Friday, June 29, 2012

Red, White & Blue Mantle

Our entertainment center is the perfect mantle height and size. I love it! I  can decorate like a mantle without having a fireplace.

I have some hurricane vases I made that have been empty. I decided I wanted to do a 4th of July themed mantle so I needed to come up with a filler. Trying to use what I already had on hand I came up with tissue paper and I kind of like it.
What do you think? 

So here is my mantle all put together 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Patriotic Pizza

On the second Sunday of every month My Husband's family has a potluck dinner. We try to have a theme to make it fun and to spark ideas of what to bring. For July, in honor of America our theme is Red, White, and Blue. I wanted to come up with something really fun and tasty. The easy way out is dessert. Assuming that most people will bring a dessert I did not want to go with that option. This is what I came up with... Pizza!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


4th of July crafts are everywhere! I wanted to come up with a little craft for Ryder and I to do that could be displayed as well. I'm working on a little patriotic "mantle". This is what we came up with. Ryder had so much fun doing it!

I know this is self explanatory and you could figure it out on your own, but just in case here is what I did...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Date Jar Ideas

***Hello visitors! I'd love for you to look around, and I'd really love for you to stick around and follow me if you like what you see!

I made a date jar for my Husband for Father's Day. We both love it. It will be so nice to not have to convince the other to choose what we do for our dates. Plus we'll try new things besides dinner and a movie. To give you some ideas for your own date jar here is a list of the 35 dates I used plus a few others I came up with after I made the jar.

Free Dates
  1. Tempe Town Lake/ Beach Park (This is where he proposed)
  2. Start a sweetheart journal- Love notes back and forth or words of encouragement
  3. Frisbee
  4. Mesa Arts Center- We took our engagement pictures there. It's a fun little place to walk around.
  5. Make homemade ice cream
  6. Wii Night
  7. Watch our wedding video
  8. Update the blog- I usually do this on my own. This would be a post plus updating our about us page.
  9. Stargazing- Especially fun when it's cooler. Bring a blanket and cuddle while watching the stars. 
  10. Walk Main Street- I have actually never done this.
  11. Tennis
  12. Build a fort and watch a movie
  13. Video Date- Video each other telling the story of how we met or some other fun story of your relationship.
  14. Picture @ Date Street- We always wanted to do this, but never have. (There is a street in Mesa named Date Street)
  15. Make Bucket Lists
$20 and under Dates

 16. Ice Skating
 17. Thrift Shopping- Who can buy the nicest thing for $_? Or buy each other a gift for $_.
 18. Dinner in the desert.
 19. Goofy Golfing
 20. Batting Cages
 21. Ikea- I love that store, it's fun to walk around and look at things. Plus they have the little restaurant inside.
 21. Drive inn Movie- We did this a lot when we were dating then it got too hot. Our first (unplanned) date was Drive inn to see Terminator. (Did not like the movie by the way).
 22. Picnic
 23. High School Sports Game
 24. Arcade
 25. Lazer Tag
 26. Bowling- May have to do as a group date. Bowling with 2 people is not as fun.

Expensive dates or takes planning

 27. Heads or tail date- Pick a number, that's how many times you flip a coin- heads, go left tails go right. Wherever you end up that is where you eat. Can do the same thing for an activity. (Turn at intersections, you don't want to end up in a neighborhood, that'd be a little awkward)
 28. Dinner Challenge- Not really sure what I want to do for this one. I was thinking something like Iron Chef or chopped
 29. Staycation- Get a hotel in town. You can spend a little more on activities or dinner because you don't have to factor in gas to travel hours to get away.
 30. Fondue Night- I'd do it ourselves though because places like Melting Pot are expensive and I hear people don't really get full.
 31. Restaurant Hop- Eat appetizer, Entree, and dessert at 3 different restaurants.
 32. Paintball- Would be fun as a group date
 33. Groupon Date- Check that week and choose something to do from there.
 34. As you wish- Make something fun for our home
 35. "Fancy" dinner- Get dressed up and either go out or create your own fancy meal at home.

Those are the ones that I used for the jar. Other ideas I had after the fact is
Dollar Date- Go to Dollar Tree pick out an activity to do. Go to fast food and order off the Dollar/ Value Menu then go to the Dollar Theater.
Minute to win it- Group Date. I want to do this so bad, I loved the show! Looks like so much fun!
Watch the sunset- Easier to get a baby sitter for, or do sunrise in the backyard
Bike ride to park and have a picnic
Make Homemade Pizza
Jester'z Comedy Club
Finger Painting

What are your favorite date ideas. I'd love any suggestions!


Monday, June 25, 2012

Date Jar

***Hello visitors! I'd love for you to look around, and I'd really love for you to stick around and follow me if you like what you see!

I've been wanting to create some type of date jar that is cute and we'll actually use. At the moment we have restaurants written on pieces of paper in a jar that we never use. Or we just come up with something on the spot, usually dinner and a movie.

