Save Our Sisters

In our church we have a program called Visiting Teaching where two sisters go and visit certain sisters in our congregation and share a message with them on a monthly basis. I am charge of this program in my congregation and we had a conference about it two weeks ago. The theme for our conference was Save Our Sisters (SOS).

We asked the sisters to bring desserts to share and they were delicious. I decorated each of the tables with maroon and blue table runners, red chargers I conveniently found at the church, decorative sand, LED candles, and seashells. One of the other leaders brought a beautiful painting of a light house and I had a huge bowl of life savers set out. I spoke and used these resources as a guide for what I said.

 It was a beautiful night that I forgot to take any pictures of! Here is a picture of what the poster looked like. I'm a sucker for 3-D displays :)

Queen of Hearts Party Decor

As I mentioned, I had a Valentine's Day party! It was my second time throwing a Valentine's Day party and I wanted to go in a different direction. This year's theme was Queen of Hearts. The hearts was the only tie to Valentine's Day. Our decor focused on playing cards. I probably purchased 30 decks of playing cards, but when they come in a two pack from Dollar Tree, it was quite affordable. Here is what it looked like:

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To make the heart, I cut out a large heart from cardboard. Then I covered it with the hearts cards and hot glued the hearts to the cardboard. It looked a little lonely so I made a background for the heart using the backside of two different cards (one pack was from Michaels). This was a great activity to do during Downton Abbey. We added balloons and lanterns to fill it more.

My friend, Anne, made the banners. She simply hot glued cards to twine, but there were a lot of cards. She made three banners and strung them from her top banister to three different places on her curtain rod. Then we added balloons.

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I found some fun playing card stuff from Party City included these mints:

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And this centerpiece (it was a little smaller than I thought it'd be, but it was still cool).

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I also cut out spades, clubs, hearts and diamonds with my Silhouette Cameo and scattered them around the food table. We used red chargers and silverware and got some fun plates and napkins from Tuesday Morning that reminded me of the back of playing cards.

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I decorated some cups for the party as well. I purchase red cups from Dollar Tree and then hot glued playing cards on them. I finished the look off with a bit of twine.

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We also had a photo booth with some great props (thanks to Anne!). The large playing cards were a fun addition to the decor, something I used in Jasmine's engagement card. Another classic is the balloon chandelier used in above the dining room and kitchen tables.

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I really loved the impact of everything and I know what we'll be doing in the future! Thank you to my friends and co-hosts, Anne and Jessica, for all their hard, hard work! Great job ladies!

"Like a Sir" Mustache Birthday Card

It's been my goal to make handmade birthday cards for everyone in my family this year. I sometimes go the extra mile and make a card for a friend. I came up with this:

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I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the top hat, 'stache and letters (Courier font). I printed out the newsprint from here

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I was pretty proud of myself =)

Saturday Breakfast Tradition: German Pancakes and Homemade Syrup

My husband loves cooking breakfast. When he cooks anything he tries to go above and beyond and make it great. We recently started a tradition in our house that on Saturday mornings we have something special for breakfast. It could be Krispy Kreme doughnuts, cinnamon rolls (or pop roll hack), pancakes, scones, waffles, eggs, bacon, or any combination. My hubby recently introduced German Pancakes to me and we have had them at least half a dozen times since. We have tried variations of this recipe and have found it is best to just keep it super simple!

German Pancakes
1/4 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
6 eggs
1/8 tsp salt.

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Melt butter in 9 x 13 pan. Thoroughly mix together ingredients in blender and pour in pan. If you double the recipe use two pans! Bake for 30-40 minutes. Enjoy with syrup, powdered sugar, and/or fresh fruit. About 4 servings.
All set!
PB loves them!

We also enjoy this with this recipe for homemade syrup.

Homemade Syrup
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon maple flavoring

Boil sugar and water. Reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. Add maple flavoring and serve. Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator. We usually put the rest in a mason jar. 

Here are some other great breakfast recipes from the Wayward Girls:

Happy Weekend!

Wayward Girls' Bride Prices

Since Jasmine kind of suggested this, today I will share how creative the men in the Wayward Girls' lives are, but I must start at the beginning.

I grew up with a group of friends who went to church and school together and also hung out. We had lots of inside jokes and sayings. We loved a movie we watched at church called Johnny Lingo. 

We quoted exchanges like this millions of times: 

Moki: Mahana, you ugly. What are you hiding up there for? Today is the day of bargaining. Come down and be ready to greet your husband to be. 

