My 3 Monsters: 2014

Recent Posts


My New Holiday Dishes on Mod Podge Rocks Today . . . Really.

DIY Dinner Plates with Outdoor Mod Podge at /
So . . . this week I really am sharing my new DIY Christmas plates on Mod Podge Rocks.  One thing you may or may not know about me is that when I get an idea in my mind I will make it happen, come hell or high water.  That was the case this year when I decided I needed red plaid dinner plates to coordinate with my white embossed snowflake salad plates on our Christmas table.  Once I had the vision, nothing else was going to suffice, even though I couldn't find any red plaid plates in my price range.  No worries!  I just decided to make my own with clear glass plates {$1.50 each at Walmart}, some fabric, and Outdoor Mod Podge.  I'm sharing the full tutorial over at Mod Podge Rocks today, which is, like, a blogging Christmas miracle for me.  I hope you'll stop by and check it out!! 

Plus, I'm debuting photos from my new-to-me camera, an early Christmas gift.   I'm so excited to figure this bad boy out.  {But, really, even a bad image from this camera beats a good one from the oldie.  Let's be honest.}

DIY Holiday Plates with Outdoor Mod Podge at /

Happy Holidays, friends!



My New DIY Holiday Dishes Today on Mod Podge Rocks

DIY Dinner Plates with Outdoor Mod Podge at /
Hi guys!  One thing you may or may not know about me is that when I get an idea in my mind I will make it happen, come hell or high water.  That was the case this year when I decided I needed red plaid dinner plates to coordinate with my white embossed snowflake salad plates on our Christmas table.  Once I had the vision, nothing else was going to suffice, even though I couldn't find any red plaid plates in my price range.  No worries!  I just decided to make my own with clear glass plates {$1.50 each at Walmart}, some fabric, and Outdoor Mod Podge.  I'm sharing the full tutorial over at Mod Podge Rocks today, which is, like, a blogging Christmas miracle for me.  I hope you'll stop by and check it out!! 

Geeze Louise, you guys! I am losing my ever-loving mind.  I've been burning the candle at both ends lately and got my weeks mixed up in my planner. You won't be seeing my new dishes until next Tuesday.  Well, except for the sneak peek you just got here, of course.  Come back next week, okie doke?  In the mean time, I have a wreath and a recipe that would make a perfect neighbor gift (with a free printable} to share with y'all.  I'm going to go get a little bit of sleep now. . .

DIY Holiday Plates with Outdoor Mod Podge at /

Have a great day, friends!



Guest Posting at Tatertots & Jello Today!

DIY carved antler art at Tatertots and Jello by /
Hi guys!  After spending the day yesterday dealing with a wicked stomach bug going around my elementary school and getting splattered in the face with vomit {yeah, you read that right}, I am super excited to be sharing a pretty wintery craft project over at Tatertots & Jello today as part of Jen's Happy Holidays series.  I'm telling you, this -- this here blogging and the making of the whatnots -- are what keep me sane. 

This project was extra fun for me because, duh, it was for Tatertots & Jello, my most favorite creative blog. Plus, it is something my 14-year-old son was excited to work on with me.  I drew out the design and he helped me carve it out with a Dremel and stain the wood.  I never imagined my boys would want to share in this whole craft blog experience, so it was sweet time we spent together.  Hop on over to see how we rocked it out!  It's my favorite new Christmas decoration.

DIY carved antler art at Tatertots and Jello by /

Have a wonderful, puke-free day, my friends!



Holiday Savings and Free Printable Gift Tags!

Hi guys!  It's starting to really feel like Christmas around our home.  The tree is up and decked out.  The portrait of Santa Claus has taken it's usual place on the living room wall.  Our Christmas cards arrived from the printer yesterday and the "Sparking Berry Garland" wax is amelt in the warmer.  {We simply overlook the fact that temps are still in the mid-80's every day.}  As much as I love the decorations, another tell-tale sign that the holidays are here is my return to ONLINE SHOPPING!!!  It is a pretty well established fact that my "love language" is gifts.  It brings me unparallelled joy to really think about the people that I love so much and find just the right things for each of them.  If I can do all that in the glow of my pretty Christmas tree while wearing my jammies, so much the better!

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Guest Posting Today at Skip to my Lou & an AMAZING Giveaway!

