8 Things To Do with Your Children Before They Turn 8

Now that my kids are older, I find myself reflecting on the time spent raising little ones. Sometimes I look back and wonder how we survived but other times I look back and think about what a sweet special time that was. As I get older and experience parenthood more fully, it's hard not to think about the things we did right and sometimes reminisce on the things that we wish we had done more of or done differently. If you are in the trenches and you are parenting children that haven't reached double digits yet, then this post is for you. If you have older kids, take some time to read this and add your expertise in the comments. My personal reflection just may spark an idea or two that you would like to share with other young parents.

parenting, parenthood, young family, kids

Pushing Reset With Jenny Craig

Thank you Jenny Craig for sponsoring this post. -- Get serious about losing weight with Jenny Craig!

I stepped on the scale at a doctors appointment and audibly gasped. I'm sure it wasn't the first time that the nurse heard a patient question the accuracy of the scale. Weight has never really been an issue for me. If anything, I hovered around the lower end of normal. Last February I was involved in a fairly serious car accident. Accident related injuries turned into chronic pain that the doctors couldn't put their finger on. For months I bounced between specialists trying to find the cause of my pain while trying to find my new normal with physical limitations. Before the accident, I was very active. I ran often, did strength training and made it a point to hit the gym five days a week. For months after the accident I was struggling to find a new routine. The medication I was on made me exhausted and one of the side effects was weight gain. It should have been no surprise when that scale showed a weight I had never seen before outside of pregnancy. 

I ignored the number as it crept up. I had frequent doctors appointments and I figured it was the heavy clothes I was wearing as the weather started to turn. Plus, the scale was probably just not calibrated correctly. I mean, it gets used all the time right? Wrong. The third appointment at the third doctor's office in one week confirmed that I had indeed packed on some pounds. I'm not quite sure why I didn't notice. My jeans were tight and rarely could I have them buttoned. Ten pounds, that's how much weight I had gained in just a few months.

Ten pounds really isn't that much, but I'm getting older and my metabolism is slowing down and well, if it was ten pounds in just a few months, what if it was twenty pounds in a year, or fifty pounds in five years. I needed a reset. I needed to re-examine my activity level, figure out my portions and take off those pounds that were slowing me down. I didn't want to mess with any fad diet programs. I needed to get real results that were going to last. If you need a reset too, come see how the first two weeks have been on the Jenny Craig program.

diet, weight loss, meal ideas, healthy eating


Strawberry Yogurt Salad Recipe

I'm guilty. I am one of those people that has made a new year's resolution to be more conscious of the food that I am eating. I am usually a pretty good eater. I pick up fruits and veggies quite often as a snack, but I also pick up handfuls of chocolate and chips too! The older I get, the more I realize that I need to pay more attention to what I'm putting into my mouth. This strawberry yogurt salad is the perfect meal for lunch time. Or serve it as a fresh side. Eating more fruits and veggies never hurt anyone!

greek yogurt, whole foods, eat clean


Cheese and Spinach Tortellini Soup

Soup is something my family can expect on having at least once a week in our house. I'm constantly cold and the long dreary rainy days of winter in the Pacific Northwest create this bone chilling cold that only coffee and warm soup can take the edge off of. One of our family favorites is this cheese and spinach tortellini soup. It's packed full of wholesome vegetables and freshly made Buitoni pasta. Some soups take a long time to make, but not this one. This one can be made in about half an hour so your busy family can move on to their next activity. 


Crate Bookcase with New and Vintage Crates + How to Use Vinyl as a Stencil

I don't know what it is, but I have a soft spot for old stuff. Rusty and worn with the edges peeling up, those are my favorite things. Sometimes though, in the hunt for old stuff, you don't always find what you are looking for. A collection can take years to build up and sometimes you just don't have the patience for it. For the past few years I haven't consciously been collecting vintage crates, it just sort of happened. But before I knew it, I had a half a dozen crates hanging out. I started to stack them and use them and sort of formed a mini bookshelf from crates. But there was something missing. It needed more crates. Just the other day, I was driving past a local food bank and I noticed a pile of crates in their free pile. These kinds of crates are flimsier than the solid vintage crates but I immediately thought of the stack of crates I had at home and knew that the thing that it was missing was more crates. I'm going to show you how I used those "new" crates and made them look vintage with a coat of stain and a stencil made from my Silhouette Cameo. You can't even tell the vintage ones from the new crates, which is my kind of knock off.

Don't forget to enter my blog anniversary giveaway! One winner could win an Expressions Vinyl Silhouette Cameo 3 bundle, a Silhouette Mint bundle, my two favorite appliances from HomeRight {a steamer and a paint sprayer} AND a $100 gift certificate to Dayspring. That's a prize pack that's valued at around $1500! Enter to win here


How to Select Door Hardware

Tracking Pixel

This is a sponsored post for Schlage®. All opinions are 100% my own.

I didn't realize it until my husband and I bought our first house. Our real estate agent had her work cut out for her with us as clients. I was one of those people that couldn't just walk into a home and see good bones, nope. I walked into the home and started picking apart the details. The doors, the knobs, the trim, the faucets. It's actually a little surprising because I wouldn't say that I'm a very detail oriented person. However, I do like a good finishing touch and I feel like that is what a door knob or a handle or a faucet is. It's like the bow on a pretty package. One of the first things we replaced when we moved into our first home 18 years ago were the door handles. I actually received them all as a birthday gift from my parents. That's probably when I knew I was officially an adult. I recently helped a friend who was making updates on her home choose new interior door hardware. Her home had the original hardware from when it was built in the 90's and as they were updating the rest of the home and changing the finishes, they decided to update their door hardware as well. 

home decorating, diy, home improvement, lever or knob

I partnered with Schlage® to show you what an easy update it is to change out your door hardware and how this finishing touch is the perfect way to tie the entire home's look together just like that pretty bow does on a package.

