Friday, March 30, 2012

April Fools Ideas

Do any of you like to pull some fun pranks on April Fools Day?  I'll admit I'm hit or miss when it comes to this holiday, but I remember fondly the years when my mom would pull tricks on us.  One in particular that always comes to mind is that when I walked home for lunch that day as a small kid, she had wrapped our sandwiches so stealthily in saran wrap that we didn't notice until we bit into them.  It was so simple, but that's what makes things so memorable.  I still feel the ultimate April Fools trick I've ever experienced was when I went into labor early on April Fools Day with my first child and she didn't decide to grace us with her presence until early the next morning! 

Anyway, as I've been reading all my blogs in the blog-o-sphere, I've realized there are people out there who are out of this world CREATIVE!  Here's a few food pranks that caught my eye for their cleverness / grossness / trickiness.

Desserts That Look like Dinner:
Grilled Cheese Cake
This looks like it's a grilled cheese sandwich but apparently is really pound cake with orange tinted frosting. (idea & picture from here)

Ice Cream Mashed Potatoes
Looks like mashed potatoes and gravy but is really vanilla ice cream with carmel sauce.
(idea and picture from here)

Use green & orange tootsie rolls and roll into balls/cubes to look like peas and carrots.

Take pound cake and cut it up into nugget shaped bites and then roll in frosting and dip it in toasted coconut and crushed corn flakes.

 Looks like a yummy dinner but is really all desserts!
(Idea from here)

Dinners that Look like Desserts:
A meatloaf cupcake

A Pasta Pie (idea from here)

Or if you just want to pull off fun, simple pranks throughout the days take a look at these ideas:

* Remove the plastic bags from two cereal boxes and switch them around to surprise your morning cereal eaters!
* Turn the milk another color with food coloring the night before
* Short sheet all the beds in your house while everyone is gone.
* Freeze plastic bugs in your ice cubes (from here)
* Reset all the clocks in your house 2 hours ahead so that others panic when they wake up.
* Put a rubber band around the push button of a spray nozzle so that when someone goes to use it, they get sprayed
* Leave the wrapper on a piece of cheese and make a sandwich with it.
* Poke holes in a straw and then give it to someone with a drink.
* Put a note on your victim's car that says "Sorry about the dent. Call me so we can swap insurance information." Include a fake name and phone number. Be sure to hide nearby so you can watch them search in vain for the "dent."
* Ask a pregnant woman to take a pregnancy test for you, then bring it home and leave the stick in the bathroom for your husband to find. Make sure he doesn't have a weak heart!

And I'll just end with this super gross looking, but yummy dessert called Kitty Litter Dessert
(squished and molded brownie pieces sitting in chopped nuts)
Found here

Tell me you don't want to see that sitting on your dinner table Sunday evening!

If you have any creative or fun April Fools ideas/pranks please share them.  I'd love to get more ideas!


Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Angel Among Us!

This month marks the anniversary of the day my special angel baby graced us with his presence...if only but for 12 hours. We found out there were complications with our sweet baby in my first ultra-sound (at about 22 weeks). And throughout the following weeks we realized the significance of these problems. He had what was called a diaphragmatic hernia. That is where the diaphragm (which is in the abdominal area and separates the upper organs from the lower organs) has a hole in it which leads to organs moving around inside his little body and cramping the space where his heart and lungs need to grow.

The doctors watched me like a hawk the last 16 weeks of pregnancy and we had high hopes that this strong boy of ours would dispel the odds and show these doctors that he was ready for whatever came his way. My labor (while scary and a lot of work) seemed almost perfect and we heard him make the cutest little sounds which to me meant he was here to stay. I was on a high that I just couldn't explain. I KNEW everything was going to be ok and I couldn't help but be HAPPY! The NICU staff is fabulous at the hospital we were at and they had him for the first few hours of his life. It was after those hours, when I got a call, that I knew things weren't as 'peachy' as I had thought. Our little baby was going downhill FAST. The rest of the time at the hospital is a big blur to me. I remember making HUGE decisions, praying like I've never prayed before, crying like I've never cried before, and feeling the peaceful spirit of my Heavenly Father's love draped over me through it all. We knew his time would be short and so we invited family over to meet him--we especially wanted his two big brothers to have a chance to meet him. It was so great to share him with our families. Two of my sisters-in-law are photographers and the pictures that they took that night are some of my most prized possessions. Here are a few of them--

