Steel Herb Garden

We moved into our house in the middle of winter, and I have been counting down the days until Spring so I could start my herb garden, and my backyard vegetable garden.

We have a lot of wood in our house, so I had a galvanized steel pot tabletop herb garden in my head to help give a nice contrast, but until today, I could not find the perfect pots for an affordable price. Everything I had found previously was around $40, but today I found these gems for under $10!!!

The trio with tray was about $10, and the large round ice bucket/pot was $8, and they are from Walmart!!!! The three piece set was already drilled to use for plants, but the large bucket was not.

I never shop there, but it is one of the closest stores to our new house, so I ran in today for something and flipped out when I spotted The Better Homes and Gardens galvanized steel collection. They have everything from serving trays to steel beverage dispensers, and the two items pictured, are exactly what I had in my mind for my herb garden.

My hope is that my Rosemary will grow into a large bush, and that I can keep it out on our deck during the warmer months, but bring it inside during winter. I buy Rosemary weekly and use it on everything from sweet potatoes to chicken, so I am excited about having my own crop of it.

My next projects on my Spring list are raised garden beds and building a simple bar for the backyard, so stay tuned!

 

 

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Photography: Courtney’s 40th

I had been saving up my money for a very long time in order to get a nice camera, and after Christmas, I finally had enough to buy my camera and a 50mm lens. I have been having so much fun learning how to use my camera and lenses over the past few months.

In February, I had the honor of shooting my friend Courtney for her 40th birthday. I also shot some mother-daughter photos of her and her cute 14 year old, Madi. My laptop crashed shortly after the shoot, and I am finally getting the chance to pull the photos off of the old hard drive, so FINALLY I get to share my favorites from the shoot. YAY!!!

All of the photos below were shot on my Canon T5ii with a 50mm lens.

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heart of gratitude

I spent last week in Atlanta at a student ministries conference. A huge takeaway I got was that it truly does take a village/community to raise a child/student.

A lot of times we won’t ever get to see the changes or end results of the efforts that we put into being part of a season of someone’s life. I have often felt discouraged in my few short years of ministry and like my time and emotional investments haven’t made a difference at all in anyones’ lives.

Last week I was reminded over and over again of the big picture and thought a lot about my own story. When I was in high school only 8 years ago, I was a complete wreck. I battled deep depression and eating disorders, and in my senior year of high school I gave birth to a daughter who I gave up for adoption. I never would have believed anyone if they had told me that I could even begin to heal from any of that, and that I would one day be loving Jesus, working in high school ministry, and married to a pastor. God has quite the sense of humor.

All throughout last week, I was reminded that my heart is broken open for the students that I get to spend time with every week, and I am so grateful for every single person who had a broken heart for me when I was barely treading water to get through high school and through life. I am so grateful to so many people who helped shape me into who I am today.

Thank you for loving me exactly where I was, but loving me enough to help to crawl out of that. Thank you for seeing me when I felt invisible. Thank you for building me up when the world was tearing me down. Thank you for letting me wrestle with if and what I believed and letting me doubt and have questions. Thank you for showing me grace and forgiveness. Thank you for teaching me and challenging me. Thank you for listening and caring. Thank you for just being in my life and for showing me what it looks like to want to live like Jesus did. Thank you for showing me what a spouse, parent, and friend looked like. Thank you for not giving up on me.

You truly made a difference and I will always be grateful for the time, emotions, and efforts that you invested in my life. 

And thank you to everyone who has affirmed my calling into high school ministry, and molded me, and helped me see characteristics and abilities in myself that I never knew were there.

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Easy Bunny Easter Eggs DIY



My family back home is really into sending each other holiday cards throughout the year, and I have always loved that. This year instead of sending cards, Harper and I will be sending these little Easter greetings that we made mostly out of things that an avid crafter has at home. 



You will need:

1. Toilet paper or paper towel cardboard rolls

2. Eggs, I used fake eggs that I found at Michaels for $2.99 for a dozen. You could easily use pink Easter eggs or real hard boiled eggs. 

3. Paint. You will need green paint for the grass, and pink for the eggs. You can also dye the eggs pink which would look better in my opinion, but I didn’t have egg dye. The paint that I used was $.50 a bottle.

4. Googly eyes ($.99 per pack)

5. Small white Pom balls ($1.29 per pack) or cotton balls.

6. 1 sheet of pink felt. $.33 at Michaels

7. Toothpicks

8. Paper for the flag that goes on the toothpick. I used premise Kraft paper picks.

Other supplies: fine sharpie, hot or craft glue, paintbrushes 

Harper is too young to help with this other than handing me the items to glue, so I used acrylic paint and hot glue. This can be totally kid friendly if you use temper paint for the cardboard and tacky glue. 





Step 1: paint the outside and inside of each cardboard tube green. I used two coats on the outside and one on the inside.

Step 2: paint or dye the eggs pink. The acrylic paint didn’t do the best job not being streaky, but it’s what I had. If I were to redo this craft, I would dye the eggs instead.



Step 3: cut the cardboard rolls in half and then fringe one side.

Step 4: cut bunny ears out of pink felt. 

Step 5: write your Easter greeting on your toothpick flag and then glue it to the inside of the toilet paper roll. Wait for this to dry before putting the egg in. 

6: put pink egg into fringed TP roll and glue on ears, eyes, and tail. Pinch the ears when you attach them. 



Since some of my eggs will be traveling across the country to grandparents, I glued them to the roll for more security. 

Here’s the finished product of this super easy and cheap craft. You can add a lollipop to make it a cute little Easter gift for your child’s friends. We like the a Yummy Earth Organic lollipops. 



