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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

2015 Color Palette of the Year

No Paintbrush Required BUT you can use one if you like! You can mix pieces through textiles or paint. The new look and colors for this year are Rain Forest Green, Warm Blush, Shape-Shifting Coral, Sophisticated Gray, Fresh Berry and Oceanic Blue.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Easy DIY Kitchen and Dining Room Decorating

Use wooden letters and wine corks to create fun typographic wall art arrangements in your kitchen. Here, we spelled out the word "Cheers" and hung it on the wall above a colorful drink cart.

Stand-alone pieces of furniture are a great way to add additional storage to your kitchen. A fresh coat of paint and snazzy new hardware breathe new life into this old china cabinet. The blotched surface of the mirrored glass -- created using a mixture of 1:1 water and vinegar -- hints at the piece's age.

For a truly unique look, the handles on kitchen cabinets can be made using doorknob backplates and water spigot handles. Vintage clip-on earrings were detached from the clip and secured with metal glue to top off the look.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

10 "Must Do" February Projects

Early Garden Planning ~ It's not too early to consider the backyard garden. If you're growing from seed, flip through seed catalogs now and start them indoors soon; if you're using starter plants, create a timeline of when you'll plant each variety.

Tax Time ~ Did you make major home improvements last year? Recent tax break extensions mean that you could recoup up to $500 on energy-efficient upgrades like insulation or new windows and doors. Homeowners can also get deductions on mortgage insurance premiums. Read up on recent tax laws to make sure you get your biggest refund possible.

Add Old House Charm ~ It takes hard work to turn an old house into a functional modern home. But fortunately for old house lovers stuck in a newer building, a few simple steps can add "old" interest in a weekend. Crown molding and trim adds a historical look, beadboard ages a bathroom gracefully, and built-in bookshelves offer convenience and personality.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

BUT, I Have a Reason to Be Angry

"Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires." James 1:19–20 

"I have been lied to, betrayed, and hurt ~ I am angry and feel I have every right to be! Anger crushes my desire to forgive and although I constantly ask God to fill my heart with mercy, I keep a running mental list of justifications for my anger that override my prayers." Have you ever said this to yourself?  I know I have.

My inner dialogue will be one big argument after another. One voice tries to convince me I am justified in remaining angry and another voice tells me that mercy is the right choice. For days, months, even years the loudest voice I hear is the one that indulges my damaged emotions: Yes, I have a right to be angry. Anyone would agree.

If we listen to the voice of bitterness and unforgiveness, we often lash out with impatience and meanness. We can  play the good Christian for short periods of time, but if something triggers our suppressed emotions, hostility and resentment catapult to the surface.

I can sense God inviting me to consider the direction my own anger and emotions are  taking me and the damage it can do. As I read the words from James 1, I can't help but notice how it says "everyone" should be slow to speak and slow to anger. This truth from God's Word leaves no room for my excuses or righteous indignation, even though I feel like my emotions are justified. And then a few verses later, it reads: "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says" James 1:22. WOW, now that is a potent scripture!

From a worldly perspective, I know we all have "every right" to be angry at someone or something, but from God's perspective, our anger emotions only adds to our sins. Our refusal to extend the same mercy and forgiveness God has given us is  preventing us from living out the gospel.

Through the words of James, God is trying to soften our heart, my heart. I am trying to acknowledge this and none of us can't just keep saying we forgive people using "words", when we have not forgiven with our heart ~ it is time to and move on.
Dear Lord, please forgive me for harboring anger. Equip me with a supernatural ability to forgive those who have hurt me. Guard my heart when old emotions threaten to surface. Strip my heart of anger and replace it with joy. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Quick, Easy and Simple Valentine's Gifts For The Teacher

Love Mug ~ Find a Valentine mug at your local department store, throw in some hot cocoa packets, marshmallows and chocolate covered spoons. The perfect love mug!

Hugs and Kisses ~ Any jar will do, fill 'er up with Valentine hugs and kisses, add a sentiment card or sticker....Simple, Quick and Easy!

Sweet Bouquet ~ This bouquet is filled with pixie sticks, but you can also use Valentine's themed pencils. You can even get all these supplies at the Dollar Store, and you can use any jar not necessarily just a mason jar.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Make-Your-Own Valentine's Day Gifts ~ Fun for Adults and Kids

Framed Love Quote Gift
A simple wooden frame embellished with a few heart shapes displays a memorable love quote. Using a word-processing program, type a love quote in red script and print; fit inside the wooden frame. Search for quotes like, "Love without reason lasts the longest".

Cute Soda Case Wrap
Make a case of your valentine's favorite soda or beer even more special -- with a few simple touches. Wrap a piece of embossed red scrapbook paper around the cardboard case, securing with double-stick tape. Fold another piece of cardstock to cover the handle and cut out the opening. Embellish the package with a length of narrow velvet ribbon and a stamped tag.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Valentine Treat Recipes for Work or School

Chocolate Dipped Pretzels
Chocolate Bark OR Red/Pink Wilton Candy Melts
Pretzel Sticks
Valentine Candy Sprinkles
Melt about 1-1/2 cups of melts plus 1/2 teaspoon of shortening in a glass bowl for 1 minute, stirring halfway. After candy is melted, hold the pretzel vertically over the bowl and spoon over the melted candy, this is a lot easier than trying to dip. Shake off excess back into bowl. Lay pretzel on waxed paper, immediately placing on sprinkles.

Heart Health
Watermelon slices
Orange slices
Bamboo kitchen skewers
Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter on watermelon slices. Poke a bamboo kitchen skewer through each heart, then complete the arrow with an orange slice tip and tail.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
For the cakes
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tbs. cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk {or make your own}
1 tbs. liquid red food coloring
For the filling
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
3 cups marshmallow creme {Marshmallow Fluff}