Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Earlier this year we saw the movie Tangled. I instantly fell in love and knew that I had to buy this movie the moment it came out... for the KIDS, of course. We marked it on the calendar, so the KIDS would know when it came out. We planned a Tangled party for the KIDS. They got to invite their friends from school. We made cupcakes, ate pizza, and had little party favors. The KIDS had a blast watching the movie and spending time together. We love the stinkin' movie so much that we even watched it when the girls got home from school today... their idea, not mine. But, I am always willing to take one for the team. You know, sacrifices and all. 

If you have not seen this movie yet, you must! Here's a sneak peek: 

To read a review of this movie check out Plugged In from Focus on the Family.

Have you seen any good movies lately?  

Thanks for stopping by,


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Homework and Hot Chocolate

I had a fun day with my girls today. I picked them up from school, which is always a treat for them (they don't like taking the bus). Then we headed to Panera Bread for an after school snack. I made them get something healthy and then we all got one of these:

We did homework, read some Judy Moody, and sipped hot chocolate. We had a really nice break from the normal routine.  We spent so much time there, in fact, that Emma forgot where we were and burped REALLY loud.  They giggled.  I was mortified.  A few minutes later we cleaned up and headed out.  I have my pride.    

What is something you do to break up the humdrum of the day-to-day?  

Thanks for stopping by, 



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Blogiversary

I knew that I was coming up on a year but I wasn't sure exactly when I started blogging. It was a year on March 20th! I can't honestly say I've blogged regularly but, I have faithfully attempted blogging for a year... does that count? 

Here is my very first blog post. It's fun to read through and see what I actually did. I'm glad to say I can cross some of those things off my list. Others, well, I'll be working on them until I die. 

In honor of my blogiversary, I want to give you a list of the blogs I read regularly. These blogs have inspired me in one way or another in my life and blogging journey.  Whether it be decorating my home, making me smile when I feel like screaming, inspiring culinary creativity, challenging me to be a better mom, wife and mother, or just stalking peeking into someone else's life, I repeatedly return to these blogs.

Here you go: Enjoy!

I think that's a good list so far.  I guess I read more blogs than I thought because I have several more that I have not listed.  

Ok.  Your turn.  What are some of your favorite blogs? I try to keep my blog list short or my to-do list suffers but I'm always open to checking out a new blog.

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, March 21, 2011

Donuts... who knew?

This weekend I took the kids through Tim Horton's drive thru for breakfast. I ordered a hot sandwich.  With the meal, a Boston Cream donut came with it.  (So of course I had to take it, right?)  Instead of putting the donut in a separate bag, they put it on the bottom of the bag with the hot sandwich on top of it. What?! Come on! So naturally, the donut got squished and the chocolate melted. I was annoyed. I have this thing about bad customer service. If CS is not your gifting, you should find another job. It's not about quantity it's about quality. You may be able to get 18 cars through your drive thru in 5 minutes, but that's not impressive if you are skimping on quality. 

ANYWAY, that made me a little grumpy and I found myself snapping at my kids. I didn't yell or anything but I had a short temper and was treating them disrespectfully. That got me thinking about how often I take frustration about a situation out on the people in the closest proximity to me. It could be my kids, my spouse, or a person I am passing on the street. It doesn't matter. The fact is, I should control my emotions enough that it doesn't negatively affect those around me. I'm not saying shove everything down. Ask my husband. I am a COMMUNICATOR. But, if we let every frustrating thing that happens to us cause us to act differently, we need to evaluate that. 

I had to stop mid-sentence with my kids and apologize for the way I was acting. I told them about the donut and how it annoyed me but that it was no excuse for my behavior. They understood and accepted my apology. It was a great teachable moment. It was also a good moment for self-reflection (if there ever is a "good" moment for that... that's one of my least favorite things to do).  Who knew donuts could cause so handy?  I may need to eat more of them, ya know, to become a better person and all that...  *wink* 

I just want to encourage you to take some time and notice your behavior. I find that I'm often mistreating the people who mean most to me because something unexpected happened or something didn't go my way. It's not fair to them. What situations do you find make you grumpy?  

