Monday, August 19, 2013

Berry Sweet Strawberry Party

So, this past weekend we celebrated my baby girl turning 5 years old.....5 years old people! I just can't believe that.
She is such a joy and while I am a little sad that she is not still curled up lying on my chest, I am so excited to continue to watch her grow into a little lady and get to know her as a big girl!

She requested strawberry everything! We had a blast celebrating her. Hope you enjoy the party!
 We had a few little friends over for play time, a game, a strawberry craft and strawberry milk, cookies and strawberries of course!
The night before the party I always bake cakes, decorate and get everything in order so that I can enjoy the kids that day and not have to be rushing around like a crazy person!
So, I added dipping glasses in honey and then sprinkles to my list this time! I stuck them in the freezer until they were ready to fill with strawberry milk!
I found these free Strawberry Shortcake coloring sheets online and printed 2 off for each little girl. Then, I put together little craft bags with all of their needed supplies, cut and ready for them because I knew they wouldn't have time to do it all. I got my inspiration for the craft here. I changed it up just a tad by adding little rhinestone initial stickers to each bag.
I made several pretty little banners out of paper doilies and scrapbook papers. I really loved how they turned girly!
Now, we're moving onto cake and ice cream with friends AND family!
I also filled these little cups with ice cream and fresh strawberry syrup the night before; placed them on a cookie sheet and slid them into the freezer. The next day, I simply pulled them out and added whipped cream and sprinkles!
I feel so much better the day of the party when I am prepared. I am able to enjoy the celebration so much more.
She's 5!!! CRAZY!
I made this 5 by drawing a 5 on foam board, cutting it out using an exacto knife, and then wrapping it with strips of fabric. Then I added the little rosettes and ribbon. I did the same thing here for my little boys Sock Monkey party.

We had a berry sweet day celebrating my baby girl!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Easy & Delicious Vanilla Chai Protein Shake

(sorry about the bad coloring in the pics! My camera battery was dead so I grabbed my phone!)
This is so simple, so refreshing, and full of protein but not full of tons of calories!

Vanilla Chai Protein Shake

1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1 tsp of honey
1tbsp of almond butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Blend it all together and enjoy!

*My current protein powder is Designer Whey and has 21 grams of protein and only 100 calories per scoop. It has very little carbs and very little sugar.
This is my first time using this because I grabbed what looked to be the best that Kroger had at the time. However, I have used Spiru-Tein powder for many years now and love it!

Do you have any favorite quick protein shake recipes?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Crazy Good Life

So, you might have noticed that we haven't blogged in a while. Daspri was going to take a break for a short while and I was still going to post. However, I unintentionally took a short break too!

Life is SO full these days, but so full of so many WONDERFUL things!

So, I am back for now and here's a very quick glimpse into life over the last month.

 There has been A LOT of this...reading, writing and arithmetic!
and A LOT of this too!
A few friends and I ran the Color Me Rad race and got all colored up! SUPER FUN!
I kind of liked it ;)
scored a new coffee table from my in-laws garage! It was love at first sight!
the perfect new spot for my many cups of coffee throughout the day!
the boys got their summer this nice mohawk silhouette
Fun 4th of July drinks-lemonade with honey and sugar rimmed glasses!
...and the adult version ;)
got some new pillows for our bed...first home purchase I've made in quite a while...LOVE them and LOVE Ikea!
Hooray for massaged Kale salad and fresh summer produce!
Shout out for some yummy quinoa!
More summer freshness...
some peach picking....
...that resulted in some peach cobbler goodness!

So, that's a very little glimpse into of our life over the last very thankful and blessed above and beyond what I deserve!

