Sunday, December 23, 2012

Every Good and Perfect Gift is From Above

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father...." - James 1: 17 (NKJV)

 *Love this sign I had made for my Kitchen!*

So much of this time of year is spent shopping for gifts. It's actually one of my favorite things to do. Whether is shopping for a friend, co worker, family member or for an Operation Christmas Child, I just love shopping for that special something I know the recipient is going to love to receive. 

So much of this time of year is also spent "shopping" for something that will make us happy or feel better. The truth is, the only thing that will give us the greatest satisfaction and happiness is Jesus. The Christmas season isn't about baking, or shopping or Christmas parties; it's about celebrating the birth of JESUS CHRIST. 

It's about knowing that God has already given us the most PERFECT gift, His son! 

John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

I hope sometime in the next few days and especially on Christmas, that we all will take the time to remember the true meaning of Christmas, and why we even have Christmas in the first place, to celebrate the coming of a Savior, a King, the good and perfect gift from our Father in Heaven. 

Merry Christmas, everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Apple Pie Quesadillas

Remember all of these apples the hubby and I canned this fall?

Well he doesn't like apple pie (Crazy, I know!) So I decided to try a quesadilla was a success! :)

RECIPE: (Makes 2 quesadillas)

For Pie Filling: (or could use store bought apple pie filling)
1 pint of apples
1 Tbs flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar

Butter Mixture:
1 Tbs. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. cinnamon 

1. Mix pie filling ingredients together and place on tortilla. Cook both sides until golden brown.
2. Mix together 1 Tbs. melted butter and cinnamon to brush on top of quesadilla when done.
3. Serve with some vanilla ice cream!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Chocolate Filled Strawberries

Everyone loves strawberries dipped in chocolate. Well here is an easy recipe for chocolate filled strawberries! 

1. Clean the strawberries and cut off the stem of the strawberry.
2. Using a knife or spoon scoop out the inside of the strawberry. Larger strawberries work best!
3. Melt some chocolate chips, 30 second intervals at a time. Fill the strawberries with chocolate.
4. Place in the refrigerator until the chocolate hardens.

Trust me...these are DELICIOUS!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String...

I love the look of brown paper packages!! Especially since you can get a roll of it at the Dollar Tree for $1.00.  I wrapped all of these gifts and with one roll and still have some left over! Here  are a few ideas of ways you can dress up your own packages.

Use a stencil to monogram the packages and then add some ribbon and a tag!

I love the look of paper doilies on the brown paper.

Add a stocking or ornament as a little extra gift to the outside of the package. 


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Pinterest Plate

Our little town has a "Downtown Christmas" where there are carolers, santa, a tree lighting and some other fun events! Our church had a table set up and we handed out free hot chocolate and cookies!

I made a dozen cookies to take but wanted to put them on a plate that could just be thrown away at the end of the night. I saw this cute idea on pinterest to simply decorate a paper plate with some ribbon. Just punch some holes and weave the ribbon through. Was super easy to make and makes it a lot more festive! Would be a great neighbor gift too!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

DIY Gift Ideas

Last year I made all of my Christmas gifts for friends and family DIY.. Here are some ideas along with a few recipes!

Snowman hand sanitizer:  Super simple to make. Just get a bottle of hand sanitizer (mine is from Dollar Tree) and decorate.Would make a perfect teacher or hostess gift! 

Winter Coasters: Simply buy a few coasters at your local Home Depot or Lowes and podge modge some pretty scrapbook paper on top. Don't forget to add a few felt pads to the bottom!

Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Jar: Recipe

Cinnamon Vanilla Bath ScrubRecipe

 Daddy Gift: Got the empty frame at Hobby Lobby and used scrapbooking letters for the words.

For the pistachio lover: Fill a Christmas tin with pistachios and add a piece of cardboard in the middle to make a place to toss those empty shells!

Mocha Cocoa in a Jar: RECIPE

S more's in a bag: Be sure and add a recipe to make smore's in the oven and microwave. (Sorry, can't remember where I got my recipes from)

Gift for the baker: Fill a mixing bowl with cookie baking supplies. I tied some red ribbon around the wooden spoon too! Would also be cute to add an apron!

