Monday, August 19, 2013

Carnival Party

Last week my little girl turned 6. I'm am totally amazed at the wonderful little girl she is becoming but in all honesty it is happening way way too fast. 
We originally planned to celebrate Payton's birthday with a big birthday carnival... Then I checked the weather, then it rained, then I changed most of my plans. Luckily almost everything dried up prior to our first guests and the rain stayed away for all but the last 30 minutes.So some of our plans changed but we still had a great time! 

Here are the invitations we gave out! You can find these and similar invitations here 

 Hello dessert bar! 

 Ruffle Cake

 Marshmallow POPS! Found here!

 Birthday Girl! 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Happy Birthday Preston!

         Happy Birthday!

Dear Preston, 
It’s funny when I usually think about writing letters like these my mind is flooded with what to write. Today I am short of words. 
Today you are officially a big boy! You’re 4 now that’s a big boy! Now that you are a big boy this potting thing is a must!  Happy Birthday little man. I love you! 


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What I learned in my first 30 days as a Scentsy consultant

It has been just over thirty day since I started selling Scentsy! So far I can say this is going to be an awesome ride. I have already learned so much; I have learned a lot about the direct sales business, about people and about myself. I am going to share some of what I have learned in my first 30 days as a Scentsy consultant.

This isn't going to be some formal list or a great big document about everything that is great about Scentsy. All this is is a small list of the most important things I have learned! 

- This whole Scentsy business is LIFE CHANGING!
- I love this company and they love me too! 
- DS (direct sales) is more of a people business than a sales business.
- Building relationships is key.
- I can come out of my shell! 
- There may be 10,000 consultants in your area but most of them are not working their business.
- You get out what you put in.
- This is fun!
- I now get paid for my much needed mommy time. 
- I can make a lot of money doing this.
- I made back my initial investment in less than 10 days (with only 1 party).
- Scentsy can sell itself (thats how great this stuff is)
- Scentsy wants me to succeed not just because they want money but because they want to empower people! 

Like I said this is just a short list of what I have learned in the past 30 days working with Scentsy! But let me be loud and clear I love this already! 

July's Scentsy warmer of the month!

This is so seriously cute!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

And now on to 1st grade!

Earlier this month my big girl finished Kindergarten... 
I know it is so cliche but it seems just like yesterday she was going to school! Looking like this and wanting to be a baker: 
A lot has changed in the past 180 (school)days... She now wants to be a vet and hates the color purple just to name a few. As a mom I wanted to document these changes. 
I decided at the end of each school year I was going to write a letter, make a list, jot some notes, not sure what to call it all about Payton and what happened during that year. So on her last day of school I asked her a bunch of questions and then wrote it all down... Payton will get her collage when she graduates from high school... Here's what this years looked like! 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Away from Keyboard

I've been gone for a while posting here and there bits and pieces. I wish I could say that these actions are over, but I can't NOT yet at least. We've been busy and I've been busy. I started something new that is taking more of my time than I suspected! 

The only news I have to offer before my grand photo dump is I am now selling Scentsy! Pretty excited here! You can order from me by clicking the Scentsy tab up top! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Guest post: Michelle from Shelly's HomeBaked Jars

We've got a guest post today! This guest post is pretty cool to me not only is she a fellow military wife, fellow mom, and fellow business owner, she is also my cousin. 

 Here you have it...

Hi everyone, I'm Michelle and I own Shelly's HomeBaked Jars!
I want to tell you a little about my business and why I do what I do but first I want to thank my cousin, Danielle, for letting me be a guest on her blog! I've never written a blog or been a guest so I'm super excited to be doing this!
Anyways, like I said my names Michelle, and my business is baking cakes & cookies in Mason Jars! I started making these jars when my husband, Chad, was deployed to Afghanistan. for me it was an easy way to mail him a piece of home and man, does he like his sweets! The saying "the fastest way to a mans heart is through his stomach" is so true with him.
I know a lot of you are out there saying "but making cakes in a jar is so easy why would I buy them?" I make my cakes from scratch, nothing out of boxes or tubes, seriously, all the frostings and toppings are home-made too. These jars so great for gifts to family and friends who live far away they ship really well and can stay out of refrigeration for about 12 days, And of course you can store these
In the fridge or freezer for a day you feel like having something sweet!
I do so much more then just bake these cakes in a jar, I make lots of other goodies like cookie-wiches (cookies of your choosing sandwiches between buttercream frosting) and cakesters (can be made out of many cake and frosting) nut cluster, oatmeal cream pies, there's so much more on my websites and I'm adding new things weekly so just for you guys I have created a coupon code for my Etsy site that will be good for one month when checking out just enter SWEETPEA01 and get 10% off your entire order! I hope to see you all checking out my websites!

