been to use the 13th Article of Faith as my criteria for surrounding myself with good things. &nbsp;It's been going well, but I haven't felt the spiritual "lift" that I was secretly hoping for. I've been diligent about changing the radio station, the TV channel, and removing media from my life that isn't "virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy," but I can't say I've felt the increase of the Spirit I assumed would come from this part of my project.<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6YuHUUpThq8/UIa-xFiJx5I/AAAAAAAACEE/pY4f9ee3Mjk/s1600/SeekTheGoodLogo-3.png" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6YuHUUpThq8/UIa-xFiJx5I/AAAAAAAACEE/pY4f9ee3Mjk/s1600/SeekTheGoodLogo-3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6YuHUUpThq8/UIa-xFiJx5I/AAAAAAAACEE/pY4f9ee3Mjk/s1600/SeekTheGoodLogo-3.png" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6YuHUUpThq8/UIa-xFiJx5I/AAAAAAAACEE/pY4f9ee3Mjk/s1600/SeekTheGoodLogo-3.png"></a></div> Then I realized - I haven't taken the time to surround myself with good things. I've just been eliminating the "bad" things. While it's important to eliminate things that are negative and can bring me down, for me, it's also important to consciously surround myself with things that make me happy and lift me up.<br> <br> I learned this lesson for the first time several years ago. My life was particularly difficult at that time, but I was hanging on and making it through the challenges I was facing. I was finding things to be grateful for, but I wasn't as happy as I knew I could be.<br> <br> As I reflected on why I wasn’t happy, something occurred to me - I hadn't consciously chosen to listen to music for at least a year. (This was an odd realization, as I love music and was teaching general music classes at the time.) There was music in my classroom all day, music on the radio on the way home from school, music on TV - but it was all background noise. None of it was MY music that I'd made a conscious decision to listen to. I hadn't been listening to music that I loved, that made me happy or that uplifted me and inspired me.<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> </div> I went to the store that very day and purchased several CDs (Remember when we used to do that?) filled with music that I loved. Music that I knew was guaranteed to cheer me up and make my spirit soar. I figured out how to use my stereo as my alarm clock and woke up every morning to MY music. I kept the other CDs in the car, and I chose songs to listen to on my drive home that would refresh me and inspire me. Taking the time to carefully choose the music I surrounded myself with made a huge difference in my mood and my spirit. &nbsp;My challenges didn't disappear, but the music I was choosing to listen to helped lift my burdens and made my days a bit easier.<br> <br> <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wOc_fAHeQJQ/UIa-t0tJs-I/AAAAAAAACD0/2SucEr9-0JM/s1600/c1007_tofwidf_608.png" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wOc_fAHeQJQ/UIa-t0tJs-I/AAAAAAAACD0/2SucEr9-0JM/s1600/c1007_tofwidf_608.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wOc_fAHeQJQ/UIa-t0tJs-I/AAAAAAAACD0/2SucEr9-0JM/s1600/c1007_tofwidf_608.png" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wOc_fAHeQJQ/UIa-t0tJs-I/AAAAAAAACD0/2SucEr9-0JM/s1600/c1007_tofwidf_608.png" height="212" width="320"></a>I was in Atlanta presenting at TOFW this past weekend, and Jericho Road closed with one of my favorite songs, "Homeward Bound." I love the words and the melody of that song, and when I was teaching, it was one of my favorites to teach my students. As I listened to Jericho Road sing their beautiful arrangement of the song, I felt tears streaming down my face and I realized - I'd done it again. I hadn't taken the time to choose to surround myself with music and media that uplifts and inspires me. I don't know about you, but I have so many options when it comes to what I listen to and what I spend my time doing, that I often end up listening to or watching whatever is the easiest at the time. I don't take the time to seek out things I know will uplift and inspire me or cheer me up.<br> <br> So, to make my project easier this coming week, I'm making a playlist. A playlist filled with virtuous, lovely music that makes me happy. And I'm going to listen to it all week. I'll be back next week to report what kind of difference it is making as I continue to seek the good.<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-QF9Ng7xGPRo/UIa-u9fgc_I/AAAAAAAACD8/CMYXZk1Wr3U/s1600/bliphone.png" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-QF9Ng7xGPRo/UIa-u9fgc_I/AAAAAAAACD8/CMYXZk1Wr3U/s1600/bliphone.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-QF9Ng7xGPRo/UIa-u9fgc_I/AAAAAAAACD8/CMYXZk1Wr3U/s1600/bliphone.png" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-QF9Ng7xGPRo/UIa-u9fgc_I/AAAAAAAACD8/CMYXZk1Wr3U/s1600/bliphone.png" height="320" width="320"></a></div> Because I love music so much, choosing a favorite song is like choosing a favorite child - I can't do it. But I wanted to share my top five inspirational songs from my playlist that always uplift me.<br> <br> <b>“Homeward Bound” by Marta Keen </b>(I have several versions, but my favorites are from Jericho Road and BYU Singers)<br> I don’t have any insightful music teacher wisdom to impart on why this is such a glorious song or why everyone who has ever sung it or heard it really loves it, so you’ll have to trust me and just listen to it. You’ll feel better and you might cry.<br> <br> <b>“Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir</b><br> I love this hymn, and I have several recordings of this one as well, (and I’ll never understand why it’s no longer in our hymnal) but the Mack Wilberg arrangement is my favorite. The men’s entrance in the second verse is one of my favorite moments in the piece. Gorgeous.<br> <br> <b>"Sanctus" from Requiem by Gabriel Faure </b>(my favorite recording is from The Cambridge Singers)<br> The setting of this sacred Latin text is one of my favorites. The men and women answer each other back and forth, and there is a glorious solo for the violin.<br> <br> "<b>My Shepherd Will Supply My Need" sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir</b><br> This Mack Wilberg arrangement might be my favorite of all time. My choir in Utah learned this piece, and I get chills every time I hear the last verse when the choir breaks into 7 parts. And the lyrics are beautiful - "No more a stranger, nor a guest, but like a child at home."<br> <br> <b>Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, Movement IV by Ludwig van Beethoven</b><br> Though this movement is over 20 minutes long, it is my always-makes-me-feel-better piece. So many times, I’ve crumpled in a heap after a horrible day and turned this on, and by the time the “Ode to Joy” section at the end finishes, I’m ready to take on any challenges that may come.<br> <br> Are there songs that are guaranteed to lift your spirits or inspire you? Share them with the rest of us in the comments below. I’m excited to add some of your favorites to my list!<br> <br> <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Adrun3QRWOI/UIa-yJ7Z8iI/AAAAAAAACEM/ABsjzj_0ZYc/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Adrun3QRWOI/UIa-yJ7Z8iI/AAAAAAAACEM/ABsjzj_0ZYc/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Adrun3QRWOI/UIa-yJ7Z8iI/AAAAAAAACEM/ABsjzj_0ZYc/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Adrun3QRWOI/UIa-yJ7Z8iI/AAAAAAAACEM/ABsjzj_0ZYc/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" height="200" width="130"></a></div> <i>&nbsp;Macy Robison is a performer, photographer, and mom. She lives with her husband and two kids in Austin, Texas. She loves dance parties with her kids, and loves singing opera so loudly that she embarrasses her son. Especially German opera. &nbsp;</i><br> <br> Adoption Myths That Ring in My Ears http://www.tofw.com/Adoption-Myths-Ring-My-Ears-Lindsey-R-House/s/704 http://www.tofw.com/Adoption-Myths-Ring-My-Ears-Lindsey-R-House/s/704 Wed, 17 Oct 2012 00:44:00 -0600 <div> by Lindsey from The R House <br /> </div> <strong>My family is not the norm.</strong> <p style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"><strong></strong> <img class="aligncenter wp-image-7343" title="The Redfern Family at Evo Conf" alt="" src="http://www.therhouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/411450_10151157678105030_1424339432_o-680x1024.jpg" width="544" height="819" _mce_src="http://www.therhouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/411450_10151157678105030_1424339432_o-680x1024.jpg"></p> First of all, we don't look like each other. In fact, no one in my family is biologically related to one another. Secondly, if you were a fly on the wall at my house you may hear something along the lines of, "So Mom, Grandma Gee Gee is your mom and your birth mom? That's so weird." It's just how we roll. I am the proud adoptive mother of a transracial family in an <strong>open adoption</strong>. It's a mouthful, isn't it? Most of the time, I just call them "my family." While I am open with people about our adoptions and the openness thereof, not everyone is 'open to my openness' so to speak. I often hear myths about adoption and open adoption ringing in my ears from people that, for the most part, just don't know any better or cannot wrap their minds around open adoption. Allow me to take a minute and dispel two of the myths that I have heard repeated in various forms so many times as of late. <p style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-6905" title="Kim Orlandini Photography" alt="" src="http://www.therhouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/8020_10151008557973468_472426396_n.jpeg" width="540" height="828" _mce_src="http://www.therhouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/8020_10151008557973468_472426396_n.jpeg"></p><p> &nbsp; <strong>"As soon as you adopt, you'll get pregnant. Seriously, that happened to _____ .</strong>" My response to this one usually includes a deep breath and a reminder to speak to people with "more sugar and less vinegar." Pregnancy is a sensitive topic among many couples who suffer from infertility. I am very protective of our infertility and there are undertones in this statement that imply that our diagnosis of infertility and the genetic abnormalities we enjoy aren't that serious, that they can be "cured" with paperwork. Before we turned down the adoption path to build our family, we endured painful and embarrassing testing with the best fertility specialists we could find. Each time their conclusion was the same and words like "no, never and impossible" were the common thread. To nonchalantly throw out that adoption or adoption paperwork is somehow the cure for our specific diagnosis (which has no cure) is just insensitive. What could you say differently when you hear someone is hoping to adopt? Give them a big hug and congratulations! This is not an easy decision for most to make. It most likely comes with a lot of prayer, fasting and faith. Ask them how you can help "get the word out" about their adoption plans. <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-7661" title="Open Adoption Collage" alt="" src="http://www.therhouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Open-Adoption-Collage.jpg" width="615" height="615" _mce_src="http://www.therhouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Open-Adoption-Collage.jpg"> <strong>"Your kids have relationships with their birth parents? I could never do that!"