Tuesday, April 30, 2013

2-fer Tuesday.

Two songs I'm LOVIN right now:

*THIS JT single.
Wow.
It's been on replay in my car all week long.
The Justin Timberlake legacy continues....he is incredible.
{And I might just have a small celeb crush on him.  But it's ok.  Joe knows.  And just between you and me...I think Joe has a small celeb crush on him too.  Hehe.. I kid!}

* THIS song.
I'm pretty sure this will be 'THE' song of the summer.
So fun and upbeat!!

Two movies I CAN'T wait to see:


It just came out this past weekend and Joe and I are antsy to see it. Soon!

This one comes out at the end of June and I might be {just as} if not MORE than excited than my kiddos to see it.  Summer fun for sure!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Super Duper Easy Homemade Salsa



I've finally discovered a salsa that is EASY and DEE-LISH!
I discovered it from The Frugal Girls and tweaked it just slightly.
Enjoy!!!

EASY HOMEMADE SALSA

2 cans Mexican style Stewed Tomatoes
1 can Original Rotel
1-2 cloves of Garlic, crushed {I used 2!}
3 Green onions, chopped
2 handfuls of cilantro
1/2 an onion - white or yellow 
1 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients in your blender or food processor.
Serve with chips and an ice cold Diet Coke!

This salsa is a SUPER easy little gift to make up and give to someone as well.
Find the Salsa label printables HERE.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

This Weekend:

* Friday morning Visiting Teaching appointment with one of my favorite ladies.
We like to meet up HERE each month.
I've discovered that Visiting Teaching while sipping Diet Coke is a MUST!

* Friday night date night with some of our very favorite friends HERE.
I love this place.

Their Roasted Corn pizza and Orange Fennel salad are my two favorite items..
I also got a couple of Mother's Day goodies in their shop.
LOVE their merchandise.

We laughed hysterically with our friends all. night. long.

* Saturday morning I held THIS breakfast for some of my sweet Young Women.
So blessed to be surrounded by such terrific girls.

* The kiddos had TWO different birthday parties to attend.



Our kids are so blessed to have such great friends.  
Great friends who have great parents as well.

* Saturday night we ordered pizza and sat outside and watched the kids play with some of their peeps.


This weather right now at nighttime is perfect.  
Not too many more weeks before the heat hits for good and it gets too hot to even go outside at night!
{GaSp!}

Bytheway...have you tried Little Ceaser's new deep dish pizza?!?

It might just be my new fave.  Serious.
It's comparable to Pizza Hut.  
Yup....THAT good.  And only 8 bucks!

* Meetings and Church on Sunday.

* Our friends suprised us after church and brought over lunch.
Oh. My. Yuminess.

They made 'tostadas compuestas' and they were TO DIE FOR.
As was THIS dessert they made.
I was so full afterwards....
could not get enough!

* Sunday afternoon nap on the couch.

* Kids in bed by 7.
Welll....everyone except for London.  
Bedtime + London is a battle I haven't wanted to fight lately.
So yup....I let her stay up with me while I watch the news and type on my laptop.
I'm becoming 'one of THOSE moms'.
And I really don't care.
{Chuckle!}

Saturday, April 27, 2013

TOMATO THEMED Breakfast.


Remember THIS Conference Challenge I gave to my Young Women a few weeks back?
Well I'm SO proud to say that NINE of my cute girls watched ALL FOUR sessions of conference.
Their reward?
A special BREAKFAST at my house.

I knew I wanted to have some sort of 'theme' for the morning and I knew I wanted to base it off of a conference talk.  

When I heard THIS talk by Elder Ballard during conference, I just KNEW that I had to use his tomato analogy.  It was one of my very favorites. 

After we finished eating, I spoke to the girls for about 5 minutes and retold the analogy of the tomato.  
I challenged them to look within themselves to see if there were 'wilted tomato plants' that needed to be nourished in their lives....Whether it be:  scritpure study, personal prayer, family relationships...

I re-iterated Elder Ballad's promise that if we 'nourish our tomato plants' in life....our lives would be blessed and we could REAP in those blessings.


Place Settings.


Printable name tags found HERE.
'Tomato Grow Kits' found in the $ bins at Target.


