$5 mixer make-over!

Now there was nothing wrong with my delightful yellow mixer to begin with...but what isn't made better with a little wonder woman action?  I got two decals for $5 from etsy...
...and a few minutes later, my mixer became all I knew she could be. 
I'm pretty thrilled with it.  What do you think?
And while I was at it, I gave a little love to the other girl I spend so much time with.

I just might need to order a few more of those decals...

Joyful Easter to you!

“Do not be afraid, 
for I know that you 
are looking for Jesus, 
who was crucified. 
He is not here; 
he has risen, 
just as he said.” 
– Matthew 28:5-6

what i made for monday-on friday for Sunday-24 hour coconut cake

I posted a sneak peek of my what I made for Monday recipe and was begged to post it earlier in time to make for Easter...and because I aim to please...here it is. 
Enjoy the best and most easy coconut cake recipe ever, throughout the history of man. :) This can be started 48-24 hours ahead of the time you want to eat it.  The earlier you make it, the more tasty it will be.
You will need:
one box of yellow cake mix (and whatever the box calls for to make the cake)
1 and a half bags of shredded coconut (each bag is 14oz each)
16oz of sour cream (I use low fat or fat free)
1 3/4 cups of sugar
Mix together your coconut, sour cream and sugar.  Cover and refrigerate for a day.
The next day, bake the cake according to directions on the box but divide it into three layers instead of the normal two.
When the cake has cooled completely remove one layer and top with 1/3 of the coconut mixture.
Repeat with the next layer...
...and the next layer.
If you want to make it "fancy" you can make a little nest with dyed coconut and some jelly bean eggs.  Just don't put that on there until the day you serve it otherwise it will bleed. 
Refrigerate for at least a day before serving for best results. 

At the very least, make this all the day before, assemble and refrigerate overnight. 

You can also make this sheet cake style.  Bake the cake in a 9 by 14in pan (or whatever size) and before piling on the coconut poke holes all over with a fork or wooden spoon handle. :)

Enjoy!  This is one of my favorite treats but I NEVER get to make it because someone in my house hates coconut.  The nerve. :)


more happy mail!

First, FYI, I've added a super sunshiney print to the shop! Next best thing, right?
And, my current obsession is something I am calling "will it ship".  First eggs, now onto recycled Crystal Lite containers. 
First I filled it with a mug rug that I made...added some Via, chocolate, a couple of candies and a note. 
I sealed it closed with some polka dot duct tape and printed my shipping label.  Believe it or not it only cost me .03c more to mail this than it did the eggs! :)

And for the record...the eggs worked!  I've heard that all but one so far has arrived. 

I'll let you know when this makes it.  And now my eyes are peeled for the next "will it ship" victim...

what i made for monday- white queso dip

I know...I usually make sweet treats but this week I decided to take the day off.  Don't worry I have some tasty treats coming up...

But to not leave you completely in the lurch, I'll share this tasty dip that I found via Recipe for Crazy

YUMMY white queso dip! :) It was SO good!

Here is how I made it:
1/2 lb of white American cheese (I got it from the deli)
1/2c of water
1 heaping tablespoon of minced white onion
1 heaping tablespoon of green chiles in your preference of hotness. (Lesley used 1/2 tbl "pickled jalepenos" but the only option I could find for this was a jar that would take me YEARS to use and was almost $5.  The chiles came in a tiny can and cost much less).
I also added a dash of garlic power.  Just a smidge, but you could leave this out. 

In a double boiler (or a pyrex type bowl sitting on top of a pan of water) heat up water to simmering and melt cheese.  Stir consistently.  Once it is all melted give it a couple more minutes of flavor "gelling" time. :)

Eat with tortilla chips.  YUM!  It was so good!  Go! Make this!  Eat it for lunch all by itself, I say it's ok! :)


Oh Happy Day! reclaimed wood art

OH it's been a good morning.
Two days ago I saw this post on Life as a Thrifter.
And immediately set out to make my own.
Like, I walked from the computer to the backyard to dig wood out from under my shed, immediately. 
It turned out more magnificent than I hoped.  
It's happy and sunny and I can't help but sing the song when I see it. 
It's old and splintered and worn and sanded and loaded with character.  
Making your own is more simple than you think.
You just need some old wood, nails, hammer and a hand saw.  
I cut the front pieces to the same length as each other, you can make yours as big and as small as you want.  Mine is a monster...4 1/2ft by almost 3ft.  Just build it to the size you want. 
Here's how I assembled it with my master craftsman skills.  I used three shorter boards to brace it and nailed two nails in each horizontal board through each vertical board.   Then I flipped it over and put a single nail through each horizontal board into the vertical ones.  I was clearly not going for perfection.
Then, I drew my design.  I searched the house for the just right sized circle and settled on a laundry basket to trace...then used a yard stick to draw the rays.
Paint colors are by valspar: egg yolk, morning sunrise, elizabethan yellow and turquoise tint. 
Then I escaped reality and colored each section in randomly.
I did not worry about perfect.  I wanted a worn beachy look.  
Next up, the lettering.  The font I used was free from Dafont.com and it is called ARB 85 Posterscript
To make my stencil, I used my standard method.  I created the words in Pages and printed them out on card stock in light grey to save ink. 
I cut them out and used a pencil to trace them.  Then filled them in with the turquoise.
Then I stood back and went in to let it dry.  I turned my attention to getting some work done at the computer.  It started to rain.  I said out loud to Doug "Oh it's raining hard"....then it hit me "OH IT'S RAINING!!!! HELP ME!!!"  I ran outside to save my love...and hauled that thing in...all 40-50 awkward pounds of it.    
Once it dried from rain and paint I gave it a good sanding.  
I went over the whole thing...revealing layers and wearing out the edges.  
I could just look at it all day. 
I've had several requests to make people one...well, I would have to sell my firstborn to ship it and really, it's not in the cards but I will make a print of it to add to the shop!?

