Friday, May 27, 2011

Pouring out what's "On My Heart" : When you're almost TWO

What's on my heart this week is my almost two year old little girl
Evelyn Claire

When you're a little girl and you're almost two,
your mommy will begin to think. 

She'll remember all of the wonderful things you have shared with her in just two short years. 

She'll dream of all of the times you will share over your beautiful life. 

She'll smile and laugh a little to herself because,

When you're almost two:
Mommy spends time every evening filling up your jewelry box. 
Beads, Coach tags (good taste sweetheart), 
cell phones (because every girl needs multiple phones),
your little ipod, cash, watches, and a magic wand.
I think about how I hope these things fill you with imagination.
I LOVE how girl you are. 

I also very much love your:
love for "coloring". When you are almost two, you're quite the artist.
You don't know this, but most girls your age don't get ink pens. 
You get them because you eat crayons. Like candy. Without fail, every time you get one.
So I give you the pens and spend the last few minutes before your
almost two year old head hits the pillow, wiping you down to remove the ink. 
Every night. With a smile. 

When you're almost two your mommy still makes sure
that your crib is perfect before you get into it, 

even though you'll just terrorize it in the night.
I know full well that you like more than one paci, 
and if baby doll isn't there, we're going to have some tears. 
The other two lovies are from your uncles, and you never loved 
animal toys until the week kitty and piglet came into your life.

When you're almost two  you don't know that THIS:
Is an example of how much I love you and your bubba.
are books you will cherish your entire life because I read them to you often, 
and you will probably read them to your kids one day.

I know you don't understand that I buy the expensive milk because:
it makes your brain smarter! 

You probably think Daddy and I are crazy when we get down on all fours frantically searching for this:

And though I said I'd NEVER buy character clothes...
I took pleasure in buying you this outfit and you love it so much that you hug it before we put it on.
When you're almost two you don't realize that your fun
is God's way of growing Mommy, and curbing Daddy's OCD about messes. 
We never knew how much we'd invest in this:
When you're almost two, the one thing you DO know more than anything....
Is that we love you more each and every day. 
We are so blessed to have our lives forever changed because of your almost two 
precious years. 
I want you to know that:
and I think you do because I sing it to you EVERY least three times. 

This is you...

At "almost" TWO! 

Mommy (Courtney)

p.s. This is a link up I do with Casey Wiegand.
You can find more about her by clicking on her
adorable photo:


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Willing Wednesday - Fruit

Been thinking a lot on on the Proverbs 31 woman. 
She works hard. She rises before her children, and rests long after their heads have hit the pillow. 
Her husband sees her just as any woman desires to be viewed. She is valued. 
She uses her talents and has a bank account. She is generous. 

I think her goodness is largely in part to the fruit she bears. 

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control..

I featured some of my friends in the photo because they 
represent a time when attempting to be like Mrs. 31 came easy for me. 
I was so eager to give love. To bring peace and joy. Patience and kindness came so naturally. 
The motivation for goodness was abounding by overwhelming faithfulness from the most gentle friends. Self control is always easy in mixed company among mothers isn't it?

It was real. It was so EASY. 
I accomplished a LOT. 
After having to leave that comfortable environment I realized that receiving the fruits of others depends on the fruits I produce. 

Love, joy, kindness, faithfulness, goodness, generosity...those come so easy for me on a regular basis.
Peace, patience, gentleness, and self control aren't always a piece of cake. 
I give in when provoked too easily. When I am hurt I don't handle it gently. I'm impatient with mediocrity,lying,selfishness. I have a hard time finding peace among life's stresses from time to time.

So, what about it?

Today I will willingly take the time to produce fruit that is worth sharing.
I will do my best to be like Mrs. 31 and take each moment as an opportunity to do "one better". 

I think it will be so much easier to model after her when I focus not on her deeds, but the fact that her fruit is given fresh in all areas. It isn't siting around getting stale. 
Nobody wants someone's stale fruit. 

Shine your light and let the whole world see! 
Focus less on the fruits of your physical labor, and more on the fruits of the Spirit. 
Let the Spirit compel you forward and produce a lovely, peaceful, Mrs. 31.

