Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Making Magical Memories

Amid the endless loads of laundry that need folded and the dishes that are done for 5 minutes before there are more I see two tiny people that I am in charge of each and every day. Maybe it is the fact that we have been at home for almost two weeks sick, or maybe its the new year and thoughts of goals and hopes for the year dominate ones thoughts. Or maybe it is the fact that the holidays just ended and the holidays are magical for every age. But it has made me think about how my time is spent each day. 
I know there are tasks and chores that must be done. Laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping and meal preparations. But, with that never ending list in mind and my to do list in the back of my head what do our days look like to my kids? As we make yet another trip to Walmart or Target and they try to sit patiently in the cart while I bribe them with treats are they having fun? Maybe. Maybe not. While I put on another pointless cartoon so I can clean up the house and do the dishes are their brains slowly turning to mush as they are trained to become the couch potatoes and video game junkies that I swore my kids would never be? 
Life happens. Life cannot always be fun or entertaining. As parents we can't bounce from one fun activity to the next without teaching our children about the other equally important parts of life. But, I feel life is full of much more than I am showing them at the moment and for that I feel truly guilty. I am tired. Exhausted really. I have not slept more than a few hours at a time in nearly 4 years. I'm also a perfectionist and tend to bite off more than I can chew. I want to be everything for everyone. I need to be better at finding balance and I need to be better and making magic for my kids. 
We are all children only once. We experienced everything as children with wonderment and enthusiasm. That seems to change the older you get. Until you have children. Then you get a chance to experience it again. Snow. The first flowers or spring. Baby animals. Baby siblings. Fireworks on the 4th of July. The changing of the seasons. Carving pumpkins. The magic or Christmas. All of these things and everything in between. 

I want my children to remember their childhood being full of not just memories but magical memories.  The big holidays as well as little things in their day to day life. Things that to me may not be magical but to them hopefully will be. That is my resolution for the new year. Making magical days, times, memories with my kids because as everyone says...."It goes too fast." "You'll wish for these days back." "Enjoy it while you can." I will listen to those phrases because it does go too fast, and I WILL enjoy every single minute of it. Hopefully, so will they.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Little Princess Baby Shower

What is a baby shower without an actual shower? Uneventful. My sister, mom, and I threw a baby shower for my sister last week and as we set up the decor and food we watched as the sky to the north became darker and darker. Not a drop of rain fell until the shower started and all of the guests had arrived.

The skies then opened and dumped the heaviest rain I have seen in quite some time. Our quickly drenched guests were quick to grab food, presents, and decor, and run for the shelter of the house. Of course it only rained for 10 or 15 minutes but it was more than enough rain to soak EVERYTHING.

Still a fun night spent with friends, and a fun couple of weeks planning the shower. If you are in the process of planning a shower or may have to in the future. Scroll through the pictures for ideas... you never know when you'll need them. Any of these could be adapted for any kind of party.


Use what you have before purchasing anything!

  • Before purchasing any decor items take a look around your home to see what you already have that can be used as decor. Here the vase of faux flowers, tied bedroom quilt, chalkboard and table where already in the home. Pulled out of their individual rooms and placed together it created decor.

  • Twine and clothes pins were used to hang onesies, socks, and little pants that were being given as gifts. The mom to be also brought pieces that she had already purchased and they became part of the decor as well.

  • Once you have done an inventory of what you can already use then head to the store for the extras. 
  • Tissue paper poofs can be made quite easily with any color of tissue paper you like. The pink banner strung in the top few pictures was purchased at Target for $4. You can add words, make your own, or leave it plain. They had similar banners in a variety of colors on the party aisle.

Little Details

  • Add a message to a chalkboard of any size. Greet guests, do a countdown, make a Happy Birthday sign for the birthday child. The sky is the limit. Get creative. You can find quotes that go with your party on the internet.


  • Party planning is complicated enough without trying to be too detailed with the food. Stay as simple as you can and you'll be glad you did. I am still learning this lesson and more often than not try to make some unique thing for a party and it rarely turns out and I'm left with some strange thing.

