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Friday, May 31, 2013

A Testimony is like an Apple

2 weeks ago I made this little poem about how an apple is like a testimony for my amazing Laurels. They went WILD with the analogy! We gain a testimony by asking questions which plant our "seeds," they start to grow and make a "blossom." As we search and find answers to those questions, we gain a firm belief or testimony about something which becomes an "apple." When we have that "apple" it is important to share it with others to strengthen their "seeds," "blossoms" or "apples," so they can taste the sweetness you enjoy. It was so fun to have a conversation about how our testimonies can be shared with others just like we share slices of apples with each other. This was great for Young Womens, I know this would be great in Primary for a sharing time too! Needless to say we had apples as a treat.

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A Peek into my Craft Closet

This is my craft closet. My husband and I have an agreement, I can have "as much craft and sewing supplies I want," AS LONG as it fits in my craft closet. We were VERY, VERY, VERY fortunate to get this armoire from Craigs List for FREE! A couple had bought 2 armoire's from a Marriott that was refurnishing, one for them and one for their daughter. Well their daughter didn't want it and they just wanted to get it out of their house! Talk about Perfect Place at the Perfect time! My husband painted it white for me, and here we are today! It is all enclosed so you can't see my mess! It is PERFECT for me! I hope you can get a few ideas on how to organize a craft closet of your own, and you can see where I start all my craft projects! It's all here! Take a look!

My lovely Craft Closet we got for FREE! I want to keep saying that because I NEVER get anything for free! This is my first lucky break! I love having something with DOORS! It hides EVERYTHING!

Here are the explanations...

Top of the craft closet:
Wrapping Paper Storage - 4 hooks, and string, this keeps them off the floor and easily accessible.
Purple box, Sticker Storage -  Labeled Envelopes with all my stickers and scrapbook embellishments
Present Packs - Packs of paper or card making packs for quick and easy gifts.

Bottom of the Open Craft Closet
2 Red clear drawers I purchased after a Christmas sale - only $5 a piece! Pretty great! 2 long pieces of foam board I taped together to make the shelf on top. All of my scrapbook paper pads fit in between. 

Here are the drawers CLEAR - They looked "Junky" so I improvised and got shades of pink paper sheets and  labeled them in the bottom right corner. I slipped them in front of the "junk" and PRESTO! Clean looking drawers! What do you think?!

Drawer #1
My mom always taught me to organize with shoe boxes, you can use the shoe box AND the lid! Here are all of my shoe boxes and lids, making it easy to keep things organized!
Rolls of ribbon in one shoe box, scraps of ribbon perfect for cards in another.
Boxes of colored cards and envelopes, bags of costume jewelry, I can't wait to play dress up with my little girl!

Drawer #2
My mother always had a fish and tackle box of stamps, so I do too! I have obviously had this a LONG time with all of the Lisa Frank Stickers, but it is PERFECT for stamps. You can see the stamp top and don't have to "double" them up and have stamps go forgotten. 
The LARGE gift bag holds ALL of my gift bags and tissue paper. (as shown under this picture)

Drawer #3
My cuttlebug machine, and all its supplies in a large ziploc bag so I don't lose any parts!
Another shoe box filled with my most used sewing tools.
A sewing box filled with my least used sewing tools and my patterns.
The pink craft box is all material.

Well that is my craft closet. Thanks for stopping by! Now you can see where all of my projects start... right HERE! Hope you got a few little ideas of organizing. Thanks for taking a peek!

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Twisted Parmesan Breadsticks

I was so excited when I found this recipe from my sister. She gave me a whole bunch of recipes she had ripped out from different magazines. And this particular one caught my eye. First of all you know exactly where I put it... in my Ultimate Ideas Notebook, so I could find it easily when I needed it. I made these for a dear friend of mine, Sarah over at High Heels and Grills for a baby shower I threw for her. They were a hit! And very easy, they just took a little time. Here are step by step instructions on how to make Twisted Parmesan Breadsticks! 

Twisted Parmesan Breadsticks:

1 c. Luke warm water
2 1/2 tsp. Yeast
2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs - slightly beaten
1/4 c. honey
5 T. Olive Oil  (It makes a big difference in taste)
3 1/2 c. unbleached flour  (It makes a big difference in taste)

Parmesan Cheese
Italian Herbs
Extra Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 375 and these will bake for 8 min.

In a large bowl combine water, yeast, salt, eggs, honey and oil. Mix thoroughly. When done combine flour and mix well. Knead with your hands into a ball, and let rest for about 10 min. Knead the ball again onto a floured surface. If too sticky add more flour. 

This is the bowl of dough, This is me kneading the dough in the bowl...

Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead once more...

Make sure to have a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. This is SOOOO... much easier than greasing it every time, and you can use it for every one of your batches of breadsticks.

Here is what you start with... Lined cookie sheet with parchment paper, a rolling pin, flour, small bowl with olive oil inside, a basting brush, grated parmesan cheese, italian herbs, and a pizza cutter.

Take off about an Orange size ball of dough to begin with.

Roll the dough out on the floured surface to a long oval, as much as you can it is very "elasticy".

Take your basting brush and brush the rolled out dough with olive oil.

When completely coated, sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Next sprinkle with Italian Herbs

Start cutting the dough with the pizza cutter, about 1/4 of an inch each.

Take each strip of dough and twist and place on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

The breadsticks need to be left only about 1/4 in to 1/2 in apart.

Place in the oven at 375 degrees for about 10-12 min. 
These are baked, they get poofy and beautiful!

Remove from the parchment paper and let cool on cooling racks. 
Grab another orange sized piece of dough and repeat the steps again and again!

WELL DONE! WE DID IT! Now don't eat them all, there is more than enough to share! 

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Paper Plate Balls - Enchanced

A few months ago I posted a tutorial on how to make Paper Plate Balls. They are fast, inexpensive and make a fun addition to any room or party. I was so excited to make them even better for my little girl's room. I had so many wonderful comments on the post I decided to paint them like everyone had suggested, and like I had in mind all along! So, here they are, "Painted to near Perfection." I am so pleased! I didn't use spray paint like I thought I would, but I used watered down acrylic paint instead and just colored the "triangles." I like the white and the color, it gives a different dimension. The soft pop of color makes her room look even more fun! Thanks for the INSPIRATION everyone! 

To learn how to make Paper Plate Balls, click HERE

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Ultimate Veggie Nachos

I love coming up with healthy lunches that you can just throw together, hardly any cooking at all. Just left overs if you have already made them! This is just like a fantastic salad on top of chips! DELISH! This is something simple and takes no time to prepare for you or your family. Take a look!

Contents of the nachos:

Rinsed Corn
Rinsed Black Beans
Romaine Lettuce
Cut up Tomatillo
Shredded Cheese
V-8 & Salsa for dressing


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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Foam Fridge Flowers

A week ago my little 2  year old and I made these together while her brother was asleep. A quick project that seemed to have many more hours of enjoyment than I expected. We decided to make magnets. More like MOM decided to make magnets. My little girl loves to be in the kitchen when mom is, even when it's most inconvenient like most of you know. Well when there are magnets to play with, she plays instead of pawing at me or crawling up things. It is WONDERFUL to have these for her to be "distracted"! My wonderful mother in-law gave me a whole stack of this "foam paper" for kids crafts and I had NO idea what I was going to do with it. Until this popped into my mind! So simple and looks like my kitchen has a small garden to enjoy. 

I took the foam paper and drew a fun flower on it with a small marker. I then cut it out, cut out a "middle" and some leaves. Hot glued them all together, and glued a magnet onto the back. Super simple and super cute!

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Funfetti Cake Cookies

I love these cookies. My sister introduced me to cake cookies about 10 years ago, (crazy to think its been that long but it has!) and they have been a family favorite ever since. They're made from cake mixes- delicious and easy. I made these for a youth activity a couple weeks ago and I was able to make 80 cookies from 2 cake mixes. How great is that?! When you make small cookies, people feel like they are getting more. 2-3 small cookies are equal to 1 large cookie! I love funfetti cake cookies, because you can make them with any color you want! This is as easy as it gets, one white cake mix and the sprinkle color of your choice. The possibilities are endless!

Funfetti Cake Cookies:

1 white cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 c. oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 T. Sprinkles

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and drop by rounds onto a greased cookie sheet like so. A little larger than a quarter - you can get 24 rounds on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for about 6 -7 min. Remove onto a cooling rack. Eat with a glass of milk! DELISH!

*2 dozen cookies per cookie sheet?! Isn't that great!? Great to make in bulk for parties or gifts for others.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ice Breaker Ball

This is a simple game for parties, family reunions and Young Women Activities. Grab a big bouncy ball, write questions all over it. Pass it around and what ever question your right hand pointer finger touches you have to answer. We call it an Ice Breaker Ball! Pretty easy and fun! You get to know A LOT about people! Check it out! 

I made this ball for a Young Woman activity a few weeks ago and the girls had a blast! Just after I made the ball with all the questions, I added little stars. If they "landed" on a small star they were allowed to ask anyone a question. It got pretty hilarious what they would come up with!
This game is perfect for all ages! 

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Watermelon & Lemon Jello Dessert

We loved this version of this jello dessert. It was creamy and divine! My husband said it tasted like a starburst! I sure don't mind that at all, who doesn't love starbursts?! This is going to be great for summer parties and BBQ's. Everyone we make this for always begs for the recipe. It's very simple, fresh, and delicious! Who doesn't love that? Check it out!

Watermelon & Lemon Jello Dessert

1 (3 oz) Lemon Cook & Serve Pudding & Pie Filling
1 (3 oz) Watermelon Jello Pkg
3 c. water
8x8 glass pan

Follow the directions at Lemon - Orange Creamsicle Jello

Cook Lemon cook & serve pudding and pie filling according to directions on the box. While that is cooking and you are stiring constantly, in a separate pan boil 3 c.water. Pour the watermelon jello powder into your 8x8 glass pan. Pour the boiling water into the glass pan. Mix thoroughly together. Add the cooked lemon pie filling  into the jello mix in the glass pan and mix thoroughly as shown in the pictures at Lemon-Orange Creamsicle Jello. Refrigerate for 2 hours and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate over night until set up.  Garnish with cool whip when ready to serve! DELISH!

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

From Night Stand to Play Kitchen

We made this play kitchen last year for Christmas. Our little June has loved it, and countless others who have graced us with their presence. This is super sturdy, just the way we wanted it! It was a fun project for my husband and I to work on while she took naps. We were SO fortunate to find a cabinet that already had a folding door like an oven! We didn't have to turn anything into one, or make something different! It was PERFECT! Here is our road to a perfect play kitchen to last for years and years! Plus, its so much cuter than a plastic one and will last longer too!

The Night Stand - we got this amazing find at a yard sale for $25

We grabbed the metal bowl for the sink and traced around it, we then traced a line just inside the first circle, because there was a lip on the bowl and we wanted the bowl to rest on the wood, not fall through. We cut the hole, then primed the whole thing white.

We then got red spray paint and went to town

We installed the sink, faucet and "sprayer"

(See all the screws- that baby is in there TIGHT!)

We caulked the sink in first and let it dry. My husband didn't think that was enough so we broke 2 drill bits to make a hole in the metal bowl and screwed it into the wood! That is a very strong sink!

We didn't want the sprayer hose dangling in the oven! SO UN-REALISTIC! So we came up with a hidden space. We took a piece of scrap wood we had and made a space between the back of the night stand and the "oven" can you see the hose in the back? We screwed it in on the outside to stay in place. It works AMAZINGLY!

I also painted red "coils" on the bottom of the oven and placed a Dollar Store cooling rack over them! It's all in the details! 

This one took us a while to figure out. We wanted the stove to look like a round stove with coils, but a regular can lid was too small and we were worried about the edges being sharp! So we found 2- #10 cans and took the lids. My genius husband used the can opener upside down to keep a soft ridge. We also sanded them down just in case! We screwed it in 5 places. That stove top is going NO WHERE!

You're all going to laugh, but the handle for the oven is a towel rack! We couldn't find anything else! We changed out the hardware on drawer to match all the silver.

I purposely wanted a drawer for the kitchen. Boy was I lucky to find one! All her food storage is in it! I could actually SHUT the drawer and nothing would fall out. The kitchens with the material over a space for storage are super cute but I wanted a drawer to be able to shove things in and not have them spill out.

What a perfect little kitchen we will all enjoy for years to come!

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