Mama Style

Hi, remember me?  Yeah, I have been really bad about blogging, but I managed to get a post done for my cute friend Livia's Mama Style series.  Check it out HERE.
Family Picture Editing

It's been ages since I posted, but I wanted to share my family photos for 2012. I really LOVE how they turned out, and my dear friend Brandee did an amazing job as our photographer. I don't have photoshop, but I wanted to share a little secret of mine. I did all the photo editing MYSELF!! There's an amazing photo editing website I use. Right now, many of the premium features are FREE. So get your Holiday pictures taken, and upload them to Picmonkey, and see how GORGEOUS you can be.


AFTER: (eyebrightening, spray-tanning, cloning, and cropping)

Stocking stuffer ideas for babies and toddlers.

I bought these stockings years and years ago, when I was single.  Why I bought such a random number, 3, I dunno.  I have to get some new ones this year, since we are now a family of 4!

When it comes to holiday shopping, I spread mine out for a couple months, and then I like to be completely done by black friday weekend.  I like to be done, so that during the Christmas season, I can sit back, relax, serve others, and enjoy the season.  This also means I have *most* of my stocking stuffer presents already done too.  I have to pick up little clementines right before the holiday, so they obviously don't go bad.  This year since I have a baby and a toddler I started thinking of fun things for Santa to put in their stockings.  Once I started thinking, I got a pretty good list going, so I thought I would share it.  Obviously, I am not going to put all of these things in them, that would be some big stockings!

Since I have a boy and a girl, these are specific to them, but some of these items you could find for either gender.

Toddler Boy:
Travel size loofah (I have found these are perfect for babies and toddlers!)
Character Bandaids
Matchbox car
Disney movie (Cars, Incredibles, etc.)
Mini Magna Doodle
Kids tape measure (My son LOVES playing with Daddy's.)
Glow sticks for bath time
Roll of pennies (He will love putting them in his piggy bank one by one!)
Camelbak water bottle
Bath Boats
Mini boxes of raisins
Small bag of pistachios (Weird, but my 2 1/2 year old LOVES them.)

Baby Girl:
Travel size loofah
Baby Bee wash
Piggy Paint Nail Polish (I like to paint her toes!)
Soft headband
Mermaid rattle (they have pirates too!)
Sili squeeze or baby food pack (I really like the sili squeeze my sister in law gave me!!)
Fisher Price Disney Princesses
Camelbak water bottle (I found out my 5 month old can drink out of it when she grabbed mine!)
Disney movie (I know she is way too young, but better start the collection now!)
Trumpette Socks (These actually stay on!)
Board Book
Sinucleanse kids mist

What are your favorite stocking stuffers for babies or toddlers??

One Dollar rubber band organization.

I have three little girls. They have lots of hair...lots of hair means lots of hair accessories. I always buy the rainbow colored, mini rubber bands for my two youngest. I have always stored them in a plastic sandwich bag. Why? I have mo idea...ghetto..yes. It worked for us though. I finally decided, one chaotic morning, that i was tired of digging through the bag to find the right color of band. I knew a trip to The Dollar Tree would give some ideas to organize these little guys.

This pillbox, was just what I needed, though I didn't care for the days of the week on top. I swiped them with a cotton ball dipped in acetone fingernail polish remover, and off came the days of the week.




So easy, and so organized!!

Money Saving Monday

We've all seen them...the FABULOUS posts about making your own laundry detergent, and saving "LOADS" of money. I fully support that type of thing! Unfortunately, my time manager, does not. This little money saving trick took me mere minutes to complete... and that, my friends, is all the time I have for "projects" these days. I gathered my supplies: My "DELIGHTFUL~touch of softness~ detergent" that I LOVE!! My cheap-o, store brand detergent, and a large empty container.
I just mixed them up together (2 cheapo scoops, per one lovely scoop).
I printed out a cute label... though I wanted color...our ink is out.
Adhered my label to my plastic container, and ended up with this...
Not too shabby for 5-10 minutes of work. It still smells like lovely lavender, but I have twice as much!!

Thrifty Thursday

I just wanted to share a little project that I completed recently.
I got this coffee table at my local thrift store. I loved the lines of it, and thought it had great potential. The finish HAD to go though...
I topped it with a quick coat of primer, and followed up with a couple coats of "oops" paint that I found at the Home Depot. I sanded it a little, for a distressed look.
Then finished the whole thing off with a couple coats of poly. I LOVED the original hardware, so I just gave it a quick coat of black spray paint...
What do you you like how it turned out? If you're in Arizona and are interested in purchasing this table, leave a comment and I can work out a GREAT deal for you!!

