Category Archives: Guest Bloggers

Help to Adopt

Hey guys!  Christie from Satisfaction Through Christ is about to adopt a little girl, and she needs some help.
One of the things I absolutely love about blogging is the community we create.  We are more than just online friends or bloggers.  We are real people living real lives.  We are on our own journey, but we need others to come along side of us and helping us out every now and again.  Just like you do.
Here’s my chance to come alongside another blogger and have a little teeny-tiny part in her story.

Please read and then follow the links and read some more.  By donating towards her adoption fund, you will changing her family and also the life of a little girl.  That’s a lot of change for $10.

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Friends, I have been so overwhelmed by the generosity shown towards our family over the last few days.  The response has been amazing and I’m at a loss for words on how to say thank you.  I’m praying that the Lord will give me the proper words at some point.  Words will never be enough, though.

For the full story and to read our adoption announcement post, visit here!

Today has been an emotional day, but I now know {without a doubt} that the Lord has called us specifically to bring this baby girl home.

Last night we had a $10 donation come in from a friend.  I emailed her thanking her for her donation and she quickly expressed sadness at not being able to give more.  I told her that every little bit helps…and it does.
If you’re anything like me, all you’ve seen is $35,000 and thought, “There’s no way I can help with that.
I get it and I know — it’s so much bigger than any one of us but it’s not too big for God!

This morning the Lord laid an idea on my heart and I’ve fought Him all day about presenting it to you, but I know that He hasn’t called us to walk this road alone.  So, I’m excited to present our biggest fundraising effort yet….

Operation {Adoption} 10:10:1
10 Days: $10: 1 Baby Girl
Goal = $10,000
 
Our adoption agency has given us 15 days to raise the initial $10,000 we need.  The remainder will be due in increments until she is born.  But for now, we are praying for 1,000 friends to come alongside of us and donate just $10 each.  
 
I know $35,000 is overwhelming.  
 
I know $10,000 is overwhelming.
 
But $10 is a little less overwhelming.
 
So, would you commit to partnering with us and would you commit to praying for us?
 
If so, simply use the PayPal donation widget below (if you don’t see the PayPal widget you can donate here, too).

Please leave a comment with your first name.  I’d love to use each of your names in a special project for our little girl; something she can always have to remember how many people helped bring her home.
 
And, if you’re so moved, would you share this post?  On your blog, on social media, through email?  May the LORD be glorified in it all…

Sweet Hot Chocolate – A Recipe

I’m so happy to welcome Jessie to The Domestic Fringe.  She blogs over at Dream and Differ where she talks about food, homeschooling, and decorating.  Be sure to check out her What I Wore Wednesday posts, because she always looks adorable.

In October she ran a series called 31 Days of Comfort Food.  That’s when I officially fell in love with her recipes.  This girl is a good cook!

Make sure you follow the link and go visit her blog.  I would hate for you to miss out.

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There are few things that sweeten up a bitter-cold day like hot chocolate.
Creamy, smooth, rich hot chocolate; it can satisfy a troop of cold kiddos, or it can turn up the heat for your Valentine.
I am no stranger to the convenience of Swiss Miss, but for a special treat nothing beats the Real-Deal Hot Chocolate. This recipe makes enough syrup for a party sized batch of of hot chocolate. It would be perfect for a sledding party- just keep it warm in a crock pot. The syrup can be stored in the fridge for up to 10 days, which I love. The kids can easily mix themselves up a mug when they come in from playing in the snow. This recipe is adapted from Jan Karon’s “Mitford Cookbook.”
To make the syrup, you’ll need:
1 {11.5 oz.} bag of Nestle semisweet chocolate chunks
1-2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 {15 oz.} can of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Combine all ingredients {chocolate chunks, cocoa, condensed milk, boiling water, and sugar} and melt in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  Stir till well combined.
 When everything is melted, remove from the heat and let the syrup cool.
Do not, in your greed, lick the still-hot spoon. You will burn your tongue… not that I would know anything about that.
 To make the hot cocoa, pour 2-4 tablespoons of the chocolate syrup into a mug. Pour piping-hot milk over the syrup and stir to combine. You can add more syrup according to your taste. Top the cocoa with marshmallows, whip cream, chocolate shavings… whatever your {sweet}heart desires!
Store the leftover syrup in an airtight container in the fridge. Or, put it in a pretty jar and share with a friend; it makes a great gift.

