Taking Time!

It's been 3 months since my last post and I've had a bunch of emails from concerned friends because I have not been present on my blog.  I'm here to say all is well and I've just been taking time to be with my family.  I spent a year building the blog and my Etsy site and looked around me and my kids were a year older.  I'm just soaking up every sticky kiss, snuggle and park date!  My children are THE number one most important thing to me so from time to time I may decide to take a break from blogging and that is just what I'm doing now.  I am still very active on ETSY and am available for party printable packages to those interested.  I'm sure you all understand and I appreciate the kind regards and concerns.  Thanks again for the support!


{real party} Pilot Graham's 2nd Birthday Airplane Party

Climb aboard Fuller Airlines for one sky high party!  Our little Graham turned two (sob) and when planning his party I gave him a few choices.  I asked him if he wanted a 'balls and bubbles' party or an 'airplane' party (both themes are absolute LOVES of our little one) and as you can see he chose "pairplanes" as he calls them.  Party guests were greeted by this fun balloon wreath and sign.
 The kiddos got to take home some baggage with their very own personalized luggage tags.


{free printable} Compassionate Dinner Note Cards

We all have friends who occasionally fall ill or have a baby.  I, personally, was grateful for the compassionate dinners I received after I gave birth to both of my boys.  It was such a relief to know that for a few days following our return from the hospital that I didn't have to focus on anything, but my family.  So with that said, these compassionate dinner cards are meant to help out with that task.
What's included in this printable set:
  • "Made with love by: dinner card w/ baking time/temperature instructions (for those who handmade dinner, but it still needs cooking)
  • "Made with love by" dinner card w/ out baking instructions (for those who handmade the dinner, but no baking is needed)
  • "Provided with love by" dinner card w/ baking time/temperature instructions (for those who bought a dinner that still needs baking.  ie-- Costco lasagna)
  • "Provided with love by" dinner card w/out baking instructions (for those buying take-out such as pizza or chinese for your friends)
  • Contact Calling Card
  • Allergies Checklist Card
  • 6 different printable circles with generic sayings: "get well soon", "congrats", "thinking of you", "we love you", "baby girl", and "baby boy"
All of the cards have space in the lower-left hand corner to attach the circular message that best suits your friend's situation.
Other tips to make things easier on your friends on the receiving end of your service:
  • If you've promised dinner, be prompt and reliable.  If I know one thing it's that nursing moms can eat often and are always looking forward to their next meal! :)
  • Call ahead to make sure no major allergies are in the family.
  • Deliver your dinner in disposable tin pans so your friends don't have to worry about return/washing your dishes.
  • If you're sick make arrangements to have someone else cook dinner that night.  No need spreading your cold around to an already sick friend or newborn babies.
  • Lastly, don't forget to include cooking instructions with your dinner so they cook it correctly. 


{free printables} Happy Father's Day to All Those No.1 Dads!

Jillian over at Catch My Party asked if I could create some Father's Day printables and these are what I came up with.  Head on over to see Jillian's post or download them below.
Pictures above courteous of Jillian at Catch My Party.
Included in the printable set:
-2 inch cupcake toppers/party circles
-Father's Day Sign/Quote
-Cupcake wrappers
-Straw Flags/Tags
-Bottle Lables
-Folding Food Labels
-5x7 inch Folding Card
-No.1 Daddy Banner
The above picture is obviously from me-- not so professional looking, but we're ready to celebrate our No.1 daddy on this special day!


{free printable} Potty Training Chart & Prize Tag

 I know it's a controversial topic-- do I reward my child with prizes/food/candy for going to the bathroom or not?  Well... this mom is desperate and will try anything!  Plus, this article at babycenter made me feel a bit better about the idea of the reward system.  We've tried potty training numerous times and numerous times have realized we were not ready yet.  Now at 3 years and 4 months I feel as though I can rationalize on some small level with my child about using the potty.  SO... we're in full training mode.  I'm hoping the potty prize bag and chart will motivate and encourage my little one (or little ones-- if my almost 2 year old potty trains at the same time I wouldn't mine).  I'm hoping to use the "3 day lock-down method".  The idea is to hunker down in our house for a few days and drink lots of water/juice. 
Once we've got this thing down I thought a little long term reward might help keep the momentum going.  If my little one is accident free for nine days we plan to reward him with some Coldstone yumminess or miniature golfing or whatever his little heart desires (within reason)!  Plus, he gets to put nifty dinosaur stickers on each day he stays clean in his cool undies.
I have a feeling this momma is going to spend a lot of time in the bathroom.  Wish me luck!
Please do share any cool potty training tricks you've got--I'm willing to give anything a try. :)


