Bekah Walters

live purposefully, be creative, inspire others

DIY Felt Succulents

Crafty Tuesday! I’ve been obessingly pinning felt succulents for the past couple weeks. I went to Hobby Lobby last week and picked up the needed supplies (that I didn’t already have). 

Here’s the supply list:

  • Felt – 9×12 cheap felt is what I bought
  • Terra-cotta pots – 2 little sizes
  • Peat moss
  • Hot glue gun + glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • This free template!
  • Pen

I googled images of real succulents while I was picking my felt colors. They can come in so many colors, shapes and sizes. 

Start by printing off the template on thicker paper to trace the shapes onto the felt. Cut out the shapes and use the template to determine how many of each one you’ll need. 

Start tracing the shapes onto your felt sheets. This is the time consuming part. 

Tip: If you’re using a sharpie pen like I am, I suggest outlining and little larger and cutting inside the lines so you don’t end up with black line edges. (Example below)

Hot glue the little shapes together at the folds following the instructions. 

Here’s how I’d rank the 5 templated succulents:

  1. Star 1
  2. Star 2
  3. Round 
  4. Grass
  5. Leafy

These are so cute and absolutely no maintenance! 

How to Recover from a Half Marathon

I ran my second half marathon on Saturday. The Des Moines Dam to Dam Half Marathon was very hot and humid so we were advised to slow our pace and drink lots of water along the route. 

After the race, here’s a few recovery steps I took:

  1. Don’t sit down right after the finish line. Keep walking to let your heart rate slow down and keep blood circulating through your legs. 
  2. Drink a sports drink to replenish your electrolytes
  3. Have a simple carb like a banana
  4. Do keep drinking lots of water for the rest of the day (and the next day and all the days)
  5. If you need to sit for a longer period of time, elevate your legs to keep the blood flowing
  6. Go for a few short walks to keep your muscles from stiffening up
  7. In the days following the races, take it easy on the workouts and foam roll until you no longer feel sore

My friend, Katie, is a runner by nature and helped me learn how to train, fuel during the race and recover afterwards. Thanks, girl! 

Do you have any half marathon recovery tips that I should try/be aware of? Let me know!

Half Marathon Checklist

The Des Moines Dam to Dam half marathon race is tomorrow. I’ve been training for the past nine weeks following a schedule. This will be my second half marathon. 

Click here for 13.1 race day tips to run your first half marathon. 
Race day letter board
As the list-maker that I am, here’s my checklist:

  • Running shoes
  • Race day outfit: shorts, tank top, sports bra, compression socks
  • Running pouch: ID, chapstick, tissues, fruit snacks, phone
  • Sunglasses
  • Visor/hat
  • Headphones 
  • Sunscreen
  • Race bib
  • After race: blender bottle with protein powder
  • Water

What is on your pre-race checklist for the half marathon? 

June Current Reading List

I have quite the to-be-read list that just keeps growing. One of my goals for the year is to read more books – books that I can learn from and books that are entertaining. 

I’m reading a few books at the same time so here’s the list of what’s stacking up on my nightstand:

  1. This Life I Live – Rory Feek
  2. Boundaries
  3. The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 1 the Magician’s Nephew – C.S. Lewis
  4. Thrive – Ariana Hugfington
  5. How to make friends and gain influence 

Have you read any of these books? What did you love about it? Which books should I add to my ever growing book list?

Quick & Easy Dinner Ideas Round-Up

Recently, someone asked me for a list of dinner ideas so I’m putting together this list of quick and easy dinners that take less than 30 minutes to prep. Here are some of my go-to favorites, and I thought what better place to put that information than here!

I know some of these will sound silly simple, but they are staple meals at my house.

1. Baked Chicken Breasts + Steamed Veggies

Gimme Some Oven

This how-to recipe from Gimme Some Oven on how to cook juicy chicken breasts turns out perfect every time. I don’t use the recipe-recommended seasonings, instead I just add whatever I want as the baking process is the same (my fave is Lemon Pepper seasoning). High heat for less time is the trick.

Also, I find that tenderizing the meat helps it to cook faster and more evenly.

I add a side of steam-fresh vegetables and we are done with this meal in about 30 minutes. Instead of veggies, you could grab a frozen bag of creamy penne and have that with your chicken.


Seriously, we have tacos about once a week. We love tacos. Brown the hamburger, add a packet of taco seasoning, warm up those tortillas and get ready to dress it up with toppings.

Here’s a list of toppings to consider:

  • Sour cream (substitute plain Greek yogurt)
  • Cheese
  • Salsa
  • Lettuce
  • Jalapeños
  • Tomatos
  • Black olives

Mix up this classic dinner by adding Doritos for a walking taco. Or adding tortilla chips and more lettuce for a taco salad.

