November 16, 2012

Chore Chart

I've been looking for a new chore chart idea for a long time.  There's one by Melissa and Doug that I liked, but I couldn't bring myself to spend $20 on a chore chart, especially because I'd need 2.  Today I got a new idea, inspired by a post I found on Pinterest.  

First a side note:
My children are 4, and almost 3 (and 5 months but lets face it, she's not doing any chores ☺) They don't understand money so we use Stone Jars as a reward system for helping out.  We use a pint size jar and they get small craft stones for helping, once their jar is full they get a one-on-one date with Daddy.  It's become something both girls and Daddy always look forward to.  

So... my chore chart. I used my Silhouette to make these circle cutouts on magnetic paper, each circle has pictures of the chores, seems they can't read, and how many stones that chore is worth.  They are allowed to choose which chores they want to do and earn their stones doing something different every day.  I love it.  It helps to teach them responsibility and consequence. 

So far it's working great, they're both really excited.  I've posted some pics below:

The rewards are based off of how "fun" or easy the jobs are.  The chores that are "Mommy" chores are worth more stones because it takes more effort.

I think this will be the perfect solution to my problem.
How do you work chores at your house?

October 23, 2012

Brushetta Chicken

It's delicious, and super easy. :-)

Bruschetta Chicken 

Recipe and Photo Source

what you need

small  boneless skinless chicken breast halves
cup  KRAFT Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing, divided
 tomato, finely chopped
cup  KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese (I use 1/4 cup Mozz and 1/4 cup Parmesan)
cup  chopped fresh basil

grill to medium heat (i chose to broil mine in the oven, which works great too).

make it

PLACE chicken in large resealable plastic bag. Add 2 Tbsp. dressing; seal bag. Turn bag over several times to evenly coat chicken with dressing. Refrigerate 10 min (or longer). Remove chicken from bag; discard bag and dressing.
COVER half the grill grate with sheet of heavy-duty foil.  Place chicken on uncovered side of grill grate; grill 6 min. Meanwhile, combine remaining dressing, tomatoes, cheese and basil.(Or cover a cookie sheet or other pan with aluminum foil and spray lightly with coooking spray. Place chicken on baking sheet. Broil for 5-7 minutes; turn and broil another 5-7 minutes. Top with tomato/Cheese mixture and broil 1 minute until melted.) 
TURN chicken over; place on foil. Top with tomato mixture. Grill 8 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF).

kraft kitchens tips

Marinate chicken in shallow glass dish instead of in the plastic bag.
Serve with hot buttered egg noodles, and grilled or steamed vegetables. (I served with steamed broccoli and rice)
If you don't have fresh basil, you can use 1 tsp. dried basil leaves instead.

Posted by Mindy

Cinderella and Tinker Bell

When I asked my children what they wanted to be for Halloween this year I was not really surprised when I got "CINDERELLA!!!" and  "TINKERBELL!!!" for my answers. (I really did  try to convince them that they would make the cutest little witch and scarecrow ever! but they wouldn't have it.)

I've had the fabric for a month and Friday night I realized that the festivities are starting in a week, and I hadn't even started the costumes yet.  So despite everything else I needed to do I spent two days hunched over my sewing machine working my fingers to the bone.

My neck hurts and my back is sore, but the smiles are always worth it.
They didn't turn out too bad, if I say so myself. 

The girls really got into character for pictures.

FYI: I used the tutorials found on with a few changes of my own.


September 25, 2012

Happy Halloween!!!

Its that time of the year again! It's HALLOWEEN!!! It's my absolute favorite time of year. In honor of the upcoming holiday, I thought I'd present you with a few crafts :D

Halloween Blocks: Zombie, Frankenstein, Ghost, and Pumpkin. 
Directions: Cut a 2x4 to make some taller blocks (mine were 8" in height). Sand and round corners if desired. Paint 1 block green, 1 orange, 1 white, and leave the other block plain (or paint black if desired. Paint on your favorite face and VOILA! I wrapped gauze bandage around my mummy; and "dirtied" him up a little using a brown ink pad (purchased at Walmart for $0.97). 

SUBWAY ART! Let's be honest...I LOVE subway art. One of my favorite places to get subway art is from the amazingly talented Colette at "My Computer Is My Canvas". I used her idea after I printed her subway art. This made such a fun and cheap teacher gift! I bought a handful of picture frames from the dollar store and just glued on some googly eyes using some hot glue. LOVE!

