Friday, January 25, 2019

Flashback Friday: Orange Glazed Poppyseed Bread

 It's Friday!  Let's all stop right here and do a happy dance and celebrate.  We've been on a little vacation visiting some fun theme parks and living our Harry Potter dreams eating all the delicious food that we can find all the while getting in tons of steps.  The kids worked so hard to do all their work before we left that this weekend we are going to do a whole lot of nothing (I hope!).

One of my favorite bread recipes is also the bread that is most requested by my friends to make.  Seriously, just ask them.  I like this one because it makes about 6 mini loaves (more or less depending on the size of your mini loaf pans), which is perfect to make for friends as little encouragement gifts, for ladies at my Bible study table, and to send to work with the hubby on a plate in cute little slices for his work peeps.

When I first posted this recipe, the pictures just didn't do it justice, so when I baked some up and took some fresh pictures that are a whole lot better than those I took 4 years ago. You can find the recipe with updated pictures over here.

Have a great weekend and bake something yummy! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Valentines Day is coming. . . here's some inspiration

January is almost over and that has me kind of panicking because I've got a birthday party to plan and Valentines Day to think about.  I have a major case of procrastination.  I could justify it by saying some of my best stuff comes out of procrastination, but really I don't like the busyness that comes from it.  I do love Valentines Day.  It's so much fun and I think that I might miss the annual tradition of making sweet notes with a cute little treats when the kids get older and stop exchanging.

I love that it teaches my kids to show kindness and love to their classmates.  I always have to make extra because there's usually a friend or two that are in other classes that they want to give a note too.  I don't mind.  I love that they are thinking of others. It's a great day for celebrating friendship and kindness. . . things that should be celebrated all year long.  I want my kids to see the joy in giving to others in kindness and generosity.

I'm not sure when the shift happened where little treats were added to the little slips of paper with a witty Valentine saying on it, and I can't say I mind all that much. It's fun, but it can add up. . . especially when you have more than one kid and class sizes are larger.   It also doesn't mean you have to go out and spend a ton of money. . . that can be kind of stressful.  It also doesn't have to be candy (I try to avoid candy as much as possible). So, I thought I would offer some ideas for some fun, non candy, Valentine fun!

I am always a fan of crayons and since I always stock up our crayon supply with fresh crayons when they are so cheap before school starts.  That means all of our older, less loved crayons get thrown in the old crayon box for future projects and silicon molds are the best for giving those crayons new life.   Here are some we have done in the past and I will share the ones we are working on for this year later when I finish them. 
Crayon hearts are super fun and you don't even have to worry about getting them all the same color.  You can find the post with the directions on how to make crayon valentines and the crayon Valentine printable over here.
And for several years, we made a ton of Lego crayons using the mini figure mold you can find at Lego stores or their website (and sometimes Amazon).  You can find this printable here.
And then there's this one that we used both the brick piece mold and the mini figure.  This one was one of my favorites . . . and I realized recently that there was a typo.  I just fixed it so their is not an extra BUILD on the one. You can find the printable over here.
Last year, we took a break from crayons because I was using the molds and crayons for Weston's Lego Birthday Party.  (I am pretty sure I've gotten my money's worth using those molds - ha ha).  Once again, I like to avoid candy.  I found some glow sticks in the dollar section at Target (one of my favorite spots!) and designed these heart tags to go with them.  They were a huge hit and I love the way they came out! You can visit this post here for the printable.

 There are tons of other ideas that don't use candy all over Pinterest and Target. . . even in the dollar spot.  You can also find fun bouncy balls, dinosaur erasers, and so much more in the Valentine section.  You really don't have to spend your life savings to have a cute, non sugary treat or Valentine.

Whatever, you do, please have fun being creative!  Get your kids involved. . . don't do all the work yourself.  Don't do something out of your budget just because you want to be pinteresty (if all you can do is a two dollar box of Frozen Valentines than take joy in that.  Don't feel guilty because you don't feel like your kid's Valentine's measure up. . . because I promise you they all end up in the trash can eventually anyway (I mean, who are we kidding?).

I would love to see what you come up with. . . feel free to use the hashtag #outoftherightbrainblog or message me on Facebook or Instagram with a picture of your kid's Valentines!