Seriously don't those look yummy? 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Homemade almond milk and flour

We've been off cow milk for almost a year around here. We drink almond. For along time I have been unhappy with the amount of additives in our milk whether cow, soy or almond. 

Then the other day I hopped on Pinterest to browse around and to my surprise one of the people I was following had pinned all sorts of homemade almond milk recipes and ideas.  Then there was a light bulb... 
... I could make almond milk at home without the additives. 
So I tried a few recipes it was all fairly easy but in the end I did it my own way. 

1 cup raw almonds
4-8 cups filtered water
vanilla extract to taste

I went with a simpler recipe without added sugar and just a touch of pure vanilla extract.

1. soak raw almonds in water overnight. (just enough water to cover the almonds) This soaking process helps breakdown the almonds. You will dump this water before blending.

2. Place almonds and water 2-3 cups at a time in blender. Blend for about 2 minutes until mixture is white. 

3. Strain into either cheese cloth, nut bag or as I used a pastry cloth. If you are using a pastry cloth I would suggest wetting the cloth first just so it is damp. 

4. Squeeze extra milk from cloth. 

5. You can repeat steps 2-4 with the same almonds just simply put it back in the blender. 

After creating your homemade almond milk place it in the refrigerator for 4-6 days. 

You can make almond flour by taking the left over almond mush placing it on a baking sheet and cooking at 350 until dried about 15 minutes. After the almond mush is dried place in dry blender or food processor and pulse until flour consistency. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

My favorite summer drink

I love watermelon like seriously I could drink/eat it every day! The watermelon guy at the farmers market knows me too well! We get 3 or 4 a week. Yep you read that right we are watermelon FREEKS around here. One of our favorite ways to have it is as a slushy. 

Have you ever made a watermelon shush? It might be the easiest summer drink you can make. 

Cut watermelon into cubes about 1 inch (larger will work you will just have to freeze longer) 

Put cubes in the freezer for around 2 hours. 
Once frozen Blend and done! 

Enjoy your delicious beverage! 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

It's okay Thursday

It’s Thursday! I couldn’t be happier to be one day closer to the weekend. I’m not gunna sugar coat it this has been a horrible week! Just a lot going on and a lot to process. 

It’s okay...

to need a break from this crazy life. Anyone who said being a military wife was easy has never done it! 

to admit I may have signed up for a bit more than I can handle.

to want to add more to my over flowing plate.

to be excited to finally be working on getting my kiddos baptized (even if its a few years late)

to be so sad that one of my closest friends is moving away this week. I never thought this little journey of ours would bring such an amazing friend! 

to be looking into boarding school for my 3.5 year old. 

to just want to sit out side and soak in the 85 degree sun! 

to turn up the tunes and just sing it out! Somethings this is the best medicine. (it also masks the screams of the children :))

to be so excited for the 21 day health challenge to be over I just want to post before and after pics!!! 

for life to turn out different than you planned. Remember it’s not our plan that matters!

to wonder where the years have gone... Planning or thinking about my class reunion is making me feel old. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Orange creamsicle smoothie

I am a huge fan of smoothies. And at the will of my families taste buds I will try them all on them. We have had some amazingly delicious drinks and some that didn’t make it to a third sip. This week though we created an amazing drink that reminded me of an orange cream. Please keep in mind this smoothie recipe is about a full blender. You can easily cut the recipe in half for a single serving. 
And blend! Seriously delicious! Seriously easy! I usually add about a handful of spinach or Kale to mine (this will not change the amazing flavor go ahead add it)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Baked glaze doughnuts...

