July 2014 Visiting Teaching- LDS

Before I share the VT handout for this month, have you seen the video message from Bonnie L. Oscarson, the Young Women General President?  It is lovely, compassionate, and perfectly timed.   I have to say that I am ever so grateful, especially lately, for wise leaders and the guidance and comfort they give.

And now onto this month’s message!  July’s Visiting Teaching message is called The Divine Mission of Jesus Christ: Advocate.  In the message we also read about Esther from the Old Testament, and how she was an advocate for her people.  I was especially drawn to the line from her uncle Mordecai “And who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”  It made me stop and ponder why I am here in the Lord’s kingdom, and what He would have me do.

Here is the handout for this month!

Download the PDF

July 2014 VT

Fourth of July Holiday Shelf

I’m so excited for my favorite holiday (it’s tied with Christmas) and can’t wait to see all the red, white, and blue popping up everywhere.  I love Independence Day!  Give me parades, fireworks, and goosebumps during our national anthem and I am one happy girl.  I’m getting in the patriotic spirit around our house by changing out my holiday shelf to reflect my American pride.

_DSC0584It’s a pretty simple array of some old books, candles wrapped in twine, a lantern, and two mason jar flower arrangements.   I happened to have a red “S” for our last name and it works on the shelf, but I’d really love to find a “U” and an “A” to add as well.  I also used the banner that was already hanging up from my Nautical Summer Shelf, and just changed out the teal colors for red and white.

_DSC0587

The flower arrangements were really easy to make.  I found a package of 3 flags for $1 at the dollar spot in Target and the white flowers are from the Dollar Tree.  They look perfect in a mason jar with some brown paper shred.

_DSC0591I created two prints to put in the frames underneath but alas, my printer ran out of ink just when I went to print them out!  I had some cute scrapbook paper on hand though and it works just great.  But thanks to the magic of Photoshop here is how it would have looked:

_DSC0603And just because my printer ran out of ink doesn’t mean you can’t use the prints!

Download the PDF

Printable Patriotic Subway Art

Hope these help you get in the independence day spirit!

 

Mixing Two Lives Together

I think I’ve said this before on this blog but it makes me laugh so it bears repeating.  When Sam and I were married we received six waffle irons as gifts.  Six!  And they were all the exact same one.   Waffle party at our house!

So it is true that there may be some standard gifts that people always give at receptions.  Pots and pans, towels, mixing bowls, etc.  But there is a reason those are standard…they’re useful and everyone needs them!  The trick to making your gift memorable is simply packaging it up in a cute and creative way.

Here is one way to jazz up a gift- I put together some whisks and spoons in a mason jar and tied a cute ribbon around the jar.  Add in some cookbooks and mixing bowls and you have a gift that is not only useful, but just different enough to be memorable.

Mixing and Blending Gift with Printable Tag

Of course, what really pulls it all together is a gift tag with a slightly cheesy pun!

Download the PDF

Mixing and Blending Gift TagAs you can see I made two different tags so that one will work with a blender as well.  And you can definitely pair either one with a nice mixer like a Kitchen Aid or a Bosch.  That would be a great wedding gift for sure!

World’s Greatest POP

Over the weekend I was doing my grocery shopping and wandering down the aisles waiting for some Father’s Day inspiration to spark and give me a little gift idea.  I stumbled across Pop Em’s donuts and thought hey, I bet I could make a cute tag using the word Pop, so I put them in my cart and kept on shopping.  And with each aisle I kept finding more and more items with the word pop and the gift idea grew!  I picked up a few of them to put together a gift basket and share it all with you in case you are looking for a fun present for Father’s Day.

World's Greatest Pop Gift Idea and Printable Gift Tags

The popcorn bucket is from the Dollar Tree but any cute basket could work.  And what to put inside?  There’s lots of options!  I clearly didn’t use all of these in my basket, but here’s a good list to pick from:

– Pop ‘Em Donuts

– Popcorn

– Pop-Tarts

– Soda Pop

– Pop Rocks

– Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

– Pops Cereal

– Pop Chips

– Ring Pop

– Otter Pops

– Tootsie Roll Pops

And anything else you find that fits the bill!