Meal Planning Ideas

I have been talking to a lot of friends about meal planning lately.  In life I am a big time planner, and I love to meal plan.  It saves money and it is healthier.  I wish I could tell you this post will "give you 30 days of meals for $200 a month", but that is not the case.  Though I meal plan, I still spend $300-400 dollars a month on food.  I buy A LOT of produce and that is usually where the bulk of my grocery bill goes, that and fish.  I just thought I would share how I meal plan and hopefully someone can get something out of it.

I start off by printing off a calendar and going through my recipe book.  My recipe book is super ghetto, it is just a large binder filled with plastic pages and plastic 4x6 photo card pages.  A few years ago my Mom gave me the best Christmas present, she typed up her recipes and put them in a binder, that was the start of my recipe book.  Since then I print off a lot of recipes and slip them in plastic pages or jot them down on a recipe card and stick them in.  If you want some cute free printable recipe cards, check out these and these.

When planning, I plan a month at a time.  I then transfer it over onto my weekly menu board each week, and make a grocery list from there.  I also have a grocery list hanging on the side of the fridge at all time, so that if I run out of something while cooking or baking, I can jot it down so I don't forget.

 When planning I find it key to have an organized fridge, freezer, and pantry.  These were scary photos to take and post, but my fridge and freezer usually look like this.  I forgot to take one of the pantry, oh well.

 I generally buy my beef and chicken at Costco, divide it up into portions, and organize it in the freezer with Tupperware.   One thing of chicken or ground beef usually lasts me about 3 months, I have found this the most cost effective method for my family.  When I go to the store weekly, I will browse what meat is on sale and if it is a good deal I will buy a bunch and freeze it.  A few months ago Smith's had a killer sale on small steaks, I can't remember the cut or the price, but it was a good deal and they are tasty.  Don't mind all the Cool Whip, I am making an eclair cake for my Father-in-law's birthday.

 I buy half of my produce at Costco as well.  I usually freeze half and we eat the rest fresh.
When I sit down to actually plan my weeks usually look like this: 1 meatless day, 1 chicken day, 1 beef day, 1 fish day, and 1 "sale meat" day (meaning whatever other meat I have in my freezer, ie the steaks), 2 leftover days.  For me the 2 leftover days are key to keeping a cleaned out fridge and ensuring no food goes bad, and there is just no way I could plan 7 days worth of meals.  Both myself and my husband enjoy cooking, we like trying out new recipes, and I have found Pinterest to be an amazing resource.  We also make our son eat what we eat.  He doesn't get a special meal, I think it has really helped him to not be as picky, and he likes most of the recipes we make.

Another thing I try to do when planning to make the most out of my grocery list is I try to plan multiple meals in the month using the same ingredients.  For example if I buy cilantro, I will make Lime and Coconut Chicken week 1, Taquitos week 2, and Honey Lime Chicken Skewers week 3, that way I am using all my cilantro and it is not going bad.  Another example would be buying corn tortillas, they come in a large bag, so I make Fish Tacos week 1, Taquitos week 2, and enchilada casserole week 3.

Meal planning takes a little time, but I think it actually saves time, because once you have done it for the month, you're done!  No standing in front of the fridge thinking "what should we have for dinner tonight?" and no extra trips to the grocery store (which saves money!)

As far as snack items go, we buy a few things like dried fruit and nuts at Costco, and then keep them portioned out in the pantry.  I try to make a lot of items that are expensive, like granola bars.  I have found some great recipes on Pinterest for things like home made granola bars, muffins, mason jar salads, and smoothies.  The great thing about making your own is they are less expensive and more healthy!

I have found this is what works for my family and am always on the lookout for tips and tricks to implement that will save time and money. Feel free to check out my board "Recipes I've Made and Yum!" If you have any advice or ideas, please share!

Collage Wall

What a crazy year 2012 has been so far!  We have moved, my husband graduated, we had a baby, all in 5 months!  Since we moved, we have a long to do list, but because of the other things, ya know school and a baby, there isn't much crossed off that list.  We FINALLY finished our collage wall, which has been nice, it actually makes his house feel more like our home.  Funny how simple things like hanging photos will do that. 

