Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mod Podge Mania!!!

Yeah Baby! I've been looking forward to this all month! I had so much fun at last month's Mod Podge Mania. . . So many great ideas I want to try!

If you're new to MPM, here's the deal: Share a mod podge project. It can be one of your own, or one you've seen somewhere else. If you use someone else's idea, please just make sure to give credit where credit is due. Post about the project and link up below with Mister Linky. You can link up as many projects as you'd like.


Please make sure to do the following: a) Include a link to my blog in your post, so others will know where to go to see more great projects! b) Please take time to visit as many of the other participants as possible. The whole idea is to share and GET great new ideas for using Mod Podge!


For my project this month, I forgot to take a before picture! But my last month's project was photographed sitting on top of this month's project! So I cropped that picture to give you a little idea.

I found this trunk at the D.I. for $5.00! I've been looking for a trunk to hold some blankets in my living room. Everything I found (used) was $40 and up. So even though this baby was ORANGE (not the cute kind), I snagged it. I was thinking I would paint it, but then thought if I just painted it all one color, brass and all, it might look dumb. But I was too lazy pressed for time to tape off all the hardware and just paint over the orange.


I then remembered this awesome project from Brassy Apple. Focus on the top of the cabinet. It's mod podged! To see the complete transformation, as well as some other awesome tutorials, go here.
So I got to work. I found this great metallic finish spray paint. The color is oil rubbed bronze. I love it! I figured I could spray paint the trim, then Mod Podge the orange part...no need for taping!

I collected all my gear. Mod Podge, sponge brush, brown paper. I find that although I like the way bristle paint brushes spread the Mod Podge around, the bristles often stick in the glue, come out of the brush and end up stuck in your partially dried project! So I recommend sponge brushes, and of course fingers!

I've had a couple people who aren't familiar with Mod Podge ask how to use it. You first spread your mod podge on the surface you are covering. Be generous.

Then lay the material you are using to cover with (in my case, torn pieces of brown paper) onto the glue and smooth it out, trying to flatten as many bubbles and ripples as you can. Just so you know, I have never been able to get paper to dry perfectly smooth and flat. Ripples are inevitable (maybe some of you are way better than me and don't have this problem!) so don't be discouraged by them...they add character! Slather another layer (or five!) of Mod Podge over the top, smoothing as you go.

Also, my laziness backfired. Mod Podging around all the hardware was WAY more of a pain than I could ever have imagined!

After it all dried...here's what I have! I love the more neutral look...after all I'm stuck with pink carpet (ugh), so I can't have an ORANGE trunk sitting in my living room!


I decided this also qualifies me to link up to Kimm's Trash to Treasure Tuesday...even though it's not Tuesday anymore...go check out all the great transformations!
Now it's your turn to link up! I can't wait to see what everyone has come up with!



Extreme Makeover Me Edition!

Wednesday again already? If you haven't heard, each Wednesday Amber hosts Extreme Makeover Me Edition. It's for all us ladies trying to make healthy changes to link up with each other and help each other out! Everyone is invited so c'mon and join the party!

I'm excited to say I have a good report for this week. Last week I committed to exercising for 1 hr, 6 times. I did it! I really did it! I did an hour every night except Sunday. And it's weird, but I kind of enjoy doing it late at night after everyone is asleep. Hubby is at work and everything is quiet and peaceful. I don't have to worry about if the kids are in trouble, or if they're REALLY watching their little sister like they're supposed to be...it's just less stressful!

I pop in my earbuds, listen to some tunes, and the time really flies! BTW - thanks everyone for all your music suggestions last week! I spent the next day downloading some great new music for my workout playlist! I've exercised this week twice and my goal is to get another 4 in before Sunday!

I also drank lots of water, and refrained from "picking" at my kid's plates. Well, for the most part!

It has paid off and I am down 3 lbs!

My goal for this next week is to increase my walking rate from 3.2 mph to 3.4. I know it may not seem like it but a few decimal points really makes a difference to my legs! I also would like to introduce some strength training into my routine 3 times a week.

