Sunday, March 29, 2009

All week long

All week long this beautiful stack of fabric has been staring at me. We came home from the ranch last Saturday and I saw the package on my doorstep and couldn't wait to get into it, but unfortunately we arrived late for a party, with filthy dirty kids, to a house that smelled like puke, with a clogged kitchen sink, and piles and piles (and piles) of laundry. I finally opened the box and took this picture, but didn't get to do anything with it until yesterday. Lindsey introduced me to J. Caroline Creative and I got a little carried away and spent all my Easter dress budget, so now I really have to get sewing! I literally worked all day yesterday on Miss G's dress- it's almost done. I think it's really cute, and although I was extremely careful with all my measuring and cutting, following every step with exactness, including marking, notching, basting, pressing etc, I still managed to end up with side seams that don't quite match up, and a slightly off center zipper, but I'm going with it anyways. Pictures hopefully tomorrow!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Food Storage Friday #7

I think I'm just up still because I'm waiting for the new Peachy Cheap deal to show up! (or because Sam is watching a movie in here) But since it's Friday, and since Shauna requested a gardening FSF, here you go. Recently I heard someone say that if you are not producing your own food, then you are not truly living providently. Since most of us can't create a self sustaining farm, I don't think that's necessarily the goal, but I think with a little effort, anyone can start to grow some of their own food. A simple first step would be to plant a fruit tree, or 2, or 3. They are relatively affordable when they are small and within a couple years you'll have some real live food growing in your yard. If you want to get a little more involved, get a pot and plant some tomatoes, or herbs. One step further, start your own little raised bed garden. We used the method from the book Square Foot Gardening for the little gardens in my yard, but Better Homes & Gardens had an article for building and planting raised bed gardens you can read HERE. I like this method because it doesn't involve re-routing my sprinkler system, or worrying about "bad" soil. The soil recipe from the book, called Mel's Mix, is just equal parts compost, peat moss and vermiculite, all things you can get from Home Depot.So far mine is doing well- even some of the seeds have sprouted, I think I watered them too hard and made them sink down in the soil so they took a little longer to make it to the top. I'll have to take some pictures later and post them- the one above was taken before we planted anything. The mesh wall going up the side is for vine plants to climb up. It's taken me a long time to stop being afraid to plant a garden but I'm really excited to see the results- so go plant something, isn't Arbor Day or Earth Day coming up?

Monday, March 23, 2009

What we've been up to

The kids went back to school today and it was nice to get my house (mostly) back into shape but I have seen some benefits to having them home and thinking summer might not be something to dread afterall...We had our St Patricks day cupcake and lemonade stand and it was quite a success- somehow they ended up making $25 to share between the 5 kids who worked it. (thanks Papa) We got a bit of a garden started too, thanks to my wonderful mom for getting my 2 grow boxes ready. I was so intimidated to get started but now I wonder why, it's not hard. The plants we put in are growing great but only a couple of the seeds sprouted, I am going to blame it on my kids somehow... I can't wait to start getting some tomatoes and peppers!My [big huge] little baby just keeps growing up and it's not fair! He gets bigger every day and it's so fun to see him doing new things but I wish we could just slow things down and keep him a baby a little longer. My favorite is his "uh-ooooooohhhhh." He says it slow and low every time he drops something, or thinks about dropping something, it cracks me up.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Sorry for the late post- we went out of town for a few days and I had internet but no e-mail and I wanted to contact the winner before I posted it. Once home we've had one adventure after another and now I am just going to have to go to bed without doing all the things I needed to do! But just in case you've been waiting to find out, Random Number Generator chose #2 out of 20 so the winner is blueviolet who said... "What a wonderful giveaway; the perfect date night. I did see the movie and like you, it certainly didn't offer any award winning acting but the underlying message was real and honest and worthwhile." Thanks so much for entering all of you- I was afraid I would only get my usual 3-4 comments so this was great! I will have to find something to giveaway again sometime.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Food Storage Friday #6

Hello and welcome to Food Storage Friday! Just a quick reminder that you still have a few hours left to enter the Guilt Free Date Night Giveaway if you scroll down. Today I want to talk about alternative fuel- If you are like me and don't have the means or space to buy a generator and store up gallons of gasoline, you need to think of other ways you will be able to have light, heat and cook in case of emergency. Candles, flashlights or camping lanterns are easy for light. (remember the matches) A simple and affordable option for cooking is to make (or buy) a solar oven. They really work- my mom has prepared several of her regular recipes this way with no problems. A great place to go if you want to make one is They have pictures and step by step instructions for many different types. Easier than cooking with a solar oven is cooking with charcoal on a grill, box oven or with a dutch oven. Get a large Rubbermaid style trash can with a tight fitting lid and fill it up with charcoal briquettes- they will stay safe and usable there for a long time. You can make your own box oven easily too- for instructions, see HERE. The only thing I would do differently is use small pop cans in the bottom of the box and then put a wire rack, (like you use to cool cookies) on top of them over the charcoal, and put the lid on top. I also found a simple chart that details some of the advantages and disadvantages of other types of fuel HERE. Ok! Hopefully that gives you something to think about and a place to start. I think making a box or solar oven would be a fun family activity, then you could try baking some brownies or something in there. Let me know if you make one- take a picture and send me the link!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring Break Crafts for Kids

