April 30, 2011

SSMT Verse 9!


"Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God." - Ephesians 4:1 (NLT)

This is my new memory verse! I know this applies to so many areas in my life, and yours, but one that I'm really going to focus on during the month of May is Mothering (in honor of Mother's Day). =)

If you want to know what SSMT is all about, check it out here

April 29, 2011

April Showers Bring May Flowers...and Birthdays!


Another month is coming to an end!  We are now 1/3 of the way through 2011.  What?!  Let's try this again... Another month is about to begin!  May is coming and that means we still have 2/3 of the year 2011 ahead of us! 
No matter how I look at it, April has been an incredible month!  Lots going on with our new home getting ready to be moved in; Earth day; Easter; my middle baby turning 3; 8 weeks into my own personal health journey...that I haven't mentioned to many people (12 week challenge - and I'm only 2lbs from my goal weight!!!).


I've also been trying to focus on RESTING this month.  By giving my computer a break once a week and following these 4 steps, I have been trying to rest spiritually, mentally and physically.  That is REALLY hard to do in our busy lives these days, but I could say that these last 3 weeks have been even crazier than normal (does this just keep happening, life gets wound tighter and tighter as the years pass until normal isn't even recognizable?)...whether that is the case or not, I know that I have to lean into Jesus to really experience rest right now...so even though May means something new to focus on, I am still going to try and keep all the things I've learned this month areas of focus in my life.  Thanks for learning with me!


I thought a great way to send off the month of April is with some bright pictures of celebration!  So here I am going to show off, I mean show you the fun we had with our middle daughter, Neeci for her 3rd birthday...

Started off birthday celebrations with two little girl makeovers at Sweet & Sassy (and got a great price through a Groupon daily deal)!

Nails and makeup - Check! (It was crazy seeing my babies with eye shadow on!)

Neeci getting her hair done!



Little Ballerina.

Kailyn's Pop Star Princess Look!

Now off to the Fashion Show Cat Walk....


A quick look at the Fashion Show, Live:
video

Then we celebrated the Birthday Girl at my parents house, with family and friends, Tacos, Candy, Presents and my first cupcake Cake:



HAPPY BIRTHDAY NEECI!!!

(And a few Easter Egg Hunt shots too)




I hope you all had a wonderful April and let's look forward to a great May!!!

April 27, 2011

Free Sunless Tan (until April 30)!!!


I heard about this from Hip 2 Save and actually used mine last week (before Easter, just in case we took any family pictures...which we didn't).  It was awesome!  I did the Mystic Tan for the first time, wow!  I loved it.  Pros: Sprays on even, Got much darker than I expected (for the light), Looked close to natural.  Cons: Took 4-6 hours to get at it's darkest color (not really a "con"), Doesn't smell that great, Only lasts about a week (I added some at home sunless tanner after about 5 days to keep the color a little longer).

If you want to try it out FREE, go here and fill out this form (check for locations near you that are a part of this offer).  Only good through this Saturday!

PS.  I am not sure how "healthy" this spray tanning is for you.  I know it's better than sitting in the sun, but I'm on the look out for some organic spray tanning salons in my area.  What are your thoughts about all this?

April 25, 2011

4 Steps to Rest


"Then Jesus said, 'Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.'" - Matthew 11:28 (NLT)
First things first - Jesus.  He is the only one who can give us true rest, and peace.  Seek Him first and all your other needs will be taken care of (Matthew 6:33).

If you can take a minute to read all of Hebrews 4:1-13 you won't regret it.  I'm just going to focus on a few of the verses.
"So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God. So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.” - Hebrews 4:6-7
How do we enter God's rest that He has for us today?  Obey His Word!

Rest: cessation of work, exertion, or activity; peace; ease; refreshment; relief or freedom from disquiet or disturbance; mental or emotional tranquility. 

Verses 12-13 are more commonly known verses, but I'd never heard them in context before!  Who knew that they were speaking of rest?!
"For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable." - Hebrews 4:12-13
So now here are the 4 Steps to Rest:

  1. Come To Jesus (Matthew 11:28)
  2. Obey His Word (Hebrews 4:6) - Start out with the greatest commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.
  3. Don't Harden your Heart (Hebrews 4:7) - Seek Him out even when you don't understand (Prov. 3:5-6)
  4. Let God's Word Work (Hebrews 4:12-13) - As you dig into God's Word, let Him reveal your innermost thoughts and desires and change the ones that aren't right.  He is the One to Whom we are accountable!