Happy Creating!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Picture Frame Earing Holder Tutorail

 I remember the day I got my ears pierced.  It was a month before I officially became a teenager (my mom had a rule that we couldn't get our ears pierced until we were 13. . . a right of passage so to speak).  We had the day off for Columbus Day and my mom took me to a local jewelry store to get it done.  I remember the sting.  I remember the excitement.  I remember the ugly topaz earrings I was forced to wear for the next month.  Honestly, they weren't completely horrible, but I am not the biggest fan of my Topaz birthstone. As soon as I was able to take those suckers out, I did my best to make sure I had earrings.  I spent so much time (and babysitting money) at Claires and Afterthoughts buying earrings. From cute fun studs to colorful dangly ones I bought them.

My mom, being the super creative person that she is made us earring holders out of fun colored plastic canvas.  I'm pretty sure mine was pink, because it matched my Laura Ashley bedding and pink daybed (remember, teen of the 90's).  Anyway, these earring holders were super helpful for storing all the earrings I was accumulating. 

Fast forward a bunch of years and honestly I kind of stopped wearing earrings. . . except for some diamond studs my husband got be for our 5th anniversary. . . and even then, only on special occasions.  I fell out of the habit of wearing earrings once we had kids and until recently never bought any.  But, now that I am replensihing my earring collection I needed a place to store them.
Then, I remembered those plastic canvas holders that my mom made us years ago and a light bulb went off!  This project ended up costing less than $5 which was awesome, thanks to a random stroll down some isles at Target.   I knew I wanted a picture frame that would have a way to stand up and one of those regular ones where the flappy thing is attached to the back panel.  That wouldn't work, because I wasn't going to need that.  I've had this project in the back of my head for a few weeks and I was thinking that if I couldn't find a frame that would work, maybe some wood glue and a small piece of wood along the back bottom of the frame (just an idea if you can't find a frame like mine). 
This project only needs some plastic canvas (69 cents at Hobby Lobby) and a picture frame.  I found my frame on a clearance end cap at Target for less than $4.  Seriously, organization and cuteness on a budget. . . let's celebrate.  Oh and this project only takes about 3 minutes, so seriously, anyone can do it. 
I used the glass from the 5x7 frame as a guide and traced it with my pen.  I had to trim it a little bit to make it fit, but better to start out bigger than too small.
 I made sure it was a snug fit because there isn't much holding it, but it stays and it works. 
 Then, all you have to do is stand it up and start filling it with earrings.  I put mine in my bathroom, by my sink so when I'm getting ready in the morning I can easily grab a pair and put them on.  I've definitely been wearing earrings more since I made this, so I am calling it a win.  Also, if you don't feel like you have a creative bone in your body. . . this doesn't' take much.  Even your 10 year old daughter can make this!  

I hope that you all have a fabulous three day weekend and find some time to do something creative!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

on being brave

Last month, Weston tried out rock climbing at our local rock climbing gym.  We had been looking for ways for him to do something extra curricular, but he has no interest in competitive sports like soccer.  He just likes to hang out and kick the ball around.  He doesn't ask for much.  We took him to a Saturday morning free climb to see what he thought and it just jumped right in (we didn't really think otherwise because he had gotten in trouble for climbing the boys bathroom wall earlier in the year).  He was assigned an adult, given a harness and off they went, ready to tackle some very tall walls.  His first wall, he went up a little bit and and then decided that it was high enough and he was ready to get down.  His "helper" released the ropes and he slowly floated down.  They moved on to another wall.  He climbed a ways and came down.  Then they went back to the first wall and his "helper" gave him a goal encouraging him to climb higher.  They did this several times, each time Weston got higher and higher, never reaching the top, but always surpassing his goal. He now goes every week, each week growing in confidence. 

It's amazing how quickly fear sinks in when we take our eyes off our goal and look down instead of up.  But, even when he looked down and called it quits for a particular climb his "Helper" was always there gently reminding him he could go higher and that he was okay, but if he needed to come down he would be there.  I love how this picture is just like God is with us. 