Today I’m over at Skip to My Lou as part of the Bake Craft Sew & Crochet Along. I am sharing a wonderful sewn gift idea perfect for holiday gift giving. In fact, you won’t want to miss all the handmade gift ideas! I have joined over 100 bloggers to share some amazing homemade gift ideas……..AND I get to be part of an amazing sewing giveaway too. Keep reading…

sewing giveaway

This is one AMAZING giveaway! She is a beauty and her name is Rachel.
Rachel Baby Lock Sewing Machine

One lucky winner will receive…

this amazing Baby Lock Sewing Machine ($799 Value)

Ready to take your sewing to the next level? The Baby Lock Rachel is the star of any sewing class, and she's here to help you. This computerized sewing machine is equipped with 50 stitches and push-button features to make every project easier. The value is $799. Click here for more details.
Simply wait for RaffleCopter to load and enter there!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Holidays, friends!!



Free Holiday Card Template on Craftaholics Anonymous

Free Christmas Card template
Hi guys!!I am super excited to be sharing this fun holiday card template over at Craftaholics Anonymous this week.  {Friends and family, forget you saw this until it arrives in the mail in a few weeks, mmmmkay?}  This year rather than get family portraits taken, I scoured the family members' Instagram feeds for fun photos.  I love how the card turned out because it is full of fun memories -- Sis behind the wheel of the car {yikes!}, mom's first ridiculous selfie {double yikes!}, the epic Cultural Celebration our kids participated in -- good stuff!  All you have to do is grab your favorite photos from Instagram and drop them into the template -- easy cheesy.  Head over to Craftaholics Anonymous for the downloads and all the details.

Have a great weekend!



Chiquita Banana and Pear Sauce Spice Bread

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Chiquita Banana. All opinions are 100% mine.

Hi guys! One of my favorite comfort foods in the whole world is banana bread. I mean, not to toot my own horn, but I did win a prize in the New Mexico State Fair for my mom's my banana bread when I was a kid, so . . . toot,toot. Aaaanyway . . . I love banana bread. So when I found out that there was another way I could try to win a prize for cooking with bananas, I was all in. The Chiquita Cooking Lab Recipe Contest sounds like so much fun and you can enter, too!

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Gratitude Chalk Art & a Free Printable Version

Thanksgiving Chalk Art at /
Hi guys!  My pretty white chalkboard has been sitting empty on the wall for far too long so I decided to play with a fun new font I acquired recently to create a design I could transfer onto it.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year -- it's nice to make a conscious effort to count your blessings sometimes.  When I saw this saying on Instagram a little while ago, I knew I had a winner.  For some reason it just really struck a chord with me.  I have learned over the past few years that gratitude really does beget happiness.  Unfortunately I have also learned {the hard way} that nothing kills happiness faster than feeling like life has short-changed you.  It's impossible to be resentful and happy at the same time.  It just is!

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Sweet & Spicy Chili with the World's Best Corn Muffins

Sweet and Spicy Chili with Cake Mix Corn Muffins at /
Hi guys!  Today I am going to share one of my kids' favorite meals with you -- chili and cornbread.  I'm really proud of myself for making up my own chili recipe on the fly one day years ago. It was born out of procrastination and a lack of desire to run to the store. I needed to take chili to a church square dance & chili dinner. All of my recipes required "special" ingredients that I don't just keep around so I scrounged in my pantry to see what I could dump in my crock pot. It's nothing fancy, but it has become our family's favorite chili.

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Pretty Little Pot Holders

Hi guys!  One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how long I am willing to live with things that I hate in my home.  Some things are too expensive to tackle right now, so I have had to make peace with those for the time being.  I'm talking about the little things, though, like hot pads. They are not super expensive to replace.  Nor are they hard to make, and yet I have continued to use the same old, stained hot pads that I have used for the past . . . LOT of years.  The ones that don't match my current decor {not sure if they ever did match any decor, ever}, have burn marks from that time I got a little too close to the heating element, and are starting to unravel in one corner.  Sure, we've had a lot of dinner making, treat baking adventures together, those hot pads and I, but I'm not emotionally attached to them.  It was time for them to hit the road!  Then I found the perfect fabric the other day -- it had all the colors I want to bring into the room in a pretty floral pattern -- and it gave me the push I needed.  To make new pot holders.  Yes, this is my life . . .

