Monday, April 16, 2012

Wizard of Oz Birthday Party-Coming Soon!

I love celebrating my kids' birthdays!    We've only done the  bashes at the themed places once - the kids and I both prefer the home bashes with a few close friends.  This year for Holly's 8th birthday we're having a Wizard of Oz themed party and WE (yes, me and Holly!) are so excited!  There's lots more to come on this, but I wanted to give you a sneak peak at the invitation.

We used these:

And these:

And transformed it to this:

Blessings to you,

Sunday, April 15, 2012

3 Parenting Mistakes

There's many things as parents that we do wrong.  But let's not be so hard on ourselves-there's lots we do right, too!  
We've made it a policy in our home that our "parenting handbook" is God's Word.   The Bible gives us the direction, guidance, and answers for any situation in our lives including parenting.  

But even still-there's many things as parents that we do wrong!!  
I follow @Parentingonpurpose on Twitter and I began thinking on one of their tweets.    

Hmmm-threatening, repeating, and bribing...How many times a day do you do one or more of these things in your parenting?   We shouldn't be doing any of these things regularly in our parenting, unless your goal is to raise little monsters LOL.  Here's why:
Threatening means you're not following through-your kids are smart and they see through the threats.  
Repeating means our kids don't need to obey the first time-they know that you'll say it 5 more times, so they can wait to obey.  
Bribing means your authority is not sufficient.  If you're having to buy them that toy at the store to get them to obey, or give them candy so they will obey, then you're sending the message that your children don't have to obey unless there's something in it for them.  

Do your kids whine and complain? Do they relentless beg, "please, please, please" after you've said no?  These 3 parenting sins maybe the cause.

 I challenge you to keep a mental list-or better yet, a written tally every time you threaten, repeat, or bribe your kids.   Then, tackle the one that you find yourself doing the most and resolve to lessen the threatening, repeating, or bribing.

Why are our children so hard to parent sometimes?  I bet God asks the same question...

Blessings to you,

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Baking Supplies Organization

My baking shelf is the bottom shelf of my pantry.  And this is what it looked like as of yesterday...

Ummm, yea.  You can see the problem.  I've been trying to figure out the best solution, a cost effective solution.    I have a great big basket that fits perfectly to help corral the stuff and it also allows me to pull the basket out like a drawer.

Now to reorganize my supplies to fit better.  Up until now I have not been sold on the idea of taking food out of its original packaging to put into matching containers.  But as I surveyed my baking supplies, I realized a big part of the problem is that the bags of stuff and different shaped boxes and containers just don't stack well, resulting in an avalanche of supplies!
I found these containers at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for only $2 for a set of 4!  

I used my most favorite thing ever - chalkboard spray paint, to transform the lids.  I used a chalk ink marker on the lids.
Since the shelf is on the bottom I need to be able to see what's inside each container from the top of it.

Now I can easily maneuver through the shelf to find what I need.

For the items that had instructions or recipes on the packaging that I wanted to keep, I just cut out the information and taped it to the inside of the lid.

As I run out of items or replace them I can erase the writing from the lid and reuse them as needed.

What a difference! The new system paired with a baking shelf inventory will help me always know what I have on hand.

Blessings to you,

I'm linking here:
Tip Junkie handmade projects

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia


Freezer Organization

This morning I was reading Genesis 2.  Verse 15 struck me: "The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it."
My home is my garden of Eden.  God has given me my home and family and my responsibility is "to work it and keep it."  
Food is such a huge part of keeping a family.  Sometimes I wish it played a smaller part...
With that in mind, I've been working to better organize my freezer so I can be a better steward in my grocery shopping. 
I started by organizing the chaos.

With the help from the Container Store and a label maker, here's the AFTER:

How will I keep it this tidy? A freezer inventory-knowing what I have on hand so I don't over or under buy at the grocery store is key!

If you would like an editable copy of my inventory, leave me your email in the comment section and I'll be happy to send it to you.

Stay tuned-I'm transforming my baking shelf for only $8 and a can of chalkboard spray paint!!

Blessings to you,

Monday, April 9, 2012

Got Ham?

Ham leftover from Easter? Here's a hearty way to use it.  And best of all it's a slow cooker recipe.

Cheesy Ham Potatoes

Thinly slice 8 medium potatoes.  You can peel them, or not. 

Shred 2 cups of cheddar cheese or buy the pre-shredded cheese.

Chop up the leftover ham.  I put LOTS in mine because it is the main dish for dinner tonight.  I plan on serving it with a salad.  But if you're making this as a side dish, then you can go lighter on the ham.

Melt one stick of butter and add 8 tbsp. of flour.

Stir until the butter and flour are combined and thickened.
Then, add 3 cups of milk and the cheese. I used nonfat, skim milk to lighten it up. Stir constantly until the mixture is smooth.

Coat the slow cooker with a non stick spray.  Add the potatoes and ham.

Pour the cheese mixture over the potatoes and ham and stir to coat.

Cook for 6 hours on low.
The result was yumminess.  Not too cheesy, but hearty.

8 potatoes, sliced thin, peeled if desired
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
chopped ham-any amount desired
1 stick of butter
3 cups of milk
8 tbsp. flour
salt and pepper to taste

Peel (if desired) and thinly slice potatoes.
In a saucepan, melt the butter.  Add flour and whisk until combined and thickened on medium heat.
Add cheese and 3 cups of milk.  Stir constantly until smooth and cheese is melted.
Chop ham.  Add potatoes and ham to greased slow cooker.
Poor cheese mixture over potatoes and ham.  Stir to coat.
Cook on low for 6 hours.

Blessings to you,

I'm linking here:

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Pinterest-Inspired Easter

I hope you had a wonderful Resurrection Day!  The Hughes Family had a full, relaxing, yet busy, fun-filled day.  We are so thankful to have spent the day with my parents and some of our best friends.

Here's a recap of the day:
It started at 6:30 a.m with a sunrise service.
In my opinion, this is the only way to celebrate the empty tomb!  

Then, we went out to breakfast.

After breakfast, the kids dug into their Easter baskets.  Aren't these egg baskets the cutest?

Then, we crashed!  The boys were up at 4 a.m. and the girls were up at 5:30 a.m.  
So we were exhausted!

Later in the afternoon Brian and the kids hit the pool while I made the final preparations.

At 5, my parents and our friends the Sophie's came over for Easter dinner.
Most of our food and decorations were Pinterest-inspired!

The Empty Tomb Cake

LOTS of delicious food.

Peeps Sweet Potatoes

Hot Pineapple Casserole

And of course, Easter would not be complete without a night time egg hunt with glow in the dark eggs!

The Peeps fondue was too yummy for words.

We had the most beautiful weather to enjoy the outdoors.
It was a perfect Easter Day!

Here's a link to my Easter boards on Pinterest.  Most of the recipes I made today came from there.

Happy Easter to you and yours, 


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