Turning a Breadbox into a Charging Station

I am sure that most of you are like me in the fact that you have various cords and chargers around your house for your cell phones, ipads, kindles, camera battery, etc.  Lovely cords everywhere! Sitting on our counters or nightstand and hanging out on the end table by the couch. They add so much to the decor, right?  (*sarcasm.) Our “spot” for charging has always been a corner in our kitchen.  It keeps the devices handy and yet out of reach from little hands.  But it isn’t the most attractive.

Kitchen Counter with Cell PhonesTwo things really stand out to me in this picture. One, man do we need a backsplash!  I’d love to put in a pretty tile backsplace….and paint the cabinets….and add hardware….but ya know, $$$.  Second thing is that ugly tangle of electronics!  No one wants to be looking at that mess all day!  Our solution:

Process showing a breadbox turned into a charging stationA few years ago I picked up an old breadbox for a couple of dollars at a yard sale.  It has been sitting in our garage (aka: my husband’s workshop) as a place to store his rags.  I could have sworn I took before pictures but now I can’t find them anywhere! So just picture a worn, unpainted breadbox full of greasy rags. Got that image in your head?  Good.

Our first step was to sand the down the breadbox really well and add in a shelf.  Then my husband cut a hole in the back of the box to allow for a power strip.  The power strip is simply attached with some hot glue.

Power strip in the bottom of a bread boxA  coat of white paint and a new handle really freshen up the whole piece and make it beautiful and functional!  It is the perfect place to store all our electronics when we aren’t using them, for me to charge my camera battery, and it hides all the mess.

White breadbox on kitchen counterI love projects like this that only take a couple of hours on a weekend, are easy on the budget, and yet really make my home a better place to be.  I think this could easily be replicated in lots of different ways as well!  It doesn’t have to be a breadbox.  If you have any sort of pretty container that you can cut a small hole in the back for a power strip than you can create your own charging station.  Be creative and think outside the (bread)box!

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Printable Monthly Budget Worksheets – Set of 12 Floral Worksheets

At the start of each year I like to buy a new planner.  In fact, I LOVE to buy a new planner.  Finding something that is cute and fun is incredibly helpful and motivating for me.  I have a pretty calendar and menu planner on my wall that I use daily.  When I am getting ready to tackle a big project I’ll print up a nice, colorful checklist that I can hang up. I do better and stay more focused when my tools are not only functional but also beautiful. It is just a quirk of my personality, but I like to surround myself with beautiful things, even when they seem like the most utilitarian objects. And I know I am far from the only one out there, otherwise we wouldn’t have colored duct tape and patterned toliet paper, am I right?  :)

So when it comes time to sit down and make a budget I like to look at a worksheet that is attractive. It makes the task of putting together a budget less intimidating and more enjoyable.  Figuring out how to make and stick to a budget can be a hard task, so the least we can do is have pretty worksheets to look at! I have created a new set of 12 Budget Worksheets, one for each month.  They are delightful and floral and all things lovely as well as incredibly useful!

January Budget WorksheetA Budget Worksheet on a deskThese worksheets come with spaces to track your monthly expenses, income, and compare the difference of your budgeted totals and actual totals spent.  With a new worksheet for each month you can easily track your finances for the entire year. And once you purchase the files you will own them and can print them over and over, year after year.

A June Budget Worksheet on a deskA November Budget Worksheet on a deskI know it is crazy to think about, but wedding season is going to be coming up on us soon. And lots of people give cash as gifts.  Wouldn’t this be fun and helpful to include in your cash gift as well? Or how about for your high school graduate that is soon going to be heading out on their own? A tool like this would absolutely come in handy for a person who is learning to manage their finances on their own for the first time.

4 Montly Budget Worksheets 4 Montly Budget Worksheets 4 Montly Budget WorksheetsThe best part of these worksheets (besides the pretty floral designs) is the price.  The entire 12 month set is only $7.99 and is available in my Etsy store.  That is about $0.67 a sheet!  And even less when you remember that you can print as many times as you’d like.  As we start the new year I hope you see the value in an item that can help you start the new year off financially smart and prepared.  And as always, thank you for the support you give my family through this blog!  You don’t know how much it means to me!

