The Life of Jennifer Dawn: November 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Product Review: My New Kate Pixley Bag

There are certain packages that upon arriving in the mail cause giddiness to set in and you just can't help but to exclaim, "EEEK!"  Do you know what I'm talking about?  I mean...who doesn't love to get fabulous things in the mail?!  Right?!
That's how I felt when I saw the package with Kate Pixley Designs on the front of the envelope and immediately tore into it.  I couldn't wait to see the bag that Kate had designed especially for me.  Let me tell you...she outdid herself on this fantastic bag!

Don't you just love it?!

With two little ones and another on the way, there are times when I would prefer not to lug around my usually massive purse and a packed diaper bag.  My mom will often pick up my purse and question how I carry the thing.  I'm honestly not sure.  Sometimes you want to just simplify things down to just the essentials.  That's where this gorgeous bag comes into play.  Look at all it can hold...

It all fits in this one fantastic wristlet clutch which is compact enough to be a great "grab and go" bag for running errands with the kids, taking them on outings, going to L.G.'s dance lessons and encountering the countless other occasions when my hands are already full with the kids and do not need to be full with excess baggage.  The handy strap allows me to just string it on my wrist or Eli's umbrella stroller and go!  I love that I can also dump the diapers and wipes and use it for date nights or those other rare moments when I venture out to run an errand alone and leave the kiddos with Tim.  This bag has three other things that instantly brought on a big purse crush--its quality {handmade to perfection}, the chevron fabric {love}, and the Kelly green ruffles peeking out {love even more}.

 See something you like?
Happy shopping!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cabochon Jewelry and Accessories

I am releasing two new cabochon collections in my Etsy shop today--just in time for Cyber Monday and the holiday season.

The first I meant to put out a couple of months ago, but had too many other things going on that took precedent.  The second is being released at the perfect time since it has a holiday vibe...
This is my favorite piece from the collection...
 available in three colors...
The holiday collection...
Have a favorite piece?  Which one?
Feel free to visit the shop and browse around.  For the holiday season, I am offering free shipping on all orders to the U.S. or Canada totaling $20 or more.  Enter HOLIDAYSHIPPING at the checkout to claim this seasonal special.  I am also offering a free surprise gift with each order placed from any location.
Happy Shopping!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dinner Prayer

Growing up there was one prayer my dad would always say at the dinner table. It came to mind this morning as I was remembering past Thanksgivings... I'm not sure about its original source. Perhaps he learned it as a child. His recital of it at each meal has stuck with me though...

My Daddy's Prayer at Every Dinner...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Great Gift Ideas

Need a gift for...
the hubby?
your mother?
best friend?
the pet lover in your life?
your relative who's an avid reader?
the crafter that you know and love?

This list has your gift buying needs covered!

All of these in the "Under $5" category would make cute gifts if you need something simple and small!  These make fantastic stocking stuffers too!
Decorative Bookmarks $2.50--Tisa's Creations
Mustache Seals $2.00/set of 8--Hobbies from the Heart
Chalkboard Stickers $4.50/set of 8--Tisa's Creations
Cozy Sewing Pattern $2.50--Stitchwerx Designs
Girl's Headband Sewing Pattern $4.50--Stitchwerx Designs
Bird Cutouts $2.00/set of 10 (Great for making these.)--Hobbies from the Heart
Vintage World Postage Stamp Stickers $2.99/set of 12--Hobbies from the Heart
Ric Rac Trim $1.65/yard (Bundle three yard in three different colors for just $4.95.)--Raspberry Creek Fabrics

Baker's Twine Sampler $9.99/Nine colors and 225 yards--Hobbies from the Heart
Inspirational Poster $8.95--Tisa's Creations
Applique Templates $6.00/set of 4  (Gift the templates or use them to embellish aprons, shirts, and more.)--Stitchwerx
Fox Pillow Sewing Pattern $5.50  (Shop here or here for some great fabric to make these cute pillows.)--Stitchwerx
Chalkboard Tags $8.00/set of 4  (Gift them or use them when wrapping.)--Tisa's Creations
Vintage Nancy Drew Book $8.95--Jaysworld
Blue and Orange Aryle Cotton Fabric from the Alphabet Soup Collection by Zoe Pearn for Riley Blake $6.25/yard + Orange Trim $1.65=$7.90 (Makes a cute sewing duet to gift to that crafty friend!--Raspberry Creek Fabrics