Today Amber asked us to share a healthy recipe. I found this recipe at Allrecipes last time I lost a ton of weight (before I got pregnant with Monkey), and all of my kids love it! It is fish, so some of you may not even want to try it, but it really is good.

Grilled Salmon Skewers

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound salmon filet without skin
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
12 fresh lemon wedges
12 skewers

DIRECTIONS:

Slice salmon lengthwise into 12 long strips, and thread each onto a soaked wooden skewer.
Place in a shallow dish.
In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and pepper.
Pour over skewers, turning to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
When finished marinating, transfer marinade to a small saucepan, and simmer for several minutes.
Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat.
Lightly oil grill grate. Thread 1 lemon wedge onto the end of each skewer. Cook skewers on the preheated grill for 4 minutes per side, brushing often with marinade, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 89
Total Fat: 3.7g
Cholesterol: 19mg
Sodium: 324mg
Total Carbs: 7.9g
Dietary Fiber: 0.7g
Protein: 7g

You don't have to use an outdoor grill. I have a grilling pan that I use on my stove...it works just fine. I also just use the frozen salmon filets you can get at Costco. It's a very healthy meal, and I'm so glad my kids love it too!

I'm so excited to see everyone's post today and get some great new healthy recipes to add to my collection!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Giveaway gods have been good to me!

Okay, so I SERIOUSLY never win ANYTHING! Really! And now I have won 3 giveaways in a row! I can't believe it. Just be excited for me and don't hate, okay?

So first there was this awesome giveaway from JenJen at Tatertots and Jello. I LOVE reading Jen's blog. She is so full of creative ideas, she's an amazing homemaker who goes the extra mile for her children, and I am always motivated by all the wonderful things she does for her family.

This would be perfect for me, right? Because you know I'm re-doing my bedroom in black and white!

So Jen was sweet enough to put an entry in for every one of her followers, besides those who commented. The original winner happens to be downsizing, and doesn't have a place for these...so they got passed on to me! Yay! Thus began my string of wonderful luck!

Next was this goodie from the BLAH, BLAH, BLAHger. She is anyting but blah! Her blog is filled with awesome DIY tips and projects, makeovers, photography, so much talent and advice. I love it! I have so many projects in my head, and I'm excited to delve into her blog for more inspiration, and tips on how to get my stuff done!

I was one of 2 lucky winners of this awesome spray paint gun! I used it today for my Mod Podge Mania project...don't forget Thursday's the day ladies! It. is. AWESOME! No sore finger from pressin' that stupid little nozzle forever! Thank you JJ!

And finally, Tabitha over at I Choose Bliss was giving away this fun package of pampering goodies! You must go visit Tabitha...she is the most loving, uplifting, kind-hearted person! Her blog is so full of joy and inspiration. It never fails to bring a smile to my face, and warmth to my heart!
I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of this treat! I can't believe I won 3 times! Of course this probably means I'll never win anything again in my life...but whatevah...I'm thrilled with these!

I hope you're all having a wonderful week, and remember to come back Thursday for Mod Podge Mania, it was so fun last month - there were so many amazing projects! I can't wait to see what everyone has in store for this month!

ALSO...If you haven't voted in the Best 80's Rock Band poll in the upper right of my blog, you better hurry...there's only 2 days left!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Recipe swap...I almost forgot!

I almost forgot today's recipe swap with Anissa! I love finding new recipes to try out! I like to think of myself as an aspiring chef. (This is only in my head of course, because I am very, very amateur!)

Today I'm going to post a FAVORITE cold dessert for summertime! I found this years ago at Allrecipes - love that place!

