Friday, December 17, 2021

How I Plan to Study the Bible in 2022

I’ve been reading the Bible from cover to cover for the last several years. I read it in chronological order this year and highly recommended that.

I’ve been wanting to dive deeper into what I’m reading but not get behind on a daily reading plan. I don’t have the time to do both as I’m in a phase of life where I don’t have a lot of study time. I know the day is coming when I will have that time again. So I decided to change up what I’m doing next year.

For 2022 I’m planning to pause from reading the entire Bible in a year. I’m going to study books of the Bible and take however long it takes to really soak it in, no deadlines. I’m using a planner to take notes and keep track of what I’m reading. I think it will also help me make sure I don’t miss days of study since I won’t have a daily reading plan keeping me accountable.

I’ll be reading and studying on my own and then will reference commentaries and guides to learn as much as I can. I’ll share what I’m reading along the way. You can check out the Books story highlight on my profile to see what I recommend.

If you’re trying to decide how to study the Bible in 2022, my first suggestion is to read the entire Bible if you’ve never done that. You can buy Bibles that have the daily readings lined out for you, or you can find free reading plans online. It’s a completely doable plan if you commit just a few minutes a day. If you miss a day, just find some extra time the next day to catch up. Miss a week? You can still catch up! We have the time; we just have to find it and prioritize it!

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Book Ideas for Christmas Lists

Here are some book ideas for last minute Christmas gifts (for yourself even!): books + more

Monday, November 29, 2021

Golden Girls

I drew these for my friends for Thanksgiving and wanted to also say thanks to all of you!

Shop thank you design:
Shop golden design:

Video: 3 Things to Do with Holiday Leftovers



I you live in an EasyBins delivery area, shop the ingredients:
・Use code MARLA5 at checkout for $5 off your EasyBins order.
・Get $10 off your first order with this link:

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Haynes Sisters

You had to know this drawing was coming after my "Bing Bong" post! It's hard to beat the dynamic duo of Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen in White Christmas. What's your favorite song and dance from the movie?

Shop the blue fan design here.
Shop the black and white design here.


Turkey Salad Sandwiches

I recently discovered turkey salad when a friend brought me some as a gift. Isn’t food always a great gift? It might be exaggerating to say it was life-changing, but I’ll say it anyway. It was life changing. If you find turkey bland and boring but still find it necessary to serve for the holidays, turkey salad is the answer to your leftover woes. We’re going to add white and dark meat to a food processor and pulse until it becomes finely shredded. Then we’ll stir in boiled eggs, mayonnaise, dill pickle relish, garlic powder, and salt. Spread it on whatever leftover bread or rolls you have or serve it as a dip with crackers. Top it with jalapeño cranberry relish if you want to punch up the flavor. And I won’t judge if you go hide in your room to eat it so you don’t have to share it with anyone else. It’ll be our little secret.

Turkey Salad Ingredients


Butter Crackers (Ritz, Club, or Townhouse)

Butter Lettuce or Living Lettuce, optional



Dill Pickle Relish

Liquid Smoke


Garlic Powder

Turkey Salad Recipe

4 Cups of Turkey

1 cup of Mayonnaise 

9 Tablespoons of Dill Pickle Relish

2 Hard Boiled Eggs

1/2 Teaspoon of Salt

1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder

Liquid Smoke to taste (* see recipe notes, optional)

  1. Shred 4 cups of turkey. A food processor works great for this. I recommend blending to a pate consistency, but blend/chop to your desired consistency.
  2. Chop 2 hard boiled eggs.
  3. Combine 1 cup of mayo, 9 tablespoons of dill pickle relish, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and liquid smoke to taste* (optional, see note).
  4. Add the relish mixture to the turkey and eggs and stir until the turkey is evenly coated.
  5. You can serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. Spread on bread with lettuce, or serve as a dip with butter crackers.

*Note: If your turkey was smoked, you don’t need to add liquid smoke. If your turkey was roasted or fried, you may want to add the liquid smoke to amp up the flavor. How your turkey is cooked will affect how your turkey salad tastes. Each method of brining, seasoning, and cooking will give a unique flavor! I like using both dark and white meat to get the most flavor.