It's spring break here and I'm doing my best to be fun and excited about it! Here are some great kid-craft websites that can help you and your kids have fun if you're doing spring break "staycation" style too:
Family Fun Magazine -tons and tons of simple cute crafts kids would love
Kids Crafts Weekly -this one comes as a weekly newsletter filled with lots of simple ideas, perfect for kids
DLTK Kids Crafts- my sister introduced me to this one and it has lots of easy crafts for kids using supplies you probably already have. It has an option to search by supplies- handy!
Free Kids Crafts- this site has a new craft featured every day- perfect!
One Hour Craft- if you can just keep scrolling down past the "comfy thong" and if you can ignore the way they spell "organizing" you will be happy! Maybe click right on the "Kids Craft" category on the right hand side to narrow it down. I am especially excited about the tutorial for kids sewing lessons! Miss B has been dying to learn to sew and I think these lesson instructions will work well for us. See it HERE.
Today is easy, we're going to do our cupcake and lemonade stand again- green lemonade this time, so we can spend some time making signs, banners, and cupcake flags to get ready, as well as baking, frosting, and juicing!
Don't forget to scroll down and enter the Guilt Free Date Night Giveaway below- you have until Friday if you haven't entered yet. I am really excited for whoever wins!

Guilt-Free Date Night Giveaway!

Today I'm excited to do (my first) blog giveaway! We tried Chili's Guiltless Grill this weekend and it was good. I thought I would miss my usual Boneless Buffalo Wings or Big Mouth Burger but I was pleasantly surprised at how good our food tasted. All of the Guiltless Grill items are under 750 calories and 25 grams of fat and come with a good sized side of steamed vegetables. I tried the Chicken Platter and Sam had the Carne Asada Steak. I expected his steak to be miniature but it was actually a good size.I got 4 certificates from BzzAgent and it was tempting to keep the other 2 for ourselves but ultimately decided it would be better to have a a giveaway to spread the word about the Guiltless Grill menu. Besides the grilled chicken and steak, they have a chicken sandwich, grilled salmon, black bean burger, grilled tilapia or honey glazed salmon available too. Leave a comment on this post and you'll be entered to win 2 certificates for a free Guiltless Grill entree from Chili's, and I'm going to throw in my copy of the movie Fireproof. Enjoy a delicious, light dinner with your sweetheart, then go home and watch Fireproof together. If you are married and haven't seen Fireproof, I recommend it. It's not going to win any awards for sure, and I admit biting my tongue so I wouldn't laugh at some of the cliches but it really is a feel-good movie with an important message. If you don't win, consider buying a copy for yourself to show support. After you watch it pass it on to a friend. My mom bought copies of the movie for all of her married kids for Valentines and I confess my first thought was I wasn't particularly interested in watching a Christian movie about marriage, then I remembered I am a Christian! And I'm married. And Kirk Cameron is still kind of cute. If you seek after things "virtuous, lovely, of good report or praiseworthy," this movie is for you! So leave a comment on this post by midnight Friday 3/20 and I will announce the winner (chosen by random number generator) Saturday. Good luck!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Food Storage Friday #5

Today we're talking 72 hour kits! If you live somewhere disaster prone you better have these already, and even if you don't they are a good idea. If something should happen and you had to load up and leave, it would be nice to have all the basics together and ready to throw in the car. The Red Cross and FEMA recommend gathering 3 days (72 hours) of supplies. You can buy them basically ready made (take some of your tax refund money!) or put together your own. We have a backpack for each member of our family, packed and ready near the garage. (ok so we're one short since our family has grown this last year but I'll make that a priority!) There are tons of lists online, this website has a lot of good ideas to get you going: Remember that it's an ongoing process- gather what you have, and make a list of what you need and add to it as you can. Plan a time once or twice a year to go through and check what you have, replace expired food and outgrown clothes etc. I try to remember to do this the first weekend in April and October. (General Conference weekends) Free samples are all over the internet and are perfect to throw in your kits rather than buying travel sizes of everything. Walmart's website always has a few samples you can get HERE and the Dove website also usually has something, HERE. You can get the kids involved in this stuff too- Homeland Security has a website for kids with activities and games and ideas for them to help out too, click HERE.
I've been in a blogging funk- don't give up on me! I have big plans- my first giveaway coming up next week and it's a good one!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Art Wall Project

This etsy shop has some really unique vinyl wall art- I think these are so cool! Check out Art Wall Project HERE.

and I'm sorry for my lack of blogging lately- my brain is all over the place and nothing seems to be getting done! I will have a Food Storage Friday post for you tomorrow- I know you can't wait. I also took the plunge and ordered some fabric and sewing patterns, I'm really excited to try sewing again.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


If you have a minute and a half, this is well worth your time.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Easter Eggs

Ok aren't those the cutest little egg holders ever? Williams Sonoma is full of adorable Easter things right now. If those wired egg holders aren't in your budget, (like me) Creating Keepsakes Blog has some cute paper ones you can download and print instead of those ones you punch out of the egg dying kit! Find those HERE. I also thought these tissue wrapped eggs were really pretty, I want to wrap some chocolate eggs up for my kids Easter baskets to look like these.