The Life of Jennifer Dawn: January 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Printable: Valentine's Day Favor Boxes and Bottle Labels

Are you hosting a party for Valentine's Day or looking for a simple treat idea for your kids to enjoy on February 14? I have you covered! These free printable favor boxes and bottle labels epitomize Valentine's Day with pink, love, and hearts!
Snack time has never looked LOVE-lier than with these printable bottle labels and treat boxes! They are perfect for classroom parties to hand out snacks and treats to kids. They are also handy if you want to plan a special snack for your own kids on Valentine's Day.

I made a scrumptious White Chocolate Candied Popcorn to stuff inside our treat boxes today. The kids couldn't stop eating it! Yes, it was that good! Visit with me again tomorrow for that recipe. I'll be sharing it here on the blog.

You could fill the favor boxes with anything, though! Candies, snacks, or even small prizes would all work perfectly. I'm sure you have some great ideas.
I'm so excited to be sharing these printables with you. They are simple, versatile, and perfect for the day devoted to flowers, candies, hearts, and LOVE. There are so many creative uses for them. I've included a list with several ideas below. So...are you ready to put these fun printables to good use? Here's what you'll need...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

5 Lovely Crafts for Valentine's Day & A Weekly Link Party

Valentine's Day is just around the corner! And it just happens to be one of my favorite holidays. What's not to love about all the pink hearts, flowers, chocolates, and even love itself?! Oh, and don't forget all the lovely crafts! I know. I know. I'm gushing over a holiday that some people think is pretty silly. But if you have a LOVE for crafts, these are sure to strike your fancy. Frills, hearts, and touches of pink abound in this crafty collection. So here you go--five pretty Valentine's Day crafts to try this February.
1. Quilted Sweetheart Pillows / Gluesticks Blog
Okay! I seriously want a dozen of these pillows to place all over the house. There is something so special and sweet about quilted items. And these lovely pillows are no exception!

2. Doily Wreath / Party Fetti
What a lovely wreath! And all you need are paper doilies, styrofoam, and the must-have item in every crafter's arsenal--the hot glue gun.

3. DIY Earring Storage Box / Gluesticks Blog
What a beautiful way to keep your jewelry safe! And I love that Brandy got her kids involved with this project.

4. Mason Jar Vase / The Country Chic Cottage
This looks like such a fun craft! And what a cute way to display that Valentine's Day bouquet from your sweetie!

5. Crochet Valentine Mug Cozy / Olives & Okra
Coffee never looked so lovely! You provide the coffee and this blog provides the free pattern to make your own mug cozy. So cute!

Now it's time for...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

4 Simple Ways to Refresh a Room & Weekly Link Party

Does the new year have you wanting to refresh and reorganize your home? I know I'm ready to dive in and tackle some spaces in my home. Sometimes it's a bit overwhelming on where to even start. Simple changes can make a BIG impact, though. Here are four super simple ideas for a quick room refresh. They'll have you on your way to creating a home you love in no time!
1. Dollar Store Bin Makeover for Pretty Storage / The Country Chic Cottage
Can you believe that those white bins came from the Dollar Store? It's amazing what a little paint can do. Adding plenty of storage to a room gives everything a proper place which cuts down on clutter. And storage is not just functional. It's also decorative!

2. Free Printable Succulent Art / Lolly Jane
Skip expensive art and wall hangings and opt for one of the thousands of free printables that can be found online. This one from Lolly Jane makes the space feel whimsical and happy. Printables are perfect for framing or even displaying on a clipboard like this one.

3. Natural Furniture Distressing Tutorial / Thirty Eighth Street
This furniture makeover is another example of the transformative power of paint. Grab a paint brush and give this technique a try. Refreshing the furniture will, in turn, give your home a refreshed look.

4. Mason Jar Chalkboard Caddy / Crafts Unleashed
Create a caddy like this for kitchen utensils, office supplies, or even house plants. It's a quick DIY that gives you a fun accessory to add to any room.

Let's recap! Plenty of storage, fun printables, furniture makeovers, and small caddies or accessories are a great way to instantly refresh a room!

Now it's time for...

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Friday, January 13, 2017

Printable Coloring Pages for Kids -- Goldfish

Coloring has made a BIG comeback in recent years. This simple pastime is a great quiet time activity for kids. Coloring isn't just for children, though. Break out the crayons and markers and enjoy these printable coloring pages right along with your kids. They feature cute, happy Goldfish that will have everyone smiling! Best of all...these coloring pages are completely FREE to print right here from the blog.
Coloring is an activity with loads of benefits. It improves focus, fosters creativity, and sharpens fine motor skills. Tasty snacks and fun coloring pages create an environment that encourages the whole family to sit down and enjoy quality time together. That might be the best benefit of all!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Peanut Butter and Jelly Oatmeal Bars