With Father's Day coming up (this post is late) I decided to use this excuse to make one. So in addition to Chase getting gifts from Ryder, I also gave him a gift to show appreciation for him being a great Father! Plus I wanted a reason to make my date jar. Here it is:

I'm very excited about it and can't wait until we need a date idea (which is often)

Want to make your own? This is what you need to make on like mine.

-Popsicle Sticks ($1- DollarTree)
-Mason Jar ($.50- Goodwill)
-Red Paint (On Hand)
- Paint Brush (On Hand)
-Sharpie (On Hand)
-List of great dates! (Check online for great ideas or just be creative and come up with things you and your man will love)
-Paper for your color Key
-Establishments (I just did ribbon)
TOTAL COST= $1.50 
(if you needed to buy everything it'd be probably around $5)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Banana Creme Truffle

This is one of those recipes that is so easy and SO good. I always get compliments on it. So here is the recipe for my version of Banana Cream Pie, I call it Banana Cream Truffle.

2 Boxes of Banana Pudding
Milk (according to Pudding directions)
1 Container of whipped Cream
1/2 box of vanilla wafers
3-4 Bananas, Sliced
Truffle dish (or other glass bowl)

Layer pudding, bananas, wafers, and whipped cream. End with whipped cream. Garnish with crushed wafers. It looks so nice and tastes great too! Best if eaten as soon as possible, wafers will get soggy. It makes quite a bit so you can half the recipe if needed.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Card Sketch- CPS #270

I found another blog that does sketch challenges for cards. I love making my own cards.I have even tried selling them, but haven't had much luck. This challenge is card positioning systems CPS #270

Here is the sketch:

Here is my take on it

I have a wedding coming up so I thought I'd make a card for that. I love black and white for weddings. I think the color combo looks so elegant. I just used paper from Michael's, black ric rac ribbon and make some tulle flowers. 


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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Playing with Beans

If you read my my post on activities to do with toddlers you know one of my goals is to have planned activities with Ryder. Planned means I give him something to play with instead of him just finding whatever toys we have.

The other day I really wanted to get the dishes done to surprise My wonderful Hub. He is usually really good about being our dishwasher. To keep Ryder busy I decided to give Ryder something to do off my list.

We have raw beans in our pantry, but we don't ever use them because they take so much time and I'm not really sure how to make them so they taste really good and not just bean taste.
We put them to use and Ryder had a blast. I gave Ryder a metal bowl and a plastic bowl so it'd make different sounds. I also gave him a spoon so he could scoop the beans. Hopefully it'll help him learn to use a spoon while eating:) 

This kept him busy for a good 30 minutes. We had a casualty. Ryder was banging the spoon on one of the bowls and a little chip came out of it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

25 Activities for toddlers

Ryder is starting to get to the fun age of being able to do more complex activities. However, sometimes I feel like we don't do anything all day except just play. Which is fine because he is learning. I want to start setting aside time each day (or every other day depending on how it goes) for an actual planned activity. 

With this new goal in mind I have come up with a list of 25 activities for us to do. 

  1. Fly Swatter Painting- You could even do this with the sidewalk paint and do on the carport.
  2. Finger Painting- Doubles as some new art for the house
  3. Playing with beans- scoop and dump for loads of fun!
  4. shaving cream- If worried your child will eat it do whipped cream?
  5. sidewalk paint- Tons of "recipes" online. Can't wait to try it!
  6. colored ice cubes- You could use in kiddie pool, tub, or just bowls of water. Colder the water the longer they last.
  7. Oil, water & food coloring- Fun to watch
  8. Tin Foil- Let them crinkle it and help them make it into objects. 
  9. Paint with different household objects- Find random things around the house, Q-Tips, water bottles, bread, etc.
  10. Truck painting- The wheels leave cool marks and kids love it! If you are worried about ruining your childs favorite truck DollarTree sells them in like a 6 pack.
  11. vegetable painting- Use potatoes,  celery, you can do fruit too like apples. 
  12. Play with cotton balls- These are a nice soft object. Make sure to have a cotton ball fight!
  13. Sensory Bins- There are tons of ideas out there! I really like this Ocean themed one
  14. Goop- Mix 1lb of Cornstarch with 2C Water, add food coloring if you wish.
  15. Homemade fishing game- Looks like so much fun and so easy!
  16. Paint with water- We've done this one and Ryder loved it! I just gave him a paint brush and a bowl of water and he painted the sidewalk and the wall. 
  17. Mood Sand- mix together 4C sand, 2C cornflour, 1C water
  18. Picnic in the living room- A fun way to eat lunch!
  19. Build a fort and watch a movie- Maybe I can sneak some snuggles!
  20. Pots and Pans Band- Kids love making noise! Gather up some pots and pans and a spoon and let your child create some music!
  21. Jumping squares- Place squares or circles around the room and have him jump or step on them. I'm thinking out of felt. paper to me would slip.
  22. Magnets- And a cookie sheet. He loves doing this!
  23. Body Part Stickers- Pick up some cheap stickers from DollarTree and practice body parts. Have him put the sticker on his nose, ears, head, toes, belly button, etc.
  24. Balance Beam- Outside: draw a line with chalk Inside: use tape to make a line or just tape a piece of ribbon. Have child walk along the line.
  25. Play with Pudding or Jello- Doubles as a snack. YUM!
Have fun!

