Saturday, November 3, 2012

Menu Planner Printable

Another organizational tool I've been using lately is a menu plan.

The concept is nothing new, but I love the weight off my shoulders when the old 'what's for dinner?' line comes up. Check the fridge! If that doesn't sound good, skip to the next day!

 I go through the weeks circular, as well as our calendar, and plan out 7 meals before shopping. Usually I try to keep a rotating 'staple' or two on the list, something that I can almost always whip up with ingredients in the pantry, fridge and freezer, no matter when I last visited the grocery store. This helps when we have an unexpected change of plans, something that usually happens at least once a week around here. 

Today I'm sharing with you another FREE printable, click the link below to download, print, and place into a page protector or frame and you are set! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Girls' Shared Room Artwork

About two months ago we moved the girls back into one room together.
mornin' sunshine...nice hair!

 They have previously been together from when M was about 3-6 months old, but because she didn't yet sleep through the night, her cries and my efforts to soothe them often woke K up. In an effort to keep our kids from becoming sleep deprived zombies (like their mother) we moved K downstairs to the guest room/office. It was hard for me. I felt as though she was detached  alone and vulnerable sleeping downstairs with the rest of us upstairs. To go along with my 'mommy guilt' there was also the fact that she continued to wake at least 3 times a week and either call for me from downstairs or creep upstairs in the dark. Both of which broke my heart even more. 

Moving them back in together, while not ideal, seemed to be the best thing for now.

Not only did it curb my guilt over leaving my 4 year old vulnerable at night,
 it was something we need to do because the hubby's new job requires he work from a home office. The downstairs room was our only option for that, well, it was that or the garage. Hopefully I'll get around to a blog post on the downstairs room makeover soon. 

I'll eventually get to the topic of today's post, I promise!!!

The girls furniture was squeezed in together, some taken out for lack of space, and lots of toys were sorted through and given away.

The furniture doesn't match, but I have a feeling that M will be in her crib for another year TOPS. 
(K started to escape at 17 months, which gives me 2 more months of crib confined bliss if M is the same!) 
We will eventually get bunk beds or re arrange the room so M can sleep on the trundle.
That will free up some much desired breathing room in the cramped space, 
maybe, perhaps to be filled with a much desired dollhouse!

Until then, I have done some simple things to decorate the space, and make it more fun for the girls. Both of them LOVE the letters and pictures I have above their beds. 
For the letters, I just grabbed some board letters from Hobby Lobby and 
mod -podged on scraps leftover from M's crib bedding.

I quickly typed up some fun prints for the walls, things I have always sung or said to the girls. 
I'll posting them here so you can grab them if you want!
I used some frames from the dollar store and painted them to coordinate with the room, then used 3M strips to easily(and securely) hang everything on the wall.

M regularly points to it after naps and wants to see her picture up close, 
and K knows that her special letter is there just for her! 
 Kinsey particularly loves the ABC print, 
since she is working hard on learning to write her letters with me lately.

                                                                  Sunshine Download Here

                                                                  Alphabet Download Here

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Homemade Tortillas

On the Agenda today...tortillas! Warm, fluffy, melt in your mouth goodness straight off the griddle. 

This recipe was taught to me by my mother-in-law, a woman who has spent her entire life making tortillas for her family at least twice a week, not including the batch upon batch she prepared as a young lady in her family's restaurant. 

Once you make these the store bought kind will never be the same.

Don't say I didn't warn you!

Step One: Gather ingredients
3 C Flour + extra for rolling
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Salt
1/3 C Vegetable Shortening
Warm water (approx 2 cups)

Step Two: Combine dry ingredients in bowl (flour/salt/baking powder)

Step Three: Add shortening

Step Four: Mix by hand (trust me, it's messy but so much easier than a spoon)
The end result of the shortening/flour mixture should be the texture of sand.

Step Five: Add warm water- start with 1 1/2 C, then work up as needed until you have a dough that holds together but does not stick to your hands.
I usually mix this step with my bare hands as well.
 I'm already a floury mess at this point, so why not?

Step Six: Gently kneed dough (in bowl) until it is soft and not sticky.
You *may* need to add more flour to get it to a non-sticky stage, just play with it until it is easy to kneed without sticking all over.

Step Seven: Cover bowl with kitchen towel and let rest, anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours.
At this point the dough can be put into a ziplock bag and refrigerated up to 24 hours before rolling out.