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Craft Fail Book Review

Hi guys!  Did I ever tell you about that one time one of my ideas was almost in a book?  

No?  Well it's true.  My chore chart printable was in the running to be included in the new book, Craft Fail, by Heather Mann.  Can you believe that?! It didn't make the cut, but that will forever be this little blog's nearest claim to fame.  You've all seen the Craft Fail website, right?  It's a hilarious showcase of gorgeous things people saw online {usually on Pinterest} and tried -- with varying degrees of success -- to re-create themselves.  Heather's cool sense of humor and positive attitude keep the vibe uplifting and fun, rather than snarky and mean.

My little chore chart was supposed to be the inspiration project for someone else's funny interpretation, but I've had my share of REAL craft fails in my day.  You know what I'm talking about, right?  The beautiful "whatever-it-is" you see on Pinterest and try to recreate without reading the instructions all the way through . . .or at all.  The intricate braided hairstyle . . . or bow on a package . . . or baking technique . . . or whatever.  That skill that took the person who posted it years to perfect, and yet we all think will be so simple to teach ourselves in an afternoon.  Craft Fail celebrates that can-do, or at least can-try, attitude!

The best thing about Craft Fail is that it is "a celebration of the creative process", as Heather describes it in the introduction.  As a full-blown perfectionist, I can relate to the desire to do only what I'm good at and steer clear of things that might make me look like -- Heaven forbid! -- I don't know what I'm doing.  I can't tell you how many projects I have attempted that have not made it onto the pages of this blog.  I fail at least as often as I succeed!  

Craft Fail is like a little self-help book for me, giving me permission to just try things. And then laugh at myself when I'm not great at them.  Because we can't all be great at everything all of the time.  We can't!  In the online world of crafting, it's easy to get overwhelmed looking at hundreds of blogs with their beautiful "glamour shots" of finished projects every day. It's easy to feel like you are drowning in everybody's social media perfection.   Craft Fail is a nice reminder to laugh at yourself and never stop trying something new.  

Happy Crafting, friends!



I was given a copy of Heather Mann's book, Craft Fail, from Workman Publishing to read and review.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.


DIY Fabric Scrap Garland on Craftaholics Anonymous

Hi guys!  Are any of y'all fabric scrap hoarders like me?  When I but pretty fabric for a project it pains me to no end to throw the little leftover pieces away -- especially knowing how many cool things there are that can be made with them.  I spent my Fall Break a couple of weeks ago painting the interior of my living room, dining room, and kitchen white.  I LOVE IT, but now I feel an urge to bring in some color via accessories bright, fun accessories.  I'm super glad I have all my scrap stash now!  Head on over to Craftaholics Anonymous to see how I made this cute garland for my chalkboard.  Coming soon: a new chalkboard design with a {free!} printable version for those of you who prefer to print instead of draw.

Have a great day, friends!



Halloween Food Art with California Ripe Olives

Fun Halloween Food Ideas at /
Hi, guys!!  How many of you are busy getting ready for Halloween this week? We are scrambling to put finishing touches on costumes and come up with some freaky-fun food treats for Halloween get-togethers and office pot lucks this week. I took one of our family favorite dishes and gave it a "spookified" makeover for the occasion -- Spooky Seven-Layer Dip!  Seven-Layer Dip is super easy to make and, with minimal effort, you can give it a fun Halloween twist.

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Free Halloween Spell Book Printable

Free Halloween Spell Book Printable from /
Hi guys!  I am so excited to finally be pulling out my Halloween decorations.  This is my favorite time of year! I was born in October so Halloween has always felt like “my” holiday.  I don’t do creepy or gory, though.  We’re more a vintage-y fun Halloween kinda’ family.  This year I decided to make an old, worn spell book with the cutest winking witch on it to add to my other decor so I picked up an old book at the thrift store and gave it a little makeover.  It came together really quickly and I am loving how cute it turned out!

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DIY Spell Book Tutorial on Craftaholics Anonymous!

