Sunday Scripture: Memorial Day

In the midst of this celebration weekend…the BBQs, the pool parties, the beach houses…let’s take a moment and remember those who have given us the freedom to be able to do all these things.  And although we will never be able to repay those who have sacrificed for us, maybe we can remember this verse from Galatians in our daily lives.Sunday Scripture: Memorial DayThanks to Sonoma Christian Home for today’s Sunday Scripture image.

And from the bottom of my heart, thank you to all those in service to our wonderful country.

Have a blessed week!Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

The Orange Conference: It’s Just a Phase

Recently, as one of the children’s ministry leaders at my church, I was blessed to be able to go to the Orange Conference in Atlanta for three days.  It’s a small group and student ministry conference put on by the group that writes the Orange Curriculum {which we use at church}.  This year, their theme was “Monday is Coming”….essentially studying how you are using your impact on Sundays to influence the rest of the week for your younger church goers.Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!But another underlying theme {and the title of their new promoted book}, was “It’s Just a Phase.”  The entire back gallery of the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, GA was fantastically decorated to represent a child’s journey through childhood….birth through college-age.Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Now.  I am not an overly sentimental person.  I throw away most of my kids’ “artwork.” We don’t buy every.single.school.picture. each year.  I can easily hug my kids goodbye and head out for a 4 day trip to Atlanta with my girlfriends without even looking back.Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!But.  Let me tell you….walking through that gallery was enough to make me a little misty eyed.  I’m sure I was just tired, or had some dirt in my eye.  Allergies, I’m sure.  Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!It all started with a simple display of doors, each labeled with a childhood phase.  A handwritten note encouraged us to write our children’s names on the appropriate doors, which were to be packed up and taken across the country on the “Orange Tour.”  Along the way, the Orange staff and conference attendees would pray for all of the children on the doors.  It’s nice to know that someone else is praying for me and my kids as we conquer this phase of childhood.Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Walking past the doors led you down a corridor with displays depicting the phases of childhood.  It was a little overwhelming to me, staring down this loooooong hallway that symbolized 18 years of a child’s life.  On either side of the hallway were clusters of displays…peeks into the different phases of  your kid’s life.Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!But seeing the individual bedroom displays for each age period, decorated with actual toys and lovies that my kids have {already!} outgrown, put me over the edge.Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!And of course the artwork hanging on the walls and leading up to the next display area reminded every parent there that every phase is fleeting.Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!They had jars of marbles in each scene….one marble for each week that aged kid had left before he was grown.  The jars nestled amongst teenage clutter and baby toys was subtle….Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!But when I found a display that explicitly showed how many weeks I have left with each of my three kids?  Powerful.Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!So I’m not sure if it was the four day vacation away from the stress/kids/mess/busyness/sass/fighting/nagging

but I came back feeling more renewed, calm, and patient.  Not that I’m looking forward to all of the challenging phases, but I feel like now I have a mental picture of the time I have left with my kiddos.  Childhood: It's Just a Phase...you are literally losing your marbles!And although some phases are tough, I know they are all stepping stones to becoming a loving, responsible and Christ-like adult.  And I’m trying my best to appreciate everything about every phase.

Because I am literally losing my marbles.

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Sunday Scripture: Friendship

Our sermon series this month is about Connections…and last week, Jenn focused on true friendship.  Not situational friendships, that are qualified by your surroundings and only small parts of your life…..but unconditional love for each other.Sunday Scripture: Friendship...what the Bible says is needed to have an intentional and faith filled friendshipToday’s Sunday Scripture is courtesy of Instagram @MicheleCushatt

One of the scriptures that was covered was the story of Job and his three friends, who came to sit and mourn with him for a whole week…without saying a single word.  True friendship doesn’t require the right {or any!} words.

But my favorite Bible story about the loyalty of friendship is the story of Ruth.  Even after Naomi told Ruth that she had nothing of value left to offer her, Ruth replied:

“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God” -Ruth 1:16

Sunday Scripture: Friendship...what the Bible says is needed to have an intentional and faith filled friendshipI Heart Inspiration and originally Beria Blogs

True friendship has to be intentional.  Even if you aren’t in the same place in life, don’t believe in the same things, or even if you don’t speak to each other on a regular basis…genuine love requires intentionality.  And the qualities of a true friend {listed above} prove that any true friendship is automatically faith-filled.

