Friday, November 30, 2012

Family Birthday Boards Tutorial

I did a project for Christmas for one of my best friends from college. I thought it turned out so cute!! So now  we've decided we are doing the same thing for our mom for Christmas. So I thought I would include a tutorial for those of you who has someone in's perfect for Grandmas! If you don't have the time to do it we have it in our shop.

**What you need:
**A Piece of wood 24x6" (Home Depot...I got an extra piece of scrap wood they had for .51)
**Stars or circles for the names(Hobby Lobby 2.99 for 20)
**Drill & 1/16 Drill Bit (Wal-Mart 1.98)
**Jump Ring 9mm (Hobby Lobby 4.99)
**Acrilic Paint (Hobby Lobby or Walmart $2 bottle)
**5/8 Cup Hooks (Home Depot 4.99)
**Vinyl...I do it myself so for me it was free :)
**Picture Hangers for the back (2.99 Walmart)

This is what they all look like:

I sanded the board down and Painted it. Then, in the little circles I drilled a hole in each end as close to the end as I could. Be careful I hear some people have a problem with it breaking the wood easily. Then I painted the little circles. We decided to go with males one colors and females another. I've seen some cute ones where they've done each family a different color, or you can just do them all the same...all are cute.

Apply the vinyl. Then I put the hooks in the bottom of the wood. This was pretty time consuming and found it was A LOT easier to drill a hole where your going to put the hook in and you can screw it in a lot easier. Also, another tip is to have pliers to have screw them in all of the way. I just got a measuring tape a measured it all out on the bottom and marked the spots so that I did them straight. It's a lot better if your vinyl is already on so you make sure to get them right under the month.

Then I took the little jump rings and opened them a little, after a while I used the pliers again because my fingers were getting raw. But I figured out the best way to do it was to put on ring between the two circles. This is why you want to get your holes as close to the edge as you can or the ring won't be able to go through the two. 

Having one ring is the only way to have the line lay flat against the wall. On top of the first person of the month, you'll want to add one more little ring that you will connect to your cup hooks, or once again it'll try to flip to the side. 

On the back I added the picture hanging hooks, one on each side so it would be sturdy. I did them two inches from the edges and one inch from the top.

It is pretty time consuming, but I loved the way it turned out!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Just a little bit of CHEVRON

Okay, I have an obsession! And yes, as you can see it is with the print chevron.  LOVE IT!! I started making picture frames with a chevron print board behind it and loved it!! Then I made some with letters on them to personalize them.  After that I thought, chevron is cute just by itself, so I made some to accent colors I love.  I just got done with this Christmas one, and love how it turned out.  I have made so many, that I am going to sell them on our etsy shop.  I will let you know once they are posted in there, and then you should take a look.  Happy Wednesday!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Blocks

It is the Christmas season now, and if you are like me you are getting all your Christmas decorations out and up as fast as you possibly can, and keep them up as long as my husband will allow.  I LOVE Christmas time!!  I love to listen to Christmas music, look at Christmas lights, read Christmas stories with the kids, and everything else Christmas!  I just love Christmas.  We have been working hard at getting some new Christmas items in our ETSY shop.  Click on over and check out these and all the other Christmas-y items (and everything else).

Hope you pass on the Christmas spirit everywhere you go!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


