Sunday, April 21, 2013

Families Can Be Together Forever Nursery cue cards

Needed some picture cues for a nursery class for when we sing Families Can Be Together Forever so I through together this quick assortment of pictures. Just print them on card-stock  laminate, and add a popsicle stick for easy holding plus the kids love to help. You could also enlarge them to use for singing time. 
Get the printable here:Families Can Be Together Forever

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Best Cinnabon Knock Off Reciepe & Orange Rolls

All Things Sweet has this fantastic Cinnabon Knock Off Reciepe

Its so yummy! I have never seen a more beautiful looking dough, I just knew they would be good when started kneading. They raise nicely and they taste divine.  I left them plain and had the cream cheese frosting, caramel, and pecans on the side so that everyone could make them the way they wanted and they where a big hit! We enjoyed them the next day reheated for 15 seconds in the microwave. 

I really loved the dough and wanted to make an orange version. After scouring the internet I combine All Things Sweets recipe with some others. It worked perfect and very orange. 

Orange Cinnamon Rolls

Rolls:1 package dry yeast (2 1/4tsp)
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tb orange peel shredded
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup margarine
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
4 cups flour

Filling:1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1tb orange juice
1tb orange peel
1/3 cup margarine, softened

Icing:6 tablespoons margarine
3-4 tb orange juice
2 tb orange peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar sifted

1. Set out eggs and milk to warm to room temp.  When milk is warm stir in yeast and let rise for 5 min. 
2. Combine all ingredients and mix well. 
3. Let rise about 1 hour till doubled.
4. While dough is rising combine brown sugar, cinnamon, orange juice, and orange peel till crumbly. 
5. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Let the paper go up the sides to keep the sauces in the bottom. 
6. Kneed dough and roll out to a rectangle around 21"x16" and about a 1/4" thick.
7. Spead softened margin on rectangle and coat evenly with filling. Roll and cut into 1 3/4" slices and place on prepared dishes. 
8. Raise for 30 minutes and then bake at 350 for about 15 minutes till lightly golden. 
9. Frost and enjoy!

* I never worry too much if there are lumps in my frosting, when you put it on warm rolls it melts perfect.
* The tighter the cinnamon rolls in the pan the more gooey goodness stays on them.  

Saturday, March 16, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Treats

Since St. Patrick's is on Sunday this year I thought I would include some all day meals, snacks, drinks,  and treats to make.  Most of us will be home so why not make it a festive occasion. 

I love these Rainbow Pancakes from Mom to 2 posh little divas. What a fun way to start the day! The bananas make great clouds.  Serve it with some Shamrock juice from Creative Juice

These St. Patrick's Egg Rolls look so yummy and easy to eat. Check out the recipe from sweet Peas Kitchen. This would make a great lunch for the whole family. 

Healthy Deviled Eggs
For dinner I think I am in love with a site I just discovered called She has some amazing looking food and the best photographed. I am a visual person so I love seeing pictures of the recipe. Try her easy Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage and pair it with these Guacamole Deviled Eggs. Plus they are both Gluten free. She has a whole section of St. Patrick's Recipes be sure to check them out!

Now on to the good part: SWEETS!

Em’s Key Lime Truffles photo
I made these a while back and they are so good! Check out the reciepe Em's Key Lime Truffles from Tastebook. 

If you love fudge this one is looks divine. Its Bailey's Irish Cream & Pistachip Fudge from Lea & Jay. I love the flavor of Irish Cream. 

An Irish float from Heart and Country. . This one is made with beer,but I don't drink and will be with my kids so I will simply use some good old root beer. Love the simplicity. 

rainbow fruit skewers 2 Rainbow Fruit Skewers: Fruit Salad on a Stick!
Fruit skewers whether you prefer that all green version from Creative Juice or the rainbow version from The Family Kitchen both are sure to make you smile. Its a great way to get kids to eat their fruit as well. 

Irish Cream Push Pops :: Recipe on HoosierHomemade.comIrish Cream Trifle :: Recipe on
Love the push pop idea and the option to make it as a trifle. Check out the easy reciepe from

Jello rainbow cups, with a "pot" of gold. This is a fun idea for all ages thanks to Glorious Treats for the inspiration.

