Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Fond Farewell

I've been struggling with this decision for quite a while now.  Back and forth, back and forth, should I quit, should I just scale back, yes it was even included in prayers (which seems a little silly.)  So I've come to the decision that I need to stop blogging for now anyway, maybe things will change sometime in the future.  I just feel like I need to be doing other things with my life right now and blogging isn't the best use of my talents, time, or abilities.  So with that, I want to thank my family for all their support, thanks to the new friends I've made, and thank you to all my readers for all the nice comments you've made and for sticking with me.  Thanks especially to my sister, Leslie, for all her great posts and for all her support and advice.  I'll keep the blog open because you'll all want Leslie's great party ideas still.  :)

Name the movie quote I thought was fitting here:

"So, your adventures are over."

"Oh, no. To live, to live would be an awfully big adventure."  

(P.S. If you can't remember and it's on the tip of your tongue, edge of your brain and driving you nuts (like movie quotes do to me all the time, it's from the movie Hook. :)  )

Friday, August 3, 2012

Super Simple and Yummy Dessert

This is a really quick, really yummy, really simple recipe to have on hand, especially when company calls and are headed over and you want to make something to share with them.  It's very easy to keep the ingredients on hand for just such an occasion as well.  

Three ingredients is all you need for this yummy treat - a cake mix, pie filling, and butter, that's it, really!

Dump pie filling into a 9x13" pan.

Melt butter and stir into cake mix.

Crumble cake mixture on top of pie filling.  Bake.  It pretty much looks the same before it bakes as it does after.  Spoon it onto a plate and top with whipped cream (or ice cream) if you like.  Enjoy!  Really, that's all there is to it, the easiest dessert ever.  And you can change up the cake mix and the pie filling for different tastes.

The cat snuck up on me while I was outside taking pictures and popped into the picture.  Don't worry, he didn't eat any of it, just sniffed around it a little. :)

Easiest Dessert Ever
2 cans pie filling (I've used cherry and blueberry, our favorites)
1 cake mix (I've done chocolate and white)
1/2 c. butter, melted

Dump pie filling into 9x13" pan.  Melt butter and stir into cake mix.  Crumble cake mix on top of pie filling.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 min.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

4th of July Wreath

Did you see Leslie's super cute Stars and Stripes Wreath a couple days ago?  When we both made our wreaths months ago, she didn't have the stars on yet so I didn't get to see the finished awesomeness.  I love it!  Well, I was going to make the same flag wreath like Leslie, but when I got ready to start inspiration hit (lightning has struck my brain . . . name the movie!)  So I changed things up a little.

Basically, I made it the same as I did here, only I tried a 16" green styrofoam wreath instead.  My suggestion, stick with the straw, wrapped wreath, so much easier.  I had to be careful not to smash any of the foam, and ended up with little flecks of green foam all over me by the time I was done.  It also didn't wrap as smoothly, the foam grabs the yarn making it take a little longer to get everything in the right place. 

So pop in a movie or catch up on your tv shows, and start wrapping.  An episode of "The Unit" and my wreath looked like this:

I did carefully measure and mark my wreath to divide up the sections and colors this time.  And yes, I do realize I'm missing a red section at the bottom, but I knew it would mostly be covered up so I didn't worry about it.

Then to make the pinwheels, I followed these instructions here:  Pinwheel Instructions  I just used some scrapbook paper I had in my stash.  The big pinwheel started with a 6" sq. and the little ones were 3".  Just remember both sides will show, so keep that in mind when you're selecting what paper to use.  Also, I did a test with a piece of cardstock, and I liked these papers better.  The cardstock was a little stiff.  However, my big pinwheel was paper that is slightly heavier than most paper and not as heavy as cardstock.  Does that make sense?  I glued down the centers with a tape runner or any glue that holds and then really kept it down with a brad.

So that's it, a fun festive wreath for my front door.

Now to agree on what we're doing to celebrate the 4th is a whole other post.  Cheyenne and Natalie are going to be in the parade helping Bill's brother with his business "float".  But Bill is adamant about NOT going to the parade - he hates it!  It's hot, boring - there're hardly any floats, it's all businesses, and it's long.  Yes, but it's tradition - that's my only argument. :)  He wants to go to a movie again like we did last year, which I'll admit was fun and so much cooler.  Either way, I'm sure we'll have a BBQ later at some point and of course fireworks later.  It'll all be good whatever we do.  I love the 4th!  How do you celebrate our nations independance?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Firework Burst Earrings

 My daughters, Cheyenne and Natalie, and I have really been having fun making jewelry for the past couple of days.  We haven't done that for quite a while.  I learned some new skills, I introduced them to the fun of "Clue" the movie (they didn't find it that fun), and we escaped the heat while making super cute things.  I love summer!