Vintage Inspired Home on Wheels Tapestry $24.95--Jaysworld
Cut and Sew Fabric to make this Vintage Style Cloche Hat $18.00--Stitchwerx
Vintage Cookbook Collection $24.95--Jaysworld
Personalized Stationary Set $12.00/8 cards and envelopes--Tisa's Creations
Pattern Bundle to make an entire collection of Boutique Style Clothes for Girls $15--Stitchwerx
Vintage Instrument Wall Hanging $24.95--Jaysworld
Puppy Fabric $8.25 = Dog Bandana Sewing Bundle $4.50=$12.75  (Great gift for the avid dog lover that you know.)--Raspberry Creek Fabrics and Stitchwerx
Michael Miller's Chevron Chic Fabric Bundle $16.90 for 2 yards--Raspberry Creek Fabrics
2013 Desk Calendar $15.00--Tisa's Creations
Blanket Bundle $13.90 for two yards of flannel  (Click here for a tutorial to go along with this bundle.)--Raspberry Creek Fabrics
Advent Calendar Kit $18.95--Tisa's Creations
Vintage Book Collection for Boys $18.95--Jaysworld

Six yards of gorgeous fabric from the Avignon Collection by Emily Taylor for Riley Blake $50.10--Raspberry Creek Fabrics
Vintage Holiday Collection of Six Books $34.95--Jaysworld
Vintage Quilt $60.00--Jaysworld

The Shops:
Tisa's Creations
Cards, Stationary, and So Much More!
Shop   /   Website   /  Facebook   /   Twitter

Vintage Books Decor and More!  Offers 10% off to returning customers!

Stitchwerx Designs
Patterns and Fabric Galore!
 Pattern Shop   /   Fabric Shop   /   Blog   /   Facebook

Raspberry Creek Fabrics and Trims
The Freshest Designer Fabrics!
Shop   /   Facebook

Hobbies From the Heart
A Perfect Spot for the Paper DIYer!
Shop   /   Facebook

Happy Shopping!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Design Board

In preparation for Caleb's arrival in March, I am redoing the room that Eli and him will share.  For months, I've been gathering ideas and inspiration from across the web for their room redo.  Here is a design board that I made in order to compile all of these random sources and products into one cohesive idea for how I want the room to look.
What do you think?  It's a starting place.  I've got some shopping, sewing, and decorating to do.

Baby Name & ABC Prints: Blessed Design Studio
Rug: Target
Green Canvas Storage: Target
Rise & Shine Print: A Livy Love Designs print used and photographed by Little Miss Momma
Urban Circus by Robert Kaufman Fabric: Raspberry Creek Fabrics and Trims
Paper Lantern Idea: Pinterest
Crib: Our current one from Baby Depot (We will need two now.)
Pennant Banner Idea: Little Miss Momma
Chair: Used classroom chair (We have several in our garage that Tim's step dad found for us.)
Light Blue Table: Ikea
123 Storage Tubs: Ikea
Vintage Books: Jaysworld
Tent: Ikea

Want to make your own design board?

1. I use PicMonkey (a free photo editing site).  Choose and load any photo that you have saved onto your computer.  It doesn't matter which one because you are just going to cover it up.  Click the overlay button.  Stretch a rectangular overlay across the entire surface of your photo.  Be sure to make the overlay the color that your want your design board background to be.  Save the photo.  I called mine "white blank".

2. Go back to the main page.  Select and load your blank page to edit.

3. Choose the overlay feature again.  Click on "Your Own" to add pictures you have gathered and saved of ideas and products.

4. Arrange the photo overlays into a visually appealing collage.  Finish the design board off with a label and text.

Happy designing!

*Affiliate links have been added to help guide you to the perfect product to complete your own room makeover.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Felt Tissue Pouches with Fabric Covered Buttons

These cute tissues pouches are easy to make and great to give as stocking stuffers or "get well soon" gifts.  Make enough to even keep one for yourself.
Happy Sewing!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

On Loss

People keep asking me how I'm doing with loosing daddy.
I know it is with the sincerest intentions, but that's a difficult question to answer.  I haven't really known how to respond...

I usually just say, "I'm okay. It's been hard.  Life's short, so love on your family for as long as you have them."

 If you want to know the truth...
I often find myself focusing too much on the tragic last five months of his life rather than the memories that came before those horrible months.
I find myself crying from a random song on the radio, bursting into tears over a memory, or becoming upset when I think of something I want to ask him about and remember that I can't.
I still call his work voice mail just to hear his voice.
I hide these emotional times from everyone but my husband, mom, and sister.
I'm sad about it.  There's no way around that...
He's gone.
It was under tragic circumstances.
It's okay to be sad though.
Even in my sadness...
I know that I have hope...

"In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world."
John 16:33

Some have noted that I seem to be handling things wonderfully.  I've heard, "I can't even imagine what you are going through.  I'd be a mess.  How are you keeping it together?"

I haven't really known how to put into words a response to that either...
Well, until last Sunday when our pastor presented the congregation with this wonderful passage from Lamentations...

