Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday ramblings and a recipe

Today was supposed to be a fun day.  We had the days activities planned for over a month.  Then, my littlest  munchkin woke up with a stomach bug.  Bye, Bye fun day.  Oh well.  That's the life of a parent, right?  Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but for 2 weeks just a month ago, we had lots of throw up. I am kind of done with germs.  D-O-N-E.  I am even contemplating keeping my kids at home and never letting them out, but then I figured that wasn't such a good idea.  

By the end of the night it is appearing like our sickly is on the mend. . . maybe it's only a 24 hour bug {me hoping and praying it's over and doesn't spread to the rest of us}.  And now I am sitting here, watching a movie and finishing this blog post that I started earlier today in between little naps of the sickly and playing the 4 year old's version of Monopoly.  

Speaking of Monopoly and a 4 year old:  1. The regular board game and all its parts can keep a 4 year old boy entertained for hours.  Seriously.  Just don't cringe at the mess.  2.  When you get out of the shower and your clothes that you carefully laid out are gone, but you have been left with a stack of 500 dollar bills, just smile and dream. . . and then go hunt down your clothes and pay for them with your stack of money.  True story. . . ask my husband.
And these alone, will make all yucky days better.  Especially if you are a Bakalava lover like me.  They are  perfect for a weekend treat.  Even easier to make!  These are even a bit easier (and fewer ingredients then this recipe).  I for one, could probably eat these every day, at every meal.  Pecans are healthy, right?

Easy Mini Pecan Tarts
By Gimme some oven via Pinterest

1 tbsp butter, melted
1 large egg
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
15 mini phyllo shells (1 box)

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients except pecans.  Mix well.  Add in nuts and stir until combined.

Arrange mini shells on a baking sheet.  Fill shells with a rounded teaspoon of mixture.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Let cool before devouring.

You may want to make a separate batch if you're in the sharing mood. . . ha ha.

Have a wonderful weekend!  I know mine will be better than today. . . it HAS to be!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

MOPS Appreciation Dessert {Blue, Yellow, and Green}

I love throwing parties.  I love that my creative side gets to come out and {hopefully} be a blessing to others.  This particular annual soiree has been very dear to my heart, because I have gotten the opportunity to bless the moms who serve in some capacity with our MOPS group.  
There are moms that have walked the trenches of motherhood already, some now, even enjoying their grandchildren.  Their wisdom that comes from their experiences and love is priceless.  Their encouraging (and often challenging) words are like no other.  
There are moms who are tackling pregnancy, toddlers, and even some school-aged kiddos.  They not only are tackling their already busy lives with their families, but they are serving their fellow moms.  They bring encouragement each week, and often during the week to their fellow tables.  Leading them in discussion, planning playdates or girls night out events so that their tables can be the encouragement it was meant to be.  
I loved everything about this event. . . for the past 3 years.  Remember this and this?  This was my last year as coordinator, making this event bittersweet.  I love hunting down the paper and searching Pinterest for ideas.  It's a great resource!  When I taught, we often used the term, "beg, borrow, and steal."  So, I took a bunch of different ideas and ta-da. . . . a dessert bar in blue, yellow, and green!
I love Sunflowers.  I used to decorate my room in sunflowers.  I may have even sewn myself a vest with sunflower fabric (shhh. . . don't tell anyone. . . it was those awkward middle school years).  I found these at Trader Joe's and put them in a Longerberger canning jar that was leftover from my wedding (love them!).  
I also raided Winco for some blue and yellow colored candy to accent the rest of the treats.  The table cloth and paper goods were MaraMia for Target.  

Sidenote:  These table cloths are awesome.  They a little bit pricier than the plastic ones, but they are made of a really good quality paper (almost like a paper towel).  They have great color, but actually look like a table cloth and not like someone cut up a colored trash bag and put in the table.  These are always my first choice in table cloths.  
For food I went with various different mini tarts, some macarons (Trader Joe's), and some puff pastry cookies.  The tarts turned out so yummy, but soooo delicious.  I can't wait to share them with you. It also ended up being the easiest dessert ever!!!  The tarts went together so quick and easy, that I would highly recommend using them for any dessert event.  They are small enough that guests can easily pick several choices, and not feel like a glutton.  They are kind of like appetizers for dessert.
To drink I did a lemonade bar. . . so yummy! (I may even make myself a strawberry lemonade for dinner. . . hmmmmm).

