Friday, March 30, 2012

Peanut Butter and Jam French Toast Sandwich

Tonight it was just the kids and I for dinner. My husband was off at the rehearsal for a friends wedding, that he's in. Instead of making a complicated dinner that they may or may not want to eat, I decided to just keep it simple and make something that I was sure to be eaten without a battle. 

First I thought I'd just make them a peanut butter and jam sandwich but, then I decided to switch it up a bit and turn it into a French Toast sandwich. Alright so, I didn't add any veggies or fruits but, making it into a French Toast sandwich did add some extra protein and made it more of a filling meal. Plus, we usually have breakfast for dinner on Friday nights so, I stuck with our tradition. 

Here's what you do:
•Make a peanut butter and jam sandwich. For us, that means..... creamy peanut butter, homemade strawberry jam and whole grain bread. Delicious. Simple. 

Make an egg batter for your sandwich:
•One Egg
•About a teaspoon of milk
•1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
•1 teaspoon vanilla
•A big sprinkle of cinnamon sugar

Pre-heat your pan on medium heat and then grease it well with butter. Dip both sides of the sandwich into the egg batter and coat completely. Cook both sides until well done. 
Very easy and my kids loved it! 
If you haven't already entered my Seventh Generation "Green Your Home" prize pack giveaway, go enter here! This is the second Seventh Generation giveaway that I've done this month and it's open until May 1st.

Lastly, have you seen the Nate Berkus show? I'm not a big TV watcher at all so, I'm actually pretty oblivious to most things that are on TV. However, I randomly turned the TV on this evening and he had a crafting blogger on there. It was so fun to watch and I totally set my DVR up to tape his show. Also, Tori Spelling is starting a new show on TLC that focuses on real life crafters, competing against each other.
Oh, I'm so excited!!!!


Angela
Click here to see where I link up. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Wreath Turned Easter Wreath

Earlier this month, I made a Spring wreath that I ended up not being very happy with. A few days ago, I switched it up a bit and I'm so glad that I did! This Easter wreath was easy to make! Now my front door is happy and I'm happy too because...um, well.... I like it way more than this one.
Before:
After:
Ahhh....much better. Alright, so here's what I did. First I pulled the felt flowers off of the burlap wreath. Next, I taped off the homemade chalkboard sign and then painted it. 

Normally I don't care for fake flowers. I actually think they're slightly tacky but, these ones are alright with me. Cherry blossoms are one of my favorite things and I don't have any real ones. Heck, even if I had real ones, they wouldn't last very long so...fake will do. I tied the flowers on the wreath with the twine that my husband uses outside. Twine was an easy way to attach the flowers without having to use hot glue. Plus, the twine adds a slightly rustic look and you all know how I like that. The eggs were attached with hot glue and that's about it!
Hopefully this has inspired you to do a little decorating for Easter, even it's very simple!
Angela


Thoughts from the Dental Chair

For about a year now, I've had a couple of old fillings that needed to be replaced. Finally, I got my rear in gear and made the appointment. After I dropped J&P off at my sister's, I enjoyed the silence in the car. I listened to the radio and said a little prayer for Judah (and for my sister) because Judah had a hard time when I dropped him off. The dental chair felt unusually comfortable as I sank down into it but, my mind quickly started thinking about the shots I was about to get. I actually went to school to be a dental assistant so, I'm definitely not one of those people who's afraid of the dentist. I'm actually slightly the opposite, as I think teeth are fascinating. But the whole shots of Novocaine thing started to get me a bit nervous. What if I jump? What if I flinch really bad and the needle goes straight into my jaw bone? What if the Dentist's hand starts to spasm?

Just as the needle started going into the gum line (like it's supposed to), I heard Casting Crowns "I'll Praise you in this Storm", come on over the Dental office's sound system. Instantly I felt totally blessed to not only be sitting there, in a comfy chair but, to also have a few moments where I could hear myself think and listen to worship music. Over the next 90 minutes, some of my most favorite worship songs played. I thought about what I can do to be a better mommy for J&P and also what I can do to be a better wife. I prayed. I almost fell asleep but, the whole "keep your mouth open" and the drill shaking my head kept me from dozing off.

After they were done, I told the dental assistant that I thought it was so cool that they played that music. I was like "Seriously, I worked through contractions while listening to Casting Crowns. It's nice to hear that same music in a dental office."

Me and my puffy face...........


So......what do you think about while you're in the dental chair? If you're a busy mom like me, maybe you should make yourself an appointment, even if it's not been quite six months.

