Archive for category: Christmas Gift Ideas

Does Christmas Shopping Online Actually Save Time or Money?

So, it’s cold. Like, “never want to leave the house cold or get out of my house pants” cold. And-“make hot cinnamon tea 24/7” cold.


I have a really cute fireplace that’s warm, decorated with homemade stockings, vintage tinsel, retro deer and homemade “Who-ville” trees (according to Biceps).


Right next to that is our sparkly silver tree in all of its retro glory, filled with ornaments collected over the years.


Throughout the house are old jars filled with vintage ornaments, tinsel and tiny trees. My house is literally vomiting Christmas. Be aware if you plan to come and visit.

With all of this lovely Christmas-ness, why would I ever want to leave to go Christmas shopping? Plus, leaving makes my tea cold.

So, I decided to try and give online shopping a try. I here it’s all the rage. (Welcome to the ’90’s, Rebekah…)


Normally, I make most of our gifts alongside my trusty sidekick, Biceps. This year won’t allow for such luxuries and since I am a borderline agoraphobic-I have a confession to make.

I’ve decided to hit the internet.

I trolled all the “great deals”, checked out coupons and researched what was requested of Santa by family members. It felt so weird just buying gifts, but it felt oh-so good doing it in the comfort of my living room.

I have to question what’s happening to me, though. The next thing you know I’ll be throwing out ziplock bags rather than washing and re-using them and purchasing store-bought laundry detergent.


Perhaps you are making homemade gifts, as I’ve done years past. Or are you opting to shop with the masses, or the chase of a Black Friday deal, or maybe on your couch-sipping hot tea?

Do you think that online shopping actually saves any time or money-or am I barking up the wrong sparkly tree? Hold on. Before you answer-I need to go make another cup of tea, in my housepants.

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Give-Away! My Inspirational Wrapped Canvas Prints

Dear Readers:
I’m going to get very real right now.

Momma (me) needs to make some money. Biceps took a huge cut in pay to become a firefighter and our budget is getting tighter every month. If you know anything about me, you know that I am one seriously frugal girl. We operate on a debt-free mindset (no credit cards) and are determined to be completely debt-free (student loans, our rent houses and our house) in six years or less.


I am making every homemade product for myself that I possibly can to save money. I considered selling these, but determined the profit margin wouldn’t be there for me while making it affordable to others.


6 Figure Moms
In the meantime, I did partner up with a line of inexpensive, non-toxic cleaning, beauty and household products that I believe in and am slowly building that business from home. But, that will take time.


We drive a paid for, slightly used (hah!) 8 year old van that badly needs new tires. I happily bike all over town so that we don’t have to buy a second car and so that I can burn some extra calories.

That said-I need a job and have been sending out resumes one right after another. This blog pays me diddly squat and being a self-employed writer is either feast or famine. And, as of yet, no one has offered to pay me to sit around looking cute. Dang them.


“The Harvest”
After talking with my mom this morning, she got my creative juices flowing. She reminded me of the prints with scriptures that I made for their bookstore and wondered if it wouldn’t be feasible for me to sell them through Etsy (which she pronounces Es-ty) or something similar.

I instantly thought this was a brilliant idea! I have decided to sell the following prints as wrapped canvas prints.

And, I’m giving one away to a lucky winner! Enter now for your very own FREE inspiration wrapped canvas prints.!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


“His Sheep”
These inspirational wrapped canvas prints are made from original photographs that I have taken around the country as I travel. Each photograph has a significant meaning to me, which I will share with you in a personalized note along with your order.

Now, here’s the lowdown-these wrapped canvas prints are totally customizable with your choice of inspirational saying, scripture, last name-whatever!

The canvas is either .75″ or  1.5″ deep, with the print bleeding all the way to the edges. The best part is-there’s no need to frame this. When you receive the wrapped canvas print, all you need to do is decide on where you want to hang it.


“His Pathway”
These make great gifts for pastors, friends, grandparents-and they look perfect at home or in the office.


“He is my Rock”
If you don’t happen to win this giveaway and still can’t live without one of these, here are a few prices for you to reference (but you can email me if you have a particular size in mind that I haven’t listed):

8 x 10- $49
10 x 14- $59
12 x 16- $64
16 x 20- $75
20 x 36- $169

*These prices include Free Shipping! Please allow 2 weeks for delivery of your item.

“The Light”
Let me know if you have any suggestions or thoughts. I am excited to hear what you, my dear friends, have to say! Don’t forget to enter the give away!

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Simple, Tasty Granola

One of God’s finest moments was creating granola and then combining it with yogurt. I was experimenting making my own yogurt, so naturally, I had to make granola. (I’ll be sharing the yogurt recipe with you next week).


Instead of using honey (some people are allergic), molasses (sticky mess) or real maple syrup (expensive), I wanted to experiment with Agave Nectar. And boy, was I not disappointed. Crunchy, slightly sweet and super tasty. Throw some homemade yogurt in the mix, and you will be in heaven.