We usually whip up some fresh guacamole to go with this dinner. You can see exactly how I do that at the bottom of this post.

3. Chicken Broccoli Rice Skillet

Chicken Skillet Dinner

This recipe is a Pinterest find and it is delicious. You can do it in more than one pan to speed up the process a bit, but I guess if you don’t want to wash more than one pan that is appealing.

4. Baked Chicken Spaghetti

Chicken Spaghetti Dinner

Growing up, I learned to make this meal during those busy weeks full of high school extracurricular activities. My mom would have my sister and I help with dinner after school and before games. This is perfect for leftover cooked chicken (although you can easily pan sear or boil raw chicken). Boil noodles and I mix everything together right in the casserole dish (who needs to wash another bowl?).

Pair this with garlic bread!

This recipe is a version of regular spaghetti — brown hamburger, add sauce to warm with the hamburger and put over top of spaghetti noodles. Tip: add a bit of sauce to the noodles to prevent them from sticking together.

5. Pork loin + Potatoes & Carrots

We like to buy pre-marinated pork loins from Hy-Vee and plop it in a casserole dish with red potatoes and baby carrots. First, spray the dish. Then, place the pork loin in the center and surround it with diced potatoes and baby carrots. Top the vegetables with butter slices and seasoning (salt, pepper, and/or garlic powder). Bake for as long as long as the package says to or until the meat reaches about 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Crockpot Taco Soup

I know. I know. But this is a different form of tacos. It is so simple to dump all the ingredients in the crockpot and let it cook. The house smells delicious and warms you up especially on a cold day. I usually substitute chicken breasts in this recipe by putting them in raw and shredding the chicken half an hour before dinnertime (aka Chicken Taco Soup). Try both and I know you won’t be disappointed!

7. Chicken Fried Rice

Chicken Fried Rice

It looks like we only each Mexican and American food, but this recipe is wonderful. My sister-in-law introduced me to it, and I’m pretty sure I ate it for breakfast (here’s a breakfast fried rice recipe and I have yet to try it).

This recipe has a 20 minute prep time and 20 minute cook time so only a total time of 40 minutes from start to dinner table.

8. Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells Dinner

I usually make this without meat, but I love the way this recipe incorporates ground beef for flavor and texture. This seems like a fancier pasta dish but it is such a simple dinner to put together. You can eat this alone or pair with a salad (probably a good idea to get those greens in too).

9. Breakfast for Dinner

I love breakfast food — eggs, waffles, omelettes, pancakes, french toast — you name it! BUT those are usually too filling to make for real breakfast in the mornings so how about enjoying them in the evening. Most breakfast items are fairly quick to make or whip up a breakfast casserole to put in the oven.

What are a few of your quick and easy dinner ideas? I love to try new recipes! Let me know in the comments below.

9 Things to Do on an Airplane

We’ve all been there – stuck on an airplane for a couple of hours without an internet connection. I recently flew to Arizona for a couple days with Adam. In preparation, I drummed up 9 things to do on an airplane. Then, I packed my carry on. 

1. Learn a new skill

Take this time to learn a new language with a language app or podcast. Or download a few how-to tutorials. Bring a textbook on HTML coding. The possibilities are endless especially with a few uninterrupted hours to learn.

2. Read

I download a few books to my iPad mini instead of lugging around 5 physical books, now I have a variety in one compact area. Grab a magazine to browse through or tote along your Bible (or Bible app) to read. 

3. Listen to music, podcasts or audiobooks

I recommend downloading a few of your favorites so you don’t go into airplane mode and realize you can’t access them at all. (I’ve done this before!)

4. Color

I throw my adult coloring booking in my carry on for something to do with my hands. Also, I can do this while I listen to music or podcasts or “read” an audiobook. 

5. Write

I bring along a little notebook to write blog ideas or business ideas or any ideas – quotes from books, song lyrics or potential hand lettering phrases. I’ll also use this notebook to sketch out ideas or patterns. You could use this time to write letters to friends and family. Maybe you could strategize your next big idea. Or free write. Learning to write is like build muscle. You have to exercise it so it comes more easily and naturally. 

6. People watch

This works better while you’re waiting at the terminal, but in flight could offer some interesting interactions or conversations. We had a medical emergency on our flight to Mesa.

A middle-age man passed out in the aisle as he was walking towards the back restroom. The whole incident took place right by our row. We witnessed medical professions leap into action. The man turned out to be fine. Thank goodness!

