A Cork Board Makeover

cork board makeover blog

This is a super simple project that will take you 30 minutes or less to complete. That is if you have all the proper supplies. Or if you are like me, and you have had the supplies, and had the mind to do this simple project, but have been waiting for just the right print to put a smile on my face. You see I have a small built-in desk in my kitchen. It is a little corner work space that is drab and boring. So a little makeover is what it needs. So this is the first step on brightening my space.

So here is what you need:

  • a cork board
  • quilting batting
  • cotton fabric in a print you like
  • staple gun
  • staples recommended size 3/8″ and 10mm or type T50

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So I have had this cork board forever it seams, and as you can see it is not very pretty. My board is about 1/2″ thick.

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So first I start off with my batting. I always have some around the house that I use for various projects. So this is a scrap piece. Since it is a scrap piece, it will not wrap all the way around the back. I will be relying on my pretty printed fabric for that.

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Here is my fabric! I love the birds and all the colors. These colors will help brighten my space for sure! So I cut my fabric about 3″ longer that the frame. That way I have enough fabric to pull around to the back and staple down avoiding the aluminum frame.

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I begin by pulling and stapling the fabric from the middle of each side on the back first. You will want to test your first staple into the cork, you don’t want the ends of the staples poking out in the front side. SO sizing is important. If your cork board is not as think as mine you will need staples that are shorter. Once this part is right, then you can start pulling and stapling your fabric down working toward the corners on each side. You will want to pay special attention to the corners. So do the corners last.

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As you can see, I didn’t bother serging or zig zagging the raw edge of the fabric. It will be against the wall and will not be bothered. So I didn’t take the time to finish that piece. Besides, in another season or two I may decide to go with a different fabric.

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Until then, I love the way it turned out and look forward to showing you my finished space.

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Closing the Door On 2015

2015 blog titleIt’s hard to believe this year is coming to a close. The days sometime all blur together, and sometimes memories feel like last week or last month when in fact it was a year ago.

I think it is true what they say, time goes by faster the older you get.

Well, even though I find that to be true, I feel this next year it is time for me to purposefully slow down. Be purposeful in my moments. It is so easy for me to sit with my 5 year old and teacher to read while I am chopping at the bit to get to something else that needs to get done. These memories have me a bit saddened. I need to relish in these moments and not feel I have to rush through them.

So this is my plan for the next year, as I sit here with next years calendar, plugging in dates for family trips and field trips. I also need to sit and reconstruct my homeschool day and homeschool week. I need to be purposeful. What is it that I want my kids to take with them about our homeschool days? What values to I want them to uphold in their lives? What Bible truths to I want them to hold dear to their hearts?

What I do today, will reflect on their future. My putting off exercise to forfill a  commitment my heart is not in. My constant devaluing myself because “something else is more important”. Like my husband said to me a day ago, “Who cares about all those things if you are dead?!” True. I need to be mindful of these things. If I want to be present, if I want to be in the moment, if I want to enjoy a future with my kids I must take some time for me! A little exercise, a little creative time, a little Bible time, a little leisure reading. A little time of refreshment, so I can be a better mother and teacher.

_DSC0216-1So here is perspective; this is my season in life, to be a mother who is in the moment. Who is milking each moment with her children. That is relishing in the silliness of our day. One that is forgiving and is overflowing with mercy and grace, that is attentive to the needs of her children.  After all,they won’t be this age next year, or the next.  

I would love to hear what changes you will be making next year. I will be looking forward to sharing mine.

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The Day After Christmas

dayafterchristmasblog

So here it is, the day after Christmas. The day after all the preparing. All the Christmas gifts we hoarded in our closets, all the treats shared between friends, neighbors, and family, and the big Christmas dinner. Today, we top off the recycle bin with empty cardboard boxes and wrapping paper. Fill the trash with empty food containers and other miscellaneous garbage items. It is the day, after the big day of giving.

We now have cloths to find places for in our drawers. New items to replace old ones, and new gifts to find a place to store, or place to enjoy our new gifted item. Kids get to enjoy putting their Lego’s together, getting creative with new crafts, play with new wanted toys and books. This is a great time for kids, and well, everyone. Everyone is blessed with something to do!

