Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tool Cake

Chocolate cake, orange buttercream filling and homemade marshmallow fondant. All I have to say is, mouth watering! I wish I was the one who got to eat it!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Five Years and Still Going Strong

This past week was our fifth wedding anniversary! Yay! It almost seems surreal that so much time has passed. I didn't really believe people when they said it would fly by, but it has. It reminds me of the mission; there were many days that would drag on endlessly, but then before I knew it we  reached the end of a month, or the end of a transfer (6 weeks). 

For this anniversary I was a bit stumped on what to get Scott to show him how much I love and appreciate him. Then I happened across a post on pinterest about doing anniversary gifts by the hour and I knew that was perfect. There were a handful of small things that Scott had mentioned needing/wanting that would fit this idea. 

The basic idea is that they get to open something every hour for 12 hours. I timed Scott's gifts to be opened at 5 minutes after the hour since it was our 5th anniversary. Corny, I know!

For about 2 weeks I picked up little things as I came across them and managed to get most of his gifts during normal shopping trips with my kiddos. 

The gifts were mostly small things and I tried to come up with clever/funny sayings to go with them. 
A few examples: 
  • The first gift was a small package of grill wipes from Home Depot and a package of his favorite sour candies. 
  • The fourth gift was a can of Tire Slime to fix a flat tire (see tag below). 
  • The big gift was Chromecast paired with some swedish fish. (see tag below)

We had a lot of fun opening Scott's presents and he even laughed at my corny jokes and word plays. If you would like more specifics of the small gifts I used for this idea, email me!

Scott was in charge of everything about this anniversary and he surprised me by taking me to spend the night at Little America in SLC where we spent the first night of our honeymoon five years ago. It was a wonderful surprise and I was overwhelmed with the memories that flooded me as we walked into the hotel lobby. After checking in we headed down to the lobby for some late night desserts and saw a couple checking in who had obviously just come from their wedding reception and it made me smile. 

I have the most amazing husband in the whole world. He is so perfect for me. No one understands me in quite the same way, encourages and loves me or picks me up when I fall quite like he does. I love you Scott and I'm still over the moon excited that you want to spend forever with me!

We had a wonderful, leisurely weekend while the girls played at their grandparents house. They got to spend time with Scott's parents and his aunt who happened to be in town and I got to sleep in, use the bathroom ALL BY MYSELF(who knew that was possible anymore?), and eat my food without little fingers in my plate! 

Happy anniversary Scott!

I included a few flashback pictures of our wedding day! As you can tell, I had a hard time deciding which ones to include....

Saturday, July 26, 2014

B29 Superfortress

A week ago, the only B29 Superfortress with active flying status came to SLC and so OF COURSE I had to surprise Scott and take us all up to see it. It was incredible (and much bigger than it looks in the picture).

There are some moments in life where you get close to an object and can almost feel the life that was lived and lost in it and the stories that were made there seep into your bones and your emotions. This plane represents the thousands (3,970 to be exact) of B-29s that were built during WW2 and that were used to fight for us. Being so close to history made me a bit teary when I thought of all the men that put their lives on the line, and many that lost their lives, after climbing into a plane just like that one, for the purpose of saving others lives and bringing peace to a war torn world.

While driving up to see the Bomber we found out that Scott's grandfather helped build some of the B-29's in WW2. Knowing that made the day extra special, since I didn't have the opportunity to meet him and our children won't either.

Now that I've been sappy enough for one day I'll tell about standing in line for an hour an a half in hundred degree weather with a 3 year old and a 1 year old at lunch time.... enough said.

My bangs were definitely wind blown but wind in a desert, on top of the tarmac at an airport is HOT wind. We couldn't keep Thing Two confined to the stroller so we let her run free, which for her meant pushing around the stroller, which was fine with me, as long as she was happy!  

You can see that Thing One was super reluctant to get close to the big wheels. She told me that she didn't want to get run over! (At least we know that some of the things I tell her about why we don't run across people's driveways is sinking in....

After a l.o.n.g. wait in the sun we were finally able to go "inside" the plane. It felt like we were stepping back in time. I feel bad for the tour guides sitting inside the plane, wilting, because the temperature skyrocketed once you were inside!

