Knit Cowl Tunic Pattern and Tutorial

I don't think that it was so much of a new year's resolution as it was a goal of mine to try to get back into sewing again. I started sewing when I was young. I remember my first project was a hand stitched dress for my kitten to wear in the 4th of July parade. I should have taken my idea of designing pet clothes and run with it then because holy cow, that market is huge! Months go by now though when I don't stitch a thing and I wanted to change that because I forgot how much I loved to create. In January, I made this zippered fold-over clutch, in February I made this leather laptop sleeve and now this month, I created this cowl neck knit tunic. It's an easy pattern you can make too and it can be adjusted for all sizes., pattern, tutorial, sewing, make it yourself

Making Fabric Paper Clips for your Journaling Bible

I've been using my journaling Bible for a little more than a year now and I am getting more and more comfortable using it. I'm finding out what supplies I like best, what methods are my favorite and how I can make this creative time my own and grow in my walk. I have found that as I illustrate a page, the verse I'm working on gets ingrained in my brain because I am spending a different kind of time on it. I'm focused on it, reflecting on it and connecting the cognitive side of my brain with the visual/tactile side of my brain. And it's fun! One of the ways I like to look back on the pages I have been studying, is by putting fabric paper clips on the page. But not just any paper clip, a paper clip with a fancy ribbon helps me see where I have been studying and it helps me flip to a verse quickly. 

Plus, it adds another layer of texture to my Bible. If you remember, I already used washi tape on the first page of every chapter and I have loved how that has made it easier for me to flip and find things quickly when I'm studying or listening to a sermon. I just love how the different colored paper clip ribbons are adding so much color to my Bible as well. I'm going to show you how you can make these fabric paper clips to use in your journaling Bible or notebook.
illustrated faith, color in your Bible, dayspring, planner

Dollar Store Succulent Wreath Tutorial

I am still crazy over the succulent trend. I remember as a kid we called them hens and chicks. Do people still do that? So, I was shopping at my local dollar store, as one does, and found a box full of succulents. I snatched them up because I had been eyeing them at my local craft store and at $4-5 each using them for a craft project of this size, was going to add up! I bought 19 of them because that's how many they had and was excited to get started on making a succulent wreath. It took me less than twenty minutes to whip this wreath up and I love the end result. I'm showing you how you can make your own today.

spring, dollar tree, tutorial

Spring Flower and Easter Egg Inspiration Plus Create Link Inspire Party

Welcome to another week of the create, link, inspire link party. I hope you find inspiration here every week and that you check back often for ideas. I'm always impressed with what gets linked up and I always add a handful of crafts, DIY's and recipes to my to do list.  

This week, I'm sharing the best spring flower and egg ideas. Nothing says spring like beautiful flowers and painted eggs and I'm sharing the best ideas that were linked up last week in the Create Link Inspire Party. They are sure to inspire you and you will find something you can use for your own spring time decorating or celebrating.


5 Ways to Silence Your Inner Critic

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Activia. All opinions are 100% mine.
This post brought to you by Activia. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Rachel Teodoro.

Just before I turned 30, I decided to start running. I hadn't spent any time working out before but I knew I needed to start forming some healthy habits. I had little eyes watching and I wanted to be healthy so that I could be around and active for a long time. I realized that walking was too slow. I didn't love running but I love efficiency and getting from point A to point B was much faster if I picked up the speed. I also loved the end result. The finish line after months of training and the check list of runs under my belt is satisfying, but no matter how many good runs I have it's always the bad ones that are at the forefront of my mind. The inner critic comes out and starts in on it's conversation that rolls through my mind. Running for me is just as much a mental activity as it is a physical activity.

I have to work to silence that inner critic and find that inner strength to push through. Activia created an Inner Voice Interview asking women to share some of their goals and questioned what was holding them back from accomplishing them. The answer 80% of the time was themselves. Let's be stronger than the inner critic, here are a few quick tips and tricks that might help you too regardless if you are running your first 5K or if you are taking on a new goal or project.


Is Goodwill Too Expensive?

Is Goodwill Too Expensive?

