Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Carving Tip!

Going back quite a few years ago, Matt and I carved pumpkins.  We had some super detailed, intricately designed pumpkins.  They were awesome!

About a week later...they were completly collapsed and dried out.

Now we know to use Vaseline on the cut lines.  Since we didn't have any Vaseline, I used vegetable oil on the Layne's.  But leave it to my hubby to one up me! {He's so smart!}

He had the brilliant idea to use vegetable oil spray!  Genius! You don't get it all over your hands and it is super easy to spray into little detailed cuts!

And our pumpkins?  We carved them 2 weeks ago, and they are looking good as ever!

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Friday, October 28, 2011

{Crazy Blessed Love} Feature Friday

Welcome to Edition #4!!

Wondering what I've been up to this week?

SOCK ANIMALS!

Monkeys, Zebras, Horses, Cats, you name it!

Now onto some great projects that I loved this week...

I love the color scheme on this quilt.  Perfect for a new little boy's room!


I love this {give thanks} frame!  It's already given me an idea for a new series for the month of November.  Yay!



Love this little hankie dress!  The colors and style are perfect for fall!

These are a Hoot!  Such a fun way to dress up super cheap treat bags!  No need to spend tons of $$.

{Creative Cents}

And lastly, I WILL be making a few of these!  Isn't this too cute and creative?


{Me Sew Crazy}


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Family Pumpkin Adventures!

Guess what!?! 

We went to the Pumpkin Patch!

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After church last week, we decided to head out to a local farm for their pumpkin patch.
{Notice that I didn't tell you their name.  I'm still a little bitter about spending $43 there and only walking away with 2 pumpkins that I could have paid $7.78 for at Wal*Mart...no way are they getting free advertising from me!}

Enough complaining...memories are priceless? Right? At least that's what I keep telling myself.

We did the petting zoo.
{$1 for 2 cups of feed.}

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And my kids obviously had a blast feeding the goats and sheep!

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And the corn maze. Which I do not recommend letting two four year olds lead you through!

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We rode ponies.
{$6 in addition to our $15 admission. okay...I'm stopping.}

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And we picked out pumpkins.
{which were $12 and $8...that's really the last time...promise!}

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After family naps, we carved them!

Gray picked out a mummy...


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And Layne had to have Hello Kitty {Free Templates}.

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Come back tomorrow for a pumpkin carving tip!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'm on Facebook!!

I took the leap! You can now find us on Facebook!


Or you can still follow me on Google Friend Connect...if it doesn't show up, just refresh!

Or subscribe to RSS feed or email updates when I have new posts!


Monday, October 24, 2011

I'm a Sodium Smarty!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sunkist S’alternative for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Have you heard of  Sunkist S’alternative?

S’alternative is using fresh-squeezed Sunkist® lemons as a healthy sodium-free alternative to salt.   Who would have thought?  Flavors?  Totally different.  But using Sunkist lemons as an alternative to salt can help reduce sodium, increase potassium and enhance the flavor of recipes.

And let's be honest.  We all probably eat a bit too much sodium.

Want to find out how sodium savvy you are?

Check out the Sunkist Sodium Quiz on Facebook.  You answer 10 simple questions and it spits out your results.  I have to say, on a few of the questions didn't really seem like any of the answers applied to me. 

sunkist

This quiz hit the nail on the head about me!  Sure, I know were the sodium comes in in our foods..but that doesn't mean that I follow the guidelines.

I am getting lemons on my next run to the store.  This mama is trying out the Sunkist S’alternative!

Here's a recipe from Sunkist to try out.  Sounds delish!  My family won't go for fish...maybe I'll alter the recipe to feed one :)

Sunkist® Lemon Seafood Paella -

Ingredients: (Makes 8 servings)
*1- 32 oz can low sodium vegetable broth
*1 cup dry white wine
*1 teaspoon saffron threads
*1lb. of firm, fresh pieces of whitefish such as tilapia, bass, halibut and swordfish, cut into 16-21 pieces
*1lb. or 16-21 mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
*1lb. or 16-21 medium sized clams, rinsed
*cup chopped fresh parsley
*3 Sunkist® lemons, zest and juice
*3 Tbsp. olive oil
*1 _ cups minced onion
*3 cloves garlic, minced
*teaspoon crushed red pepper
*3 cups uncooked short-grain rice such as Valencian, Arborio, or Calrose
*1 cup frozen green peas
*1- 8oz jar of sliced, roasted red peppers

Instructions:
• To prepare broth, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

• To prepare paella, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish pieces to pan and sauté 1 minute. Remove fish from pan, reserve and keep warm. Add onion to pan and sauté 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook 5 minutes. Add rice and cook 1 minute longer, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, bring to a low boil and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

• Stir in the peas and red pepper slices. Add mussels and clams to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until shells open; discard any unopened shells. Stir in the reserved fish and chopped parsley and cook 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in lemon juice and check for seasoning. Cover with a towel and let stand 10 minutes before stirring

Visit Sponsor's Site

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Soccer Star.

{Okay.  Now re-read the title in your best Mary Katherine Gallagher voice from SNL}

Layne started playing soccer this fall.  She went from Dance to Gymnastics to Soccer.

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And I have to say...soccer really isn't her thing.

First of all, she is definitely the youngest and smallest on her team.  I had to hem her shirt bottom and sleeves.  And don't get me started on finding soccer shorts small enough.  We finally found XXS Umbro shorts, which were still ginormous on her.  I ended up ripping out the side and crotch seams and sewing them up myself...

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Her little arms move so fast when she runs, but her legs and body are much slower :)  We joke that she's going to wear the arms out on her shirts!

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And God love her...she wants a goal so bad.  She even told me last week. "Mom, I haven't got any goals yet."  Me: "That's okay babe.  You're having fun, right?"  Layne: "Yeah, I am.  But mom? ...pause... Tonight is going to be my night."

As a parent, I want nothing more than for her to get out there and score a goal.  My heart just breaks for her that she probably won't.  Being a mom is tough. 

But you know what?  She's got the biggest cheering section that there is!  Both mamaws and papaws are at every game.  And she's usually got an aunt and cousin or two there too.

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{Yes...that's all our family}

And brother...he's her biggest fan.  And this boy, he's got some soccer moves.  While soccer isn't her thing, it definitely looks like it will be his!

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{Gray and Josie...best buds}

And I just had to snap a picture of this.  This captures Gray so well.  He is always sneaking drinks of Mamaw or Papaw's tea or one of our soft drinks.  Maybe that's why he bounces off the walls?

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So...one more week.

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And next time, you'll probably be seeing more dance pictures :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

{Crazy Blessed Love} Feature Friday

Woo hoo!!  Week #3 of Feature Friday!
 
Until I get some time to really blog about what I've been working on, here's a sneak peek!

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1) Sock Monkey Completed! 2) Sock Monkeys Cut Out to Complete 3) Lots of patching and hemming
4) Embroidering quilt squares   5) Cutting out Quilt Pieces for my niece   6) Button/Embroidery Art


On to our features!  You won't see many (or any!) Halloween features.  After the past month of Halloween projects, I'm already over it.  {Yep, and we're still over a week away...}

Let me just put this out there right now...I'm cheap.  If I can make something out of scraps or garbage, I'm all for it.  And I love this tutorial for gift bows!  I'm going to sit down and make a bunch for gifts!

{DIY Gift Bows from It's Just Called Spicy}

I have a thing for chandeliers {remember this post here?}  Isn't this beautiful!?!  A huge transformation from the original piece!

{Chandelier Makeover from Its Overflowing}

I love this homemade casserole carrier!  I adore this fabric. {see projects here and here using it}  Such a great gift idea too!

{Casserole Carrier from Taylor Made}

I love this tip to cheat your way to a winter wardrobe.  I do this too, except we just have a white and pink long sleeve shirt that we layer tees over.  The nice thing about this tip?  You can do it with any color!  Gotta do this...

{Add Sleeves to Tees via My Own Road}

This is such a great tutorial for reverse applique.  And it's such a cute way to glam up a plain shirt.
{Reverse Applique Heart Tee via A Pumpkin and A Princess}


If you were featured...grab a button!




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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hope for Stephen

I've been following this story below through my friend, Natalie, from Natsprat.  And praying for the past week.

Natalie's cousin's little boy, Stephen, has brain cancer.  Here's an excerpt from Natalie's blog.

While the doctors were able to get 99% of the tumor, they are not out of the woods yet. He will still have to go through chemotherapy and more testing. I have been feeling so helpless, feeling like there was nothing I could do other than pray. And last night, as I was trying to fall asleep, an impression came to me. There IS more I can do to help! And, this is it.

We all know how fast hospital bills add up! And, with 2 MRI's, brain surgery, chemotherapy, tests, doctor bills, (SUPER AWFUL EXPENSIVE) hospital stay costs, and all of the other expenses they will have to end up paying....I just don't even want to think about having to add it all up. *shudder* So, I made the Hope for Stephen Fund.


What's even better is that Natalie also makes Nest Necklaces.  And if you purchase one (or ten) before October 31st, all proceeds go to Stephen's family.  If you are interested, go check out her blog post.  And leave her a comment there if you want to help out!

{Miss Mod Top} Pattern Review

So you all know that I love Jenny from Seamingly Smitten, right?

Well, she just released her new sewing pattern for the Miss Mod Top.


And I got to be one of her pattern testers before it was released!

This top is very feminine and flattering to all body types.  It goes from a XS to XL.  I've said this before, but Jenny's patterns are SO simple with clear and easy instructions and pictures for every step. 

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This was such an easy sew.  I was completed in less than an hour and a half.  And that's with a few mistakes on my part...I never sew anything without using my seam ripper at least once :)  My only advice, make sure you use fabric with some stretch.  Jenny's pattern tells you this, but I wish my fabric had some more give to it...live and learn!

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You can buy this pattern here.  And there's a coupon code on Jenny's blog for 20% off!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tangled Party!!


Layne turned four back in August.  I posted her birth story here.  And for her party, she requested Tangled!

Wanna see what we did?  Better late than never! Right?

Invites

I designed her invites...thanks to some Tangled images that I found online! {Feel free to email me if you are interested in using this layout.}

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Cake

The cake was a team effort, with Daddy leading the team :)  We started out following the Bakerella recipe on Disney's website, but made our own changes along the way.  The tower was constructed based on the recipe.  We decided to cover the tower in fondant instead.  The brick pattern was made using this Duff brick pattern that I picked up at Michael's.

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{Ignore my tile samples in the background!  We were trying out backsplashes for a few weeks}

We surrounded the tower with cupcakes.  We had chocolate and yellow cupcakes topped with a homemade butter cream icing {recipe courtesy of Whipperberry}... yum! I topped the cupcakes with silk flowers for added decoration {idea courtesy of Super Mom Moments}.

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Decorations

For decorations, I made my own pendant banner using purple paper and a sun stencil {both found at Walmart}.  I sewed the paper to a long piece of ribbon.  This was by far faster than gluing it on for me!

We had several paper lanterns {Hobby Lobby} throughout the house.  The streamers were made following Dana's tutorial for ruffled crepe paper.  I just used pink and purple.

We also had several Flynn Wanted Posters through out the house.  I just enlarged and printed this one.

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We also made these super cute Pascal Party Blowers.

{Image and Tutorial Courtesy of Disney Family.com}

And the girls all got to wear their own yarn Rapunzel hair!  Layne's had fake flowers throughout so that she REALLY looked like her.  For the hair, I cut 15-20 strands of yarn all the same length.  Split them up into 3 sections and braid together.  {I clipped the end to a pillow on the couch to hold it still.}  I finished them with little rubber bands then covered the rubber bands with yarn to hide them. I added hair clips...and that's it!

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Games & Fun

For games, we played "Pin the Frying Pan on Flynn." Idea courtesy of Super Mom Moments, again!  She even has a printable frying pan!  Daddy drew the Flynn poster and did a phenomenal job!

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For party favors, each of the kids got to make their own Tangled charm bracelet...boys included :)  {Idea from Disney Family.com}.  The charms are made using Shrinky Dinks.  I used the template on the website for 2 pages, but them made my own print-outs for the rest.  Since we had boys there too, I wanted more Pascals and Flynns.  This was a huge hit with the kids!  {By the way, I used Lobster Claw Clasps and a roll of chain from Michaels for the bracelets - maybe $6 total...}

Lastly, another idea courtesy of Super Mom Moments was a huge hit!  We scheduled the party later in the evening just for this.  We bought 6 lanterns from here.  We started out by having them tied to our swing set, but ended up letting the very last one go.  The adults had just as much fun with these as the kids did!

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Any questions?  Let me know in the comment box :)