Here’s all that you’ll need to make your own Simple, Tasty Granola:
4 C Regular Rolled Oats (not the quick kind)
2 C Chopped Walnuts, Almonds, Pecans or a mix of all three
1 C Shelled Sunflower Seeds
1/2 C Toasted Wheat Germ
1/2 C Milled Flax Seed
1 C Agave Nectar (or honey)
4 TBS Cooking Oil
2 C Dried Raisins, Cranberries, Cherries

Spray two 9 x 13 casserole dishes with cooking spray.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.


In a very large bowl, measure out 4 Cups Regular Rolled Oats.


Add to the oats the 2 Cups of Nuts and 1 Cup of Sunflower Seeds.


Next, add the 1/2 Cup of Wheat Germ and 1/2 Cup Flax Seed. Stir the dry mixture until everything is evenly distributed.


Measure out 1 Cup of Agave Nectar or Honey.


Add the 4 Tablespoons of Cooking Oil to the Agave Nectar.


Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture and pour the wet mixture all at once. Stir until everything is mixed evenly.


Distribute the granola between the two greased casserole dishes. Pop them in the oven and bake for 30 minutes total, stirring halfway through the cooking time.


Remove from oven and stir in dried fruit.


Spread the granola out on tin foil to cool. (Lock up the kittens at this point).


Once the granola is cool to the touch, store it in an airtight container. It lasts a little over a week. I divide mine in half and put part of it in the freezer for later.


This Simple, Tasty Granola lives up to its name-all by itself-or add a little chilled milk or homemade yogurt. Then, invite a few friends over and show off what you made and enjoy it together!


Linking up here, along with other parties:
Today's Creative Blog

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DIY Children’s Book with Audio

I am always on the creative hunt for gift ideas that will be meaningful and most importantly-useful. The idea to make a book based on the stories my father told me as a little girl-came upon me as if in a mystical dream.

Not really, I bounced the idea off of Biceps, who added the notion of creating a CD to be listened to, along with the book. And thus, a great gift idea was birthed.


I have blurred the name of the story and much of the text to keep our story private.
It was such a simple idea, I can’t believe we hadn’t thought of it sooner. With the help of my father, we created this book to give to each sibling in my family.

There have even been rumors that a few cousins and several childhood girlfriends privy to my father’s stories wanted a piece of the action.


To make this book for your children is not just a form of entertainment–it preserves valuable memories that can be carried on into the next generation.


Here’s what you’ll need to make your own DIY Children’s Book with Audio:

A story-that’s where you come in. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just something from you
Colored Pencils
Blank CD’s, CD Envelopes & CD Lables (if desired)
A recording device-you can even use your Iphone!
A Book Bindery (I found mine locally that bound the books for $15 each)


Start off by recording the story. Don’t worry about rambling, backtracking or not telling it correctly. Just talk as if you are talking to your kids.

After you have told the story, type out what you’ve said, making necessary edits and additions. Once you are satisfied with your finished story, print it off and read it aloud, ensuring everything flows smoothly.

With your finalized story, choose within the text where you would like your pages to end and mark them on your typed paper.


If you are the artist, start drawing the art for each page-or every other page-or the beginning of a chapter-whatever you have the time for.
I love to draw, so each page of the book got a little something.


Now that your story is perfected, begin typing out your book-page by page. Remember, this is a children’s story, so it doesn’t have to be a lot of words per page.

Ensure that your text aligns with what you’ve drawn and make necessary adjustments.


Make colored copies of all the artwork on thick, glossy paper at a copy store. Make enough colored copies of each page for the books you will be making, plus a few additional copies in case there’s a mess up.

(Keep your originals and don’t print on them).

Print off the text of the story that has been formatted onto your colored copies.


Once the final product of the text and the artwork are combined, re-read the story exactly as it appears in the book on your recording device. I recommend using a quiet closet or basement for this. My father re-recorded the story in our van while it was parked in their garage. It was pretty cute.

Next, burn a CD of your recording. (We also added sound affects, page turn noises, and an intro/outro song because Bicep’s is just that awesome).


Print off a label for your CD if desired.


Have the book bound at a professional book bindery (mine cost $15 per book), or you can bind your own if you feel sporty. To do this, go here.
I considered binding my own, but I made so many and it was crazy Christmas season, I had to go with a pro.


After the book is bound, attach a CD sleeve (or any form of enclosure you have on hand) using double sided tape to the inside cover of the book.


You now have your very own story, read by you, drawn by you and given by you. I can’t think of a more meaningful gift to give to your kids or your grandkids.

Our family was elated to receive the books and if you will notice, I titled it “Volume 1”. Meaning, I have every intention of continuing to add to the story every couple of years or so. It was such a fun project for me to work on with my father and husband, I am looking forward to doing it again.

Do you have a story that’s been told to you or that you tell your children? I encourage you to preserve that memory and make one of these suckers. You won’t be disappointed.

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