Halloween Spell Book by My 3 Monsters on Craftaholics Anonymous
Hi guys!  I am super excited about the project I am sharing over at Craftaholics Anonymous this month.  Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I love coming up with fun new decorations every year.  This year I took an old book from the thrift store and gave it a "magical" makeover.  Head over to Craftaholics Anonymous to get the free cover image printables and learn how to make your own.  

Happy Halloween Crafting!



Super Easy Book Page Garland

Super Easy Book Page Garland tutorial at /
Hi guys!  I adore the look of old books and book page art.  Over the years I have amassed quite a collection of old books from thrift stores that I like to use for little projects around my house.  Don’t worry — none of them are valuable, though I did find Gary Cooper’s autograph on a slip of paper inside an old book one time!  Most of my stash have already had their covers removed and used for other projects, so all that is left are the beautiful old, yellowing pages that are so perfect for vintage-style home decor projects like this one.  I have used these book page garlands all over the place lately — in my dining room, in my office at work, and to decorate for a vintage paper doll themed baby shower.  They are quick, easy, and inexpensive — the perfect crafting trifecta!

Super Easy Book Page Garland tutorial at /

You will need:

  • an old book that you don’t mind tearing a few pages out of
  • a printer
  • decorative paper {optional}
  • twill tape or ribbon
  • tape and glue stick
The first thing you will need to do is set up your computer to print on the book pages.  I have an older version of Microsoft Word that I like to use, but any word processing program will work.  Your screen shots may not look exactly like mine, but the process will be very similar.  Chose the book you would like to use and carefully tear out enough sheets to make your garland — one page per letter.  Often the margins will not be equal {which drives me crazy!} so I trim the edges a bit to make sure the text is centered on the page.  Measure the length and width of your book page.  In this example, my page is 3.75 inches wide by 6.5 inches long.

Super Easy Book Page Garland tutorial at /
Open up Microsoft Word and click on File in the upper left corner, then choose Page Set Up.  In the box that pops up. you can adjust the page margins and size.   The first tab in the box is for the margins, as shown above.  I like to set all the margins to .5 inches.  If you would like your letters to be printed lower on your page, simply adjust the top margin until it looks the way you want.

Super Easy Book Page Garland tutorial at /

The second tab in the box lets you adjust the paper size as shown above.  Your book page is most likely not one of the standard sizes listed, so choose “Custom Size” and enter your width and height in the boxes below.  Click OK and you’re all set.  The shape of the printable area should change on the screen to match your book pages, just like magic.  Choose your font and size then set it to center justification.  I almost always use a typewriter-inspired font like Linowrite at 200 pt. for my book page garlands, but any font will work.  Just make sure it is big and bold enough to stand out against the small text in the background.

When you go to change the size of your font, 200 will probably not be a choice in the drop down box.  I’m a little embarrassed to admit that for years I didn’t know you could make text any size you want by highlighting the box and typing in any number then hitting enter.  When I realized that, it was a major face-palm moment.  Duh!  Please tell me I’m not the only one. . .

Anyhoo . . . Type in the message you want on your garland — one letter per page — and print it out on your home printer.

Super Easy Book Page Garland tutorial at /
I wanted to give mine a little more interest by cutting the bottom into a shape, so I drew the design I wanted lightly in pencil on one of my pages.  You can get as creative as you want here.  I went for a simple point, using a ruler to keep everything straight and symmetrical.  You only have to draw it out on one page because you can use that first one as a template for all the others.  Use scissors or a paper cutter to cut out the design.

Super Easy Book Page Garland tutorial at /
 For this particular garland I decided to add a little color as well, by mounting the book pages onto decorative paper with a glue stick and cutting it out with a narrow border on each side.  This is completely optional since the garland also looks great using just the book pages.

Super Easy Book Page Garland tutorial at /
Once all of the letters are prepared, assemble the garland by folding the top of the page back about 1/2 inch over the twill tape or ribbon and taping it in the back with scotch or masking tape to secure it.  Be sure to leave 12-18 inches of twill tape or ribbon on each end of the garland for hanging or to tie a decorative bow.  I clipped this one up to my chicken wire memo board with mini clothespins and embellished it with tassels made out of cute cocktail napkins.

Super Easy Book Page Garland tutorial at /
That’s all there is to it. friends.  Book page garlands are so easy and inexpensive you can make a new one for any holiday or special event!

Have a great day!