I read something a few years back that said to look at your face in the mirror when you're explaining or ranting about something. What do you see? The article said to recognize that's what others see, especially your children. I gave that a try... yikes!! I don't think I've perfected the "look" yet - I'm pretty much an open book. You can guess how I'm feeling by the look on my face. I have tried (and am still trying) to learn not to be so disrespectful or disapproving with my looks. It's HARD! 

How do you react to things? Does the atmosphere around you change when something happens that upsets you? Do you use any techniques to help tamper or control those reactions?

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A little of this, a little of that...

The sun is shining! As you probably have realized about me, the weather can affect my mood. And for some reason, when the weather is nice, I get this urge to write about random things. SO, I'm going to keep with the tradition of randomness and tell you a couple of things: 

LOOK WHAT I got yesterday!!!
I wrote about these adorable things the other day.  Hubby reads my blog occasionally and apparently will buy some of the things I post. Hey, look Hubbs!  Isn't it beautiful?!  You can buy it here, if ya wanna....  *wink wink*  

I'll keep you guys posted on what happens with that one.  

So, as I was saying, yesterday Jeff looked at the mail and escaped to the kitchen.  When he returned, he plopped the mug in front of me.  Isn't it great?!  I haven't used it yet because I've been at work but, I was informed by it's purchaser that I can use it to drink water too.  I don't only have to use it on hot beverages.  After all, he doesn't want my hands to get cold.  What a sweet guy.  Thanks, Jeff.  You're very thoughtful!  You can buy my love with coffee related items any time you want. 

AT THE MOMENT my girls are playing with some neighborhood kids outside.  There is one girl who lives a few streets over whose main source of communication and expression of joy is screaming.  Lord, give me strength.  

I BOUGHT this today: 

It's a Irish Trailing Moss.  Now, I could pretend I bought it because it's St. Patrick's Day but, that's not true.  I bought it because it's cute.  I have a thing for little plants.  I don't know why and I don't have some spectacular green thumb.  But I like green and I like plants.  They remind me of life and refreshing.  Weird.  I know. 

I FINALLY finished the dryer balls.  It was a process.  Mainly because I had to put it on hold to take care of my sick kids.  But, they're done. Here is a sneak peek.  I will blog about them soon. I know you're dying with anticipation.  If you're wondering what in the world dryer balls are, I'll explain later.  

FOR DINNER I am going old school, or at least, first grade lunchbox.  We are having these: 

Very gourmet.  If you want the recipe, let me know.  I'd better go and get them started.  They take forever to make you know.

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I have had a LONG week and it's only half over. Emma got the virus that Avery had the week before. It's been a tiring few weeks. I was in desperate need of some craft therapy. 

With a new project in mind, I headed to JoAnn's. I try not to go there often because I usually want to buy everything in the store. However, I have taught myself something over the years - actually, since I've married my husband - I don't buy anything unless I know exactly where it will go in my house and what I will use it for. How many times have you purchased something only to find it laying in the bottom of your closet three months later? I hate when that happens. So, I developed the strategy I mentioned above. It has helped me tremendously. 

Anyway, I digress. While I was mulling over which material I wanted for my project, I hear my girls call from the next isle over, "Mama, don't come over here." I would have been concerned about what they were doing but I was too preoccupied with my fabric to ask. (Mom of the year, huh?) When they finished whatever it was they were doing, they called me over and this is what I saw:

Forget craft therapy.  This hit the spot.  I heard some women from another isle say, "Oh, look what they did.  How cute."  I oohh'd and ahhh'd and then told them to clean it up, but not before snapping this picture.

That made my day.  I just wanted to share.

Has something happened over the past couple of weeks that just made your day?  Care to share?   