Super simple centerpieces from tomato cans.
Fill the cans up halfway with water and add flowers!


On my serving table...I displayed Conference talk printables found HERE

This one....was one of my VERY favorites...


Read the entire talk HERE.
{Totally putting this framed quote in London's room.}

I gave each of the girls a jar of HOMEMADE SALSA to take home....
since SALSA is my VERY FAVORITE thing to make from TOMATOES!


We feasted on.....



....fresh fruit, orange juice and milk.
Recipes for the above breakfast items AND homemade salsa...COMING SOON!

I also went around the table and had each of the girls share THEIR favorite conference talk and if they wanted to, they could explain WHY it was their favorite.

It was such a fun morning...one that made me realize {as I do often} how much I LOVE these sweet girls AND my calling in the church.

BLESSED INDEED.

After it was all over and I was putting up my feet to relax....I realized I got NO pictures of these BEAUTIFUL girls. NONE!
Sighhhhhh.
Next time I guess.  Next time for sure.

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

Tomato Analogy from Elder Ballard:

I am reminded of a sweet seven-year-old showing her grandfather a small tomato plant she had started from seed as part of a second-grade school project.
She explained that from one tiny seed would come a plant. And if the plant were cared for, it would grow many tomatoes that would each have many seeds.
She said, “And if all of those seeds were planted and grew more tomatoes, and you planted all of those seeds, in a few seasons you would have millions of tomatoes.”
All,” she said in amazement, “from one little seed.”
But then she said, “I almost killed my plant. I left it in a dark room and forgot to water it. When I remembered the plant, it was all wilted and dead looking. I cried because I thought of all of those millions of tomatoes that would never grow.”
She was then excited to tell her grandfather about the “miracle” that happened.
She explained, “Momma said maybe the plant wasn’t dead. Maybe all it needed was some water and some light to bring life back.
“And she was right. I gave the plant some water, and I put it in the window for light. And guess what?” she asked. “It came back to life, and now it’s going to grow millions of tomatoes!”
Her small tomato plant, so full of potential but so weakened and wilted from unintentional neglect, was strengthened and revived through the simple ministration of water and light by the little girl’s loving and caring hands.
Brothers and sisters, as the literal spirit children of our loving Heavenly Father, we have unlimited, divine potential. But if we are not careful, we can become like the wilted tomato plant. We can drift away from the true doctrine and gospel of Christ and become spiritually undernourished and wilted, having removed ourselves from the divine light and living waters of the Savior’s eternal love and priesthood power.



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Wall collage.


We've lived in our house for 8 years now.
I love our home.  I really do.
There are spots here and there that STILL have yet to be decorated but I love the way I feel inside our home. And that's all that matters, right?

A few months ago I finally got around to decorating the wall by my staircase.
I've been wanting to do a wall collage for quite sometime now but never seemed to find just the right frames.  I knew I wanted them all black but that's all I knew.


I love their frames.
And I LOVE that they're usually always 50% too.
I scored mostly all of these frames there...with the exception of the frame that has 3 pictures in it.
That one was found at Rod Works.


Here are a couple of simple tips when doing a wall collage like this:

Lay all of your frames out on the floor FIRST and play around with different settings.  


Once you've figured out the way you'd like things, use push pins to temporarily hang the pictures onto the wall....while you play around with heights and spacing.

Once you've sealed the deal and are set on how things look....nail the frames into the walls!

It was seriously THAT easy and I LOVE the outcome!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

2-fer Tuesday.

Two things I'm LOVIN tonight:

* THIS recipe. It's a family fave and never gets old.  We sub the beef for chicken and it is DEE-lish. My kids snarf it down every time.

* THIS song.  How am I just NOW discovering this singer?  She's ah-maze-ing. 
LOVE LOVE LOVE the song.

Two upcoming concerts I want to see:

Fleetwood Mac
&
Selena Gomez

Yes.  Both drastically different. But I LOVE both of them.  
{Is it weird that I like a band from way back when AND a teeny boppin Disney star?!?}

Happy Tuesday!

Doesn't EVERYONE stick their tongue out a little when coloring?!?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day Treats {Version 2}.


