Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Crafts Part 1:

I'll start off by posting a couple of pictures of the decor around my home that I made (sorry for those of you that I have on facebook that follow me, as you've likely already seen the pictures of my decor).  Then my daughter and I have been trying(and when I say trying, I meant trying, haha it's hard to always make time, but when we do, it's worth it) to keep up with doing a craft-a-day till Christmas so part 2 will be photos of those crafts.

My Front Door

The Snowflake/Tulle Wreath I Made

Wreath I Made & Decorated Dollar Store Garland on My China Cabinet

My 2x4 Snowman

Pink Ornament Wreath I Made:

Light Up Canvas

Sign and Snowladies With My Salt n Pepper Claus' On My Stove

Pinterest Inspired Bathroom Idea

Bow and Greenery in My Bathroom

Pinterest Inspired Ribbon Around Cabinet w/ Glittery Clothespins for Holding Cards/Photos

Yet Another Pinterest Inspired Craft: Snowman Goodie Tray

Friday, November 23, 2012

Bringing Back the Spirit of Christmas!

I'm huge on the holidays, love everything about them...but it seems somewhere along the way, it's become more about the presents, and less about being together and the true spirit of it all, this year I'm changing that..starting with this weekend.

The tree is up, and decorations are all coming together. This year I want to get ahead of the game so that we as a family can truly enjoy the holidays.  I want to craft until our fingers hurt and bake until our tummies ache, I want to enjoy eggnog and hot chocolate, read Christmas stories and watch Christmas movies,  I want to start new traditions and continue old ones.  As I've said before I concider myself a very lucky person and am so thankful each and every day for all I've been given in life, so this holiday season I plan to make the absolute best of it all.

Our daughter is now old enough to help me creatively craft some gifts, so that's what I plan to do.  What ever happened to the idea of a homemade gift being the best?!   Now-a-days if you make something yourself you're scoffed at or considered cheap...and that is a world I don't want my daughter to grow up in.  It doesn't need to be all about that ipad, ipod, laptop or big screen tv that the 6-12 year olds in this world are receiving, we're living in a consumers world, and sometimes it just gets to be too much!

We are a one income family, and keeping up with the trends of the world is most of the time just not an option, and it worries me a lot sometimes.  I want to provide, but it seems so crazy to buy into the world we live in.

The holidays are about giving, and family, and togetherness and I am going to make sure my daughter knows this <3

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Craft Room

A.K.A The room where the magic happens!

  I consider myself a very lucky lady, we had a spare room that just wasn't getting used as a guest room as it was intended, so we got rid of the spare bed, then ended up just using it to store JUNK that wasn't working either... here is the before:

I'll be the first to admit, it was a disaster.  On the rare occasion that we did have company, this bedroom door stayed closed!  I knew it, and so did my husband, something had to be done, we need more organization and the room needed a purpose.  So we got to work

Empty room under construction:

The picture just does not to it justice, we added glitter to the hot pink wall.. it's much much more sparkly than it appears, absolutely love it!

Close up of the glitter wall:

 Still needs a curtain, but haven't been able to find the right one yet

Under my seating keep me nice and warm

The rest of the L shaped desk & my wonderful Cricut:

Computer desk/area on opposite side of the room, I plan to add a cushion to the seat on the left, it has a hinge for hidden storage


Friday, November 9, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake Mini Muffins

Pumpkin and Fall just seem to go hand in hand, and pumpkin pie happens to be my favourite pie so these were right on the button for me!


  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
 (Recipe also called for this, seemed weird, I left it out, you be the judge)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans) (optional- also left them out)
Preheat oven to 350F, Mix pumpkin, oil and sugar together (I did this recipe by hand as my mixer was in use for another recipe, if you use a mixer combine ingredients on low.)  Add eggs, mix after each, add in vanilla.

In seperate bowl mix together dry ingredients and spices.

Slowly add flour mixture to liquids and mix until well combined.  In another bowl combine your ingredients for your filling--minus the nuts they go on top afterwards.

Grease muffin pans (I used mini muffin pans, what a surprise!) or line with paper, then drop pumpkin mixture by spoonful, followed by cream cheese mixture by spoonful, then use a skewer and swirl them together, then add nuts if you chose to use them.

Bake for 20-25 minutes

I somehow managed to not take a picture of them swirled or the completed product, but these are good and perfect for fall, worst thing is they're bite sized so if you're not careful you can get carried away :)  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Oh my goodness these were good.  Too good almost as I'm sure they probably are not very low in calories.  The recipe I had for these called for 1 cup all purpose flour, and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, but since I didn't have whole wheat flour I've changed it, wish I did have it maybe then I could pass them as more healthy? haha but delicious nonetheless.

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/3 cup milk
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped

1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper muffin liners. (I will note this recipe only made 9 nice sized muffins for me)

2. In a medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients. Add oil, egg and milk and stir just until combined. Fold in apples. Divide batter between the 9-12 muffin cups.

   3. In a small bowl, mix topping ingredients (I found a fork worked good to make it crumbly). Sprinkle over unbaked muffins.
 4. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Halloween!!

With Halloween just a few days away, it's about time I post pictures of my Halloween decor!  I'm getting a nice little collection of stuff, and loving every minute of it.  I love to decorate, can you tell?!  So here ya have it:

First I'll start with my inside decor, which I'll have to admit I did slack a little on, I focused more on the outside/deck this year, but there is still time and as long as my daughter feels better this weekend we'll probably craft a few indoor decor items, but so far here we are:

Dollar Store Spiderweb w/ Spider

Dollar Store Ghosts Hanging From Ceiling Fan--
(First day I had these up I managed to scare myself with them...was walking down the hallway to come to my living room--only my daughter and myself were home, and I seen shadows so started to walk really slow to see whose shadows they were, then immediately felt silly when I realized the fan had been turned on)

Pumpkin lights in our front window, Dollar store bats & pumpkin window decals (both glow in the dark), and my daughters yet-to-be carved pumpkin

 My Pink Pumpkin For Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Girlie, Sparkly Pink Pumpkin....I Kinda Like Pink...Can You Tell?

