Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My New Year's Resolutions

I {usually} love the anticipation of a new year starting. There are so many unknowns of what that year will hold. However, I already know that at the beginning of 2010 my hubby will be going on his own adventure with the Army...so it is hard to get excited about a year without the love of your life. I know that there will still be adventures out there for me & the boys.

Each year I try to make at least one resolution. I am not one to set out with weight or eating healthy goals. I love baking & goodies too much {check out the baking posts}!! This year I wanted to improve something that I have been trying to be better at, but always fall short.

The first is to be better with family birthdays. Whether I send out a card, make a phone call, or a blog post...I would like to acknowledge birthdays. I love birthdays & feel like they should be a HUGE deal. I usually do really well at the beginning, but a few months in I fall short. This year I am broadening my way of reaching out for birthdays {blogging}.

My second is to keep a daily journal. I plan on getting a daily planner & jotting down a few thoughts or activities from the day. If the boys do or say something funny...write it down. I want to be able to look back at all of the memories. I scrapbook, but am WAY behind. I hope that this will be a yearly thing. Every day is a gift & I want to remember how we used that gift.

What are you resolving to do for 2010?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

We finally got hubby home after being trapped in Philadelphia for a few extra days. It finally is starting to feel like Christmas & I guess that it should because we are only an hour away from CHRISTMAS EVE...Ahhhhhhh! I have spent most of the month keeping busy & now I am wondering where it went. This week has been spent enjoying family!

I hope that everyone has an amazing Christmas! Please remember the meaning. It is fun to open presents & eat the goodies, but remember that this is CHRISTmas! I am so grateful for our Savior & his birth. I pray that we can remember him always!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Teacher Gift

I almost forgot that I have to get teacher gifts done. Preston only has Preschool this week...so I had to get busy. I really am trying to simplify Christmas this year. Last night, I made some yummy homemade oreos & then the light bulb came on. I had seen some cute tins at Walmart a while back. The tins run about $2.50, but they had some plastic containers too. I also bought some ribbon to decorate it with & some tissue paper ($1.00). Here is what I used:

{The recipe for the homemade oreos is the post below.}

Put some tissue paper in the bottom of your tin & then fill it with cookies.

Then, I covered the cookies with another piece of tissue paper. I had some cute mini candy canes that I put on the top.

I centered the lid & then started tying the ribbon onto the handle. I added a cute homemade tag & there it is.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Homemade Oreos

It seems like everyone is making Homemade Oreos right now. I have been in the mood for them for awhile, but haven't had a chance to make them! I finally got a minute after the kids were in bed. They are super easy. There are a lot of recipes out there for Homemade Oreos {mostly the frosting changes}, but this is my favorite. I can't remember where I found it, but I have used it for years.


2 boxes devils food cake mix
4 eggs
3/4 cup oil

Mix all together until there are no lumps. Drop by spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 6-8 minutes. They should start to crack on the top. Put a spoonful of your favorite icing on one and top with another cookie.

Butter Cream Frosting

1/3 C butter, softened
4 C powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
1/4 C milk
a dash of salt

Mix all ingredients to spreading consistency. Add sugar or milk to desired consistency. Add food coloring if you want to. Decorate as you wish.

Store the cookies covered. I find that the cookie softens a bit after the frosting. This time I made red, green, & white frosting.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

On Vacation...

Well, I thought that I should let you know...I AM ON VACATION! I will be back to posting again on Monday, but we have been playing in Vegas for about a week. We are having a great time showing the boys the lights & excitement out here. Have a great week & I will be back in just a bit!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Block Ornaments

I'm back...life has been a bit crazy. I doubt that it will settle down much. But that is part of the charm of Christmas. I love the hustle & bustle.