It was pretty crazy to realize that a B-29 just like this one is the plane that dropped the atomic bombs. Looking at the technology that seems so archaic, but was cutting edge then, it almost doesn't seem possible.

Despite the heat and the cranky children it was a wonderful experience and I would definitely recommend going to see the Superfortress if it makes a stop near you. 

Many thanks to the Commemorative Air Force for making this plane and it's history available to the public.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Weekend Update

Forgive me for giving you a weekend update on Tuesday, but I've been a little under the weather.
We'll start the weekend on Friday for this posts sake so you can see the awesome lengths I will put my family through for good, free food. Thanks Chick-Fil-A for dinner!

I decided we needed to get out of the house and so I cut out lots of black cow spots, rounded up the safety pins and attached "ears" to tiaras and fox ears (from Halloween last year). Scott was quite surprised when he walked in to find his family had turned into cow costumes.  The wait wasn't too terrible and we ended up with awesome free Chick-Fil-A dinner that we took to the park for a picnic (is it a picnic when the food isn't made by you?). The sweltering desert heat (don't let the mountains in the background convince you it it isn't hot here) and the semi long line were the only drawbacks to our first Chick-fil-A free food experience and I think we'd do it again!

This weekend I also checked something off my bucket list! It may sound silly but I've always wanted to go to an estate sale. While out running errands I happened to pass a sign for an estate sale in my neighborhood. I flipped the van around so fast I'm sure the girls heads were spinning and off we went. This particular estate sale wasn't the things dreams are made of, but I have a feeling most estate sales are a little more professional and I have high hopes for the next one I get to go to (hopefully without the little one in the stroller and the toddler wanting to run from room to room trying on all the clothes and asking me to buy everything. 
Did I buy anything you ask? Why yes I did. Of course I had to buy something at my first estate sale!! Two LARGE umbrellas and a handful of scarves for the girls dress-up box. Maybe not the biggest haul or most amazing find but I'm pretty happy about it.

The weekend was rounded off by baths on Saturday night. When my toddler informed me that her little sister was going to poop in the bathtub they were sharing. I, naively, brushed off her concerns since that has never been a problem with my kids. Lets just say that next time I will listen more attentively when Thing One shares her sisterly insights with me (and I will not allow myself to run out of bleach ever again)! And don't worry, there are no pictures to share and thus scar your mind!

What things made your weekend memorable?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer Exchange

In May, Jo My Gosh, announced that she was going to sponsor a Secret Summer Gift Exchange and I happily signed up.  

A few weeks later those who signed up were paired up and emailed the info for the person they were to send too. I brainstormed and brainstormed about what to send and joyfully sent off my package hoping she would like what I had picked out. 

I waited for my own package to arrive and it never did, sadly (because who doesn't love getting a fun package in the mail!?). Jo was sweet enough to send me a package in place of the gal who didn't and that was a great surprise. Unfortunately it was too late to join the link up, but I thought I would share this with you guys anyway!

Who wouldn't be excited to get a package this darling?!?

I opened the box to see this cute note and even cuter cocktail container.

I happily twisted open the top to find.......
Margarita body wash and Strawberry Daiquiri lip gloss! I popped open the tops and they smell delicious!!

I haven't tried them yet but when I run out of my white citrus shower gel I plan to bust these babies out and see how they work.

What are your favorite beauty products?

Saturday, July 5, 2014

First 5k

The 4th was packed full of fun and firsts and we loved it!

I've been wanting to do a 5k for a few years now. I registered for one a few years ago and when I discovered I was pregnant with Thing Two I dropped out for fear that training for my first race while pregnant would put too much strain on my body. (I have a harder time carrying a baby to full-time than the average woman, which I'll tell you about someday)

About two weeks ago my husband signed us up for the Freedom Run 5k and I was both excited and nervous!
We ran as a family and I give major props to my husband for pushing the double jogging stroller the entire race, of which almost the last mile was very much uphill!! He set a great pace that kept me going steady for most of the race. We got some great shout outs from race officials on the loudspeaker for pushing a double jogging stroller.
It was an awesome race!! A good part of the race ran along the 4th of July parade route, before the parade started, and they had music playing and people cheering (those who had camped out along the parade route to get a good spot) which was a great motivator since I wasn't in quite as good a shape as I had hoped to be. It was a great feeling to hear my name called out as I crossed the finish line. 

