Food for the Soul ~ Philippians 4:13

It's a Bible verse I've tried to ingrain in my children, and one that I find myself reciting often... Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13

Anyone out there with a green thumb? Is there anyone who couldn't keep a house plant alive if her life depended on it? Well, I'm somewhere in between. I've killed my fair share of plants over the years, but surprisingly, some plants that I just knew wouldn't make it have outlived many heartier varieties. Take this plant, for instance. When I bought it in 2009, we were living in a hotel near St. Louis, Missouri. We were there for my husband's job for 6 months. Anyway, I wanted something to make the hotel room seem a little more homey. So, I bought a potted plant at Aldi that actually included 3 different plants in the same pot, the one pictured above, a pothos and some other really cool plant. I was able to keep all the plants in the pot alive throughout our stay.

A couple of months after we moved back to Texas, I decided to repot the plants into individual containers. For quite awhile, two of the three were thriving. The one above... not so much. It was just one stem with a few leaves when I potted it. It was usually pretty droopy, then it would perk up. Then the soil would sprout mushrooms, and a couple of new leaves would sprout. It was constantly in an awkward state of being... growing and then drooping and dropping leaves.

After a couple of years, the really cool plant (I don't recall what it was, but it looked like colorful vertical twisted and ruffled ribbons) just couldn't seem to stay healthy. It was losing leaves like crazy. I finally had to say goodbye to it, even though it was my favorite. All the while, the pothos continued to grow in its leggy fashion and the other freckle-leafed-awkward-but-determined little plant grew to the point of having to be repotted again. Now, 6 years from the time I bought it, this plant is a beautiful picture of not giving up... even through the awkward, pruning times. (Okay, that may be a bit of a stretch, but I'm still encouraged by it's growth over the years, and the fact that in spite of some lapses in care on my part, it has persevered and stood the test of time.)

So, what does my pretty plant have to do with our Bible verse for the week? Well, maybe nothing, or maybe something. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to give up on your goals when things get hard or monotonous? Likewise, failure and trials can suck the very life out of us. Going through rough times often takes its toll on us physically, emotionally and spiritually. We can often feel and look like my little freckled plant during the growing stages...awkward, droopy and discouraged. When I am faced with circumstances that try to drain my strength and zap my confidence, this verse almost always is the first one that comes to mind. God's Word never fails to encourage my heart and to keep me growing into the person He created me to be. I am not alone in my trials, for I have a friend in Jesus.  I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me... and so can you!

May we continue go grow in the grace and knowledge of the One who gives us strength!

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Creative Ways Link Party #42 and Features

Hello, Friends! It's Wednesday night! You know what that means! It's time to show off your latest and greatest creative endeavors at this 42nd Creative Ways Link Party. If you've been stuck at home with cabin fever, have been in a bit of a slump, or just seeking out new ideas, this party should give you lots of inspiration.

In case you missed any of the posts here on Posed Perfection from last week, here's a snapshot with some links to take you right to them.

Before we get into the party, have you all had the chance to enter the Gigantic Luck of the Irish Giveaway that I'm co-hosting? You do not want to miss this opportunity to win one of THREE $500 Paypal Prizes! Head on over to put your name in the Leprechaun's hat to be one of the winners! Click on the link above to be taken right to the giveaway!

Okay, are you ready to see which posts caught my eye from last week's party? Grab a snack, this could take a while... I was suffering from an acute case of indecisiveness (or as my daughter says, decidaphobia), so there are a few more than usual. ;-) I didn't think you'd mind.

Check out these gorgeous DIY Beaded Tassel Necklaces by Made in a Day! I'm picturing a thinner version of myself wearing one of these with a cardigan-topped white t-shirt and jeans. :-) Love those vibrant colors!

These Easy Sweet Potato Rolls by All She Cooks are a delicious and sneaky way to add in some good nutrients to a sweet breakfast treat.

Did you see the metal pipe challenge that many bloggers participated in? I think this Metal Pipe Laptop Table by Home Remedies was my favorite! Love the rustic-industrial vibe it's got going for it.

Joy Love Food brought this delicious looking Coconut Almond Chia Seed Pudding to the party. I'm going to have to try this soon. I have never made chia pudding before, but am excited to try.

I love this clever Cupcake Holder Craft Supply Storage  by A Homemade Living . Great way to repurpose a kitchen service piece that only gets used occasionally.

These Paleo Nachos by My Life Cookbook truly spoke to my stomach. Being in the last week of my Whole30, I'm excited to try this healthy recipe!

Isn't this DIY Galvanized Hanging Bedside Table by Grace Langdon Art the coolest thing ever? I may have to incorporate one of these into one of our bedrooms. 

My Sweet Mission stole my heart with this Easy Hot Fudge Sauce. I may need to make up a batch to splurge for my birthday that's coming up ;-)

Last, but not least, I was drawn to these Watercolor Agate Slices by Persia Lou for Delineate Your Dwelling. She provides a wonderful tutorial for how to paint these gorgeous works of art.

If you missed these wonderful posts, be sure to click through their links to check them out! 

To see some of the past features, check out my Creative Ways Link Party Features Board on Pinterest. I'm hoping that will bring your posts even more exposure! I hope you'll follow along! 

Link Party Guidelines
  • Please link up to 3 of your family-friendly DIY Projects, Crafts or Recipes...your Creative Ways
  • Please link to a specific post on your blog, not just your home page.
  • Please do not link up Etsy shops or giveaways.
  • Please follow Posed Perfection by clicking on one of my pretty, colorful buttons on the sidebar, and let me know so I can follow you back.
  • I'd love for you to add the party button to your post, a visible link back on your post, or a link on a party page. We want your creative friends to join us too!
  • Be sure to visit at least 2 links and leave some comment love. 
  • By linking up to this party, your are giving authorization for your projects/recipes to be featured with a photo and a link back to your blog.
    Posed Perfection
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    Would you like to get notifications for the Creative Ways Link Party posts and the other recipes and projects I post throughout the week? Make sure you SIGN UP TO GET EMAILS delivered right to your mailbox so you don't miss a thing! You'll find the place to follow right under the pretty social media buttons on the sidebar. I can't wait to see all your Creative Ways!
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    Remember, this is a party... be sure to mingle! Please don't link up and run. Visit a couple of the posts above yours and just practice kindness. We all want to hear, "Well done!"

    How to Host a Super Fun "Un-Slumber" Party for Tweens

    Now that it's been almost a month since we held my daughter's birthday party, I've gotten some perspective on what it takes to host a super fun "unslumber" party for tweens. It seems like I'm always working with a tight budget this time of year, but that doesn't mean we can't pull off an awesome party to celebrate the birthday girl. My daughter was all about keeping it a small party and she didn't want it to be a full on sleepover, just having some friends over for a few hours. We settled in on an "un-slumber" party theme and things just started coming together. 

    My girl further decided the theme would be a Donut & Bacon Pajama party... how perfect is that? We started looking through Pinterest for ideas and working on a time frame, decorations, menu, crafts, etc. So, here are my tips for a simple, budget-friendly tween birthday party:

    1. Talk the party over with your tween to figure out guest list, general theme, date/time, and any ideas they want to incorporate (within reason, of course). For us, that always means there will be crafts. ;-)

    Easy Decorations for a tween "unslumber" party ~ Donut and Bacon Banner

    2. Get the house ready the day before with some easy decorations... the theme may determine what you choose. Keeping things simple, I came up with a Donut & Bacon Banner made from small white paper plates, construction paper and twine. 
    • For the donuts, simply free form cut some donut frosting out of brown, cut a hole in the center, glue to the back of a paper plate and glue on some "sprinkles" (hole punched confetti).
    • The bacon strips were simply made from red construction paper... again free-form cut. I glued on some natural colored construction paper strips for the bacon look.
    • Punch 2 holes in the top of each donut and bacon strip so that the banner stays facing forward when it is strung onto the twine.

    Keep the decorations simple for your tween's "unslumber" party. Donut cake, quilt for tablecloth and some stuffed animals.

    Because the girls were going to be doing some crafting in the dining room, I tried to decorate the kitchen eating area like a bed. Bringing out some stuffed animals and bright pillows, as well as spreading out an old quilt for the tablecloth. Some fun cereals in canisters, along with the stuffies, served as the centerpiece. Let's not forget about the Sprinkle Donut Cake. (Even less labor intensive than my Kit Kat Piano Cake from last year, it's just a yellow bundt cake with homemade chocolate frosting poured over the top and plenty of brightly colored sprinkles to give it the donut vibe... the girls picked up on it right away.) Speaking of donuts... and bacon...

    Fun crafts for a tween "un-slumber" party. Donut memo boards and bacon bookmarks.

    3. Plan out some fun theme-related crafts... We made donut-shaped memo boards and bacon bookmarks. (I try to check out my craft stash first to see exactly what I already have that can be used.) Last year's crafts music themed.
    • The Donut-shaped memo boards with pom-pom pins were so much fun and a big hit. I loved seeing how each of the girls painted their donuts... each one an original. These started off as 3packs of cork trivets from World Market. My husband drilled out the centers of them for us and my little crafter and I gave them a base coat of cream-colored paint before the party. We brought out a few acrylic paints for the girls to choose from and let them go to town. Then we hot-glued mini pom-poms to thumb tacks for the finishing touch of "sprinkles".
    • The bacon bookmarks couldn't have been easier...or any cuter. Using some stiff red felt from when we made photo-booth accessories for another birthday party, we cut some rectangles about 6 in. x 2 in. and punched a hole in the top for a ribbon. The girls cut out some tan felt strips and hot-glued them to the red felt to give it the bacon look. Then came the googly eyes and little smiles. Adorable! 

