Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Four Tips for Making Goals for the New Year

The new year is almost here and what does that mean? A sense of renewed motivation to better myself, time to make a goal list for 2010. Here are a few tips to help you make a goal list that is realistic and reachable.

http://www.thealexandergroup.com/cmsimages/goals.jpg


1. Sort. Break down the areas of your life into categories and choose one or two goals for each area. My categories were:
  • Physical Health
  • Spiritual
  • Family-one for hubs, one for son
  • Personal-something just for me
  • Home-aka housework
  • Work-my blog and online marketing consulting since I am a SAHM
2. Specific. Don't say "eat better", say the exact action you want to achieve, like "eat two servings of vegetables everyday". You need something concrete that cannot be argued or justified.
3. Simple. Pick something realistic to achieve. No really. For instance, I don't do organized exercise. I don't go to the gym, so I should not make a goal to workout for an hour five days a week. Make it easy enough that you will stay motivated to do it past the first week of the year.
4. State. Write down your goals and post them where you will see them everyday. I am probably turn mine in to a dry erase check list. It is also helpful to tell someone your goals so they can help keep you on track.

Monday we had a family home evening lesson on goals, but rather than bore our poor two year old by making personal lists of goals at the end we decided to head to the playroom for a few minutes of hardcore fun before pj time. So today while he entertained himself with building boats out of blocks I decided to reflect on things I would like to change for the New Year.

http://api.ning.com/files/O0VmfBMQfMSEpywQc6x37YNJ9pxC79JwzazAkhOtulgw4*qmLm977asCXX12Nc-V-WNIcOpLlfS8KR3YEwgOhR*t8JA4*C-G/Goals.JPG

There are always hundreds of things I could list. I literally went through once and wrote down the time it would take to do all the things I would like to be routine in my household. It added up to about twice as much time as I actually have. This was a nice eye opener that I will never achieve my goals unless they are realistic.

Here are some of the things I came up with (see I am stating them so you can hold me accountable. ;) )
  • Health: organized exercise 30 minutes 3x per week (turning it in to a Biggest Loser type competition with hubs to keep motivated)
  • Spiritual: Go to the temple once a month, Read scripture 5 minutes per day (already doing these as goals from last year so this will just be upkeep)
  • Family: 1 planned date per month with hubs, 15 min uninterrupted play time with son each day (Again, I will have hubs and son to keep me on track)
  • Personal: 1 non due date project per week
  • House: 30 minutes cleaning in a non-regular use area per week
  • Work: Double my blog readers
I am excited for the new year and can't wait to get started on my new list of goals! What's on your goal list for 2010?

Goal blocks photo source: http://www.thealexandergroup.com/cmsimages/goals.jpg
Goal poster photo source: http://api.ning.com/files/O0VmfBMQfMSEpywQc6x37YNJ9pxC79JwzazAkhOtulgw4*qmLm977asCXX12Nc-V-WNIcOpLlfS8KR3YEwgOhR*t8JA4*C-G/Goals.JPG

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Easy Cookies for New Years Eve: German Chocolate & Chocolate Candy Cane Crunch

These two cookie recipes (German Chocolate and Chocolate Candy Cane Crunch) are so easy that you can not mess them up. Take my word for it. My two year old helped me. If you have 15 minutes, you can have yummy cookies! That is counting mixing and baking! And they look oh so impressive!

Let's start with German Chocolate. These were born out of my need for something quick to take to a neighborhood party.

German Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Ingredients:
German Chocolate Cake Mix
1 stick butter
2 eggs
1 tub Coconut Pecan Frosting

Melt butter in large bowl. Mix in cake mix and eggs. Roll in to 1 inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Once cool, place a good layer of frosting between two similar sized cookies.

My little guy loved stirring, rolling and counting the balls and licking the spoon at the end. (Don't worry, he washed his hand immediately beforehand. Anyone else freaked out about the prospect of messy kid hands helping with the cooking?! Amanda, I know you're with me!)




