Wordless Wednesday Link Up

For the month of April, I joined 16 wonderful ladies to co-host Wordless Wednesdays.  This is my 1st link up which I’m excited be a part of.  This wordless Wednesday is different than other, since your post doesn’t have to be wordless, so everyone can participate.  This is a great opportunity to meet new bloggers, check out new blogs, read interesting content, view wonderful images (for those who choose to stay wordless) & mingle.

The Oh My Heartsie Girl Wordless Wednesday is all about getting to know new blog friends as they are highlighted in our post each week. Our Wordless Wednesday is One Party on (17) blogs and this week!! Your link is spread across almost 29,000 followers!!
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Twitter | Bloglovin | Google+ | Facebook | Pinterest1302317rmgvf7jftc a Peek Into my paradise Pancake breakfastCo-Host Cathy// A Peek Into My Paradise// Pancake Breakfast Bars Recipe Cathy is always to busy to make the traditional breakfasts so she created a Pancake Breakfast bar, using your favorite ingredients, nuts, granola or fruit, you make ahead, place in a ziplock and freeze until ready to pop in microwave for a few seconds for a handheld breakfast for those on the go.
Facebook | Google + | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin1302317rmgvf7jftc Simply Wright AshleighCo-Host Ashleigh// Simply Wright How to Make a Simple Easter Tree Celebrate Easter the way the Europeans do, with a simple Easter Tree that will look great on any tablescape!
Facebook | Google + | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin1302317rmgvf7jftc On Bliss StreetCo-Host Erica // On Bliss Street // Introducing The Cent-Sational Salvage Challenge– Are you up for some trash talking? Hi Everyone! I’m so happy to be a part of Wordless Wednesday again for April! I’m sharing an incredibly awesome challenge with you all today, The Cent-Sational Salvage Challenge! It’s open to anyone who is a maker, a DIYer, upcycler, or just plain old competitive! Come join us to make this challenge bigger and better because your in it!
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Twitter | Bloglovin | Google+ | Facebook | Pinterest1302317rmgvf7jftc Livining Intentionally SimpleCo-Host Sarah Hamlin // Living Intentionally// 15 Money Saving Shopping Tips// Over the years, I have learned through trial & error different tips that actually work to keep my budget low. I’m sharing 15 proven tips that I use, which include some new ideas.
Twitter | Bloglovin | Google+ | Pinterest1302317rmgvf7jftc Jingle jangle JungleCo-Host Mary Burris // Jingle Jangle Jingle// Anticipation I blog about music and musical artists, and the stories behind the music. When I heard about the A to Z Blog challenge, I knew it was something for me. I am looking forward to this blog challenge, and the waiting for the challenge to start has nearly driven me insane! So, This post is about the song ‘Anticipation’ by Carly Simon, and is my reveal of my topic for the A to Z Blog Challenge.
Twitter | Bloglovin | Google+ | Facebook | Pinterest1302317rmgvf7jftc ToolBox Divas BannersCo-Host Timisha // ToolBox Divas // DIY WOODEN BRACELET HOLDERS Learn how to make this simple, affordable yet stylish bracelet holder. It’s perfect for your bracelets and necklaces. Manage the chaos created by all those bracelets and necklaces laying across your dresser.
