Saturday, November 26, 2016

2017 Journaling Planner.

 In this digital world I am a girl who still likes to write things down, even though I use the calendar on my phone I LOVE seeing things printed and I REALLY LOVE crossing things of my to do list. So this year I designed a planner with a built in journal to help me do a little better next year at writing my memories down. Get your copy today before they are gone!

P.S. They make great Christmas gifts, please order by December 5th to be certain it will arrive on time!

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Monday, February 29, 2016

Saying farewell...

So as I sit here mourning the coming final episode of Downton Abbey,  I began to think of all the life lessons that have been taught by these wonderfully flawed characters.  As I ponder each character those still "living" and the who have "gone on", I decided that I needed to share my thoughts. I have a sneaky suspicion that I may not be the only one who is sad to see them go, and if I share my thoughts maybe you will share yours with me. Let me preface that most of these were really hard to narrow down to just one lesson I gained from watching their character blossom and grow, but I tried to pick the most important ones!

Dowager countess (Granny)-- Grandmothers are important, we need to seek out their advice for they have decades of experience to rely upon.

Lord Grantham(Robert)- No matter how many mistakes our children make or how much they try our patience, the most important thing we must do is love and encourage them along their chosen path.

Lady Cora- It is important to admit when you are wrong, then kindly and generously try to make it better.

Lady Mary- We all make mistakes and do petty things, but it's never too late to be a little kinder and to try to make things right.

Lady Edith- No matter how many times life pushes you down and steps on you--keep going something good is bound to come along.

Lady Cybil- Being kind will never go out of style.

Matthew- Sometimes life takes us in an entirely new direction and it can bring us so much more joy and love than our original plan--if we let it. (Couldn't resist adding---Love is blind.)

Mrs. Isobel Crawley- We must stand up for what we believe in, but we can do it with politeness and respect.

Tom- Sometimes you have to give people a chance to prove you wrong, it may surprise you that you grow to love and care for them a great deal.

Anna- Sometimes bad things happen to good people, but in the end good things will come to those who chose to see the good in others.

Mr. Bates- We must never, ever give up, because even when things seem the bleakest hope can pull us through to a brighter future.

Mr. Moseley- Dreams can come true when you least expect it and you're never too old to try something new.

Mrs. Patmore-
Some of the best lessons in life are taught in the kitchen, it truly is the heart of the home.

Mrs.Hughes- You are never too old to find love.

Daisy- When we choose to let go of jealousy and bitter feelings it makes room for good things to happen.

Mr. Carson- No matter how much we dislike change it is inevitable, so we must embrace it and keep moving forward.

Mr. Barrow- It is important to be kind to those that are the hardest to love, because it is they who most often need it the most

Ms. Baxter- To serve and care about others can bring us out of our darkest places into the light.

Oh, my Downton friends how I will miss you, but thank you for all these lessons learned and so many others that remain unwritten.

Please leave your favorite life lesson in the comments below!
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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Cuff & Bow Cut-off Tutorial!

So last June I took the stack of worn out jeans in my daughters closet and decided to turn them into summer shorts instead of throwing them away. I took a few pictures of the process and when I was done I posted them to my Facebook account to share the idea with friends! For the next several months I received continuous requests for a tutorial, I kept promising I would but it always got pushed to the bottom of my ever growing to do list.  However for this last week spring has been teasing me, and causing me to dream of ditching the boots and jeans for some shorts and flip flops. So I went in search of these shorts only to remember that my daughter had long since grown out of them and we had given away to her younger cousin. BUT.... then I found one pair in her most current giveaway bag, YAY! After all that searching  I still decided it would be easier to just start over and make another pair--rather than take the old ones apart to show the steps. This time I made a wider band to try a different look. I like them both...which is your favorite?

Supplies Needed:
  • Sewing machine
  • Colorful fabric (1/3 yard for wide band---1/4 yard for narrower band)
  • Matching thread.
  • Old worn out jeans  (make sure they still fit the waist, my darling girl exaggerated how well hers fit and she grew out of them before the summer ended. Oh well...she wore them a few times now her cute cousin gets to enjoy them.) 
Let's Get Started!!
Step 1: Determine your inseam and mark a cutting line
Step 2: Cut off the pant leg
Step 3: Use the cut off portion to measure and mark the other leg so they are equal lengths. 

