Recent Posts by Tera Bare

Spring Flowers for Mom

As hard as it is to be without my mom, it is an honor to be able to make flowers for her.  Here is  how I made spring flowers for mom…

I have to say that it’s really crazy sometimes how an idea comes together.  Just like the idea for this particular spring flower arrangement.  I really didn’t have any design in mind when we went to the store; I just knew I was late getting this done.  I kept thinking white for some reason.  I met my stepdad at Hobby Lobby with my daughter Emily, and all he knew was that he really wanted some Easter lilies and some color.

We found some pretty Easter lilies and it just evolved from there.  One thing I’ve learned about design is to work with the inspiration.  He wanted white lilies, which are pretty bland, but they did have a little yellow way down in the center, so that’s what we worked with.  Next we found those huge peonies, which are supposed to be peach, but really don’t look peach at all.  They really looked like an off white, with a yellow tint and pink streaks.  They were so pretty and they looked gorgeous against the lilies!  Then we found the yellow daisy flowers that match and pretty pink sprigs.Mom's Flowers

Materials:

1 bush of white lilies

2 bush of peony blooms deluxe

1 bush of yellow daisies

2 sprigs of pink mini flower bushes

1 1/2 inch ribbon

1/4 pink ribbon

6″ x 12″ green styrofoam floral rectangle

1 saddle for headstone

Glue gun & glue sticks

Green floral tape

Wire cutters

Directions:

This was a really simple design.  I started with the biggest flowers first and worked from the center out to the edges.  Cut stems with wire cutters to desired lengths; longer in the center and shorter as you move out.  Then add the large hot pink flowers in the center.

Fill in with the lilies.  Not all of these are sticking straight up.  The ones near the edges are put in at an angle.  Feel free to bend them to get the desired shape, or try different angles.  This goes for all of the flowers.  Fluff, bend and shape until you get the look you want.

Last, place the yellow and pink sprigs randomly.  If you have bare spots, fill in with any leaves you may have pulled off stems.  For the hot pink sprigs, I broke the large sprigs off into smaller sprigs.  Because I did that, each smaller sprig only had a few thin wires left that we wound together; which is really weak to put into the arrangement and be outside.  The wind would probably blow it out of the arrangement.  To help with that, I took a stem from one of the flowers I had to cut down and used floral tape to attach it to the hot pink sprigs.  It made them go in the arrangement easier and they are sturdier.

For the ribbon:

Measure around the foam and add 1/2 inch for overlapping the ribbon.  Cut both ribbons.  I hot glued the pink ribbon down the center and carefully hot glued it to the foam.  I start and end in a corner, so that the overlap isn’t as noticeable as it would be if it was in the front or back. Mom's Flowers

For the vase flowers, I started with the largest flower first and then the lilies and taped them together with floral tape.  Then I played around and placed each flower and wrapped with floral tape.  You can use foam shaped specifically for the vases, but for some reason, it’s really hard to find here, so I just usually have to skip it.  The foam helps to hold it in the vase, because a strong wind can blow them out.  To keep mine from blowing out, I bend each stem up like a J and outward.  Then place in the vase.  This helps to anchor it in the vase.

That’s it!  Super simple, but gorgeous.  Make sure to save any leaves that you trim off in case you need to fill in any gaps, holes.  Save the bottoms of stems you cut off in case you cut something too short, or, in my case, you need to add them to a stem to make them stronger.

Like I said, it’s really neat how things come together.  I got white, my stepdad got the pop of color he was looking for and my daughter helped to pull the rest of it together.  When it was finished, he loved it and so did I.  I’m sure my mom does too.  Blog Signature

 

Guest Post: Jennifer Chalupnik from Education.com

I’m thrilled to be able to feature Jennifer Chalupnik from Education.com!  She has shared a really fun Word Web Treasure Hunt game to make learning spelling a lot of fun!  You have to check them out.  Their site is full of great resources!

I loved doing spelling and reading games with my kids when we homeschooled.  It helped them to remember their spelling words easier and sure made it a lot more fun.  Any time you can connect a physical activity, or something that can be touched to learning, kids eat it up and it helps their brain to make connections to what they are learning.  This is a game I would have loved to have done with my kids!  I love the connection it makes from the word to something they can see and touch.  This would be a great game for homeschool groups or co-ops!

