Friday, May 31, 2013


I liked Strawberry Shortcake A LOT when I was little.

In fact, my mom saved my original Strawberry Shortcake doll that I used to play with when I was a little girl and THE DOLL STILL SMELLS LIKE STRAWBERRIES! 

How AMAZING, right?!
They just don't make toys like they used to.

This is what I blame my 
obsession on.

{I did LOVE her pal BLUEBERRY MUFFIN too and coincidentally, I love all things BLUEBERRY as well!}

I realize I've posted quite a few YUMMY strawberry-ish recipes lately and wanted to compile them all in one post so you can ENJOY them ALL summer long!

You are BERRY welcome.
{Sorry. I couldn't resist one last little pun!}

Recipe HERE.

Recipe HERE.

Recipe from Heather Ross.
Blend 1 can frozen limeade, 1/2 can of Sprite, 2 cups frozen strawberries and the pulp of 2 limes.

Bake a boxed vanilla or yellow cake mix according to pacakge.
Once the cake has cooled, bring 1 cup of water to a boil and then pour into 1 pacakge of dry Jell-O strawberry mix.  Stir until well dissolved and then add 1/2 cup of cold water.
Poke holes all over your cake with the bottom of a wooden spoon.
Pour Jell-O all over cake.
It will seep into the prepared cake.
Refrigerate and right before serving, frost with a carton of COOL WHIP.
Garnish with fresh strawberries or blueberries.

Recipe from The Country Cook.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

End of Year Traditions.

I blinked.
And the past school year just flew on by.
Can't believe it's officially SUMMER!

The boys woke up this morning to our annual 'LAST DAY OF SCHOOL' decorated kitchen table....

...All of the essentials needed to kick off the start of summer this week!

I had them take in some cupcake treats for their teachers....

Homemade strawberry cupcakes you'll definitely wanna try soon.
Recipe HERE.
Free Happy Summer printable HERE.

We filled out our annual 50 days of Summer Fun poster.

Free printable from The Crafting Chicks.

I had high hopes of making up some End of the Year treats
for the kids' classmates.... 

These are last year's.
For deets click HERE.

Alas....I ran outta energy.
There's always NEXT year, right?

I DO think this idea from eighteen25 is super adorable and would be cute with ANYTHING orange flavored....

I have high hopes of making THIS recipe in the next couple of days....

from Heather Ross
Blend 1 can frozen limeade, 1/2 can of Sprite, 2 cups frozen strawberries and the pulp of 2 limes.

One of the things on our 'Summer Bucket List' is to decorate cupcakes together.
Thinking we will try these cute popsicle ones...

Party Pinching
Popsicles made from toothpicks stuck into Mike and Ikes.
How seriously clever!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

2-fer Tuesday

TWO things I am LOOKING FORWARD to right now:

That's right.  
I'm going with one of my besties {it's not til Dec. 2nd} and we are as excited as 2 giddy school girls.
I told her we should bring a pair of panties to throw on the stage.
{I kid.  I KID!!!!!}

* Girls Camp.
Yup it's true.  I'm ACTUALLY looking forward to it this year. 
Those of you who know me...know that I am NOT a camper!
But I DO LOVE spending quality time with my cute church girls in cooler temps.
Next week is the week and I am EXCITED!
To check out last year's Camping adventures click HERE and HERE and HERE.
{ FUN!}

TWO Songs on the radio that I CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF this week:

{Love me some good Mariah!}


{Perfect summertime song with a little MJ mixed in}.


Monday, May 27, 2013

This Memorial Day Weekend:

I love long weekends.
I love spending time with my family and sleeping in.
And eating good eats.
This weekend fulfilled all of those wants and more!

*Friday morning we went to Grant's 2nd grade classroom and ate donuts while watching his class slideshow.  So FUN.  Can't believe the school year is coming to a close.

*London and I headed over to the mall afterwards to make my nephew {ELDER RUPA} a BUILD A BEAR for his birthday.  

London thought she was a hotdog because she got to record her voice so that when he pushes on the bear's hand...he can hear her message.
So sweet!

* London finished up her last swim lesson of the season on Friday, too.

