On My Bookshelf: Spring 2014


I am so excited about this stack of books!  My husband and I each took a bit out of our income tax return to spend on whatever we wanted.  He chose to renew his MLB.com subscription so he can watch live streaming of baseball games and I, of course, spent my money on books!

I wrote HERE about my goals for 2014, which included reading a book each week.  I also mentioned that I want to read 4 books on marriage as part of my marriage goals for the year.  This Momentary Marriage and The Husband Project are the first 2 books on that list.  Although I have a fantastic relationship with my spouse, I am looking forward to focusing on being intentional about fostering that relationship.

As you may have noticed, I have several books that have a common theme: balance & living simply.  I have been walking through an extremely restless season for the past few months, and unfortunately, the next six months will be even more crazy. We are moving to Boston at the end of the summer and recently found out that we have to move out of our home 10 weeks before that move.  It’s like having a serving of hectic with a side of chaos!  Because of this, I have chosen several books to help keep me centered & focused.  Balancing it All, You’re Going to Be Okay, and Notes From a Blue Bike are all books I am really looking forward to reading during this season.

I also picked up Jennie Allen’s new book, Restless.  I absolutely adore Jennie’s heart for women to grow in their relationships with God.  I share that same desire, so it is no surprise that I feel so at home in her writing.  I read Anything last year and it was fantastically life-changing!  Chasing God by Angie Smith also promises to be equally amazing!

I hope to share more of my thoughts about these books here on my blog once I’ve read them.  If you’d like to see what I’ve read so far this year and you have a Goodreads account, you can follow me.  My account name is: Julie Coryell.

What are you reading these days?  I’d love to hear!

Make it great!


Project Life 2014: Week 2

Hi friends!  Happy to be sharing week 2 of Project Life with you today.  I am so enjoying the simplicity this year.  Let’s just jump right to the pages shall we?


On the left-side of the page, I used journaling cards from the Jade, Seafoam, and Clementine editions.


On the right-hand side I used cards from the Seafoam kit & Holidays mini-kit, as well as the grid cards.



There wasn’t anything really huge that happened during this week.  It was our transition week back to school and after-school activities.  It was simple, but these pictures are a beautiful reminder of our everyday life.  I hope my girls will love looking back on our everyday lives years from now & be thankful that I documented life this way.  My favorite picture from this week is the picture of Hailey looking through our 2012 Project Life album.  I woke up Saturday morning to find her flipping through the album.  I heard her say “Oh!  I totally forgot that we did that!”. So thankful that I documented everyday life & that she is able to remember the simple things that brought her joy!

I hope to be sharing weeks 3 & 4 with you next week.

Thanks for stopping by. I am also linking up with The Mom Creative.  Check out all the other great Project Life pages shared.

You can see my previous project life posts here.

If you’d like to see how I organize my Project Life supplies, these are the posts:

Craft Room Organization:  Creating a Functional Project Life Station

Project Life 2013:  Weeks 24 & 26 and Updated Organization

Project Life:  Week 4 and Organization

Make it great!


Project Life was created by Becky Higgins as a simple solution to documenting your memories.  You can learn more about project life here.

Hailey’s Fun Lunches With PlanetBox

When Hailey went back to school last fall after a year of being homeschooled, the thing I was least looking forward to was packing a daily lunch.  Hailey goes to a small, private school and they do not serve hot lunches as they do not have a contract with the school district.  I knew that I needed to find a way to make packing her lunch easy and fun, so I did some research and discovered the PlanetBox.  My initial thought was “Wow!  Those are expensive!”, but I decided to go ahead and take the plunge.

Hailey has the Rover Complete, which includes the Rover lunchbox, the Big and Little Dipper for messier foods, a set of magnets for the outside of the box, and the Rover Carry Bag.  I did not get the cold pack as I already had something that would work.  Hailey was pretty stoked when it came in and I have to say, packing lunch for her is simple and fun.  I was concerned the first day of school whether or not this would be enough food or too much food, but when she came home she said that it was the perfect amount of food. Score!

Here is a look at some of her favorite lunches:

Build Your Own Lunchable, Fresh Peaches, Blueberry fruit bar from World Market, and a sprinkle of chocolate chips.