The basic premise is that when a husband (Johnny Lingo)  comes to bargain for his wife to be (Mahana) he offers to pay much more than her father (Moki) asks for his 'ugly' daughter. More quotes: 

Moki: Three cows.
Johnny Lingo: Three cows is many, but enough for Mahana. I will pay eight cows.


Johnny: Think what it must mean to a woman: Her future husband and her father meeting to discuss the lowest price for which she can be bought. And later, when the women of the village gather, they boast of what their husbands paid for them -- three cows, or five. How does she feel, the woman who was sold for one or two? This could not happy to my Mahana. 
Trader Harris: Johnny, I've misjudged you. I thought you were thinking of how important you would look to your friends, paying eight cows for a wife. I didn't know you wanted to make Mahana happy. 
Johnny Lingo: More than happy. I wanted her to be an eight-cow woman. 

So... when I got married, of course my
 family set a bride price for me. 
Two goats  or one goat and eight 
The picture on the right shows what 
my groom arrived with. He made them himself and exceeded all expectations. 
Of course we continued this practice as our own girls were married.

Here is what Jordan's groom brought:  Sheep!

And Jaime's brought donkeys

And Brooke's brought penguins and purple cows

And now Jasmine's brought ducks and kangaroos.
Good times!

Reception Entryway

I wanted a few things for the entryway at our reception. I had my bridals done about 2 weeks before the wedding and had one printed on canvas and shipped to us super fast. So I definitely wanted to put that up.
I also framed 3 pictures, one of my parents' wedding, his parents' and us! Then we included some books which we put on the tables as well. We had a lot of lace left over from the bridesmaid sashes so that was used to cover the tablecloths. Ribbon was used as a splash of brighter color.
We also had my bride price which definitely deserves a post of its own probably from my mom. And of course we had a guest book!

Heart Stamped Shirt

Last weekend was my big Valentine's Day party! Last year I dyed my own pants. This year I decided to decorate a shirt using fabric ink.

Fabric Ink Pad (Mine was from Hobby Lobby, $3.99)

 First step, get a shirt. I picked up this beauty at Goodwill:

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This shirt is 100% polyester, although the ink says it works best with natural fibers. 

As you can see, I placed cardboard in the shirt and sleeves to separate the layers. This is an important step! If you don't do it, you'll be stamping through both sides. 

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I flew by the seat of my pants on this (and always, I'm wayward) and just started on the sleeve. If I were to do it again, I'd start on the back side. It went quickly and I was quite excited with the results. 

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I let the shirt dry overnight and then used a hot, dry iron to "set" the stamping, as recommended on the back of the stamp pad. Then I flipped the shirt over and completed the same thing on the back side.

This is how it turned out!

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This is how I wore it to the party. 

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xUsG3P on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs
make animated gifs like this at MakeAGif

Not bad, eh? Best compliments: people didn't believe I'd done design! I had to show them my little mess ups to prove it to them. 

The possibilities are endless for shirts! I'm thinking about having a little craft night with friends to do it all over again!

Triple B chili

My husband's family has a tradition of chili and cornbread every year for Christmas Eve dinner. My mother-in-law's chili recipe is very traditional, but this year I was looking to change it up a little at our house. So I came up with the "Triple B" chili recipe:

Three Bean, Brown sugar & Bacon Chili

Because we were traveling on Christmas day, I wanted to make this chili as easy to make as possible, so a lot of the prep work is simply opening cans.

  • 1 lb lean ground beef (I used a can!)
  • 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-15 oz can each of black beans, white beans and red beans of your choice (I used black beans, white navy beans and kidney beans)
  • 1-14.5 to 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • Salt, pepper, basil, cumin or other spices to taste
  • 1/4 c brown sugar (or to taste)
  • 1/2 lb bacon
  • Toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, crackers, cornbread

1. Brown the ground beef with the onion and garlic.

2. Add the beans and tomatoes. Simmer forever. Add salt, pepper and spices to taste

3. About 15 minutes before serving time, lay the bacon on a roasting pan. Sprinkle generously with brown sugar (stir remaining brown sugar to the chili. Feel free to add more for extra sweetness!). Broil the brown sugar bacon until sugar melts and bacon is crispy.

4. Chop or crumble the brown sugar bacon. Sprinkle on top of chili, and serve with other toppings.

I loved the combination of the salty crunch of bacon and sweetness of the brown sugar. It's also a great contrast in the chili itself too!

What's your favorite chili?

Grandbaby = Quilt time

About two weeks ago, I had a happy epiphany. Since Jordan is having a baby, I get to make a quilt! Somehow with all the hustle and bustle of the past few months, that had completely escaped my mind.