Last week Cheyenne and I (oh, and Billy, he was in it for the Sonic for lunch) went shopping.  While we were in Shopko, Cheyenne found some really cute earrings and at the same time we both said, "We could so make those!"  So we came home started looking through the beads we have deciding what colors to make when I thought they would be perfect 4th of July earrings.  So our Firework Burst earrings were born.

Okay, so I had a little fun editing this picture, too. :)

Here's what you need to make your own:

You can make these as long or as short as you like.  We held the chain up to a pair we like and guesstimated that way.  Remember when you add the beads to the bottom link it will be longer.  1.  Attach the chain to the hooks.  2.  Put the beads on a head pin.  Using the wire cutters, cut of the excess of the pin, leaving about 1/8-1/4" above the beads.  3.  Then using the round end pliers, curl that extra 1/8-1/4" making a loop at the top and then use the loop to attach it to the chain.  This was the new technique I learned, I've never done this before.  It was kind of fun. lol  And I promise, it get's easier with practice and you'll see for yourself how much extra to leave depending on how tight you roll, etc.  The first pair I made it took me about 30 min. per earring.  By the second pair, I could make the pair in 30 min. and by the time she was done making several pairs, Cheyenne was pretty fast at it.

We started by putting one pin in each link of chain and then filling in "holes" when we were done.  You can make them as full or sparse as you like.

Cheyenne's pair are less full than mine are, it's just preference.  Finish by cutting off any excess chain links you have.

Give it a try, it's really kind of addicting.  I think we ended up each making 3 different pairs.  I'll show you our other pairs later.

Me and my beading buddy in our matching earrings - sorry it's a little blurry.

Stars and Stripes Wreath

Leslie here today:  I love the Fourth of July.  I also love to spend it with my sister Kimberly and her family, in nice, cool, Idaho.  Alas, we won't be visiting this year, but I will be thinking of the traditional, hometown parade, a ride on the carousel, and waving sparklers in your backyard at night, Kim!  (Looking forward to a late July visit, perhaps?)

A few months ago, Kim and I were together for a family get together and we decided we needed a craft day.  So, we both tried out yarn wreaths.  She posted her cute spring version here and I went for a patriotic theme (I was inspired here.) 

Kim gave a good description of how to make these.  Basically, I started out with a straw wreath form (I left the plastic on).  I drew an outline on the wreath of each stripe so they would be even.  Then, I started wrapping a portion of red yarn around (tucking the ends under and adding a little hot glue so they would stay in place), and then wrapping a portion of white, repeat, repeat, and last blue. 

I couldn't find medium-sized wooden stars so I ended up using some larger ones that I had from a previous project.

It feels festive to come home to this on our door.

  One thing I know for sure, after taking pictures of my front door, my next project is to give it a much needed paint job!  Funny how it is something I hadn't really noticed until now!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Father's Day Printable

 As I promised in yesterday's post, I made a Father's day printable to use as a decoration (would be really cute as a centerpiece for your father's day bbq), or for a card, just print and fold.

Paper and banner from Persnickety Prints

The quality of the print is much higher if you download here in stead of just copying straight from my site.

I saw this quote in our church newsletter this month and just loved it.  It's just how I feel about my dad.  He's just the best!  I have very fond memories of going fishing with him in my younger days, stopping at the gas station on the way to get a treat and pop, making up stories on the way, and him being very patient with my sister and I as we stood up in the canoe (that only took once) or our enthusiasm for fishing wavered and we started leaving lilly pad trails for the fish to follow (that was mostly Leslie.) :)  He was always my number one supporter whether it was just playing church basketball, then on the school team, or even when he snuck in the back of the auditorium when I was trying out for cheerleader - how many dad's are there for cheer tryouts?  My dad was!  When I was in high school, his office or room was always a place to hide or regroup when needed.  He relearned geometry with me and painstakingly tried to teach me every night my freshman year.  He was there to comfort and reassure me when I barely nicked a senior boy's pickup while backing out one day, and the senior boy yelled and cussed at me, again while I was a freshman.  When I was a junior, my favorite year, I took 2 classes from him and was his teacher's aid (where I met my future husband :) )  I was in his class every day for the entire year, and two hours one trimester.  While I was his TA, I remember being enthralled by his lectures in class (history), and then loving the time we sat and talked while the class worked.  Then after I was married, I have loved watching him teach and play with my kids now.  My kids love going to Grandpa's house and the highlight of the summer is "Grandpa's Campout."  I'm so glad  we live so close to them and they are such a big part of my life still and in the life of my children.

