Thursday, May 18, 2017

Baby Shower Gift Baskets

My niece turns ONE today!!!  Happy birthday to the cutest little girl ever.  

Last year we had a baby shower for my sister and I forgot to post about these gift baskets I made for her.


The first one is filled with books (I'll have another post about that soon, I promise it won't take me a year to write about it), and a few practical items and these cute little diaper babies.


The diaper babies were made by rolling up a diaper, sticking a baby sock on top for a hat and using a marker to draw the face.  



The second gift basket is toy themed.  All the toys are stuffed inside a pink and purple dump truck and wrapped up with some tulle.


Here's the amazon.com affiliate links for a few of the gifts.  Honestly, it's been over a year since I bought these gifts and I can't remember what else I put in there.






If you're looking for more baby shower ideas, you can check out my posts about BABY SHOWER FAVORS and BABY SHOWER DOOR PRIZES.





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Monday, May 15, 2017

Customizing Your Grill and THE BEST Marinade Recipe

Hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day.  My whole weekend was wonderful thanks to my amazing husband.  He took the boys for most of the day Saturday which left me with time to organize, something I can't do with a toddler around.  I even had time to read a book.  Seriously, I could get used to this.  On Sunday my oldest daughter made me (and everyone else) breakfast.  My husband gave a heart warming talk about mothers in church and then we visited with family.  The weather was perfect,  not too hot and not to chilly.  We got to eat outside and watch the kids play.  Life is good, very, very good.  

Speaking of warmer weather and eating outside, I love to cook on the grill.  It just adds more flavor to your meats.  But not all grills are made the same.  What if your grill doesn't come with a convenient place to store your grill accessories such as the tongs, spatula and grill brush?  Whether you want to store them outside all summer, or just while you are cooking on the grill, we've come up with a quick and easy solution. 

We just used a Dremel to create slots for those accessories to hang from.    


In no time at all my handy hubby made three slots to store those grilling utensils.



We usually keep our grilling stuff inside but when we are cooking, it's handy to have it right where we need it.  No more sitting them on the grill and getting it dirty. 



We love to cook chicken on the grill and have THE BEST marinade recipe.  
It tastes great on burgers too.  Usually when we make it, we don't even measure out the ingredients and it turns out great no matter what.

Here's the recipe so you can try it out yourselves.  Happy Grilling!


THE BEST Marinade Recipe:

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp garlic salt
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp black pepper
1/2 cup vinegar
1 1/2 tsp dried parsley 
1/3 cup lemon juice




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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mother's Day Cards

Mother's Day is right around the corner.  Earlier this week I shared a family quote that would make a great Mother's Day gift, and today I'm back to share some homemade cards.

I found this cute Mother's Day card idea on Pinterest.  


It would be the perfect addition to a garden or flower themed gift.


I used four flowers, one to represent each of my kids.



You can see how I simplified it from the original idea shown below that I found HERE on Pinterest.



And here are some more cute card ideas for you.

I found this on Etsy but you could easily make your own

Use your kids handprints to make this cute bouqet.  
Idea found over at The Trendy Treehouse:


This would be such a cute card to get in the mail when you can't give your mom or grandma a hug in person.  Check out A Day In My Life for the details.
 

If you are looking for more Mother's Day card and craft ideas, be sure to check out THIS post from two years ago which includes a nice round up. 


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Monday, May 8, 2017

Family Quote


A while ago, amidst all the political turmoil, I saw this quote and loved it.  


With Mother's Day coming up, I decided to print the quote out on vinyl using my Silhouette Cameo machine and mail it to my sister in laws - all of whom are amazing mothers who love their kids like crazy. 


I did something similar last year with this quote:

Since I just mailed them the vinyl, they could display it however they wanted.  
I  gave them a bunch of ideas of how to use it such as:


All of these ideas were found through Pinterest here, here, here, here, here and here.

And you can read about last year's Mother's Day quote by clicking HERE.


And to all you moms out there - 
Keep up the good work.  You are doing better than you think you are.
I know you may not have had a decent night's sleep in years, you may smell like spit up, your wardrobe consists of black yoga pants and yesterdays tee shirt, you can't wait until the kids can do things on their own and then you miss those days of giving baths and tying shoes.  Being a mom isn't for the faint of heart.  You may come in contact with blood, sweat, tears and lots of other bodily fluids on a daily basis.  Potty training sucks and teenage drama makes you wish for the easier days of toddlerhood.  But when your kids are grown and you have more than a millisecond to yourself, you realize it was all worth it and you'd do it a thousand times over.  Raising kids, raising this next generation, is the most important job on earth.  And it all starts with love.    



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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter 2017 recap

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter holiday.  We had gorgeous weather and played outside a lot.  I am loving this spring weather, having the windows open and listening to the kids playing outside. 

Holidays are a great time to get a family picture since the kids are dressed in their Sunday best.  This Easter I wasn't able to get one with all of us.  The best I could do was individual pictures of 3 out of 4 of the kids.  Oh, well, Mother's Day is right around the corner and I'll try again then.


Since we like to focus on the true meaning of Easter on Easter Sunday, we did all the Easter baskets and egg hunts on Friday and Saturday.  Here are the kids opening their Easter baskets at our house on Friday.  I try to put in spring/summer things like outdoor toys and summer clothes.


