by Melanie

Light the World

November 29, 2017 in Craft Room by Melanie

This sweet Christmas Countdown is the perfect way to remember to #LighttheWorld for 25 days in December

Fall is my favorite season, but December is my absolute favorite time of year. I love the feeling of goodwill that seems to abound no matter where you turn. Everywhere I go, people seem to be a little kinder, a little more loving, a little more giving.

I believe that’s the light of Christ in action that touches people’s hearts even more at this time of year. As we act on those feelings of kindness and love, we spread the light of Christ.

I am so completely in love with the #LighttheWorld initiative from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at that reminds us to take time every day to share that light.

Sometimes we think service has to be a big, huge ordeal, and sometimes it is, but the truth is we can touch someone’s life every day in small, simple ways that make a big difference.

I wanted to find a way to encourage my family to be a little kinder, do a little more, and look for ways to serve others every day. In a house full of girls, chocolate is an incredible motivator, so I put together this little chocolate Christmas countdown – a simple reminder to do something every day to shine a little light on someone’s day.

After I made the cute Christmas tree, it only took me a few minutes to put together a countdown for everyone in the family. We all need our own, after all. I printed out this Christmas tree on regular paper, put it in a dollar store document frame, and stuck a chocolate candy to each circle with Scotch tape. Super simple and I love how it turned out.

This one is last year’s with a variety of Hershey kisses on the tree and Rolos for the tree trunk. This year, my nieces put on the chocolate when they were here for Thanksgiving, and we added more Rolos and some mini peanut butter cups. They’re a little bigger but totally worth the smooshed look for some peanut buttery yumminess.

Every day as each of us does an act of service, doing our part to Light the World, we celebrate the sweetness of service with a piece of chocolate. Having the visual reminder helps us keep service in our minds, always looking for ways to help others. The countdown helps us keep track of the days, knowing we’ve helped to Light the World that day.

We can all touch the lives of others – in our own ways, in our own spheres – and when enough of us light another’s life, we can Light the World.

Today I’m doing my part to Light the World by sharing this countdown with you. Click –> HERE <– or on the picture below to print it and Light the World this Christmas season.

Christmas Countdown chocolate #LighttheWorld

by Melanie

9 Health Challenges to Kickstart your 2015

January 3, 2015 in Craft Room by Melanie


Feel Great in 8

  • make healthy choices
  • small fee to join
  • following the “rules” earns you points
  • top earners win prize money

30 Day Clean Eating Challenge

  • eat whole, clean meals
  • no refined sugars and flours
  • no prepackaged or processed foods
  • tips for success

Simple Green Smoothies

  • drink one green smoothie every day for a month
  • recipes and shopping lists emailed weekly

Weightless Workout Challenge

  • no weights required
  • video tutorials
  • beginner/intermediate/advanced workouts

3o-Day At-Home Crossfit Challenge

  • no gym or equipment necessary
  • detailed workout schedule with rest days

Fit Food Challenge

  • daily health challenges
  • email reminders
  • weekly meal plans

Drink Your Water

  • drink 64 oz water every day
  • printable calendar

30-Day No Sugar Challenge

  • guidelines and tips for success
  • shopping list
  • Facebook group with recipes and support

4 Week Health Challenge

  • daily health challenges
  • free eBook with email sign up (totally worth it)
  • add one new habit each day as you go along

Want to improve your health this year? What are you doing to get started?

by Melanie

2015 Resolutions

January 1, 2015 in Craft Room by Melanie


One little word that strikes fear in the hearts of so many.


When did that become a bad word?

I guess I’m just a weirdo, and I do things a little differently when it comes to setting resolutions, but I LOVE it. I absolutely love a new year and a fresh start. I love thinking about where I want to be a year from now.

I have been known to set 84 resolutions in one year. Yes, 84. Of course, I wasn’t successful with every single one, but when you set that many you’re bound to get lucky with at least one, right?

I’m not quite that extreme anymore, but seriously, I love it. And I will happily set resolutions every single year of my life.

So here are my resolutions for 2015 (I’m keeping it down to 5):


1. NO shooting in auto

I have been learning how to use my fancy camera, and it feels like I’ve cracked a secret code. So now it’s time to really get serious. This year I will only shoot in manual mode. I can’t wait to see how much I learn and improve (Surely I will improve, right???) by this time next year.


2. Hugs, lots and lots of hugs

There are days when I finally collapse into bed and honestly can’t remember if I took time to cuddle with each one of those sweet little people who call me mom. I should never EVER have a day when I don’t hug and love on those precious girls every chance I get.


3. Date like we’re in college again

Once upon a time Steve and I were young college students who were madly in love. We made time for each other and spent every moment we possibly could together. Then we got married and got real jobs and bills and had kids and a million things pulling us in many directions, often away from each other. We still have all of those grown-up responsibilities, but this year I want to act like those college kids more often, still madly in love and spending every moment we possibly can together. Sometimes that needs to be out on the town, away from those adorable kids of ours.


