Friday, November 30, 2012

advent - 24 days of encouraging others


I've posted about this a dozen times in the past on different blogs I've had online. Christmas is not an easy holiday for me. We grew up very poor and depending on the help of others. Each year instead of being joyful that we are celebrating the birth of Christ, my heart aches for those who are alone and discouraged and feel they are with out hope. This year I wanted to start a tradition with Judah. I wanted to celebrate advent but combine it with encouraging others the days leading up to Christmas. So I came up with 24 ways I can try to teach Judah how to lift the spirits of those around him. I made 24 little tag ornaments with a note saying what we are going to do and put the ornaments on Judah's mini Christmas tree so we can take them down and read them together each morning. 


Here is what I have listed for each day. I can't wait to see how my son's heart grows this month and to see the joy in the peoples faces we are going to try to encourage. 


> day 1 <
amillionthanks.org
send encouraging letters to our troops

> day 2 <
sidewalk chalk tag encouragement

> day 3 <
make dairy free cookies for the post office

> day 4 <
pick up trash at the park

> day 5 <
write a letter to our worldvision child Thursday

> day 6 <
leave notes for daddy around the house

> day 7 <
buy starbucks for the person in line behind us

> day 8 <
give cousins hugs

> day 9 <
call nana

> day 10 <
buy donut for person in line behind us

> day 11 <
write christmas cards for elderly home

> day 12 <
clean toys and donate them 

> day 13 <
give cousins flowers for Kody's show

> day 14 <
do something nice for garbage men

> day 15 <
muffins for fire department

> day 16 <
angel tree

> day 17 <
sweep leaves off front porch and elderly lady next door

> day 18 <
buy doggy treats to neighbors dog

> day 19 <
leave a bag of extra change at vending machine

> day 20 <
muffins for library staff

> day 21 <
collect shopping carts at Target and put them back

> day 22 <
encouragement post it bomb at grocery store

> day 23 <
hats for NICU babies

> day 24 <
get starbucks for grandma 


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custom orders closed


After much prayer and consideration I've decided to not accept anymore custom crochet order requests until January. I currently have about twenty paid custom order requests that I am crocheting with care and getting out before Christmas. I've been going to bed at 2 or sometimes 3 in the morning for weeks and have to prepare for Judahs 2nd birthday party that is coming up in less than ten days! (I may be an emotional wreck next week) To make sure all my clients are happy and get their orders in time I can't accept any more custom requests for December. However I will keep my shop open through out the month and will be updating it with new items. Please contact me ahead of time if you do purchase something to ensure that the item you want to purchase will arrive before Christmas. I speak to our friends at the post office almost daily to double check delivery dates. 

I am overjoyed with how each of you have blessed me and my shop. I love crocheting but most of all I love to make my clients happy with hats that are made with care and quality. 

I am offering 10% off all regular (non custom orders) for the month of December just use the code "Christmas" at checkout




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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Judah's weekly library book review

You know your kid loves a book when its the first thing he talks about when he wakes up in the morning. Judah is battling his first head cold of the season and slept in till 10:30 this morning. When he finally woke up he looked at me with a very serious toddler face and said "mama shhhh...an elephant". At first I thought he was calling me an elephant but I saw that he was looking at one of his library books we recently checked out. "My Cat, the silliest cat in the world". 


This book is hysterical. I just hope and pray that Judah doesn't try to poop in a box thinking it is a toilet. In the following page the elephant uses the toilet to take a shower, hopefully Judah wont try that either. 


We spent allot of time reading library books and cuddling. We made a quick stop at Wegmans to get some things for healthy fruit smoothies, honey, natural cold remedies and soup. Hopefully we will kick this cold to the curb where it belongs. 


Here are Judah's two favorite library books this week. 

"OH NO, Little Dragon"
A little dinosaur losses his flame while taking a bath and tries to get it back.
He thinks his mom is upset with him but she is not.
Judah loves to say "Oh no!" along with the story line.




Source: amazon.com via Jessica on Pinterest















                                                                             Source: amazon.com via Jessica on Pinterest



"MY CAT, THE SILLIEST CAT IN THE WORLD"
A funny book about an elephant who thinks he is a cat.
I love the illustrations in this book and Judah laughs at the funny
things the elephant does.

We are attempting to read 11 books a week with Judah. 

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

dirty moms hair

Now that I am a mom, I can't take a shower everyday. But I still want to look nice when I go out and be able to hide my greasy long locks. My favorite go to hairdo is the crown braids. It makes my hair look really nice and keeps it away from my face and Judah's tiny hands.


