Monday, September 26, 2011

Halloween Fabric Wreath

I have been searching Pinterest for weeks, trying to find budget friendly Fall and Halloween crafts that I could make for our home. I finally found a Halloween wreath tutorial by Sassy Sanctuary that I just loved! I took pictures as I made my wreath so that I could make my own tutorial for this blog.

Find some cute holiday fabric. I got a total of 2 yards in four different patterns and had a little left over. I found a wire wreath form for only $1.99 at Hobby Lobby. Since it has four rings your wreath will turn out much fuller.

Then just cut strips of fabric, about 6" long and 1" wide.



Tie fabric in a random patten around your ring. I double knotted because I did not want it to come undone.


Take a piece of ribbon and tie a loop about the top of your wreath to hang it from. I tied it around the second ring.

Next, I made a bow to attach to the loop. I made two simple bows, one larger the other small.

Then hot glue the two together and glue the bow to the loop.

I wanted to attach the word "EEK", but I misspelled it! So I had to go back to the craft store to get another "E". It probably would have been easier if I had just spelled "BOO".

I hot glued an opened bobby pin to the back of the letter. After the glue dried I made a small hook in the end of the pin. Use that hook to hot glue the letter to the back of the wreath. I also had to add a few drops of hot glue to a couple of fabric pieces to keep the letter in place.

When you are done, just hang and enjoy!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The First Day of Fall

Fall is finally here!! I am so excited that today is the first official day of fall. Hands down, fall is my favorite season of the year!!

In honor of the first day of fall, I want to share with you some of my favorite Fall things that I have found on Pinterest.

{Fall Scenery}
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{Fall Decorations}
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{Fall Foods}
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{Fall Words}

Monday, September 19, 2011

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

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Ahoy matey!! Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day!!

Here are a few words you will need to know today so that you can be speakin' pirate-like.
* Ahoy: Hey!
* Avast: Stop!
* Aye: Yes
* Booty: treasure
* Buccaneer: a pirate who be answerin' to no man or blasted government.
* Davy Jones' Locker: the bottom o' the sea, where the souls of dead men lie
* Grog: A pirate's favorite drink.
* Lass: A woman.
* Lily-livered: faint o' heart
* Matey: A shipmate or a friend.
* Me hearty: a friend or shipmate.
* Scallywag: A bad person. A scoundrel.
* Shiver me timbers!: an exclamation of surprise, to be shouted most loud.
* Swashbucklin': fightin' and carousin' on the high seas!
* Walk the plank: this one be bloody obvious.
* Wench: a lady, although ye gents not be wantin' to use this around a lady who be stronger than ye.
* Yo-ho-ho: Pirate laughter
. . . . . . . . . .

If you need additional inspiration feel free to listen to "A Pirate's Life For Me".



A Pirate's Life For Me (Yo Ho)
Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.
We pillage plunder, we rifle and loot.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
We kidnap and ravage and don't give a hoot.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.
We extort and pilfer, we filch and sack.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
Maraud and embezzle and even highjack.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.
We kindle and char and in flame and ignite.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
We burn up the city, we're really a fright.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.

We're rascals and scoundrels, we're villians and knaves.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
We're devils and black sheep, we're really bad eggs.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.

We're beggars and blighters and ne'er do-well cads,
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
Aye, but we're loved by our mommies and dads,
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Flashback Friday: Our First Nephew

One year ago tomorrow, September 17th, Jon and I became an Uncle and Aunt for the first time as we welcomed our first nephew Kenneth Thomas! Here is the first blog post that I wrote about Kenneth after he was born, Welcoming Kenneth Thomas.

It did not take long before we feel deeply in love with this baby boy. I am sure it will be the same way when we have kids. However, I did not know that I could fall so quickly in love with someone that I had never even met!! Even though we could not be there on the day he was born I will never forget it!

Kenneth Thomas
7 lbs 4 oz, 20.5 inches long
Born at 11:35 pm

We met Kenneth for the first time in May 2011 at the PDX airport. We had traveled to Washington for Vivian's wedding and were met at the airport by both of our nephews!! It was such a special trip!!

Auntie Jen and Kenneth, May 2011

Uncle Jon and Kenneth, May 2011

Uncle Jon, Aunt Jen, and Kenneth, May 2011

Here are some recent pictures that my sister Vivian took of Kenneth just a few weeks before his first birthday! They went to the beach for the weekend and you can really see just how fast Kenneth is growing up!

He liked playing in the sand.

He really has that walking thing down!

Daniel, Vivian, and Kenneth
. . . . . . . . . .
A note from us to Kenneth.

Kenneth!! 

It is hard to believe that you are going to turn ONE tomorrow! You have changed so much since you were first born, but I guess that will be true every year of your life. When do you think you will be big enough for your Mom to let you come visit us? We love you so much and miss you like crazy!!
Love always, 
Uncle Jon and Aunt Jen


Visit Lauren for more flashbacks.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Financial Peace University


Good Morning! I hope that you have had a great weekend!

Last night Jon and I began a new Bible study at our church, Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. This is actually the first time we are not leading a Bible study in over a year. However, we are excited about what God is going to do in and through our finances this Fall! We have a lot of debt, mainly because of school loans. I am looking forward to learning about how we can become more disciplined with our finances.
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There were two things that my family never talked about sex and money. It was just understood in our family that we were not to bring up these topics for conversation. Money always brought stress, tension, and arguments. I am sure that money played a big role in my parents divorce as well. I do not think that they ever got on the same page in order to agree about how to handle their finances.

For the past 4 1/2 years that I have been married money has brought stress, tension, frustration, and fights. I think that for me this Financial Peace University will be one of the hardest things that I have ever done. Talking about money makes me very uncomfortable and I avoid it at all costs. However, I am willing and want to learn about what God says about our money and get on the same page with Jon concerning our finances. I do not want this to be an area in our marriage that will tear us apart.