</strong> I hear this one all the time and my response is always the same, "Oh yes you could ...and you would love it!" When we decided to have open adoptions with the birth families of our children, we didn't know what it would evolve into. We couldn't see the end from the beginning, but we trusted how we felt and we knew how much we loved these young women who were literally giving us a piece of themselves. We knew that we wanted them to have relationships with their children because, especially in our faith, so much emphasis is placed on knowing your roots. I wanted my kids to have that. I wanted them to be able to pick up the phone if they ever wondered why they were placed for adoption and ask their birth mothers directly. I wanted transparency for them. I wanted them to know their whole story. In the beginning, we chose open adoption for our children. I have been so pleasantly delighted at what our open adoptions have turned into. I love them. I love having the boys' birth mothers in our home. I love to have them as house guests, dinner guests, dear friends. They are some of the biggest cheerleaders that our family has and my heart just swells when I think of them. Even as I write this, my throat is tightening with the all too familiar emotional response that always comes when I think about how dearly I love these women ...not just for what they gave me, but for who they are. And who are they? Beautiful, big-hearted, warm, passionate, loving, talented and caring women. They are great examples to the boys. To me. To all of us. Why wouldn't I want them in my kids' lives? Can having another cheerleader and family that loves them every bit as we do ever be a bad thing? My vote is no. I want as many people as possible to love on these boys. &nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p> <img style="margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto; display: block;" class="alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-7346" title="Picture 6" alt="" src="http://www.therhouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Picture-6-150x150.png" width="150" height="150" _mce_style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; display: block;" _mce_src="http://www.therhouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Picture-6-150x150.png"></p><p> <strong>Lindsey Redfern</strong> writes about infertility, adoption and celebrating family at <em><a href="http://www.therhouse.com/" target="_blank" _mce_href="http://www.therhouse.com/">The R House</a></em>. An open adoption advocate, she and two best friends created <em><a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/therhouse" target="_blank" _mce_href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/therhouse">The R House Couture</a></em>--a boutique of handmade sterling silver keepsakes. She and her husband own an adoption consulting firm called <em><a href="http://www.therhouse.com/the-r-house-adoption-consultants/" target="_blank" _mce_href="http://www.therhouse.com/the-r-house-adoption-consultants/">The R House Adoption Consultants</a></em>. Although she's lived in her beloved state of Utah since 1997, she still considers herself a Virginian, where she was raised. She and her house of boys love anything to do with trains, Star Wars and BYU football. &nbsp; Photography by <a href="http://www.kimorlandini.com/" target="_blank" _mce_href="http://www.kimorlandini.com/">Kim Orlandini</a>. &nbsp;</p> 20/20 Vision http://www.tofw.com/2020-Vision-Macy-Robison/s/702 http://www.tofw.com/2020-Vision-Macy-Robison/s/702 Tue, 16 Oct 2012 00:00:00 -0600 <div> </div> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-flPFP8EM6bI/UH16-T1E3zI/AAAAAAAAB50/32hRi3u1xO0/s1600/blmacy007.png" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-flPFP8EM6bI/UH16-T1E3zI/AAAAAAAAB50/32hRi3u1xO0/s1600/blmacy007.png" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-flPFP8EM6bI/UH16-T1E3zI/AAAAAAAAB50/32hRi3u1xO0/s1600/blmacy007.png" width="302" height="400" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-flPFP8EM6bI/UH16-T1E3zI/AAAAAAAAB50/32hRi3u1xO0/s1600/blmacy007.png"></a>I'm a glasses wearer. Too many years of reading books with a flashlight under the covers, I suppose. Funny thing was, I didn't think I needed glasses. I was sure I could see perfectly.&nbsp; But after watching me play a tennis match in which I didn't call several balls that were (apparently) clearly out of bounds, my mom insisted on a trip to the optometrist.</div> <br>Turns out, my vision was pretty terrible, and I was fitted for contacts and glasses. I wore my new contacts out of the office that day, but I didn't notice a big difference as I was walking through the optometry office. Had I just gone through all the pain and discomfort of sticking something IN MY EYE for no reason? I mean, things looked a little more clear, but I didn't see a huge difference. <br> <br>Then, I walked outside.<br> <br> My little 11-year-old heart jumped as I looked up at the Provo mountains.&nbsp; There were TREES up there! The rocks had sharp edges and shapes that I could see! There was a white letter Y on the mountain! Then, I started looking around to see what else I could see. I could read signs all the way down the street! I'm sure I made my mom a little crazy on the car ride home - I kept exclaiming about all the things I could see and all the beauty around me. I remember being amazed that I'd been surrounded by all these things for so long, but that I hadn't really seen them until I got my contact lenses.<br> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <a style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; float: right;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KyPw1J0m-DI/UH164VF31QI/AAAAAAAAB5c/Dbmxctu-HSI/s1600/blmacy002.png" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KyPw1J0m-DI/UH164VF31QI/AAAAAAAAB5c/Dbmxctu-HSI/s1600/blmacy002.png" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KyPw1J0m-DI/UH164VF31QI/AAAAAAAAB5c/Dbmxctu-HSI/s1600/blmacy002.png" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KyPw1J0m-DI/UH164VF31QI/AAAAAAAAB5c/Dbmxctu-HSI/s1600/blmacy002.png"></a>It's amazing how a small tool can change your life and help you see the beauty around you. For me, that tool has been the daily journaling I've done for my Seek The Good Project. At the end of each day when I climb into bed, I've taken a couple minutes to write down when I've seen the hand of the Lord in my life that day. It's been astonishing and humbling. Things that were always part of my life have clearly snapped into focus.&nbsp; I've noticed things that I hadn't seen before. The whole experience has been amazing. The small effort involved in seeking and writing down how I've seen the hand of the Lord in my life has not only made His hand more visible to me, but I'm happier with the things I see in my life. My husband even noticed, and commented the other day that I seem happier. He's right - I am. (And I'm grateful that he noticed.)</div> <br>And now, it's time for a new project. I spent time seeking the good that was already in my life with my journaling, so I've decided for the next to weeks to work on surrounding myself with good things. Over the next two weeks, I'm going to use the the last sentence in the 13th Article of Faith as my guide:<br> <br><em>If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.</em><br> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-AgE38FZPmRs/UH17cwL6rLI/AAAAAAAAB58/yWYo6iPaDOQ/s1600/blMRP_9094ed.png" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-AgE38FZPmRs/UH17cwL6rLI/AAAAAAAAB58/yWYo6iPaDOQ/s1600/blMRP_9094ed.png" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-AgE38FZPmRs/UH17cwL6rLI/AAAAAAAAB58/yWYo6iPaDOQ/s1600/blMRP_9094ed.png" width="212" height="320" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-AgE38FZPmRs/UH17cwL6rLI/AAAAAAAAB58/yWYo6iPaDOQ/s1600/blMRP_9094ed.png"></a>If I'm reading something and it doesn't pass the virtuous, lovely, of good report or praiseworthy test - I'm going to stop reading it. Same with movies, television, music, and even social media. Social media is the trickiest one for me. But I already went through my Twitter feed, Facebook, and blog reader and turned off or unsubscribed to everything that wasn't inspiring to me. I'm also adding some limits to the amount of time I spend checking those sites so I can use that time to surround myself with virtuous, lovely, of good report or praiseworthy things. </div> <br> I'm excited about this project. It's not just about turning down the volume on the negative things and the things that impede the Spirit, but turning up the volume on things that inspire and uplift. I'd love it if you would join me on this project or one of your own choosing! Let me know in the comments how you plan to seek the good in your life this week. <br> <br>And now, I'm off to surround myself with good things. Time to shut down this computer and take my daughter on a walk. <br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Uy2XBGvYewk/UH17fqPH93I/AAAAAAAAB6E/TafqXNaouWg/s1600/SeekTheGoodLogo-3.png" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Uy2XBGvYewk/UH17fqPH93I/AAAAAAAAB6E/TafqXNaouWg/s1600/SeekTheGoodLogo-3.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Uy2XBGvYewk/UH17fqPH93I/AAAAAAAAB6E/TafqXNaouWg/s1600/SeekTheGoodLogo-3.png" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Uy2XBGvYewk/UH17fqPH93I/AAAAAAAAB6E/TafqXNaouWg/s1600/SeekTheGoodLogo-3.png"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-n3yfYD2gVSY/UH2DQewxzwI/AAAAAAAAB7E/HATv0WqHm1o/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-n3yfYD2gVSY/UH2DQewxzwI/AAAAAAAAB7E/HATv0WqHm1o/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-n3yfYD2gVSY/UH2DQewxzwI/AAAAAAAAB7E/HATv0WqHm1o/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" width="130" height="200" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-n3yfYD2gVSY/UH2DQewxzwI/AAAAAAAAB7E/HATv0WqHm1o/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png"></a><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;" _mce_style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style='font-family: "Cambria","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-fareast-font-family: "MS Mincho"; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-fareast; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;' _mce_style='font-family: "Cambria","serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-fareast-font-family: "MS Mincho"; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-fareast; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;'>Macy Robison is a performer, photographer, and mom. She lives with her husband and two kids in Austin, Texas. She loves Texas BBQ, Tex-Mex, and Texas hospitality. She also loves that it’s finally getting cool enough in Texas that she can take her kids for a walk without them melting into a puddle.