"But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control."
Galatians 5:22-23    

Happy Wednesday

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gour-Make It Monday - Strawberry Cream Puff

Summer is the perfect time for recipes that are cool to the tongue. 
It is also the season of strawberry recipes. 
Here is one that my family uses often and there are never any left-overs. 
Strawberry Cream Puff
Head out to the store for:
Puff: 6 Tablespoons of margarine
3/4 cups of water
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs
Filling: 31/8-oz. pkg. Vanilla Pudding & pie filling
 11/2 cup milk
2 tsp. grated orange peel (I did not use this part)
1/2 cup whipping cream (whipped) OR 
frozen whipped topping thawed.
(Whip your own. Trust me. Whip it THICK)
1 pint (2 cups) fresh strawberries sliced. 
To begin preheat your oven to 400.
Grease your cookie sheet. 
Go ahead and get your water, margarine, flour, and salt measured out. Also go ahead and crack your eggs. (you will need to add them in one at a time, but you can still crack them into the same bowl)
My salt is sitting on top of my flour!
 In a medium saucepan (or large if you're messy) bring your butter and water to a boil over medium heat. 
Stir in flour and salt. 
Continue cooking, stirring constantly until the mixture is into a ball and leaves the sides of the pan smooth:
 Remove from heat and begin to vigorously stir in eggs one at a time. 
 It will separate again and look all wrong, but it's right. 
When all of the eggs are mixed in it will look like this:
Now you will spoon mixture onto greased cookie sheet into an 8 inch ring made of ...well essentially they are blobs. See...
Bake this for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown. Mine took exactly 40 minutes. 
When it comes out, prick it with a knife. (this has to do with the puff allowing you to fill it.) 
While that is baking....
Go back to your filling ingredients.
In another medium (large for me) saucepan
mix 11/2 cup of milk with your pudding mix and orange peel if you used it.
Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly.
(Have you made pudding before? If so then you know what you're looking for.)
Boil 1 minute and remove from heat. 
Cool 1 hour. 
Fold whipped cream into cooled pudding. 
Slice your strawberries: 
I used the tips for my son's lunch tomorrow. Don't waste strawberry parts folks! :)
Now you can slice your puff in half on your most beautiful cake plate or platter. Take off the top carefully and lay it aside. 
Spoon the filling mixture onto the base of the puff.
Add your strawberries.

 Put the top back on....
And share this with someone! 
Or do what I'm going to do and eat it all yourself! 
Happy "Gour-Make It Monday"

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Meet Sissy - Giveaway

Since I am a self starter with Evelyn's Closet, I LOVE to meet other self starters working their little tails off to make what they love and make it well. Like Sissy...

She makes something yummy. Something natural. 
She makes....
"Spa products including bath soaks,
sugar scrubs, lotions, homemade soaps 
and custom gift baskets."
This one is "Oats-n-Honey In Goat's Milk. Sounds amazing!
And I'm dying to try this one...Starbucks & Vanilla!
Are you drooling over that as much as I am?
 I had the pleasure of meeting her today, and she was generous enough to give me TWO bars of her soap. One for me to try 
and one for you to WIN!

Her soaps come in a wide variety of shape, color, and flavor.
(can I say flavor?..because these things sound so great they are almost tasty!!)
 Sissy can cater to your custom color or design to match your bathroom, kitchen, gift giving needs, etc. She also makes way more than just your traditional bar of soap.

Yes, that is a chocolate bath soak!!!!

single soap rose petals! Would be perfect in a foot bath.

Here is her description of her products. 
"Most soaps are made with goats milk & shea butter, others in avocado cucumber or olive oil including herbs and natural additives.
Shea lotions in a variety of fragrances
Sugar scrubs with all natural products including Vitamin E (a natural preservative)
Bath soaks combine old healing remedies and new age. Available with herbs or fragrance."
Now, most of us are ladies here, and I know there isn't a girl around who doesn't like great soap. It has to smell right, feel right, be right. 
I am beyond picky with my "products" so I will tell you first hand that I couldn't wait to get home to try mine. My entire purse smells amazing from carrying it around. 