Few things go together as well as peanut butter and jelly. They're a classic combination that most kids can't get enough of. At least my kids can't get enough of them. I think my youngest son would eat peanut butter and jelly for every meal if I'd let him. That might be why he loves these Peanut Butter and Jelly Oatmeal Bars so much! They are perfect served at breakfast, lunch, or snack time. Looking for a delicious recipe that your kids will love? Here's a great one to try!
In an effort to keep these Oatmeal Bars more on the healthy side of the snack spectrum rather than the dessert side, I tried to use as many wholesome, natural ingredients as I could for these Peanut Butter and Jelly Oatmeal Bars. I even used Jif Natural Creamy Peanut Butter. I've gotten to where I prefer the natural version of peanut butter. Have you tried it? And Smucker's Fruit and Honey Jam is one of my favorites!
Shopping Savings Secret!
We picked up the ingredients we needed for these oatmeal bars while on a grocery run to Target. I have to confess that Target is truly one of my favorite places to shop. I mean...just look at the cute Valentine's Day items near the peanut butter and jelly. See? They get me every time. I also love Target for their coupons and their Cartwheel savings app. As a mom with three kids--two of whom are boys already eating me out of house and home at the ages of 5 and 3--I use several rebate/savings apps to help save on groceries. (Maybe I need to share them all in a future blog post.) The Target Cartwheel app is one that has saved me hundreds. You just download the app and use the scanner feature to scan your items as you place them into your cart. The app will let you know if there are discounts available for that item. Then you have the cashier do one final scan at checkout and you've saved on your shopping trip. Oh, and I have great news! There are currently Cartwheel offers for both Jif and Smucker's! Now you can save on the two main ingredients needed for this recipe.
Ready to grab those ingredients and try this peanut butter and jelly recipe for yourself? Here it is!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Winter Activities for Kids and Weekly Link Party

Looking for fun activities to do with the kids this winter? Here are some awesome ideas to try! From cute crafts to coloring pages, you and the kiddos are sure to find something that you can do together to chase the winter blues away during these cold, blustery months.
1. DIY Snowman Popcorn Boxes / Crafts Unleashed
Aren't these adorable?! And they look fun to make! They're perfect for winter themed parties or even movie nights enjoyed from the comfort of home.

2. Arctic Animal Number Cards / Welcome to Mommyhood
Looking for an educational activity for your little one? These cards are super cute! They're a great way to practice counting and number recognition. Be sure to also check out this site's Snowman Shapes Printables.

3. Ear Muff Oreo Cookies / My Thoughts: Ideas and Ramblings
For a fun treat to make with the kids this winter, check out these adorable, chocolate-dipped Oreos!

4. Animals that Hibernate in Winter Coloring Book / The Natural Homeschool
Teach your child about hibernation and the animals that use this behavior to survive winter with these cute, printable coloring book pages.

5. Do You Want to Build a Snowman? Printable / Mrs. Karle's Sight and Sound Reading
Let your child sharpen their creativity and find motor skills with this cute cut and paste activity!

For more indoor winter activities for kids check out these fun posts!

Now it's time for...

Friday, January 6, 2017

Printable OUTBURST Game for Football Fans

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

Watching football games together is a pastime that my family has always enjoyed. What football party would be complete without some tasty snacks like popcorn, chips, and pretzels, though? Oh, and don't forget to add in a fun game like this printable, football-themed version of Outburst.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

5 Fun Ideas for Your Football Party & Weekly Link Party

Whether you're gathering together for a weekend game or celebrating your team making it to the BIG GAME, here are five fun, family-friendly ideas to "kick off" your next football party. It's no secret that we Southerners love our football. It's not just about the game, though. It's about family and friends coming together. And these ideas are sure to score big with your guests!
1. Super Bowl Watch Party / Party Fetti
Doesn't this setup look amazing?! It's all about the details for this party. From straw flags to chalkboard decor, there are tons of fun elements to glean inspiration from.

2. Pineapple Salsa / My Mommy Style
What's a football party without some chips and salsa? And this recipe for pineapple salsa looks so fresh and delicious!

3. Hot Dog Lover Gift Basket / The Country Chic Cottage
 Check out those condiment dispensers! This would make a great hostess gift for a party you're attending but not hosting. It's also a fun way to serve up hotdogs at your own football themed party.

4. Coca-Cola Cupcakes / The Life of Jennifer Dawn
Have you ever heard of Coca-Cola Cake? This is a fun twist on that favorite Southern treat. Yes, there is really Coca-Cola in both the cake and frosting. Trust me! It makes it delicious. Whip up some fun paper flags in your favorite team's colors and you have the perfect game day treat.

5. Fiesta Taco Casserole / Simple Stacie
Packed with beans, beef, and cheese, this is an ideal dish to serve at your football festivities!

Now it's time for...

Sunday, January 1, 2017

14 Bible Verses to Pray For a New Year

As I venture into a new year, I can think of no better way to pave the road of this new adventure than with prayer and God's inspiring word. Here are 14 bible verses that have resonated with my heart. They are ones that I'm praying for my family and myself for this new year.
I experienced a lot of mixed emotions as 2016 came to a close and 2017 began. This last year was not a good year for my family. It was the year that I lost my only sibling and my mother lost her youngest daughter. Yes, losing my dad to cancer a few years ago was hard. Up to that point, it was the hardest thing we had ever gone through. BUT losing my 29-year-old sister and her baby Oliver was a whole new level of devastation, pain, and even depression. A part of me just wanted the year to be over. "Please just let this year end already! No, wait!" Another part wanted to hold onto it and freeze time because the year 2016 held the most recent memories my sister and I had made together. It held the last moments I had with her. The reality that time was marching on without her in our lives sunk in deeper than ever as the new year approached.