Baked Doughnuts, adapted from this recipe:

1 1/3 cups warm milk, 95 to 105 degrees (divided) ( I used almond milk)
1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons butter (I used vegan spread)
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
5 cups all-purpose flour
A pinch or two of nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
2 cups powered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract 

Donut directions:
Place 1/3 cup of the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the yeast and sugar and set aside for five minutes or so to let it proof. Stir the butter into the remaining cup of warm milk and add it to the yeast mixture. With a fork, stir in the eggs, flour, nutmeg, and salt - just until the flour is incorporated. With the dough hook attachment of your mixer beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed. Adjust the dough texture by adding flour a few tablespoons at a time or more milk. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and eventually become supple and smooth. Turn it out onto a floured counter-top, knead a few times (the dough should be barely sticky), and shape into a ball.
Transfer the dough to a buttered (or oiled) bowl, cover, put in a warm place, and let rise for an hour or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on your floured countertop. With a 2-3 inch cookie cutter, stamp out circles in the dough . Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and stamp out the smaller inner circles using a smaller cutter. If you cut the inner holes out any earlier, they become distorted when you attempt to move them. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for another 45 minutes.
Bake in a 375 degree oven until the bottoms are just golden, 8 to 10 minutes - start checking around 8.
Makes 1 1/2 - 2 dozen medium doughnuts.

Glaze directions:
After donuts are removed from oven prepare glaze. (this allows them time to cool) 
In a small pot heat milk and extract on low just till warm then slowly add the powered sugar. Stir with a whisk until completely incorporated. Take slightly cooled doughnuts dip top into glaze and place on cooling rack. Let the doughnuts cool for about 5 minutes this will allow the glaze to crust over. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Avocado egg salad

Love egg salad? Hate all the fat from the mayo? Say hello to the avocado! Seriously, it is delicious. Tastes just like the traditional with a hint of avocado. We all know mayo is loaded with FAT! So lets cut some of it... 

This egg salad is super easy just replace your mayo with an avocado. I did add about a tea spoon of mayo just to make it cream up but thats all! 
Turn it into a super yummy lunch by heating your pita over an open flame (or in a pan will work) then layer the bottom of the pita with spinach and a few tomatoes. Stuff with your delicious avocado egg salad! 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Natural egg coloring using RED WINE

The kids colored eggs yesterday bright and vibrant colors. I colored an egg also. Mine was colored with one of my favorite beverages red wine. 

Simple as can be I took the egg and placed it in a cup of wine. Let it sit about 20 minutes and it came out an awesome red orange. I am super proud! 

Have you tried to color Easter eggs in non traditional ways? What is your favorite egg color or decorating technique? 

Oh California I sure do miss you!!

I am a California girl born and raised. I did move away for a short time for college, I didn't go fat though... Las Vegas!! Anyways back to my point. I am a California girl or at least I was until I left everything I knew for a simpler life in Tennessee (my parents moved there I followed yatta yatta long story). This may will be 6 years since I left my home land and for the first time I have having serious withdrawals! I miss my home, my life, the atmosphere, my friends and family. I miss California. 

So in honor of everything I am missing I thought I would share some photos with you that remind me of who I am or at least who I once was. 

Huntington Pier! 

I use to work at the Starbucks next to this Bob's located in Toluca Lake. 

My car wash Burbank. Okay it's not "mine" but I use to get my car cleaned there! 

Joshua Tree National Park! 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

It’s okay Thursday!

Is it really Thursday already! Easter is just around the corner meaning Spring break is almost over. Sadly, all my plans for a great spring break went out the window when most of the family got sick! But it’s okay!

to teach your kids the truth about Easter! It is after all one of the most important days in Christianity!

to be tired of diapers! Seriously, its been six years I am so ready to be done! 

to be more than overly excited for the hot hot heat Alabama has in store for me in the coming months. 

to admit I am kicking butt at working out and getting in shape! 

to want to go Vegan but just not be ready to make that commitment! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pillow mats

For Christmas this year I made pillow mats for my 3 nephews. I found all sorts of tutorials on Pinterest but nothing that I thought was that great. I wanted to personalize these mats and make them totally awesome! Each of the mats I made are completely different and have my nephews names stitched onto it. (my wonderful friend Lyn helped me with this part!)

I originally planned on writing this post around Christmas when I actually finished the pillow mats. But then my computer was struck by lightening and I lost a lot of stuff!  Including my how to pictures for these awesome mats :( 

So I am going to try to explain the process without pictures. 

Materials (to make 1):
Sewing machine
two twin flat sheets (one sheet can be used however you will just have one color mat)
4 over stuffed standard size pillows

Okay now for my steps:

  1. Cut the sheets length wise
  2. pick your color combination and sew the finished sides together. This will create a large piece of fabric that can be folded length wise (kinda like a letter)
  3. After sewing the top and bottom you will continue to sew horizontal lines creating 4 pockets for your pillows (the pockets will be like sham pillow cases)
  4. Insert pillow!