The Lord bless you and keep you

The Lord make his face to shine upon you

and be gracious to you

The Lord lift up his countenance upon you

and give you peace…Numbers 6:24

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Christmas Eve Creamy Crockpot Hot Chocolate

Christmas Eve Creamy Crockpot Hot Chocolate - 1.5 cups heavy cream, 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14oz), 2 cups milk chocolate chips, 6 cups of milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract. Yum!---have to remember this at christmas this year!!

And from Real Mom Kitchen:

Peppermint Whipped Cream. Perfect for hot chocolate..

My favorite way to top my hot cocoa or hot chocolate with whipped cream. This is an easy peppermint whipped cream recipe.  I love this on top of  hot chocolate.  If served right away,   the crunchy bits of candy cane add texture to the cream.  If served after a while, the candy canes completely dissolve for a delicious creamy topping.  Peppermint Cream also works well served on top of chocolate pie, brownies, cupcakes, etc.  
Peppermint Whipped Cream
  6 red and white peppermint candy canes or 24 red and white mini peppermint candy canes
  2 cups of whipping cream
  1. Unwrap your candy canes and place them in a blender or food processor. I like to break them into pieces as I add them to the blender.
  2. Process until the candy canes util they are a fairly fine powder.
  3. In another bowl, whip cream until firm. No need to add sugar. The sweetness will come from the candy canes.
  4. Fold in the candy cane powder in the cream. Use immediately to top you cocoa if you like little pieces of crunchy candy cane in it (This is the way I like it). Or place in the refrigerator for 2 hours and allow the candy canes to completely dissolve.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Meet the Dubiens: make your own rainbow watercolors

Meet the Dubiens: make your own rainbow watercolors:I found the idea of making your own homemade watercolor paints on Martha Stewart and I absolutely loved it. Now that we've made our own watercolors, I'll never use anything else. These watercolors are absolutely amazing. I think they are far superior to any other watercolor paints I had previously purchased for my kiddos. It also makes quite a bit, so I bought some awesome individual containers and just close the lid after we use them and have lots leftover for the next time. I also love that you can control how bright/vibrant the colors will be by adding either a little or a lot of food coloring. I like vibrant, so that's exactly what mine are. I'm including this craft in our St. Patrick's day activities because we used our watercolors to make beautiful rainbows. Cam really wasn't interested in making rainbows, but Kirsten was really excited and did an amazing job. She painted four of them! I framed one of them and it looks amazing. Here are the instructions to make your own watercolors:

What you'll need (for each color):

2 tbsp baking soda
1 tbsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp light corn syrup
1 tbsp cornstarch

We made 6 colors - so you will need 6x the above ingredients

gel food coloring
6 bowls
airtight containers

watercolor paper

* This recipe made a large batch and I was able to make a set for both Kirsten and Camden to have their own *


1. in each bowl add the above ingredients - 2 tbsp baking soda, 1 tbsp white vinegar, 1/4 tsp light corn syrup, 1 tbsp cornstarch. Mix until everything is well dissolved. If the mixture is too thick, add a little bit more vinegar. You basically want it to be like an oobleck or gak consistency (can be formed but then melts away if you let it go).

2. add your food coloring to each bowl and mix well - we did a rainbow of colors - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple.

3. pour your paint mixture into individual containers, leave the lids off and allow to dry completely - at least overnight.

4. give the paints to your kiddos (I made a set for each kid) with a paint brush, watercolor paper and a cup of water and let them paint away!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

How to Make a Fall Wreath with Corn Tassels!

This is a wonderful tutorial from Brooke from All Things Thrifty Blog. At almost no cost, this wreath
 is fun and easy to make!

"My name is Brooke  and I normally blog over at All Things Thrifty where I post about my thrifty decorating addiction! Let me tell you a little about myself before we get going! In a nutshell, I grew up on a farm in Central Utah. I’m a mom of four little kiddos, and I love to decorate. My sisters, my mom, and I love to craft together, and the project I’m sharing with you today happens to be a wreath that my Sister Natalie made. I’m a super thrifty gal and I love to teach my tips and tricks. I’m telling ya peeps, sometimes the cheapest projects turn out the very best around my house. My favorite way to decorate my home is with ultra unique items that can’t be bought in any store. Come check out some of my furniture transformations, and you will see what I mean! I am thrilled to be part of Amy’s Fall Festival today, and I was super excited that she asked me to participate! Let’s get started!
This project most likely won’t cost you a dime to make.

You can’t beat FREE right!?!?