Almost as good right?  And definitely lighter and easier to ship. :)

Now, you, go dig up some old wood! :)

Stubborn trust.

He's been at it again.

Just when I thought I was getting to a good place, God continues to reveal areas to me that need work.  I love that we have a God who loves us so much that He is not willing to let go the stuff that we don't even see.  The stuff that holds us back like an invisible anchor in our souls.

Let's go back a few days...it hit me...my kids are mirror images of my husband and I.  You have Moses, heart strong, sensitive, quiet, empathetic to others, obviously loving and tender hearted.  A sweet rule follower who stays well within the safe boundaries of the rules set out for him.  He feels ALL things very deeply...from losing to the "wrong" thing for dinner to having to come in from playtime. 

Then there is Aaron.  Stubborn, hard headed, does not like being told what to do but who is also very loving, considerate of others, kind, quick to help and more internally very loving.  He does things the hard way, the way that makes sense to HIM, if not to anyone else.  He is helpful and obedient, eventually.  He doesn't worry about anything.  Very laid back and hard to stress out.   

Aaron is me.  Moses is Doug.  We didn't set out to make them this way.  They are who God wants them to because if it was solely our doing, they would be identical little people right?  I mean they have the same parents, same kind of nurturing in babyhood, same diet, same household.  If it was all our doing they would be more similar than they are.  

I have no doubt that if we give them to God, each and every trait will be used for His glory.  If we seek out God in all of our decisions on how to parent and discipline and structure their little lives.  If rely on HIM and put their best interests ahead of our own, then each and every aspect of who they are will be used for His good.

I want there to be a major difference between Aaron and I.

I believe that there are turning points in every life.  Places that you visit that spin you around and set you off in a different direction than you were previously heading.  Sometimes we can control theses turning points, sometimes they happen TO us and sometimes they happen BECAUSE of us.  Part of being a parent is teaching our children how to recover from these pivots and still manage to be setting off for the right destinations even if the direction has shifted.  Once you are an adult, you glean from what your parents taught you and do it on your own.  Part of this teaching as a parent is to learn who your kids are, teach them life skills that accentuate who God made them to be, learning how to work with traits like being stubborn and turning them into a positive like never giving up.     

Embracing who they are, who GOD made them, and making it your job to help them learn how to make the best of that. 

I have a choice with Aaron's stubborn nature. 

I can try to change it by whatever means necessary through use of words, actions and an environment that lets him know that I am NOT ok with who he is, that he is not good enough as is, that his trait is a flaw and that it's my job to fix it.  Of course I will not come right out and say that but you know how things can be implied so a message gets through right?  I can demean him and hurt him so that stubbornness begins to flow from a fountain of mistrust as well as from its original source.  I can make sure his self-confidence takes a good few blows so that once out in the real world he has a hard time thinking he is worth anything because, man, if his parents didn't think him good enough, then who would? If he can't trust his parents to be a safe place then WHERE is?  I can give him flawed logic and teach him terrible self-talk that will set him up for heartache and pain beyond anything that God would ever want from him.  I can make sure that it will take him a good 18 years to undo the damage that I've done, to clear the webs of hurt and wrong words of planted in his soul. 


I ask God how to handle it.  To give me grace and wisdom.  To love the little boy God gave me and embrace his spunky little self.  To see the joy in his eye (or is that mischief?).  I can look past the naughty and see the kind heart.  I can look past the defiance and see a kid who just wants to make sure that I mean what I say because THEN he feels safe.  Then he trusts me to say what I mean and mean what I say.  I can teach him that I am his safe place, that I can take it all and still love him unconditionally and wholeheartedly.  I can teach him how to be selfless for the ones we love or want to love on.  I can do my very best to send him into the world, confident of who God made him, how to use his traits for God's glory and knowing that he is very much loved as he is. 

One of the above is my childhood and one will belong to Aaron. 

When I was telling Doug about my realization with our boys...how Moses is quiet and sensitive like him and how Aaron is stubborn and doesn't like to be told what to do like me...he said "YOU don't like to be told what to do?  I had no idea".  Sass. 