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;" _mce_style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></i></div> {DIY} Tie Dye With Kids! http://www.tofw.com/DIY-Tie-Dye-Kids-Rachel-Family-Ever-After/s/699 http://www.tofw.com/DIY-Tie-Dye-Kids-Rachel-Family-Ever-After/s/699 Wed, 10 Oct 2012 09:33:00 -0600 <div> by Rachel from Family Ever After <br /> </div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> When I was in 7th grade, growing up in South Dakota, my science teacher helped me learn a lesson that would encourage me all through my teenage and college years. On the first day of class, she asked each student what they wanted to be when they grew up. Fireman, teacher, doctor, lawyer... were the common responses. When my turn came, I blurted out "a mom." I remember the snickers and giggles at my response, and even though I was slightly embarrassed, I felt a swelling in my heart. Right then, I knew that what I had just said was true. I hoped to grow up to be a mother. Years later, I'm so very grateful to my Heavenly Father for blessing me with that opportunity. </div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> As a mother, one of the ultimate joys of my heart is involving my kids in basically everything I do. I love having a child, or two, or three by my side as we make dinner. I cherish the moment when a little one sits on my lap as I sew. I smile so big when my 4 year old begs to help me with the laundry. I know these special years won't last forever, which is why I try to soak it all in. Being a present mother to my kids is my passion. I love to create meaningful memories with them. A few weeks ago, we took a trip to the craft store and purchased supplies to tie dye t-shirts. When we sat down to do the project, I realized it would be a messy job. My first instinct was to let them stand by and watch, but when I rethought the situation, I decided that with a little patience and instruction on my end, they could be trusted to apply the dye themselves. They were so careful and did such a great job, and they proudly wore the t-shirts they created. Being a mother has helped me understand and relate to my Heavenly Father. Now that I see life through the eyes of a parent, I can understand how much He loves and cares for each one of His children. I imagine that He would love to take over and do the hard and messy things for us. Instead He allows us to learn and grow by figuring things out on our own, just like I realized I should do when helping my kids tie dye their shirts.</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gBvkUl7zg2Q/UFFdLDuufYI/AAAAAAAACRI/0-gUUo-Si8M/s1600/TieDyeCollage.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gBvkUl7zg2Q/UFFdLDuufYI/AAAAAAAACRI/0-gUUo-Si8M/s1600/TieDyeCollage.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gBvkUl7zg2Q/UFFdLDuufYI/AAAAAAAACRI/0-gUUo-Si8M/s640/TieDyeCollage.jpg" width="640" height="494" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gBvkUl7zg2Q/UFFdLDuufYI/AAAAAAAACRI/0-gUUo-Si8M/s640/TieDyeCollage.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> I found this kit from Hobby Lobby ($12 with a coupon. It comes with a lot of product, I think I have enough to dye at least 8 small shirts). The kit comes with the dye, bottles, rubber bands, and gloves. In addition, you'll need shirts (or whatever you're dying), an old towel or garbage bags, and aprons for your kids. The kit comes with directions, but I thought I'd share a few additional personal tips. To prep your shirts, get them damp. I threw ours in the washing machine in hot water to preshrink them.</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-w8Cd7O7u-Gg/UFFOAV9N8SI/AAAAAAAACPg/8KErjPwgccc/s1600/TieDye19.JPG" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-w8Cd7O7u-Gg/UFFOAV9N8SI/AAAAAAAACPg/8KErjPwgccc/s1600/TieDye19.JPG" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-w8Cd7O7u-Gg/UFFOAV9N8SI/AAAAAAAACPg/8KErjPwgccc/s400/TieDye19.JPG" width="400" height="265" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-w8Cd7O7u-Gg/UFFOAV9N8SI/AAAAAAAACPg/8KErjPwgccc/s400/TieDye19.JPG"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-size: large;"><b>The Spiral</b></span></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-m4G_dfB2IYI/UFFc483MEQI/AAAAAAAACRA/M_l7P2JegVo/s1600/TieDye21.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-m4G_dfB2IYI/UFFc483MEQI/AAAAAAAACRA/M_l7P2JegVo/s1600/TieDye21.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-m4G_dfB2IYI/UFFc483MEQI/AAAAAAAACRA/M_l7P2JegVo/s640/TieDye21.jpg" width="640" height="424" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-m4G_dfB2IYI/UFFc483MEQI/AAAAAAAACRA/M_l7P2JegVo/s640/TieDye21.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Start by pinching bother layers (front and back) in the middle of the shirt. Start twisting.</div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LdeH0CqlefE/UFFNJ-toxhI/AAAAAAAACOQ/tIDBJ9unuu0/s1600/TieDye2.JPG" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LdeH0CqlefE/UFFNJ-toxhI/AAAAAAAACOQ/tIDBJ9unuu0/s1600/TieDye2.JPG" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LdeH0CqlefE/UFFNJ-toxhI/AAAAAAAACOQ/tIDBJ9unuu0/s400/TieDye2.JPG" width="400" height="265" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LdeH0CqlefE/UFFNJ-toxhI/AAAAAAAACOQ/tIDBJ9unuu0/s400/TieDye2.JPG"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Twist the fabric until it is all twisted up.</div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OdP0YodgMhA/UFFNPqwGSJI/AAAAAAAACOY/O1CPOpWSXnA/s1600/TieDye3.JPG" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OdP0YodgMhA/UFFNPqwGSJI/AAAAAAAACOY/O1CPOpWSXnA/s1600/TieDye3.JPG" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OdP0YodgMhA/UFFNPqwGSJI/AAAAAAAACOY/O1CPOpWSXnA/s400/TieDye3.JPG" width="400" height="265" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OdP0YodgMhA/UFFNPqwGSJI/AAAAAAAACOY/O1CPOpWSXnA/s400/TieDye3.JPG"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Now take 3 rubberbands and section off the shirt like a pie.</div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pRaMBPEA0Mw/UFFNVCHcERI/AAAAAAAACOg/mNPIZRIrMAE/s1600/TieDye4.JPG" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pRaMBPEA0Mw/UFFNVCHcERI/AAAAAAAACOg/mNPIZRIrMAE/s1600/TieDye4.JPG" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pRaMBPEA0Mw/UFFNVCHcERI/AAAAAAAACOg/mNPIZRIrMAE/s400/TieDye4.JPG" width="400" height="265" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pRaMBPEA0Mw/UFFNVCHcERI/AAAAAAAACOg/mNPIZRIrMAE/s400/TieDye4.JPG"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Put an apron and gloves on your little helper. Carefully explain where the color will go. Make sure the dye goes on the front, back, and all the little crevices. You might have to add more dye when your helper is finished and not looking... wink wink.</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rlg8vKdoyLk/UFFN2hVRUbI/AAAAAAAACPQ/AbGLdpP6mFI/s1600/TieDye12.JPG" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rlg8vKdoyLk/UFFN2hVRUbI/AAAAAAAACPQ/AbGLdpP6mFI/s1600/TieDye12.JPG" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rlg8vKdoyLk/UFFN2hVRUbI/AAAAAAAACPQ/AbGLdpP6mFI/s400/TieDye12.JPG" width="400" height="266" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rlg8vKdoyLk/UFFN2hVRUbI/AAAAAAAACPQ/AbGLdpP6mFI/s400/TieDye12.JPG"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> </div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-size: large;"><b>The Polka Dots</b></span></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8cXZ4GNIMX0/UFFdSA53vHI/AAAAAAAACRQ/kWAwHWztZvM/s1600/TyeDie20.jpg" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8cXZ4GNIMX0/UFFdSA53vHI/AAAAAAAACRQ/kWAwHWztZvM/s1600/TyeDie20.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8cXZ4GNIMX0/UFFdSA53vHI/AAAAAAAACRQ/kWAwHWztZvM/s640/TyeDie20.jpg" width="640" height="424" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8cXZ4GNIMX0/UFFdSA53vHI/AAAAAAAACRQ/kWAwHWztZvM/s640/TyeDie20.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Pinch both layers of the fabric in random places and tightly wrap a rubberband on each section.</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DMHTqyQy-Ns/UFFNElzs7vI/AAAAAAAACOI/lap2GJKBZEc/s1600/TieDye1.JPG" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DMHTqyQy-Ns/UFFNElzs7vI/AAAAAAAACOI/lap2GJKBZEc/s1600/TieDye1.JPG" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DMHTqyQy-Ns/UFFNElzs7vI/AAAAAAAACOI/lap2GJKBZEc/s400/TieDye1.JPG" width="400" height="265" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DMHTqyQy-Ns/UFFNElzs7vI/AAAAAAAACOI/lap2GJKBZEc/s400/TieDye1.JPG"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> This might seem silly to mention, but be careful not place two sections right across the chest of the shirt, if you know what I mean.</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vrTMMOANOcw/UFFNapE5B5I/AAAAAAAACOo/BDh0JfLIIG4/s1600/TieDye5.JPG" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vrTMMOANOcw/UFFNapE5B5I/AAAAAAAACOo/BDh0JfLIIG4/s1600/TieDye5.JPG" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vrTMMOANOcw/UFFNapE5B5I/AAAAAAAACOo/BDh0JfLIIG4/s400/TieDye5.JPG" width="400" height="265" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vrTMMOANOcw/UFFNapE5B5I/AAAAAAAACOo/BDh0JfLIIG4/s400/TieDye5.JPG"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Again, prepare your helper with an apron specific directions, and close supervision. Then let her have fun!</div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-t8tJHQLifJ4/UFFNqWR7BaI/AAAAAAAACPA/MI4t6HHSaFU/s1600/TieDye8.JPG" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-t8tJHQLifJ4/UFFNqWR7BaI/AAAAAAAACPA/MI4t6HHSaFU/s1600/TieDye8.JPG" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-t8tJHQLifJ4/UFFNqWR7BaI/AAAAAAAACPA/MI4t6HHSaFU/s400/TieDye8.JPG" width="400" height="265" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-t8tJHQLifJ4/UFFNqWR7BaI/AAAAAAAACPA/MI4t6HHSaFU/s400/TieDye8.JPG"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size: large;" _mce_style="font-size: large;"><b>The Stripes</b></span></div> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-TyIIuRjnMWI/UFFdZSACOiI/AAAAAAAACRY/GbNKsTfQZXM/s1600/TieDye11.JPG" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-TyIIuRjnMWI/UFFdZSACOiI/AAAAAAAACRY/GbNKsTfQZXM/s1600/TieDye11.JPG" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-TyIIuRjnMWI/UFFdZSACOiI/AAAAAAAACRY/GbNKsTfQZXM/s640/TieDye11.JPG" width="640" height="424" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-TyIIuRjnMWI/UFFdZSACOiI/AAAAAAAACRY/GbNKsTfQZXM/s640/TieDye11.JPG"></a> <br> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Fold your shirt accordian style (like the paper fans you made when you were a kid). You can make the folds lengthwise or widthwise.</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-h5jOBg3NCd8/UFFNf18bu6I/AAAAAAAACOw/lVWbC7MPif8/s1600/TieDye6.JPG" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-h5jOBg3NCd8/UFFNf18bu6I/AAAAAAAACOw/lVWbC7MPif8/s1600/TieDye6.JPG" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-h5jOBg3NCd8/UFFNf18bu6I/AAAAAAAACOw/lVWbC7MPif8/s400/TieDye6.JPG" width="400" height="265" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-h5jOBg3NCd8/UFFNf18bu6I/AAAAAAAACOw/lVWbC7MPif8/s400/TieDye6.JPG"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Section off the shirt into equal portions, and add rubberbands.</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-sJpFXLjUr3k/UFFNl_gMNoI/AAAAAAAACO4/CGd-QntUyCY/s1600/TieDye7.JPG" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-sJpFXLjUr3k/UFFNl_gMNoI/AAAAAAAACO4/CGd-QntUyCY/s1600/TieDye7.JPG" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-sJpFXLjUr3k/UFFNl_gMNoI/AAAAAAAACO4/CGd-QntUyCY/s400/TieDye7.JPG" width="400" height="265" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-sJpFXLjUr3k/UFFNl_gMNoI/AAAAAAAACO4/CGd-QntUyCY/s400/TieDye7.JPG"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Little brother was taking a nap when his sisters and mom were decorating shirts. It was a good opportunity for me to demonstrate to the other girls on what to do!