Monday, March 30, 2009

Easter Bunny S'mores

Cute, cute, cute!!!! I love this idea. To see it, click here!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Greatest News I Have Heard All Day

I have no idea where I have been, but I just saw a trailer for this movie and I am sooooo excited! I love this book and can hardly wait to go see it on the big screen. It looks a lot like Bridge To Terabithia. To check out the trailer go here. It will be in theaters October 16. Can I wait that long??? I am going to read this book to my kids again right now!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fun With Money

Brandy and I both have children in the first grade and with the first grade, comes learning about money. Now every kid loves money and loves to spend money but they don't really understand the concept of money. My son, who is 10, always answers my "we don't have the money for that right now" with "Mom, use your credit card. Or write a check". Oh, don't we wish it were that easy?
Well, learning about money and how it works can be very confusing. Brandy and I have talked quite often about how tricky such an easy concept can be. From learning about pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. To adding up different coins to come up with a total.
I saw this great idea on a show here in Utah called Good Things Utah. There is a woman who has a blog called Smmart Ideas. She had GREAT ideas for teaching about money.
One idea was to take a simple ice tray and dump out a piggy bank and have the child sort the money from the piggy bank into the different holes in the ice tray. I thought that was a wonderful way to teach sorting.

The next thing she did was play "I Spy" with the dollar bill. You have your child hold the bill while you say such things as "I spy an "L" ", and they would have to search the bill for the "L". She did rubbings by taping the coins to the back of paper and then rubbed the other side with a crayon. It was amazing.
My very favorite thing she did was set up a little "store" with the childs toys and placed big price tags with different quantities and had the child use his money to come up with the amount. This way it is fun and they are learning while playing! What is better than that. I am now a big fan of her blog and look forward to doing some of her great ideas with my kids.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Darling Cards & Gift Tags made by Crafty Ladies

I am so grateful for the creativeness of others! I wanted to share some of my favorite printables that I have stumbled upon. I have saved these to my computer, so that I will always have a card, close by, should an occasion ever warrant a card. And oh my, I love to give cute cards!! I love to give cute gift tags. I just love to feel crafty, although I always try to give credit, where credit is due!
Adorable gift tags from Fog and Thislte. Click here.
Super cute card by Creature Comforts. Click here.

This is a silly little card. I think it's rather funny! My motto, if you will. Click here.

Just Because and Thinking of You Cards. Click here.

Cute birthday card templates. Click here.

Emergency Birthday Card, by How about Orange. And matching envelope!
DARLING Button card. Simply print and use buttons to embellish. Again, from How about Orange. Stinkin' cute, gift tags for little kids or perfect for a baby shower! Click here! Provided again, by Fog and Thistle. Also a fun little sight, is A Print a Day. She has oodles of free downloads to choose from.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

One Thing I Thought I Couldn't Live Without

I had been wishing and hoping for a Kitchen Aid since college in 1994! Every holiday I would almost pray to get one. Year after year it never came. Man, the things I would do with a Kitchen Aid. I would get all the attachments for sure! I would make homemade spaghetti noodles with it on a daily basis, I would use the grinder and grind my own hamburger, I would get the ice cream maker attachment for sure and retire my old wooden one that is in the garage, I would for sure have to get the juicer attachment and make homemade orange juice every day and serve it out of a glass pitcher out on the patio.

Ok, well about three years ago I finally got my Kitchen Aid!! I was so excited. I use it all of the time. It is so fun to use. But surprisingly enough, I don't really feel like I need the attachments. I am fine with the old wooden ice cream maker in my garage, I am ok with making noodles using my easy recipe and cutting the noodles with my pizza cutter (my kids actually love to do this). It is funny how perspective changes and our priorities get different. I am so grateful for my Kitchen Aid but from time to time I feel bad for my old beaters so I will pull them out and use them. The thing I love best about my Kitchen Aid is that my sweet husband knew how much I wanted one and was willing to sacrifice to get me one for Christmas. My heart gets warmed each time I turn the machine on!!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cute Bunny Cake

When I saw this in my Kraft Foods magazine I got so excited! My dad use to make this for me every Easter and I have been telling my kids about it off and on. So when I saw it, my daughter made a quick call to Grandpa asking if he could make it for her this year. We'll see.....but it brought back so many memories. For directions on how to make it go here.