Freezer Caramel Drizzle Pie
INGREDIENTS:
2 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crusts
6 tablespoons butter
1 (7 ounce) package shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (16 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (12 ounce) jar caramel ice cream topping

DIRECTIONS:
Place butter in a medium skillet and melt over medium heat.
Add coconut and pecans, stirring to coat.
Saute until coconut and pecans are lightly toasted, about 5 minutes.
Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whip together condensed milk and cream cheese until fluffy.
Fold in whipped topping.
Spoon 1/4 of cream cheese mixture into each graham cracker crust.
Drizzle each with 1/4 of caramel topping.
Repeat layers with remaining cream cheese mixture and caramel.
Top each pie with coconut and pecan mixture.
Freeze overnight.


You will not be disappointed in this recipe...it is divine! I promise!

Friend Makin' Monday and 100th post giveaway!

I just love Mondays! If you've never heard of Friend Makin' Monday, go to Kasey's to read all the rules and join in! I have met some of my best bloggy friends through FMM!

This week's task is to complete the following tag:

5 Senses Tag

We are to list 4 things we love, and one thing we dislike, for each sense.
Smell
Like: 1. Pot roast in the oven! 2. Sunkissed Citrus Scentsy, and Melon Medley from the Walmart knock-off scents! 3. rubbing alcohol (I know, I need help) 4. along those same lines...nail polish and nail polish remover.
Dislike: coffee
Touch
Like: 1. The click, click of the keyboard beneath my fingers! 2. back massage from my husband - he has magic hands! 3. an ice cold soda can on the back of my neck on a hot summer day! 4.Hot showers
Dislike: Hot glue on my fingertips! Occupational hazard for me!
Sound
1. My baby (okay she's 2 now!) whispering "secrets" in my ear. 2. My kiddo's giggles. 3. My husband's singing. He has a very nice singing voice. 4. Dennis Haysbert's voice. You know he was the President in the early seasons of 24, now he's "Snake Doc" on The Unit, and the spokesman for Allstate Insurance. If you still don't know who I mean, go here and listen to his voice!
Dislike: whining!

Taste
Like: 1. Nachos! 2. Anything spicy 3. Dr. Pepper 4. chocolate chip cookies
Dislike: Lima beans
Sight
1. Sunset behind the mountains. 2. watching my children sleep. 3. spring flowers and their bright colors! 4. reading blogs!
Dislike: Seeing anyone in pain...physical or emotional.
What things do you like and dislike experiencing with your 5 senses?


Now, to take care of some business!


This is my 100th post! I can't believe it! I want you ladies to know how much your friendships have come to mean to me. I love hearing about your lives, getting advice, hearing your humorous stories, as well as your touching uplifting ones. I love this wonderful community of "sistahs" I have found!


To say "thank you", I'd like to keep with the tradition of givin' stuff away to celebrate my 100th post! Entering is simple...1 entry for commenting, 1 entry if you follow me, and 1 entry if you post about my giveaway! Just let me know what you do so I can give you the proper amount of entries!


What? you want to know what the prize is? Does it matter? It's FREE!

Okay, okay - I'll tell you.


Remember these fun FOREVER blocks I made for my sister in law? If you don't you should go check out last month's Mod Podge Mania. Speaking of MPM...don't forget that our next edition is THIS Thursday the 30th! Make sure to link up your projects!


Oh yeah, I was telling you about the giveaway. Here's a picture of the blocks:
The winner of this giveaway will receive a set of blocks made by me with any name or word you choose up to 7 letters. You also will have your choice between the following color schemes!


bright pink and apple green

hot pink, bright yellow and orange


Jewel (this is the color scheme in the FOREVER blocks)

I don't guarantee these exact paper designs, but the colors will be the same. The giveaway ends this Friday at 11:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time. Good luck!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Whenever I hear the song of a bird...

Whenever I hear the song of a bird,
or look at the blue, blue sky,
Whenever I feel the rain on my face
or the wind as it rushes by.
Whenever I touch a velvet rose,
or walk by our lilac tree,
I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world
Heavenly Father created for me.
One of my favorite primary songs. The beauty of spring always reminds me how very much my Heavenly Father loves me. I'm so grateful for all the beauty he surrounds me with each and every day.
Remember the flower bed I weeded last week? I was so anxious to see these babies bloom!

