He has Risen


It is a wonderful time of year here in New Zealand it is starting to get cold and crisp. We are still packing and busy getting ready for our overseas move. So I won’t be here on Living In Grace often. In the mean time here is a chalk board print I made. Feel free to print it for your personal use. Or if you wish you may PIN it or also use it in your blog as long it is not altered in anyway and you kindly link back here. Thanks 🙂

I love Matthew 28:5-7. Imagine if an Angel appeared to you. How would you feel? I love that the Angel tells the woman to not be afraid. Believing by faith, and seeing someone or experiencing an event, face to face is different. The woman was seeking Jesus. She may have heard the stories about Jesus or perhaps may have even listened to Jesus preaching and was told of His death and resurrection. I am sure it would have been a difficult concept to grasp. Imagine seeking Jesus but meeting an Angel instead. Not only that, the Angel told her the good news, of Christ’s death and resurrection and that she would see Jesus in Galilee. Passover is not just about Jesus’ death and resurrection it is also about remembering redeeming of what was once lost, forgiveness of sin, grace, mercy, blessings, love that He pours out upon us daily. We are called to die to sin and we have been given new life through Christ. Life on earth is fleeting in comparison to our eternal life with Christ. For Christians we have hope and we have a future beyond this world. At this time of year I like to personally make an effort to take stock and let go of any thing that hinders my heart, mind and life. I like to think on how much Christ has already redeemed and restored my heart, life and my past. I am always amazed at how He shows up for me just when I need Him most, He gives me joy and hope for a wonderful future for me and all His children.

I hope you have a great week and a lovely Passover/Easter.
~ Sarah xxx

The angel answered the women, “Don’t be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus, who has been crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, just like he said. Come, see the place where the Lord was lying. Go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead, and behold, he goes before you into Galilee; there you will see him.’ Behold, I have told you.”
Matthew 28:5-7 (WEB)

DIY – Simple Reusable Kitchen Handy Towels


I like the idea of having a bunch of absorbent handy towels available for spills in the kitchen. I had some cream colored hand towels which I thought could do the job so I used what I had on hand already. I would prefer using grey colored towels but I would rather reuse and repurpose what I have before I go and buy something new. If and when the cream towels look too shabby or old I will then look at making some grey handy towels. These towels could be used rolled up on a regular handy towel caddy. To do that you use the cardboard roll from an old paper handy towel and pop some velcro onto it. I had velcro that already had glue on the back of them but you could use a hot glue gun. You will need to sew velcro tabs onto your towels so they wash well and the tabs do not fall off. My favourite way to use these kitchen handy towels is to simply put them in a box where I can quickly grab and go rather than unclipping or pulling the velcro apart. The photo’s below show what I did. It is super simple and if you don’t want to have a similar size to regular kitchen handy towels you could use the no sew approach and use bathroom hand towels in a cute box. Hope you are having a great day!
Blessings ~ Sarah





Mixed Media Art -1


My philosophy is re-use, repurpose and recycle what you have before going out and buying stuff. I am guessing I will need to buy some things. I have already noticed that some of my paint won’t settle into some types of paper.
I had an old journal book so I used it for my mix media art journal. It was a lined brownish paper with a scripture at the bottom. I am thinking that this is a great little book to practice with since I am just beginning using mix media and no doubt will make plenty of mistakes and I have a whole lot of learning to do.
The first thing I wanted to do was to cover some of the original paper. For my front cover I used some canvas, old paper, water colors and a sharpie pen. I would love to do some ink work but I will have to wait until I can get some pens. It is a little journal so I will be able to use it as I travel without too much bother. I have also completed some other background pages with music sheets and old books. I have accentuated the backgrounds by using water pencils in shades of brown. I also used some tea to stain the page to give it an old world look. Although it is crazy busy around here with packing it is lovely to be able to recycle stuff that I like in my first little journal and do some art amongst the boxes. ~ Sarah



Local Harvest


There is nothing like eating fresh fruit and vegetables from your own garden! We have lived in little apartments with only a little balcony to grow a few things. We have also lived on a farm. We had a huge orchard and a big veggie patch. But not everyone has the space, time or energy to garden. When we lived on the farm our neighbor had a little strawberry farm and sold strawberries at the gate. We have had chickens and have hand reared lambs (didn’t eat them). They now live on another farm with a Potter and a Writer and they aren’t going to eat them either. Although I have no problem with people loving and looking after animals well and dispatching them in a humane way. Each person is different and we all have choices to make.