"For this good news—that God has prepared this rest—has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t share the faith of those who listened to God. For only we who believe can enter his rest." - Hebrews 4:2-3a

The End Beginning. 


April 21, 2011

Earth Day Deals!


Free Tree at Lowes on April 23rd!


FREE Starbucks coffee or tea on Earth Day (4-22-11)! Bring in your own reusable mug or purchase one of their's at 20% off!



Origins April 22 - Trade in your current skincare for a FREE Origins Face Wash (select from 2 options)!  While you're headed there you might as well schedule a FREE mini facial!


Free Reusable Bag from the Disney Store on April 22, when you bring in 5 plastic bags!


Zoya Nail Polish Exchange!!! April 20-27 only, send in your new and used bottles of nail polish and receive a bottle of Zoya nail polish (non-toxic formula!).  Check out the link for all the details.



EcoTools is doing their exchange again as well!  Follow the link for more information.  Their page doesn't have any info about the mail in option yet, but this is what they stated on their facebook page:
"Choose To Live Beautifully! Mail in your new or used beauty item. In return for your donated product you will receive a coupon for a complimentary EcoTools product."


On a side note, we're celebrating my middle baby's birthday this weekend!  She'll be three years old!!!  I'm sure I'll post a picture or two later. ;)  "Happy Birthday Neeci!!!"

April 20, 2011

Groupon, Check it Out!


Just a little reminder, Groupon is a great daily deals site that offers huge discounts on a wide range of things in your city!  The deals change each day, some aren't for me and I skip past them but other times I get a GREAT deal and that's when I am glad to be on their mailing list.  My latest purchase was for 2 Little Girl Makeovers that I plan to use this week while celebrating Neeci's 3rd birthday!
If you haven't already signed up (for free), click on this link and check it out, see what deals are in your area!!  Here are a few of my other favorite online shopping places.

April 18, 2011

Easter


So Easter weekend is coming up ... if you didn't see the cool Twitter-version of the Easter story, check it out here.  There are lots of deals everywhere focusing on candy and baskets full of goodies (which are all fun and even more with three little girls in your life), but I want to make sure I also take the time to tell my children why we REALLY celebrate "Easter."  I don't think they should only hear about Jesus' death and resurrection in Sunday school.  So take a few minutes this week to reflect, receive, share and celebrate the sacrifice Jesus made for you and me.  John 3:16-17


This month is all about REST for me.  I am trying my best to really rest spiritually and get enough rest physically to stay healthy inside and out.  It has been quite a battle this past week!  We have had two trips to the doctors and one to the emergency room between just two of my girls.  REALLY horrible nights sleep makes for pretty lame morning quiet times and long days.  It is an actual battle right now.  BUT!  I'm hoping this next week will be much more "normal" and a little easier to focus on a subject that is already so difficult to apply in our busy lives!  I'll let you know how that goes.  How are you doing?  Finding even small restful moments throughout your day?  Sometimes we don't find them, and we have to really purposefully make them!

Go have a GREAT week!!

PS. I am taking a break from electronics tomorrow (Tuesday) this week, instead of Monday. =)  Just in case you were wondering and going to hold me accountable (which I love)!

April 15, 2011

SSMT Verse


Another SSMT Verse!  Don't forget to pick yours and spend the next 2 weeks memorizing it... here is mine, which has to do with REST since that's what I'm trying to focus on this month! =)
"Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28

April 13, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things | Cleaning

Just in time for spring cleaning!  I thought I'd share some more favorites of mine:


Method Squeaky Green Dryer Sheets | I LOVE these dryer sheets!  They have a subtle sweet scent and are moist in the package.  I tried them for $2 a package in the clearance section of ToysRUs.  They sell regularly for $4.99 @ SOAP.com, use code ALMA4450 for 15% your order! 


Seventh Generation Lavender Mint Dish Soap | I think this all natural fragrance is delightful when cleaning your dishes!  Sold at Target, and most grocery stores...you can also find it online @ SOAP.com for $2.99, free shipping with orders over $25 (look for 15% off code above) | I love 7th Gen. because they use 90% post-consumer recycled materials for the packaging and tell all when it comes to what's inside the bottles...great integrity! | Print Coupons Here for in-store purchase!



