Monday, August 11, 2008


Hey ladies, I will be going on a 5 day vacation and the computer's stayin'!

When I get back I have lots of plans and ideas, like letting you take a peek into our Classroom/Arts and Crafts room, more Toddler Time activities, Potty Training, Bible activities for kids, and I will dive deeper into our new healthy (eating) lifestyle and my deep hatred for high-fructose corn syrup ;)
Please check back around the 20th!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Back to School Goodies

I obviously don't have a little one in school, but I'm the aunt to two kiddoes who will be heading back before we know it! I wanted to do something special for them so I got to baking! Yikes... I must warn you, I love to organize, I love crafting and I love baking. Thing is, I'm not so great at baking. Before Rachel Ray, I though there was something was wrong with me! But as she proudly proclaims, "we can't all be bakers!"

Still, I try. :)

I saw the cutest pencil cake in an old copy of Family Fun magazine that I'd been saving.

I was knee-deep in making the cake when I realized, I only had enough butter for half of what the recipe called for. Just my luck. So, here is my version of the "mini" pencil cake.

If you'd like to see how it's supposed to look, check out the recipe here :)

(I made homemade brownies as opposed to store bought and they did not crumble.)

I also made homemade chocolate and white chocolate chip cookies and came up with these little treat baggies for the kids:

Just shape pipecleaners into letters (initials) and tie off with curly ribbon. Make another knot and slip a crayon through. Yepp, creativity as opposed to frosting a cake is definitely more my speed!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

"Picnic" at the Park

Once a week or so I take my little monkey to the park for dinner on a weeknight. There are many up-sides to doing it this way. One is that around dinner time it's not so hot! Another is that if you wait for the weekend, it may rain, or in our case, it's just too crowded! Usually we brown bag it, but sometimes we splurge and get fast food and she's always so excited to get to drink a "big girl drink"!

This week she wanted to climb the stairs herself...(gulp) and slide down herself. (double gulp) Needless to say, she slid down her way. WHEW!

I usually don't bring the camera, I don't want to take away from the fun and our time together, but this time she was on a roll, so I'm glad I did!
While walking to feed the ducks, she learned "quack quack"! (Up until now it was "duck duck", go figure, lol)

Friday, August 8, 2008

FREE Organic Lifestyle Magazine Subscription

Check out the email I got from Annie's, this is great!

This fall, Annie's fans get a great back-to-school treat -- a free subscription to KIWI Magazine! Simply purchase any ONE (1) of Annie's yummy products, between August 1 and October 31, 2008, and sign up online at www.Annies.com/kiwimagoffer to receive a free one-year subscription to KIWI.

We have a treat for schools as well! Because Annie’s believes that gardening is the tool to connect kids with real food, we’re teaming up with KIWI® Magazine and the National Gardening Association to support garden projects in schools. We’ll donate $35,000 to the National Gardening Association’s Adopt a School Garden Program™, and will give away 100 Organic Garden Kits to schools across the country.

The easiest product to find is their organic macaroni and cheese. Even our po-dunk Wal-Mart carries it. Some of their products include cereal, ketchup, canned goods and snacks like "cheddar bunnies". These can usually be found in the organic section.

Visit Annie's Homegrown for all of the details. While you're at it, take a look at KIWI Magazine. It's an "Organic Family Lifestyle and Parenting Magazine"! I'm super excited about this!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Toddler Tip Time

Sometimes when I have things that just need to get done and I cannot do a craft alongside my daughter, I have to get creative in ways she can do crafts without my help. She loves stickers and I think putting stickers onto paper builds great hand-eye coordination. Problem is, stickers can sometimes frustrate her! I have come up with a pretty simple solution:

I take the background (which is one big sticker itself) off and only the stickers remain. It makes it so much easier for her to peel them off and stick them as she pleases.

This morning I tried to teach her to keep the stickers "inside the box" and I think she did wonderfully!

She was very proud when mommy put it on her "Art Wall" in her classroom!

Works for me Wednesday

I hate, loathe, and dispise cling wrap. The only thing I ever get it to cling to is the cling wrap itself. Seriously. I try, get upset, and end up tossing the darn stuff.

Well, a couple at my church recently had a baby and I made them a little something so they wouldn't have to cook. Out of shear aggrivation, I grabbed a large baggie, cut the zipper of the top and used it instead. The weight of the bottom was just right and I finished it off with a ribbon.

