Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter Pretties

Classic Jelly Beans all in a row

Ahh, I'm such a GIRL!! Easter is a top fav of mine because I'm all about the pastels, Sunday hats, and pretty things. It's all the girly stuff twirled into one holiday. And for a girly-girl that lives in a houseful of BOYS, I claim this day.

My Easter basket I had as a girl growing up

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Several of you have requested some quick and easy goodies for those moments when your time runs in the red. These Pastel Cake Cookies are EXTRA easy and very soft! They turn out super cute too, which is an added bonus. Enjoy!

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The boys always look forward to pulling out
the BOOKS of the SEASON


Jesus loves me, this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
they are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me,
The Bible tells me so.

There is no easier way to see Jesus' love than on Easter Sunday. A little bird told me that Jesus died on a cross for us...THEN...rose again on the third day.

I can't imagine ever doing anything like that for people I didn't know or people who didn't like me. In fact, I can't imagine doing that for people that I do know...

Turquoise cross given to me by a forever friend

Align Center
Little Bunny made for me by my late Great Grandma Henderson

In our self-absorbed world, it is {extra} refreshing to hear the Easter story and SEE such a massive love! This is why we celebrate. It's time for RENEWAL and FRESH BEGINNINGS of this season!

Yes, these cheesy ducks stay
because they were my first Easter decor
as a young married girl!

from our Home Sweet Home
to YOUR Home Sweet Home
This post is linked to: Show and Share Day, Whatever goes Wednesday, Show and Tell, Today's Creative Blog, DIY DAY

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

COLOR Dinner Party for KIDS

What is exciting about a plain, round, cake with dips and peaks of white frosting?

This unassuming cake looks dull for a little 6 year old's birthday...BUT...a surprise burst of color is revealed when it is cut into!

Start with some bold food coloring

Make it bright...

Ready to bake.

The COLOR cake for Titus!

The central theme for Titus' SWEET SIXTH birthday was all about COLOR! We kicked off the theme earlier with these super colorful swirls of LOLLIPOP COOKIES. To finish Titus' birthday celebrations we had an intimate family dinner party, once again, swelling with color.

-I made chalkboard placemats by buying a big sheet of wood from Lowe's and cutting them into placemat size.

-I then painted each placemat with chalkboard paint.

Each kids' table had empty silver food cans
full of colorful chalk.

This is the IDEAL kids' placemat,
promising instant entertainment
at the dinner table.

This is smart little Tavius,
our sweet cousin,

who completed our team of boys!

And since this dinner party was for kids,
another fun table setting element was their napkin rings:
I used mini slinky toys for napkin rings!

Even the goody bowls were
saturated with COLOR.

Chalkboard placemats were used
as a BIRTHDAY banner

A handful of colorful M&Ms hold up the dining flatware
(and serve as the PERFECT substitution for an after dinner mint)

We served an Italian dinner with CARRY OUT PIZZA as the main course.
My {lifesaver} cousin, Jessica,
made us this delicious garlic bread
with bubbles of mozzarella cheese!

And every time I serve Italian, I love to include this salad
with homemade creamy Parmesan dressing.
It's a favorite of mine.

I would like to share something from my heart before I call it a wrap!

Usually parties and dinners come together fairly easy for me (just like math problems or sewing may come together for YOU...but not for me!). However this night, I was a victim of my OWN poor time management and planning for this little event. This caused a nervous rush as I was working to the minute to have it all complete before the evening began. Thank goodness for my cousin Jessica and her quick help! That girl can get things's crazy!

Because I was in a mad rush, I snapped at my boys and didn't send out cheerful love. After the evening was over and I was cozy in bed, my mind thought of what a big blessing a HAPPY Momma is to her children...and how, in my attempt to give my LITTLE TITUS the best "Happy Birthday" memory ever, I snapped at him with a frown instead. My heart was sad and I wanted to gather my boys in my arms and send out that cheerful warm love instead! How much MORE important a gift of happy love would have been to them than this little dinner. Thank goodness I will get many chances to redeem myself BUT this was a small lesson for me to always keep it in perspective and to ZERO in on my priorities:

The TONE of a household is much more valuable than the PRESENTATION of a household.

