Praise be to God ALWAYS

If you were on my blog the other day you would have noticed that I am participating in ExtravagantGrace.net's 31 Days of Praising the Lord. My first post can be found HERE

Yesterday's assignment was to keep track for 24 hours of a Praise Inventory.

My results from keeping track of my praises for 24 hours is how quickly I forget my praises and before I know it I'm grumbling yet again. 

On my way to work yesterday morning I was a few inches away from getting by by a truck. As he speeds up and narrowly misses me, I let off the brake and slowly exhale a sigh of relief. And even in that my first reaction wasn't to exalt the Lord and praise him for his protection.

So often when a plane crashes or other tragic event takes place so many cry out and wonder where God was when it happened. But what we always ignore is the other thousands he holds up and protects. 

I do the same in my own life. He protects me in one moment and the next I'm stressed about  money or a big decision the next. I forget to Praise God for all the big and small things he does.

And I forget to Praise him when things don't go the way I would like. Praise shouldn't just come when he protects me from a car wreck. Praise should come from the big and the small things and Praise should come when things go "bad". But so often our view of what is "bad" is actually just an extremely narrow view of the entire grand scheme of God's plan. 

Praise should come when the House of your Dreams falls through. 
Praise should come when you lose that job. 
Praise should come when the car won't start in the morning.

We exist to bring glory to Him and to him alone. He directs all things that happen. 
He "knit us together in our Mother's whom" {Psalm 139:13}.
He foreknows and guides all things. 

So when the house of your dreams falls through...He has a plan. 

When the offer falls through, you may be bitterly disappointed. But what you don't realize at the time is a year later God will call you and your family to the mission field in China and we never think to Praise God in the moment that His plan for us will be better than even we can know. And sometimes the "better" is not financially or materially better for us but rather better for His Kingdom and His Glory.

Praise be to God Always. 

"Let all the earth fear the LORD; 
       let all the people of the world revere him.

 For he spoke, and it came to be; 
       he commanded, and it stood firm.

 The LORD foils the plans of the nations; 
       he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.

 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, 
       the purposes of his heart through all generations.

 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, 
       the people he chose for his inheritance.

 From heaven the LORD looks down 
       and sees all mankind;

 from his dwelling place he watches 
       all who live on earth-

 he who forms the hearts of all, 
       who considers everything they do.

 No king is saved by the size of his army; 
       no warrior escapes by his great strength.

 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; 
       despite all its great strength it cannot save.

  But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, 
       on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,

  to deliver them from death 
       and keep them alive in famine.

  We wait in hope for the LORD; 
       he is our help and our shield.

  In him our hearts rejoice, 
       for we trust in his holy name.

  May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, 
       even as we put our hope in you."
Psalm 33:8-22 {Emphasis Added}


Top 10 Favorite Sewing Tutorials

A couple weeks ago I did a post titled "10 Ways to Begin Sewing" and here is a follow up to that post!

I have been dieing to learn how to sew but haven't had the right equipment {Missing my cord}, the time or a sewing buddy. Now I have all of those. I am signed up for a sewing class for Sept. 7 with my sister and I am so excited! But that's not the point...

So as I have been thinking about Sewing a lot lately. I have been noticing all the great sewing tutorials on a bunch of my favorite blogs. So I thought I would share with you my "Top 10 Favorite Sewing Tutorials" that I want to try out just as soon as I figure out what a bobbin is ;)
{These are in Random Order}

Okay okay..this one doesn't technically need sewing but isn't is adorable?!?

Ruffle Shirt #2 from the same great Gal above!

Great fun Way to spice up a plain T-shirt

Super Cute Nautical Dress
I seriously need to go try this one out right now!


Ruffled Shower Curtain {Notice a Ruffle pattern?}

{This tutorial is done with a fabulous video that makes it oh so easy to follow along!}

{For my amazing camera on my wish list!}


Have you come across any other yummy sewing tutorials? I'd love to hear about them. I'm in a sewing mood :)


A Month of Praise in the Midst of Life

I am making a 31-day commitment to intentionally give thanks and PRAISE the LORD in this moment!

Will you join me?

eLisa over at Extravagant Grace is launching a month long movement to give God praise in this moment and in all things. It supposedly takes 31 days to make something a habit and that is our goal over the next month.

So often we all get stuck in the rut of our everyday lives. We live in the mundane and yet forget to see God in it. We forget to see that even in the little things that God is always working and moving and always has a plan. We have a hard enough time remembering to praise him in the Big things that we often completely forget about the small things.

So for the next 31 days {And beyond!} I am making a commitment to remember God and Praise him above all things in the little everyday things of life.