Web of Words

This Word Web Treasure Hunt is a delightful way for emerging readers to improve their reading and spelling skills by tying letters and words with their real-life counterparts around the house or yard. By having players hunt down the other half of their word and read it aloud in order to find treasure, this game will give your child practice and purpose stringing letters together into words and will also strengthen vocabulary by reinforcing the meaning of directional words like under, over, around, left, right, and through that kids need to master at this age.

This game works best in big groups. If a one-word match-up seems too easy for the group, you can also string several words along the web strand as a challenge. Try this activity as a kids’ party game or holiday activity–it’s something everyone can enjoy!

What You Need:

Several long strings of thick black wool, one for each player
Room or patio space with enough room for at least 6 kids to clamber around
Chairs or fence posts or table legs on which to attach yarn
A 3×5 card for each player
Treasure prize—candy, or a non-candy prize such as a book or pencil
Hole punch

What You Do:

  1. Before playing the game, you will need to set up the web. For each player, take a treasure prize and find a hiding place for it.
  2. Write the location of the hiding place in clear block letters on an index card. Cut the card into two halves. One of these card halves will be for the player; the other half will be part of the spider web. Punch a hole in the right-hand corner of the right side of one of the word cards; punch a hole in the corner of the other card.
  3. Place a chair or table in the middle of the space you’ll be using. Take one of the long yarn strings, and use it to tie one of the card halves onto the table or chair. String out the rest of the yarn around other objects in the space. At the tail end of the yarn, attach the other half of the treasure word card.
  4. Repeat Steps 1-3 for each player (up to 8), making sure than the yarn has plenty of chances to wind up, down, around, under, and through other strands.
  5. After the web is set up, start the game. Have each player grab one loose end of the yarn, the end where the first half of a word is attached.
  6. Players will then follow their yarn strand up, down, and around until they read the other half of the word.
  7. When they reach the other half, players should put their two halves together and read the card to find out where their treasure awaits. Remind each player to do his best to sound out each letter in the word.
  8. Finally, go find the treasure!

Let me know if you tried the game and be sure to go visit Jennifer at Education.com to check out their amazing resources!  Happy Homeschooling!Blog Signature

Trying to shop for a new foundation for me is like trying to buy a house.  So many choices. It’s like an episode of Love it or List it!  Stay with the foundation and brand I’ve been using for years and years, or buy a new one?  Which way do I go?  What do you do?Stay tuned for my decision!

Grilled Chicken Noodle Bowl

My lunch today was a whole wheat noodle bowl with grilled chicken and veggies, with a ginger sesame dressing #yum…

I think I might have an addiction to noodle bowls.  If there’s a 12 step program please leave me out of it!  I see them on Instagram and Pinterest and I just drool.   I’ve been craving one like crazy this week and after searching and searching here’s another one I came up with today.

Be careful with the salt, or you’ll wind up with very salty chicken, yuck!  My measurements are not precise, but pretty darn close.  This made one very large bowl (I have leftovers), or two servings.  Feel free to change up the veggies!  I did grill the veggies and believe it or not the broccoli was frozen but grilled beautifully.  I grilled everything on my indoor, stovetop grill.

Ingredients:

2 cups of organic chicken broth

salt and pepper (just enough to lightly sprinkle on the chicken)

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast

dried basil

ground ginger  about 1/2 tsp.

sesame seeds

4 baby carrots

handful of broccoli crowns

1 tsp. low sodium soy sauce

Naturally Fresh brand Ginger Dressing

whole wheat spaghetti noodles (I like Mueller’s)

Directions:

Sprinkle chicken breast very lightly with salt and pepper, basil and ground ginger on both sides and place on a hot grill.  Grill on medium heat till done.  While chicken is cooking, get chicken broth boiling in a pot.  When it’s boiling add noodles and a shake or two of ginger.  Cook till noodles are done and have absorbed most of the liquid.  If your noodles aren’t done yet and need more liquid add more broth or a little water.

Put broccoli and carrots on grill just to get a little bit of grill marks and then you can add them to the pot the noodles are cooking in after you slice the carrots.  I sliced mine diagonally so they looked prettier.

