Thursday, December 29, 2011

it's coming...

are you ready?

Details announced on Monday!
Get excited people!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

merry christmas

Merry Christmas from my family to yours.

Friday, December 23, 2011

dollar king christmas

Today you can find me over at Honeybear Lane.  Sharing a little something I like to call:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

yummy taco biscuits {using leftover taco meat}

Does anyone ever have the problem with way too much taco meat left over after taco night?

I think I need to remember to buy more than one package of taco shells - or cook less meat.

Or, I could just continue creating new recipes with my leftover meat.  It's great on lettuce leaves or in pasta, but last week I tried something completely different.  And it was SO delicious and SO easy that I had to share with you here.

I took a can of Grand's Flaky Biscuits, laid them out on a pan and flattened them into small pizzas.  {keep the outsides a little higher than the inside}

Piled a little leftover taco meat into the middle of each one {it was already seasoned from our previous meal}.

Sprinkled with cheese.  And baked in the oven at 350 for 15-17 minutes {or follow the instructions for your flaky biscuits}.

They were seriously SO good that the three of us at the entire batch.

BLB of the day:
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

custom orders for the week

This is one of my favorite posts of the week.  I love showing off the creations YOU designed! 

Only three more bags to get done before I relax for Christmas.  Relax?  I mean, paint some furniture, figure out my new Silhouette, make some baby clothes, and prep for Ditty's 1st birthday party.  whew.

Up first:  an Emily bag with a new design on the flap!  This customer asked for a horizontal ruffle.  Love it!  This ruffle might make an amazing add-on feature for the strap, too - don't you think?!

Next a sweet duo made up of a Brynnda bag (made sturdy enough for school books and a laptop) and a Carla (with the pop of pink for the inside).

This sweet Rachel clutch is getting me excited for Spring!

Three reusable snack bags...

... and a hair straightener wrap up this week's orders!

Monday, December 19, 2011

when a homeless man sleeps in your garage

I've been wanting to write this post for awhile.  Have started it multiple times and never finished.  We'll see how today goes.

A few months ago we had a homeless man sleeping in our garage.  Yes, you read that right.  A homeless man took up camp in our garage.

We invited him to stay.  Crazy?  Probably.  But we really felt like we had to be Jesus to this guy.  He stayed for 10 days before we took him to a rehab home, after he stole our bikes and $10.  I don't hate him for that.  My heart hurts for him and the addictions that he has.  I only wish we could've done more for him.

I did fear for my family's safety while he was resting his head on an air mattress in place of our CRV.  I made sure Neil double and triple checked the locks on the doors before going to bed.

And now, sometimes the thought of him coming back to our doorstep scares me a little.

But, thankfully, I'd handed over the safety of my family to God a long time ago.

Ever since our guest, my heart has been softer toward the people I see on the off-ramps of our highways.  Even more now that it's cold outside.

Today, an amazing opportunity dropped in our laps.  We were on our way to Bible Study (of all places) when we saw him: "Randy".  It's his normal corner on the off-ramp to Ford Road.  We drove by him and I noticed Jonah looking at him.  My mouth started to speak before my head could think twice.

"That man doesn't have anywhere to sleep, JoJo.  And no food to eat.  Should we pray for him?"

"uh huh"

Neil goes one step further - "Let's give him something to eat!"

"We don't have anything to give him," I exclaimed, but my Jesus-like husband pulled out his wallet and turned the car around.

JoJo watched the entire time as his Daddy became the hands and feet of Jesus.

Neil got back in the car and asked Jonah if he wanted to pray for Randy.

"God - thank you for Randy.  Peese help him," he said in his choppy toddler voice.

Tears welled up in my husband's eyes and we both realized the huge responsibility we have to teach our son {to model to our son} the heights and the depths that Jesus went to in order to love people.

We were a few minutes late to Bible Study, but I think Jesus was ok with that.

{comments are disabled on this post.  I don't want any praise.  If you feel the need to write a comment, you can email me.  But I'd prefer you just praise Jesus instead.  He deserves it.  Or go be Jesus' hands and feet to the next person you see on the corner.  It's not really our money anyway.)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Instagram MyPublisher Book

Winner of the Hidden in My Heart: Scripture Lullabies is:  Whitney!  You should get an email from me shortly, Whitney.

If you didn't win, you can go order Volume II available NOW here.


Now for another freebie!  Although, this one takes a little work on your end, but each one of you can walk away with a FREE MyPublisher photobook if you take advantage of it.

I LOVE Instagram.  If you have an iPhone, than I'm pretty sure you have Instagram.  It's basically a photo editing program that turns not so great iPhone photos into amazing photos.

The bummer part is there isn't a great way to print these photos after you edit them.  Printing them as regular photos makes them grainy and out of whack since they are cropped as squares in the program.

So, I created my own Instragram book using MyPublisher... and it came last week!  I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.

The picture quality is great.  Not grainy or distorted at all.

And I love that all my iPhone Instragram photos are now safely in hard copy form.

Want to make your own Instagram book and then get it for FREE?

Even if you don't have Instagram or don't want to make an Instagram book, the FREE book is STILL OFFERED!  Just click the image below to be emailed a Free $20 Gift Card to MyPublisher.  The 5x7 photobooks are $9.99 for paperback and $19.99 for hardcover- which essentially makes them free!

MyPublisher, Inc.

Now, if you want my tutorial on how to make the MyPublisher software work for Instagram photos, keep reading.

Open the MyPublisher software {downloaded from the site for free}. You'll want to select "Custom Publisher" and "Pocketbook" when those options come up at the start-up.  Then upload all your Instagram photos into the program.

Now, to customize the pages to fit the square Instagram photos in the largest size possible, follow along.

Continue to do this for each page of your book and soon you'll end up with a 5x7 photobook filled with your Instagram photos.

Don't forget to sign up for the free $20 Gift Card and use it when checking out.  MyPublisher has pretty quick shipping, too!

Remember the FREE $20 Gift Card doesn't have to be used with Instagram photos - you can create any photobook you want and use the credit toward any product. Click below to get your free card... then get started on your free photobook! 

MyPublisher, Inc.

*** Disclaimer: The above link is an affiliate link. {meaning, if you end up purchasing a photo book through my link, I can go to Starbucks and buy a Grande Soy Mocha!}

Thursday, December 15, 2011

bags, bags, bags...

First of all, welcome to all my new readers and fans. Everytime Money Saving Mom features one of my products I get an overwhelming response!  I'm so thrilled you are here!

I had thousands of requests for the free prayer card downloads.  So many that I had to disable the commenting on that post only.  If you posted a comment there with your email address, I will not be able to get to you.  Please resend me an email at and I'll respond with the download links!  Thanks :)

Also, don't forget to enter the Hidden in My Heart: Scripture Lullabies giveaway!  Deadline is tonight at midnight! If you haven't heard of this CD, you'll definitely want to check it out.  AMAZING.


Now onto the bags I completed this week!  Only one more week of orders than ALL CHRISTMAS ORDERS should be sent out!

We will start with my favorite for the week.  This Emily diaper bag with fabric bow flap and fabric covered straps!  Love the fabrics she chose!

Then a Nicole bag with recessed zippered closure.

A fun Alicia clutch.

And a Brynnda with fabric covered button details and fabric covered straps.

Which one is your favorite?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

white plates just won't do.

A repost from the archives... but a good one if you are gifting cookies to the neighbors this year!

Don't forget to enter the Hidden In My Heart: Scripture Lullabies Giveaway!  Winner will be announced on Friday's blog post!


I made some cookies tonight.  Was craving a mix of peanut butter and chocolate, so I made buckeyes!  It was my first time trying them and they were SO EASY.  and delicious.

I'm visiting a friend tomorrow and thought I'd take some Buckeyes over for their family.  Except for one problem.  I only had small, white, boring paper plates.  That just wouldn't do.

So, I grabbed a strip of red fabric.

Placed it in my sewing machine.  Did a backstitch at the top  and used my largest stitch possible the rest of the way down the middle.

After pulling one of the pieces of thread from my stitch, I ruffled the piece up and sewed it around my paper plate.

