life lately.

I'd rather have long, uninterrupted conversations in the car with my husband than to be able to say "my kids never watch TV in the car".  Thank you DVD player and headphones on long trips.
Thank you robins for coming back!  Counting the days to see your babies!
Hi Jack.  Please stop growing. 
 Making a wish.  Please come true!
I love goodwill.  I love $100 file cabinets for 85% off.  
I love giving old things new life.
I love adding my name to my favorite things.  Just living my brand.
How old is he again?
Loving the freedom of "free sew" time.  And the mug rugs that are born of that time.
Love this bike fabric so much that I fussy cut out each bike to use one at a time. :)
My prescription for stress-ure.  {stress+pressure}.  Weight gain is worth it.  Totally.  
Loving this $3.08 trip to CVS.  My stockpile is a glorious sight.

What are you loving?  What are you up to?  Leave me a link to a blog post so I can come visit! :) 
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yummy lasagna!

It's my personal philosophy that you should try to make everything from scratch at least once in your life.  You just never know what you are missing out on by running to the freezer section of the store every time.  Sometimes it's nothing but sometimes you are missing out big.  Whether it's a pie crust or a cake or meatloaf...at least try to make it from scratch at least once, you might decide that you can't have it any other way. :)

Case in point.  This lasagna.  Or specifically this sauce!   Oh man...it was SO good that I was eating the sauce alone, by the spoonful!
For the sauce:
1 pound sweet Italian sausage (cooked and crumbled-I had to buy the links and de-skin them)
1 pound lean ground beef (cooked and crumbled)
1/2 cup minced onion (I put the garlic and onion in my food processor and ran it until they reached the "minced" stage)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Mix all of the above together and cook on low in your crock pot for 3-4 hours.

1 box lasagna noodles (I used the oven ready kind that you don't have to pre-cook)
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups mozzarella cheese shredded (I actually used a mozz/provolone mixture)
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

Mix together the ricotta, egg and salt.

In the bottom of a 9 x 13in pan add about 1 1/2 -2 cups of sauce, add a layer of noodles, cover with half of the ricotta mixture, a third of the cheeses, sauce, noodles, ricotta, cheese, sauce, cheese. :)

Bake at 375 covered with foil for 25 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 25-30 minutes or until cooked through and bubbly. :)

Enjoy!
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huggies num 4!


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 topic is the diaper bag (post 1)!
For the first-time mom, the diaper bag can be a little overwhelming. I will admit that we nearly took a suitcase to the hospital because, well, I had never HAD a baby before. I had no idea what I would need or want or desire to have with me. Lucky for me, I got a do-over with Aaron, and along with some experience with Moses I found a good rhythm with the diaper bags. I’m going to break this up into THREE separate posts because it’s been my experience that there are three different stages to the diaper bag.

Stage One is the newborn stage.
Honestly, it’s more simple than I made it the first time. You want to find a good solid bag with lots of pockets, inside and outside. Pockets will keep you more organized, and when you have a screaming baby you’ll know exactly where to find something.

Here’s a good list of what to add to your day-to-day bag:
  • 5-7 diapers
  • a package of travel wipes or one of those hard cases filled with lots of wipes
  • two changes of clothes, including socks (never underestimate the wide range that poop can cover)
  • if you are nursing, include your cover
  • if you bottle-feed, be sure to bring bottles, formula and water
  • a pacifier or two
  • a changing pad
  • small plastic bags (for diapers and blowouts)
  • granola bars or snacks for mom
  • sanitizing wipes for your hands
  • bum cream/baby powder
  • a small extra blanket
I carried my wallet and phone in the diaper bag for the first couple of months, but that was a pain whenever I wanted to leave Aaron and the diaper bag with someone.

I also had an emergency box in the car that had a little of everything above just in case. It stayed in the car at all times and saved my butt more times than I could count! More than once I have needed a diaper, wipe or change of clothes that I kept in there. In addition to the items above I also kept a towel (or paper towels).

That is what I carried with me everywhere I went for the first few months. It seems like a lot...but if you are organized, all of the above will fit nicely and keep you from getting in a bind!

Can you think of anything I missed? What else would you add to the newborn diaper bag?

Be sure to check out my other posts on motherhood 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.
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quilting again.







I've decided to make a HUGE quilt for my own bed. 
Like king size...that will be sent off to be quilted.

If you knew what was going on in my life at the moment, or what is on the horizon, you would think I am crazy for starting this.  And you would be right.  But...I need the distraction I guess.  And the prayer time.

I am using a simple method that results in a quilt that looks much more complicated than it is.  It's called a disappearing nine patch....maybe a tutorial is in order because it really results in an impressive looking quilt with not much effort.  The fabrics are randomly collected and put together on impulse but I am loving how they are coming together. :)

And because I know so many of you care...Friday is a BIG HUGE life changing kind of day for us.  If you could be praying for us that day, it would be much appreciated. :) I can't say why here, but if you would like the details just email me and I will be more than happy to oblige.

I'm praying that soon and very soon I can share the awesome story of what God has been doing in our lives lately...

Until then...have a super day friends!
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$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...
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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
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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. :)

xo
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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...
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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! :)

xo
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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.  
Ahh...happiness. 
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! :)
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