Friday, May 29, 2009

Feature Friday-Sugardoodle

The Feature Friday for today is Melanie from SuGarDooDle. I was introduced to Sugardoodle when I was called to YW Presidency and it has truly been a lifesaver for me! If you are LDS and have not been introduced to this site you are going to die! There is so much amazing stuff on this site that you will have to see it to believe it! Melanie collects fabulous ideas on everything from Clip Art to Sharing Time Ideas to Boredom Busters for the kids. If you are familiar with Sugardoodle, DO NOT TURN BACK!! While doing this feature I found pages that I had not even seen before in my 1.5 year relationship with this gem of a site. Maybe you will find something new too!

Now, for a little about Melanie the mastermind behind it all...She started teaching piano lessons when she was 14 years old and loves music. She also LOVES to go on walks! Melanie's least favorite thing to do is mate socks. She needs my trick! Does anyone out there like to mate socks?!
Melanie is a sweetheart and has truly been a pleasure to work with. She is a teacher by day and I cannot believe she can keep up with this site while working!

Here we go with some highlights and keep in mind this is only the tip of the iceberg!!

VT gift ideas -
I am always trying to think of a cute little something to bring along each month. Well, no more thinking thanks to this page!I heart these Photo clips.
What a fun little gift for a birthday or an I'm thinking of you (on the 30th of the month ;) ).


FHE Index - Yep, Monday comes around every week and there you are scrambling to get dinner on the table and a lesson/activity/treat ready. How about just hop on the internet and hit print. Yay!
Gospel Themed Lesson Plans (Melanie does these with her children during the summer break) -
Becky, you are going to freak when you see these!
These wonderful little kits contain all you need to teach your children on a spiritual and secular level. They combine messages in the funniest and cutest ways! How about Jonah/Oceanography or The Creation/Solar System. Love it!


Video Clips
-Can't wait to check these out!

Youth Activity Ideas - Wait, you mean I don't have to come up with these on my own when my Beehives stare at me with blank faces? Sweet.

Craft Ideas

Wait, did you say Soccer Jersey Quilt? Do you mean I can make something out of all those old Jerseys that my hubby won't let me throw away? Am I dreaming?

Thanks for the super compilation of ideas Melanie! You are now entered in to the Hall of Fame as Tipper of the Week!

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My First Award

I don't even know what to say. I haven't prepared anything. I truly am honored and excited to receive my first award. Woot! Is it because I use the work lovely so much? I guess not since nearly always use it in a sarcastic manner. Anywho, thanks to Gwen over at A House Full of Boys and a Mom (That's how I feel sometimes, too!) for this LOVELY award! I actually did let out a little squeal when I saw it. My husband looked at me like I was completely loony.


Of course, to spread the bloggy cheer... I get to bestow this fun gift upon 10 other unsuspecting bloggers.

1. Our Incredible Happy Family

2. Fassio Forum

3. Simply My Life Photography

4. Sneaky Momma Blog Design

5. Stilettos and Diapers

6. Homemaking Fun

7. 4 Crazy Kings

8. The Polka Dot Chair

9. A Feathered Nest

10. Life At Eventually Cottage

Alright, so here's the catch {isn't there always?}. In order to accept this award, you must place the award on your blog along with the name of the person who has granted the award and pass the "love" to 10 other blogs {preferably recently discovered ones}! Leave them a comment on their blog to let them know they have been chosen and watch the Award Love spread!

One a totally unrelated note...it's been just over a week since the 21 Day Journaling Challenge, how are you doing? I have not missed a day so far! Woo hoo!

21 Day Challenge

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Decorate Your Flip Flops/Seaside Cupcakes

Summer is on the horizon! It is time to put away your boots and break out your flip flops! I am a big flip flop fan and have them in every color. So, why not add a little flair to your flip flop wardrobe and decorate them. Personalize your flip flops into something great that only you have! This is a great activity to do with girls of all ages. You get to be creative and it is really easy! As long as you can tie a knot you can make most of the flops shown here!

We did this for a Young Women activity and had about 20 girls making them all at once. We bought flip flops for $1 at Michael's and brought all sorts of things to decorate with including: water balloons, fabric, ribbon, beads, buttons, silk flowers, glitter glue, hot glue, river rocks, etc.

These were made by hot gluing ribbon wrapped around the straps and then hot gluing flowers on in the middle.


It was so fun to see what everyone came up with! I think the water balloons and the fabric were definitely the most popular. All you do is tie them on with a knot (be sure the knots are all on the outside and do not touch your foot) and then scoot them close together on the strap.

For the fabric flops, cut the fabric in strips about 1 inch by 6 inches. You want them long enough that you can tie them around and in a knot, but then you can vary depending on how fluffy you want them. Test a strip to make sure you have the length you want before cutting them all! Then just keep tying them on in knots until you get the look you want.

