Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bruised but not Broken

Oh, how I have missed this place!!
I haven't taken the time to be still long enough to verbalize thoughts and happenings for quite some time. I apologize to the 3 of you who actually read my blog;}
Something happened a few days ago that really made me pause... like literally... the wind was knocked out of me for a brief moment and I didn't move.
I rushed down my front steps, as I do most days, to get the mail.  Only on this day I hadn't taken into consideration that it had snowed...then melted... then froze.  Oh, I'm sure you can imagine what happened next. 
I bit it!  I mean... REALLY BIT IT! 
As in, if someone had seen it, had a camera and posted it to youtube, it would have millions of hits because folks would be laughing hysterically at my misfortune {once they realized I wasn't really hurt, of course;} 
You know when people say "it happened so quick!", well this happened so quick!  Thanking God now that it wasn't worse and I can laugh at it, but I actually hit my head on the stair and didn't move for a moment.  There was no one around to see me if I had been really hurt {unless they were peeking out their window laughing hysterically!}
After a moment, I got up, dusted myself off and rushed back inside.  Didn't bother with the mail... that would have required walking further and in the event that someone did see, I wanted to save myself the embarrassment:/ 
So, now I have a bruise on my right elbow, my left forearm, my thigh, my back and my pinky {which I swore was broken because I couldn't move it for about an hour and then it swelled up to double the size!} but I am just fine!!! Thank you Lord!!!
{Random fact: I love battle wounds!  I was thrilled when I lost 5 toenails while training for my first half marathon...disgusting, right!}
Funny how random scenarios lead to profound insights.
Hence the title of this post... one of my fave Joss Stone songs, "Bruised but not broken"
So many thoughts of this past year in particular, came to mind. 
Things not happening the way I had hoped
Being hurt and disappointed by others
You know, just life sometimes!
But it reminded me too, as in this particular situation, I may be bruised but certainly not broken!
I am still very much alive and as long as I am, there are SO many things to be thankful for!
So I wanted to take a minute to show you a few things that I am thankful for right now...
Encouraging Words 

  {all quotes from my my pinterest board WORDS}
God's work in the lives of my children!! and the amazing youth leaders at Rockford First who put so much time and energy into these young lives!! {That's my Mikah in the yellow shirt;}
 There are so many more things to be thankful for... I'll add more later;}
Blessings to you all!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

and the winner IS...

Thank you so so much for all of the love and encouragement in this giveaway! The sweet emails and comments mean so much to me! 
I am a lover of words AND pretty little things so you can expect to see more of these necklaces {with different wording and shapes} at the Na-Da Farm sale.
I had a few of you say that you weren't able to comment on my blog but did pin or share on FB {thank you, thank you!!}, so please know that you were ALL added to the drawing.  I used the online tool RANDOM.ORG to choose for me and the winner is...
Congratulations, Maria!!  Please send me your address so that I can pass it along to Anne Marie!
See you all at Na-Da Farm!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Lis Dunn Designs and Nada Farm Giveaway!!!!

As I was working away on some projects today for the Nada Farm Sale, I remembered...I WANTED TO DO A GIVEAWAY!! 
Let me just segue for a moment.  If you have not been to the Nada Farm Sale in Esmond, you will not want to miss out for another moment!   I am so excited!!!  It really is the most beautiful, inspiring and welcoming show you will probably ever attend.  It all begins with Jason and Anne Marie, 2 incredibly beautiful, giving and godly people who have so graciously opened their property for others to enjoy the view, to shop and to eat some fabulous baked goods!
{look at how adorable Anne Marie and her little bakery are!}
Ok, are you sold yet?  I'll see you there??
So, back to the giveaway... I am partnering with Nada Farm for this so you will get double the goodies on this one!!

The winner will receive:
*A necklace from Lis Dunn Designs {See photo below}
*2 Free passes to the Sale {$10 value}
*2 Chocolate Cupcakes from the Bakery!
Here is what YOU need to do...
{each item will get you a separate entry!}

1. Leave a comment in the "comments box" below
2. Share this blog post on Facebook
3. "Like" Lis Dunn Designs on Facebook
4. Pin the LDD Necklace on Pinterest

{be sure to leave a comment with each entry letting me know what you did}

To honor our mommas, this is what I will be giving away...

