Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Beautiful Little Princess

Last week I took Miss Mae out to the lake to take some pictures of her. I was just doing it for fun so don't get any crazy ideas. I was pretty impressed with myself actually.

She is growing up so fast!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I need some help!

Hey friends! I need some help...

My church is getting ready to put on its Trunk-or-Treat and I have signed up my super-excited-to-dress-up husband and I to participate. I am trying to be creative without spending much money. So, I thought I would ask some of my blogger friends in town if they could help out. Now, this is only if you have this lying around your house with no use and want to help a girl out. Below is a list of things that I need and if you have something let me know! I'm not going to tell you what it is... you'll just either have to bring your children out for the trunk-or-treat to see it or wait for the blog!

Trunk-or-Treat with Family Fall Festival
Fairlawn Church of the Nazarene
730 SW Fairlawn Rd.
Topeka, KS
Sunday, October 4 (yes the 4th... we wanted to steer away from the holiday)
5-7pm
visit www.thelawn.org for more details

What I need:
Orange bed sheet
3-4 white bed sheets
Royal Blue fabric
Black Felt
Small Styrofoam Balls
Black Yarn, Rope... or something of that nature
Brown Spray Paint... doesn't have to be a full can
Silver Spray Paint... doesn't have to be a full can
yardsticks
lots of cardboard... if you are moving or have moved this is for you!!

Weird, I know... but I am so excited!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Where in the World?

So... I have been a little MIA lately. 2 MONTHS acutally!! Things have gotten ridiculously busy and it shows no signs of slowing down. We are mastering our routine for the fall and soon the Chrismas play at church will be starting... so we will go all out of whack yet again. I thought just a little update in pictures would be a good idea and maybe, just maybe, I would get back into the swing of blogging again. I sure have missed it, but haven't missed reading all the blogs I enjoy reading. I have still gotten on the catch up on everyone else's business... but haven't relayed mine. So... here goes.

At the end of July my in-laws moved backed home to T-town just across a main street from us. We have spent so much time with them since they have moved back and I have loved every second of it. My mother-in-law has quickly become one of my closest friends... believe it or not. They have been fabulous as well to have around for Lillee's sake. She loves her "papa-bob" and "mama di" dearly. Since they've been here we've frequented the zoos, parks, and playgrounds.

In August, we celebrated my birthday by making a week long trip out to Branson. We had a fabulous time... just my husband and I. LOVED IT!! We went to Silver Dollar City, saw Noah the Musical, and also took a romantic dinner cruise down one of the lakes. Can I just tell you that Noah the Musical was absolutely INCREDIBLE!!? The second half of the play you find YOURSELF in the ark. The set wraps around you about 300 degrees. If you have a chance to ever see it...don't question, just do it. Marc also took me on an awesome dinner cruise on the night of my birthday. We had an all you can eat dinner and dessert while we coasted Lake Tanneycomo. It was gorgeous. The captain stopped so we could enjoy a fire and water show on the coastline. The best time on our trip was spent dreaming. We stayed up every night until wee hours of the morning, something we handn't done since we were dating, just talking and dreaming. We discussed things for our future, our ministry future, and ways right now we could impact our community through our ministry at Fairlawn. (Be looking for future blogs about this one!)

September has shown itself to be a busy month as well. We took on painting the outside of our house and just spruceing up a bit in the yard. It was much needed, believe me. I've found myself at garage sales to help make the inside of our house more of a home. I've enjoyed more arts and crafts to pretty up the kitchen and new eat-in kitchen area. I'm sooo excited about that! MOPS has started back up... thank goodness! Miss Mae is attending a library class and we are looking into getting her started in tumbling. How cute would she be in a leotard and leg-warmers??