Biscuit Board

Maybe you have guests staying over for the holidays, and you need to have breakfast planned. Grab the leftover ham and turkey and make an eye-catching biscuit board. There’s almost nothing better than homemade biscuits, but we’re using frozen biscuits. Who wants to do more complicated cooking the day after a big feast? No one. Bring out sweet and savory toppings like butter, honey, cream cheese, cheese slices, whatever sounds like the perfect breakfast sandwich to you. You can add fruit and nuts to add visual interest and to snack on as you assemble your biscuit sandwiches. This is the time to pull out that charcuterie board and let everyone gather around and graze. If you don’t have a board, use plates or even a cookie sheet. But don’t stress about presentation. It’s all about how the food tastes anyway. 

Ingredients You May Want to Grab

Pillsbury Frozen Biscuits

Cheese Tray (Cracker Barrel or Great Value)

Cream Cheese Spread



Fruit (pears, grapes, bananas, apples)

Mixed Nuts



Jalapeno Cranberry Relish

Note: I originally posted this recipe a few years ago, but the recipe was "a little of this" and "a little of that." I've finally taken the time to measure out what I do so that you can exactly replicate how I make it!

Every year I make a jalapeño cranberry relish for our holiday meals, but it’s really the star of the show when it comes to leftovers. It’s so easy to make, but it makes a big flavor punch. Slice a croissant and butter and toast it. Top it with turkey or ham and a dollop of jalapeño cranberry relish. Add cream cheese, toasted brie, or your favorite cheese slice, and you’ve just made a bistro-worthy sandwich. The relish also makes a great appetizer when served on top of room temperature cream cheese or toasted brie.


12 oz. of Cranberries (about 4 cups)

1 Jalapeño, seeds removed

2 cups of Fresh Cilantro 

1/2 Cup of Sugar (*see recipe note)

3 Teaspoons of Lime Juice (could also use lemon juice or a combination of the two)

1/2 Teaspoon of Salt

  1. Wash and dry the cranberries, jalapeño, and cilantro.
  2. Cut open your jalapeño and remove the stem and seeds. If you want to have less spice, use only half of the jalapeño. Leave the seeds if you want a really spicy relish.
  3. Remove the cilantro leaves from the stems. Discard the stems.
  4. Put 4 cups of cranberries, one jalapeño, 2 cups of cilantro, 1/2 cup of sugar*, 3 teaspoons of lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a food processor. Pulse until you get your desired consistency.
  5. Pour the relish into a bowl, and stir to evenly combine all the ingredients.
  6. Cover and store it in the refrigerator overnight to let the flavors blend and develop.
  7. Serve as a side or use it to dress sandwiches. You can also pour it on top of a block of cream cheese or on top of warm brie to serve as an appetizer.

*Note: This is a tart relish that is meant to complement sweet ham, creamy cheeses, and savory turkey or steak. If you want a sweeter relish, use 1 cup of sugar.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Clothes from Scraps

I had a maxi dress that needed to be hemmed. It was over a foot too long. When I finally got around to hemming it, I decided to make it midi-length, which gave me even more extra fabric. I also had to take it in at the sides. You can see the result of how my dress turned out in the last photo.

With all the extra fabric, I decided to make matching outfits for my girls. I made my oldest a pencil skirt that I drafted from a Lutterloh pattern. I made my youngest a dress from a pattern that was my grandmother’s. No fabric went to waste, and my girls got new outfits without spending a dime!



Who else is already listening to Christmas music?

I know this is venturing off the path of my Leading Ladies series, but I just had to draw Bing Crosby. Harlow, my seven-year-old, loves Bing Bong, as she lovingly and mistakenly refers to him. She loves him in White Christmas, but she also loves to hear him sing. When a song he sings comes on the radio and it’s sung by someone else, she says, “Bing Bong sings it better.” That’s some serious loyalty. Bing is also a favorite of my husband, Colin, who grew up hearing Bing’s music at his grandmother’s house. I don’t have childhood memories of Bing Crosby, so I don’t have the attachment and fondness they have of him. Isn’t it interesting how our childhood forms lifelong loves? I might have to draw my childhood favorites and share those with you. Any guesses to who an 80’s baby/90’s kid loved?

Now, back to the subject of Christmas music and if you are already listening to it or if you have a rule about when to start— let me know!

Shop my Bing Crosby drawing:

See the Haynes sisters here.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Scheduling Adventure: Blue Mountain Lake

For Marla’s birthday in July, we went camped at Waveland Park on Blue Mountain Lake. The park website says the campground is near Havanna, Arkansas, but it really feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere! It’s a beautiful place to escape. You can swim in the lake and look up at Mount Magazine, the highest point in the state of Arkansas. If you’re looking to fish, not only is the lake a good place, but the dam spillway is just down the road, and we saw fish jumping as the water flowed there.