Angela

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Project 365{+1} Week 12

This afternoon, I finally got around to going over my pictures from last week. With Martha Stewart in the background (on the TV- not in person, unfortunately), a big jar of water next to me and a couple squares of 85% Dark Chocolate, I was finally able to go through all the photos. 
Day 080: Jeremiah started building the play set for the kids. 
Day 081: The sunshine came out and the building continued.
 Day 082: Family came over to help us build. The swings got put on and we had fun swinging together.
 Day 083: The sunshine continued and we played outside some more! Hello, Ms. Blue Eyes!
 Day 084: I love the way her hair blows in the wind.
 Day 085: I love my hard working man.
 Day 086: A few pictures were snapped during our adventure to the library.
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After I went through these photos, I picked out my Top Five Favorites from the first quarter of this year. It was hard to choose but, I *think* that these are my favorites.

Paisley loves to read and I love the way this picture shows her personality.
 I chose this pictures as one of my Top 5 Favorites because it's just.....cute. Really cute.
 When I took this photo, I remember how much fun Judah was having posing for the camera. It's a sweet memory.
 This picture is one of my Top 5's because it shows what life it like these days. No posing, or editing. It's just our life......and I like it.
It was hard to choose this last picture. I love this photo because for one, black and white suits it perfectly and secondly, it was super fun driving trains with Judah. Again, it was a sweet memory and that's what I'm trying to capture, with this Project 365{+1}






Tuesday, March 27, 2012

First Tulips and Blogging Inspiration

Last summer when we bought this home, there wasn't a single flower or tree growing on the property. Well, I guess there was one tree, a really huge cedar that I'm sure had been here for 50+ years. The grass was mostly weeds and I remember rocking Paisley one night before we moved in and realizing that the house we had just signed on, had no flowers to go out and pick. I think I actually shed a few tears over the lack of plants on our new property. Judah was 2 and he was just discovering the joy of playing outside in the trees and the bushes. The lack of flowers and bushes on this property totally bummed me out but, I told myself that we could start from scratch and that we'd make it work. 
We haven't even been here a year yet but, we've definitely done our share of planting trees, bushes and flowers. We still don't have the big, full, flower beds that I hope to someday have but, we've made such progress and it has been so rewarding. Each flower that blooms is a flower that we've planted, in flower beds that we've dug up ourselves. 
Today the tulips we planted bloomed. It might be hard for some people to understand but, I love these tulips! They are our tulips, at the first house that we've ever owned. 

When I look at these pictures, I can imagine that when I was worrying about the fact that our new home didn't have any flowers, let alone flower beds, God knew that it would be alright. He's just teaching me to be patient.
Yesterday I came across an article on BlogHer that was too good to not share. This article spoke so directly to me because I've been struggling lately with blogging.... if I want to continue to blog and what I want to write about. I love writing about the various projects that I work on but, I just can't be another craft blog. There are so many craft blogs out there and frankly, it feels too shallow for me. Don't get me wrong, I think craft and cooking blogs are great and I still want to share my projects, it's fun! I just need to write about more than that. It's ingrained in me to want to write about my thoughts, opinions and life. The tricky part for me is that I'm trying to find the balance between writing transparently and also not living my life as an open book on my blog. Does that make any sense???

Here are just a few things that I took away from yesterday's article:
Write about what you love. This struck home with me because I've been thinking lately that sometimes it's hard to remember what I LOVE, with all of the outside influences around me. When I read other blogs, look at Facebook and Pinterest too much, it's easy to forget who I am. I can't loose sight of what I love....not what other people love.

Write the same way you talk. For me, this point sort of goes along with "write about what you love". Again, with all the outside influences, it's all too easy to loose your own voice. We should all have a unique writing voice and I don't want to loose mine. Honestly, I'd rather cut back on the blogs I read so their voices don't drown out mine. It's not that they're doing anything wrong, it's that I'm easily influenced and that I truly do want to write the way I talk! 

Be different. I loved this point because it helped confirm what I've already been feeling. Like I said above, I love writing about my crafting and cooking adventures but, I know for certain that I don't want to be another craft or cooking blog. I love doing those things and sharing about my projects but, I've got more inside of me than that. 

Be a force for good. Anyone who blogs can probably understand how easy it is to write about a bad day and have a good old fashioned vent. Of course, those are okay to have from time to time. But, I believe that writing optimistically is really important. It's important to write sweet memories that'll be precious to look back on.