This is a fun rainbow cupcake that is rainbow inside and out. I like the simplicity in decorating them, it really wouldn't take much time. Check out the tutorial from The Fickle Pickle

Thanks for this fun and easy idea from Crazy for Crust

Key Lime Snack Cake
Check out this not too sweet and not too heavy Glazed Key Lime Snack Cake from sprinkled with flour. The color and flavor are spot on for St. Patricks Day. 

Zucchini Waffles & Peach Syrup

We got tons of zucchini out of our little garden last year and we love it but couldn't eat it all. So I shredded it and froze it in 2 cup bags. We pulled it out to make pumpkin zucchini bread and had some leftovers so I made zucchini waffles. They are yummy, super easy, and adds a little nutrition. I also served them with homemade peach syrup.

Buttermilk Zucchini Waffles

2 Eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup-1 cup frozen zucchini shred
6 TB melted butter
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baling powder
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cup flour

Mix it all together and cook in your waffle iron. Be sure not to overfill since they do puff quite a bit while baking. I freeze the leftovers for a quick toaster breakfast. Makes about 12 waffles give or take. 

* Substitution tip: I keep powdered buttermilk in my fridge or  if I don't have buttermilk on hand I use a ratio of 1 cup milk to 1 TB vinegar  Just mix them together and let them sit for 5 minutes are so it will look weird  but its buttermilk. I like to use my apple cider vinegar for the waffles, adds a little more flavor. 

Peach Syrup

1 29 oz can peaches with the syrup
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 TB corn starch
1 tsp- 2 tsp vanilla

1. Pureee the peaches in your blender to desired consistency. 
2. Pour in sauce pan with sugars, cornstarch, and vanilla. Mix the cornstarch in well before turning on any heat.
3. Heat for 5 minutes on med heat until the sugars dissolve and the sauce thickens. 

It will store in your fridge for a week or 2. If its too thick add a little water about 1/4 cup max. My mom always made this for us growing up and I love it!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Movie Reiview: The First Grader & Inspirational Elders

A photo from the movie
The First Grader, an inspirational movie which shows that no one is too old to learn and we need to study history. This is based on a true story that took place in 2003 when a radio announcer in Kenya tells that the government is supplying free primary school (grade school) to all. The man is inspired to read a letter sent to him from "The Office of the President". He wants to get the education that was not available when he was growing. He struggles to get the school to allow him to join and is told he must go to adult school. 

Mau Mau Suspects Being Held 1952
As the movie goes on you learn more about what he has gone through in life. He was a fighter with the Mau Mau in 1953. I did a little more reading about the Mau Mau Uprising after the movie and it was so interesting and something I had never learned about in school. what I found most interesting is that the men in these movements where held in camps much like those in prisoner of war camps and Nazi Concentration Camps. It is amazing that we seem to never learn from history and that we fail to see what happens when we forget. 

There are some violent aspects in this movie so it is probably not suitable for young children, unless you fast forward through those parts. As Mauge continues on through the movie you see the continual struggle of the masses and bullies  who very much reminded me of whites in the 1950's when they oppressed blacks.  Maruge ent on the do anything things and inspired a whole new generation to get an education. He is to date the Worlds Genuis Book oldest person to go to primary school. I really don't want to give away too much more of the movie, so you must go watch it. 

Kimani Maruge
It just goes to show that when you do what is right men can move mountains, no matter the age. In thought of learning from our elders here are some more inspirational elders:
Ruth Hamilton

Olive Riley

Ruth Hamilton (1898-2008) and Olive Riley (1899-2008), these two amazing ladies actually blogged until their deaths Ruth was almost 110 and Olive 108. It is amazing to see that technology can be learned no matter how old. 

arthur winston
Arthur Winston (1906-2006) worked for 75 years for the Los Angelos Transit Authority. He only took one day off for the funeral of his wife. What an inspiration of hard work and dedication, he retired on his 100th birthday. 