I also had some Italian Sodas left over from our MOPS spa night the week before, so I just put that stuff out.  I did it last year also. I don't think people are getting board of this. . . they keep asking for it!

The evening overall was super laid back.  We sat around and ate and talked.  No stressed.  It was their night not to have to do anything.  They seemed to be smiling when they left. . . and that's all that matters!

Friday, May 24, 2013

A little something for the weekend. . .

It's Friday.  This week was a weird one for me.  In all honesty, I'm ready for it to be over.

It's weird not having a ton of stuff to do.  This was the first week in at least a month where NOTHING has been planned.  In that sense, it has been WONDERFUL!  Seriously.  I sat and built train tracks.  I jumped on trampolines at Skywalk.  I took food to a new mom.  I read magazines.  I started to read a book.  I took naps.  It really has been great.
Then there were other things. . . exciting and even a bit stressful. Maybe in some ways this been showing us how blessed we are or teaching us not to be comfortable.  We took down two of our trees in our front yard.  That was exciting... the boys thought it was the coolest.thing.ever!  I'd say free entertainment, but it really wasn't free.

Then, we found out that we needed to replace our AC.  Hello, California in the summer. . . can't really go without.  Apparently the cost to get a new coil to replace the damaged one is almost the same price as a entire new unit.  I am very thankful for a savings account.  But saying goodbye to some other of our plans. . .  Maybe next year?  Until then, we will be cool and content with what we are doing.

In the meantime, I am going to enjoy these boys. . .

They make my heart sing. . . even when they are covered in mud and need a bath. . . desperately! 

So, I will leave you with this amazing bread that I made for our breakfast this week.  It was amazing!  I will definitely be making it again!  Plus, it worked wonderfully in my bread maker!  

Cinnamon Swirl Bread 

1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter
4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

For filling:
softened butter
brown sugar
white sugar

Place milk, eggs, butter, flour, sugar, salt, and yeast into bread machine according to your manufacturers directions.   Let it run on the dough cycle. 

Split into into 2 halves.  Roll out dough into a rectangle and spread butter over entire surface.  Sprinkle brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon over, plus any raisins or nuts you so desire (I made one of each).  Roll up from short side of rectangle and stick in loaf pan.  

Bake about 30 minutes at 350.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

For Baby {pink and grey}

The past 6 weeks have been plagued filled with showers (2 bridal and 2 baby).  That means there has been a lot of sewing going on in our house.  In fact, last night, I wasn't sewing and Jon made a remark about how weird it was that it wasn't going.  It was weird. . . but it's nice to have a break (and clean the incredibly LARGE mess I created while creating). This gift was for my dear friend, Bria.  Bria and her husband are in our small group Bible Study and she is just so much fun to be around.  Plus her husband likes to go to crazy things like Lucha Extreme (don't ask. . . but if you're brave, Google it!) with my husband, which means, I don't have to go (Thanks, Anthony!).  I wanted to make something special and this is what happened:
The elephant on the card is from a new stamp from Stampin' Up.  I love girly cards because I get to use girly embellishments (i.e. the pearl).  The printed paper is from my scrap pile. .  most likely from a stack at JoAnn's (purchased when they were 9.99).  I love the combo of orange, pink, and grey!
I put together another scrappy bib with chenile backing.  This time, I added two pink buttons.  I absolutely love the way it came out!  The floral print fabric was from my stash.  It had been a fat quarter that was on clearance at the Cotton Ball, one of my favorite quilt shops, located in Morro Bay.  I knew I wanted to use some of the chevron (call me an addict), from this gift and when I was digging around in my piles of fabric, I knew this was the one!  
I made two chenille lined burpies with the same fabric and added a girly accent. . . hair bows with felt rosettes glued on.  I love the way it came out!  I hope to see pictures someday of this cute little girl wearing them!

Until next time. . .

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Operation: Slow Down

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Things are slowing down here.  When I say slow down, I mean it.  I said goodbye to MOPS a few weeks ago. . . that was bittersweet, but a huge weight off my shoulders.  I helped with a bridal shower for a friend this past weekend.  My husband is overjoyed.  I don't blame him.  He told me I shouldn't do anything craftsy for a month . . . it may be that way.  My brain needs a break (don't worry, there are lots of things blog about!).

