Weekend Links | Lately on Pinterest

It's almost summer, which means I have a few projects on my mind to complete.  The key to these projects is that they have to be cheap, easy, and quick to complete.  We don't budget for Pinterest projects, so they must be easy on the pocketbook.  I have limited talents when it comes to DIY, so they have to be easy (or, something I can pawn off on my better half).  I don't have many patience for DIYs, so they must be quick to complete.

So, here we go!

I would love a little set of rustic hooks like this in our foyer.  I think it's minimalist, while still having character.  Plus, it falls under the cheap, easy, and quick category!

As you know, I have been on a "minimalist" kick lately.  I am drawn to white walls and simple decor.  Ever since Mark and my mom painted our master bedroom last summer, I have wanted to switch out our bedside lighting.  Our current lamps are from the thrift store, spray painted, and topped with a Target lampshade.  We have had them for many years and I am ready for a little face lift.  I would love something simple like the lighting above- just a large, glass lightbulb would satisfy me. 

I would love a desk like this.  Now, this doesn't fall under the "Liz DIY" category, but rather one in which I toss the project to Mark and smile while batting my lashes.  I have skills, but they don't consist of desk making.  I love the rustic top.  We have a local fella who sells beautiful wood at a great price, so this wouldn't break the bank.  I am also really drawn to hairpin legs lately.  I just think it's a super interesting piece. 

My last little project is for Julia's nursery.  I created the perfect nursery when we had Guinnyth, but I want to change up the collage wall and make it a little more simple.  So, I thought hanging some of my favorite Instagram pictures of Julia and her siblings would be fun.  It is a great way to display pictures and doesn't take a lot of time or effort to execute.  Plus, it will cover many of the lovely nail holes I made during the hanging of the collage wall.  You can believe me when I say, there are a lot of holes.  Just close your eyes, honey. ;)

I would love to know what projects you are wanting to tackle.  I might have to steal a few and make them my own! 

Homeschool | Summer Goals

I have had an abundance of requests for curriculum advice and scheduling input.  I thought I would start with a few summer goals I have for our family.  I want to enjoy summer.  Last year, I was very pregnant with our fourth and had a mountain of anticipation for her arrival, so I didn't cease the summer like I want to this year.

This past winter/spring semester we focused on hitting our workbooks hard so we could finish them.  I am a finish the workbooks kind of girl.  So, with that big push to complete our workbooks, I lost our Charlotte Mason rhythm.  I liked our CM rhythm. I'm bringing it back this summer.

+We are going to read the second book in the Narnia series.  We loved the first book and have started the second one, but we need to dedicate some snuggle on the king sized bed and read time.  The kids have been begging for me to read it and I keep putting it off because we have other things that my mind deems more important to do.  Narnia... we're coming at'cha!  I will also be more diligent about sitting with the little girls and reading their books to them.  They mainly tag along with whatever book I am reading to the big kids, but this summer I am dedicating time to their books, as well.

+I am going to teach Ella to cook/bake a few recipes all on her own.  This might seem like a lot for a seven year old, but she loves to cook and I think after a few lessons with me she will be great.  I plan to help her learn how to make pancake batter ( I will cook the pancakes).  Mornings are my favorite time of the day, but since I like to have a warm breakfast most days, it can seem rushed if I don't get my lazy bootie up in time to prep.  Ella making the batter will help a lot.  Another recipe I will enlist her to make is Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I have a tried+true recipe that we love and it is easy, so I think she can handle it, as well.

+I have been the world's worst mama when it comes to taking my kids to the pool.  I have either been 8/9 months pregnant or with a young baby, so I haven't spent much time at the pool with my kiddos aside from swimming lessons.  Ella can swim, so we bought Liam and Guinnyth life jackets over the past year for the pool.  They will all be in swimming lessons, so that will help them learn to swim, but when we're at the pool with other kiddos and my Julia, I want to make sure the middle two are safe.  I think that will help me to enjoy the pool a bit more.

+We are doing a summer program with Ella.  Liam can sit and help us, but it is mostly for her to do.  It sounds like so much fun and I am excited to start it.  You can check it out and enter to win a free registration fee ($199) here.

+I am determined to get flash cards out.  We do a little bit of flash card work, but I am marking it down as one of those things we will be doing this summer.  It's just one of those annoying tasks you have to do... kind of like taking out the trash.  Ugh.

So, those are a few of our summer goals.  I will be writing a curriculum post and a homeschool resource post for those of you interested.  Let me know if you have any specific questions so I can make sure to include those answers in my post.