Partor Lee Jong decided he wanted to help with all the abdone babies on the streets of Korea. I have never been there but would deffinately be in shock seeing a baby abandon on the street and let it die. He has no education or trained created a "Drop Box" where people could leave unwanted babies. Most of the babies have birth defects or disorders. He and his wife have raised about 3 dozen children since 1998. There will be a documentary about them coming out shortly cant wait!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Freezer Cookie Dough

Who loves cookies?

I am sure everyone out there cannot resist the temptation of a fresh baked homemade cookie. I just baked 2 different kids in 18 min. roughly and this is what my mixer looks like and all I have to clean up:

This is why I love freezer cookie dough. I freeze mine in logs that will make roughly 2 dozen each. Although the dough sometimes gets eaten before it can bake. All I do is take it out of the freezer microwave about 45 seconds, slice (they are still frozen, but cut-able), and bake. We didn't get home till late today and we still get yummy cookies to enjoy.  I will included some recipes later...

Chocolate Chip & Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirls (they slice perfect when they are still frozen).... 

My #1 fans right now

* A little cookie tip: with almost all cookies pull them out when the look almost done, leave on cookie sheet for about 2 minutes then a cooling rack they are usually cooked perfect and dont fall apart. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Southwestern Flair Breakfast Burritos - Freezer

These breakfast burritos are awesome, we eat them like crazy when we have them and they are so much better than cold cereal for breakfast. Today we are just making them to eat with a small batch, but I do need to make another batch for the freezer shortly. Use a large skillet to prepare it much easier. I just wish I could figure out homemade tortillas to make them even better.

Southwest Style Freezer Breakfast Burritos

1 lb. Pork Sausage (we like Jimmie dean maple)
1 lb. Bacon
4 lb. Hash browns
1 green, yellow, and red bell pepper chopped
½ Onion chopped
2 Jalapenos chopped (optional)
2 dozenLarge eggs
1 tsp cumin
1 springs fresh basil
¼ tsp dried basil leafs
¼ tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
16oz pkg. shredded cheese (mexican blend, cheddar, or pepper jack)
2-3   pkg. flour tortillas (depending on the size)

1.  Cook hash browns in the same pan, oils will help cook the hash browns.
2.. Brown sausage and bacon - drain on a paper towel.
3. While the hash browns are cooking -In a large metal mixing bowl, whisk eggs, cumin, thyme, basil, salt & pepper, and milk.
4. Add browned sausage and chopped bacon back to the pan with the cooked hash brown and the egg mixture. Cook till eggs are done stirring gently
 5. Place 5-10 tortillas on a plate. Cover with a wet paper towel. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds, Heat the tortillas in batches.

If your eating them now enjoy! For freezer continue on…

6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment/wax paper to place your burritos on.
7. Add ½-¾ cup meat mixture and some cheese, then fold in the sides of the tortilla. Roll burrito up, make sure the seam is on the bottom and it is tightly rolled.
8. Freeze on cookie sheet for a couple hours
9. Place in gallon freezer storage bags or wrap the burritos in plastic wrap. Then place the wrapped burritos in freezer zip-lock bags for a more on the go option

* I don’t wrap mine since we usually heat them before we leave or I can just throw them in a little ziplock bag.

*Depending on how many eggs you use and how large you make each burrito will determine how many burritos you will end up with. It makes a lot, but they get eaten fast.
*For one meal ¼ the reciepe for about 4 people

When you are ready to eat - take the number of burritos you want out of the freezer (we usually only do two at a time) - unwrap - place in a wet paper towel and warm 2 burritos for 45 seconds – flip - warm another 45 seconds.  Unwrap and warm for 30 seconds more. This is the best way to avoid a soggy or crunchy shell. Microwaves vary so you may need to add or subtract a little time, just follow the process.

Printable recipe and shopping list: Southwest Style Freezer Breakfast Burritos 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

5th Anniverary Gift Ideas

symbol of heart carved in tree trunk  Stock Photo - 10190625Wood is to symbolize strength, sturdiness, durability, and it ages beautifully  When following traditional gift it would probably be time to purchase a new kitchen table for a growing family. You may have relaxed comfortably into one another’s personalities or may be finding that certain personality traits are driving you crazy; either way your marriage is still new enough that the two of you can still have some surprise.  The  grain and knots in wood are thought to symbolize all the joys, laughter, trials, and tribulations you have shared so far. With each year to come those grains and knots will only amplify in beauty.  Your probably different people by now, 5 yrs is a long time to grow and change, embrace each other and fall in love again. Use this anniversary to take a romantic "honeymoon" of sorts or the one you never got. 