I've been thinking about it ever since...where does my stubbornness and not enjoying being told what to do come from?  Why am I so fiercely independent?  As I pondered it all...God totally spoke to me.  Trust.  In general, still at this point in my thirties, I don't have a whole lot of trust in people.  At the just right age I was taught to not have that trust.  I was taught that people will hurt you and be selfish and not do the things they say they will. 

What it comes down to, I think, is that I am still learning to trust.  I have very many people in my life now who are trust WORTHY but you know what they say...it takes a lot of good to undo the bad.  It's going to take a lot of people keeping their word, and not being hurtful and not being selfish for me to overcome my aversion to not trusting.  And I have a huge mountain to level out to get there.  I've had a lot of hurt from people I trusted...or people I should have been able to trust or people that should have just been nice to me but weren't.

Essentially, I'm at the same stage as Aaron is with his stubbornness and I am learning how to use my traits for His good.  I am doing some un-wiring and I am thankful that God is not content to leave me where I am. 

Being aware is a good place to start. 

huggies num 3!

I've been asked by BlogHer and Huggies to take some walks down memory lane and explore some (what I think will be) FUN subjects surrounding babies and having them and getting ready for them and all the fun stuff that goes with THEM! :) I volunteered for this series for selfish reasons...I think it will be a great way to document some thoughts and feelings that maybe I haven't before but should have. I hope you will enjoy them, too! :)
This week's subject is maternity clothes! Oh, maternity clothes...how I loved and hated you. I don't know about all of you, but I just didn't have it in the budget to buy a series of new wardrobes for all of the stages of my ever-growing belly. It just wasn't happening.
Lucky for me, when I was pregnant with Moses, baggy gauchos were really in style, readily available, cheap and THE most comfortable thing that an ever-fattening girl could wear. I bought a pair in every color. I was pregnant for the entire duration of the spring and summer with Moses. With Aaron I was pregnant in the fall and winter, not that it mattered because I still stuck to the gauchos.
If you are a newly pregnant lady or looking to be so soon, here was my strategy for clothing my plumping body while still saving money for diapers. Aside from the multitude of gauchos, I invested in the following:
One pair of maternity jeans, to be worn a million times. They could be dressed up and down and made into different outfits by changing tops, which were much cheaper than changing jeans.
One basic pair of black maternity pants.
Loads of long tank tops one size up from what I normally wore.
Elastic-waisted skirts. I already had loads of these but I stayed on the lookout for more that could work before and after baby.
Lots of granny panties. I was dealing with enough, my undies NEEDED to not give me grief. Get over your pride and do it. You will thank me.
In that same vein...nursing bras = well worth the extra money spent on them. I would pay full price for a good nursing bra again and again.
Stretchy long shirts a size larger than my normal size.
I only bought maternity items, other than the jeans and black pants, IF I could get them on super clearance, but overall I didn't buy many. I was able to wear cardigans and such over all of my shirts and tanks, making it really easy to change up the outfits without breaking the bank.
After the baby came I was left with a lot of clothes that I could still wear until I got back to my normal clothes, and I had no guilt over having spent money on an entire wardrobe that was now useless to me. In fact, shhhhh, I still wear some of the shirts and skirts that I wore when I was pregnant with BOTH boys. :)
So that was how I stayed clothed without breaking the bank. What was your strategy for not being nude while pregnant?

Be sure to check out my first posts in this series HERE!

Check out the Huggies Mommy Answers Facebook app!
Find more posts from bloggers sharing their experiences of motherhood on the Huggies page on BlogHer.com.

20 minute crafter-how to make fabric covered buttons!

Every so often I dismiss a 20 minute crafter idea because I think it's too simple or that everyone already knows how to do THAT.  And then I reconsider when I remember that just a few years ago, I would have had no idea how to do almost anything I can do now...I learned from Google.  I often say "With Jesus and Google I can do all things". :)

So here is a very simple 20 minute crafter...how to make those super cute fabric covered buttons that you can use for any number of things...from magnets to dresses.  It's a great way to use up your scraps...depending on the size you make you can use scraps as small as 1in squared!  Want to know how easy it is to make them? 
First, you need a kit like this.  You can buy it any any craft store for a couple of dollars.  MY favorite place to buy them is online at Tobysmom on Etsy.  They come in all sizes from bitty to huge!
Now, don't hate me, but I got a HUGE bag of multiple sizes at goodwill for less than $1. 
You'll need some scraps...
You start like this...you want enough so that the two sides almost touch if you were to fold them towards each other with the button blank in the middle.  
With the button still centered, push it into the white rubbery part of the kit. 
Trim the corners...
Fold the edges in...
Grab a button backing and...
...push down into the button blank...it may make a little "click".  
Pop the button out and you are done! 
It's a great little task to do while watching TV.  You can make these into barrettes and pins and magnets...add them to hoops, make them into earrings.

Easy!  Have fun making some!
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