Friday, January 25, 2013

Marshmallow Heart Stamps

You know how awesome your Sweet Potato Casserole, with the marshmallow topping tastes? Amazing, right?

We have it for all the major holidays, and of course, a few special occasion dinners in-between.

We once in awhile, don't use all the marshmallows. I know! Crazy, right? Why wouldn't you use all of them? We also, sometimes, don't use mini marshmallows. Can't help it, the big ones seem more, multi-functioning.

I ran out of toilet paper rolls to do heart stamps. (I didn't actually run out, my husband found my stash and threw them away. He thinks I hoard garbage. But toilet paper rolls are the exception to the garbage rule, don't you agree??)

I was scouring my house looking for ANYTHING that might work to make a heart stamp-and with the help of my 3 year-old-son, we found it. Rock hard, old, marshmallows!

If you squeeze them together at the bottom, and push in the dent for the "top" of the heart, you can eventually get the shape of a heart.

See, squishy marshmallow heart stamper.
If you're in a pinch, these work pretty well. A little side note-globs of paint, don't show the heart shape very well, at all! Make sure the paints are spread pretty thin, to actually make it "stamp."

Also, please supervise the kids-mine wanted and tried to eat them...even with the paint. And, even with them being rock hard. What can I say, kids love marshmallows.

By the way-Have you entered my **giveaway**on Facebook?!
It pays off to follow me! Check out this post, and find out what I'm giving away!

I'd love to hear comments of how this worked out for you! Or what you're up to, how you're feeling. Just any comment is always fun!

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Need a Valentine's Idea for your Man? Check out my gift, last year!

"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God."
Matthew 5:8
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Happy YOU!

Remember, back in school, when it was your birthday and you had to bring treats to share with everyone?

That's kind of what I'm doing with my birthday! I'm sharing. With a lot of people!

I have a big activity planned to kick off the big 3-0! The new decade of being awesome.

In honor of this, one of you lucky readers will be the recipient of my first gift. 

I'm giving to someone, a NEW Honeydew Melon Diamond Candle! (BTW this candle smells so sweet, I almost want to EAT IT, instead of light it!) Never heard of these you say? Well, let me just fill in the blanks for you!

They are soy candles, that smell awesome! But, not only do they smell, they have a ring inside it! 

These very well could be a new addiction for me. I got one for my sister for Christmas. And one for myself, too!

My sister isn't a very patient person and literally dug into her candle to get her ring. It was a really gorgeous $10 one, but still, she also has a nice smelling candle too!
Her New Ring!

Anyhoo-they AREN'T sponsoring this or part of this in any way. I just thought, since I'm pretty sure you're all women who read this, that one of you, if not all of you, would really enjoy this candle! 


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Monday, January 14, 2013

A Valentine's Gift for Him! YOU!

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Why in the WORLD, is she talking about Valentine's Day already, when it's only January 14th. It's still a month away!"

Well, my dear sweet friends. I wanted to give you time to pull it off!

We don't really go all out for Valentine's Day, because it also happens to be right around my birthday. I usually get to celebrate one or the other. Also, for some reason, my husband usually has to work around that same time. So, it truly ends up being either birthday or Valentine's.

For me, finding a gift for my husband, seems kind of difficult. I seem to struggle all year to find something that he might want, enjoy and even USE! 

For Valentine's Day though, I really wanted to step it up. I wanted to give him a gift that I knew he would REALLY LOVE! I wanted to give him the gift of me!

For awhile there, I've mentioned before, that we kind of got into a rut of things. Moving, new jobs, different places, no friends, struggling with this that and the other. Not to mention, having kids! Boy, it does a number on you. Mentally, physically, and of course, the EMOTIONS! I kind of let myself go. I was that woman who like literally lived in yoga pants and a pony tail. 

I'm not saying there is anything wrong with it. However, a wise girlfriend of mine, from Texas, once said to me, "Every once in awhile, you gotta step out of the work out clothes for your husband." Amen, sista! Amen!

Two back to back pregnancies can really throw a wrench into your wardrobe. 

But, my husband needed to see the other side of me. The wife side. Not just the mom side. After all, when our kids are grow up and leave the house, it'll be just he and I. So our relationship is the one that really needs to last.