For those of you that don't know, Kraft sends out a WONDERFUL magazine quarterly. It is filled with wonderful, easy recipes. The best part is that it is FREE! So go here to find out how to receive your free magazine.

** I checked it out and Kraft is no longer offering a free subscription to their magazine! How sad is that? Guess the economy caught up with them. You can click on the link above to subscribe to the Food and Family magazine for $11.98 a year. With each subscription you recieve a free gift, which the their Family Favorties Cook Book., However, they do offer a digital version that you can view for free.**

Monday, March 23, 2009

We've Got Winners!!

Hello ladies! My, how we've missed you!! Not that we were really very far away. Even though we were on vacation, we were constantly checking the blog to see all your lovely comments! Thanks so much for the LOVE! Welcome to all of our new friends and all of our old friends too! Thanks to all of those who blogged about our little contest. We LOVE you!

A Great BIG Thank you goes out to our fabulous sponsors!

The 5 Lucky Ladies ~
Buttered Toast, Tie ~ Stepper the Mighty
Ballerina Bells, tutu ~ Tiffany Hewlitt

Check back next Monday for another great giveaway!!!
New posts coming everyday this week!
Lot's fun new things to share!

Mandees Monday Menu

So glad that Spring Break has come to an end. Had a great time but it is always great to get back into a routine. Last week it was really hard to stick to a menu with all the coming and going but it is so helpful to keep things in check.

Monday: Meatloaf, Green Beans, and Pasta side (never made it to Meatloaf lastweek) :)

Tuesday: Taco Soup, Rolls

Wednesday: PoppySeed Chicken, Broccoli

Thursday: Lasagna, Garlic Bread, Salad

Friday: Easy Chicken A La King with rice

Saturday: Classic Stuffed Peppers

Sunday: Sweet and Sour Grilled Chicken, Roasted Potatoes

Sunday, March 22, 2009

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Good luck to everyone!
We will be back tomorrow, sometimes
to announce the 5 Lucky winners!
happy, happy day to you!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ballerina Bells Giveaway

This giveaway is being hosted by Ballerina Bells. Your one stop shop to make your little girl feel like the princess she is! They have DARLING tutu's, tiara's, wings, hair accessories and magic wands! Rachel over at Ballerina Bells has generously offered this tutu, the It's My Party Tutu, for one of our lucky readers to win!! The winner will receive this tutu, in the size of her choice, sized 2t through 5t. If some reason this tutu doesn't strike your fancy, they are willing to offer a custom made tutu, made especially for your little princess!!

All you have to do is go and check out their online store and then come back and let us know, which of their products is your favorite. Thanks so much to Ballerina Bells for offering this great giveaway!! There are way's to earn extra entries. Make sure you read all the fine print above!!

Reversible Jumper Giveaway

This giveaway is being generously donated by Grandma Freddie’s Esty Boutique. Here you will find super cute reversible jumpers for your little girl. Or you might find BEAUTIFUL pillowcases, DARLING children’s aprons and ADORABLE one-of-a-kind wooden block sets! Go check out her Etsy shop, and then come back and let us know which item’s you would be interested in seeing more of in her shop. After you do this you will be entered for a chance to win one of these darling hand made reversible dresses, which will fit a size 4 - 5. One of the dresses is made out of a pink silhouette of children at a birthday party on one side, and party balloons on the other side. The other dress is a Laura Engel Brecht fabric on one side and a bright cherry red on the other side. Please include, in your original comment which dress you would pick, if you are out LUCKY winner! Good LUCK everyone!!!! Remember that you can earn extra chances to win. Be sure to read how at the top of the giveaway.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mandees Monday Menu

WHEW! Back to a menu. It seriously throws me off when I don't have one. I open the pantry and fridge/freezer a million times when the clock hits five. So, after a great vacation to the Happiest Place on Earth I am back with my menu.
As I said in a previous post, I have become a blog "stalker" of Jadi's favorite Recipes! You seriously need to check it out if you haven't yet. A couple of my meals will be coming from her this week, so I will link you to them. Also another great blog that I got my sweet and sour meatballs from is My Kitchen Cafe.