Our Favorite Meals {FREE Printable Recipe Cards!}

 Hi guys!  A few weeks ago I shared my new recipe and meal planning binder that was filled with cute recipe cards I had made for all our favorite meals.  Today I am responding to several emails requesting that I post the recipe cards here on the blog, too.  I am happy to share with y'all!  These are some of the most-requested meals in our home that I hope will be hits for you as well.

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Etched Feather Drinking Glasses

DIY etched feather drinking glasses at /
Hi guys!  I have been super excited about today's project for a while now.  I was given the opportunity to try out the new Dremel Micro 8050 and share my opinion with y'all!  I can't even tell you how long I have wanted to own a Dremel rotary tool.  I look at them every single time we go to the home improvement store, which you might think would be a strong enough hint for my dearly beloved to get me one for Christmas or Mother's Day.  But you'd be wrong.  Good thing I waited!  The Micro 8050 is the most “brilliantly powerful” and precise cordless rotary tool that Dremel has ever produced and is fully compatible with all Dremel rotary tool accessories.  As soon as my new Dremel showed up on my doorstep, I began using it on every different type of surface you can think of.  The Micro 8050 can cut, carve, engrave, sand, grind, sharpen, clean and polish.  Believe me, you will be seeing quite a few Dremel projects on my blog now!  Far and away my favorite thing I made were these Etched Feather Drinking Glasses.

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Strawberry Sandwich Cookies

Strawberry Sandwich Cookies at /
Hi guys!  I had a free afternoon last weekend, so of course I took the opportunity to bake up some yumminess for my family {while watching a Lifetime movie -- don't judge}.  One of my favorite easy treats to make are cake mix sandwich cookies.  There are a million different flavor combos you can make.  They're like the poke cake of the cookie world!  {Mmmmm . . . poke cake . . . next time. }  I usually resort to the classic Oreo version -- chocolate cookies with vanilla frosting -- but this time I wanted something a little different.  That's how these strawberry sandwich cookies were born.

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Book Page Garland on Craftaholics Anonymous Today

Book Page Garland Tutorial by /
Hi guys!  My post for August is up over at Craftaholics Anonymous today.  Since last month's chalkboard project was so labor and tool intensive, I decided to go with something easy-breezy this month.  No special tools required -- just a word processing program and a home printer.  I have made several of these book page garlands this summer -- for my dining room, for a baby shower, and most recently for my office at work.  I never, ever get tired of them.  If you are looking for some serious bang for your decorating buck, this is where it's at!

Hop on over to Craftaholics Anonymous today to get the full tutorial, then come back here tomorrow for a delicious sweet treat.

Have a great day, my friends!



Oven Chicken Fajitas

Recipe for delicious Oven Chicken Fajitas at /
Hello, friends.  I know I'm beating a dead horse by bringing up my job again, but, you guys!  This working full time is kicking my butt.  I used to have hours upon hours of "free time"  to blog and craft and bake before my family came home at night and I had to start in on my "job" of mothering and wife-ing.  Now I spend hours upon hours taking care of other people's children before coming home and throwing something together to eat, starting a load of laundry, and falling straight into bed.  I am loving my job, but I am finding that I really need to streamline my chores here at home.  A great way to do that is by using Reynolds Oven Bags when I cook dinner.

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Recipe Organization and Meal Planning Binder

Recipe Organization and Meal Planning Binder at /
Hi guys!  I have to tell y'all . . . cooking is one of my least favorite chores.  Well, that's not entirely true.  I enjoy the cooking.  It's the meal planning that I struggle with.  Having to come up with something yummy to put on the table seven nights a week is a cruel form of torture to me.  Even when I have found a bunch of new recipes via Pinterest and I know what I want to make, I can never find the recipes again when I need them.  At least not easily.

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Delicious Tuna Salad Croissants

Tuna Salad recipe at /
Hi guys!  It's that time of year when we're all headed back to school and many of us have lunch on the brain.  Packing lunches for school, that is.  I'm embarrassed to admit that I am not super creative when it comes to my kids' lunch boxes.  I think there was one year when my kids ate PB&J with cheese puffs, apple slices and a juice box every single day.  {I wish I were kidding.} Now that my kids are a little older and they prefer their diets to be a little more . . . diverse . . . I find that, with a little creativity, we can make some super delicious school lunches with only minimally more effort.  One of our favorite cold lunches are these Tuna Salad Croissants made with yummy Bumble Bee® tuna.