Do you have any ideas to entertain your kids?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ice Lick for Dogs

***Hello visitors! I'd love for you to look around, and I'd really love for you to stick around and follow me if you like what you see!

We have been blessed with 2 dogs. They are golden labs names Tonka and Ella. Unfortunately they are outdoor dogs and it gets pretty hot here in the summer. To help them stay cool I made them an ice lick.

I got this idea online for a container of some sort you can buy to make them. I can't find it now to give credit. It was

Here is how I made my own using a zip-top bag.

One night I cooked some chicken in the crock pot. I threw in my chicken, veggies, a few spices, and some water to cover it. After dinner we had all the stock left. I put it in a zip top bag and threw in a few doggie treats. You can really add anything your dogs like. I was going to do carrots, but we didn't have any. You can do toys too, but our dogs don't really care for them.

Stick it in the freezer. When time to cool your dogs off, just cut the bag so it comes out easy.
Our dogs loved it! They licked away for a good 40 minutes or so. It gave them something to do and it cooled them off a little bit.

Hope your dogs can enjoy this. I'd love to hear what kind of things that your dogs liked in their very own ice lick!

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Rainbow Gift Bag

For over 2 years now I have been part of a card club. I use to attend classes at the nearby Scrapbook store. After 2 times I realized, I could do this myself... for FREE! I asked friends and family if they would want to do it and 2 1/2 years later we are still going strong!

Basically what happens is we pick a theme (or just do a free for all) and everyone comes up with their card design. Then on the night of the swap they bring supplies for everyone to make their card. It is so much fun and we are all learning new things!

We meet about every other month and have between 10-15 people come. It's awesome!

This past swap we decided to change things up a bit and do gift bags instead of cards. Including tag and matching tissue paper. Here is my gift bag.

 I just did strips of paper in all the rainbow colors.
 I threw a quote on it to add a little extra touch. "Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams you dare to dream really do come true."
Then for the tag I put dream big with an orange stone. I was pleased with my design. Everyone had such great ideas!


Do a lot of paper crafting? Learn how to make your very own glue dots here!

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Good Will finds 7/2

To me part of being crafty is being thrifty. I hope you agree. Every other Saturday Goodwill does half price days. Almost everything in the store is 50% off! I love it. I can't go everytime, but when I do I find some pretty fun stuff.

When I go to Goodwill I look everywhere because I never know what I will find. Here are some of my buys from this weekend. Pretty excited about some of them.

 Star Wars M7M dispenser- $2 (normal price $10)
I know this is totally nerdy, but we are like that. I originally got it thinking white elephant, but we might just keep this one:)

 Stampin Up punch- $2.50 (Normal Price around $18)
 Basket $1
I got this basket to hold the tons of felt I have picked up for the quiet book I am making. Can't wait to be able to share that. I am also hoping to get into sewing so this can hold fabric.

Baskets $.35 Each
The Hubs and I recently cleaned our office / my craft area. I bought these baskets hoping to be able to use them to corral different items.

Medela Pump & Save bags and Washable nursing pads $1.50 Each (normal price $15 and up)
I am done nursing for now and am not pregnant, but I could NOT pass these up. 
 Fitness ball $3 (normally $15)
Now I don't plan on using this for working out, but Ryder saw this and kept saying "ball, ball, ball." I've been looking for something for him to play with outside so this is our new backyard toy.

Pattern puzzles $1
I thought these would be perfect for our busy bag basket. Even though Ryder is too young for them. They are foam pieces with designs on them and then sheets of paper with patterns. The child is suppose to match the puzzles to the pattern. Sounds fun!

Did you have any luck thrift shopping this weekend?


Friday, June 1, 2012

Homemade Fajita Seasoning

I love Fajitas! Everytime we have them I say, "we should have these more often!" A while back I made them and realized once I started that we didn't have any seasoning. I turned to Google and found a few recipes. It was so good I have vowed to never do store bought again!

After looking at other recipes I came up with my own that is pretty basic. Thought I would share and inspire you to make some, so easy, tasty, and cheap. Though I don't know for a fact, I'm pretty sure it's healthier too!

Here is the recipe. Don't be afraid to double or triple it to have on hand.

Homemade Fajita Seasoning

2t Chili Powder
1t Salt
1t Paprika
1/4t Garlic Powder
1t Oregano
1/4t Sugar

Combine. Use about 3T for 1 Lb of meat. Store unused in an air tight container in fridge. 

Doesn't that look good! How I make my fajitas. I cook that chicken (sometimes I'll bake it and then throw in a pan). Add a layer of water and seasoning. Let that simmer covered for 5 minutes. Add peppers (the more color the prettier!), and onions. Cover again for 5 minutes. Add fresh tomatoes cut up and cover again for another 3-5 minutes. SOOOOO GOOD!!!!

I put in a tortilla, add cheese, sour cream, and guacamole! Tastes best when the tortilla is fried! Hope you enjoy!


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