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I have a ring that I purchased in Mexico years ago that is probably my most favorite piece of jewelry.  However, sometimes the turquoise stones fall out.

photo 4-2 And I’m sure we’ve all had this happen one time or another with something we love.  No fear.  My mom taught me a trick years and years ago to fix lost stones in jewelry using colored sculpting clay.

Buy either Sculpey or FIMO clay in a color that matches the stones you need to replace in your jewelry.

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Carefully mold pieces of clay to fit the stones you need to replace.  Place the clay into the settings.

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Follow the instructions on your package of clay in regards to baking it into your jewelry.  I baked my ring for 30 minutes at 230 degrees, but each brand of clay is a little different.

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Once your ring is cooled paint the new “stones” with clear nail polish so it looks shiny like the rest of the stones.

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And it really couldn’t be easier than that to fix your favorite piece of silver jewelry.  Obviously, this won’t work for all jewelry since you can’t bake everything.  However, you could form some “stones”, bake them on their own, and then glue them into your jewelry.

Nothing better than something as good as new!

Signature Maggie

Visit my other online home at apairofpinkshoes.com

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I love dessert as much as the next person, but when it comes to making food I’m definitely more of a cook than a baker. So, when I realized that I still hadn’t figured out what I’m making for tonight’s little friend get-together at my house (and everyone else seemed to be bringing appetizers!) I started to get nervous…..until I remembered this gem of a recipe from none other than Martha Stewart herself! I usually have good luck with Martha Stewart’s recipes but rarely are they easy or simple. This recipe for Mini Molten Chocolate Cakes, however, is incredibly easy and incredibly yummy! These little muffin-sized chocolate cakes can be made ahead and popped into the oven about 20 minutes before you want to serve dessert. They are rich and gooey and the perfect sweet little bite to end a meal.

Click here for a link to the recipe!

I sprung for the more expensive ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate….definitely worth it! I mean, seriously, is there anything better than sticking your finger into a bowl of melted chocolate and licking it?

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Of course I enlisted my four-year-old son to help me out this rainy afternoon. He LOVES baking, especially the egg-cracking part. (don’t worry I retrieved the broken shells from the bowl)

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For this recipe you simply mix the six ingredients together, distribute the batter into buttered/sugared muffin tins and bake for 8 minutes.  So easy!

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Success!

Click here for a link to the recipe!

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From the very first day we owned an iPad, one of the things I have wanted to use it for is for writing…taking sermon notes, writing to-do lists, jotting down ideas, and so forth. I have tried plenty of writing apps, but I have found the one that does the job better than any that I have seen so far.

GoodNotes

Enter Goodnotes. It costs $5.99 (all Apple and Android devices), which sounded expensive until I thought about how much I spent on the pile of fancy notebooks sitting in my desk drawer. Then it became positively cheap.

My first test run for the app was to tackle the reading list for my upcoming doctoral classes next month. You can import PDF files from Dropbox, open it in the app, and then highlight or take notes in the margins with your finger. Saving the planet…and saving my back from carrying around a huge pile of paper. Win-Win, right? You could also use it to fill out PDF forms and edit documents, then upload it back up to Dropbox.

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Aren’t you jealous of my reading list?

You can also take free form notes as well. You can use the traditional keyboard, but one of the unique features is the “Zoom” function. This is where you write your notes in a large box at the bottom of the screen…over and over…and it places it neatly on the lined page. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it is much better than having to scrawl tiny words with your finger and more natural than typing on a device. Grab a stylus, and it works even better. Maybe I can eliminate some of the piles of scrawled notes that are always stuck in my back pocket? That would be pretty awesome. 

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Added bonus…connect to a television and it becomes an instant digital whiteboard.

Madi, my nine-year-old, checked out the app with me, and she is digging it too. (She actually tracked down the keyboard function for me…a sign that I’m getting old?) She is sitting next to me writing away…it’s a hit!

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Disclosure: I was not compensated for my review; all opinions are my own and Madi’s.

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I turned 36 last month.

It has such a grown-up ring to it, being 36. Fresh out of college, I worked in a department where a few of my co-workers were in their mid to late 30′s. I remember thinking that they weren’t “old”, but they were definitely a generation ahead of me. They went to school in the 80′s, and I could kind of tell they weren’t quite “up to speed” with what was young and hip. They tried, honestly, but it just wasn’t the same.

I think that is what I’m becoming. Someone who is trying to stay relevant, but at the end of the day, I can still remember owning a powder blue Nokia cell phone that just made phone calls and was as big as my hand. And I’m okay with that…without Snapchat and those short wide sweatshirts that make me look six months pregnant and whatever else.

But do you know what is really throwing me for a loop? Growing up. I had this idea buried somewhere in the recesses of my mind that once you “grow up”, that’s it. That’s you…as a grown up. But it just doesn’t work that way. The person I was at 22 is certainly not the person I was at 30 and isn’t the same person I am now at 36.

I kind of like it, the idea that we are in a constant state of metamorphosis. We are not static beings, but have the ability to refocus our energy, our interests, and even our personality in different directions over time. We can change and we do change, whether we want to or not. I also like the idea of being conscious of those changes, so that we can understand ourselves better and adjust the expectations of people around us.

For example, when my kids were all little, I depended heavily on the different groups I was a part of – MOPS, Bible study, book club – they literally dragged me through a really challenging time. Now, with my kids in school and much of my attention redirected towards work, I have less time to participate in those types of groups, and perhaps I need different things. I started a Lean In circle at work, where we can talk about our experiences and I try and purposefully get together with just a couple of friends because that’s about all I can handle. It’s different.

I suppose the big takeaway for me has been to accept and celebrate those changes. It is sort of like trying to fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans. It just ain’t gonna happen, and the sooner I can get around to accepting that I am a different person now, then the sooner I can start enjoying the place I am right now.

36?

Bring it.

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