Monday: Creamy Chicken Noodle soup (with homemade noodles), rolls

Tuesday: Tom Cruises' Spaghetti Carbonara, Veggies, and Garlic Bread

Wednesday: Chicken Brocolli Casserole

Thursday: Meatloaf, Baked Potato, and Cauliflower/brocolli medley

Friday: Sweet and sour Meatballs

Saturday: Chicken Enchilada and salad

Sunday: Cola Roast

Friday, March 13, 2009

Coraline: Not A Movie For Kids

Ok, so it was my turn for a one on one with my 6 year old daughter. I thought I would take her to a cute cartoon movie for girls. HELLO! This movie was terrible. I should have just gotten up and taken her out. That is what a lot of you will wonder by the time I am done telling you about this movie.
It was about a little girl who moved into a new house with her mom and dad. They were too busy to pay too much attention to her so she often thought about what it would be like to have a different set of parents. Well, a little boy in the neighborhood became her friend and gave her a doll that looked just like her. Well, this doll ended up being a spy for her "other mother" that lived through a little door in the wall. Coraline ended up going through the door each night and her "other parents" seemed to be perfect. I likened this to satan. He tries to make all evil appealing. Well, come to find out, the "other mother" looks into the childrens souls, convinces them to leave their families, and live with her. In order to do this she has to pluck their eyes out and replace them with buttons. Coraline never made it that far. She ended up killing the "other mother" (who is really a very scary witch).
In the middle of the movie there were two big ladies that do musicals. Well, one came out with tasels on her .......breasts. It was soooooo bad. I am really kicking myself for not leaving. It would have been a great lesson. But my 6 year old wanted to make sure that Coraline ended up ok and I felt it would be more traumatic to not know. Ok, really, should I have to ask myself if I should leave in a cartoon????? I feel like I was beckoned to this movie because it looked cute......well, it was anything but that.
So, as we were leaving, my daughters church teacher was two rows in front of us. I asked her what she thought and she said, "I was impressed by the creators imagination". So maybe I totally don't think I did. We will not be buying this movie.

Yummiest Chicken Casserole EVER

Ok, you have got to go check out Jadis Favorite Recipe Blog. She is amazing. I wish I were her friend. Holy cow. So many good things there to try. My menu for next week comes primarily from her blog. Lastnight I had chicken breasts defrosted and since I didn't make a menu for this week I didn't know what to do with them. (I obviously rely too much on my menu). So I went to her blog and found this recipe and had to try it. My family ate it way too fast for me to get a photo of it but there is one on here on her blog.

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c milk
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 c parmesan cheese
1 c frozen mixed vegetables
2 c cooked cubed chicken
2 1/2 c medium egg noodles, cooked and drained
2 c cornflakes
2-4 T melted butter
She adds minced onions and garlic so I did too.

Stir soup, milk, pepper, Parmesan cheese, vegetables, chicken and noodles in 1 1/2 qt dish. Crush cornflakes an dmix with melted butter. Sprinkle mixture over the top of the casserole. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A couple of easy St. Patrick Day Ideas

A couple of fun idea's. For Mandee's Leprechaun Trap, click here!
I got this idea from my sister and did this last year. Lot's of fun! Have your kids set their shoes on the porch, the night before St. Patricks day. During the night the Leprechauns come and fill their shoes with treasure, but those tricky leprechauns hide their shoes and the kids have to find them!
To see the LEGEND OF THE LEPRECHAUNS and the Magic Treasure box, click here.

Yummy Green Punch

I am so excited to make this punch again on St. Pattys day!!!! This is one of our family favorites and the kids know that we will be drinking this on the 17th.

Green Punch Recipe
1 quart of water
46 oz of pineapple juice
1 packet of lime Kool-Aid
½ cup of sugar
1 quart ginger ale

This tastes the best if you chill the water, pineapple juice, Kool-Aid and sugar first.Then right before serving, add the ginger ale.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Shamrock & Rainbow Wreath

A great St. Patrick's days craft. We made these up in about 30 minutes. I had the kids cut the center out of a paper plate and then color the wreath green. You could paint the wreath, but given the age of 2 of the 4 kids, we opted to color. You can print off the shamrocks and the rainbows in black and white and also have the kids color those. We used the color template and just printed them and I cut them, while they colored the wreath. We used glue dots (best things ever invented) to stick the shamrocks and rainbows to the wreath. The kids used fishing line to attach the dangling rainbows.

We found this idea at DTLK and they have lots of great ideas. For the shamrock pattern we used, click here. For the rainbow's click here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Edible and Easy Finger Paint

I have to admit, I didn't think of this, so I can't take any credit for it. However, it's been a while since I saw it on another blog, but I can't remember whose blog it was. I'm sorry! If it was you, please let me know so I can give you the credit you deserve!

Easiest craft ever! All you have to do is open a can of sweetened-condensed milk, separate it into containers and add food coloring. Wala ~ You have edible finger paints.

Once my daughter tasted it, she didn't use it to paint anymore. I didn't get many pictures, because I was to busy trying to contain the messy 1-year-old.
The boys really enjoyed it. We would do this again in a heartbeat. The only thing would be that I would only use about 1/2 the can, because a lot of it was wasted. Happy painting!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Girls Camp ~ HELP PLEASE

I am an advisor in the Young Women's program in my ward. I went to girls camp last year and had a blast!! First time I had been as an adult and also the first time since I was a 14. Can you believe that? I know I missed out on a lot. Anyway, I guess I am the assistant camp director also! And it's ward girls camp, not stake!!! We are planning everything!!! So I need your help. Give me all your great ideas for girls camp. What have you seen done that works and what doesn't. What is your favorite girls camp meal? (I am kind of in charge of food) Has anyone ever done Camp bucks and how well did that work for you? What activites have you done that created unity within your ward? Any and all advice and ideas will be appreciated.

Our theme is "It's a Jungle out There." Now go crazy and let me know your ideas!!!!

Hawaiian Haystacks

** Mandee is still in Disneyland, lucky girl! So Mandee's Monday Menu will not be posted this week! Sorry!! Instead you get one of my favorite recipes.**

I have to admit, that I feel silly even posting this recipe. Doesn't everyone know what a Hawaiian haystack is? I actually had 2 friends, who did not know what they were, until we made them one day for a lunch party at work. So maybe, someone out there needs to know what a Hawaiian haystack is. It is one of my families favorite meals.

Cook enough rice to feed your family. I usually like to do enough that I can have rice for breakfast. Warm it up with a little bit of butter, add some cinnamon and sugar and milk! Oh, it is delicious for breakfast or even as a dessert.

1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 to 1/2 cup sour cream (to taste)
1 cup chicken broth (add more if you want a thinner sauce, less for thicker)
1 & 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken
salt and pepper to taste (I also use garlic powder and dehydrated onions.)

Mix all together until warm. Serve over the top of rice.


Mandarin Oranges
grated cheese
Chow Mien Noodles
diced green peppers
diced green onions

I think everyone who makes this has their own recipe for the sauce and their own toppings that they like. This is how my family likes it. I made this for dinner on Saturday and fed a small army of children and one very hungry brother-in-law and I doubled the recipe and it was all gone. It's a great meal to use if you have to feed a lot of people. We do it for church functions a lot. It's cheap and easy!

