Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Teacher Appreciation gift ideas.

Teacher Appreciation week is NEXT week - May 2-6. I always like to do something special for the boys' teachers. Plus...my sister is a teacher and I know first hand how hard teacher's really work and how much 'extra' they put into their classrooms to make it a fun learning environment. They deserve being treated extra special! That said...I've rounded up some ideas....and will be posting more in the next few days.


This cute idea was spotted on the blog Lil Mop Top found HERE. The tins are from the $ section at Target {love that!} and the little sign reads: 'Teachers are the sunshine, Students are the flowers, Sunshine helps the flowers grow!'





What teacher doesn't love chocolate? I mean really...don't you think that by about 1:00 our teachers have about had it with our kids and need a little pick me up? Which is why I LOVE this darling idea from Nothing but Country found HERE. They even give you the list of candy needed to go along with the clever little story WHICH they provide a free printable for. Can't beat that!



Teacher Appreciation Gift


And I am LOVING this little twist on the whole teacher/apple idea. Found on the cute blog 3 4 and Under - HERE.

I also posted {through my old blog last year} an idea HERE and HERE.....these are still 2 of my favorite things to do for teachers!


Random Wednesday.

* I usually don't mind buying 'generic' brand products at the grocery store. I do have a few exceptions though. Fruit snacks are one of them....IF......I intend on stealing some from my kids. Which I usually do....during about the 3rd hour of church on Sundays. And let me tell you...those name brand fruit snacks are DEE-LISH. Generic? Not so much. Try em. I promise you will not be disappointed.

* I've about had it with the Sarah McLachlan 'Save the Pets' commercials. For some reason they play them way too much at night time on cable. Don't get me wrong....I love Sarah McLachlan and I {somewhat} love pets.....but these commercials are the most depressing spots on TV! Could they have picked a more depressing song to play in the background?

* I got hit with the flu bug this week. It was pretty nasty. You KNOW I'm sick when....I can pass on a Diet Coke. {Gasp!} It's true. I only crave GingerAle when I'm sick. And it really gets my goat that absolutely ZERO fast food drive-thru's sell GingerAle on tap. ZERO. I was too sick to leave my house yesterday and the fact that I was out of GingerAle made me want to cry a little. Which leads me to my next random thought.....

* Why is it that the only time your kids take you {somewhat} seriously is when you're crying? I mean really. I had a {mini} meltdown last night with my kids. I was tired and ornery and sick and barfing and all I wanted them to do was to pick up the family room. I asked them at least 10 times! Once my tears started flowing from frustration.....they worked faster than I've ever seen them move! The place was spotless within 5 minutes!!! I should try it more often. Not the being sick part. The crying.

* Do you ever find yourself throwing out your kids' papers from school and then hiding THOSE papers with 'other' trash so your kids' don't find out that you just trashed their work? Don't get me wrong...I always save the 'important' and 'cute' stuff. But if I were to save every single paper from preschool and Kindergarten....my entire craft room would be overflowing. Am I bad mom or what?

* I have yet to watch the new NBC show 'The Voice'. I have it DVR'd and am super excited to sit down and watch it tonight. But......is anyone else creeped out by Cee Lo Green? I don't know what it is about him but he sure gives me the heebie-jeebies. Now Adam Levine? Well, he's a different story.....I may just have a {slight} crush on him.

* I didn't think I would be all that into this whole 'Royal Wedding' hub-bub. But the closer it gets to Friday...the more I am. And yes...I will be taping it so I can watch it when I wake up. {No...I am not THAT die hard to set my alarm for 1 AM}. I think Kate Middleton is absolutely stunning and I'm somewhat giddy about the whole thing.

* Why do we find it necessary to 'clean up' before the cleaning lady comes? I {occasionally} splurge and get my beloved Isabelle to come over and do a deep scrub on my house. Every time I do though...the night before she's scheduled to come...... I find myself doing a mad comb-over my house. Doesn't this defeat the whole purpose of a cleaning lady? I'm crazy...I know. You need not remind me.