 I will choose a winner tomorrow {May 9th} at 10 pm CT!!!

Ready... Set... GO!!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Rockford Etsy Team Show Recap

Hello sweet friends!
Yes, I know it has been FOREVER since I have posted on my poor little blog.  To be fair, my computer has NOT been cooperative {and I may have been focused on some other things!}  
I did not want to forget to post about the Rockford Etsy Team Show on April 5th and 6th as a part of ArtScene this year!
Oh, there is such a camaraderie among these artists who genuinely want the best for each other! I was able to reconnect with old friends and make some new, precious friends.
Here are a few highlights from the weekend:
{My sweet friend Rose, who is ALWAYS so supportive, sporting her new LDD earrings!!}

{oh, and look!  It's Mary, aka UrbanFarmgirl, who stopped by to pick up a  pretty little necklace for her neice!}

{I brought my 11 yr old with me on day 2 for help!!}  
*Photo by Heather Stringham

{He will an amazing entrepreneur one day;}
*Photo by Heather Stringham

And a shout out to a few of the beautiful ladies that were also a part of the show:
1. Lois of Glissknits
2. Karmen of Lillyanlou
3. Deanna of Iheartsigns
4. Amy of Seams2u
5. Theresa of Zolli Clothing

I WILL get back on track with my blog, including some more designs, tutorials, FRUGAL FASHIONS, etc, but for now I am busy at work planning a very important Graduation party {and I am an emotional mess in the process}and working on some creative, beautiful details for my little brothers wedding.
Blessings to you all!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Frugal and Fabulous Friday

One of the things that I am most often complemented on is my style!
I LOVE fashion, but what I love more... A BARGAIN ON FASHION!!
I'm not talking about Splurge {$978} vs. Steal {$79}, I'm talking about fashions that you find for next to nothing!
A few years back I came across a "thrifty fashion" blog {I have scoured to find the original inspiration blog}, much like this one... of course my first thought was... "WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT!"
It's what I do!
It's who I am!!
I could literally right a book on this!!!
There are few things that I would say I'm GREAT at, but I WILL say that I am GREAT at finding the very best deals!
Since I came across that blog, my intentions have been to share with you all of these frugal and fabulous finds, but hey, better late than never, right!!

So, today I will start!!

I think, for some reason, people do not give thrift stores a chance.
They are TREASURE TROVES, people! If you haven't been lately... RUN, don't walk to your nearest thrift store!  Often times you will find items with tags still attached but even something that has been worn once or twice has amazing life still left in it!
And Clearance racks at your favorite store... I have gotten to the point where I won't shop a rack unless it is at least 70% off! {thrift snob!}

So, here is my first of what I hope will be many examples...

Jeans: SO {Kohl's} $6.30
Shirt: Apt. 9 {Kohl's} $3.57 
{notice the adorable sequin detail around the collar and cuffs!}
Necklace: ? {Kohl's} $1.87
Belt: ? {Kohls}4.08
Shoes: Anne Klein {Goodwill}$3.75
Total: $19.57
{and entire outfit complete with accessories for under $20!}

*My secret at Kohls... don't look at any racks accept the 80% off or more and I make sure I have a coupon for 15%-30% off on top of that!

I can't wait to show you the thrifty dress and shoes I am altering!!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

You can do Hard Things

Hi, My name is Lis and I'm an addict.  It has been 21 days since my last fix.

For the past 4 years I have looked forward to Lent... I am not Catholic but I love the Lord with all my heart, and while I may not be able to do hard things simply for myself, I have been very successful when I focus on doing them for Him!

In the past I have given up things such as M&M's and Starbucks... things that I have VERY regularly and almost feel that I need for survival!

This year I was inspired to go BIG... Like, REALLY BIG...


Wait, before you say anything, this is the feedback I have heard the most...

"I could NEVER give up sugar"

Oh honey, YES YOU CAN!

Let me just tell you a little about me... I may not be addicted to drugs or alcohol, but sugar has been an addiction for me!

Definition of ADDICT

1: to devote or surrender (oneself) to something habitually or obsessively <addicted to gambling>
2: to cause addiction to a substance in (a person or animal)

I am a baker, so that poses an extra layer of challenges... heaven forbid you would just mix and bake... OH NO, you have to "sample" a good portion of the dough, right!!