Now, looking back on the experience, it was a time in my life when I felt closer to my Heavenly Father than ever before. I gave a lesson in church a few weeks ago to some teenage girls about how much Heavenly Father loves each one of us individually. And I shared the the experience of Dax. A lot of the girls were confused about how I could take that sad moment in my life and relate it to how I know Heavenly Father loves me. Well, I found out after he was born that the doctors were positive that he wouldn't make it birth. But he was a fighter and I knew that he needed me to give him that chance to live (even if it was only for 12 hours). He beat the odds again and again and him making it to birth and having him for those 12 hours shows me that my Heavenly Father had mercy on me, as a mother, and gave me that opportunity to hold, love, kiss, and enjoy him. Now, I'm not saying that it hasn't been hard--it is still SUPER HARD even after 3 years (I miss him like CRAZY) but I know that I now have an angel in my life--one that will watch over my boys when they are out of my sight, one that keeps my mind on the really IMPORTANT things in life, and one that will be waiting for us if we but only live worthy to be in his presence once again. That is the ultimate goal.

We all have trials in our lives, problems that seem too heavy to bear. That is when we need to look to our Heavenly Father for love and support; He can make our burdens light again. He wants to help us, He wants us to be happy, He wants us to be the best that we can be--and through Him, WE CAN!

Happy 3rd Birthday Angel Baby--Mommy LOVES you!!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Link it Up Wednesday #22

Welcome to yet another Wednesday Link Party.  Remember we have no rules so you can link anything, even giveaways.  Thanks again for all your support. 

Here is our most viewed link from last week:
DIY Organic Eye Makeup Remover by Potholes and Pantyhose found here

And here are a few of our favorites:

Knock off TOMS glitter shoes by CURB ALERT found here

Carrot Crescents filled with Egg Salad by HUNGRY HAPPENINGS found here

Kindness Jar by KIDS ACTIVITIES BLOG found here


April Showers Party by INSPIRED BY FAMILY MAGAZINE found here

Pallet Lemonade Stand by I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU found here


Monday, March 26, 2012

Miracle-Gro Expand 'n Gro Concentrated Planting Mix Review & Giveaway

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts® for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

This post is dirty!  I’ll be right up front with you about that.  It’s spring, time to get outside and get your garden ready, and I don’t know about you, but that’s never a bed of roses.  I have never had the privilege of living somewhere that had great soil, so supplementing dirt is always a huge chore to do in the spring. 

I first started gardening in Nevada, where my soil was sandy alkaline.  The white salt lines were everywhere, and I couldn’t water enough.  I grew strawberries and a few tomato plants that first year, and didn’t have much luck.  The ants got my strawberries, and my tomatoes were worth their weight in gold from all the watering I did.  Water’s expensive in the desert!

Now I’m in Idaho...and unfortunately, my lot was stripped of all the good farm soil that was here before me.  Darn!  Now I have horrendous clay and rock, which makes me almost wish for the desert sand back.  Ugh!

Because of these reasons, to succeed with my garden, I have to use soil amendments.  I found this new Planting Mix that looks intriguing!  It’s Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro Concentrated Planting Mix.

