November 30, 2012

Christmas Gift Tags

I’ve been busy designing Christmas gift tags for all my virtual friends. I’m loving all the requests! It really gets my creative juices flowing. :)

These polka dot and striped gift tags seem to be the most popular.

Colorful Polkadot Monogram Square Green Red Polka Dot Christmas Tag
Candy Cane Stripe Christmas Tag

I also have these reindeer tags available if you’re looking for some gift tags that are a little more fancy than cute.

Reindeer Tag Rudolph Tag

If you’re interested in having me design a gift tag (or two) for you, shoot me an email, I’d love to whip something up for you!

PLEASE NOTE:
*These tags are printable. I do not print and ship. :)
*Some of these designs are available in my Etsy shop. If you can’t find the design you’re looking for, contact me and I’ll hook you up!

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November 29, 2012

Almost Homemade: Indian Tacos

My family loves Indian Tacos. Whenever we go to the State Fair, it’s the first thing on our list to eat.

I’ve tried making these at home and have been fairly successful but making the fry bread from scratch is just kind of a pain so I don’t make these very often.

Imagine my delight when I came across a recipe on Pinterest that made this recipe so much easier! The secret ingredient? Grands Biscuits!

Indian Tacos

Indian Tacos

  • Grands Biscuits (the BIG can)
  • Ground Beef
  • 1/2 onion chopped finely
  • 1 Can Ranch Style Beans (do not drain)
  • 1-2 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • Taco Fixings (lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, guacamole)

Brown ground beef with onion, salt & pepper. Add Ranch Style beans and chili powder. Cover to keep warm.

Flatten out biscuits to desired thickness. Fill a pan with about 1 inch of oil and fry biscuits about 20-30 seconds on each side. Place on a plate with a paper towel to absorb the grease.

To serve: Top fried biscuits with meat mixture and add desired taco fixings.

Yummy-licious!


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From the Archives: In the Quiet Moments

Since we will probably be starting the process to get ready for our first FET in a few weeks, I’ve been reading and reflecting on my posts from our fresh IVF cycle.

This post was about a very profound moment for me. It was the moment that I knew everything would be ok. It was also the start of a growing faith in God like I had never experienced before.

I can’t believe this was 2 years ago!

In the Quiet Moments

Hi! It seems like it’s been a really long time since my last post but really, it’s only been a couple of weeks. In those couple of weeks I’ve started birth control (yes, you read that correctly) and received a calendar from my doctor of all the things that are going to happen over the next 5-6 weeks. I thought knowing what was coming up would help me relax a little but it did just the opposite. It actually freaked me out a little.

And then God taught me a little lesson…..

Today, I was working with a co-working trying to figure out how to make some adjustments to a report and everything we tried just didn’t work. We would talk it out and try again. And then talk it out some more and try again. I started to feel like I was making it all more complicated than it was so we went to our boss for help. She took one look at it and basically told us that we were focusing too much on one aspect and not looking at the whole thing. Argh! I knew it! I was making it more complicated than it was. When we went back and looked at the report as a whole, we were able to get everything to work.

After fixing the report, I took a walk to clear my head and try to breath. It was in those minutes of focused breathing and quiet that God seemed to whisper, “you’re focusing too much on the details, think about the big picture…and the blessings that will come from this”. Wow! I have been focusing and worrying so much about appointments and injections and all those other things on that silly calendar that I haven’t really even thought about the end result. Sometimes you just need those little reminders and it never ceases to amaze me when and where those reminders come.

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November 26, 2012

Extended Cyber Monday Discounts

Just thought I’d let you know that one of my affiliates, thredUp has extended their cyber Monday special through tomorrow! First time customers can get $15 off their purchase!

Cyber Monday Promo - $15 off for new customers!

Here are the details:

  • Offer valid only on Cyber Monday, November 26th at 12:01AM to Tuesday, November 27th at 11:59PM PST
  • Cannot be combined with other offers
  • Does not apply toward shipping
  • One use per household
  • Valid for new customers only/first purchase only

 

Also, I had a 25% discount for my shop today and since I didn’t have a chance to promote it much, I’ve decided to extend it through Friday! Below are some of the Christmas printables in the shop.

