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 actual 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
Hot Glue & gun
paint (acrylic paint of your color choice)
paint brush
not pictured: hot glue sticks/gun, scissors, paint, & paintbrush

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

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 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.


Monday, April 7, 2014

April 2014 Visiting Teaching Handout

Here is the belated, but still early in the month visiting teaching handout!

I had fun making this one and I really hope ya'll enjoy it! Let me know.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Eagle Scout Court of Honor

I was blessed to be able to help a family in our ward celebrate their son's Eagle Scout Award by creating the printables for his Court of Honor!

Let me know what you think!!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Heavenly Hummus

I have FINALLY found and tackled an awesome recipe for hummus! I have had so much trouble perfecting the ratios. Of course, Little Bit and I ate all of it before realizing I hadn't taken any pictures! We ate it all gone! Fingers around the rims and corners, too. I am so excited about this. Hummus is one of my favorite sides / appetizers, but typically it is drenched in sodium.

Okay, so I promise to make it again in the next few days (probably tomorrow) and take pictures. Just be warned, the photographs may show little fingers in the hummus.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nature's Bounty® Hair, Skin, & Nail Gummies

Can't wait to try out my free sample when it comes in the mail courtesy of Smiley360 !

Nature's Bounty® Hair, Skin, & Nail Gummies: Join the Nature's Bounty #HairSkinNails Challenge & feel beautiful from the inside out! #freesamp *The FTC requires that I mention that I received a free sample.

OxiClean(TM) Liquid Laundry Detergent

I am loving this free bottle of Oxiclean Detergent from Smiley360. My husband persuaded me to use the powder years ago, but now it's an actual detergent instead of an add-in (one less step too)! My clothes are cleaned and whiter/brighter WITHOUT BLEACH. I am so glad that I was chosen to try it because now I'm sold! I'm an OxiClean Girl!

Check out the link below for more information and a $2 coupon so you can try it too!

OxiClean(TM) Liquid Laundry Detergent: #OxiCleanLaundry Now in a detergent! Lifts out even tough, dried-on stains. $2 coupon #freesample

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March 2014 VT Handout - Mardi Gras Version

I know Mardi Gras has already passed, but I thought I'd make a Mardi Gras Version for those crazies that celebrate Mardi Gras and eat King Cake. Here she is:

My masterpiece.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Dinosaur Dig Birthday Party

Check out the adorable invitation I created for my friend's son. Rawr! Such an adorable party idea!

(Of course, I changed the info.)

They are throwing him a Dinosaur Dig birthday party for his 2nd birthday. After their party I will post the rest of the party printables along with pictures of the party! I can't wait to see the final setup.

Stay tuned...

Saturday, March 8, 2014

March 2014 VT Handout

For some reason this file posted much smaller than it should have. Here is the fixed version - a bigger file, which means a clearer printout. Sorry about that!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Amanda's Fancy Ham Pasta

I sat down at the computer to eat my dinner -- romain lettuce, a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese, and a ribbon of ranch wrapped up in a tortilla. Mmmmmm.... Sounds good, right? Don't get me wrong, this is a delicious meal considering my other options this late at night with two indecisive and never agreeable children. I wanted quick and easy, which this was. Okay, back at the computer, I opened up my email and saw that my little sister had emailed me pictures of the dinner she served tonight along with the recipe for it.

Talk about a good smack down! My little sister out "mothered" me, once again. This does NOT happen often people! bwaaaahhhhh :( okay, I lied. She is a better mommy than me. Ugh. ;) Love ya little sis.

Here is the recipe for her fantabulous "throw together whatever is on hand" dish. Her little ones wanted to name it. I think they did a pretty dern (yes, I meant D-E-R-N) good job -- much better than my Stravocadanerry Smoothie name, don'tcha think? 

Fancy Ham Pasta
1 pkg spaghetti noodles
Ham (about 4 thick cut slices) - diced
1-2 cups Broccoli - diced
1-2 cups Cauliflower - diced
1-2 Cups Spinach - diced
1/2 stick butter
2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
4 slices of Swiss Cheese -dice into small pieces
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 Tbsp (to taste) Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb blend
1 Tbsp (or more to taste) Tony's Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning
Olive oil

In a pot, pour heavy cream, Mrs. Dash, and butter. Turn on Medium/low and allow butter to melt. Mix occasionally.
In a larger pot, fill with water, add some oil (just a little). Bring to a boil.
Once boiling, add pasta. Cook as directed on box.
In a large skillet, put diced cauliflower and about a tablespoon of oil. Sautée on medium heat for a few minutes. Add in diced broccoli, continue to sautée for about 5 minutes or until veggies are softer. Stir occasionally. Add ham to veggies.
Add in diced spinach. Mix. Cook for about 2 minutes.
Sprinkle with about 2 Tablespoons of Parmesan Cheese. Mix.
Pour Cream mixture into skillet with veggies. Stir.
After noodles are done cooking, strain water and add pasta into skillet.
Mix everything together.
After plating, sprinkle with the diced Swiss cheese. 


What kind of throw together meals do you make?