Thanks for stopping by,


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Magazine Love

My Real Simple came in the mail yesterday afternoon. Yay! I'm going to sit down with a cup of coffee and read through it! Maybe it will inspire me to get off my duff and actually do some spring cleaning.

If you have never experienced Real Simple, click here to get a free copy. It's organizing goodness all in one place.  



Friday, March 11, 2011


photo credit
It's Friday and I feel like I've gotten nothing done this week. It's grey outside. It's been raining all week. There is snow on the ground. Avery was throwing up all night. My house is a MESS! My laundry is piled up. I have no idea what to make for dinner. 

... BU...
  • It's Friday :: That means sleeping in and family time for two days! 
  • It's grey outside :: That makes me appreciate the sun that much more when it finally does make an appearance!
  • There is snow on the ground :: I love snow! I'm glad I get to see it (hopefully) one last time before the sun shines!
  • Avery was throwing up all night :: We got to nap together today and I get to be Super Mama and take care of her. I love taking care of my family and I'm good at it!
  • My house is a mess :: I have a home, a warm, happy home! 
  • My laundry is piled up :: we have clothes on our backs - much more than we probably need!
  • I have no idea what to make for dinner :: we have food in our bellies!

It's all about perspective.  A few months back I was grumbling because of the very things listed above.  Then it hit me.  I'm complaining about luxuries that so many people live without.  I'm so spoiled and I didn't even know it.  I have food and shelter.  I have the means to take care of my family when they're sick.  I have running water and heat.  I have clothes and cars and computers and cell phones and iPods.  Most importantly, I have Jesus - the Creator of the universe - who is crazy about me and blesses me far beyond what I deserve.  

I have so much, yet I complain.  So, I decided that every time I complain about something, I need to come up with a positive.  I don't necessarily do this out loud, but I have found that even the act of being aware of my complaining has decreased it so much.  I can't say I don't have my moments.  My patient and tolerant husband will attest to that.  But, my heart is changing and as we change on the inside, it begins to seep outward and into the lives of others.  

What helps you keep things in perspective?  

Thanks for stopping by,


I have been on a sweet tea kick lately. In the spirit of caffeinated, sugary goodness, here is a recipe I found from this blog: 

  • 6 regular tea bags
  • gallon sized pitcher
  • 1-2 cups sugar (if you use artificial sweetener, this is NOT sweet tea. Use the real deal!) 
  • pot of water
  1. Boil a pot of water and remove from heat
  2. Place 6 regular teabags in the water and steep for about an hour
  3. Remove tea bags
  4. Add 1-2 cups sugar to the warm tea (do this step when it's warm or the sugar will not dissolve)
  5. Stir well
  6. Pour warm tea into a gallon sized pitcher
  7. Add room temperature tap water to the top of the pitcher
  8. Refrigerate
  9. Serve on ice when cold (Do not put ice in the pitcher, the sugar will never dissolve) 
*One last hint - do not over steep. That and, leaving sweet tea un-refrigerated too long makes it bitter. Bitter sweet tea - blech!


Thursday, March 10, 2011


I was browsing through some blogs the other day and came across this bit of CuTeNeSs

These are all from this etsy shop

LoVe to browse etsy shops!  They get my creative juices flowing and I start daydreaming about my next project.  Hmmm...    

Do you have a favorite etsy shop?

Thanks for stopping by,


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

Photo Credit
I recently tried out a new laundry detergent recipe. Here is it: 