How different this New Year's Eve was for us. Last year we were all together--celebrating as a family. I cherish the pictures from that night. One of the photos I captured was of Allison and her husband Carl sitting on my couch together. They were both wearing those goofy headbands with 2-0-1-6 written on them and she was flashing that stellar smile of hers.

This year there was no celebration. For the sake of the kids, we enjoyed our traditional meal of cheese fondue and even a chocolate fondue that Allison used to make. There was an early countdown for the kids before bedtime in which they gleefully danced and cheered to welcome in the new year. That was it. Our evening closed without the usual fanfare or festivities. This morning January 1, 2017, was staring me right in the face--a year my sister never got to see.

In sorting through all of these emotions, one thing has always remained clear. God walked with me through both the valleys and mountains of 2016, and his comfort, provision, peace, and love will continue with me throughout 2017.

I'm so thankful for a heavenly father who understands what my heart is feeling and knows my every thought. I'm so thankful for a God who I can come to in prayer. Even when our own words fail us, the Word tells us that the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf. (Romans 8:26) Isn't that a comforting promise?! The Bible is filled with God's promises and encouragement. The 14 verses below are ones that have spoken to my heart during this season of life. They are ones that I'm focusing on and praying about as I enter into a brand new year. Would you like to pray with me?
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old is gone, the new is here! 
-2 Corinthians 5:17
Lord, thank you for the promise of new beginnings! Thank you for the new life I have in you. 

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will never fail you nor abandon you.
-Deuteronomy 31:8
Lord, as I enter into a new year, it's comforting to know that you'll be there with me. You go before me. I don't know what lies ahead in the coming year. The future is never a surprise to you, though. And I know you'll be there with me through both the mountains and the valleys that lie ahead. Help me to enter this new year with boldness and assurance. I praise you because you have never and will never forsake me.

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
-Isaiah 43:19
Lord, even through the wastelands of my life, I praise you for being there to renew, guide, and replenish.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
-Psalm 51:10
Lord, I'm thankful that even with all of my failings you are there to make me new. Give me a steadfast spirit to live boldly for you this year.

Be still, and know that I am God!
-Psalm 46:10
Lord, life often gets so busy and chaotic. Help me to remember to take the time to pray and read your word. May I carve out quiet moments to just be still and be with you. May I remember that there are times when I simply need to trust that you're already working in my life rather than trying to fix or control the things going on around me. You are God and you are in control!

Let my teaching fall on you like rain; let my teaching settle like dew. Let my words fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants.
-Deuteronomy 32:2
Lord, thank you for the promises, teachings, and encouragement found in your holy word. May those words replenish and nourish my spirit in the coming year.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
-Romans 8:28
Lord, there are times when life seems unbearable, and it's hard to see the good in my circumstance. Let me never forget that you are continually working things together for my good.

From the end of the earth I will call to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
-Psalm 61:2
Lord, you are the great comforter. You are my sustainer and my provider. When life's burdens seem too heavy to bear and my heart is overwhelmed, thank you for always being there for me. You are my rock and my fortress through the storms of life.

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
-Isaiah 43:2
Lord, thank you for this encouraging promise. When the storms rage and the waters rise, may I remember that you are with me. I don't know what this year has in store, but I do know that you will be there to sustain me.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
-Romans 12:11-13
Lord, I want to strive to be joyful, hopeful, and patient during the good times and the hard times. It's also my desire to be faithful in always coming to you in prayer. Give me opportunities to be your hands and feet and show your love to those around me. May my home be a place filled with love and hospitality.

If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
- Jeremiah 29:13
Lord, it is my heart's desire to continually seek you. May I also seek your will in every area of my life this year.

For I hold you by your right hand--I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, 'Don't be afraid. I am here to help you.'
-Isaiah 41:13
Lord, there are times when my heart grows fearful. I become anxious about the future or the current circumstances in my life. Help me to always remember that you are with me and my family. You carry me into this new year and hold me in the very palm of your hand, and I praise you for that.
'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'
-Jeremiah 29:11
Lord, this verse is a favorite for so many. (It was my sister's favorite verse.) Help me to always trust in your plan for my life even when the future seems bleak. Whether I'm in a time of rejoicing or in a time of grief, help me to remember that you are in control. You do have a plan for my life and a plan for a future with you in heaven.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
-Proverbs 16:3
Lord, I have so many plans for this year. I commit those plans to you. May the things I do and accomplish this year be for your glory. Amen.

How can I pray for you today? Is there something you are facing this year? I'd love to pray with and for you! Feel free to send me a private message or leave a comment below with any prayer request. The Bible tells us that where two or more are gathered in His name, He is with us. (Matthew 18:20) Let's join together this year in prayer.

Happy New Year!
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