I made up my own patterns for 3 of the 4 quilts I have made for my grandchildren. The other pattern was from a website. I decided to try some quilt books from the library this time. I checked out one by Alex Anderson called Baby Quilts with Love. I selected several patterns and showed them to Jordan. She liked one  called Baby Crackers and asked for some yellow in it.

That sounded easy enough, but when I got to the quilt shop, I was stymied. There wasn't any tone on tone yellow. I ultimately settled on a solid yellow. Then for the prints. I was lured in by some batiks and used them to select my fabrics. I made my purchase, but something the lovely teenager (she was so nice!) said made me question my choices. "I love it when baby quilts are made from nontraditional baby fabrics."  Hmmmm. Is is baby enough???

I actually found some tone-on-tone yellow that I had used in Jordan's wedding quilt and used it in place of teh solid. I like the quilt, but I am concerned it isn't juvenile. What do you think?
I will add some borders, but this is the main part of it. I thought I would do a pieced backing with more traditional fabrics.

Update from last week. These are the cards I made for my girls. (Brooke don't look! I haven't given you yours yet.) I was in the weaving heart mood, so I needed to figure out the message. The scriptures always have the answer! "Hearts knit" as one is a theme of many verses about unity. What a great message (and it was related to the weaving!)

Tulle, Tulle, Tulle!

So I really like tulle. The skirt of my wedding dress was a whole lot of tulle. And we bought 400 yards of it...for decorating. Ok so decorating...a lot of times in the Latter-day Saint church wedding receptions are held in the church building's cultural hall and our wedding was no exception. It's big with tables and plenty of chairs. What more could you ask for? Except, well in the church building closest to us, it's not the prettiest thing in the world. I wanted to transform our cultural hall and make it a romantic and elegant setting. With heavy duty wire, Christmas light strands, tulle and some nails, we achieved exactly what I wanted.

We bought a spool of wire, a dozen light strands, 400 yards of tulle (online is far cheaper than going to Michael's or JoAnn or anywhere really) and had some nails handy. We, and by we I mean my brothers in law, strung the wire from the basketball backboard to the other one then on the sides of the wall. Then, starting from one side, we strung the tulle from wire to wire, draping it slightly. We secured some of the sections with nails if it was necessary.
Then, we hung tulle down the wall and tied it in the middle with a decorative bow with wired ribbon. Between the sections of tulle, we strung the light strands. We didn't drape those down the wall though.

We also had a couple strands of swagged Christmas lights from Brooke's wedding that we hung on one wall with Command Strips and hung tulle down the wall from an additional wire. We didn't turn on the cultural hall lights. The Christmas lights offered enough light for a romantic setting. It was completely transformed into the perfect wedding reception hall and it was beautiful!

Easy Valentine's Day Centerpiece

I picked up this ceramic vase at Goodwill last month for $3 and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I got the styrofoam ball and some inexpensive fake flowers from the craft store. I cut the stems 4-5" long and arranged them on the ball. I love how it looks!

Happy Valentine's Day!

"Hello, I'm" Name Tag Valentine

Once upon a time, I was a moody pre-adolescent. I had just gotten my own bedroom and inherited a large desk, filled with forgotten office supplies. Inside, I found some name tags. I suppose I was feeling victimized in some way, so I took one of these name tags, which said "Hello, I'm" at the top and wrote underneath, "feeling unloved" I put it on my bedroom door as a flag of my intense, preteen feelings. My parents got a good laugh out of it.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago and I see this amazing pin and wanted to make something like it. So I got to work on my Silhouette and pumped out this:

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Simple enough and I really like it! I think it could be a fun card, or cool to use in a scrapbook layout. I plan on giving mine to my husband, who is totally beating me in the "month of love" love notes, by the way! And I love it =)

How I made mine: Cut out the whole design from red, then cut the middle rectangle and letters (again) from pink. Inserted the pink letters and middle rectangle into the design, gluing to the base paper of the card. Then I added in my sad, sad cursive the message in the middle. Done!

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I designed this myself and thought I'd give it away as a free download! Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Celebrate Valentine's Day with Chocolate!

I'm seriously craving some chocolate right now, but I think chocolate is the best way to celebrate Valentine's day, too. (And most other holidays, amiright?) So I'm digging through our chocolate archives to bring you some chocolatey goodness for Valentine's day. Go make something today!

Photo by Chocolate-covered Katie

In fact, I think I'm going to go make this one now!

What's your favorite way to celebrate Valentine's day?
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