  • 4 Cups of HOT tap water
  • 1 Soap Bar (I used Fels Naptha :: you can find this at your local grocery store.  Any soap will do)
  • 1 Cup of Washing Soda 
  • 1/2 Cup of Borax
  • 5 gallon bucket 
Directions: (with my comments) 
  1. Grate the bar of soap (I used my Magic Bullet :: you can also use a hand grater or food processor)
  2. Put grated soap, washing soda, and borax in a sauce pan and add HOT water
  3. Simmer, stirring continually over med-low heat until soap melts and dissolves
  4. Pour mixture into a 5-gallon bucket and fill with HOT tap water to the top
  5. Stir together completely
  6. Cover and let sit over night to thicken. (Do not be alarmed when you open your container and see that your once liquidy substance has turned into an unidentifiable mass. This is how it's supposed to look) 
  7. The next day, scoop the gelatinous detergent into another container (I saved an old container with a pour spout). Note: Detergent is concentrated and needs to be diluted 1/2 and 1/2 with water. So, fill half way with the detergent and the rest of the way with hot water. Give a little shake and you're good to go
    • At this point, you can add essential oil for scent if you'd like. I didn't. I like the smell of the Fels Naptha soap. The person who gave me this recipe says that she uses a smaller laundry container and changes out her scent when the container is done. I think that's a great idea. 

Recipe makes probably 180 - 200 loads (use 1/4 cup per load)

I squirt 1-2 tablespoons of White Vinegar into my washer as fabric softener (really, it's suggested to use 1-2 Tbsp but I just use a squirt bottle and give a good squeeze.  But if you are an perfectionist, feel free to measure).  This works great! I do not wait for the rinse cycle... I do not own a downy ball, have enough patience or the memory span to remember to go to the washer for the rinse cycle. 

During the winter months I did notice a little bit of static. To help this, I am in the process of making wool dryer balls, which I will blog about soon. Until then, I'm going to stick with my White Vinegar. (And no, it does not make my laundry smell) 

Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Ok, here's a little bit of RaNdOmNeSs for you.  

I was somewhere today and saw someone wearing these jeans and it reminded me of his old SNL skit.  I just want to apologize right now if you own or wear a pair of jeans like this:   


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Coffee, Calories, Stoves and Such...

What a weekend!! I attend a church with an amazing Pastor. She, yes, I said SHE, spoke at a women's conference over the weekend. It was fantastic! God has done some amazing things in my life this weekend. I'm still praying through some of these things but I will share them soon.

Hubby and I went on a date today. Actually, we had the time set aside to go shopping for an oven, but you know how it is when you have time alone without the kids. You have to work in some time for lunch, coffee, and catching up on all the things you haven't gotten to say to each other over the week. We had a fantastic time. I feel like we haven't talked in ages and it was so nice to look him in the eyes and have a conversation without interruptions. 

We ate at Olive Garden. I got Bruschetta, soup and salad. As Jeff was looking through the menu he said, "I don't like that they put the calories on the menu! Now I can't eat any of this stuff." *sigh* Ignorance sometimes really is bliss. The Chicken Fettucini Alfredo is 1440 calories. What?! That's more than I'm supposed to eat in a day! So, we talked it out and found a justifiable way for him to eat his meal - split it in half. Eat half now and the other half for lunch tomorrow. See? Problem solved. That was enough justification for him. He dug into his meal and enjoyed every bite of it. 1440 calories. Yikes. It kind of makes me wonder how many calories are in the other foods I eat. I probably should check into that...

Anyway, onto more exciting news, WE FOUND AN OVEN!! We went to my favorite store, Lowe's, and there it sat, in all it's gleaming glory. Really, it's just an oven but I have to make it sound more interesting than it is because I'm blogging about it. Although, there is this "steam clean" feature. You put a bit of water on the bottom of the oven (which you can do because it's a convection oven and the coils are hidden), turn on the self-clean, go back half an hour later and wipe it clean. It steam cleans! How cool is that?! Now if I could only get it to do carpets.

Here is a picture of our new household appliance:

Wow. What an amazing piece of machinery, huh? Fantastic. I can't wait to use my mad culinary skills and feed my family using this beauty. Again, it's a blog thing. There's nothing truly amazing about this oven, but it works and we can bake food in it.  That's a far cry from where we are now. 