Proud to say she was able to jump off the diving board and swim to the side...ALL by HERSELF.
{Little girls in swimsuits = cutest thing ever!}

* Friday night we had more END of the YEAR fun with Carson's 1st grade class HERE.

Both my boys have had Ms. Avery and now she is moving and we are devastated.
Truly one of the BEST teachers out there.

As a little gift from the class, I enlisted the help from my cute friend Judy, and we made Ms. Avery an Avenger's quilt.

I just LOVE how it turned out.
Each child's handprint is on a square with their own handwritten name below it.

* Saturday morning breakfast at my parent's house.
{Why are my mom's pancakes so dang good?!}

* Birthday parties for the kiddos in the afternoon.
{Grant saw EPIC at one of them.  He LOVED it!}

* Joe golfed 18 holes.
{Not sure how he stands it in this heat!}

* Date night HERE.
{I know, I know...we always go there.}
But it's close AND yummy!
And we were hungry AND tired.  

* Sunday morning Joe and I had to speak in church.
I had the privledge of basing my talk after THIS one.
This talk by Elder Scott is one that spoke to my heart, the second I heard it.
So many good pieces of advice and information.
I felt blessed to be able to study it and then prepare my own talk after it.

* Sunday afternoon Joe and I hosted our annual 
My cousin and his family were in town from Utah and it was SO fun to have everyone over.

I whipped out some Patriotic decor...

Isn't that chevron print the cutest?

Here's a peek at the rest of our festivities:

Place Settings.
Paper plates and cupcake toppers found at Hobby Lobby.

Land of the Free printable found via The Scrap Shoppe.

I told ya there were GOOD EATS.

BBQ ribs, hotdogs and brats.
My mom's homemade potatoe salad, pasta salad, hot corn dip, watermelon, baked beans....

....and dessert of course!

Feel so blessed to have family close by.
{And to have my cousin and his cute family stop by for a FUN visit!}


On tap for Memorial Day evening:

*London gets to spend the night with Grandma Marilyn {wahoo!}

*The rest of us are headed to dinner at Lolo's Chicken and Waffles...
{Sounds weird.  And slightly gross.  But I promise it's delish!}

....and then onto an Arizona Diamondbacks BASEBALL game!

Doesn't get more patriotic than that!!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Graduation Money Gift ideas.

 I can't believe that GRADUATION season is upon us.
Where did the year go??

Everyone should know by now...that MONEY is very best thing you can give a graduate.
It's true.
Money can't buy happiness....but it CAN make a graduate VERY giddy.

Here are some FUN ways to present your moola to those you love:

For deets on these two HERE to view my blog post about them from last year.
{P.S. They were a HUGE hit with their recipients!}

Tip Junkie
 I don't know what I love MOST about this idea...
The fact that you have to eat ALL of the chocolates FIRST!? or...
it's darling presentation.  

Creative Capital B
 Love Love Love this cute saying.
{Free printable too!}

Another cute saying. 
{Gosh, I love puns!!!}
 AND free printable.

The DIY Show
This one would take a little more time but how fun would this be to present to someone??
You could even use it as a centerpiece if you were hosting a graduation party.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Random Wednesday.

* Why on earth do they constantly advertise for 'lubricated cathedars' during commercial breaks on the Jodi Arias trial?  
{P.S. So ready for that trial to be over.}

* Speaking of Headline News....I honstley wonder HOW MANY times their news anchors have said the phrase 'You won't miss a thing!'
Good gosh.  We know already!  That's why we watch your network in the first place!

* I've officially decided that those soda fountain machines that offer like over 50 flavors of soda?  They're nasty.
It offsets the normal flavor of my Diet Cokes and Diet Dr. Peppers.
Anyone else feel this way?

* Is a grilled chicken sandwich still considered 'healthy' if I lather it with Ranch sauce?
Specifically...Chick Fil-A's Ranch?
I honestly cannot get enough.
I like to think it's still 'healthy'.  Don't burst my bubble.

* Speaking of Chick-Fil-A....why on earth do they have the WORST toys ever with their kids meals?
Are they WANTING the kids to turn them in for ice-cream so they can recycle them into the next kid's meal and save money?  
They're THE LAMEST toys ever!

