When I moved to the place that I live now, I appreciated the layout of the kitchen. It isn’t large, but a decent size for having company and entertaining. The one thing that was a drawback is the fact that we lacked cabinet space. I had gotten used to the pantry that we were blessed with at the last place. So here, I had to get creative. That’s where the shelves came in. Last week, I featured a post on building a clothing rack with plumbing pipe material here.
I needed a place to store more dishes. Plus, I needed somewhere to store things like cereal and oatmeal boxes. What I decided is that I would build four shelves using plumbing pipe materials and lumber. I went to one of my favorite hardware stores, Menards, and got to planning. This project didn’t require a lot of materials. It just required planning as far as finding the studs, and then making sure that the flanges are being screwed into the studs in the wall. If they aren’t, well, we don’t want to go there, because it would be a disaster of broken dishes, drywall, and everything else.
Building the Shelves
Instead of stacking boxes, and all that drama on these shelves, I decided to use mason jars. To me, they give more of a clean, organized look. I liked the look so much, that if there was wall space on the other side of my kitchen window, I’m quite sure by now, I would have another set of shelves lined up there. Kitchen shelves are one of my favorite things to view in kitchens when I am glancing through home magazines.
I should also specify that I planned everything, and I gave my son and daughter the pleasure of dealing with the hardware. To be honest, I am not comfortable using a drill. I used a drill once at the last place when I got tired of waiting for them to place a shelf on the wall in the laundry room. When they saw that I had put the shelf up, with anchors and all, they kind of gave me the look, “Okay”. Anyways, here are the materials and instructions for having fun. If you are bold enough to try it, send a comment and post pictures below.
(4) 48″ X 12″ lumber boards
(8) 1/2 ” Tees
(8) 1/2 ” pipe flanges
(8) 1/2 ” 12″ pipe nipples
Use a stud finder to locate the studs in the wall.
Make sure that you leave enough space in between the shelves.
Using a drill, screw the nails into the pipe flanges, and then the nipples into the flanges.
Screw on the 1/2″ Tee to the pipe nipple.
Place the lumber board on top.
The weight of the jars and dishes will keep the board in place.
If you prefer to attach the pipe nipples to the boards, attach two metal clips on both sides for security.
Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. Psalms 127:1
36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.”37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled.38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watcha] with me.”39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour?41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”
43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again.45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
This past weekend was one of a lot of relaxation, mixed in with an onset of allergies that came crashing my way. When my allergies get this bad, the best thing for me to do is to try to relax as much as possible, although this was my plan for the weekend anyway. While relaxing, I got caught up on the episodes of Baked in Vermont and Focus on the Family that were sitting in the DVR box. I am not a super sweets person. However, by the time that you finish watching this show, you’ll be wanting to bake with whatever ingredients that you can get your hands on.
On Sunday, I stopped at the grocery store after church to get the ingredients for this super quick vegan meal. I love the challenge of making healthy meals involving all different kinds of beans and legumes. One thing about this meal is that it only requires a few ingredients. I made the same recipe a couple of weeks ago. However, I used black-eyed peas instead of black beans. Both meals were good and filling. The black bean version kept me full longer. If you decide to give it a try, send a comment down below, or an email with your thoughts on how it turned out.
Here is the recipe:
Activity: Making Vegan Black Beans with Quinoa & Zucchini Mix
Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 30 minutes
3 teaspoons of onion powder
3 cans of organic black beans
1 box of Earthly Grains Quinoa/Brown Rice Blend with Rosemary and Olive Oil (from Aldi’s)
1/4 cup of olive oil or butter
Place the three cans of black beans and the brown rice with rosemary packet into a pan of two cups of water. (I only used a fourth of the packet to cut down on sodium).
Add the onion powder.
Cut the zucchini into strips with a potato peeler.
Saute the zucchini strips.
Dump the zucchini into the pan after about 18 minutes, letting the mixture cook for another 12 minutes.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35, NIV
Have you ever been in such a rush to leave out the door that you left your belt at home? I have done it before, and it’s not a pleasant thing. Nine times out of ten, you are constantly pulling up and tucking in for fear of your bottom layer falling down, or your top layer coming out. Wearing a belt helps to prevent this from happening. Let’s say that we decide to put the belt on, but the buckle is broken. Well, then it makes no sense to even wear the belt at all.
There have been times when I’ve been invited somewhere. I was so excited getting ready for “women fellowship” time. Then, upon arrival, the devil started me up with the comparison trap. I started worrying about whether or not I am overdressed or under-dressed, or if my life is such a mess that I shouldn’t even make myself vulnerable enough to talk about it. After having the tape playing in my head like crazy, I have to talk myself down, and then tell myself, “My identity is in Christ. I am free to be who God created me to be.” Sometimes I calm down pretty quickly. Other times, not so much.