We are currently living by a lake in a little house and have grown potato’s and herbs etc. BUT we are moving overseas again and we don’t know at this stage what kind of place we will be moving to. Could be a tiny apartment or a suburban house. Time will tell. I do love nature and my heart longs to grow my own fruit, vegetables and have a few chooks in the yard. However if there is no space then I will happily buy our eggs, fruit & vege at the local organic farmers markets or have a box delivered to my door.

Anyhoo… The point of this post is really to share this LINK I am blown away by the Local Harvest website and had to share it with you. This is for Australia BUT there may be similar websites for your local area. They have a place where you type in your area and it tells you where the local organic markets are they also show you where your local shops and even closest veggie box can be ordered from. They are a fantastic resource!

Supporting local farmers markets helps keep your food bill down, helps local farmers get a fair price for their produce and it also keeps your beautiful family healthy too. My eldest daughter just told me how she is getting organic almond milk, bread in a veggie box delivered to her door each week and how she loves it. She remembered when we had veggies delivered to our home at different times and in different places. I hope you too can enjoy lovely local produce. Blessings ~ Sarah xxx

DIY – Make your Own Pencil Canvas Wrap


With de-cluttering the house and going through all my bits and bobs I stumbled upon a bunch of art supplies. Some music paper and lots of things I would love to keep but just don’t have the space for. So I thought I would use what I have in an art journal for back grounds. My art supplies were all in a mess and hard to find so I decided to organise it properly. I have always wanted to make a mix media art journal so why not start at the beginning with getting my supplies in order and use what I have. I found an old paint brush canvas wrap so I modified it to suite my needs for storing my art journal supplies. I added some more slots by sewing extra black pockets on the canvas wrap for pens, water colour paints and what not. I need this journal to be handy while I travel and hopefully just have the basic minimal stuff in it. I don’t have all the things I need yet. But I am getting there. I think the pictures explain what I did far more easily than my jumbled up words can.







I have hardly blogged lately because we have been crazy busy with Christmas festivities. Also with finish writing my book and also preparing for moving to another country things have just been crazy. We have moved so many times it is not that daunting anymore BUT there is still lots to do and the energy that it takes to do it all is ridiculous! With this move we have decided to cull as much as possible. Our last international move we brought my much loved appliances like our Westinghouse fridge, Bosch washing machine, sewing machine, and even our car to our new place. This time we are going to try to do the less is more approach. The reality is often cheaper to buy new on the other side of your international move than to pay transport costs. I have been enjoying emptying closets and getting rid of stuff. I ask myself a few questions as I go like;

Do we use it regularly?
Is it too old or worn?
Is it useful?
Is it beautiful?
Is it sentimental or important?
Do we love it?

If the answer is no then it has to go!!

We have moved internationally and also locally. We have moved to be closer to family, for work, and also for Christian Ministry reasons. No matter what the reason for moving it takes a huge amount of energy and planning. Whether moving locally or internationally moving needs to get done.

Moving house can be one of the most stressful times in your life. So is losing your job, divorce, end of a relationship or the death of a family member or close friend. So we have had a number of those things happen recently. I am so thankful that I can put my hope and trust in the Lord. Moving can be stressful but I really feel that God is carrying me atm. Psalms 130:5 says: “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope”. AND Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” These scriptures give me comfort and strength as we wait on God and trust him for the next season in our lives.

In the end moving house and countries was one way to declutter our lives. Albeit a drastic way to declutter!

Tips for a less stressful move:

1. Get organised in advance. If you leave everything until the last-minute it will be stressful. In New Zealand we sold our house and then rented it back from the new owner. This gave us time to sort and organise the house and all our stuff before moving day. When living in the USA we were able to give our stuff away to some International students at CCU. The stuff we wanted to keep we flew it to Australia and it was quite cheap from Ohio. Which was awesome. In Australia we were able to give away and sell lots by using a local Facebook page where people came and collected bits and pieces before we moved to New Zealand. NOW we have another international move and we are sorting and organizing everything. Here is how we are doing it…

I have four categories.
First category is stuff to keep. The keeping stuff is the stuff you will box up last or move to your new home. This first category has your clothes and all the things you use on a day to day basis. The furniture that you will keep.
Second category is to give away and recycle.
Third category is sell in a garage sale or online.
Fourth category is to throw away.

Part of organizing is getting quotes for your move and then confirming all your plans at least three weeks before your big move.