  • We simple put fresh fruit, m&ms and nuts, cupcakes, brownies, veggies, and chips and salsa all on different kinds of white plates and dishes. It looked great on the table and it didn't take hours to prepare. Still time consuming but not near what it could have been. And most importantly people will eat it when they know what it is. Simple foods for groups are best because you don't have to worry about differing tastes.
  • Decide how much time you will need to set up and then double it. Setting up will always, always, always take longer than you think if you want it done right. If for some odd reason it doesn't you'll have plenty of time to be ready and there is nothing wrong with that.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Make a Kids Quilt from Bed Sheets

 I love the look and feel of homemade quilts but I don't have the know how or time to put together an actual quilt so..... while at the store i came across the most adorable Jake and the Neverland Pirate sheets. (Target) I bought them and when I showed them to my mom she suggested making a blanket out of them. 

So away we went. I ended up using the bottom fitted sheet on the bed. The top sheet I used for the top of the blanket, then found a sandy yellow that I liked at Walmart. You can buy top and bottom sheets separately there.

We came home, ironed both of the top sheets to get the creases out so we'd have a little extra fabric, pinned them together with some batting in between, did a quick edge on the sewing machine, and then tied it with some cream yarn. 

As you can see from the above picture the little guy loves it! It was so much easier that putting together quilt blocks. They had some adorable little girl sheets at Target that would be so cute for a bed spread. There are quite a few options. 

A few pictures of the crew helping tie the quilt/blanket.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

4th of July Star Spangled Brownies

I made these the other day just to see how they would work out… when attending family functions I always want to bring something cool but I never test it out or I find something that far exceeds my ability as a cook/chef so either I become frustrated or I take something that is not that great. After seeing  July 4th treats starting to pop up I thought I'd try these as they are much easier than the red white and blue concoctions I am seeing. Although those look fabulous I have nowhere near the kind of time required to put one of those tasty treats together but…. I can do this.

First- Make a pan of brownies. From scratch… good for you. I used a box. 

Second- Cut out stars. . I had these star shaped post it notes so I did not even have to cut.

Third- Place stars as you would like on your brownies.

Fourth- Dust the top of brownies with white powdered sugar.

Fifth - pull off the stars and you are left with the outline of a star. Not the most technical but still a fun idea for the 4th and something kids can very easily help out with.

Last and the best? Cut, serve, and enjoy!
Have an easy 4th of July treat? I'd love to hear it. I'm always looking for simple!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls from Rhodes Rolls

I have a thing for cinnamon rolls. Always have. I don't know if it is the frosting, the cinnamon sugar, or the combination of the two. But I am always looking for new recipes to try and I'd say this one was a winner. Last Sunday morning I didn't want to take the time to make the actual dough and I had a bag of frozen Rhodes Dinner Rolls in my freezer so I though there must be a way to use them for cinnamon rolls. There is. I found this recipe …. well now I can't find the recipe. I will keep looking and get the link up here. They were quite good and fairly simple as far as cinnamon rolls go. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Change Your Perspective - Child Photography

Contrary to what some may think there is much more to photography than just the push of a button. Whether you find yourself an amateur, professional, hobbyist, or a parent trying to catch some great pictures of your little ones, change your perspective next time you are taking pictures of a little one.

While there is definitely a need and want for the straight on photos that show where you are and what your child is doing, look a little deeper and you may end up with some great pictures that show you a little more than you realize, and will end up being favorites of yours in the long run.

Little hands trying to figure out how a birthday noise maker works.

Aunt and nephew on a boat for the first time. Heads together for warmth and comfort.

Playing in a park on an old mining train. 

Curiously exploring a carved pumpkin on a first Halloween.

Sidewalk Chalk a favorite summer pastime.

This side shot of a boy playing in balls shows a bit of his personality and his size in relation to the balls.

Playing hide and go seek with cousins at a summer wedding.

Checking out the garden accessories.

Hungrily eyeing a cake…..

Waiting as mom talks to the adults...

Dad's Cowboy hat.. captures sweet little cheeks.