Here's my mom and dad, aren't they so cute!

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

P.S.  Don't be too jealous, but my mom is equally as awesome.  I'm so blessed!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Simple, Fun, Father's Day Gift

Hey everyone, time flies when you're having fun, and we're really enjoying our summer so far.  Sorry for the lack of posts, I've just been enjoying my kids being home.

Anyway, here's fun, quick, little gift my kid's had a lot of fun making for their dad.  

We bought the bottled root beers along with a bunch of his favorite snacks.  Then Billy, Cheyenne, and I made the sacrifice (while no one else was around) and drank three of the bottles.  Cheyenne was hilarious.  Every time she took a drink she'd start grinning and giggling because she was feeling like such a rebel drinking her "beer".   I washed out the three bottles and let them dry really well, you don't want sticky candy later.  I just made the little tags with my scrapbook software, or just type it out and print on scrapbook paper.  The kids (with some help) came up with ideas for each candy of why they love their dad.  Of course their favorite part was filling the bottles, a few treats might have ended up in their mouths along the way.  Then they cut all the circles out and we tied them with twine onto the bottles.  We left three of the bottles full, because he really likes this root beer, too, and instructed him to take it all to work for some afternoon pick-me-ups.  Easy peesy! 

See how much we were having! :)  Oh, and we actually made this for Bill's birthday a month ago, and he loved the gift.

P.S. Come back tomorrow for a Father's Day printable to display or use on a card!  

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Little Scout

 A few months ago (sheesh time is flying!), Billy had his first Blue and Gold Banquet for cub scouts.  For Christmas his leaders had given each of the boys a toolbox kit to build and they used these as part of the decorations for the banquet.  Billy was quite proud of his masterpiece and asked if he could share it on my blog, "since it's something he made."  I can't resist those dimples so here he is with his toolbox creation.

Can you tell he wasn't so excited by the end of the photo shoot? :)  So he built the box first, painted it all, then because he knew I could cut Batman stuff on my Cricut, decided that would make it awesome!  He really likes the Cricut.  We picked out the designs and he helped cut a few pieces and then got bored - it was a LONG process to cut out all the different layers in different colors.  He glued some of them together, but the stinkin' car and Batman himself had some teeny tiny pieces and I ended up finishing both of those.  However, he finished up by mod podging each thing on to the toolbox.  Mission complete!  He did a great job and I got to introduce him to the world of mod podge.  He now proudly displays it on his shelf above his bed where it holds his rock collection.  Good job, Billy! I love that boy!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Picture Me Domestic Contest

A couple weeks ago, as I was taking a minute for myself in between helping at school that morning, regular straightening of the house, getting things ready for Bill's birthday, and preparing for the kids to get home and start the routine of homework, piano practicing, chores, etc, oh and added in picking up Natalie from tennis practice, getting her home to change and back to the school for a band concert, I came across an announcement of a fun contest from Family Ever After.  Rachel from Family Ever After , the sisters from The Letter 4, and Aimee from Its Overflowing, have teamed up to host a "picture yourself" contest called Picture Me Domestic.  Here's Rachel's description of the contest:

What do you spend your days doing? What do you look like in your home element? We all spend different amounts of time at home, but at some point in the day, we are home. The point of this contest is to challenge yourself to take some fun/creative/interesting pictures of yourself doing what you do best. Or most. Or worst. LOL. We just really want to see you having fun, while attending to your life and daily tasks. So again, your challenge is: 
to take a self portrait somewhere at home. 
 We want to "picture you domestic!"

Rachel shared this post a while ago, okay a year ago, where she took some really cool pictures of herself in her kitchen.  It was actually one of the first things I'd pinned and really wanted to do "someday".  Well, this was the perfect motivation.  So as I was taking that "minute" for myself, I grabbed my camera and my tripod, and started having some fun while documenting some of the craziness of the rest of my day.  Here's some of what I came up with:

Savoring the last minutes of peace before the kids get home.

Baking birthday pies for my man.  Fluting my pie crust.

Awww, perfection!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Teachers and Graduates

 Hallelujah, it's the end of the school year!! I'm so excited to have my kids home.  Cheyenne and Natalie's last day was yesterday, well officially on Thursday, but since they didn't have to take the "fake finals" (attendance finals, so lame!) they're home today.  Natalie just has to go to get her yearbook on Thursday.  Billy, Chloe, Maddie, and Jon are just playing today and field day/last day of school is tomorrow.  I really do enjoy having my kids home, well, most of the time.