Cyber-Monday-2012

Use code CYBER25 at checkout (does not apply to custom design orders).

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Winner Winner!

Whew! That last week was one busy week! I don’t know about you but I’m ready to get back to my normal days. I had some good posts planned for the last three days but life just took over.

I’m sure you are here to see who won the JD Star giveaway, right? Then let’s get to it, shall we?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Was it you?

Congrats to the winner! You’ll be receiving an email from me on how to claim your shop credit!

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November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

Thanksgiving has come and gone. The house is slowly getting back to the way it was. So far we’ve run the dishwasher 3 times and have hand washed the pots and pans. I’d really like to just dig in and get it done but I’m still recovering from all the cleaning I did before Thanksgiving! We also have a weekend full of plans.

Fortunately (and unfortunately) we have plenty of leftovers. Thanks to Pinterest, I’ve gathered several recipes to use up those leftovers.

We almost always have turkey and ham for Thanksgiving. Until hubs started smoking turkeys, I was never a huge fan of it so I would always eat ham. We have lots of leftover ham so this is the first thing on my list of things to make.

 

Who doesn’t love a good casserole? This seems like it would be pretty easy to throw together and it sounds delicious!


We’ve always had open faced sandwiches with leftover pot roast, why not use left over turkey?


Fancy grilled cheese sandwiches seem to be the thing right now. This one would be another perfect use of the leftover ham sitting in my fridge.

 

So what do you do with your leftovers? Do you have any tried and true recipes?

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November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Week: Table Setting

Thanksgiving Week Table Setting

Now that we have taken care of the hosting to-do list, the décor and the menu, it’s time to think about the table setting. Will you have assigned seating or just let everyone sit wherever they want. Will you serve the food at the table or serve it buffet style?

Table-Setting

A few years ago, I did assigned seating using place cards that I had designed. There weren’t very many of us so I was able to accommodate everyone at my dining room table.

Now that our family has grown, I will be serving the food buffet style. I came across this pin about a week ago and it’s going to help me a lot in setting up my buffet. 

 

I will likely have the desserts on a different table and the beverages will be in the kitchen…with the tile floor. :) In fact, I’m seriously thinking about setting up the buffet table in my kitchen. It’s a u-shaped kitchen with 2 doorways so it might just work that way! Hmmm…I’ll have to think more on this.

How is your Thanksgiving? Is it usually formal or laid back?

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November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Week: The Menu

Thanksgiving Week Menu

Growing up, Thanksgiving was always at my Great Aunt’s house. I always loved going to her house for Thanksgiving. She had a large dining room table and every year it was full of food. There was usually so much food that there really wasn’t a place to sit at the table!

We probably won’t have as much food as we did back then but here’s the menu for our Thanksgiving…

  • Smoked Turkey (Hubs makes the best one I’ve ever had!)
  • Spiral Ham
  • Dressing
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Broccoli Cheese Casserole
  • Green Beans
  • Corn
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Hot Rolls
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Pecan Pie
  • Chocolate Pie
  • Hershey Bar Pie
  • Orange Fluff

As you can see, it’s a pretty traditional menu. We really don’t do anything too fancy.

Do you have a traditional Thanksgiving menu or do you do something different?

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November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Week: Decor

Thanksgiving Week Decor

I recently did a post about the Fall décor in our house. I wanted to add a little more to our current décor but just haven’t had a chance to get out and pick up the things I needed. Maybe I’ll pick up some stuff this weekend when it will be marked way down.

I used an alternative to a fall wreath on my front door. I have some little wall pockets and wanted to create something like this next to the door under the porch light…

Hopefully next year I’ll have some pots so I can put some mums (I love the red ones)on either side of our front door. I might even add some monogrammed pumpkins too!

I have three glass vases that, had I done something like this, would have looked awesome as a centerpiece on my dining room table.

 

When I bought the materials for this wreath, I had my eye on some aqua and orange fabric but my mom talked me out of it & almost convinced me it didn’t look like Fall. Then I came home and found this pin.