Cupcakes in flower pots?
I say WHY NOT!

Here's a look at the treats I brought into Grant's class today...



*Make sure and rinse your pots with soap and water before beginning.

1. Place half of an oreo in the bottom of each pot to cover up the hole.

2.  Mix a regular cake mix {chocolate!} and bake in pot.

I placed all of my pots once they were filled, on a baking sheet and cooked them in the oven on that.
You'll need to bake these about 10-15 min. longer than the box calls for since they are so deep.

3. Let cool and then frost with chocolate frosting.


Add crushed Oreos for the 'dirt' and chocolate coated candy rocks.


A gummy frog {or gummy worm!} adds a nice touch too!

I placed green paper straws into the middle of my cupcakes and then placed my artificial flower stems right down the middle of those so the flowers stood up better.


London LOVED the way these looked on our kitchen counter and was so disappointed when I had to take them up to the school.

Happy Earth Day!
See my other 2013 Earth Day treats HERE.

Earth Day Treats {Version 1}.


Happy Earth Day! 
I can't seem to let a holiday slide by without celebrating.
I surprised the boys today and brought treats into their classrooms.

Here are the cupcakes I shared with Carson's class.
I got the idea from BIRD ON A CAKE.

 I followed her instructions however, I found it easier to just pipe the frosting heart right on top of the cupcake....instead of cutting it out with a heart shaped cookie cutter first.



This Weekend:

...was action packed.
And super fun.

*Friday I was completely glued to my television as I watched the events in Boston unfold.
Fun Fact:  I'm obsessed with the news.
Like severely obsessed.

I check CNN constantly throughout the day.
And I HAVE to watch the local news before I go to bed each night.
Which means when a BIG event like the Boston bombings occurrs....I have to know every last detail.
So thankful they got the suspects.  My heart goes out to all of the people affected by that tragic event.

* Friday night the boys' elementary school held a Sock Hop/Spring Fest.
My boys were ALL about gettin their groove on, on the dance floor.

They've got Moves like Jagger, yes they do.

* Saturday morning the boys headed out to the golf course with Joe...


...while London and I headed to the candy store.
I'll take candy over golf ANY day! 
So many options....
London had to get down on all fours just to decide!
* The boys got haircuts afterwards at the Barber shop.
The Barber shop gives THE BEST boys haircuts in town.


Another fun fact?  I have OCD when my boys' hair starts to grow the slightest bit over their ears.
We like their hair short here in the Coombs' household.


* Saturday night date night with fun friends HERE.
Why does their Cactus Blossom have to be so. dang. good?!?

* Churchey-Church on Sunday.
Same sass, different day.
London decked out in church attire.
* Taught THIS lesson.

* Sunday night dinner at my parent's house.
I {heart} whenever I don't have to cook dinner on Sundays.
It's the best.
And so is my mom's cooking.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Book of Mormon Handout.


This was the topic I was assigned to teach my sweet young women today.

Fun Fact:  Did you know that The Book of Mormon is my very favorite book to read?  Ever!
It's true. 
{And I've read A LOT of books in my lifetime}.

Which is why I LOVED preparing this particular lesson. 
{For notes on my lesson and how it was taught...keep scrolling.} 

As for my handout this week...I knew when I spied these POP DROPS at the $ store....they needed to be used somehow.



I immediately thought of the phrase STOP, DROP and ROLL..
and turned it into more of a 'pun-ish' challenge, if you will.


For a free copy of my handout click HERE.
{I changed the wording to say Take THE Challenge instead of....Sis. Coombs' Challenge}.

I KNOW that The Book of Mormon is true.
It testifies of Jesus Christ and contains the fullness of His gospel.

Never read it?  Well it's your lucky day because I'd be happy to give you one.
Or ship you one. If you live in a far off land.
Like Kentucky.  Or somewhere else like that.
I'll even pay for the postage! 
Yes...I really do love this book THAT much!

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

Notes from my lesson:

* I started out by asking the girls "What do we know about the Book of Mormon?" and writing their answers down on the chalkboard. We came up with a pretty good sized list.

* We then discussed:  Where did the Book of Mormon come from?
How and when was it translated?
And Why do we have it?

* I asked my Laurels ahead of time to come prepared with a scripture from the Book of Mormon, to share, that has influenced their life for good or inspired them in someway.  We went around the classroom and shared these scriptures.

* We read the Introduction to the Book of the Mormon and focused on the last two paragraphs.

* We watched THIS short clip from Elder Eyring.

* I bore my testimony to the girls and then encouraged them to take on the challenge of finding out for THEMSELVES...if the Book of Mormon was true.

Because afterall.....how do you really know if a book is true....unless you read it YOURSELF!


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Tortellini Primavera.


Here's a recipe that's definitely worth trying.
It's one of my favorites.

I had my Young Women over the other night to teach them how to make a meal from scratch and this is what we made.  Had I have been more prepared...I would've taken pics.  

You'll just have to take my word......this dish is delish.
And simple.
And quick.

Enjoy!!!

Tortellini Primavera

1 cup sliced mushrooms {yuck! I always omit these}
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
2 Tbs. butter
1 package {10 oz} frozen spinach
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 cup  milk
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
10-12 oz. fresh cheese tortellini, cooked and drained 

Cook and stir mushrooms, onion and garlic in butter until tender.

Add all remaining ingredients except for tortellini.  Mix well and cook just until mixture begins to boil, stirring occasionally.  Stir in tortellini, cook until thoroughly heated.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ideas for a Lesson Handout.

I get asked a lot for ideas on certain church lessons coming up.

This week I get to teach my girls about

The Book of Mormon just happens to be one of my MOST favorite reads so I am EXCITED to share my thoughts.

Although I am still putting my final touches on this lesson...here are a couple of ideas that I've used in the past while teaching about this topic:


What if we treated our Book of Mormon like we treat our cell phones?
Click HERE.



Little mini loaves of banana bread with this saying attached.
Click HERE.

Do YOU have an idea you are using for this lesson?
I'd love you to share!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spring Cupcakes.

I've been brainstorming ideas for Earth Day.
Last year I brought in treats to the boys' class to help celebrate the day.
{Any chance to celebrate....I'm on it!}

You can see what I did HERE and HERE.

Thinking I will bring in treats again this year...just not sure what.

LOVING the inspiration I've found around the web-o-sphere.

Jenny Steffens

LOVE that she used REAL tulips for cupcakes.
Stunning.

Domestic Fits
Those flowers are totes adorbs.
{Thats 'TOTALLY ADORABLE' for those that don't speak teenager}.

Dum Dum lollipops and marshmallows.
Brilliant and oh so cute!

The Hungry Housewife
LOVING the REAL mint leaves she used on these flower cupcakes.

Betty Crocker

Betty Crocker
Oh Betty!  Always so clever.  How darling are those butterflies made out of those striped shortbread cookies?  And those beehive cupcakes??  Oh my.  Needing an excuse to whip those up stat.

Monday, April 15, 2013

This Weekend:

* We kicked it off with Carson's 1st Grade Egg Drop.

Carson's Class
He was SO excited to create this little 'project' with Joe.
Sadly....the egg broke.
And so did Carson's heart.
He was in tears.

I promised him I'd buy him some ice-cream afterschool and the tears quickly disappeared.
{Phew!}
I hate seeing my kids so disappointed.


* Had lunch with a fun friend HERE.
So fun to catch up.
{P.S. Why are their chips and queso the very best?!?}

* Saturday morning and afternoon was spent:
Cleaning.  Vacuuming.  Dusting.  And doing Laundry.
Bleh!

House chores are NEVER finished are they?
I clean my family room up at least twice a day...just for it to be messed up again it seems.

* Date night dinner HERE.
Afterwards, we walked over to the movie theater and saw THIS:


We LOVED it.
Love Love LOVED it.
Such an inspirational movie.
Everyone should go see it.

* Churchey church on Sunday.
My secretary taught a lesson on the Restoration of our Church and did such an amazing job.
THIS video touched my heart.

* Pot roast for dinner.
Warm Chocolate Chip cookies for dessert.
AFV for our Sunday night entertainment.

A good weekend indeed!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Random Wednesday {posted on Friday}.

