I can’t even express how amazing the last 3 weeks of Poolside Painting class have been!
The wonderful people who have come to paint. So much fun meeting and talking and enjoying the common bond of creativity and art!
Each class has brought a new element of energy. I am very grateful for each of you who have come out to a class and hope to see you many times over!
To stay connected, here are the links to The Patriotic Peacock social media outlets, which are updated daily! It’s also the best way to get a seat at a class. They sell out quickly and we want to make sure you are in the loop!
Follow us on:
And don’t forget to introduce yourselves and let me know you’re a local!
Here are some of my favorite highlights from our first month of classes:
THANK YOU! THANK YOU for the best first month I could have ever dreamed up!
You all are incredible. Here’s to many more paint nights!
For all those local to the Lynchburg, Virginia area, I am so excited to announce a new summer painting class series called, “Poolside Painting in Boonsboro”.
Our first class is Thursday, June 11.
If you are interested in joining, here is the registration link.
Stay up-to-date with future classes by visiting my facebook page!
Hope to see all of you local’s soon
DIY Fabric Felt Flower Wreath
It’s Tutorial Time!
I am reposting this from a blog post from my original blog
because it is one of my top pinned posts!
The photo’s aren’t the best, but I think you will like the simplicity of the steps and the “pop” of the final product…plus you can’t beat the price!
This is such an easy, inexpensive wreath and would look fabulous on your front door. The fabric combination possibilities are endless and they also make great gifts.
Here’s what you need:
~A wreath, your choice of size. I am using a 10″ one.
~Fabric (about 1/2 a yard, depending on wreath size)
~Floral pearl pins
Cut fabric into strips about 2-3 inches wide
Pin the narrow edge of a fabric strip securely to the wreath
Wrap wreath and continue pinning fabric securely onto wreath until the entire wreath is covered in fabric.
Cut circles out of your felt. These can be as little or big as you would like and the circle doesn’t have to be perfect.
Fold circle in half and then fold the half circle in half again.
Pin the “flower” onto the wreath.
Continue pinning the flowers until you feel you have enough flower power going on.
Pop open those pearl floral pins and start randomly poking them in the wreath (making sure not to poke all the way through!)
If you make your own fabric wreath, I’d love to see pics!
I am so tired.
Can I just say that without feeling bad that I am sure someone else has it worse and is way more tired than me?
They may be more tired than me, but I am still tired.
An island, a palm tree, a coconut with a straw in it. That all sounds like perfection right aboutttttttt now.
I am just so tired.
Like, so tired. Have I said that yet???
Is is just me or does there always seem to be a list a mile long, irregardless of the ten million tasks you just finished?
And not only that, but an endless supply of problems and doubts roaming around in my head.
I finally finish folding the mountain range of clean laundry, only to look over at the dirty pile and realize it has created its own mountain range. WHAT?!?
Or, you spend a good 30 minutes sweating over the vacuum cleaner. Moving furniture, pulling out attachments to get in the nooks and crannies. You finish the final corner, wrap up the cord, only to come around the corner and find your kids have grabbed themselves a snack, and the crumbs are EVERYWHERE. WHAT?!?
Or, you wake up early to get yourself together so you can pack lunch, yell for everyone to get their shoes on, buckle everyone in the car, make it to school just in time to drop the oldest off, then take the toddler and baby to the kids museum because you feel mommy guilt that you took the first born to do wayyyy more toddler things than you have with the middle child. Only to make it through the hour long Torture Tales…I mean Toddler Tales, and end the toddler marathon having to wrangle the fit-throwing 2 year old out the door, and finally get everyone buckled back in the car. You start the car and right as you put it in reverse, the 2 year old starts yelling from the back and you realize she has somehow spilled a closed lid cup of water all over herself. And at this exact moment in time, all you want to do is bury yourself in a quiet hole and hope everything fixes itself. WHAT?!?