For his Valentine's Gift, I stepped COMPLETELY out of my box. I figured if I was going to give him me, I was going to go all out and do it right! His gift:Boudoir Photos of me. 

I don't like porn and I don't agree with it either. With that being said, I wasn't about to portray myself as that TYPE of person either. I wanted something classy and tasteful done. Something that could potentially be looked at as art. Honestly, nothing that different than wearing a swimsuit. Whatever I was comfortable with.

I booked it a few weeks out and planned to have a light spray tan (it is winter!) and I had hair and make up done.

My photographer was amazing! Not only was this a gift for him, but honestly, it was a gift to myself. I needed to be reminded that I was beautiful. That I wasn't JUST the yoga pants and ponytail gal. That I was beautifully made. That I was perfect. My photographer gave me so much self esteem, that I should have paid her double. In fact, I offered to pay her to just follow me around and say all the sweet things she did about me!

How many times have you left a photo session and just felt empowered? Radiant? Self Assured? Wanted? Amazing? I can tell you, I left this one, feeling that way and more! She literally helped to change my mind set on a lot of things. Positivity, grows positivity. If you let it.

If you're looking for a wonderful self esteem booster, DO THIS! It seems a little unconventional, but each woman is beautiful and amazing! We weren't mistakes, we were beautifully made! Embrace who you are, and be proud of it! There is no such thing as perfect.

When I left my little photo shoot, I told myself that if I could find one photo that I liked, then it would all be a success. These are different from family photos. These are photos that bare just you. You have to be able to look at yourself, and say, "Wow! God did some great work on me! I am beautiful!"

Also, cautiously, don't be vain about this either. This isn't about being a narcissist. This is about loving yourself as a person, and respecting yourself. When you stop focusing on all your bad traits and start loving and working with all your good, your life can transform.

OK, enough with all that. I'm going to show you some photos from my session. 

Also, if you're looking for other ideas, go to my Boudoir Board on Pinterest. I did a lot of searching when I was considering these. There are a lot of classy, tastefully done photos out there. For women of all shapes and sizes! Trust me, he'll be absolutely BLOW AWAY! In a good way, of course!

Plus, 30 years from now, when I look back, I'm so glad that I'll have taken these photos. If anything, to just capture my youth! Remember, I turn 30 this year. The BIG 3-0!

A big Thanks to Jen Swedhin Photography! For doing such beautiful, amazing work! Also, for making me feel amazing and beautiful-stretch marks and all! You have a gift, my friend! Keep using it-you're spreading encouragement and love, every where you go!

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139:14

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What Friends Are Really For... (and a photo of me!)

This winter has kept us very busy.

The holidays always seem to fly by once October hits! There are always a lot of fun things to do, and lots of people we love to see. There never can be enough time for that.

I LOVE my friends! Probably one of the words that many people have said to me, is that I'm loyal. (I use it to describe myself as well.) For me, becoming a friend, takes time. As I've mentioned in another post, it takes a long time to find people I call friends. This isn't a word I use casually, and neither should you. A friend, needs to be a friend. Through good times and bad. We should help carry each other's burdens and lighten the loads. Are you looking for new ones? Check out my post here to see how you can start!

Recently, a dear friend of mine, was diagnosed with cancer. Cancer sucks. There is nothing good that can be said about it. She had a quick surgery and is in the recovering stages. Thank the Lord! However, she found out that surgery wouldn't be the only part of her treatment. Like many, chemotherapy will also be a part of her recovery. (I don't particularly like that stuff either.) 

This past weekend, we spent some time together. Preparing as best as we could for her upcoming treatment. Unfortunately, what should be a fun place to go, the salon, was a dreaded place to go. She got a hair cut. A shorter, easier to manage one. It was tough. It really sucks to watch someone you love, have to go through all this. Knowing there really isn't much to can do to help. I'd take the treatment for her, if I could. 

