Monday, April 30, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Ideas.

Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up next week.  I know I know, I brag about the boys' teachers all the time but it's true.  I do love them!!! I love spoiling them with little gifts during Teacher 'Appreesh' week.  Here are some cute ideas I've found around the web:


025teacher2

Unwrapped and in Love with Life did a "5 days of Appreciation" gift idea and brought in something different each day for the teacher along with a matching poem.   Click HERE to see what she came up with!


The Dating Divas came up with some DARLING printables for tags to attach to treats.  You could tweak em a little if needed...just LoVe the idea!



A Survival Kit loaded up with some of your teacher's favorites is always fun!
Funky Polka Dot Giraffe came up with this cute one.





Whats Scrapping shows you how to make this clever Supply Cake for your teacher.


And since I pretty much LoVe anything presented in a jar....




The Gunny Sack gives us a few cute ideas for 'jarred up' Teacher gifts.

Can't wait to share what I've got up MY sleeve for next week!
Thank Goodness for GOOD teachers!!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

This weekend we...

Grant.....posing for one of his 'pretend' profile pics.


* Stayed in Friday night.  As much as I LOVE going out on Friday nights...it's kind of refreshing to relax and not do ANYTHING.....every ONCE in awhile.

*Slept in until 9:30 on Saturday.  Yes...Joe, London and I.  It was bliss.  {The boys were downstairs eating cereal outta the box and watching Disney in their underwear.  Fine by me!}

* Made THESE pancakes for breakfast.

* Watched the boys play in yet another baseball game.  Carson was catcher this time.  Watching him in all that garb is really too cute for words.





















* Dinner with fun friends at THIS restaurant.  It was our first time.  And it was yummy.

*Graduation party at another fun friends house. {Have I mentioned we have FUN friends?} Congrats Krista on that nursing degree!  

*Uplifting-ness at church.  

* 2 1/2 hour Sunday afternoon nap. 

*Tried THIS new recipe for Sunday dinner. {It was YUM.  I'll post my 'tweaks' to it tomorrow}.

*Wathcing AFV and baking cookies now as I type.  It's our very most favorite way to end our weekends as a family.{Because who doesn't LOVE watching someone get hit in the groin over and over again? Doesn't take much to make us Coombs' laugh!}


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Random Wednesday.

My 3 stooges on a typical afternoon.


* Why on earth are bottles of water filled up to be exactly 16.9 ounces?  We can't just splurge the 10th of an ounce and make it an easy 17 ounces?  Wouldn't this make it easier on the factory workers?  Every time I drink my water I am reminded of this.  {Maybe that's why I like my Thirstbusters from Circle K so much.  I always know I'm getting an even 32 ounces of pure liquid delight!}

* Does anyone think the 'hype' surrounding 'Brangelina' and their 'engagement' is a little un-necessary?  Anti-climactic, no? They have SIX kids for crying out loud.  Get married already!

* NBC's 'The Office' just aint what it used to be.  I was so sad to watch Steve Carrell leave the show but had high hopes with Ed Helms.  {He usually cracks me up no matter what}.  The show altogether now though?  Blah.

* I've got a pet peeve with stores who sell picture frames.  {Home Goods I'm talking directly to you}.  Why on earth is it necessary to place the sticky gooey price tag, directly on the glass part?  This mindless act ALWAYS takes me a good 20 minutes to fix.  First off the price tag NEVER wants to come off.  Second, you usually have to wash it in soap and water and Third..if its super stubborn, you've gotta get out the Goo be Gone.  WAY too much work for a measly little picture frame dontcha think?

* I consider my kids and I to be very 'close'.  In fact we've gotten SO 'close' lately that I can walk into a room that they're all 3 playing in, and identify which one has just tooted.  True story.  Every time. I've always thought I had good intuition but this latest find has brought my intuition to a completely new level.