Gemstone: Sapphire
Color: Blue, Pink, and Turquoise  
Flower: Daisy
These represent innocence, loyal love, I'll never tell mentality, and purity.

Gift Ideas

Romantic Weekend in the Forest

header small image

I have wanted to see the redwoods for quite sometime, it would be a fantastic romantic getaway. I might have my amazing parents bring the kids after a day or two for a fun family vacation  I found this beautiful website called Carter House Inn's its right next to the Redwoods and from what I can find is considered the top place to stay. They are about 45 minutes away from the Redwoods according to Google  They have a ton of different lodging options in classic Victorian homes. They also have packages you can add on like golf, Redwood Canopy Zipline Tour, Cruise, Dinners & Carriages, etc... I want to save up for my 5th anniversary and go here for like a week. It might take the next 3 years to save, but I think it would be worth it. If we had had a honey moon this would have been awesome. 

If your short on cash choose something closer to home or borrow a friends/family cabin. Or just go camping in a secluded location. 

The Gift that Keeps Growing

Plant a tree with a romantic cheese and wine tasting. The best part about this one is getting to see it grow every year just like your marriage. I think I would plant an oak tree which represent solidity, courage, and stability. I found this poem to symbolize what you have built within your marriage over the past 5 yrs.

The Oak Tree
A mighty wind blew night and day.
It stole the Oak Tree's leaves away.
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
until the Oak was tired and stark.
But still the Oak Tree held its ground
while other trees fell all around.
The weary wind gave up and spoke,
"How can you still be standing Oak?"
The Oak Tree said, I know that you
can break each branch of mine in two,
carry every leaf away,
shake my limbs and make me sway.
But I have roots stretched in the earth,
growing stronger since my birth.
You'll never touch them, for you see
they are the deepest part of me.
Until today, I wasn't sure
of just how much I could endure.
But now I've found with thanks to you,
I'm stronger than I ever knew.
by Johnny Ray Ryder Jr. 

A pine tree represents the creativity, life, longevity and immortality. If you have a tree you really like google the meaning and see if it would fit. 

Jewelry Box, Hope Chest, or curio

Wood Jewelry ChestJewelry Box in White Birch & Nicaraguan RosewoodJewelry Box in White Oak & Brazilian Walnut
Whatever you choose I am sure it is to display and store all your precious things. The unique ones above are from Coppers Wood Studio and John Traeger.

Butlers Valet/Stand

Product ImageAmbassador Men's Wardrobe Butler Valet Clothing Rack
Not sure how many of you ladies out there have husbands that throw their clothes on all the bedroom furniture never hang it up or put it in the hamper. I love the idea of a butler stand so that he will have a place for his things.  They come in all different styles with all kinds of features  I like the ones with drawers for his wallet and watch.  They are a little pricey, but almost always very well made. 

Wood Art

Some other options: New kitchen Cabinets, Hardwood floors, Closet remodel, furniture, etc...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

4th Anniversary Gifts

Source: Wed Loft

The 4th year anniversary gifts are meant to symbolize the blossoming and the continual fruitfulness of your relationship. That your relationship has reached a comfort level that you can have peace of mind that your relationship will continue to be fruitful and beautiful.                                           

Flowers have been given as the language of love for as long as archaeologists can find from the Chinese, Romans, and Egyptians. The meaning of each flower came from Turkey and was passed down through the French and British till it is incorporated into modern times. Next the Victorians took it to a whole new level; they wrote books about the language of giving flowers, which included the direction in which you give flowers. It would be fun to read about them in A Victorian Flower Dictionary: The Language of Flowers Companion. If flowers could communicate it back then, it surely can today.  If your spouse is knowledgeable of traditions make sure you think about the meaning and color of the flowers you give. 
I couldn't really find any history on the gift of giving fruit, but I will guess at what I think it means. Fruit is something that nourishes and refreshes the body, where the old saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" means that you want to keep your spouse healthy. It could also mean that just as fruit grows year after year without having to be replanted, your marriage can also be fruitful each year. I think about the peach trees my mom planted from pits; they produced only a handful of peaches last year, but this year it produced baskets.  I think with the proper care your marriage should produce baskets of fruit. 