And since Sissy was so kind to give me two... I'll give one to YOU!
A bar of Honeysuckle soap- perfect for Summer

All you have to do is "like" Sissy'sSoap
and come back to comment telling me you've done so. 

 Sissy will be joining me as a featured vendor at 
Kitt's Market in Knoxville, TN on 
June 4th at Kitt's Cafe. 
You can also find her on @ her online shop:



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Willing to Work and WIW

See that beautiful banner? 
Know what it means?
It means that I have an Shop

After much asking and some 
adorable photos from 
that were taken at 
and lots of lovelies asking..

"So, where can I shop your stuff?"

The answer is...

All you need do is click on 
that beautiful flashing banner
and shop shop shop!



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday - Boudior Pillow

While my husband is away I've set a goal.
I'm going to finish all lying around projects. 
To start I'm going to finish our bedroom as we've had this
pillow fabric for about 3 months. 

Boudoir Pillows

First let me say that I used a silky upholstery fabric which I don't entirely recommend if you 
have never sewn with it before, or you're just a beginner sewer. It is very pretty though 
and gives a great luxurious bedroom feel though so I'll give you a few tips
so that if you are a first timer, you don't tear it or have shedding issues. 

Here is what you'll need:
- Sewing Machine
-scissors or a rotary cutter
-cutting mat
-measuring tape
-yard stick
-old pillow or pillow stuffing
-quilt batting
I was working with a purpose to reuse some old pillows that
were given to me with a bedding set. Since we were gifted a brand
new bedding set when we moved back to TN, the colors no longer match our room. 

So I measured my old pillow...
It was 19X19 inches. 
 If you are just making a pillow from scratch, just get an idea of what size you want your pillow to be. 

I knew I didn't want a perfect square so I cut my fabric at a 20 X 16.
 I cut 1 pieces of this measurement out of my fabric and 1 piece of this measurement out of my batting
The front piece of fabric needs to be 2 X's the length of the back piece (so for me 40 inches) and 2 inches wider (again for me it would be a 40 X 18 inch piece)
No matter how straight I think I'm cutting, it's NEVER straight. 
I didn't want a crazy looking pillow so I laid out my fabric 
on the cutting mat. made a perfect line with a PENCIL. Don't use a pen unless it's
a fabric pen. Then I used to rotary cutter to cut it all even and perfect. 

Now for setting up your machine to ruffle the front of the pillow. 
Use a basting stitch (the basic straight stitch) but open it up
to the widest stitch there is. 
( If you don't know how to do this, READ YOUR MACHINE BOOK! 
It will help you!  You can also google tutorials for how to use your machine.)

 I measured my piece to allow 3 ruffle lines. 
Leave a few (like 4-6) inches of bobbin and top thread hanging out before you begin to sew. 
I used my yard stick to measure 3 equal sections across the end of my fabric. Then I traced it with my pencil lightly on the bottom side. 
You can see 2 of my stitches.
leave excess bobbin and top thread at the other end too!

 Now you will grab the top thread and GENTLY
begin to pull your fabric away from your 
hand causing it to ruffle. 
A tip is to pull a few inches from the end and then stop for a minute
and pull those inches towards the other end. Then start at the front again. 
Repeat on all 3 stitches and you get this:
  Next you will pin the front piece to the quilt batting all the way around. 
This allows you to get it JUST how you want it and make it stable. 

Now sew one straight stitch (on it's regular setting) over top of 
the bunched stitches and around all 4 edges. 
It will then look like this:

All that is left to do is pin the front and back together "face sides" IN and sew 3 edges. 
Flip right side out and fill with stuffing. 
You also have the option of finishing the bottom with a zipper. 
I just pinned the open edges in and hand-hem stitched 
the pillow closed! 

Happy Tuesday! 
When you try it be sure to come back and comment and share a photo! 

Also be sure to go and visit yesterday's blog and comment
with your pot roast recipe.