</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> ................................</div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Once you are finished applying the dye, place each shirt in a plastic bag, and tie in a knot. Let the shirts sit at least 6 hours (I let them sit overnight, to ensure the colors really penetrated). Then rinse the shirts- a lot of excess dye will wash out. My directions said to wash each shirt separately in the washing machine, but I washed them all together without problems. (Just make sure you don't wash them with any other laundry)!</div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JFu_u2ZBXVw/UFFN7LSC5SI/AAAAAAAACPY/uxGzC3KezYU/s1600/TieDye13.JPG" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JFu_u2ZBXVw/UFFN7LSC5SI/AAAAAAAACPY/uxGzC3KezYU/s1600/TieDye13.JPG" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JFu_u2ZBXVw/UFFN7LSC5SI/AAAAAAAACPY/uxGzC3KezYU/s400/TieDye13.JPG" width="400" height="265" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JFu_u2ZBXVw/UFFN7LSC5SI/AAAAAAAACPY/uxGzC3KezYU/s400/TieDye13.JPG"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> </div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Voila!</div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-z1epfValuKQ/UFFywUfmENI/AAAAAAAACS8/FAri-rLwXCY/s1600/DSC_0010.jpg" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-z1epfValuKQ/UFFywUfmENI/AAAAAAAACS8/FAri-rLwXCY/s1600/DSC_0010.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-z1epfValuKQ/UFFywUfmENI/AAAAAAAACS8/FAri-rLwXCY/s640/DSC_0010.jpg" width="640" height="426" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-z1epfValuKQ/UFFywUfmENI/AAAAAAAACS8/FAri-rLwXCY/s640/DSC_0010.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> We took these on vacation when we went to the Redwoods just a few weeks ago. </div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_IWw8Dpiats/UFFy9ZHeNhI/AAAAAAAACTE/YfIK2uuOPAo/s1600/DSC_0045.JPG" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_IWw8Dpiats/UFFy9ZHeNhI/AAAAAAAACTE/YfIK2uuOPAo/s1600/DSC_0045.JPG" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_IWw8Dpiats/UFFy9ZHeNhI/AAAAAAAACTE/YfIK2uuOPAo/s400/DSC_0045.JPG" width="265" height="400" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_IWw8Dpiats/UFFy9ZHeNhI/AAAAAAAACTE/YfIK2uuOPAo/s400/DSC_0045.JPG"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> A country girl at heart, Rachel is the blog author of <a href="http://www.familyeverafterblog.com/" _mce_href="http://www.familyeverafterblog.com/">Family Ever After</a>. She grew up in South Dakota, and so did her husband… they’ve know each other since they were twelve! After growing up watching her mom sew, Rachel decided it was finally time to learn the art. She majored in Family and Consumer Science Education at BYU-Provo, and loved every minute. She went on to teach 7th and 8th grade sewing and foods classes. She is now “living her life’s biggest dream,” being a mother of three children. She is very passionate about teaching and involving them in her sewing and other crafting ambitions. Family Ever After is a mish mash of Rachel’s favorite things including sewing, crafting, food, family, organization, printables, travel, gardening, country music, sunflowers, clogging, and running, and she loves taking pictures of it all! Rachel is the sewing contributor on <a href="http://www.lilluna.com/" _mce_href="http://www.lilluna.com/">Lil Luna</a>, and hosts an online sewing competition called Sew-vivor. She is thrilled to be a speaker at the upcoming sewing/blogging conference, <a href="http://sewingsummit.com/?page_id=1445" _mce_href="http://sewingsummit.com/?page_id=1445">The Sewing Summit</a>.</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-phPCMYYJjpI/T_44lFZaDpI/AAAAAAAABZc/LpVLAjo_uQ8/s1600/ProfilePic&amp;Logo.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-phPCMYYJjpI/T_44lFZaDpI/AAAAAAAABZc/LpVLAjo_uQ8/s1600/ProfilePic&amp;Logo.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-phPCMYYJjpI/T_44lFZaDpI/AAAAAAAABZc/LpVLAjo_uQ8/s320/ProfilePic&amp;Logo.jpg" width="320" height="168" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-phPCMYYJjpI/T_44lFZaDpI/AAAAAAAABZc/LpVLAjo_uQ8/s320/ProfilePic&amp;Logo.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <br></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Feel free to stop by and join the family!</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;<a href="http://www.familyeverafterblog.com/" _mce_href="http://www.familyeverafterblog.com/">blog</a>...<a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/familyeverafterblog" _mce_href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/familyeverafterblog">rss</a>...<a href="http://www.facebook.com/FamEverAfter" _mce_href="http://www.facebook.com/FamEverAfter">facebook</a>...<a href="http://www.pinterest.com/familyeverafter" _mce_href="http://www.pinterest.com/familyeverafter">pinterest</a>...<a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/fameverafter" _mce_href="https://twitter.com/#%21/fameverafter">twitter</a></div> Boiling Point http://www.tofw.com/Boiling-Point-Macy-Robison/s/698 http://www.tofw.com/Boiling-Point-Macy-Robison/s/698 Tue, 09 Oct 2012 00:00:00 -0600 <div> </div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--OrJ15TnV1Y/UHMxBljeKgI/AAAAAAAABzk/Bm3zBw6QRWg/s1600/angry.jpg" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--OrJ15TnV1Y/UHMxBljeKgI/AAAAAAAABzk/Bm3zBw6QRWg/s1600/angry.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--OrJ15TnV1Y/UHMxBljeKgI/AAAAAAAABzk/Bm3zBw6QRWg/s640/angry.jpg" width="640" height="640" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--OrJ15TnV1Y/UHMxBljeKgI/AAAAAAAABzk/Bm3zBw6QRWg/s640/angry.jpg"></a></div> <br> I’ve heard the expression about being so angry that your blood boils, but I always assumed it was just a highly descriptive metaphor. I mean, one's blood can't actually BOIL, right?<br> <br> Wrong.<br><br>As you might imagine, the person making my blood boil lately is a member of my family - specifically, my five-year-old. He's normally a delightful child, and has been remarkably easy to raise. (<em>I take no credit for either of these facts. He just came that way</em>.) But since he started kindergarten, he's developed a habit that's making me a little crazy. When something happens that he doesn't like, or if he gets hurt, or if he forgets to do something - it's suddenly my fault.<br> <br> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gJhi8LWzJi8/UHMxE80L_NI/AAAAAAAABz0/3EJwKeJHpbg/s1600/bl120328BluebonnetsKids_054.png" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gJhi8LWzJi8/UHMxE80L_NI/AAAAAAAABz0/3EJwKeJHpbg/s1600/bl120328BluebonnetsKids_054.png" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gJhi8LWzJi8/UHMxE80L_NI/AAAAAAAABz0/3EJwKeJHpbg/s320/bl120328BluebonnetsKids_054.png" width="320" height="212" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gJhi8LWzJi8/UHMxE80L_NI/AAAAAAAABz0/3EJwKeJHpbg/s320/bl120328BluebonnetsKids_054.png"></a>"Mom! You made me forget my lunchbox!"<br>(<em>The very lunchbox I had packed and left waiting for him to grab on the kitchen counter</em>.)<br> <br> “Mom, you make me almost late for school every day!” <br>(<em>Even though I’m practically pulling him out of bed, into clothes and down the stairs for breakfast</em>.)<br><br>“Mom, you made me run into that post and hurt my arm!” <br>(<em>I was 20 feet away, sitting in the car for this one</em>.)<br><br>This last comment pushed me completely over the edge. We had a lengthy, angry conversation about what it means to <strong>make</strong> someone do something and how I couldn't possibly have <strong>made</strong> him run into the post in the garage because I was in the car and not even near him at the time.&nbsp; <br> <br> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> I'll spare you the rest of the details, but needless to say, I'm not proud of that conversation. It was especially disappointing because of my current "Seek the Good Project" to look for the hand of the Lord in my life and in the lives of my family members. If I'm so angry it feels like my blood might actually be boiling, the Spirit won't be able to dwell in our home, and the Lord won’t be able to use us as instruments for His good.</div> <br> <a style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; float: right;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QlX8eeDINpw/UHMxDSts05I/AAAAAAAABzs/hB7qwXyTTjk/s1600/bl120328BluebonnetsKids_053.png" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QlX8eeDINpw/UHMxDSts05I/AAAAAAAABzs/hB7qwXyTTjk/s1600/bl120328BluebonnetsKids_053.png" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QlX8eeDINpw/UHMxDSts05I/AAAAAAAABzs/hB7qwXyTTjk/s320/bl120328BluebonnetsKids_053.png" width="320" height="212" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QlX8eeDINpw/UHMxDSts05I/AAAAAAAABzs/hB7qwXyTTjk/s320/bl120328BluebonnetsKids_053.png"></a>After the kids were in bed, I needed to clear my head, so I went on a run. (<em>I do my best thinking while running</em>.) As I made my way through the neighborhood, I remembered a conversation I had with my sister-in-law when we were visiting their home a couple years ago.<br><br>My nephew – her oldest – was giving her some challenges, and while she’s a very patient person, she was really feeling frustrated with him and his behavior. As we talked through the issues and possible solutions, she said, “I know I’m overreacting to this situation, but I just get so angry. And if I'm being honest, his behavior probably bothers me so much because I do the same thing and this is one of the behaviors I dislike most about myself."<br><br>Those words really rang true to me at the time, and again as I remembered the conversation during my run. Could my anger toward my son be rooted in something I don’t like about myself? <br> <br> Ummm…yes.<br> <br> I’m an excuse-maker. A blame-placer. <br> <br> Running late for school? The kids were moving slow. (<em>Except that the morning would have gone better if I’d chosen to prepare by packing lunches ahead of time</em>.)<br> <br> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pTSrLbuLl4E/UHMxG5kfDYI/AAAAAAAABz8/o5zC0p9kyZc/s1600/bl120328BluebonnetsKids_059.png" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pTSrLbuLl4E/UHMxG5kfDYI/AAAAAAAABz8/o5zC0p9kyZc/s1600/bl120328BluebonnetsKids_059.png" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pTSrLbuLl4E/UHMxG5kfDYI/AAAAAAAABz8/o5zC0p9kyZc/s320/bl120328BluebonnetsKids_059.png" width="320" height="212" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pTSrLbuLl4E/UHMxG5kfDYI/AAAAAAAABz8/o5zC0p9kyZc/s320/bl120328BluebonnetsKids_059.png"></a>Can’t stop drinking Diet Coke? The baby woke up a whole bunch of times last night. <em>(Except that I got plenty of sleep and I really just wanted a Diet Coke</em>.) <br> <br> Can’t get my act together to read my scriptures? The house isn’t clean? Going out to get fast food again because I didn’t make dinner? Didn’t exercise today? I’ve got an excuse at the ready. And the real trouble is, I’ve convinced myself that the excuses are legitimate. I’ll blame the weather, my kids, my situation – anything that will absolve me of the responsibility that I have to choose. <br> <br> I arrived home from my run, grateful for this realization about myself and determined to apologize to my son in the morning for the way I reacted to his excuse making. And also determined to be more patient going forward since now I knew better. <br> <br> Then, to really drive the point home, I came across this quote as I was reading Elder Bednar’s new book, “Act in Doctrine.”