Here's how they looked just a few days later!

There's no sunshine today, so they're hiding their faces, but I still think they look lovely!
These are what say "hello" to me each day when I walk out my front door. I still need to weed here!
This flower bed also still needs weeding and de-leafing! But I love all the bright colors!
I hope you are all having a beautiful Sabbath. Tonight I get to hear my husband and daughter (cowgirl) sing. There is an amazing exhibit called "Reflections of Christ" that will be touring the country. Tonight is the last night here, and our ward choir is one of choirs that was invited to do a musical presentation for the exhibit. I can't wait, it's going to be such a wonderful evening!


Oh - p.s. Tomorrow will be my 100th post! I think I'll do a giveaway!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dear to My Heart

I've only been blogging for a few short months, but in that time I have found it to be a wonderful outlet, a place where I have met some wonderful new friends. I have felt inspired and uplifted. I have laughed and even been brought to tears. I've been able to express my thoughts and feelings on things from the frivolous (Best 80's Rock Band, Top 5 Celebrity Crushes!?) to more meaningful topics such as my family and my faith.

But there is a part of me that I have held back. I have briefly mentioned my gratitude for this great nation, and our founding fathers, as well as the wonderful freedoms I am able to enjoy with my family. But I've never written too much on my feelings about government or politics. This has been out of fear. Fear of offending, fear of losing readers, even fear of confrontation from someone I might inadvertantly offend. How silly to hold back a part of who I am from my friends!

I'm not here today to talk political issues, or parties, or policies. But I do want to share with you that I'm not just a grateful American. My love for this country and my feelings on the direction we are heading run deep. I want to share it because it's not just a small part of who I am. It is a very big part of who I am and what shapes me, and the things I teach my family and the decisions I make as a citizen.

I am truly grateful for the Founding Fathers. For their values, the lives they lived, and the sacrifices they made. I want to know them better...their flaws as well as their greatness. I want my children to know them, know what they believed, and be grateful for what they made possible for us.


I want my children to not just learn about our founding documents, but to really know them. To know what they stand for, and what they were intended for.


I am no great historian by any stretch of the imagination. I was a slacker in school and cared more about flirting than learning. But I love learning about the history of our nation, and the people who shaped it, and I want to pass this love on to my children, who belong to the generation that holds the future of this nation in their hands.

I am worried that the intentions of those who founded this country, and the ideals this nation was founded upon are slowly being erroded by the waves of modern politics. I don't know how to change this, but I do know that it is important to always learn, and be involved.

That is why I am so grateful that a dear friend of ours and wonderful, inspiring man (he wouldn't say so...but he is) has started a blog. It is very new, just a few posts in - but oh how I've loved reading his thoughts and feelings regarding the state of our nation. His blog is called Common Sense Liberty and it is such a fitting name. Go check it out and you'll see what I mean.

I believe God's hand was in the founding of this great nation, and that it exists to bring about His purposes. I believe this with every fiber of my being. If you feel this way too, you'll love what my friend Monty has to say. Even if you don't, I think you'll enjoy his insights. So I urge you to all to go here right now and check it out! Make sure and tell him I sent you!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spreadin' the love and an apology from the biggest slacker in blog land

I've been kind of an awards slacker recently. I've had a few lovely awards bestowed upon me by some awesome fellow bloggers whom I just adore! And now I get to pass them on. But first I need to apologize. You see, I've been making sure to keep a list when people give me awards so that I know who to thank when I post about them. Well my computer went down a while back, and did not retrieve the most updated verson of the list...so some of them are missing!


I know that I have been given the Mom of the Year award, and the Lemonade award back in March. I love you for thinking of me, and I apologize for not posting sooner, and losing your info! If it was you please let me know...I'm going to keep searching!