* I found THIS article on CNN Money quite fascinating. I've never even heard of LivingSocial but may just have to look them up now.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Recipe Club.

Recipe Club is a long standing tradition we have with a close group of our friends. This month's theme was 'Easter Brunch' and it was above and beyond perfect!! The Pickett's hosted and we had such a ball.



Above were the party favors. Aren't they darling?? The buckets were filled with Easter suckers.



Here's our group of ladies {minus Broke...we missed you!} Love these girls!! They are some of my very favorite people.

Cute place settings and adorable Easter banner.

The spread. It was DIVINE! We had: homemade cinnamon rolls, french toast with buttermilk syrup, ham and potato casserole, breakfast strada, fresh strawberries with lemon juice and fresh mint. Yes....it was ALL to die for. We could not stop stuffing our faces.

Please excuse my poor quality of pics. Most were taken with my phone. If you click on the actual picture....it enlarges it so you can see it in more detail.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Weekend Highlights.

Aren't holiday's supposed to be relaxing? I don't know about you...but I am pooped from all of our Easter festivities! Feeling so grateful to live close to BOTH Joe and I's families. We had a FABULOUS weekend! Highlights included:


A neighborhood Easter egg hunt at the park. Thanks to the Morgan's for planning such a FUN Saturday morning!


Coloring Easter Eggs. Londons face.....priceless!



Sunday Easter outfits.

Jenny and William blessing sweet baby June.


Easter dinner and egg hunt with the Lamoreaux family.

We couldn't have asked for a better time!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bunny Tracks.


Between a barfing daughter today and getting last minute things accomplished for Easter....it's definitely been 'one of those days'. Regardless...we are super excited for the BUNNY himself to arrive here on Sunday. I saw this idea last year somewhere...made a mental note of it...and then forgot how to do it. Luckily...I saw the idea again today on the blog Four Flights of Fancy and I am SO going to do this outside our front door on Easter Eve. My kids will FREAK! Click HERE for details. Such a clever idea!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Random Wednesday.

Reese's Pieces - Pastel Eggs
* I can't seem to get enough of these tasty little eggs lately. Honestly...I cannot JUST eat one. It's bad. I'm addicted. I figure though...since {most} of it is made up of peanut butter....it's good protein, right? {Don't crush my dreams if you think otherwise}.

* Speaking of Easter candy....I bought all of our Easter basket stuff today...and was shocked to find almost an entire section devoted to nothing but those chocolate hollow bunnies. Does anyone actually EAT these? And I mean MORE than just a nibble off the ear? They seem like such a waste of money to me.

* The kids and I saw the movie RIO last weekend. 2 thumbs WAY up. So darling!

* I consider myself to be pretty up-to-date on random celebrity gossip. Lately though...you know who's been one upping me? MY DAD! Yes...my 65 year old dad. He is obsessed with the TV show TMZ and watches it as part of his nightly ritual before bed. Kind of funny, no? Love him.

* Two of my FAVORITE stores to shop at are TJ Maxx and Marshalls. 'Ross' however....is a different story. Does anyone actually ever find anything in there? Every single time I've ever been into a Ross....it looks as though a tornado has just twisted through and the place is a disaster. And...they always look as though they're only half stocked with things. Why is that?

* Before I had kids....I wouldn't be caught dead going out to eat by myself OR going to see a movie. How embarrassing, right? Now....I give myself a high five anytime I manage to weasel my way out the door WITHOUT anyone. Funny how things change your way of thinking, right?

* On Nightline the other night {I sometimes catch the tail end before tuning into Jimmy Kimmel}...they did a whole 'bit' on how the new 'IT' trend is not cupcakes anymore...but PIES. PIES? I just don't see this taking off as well as the whole cupcake phenomenom did. Is it just me? With cupcakes you could do all sorts of cute things....cupcake kabobs...cupcakes in a jar.....you could decorate them all fancy dancy. What can you really do with a pie?