+you will need+
15-20 bobby pins (get the longer ones with the ridges on them) 
2 clear elastic bands
tail comb
 brush 

You will take the tail comb and separate your hair right down the middle. I use the pick to keep my part even. I normally don't brush out my hair but will braid both parts separately and fasten each braid with a clear elastic band.


Then I will take one of the braids and wrap it around the front of my head, making sure the tail is touching my ear on the other side. I have very long hair (reaches past the middle of my back) so your braid may not reach other side. Start pinning the braid down, you can never use to many bobby pins and dont be discouraged if you use more than what I listed. Then I will take the other braid and wrap it around my head in front of the first braid forming a crown. I will also pin it down and make sure I try to keep the clear ties hidden and pushed underneath the braid. 

Again you can never use to many bobby pins. 


No one could ever tell that I haven't washed my hair in over two days. This is super easy and takes me 10-15 minutes to complete. The more you do this style the easier it gets. 




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Monday, November 26, 2012

santa baby


Did you know if you write Santa a letter before November 30th he will write you back?  Today as I was doing my shops bi-weekly mail drop I spoke to our friend Richard who works at the post office. He said all we have to do is write a letter to Santa, put it on a stamped envelope with his name on it with our return address clearly written out and he will write us back. 



I'm excited to start this new tradition of sending letters to Santa with Judah. 

If you are looking for a super adorable gift for that special someone Gussy from Gussy Sews is offering free shipping on all her orders until November 30th at 11:59 PST. Just use the code MASHEDPOTATOES at check out. 


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Sunday, November 25, 2012

thankful

I am so thankful for this little guy. Im thankful for his super cheesy smile and his positive outlook on life. I hope that it never changes.


Im thankful for my amazing husband. Who didn't make me feel dumb when I realized I still had the film cover on my iphone 5 when I was wondering why my pictures were blurry. 


Im thankful for my husbands family. The ones pictured and the ones not in the picture. I am thankful that his mom cooked our turkey this year and invited us over for Thanksgiving. She is seriously a good cook. 


Im thankful for the relationship my son has with his grandparents. He is constantly asking if he can go to his grandparents house or asking about his cousins. I love how his heart is already set to love his family. 


Im thankful that this boy loves to sing! He sings songs all the time and I just stand there and listen to his sweet sweet voice playing with my heart strings. 


Im thankful for the bond between these two. 


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with plenty of reminders of what to be thankful for. 

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Friday, November 23, 2012

lots of sales!


Hello friends!!!

I am offering several sales for you! 

20% off your entire order (excluding custom orders) at My Charming Colors from now until Monday. Just use the discount code "Thanks" at checkout. 

I am not charging the extra custom order fee until December. If you do want that extra special custom order hat crochet for that special someone please contact me asap to ensure I can make it for you. 



Are you looking for a place to promote your blog or small business during December? I do my very best to promote my sponsors and highlight their work on my blog and I am offering a HUGE discount for Ad space. 

For the Feature and Large Ads I am offering 50% off by using the codes

Featurethanks
Largethanks

You can purchase the spaces here and also see what I have to offer. 

I am doing a limited of Ad Swaps for the small Ad space. Email me for those codes to see if they are available at jessica.a.west@gmail.com.



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Thursday, November 22, 2012

in the spirit of giving thanks...a huge giveaway



This year I have allot to be thankful for and In the spirit of giving thanks and encouraging others I am doing a huge Instagram giveaway. You have to have Instagram to participate. One winner two custom has. The first hat you get to keep and the second hat you will choose who to give it to. Follow me on IG here. Copy and repost the picture above with the tag #mycharmingcolors. I will pick the winner on Monday.

Both hats will be custom order hats of your choosing and this giveaway is open to anyone who is on Instagram. I will ship anywhere. 

Good Luck! 

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

light saber invites

We have been training Judah the Jedi to love Star Wars since he was a baby. When ever Scott takes us out to San Francisco we have top stop by the Yoda fountain.


We found a Darth Vader mask when Judah was a baby hence his love for "D".


He will now dance and sing the Imperial March to you if you ask him to. 


He dressed up like Chewbacca last Halloween and an Ewok this year. 



This year will be the first (of possibly many) Star wars themed birthday parties for Judah and honestly I love that he is really into Star wars. 

I wanted to try to do as much DIY at home for the party and decided to make Light Saber invites.

+What you need+
colorful construction paper
aluminum foil
elmer's glue
scissors
business envelopes
notebook paper
(this project took me 1.5 hours to complete)


I took the colorful construction paper and cut out a light saber, then I wrapped the aluminum foil around the bottom part of the light saber and glued it in place. With the notebook paper I cut out rectangles to write the party information on it then I glued the rectangles to the back of the light saber. I cut out three small black rectangles and two black and red circles and glued them to the front of the light saber. 