Yeay! This includes me too! Well, to be honest, for me it’s like, let’s do a great big clean out!!! Yup, if you are anything like me, you are like okay, “what do we get to donate!” It’s the end of the year, let’s start our new year fresh. I must say, I do a clean out about 3 times a year, this one being the biggest of the three. I begin to look forward to the spring and look at all my kids clothing hiding in their closets and what is packed away for the oncoming season. I do the same with all our closets, cookbooks, school books, everything. Everything get evaluated. It’s a big annoying job but I have to do it. It feels so good afterwards.

Besides, I need to make room of anything else I may be planning for the new year, or make purchases in preparation for what ever I am doing. Like going back to making sour dough. I have not made a homemade starter in years. I am sad to admit, plus it’s also my husband’s favorite bread. So I will be buying a big rubbermaid food storage container this weekend to get started. I will be posting about it on my Instagram and posting recipes here.

It’s amazing what the new year makes you think about about. What desires are hiding inside you, that you need to stop ignoring and let come to light. Your idea’s may surprise you if not inspire others. So I am off to sorting and cleaning out my house. Today, I think I will start with my master bedroom. After all our new master doors will be complete today thanks to my handsome Mr. so it it will be nice to have a clean organized room I can close the doors on.

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“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

Merry Christmas From Our House!

Merry Christmas Blog

It’s hard to believe Christmas is here. I feel like it came so quickly that I had no real time to prepare, time to slow down and enjoy every moment. (Like I did last year.)

But, this morning as we all wake up with the excitement of opening presents. I let go of all those feeling and enjoyed my morning. My husband and I are blessed to have a home to spend Christmas and healthy children that can run down the stairs.

Today, I get to enjoy a slow day. A day of taking my time to enjoy my family and the simple pleasures of coffee, and making cinnamon rolls. A family tradition on Christmas morning.

We opened presents and spend a lazy morning putting new things together.

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This little man will have a day of Lego building. His favorite thing to do.

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While my little Peanut enjoys setting up her dolls beds.

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Lucky for me she always smiles for a picture.

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I love watching my girls play with their American Girl Dolls.

These beds are great too from Emily Rose!

Now, I get to relax and leisurely make garlic rosemary mashed potatoes to go with tonight’s dinner. We will be spending Christmas dinner with my in-laws, after all it is also my niece’s birthday.

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful Christmas, and see all the wonder of all the blessings that exist in your life today.

God Is good.

Merry Christmas!

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“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).Matthew 1:23

Our Family’s Top 10 Favorite Christmas Traditions!

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Traditions, Traditions, Traditions! That’s what this time of year is all about. Right?!

Funny how I never really thought I had traditions like I mentioned in an earlier post.  But our family is full of them. So, I though, why not share some of my favorite traditions with you? You may already have some of these traditions or you may decide to take some of mine and make them your own. That is the best part about sharing ideas!

1. So, number one on my list is a movie night every night in December! I will literally sit at my calendar the day after Thanksgiving and make a list of all the Christmas movies we will watch while counting down to Christmas. I will include 10 of our kids’ favorite movies in no particular order:

1. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
2. The Muppet Christmas Carol
3. Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town with the Little Drummer Boy
4. Frosty The Snowman
5. The Year Without Santa Claus 
6. The Very First Noel
7.  A Charlie Brown Christmas 
8. Disney’s Classic Holiday Stories
9. Miracle on 34th Street
10. It’s a Wonderful Life
And one more because it is a house favorite The Nativity Story

2. We go out the first weekend in December and cut down our Christmas tree. We take our time visiting lots of tree farms. We pet the animals, enjoy Mrs. Claus reading the kids a Christmas story, visiting Santa, hay rides, popcorn, hot chocolate and looking at ornaments at all the tree farms. We have 3 favorites we visit.

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3. Make Gingerbread Houses! Who doesn’t like to play with cookies, frosting and candy? We do! Our secret is buying the houses pre-assembled.
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Ready to start!!!

My 7 year old son, getting pretty skilled with a tube of frosting.
Looking good here too.
Coming together nicely.
Not bad for a 5 year old!
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All in all, every child did a great job.
(Yes, I cleaned the counter before this picture.)
4. Another Favorite tradition is having a candy making party with the ladies in my family. Every woman makes something at home the day before and then brings ingredients to make something simple when we are together.
The chocolate dipped balls above are Oreo and cream cheese balls dipped in chocolate:
1 package of broken Oreo cookies
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
Mix in a Kitchen Aid Mixer, then roll in to balls.
Freeze them before dipping in melted chocolate.
Then enjoy! YUM!
These pictured above are Chocolate Nut Clusters made in the crock-pot.
32 oz. dry roasted, unsalted peanuts
12 oz. package of pecans
2 cups of whole almonds
2 lb. of dark chocolate confectioners coating
12 oz white chocolate chips
1 lb. semi sweet chocolate chips
Layer ingredients in your crock-pot exactly as listed above. You don’t want to burn your chocolate.
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Cook on high for 45 minutes without opening the pot.
Then cook on low for 1 hour, then stir.
Once throughly melted and mixed, drop your clusters on wax paper and let cool.
5. Yes, we have Elf on the Shelf. The kids love to wake up every morning and go on an elf hunt. It is fun for me to watch them all wait until they are all awake to hunt together. But I think for my Bubbie and I, it’s more of a pain to remember to move him every night after they go to bed.
6. I am sure most of you get your hot chocolate ready or head over to Starbucks before heading out and looking at Christmas lights. We always look forward to reading in our local online paper for the must see houses of the year.
7. One of our children is absolutely in love with the Gingerbread Baby book. So we read this story every year and we make Gingerbread Men every year. The best part is after we bake them we read the story again while the kids enjoy their just decorated cookies.  (Never mind the special assortment the come from my husbands hands. Heheee.)
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Never mind that we are using a wine bottle this year to roll out cookies. We left ours at a sugar cookie party. Oops!
8. Since we do invite Santa to be a part of our festivities, one of our Christmas Crafts is making Magic Reindeer Food. I usually print a reindeer head printable and have the kids color it and cut it out. We then staple it to a paper lunch bag and then we make our Magic Reindeer Food. Here’s our recipe:
      1/2 cup rolled oats
       1 Tablespoon of bird seed
       1 teaspoon of Christmas sprinkles
      1/2 teaspoons of glitter
After the kids measure the ingredients into the paper bag, we keep the bag in a safe place until Christmas Eve night. Then after the kids get their Pj’s on and brush their teeth. They take their bag outside and sprinkle the Magic Reindeer Food in the front yard.  The “magic” is that the Magic Reindeer Food makes the reindeer come immediately so Santa can leave their gifts under the tree. Basically, making the kids go to bed early so my husband and I can put out all the Christmas gifts under the tree.
9. Another favorite activity is making homemade ornaments. I have the kids make their own batch of Baking Dough that they can mix and knead. I then help with rolling out the dough to about 1/4 thickness and let them use Christmas Cookie Cutters to cut them out. I then use a straw and thoughtfully choose where the hole will be, to string up the ornaments when they are ready.   Once the dough is cut, baked and cool I have the kids paint them. Then they make great gifts for family. I always write their name and the year they were made on the back. It is fun to see how they improve over the years.  Here’s our recipe for the Baking Dough;
     2 cups All Purpose flour
     1 cup Salt
     Water
Use just enough water to make it a dough. If it is a little sticky add a little more flour. After your kids make their masterpieces, bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour – longer if the object is thick.
10.  But one of our most favorite things to do is to wake up Christmas day, open our presents here, and go to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s in our PJ’s to open presents again and have breakfast with them. That is one of our favorite traditions. My Bubbie and I started it our first year together and have continued on with our kids 14 years later.
I hope you enjoyed our family’s list of our top 10 favorite Christmas traditions. I am sure we share a lot of the same traditions.  Merry Christmas!
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 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6