So, tomorrow I'll be pulling out my cookbooks and reminding myself how to cook in something other than a toaster oven.  I love Pioneer Woman's Blog.  She makes me feel like I can do anything in the kitchen.  I think I'll try these recipes: 

My Favorite Meatloaf - this one is covered in bacon.  Hubbs will LOVE it... maybe I should check the calories for him first *wink*  
Tiramisu - I've actually made this before.  Delicious!!  Time consuming, but worth it! If I can do it, you can do it.

What is your favorite tried and true recipe?  You know, the one you use for company along with the good dishes and fancy silverware...

Thanks for stopping by,



Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Homemade Heating Pads

A few years ago, I got a rice bag that you can use as either a heating pad or an ice pack. I use it primarily as a heating pad. I LOVE it. I use it to sleep with every night. It's almost like a security blanket that I can't live without. It's lavender scented so it helps me sleep better. The one I got was a gift and very expensive... well, expensive to me anyway. So when my girls starting asking for one, I wasn't too excited to spend money on two. Actually, three because Hubby wanted one too. I did a little research and found out how to make one on my own. Here is what I did:


  • Material of your choice. (the amount of material will depend on how big you want the heating pad)
  • Bag of rice (more depending on how big your heating pad is) 
  • Sewing Machine (unless you are crazy and want to do it by hand)
  • Funnel 
  • Essential Oil of your choice (preferably doTERRA because of the high quality and CPTG Certification)

Step One: 
Measure out your material to the size you want.  Be sure to take into consideration extra material for sewing it together.  

Step Two: 
Sew all sides together, inside out, leaving an inch or two on the top to fit the funnel in for the rice.  

Step Three: 

Turn the material right side in

Use a skewer to push the corners out (you can't see it in the picture, but that's what I'm using)  

Step Four: 

Insert the funnel into the hole

Step Five:

Pour full bag of rice into the bag using the funnel (or as much as you need for your heating pad.  Be sure not to make it too heavy or you'll pull a neck muscle when you use it for a headache.  Trust me on this.  I tested it out.)

Step Six: 

Add essential oil.  I chose Lavender.  You can use any scent you want. Next time, I'm going to use peppermint oil for headaches and stuffy noses.  (Note: If you are using doTERRA essential oil, you only need about 3 drops.  Again, trust me on this one.  I tested it out.  I put too much and had to open the bag, pour half of it out, and replace it with unscented rice.  Learn from me, people!)  

Step Seven: 

Sew the bag shut.  I suggest using something to prop up the bag when it's full.  I started out using nothing and realized quickly that the material shifted.  I used the closest thing in proximity to me, a Bible.  It worked great!   You don't have to use a Bible, obviously, but your heating pad may turn out even better if you do *wink*

Step Eight: 

Sniff and enjoy!  I ended up making one for each of my Loves.  I tried to make Hubby's a little masculine but how do you make a homemade heating pad manly?  Baseballs or tractors, I suppose.  


I had extra material.  I will pretend it's because I planned it that way but it's actually because I don't really know what I'm doing and had some left over.  I decided to make ice packs, which I call "Boo Boo Packs". Yes, there is one made with the baseball material but trust me, that is NOT Hubby's.  It's just an extra.  I would never make my manly husband anything with the word "Boo Boo" in it.  We have used them several times for actual injuries, as well as fevers.  We love them.  What I really like about them is that they don't melt all over the place.  I did not put any essential oil in them but I'm sure it would be nice to have a calming oil that would help your little one settle down when they think their life is ending because of the pain.  

I want to say thank you to Amanda, who took pics for me, let me use her sewing machine, dealt with my several sewing screw ups and being the cause of her sewing machine malfunctions.  She is very patient and a great teacher.  Thanks, Manda!  Can't wait until Friday when we make wool dryer balls!  

I also want to apologize to any of you who want to make these heating pads and have to use my instructions to do so.  

What have you made lately?  OR, what's on your agenda to make?  

Thanks for stopping by,


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