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Thursday, February 28

LOVE CRUNCH



We recently found this little gem on one of our Costco trips. E's a huge snacker so I'm always on the search for healthy ones that he'd like too. Like his daddy, he LOVES his chocolate... 

Love Crunch is an organic granola made with organic cocoa, flax & coconut. The flavor that we got had dark chocolate chunks and organic dried red berries. No complaints from E there. ;) He's been snacking on this almost daily - he especially loves it on top of his Chobani yogurt.

Do any of you have a favorite *healthy* snack that you love feeding your kids? I'd love to get some more ideas!  

P.S. This post is not sponsored by Love Crunch. We just really love this stuff and wanted to share. =D

Monday, February 25

TUTORIAL: HOW TO CREATE A PHOTO GALLERY IN BLOGGER




(Disclaimer: I do not have any background in web design nor any knowledge of html. I'm just sharing what worked for me after much googling and researching online.) 

Happy Monday everyone! A reader recently emailed me with questions on how I created my photo gallery under my enjoyments, DIY, and recipes pages. Since this was something that caused me a lot of frustration when I first started, I thought I'd share my tips with you all as well.

For my gallery, I found the most help from Tricia's blog Sweeter Than Sweets. She has a very thorough tutorial that includes the html that you can copy and paste straight onto Blogger.
Please make sure to visit her blog for more detailed instructions. Below is just a quick rundown of what I did/used.


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Step 1: Create a Photobucket account. I'm sure there are other photo sharing accounts (like Flickr) you can use, but I found this one to be the easiest for me. You will be uploading your gallery photos here.



Step 2: Find the picture that you want to use for your gallery. Using any photo editing tool, crop your picture into a square. I like to use Picasa 3 or Picmonkey.com. Save your picture.




Step 3: Upload your saved picture into Photobucket. 



Step 4: Visit Sweeter than Sweet's blog and copy the html that Tricia generously provided. 



Step 5: In Blogger, create a "Page" in which you will place your gallery and paste the entire html under the "HTML" mode. Plug in your own information wherever the blue text is.



"yourwebsiteurl": This is the link to your exact post, not your blog.



"yourimagetitle": This is what your picture will be labeled as if it doesn't load for whatever reason. 

"yourimagesource": Open the uploaded picture in Photobucket. On the right-hand side will be a box containing the image links. Click on "Direct Link" and this will automatically copy the link. Go back to your html and "paste" this link in this space.



"yourcaption": This is the caption that will appear under your picture in the gallery. 

Below is what my html looked like after I plugged in my info:



Step 6: I switched over to "compose" to change the font of my caption as well as link the caption to the post.




Here's what my html looked like after the changes:



To complete the row, repeat the same steps but with another picture. To create a new row, simply copy the same html again after that first set. 

Hopefully these instructions were not too confusing! Please leave a comment below if you end up trying it out and let me know how it worked for you! :) 


Until next time,



Linking up with: 

   Daisy Cottage Designs

Sunday, February 24

A TINY PEEK INTO OUR WEEKEND

Hope everyone's weekend is going well. :) Sorry for missing my Friday Treats series this week. E's been under the weather and I've just been plain tired. This little eggplant baby is wearing me out already! These days I really REALLY look forward to our morning coffee. As some of you may remember, we transitioned from our old Mr.Coffee to our Hario coffee dripper last year and we've never looked back. We love the simplicity of it and the fact that it just makes a great cup of coffee. :) 

p.s. Since I am pregnant, I always make my cup after my husband's so the coffee's much more diluted by then. It's a lot lighter but still soOo good. 


Tiredness hasn't been a bad excuse to avoid cooking on weekends though. ;) We enjoyed some yummy dim sum yesterday...


I will be back tomorrow with a Blogger tutorial that I've been working on for a reader. Hope you all will find it helpful as well! 

Until then,

Saturday, February 23

FREE DOWNLOAD - I LOVE THEE, JESUS CD

This is one of my mom's favorite hymns and she use to sing it to/with me when I was younger. The verses are taken from Chapter 1 of Song of Songs. Hope it supplies and encourages you all this weekend!


I love Thee, Jesus,
And Thy love to me
Draws me, ever to seek Thee
And run after Thee,
Draws me, ever to seek Thee
And run after Thee.
Thou art beloved,
Yea! Altogether lovely,
The One in whom my heart delighteth.