Ethan's favorite verse is  Joshua 1:9, which says, "Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." I have the cutest video of him reciting it when he was around 4 years old with cute little hands doing cute little motions.  It's the best!  But that kid is not 4 anymore and he's taller and busier and still that verse is his favorite.  When planning their room redesign last year, I really wanted to go with that verse because I want both my boys to grow up strong and courageous, taking on the mountains and hurdles that will come their way, knowing that God is with them wherever they go and in whatever they do.  They don't have to let fear take hold. 

Those words were spoken over Joshua by the Lord himself.  Not a prophet.  Not an angel.  The LORD spoke those powerful words into a young, new leader on the brink of an incredible adventure into the land that had been promised.  A land that the Isrealites had been dreaming about for 40 years. That's a long time to dream about something.  But, it's also a long time to think about all the what if's and plan b's.  Joshua was about to lead his people into land that was already being occupied by "scary people."  Years before this point, Joshua and some friends went out and investigated and explored what stood before them.  Most of Joshua's friends gave into the fear of what was ahead and ended up not being able to see the promised land. ever.  In fact, they were so afraid that they wanted to head back to Egypt and maybe get a new leader (you can read it in Numbers 14).

Needless to say, we know Joshua had faith.  He was ready to full on trust God way back when the majority of his friends gave into fear.  Moses had even been training him to take over.  But, how awesome of God to come and give him a pep talk as he began his new job as leader of the Isrealites.  The leader, who under God's guidance, was going to finally lead them into the promised land.

Sometimes, I need to hear those words that God spoke over Joshua loud and clear before embarking on anything new.   In fact, most of the time, I need to hear those words every time I sit down at this computer and write.  Really, the act of writing isn't the scary part.  I love writing in this little space but sharing my heart and words to you is hard.  It's scary.  People out there in internet land are really mean.  God and I have a lot of conversations about the future of this blog and I've never heard him say, "don't write. . . Don't share your heart." So, I obediently keep plugging along praising God for the posts that 1 person reads and the posts that 100 people read.

This last year, I felt some nudges to submit my writing to other publications and that was like 10 times scarier than anything.  I mean, I had written for our local newspaper  when I was in high school a few times. . . but that seemed so different and so long ago.  I spent what seemed like forever working on a piece for a mom journal, submitted it and it was accepted.  I could NOT believe it!  It never got published because of some crazy stuff happening on their end, but it was accepted.  I tried again to another journal and got rejected.  Oh, man.  Rejection hurts.  Things got busy and I just didn't find the time to try again. 

I've been reading a couple of books by Annie Downs.  I love her writing style and she's just so full of life lessons and books that I actually finish.  In her book, 100 Days to Brave, she says, "We can't see the future, so when we take steps forward, we've got to say no to fear." Ouch.  I can't see the future. I just have to be obedient to God's nudges and see where it goes.  It might not take me anywhere, but maybe God has a plan to use me through those things that I tend to give into fear, like writing. 

2019 started and I'm almost afraid to check instagram sometimes.  I've heard a few bloggers talking about why they write and why they blog and oh my gosh, it's like they were talking to me. . . because everything they were saying was what I was struggling with.  It was all words that I needed to hear. God's funny like that. He makes sure you hear what he has to say. 

So this year, I have said no to a few things to free up space for more writing and creating.  Those are things that bring my joy, but also things that God has given me a passion for that I need to pursue a bit more in this space.  I am going to be obedient to where he is leading me. . . because right now I'm not entirely sure where that is.  I just know that I need to be obedient and not give into those little voices in my head that tell me that "I'm not good at that" or "No one wants to read that" or "You don't measure up."  I'm going to celebrate failure and success.

I am going to walk into my kids room and remind myself of those words God spoke to Joshua.  I am going to ask God to go ahead of my writing . . ahead of my projects. . . to pave the way.  There will probably be lots of rejection and blog posts that maybe 1 person reads, but maybe.  Just maybe.  They will bring encouragement to someone who needs it.   

Do you have things that you give into fear? Is God calling you to be brave in an area of your life>  Is God maybe pushing you into a  new direction?  Are you scared to try something new? 

Friday, January 11, 2019

Celebrating Friday with some Cupcakes!

 It's Friday.  Let's all just stop right here and take a deep breath.  Real deep.  We made it to Friday.  Now, pat yourself on the back.  The weekend is here!  Okay, do the happy dance.  No one's watching.  Weekend, here we come!

