Friday, April 18, 2014

|memory maker|

 Pinterest cookie fail? Our bunnies didn't turn out quite as pretty. Not that the kids cared, they ate theirs before we could get any pictures.

Geode Eggs directions found here.

I only had to work three days this week leading up to a four day weekend, so I decided to try to make it extra special for the kids. Work [i.e. being a nanny] has been a bit frustrating lately, but I wanted to make this a special week. We had a long, fun play date in the park today, decorated cookies and we made these awesome eggs. 

I hope I am making fun memories with the kids. Even if they don't remember everything, I hope they someday look back on their childhood and think of all the fun adventures we had. Hikes and picnics, play dates and library trips, cookie baking for firemen, the list goes on.

If your a mom, don't stress out and try to make things perfect and do 500 different Pinterest crafts each season. Spend time with your kids, do special activities, treats, and trips....but if it's causing you to be stressed out and get frustrated with your kiddos, it's not worth it. I look back now and wonder how in the world my mom did half the stuff she did at holidays to make them special for us. I know we were not the most docile children and always obeyed the first time. We got overly excited and things got knocked over or broken or messed up. But yet, I have fond memories of baking and icing sugar cookies, getting to put the window clings on the windows. She didn't micro manage our projects to make sure they were turning out picture perfect. She let us learn, do, and discover.  This isn't a mothers day post wrapped up with an Easter one, but mom,  whether you feel like you did or not, you rocked the holidays.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Baked Oatmeal [Recipe]

My sister recently shared this recipe with me and after sampling the ones she made, I knew I wanted to make some. This is super simple to make, using ingredients you probably already have. It's also one of those basic recipes that you can add multiple extra ingredients to depending on what your taste is and how adventurous you want to be.

 I added all my dry ingredients first-oats, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, chia seeds, and flax meal.
 Some optional ingredients- chopped pecans and semi sweet chocolate chips.
 Because I wasn't sure how this was going to turn out, I did a trial batch by cutting the recipe in half and using an 8x8 pan.

Bake Oatmeal

Preheat oven to 350F 

3 cups oats
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt

Mix all the dry ingredients together. This is also the perfect time to add in anything like chia seeds, flax seeds/meal, wheat germ, etc. 

1 egg
1 stick melted butter
1/2 cup honey
1 cup milk [can be substituted with almond milk]

Beat these together well and then stir into the dry ingredients. This is the time to add any nuts, chips [chocolate, peanut butter, cinnamon], dried fruit, raisins, etc.  After stirring those in, press it evenly into a sprayed 9x13 pan. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until the edges are slightly brown.


Monday, April 7, 2014

DIY-Instagram Photo Project

 First, I want to preface this post with an apology, after rereading this, I realized I have the poorest direction writing skills. But really, it's not surprising since, as a kid, I hated these kinds of writing projects and wrote as short of papers as I could get away with. When I was in the 10 or under stage, I remember writing one on how to separate an egg and then, how to make strawberry milk.

...onto the awesome project....

 I am super excited to share this project with you! I am a huge fan of Instagram and took forever debating which of my 250+ to get printed. With their little size, printing them can be a trick..until I discovered *Printstagram. They specialize in printing social media photos within the right pixel size so you don't get grainy photos. They came printed on a matte finished cardstock.

 To start this project hit up your local Goodwill or thrift store in search of a large frame. I snagged this darling for $3.99
Next, snag two $0.50 bottles of craft paint from Walmart. I wanted to give this an aqua hue, so I did two coats of white to make sure that the brown was completely covered. Next, I did a solid coat of aqua and after that dried, did a white washing over it to tone down the color.
 Because I am no crafting expert and once I get an idea for something like this in my head, I have to do it asap, regardless if I have the best tools for the job. I bought bakers twine to string my pictures from. I used a regular old staple and stapled the string on both sides then tied it around the staple.
 It would be darling to find some tiny clothes pins to add to some of these, but for now they are just taped to the string, and the due to the texture of the pictures, it won't be difficult to remove to tape if I ever want them off of here. I also labeled each picture so I can remember when they are from.
The back isn't so pretty and my lines do have some spacing issues...but I wasn't going for perfect.
The finished project! Some of my favorite people, views, and moments from the past 2 years.
Again, if you are looking to start printing some of your Instagram photos, I highly recommend Printstagram.

 *I am not receiving any compensation for my promotion
 of Printstagram--I just really love the company.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Life [Edition I]

 The past three weeks at least one of the kids has been sick. Pink eye, upper respiratory infection, ear infections, flu--you name it, they had it. Medicine was passed around, breathing treatments were given, hands were washed and everything was Cloroxed, and I did load after load of laundry. I won't even begin to describe the puking scenarios I had to clean up. I am SO thankful that the Lord protected me and I avoided all sickness.

 I was reading National Geographics at the chiropractor and saw this gorgeously painted elephant in India. Look at those nails! Thought it was too cool not to share. 

Saturday morning Morgan and Caleb had a video audition for a local festival in June. I'll eventually have a link to vote for them. I might be biased but it was pretty flawless. I met them there because of course, someone had to hold Hallie while they sang. 

According to my NH brother in law, Ohio has an unheard amount of festivals [I could easily list 15+]. Is this just a Midwestern thing....or is New Hampshire just too little for festivals?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Because It's Free [the mom conference that's not just for moms]

I'm obviously not a mom, and I am not sure the demographics of this blog as to how many momma's read here. But I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to share with you this free online resource my mom, sister, and I have joined. It's called The Mom Conference and has basically been started to help moms learn from each other. Just from the bonus videos you can see after signing up, it looks like it's going to have some awesome resources for women. Everything from quick hair tips, finding clothing that fits our body shape, healthy eating tips, and much more! Super simple to sign up, just click HERE for the website and enjoy. As the picture says, it runs for a full week, starting this coming Monday! Don't miss this, it's going to be great.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Healthy Habits E-Course [Featuring Katherine from the Real Food Runner]

I am really excited to introduce to you all today to Katherine from  Real Food Runner! She is so sweet and someone I admire when it comes to living a healthy, active lifestyle. She is a health coach and has started online, month long courses to help people makes small changes that make a big difference. I am starting her e-course today for the month of April and hope you will join in too! You'll see at the bottom where she has a link for my readers to get a 10% discount on the course. But first, I did a short Q&A with Katherine so that you could get to know her a little better!

What made you decide to pursue becoming a Health Coach? Was it something you have always been interested in?
I'm a people person, and I love psychology and food so being a Health Coach is a perfect way for me to combine two loves! In a way, I guess I've always been interested in health but my passion really for this field really started to take shape when I was 17.

When and why did you start running?
I grew up a super active kid. Sports, constantly on the go, making forts in the woods (yes, I was a tom boy!). I started running around 18, took a break and then picked back up a few years later for a local 5K cancer run race. Never looked back!

Have you learned any tips/tricks along the way that would be helpful to other runners-especially to those just starting out? 
I started running at 30 second / 90 second increments, and then walking for minutes on end. And, my pace was slow at first-- buuuut I started, and my farthest miles to date is just over 8 miles (something I never dreamed of when I put my mind to my first 5K!). That's what matters. Just start. :) You can do this! 

What is the e-course all about? 
I love the 28 Day Healthy Habits e-Course because it takes my clients back to the basics of what can help this get healthy again. So many people think they have to do something drastic to get results, but really you don't!

With a short YouTube video each day (~5 min or less) and an Action Step to complete-- we walk through the Top 3 main habits of a healthy lifestyle. Everyone can make a list, and we all know it doesn't take a rocket scientist to FEEL BETTER from just drinking enough water for our specific bodies (Health Habit #1), eating fruits and vegetables (Health Habit #2), and moving a little bit everyday (Health Habit #3), right? 

But, it does take consistency AND the right support. :) 

Plus- you get access to a certified Holistic Health Coach during your online program! That would be me, of course. :P 

So, I hope you'll join Olivia and I this month as we rock some Healthy Habits to welcome Spring!!

As a special for Olivia's readers, you will RECEIVE a 10% DISCOUNT for April's cycle. :) Go HERE, to sign-up! Soon afterwards, I will send you an e-mail with your Login Information, and you can get started. 

Thank you, Olivia, for hosting me on your blog today! :) 
Katherine is also giving us a sample freebie of the course from Day 5 talking about cravings [Find that HERE] She also has a great blog post on the topic.

Cravings As Signals [blog post]

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Return of Liv Life

Welcome to the new and much improved Liv Life. Whether you're a regular around here or this is your first time stopping by, I'm so excited you are here! I've poured many hours into redesigning my little space here. I've worked to turn this into something that is fresh and clean. I wanted it to better reflected who I am and what I want my blog to be. Everything is new and updated, so I would encourage you to first stop by the about and family pages at the top, and also take note of the social media buttons to the right.

 Revealing this new design has made me nervous. I've put in blood, sweat, and tears into this baby, as I waded through the world of HTML codes, layouts, and sizing issues. I am definitely not a computer or design expert, and have no aspirations to become one!  I know my mom is thankful I am done sitting in the living room growling in frustration at my computer. I did stumble upon some awesome tutorials by other bloggers for the social media buttons and for the page tabs at the top found here and here.

Liv Life will continue to have random life/instagram updates, DIY projects, health/fitness info, recipes, [hopefully] guest writers, and a whole lot of Jesus. I really do hope that He will use this blog for His glory and that this will be a place where you are encouraged, challenged, and as you learn and grow with me.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sending Love, One Month at a Time

Yeah, it's me again. And I really am taking a blogging break--but the Lord has implanted this brilliant idea into my head and I wanted to share it and encourage you to join me!

It began a few days ago as I read this quote, "Humbleness, it turns out, is the most important leadership quality." It began a bunny trail of thoughts on humility and character qualities that encourage us to be humble. I'll let you speak for yourself, but buddy, I can always use to work on humility. I find one of the best ways to get my thoughts off of myself is by serving others, and one of the beautiful things about serving others is the multitude of ways that can look. This year I want to focus on other women in my life that need encouragement. Here's my plan of action: 

I am going to pick one woman a month, and send her one of the following: a book I think she would enjoy or would be an encouragement for her, a box of sunshine, a simple card with maybe a small coffee shop gift card, or flowers. If you're thinking, "I don't have the time, money, etc."...what about just committing to sending one encouraging card a month and let that person know you are praying for them? I think there is great power in the written word, so a little effort and a few words can go a long way. 

If you don't know what a box of sunshine is, it's a box [big or small] filled with all things yellow. I like adding yellow tissue paper and wrapping some of the items with yellow bakers twine. I've once been on the receiving end of a box of sunshine during a difficult season and it was such a blessing! And they are SO fun to make. I've compiled a list of things I like to include [not necessarily all in the same box], and Pinterest has some splendid ideas for these too! 

Candy [peanut m&m's, dots, Juicy Fruit gum]
Glass bottle of lemonade
Hand sanitizer
Flower seeds [for planting]
Nail polish
Post it notes
Tea mug 

For real this time, until April-ish, I will be on a blogging break. =)