Then we had an egg hunt.  In previous years, I've hidden different colored eggs for each kid so each one has to find only their color.  This would allow me to hide eggs in the grass for the youngest kid without having to worry that the older kids would take them all.  This year I didn't bother with that, I just told the older kids not to take the eggs on the grass, so much easier that way.  I don't know how I've accumulated so many eggs.  I hid them all over the yard this year, including the front and sides.  It took the kids a while to find them all and some of them needed to grab another basket to put all their eggs in.


Saturday we went to visit my family.  There were more Easter baskets and egg dyeing.  This year we not only dyed eggs the traditional way, but also with little egg rollers which the kids really enjoyed. 


We tried the toddler friendly egg in the whisk trick.  It worked OK.  This little guy really loved painting the eggs and wasn't afraid to get his hands, and the rest of him, dirty.

I made this cute Peeps Easter Garden Brownie.  I got the idea from HERE.  The original recipe uses a cake, but I used brownies instead and it was delicious.  Finally an Easter dessert that didn't fail.  If you want to check out last year's Easter food fails, just click HERE.


One of my favorite Easter Bunny books is The Country Bunny.  Recently I've been feeling a little like the Country Bunny in the sense that my 'babies' no longer take all of my time and can do some of the work for me.  It's great having older kids to help out with the younger kids, especially babysitting so I don't have to take everyone with me whenever I run errands.  This book has a cute story of how a mother country bunny with 21 children became one of the Easter bunnies.









This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on the link I get a small commission.  Thank you for supporting my blog.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Fingerprint Easter Egg Basket

I saw this cute Easter basket with fingerprint eggs on Pinterest and thought we'd give it a try.  You can find the original idea over at craftymorning.com.  They'd make great Easter cards or decorations for around the house.


I had my older daughter put her artistic talent to work by drawing the Easter basket.

While she created her mini masterpiece, the younger kids colored some Easter pictures while they waited to add their fingerprints.


Instead of using paint (which is messier than I wanted to deal with), I colored the kid's fingers with markers and let them add their fingerprints that way.  I do think the original idea with the paint turned out better because the fingerprints are more vibrant. 

After all the fingerprint eggs were added, the younger kids colored the basket.   

As you can see it didn't turn out quite like my inspiration, but the kids still had fun making it. 

If you're looking for more Easter ideas, check out my Pinterest fails from last Easter HERE
.

And if you're still in need of some non-candy ideas to fill up those Easter basket, I've got a long list for you HERE.

And if you're feeling ambitious and want to host an Easter party for a whole bunch of kids, find out how I easily hosted an Easter party and egg hunt for dozens of kids HERE.


Of course Easter's not all about bunnies and candy...

More than 2,000 years after Isaiah called Him the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ is still our key to peace. This year, in the week leading up to Easter, we've been watching videos that focus on different ways to honor Him and find His peace in our life.  Find out more at mormon.org


Click on the links below to watch a video about one of the eight principles to find His peace in your life:


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Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Best Patio Furniture EVER!

I think it's finally feeling like spring around here and that means spending more time outside.  I'm slowing starting to spruce up our patio and make it look fun and inviting.  A couple of years ago I found a great deal on some patio furniture that I absolutely love.  It's been one of the best investments we've made.  We were lucky enough to score this set of 6 chairs and a table on craigslist for only $900.  Considering the cheapest chairs I could find were $150, that price is a steal.  And since it's made out of poly wood, it still looks new and that's really saying something since our patio is very exposed to the elements such as the wind and sun.  Add in the fact that we don't do anything to maintain it and hardly ever clean it unless there's been a spill and that makes it ...
the best patio furniture ever!




Our backyard is on the south side of our house so it gets all the sun all day long.  Anything out there gets faded.  The yard and surrounding areas next to it are flat and it can get pretty windy.  So whatever is out there has to be pretty sturdy or it will fly off the patio and into our neighbor's yard.  Case in point, last month we had some strong winds and they blew our playhouse into our flower beds.  This is actually our 2nd playhouse.  Years ago, wind blew our playhouse to pieces.  It came apart and we never did find one of the roof pieces so we had to get rid of the entire thing.  Luckily our latest playhouse has yet to meet it's windy demise. 



This is not our first patio set.  We had a smaller one with four chairs and that would blow away in strong winds too.  I'd have to stack the chairs and line it all along the side of the house to prevent it from blowing into our neighbors yard.  This set here is not going anywhere.  I love that I don't have to worry about it moving much less getting blown away during strong winds.  But what I really love is that it's maintenance free.  I'm busy with four kids, I don't have time to be sanding and painting picnic tables when they get weathered.  This poly wood is great.  I don't have to worry about paint chips, splintered wood or fading colors.


Here are some more shots of my patio furniture.  Seriously, if you are in the market for a new patio set, I can't recommend this type highly enough.  It's more money than the wood kind, but the fact that it's maintenance free and will last a lifetime makes up for it.





I mentioned that we found ours on craigslist which was a rare find.  However if you are local and looking for a good deal on poly wood furniture, this is the cheapest place I know of:


No, I'm not being compensated in any way for this post, just sharing what I love and a good deal.



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