I'm cheap. Like really cheap. I do most of our shopping at garage sales (check out some of my past What I Wore Wednesday-Garage sale editions) but during the winter when it isn't garage sale season, I get a little antsy. Sometimes I get motivated to head into my local Goodwill and see what I can find.

I worked at Goodwill back when I was in High School. It was such a fun job. A treasure hunt of sorts nearly everyday of working and always first dibs (or so it seemed) on most things. The inventory was constantly changing and each box was filled with something different and it was a surprise every time you opened a box.

Don't miss this post: Lessons Learned From my Time as a Goodwill Employee

Household Items at Goodwill

I know the key to finding the best deals at Goodwill is to shop often, but for me, it seems like Goodwill is just getting too pricey. I walked into the door today and found this dresser marked at nearly $200!

Don't get me wrong, this dresser is a beautiful piece. It has tons of potential, but $200? On something Goodwill got as a donation.

There were bed frames marked for nearly $600. Does that seem a bit pricey to anyone else?
This couch was marked $89. I know there are plenty of free couches on Craigslist that look similar to this one.

I also found pictures to be a bit on the expensive side. This picture wasn't anything special and it was marked $49.

I would have bought this cake stand but for $15? I could have found it cheaper on clearance.

There are plenty of household items at Goodwill, and you can often find items that are less expensive then you would purchase them retail, but you do have to shop often and watch for sales!

Goodwill Has Discounts!

Goodwill has discounts! There are often weekly tags that are marked down as well as a color tag at our local store that is often for sale for .99. Items are tagged with a color tag when they get ready to put them on the floor. They are given several weeks to sell at the store, and then the color rotation starts again. For instance week 1: red tags, week 2: green week 3: get it idea.

Often the reason an item hasn't moved off the sales floor is because the price has been set too high. If you pay attention to the discount tags, you can usually get a deal.

Can You Negotiate at Goodwill Stores?

As a general rule of thumb, no. They sometimes will reduce a price if there is a defect. Clothing items in particular are scrutinized before hitting the floor for holes and stains, but occasionally those things can be missed. If you are good at fixing an item, you can usually ask a manager for a discount. Other than that, you often can't ask for a different price just because you think their price is too expensive.

Shopping the Goodwill Outlet Stores

Items that do have defects or items that don't sell at a discount are often sent on to the Goodwill Outlet stores. This is a very different experience shopping and honestly, it's my favorite way to hunting for deals. Items are marked by the pound. 

Here are some tips for shopping at Goodwill Outlet

Target Items at Goodwill But are they Cheaper?

Goodwill started carrying items from Target back when I worked there over 15 years ago. They are called Grey Goods. When I was working there, they were donations, now I am told (by the supervisor at Goodwill) that the Target items are bought (at a reduced price) and sold at a percentage off the retail price.

Which is why this piece is new and in the box cost $12.

Or why these frames cost $6.50 (the scratches come for free!)

This shirt didn't have any tags on it showing me that it was new from Target, but it was Target's brand. You can buy it for $8.99. Really? $8.99? I know of plenty of retail stores where I could buy this shirt new for around that price.

I remember seeing this same kids shirt last week. At $5.99 it doesn't surprise me that it's still there. The $5.99 price tag is the standard price for shirts in the kids department. At least many of them that I saw.

And speaking of prices, I thought it was funny that I saw a shirt with a $5.99 price tag from Goodwill, but the clearance price was only $4.48 at Target. If the product didn't sell on clearance at Target for that, why do they think they can get more for it at Goodwill?

I actually noticed that most of the items that were from Target had red clearance stickers at one point, but many of them were pulled off so that the Goodwill customer couldn't see the retail price.

When I spoke to the supervisor she told me that they are required to mark the Target items at a percentage off of the retail price and that most of the time that price is higher than the clearance price. So why not shop at Target instead? I think I would much rather spend my time checking often at Target for clearance sales, then checking often at Goodwill for their higher marked items.

The other trend I am noticing at Goodwill now is that since they are taking in more retail items and selling more new items, that the store has less character.

Rows and rows of plaid shorts

or end caps filled with Hanes socks doesn't seem like a treasure hunt to me anymore. And really, isn't that the best part?