I'm so excited to begin a new ministry at our church. I got the idea from a dear friend of mine at Two Men and a Lady. She started a group called "Dishing Diva's." They get together and share recipes while sharing the food. I'm going to use that same idea... thanks Lindsey!... and add in a little prayer as well. It's going to be called "Potlucks and Prayers." I found this awesome quote recently that will be our theme, "Christ is the center of our home, a guest at every meal, and listener of every conversation." I'm so excited to get this started. I can't wait to share meal ideas, get more ideas, as well as pray with my fellow sisters.

Here are some recent pics of my little one. She is 21 months old now! I can't hardly believe she will be 2 in December!!





Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Dessert to Impress


So...I might have made the best dessert EVER the other night. Thought I would brag on myself for a second and share the wealth with my 6 whole blogging friends! I found this recipe in an old Pampered Chef Season's Best Cook Book Pamphlet "thingy." It's the Fall/Winter 2004 edition. I made it using Betty Crocker's new GLUTEN FREE devils food cake mix... but it could be made with any mix. The dessert aimed to please for sure. It was super yummy and looked even better.

Recipe for: "BAKED ALASKA CAKE"

Ingredients- 1 pkg devil's food cake mix... plus ingredients to make the cake, 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels (I use the mini ones), 1 pkg cream cheese softened, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 container (16oz.) whip cream thawed

1. Preheat oven to 325. To get the dome shape I baked it in my Classic Batter Bowl from Pampered Chef... any oven safe mixing bowl would work. Be sure to spray or grease and flour the bowl. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until you can pass the "toothpick test." Cool for 15 minutes in bowl. Run a knife around the edges and remove cake from bowl. Let cool for 3 hours.

2. Using a knife, cut cake horizontally to make even layers. You may have to cut down the cake to make it even to stand before cutting the layers.

3. Set 1/4 cup of chocolate chips off to the side while putting the remaining into the microwave to melt down. I normally will put them in for 20 seconds at a time then stir to prevent them from burning. In another bowl... soften and whisk cream cheese. Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Stir in melted chocolate. Fold in 2 cups of whip cream as well as the 1/4 cup of chocolate chips you set aside. Mix up until completely blended. Spread the mixture between each horizontal layer of cake.

4. Spread remaining filling over outside of the cake. Frost cake with what is left of the whip cream.

5. I formed peaks on the outside of the cake using a spreader... I am sure you could use a butter knife to get the same effect. Refridgerate for at least 30 minutes.

YUMMO!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

My Fabulous Garden... Who Knew??


So, a few months back, my bff and I decided to plant a garden. We both love fruits and veggies and our husbands do not. We thought a small garden was a great thing for the both of us to enjoy together. We figured it was more cost effective then buying them in the store and just watching them rot because we couldn't eat it fast enough alone. But we didn't just plant any ole' garden. We got creative and challenged to try it a new way. My grandpa had seen this strange garden idea at a Home and Garden Show in town and shared his info. We thought we would at least try.
We have had a pretty successful go at it. We have had plenty of large zuchinni, beautiful red tomatoes, cute little watermelon buds, yummy cucumbers, and pumpkins we can't wait to carve.
I had to share this incredible garden idea! This is great for those of you who may rent your home, live in an apartment, or just would like a small garden without the work of tilling up the ground. We spent 10 days fertilizing and keeping the area watered. Then we laid seeds down and put about an inch or so of soil on top. We also implanted the tomatoes. We only used the soil from the plastic containers we bought them in... we didn't add any extra. We water the garden at least once a day and once a week add fish emulsion to the feeding. I have to be honest though... the
fish emulsion smells terrible and I might have only done that a handful of times.

So what makes this garden so interesting and incredible?? All the fruits and veggie implants or seeds were planted into STRAW BALES. Pretty crazy, huh? Who knew?

YUMMY CUCUMBERS

CUTE LITTLE WATERMELON I CAN'T WAIT TO EAT!



PUMPKIN FOR CARVING THIS FALL



ZUCHINNI I'VE ALREADY USED FOR SOME WONDERFUL ZUCHINNI BREAD AND WITH GRILLED VEGGIES... YUMMO!