Thy love, Lord Jesus,
Is sweeter than wine,
And Thy fragrance of ointments
My heart doth entwine,
And Thy fragrance of ointments
My heart doth entwine.
A fount in gardens,
A well of living waters,
Which streams and flows from Lebanon’s mountains.

O come Beloved,
On my garden blow,
That the odor of spices
May break forth and flow,
That the odor of spices
May break forth and flow.
My spouse, My sister,
I’m come into My garden
To feast upon wine, milk and honey.

Set me, Lord Jesus,
As seal on Thine heart;
Jealousy’s cruel as Sheol,
And love’s strong as death,
Jealousy’s cruel as Sheol,
And love’s strong as death.
Much water cannot
Quench love, nor do floods drown it.
All man could give for love is contemned.


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This clip was taken from the I Love Thee, Jesus CD made from Christians in the Boston, Cambridge, Newton area. 

Click here to download the complete album for free.

Wednesday, February 20

DIY JEWELRY ORGANIZER



For the longest time, all my necklaces hung sadly on one single hook in my closet. They always got tangled and since they were all lumped together, I would often forget which ones I had and end up not wearing most of them. The situation with my bracelets was not much better - they were all thrown over the neck of a small IKEA vase.

I've been browsing Pinterest lately for some inspiration for a jewelry organizer. Most of the organizers I found were made from cute knobs screwed into wooden boards. The simpler ones used foam boards or cork boards. Foam boards seemed too flimsy and I didn't want to spend money on a large cork board.

As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of re-purposing (bokeh art, fabric containers/trays, Costco tray, tissue box cover, stenciled table runner, and more) so I decided to re-use these canvases I made last year. I duct-taped the two canvases together to produce a larger surface, covered it with fabric using a staple gun, and attached some foam to the back of the canvas using a hot glue gun.  



For the foam, I found some old packaging foam inserts and cut them out with a serrated knife. Be prepared for this step to get very messy!

To hide the ugly rough sides of the foam, I covered them with some leftover shelf-liner sheets that I already had. This step is not absolutely necessary since the foam will be on the backside anyways.

I used clear thumb tacks as hooks to hang all the jewelry.



I plan on adding some decorative ribbon or maybe stenciling the fabric in the future. But for now, it serves its purpose and I'm more than happy with how it came out! I also like how light the canvas was so I didn't need to put any major holes in the wall.

How do you all organize your jewelry? :)


Wednesday, February 13

DIY STATEMENT NECKLACE



Statement necklaces are such a fun and simple way to add to any outfit! :) I've been having a hard time finding a casual one for everyday wear so I decided to make my own. I found everything I needed at Michaels and with all the 40% coupons, I was quite happy with the end result! 

Step 1: Divide your beads in half.

Step 2: String the first layer of beads onto the wire.

Step 3: Once you reach the end, twist the wire into a small loop and finish stringing the second layer with the remaining beads.

Step 3: Seal the other end by twisting the wire into another small loop. Cut off any excess wire.


Step 5: Make sure the loops are just big enough for the jump rings. If the loops are too large, simply twist it down to the desired size and attach your rings. 

Step 6: Attach the clasps onto both ends of the suede cord. 

Step 7: Attach both ends of the suede cord and chain onto the jump rings. 


For this necklace, I kept it simple and made the necklace just long enough to fit over my head. However if you'd like it shorter, you can also cut the cord and chain shorter into two separate pieces and attach additional clasps and jump rings to the other ends too. 

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 12

MISO-GLAZED SALMON



Any of you ever get bored with your weekly meal rotation? Here's a quick and tasty dish I found a few weeks ago that my husband and E highly approve of. All you need are four simple ingredients, a 16 oz. salmon fillet, and 15 minutes in your broiler. 


Ingredients: 2 T miso paste, 2 T mirin, 1 T reduced sodium soy sauce, few drops of hot pepper sauce

* mirin (Japanese sweet wine) can be replaced with brown sugar



Directions: Mix all the ingredients together until smooth. Place the salmon fillet (skin-side down) on a lightly oiled baking pan. Generously coat the salmon with the glaze and broil for 10-15 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fish) about 3-4 inches from the heat source.