One of our YW got creative with the supplies. It was fun to see what everyone came up with.

To give the activity a message we gave a thought at the end with quote from Elder Holland on Appropriate Sunday Dress and how we should not look like we are on the way to the beach. Then, we read the footprints poem and gave them a bookmark with the poem on it.

We decorated with a Hawaiian luau theme. Please keep in mind that I found out I would need to do refreshments like 4 hours before the activity. (The other leader was going out of town and could not find anyone home to drop them off with.) I forgot to take pics of most of it, but here are a few.

I froze silk flowers in circle tupperwares full of water to have some fancy floating ice. There were limes in the bowl too, but they sunk.
Did you know that cucumber water is fantastic too! I kid you not! Put a few slices of fresh cucumber in a pitcher of water and try it. It is amazingly refreshing! I had it at a Bridal Fair at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.


I tied a belt with shells on it around the punch bowl for a little extra flair.


This was a totally off the wall idea because I needed to figure out a treat that I could make with what I had at my house. They are supposed to be little bears lying on the beach. Thankfully most of the YW got it right off.

Items needed for Bears on the Beach Cupcakes:
  • Cupcake liners (I used the foil ones)
  • Chocolate cake mix and ingredients to make it
  • Vanilla frosting
  • Blue food coloring
  • Sticks of gum (I had Extra Bubblegum)
  • Teddy Grahams
  • Graham Crackers
Prepare the cupcakes as directed on the cake box and let them cool. Mix a few drops (I used like 10 because I wanted it pretty bright) of food coloring with the frosting and frost the cupcakes. Crush some graham crackers in a Ziploc to use as sand. I put it on a small plate and dipped the top of the cupcake in it. Unwrap the gum and cut each stick in half. Secure a piece of gum to each cupcake by putting a little drop of frosting on the back. Place a dab of frosting on the back of the bear and place it on the gum "towel."

Ta da! If only they were as relaxing as a real trip to the beach!

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Free Organizing Workshop

Hey all!

I just signed up for a free organizing workshop online being put on by Simplify 101 and I wanted to let you in on it! It begins May 26th, so check it out if you are interested. I have never done one of these before, so I'm not sure what I am in for, but it sounds great!

Here is the workshop description:
"Whether the state of clutter in your home has you overwhelmed to the point of not knowing where to start, or you’re ready to turbo-charge your organizing efforts—this workshop is for you! “Help! I don’t know where to begin!” will show you how to begin the process of getting organized—for free!"


Maybe I'll see you there!

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Feature Friday-Living With Lindsay

Today's Feature Friday is Lindsay who I have been blog stalking for a while now. Lindsay writes Living With Lindsay, where she chronicles the adventures in decorating her home. With her trusty glue gun at her side, Lindsay guides you through the pleasures and pitfalls of turning your home into a space you'll love without breaking the bank (and you know I love that!). Here are some of my favorites:

One of her most recent posts was a tutorial on Painting Laminate Furniture. I was so excited to see this! I always wondered if you could do this and how it would turn out. AMAZING, that's how! She has the patience of an angel, but look how this armoire turned out!

Before After

This next idea is a great way to add some "life" to your decor for those of you who are brown thumbs like me. You cannot kill these moss balls, they will look just as good three months down the road. Lindsay has a great DIY moss ball tutorial so you too can have a piece of the outdoors inside. I already got my moss for this project, now I just need to schedule some time!



Another way to add some earthiness to your decor is this beautiful quail egg wreath. Lindsay made this during Easter time, but I think it would be a wonderful addition for any time of year. It literally took her 15 minutes to make, which means maybe I could do it in 30!


Does your bathtub look like this?

Yep, mine too! But, what if it could look like this?



You too can make your bathtub look like a swanky hotel or spa with Lindsay's bathtub storage container tutorial. Be still my heart.

Here's a quick one. She calls it the Two Second Decorating Fix. I had to share it because I actually used this while helping decorate at my sister's new house the other day. All you have to do is take the dust covers off the books. What a difference it makes!

Before After

Oh, how I long for the days when I can have pretty things on my tables and shelves and have them stay there. For now, I will settle for being a minimalist so my 18 month old child can roam somewhat freely.


Great ideas and tips Lindsay! You are now entered in to the hall of fame as tipper of the week!


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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Brown Thumb

I have a confession to make. I cannot grow things. Everything I try to plant fails. Even things that are given to me alive end up dead. Am I doomed to a lifetime of plant life massacre? I do admit, I am lazy. That's right I said it, LAZY! I am not one who wants a high maintenance plant. I want one that you just plant and it is happy. One you cannot kill from lack of feeding or not watering for a couple of days. What I'm saying is I need a flower that will live from the droplets it receives from the sprinklers every few days. Is this too much to ask? I want a pretty yard minus the lovingly wrapping it in dung and talking to it.

