Friday, February 24, 2017

Doing this 10 minutes every day for 2 weeks changed my whole life!

Spring flower interpretation from 2/2017
Wait! What? Really doing this small thing for two weeks really will change my whole life? Y-E-S! Without a doubt it will, and I am not the only one that thinks this, just search for the power of Affirmations. Ok, I rest my case. Here is a good article.

My experience: and it's transforming me into something amazing:

I remember a good friend said, maybe you need to do some affirmations, tell yourself you are good and better than you think. Hoey stuff I said, that's for people that have real problems, I don't have that issue.

Later that year, or in that same season of my life, I told myself, Hey: you really need to love yourself and learn how to become who god wants you to be.

Spring flower interpretation
All good stories of my life starts at the mall::  I was in Barnes and Noble and the book was right there as if it was placed in my way for just me! The Artists Way, I was familiar with it, my college professor swore by it, and recommended it to me personally. I was too good for it back when I knew it all. This time I bought the life changing book, and started the 12-week program the next day.

Week one is about feeling safe, and you start to feel safe by letting your own mind heal from all the negative junk that is holding you back from becoming who you and god want you to be.

How do you start to become better you ask? You do that by Affirmations. Yes, the ones where you say something nice about yourself, not just once but 30 times a day for two weeks.

Is it crazy talk? You do it and decide, your life will change! You, my dear friend, will be happier for it, and your family will notice a difference.

I know what you are going to say: I totally have control of my mind and thoughts, I don't need to tell myself that I am awesome, I sorta already know that.
wild rose interpretation, Windsor & Newton wc, round brush 14

What Affirmations do for you is changing what you think too how you think...

Here is a small exercise to do:

List me something you love about yourself, be detailed, don't skimp.
Was it easy? Did you know right way what you would say to yourself?  NO right? why, because you need to change the way you think. It's that simple.

Ok, now tell me something that you don't like about yourself...
(Really? you have something that fast?) isn't that funny?

We are so negative to ourselves it's horrible. Just plain horrible!

Inspired by the hymn lead kindly light From my sketchbook

Affirmations really are the antidote to kindness.

To be very transparent

My affirmations from the Artists Way
(I picked three out of the 20 she provided)
1 .My creativity always leads me to truth and love.
2. There is a divine plan of goodness for me and my work
3. I am willing to let God create through me

Last year my three affirmations were:
1. I am allowed to nurture my artist
2. I use my creativity to heal myself and those around me
3. Don't be afraid to use my creativity to bless others, because of my creativity I am serving my Father in Heaven.

I can't tell you how many times I would send a small piece of creativity to a friend, or someone I was thinking off, (like a teacher, a friend.) It brightened up their day and made them feel happier. One of my mantras now is:

Go to bed feeling like the world is a better place because of you. (Even if you demanded time alone in your studio to work on your art while it could have been a family day.)

Try it, write three affirmations, then for two weeks. Write them down ten times each, I usually do it in one sitting but you can do it throughout the day. It will change your life, or at least your perspective!

Need some ideas: I listed some good links
For the visual learners
For mothers on a side note, this is a great post to read!
For the family, I really like number 8 on the list....

Do you have a good Affirmation that works really well for you? I would love to hear it!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

32 Activities we love to do besides TV that you can do now!

TV is my go to babysitter these days. It's Mid February and all the new toys from Christmas is wearing off, and it's just blah around here.

SO....... to cure the blah's and save some money while entertaining kiddo's:

I have some simple ways to get those toys out and get us playing with each other.

I have a wide mouth mason jar that is filled with sticks that have activities on them...

 I call it get a stick. Lots of times in my house I say no more tv get a stick and do it. It works wonders.  I have adapted these sticks from the busy books, made for kids and toddlers, and preschoolers. I also used ideas from the Artful Parent.

I decided that it was best to start of easy, I will post more Stick ideas as the season rolls on.

Easy ones:
Observe Nature: this is an open ended as you would like, A good 10 min. outside session, or a walk around the neighborhood. Then we talk about it, I will ask questions, to get them to think about what we saw. I won't take my toddler out if the temp or wind chill is under 35. So we observe from our window, this works really well when it's snowing!