Caesar Salad with chicken (dressing is in the little container), grapes, peanut butter & homemade peach jam sandwich, Santa Fe Stix from NatureBox, & a sprinkle of chocolate chips.


Heart-shaped peanut butter & peach jam sandwich, strawberry slices, grapes, pretzel crisps, & chocolate chips.


By now you can see that grapes & strawberries are Hailey’s favorite fruit.  She also loves to have her sandwiches cut into cute shapes.


I have a selection of fun, sandwich cutters.  Most of them I got from Wal-Mart.  They hang on a little strip in the bread isle.  The four-shaped pink cutter came from this etsy shop and the Wonder cutter/sealer came from Amazon.



We recently tried a pesto chicken wrap at Costco and Hailey loved it, so she asks for that a couple of times a week.  The tortilla fits perfectly in the large section when cut in half.


Hailey’s favorite day of lunch is the once-a-week treat of chicken nuggets. I use the Tyson’s chicken nuggets with no preservatives or fillers.  The little container holds ketchup.  I just put the nuggets in frozen and she has access to a microwave to heat them up.


Obviously, Hailey’s lunches could be healthier, but I don’t claim to eat 100% whole foods.  I use natural peanut butter and homemade jam for her sandwiches, lots of fruit, and healthier snacks through NatureBox.  However, she does get regular bread, chicken nuggets, and occasional treats.  Her lunches have vastly improved from even two years ago when she either bought lunch several times a week or I sent a sandwich, chips, cookies, and a juice pouch.  All this to say that we are improving day by day.  I do enjoy reading several sites that send only healthy, all-natural, whole foods with their kids.  That’s fantastic if you can do it, but I’m not going to shame myself or anyone if you can’t do that every day.  I do the best that I can and I’m teaching both of my girls that it is okay to have most things in moderation.  It’s all about balance!

So there you have it!  Our fun and easy way to pack lunch for Hailey.  I love PlanetBox!  We will definitely continue to use the same Rover Box next year.  It is durable, can be washed in the dishwasher, & holds the perfect amount of food for Hailey.  I also am not using and throwing away multiple plastic bags each day, so it is much better for the environment.

Do you have a PlanetBox?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Make it great!


*This is not a sponsored post.  I was neither asked nor paid by PlanetBox to write this post.  I just love to share products that our family loves and that make life easier for us.

Our Week In Pictures (1/6/14-1/12/14)

This past week Hailey went back to school and Skylar and I eased back into school here at home.


I finally finished up a gift for Chris’ mom.  


We had our weekly visits with the chiropractor.  We LOVE this office!  They are like family!


I started sorting through my craft room to decide which supplies I am ready to send to new homes.


We spent lots of time at the library, one of my favorite places!


I had rehearsal for worship team.


We attended the missions dinner at our church.


Awoke on Saturday to find Hailey looking through my Project Life album from 2012.


Sunday was a beautiful day of serving, rest, & family time!

Ready & raring to go for another week of school, therapy, doctor’s appointments, exercise, and family time!

So thankful for my sweet family!

Make it great!


Goal Setting for 2014


I love the beginning of a new year!  Yes, I totally realize that each and every day is a new start, but for some reason I love setting goals at the start of a new year.  I try not to make the goals too broad.  I like specific, measurable goals.  This year I picked four specific categories for goal setting:  Marriage, Mothering, Family, and Personal. All of my goals plug into one of these 4 categories.  I am a paper and pen girl.  I know that it drives my computer-loving hubby crazy, but I love to write lists down in a notebook.  Add in some fun-colored markers and I am one happy girl.

