Monday, April 30, 2012

Homemade Facial Cleanser

I tried a great homemade facial cleanser recipe this morning.
My skin felt sooo good and hydrated.
I have had a rather bad bout of dry skin lately and this cleanser was full of hydrating ingredients.
Better yet, you can make it from scratch and it is completely natural!


Homemade Facial Cleanser

1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
{optional} 1 tsp coconut oil

Mix ingredients thoroughly and smooth a handful over your face for about a minute.
Rinse with cool water.

Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Have a lovely day!
I will be back later this week with my first post on amateur beekeeping!
My bees arrived and they are in the hive...and no stings for me:)!
Whoo Hoo!

~Julia

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Encouragement for the Day

"When we have given all our questions to God, when we're not grumbling about the past or anxious about the future, when our tomorrows are in His keeping, we are free to wake up each morning and say, "God, You've given me today as a gift. Show me how to glorify You in it."

Peace wraps around your heart when you're able to trust God for just today and not be burdened by the If Onlys, the What Ifs, and the Whys.
The questions are for His safekeeping.
 The tomorrows are His, and you are free!
 You are free because God Himself has become your sufficiency.
He is your contentment. 
We acknowledge His sovereign control by trusting Him for everything: what we don't understand, what we can't see, and what doesn't make sense to us.

When God becomes our total trust, we humbly accept our portion and our cup (Psalm 16:5). 
We accept what He has allowed in the past.
We accept what He has allowed today.
And we give all our tomorrows to Him.
As we grow in trusting God in all things, our contentment becomes an act of worship.
Isn't that a beautiful thought!"
~From Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow

Hope this day finds you encouraged and enjoying the lovely life you have been blessed with:).

~Julia

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mother's Day Gift Ideas


I feel so incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful Mom!
And even more blessed that she lives right around the corner and is able to be a part of our everyday life.
Mother's Day is so special and I always try to bless my Mom with a little something.
She loves homemade and so do I.
Here is a list of some beautifully simple ideas for gifts. 
I think that any Mother would feel blessed receiving something heart felt and homemade!

My sweet friend, Amanda at Homegrown and Beeyoutiful, has THE CUTEST tutorial on making a Mason jar sewing kit.
Wouldn't it make a wonderful gift for a Mom?

DSC_0005

 Sandy at C'est Moi had a darling chalkboard idea that would make a lovely gift.
I think it would be such a fun addition to the kitchen or even the front porch!


Last year, I made sugar scrub paired with ruffled dish gloves.
You can read about the tutorials HERE.



You could also add a few Everyday Dish Cloths....



or a Ruffled Dish Towel!




Here are a few more of my favorites via Pinterest...

Flower Pin
source

Great idea!
source

For book worms...how cute is this?
so cute, so simple- a nice touch on a gifted book....
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Poppy tutorial.
source

Old frames and corkboard
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Chicken wire frame.  Love!
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Decorated Clothespin Magnets - very cute gift idea!
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Even little hands could make these cute as a button bobby pins:).

a few stitches and super glue
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This is such a darling idea and sooo simple!
Just wrap a container full of flowers in fabric and tie with a bow!

{gingham and daisies? Yes please.}
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Mother's Day
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Table runner from book pages
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This might be a little nontraditional, but I know my Mom would LOVE a lunch sack!

How to Make an Oilcloth Lunchbag by Martha Stewart
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And, of course, you could always make a soap dispenser.
They are just plain wonderful and hard working...just like Mom!
This Mason Jar dispenser has held up so well and I love how practical it is!!
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I hope this helps get your creative juices flowing and that you are able to bless a mother in your life:).

~Julia

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ordinary Days

I don't think any day is just ordinary.
Each day is fresh and new and a gift...to be filled to the brim with your very best.
It never goes perfectly, but it doesn't have to.
The little moments are what make life full.
Our days are usually loud, messy, a little "go with the flow," and wonderful in spite of several bumps in the road.
We just enjoy each other.
Plain and simple.
And I am so grateful for that.