This first week our homework is to read a few chapters in Dave's book and create a Basic Quickie Budget. That being said, please pray for us as we go through this Financial Peace University. Pray that Jon and I will have patience with one another as we learn to become more disciplined with our finances.

Friday, September 9, 2011

NFL Date Night

I have been excited about this date night since the NFL lockout ended!! For over a year I have been planning on having a special football themed date night for Jon and I to help kick off the first night of the NFL’s regular season. Little did I know that it would end up being the same week that I was super busy at work with a project!! Perfect timing!
The day for our date night finally arrived and I had nothing planned! AH! I am not a perfect wife. I have good intentions, but sometimes I am not able to execute my plans like I wish I could. I needed help!! I went to the Dating Divas website to find a quick and cheap date that I could get ready for Jon and I in just a few hours. I am happy to say that I was able to find exactly what I needed. It found a date idea that was perfect for us called, A Date That Scores.
The only real challenge that presented itself as I was planning our date night was: what are we going to have for dinner? I have not been to the grocery store in several weeks, which made it hard to figure out what we were going to eat on date night. I do not like eating out, so I wanted to find a more creative way to eat at home! Originally, when I was planning this date, I thought we needed to eat fun, fall, football foods for dinner. I did my best to stick with my original plan and I think it turned out great!
Here is a breakdown of our date if you would like to do this yourself. Like I said before, this idea came from the Dating Divas, I just adore these ladies!

The Tickets
First NFL Regular Season Game of 2011: New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers
Kick-off: Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 7:30pm
To get the Dating Divas Red Tickets, click the link. 

Dinner
This date came together at the last minute, so after I got off work and went to Wal-Mart to buy a few things I needed for dinner. After I got home Jon and I made dinner together before the game started!
Our appetizers

Hot Dogs and Baked Beans for Dinner


The Treats
 I bought the treats for the game at Wal-Mart too. Wal-Mart has so much variety that it can be impossible to choose, but I went straight for Jon’s favorites knowing that he would enjoy those treats the most!

The Half-Time Show
#1 Finger Football
During half-time we had fun making and playing finger football!





The Kissing Cam
Before the game even started I told my husband that he could give me a kiss every time someone scored a touchdown. Even though we did not make the jumbotron, each kiss was just as good!
Well, let me tell you…this date was easy, budget friendly and fun! Thank you to the Dating Divas for all of your great ideas!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Are You Ready For Some Football!?

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Today is the start of the NFL's regular season!!

My love for sports started when I was young, because I knew I could spend time with my Dad if I watched sports with him. I am so thankful that I married a man that likes sports too! Jon and I enjoy watching sports together as often as we can. To celebrate our one year anniversary, Jon and I drove to Houston to watch the Denver Broncos play the Houston Texans. It was so much fun!!

This is Jon's first year to play fantasy football. We will have to see how his team does!

For those of you who do not know, Jon and I are Denver Broncos fans!! We might be living in a Dallas Cowboy world, but we are committed to staying true to our team!!

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Praying for Rain

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For those of you who do not know Texas is experiencing on of the worst droughts in years. It has been an incredibly hot and dry summer. As if that was not a big enough problem, now we have wildfires in many parts of Texas.  

We've been able to smell the fires since Sunday afternoon. This morning I walked out to my car to find it covered in ash.

Would you all join me this morning in prayer for Texas?

Please pray for rain. 
Please pray that the Lord would protect the firefighters that have been fighting fires all weekend. Please pray for those who have had to evacuate their homes. Please pray that the Lord would open up the heavens and send rain to this land.

If you would like to find out more about the wildfires in East Texas check out KLTV's website for the latest in our area. You can also view the East Texas fires here.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Ladies Night Out

Last night I attended a Ladies Night Out, which was a dinner just for the women in our Sunday school class. It was such a wonderful evening!! It really is my passion to minister to women and it blessed me so much to watch everyone enjoy spending time together! We had such a good time that we are already planning another Ladies Night Out.

We had a devotional on confidence which went right along with everything that God is teaching me about my insecurities. After the devotional was over, one woman asked if we could each share the story about how we met our husband. For over an hour we went around the circle sharing our own sappy love stories! This was such a great way to get to know each other.

I am tired this morning after my late night out, but I really had a wonderful time!

Last night, I brought dessert to the Ladies Night Out. After searching for far too long on Pinterest for the perfect recipe I finally decided to make Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie n’ Oreo Fudge Brownie Bars. You might have to take a moment and read that again, but a little more slowly this time. I said that I made Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie n’ Oreo Fudge Brownie Bars.

I did not eat this dessert, because I am have given up chocolate for the entire year of 2011. However, last night the ladies said that this was amazing! The recipe made so much that I ended up bringing the leftovers to work this morning. I hope my co-workers enjoy these.

If you would like the recipe I have included it below.


Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie n’ Oreo Fudge Brownie Bar

I used double stuffed Oreos.

Yum!!
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Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie n’ Oreo Fudge Brownie Bars
Source: Amanda

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12 ounces) milk chocolate chips
1 pkg Double Stuffed Oreos
1 Family Size (9×13) Brownie mix
1/4 cup hot fudge topping

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream the butter and both sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well to thoroughly combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt, then slowly incorporate into the mixer until the flour is just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread the cookie dough in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish that’s been lined with wax paper and sprayed with cooking spray. Top with a layer of Oreos. Mix together brownie mix, adding an optional 1/4 cup of hot fudge topping to the mix. Pour the brownie batter over the cookie dough and Oreos. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-55 minutes.

To half this recipe for an 8×8 brownie mix, just half the chocolate chip cookie dough ingredients. Enjoy!

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