I also received the lovely Lemonade award from Vivienne. She is a fairly new bloggy friend and I love, love, LOVE reading her blog. Y'all should go check her out because she's hilarious!


The Rules of Accepting and Sharing this Award
1.Put the logo on your blog or post
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs that show an attitude of gratitude
3. Link to your nominees within your post
4.Comment on their blogs to let them know they've received this award
5.Share the love and link to this post and the person who nominated you for the award. Tell us how you've come to have an attitude of gratitude

It's pretty easy to come by a grateful attitude when you are blessed beyond measure. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for a wonderful husband who supports me no matter what I want to do.

I'm blessed with 4 beautiful children who are kind and good and although somewhat obnoxious, try hard to do what's right!

I can't believe my great fortune in joining this blogging community and meeting so many wonderful new friends who inspire me with their insight and creativity, motivate me with their encouragement, and make me laugh with their humor. Thank you all!

I'm grateful for a roof over my head, food in my pantry, and an income for my family (courtesy of hubby!)

I'm most grateful for a Heavenly Father who loves me and an Older Brother who died for me and has shown me the way back to Him.

I'd like to pass this award to the following wonderful ladies:

Tabitha, One Girlie Girl, Liz, shortmama, Joy For Your Journey , 3 Peas in a Pod, Maridith, Fine Al Thoughts, Connie, Anissa!

Love you ladies and I love reading your blogs!

Next I have been awarded a brand new award created by The Masked Mommy! She was one of my very first boggy friends I met when I started blogging. I just love reading her posts and I feel like she's my long lost twin we are so much the same!

She had given me the Super Blogger Award!

Here's what you do when you have received the "Super Blogger" award:
Tape it up on your blog somewhere.
Pass it along to 5 fellow super bloggers, and comment on their blog to let them know how lucky they are today!
When you present your Super Blogger awards, link back to the super blogger who gave it to you.

I'd like to pass this award along to the following Super Bloggers:

Amy, Jen, Sturgmom, JenJen, Marrdy - I love reading your Super Blogs, and love getting the sweet comments you all leave me!

This concludes this edition of Spreadin' The Love...and my deepest heartfelt apologies to those ladies who have honored me with awards and I lost the info! If you see this please forgive me AND let me know what a slacker I am by forgetting you.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Extreme Makeover Me Edition--Yee Ha!

Each Wednesday Amber hosts EMME. It's a way for women who are trying to make a healthy change in their lives connect with each other and give each other inspiration and encouragement. I love connecting with other women who are reaching towards the same things I am. Go here if you'd like to join us!

This week I feel awesome. I didn't start my goal of exercising 6x until Monday. I know it's no excuse but last Saturday Ribbon Blossoms had a boutique and every minute that wasn't spent taking care of my family's necessities was spent making product! I know I should have made exercise a priority,but you see I have this wonderful friend and business partner who I can't let down!

But Monday I was determined! Even though I wasn't able to exercise when I planned because of an extremely clingy, whiny 2 year old. I STILL got on the treadmill at 11:00 pm after daddy got home and could take said 2 year old off my hands! I refused to let the start of a new week go by without exercising! I got on the treadmill a little earlier yesterday at 10 p.m. Maybe tonight I'll actually get on during prime time! As I've explained before, trying to exercise in the morning just does not work for me at this point. But if I can hop on the treadmill and enjoy a good TV show, I'm good.

I did however keep my diet goals really well this week. Keeping my food choices healthy, NOT grazing from my kids' plates, and lots and lots of water! I'm down 2 1/2 lbs today!

This week's question:
Share some of the music that you work out to.
What helps you rock it!?
What gets your blood pumpin?


As I mentioned before, I usually watch TV on the treadmill. However, when I'm getting on late at night after all the good shows are over (no TiVo, remember?), or when I take my workout outside I HEART my ipod!
I have a workout playlist which of course contains all the upbeat NKOTB songs, then some stuff that's much too young for me (LOL) like Avril Lavigne, & Britney Spears. I have some *Nsync & Backstreet Boys and then some heart-pumpin rock music, both classic and newer. Bon Jovi, Poison, Metallica, Linkin Park, Fallout Boy, Click Five, The Killers ...I just have a really eclectic collection of upbeat music and it really motivates me!


