Thursday, January 31, 2013

a tutorial: easy peasy felt garland.

i received a few questions yesterday when i posted my afternoon craft on my instagram feed.  a little valentine love for my sad looking mantel.....

it really is so simple! 

i took some card stock and folded it in half. i drew hearts, elementary school style. and cut them out.
then i traced them {yes, with sharpie!} onto four colors of felt. i used sharpie because my washable fabric marker was not working well on the felt. and if you know me, i'm not one to get caught up in the details when it's something for myself. so i just cut inside the lines as best as i could. 

then i made four piles and started sewing with hot pink thread. no pinning or anything, i just grabbed them and stuck them through the sewing machine. {tip: if you need to lift up your presser foot, make sure to lower your needle first to keep your place!}

 {the burlap garland i made years ago is from a tutorial heather of whipperberry did! it's lasted a LONG time! the scrappier it gets the more i like it!}

an easy peasy tutorial for thursday! oh happy day!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

project life 2013, baby!

getting started before i get too far behind! i am remembering how much i love this project. i don't know how i'm going to end up doing last year - probably monthly - but this  year i'm going to do it however feel right for the week. whatever gets it done!

i get my pics printed at wolf camera on tuesdays/thursday for CHEAPO. and they're great quality. 

using my trusty stapler & kraft paper again. i read somewhere that becky higgins is coming out with a kraft paper edition of project life. what??? i would LOVE that. will keep my eye out!

happy wednesday, friends! have YOU started project life yet?? get inspired here & here!! i promise you'll love it!

Monday, January 28, 2013

little branches update!

good morning, friends!!

last week was a hectic, productive, whirlwind of a week to say the least. i kind of dropped everything and focused on getting some new stuff going on my little online shop, little branches. i'm so thankful for a supportive hubby who doesn't think twice about it when i'm in a scattered, stressed, creative mode. {in fact, he's been known to help me out on orders when he's home!}

we updated our website with information on custom orders & shipping. 

i {finally} completed a custom order for my sweet friend ashley & her twin girls. {thanks for being patient with me, ashley!}

we released our "university collection" - perfect for those high school seniors graduating in the spring.

today i will be mailing out 6 orders from online last week! 

i'm so thankful for fresh weeks. a clean slate & new opportunities coming our way. aren't you? i remember the beginning of every school year when we'd get new school supplies. there's something about fresh pencil & notebooks that makes you hope for all kinds of possibilities in the school year. 

february is going to hold a lot of exciting things for me {and little branches!} i can't wait to share as everything gets closer. 

that's how this week is for me. i don't have a beginning to the school year anymore but i do have a new week every week. thankful to the One whose mercies are new every morning. 

what do you all have planned this week?

Friday, January 25, 2013


hey, hey, friday! 

good to see ya! this week was LONG... but today is a GREAT day because my hubby is coming home! yay!!!!

this little muffin is such a ham. her personality is SO different from my sweet b. she's sweet & sassy. he's more serious and snuggly. she's watching the ducks under the bridge here.

when daddy's home we try to accomplish those errands that need man power! this was one of them. using the saw at home depot.

i debuted the university collection for little branches! check it out, friends. it's maybe my fave yet!

i'll be honest. shipping stuff is NOT my favorite. i hate how expensive it is and i hate the hassle of it all. BUT, at my post office down the street, i have the BEST postal worker! this older man is a true texas gentleman and he knows my kid's names and is ALWAYS cheerful! HE makes my day!

started taking this e-course. LOVE. IT. lots of food for thought on here!

a flat tire yesterday {again} blew some very big plans i had without my kiddos. oh well. thankful to have a car that runs.

the hubby being out of town is an adjustment. i've had nights here and there before... but never this much again and again and again. :) so my mood has been a bit.... unreliable? monday and tuesday are great but you get me to wednesday and i start to feel my nerves and patience starting to wear thin. to combat this moody wintry blues, i took megan's advice. bought some green plants. can't wait to get them nestled into the cozy inside.

ummm.... awesome music is a MUST for mood-busters. and this album is AWESOME. i know some people hate her. {my hubby thinks she's the MOST overplayed artist EVER!} but her music makes me relive my teenage years AND makes me feel like a rock star when i bust a move! love her. get it.

trying to slow down today. steadying myself for the whirlwind of my hubby being home. trying to soak up as much time with him as possible. love that the Lord goes before us and paves our way. don't you?

happy friday!

Monday, January 21, 2013


the bible tells us in jeremiah 1:5 "before I formed you in the womb, I knew you." do you believe that to be Truth?

i do. 

yesterday was sanctity of life sunday. according to wikepedia {which know is always accurate & reliable, right?} "In a January 13, 1984 proclamation, President Ronald Reagan designated January 22, 1984 as the first National Sanctity of Human Life Day. The date was chosen to coincide with the 11th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case that first recognized the constitutionally-protected status of abortion in the United States.[1]"

our pastor preached out boldly yesterday. and my heart ached.

he brought not-so-startling statistics regarding abortion & the abused. not startling but certainly alarming. and my heart ached.

he talked about how the Lord creates every life for His purpose. for His glory. and that we, as a society, view life & children very nonchalantly. and my heart ached.

my heart aches for the children that have been aborted. who were never given the chance to live their life. the life that, i believe, the Lord intended for them to live - but also knowing their ultimate fate.

my heart aches for the children who are unwanted. the ones who are unloved, abused or discarded. the orphans. the ones who have parents who honestly love them, but are in situations that they cannot get "straightened out", for lack of a better term, and therefore cannot care adequately for them.