Twitter | Bloglovin | Google+ | Facebook | Pinterest1302317rmgvf7jftc The Whole Serving BannerCo-Host Celeste Meredith // The Whole Serving // Red Lentil & Roasted Red Pepper Smooth, creamy with a bit of spice, and if you aren’t careful, you’ll find yourself eating the whole bowl by yourself, good thing it’s super easy to make!
Twitter | Bloglovin | Google+| Facebook | Pinterest1302317rmgvf7jftc Just another Mom Welcome autismCo-Host Kori Tomelden // Just Another Mom // Surviving the Initial Autism Diagnosis This post is for parents who have a child that was recently diagnosed with Autism. With April being Autism Awareness Month and April 2nd being World Autism Awareness Day, it is my hope to provide some support to those parents who are new to this journey.
Twitter | Bloglovin | Google+ | Facebook | Pinterest1302317rmgvf7jftc The Math Lovin Momma bannerCo-Host Katrina Phelan // The Math Lovin’ Momma //An Open Letter to My Mother (Now That I’m a Mother) This is one of the first blog posts I published. It is still one of my favorites and I know that many people will be able to relate. I wrote it one evening when I was particularly frustrated with the state of our home and I wasn’t sure how to get back on top of my to do list.
Twitter | Bloglovin | Google+ | Facebook | Pinterest1302317rmgvf7jftc Ask Latisha-Dreams, Dream Boards & ReflectionCo-Host Latisha // AskLatisha // Dreams, Dream Boards & Reflection Found a piece of paper in my drawer with a list entitled “Dreams.” I write list like that every so often in my journals. As i’m getting ready to transition to another season of growth in my life. It is good to reflect on what stage God is at in opening doors for these dreams to come true.
Twitter | Bloglovin | Google+ | Facebook | Pinterest1302317rmgvf7jftc The Bunnys ReviewCo-Host Suzie // Bunny’s Review // Easter & Bunnies // Why bunnies should not be purchased as an Easter present. I have pet bunnies the live free in my house. 90% of bunnies purchased at Easter do not live past 1 year of age and if they do they are placed in the back yard in a small wire cage. People do not realize that bunnies are social animals and are litter box trainable.
Twitter | Bloglovin | Google+ | Facebook | Pinterest1302317rmgvf7jftc Parental Journey 40 best books for your toddlersCo-Host Marina // Parental Journey// 40 Best Books for Toddlers Each year on April 2nd we celebrate Children’s Books Day. Well, at least we should celebrate it. Reading is extremely important for young children. Falling on Hans Christian Anderson’s birthday, Children’s Book Day celebrates children’s books and encourages children (but also their parents) to read. Twitter | Instagram1302317rmgvf7jftcTimi Banner
Co-Host Timi// Caffeine and Crayons// White Bean Chili // If you are tired of the same ol’ predictable chili, then this is the recipe for you! With ingredients full of flavor and spices that kick it up a notch, this white bean chicken chili is sure to knock your socks off.
Twitter | Bloglovin | Google+ | Facebook | Pinterest 1302317rmgvf7jftcSouthern seazons How to Age a Lantern // Southern SeazonsDIY Garden Cap 1 DIY Garden Cap // Garden Up Green Pom Pom Bun Bun DIY Pom Pom Bunny for Easter // Be-AliceMini Frozen Lemon Yogurt CupsMini Frozen Lemon Yogurt Cups// A Sprinkle Of This & That
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When you add your link to the linky party along with your email, it will be used to send you a weekly email “only used for the invitation to join us for Wordless Wednesday” and gives Oh My Heartsie Girl permission to share your posts, pictures and links if chosen, in upcoming posts. Any content used will have proper credit and Link backs will be provided.Thank you, Karren