Why had I never thought of this before?!

THAT works for me. Buh-bye cling wrap and the frustrations you have caused me!

Chew on This...

...or don't. I got a bunch of this stuff a while back at CVS for free. Take a gander at the box:


"Strong Heart"

"Lightly Sweetened"

Since when does high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oil, tons of salt, artificial vanilla flavor, and malt flavoring translate into healthy?? I counted AT LEAST 5 ingredients that are just plain sugar with different names.
Gee, that's really a "smart start" to your day.

I'm sorry, but this doesn't seem fair to me that they could market it this way. I am working on a post about this sort of thing. You would be really surprised what I found out.. it's pretty disturbing! I could have read the box before I "bought" it but why would I have any reason to doubt it? Thank you, Kelloggs, I am now a label Nazi!

Wordless Wednesday

my little doll :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My Favorite Things

This week I want to share with you my favorite kitchen "gadget" and it was FREE. It's a rubber-gripper-thingamajig that helps you open stuff. LOL. It has saved my hiney in the kitchen more times than a few. Especially with hubby being gone, it definitely has been my strong arm lately (Miss you baby!)

It can open bottles, cans, sippy cup lids when wet, nail polish, you name it.

I got this in a goody-bag from an Alzheimer's Walk sis and I did (with other sis) a while back. It was donated by a local vendor. When I was looking for a picture of this fantastic invention, I saw that many pictures were for promo items. So that leads me to believe that you can definitely get one free for yourself, too! Keep your eyes peeled! I love this thing!

Check out what others are loving this week at Fiddledeedee!

I've won an award!

Mama Koala presented me with the Blog Award above! I am so flattered, wish I had a speech prepared ;) I am a loyal reader of her blog and to be listed with the other blogs I read (and aspire to be like) on a daily basis leaves me speechless! So thank you so much Koala Mama! You can check out her blog here: http://koalamama.blogspot.com/ She has such awesome tips and links for being frugal, being a mommy, and everything in between. ADD HER to your blogroll, ladies! She's got it goin' on!

I have made many great friends out here on the blogosphere, so I am purposely not nominating any of you gals. ;) Reason being is because I want to turn you on to the blogs that I want you to love, too! Check out these awesome blogs you may never have found if it weren't for reading this post:

I think her daily life is both adorable and inspiring and she has great posts on homemade stuff and some really healthy and yummy recipes.
Laura at Heavenly Homemakers. All I can say is WOW, WOW, and WOW. This gal is my muse! Check out her pantry and recipes. OMW I want to be you, Laura! I am well on my way thanks to this blog.

Keeper of the Home. You got that right, she does it beautifully! Stephanie, you are amazing, girl! All of your posts have transformed my life and the life of my family.

Likely Classroom. Such cute ideas for FREE FUN and teaching little ones at the same time. You rock, momma!

Lindsay at Passionate Homemaking. Ok. I want to be her, too, lol. I love their healthy lifestyle. I have learned so much from reading her blog, it is no less than amazing. She also has such a great way with words when it comes to her love for the Lord. She is very inspiring.

The Coupon Diva. Her name says it all. BLOWS ME AWAY!

Here are the rules for the winners:
1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to you.
3. Nominate at least 5 other blogs.
4. Add links to these blogs on your blog.- Don't forget this step. This is great free advertising!
5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.

(I cheated and chose 6 because technically two are actual sites and I had to nominate them so they and you would know how great they are!)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Just for Fun...

Monkey and I dance to this all the time and this song just gets me so PUMPED :)
(Pretty cute to see a toddler get so excited about a song like this, too!)

I love this:
I tried driving solo but I finished on "E" ...

Spreading the "Tackle it" Love!

I've been at my mom's for the past few days and I got to tackle her pantry!! (Is this normal to be so excited to actually want to tackle someone else's home to fuel my organization hunger? PROBABLY NOT, lol)

I always tease her, "Mom, how are you going to know you have enough pasta if its on the bottom shelf with the chips?" After more than a few comments, she finally said the magic words, "Well, get in there, girl!" :)

I am so insanely jealous that she has a closet pantry. We used to in our old house and I miss it! I had been wanting to tackle it for forever because I wanted to put an over-the-door shoe organizer on that pantry door! She was so excited..not as much as me of course, but again, I'm an odd duck when it comes to this stuff ;)

So here we go..
(It's not an actual "before" shot, because I realize that the shelf with the cans was already started. Whoopsie.)


Oh, and how I adore this can organizer. Won't fit in my dinky cabinents :(

Isn't this awesome!?

I spread the clear glass container love, too. Something so crisp, clean, and organized about kitchen staples being in clear glass containers. (sigh. love.) Didn't remember to get a pic, though. Hmph.

Oh, and guess what my mom purchased? A LABEL MAKER!! The disease is spreading!!

Toddler Time

"Homemade" Crayons!
This is super easy and gives new life to crayon bits!

Just take all your crayon bits, remove the paper, and arrange in your tins. You could get really creative with your color mixtures, but I made it pretty simple considering it was the first try. Note: I do not recommend "cheapo" crayons. It may have just been a fluke, but once they were molded, they didn't color anymore. So, stock up on the cheap Crayolas while you can!

You could use any shaped muffin tin or mold pan, I just happened to score a heart shaped one at the dollar store!

Pop in the oven at about 200 degrees.. just keep an eye on them! Once melted, set out until dried and molded. Mine popped out easily once cooled, so you shouldn't have any problems.

Perfect for little one's hands. I sprang for the Tadoodles a while back and trust me, they were not worth the money!

I will be using these for goody-bags and holidays. Very original and creative and I can't think of a kid who wouldn't love these!

Wordless Wednesday


I am so proud of my girl!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I am grateful for being a stay at home mommy because:

I know what "go go" means (Diego); what "see see" means (Jesus); what "I wanna wead" means (our bible story time).

I get "monkey kisses" anytime I want.

I get to blow bubbles and make her squeal with such innocent joy.

I get to watch her hair glisten in the sun as "we" water our plants together.

I can lay on the floor like a kid myself and color with my girl.

I have a little buddy that loves to follow me and "help".

I know what my daughter is eating, seeing, and hearing.

I get to dry my daughter's tears. I get to hold her hand. She will always know that I will always be there whenever she needs me.

Bathtime is rarely rushed :)

I am raising my daughter.


I (almost) always have an empty laundry basket.

I can listen to praise and worship music all day if I want to. (and I do!)

I keep a clean home where memories are made and fun is had on a daily basis

I get to wear an apron as my uniform ;)
I now see God's miracles and beauty in the eyes of a child.

I have a deeper gratitude and love for my mother more and more each day.

None of these could be accomplished if I was working outside the home. Money may be tight without the extra income, but in my life, I could never put a price on this:

This is what I live for. God has called me to do the best job in the world, which isn't a "job" at all.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Here are the rules:
1. link the person(s) who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Here we go!

1. I highlight, make notes, and use sticky tabs in every book or magazine I read. It helps me absorb it more ;)

2. I'm a containerizing/labelizing junkie.

3. My toes are never still. They have a mind of their own and make my mood a dead giveaway. Hubbie will often ask if I'm "stressin" because they will stick straight up in the air. (even when I don't realize they are doing it!)

4. You know I'm annoyed when I scratch the back of my head/hair. Mom does it, too. Weird.

5. I have no (nil, zero) patience for people who smack their food!!!!

6. I vacuum AT LEAST twice a day.

I was tagged by Sis at http://mommyminded.blogspot.com/

Okay, here are the people I will tag....

1. Sarah at Fiddledeedee http://fiddledeedeeblog.blogspot.com/

2. Trina at Fabulously Frugalicious http://fabulouslyfrugalicious.blogspot.com/

3. Tasha at Comical Coupon Cents http://comicalcouponcents.blogspot.com/

4. Annie at Me and My Three Boys http://indecisivemomoftwo.blogspot.com/
5. Elizabeth at Our Small Town Blessings http://smalltownblessings.blogspot.com/

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday's Sermon

I am going to be posting weekly what our Sunday's sermon was about in hopes to share His Word and how I'll be applying it to my life, so you can, too.

I also thought it may help to give you all a little something to read on Sunday without any participation, as Sundays are the day of rest, and the time to spend time with our families!