Or, you decide to spend extra time making dinner. Instead of the usual 20 minute, slap together meal, you put in a full hour or two. All this preparation, building up to the great reveal of the actual dinner. Your family eats your masterpiece in less than 10 minutes, takes their plates to the counter, and you are left standing there in the middle of a kitchen that needs another hour of cleaning. Y’all, let me be blunt here, THIS is why I loathe cooking. I know some of you wonderful chef’s will gasp as you read this, but I can not hide my true feelings. I literally can not handle cooking. I wish I loved it. I wish I could see the beauty in spending way too much time planning and creating a masterpiece of foodie perfection. But when I create a masterpiece, I like to keep it. And the last time I tried to keep my food too long, it didn’t end well.
Or, you wake up in the middle of the night and your mind starts whirling. You begin to worry about things you’ve never thought twice about. You begin doubting and you feel yourself slipping to a dark place. Then of course, you can’t go back to sleep for hours. Just in time to have to wake up and start the day.
Does any of this sound familiar to you?
I feel like I do and do and do and do, then I look around and my house still looks like a herd of something WILD has just ran through. Every room needs help, every kid in the house is calling my name, every worry is weighing heavy on my mind and my heart is aching and all I want to do is go crawl under the covers.
I wish I had some magical words of wisdom to give hope to all of us tired people out there.
Life is tiring. It’s just the nature of living. We wake up and we go and we do and there’s always more do be done. It’s a circle of doing and going and learning.
Some days we are feeling alive and well and filled with all the good things.
Then there are days that seem to never end, and with them they bring their heavy burdens of dark sadness and confusion.
Maybe you aren’t tired because of physical labor, but maybe you are emotionally and mentally checked OUT.
Someone close to you is battling cancer. You lost your job. You aren’t sure when the next pay check is coming. You are in the middle of a divorce. You are having major family issues. You have big decisions to make and for the life of you, have no idea which choice is the right one.
You are feeling broken and vulnerable and completely lost. You have no answers. Just thinking about how to fix your situation sends you straight into shut down mode.
The end of the madness seems no where near.
Whatever it is that has worn you down, no matter how serious or silly, there is hope, for real. I’m not just saying that to try to end this post in a sugar coated paragraph of rainbows and unicorns. Trust me on this one thing. The struggle has purpose!
Our struggles grow us. Our struggles stretch us and cause us to ask questions that are so big, only God can answer them.
Our days of doing everything for everyone else and nothing for ourselves are not in vain. Our days of watching our loved ones suffer are not just for cruel punishment.
Our tiredness and our brokenness is our sole reminder that we are but human.
We are small humans who need a BIG God.
We are Mamas and daughters and wives and sisters and cousins and granddaughters who need a big God in order to make it through this life.
Our failures become His successes. Our loss is His gain. Our tiredness shows us His strength. Our God is never tired. Our God has no kryptonite. He is everything we need.
If we were never at a loss, how would we ever realize how amazing He is???
When we are at are most tired, run down, confused, and broken states of being, THAT is when we are desperate enough to fall on our faces and beg for God’s intervention in our lives.
Today, as I am drinking my third cup of coffee, staring at four loads of laundry and a dirty house, worried about my parenting skills (or lack thereof), wondering if I slept at all last night, I am also realizing that I need my God now more than ever. I need Him every day, but especially on days like these, I am left to realize my immense need for His never ending goodness and infinite wisdom.
God is never too far away to hear even the smallest of cries for Him.
He is there. Rest in Him.
My God is so BIG, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God can not do…for YOU!
I have an AMAZING giveaway to share with you all from Wilton Armetale!
I also have a DELISH recipe, perfect for Valentines day, and oh-so-easy (but yet looks fancy) recipe to share
So, grab a seat, a cup of coffee, and enjoy a few minutes of yummy goodness with me.
But, let me just be honest here. Between the time I took these pictures and when I actually posted them, these cookies were lonnnng gone because they are melt-in-your-mouth amazing!
I also happen to be in the stage of life where I am still trying to knock off 25 leftover “baby” pounds (which, let me be honest again, really is more like ice cream and pizza pounds because I totes love both of those God given foods).
So, if you are like me, and you are trying to be good about your eating habits, then do NOT make these 2 stick butter cookies. If you happen to be nothing like me and you have a smidge of willpower and can abstain from eating 20 cookies in one day, then make these cookies! Or if you don’t care about anything food or health related and you just want to enjoy good food because that’s just what you want to do dag nab it, and you want everyone to stop throwing their workout plans and quinoa in your face, then these are definitely for you.
