Printable: Let All that you do be done in love

Laundry, dishes, noses, car seats, kitchen table… These are all things I clean (or try to clean) every day. It would be so easy for me to mumble and complain about every single cheerio I find on the floor. I want more than that. I want to be kind with my words and my thoughts. I want to be gentle to those around me, knowing it could very well be my mess that they are cleaning up. I want more for my heart. I want it to be filled with gratitude and prayers for my family, rather than annoyed sighs.

I made this printable for our MOPS group earlier this year and I put it in our dining room. Now, it serves as a wonderful reminder. Let ALL that you do be done in Love. All. Not some. Not the things that this world would call important. All things.

Even the laundry? Yes.

Even the dishes? Yes.

Ok, what about the lollipop that is stuck under the car seat that is now a sticky mess adhering three cheerios to the seat permanently? Yes, that too.

As I use my hands to serve my family, I’m trying to fill my thoughts with prayers for them.

It sounds beautiful and grand, but it’s hard for me. I’m starting off simple.

As I fold Brian’s laundry, my prayer might be as simple as this: “Lord, I love Brian. Please be with him today. Lord, I love Brian. Please be with him today.” Yup, on repeat. I’d rather say that than rattle off a list of complaints. (Not that I have things to complain about. He’s the sweetheart in this relationship. I’m the one he has to put up with.)

Please feel free to print one off for you as well. It is sized 4×6. You could even tape it inside of your cabinet where you put away the glasses, just as a reminder.

Click here to download.

It also matches the free printable I made earlier this month, so you can match if you’d like!

Click here to return to that post for another free printable! 

Best wishes with this sweet friends. How do you keep from complaining? I’d love to know!

 

Costume : Eponine from Les Mis

Julia and her friends always come up with an amazing theme for All Hallows Eve costumes! They are usually easy, DIY costumes. Her Eponine costume from Les Miserables is one of my favorites!

She pieced the outfit together from her closet and found the trenchcoat Goodwill.

She looked up how to make a Cockade Rosette Pin on youtube and made her own with scrap fabric.

It was such an easy costume to put together, for such a fun night. They sang the soundtrack and quoted lines and made the entire neighborhood sing along!

She found this video to help her make the pin, and it turned out perfectly:

I always love her themes and can’t wait to see what they are planning on doing this year!

Beauty Sleep 5 Ways To Rest Easier

Disclosure: Consideration has been provided for publishing this article. Sleep is elusive to me right now, with a six month old, but these tips are perfect to maximize the rest I’m able to get! 

Have you ever noticed how sleep deprivation impacts your day-to-day life? Your mood, performance, and alertness are all negatively affected when you don’t get enough rest. Your emotional, mental and physical wellness depends on your ability to sleep well. Here are five ways to rest easier:

  1. Exercise regularly.
  2. Stick to a schedule.
  3. Turn off your device.
  4. Make your environment sleep conducive.
  5. Get a new mattress.

Tire Your Body With Physical Activity

Have you ever noticed that you sleep better when you workout or when you’ve had a day that required a lot of physical activity? Exercise not only helps you sleep better, but it also allows helps you stay focused during the day!

Become a Creature of Habit

Image via Flickr by TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³

Have you ever noticed the number of “I hate Mondays” posts on social media? Perhaps you noticed everyone in your home is pretty bummed out on Mondays. If you are sleeping in and staying up late on the weekends, then going “back” to your regular schedule Monday, you are confusing your body. Keep to a consistent sleep schedule, and your body will naturally help you fall asleep at bedtime.

Put Your Device to Sleep

There was once a time when the only people that carried devices like beepers or phones were professionals, like doctors. We now live in a world where almost everyone has a cell phone. If you are like most, your phone is constantly letting you know that you have a new email, post, or text. It never stops. Put your phone to sleep so you can get rest.

Set the Right Mood

Prepare your environment for sleep. Your room should be a calm, comforting place. Make sure your room is quiet, dark and cool. Do not minimize the power of a warm room to disrupt your sleep. Lower your thermostat at bedtime. If your room is uncomfortably warm, check your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system to make sure it is working properly. Setting the mood will get you in the mood to sleep.

Refresh With New Bedding

If you wake up feeling achy or sore, check your bedding. Your mattress has an expiration date.  Your mattress can last up to ten years; however, let your body tell you when you need to get a new mattress. In one study, participants who slept on beds less five years old slept better than those who slept on older mattresses.