Here are a couple photos of the finished product.  Please excuse my very poor photography skills.  I had been collecting various things over the years that all came together nicely on this wall.  I already had most of the frames, the majority of which were from IKEA, and decided to paint the middle one blue for some extra color on a white wall.  I promise they are all hung straight, I swear when I look at these photos, half of them look crooked to me.  The 987 is our anniversary date, everyone asks "what is 987?" when they come over, LOL.

I really love how it all turned out, it helps that I have super cute kiddos too!

Brazil free printable
Button Monogram
SLC Temple Print
Family Proclamation made by a friend
Joesph and Emma print given to me by my sister
987 DIY

A Very Hungry Birthday!

Saturday was my son's second birthday party and he had a blast!  I must admit throwing a party while 36 weeks pregnant wore me right out!  Even though we just invited family, my husband and I have very large families, so there were quite a bit of people there.  We pretty much DIY'd everything and it all turned out great!

For the food we ate the same things the caterpillar did in the book, sausages (lil' smokies), a leaf (spinach salad), strawberries, watermelon, apples, swiss cheese, salami, and pickles.  Sounds kind of like a weird combo, but it was really good.  We had lemon water also.

I used Photoshop to make up food cards.

My husband and I tag teamed the cake.  He is the artistic one, so he did all the sculpting and the fondant.  One of his co-workers made the fondant for another cake and gave us her extra, super nice!  I made home made funfetti cupcakes using this recipe.  SO GOOD.
I used my Grandma's home made butter cream frosting recipe for the icing, I think it turned out cute!
 A friend had given me a caterpillar cupcake stand, he was fun!
A few months back at Target they were clearancing out Very Hungry Caterpillar plates, napkins, and cups, I think they were like $.50-$.75 per pack, score!

I made a fun banner using my Silhouette.
 We made a balloon caterpillar, all the kids got a kick out of it!
 We made fringey streamers for decor, cheap and cute! I also used this fun washi tape to hang them.

As the kids arrived we had them color a large caterpillar mural.  My husband printed it off at work, and we used washable crayons of course!  Here is the before.....
 And the after....
We had everyone make caterpillar bookmarks.  I got the idea from this cute blog.

I was trying to think of 2 year old friendly games to play and came up with this "Feed The Very Hungry Caterpillar" game.  We bought a giant poster board and used our projector to draw the images onto it.  We colored it in with markers.  I used some of our play food that he ate in the book to "feed him".  My son LOVED it, and so did the other kids.

For the favors I was out of ideas, when I saw this cute idea on Pinterest for Butterfly snack packs. (My Pinterest link doesn't have the original source, sorry!)  My son's favorite treat is Marshmallows, I thought the fruit ones would be nice and colorful and had forgot how yummy they are!  I also did Goldfish crackers for the younger kids.  I paired them up with some Very Hungry Caterpillar stickers that were also on clearance at Target.
Though I was absolutely exhausted by the end, it was worth it.  My cute boy has been saying "Happy Birthday Party" ever since!

A Very Hungry Birthday!---Invitations

Hi, remember me, SueAnn, yes I am still alive!  I know I haven't posted in ages, but this pregnancy has been really rough on me.  Just 4 short weeks and she'll be here, I can't believe it!  I do have lots of projects for my husband to do and me to post, HA!

Tomorrow is my son's SECOND birthday.  I really cannot believe he is 2!  Since I knew I would be throwing his party so pregnant, I have done a little at a time, during naps and at night (before 10pm), and I think it is going to turn out cute!  I think this party has been easier to plan than the last, maybe because I did break it up so much, instead of doing a ton at the end.  It was low cost too!

One of his favorite books currently is The Very Hungry Caterpillar, so I thought that would be the perfect theme.  A friend of mine threw her son's first birthday 6 months ago and also did The Very Hungry Caterpillar theme.  The invitations she did we so cute, I asked if she would mind if I stole her idea!  She gave me the go ahead and told me she had originally seen the idea at Pottery Barn.

The invitations are small Mason jars, with a caterpillar and a leaf inside.  I did multi colored paper on the tops and wrote the kids names.  I mainly just invited family, since I knew I would be too tired to invite too many people.