You will need:
A corn field {HA! yep, I said a corn field}
A plastic bag
A pool noodle {Summer is over so just use an old one you have laying around or go buy
one for $1 or less}
Some duct tape.
*Before you to stalking through the corn field off in the boonies, please ask permission. :)
Step 1: Gather 4 bags full of corn tassels.   Scissors work great for this. The tassel is the very top of the corn stalk in case you didn’t know.
Try your darndest to get tassels that are straight instead of tassels that spray all over the place..
Step 2: After you have a bag full of tassels, you need to make a pool noodle wreath by cutting it and duct taping it together. You can spray paint it if you want, but really no one will see the pool noodle once you are done.

Step 3: Divide your tassels into separate piles depending

      on their lengths. You can cut down your tassels if you need to.

Step 4: Make a small hole in the noodle with the end of your scissors and slide in your tassel one at a time. Start at the back with your longest {and straightest} corn tassels.

Step 5: Continue layering your tassels into your pool noodle until it is full.

The only thing that would make this wreath better is if it were MINE instead of my Sister’s. Don’t you think she should make me one? I think so!

I think a trio of corn tassel wreaths would be darling on my front door to celebrate FALL. I hope that you have enjoyed this fun {and more importantly basically FREE} idea, come visit me over at my blog! I would love to have you!

Brooke from All Things Thrifty

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Creative Vault: Antique Week: Delicate Flowers

The Creative Vault: Antique Week: Delicate Flowers: here is a delightful assortment of pics of Alicia's Mother's collection of tins. Love it all!

Love the green leaf tea cup and saucer

The tin on the left is my favorite

love the doilies and oil lamps

beautiful china

calico china is so collectable

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Cherry Pie Fluff or Pink Fluff

This recipe was shared by The Better Baker Blog. We have cherry pie fluff every Thanksgiving! We call it Aunt Sherry's Pink Fluff.
1 (20 oz) can no sugar added cherry pie filling
1 (4 serv. size) box sugar free cheesecake pudding mix
8 ozs. fat free cool whip
Combine cherry pie filling with pudding mix.  
Fold in cool whip.
Chill and enjoy.
Points (Prior to Points Plus):
heaping 3/4 c. = 3 points
                                                    2/3 c. = 2 points

Friday, June 15, 2012

Father's Day Tips and Ideas

With Father's Day fast approaching, I came across this article full of great ideas for celebrating Dad's special day! Happy Father's Day to all dads for all of your hard work and love!

Cinnamon Banana Cake

Scrumptious recipe from The Creation Room:
Cinnamon Banana Cake
1 cup butter  
1 cup sugar
2 ripe bananas
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 dash salt
3 cups flour
1 pint sour cream (2 cups) or vanilla yogurt
Blend butter, sugar, bananas, eggs and vanilla. Add remaining ingredients. In another bowl make the filling.
Filling: 1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs. cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 cup chocolate chips (optional…but why wouldn’t you?)
Layer batter and filling twice in a 9X13 dish. Bake 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.
* Sometimes the middle of the cake needs to bake longer.  If so, put foil over the cake after the 45 minutes and bake it for another 5 minutes.  Test with a toothpick in the middle to see if the batter sticks to it, if it comes out clean…the cake is finished.

Homemade Limeade

I found this fabulous new recipe for a thirsty summer day from the blog The Idea Room:
Fresh Limeade Recipe
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Lime Juice (about 6 limes)
  • 2/3 cup Sugar, Granulated
  • 2 quarts cold water
  1. Cut limes in half and squeeze lime juice into a 2 quart pitcher. Add Sugar and stir until dissolved. Fill pitcher with cold water, stir and chill in refrigerator. 
  2. The juice can also be frozen for a sweet treat : )

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Vanilla-glazed Lemon Loaf Cake

I found this recipe on Mums in the Kitchen blog. It looks so delicious and is perfect for tea time.

1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar
125g butter, at room temperature, chopped
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 lemon, rind finely grated

Vanilla Glaze:
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
30g butter, melted
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 170 degrees, or 150 fan-forced.  Grease and line an 11cm x 23cm loaf pan.

Sift together the flour and baking powder.  Place eggs and caster sugar into a food processor and process until pale.  Add butter and process until thick and creamy.  Add buttermilk and rind, and pulse until combined.  Add flour mixture and pulse until a batter forms.

Fill prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make Vanilla Glaze - combine all ingredients in a bowl until smooth.

Remove cake from pan and brush glaze over cake. Cool cake completely on a wire rack, then serve.

Shabby Chic designer style

I've always loved shabby chic cottage style decor. One favorite bedding collection of mine is Ralph Lauren's Home Lake bedding collection. Sadly, it is discontinued but can still be purchased on ebay or amazon.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Kindness Kingdom

I found a new game that is just perfect for the summer break. It's called Kindness Kingdom. This wonderful game teaches empathy for others, kindess and general manners. What a lovely way to bond as a family!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Charming Quilts

 Patricia Wood & Co. of Harbor Springs, MI is a premier interior design firm that has a shop where they sell quilted upholstered pieces. Aren't they charming? I thought you might be inspired to reupholster your own furniture!

EmmmyLizzzy: Doily lamp tutorial. Finally!

EmmmyLizzzy: Doily lamp tutorial. Finally!: Well written tutorial for a doily lamp. Congrats-looks great!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mod Podge Rocks!: Cute boo-boo box tutorial.

Mod Podge Rocks!: Cute boo-boo box tutorial.: Kelly from Running with Glitter decorated an old Altoids tin to be a kids' "boo-boo" box, which is a great idea when you need minor medical care on the go. Slip it into your purse and take it to the park just in case. You'll also like the printable she used, which you can add to anything - not just a boo-boo box.

Monday, May 14, 2012

U.S. News Top 10 Beaches in the USA part 2

  Second on the list of Top 10 Best Beaches in the US  is the US Virgin Islands. I was very fortunate to have visited all three US Islands: St. John, 
St. Thomas and St. Croix.
    Our travels to the USVI were for a mission trip. As soon a we arrived, we were greeted the wonderful hospitality of the Islanders. Our host was a native of St. Croix and showed us all the best restaurants and activities.  I'll never forget trying Conch soup or freshly made peanut butter ice cream for the first time. You will have to leave the fast city pace behind, because as our hosts told us- you are on island time now! 
     We went snorkeling at St. Thomas' underwater State Park. It was beautifully laid out with a series of underwater plaques explaining the vegetation and fish, landmarks and history. We had the opportunity to go on several diving expeditions. I was a newbie at diving. I loved every moment of our underwater journey. I was only terrified the first 10 minutes! After I got my bearings, I was mesmerized by the beauty of the Caribbean ocean. I was also comforted by our guide who was a former US Naval Seabee! I would highly recommend a vacation to the islands.

Frederiksted pier is teaming with vibrant coral and colorful sea life. The pier is a great place for both diving and snorkeling.

Magens Bay in northern St. Thomas is one of the most popular beaches in the Caribbean.

Coral World Ocean Park, St. Thomas

 A coastal view of the Buck Island National Monument, St. Croix.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Easy Peasy Sopapilla Cheesecake

Awesome recipe from: My Yellow Umbrella:
-2 cans pillsbury butter crescent rolls
-2 (8oz) packages cream cheese (softened)
-1 cup sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1/4 cup butter (melted)
-Cinnamon & sugar

Unroll and spread 1 can crescent rolls on bottom of un-greased pan. Combine softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Spread mixture over crescent rolls. Unroll and spread remaining crescent rolls over mixture. Spread melted butter over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

My Yellow Umbrella had lots of feedback with variations on this recipe as well as ideas to make it with fewer calories. Check out her post to see all the info. Adorbs!

Juggling With Kids: No-Bake Energy Bites


                   I was on Pinterest and came across this recipe. They look delish!

1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1/3 cup honey
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let it chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
Once the mix is chilled, roll into balls. <3

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Ten Best Beaches in the US

  I'm yearning for a beach! I was doing a little research this afternoon and came upon this article by US News that I wanted to share with you. I have visited most of these beaches on this list so I know this to be a good listing. Hope you enjoy!

#1: Maui

Formal Fountain at the Main Pool
     The first visit I had we were booked at the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea. Visitors that golf will enjoy the beautiful Wailea golf course. There is also a wonderful spa and plenty of shopping. The resort is an enclave located on the southwest coast of Maui.
Al Fresco Dining 
Balcony view
beautiful Four Seasons beach

On our second visit to Maui we stayed at the Grand Wailea, A Waldorf-Astoria Resort. In my opinion this is a wonderful place to stay for families. My youngest was 6 and my eldest was 16 when we visited there. Everyone had plenty to do. The kids spent most of their time at the pool area:

There is a fantastic water park with rides and pools.

This ride would slide down and up while you were seated.
Great slide for the kids!
A rope swing provides more fun for the kiddos.
Kid's Activities
Dining Al Fresco at sunset

Beautiful Chapel for weddings

No.s 2-10 will be posted over the next few days. Hope you are able to enjoy a trip to Maui someday. We had several more trips there over the years as a couple and as a family. We have many wonderful memories...