Thursday, June 30, 2011

Longing for some red rocks

Red rocks just outside Moab, Utah.
If you ever find yourself here.....

Take a Hummer Safari with Moab Adventure Center.
Be sure and do this....

Looking down on the Colorado River from "the top of the world."
So that you can see something like this. Completely awesome experience!!

Seriously. I'm wishing we were there right now. We'd go every year.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Are you wondering?

"Crazy people don't sit around wondering if they're nuts." ~Jake Gyllenhall

So, if you're wondering if you're crazy, you aren't. Wondering is normal. Just thought I'd clear that up.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Twinkle Toes

How to do your own glitter toes:

Start with clean, dry nails. Paint a base coat. Let it dry.
Do another base coat, and while it's wet, sprinkle on the glitter of your choice. Shake off the excess.
When that dries, cover it with another base coat and some more glitter. Again, shake off the excess.
Once that is dry, cover with a good top coat and let it dry. Give it a while to make sure it's completely set.
Enjoy your colorful, glittery toes! :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

All washed up

I know it isn't much, but it all adds up eventually.
I'm talking about the spare change that washes up in the bottom of the washer. What did you think I was talking about?! (I don't think I'm washed I?)  I'm talking laundry tips today. It's always a bonus when you find money at the end of the cycle.

As for the other kind of laundry tips, I can suggest a few things that help me.
  1. Bleach is the only thing I've used that really whitens the whites. And I like my whites WHITE.
  2. Kids can learn to do their own by the time they are tall enough to reach the controls and understand how to work them. Makes mom's life a lot simpler in the long run.
  3. I fold my clothes right out of the dryer and into the basket. Eliminates a step and saves on wrinkles if they end up sitting  in the basket longer than I anticipated. Which is often. 
  4. Costco has the best deal on laundry soap. And dryer sheets.
  5. I never use fabric softener in the washer. Never figured that it was worth it.
Got some great laundry tips? By all means, please share and leave a comment.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Work it from "five to nine" (or any other time!)

Ever since I won this dress in a blog giveaway over at 71toes, I love Shabby Apple dresses. I've worn the dress several times, and gotten lots of compliments on it, especially the plum color. (Note to self: buy more clothes in plum! It seems to be your color.)

Here is another dress from Shabby Apple I love. It's called the Five to Nine. It's a black knit dress with an adorable tie-neck collar and ruched sleeves. I think it's reasonably priced, too. I was pleasantly surprised! If you're interested, check it out here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Paper Wreath

I don't know what it is about them, but I love wreaths. For all holidays, seasons, whatever. I am always looking for new wreath ideas. Because they are so expensive to buy premade, I usually make my own. My college-age daughter is home for the summer and she enjoys making them too, so we have a little fun together! Yesterday I was looking online for a patriotic paper wreath idea. Found one over at TipJunkie. (Click for a tutorial). It is awesomely cute!
Pic from Tip Junkie

Here is a shot of ours coming together:

The wreath is made with scrapbook paper pinwheels glued onto a foam wreath form. The most time-consuming part was folding all the paper and gluing it into pinwheel shapes. (Just ask Nicole...she did most of that part. Thank you, Nicole!)

Here is the finished product:
This wreath can be easily customized by virtue of the scrapbook paper you choose. We used confetti stars in different sizes for the pinwheel centers, and just hot glued them on.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

There are lessons to be learned

*This may or may not be a purely hypothetical situation. Just sayin'.*

Sometimes things blow up in your face. One night, your neighbors and good friends might have to come over and let you know that two of your children have been teasing their children. Of course, this is not something a mother and father wish to hear! Not at all. When this happens, you apologize profusely and you promise your friends that it isn't going to happen again. (Luckily, your friends are nice and are still your friends!) Then you talk to your two children who were having the problem, and you tell those two that, first of all, they will apologize. LIKE THEY MEAN IT. And then they will work it off. And I mean, work HARD. Here is a list of suggested chores for a case like this:

  • weed every possible spot in the garden--not even a blade of grass can be left behind.
  • mow the lawn
  • edge the lawn
  • pick up the lovely doggie leavings
  • clean baseboards
  • clean out closets
  • clean out the house junk room 
  • help organize the storage room
You might say something like this to the perpetrators: "It sounds like you have too much time on your hands, so for the rest of the week, you will not have time for ANYTHING except work. And when the work is done, you will not watch t.v. You will not play on the computer. You will read. Books. Good ones. That is all. Go to bed." (This could be a direct quote).

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day & a yummy recipe

I'm a day late putting it here, but Happy Father's Day to my one and only! He is really the best. This is him (doesn't he look so attractive in this shirt? I think so and I always tell him that, too)  holding our youngest. He can literally do and fix anything...even if he hasn't done it before, because he will learn. He was brought up with the motto "If you don't know how to do something, learn." I lucked out with him, I really did. And he's totally cute.