I wanted to type up the invites on the leaves, but they ended up being too small, so I hand wrote them.  On one side I wrote "You're Invited...", then wrote all the details on the other side.  I used my Silhouette to cut the leaves and the eyes of the caterpillar.  They were really quick to put together, a dozen only took me about an hour.  I just hot glued the pom poms together and then threw everything into the jar.  Each invitation cost less than $1.00.  My son's cousins thought they were great and have loved playing with the caterpillar.  My son isn't the most gentle, he ripped the eyes off of his. :)

The party is this Saturday, I am super excited, I think he will just love it!  I will post all the details next week, stay tuned!

Show Your Personality By Customizing Your Bible Cover

 You want to look your Sunday best when you attend church, but your Bible has seen better days. Passed down from generation to generation in your family, the cover has begun to show a bit of a weathered look to it. The edges have creased and the leather has begun to crack and fade.

Since the Bible is a family heirloom, you don't want to replace it with a new one, but you also want to protect it so that future generations of your family can use it. You're stumped on what to do.

Why not use a Bible cover?
Bible covers are great to keep your religious text clean and dry. Many religious stores carry them, or you can find a used Bible cover at a yard sale or a church donation event. If you can’t find any in stores, you can purchase Bible covers online by doing a simple search.

A Bible cover can be as simple as a plain book jacket or a nicer carrying tote. Whatever look you decide, you can give the cover a bit of your personality by decorating or writing down your favorite verses on the cover. You can even make it an entertaining craft project for the entire family.

Clean Your Bible Cover Before Decorating
The surface of the Bible cover should be clean before placing on any decorations. For leather Bible covers, use a dry cloth to wipe away any dust. If the cover is dirty, lightly moisten the cloth to clean the dirt away, then immediately dry off the leather so wet spots don't form. Even if you'll be covering over the entire leather with decorations, it's still a good idea to work on a clean surface so dirt doesn't accidently get on your decorations.

For an ordinary paper cover, simply wipe with a dry, clean cloth. Make sure the paper cover is thick enough to support the weight of any decorations or glue added to it. If you're afraid ink may seep through the paper and set into the Bible's surface over time, attach a piece of clean, flexible cardboard between the paper and the Bible.

Decorating a Paper Cover
The sky’s the limit when it comes to decorating a paper cover. Have the kids draw pictures of what they learned during Bible classes. Glue on buttons and sewn decorations using craft glue. Use stickers or write down your favorite inspirational quotes or poems with colored markers.

The great thing about using paper covers is that you can make several of them and switch to a different cover whenever you want. You can even make seasonal Bible covers such as an Easter cover and a Christmas cover.

Decorating a Leather Cover
Decorating a leather cover can be a little trickier. Sometimes markers can smear and glued decorations can fall off eventually. Your best option is to sew on decorations. Add a bit of lace and decorative yarn to the edges of the bag. You can even sew on a quilt cover that has sentimental value to you.

If you have an old quilt, lay your leather cover open on the material and trace out the pattern with fabric chalk. You'll want to have an extra inch to 2 inches of material along the top, bottom and sides.

Cut out the pattern. Lay the leather cover on the quilt and fold up the extra material along the edges as you pin it in place. Then sew on the quilt cover by hand or use your sewing machine.

Let Your Personality Shine On The Bible Cover
However you want to decorate the cover, always let your personality show. Let it tell people you're truly inspired by the verses and words found in your Bible. Let this become a family project everyone can enjoy. Whether you're adding a few decorations or changing the entire bible cover, having your entire family involved as you share inspirational moments and stories creates lasting memories for a lifetime.

Danielle, who blogs on behalf of Sears and other prestigious brands, enjoys spoiling her niece with homemade goodies. Danielle is particularly fond of needlepoint, working with pipe cleaners and the smell of a fresh box of crayons. Read her work at

One Dollar Wednesday...Easter Wreath (revisited)

For some reason whenever I visit the Dollar Store, I can't help but pick up a couple bunches of the fake flowers they sell there. I am a sucker for flowers, and it has led to a rather large collection of random blooms. I finally decided to use some of them.

I found this simple wreath, also at Dollar Tree, and a cute Easter card in the Target Dollar Spot.

The colors of the card were my inspiration, and I sent my wreath out to The Spray paint place for a quick coat. It's beautiful and sunny here, so it dried really quickly.

I painted this little Dollar Tree frame a nice "spring green" color.

I framed my card, arranged my flowers, and glued it all together.