This week I will: REALLY exercise 6x (2 down...4 to go!), Keep drinkin' the water, and try some new healthy recipes that I've seen floating around! I'll let you know how they turn out!


Have a Healthy Wednesday everyone!

I actually accomplished something yesterday!

So I actually decided to do something other than blog yesterday! Yup...I got me some motivation! I couldn't handle this movie/music mess any longer!

This is the cabinet beneath my T.V. My Monkey is no longer deterred by the child safety locks. She can even turn the bathroom lock with a penny! So things get pulled out by her, and shoved back in by anyone who happens to be the one asked to put the stuff away. Isn't it lovely? Yes we still have a ton of VHS tapes that I refuse to get rid of until I can replace them all with blueray




This is the rack that holds the c.d.'s and the Disney VHS tapes. Yes I have my movies in 2 different spots...I don't have the room I need y'all!

It might not look THAT bad upon first glance. But if you'll look closer, you'll notice 2 things: 1 - to the right of the shelf on the floor, behind the end table is a pile of caseless tapes, and extra c.d.'s. and 2 -The reason all the tapes don't fit on the shelf is because most of those cases on the shelf are empty! Yeah, it's apparently way too difficult to actually put the video back in the case after viewing, so you're just supposed to shove them caseless onto the shelf, and when it's full, you throw them on the floor behind the end table.

Ahhh...this is much better!


I love how the flash on the camera made Bookworm's lightsaber look REAL! He thought it was pretty cool too. Oh, the lightsaber is part of a video game, that's why it's in this cupboard.

I then took my motivation to the beautiful out doors! Monkey was playing with worms helping.



My flowers are finally starting to bloom, but because we haven't had more than 24 hours without snow until this week, I have not spent one minute doing yard work. They are choked with weeds and fall leaves!



This is not the actual flowerbed I weeded, but I forgot to take a before picture of the one I worked on. It looked just like this though! My poor, poor flowers!


Don't you just love when you've been working in the flowers, and you come in for the night, and your hands have that dry, stiff feeling, and you've got mud under your nails, and it's really gross ... but it's awesome because it means you've been creating something beautiful?
Ahhhh...now my little blossoms can breathe!



I can't wait to see the bright red blooms of these little beauties! My house faces north, so my front yard has lots of shade and my flowers bloom weeks later than the across the street neighbors'!


I love these little blue sweeties. I can't remember what they are...but they start blooming even through the snow!
These are also some of my earliest bloomers! LOVE when I see that first splash of spring color!
To top it all off and make me feel really awesome...after this I even EXERCISED!!!
Aren't you proud?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rock On!

Remember the day? Ahhh, that big hair, those skinny pants, that colorful make up? I'm not talking about us girls...I'm talkin' about those guys.


You know those guys? The ones that sang all those rockin' ballads? Oh yeah, and some cool fast songs too...but mostly it was the rockin' ballads that got me.


Back when I did my Better Boy Band poll, I had the comment that implied there should be a Best 80's Rock Band poll. You spoke. I listened. I've picked 5 rockin' 80's bands and I want to know who YOU think was the best! Yes I'm well aware that some of these fellas are STILL makin' music...but seriously, who's the best there is/was?


Bon Jovi
Def Leppard
Poison


Guns N Roses

Van Halen

Take the poll in the upper right corner of my blog...The poll will be open until April 30 - leave me a comment telling me what you think!

For those of you who: a) need a refresher course because they can't remember back that far, b) were a better person than I was and obeyed your parents by not listening to this music, or c) are youngins and missed out on all the fabulousness that was the 80's - I have put together a playlist of 3 popular hits from each of these bands. Check it out then take the poll! I'm anxious to see what everyone thinks!



Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones