Sunday, September 18, 2011

Welcome Autumn!

Yes, Mom, this post is for you!

We welcomed some cooler weather this weekend and since we are so close to the actual first day of autumn, I whipped together a fall wreath to show my welcome of this wonderful season.

The wreath cost $2.50 at Michaels and I had some leftover fall decorations plus a few acorns from a recent hike that I just hot glued on. I also had some garland that I took apart into sections and inserted those into the wreath. It took me about 10 minutes to make, 15 minutes if you include clean-up time. No more expensive pre-made wreaths for me!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lincoln Log Parking Garage

For those with little boys, we're always looking to find new ways to play with little cars and trucks, right? Here's a two-story parking garage my son and I made. :)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Waiting for This...

It's hard being patient, isn't it? My impatience shows itself clearly when it comes to gardening. I always want to pick the produce the first day it looks ripe, but we all know that everything stays sweeter the longer you leave it on the vine. Well, I have been staring at these beautiful red blackberries as I water them every day, anticipating the day that they are sweet, delicious and black. Last year the plant spent all of it's energy expanding it's roots and branches and this year we have been rewarded with bucket loads of berries on this plant!

So, if anyone has any tried-and-true good 'ol recipes for blackberry jam or blackberry pie, or any other great blackberry recipe, send 'em my way, because I will be in the kitchen with loads of blackberries this summer!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Went Shopping....Frugal Friday Tips!

Ahh...the rush that comes from getting a good deal when shopping. Why do us women succumb to it?

I don't believe it is wise to have a lot of credit cards, but there can be times when opening one at a store that you frequent a lot can actually provide you with some great savings. I have cards at Kohls and Old Navy because I can purchase clothes for the whole family from these two places, along with some great thrift store items that I find also. With the Old Navy credit card, they occasionally send me $10 or $20 rewards cards after I've accumulated enough points, and I got one in the mail today, right when they are having a fabulous sale! Knowing when the stores change out their seasonal items is key to nabbing some amazing deals. Since Memorial Day is almost here, the stores are now looking to clearance out all their spring items to make way for their summer gear.  I was also picking up a few essentials at Wal-Mart and noticed that they had their spring items on clearance too. Notice the cute white basket for $2.50!

So, here's the run-down on the deals I got today at Old Navy:
Espadrilles - $6.75 each (two pairs - one to give to my darling sister!)
3 Boys T-shirts - $2 each
Plus - $20 rewards card = Entire shopping trip FREE!

I could have even stocked up more on other items, but I was in a bit of a rush, so I didn't get to browse as much as I would have liked.

See, shopping doesn't always have to cost you money! :)

Joining in on: Mama to 4 Blessings Blog Hop

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - A Boy and His Costumes

Super Delicious Cake...but I can't share the recipe yet!

I feel bad even posting this delicious looking cake without giving the recipe to it, but it is my own original recipe and I hope to enter it into a contest...which means it can't be published anywhere prior to me entering it. I call it Coconut Strawberry Supreme cake. :)  Hope to share the recipe with you down the road!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Under Construction!

Argh! I got the itch to make my own background for this blog and I have it made, but...where is it? I've spent enough time this evening on trying to get it on my blog and am not having success, so for now, my blog gets the title - Under Construction!

Hope to see you again with an all new look - made by me!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Refreshment thru Nature

Nothing is so refreshing and renewing as a peaceful walk in the mountains/woods! Have a blessed Wednesday!

"God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars."
  ~Author unknown, commonly attributed to Martin Luther

Check out these other great Wordless Wednesday blogs: Mama to 4 Blessings Shibley Smiles and 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday!

This is my first time to do a "What I Wore" post and I am super excited! I look forward each morning to picking out what I'm going to wear that day and I try to dress things up with a scarf or flower in the hair, etc.

Skirt: Old Navy; Scarf: Kohls
I like to add a feminine touch to casual, everyday outfits. It's amazing what a scarf can do for a simple white t-shirt, black skirt outfit.