Enjoy your day and I'll see ya soon!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Summer Time Delights

What a beautiful weekend we just had! The weather was near perfect and we got to enjoy a lot of time together as a family and with dear friends.
 YUM-MY, grilled veggies!
I threw in some pineapple chunks with the veggies (red onion, bell pepper, zuchini, & squash) and it was delicious.
I am kind of on a kick with adding pineapples to unexpected dishes!
Some good friends of ours have gotten us hooked on fresh pico. Seriously, I crave this A LOT these days, especially with the warm weather upon us now.
And it is so simple to make; bell pepper, tomatoes, jalepeno (with no seeds), red onion, cilantro, sea salt, garlic powder and some fresh lime juice.
Serve it with chips, top your grilled chicken/steak with a spoonful, toss some in your many ways to enjoy this!
And what would a summer cook out be without SMORES?!  Um...dare I say lame...
Such a fun and blessed time.
Good food, good friends.....good times.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Delicious Veggie Burgers

This is truly the best veggie burger recipe I have ever tried, not just made, but tried! I posted about it here but they are so good that I thought they needed sharing with you case you missed it!
They hold together perfectly and have such a wonderful flavor. I served mine on a bed of fresh Romaine lettuce and topped with fresh homemade pico, a side of avocado slices and corn on the cob.
Check out the recipe here and ENJOY!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

My Pancakes Taste Sweeter-Perspective

As  I was making pancakes this morning, the same recipe we have made for the past year and a half now, the same recipe that we had started to tire of; they looked so very good to me. Even different. I found myself noticing the details; the things that I noticed the first couple of times that I made them.

Their golden color. Their hearty thickness. The slight smell of toasted almonds from the almond meal.
 I know, I know. They are just pancakes, one might say.
But for me, this morning, they were a healthy, delicious breakfast that I was given the opportunity to prepare and enjoy with my four children. My heart was filled with thankfulness and delight over these pancakes this morning.
How easily and quickly we take things for granted sometimes.
So many are without this morning; without food to eat, without a table to eat their food upon, without a home, without their loved ones, and without the comfort and hope that rests only by resting in the Lord.
Why is it that I get to enjoy this meal with all of my children seated at the table with me? Is it because I am any better?
Absolutely not.
And sometimes I have to fight the urge to feel guilty about this.
But today, I am simply filled with thanksgiving and joy for right now. This day. And all that I have been blessed with this day.

"Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I've ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all of the rushing...Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away." (One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp)

We are not promised tomorrow; another day or even another minute. This is not meant to make us sad or anxious but to make us more aware of the things and people right in front of us. It is meant to stir thankfulness within our hearts.
I pray for the many who are hurting and without today. I pray that these tragedies would not be in vain; that people would come to know the infinite love, saving grace, and hope of Jesus Christ. I pray that eyes would be opened and that thankfulness would fill the hearts of many; that less time would be wasted hurrying about this life.

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." -J.R.R. Tolkien

What will you do with your time today?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Heavy Heart Of Thanksgiving & Prayer-Oklahoma

My heart is heavy today thinking about the loss in Oklahoma; the lives that were lost and the homes that were destroyed.

It is hard to find words when something like this happens. It is hard to fathom what that must be like; to wrap my mind around the whole of it. It seems so surreal.  But it is so very real to so many right now at this very moment.

My heart is heavy for the parents that sent their children to school that morning, never to have the opportunity to pick them up from school again; for the brother or sister that lost their sibling; for the children that have to bear the unspeakable loss of a parent; and for so many that must start all over rebuilding their lives.

When things like this happen, people around the world seem to pull together and rally and give on behalf of those that lost. 
People also either run towards the Lord God, seeking refuge and hope or they run further away with bitterness and anger in their hearts.

It is hard to grasp; to understand.

I, myself, am a believer and follower of Jesus Christ; a child of God. I cannot understand why things happen sometimes. I don't always understand the purpose in everything. But I do know the deep love that my God has for me and those that are His.  
He experienced great loss when His very own Son died a horrific death on the cross...and He did it for me and for those that call upon Him.
I do know that He is ALWAYS good and that ALL that happens is for the good of His children and His glory, even when we cannot see it with our physical eyes or understand it.

I know that many question this in times like these when precious little one's lives have been taken so quickly. I cannot give you an answer as to why. 
But I trust Him.
And I mourn with those parents and I pray for them to have peace and to be comforted. I pray for their hearts. I pray that they run into the arms of the Lord and rest in Him. Without the Lord, we have no hope.

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
Psalm 73:26

Times like this make me even more thankful for all that God has given me and allows me to enjoy everyday. It makes me want to squeeze my husband and children extra tight.

I am thankful for those little ones in Oklahoma; thankful for the time they spent on earth and the time that so many were given to love and enjoy them.

I pray that through this tragic time, that many hearts would be turned to the Lord and that, in that way, their lives would be forever changed.