I’ll definitely be adding some aqua to the décor next year. My momma won’t talk me out of it this time. ;)

Do you decorate for fall? Is there anything you would add to your current décor?

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Don’t forget:

  • I’m still offering discounted add space through the end of this month. Visit my Sponsor page for more details.
  • The JD Star giveaway is still going on. Be sure to go enter to win a $20 shop credit. Winner will be announced next Monday!
  • I’m doing a series in December called, Not So Extreme Couponing. If you’ve been wanting to start couponing, be sure not to miss this series!

November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Week: Hosting


This week I am doing a mini series on Thanksgiving. I have some fun topics planned so let’s get started!

Thanksgiving Week Hosting

I love hosting things at our house. I’m not always a great hostess but I love planning and decorating. We decided to host Thanksgiving at our house again this year and I’ve been thinking about things that I can do to make the day go smoothly.

In the days before…

Stock up on menu ingredients. All of the stores are having great sales for the holidays so stock up. Some of the good sale items are often canned vegetables, broth, breads, and desserts. All items you will most likely use on Thanksgiving day.

Take stock of your dishes, utensils and napkins. Are you going to use paper and/or plastic or will you use your fine china or everyday dishes? Make sure you have enough to accommodate your guests. If you are using your fine china, pull them out of the cabinet and make sure everything is accounted for and wipe down everything that may have collected dust. If you’re using cloth napkins, check to see if they need to be laundered.

Clean out our refrigerator. You’re going to have to have room to keep cold items that you’ve prepared and items your guests might have brought. Go through and dump out all of the old leftovers. Do you have fruits or veggies that are mushy and/or moldy? Throw those out. Also, check all of your condiments, bottles and jars, and check for expiration dates. Throw out anything that’s expired. Once you’ve removed everything, wipe down the shelves and organize what’s going back into the refrigerator so that you have space to store those Thanksgiving dishes.

A day or two before, prepare any dishes that you can so you aren’t in the kitchen all day. Desserts and casseroles are great items to prepare ahead. Now that you have cleaned out the refrigerator, you have room to store these items!

If you’re using folding tables and chairs, get those out of storage and clean them up. Make sure you have enough to accommodate everyone…try to borrow if you come up short.

The day of…

Before guests arrive, pull out all your serving dishes and have them ready to go. Set up your table(s) and chairs and do any last minute tidying up.

When guests arrive, for those that want to help, assign tasks and make sure to have all the necessary tools out for them to use so you’re not having to tell people where everything is located.

If you decide to go with real dishes, do a quick clean up after everyone is eating and run the dishwasher so you don’t have stacks and stacks of dishes to wash when everyone is gone.

Last but not least, enjoy your day and remember to be thankful for all you have!

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November 17, 2012

Not So Extreme Couponing


Disclaimer: I am by no means an extreme couponer. I don’t hoard food in my garage, under my kids beds or in my storm shelter. Also, in case you don’t already know this, the TV show does not represent true life. In fact, those stores bend their rules just for the show.

When posting pictures of my shopping trips, I get many questions on how I do it. I’m by no means an expert (I’m actually still learning!) but I thought I would share my knowledge.

Not So Extreme Couponing

Do you spend time clipping coupons and then get frustrated when you go to the store and you’ve only saved a few dollars? Do you go to the store without a list and end up spending way more than you thought you would? Are you ready to start eating Mac and Cheese and sandwiches because you’re tired of all of your money going toward groceries?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, keep reading.

When I took a coupon class a couple years ago, I realized I had been going about using coupons the wrong way.

The key to couponing is planning. It take a little bit of work (quite a bit in the beginning) but once you’ve done it for a few weeks, you’ll have it down to a science.

On Saturdays in December, I’m going to do continue this series on how to get started in couponing.

If you have any specific topics you would like for me to cover, please leave me a comment or email me.

Until then, I’m going to give you a little bit of homework….