On that note, here we go!
We used this recipe
, but I substituted regular flour and I added almond flavoring in addition to the vanilla, mostly because that’s what I had and I was NOT dragging 2 kids to the store for whole wheat flour, ya know whadda mean?!
I’ve added my rendition below.
This is my all time FAVORITE picture of my spunky girl!!!!
Mom confession: this is the first time we have made homemade cookies together and you would have thought we were at Disneyworld. We definitely have to make more cookies because it made this girl wayyyy too happy.
1 cup of unsalted butter (softened)
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
2 1/4 cups flour
red food coloring (enough to turn the dough pink)
powdered sugar (to coat)
Cream butter, light brown sugar, vanilla and coconut oil. Mix well, add flour slowly, then add pink food coloring
(I used icing coloring that’s all I use) and mix well. Roll dough into small balls and bake on 350 for about 15 minutes, let cool on wire rack and toss in powdered sugar!
Make sure to lick the paddles…and share with a friend. My friend forced me to share. She may look sweet here, but don’t stand between her and her sweets or it can get ugly prettty quickly!
Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’…
This dish is more than fabulous. Not only is beautiful, but it can go from freezer to oven to tabletop to fridge. Pretty much the only thing you can’t do with it is throw it over a cliff and put it in the dishwasher.
This dish with these cookies on it would be perfect for wedding and baby showers, birthday’s, and Valentines. You could even change the color of them. Blue ones for a baby boy shower would be so cute, although blue food may scare the guests…which means you get to eat them all after the party’s over 😉
Now- who would like to win one of these beautiful dishes?!?!
Simply follow the link below for your chance to win!
*I received the above mentioned product to help facilitate the writing of a honest review. All opinions are my own.
Breastfeeding is one of my favorite parts of having a little baby.
There is just nothing quite like the bond that Mama and baby get from breastfeeding. Some people don’t enjoy it, or are afraid of the thought of trying it out. If I could give one piece of advice to any new mother contemplating breastfeeding it would be, TRY IT! The best thing that could happen is you love it and you save money, the worst is that you switch to formula.
I am currently nursing baby #3. So far, in my 28 years of life, I have spent a grand total of 47 months breastfeeding a baby, and I still have at least 7 months to go. Yes, I have spent almost 2 years nursing a sweet baby, and I have enjoyed *almost* every minute of it. Minus the first couple of weeks where you cry a little every time they latch on…but that might be a post for another day. I don’t want to scare anyone off! Ha!
So, here are a few of my favorites parts about nursing:
1. You don’t have to get up and make a bottle in the middle of the night and stay awake until baby is done eating. All you have to do is pick baby up out of the baby and side nurse. Then you can actually sleep while baby eats, baby falls back asleep and when you wake up, you can put your baby back in their crib.
2. It’s the perfect source of nutrition for them. Mixed and heated to the perfect temperature by GOD…om, who wouldn’t want God to make their food???
3. It’s healthy for both Mama and baby. Did you know that breastfeeding Mother’s have less chance of developing breast cancer? Not to mention, it will help you burn those baby weight calories more quickly!
It has so many other positive attributes.
Breastfeeding helps prevent SIDS in infants, helps in preventing childhood leukemia and other cancers, helps in preventing ear infection and colds, children are less likely to having learning and behavior issues, it’s easy to digest, helps prevent constipation, helps with skin issues, is great for brain growth and development, it helps the mom to loose weight faster, baby and mama can get more sleep because baby is able to latch on while mama lays on her side in bed (this has been a dream come true for us!), it’s a FREE, God given gift, and the list could go on and on and on!!!
I know I repeated myself, but I just can’t say enough how great breastfeeding is if you are willing to give it a fair chance.
And also, as much as I love and advocate for breastfeeding, I do not judge any Mama’s for formula feeding! We all have the choice and as long as baby is growing and being fed, that’s good enough for me
However, if you do choose to breastfeed, you will find yourself in a chair often, realizing you are hungry too. Only problem is that, you only have one hand available.