Budget Worksheets on an office desk

 

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Apple Cinnamon Roll Overnight Breakfast Bake

There is nothing like waking up at 5:00 in the morning on Christmas, tearing open presents, sharing in the joy and the excitement of all the new toys, lounging around in your pajamas and new slippers from Santa…. and then realizing that you have a whole crowd of people waiting for you to serve them with a spectacular and special holiday breakfast.  Cereal just ‘aint cutting it on Christmas morning.

Growing up we always had Belgian waffles.  It was our Christmas morning tradition, and quite delicious I might add!  Now that I have my own family and we are figuring out what traditions we like I am falling in love with overnight breakfast bakes.  They are perfect for busy mornings and yet still feel like a special treat.  Especially when you make one that also could easily double as dessert.  Seriously, I don’t know how cinnamon rolls slipped through as a breakfast food but somehow it is socially acceptable to eat frosted cake for breakfast.  And I decided to add in some apple pie filling, because why not?  It’s the holidays!

Frosted Cinnamon Rolls in white baking dish

This meal really couldn’t be any easier to put together.  It is all prepared the night before and then in the morning all you have to do is place it in the oven to bake.  The result is one tasty, warm and gooey breakfast that the entire family is sure to love.  It is good enough to serve to company when family and friends come to visit and takes away any stress you might feel in hosting breakfast!

You probably already have the basic ingredients in your kitchen, and the two main ingredients are found in pretty much every grocery store. Frozen cinnamon rolls and apple pie filling.

Ingredients and baking dish on kitchen counterI really love Rhodes Rolls, so of course I had to use their cinnamon rolls in this recipe.  And I chose to use sugar-free apple pie filling because there is already a lot of sweetness in the recipe (and I had it in my pantry. :) )

The night before, cut the frozen rolls into fourths and spread evenly among the bottom of a greased baking dish. Spoon the apple pie filling over the cinnamon roll pieces.

Cinnamon Roll pieces on cutting board with knifeApple Pie filling poured over Cinnamon Rolls in baking dishIn a mixing bowl combine milk, vanilla, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix thoroughly.  Pour the mixture over the cinnamon rolls and apple filling and then cover with plastic wrap. You can put the frosting that comes with the rolls in the fridge to be used later. Place the baking dish in the fridge as well to sit overnight where the rolls will begin to thaw and rise. Your prep work is now done!

In the morning remove the plastic wrap and bake in an oven heated to 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes.  When done the top of the rolls will have the slightest little crisp while the bottom is fluffy and gooey.  And I know you may be looking at this picture and think that it looks burnt, but don’t worry.  It isn’t.  When you cut the rolls into pieces you expose the  “inside” of the rolls with all the cinnamon and it carmelizes into a super yummy topping with a deep, rich color.  It isn’t crunchy or burnt or anything except tasty.

Baked Cinnamon Rolls in white baking dishWhile the breakfast bake is still warm drizzle with the cream cheese frosting or your favorite maple syrup.  Or both!  Remember, it is the holidays!

Frosted Cinnamon Rolls in white baking dishServe with a big glass of cold milk and some tasty berries on the side.  This breakfast is perfect for Christmas morning, New Year’s Day, or just when you want to serve your family a special treat.  I hope you enjoy it as much we all do!

Close up of apple cinnamon roll breakfast bake


DOWNLOAD THE PDF RECIPE

Recipe for Overnight Apple Cinnamon Roll Breakfast Bake

 

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Easy and Cute Stocking Stuffer Idea and Printable Christmas Gift Tag for Candy Canes

My three-year old daughter’s preschool Christmas party is coming up next week and in the season when budgets and time are already stretched thin I have been trying to think of a quick and easy gift that she can take to hand out to her little friends.  I’ll be honest, I haven’t been in the mood to sit down and make some elaborate crafts this year.  We have been busy getting together with friends, attending Christmas festivals, visiting family, etc. That is one of my favorite things about the holiday season!  I love going to different activities and participating in all the fun and joy. But… that doesn’t leave for a lot of spare time!  So I decided to skip the crafty preschool gifts all together and instead created a little gift tag that only requires a colorful candy cane and some cute ribbon.