As you get older, your body has an increased reaction to sleep deprivation. It affects your mental and physical state. Unfortunately, it also shows up on our face!  Here are a few closing tips to help you use these tips to increase your sleep starting today:

  • Increase your physical activity a little each day.
  • Gradually close the gap between your weekend sleep schedule and your weekday sleep schedule.
  • Automatically set your phone to go to voicemail and turn off notification by 8:00 pm.

Make sure your thermostat is no lower than 60 and no higher than 67 degrees.

Recipe: Homemade Mac and Cheese

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My Aunt Margaret has the best Mac and Cheese every holiday. The adults love it, the kids love it, and it’s always a hit at pot lucks.

I’ve spent a few years trying to recreate it, and this time, Julia said that I’ve got it! After a few failed attempts, that is quite a relief!

MAC AND CHEESE INGREDIENTS

1 – 16 oz. package of elbow macaroni

1 – Small Box Velveeta Cheese (16 oz.)

4 oz – Sour Cream

1/2 Cup – Cheddar Cheese

1 Tbsp – Whole Milk

INSTRUCTIONS

Cook elbow macaroni according to directions in large pot (I use a 4 qt Dutch oven )

Rinse and drain pasta

Combine macaroni with all ingredients in the Dutch oven on medium heat

Enjoy!

(This is one recipe that reheats well! I just add one teaspoon of milk in a saucepan with the desired amount to reheat and stir until warm.)

 

Cubbie Lee Toys – Review and Giveaway

This conversation is sponsored by Cubbie Lee Toys! It is my honor to share news with you from a company that I enjoy and support!  

From cubbieleetoys.com: When Cubbie Lee’s founders, Zach and Sarah Lee, had their first child, they quickly became aware of how difficult it was to get good, quality toys that were affordable.

Rather than filling the nursery with flashy, plastic toys that broke easily, they wanted toys that would last. They wanted toys that provided both educational value and heaps of fun for their little one (and their other two children that soon followed!).

It was on one of these searches that Zach and Sarah decided to take matters into their own hands, and the Cubbie Lee Toy Company was born (the name comes from their much loved family dog). Today, Zach and Sarah work with a team of toy-lovers, to bring the finest wooden toys to parents around the US.

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Mary Alice loves to play on the floor and use her imagination. She loves toys that she can tell a story with. When she opened the Noah’s Ark from Cubbie Lee Toys, it really was love at first sight.

Riley is my outside guy. He would probably sleep outside if we let him. He loves to spend time running and jumping and kicking balls around the yard. When he saw Mary Alice playing, he came in and they played together for more than thirty minutes. Any toy that can capture their attention like that is a winner in my book!

Do you remember the old song from about the Ark? We used to sing it in youth group all the time. Good memories.

Mary Alice continues to play with her Noah’s Ark. She puts the animals inside the ark and says ‘night, night’. The door to the ark closes, but not so tightly that I worry about her fingers. She loves that there are two of each animal. We haven’t taught her about that parable yet, but I know little lightbulbs will go on when we do!

Cubbie Lee would love to give a toy from their website to one of you, also! Be sure and enter the giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Susan - I LOVE the look of these toys! It’s hard to choose a favorite, but probably either the Noah’s Ark set or the Tea Party set. They look very well made, and I love the classic look of them as well. Thanks for a great review and giveaway as well.

rebecca day - I like the Ultimate Tea Party set.

wen budro - Their wooden train set is awesome. They have a very nice selection of cool toys.

LeAnn Harbert - I like the tea site.

Katherine S - The arc set and train set

Carolsue - I like the Wooden Chunky Puzzle Pack of 3 Animal Puzzles

Anna Pry - i like the 70 Piece Wooden Train Set

Sunnie - I like the 80 piece block set.

Vidya P - Absolutely love the 70 piece wooden train set! I like how it’s compatible with many sets that come in the market plus the woooden make is a huge hit in our family. My preschooler likes making tracks and loves taking his mini on a train ride. This one sure is going to be a huge hit with him n his playmates!

Jennie - I love their wooden train sets!

Sonya Bridges - I really like the ark set. My niece and nephew would really love this.

Sonya Morris - I love the Small 4 Piece Vehicle & Travel Wooden Chunky Puzzle with “Easy-Hold” Colorful Solid Wood Pieces w/ Fire Truck, Police Car.

Shannon F - I love the Cute Wooden Afternoon Play Food Dessert Stand w/ Pastries!

