Monday, December 31, 2012

Get Ready!

2013 is going to be your best year yet!


Tomorrow is the first day of 2013.

What do you want to let go of?
What are your goals?
What do you want to improve?


Are you the person you want to be in 2013?




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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Thinking of New Years

Do you make New Year's resolutions?  Most people do. In fact, last year the number one New Year's resolution was overwhelmingly weight loss, second was getting organized.

Let's talk about resolutions for a moment, shall we?

Often our New Year's resolutions look like this graphic.  Vague wish-list ideas of how to be a better person.  Let's take "Stop smoking" for example.  How does one do that?  What's the next step?  How about "Pay credit card debt?"  What does that mean?  Pay it all at once?  Pay it a penny at a time?  What about "Get organized?" (I love the mis-spelling, by the way...)  Organize what?  Clothes?  Car?  Dishes?

Where am I going with this?  Instead of making vague resolutions that you may or may not keep, this year set goals - real life, achievable goals.  

How?  Here's how!

Instead of making the vague resolution to "lose weight," set a specific goal to "lose 10 pounds by April 1," or "lose 25 pounds by August 5." Then determine a plan to follow through such as "cut out 500 calories each day; burn off 500 calories each day."    

Instead of making the vague resolution to "pay off debt," determine to save the money you spend on coffee shop coffee drinks and brew your own at home.  Or make one week a month a "necessities only" week, buying nothing other than what is absolutely necessary - the left over cash goes directly toward your debt.

Instead of making the vague resolution to "get organized," set the specific goal to "organize the kitchen drawers," "be creative with storage in the linen closet," and "purge my closet and donate clothes that don't fit or are out of fashion."

Setting specific goals helps you visualize the end result.  But don't stop there. Once you've set specific goals, go back and write in each "next action" needed to see the thing through to completion.  Lists help you visualize the individual steps ahead, and give you an indicator of progress.  Individual specific steps are easier to manage and complete than vague project titles.


Starting January 1, I am starting a January Organize-a-thon, where we will sift through the piles, bins and corners of our homes and get ourselves organized for the new year.  We'll take it step by step and room by room.  In the end, we'll have organized living spaces, extra room for storage, and we'll have purged the unnecessary things from our lives.

Will you join me?  What areas do you want to work on?  Leave a comment about the area(s) you need help with and I'll address them specifically!  

I can't wait to get started!  It's going to be fantastic!

Only By His Grace,

Billie


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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Taking a Christmas Nap...






Don't worry, Darling, we're just taking a little Christmas Nap.


I'll be back before you know it...






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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

It's the most wonderful time of the year...















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Monday, December 24, 2012

Glory to God in the highest...


Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you: he is Christ the Lord.

This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in a manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.             Luke 2:11-20



Merry Christmas!
from our family to yours,

Billie





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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Fear Not, I bring you good tidings of great joy!



In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.  And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.  She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

But the angel said to them, "Fear not, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people."  Like 2:1-10 




Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!
from our family to yours,

Billie


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Saturday, December 22, 2012

She will give birth to a son...



This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.


But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirt.

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means, "God with us." 

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son.  And he gave him the name Jesus.                 Matthew 1:18-25






Wishing you a very Merry Christmas.
From our family to yours.

Billie  




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Friday, December 21, 2012

Arrange your dishwasher for maximum efficiency...

Dishwasher... Ah... a great time saver, don't you agree? Even as I write this post to you, I hear the gentle hum of our dishwasher cleaning away at our daily dish disaster.

Wish you could get just a little more from your dishwasher?  Here are a few tips you can start using today that will help you get the most out of your kitchen helper.


1.  Rinse your dishes.  
I don't mean pre-wash them, I mean rinse them.  Just a quick rinse under luke-warm water is usually enough to get the tough stuff loosened, or rinsed away altogether.  You can skip this step if you load them immediately after a meal; food hasn't had time to harden yet.  


2.  Place plastic items on the top rack.
Heating elements on the bottom of the dishwasher, can warp or damage plastic items.  Have lots of tiny colored kid-sized cups?  Place them on the top rack - they're less likely to flop around, as well.


3.  Place like items together.
Placing all your glasses and dish ware together with like items gives water more room to move around without blockage and will get your dishes cleaner, in less time.  Placing all tall glasses together, small glasses together, large plates together and small plates together saves time when unloading, as well.  Putting clean dishes away takes less time, so you can get back to re-loading...and checking FaceBook.