Anyway, it's that time of year for teacher gifts and celebrating graduates so I have a couple ideas for you.
First for the graduates, what is better than money.  (Kristen, don't tell/show Landon, because his is in the mail.) This is a really easy card to put together.

I used my Cricut and the Batman cartridge for the numbers and Locker Talk for the cap all cut at 1.5".  The "Congrats" are stickers by Doodlebug Design.  If you don't have a cutter and want to do it by hand, it's very easy to type your numbers in Word or whatever program you use and then flip them backwards.  Then print them and cut them out on the black outline.  Then you can flip the numbers over and the black outline will be on the backside and you'll have perfect letters.  I also used my Cricut to cut a small envelope for the inside for money or a gift card.  If you know your graduates school colors, use those to make it more personal - these are for two nephews and a friend of ours, or I've also cut the numbers out of "Congratulations" paper and mounted them on black.  That's really fun, too.

Now for my kids' teachers, I don't do "teacher appreciation" gifts, I do end of school gifts.  I don't know, it's probably just me, but I hate when people tell me when I'm supposed to be thankful or appreciative or whatever.  Maybe I'm more like my husband than I thought with his dislike of Valentine's day for the same reason.  So anyway, since we happen to hear both of their teachers have Kindles, and one of them is retiring this year so I didn't want to give her "teacher stuff", we decided to give them Amazon gift cards and decorate these cute glasses for them.

I used some outdoor vinyl, which I've heard washes better and stays on longer.  However, the teal dots are regular vinyl, so I'm crossing my fingers that it holds up.  I used my Cricut again, to cut it all out, but again, I'm sure you could print something out on your computer, tape it onto your vinyl and trace around it to cut it out by hand.  So in the card I gave them, I wrote something about wanting to kick off the summer right with a tall glass of lemonade (included a couple lemonade packets in the glasses) and a good book.  I really hope they like them.  My kids have had such awesome teachers this year and have been just my kids have needed. 

So that's it, some quick, easy gifts for the teachers or graduates in your life.  Now bring on the summer fun!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Skylanders Birthday Party

Hey, Leslie's back today with another fabulous birthday party!

My oldest son turned 9 this weekend!  He didn't want many "toys" for his birthday this year and when my husband and I were birthday shopping, I felt a little sad because I feel like he is nearing a new stage.  Why do they grow up so fast?  Ok, enough of my boobing! 

This year, we did a family birthday party but he still wanted a "theme" (really, I don't know where he gets it from ; )    Last year was Angry Birds, but this year he and his brother are really into a game called Skylanders, so Skylanders it was.  I didn't go all out, but I thought if there are others out there whose boys love this game as much as mine, they might like a few of the things we came up with.

For the decorations, I drew the all important Skylander elements on the coordinating colored balloons.  I printed off coloring sheets of some characters here and then colored them while I finished up watching the last season of Parenthood.  (I love that show!)

I made some little confetti and/or cupcake toppers of the elements.  You can use them as well!  Here is a link to my file.  (If you print it, it will be a little pixely.  I took a black Sharpie and traced the edges to sharpen them up a little). 

But then, my son requested root beer floats and ice cream sundaes for the party, so I used them on top of the floats, but forgot to get a good picture of all the floats lined up. You get the idea:

Next, we had Skylander trivia.  The parents were out of the loop on this game... but the kids enjoyed it.  And, to save you time from looking up random trivia and learning more than you probably ever wanted to know about Skylanders... here is the link to our trivia!  Feel free to use it.

One last game idea:  you could take down the balloons and say the name of a certain Skylander character.  The kids have to run to the correct element that particular Skylander coordinates with.  I included a list of these under the link for trivia above.

Last, I made a little favor for the cousins to take home. I made them using a similar technique as described here (I use Glossy Accents rather than Diamond Glaze). Also, rather than use scrabble tiles, I wanted something bigger, so my brother cut these wood squares for me, which measured about 1 1/2" x 1 1/2". I found the graphics online, copy and pasted them into Word, printed them off and glued a character on both sides of the wood. Then I screwed in the key chain parts that I purchased from JoAnns. (If you want more details on how to make them, just leave a comment or email).
And yes, Tinker Bell is not a member of Skylanders, but there are fairies... so I figured my niece would rather have Tink than Terrafin!

Hope this gives you some ideas for a birthday party or a fun summer activity if you have little ones that love this game like mine!  (Or are mine the only ones???)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...