The tuna salad mixes up in minutes -- barely longer than it takes to spread peanut butter -- and is chock full of flaky tuna, grapes, celery, and green onions.  I like to add a special "secret ingredient that really takes the flavor over the top!

Tuna Salad recipe at /

Tuna Salad Croissants

2 (5 oz.) pouches {or cans} of Bumble Bee® Premium Albacore or Light Tuna
1/2 C. seedless grapes, halved
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
2 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/2 C. french onion chip dip

croissants, lettuce, and sliced tomato for serving

In a mixing bowl combine tuna, grapes, celery, green onions, relish, celery salt, and french onion dip.  Stir to combine.  Serve on sliced croissants with lettuce and tomato, if desired.  

If I am packing this in lunch boxes, I will put the tuna salad into a small container and put the croissant and lettuce into separate plastic bags so the sandwich can be assembled immediately before eating to avoid sogginess.  This tuna salad is also delicious on crackers if croissants are not readily available.  Serve it with a side of fruit and/or carrot sticks and you've got a pretty dang nutritious lunch.

Tuna Salad recipe at /
Tuna has not always been my go-to lunch item.  I have nightmares of when I was in school {eons ago!} and everyone knew when somebody brought a tuna sandwich for lunch because you could smell it from four lunch tables over.  Thanks to huge strides in lunchbox technology, that is no longer an issue and tuna is a perfectly delightful lunch option. 

For more yummy tuna recipes, visit the Bumble Bee® recipe ideas page.  Do you have a favorite meal that you make with tuna?  Leave me a comment because I am always looking to branch out and try something new.

Have a great day, friends!


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Giant DIY Outdoor Chalkboard

DIY Outdoor Chalkboard Project at /
Hi guys!  I’ve been spending a little time reworking my front porch this summer.  It’s one of those areas of our fixer-upper home that has needed a little TLC.  It’s still a work in progress, but I wanted to share one of the biggest improvements we have made so far.  Our front door has a long, narrow side light window that I have always hated.  When my kids were little, the neighbor kids used to peek in to see if we were home so the kids could play {and our dog would go berserk}.  I tried covering the window with curtains — one on the inside and one on the outside — which helped with the privacy issue, but it still let a lot of heat in during the summer.  Plus, I needed the wall space on the inside for hooks so the kids could hang up their back packs.  The window simply had to go!

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Well, friends . . . we survived.  The first day back  to school, I mean, but actually so much more.  Usually this is the day I look forward to all summer long.  The day in which, under normal circumstances, I celebrate having a little more freedom . . . quietly.  In my quiet home.  By myself.  Quietly.  Sometimes quiet is just what the doctor ordered after a long, hot, busy, noisy summer.  And it is wonderful.

And then other times you take a job as a school health assistant and you go back to school right along with your children.  You dive head first into the noise and chaos that is public elementary school.  You find yourself swimming in the deep waters of full-time employment for the first time in nearly 17 years.  And it is scary and overwhelming, and you wonder if you might drown.  But it is also a little bit wonderful.

These past two or three weeks have been a roller coaster ride for our family.  I was blind-sided by this job opportunity.  A friend {who is the assistant principal of the school} texted to see if I would even be interested in applying.  I applied, thinking that they would never hire a craft blogger with a degree in interior design to be a school "nurse".  And then they did.  I was thrilled, but doubt quickly crept in, as it tends to do.  I was tempted to quit before I even started.  Really tempted.  I had to keep reminding myself that I can do hard things.

Seven and a half years ago I didn't want to learn all about caring for a diabetic 5 year old, but I did it.  It was really, really hard and I did it anyway.  Now it's just normal.  I can't even remember what life was like before this.  My life's experiences -- the really hard ones -- have given me a lot of what I need to do this job.

So I started working last Thursday.  I was already feeling a little overwhelmed with the newness of the situation and being out of the home for the first time since I had kids as the texts from my husband started rolling in on my first day.  "No need to worry, but the car won't start."  "The latch on the driver side door is broken now.  Hope your day is going great."  {Our passenger side door decided to stop working a week and a half ago.} "Good news. There are scorpions in the garage." {We've lived here for 12 years and have never seen a scorpion. So now -- NOW -- they decide to move in?}  And then the kicker  -- "My dad has had a stroke." 