Crescent Rolls

Crescent Rolls

2 pkg. active dry yeast (2 tbsp.)
½ cup warm water
¾ cup warm milk
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup shortening
1 egg
1tsp salt
3 ½ to 4 cups flour

In bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, sugar, egg, shortening, salt and flour. Turn onto a floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl and allow to rise in a warm place covered, for about 30 minutes.

Punch down dough and add a little flour to top and mix into the dough to take away any stickiness. Roll out into circles and cut into 8ths. Roll up into crescent shape. Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes. I get about 32 rolls from one batch.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

New Mormanad Video

I thought this was darling! My friend, Andie sent it to me and I had to share it with all of you.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Darling Printable Calender

I find it odd, that it is now March 6th and I have yet to buy a 2009 calendar. I don't know why, I just keep forgetting. Then tonight I found these and they are darling! Go here to print!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs

This is one of my very favorite books from my childhood and I heard great news that it is being turned into a movie. That will be fun!!!
For those of you who have by chance not heard of this book, this review is for you. This is about a Grandpa telling a story to his Grandchildren about a town called ChewandSwallow. In this town, all the food for the town came from the sky. On each day of the week it is something else. The townspeople just go outside with their eating ware and get food. Well, chaos begins in this town and the food gets all messed up and the people are eventually ran out of the town by food!
It is great and is indeed creative and imaginitative. Thank heavens my kids love this book so I am able to read it to them quite often.
It can be found at the library and every bookstore. I got my copy for 99 cents through the book order. I strongly reccomend this book.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Our Favorite LDS websites

***The Enrichment Cottage Link works now***

I love the Internet. I love blogging, because it is an outlet to the outside world. I also love that it allows women the opportunity to connect across oceans and continents. I love that we are able to share ideas on being mothers and life lessons!

While these websites are aimed at those of us, who share the LDS faith, they are full of great ideas on teaching Christian based values, such as friendship, respect, kindness and just about anything else that you could think of. Mandee and I wanted to share a few of our favorites. You can click on any of the buttons, to link directly to the sight!

If you don't know about Sugardoodle, I must ask, where have you been hiding? I visit Sugardoodle every day! I am in the Young Women's in our ward and I use it constantly for that and I also use if for primary talks, family home evenings, visiting teaching handouts, you name it. What an awesome sight!!

Family Home Evening in a Snap is a new find and one that is full of great ideas for family home evening. It's like your part of a FHE group, but all the work is done for you. We did an awesome FHE on Testimony last night that we got from this sight! It's definitely one to check out.

Chocolate on my Cranium is a great place to find, FHE ideas.

Overheard In The Ward
Laugh out loud, pee your pants kind of funny!! We are a peculiar people, aren't we?? But it makes life interesting!

Ah Stephanie and Courtney! For some reason, I can't get Courtney's button to work, so you'll just have to click on her name. I love these two ladies. They inspire me and make me laugh. I wish they were my neighbors!

Just Around This Corner, Laurel Christensen is AWESOME! She inspires me, makes me laugh and just a great read! Check her out!

There are so many websites, that it would be hard to name them all! Here are a few more that we visit on a regular basis to get ideas for callings, for FHE, and so much more!

Enrichment Cottage
Mormon Share
The Idea Door
LDS Splash

Do you have favorites, that we missed? Please leave us a comment and hook us up with your favorite blogs.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mandees Monday Menu

Monday: Barbecued Chicken, Baked Beans, and Potato Salad

Tuesday: Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Rice, and veggie

Wednesday: Spaghetti and Garlic Bread, salad

Thursday: Ranch Chicken, Baked Potatoes, and Veggie

Friday: OUT OF TOWN kids with grandma and grandpa

Saturday: DisneyLand (Dinner at Blue Bayou)

Sunday: DisneyLand (Dinner at Rainforest Cafe)