My heart goes out to the people of Oklahoma and my prayer is for them to experience the love and hope that is in Jesus Christ.

 May God be with you,

Monday, May 20, 2013

A little Song & Dance

"...His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me."

  1. Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
    Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home,
    When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
    • I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
      For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
  2. “Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
    And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
    Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
  3. Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
    When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
    I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
He is my portion. He has set me free. He watches over me.
This alone should make me happy and should make me sing.
But even in this, I need His help.
I am so thankful for His love that so graciously reminds me of my great need for Him, in ALL things. I am thankful for the days that I can let go of ALL else, trusting Him with it ALL, and happily resting in that while I do a little dance.

I pray that those days come more frequently and that the sweet eyes that watch me daily would see their mommy happily and freely dancing before the Lord.

He is more than enough. He is everything.
Look to Him. Trust Him.
Be happy. Be free.

Friday, May 17, 2013

DiY Baby Boy Onesie Gift

I absolutely love making baby gifts, for the mama to be and the baby! It is such a beautiful time to celebrate. Not to mention, all of the tiny things that you get to buy are SO precious!

I have been making these onesies for a long time now. They have kind of become an expected gift amongst my friends when they are pregnant. Everyone seems to like them. I really enjoy making them and having the opportunity to get creative with them. And I really love any chance to make something unique for people.

 I love digging through fabric and pairing colors and patterns until I find what I like. Sometimes I begin with a vision and other times, I simply let the colors and patterns inspire and see what happens.
 This time I knew I wanted an arrow somehow, somewhere. I ended up creating one myself with a needle and some black embroidery thread.

These are really pretty simple to make. You simply choose your fabric, cut it according to your design, and run it through your sewing machine to finish off your edges and give the piece more character with the added stitches.
Depending on the fabric, sometimes I add a bit of fray-check.
I actually really like allowing the fabric to fray a little when it is washed. However, some fabric fray's a bit too much and can eventually ruin your design.
Once everything is cut out and sewn, grab your iron, any iron-on letters or numbers you might have and a roll of stitch witchery.
 Do you recognize this little fabric pouch? Bought any pillow cases from Walmart lately?
This is the little fabric pouch that they come in! I bought some a while back and couldn't bring myself to get rid of these because I knew I could use them for something.
Two onesies folded and rolled up fit perfectly in it!
Of course I couldn't leave it alone. 
I added a square of fabric and cut out an "e" from some red wool felt. I stitched around them and ironed them on.
I was super happy with the way it turned out and my friend (& mama to be to her 3rd child) seemed to love it too....which is all that really matters. :)

Happy Friday friends!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Arrow Mobile-DiY

When my children were babies, I always had the hardest time finding mobiles that I liked. Most of the mobiles I saw were made up of very cutesy things like plush teddy bears, butterflies, etc. Those are fine but just not my style.
So, I ended up making mobiles for my children. I could make it exactly what I wanted and it made it more special because I made it for them. Not to mention, those little plush mobiles are expensive!

When planning the recent baby shower that a few of my friends and I put together, one of my friends had the wonderful idea to make a mobile to hang over the gift table and send home with our mom-to-be. I loved that idea!
I LOVE LOVE how this mobile turned out!

Here is what you need:

wooden dowels (from the wood craft section at Hobby Lobby)
acrylic paints
2 different sizes of embroidery hoops
light colored thread
glue gun

We started out by cutting part of our arrows down to make smaller arrows for the bottom hoop of the mobile. Then we went to painting part of the wooden dowels. You can paint them one solid color or add stripes. We left some of the dowels unpainted and wrapped them with yarn. You simply wrap and then tie off with a knot at the end.

*For our mobile, we used 10 large arrows (5 yarn wrapped, 5 painted) and 7 smaller arrows (4 painted, 3 yarn wrapped). 

Now, onto your felt pieces. Choose your colors and then grab your scissors.
You can draw your first arrow head and feather pieces, cut them out and then use them as your template for the rest. You will need two pieces for each arrowhead and each set of feathers.

Once you have all of your pieces painted, wrapped, and cut out, you'll need to grab your glue gun.  Take your two arrowhead pieces and place your dowel between them, adding a few lines of hot glue.  Press them together.

Next, take your two feather pieces, place the dowel in the middle of them, slightly overlapping the inner edges of the feather pieces with a line of hot glue.

