Saturday, February 27, 2010

Some Winter Fun!

You might have noticed I haven't been around much updating my blog or adding new bags to my Etsy shop. I've been playing hooky!

We had some family visiting us from the East coast this past week. So we spent lots of time eating, hanging out, eating, playing outside, and well, eating! But seriously, we had lots of fun and enjoyed sledding one day. The sun actually came out while the ground was snow covered so the weather couldn't have been better.
The kids had a blast. I was a little sad as Camille no longer wants one of us to sled with her. She sleds at school a lot and considers herself a pro now. In fact, she made it quite clear that we were "holding her back". It's so subtle how kids slowly let go of your hand until a specific moment confirms it.

Yikes, I wonder what's next?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Latest Find

I love crocheting and have tremendous respect for people that are able to use this craft in a modern and intricate way. I found this great Etsy shop, namolio, that does just that. She also uses linen (one of my favorite fabrics) in her fresh, natural designs.

Now, I know I can make a pincushion for myself, but hers are just so beautiful. Mine wouldn't even compare.

If you know anyone with a sewing passion, you must get one of these as a gift. You will be much loved!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

February Reading

Those of you that check in here on a regular basis, know that one of my goals for 2010 is to consistently feed my love of reading. I want to read a minimum of two books per month. I've already met my goal for this month and couldn't have picked a better selection.

The first book I read was Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover. My husband and I were first inspired by this guy in November, 2008. Since then, his principles have completely changed our financial situation and outlook. We are debt free (except for our mortgage), have an emergency savings established, have investigated and gotten the appropriate insurance coverages, and are now saving for our next car so we can pay outright for it (no more payments & interest for us!).

We've done all this by establishing a bi-monthly budget (something we never did before and is actually VERY easy!) and now tell our money where it's going. We've learned to live within our means and have discovered that when doing so, you really don't have to do without because your priorities will have changed. I can't tell you what a blessing this has been!

I already knew most of the ideas/concepts in this book and have put them into practice, but it was great reinforcement and encouragement to continue down this path. There are tons of actual, real-life stories from everyday people like you and me that help put everything into perspective. Plus, I got some more great ideas regarding retirement planning. A definite must-read!

The other book I read was Kirk Cameron's Still Growing autobiography. I loved "Growing Pain's" when I was a kid so I couldn't wait to read this book. I have to admit I was even more interested in his family and spiritual life though. Him and his wife have six children (yikes!) and live such a devoted Christ-following lifestyle. For anyone that is currently going through a spiritual search or wants to be uplifted, this book is for you.

The first half talks about his childhood and life on the show. It seems to jump around a lot by subject which I found a pain to follow. I would have preferred chronological age order, but no biggee. His faith story is in the second half of the book along with insight into his marriage and daily life.

Kirk is a very bold person and stands strong for his beliefs. This is something I really admire and made the book so enjoyable for me. In our society, celebrities are put on pedestals and money/possessions define their status. If we were all honest, we would admit most of us follow in this suit as well (to different degrees). It's great to see a person that has broken out of that mold, holds true to his convictions and lives them out on a daily basis. Very inspiring!

Monday, February 15, 2010


I hope everyone had a great Valentines Day. Even if you didn't get a bouquet of roses, a heart shaped box of goodies, or a big stuffed animal, I'm sure your day was special. Maybe you got some encouraging words from a friend or family member, maybe your kids made you a special gift, or maybe you got some precious alone time. The little things count too.

We started the day with banana slices arranged in a heart, then chocolate covered strawberries, and finally some Valentines cookies. We had a sweet day, can't you tell? I made the cookies posted here, and we were not disappointed. They are easily my favorite.

The kids loved sprinkling the sugar on top. I love the way the swirled ones turned out. I can't wait to try these again and put them on a stick in a cookie bouquet.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hot Chocolate

UPDATE: This hot chocolate is so yummy! We all devoured it within minutes (even without marshmallows!)

My kids have been on a huge hot chocolate kick lately. Not sure if it's because it's so cold or maybe they just want something sweet. I'm starting to think it's all about the marshmallows though!

I feel my job as a parent is to find recipes that are in the best interest of my family. Ones that have minimal artificial ingredients, not a lot of fat/calories, and don't take hours to prepare. I always feel guilty when using the prepackaged mixes (you know what I'm talking about, Swiss Miss). Have you ever looked at the list of ingredients? And the recipes that require actually using whole candy bars and heavy whipping cream just make me feel fat before even drinking them!

Well, I think my search has finally ended!! Click here on Budget Mommy's blog to check it out. We will be trying it out today and I'll give you an update later. The ingredient list is short, and I have everything in my pantry/fridge. Yay!

Monday, February 8, 2010


One of my favorite recipe blogs is "Our Best Bites". It's written by two friends that have amazing cooking skills. Their recipes are extremely easy to follow and use everyday ingredients.

The chicken taquitos is one of my family's favorites and so is this dessert.

Aren't these the stinkin' cutest Valentines cookies you've ever seen?

I've always wanted to learn how to make this type of icing but couldn't find an easy recipe. Look no further. This is it! We made these for Christmas and will now be making them for Valentines.

Can you tell I have a sweet tooth?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Valentines Fun

One of my very good friends gave us a gigantic stack of cardstock in a rainbow of colors. As soon as Camille saw it, I swear she started drooling. She's my crafty girl!

This morning, she burst that stack open and went to town. She traced and cut and was set on making a Valentines banner for her bedroom.


Her room really is purple (please forgive the poor lighting).

I helped with the yarn ties, but she did everything else. What do you think, future Martha or what??? :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Featured in Blog

The bag below was just featured in Dancing Jelly Bean's blog here. She wrote a post about her favorite geometric things from Etsy. Make sure you check it out. She has some great handmade items listed. You just may fall in love with something.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Bag Posted!

I just posted a new Stacked bag in my Etsy shop. This is Amy Butler's Wallflower print in Sky Blue. As soon as I saw this fabric, I knew it needed a soft contrast.

It had to be dark denim. I believe denim never goes out of style when paired with the right outfit and fabrics. Denim is a staple in every girl's wardrobe. It's soft, it's comfortable, and it's everyday life.

So Spring, so flirty, and so gorgeous.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Great Gift Idea

I came across this fantastic photo project recently and loved it. Super creative and easy. While it was done for Christmas gifts, I thought this might be a great present for Valentines Day, birthday or even better, how about for yourself! Everyone loves family pictures. I've been looking for a creative way to display our vacation pictures at the ocean. Jackpot!

Click here for the link. And if you get a chance, check out some of her other papercrafting ideas, they are super cute.