* I have a confession.  I get giddy with excitement EVERY time I hear a song from Hall and Oates on the radio.  Like, I crank it up and sing at the top of my lungs excited.  Especially THIS one.  {In my defense...I was raised on this stuff.  I have THREE older siblings ya know!}

* I've got yet another pet peeve with Facebook. {Man I really have a love/hate relationship with the good ole FB}.  Why on earth do people think it's ok to take profile pictures OF THEMSELVES in a bathroom?  This just never turns out classy.  EVER.  That empty roll of toilet paper in the background?  Not appealing.  Neither is the dirty tub in the background.  Or your skeevy toilet bowl.  I promise it just takes a few seconds to walk outside and get a much more appealing pic of yourself. I PROMISE.

* Pinterest needs an 'alert' that notifies you when you are getting ready to pin something...that you've already pinned.  I pin SO MUCH STUFF that I forget what I've pinned and what I haven't!  I'm thinking there would be quite a few of us who could benefit from this feature, no? {I'm crazy obsessed with Pinterest these days}.

* Why do reality shows {such as THE VOICE} think it's necessary to post 'tweets' from viewers at the bottom of their screen?  Do we really care what a complete stranger thinks of so and so's performance? 

* Okay okay....another favorite Hall and Oates classic HERE.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth Day Treats version 2.0

Today Grant's class celebrated Earth Day.
I've been needing an excuse to learn how to bake with clay pots.
{It seems like all the rage, ya know.}
I was delightfully surprised at just how easy it was...

So I present to you.....my very own Baking with Clay POTS step-by-step guide.

{Before we begin...let me let you in on a tip. If you are in need of the mini clay pots, check Hobby Lobby.  They package their clay pots in groups of 6.  And chances are...half of those 6 will be broken.  Which means...you take up your packages and tell the manager you want/need a discount.  You'll hopefully score like I did.  I paid $3 for 24 clay pots total.  Otherwise, they would've been $2.27 for a package of just 6.  So I learned my lesson.  It never hurts to ask the manager for discounts.}


Before baking the cupcakes, make sure and wash the pots with soap and water and dry completely.


Since the pots contain a tiny hole at the bottom, you'll want to cover this up.  You can use parchment paper to do this or....as I did....you can use a mini muffin liner that fits down there perfectly.

I used just a regular ole boxed cake mix.

Fill the pots 3/4 full of batter. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the pots on top to bake.

You'll bake as the back of the box directs...however the baking time will take a tad bit longer.

Pots will be HOT when coming out of the oven.
Make sure they cool completely before proceeding with the next step.



It should look like this now:







Honestly...how SIMPLE is that???
The possibilities with these cute little pots are endless!  I'm already planning out my next project with them!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up.

This weekend:

* Joe and I went out to dinner with friends and then laughed til our sides hurt playing games.

* Listened to our kids laugh their heads off at Puss in Boots.
London has watched it now close to 100 times. 
And we got it on Thursday.

* I took some of my sweet young women out to breakfast.
I told them all before General Conference that if they watched ALL FOUR sessions and could tell me their very favorite talks...I would treat whomever did that...to breakfast.
I was thinking maybe 1 or 2 would take on the challenge.
Not MY awesome Young Women.
NINE of my sweet young ladies watched all four sessions.
So we dined at Denny's and it was LOADS of FUN.

* Celebrated my in-laws 35th Anniversary!

We surprised Scott and Marilyn and all met at Bucco di Beppo for lunch.
So lucky to have such FUN in-laws.
However...as FUN as they are...I couldn't stop staring at this odd picture all through the meal...


It hung right outside of our POPE themed room.
Am I WEIRD to think that THIS is WEIRD?

* Watched the boys play another baseball game.

* Took a lengthy Sunday afternoon nap.

*Grilled steaks for Sunday dinner.

*Went over to some of our favorite friends' house for a yummy Sunday night dessert.

*Deleted over 500 pictures on my phone that look a little like this:

London's foot.

*Cranked down the AC because it has officially gotten H-O-T here.


* And tried to get rested up for another eventful week.

I went to check on the boys before going to sleep the other night and found them all snuggled up  like this.
Melts my heart those two!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Earth Day Treats.

Carson's class celebrated 'Earth Day' yesterday and I thought it would be fun to bring in some 'special' treats for his class.  


What kid doesn't LOVE Dirt Cups?
{I STILL love them.}

They were super simple to assemble.
I found these 'planter' cups in the $ bins at Target.  
They came in a package of 8.


