Saturday, March 26, 2016

Little Jelly Bean

I'm back after a long hiatus. I've happily been busy with my first born. Yes I've had a baby! I know I'm prejudiced but he's the cutest thing ever!

I kept thinking about blogging but I was busy working on a nursery (I have lots to share!)
After nine wonderful weeks of motherhood I ventured back into baking. A new cookie recipe tempted me (jelly bean cookies). If you know me, you know I have a weakness for cookies! You can find the recipe here

My husband, J was doing yard. He came in the kitchen surprised to find me baking (I haven't in months - with a newborn who has time?!). Well I finally found a recipe crazy enough that he wasn't trying to sneak a taste before the cookies were done! We'll see how the kids like the cookies tomorrow!


Cream shortening & sugar (I substituted butter).
Add egg, milk & vanilla.

Whisk together (seperately) flour, salt & baking powder.

Add flour mixture into sugar mixture.

Mix completely.

Stir in jelly beans.
I used Starburst jelly beans.


Side note: I love this scraper spatula that my mom got me for Christmas.

Place on cookie sheet.

Bake & enjoy!

This is how I bake with a newborn!
Baby L is the cutest reason for not blogging!

Happy Easter!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Guest Post: Our Adoption Journey

Our story started years ago, actually. God started in me this slow softening of the heart through my eyes, this visual partaking in the beauty of what an adoptive family, and more importantly a child with special needs looks like. Being a visual learner, artist and photographer, this is where much of it all started for me. Learning audibly doesn't mean a lot unless I see it for myself. It must be tangible. While house sitting years ago, my then boyfriend/now husband and I were watching Slumdog Millionaire, and I saw these (albeit) fictional children stricken with need, and my heart melted. I turned to him and asked if one day he would be willing to adopt, and he said yes. I asked if we could adopt first from India, then Ethiopia, and he was completely on board. The conversation was short and simple, and our life plan was beginning to unfold in the middle of our Creator's design for us and we didn't even know it. 

In 2009 we were married, and in 2010 we welcomed our little boy into the world. I finished school, and we decided that if the Lord gave us a biological child next, it would be a blessing. If He gave us the welcome gift of an adopted child, we would also rejoice. And if He so chose to give us both, we would be overjoyed. We went to a meeting to learn about the various types of adoption at the end of July, 2012. Around this time we began praying for our child. We looked on a government website at countries and their stipulations for adopting, saw India, but thought maybe it wasn't right for us, and we would try and look at Ethiopia for the time being. India became completely forgotten to us. We became like the Israelites, searching for this promised land, this land our child would come from, but in our unfaithfulness to The Lord we began to wander aimlessly. We became hopeless, and my heart grew discouraged, not unlike God's people so long ago. We looked at multiple countries, many adoption agencies, locally, and local foster. Everything proved spiritually fruitless, with learning about it all, my heart only grew colder and more alone. During all of this looking, a friend of mine had been traveling Europe and Asia, and upon her return back to the states sent me a package of treasures from her travels. Inside the box was a journal, among other little gifts. I decided to begin journaling to this child, this unknown to me but known to God child, and tell them how much I loved them already, just as I had after finding out we were expecting our Little Abear.

In 2014 we thought we had found the country that held our child, Uganda. I still don't know how it happened, but we stumbled upon the perfect agency. They were kind, willing to help with all answers they had available, and they listened. We then realized the instability in Uganda, and that it might not be the safest choice to leave the child we had to go across the world, and possibly put our lives in danger. Was that a selfish choice? Possibly, but it was all apart of God's plan for our lives, because if we hadn't come to this conclusion, I wouldn't have found myself looking through available countries on this agencies website, and I wouldn't have found India. India! How could we have had blinded eyes for so long? How did the Israelites wander so close to the promised land to no avail? Because God had a lesson in the middle of it all, and so much more, He had a plan. This plan was not only for our lives, but for our little one's life. We contacted this agency, and were transferred to the best adoption liaison we could have hoped for, she was perfect to help our family. We prayed as a family, and sent in the paperwork to begin with the India program. Do you remember the journal? This precious gift from a land far away, was purchased for me in India. God is so good. I had been writing to my child between the cloth of their own culture. There are so many miracles, I would write for hours to share them all, but I will just have to leave this whole part of our journey labeled as blessing for now. Fast forward over a year, to Friday, May 22nd, 2015, one week after CARA (an adoption authority in India) approved us to adopt from India - this day at 12:26 p.m. we were matched with our little girl. Born that same month two years earlier... do the math and she would have been conceived end of July/early August 2012 - just after we started learning about adoption. This means I have been praying for my daughter since conception. Praise the Lord, for He is good, all the time. Through every trial and tribulation, through every tearful and unbearable feeling of hopeless, my God of hope never lost sight of His plan for our little family. 

What next? More approvals, six more. We saw our sweet little girl playful in videos, and we have one old photo of her - she is beautiful. There is always hope in hopeless. The Promised Land is never obsolete to those who love Christ, but this isn't to say we may not wander for awhile to learn, and to fall deeper in love with Him who "knows the plans He has for us" (Jer. 29:11). We hope that our Little Miss will come home sooner than later, but we know there is a reason for it all. God is good, and His people have been faithful in their love and prayers for our family, and we have been so blessed in the middle of it all. 