Schlage review door lever and door handles 


The Ultimate Fixer Upper Fan Guide

I accidentally became a Fixer Upper expert. I'm not going to lie, I rarely watch the show. We don't have cable and Netflix is a little slow updating the episodes {you can find season 1 and 2 to stream or if you are a super fan you can purchase the episodes here}. I actually learned about Fixer Upper when I had a few people tell me that I looked a little bit like Joanna Gaines {see for yourself a little side by side and you decide}. I ran into her mom at the Silo's once and she didn't once think I was her daughter, so I'm not sure she's my doppelganger. My Fixer Upper expertise kind of started when my oldest son started to consider college at Baylor University.  I started talking to any and all Baylor grads about their experience and as we talked, several of them geeked about about their love of Fixer Upper, this new hit HGTV show featuring two Baylor alumni that was blowing up. One of those grads introduced me to season 3 client Jaime Ferguson who was kind enough to give us the inside scoop on what it was really like to be a Fixer Upper client. None of us could have imagined but that interview blew up the internet. It was really the first glimpse of it's kind that allowed Fixer Upper fans the chance to imagine what it would be like if they were clients of the hit TV show.  Since then, I've met or talked to several more Fixer Upper clients, visited Waco three different times, shopped Magnolia Market and eaten my weight in cupcakes from the Silos Baking Co. I have read bios, watched videos, scoured the internet and found out all kinds of interesting information from getting never before seen photos of the flip that made them famous to creating lists of must see things to do and see if you find yourself in Waco. So now, I've put together this ultimate fan guide to Fixer Upper. Even if you have seen every episode, I bet you will find something you didn't know. 

magnolia, magnolia market, silos, waco, texas, chip and joanna gaines


Blog Anniversary Celebration with a Giveaway of a Few of My Favorite Things! Valued at $1500!

This month marks 7 years of blogging. Holy cow! What started out as a hobby for me has turned into a full time job and I am loving it! I had no idea when I started Holy Craft in January of 2010 that a blog could even become more than just a little web diary. If you've never heard the story of how this blog came to be, let me give you a little back story. In 2005, I was expecting our third child. I started a personal blog as a sort of photo album to share pictures of my kids and give a snapshot of our life to our friends and family. Most of them lived thousands of miles away and the blog became a fun way for me to share life. As my kids started to get older, I was able to start exploring some of my passion for creating again. Those creations started creeping up into my personal blog in 2009. Blogging was relatively new then and I joined in on a link party. I realized I had a lot of personal information and family pictures on our blog and directing people to it probably wasn't the smartest move. So I did what any grown-up does and asked my friends on Facebook if they would read a blog if I started one. A few people said yes and I started asking for suggestions on a blog name. Holy Craft was born. The name came from a fun play on words but I also thought it encompassed what I wanted in a blog. The blending of my holy, spiritual side with crafts and creating. There have been a lot of ups and downs in there, but today is for celebrating! I'm giving away some amazing prizes and doing it in a fun way I think you guys are going to really enjoy. Since it's my blog and a celebration of my work anniversary, I wanted to celebrate by giving away my favorite things! Any guesses what they are?!! I'm going to explode, I'm so excited!!!


10 Ways to Help your College Student Survive and Thrive Their Freshman Year

College is a learning experience. You get more than just a classroom education when you enter those halls of higher learning. Not only are you living on your own for the first time, away from the watchful eye of your parents, you are responsible for so many things. As parents, we knew the time was coming, so we backed off slowly to allow room for him to grow and become more independent. I want to share some tips on how you can set your child up to survive and thrive as a college student. I recently read a report from the ACT that one in every four college students leaves before completing their sophomore year. Not only that, nearly half of all freshman drop out before obtaining a degree or completing their education at all. Setting your college kids up for success is going to help prevent your child from becoming one of those statistics. I've got 10 tips for how you can help your college student survive and thrive their freshman year.

amazon prime student, college textbooks, parenting


Easy Zippered Fold Over Clutch with Leather Accent

This is a sponsored post written on behalf of fabric.com. All opinions are 100% my own.
One of the first things I ever learned to do was sew. I had a small sewing kit in a blue tackle box with all these miniature size spools of thread and since my mom had a sewing machine, I had access to a whole lot of scraps. I remember one of the first things I made was a shirt for my cat Alex P. Kitten to wear in the 4th of July parade.  I really should have jumped on that animal clothes bandwagon and capitalized on that far sooner because I hear that gig is a billion dollar industry!  By the time middle school rolled around I was sewing dozens of hair scrunchies to keep my 80's hair accessorized. I still love to sew, though it's not always something I make time for. I think in the new year, I am going to spend more time whipping some things up because I enjoy it so much. I started by making this easy zippered fold over clutch with leather accent. It's so easy that you can make one for yourself in under an hour.  And if you shop at fabric.com like I did, you don't even have to leave the house! 

I've got the full tutorial and all the supplies, so come check it out!

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