<br> <br> “<em>Because of the gift of moral agency, we are agents blessed with the power and capacity to act and not objects to be acted upon</em>.”<br> <br> The words practically jumped out in 3D from my e-reader. Moral agency is a gift. I have been given power and capacity to act from my Heavenly Father, but I’m choosing instead to make excuses and become an object to be acted upon. No more. <br> <br> I can’t wait to see what I learn from my project this week. Join me, won’t you? <br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-M44qbVCGgKs/UHMxMkqthXI/AAAAAAAAB0M/f7VZuBwHJHQ/s1600/SeekTheGoodLogo-3.png" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-M44qbVCGgKs/UHMxMkqthXI/AAAAAAAAB0M/f7VZuBwHJHQ/s1600/SeekTheGoodLogo-3.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-M44qbVCGgKs/UHMxMkqthXI/AAAAAAAAB0M/f7VZuBwHJHQ/s1600/SeekTheGoodLogo-3.png" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-M44qbVCGgKs/UHMxMkqthXI/AAAAAAAAB0M/f7VZuBwHJHQ/s1600/SeekTheGoodLogo-3.png"></a></div> <br> <br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XF9fMkdt-r8/UHMxQQhzEaI/AAAAAAAAB0U/T-tQhWlgZW8/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XF9fMkdt-r8/UHMxQQhzEaI/AAAAAAAAB0U/T-tQhWlgZW8/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XF9fMkdt-r8/UHMxQQhzEaI/AAAAAAAAB0U/T-tQhWlgZW8/s200/2011Headshot_001ed.png" width="130" height="200" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XF9fMkdt-r8/UHMxQQhzEaI/AAAAAAAAB0U/T-tQhWlgZW8/s200/2011Headshot_001ed.png"></a></div> <em>Macy Robison is a performer, photographer, and mom. She lives with her husband and two kids in Austin, Texas. She enjoys reading, writing, and wishes that General Conference was every three months instead of every six months. She also likes to sing, dance and chase her kids around the house.</em> Blogging and the Book of Mormon http://www.tofw.com/Blogging-Book-Mormon-Mariel-She-Says/s/696 http://www.tofw.com/Blogging-Book-Mormon-Mariel-She-Says/s/696 Wed, 03 Oct 2012 00:00:00 -0600 <div> by Mariel from Or So She Says... <br /> </div> Originally, I started my blog (<i><a href="http://www.oneshetwoshe.com/" target="_blank" _mce_href="http://www.oneshetwoshe.com/">Or so she says...</a></i>) as a way to fill a gap that I was seeing in the blogging world.&nbsp; I really wanted to offer women something beyond just crafts and recipes (but, those too!) Then I thought it would be fun to build my blog enough to make money. Who doesn't want a new pair of shoes now and then..guilt free? I've been blogging for a few years now and own plenty of flats and wedges. But, something was missing. I got to the point where it wasn't really worth it anymore, but I didn't know why. Building a blog takes a LOT of time, and for the time I was putting into it, it just didn't bring enough fulfillment. My blog had to mean more, or what was the point?<br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Oo5vTnRJWTY/Tp4Gj6YxlLI/AAAAAAAAD4s/3n6kdlC2_n0/s500/10-4-2011+116.JPG" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Oo5vTnRJWTY/Tp4Gj6YxlLI/AAAAAAAAD4s/3n6kdlC2_n0/s500/10-4-2011+116.JPG" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Oo5vTnRJWTY/Tp4Gj6YxlLI/AAAAAAAAD4s/3n6kdlC2_n0/s500/10-4-2011+116.JPG" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Oo5vTnRJWTY/Tp4Gj6YxlLI/AAAAAAAAD4s/3n6kdlC2_n0/s500/10-4-2011+116.JPG"></a></div> <br> Those feelings festered in me and were only amplified by the upsetting things I was coming across on the internet. I couldn't believe the things people were saying about stay-at-home mothers, family values, religion, and more specifically, my religion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It hurt my heart. You know, in my offline world, I don't really spend my time around people who disrespect the things I hold sacred. But, as a professional blogger, you don't have much choice. Sure, you can click to a different site, but to be an internet presence, you are constantly bopping around and stumble upon those things pretty easily.&nbsp;How could these people have such disrespect and be so loud about it??&nbsp;Do people believe them?&nbsp;Are they changing minds for the worse?&nbsp;All this time I thought just 'being a good example' online was enough.&nbsp;But, it's not.&nbsp;Not anymore.&nbsp;Not for me.&nbsp;I knew I had to do something loud, in a soft way.<br> <br> I thought. I thought and I thought.&nbsp;What could I do?&nbsp;Nothing came to me, and I still felt the same. Sad.&nbsp;Heartbroken.Wondering if blogging was worth it.&nbsp;But, then I prayed.&nbsp;I let Heavenly Father know that I wanted to help Him.&nbsp;I knew that he was aware of the madness on the internet, and maybe there was something I could do to help.&nbsp;He answered me and put a lot of special ladies in my path, also bloggers, who were willing and ready to step up.<br> <br> I've found that there's a fear, among LDS bloggers, to share their feelings about the gospel. Sometimes it's because their blog is focused on food, crafts, or home decorating, and bringing up the gospel would confuse their readers. Other times it's because the blogger feels like they would be alienating non-members.&nbsp;And, lastly there is a fear that they will be turned down by advertisers.&nbsp;All legitimate fears.&nbsp;For sure, every one of those things crossed MY mind, as well as the bloggers that agreed to help me.<br> <br> But, when those fears came, I would remember people like Lehi, Nephi, Alma, Abinidi, Joseph Smith, and many more.&nbsp;I would remember how they would share the gospel with a high probability that they might lose their lives.&nbsp;It was very real and even the case with some. But, they did it.&nbsp;They shared the gospel, just like they were asked to.&nbsp;If they could lose their lives, I sure as heck could lose some readers.&nbsp;Right??&nbsp;Oh, but it's scary!<br> <br> Along with these 32 LDS bloggers, we collected our testimonies and put them into a packet.&nbsp;Several of us did<a href="http://www.oneshetwoshe.com/2012/09/why-are-your-favorite-bloggers-mormon.html" target="_blank" _mce_href="http://www.oneshetwoshe.com/2012/09/why-are-your-favorite-bloggers-mormon.html"> posts on our blogs</a> letting 'those who are interested' know that if they emailed us their address, we would send them the packet, explaining why we are LDS and a free Book of Mormon.&nbsp;It hasn't even been a month, and I am so surprised at the amount of orders we have received!&nbsp;It is so exciting to me and refreshing to know that there are still people looking for the truth, and willing to look past all the bitterness and falsehoods that they see online.&nbsp; They are willing to come to a legitimate source and find out for themselves.<br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tpLtdDDLVlc/UEfxkmxnEjI/AAAAAAAAFjo/y1INDaXQ8ZA/s1600/B.O.M.B.gif" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tpLtdDDLVlc/UEfxkmxnEjI/AAAAAAAAFjo/y1INDaXQ8ZA/s1600/B.O.M.B.gif" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tpLtdDDLVlc/UEfxkmxnEjI/AAAAAAAAFjo/y1INDaXQ8ZA/s1600/B.O.M.B.gif" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tpLtdDDLVlc/UEfxkmxnEjI/AAAAAAAAFjo/y1INDaXQ8ZA/s1600/B.O.M.B.gif"></a></div> <br> In many, many of the emails I've received, people have thanked us for being willing to share our feelings with them and give them the opportunity to learn more about the Mormon church.&nbsp;Several people have mentioned how they have LDS friends, but they've never really opened up about their beliefs, so they are happy that we will.&nbsp;Part of me thinks, 'How sad.&nbsp;There are people that want to know, and we're not saying anything.'&nbsp; But, there's another part of me that thinks, 'How exciting!&nbsp; Here I've been so nervous, and maybe I don't need to be!&nbsp;There are lots of people that really want to know!' <br> <br> Opening up and making myself known and available as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has been exactly what I needed. My blog is still time-consuming, but now it's fulfilling.&nbsp;To be able to share my feelings of the gospel with someone brings a happiness to me that no amount of money, readers, advertisers, or shoes ever could.&nbsp;Ever.&nbsp;I love how the Apostle Paul said, 'I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation.'&nbsp; I want to be like that.<br> <br> To read more about the Book of Mormon Bloggers program, <a href="http://www.oneshetwoshe.com/2012/09/why-are-your-favorite-bloggers-mormon.html" target="_blank" _mce_href="http://www.oneshetwoshe.com/2012/09/why-are-your-favorite-bloggers-mormon.html">check out this post</a>!<br> <a href="http://s278.photobucket.com/albums/kk118/mwangsgard/?action=view&amp;current=NewMariel3.gif" target="_blank" _mce_href="http://s278.photobucket.com/albums/kk118/mwangsgard/?action=view&amp;current=NewMariel3.gif"><img border="0" alt="Photobucket" src="http://i278.photobucket.com/albums/kk118/mwangsgard/NewMariel3.gif" _mce_src="http://i278.photobucket.com/albums/kk118/mwangsgard/NewMariel3.gif"></a> So You Think You Can Zumba http://www.tofw.com/You-Think-You-Can-Zumba-Macy-Robison/s/695 http://www.tofw.com/You-Think-You-Can-Zumba-Macy-Robison/s/695 Tue, 02 Oct 2012 10:14:00 -0600 <div> </div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tS07EjPyFqY/UGsQyXktb4I/AAAAAAAABuM/AKRDDuRO19U/s1600/macy1.jpg" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tS07EjPyFqY/UGsQyXktb4I/AAAAAAAABuM/AKRDDuRO19U/s1600/macy1.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tS07EjPyFqY/UGsQyXktb4I/AAAAAAAABuM/AKRDDuRO19U/s640/macy1.jpg" width="640" height="426" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tS07EjPyFqY/UGsQyXktb4I/AAAAAAAABuM/AKRDDuRO19U/s640/macy1.jpg"></a></div> <br> After avidly watching "So You Think You Can Dance" for the past 9 seasons from the comfort of my couch, I decided it was about time to get myself moving. I used to be a dancer. (Well, if I'm being honest, I've always been more of a "singer who moves reasonably well") And being further inspired by a story I'd heard about a mom who taught herself to tap dance by watching YouTube videos, I looked around on YouTube, and I found a Zumba routine to try. How hard could it be?<br> <br> Hard. REALLY hard.<br> <br> You see, in my imagination, I'm a 19-year-old taking dance classes every day at BYU. I watched the Zumba routine before trying it and thought I would be rocking that routine the first time through.<br> In reality, I'm a 38-year-old mom of two who hasn't danced in years and really needs to lose the rest of the baby weight. (From the first baby!) And I definitely did NOT rock it. And in the midst of my muscles screaming at me, my five-year-old said, "Mom, are you trying to do that dance on the TV? It doesn't look the same..."