Milk + Chalk, Part 2: Final Product and Review

Details of furniture refinishing project using a combination of chalk and milk paints (final thoughts and review).

So, I’ve waited a few months between when I first told you about my adventure with chalk and milk paints and revealing the finished product. I wanted to see how the paint held up (under daily use) before I gave you my final thoughts. Some people just throw something together and then feel comfortable telling everyone “This is awesome! Do it, too!” I’m always a little skeptical unless they’ve lived with it for a good long while.

Lenten Activities for Kids

Observe Lent with preschool and toddler aged kids using the easy and inexpensive activities of a prayer chain and kindness jar.

I didn’t grow up in a church that did much to celebrate Lent. We had Ash Wednesday services, but there wasn’t much to mark the rest of the season leading up to Easter as any different than any other time of year. (At least to my memory. I’m sure there were members of my church congregation who did more.)

As I’ve grown older, I’ve discovered how much I love following along with the church calendar. It’s a way of ordering my time and seasons around remembering and celebrating our faith.

With this is mind, I wanted to begin some traditions of Lenten activities with my children to mark the season. We took Peanut and Pip to the Ash Wednesday service; who knows what they actually took in, but that’s something that’s in their memory bank now, at least. (And we managed to keep most of their squeals of delight and out-of-place comments to a dull roar…)

But I wanted something to sustain an interest, a conversation, and an anticipation through the next weeks until Easter.

Enter good ole Pinterest. 😉

I scoped out clever kid-friendly Lenten traditions on Pinterest, and these are the two I settled upon because a) they weren’t too involved or complicated and b) they seemed age appropriate for my three and one-year-old children. There are many other great ideas out there, and I hope we can incorporate them into our family’s observance of Lent at some point, but not until my kids are older.

Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath

Decorating at this time of year is always hard for me. I’m tired of wintry looking things. Despite some recent warm temperatures bringing out a few early snowdrop blossoms, the full release of winter’s grip still seems a long way off here in upstate New York. I’m waiting for winter’s one-last-gasp blizzard before I set my sights on spring.

Nevertheless, I’m ready for something new and fun around my house. Something bright and colorful, but not flowery; wintry, but not dark and cold and harsh.

I decided a yarn pom-pom wreath was just right to add a little something to my winter decor, while still keeping it seasonally appropriate. So, it’s an “Early Spring Wreath”—that sounds so much more hopeful than a “Late Winter Wreath,” don’t you think?
Here's a DIY, no-sew craft for a soft and cheerful yarn pom-pom wreath to brighten your late winter or early spring decor! (Pom-pom tutorial included.)

The God Who Sees

I am intrigued by the accounts of Hagar and Leah in Genesis 16:7-15 and 29:16-35, especially in what their stories communicate about God.

“Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the LORD, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?”” Genesis 16:13

“When the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, he enabled her to have children, but Rachel could not conceive. So Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “The LORD has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.”” Genesis 29:31-32 (NLT)*

I am intrigued by the accounts of Hagar and Leah, especially in what these stories communicate about God. For both, they note that God "sees" them.

Simple Triangle Bunting Project

This fun triangle bunting is a simple sewing project, great for teaching beginners, using up scrap fabric, or making a quick seasonal decoration.

So, let me just start by saying—I really do not decorate for every holiday.

Honestly, I’m more the type that gets annoyed when I have decor for obscure holidays because I feel like I have to keep it, but it takes up storage space, it’s a pain to remember to use it, the decorations are up for a day, etc.

But having kids will make you do crazy things. So, here I am—decorating for Valentine’s Day.

Paleo Apple Cake

Paleo apple cake— a delightful grain-free and refined sugar-free treat for special occasions!

YOU GUYS! I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!

Okay. I’ll stop yelling now. But I’m seriously really excited.

It’s a dessert. It totally tastes like dessert to me. But it’s healthy!

Skillet Meal: Brussels Sprouts and Eggs

I’m getting tired of winter and winter vegetables. Is anyone else?

This is always the time of year that I start to lose my enthusiasm for vegetables and fruits that are only in season right now because they handle cold storage well. So, it’s time for a little extra creativity!
This skillet meal is so warm and delicious, with sweet, crispy brussels sprouts and salty, runny, fried eggs. Mmmmmmm...

Paleo Nut Bread

I LOVE THIS BREAD!

There. I said it.

Scrumptious grain-free nut bread!

This bread is so yummy and delicious I’ve been making it every week. (Again—totally NOT Whole30, but I’m not trying to stick to Whole30 right now, aight?) It’s sweet, moist, delightfully crumbly, but sturdy enough to slice and sink your teeth into. The best description I can think of is a cross between a Larabar and banana bread.

Because, when you look closely at the ingredients, you’ll quickly see that’s basically what it is. Except, it’s banana bread with no grain. Even better.