So I have been trying to decide whether I want to do a post on Christmas decorating or Thanksgiving.  In my mind, both make perfect sense to do them now because I am one who pulls the Christmas tree out a week before Thanksgiving, so I can have it up first thing the morning after. Yet, it makes great sense to do one on Thanksgiving, considering the fact that it is tomorrow.  After a very detailed pros and cons list, I came to the conclusion - gratitude.
I have been thinking a lot about gratitude the past couple days.  On Sunday, a man was giving a talk in my church that really hit home for me.  He said..
If you want to have more patience,
work on GRATITUDE.
If you want to have more faith,
work on GRATITUDE.
If you want to have more love,
work on GRATITUDE.
If you want more of anything,
work on GRATITUDE.
I personally believe, these are wise words of counsel.  I don't think it matters what religion you belong to, this can apply in anyone's life.   I feel like we spend so much time so focused on ourselves and how to get ahead, that we forget to see the things that really matter.  The things that are blessing our lives and getting us to the point of success that we have already achieved.  What better time than now to really think about what we are grateful for. 
For me, it is my husband and all he is.  He makes me want to be the best I can be.  My family is amazing.  I give them and my husband most of the credit for the person I have become.  My in-laws are great! A girl couldn't ask for more.  I guess I should have added religion to the list that shapes who I am.  My beliefs give me the hope and faith I need to make it through tough times.  I am grateful for my job and my husbands job.  This is a tough time in the world right now, and I am thankful to have those jobs.  There are many more things I could add to this list, but it is time for you to make your own.  
Thanks for reading! And happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Newest Addition

Rachel had her baby yesterday and she is BEAUTIFUL!!! We are SO excited for her and her family! I wish I didn't live so far away so I could hold this little darling!
Oakli Gillette
6 lbs 9 oz
20 1/2" long
...and Perfect!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Cheeseburger Soup

A friend of mine brought this delicious soup to my Witch's Night Out party this year, and it was a HIT!!  Everyone loved it, and kept going back for more.  My husband, who was suppose to be downstairs with the kids came up to get more soup at least 3 times, I think maybe more.  
I decided to try it out on the kids for dinner, and what do you know.... they LOVED it too!  My little boy even chose it for lunch the next day (that never happens).


  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups diced peeled potatoes (1-3/4 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) process cheese (Velveeta), cubed
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup sour cream


  • In a 3-qt. saucepan, brown beef; drain and set aside. In the same saucepan, saute the onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley in 1 tablespoon butter until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the broth, potatoes and beef; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter. Add flour; cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly. Add to soup; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in the cheese, milk, salt and pepper; cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from the heat; blend in sour cream. Yield: 8 servings (2-1/4 quarts).

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Decadent EASY Chocolate Truffles

One day I came home from work and my dear husband had the sweetest surprise for me! He had made me a very special dessert and was so excited for me to try it. Now, he is the master of grilled cheese, nachos, and quesadillas (catching a pattern? he claims cheddar cheese as his favorite food haha!) so I was expecting something....lets say simple :) With my eyes closed I bit into it and OH MY GOODNESS!!!! Are you kidding me??!? I kept saying, "Are you sure you made this?" And indeed he had. These only have 3 ingredients but taste like a rich truffle from a fancy chocolate shop. I seriously crave these all the time and we make them way more than we should. But I make a whole batch and then freeze the leftovers so I can savor them one at a time whenever I please :) Here's how simple it is...
  • 1 package Oreos
  • 1 (8 oz. ) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 bag milk chocolate chips
  1. Finely crush the whole package of Oreos and put in big mixing bowl. I used my Blendtec but you could use any food processor or blender I'm sure.
  2. Put your cream cheese in with the cookie crumbs and combine until you don't see any more white cream cheese chunks. It will just look dark brown. I just mixed by hand with a rubber spatula, but I bet you could use a mixer or something.
  3. Roll into balls about the size of a golf ball and place on a cookie sheet. Stick it in the freezer for about 20 minutes until they are more firm.
  4. Melt your chocolate chips and dip the balls into the melted chocolate. Now you can decorate with sprinkles or something if you want and place in the fridge or freezer again until the chocolate hardens.
  5. Then sit back and enjoy this decadent treat while you ponder how such a delicious treat could be so EASY!
**I have also made a delicious mint version of these by using 2 rows in the package of Oreos and 1/2 package of Grasshopper cookies and do everything else the same! Yummo! I love mint stuff! :)


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Part two of "slow cooker creamy Italian chicken"

