******Behind the Moon BEADWORKS is proud to announce that a portion of proceeds from all purchases will now be donated to support the K-Love radio ministries! Thank you for your support!******

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wishful thinking and giveaway winners

Like most of the country, my mind is starting to turn towards Spring. Really I only like cold weather through the New Year.  It would be A-OK with me if Spring could start in January, so let's work on that Mother Nature shall we? :)  Guess I'll have to move back to NC if I want warm weather in January 'cause it surely isn't happening in Pittsburgh until April. *Sigh*
So for now I find myself being drawn to all things Spring on my favorite vehicle for wasting time...Pinterest.
I thought I'd share a few with you.  
Take a moment...close your eyes.  
Hear the glorious song of the birds.  
Oh how I miss the birds!  
Smell the scent of life blooming all around you. 
Isn't it heaven!?






And now for the giveaway winners...

Ashley Anderson you have won the Blue Apatite Teardrop Earrings!

Stephanie Holden you have won the Golden Branches with Amazonite Earrings!

Send your mailing address to me at krista.btmbeadworks@gmail.com to claim your prize.
Thanks for entering, I truly hope you enjoy your new earrings!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Organizing your home


Proven fact, the less clutter their is the less stressed you will feel.
Can I get an AMEN?
Everything needs a home and I mean everything!
If you're like me you have a perpetual pile of stuff that you can't throw away but really aren't sure what to do with it.  Mine resides on my kitchen countertop.
Give it a home, even if that means a bin labeled "homeless stuff" :)
At least it's in a designated spot and can be periodically gone through to see what can be tossed and what may finally be able to be given a different home.

The biggest culprits for me are the boys' toys and financial/home/school related papers.
We've worked hard to give all toys a new home.
In other words, out of the normal living space.  Sound too harsh for the kiddos?  I don't think so.  This way they have to be intentional about what they want to play with.  They can go grab it from its home in the basement or in their bedroom and bring it to the main floor to play but then it needs to "go back home" before they get something new out.  It's genius I say!  I can't tell you how much better my mental state has been by having less toys strewn about everywhere.
My feet are happier too without the pain of stepping on Legos :)

I spent some time organizing the toys so that all the pieces are now together in one place.  I just need to get them labeled before I forget where everything goes :) Since E is too young to read yet, I'll make picture labels so its easy for him to identify what items go in which bins.

I must admit.  I'm still struggling with the homeless yet important papers but I am determined to get it straightened out.  We have a very small file cabinet so I need to go through and reorganize it, making room for some new papers.  Lord know there's probably papers from 2007 in there.

Here are some other tips I found that I fully plan to implement....stat!

 -A HOME binder-
Get a large binder to keep master lists of all household-related contacts.
(electric company, phone company, water company, heating company, plumber, electrician, mechanic, cable company, car insurance company, home insurance company, health insurance company. Include your account number, the name of the provider and the phone number.)
You can also keep a profile of each family member in there.
(date of birth, medical conditions and phone numbers of physicians. Each profile can be as elaborate as you want it to be, listing anything and everything — from underwear sizes to ring sizes — if you are a lover of details!)  You can find free printables to help here.

-Master Schedule-
Having a master family schedule is also a great way to eliminate household confusion. While on your trip to the office supply store, grab one of those oversized calendars and some colored markers (I prefer the dry-erase type). Assign each family member a color, and fill in the 
 calendar with everyone's day-to-day schedule.
When assigning your colors, make sure you save one color to designate family time and then be sure to include time for family on your calendar (this is even more important as the kids get older and their activities leave everyone feeling disconnected). Once a week, try to plan something special to do as a family. Whether it is going for a weekend morning walk or taking a special outing to the park, having regularly scheduled family times will ensure that the ties that bind don't unravel amid the business of life.

 -An organized Kitchen-
My kitchen is the catch-all that every one of us clutters.  We seem to always have bookbags on the floor and some sort of electronics, clothes, and toys all over the counter tops....not to mention those ever multiplying dirty dishes.  Trying to clear the counter top is essential because when it is clean, I automatically take a cleansing breath and feel more peaceful. Some suggestions to clear those counters are using drawer and shelf organizers, take advantage of wall space,  and store like items together.   Drawer and shelf organizers will help you keep your stuff where you need it so you don't need to wade through all that counter clutter to find a pen.  Use wall pegs for your pot holders and dish towels.  

Somewhere along the way, we have separated those items from the same family.  Like our peanut butter is kept with the liquor :)  And for some reason I keep the kids' fruit snacks with the protein powder Hubsy and I use instead of with the other snacks.  It's chaos I say!

These tips are sure to help you get a better hold on things and give you that "ahhh" feeling when your home is calm and collected.  Do you have any other tips to share? Please do!

Happy Organizing!