4.  Separate Silverware.
Just as in your cutlery tray, placing forks with forks, spoons with spoons, and knives with knives, you save time and effort in the long run.  Remember to alternate handles up and down to keep these items from "nesting" together.  



5.  Remember safety first.
All sharp knives, such as steak knives should be washed tip down.  You never want to risk a cut finger or hand by accidentally scraping across the top or edge of a sharp knife.







Do you load your dishwasher for maximum efficiency?  Do you have a regular routine?  

Only By His Grace,

Billie

* My favorite dish washer detergent is Shaklee's Get Clean Dish Washer Automatic Concentrate.  I haven't had to worry about checking my dishes since I've started using this product!  No cloudy residue on my glasses, no stuck on, dried on food... it's absolutely amazing!




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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Jazzing up a plain ornament...


A couple of years ago I needed a quick and simple gift for a ladies' gift exchange.  I wanted to make my gifts, but couldn't spend more than $5.00 for each one.

I came up with the idea of making ornaments that looked almost like tassels.  But how?

I went to Walmart and bought a simple, yet pretty ornament ball - $2.00 each.  I needed 6 gifts so I bought 3 green and 3 red.  You could purchase plain ornaments, or some with a little more glam to them... or use older ones you already have.







 Then I bought 3 spools of gross grain ribbon - 1 green, 1 red and 1 animal print for fun.  But you could use any colors or patterns that work for your decor.





I heated up my glue gun, first.  Next, I cut my ribbon into 3.5 inch strips.  I glued the ends of my ribbon together to form "loops," similar to this.  



After the loops were all glued, I started gluing them around the "hanger part" of my ball ornament.  I worked in about 3 rounds and then tied a few "strands of ribbon" and a gross grain bow to the top of the hanger.  




I think they're really cute, and they were such a big hit!  If you have older ornaments you want to jazz up a little bit, give it a try.  It takes about 15 minutes per ornament, but you give an old ornament, or an inexpensive one, a new life!

Happy Crafting!

Only By His Grace,

Billie

Why do I share Shaklee?


Over the past few weeks I've had a lot of people as me this question: "Why do you sell Shaklee?"  My answer is more "Why I SHARE Shaklee."

For over 50 years, generations of families have counted on Shaklee to do what no other company can do -- make products that are naturally safe AND proven effective.
Every product that goes into every Shaklee bottle is designed to improve health, work without compromise, and be gentle on the planet.

If you would like to hear more about these products, please check this out short informational video:


When I started using Shaklee products I was skeptical.  My thought was that these cleaning, beauty and nutritional products couldn't be as effective as Shaklee claimed.  But once I tried them for myself, I realized I was wrong.  They WERE as powerful, they WERE as effective, they WERE as Natural as they claimed.

My health improved!  My house cleaning routine improved!  My skin improved!

I was sold on Shaklee products. 

Then a funny thing happened.  I found myself telling everyone about Shaklee.  I was singing the praises of Basic H and Scour off.  I was recommending Enfuselle skin care - even to my Mary Kay friends.  I was telling people about the health-changing benefits with Vitalizer and Nutriferon

That's when it hit me:  I believe in these products.  That's why I share Shaklee with you.  It's not a sales pitch.  It's a cleaning tip, a nutrition tip, a skin-care tip.   It just so happens, that I also sell these products.  I sell them because I believe in them.  I know that I will always be a Shaklee user.  

Becoming a Shaklee member and a distributor was a great decision for me and for my family.  So glad I decided to share this information with you.  

Only By His Grace,

Billie



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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Awesome-ness...

Do you wish you had fuller, thicker hair?  Do you want to add volume without stiffness?  Do you want your hair to be full and bouncy but still maintain movement?

Some people have bad hair days.  Myself?  I have had a bad hair life.  That's right.  I have the finest hair ever. Okay maybe that's an exaggeration.  In fact, my hair dresser calls it "porous."  I have to have my hair colored every 4-5 weeks, and that's a stretch.  My hair is so fine and flimsy it just won't hold color for long.


However, I have found a product that I absolutely love for volume!  You can buy it right in the regular grocery store, and it doesn't cost a fortune.  