Homeschool | Summer Program

Summer is an interesting time for me as a homeschool mom.  I get to guide us as we shift from scheduled into the flexible.  I tend to navigate the "scheduled" waters a bit more swiftly, but this year, I'm so looking forward to the flexible.  I am ready to get grocery shopping done in the mornings and to have play dates before naptime, instead of after naptime.

The hard part about summer is knowing that a good deal of the school year progress will be swept away by the lazy-day tide.  I searched for fun ideas to help keep my kids academic minded, yet light-hearted and fun.  A summer curriculum, if you will.

Ella is really into playing spy games and scavenger hunts, so I was really excited to find Brain Chase. It is perfect for her because it keeps her math, reading, writing, and problem solving skills sharp, all while having her search for a treasure.

You also receive fun tools in the mail to help you find the treasure!  The kids love these!!!

The cool thing about Brain Chase is that it is online, perfect for families that are busy, and gives kids the option to earn a real prize- a $10,000 scholarship!  While I'm a scheduled person, I like to know that there is an end to the tunnel up ahead.  Brain Chase is only 5 weeks and is customizable to the age of your kiddos.  The age range is from 2nd-8th.

Each week, Ella will have to Unlock the Adventure by completing four tasks: read for 15 minutes per day, write one journal entry (on the computer), earn 10,000 points on Khan Academy, and do one bonus challenge.  Once she completes those tasks, she can unlock the next webisode which will help her to guess where the treasure is!  Each day requires about 1 hour of effort and if you miss a day, you can make it up later.

The webisodes will feature characters that will entertain and aide the kiddos in completing their tasks and finding the treasure.  Here's the fun part... every 24 hours, the adventurers can log in and guess the location of the actual treasure.  The first adventurer to guess the treasure's location gets to travel to the treasure site to claim the prize!  So, you are racing against other kids/families across the globe.

If you're interested in joining the chase, you can register here.  It is fun and flexible and a great way to get your kids excited to learn over the summer.  There is a trailer you can watch here to help you understand how this works.

I'm super excited because I get to give away a FREE enrollment to one of my readers!  Use the rafflecopter below to enter to win a free enrollment voucher for the 2015 Brain Chase Adventure!
For those of you who want to jump on board, I have a code for you to use to get 15% off of your enrollment fee: QUICK15.  An important note... This summer's adventure begins on June 22, 2015.  Make sure to get enrolled so you can be a part of this summer program!!!

Weekend Links | What We're Jammin' To

So, we listen to a lot of music in this house.  Mark plays worship for our church and we regularly sit in a circle on the floor and sing worship songs while he practices.  I cannot tell you how much I love that he can play the guitar and sing.  It enriches our home life so, so much.  Way back when he was a freshman in college, he went to Christian Campus House and watched a dude play contemporary worship.  He had never been exposed to contemporary worship and he fell in love.  He mentioned to me that he wanted to learn to play guitar.  I, a high school senior, scrapped enough cash together to buy him his first guitar.  He still has that guitar and our kiddos will probably learn to strum using that guitar.  

I thought I would share a few songs that have been regulars in our home lately.  Some we listen to for pleasure, some to get our hearts pumping while we work out, and some for the simple reason that they move our hearts.  Take a listen...

I Give In:  I have been jamming to this song while I work out and even when I get ready in the mornings.

Touch the Sky:  Because it absolutely moves my heart and I'm trying to get Mark to work this one into the worship playlist.  

Cold is the Night:  I am doing a lot of work on myself right now and this song was gifted to me by one of my prayer warriors.  

After All:  I am a huge Crowder fan.  That's all.

There ya have it, folks.  Some of my faves right now.  I hope you have a great weekend!!! Muah!

Faith | Carrying Burdens

We are all human.  We will all experience raw, human emotions.  It can be painful.  It can be lasting- holding on for years.  I've been a prisoner to things that have happened long ago and caused me a tremendous amount of anger.  It is crippling and deafening.  At times, it's all I can see and all I can feel.  Anger has stripped me of common joy and left me feeling hopeless.

Recently, I reached out.  I humbled myself and confessed this weighty sin.  I have prayed over this situation for years, but have never been able to completely dig myself out of the hole.  With my husband's blessing, I sought counsel and opened my heart to hear what the Spirit was saying to me through another, God-fearing person.  It has been difficult and a lot of work, but I see freedom ahead and it tastes so good!