    Serving breakfast foods at the "unslumber" party makes for an easy menu.

    4. Create an easy menu... we went with breakfast food. Since the cake was a "donut", we needed to incorporate some bacon into the menu. I knew my daughter was not too keen on savory breakfast casseroles, but didn't want to just load the girls up on sugar. World-wide-web to the rescue!
    • Delicious breakfast pizzas were the result after combining a few ideas I saw online. The girls loved them!
    • A giant fruit salad and cubed cheese were also set out. 
    • Bacon, bacon and more bacon! 
    • Orange juice, apple juice and milk were the beverages. 

    Games are almost essential at birthday parties. Why not pull out some old favorites like Twister and Jenga?

    5. Pull out some classic games to play, like Twister and Jenga, to keep them busy while you set up the next activity, whether it's present opening, getting the candles on the cake or until the party starts winding down and parents come to pick up the kids.

    Fun birthday gifts for tweens include elaborate coloring books, gift cards to accessory stores, purses and picture frames.
    6. Open presents... everyone likes to see the birthday girl's reaction when she open's her gift. (Somehow, I did not get a picture of this... ) She received some wonderful gifts... Charming Charlie's gift cards, a blingy picture frame, cash, a cool purse, and a Secret Garden (by Johanna Basford) coloring book  and Papermate felt-tip pens - seriously, my favorite gift. I'm considering getting this for myself too. 

    Stressed out about planning your tween's birthday party? These 10 tips will help you plan a super fun "unslumber" party for your tween.

    7. Sing "Happy Birthday" and eat cake! We had homemade chocolate ice cream to go along with the donut cake. 

    Allowing time for spontaneous concerts and Minute-to-Win-It games are always a good idea when planning birthday parties for tweens.

    8. Allow time for spontaneous concerts or "talent" shows. I try to have a general timeline for the party, but almost never plan it out to the minute. It keeps me sane and lets the kids have a good time. We also did a Minute-to-Win-It game where the girls stacked chocolate donuts on their foreheads to see who could keep the stack on the longest. (I had this game planned in case we ran through all the other activities... all that was needed were mini donuts and a timer.)

    Find a fun trinket like eyeshades or nail polish to put in goodie bags for an "unslumber" party.

    9. Keep the "goodie bags" simple, or ditch them all together if the girls are going home with crafts they made. We found some inexpensive eyeshades to give the girls and threw in some small candies. Each one went home with their donut and bacon bookmark.

    10. Relax and have fun! Gone are the days of having to have every last detail planned out. After all, girls just want to have fun!

    Stressed out about planning your tween's birthday party? These 10 tips will help you plan a super fun "unslumber" party for your tween.

    Even if everything doesn't go completely according to plan, or you forget to do one of the activities, don't sweat it. If your daughter is anything like mine, she will love and appreciate the effort you put forth to make her birthday special. Got anymore tips for how to host a stress-free tween birthday party? I'd love to hear them!

    Need more craft ideas for tween parties?

    Magnetic Graffiti Memo Board for craft idea at tweet parties

    Girls love making bracelets. Why not have them make these Bohemian Button Bracelets at their next tween party?

    What tween doesn't love having jewelry with her initial? Make up some of these fun Scrabble Tile Necklaces as favors for your next tween birthday party.
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    I'm linking up at some of these great parties and

    Food for the Soul ~ I Corinthians 13-4-8a

    Well, it's still February, so that means it's another week of "love" verses from the Bible. This one is from I Corinthians 13:4-8a. I'll let the picture speak for itself!

    May your week be filled with this kind of love!

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    Gigantic Luck of the Irish Giveaway

    Happy Friday, Friends! Have I got a big surprise for you! It's not every day that I get to be a part of giving away a pile of money, much less THREE piles of $$$! I am thrilled to be a part of this gigantic Luck of the Irish Giveaway. Each winner will be awarded $500 in Paypal cash! I don't know about you, but I could certainly think of a few fun ways to spend that kind of money... Hello, new Spring decor or new wardrobe for that warmer weather that's bound to come sooner or later! (Hopefully, sooner, right?)

    How would you spend $500? Don't think about it too long... scroll down and check out all the awesome bloggers who helped pull this together and click on the Rafflecopter to get started. The more of these fantastic bloggers you follow, the more entries you earn, the better your chances for being one of the lucky winners! So, grab your favorite beverage, sit back and start getting social! ;-)


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