Play with Plastic/stuffed Animals: We have so much fun, making zoo's, making habitat out of blankets, or just using them to act out what they do.

Sing songs: sing, just sing, we love the Hokey Pokey, It's a small world, all the preschool songs, it's a fun time at our house when we sing. (I do not play the piano, this is all just us, or the help with Alexa from my Amazon tap)

Clean a Bathroom I love when they pick this one...

Play with bubbles in the bathtub

Play dress up with big dresses, or old Halloween costumes.... I can't seem to get rid of the costumes.

Which then leads to.......
acting a play, or a song, or a movie.

Imagination play

Play Farm: My boys love when we get out our toy tractors, animals, and other imaginative toys out to play farm, really the sky is open and it's really fun to see their imaginations come to life while we play!

Play with Doll stuff

Create with Jix

Make a paper bag puppet

Create a Lego city

Create a Lego Zoo

Play Restaurant: We have some Melissa and Doug toys that we love to play restaurant with, they play restaurant for hours, they even make up a menu, and set up a table it's so fun to watch!

Create a book from magazine pictures, have a bunch of magazines laying around, make a book from the pictures!

Look at Cook Books, I love the idea of my kids learning about cooking, what better way then to let them read some cookbooks. We love the Downtown BookWorks cookbooks My blog post here was inspired by this activity

Create with blocks, We also create towers, castles, habitats from our imagination add some plastic animals, the sky is the limit!

Play with Melissa and Doug toys:  I have a box filled with Melissa and Doug toys that my kids adore, they get super excited to play with them and they have a ton of fun playing with these simple wooded toys!

Have a dance Party

Build a train track: Who can build the longest, who can build a the curvy roads, who can build one the fastest.

Play with Stuff animals: vet clinic, animal rescue, pets, let their imagination run wild!

Make your own music, use what you have.... the sky's the limit

Play with puppets, and put on a show.

Play princess and prince

Sensory Table

Water Beads: You can find them most places that sell floral crafts.
Play with beans in a sensory Table we like to add tractors and animals to this
Water in the Sensory Table simple and fun it's very open ended to what you can do!
Play with colored rice dump and pour is fun!

Play HopScotch

Shoot Nerf guns at a cup pyramid: We love red solo cups for this, build a pyramid, of cups and let the shooting begin, for added fun add some Lego guys at the top and sides, and have fun! We love hearing the cups fall down onto our hardwood floors. we like 10-20ish cups. Any more than that is to long to build the pyramid. Here is a link to help you be inspired

20 Item pick up, we each pick up 20 things. Whomever gets done first gets a piece of candy. (this is adapted from the Fly Lady)

Play a board game, WE LOVE SUSPEND and Jenga!

Play Just Dance, We LOVE DISNEY JUST DANCE ok, this does involve some tv, but totally worth it, it's a good work out!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Our Familys first Book Drive

Coming home from church Sunday afternoon I saw "the truck" in the driveway, Grandpa's truck, the work truck that he uses to haul "big stuff" It was my daughters birthday, which meant one thing. Whatever grandpa made, it was big... Then we saw IT, The new heart-warming house, that put a smile on all our faces.  A book house we call it. a house for books to give back to our neighborhood.

For my Daughters 8th birthday she had asked for a "book house" There it was, on the corner of our lot, with the perfect location to help spread literacy. We are delighted to start this amazing journey of becoming Little Free Library stewards. There is a feeling of gratitude for this opportunity that my daughter and my father-in-law have created for our family and community.

Dreams do come True!

Seriously last year when I was brainstorming all the fun things I could do or would like to be, a librarian came into my mind. I remember my mom taking me to our small rural town library, where my great grandmother:  Grandma Starr was a librarian. At age 8 I wasn't a reader, in fact, I hated it, I wanted to paint, and write, not read. Grandma Starr instilled in me the love of reading. I can still picture the small library with my Grandma Starr showing me the nonfiction books, It was as if the mother ship called me home. I remember from that day on I would go visit her at the library in the summers and we would have "story time" sometimes it was sewing, cooking, or just having her listen to me read... She loved it, I still remember the twinkle in her eyes when I would read something and ask her a question. My love for literacy and writing blossomed that summer when I was 9.