* I really really hate the word RAD.
And I really wish people would stop using it.

* Why don't ALL stores have the SAME floor plans?
For instance...Target.
I can shop at my favorite Target in Chandler, but then I go to Mesa and it's all switched up on me!
I can't find my go-to aisles like I normally do!
It's like they're playing an evil trick on all of us loyal shoppers!

* I will never ever make the mistake again of buying Costco's name brand frozen chicken breasts.
Those individual pacakges are a PAIN IN MY REAR to open up when I have a whole crockpot to fill with them!

* Have you ever worn a certain type of deodarant for awhile and then all of a sudden one day discovered stinks?  I wanna know why.

* Why do some celebrities like to make themselves look homeless?
And smelly?

Joaquin Phoenix

Mary Kate Olsen

They have all the money in the world and they choose to go out like THAT?
Not being judgemental {ok maybe a little} but seriously?!?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

2-fer Tuesday.


These two fresh scents from B&B make my house smell SUPER yummy.

TWO recipes I've tried that are DEEEEE-LISH!

My friend Jamie made this up a few weeks ago and it was sooooo GOOD!
The perfect SUMMERTIME cake I tell you!

My sister made this up for our Mother's Day dinner and I have been dreaming about it ever since.
Oh. My. Chocolatey-OREO goodness!

Monday, May 20, 2013

This Weekend:

* Started off exactly the way I like.

Joe and I went Friday morning and got our very favorite donuts.  Ever.
The best in all of AZ.
{Might I add...their Chandler location is the VERY best of all? It puts Mesa's to shame}.

* Clean clean cleaned my nasty bathrooms Friday afternoon.
WHY do they get SO nasty?!?

* Friday night BBQ and pool party at some of our favorite friends' house.

Burgers + Swimming = 
our life for the next few months.
{Anderson's..I'm really not kidding when I say that we will practically be living at your house this summer to swim. Consider yourselves warned.}

* Stayed up late watching Dateline's Wild Wild Web episode.
Dang I'm a sucker for Dateline.
And it's most ALWAYS the same scenario....husband kills wife or wife kills husband.
It gets me EVERY time though!

* Saturday we met our favorite first grade teacher for lunch at 
Gosh we're gonna miss her when she moves.

* Kiddos went swimming at another friends house.  Yet again.
They are FISH I tell you.

* Saturday night date night with some of our favorite peeps.
Dinner HERE.
Yet another Chandler staple.
{Their fettucini alfredo with chicken is the bomb diggity. 
And so is their Diet Coke.}

* Churchey-church on Sunday.
Taught THIS lesson to my cute girls.

* Relaxed in our jammies the rest of the day.
Man it felt nice.

*Pot roast for dinner.
{It's become a Sunday tra-dish}.

*Watched my taped episode of Rock Center once the kiddies were in bed.
{I really do love Brian Williams. He's such a likable journalist.}


Onto a week full o' swim lessons and end of the school year festivities.
Summer is so close I can smell it.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Scripture Study Handout and Camp challenge.

Today I was able to teach my cute Laurels class {teenage church girls ages 16-18} the lesson on:

Studying the scriptures in my own personal life has brought me so much joy, peace and helped me discover the answers to many of life's questions.  I LOVE teaching about the importance of studying the scirptures in our own daily lives.  I was THRILLED to get to teach this lesson.

I started out my lesson with homemade rolls.
{And homemade cinnamon honey butter too because well that's just a necessity with homemade rolls}.

And by 'homemade' rolls I really do mean....I bought the frozen ones from Deseret Book, let them rise and baked them at home.  
{Fun fact: Yeast scares me.  I only ever attempt it with my cinnamon rolls}.

As soon as each girl got their roll, I showed them THIS video/talk by Sister Julie Beck.
{You'll understand my need for handing out homemade rolls better if you watch or read this talk first. There is a connection}.

I LOVE this talk.  I couldn't give this talk justice unless I just showed it in it's entirety.
{The talk lasts only about 10 minutes}.

