Friday, April 29, 2011


It is time for another Freezer Friday, where I share a recipe that helps me feed my kids in a pinch without the additives or expense of snack food, and since it freezes well, it can be doubled or tripled and placed in the freezer to be eaten as needed.

Why I like this recipe for
LEMON-RASPBERRY MUFFINS is that it is very low in fat and my kids LOVE it. I use a little less sugar than the recipe calls for and they still love it.

These are easy to make and they it keep in the freezer for a month. When needed, they can be taken out of the freezer, wrapped in a paper towel, and reheated in the microwave on High for 30 to 60 seconds.

Find the printable version of the recipe here:

1 lemon
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Cup nonfat buttermilk (or add 1 T lemon juice to 1 cup milk)
1/3 Cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 t Vanilla extract
1 Cup white whole-wheat flour or whole-wheat pastry flour
1 Cup all-purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 C fresh or frozen (not thawed) raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 12 large muffin cups or use liners
2. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest from the lemon in long strips. Combine the zest and sugar in a food processor; pulse until the zest is very finely chopped into the sugar. Add the buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla and pulse until blended (I used a Magic Bullet and it worked great).
3. Combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk mixture and fold until almost blended. Gently fold in raspberries. Divide the batter among the cups.
4. Bake the muffins until the edges ad tops are golden, 20 to 2 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Serve warm.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


If you pay any attention to my blog roll or you are already a fan, you have already seen this awesome post going on over at 1825. I am very picky about which blogs I highlight over there to the right and 1825 is always a favorite. I LOVE free fonts so much that I decided it was worth a blog post in addition to the thumbnail on the blog roll.

FONTS come in very handy, and are especially helpful with all those school projcects. FREE fonts are even better. So, if you like crafting, scrapbooking, creating invitations, or have children, head over to this post at 1825 right now!! They have four awesome fonts only a download away!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Awesome Idea - Bubble Refills Made Easy

I LOVE this idea and only wish I had found it about three kids earlier. I know I'll still get lots of use out of this but, wow how I could have avoided many an afternoon being asked to refill bubble wands, bottles, or other sticky bubble toy of the moment. This idea came from COME TOGETHER KIDS . I will post some pictures of my refill jar when done, but I just wanted to post this so that you could get started on yours and save yourself the sticky bubble hands. Laura, from Come Together Kids also includes two recipes for making your own bubbles, YAY!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Last Little Bits of EASTER

I finished my PEEPS Bunting just in time for Easter. It was so much fun to make that I wish I had started making it sooner, I think I would have made one for all my friends. Wouldn't it be fun to get one of these in the mail just before Easter? Maybe next year.... I found the tutorial for the PEEPS Bunting idea at MADE. It was a fun project to include older children in. My 10-year-old helped a lot by cutting out the PEEPS and putting on their eyes and noses, but the one thing I would add to the directions is to make sure you keep track of both sides of the PEEP. My PEEP cut outs were played with a bit so when I went to go round them up again to sew the fronts to the backs, matching them up together became quite a task. But the kids did have fun with them. Also, I used white thread because I didn't have bright pink, I think the white distracts from the peep shape, so next time I will make a better effort to get matching thread.

Also, I have a daughter that adores sheep so I made her these funny little sheep cookies.
I used chocolate eggs cut in half for the feet instead of the peanut M&M's just because that is what I had on hand. These were so easy to make and such a big hit on our Easter table, they might just become another Easter tradition at our house!

Scuba Guy Easter Egg

I have to admit a tiny crush I have on this little egg scuba guy. I can't help it, I think he is just too cute. This is one of my best Easter eggs ever! I saw the idea in Family Fun magazine and had to try it. He sits on my window sill giving me a cheery look whenever I am working at my sink. And if I sneak a jelly bean out of the kids Easter basket, he doesn't judge me. Oh, how sad I am going to be when it is time for him to go. He already has a crack in his side (which he is a bit sensitive about so please don't say anything). I am really going to miss you little egg scuba guy...

Sunday, April 24, 2011


THIS WEEK: Explore Colors. Choose a color and go on a scavenger hunt inside or out, for things of that color. Choose a few items that were found and draw a picture and color or paint them the chosen color. Serve lots of that color for lunch or snack. Older children can learn about how that color has different shades and what those shades are called.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Celebrating Easter

Tonight we are continuing to read our Easter Story eggs and we have made our Resurrection Rolls. The kids really enjoyed dipping their marshmallows in the butter than rolling it in sugar and cinnamon. While we were waiting for this yummy bread to finish baking, we watched this awesome video of the life of Christ.