Krista - I like the Adorable Crocodile Wooden Push & Pull Along Toy for Baby & Toddle

MaryAnn - I like the Ultimate Tea Party set.

Gina Sandoval - Tea party is so cute!

Kathryn Hyatt - 70 piece wooden train set!

Rachel - My favorite toy is the Cute Wooden Afternoon Play Food Dessert Stand w/ Pastries to Cut and Serve.

Trixie Dotson - I like the building blocks set. Classics are always great!

Kristen J. - 100 Piece Classic wooden building block set is my favorite. I played with something similar as a child and I loved it.

Victoria S. - Love the Ultimate Tea Party Set!

Missy w - 70 Piece Wooden Train Set

M Moore - I really like the Alphabet Wooden Building Blocks Set.

angela smith - The Tea Party Set

Michelle J. - I like the Animal Mini Chunky Wooden Puzzle Bundle Pack (Set of 4) w/ “Easy-Hold” Colorful Solid Wood Pieces!

Allyson Tice - my favorite toy is the New & Unique Knight & Dragon Castle Wooden Building Block Set – Hardwood Plain & Colored Small Wood Block set!

Emma - I love the play food stand and pastries – so much opportunity for pretend play!

Donna L - I like the 30 Piece Wooden Toy Train Starter Set.

deanna - I really like the Princess Pink Castle Wooden Building Block Set. It is so darling.

Hayley S - The 50 piece classic wooden block set looks awesome!

Audra - The wood fruit is cute

Abigail - My daughter would LOVE the Ultimate Tea Party Set!

Rochel S - Love the Ultimate Tea Party Set!

Danielle Porter - I really like this football puzzle! https://cubbieleetoys.com/collections/1-2-year-olds/products/football-puzzle

Samantha Plotkin - I love the 70 Piece Wooden Train Set – Classic Toy Train Tracks & Accessories, Magnetic Train Cars – Compatible w/ Thomas Tank Engine, Melissa & Doug, Brio, Chugginton Train Sets

Jennifer Cervantes - My favorite toy is the 100piece Classic wooden toy block set.

Jennifer Wright - I like the The Slice, Pour & Serve Toy Pack.

Jill Rivera - TRAIN SETS is the toys I like.

Lauryn R - My favorite toy from their website is the Cute Wooden Afternoon Play Food Dessert Stand w/ Pastries to Cut and Serve. Both of my daughters would have a lot of fun playing with this, and I love wooden toys! 🙂

Luna S - 100 Piece Classic Wooden Building Block Set – Hardwood Plain & Colored Small Wood Blocks

sandra - I like the wooden fruit

meredith - the classic wooden toy set is really great!

Britnee - I like the tea party set most.

Crystal Lynn - Noah’s Ark is adorable! I love that you can store the toys inside.

Ashley C - I love the Alphabet Wooden Building Blocks Set | Brightly Colored 80 pc Block Set

Angie B - I like the 100 piece classic wood block building set

Em Mahr - My favorite is the 30 PIECE WOODEN TOY TRAIN STARTER SET

Angie - I like the CUTE AFTERNOON WOODEN TEA PARTY SET

Tammy Horn - I really like the CUTE AFTERNOON WOODEN TEA PARTY SET.

Stevie Ferris - I love the Ultimate Tea Party set, as well as the castle sets! Such great looking toys!

Mercedes Amanda - I love the 70 Piece Wooden Train Set! Looks so fun!

Tiffany Banks - I love the CUTE AFTERNOON WOODEN TEA PARTY SET

Annette - I actually really like the ark, most. Another cute one I like is the CLASSIC OCEAN SEA ANIMALS WOODEN PEG PUZZLE W/ COLORFUL WOOD KNOB PIECES FISH, WHALE, TURTLE, SEAHORSE AND BOAT.

Jessica Mcfarlin - I like the classic shape sorter

Jackie - I like the Cute Afternoon Wooden Tea Party Set with Hardwood Pink Tea Kettle Pot, Cups, Saucers, and Dessert “Food”

nickie - I like the Child’s Classic Wooden Pounding Bench

Rachel - The Cute Afternoon Wooden Tea Party

Latanya - I like the ADORABLE WOODEN PENGUIN 6 PIECE RING STACKER TOY W/ SOLID WOOD RAINBOW RINGS

Margaret Chang - Just followed the link and placed an order – for Clare’s and.my niece’s Christmas gift. Mary Alex looks so much like Nate! She is adorable!