Method Squeaky Green Laundry Detergent | I use this and 7th Generation Laundry Detergent (both Free and Clear).  I try to use any and all coupons that I can combine (last deal was at Target, they took the Target coupon + Manufacturers coupon on top of the BOGO free deal they had!).  Usually they both cost approx. $10 | Check out Drugstore.com and  Amazon.com for deals (Free Amazon Prime Shipping, click here to find out more)


BabyGanics Pump Spray Air-Freshner!  (non-aerosal) | I also got this to try at ToysRUs in the clearance section for about $2 (the bottle was an older version).  And love the healthy, fresh, natural Lavender-Vanilla scent!  They are regularly $5.99 but look for BOGO Free sales!


I also use some of my own homemade spray cleaners and 7th Generation Free And Clear disinfecting spray cleaners (which you can purchase at Target, Walmart, most grocery stores, online, etc)!

April 11, 2011

TV, Facebook, Emails...Oh My!


OKAY!  So my next REST challenge will be to take one whole day and not look at my computer, facebook, twitter or email - pretty much any electronics!  (I am going to TRY! I may limit it to half a day at first and work up).  I know that when I took a one week "sabbath" getaway, before my second baby was born, I felt more refreshed than I EVER had before because I spent time reading, walking, singing, and drinking tea; not in front of any electronics!!  It is much easier when you're staying at a beautiful, remote resort in the mountains, but I know I can do it here in my home with three toddlers too!  Monday is going to be my day (I wrote this over the weekend, just in case you thought I was cheating to post this)!
Some of you can't cut out the emails for work or something - try one day on the weekend, or pick just one or two things: no TV and Facebook for one day!  I think we will all be surprised at how much more productive that resting is than just laying on the couch...texting.  ;)  Let me know what you think about this idea and if you decide to jump on board!!!
"So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God.10 For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. 11 So let us do our best to enter that rest..." - Hebrews 4: 9-11 (NLT)

April 8, 2011

Earth Day: April 22, Free Starbucks + More!


Wow! It's already been a year since the LAST Earth day.  Ok, well it's kind of new to me, last year was the first time I'd heard of it, and pretty late at that, so I didn't have much time to prepare.
This year Earth Day is on the day we will be celebrating my middle child's birthday! And on the busy and beautiful Easter weekend!  A lot going on ... but I wanted to plan it out a little better this time and make something special the week of Earth Day.


First, if you take a reusable travel mug into Starbucks on April 22 you will get a free coffee or tea! Very cool.


Second, Grab a free reusable grocery bag from Target on Sunday, April 17!!  Looks cute too!


Planting a tree is the first thought that comes to mind when I think of "Earth Day," and it just so happens that we just bought 3 acres of land and are about to move in!  So I want to take the girls out in the yard and plant a nice tree somewhere out there.  It'll be a great memory-making event I think.


I've already been in the process of "cleaning" my body, home and family by "greening" our products, food and home.  But for those of you just getting started here are some great tips to begin with and here are some more of my favorites!  For those of you like me, who are needing another step, I think these are a few great ways to WASTE LESS (please share some of your own):






3.  Compost your banana peelings and these other items (some of which are pretty crazy) to use in your organic GARDEN (another great way to "green" and save $$!)


4.  Herbs in a Can - Fun project to do with kids!!  Also a great way to recycle and take a small step to start gardening.

Keep your eyes peeled for sales, specials and coupons on cleaner foods and products all month long!!

April 6, 2011

April: REST


It feels like too long since I've been able to sit down and write or even sit and think!  We are getting close to the final move-in date on our new home which just adds extra pressure...so we are tired, but excited!
That feeling of excitement mixed with exhaustion (and maybe God whispering to my spirit) is what gave me the inspiration of focusing this month on REST.
Rest: Cessation of work, exertion, or activity; Peace; Ease; Refreshment; Relief or freedom from disquiet or disturbance; Mental or emtional tranquility.  (sounds amazing right?!)
“Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God." - Deuteronomy 5:12-14 NLT
Last month was a focus on courage.  I felt great about the progress I made in facing some of my fears (big and small) and I really tried to apply the scriptures, and all my studies on courage to my life, each day.  So in preparation for this month (even though we are a few days in), I am going to start (yet) another Bible Reading Plan at YouVersion.com - 21-Day Plan for Busy Women: A Rich and Satisfying Life!
Rest is not just sleeping at least 7 hours a night (which is VERY important for so many reasons), but also quieting our minds enough to study, and allow God's Word to "wash us." (Eph.5:25b-26)  So I have been challenging myself to wake up early enough to have my time with Jesus before my kids get up.  If you can't do that and still get in a good nights sleep or power nap, than find what works for you - a time of day where you can put up the cell phone, facebook and twitter, grab a cup of tea and delve into the Word and let it transform you into a woman who can live a "rich and satisfying life!" (Rom12:2)
This week (next 7 days) I am going to focus on continuing my quiet times early, doing my reading plan and journaling each morning (it's not the same when I'm not journaling)!
Also I am going to focus on getting to bed at a decent time each night, and when I can't I will plan a good power nap (see link above) for the next day!
Feel free to join me and look for next week's challenge on Monday...=)