I love that you can still find a diverse amount of items at the store. Someone in the back must know that trench coats are trendy this season because when I walked in, I found a whole rack of them. But, I am thinking that this 1980's trench coat isn't what In Style magazine was thinking.

And at a price tag of $29.99, I think I will pass.

Shopping for Costumes at Goodwill

Goodwill is even too expensive for me to do "gag" shopping at. This jacket would have been perfect for the 80's New Years party my husband and I went to this year, but with a price tag of $8.99, no thanks!

And with wedding season upon us, Goodwill had rows of wedding dresses all lined up. There were some great dresses, but like all things Goodwill, you have to hit the jackpot with finding the right size. Then I looked at the price tag...

holy smokes! $99.99 for this particular wedding dress from David's bridal. I know I've heard the commercials for David's bridal and know you can often get $99 BRAND NEW wedding dresses at their store. I've been a bride on a budget before and know that I would have much rather gotten my dress cheap from a bridal store, than cheap from Goodwill.

I also saw this lovely shoe display. These shoes were all marked for $14.99. That seems expensive to me for used shoes that aren't any special brand.

The Goodwill I remember operated on set prices and even those seem to be getting quite expensive. Check out the prices for books. We usually get our books from the library for free or at garage sales for a quarter a piece.

So I wonder, is this Goodwill trend just in my area? Is Goodwill getting to be too commercial and too expensive for anyone else? I am not impressed.

Is Thrifting Getting More Expensive?

I think so! But there are still deals to be had! It's worth sticking with it and taking time to enjoy the hunt!


Fixer Upper Spin-Off Behind the Design

Just yesterday, I was scrolling through Instagram and saw Joanna Gaines making a little announcement. OK, maybe it's not so little. HGTV has decided to give Joanna Gaines a little spin-off show of her own called Fixer Upper Behind the Design. Fixer Upper has easily become HGTV's biggest success with viewers who not only love the witty banter and loving way this couple relates to one another, but they are loyal fans who flock from miles away to visit a town on the map called Waco to a store named Magnolia Market that is dotted with a rusty hunk of metal silos. I have heard time and time again from people who say "I wish they would come and do my house!" There has even been a recent trend of people moving to Waco with the desire just to be a part of the show. What I find most interesting about this new spin-off show and what viewers may not know, is that when you agree to be on Fixer Upper, you agree to give up control of the design to the Design Team. Would you be willing to go all in with a budget for your dream home and give up complete control?

Bacon Cheese Soup Recipe

If I had to pick a favorite kind of food, it would be soup. There are so many different ways to make soup tailored to fit everyone's taste buds. From a hearty meal to a light refreshing healthy food choice, soup can fit any need. This bacon cheese soup isn't the lowest calorie soup recipe you will find, but it sure is yummy! And I always find that some soups, like this one, taste even better when reheated the next day. This delicious creamy thick soup will promise to be a filling crowd pleaser.


The Best Dessert Recipes and Create Link Inspire Party

Welcome to another week of the create, link, inspire link party. I hope you find inspiration here every week and that you check back often for ideas. I'm always impressed with what gets linked up and I always add a handful of crafts, DIY's and recipes to my to do list.  

This week, I'm sharing my favorite dessert recipes. I'm a huge fan of dessert and looking at all the amazing things that were linked up last week, I kept getting drawn in too all the yummy goodness. I bet you find a new family favorite in this list.  


Faux Shiplap: DIY Sharpie Shiplap and Painted Shiplap Tutorial

Inside: The perfect painted faux shiplap wall tutorial.

Before Joanna Gaines made shiplap a household name, I was in love with the trend.

I fell in love with shiplap when I visited Seabrook, one of my favorite beach towns in Washington mostly because the homes and community are so charming. I think visiting Seabrook for the first time is when I saw shiplap used on walls in person. I loved the coastal vibe that it gives and the clean white lines make me swoon. I've been trying to convince my husband for years to put it up {it took me 15 years to get the board and batten installed that I had begged for} and I can't seem to be making any headway. His response is always, "why would you want to nail a bunch of boards to the wall?" Well, my friends, I think I may have stumbled upon the most genius solutions for you. I've got two different faux shiplap options. Yep, no wood boards, just paint or marker made to look like shiplap. You get the farmhouse or coastal look without the commitment that comes with nailing boards to your wall. Are you ready to see how you can create Sharpie shiplap or painted shiplap in your own home?