When chicken in done,  pour a little bit of soy sauce on each side and grill for 5 minutes longer and then remove to let it rest about 5 minutes, then slice thin.  Add noodles with veggies in a bowl.  Top with sesame seeds and toss with about 3 tsp. of dressing and toss.  Top with chicken. Blog Signature

Spring Cleaning: Ceilings, Ceiling Fans and Lights

Starting your spring cleaning?  Lookup!  Ceilings, ceiling fans and lights first!

If you’re following along my Kitchen Deep Spring Cleaning Master List, you know it’s time to start Spring Cleaning: Ceilings, Ceiling Fans and Lights.  If you haven’t started spring cleaning that’s a great place to start.  Today is all about looking up.  How often do you actually look up at your ceiling?  Probably not often, but it get really dirty up there.  So, let’s get started.

Why start with the ceiling?  Because according to Sir Isaac Newton, what goes up must come down.  You’d hate to have everything looking pristine and picture perfect in your kitchen and then realize you have tons of cobwebs in the corners of your ceiling and light fixtures and then have all of that dust fall on everything you just cleaned.  Let’s start with the ceiling.

Tools Needed For Ceiling:

A broom, or duster long enough to reach the ceiling and those corners

Dust rags, microfiber cloths or paper towels

Glass Cleaner

Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-purpose Cleaner

To begin, I went ahead and took down my curtains to keep them from getting any dustier.  Starting in one corner of the room, start removing cobwebs and dust and work your way around the room.  Check the ceiling around light fixtures, smoke alarms and ceiling fans and the tops of cabinets for dust.

Take down light fixtures and clean with glass cleaner inside and outside of the globes and set to the side to dry.  Don’t forget to wipe the dust off your light bulbs!  But do this with the lights off.  Replace any burned out bulbs now, or replace with more energy-efficient ones.  Replace globes when dry.Spring Cleaning:  Ceilings, Ceiling Fans and Lights

Ceiling fans get really dirty, at least in my house.  In most rooms of the house, I can use the pillowcase trick to capture the dust off the blades, but in the kitchen where cooking oil travels in the air, the dust tends to stick a little.  Gross!  See the pic?  I’m almost embarrassed by it.  Please ignore the mess in the background!   This is a real house and that just happens to be the next room on my spring cleaning list.  Look the broom is in the corner, so you know I’ve been cleaning!  Also, on my to-do list, get the trim moulding done!Spring Cleaning:  Ceilings, Ceiling Fans and Lights

Told you it was icky!  So how do you get a really icky ceiling fan sparkling clean?  First I used my vacuum cleaner with the long hose attachment and vacuumed off as much dust as I could.  Then I took all of the blades off and took off the globes.

Cleaners used for ceiling fan:

White Vinegar

Baking Soda

Dawn Dish Soap

Wash Rag

First I used  hot water and Dawn and gave them a good wash.  This removed a good bit of stuff.  Then I scrubbed them with a paste of baking soda and vinegar.  It was amazing!   A couple of the blades I had to go over a couple of times, but they came clean.  I did the same things with the globes.  Place them on paper towels to dry.  I guess I should also include that it takes a Route 44 drink from Sonic and some pretzels to get this done. Look!  My cow is hiding!  He’s shy.Spring Cleaning:  Ceilings, Ceiling Fans and Lights

See how pretty the blades are now?  Just ignore where I got paint on them from when I painted the ceiling.  Note to self…take the ceiling fan down before painting the ceiling!  Next, I cleaned the fan itself and I used Mrs. Myers Multi-Purpose Cleaner.  Once everything is really dry, put it back together and you’ll have a super, sparkly ceiling fan!

That’s it!  Next you can move on to windows and walls.  But at least now with clean lights you can see everything that needs to be cleaned.  I was surprised, how much brighter my kitchen was after cleaning my light fixtures and they weren’t dirty.  On to the next part of spring cleaning!  Don’t forget to download your Kitchen Deep Spring Cleaning Master List!

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Spring Cleaning Time! Kitchen Deep Spring Cleaning Master List

Welcome to my new series Spring Cleaning Time!  

It’s time to get our houses in order and have less stress and more time, which is exactly what every woman needs.  This is not your typical spring cleaning where you give most things a good cleaning, this is a true deep cleaning of everything you own as I discussed here.  But, it’s not meant to be overwhelming, which can and does happen when we start large projects like this.  Honestly, I have found it to be liberating and with each item I clean or purge, my stress level goes down a tiny bit and I enjoy the room a little more.