REMEMBER your pets. This is more involved for an international move. You will need to make sure they have had all the shots and they have the correct carriers that your airline will accept. Some of their shots will need to be done three months in advance so visit your veterinary clinic to know what you need.

2. Start selling or giving away non-essential items as soon as you can. Don’t wait! Leaving things to the last-minute will add stress to an already potentially stressful time. I have some health issues so I need to take things slowly or I will end up very ill which won’t help with our move.

3. Organise your important papers and personal information. Get a folder for essential documents like passports, medical information, birth certificates. Make sure you photo copy passports (if moving overseas) of all the members of the family. Give the children copies of your passport as well. Sort out your personal photos. We scanned all our photo’s so we could take them overseas with us on a hard drive and know they wouldn’t get damaged in storage. We gave small album of photo’s to each of the kids special friends. I also made up a tiny album for each of the kids to take with them of important friends and family to pop into their bags and to show new friends.

4. Be kind to yourself and your family. Make things easy. Take time to catch up with friends and family. Visit all those places you will miss when you leave. Have dinner out or buy dinner in. Make up a new family saying. Don’t forget to encourage the kids. Ours was/is “every last step on a journey is a new step in an adventure.” They loved this and while traveling we would often say this family quote.

5. Take this opportunity to simplify. There’s no point in keeping stuff you haven’t used or probably will never use. Storing, moving or sending it to another state or overseas may cost more than replacing it. If you haven’t used it in 6 months then it is time to let it go. Don’t get rid of anything you feel is personal or sentimental and that you may regret not having in the future. In saying that you can’t keep every tiny little scrap of paper your child ever drew on either. We took photo’s of some items the kids had made or pictures and kept those on a hard drive. Easy to store a hard drive than a million bits of papers and sock dolls etc.

6. Have a garage sale or eBay your stuff. Any money you make can help towards the cost of move. AND the less you have the easier and cheaper your move will be!

7. Packing. Start packing up things early. Especially books you are not reading and any non-essentials. Buy a huge roll of bubble wrap, tape, cardboard corners for pictures, marker pens. Try local shops and ask if they want to get rid of their boxes. They often are happy to reduce their rubbish pile. BUT with an international you will need proper boxes.

If you can afford it, seriously consider having the professional packers do your packing for you. Then you won’t need to bother with packing apart from personal items and you will save your back. We have packed ourselves BUT the times we have had the professionals pack for us it was much less stressful and our backs were thankful too. With international moves you will need professional packers check boxes.

Give the kids a limit to how many boxes they can fill with toys. Let them pack some of their boxes themselves. Get rid of worn clothing or things that they will grow out of. If you don’t limit the boxes you will have everything from a scrap of paper to soft toy’s coming out your ears.

My best advice I can give you while packing is to listen to happy music. I listen to Christian and or jazz music on the stereo or computer while I pack. And if you are packing on your own why not listen on your iPod. You can’t be stressed and grumpy if you a listening to Godly or perky music. You know what they say in Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” You need all your strength while in the process of moving.

8. Friends and Family. Don’t forget to put aside time to visit and say goodbye to friends and family. I know I said this earlier but there will be someone you forgot. Now is the time to remember them! Go out for dinner or have coffee and enjoy spending time with your friends. Some friends or family may not be able to understand your leap of faith and may get upset. Listen and encourage them. Often they are more upset because they themselves can’t do what you are doing and feel uncomfortable. Sometimes it is because they feel you are leaving them behind. Reassure them that we all have seasons in our lives where change occurs. Make sure you have Skype and/or e-mail to keep up the contact. Now is the time to let unhealthy relationships go.

Let the kids have their friends stay over and let them stay up as long as they can. You could have a movie marathon and let them sleep in the lounge or put the TV in their room and watch movies all night. You will find that those kids who can’t stay awake will happily sleep while the others chat all night long. Especially teenage girls!!!

9. Moving day. Don’t pack up your kettle or coffee machine up until the last-minute. OR if you do be sure to make time to run to the cafe’ for takeaway coffee. I guarantee you will be needing a tea or coffee on your moving day. Finally have a good clean up or hire a cleaner. At the end of a stressful day you will be thankful to see the cleaners come and magically clean your house up.

10. Enjoy your new adventure and new home.

Here is a LINK to Overseas Packers and Movers. We used them and they were excellent for us. On their website they have lots of helpful hints and tips for your move whether your move is a local one or an international move.

