Saturday, September 29, 2012

all natural sore throat remedy


I've been battling a head and chest cold for the past month. My first cold turned into bronchitis, now that I am feeling a bit better I still have this nagging cough and sore throat. So I decided to make a batch of this all natural sore throat remedy. Its really easy to make and refrigerates really well. 

All you need is:
Raw Honey 
Lemons
Ginger 
A Mason Jar

Since I was desperate for relief last night I used some honey I had from Trader Joes but now have some raw honey to make a few more batches of this mixture. I cut up the lemons and filled up the jar, then shredded in some ginger (I put in allot since I like it spicy) then I poured honey on top of the lemons and ginger in the Mason Jar. You can keep this mixture in your refrigerator for up to three months. 



I tried some last night with some of my favorite tea. I immediatly started to feel better. 


Since my mother in law was also not feeling well I made her a batch and crocheted a cute top for her mason jar. These would make great gifts especially since we are entering the cold and flu season. 


I found the recipe ideas here and on here



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Friday, September 28, 2012

giveaway winner and discount code


Judah is still battling this persistent  head cold. So in between sucking snot out of his nose and picking up tissues he has scattered all over the house I forgot to announce the first day of fall giveaway winner. So before anymore interruptions (Judah is trying to suction snot out of R2D2) the giveaway winner is.....



Please contact me at jessica.a.west at gmail.com so I can get your address to mail you the headband.

Also I am offering 10% off of any order in my shop for the remainder of September. Just use the code FALL2012 when you check out. 




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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Thrifting in Northern Virginia

In April Forbes magazine came out with an article listing the top richest counties in the United States.  My husband and I currently reside in #3 (Fairfax County), being a stay at home mom we like to try to save as much money as possible. So when my husbands suggests that I use the Kohl's coupon we got in the mail or that I go to the mall to buy a new piece of clothing for myself or our son I laugh at him. No way am I going to buy something new when I can find a better deal in our local thrift stores. I've been thrifting in this area for over ten years and have a pretty good idea of where the deals are at. I want to share with you my three favorite thrift stores in the Northern Virginia area. 

Unique - located off of Gallows Road in Falls Church, Virginia
Good Will - located off of Main Street in Fairfax, Virginia 
Salvation Army - located off of little river turnpike in Alexandria, Virginia

I've never been disappointed by these three stores. Not only will you find a great deal if you are willing to spend time to search for it, but the staff is really friendly and helpful.

Judah is complimented on his outfit daily and he looks like I spend a fortune on his clothing. When in reality his outfit probably costs less than a Venti Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks. Here is an example of what he typically wears. Jeans, t-shirt, vest and vintage saddle back shoes this entire outfit cost me $3.50.


If your looking for clothing, the Salvation Army is a great place to start. The Salvation Army that is located off of Little River Turnpike has a great selection of clothing because they are one of the main drop off centers. Every Wednesday the entire store is 25% off.  If you go on a Wednesday make sure you arrive with plenty of time to wait for parking, but keep calm its worth the wait.

I found these old man pajamas for Judah at the Salvation Army. 


If your looking for a great deal on furniture then I would suggest you visit the Good Will located off of Main Street in Fairfax Virginia. This store normally has 50% off their entire selection of furniture every single day. I just bought this vintage children's desk for $10! Most vintage desks are selling for well over $100 on craigslist. 


Also I found a vintage Fisher Price horse.


And a cool art easel for Judah. 


If your looking for books, household items, clothing or toys then I would suggest you go to Unique. They have a huge selection of all things, the only downfall is that they don't have dressing rooms. But you will learn if you want to try something on to just wear a tank top and try the outfit on top of your clothing, everyone else is doing it so you wont look strange. Every Monday is customer appreciation day and you will receive 25% off your entire order. If you become a VIP member (its free) then you can also save 25% off your entire order on Thursdays. On holidays i.e. Labor Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July ect they will give you 50% off your entire order. If you do go on a Holiday make sure you arrive an hour early the line is worse than waiting for the iPhone 5. 

 Unique has one of the best book selections of all of  Northern Virginia and the lowest priced. I also recently found Judah this .50 cent Viking hat that he will not take off. 


There you go, some of my secrets for saving money while living in Northern Virginia.


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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

pictures and a thank you

The other day in my desperation to find more pumpkin spice via's I took Judah on a four mile run to the Starbucks on the George Mason Campus. We already went on a long walk with my sister in law earlier that day. Needless to say they didn't have any. But we managed to get in a good four mile run. 


Judah is growing up way to fast. He says "your funny" all the time and it kinda makes me love him even more. 


He was sneaking around in my bathroom and came out saying he had a "head band". 