Step 4: Determine how wide you want your band. You should probably do this before you purchase fabric...but since I was using fabric from my stash it didn't matter.

Step 5: Determine your strip length. As you can see my pant leg is 6.5 inches wide (I rounded up to 7 just to be safe)  plus I need 6 inches of extra length for each side (6 for front tie and 6 for the back tie). 7x2=14+12=26 (this equation works good for the narrow ties)
I made my strips  28 inches long by 6 inches wide. (I added the extra inches to the length because my ties are wider and I wanted to account for the added bulk)

Step 6: Cut 2 strips to your desired length and width. Mine were 6"x28"
Step 7: Fold them lengthwise with right sides together.


Step 8: Trim the end of the strips at an angle see the picture above. This is what helps your tie to look like a bow.
Step 9: Pin the edges and sew the strip. Be certain to leave an opening 6 inches wide in the middle of the strip. (See where my hand is stretched out in the above picture. Leave that area open for turning the strip.
Step 10: After sewing trim the corners to reduce bulk, just be careful to get close but not too close!

Step 11: Now you are going to turn your strips right side out. I think a pencil is a great helper with this, the eraser grabs the fabric making it easier to  push it through and the pencil point(not too sharp) is great for helping push the corner out to get it to a nice crisp point. 

Now time to get the iron out and heat it up!
Step 12: Tucking the seams into the strip iron them nice and flat. The open seams will get stitched down when we sew them onto the jeans.

Step 13: Fold the strip in half (make sure the open seam is pointing up where you are pinning so it gets sewn closed) wrap the strip around the pant leg, be sure the equal extra lengths are at the outside edge of the jean. Start pinning on outside edge and work your way around the pant leg. There should be about and 1.5 inch area where you have not pinned because this will be left open to enable you to tie the knot.
Step 14: Topstitch all the way around the top of the strip. Leaving the 1.5 or 2 inch opening to enable tying the knot. I did not finish the jeans at all, I tried to keep this as simple as possible because my 10 year old daughter wanted to do most of the sewing. (That said we didn't have any problem with the jeans fraying much at all.)

Now time to try them on!! 

 These ended up being almost a capri length which made me want to try some for me... I don't wear shorts much any more!

What do you think? If you try this tutorial out please comment and share your pictures so I can see all the cuteness!!

Sincerely, Angel

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I'm going to "Bee" very organized this year!

It's almost a new year! 
 YAY, I love the chance to start anew and try to set new goals. 

For weeks I have been struggling to find a calendar that really fits my needs, simple and concise, yet I want it to have all the important things to keep me organized. I absolutely love the calendar on my phone and use it daily for those wonderful auto reminders but I still love a visual paper plan.

Last year I used the much loved Mormon mom planner which is full of really awesome planning tools (you can find it here.) It may work awesome for you lots of people really LOVE it! However, it was just more than what I wanted. I loved the week at a glance section, but it was a little bulky and I really wish I could have hung it up in my kitchen!

So I started searching again about a month ago to find an alternative and there was just NOTHING that came close, so I decided to put one of my own together. It will have a lot less of the bells and whistles.
  • It will be an 8.5 x 11 spiral bound two week at a glance calendar (11x17 when hung up).
  • A weekly journaling section to record memorable moments.
  • An uplifting quote to ponder each week.
  • Plus a checklist section to remind me of my every day goals. 
Don't forget my favorite part.... a little section on each calendar day where I can write down a dinner idea! 
I find that planning dinner's in advance is the number one thing that helps me keep sane at the end of a long day.
Here is an image of what it will look like..... I've nicknamed it my "Bee" the best mom calendar!
I am madly working on completing this project that I should have started a month or two ago, I hope to have it done and printed by next week. With all this time and effort I decided to offer the option for my friends and family to purchase a copy too. I've estimated the printing price to be about $22-25. It will be all in color and the cover will be laminated for durability.

Wish me luck...DO YOU WANT ONE too?!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Can I really change?