I am so ready for this weekend to be here.  In fact, I am dreaming of sleeping in as I type.  I won't lie.  I miss vacation sleeping in.  I am love all that I am accomplishing while the kids are at school (I do kind of miss them), but oh, man the things I have accomplished this week!  I haven't even come close to getting it all done (my list of daily goals is always way more than I can fit in a day and it grows as the day goes on, so it's hopeless to think I can do it all).  But, my house is looking less like a tornado of post Christmas past and more like a quiet place to breathe.  And that, my dear reader friends, is cause to celebrate! 
Because we have all survived the week, we need to celebrate with cupcakes and chocolate.  And perhaps some marshmallow filling.  It's just the right thing to do.  And, if you are in a super celebratory mood you could even involve the kiddos (or not, if you just want to save your sanity).  These cupcakes are kind of a mash-up of a few past recipes on the blog and the end result is completely dreamy!  The cupcake is gluten-free so if that was your New Year's Resolution this cupcake will make you feel oh, so good! If you aren't into the gluten-free everything, I will link you to the full of gluten version of the cupcake.  It's all good.  The marshmallow cream filling and chocolate ganache frosting is basically a better than a ho-ho cupcake  Mmmm.  I am getting so hungry just thinking of these. 

Drooling yet? 

I promise they are so worth it.  I mean REALLY, REALLY worth it.  Especially, if it was the first week back to reality after 3 full, glorious weeks of sleeping in (totally ignoring the fact that my house caught nasty colds and was miserable for part of that).  Anyways, I don't want to take up too much of your time with my ramblings because it's the WEEKEND and in between rocking out in your car celebrating that fact you need to remember to hit the store on the way home and make sure you have important things like whipping cream, marshmallow cream, and cocoa powder. 

So,  have a fabulous and restful weekend and enjoy some chocolate cupcakes that you will dream of until you make them (maybe not, but maybe so). 

 Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Cream Filling and Whipped Ganache Frosting {Gluten Free}

1 3/4 cup gluten free 1-for 1 flour*
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk **
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp espresso powder
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 325.  Carefully measure out your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Add all the wet ingredients and beat at medium speed for about a minute, until nice and smooth.  Make sure you scrap the sides of the bowl about half way through so that you don't have chunks at the bottom.  Add your eggs and continue beating.  Batter will be thin and that's a good thing. 

Line muffins with your favorite liners and fill with cupcake batter halfway up.  Bake for about 12 minutes.  Use a tester to check to see if done.  If it isn't done, just stick back in oven and cook for 1-2 mintues more and check again. 

This recipe yeilded me about 30 cupcakes. 

* I don't usually stock my fridge with buttermilk, especially once I figured out this hack.  Measure out your milk and add a splash of buttermilk.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes and it will become slightly chunky and sour. . . ta-da! Buttermilk!

** I use Bob's Red Mill 1-for-1 gluten free baking flour.  It has always yielded beautiful results. 

Marshmallow Cream Filling

 1 container of marshmallow cream (I used Kraft)
1/2 cup softened butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp water
dash of salt

Beat these ingredients together until nice and fluffy.  Stick in a cake decorating bag with a tip and stab it into the top center of the cupcakes and inject it inside.  No need to scoop some out, it will poof a bit on the top, but your frosting will cover it.

Whipped Ganache Frosting

1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 (12 oz) bag of Chocolate Chips

Heat cream up and pour chocolate chips into warm cream.  Let sit for about 30 seconds and stir well.  If it isnt melting enough, feel free to zap it at 20 second intervals. Let it come to room temperature.  Beat until fluffy.  Pipe or spread over your cupcake.

It will appear super soft, but if you place the frosted cupcakes in the fridge, they will get harder and more stable. 

The original gluten-filled chocolate cupcake recipe was posted here.

The inspiration came from this VERY old post here.

Happy Baking!

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Farewell 2018 & Hello 2019!

 Hi there.  It's been a few weeks since I've made space for this little blog.  Christmas, three weeks of vacation, and really bad colds was enough to wave the white flag of surrender and take a break.  It was a great way to end the year  (minus the yucky colds that we all ended up with).  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

First, I just wanted to review 2018.  It was a great year over here that I can't quite wrap my head over the fun things we've done.