Like I said in the series introduction, this is a true deep cleaning taken room by room and sometimes, project by project.  Today, I’m posting the master list for the kitchen.  I think this is the hardest room in the house and why not get the hardest over first?  I was always taught to do the hardest, or messiest thing first and work your way down.  Then the last thing you do is a piece of cake!

So here is the list:

 

To print or download a pdf please click here…Printable Letter Size Kitchen Deep Cleaning Master List

I’ve tried to include everything that I could think of, or that I personally did in my own kitchen, but I’m sure there are things that I’ve missed. Fill them in on your printout and then let me know so I can update my list.

Next up will be a post about products and how-to’s that I’ve used in the kitchen.  There are some great products and simple techniques that will make your deep  spring cleaning simplified.

Happy spring y’all!Blog Signature

Spring Cleaning Series Coming Soon

The birds are chirping and the sun is out and my van is now turning yellow, that means it’s time for spring cleaning…

I love spring cleaning!  I know, I must be crazy, but there is just something about the act of spring cleaning that makes me feel good.  I feel organized, lighter, and I even like cooking and cleaning more when my house looks good.  Even with my kitchen floors a mess from remodeling, (no, we haven’t even came close to finishing the kitchen floors) and I need to repaint the kitchen cabinets and I still need to get all the trim work finished, and I’ve noticed the ceiling needs to be repainted, I still feel better.

There are tons of things I’ve noticed I’ve got to do by spring cleaning.  I think a lot of things we overlook because we get so used to them and simply ignore them over time.  This year is the first time in years that I’ve done a true deep cleaning of just about everything in my kitchen.  Don’t get me wrong, I spring clean just about every year, but have I really deep cleaned?

This spring, I’ve decided to challenge myself.  I gave myself the challenge of doing a very thorough deep cleaning of each room of my house and as I go through each room, make a list of things that need to fixed, finished, or changed.  I’m going to purge and get of anything that is broken and can’t be fixed, anything that I don’t use, and anything that I don’t like.  I’m no longer going to display items that I’m not really crazy about just because someone gave it to me.

I’m going to clean, really clean each and every nook and cranny.  I’ll be posting my lists of what I’m tackling in each room and those may even be broken down by what I’m cleaning.  For example:  I’m currently in the kitchen and yesterday I did the windows.  So I’ll make a post about how and what I used to clean my windows.  I know all of this may sound boring to you.  But, I have found out that I’m learning about myself as I continue through this project.  So far, I’ve found out that I don’t like a lot of stuff sitting around.  I honestly thought that I liked having lots of decorations, but I don’t.

As I clean and purge, I have found out that I’m really more of a minimalist than I ever thought.  I’m more of a clean freak than I ever thought. I’ve also discovered an effect on my mood that I didn’t plan on.  I’m less stressed when I walk in my kitchen.  Even though I’m not finished with the kitchen yet, and the sink is overflowing from last night’s supper, I’m actually less stressed about it than I would have been a week ago.  I think because now when I walk in, I don’t see all the clutter, all the dirt and all the dishes and I’m not as overwhelmed.  Not to mention, my body is so sore.  I mean, I’m on a heating pad each night to sleep and taking Tylenol.  Who knew spring cleaning could be this much of a workout?  Boost!

I know, there are tons of spring cleaning checklists on Pinterest.  But, I bet none of them are going to be as detailed as mine.  As I work each room, I’ll post the list and as I work on each item on the list, I’ll post more details, including products that I’m using, tips and links.  I’ll also post about any decorating that I do also, I already have several DIY crafts for the kitchen!

Spring cleaning can get mundane and boring at times.  To make it a little more fun, try these ideas:

  • Crank up some music
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Listen to a book
  • Call a friend while you clean
  • Enjoy the quiet?

Keep checking back for more spring cleaning tips!

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Stress and Real Ways to Deal With It

Stress!  Everyone has it.  Sometimes we don’t even realize how much of it we carry.  Everyone tells us to let it go, but how?  Here’s some real ways to deal with it…

Stress is one of those things that everyone deals with a some level or another.  A lot of times I’m extremely stressed and I don’t even think I am.  That’s how used to stress we are.  Stress can do a number on your body, your family and your life.  It affects everything.  Doctors, friends and family tell you to let go of your stress and not worry, but how in the world are you supposed to do that?

