Monthly Archives: January 2013

Valentine’s Day Handprint Crafts

Maybe it’s the first grade teacher in me, or maybe it is just simply the Mommy in me trying to bottle every minute of my kids being LiTtLe, but I am hooked on handprint crafts!  When my son was born I made about 20 handprint turkeys for Thanksgiving and sent them out to family and friends.  Since then there hasn’t been a holiday that has gone by without the creation of a handprint project to proudly hang in our home to remember how little their hands once were and to remind us how quickly time goes by.  Maybe my Handprint Memories post last Christmas prompted some of you get out the paint and start MaKiNg SoMe MeMoRiEs…if not, here are some easy Valentine’s Day ideas to get you started!

This year my 5 year old son was able to paint the L and the E after I traced them!

This year my 5-year-old son was able to paint the L and the E after I traced them!

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I found these wood hearts at my local craft store and stamped them with the “special name” that my kids say I call them the most!

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valentine2

You can also do a family handprint craft!

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Here’s one my sister did last year and gave out as Valentine’s Day gifts from my niece!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Good Life, Holiday, Junk Drawer, Kid Stuff, Life, RANDO•RAMA

A Quick Reminder…

I was reading from My Jesus Calling devotional and knew if this spoke to me today, it would probably speak to at least one of you…

Read this as if it was Jesus speaking this to you:

“Give up the illusion that you deserve a problem-free life.  Part of you is still hungering for the resolution of all difficulties.  This is a false hope!  As I told My disciples, in the world you will have trouble.  Link your hope not to problem solving in this life but to the promise of an eternity of problem-free life in heaven.  Instead of seeking perfection in this fallen world, pour you energy into seeking me:  the Perfect One.

It is possible to enjoy Me and glorify Me in the midst of adverse circumstances.  In fact, My Light shines most brightly through believers who trust Me in the dark.  That kind of trust is supernatural: a production of My indwelling Spirit.  When things seem all wrong, trust Me anyway.  I am much less interested in right circumstances than in right responses to whatever comes your way.”

Boy, did I need this reminder!  And don’t you love the excitement in “the promise of an eternity of problem-free life”?  Won’t that wonderful!!

SOURCE

SOURCE

If you are down in the dumps or caught up in trying to perfect your life, just stop.  Take a deep breath, and read the words above one more time.  It gives you an immediate reality check and slight kick in the fanny sense of relief, doesn’t it?!  God wants you to LET GO, sister!!

For another post I had written about getting through the trials of life, read:  Making the Best of Human Life

Lara

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Do This And You’ll Be Welcome Anywhere

Quotes from How to Win Friends & Influence People (Revised Edition) by Dale Carnegie:

Chapter:  Do This And You’ll Be Welcome Anywhere.

Principle:  Become genuinely interested in other people.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in you.” (pg. 54)

“If we want to make friends, let’s put ourselves out to do things for other people – things that require time, energy, unselfishness, and thoughtfulness.”  (pg. 60)

“If we want to make friends, let’s greet people with animation and enthusiasm.  When somebody calls you on the telephone use the same psychology.  Say “Hello” in tones that bespeak how pleased you are to have the person call.” (pg. 61)

“We are interested in others when they are interested in us.” (pg. 64)

“A show of interest, as with every other principle of human relations, must be sincere.  It must pay off not only for the person showing the interest, but for the person receiving the attention.  It is a two-way street – both parties benefit.” (pg. 64)

Principle:  Become Genuinely interested in other people.

Click here for beginning post of this series.

Click here for last week’s post.

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Remembering Grandma

Last week I lost the last of my four grandparents.  My grandma was 91 years old and had been living in a nursing home suffering from Alzheimer’s for the past 10 years.  She lost her ability to speak about 5 years ago and hasn’t recognized any of us in over 5 years.  Over the years it has been devastating to watch what this disease has done to the woman who taught me how to sew, bake, cook, and craft.

BeFunky_grandma

As I sat at the funeral home I kept starring at my grandmother’s hands holding the rosary and then all of the beautiful flowers that surrounded her from our family.  Those hands had taught me so much and I immediately began to think about what I could do with all of those flowers.  My grandmother would have hated to see all those flowers thrown away which is what typically happens with funeral arrangements so I asked the funeral director if I could take the arrangement home with me.  Now I have a little piece of my grandmother watching over my family…I know she would be proud!

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grandma

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Eat What You Want

Already lost moTivAtioN with your weight loss/get healthy resolution for 2013?  Well Robynn and I talk about weight loss a lot and we came across something this week that lines up exactly our philosophy, so I had to share!  Check out this short and informative video by Bobby Flay: Bobby Flay Fit

I don’t believe in diets and I couldn’t agree more with Bobby that you shouldn’t have to give up the foods that you love.  Eat what you want…just not as much as you want!!

Cake

So don’t throw in the towel for good.  Continue business as usual, and cut corners when you can.  The most important thing is to NEVER sacrifice so much that you end up feeling deprived of the foods that you love.  We all know that is a recipe for disaster.  I don’t know about you, but thinking about giving up chocolate always results in me gorging in it later :-/

Lara

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He Who Can Do This Has The Whole World With Him. He Who Cannot Walks A Lonely Way.

Quotes from How to Win Friends & Influence People (Revised Edition) by Dale Carnegie:

Chapter:  He Who Can Do This Has The Whole World With Him.  He Who Cannot Walks A Lonely Way.

Principle:  Arouse in the other person an eager want.

“Why talk about what we want?  That is childish.  Absured.  Of course, you are interested in what you want.  You are eternally interested in it.  But no one else is.  The rest of us are just like you:  we are interested in what we want.

So the only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.

Remember that tomorrow when you are trying to get somebody to do something.  If, for example, you

don’t want your children to smoke, don’t preach at them, and don’t talk about what you want; but show them that cigarettes may keep them from making the basketball team or winning the hundred-yard dash.

This is a good thing to remember regardless of whether you are dealing with children or calves or chimpanzees.  For example:  one day Ralph Waldo Emerson and his son tried to get a calf into the barn.  But they made the common mistake of thinking only of what they wanted:  Emerson pushed and his son pulled.  But the calf was doing just what they were doing; he was thinking only of what he wanted; so he stiffened his legs and stubbornly refused to leave the pasture.  The Irish housemaid saw their predicament.  She couldn’t write essays and books; but, on this occasions at least, she had more horse sense, or calf sense, than Emerson had.  She thought of what the calf wanted; so she put her maternal finger in the calf’s mouth and let the calf suck her finger as she gently led him into the barn.

Every act you have ever performed since the day you were born was performed because you wanted something.  How about the time you gave a large contribution to the Red Cross?  Yes, that is no exception to the rule.  You gave the Red Cross the donation because you wanted to lend a helping hand; you wanted to do a beautiful, unselfish, divine act.  “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

If you hadn’t wanted that feeling more than you wanted your money, you would not have made the contribution.” (pg. 32-33)

“Andrew Carnegie, the poverty-stricken Scotch lad who started to work at two cents an hour and finally gave away $365 million, learned early in life that the only way to influence people is to talk in terms of what the other person wants.  He attended school only four years; yet he learned how to handle people.”  (pg. 34)

“Here is one of the best bits of advice ever given about the fine art of human relationships.  “If there is any one secret of success,” said Henry Ford, “it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.”” (pg. 37)

“Remember: “First, arouse in the other person an eager want.  He who can do this has the whole world with him.  He who cannot walks a lonely way.”” (pg. 50)

Principle:  Arouse in the other person an eager want.

Click here for beginning post of this series.

Click here for last week’s post.

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Feeling Like A Failure

Sunday morning I made my family breakfast.  To me, I was going “all out” as I made the kids orange juice from a frozen can and threw together a quick and easy breakfast casserole.  For a moment I felt like finding my SuPerMoM cape and attaching it to my p.j’s.  “Look at me!” I was rejoicing inside.  “I’m a pro at this Mom stuff!”

The t.v. just happened to catch my eye as I headed into the dining room.  Pioneer Woman was on the food network.  Consequently, she too was making breakfast that morning.  I enjoy watching her show and am faSciNateD by her life.  I couldn’t help but keep watching, noticing her amazing (spotless) kitchen.  She put her homemade French toast in the oven and headed off to her garden to water her flowers.  Of course, the plants were luscious and looked like something out of Better Homes and Garden.  Everything was perfect, clear down to the beauty of the garden hose (I know…is that even possible?!)!  Once breakfast was ready she told her daughter to “grab the hot syrup I have warming on the stove”.  As I watched the hot syrup flow out of the beautiful serving dish I realized I hadn’t blinked in the last 5 minutes….

SOURCE

SOURCE

Remember the last sentence of my first paragraph?  Well, those feelings were long gone.  I felt so deFeaTed.  The breakfast I made was a joke compared to what I had just witnessed.  And the gardening?  I would have been lucky to remember that I bought a small plant at Wal-Mart, only to find it dead in the back of our expedition a few weeks later.

I just want to be clear that I think Pioneer Woman is an inspiration, but I would be foolish to think that every part of her life is as perfect as seen on t.v.  If, at the right time, you took a snap shot of every person’s life, it would appear that their situation and life is perfect.  Someone is even looking at part of your life and wishing theirs was as perfect as yours!  Doesn’t that make you laugh? Of course!  Because we know how imperfect our own lives are, and can’t believe how much we have them fooled!  Yet why do we think we are soooo different than everyone else?

With pinterest, t.v. and magazines, it is easy to feel like a failure!  In the future, use these things as resources to moTiVaTe or give you some ideas.  DON’T use it as a comparison tool, because the only person you are fooling is yourself!

Lara

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The Big Secret Of Dealing With People

Quotes from How to Win Friends & Influence People (Revised Edition) by Dale Carnegie:

Chapter:  The Big Secret Of Dealing With People

Principle:  Give honest and sincere appreciation.

“One of the first people in American business to be paid a salary of over a million dollars a year (when there was no income tax and a person earning fifty dollars a week was considered well off) was Charles Schwab…

Schwab says that he was paid this salary largely because of his ability to deal with people…

“I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people,” said Schwab, “the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.

There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticisms from superiors.  I never criticize anyone.  I believe in giving a person incentive to work.  So I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault.  If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise…

In my wide association in life, meeting with many and great people in various parts of the world,” Schwab declared, “I have yet to find the person, however great or exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than he would ever do under a spirit of criticism.”  (pg 24-25)

“We nourish the bodies of our children and friends and employees, but how seldom do we nourish their self-esteem?  We provide them with roast beef and potatoes to build energy, but we neglect to give them kind words of appreciation that would sing in their memories for years like the music of the morning stars.”  (pg. 28)

“I shall pass this way but once; any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now.  Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” (pg. 31)

“Let’s cease thinking of our accomplishments, our wants.  Let’s try to figure out the other person’s good points.  Then forget flattery.  Give honest, sincere appreciation.  Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.” and people will cherish your words and treasure them and repeat them over a lifetime – repeat them years after you have forgotten them.”  (pg. 31)

Principle: Give honest and sincere appreciation.

Click here for the previous chapter.

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Parenting Resolutions Worth Keeping

As we all begin our New Years Resolutions I PrOmIsE you WilL NoT find me walking around with a shiny new gym membership. Ooooooooh no!!! You all know I couldn’t even follow through with The Lazy Girls Workout!  Looking back on that post, maybe I was pushing myself with saying I was going to start out aiming to workout 3 to 4 times a week.  If I had started with 1 to 2 and gradually added on maybe I would have stuck with it!  Anyway…I’ll worry about toning in the spring and stick with these ReAlisTiC ReSoLuTiOnS that will benefit my entire family!

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I found this while looking for cute winter crafts on Pinterest and realized these are all things that I need to do not only for my family, but for MySeLf!  I spend way too much time trying to get everything done and need to focus more on the important things in life.  They may seem simple, but they so often get overlooked and could be the difference in making your child’s day go from OK to OuTanDiNg!

Happy New Year!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under At Home, Family, Getting Real, Good Life, Life, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships, SelfImprovement, Uncategorized, You

I’d Be Missing Out

We can all think of a time when we wanted to isolate ourselves from the wOrLd.  We believe if we didn’t have jobs, we wouldn’t have to deal with stress or deadlines.  If we could disconnect ourselves with people—family, friends, strangers—we’d never have to deal with awkward moments or conflict.  If we didn’t have to run errands, we could avoid being reminded of how great everyone else “has it” when we are out and about.

As the year of 2012 wrapped up, I found myself thinking a lot about all the awkward, uncomfortable, stressful and difficult moments of the year.  And you know what I realized?  If I was able to erase those moments of my life, I would have been missing out.  If I would have quit my block business after making some stressful mistakes, I would no longer get to experience the J O Y I receive when customers send me thank you notes after their blocks arrive.  I could have avoided an awkward moment by not talking to a stranger on a plane, but I would have missed out on an aMaZinG cOnVerSatiOn about his faith journey.  Not to mention the moments with friends and family through the year that involved moments of frustration, confusion or discomfort.  If I never had those interactions, our relationships wouldn’t be as close as they are today, let alone the sPeCiaL mEmoRieS we made together.  And as you know, sharing the move of our house last summer required a major gulp of humility, but I would have missed out on the sense of FREEDOM I felt by sharing my real life…just how it is…and knowing that you accept me…just the way I amgirl

Wearing your heart on your sleeve, doing things out of your comfort zone (looking for a new job, trying a new hobby, meeting new people), and standing up for what you believe in are all very hard things to do.  Many times they don’t even seem worth all the effort they require.  But let me assure you, they are.  Your life is richer, more meaningful, and above all, impacting more people, all because you are willing to face your fears, deal with hurt, and conquer challenges by moving on despite the outcome.

So what will 2013 look like for you?  This year I am welcoming more embarrassing moments, uncomfortable conversations and feelings of defeat as I work toward new goals.  You are going to have to deal with these weird feelings/emotions regardless (because we are human!) so why not do them while enriching your life?!  I don’t want to MiSs OuT on the best life I can have….do you?

Lara

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Filed under Getting Real, Inspiration, Inspire, Life