So taking on this stewardship with the Little Free Library with my daughter is fulfilling a family legacy. If I can instill the love of reading for my family and help my neighborhood then the world can be a better place to live.

I need your help! WE need books to for our little free library (LFL)! I will take as many as you want to donate. I will stamp inside each book that it was donated, with the hopes that it comes back to our LFL for others to enjoy. If you don't have books but would like to donate some money, the money will strictly be used for books, and materials to help the growth of literacy in our neighborhood.

So to kick off the start of our Little Free Library, we are going to host a book Drive/ Donation Drive. I will have a tote out on nice days (no rain or snow) please donate some books at our Little Free Library. Inside the Library I will have some color pages for kids, maybe a treat, you will never know what is in the library... I hope that it will always be a surprise! Which is part of the fun!

My hope is during the summer we can have a craft table set up to make bookmarks, make a small craft that then can be made and given to nursing homes for the patients. My vision is to make this a fun event that is like a story time at a library. Please note, where we live the closest library is about 10 minutes away from us. We go to three different libraries, but all are at least a 10-minute drive from our house, which I think is too far away... ''

So happy reading!

On a side note I have some printed sheets from our favorite kid activity books from DownTown BookWorks, please take one and post pics of it when you complete the activity!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Paper Delphiniums

Creativebug has a wonderful paper flower class that is all about using tissue paper or coffee filters! I loved the class! I was able to make some Delphiniums for my Grandma's funeral, they make me happy to see them. She loved to garden and I thought making some paper flowers would add some peace to the mourning process a bit. It did, I always wonder why making stuff with your hands will always bring some peace into your life?

This project was fairly easy, just use some coffee filters or yellow tissue paper, and do the dyeing process, which if you want to know how to make them Creativebug has a wonderful class on it! it was totally worth watching!

The break down on materials:
steams $2
floral tape $2
Coffee filters $3
ink to die the filters $1
Vase and rocks $5-$10
Your time: 4 hours (It took a little over an hour per stem)

If you would like a bouquet like this I would be happy to make it for your next event, I can do any color imaginable. Contact me if you would like more information

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The best way to use up scrapbook paper

Do you have some paper you love but don't know what to do with? I know I do!!! So let's have a paper flower party!

Here is what I do:
Get your Silhouette software loaded with lots of 3d flower shapes, and have then ready to cut.
I have some flower files that are just ready to go on the Silhouette design software that all I have to do is load a 12x12 piece of pattern paper, or 8.5x11 cardstock and hit start, and it starts cutting  my favorite flowers that I use all the time!
Take a day (or an hour here and there) to cut paper.

You can't go wrong with a Gerber Daisy. 

I like these roses because you can make them as full as you want, or as small as you want, there is no limit as to what size and how many layers you want. This rose file makes short work of cutting too!

Pair big patterns with bigger pedals for a dramatic look, I like the look of these flowers, it's unexpected, and yet looks elegant enough for a bouquet. 

Daisies have a great way of making interesting pattern paper look amazing! All those bold and monochromatic or analogous paper you have from years ago because of hoarding tendencies will look like a beautiful Daisy when you were done. (one 12x12 sheet = one full daisy with lots of layers.

Paper florists will spend one day just cutting out their flowers, and then another day assembling them. So having a paper flower cutting party really helps with workflow. If you have a ton of flowers to make this method is the best way.  Of course having extra doodads around helps bling up the flowers a bit I get most of mine from Hobby lobby in their scrapbook section called spare parts!

So what kind of occasions do you see paper flowers working out well? Soon I will be working on dance recital bouquets!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Valentines Day is February 14th Are you Ready?

Want a tool that your husband will love, but it's for you? and no it's not something for the bedroom Geehz!. It's for your Kitchen and it makes your life SO MUCH EASIER!!!