For a delicious recipe for Key Lime Bars, go to Mel's Kitchen Cafe. I made these for Father's Day dessert, and they were a hit. They were such a hit that there were two left, at least one of which I had my eye on, but my man stole took the last two to work with him today. Oh diet will thank him anyway.  The recipe calls for pulverized animal crackers for the crust, and it's really yummy. Give it a try!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Emperor's New Clothes

Our Amelia has been taking children's theatre classes, and today was in a production of "The Emperor's New Clothes." Hats off to all the children and their teachers...they did a fantastic job! It was really a first-rate production, and this was just the first week. They will perform three more times. I can't wait!

One side of the scenery. These were panels that rotated for different scenes.
One of the cute scenes...but Amelia isn't in this one.

Amelia is the blonde on the right. It's a little blurry....

She plays Blanch, the Royal Cook, and said all six of her lines perfectly and right on cue! We are so proud of her.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Moments that matter most

Here's to slowing down a little and taking time to notice the big-- and little-- moments in life!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Father's Day crafts

Father's Day is quickly approaching, and I'm trying to figure out what to do for my hubby and our dads/my kids' grandpas. My kids love to make stuff, especially Jared (the handy dandy duct tape man). I found some cute ideas and thought I would share them with you.

How does dad measure up? Tell him with this cute faux tape measure. It unrolls to say, "Dad, you rule!" or some other saying of your kids' choice. Find a how-to at Family Fun. 

This is right up my Jared's alley...he's made many duct tape wallets. Fill this one with "daddy dollars" or coupons for things your kids would like to do for their dad. You can also find this one at Family Fun.

Golf towel by Junie Moon
Does the Dad in your life love to golf? Make him an awesome golf towel! Find a great tutorial at Junie Moon.

Ties by Purl Bee
What would Father's Day be without ties? You can make your own, and with this tutorial at Purl Bee, it's pretty easy to do. Give dad a tie that no one else will have!

And last, but not least, I LOVE these stamped washer key chains! The other side can be stamped with your kids' names. Find a how-to at HelpingLittleHands.

Whatever you do for Dad/Grandpa/Hubby...have fun doing it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

My "Ten Little Things"

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." ~Aristotle

Over at CJane today she wrote about having "Ten Little Things" that if she accomplished them each day, she would feel like she had done her best. I've been thinking about how it's summer vacation...the kids are home...and it gets very easy for me to feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants. I want each day to feel successful, even during summer vacation. So I came up with my own list of "Ten Little Things" that I would like to accomplish each day to make it feel successful.

  1. Morning/evening/anytime prayer. This is a must for me, and something would definitely be missing if I didn't accomplish it.
  2. Scripture immersion. Yes, I said immersion. We had Stake Conference this past weekend, and one of the speakers talked about immersing ourselves in the scriptures. This was good for me to hear, because my scripture reading,  though I'd been doing it, had been a little lacking. Thinking about immersing myself has helped. A lot.
  3. Exercise! This has become a must for me, and although it's a 5-6 days per week thing, I'm still including it here. I feel it if I don't exercise. It's a must for stress control.
  4. Patience. I'm working on having more patience in my life. With my children, with life in general. 
  5. Positive self-talk. I've learned that there's no room in my life for pity parties. Who do they help? Certainly not me. If I can keep my self-talk positive, the day is much better.
  6. Express gratitude. To my husband, to my children, to anyone who has helped me that day.
  7. Tell my hubby I love him. I'm pretty good at this, and he is, too. But marriage takes daily work so it's not something I'm going to take for granted. 
  8. Lift someone else. Let's face it, sometimes it's hard to think of others, but when we do it, we feel better about ourselves. Lifting someone else doesn't have to be hard, either. Sometimes it's as simple as a smile. A phone call. A hug.
  9. Read scriptures as a family. This gets harder the older the kids get and the more they work and play away from home, but it's still important. I'm grateful for children who say, "We need to read scriptures!" It definitely helps keep us going.
  10. Family prayer. Another must. We have a rule (that we try to enforce every day) that we must tell Heavenly Father "thank you" for at least 5 things before we ask for even one. Gratitude is SO important.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I know that my Savior loves me!