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."  The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him...
Lamentations 3:21-25

That pretty much sums it up.  I'm going through a hard time, but I will not be consumed.  In the LORD I find compassion, faithfulness, hope, and even joy...

I once had a co-worker who would have religious arguments with me.  He would tell me that my religious beliefs were nothing more than a crutch.  After hearing this from him repeatedly, I finally responded that I'd much rather go through life with my crutch than go through this world with it.

I recalled this story to my mom when we were talking last night.  She had a beautiful response when she brought up a quote she had once heard...

Jesus Christ is not a crutch; -- He is the very ground to walk upon!
-Pastor Lyle W. Pettit

What a perfect way to look at faith!  The LORD is the ground that I walk upon.  That is why even in my sadness, I know that I will be okay...

 Lydia Grace in her "Choose Joy" shirt from LBB

Have a Saturday filled with joy!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Cherry Cheese Desserts

I remember my grandmother being a great cook.  She made most things from scratch.  I say most because she certainly had her recipe secrets--leaving ingredients out of the recipes she would pass onto others or taking little shortcuts.  One of those shortcuts my dad discovered as soon as he was old enough to drive and run errands for her.  It had to do with her recipe for cole slaw.  Here I go...  I am about to share with you a secret family recipe...

Mammaw Oliver's Recipe for Cole Slaw
Cole Slaw from KFC
Your own serving bowl

Go yourself or send someone you trust to KFC to buy the cole slaw.
Empty the KFC cole slaw into your own container.
Throw away the KFC's evidence.

Yes, mammaw's cole slaw came from KFC.  The funniest thing was that it really only seemed to be a secret to my grandfather who never realized that she hadn't spent hours chopping, mixing, and making cole slaw from scratch.

I have my own little shortcut that I've been pretty secretive about.  I guess I get it from her or my mother who also tends to leave steps or ingredients out of recipes from assuming that the recipient of the recipe knows to do or include those things without it being spelled out for them.
What's my secret shortcut?  Well, let me tell you, it comes in very hand around this time of year.  There always seem to be countless occasions around the holidays where food items are a necessary contribution to the party or event.  If I have the time, I'll whip something up from scratch.  For those times when I don't, I have to admit that I take a little shortcut...

This is my default dessert when I just don't have the time or energy to make something from scratch.  People love it and always ask for the recipe.  My response has been, "Of course.  Yes, I'll get that to you."  Then I don't.  I'm coming clean though.  I am going to finally share my recipe.  I cheat on this just like my grandmother cheated on her cole slaw.  I fill a ready-made pie crust that has been placed in my own pie dish with a ready-made cheesecake filling, and top it with cherry pie filling from a can.  There it is!  It literally takes seconds to make because I cheat.
No judgement, right?  Hey, a lady can't make everything from scratch.  {smile} 

 Due to the fact that it is so easy and tastes fabulous, I decided to get a little creative and try something new.  I put mini vanilla wafers into the bottom of mini cupcake liners, added the cheesecake filling, and topped them off with the cherry pie filling.  If you refrigerate them overnight, the wafers get soft making perfect mini crusts for these delicious cheesecake bites.

Do you have any of your own recipe secrets?  Want to share?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Disney on Ice

Tim, my mom and sister, L.G., Eli, and I recently went to see Disney on Ice.  We had bought the tickets months ago and debated on whether to still go with everything else that has been going on.  We went though...mostly for Lydia Grace who needed something fun and magical.  She's had a hard time with losing her Papa.  We all have.  It actually ended up being a nice time.  A little less Toy Story would have been great though.  I've never been a big fan and the whole second half had only those characters.  That statement probably just made me very unpopular, but I've always found Toy Story to be a bit boring.  Now I did just make myself very unpopular.  {chuckle}  Sorry.  The whole first half was fantastic though with colorful, music-filled moments from Cars, Mickey and the gang, The Little Mermaid, and Tinkerbell.  I think Eli enjoyed it as much as Lydia Grace...
Happy moments!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Vintage Books and a Giveaway

Vintage books truly can be hold the answer to so many decorating and gift dilemmas.  Having been a collector of antique books for years, I speak from experience.  My love of vintage books--really anything vintage--recently led me to this fabulous Etsy shop...
In Jaysworld you will find a plethora of gorgeous vintage books--the ones pictured above are just a few examples.  As one of my newest sponsors, Jamie, the shop owner, has graciously decided to give one lucky reader of TLofJD a custom collection of antique books valued at $60.  Follow the directions below to enter to win...

Happy entering!

Baby's First Haircut

This post requires few words.  Eli's looks say it all...
It is hard to believe how big they both are getting.  Sometimes I wish I could freeze time and always keep them this little, but then there would be so many other "firsts" that I would miss out on.
Happy moments!