7. Watch a movie or tv series

Netflix allows you to download some shows and watch them offline for a predetermined amount of time. Have a series you’d like to start or catch up on? Don’t forget to download it prior to takeoff. It will make the flight feel so short. 

8. Play a card game

This works well if you’re traveling with someone or I suppose you could make friends with the person beside you and play a couple card games. Or attempt a solo game of solitaire on the small tray table. 

9. Sleep

Finally, if all else fails, take a nap. Not everyone can fall asleep on a plane. Those of us that can, most likely cannot find a way to do so without looking ridiculous. I can’t help it that my mouth hangs open.

What are some of the best ways you spend your time on an airplane? Comment below so I can add to my list!

The Magnolia Story Review: Are You Thriving or Just Surviving

You guys! I recently finished reading The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines. I about fell over when I saw the book sitting on the newly released table at my library. I could not believe it wasn’t checked out or on a waiting list so I scooped it right up.

The Book Review

Adam and I love watching the show Fixer Upper on HGTV. The book reminds me of the banter back and forth between the Gaines couple. Jo tells most of their love story, their business beginnings and how they got to where they are today and then Chip jumps in with his perspective on it and side stories. As I read the book, I just pictured those two sitting down with me telling me their story in their own words.

The book is a quick read, and there is quite a bit of information I didn’t know about them. It was such an interesting peek inside of their lives and you get the same genuine connection and authenticity on every single episode of Fixer Upper.

Most Thought Provoking Topic:
Are you thriving or just surviving?

One of the topics Jo talks about is going through a phase where she felt like she was “just surviving” but she didn’t want that for herself or her family. She wanted to thrive especially during a tough financial season. She didn’t want to look back on that time as being unhappy and she choose to flip a switch right then and there to choose happiness even in the difficult times.

“I always thought that the ‘thriving’ would come when everything was perfect, and what I learned is that it’s actually down in the mess that things get good.”

She goes on to talk about learning to thrive in the pain and in the low points because if you can’t find a way to do that then you’ll never be happy.

“If you can’t find happiness in the ugliness, you’re not going to find it in the beauty, either.”

This got me thinking about my own life. Am I thriving right where I am? It is so important to acknowledge the little things in life. I find this easier to do when I focus on being content in my present situation, finding something to be grateful for every single day, and showing kindness to others.

Are you just surviving in this season of life or are you choosing to thrive regardless of your current situation? You can choose to change your outlook on life every day – every moment.

Favorite Quotes from The Magnolia Story

“It’s hard to describe the feeling that comes with starting your own business. It really is so much work in the beginning that you lose yourself in it. You lose your sense of time, and you can’t believe how quickly the days go by because there’s no time to focus on much of anything else.”

“I wonder sometimes if we know ourselves a lot better than we think we do when we’re children. We get into our teen years and college years, and so many of us let others redefine who we are, or we get lost along the way and have no idea what we really want to do with our lives.”

“Even locked doors can be unlocked in time.”

“Sometimes worrying about something is much worse than the actual thing you’re worrying about. So really, what’s the point in worrying?” – Chip

“And if we’d given up, if we’d walked away, if we’d crumbled when we were at our lowest, we never would have made it around the corner to see all of the blessings that were about to come due.”

“What am I going for in life?”

“I am learning that getting our intentions right simplifies our decisions in life and changes our perspective. And in the end, what it’s all about is thankfulness and contentment.”

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve read the book. If so, what was the most interesting quote or topic to you? If not, I hope you add this book to your reading list!

Choose to thrive, starting today!

7 Tips to Get Back into a Workout Routine

This is usually the time that everyone is making new resolutions to workout more—after all the holiday feasting and before the summer hits. Did you make fitness goals for the new year? How are those going?

Do you hate working out? You shouldn’t.

7 Tips to Getting Back into a Workout Routine |

If you are hating your workout routine, then you are not doing the right one for you. How do you expect to keep going to the gym day after day if you despise going?

Here are a couple of tips for getting back to the gym after taking a break:
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Bekah Walters Blog: 2017 Expectations

My Christmas of 2016 was full of family visits and friends and neighbors getting together. I hope you were surrounded by all the ones you love as well. It’s been a little quiet on the blog, but get ready for that to change! I’ll dive into this year’s blog expectations.
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Local Craft Sale Finds

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to shop at a local craft sale hosted by Ellyn Carson. The goal of the sale was to help fund her upcoming honeymoon and launch her Etsy shop online.

My friends arrived right when the doors opened and they had to wait in line! What an amazing community that supports local handmade businesses. I received a text message that most of the items were flying off the tables. I was running a few errands and wasn’t able to go until an hour later. I thought I should stop by and say hi to Val, who was selling fresh flower bouquets, even if all the items were sold.
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