* Have you ever: washed your face at night and gone to put your facial toner on....only to realize that you've just smeared your entire face with....nail polish remover? I've done it. Twice. And in my defense.....they're both purple. And I am partially blind when my contacts come out at night. Warning though. It takes a LONG time to get rid of that burning sensation.

* Last weekend I {finally} got a much needed pedicure. My feet were seriously BEYOND nasty. And I'm pretty sure the lady working on my toes was saying some pretty mean things about me to her friend. Granted, I don't speak Vietnamese BUT....I do read body language. And I'm pretty sure ALL of the ladies there thought I was some sort of a beast just by watching them collaborate and look at my toes.

* What the heck ever happened to Bill Cosby's pudding pops? I still crave those every now and again {usually when I'm reminiscing to myself about elementary school}. How dare they stop selling them.

Rice Krispy Eggs.


Last night we had my cute friend Alisha over for dinner and she insisted on bringing dessert. Boy am I glad she insisted...because she brought THE CUTEST RICE KRISPY EGGS ever! She made them so they were hollow in the middle...and then filled the middles with pastel colored m&ms. My kids LOVED the fact that there was a 'suprise' in there. You must make these this weekend. They are too cute not to.

  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
  • - OR -
  • 4 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 6 cups Kellogg's® Rice Krispies® cereal
  • 1/2 cup M&M's® Easter colored chocolate candies
  • Canned frosting or decorating gel (optional)
  • 12 plastic snap-apart 3 x 2-in Easter eggs Close
1. Clean, then coat inside of plastic eggs with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
3. Add Kellogg's® Rice Krispies® cereal. Stir until well coated.
4. Using greased hands, firmly press 1/4 cup of Rice Krispies® mixture into both halves of each plastic egg. Use fingers to make hollow center in each half. Remove from molds. Place on wax paper. Cool slightly.
5. Place about 6 M&M'S® Brand Chocolate Candies in one half of each egg. Gently press two halves of each egg together until they stick. Cool completely.
6. Decorate with frosting and additional M&M'S® Brand Chocolate Candies (if desired). Best if served the same day.

***SIDE NOTE: You need to use the bigger plastic eggs on these...not the regular sized ones.
*** Also- you could get super creative and add food coloring so that the eggs are different colors. I think they look just as cute plain though!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

2 more cute Easter wreaths.

Had I not already made THIS Easter wreath a few weeks ago....I would SO consider making the following two:


Found over at Refunk My Junk - this wreath is made from a clearance frame spotted at Pier 1....an egg wreath from the dollar bins at Target....and a monogram wooden letter. How easy is THAT? I'm LOVING the square design. Click HERE for details.



Isn't this wreath darling? Found over at Embellishing Life Everyday....I am LOVING the mini bunting on this. That...and the fact that you add however many 'eggs' for the amount of people that are in your family. Click HERE for details.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mixed emotions...

I've served in my church's Young Womens program ever since Joe and I were first married. So as you can imagine...it came as a HUGE shock to me this past week when I got a call from my Bishop....extending me a NEW calling into our Primary Presidency. Yikes! I have NEVER served in any capacity in the primary organization. This means...I'll no longer be teaching my cute 12-13 year old girls each week. It now means...I'll be working with all of the kids in our ward ages 2-12! Such a big change. I guess you could say...I'm looking forward to it. Change is always good. That said though..I bawled my eyes out at the thoughts of leaving my cute little Beehives. I don't know ANY different! I have LOVED serving those girls and teaching them each week. It will definitely be an adjustment.

I wanted to make them up a little sumthin-sumthin to bring to each of their houses today.... to tell them how much I love them. Here is what I came up with:






I was going to make them up some bee shaped sugar cookies but when I ran into the Spring Oreos at Target {black and yellow!} I could not resist! IT went along PERFECTLY with my BEE theme. The buckets were purchased in the $ bins at Target.

*You could also use this same exact idea if you were just getting called AS the Beehive advisor. Could work either way:)

Mother's Day breakfast in bed.