The Sous Vide cooking process has taken kitchens by storm, It's my new favorite tool that makes cooking effortless! Those moderate and economically cheap cut of meats, like a roast, will taste like you hired a  chef for the evening! This cooking process is something that you can do with little prep work in the kitchen, and the flavor and the tenderness of the tenderness of the meat are so unbelievable! Try a steak, and see how you like it, you will never go back to the grill, or the crockpot ever again. I PROMISE!

I made a chuck roast and it cooked all day in my Sous Vide water bath, It felt like forever!!! I am so glad I waited, I made a roux with the savory juices that came from the cooking process, and then let the meat rest while the roux/gravy was being made. I also cooked my carrots in the same water bath as the roast, just in a different bag, I wanted a maple glazed carrot for one of the sides, and it worked out amazing! It's  crazy how little prep work I did for the most amazing results! Here are some of my tips to make this chef-worthy meal:

Buy a chuck roast when it was 60% off, Freeze it,
The day before you want to cook it, take it out of the freezer to thaw
Add lots of pepper to the meat, (coat the meat in pepper and some herbs, whatever you like!)

Place the roast in the heated water bath and let it cook for a day like 18-22 hours,
While it's cooking cheek on the water level, add more if needed. and at some point, during the day you will want to add the carrots into another bag, and add some syrup and some spices to add some flavor. Add the bag of carrots to the water bath, and wait...

Once the meat and the carrots are done make the Roux from the juices of the meat, and dish up!

What do you think, a perfect gift right? You get a tool that makes cooking easy and fool proof, and other half gets an amazing dinner! 

Here is the perfect gift!

I am an Affliliate with Amazon any products you buy will help support my blog!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Three toned Inlay Card that will say I love you with out you saying anything!

Playing with paper is my happiness, so it's no surprise that I came up with this background for a fun valentine's day card.

I cut out 3 backgrounds of hearts, then inlay them in totally random spots. If I thought it needed to be a white heart, or pink heart or dark pink heart that's where it went. It turned out awesome!

of course, I added a  die-cut tag with some extra glitter.

So I am curious, do you give your kids a valentine day gift? I made a candy bouquet last year and they loved it... but this year I am not feeling it much... Although I think it would be fun to make something in the kitchen like cupcakes or candy together and then eat it!

What traditions do you do on Valentines Day?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Best Sous Vide Brownies

The best brownies I ever made was with my Sous Vide, that took 10 minutes of prep time. It was insanely easy So here is my secret:

Take a brownie box mix,
add the ingredients that is listed on the box to the mix, but only use about half of the oil and a little less of the water, (if you add all the oil you will have a mushy brownie, which is also really yummy!)
Mix the ingredients really well.

You will need about 6-8 jelly jars, or pint jars, spray the inside of the jar with oil so the brownies won't stick. Then add the brownie mix into the jars, leave lots of head space. Don't over fill them, I like to fill them about 2/3 full, but that would be my absolute max, filling them higher than that could mean a big mess if they overfull. Add your lids and bands, I reuse my lids, I just sharpie on the top of the lids, SOUS VIDE so I know that those lids have been used.

On a side note, I did add some heath toffee bits to the top of these brownies before I baked them

Get the water ready, the sous vide cooker ready and drop the jars into the hot water once it hits the temp. I cooked them at 195 F. for 3 hours, just watch your water level, and let them cool before taking them out of the jar, or leave them in the jar, add some ice cream and you my friend will have an amazing desert that people are just going to love!

Other insights: making brownies in each jar could be served to each family member. So you could customize for each person, you can add nuts, candy bits, caramel sauce whatever you can think off! You will have fewer dishes, you can eat the brownie out of the jar, add some ice cream to it for a really yummy treat. If you know you want this desert for dinner tonight just keep it warm in the water bath until you are ready to serve it. Or give this brownie in a jar way as a gift to someone to brighten their day! What ideas would you do with your Sous Vide brownie? I promise this recipe will be hard to give away because you will want to eat it all and not share, good thing it's so easy to make!

What else should I try baking this way? I was thinking Banana bread, or blueberry buckle maybe!!! I can't wait to try them!

If you are new to this type of cooking I have an introductory post to get you familiar with how Sous Vide cooking works.

So if you are looking into the Sous Vide process, Amazon has the one I have.
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