The invite says:

Judah the Jedi
is turning two
Saturday, December 8 11:30-2:30
will provide lunch & cupcakes
please rsvp jessica.a.west (at) gmail.com

The light saber is 8" long so it will be able to fit into the business envelopes. 


 Once the light sabers dry I'll stick them in the mail.
Im sure if you had time you could also make these with felt.



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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

weekly toddler library book review

I like to take Judah out on a weekly library date. We we go to the library and spend about an hour or so looking for good books that I think Judah would really enjoy. He has moved past the board book stage and really enjoys cuddling up and reading with us each night. Since the library has so many books to choose from I wanted to share some of Judah's weekly favorites from the pile we bring back home. He normally favors a handful and will request us to read to him those specific books over and over again.


This past week we picked up 12 books but Judah wanted us to reread these three to him. 

A cute book about a girl who is trying to catch a very loud elephant. Judah loves how the elephant gets all feisty when he doesn't get anymore raisins and stomps all about. 

This is a fun little book of poems that has tiny pictures scattered in the poetry. So while I am reading the book to Judah I point at the picture and he says it out loud. He thinks its fun to "read" with mama.

This is a clever new take on the classic lullaby "hush, little baby". This book was fun for Judah and it gave me a chuckle or two.  


He wanted one more last read before we headed out this morning. 


We picked up 10 more books today. I'll let you know which ones are Judah's favorites next week. 


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Sunday, November 18, 2012

marriage is not a band aid

Years before I met Scott I prayed that if it was the Lords will for me to be married that He would provide a Godly husband for me. I was still on the fence about marriage and always felt the strong tug in my heart to go back to work with the children in the garbage slums of Cairo again. So I was truly surprised when Scott came into my life. 



  I had the wrong expectations going into marriage. I assumed  that marrying Scott, a strong Godly man who I love and respected, that my love for him would cover over any hurts that were done to my heart before I even met him. I thought I could ignore the pain and trauma in my past and that it wouldn't affect my relationship with my husband. That marriage would be my spiritual band aid. 

I was wrong. 

In marriage we are displaying our love for God by loving our spouses unconditionally. I was still struggling with why God allowed certain things to happen to me in my past and this struggle with God affected my heart and sometimes made it hard for me to display my love towards my husband. My heart hurt over memories that would be triggered inadvertently by my husband and my night terrors got worse after I had Judah. So I started seeing a therapist to help me heal from past trauma and to help me see that Scott is not part of my past and that he is not my father who will hurt me. 

Marriage is not a spiritual band aid in fact marriage will bring issues from your past to the surface. I do not regret marrying my husband and I truly believe the Lord wants us to be together as husband and wife.  I do wish that I had the courage to work out some of the past hurts before we were engaged instead of being in fear that Scott wouldn't want to marry me if I tried to work on myself. Over the past three years my husband has shown me what it looks like to be in a marriage. He has loved me unconditionally, stood by me when I hated myself,  given me the courage to heal from my past, put my needs before his own and will do anything for me and our son. His love for the Lord and our family has changed my life. I believe that the struggles the Lord has allowed us to walk through over the past three years has drawn us closer to Him and closer to each other. 

Marriage is not a spiritual band aid, but an iron that sharpens iron, a mirror that reflects the deepest pools of our heart and a best friend to hold your hand and encourage you on your path. 


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Saturday, November 17, 2012

out of the heart

My heart breaks a little during this time of the year. I always think about how the holidays can sometimes trigger different emotions in people. That some of these triggers may not always be happy thoughts but reminders of sad things that happened to them. This could affect anyone, the person surrounded by family and friends to the people who go home alone at night after work. So I thought Judah and I would send out some homemade Thanksgiving Cards to some of our family and friends just to encourage them during this busy holiday season. 


First I painted Judah's hand. The palm of his hand and thumb I painted brown, then his other fingers I painted different colors for feathers. I pressed his hand down on a blank index card to make a "hand turkey" imprint.


After I let the turkey hands dry I wrote a message of why I am thankful for each person. This took me a few days to write all the cards out but I think it will greatly encourage whomever is going to get them. I also put some cute thanksgiving themed stickers in the envelopes as well. 


Even if you don't have the time to make "turkey hands", call or write someone today (even if its an email) and let them know how thankful you are for them. You never know, your words might be just the thing to lift their spirits and touch their hearts. . 



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