After the hair cut, we went and looked at wigs. Someone needs to spice those shops up! It was eerily quiet and kind of depressing. I'm pretty sure, that most of the people who are going into that shop are probably looking for some temporary hair, due to cancer treatments. There is potentially a theatre major in there also looking for the right costume hair, but more probable is the first. It's a scary, sobering idea losing your hair. All of it. So, why make the store like a creepy crypt of hair? Make us feel welcome! Offer us a cushy seat-perhaps a beverage (or a shot of hard liquor!) to make our shopping more enjoyable. If you can do all this while trying on wedding and bridesmaid dresses, why can't we have some celebration about kicking some cancer ass? (Sorry about the word usage, but it's true?!) Why not make your store, a place of positivity, hope and happiness? 

I thought I'd take matters into my own hands. They do have hair for men there as well. Those were pretty interesting to look at. I've never really put much thought into man hair. But, after looking through all the blonds, red-heads and brunettes with highlights, I found a wig that I KNEW, when tried on by myself, would make my friend smile! 

Yep, almost ready!

Ta da! The transformation into a man, is complete!

When I put it on, she was laughing so hard, she couldn't even take a straight picture. Now, I think I make a rather Duck Dynasty-ish looking man, don't you?

I totally need to name my alter-ego.

But, I accomplished what I wanted to do. I wanted to make her smile. I wanted to make her laugh. I wanted to be the friend she needed me to be. I think she's sent the photo of us both off to many, many people and had several great laughs because of it, even after the day we did it. If she needs this is get through a day-then I'm so happy! I might make her a calendar of these.

By the way, this wig, because they all have names, was called The Jesus! When I saw it on the mannequin, I totally agreed with the name choice!

Let me finish this off with a toast to all our dear friends.

I just want to say, that if you're someone I call a friend, and in my life, I'm so thankful. I'm thankful for every day I've had to share and spend with you. I'm thankful for all the laughs we've had together. I'm thankful for the tears we've shed together, for we've never had to be alone. I'm thankful for the fact that you know me well enough, that when I say, "I'm just OK," you know the real meanings behind it, or you care enough to pull me aside to dig it out of me. I'm thankful for the care and concern. I'm thankful for all our fun. But, mostly, I'm just so thankful for you, that there aren't enough words to tell you! I get to spend our friendship showing you how much you mean. I love you!

Go show some love today!

"Carry each other's burdens..."
Galatians 6:2

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Snow is Frozen Water: Learning with Winter

It's cold. 

Of course, I'm pretty sure in January, for most of us that live in the US, we know this. This is the longest I've seen snow on the ground here in the desert. I'm not from here, but the last few years I think it's all melted off relatively fast. Or, I could have just blocked it all out.

I am the type of person who actually likes snow though. If you read my post about Shoveling Snow (and then thought I was absolutely crazy), you'll know I enjoy snow. I don't particularly care for the cold, windy days. Also, I'm of Scandinavian descent. A Heritage I claim proudly. I can't help it if I'm more designed for cold weather. It's genetics!

OK, the learning lab--my son thinks the shovel is pretty cool in the snow. He can't quite operate it, though. He tries. Some day, too soon, he'll be a shovel wielding young man.

Until then, he's content to walk around in it and go sledding, and do other winter time, snow time activities.

Today, I thought he would like to learn what happens to snow, when it gets warm.

Obviously, it goes away eventually. But, I wanted him to actually see it.

What you'll need:
Clear Cup/Bowl
Mittens (It's snow and it's cold! Keep those hands warm!)

We took the clear glass outside and filled it to the brim with snow. I tried to pack the snow in tight.

After the snow was in clear cup, we brought it inside and began to watch it. (If you're expecting instant results, you'll have to do something with more heat to make it go quick.)

We just set ours on the window sill and every 20 minutes or so, checked back to see what was going on.

Slowly, it started to disappear!

When it melted down pretty far, I let him stick his hands in side and tell me what he felt.

I also asked him what he saw. He saw...Water!

I pointed outside and said, "So, snow, gets warm and turns into water. Which means, snow, is actually frozen water."

He thought that was pretty cool. I am not a scientist. But, it is still pretty cool and amazing to see how nature is so simple, yet beautiful and complex.

If you're looking for a reason to run outside quick with the kids, or just looking for a simple learning activity to help pass the time, this might fit both needs!

"All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."
John 1:3 (KJV)

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