And now, loveies, it's a wrap!
This post is linked to: Works for Me Wednesday, Today's Creative Blog, DIY Day Just for the Joy, Tablescape Thurs., Inspired Room

Thursday, March 18, 2010

LollipOp cOOkies and Clowns

Lollipop Cookies for my Sweet Six Year Old!

Our littlest man turned 6 in this
month of March!

Titus Christopher
~cutest little six year old on the block (of course!)~

Last year we did a big dinosaur party for him with friends.

This year we didn't do a big party gathering. Instead, we did a SURPRISE visit at his school and a family dinner later in the week. Today, I wanted to share about the surprise school visit....later this month I will share about the family dinner.

My oldest son, Skyler and I made some Lollipop Cookies to take to all the kids in Titus' classroom at school! They turned out super adorable! But of course if you put anything on a lollipop stick and tie it with ribbon, CUTE-NESS is guaranteed!

I found this recipe on my always favorite, They took a trillion hours to make soooo I won't be making them again. *wink*

We dyed parts of sugar cookie dough a variety
of super vibrant colors!

Then we did a lot of balling, smooshing (is that even a word?!), and rolling.
Aww, they look like little beach balls!

Then we made creepy snakes out of them
and twirled them into loopy circles
for the whole swirly effect.

***Before baking, I inserted the sticks. I dipped the ends of the sticks in egg whites to help the sticks stay like glue because I knew a big handful of kids would be not so gentle with these precious cookies that took billions of hours to make.***

And...TA DA!
The most colorful cookies in the world
for a classroom of happy, full of color and life, kids!
OKAY. These are ready to go.

I also hired a clown to pop over to the boys' school and surprise the entire classroom! The clown made animal balloons for each child. I did feel bad for his teacher as I'm sure it was hard to focus on READING, WRITING, and ARITHMETIC after
the sugar on a stick,
and balloons,
and clowns...

Titus was super shy when the clown walked in to the chorus of

But his older brother helped him to warm up to the clown...

A room full of excited kids await their balloon animal!

Titus got a TINY TURTLE which is IDEAL for his personality!

Happy {Sweet} Birthday Titus
Each student got to take home an animal balloon and cookie lollipop.

Speaking of ways to make life extra special for the little feet and hands in our MUST visit Hoity Toity Baby! Every detail is special, ideal for our little loves!

My Sweet Friend, Nicole, owner of Hoity Toity, is giving away a lot of super unique and fun treats on her site. But you only have until Friday to enter!

This post is linked to: Weekend Wrap UP, Today's Creative Blog Show and Tell, Works for Me Wednesday, The Inspired Room Do It Yourself Day,

Monday, March 15, 2010

S.O.S {I Need YOUR help}

***UPDATE 3-19-2010***
I won this contest because of EACH ONE OF YOU! Thank you SO much! :)

I would love and SO appreciate your help!
I'm sending out an extra urgent plea
to all you lovies out there!
I have a chance to win a $100 Antropologie gift card.

... so...YES...naturally,

I'm literally ON MY KNEES asking for your help. *wink*

I have been selected as 1 of 6 finalists for The Imperfect Party Challenge. The party that receives the most comments ON THE CITY CRADLE WEBSITE (not my blog) will be the WINNER. Seriously, I'm skipping inside over this chance for a little Anthropologie love!

Here's How YOU can Help:
Simply leave a comment after the post written about my party HERE or HERE or even HERE to vote for me.

Thank you Muchly! I SO appreciate this...more than you know!

This post is linked to: Whatever Goes Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Homemaker who isn't HOME

How to be a homemaker
when you're not home:

It's not about whether you stay home
or whether you work,
it's about having a HEART to nurture your loved ones
in a home sweet home.

(This image used from Etsy)

This is for the wives, moms, and all the sweet girls! Snuggle up with a fluffy pillow for a few because I want to share a bit of my heart and some tips too!

Are you a home-MAKER?
A homemaker is someone who makes a house a home
with beauty in the details and peace in the heart,
it's that simple.

I want to focus on the working girls today
, providing some tips to make it easier to create a home when you work! I am a wife and mom who works as a home school teacher at home. However, in the recent past I was a girl who worked outside the home. I managed a little health club in our town working long {lots of extra!!} hours! I can relate to the insanity of honestly having zero time to even think about the silly details of life like "what colors coordinated best with the table setting I was preparing for guests...who cares!...just set the table."
Yes, I GET it.