Merry and Bright Christmas Tag, Free Printable Gift Tag, Stocking StufferThese would make the cutest little stocking stuffers too, wouldn’t they? Or treats to hand out to children at church, co-workers, etc.  Gifts don’t have to be expensive and complicated to brighten up someone’s day.  Maybe you know someone who is struggling and just needs a thoughtful little pick-me-up.  A small gift like this is perfect.  And you’ll feel merry and bright after bringing a smile to another’s face.  (see what I did there!)

And of course, you could use the tag on ANY gift as well!  They don’t have to be attached to these colorful candy canes, even though they do look ridiculously cute together.  :)

Merry and Bright Christmas Tag, Free Printable Gift Tag, Stocking StufferThe printable gift tags come in a PDF with 6 tags on a page. All you need to do is download the PDF, print it at home or any copy store, and cut out each tag.  Then tie onto a candy can using ribbon or baker’s twine, or tape onto any gift bag/box.  Side note: isn’t baker’s twine so cute?!  I  swear, it ups the cuteness factor of any gift.  So click, print, and get gift giving!

DOWNLOAD THE PDF

Merry and Bright Christmas Tag, Free Printable Gift Tag, Stocking Stuffer

 

Christmas Stovetop Potpourri and Gift Tag

I know it has been awhile since my last post but I just had to stop by and share this amazing stovetop potpourri recipe!  I have had a pot on my stove with this delicious combination for the last two weeks and I cannot get enough of it.  It fills up my entire house with an amazing scent and it smells exactly like how I think the holidays should smell.

Christmas Stovetop Potpourri Recipe and Gift Tag

It is super easy to put together and also makes a beautiful gift!  You can use a small jar like I did (I found this at Walmart for under $5) or use a clear cellophane gift bag and tie with some pretty ribbon.

Christmas Stovetop Potpourri Recipe and Gift TagTake it to your neighbors, your child’s teacher, co-workers, etc.  I’m pretty sure everybody enjoys a wonderful smell in their home.  It is much better than the alternative, right?  :)  Also, we actually have a family friend that is allergic to an ingredient found in scented candles so an all natural option like this is perfect for her!

Christmas Stovetop Potpourri Recipe and Gift TagSo what to put inside?  The measurements don’t need to be perfectly exact but here is a general idea:

Christmas Stovetop Potpourri Recipe and Gift Tag

  • 1 Orange
  • 1 Cup Cranberries
  • 3 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 Tablespoon Cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon Nutmeg
  • 2 Sprigs Rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 2 Cups of Water

To give as a gift include the orange, cranberries, cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, and rosemary.  Then attach the printable tag with the instructions to slice the orange, add vanilla and water, and simmer on low heat.

DOWNLOAD PDF GIFT TAG

Christmas Stovetop Potpourri Recipe and Gift TagI used one batch for an entire week and then remade it again a second time.  After I turned the stove off I covered the sauce pan with a lid until I was ready to use it again.  You just have to make sure it always have enough water in the pan.  It is a perfect recipe for the perfect holiday scent!

 

August 2016 Visiting Teaching

The message for the month of August is called Nurturing Families Together.  It is a beautiful message that talks about the sacred responsibilities that husbands and wives have to each other and their children.  I remember a few years ago when my husband and I were in the midst of infertility and all that heartache, and I might have thought that a message like this didn’t apply to me.  But one thing I love about the visiting teaching messages is there are truths and passages that can reach everybody.  Two lines that I particularly love are “The home is to be God’s laboratory of love and service,” (Elder Russell M. Nelson) and ““How often do we intentionally ‘speak kind words to each other’?” (Sister Linda K. Burton).

We can all make our home, no matter how many people reside in it, a place of love and service.  And to go about intentionally speaking kinds words to those around us is a small way to have a large impact.

Download the PDF Handout to mail or take to the ladies you visit teach.

August 2016 Visiting Teaching Handout

Thank you sisters for all that you do, and for the inspiring way you fulfill your visiting teaching callings!