You have a family to take care, a job, a house to clean, errands to run, church obligations, kids’ activities to get to, a homeschool (or other type of school), etc, and that’s just the beginning!  Don’t forget bills to pay, relationships, family issues, illnesses; I think I’ll stop here.  I’m stressing myself out!  How are we supposed to “let go” of these stresses?  They are a part of life that we can’t escape?  I’m no expert, but I am trying to find ways to deal with the stresses that come along daily.  Here are some ideas that I have found to help with stress is annoying to life altering.

Prayer:  It’s the easiest and yet the hardest thing to do and it’s probably the most overlooked.  It’s the easiest because it really doesn’t require anything of us, except to take a moment and do it.  Start the day off with prayer. Pray when you feel stressed. Pray to close the day.  It doesn’t have to be full of thou’s and shall’s, just normal honest conversation between you and God.  Tell Him what’s going on (Pssst!  He already knows by the way!) and how you feel about it.  Not sure how or what to pray?  There’s an app for that!

Try the Abide: Prayer & Meditation app.  It’s guided prayers.  These can really help for when you’re at a loss for words or when you need something to help you remember to pray.  It has tons of prayers for different topics.

Bible Study/Devotion:  Again something that’s so simple that we often forget about it.  Pick a topic and it doesn’t have to be something heavy.  Sometimes choosing something that is different or light can be fun!  A good study can also help us learn coping skills for whatever is going on in our lives.  Try YouVersion, it’s my favorite!

Exercise:  Go get some fresh air!   Take a walk around the yard.  When it’s warm, I strap my phone to my arm, record my walk in Map My Walk and crank up some music while I walk.  Depending on my mood, I could choose anything from Contemporary Christian to head banging.  Anything that gets the heart rate up is great for your mood.  Do some yoga, or stretching.  It does wonders before bed.  There are tons of yoga videos to choose from on YouTube.

Meditation or Mindfulness apps:  This is new to me, but I love it!  We forget during the day to breathe.  I’m using Pacifica, but there are several out there.  I’m learning how to take time to breathe.  It’s like a mommy timeout!  There’s nothing religious about it, but you certainly could use it as prayer time.  This app in particular checks on my mood throughout the day and exercises on how I can improve it.  It’s teaching me techniques to deal with things that cause me stress, anxiety and even depression.  I love it!

Planning:  Take time to plan your week/day.  You can’t plan for everything and you certainly can’t get everything done.  Planning helps you to visual what you need, or want to get done.  Meal planning ahead of time takes away the stress figuring out at suppertime what to fix.  Organizing who needs to be where at what time and who’s taking them, removes some stress.  Checking things off a list can make you feel empowered and less stressed with each check mark.  Planning your homeschool keeps you on schedule and more efficient with your day.

Journaling:  Write down your feelings, your emotions.  You can also use apps for this.  Pacifica and others are great for this!  Somethings just writing things down, puts everything in perspective.  Grab a Wreck-It Journal for something really fun!

Call a confidant:  Sometimes we just need to talk it out, or cry it out.  They may not be able to solve our problem, but just having someone to talk to can take a massive load off our shoulders.  We need to communicate more.  Too often we’re so caught up in our lives, or we don’t want to burden anyone.  But that’s what our friends are for, if they are real friends.  If you don’t want to talk to a friend, find someone like a pastor, or counselor that you can talk to.  Pick up the phone!

There are tons of things that can help you manage your stress.  I think stress is with us all the time.  Right now, we are dealing we the life altering stress of my husband possibly having cancer and my daughter’s seventh surgery and I’m learning how to manage all the stress that comes with those.  I have to, my health depends on it.  My stress level had gotten so bad that it sent me straight in for a CT scan and really did a number on me; so I have to teach myself and my body how to deal with it.  Learning to deal with it will make you a better wife, mom and a healthier person and it will for you, too.

These are just a few ideas on managing stress.  But the great things is they are ideas that you can put into practice today.  How do you deal with stress?

P.S.  That’s me in the picture, at the orthopedist’s office.  I just found out my daughter was going to have to have her seventh surgery.  She thought she would secretly snap a picture of me finding out.  Silly girl!

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The Spring Cleaning Bug has bit me hard!  Today I’m starting in my kitchen.  I’m pulling everything out of my cabinets and drawers and giving it a complete cleaning and organization makeover.  My family is probably not gonna like me today, but when it’s all done…Magic!