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Kid-Friendly Pasta Salad

My kids are usually not picky eaters, but they certainly have their favorites.  And one thing we can all agree on is Pasta Salad.  Not the mayonnaise picnic kind, but literally pasta and salad.  Seriously.  They request this meal at least three times a week!Kid-Friendly Pasta Salad from the garden And with our garden flourishing now, especially in the greens department, it would be easy to have pasta salad three times a week!Kid- Friendly Pasta Salad straight from the garden, with a secret ingredient!!I start off with a little minced garlic, and some chopped onion {I like red the best}.  Then mix in halved cherry tomatoes, avocados, a lettuce mix, and your choice of pasta {the girls love rotini or bow tie}.  Top it all off with freshly grated parmesan romano cheese.Kid- Friendly Pasta Salad straight from the garden, with a secret ingredient!!But the secret ingredient is the dressing.  And there is no secret at all, really.  It’s just a mix of 1/3 Vegetable Oil to 2/3 Pomegranate infused Red Wine Vinegar {you can also just use regular red wine vinegar}.Kid- Friendly Pasta Salad straight from the garden, with a secret ingredient!!I keep my dressing in a mason jar, with a spout lid that I got from Davy Crocket’s Distillery {now Ole Smokey Distillery} in Gaitlinburg, Tennessee.  Keep it in the pantry and just give it a good shake each time you pour it on your salad.Kid- Friendly Pasta Salad straight from the garden, with a secret ingredient!!And you’ve got a quick, healthy meal fit for even the most picky eaters!

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Sunday Scripture: Birthday

Today is my baby boy’s birthday!  My little one is {already!} two years old and is our pride and joy.Sunday Scripture for a Birthday Boy!It’s amazing to me how much he has changed over the last week, let alone over the last two years.  Let me tell you, this boy keeps us in stitches and is often my saving grace from all the girl drama around here.  He is silly, sweet, cuddly and kind.Today's Sunday Scripture is dedicated to our Birthday Boy!And boy does he love to dance!  He’s still crazy about cars, balls and Legos…and has finally won Maggie over with constant treats.  He’s learning how to jump, talks in full sentences, and can pout with the best of them when he doesn’t get his way.  He’s getting a balance bike for his birthday so he can start keeping up with his sisters on their bikes!Today's Sunday Scripture is dedicated to our Birthday Boy!Lincoln loves to sing {“Twinkle Twinkle”, “Down to the River to Pray” and “Ba Ba Black Sheep” mostly}, knows about 20 of his letters and can count to 10 {as long as you don’t miss #4!}.  And since he is all about Batman undies and M&M’s…we are starting to potty train this week too!

We are just so blessed to have this little joy, Lincoln, in our lives!  Happy birthday Bubba!Sunday Scripture for the birthday boy! You can buy this week’s Sunday Scripture print on Etsy from Taylor Elliott Designs.

Have a blessed week!

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Sunday Scripture: Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day!  Today, instead of a Sunday Scripture verse from the Bible, I found a lovely quote from Donna Bell a while back on pinterest…and I think it’s just perfect for Mother’s Day.Although it's not a typical Sunday Scripture Bible verse, this is a great quote perfect for Mother's Day!

I am so greatful for all of the women and mothers in my life….my mothers, grandmothers, sister, best friends, and all of my fellow mamas up the street and around the world, who have raised me, supported me, laughed and cried with me, drank with me, and helped me raise my kids.  I truly would not be the woman, or mama, that I am today, without all of them.

Love you all!

Have a blessed week!

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A Little Free Library Ribbon Cutting

The Little Free Library- An adorable free program for neighborhoods...take a book....leave a bookI LOVE our neighborhood.  Not only do we have fantastic neighbors, sidewalks that go for miles and a resort-relaxing pool, but our community events are to die for.  In a couple of weeks, we’ll host the Southern Flame BBQ festival….blue grass music, picnics, and BBQ contests.  Last weekend we had a ribbon cutting ceremony for our newest neighborhood amenity.This neighborhood installed a little free library by their playground for kids to borrow books!This neighborhood had a ribbon-cutting ceremony and party for their Little Free Library unveiling!This neighborhood installed a little free library by their playground for kids to borrow books!Down by the treehouse, next to a bench nestled in some flowers, is a Little Free Library.  It holds about 25 books for children that are rotated out occasionally.  The kids can ride their bikes through the neighborhood and to the farmhouse {our community center} to borrow or return a book whenever they’d like.  Or they can sit on the bench and read while siblings play in the massive treehouse that is also there.This neighborhood had an adorable ribbon-cutting ceremony {complete with oversized scissors!} for their Little Free Library unveiling!Checking out the bench by the Little Free Library in the neighborhoodOn Sunday, our neighborhood had the official grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the Little Free Library.  We arrived early, so the girls got chosen to use the ginormous scissors to cut the ribbon.  They were thrilled!  And because our Little Free Library has been registered, we are now apart of a huge community of neighborhood and local Little Free Libraries...very cool program, that anyone can participate in.  Check out all the different types of structures on their Pinterest Page.This neighborhood installed a little free library by their playground for kids to borrow books!Since we have several parks and green spaces in our neighborhood, I wouldn’t be surprised if more Little Free Libraries started popping up all over!  I’m hoping for one with adult fiction next.Neighbors and local businesses donated books to be borrowed at this adorable neighborhood's Little Free Library. So cute and such a great idea!Natalie Daise from Gullah Gullah Island told stories and sang songs at this precious neighborhood party celebrating their new Little Free Library!Our Community Association did a fantastic job with the reception following the ribbon cutting ceremony.  Chick-fila was sweet enough to provide some yummy snacks for everyone, and Natalie Daise from Gullah Gullah Island on Nick Jr. came and told some fantastic stories. It was a lovely was to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon!Chick-fil-a donated goodies and lemonade for this adorable Little Free Library unveiling party!Oh my goodness, I wish I lived in this neighborhood with sidewalks, green grass and farmhouses!!!