REALLY?!  I mean, come on.  Really?  How much can people be expected to bear before they just snap right in half?  I've struggled all weekend with feelings of worry and anxiety, sorrow for others and feeling downright sorry for myself.  I got up this morning and headed in to work -- my first day with actual students to care for -- and everything was forgotten as I soothed a scared Kindergartner and celebrated a little kiddo's lost tooth.  I spent my entire day helping others instead of focusing on myself and my problems, and THAT was just what the doctor ordered today. 

Even though I've seen it time and time again in my life, it never ceases to amaze me how things seem to fall into place in the most unexpected ways.  I truly believe that God, our Heavenly Father, is watching over me.  And you.  Each of us.  He helps us to face the challenges life will bring, but not always in the ways we think He should.  I never imagined that, rather than being a burden, my new job -- the one I never planned on having and wasn't sure I wanted -- would be what eased the other burdens I hadn't even seen coming.

Life is miraculous.  And terrifying.  Sometimes just plain hard.  But we aren't in it alone and for that I am profoundly grateful.

Have a great day, friends!



Back to School with LLZ by LockerLookz

Thanks to LLZ by LockerLookz for sponsoring this post.

Design Your Dream Locker with LockerLookz at /
It's getting to be that time of year again . . . Back to School!! Did you love it or hate it as a kid?  To this day I LOVE new school supplies. Fresh pens, folders and binders?  Yes, please.  And, to be perfectly honest, I was a little bit nerdy.  I genuinely liked learning.  The only drawback was that we moved around a lot -- like, A LOT -- so it felt like I was always the new kid who didn't know where to go or what to do.  Plus, I was pretty shy and also {remember} nerdy, so that was a struggle.  As a mom, I try to focus on the positive and make back-to-school shopping a fun treat for my three kiddos.  The older they get, though, the harder they are to impress.  Gone are the days when a new box of crayons could elicit a happy dance.  My daughter, a JUNIOR this year, has hit her "senior slump" about a year and a half early.  Thankfully, we discovered LLZ by LockerLookz!

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My Outdoor Chalkboard Project on Craftaholics Anonymous Today

Outdoor Chalkboard project for Craftaholics Anonymous® by /.
Hi guys!  Today I'm sharing another project over at Craftaholics Anonymous®.  This month I made this BIG outdoor chalkboard to cover up one of the spots I have always hated about my little fixer-upper house -- the sidelight window next to the front door.  It's made out of 1x3 pine boards and Hardiebacker cement board so it will withstand just about any weather that may come our way.  Our porch feels so much more cheerful and welcoming with this decorative touch, PLUS sometimes it's really fun to work with power tools!  Never fear -- this is still a really easy project that just about anyone can make.  Head on over and check it out!

Have a great day!



Old Fashioned Butterscotch Ice Cream

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Wet-Nap but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #showusyourmess

Old Fashioned Butterscotch Ice Cream recipe at /
Hello, friends!  One of my favorite things about summer is ice cream.  I can't seem to get enough of it -- especially the homemade variety.  One of the things I loved about visiting my grandparents as a child was helping grandpa make raspberry ice cream with the raspberries we picked in the garden.  It was heavenly.  So, when I spotted an old fashioned ice cream maker at the thrift store a while back I HAD to buy it.  I don't have a raspberry patch in my yard, but there was a recipe for Old Fashioned Butterscotch Ice Cream in the instruction manual of my old school ice cream maker that is equally delicious!

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Favorite Quote {with a free printable!}

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Believe, Obey and Endure quote from President Monson at /
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Have a great weekend, friends!



Take Back Vanilla

#TakeBackVanilla with these creamy rootbeer drinks at /
Hi guys!  In my humble opinion, there is not much in life that isn't vastly improved with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of it.  {You can take that advice to the bank, my friends.} Maybe it's because I'm vanilla.  My little family is vanilla through and through.  I have been happily married to my first {and only} love for the past 18 years.  We have 3 great kids and a dog.  We live in a little house on a quiet street in the suburbs.  We're vanilla and I love it!

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