1. Make a list of meals that you prepare and then from that list, make a list of ingredients needed for those meals.

2. Go back to the last couple of months and add up how much you’ve spent on groceries. Now think of how much you’d like to reduce that amount (Even if it’s only $25 or $50…you have to start somewhere!)

Be sure to come back December 1st and learn how to get started just in time for the new year!

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November 16, 2012

A Little Closet Re-Organization


It had been a while since I had gone through the girls’ clothes and their closet was getting way out of hand. I had gone through some of their clothes and pulled out the smaller sizes and threw them in a box…that sat in their room.

That box created lots of fun time for them while we were in the back part of the house. Momma didn’t think it was too fun hunting down and re-folding everything that was strewn about.

Since they like to climb the walls right now, I couldn’t just go in there and work on it while they were awake. Of course nap time was out of the question. I was going to work on it one weekend but James has had some projects he needed to work on which meant I had the same problem as during the week when he was at work.

Finally, my mom came over one afternoon to watch the girls so I could work on the closet.

After I emptied the closet, I didn’t think I’d ever get it back together again. And we won’t discuss the line of boxes that are still lined up along the hallway.

Girls' Closet_5

I still have a few things I want to do/add to the closet but I think it looks much better now. What do you think?

Girls' Closet_1 Girls' Closet_3

I have 2 pink buckets in the top of the closet. They are both for bigger clothes that I found on clearance. One bucket is for Spring/Summer clothes and the other is for Fall/Winter clothes.

Girls' Closet_2 Girls' Closet_4

I moved the canvas bins up against each wall of the closet. One side stores all of their linens like sheets & mattress pads. On the other side I have their jeans/pants and hats.

There are bows and headbands in the gray baskets and socks in one of the pink baskets. The other pink basket is empty.

There are still a few items in their closet like my breast pumps and other infant related products. If our FET is successful, I’ll be moving those items across the hall to what will be the next nursery. Right now that room (which is my craft room turned catch all room) is a disaster and is on my list of organization projects.

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November 15, 2012

Activities for Toddlers: Colors and Sorting


If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you know that TnT seem to get bored very easily. A couple of months ago, when they literally started climbing the walls, I began scouring the internets for activities that might give them a break from their everyday toys.

I haven’t been consistent with these new activities but now that the weather might be getting a little colder, I’ll definitely be bringing out these activities more often.

A few months ago I tried to teach them about colors. I think I over did it then because the the girls and I got bored pretty quickly. I actually had forgotten this activity until I started writing this post. I think I’ll work with them on this one again soon.

One activity that I have done with them recently is colors and sorting with pom poms and muffin tins.

I set it up to where each one had their own muffin tin and I put one pom pom of each color in each spot.

They had fun putting the pom poms in the tins…at first. They didn’t quite get what I was trying to accomplish with a color in each spot but they filled each tin with the pom poms.

Pom Poms_1 Pom Poms_2

This lasted no more than 5 minutes before this happened.

Pom Poms_4 Pom Poms-3

Did you notice Tillie was missing from these pictures? That’s because after a couple of minutes, she decided to start chucking pom poms across the room and then proceeded to coax Tensley into a game of tag.

I’ve tried this activity a couple of times since but those attempts were just as much of a failure as the first try. The second time, Tillie decided she needed to lick the pom poms. I gave up that time when several ‘no’s’ were proceeded with maniacal laughter.

Oh well, we’ll try again another day.

Oy. Toddlers.