Today he was still under the weather. So we ran some early morning errands of stopping by the post office, driving to a Starbucks that had the via's and going to Target to pick up a new humidifier. The one my husband had was gross (its maybe why we stay sick for so long). 


We managed to score THREE packets of Pumpkin Spice via's. This time I called ahead and made sure they put some on hold for me. 


Judah is obsessed with wearing a glove on one hand like Michael Jackson. I kinda want to decorate it with rhinestones or glitter. 


Once we finished with our errands he was super excited to go down for a nap!


I have to make sure I let every one know on every social media outlet I am on that today that Netflix has finally released Season 5 of Gossip Girl! Scott watched some with me tonight as I explained my recent disdain of Dan Humphrey, I think its funny that he will watch some of my chick flicks with me.

Also My Little Mustache is #10 on the Top Baby Blogs site! If you could just take a moment on click on this link to vote for us we sure would be grateful. Once the page comes up click on the owl to your left hand side to vote for our blog. You can do this everyday if you like. 



Tomorrow I'll announce the winner of the first day of fall giveaway.


Finally I wanted to thank each of you for your kind words of encouragement yesterday. The blog post I wrote about Coming Through Brokenness was not an easy post to write. I actually reread it a dozen times and had my husband read it as well before I sent it off to Kelly. Its hard to share deep hurts that your in the process of healing from. Its especially hard to share online because you never know who is on the other side of the computer screen and who may judge or say hurtful things to you to make your past hurts even deeper. But I took that step of faith to be honest and transparent with my readers in hopes that it would encourage you in some way. What I didn't expect was how encouraged I was by your responses. I wanted to thank you and I plan on taking the time this week to respond to each of you. 



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Monday, September 24, 2012

Coming through brokenness...when you have been hurt by the church

Today I am guest posting over at Kelly's blog.


I worked in full time ministry a little over five years and left when I became pregnant with Judah. During those years I poured my heart and soul into my work. Made sure everything was done with “excellence” and made sure people “knew they mattered to God”. I shared my heart with my co-workers and friends but I always had trust issues and felt like I was the black sheep in our flock. One of the reasons why I felt like I didn’t belong was because I came from a very dysfunctional family. Growing up my father was extremely physically and mentally abusive towards us, he spent time in jail for robbing a bank and my mother abandoned us our whole lives.  When she was around we had to try to talk her out of cutting herself. But the main reason why I felt like an outcast was because I came to know the Lord after I had an abortion when I was 17.  When I was pregnant I was dating an abusive boyfriend and when he and his brother found out I was pregnant they both beat me up until I agreed to have an abortion.  This broke me and although I accepted the Lord into my heart a year after I had my abortion I always felt like part of me was untouchable, ruined and I hated myself for not being strong enough to say no to these guys and I was upset that the Lord gave me these hurtful parents.

I thought my years of working in ministry would have helped heal my heart and would have prepared me for when I got pregnant with Judah, our sweet little honeymoon baby. What I wasn’t prepared for was the isolation from the people I used to work with and from people who I thought were dear friends. We fell through the cracks. The people I thought would be there for us were just to busy making sure others knew they mattered to God. So I fell into the darkest depression I’ve ever experienced and since I was already working through some childhood issues with my therapist I started to get angry with God and I wanted nothing to do with Him. Every Tuesday night as I sat in my car outside of my therapists office I would cry and scream to God “its unfair that I have to work through this crap, I didn’t ask for a mother and father that didn’t want me and I don’t know why people abandoned me, I am so angry with you”.

Over the past two years of struggling with hurt and abandonment from the church and some believers I’ve come to realize is:

Summum Bonum. God is the highest good.  Psalm 119:68 “you are good and do good” The Lord is good, therefore all he does must be good no matter how it looks and honestly I can’t wait for the day when I can see the full picture. Right now I can only see my past and compare that to what is going on right now. But if I fill my head and heart with the word I am able to clearly see that God is good and has a reason for what I am going through.

I have to trust on Gods truth long enough until it becomes a belief system in my heart. Then I will be able to automatically act and think in the light of His truth. Psalm 43:4 “Oh send out Your light and Your truth, let them led me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling places.“

During the time of healing when your heart is grafting to Christ’s heart and your not fully healed from past trauma. If a believer hurts you it doesn’t mean the entire church has abandoned you. It just feels that way. Trust that the Lord will not only wipe your tears away and heal your broken heart but also trust that He will bring the right people into your life to encourage you on your walk. Joshua 1:5 “I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.”