The other day I saw a very cute idea to make an ornament with block. Here is the link from HOW DOES SHE. Here are the supplies that you need:

♥ small blocks {I found mine at the a thrift store a while back, but you could just cut wood down} any where from 1.5-2 inches.
♥ mod podge
♥ pictures {I just printed out some wallets}
♥ scrapbook paper
♥ paint {& paint brush}
♥ ribbon or string
♥ metal eyes {from the hardware section}
♥ sandpaper {optional}

My blocks were already painted, but if yours are not...paint them. I just peeled the vinyl off of my blocks.

I trimmed my pictures & paper to the size of the blocks. I cut mine a little over so that I could trim it down with sandpaper. Then, mod podge the pictures to the block. Do the same with the paper.

Then I sanded the edges. Place a thin layer of mod podge over the block to seal & protect the pictures & the paper.

After the mod podge is dry...twist in the "eye".

Thread with a ribbon {or string} & TADA..you have a cute personalized ornament. I also put the year on the bottom of the ornament.

I am keeping one for our family & then giving the rest away {shh...don't tell}. I think that I will make a new one each year.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Felt Ornament

I was starting to think about Christmas. I hate feeling like I am "skipping" Thanksgiving, but really...decorating for Christmas isn't too far off. I had some leftover felt from our Halloween costumes & decided to make some ornaments. This is my first one, but I plan on making plenty more in different styles. I am really excited to get my tree up & put these cute little guys on there!

The only problem...for now..is I only have red & white felt. So I guess I need to go & buy some more!

I am linking up with Creative Cat Friday over at Poppies at Play...go check it out!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day!

I can't help but want to thank all of the men & women who protect our freedoms. We have been touched by so many wonderful people through the Army & have so many new friends since our adventure started.

I feel very blessed to have a husband who chose to volunteer & protect our country. I think of all of the men & women who are overseas & their families who are home worrying about them.

Please take the time to tell our Veterans how much you appreciate their sacrifices. I want to thank Grandpa Foster, Grandpa Morgan, my sweet & courageous husband, Chris (KC's uncle), Ken (Becca's husband), Mitch, Jason, Morgan, Dejan, Farah, Jamie, Mary, & other other service men & women that I may have forgotten. Being on the other side as the veteran's spouse...I also want to thank all of the wives & husbands who hold down the fort while their spouse is gone. These are amazing people & they deserve our support. THANK YOU OUR VETERANS!!!

This is one of my favorite pictures. Kaden & his little friend Noah were sitting outside of Walter Reed Army Medical Center watching their Daddy's doing flag duty. It was such an amazing thing to watch. This is the kind of impression I want to leave with the boys about our service men & women.

{reposted for our family blog November 2008}

Monday, November 9, 2009

Not feelin' it!!!

I'm just not feeling very crafty right now. My creativity is on hold for now. My hubby was just told that he will be deploying with the Army & we are trying to prepare for that. I hope to feel crafty soon...it would probably help free my mind, but we will see. I will probably still post recipes{I am an emotional eater & am feeling emotional right now}. I am sure once I am able to fully process what needs to be done & make a plan...my mind will be clearer. What could be more inspiring than Christmas...right? Stay tuned & we will see what happens! Thanks for being understanding!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ranch Chicken

I have had this recipe for a while to try. Today, we finally made it. It is DELICIOUS & really pretty simple! Next time I even have to make more because we ran out. I found the recipe JADI'S FAVORITE RECIPES. This chicken is a new family favorite!

3/4 cup crushed cornflakes (I used original Special K because that is what we had.)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 envelope Ranch Salad Dressing mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

In a shallow bowl, combine cornflakes, Parmesan cheese, and salad dressing mix. Dip chicken in butter, then roll in cornflake mixture to coat.
Place in greased 13X9 inch baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until chicken is done.

Wanna Win?

Over at KEVIN & AMANDA they are having a digital scrapbooking kit GIVEAWAY. They are giving away two different kits: October & November. All that you have to do is leave a comment to be entered! SIMPLE ENOUGH!! If you haven't ever been over to Kevin & Amanda...go NOW!!! They have FREE...yup...FREE fonts that are super cute & she will even make your handwriting into a font. I haven't done it yet, but really want to (STUPID SCANNER)!