April 1, 2011

I Love A Good Challenge | And LOTS of Other Things...


Spring is here, Happy April!  Kick off your shoes, grab a seat and enjoy the coming beauty of this gorgeous (and short for you fellow Texans) season!


For those of you who don't know what SSMT is all about, it is Beth Moore's "Siesta Scripture Memory Team," where women all over the world commit to memorizing 24 scriptures in a year, 1 verse on the 1st and 15th of every month!  If you want more info go here, and don't be afraid to join now, "late" is better than never! Today is verse 7!!!  I have chosen Numbers 23:19 (NLT):
"God is not a man, so He does not lie.   
He is not human, so He does not change His mind.  
Has He ever spoken and failed to act? 
Has He ever promised and not carried it through?" 
What I LOVE about SSMT is that it is a challenge of the best kind; a goal to strive towards, with eternal value!  I love a good challenge, especially physically (health, fitness, nutrition) and I'll share a few of my current favorites with you, but this is the BEST because...as the Bible says:
"Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly.8 “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” " - 1 Timothy 4:8 (NLT)
 So!  With that covered, I challenge you to make a greater investment in your eternity than your physicality (double checked to make sure this really is a word).  I'm sure that looks different for everyone; for me memorizing scripture is HUGE and a true challenge.  I also try to start my day (no matter how early) in conversation with Jesus, reading His Word, praying, worshipping and LISTENING! =)  I'm far from perfect, and my greatest hurdle right now is consistency - but I'm SO grateful for God's Grace, because it even covers my perfectionism (and many other flaws)!!!

I do, however, think that "physical training is good!"  So, I've mentioned a few things before (Jillian Michaels and more Jillian Michaels); tools that I love to help me get healthier and stronger!  Here are a few more:


Tom Ventuo seems to have a REALLY balanced way of looking at health, fitness and nutrition.  My favorite chapters of his book The Body Fat Solution (which has made a HUGE impact on how I see and do things), are actually chapters on goal setting and retraining how you think (about yourself, food, etc.)!  Really cool stuff! *Disclosure: there is a picture of Tom on his page without a shirt - I guess for a natural bodybuilder it's pretty normal to walk around without a shirt (?), just a heads up!* ;)


Of course, Jillian Michaels videos have been great tools for me (I think I have 7 now), but I don't go much into her products and internet stuff, not that it's not good, just not for me.


Latest find (and great 8 week challenge) is ToneitUp (thanks Rebecca)!  I have just barely started searching through their blog and youtube video archives (150+)!  I love what I've found so far though.  They stick to the same guidelines nutritionally that I've learned with Tom Venuto and style of training as Jillian Michaels.  And even cooler, they have recipes, tips, and full workout routines online, free! *Another Disclosure: their whole challenge right now is Bikini Body (getting ready for summer), so lots of workouts with them in bikini's, if that bothers you just skip past this one* ;)

Other Things I Love:


For just shipping ($4.99 for 25 packets worth $75!), Seeds of Change is giving away Millions of Organic SEEDS! (YAY!) I just ordered mine yesterday.  I would check this out quickly, even a million isn't as much as we'd think!  


Just until April 10, use code SEVCLEAN to get 15% off, plus subscribe and save (which you can cancel as soon as your order has shipped) gives another 15% off!  If you haven't heard of Amazon Mom yet and you buy any baby products (you don't have to be a mom!), check it out!  You get free 2-day Prime Shipping and 30% off all diapers and wipes (woot)!

My Freebies!!


I finally got my Target Beauty Bag in the mail!  It was pretty cool, some cute travel size items and coupons!  Also great for stocking my future guest-bathroom-goodies-basket. =) Just thought I'd share the excitement with you!

New Hairdo: Fishtail How To Video! 
(I am always looking for new fun things to do with my hair)

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