Wednesday, January 30, 2013

DIY: Alphabet Valentines

 Although my daughter isn't in school yet, she is still very interested in "Valentimes" Day and she was more than thrilled to make valentines with me.

I was inspired by this idea over at Oopsey Daisy . I wanted to make them a little more personal by using my daughter's handwriting.

This craft took a total of 20 minutes and I think they turned out pretty cute!


plain white printer paper
your choice of cardstock
black and pink markers
hole punch
candy hearts
scotch tape

STEP 1: I folded a standard piece of printer paper in half and had my daughter write her letters in black marker, but using pink for the I, O, and U. 

STEP 2: I placed the half of paper in our printer/scanner and put my own cardstock in the paper tray. I copied her original image as many times as needed for how many valentines we wanted to make (I got two valentines to each piece of cardstock).

STEP 3: I punched holes in the top and tied bows through them. I rolled a piece of tape and had my daughter place all the hearts where the "O" went.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Simple Days

I have been kinda absent on here. I cleaned out our house and while pulling out bags and bags of things once had made me rethink our spending and accumulating.

That kinda hurts my crafting life. 

It's not that I don't want to craft or have a million few ideas running through my head at all times. It's that I am thinking more about the long term projects I want to put my time into. Sometimes it's fun for quick projects that are just silly, but for now I want to put my spare time into my family.

So, there might be bigger gaps between posts on here. There might be more posts about my other passions, like cooking and photography. There will also be a few crafts too:)

For now...I will admire these baby toes hovering above a floor that he helps me keep messy:

...and I'm going to spend more time in the doorway of her room, just listening to her play without knowing I'm there.

These days are short and I want to remember them all.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

RECIPE: Chicken Pot Pie Soup

We had a really cold few days here in Arizona, so homemade soup was a perfect meal to warm us up!
(from Skinnytaste)
    1/4 cup FLOUR
    2 cups WATER
    4 cups FAT FREE MILK
    1 large CELERY STALK, chopped
    1/2 cup diced ONION
    10oz frozen MIXED VEGETABLES (corn, peas, green beans, and carrots)
    2 POTATOES, peeled and cubed
    2 cups cooked diced CHICKEN
    SALT and PEPPER to taste
    STEP 1: Mix flour and 1/2 cup of the water together and set aside.
    STEP 2: Pour remaining water and milk into a large pot and slowly bring to a boil. Add celery, onion, chicken bouillons, pepper, and vegetables and return to a boil. Partially cover and simmer on low for about 20 minutes (or until vegetables are tender).
    STEP 3: Remove lid and add potatoes. Cook until soft (about 5 minutes). Add chicken and slowly stir in flour mixture. Cook another 2-3 minutes until soup thickens. Either serve immediately, or place in crock pot on warm.
    This soup made enough for leftovers and the kids enjoyed it too!
    What is your favorite cold weather recipe?

Friday, January 11, 2013

DIY: Sharpie Soap Dispenser

I thought I would pop in today and share a quick DIY! Drawing on ceramic items with Sharpie markers is all the rage right now, so I decided to give it a try.

I found this soap dispenser at the dollar store (the bottom part was already painted black) and I drew a diamond pattern on with the marker. Then, I baked it on a cookie sheet (with the pump top removed) at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
I let it cool overnight and filled it with dish soap!
NOTE: The design stayed permanent for a few months, but I have noticed that it is starting to wear off now since it gets wet every day. I think this method works best on items that will be left alone.
Have a wonderful Friday!

Friday, January 4, 2013

December in Instagrams

The start of the new year came with head colds for me and the kiddos. So, while I sit here with my ears plugged up and waiting for my antibiotics to kick in, I thought I would share part of our December through Instagrams:
Early in the month I used my monthly allowance to buy a tripod and remote for my digital camera. We actually got family photos this year!
Who says Christmas cookies can't be in the shape of a heart?
My husband and I swapped out our photo gallery wall of three years with a DIY shelf:
This little girl tagged our backyard every day (and didn't believe me when I said the rain washed away her creations...not me.)
It got cold enough to wear my favorite gloves!
Getting McDonald's and driving around looking at lights. One of my favorite Christmas memories this year.
She had to swing with him. They are best buddies.
A little love in the mail from our landlords. (It was filled with chocolates and nuts! They know the way to our hearts...)
Our Christmas gift to the Little Miss. We tied a string around one end and tied the other on our door knob upstairs so she had to follow it down on Christmas morning. So fun!
Christmas at Grandpa and Grandma's house never disappoints.
Our last advent calendar activity: writing letters to family members. Shayne and I made placemats for everyone coming to Christmas lunch and I wrote down what she told me are her favorite things about each person.
And, with only a couple of days left of 2012 we decided to sell our SUV and get a hybrid car. I am in love! I'm still adjusting to the blue color...but when you get blessed with a car at wholesale take it!
Now onto January!
Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Starting a New Year

We started off our new year by traveling up north to look at some amazing sunset views. We did this last year on New Year's Day and I'm excited to make it a tradition each year.
I always get excited for a new year. Part of me is sad that the past year is over but I'm so excited for what's to come!
My goals for this year are:
1. Continue being healthier. My goal is to do another race this year. Probably not a half marathon, but something to train for that will keep me motivated to make healthy choices.
2. Recycle more. I'm really passionate about this topic. I have never been the best at watching what I throw away and I want to change. This last year I started implementing small changes into our lifestyle like taking reusable totes to the grocery store and keeping one in my purse for small errands, making my own laundry soap, and recycling what plastics we did have. It was so exciting to see how these changes made us feel about ourselves, while saving us money!
I know these few changes are small, but I am excited to start bigger projects (like our own compost and an "electricity free night" here and there) and show our children how we need to be intentional in our spending and consumption.
3. Take a family camping trip. I will admit that I don't like camping. The thought of spending time and money to live outside sounds, well, awful. My husband wants to camp so badly. I decided this is the year I get over my fear and go camping! We are going to do a trial run in the backyard first:) Mama needs to ease into this wilderness stuff!
4. Revise our family budget. This one is long overdue. We already cut some large bills out of our life and sticking to our grocery and entertainment budget will make it possible for us to do bigger things like help others and take a family trips.
5. Keep it simple. I have been feeling like our lives need to be simplified for a while. We got caught up in the "bigger house, bigger car, better phones" craze and we had to stop and look at who we were becoming. Now, while I won't be trading in my iPhone (it was half I get to keep it!), we made some decisions to slow down and simplify. That means staying in our 2 bedroom condo instead of upgrading to a larger house when our lease is up and trading in our SUV for a hybrid car.
Making these decisions to simplify have reduced stress in our lives. Driving a smaller car was a change at first (I missed my heated leather seats), but not having to calculate how much gas it will cost to do...well, anything...has been freeing. Also, we all kinda love being closer together in a car (ask me how this is working out when the kids are 10 and 7!).

I want to live a calm life. Days where maybe the most we get accomplished are a few puzzles and baking cookies. These days when my kids are little are going by way too quickly and this year I want to take in each moment. Being over scheduled is not an option.

What are your goals for 2013?


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