And yes, we got the girls straight out of bed and put them in the car with snacks so those are their pajamas you see.

We are hoping to do another race soon, keep getting better, and maybe do a 10k by the end of the year!

Later we met up with friends at a park up the canyon, that the river runs through, for lunch and playing in the river.
After lunch we played games (learned some fun new ones) and eventually went home, grilled chicken for dinner and attempted to put our over-tired kiddos to bed early enough to sleep through the massively loud aerial fireworks that the people in our neighborhood light off at every opportunity.

Overall it was a great 4th of July and we had some awesome firsts as a family.

The Freedom 5k is supposed to one of the more fun races. What races have you enjoyed running?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

First Haircut on Both Sides

Thing One is three and a half years old and until yesterday had never had her hair cut. 

When I had my hair cut almost 2 months ago (wow, I guess I better go in and get my bangs trimmed!) Thing One talked about getting her hair cut. Since she makes a fuss every time I brush her hair and try to get the tangles out, I decided it was definitely time to cut it. It took me almost 2 months to get up to courage to cut her hair. Don't judge! I cry whenever my hubby asks me to cut his hair and so he goes and gets it cut at Sport Clips. Again, don't judge! 

I went to Sally's, purchased some scissors, went home and watched a million you-tube videos on hair cutting.

I often call Thing One Rapunzel because of her long hair and so I figured if we watched Tangled while cutting her hair she would take it better (since Rapunzel's hair gets cut at the end and there is a happy ending :)
Thing One couldn't hold still and so it took 3 attempts to get the final finished product.
It was a scary experience for sure but I conquered my fear and cut my daughters hair for the first time and I think it turned out okay. Hopefully from here on out it will easier, right?

Do you cut your children's hair, and if so do you have tips and tricks to make it easier?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Pajama Shame

Never wear your pajamas to the store. 

Even if your day includes cleaning the whole house and making snacks and dessert, going to your in-laws for dinner and then hosting your hubby's co-workers for a movie night, resist the urge to wear your pajamas on your lightening fast run to the grocery store, even if you've been up, quite literally, all night with a cranky baby!

Why, you ask?

It is guaranteed that not only will you see your neighbor (who probably didn't mind your pajamas) but you will see someone whose blog you follow and you've wanted to meet and you will hide your head in shame and hope she doesn't notice you....

It's inevitable that when you're dressed cute and run errands you will see no one you know but if you make that quick run to the store with your hair in a messy bun and in your sweats you will see everyone you know or want to know.

Am I the only person this happens too? Please tell me it happens to you too...

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Some days as a parent are hard and discouraging. Some days I get frustrated and impatient and wonder how to keep doing this day after day.

But then I look at these sweet, cute girls and realize that I can't even imagine our family without them, and I just want to snuggle them close.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Meetup with Kristen from When At Home

When At Home has become a favorite blog of mine. I continue to go back and read it because Kristen writes about real life and I love that. She is totally relatable, down to earth, and funny as can be! The Alt Summit for bloggers was in SLC this week and while she was here she did a meetup and I was able to go (I even got a babysitter, how awesome is that?!). 

I was a little nervous on my way to the meetup but it was great fun! Kristen and her friend Gabby were awesome and it felt like I was chatting with old friends. If you ever get a chance to meetup with Kristen, take it! You will be glad you did. Check out her blog, When At Home.

And as a sidenote, now I totally want to go to ALT next January! It looks like so much fun and a great place to find new ideas.

Have you found new, awesome friends through Blog meetups?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Basement Bedroom Transformation

Over the next MANY months I will post updates as I get my house and family ready for our first PCS after my husband graduates from OTS next year. You might ask, why am I starting now when I have so much time between now and then? Well, when you have two kids who follow you from room to room when you try to get things done and undo the things you have just done, the things that you think will take an hour take a day(at least), the things that should take a day, take a week, etc....

In addition to de-cluttering, getting rid of things, getting organized, and packing the things that I don't want the movers to pack, I will be getting our house ready to sell and it will be mostly me since my hubby is busy with school and work. Our house was built in the 1920's so it needs quite a bit of updating before we sell it. There will be a LOT of wallpaper stripping, wall patching (our walls are plaster) and then painting. Lest you think I'm exaggerating, let me tell you, our kitchen has white wallpaper ON THE CEILING! Who puts wallpaper on the ceiling...?

We put made progress on the bathroom last night and I'll fill you in the details later but for now, here are some pictures of the basement bedroom we worked on last summer.

We did:
  • sealant around the windows, 
  • nasty carpet removed (found laminate tiles underneath the carpet pad that we will do more with later),
  • new paint for the whole room, including the ceiling and windows
    • We used Beige Buckthorn on the walls and white on the ceiling and around the windows
  • Rug that my in-laws gave us
What started out as this:

Morphed into this:
(I love that in the middle pic you can see the bizarre green and some other strange color that were in the room when we bought the house, book-ended by the new beige wall paint and white ceiling paint)

And ended up as this:
Eventually I will either make or buy new, fun curtains for this room and put pictures on the wall.

Thing Two loves having this as her playroom. That being said, I'm hoping that if our next house has space for a play room it will be on the same floor as the main living areas. 

The other downstairs bedroom will be one of my next projects. Right now the walls and ceiling are throw-up inducing yellow. I use it as a craft room/exercise space. It's almost twice the size of the playroom. What color do you think I should paint it?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Teething Trouble

Same days I just want to go back to bed, bury my head under my pillow and come again after my kids have all their teeth! I'm always amazed when friends tell me about how easy teething was for their kids or how their kids got 6 or 8 teeth in one fell swoop and didn't teeth again for like a year. 

Those. are. not. my. kids.

My kids teeth almost constantly from about 12 months on. The Pediatrician says that's normal for some kids....

Thing Two is 16 months old and only has 6 teeth. She woke up Sunday morning super cranky and I discovered two long awaited teeth coming in. We attempted church but left after about 35 minutes. She was so cranky and wasn't satisfied with anything. Not to mention that the family in front of us were collecting her toys that she was throwing on the floor, playing with them and then when the kids refused to give them back to Thing Two the parents just shrugged their shoulders and ignored the situation. Hello! You know I hate it when people don't parent their children and it affects my family. Deep breaths Melody, deep breaths. After about 10 rounds of climbing into my lap, whining to get down and then instantly wanting back up on my lap only to be unsatisfied again, I had had enough. I wasn't going to do this for the next two and a half hours! Hubby stayed at church with Thing One while Thing Two and I walked the 2 blocks back to our house.

She was content to cuddle on my lap and play simple games for the next hour before taking a nice, long nap. 

Fast forward to Monday morning and as we are getting ready to take the girls to their first swim lessons I put my finger in Thing Two's mouth and discover that she actually had 4 teeth break through the gums over the weekend!

Monday was misery, the poor girl cried through most of her swim lesson and then slept through the afternoon, thank goodness!

Yesterday she just wanted to be held, ALL DAY LONG. I almost lost my mind. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids like crazy and will do anything for them but when you are trying to fit in dishes, and laundry and other miscellaneous things that need to be done around the house it can be a little frustrating. At the end of the day, while looking at all the things that didn't get done and will have to be done the next day, I just try to remember the sweet feel of her arms around my neck and her little body cuddling into mine. Knowing that I have the ability to comfort her makes all the frustration of the day seem a little less important. 

A moment of happiness in a miserable day. I felt like a rock star mom when I found a way for her to get the yogurt out of the tube.

Thing One reading to her little sister to make her happy! 

FINALLY!! Sleeping with a spare pacifier in each hand. Cause you never know how many you might need.

My girls are the sweetest and the best. Even when they are cranky and crabby and drive me up the wall I couldn't be happier that they are mine. They challenge me to be the best me I can be. They challenge me to find the strength and patience inside that I didn't know I had. And I am rewarded by sweet smiles and sleepy little voices telling me they love me as they snuggle in my arms.

What do you do for your kids when they are teething?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Looking For a New Book To Try?

The annual Father and Sons camp out for our ward (local LDS church congregation) was this past Friday and since my hubby wasn't planning to go, he stayed home with the girls so I could go out to dinner with a bunch of other wives and mothers whose husbands and sons were out camping. It was a BLAST! We had dinner at Cafe Zupas and had to keep adding tables as more girls showed up. I did the "take two combo" and decided to try the Thai Mango Salad and the dressing was SO spicy I couldn't finish it. The sandwich  that was the second part of the combo was one of my all time favorites, Turkey Cranberry. Delicious! We split a slice of Sinful 7 Chocolate Cake between a few of us and it was wonderfully sinful! Going out for dinner with the girls and no kids was such a nice break from the normal pattern of my days. It was great to get a chance to really chat with and get to know the girls that I see only briefly on Sundays.

After dinner I was going to run some errands and ended up at the Library instead. My quick trip to pick up the book I had on hold morphed into an hour long journey into new authors and one's I hadn't read in a long time. I used to spend a lot of time at the library but as my family has increased in size my trips to the library for my books has decreased in number and length. 

After picking up my book from the hold shelves I had an eye opening experience about asking for help. I decided that I wanted to check out another book and wanted to try something new so I asked the librarians at the circulation desk for suggestions. They were SO helpful! They suggested a similar author. I had already read her books and so the librarian then showed me an awesome blog on the library website where librarians rate the books they have read. It is a fantastic resource where you can look through the different categories of books that have been reviewed, such as: clean reads, fiction, historical fiction, horror, fantasy, graphic novels, etc... and find new titles to try.

After the librarian showed me the first blog, I logged into a library computer to look through it more closely and find some books to try. The librarian thought of another blog she thought would be helpful and came to find me and show me. She also went above and beyond and hunted down a book on the shelves that she was sure I would like and brought it to me while I was on the computer because she just couldn't rest until she had put a new book in my hand! Such a sweet lady

The second awesome blog on the library website that she showed me is full of reading recommendations based on what you already like to read. This blog has a similar format to the first one but has more topics(labels) you can peruse and includes authors in the list of topics. One of the best features of this blog is that you can submit a request to the librarians for book suggestions. You fill out a little questionnaire and they make 3-5 book suggestions based on your answers to the questionnaire. 

I came home with 6 books instead of just 1 and I have a whole list of other books I want to try.

The very best part of these blogs, if you ask me, is that you don't have to sign in as a library card holder to access them! They are available on the library home page for anyone to use. When we do end up moving away I will still be able to find new authors and books through these awesome resources!

What are your favorite books and authors?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Air Force Status (aka Rant)

Some of you may have wondered about our Air Force status since I haven't posted anything recently. We are currently just waiting for the Air Force to make some decisions which is why I haven't had anything exciting to post in that area.

Here is a quick review of our timeline so far:
Applied to the Air Force late last fall
Accepted to OTS and the DEP early in the spring(March)
Attended MEPS the first part of April (read about hubby's MEPS experience here)
Had background check completed about a month ago
Had another physical at Hill AFB last week

Why ANOTHER physical you ask? Let me explain, and by explain I mean rant! 

I would bet money that on the paperwork my hubby filled out as part of his A.F. application last fall he had to check a box on several forms that he is colorblind. That's the reason he hasn't pursued a pilot spot or a couple of other careers in the Air Force that he would have loved, they absolutely require color vision. Apparently they either overlooked that fact or my memory is totally out of whack about the paperwork. At MEPS he, of course, failed the colorblindness test. Apparently standard color vision is preferred for the job field that they had him slated to do. So, they had him drive up to the AFB and redo the entire physical and then some additional things they didn't do at MEPS. He partially failed the colorblindness test this time and now he has to apply for a waiver. They won't respond to a simple waiver request for 3 to 4 months. 

I like to be able to plan at least a little in advance and this is driving me nuts to have to wait to find out something so simple that could and should have been taken care of months ago! If this delays his date for OTS and he is able to go to another semester or two of school and get a double major we would like to know sooner rather than later so he can have enough time to register for the classes that he would need.

End of rant. Phew! I really am very excited about going into the Air Force and think it will be a good life for our family. I know that this kind of thing isn't unusual in the military but it is taking a little bit to adjust to.

Are you color blind? Take one of these color blindness tests to find out.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Provo Park Hop #1 Bicentennial Park

Every week this summer a group of friends and I will be visiting a new park in Provo to try it out, learn more about our town and find fun new places to play! Hopefully every Friday I will be posting an update about the park we visited the day before.

Yesterday we played at Provo Bicentennial Park. To be honest, the park was almost to Springville and didn't really feel like it was in Provo. Lots of parking spaces right next to the grass which was awesome, no walking through a crowded parking lot with kids in tow.

My friend Melissa brought a bow and arrows and helped each of the kids take a turn. Definitely the highlight of the trip!

The playground was nice and big with plenty of swings, which meant no fighting over swings which was great! Lots of big shade trees for the mammas to camp out under while our kids played.

The duck pond was kind of muddy, we only saw two ducks and they were hiding behind a big fallen tree in the water and weren't interested in the bread Thing One brought and was so excited to feed them so that was a bit of a letdown for her. Thing Two loves ducks, with a PASSION so I was hoping she would be able to see them but she didn't know what she was missing out on.

Thing Two wore her tutu to the park and spent most of her time on the blanket eating snacks or chasing bubbles.

Overall it was a great park with tons of nice lush green grass for the kids to run and play. It was almost too big of a grassy area for little kids as we had a harder time keeping track of them. There is a HUGE hill that they can run up and then roll down.

We loved the playground, shady trees and large grassy area the most. 
What things are a priority for you when choosing which park to take your kids too?

Things we didn't do: 
Wetlands area with a boardwalk to walk on while you check it out.
Sand volleyball area
Disc golf course

Thursday, June 5, 2014

DIY Kiddie Pool Cover

If you're like me, when you go through the hassle of getting your kids squirmy bodies into swimsuits, sun-screened and out into the backyard to splash in the kiddie pool, only to discover it's full of bugs, grass clippings and who knows what all it's very frustrating!

Solution: Make a kiddie pool cover to help keep out the unwanted creepy crawlies!

4 yards of fabric
3 yards of 3/4 inch elastic
Sewing machine!

1. Buy 4 yards of fabric
- Cut fabric in half so you have 2 pieces, 2 yards each
2. Sew the right sides of the fabric together (I didn't worry about ironing it open, it's going outside :) )
3. Lay the pool on the wrong side of the fabric and mark about 7 inches from edge of pool with a sharpie
4.Cut the circle out of your fabric
5a. Iron a 1/2 inch seam around edge
5b. Iron down a 1 inch seam around the edge
-Sew down the edge of the 1 inch seam to make a casing, leaving about 2 inches open to thread the elastic through.
-Attach a large safety pin to each end of elastic and secure one end to the opening in the fabric.
-Thread other end of elastic through casing
-Sew ends of elastic together with crisscross stitches
-Sew down 2 inch opening in casing and you're done!!

Try out your kiddie pool cover!

My girls loved that the water was nice and warm from sitting in the sun all day with the cover on without being full of bugs and junk!!

I followed this tutorial by Mama with three chicks when making my pool cover.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Strawberry Frenzy

Sometimes I'm too ambitious. Surprise, I know! *wink *wink*

I go through phrases where I make an extra effort to eat fresh fruits and veggies and inevitably I end up buying more than we can eat and it goes bad, which just breaks my heart!

This time we had too many strawberries and I had to get creative. We did 3 things to use them up:
1. Slice and freeze in small ziplock bags
2. Use the fresh strawberries in a smoothie along with frozen ones from the last time we had this problem.
3. Make strawberry waffles (my new favorite use)

Thing Two is 16 months old and a very picky eater but waffles are one thing I know she will always eat.

We made a TON of strawberry waffles and froze them between pieces of wax paper. Now, when Thing Two won't eat anything I pop a waffle in the toaster and she's happy!

What do you do when you have too much of something in your kitchen?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fabric and Tulle Tutu

Last week Thing One was invited to a Princess Birthday Party for 3 of her friends who were born the same week. Princess attire was requested and most of her dress-ups are my old dance costumes so I decided to make her a Princess Tutu for the party. I've already had some questions from the moms at the party about making a tutu so here you go! 

