Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter prints

I really don't have many Easter decorations and as much as I love what I see at the stores, I try to limit what I buy.  I am so thankful to have a computer, lots of cardstock, a printer and the internet!  You can just search for "Easter printables" and you will find many to choose from.  I wanted something that was faith based and fun.  This is what I found:

{I love my little glass bird from good friends years ago.}
I put it in my kitchen and it makes me so happy to see it, even if it's surrounded in dirty dishes all day!  

Out in the living room, I have this on my mantle:

I made it in Microsoft Word.  I just did a Google search for "bunny silhouette", then copied and pasted 5 of them into a Word doc.  I resized them to match our family.  Added some text.  Printed on regular cardstock.  Glued that on springy 12x12 paper.  Added some craft tape all around and put it in this awesome stand!  I got from a resale group and just love it for my printables!!  {This was the same stand I used for my daughter's birthday and it's the same ribbon!  Frozen to Easter.. blue is the perfect color!}

So if you are looking for easy and frugal decorating ideas, just grab an old frame and search the internet!

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

My daughter's Frozen birthday party

My firstborn recently turned NINE!!!  Don't even ask me where the time goes because I have NO CLUE!  We saw Frozen in theater when it came first came out and our whole family loved it... even Papa Bear and the boys!  It's hard for us to find a movie we ALL love so much so I bought the soundtrack and we had "Let It Go" on repeat in our minds for months!  So of course, my girl wanted a Frozen themed party!
Found pics online & for snow letters
Below are the invitations I made! I found a photo online and then edited it in picmonkey.  I had fun making it festive and personalized!  Not sure if you can see "Celebrate Vienna" on the banner!

On the morning of Vienna's birthday, she found streamers {idea from a friend} on her door.  Funny thing this year is that the stinker heard me putting them on her door before I went to bed.  I could see her sitting up in bed looking at me through the crack in the door.  I told her to go back to sleep and she giggled with excitement!  But she was a good sport and didn't get up and open the door til the morning!

Every birthday I buy the same number of gifts as their age and hide them!  Dollar stores are my friend and Five and Below is a fav too!  {They know that 12 is the last year I do this!  Then I'll do something different for the teen years.}

V likes to find all her gifts first then open them.  {Unlike Lance who opens them as he finds them.}  She was really happy with her gifts!

For decorations, I kept it simple as always.  Balloons and snowflakes were on the curtains.  Vienna and I had made lots of paper snowflakes and had them sprinkled around the house.  And I put streams up for the first time.  Just a couple strips running down a wall made a festive difference!

The party was from 2-4pm so I didn't have to worry about a meal.  I kept the food to simple snack items.

And thanks to Pinterest, I got the idea to make clever signs for some things!

Again Pinterest was a great source of game ideas!  We had a coloring contest, Pin the nose on Olaf, Do you wanna build a snowman {out of toilet paper}, an Olaf head toss game {like musical chairs} and even a snowball fight with toilet paper!  It was soooo easy & inexpensive and a lot of fun for the girls!!

I got the coloring contest idea from a friend.  As the girls arrived, we had them color their sheets and put their names on the back.  Then we taped them to the wall.  Later, a couple Dads were the judges.  Vienna gave out loom bracelets she made, as prizes for the games!

Vienna's aunt {my SIL} is VERY creative and an amazing cook and wanted to make V's cake.  Check this out!  She made GLASS!  Even glass stairs!  She laminated pictures of the characters.  And my fav details were the chocolate snowflakes, Vienna's name and age!  It was awesome!
Details all around!
Vienna received many wonderful and thoughtful gifts from her friends.  From clothes to books to doll clothes, they know her well!  

Vienna and I made the favors together.  She came up with the wording for the cover.  "Thank you snow much for coming!"  I found the graphic online, downloaded a cute snow font from {if you ever need something fun!} and I stamped the snowflakes on them.

Inside were silver snowflake necklaces with a purple seed bead and a light blue flower.  They represented Anna and Elsa.  I just ordered the necklaces and charms in bulk online.  Easy peasy!

So there you have it!  How we celebrated my girl's birthday!!  It really is so fun just running with an idea and have it all come together.  I don't buy expensive decorations, balloons or even character plates.  Having a printer and using Pinterest really helps!  Grateful for the online resources!!  I wanted my girl to feel special and loved and I hope she will look back on her 9th birthday with a smile!

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Essential Oils

I have a few friends who use essential oils and swear by them for various ailments.  I recently decided that I wanted to try them and around the same time, my friend Jessica started writing a great summary about what they are and how to use them over on her blog 'This Blessed Life'.  She basically answers all the questions I had at the beginning.  It's almost like she wrote this just for me!  haha!
Part one is {here}.
Part two is {here}.
And I recommend you follow her blog so you don't miss her upcoming posts!

I am not even going to try to explain what they are here because Jessica sums it up well, so please check out her posts!!  She did a really good job, including a video which she said was hard to record.  She'd rather... and I quote... poke her eyeballs out with toothpicks.  ha!  

I was interested in essential oils mostly for my hormonal ups and downs and defense against illness.  I also have multiple people in my household who get a lot of headaches and digestion pain.  I bought little samples first because I am very sensitive to perfumes and some flowers.  I bought Plague Defense {kinda like the popular Airborne or vitamin C that people take to avoid illness} and Respiratory Relief that helps with breathing during colds and allergies.  I always use Vicks so wanted something to replace that.
I am happy to report that none of these are too strong for me!  Now I know I can order the larger bottle next time!  Headache Relief and Digestion Support have brought my family comfort and we're all enjoying this route more than popping a pill.  

My cute little bottles from Heritage Essential Oils!
The reason I decided to share this today is because last night my {almost four year old} son threw up.  I put the Plague Defense on his feet with hopes to relieve the symptoms.  I also applied it on my other two monkeys.  I used the coconut oil as a carrier oil and to help dilute the oil, which is recommended for use on kids.  {Jessica covers all that!}

Colin threw up every half hour for about 5 hours.  Then he went to bed for the night and woke up feeling happy!  His appetite wasn't 100% but no more vomit!

So far the rest of us are fine.  Thought I better share my experience!  And direct people to Jessica's blog since I've been talking about it more!

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My new kitchen backsplash

In Nov 2012, we did the floors {see here}.
In Feb 2013, we did the counters and sink {see here}.
And finally it's April 2014 and we finished the backsplash!!!!!!!!

I got smoked pewter thermoplastic backsplash from Lowe's {direct link} which was super easy to install.  My friend Amanda, who did my floor, also did this for me.  She knows how to cut around outlets, measure and what tools to use.  She's pretty awesome!!

Finally all those glass, pewter and silver pieces I was collecting for on top of cabinets works in my kitchen!  I am in love!  Makes me happy to walk in and see this done!  So grateful for a talented and generous friend!!!

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Two books

I just finished this book called "the gift of an ordinary day" by Katrina Kenison, who is an incredibly gifted and detailed writer.  I enjoyed the parts about her raising her boys but there was a lot of stuff about her house that weren't as interesting to me.  Would I recommend it... sure.  But you might skim through some parts like I did.

Here is an except I really liked.  It refers to the years raising her boys.  

I love that because try as I might, there are certain emotions in an ordinary day that are impossible to photograph!  

I also love how she reminded me that the days of caring for our kids' every little need will soon end.  She wrote about how she helped her son dry off after a bath to the day he requested privacy and closed the door.  It was enlightening to know that those little things I sometimes get annoyed about now, will actually become a treasured memory.

Here's a video clip of her reading and describing more of those moments that pass by in a blink.

If you watched that video, you might have noticed the comment about heaven.  {Umm... there IS a heaven!}  I normally prefer reading books from Christian authors because they are like-minded and as a growing Christian, I want to learn more about how God wants me to live and more about Him.  She mentions many things about raising her boys and I felt God's presence, His wisdom and His strength lacking through those tough years.  But as a lover of psychology and family relations, I think we can learn from people of all walks of life and of all faiths even if their every intention isn't in line with our own.

The take away I got... To treasure the little things.  To enjoy the tedious task of cutting up my kids' meat... to allow them to show me their silly drawings without waving them off as I try to do dishes... to savor the time in the bathroom brushing their teeth... to not roll my eyes when I hear "Mommy I need help."  And because of that, I have been a better, more patient mom since reading this book.  Thank you Katrina Kenison!

So as I finished one book, I craved starting another!  I have missed reading more than I realized.  As I try to avoid wasting time online, I have awakened an old desire to slow down, be still and enjoy a good book.  They encourage me much more than any random quote on my Facebook newsfeed could affect me.

I went to the bookstore yesterday and although I saw MANY books on my "to read list", there was this one book nestled on the shelf screaming "READ ME!".  I didn't recognize the author but I humored it's calling to me anyway and flipped it over, read the back, fanned through the chapters, and read the index.
"We’ve all got our issues! Maybe you feel like life just isn’t going your way, or you’re afraid that you don’t measure up to other people’s expectations. Perhaps you have a hard time managing your temper or have someone in your life you just can’t forgive. We deal with our “issues” every day in one form or another; the problem is, after a while, they start to feel . . . normal. Unchanging. Just part of who we are. And we forget that we have access to the power of Christ—a power that can transform our everyday weaknesses into our greatest strengths and gifts."
See more on the author's website: {here}

Do books do that to you sometimes?  They choose you?  Well that's what happened.  And after reading chapter 1, I am convinced that God put this in my hands.  It is exactly where I am at right now and what I am sifting through and have verbalized to friends.  I have this unsatisfied desire to learn more about this transforming power.  Sure I have changed a lot since becoming a Christian, BUT the core of who I am still needs a lot of work.  I don't want to have the inner battle of anger raging in me.  I don't always act on it, but it is draining to constantly keep it in check.  Wouldn't it be nice if it just stopped bubbling?  So it's with THAT motivation that I turn the pages to this book... cause Lord knows... I have issues!

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Orange Julius Recipe

When I was a kid there was an Orange Julius stand at the mall and I loved getting this sweet treat!   There are a bunch of recipes online so I just found one that looked easy {and without raw eggs or ingredients I don't have} and tried it today for the first time.  {I took a screen shot so didn't save the link but if you google it, a bunch will come up.  Oopsie... but here is what I used.}

1 cup water
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cups orange juice concentrate {the frozen stuff in the can that you add water to}
12 ice cubes
Mix in blender.  {I used smoothie option.}

This served 2 adults {8oz glasses} and 3 kids {smaller cups}.

Hope you might enjoy this cup of nostalgia!
We all love it!!!

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Tomorrow I'll wake up and it'll be my birthday.
And this number looks weird.

Not only does it LOOK weird.  It sounds weird.  I have to do the math before I say my age now because it doesn't even sound right.  I think that's why "older" people don't give their age.  They don't remember it!  ha!

And you know what the MOST shocking revelation was this week?
I had it while my husband and I watched Ghostbusters.... 30th anniversary is this year and it was on Netflix....

The cast was always WAAAAAY older than me and now, they look YOUNGER!
Sigourney Weaver was 35.
Bill Murray was 34 in this movie!
And Dan Aykroyd was 32!!!
Puppies!!!  {Which I am not!}

Just look at their faces!

Officially feeling old when Bill Murray LOOKS younger than me.

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