Just so you can get a frame of reference about my "addiction", this is a small sampling of the "sugar laden" foods that I would eat in one day...
2-3 granola bars, about 1/2 cup of M&M's, maybe some sugary cereal, a Venti Cafe Mocha {although I would request 2 pumps of the mocha vs. 5} some variety of baked goods {cookies, puppy chow, etc} and when I say cookies, we're not talking one... we're talking about 5 cookies worth in dough and then another 3-4... Just to be sure they are ok to serve to others!

Long story short, If I can do it, you can do it if that were your desire!

How did I decide to give up something so radical for 40+ days, you ask... oh you didn't ask, well i'll share anyway.

{the fact that I have lost 6 pounds so far is a great bonus!}

I really NEEDED to make the change... for myself...but especially for my loved ones.

I will not lie, this has been a challenge!  But I have not faltered! Each day has gotten a little easier.  I have been creative with new ideas to satisfy that sweet tooth {see recipe below}. The greatest feeling is knowing that I can do something that originally seemed almost impossible.  
I wanted to encourage you today, if you are struggling with something that maybe seems impossible to overcome, or that has an unhealthy hold on you...

{I have created the 2 signs that you are welcome to print off for yourself!}

Here is my fave "sugar-free" recipe thus far...
{from Preventionrd}

Bottom Layer:
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
packets stevia
Top Layer:
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup natural smooth peanut butter
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 packet stevia
Line a mini muffin tray with 11 paper liners.
Stir all ingredients for the bottom layer together until smooth and divide between the wells (each should be about half full). Put the tray in the freezer on a flat surface and freeze until solid (about 15 minutes).
Meanwhile, stir all ingredients together for the top layer until smooth and divide on top of the set chocolate mixture. Return to the freezer and freeze until solid. Store the treats in the freezer.
Yield: 11 peanut butter cups.
Nutrition Information (per cup): 116 calories; 11.1 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 55 mg. sodium; 3.6 g. carbohydrate; 1.5 g. fiber; 3.2 g. protein
{These are AMAZING!!!!!}

Linking up at:
Southern Lovely
Someday Crafts
Reasons to skip the housework

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Need a Boost? Juice!

The New Year always inspires good intentions... plans to eat better... do better... be better!
Juicing is something that I love doing all year long, but am especially inspired to do at full throttle in the New Year!
{This is a repost from my old blog, Papermellie}

I would say it was about 9 years ago that I invested in my Jack Lalanne Juicer.

At this time, juicing was not as popular as it is now, and this juicer was only available via infomercial.
I remember this was my very first informercial purchase and I was so excited about it.  I was a young mother of 3 with little energy (I believe the middle boys were 1 and 2 at the time and Mel was maybe 7)  It was one of those late nights and I was entranced by what this juicer had to offer!  It was LIFE CHANGING, it claimed!
So I made the call and waited for that delivery!
Remember how I told you about myCricut and what a great investment that was...
I will admitt, sometimes I'll go through phases, but for the most part I use my juicer on a weekly basis.
At first I was just juicing fruits.  Let's be honest, it just sounds SO much more inviting.
Then I started researching all of the different vegetable juices and their incredible benefits and I was sold on those too!
I want to tell you about the #1 benefit of this juicer for us.

My 10 year old will only eat raw apples and carrots and not even very often, so very early on, I would juice an array of yummy fruits and sneak in a little carrot and spinach and freeze them in the popsicle molds (yes, these molds generally come with their own holders... they have since been lost and simply replaced with popsicle sticks). The kiddos go crazy on them! (nowadays I even add a little  ground flaxseed and chia seeds;))
They can enjoy a cool treat and I can feel good about what they are putting into their bodies! That in itself has paid for the juicer a hundred times over!
Often, I will juice a large batch of fruits and vegetables...

and then freeze them in these ball freezer jars... perfect for a single serving that I can thaw overnight.

Obviously, fresh juice is your most beneficial option, but I love the convenience of freezing them because it's hard to keep a large supply of fresh fruits and vegetables "fresh" for too long AND cleaning the machine takes a little time, so it is nice to do it once a week rather than every day!
There is a certain vegetable that I have avoided fro a while... I don't know why I was so timid to try these!
Beets seem to be all the rage right now, so I found a recipe and decided to give it a try.
I won't say it is my favorite thing on earth, but I actually quite enjoyed it.  The color is gorgeous and I think the fact that there is ginger in it made a difference.  I do love me some ginger!