So I also LOVE the Italian chicken that Michelle posted way back when.  Not only do I love it, but my husband does too.  More than that, he loves the left over version of it.  One day I was trying to be creative with our left overs, so it wasn't the same meal we had the night before.  The creation I came up with involved the left over rice, chicken and then some tortillas.  (Super easy!) All you do is put some rice in a line on the tortilla, add the chicken on top and then roll them up and bake them.  Depending on the time frame I have, I will either bake them on about 350 for 15-20 minutes, or I will heat the rice and chicken in the microwave and  roll them up and put the oven on Broil and watch them carefully.  I have gotten to the point where I have burned too many on Broil, so I just go the slow way on 350.  Here they are, try out the Italian chicken and then give these a shot.  Super easy meal that doesn't taste the same.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Family Pictures

We got our family pictures done on Saturday...and they are already done! I am so excited! Our friend here took them for us. I'll have to admit, I stressed way to much over our outfits, trying to get the right colors to match and everything. I went to at least 10 different stores, and had it narrowed down to like 3 or least for me, and let Adam pick his favorite. I got B's dress a while ago at Children's place and knew that's what I wanted her in for our pictures. I thought "there are a TON of colors in her dress so it'll be easy to find something...." Well it took a while to find everything, but I was happy with how they turned out! So I thought I'd share a few of them. Oh ya...Adam really wanted to do family pictures in our Peyton Manning jersey's, I thought they were cute as well.










We had to get a few goofy ones in there...and our little dog Boikins :)


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Spiritual Sunday

Recently I have noticed people have been posting what they are most thankful for on Facebook.  I wanted to share something that I am Thankful for today.  I am so thankful for the knowledge that I have a Savior and Redemer who knows and loves me.  I know that the Savior lives.  I am ever so grateful that I get to teach this to my children, so that they can have the happiness that I have.

I came across this video and wanted to share it.  I hope that you will enjoy the music as much as I do. 


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Stay at home Date Nights

I absolutely love date nights!!  I love to get dressed up for my sweetheart and I look forward to it all week.  I love that we can be together and not talk about work, or the kids, or bills, or any of those other things that can weigh us down.  We have always been on such a tight budget that paying for a babysitter every week is just not something that we can do, that is a once a month kind of treat.  I have tried my very best to be creative in our "at home dating" and really think that we have a fun time with those dates.  And they are always very cheap.  With a new baby almost here and winter setting in, I know that we are not going to be getting out of the house much, so my mind has been trying to come up with a bunch of fun ideas for us.  

These are a few of my Favorites:

1.  Romantic dinner.  I love to cook us something special that we do not have except on dates, then make a fancy-smancy dessert.  My favorite to make is shrimp linguine (which I need to make and post soon), breadsticks, asparagus, and some sparkling cider, with some chocolate mousse for dessert. LOVE!

2.  Playing the Wii.  My husband and I love to play the Wii together after the kids have gone to bed.  Some times it is competitive and some times we are playing together trying to beat the high scores the kids have gotten.

3.  Sitting in a hot bubble bath with candles everywhere.  Sometimes we bring the computer in and watch a movie and sometimes we just take turns giving massages.

4.  Snuggling on the couch watching a movie.  This is one of my favorites, I LOVE TO SNUGGLE!!  I really do.  Sometimes we drag in a mattress and throw it in front of the TV, pile tons and tons of pillows and pop popcorn.

5.  Tonight we are doing the movie thing, but with a theme.  I found this cute idea.  I got the movie, Snow White and the Hunstman from Netflix.

6. Nerf gun war.  I bought cheap Nerf guns at the dollar store, and it was seriously a fun night!  I can't wait to do that again.

7.  Set a blanket out on the grass and watch the stars.  I know that it is winter time now, but for some of you lucky folks, it is still warm outside at night.

8.  Go back and read your journals and letters from when you were dating.

9.  Dance with each other.  I like to pull out a couple of CD's that we were given for our wedding.  Brings back fun memories.

10.  Buy fun cheeses, crackers, fruit and chocolates and lay this fun "picnic" out on the bed and rehash favorite dating stories, or find out your spouses wildest dreams.