Women wear lots of hats...
(Image used from Google)

Whether you're a Mom, or a Wife, or simply a Sweet Girl, women undoubtedly carry a strong influence over the tone of the household. We should guard this fact with respect, never abusing it or neglecting it. Take it as a treasure in our hands and find ways to utilize the opportunity to create beauty and peace within our homes.

Beauty is in the DETAILS (part 1)

and peace is in the HEART (part 2)

PART ONE: Beauty is in the Details

~ Right before your shower or your bedtime routine do a quick house sparkle. You just need 10 minutes. Run through the house with a pretty woven basket and put all loose clutter in the basket. Keep a big duster in the basket and as you're moving along quickly dust the highly visible tops of furniture. Take a mini vacuum and vacuum the entry quickly. Scrub your kitchen sink and polish it with a dishcloth.

~ When you come home from work don't set all your stuff in the doorway. Delegate a special spot in the house for your purse/briefcase, coat, keys, etc and PUT THEM away OUT OF SIGHT as soon as you get home! This mentally prepares you for HOME and you don't have reminders of work staring at you.

~ Light a mildly scented candle in the winter or spray some Febreze freshener in the Summer. Don't use the candles in warmer months. It makes the air feel too heavy.

~ Only start a 2nd load of laundry if your 1st load is completely finished and put away. (I'm talking to ME here!)

~If you are desperately short on time on a consistent basis you should buy small rectangle laundry baskets. When you fold your laundry sort the newly folded clothes in different baskets. Then set the baskets in your closets and use clothes right out of the basket. This saves a super busy girl the extra step of putting everything away!

~ So you work 100 hours a week and home decorating is something you only see in magazines. That's okay. Buy some cut flowers at the grocery store and set them center of your table.
And actually, in a busy household LESS IS MORE with home decor. Don't over do the accessories. It is just more stuff to clean. Find a cozy lamp and a stack of pretty books and maybe add a favorite thing or two to your rooms.

~Clean is the best decor for a beautiful home! If you can't keep what you have clean, please don't buy more.

Obviously, this list is just a start to creating beauty in your home sweet home.

Next up...

Part Two: Peace is in the heart

~ If you're stressed or frazzled seriously lock yourself in the bathroom for 60 seconds and take 10 deep breaths s.l.o.w.l.y. Really. This helps. Don't flight around the house sharing your agony with the household.

~ Absolutely cook in bulk! This is a huge time saver that will calm your spirit. Make your meals on the weekend. Make a stack of sandwiches and cut up veggies. Seal it all in Tupperware and have them ready in the fridge! If you don't like to cook, use a Meal Prep kitchen near you. (I will be doing a post on this in the near future!)

~ Use a planner and take an hour each Sunday (or your day off) to think ahead through the week.

~ Books. Yes. Even if you're not reading them you should put an exciting Summer novel on the nightstand or stand a worn classic proudly by the fireplace. It will bring peace. Books just do that. Think library.

~ Calm your anxious heart. Take a few minutes a day to pray or dig into the Word. Bible verses are soothing and comforting for all hearts.

~ Refuse negative thoughts. A depressed and down spirit smothers the entire household with a heaviness that is difficult to lift. Think of your thankful list to help fight off negativity.

~ Create a quiet place. I would even say no to soft music. You are out in the clamor of the world all day. Quiet your home sweet home. Save the music for the weekend. Turn all loud distractions off when the family is home together at night. Allow your mind to rest. Quiet peace is good...just a reminder to our generation. ;)

A place of beauty and peace
(Image from country living)

Remember, you have the power to create
a haven,
or a hell,
or just a half-hearted home.

What have you chosen?

As women, we have the responsibility to build a retreat within our walls for each member who abides there. Please don't take that duty lightly. Our children will have forever memories of the house we made for them. Our husbands value a truly feminine woman who will create beauty with her hands and spread peace with her heart, making a home sweet home.

SO. Go tomorrow,
leave for work to use your sharp intellect in the world making a difference!
BUT. return tomorrow
and finish your work in the hearts of those who love you and trust you to make a house of beauty as a