We are all broken, and in our brokenness, we need to build each other up in love, and remember to not leave ourselves exposed leaving out the door. God’s belt of truth is a buckler. It shields and protects. It keeps us together.
Four years ago, when my kids and I were living at our last residence, my daughter wanted a clothing rack that she saw in a PBteen magazine. The clothing rack was $400. At the time, I wasn’t able to afford any kind of rack. We had just found a place to live. Four months later, the Lord blessed me with the funds to build her a rack. I gave it to her as an early Christmas present. She had enough closet space, but she wanted this particular clothing rack to be used as a furniture piece in her room.
I took the picture from the PBTeen magazine to Home Depot with me. One of the guys there was more than happy to help out. I told him that I wanted a spin off of the rack with the best solution possible. He took the time to walk me through the aisles, showing me every single part that I needed. I wrote all the parts down so that I would be prepared whenever God’s timing was right to send the funds. The list of parts came out to about $118.00. Three months later, I had the money to build the rack. That’s when I decided to go to Menards to compare prices. I was able to get all the parts that I needed for about $56 dollars.
I had my son to build the rack while my daughter was gone to a function. I told him, “You have to hurry up before she gets home, so it won’t ruin the surprise”. I could tell that he enjoyed doing it, because he stated that it was just like building Legos. I was so excited to be able to bless her with this gift after everything that we had been through. After he put the rack together, we waited for her to come home. I told her to come up to her room because I had something to talk to her about. When she got to her room, she was had the weirdest look on her face. She kept saying over and over again, “When did you get this?” This made my heart happy. The smallest things during the toughest times can mean a lot to anyone.
If you like to be adventurous, and build a rack, then here are the instructions:
(4) 1/2″ pipe flanges
(2) 1/2″ T’s
(4) 1/2″ 8″ plumbing pipe nipples
(2) 6 feet nipples
(1) 1/2″ 3 feet nipple
2 1/2″ 90 degree elbows
2 1/2″ 45 degree elbows
Make sure not to tighten all parts fully until you have put the whole thing together.
Place two flanges on one side and two flanges on the other side.
Picture in your head that you are building a towel bar.
On both sides, screw a 90 degree elbow into the two pipe flanges.
On both sides, screw an 8 inch nipple, then T, then 8 inch nipple to form a “towel bar”.
Attach the 6 feet nipples to the T’s on both sides.
Attach the 45 degree elbows to the 6 feet nipples.
Place the 3 feet long nipple in between the 45 degree elbows.
Last week, we discussed the Depression Aspect: Living with and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis. If you’d like to refer back to the discussion you can click here. This week we are discussing: The Regulating Emotions Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis. For someone living with and healing from trauma on a daily basis, regulating emotions can be a challenge.
Having difficulty regulating emotions is a sign that your amygdala has had a beating from all the trauma. There are times when I have had a full two weeks straight of dysregulated emotions. What I have managed to figure out recently is that it usually occurs for one of three reasons: 1) when my system is overloaded with grief, and I am having a hard time getting it out, 2) I am in a place where I feel that I need to get up and go to the bathroom to grieve because it needs to be heavy release, 3) the trauma is causing my mind and body to self-protect, and I don’t feel safe enough to let it out.
Getting it Out
Dysregulated emotions isn’t the worst thing. However, it is not the most pleasant either. Once your emotions are dysregulated, then it makes you wonder if you shouldn’t have just gotten it out anyway. For example, when the emotions are dysregulated, your face may be showing something different than how you feel. The worse thing is being around other people when this happens. You almost feel like you have to put on a fake face to show that you are not in agony from being pinned up with emotions. On the flip side, you could also end up being way over the top in expressing the emotion that you are feeling.
Anger is one of those emotions that this can happen with. It’s best to try to be honest with the people that you are around by letting them know you’re having problems regulating, and that you need to excuse yourself to grieve. The best thing that I can advise, as I had to remind myself the other day, after having dealt with a two week flareup: “Better out than in”. Try to let the grief out as soon as possible. It prevents your whole emotional system from going haywire, and you having a long drawn-out episode that could have been avoided.
Last night, I attended an “Ask the Author” event with my Writing Group. It was different in that it was setup like more of a poetry workshop. We were given several handouts of bible verses, and we had to pick one. I decided to use John 15, since this particular chapter on love and abiding seems to be the theme of the last two weeks for me. God has definitely been speaking through that chapter. The poem below is what I came up with last night. I added a few more words this afternoon. It tells the journey of how God had me to relearn what love is after being in an emotionally abusive marriage for 20 years.
My breakthrough came when I heard a message by Joyce Meyer, stating that in order to heal from abuse, we need to study as many bible verses on love as possible. Romans 8, seemed to tear me up the most. After studying about God’s love for a while, he allowed me to feel it. I was so overwhelming, that I was almost knocked off my feet. God never does anything halfheartedly. The reckless love that God showed me cannot be put into words. Sometimes, I would praise dance, and pretend as if I was a tree, and his love would take over.
At the beginning of the summer, I had to face some very tough trials, and as God revealed himself to Moses, he revealed himself to me, allowing his entire Spirit to penetrate through me for a good four to five hours, reminding me that he was there, holding my hand, and ready to walk me through another storm. This poem combines the love God taught me a few years ago, and the love that he poured on me a few months ago. Blessings!
Abide My Love, Dance With Me
Let his love so overflow,
Through my veins from head to toe.
Fill his presence on overwhelm,
Till that love tank is set at helm.
I now know no other love,
It’s not abuse,
Exploiting of doves.
For his love, we can’t explain.
No real words,
just like the pain.
Helps us heal from the abuse.
No more doormat,
He cut me loose.
Thought it was something that I’d just heard,
Your love engulfed me,
Felt so absurd.
The love you showed,
Your love, it jerked me into a kiln.
Oh, now I know, “it” was the One,
Given to me,
Straight through your Son.
You are so dear, so dear to me,
To let me feel to this degree.
Oh, my Lord, almost too much,
To let me feel your Loving Touch.
Healing those places hurt by trauma,
Loving so fast,
it’s like my momma,
For it’s your love that healed my trauma,
Loving so fast,
it’s like my momma.
No greater love,
No one can copy,
You have the patent,
You own no sloppy.
It makes me dance, Just like a tree,
My arms are waving and feeling free.
I dance and sway, move to the right,
Your love reminds me
“No need to fight”.
Abide in Me, and I in you
Your love protects and helps me through.
You see when everyone is gone,
Your love is constant,
Helps me go on.
It makes me wonder,
How can it be,
That you decided to dance with me.
I can’t believe I danced so high,
And with your love, we touched the sky.
I can’t believe you came so close,
To showing your Spirit,
It made me roast.
In your embrace,
It took some time,
Just pouring and pouring,
Now I’m new wine.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. John 15: 7-8
Today, I am featuring a guest blog post “Improve Your Health with a Simplified Beauty Routine and Natural Products” from Breanne Connor at Essential Moves to Wellness.
Do you find the idea of a natural beauty routine a little off-putting? Look, I get it. Why would you change out your products that already work?
While your tried-and-true products work great, they are slowly and subtly sabotaging your health.
This post may contain affiliate links. I only promote products I use and love. You can read more about it on my disclaimer page.
A Natural Beauty Routine Defined
What exactly is a natural beauty routine?
It’s a certain lifestyle where all of your beauty products are free from harsh chemicals or ingredients that can cause your body harm.
The thing is, most big-name beauty brands use way too many ingredients, and most of them have been scientifically proven to be harmful. Yet beauty companies continue to use and abuse these ingredients.
Some common harsh chemicals include sulfates, parabens, carcinogens, and “fragrance” (source). They can cause anything ranging from skin irritation to infertility to cancer.
Natural beauty products can be homemade, and some are only one or two ingredients!
Start With the Basics
When starting a natural beauty routine, it’s best to start with the absolute basic products and add only what’s necessary for your skin and hair.
A terribly underrated part of a natural beauty routine is many single-ingredient products are very versatile. Take honey, for example. You can use it as a facial mask, replace your shampoo, the list goes on.
See some more of my single-ingredient beauty product swaps with my free download! Just enter your name and email below.
To help you avoid overwhelm, I’m going to list what I think are the absolute basics for every beauty routine. Give these suggestions a go, and add on anything else as you go through your natural lifestyle journey.
Body and Facial Wash: Norwex Cloths
I’m sure you’re wondering, “What on Earth are Norwex Cloths??”
Norwex is an amazing company that sells microfiber cloths designed to pick up any unwanted microscopic organisms on a surface. Whether it be your body, or kitchen counters!
These cloths are literally the only things that have cleared my body acne, and I haven’t bought body wash in years! The antibacterial power of these cloths are the only thing your face and body need to stay clean.
Toner: Rose Water
I know that toner may seem like an unnecessary product, but it actually is very helpful for keeping an even and youthful skin tone.
Rose water helps balance your skin’s PH, control excess oil, heals scars, and so much more! (source)
You can find rose water at any health food store, or even the vitamin section of your local grocery store. I get rose water in a fine mist bottle specifically meant to be a toner. I just spray it all over my face after washing and let it air dry!
Moisturizer and Hair Oil: Argan Oil
I used Argan oil on face as a moisturizer for years before I decided to make my own! There are so many benefits, including repair to damaged skin, anti-frizz, and quick absorption for perfect moisture! (source)
After every shower or every time I washed my face, I would put a few drops of Argan oil on my fingertips and massage it into my skin. Then I would put a few more drops in my palms and run it through the ends of my hair.
Now I’ll admit that toothpaste is one area that I haven’t found much success in terms of safe ingredients. While there are some perfectly safe products out there, they are not effective for me at all.
There was one brand that I used for months, but my teeth looked like they weren’t brushed at all! I later found out that I was basically brushing my teeth with watered-down clay.
The only brand I recommend is Tom’s of Maine. They have several safe options that scored well on the Think Dirty app, and my teeth are staying clean!
Shampoo and Conditioner: Any Chemical-Free Brand
I’d love to list a Holy Grail brand for hair care here, but there is no one amazing shampoo for everybody. We all have different hair types, so this one will take a little research on your part.
But I’m not going to leave you completely hanging! Some brands that I love and trust are Desert Essence, Shea Moisture, and Calia Natural. All of these brands have amazing ratings on the Think Dirty App.
Also, you don’t need to have an app on your phone to tell what is natural and what’s not. I have a handy post on How to Tell if Your Natural Products are Actually Natural. Just because something says “natural” on it, doesn’t mean it actually is free of harsh chemicals, and this post tells you how to navigate through the confusion.
Razors: Get a Safety Razor
I bet you’re thinking, “What? I even need to change my razor?” The answer is yes, yes you do.
You know that little lubricating strip on your razor? That thing is chock full of unknown stuff that the razor company isn’t even obligated to list. Throw it out now!
I hope that this post sparks your own journey to a natural lifestyle. I’ve never felt better, and I’ve certainly never looked back.
Now I want to challenge you! Take a look at the ingredient list of one or two of your beauty products. Ask yourself if you’re okay with what you’re putting on your hair or skin every day.
If not, I challenge you to try natural products! I’ll be rooting for you along the way!
Would you be up for switching out some of your beauty products? Let me know in the comments below!
About the Author
Breanne is the owner of the blog Essential Moves to Wellness, where she writes about getting the most out of a healthy lifestyle. Her posts range from DIY beauty to ballet to mental health and wellness. When Breanne isn’t writing, she loves to crochet, tutor other writers, and dance ballet. Check out her blog for more on healthy living.
As you all know, I like mixing all different ingredients together to see what kind of concoction that I can come up with. The other night, I decided to make gemelli pasta with sauteed zucchini. It was quick and tasty. When the kids and I lived in our last place, I got the idea of using the potato peeler to peel my zucchini in strips, and then saute them. On one particular night, I made zucchini strips, tried out a couple of strips, and then went upstairs to do something. By the time I got back, all of the strips were gone. My daughter said, “Oh, those were good”. She had just told me that she didn’t want any.
One thing about pasta is that it is inexpensive, and you have the option to do a lot of different things with it:
eat it hot or cold
use salad dressing, butter, pesto, or pasta sauce as a topping
dump meat or vegan alternative to add protein
add vegetables to make it more colorful and exciting
season with pepper and olive oil to add more flavor
Here is the recipe:
Activity: Making Gemelli Pasta with Zucchini
Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 45 minutes
two teaspoons of onion powder
two teaspoons of italian seasoning
two teaspoons of garlic powder
two teaspoons of cumin
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 box gemelli pasta
1 jar of pasta sauce
Add pasta to boiling water.
Add olive oil to water so that the pasta won’t stick.
While the pasta is boiling, cut the zucchini into strips using a potato peeler.
Saute the zucchini, and rinse the pasta off using a colander.
Dump the zucchini, and all the rest of the ingredients into the pot and serve.
Makes 10 to 12 servings.
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4
My kids know that when it comes to me getting my hands on some paint in the house, it can be really dangerous. I mean really dangerous. When I am trying to process things, and having an emotionally challenging day, it calls for creativity and fresh air. Creativity for me could be dancing, praise dancing, painting, journaling, writing, or decorating. When I am in painting and decorating mode together, watch out! So about a year ago, I was in one of my moods, and I sat on the couch thinking about how absolutely bland and lifeless the color of the kids’ piano was. I also started looking at a particular chair that I’d found my daughter about seven years ago from World Market on clearance for $24, which at this point, had been painted three times already. The original color was espresso.
On A Mission
Well, my mind kept going on the possibilities, and I ended up using the last bit of Antique Silver Paint, a color that I had bought from Menards in their Paramount Pittsburgh All in One, One Coat Paint and Primer Series. I had a paint brush, drop cloth, and paint, and one extra tray already in the laundry room. I was on a mission. No one was going to stop me.
I wanted to get everything done before the kids got home from school. They walked in the door, and they had the look of shock on their faces. My son’s main concern was that I didn’t ruin the piano. I said, “NO, you’re good.” He still looked skeptical. They slowly walked over to check it out. I think it took them a week to get used to it. All in all, it turned out pretty decent, and the best part about it is that I had just enough paint to finish the job. God is good. All the time!