Hope you enjoy this sweet recipe!

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DIY Canvas Photos

Today I’d like to welcome Alissa from The Illiterate Author.  We go way back to the long-ago days in Maine when I had teeny little babies.  Alissa is an inspiring young woman who has bouquets of good things to offer blogland.  I’m so happy she’s here to share this DIY project with us.

Welcome Alissa!

*Clap Hands Now*

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I love canvas photos. I love how they turn memories into art, and special pictures into masterpieces.  I love them, but at $30 a pop for an 8×10, they don’t love my budget, which is fairly typical of things I love. Thankfully, a while back I discovered DIY canvas photos while browsing through the craft section of Pinterest. I had been wanting to display our parent’s and grandparent’s wedding photos as a sort of “family tree” wall for a while, and this project seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

I’ve made several now, and I can’t seem to rave about them enough. They’re easy, quick, virtually fool proof, and inexpensive. (They’re especially affordable if you plan on making more than one; some of the supplies, like the Mod Podge are not super cheap, but will do quite a few photos.)

As an added bonus, I’m fairly certain creating them yourself makes you an artist. That my friends, equals bragging rights. What’s not to love?

DIY Canvas Photo tutorial

Loot you’ll need:

  • Scrapbook paper
  • Acrylic paint
  • Sponge brushes
  • Wax paper
  • Mod Podge
  • A canvas (You can use any size–I chose an 8×10)
  • A photo you love (I chose a photo of the hub’s grandmother and grandfather on their wedding day.)

Once you’ve got all your loot together, you’re ready to begin!

Note: There are roughly 10 thousand different varieties of Mod Podge. Roughly. I used the Matte variety.

Step 1. Measure the thickness of your canvas, and then cut the scrapbook paper into strips for the sides of your canvas. My canvas was 8×10″, and the thickness was about .75,” so my strips were 8x.75″ and 10x.75″ respectively. Try not to be too awed by my math prowess.

Step 2. Prepare for Mod Podging! If you’re anything like me, you WILL make a mess, so you’ll want to protect your work area. Lay down a layer of wax paper to catch drips. Wax paper is great because your canvas won’t stick to it when it dries.

Step 3. Using your brush, apply an even layer of Mod Podge to each side of the canvas, placing the scrapbook paper as you go.

 

Step 4. Once the sides are done, apply a layer Mod Podge to the surface of your canvas. Don’t skimp with the glue here!

 

Once your canvas is evenly coated, place the photo on the canvas and allow it to dry. I gave mine about an hour before moving to the next step.

Step 5. Once you know it’s dry, apply an even coat to the sides and top of your canvas. This is what seals everything, giving your photo a layer of protection. Do your best to apply the coat evenly and to keep your strokes all going the same direction. Your photo will appear a bit milky at this point–don’t panic! It will dry clear. Pinky swear.

 

Again, allow to dry completely before moving on. See? I told you it would dry clear.

 

You’re almost done!

Now that the Mod Podge is dry, you’ll notice narrow gaps between the photo and the paper. This is where the paint comes in.

Step 6. Squeeze a small amount of the acrylic paint onto the wax paper. Don’t be afraid to mix colors to get a shade you love. For previous photos, I created a slate gray to accommodate my black and white photos. This step is literally fool proof–if you make a mistake, just wipe off the paint with a damp cloth. Thanks to the Mod Podge, the photo won’t smear. Honestly, I’m beginning to think Mod Podge should make me their paid spokesperson.

Using your brush, paint around the edges of the canvas to fill in the gaps and create an artsy border around the edge of the photo.You can be as heavy or as light handed as you prefer with this step. I prefer a light border, but that’s just me.

Allow to dry, and you’re done!

For this particular photo, I ended up using plain old white paint as there was already a white border around the photo.

 

Here’s a better example of the paint border. (In case you were wondering, this is my parents on their wedding day. You can’t tell here, but my pop’s suit was maroon, and that lovely ruffled shirt you’re seeing was a pale, baby pink. If there was ever any doubt, love truly is blind.)