Now that your arrows are done, it is time to assemble the mobile.
First, tie a piece of thread to the end of each arrow- the feathers will hold it in place when it is hanging.

Now, set your arrows aside for a moment and attach the two hoops together.
For this next part, you will need a partner to hold the embroidery hoop while you attach the two hoops. This part takes a little bit of patience as you will need to adjust the thread/length so that your hoops hang evenly.
You will just slightly pull apart the two rings of the large hoop, just enough to string the end of your thread between the two pieces of the large hoop, once you have it in place, slide the ring back into place and tie your string. You will do this 4-5 times. Once all strings are in place on the large hoop, you will then attach them to the small hoop below, in the same way.

Once you have your hoops in place, then you will tighten the screw on your embroidery hoop, keeping the threads secure and in place.

Now, that the base of our mobile is made, let's add some arrows!
Start by attaching your long arrows to the big hoop. This part is much easier. Choose how long you want them to hang down, then simply tie the thread over the hoop and knot. 

And then, attach your smaller arrows to the small hoop.

And lastly, grab your twine, cut into 5 long pieces and tie each piece onto the large hoop, spacing them out as you go. Once they are all tied off, bring them together and tie in a knot, leaving a loop to hang the mobile by.

Viola! You are done!
And look what you have to show for it! :)

Feel free to ask questions if you have any! I will do a better job taking photos during the making process next time. This time, it was just GO time and we had to get it done!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

DiY Arrow Baby Shower Decor

I shared the Arrow Baby Boy Shower with you a couple of days ago and now I would like to share a few of the handmade decor items and the "how to" with you today!
You can check out all of the photos from the shower here.

You see this little number hanging on our coffee table? Well, it is super easy to make and really fun to decorate with. I have actually started seeing banners made just like this popping up in stores lately.

You simply choose your paper, cut them into strips, and lay them out in the order you want them.

I used scrapbook paper.

There is not certain length or width for these. Simply cut to your liking.

I lined mine up in stacks, in the order I wanted them.

Next, you simply run them, one by one, through your sewing machine. That's it! Seriously, it's that easy. It takes just a few minutes to sew them.

And the felt arrows! I love working with felt for two reasons. I love the look of felt for various projects and it is SO super EASY to work with!
I used wool felt for these because it is thicker and I had the option of more colors to choose from. I simply cut my arrows out and then ran through my sewing machine. Sewing them is actually not even necessary but I love the look of the stitching. It just adds more character and interest.
Then, we used double stick tape pieces to arrange them on the wall.

We had fruit and vegetable skewers on the menu for this shower and I had the idea to turn our skewers into arrows as well.

 I used natural card stock and cut out my triangle shapes.
Then, I simply added a dab from my glue gun, and with the skewer sandwiched between, pressed them together.
I left the pointed end alone so we could easily add our fruits and veggies.

 We have done the "prayer/blessings" cards at many of the showers that I have helped throw now. They are truly a special touch that is becoming apart of the necessity for throwing baby showers around here.
I took some of the felt arrows I made and glued them on top of this little box.
Then, I added some cute polka-dot washi tape to the rim of the lid and filled the box with stamped strips of card stock.

Food labels.
I know they are not always needed and that sometimes what is sitting on the plate is really obvious, but I LOVE them!
I found these adorable arrow clips in the dollar bins at Target.
You could use plain clips and draw or paint on your own arrows as well.
I turned them upside down and they stood up to their task quite well!

And the banners. Also, something I love for celebrations!
I use this natural card stock a lot when making banners. It is durable and I love the look.

I cut out my pieces, cut out some cute paper, and then another smaller square of the card stock.
Got my alphabet stamps out, my photo mounting squares (I love using these...double stick and fast and easy!) and then ran them through my sewing machine to add some fun stitching in random places.

I made this banner much bigger, using almost the whole piece of card stock for each piece.
I only did three with initials on this one.
I wrote the letters because I wanted them big and then I stamped the arrow on in different places on each piece and added a bit of color to the ends of each arrow.
I also added stitching to these as well and a bit of washi tape.

Any excuse to use washi tape!!!

There you have it!
Come back later this week to learn how we made the cute arrow mobile!

Hope you are inspired!