Yes, you can use your sewing machine to sew on paper!  That opens up a whole new crafting arena, huh?!

Placed a few buckeyes in the middle.  Cut up an old Christmas card sent to us last year (you do save the cards you get from previous years to use as gift tags, etc... right?!).  And wrote a short little note.


These need to be refrigerated until you're ready to serve them, but mine fridge was full.  No worries.  It's cold enough on our enclosed back porch to set them out there as a make-shift fridge!

Sweet.  In more than one way!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hidden in My Heart: Scripture Lullabies CD {a giftaway}

* Giveaway Closed *

Last year, I discovered my FAVORITE CD ever.  Hidden In My Heart: Scripture Lullabies is more than amazing.  And it definitely is not just for babies.  In fact, I listen to this more than my kids do.  And every single time God speaks to me.

He's reminded me that He will never leave me or forsake me.  He's reminded me to BE STILL and know that He is God.  He's reminded me that He is able, so I am able to do anything.  This CD sings scripture into my life and embeds it deep into my heart.

Click to watch this video to get a sample of the songs.

Isn't it so peaceful?  Isn't it magical?  Isn't it wonderful to hear the word of God?

Last year, around this time, I was able to offer Hidden in My Heart: Scripture Lullabies CD to one of you.  And I'm pretty confident that most of you went and bought your own copy afterwards.  I know I did - five in fact!  This is my go-to baby gift for new mamas and they ALWAYS tell me how much it speaks to their hearts in the middle of the night.

If you are still wanting a copy of Volume I, they are offering a 20% discount code for a limited time seen here.

But, it gets better!   My FAVORITE CD ever has come out with Volume II!  And it's just as great as the first Volume.  They sent me a super secret download link of the entire Volume II CD to review, and it's just amazing.  Now, I have twice as long to listen to such sweet scripture.  The style of music is exactly the same as Volume I, so if you loved the first one, you'll LOVE the second.

Who wants Volume II for free?!  You will officially be one of the first to get your CD since the website will launch Volume II for sale THIS WEEK.  Keep your eyes opened here or here for the launch of Hidden in My Heart: Scripture Lullabies Volume II!

Two ways to enter to win Volume II (leave a comment on this post for each one you complete)!
1. Click here to Subscribe to Better Life Blog by Email
2. Visit Hidden in My Heart's Facebook page and tell them I sent you!

Friday, December 9, 2011

did you know you can print on fabric? {a "giftaway"}

I was inspired by this post by AshleyAnn a few weeks ago.  And decided to tweak it a little to make it my own.  She used a vintage tea towel and sewed lace on hers.  Mine involved NO sewing and less than 10 minutes!  Plus - I tried something REALLY fun:  printing a picture on fabric!

Here is what you need to replicate the above image:

Here's how:

Open the pillowcase and lay the hankie on top in the position you want it to be.  Then cut off the extra pillowcase material at the top (about an inch above where the hankie is).  Don't throw it away - we'll use it to print our image on!

Fold the top part of the pillowcase and hankie over and clip with your wooden hanger.

Now to make our print on the pillowcase material.  Make sure you are using a light colored fabric and tape it around a piece of cardstock.  Make it tight so you can trick your printer into thinking it's all a part of the cardstock!

Send it through your printer with fingers crossed and eyes closed.  (try this at your own risk... I can't afford to replace all the printers this could break.)  If you want a safe option, search for Canvas Paper online and buy a pack.  You won't get the soft feel of fabric, but you will get the textured look of canvas.

I printed my image about 7x9, but you should be safe with an 8x10 size.  

Then trimmed the sides of the printed fabric, folded it over the other two fabric pieces, pinned it in place in back with a straight pin, and hung it out to display!

I love that it looks like my kids are watching for Santa out their window.

Want to win some supplies to make your own?  I'm "gifting away" a lace trimmed pillowcase, red hankie, and wooden hanger to a Better Life Reader!  It could be you!  Go to the Better Life Bag Facebook page, find the image below and comment on it to win!  Good luck! 

Gift-away winner announced on Monday, December 12th.  Giveaway closed.
BLB of the day: 
The Emily

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