Do you know any flowers of this variety? Can you give me any advice on how to get out of this plant life massacre? Does it just take a lot of work or am I missing a key ingredient? Do I just need miracle gro?

Here are some of my recent failures:

I really did have good intentions this year. I was going to start small with two sets of Poppies and a stem of raspberries. I thought I could handle two new items. When I went to Home Depot they said anything they have there will work great in this climate. I walked through the flowers for something that said Perennial on the tag to lessen the work for me in the future. I literally had to ask the worker if Perennial or annual comes back each year. I loved the look of the poppies and it said they could handle hot weather and only had to be watered once a week. BINGO! As for raspberries, well they are raspberries, YUM. I brought them home all proud of myself and well here they are now:


I received some beautiful tulips one Valentine's day from my Visiting Teacher. I saved the bulbs until fall and planted them awaiting their wonderful blooms in spring. Here is what I got:


I got a delightful poinsettia at a work party over Christmas. It lasted a bit longer than most, but here is the poor doll after a few months with us. It has since lost all it's red and been transplanted to a pot I painted blue. It ended up looking kind of like a Bonsai tree. I should have taken a pic. It has taken a permanent field trip to my hubby's cubicle. (He will not give up on things as you will see)


My neighbor gave me an Amaryllis she had received as a gift because "she did not have time for it." Granted this one was partly not my fault. When I opened the box it had already started to bloom and the stem was growing at a 90 degree angle from the bulb. So naturally I tried to coax it to being somewhat straight. Bye bye flower. It completely broke off. Just in time for me to read on the box that they bloom once a year. Yay. I hoped by some miracle it might turn into something beautiful. I had always wanted an amaryllis. Here it is now, literally 2 1/2 feet of leaf.


Here's one that came in to the marriage with my husband. This plant is over five years old, so I guess it is our one "success." This thing was deader than dead in my husbands apartment. It was literally a dry stem sticking out of the dirt, but my hubby does not like to give up on things (thus all the other ugly plants hanging around). We decided to nurse it back to health so we stuck an artichoke leaf in the dirt for some compost food (no idea what we were doing obviously) and he watered it religiously. That little stem grew in to a leaf and then another and then another. That little stem is now one really long stem that we wrap around and around until it somewhat resembles a plant.


I do have two plants that seem to thrive pretty well. Notice the life support. I bought myself some of those blown glass watering globes and they seem to work pretty well.


So, let's review...five failures, a one stem wonder and two on life support. Thank goodness the only nursery I will ever be in charge of is my son's. And he is still thriving. :)

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

21 Day Journaling Challenge

Join me on my quest to make it a habit to write in my journal every day! On Sunday, I taught a lesson (YW Lesson 19) on keeping a personal history which made me realize how important it really is. Especially because I have a terrible memory! I want to leave something behind that my children on down the line can read and know about experiences and feelings I had. It will help them get to know me better, but also may help them with something they will go through.

I challenged the girls in my class to write in their journals every day for 20 days so it would become a habit. I gave the Young Women a handout with the following quotes:

Click on image above to see YW handouts

“We urge our young people to begin today to write and keep records of all the important things in their own lives” (“The Angels May Quote from It,” New Era, Oct. 1975, p. 4).
“I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to your families, to your children, your grandchildren, and others, on through the generations. Each of us is important to those who are near and dear to us and as our posterity read of our life’s experiences, they, too, will come to know and love us. And in that glorious day when our families are together in the eternities, we will already be acquainted” -President Kimball


I also included this list of questions for the days when they are having a hard time knowing what to write about.

Click on images above to see YW lesson 19 handouts

There are tons of lists of questions out on the World Wide Web to give you sources of inspiration. I googled "personal history question jar" to get mine. I have a little container I keep word strips of questions in so I can draw one when I need a starting point. I wanted to give the girls in my class their questions in a jar so they could do the same, but I ran out of time and my trash day is Thursday so I did not have enough baby food jars by Saturday (Those small salsa jars would work great too). I was going to spray paint the lids, fill the jars with questions, and attach the quotes with a ribbon.
http://www.handmadecardsandgifts.com/USERIMAGES/journal%20jar1.jpg
I found this one when I googled journal question jar and selected images. I love the canister and recipe idea!

So, come one come all and join me on this quest! We will leave our descendants more than a few old boxes to rummage through. We will leave a legacy of thoughts, feelings, experiences and testimonies.

Here's how we will do it. If you are with me, blog about it (that holds us somewhat accountable, right?) and include the adorable button I created below in your post so others can join in on the fun too! Then, come back here and leave your comment with the link to your post. I will be checking up on you! ;)Here's the ironic part. I just realized that the challenge will end on my birthday June 9th! What a great way to top it all off! Woo hoo!