We did have quite the experience getting checked in at the campground. The check in station for Waveland Park was closed, so we had to check in at the gatehouse for the Outlet Area campground, which was right before our campground. There was nowhere to turn around at the gatehouse, so they told us to go down to the dump station area to try. When we got there, there was nowhere to turn around. We (ignorantly) thought we could keep driving into the river campground and loop back out. All campgrounds loop or have roads that loop, right? Nope. This was one road that dead ended. It was July 4, and the campground was full and packed with cars, campers, and people fishing. The road was tight, and we could barely drive through. Panic set in. We kept our cool as best as we could. We looked like amateurs, because, well, we were amateurs at this pulling-a-camper thing. Some nice people helped us maneuver and admitted this was an impossible park to turn around in. We finally got out and laughed about it…and kept laughing the rest of the trip when we remembered the pickle we had gotten ourselves into. To be fair, the gatehouse workers and the park ranger gave us ill advice that helped push us into the pickle.

Waveland Park has some beautiful camping spots and amazing scenery. Now that we are better prepared, we would go back!

The video of our trip is now on Youtube. Click the link in our profile to watch. You can see the other issues that popped up and how our amateur-ness (that’s a word, right) kept the trip exciting.

Have you ever been to Blue Mountain Lake?

Don't forget to follow us on Instagram for photos and more details about our trips: Scheduling Adventure

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Leading Ladies

I drew these leading ladies last February for Galentine's/Valentine's Day. I don't remember if I posted them here, so now I present to you: Lucy, Dorothy (Judy), and Shirley. You can buy products with my drawings on them here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021


I drew Dolly Parton for my seven-year-old daughter, Harlow. She is Dolly’s self-proclaimed biggest fan. She first came to love Dolly because she was the lady who mailed her books every month through Dolly’s Imagination Library program.

Then one day we told her that Dolly could sing. That solidified her love for Dolly “Partner”, as she called her in her then toddler voice. Harlow tells all her friends about Dolly and often says that her greatest wish is to meet Dolly and tell her thank you for her books. If a Dolly song comes on the radio in the car, she makes us all stop talking and turn up the radio. When she was around four-years-old, she would beg me to play “Jolene” and would sing along at the top of her lungs. I realized we needed to increase her knowledge of Dolly songs so she could find a more age-appropriate favorite. She loves watching videos of Dolly on YouTube and learning all she can about her best friend. 

We haven’t told her that Dolly has restaurants and a theme park, because then we’ll never hear the end of asking to make the trek. If we’re ever able to go, we’ll tell her on the day we go. But then I think she’ll be looking for Dolly around every corner.

So, here’s a little sketch for my girl and her favorite star.

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Scheduling Adventure: Our First Camping Trip


We have a new Youtube channel and Instagram account to keep up with our family adventures. We'll only be posting about once a month, but you'll get to hear from Colin (and not just me) and hopefully get some inspiration to make some adventures of your own! Go subscribe to our channel to know when we post new videos!

Our first ever trip in our camper was to JFK Campground in Heber Springs, Arkansas.

Check out our Instagram page for photos and details:

Monday, November 08, 2021

I Knit a Hat!

I knit a hat!
Listen, if I can make this, you can too!
I’ve knit since college and even sold scarves at my boutique and at other stores, but I never really attempted anything more than scarves.
I’ve been itching to get back into knitting. I’m pushing myself to knit things I’ve never knit before, so I thought this was a good project to try since my baby needed a new winter hat.
The pattern is free and has a step-by-step video to walk you through it all. Go to LoveCrafts YouTube to make the Anya hat. I adjusted the pattern to make it fit my one-year-old by casting on fewer stitches.
Needles and Pom Maker: Clover brand from Michaels Stores
Yarn: Lion Brand Yarn Shop from my stash

Thursday, October 28, 2021

A Pumpkin Skirt Made for Twirling

I bought this pumpkin fabric over a year ago in the last trimester of my pregnancy. I thought I could make something cute before the baby (Elodie) got here. The problem was I was too mentally tired to decide on what to make and too physically tired to make it.

A year later I pulled it from the pile I keep of things that need to be mended or finished up. I asked Harlow if she wanted a Halloween skirt to match the sequin pumpkin shirt I got her at Walmart. She said yes!