**Many of the ideas for this post came from here and here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Review and Giveaway | A Behind the Moon First

Well looky here!  
I'm actually doing a review and giveaway!
Yes. Giveaway!

A little backstory....

I've been making jewelry since...well I can't remember exactly when, it's been so long ago...
but when I actually began thinking about selling it I subscribed to a couple catalog's and jewelry making magazines and came across some ads for Nina Designs.  It was love at first sight. 
I started following their blog about a year ago and saw an opportunity a few months
ago to become a blog partner. 
The time has finally come.
 They sent me some items to design with and share with all of you.  Score!!!
What a happy mail day it was when my little pretties arrived!
I was instantly smitten with their products.  There is no denying the exceptional quality.

Nina Designs has been in business for 25 years making high quality and truly unique jewelry components for artisans.  Each designs starts with a handmade sketch that is tweaked until it is ready for the market.  All the items are handmade and intricately produced in Asia by skilled silversmiths with extreme attention to detail.
Nina Designs prides themselves on being able to feed someone's creativity
and help enable their artistic vision.

The aspects of Nina Designs that really sets them apart in my eyes is the undeniable quality and 
the uniquely fluid designs of their products.

Here are a few of my favorite components from their store.

Now let's get to the giveaway!
There will be two winners, one for each pair of these earrings I designed using Nina Designs pieces.
Blue Apatite Teardrops

Golden Branches with Amazonite and Czech Glass

The Rules:  
(leave a separate comment for each for a total of 5 possible entries)

1. Follow the Behind the Moon blog
2. Follow Behind the Moon on Facebook
3. Follow Behind the Moon on Twitter  I'm at @BTMbeadworks
4. Visit my Etsy shop and tell which item is your favorite
5. Tell me which of the above Nina Designs pendants (numbered 1-6) is your favorite

The giveaway will run through Tuesday 1/29/13 and the winners will be randomly selected by one of my "little helpers" and announced on Thursday 1/31.

Good luck!

Friday, January 18, 2013

How to store and clean your sterling silver jewelry

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

This well know phrase can be applied to so many areas of life.
And it's no exception when it comes to your jewelry either. 

You can find all sorts of adorable jewelry storage ideas on Pinterest.
But these should really be kept for your costume jewelry and not your fine pieces.
One of the simplest ways to store your jewelry and keep those gorgeous metals from tarnishing is to keep them in a small resealable plastic bag.  This will help to hinder the oxidation process on the surface of sterling silver and keep your jewelry looking shiny and new.

Sterling Silver reacts with the moisture in the air which produces a layer of tarnish on the surface.  If you do have some pieces that  have gotten tarnished, there is a cool chemistry trick can help you
transfer the tarnish from your jewelry onto aluminum.
No lab coat or goggles required :) 

All you need is baking soda, boiling water, and aluminum foil.  Easy right?
It's the simple and organic way to polish your sterling silver. 

1. Grab some baking soda, aluminum foil, and a glass or plastic baking dish.

 2. Boil water
It doesn't have to be a lot, just enough to submerge the jewelry.

I have several pieces in this batch
3. Line the glass or plastic backing dish with slightly crumpled aluminum foil.
4. Lay your jewelry on top of the foil so that the silver parts are touching the foil.
5. Lightly sprinkle baking soda on top of the jewelry.

  6. Pour the boiling water over the jewelry until it is submerged.  Let sit for a minute or two.
7. Take the item(s) out and rinse with tap water.  Then buff with a clean soft cloth.

For particularly bad pieces, you may need to repeat the process to get all the tarnish off.

Any there you have it!
Easy peasy right?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Beautiful You: Nurturing yourself

"I've got to get it together, or we're all going to fall apart."

I can't tell you how many times I've said this to myself over the past year.
Truth is, I CAN'T do it all.  
It should be a relief just to let myself rest in that fact, and it partially is but there is more to it than 
that because I will inevitably end up trying to do it all again.
Something needs to change...and odds are it will be more than one thing.

I've been seeing all the New Year resolutions going around and feeling sorta guilty about mine,
but I've decided to stop that :)  Who needs another guilt trip anyway?

I need to take care of myself.
I want to take care of myself.
I will take care of myself.

As women we tend put pressure on ourselves to make sure everyone's needs are met.  I'm not saying to abandon taking care of others, we just can't forget to take care of ourselves in the process.
And that's exactly what I have done.  Forgotten me.  Have you forgotten you too?

"Women are usually taught from an early age about the importance of nurturing and taking care of others. Mothers generally focus on meeting the needs of the children, husband, and household before addressing their needs. Simultaneously, society and the media send women the message that they must be perfect. They are given the message they need to be thin, beautiful, young, perfectly dressed, and in all ways flawless."

It became very clear over the past few months that my body has been telling me 
that this is all too much (physically and emotionally), but I wasn't listening.  I just kept pushing through. What happens is that level of pain/discomfort becomes your new "normal" and you will operate in that condition until it becomes worse and then the cycle of pushing through will start all over again, and the new level becomes your new "normal"....again.
We are important too.
We will better be able to serve others if we are cared for.