21 Day Challenge





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Monday, May 18, 2009

My Redneck Flowers Have a Home!


Don't they look so much happier in their little pot?

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Feature Friday-Our Best Bites

My Feature Friday for today are the girls, SaRa & KaTe, over at OuR BeSt BiTes.

Sara and Kate are two girls who love to cook! They're wives and mothers balancing home management, part-time work, church and community involvement, and a myriad of other things, just like you! Their goal is to show that cooking at home can be a delicious, fun, and easy way to express yourself and to care for your families and friends.

If you have not been to their site before, you are missing out! They have the most amazing recipes with the most delicious pictures! Reading through each recipe is like talking to a good friend. They give it to you straight and will make you laugh. They always show a picture of the ingredients, which for some reason makes me feel like I can make it. It just makes it look so much simpler!

Enough talk! Let's get to the good stuff! Here come some of my favorite recipes and believe me it was hard to decide!


I cannot even begin to describe how much joy this recipe brings me! It takes me right back to my childhood days of Rainbow Bright (I actually bought myself a Rainbow Bright paint with water book the other day because I was sooo excited to see her)!

Sara also suggests "If you're a sports fan, these would be really cool with team colors. How about black, green and brown for a boys camo party? Or holiday color combos are endless.... Have fun!"

Sweet Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips


Can I crawl through the picture and eat it? What a wonderful combination for the start of summer! My mouth is watering, is yours? This is my kind of "health food!"

Chocolate Toffee Sugar Cookies

Aren't they beautiful? I so wish I would have found these before Valentine's! Although, who says we need to have a holiday to express our love?

Are you sensing a theme here? I LoVe dessert! Now that we have had dessert first, we can have dinner. :)

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

I am a big taquito fan, so when they say they have a healthier version that tastes just as great I am in!! Creamy deliciousness wrapped up in a crispy shell. Mmmm!

French Dip Sandwiches

Have you always wondered how to make these? I have! Well here it is! And did mention it can be prepared beforehand and frozen for the crockpot? Love it!

And to top it all off, I cannot do a feature without raving about the Tips and Tutorials section. This is like the sopping mall of how to's for people like me who say "how the heck do I pick a ripe mango?"

Here are a few of my favorites:
Are you inspired yet?

Great recipes and tips Sara and Kate! (BTW, I want to name my first girl Kate) You are now entered in to the hall of fame as tippers of the week!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Redneck Mother's Day

Yep, you heard right! I took a trip down to the hillbilly nation this Mother's Day! I got a good laugh out of the following and hope you will too!

First off, my hubby was so thoughtful to take my little guy in the morning so I could sleep in. He was up at 6:50 and let me sleep until a wonderful 8:35!! It was amazing, until I realized I had 25 minutes to get ready and get to church. Luckily, I had showered the night before, so we made it on time!!

My church ward wanted to show appreciation to all the mothers in the ward with a small token of gratitude. They had a budget of $1 each. When my hubby told me they were trying to think of ideas for the gift I told him they should do a nice chocolate covered strawberry. I have to admit I laughed a little when I picked up the gift on Mother's Day. They literally took a flat of flowers and cut them up in to singles. The young men handed me a napkin and said to choose a flower. I actually got out a little late and was lucky enough to be one of the last so they let me take two.

I'm not going to lie, I coveted my sister's little bag of Chocolate truffles from her church ward. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate my flowers and plan to put them in a cute little pot soon!

The fun and laughs continued when we got home from church. My hubby let me open the present he got me. It was sitting on the kitchen table in the box it was shipped in. (It's all about presentation, right? lol) I opened it up to see this.

I said, "Wow honey, I can take it hunting with me." (Can you imagine me hunting? now, that is comical in itself!) He came over in a frenzy promising that the one he ordered was black. I thought maybe just the picture on the front was off so I opened up the box to find this.

At this point, we were both laughing and he kept apologizing and swearing the one he ordered was black. There was an interchangeable piece that does make it black, but I had to show you the beauty of nature that came out of the box. I was so excited to get a digital picture frame because I have wanted one FOREVER!

I also got a very special present when I came home from Kohl's on Saturday after an afternoon of shopping with my sis. I walked in with a giant bag and my hubby didn't cringe one bit and even asked what I got! I pulled out four shirts, two pairs of shorts and a little 3/4 sleeve jacket. I thought I would get "the look." You know, the you are in trouble, why in the world did you buy all this stuff look. The only thing he said was that since I got a new jacket I had to donate one of my old ones. (He made this rule about clothes after I bought new hangers like five times) To which I justified that it is not actually a jacket, but a 3/4 hoodie that is pretty much just a shirt. ;)

Welcome to my closet wonderful little number!