I made a commitment to not commit to anything for the next year.  It's going to be awesome!

I hope.

I have been going nonstop for at least 4 years working on something.

It's going to be weird.

I want to be able to listen and hear God for the next step along the way.

I want to enjoy Ethan's first year of school (is it that time already?)

I want to meet my neighbors.

I want to make a quilt.  or two.  or three.

I want to start a modern quilting bee. . . . be on the lookout for signups this fall (for 2014).

I want to blog more. . . a lot more.

Speaking of that, I have been using the app/website Bloglovin' for my blog reading lately (my google reading friends. . . you have one month).  I highly recommend it.  Come follow me. You can even click over there on the right side of my blog.  How easy is that.  I am hoping they come out with an ipad app soon, but the iphone app is great and so is the website.  They also send me an email every night recapping my subscriptions.  It's very simple and pretty all at the same time.  Check it out to find out what I mean.

Be back later with something yummy. . . until then I am going to bed. . . before midnight.  The kids have forgotten how to sleep in. . .. or did they every really know how to?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

For Baby {grey and yellow}

I love making baby gifts, but I usually find it hard to pick out fabric for a unisex gift. But, as soon as I heard that my friends Jen and Percy were waiting for until the baby was born to find out, I knew I wanted to do grey chevron with some sort of yellow fabric.  I had a picture in my mind. . . and headed out to my favorite local fabric store to do some shopping. 
I found the fabrics on the above bib and instantly knew it was going to be perfect!  My husband and friends call me a chevron addict (I thought I could keep it a secret. . . but it didn't last long!).

The burpies and bib are all backed with a super-soft chenile backing.  I love it! It's perfect to cuddle up with and I am seriously in love with how cute they turned out! 
Chevron Giraffe.  I think this is my favorite giraffe. ever.
And to end, a sweet card that happens to match the gift using the scraps from my scrap box.  Stamps, and button are Stampin' Up.  (I copied a layout I found on Pinterest. . . seriously the best place to find ideas for everything!)

What's your favorite baby gift to give?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day {Ramblings & Instagram}

Mother's Day was celebrated yesterday (Monday).  It was seriously all I could have asked for.  A day, to slow down, and (in the words of my friend, Dorina) breathe.  It was a day filled with fun, quality time with my husband and boys combined with my love of all things beachy (including some amazing fish and chips).  I went to bed last night exhausted and full.

You see, things have been really busy around here.  I was in dire need of refueling.  Mother's Day itself was busy and filled with church and family obligations, and salad making.  I don't say this to complain, because I struggle with my "selfishness" when it comes to Mother's Day and despite how exhausting it is, it is a lot of fun. (Does anyone else out there struggle with Mother's Day in some way . . . I would love to hear that I am not the only one). I love the moms in my life, but yesterday was what I needed. . . and it was amazing.  I am so thankful for my husband for giving me this day (which apparently has been planned for a couple of weeks.  Seriously, he made no hints when I said, "Fish and Chips sound really good for Mother's Day," when there was no possibility of going because of our already full day.  He's a really good gift giver and secret keeper.  In fact, I was completely shocked because we had only been home a week from our most recent vacation.
I have been so blessed with 2 amazing boys that keep my on my toes.  My third (and final) year as MOPS coordinator just wrapped up.  Ethan will be starting school soon.  I am in the midst of change. . . it's weird, but I am embracing it. I have committed myself to saying no for the next year (that's going to be a challenge, but something I need).  I am looking forward to a year of quiet.  A year of researching grad school options, enjoying my family, growing myself, and waiting for God to tell me "what's next."  I am excited to relax and rest.  Although, I am a tad afraid I might go stir crazy not having a ton of stuff to do (however, I highly doubt that's going to be a problem.
This week:
Posting some fun things onto my blog (I can't wait to have time for this again!)
Playing with the boys. 
I am eating Chick-fil-A to raise money for our MOPS group (wanna join us?)
Making lots of paper flowers for an upcoming bridal shower
Staying out of the heat

Also, If you follow me, you can now follow me on BlogLOvin'.  I have been using it and I really enjoy it.  I think you will too!  Come follow me. . . 


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