World's Greatest Pop Gift Idea and Printable Gift TagsNeed a tag to go along with your gift?  I’ve got you covered.  Whether this is for your husband, your dad, brother, grandpa, etc. let them know you think they are the World’s Greatest Pop!  And choose from three snazzy colors.  :)

World's Greatest Pop Printable Gift Tags

Download the PDF

Being a dad, especially being a good dad, is not an easy job and these men of ours need to hear that we appreciate them just as much as we need to hear it.   This basket may be a fun, small token of appreciation but it will bring a smile to his face!

World's Greatest Pop Gift Idea and Printable Gift Tags

White Chocolate Cocoa Krispie Treats

I have to admit it, whenever I think of rice krispie treats I think of a dessert I would have enjoyed when I was 8.  I don’t know why I picture them as a little kid’s treat but I do, right up there with otter pops and fruit-by-the-foot.  Because of this I haven’t made them in years, but this version has convinced me to change my mind.  These are seriously delicious.  And while they are simple to make the flavors and presentation are definitely suited for grown-up tastes.

White Chocolate Cocoa Krispie Treats

In fact, the combination of the chocolate krispies, marshmallows, butter, and white chocolate make these so rich and sweet that all you need are bite sized pieces, and a tall glass of milk.  And some restraint to keep from eating way too many.

*Tip: If you can find it I recommend using Ambrosia White Bark for the melting chocolate.  It’s delicious!

White Chocolate Cocoa Krispie Treats White Chocolate Cocoa Krispie TreatsI also forgot how great a party food krispie treats are.  You can make a ton, fairly easily too, and pretty much everyone enjoys them.  Change out the sprinkles on the top to match whatever colors you need!

White Chocolate Cocoa Krispie TreatsWhite Chocolate Cocoa Krispie Treats

Download the PDF Recipe

White Chocolate Cocoa Krispie Treats

A Very Sweet Birthday Party

A couple of weekends ago we had Savannah’s first birthday party!  I’m still having a hard time accepting that my little baby is now one, but we had a wonderful day with friends celebrating her and the sweet girl she is.  Now I’m warning you, picture overload ahead!

As her birthday got closer I found myself overwhelmed with all the ideas and cute themes out there and I’ll admit it, I had to try really hard to not go overboard.  There’s so many cute things to do!  But I also knew that I wanted to be able to just enjoy the day, keep the stress low, and do something simple and sweet.  I decided to go with a Berry Farm Stand theme and I’m pretty happy with how it all turned out.

Sweet Berry Farm Stand Birthday PartyOne reason I picked this theme was I knew that I could already use  lots of items from around my house to decorate.  Because of this I was able to keep the cost really low, basically buying only the food, plates/napkins, and a couple small things.

Sweet Berry Farm Stand 1st Birthday PartyI created the Farm Stand sign in Photoshop and ordered it from Costco, my favorite place to order large prints on the cheap.  I love collecting old milk bottles so I already had a bunch on hand to create some pretty floral arrangements.  You may also recognize the two wooden crates from this post and this post.

Sweet Berry Farm Stand 1st Birthday Party

I also have to brag on the food because it was ah-mazing!  And it’s okay for me to brag on the food because it was the genius work of someone else.  We were so lucky to have Savannah’s birth mom fly out and visit us for a week and be here for Savannah’s first birthday.  We had a lovely visit, open adoption is wonderful!  Her birth mother also happens to be a kitchen mastermind and she planned out the food.  I loved cooking next to her in the kitchen, and I love that I’ll have those memories to share with Savannah as she grows.

Sweet Berry Farm Stand 1st Birthday PartySavannah took us all by surprise when it came to eating her cake.  Knowing her silly, wild personality I thought she was going to go crazy on the cake and get it all over but except for one little face-plant she ate it so daintily.  What a little lady.

Sweet Berry Farm Stand 1st Birthday PartySweet Berry Farm Stand 1st Birthday PartyI’m so thankful to everyone who came and celebrated this special day with us.  We sure love our sweet girl, she brings us more joy than we could have ever imagined.

Sweet Berry Farm Stand 1st Birthday PartyI’m sure you can all relate to the feeling of the first year just flying by.   How has it been one year already?  I’m amazed at how much Savannah has grown and changed and I’m so thankful that I have these pictures to remember it by.  Each month I took a picture of Savannah in the same spot on our house and then added the text using Photoshop to write down a few notes on each month.

Monthly Baby Pictures for the First Year

Happy 1st Birthday Savannah!  Can’t wait to enjoy year #2 with you!