We have a pond that is used for irrigation and during the Winter and early Spring it is not full.
The littles have been searching for these small pond snails that lie dormant for months in the pond.


They hide along the sides and under rocks, just waiting for the cool water to fill.



The kids fill their hands full and then we head back home to see which pretty shells might be hiding a small snail.



It is simply amazing to watch these little creatures emerge from dormancy. 
They just spring back to life and look around for something yummy to eat.
We have been feeding them lettuce:).
It is so much fun to be able to enjoy nature and the outdoors with the kids.
It also reminds me how important it is to not lead a dormant life:).


Home is where it is at for me.
It is where we nurture and form these precious people into who they are to become.
Our home is simple, not fancy, rather cozy, and usually has many things going on.
It really never looks picture perfect.
My laundry is usually blowing in the breeze, the sand box is full of random toys and sometimes is turned into a large pond that slowly seeps into the lawn.
There is a pluthera of bikes, balls, tools, and even a bunny or two in a makeshift cage enjoying the fresh grass...that probably needs to be mowed.
Right now, everything is seemingly weedy and needs my attention...but I still love it.



It's a comfortable place where imperfections make it perfect and where we try to love and show love.
It's where we are able to be creative and most of all ourselves.
It's where we learn tolerance, forgiveness, and how to solve problems.

I found these wonderful quotes by Mother Theresa this morning...

Love begins by taking care of the closest ones - the ones at home.
~Mother Teresa



Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do... but how much love we put in that action.
Mother Teresa



There are days when I feel like I am consumed with duties that eat up precious time. 
I really have to slow down and remember that even those things that must get done, like Latin, Geography, Math, and Grammar...laundry, dishes, cleaning and cooking:
these things are acts of love if you do them with a thankful spirit.





If you want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.
Mother Teresa

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.
Mother Teresa
All of the small things that you do for your family, that you do for your neighbor...they add up.

For me, taking care of this precious family is the greatest act of love.
I pray that all of our small actions compile into the utmost love offering and that my children grow to be strong morally and ethically, smart, and to become people that change this world.
It is hard to believe that all starts in a small place like home.
{My dormant garden....soon to be alive with all kinds of things!

Enjoy the day..it is everything but ordinary:).
~Julia

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Cheery Spring Porch

I love to have the entryway to our home looking and feeling like "you are welcome...we are so excited you decided to drop in."
And truly that is how we all feel!
Spring has such a fresh feeling, so I gave the front porch a good sweep, touched up the paint on the wood chairs with Tim, and added some bright flowers.


It makes me feel good just walking in!
Do you like to freshen in the Spring time, too?


For some reason, freshening always involves sewing for me, so I made a couple of new pillows out of drop  cloths...


They were really simple to put together, and I left the edges raw so they will fray after washing.
I'm pretty positive that will be soon...


Our dogs feel quite welcome on the front porch, too, and like to sit in the chairs and gaze into the house.
We must be pretty exciting:).


My $2 bucket has come in quite handy.
Right now she holds bright primroses.


I filled my terra cotta pots with small pansies that will produce all summer.
They are really a great investment!




I hope that you are all enjoying this lovely, new, and refreshing time of year.

~Julia

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spring on the Farm

Thank you so much for your words of sympathy and encouragement!
I read every one and want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I feel so blessed.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We have been enjoying our Spring weather here!
I think we have had a couple of 70 degree days!
Perfect weather to bring out the new chicks for a romp in the grass.
Meet Flossie,


Violet,


and Jane.


They are {in order} a White Leghorn, Wellsummer, and a Wyandotte.

Do you ever tire of watching sweet little baby chicks?





I have 3 more Banties ordered and that will bring our egg laying flock to 13.
Right now, we have 7 girls and definitely need more eggs for our family.
Tim has his chicken tractor almost finished and we ordered 20 fryer chicks that will become fresh chicken in the freezer this summer.
Each year we add a little something more to becoming self sufficient.
It's a good feeling.

~Julia



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