Let's be honest ladies. Mother's Day never really pans out as we have it envisioned in our minds. Bless our husband's pea pickin hearts....it just usually...shall I say....seems to fall a little short. No? Well with this clever little door hanger found over at Seven Thirty Three .... they have have no excuse for not serving us breakfast in bed!



This blog even provides a free printable for this....so if you hang it on your dooor...your husband and kids will HAVE to get the HINT. Hehe..

Click HERE for printable.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Clever ice-cream trick.


















I love ice-cream but I despise serving it up. I always make Joe do it. I spotted this clever tip over at SUGARDOODLE and I am so going to use it for my next get together.

"To make our birthday parties go more smoothly, before guests arrive I scoop ice cream into bake cups and place the cups on a cookie sheet in the freezer. At cake time, I just pull out the sheet and place one ice cream treat on each plate. No more lines of children wiating for their ice cream! This is an easy way to keep things moving at busy birthday events."

- Jennifer Weber of Noblesville, Indiana
April 2008, Family Fun Magazine

Brilliant!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Thoughts on AI.

* Yes...I {may} have shed a tear last night when Paul got the boot. I adored him and his cute smile. Please Paul...come out with an album that sounds as if Cat Stevens meets Ray LaMontange. That would be ideal. {Favorite Cat Stevens song ever HERE}.

* I L-O-V-E Will.I.Am and his commentaries on the show this season. He is hilarious and cracks me up every time he speaks.

*Stefano - you cannot go home anytime soon. I actually voted for the first time all season the other night for you.

* I know everyone is on the 'Scotty' bandwagon. He may just win...he has so many fans. But really...he sounds the same EVERY DARN week. He sings out of the corner of his mouth and every week he says 'I wanna get back to my country roots'.....SERIOUSLY? Did you ever leave your country roots? I've never heard him NOT sing a country song. Mix it up a little for us Scotty boy!

* Casey Abrams creeps me out. That's all there is to it. He stares out of the corner of his eyes so awkwardly into the camera. He doesn't know how to move on stage. And I'm ready for him to go home. Although...I fear that with how he reacted when they ALMOST voted him off...they may just have to have a team of medics on hand incase he decides to hyperventilate again.

* Jacob - just too emotional for me. Yes...he has a good voice. But a grown man SHOULD NOT have to cry EVERY SINGLE TIME he sings a song. A tad much, no?

* Lauryn and Haley......love em.

* James - I'm on the fence. Reminds me too much of Adam Lambert...whom I LIKED...but just don't think we need another one.

Even MORE Easter ideas...

Yes, I am {slightly} obsessed with all things Easter right now. So many cute things floating around the blog-o-sphere. And when I discover new cute things...I just HAVE to share.


Like this darling idea for Bunny Chow found over at the blog Cute as a Fox. They give you the yummy recipe to try... ALONG with the free printable bag toppers. How fun would this be to deliver to friends the night before Easter? Click HERE for details.



How about a jar full of BUNNY NOSES? The oh so darling {and clever!} idea is found over at She's Kinda Crafty. Yes...it's jelly beans. And yes...it's brilliant. They even give you free fun printables here as well! Cick HERE for details.




Two of my top 10 favorite things at Easter Time are: ric-rack and egg cups. Which is why I ADROE this cute idea for egg vases from Social Couture. Click HERE for details.

And last, but not least:





are these cute bunny containers found over at Pam's Party Planning. I like to pick up these little plastic containers from the Dollar Tree whenever I see them for various things. I think my kids would LOVE to have these sitting at their place settings for Easter Dinner. Click HERE for details.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Random Wednesday.

* This sassy little diva continues to be......a SUPER SASSY little diva. She was put in time out THREE times today. By the sound of her blood curdling screams {while sitting on the couch IN 'time out'} I'm surprised my neighbors didn't call CPS on me. She really knows how to DRAMATIZE the SITUATION...that is for sure. Still do LOVE her lots though.