If you do go over & enter for the giveaway...if you would please leave my blog address in the comment...I would appreciate it!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Two Down...One to Go!

Well, I have two of my blogs finished. I FINALLY found some creativity in there somewhere. This is the only one left...so keep watching. Maybe tomorrow. We will see!

Thankful Jar

I just posted a great thankful jar idea over at MOMMY GURU. I have seen the idea a few different places & love it!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


If you are in need of some new fall/Thanksgiving decor, or just want to get a headstart on Halloween for next year...head to Joann's. All of their fall...including Thanksgiving is 70% off. Mine still had a ton of stuff, but I wouldn't wait!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Our Halloween Costumes

Ok...so I managed to get our costumes done just in time for Halloween. We were lawn gnomes.

First off...I want to tell you how hard it was to keep a straight face for this picture. We had to take the picture a few times & ended up kicking my brother out of the room. This was the best face we could get. Hubby however...could do the straight face all day long.

Ok...now back to the costumes....I covered adult party hats with red felt with E6000. That strong of glue was maybe a bit overdone, but I wanted to be sure that it was secure. For the beard, I just bought some fur type stuff & free handed a beard shape. I glued the beard to the inside of the hat. I used the scraps of fur for the eyebrows...once again secured by E6000.

I found hubby's pants & my shirt and skirt at a thrift store. it was difficult to find a skirt that was LONG enough! The suspenders are belts from the dollar store that I sewed into suspenders. My apron is just a giant piece of felt that I cut into the shape of a long apron. I think I spent about $15.00 total for both costumes.

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Last week, I was on a quest to find Kaden a Hawaiian shirt for red ribbon week. I'm not sure who came up with the BRILLIANT idea of Hawaiian Day in October especially considering that it has been snowing for the last few days. Now, the only place I could think of to get little big man a Hawaiian shirt in OCTOBER was a thrift store. I found myself driving out to our new DI {twist my arm}. I haven't been out there to check it out since they moved. We managed to find a decent Hawaiian shirt.

Since we were already there I just HAD to wander around. I came across this super cute antique kids desk that we (Kaden & I) both fell in love with. Problem #1: No price tag & Problem #2: I honestly have NO WHERE to keep this adorable little desk. I asked a worker who was right there about the price, but he didn't know. I almost walked away. I SHOULD HAVE WALKED AWAY. I had no intention of pressing the matter any more. Plus, it was destined to be out of my price range...which is next to nothing. Then, the nice worker went to get someone who could price this desk. I was in SHOCK when he priced it at $5.00. How could I walk away from that? So, the boys now know one of their Christmas presents & we have a LARGE task of making room for this desk in their bedroom.

Do I regret it...NO! Hubby even took it surprisingly well. I was prepared for a battle. I really wouldn't have blamed him. The boys share a room & it is beyond full with toys & other kiddo stuff. What better motivation to get rid of stuff? Now, I just need to decide how I am going to refinish it. Any suggestions? What type of sealant would you recommend?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Let them EAT cake....

While I am attempting to finish our costumes...I thought I would post some of the cakes that I have made over the last few years. I have wonderful memories of the cakes that my mom made for me growing up & I want my boys to have those too. I really love to bake & create. I am amazed at what you can turn a cake into.

A few years back...I made my first birthday cake. Kaden had a pirate birthday party & we made a pirate ship. I was stressed & excited, but when it was all said & done...I was so proud. From that moment on....I WAS HOOKED.

The next year...I moved onto a homemade frosting, but I still stick with a boxed cake. Here is Preston's train cake. It was fun & pretty easy, but a bit time consuming! He really loved it! Here is the whole cake:

And now some close ups:

Next came little bigger man's horse cake. It was the EASIEST cake. A little cutting & some frosting...TADA!!!!