When I am feeling broken and wounded, when the air can’t fill my lungs fast enough and past regrets try to cling to my soul like old mold. I have to remember that no one and no issue can ever snatch me from Gods hand. John 10:28 “I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. “

Altered in my brokenness
In the light of Your divine love
Faithful you are in righteousness
Although afflicted I look to you above.
-written by Jess West Judkins

It has taken me two years to fully want to open my heart and immerse myself in fellowship with Gods people.  In these two years I’ve learned that God has allowed these hurts to come my way, that they have changed my heart so I am able to cling onto Him more instead of trusting what His people do and think of me. All I have to do is remember He is good, trust in His truth long enough so it becomes a belief system, just because a believer hurts you doesn’t mean all believers are bad and know that nothing can take me away from His loving hands.  God will bring the right people into our lives at the right time. He has allowed me to pull away for a season to wrestle with Him as he heals my heart.


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Sunday, September 23, 2012

using your gifts for encouragement

Everyone has a gift, something that they know how to do really well that can have a great impact on someone else. For example the gift of writing a letter. You don't have to be the worlds greatest letter writer to brighten someones day, all you need is a card for a quick note and something small to stick into the card. Most cards already have the words written out on them, all you need to do is sign it and say "Im thinking about you".  I have a small shoe box that I use to collect tiny objects that I can stick into letters for encouragement, tiny crochet items, colorful socks, tea bags, Starbucks pumpkin spice via's, stickers, Pez dispensers or cute things I've thrifted that I know will bring a smile to someones face. 

Tomorrow I'm mailing out letters full of organic tea, crochet daisy bracelets, baby belly lotion (for my pregnant mama friend), baby boy cloths and thrifted books. 


Even if you forget to mail a card you can always drop it off on your friend or family members porch. 


Fall always reminds me to be thankful. Thanksgiving is not for another two months but I want to daily be thankful for those who have been placed in my life. Also my heart is tugged to encourage those whose hearts may need a smile. I try to be extra attentive and watch out for those who may need an encouraging letter, gift or text. If your anything like me then you would love to get snail mail. Nothing compares to opening your mail box to see that someone has taken the time to write you a short note or long letter. Its extra special if the package is brightly covered in drawings or stickers. 

This fall I want my encouragement box to be completely emptied into the lives of those I love and maybe a few strangers who might need a smile so I can fill it back up again. 

Maybe someone has been placed on your heart to encourage. I would like to encourage you to write that letter or note to them this week. You never know, they may need it. 

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

CLOSED first day of fall giveaway


Good morning and happy first day of fall! I am so ready for the cooler weather, the pumpkin spice lattes, taking Judah to the apple orchards and of course cute ear-warmers. To celebrate today being the first day of fall I want to give away one of my cute cozy ear-warmers listed in the picture above. I will mail this hat to the winner free of charge. 

How do you enter? Simple you get  entries, please leave a separate comment on this post for each entry. 

Mandatory Entry
Follow My Little Mustache on GFC
 (other entries will not count if your not following the blog)
additional entries
Like My Charming Colors on Facebook here.
Follow my twitter here.
Tweet/post this giveaway and leave link here (mention me @jessjudkins)

This contest is open to anyone and will mail anywhere the person is located. 

Contest closes Tuesday September 25th at 9am EST.
I will announce the winner on Wednesday September 26th.





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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

beloved

So often I find myself wondering if I've lost sight of Gods great love for me. I'll feel weary from trying to mend my broken heart on my own or I'll feel discouraged from thinking that I'm not doing things good enough. That I'm not a good enough mom to Judah or a good enough wife to Scott or a good enough sister or friend. Its so easy to just get swept away in my negative thoughts of myself.  

 Then, right when I think He doesn't hear me. And I'll be honest allot of the time I'm not really seeking His help but trying to help myself, the Lord will shine His glorious light upon my heart. Instantly my soul feels peace, its like when you kicked off your blankets during a cold night and someone puts them back on, you had no idea how much you needed those blankets. I sometimes forget how much my soul craves to know the Lord and how much I need Him. When He does shine His light upon my heart I just want to sit in this sweet moment of His tender love and try to fully grasp that I am His Beloved....

It amazes me daily watching my son flourish because he knows his parents love him.
 He is our beloved. 
We would do anything for him.
My daily prayer for my son is to be able to "Joyfully serve Judah".
Unlike the Lord we will always be imperfect parents. But despite being not so perfect parents, in Judah's childlike innocence he fully accepts that he is our beloved. 


We are the Lords Beloved.
The creator of all things good and beautiful wants to hear our voice.
He wants us to know that we are dear to His heart.

let my broken heart tarry
in your glorious light
I feel so weak and weary
afraid I've lost sight
teach my heart the mystery
of Your divine love
In you I have victory
I am Your Beloved
written by Jess Judkins 


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Monday, September 17, 2012

woodland creature hook

I've been looking all over for some hooks for my homes entryway. A few weeks ago I was in Anthropology and saw they had these cute kingdom creature hooks, but I didn't feel like spending $22  a hook when I know I could make it myself.  Then Mandy over at Harper's Happenings wrote up this cute tutorial about cutting the heads off some plastic animals and turning it into art. This inspired me to also cut up some toy animal heads and make them into woodland creature hooks!