Now for the process of dividing, rolling and cooking the tortillas.
While you are dividing the dough, set up your griddle, cast iron skillet or large saute pan on medium heat. 

Step Eight: Grab a small handful of dough,
 gently squeeze it between the thumb and forefinger until a ball squishes up.
Pinch off the ball and place it in on clean counter. 
Cover with kitchen towel while you do the next ball. 

You should get about 11-15 small balls, depending on the size you make. 
The bigger the ball, the larger the tortilla.

Step Nine: On a lightly floured surface, squish the ball into a small circle.
Using a floured rolling pin, gently roll in all directions, 
lifting, turning, and flipping the dough frequently to prevent sticking. 
Dough should be almost transparent when thin enough.

*don't worry about perfection here, it's the thick and thin parts and the wonky circles that let your guests know these are the REAL deal!*

Step Ten: Place on pre-heated griddle and let cook until bubbly.
Cook another 30 sec - 1 minute, until bits of brown appear. 

I prefer to place my tortillas between two kitchen towels as they are cooling, it keeps them warm and fresh longer and softens those crispy bits to perfection!

Step Eleven: Top with whatever your heart desires and enjoy!

Pork Carnitas with avocado and tomato on fresh know you want some!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Printable Chore Lists

My life is in need of some major organization lately! Do you ever stop and take a step back and wonder how things got so messy? I have a pretty good idea of when my order turned to's was the moment a became a mommy! Since there's no going back, there's only moving forward with better organizational tools to keep life on track and hopefully keep me sane.

I've been searching the depths of pinterest and google for ideas to sort order from the disorder that is running a household of four, and my first stops were simple and pretty papers to keep me on track with cleaning.

In the past I always did laundry on Monday, Shopping on Tuesday, Cleaning on Wednesday, etc. But with 2 munchkins life sometimes gets in the way of that strict of a schedule. I've been trying to do a load or two of laundry daily to keep that overwhelming laundry pile at bay, and I've recently found that one day for all the errands isn't always feasible when one munchkin needs a nap and the other decides to pretend she is the spawn of Satan in Target. It's life. You gotta roll with the punches sometimes.

So this little list was born in an effort to keep things orderly and make sure they get done on either a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. When placed into a frame under glass or a simple page protector on the fridge, a dry erase marker is an easy and reusable way to keep track of tasks.

I'm currently using the teal chevron print because it matches my kitchen/dining room, but I was nice enough to put together some other pattern & color combinations for those of you wanting a FREE download!
Grey/Teal Chevron                       Green Chevron                           Grey/Yellow Chevron
Tan Damask                                 Yellow  Moroccan                                   Grey Damask

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Kinsey's 4th Birthday!

I cannot believe I have a 4 year old. F O U R. wow.
I know it is cliche to say it, but man, time really does fly!

 I won't get all sappy on you (not right now at least) but instead 
share the details of the party I put together for my little princess!
First time using hot rollers...
Dessert Table with Crown Canopy (tutorial to come)

Dessert table:

 Cookie recipes via Sweet Sugarbelle here and icing recipe here

Ruffled cake tutorial via Sweetapolita here

Chocolate Cupcake recipe via My baking Addiction here (sooo delicious)

Cupcake toppers by Mod Ink Design here
Outside Decorations:

Tablecloths and runners from our wedding 8 years ago
(never imagined I would use them for my daughters party someday!)

Centerpieces: printables glued to foam board, stuck onto a popsicle stick,
placed in a mason jar or vase with tulle and tied up with a ribbon
Purchase printable princess images here 

Flag banner sew together with felt

Castle idea via Busy Budgeting Mama here
Inside Decorations:

Front Door Sign- Foam Board painted with DIY chalkboard paint, then colored on with a paint marker

DIY framed chalkboard sign inside

Birthday Banner over fireplace

"kiss the frog" game
As a party activity and party favor in one we did a crown decoration station

Crowns from Oriental Trading here and here

Additional stick on jewels here (no glue involved at all= no messy hands!)

The Princes also took home swords and the Princesses got jewels (necklaces and rings) and wands
Cake Time!

The princess and her little sister pictured enjoying their goodies
Playing in the Castle, opening presents, and Pretty Princesses all together

I think the party was a hit!

 Kinsey on Saturday night: "Mom, remember my party?" Me: "yes, it was today, I haven't forgotten" Kinsey: "Thank you mommy for the decorations, they were sooooooo pretty!"


