Scratch Off Cards Made Easy

You may have seen scratch off cards on Etsy or in Better Homes and Garden’s February issue, and pinned them to your “Crafts To Try” board on Pintrest. I know I did, but I hesitated to actually make them. Was it more work than it was really worth? And what is “contact paper” anyway? With a little google searching, I found some tips that made the process considerably easier. Today I’ll show you step by step how I made my first ever scratch off card for Brian’s birthday last week.

Read the rest of this post on Newlywed’s Bliss!

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Mr. and Mrs: Valentine’s Day Recap

Sometimes Brian pretends he has plans to surprise me, when actually he’s just totally forgotten that the particular occasion is coming up. So, when I casually let it slip that I was excited to put up Valentine’s Day decorations, and he said, “Oh…when is that again?” two day’s before, I didn’t really believe him when he said he had “secret” plans for that day. I didn’t really  blame him, since he’d just lost his job a few days before. 
School monopolized my time leading up to Valentine’s Day, so I didn’t have time for the more elaborate decorations I wanted to make. I did make this easy banner, however, that I found on Pintrest from This Is Glamorous: 
Thread paper doilies onto thread or fishing twine, combine with Christmas lights, and done! It gives an simple elegance and romantic ambiance. 
Brian might have been bluffing, but on February 14th, I woke up to a very pleasant surprise: breakfast in bed! (cue applause!). Brian got up early and made stuffed cream cheese and apple French toast! He also bought us chocolates, and a rose for me! The French toast was so delicious, I couldn’t stop eating long enough to take a picture of it. Hence, the post-breakfast picture:
I also had a present for Brian. Well, actually it was more for both of us. I didn’t have time to make Brian a Valentine, but thanks to DaySpring, for Valentine’s Day we got to start using the long coveted Mr. & Mrs. – Gift Set!
The Mr. mug is missing in that picture, because it was already in use… 

It’s now Brian’s favorite mug. 
The mugs have sweet details, like the verse along the rim: 
And the heart at the bottom: 
We also received the Mr. & Mrs. – Coupon Book. I love these coupon books, they make great little gifts to brighten your spouse’s day. I also used them in Brian’s Christmas present banner last year. I especially love these coupons because they have scripture on the back of each one! 
Here’s a few of them:
I really like this one: 

Check out more reviews at (in)courage’s inspired deals page! 

In addition to the mugs and coupon book, DaySpring also has a Mr. & Mrs. – Mr. Love Notes – 32 Note Set:

Mr. & Mrs. Love Collection - Mr. Love Notes - 32 Note Set image

Mr. & Mrs. - Two in One Inspirational Journal image

Mr. & Mrs. Love Collection - Notes & Memo Pads Gift Set image

Or several combinations of the above. Check them all out here: Mr. & Mrs. Love Collection from DaySpring.

 I know it’s after Valentine’s Day, but if your husband has a birthday coming up, or if you have some weddings to attend this summer, these make great gifts. I think I’ve given the mugs to at least two couples, and both of them love them! 

And just because I want to show my lovely readers some love too, here’s a code for 15% off:

15% off on all gift purchases. Coupon code: 15OFFGIFTS

Happy belated Valentine’s Day!

Disclosure: I received these products from DaySpring free of charge, but my opinions are still my own! Also,  scroll to the bottom of my site to see my disclosure about affiliate links. It’s for a good cause! 

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Seeing the Big Picture

In my drawing class, I’m learning a lot…. about myself. I’ve learned that I want to do everything perfectly, and the first time too. Anything less is frustrating to me. One day in particular two weeks ago, I was was so sick of trying to get the shading just right, I just wanted to quit and go home. I was using charcoal pencils for the first time, and for some reason my eye and hand were not communicating. I was drawing, erasing, and re-drawing, and fuming at myself on the inside.

But it wasn’t just the shading that was bothering me, Brian was miserable at work, again. After a year and half of almost constant misery, I had had it with this job. And I’d had it with Brian too. He’d been telling me for months that he would apply for other jobs, but somehow never got around to it. I’ve written about Brian’s work struggles before, here and here and here. I took my frustration out on my paper, scrubbing with the eraser and pushing so hard with my charcoal pencil that the lead snapped off. Finally, class ended.

Class meets twice a week, so after a few days, I was back in the studio, dreading working on that picture. Maybe I’ll just scrap it and start over, I thought. I flipped to that page in my sketch book, and gasped. Did little art fairies work on it after I’d put it in my locker? I expected to see a crude, rough, misshapen image, but this actually looked good. Really good. 

As I stood and stared at the page, I got it. I had been standing six inches away from the paper, obsessing over one tiny place, and totally missing everything that was going right. I was missing the big picture.

I had been doing the exact same thing with life. I was so fixated on one problem- Brian’s job, and trying to fix it myself, that I was missing the big picture of my life, and our life together, and all that God was doing.

Finally, I accepted what I’d known to be true all along. I can’t make Brian’s job better, and I can’t make him find a new one. I can’t control the situation at all. So, I let go. And in that moment, I felt peace flood me, a peace that I’d been missing for a long time.

A few days later, I’d just finished lunch when I heard the garage door opening. I looked out the window, and there was Brian’s car, pulling up outside. Why is he home so early?! And then I knew. His first words to me were, “We’re free!” His bosses let him go, saying that they didn’t think it was a good fit anymore and they didn’t think he was happy there.

I think I took it a lot harder than Brian. At first I was sad for him, and then I was angry at the company. Almost all of the employees there aren’t happy, but they didn’t get fired. Some of them are downright uncooperative, while Brian always worked hard. They recently offered one employee a raise, because they knew he was unhappy there and they wanted him to stay. But Brian, they let go.

I couldn’t be angry or even sad for long. It was such a relief to be done, and move on.

Brian has applied to five jobs since then, and given his resume to people we know at church who offered to take it to people at their companies. Yesterday, Brian attended the career fair at ASU, and one company set up an interview with him right away after seeing his resume. Several more seemed interested.

It’s an exciting and a little bit scary time for us. We know it was no accident that God led us to Arizona, and we know He’ll continue to lead us in the future. It’s all part of His big picture.

Now I want to hear from you: What has God been teaching you lately?
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Happy February!

Happy first day of February! Earlier this week I gathered several links from across the blogosphere and pinterest-world into one awesome Valentine’s Day Decor, Gifts, Food and Freebies post over at Newlywed’s Bliss. It’s a giant love-fest of hearts, roses, chocolates, and goodness, so I hope you’ll check it out!

If you’re looking for more inspiration, try my tutorial for my Easy Valentine’s Day Banner from last year. Tragically, I can’t find it anywhere, which means I’ll have to make a new one.

And, if you’re looking for more gift ideas, this post has something for everyone.

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?
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