I went to AC Moore and bought some mini plastic woodland creatures and three oval wood plaques. 


I had to have Scott cut off their heads. Its harder than it looks so if you try this at home please be careful. 



This morning I took Judah with me to home depot to pick out some spray paint and three 1 1/4 white cup hooks to screw under the plaques. 


I spray painted the wood plaques a warm yellow. Waited a few hours for it to dry and then painted the sides of the plaque white to match the white hooks.


After everything was dry I screwed in the white hooks, hammered in a pronged hanger in the back (so the plaque can hang on a wall) then super glued the woodland creatures head on the center of the plaque. I spoke to someone at Home Deport and they said super glue should hold the plastic and wood together just fine. 



It should look like this. 



 I hung them all up on the wall. They are strong enough to hold a set of keys or a hoodie. 


Each plaque cost me around $3 each to make and it took me about a day to complete the entire set. 



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Saturday, September 15, 2012

what I am loving about Saturday




Saturday mornings are for staying in your pajamas till noon and eating rasberries.

Judah is napping, his first real nap all week (thank God!). We have all the windows down in the house and are enjoying the semi fall breeze that's wafting in. I'm finishing up some custom orders before I update the shop with some super cute granny square ear warmers while Scott is working on his own projects.

Here are some sites I've been enjoying this week.

My sister in law is going to update her jewelry shop soon, check out her facebook page Kriyo. I'm thinking of doing a giveaway from her shop here on the blog. 

I absolutely love this Etsy shop The Black Apple

This delicious crock pot recipe that I copied from Maryam was a big hit with my family last night. 

I truly never knew the meaning of being a servant till I became a mom and love this post

Im keeping an eye out on my sweet friend Kendra's blog to see when her baby boy is going to arrive.

Now off to finish the custom order hats before Judah wakes from his nap! I hope you all have a lovely Saturday! 
xo

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

on the fence

When it comes to the presidential elections I am on the fence. I am not 100% sure who I am going to vote for and you know that is okay. Its okay because we live in a country where I am allowed to make my own decision on whom I want to vote for and I want to teach Judah that he has to do his own research and make up his own mind on whom he wants to vote for. So when Scott told me that Mitt Romney was going to speak at Van Dyke Park today I decided I am going to take Judah since its down the street from us. I want Judah to experience a campaign rally and to hear what Mitt Romney has to say, just like he will hear what President Barack Obama has to say when he has his campaign speech in the area. I want Judah to witness his mommy taking in what both sides have to say before I make my decision on whom to vote for. 

We waited in line for a good 30 minutes. Listened to what the voters had to say around us. I am taking it all in, trying to see if I want to align myself up with these voters. Are they rude, are they polite, how are they acting towards each other and what are they saying about the opposing party. Also are they being rude to a mom with a stroller.

The crowd was a good mix, I had some people that were absolutely rude and I wanted to turn to them and say "your the reason why I won't vote for Mitt Romney" but then I met some of the nicest people people that made me happy to want to align myself up with them. I'm tell you, I am truly on the fence so I take in every factor of the election including the voters. 


Finally after being screened we were let into the park. They had a good crowd. This was as close as we could get to the stage since I had a toddler with me.


We saw Mitt take the stage, the crowd cheered and chanted "USA". One guy from the crowd was obnoxiously booing and screaming bad things at him. I didn't want Judah to close to the crowd because I was unsure of what this guy was going to do so I let him run around the park with the other kids. I could still keep an eye out on Judah while he played and was able to listened to Mitt's speech. We had to leave early because Judah decided to take a huge dump and in the excitement of going to my first campaign rally I forgot his diapers. 


But I heard what Mitt Romney had to say and I'll still follow the news and both campaigns to see who I want to vote for. I haven't made a decision and probably won't till closer to the elections. But I did manage to get two buttons for my sister and brother in law who are big Romney supporters. The Reagan button is for my sister Rhonda.


Afterwards I took my very sleepy son on a Starbucks date. I also forgot to eat breakfast and only made some for Judah before we left the house. 


I probably won't blog about who I do end up voting for because so many people have heated opinions on both sides. I am excited that we went on our first campaign rally and am excited to find a rally for  President Barack Obama to take Judah to as well. 

I think my final note in this post is.... be polite about who you support, you never know who is watching and who will change their vote because of the way you behave. I hate bullies and don't want to feel like I was bullied into a decision or want my son to feel like he was bullied.

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