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Mom Hacks You’ve Never Seen Before

Parenting isn’t easy.  Between tantrums, gum in hair, back talk and lost homework, it can be a downright nightmare.  Luckily, we are all in the same boat, and willing to help each other out!  Here are some of the neatest Mom Hacks that I’ve seen in awhile.  Sure, there are a ton on Pinterest, but these are some ones even I haven’t seen before!Mom Hacks : A New Collection of Genius Ideas to Save Your SanityIf you have kids under the age of six, you know the love-hate relationship that us moms have with markers.  Sure, they make it easy for the little ones to color, but for some reason, more marks end up on their hands than on the paper!  And Heaven-forbid they get their little paws on permanent markers!  But if they do {and somehow bypass the walls for their skin…} here’s how to clean permanent marker off of skin courtesy of Kids Activity Blog .Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! How to clean permanent marker off of your kidAnd while we are talking about grubby little hands {and germy little mouths!}, let’s think about all of the plastic toys you have with intricate parts.  The crevices of Legos are impossible to wipe clean….so why not throw them in the washing machine?  Getting’ By tells you all the details on how to de-funk the millions of blocks that you’ve accumulated.Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! How to clean mass quantities of small plastic toys.Whether its specific chores, their library book, or to brush their teeth, kids forget a lot.  I love this idea for reminder bracelets from Kids Activity Blog.  I think my kids would have bracelets up to their armpits….Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! Reminder bracelets to get it done!There is nothing I dread more than the words “cup or cone” in front of my kids.  Inevitably, they’ll want the cone.  But thanks to the buffet of toppings that are now offered at most ice cream places, odd are that a marshmallow will be available to stuff down in the point to prevent drips and make ice cream a little less messy.  Thanks One Good Thing by Jillee!Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! Marshmallows are good on top of OR underneath ice cream!I’m not sure why broken crayons are so elusive, but they manage to avoid being cleaned up at all costs.  They somehow roll under tables, against baseboards and into piles of other toys, hiding out where no one can find them.  That is, until your TWO YEAR OLD enters the room and immediately spots the broken blue crayon and proceeds to color on every surface available.  There are lots of ideas out there for crayon removal, but The Prairie Homestead posted the first one that I had seen using essential oils.Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! An all natural way to clean off crayon!I LOVE this idea for kids when they get in trouble.  And the combination of chores as well as kind actions is fantastic.  A new way to ground your kids from Lynette’s New Hobby.Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! Discipline your kids while cleaning your house!This tip is actually an oldie but goodie for our household.  Since we love going to Disneyworld, we have used this Liquid Band Aide Tattoo idea from The Paper Mama several times.  In fact, I need to add it to my all-inclusive Disney packing list for our next trip!Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! Use liquid band aide to protect an emergency phone number on your child.I feel like sparklers are not just a 4th of July or New Year’s Eve novelty here in the Lowcountry.  It seems like every backyard get-together, every beach bonfire, every block party that we’ve been to, have kids making their mamas nervous with sparklers {it’s not just me, right?!?!}.  I love this idea to protest little hands from sparks from I Love to Dream, Do You?Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! Because kids love sparklers and moms don't need any more gray hair....I regularly soak and disinfect our bath toys.  The idea of the inside of them never really drying out totally grosses me out.  But We Love Being Moms hot glues the holes in her new toys closed, so that water doesn’t get inside in the first place!Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! A no-brainer for keeping your bath toys safe!I have been lucky enough to have avoided splinters so far, but with three active kids, it will inevitably happen.  This tip from Pop Sugar‘s roundup is definitely one to save!Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! Getting splinters out without a fuss!I spotted this photo from @mcgaritydotme on Instagram , and was enthralled.  What a simple way to keep toddlers entertained while you cook dinner.  My almost two-year old loves sticking them through the holes, but is equally enthralled with the pipe-cleaners bending and staying in that shape.  Just keep an eye on the ends of the pipe-cleaners though, as the wire is a little sharp.Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! How to keep your kid busy for more than three seconds.Have you ever wondered why there were folds around the necks of infant onesies?  Or did you just assume {like me} that they were to accommodate your big-headed kid?  This genius video from Tiaras and Prozac shows you exactly why they are there….and then you will wonder how you’ve survived every diaper blow out up to this point.  Mind. Blown.Brand New Mom Hacks to save your sanity! The Onesie trick you never knew about!So there you have it,  some new Mom Hacks to make life, just a little easier.  Got any other ideas?  I’d LOVE to share them, so leave a comment {or even a link to your post or picture}!

