Wednesday, May 16, 2012


My husband's Granny went to be home with the Lord tonight after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. She was the sweetest lady! I never heard her complain and she always had a word of encouragement when you needed it most. She was loving, caring, always thinking of other people's needs above her own and the most generous person I've known. My kids loved their Gigi (Great Granny) ;)... we'll always love you and miss you. What a sweet thought to know we'll be reunited one day in heaven again.

Finally Home

"When surrounded by blackness of the darkest night, 
O how lonely death can be;
At the end of this long tunnel is a shining light,
For death is swallowed up in victory!

But just think of stepping on shore
and finding it heaven!
Of touching a hand and finding it God's!
Of breathing new air and finding it celestial!
Of waking up in glory
and finding it home. 

L.E Singer

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pirate party and lessons learned

The birthday boy was happy with his party and that's what counts. I personally learned some lessons with this pirate party.

Everything doesn't have to be perfect.
Accidents will happen.
The birthday boy is perfectly happy with any cake.
High altitude matters when baking a cake.
Don't plan a bday party in the middle of a crazy, busy week. =)

All that being said...I don't have 'perfect' birthday pictures of all the decorations and such but I will share what I have. I found the cutest pirate ship cake recipe via and it was really easy to make but I didn't account for the high altitude in Colorado. I haven't had a problem with any of my other baking but cakes that require shaping and height require extra tlc here. I had the cake all frosted and decorated and I went upstairs to get ready for my son's party and my hubby snapped the one and only picture I had of that cake before it split down the middle. There was no saving the ship.

So, 30 minutes before the party was going to start, I ran to the store and bought a round chocolate cake and put all my pirate decorations on top of it... and guess what?!!! My son loved it just the same. ;) I probably complicate things way too much when it comes to birthdays and I have to remember that my kids are perfectly content with a simple cake and a party with friends planned with love for them.

I found some free cute pirate printables at the Cottage Industrialist. She has free invitations, thank you notes, pirate hats and eye patches, cupcake liners and banners available. No need to buy any!

I used little 99cent beach buckets for favors and filled them with chocolate gold coins, compasses, play doh and candy. You can see them in the background of the photo below. I did blue buckets for the boys and pink for the girls.

It was easy to decorate the table. I just got some black material and black plates with red knapkins. I used empty Starbucks frappuccino bottles instead of paper cups. I started collecting them a while back and then just peeled off the labels and washed them out. They are adorable to use for parties and reusable. I bought some red and white striped straws and you can find some at Amazon. I also had a lot of shells and sea decorations in my basement so I just dug them out of boxes and used those at the party.

A friend of ours built an awesome 'plank' for the kids to pretend with and they really enjoyed it!

We played walk the plank, hunted for hidden treasure and played pass the bomb. (pass the bomb was an inflated black balloon and it was basically played like the game 'hot potato') We also had a pirate ship piñata.

Free printable

All in all we celebrated Luke's 3rd birthday...and had fun! ;)

Happy Birthday, Lukester!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Disney on Ice

Several weeks ago we went to Disney on Ice here in Loveland. It certainly was an experience and the kids loved it. I've always enjoyed watching couple's figure skating during the Olympics and all the Disney princesses and princes that skated together reminded me of that. =) Luke's favorite skaters were the Toy Story characters and Emma loved all the royal couples. If you ever hear of a Disney on Ice production coming near your town, you won't be disappointed if you go.