Chocolate Candy Cane Crunch Cookies
This is to use up all those candy canes you'll be pulling off the tree.



Ingredients:
Devil's Food Cake Mix
1 stick butter
2 eggs
Candy Canes (crushed)-I used Hershey Chocolate Mint candy canes so you could barely taste the mint. I think regular peppermint would be really yummy too.
1 Cup white chocolate chips (optional)

Melt butter in large bowl. Mix in cake mix, chocolate chips, and eggs. Roll dough in to 1 inch balls. Dip top in candy cane. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes on 350 degrees.






Do you have a go to easy treat recipe? Please share!!

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Oh the Surprises!

We're back from Christmas vacation in the country and oh the surprises I have for you!



I'd just like to thank my hubs for the laughs we shared when I opened this beauty. Watch out Walmartians, I have joined your ranks!


Photo from: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1083200

According to the box, I can even where it on an airplane! Or I could just don my snuggie, spread my arms wide, flap quickly, and save myself the ticket! ;)

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Card Tree & Exchange

I really wanted something cute to do with my cards this year. I saw a few really cute tutorials on line, but only had like 7 cards...until tonight. You see, our church ward does a Christmas card exchange where you can drop off cards for anyone in your ward in a box at church and one of the Young Women volunteers (as a Personal Progress Good Works project) to sort and deliver them for every one. I think this program is amazing and am so thankful for the money saved on stamps. Frankly, I probably would not send them to my ward members if it were not for this. Sorry kids, stamps add up fast and delivering all of them would just plain take too long. ;)

So now, I had a stack of received cards and really wanted to show off the love before Christmas is over. So, I decided to arrange them as a Christmas card tree on the back of my front door. I love how it turned out though I did have to leave a few out because I forgot about the doorknob and deadbolt. Plus, all you need is tape. No fancy dancy supplies!

Thank you for all the beautiful and fun cards!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday with lots of food, family and fun and remember the greatest Christmas gift of all was never placed beneath a tree, but was placed in a manger bed for all the world to see. (quote from a tile my parents gave me)

I'll be taking the rest of the week off
to focus on what Christmas is really supposed to be about. The little one and I started it off tonight. We played spy/paparazzi (him trying on my old sunglasses while I tried to catch pics of him),


had a pizza party, danced, and watched Elf in our PJs. Daddy comes home tomorrow from his surprise Christmas mancation to the BYU bowl game (Go Cougars!) so we will be getting the real party started!


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Wordless Wednesday-Breakfast Invention


That's one way to have cereal and milk.
He put the cereal in the straw and then sipped the milk.

Head over to 5 Minutes for Mom for more Wordless Wednesday!

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

We Wish U a Merry Christmas-gift for a Ute fan

I needed a white elephant gift for my hubs work party and had this University of Utah hat I received free lying around unworn. I thought it might be lame to just pack up a hat, so I added the little saying "We wish U a Merry Christmas!" This may be old news in the Ute world, I dunno. I am in a family of BYU alumni. I thought I was pretty darn clever and think this would be a great gift idea for a Ute fan.



Here's just the words if you want to print them off. Click the pic to make them larger.


My little white elephant wrapped up and ready to go.


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Friday, December 18, 2009

Fast DIY Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas is getting close! Can you believe is it just one week! Are you starting to panic? Do you still have a couple of names on your list that you are struggling to find something to give? Well here are a few more adorably easy DIY Christmas gift ideas for Feature Friday to spark your creativity.

Adorable Snowman Gift made out of bags of flour and sugar for food storage from Rhoda
See all her fun ideas for a family Christmas party.

This Santa Cookie Tray is perfect for the family who has everything!


Insightful Nana gives you a full tutorial for these cute Jar lid magnets


Button Wreath Ornament from Martha
Button Wreath Ornament

Hanging dishtowel
tutorial from Trey & Lucy via Somewhat Simple

Thanks for the great DIY Christmas gift ideas ladies! Feel free to grab a featured button on the right sidebar!


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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Chocolate Dipped Candy Stick Gift Idea



I was headed to a craft night and needed a holiday treat to share quick. I looked around the pantry and found these ingredients. Then, I realized these would be the perfect gifts for my husbands coworkers too!


Supplies needed:
  • 2 bags Soft Candy Cane Sticks (about 20 sticks)
  • 1/2 bag Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 T. Crisco
  • Toppings:
  1. White Chocolate Chips
  2. Candy Cane Oreos
  3. Sprinkles
  4. Red Hots
1. Melt 1/2 a package of milk chocolate chips with a 1/2 T. of Crisco in the microwave stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Tip the bowl so the chocolate is on one side and dip the candy stick rotating it to cover equally on all sides.

2. Hold the stick vertically with the chocolate down and shake side to side quickly (like ringing a bell) for 15 seconds to remove excess chocolate.


3. Grab a big pinch of topping and sprinkle over chocolate while rotating candy stick until covered on all sides. I used combinations of crushed oreos, chopped white chocolate, sprinkles and chopped red hots (I used my pampered chef hand chopper, so no this was not dangerous). I used the topping that fell to the plate too. I hate to waste a huge pile. I love the combination of colors.



4. Lay on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper to set. I put mine in the garage where it is cool to make them set faster. You can use the fridge if you have room.

I had leftover chocolate so I dipped some oreos too.


Don't they look cute on my snowman plate!


This project did double duty as I made extra for the hubs to give as coworker gifts. I just put them in clear treat bags and stapled a home made card to the top. They turned out so festive and adorable! Totally spreading the joy!





Super cute and economical Christmas gift using lots of things you probably already have! Or maybe it's just me who keeps the house stocked with sweets at all times. Hmmm.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Stamped Washer Necklace Tutorial: Courage

We always have a special Christmas lesson for our Young Women at one of our homes the Sunday before Christmas and wanted something special to give our Beehive class. My wonderful adviser and crafty girl extraordinaire, Amanda (from Every Crafty Endeavor), came up with the idea and the supplies to do stamped washer necklaces that say Courage to go along with next year's mutual theme. I am so nice and took pics of the process so that you can do it too. I know, I know...too kind.

(Stay tuned for how we tie them in to the Christmas nativity lesson)

Supplies Needed:
  • Heavy Hammer (you can use a regular one, you will just have to hit harder)
  • Washers (ours were about an inch)
  • Alphabet stamp set
  • Black permanent marker
  • Baby wipe
  • Leather, ribbon, or a chain to put the charm on


Stamp sets are available on Amazon for $15 if you need one. *Update: I just bought a stamp set on sale from Harbor Freight for $10 including shipping!


1. Take your supplies to a concrete area so you don't damage whatever is under your stamping. (We froze our little tushes on the porch in 30 degree weather, but the end result was well worth it and it really did not take that long.) Pull out the letters you will be using and put them in order. Place the first letter stamp equidistant from the hole in the middle and the edge. Now, with the other hand, whack the stamp with the hammer 3 or 4 times (depending on how hard you hit and the weight of your hammer).

See cute Amanda demonstrating her great skill.


2. Keep it going with the other letters. Place the next letter by aligning the edge of the stamp with the first letter and turning a hair so it follows the curve of the washer. This may take some getting used to. We had to redo some. Continue with each letter.





3. Once you have the letters stamped, get your permanent marker ready. Color over the letters so that the indentions are black. If you have a stubby marker like me this may take some doing. Once all the letters are covered, wipe with a baby wipe until you are left with black only in the letter indentions. I would do each washer one at a time. It is easy to wipe off when they have not been sitting.