This really put us in the proper spirit for this important holiday. Our 21 month old wanted to watch this over and over again. Lovely.

Thank you to Plenty Of Picnics where I first saw this beautiful video. She also has a wonderful countdown to Easter where I have learned a few new things about Christ's week leading up to his crucifixion and resurrection.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


So I loved those darling Tuxedo Peeps, they got me thinking of something fun I could make my awesome nephew who is on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. His birthday is this week too, so I was already putting together a care package and I thought "HEY, Missionary PEEPS" how fun! He would get a fun laugh out of this, and btw, chocolate covered PEEPS are DELICIOUS. Seriously, regular Peeps are a little too sugary for me but dipped in chocolate they are MARVELOUS! Somehow the chocolate tones down the sugar to just the right ratio of sugary yumminess. I put together a little topper and ta-daa, it's on the way to the mission front.

I used a white sprinkle for the "name" on the nametag. The directions given for the Tuxedo Bunnies from Fancy Frugal Life were great, the only thing I would add is that the chocolate starts to harden quickly so when you are using it in the plastic bag to add your tie and nametag, don't add too much chocolate because it will be quickly become too brittle to work with, and you'll need another bag. Also, I found a toothpick very helpful in helping shape the tie and tag.

Update: I have been asked how I did the "Called to Serve" topper. I designed it it Photoshop Elements and I would be happy to provide it here as a printable but I have no idea how to do that yet. sorry.
I know there are a ton of adorable Easter ideas out there on the blogs, but this was just too cute and too simple not to share right here. These little "carrot" napkins from Fancy Frugal Life, would make any Easter table more darling! She suggests these for the kid's table but my life is still all kid's table so I really love this. Fun for the kids to put together too! I just bought my orange napkins and now I'm all set for the kids to get to work!
PLUS, check out her tutorial on that beautiful DIY pedestal cloche. Awesome right? That's it, I'm adding Fancy Frugal Life to my blog roll.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Have You Seen These?? Black Tie PEEPS

If I were going to have an April Wedding, which I did, eleventy billion years ago, I would have to incorporate some of these black tie PEEPS. What about a PEEP bride and groom cake topper? I always love a touch of"unexpected" an whimsical mixed with anything elegant.
Anyway, I am pondering these adorable little guys. Thinking of how to re "outfit" them into something fun for my family. I think I have an idea, now I just have to see if I can make it work.


The subject for the I HEART FACES contest this time was "Wind". I thought, "hmmm, I can take a windy picture". I love photography but I never can seem to get the hang of my digital SLR. I'm not giving up though. The tone of this black and white is way off, I still have SOOO much to learn. But I thought it was time to just get over myself and enter something, even something imperfect. So, Ta-Daa! I did it and if feels very liberating!! Now it's your turn. And if you do enter, please tell me so I can see it too!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

EASTER Printable with Purpose

This EASTER printable from LOVING EVERY SECOND is exactly what I have been looking for! I was just about to give up, carve out some time today and make one myself but now I don't have to, YAY!

I will be putting this in a small frame and adding it to the entry way table Easter decor.

Friday, April 15, 2011

ZUMBA - on Fitness Friday

"A fit mom is a happy mom."

The bumper sticker does not lie. I know some of us crafting moms don't like to hear that. So much of who we are is "creating" things. Reaching inside ourselves and bringing what we feel inside, out into the world, making the world prettier. It feels so good to do that, especially when it is turning out the way we envisioned it in our minds. There is only one problem. SO much of all of that is done SITTING DOWN. I have fought with that all my life. I am not a couch potato, but maybe a craft, um, cucumber? Suddenly it was getting harder for me to want to actively play with my kids. First it was just that I didn't feel like running around "this time" and soon, it was every time that I would choose to sit on the bench and watch. It wasn't long afterward that it actually began to hurt when I ran around with them. I thought, oh, I guess this is what late 30's feels like. But I was wrong, I was just OUT OF SHAPE from all the "creating". Not that crafting was wasted time. I treasure sharing that time with my children, but I also wanted to feel strong again.

So yes, I know, here is that word we are all tired of seeing : "ZUMBA" . I am really not a crowd follower. I somehow have the desire to ignore things that everyone else seems to love. I don't think I even do this consciously, and who do I think I am anyway? As if I have some sort of elite taste that is better than the masses?!

Okay, back to the point: Zumba was one of those things. You can't go anywhere on the internet without seeing something about ZUMBA. It is on all the gym schedules. There are dvd's, books, clothing, jewelry, it is an entire empire of ZUMBA. Nothing that huge can be worth doing right? Well.