Once the video was finished we went over a few important scriptures that I felt the girls needed to make sure to have marked in their own scriptures:

I had the girls talk about what each of these scriptures meant to them and then I added my own 2 cents.

I then handed them out each a copy of THIS talk by Elder Scott.
{Side note: I really really really REALLY love this talk!}

We went over paragraphs 2-7 and anytime I felt there was an important line or quote...I had them mark it or right a note out to the side. Which was basicaly the entire talk {smile}.

I LOVE what Elder Scott has to say about memorizing a scripture and forging a new friendship.
It made way for my handouts this week...

Friendship bracelets made by my cute 12 year old niece.

For a copy of my handout click HERE.

I get lots of requests for ideas on Girls Camp which is why I must share an idea that one of my camp leaders came up with.  I just LOVE it.

Our Girls Camp is in just a couple of weeks {GaSp!}.

My asst. camp director thought it would be a good idea to purchase a 
Conference Ensign for EACH girl and then challenge them 
to read EVERY talk before camp.
{If they started when the challenge was only ends up being like one talk per day}.

We plan to base our devotionals and nightly chats off of different talks from this Ensign.
{She may have promised them a special treat too for accomplishing it.}

Our Relief Society has done this every summer for the past few years and I've been able to take part in this challenge.  I can say I honestly LOVE reading over these talks, highlighting things that stick out to me, making testimony is always strengthened by doing this.  I am SO thrilled that our Young Women now have that same opportunity to pour over the words of tbe prophet and his apostles, and to learn and to grow. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Recipe for Sangria.

One of my very favorite drinks to serve up whenever we have mexican food is 
{my good friend Tiffany's recipe for}
Non-Alcholic Sangrias.

They are YUM-MY!


1/4 c. sugar
1 c. orange juice
1 Tbs. lime juice
4 c. 7-UP
4 c. light cranberry grape juice
Sliced 1/2 fresh lemon
Sliced 1/2 fresh lime

Combine all ingredients except 7-UP.  Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add 7-UP just before serving.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Angry BIrds BIrthday Party.

A couple of weekends ago we threw an ANGRY BIRDS themed 
BIRTHDAY PARTY for Carson and his buddy Cameron.  
{They both have the same exact birthday.  They go to church together and are in the same school class together.  How could we resist?}

Cameron's mom and I went in on everything....she did half the work, I did half the work....and it worked out PERFECTLY! 

Here are some of the crazy fun details:

I purchased red paper sacks at Hobby Lobby.
Printed off THESE printables {had to scale them down slightly first}.
Cut them out and glued them right on front.
Easy. Peasy.

Here's what I included in there:

'Poop' aka....gumballs

Gummy Worms...because what bird doesn't love a good worm?!

Fruit snacks, graham crackers and drinks were found at Wal-mart.

{I had high hopes of doing something cute with the 'barrel drinks' and making a label that said 'bird bath' or something to that effect.  Alas...I ran outta time.  And energy.  Sigh.}

My friend made the cake.  
Isn't it darling?
We purchased a regular sheet cake from Costco and had them write the Happy Birthday part on it.
She added all of hte Angry Bird details.
She used those wafer cookies, an airhead, Kit-Kats and then she even drew Angry birds faces onto the gumballs with edible ink.  

As for dinner we served: pizza, watermelon and drinks.

For the drinks I purchased mini gatorade bottles.
Took off the labels.
Printed out THESE labels....cut and taped em right on front.

 The games were made up by my friend and they were a HUGE hit.

She found green rubber balls and her husband painted on the piggy faces.

The kids seriously had a BLAST trying to knock them down.


Egg Toss.

I've come to learn that kids just LOVE old fashioned games.
Like the egg toss.
They had such a ball passing these Angry Birds Eggs.
She took raw eggs, died them red and drew their faces on with marker.
The kids {of course} started close and then each round took one step back.

{We had lots of hand sanitizer ready to go 
for when the eggs broke.  Smile}.

The Birthday Boys were pleased as punch with how it all turned out and so were their mommas!

Oh yeah...and did I mention that we held it at the park right in between our houses?
Best idea of all.
No messsy houses and the clean up was minimal!