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Hot Target Deals This Week

I am going to start to try to be a bit more consistent about sharing deals with you guys. It seems like my blog/instagram followers seem to enjoy these types of posts, so today I put together some deals from Target. The style items are available online only, and if you have a Red card you save an extra 5% off and get free shipping with no minimum purchase.

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1. Cherokee Toddler Leopard Fur Coat. Originally $29.99 on clearance for $14.98

2. Vogue Sandals. I know that these are a bit more edgy and less classic than a lot of shoes that I share, but I have a little more of a grungy look most days, and I thought that these would be adorable paired with cuffed boyfriend jeans or a floral baby doll dress, or even with frilly socks. These are faux leather and originally $29.99 on clearance for $14.98

3. Merona Leather Tote. If you know me at all, you know that I love finding nice genuine leather shoes and bags on major clearance. I didn’t purchase this bag, because I have a similar one, but it’s classic and 65% off. So, if you have been looking for a simple leather purse to invest in, here it is. Originally $139.99 on clearance for $48.98

4. Annie’s Organic Crackers and Cookies. This is an in store deal, but I stocked up today for Harper. I would much rather buy these instead of Goldfish when I can. The cheddar crackers and animal cookies are on sale this week for $2.29 per 5.5oz bag. There is also a buy 4 get 1 free deal going so it end up being $9.16 for 5 bags which is $1.83 per bag which is a deal worth driving to Target for!

5. Mountain Sole Talkshow Boot. These are faux leather, and available in brown and black. These boots are simple and timeless and would be cute paired with a dress or with jeans. These are originally $39.99 and the brown is on clearance for $13.98 and the black is on clearance for $19.98

Know of any great fashion deals that should be shared? I would love to hear from you. Comment below or send me an email- saraemaslyn@gmail.com

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Hello Again

Until today, it had been quite a while since our schedules had allowed for us to go to Disney as a full family. We ran into some friends from church, and actually got to take Harper on tons of rides since it was so empty.

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The Perfect Affordable Jeans

Thanks to the recommendations by a few of my instagram friends and some fashion bloggers, I recently found my new favorite jeans.

I am completely head over heels in love with the American Eagle Jegging! I know what you are thinking… American Eagle + jeggings = double no way!! But, listen up!!

I hadn’t really shopped at American Eagle since the beginning of high school because AE graphic tees have never really been my thing, but when some bloggers who I trust shared these amazing jeans, I figured they were worth a try.

I have a weird body, think Kardashians mixed with Snooki in her bad years. I’m short 5’2″, to be exact, so with being vertically challenged along with being on the curvier and thicker side, it makes it pretty difficult to find flattering denim that is actually affordable.

About a year and a half ago, I finally splurged and bought premium denim. My idea of splurging is the TJMaxx sale rack, but nonetheless, I invested in a pair of Joe’s Jeans and and pair of Hudsons when I had some extra shopping money and found some hot deals.

I have since lost 20 pounds, so the Hudsons are rather big and were always long and had to be cuffed. The Joe’s Jeans were a little tight before I lost weight, so they now fit perfectly. The only problem with those is that I accidentally ripped the crotch open at the begging of summer and have just been covering it up by wearing long shirts and being conscious of my movements.

So, with that being said, I put aside some of my Christmas money this year to invest in a new pair of nice jeans. I’m totally ok with wearing the same pair of jeans every single day, so I was on the hunt for the perfect pair that was worth handing over my precious Christmas money for.

When I kept seeing American Eagle Jeggings pop up all over my instagram feed by my favorite fashionistas, I decided to pull the trigger and try them out for myself. They were and still are having a BOGO 50% off of all of their denim so that sweetened the deal. Their jeggings range from $35-50 per pair depending on their wash. I ended up snagging two pairs for $70. I went with the distressed black (pictured below) and the dark destroy. I don’t have any great photos of the dark destroy yet because I can’t seem to take off the distressed black, but my Instagram friend @seedanistyle has the dark destroy and has styled them in so many cool ways, so check out her feed!

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I have already gotten so many compliments on these jeans. I am so obsessed!

Here are some things that I love about them:

1. Really affordable and great quality. These feel the same as my premium denim for a regular price that is less than premium denim clearance prices. These are a great deal especially if you get the non distressed washes or the washes that are on clearance.

2. Comfortable! These jeans are called jeggings, but it’s not what you think. These don’t just feel like leggings, they are real jeans with real pockets. They are just soft and stretchy so they were given the name “Jegging.”

3. On trend. There are tons of different washes to choose from including the highly distressed look that is so trendy right now.

4. The prefect fit. I typically wear an 8/29 or 6/28 in pants right now. I ordered an 8 in both of my washes. It seems like the dark destroy runs a bit small so they fit great. The black has stretched out some, so I think I could have gotten away with the 6, and will probably order my next pair in that size instead. The rise is perfect! I like a higher rise Jean, not necessarily a high waisted Jean, but I don’t like hip huggers. These cover my love handles for a flattering and comfortable fit. The length is perfect. You can select regular, long, or short, and obviously I went with short.

5. The leg opening is actually skinny. Because I wear an 8, a lot of times jeans will make the “skinny” leg opening larger since the size is getting larger. I hate this so much! I have small ankles, so I don’t need the bottoms to be widened. It’s so hard to find a skinny denim that is short enough and actually skinny enough for me to consider it a true skinny jean. American Eagle hit the nail on the head with their sizing and fit of these jeans for me!

The only negative thing I have to say about these jeans is that they still have the signature stitching on the back pockets. It’s hardly noticeable on the black pair and not obnoxiously noticeable on the dark destroy, but I prefer jeans and most of my clothing to not have any obvious brand markings on them.

So do yourself a favor and snag a pair or two of these while you still have Christmas money left and while the BOGO sale is still going on. I hope that you will love these jeans as much as I do, and that they will be your new faves!

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