But since breastfeeding only requires the use of one hand, you can feed yourself while you feed baby, but you are somewhat limited in that you have to find foods that are “one-handed foods” and as any breastfeeding mother knows, we stay hungry! If you are breastfeeding, you burn about 500 extra calories a day which can add up to quite the appetite.
After 47+ months of breastfeeding, I have a great list of one handed healthy snacks and meals that hopefully will be helpful to all you breastfeeding mama’s.
We need all the help we can get, right?!?
Plus, most of these are also great snack ideas that you can share if you have other hungry kiddos roaming the house. If your house is anything like mine, Caleb and Lorelei have a nose for snack time. If I have a snack, they want one too. It’s always easier when we can both enjoy the same snack!
So, here goes:
1. Fruit. Pre-wash fruit and keep it handy. Apples, grapes, berries, bananas. You could even make fruit kabobs. All are great sources of nutrition for you and your little bambino.
2. Raw veggies. Wash and cut veggies while baby is napping. Keep in an easy to grab container. You might even want to add a little bowl of ranch dip. Sit on your couch near a side table and you’re good to go!
4. Pickles (the whole kind). Eat with a fork or wrap in a paper towel.
5. Popcorn. There are so many great popcorn options. I even saw whole grain today!
6. Cheese sticks or cubes.
7. Glass of almond milk. Wayyyy better for you then milk because it doesn’t endure the horrible pasteurization product that cow’s milk does (yes, even the organic!), and it has even MORE calcium than cow’s milk! Coconut milk is another great option if almond milk isn’t your thing.
8. Deli meat, rolled up. If you have prep time, you could even spread some cream cheese and chives on the meat, then roll it up. The perfect light snack!
9. Meal replacement bars. Be careful to look at the ingredients carefully. You want something with good amounts of protein and fiber and not a lot of sugar. I like Isagenix bars. They have SAVED me, and I love that my older 2 old can have half of a bar with me!
10. Salads. This would require you to sit near a side table again. Grab a fork and go to town!
11. Squeezable’s. Many of the snacks geared towards toddlers can also double as adult snacks too! The squeezable apple sauce and yogurts can be a great option if you are able to find the healthier, low sugar options.
12. Nuts. Raw almonds, walnuts, even peanuts! Great source of nutrition and easily eaten with one hand.
13. Edamame. I love getting the steam-able bags, still in the pods. Steam them in the microwave, dump in a bowl and eat with your hands! My 3 year old loves edamame in the pod, mostly because he has fun popping them out of the pod and into his mouth
14. Whole wheat tortilla’s rolled up and filled with spinach, a little ranch dressing and some real bacon bits, add some avocado if you have time for an extra burst of good fats. Or, spread peanut butter and honey on it to satisfy a sweet tooth!
15. Granola. Target sells great varieties of granola and snack mixes on their nut aisle. Everything from sweet and spicy to sweet and sassy… I mean salty. Or you can make your own combinations.
16. Bean Salad, eat with a spoon, recipe HERE!
17. Sweet Potato fries with raspberry dip. To make dip, mix 2 tablespoons of raspberry preserves with a teaspoon of water. Mix well and dip away…absolutely amazing!
18. Grilled chicken tenders. Buy a pack of raw chicken tenders, bake or grill and keep in fridge as a high protein meal or snack to grab! Much healthier than buying them already cooked in the freezer section. You can skip out on loading your body with preservatives and extra sodium by cooking them yourself.
19. Frozen yogurt, scooped into a cone. Our local grocery store has a huge selection of frozen yogurt. It’s has fewer calories than regular ice cream and you’ll get a great dose of probiotics that ice cream doesn’t offer.
20. Soup poured into a mug so you don’t have to worry about using a spoon.
For those of you who have other children still at home with you, lunchables were AWESOME for us! You can make your own lunchable’s or grab a stack at the grocery store because as all new mom’s know, we don’t always have tons of prep time.
I also keep snack boxes in the bottom shelf of the fridge and the bottom shelf of the pantry. That way, Caleb and Lorelei can go grab a snack when they are hungry instead of having to wait for me to finish feeding the baby.