Being an imperfect human being is so frustrating sometimes! We take the time to work on ourselves and strive to be better and then we go and fall back into old habits and make the same mistakes we have been making for years even though we have been trying so hard to change.  
                                     Why do we do that? 

Marvin J. Ashton shared this timeless guidance on change…
“When a [favorite] plant became root bound and began to deteriorate, a young friend of ours decided to transplant it to a larger container. Carefully he lifted the greenery from its small pot and put it into its larger home, trying to disturb the roots and soil as little as possible. The novice gardener watched and waited. To his dismay, the plant still struggled. Our friend expressed his frustration to an experienced gardener who offered his services. When the plant was placed in the gardener’s hands, he turned the pot upside down, pulled out the plant, shook the soil from the roots, and clipped and pulled all the stragglers from the root system. Replacing the plant into the pot, he vigorously pushed the soil tightly around the plant. Soon the plant took on new life and grew.
How often in life do we set our own roots into the soil of life and become root bound? We may treat ourselves too gently and defy anyone to disturb the soil or trim back our root system. Under these conditions we too must struggle to make progress. Oh, change is hard! Change can be rough….

C. S. Lewis indicated there is often pain in change when he wrote of God’s expectations for His children: “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace” (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, New York: MacMillan Co., 1960, p. 160)….

First, we must understand the need for change. An unexamined life is not worth living…. The recognition of the need to change has to be a greater force than the luxury of staying the same.

Second, the facts must be authentic. We need to know how, what, where, and why to change. The gospel of Jesus Christ can help us set short-term, intermediate, and long-term goals by teaching us who we are, where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. With this knowledge, a person will have greater strength to improve.

Third, a system for change must be established. It was Emerson who said, A man who sits “on the cushion of advantages, goes to sleep. When he is pushed, tormented, defeated, he has been put on his wits, … [learns] moderation and real skill” (“Compensation,” The Complete Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, New York: Wm. H. Wise & Co., 1929, p. 161).
Our change must be planned and orderly. After our system for change is established, it must be followed through to completion, even though it may disturb our very root system.

Fourth, we must be totally committed to our plan for change. A Chinese proverb says, “Great souls have wills; feeble souls have only wishes.” Unless we have the will to improve, all the other steps to change will be wasted. This last step separates the winners from the losers.

To read his entire talk (I highly recommend it)  CLICK HERE.

I believe the key reason we fall back into old ways and continue to make mistakes is because we lack a plan. I know this is why I am failing at many of my goals, because I haven’t formed a true plan on how I want to accomplish them. So what is that they say about a goal that is not written down? That it is simply a dream!

Let us make a lasting change when necessary by following these steps:
      1.    Determine why we need to change.   
      2.    Write down how we plan to change. 
      3.    Move forward with the plan, even if it causes us to change more than our original plan. 
      4.    Find things that give you the will to keep going when the going gets hard!
Here’s an example from my life:
Currently I am working on a goal that maybe some of you could relate to,  I am striving to be more positive.  Recently I have been much more focused on the negative than the good in my life. As a wife, mom, & daughter I feel stretched a little thin somedays. On those days I’ve been known to look around at the undone chores, pile of backpacks & shoes by the front door, dinner yet to be decided on-- let alone made. It can make me feel like the walls are closing in on me, and I say “What is wrong with me? Why don’t I have it together like So&So does?”

 Well here’s my plan to change…

Step 1:
I need to change my thinking because it is not helpful or conducive to my main goal of a peaceful and happy home. I also want my family to notice the good around us, how will they learn to do that if I only notice the bad.

Step 2:
My plan to change: When I start to entertain a negative thought I actively look for a way to twist it into a positive thought.
(For example instead of seeing the pile of shoes next to the door I can thank my kids for not tracking dirt into the house as I gently remind them to move them to their appropriate location. )

Step 3:
Somedays I find that I start to justify my negative thoughts, this is when I ask myself the question is better to be “right” or to have a peaceful, happy home? Then hopefully I remember the best answer and keep trying to see the positive things.

Step 4:
Be patient with myself, but continue to do those things that help keep me moving forward, not backwards. (Scripture study, prayer, peaceful walks alone, etc.!)

What are you currently trying to change about yourself? Remember the first step is recognizing a need for change!