Mini Cinnamon Muffins

This is a lovely recipe similar to the last one I posted. I have been making muffins for over twenty years! I know I am getting old. It is a yummy New Zealand recipe and I have adapted it. Really you add flour, egg, sugar, salt, milk a dash of this and that and we have yummy baking! Of course you can change and substitute ingredients and have fun! I use gluten free flour so often have to bump up the baking powder and add baking soda and apple cider vinegar to help it rise and so it does not come out like a brick. I sometimes will switch out the marg and butter for coconut oil or olive oil. I hope you enjoy this recipe!
~ Sarah xxx

Mini Cinnamon Muffins


Serves: 24

1/2 cup white sugar
85g margarine, melted (or butter)
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup (125ml) milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (125g) plain flour
85g margarine, melted (or melted butter)
1/2 cup white sugar (or brown)
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
(I will often add 1 egg and less milk but it will make it a little heavy)


Preparation:15min › Cook:15min › Ready in:30min

Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. Grease 24 mini-muffin cups.
Mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup margarine and nutmeg in a large bowl. Stir in the milk then mix in the baking powder and flour until just combined. Fill the prepared mini muffin cups about half full.
Bake in the preheated oven until the tops are lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
While muffins are baking place 1/4 cup of melted margarine in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix together 1/2 cup of sugar with the cinnamon. Remove muffins from their cups, dip each muffin in the melted margarine and roll in the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Let cool and serve.

DIY – Photo Bunting



I found this on PINTEREST and thought what a great idea for sharing memories for an Anniversery or a special Birthday Celebration. There wasn’t a link to a how to make it but I reckon you could use some printing canvas or thick card and print your photo on it and then make into cute photo bunting! Ages ago I bought some A4 sheets of printing canvas from Aldi and it worked very well. You will want to convert your photo into black and white, and then sharpen, and then contrast your pic and print. Or alternatively pop into a printing shop and let a professional do it for you!
~ Sarah xxx

RECIPE: Gluten-free Carrot Cake with Butterscotch Cream Cheese Frosting


This is a basic carrot cake recipe from HERE I do add bits and pieces here and there to the recipe which I have noted below. I made this cake for my sons 16th birthday party. I hope you love this recipe as much as our family does. This cake is moist and yummy! If you want to copy this post to your blog please feel free to do that just please link back to here. Thanks.
~ Sarah


Gluten-free Carrot Cake with Butterscotch Cream Cheese Frosting
Moist and luscious, gluten-free carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is a gluten-free favorite at my house. The cake freezes well and the recipe makes one round layer cake, one 13×9-inch sheet cake or 36 cupcakes. Three cups of grated carrots add healthy carotene, a nutrient that the body uses to make vitamin A. Not bad for a cake!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

2 cups of sugar (I use raw brown sugar)
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups light olive oil OR your favorite vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour mix
2 teaspoons baking soda (I use 1 1/2)
(I add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar)
2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
(I add 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg)
(I add 1 1/2 teaspoons of mixed spice)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts (I don’t use nuts I put in raisins instead)
3 cups freshly grated carrots

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups gluten-free powdered sugar (icing sugar)
(I add one pkt of instant butterscotch (or any flavour you like) pudding mix to the frosting plus a little more butter or water to right consistency) (You cold just add butterscotch essence instead)

Preheat oven to 350° F / 176° C

Use two round 9-inch cake pans, one 9×13 pan or 36 muffin cups for this recipe. If using round cake pans, lightly grease and place a circle of parchment in the bottom of the pan for easy removal. Use paper lining cups if making cupcakes.

Cream sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl with an electric beater or stand mixer. Add oil and vanilla and beat just until smooth.
In a separate bowl combine gluten-free flour mix, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat until blended.
Stir in grated carrots and nuts. Pour the batter into prepared pans.
Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. For muffins, reduce baking time to 30-35 minutes or until they pass the toothpick test. Cool on a wire rack.
While cake or muffins are cooling place butter, cream cheese and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat on high until smooth. Add powdered sugar (icing sugar) and beat until smooth and creamy.
When cake is cool frost.

Whip together butter, cream cheese, vanilla and packet of butterscotch instant pudding. Add a little extra water if it is too thick.

2 packets of Tim Tams (chocolate biscuits to go around the cake) You can use GF biscuits if you need to just pop on what works for you.
2 packets of huge Jelly Beans.
1 pair of chop sticks to hang your bunting on.
Decorate the way you like!