* Yesterday, while browsing quickly through the Easter aisles at Wal-mart....I came across THESE:



At first glance the HOP title caught my attention...my kids LOVED that movie. So I looked a little further and discovered this:

I guess if your kids have been on the NAUGHTY list....the Easter Bunny brings them THESE instead of those tasty Reese's eggs?
Because seriously...who in their right mind would make their kids eat LETTUCE flavored fruit snacks? That's just wrong.

* The month of APRIL may just be my least favorite month. Which is slightly mind boggling really since a) I LOVE Easter and b) I love the start of spring. But you know what I DON'T love? Taxes. Owning your own business BLOWS this time of year. Enough said.

* Donald Trump for President? Really?? I mean.....REALLY?

* I am totally disappointed in ASU and their new uniforms and image. They have completely put SPARKY on the back burner. Now...when you see the ASU logo and just the devil's pitchfork...it looks slightly satanic. And who on earth would give a team from Phoenix....BLACK uniforms? Those football players are going to ROAST!

* Remember last week when I said I LOVE Parenthood? Well, I also LOVE the music they play every week. Does anyone know if they sell a soundtrack to that show? There is some serious good tun-age going on each episode.

* Speaking of good tun-age....2 of my ALL TIME favorite songs are HERE and HERE. Call me crazy...but I crank em up whenever I hear them. They are classics.

* I'm obsessed with facebook stalking people. Anyone know if there Is like a 12 step program for this type of problem?

* Yesterday I drove around my block not once...but TWICE to make sure I had shut my garage door. Can you say O.C.D?

* I really wish Jimmy Fallon came on BEFORE Jay Leno. And how does Carson Daly STILL have a talk show going on after all these years? Don't get me wrong...I was a HUGE Carson Daly fan back in the TRL days......but that was over 10 years ago. I think it's time for him to finally retire.

Elegant Chicken Rolls

I love bringing in meals to people who are sick or who have just had a baby. I feel like it's such an easy way for me to do 'service'. Tonight I get to make dinner for a cute friend of mine who just had a baby GIRL! I'm making one of my absolute FAVORITE recipes for chicken. Lucky for you...I'm sharing the recipe. I found it last year off of a local tv show here in AZ called THE VALLEY DISH. It's always a HUGE hit whenever I make it. {Side note: It does take a little bit of time...but it is SO worth it!} Enjoy!

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup (4 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (4 oz.) feta cheese
2 Tbs. fresh basil (the BEST part!)
1 cup of flour, for dredging
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 jar sweet roasted red peppers
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg
12-18 spinach leaves
3/4 cup (6 oz) thinly sliced proscuitto

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butterfly each chicken breast...flatten chicken to about 1/4 inches thick.

In small bowl, combine cream cheese, feta, basil, and pepper.

Whisk egg in small bowl.

To assemble chicken roll, cover chicken with single layer of cheese mixture. Spread to within 1/4 of edge. Top with spinach leaves.

Top with roasted red peppers and cover with proscuitto. Roll up tucking in ends. Secure with toothpick.

Dip in egg mixture, then dredge in flour, then coat with panko bread crumbs. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until juices run clear.

I'll also be making THIS recipe...my favorite!...for scalloped potatoes and THIS recipe for dessert!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Egg-ing it up!

Tonight for family night...we are going to get crazy and EGG some of our neighbors houses. No...not the cruel and messy way.....this way:


Darling idea found over at SUN SCHOLARS ....they even give you the sign and poem to print out on your own. To find out how to do this cute idea...click HERE.


Easter with the Coombs

To see how we celebrated Easter last night with Joe's family...click HERE.
My sis-in-law describes it perfectly!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

DIY cake stand and candy dish.

My cute mother-in-law had a birthday today. We celebrated at her house {details and pics from the festivities to follow soon...}. I've been seeing a lot of different versions of the Do-it-Yourself cake stands all around the blog-o-sphere lately...and so I decided to try a couple out and give them to her. They were so simple that yes...I will be making some up for myself soon. The possibilities are endless really. Here is how it's done:

1. Go to your nearest Dollar Tree and pick up some candlesticks. The one with the red rose was just screaming my name. {Do people really buy this stuff and give it to their significant other? Oh honey...you shouldn't have! A fake red rose in an ugly red vase. It's....beautiful! Kidding!} The silhouette of it was what I loved most.