I started a new book for my lists.  I’ve been carrying my old book for almost 2 years and it finally just fell apart.  It is a simple graph ruled composition book that I picked up at Staples for a few bucks.  I definitely prefer graph ruled to the traditional composition book.  This is a book that I carry everywhere.  When I think of something that I need to do or think of questions I need to ask a doctor or therapist I write it in this book.  It’s nothing fancy, but it is exactly what I need. Having my list of goals in the front of this book is going to be awesome for me this year!  Here are my goals:


1)  weekly date night (we already get 3 hours of respite care on Monday nights that we absolutely cherish)

2)  read 4 marriage books/devotional books


1)  monthly dates with each of the girls

2)  write monthly letters to the girls & include them in my Project Life pages

3)  pray with the girls each day


1) memorize one Bible verse each week

2)  read at least one chapter of a book out loud together each day

3)  explore Arizona (Sedona, Grand Canyon, Tombstone, Bisbee, etc)


1) exercise 60 min/day 6 days a week (I’m pretty much already doing this)

2)  do a Whole 30 (I’m currently reading this book to prepare)

3)  read the Bible through chronologically (I’m using this Bible)

4)  read 52 books (I’ve already started a list in my trusty red notebook)

5)  continue documenting our everyday life with Project Life

6)  run a 5K race 

7)  declutter & simplify 

I’m excited about the things that I will accomplish in 2014.  It’s going to be a big year for us as we continue our journey of better health & prepare to move this summer (hence the decluttering).  

What are your goals for 2014?

Make them great!


Project Life 2013: Weeks 41 & 42

Hello my friends!  Happy to be sharing a couple of weeks of Project Life pages with you today!  The first week I’m sharing is the week that Skylar was hospitalized for extended EEG monitoring & seizure medication change.  I actually put these pages together the morning after we got home.  I wanted to get my thoughts down before I forgot some of the details.






I put these pages together in about an hour, which included the time I took to edit & print the photos.  I love the simplicity of this week!

The next pages I added a few embellishments, but not many.  Again, I enjoyed the simplicity of my pages and really just wanted the focus to be on my pictures & journaling.





I’ve really enjoyed mixing & matching my Project Life kits.  These two weeks used cards from the following editions:  Blush, Honey, Seafoam, & 5th and Frolic.  If you are interested in seeing how I organized all my Project Life Kits together, CLICK HERE!

That’s it for this week!

Thanks for stopping by, I am also linking up with The Mom Creative.  Check out all the other great Project Life pages shared.

You can see my previous project life posts here.

Make it great!


Project Life was created by Becky Higgins as a simple solution to documenting your memories.  You can learn more about project life here.

5 Essentials For When We Are Feeling Under The Weather

Skylar woke up yesterday with a head full of junk.  When she came upstairs she said “I am totally stuffy”!  She sounded just like Meg Ryan did in You’ve Got Mail when she tells Tom Hanks “I’ve got a temperature!”.  After smiling about the movie voice similarity, I immediately got out my essentials that we use when we are under the weather.  Today, I thought I’d share those items with you.


1.  NutriFeron by Shaklee

We’ve been taking this as a family for several years.  My mom sent me a bottle and swore that it helped her feel better faster when she had been sick.  The next time I had a cold I started taking this and I was surprised when I was completely over it in a day or two.  We always make sure that we have plenty of this on hand.  Skylar actually takes this every day because she is so much more susceptible to illness because of her mitochondrial disorder.  When she starts coming down with something we increase how much she gets.

This morning when Chris pulled Skylar’s medications and our daily vitamins/supplements he came to tell me that he had pulled NutriFeron for all of us. This stuff is truly amazing!


2.  Greens by It Works!

All four of us take Greens on a daily basis, but when we are feeling under the weather, we take it twice a day.  Chris and I are distributors for It Works, but I would only recommend something if I truly believe in it!  The girls take the Citrus Flavor in apple juice, but Chris and I really like the Berry Flavor in water.  If you want to read more about what Greens does, click HERE.  We take multiple It Works vitamins and supplements, but if we could only take 1, Greens would be it!  (Full Disclosure:  these links are to my own personal It Works website.   Any purchases made through my website helps our family continue to provide the best possible care for Skylar!  Thank you so much!)


3. Thieves Oil from Young Living

I am always searching for great, natural products to help us with healthier living. Thieves is one of those products.  I was introduced to Young Living by a friend of mine.  When I asked what oils she would recommend, Thieves was the oil she said she is never without.  I use it multiple ways, but I love to diffuse it my diffuser.  It makes the house smell like Christmas!  You can also put Thieves in a capsule and take it orally or put it directly on your skin.  I also love to put a drop on my toothbrush when I brush my teeth.  It makes my mouth feel amazing!  You can read more about Thieves on the Young Living Website HERE.