 :: We took some fun trips (Northern California, Disneyland, The Grand Canyon, and North Carolina) along with some fun small trips to the beach and we went to the mountains in search of snow (success!).
:: Deliciousness was baked up! Bread making skills are improving, and I figured out how to bake gluten free baked goods without compromising flavor or texture.  My Pumpkin Muffin Recipe is still being pinned and visited like crazy.
:: I slowed down a little bit and said no to a few things and it has been great to have days that aren't filled up so much.  When we aren't as busy, we have time for the things that fuel us. . . the things that bring us joy.
:: We did a revamp of the kids bedroom... which I am almost finished so I can share (just a few more things for the wall and I will be done!  
:: I did a couple of Bible Studies and really dug into Scripture Memory.  I'm still working on making time for that.  I think that might be a constant battle about making that a priority, but it's so important, so I will keep plugging along.
:: I got to talk to a women's Bible Study about some ways to help memorize based on our personal learning styles.  I loved it!  I love teaching other women and encouraging them to grow in the walk with Christ.  Talking in front of large groups is something I NEVER thought I would do.  I was totally that soft spoken, shy little girl who never raised her hand because she was afraid to talk in front of people, even if it was a classroom of sweet friends. God definitely creates passions out of our weaknesses!
:: My family made our physical health a priority (more so than ever before).  We changed the way we eat and we joined a gym.
:: I did a lot more sewing and crafting and it did my heart some good.
:: I went to a lot of soccer practices and games and continued to serve in our church Welcome Cafe and leading in my favorite Bible Study.

Now, looking ahead into 2019.
::  Saying no to more.  I really had a huge thought that I realized that even though I am a stay at home momma, I realized that my kids probably are not always my priority.  I want to spend more time cuddling with them on the couch and playing games and not thinking "mom's in the office working on stuff." While sometimes I will have projects that need finishing, I want to make sure that when we are home I am making an effort at putting my kids first.

:: Also, there were things that were stealing my joy and so this year, I stepped down from the Bible Study I was involved in and decided that I was going to take a break.  Sometimes breaks are needed.  Our study was going to do 2 studies in a matter of 12 weeks and that was just. . . a lot.  I love Scripture.  I love digging in and going deep, but I don't like feeling rushed and I definitely don't like doing my best work.  So, this year, I will be digging in to The She Reads Truth studies and Writing the Word with this book.  I'm also setting aside time to listen to podcasts and take notes along with reading more books!  I say this one every year, but this is the year!  Success is going to happen!

:: In the kitchen, I am going to keep working on bread making, this tying out laminated dough and more sourdough fun.  Jon got me a bread lame for Christmas and I am super excited to give that a try!  I think I may have found a macaron recipe that actually came out!  Definitely going to be playing more with those cookies (good thing they are so yummy!).

:: Our home has a few project lists for the year.  One of which is to replace our sad, loved pillows on our couches.  Bring on some happy pillow buying!  We are also in the process of remodeling our front bathroom, which is in need.  Ship Lap is also on the list of things to add to our home this year and I am soooo excited!  I keep adding other projects to our list and Jon keeps reminding me to stay focused on the task at hand.  ha ha.

:: Sewing.  I have some fabric that needs to be dealt with.  One quilt is almost finished. . . it's going to be so cute!  I also think there will be  few tutorials for some easy sewing projects if you are wanting a quick project or want to try your hand at sewing.

:: Finish some projects.  I have a stack.  I have this tendency to start and not finish things and every year I am determined to finish them.  This year, let's see how far I get!

:: Continue working out regularly and eating fairly healthy.  

:: Travel.  We already have plans in the works for our biggest adventure with the kids and we are so excited!  As our kids grow older, these trips are our favorite! Watching our kids grow and learn from traveling is probably one of my favorite things!  Definitely spending some time at the beach, because that's my happy place. 

So those are my goals for the year. What are you aiming at? What was your favorite accomplishment last year?  What kinds of projects would you like to see on the blog this year?

I would love to hear from you, so feel free to comment. . . it makes my day! 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...