Saturday, October 18, 2014

The NEW Smiley360!!!

Click this link to join http://h5.sml360.com/-/cy2b

"Smiley360 is an online community of influential consumers who try products, content and other experiences for free and share their opinions with others. As a member, you will receive offers from the biggest brands and share your experience with that brand, as well as with friends, family, coworkers, neighbors and other consumers like you." taken from Smiley360 webpage

Monday, September 22, 2014

This Little Piggy Went to Enrichment...

Our upcoming Relief Society Enrichment's theme is "This Little Piggie..." and I was asked to make the invitations. I am so excited that I was asked to make these!
 

I did have "Come paint your piggies, stuff your snouts, and learn!" But the eat some grub is a less offensive way to invite people. ;) Hope you like these. If you need any additions or changes made for your use, let me know. I'd love to update the information for you!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

August 2014 Visiting Teaching Handout

 
My excuse to skip this month was actually semi-decent. Our homeschool started, I made our Church Ward talent show invitations, my niece's baptism invitations, along with my niece's birthday invitations and printables. But, when Kim Gabriel left her comment on last month's entry about missing this month's handout, I felt guilty. I felt like I had let her down and anyone else who uses them. I also felt that I had let down the people who would have received them. Soooooo...
 
This one is especially for you, Kim Gabriel. ;) Thank you for the support, compliments, and encouragement. I really appreciate it.
 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Addie's Angels

My daughter, Addison aka Sissy, and I had the most blessed opportunity to meet another little girl named Addison and her grandfather at Chick-fil-a today. This beautiful little girl is only four years old right now, but boy is she mature! Her golden curly locks reminded me of my niece's hair.


Sissy asked Addison's grandpa what happened to her arm because, you see, as he so eloquently stated, "She was born without it. God made her special." And that he did! Her "difference" definitely doesn't slow her down. 

Can you believe it?!? We met THE Addie from Addie's Angels (facebook or website).


 

What an honor! She is radiant just as I would imagine an angel would be! If you are searching for a cause to donate towards, this young lady and her family are reaching out in order to help others with similar situations. Their facebook description states:


"Non-profit organization benefiting children who have lost the use of one or more limbs, or have limb abnormalities. Addie's Angels is maintained by Bill & Amiee Gallagher, and was named for their daughter, Addison Claire Gallagher."

If I remember correctly, Addie is in the process of being fitted for an electronic arm and hand! How awesome that will be for her. 

I do hope that she remembers these few things:
* God may have "made her special", but she's no different from you and me.
* She is in a position where she and her family have helped and will help more people than they will EVER know.
* She is a daughter of an awesome and almighty God and He is King, which makes her a Princess!

I am truly grateful that I was blessed by this chance meeting! Had I been on time to meet with my friend, I probably would've missed this opportunity (1 point for procrastinating). 

Addison Gallagher, her family, and all of God's Angels aka Addie's Angels from this point forward will be in my prayers.

I hope we meet again Addison and Grandpa!


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Wheat Free Life by Michelle Badger

I love checking the mail and finding packages that are addressed to me. It doesn't matter that I ordered and paid for them. It's like Christmas --- or my birthday! I get to unwrap a special item.

The newest of my presents to myself is also a wonderful addition to my cookbook library:

Wheat Free Life by Michelle Badger


I have merely glanced in it, but I came across some really exciting new recipes. Plus, it includes an inspiring story which is pushing me to change my cooking / eating habits. Oh, and she includes the shopping lists too! How sweet is that?

I am so excited and I will definitely add more as I test the recipes in it! I can't wait.

Thanks Michelle, for the time, effort, energy, and love that you put into making this book in order to help people like me!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

I wanted to do something nice for my VT ladies on Mother's Day. Simply because mothers don't really get vacations or time off. Sundays are hectic days for those of us who forget to use Saturdays as the "day we get ready for Sunday". So to help tomorrow, which is Mother's Day as well as a Sunday, be a little less hectic, I chose to try this simple idea I found on Pinterest:

http://www.creativecapitalb.com/2012/05/latest-of-last-minute-ideas-for-mom.html
 
She even offers the printable for FREE!!
 
I completely forgot to get cups and napkins, but I went with plates, bowls, spoons, and forks. Plus, the ribbon is adorable, but my plates and bowls don't match so the coordinating ribbon was out of the question. Generic Ziploc bags saved the day! The larger bag is the gallon size and the smaller silverware bags are the snack size. I would love to have had cellophane or saran wrap with which to wrap it up. Anyway, here's my version:
 

 
 
 
I hope these help my ladies and give you an idea for your friends, neighbors, or VT ladies. It's a quick and easy gift idea. You might even have these items in your pantry already!



Friday, May 2, 2014

Fruit Pizza

Amanda here again, and have I got a treat for you!


Fruit Pizza


If you haven't had it before, try it out! It's yummy and it has fruit! Win, Win right?


I cheated some with my recipe today as I did not use a homemade cookie crust. But why bother with perfection when Miss Betty Crocker has already made the perfect cookies right!


Ingredients:
2 Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mixes (or your favorite)
Ingredients called for on Mix - (2 eggs, 2 sticks of butter softened)
1 package 8oz cream cheese - softened
about 3 cups of Powdered/Confectioner's Sugar
Fruit - Strawberries, Kiwi, Banana, Pineapple (also try with blueberries! or any other fruit you enjoy)


I started with two bags of Betty Crocker's Sugar Cookie Mix.
Make as directed (my bags called for 1 egg and 1 stick of butter each)




Take a large cookie sheet with sides, spray with Pam or other cooking spray. Spread cookie dough onto pan until it fills the pan.




Bake as directed (375 for about 15 minutes). Allow to cool completely.


While this is baking/cooling, take the softened cream cheese and place into a mixing bowl.
Add about 1/2 a cup to 1 cup of powdered/confectioner's sugar to the bowl at a time. Mix using hand mixer until all sugar is incorporated. Continue adding until the taste is a bit on the sweet side. I used about 2 1/2 cups of sugar.






Wash the strawberries. Cut up strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, and banana.




Once the cookie is completely cooled, spread the cream cheese mixture over the top.



Place cut up fruit on top of the cookie and cheese spread.




Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cut & ENJOY!!!



Also try Personal Fruit Pizzas...instead of making one big cookie, follow the recipe on the cookie dough to roll out and cut cookies. Cut them either into fun shapes or just into circles. You can also allow the kids or guests to put on their own fruit!


Let us know what kind of variations you try!



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Graduation Announcements

I just had the pleasure of creating graduation announcements for my littlest sister! (Of course, all the written details are changed.)

Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think of them. If you'd like me to make an announcement for someone you know. Email me and I'll get back with you about all the little details.


Isn't she beautiful?!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Colored Glue Volcano

Because of the site Bath Activities for Kids, along with Growing a Jeweled Rose, I am starting an attempt at embracing "messy play". I have the hardest time allowing the kids to make messes or do anything messy. I buy all of the stuff needed to do these activities, but then I chicken out when it comes to the actual doing.

Crystal and a few others are encouraging "messy play" and even offering easy to clean ways to encourage messy play!!! These are my absolute favorite. All kids like to get messy, so why not let them do it when, where, and how you want them to?

I chose her Erupting Paint Recipe for our first one. My children were bored, and I was desperate! Of course, I am also impatient so we didn't actually use it as paint, but we still had fun and made a contained mess (my favorite)!

So, because of my impatience, I used the following:

*bowls (my daughter's kid chef ones)
*cookie sheets (with high edges around them -- I almost used cake pans)
*glue that I had already colored with marker "guts" (you know those sticks from inside the markers)
*baking soda (from the already opened box that had been sitting in my fridge for no telling how long)
*and apple cider vinegar (cause it was the only vinegar I had on hand)

When my daughter saw me grab these items, she began to get all excited.

"What are we making mom?"
I didn't answer, but I asked her to get 2 cookie sheets.
"Oh, yes! We are making cookies!"
I told her: "No, dear, we aren't making cookies. [LONG DRAMATIC PAUSE HERE] We are going to make a mess."

You should have seen their faces! This was extremely new to them. I have NEVER encouraged them to make a mess. They were also very timid at first, double and triple checking that I was sure they could do this. Poor babies.

I didn't actually make the paint part. I let them mix the glue and baking soda. Then, I poured the vinegar and let them play in it with spoons and plastic Easter eggs. (Of course, I left a warning that if we wanted to more of this we couldn't get it outside of the cookie sheets. -- I really tried to let them be messy, but I couldn't go that far.)

Here are my munchkins playing with their colored glue volcanos!

 
 
 
 
I was surprised at how well they kept their "messes" on the cookie sheets!
It was definitely a contained mess.
 
Yes, my kids dress themselves and no, I don't care if they match or not. ;)
 
 
Let me know which messy play and experiments y'all have tried and how they turned out?
 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Burlap Wreath

I've tried to be very crafty lately and wanted to surprise my husband when he got home after a trip. I also wanted to make my home a little more inviting. I found many different wreaths that looked cute and easy to make but I decided, like I usually do, to take the ones I liked and make them my own.
Here is my finished product.

I love how the yellow flowers pop and how the stark white Fleur De Lis looks.
I didn't get all the pictures I wanted during the process because my phone died. 
I'll post the ones I did get.

