20 minute crafter-wire bird nest pendants!

I thought I would whip up a little tutorial for these sweet little nests...because they are much easier than you think and Mother's Day is just around the corner.  Make one for your ma, grandma and all your girlfriends.  :) 
You can use any and all color of beads and wire.  
Here is what you need:
20-22 gauge wire-both produce a little different look
small beads that will fit on your wire
wire pliers (that is not what they are called is it?  but that is what comes to mind so I am going with it)
a round object that is roughly the size you will want of the INSIDE of your nest...a spoon handle, marker or something like that.  
Leaving a 2-3in tail start to wrap your round object with wire...
Wrap around lots of times...15 or so depending on the gauge of your wire...or whatever suits your fancy...
 ...slide the wire off when you are done wrapping...
 ...use your little tail to wrap around the nest once to hold everything together...cut the other tail (still attached to the wire supply) down to 6-8in...
...add your beads...
 ...curl the ends in with your pliers to hold them on there...
...curl that wire around the cozy them down in the nest...
...start to wrap your nest...around and around...
...in and through...
...when your long tail is down to 3-4in it's time to make loop for hanging...
...straighten it UP...
...fold it down...
...and then continue to wrap around the nest if need be...then tuck the end into the nest.  Be sure to hide the end of the wire well so it won't snag clothes or skin!
...and you are done.  Go make some for every lady you know!!

what i made for monday-white chocolate snickerdoodles

Julie posted this recipe forever and a day ago...onto my to-do list it went.  And sat. 
I bought the snickerdoodle mix months ago and it sat. 
Then in my search of what to make for this Monday it resurfaced.  And I had a cookie jar to fill. 

Now a disclaimer.  I'm lazier than Julie.  And our personal family crest says something to the effect of "thou shall not put fruit in cookies unless there is oatmeal to go with it therefore making them a breakfast food" or something like that.  The wording is fuzzy to me. 

So I tweaked Julies recipe just a bit...making them lazy and not as good for you but still AMAZING.  Like go find some snickerdoodle mix to make these, AMAZING! 

I have no trouble finding it at Target on a regular basis. 
So here you have it.  My version of Julies version of Betty Crockers version of this amazing snickerdoodle cookie.  I'll call it "white chocolate snickerdoodles".

Make them today and you will not regret it.

You need:
1 pouch Betty Crocker snickerdoodle cookie mix
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon water
1 egg
1 bag white chocolate chips

Beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth.

Add water, egg and cookie mix (setting aside cin/sug mixture) to cream cheese mixture.
Mix until soft dough forms.  Add the white chocolate chips.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

(Here comes the lazy part).

Place ping pong ball sized balls of dough two inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.  Sprinkle generously with the cinnamon and sugar mix.

Bake a 375ยบ for 8-9 minutes until edges are golden brown.  The tops may still look very light.
Cool a minute or two then transfer to cooling rack.  Resist the urge to eat them all.  If you are planning on sharing them like I am do that IMMEDIATELY!!

Thanks for sharing Julie!!

And I've been piddling around with wire and beads.  I've been wanting to teach myself to make these cute bird nests forever now and a photo of one popped up on my IG feed prompting a trip to Joanns.

A little bit later and here you have it.  I think this particular one would be wonderful for a foster mom...because of the rainbow of kids she is sure to see in her life! :)

Hope your Monday is SUPER! :)

huggies num 5!

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 about 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 two!

Now that you’ve survived the reign of the tyrant that is a newborn, you can lighten your load just a bit! You won’t need to haul around nearly as many diapers and clothes! Once your baby gets a little bigger, you will get into a nice rhythm and his needs will be a little more predictable. You will get to shed a few of the items from the previous bag and add a few new ones.

Stage Two of the diaper bag!

Here are some good things for the baby who passed through the newborn stage:
  • 3-4 diapers
  • travel case of wipes
  • one change of clothes
  • a few toys that they only see when you are out (keeps them “new” to them)
  • a couple of small books
  • spoons for feeding
  • food, when you start using it (both of my boys started solids around 6 months) (Confession: I almost never heated up baby food. Never. Terrible, huh?)
  • Cheerios or puffs once your baby can eat these
  • bags for diapers
  • hand wipes
  • nursing cover (good luck keeping it on now)
  • bottles, formula and water as needed
Don’t forget to update your emergency box in the car with bigger diapers and clothes! More than once I have reached in that box needing clothes for a 9-month baby and only have 3-month clothes and diapers! Oops!

You might also consider switching diaper bags at this point. I found that something a little more grownup-looking helped me feel a little better about hauling it around, though I always steered clear of anything that was obviously a diaper bag (think Pooh or Mickey). I was also able to use all my diaper bags with both boys so my investment was taken advantage of.
At this point I also bought one of those small bags that held a diaper, changing mat and wipes that I could pull out and hand over to the childcare worker, since at this point I was still carrying my personal items in the diaper bag.

What do you think? Anything you would add to this bag?

Be sure to check out my other posts on babies and their stages HERE! 

Don't forget to check out the Huggies Mommy Answers Facebook app and then visit the Huggies page on BlogHer.com to read about other bloggers' who share their own experiences of motherhood.

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! :) 

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. :)


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.

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!

$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. :)

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