11 Ways To Increase Your Happiness

 

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Happiness is something we all strive for with our lives.  All too often we get caught up with one thing or another that steals pieces of happiness whether it’s due to stress, drama, over booked, burn out etc.  As the weather gets warmer, lets think of numerous ways to increase our happiness so we are truly able to enjoy the nice days ahead.  Below are 11 ideas that can help you increase the joy in your life.

1. Realize “real” life isn’t what you see on TV
Growing up, I really did think my knight in shining armor would rescue me from all the hardships I dealt with early on.  I always thought someone would save me from the pain and suffering I endured.  But as adults, we know all to well, life isn’t a fairy tale, no matter how it looks from the outside.  Don’t get caught up with unrealistic expectations and miss out on the now, on the life you built.

2. Retrain your mind
Living to long in negative land will warp your mind & have you think of negative things every time something happens.  Instead, stop yourself, and retrain your mind to think of positive things during these times.  At first this will seem weird & unnatural.  But over time you can change your mindset and start thinking more positive.

3. Do something for someone else just because
Giving back, helping others, or volunteering are great ways to increase your contentment which in turn increases your happiness.  As the old saying goes “the world doesn’t revolve around you.”  It feels nice to help others without having an agenda.  And who knows what doors that will open because of it.

4. Keep a motivation/inspirational journal
Journaling is something I have always done in one form or another.  Years ago, I changed this habit because I wanted to do something more uplifting, more positive.  That’s when I created my motivational journal.  This has newspaper clips, magazine clips, writing, drawings, painting, pics etc.  Every time I need a pick me up I refer to my journal.  I have a painted page with all my positive traits on it for when I’m feeling sad or having a pity party.  Or if I have a thought I don’t want to forget like my top 10 places to visit one day or starting my own creative business.  I will accomplish both one day, just not today.  This journal keeps me ideas for me till I am ready to act upon them.  This single habit has brought me a lot of contentment over the years.

5. Spend time alone
Being with people all the time, never getting any time to ourselves, will eventually drain us.  Spending time alone will help you reconnect with yourself, recharge your battery, & appreciate who you are.

6. Get to know yourself 
Dig deep and really get to know yourself which you can do through exploration, activities, mediation etc.

7. Live in the present……..in the now 
Too often I think we get caught up in the past or the future and forget to enjoy & live in our present.  When we do this, we are stealing futures joys and contentment from ourselves.  Enjoy the present, live in it, & be thankful you have another day here with your loved ones.

8. There is always someone who has it worse than you 
As a kid, I used to hate it when my dad said, ” your problems aren’t really problems.  There are others who have real problems.”  Your problems are big to you but overall small on a global scale.  Realize that there are numerous people on our planet who are suffering everyday from lack of food, violence,

9. Stop dwelling over the could have, should have, & would have
Stop replaying a scene over and over in your head thinking about what should have or could have or would have happened.  The scene has already played out, stop over thinking, analyzing, stressing out about something that was beyond your control.  Move on before it steals pieces of happiness from your present life.

10. Be appreciative
Think back 10 or 20 years ago.  Would you have wished to have what you have right now?  The life I lead now, would be something I wished for 10 or 20 years ago.  Having the family I always wanted was number 1 on my list.  And because of this, I am appreciative for all I have, especially on my bad days.

11. Small things matter the most
Hasn’t anyone ever told you, it’s the small things in life that matter the most?  Don’t over look the mundane in your everyday.  Those are the moments you won’t forget, that will bring a smile to your face years later.
What are some other ways that help to increase your happiness?  What else can you add to my list?  What has worked for you in your life?

 


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2015 A To Z Challenge in April

For the month of April, this blog will be taking part in a challenge, so my posting schedule will be a little different because I am participating in the A to Z blogging challenge.  Have you heard of this?  It’s where you are challenged to write everyday in the month of April starting with the 1st and using the letter A for a post.  I read this and thought what a great way to do more with your blog, have fun, meet new bloggers, & dig a little deeper into your blogging theme.  For me, I will be exploring living simple world……..It’ll be  simple living A to Z.
If you are interested in doing your own A to Z challenge here is some information about this challenge:

“To provide an example:  My “A” topic in the first year’s challenge was a debate using April Fool’s Day.   In 2011 my “B” topic was Blog Boggled–a regular feature on my blog.    For the letter “C” one could use candy or cake and post a recipe.    D could inspire a post about the letter grade”D” as you might receive on a test in school.   Maybe F could be represented by FE, the symbol for iron.
Try to be inventive and surprise us.  Hopefully your posts will be at least 100 words to show that you really put some kind of effort into your post.   Creativity can certainly come in less than 100 words. In 2011 Doris Plaster wrote a series of 50 word stories that eventually she published in book form.  If all you do normally is post a quote or something short, then keep it in the alphabet theme.  Don’t worry about your blog’s subject matter– this will work for absolutely any blog.  If you only post about food or animals or crafts or whatever, you can come up with alphabetized themes. ” taken from A to Z Challenge.com.

To join in on the fun, click here to join the 1300+ bloggers already signed up.  If you are joining in, please let me a comment below to let me know, so I can follow your challenge.  🙂
Will you join me with this challenge?

11 Ways To Simplify Easter

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1. Make it about the lord rather than the Easter bunny & what they get in their baskets
Easter isn’t about the Easter bunny & how many little things we can cram into their baskets.  Instead, put the main focus back into the lord.  That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t do baskets, it just means to shift your focus.

2. Spend time with family
It’s important for us to spend time with our family.  We use this time doing fun family activities.

3.Hide their baskets turning it into a game
Got older kids?  Try hiding their baskets turning it into a game

4. Easter dinner isn’t about the ham so be open to cheaper food options
Don’t get too caught up with making a traditional ham meal.  Instead, find new more affordable ideas to create a cheaper menu.

5. Some fun activities ideas
 go on a walk or a hike, play games, do a craft etc….something you all do together

6. Have everyone get involved with something
Have the kids be responsible for something whether it’s helping with the food, setting the table, getting all the craft supplies ready, or finding the games…….make it a family event.

7. Buying an Easter outfit go to a consignment/thrift store or get a dress they can wear all spring/summer
I usually find great deals on dresses for my two little ones, spending around $5/ea.  I 1st check stores like Burlington Coat Factory or Kids R Us for their clearance or cheap dresses.  I don’t by special occasion dresses since my kids would only wear it once or twice.  To me this is a waste of my money.  Instead I find the cutest spring/summer dresses, making sure it’s something they can wear through the seasons.  That way I get more bang for my buck.  But if I can’t find anything new, I then check out local consignment or thrift stores.  There hasn’t ever been a year where I couldn’t find an outfit.

8. Do a potluck lunch or dinner

Got a small budget, no problem.  Host a potluck and have someone bring something that way one person isn’t responsible for it all.

9. Decorations: don’t by Easter decorations  buy springtime decor instead
Why buy decor you can only put up for a short period of time?  Instead buy spring decor & add in a few Easter decor from the dollar store if you want something Easter.  Sometimes it’s hard to find spring decor during Easter, if that’s the case just buy decor in springtime colors light pastel blue, pink, yellow, greens.

10. Shop dollar stores for a few cheap decorations you can incorporate into your spring themed decor
Looking for decor but don’t want to spend a fortune.  Check out your local dollar store, you might be surprised.  This year I found cute mini colored eggs I used to make candle wreaths.  Then the extras I just scattered across my mantel.  Viola there’s my Easter decor that fits well with my spring decor.  And it’s super easy to remove when the holiday is over.

11.  Create a spring/summer themed basket instead of Easter themed
Instead of buying Easter themed items, I buy things my children can use in the nice weather like a sand bucket as a basket and i include things like bubbles, jump ropes, chalk, kites, sunglasses etc.  This way not only are they receiving a basket of gifts, they are getting things they can use for a long time, instead of using it for a day or two.

Bonus #1-Older kids basket ideas
For older kids, you wouldn’t buy summer things because they wouldn’t want them.  Instead make a teen basket filled with things they use regularly like soaps, lotions,deodorants etc.  And throw in some candy to make it fun.  This way they have things they need or want & they get a holiday basket.  

Bonus #2: Enter Coloring Contest
Some stores do a coloring contest where the kids can enter to win a prize.  We won one two years ago and got an awesome $25 gift card to Build A Bear.

How are you simplifying your holiday?  Any helpful tips or ideas?

 

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Healthy Living Can Be Unhealthy

Short post today, since I’m not feeling well.  I am leaving you with my thoughts on people taking their healthy living journey to the extremes.

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If you’ve been on here long enough you know that being healthy is just as important to me as being frugal.  It’s important to nourish your body with the nutrients it needs to maintain your health.  It’s important to do your research and continue your health education as our world changes.  Worrying about the chemicals in our foods is completely understandable, so grow your own or buy organic.  But letting your worry manifest into an unhealthy obsession can take over yours and your family’s life.  If you’re not careful, this your obsession can bring unhealthy consequences which defeats your original purposing of living a healthy life.  Last week I overheard something I reminded me on how far some people take their healthy journey.
I was in parent pick up line last week and I overheard a few moms talk about eating healthy & what they pack their kids for lunch.  The moms were so proud to send their kids with things that I thought were a little odd like strips of seaweed with water as their only snack.  But to each their own.  Then they went on to say how they are happy they taught their kids that if they eat foods that “normal” people eat, it will really harm them.  Their kids are so afraid of food that they would rather go hungry than eat something their parents wouldn’t allow.  I tried hard not to pass judgement, but why on earth would any parent want to put so much anxiety about food onto their children?  Could this cause their kids to develop unhealthy relationship with food down the road?  Or an unhealthy body image?  What do you think?