I found this post that also has a bunch of fun creative in-house date ideas.  And there is always the wonder site of The Dating Divas to help you out when you are in a dating slump!  I LOVE their website and ideas!

Please share any of your favorite dates nights... I love new ideas!!


P.S. Don't forget to check out our GIVEAWAY going on right now!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Good Find

I love cute fonts! I'm always so excited when I find an awesome sight with a ton of cute FREE fonts...and I found one a while back that I thought I'd share. The great thing about this site is they have a lot of cute handwriting ones too, and I believe that you can send in your own handwriting and they make it so you can type with it. You should go check them out!!

I get the cutest scrapbooking fonts at Free Scrapbook Fonts!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sadie's Better Brownies

I love to read mysteries and I love to cook and bake.  Not too long ago I came across these books by Josi Kilpack that are "Culinary Art Mysteries"!  I loved them!  They each have fun names like Lemon Tart, English Trifle, and Blackberry Crumble.  In each book there are half a dozen or so recipes.  I don't always get the chance to try all the recipes before I return the book, but I do always try a couple (at least).  I wish that I could remember which book I got this recipe from, but I can't.  We have tried it 3 or 4 times now and it has been a hit every time!


24 oz (1 1/2 bags) semi-sweet chocolate chips (using 1/2 mint choc. chips is delicious!)
1 C. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 large eggs
2 C. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. all- purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 C. walnuts (pecans are better than walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350* and melt chocolate chips and butter in double boiler. (or melt in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each heating until smooth.)  Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.  In a separate bowl mix together the eggs and sugar.  Mix the melted chocolate and the vanilla.  Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the chocolate mixture and mix well.  Pour into a 9x13 greased pan and bake for about 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs.  Remove from oven and let cool before cutting into 2-inch squares.
Makes 24 brownies


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Election Day!

Here is to help make your election day a little brighter. This is in memory of our brother who is on a mission right now. He loved this video...I think it's quite hilarious too. He always had good taste in fabulous you tube videos. This kid in the video is awkward...classic.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Homemade Granola Bars

I saw a friend that had made these and they looked amazing so I just had to try them out...and was pleasantly pleased. They were so soft and yummy! And all 3 of us loved them! Next time I will probably triple the recipe because this only made 10 bars and didn't last for very long. But I would highly recommend them!! And they are easy peasy!

No-Bake Chocolate Chip Granola Bars10 bars
adapted from Rachael Ray
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats {not rolled oats!}
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
In a large bowl, stir oats and rice cereal together. Set aside. In a small pot, melt butter, honey and brown sugar together over medium high heat until it comes to a bubble. Reduce the heat and cook 2 minutes. Pour in vanilla and stir. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well to moisten all ingredients. Pour into lightly greased small jelly roll pan {about 12x8x1} and press out to be about 3/4 inch in thickness. {If your pan isn’t small enough, pack the mixture into one side. You really want to press them down so they stick together.} Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and press down lightly. Cool on a countertop to room temperature for two hours or until the chocolate chips are set before cutting into bars. Wrap in parchment or plastic wrap and store at room temperature.
Recipe Notes: If your granola bars don’t seem to be staying together when you cut them, you may have made them too thin or you didn’t pack them in tight enough. Stick them in the fridge for 20 minutes and that should help keep them together. {Be sure not to keep them in there too long or else they’ll become super hard!} The next time you make them, try reducing the butter to 3 tablespoons and really packing them down.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Health Corner, Edition 2