<br> <br> That's the trouble with things like Zumba. (And getting enough sleep, and eating apples instead of cookies, and running, and reading your scriptures every single day…) In your head, you think it's going to be easy, but it's not. It’s hard. You know you need to do it. You want to do it. You know it will be easier if you keep doing it for enough days that it becomes a habit. But it's just SO HARD at first. <br> <br> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Oic0xOw7KIU/UGsRnTtuAbI/AAAAAAAABuU/gGf65884a1Y/s1600/macy2.jpg" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Oic0xOw7KIU/UGsRnTtuAbI/AAAAAAAABuU/gGf65884a1Y/s1600/macy2.jpg" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Oic0xOw7KIU/UGsRnTtuAbI/AAAAAAAABuU/gGf65884a1Y/s320/macy2.jpg" width="320" height="213" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Oic0xOw7KIU/UGsRnTtuAbI/AAAAAAAABuU/gGf65884a1Y/s320/macy2.jpg"></a>As a self-proclaimed, self-help book junkie (I’m very good at learning all the things I should be doing to make myself better – just not as good at doing them), I recently read a book called “The Happiness Project.” Over the course of a year, the author tried to determine which suggestions from happiness experts (De-clutter your closet! Exercise daily!) would make her happy. The book was fascinating and I had some great takeaways, but the most intriguing idea was that instead of taking advice from the happiness “experts” as the final authority - she created resolutions to DO those things for a period of time and see what worked for her.</div> <br> I’d heard that idea before. One of my favorite Seminary mastery scriptures was John 7:17 – you’ve got to take action to know if a doctrine of the gospel is true. You have to DO the doctrine. And while testing happiness ideas isn’t the same thing as gaining a testimony of fasting, the principle is the same – if you want to KNOW something, you need to DO something. <br> <br> I thought about starting a happiness project of my own, but then I had a different idea: Why not a “seek the good project?” I could come up with a specific resolution I could keep for two weeks – something designed to help me seek the good in my life – and at the end of the two weeks, I can return here and report what I learned and then try something new. <br> <br> And I knew just where to start.<br> <br> After writing about it last week, I’ve been thinking a lot about my journal and its neglected pages. Then, I remembered a General Conference talk from Elder Eyring about the journal he keeps for his family. He tells of how he began keeping this journal after witnessing his father-in-law providing service for their family. Elder Eyring received a prompting to write about this act of service in his journal. As he did, he understood that he was “<em>supposed to record for my children to read, someday in the future, how I had seen the hand of God blessing our family</em>.”<br> <br> Elder Eyring then shared the process he went through as he started journaling each day:<br> <br> “<em>I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?” As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done</em>.”<br> <br> I’ve kept a gratitude journal before (back when Oprah told me that was what I should do), but this type of journaling seemed different. This type of journaling would be a structured way for me to seek out, recognize and record the ways the Lord blesses my family and I daily. A way to seek the good and write it down so I’ll remember. The perfect start for my…. <br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cYdLFbR4ck0/UGsRwaEvZJI/AAAAAAAABuc/gYuRifdnd-0/s1600/SeekTheGoodLogo-3.png" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cYdLFbR4ck0/UGsRwaEvZJI/AAAAAAAABuc/gYuRifdnd-0/s1600/SeekTheGoodLogo-3.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cYdLFbR4ck0/UGsRwaEvZJI/AAAAAAAABuc/gYuRifdnd-0/s1600/SeekTheGoodLogo-3.png" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cYdLFbR4ck0/UGsRwaEvZJI/AAAAAAAABuc/gYuRifdnd-0/s1600/SeekTheGoodLogo-3.png"></a></div> <br>I’d love for you to join in with me. You can keep a “seek the good” journal with me, or choose another project to help you seek the good. Share your plans below to inspire others, and check back here next week so we can share what we are learning.<br> <br> And now, if you’ll excuse me, those Zumba routines won’t dance themselves.<br> <br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UHMGPn0nyKg/UGsR52IUk3I/AAAAAAAABuk/BDz5VkY-etY/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UHMGPn0nyKg/UGsR52IUk3I/AAAAAAAABuk/BDz5VkY-etY/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UHMGPn0nyKg/UGsR52IUk3I/AAAAAAAABuk/BDz5VkY-etY/s200/2011Headshot_001ed.png" width="130" height="200" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UHMGPn0nyKg/UGsR52IUk3I/AAAAAAAABuk/BDz5VkY-etY/s200/2011Headshot_001ed.png"></a></div> <br><em>Macy Robison is a performer, photographer, and mom. She lives with her husband and two kids in Austin, Texas. When she isn’t boogying down with her Zumba video game, she aspires to be found running the streets of Austin, training for the half marathon her brother is making her run in January or on her elliptical watching reruns of “Downton Abbey.” She also hopes to play tennis again someday.</em> <br> <br> {DIY} A Little Box of Love! http://www.tofw.com/DIY-Little-Box-Love-How-Does-She/s/689 http://www.tofw.com/DIY-Little-Box-Love-How-Does-She/s/689 Wed, 26 Sep 2012 00:00:00 -0600 <div> by How Does She <br /> </div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Life isn't easy, is it? It is filled with ups and downs, times of peace and joy, and times of turmoil and strife. While these difficult times are wonderful tools for growth and progression, they can certainly be wearisome and hard on us emotionally. Let me take you back to our household...four years ago.</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Our family had relocated to another Province - 8 hours away from our nearest family members. At the time, my husband had been feeling very BUSY and very CRAZY with going back to school, working full-time, serving in a demanding church calling as Young Men's President in our ward, and going above and beyond with his responsibilities in the home. I watched how TIRED he was (which certainly didn't happen with him very often) and how WEARY he was - mentally, physically, and otherwise. Can any of you relate? Christmas was coming and I knew that I needed to find a gift that would be meaningful, and would help him see himself the way those who love him see him. Oh, and this gift couldn't cost a lot. Yes, my heart was filled with love for him, but my wallet was as empty as could be.</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> This is what I came up with.</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> A BOX OF LOVE!</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/photo-1.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/photo-1.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-31331" title="photo 1" alt="" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/photo-1.jpg" width="600" height="400" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/photo-1.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> I found a cute little wooden box that I mod podged with photos of some of the people who loved him most. Then, I asked several family members and friends to write him short (or long) notes of encouragement and love. This was done through email, on little note cards, or with letters sent via snail mail. Technology was certainly my friend! Soon the letters and notes started piling in! Some were long letters filled with happy memories and anecdotes. Others were short little notes of encouragement and love. He even received a wonderful letter from the church's General Young Men's President who related similar experiences in his life, and a lot of uplifting words to help him through. It was so special!</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/photo-2.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/photo-2.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-31332" title="photo 2" alt="" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/photo-2.jpg" width="600" height="400" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/photo-2.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Christmas morning came, and while the commotion of gift opening was happening all around him, he sat quietly in the corner - reading letter after letter, note after note. His eyes filled with tears as he felt surrounded by the love of his family and friends, though they were physically far away. It was such a wonderful morning!</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/photo-3.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/photo-3.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-31334" title="photo 3" alt="" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/photo-3.jpg" width="266" height="400" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/photo-3.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Fast forward 4 years - he still loves to occasionally open that box of love and re-read those notes and letters. In those moments when he is feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, tired, or discouraged - that simple little box is more precious than gold. The most meaningful gifts come from the heart, not the pocket book.</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/photo-4.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/photo-4.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-31335" title="photo 4" alt="" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/photo-4.jpg" width="600" height="400" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/photo-4.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> This gift idea will work for so many other occasions, as well. Think of birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, baptisms, etc! Here is one that I created for my daughter's baptism day:</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/Photo-5.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/Photo-5.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-31336" title="Photo 5" alt="" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/Photo-5.jpg" width="600" height="400" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/Photo-5.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/Photo-6-copy.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/Photo-6-copy.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-31337" title="Photo 6 copy" alt="" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/Photo-6-copy.jpg" width="500" height="750" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/Photo-6-copy.jpg"></a></div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> Pop by <a title="HowDoesShe Box Of Love" href="http://wp.me/pVexY-82r" target="_blank" _mce_href="http://wp.me/pVexY-82r">HowDoesShe.com </a>to find out how to create a "Box of Love" (like the one above), to see what I included in it, and for a FREE "Why I Love You..." card download!</div> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/photo-7.jpg" _mce_href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/photo-7.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-31338" title="photo 7" alt="" src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/photo-7.jpg" width="600" height="464" _mce_src="http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/photo-7.jpg"></a></div> Hide and Seek http://www.tofw.com/Hide-Seek-Macy-Robison/s/690 http://www.tofw.com/Hide-Seek-Macy-Robison/s/690 Tue, 25 Sep 2012 00:00:00 -0600 <div> </div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FWZh8JUHBLQ/UGDhH4-JIiI/AAAAAAAABpk/kLia9Aoss7o/s1600/hideseek3.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FWZh8JUHBLQ/UGDhH4-JIiI/AAAAAAAABpk/kLia9Aoss7o/s1600/hideseek3.png"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FWZh8JUHBLQ/UGDhH4-JIiI/AAAAAAAABpk/kLia9Aoss7o/s640/hideseek3.png" width="640" height="424" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FWZh8JUHBLQ/UGDhH4-JIiI/AAAAAAAABpk/kLia9Aoss7o/s640/hideseek3.png"></a></div> <br> “Mommy? Do you want to play hide and seek?”