{free printable & project share} Homemade Sugar Body Scrub

I know I always appreciate  homemade gifts, especially on Mother's Day, so this  year I decided to do baskets for the moms with multiple homemade goodies.  Sorry I'm posting this after the fact, but just in case my mother and mother-in-law check this blog I didn't want to ruin the surprise.  Anyway, this lavender sugar scrub is just one of the things debuting in the basket and it took less than 1 minute to pull together.  Now that's my type of craft!
Ingredients Needed:
  •  Sugar (I used granulated white sugar, but I suppose brown could work too)
  • Oil (I used almond oil, but any oil that is smell-less would work-- such as olive oil)
  • Essential Oil Drops
  • Glass Jar
First fill your jar with the sugar, but leave enough room for the oil.  I used just enough oil that when it was mixed together it was a sloshy, but not too oily (does that make sense?).  It's not a science-- just pour the oil in a little at a time until you're satisfied with the dampness of the sugar mixture.
 Now, add between 5-10 drops of essential oil.  I used lavender, but contemplated using peppermint, orange, vanilla....etc.  I bought this lavender essential oil at Hobby Lobby and it was the most costly part of this project.  BUT, it should last me a while because you don't need much.
Next, tie it up with a pretty ribbon, a wooden stick and my free printable.  I would also encourage you to Mod Podge the printable label onto your glass jar so when it gets wet it doesn't sog up and fall off.
 I've created an assortment of four body scrub labels for you.  These body scrubs are super fast to put together-- the perfect last minute gift for just about anyone.


{free printable} Bachelorette Premiere Party Season 2012

Remember the printables I did for Ashley's season?  Well, I've had more requests for Emily's season. I threw these together last night and when I say thrown them together they were done in a matter a minutes so I apologize if you find mistakes or spelling errors. With that said, the printable set includes:
  • Emily Maynard's photo adorned with a scalloped frilly edge
  • 25 Informational Bio Cards for the Bachelors
  • Bachelorette Bingo Cards with Statement/Action Cut-outs (you could also have the ladies fill in their own cards if you don't like the generic cut-outs I've made available)
  • 4 inch Folding Treat Bags (created with the purpose to use on cellophane bags as favor tags)
  • "Will she get a SECOND chance at love?" Banner
  • Frilly second love quote adornment for the table/cake/door...etc.

So there you have it!  Hope you enjoy your fun season premiere get-togethers.  I just may get around to actually throwing a party myself this time around.


{food share} Flower Bundt Cinnamon Rolls

I can't take credit for this fun food presentation idea-- it was solely MY HUSBAND'S idea!  Believe it or not, my husband LOVES to help me come up with fun and unique ways to serve food.  It was sweet, really.  He came to me after I had made the cinnamon roll dough and with excitement in his voice he exclaimed, "you should let some cinnamon rolls rise in the mini-bundt pan and then when they cook they'll take on the flower shape.  It'll be soooo cute!"
Such a cute idea-- thanks honey!  The only thing I dislike about this is that the frosting covers it all up!
Looking for a delicious cinnamon roll recipe to go along with this?  Take a look at this recipe from one of my previous posts HERE.


{free printable} Room Service for Mom

Being a mom is seriously the hardest job I've ever had, so when Mother's day comes around I use that day to rejuvenate.  Today you'll find my "Room Service for Mom" Mother's Day printables at Whatever Dee Dee Wants.  Head on over for the full post.
Included in this printable set:
  • Room Service for Mom Door Knob Hanger (to be filled out by mom and left on the door)
  • "I love my mom because..." Questionnaire (to be filled out/colored in by the kids)
  • 5x7 inch mother's day note card
 To all those mom's out there... hope you have a relaxing Mother's day-- as you deserve it!


