He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young
. {Isaiah 40:11}

30 May 2012

Another Project Done!

Yesterday I shared this picture on Facebook...
I've made a bit of progress...
drumroll, please.......                                        
ta da!
It's the perfect table for our covered porch and I am so excited to have it!
I finished it yesterday afternoon and we've already used it three times!
Now, mind you, I still have some work to do to finish it...
As you can see...
 the table sits a bit high!
The first step to finishing it is to cut down the legs so the kids can actually use it.
Not gonna lie... 
this picture cracks me up!
I still need to fill, sand, stain, and seal the top and then paint the legs but for a days worth of work

More info coming soon on how I did it. In case you were wondering. 

OH! And a side note about the one beautiful hanging basket and the one pathetically sad dead one...
We have a guest!


23 May 2012

Individual Fruit Pizza

We had a baby shower for a beautiful friend this weekend who may very well be the cutest pregnant woman I've ever seen!

I was asked to make something to eat at the shower and of course I jumped at the chance to try out some new recipes I've found on Pinterest!
There has been a really fun fruit salad idea going around from The Entertaining Elf that's perfect for baby showers but it's a bit popular and I like off-beat so I opted for the fruit pizza idea I found at Joy Is At Home which I spun off of and used the Amazing Fruit Salsa recipe I love so much. 

So here's how it goes... 
What You'll Need: 
sugar cookies {baked and cooled}
1 container cool whip
8 oz cream cheese
1 batch of fruit salsa 

What To Do:
Mix cool whip and cream cheese together with a fork or hand mixer. {If you taste this mixture you'll notice that it's light on flavor but I promise you, that's just how you want it.}

Get your cookies handy...{I opted to save my time and use the Pillsbury cut and bake.
 They hold up well if the salsa gets juicy. I don't recommend using a soft sugar cookie recipe with this.}
   and then...
Finally, you send me a "thank you" card for finding and sharing this yummy-ness! 
Happy Day To You!!

20 May 2012

Amazing Fruit Salsa

I had this fruit salsa recipe for the first time about a year ago and loved it from the first bite.
My mother-in-law, the baker, brought up some up with her and I believe the recipe came to her from a woman in her home church in SouthWestern PA. 
It's pretty basic in it's ingredients and the results are, as I said, AMAZING! 

2 kiwi, peeled and diced
2 golden delicious apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 lb strawberries, diced
1 8 oz can pineapple chunks, undrained and cut into smaller pieces {or 1 c fresh pineapple}
3 Tbsp peach preserves
2 Tbsp white sugar {next time I make this I'm skipping the sugar to see how it goes}
1 Tbsp brown sugar {same here}
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 15 min.

C'est fini!  

This stuff is great with yogurt, granola, cinnamon chips, as fruit pizza, all on it's own...

17 May 2012

Curiosity Bottles

With some of this...
You can make some of these...

{1. oil, water, glitter 2. yarn, pom poms, beads, glitter, water 3 & 6. oil, water, food coloring, 4. pom poms, beaded necklace, beads, water 5& 7 beads, pom poms, oil}  

Now, "why would you?", you ask?
Because they're fun!
The kids shake 'em around and watch things settle.
I used dollar store super glue to seal the lids on in order to keep curious hands from making ridiculous messes

14 May 2012

Happy First Birthday, Bean!

Yesterday was a super special day!
Yesterday was Mothers' Day.
Yesterday was also Bean's first birthday!
This means it was time for our family's first birthday tradition...
you're very own personal birthday cake! {i.e. funfetti layer cake with whipped cream frosting}

I currently have a 1 year old, a two year old, and a three year old.
It's no wonder I'm so tired!

All the same,

11 May 2012


Why are you and I not sitting together, right now, with a cup of coffee and a plateful of these?...
or these...
or these...
 Excellent question, is it not?!

even if we can't be together today, we can still bake, right!
Or maybe I'll just take a nap...
Either way... HAPPY WEEKEND, friend!