This was my outfit for a day out shopping with my sisters and mom. I love coral and turquoise and my sisters convinced me that they went together well in this outfit. I am a super traditional, colors-have-to-match person, so this was out of my element, but I liked it.
Shirt: Ebay!; Jeans: Kohls; Shoes: Payless
Tank: Target; Skirt & Shoes: Thrift Store!
My goal in dressing is to be modest and yet still fashionable. I never pay full price - I use discounts, coupons (can't resist those 30% coupons from Kohls!), etc. Most of my clothes are from Kohls, Old Navy and a little bit of Target and thrift stores.
Sweater: Charlotte Russe; Boots: Goodwill - $8!
Thanks for stopping by for my WIWW. I hope to have many more of these!

Also, be sure to check out my sisters' blogs for their WIWW editions!
Made for Sunny Days
A Fresh New Day

Linked up at: the pleated poppy blog

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cake Pops!

I somehow was clueless about the delightful invention of cake pops a couple of years ago and only recently found out about them when I was at Starbucks one day and tried one of theirs. I knew I just had to make them myself. Needless to say, they are so delectably scrumptious and as I discovered, not too complicated to make!

My sisters, brother and mom were all visiting from out-of-town, so we decided to have an early birthday party for one of my sisters (her blog is here!) since it was only about a week away. I love how you have such an endless variety of ways to decorate them to match whatever theme your party is. I chose to use both white chocolate and milk chocolate and then added sprinkles to some of them.

So, want the steps to make them yourself?

1. Make a cake using 1 box of cake mix, any flavor you want, preferably in a 9x13 pan
2. Once the cake is baked and cooled, take a fork and mash the cake into fine crumbs.
3. Mash one can of frosting into crumb mixture (I add in about 3/4 of the can and add in a spoonful at a time until I reach the desired consistency). It should be moist like playdough. Refrigerate dough for about 10 minutes.
4. Shape the dough into small balls - about a tablespoon in size.
5. Melt the candy melts according to package directions.
6. Take the lollipop sticks and dip one into the melted chocolate, then insert it into the cake ball. Repeat until all balls have lollipop sticks. By this time the first ones should be set and you can begin coating the entire cake pop.
7. Coat entire cake pop and refrigerate if desired.

Final step = enjoy your tasty treat!

The neat thing about the size of these is that you don't have to serve your guests big 'ol slices of cake, they can just have one cute little pop or many!

Linked up at: Tuesdays at the Table


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Amish Baked Oatmeal

This recipe was given to me awhile back and I always enjoying pulling it out of my recipe binder every once in awhile. If you are looking for a comforting and very filling breakfast that can be whipped up real quick, then this satisfying Amish Baked Oatmeal fits the bill.

Amish Baked Oatmeal
1 1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c milk
1/4 c butter *cut into pieces
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Pour into a greased 8-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Enjoy with fresh strawberries and maybe a touch of cream drizzled over!

This recipe linked up at: Tasty Tuesday and Tuesdays at the Table

Monday, May 2, 2011

Doesn't This Remind You....

...of July 4th, hot summer days, lemonade....
...fresh from the Farmer's Market this week!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

How My Kids Get Their Greens

Some days it just doesn't work out, to where my kiddos are eating as much veggies as I would like them to. You know, the days where you eat waffles or oatmeal for dinner, 'cause it's just one of those days. But, one thing that helps me to not feel so guilty about the no-veggies-on-their-dinner-plate is their daily smoothie that I make for them. I have no recipe for this daily smoothie, it is whatever fruit I have on hand and feel like mixing together, plus a bit of juice, yogurt or frozen yogurt, and the all important green powder. I use a brand called Aloe Life Daily Greens which I buy online or sometimes at our local health food store. I like this powder since it states that it is safe for children and has 12 vegetables! It only adds a tiny hint of 'green' flavor to the smoothie, definitely not enough to make your kids say yuck!

I was seriously in need of going to the farmers market/grocery store as I had no milk, no yogurt, no fresh fruit (except the lovely oranges you see in the picture below), etc., so today I made the smoothie using frozen blueberries and frozen peach cubes that we pureed when the peaches were in season. Added a bit of orange juice, some vanilla frozen yogurt and the greens powder and then we have a tasty and super nutritious afternoon energy boost!
Mmmm...Baby J enjoying his daily smoothie!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - A Day at the Flower Farm

Spring could not be better epitomized than the day that we had at the flower farm today. Flowers in complete bloom, weather in the 80s and kids running around in the soft grass.


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