The Genie of the laaaaaaamp =)
Dory and Nemo
Beauty and the Beast
Snow White
Toy Story army men
Pinnochio and the whale that swallowed them up

The dragon costume from Mulan
I will defend you with my Buzz sword, Mommy! =)

Wonder brush

I don't usually endorse products but this 'tangle tamer' brush has really helped my little girl's daily crying sessions when it comes to getting ready for the day. I don't know if my daughter has a sensitive scalp or what but I've always tried to be extra gentle when brushing her hair. I've tried all kinds of detangler sprays and she always cried. I personally dreaded brushing her hair everyday! Living in Colorado, I've also noticed her hair has more of a tendency to get into a knotted mess by morning than it used to. (I'm guessing it's the dryer air)

I bought this hairbrush last week and she loves it! She hasn't cried once when brushing her hair and it takes the tangles out with ease. Amazon has it right now at $7.32 down from 29.99. That's a Super deal. =) I just thought I'd mention it here since it's price has been reduced so much.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Oatmeal can turned headband holder

How can you turn something like this:

Into a cute and useful headband holder? Easy! Here's how...

What you'll need:
  • Empty oatmeal can
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Double-sided tape or glue gun
  • Scissors
I let my daughter choose her own scrapbook paper which took a bit longer than I expected, but she had fun in the process. She recently changed her favorite color from pink to purple and so she tried to find the perfect shade. (That shade turned out to be a deep and glittered purple) =)
She also wanted a white flowered paper to put over the purple. I had my doubts but it turned out pretty cute. 
Gather your materials
Take your tape or glue gun and begin pasting your paper around the can.

Making one of these really helped our cluttered dresser problem. =)
You can also add some ribbon to the bottom of the can for fun. ;)
We stuck some detangler spray, hair accessories and perfume inside our canister. It's a great space-saver!
Much better!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"Oh to be like Thee"

Oh! to be like Thee, blessed Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh! to be like Thee, oh! to be like Thee,
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
Oh! to be like Thee, full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wand’ring sinner to find.
Oh! to be like Thee, lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer, others to save.
Thomas Chisholm (1866-1960) 
One of the blogs I follow: 'Counsels of the Heart', posted earlier this month some encouraging thoughts. The author of the blog was saying how she had been meditating on the words to this song and just letting them sink in. She didn't write out the stanzas but just wrote down some thoughts. I looked up the hymn and read through all the lines. The hymn's words are so rich with passion and longing to change more into the image of Christ, it's a good reminder. Days can get busy and crowd out what is really important: (your time alone with God). Let His word work in your life to mold you and change you to be more like Him. 
(I copied down my favorite stanzas above.)

"Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?" Exodus 15:11

Friday, May 4, 2012

Red Velvet, Avengers Birthday Cupcakes

Now how's that for a title! ha! My hubby's birthday is tomorrow and he's been asking me since his last birthday for these cupcakes and an Avengers theme. I think he's been feeling a tad left out since we always go kinda big on the kid's birthdays. ;) He's the one that found the cupcake liners and toppers on sale at Williams-Sonoma several months ago. You can find them HERE. I love how the website describes these toppers: "Team up with legendary superheroes as they battle evil, avenge dastardly deeds and spread delicious cupcakes throughout the universe."

Anyway! My husband requested red velvet cupcakes so I searched Pinterest and found a really delicious recipe via't they look scrumptious?!

  • ½ cup of butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 ounces red food coloring
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 ounces water
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 8 oz. package cream cheese
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease cupcake pan or line with paper liners
  3. Cream softened butter & sugar together until fluffy
  4. Add eggs and blend well
  5. In a separate bowl, combine cocoa & food coloring & stir
  6. Sift flour and salt together into mixture
  7. Add vanilla, buttermilk, and water to mixture
  8. In another bowl combine vinegar and baking soda. Then fold into cupcake mixture.
  9. Pour or spoon mixture into cupcake cups
  10. Bake 15 to 20 mins or until a wood toothpick inserted into the middle of the cupcake comes out clean
  11. Let cool for about 10 mins. Then put on rack or plate and let finish cooling.

  1. Blend together softened cream cheese and softened butter
  2. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract
  3. Blend until smooth
  4. Frost cupcakes and enjoy!    
 Here is how the Avengers cupcakes turned out along with a few pictures of the happy birthday boy. =)
A little Thor action
Happy 29th Birthday!! =)