We joined the gym where my children are on swim team. We figured we were there waiting for them anyway why not exercise a little, right? I assumed I would just be walking the treadmill. I am very tall, 5'11" and I really don't want to add any large muscles to my body, even though everyone swears by it and how it increase metabolism etc. I really just wanted to trim down. I had recently discovered Tracy Anderson (saving that for next Fitness Friday), the trainer to many of Hollywood's best bodies, and her method uses a lot of dance to trim down. Hmmm, I thought, I bet that could work well. So when a friend at the gym mentioned how much she enjoyed the Zumba class there I decided, despite it's popularity, I would try it.

I LOVED it!! I couldn't believe how much fun it was! The instructor was so inspiring. She looked great, and could dance so well, I kept thinking "I want to be able to move like that too!". The hardest part was seeing myself in the mirror. I usually avoided mirrors since I no longer really recognized the person looking back at me. I chose a back corner of the dance room where I couldn't see the mirror, and got to work. Tracy Anderson says to do well with your routine you have to "perform", you work your body so much better when you are trying to look good while you do it. Somehow "performing" works your core better, puts your mind/body connection thing into place and it all works together and gives you bigger results. So instead of being a little wallflower that was afraid to move her hips, I went for it. I moved it all and knew I looked ridiculous, but after two classes I was already beginning to feel a difference. So I kept going back and kept dancing as best as I could. I'm sure the instructor had to try very hard to keep from laughing. I didn't care. I finally was having some time for ME. After four children, this one hour of Zumba was "ME" time and I wasn't going to waste it by being self conscious. The fact that the lights are kept low helped too!

I started Zumba in October. I had time for two classes a week. I didn't exercise otherwise and I really didn't change the way I was eating, except I tried to add more fresh veggies and fruits to what I was already eating. By January, I took my three younger kids to a playground while we waited for my eldest to be done with her swim practice. Suddenly I found myself wanting to run around and PLAY with them on the playground. I wasn't pushing myself out of guilt, I was scampering after them up, over and through the various play equipment, almost like a giddy child. I still remember the look of shocked happiness on my 9 year-old's face. Once I realized what I was doing I almost cried with joy!! I had energy, agility and flexibility! No longer did I feel fragile, and old, or worrty that might break something if I fell. My joints didn't pinch when I ran. I didn't feel like I was carrying a couple sacks of flour around my ankles. I felt free! I felt STRONG!

The scale didn't change a whole lot, maybe about 8-10 pounds, but my body started looking younger. My rear end looked much more like the one I remembered. My back slimmed down A LOT! Even my chest looked better in my shirts, perhaps because my abs went down a bit. By February I was down one and a half clothing sizes. Now I realize to many people that isn't very much, but we tall people can hide a lot of weight within one clothing size. This is why so much weight had snuck up on me to begin with.

Now it is April, I am almost ready to be two whole sizes down, but I promise, even without the weight loss, which is inevitable with Zumba, it is the way my body feels and the confidence I now have in moving it that makes it all worth it.

I feel like I am getting a new life back. THANK YOU ZUMBA!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


My kids LOVE to read so I was excited to see this chance to earn FREE books from Scholastic. Check out MONEY SAVING MOM's post about this here to get the details.

What I like about it was there was no signing up for an account, "liking" on Facebook or similar obligations. Simply download the math or reading activity sheets, listed by age, print and complete those pages. Print and complete the form choosing which books you'd like and mail it in! That it! It's that simple!

And NO you don't even have to pay shipping!! But it is "while supplies last" so get downloading!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Well, we've had one warm day so far and it has us thinking ahead to summer swim team. This past summer was my son's first year on the team, you have to be 5. He has been a spectator at his sister's meets since he was a baby, so this was finally his turn. He was so excited to finally be on the team that he was fearless.
That is my blog for today. Let's all believe in ourselves a little more. Stop the worrying, the "what if's" and believe in who we are. Stop avoiding those projects, messy junk drawers, or whatever it is that is holding you back. Perhaps it is a project you care so much about that you are too afraid to start it because you don't want it to turn out wrong and disappoint you.
For me, this means starting a felt quiet book that I have been wanting to do since my first child was born years ago! One of the first things I realized when we found out we were going to have baby number four is "Hey, I get another chance to do that quiet book". Baby number four turns 2 in July, and I really, really want to have some quiet book pages done for her for her birthday. It has meant so much to me that I have been pretty much frozen with indecision about it, which way to bind it? Felt or duck cloth? Should it be themed or just random pages? See, I am stumping my creativity by worrying about perfection!!
Does anyone else do that?? If for some crazy reason, someone actually reads this blog, I would love to hear what things you avoid, or what things you over-think to the point that it never gets started. Anyone?

Friday, April 8, 2011

FREEZER FRIDAY - Breakfast Burritos

I have four kids, three of which participate in various sports and church activities. We try to keep their activities to the minimum but even so, they are plenty busy. With busy kids, it is very helpful to have something waiting in the freezer that is filling, nutritious and ready to go in minutes.

This is why, one day a week, I pick a recipe, triple it, prepare it and freeze it. It feels so good to have something that I can heat up in a hurry that isn't packaged and filled with additives. Not to mention the money I save versus all those pre-packaged snacks.

Family dinner is a priority in our house, but even so, these freezer snacks really come in handy to fuel them for their sports and tide them over until we can all meet up again for dinner. I notice a big difference in their performance when I give them a good snack before practice.

I found this Breakfast Burrito recipe in my friend Brenda's family cookbook. It was written by Jan McInnes whom I've never met but "THANKS JAN" for this recipe. I've tweeked it just a tad but I never would have thought to add the hash browns, yum!


Tortillas at room temperature (burrito size) I use whole grain.
one pacakge Canadian Bacon (or to your liking)
One package Frozen Hash Browns (thawed)
18 eggs
1-2 Cups Cheese (to your liking)

This makes about 24 small burritos

Saute chopped onion and Canadian Bacon until onions are soft. Add the thawed hash browns, cook until dried out a bit.

Pour that mixture into a large bowl. Cook 18 scrambled eggs until dry (so they don't get soggy when frozen) and add them to the mixture. Let cool partially. Add grated cheese.

Whole grain tortillas tend to tear if you don't heat them up first. I heat up a stack of three or four on low in my cast iron skillet as I cook, flipping them occasionally and adding more as I work through the stack. You can also warm them in the microwave following package directions.

Roll into tortillas, place into a freezer ziploc bag and freeze. TA-DA!
To serve, cook in the microwave for one minute on each side.

Do you know how to fold the tortilla into a burrito?

Near where I grew up there was an awesome little burrito stand called Juanitas. People would be line up in the hot sun, 20 deep for a chance to buy these delicious burritos. I loved when it was my turn at the front of the line because it was fun to watch them fold the burritos. There hands flew over the tortillas and created this perfect little package of food. I would watch their hands like a kid watching the hands of magician, trying to discover their secrets so that I could make my own burritos. I never did completely master it, but I did pick up a few tips for folding a burrito:

  • Don't over-fill, that is a rookie error we all make. The ratio of filling to tortilla is smaller than you think.
  • Don't place your filling in the center of the tortilla. Place your filling slightly off-center so that you have room to fold over twice.
  • Fold the tortilla over the filling, toward the center of the tortilla, tuck in the sides (tucking in the sides is where the advanced artistry comes in, when using extremely large tortillas, you form a bit of a "pleat"). Fold again in the same direction and you are done!
My husband and I like to add Chipotle Pepper Tabasco Sauce after we heat it up. It is yummy and is reported to boost your metabolism. (Whoop-whoop) I also add a handful of organic mixed lettuce leaves to mine, to up the nutrient content. I try to fit in my leafy greens anywhere I can. Juanita would probably not have approved.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I came across this picture of a baby onesie and burp cloth that I made for my friend Deborah's cute baby boy Eldon. I thought it would be fun to add this to my blog since this was my first ever sewing project. If you could see the underside of the burp cloth you would see that I used dark brown thread in the bobbin which looked very obvious, duh. Next time, I will use white thread so it won't show. For this project I:

1. printed out the letters I liked on the computer onto card stock,
2. cut the letters out with a craft knife to make a template,
3. then used that template to trace those letters onto fabric already prepared with the fusible webbing.
4.I cut out the letters from the fabric with sewing scissors,
5. ironed them onto the onesie/burp cloth, and finally,
6. sewed around the edges.

Phew. My husband recently bought me a Silhouette machine, which will reduce all of these steps down to two! I can't wait to get started on some t-shirts and cloth quiet books!
For the gift tag I used a piece of the same fabric I used for the tie on the onesie. I used spray adhesive to apply it to card stock. I simply used Microsoft Word to type Eldon on card stock and tied it all together with matching ribbon. Ta-daa! A fun baby gift!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


This looks like the giveaway of the year!! Amazing things from amazing shops!! Very difficult for me to say which one I am most excited because it is all adorable. I entered to win and the results are being announced on April 10th which just so happens to be my wedding anniversary weekend, what a incredible gift this would be, right?!!!

But of course, you will want to head on over to KIKI Creates for your chance to win