It's Aussie Awesome Volume Gel.  I use about a nickel sized dollop on wet hair, blow it dry and style it as usual.  My style holds all day and it maintains its bounce and volume even the second day!

This little tube costs me $3.45 and lasts approximately 4 -5 months.  I love this stuff!  If you've always wanted bouncy flouncy hair without stiffness and stickiness, try it!  You'll love it!

Only By His Grace,

Billie



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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Some really cute Christmas manicures...


Do you do anything fun with your nails at Christmas?  I'm thinking this year I might just try...if I find time...but then, time is of the essence at this point in the game.  But if you have time and want to give it a try, you might like these ideas.  

This idea is from Lovelyish...so cute!

This idea is from 2creativeblog -- I like the look of
the red and silver sparkle...

This one is from xmasohio

Or this one from nailsmanicures.com



I'm not sure which one I'll try, but I'm feeling very festive right about now.  

Do you do anything special to your nails for the holidays?

Only By His Grace,

Billie

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Great gifts for grandparents...

Let's face it, most grandparents already have everything they could ever want.  They don't need more sweaters, slippers, vases or kitchen towels. 

If you have small children these salt dough ornaments could be just the thing you need to make wonderful Christmas memories this year.  If your kiddos are out of school for winter break, this would be a great activity during those days before Christmas.

Check out these cutie-patutie ideas I found while searching online.


Snowman would be easy. 
 A circle, a nose, some paint and a ribbon. 



How about a handprint santa?  That's so cute!
(you could easily make these out of craft paper, as well, and use them as gift tags.)



Monograms, names, dates... all great memory makers.


These are super cute, too.  Star and mitten cookie cutters and a toothpick for design and 
you're well on your way.


These are little more extravagant - they are clearly painted and stained, but WOW what an impression!


These took a little extra time.  The frosting is white paint sprinkled with white glitter.  Impressive, don't you think?


I do believe I like this idea the best.  I love the idea of using them as a gift tie on.  Beautiful!




Want the recipe?  It's pretty simple.  Making salt-dough ornaments is so easy; you probably already have everything you need on hand.  Use the basic instructions and then add your favorite personalized techniques to give them a special touch.

     4 cups flour
     1 cup salt
     1 1/2 cup warm water
     rolling pin
     cookie cutters
     toothpicks
     parchment paper

Preheat your oven to 250 F.  Combine water and salt, then add flour. Knead your dough by hand, adding extra flour as needed.  Roll out your dough into a 1/4" thick layer.  Cut out your ornaments with cookie cutters to create your shapes.  

Poke a hole in the top of each ornament with a toothpick.  At this point you may build on your ornament with extra decorative layers of salt dough, or make impressions into the dough.  

Place ornaments on parchment lined pan and place into the oven for 2-3 hours.  Drying time depends on the thickness of your ornaments.  The thicker they are the longer they take to dry. Allow your ornaments to fully cool, then decorate to your liking. 

Wrapped in tissue paper and given to a grandparent or great grand parent... what a great way to remember a special family member.

I'd love to see the finished results when you're done!  Don't be shy!  

Only By His Grace,

Billie 



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Monday, December 17, 2012

Creative Wrapping -- because it's that time...

It's that time... time to get those gifts wrapped and positioned under the tree.  Christmas is 8 days away.

Do you use boxes, wrapping paper and tags?  Or do you like gift bags and tissue paper?

My family uses both.  I like to wrap gifts, while my husband is not as handy with the scissors and tape...he likes gift bags.  I must confess, it makes it so much easier for me to "guess" that way!  I'M JUST KIDDING!

I thought today I would give you a little inspiration I've found online for some very creative wrapping ideas.  If you're so inclined...

                 From We Elevate... this is great if you're running low on wrapping paper.

From We Elevate... what a festive way to recycle.  Isn't this absolutely amazing?


Also from We Elevate... You know you can purchase these little paint containers at any hardware store?  What a great way to package small gifts, or even homemake goodies!


This idea is from Sparrow King - unfortunately her blog has been removed.  
I sure do love the idea, though.  It would be cute with red and white candy cane striped paper, too.


How about gifting cash?  What about printing out an oversized print of some cash and using it as wrapping?  This idea is from About.com


And how about recycling an old potato chip tube or oatmeal container? 


So there you have it!  A few wrapping ideas if you're looking for something creative and clever!  Hope you enjoy your wrapping!

Only By His Grace,

Billie

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