Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Pom-Poms

I wanted some creative and cheap new decorations for our house for Christmas this year. Well, a friend posted about these great pom-poms that she made for a friend's daughter's birthday and I decided that was it!

These are super easy to make. You just need some tissue paper (~8 sheets for each), jewelry making wire and whatever you want to hang them with (I used some old ribbon).
1. Stack 8 sheets of the tissue paper - one on top of the other - you can do one color or more than one.

2. Fold all of the sheets together at about 1.5 inches - think like the paper fans you made in church when you were little

3. Once the paper is folded, take 6" of the wire and wrap around the middle of the paper tightly, leaving enough wire to form a loop at the top (this is where you'll hang it from)

4. Cut the two ends - either rounded or "v" works best

5. Fan each side out, piece by piece. Don't worry if they rip a little - it adds to the whimsy

6. Hang them

Ta-da! Cute and very cheap!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Shopping

I'm reposting a post from a friend of mine, Erica, who is one of the sweetest souls you will EVER meet. Here are some great options for Christmas gifts, if you aren't making yours, but want to give back in some way. Please consider supporting Erica and her husband as well. You can go to their blog to read more about what they are doing for the kingdom, but they are amazing, you will love them, promise!

Also, my friend, Kellie, another one of the sweetest people you will ever meet, also has a "shop" where you can buy beautiful clothing and household items that are mostly made by women who have been rescued out of slavery/trafficing situations. You can email her for more information at

Here's Erica's post (go to her site to see all the really cute pictures):
Christmas Shopping :: The REAL Reason for the Season!
Posted in CHRISTmas by Ericka Jackson on 12/9/2009

Now, before you get all upset wondering if I think Christmas shopping IS the real reason for the season, I don't. (though I do love to shop! ;) What I DO think is, more people should do their Christmas shopping with a purpose, and with the REAL reason for the season in mind!

Christmas is about CHRIST. Jesus came to bring HOPE to the world, and as His followers, we should be doing the same! The good news is; we can do that this holiday season by choosing gifts that GIVE BACK - gifts that support orphans, provide for the poor, and give HOPE to the 'least of these' around the world! (Who knew a t-shirt, scarf, ring, or purse could have that much power?)

Below are some options for your Christmas shopping. There is a little bit of everything, from clothing to jewelry to coffee...and a link to another blog with about 15 more options! I encourage you to check it out this Christmas, and keep these options in mind when it comes time to buy other gifts around the year too!

The Sound of Hope - click here to buy a T-shirt! proceeds from just one t-shirt is enough to feed an orphan in Swaziland one meal a day for over a month! The Sound of Hope is a campaign that raises money and awareness for orphans in Swaziland, Kenya, and India. Find out more by finding our fan page and group on Facebook, or add us as a friend on myspace!

Corridor of Hope - click here to buy handmade jewelry and beautiful silk scarves from Thailand and India! At Corridor Of Hope we are devoted to connecting orphans, poverty stricken communities and YOU. We are the corridor, a passageway to help people who can't help themselves. We help bring them hope by bringing you quality and affordable products from these countries. In turn, Corridor Of Hope will donate these resources back into their communities by supporting orphans, thereby empowering YOU to help in a multifaceted way. We will bring you updates and newsletters regarding the orphans and how your purchase made a difference in their lives.

Timbali Crafts - click here to buy a handmade African purse, coin purse, or table-runner from Swaziland!
TIMBALI CRAFTS are created by women who work as volunteer cooks at feeding centers for orphans in Swaziland, Africa, where over 40% of the population is HIV positive. Many of the women have been widowed or abandoned, are single mothers, or grandmothers raising grandchildren that have been orphaned. Craft sales help provide an income for these hard working women and their families who would otherwise have little or none. This year they have several new products available, as well as opportunities to BUY GIFTS for the women in Swaziland, such as a sewing machine, medicine pack, or food basket!

Land of 1000 Hills - DRINK COFFEE, DO GOOD! click here to buy coffee that supports orphans, widows, and entire farming communities in Rwanda!

In April 1994, Rwanda (an African country half the size of the state of Maryland) experienced one of history's most atrocious genocides. In 2001, the founder of Land of a Thousand Hills recognized a simple and tangible opportunity to make a difference in the reconciliation of the Rwandan people. The introduction of Specialty Coffee to the healing fields of Rwanda proved to be an uncommon opportunity for once warring countrymen to not only rebuild their homesteads, but to work together toward lasting peace.

A commitment to excellence in coffee has brought dignity and hope to a nation that history suggested would never recover. A message of forgiveness is spreading through the hills of Rwanda, and by drinking Rwandan coffee, you promote justice in a place where injustice once reigned.

Land of 1000 Hills is also DOING GOOD in other ways, like supporting sustenance farms for orphans. To find out how you can get involved, click HERE!

With This Ring- click HERE to buy a wedding ring, engagement ring, or other jewelry that helps provide clean water for villages in Africa!

Ali Eastburn, Executive Director of With This Ring, offers a challenge to Christians who have accumulated more this Christmas than they'll ever need or use: Give It Away. In 2007, she sold her wedding ring after confronting herself with how much it was worth and how much good could be done with that money. With the proceeds from her wedding ring, Ali helped to fund a clean water project in Africa and founded a new ministry called With This Ring.

With This Ring exists to encourage Christians to offer their possessions-even their most precious ones-to God in radical acts of sacrificial giving. In the midst of a society gripped with materialism, Executive Director Ali Eastburn loves to share her story of how God broke that grip in her own life.

You can DONATE a wedding ring, engagement ring, class ring, or any other jewelry you're willing to give up. You can also BUY jewelry others have donated to support the cause!

Donate, Donate, DONATE! - choose one of these links to give to a great cause this Christmas!

If you're just looking to donate this Christmas as a gift from your family, or in honor (or memory) of someone, you can always DONATE to Adventures in Missions!

Rusty and I are still in GREAT NEED of supporters,
so you can donate to support our mission work HERE.

If you'd like to choose another option, click HERE. This page offers opportunities to donate to orphans, mission bases overseas, Mission Leadership Training schools, other staff, or general AIM needs. You can play a part in keeping our mission work going around the world!

Don't see what you want here? Then visit this blog for more options!
(seriously, check it out -- there is some REALLY cute stuff for sale!)

Christmas Shopping :: The REAL Reason for the Season!

Christmas Shopping :: The REAL Reason for the Season!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Call me a slacker

Go me a slacker, I deserve it! I know I haven't posted much lately, but I've had so many other things going on at home that I haven't had time to make much. I've got to get on it though - Christmas is almost here!!
Just so I feel better about myself, here's one thing I did make while the in-laws were in town over the weekend. I'm such a slacker that I'm having to use the pictures from Our Best Bites because I completely forgot to take pictures.

So, I promise, I will try to do better. I have to, right! Christmas is only 38 days away...excuse me while I have a little breakdown!

OK, all better, thanks!

Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 spice cake mixes (Duncan Hines, although not pictured, is the best for this recipe)
1 15-oz. can pumpkin
1/2 - 12-oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Combine cake mixes and pumpkin. Add in chocolate chips.

Spoon mixture into lined muffin tins. This can make as many as 24 muffins or as few as 12, just depending on how full the tins are filled. These really don't rise very much, so you can fill the tins pretty full. If aesthetics are a concern, keep in mind that how they look going into the oven is very much what they will look like coming out of the oven. So a cookie scoop works great to keep things on the prettier side.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of one of the muffins comes out clean.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

12 Weeks to a Peaceful Christmas

I borrowed this from, but I definitely need it, and I'm sure others of you do to, so here's to a PEACEFUL Christmas!

Love Christmas, but hate the chaos? I’m with you. It’s a shame that the holiday created to focus on the birth of Christ somehow means overspending, crowded malls, and constant busyness. It shouldn’t be this way.

I’m all for holiday traditions, but only if they’re done sanely. Each year, Simple Mom starts exactly 12 weeks before Christmas and delivers one small task to do each week. In doing this, we’re eliminating the need to do these tasks all at once in December, which makes the holiday of peace much too stressful.

You can still enjoy the height of the season and relish in the little delights that Christmas brings. You just need to plan ahead, so that those things don’t make your end of the year a chaotic train to Busyville.

Plan ahead, and enjoy the season sanely.

2009 Checklist

12. Prepare Your Holiday Budget – October 2
11. Gather Your Addresses and Plan Your “Greetings” – October 9
10. Start (or finish!) Gift Shopping – October 16
9. Make Plans to Give Back – October 23
8. Inventory Your Decor and Watch for Sales – October 30
7. Finalize Your Family’s Holiday Calendar – November 6
6. Prepare a New Family Tradition – November 13
5. Get Your Christmas Cards and Address the Envelopes – November 20
4. Decorate for Christmas – November 27
3. Make Meal Plans; Batch Cook and Freeze Meals – December 4
2. Make and Freeze Cookie Dough and any Food Gifts – December 11
1. Prepare for guests, or Prepare to be a Guest – December 18
0. Celebrate! – December 25

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chalkboard Frame

Tonight I'm going to focus on something that Glama made, since today is about her and her new business, Sylvia's Spaces. When Hubby, EC and I got back from the in-laws last weekend, I found this surprise waiting for me!

Glama and I found this empty frame at a local antique store a few weeks ago. She added the chalkboard and cork and painted the frame. How cute is this!?

We really needed a space for organization in the kitchen for all of the papers that tend to fly around our house. I LOVE this idea! Thanks Glama!

Sylvia's Spaces

I am so excited to tell all of you that Glama has started a new business! Sylvia's Spaces is a interior design and staging company that can help you with all of your home interior needs - from organizing your pantry, to wrapping your Christmas gifts, to decorating your entire home. She will try to use what you have to keep costs down and so that even people on a budget can afford it! Try her, I promise, she's amazing!!