Faux shiplap wall


EOS Lip Balm Easter Chick

As my kids get older, I'm constantly trying to find fun creative things to make for their Easter baskets. If you have a daughter, you know the obsession with eos lip balm. Why not add a few scraps of vinyl and create a cute little chick that will make an adorable addition to any spring basket. It's so easy and takes just a few minutes.

vinyl, silhouette cameo, lip balm,

5 Ways to Keep the Weight Off

At the start of the year, I realized that without even knowing it, I had packed on about ten pounds. I totally understand now how people say that they have no idea how the weight creeps on. I guess if I think about it, I could come up with a few reasons, but I had no idea that my life choices had changed that much and that my normally consistent weight was not so consistent anymore. I took a few weeks to hit the restart button and I lost all of the weight, but I didn't want to get myself back into the same situation again by continuing to make the same choices, so I needed to examine what I was doing and how I could adjust my lifestyle to make better choices that would help me keep the weight off. I've been able to maintain my weight now and want to share with you some of the changes I am making to stay at a healthy weight for me.


DIY Farmhouse Style and Create Link Inspire Party

Welcome to another week of the create, link, inspire link party. I hope you find inspiration here every week and that you check back often for ideas. I'm always impressed with what gets linked up and I always add a handful of crafts, DIY's and recipes to my to do list.  

This week, I'm sharing my favorite DIY Farmhouse projects that were linked up. The Farmhouse style has gotten wildly popular thanks to my friends at the HGTV hit show Fixer Upper.  These DIY projects will hopefully inspire you to tackle some of your own projects around your home.

If you are a Fixer Upper fan, don't miss my exclusive with Fixer Upper Client Jaime Ferguson to find out what it's really like to be on the show. Ever wondered if they get to keep the furniture?  I'm dishing all the details!


Why You Should Pray for your Children's Future Mates

I knew before I even met him that I was meeting someone special.  A sorority sister of mine had just broken up with a guy that was too nice to not be snatched up she said.  She wanted me to meet him, to scout him out for a friend on our floor.  I knew I was meeting him for a friend, but for some reason I took out my curling iron and spent just a few minutes on my hair.  

I saw him sitting there, on a friends bed turned couch as most dorm rooms happen to function. He had a maroon hat with a curved bill pulled down low.  His cheeks were red and flushed as if he had just run a sprint, though he had only just been sitting there for the past hour.  I was privy to a conversation that he was having about an upcoming fraternity function, though I said not one word to him.  I was taken by him.

Are you Listening to Your Inner Voice or Your Inner Critic?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Activia for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
This post brought to you by Activia. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Rachel Teodoro.

"You can't do it."

"Just give up now."

"What's the point? It's not like it's going to work."

I know I'm not the only one that has a running dialogue like this in my head. It's funny, but I would never say any of those things to a friend. I would definitely never say them to my kids, I wouldn't even say them to a complete stranger, so why is it that this is the tape that runs through my mind when I start something new?

If anyone asked me what I did for a living I would always answer that I was a stay at home mom. I have three beautiful kids who I love dearly and because they are so important to me, I think that I had a hard time embracing the fact that I was somehow suddenly sharing my time doing something other than raising kids. My focus shifted but my priorities hadn't. Part of me just couldn't believe that the end of my career as a stay at home mom was starting to become a reality and that I was embracing a change and becoming a working mom to make blogging a full time job.

The inner voice kept telling me that if I didn't claim the title then I couldn't fail and failure was inevitable. Or was it? I needed to stop listening to the inner critic and quit thinking that it was my inner voice. I was confusing the two and I needed to make one louder than the other in order to pull in that strength I knew was inside. I had dozens of successes in my life that I could pull from, but I was focusing on the "what ifs" and the "you cant's."