Since they had a small hole at the bottom, I had to fill them each with a half an OREO to 'plug' it up. 


After that I filled up the cup 3/4s full of chocolate pudding.
{For a class of 24 you will need exactly 6 small 
boxes of instant pudding}.


I'm sure they all had nice CHOCOLATE-Y smiles the rest of they day thanks to me!


Grant's class celebrates EARTH DAY on Monday.
I'm making a VAMPED up version of these. 
Fingers crossed those turn out.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Flower Power.

Spring has sprung. 
Or did it 'sprung' right over and skip us all together in AZ?  We're supposed to hit our first day of 100 degree temps this weekend!  Yowzers.

I've been spring cleaning out my kids' closets. {I've discovered I'm a tad bit obsessed with clothes for my kids.}  Carson has had a spring in his step ever since he learned how to skip the other day. And I've been dreaming of making spring treats lately....because well, I love spring!  And since it IS such a short season here...we need to celebrate it FAST!  

I've been inspired by:

submitted by: Bright Ideas
Bright Ideas

Fun butterfly cupcakes made out of peanut M&Ms.



submitted by: Bright Ideas
Bright Ideas
Beehive cupcakes made with orange jellybeans and sliced almonds.


Flower Cupcakes
McCormick
Flower Cupcakes.
Made with pretzel sticks and store bought flower shaped sugar cookies.


Snowy Bliss
Don't you think this would make a DARLING place setting for a Mother's Day brunch? Plus...it serves as the dessert too!  Double score.


MadTown Macs
So simple really.  A cupcake holder and a giant marshmallow!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Origami Owl.

Google Images

A year or so ago I came across the most adorable necklaces at a local seasonal boutique.  
I LOVED the idea of these lockets BECAUSE...they were completely customizable.
There were SO MANY cute choices that I just couldn't make up my mind. Which is why...when my friend Kapri told me she had just recently started selling them...I nearly jumped for joy.  

The necklaces are called 'Origami Owl'  and the concept was actually created from a young girl who goes to high school just a few miles from here.  The necklaces are absolutely brilliant.  You can fill your locket with so many different types of tiny charms that tell a story about YOU.

I may or may not have ordered a couple for an upcoming holiday.
I couldn't resist.

Kapri is having a party with these darling necklaces THIS Thursday in South Chandler.  
If you'd like more information click HERE or send me a message and I can give you more details if you'd like to attend.


Google Images

Friday, April 13, 2012

Recipes to try...



One of my very most favorite boards on my Pinterest account is my 'Recipes to Tryboard. I have tried some of THE BEST new recipes thanks to other peoples 'pins' around the web-o-sphere. 

Here are some recent 'pins' that I am looking forward to trying in the next week or two:




artichoke crusted chicken.
SugarLaws
                  Artichoke Crusted Chicken


King Arthur Flour

Baked Zucchini Sticks and Sweet Onion Dip


Kitchen Trial and Error

Creamy Tomato Pasta

Mels Kitchen Cafe

Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps

Six Sisters Stuff

Baked Chicken Chimis with Green Sauce


Buns in My Oven

Chicken Tamale Casserole

Guess I'll be busy these next few weeks.  Forget the ingredients...I need MOTIVATION now!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Random Wednesday

Papago Park April 2012

* I refuse to switch over to the new FB timeline.  They'll have to do it for me.  Why must they constantly make changes on their site with the format?  Don't they know...we don't like change??  It's like when my favorite grocery store decides to 'revamp' their look and switch aisles on me.  No like-y.

* Peeps.  Seriously.  Who on earth likes those??  And how long do boiled eggs stay good in your fridge?  And why must I boil SO MANY at Easter time??

* I'm pretty sure that a few months ago I 'Random Wednesday'd' about all types of bottled water being created equal.  I'm here to dispute that claim.  Arrowhead?  Bleh.  Is it just me or does it taste funny??  I'm sticking to Dasani and Costco brand.  {Seriously though...do people REALLY think 'SKINNY' water is going to make them MORE skinny than regular water?  That's just plain weird.}

* The Biebs has a new song out.  And I love love love it.  Sure...it was made for the teeny-boppers.  But I'm still 'young' at heart so it's ok if I like it, right? He actually reminds me of a much younger Justin Timberlake with this song. Haven't heard it? Whaaa?  Click HERE for it's goodness.  