<br> <br> My son had just started preschool, and had learned to play hide and seek on the playground. He was coming home every day and asking me to play. I was 8 months pregnant, and not so easy to conceal. But I finally told him that if he wanted to go hide, I would come find him.<br> <br> I turned my back and started counting. “...7-8-9-10…ready or not! Here I come!”<br> <br> As I turned back around to start looking for him, he popped up out of his hiding place, and shouted, “Here I am!”<br> <br> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> After a brief rundown of the concept that he needed to hide so that it was more difficult for me to find him, we tried again and had the same results. As soon as I began my search, he popped up and told me where he was. </div> <br> <a style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; float: right;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JK78nrgLW6k/UGDhLBFgInI/AAAAAAAABp0/SshH-hPsEAE/s1600/hideseek2.png" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JK78nrgLW6k/UGDhLBFgInI/AAAAAAAABp0/SshH-hPsEAE/s1600/hideseek2.png"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JK78nrgLW6k/UGDhLBFgInI/AAAAAAAABp0/SshH-hPsEAE/s320/hideseek2.png" width="320" height="212" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JK78nrgLW6k/UGDhLBFgInI/AAAAAAAABp0/SshH-hPsEAE/s320/hideseek2.png"></a>The weeks went by, and he became a little savvier in his gameplay. He didn’t jump up and tell me where he was right away, but would stay hidden and shout out hints from his hiding place. (“Mom! I’m behind the couch!” or “Mom! I’m in the dining room!”) No amount of conversation could convince him to play differently. He was so anxious to be found.<br> <br> As I’ve contemplated the 2012 Time Out for Women theme, “Seek the Good,” I’ve thought of those hide and seek games with my son and the times in my life when I’ve really had a need to seek the good. Ironically, the sad and difficult times in my life have been those times when it was the easiest to seek and find the good. When my mom suddenly passed away after a routine surgical procedure. When my seven-year, emotionally difficult marriage ended. When I was single, divorced and navigating the world of dating. When it seemed that I was going to have to come to terms with how to live my life alone. At those times it seemed that if I made the tiniest effort to seek the good, it would pop out to brighten my day just like my son’s little face during our hide and seek games. I needed the Lord on a minute-by-minute basis during those times, and it was such a blessing to see His hand in my life and record the things I was learning in my journals as I was going through those difficult times.<br> <br> As I was flying home from performing at a TOFW event recently, I was reading in my current journal. I was shocked to discover that this journal – not even halfway filled – contains entries that go back six years. I’ve been known to fill a journal in six months, and I’ve been recording in this current journal for SIX YEARS?<br> <br> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-WOB6e8z0DAo/UGDhJR23R9I/AAAAAAAABps/yp1FEJdfXe4/s1600/hideseek1.png" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-WOB6e8z0DAo/UGDhJR23R9I/AAAAAAAABps/yp1FEJdfXe4/s1600/hideseek1.png"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-WOB6e8z0DAo/UGDhJR23R9I/AAAAAAAABps/yp1FEJdfXe4/s320/hideseek1.png" width="320" height="212" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-WOB6e8z0DAo/UGDhJR23R9I/AAAAAAAABps/yp1FEJdfXe4/s320/hideseek1.png"></a>This really bothers me.&nbsp; I know that I’m at a time in my life when I am very blessed. My family is doing well, things are going smoothly, I’m able to participate in so many things I enjoy…but shouldn’t I be continuing to seek for more good in my life? </div> <br> Why is it that I am so good at seeking the good when things are challenging in my life, but when things are going well for me, I kick back and relax? Am I the only one who does this? How do I seek the good when I’m surrounded by good? How do you motivate yourself to seek the good when things are good?<br> <br> I’m hoping that as I write here over the next couple months that we can learn from each other and discover — together — how to seek the good when things are good and when life is hard. It’s time for a new kind of hide-and-seek game. Will you play along? <br> <br> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="clear: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em; float: left;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WdhYoJCUL1w/UGDiAz7yd7I/AAAAAAAABp8/3xDU8t1rjgI/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png" _mce_style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WdhYoJCUL1w/UGDiAz7yd7I/AAAAAAAABp8/3xDU8t1rjgI/s1600/2011Headshot_001ed.png"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WdhYoJCUL1w/UGDiAz7yd7I/AAAAAAAABp8/3xDU8t1rjgI/s200/2011Headshot_001ed.png" width="130" height="200" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WdhYoJCUL1w/UGDiAz7yd7I/AAAAAAAABp8/3xDU8t1rjgI/s200/2011Headshot_001ed.png"></a></div> <em>Macy Robison is a performer, photographer, and mom. She lives with her husband and two kids in Austin, Texas. Though not a hide-and-seek expert, she is quite good at playing freeze tag and kick-the-can. She loves donuts, cookies and Graeter’s Raspberry Chip ice cream. </em> {DIY} Braided Ponytail Tutorial http://www.tofw.com/DIY-Braided-Ponytail-Tutorial-Abby-My-Yellow-Sandbox/s/686 http://www.tofw.com/DIY-Braided-Ponytail-Tutorial-Abby-My-Yellow-Sandbox/s/686 Thu, 20 Sep 2012 00:47:00 -0600 <div> by Abby from My Yellow Sandbox <br /> </div> <div style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr" _mce_style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: inherit; border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse; color: #222222; font-family: inherit;">Hello there Time Out For Women lovers! What a fun experience to be posting here today! &nbsp;</span> <span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse; color: #222222;"> </span> <span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse; color: #222222;">My name is Abby- I'm the crazy blonde behind the blog <a href="http://www.myyellowsandboxblog.com/" _mce_href="http://www.myyellowsandboxblog.com/">My Yellow Sandbox</a>. &nbsp;</span></span> <span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse; color: #222222;"> </span> </span> <br> </div><div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--W4Mofp3cwg/UEgsVTXK9CI/AAAAAAAAFhU/bqL-xDsVDwg/s1600/Screen+shot+2012-09-05+at+10.53.14+PM.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--W4Mofp3cwg/UEgsVTXK9CI/AAAAAAAAFhU/bqL-xDsVDwg/s1600/Screen+shot+2012-09-05+at+10.53.14+PM.png" imageanchor="1"><span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--W4Mofp3cwg/UEgsVTXK9CI/AAAAAAAAFhU/bqL-xDsVDwg/s320/Screen+shot+2012-09-05+at+10.53.14+PM.png" width="230" height="320" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--W4Mofp3cwg/UEgsVTXK9CI/AAAAAAAAFhU/bqL-xDsVDwg/s320/Screen+shot+2012-09-05+at+10.53.14+PM.png"></span></a></div><div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse; color: #222222;"> </span> </span></div><div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse; color: #222222;">I post hairstyles, beauty tips, crafts, my favorite pins, and stories about my life as a mother of two.</span></span> <span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse; color: #222222;"> </span> <span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="color: #222222;"><span style="border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse;">Speaking of being a mother- I'm pretty sure it's just about the hardest job in the entire world. &nbsp;Boston wakes me up at 7:00 am. &nbsp;He's naked. &nbsp;Wants me to help him put on a shirt. &nbsp;Who knows when he woke up or what he's been doing for the past who knows how long! &nbsp;I peel my eyes open, so tired from being up with the baby all night, and help him find the hole for his head. &nbsp;The little diva in the second bedroom has started talking and I slowly go in to get her. &nbsp;Meanwhile, Boston has gotten all his legos out and scattered them across the floor. &nbsp;And so it begins. &nbsp;Breakfast needs to be made, clothes need to be washed, floors need to be vacuumed and babies need to stay happy and entertained all day long. &nbsp;I never know if I'll actually have time to shower! &nbsp;It's definitely not a glamorous job, but at the end of a long day I have two beautiful children who are happy and who love me like crazy. &nbsp;</span></span></span> <span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="color: #222222;"><span style="border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse;"> </span></span> </span> <br> </div><div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EtfquRRJxJs/UEg1kHiHLmI/AAAAAAAAFjM/A4pRbAMs04M/s1600/Screen+shot+2012-09-05+at+11.32.45+PM.png" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EtfquRRJxJs/UEg1kHiHLmI/AAAAAAAAFjM/A4pRbAMs04M/s1600/Screen+shot+2012-09-05+at+11.32.45+PM.png" imageanchor="1"><span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EtfquRRJxJs/UEg1kHiHLmI/AAAAAAAAFjM/A4pRbAMs04M/s640/Screen+shot+2012-09-05+at+11.32.45+PM.png" width="640" height="436" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EtfquRRJxJs/UEg1kHiHLmI/AAAAAAAAFjM/A4pRbAMs04M/s640/Screen+shot+2012-09-05+at+11.32.45+PM.png"></span></a></div><div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="color: #222222;"><span style="border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse;"> </span></span> </span> <br> </div><div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;">&nbsp;<span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse; color: #222222;">In the chaos that is motherhood, it's easy to forget who you are as a person. &nbsp;It's easy to forget those little things that make you happy. &nbsp;</span></span> <span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="color: #222222;"><span style="border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse;"> </span></span> <span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="color: #222222;"><span style="border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse;">It is important for me to get ready every now and then... to put on normal clothes and just feel like a regular person who doesn't really live in dirty sweat pants and a milk stained t shirt from college. &nbsp;</span></span></span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse; color: #222222;">Even though there is no where else I'd rather be than in the home I crave to&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse; color: #222222;">feel like I am more than a stay at home mom. &nbsp;Ya know? &nbsp;Because my hair was my best and cheapest accessory I decided to start doing it. &nbsp;I started my <a href="http://www.myyellowsandboxblog.com/p/30-hairstyles.html" _mce_href="http://www.myyellowsandboxblog.com/p/30-hairstyles.html">30 do's in 30 day's challenge</a>. &nbsp;4,000 followers and a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.myyellowsandboxblog.com/p/hairstyle-ebook.html" _mce_href="http://www.myyellowsandboxblog.com/p/hairstyle-ebook.html">book</a> later I feel like I am able to share and help women to feel better about themselves. &nbsp;To feel as pretty as they are. &nbsp;Hopefully. &nbsp;That is the goal anyway! &nbsp;Blogging keeps me busy doing something that I love and because I'm a happy person, I'm a better and happier mother. </span><br> &nbsp; <span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="color: #222222;"><span style="border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse;"> </span></span> </span> <br> </div><div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_ZcVrYxlZWI/UEgzAhMQIBI/AAAAAAAAFi0/sN3Xh3MD3AQ/s1600/Screen+shot+2012-08-10+at+10.17.27+PM.