Why Being Vulnerable Matters

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It is through vulnerability that we find strength.  Great thoughts on why being vulnerable matters.

There is this topic that's come up recently in conversations with family and friends.  It's the topic of vulnerability.  A recurring thought that's been shared between myself and those I'm talking to is the feeling that vulnerability is something to be feared.  That if you're vulnerable, you're weak.  And if you're weak, you will be ridiculed, taken advantage of and the respect of others will be lost.
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Carrot Cookies

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Carrot Cookies--These cookies are soft, puffy and slightly sweet making them the perfect little treat.
As I started pulling the ingredients out to make these cookies, my daughter asked me what I was making.  I told her "carrot cookies" and she said, "Yum!  I love those!  I haven't ever tried them, but I like cookies!"  I like her logic.  *wink*
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14 Meaningful Gifts for Mother's Day

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Let's face it: Mother's Day gifts can be so hard to come up with!  You want to give something meaningful.  You want to be thoughtful.  You want them to like it.  (And not just because it's from you, but because you want them to really like what you give them.)  I feel like some years, the right gift is obvious.  You see it, or you think of it and it's a no-brainer.  But most years, at least for me, it isn't like that.  Heck, I can't even tell my husband what I want for Christmas or my birthday most of the time!  So I've taken some time to think about some Mother's Day gift ideas that your mom (or maybe you) would like to receive.  Or possibly one of the items you see will help you think of something else that she'd like.
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Font Friday: My 10 Favorite {Free} Script Fonts {and How to Download Them}

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Font Friday: My 10 Favorite {Free} Script Fonts {and How to Download Them}
Hello!  Welcome to Friday!  I'm excited to introduce a new series to my blog which will highlight my favorite fonts.  I won't be posting every Friday, however, when I post new fonts, it will be on a Friday.  *wink*

Let me just start out by saying that I am a total font collecting nerd.  I. Love. Fonts.  I have a whole Pinterest board on my personal account that is chalk full of fonts.  And my favorite kind to collect are the FREE ones.  So unless otherwise noted, all the fonts that I share will be free to download.
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9 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Going to Disneyland the First Time

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9 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Going to Disneyland the First Time--great tips that will help you plan your vacation more thoroughly!
In a previous post, I talked about what I learned as I planned our family's first vacation to Disneyland.  We went and had so much fun and now that we are back, I have more tips to share that will make your experience at the park even more magical and stress-free.
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Keeping Toddlers Busy While Waiting In Line at Disneyland {and other theme parks}

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Keeping Kids Busy While Waiting in Line at Disneyland {and other theme parks}
When I was planning our family vacation to Disneyland, I knew I was going to have to come up with some ideas for keeping my kids (ages 3.5 and 18 months at the time) busy while standing in line for the rides.  Knowing how hard it can be to keep them out of trouble while standing in line at the grocery store, I knew I'd have to have a few tricks up my sleeve so we didn't all go crazy. *wink*
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5 Quick Tips for Visiting Disney California Adventure

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5 Tips for Visiting Disney California Adventure
My family and I recently got back from our first family vacation to Disneyland and California Adventure.  We had two day park hopper tickets so we jumped around a little bit between parks.  This worked well for my family because it allowed the kids to experience both parks.  I also found that most rides at California Adventure had shorter lines and rides that allowed more riders so even if the line was a little long, it moved fairly quickly.  We didn't spend as much time at California Adventure as we did at Disneyland, but there were a few tips I wanted to pass along for first timers.
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Disney Countdown Chain

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Disney Countdown Chain--a simple and cute way to countdown to your Disney vacation.  (Free print files included!)
Last October, we took our first family vacation to Disneyland!  It was so much fun and the kids loved it.  I hadn't been to Disneyland in about 15 years so I was excited to go too!

Since this was a somewhat last minute trip, I didn't have as much time to build my kids (mostly my daughter) up to it as much as I would have liked.  Like most kids her age--she was 3 at the time--she doesn't fully understand the passage of time.  To help her with this (and to save my sanity!), I made a simple Disney countdown chain.  We've used countdown chains before to help her learn how time passes (see this post here), so I knew that making one again would be a successful way to count down to our trip.
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7 Things I Learned Planning Our First Family Trip to Disneyland

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7 Things I Learned Planning Our First Family Trip to Disneyland--tips from a first time Disneyland planner that will help your planning go more smoothly!
We recently went on our first family vacation to Disneyland.  The last time I went to Disneyland was about 15 years ago when I was in junior high so I didn't do much planning (besides finding ways to make money to spend).  In addition to this being our first vacation to Disneyland, it was also our first big family vacation with our kids.  While trying to figure it all out, I didn't really know where to start, so I turned to Facebook and asked my friends for their best Disneyland vacation planning tips.  Then I went to my Disney Pinterest board to look through my saved pins.  I was working within a short time frame (less than 2 weeks to plan it all out) so I needed to get as much information as possible as quickly as possible.
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DIY Lacing Cards Tutorial

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DIY Lacing Cards Tutorial--How to make your own lacing cards using any theme you want!  Perfect for church bags, diaper bags and gifts.
From the time my daughter was old enough to need something to entertain her during church, I've had a church bag put together that we can grab and go on Sundays.  Of course, the contents change periodically to keep her interested and we've had to add more items since my son is also in need of distraction during church.  Mostly we have crayons, paper and books along with a couple of small cars.

Recently I was at the store and spotted some darling animal lacing cards that I thought would be perfect to throw in the church bag to shake things up a bit.  The next Sunday, they were a hit and I decided to see if I could make some lacing cards that were more church themed.  (Of course this same tutorial applies for any theme you want.)
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Kid Science: Growing Seeds In A Bag

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Kid Science: Growing Seeds In A Bag--Learn about how seeds grow!  A great activity to do at home with the kids or for a pre-K thru 1st grade lesson.
A few weeks ago, I thought it would be a good idea to get some starts going for our garden.  I bought some soil and those little biodegradable pots and used some seeds I already had and then planted two of each kind.  I made sure they were watered, got plenty of sunshine during the day and brought them in at night because it was still pretty cold.  This lasted about three days.  One afternoon, we had a crazy windstorm and guess what got left outside.  My little plants.  My daughter discovered them and came running inside with tears streaming down her face: "Mom!  The seeds!  They blew over!"  She was really sad about it.  Sure enough, there was dirt all over the patio and no seeds to be seen.

Since then we've had some snow and rain and sunny days and I haven't attempted to start any more plants, not sure if it was really springtime yet.  One day, I remembered a time in first grade starting seeds in a plastic bag using a wet paper towel to keep the seeds moist, then sticking it in the sun and watching the seeds sprout.  Duh.  Why didn't I think of this before?  (Answer: Probably because even though I've had a garden for the last few years, I'm still an amateur gardener.)  Turns out this is actually a viable way to start seeds for your garden and not just an elementary school experiment.
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Broccoli Cheese Potato Soup

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Broccoli Cheese Potato Soup--Made with fresh ingredients and so good!
When I was doing my meal planning this week, I was happy to see that I had all the ingredients needed to make a family favorite for dinner: Broccoli Cheese Potato Soup.  However, when I went to make it, I realized that while I had everything I needed, it wasn't necessarily in the most convenient form: baby carrots instead of pre-shredded, frozen broccoli instead of fresh (I forgot to pull it out to thaw) and some potatoes that were starting to go bad.  So the prep time for this meal took a little longer than planned.  When my husband called to give me the heads up that he was on his way home from work, he asked what we were having and was excited when I told him.  This is a soup that my family cannot get enough of and we rarely have leftovers because everyone just keeps going back for more.
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