* Also digging THIS song on the radio right now. {Warning: if you choose to watch the video...it's sorta REALLY weird.  I prefer to just 'listen' to it.}

* LOVE the singer Adele.  They really need to stop playing THIS song over and over on the radio though.  I liked it.  For like 6 months.  But enough is enough.  THIS song of hers definitely needs more airtime. That girls has got some serious talent.

* I really wish people would stop wearing feathers in the tips of their hair.  This was a trend that {in my opinion} was never really that great.

* Why must SPRINKLES cupcakes make the absolute most divine Peanut Butter/Chocolate cupcake?  Super glad I don't live super close to one of these.  It could be deadly.

*London was DETERMINED last weekend that the Easter Bunny was a girl.  After I thought about it for a bit...I thought...why on earth do we just 'assume' that he's a boy?  I mean....when you go to sit on the creepers lap at the mall...they DON'T EVEN TALK TO YOU through their mask....so who are we to judge?? Random things from my 3 year old that make ya go hmmmmmm.

* Blake Shelton.  WHY oh WHY did he ever think sporting a mullet was a good look for him?  He is such a DOLL on THE VOICE.  I just can't get past the image of him and his early 2000's mullet.  

* Why on singing reality shows do judges always say 'It's not the end of the road for you' to people who get kicked off at the start of the season.  Seriously.  I'm pretty sure it's 'the end of the road' for anyone without the names Chris Daughtry or Clay Aiken. NO ONE really makes it big after bombing on the show.  

*Social Reader on Facebook.  Why on earth do you want people knowing what you're reading? Isn't this idea just a tad creepy?  

*One last bit about Facebook.  If every single one of your status updates consists of having to click on the 'read more' button, for us to finish reading what you had to say....you probably just shouldn't say it.  Save it for a blog entry, text or an email.  Am I right?  People don't go to fb to read novels.   

* Why is browsing Pinterest so therapeutic to me?  I've gotten so that I can't go to bed at night without looking at it.  

* I'm usually a one brand type of woman when it comes to candles.  I'm kind of a candle snob.  {LOVE the Gold Canyon brand}.  I have however been PLEASANTLY surprised with the Bath and Body Works candles that  have come out recently.  They make my home smell so fresh! {Which most of the time...it is definitely not!}  THIS one and THIS one are my favorites.  And they usually run sales where they're 2 for $20 so I feel like it's a win win type of situation.  

* Sales.  I always say to Joe.....'Honey look how much money I saved by shopping this sale or that sale'.  His response?  'You could've saved MORE money by not shopping at all'.  Hehe.  Does this sound familiar to anyone else out there?  

Port of Subs.  Hands down the BEST sandwich/sub place.  It puts Subway to shame.  How is it that I've just discovered this yummy goodness within the past year?  

********************************************************

Some of my favorite quotes from this week:

My 5 year Carson was watching America's Funniest Videos the other night and after watching someone get hit in the you know what he responded with...."And....that's why I never wanna hit puberty".  

Ummm...what?  I promise we've never even uttered that word in our house before.  
How on earth???

*******************************************************

Last night we spent the evening at Papago Park.  
It was FUN and BEAUTIFUL.
You must visit it if you are from around here. 
Here are a few of my favorite pics from the top o' the mountain.




Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Weekend Part 2.

 We are so lucky to have been able to spend Easter Dinner with Joe's parents and siblings.
Grandma Marilyn went all out as usual.


Everything was decorated to perfection.

London started the evening off in a chocolate and jelly bean coma...


But soon perked right up when it was time to hunt for eggs. 






Joe and I didn't fare too well in the Adult Money egg hunt this year.
We got jipped actually.
I'm peeking over the fence next year to see where Scott and Marilyn hide the eggs BEFORE it starts.

Marilyn had a sweet little program planned for the kids centered around our Savior...

Each person was to look through a copy of the Ensign and pick their favorite picture of Christ.
Heartfelt testimonies ensued...
And the love and spirit in the room was felt.



Thank you Scott and Marilyn for another magical and memorable holiday.
We are blessed indeed.