November Wrap-Up

 photo STORIES_zps6a9b22a0.pngThis month has been quite a learning experience for me. I basically set out to see if I could add one more thing to my already hectic schedule and through better planning of each day, manage to actually get more done. Well, the verdict is in and the answer is a resounding and surprised yes.

More importantly, I’ve found my smile again. In spite of continued and added challenges, I am finding a way to rise above the tasks for the day and fix my gaze on the hope I have in Christ – for today, for tomorrow, and forever.

Below you can see what I have found this month, through experimentation, to be good solutions to getting more done, or at least getting more important things done.

About the author

I’m Lisa’s sister, a wife & mom of two little boys, and a small business owner, trying to make each day count for God’s kingdom.

DIY Skin Moisturizer

 photo thehelpmatescom_zpsb47570c5.pngSeveral years ago I had this terrible sunburn and a friend recommended I use pure sweet almond oil to help it heal. I was really nervous about putting pure oil on my face because during my teenage years I was trained to always choose oil free products, lest they cause a breakout. I tried it in spite of my fears and I loved the results so much that I’ve never looked back. Today’s post will be a primer in using simple oils to moisturize your skin, many of which are widely and easily available.

Keeping Your Castle Clean(ish) FREE PRINTABLE!!

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We’ve already talked about how I’d prefer that the house be clean but that I’m learning sometimes I have other priorities that need to be dealt with first. However, having a clean house is something I’m working towards, because my whole family will benefit from it if I can just carve out enough time to get it done. In the interest of trying to get as much done as I can without losing my mind, I’ve developed a “system” that I’ve been using and I’m going to share it with all of you.

Learning to Let Go

Sorry this post is late. I had a draft worked up last night and before I could post it, we discovered a major crisis in the form of a water leak and horrible smelling mold in a wall. Somehow in the chaos of moving out of our master bedroom, I forgot to ever actually post this. I’m sure you’ve all had these kinds of crises, so hopefully you’ll bear with me and look forward to this being a two-post day!

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So far, this month has been going well. I have been working on setting forth priorities each day, taking on only what I know I can do, doing those things well, and leaving some things by the wayside.

Gluten Free Thanksgiving Dressing

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This recipe has been in my family for at least four generations. It wasn’t even written down until 2002, when my mom was putting together a family cookbook. It is my favorite thing about Thanksgiving, so when I had to stop eating gluten, I found a way to make it gluten free. The premise is simple – make sure the cornbread is gluten free, and select gluten free seasoning ingredients. So we’re going to start with a from-scratch easy-as-pie gluten free cornbread recipe.

DIY Electrolyte Drink

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Living in the Texas gulf area means we have about nine months of summer each year. And I’m a person who likes to work out – swim team practice three times a week, plus some running, biking, and the occasional extra workout, so I lose a lot of sweat. I have found that if I hydrate with an electrolyte drink before, during, and after a workout, I feel more energetic during a workout, I don’t get pesky leg cramps, I bounce back faster after a workout, and I even sleep better at night. My personal favorite drink mix is NUUN tablets. They are so delicious and easy to use, but at $.36 – $.45 per tab, it was costing $15 or more a month for me to drink. I wondered if I could create my own version for less money. Using the NUUN nutritional information as a guide, I developed my own DIY drink.

Ten Minute Gluten Free Tartlets

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One lazy Saturday afternoon I had this leftover gluten free pie and pastry dough. I had used it to make a quiche but had only needed half of the dough, so there sat the other half. Initially I thought I’d make a chicken pot pie. Then along came the post-nap toddler blues and I really wanted a sweet snack, so these gluten free tartlets were born. Necessity really is the mother of all invention!

On Being Forged

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I came across this verse last week, and I couldn’t help but linger on the reference to being refined as silver – tried in the furnace of affliction. While sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down and feel discouraged about life’s challenges (big or small), this verse is a great reminder that these afflictions serve a great purpose.

DIY Hair Cuts

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Almost ten years ago, I started cutting my husband’s hair to save money. Haircuts can be expensive, so this is a way to save money that can really add up over months and years. Since men’s hairstyles vary quite a lot, rather than give a detailed tutorial on how I cut my man’s hair, I want to share some resources that can help you learn how to cut hair for the man in your life.