Instead of cutting a rectangle and sewing it up, I cut a sort of trapezoid shape to give more fabric at the bottom to make it twirl. I’m not sure I would go that route again, but it definitely twirls more than a rectangle skirt. I might try a circle skirt next time. I put elastic in the waist to make this an easy project. 

Now, what else has been waiting for me in that to-finish pile…

Spooky S'mores

🎃Looking for a way to use up your kids’ Halloween candy or forgoing the usual trick-or-treating this year? Make spooky s’mores!

🍪Our family loves an old fashioned graham cracker s’more, but mix it up with different “sandwich” options. The cookies are Pillsbury break and bake pumpkin cookies with white chocolate chips. I added some sprinkles on top.

🌈It’s hard to beat traditional marshmallows, but let’s add some color with Yummallo rainbow marshmallows and Peeps monster and pumpkin marshmallows.

🔥Don’t have a fire pit? Set your cracker/cookie on a cookie sheet. Top with your marshmallow. Toast it under your oven’s broiler. Watch it toast to perfection!

🍫A milk chocolate bar is the traditional filling, but I like to amp it up with a peanut butter cup! Reese’s has different shaped, colored, and flavored cups to give taste options and add visual interest.

🍡Fill blank spaces with options you and your guests can snack on while you assemble your s’mores. I used candy corn, m&ms, Oreos, meringue cookies, and gummy candy.

🧟‍♀️This is your chance to make scary good concoctions!

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Halloween Dress from a Tablecloth

I’ve been thinking about making this dress for a year now!

Last year Keiko Lynn posted a pumpkin tablecloth dress she made, and I wished I could luck out and find the same fabric. While shopping for dining room chairs on the Kohl's website, I found this tablecloth!

I followed the same DIY Daisy tutorial that I used to make the yellow floral dress. I changed the neckline to a square neck with facing. I went with big sleeves and shortened the skirt a bit. I made the measurements smaller than last time but still felt it was a bit too much fabric for my small frame. I saw someone else added straps to tighten the dress at the waist, so I did the same. This dress is liking wearing a lightweight blanket!

This was a fun project. I had to work in small increments since I don’t have a lot of uninterrupted time (one-year-old baby constantly on the move). Without distractions, this is a good day project. 

I checked, and this tablecloth is sold out now. But buying a tablecloth, especially on sale, is a great way to save on the cost of fabric. This is a jacquard fabric, which would be more expensive at a fabric store. If you see tablecloth, sheet, or curtain patterns you like, you can turn them into clothes!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Camping Themed Birthday + Campfire Cake

This year's annual birthday planning had to include TWO girls since Elodie turned one this month. Harlow turns seven later this month. I needed a cake theme that fit both of them. I went with camping since we've spent the last few months camping as a family.

I made the Stanton State Park pennant with my Cricut and personalized a shirt from Walmart for Colin. Stanton is our last name, but if it was a real state park, we would have tie dye uniforms. 😄

Here are the cake details:
  • The cake is strawberry, and the recipe is from Call Me PMc. I was careful to find a cake mix that was milk free.
  • The filling icing is bakery frosting. You can find the recipe in this past post. I think it's best to make this icing ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge to let the flavors mix together. I added vanilla in addition to almond extract. This isn't a frosting I recommend making the day of or even day before. It won't taste right. It will taste like vegetable shortening. It needs to sit! A few days before serving, add chopped mashed strawberries. I think this icing is best when it has strawberries in it. You can even make it, strawberries included, and store it in the freezer if it's going to be a couple weeks before you serve it. Take it out to thaw in the fridge for a couple days.
  • I wanted the outside icing to be white. I didn't make the bakery frosting for the outside, because I don't like it without strawberries. My youngest daughter has a milk allergy, so I needed a recipe that was dairy-free. I made 7 minute frosting for the first time, and it was delicious! It tastes like marshmallows. I had to mix it for much longer than 7 minutes, but it eventually did get to the whipped consistency. I will definitely be making it again!
  • The dirt is gluten free crushed Oreos (wanted to see how they compared in taste to the original). The logs are dark chocolate Pirouline. I followed this tutorial to make the flames. I made the little campers with a candy mold from Michael's and white melting chocolate and food dye. The gummy worms are Albanese-- the yummiest gummy worms in my opinion. I didn't get a picture of the 1 and 7 candles, but they were cute and fit the theme. 😆
  • I made Elodie a mini "smash" cake. It also kept her from having the couple items I added to the main cake that had dairy (campers, Pirouline).

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