 

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Dehydrating: Kiwi Chips

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Dehydrating is a great way to use up your fruits and veggies that are about to go bad or that you find on clearance.  I’ve been meaning to do more with it, but never got around to it till now.  And let me tell you, I absolutely love it!  Not only is it easy to do with minimal prep & cleanup, but its healthy, frugal, delicious, & a great way to extend the life of your food.  Why have I waited so long to start doing this?  I plan on exploring the wide world of dehydrating, making my own jerky, fruit leather, chips, spices, & raw cookies.  Today, I’m sharing my kiwi chips.
We all love kiwi and it is usually responsibly priced so it is a good 1st starter fruit to dehydrate.  That way if you mess things up, you won’t be losing much money.  The reason I love kiwi is because it is full of nutrients that our body needs such as:

1. Vitamin C
double as much as oranges contain

2. Potassium
help control blood pressure

3. Vitamin E
Antioxidant which helps with numerous thing like your skin to name one

4. Folic Acid
helps prevent cardiovascular disease

5. Fiber

6. Zinc
helps skin, teeth, & nails

Some additional health benefits are:
*low glycemic index so safe for diabetics
*helps digestive enzymes with actinidain that’s in it


Dehydrating kiwi successfully depends on one thing, having a slicer to slice them thin enough.  Invest in a mandolin slicer to make this successful.  For the longest time I didn’t have one and the ones I saw online or at Target where around $25-$55 which wasn’t in our budget.  Then Job Lots randomly carried it and I got it for super cheap.  Having a slicer like this will make all the difference between having your fruits & veggies dehydrate correctly or having them being a sticky gooey mess.  Once you’ve got your slicer you’re ready to make your own kiwi chips, which is as simple as 1-2-3.

1. Peel the skin off and slice them as thin as you desired.  To start I tried the thinnest slice and it worked fantastic.  Just make sure you use the same size for all of them or else you will have different finishing times.

2. Place the kiwi slices on the plastic What have you dehydrated?  Has it been a success or a failure?  Any tips, ideas, or recipes to share?sheet that comes with your dehydrator.  Put them close together but don’t have them touch, otherwise when they are done they’ll be stuck together.

3.  Turn on your machine and time it for 5 hours.  Check them & if you need to continue to dehydrate them till your desired crispness is achieved.  Once done, wait a few minutes, then begin to take them off.  Place in an airtight container & enjoy. You can store you kiwi chips in an airtight container for a few months to 6 months.

That’s it.  Simple……..Easy…….Frugal……..Healthy……..Delicious
Have you dehydrated anything before?  If so were you successful?  Any tips, ideas, or recipes to share?

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Spring Cleaning

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Every year around this time, I start spring cleaning, which usually entails me doing a deep cleaning of the house.  This year I started much earlier since I’ve decided to not just look at our clutter we accumulated but other things as well.  When we do a deep cleaning, so often people are only concerned with their material possessions but we need to look at everything from possessions to self talk to people in our lives to our work to our electronics etc.  Each area needs a good cleaning every now.  It helps us to figure out what we still need as well as what no longer serves a purpose in our lives.  As we grow, things change, & what we once needed may be something we no longer do.  That’s how life goes.  We need to be able to recognize this, handle it, & move on.
The first thing I did was start a list with the different areas that I wanted to clean up.  Everyone’s list will look different but the areas I;m concentrating on are: mental/physical/spiritual health & well being, self talk, volunteering & giving back to others, parenting & relationships, digital, & material possessions.  I wanted to use these topics as stepping stones to dig deeper and see what’s working & what I need to improve on.  I’m making sure each area has no more than 5 or 6 items in.  There’s no need to add more otherwise it would defeat my purpose of simple living. To get an idea, here are a few things I’m working on:
*work on my relationship with the lord
*take note of my self talk & which is a reflection of how I view myself
*utilize my online time so I can make the most of my time
*evaluate people in my life & make sure everyone contributes more happiness than negativity to my life
*compare my health progress with my long term goals: see what has worked & what I need to work on
*review my year’s goals & check how far I’ve come…….see my progress & know where I need to put more effort in
*write a plan for things I would like to fix up around the house from small to large & work on something once a wk
*make an effort to get rid of 20 items a week that we no longer need, use, or want….donate it unless I know I can sell it with minimal hassle
What areas are you working on?

 

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