I started with a selection of 8 coordinating fabrics from the Quilters Showcase Fabric Line at Joann's. I went back a day later and added 2 more fabrics from the same line. It's good quality fabric at a good price, which means I don't care too much about how fast the tutu gets destroyed. I got the fabric 60% off so I was even happier. Did I add a few extra yards to the cart for future projects? Perhaps.... 

Thing One's best gal pal was one of the birthday girls so I made her a tutu also. Thing One's will be pink and blue and her friend's will be pink and orange.

I started by cutting the fabric into strips 3 inches wide, the width of the fabric. 

Cut the strips down to the length you want. I did a variety of lengths to give it more visual appeal. My shortest length was about 18 inches and the longest was about 26 inches. Most of the longer ones ended up being orange and going on the friend's tutu (she's taller than my little one). I wanted the tutu's to be a little longer than the ones you buy so that Thing One wouldn't grow out of it too soon.

 I cut the tulle a little longer than the fabric to give it a fairy-like look and more movement. I didn't take pictures because it was about 2 in the morning and things were getting blurry!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mom, Mamma, Mommy....

 Thing Two is now 16 months old

and she has become quite the talker and much better at expressing herself and communicating her needs but some days this is what happens in my house:

In case you are wondering, no, I haven't lost my mind yet but some days I wonder if that is imminent. Thankfully she is super duper cute!

What do your kids do that make you wonder if you are losing your mind?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Mamma Bear Instincts

Yes, I am THAT mom.

Yesterday we ran to the mall to run an errand and I took my kids to the mall playground to release some pent up energy once we were done. The mall has a great treehouse playground with dinosaur bones "half buried" in the ground for the kids to play on. Thing One loves anything playground related and Thing Two has figured out that she loves slides and swings.

The behavior of some of the kids was appalling but the most appalling thing was the indifference displayed by their parents when they even noticed their little hooligans running around wreaking havoc.

When you as a parent take your kids to the playground, then sit back and let them run rampant it drives me bonkers!! I'm okay with your kids running around crazy as long as they stay away from my kids. Once they start climbing UP the slide that my kid is waiting in line for, cutting in line, pushing or hitting my kids my mamma bear instincts kick in. Yes I will make your kids go to the back of the line, no matter how many times I have to redirect them to the back of the line in a 2 minute time period. I will keep them from going UP the slide while kids are waiting to go DOWN the slide and I won't feel a moments regret from marching your kid over to you when they push or hit my kid. If you won't do it, I will.

You may not care about teaching your kids respect, obeying playground rules(and life rules in general) or being a decent human being but I DO care about teaching those things to my kids and I will not let your kids ruin my kids trip to the playground and give them bumps and bruises they don't deserve.
Look at these cuties! Who wouldn't unleash the mamma bear inside when necessary?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Never forget an ingredient again!

Growing up, I would be half finished with baking something and start wondering if I had added everything I was supposed to. My mom taught me a simple way to make sure you add everything on your recipe.
The answer is so simple! Set out ALL your ingredients before you begin and as you use an ingredient put it away in the cupboard or pantry. If you have something left on the table or counter when you think you are done then you forgot to add it.

This past weekend I made a Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake for a fundraiser at church to help the girls in our youth program pay their camp fees this summer. (And yes, I know I used generic cocoa, not Hershey's. I cross my heart and promise to use the real deal next time!) 

I started with all the ingredients on the table (I live in an 85 year old house so there is limited counter space...)

Once all the dry ingredients had been added this is what the table looked like, with only the wet ingredients left.

A. The last thing that I added was boiling water, hopefully you can see the steam!. This may sound strange but some of my favorite baking recipes call for boiling water to be stirred in at the end.
B.  After everything has been added and ready to be poured in the pans
C.  Greased and floured 9" cake pans with with bake even strips around the edges.

The finished product!

My mom's tips have been lifesaving (or at least taken a load off my mind) over the years. What baking tips have come in handy for you?

I used this tutorial by as inspiration for this cake!