Color: Green
Gemstone: Blue Topaz or Amethyst
Flower: Geranium

Romantic Picnic 

Whats more romantic than a picnic in an orchard or beautiful flower garden? Not much that I can think of.  Even in the winter you could go to a beautiful ski resort and enjoy an outdoor picnic. This is a great idea for low and high budgets. Take flowers and a yummy looking fruit trifle with some delicious custard. 

Check out this cute staged picnic from Jill Thomas Photography for some ideas. 

I love pinterest and found this amazing folder called "The Art of Picnic's" by The Loft5. So many inspirational Ideas!

Love this idea, I can't find the original source but I believe its from this blog. A little fire to keep you warm and give a nice ambiance. 

Fun Decor

Make your house feel more like a home with some fruit and flower decor. 

image of Ice Cold Lemonade Steel Sign
I love retro/vintage things and this sign from Retro Planet. I need a couple of fun tin signs.

 Roses 8x10 Print - Romantic Art, Creme, Yellow, Red, Floral Decor, Shabby Chic PhotographyCherry Blossom 8x10 Print - Flower Photography, Pink Home DecorFloral prints home decor flower photography, wall art, photo collection, print set, nature photos spring garden botanical photos 4 8x8's
I like these floral prints from Visulology and Carl Christensen.

Sunshine Oranges Sign
Some fun wood signs from The Southern Home

Deep Purple Hydrangeas in Mercury Glass
I love mercury glass fill it with some flowers or fruit and you have a beautiful arrangement. The flowers are from Beauty of Form and the fruit vases from 33 shades of green


If your like us you may need some landscaping our 2 trees and couple of plants are not so stunning. The mud and weed infested back yard is the cherry on top. A great idea to follow the traditional idea of getting an anniversary gift that you need for the house. 

I love the ideas from Better Homes & Gardens
This is a beautiful and shady retreat from Breathe

Fruit trees are the ever giving gift. Each year fresh fruit to eat, can, jam, and freeze. I found some good prices at Willis Orchard Co



Smores maker
Another fun and romantic idea for couples. You can just do desert or savory items too. With the desert make sure you include lots of fresh berries.This website discover the Best Fondue ever is amazing with all kinds of unique fondue recipes including smores, banana split, and chocolate & orange. Then they have all kinds of savory recipes including vegetarian options. I think I am in love!

Dipped Fruits

"LOVE" Berry-Gram (Monogrammed Belgian Chocolate Strawberries)    FRESH - Chocolate Blueberries & Raspberries
One of my favorite things is dipped fruits, its actually the first thing my husband ever gave me. I hope one day he repeats it. Go to Chocolate Covered Company to find the goodies above and just about everything under the sun covered in chocolate.  Or make your own its not too hard at all. 

Baked Goods

Pies, tarts, cheesecake, smoothies, oh my! The blueberry pie recipe is from The Bitten Word. The lemon cheesecake with fresh berries from My Baking Addiction.  Lastly this amazing looking ladyfinger fruit cake from Chef in Disguise. Impress your spouse and make it homemade. 


Whether its flowers or fruit arrangements are a great traditional idea. 

Berry Chocolate Roses®  1 Dozen Mixed ChocolateDelicious Fruit Design®
Combine the fruit and flowers with a chocolate rose bouquet. These options are from Edible Arrangements.

12 Months of Flowers
Choose a simple arrangement or a year of flowers (a bit pricey, but wow). The flowers listed above are from ProFlowers. Build your own arrangement by picking a couple small ones from the grocery store and combining them. This option allows you to pick the colors and flowers, you will know exactly what you are getting.


Spice up the marriage with some fruity or floral lingerie. 

Whatever you pick remember to stay within your budget and something you both will enjoy.