I made another pirate cake for "talk like a pirate day".

This is my first (& only..so far) attempt at fondant. I even made marshmallow fondant.

This year Preston had a dinosaur party.

And Kaden went with Monkeys. I actually had a SUPER cute monkey cake picked out, but Kaden really wanted these cupcakes. I think that he made a great choice!

The final cake is this one. Simple & delicious!!! **Notice the cake plate...yup I made that. A charger plate, a candle stick, & some E6000.

Monday, October 26, 2009


I really don't sew. I have an antique sewing machine that my mom was sweet enough to "loan" me, but the tension is all off & it doesn't have the instruction manual. Hubby & I are going to attempt to fix the tension & "create" our own Halloween costumes. Now, there isn't a TON of sewing to do on these & what there is is basic. I am excited to tackle this, but considering I have less than a week...I am down to the wire. Wish me luck & I will post when they are finished!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Win a trip to Disney

I just entered to win a trip to Disneyland. You can enter at on two different websites. Good Luck!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Frankenstein Brownies

I saw some super cute, festive Frankenstein brownies over at CONTROLLING MY CHAOS. I was so excited to make them that I ran right out to get what I needed!

I just made a box brownie mix & let them cool. I cut the brownies into rectangles & put them on a plate.

I decided to make the frosting minty..so I found a recipe to start with & went from there. I couldn't find creme de menthe liqueur so I used mint extract. I will give you the single recipe..I doubled it, but I'm still not sure that I needed to!

Here is the recipe:
1/2 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp mint extract
2 Tbsp milk
green food coloring

Mix all of the ingredients together & continue mixing until fluffy. Frost each brownie rectangle & chill until set.

For the decorating you could use chocolate frosting, but instead I used a chocolate ganache. You will need:

6 Tbsp butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

You can melt your chocolate & butter in the microwave, but I had better luck with a "double boiler". I used a glass bowl over a saucepan with simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat & allow to cool a little.

While your chocolate is cooling...cut some mini marshmallows in half. These will be the whites of your eyes. You will need 1 mini marshmallow per Frankie.

Now that your chocolate has cooled...put it in a piping bag (or ziploc baggie with the corner cut off). I used a small round piping tip that I slid into the corner of a ziploc baggie. Use the chocolate to decorate the hair, mouth, & eye.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie is one of the ULTIMATE comfort foods! I also love to give it to the kiddos because they are getting so many veggies & they either don't know or don't care! Now, it is a little involved & I recommend that you follow the recipes timing, but it is definitely worth it!!! I changed the original recipe to fit my taste..so that is what I am giving you!

5-6 chicken tenders (3 breasts)
32 oz chicken broth
3-4 potatoes
1 yellow onion (I cheat & buy chopped onion in the freezer section!)
3 celery stalks
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 package peas & carrots mixture
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
1 frozen deep dish pie crust bottom**
1 pie crust top (in the dairy case)**

**This makes enough to make 2 pies...so you could use 2 of each pie crusts

1. Place chicken in a pot of cold water just to cover chicken. Add salt, pepper, & garlic powder. Bring to a boil, turn off heat, & cover. Let cool in the pot.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Peel & cut potatoes into bite size pieces & boil until almost fork tender. Drain & set aside.
4. Wash & cut celery into bite size pieces. Cut onions into bite size pieces (or just use the frozen stuff(: ).
5. In a large heavy skillet, saute onion, celery, & olive oil over medium heat for about 5-8 minutes. Add peas & carrots & cook for about 5 minutes. Add flour to veggie mixture & cook for about 30 seconds.
6. Add chicken broth & bring to a boil. After it has become thick, add the potatoes.
7. Remove chicken from the pot & cut into bite size pieces. Add chicken to veggie mixture. Add salt & pepper to taste.
8. Pour mixture into the pie crust bottom. Cover with the pie crust top. Trim the shell down & crimp the edges so that the juices don't spill into your oven. I also put it on a cookie sheet...just in case.
9. Bake at 350 degrees fro 45 minutes or until pie crust is cooked & golden brown.