Here is the recipe I tried (from this pin):
Energizing Beet Juice
(recipe is for 2 people)
1 large beet with its greens
2 Red Delicious Apples
1 Large Red Bell Pepper
1 Large English Cucumber
1 small slice of fresh ginger root
Juice and Enjoy!

Read about the benefits of Beets here and here
and the tremendous benefits of juicing here
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Linking up at:
Someday Crafts

Monday, January 28, 2013

Facebook Free February {and other random goals}

I have been pondering this idea since the new year began... I want to simplify! 
Maybe some women find it easy, but it has been a challenge for me to work from home!
Let me explain, because I absolutely LOVE that I am able to be here, create AND make money doing what I love!  
However, as a mother of 4, wife and woman in general, I have found it hard to focus on MY WORK, when there are dishes to be done, loads of laundry piling up and countless home projects surrounding me... Add to that, I am an adult living with ADD, it takes some serious discipline to make this work... 
Last week, my sweet {and able-to-stay-on-task} hubby and I sat down for a heart to heart.  I poured out my struggles and together we came up with some solutions. 
He's such an encouragement to me!  
Maybe it was the talk or the new year or just simply that I really want to see my business succeed, but I have a new found sense of direction, discipline and determination... one that has been lacking after a very challenging fall.

I am excited about 2013!
There are some exciting things on the horizon...

Planning our family road trip over spring break

GRADUATION {sniff sniff}

College for said graduate

A brand new collection
{think clothing and wedding goodies!}

Maybe some marathon training!
{Haven't decided which one yet!}

Soooooo... I need to cut some things out to make these plans a priority.  
They deserve my attention.
I CHOOSE to be intentional!

The first small step will be to avoid Facebook!
Don't worry, I won't be completely off the radar... I will continue to update my blog, so be sure to subscribe to my feed.  You can also keep up with me here:

{will still feed to FB}

I can't wait to share with you all of the fun things that unfold over the next month!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

No-Bake Energy Bites

{This is a repost from my old blog, Papermellie.  This was one of my most popular posts and I wanted to tell you that after almost a year of making these on an almost weekly basis... this is one of my family's most fave {healthy} treats!!  Whether I make 1, 2 or 3 batches at a time, they are gone within a day!}

No-Bake Energy Bites {PI #60}

This has got to be my favorite Pinterest recipes thus far!
I am always looking for ways to satisfy both my sweet tooth and love for things that nourish my body.  As I've gotten older, I've been more in touch with what fuels my body and what shuts it down.
I LOVE sweets, but always regret eating certain things because I physically feel so horrible.  I'm slowly transitioning into a place where feeling healthy and energetic is much more enjoyable than a few indulgent moments of sweet treats.
Don't misunderstand, I find so much joy in baking that I will not be giving that up anytime soon, but am trying to find a better balance.
These No-Bake Energy Bites will definitely be a new staple in our home! They are the best of both worlds!
This is something that my children {and myself} can enjoy and I can feel good about putting this in our bodies for fuel AND I know exactly what is in there. These are honestly better than any store bought granola bar/ bite that I have tried {and we buy a LOT of bars here!}
Here is the recipe courtesy of gimmesomeoven
No-Bake Energy Bites Recipe
  • 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  • 1 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed.  Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.  Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like.  (Mine were about 1″ in diameter.)  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Makes about 20-25 balls.

In case you are not fully convinced, I thought I would share with you just a few specific benefits of the bites.
The Oatmeal {courtesy of}
Low calorie food; stops cravings.
Provides high levels of fiber, low levels of fat, and high levels of protein.
Stabilizes blood sugar and reduces risk of diabetes (type 2)
Removes your bad cholesterol (without affecting your good cholesterol).
Contains lignans which protect against heart disease and cancer.
Contains unique antioxidants beneficial for heart disease.
Protects against heart failure.
Enhances immune response to disease.

The Honey {courtesy of}
Antibacterial and Anti fungal Properties.
Good Source of Vitamins and Minerals.
Good source of energy {easy to digest} Improves Athletic Performance.