Serve over rice with your choice of veggies (green beans, asparagus, bok choy, etc.) and enjoy!

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Be back tomorrow to share with you this little DIY: 


Any ideas of what it could be? :)

Thursday, February 7

DRAW ME


I woke up this morning reminded of this hymn. Every morning when we wake up, there's always something that's drawing us - whether it's our phone, emails, rushing to get breakfast ready for the family, our kids, to-do lists for the day, work, school, etc. Then throughout the day, even more things just draw our hearts and attention away from the Lord - filling our days with unrest and anxiety instead of life and peace. (Rom. 8:6)

This is such a sweet hymn to pray every morning... to be reminded to start our days with Him. :) While we're brushing our teeth or making breakfast, we can quietly pray, "Lord, draw us today..."

Draw me, dear Lord.
Draw me today.
From everything else, dear Lord,
Draw me away.

O Lord, this whole world
Seems to weigh me down.
All the cares, the strife the sin,
Within me and all around.

But, Lord, I want to set my heart,
And, Lord, I want to stay with You.
’Cause only when You’re near to me
Is everything okay.

And though everything may fall apart
Or everything go my way,
It doesn’t really matter, Lord,
As long as I gain You today.


Much grace,

Wednesday, February 6

Harman Stoves - A Popular Heating Alternative

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Harman Stoves for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

While we most likely won't be needing a freestanding stove while we're living in Texas, I'm glad to learn about this popular heating alternative. It not only helps to reduce your carbon footprint, but also reduces your heating costs at the same time. 


Harman Pellet Stoves, based in Halifax, Pennsylvania, make a variety of stoves and inserts (to provide a more efficient, clean burning fire) that uses wood, pellet or coal.  They provide even heating, easy maintenance and their advanced technology helps to set them apart. 

More advantages:
  • Pellet stoves: Costs 44% less than oil, 47% less than electric, 53% less than propane heat
  • Eco-friendly: Biomass fuels are composed of renewable, carbon-neutral products
  • There's a 10% tax credit up to $300 on qualifying biomass heating appliances purchased between January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2013
Pellet Stoves are Awesome
Before you go, make sure you enter to win a Harmon notebook! It's a journal-sized book made from recycled materials with a pen. Just visit the Harmon site and come back and leave a comment letting me know why you like Harman. The winner will be selected on February 28, 2013

To stay updated with more information and special deals, make sure you also follow Harmon Stoves on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Visit Sponsor's Site

POP OF TURQUOISE

Last summer some of you may remember when I made over our family room to a black and white theme...


While I've been very happy with the change, over the last couple of months I found myself missing "color" again. (I can hear my husband sighing and shaking his head as he reads this...haha sorry, honey.) I've been on the hunt for some light blue fabrics; something that would pop but didn't have too much pattern. Then a few weeks ago while browsing Joann's for another project, I stumbled upon this awesome turquoise corduroy fabric with tiny specks of silver...


and using my envelope technique...


made a few pillows to break up the existing theme...


I know it's not much, but I'm really happy with how they've brightened up the space! :)

Have any of you ever made tiny changes that made a huge difference in a room? Please share! 

Until next time,

Monday, February 4

26 SECONDS OF CUTENESS...

"It is just another evening commute until the rain starts to fall, and the city comes alive to the sound of dripping rain pipes, whistling awnings and gurgling gutters. And in the midst, two umbrellas—one blue, one not—fall eternally in love."     - Pixar


Love this. Can't wait to see it in June! :)

Friday, February 1

FRIDAY TREATS + JUST AS I AM


I really like these pipe cleaner heart toppers @ the sweetest occasion... such a simple idea that can be used for so many occasions!

DIY pipe cleaner heart toppers from The Sweetest Occasion


For all you fellow CWD fans, how adorable is this nursery by Sally Jensen Interiors?!
love...

Great use of tension rods! Need to try this tent idea from Ikatbag...

Use tension rods and a sheet to make a tent in the hallway for the kids. You can decorate the sheet with fabric paint or markers. And can be easily stored when done.



































Haha the last two items are just from my present pregnancy cravings... can't you tell?? ;)




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Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot;
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt;
Fightings within, and fears without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind;
Yes, all I need, in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!