This is exactly how I feel about April 15th.

* The other day on the Today Show...they were spotlighting the latest and greatest things out in departments stores right now for under $20.  One of them was a ONE SIZE FITS ALL thong.  As in the underwear.  ONE SIZE FITS ALL underwear?!? Ummm.  I just got back from a cruise recently and saw ALL SORTS of shapes and sizes in bathing suits.  A ONE SIZE FITS ALL thong does not apply to EVERYONE.  I am POSITIVE. Can you imagine?  Not to mention....how UNCOMFORATABLE a ONE SIZE FITS ALL thong would feel?  Some might need it surgically removed after wearing...I am SURE!

* I absolutely ADORE my children. They are my greatest blessings.  
However....does anyone else feel like there are days where your children literally SUCK the ENERGY right out of EVERY OUNCE of your body? For reals. I always have such high hopes of accomplishing different tasks throughout the day but my kids seem to get ahold of me and SUCK me DRY. 
 {I guess that's why there's always tomorrow, right? Wink.}

* Speaking of kids...I recently heard in an interview where Beyonce said that she was ready for another child.  Because according to her, she said "Having a child is so much easier than I had imagined."  

Ummm.....Beyonce??....You have people helping you.
24-7.
You probably have people cooking, cleaning and wiping your baby's bum.
Whenever you need it.
OF COURSE it's easier than you had imagined!
WE'D ALL think that if we had around the clock assistance!

{That said...I am a HUGE fan of Beyonce and love her music.}

* Speaking of music...Love Love LOVING THIS song right now.  
Like I can't get enough of it.
For reals.
{I don't even notice what the words say...just LOVE the melody and harmony!}

* Have you ever had a dream where it affects your entire day upon waking up?
For good OR for bad?

Or have you ever had a dream about someone you haven't thought about in years...say.....someone you went to grade school with....and then find yourself googling them and searching Facebook to find out every last detail about them?

{I'm not a stalker...I promise!}

* I have a LOVE/HATE relationship with Redbox.
LOVE that their rentals are so cheap and there's one on like every corner.
HATE that I ALWAYS forget to return them.
No wonder REDBOX is so lucrative.  

* I {sorta} have a thing with bagels.
{See my hips and legs for confirmation}.
Why on earth don't they make sesame bagels, with sesame seeds on BOTH parts of the bagel?  Top AND bottom?  I always feel jipped when I order one and I get to the bottom half and there's NO sesame seeds.  It's like you get HALF of what you paid for.

* My kids randomly watch Jake and the Neverland Pirates 
on the Disney channel.
Does anyone else feel the urge to cut this girls bangs whenever she's on? 

Why must she have those whispys that sway from side to side?
Do they bug anyone else but me?

* I have a really weak stomach when it comes to all things bloody.
Or gross.
And it really irritates me when people feel the need to post these types of pictures on Facebook.
Because you have NO warning whatsoever.
You scroll down your newsfeed...just minding your own business...and BAM....a completely nasty picture pops up and you instantly have it forever embedded in your brain.

Like the guy who just broke his leg in college basketball.
WHY did people find it necessary to post the picture of his bone LITERALLY sticking out of his KNEE? EWWWW!

Same goes for if your child needs stitches and has an open flesh wound.
NO ONE wants to see it!
{At least....I don't}.

* Little Ceasars pizza is not my favorite but it DOES occasionally hit the spot.  And we buy it for our kids a lot when we go out on date night.

Have you ever noticed though how their pizza tastes AWFUL as leftovers?

Pizza Hut and Papa Johns?  They make DELICIOUS leftovers.
Little Ceasers?  
It's as if you're eating cardboard the very next day.

Which reminds me of THIS absolutely hilarious SNL skit from last weekend.
LOVE me some Melissa McCarthy!

* Remember how I LOVE totally RANDOM songs from the 80s and 90s?
Well I heard THIS song on the radio the other day and it's as if I fell in love with it ALL over again. {SwOoN!}

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

P.S. I'm selling our train table + 2 train sets for $50. 
If you're local and interested...let me know!
I've gotten the bug to clean out our toy room and I am gettin rid of things left and right.
Feels so good to get orangized!