The Flax seed {Courtesy of}
Fights Cholesterol, Diabetes, Constipation, Inflammation, Heart Disease & “The Blues”
High in lignans, Omega 3’s & Fiber

I went ahead and packaged these in little baggies for the kiddos to grab on the go!

Friday, January 11, 2013

You say you want a Revolution?

No more sitting on the sidelines!
You say you want a revolution?  

This has been on my mind A LOT!  
{There is so much going through my thoughts right now that I hope this doesn't come out disjointed.}

I know this is heavy on my heart for a reason.

Maybe it is due to the fact that we have an over abundance of access to news updates so our awareness of the bleakness is heightened! 
 Maybe these things have been going on all along.  
Maybe, as adults, we simply see things with a new set of eyes than we did as teenagers.

My eyes were wide open, my attention perked and my heart was happy!
My 6 year old brought up Martin Luther King Jr. a few times this week {Thank you K teachers at Manchester Elementary for presenting our country's history in a way that is not only understandable but exciting to our little ones!} but on this day there was a different sense of curiosity in his voice about the topic.  He presented to me what he had learned with intensity and I morphed into "teachable-moment-mommy" in the blink of an eye.

We spoke of details of MLK's life, but the best part was that it lead to a great talk between he and I, along with my 12 year old.  

We talked about the importance of taking a stand for what you know to be right.
We talked about other historical figures and how it only takes one person to move things in the right direction.

I love talks like this!

It really got me thinking... I don't want to generalize, because there are some really amazing teens out there with a heart for the good and a passion to make a positive difference, but I also see the disturbing mindset of our next generation... one of discontent, disrespect, disregard and disengagement.  

We can all theorize the "why", and some of these answers are necessary, but I want to focus on the "how can we make it better"

Sometimes it's really hard to see the big picture...
Sometimes issues seem so overwhelming that we don't even know where to begin.

How about starting with some good 'ole fashion kindness?  
Seek it out! 
Someone around you needs to know that they are valued!

So here is the challenge...  
I have created a sheet that can be printed out and cut into strips for you {and your children}to hand out. 
at school... at the mall... at church...anywhere!

AND, I want to hear all about your experience!  
Shoot me an email or leave your comments below and I would love to share your experience with other readers on my blog.
Pass this along to your friends... get anyone and everyone involved!
It's a small step in the right direction!

*This is the beginning of a new blog series... "You say you want a Revolution"
Check back for a new challenge each week.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Word to live by... 2013


  1. Pick out or select (someone or something) as being the best or most appropriate of two or more alternatives.
  2. Decide on a course of action, typically after rejecting alternatives: "he chose to go".

I am that girl that proudly makes resolutions each year.  I am realistic in my resolutions and even if I don't achieve them with perfection, I know that I am continuously striving to be a better me... not just at the first of the year, but always.

For the past few years I have also adapted the idea of a "word of the year".  I originally heard the idea on K-love and just loved it!  The past years have included the words Intentional and Wisdom and the idea is to choose a word that speaks to you and meditate on it.

2012 has been a tough year for me.
There has been a lot of heartache and a lot of really hard lessons.  
Some things I handled with grace but many of the challenges were not handled in a way that I was proud of.
I am a woman who loves the Lord and I know with EVERY... SINGLE... CHALLENGE there is an opportunity for growth, for humility and most of all strength in character and I want my responses to exemplify these truths.

SO... this year my word is CHOOSE
I tried to make it a different word that was more fun... more exciting, but my thoughts kept returning to this one.  It is perfect.  It is where I am right now in my life and I love it.

I will CHOOSE to handle challenges with integrity and grace
I will CHOOSE to do what is good and right, even if it is hard
I will CHOOSE to show people the real me, even if it's not "who they want me to be"
I will CHOOSE to sit quietly and listen to my children's stories even when I'm exhausted
I will CHOOSE more alone time with my hubby
I will CHOOSE to wake up earlier to get that work out in
{this list could go on and on, but you get the point}

I have created 2 different signs to frame {please contact me if you would like another color and I will email you the file.}
As always, feel free to use these for yourself:}

Are your wheels turning yet?
Have you thought of your own "word of the year"?  I would love to hear about it!

Have a wonderful and blessed 2013!