"As parents, we get caught up in the family fast track. We are consumed by school, homework, little league, karate, dance class, and on and on. There is little time left to focus on self-care. Parents get caught in this cycle and neglect relationship building needs. There is little or no attention given to meet their own personal physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual needs. There is no time left for themselves, much less relationships."
 "Ultimately, it is when we connect and address our needs that we can find balance and happiness. When this happens, we can give to others from a full heart. In other words, we can enhance our relationships by taking care of ourselves."
So it's time for a ME over-haul.
Physical, emotional, and spiritual.

I'll be sharing some tips and my experiences along the way.  
They may help you too, at least I hope they will.
Let's refill our love tanks so we can give more freely and sincerely from them.

 *Quotes in this post taken from here.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Kids say the darndest things...

Kids are such a joy...and if you have one in your life, they're probably like mine and make you laugh all the time. I like to try and write down a lot of the funny things my kids say so I can look back and get another laugh at it down the road.  I'd like to show them how silly they were one day.

I even had T-shirt made for part of Hubsy's Christmas gift that has a funny thing E said on it that we laugh about all the time.  You know, it just grew into one of those things for us :)

A lot of them don't even make sense which is partly what makes them funny.


During bath time (which is normally filled with bubbles), he dunked his head and came up with bubbles all stuck to his hair but he didn't know it.  He came in the bedroom and I laughed and 
told him to go look in the mirror.
L: " Mom, I looked like an old man!  I almost had a beer!"

We were talking about how I am the only female in the house, now even our dog is a boy.
L: "That's not true mom, there is my fish."
Me: "Oh yeah, how can you tell which fish is a girl?"
L:  "The big bossy one"


While performing "surgery" on the bed.  (Weird right?)
E: "Don't worry, you're going to die soon but we'll try to fix it".
I hope being a doctor is not in his future or he may need to work on his bedside manner!

During one of the bazillion times a night he gets up and comes over to our room.
E: "Mom, my teeth are making a strange noise, I need you to check them"
Say what?  That boy can come up with some fantastic excuses for coming over to our room.

After eating.
E: Look how fat my belly is, do you think I'm having a baby?"

A sweet one.
E: "Mom, Jesus really DID die on the cross for us"

Many of E's have to do with his bowel movements.  
You may want to stop reading now, you've been warned ;)

E: "I think I'm having diarrhea because of the different sounds coming out of my butt"
E: "My poop looks like Mickey Mouse"

Hope you got a chuckle like I did!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A little catch up

Hi there sweet friends!  
It's been a while...at least it feels like it for me.

Happy New Year!

Wait a minute....how can it be January?  
I have so much from December that didn't get shared!

The low point for sure is that for pretty much all of December I was in pain or sick in some way.  Bummer.  But the good news is that I am starting to feel human again!
I hope it sticks around for more than a few days ;)

And now for a little highlight reel of what I've been up to...in no particular order.

I made lots of new pretties for my Woodland Christmas theme.

I received a few blessings from Blog buddies.
Nicole from Pharr Away was so sweet and awarded me the  Liebster blog award.
I'll try to get around to answering the required questions ;)
Thank you Nicole!  It is so nice to be appreciated and know that people care about what you have to say.
Go check out Nicole and her sweet sassy self.  Oh and she has a pretty adorable baby girl too ;)

Gina from Contemplating Beauty was so kind to make me this "faith" hoop art.  I love the colors she picked and they go perfectly in my craft room where it can inspire me all the time.
Your kindness means the world to me Gina!

Even though much of the last 2-1/2 weeks were spent with most of my family sick...we did manage to have some fun ;)  Playing games, enjoying the snow, and eating homemade ice cream.  We even had a "party" on New Years with our boys.  We danced (a lot), played games, and watched a movie until it was time for the ball to drop.  That was the first itme the boys have stayed up until midnight.  They thought the pot banging in the neighborhood was a little weird.  We tried to get them to whoop and holler but they weren't having it.  I don't know why, they never hesitate to be ridiculously loud first thing in the morning!

I'm partnering with Nina Designs this month for some jewelry fun.  Stay tuned for more details, you don't want to miss out on this one I promise.
Don't they have the most beautiful components!?!
If you're a jewelry maker, make sure you go check them out!
I'm truly excited about this opportunity.

A decision has been made (reference this post).

There are still many more to make but let me tell you I am relieved just to have one finished for now...whew!  God opened a door of possibility for us and I'm excited to see what is in store next.  I'll be able to share more as things become more solidified.

And that's it for now. 
Glad to be back to the blogging world and look forward to catching up with everyone. 
Hope your holidays were blessed and that your New Year
be a year of opportunity and prosperity!

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