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Sunday Scripture: Fruits of the Spirit

We’ve been working through many challenges in our house lately.  Sass, lying, anger, indulgence, greed, meanness.  And some of it is the children!  Today’s Sunday Scripture literally jumped out at me when I was perusing Pinterest this week.  Someone I follow must be dealing with the same challenges, because all the sudden I was staring at an entire Pinterest feed of various images of the same verse.  And games, and Bible lessons, and devotions.Sunday Scripture: Fruits of the SpiritYou can download a copy of this Sunday Scripture print from               Sincerely, Sara D.

Needless to say, I re-pinned half of them for a rainy day…my whole house needs a little reminder to practice all of the fruits of the spirit.

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CeraVe Five Minute Face Routine

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CeraVeSkincare  #CollectiveBias

So, it’s not any secret that I have never been one to really fuss about my appearance or go to any great lengths to take care of my skin.  I’m more about function and comfort over style.  But now that I’m getting ready to hit the big 3-5, I’ve got to start buckling down on my skincare.  Buuuuuuut…..I also have three kids under 8 to get ready for school in the mornings, so I literally have maybe 5 minutes to get myself ready before someone is crying about sock seams or spilling cereal all over the kitchen.  So today I wanted to share with you my secret to a five minute face.This busy mom's five minute face routine to start the day off right! #CeraVeSkincare #ad #CollectiveBias #cbias #skincareNot only do I have some fine lines and wrinkles, but I also am prone to eczema and skin cancer runs in my family.  So, needless to say, I am big on lotion and sunscreen!

I did a little research and found out that your skin contains ceramides, which help your skin retain moisture {like a moisture barrier}.  As you get older, your ceramides start to break down and not retain as much moisture, causing dry or irritated skin. CeraVe helps replenish the vital ceramides healthy skin needs.  Rather than just moisturizing the surface of the skin, CeraVe products release their ingredients slowly.  So over the next 24 hours, your skin is getting hydrated, nourished, repaired and restored.

But best of all, my sensitive skin is loving that CeraVe is non-irritating, fragrance-free and most are non-comedogenic {doesn’t block your pores!}.This busy mom's five minute face routine to start the day off right! #CeraVeSkincare #ad #CollectiveBias #cbias #skincareAnd just for you, I’m gonna share my five minute face routine using a combination of CeraVe products and my own make-up.

Ok, if you are like me, you probably forgot to wash your face last night.  So you definitely  need to start off with the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser or the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, which will clean off all of yesterday’s dirt, oil and make-up.  I keep a soft washcloth that’s saturated in warm water at the ready, in order to speed up the rinsing process {and avoid the water drips all over the counter and sink!}This busy mom's five minute face routine to start the day off right! #CeraVeSkincare #ad #CollectiveBias #cbias #skincareNext, I use the CeraVe Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 50 to moisturize and protect my face for the day. I let it soak in for a few minutes while I brush my teeth, use the  CeraVe Moisturizing Cream on the rest of my body, and get dressed.This busy mom's five minute face routine to start the day off right! #CeraVeSkincare #ad #CollectiveBias #cbias #skincareThen, for my {secret} last step, I mix a dollop of my liquid foundation/concealer with CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion.  So as I’m applying another lightweight sun protection, I’m also covering my face with foundation.  This also helps cut down on the amount of foundation that I use.  I like to go over my face quickly with my foundation brush as well, to make sure there are no streaks and everything is applied evenly.This busy mom's five minute face routine to start the day off right! #CeraVeSkincare #ad #CollectiveBias #cbias #skincareThen, mascara, lip gloss and go!  The whole “routine” takes me about 5 minutes, which includes dressing myself!  And I know that not only am I presentable for the day, but I’m also helping out my skin in the long term.

You can find CeraVe products at Walmart, who has these three items on Rollback until 5/9/2016…they are each only $9.97 until then!

  • CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
  • CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
  • CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

The Hydrating Cleanser, Foaming Facial Cleanser, and AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion are on the face care aisle, and the Moisturizing Cream is located down the skin care aisle. The CeraVe sunscreen can be found on the sun care aisle.This busy mom's five minute face routine to start the day off right! #CeraVeSkincare #ad #CollectiveBias #cbias #skincare

Get a get a $2 off coupon for any CeraVe product!

Find out more about CeraVe on their social networks:
Facebook/Twitter/YouTube

What’s your secret to a 5 minute face in the morning?

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