The idea came about a month or so ago to create shirts to help raise funds to bring our child home - so One Less shirts were born. For the original process, I overlaid a font of India over a colorful image of succulents I took, and did a see-through-to-text (one of the tutorials that helped me can be found here). I typed in "One Less", as well as Psalm 27:10, the entire verse. When I took this down to BrandX t-shirts, they told me that each individual shirt would have to be digitally printed, financially this just wasn't doable. So one of the artists there blocked out India, overlaid One Less on it so it would be a knock out text (you can see the shirt color through the words), and then put just the Psalm 27:10 verse reference to the right of India in white. I was so pleased with how these turned out, and they have been selling so well. We are so thankful for each and every sale, what a blessing. Ideally, I would love for everyone who is asked about their shirt to be able to not only tell a little of our story, but to quote the verse as well. We are all orphans without being adopted into God's family... "For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in." Psalm 27:10.



These beautiful shirts are available in my shop to help bring this precious girl home to her forever family. T-shirts come in tri-blend grey ($25). Tank tops come in mint and tri-blend grey ($27). Children's shirts are light blue ($22).

You can read more about the adventures of this precious family here.

Friday, June 5, 2015

How To Knit: Knitting Fork or Lucet Tutorial

Breaking out my knitting fork (also known as a lucet) again and trying out some new things for my shop. Keep an eye out for these new items to be added later today!

Here is my knitting fork video tutorial for all of you....





Samples of the two different types of cord
you can make with a knitting fork.

Knit jewelry now available in my shop!
Click here to check it out!


Happy Crafting!


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Protect Your Door From Your Wreath Hanger

For years I've used a wreath hanger on our front door but little did I know what damage it was doing to the door. After getting our house repainted last year my husband didn't want me putting it back up so it wouldn't damage the new paint. 

Of course I still wanted to hang my wreaths on the door, so I had to come up with a solution. I got to thinking... how can I protect the door? I kept thinking I must be able to put something on the inside of the wreath hanger (that you wouldn't be able to see) that will protect the door's paint from getting scratched. This is what I came up with....

 What you'll need to protect your door:
- felt (scraps will do)
- a pair of scissors
- a hot glue gun

The greatest part was I already these things I already had around the house.

Step 1: Cut two felt pieces to fit the door hanger.

Step 2: Hot glue felt pieces onto the wreath hanger.

Step 3: Let glue dry and decorate your door!
 Happy Crafting!



Monday, May 25, 2015

Easy Peasy Popsicles

Looking for a cool treat on a hot summer's day? Then these popsicles are for you! They're easy and you can change and add in whatever you like!

I've started a paleo/whole 30 diet and have been looking for something sweet to eat. I normally love fruit popsicles but the ones I buy from the store have sugar in them (which is a no no on the whole 30). So I decided to make my own!

My first thought was to blend different fruits together and freeze the juice. I may try that next but for my first try I used frozen 100% juice. I used grape because it's my favorite popsicle. 

What you'll need to make your own:
- Frozen 100% Juice (I used Old Orchard)
- Water
- Juice Pitcher
- Popsicle molds
- Funnel (optional - we used it to fill the molds)



Simply mix the frozen juice with water as you normally would, pour the juice into the popsicle molds, and let them freeze for about 3 hours.



Enjoy these yummy easy popsicles!

Happy Crafting!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Nadia Does New York - Day 4

On our last day in New York we got up extra early to meet up with my friend M, for breakfast. We took the subway to Columbus Circle and had French pastries. While on the subway we got good news from one of my best friends. I cried happy tears and got an odd look or two for crying on the subway haha.
Walked around a bit and admired a Tesla. Popped into Starbucks for a latte. I have to say it was the worst latte I've ever had (and my husband agreed)! It was so bad we had to ask for a refund. While in Starbucks it went from drizzling rain to POURING! So we made a beeline for the subway.
After a difficult time getting to the subway platform, we eventually made it back to our hotel to pack our things.
We went up a few blocks for a New York bagel for lunch. Went to another Starbucks to find a NY mug  for a gift, and a good latte. We explored the Grand Central Market. Where we were shocked by produce prices, contemplated different varieties of tea, and admired flowers.
A subway ride to JFK and back home we went! Our puppy was so glad to see us!



Friday, May 15, 2015

Nadia Does New York - Day 3

Slept in after a late night at the tow pound (Wondering what I'm talking about? Refer to post Nadia Does New York - Day 2). We found out my hormone and calcium levels are good.
Hubby and I shared a prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich, which was our breakfast even though it was lunch time.
A Starbucks run.
Spent the early afternoon shopping at H & M (one of my favorite stores).
The rest of the afternoon is a bit of a blur, after getting the bad news that my cancer numbers went up. Not much but we like them either staying where they are or going down.
We decided to go out for Indian food for dinner. Their chicken tikka was delicious. I think the waiter thought we didn't order enough food because they gave us lentils to go with dinner complementary.
My good friend texted during dinner that FAO Schwartz is closing. So we decided to hurry down there after dinner. Especially since hubby had never been. We got a small gift for mom and some pressed penny souvenirs. (Personally I think pressed pennies are the best souvenirs. They are memorable, cheap, and easy to pack and carry!)
Took the subway to Grand Central. Shared some ice cream and enjoyed the beautiful craftsmanship of Grand Central.