For so long, I sat in my anger and it felt really good.  I felt that I was being justified in my anger and I was content.  The thing with sin is that it can feel good for a time.  It can seem harmless and validating.  But, eventually, it rubs you raw.  The Spirit can't dwell where sin smothers it.

My heart wants to encourage you.  If there is something you have been hanging on to- anger, fear, jealousy, pride- I want to shove you into submission to the Holy Spirit.  Your sin will pollute you in so many ways.  Your soul vision will be impacted and you will no longer see clearly.  The freedom that is at the end of the long journey is so worth the time it takes to lay yourself down.

I would love to pray for you if you have something you need to lay down.  You can email me at thequickjourney (at) yahoo (dot) com. :)

Health | Skin Care

I know skin care doesn't necessarily excite everyone, but when you are someone who's struggled with poor skin for years, it's pretty exciting when you find something that works!  It's also pretty exciting when those products aren't filled with tons of chemicals that pollute your body.  Skin is the largest organ in our bodies and we have to take care to make sure we aren't putting a bunch of junk on our skin.  Just like pollution from the air (free radicals- which also lead to early aging and much more) is toxic and unhealthy for our skin and bodies, so are chemical laden skin products.

I spent many years cleaning up our kitchen and cooking habits, but totally ignored my skin care.  I didn't think it was that big of a deal since we ate well.  Then, I started looking into what was in my skin care.  This is where all my issues come from- research.  Once I educate myself on things, I can no longer ignore them. Maybe I need to quit educating myself- haha.  

Cleanse: In an effort to clean up my skin regimen, I started with my cleanser.  After looking for a good, healthy cleanser that wouldn't break the bank, I settled on the Root Fresh Face cleanser.  It contains charcoal that deeply cleanses the skin and brightens at the same time.  It contains essential oils that help to strengthen our skin and keep it healthy and radiant.  I am always so nervous that a new cleanser will break my skin out, but this one is so gentle, yet effective, and didn't cause my skin to get irritated at all.

Skin Repair:  I am already obsessed with my essential oils, so I decided to stick with them and see what the results were when I used them to heal and repair my scarring.  I have quite a bit of redness and surface scarring from years of acne.  I tried to be good about not picking my blemishes, but there were times that it was so painful I couldn't help but mess with them.  Thus, I have a lot of residual scarring.  I have been putting Frankincense *oil on my scars and have noticed my redness lightening up.  Frankincense is great for minimizing visual blemishes and for adding a healthy glow.  I also have smile lines that seemed to be staying after my smile had faded.  I used Frankincense on those lines and they have been radically reduced.

Blemishes:  In case you are someone who deals with blemishes popping up, there are some healthy ways to tackle those.  I am a firm believer in Tea Tree and Purification* oils.  Many (almost all) skin products on the market contain Tea Tree.  It is a champ at keeping those blemishes at bay and halting their growth.  It also has a cooling effect, which I love.  I use Purification if I have a new blemish (or if I picked at one) to help purify and cleanse the area.  Plus, it smells so yummy!

Moisturize:  And, now I'm going to deal with keeping the skin hydrated.  I used to think that stripping my skin of all of its oils was what would make my acne go away, but that is so not true.  I noticed a huge difference in my break-outs once I started hydrating my skin well.  It sounds counter-productive, but when your skin is dry, it begins to produce more sebum to help hydrate it.  Then, you get stuck with oily and clogged pores.  My favorite moisturizer is the Root Beauty Sleep Perfecting Serum.  Get a big bottle of this.  Don't even mess with the small one, because you will love it.  I use it day and night.  I use it to deep condition my hair.  You can even use it for your cuticles!  My skin loves this stuff!!!

Bottom line is that all of these products help your skin, not harm it.  Make sure to do your own research.  Make good choices and be aware of what you are putting on your skin.  Let me know what you love to use for skin care!  I'm always excited to read what other people have found helpful!!

*** Any suggestions made on this blog are very specific to Young Living essential oils and should not be used with oils from another source. Statements made on this website about Young Living Essential Oils have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician. If you are currently on medication, please DO NOT STOP. I am not not taking the place of your licensed medical professional, I do not diagnose and do not take responsibility for your health. I encourage you to do your research and seek out conversations with medical professionals that you go to, love & trust. This info is for learning purposes only. I'm not a doctor, just simply sharing what has worked for my family. Please consult a health care practitioner when making any changes to your medical routine. This information is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.