07 May 2012

Whipped Cream for the Baby!

I have been feeling bad for Bean lately. Her personality has bloomed and she's so much fun! For whatever reason, she's still not walking or crawling, which is a story all on its own, but I have had a difficult time coming up with fun, hands on things for her to do.
And then it hit me!

I don't know if I saw the idea somewhere or just reworked something I learned from my substituting days but either way... I'm so glad we did!
 {I'm still looking for more ideas, pass them on if you have any, but in the meantime, this'll do!}

02 May 2012

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

So yesterday was the DIY mocha frappe {with caramel, of course!} and I mentioned that you can make your own chocolate syrup using milk and cocoa. I must correct myself... the recipe I had in mind was for hot fudge for an ice cream topping which is so delicious! This recipe calls for water, sugar,and cocoa... you can also add vanilla extract and salt.

So here it is... adapted from diy Natural

What You'll Need:
1 c water
1 c sugar (you can use organic cane sugar but I used plain white)
1/2 c cocoa (I used Hershey's Special Dark)

1/4 t vanilla extract (optional)
1/8 t sea salt (optional)

What To Do:
In a 2 quart pan (yes, 2 quart... I used a 1 quart and it nearly boiled over a couple of times) mix water, sugar, and cocoa over medium high heat and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, turn down to medium heat and stir continuously for 8-10 minutes. (Seriously, stir continuously because it will boil over!)

The syrup thickens as it cooks and eight minutes was good for me.
If  you're like me and you like things pretty basic, stop here. You're done.

If you'd like it to taste more like the Hershey's syrup you know and love, add the vanilla and salt after removing the pan from the heat and stir in well. (I don't particularly love the alcohol flavor of the extract so I skip them both.)

Leave the saucepan off the heat to cool and store in a container of your choosing. I use a pint sized mason jar with a screw on lid.

So yummy and makes great chocolate milk!

01 May 2012

Homemade Mocha Frappe

Yesterday I fussed a bit about my crazy life and my desperation to wind down...
Today, I share one delicious, though not the healthiest, did I mention DELICIOUS!? solution!
Homemade mocha frappe.
I found this recipe late last week and have made four of them in the past few days.
The good news: they're inexpensive, simple, amazing, and don't require you to hop in the car (though if you chose to enjoy this while locked alone inside your minivan, who could blame you?)
The bad news: they're addictive and maybe a little to easy and thus may adversely affect your waistline if you're not careful. Consider yourself warned.

The original recipe is from Women Living Well Ministries but, as usual, I made a few modifications based on my personal taste and health preferences. Let me explain... I skip the granulated sugar all together because the syrup and caramel have plenty. I don't use low fat milk because I believe that low-fat and no-fat foods just aren't good for you. No fat products often have chemical replacements for the sake of flavor and consistency. This is the same reason I skip the "no sugar" chocolate syrup. It sounds like a good idea but, once again, it's replaced with unnatural substitutes to make up for flavor. If you're really up for some amazing flavor, make your own homemade chocolate syrup with cream and cocoa.
Okay... enough of that! On to the goods...

Mocha Frappuccino
3/4 cup double-strength coffee
  1 tablespoons granulated sugar (optional)
1 cup full-fat milk
2 cups ice
3 Tbls. Hershey’s Chocolate syrup
3 Tbs whipped cream

Blend first five ingredients in a blender until smooth. Top with whipped cream if desired. 

Mocha Version:
For this version, add 3 tablespoons Hershey’s chocolate syrup to the original recipe and prepare as described. Top each glass with whipped cream, if desired.

Caramel Version:
For this version, add 3 tablespoons of caramel topping to the original recipe and prepare as described. Top each glass with whipped cream and drizzle additional caramel over the whipped cream.

I warn you... though this recipe may be good for your wallet, it is dangerously easy! Enjoy at your own risk!


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