i left the sermon feeling broken.

i know that my beliefs are certainly rooted in my faith. and our argument of when life begins will differ if you and i do not share the same faith. and that is okay.  one thing that is wonderful about living in america is that we have the ability to disagree. and that is wonderful.

i want my views and opinions to be challenged. there are certainly issues that i am not 100% educated about. there are issues that i do not feel as strongly about and there are ones that i am open to other people's concerns about.

but this. this one is not one of them. i have prayed and prayed about it for years. it's an issue that has been on my heart from the time i was in college. i read a book that rocked my views about choice and "women's rights".

i realized that God has a plan for every life. every. single. one. and yes, you might be in a tough place. one that i cannot comprehend or imagine. and i cannot promise you that there aren't consequences no matter what you choose but i can promise you this.

that God loves you. God loves your children. He has a plan for your child.  so much greater than what our plans could ever be. give Him a chance.

the hubbs & i know that we will adopt some day. there is a hole the size of texas in my heart, that grows by the day, waiting to be filled by a child {or children!} that are not biologically our own. there are SO many children that are neglected and tossed away in foreign countries. their view of children is minimal and thus so is their treatment.

i have met some of these children that have been rescued. that the Lord has so graciously placed into the arms of families we love & therefore these children are now children that we love. we are so inspired by the families that have stepped up to the plate and answered the Lord's call on their lives.

while i wish that we could give EVERY child a home, my eyes have been opened to the fact that there are so many children here - in my suburb of plano - that are neglected, unwanted, abused & abandoned. there are oh so many that are NOT LOVED. can you imagine that? a child in their own home not feeling love from their own mother or father? feeling discarded and lonely? my heart aches. i have cried many tears over these children.

and the more j. and i pray about it, the more we feel called here. to serve, to learn more, to simply care. there are so many ways to help. i feel very strongly about the foster care system. a social services lawyer told me last year that once children hit 2 years old their likelihood of finding permanent homes goes down dramatically. at 2 years old?

my daughter is 2. i cannot imagine her permanently floating from house to house hoping for someone to latch onto her. care for her. bring her up in the ways of the Lord. someone to play dress up with. someone to braid her hair. someone to read stories with. someone to hold her at night time when she has a scary dream. someone to rock her to sleep.....

these children are innocent. they have not made these choices. their parents have either made poor choices are simply have found themselves in a terrible situation.

either way. these children are out there and WE can help. 

i know that it is not yet our time to adopt. i know we will be there some day. but what can i do now? what can i do to not simply be "anti-abortion" or "anti-choice" but to be PRO-life, PRO-children?

there are SO many things.

i am in plano and there is a wonderful advocacy center here for children. i have met some of the wonderful women who work here and i need to take a tour. my husband has and it changed him. that's why i've been putting it off, i guess. there's no way i'll be able to walk through and NOT be emotional about it. i'd want to come home with a child every time i went. look up your town and see if there is an advocacy center. there are so many ways to volunteer. you can help with administrative stuff if you don't think you can handle the child interaction. they need all sorts of help - and donations - not just monetary.

our church also has a WONDERFUL pregnancy center. i have wanted to be a volunteer here for such a long time. my time does not allow it at the moment with two littles at home. however, like i said before, you can volunteer from your house! i've called through lists they provided to ask for sponsorships for their benefits. i've stuffed envelopes. i've sent out emails. a few years ago, we took on a little cookbook project in which we were able to donate $3,000 dollars to the pregnancy center as a group of women.

i promise if you pray for a way to promote life, the Lord will give you a way. 

please know, that if you find yourself in a desperate situation, there is hope. there ARE options - even if you don't feel like there are. the way that seems easiest right now just might be the hardest in the long run. i serve a God of grace, mercy, healing, forgiveness. you are NOT alone. He is with you - even in your darkest moments. reach out to someone for help. for guidance. wisdom. 

Friday, January 18, 2013


happy friday, friends.

here's our lovely instagrams from the week.

i cheated a bit. this one is from last week. my rainy trip back from austin required a stop at the BEST and my most favorite coffee shop ever. just what i needed for the last half of my trip.

i heart technology. i am so grateful for the little things that make me feel a tad closer to my hubby. a tad more involved in his daily life. although i didn't understand 90% of what they were saying, i DID enjoy watching. it gave me GREAT conversation to have with the hubby later that night. if you, for whatever reason, would like to watch it while they're in session - you can do so here. and click on live stream. they reconvene next week.

i had an ah-mazing creative burst of energy this last weekend. my house suffered the consequences, but so did my little business. about to load the shop up this weekend with a whole bunch of new goodies!

PS - last day to enter the awesome giveaway on FB! Like our Page/Share the post to win!

trying to get into new habits with our new routine over here. hot tea {vanilla & mint!} + planning for the next day have become an easy part of my night time routine. now i just need to add a hot bath in there!

wednesday i could NOT warm up. i felt like there was a draft in my house all. day. long. and what is the BEST remedy for that? chili. spicy chili. thankful that both of my kids love it too....

organizing my office this week after the tornado of my "burst of energy" took place. i want to call it a studio - seeing as it is full of paint, tools, markers, wood and glue guns. however i keep correcting myself. i don't really know why, but the "studio" word seems like it's reserved for true artists. and i just make stuff. yes, i like the stuff i make, and yes, i design the stuff i make, but.... i wouldn't consider myself an "artist"... so do i still call it a studio? hmmm.... that is the question to be answered in 2013!

happy FRIDAY friends! can't wait for the weekend! i'm going to savor every last drop!
life rearranged