Now For The Outside:

HUGE Bat on My Front Deck

 Inflatable Ghost (We've Named Boo)

My 2x4 Creation (Pumpkin, Frankenstein, Ghost, Witch), Window Decals, Danger Tape, and a Pink Happy Halloween Sign

My pink and black boo sign, I know I know more pink decor.. Haha only I could find a way to add pink to every holiday.  I was going to put this inside, but felt it fit the space between the window/door outside better.  It's hard to tell but theres a plastic spider on the middle O.

Halloween bunting and my orange feather Halloween wreath, definitely my favorite craft of the season, going to make a pink one with lights just like it for Christmas ♥  Was going to get small orange lights to put in this one but they sold out :(  Maybe next year!

Pumpkin table with pumpkin candle holder on opposite side of the door.

The final result of the front porch :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Frozen Yogurt Part 2!

 Despite how much we loved our Frozen Yogurt Dots, I must admit it was a pain to peel those little dots off of the wax paper and too much work for how long they lasted.  So after seeing this it looked like a much better solution.

 I went to the dollar store and bought a new mini muffin pan, then scooped yogurt into each cup, froze them and then tried to remove them.  (Whatever you do- do NOT run them under hot water like you would an ice tray as they will just go mushy and you will have to refreeze them.)  It took a few minutes of letting them thaw but they did come out nicely:

They can then be placed into ziploc bags and frozen, or they work perfectly for make ahead smoothie packs. Cut up fruit and flash freeze (place on wax paper/pan in freeze for 10-15 minutes) then put into ziploc bags with yogurt pucks.  Then you just take them out put them in the blender with milk or juice and blend :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

My New Workout Plan

Did workout day 11 of the month this morning and feeling great (more on that momentarily).

I do have a small confession, while at Dairy Queen yesterday (doing a pick-up for my parents, so that I wouldn't be tempted to get something for myself) I looked up at the menu to realize our Dairy Queen has suddenly got an ORANGE JULIUS inside!!  Where have I been that I didn't know this?! Can you tell I live in a small town...  I had to, I had to, I got my favourite, a strawberry banana smoothie (A large, that I shared with the fam, according to their webpage is 430 cals).  It was what I concidered to be my lunch yesterday, but still technically cheating :(

Back to the workout part, have started:

Jillian Michaels Body Revolution

It is a 90 day (if I don't get bored) program consisting of 3 phases, 15 total workouts.  Each workout is approximately 30 minutes.  Today I did day 1 of week 2.  So far I am loving it, and have gotten into a habit to do my workouts right after my morning routine (Brook off to school, beds made, floors swept, dishes done and put away).  Seems to be working well, and I'm not bored yet.  

Jillian has played a HUGE part in my previous 70lbs of weight loss, so I'm confident that I'll likely see results from this program.  I like that the videos are done in a group setting, although they're all in incredible shape seems to help keep me more motivated.  I also love my hand weights, and she makes good use of them in these videos, even adding them to more simple moves for the more advanced.

I've also been walking to the bus most mornings and afternoons, as well as using my spin bike/elliptical in the evenings when time permits (and I'm not exhausted).  Well that's it for now, off to craft away the rest of the afternoon and start dinner (spaghetti with turkey meatballs yum!).  Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Wanted to try something new, and was thinking something with cinnamon, so when I stumbled across this recipe it sounded like a winner and a must try (and it is!) so I did just that.


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
As Well As (For Rolling):
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugars.  Add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.
2. In another bowl combine dry ingredients (not including extra sugar and cinnamon).
3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well.
4. Let dough rest in fridge for 30-60 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 350°
6. In small bowl combine white sugar and cinnamon.

 (As You Can See Little Hands Were Helping--Finger Prints in The Dough, Haha!)

7. Roll dough into small balls and roll in cinnamon mixture, place on ungreased baking sheet.

8. Cook for 12-15 minutes. The cookies may seem undercooked, but will continue to cook after they are
removed from the oven. When the cookies have cooled they should be soft and chewy in the middle.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mini Muffin Potato Tots

Was at my Mom's one afternoon when I seen Rachael Ray making these "Mini Muffin Potato Tots" , all I caught was the very end of the segment so after coming home I made sure to "Google It" so that I could give them a try.


  • 1 16-ounce package frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cooking spray

The bag from our store was a 750g bag, 16 ounces to grams = 453g so I just eyeballed approximately half of the bag. 

In a medium bowl, toss the shredded potatoes with flour, making sure to coat all the shreds in a little bit of flour. Add in the egg and stir. Season with salt and pepper.

Spray muffin cups with cooking spray. Use a small scoop (I used an ice cream scoop)  to evenly scoop the potato mixture into all of the mini muffin cups. Spray the tops of the tots with cooking spray to ensure even browning.


Bake for 9-10 minutes. Remove from oven, and flip with a fork. Bake for an additional 9-10 minutes or until brown on top.

  I will note: I was actually in a hurry--and didn't read the instructions all the way through, when my "hasbrown cups" were not dark enough I just cooked them longer...and did not flip them, and I wondered why mine didn't look like hers! haha 

 They were still delicious, would go nicely as a breakfast side, or we used them as a side to turkey burgers at dinner instead of french fries.