Wood...let's be honest. I just love working with wood. I bought this wooden pumpkin at the D.I. a few years back for like 50 cents, knowing that I could come up with a cute project for it someday. I cut this cute orange fabric into a bunch of 1" squares (I used a handful of green fabric squares for the stem). Using a little modge podge and a bunch of squares, this boring plain pumpkin turned into a cute pumpkin to put on a shelf.

Crafted by Mindy

August 22, 2012

Sweetened Condensed Milk and Cinnamon Butter

Hey there. It's true....all of us have been busy! It's not that I haven't crafted..I just haven't taken pictures of any of my crafts in the last while. Moving is crazy, there's no way around it.   However, I ALWAYS find time to cook (even if I don't take pictures), so here are a few recipes to add to your collection:

I LOVE sweetened condensed milk. Anything with it is delicious, honestly. It does get a little how about making it yourself? It's EASY! This can be used just like the kind you buy in the store in a can.

Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup warm water
1 Cup + 2 T Instant Nonfat Dry Milk
3/4 cup Sugar

Place warm water in bowl. Add dry milk and mix well. Add sugar and mix until smooth. Store in refrigerator in container with a lid.

So, What are my 2 favorite recipes that contain sweetened condensed milk?

Fudge Bars

Cinnamon know the stuff you get at Texas Roadhouse? Yeah, kind of like that! :)

Cinnamon Butter
1 cup Butter, softened
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk, chilled
1 tsp Cinnamon (or more, to taste)
1/2 tsp corn syrup

Mix together, spread on bread or rolls. YUM!

August 7, 2012

Baby Blessing Dress

I'm feeling very accomplished today.  It's the first day I've tackled a project since my baby was born.  Life with three kids is a lot harder than life with two!  However, I didn't have much of a choice.  We're going to be blessing our baby next week and I needed to make her dress.  I've had the fabric ever since I found out I was having a girl.  It's my 4th ever dress, and the first one of such an itty bitty size.

It's not perfect, but it's made with love.


Decorative stitching around the neckline.

Big ribbon bow in front.

I love the embroidered sheer. 

Absolutely beautiful.


July 19, 2012

Two Months Later...

A quick apology to our readers... if any of you are still hanging around.  The last couple months have been, well... busy.
Two of our authors: Kristie and Mindy have been in process of moving. 


Holli and Kristie have each welcomed a new edition to our homes within the last month.

Once things settle down a bit we'll try to get back to the blogging, we haven't given up all together.  Hopefully we'll get with it soon.

May 28, 2012

Another Princess Birthday Cake

You might remember a few months ago I made a Snow White cake for my daughters birthday.  Both my girls loved the cake and ever since January I have heard nothing else from my oldest daughter.  Her birthday was last week, I let her pick her cake, colors, and princess.  She had a whole isle of cakes to pick from, strawberry, cherry, chocolate, lemon, carrot, spice.  Wanna guess what she picked?  White.  Just like her father.  So I had her pick a second cake, I need at least two boxes anyway.  Hoping she'd pick a fun flavor this time she picked: fun fetti.  At least it has a little bit of color in it.  White and White with sprinkles.... just like Daddy.

I ended up using 3 cake mixes, two white and 1 fun fetti, 2 tubs of frosting, and about 6 hours of my time.
But she loved it.


May 24, 2012

Pink John Deere Baby Quilt, Finished

After 4 months of hard work and many many needle pokes to the finger I have finished my baby quilt.  Just in time too, I'm full term this weekend and we're expecting her within a couple weeks.  Take a look and please leave a comment and tell me what you think.  Constructive criticism is often helpful.  Keep in mind it's not perfect, but it's actually the most perfect one I've made, it only has a couple minor mistakes.

The center stars are hand pieced with pink John Deere licensed fabric.  The borders were, believe it or not, the hardest part, tore them off several times and switched fabrics a couple times before I liked it.

Hand quilted with little tractors around the outer-most border, backing is John Deere flannel.

Now all I need is a sweet little baby girl to wrap up in it.


May 12, 2012

Fudge Nut Bars

These are delicious. Seriously. To prove it...every single bite was eaten before I could even get a picture. Enjoy!

Fudge Nut Bars

1/2 cup (1 cube) butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 pkg chocolate chips (I did handful of milk, and a handful of white)
1/2 cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Mix all dough ingredients together in large bowl. Press 3/4 of dough into bottom of 9x13 baking dish. Cook filling ingredients over a double boiler until everything is melted (Option: you can also put all filling ingredients into a saucepan on your stove on LOW, stirring occassionally, until everything is melted. LOW is important...not 2 or 3, but LOW). Pour Filling over dough. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 of dough over the filling, and sprinkle chopped nuts if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

May 10, 2012

John Deere Baby Quilt... Pieced

I have absolutely loved this project, up until this week.  I finished piecing the center last week, and this week I started my borders, I started with a thick green border, then a thin yellow, then a white, and was about to continue when I realized I hated it.