Stovetop Peach Cobbler

Mmmmmm...this is so tasty & incredibly easy! It is gooey & crispy all at the same time. This is another one of my favorites from allrecipes.com.

Here is the recipe:

1 29 oz can of sliced peaches
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup white sugar
1 packaged yellow cake mix
4 tsp margarine/butter

1. Pour out half of the juice from the can of peaches. Pour the peaches & remaining juice into a large saucepan. Sprinkle cinnamon & sugar over the top of the peaches. Empty the cake MIX evenly over the top of the peaches. DO NOT MAKE THE CAKE MIX...YOU ARE POURING THE POWDERED MIX ON TOP OF THE PEACHES! Cut up your butter into pats & place in the CENTER.

2. Cover the sauce pan with the lid & bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Once steam starts to come from your saucepan, reduce heat to medium low & cook for 10 minutes. DO NOT LIFT THE LID!!! Remove from heat & let sit for 15 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Playdough Cookies

I originally posted this recipe on my other blog, MOMMY GURU. I really love this recipe & thought that I would share it here. I think that I am going to make them this week & use orange & black as the colors. These cookies are really fun & easy to make. My boys love to help make them. You could even put sucker sticks on them & make them a lollipop cookie...hmmm...so many possibilities!

The recipe:

3/4 cup butter (softened)
3 oz cream cheese (room temp)
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla (I added 2 tsp)
2 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1. In large bowl, cream together butter, cream cheese, & sugar until fluffy. Add egg & vanilla & mix until smooth.

2. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, & salt. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir until soft dough forms.

3. Divide dough into fourths. Tint each with a different color of food coloring. Wrap each color of dough separately & chill for 2 hours.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take a small amount of each color & then roll into a snake. Coil the snake starting at one end. Place on cookie sheet & bake for about 8 minutes.

Friday, October 16, 2009


I haven't made any super fun Halloween treats yet, but I thought I would share some cupcakes that I made last year.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I love Halloween, but don't want to spend a lot on decorations. Here is a cute, CHEAP Halloween decoration that is so easy to make. I got all of the stuff that I needed for a total of $2.00. I made four & could make so many more. I love having the ghost hang from our trees in the front yard. The boys love them too!

I bought garbage bags (without the string in them) & balloons at the dollar store. I already had fishing line & a black sharpie at home. You could use newspaper instead of the balloon, but I like having the tied part of the balloon to hang the ghost from.

Blow up your balloon (not with helium). Take the bottom of your garbage bag..the sealed side & make a small slit in the center. This is where the knot of the balloon will come out. Feed the knot through the hole in the garbage bag. Using your sharpie, draw eyes onto the garbage bag where the balloon is. Tie fishing line to balloon knot. Last year I left it at that, but this year I added extra fishing line to the corners to make arms.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mummy Heads

My house is SERIOUSLY lacking in Halloween decor. I came across this idea on the internet {somewhere}. I went to look for some balls, but they were too expensive...until I stumble upon the kids craft section at Walmart. They had styrofoam balls 6/$3.50. Now that I could do!!! I painted the balls black. Be prepared...styrofoam takes a long time to dry! I used my handy dandy hot glue gun & glued on some google eyes. Then, wrap gauze around the balls. I used more hot glue just to tack the gauze in place.

I linked up to Creative Cat over at Poppies at Play. Go & check out the amazing ideas over there.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Recipe Box

I found this recipe box on clearance a while back. It was ok, but could be cuter!

I used a line from My Mind's Eye called Penny Lane. I love their paper!!! A little (or a lot) of Modge Podge & it is so much cuter. The top could use a little help, but I'll get to that eventually!

I am working on covering the recipe card dividers, but had to put that on hold for house work...BOOOOOO!!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Nachos Dulces

This is one of my favorite treats! There is a restaurant near my house that serves Nachos Dulces & we love it! I figured out how to recreate it. There are two ways to make it. I will tell you about both...because I am just nice like that! :) It is really easy & pretty basic.

Here is what you need:

flour tortillas
sugar/cinnamon mixture
canola oil spray
vanilla ice cream
honey butter

This is my favorite way of making this:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. I like to line my cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper. That was it is easier to clean up! I used 2 tortillas for my treat. Spray both sides of your tortillas with the canola oil spray. Sprinkle only one side of each tortilla with your cinnamon & sugar mixture. Cut into 8 slices. I usually use a pizza cutter, but you could just use a knife.

Bake for about 10 minutes. Your tortillas need to be crispy like chips, but watch that your sugar doesn't burn. Once they are finished cooking...lay the tortilla "chips" out onto your plate. Drizzle honey butter on the top of your chips. Then scoop your vanilla ice cream on top. I like to sprinkle a little more cinnamon & sugar on the top of the ice cream.

The other variation...that my hubby prefers is instead of baking your tortillas in the oven...heat some canola oil in a frying pan. While your oil is heating, cut your tortillas into 8 pieces. Fry the tortillas until golden brown & then put on a plate covered with a paper towel to drain off the greased. Place the tortilla "chips" onto another plate & sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar. Then continue to layer as above with honey butter & ice cream.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Slow Cooker Chili

I am still all about the crock pot. The temperature in Utah has DROPPED & I am all about the warm comfort foods now. Tonight I decided to make some chili & corn bread. You can find my corn bread recipe HERE. It is super moist & yummy! Now for the chili. I found this recipe years ago on http://www.allrecipes.com/ long. It is really simple & the kids can easily help.

Here is what you need:

1-2 pounds ground beef (it depends on how beefy you want it)
2-16 oz cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2-14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained (I buy the kind with green pepper & onion)
1-8 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper

In a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Put your meat in the slow cooker. Add the next seven ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4 hours.

We like to garnish our chili with a dollop of sour cream & some shredded cheddar cheese.

Coming up...

I have a few everyday projects to finish (& post). After, I get those finished...I will be moving onto Halloween. I have a few fun ideas, but I feel the need to get the everyday stuff finished first. Hopefully by next week I will be posting some fun Halloween stuff!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


A few months ago, I found these frames (for $1.00 each) & knew that I wanted to use them in the bathroom, but I wasn't exactly sure how.

I have loved all of the cute trees made out of circles of paper, but couldn't find the paper that I needed. Last week, I came across the perfect paper. Here is my finished product:

I love how it turned out! I just hope that they will hold up in the bathroom!

I linked up on Creative Cat over at Poppies at Play.
Go check out all of the fun ideas over there!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Decorative Topiary

I have been wanting to make some decorative balls for a while. I came across a blog called That's so Cuegly that made a ton of different variations HERE. This weekend my mom gave me the cutest vase that would be perfect for one of these ideas!

Here is what you need:

a vase
Spanish moss
green moss (not pictured)
small balls
floral foam

The sticks are just from my tree outside. I found the balls while cleaning out the toy box. The Spanish moss & floral foam are from the Dollar Tree.

First I filled the vase with floral foam.

Then, I put hot glue on top of the floral foam & added the Spanish moss.

Set the vase aside. Poke a hole in the bottom of the ball. I just used scissors, but you could use a drill.

I decided that I needed greener moss after I took the "what you will need picture". I bought this at Walmart.

In small sections...put glue on & then put moss over the glue. I used big clumps at first & then filled in the bare spots with the smaller pieces. Keep track of the hole at the bottom of your ball.

Trim your stick to the size that you want. Put them into the floral foam & then stick the balls onto the top. I tied some ribbon on my vase & the sticks.

I will be making some more decorative balls this week!


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