I don't really have a point in sharing that article. I guess it really spoke to me so, I felt like I needed to share it. So, here's a question for you....if you're a blogger, are you content with what you write about? Do you have any questions for me? Is there something that you wish I wrote about? Do you have any tips for keeping the balance of writing personal thoughts and documenting daily life, while still maintaining your privacy?

Angela



Monday, March 26, 2012

Teaching your children to be earth friendly with a Seventh Generation Giveaway!


This is a sponsored conversation, written by me, on behalf of Seventh Generation. As always, these opinions are all mine.
Ever since I became a mom, taking care of our earth has become more of a priority to me. When you become a mom, the world becomes less about you and more about your children and their future. Partnering with Seventh Generation has helped me consider the ways that I'm teaching my children to be earth friendly. Today I want to share a few ways that I'm encouraging my kids to be earth friendly and consider the next generation.
1. We reuse. Our family has been very blessed with hand-me-downs and the generosity that has been shown to us, has encouraged us to share with others. When my 3 year old plays with a toy or puts on his clothes, he often asks who gave it to him. He never assumes it's from the store, instead he assumes it has already been used by someone else. I feel like teaching my kids to reuse and to be generous with items we are no longer using is a great way of life. For one, it's teaches children to not be selfish but, it also helps our earth because we are using less, buying less and less needs to be "manufactured" for us.
2. We craft creatively. I'm a momma who loves her craft time and the creations that I've been the most satisfied with have been crafted up from items that we had on hand or items that were recycled. When I do projects with the kids, it's very rare that I go out and buy expensive materials. Instead, we use our imaginations and get creative with what we have.
3. We garden. In my mind, gardening with the kids is not only earth friendly but, it helps them to eat healthier and learn about how things grow. Plus, it's so precious to see those tiny fingers putting seeds in the ground.
Seventh Generation has an excellent line of chlorine-free diapers and wipes that I've had the privilege of testing out. I'm fairly picky about the diapers and wipes that we use because my little one has sensitive skin but, I was super pleased with these diapers and wipes. To read more about these diapers and wipes, you can visit Seventh Generation on Facebook.
Now for the GIVEAWAY! Seventh Generation is going to be giving away a Green Your Home Prize Pack to one of my readers. All you need to do is answer the question below and you'll be entered to win. The giveaway will be open until April 30th and then the winner will be chosen. Good luck!!!!
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Created with our little ones and the environment in mind, Seventh Generation is the natural choice for high-quality and effective products free of fragrances, latex, chlorine and other harmful chemicals. Make a difference by choosing Seventh Generation, now offering free shipping for orders over $50. As the Lorax says, "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."
How do you live like the Lorax? Tell Seventh Generation below and be entered to win a Green Your Home prize pack!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Seventh Generation. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Sweepstakes Rules.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

On Mothering

Here I am with Judah, moments after I became a mommy for the first time. He was big, healthy and the birth experience was everything that I had hoped and planned for. He was amazing and he still is. When I met him for the first time, I knew I was head over heels in love. Little did I know what was ahead. I knew I'd love my kids but, I didn't know what it really feels like to love your kids
21 months later, I became a mommy again. Again the birth experience was amazing and this time we were blessed with a healthy, beautiful baby girl. Judah came out and hardly cried, Paisley came out and notified the world that she had arrived. Both of their entrances to the world are true to their current personalities. When she was born, again I was totally in love. I didn't really understand how you can love two children equally and I couldn't imagine that I'd love someone the same way that I love Judah but, it happened and it was so easy and so natural. 
Mothering has stretched me like I never imagined it would. I knew it would be hard but, I thought I knew a lot about being a mother. I guess I did know more than some people know before they actually experience motherhood but, it's way harder that I thought it would be. Spilled milk makes me want to cry. Especially when the milk is spilled on purpose and when the spiller is sitting there, smiling at you, while dumping it into his lap. The messes are never ending and the questions of "how do I handle this situation best" are always on my mind. Motherhood is stink'n awesome but, it's also freak'n hard. Just being real! 

Today has been one of those days where I thought I might just pull my hair out but, writing this post has helped me feel way better. Going back and looking at pictures from when the kids were first born brings me out of the moment and shifts my perspective a little. I'm so thankful for these precious children, even if they do make me want to cry sometimes!