Today we learned about fearing the Lord. Something I never really and truly understood until it was explained like this: You cannot respect the Lord until you fear Him.
Like it says in the Bible, the ones who actually were before God fell to their knees in honor and awe. This cannot be accomplished without fearing Him. (Otherwise, you would just be like hey God, what's up, lol) We learned that some people are initially saved by the fear of being sent to Hell alone. And that's okay. I personally came to know Him because I love Him and I am grateful for all the marvelous things He has done. This is the same way I feel about my parents. Some children do what they are told because they have to or because they are scared of the consequences. I honestly was not that kind of child. (Seriously!) I legitimately loved my parents and didn't want to do anything to disappoint them. I respected them. But, had I not feared their disappointment or value their opinion and love, I would not have respected them so. Sounds simple enough, but very profound when thinking of how I live my life for Him.

Which brings me to the next point:
"The fear of the Lord will affect our deliverance and our worship."
This one hit me like a ton of bricks and something I am really struggling with lately. In church, I do not feel comfortable singing His praises, but my poor daughter must be getting really tired of me singing to all my praise and worship cds in the car, and in our home 24/7! See the problem? Where is my fear (and respect, honor, and awe) in showing Him my whole heart when I sing publicly? Am I too worried about what people are thinking? Am I worried that someone might hear my terrible singing voice? Yes, yes. But that doesn't interfere with being "myself" at home. Why? Because, I am not fearing Him the way I should or these things would not matter to me, no matter where I am.

Which is no coincidence that the next point is this: "We will have a strong confidence in our life by our fear of the Lord." (This would be my AHA! moment, lol) All of my insecurities and worries should not be interfering with praising and worshipping Him! If I fully fear and love Him, again, these things should not matter. I will try to remind myself of this when I have money worries or things just don't "go my way" That strong confidence I have in fearing and respecting Him will remind me that HE IS HERE. He is always here with me and it will all be okay. I really need to put this into application, because it couldn't be more true. I also need to apply this confidence when it comes to spreading His word and being a "vocal" disciple for Him. I struggle with this and I know it is part of my Christian responsibility. (Hopefully "blogging" this is a good start!)

Next, "the fear of God is a great restraint for Evil". Evil of course, meaning anything against God. This to me, in a nutshell, means that while we have man's law, we also have God's law, and the latter should be feared because of eternity. It also reminds me of the angel on one shoulder and devil on the other. 'Nuff said.

"The fear of God will produce purity." If I know God and I know what He expects from me, and I fear Him, I will live a life that is pleasing to Him. (Kinda goes along with being a good son or daughter to your parents if you fear and respect them!)

"The fear of God will affect your whole life." The last and my favorite. So very true. Fearing Him will affect my thoughts, actions, the words that come out of my mouth, how I live, what kind of wife, mother, daughter I am, the list goes on. Fearing His disappointment in me, fearing His judgment, and loving, honoring and respecting Him, and being totally in awe of Him will AFFECT my whole life.

Further and similar reading:
Romans 3:18-31
Ecclesiastes 5: 1-7
Ephesians 5:21
Psalm 34:7

I have to acknowledge my wonderful pastor, who does not read my blog, but through him some of these wonderful points were made.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Then Sings my Soul Saturday

Only Grace
Matthew West

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

Hebrews 4:16

Friday, July 18, 2008

Cooking for Kids

Tonight I made monkey Mickey Mouse Pizza. I totally cheated and used a box mix for pizza crust (pressed for time) but check back next week, and I will have a whole wheat recipe for you!
It's pretty simple, just roll out your dough and use a small biscuit cutter for the ears. You could use anything small and circular. I used a cup for the face.

Press the ears into the face and viola! A cute little Mickey Mouse pizza!

She was so excited! It made me a little sad to have to cut it up, lol :(

I also made "fried" green beans by sauteing green beens in italian bread crumbs and EVOO Spray. Not totally healthy, but also, not fried. It fooled her, and she hates green beans! (I tried them and they were very yummy!)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Toddler Time

Another Toddler Time post for this week since I just got the pics from last week's activity and they turned out so, so cute!!

Meet my little sister, Hanlee, by the way :)

I hit the Dollar Tree and got foam shaped flowers (stickers), foam door knob hangers, and foam letters (also stickers) and sat the girls down with their supplies and a muffin tin and the fun began!

We talked about the colors and I worked with Monkey on matching the colors in each of the muffin tins.

So, $3.00 for an activity they had a blast with, an opportunity to work on our colors, hand-eye coordination, and memories and keepsakes that we will forever cherish!