Over the next 31 days I will be busy growing my Etsy shop, doing giveaways, starting a new semester jam packed with classes, bonding with my Husband, bonding with my sister and brother who just moved close to us, starting a new fellowship group at church, and just living life.

And I will be busy. I will be tired. I will be lazy. But  in the midst of that {Not in spite of that} I will try and remember what this life is really about. Who we are really living for and who should get all the glory and praise for each little thing that happens.

I am committing over the next 31 days to live my life intentionally with a Christ centered God focused attitude of Praise to the one who creates and sustains all things {Colossians 1:17}.

Will you join us in this great movement of remembering to Praise our Lord and Savior?

Extravagant Grace
Go HERE to find out how you can get involved. This week kicks off the 31 days and there will be discussions, topics to post about, and of course some yummy giveaways!


The Blessing of Family

SO tomorrow our Sister, Sienna, will be moving in with us. And our brother, Jean-Marc, is moving close by!
This is a big deal and we are so excited!

{Sienna's Made of Honor speech at our Wedding. She did amazingly!}

A little backdrop to this: 2 years ago we moved about 500 miles away from our family to go to college. We weren't sure how long we would stay down here but thought maybe after Hubby graduated or at the very longest after I graduate we would move home. Well that looks like that's not God's plan for us. And while we dearly miss living 15 minutes away from both of our families we are so thankful for all that God has given us and the direction he is steering us in.  So for now we are living 500 miles away from any family and dearly missing them.

But part of that is changing this weekend! We are so excited that both our sister and brother are moving down to live near us! We are extatic! They are both coming down here for college and we are so proud of each of them.

Jason's oldest brother Jean-Marc is transferring to  The Master's College and majoring in Biblical Studies and Jason's oldest sisters Sienna is starting college at California Baptist University and majoring in Nursing!

Jean-Marc will be about 40 minutes away from us and are so excited that we will at least see him once a week at Church and hopefully much much more! Jean-Marc is a super saver and got a ton of aid for college. He is also a transfer and have his first two years of college done and paid for. So proud of him and he is excited to finish his degree!
{Jean-Marc and his beautiful gf Tana. Arn't they cute?!}

Sienna on the other hand was having trouble finding the funding for college. It's such a shame that so many want to attend Christian college's but can't because of how expensive it has become. I know we have definitely felt the strain!!

And God has been moving the past few months and helped set it up so that we could help out Sienna. We happened to just move in May to be closer to Hubby's new promotion that just happened to be 30 minutes closer to Sienna's school and just happened to get a two bedroom apartment when we really only need one but the price was the same we paid before and we just happen to love our sister! :) So when she got a bit stressed with everything we offered for her to move in with us for the school year and we are so happy that she said yes!

We feel so blessed that God has blessed us in a way that we can help out our sister! Sienna is one of my best friends and was my Maid of Honor. I am so excited to have her move in and we already are scheming about all the wonderful things we will do! Like sewing classes together and trips down to L.A.'s Fabric District  :)  I am so thankful that God has used us to answer a prayer in her life and we are so excited for this wonderful opportunity that is about to begin.

{Love her!}

They are driving down tomorrow night and moving Sienna into our apartment and then we are all driving to Jean-Marc's school to help in move in and then we are hitting the beach. I can't wait to not only have a best friend and a sister move in with us but also to have our brother so close! We are getting two family members close to us in one weekend! Exciting!

We are also aware that this will be very different for us as this far in our marriage we have been used to living alone. But we know that God has orchestrated this all in his Divine plan and we are more than willing to make a little sacrifice in order to be a blessing to our sister. We also think this will be a little training ground for when we have kids on how to effectively find alone time with someone else in the house ;)

I am already getting excited and planning fun ways that Hubby and I can get that precious alone time and fun dates that we can go on!

All in all we are so excited and blessed and can't wait! And I don't know how much blogging time I'll have the next few weeks with my Best Friend in the next room! Too much talking and laughing is going to happen :)


New Favorite Clothes!

Okay I am a sucker for cute, modest, affordable clothes! And I am always on the hunt for great new shops and places.

I recently found a great site called: DownEast Basics and I.Am.In.Love!

Now their clothes are a liiiiitle more than I normally spend but then again I love thrift stores and ross! They really are very reasonable and I am in love with the prices on their dresses.

Anyway check out a few cute things that are on my clothing wish list right now. {Hubby are you reading this?!? ;)}

I love their Cardigans! Perfect for Fall!

Find this piece HERE
Their skirts are so feminine and fun! And the Perfect length!
Find it HERE

My Favorite Skirt!
Find it HERE
And my current favorite piece..check out this dress! How fun!
I love the pink belt!
Find it HERE

And can you say fabulous for a more formal event?!

Find it HERE

And I think their new Fall line is coming out soon!!! Oooh *squeel*! Can't wait!
I need to go Fall clothing shopping..Oooh Hubby :)

Oh yeah. And I can't believe this. But I just found out that DownEast Basics has a store in the mall that I used to live by!! {In fact..it's the only one in California! What are the odds!} Grrr...now there are none by me. Oh well..I guess when I visit family I will have to take a little Mall trip!


Hair Clip Organizer *A Tutorial*

So as I hope you know by now my sister's and I have opened an Etsy shop recently and have been busssy making all kinds of yummy accessories! {There's a link to our Etsy store over there on the left ;)}

And now all of a sudden I have dozens of headbands and hair clips falling out of all kinds of places and getting in my way.

So I decided that I need to make something to organize them all. And I came up with a cute picture frame to hold them all! And it let's me see with once glance what I have on hand. It's perfect!

What do you think?
{I took these late last night and the lighting is not the best! sorry}

Okay so now on to the tutorial. I want to make one of these for every room in my house!

1 Picture frame of your choice {I got mine at Michael's on clearance}
Fabric or paper of your choice
Cardboard poster board for backing
Ribbon of your choice to match your frame and paper
Hot Glue Gun
Wooden Pegs of some sort to hold headbands and necklaces {optional}
Paint to match
Box cutter/Exacto Knife

1. Paint the Wooden Pegs
You don't have to do these pegs on it if all you want is it for hair clips but the pegs are necessary for me!
I got a thing of red paint at Michael's for $0.50 and painted the wooden pegs.

2. Cut the Cardboard or poster board to fit inside your frame.

3. Cover your board with your fabric or paper.
I was originally going to just use fabric and then found this fabulous wrapping paper at Micheal's! The wrapping paper turned out great!
Glue your fabric/paper on the backside so that the whole front is covered.
{Fabulous right?!?}
4. Putting the Ribbon on
 Now this next part is a little harder if your challenged at making straight lines like me!
Take your Ribbon and cut as many strips as you want going across your board. I have a lot of big hair clips so I made only 4 rows. You may want to make more if you have a lot of little.
Take the cut ribbon and hot glue it onto the inside rib on your frame. Make it the closest thing to the outside so that you can put your fabric covered board behind it.

5. Put the Pegs in. 
 This was the most time consuming part for me. I took the pegs and traced the bottoms of them on the back of the board. Then I took my box cutter and gently cut out the small circles. Then I placed the pegs into the holes and covered the back with hot glue.
Wait for it to dry and then...

6. Gently place your backing into the frame.
 Be careful not to catch your pegs on the ribbon.

Now I didn't secure the back boarder to the frame because the way the rib along the back worked allowed me snugly put it into place. But you may want to glue it into place or at least put a few pieces of tape.
And all done!

Believe me...it looks much better in person! In fact when it was done it was so pretty i didn't even want to put my flowers on it! lol

{I'm also thinking of making some black and red flowers to glue on the corners! So cute}

If you make one let me know! I would love to see what you come up with.
Now I just need Hubby to get home and hang it up for me!


10 Ways to Begin Sewing

For the next few weeks I have to decided to post some "Top 10" lists. I've been feeling a bit dry lately with my posts and haven't had much inspiration. So I decided to just share with you all what I've been so busy with. These top 10 lists will be about just about everything ;) Hope you enjoy! I'm having fun with this.

Okay today's topic is one that is near and dear to my heart: Sewing.
My Mom taught me how to sew when I was younger but I didn't ever do much with it and sadly I don't remember a thing. But this past year a spark has been lit and I am dieing to try my hand at it once again!

My mom gave me her almost brand new singer {okay technically she let me borrow it} but it was missing the cord :( I finally got around to ordering one and I am excited to have a go at it! My Mom was going to show me how to sew before we realized the cord was missing and we live very far apart. So until I see her again I am figuring it out on my own!

During this learning process I have come across some great sites and tips to help someone begin to sew. That's what this "Top 10" list is all about.

10 Ways to begin to learn how to Sew
1. Take.A.Class. This is by far the best way to learn {for most people}.
If you bought your sewing machine at an actual sewing machine store they often provide a free lesson or two with your purchase. If you didn't buy it there you should still check with your local store to see if they have lessons.
My personal favorite is that if you have a Jo-Ann's craft store near you {We have them everywhere in California!} or a similar craft store they often do beginning and advanced sewing lessons. Our local Jo-Ann's offers beginning sewing lessons for $35! This is a great option if you don't even know how to turn on your machine..like me.
{Jo-Ann's has a ton of great PDF Patterns for download for free. Like this one. Beginner level 1. Download HERE}

2. Ask Around. This is especially helpful to do at church. You never know how loves to sew and would love to show you. Spread the word that you want to learn. In fact this would be a great way to get a sewing group together! Find some other ladies who would love to learn as well and then scout out a teacher! Or all go together to a Jo-Ann's!

3. Ruffles and Stuff. Okay this is one talented lady! Unfortunately she has decided her life is too busy right now and has taken a break from blogging. But she has been so kind and decided to leave her blog up so we could all get to her tutorials still :) But I need to copy them all down soon or they may disappear.
She did a series on beginning to sew. And it.is.wonderful! She has called her series Sew Basic!

This is exactly what I needed! I don't know a thing and her blog spells it out perfectly. She gives detailed photos of everything from what supplies you'll likely need {scissors, cutting mat, rotary cutter, etc}, to how to pick the right fabric for the project, how to thread your machine, and so much more!
This is a great place to start if you are not familiar with sewing at all. She also has many great tutorials on  how to sew more advanced things!

4. Pick Some Creativity. Okay here is another great blogger doing a series on beginning sewing. Her series is called Sewing 101 and she has pulled many guests to do posts on how to begin and how to do more advanced things.
She also covers things such as tools you will need, fabric choices and goes into detail on more things. My Advice? Go through Sew Basic! first and then head over to Sewing 101 and check it our for even more sewing goodness!! And it looks like more tutorials in this series will be added every month! How great!

5. About.com. I'm not usually a fan of About.com. It seems so hard to find anything and let's face it. It doesn't look very attractive and they don't have enough picture for my taste. BUT they have some great tips on how to start sewing such as sewing term definitions, tips on shopping for a new machine, and sewing machine care. This place has got a lot of great tips on the mechanics of your machine. Go HERE to get to About.com's Sewing 101 page. And if you go to their main sewing page {sewing.about.com} they have a lot of other fun ideas, tips, and patterns including a project index that allows you to search patterns by your skill level.

6. Books. There are a ton of great sewing books. Just go to Barnes and Noble and you will find dozens. My favorite are the beginning one's that have patterns in the back of the book. That way you can read how to do it and do the same movements as you read.

But how do you find a good sewing book? I will recommend a few I have heard are good {though I haven't actually tried any of them} but a GREAT way to judge a book is to read the reviews of the books. Read a bunch of reviews and try to read them from a beginners standpoint.

One book I have heard great things about is Bend the Rules Sewing.  Click on the link on the right to check it out on Amazon. One thing I have heard is that it is great for beginners but a little touch for those who "have never touched a sewing machine before". So you may want to get familiar with your machine before picking this one up.

7. YouTube.com. Yep, Youtube. When I was learning to crochet Youtube was my best friend!  Looking at pictures to do a tutorial is great! But it doesn't beat actually seeing how it's done. There are many great women who have channels on YouTube that do sewing lessons all the time.
Her Channel seems neat and includes a lot of more advanced techniques and tutorials
Go HERE to check her out. {I have not screened this and only watched a few of her clips. I would screen this before watching with anyone else.
And want to figure out how to do something fancy like sew on a zipper? Simple type "how to sew Zippers" in Youtube and see what you come up with ;)

8. startsewing.co.uk. This is yet again another great Internet site. I realize most of these are online resources but hey what can I say? I'm a blogger!
Start Sewing also has a lot of videos on how to get going with sewing and also info on machines, fabric, and so much more! Go explore their site today HERE. {This site is packed full of too much info to share..just go to their link to see for yourself ;)}

9. Crafts and Fabric Link Free Sewing Lesson Book. Another great free resource for you to use! This will go great to compliment the videos and online resources you have found. And it even covers things like button holes and zippers. Go HERE to check out their free lessons!

10. SewingSupport.com. They also offer free online lessons and are jam packed with great information! Go HERE to get to their Beginning Sewing Lessons page.
While your there don't forget to check out all the other great things they have to offer. You could literally spend hours browsing through their resources!

I hope this helped! Let me know what your favorite one is and any other great resources you have found! Happy Sewing :)


Our Etsy Shop Grand Opening!

So happy to announce that this week we have launched our Etsy Shop :)

It has been a very quiet couple of weeks over here but that is because we have been busy taking pictures and posting our items into Etsy!

Right now we only have 36 items listed but new onces are being added daily!

We have a wide array of different kinds of headbands, belts, and necklaces. I would love to know what your favorite pieces are :)

We LOVE custom orders so please let us know if there is something you want that you don't see listed. Or a variation of an item listed.

And also we on the watch for some giveaways coming soon!! :)

Here are a few items listed right now:


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