  As promised, I am back with part 2 of the story.  Again I hope this is informative and not too boring!  Also, I know my story is a long one, but hopefully it will help someone along the way and give someone out there some hope and maybe some alternative you haven't explored if you or someone you suffers anything like what I have been through!
  Ok, here goes!  As long as I can remember, I have had headaches.  In high school I remember having them on occasion, but nothing Ibuprofen wouldn't take care of in a couple of hours, same as in college.  At least, until my allergic reaction.  After that, I tried Tylenol (Acetaminophen) and it kind of helped.  Usually a nap or just going to bed for the night was the cure.  I remember having one horrible migraine either just before I was first pregnant or right after that lasted about 3 days and was so bad I couldn't get out of bed.  My husband finally went to the doctors office and came back with Imitrex.  Miracle medicine for me!  It went away within 2 hours!  I don't remember anything significant like that again until about 6 months after my first son was born.  I started having a headache 4-5 times every week.  This went on for a few months before I went to the doctor.  He prescribed Allegra and an antidepressant (which at the time I did not realize they use to control migraines).  This seemed to work for about 2 months and they slowly started to increase in frequency again.  I waited again I good while before I went to see another doctor because my husband thinks I am a hypochondriac and makes fun of me when I go to the doctor and so I thought I would just tough it out!  It is just a headache, right? 
   Well, in the meantime, I was doing all of the allergy testing and having all of the allergic reactions and such.  It took me about 7 years of headaches 3-5 times a week to finally say enough is enough, I need to see a neurologist and get these under control. 
   Just before this happened, I was talking to one of our family friends who happens to be a pharmaceutical rep.  We were talking about my allergies and all of the things I had tried and the fact that now I have to be on 5, yes that is correct 5, antihistamines a day to keep the reactions from happening.  He asked me if I had ever had my thyroid tested.  I told him, yes, several times because I was often very tired, and had all of the headaches, I had gained 50 lbs since I was married.  UGH!  He told me multiple food allergies, the black under my eyes, and other things I had mentioned were also thyroid related.  He sent me an email to a video talking about thyroid problems and how many times your TSH is normal and the doctor won't look any further, but your thyroid is truly not functioning correctly, causing all these and more symptoms.  He encouraged me to find a doctor who would test more than just my TSH and would treat my thyroid, believing I could really fix some of these problems.  So, I checked out the video found at this link:  No, you do not have to buy their book!  I just took really good notes and wrote down anything that pertained to me and found out there was much more than I realized pointing to my thyroid not functioning properly.
   For the past 3 or 4 years, my blood pressure has been off and on elevated, my hair (which is usually REALLY thick) has been falling out like crazy, my hands are EXTREMELY dry and no amount of lotion helps, I have facial puffiness, I always have black bags under my eyes, and always had a low temp (97.5 of less). . .  I was getting to the point that I would wake up and take my son to school, come back home and climb right back into bed because I was so tired, or just take a nap every day!  It is not that I didn't sleep enough at night, I was getting about 10 hours!  I had one month were I had 28 migraines in one month!  I talked to 3 different doctors before I finally found one who would listen to me.  All of the others just kept saying, your thyroid is fine, it's not your thyroid!
   This doctor was great!  My neurologist was great too, he just couldn't help with the thyroid!  What she had me do was take 3 temperatures a day for 3 days.  The first one you take is 3 hours after you wake up, then 3 hours after that, then 3 hours after that.  She recommend you use a glass thermometer because they are most accurate, but they are expensive and I broke mine in the first week so I was not going to keep buying them!  (You can buy mercury free ones at your pharmacy.  They have a green tip).  Once she had my temps, we started the Wilson's Temperature Syndrome Protocol.  You can find more information about it here:
   I am going to leave you with a little homework this time.  If you or anyone you know has had ANY of the similar experiences I have had, please take the time to watch this video and write down symptoms that pertain to you.  Also, take the time to do the 3 temperatures 3 times a day as I described in the previous paragraph.  I will go into further details of why these are important with Edition 3!  Until next time, happy health!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Mitered Baby Blanket

As I have been getting everything ready for the baby I realized I needed a couple more receiving blankets and I have always loved the mitered corner flannel blankies.  They are so soft and comfy and just the right size for swaddling a newborn baby.  
The size that I like the best is 40" for the back piece and 30" for the front.  This blog post has great directions on how to make a great and simple quilt.  
I got this one done from start to finish in over an hour, even with constant breaks to help my 4 year old.  

This is one of the corners, they turn out practically perfect everytime. :)

These quilts make a great baby shower gift too.  


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