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November 14, 2012

Random Stuff

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a random post. There are constantly pieces of information flowing in and out of my head. So much that it sometimes is overwhelming.
  • I need to have pictures taken of us for our Christmas cards. I’m a little late to the game on this one. I may end up doing it myself which means people will probably be getting some pretty hysterical Christmas cards. Remember last year’s Christmas pictures?
  • We’re hosting Thanksgiving this year. We did it last year and enjoyed it so James decided we should do it again this year. The best part? James is smoking our turkey!
  • This week would have been my MIL’s 63rd birthday. It’s also my FIL’s birthday week and the anniversary of my MIL’s car accident. It’s been a hard week so far.
  • I’m making a trip to the store tomorrow with my coupons. I think it might be one of my biggest trips yet! If I do really good, I’ll do a post on it. ;)
  • I’m trying hard to get all my computer work organized. I need to be more efficient with my computer time. It’s so easy to get distracted! Any of you bloggers or WAHM’s have any tips for me? 
  • Does anyone know if Starbucks has any red mugs out for the holidays? I need to add to my collection. James bought me one last year but when I opened up the bag & unwrapped it, it was broken. He was so bummed because he was excited that he had found one.
  • Melissa & Doug has an outlet now! Time to do some Christmas shopping!
  • I can’t stop thinking about the park I took the girls to last week. I really want to take them back but it’s been pretty chilly this week.
  • Don’t forget to enter this week’s giveaway! You could win a $20 credit to JD Star Ltd. Co.!
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November 13, 2012

Toddler Tuesday


It’s time for another TnT update and boy is there a lot to share this week!

Let’s start with the new developments, shall we?

Tillie

  • Tillie is becoming an even bigger ham than before. She can be pretty shy but when we are at the store, she has no problem waving and saying, ‘Hi!’ to every one we pass by.
  • She has recently been doing this thing where she sniffs things and then licks it…including me! I have no idea where she got that. I mean, I will sniff her feet & say “stinky feet!” but I’ve never licked them!!
  • The words go, wee, whoa & what have been added to her vocabulary.
  • She is FINALLY getting more teeth! Two of her top molars are coming in. I would have never known if I hadn’t stuck my finger in her mouth to feel around (I’ve kind of been obsessing about her not getting any more teeth.)

Tensley

  • Tensley seems to be getting more quiet. I thought she was going to be my rambunctious one but she’s been fairly calm lately. Even the climbing has slowed down. She still climbs but mostly to just sit on the couch.
  • She is not a girl of many words but I’ve caught her saying ‘hi’ and ‘duck’.
  • She has taken after her momma and has started walking on her toes
  • I think she’s still working on teeth because for the last couple of days she’s been very fussy and I’ve noticed her chewing on things more than usual.

 

Now for the fun stuff…

The girls dressed up for the election last Tuesday.
photo 1 (7) photo 2 (5)
And that’s all we’ll say about that.

On Wednesday, we went to the zoo. I dressed the girls accordingly. :) The weather was perfect so we were able to see most of the animals since they weren’t hiding out trying to stay cool.

The girls really like their new strollers.
photo 1 (9)

Neither one of them were afraid of any of the animals. (I can’t wait to finally be done with the pacis so they won’t be in every one of my pictures!)
photo 4 photo 5

Unfortunately, we lost a sippy cup.

photo 3 (7)

Don’t worry, it wasn’t lost in an exhibit. Our zoo has a big pond and there is an area where you can feed the ducks. Tensley dropped her cup and it slowly rolled right through the little gap between the fencing and the decking and into the pond. I’ll admit, I was a little sad. Even looking at this picture as I write this makes me a little sick. Tensley was devastated when she realized she wasn’t getting it back. I felt so bad for her. :(

And just because this is too cute…

photo 2 (9) 

On Thursday, we went to a new to us park. The girls had so much fun and were brave little stinkers. They did things I didn’t think they would even try for at least another year! We’re talking climbing the little rock wall kind of courage here!

photo 1 (11) photo 2 (10) 
photo 3 (8)

This was just one of 3 play sets! In the summer, they put canopies on those large poles! We will definitely be visiting this park again!

Last night after their baths, the girls started hugging each other. Well…actually, Tensley (my little hugger) started hugging Tillie and Tillie thought it was funny so Tensley kept hugging her. They would hug and giggle until they fell down and then get up and hug and giggle again. It was pretty cute to watch. They are slowly starting to get along more & more each day.

photo 1 (12) photo 2 (11) photo 3 (9) photo 4 (3)

And as if I haven’t bombarded you with enough photos, here’s one more snapshot of my sassy girls.

  photo 3 (10)

*Don’t forget to enter the $20 giveaway for JD Star Lt. Co.!
*I’m still offering 25% discount for new Sponsors. Check out my sponsor page for more info.

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