4. Now just thread your "chain" of choice through the hole and you are good to go.

I love how they turned out! I love that they represent the theme so well! "Be strong and of a good courage." Joshua 1:9

Now, for how they will be tied to the lesson. We are going to be talking about how each of the people in the Nativity Story had to have great courage. We will talk about each piece of the nativity as we place it on the table and also have a song to go with it.

  • Mary-to be the mother to God's Son and to travel to Bethlehem 9 mos. pregnant and give birth in a stable
  • Joseph-to find out his wife to be will be giving birth to God's Son
  • Jesus-to be the one to volunteer to come to earth and sacrifice himself for us
  • Shepherds-to have an angel come and then go to find the Christ child. Spreading the word to others.
  • Three Kings-followed a star to find the Christ child and did not tell Herod where He was
I am so excited for this lesson! It is so personal to have it in Amanda's home with the fire crackling and everything so cozy. Last year, the Christmas lesson was AMAZING and I can only imagine this year will be the same!

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Feature Friday-Blog Swap with Sumo's Sweet Stuff

With a high of 20 degrees today, my fingers are too cold to type so I am so lucky to have Summer from Sumo's Sweet Stuff taking over for me today. Oh, and the fact that she is called Sumo makes her a top candidate for a blog swap in my book! Here we go...

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Hello Tipsy Readers!
I'm Summer, or Sumo as my husband lovingly calls me. (And now consequently has all of my family calling me. Doesn't Aunt Sumo have a nice ring to it?)
I'm the blogger from Sumo's Sweet Stuff!
Sumo's Sweet Stuff I use my blog to share my projects, tutorials, recipes, host giveaways, and shamelessly promote my etsy shop! I AM: - married to my best friend
- mother to the most beautiful little girl (and a baby girl on the way!) - daughter and sister to the best family ever - friend to some of the greatest people out there I LOVE TO: - play piano - sing - read - craft - go on walks - spend time with my family - drink Diet Coke - bake/cook - exercise (well, sometimes) - crochet SOME OF MY FAVORITE THINGS: - Diet Coke - popcorn - chips and salsa - anything that involves peanut butter and chocolate - public library - fall - craft stores - black and green - Christmas - historical fiction - cats

Michelle asked me to answer these fun questions for you:

** What is your favorite crafting tool or secret weapon? **

Honestly, where would any crafter be without a glue gun? Especially since I don't know how to sew (YET - hopefully that will change!), I find my glue gun to be quite useful and am always on the lookout for projects that I might be able to do using my glue gun! My fingers pay the price, but it is worth it!
** If you had to be a holiday scent what would you be? **

Since I love to bake, I'd have to say that sugar cookies (that's what's in my Scentsy right now) or vanilla would fit the bill! I love finding new recipes to try out, and it is so satisfying to be successful with a new recipe and have my house smelling delicious. Yum!
** What is your favorite Christmas tradition? **

I don't know how to pick just one! Growing up, my parents always got us an ornament that had our name and the year written on it. Once I was married, it was fun to collect all of those ornaments from my parents and put them on our Christmas tree. Now we have all of those, the ones my parents have gotten my husband and daughter, and this year we started getting our own, too! I love pretty coordinated trees, but I also really love the character that our tree has with all of the memories from years past.
In the spirit of Christmas, here are a few of my favorite Christmas projects:
And if you are looking for some inexpensive holiday gifts, go here for some of the ideas I came up with.
I'm also participating in the 12 Days of Giveaways over at Somewhat Simple. My giveaway is being posted today, so go check it out for the chance to win some adorable baby girl stuff!

I love making new blogging friends, so come on over to Sumo's Sweet Stuff! You'll find something new being posted each day: Market Yourself Monday, Tutorial Tuesday, Mouth-Watering Wednesday, Things to Try Thursday, and Feature Friday. Something for everyone!

Thanks to Michelle for letting me swap with her today! Isn't she just the greatest?

Happy Holidays!

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Thanks Summer for all your great ideas! You are now entered in to the Hall of Fame as Tipster of the week. Feel free to take a featured button and wear it with pride!


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