I stocked the snack boxes with several one serving baggies of pickles, grapes, cheese, yogurt cups, ritz crackers, graham crackers, pretzels, etc.
I know many of you have great one-handed snack ideas too.
Share in the comments section!
I hope this gave you all a few ideas
I am a Mama of three and I run two “at home” businesses. Reading is usually a delicacy around here. I used to read all. the. time. I loved it. I would lock myself in a room and read a book in a day. Now I have 3 amazing, little, needy sweeties that distract me from my love of reading. And that is ok, because I know this is just a season of life. However, there are books that come along that you just HAVE to take the time to read. Max Lucado’s “Before Amen” is one of those incredible books that I felt was written just for me.
My reading spot was the one time of day where I could get away. I would take my bath and read a chapter of this book. It was an easy read, but yet mind blowing. Max Lucado goes into great detail discussing the power of a simple prayer. As I have already mentioned, it is hard for me to get away, even for 15 minutes, unless the miraculous occurs and all of my children nap simultaneously. I would say this so called miracle happens about twice a year. Lucado creates a great case for the power of a simple prayer. As he uses the Bible for reference, he explains how Jesus just wants us to talk to Him. He never mentions that we have to have long, elaborate, drawn out prayers. We don’t have to have an hour of uninterrupted time devoted solely to prayer in order for God to hear us, although if we have an hour, AWESOME!
In his book he says, “Prayer is conversation with God while driving to work or awaiting an appointment or before interacting with a client.” For me, this quote would sound a little more like this: “Prayer is conversation with God while feeding babies or waiting in school car line or picking up toys for the sixth time today.”
Often, we hear about having a relationship with Jesus. Just like I would send a quick text to my husband, or have a 5 minute conversation with him in the middle of a busy day, THIS is the relationship God desires from us. Five minutes here and there. Moments of real life, sincere prayer squeezed between all the other real life moments of our day. He hears us! He is listening. No matter if we have two minutes or thirty two minutes, He is listening and He cares about our every word.
“Prayer is not a privilege for the pious, not the art of a chosen few. Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and His child…He taps at the door. Open it. Welcome Him in. let the conversation begin.”
Some of my other favorite quotes from this book:
“He’s low on fancy, high on accessibility.” Wellllll, thank goodness, because I’ve been in the same pants for two days without a speck of makeup on, taking care of sick children. I am about as non-fancy as they come right now, but I still need me some Jesus.
“How many disasters would be averted if we’d go first, in faith, to Jesus?” Oh yes. Seriously, how many times have I tried to figure it all out myself before giving up and realizing, Oh yeah, I have an omnipotent God and Father, who can part oceans in half, and move mountains in the blink of an eye, and heal people with the mere touch of the hem of His robe, that is just waiting for ME to ask Him for help. How does one forget this? I am so human but I have a Jesus who is soooo not.
“If Jesus heals you instantly, praise Him. If you are still waiting for healing, trust Him. Your suffering is your sermon.” This is the hard part. The prayers that seem to stop at the ceiling. I think we have this mentality that if our prayers aren’t answered within a week, somehow, God isn’t hearing them. But how wrong we are. God hears every single prayer. Sometimes, He will answer our prayers seemingly in an instant. While other prayers take months, years, or even a lifetime to be answered. But Lucado makes a point to let us know that even in the waiting, this is our sermon. Our suffering teaches us things we may otherwise never learn. Our suffering can help others. We may never know the answers to our questions or our deepest prayers on this side of Heaven, but we can always trust that our simplest of prayers are heard with every once of their being by the One who created this universe.
Our God is real and alive. He isn’t interested in elaborate, lengthy, fraudulent, phony prayers that only make us appear as though we have it all together (insert Pharisaical behavior).
God knows our heart and our true intention. He hears the 30 second prayer just as much as he hears the hour long prayer.
He is awesome like that. Our God is a God of love. He cares for us in our darkest moments. He cares for us when all we give Him are our simple prayers. He hears us and He answers.
If you are desiring a new approach to your prayer life, if you are looking for answers about prayer, if you are tired of feeling guilty because you just can’t seem to get your prayer life together, this is the book for you my friend. A book that will forever change the way you view prayer.