4. Hone healthy habits

You know there’s got to be some kind of health goal in this list, but this isn’t about a drastic diet or unreasonable exercise plan. It’s all about habits. And not just physical healthy habits but also mental health, spiritual health, emotional health. There are a bunch of little habits I want to work on, but I’ve learned that when I’m more disciplined in one area, that discipline bleeds into other areas of my life and I do better in other things, too, so it will all work together.


5. Learn something new

Sometimes I feel like my brain is turning to mush. It is frustrating to remember when you used to be really smart and not feel that way anymore. I was a fabulous student all throughout school, but now I struggle to find simple words to complete basic sentences in day-to-day conversations. It’s about time for me to wake up my brain and really work on learning something new and challenging. I have a few projects in mind that will require me to learn some new skills. It will be hard, and I’m excited to get started.

Do you set resolutions? Tell me what you’re planning to accomplish this year.

If you want some help with your resolutions, here are a few things you might want to check out. I break just about every one of the experts’ rules, but I love the way I set my resolutions.


This is a great reminder of what is really important and where I need to be spending my time.


Happy New Year!!!

by Melanie

Happy 2014!

December 30, 2013 in Craft Room by Melanie

I am a huge fan of fresh starts and new beginnings. I love the excitement of a new project… it’s keeping that excitement through to the end that is the challenge for me. Anyone else have that issue???

So it’s a new year in a few days and that means new projects! Hooray! I have all sorts of goals and lists and dreams and ideas for the year. There’s the usual eat healthy, exercise every day, lose a bunch of weight, don’t yell unless it’s to save a life, daily scripture study, do more service, more date nights with my husband…

Yes, the list is long, but I’m not the kind of person who beats myself up when I don’t do all of them perfectly. I figure any progress is good, so I make the list as long as I want and make whatever progress I can manage throughout the year.

I don’t believe there’s a magic switch that flips when the ball drops that will automagically make me perfect at something I’m not very good at, so this is really just my list of things I’m working on. Constantly. Continually. Always working on.

The projects, however, are the fun stuff. These are the ones I really focus on throughout the year. Of course they need their own cool graphic:


So without further ado, here are my top 5 projects for 2014:

40-eighteenMy number one project for the year is 40eighteen. I am so excited about this brand new blog. I have to admit I am a bit of a blogaholic… I’ve started many blogs – stuck with some longer than others – and have learned a lot along the way. So I’m taking everything I’ve learned and all the visions that are still floating around my head and focusing them right here. I am so excited for this new adventure and can’t wait to make all sorts of new friends along the way.

project-365In my dreams, I am an amazing photographer whose family snapshots are award-worthy portraits. Unfortunately, in the real world my photos rarely turn out like I want and I don’t even know how to use my fancy camera. This is the year all of that changes. I’m taking a photography class and committing to take a photo every day. Truly, my skills can only get better…

And let’s be honest here. This is going to be one heck of a challenge for me. I’m really great at having a camera with me all the time but absolutely HORRIBLE at actually taking it out and taking some photos. So this will be a bit of a miracle… Maybe that should be my motto this year: 2014 – the year for miracles!

Along with this, and while I have my camera out every day, i want to take more pictures of everyday life with my kids – and make sure to send more to grandmas who live far away and miss those cute grandkids. I have a good friend who has inspired me with her “Picture of the Week” email she sends out to friends and family every Sunday night.

It’s so simple – just a few pictures with a few great captions. At the end of the year, she prints all of them up in a book, and Voila! instant scrapbook, accounting for every week of the year. When I grow up, I want to be as cool as her. For now, I’m just going to try to start taking more pictures and hopefully sharing more, too.


2014-homeHere’s another miracle waiting to happen. This February will mark 2 years that I’ve been living in my new house, and my walls are still bare, rooms still need furniture, and some boxes are still packed.

I know, I know. I should get off the computer and work on my house. So I will, but I really hate it. I really love my house, and it seems like putting it all together should be fun, but honestly, it mostly causes me anxiety.

I have no idea how to decorate, I hate figuring out where every little thing should go, and I have a hard time sticking to one room until it’s done. That’s why I’m committing to this year’s project: 20♦1♦4 = 20 minutes of really good work at a time ♦ focusing on 1 room until it’s done ♦ using the 4-box method. I’m sure by this time next year my home will be ready for a fancy magazine shoot, right?

40-thingsNot just this year but every year we’ll be celebrating 40eighteen with a fun • 40 things • series. At first I thought I would post 40 things every month on the 18th, but then I realized just how long of a list that would be every. single. month. No one wants to read that. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

So instead, I’m going to share 40 things throughout the year, posting 3 or 4 every month on the 18th and a big recap at the end of the year. You’ll have to wait until the 18th to see what this year’s theme will be… mwahahaha


FHE-fixupEvery Monday night is Family Home Evening. Our family gets together, turns off the phone, ignores the front door, and spends the whole evening together. We sing songs, have a lesson, eat a yummy treat, play games, and coordinate our calendars for the coming week so we know when everyone is coming and going.

We’re in a great habit of doing it, but I think we could do more with it to make it even better. So it’s time for a little FHE fix-up where we figure out how to make the most of this weekly time together.


That’s it! I just became the new music leader for the kiddos at church, so I’m sure that will be another big focus this year, too. What are your plans for 2014???

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