4.  Simply Saline by Arm & Hammer

One things that Skylar has always struggled with is blowing her nose.  We help her as much as we can, but it isn’t the same.  Using a saline mist was recommended to us this past year by her pediatrician as he knows this is something she struggles with.  I can tell you that the first time we did it, she freaked out as she wasn’t sure what to expect, but ever since then, she has done a lot better.  The saline spray really helps clear her nasal pasages so that all that junk doesn’t just fester and go into a secondary infection.  We have used several different saline sprays, but this is the one we like the best.  Each of the girls have their own labeled bottle.  You can get them at any local pharmacy, I think that we got ours at WalMart.


5. Cool Touch Tissues by Kleenex

Last January when the girls got sinus infections and bronchitis, Chris ran to the store to stock up on tissues.  We usually use Puffs Plus with lotion, but they didn’t have those and Chris said these looked like the next best thing.  Hailey used one, exclaimed “Oh my!  These are amazingly cool!” and we have used them ever since. They are, just like they advertise, cool to the touch.

You might think it is silly that these are a part of our essentials, but when you have kids that are super particular about what they use, you just go with it!  If purchasing these tissues make them feel even a little better, then it is totally worth it!

So there you have it…our top 5 essentials for when we feel under the weather!  I’m so very thankful for these products, especially the NutriFeron and the Greens. Thanks to these items, our girls have not been on antibiotics since January. For two girls that each have immunity issues, this is amazing!  Of course, we also drink lots of fluids, rest, and watch lots of movies while cuddled in quilts.  That is sure to make you feel better as well!

What items are essential to you or your family when you are sick?  I’d love for you to share them!

Whatever you do today, make it great!




Lately…this is what I have looked like.  Workout clothes, a hat, & no make-up. Focusing on a healthier lifestyle, growing my hair out, & not wanting to fuss with make-up.


Lately…I’ve been freezer cooking.  I’m trying to reduce the stress of the “what’s for dinner?” worry each night.


Lately…I’ve been enjoying weekly trips to the library with Skylar.  There is just something about being surrounded by all those books that brings us joy!


Lately…I’ve been dreaming about selling most of our belongings, buying an RV, and travelling.  Totally not kidding!  It’s definitely on my bucket list! (This is the RV that Skylar thinks we should get.)

What have you been doing lately?

Make it great!


Links I Loved This Week


(Love this picture!  Click HERE to see how it was made!)

Mom Has Biggest Impact on Girls’ Body Image ::  USA Today

10 Year Old Boy With Autism Sings Open the Eyes of My Heart :: Godvine

Cat in a Shark Costume Riding a Roomba Vacuum :: Laughing Squid

The Dirty Little Secret Behind “Pure Squeezed” Orange Juice ::  Body Unburdened

Why “Did You Have Fun?” is the Wrong Question ::  Laura Parker

Enjoy your weekend!

Make it great!


What I Know For Sure


-I am a child of God

-Jesus is real

-my family is precious

-my husband is one of the most loving people to walk this earth

-my girls are amazing and unique human beings that have so much to offer this world

-Skylar gives great hugs

-Hailey gives more compliments than anyone I’ve ever met (except for maybe my nephew, Ben)

-I have learned more by being a parent of a child with special needs than I EVER learned in college

-I understood my parents and some of their choices so much more when I became a parent

-I love to SnapChat with my niece, Rebecca

-hearing my nieces & nephew yell “JuJu’s here” is awesome

-a solid marriage takes work

-my dad always encourages me

-my mom is always good for a laugh when she is telling a story

-I need to have time out of the house with just my husband every week

-I am a fiercely loyal friend

-I am a better wife & mom if I have a regular girl’s night out

-I find great joy in documenting our family’s story

-Sonic has the best ice

-cheese crackers have an addictive ingredient that make it impossible to eat just a few

-sugar is my biggest downfall

-I do better during the week when I meal-plan

-exercising always makes me feel better

-reading a good book is one of the greatest escapes there is

-honesty is always the best policy

-crossing items off my to-do list brings joy to my soul

-giving grace to people can often be difficult, but I never regret it

-life isn’t always a bed of roses, but I am blessed for sure!

Make it great!