HOW THE STRAW BALES LOOK LINED UP

BEAUTIFUL TOMATO PLANT

I am trying to make some homemade salsa with the tomatoes... does anyone have a great recipe they could share?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Like A Kid In A Candy Store

Miss Mae at Hazel Hill Chocolates downtown


So... I might have acted like a "kid in a candy store today" while enjoying my trip to HyVee. Weird, I know. But I will explain...
I, a few posts back, mentioned my recent switch back to my gluten-free diet because of my diagnosis of Celiac Disease. When I was first diagnosed, back in 2001, I had the hardest time finding GOOD gluten-free food. There is quite a bit of gluten-free specific food at health food stores; but sometimes I don't have the time to frequent 3 or 4 different grocery stores each time I go shopping. I don't mind going to 2 different places... which I often do. But 3 or 4 is just ridiculous!

HyVee has a fabulous selection of health foods which so conveniently contain g-free specific foods as well. Things have come a long way in the past 7 years for sure!! There have been two things I knew I would have to immediately give up when I went back on my diet. Pizza and Desserts. I hated the thought of that. Back in 2001 I had tried a lot of the g-free specific mixes for pizza crusts, cookies, cakes, and brownies. All were absolutely disgusting! So I still had that mentality.

Lately... I have triumphed over that stigma! Godfather's Pizza here in town is now serving G-Free PIZZA! How fabulous is that?? And it's yummy too! Also, Betty Crocker came out with new box mixes for chocolate chip cookies, yellow cake, chocolate cake, and brownies!!!!! I can't hardly stand it. I had heard this Betty Crocker rumor and raced to Wal-Mart... it was not to be found. So, my trusty senses said to try Hy-Vee and sure enough all four boxes were there! The display seemed to have a glow above it. I bought all four! I absolutely can't wait to try them. Miss Mae and I might have taken some pictures in the aisle after we found them to celebrate.


Although I was a bit apprehensive at first to go back on my diet, I have found myself to be encouraged almost daily with new findings. I am whipping up some great new recipes and my family is actually eating much healthier. I've made some fabulous g-free no-bakes, oatmeal scotchies, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, chicken fried chicken, and chicken fried steak. (It doesn't sound much healthier... but we really are eating healthier I promise... I'm losing weight!) I have been forced to get creative in the kitchen... but I am loving it! My husband's even cheering me on... so it must not be that bad to eat.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Lamp Re-vamp

Alright... it has been a while since I have posted. Things have been quite busy lately. The last 3 weeks have consisted of:
my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary weekend celebration (Paris themed because they took a trip to France to celebrate their incredible 50 YEARS!) I spear-headed the open-house.

(My Little Red Ridin' Hood at the open house... My cousin took this pic)

we welcomed a new addition to our extended family,

(Miss Mae and her newest cousin)

we headed off for a weekend in KC for our 4th anniversary to enjoy the CARDINALS play the Royals,

(My husband is a HUGE Cardinals fan)

and I decorated and catered a rehearsal dinner for a dear friend of mine with my fabulous sister-in-law G at Sweet Tea and Tulips. (hopefully I can get some pics later of this... I was too busy to take my own!)

Also, the day of the wedding I was the personal assistant for that same dear friend!


WOW! What a blast all the parties and celebrations were... but I am so glad I was able to catch some "me-time" lately. To relax after it all, I grabbed a lamp shade that I wasn't too fond of and spruced it up. Thought I would share...


This is a little sitting area I have in my living room. The shade on the lamp I have changed multiple times because I just can't find one I am in love with. I love the shape of this one... but would have perferred it to have a little "umph." I decided to add my own "umph." With a little hot-glue, ribbon, and a rub-on decal this is what I came up with!


The black and white ribbon in the middle has the same print as the pillows and the bottom foot of the curtains. I then lined that ribbon with red ribbon. Before I completed it I added that same damask design with a rub-on. I LOVE IT! And now it has the right amount of "umph!"