Paper Succulent Terrarium for the Black Thumb

I love plants I really do, they just don't really seem to love me. It's about this time of year that I start getting the itch to plant anything, inside and outside. We get these glimpses of spring with sunshine and rising temperatures and then BAM!, back to typical rainy Pacific Northwest weather. I have learned through the years that even though I want to be good at gardening and plant growing {I'm sure there is a word for this...}, I'm just not. Especially with indoor houseplants. I keep trying with the plants outside because heck, everything seems to grow here, but I have finally succumbed to the fact that I'm not really good at keeping plants alive inside and that's OK. So, I'm slowing making a shift to faux plants like this paper succulent I'm showing you how to make today. You can still bring in a little green inside but not have to worry about keeping it alive. It's really a win win and the whole project will cost you just a few bucks...less than a houseplant.

silhouette cameo, 3d image, paper hens and chicks, paper crafting, paper craft, succulent care tips


Benefits of Being a Young Parent

I'm not sure what age I would have been had we actually planned parenthood. I'm fairly certain it wouldn't have been five days after my 20th birthday, which is when my oldest son decided to make his appearance. I was a sophomore in college when I found out I was pregnant. Not much older than my son is now, which is why I'm not sure I would recommend young parenthood for most people, though we have found that through the years, there have been some unexpected benefits of being a young parent that we just couldn't have planned for. While there have been hundreds of articles written about "the right age" to have children, I'm not sure that I could fully agree with most of them. I don't know if there is a right age. Sometimes you make the best of whatever situation you are in. If that means you start raising a family before you intended or delaying parenthood until you have a grasp on your life, I think that there are benefits to every situation. However, this is our story. And these are the benefits that I have seen with being a young parent.

 photo credit Rebecca Anne Photography

The Best St. Patrick's Day Ideas Plus Create Link Inspire Link Party

Welcome to another week of the create, link, inspire link party. I hope you find inspiration here every week and that you check back often for ideas. I'm always impressed with what gets linked up and I always add a handful of crafts, DIY's and recipes to my to do list. 

I find that you either celebrate St. Patrick's Day or you don't. I fall in the don't category, though I almost always try to wear green on the 17th because I revert to my school girl days when kids would pinch you if you didn't have any on. But, this collection of St. Patrick's Day ideas may just have me changing my mind about celebrating. There are some fun crafts, DIY's and of course yummy recipes for everyone!


Tips for Hanging Wallpaper plus Other DIY tips

All this week we have been following the progress of the woodland kids rooms that young couple, Christian and Dea Rust have completed in their historic mansion in small town Indiana. I have loved all of the details in this room and have been impressed at how well everything has worked together, but that's really no surprise after seeing the progress of some of the other rooms that have been reveled on the blog. The room still keeps the integrity of the historic home while updating the details to make it comfortable for this young couple as they look to one day expand their family to include children. In the meantime, this is a cozy space for their nieces and nephews to enjoy when they stay over or visit.

Today, we will be checking out some upholstered chairs and we will be taking in some wallpapering hanging tips from the pro. If this birch wallpaper doesn't tempt you a bit, I'm not quite sure what will! Come check out some of the details of this transformation!


DIY Board and Batten with Hot Glue

In case you missed it, we've been following a young couple on their journey of rehabbing a historic mansion in small town Indiana. Christian and Dea Rust are doing their best to restore the home while updating it to make it functional for their lifestyle today. The home was built in 1871 and poses many challenges that require some pretty genius solutions. This requires flexibility and a little creativity in order to work with what they have as much as possible. The latest room we are getting a peek into is this kids Woodland themed room. The couple added board and batten to the walls and ran into a little issue while they were trying to incorporate the existing trim into their design. Come see the solution they came up with and how you can DIY board and batten in your own space. I was a little surprised at the solution they came up with. I had no idea such a thing even existed!


DIY Woodland Kids Room Makeover Reveal

For nearly a year we have been following a young couple as they rehab their historic mansion in small town Indiana. We have been fortunate enough to get a glimpse inside as Dea and Christian do their best to restore this 1871 mansion that they call home. The most recent room makeover occurred in one of their upstairs bedrooms. It was transformed into a woodland kids room with some of the most stunning details. While this room had great bones to begin with {isn't the trim amazing?!}, details like board and batten and wallpaper were added to balance the traditional historic feel with a new modern twist. 

Come take a look at the transformation!
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