What you will need:
2 burlap rolls - brown - approx. 10yards
1 roll colored burlap (I couldn't find any rolls so I bought 1 yard of yellow burlap)
green metal wreath (mine is about 18 inches)
Ribbon or patterned burlap (mine is a Damask Canvas ribbon)
Fleur De Lis wodden icon - 12"
1 pkg pipe cleaners to match burlap color
scissors
Hot Glue & gun
paint (acrylic paint of your color choice)
paint brush
not pictured: hot glue sticks/gun, scissors, paint, & paintbrush

First!!!
Paint Fleur De Lis and allow to dry


Wreath making:

First I cut a bunch of the pipe cleaners in half. 

Next you take one of the rolls of burlap and secure an edge to a crossbar at the top of the wreath.
Then you take the burlap from the back of the wreath and pull about 6 inches through. 
Do this through all 3 openings in the wreath form. 
I went from left to right and once I was at the bottom I went middle, top, middle bottom. 
Each time you get to a cross bar, attach the section with a piece of pipe cleaner.

Once you have gone all the way around. Fluff and adjust your sections to make them nice and full.
Now, take the ribbon and from the front of the wreath, find a starting point 
and attach it to a piece of the wire form with your pipe cleaners.
Move the ribbon around the wreath attaching at intervals to your liking.
(My ribbon was only 3 yards and did not make it all the way around the wreath.
 I used this section to place my Fleur De Lis.)


For the flowers:

First you need to take and cut your burlap into strips. As you can see I couldn't find a tape measurer so I used a large candy bar I had in my office as the guide. It is about 3 inches wide.

For the small flowers I cut the burlap in half (making it go from about 36 inches in length to 18)
For bigger flowers leave burlap longer.
Now for the hard part. Fold burlap lengthwise. Take one edge of it and place a small amout of hot glue.


 Roll this up tight so that the end stays together. Continue to roll two or three more times.
It should look like this: 


 Now, you  should continue to move the fabric around the bud/center you just made. But instead of pulling it tight around the middle, let it be looser and gather it together around the bottom. 
I glued as I went so it stayed together.


Continue to wrap and glue.


 Once you get to the end of the burlap, glue the end down so the rough edges aren't showing
Then you will flip your flower over, trim excess strings, and glue the bottom together.


And here is your finished flower!


 For larger flowers, only fold the top of the burlap down about 1/4 of the way. 
(or you could cut your strips larger)


Here is what my flowers all look like close up on the wreath.


Once you have all your flowers made and you find the placement you like on the wreath,
use your hot glue to glue them into place.

Next step is to flip the Fleur De Lis over and to hot glue 3 full length pieces of pipe cleaner onto it.
One near the top, one in the middle, and one near the bottom.
Make sure to only glue about an inch to an inch and a half to the decal.
After the glue is dry and hardened, use the pipe cleaners to attach it to the wreath.

Now, you're all done and can display it beautifully on your front door!

Good Luck and Happy Crafting!

~Amanda Storrs~

For more tips/tricks, here are the sites I used as my tutorials:
Wreath Ideas:
here is the one I used
This one may be easier but I'm not sure
Flowers:


Monday, April 14, 2014

You've been EGGED!!!

Well, this is my first official post. I usually type up the post and e-mail it to Beckie.

So, on Pinterest (which I'm a HUGE fan of), I found a post that said:

You've been EGGED!

It was super cute so, I had to make my own. My family was going to 'egg' people's houses today but, alas Mother Nature decided to throw another fit and make it cold and rainy. As soon as we get some houses 'egged' I'll post the pictures.

Back to the pin...I thought it was a super cute idea to 'egg' people's houses during the Easter season and to remind them that Christ is the reason for this season also.

Fab N' Free is where the Pinterest link brought me. I really liked the idea, but decided to make my own sign.

 
Click the image for the jpg or get the pdf HERE.

What you need to do to 'EGG' someone is take 12 plastic Easter eggs, put candy or a trinket in 11 of them. Keep the 12th empty. Hide them in someone's yard and tape the sign on their door. The 12th egg is empty in order to remind us that Christ's tomb was empty and that He is Risen!

I hope y'all take some time as a family and go 'EGG' some friends or neighbors.

Happy Easter!

~Amanda Storrs


Added 4/15/14:

Here's one of the houses we "Egged"!!



See the hidden eggs? It's still so cold up here that there are no bushes to hide them in, just the bare skeletons of them.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Modesty

Modesty is such an overlooked and misused term. Being modest doesn't mean you are prude or you can't dress attractively. In my opinion, modesty means you are more attractive. No one wants to see all your goodies hanging out. Those that do want to see that -- definitely aren't the guys / people that I want to be around. Don't tease, taunt, or make it any harder than it already is on our men striving to go on missions, having returned from a mission, or married to someone else. Protect yourself, your spirit, and your virtues. Save your "stuff" for your husband, behind closed doors.

Now, off of my soap box to show you one of my favorite quotes on modesty.


Thanks!