Friday, August 27, 2010

Special Offer from tasha.tulip!!!

I am offering a special from my Etsy Shop!

Tutu Tote for $18!!!!

The usually price is $28, so this is a darn good deal! There is a small catch though... I will make the bag in the fabric and colors of my choice, still personalized in the name of your choosing, of course. Why am I offering this deal you say? I would like to build my Tutu Tote inventory for Etsy and offer some varied fabric and color options... so I need to make a couple personalized bags with new prints and colors.

Want to see more pictures and read a description? Take a look at the listing on Etsy HERE.

This is a great chance to purchase a fun gift for a sweet little girl for CHEAP! Please message me on Facebook if you're interested. Do not order through Etsy! Total cost will be $18 plus shipping. I will take the first two orders received. Thanks all! I'm excited to get some new bags out!


Monday, August 16, 2010


When I was in 5th grade I had an awesome best friend. We had been wandering down the sidewalk to play at each others' houses since we were in diapers. We did everything together (although tonight I can't seem to remember what us 5th graders actually DID). As we headed into middle school, life began to change for both of us. We headed in different directions, adapted, and moved on.

In 9th grade I had an awesome best friend. A different friend now. We were just as equally, if not more inseparable. We stayed up until 2:00 a.m. doing honors projects together, made home movies of cooking shows (a smoothie recipe), and awkwardly danced through the hallways at school (no really... we did). By 12th grade, two more awesome best friends had been added to my life. We were running through the sprinklers together, singing pop songs together, illegally ice-blocking down the 15th hole together, squealing over the new colors in the Sharpie package together, and holding our own in-living-room dance parties together. Then we all graduated. Life began to change for all of us. We headed in different directions, adapted, and moved on.

In college I had some pretty awesome friends, too. We did church together. We worshipped with our hands in the air for the first time. We built houses in Mexico and taught VBS in Jamaica. We prayed. We rode all the best roller coasters at Magic Mountain. We saw people come to Christ, and people walk away. We were there for each other through all the new adult things that just started happening to us. We transitioned into "real life" together. Then we started moving, and getting married, and having kids. Life was yet changing for all of us once again. We headed in different directions, adapted, and moved on.

Or did we.

Something shifted after kids entered the picture. For some reason, it is now much more difficult to form new friendships, and the ones that we are blessed enough to have become increasingly difficult to maintain. Why?

I think it comes down to this one little word... Community. Everyone needs a community. Human beings function with their utmost only when in relationship with other human beings. God's great design. When we are young, our family is our community. Mom, Dad, brothers and sisters. Or maybe Grandparents, Godparents, or cousins. We are found knit tightly to those people we spend the majority of our days with. As we grow up into middle school and high school, then on into college, we look outside the family for our community, still looking to build our community around the people we spend our days with, which has now become our peers. I can still remember my parents' frustration when I was more interested in spending time with my friends than being home with my family. But that's because my parents were not building their community with their peers, but instead with their family.

That is where I find myself today. Since my wonderful son came into the world, I find that my focus has turned inward toward my family again; now, MY family. My investments of time and energy are poured first and foremost into my son and husband (and then into naptime if I can convince myself). And I find myself a little lonely. Ok, sometimes a LOT lonely. Why? We come back to why. Because all my peers are doing the same.

When I first became a mom (welcome to the club), I would look around at all the other young moms and think, "Wow, they really have it together. They must have all these cute young mom friends, too, who they have play dates with and family dinner dates with and make deep heart connections at Bible study with." But then I started talking to these moms, these peers of mine, and realized that 9 times out of 10 they were feeling just as lonely and isolated as I was, because all of us are focused inward. Especially as moms, we all naturally fill our community needs in our children and families.

Please understand, I think this is a good thing when we put our families first. My parents sometimes joke that they had no friends the whole 23+ years my siblings and I were living at home, and I deeply appreciate their sacrifice. But it doesn't help me to feel less lonely today.

When I was in high school, I was naturally pulled toward my friends and peers. If I wanted to maintain family relationships, I had to be INTENTIONAL. I had to decide I would stay home for a movie night, instead of going out to the movies. And over time, this intentionality paid off. Now that I have a kid (and will most likely have more), I am naturally pulled toward my children. If I want to make and maintain peer friendships, (hear the revelation moment now) I have to be INTENTIONAL. No longer in life will bonding as a result of spontaneously running through the park sprinklers happen on a regular basis. If I want those deep peer relationships in my life, I have to invest in them.

One thing I started doing to invest in other young moms in my life is hosting a monthly craft night. It's called a Cake 'n Craft, because I invite a group of young moms to my humble abode to share dessert and learn a new craft. It's been neat to spend time with women who I might otherwise be too intimidated to just call up on the phone and ask to hang out. And just as with family in high school, I believe this extra bit of intentionality will pay off in time.

It is not easy maintaining a peer community with other young moms. What is something you do to be intentional? How do you pursue these relationships in your life? And if you haven't been, join the club! Now, what is something you will do this week to change that?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Etsy Shop Is Open!

I can't tell you how excited I am to announce that my Etsy Shop is finally OPEN!! YAY! Let's all squeal for joy together. I only have 3 items listed at this point, but I'm happy to share them with you.

If you see something you like in the shop but want to bypass ordering through Etsy, just shoot me an e-mail or hunt me down on Facebook.

Thank you for letting me share this part of my life with you. I'm excited for this new adventure in creativity!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Whole Wheat Crepes

I am loving loving LOVING this breakfast recipe right now. It comes from Lindsay over at Passionate Homemaking. Batter in a blender? Brilliant! It uses kefir instead of buttermilk, coconut oil instead of canola oil, and I sub whole wheat flour for all-purpose. Sometimes whole wheat flour can make things taste gritty or too dense, but not in these babies. She suggests letting the half-mixed batter soak overnight, which I haven't tried yet, but fully intend to if I ever remember to think about breakfast the night before. She also suggests using a crepe pan or a non-stick pan. While those are probably the best options, I have to say I use my small stainless steel pan with no problem as long as I give it a once over with coconut oil (or other non-stick) before starting.

This is such an easy recipe! It's my new breakfast fave. We usually eat them with strawberries or maple syrup, but the possibilities are endless! Let me know how you like them if you give it a try!

Whole Wheat Blender Crepes
¾ cup kefir
2 tsp coconut oil
1 egg
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp honey, only for sweet crepes
¼ tsp cinnamon, only for sweet crepes
½ cup flour or 1/3 cup whole grain (raw, uncooked) – we love it with spelt or kamut, but you can also use a combination of brown rice and millet or quinoa (make sure to rinse for a full minute before grinding) if you are gluten intolerant

Combine in a blender: kefir, oil, and whole grain and blend for 3 minutes on high, or just 30 seconds if using flour. If desired, cover blender and let batter stand overnight at room temperature to benefit from breaking down the phytates. After soaking, add egg, salt, honey & cinnamon (if desired).

Lightly spray or wipe a seasoned crepe pan or non-stick pan with oil (coconut oil is preferred). Use a napkin or wax paper to wipe out excess. Pour 3 Tablespoons batter (filling a ¼ cup measuring cup ¾ full) into your hot pan, quickly tilting pan to swirl the batter evenly to edges of pan. Keep mixing your batter as you make each new crepe. Bake until the edges are browned (about 1-2 minutes). Loosen along edges with table knife or shish kabob stick. I use a metal spatula and that works great, too. Turn over and bake on opposite side for about 30 seconds. Lightly apply further oil with napkin or wax paper between crepes, wiping out excess. These freeze very well and can be eaten hot or cold.

Check out the original recipe here, along with a great recipe for cottage cheese filling and more info on soaking. Happy breakfast adventures!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Household Cleaners

I am always in search of the next best natural ANYTHING that I can use in my home. I think living a conscious life includes being responsible for what we eat, wear (although I haven't tackled this one yet), and clean with. Usually I buy natural cleaning products at the store (Seventh Generation), but they are SO expensive! So, recently I did a little googling to find some recipes for natural household cleaners and stumbled upon this little beauty of a webpage!

Non-Toxic Home Cleaning

Bathrooms, carpets, kitchen, laundry, all-purpose and LOTS more; there is a cleaner recipe for any occasion, all using simple, CHEAP ingredients (which are all explained at the top of the page). I have only tried the All-Purpose cleaner so far. It is great for counter tops and general wipe-down jobs. Eventually I plan to try the carpet cleaner because our carpets look like they've been broken in under an elephant bath.

Give some of these a try and let me know what you think!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Zeal Without Knowledge, or, The China Shop

Sometimes I feel like a bull in a china shop, I swear. This is the second night in a row that I've jumped into a dinner that I thought would be quick and simple and instead it just turned out to be completely disastrous. Soup all over the kitchen, clumpy cheese in the ziti, and way more stress (or dishes) than I need over a "last-minute" dinner. But I jumped in without thinking it through... again.

Earlier today I was inspired to help a friend who is about to have a baby by setting up a meal sign-up calendar. I was excited to do it, so I set it up and e-mailed it out without running it by anyone (first mistake). Now it's been brought to my attention that some of the details of my set-up might be offensive to others (I won't get into why), and of course now that I've had time to think it through I see where I could have planned more thoughtfully, more holistically; seeing the whole picture in front of me instead of the one detail I wanted to focus on.

I remember one of the worst experiences I ever had at my most recent job was when I made a pretty major decision, one that affected a lot of people, without consulting any of my peer employees. The response from fellow staff members was awful, and I knew I had made a mistake, because I hadn't thought it through before acting on my excitement. In fact, that whole year at work felt like I was making one mistake after another. Like a bull in a china shop, I would excitedly run into something, shatter it all over the floor, and awkwardly back away, only to break something else.

"For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness."
Romans 10:2-3

I have always applied this verse spiritually (as it seems it was intended), but what an important lesson to let rest over all our decision making. Often I find myself jumping into a task because I'm excited or inspired or moved, only to discover failure in the end because I leaped in on emotion (ah, selfish emotion) without THINKING. Paul told the Romans that while zeal can be positive, if it isn't married to knowledge it will result in pride and stubbornness. Boy was he right! The last thing I want to do after justly failing at something I was so excited about is admit I was wrong. Pride and stubbornness. Zeal without knowledge really is like a bull in a china shop. It is clumsy, foolish, and destructive.

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit kindly and gently reminds me that my agenda is not the most important thing. His is. My zeal is not what matters because it is meaningless when divorced from His love and graciousness. "...God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance." (Romans 2:4) I am so thankful I serve a kind God, who draws me back to His way of doing things like a parent patiently reminding his child of an important truth. Tonight I am reminded by the Father that faith often involves thought, and zeal must hold hands with knowledge, the two cupped together... spooning. That's right, zeal and knowledge have to spoon and walk the bull out of the china shop together. How's THAT for an over-involved metaphor!

Welcome to Life On Purpose

My story is not one of epic proportions. It is not great or triumphal or even very exciting. But it is normal. And I think that is what I have to share here. Embarking on this adventure that is motherood has not been easy, nor has it been predictable. And the more women I talk to, the more I find that all us moms are struggling with the same issues of success & defeat, community & isolation, freedom & guilt, joy & saddness. And none of us think that anyone else must feel these things. Well I'm starting to figure out... that's just ridiculous!

I have been blogging half-heartedly for several months now, knowing it's something I enjoy but not completely sure what I want to share with the blogging community. Then I stumbled upon an article by a guest-writer at one of my favorite blogs, Passionate Homemaking. The Lord struck me right in the heart as I read the very words of my life difficulties in front of me on the computer screen, written by a woman I have never met, and probably never will. She had me crying, alone, in the middle of my kitchen. I hadn't been blind-sided like that since my junior homecoming date dumped me for someone else 2 weeks before the dance! (OK, maybe that's another issue.) Please read the article now. Just go do it. No really... now.

Remember the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23? Whenever I read them I have an inner dialogue that goes something like this:
"Love, ok got it, Joy, duh life is great!, Peace, no problem, I'm a peace-maker, Patience, been married for five years, I'm a master, Kindness, hellOOO I am sooo nice, Goodness, I'm goooood on goodness, Faithfulness, still believin'!, Gentleness, gentle as the Snuggle Bear, and Self-Control, .........ah crap."

It's that darn self-control that gets me every time! For as much as I think I've mastered all the other fruits (which I really don't; there are definitely uglies that rear their heads in other areas), I KNOW that I am almost completely lacking in the area of self-discipline. And it doesn't help being married to the king of self-discipline. (I bet you didn't know there was a king of self-discipline. Well there is, and he's downstairs doing something responsible right at this moment.) But self-discipline, or self-control, is exactly what God is trying to work into my stubborn heart, because there's no way I will accomplish what He has set before me and called me to if this continues to lack in my life.

"As mothers, our daily submission to God, and our willingness to surrender to what He desires to accomplish “under the surface” directly corresponds to how (and to what extent) we will eventually fulfill God’s overall purpose for our lives."

Self-discipline is so difficult because it involves putting what I want aside, and obeying what God wants. Sometimes the two wills go hand in hand. But usually it's more like, "I want to stalk people on Facebook," and God is like, "I want you to do a load of laundry so your son has clean clothes to wear." And these things sound so small that it's easy to grow indifferent to them. But the Lord prepares us for the big thing with lots of little small things first, so that we really know what we're doing (His Will) when we get to the big thing.

That is why this fresh-and-clean blog is called "Life On Purpose." What I can share in this crazy cyber-world is some encouragement on finding passion and purpose in the day to day things in life, as I do my best to submit to my Creator and honor Him in all the small things, trusting that He is preparing me for more than just folding clothes, picking up blocks, and cooking dinner. When you feel like being a Mom has lost some purpose (as I have often felt), remember that you are sumitting to God by serving your family, and that is something He can and will use in GREAT ways! This is not a craft blog, or a sewing blog, or a cooking blog, or a Christian or ministry or Stay-At-Home-Mom Blog. It is a blog about life; a conscious life. So sometimes it will include all or none of these things. Above all, it is intended to encourage and build up. I will be honest about life and motherhood and the things I learn, and I would love for you to stay tuned in and do the same.

(If you have been following/subscribing to tasha.tulip, go ahead and switch over to Life On Purpose as I won't be posting at tasha.tulip anymore. Tasha.tulip is now the name of my business [more on that another day], and I will eventually be deleting the blog after moving over a few posts. Thanks guys!)
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