Angela

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Date Night

This evening my husband and I dropped our kids off at my sister's and headed out for a date. We walked through Target, picked up a few things and then went to dinner. I totally count walking through Target, alone with my husband as a date and then when you add dinner to the evening, it's definitely a date night, wouldn't you agree? As we walked through Target, I saw some super cute Easter Pinwheels. Too bad each pinwheel was priced at $4.99 or something like that. You know I love Target but, that it just way too much for these babies! Anyway.....This week, I'm going to try and make some of my own and if they get close to turning out, I'll share the adventure with you.
It's been a fun and busy weekend for us. Last night, we finished up the kids plays set and because the kids were already asleep,  I got to be the first one to go down the slide! Then this morning, I went to a friends baby shower. She's about to have her 5th child and she's just as cute as can be. This afternoon, my husband and Judah went and picked up more dirt for our garden. Now I need to do a little research and make a plan for when things need to be planted. I'm so happy that it's finally spring!
Angela 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I {heart} Turquoise-5 Easy Ways to Add a Pop of Color

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across an offer for a free quart of paint. If you know me, you know that I love to paint. I mean, why not? Paint transforms a room or an object. Color can change the atmosphere. Paint is clean. Fresh. New. I stood in the hardware store and debated on what color to choose. I didn't really have a specific project in mind but, I knew that I wanted a color that was fun. Lately I've had a bit of a love affair with turquoise. I know, that sounds ridiculous, right? Well, I know that my love for this color will most likely only last for only a short while and even though my love for this color is surely just a phase, I decided on a quart of turquoise paint.

I decided to tackle a few easy and free projects with my new paint. Why easy and free? Well,  mostly because this turquoise love might only be temporary and we all love free! However, after completing all of these projects, the paint can is still almost completely full so, I'm sure there are more projects in my near future.

The first thing that I painted were the lids to some old pickle jars. I've been wanting to store my ribbons in a glass jar for awhile now but, who wants to store ribbons in a jar that says "Vlasic"? You know, pickles are good and all but, they aren't very inspiring. Bye, bye Vlasic lids.
 Jar lids paint super easily and with just one coat of paint, the jars were all ready to hold my ribbons.
Next up, was a mason jar that I like more than the average jar. This jar is slightly square and I feel like it has a unique look to it. I've never painted a jar before but, it actually went really well. The paint goes on really smooth and I love how this jar adds a big pop of color to my table.
The third item that got a coating of turquoise was a plain old tin can. Like the jar, I'd never painted a tin can before and again, I was happy with how easily these paint. Such a quick and inexpensive way to get some spring color on our table! I thought the painted can looked like it needed a little something so, I added a simple flower made with a brown paper bag and some yellow paper.
Before:
After:
Painting the pickle jar lids, the mason jar and the tin cans was a blast but, it wasn't enough turquoise. As my 3 year old would say "Better get more!". So, I ran to the garage and grabbed this plain old flower pot that needed some color. 
Before:
After:
 Don't you think those colors look like Easter or is it just me? I just love them!
The last turquoise project (for now!) was to paint an old piece of wood. When I started to paint this, my husband asked what I was planning on using it for and honestly, I had no clue. Painting the wood was fun and quick and today I finally came up with an idea for the painted wood. I grabbed a bud vase, tied a ribbon around the vase and then hot glued the ribbon to the wood. 
Before:
After:
 
For now, those are all of my  turquoise painting projects. I hope that if you're like me and you love color, maybe these projects have inspired you to go create something that's cheap, easy and not a huge color commitment. Here's a little tip....Ace Hardware is giving away free quarts of paint again this Saturday. All you need to do is go in and ask them about the paint promotion. And no, I don't have any connection to them and I don't get any perks for mentioning their special. I just love free paint and I love sharing a great deal.

If you haven't already entered my Seventh Generation Green Home Prize Pack giveaway, go enter here! The giveaway is open to anyone who comments on that post and someone is going to be a very lucky winner. 

Happy Painting!
Angela

This post might be linked up with some of my favorite crafty parties.








Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday-If you build it, they will come (and play)








In the dark, in the rain, in the hail and finally, in the sunshine....he's been building. The instruction book has 50 steps and 27 have been completed (these things take a long time to build!). It's going to be a good great summer!

If you haven't already entered my Seventh Generation Prize Pack giveaway, click here to enter. I love Seventh Generation products and whoever wins this giveaway is going to love their stuff!

Lastly, I wanted to mention the deal that Pick Your Plum has going on today. They are selling the cutest paper that has seeds in it. This paper can be used to make someone a cute card or craft then, all you do is soak the paper in water overnight and cover with a thin layer of soil. Before you know it, flowers will be blooming. I just love that! I think I might buy some to use for making my MOPS friends cards.




Happy Wednesday!

Angela 

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