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_ZcVrYxlZWI/UEgzAhMQIBI/AAAAAAAAFi0/sN3Xh3MD3AQ/s1600/Screen+shot+2012-08-10+at+10.17.27+PM.jpg" imageanchor="1"><span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_ZcVrYxlZWI/UEgzAhMQIBI/AAAAAAAAFi0/sN3Xh3MD3AQ/s640/Screen+shot+2012-08-10+at+10.17.27+PM.jpg" width="640" height="490" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_ZcVrYxlZWI/UEgzAhMQIBI/AAAAAAAAFi0/sN3Xh3MD3AQ/s640/Screen+shot+2012-08-10+at+10.17.27+PM.jpg"></span></a></div><div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="color: #222222;"><span style="border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse;"> </span></span> </span> <br> </div><div style="margin: 0px; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"> <span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="color: #222222;"><span style="font-family: inherit; border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse; font-family: inherit;">Today's hairstyle is dedicated to the busy mom. &nbsp;It's quick, easy and out of your face.</span></span></div><div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> </div><div style="margin: 0px; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"> <span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="color: #222222;"><span style="font-family: inherit; border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse; font-family: inherit;">I call it the&nbsp;</span></span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse; color: #222222;">Braided Ponytail&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse; color: #222222;">AKA&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse; color: #222222;">Jillian Michaels Ponytail. &nbsp;I was inspired by the pony she sports on her ripped in 30 dvd's. &nbsp;They're great by the way! &nbsp;Ha, not that I have time to do them!! ha ha!!</span><span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="color: #222222;"><span style="border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse;"> </span></span> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FwUj_9HNmEA/UE_vTb1n92I/AAAAAAAAF0M/4BrKBYO3qTo/s1600/z.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FwUj_9HNmEA/UE_vTb1n92I/AAAAAAAAF0M/4BrKBYO3qTo/s1600/z.jpg" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FwUj_9HNmEA/UE_vTb1n92I/AAAAAAAAF0M/4BrKBYO3qTo/s640/z.jpg" width="640" height="426" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FwUj_9HNmEA/UE_vTb1n92I/AAAAAAAAF0M/4BrKBYO3qTo/s640/z.jpg"></a></span> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NDcuj_o1rWo/UE_vSnKKMsI/AAAAAAAAF0E/vhsZbIeSDas/s1600/ponytail+(1)+copy.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NDcuj_o1rWo/UE_vSnKKMsI/AAAAAAAAF0E/vhsZbIeSDas/s1600/ponytail+(1)+copy.jpg" imageanchor="1"><span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"></span></a></div><div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> </div><div style="margin: 0px; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5zz7k-l-kjA/UE_vRIiDesI/AAAAAAAAFz0/G9GSuCJgeUw/s1600/as+105-editfullres.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5zz7k-l-kjA/UE_vRIiDesI/AAAAAAAAFz0/G9GSuCJgeUw/s1600/as+105-editfullres.jpg" imageanchor="1"><span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5zz7k-l-kjA/UE_vRIiDesI/AAAAAAAAFz0/G9GSuCJgeUw/s640/as+105-editfullres.jpg" width="640" height="426" _mce_src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5zz7k-l-kjA/UE_vRIiDesI/AAAAAAAAFz0/G9GSuCJgeUw/s640/as+105-editfullres.jpg"></span></a></div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OVXUss2Oth4/UE_vSL7mbMI/AAAAAAAAFz8/u6QE5yRQoEU/s1600/b.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OVXUss2Oth4/UE_vSL7mbMI/AAAAAAAAFz8/u6QE5yRQoEU/s1600/b.jpg" imageanchor="1"><span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OVXUss2Oth4/UE_vSL7mbMI/AAAAAAAAFz8/u6QE5yRQoEU/s640/b.jpg" width="640" height="426" _mce_src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OVXUss2Oth4/UE_vSL7mbMI/AAAAAAAAFz8/u6QE5yRQoEU/s640/b.jpg"></span></a></div> </div><div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> </div><div style="margin: 0px; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"> <span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="color: #222222;"><span style="font-family: inherit; border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse; font-family: inherit;"> </span></span> <span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="color: #222222;"><span style="font-family: inherit; border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse; font-family: inherit;">I hope you enjoy this tutorial! &nbsp;If you wanna stop by <a href="http://www.myyellowsandboxblog.com/" _mce_href="http://www.myyellowsandboxblog.com/">my corner</a> of the internet sometime I'd love to have you!</span></span> <span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="color: #222222;"><span style="font-family: inherit; border-collapse: collapse;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="border-collapse: collapse; font-family: inherit;"> </span></span></div><div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> </div><div style="margin: 0px; text-align: center;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"> <span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><iframe height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/WwOwZnL8_yo?rel=0" frameBorder="0" width="420" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" _mce_src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/WwOwZnL8_yo?rel=0"></iframe></span> </div><div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> </div><div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sfbmGVZ0S6o/UEg2evgvGkI/AAAAAAAAFjU/nQgnioZtFVU/s1600/Screen+shot+2012-06-08+at+10.33.21+PM.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sfbmGVZ0S6o/UEg2evgvGkI/AAAAAAAAFjU/nQgnioZtFVU/s1600/Screen+shot+2012-06-08+at+10.33.21+PM.jpg" imageanchor="1"><span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"></span></a><br></div><div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"> </span> <span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"> </span> <a href="http://s1219.photobucket.com/albums/dd422/theyellowsandbox/?action=view&amp;current=Heartsignature-6.png" target="_blank" _mce_href="http://s1219.photobucket.com/albums/dd422/theyellowsandbox/?action=view&amp;current=Heartsignature-6.png"><span style="font-family: inherit;" class="Apple-style-span" _mce_style="font-family: inherit;"><img border="0" alt="Photobucket" src="http://i1219.photobucket.com/albums/dd422/theyellowsandbox/Heartsignature-6.png" _mce_src="http://i1219.photobucket.com/albums/dd422/theyellowsandbox/Heartsignature-6.png"></span></a></div> </div> <div style="text-align: left;" dir="ltr" _mce_style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"> <div style="text-align: center;" _mce_style="text-align: center;"> <div style="margin: 0px;" _mce_style="margin: 0px;"> Thanks to the wonderful Haylee over at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.loulabellephoto.blogspot.com/" _mce_href="http://www.loulabellephoto.blogspot.com/">Lou La Belle Photography</a>. &nbsp;She's a lifestyle photographer located in the Utah County area. &nbsp;If you're getting married, having a baby or just need some great pictures of yourself or your family check her out. &nbsp;She's beautiful and so are her pictures.</div> <div style="margin: 0px; text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center; margin: 0px;"> </div></div></div> Please Remember http://www.tofw.com/Please-Remember-Lisa-King/s/679 http://www.tofw.com/Please-Remember-Lisa-King/s/679 Tue, 18 Sep 2012 00:00:00 -0600 <div> </div> <div style="text-align: center; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> <a style="margin-right: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-poysX01HR1M/UE402XvNy2I/AAAAAAAABZo/Pnmqt9Ta1as/s1600/574564_10151379618544202_1171376223_n.jpg" _mce_style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-poysX01HR1M/UE402XvNy2I/AAAAAAAABZo/Pnmqt9Ta1as/s1600/574564_10151379618544202_1171376223_n.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-poysX01HR1M/UE402XvNy2I/AAAAAAAABZo/Pnmqt9Ta1as/s640/574564_10151379618544202_1171376223_n.jpg" width="640" height="480" _mce_src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-poysX01HR1M/UE402XvNy2I/AAAAAAAABZo/Pnmqt9Ta1as/s640/574564_10151379618544202_1171376223_n.jpg"></a></div> <br> <em>This is Lisa's last post for us here at tofw.com. A HUGE thank you to Lisa for sharing so much of her heart and life with us! We have laughed and cried and learned from Lisa and her courage and honesty. Here's to jumping in the waves today. </em><br> <em></em><br> The school football team that Aaron used to coach won the premiership flag and then went on to win the State Premiership Cup this last week. They wrote his name on their hands, wore black arm bands, and dedicated their win to him. <br> <br> I felt very emotional as a speech was made that mentioned Aaron and how he was supposed to coach the team this year. I sobbed when I received photos of the whole team standing around Aaron’s grave, singing the school song as they placed the flag at his grave. <br> <br> <div style="text-align: left; clear: both;" class="separator" _mce_style="clear: both; text-align: left;"> <a style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em; float: right;" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5xjotijfPhw/UE407U2uCHI/AAAAAAAABaA/iPbAHcYC0j8/s1600/P1090068+copy.jpg" _mce_style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;" imageanchor="1" _mce_href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5xjotijfPhw/UE407U2uCHI/AAAAAAAABaA/iPbAHcYC0j8/s1600/P1090068+copy.jpg"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5xjotijfPhw/UE407U2uCHI/AAAAAAAABaA/iPbAHcYC0j8/s320/P1090068+copy.jpg" width="320" height="239" _mce_src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5xjotijfPhw/UE407U2uCHI/AAAAAAAABaA/iPbAHcYC0j8/s320/P1090068+copy.jpg"></a>I was grateful for the boys who made a special effort to put their arms around me and say that they did it for Aaron. I was particularly aware-and grateful-that even though it has been seven months since Aaron passed, they still talk about and remember Aaron today. </div> <br> When things like that happen, it temporarily soothes my fear that Aaron and Noah will be forgotten.&nbsp; I’m scared that the world will forget that there were these two amazing people in it who touched so many lives just by being themselves.&nbsp; <br> <br> I’m scared that people will forget that Aaron was an awesome dad and husband and an amazing teacher who taught his students not only the curriculum, but important life skills.&nbsp; He taught them to believe in themselves and do the best that they could in everything.&nbsp; <br> <br> I’m scared that even my own boys’ memories will fade of their very special brother who taught them more in ten years than we ever would have i