{recipe} Creamy Pesto Pasta w/ Toasted Breadcrumbs

There are a few things we miss about Utah since moving to New Mexico.  One of those things is the Corner Bakery and their creamy pesto cavatappi dish.  Every time we return to Utah we make multiple trips to get our fix, but this recipe suffices our cravings while we're away and it's super quick to make.  Every so often I'll serve this dish with parmesan crusted chicken or a crusty piece of bread to soak up the delicious sauce, but without all of that, when we're in a hurry, this dish comes together in 10 minutes.
Of course you could make your own pesto and alfredo sauce, which I've done, but what makes this dish speedy are the pre-made store bought sauces.  And, I feel the flavor is just as good.
 The toasted breadcrumbs make the dish, in my opinion.  I love the mixed texture of the creamy sauce and crunchy crumbs.  Hope you enjoy my take on the Corner Bakery dish-- we sure do.
Creamy Pesto Sauce Directions (serves 4-6): While the noodles are boiling, place one container of Buitoni alfredo sauce with 4-5 tablespoons of pesto in a sauce pan over low to medium heat, stir often to make sure it doesn't scorch on the bottom.  After the noodles are cooked and drained add the sauce and mix until pasta is evenly coated.  Next, top with toasted breadcrumbs and serve immediately.  Oh and don't forget to salt to taste.  Every pesto sauce has a different level of sodium so I usually wait until the end to salt.
Toasted Breadcrumbs Directions: Melt two tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a small saute' pan.  Add 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese, and 1 teaspoon of Italian seasonings.  Stir to incorporate and continue stirring until the crumbs brown up.  Once they brown, take them off the heat and serve on top of the pasta immediately.  mmmm... delish!


{craft share & recipe} Easter Cookies

I must admit-- icing cookies intimidates me!  I always look at those edible creation cookies and 'ooh' and 'ahh' over them and wish I could create something remotely similar.  Not to say mine even compare to the professionals cookies, but they really weren't too terribly difficult.
I wasn't feeling overly confident about icing a face on the bunnies so I decided to play it safe with some fluffy bunny tails made out of mini-marshmallows.
I'd say it's not bad for my first attempt at icing cookies this way!
Royal Icing (Piping Border Frosting)
2 Egg Whites, beaten
1/4 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
3 Cups Confectioner Sugar
Directions:  Sift together the sugar and cream of tartar.  Next add the egg whites and beat with electric mixer until it stiffens up and holds it shape.  Then, I divide the frosting into different bowls and add the coloring needed for each cookie.  Keep in mind that piping the borders on the cookies don't take a whole lot of frosting.  
Royal Icing (Flooding Inside Frosting)
Using the left over piping border frosting I then added just enough lemon juice to make the frosting a bit more runny.  I believe I added somewhere around 1-2 Tablespoons.  Then, you just plop a good amount in the center of the border frosting and slowly spread it to the edges.  It will dry smooth and flat, but it does take around 20-30 minutes so resist the urge to touch.


{free printable & tutorial} Parchment Paper Candy Egg Bundles

These pseudo transparent parchment bundles are just what I would have loved as a kid.  I absolutely adore that you can see the candy through the parchment paper and you know what you're about to devour.  Plus, they were such a cinch to make.
First-- download, print, and cut the Easter egg template. (see link to download below).  Another fun thing about parchment paper-- you could cut it to printer paper size and print the actual template onto it if you like, but then you won't be able to see through the paper. That would still be super cute, though!  I also thought about letting the kidlets color the cut out parchment paper eggs before sewing with crayons or markers, but then I realized it was bedtime and I was out of mommy/kid crafting time.
 Next, trace the egg template onto the parchment paper and cut the stencils out, making sure to cut out two eggs per candy  bundle.
Now, pin the parchment eggs together and sew around the edges, leaving a spot in the top to insert the candy.
Drop the candy in and sew the egg up.   I tried a few different eggs and while the one compartment egg was certainly the easiest I really like the look of separating the candies by sewing in between each layer.
Tip-- don't overfill the eggs with candy.  Leave a bit of room for the sewing machine foot.  If the candy is butted right up to the edge the sewing machine foot ripped my paper because it was too tight of a fit.  OR lift your sewing machine foot altogether and eliminate it from even touching the parchment paper.
Now, all that is needed is to hide these fun candy bundles on Easter morning and watch the kids tear into them with wide eyes to see their yummy surprises.
 If you want to use the Easter Egg template click the button below to download.


{free printable} Easter Brunch Printables

With Easter being just around the corner I've created this simplistic brunch printable set.  I love the light pale colors and hopefully you'll like them too!  Included in this set: banner (print the banner pages twice or even three times to achieve a longer banner), cupcake toppers/party circles, invitations, and food labels.  The food labels are not pictured, but follow the download link to sneak a peak.
Also, I found these adorable "carrot candy" cupcakes on pinterest and followed the link to Squidoo.  I love the simple design, using orange and green colored candies.  The original poster used M&M's, but I decided to use Starburst Jelly Beans-- keeping with the Easter theme a bit more.  I just LOVE Easter.  Do you have any fun Easter traditions you do with your families?


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