2. Find any cute plates and/or bowls that are cute. I found mine at Fry's.



3. Spray paint your candlesticks with your desired color. I used white. Once the spray paint has dried....hot glue the candlestick to the plate or bowl...

It really is THAT simple. My candy bowl just wasn't cuttin it for me though. It needed some more stability...I felt like it was going to tip over at the drop of a hat.


So I found the base of an IKEA frame that I had on hand and glued that to the bottom. Problem solved.



Cute Easter idea.

I've mentioned my love for the cute blog eighteen25 before. They come up with the most clever ideas. Last week they posted the most darling tag as a free printable and I just couldn't pass them up.





Take an egg carton and cut it in half. Then fill with either plastic eggs loaded with candy OR Cadbury Eggs. I made some up for the Coombs family tonight and my kids had so much fun helping me! Super simple!

Scripture Study Handout and Treat.

Today's lesson at church was on Scripture Study. I found a really cute quote on Sugardoodle and decided to make up some handouts for the girls. I started by making mini loaves of banana bread:



Wrapped em up with some cellophane and polkadot ribbon.....


With a tag attached that read:



Ta-dah! Threw em in a cute basket and I was ready! Have I mentioned I LOVE the cute girls I get to teach every week? Because I do. I really do.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The mall.

It's rainy and cloudy here in the {usually} sunny AZ. It's actually a nice welcome change. Since yesterday wasn't really the -play-outside- type of day here....Carson and London and I headed to the mall while Grant was at school. I made a few observations while I was there. Care if I share?

* The Easter Bunny was there. I'm not sure what it is about the EB being at the mall...but it kind of creeps me out. I'm totally ok with Santa being there. But the EB? Not so much. Carson sat on his lap but with all that get up on the EB...it can't even talk. So what's the point? Not a fan.

* I love Pottery Barn Kids. Love everything inside that store. But you know what I really love the MOST about it? The fact that it has a restroom in the back. L-O-V-E it! So convenient for us moms. And it's always clean. And always has diapers and wipes in case you run out. Thank you PB. It makes spending exorbitant amounts of money for your items seem........aok at times.

* Have you been inside Williams and Sonoma lately? It is an Easter beauty inside. Go inside just to drool at their decor. Plus...they have really added to their STAR WARS cooking collection. Carson was in Darth Vader heaven. Some of my favorites:


Personalized<i> Star Wars</i>™ Kids’ Apron<i>Star Wars</i>™ Darth Vader Flexible Spatula


Star Wars apron and Darth Vader spatula.





<i>Star Wars</i>™ Mini Iced Cookies


Mini {already iced} Star Wars cookies. PERFECT for favors at a birthday party!



<i>Star Wars</i>™ Cupcake Decorating Kit Rebel Alliance




<i>Star Wars</i>™ Cupcake Decorating Kit Galactic Empire



And two different adorable packages of cupcake liners and toppers. I'll be picking these up for Carson's birthday next month. It is a must!

Also while at the mall:

* I sat next to a kid who had a dirty loaded diaper...probably from about 3 days ago...still in his pants. I actually changed seats 3 different times because the smell was so horrific...but he kept finding me and playing near me. Needless to say.....Cars and Londy only got to play there for about 10 minutes. It was all I could handle.

* And why....for the love....do play places not have gates on the exterior...to keep the kids from sneaking out? A mom clearly did not design it that is for sure.

* Janie and Jack. I love you. But your prices are just too high. Even on your sale racks. Your clothes are irresistably cute. But just. too. expensive. {Sigh}.


* I have searched high and low to try and find the boys something cute for Easter....but to no avail. The boys stuff is slim pickins this spring. Yes, even at The Childrens Place....who normally carries darling {Easter} boy lines. Nothing. Nada. What to do?