 

My “family tree” wall, one step closer to completion. The goal is to eventually include all the grandparents, but tracking down 50+ year old photos is taking a little longer than anticipated. What doesn’t though, right?

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That’s it folks! These canvas photos are simple,quick, and will make you feel like Martha Stewart minus the house arrest. I must warn you though, once you start crafting, it can be hard to stop. For me, it’s even more addicting than Facebook and cream cheese frosting. Don’t say you weren’t forewarned!

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Thank you for this beautiful way to save memories!  After this very thorough DIY post, I think I make a canvas photo of my own.  And, if I can do it, anyone can!

 I appreciate you sharing your art with us!

Now go visit The Illiterate Author.  See you Monday. 🙂

Taps For Me

Whip Cream Kids - My Children & My Nieces

Today I’m writing over at An Army of Ermas.

You simply must come visit me.

I’m talking about our road trip and how past sins came back to haunt me.

Have you ever heard Taps played on a kazoo?

 No?  Me either, until recently.  The tune is about as mournful and haunting as a kazoo can be, and believe me, I’ve been haunted by a kazoo for a quite a few years now.

 One of my earliest childhood memories is of my mom, eyes wild with the look young mother’s get when they are torn between selfless love and wanting to eat their young. …continued at An Army of Ermas.

You won’t want to miss it!

Hope you have a happy weekend.  I’ll chat with you in the comments over at the Ermas, but then be sure to come back and check out my baby bat. 😉

Spring: Time for Something New

Spring has sprung!  At least in New York.  I don’t know if winter will show his ugly face again, but I’m not even going to give it a second thought.  I’m too busy with something new.

You see, after a prompting by Stacey, the editor and fearless leader of An Army of Ermas, to try something new this spring, I kind of made it my mission.

First came a new cereal.

Chocolate Special K.  I know how ridiculous this seems, but honestly, I couldn’t avoid the temptation.  I needed cereal and Special K is a favorite of mine.  The lure of chocolate got victory over common sense and I bought a box.

I am happily mature enough to say, I like the Special K with strawberries better.  Despite popular opinion, mini-bars of chocolate are not what I crave first thing in the morning.

After I ate my chocolate Special K, I ventured out to the land of literary giants.  I attended a Literary Tea hosted in one of the historic homes in my town.  You may recall, I wrote about my fashion dilemma here.  The tea was stamped “approved” by a local British woman and the scones were lovely; however, I’m not sure I quite fit in with the literary tea drinking crowd.  I’m more of a cream-filled coffee and sweet cereal type of gal myself.

So I pressed on.  My next adventure took me…

You’ll have to visit me at An Army of Ermas!  I’m talking about my latest, greatest “new” over there.  So, come on over.  You know you won’t be able to sleep tonight until you find out what I did.

No clues.  I could have bungee-jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge or learned how to cook/not cook Sushi.  You’ll have to read to find out.  😉

Love you all!  Happy weekend to you.  All comments are appreciated over at the Ermas site instead of here.  See you there!

This One is Personal

Today I get to be a guest on my friend’s blog, The Alliterate Author.  I’ve known Alissa and her family for about twelve years.  Her sister babysat my son when he was just a wee little lad.  Now he’s on the verge of the terrible teens and my friend is a newlywed.  She and her hubby make the cutest couple ever.

It’s shocking how everyone around me grows up while I just keep getting younger. It’s a phenomenon I do not understand, but choose not to question.

Despite the name of her blog, she’s fully literate and writes some great book reviews.  My critiques tend to consist of the phrases “I like it” or “It stunk”; however, I tried to step up my game today and give you a real book review.  Well, as real as I can write one.

I do hope you’ll join me over at The Alliterate Author.  I’m talking about a book that may change the way you think about certain people, subsequently altering your actions and reactions towards them. I don’t want to give it all away, so come on over and read.  This one is personal.

I know you’re dying to find out why, so click HERE to read.  Let’s give my friend and new blogger lots of comment love today.  Hope your weekend was everything you hoped it would be.

Happy Monday!