DIY Earring Holder: Simply find a frame, staple some screen or burlap to the back and hang on wall or set on a picture frame stand.

Happy crafting! :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012


 Hebrews 10:24-25
  24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

What is Verge? Verge is a group of either 3-4 guys or 3-4 girls from Home Team  that meet once a week. We all read the same section out of the bible and then meet to discuss what God taught us through that reading. It's also a place where we can discuss life and hold each other accountable for how we are living our lives.

Galatians 6:1-2
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

The girls i my verge have been such a blessing to me! They are some of the most God and people loving ladies I know! They encourage me every week to be a better Christian, friend, wife and Home team leader.
One thing I love about these girls is their willingness to give. This week while recovering from surgery they each graciously brought over a yummy meal for us! I'm truly thankful for each of these girls and their friendship and am so blessed that God has put them in my life! 

Friday, November 30, 2012

DIY Ornament Ideas

For most of the years Derrick & I dated we got each other a Christmas ornament every year, so that when we got married, we would already have several to put on our tree!  A little tradition we have started is to exchange our ornaments as we decorate our tree instead of waiting until Christmas morning.

Not all, but several of the ornaments I have gotten him are ones that I made.

Here is one I made the year we got engaged. I got this blank wooden frame ornament at Hobby Lobby, painted it and used a paint pen to write on it. I then put one of our engagement pictures inside.

This is one I made for our dog, Ellie, the first year we had her. Again, it was a blank wooden ornament at Hobby Lobby that I painted and tied some ribbon on.

This one I made last year. You can find these clear crafting ornaments at Hobby Lobby.  I filled it with some sand and seashells we got while on our honeymoon in the Bahamas!

Finally, the one I made Derrick for this year is a copy of our house key. This way we will always remember our first home together :)  I also printed out our address and covered it with contact paper to keep from getting yucky.

Oh..and here is the ornament Derrick got me this year! Perfect, huh? ;)

What are some special DIY ornaments you have made or received?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas Decorating

Christmas is my favorite time of year! One thing I love about is decorating my house and getting to enjoy the Christmas tree all lit up! Here are some pictures of our house this year..

Love this burlap stocking! 25 cents at a yard sale!

Willow Tree nativity set  is so beautiful!

Used a curtain rod hook to hang these aqua mason jars then filled with Christmas flowers from dollar tree.

Burlap ribbon bow at top and almost all the ornaments are ones Derrick & I have gotten each other over the years! (Notice there are no ornaments towards the bottom..we have a puppy who likes to chew on them)

White shutter to hold Christmas cards.

Filled a mason jar with Epsom salt to look like snow and a tea light candle.

Still in love with this old doll bed brace that I turned into a memo board! 

Antique sled Derrick got me for our anniversary! Found the vintage skates at a thrift store.

Now onto the kitchen...

Divided wood crate found at a yard sale for 50 cents!

A jar filled with Christmas cookie cutters and one filled with Christmas cupcake liners.

Had this sign custom made from Someday Creations. She does great work and has very reasonable prices! 

 Tied some twine on Christmas cookie cutters to make ornaments for our kitchen tree!

Also, be sure to check out my business page: Thrifty 31!  I sell items in my booth at Golden Goodies in Cambria, IL and also on my facebook page! You can pick up at my home or I am willing to meet in Marion or Carbondale to deliver your items. I also am willing to ship small items if you don't live near by. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


 Psalm 107:1 - Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his loves endures forever!

So excited that I have the rest of the week off to relax and spend time with our families for Thanksgiving! I have so many things to be thankful for this year, but most of all I'm thankful for the awesome things God has been doing in our marriage this first year! Here are some of the pictures my sister took for our one year anniversary a few weeks ago!

This first one is going to be our Christmas card picture- so glad we finally got one with Ellie looking at the camera! :)

What things are you thankful for this year? Also, stay tuned for an upcoming post on Christmas decorating!