 Although on Monday she was already trying to get me to start planning her next event....

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ikea Envy

Just a quick post so that I can share a great giveaway from one of my favorite blogs. We have been working on some reorganizing of the house and moving the girls back into one room together to free up some office space for the hubs new job. I'm having a drool fest over all the functional pieces at affordable prices from IKEA.Too bad the closest store is 6+ hours away in either Denver or Phoenix. Somehow the hubs thinks it's a little too far to travel just to shop at one store. I beg to differ. Right about now I am wishing we still lived in Seattle.

Here's the link to the fabulous Busy Budgeting Mama and her Big Girl Room Remodel!

Fingers crossed I win!

Friday, August 31, 2012

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8

A verse recited during our wedding ceremony 8 years ago. A typical wedding reading, I suppose, but true words nonetheless. Thought I would turn it into a wall hanging so I whipped up some type today-

Hopefully I'll have a finished product to show off on the walls soon!

Download Here

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Free Printables: Kids Storage Labels

In recently re-organizing my oldest daughters very small room, I used a variety of bins, baskets and buckets to keep sets of similar items together for her. At almost 4 she needs to get better about putting her toys away, so in an effort to help her in the process I designed some simple labels for her. The ones that she will be able to reach on her own (and be expected to put away on her own) have labels with pictures, the ones that are kept high out of her reach (and her little sisters) have word labels. 

Nothing fancy, nothing new, but I thought I would still offer them up for free to anyone who needed a little labeling in their life! Click each page to download and enjoy!

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tutorial: Magnetic Cake Stands

Today I am sharing a quick and easy variation on the standard DIY cakestand. I grew tried of trying to find a place to store a bulky stand in my small kitchen and also wanted something that could be changed to coordinate with the theme of a party. The result of my brainstorming was this: A magnetic cake stand!

 You will need 4 simple things - 
-a candleholder of any style (green one found at Target dollar bins for $2, glass one from dollar store 2/$1)
- plate- plastic, glass, ceramic, etc. (plate shown is melamine from dollar store)
- flat magnets (purchased at Hobby Lobby for $2.99 with 40% off coupon)
- glue gun (or super glue if you prefer to stick your fingers together rather than burn them like me)
 Total Cost = $6 for two stands

It's as easy as 1,2,3! 
Glue a magnet to the candlestick, glue a magnet to the bottom of the plate, place them together! 

***It is however important to check that you line up the polarity of the magnets so they attach to each other, not separate!***
 Candlestick is now still available to use to hold a candle & the plate can be washed and used as normal!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Makayla's Very Hungry Caterpillar Party

Today I will sharing the 1st Birthday party we had for Makayla based on Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar. In brainstorming theme's for her party I came across so many cute ideas, but when I saw a party based on this book I knew it was the perfect choice for our little girl. Not only can she eat more than her big sister, but she also was a caterpillar for her first Halloween (costume by me).  Big Sister Kinsey was a ladybug for her first Halloween and then had a ladybug first birthday, so it just seemed to fit.

I designed the invitations, cupcake toppers, signs, banners and thank you cards with my limited (but growing) photoshop knowledge. It was really fun learning new things in the process!
Top Left- Birthday Welcome Sign, Top Right- Cupcake Toppers,
Bottom Right- Invitation, Bottom Left- Thank You notes
Most items available for purchase at my design shop ModInk Design 
Buttercream iced cake and smash cake with hand painted fondant fruit and fondant caterpillar, done by me
Birthday girl enjoying her rainbow smash cake, and sharing with her almost one-year old cousin Eleanor!

Surprise! Rainbow cake inside!

Cupcakes with toppers I designed, available for purchase at my design shop ModInk Design here

Month by month photos in a caterpillar design

Top- Fabric wrapped canvas artwork,
 Middle Left- fruit from the VHC Book, Middle Right- Tissue paper flowers and toppers as centerpieces in dollar store baskets
Bottom Left- Activity center with butterfly's to color and caterpillars to glue together
Bottom Right- More printables from Polka Dots and Puppies

Makayla in her birthday dress designed and sewed by myself, with Eric Carle fabric and Caterpillar applique

Opening Presents and having fun!
We had Makayla's keepsake copy of the book out for guests to write a special note in

The little guests all got either a bug kit with snacks inside or a stuffed caterpillar (depending on their age) which I forgot to take photos of! We had a blast celebrating our baby girl's first year, here's to many, many more birthday celebrations!


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