This is a video of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing "I Know That My Savior Loves Me." I am singing the same version of this song in a choir tomorrow, and I know that every single word is true. Without a doubt!  Whether you're Mormon or not, if you believe and follow Jesus Christ, this song is for you.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Happy Birthday hobby shopping

Today is my Jared's birthday. He is now the ripe old age of 14! He is a unique individual...loves making things with his hands and doing hands-on types of activities. He has diabetes, but he doesn't let it stop him, as I wrote about here. For his birthday, he REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wanted a hobby R/C truck. Not some $30 version from Walmart...we're talking a Fancy Schmancy version. He searched and searched, and the nearest hobby shop selling specialized remote control vehicles was 20 miles from us. He got wads of cash from his family birthday party the other night (thanks, family!) and he was ready to buy. Here's what he came up with. I can't even tell you how happy he is. Put it together with a meatball sub lunch from Subway and a trip to Boondocks this afternoon, and he keeps saying, "This is the BEST! BIRTHDAY! EVER!"

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Losing a little wisdom & looking for Ellen

My oldest daughter is having her wisdom teeth removed today! I will post all about it later on. In the meantime, enjoy this video from the Ellen DeGeneres show. It just reiterates to me that I HAVE to take the camera along to the wisdom tooth removal. :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

First day of summer vacay

My first day of summer vacation started with this guy.....

a pile of his lovely leavings.....

and my favorite Lysol wipes. You can safely guess that his leavings weren't left outside like they were supposed to be. No siree.

Oh yeah. It was bad enough that he had to have a bath.

 And some of these. FYI, according to my vet, you can give them to your dog. And they work.

Boy, am I glad it's summer vacation.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Second Coming

What do Mormons believe about the second coming of Jesus Christ? Watch this quick message and find out.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Last Day of School

I can't believe the last day of school has come already! (My college daughter has been out for a month, but everyone else is out today). Each school year seems to go by so fast....

So how do you celebrate the last day of school with your kids? We usually take the family out to dinner or get take out from Cafe Rio or someplace...but this year, I'm wanting to do something new. I decided to look around on the 'net and see what I could come up with. I also thought up a few of my own, and now I'm sharing them with you.

Over at Or So She Says, there are some great theme movie night ideas. Such as, eat mexican food and watch "The Three Amigos." Watch "Napoleon Dynamite" (a personal favorite, I admit it) and eat Kay-suh-DILL-as! Enjoy "Finding Nemo" with Goldfish crackers and Swedish fish. You get the idea.

Surprise your kids with a roomful of balloons and crepe paper when they walk in the house after school. Yell, "Yessss! School is OOUT! Let's PARTY!!" and jump around like a maniac. Who cares if your kids think you've gone crazy? They need to think that once in a while. I'm a firm believer.

Hide outside your house with the biggest water gun you can find. When the kids come home, jump out and drench them. Show no mercy. Then, run like the wind as fast as you can because if you have teenage boys like I do, they're probably coming after you. Be prepared to get seriously wet.

Celebrate with a "school's out" cake from your favorite bakery. Light candles and let the kids blow out the lights on a great year.

My kids would love it if I said, "Let's all go get Slurpees!" as soon as they came home. They LOVE Slurpees. Who doesn't?

If you've got any fun Last Day of School ideas, leave a comment and share. I'd love to see them.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

There's always hope

An interview with Stephanie and Christian Nielsen...."thrivers." They are a great example of hope.

It's not about the Cream of Wheat

This is my Grandma, Hazel. She didn't like her name. She used to joke that it should be pronounced French, as in Huh-ZEL, instead of HAY-zel. I still think of her as Huh-ZEL sometimes and laugh.

Anyway, my Grandma passed away two years ago. I miss her terribly. But I still have Cream of Wheat. We would sleep over at Grandma's many, many times, and every time, she would make us Cream of Wheat for breakfast, along with "toast points" and other assorted lovelies. But the Cream of Wheat was always the highlight. Gram's was always just right: not too thick, not too thin, made with a little bit of milk, the right amount of salt, and a nicely sized pat of butter slowly melting in a puddle on the top. Cream of Wheat was important at other times, too. If you weren't feeling well, Grandma fixed Cream of Wheat. If you needed a midnight snack, yep, Grandma fixed Cream of Wheat. It was always the same and it was always delicious.

But it's really not about the Cream of Wheat. I have figured out how to replicate Grandma's, and I make it for myself whenever I feel the need. It always seems to be if I haven't felt well, if I'm missing Gram, or if I just feel like it (which is probably also missing Gram). I love you and I miss you, Gram. And I'm definitely planning on making Cream of Wheat for my own future grand kids. I hope they'll feel the love like I did.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

"I want to live in Ghana"

Today's post over at C. Jane, Enjoy It is amazing. It has to do with body image and how we as women see ourselves. Yesterday I wasn't feeling so hot about my own self, so this is timely. Click on over and give it a read. See if it gives you a different perspective.

Aren't these women beautiful?
Photo from: