3.29.2010

My kind of Easter eggs



I was so proud of myself today. I had a vision, a vision of a yummy treat that I could easily make, that my kids and their friends could help me decorate, but mostly, that I came up with all by myself! Usually I gleen from others great ideas, but this time, I was feeling pretty proud of myself! As I was looking online for the exact rice krispie treat recipe ( I can never remember it!) I pulled up the Rice Krispies home page, and what do you know? There on the homepage front and center is the treat I was going to make! Oh man! And here I thought I was being so creative :) Oh well, it is still a really fun treat, so giving credit where credit is due, enjoy!

First you throw together a batch of rice krispie treats. If anyones wondering the official recipe calls for 10 oz bag of marshmallows, 3 tbsp butter and six cups of rice krispies :) After they have cooled off a little make egg shapes using plastic easter eggs sprayed with cooking spray.



After you have formed all the eggs you simply melt a bunch of chocolate chips, dip the eggs in the chocolate and then cover in sprinkles. I spray aluminum foil with cooking spray and then set the eggs in the fridge to harden.



A few hours later they are all ready to go! My awesome sister-in-law Camille taught me long ago the joy of cellophane, so once they are done into a bag they go, wrapped with ribbon and delivered to some of the best neighbors ever!



Cutting the chaos, Week 1!!

I am so excited for this!! I love having a deadline for projects and being accountable, so here we are! As promised, my first way of cutting a little bit of the chaos out of our lives. Now just so we are clear, I am not claiming that these will all be original ideas, no, I am not that creative :) But hopefully it will inspire you to pick just one little thing to cut the chaos in your lives. So here we go:

As a mother of two darling little girls I often find hair clips, headbands, elastics etc all around the house. This has been our current system for keeping track of them



I am keeping it real folks, that is exactly what our basket looked like yesterday. I am sure by the end of all these projects you will be amazed, repulsed, amused, and confused by the sheer volume of chaos abounding in our home ;)

Obviously something had to be done!! I have seen tons of cute ways to organize clips and hair bows, and here is my take on it



The great thing about this project was that I was able to make it almost completely using items from around my house, meaning it was practically FREE :) This will be a big factor in all of these kinds of posts ;) I simply took a magnet board that I had previously been using as a chore chart. It was one of those projects that looked really great in my head, and much much worse in person :) So I took the board, painted the frame, hot glued these cute strips of ribbon, added 3 magnetic hooks for headbands and elastics, a few embellishments, and instant organization. Not only that, but its also going to be a very cute decoration for the girls room too.
I gotta tell you, I just love walking into the girls room and seeing this beautifully organized clip holder :) But one thing I noticed after I made it was, I needed some cute new clips. So I made some new ones :) If you haven't done this before I highly recommend it! It was SO easy, get some fake flowers, hair clips, tulle and rhinestones, hot glue it all together, and VOILA! Ok, they're not perfect, but my girls love them and I love that I was able to make darling flower clips for my girls for under a dollar a piece!





And here are those beautiful daughters I was talking about, Skylar in her cute Easter outfit rocking two of her new clips, and Kendall is NOT rocking a skirt because she had an accident in it earlier that morning. I told you people, keeping it real! :)



I love organization!! It makes mundane tasks like doing my daughters hair simpler, less time consuming and cute to look at :) Have a great day everyone!

3.27.2010

What to do, what to do...

Lately I've been trying to decide what to do with this blog. I love being able to record some fun things about my darling family, and I will continue to do that! But I have been really inspired by many of the blogs out there, I feel like I want there to be a little more to it. I think I finally figured it out!

Once a week I am going to post about my attempt to "Cut the chaos, one week at a time!" Pretty exciting, huh? :) Once a week I will post something, it can be big or small, that is making my life a little too chaotic and the solution I have come up with to fix it!!

I am really excited about this for two reasons: First off, if anyone can benefit from something I am doing, then right on! But even more importantly, I figure a few months of this and my life will be sufficiently less chaotic. Some of the weeks will be big projects, and some of them will be silly little things that most people had probably all thought of years ago ;) But in short, it is my attempt to clear out the clutter and chaos in my life, so I can more clearly see the joy and the blessings that are all around!

So stay tuned on Monday for the very first installment of "Cutting the chaos, one week at a time!"

3.25.2010

What's for dinner??

Agghhhhh, the dreaded question!!! Is it just me or is between 5 and 6 at your house the absolute hardest time of the day? The kids are hungry and grumpy, I am so ready for my husband to get home and I need to figure out what everyone is going to eat.

This has always been a big challenge for me. The whole meal planning thing just felt so overwhelming to me, the grocery lists, the actual shopping, finding the recipes, etc! Well ladies and gentleman, I think I finally figured it out! (Or figured out something that works for me at least!) I thought I would share what works for me in the hopes that you will do the same! I would love to hear what works for you and your family. The way I look at it is this: I chose my "job". I plan on doing it for many, many more years, and just like any job the more organized and planned you are the better you perform your "job". I chose to be a stay at home mom, and so I try to do my job to the best of my ability, wether its cooking, cleaning, teaching, organizing, etc. That doesn't mean its going to be as good as everyone else, their best may be better than mine, but as long as I'm always trying to improve I feel pretty good about it :) So here is my attempt at organizing our meals better :)



This is where the magic happens!! (Isn't that what they always say on MTV Cribs when they show the bedroom....ewwww:)
This is where my meal planning all come together. Here's how it works:
First I went through all my recipe books (yes, it took forever) and picked out the tried and true, the recipes I can make well that everyone loves. After I found them all I spent one whole day typing them up and pasting them on to cute 4x6 scrapbook paper:) Then I used my handy dandy laminator (I HIGHLY recommend getting your own, even if its a cheapie like mine) and went to work. I LOVE having them laminated because frankly, I am a very messy cook. By the end my recipes are usually covered in whatever I am attempting to make, so its nice to just be able to wipe them off when I'm done.



Once a week I try a new recipe that is not from my cards. If it makes the cut I type it up and add it to the box :)

Usually on Sunday night I pull all the recipes I want for that week and make my grocery list of off them. Then I plan what day we will be having what and write it on this excel spreadsheet I made. I KNOW I saw the idea for this spreadsheet on someones blog, so if its you, please claim this great idea!! I love this because I can look at it and in a moments notice see if I need to be thawing anything, if its a crockpot meal that needs to be started earlier in the day, etc.



Finally I have this cute magnet board I found at the Quilted Bear that I stick my recipe on while I am a-cooking away! It is SO lovely to not have to lug around a big cookbook, or a million loose sheets of paper.



Well, thats it! :) Like I said, its a system that works for us! I would love to hear your great ideas on how you organize your meals, please feel free to share :)

3.21.2010

Are you feeling lucky...

What a fun and busy St. Patricks Day we had this year!! I have to preface this with a disclaimer:

People, I know I go a little overboard, but here's the thing. I LOVE celebrating holidays with my kids. My mom always made holidays really special and I have some wonderful memories. Not only do I want my kids to have some of the same memories, but seriously, life is so short! I figure I'll probably only have around 20 St. Patricks Day's to celebrate with Skylar before she moves out, or marries, or something! And only about 7 or 8 more until she realizes what a dork I am! :) It's the same for each child, so my point is, I know its a little crazy but in the big scheme of things the opportunities we have to do these kinds of things with our children are so few! Anyways, back to the festivities...:)

I was so excited about our breakfast! The night before we had a really fun family home evening about rainbows so I thought these pancakes would be perfect! You can get the direct link to where I found them on my Fun at Home blog :)






We also decided to do a really simple craft, make our own leprechaun hats. The girls had a great time fingerpainting these paper bowls and covering them in glitter. And by covering them I mean I am still finding glitter everywhere, as is Britton :)




I think the girls' favorite part of the day was when they woke up from their naps only to find a trail of shamrocks leading them to....



Leprechaun Dust!! I made these fun bottles, filled them with pistachio pudding mix, and when the girls added milk and shook them up they had their afternoon snack! They both LOVED this and I think it will be a tradition from now on :)

And to end the day we had our traditional dinner, fettuccini alfredo, breadsticks and salad. I have to say, I was very excited on Thursday to eat food that WASN'T green :) Hope you had a great St. Patty's Day!!

3.15.2010

I love this...



What a beautiful reminder! Have a great Monday everyone!

3.11.2010

Sisters





My girls are so very lucky to have each other. I always dreamed of having a sister growing up, don't get me wrong, my brothers are awesome, but a sister would have been pretty cool.

Lately it has brought me JOY to see my two girls together. Please, don't get me wrong, they fight like cats and dogs, but those rare sweet moments when they just love each other make my heart melt. I am so glad they have each other. Today Kendall was in time out and Skylar said "When can Kendall come out...I miss my best friend."

I need moments like that. Sometimes I feel crazy for wanting more kids, and wanting them so close together, but I can't help it I just do. I feel like everything around me tells me I don't have enough money, or a big enough house, or a big enough car. I'm still so young, whats the rush? I still need to lose more baby weight and I certainly don't have it all together! It's tempting to listen to those voices at times, but moments like today make me see whats really important. I love the joy my children bring not only to me and Paul but also to their siblings. I know, for us, there are more special Spirits that are meant for this family.

And no, this is not an announcement, just some thoughts I have had running around in my head lately :) I mean come on, look at these darlings...who wouldn't want more!?

Hi my name is Tonii, and I am addicted to....



Couponing!! I never thought I would be, but I'm telling you, its great!! I always wondered if it was worth my time once I cut them all out, made a shopping plan, and then drove to all the different stores. For me, I have figured out it definitely is! In the last few weeks I have cut my grocery budget in half and been able to continue adding to my food storage. It has been so wonderful to feel like I am somehow contributing to the finances. I KNOW that for me, right now, my place is absolutely at home raising my kids. Its what I've always wanted to do and what I LOVE to do. So although I am not bringing in any money, I am making sure the money that we do have is stretching alot further. Here are my favorite sites that make all my amazing deals possible :)

www.hip2save.com
www.krazycouponlady.com
www.utahdealdiva.com

Happy Saving!! :)