So!  I tore off the borders, rearranged colors, started with the thick green border again, wait... I hated that already.

So! I tore off the borders... again, then rearranged the colors, realized I hated the yellow I picked.

So! I went to the fabric store and picked a new yellow, rearranged the colors and put the borders on as you see them here, and I finally love it again.

I wasted about 3/4 of a yard of fabric on this project with all the borders I cut then realized I didn't like and threw out to start over, but it's finally pieced.

I have 4 weeks left to quilt this beauty before it's owner (hopefully) arrives!  I'll be going back to the fabric store this weekend to pick a flannel backing, probably a light solid pink, the binding will be an assortment of the pink fabrics used in the stars.

If I have time I'm going to quilt some little pink tractors inside the green border around the quilt, but that might take more time than I have.  Guess I better get moving, huh?

May 5, 2012

Curtains, Blankets, and a lil' Decorating

Is it seriously May already?  I cannot believe how fast time has flown.  Life has been so busy.  I finally finished my school work for the semester and the weather has been relatively nice.  The baby will be here in about 7 weeks!  I can't believe how little time I have left.  It's sparked a sort of motivation inside me to hurry and finish a few projects before she's born.

I just finished these receiving blankets for a friend's baby this morning, they've been on my table for about 3 1/2 months now.  Double-sided flannel with a simple blanket stitch around the edges.  My blanket stitch skills are in need of improvement. 

Two nights ago I had my husband help me finish this bookshelf I made last spring.  I painted the sides with a glossy white (it's washable now!) and he helped me drill the screws in so they don't poke out the sides anymore... that's always good right?  The last touch for this shelf will be to router some nice edges on it, but until I break down and buy a  router, I'm stuck.

Yesterday I finally got all the girls's toys moved into their own bedroom, so I could set up the nursery.  I at least have furniture set up so if she comes early (I can dream right?) she'll have a place to sleep and clothes to wear.  I need to get some decorations up on the walls, but honestly I don't have any yet!  Eek!  I have a few I plan on making, but haven't done it yet.  I don't even have the right color of vinyl for some wall art!
I did however, make some curtains for her room.  I've gone with a John Deere theme, so the curtains are pink, green, and brown.  They block out the light really well, which is nice, seems her window faces direct East and that morning sun is quite bright.

A couple weeks ago I painted my girls's bedroom, (white, boring I know.)  I spent a couple days after that putting up decorations and what-not to make it look cute.  It's my first room in my house that is officially FINISHED!

I hung their memory boards over their beds with a little bit of vinyl wall art underneath.  

We finally got them some nice beds, instead of just a frame and a mattress, and the beds look so cute with the quilts on them.  I love it.  (can't see it well, but the baby quilts their Grandmother made are hanging above their beds as well.)  Lemon bars:  and Pillow

Flower Garden:

I hung their hand print paintings above their closet, and their "watch me grow boards" are set against the wall to the right.   The small picture frames on the left.

I hung the "Walk Tall" board I made above the door and their temple pictures next to the door.
All their toys are under the beds in drawers or in the closet to keep the room uncluttered.

The baby quilt is almost pieced.  Hopefully I can finish the piecing this weekend.  Wish me Luck.

April 17, 2012

Chunky Chicken Rosemary Stew

I feel a bit like I've dropped off the face of the Earth the last couple weeks.  Trying to get through the semester and taking care of baby-preparation has about consumed my life.  I've also thoroughly enjoyed getting into the outdoors and beautiful weather with my family.  
Tonight though, I made a delicious stew for dinner, I mean it was G-O-O-D!

Chunky Chicken and Rosemary Stew

1 lb small gold potatoes
1 lg onion
2 carrots, peeled
4 oz. mushrooms
1 1/2 lb. chicken breasts
1 tsp. rosemary
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 1/2 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. cornstarch

Dice potatoes, onion, and carrots, mushrooms, and chicken into 1" chunks.  Combine in mixing bowl with rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Whisk broth, paste, and cornstarch until cornstarch is dissolved.  Add to chicken mixture and mix well.  Pour into oven safe casserole dish.  Cover, and bake at 375° for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

*The only regret I had was forgetting to the bread to go with it.  It would pair very well with some fresh french bread, or even a slice of homemade white bread.*

*I must give credit where credit is due: The original recipe I followed was from Pampered Chef- Hearty Chicken and Rosemary Stew. I changed a few little things here and there, omitted the alcohol and changed measurements a bit.*