It’s too early (i.e., COLD and TEMPERAMENTAL) for me to grow any garden plants yet here in Idaho, but I’m thinking of using this planting mix in one of my garden boxes this year as an experiment to see if it works.  Here’s what the package says it will do:

  • Supposedly, this mix expands up to 3X when water is added to it.  Wow!   I’m wondering if my garden box will blow up like those plastic dinosaurs you soak in the sink for a day, and soon it’s a giant dinosaur blob.  That would be fun to see.
  • It will feed plants for up to 6 months and improve your soil for multiple years.  I’m all about less work.  If this actually works this long, it will be worth its price.
  • With this miracle planting mix, you will get up to 3X the flower and vegetable yield you get from your native soil.  This doesn’t work out so well mathematically for me, since my stripped native soil is as fertile as the Moon and yields a big 0000000.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Miracle-Gro doesn’t mean I’ll get no yield by using (0 x 3 = 0).  I think it’s safe to say I could use addition instead of multiplication (0 + 3 = 3), and that I will get at least 3 flowers and vegetables if I use Miracle-Gro’s new dirty drug of choice.  I can live with that.
  • And last, but not least, the natural fibers in Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro Concentrated Planting Mix hold up to 50% more water than basic potting soil.  Water’s good, when it comes to plants (unless you live in the northwest, then you probably would like to give some away).  Here’s a picture of my pots right now.  They look like they could use that 50% more water, don’t they?  The real test will be to see if this Miracle worker new planting mix can help me grow ANYTHING in these patio pots that receive the brutal heat of the day...and their inconsistent owner’s watering (OOPS!).

Since I can’t plant until Mother’s Day, I’m going to spend the warm days in between now and then, prepping my three garden boxes for planting.  I’m going to use this Miracle-Gro Expandomatic Mix that grows like a plastic dinosaur in one of these boxes (and I am hoping for miraculous results...since it’s called Miracle-Gro, for goodness sake).  The other box I might just leave alone (call it the laziness factor—or “What grows on the Moon” experiment), and the third one I’ll probably just throw in manure and cheap things like that to see what happens (whatever toots my horn when I’m perusing Home Depot).   


I’ll post in the summer about how these three boxes are faring.  We can call it the “Amazing Garden Box Race.”  It will be thrilling, I promise.  Lots of drama between the tomatoes and zucchini, to see which one can take over the most space the fastest (I’m betting on Zucchini...although I would have lost with that guess last year).


If you would like to check out this amazing ‘dirt drug’ from Miracle Gro that has a long name, to see if it works for you as you prep your garden for Spring and Summer...leave a comment below and a free sample size will be sent to one lucky winner! Hooray!

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For a $3 off coupon click Expand ‘n Gro™

Visit Sponsor's Site

Sweet Baby Dax

Yesterday would have been our sweet nephews 3rd birthday.  I am amazed that it has already been 3 years since we welcomed and then said goodbye to our sweet baby Dax.  Yet it also feels like just yesterday that we were all at the hospital with him.  Every time I think of him all those feelings come rushing back. 

Dax lived a short 12 hours.  While his life here was short, the impact he made can't be measured.  He made me become a better mom.  He made me stop and enjoy life, enjoy the little things.  He made me realize that every day is a gift from God and that we shouldn't take it for granted. 

Those moments in the hospital when we got to hold his precious body were very spiritual.  I can't say I have ever felt the spirit so strong as I did in those early morning hours.  Yes many many tears were shed.  How could there not be tears?  Its especially hard to lose a baby/child.  Thankfully we have been taught the Plan of Happiness and we know that our families can be together forever.  In fact that is one thing I remember distinctly from that night.  I watched my brother explain to his 2 other boys that although their sweet brother had died, that because their mom and dad had been sealed, Dax would be theirs forever.  And when they died, they would all be reunited with Dax. 

For the past 3 years, I have marvelled at my brother and sister in laws strength through this whole trial.  I have never heard them complain or question why this had to happen to them.  I have only seen them grow stronger both individually and as a couple. 

For us as the sisters and sister in laws we weren't exactly sure how to go about helping them out.  We didn't want to overstep our bounds, but we also wanted them to know we were there.  I know that most if not all people feel this way.  How do you help a friend, family member, acquaintance, neighbor, deal with grief? 

With it being no coincidence, Marcy happened to be in the same ward as Stephanie who writes for  A Daily Scoop blog.  She had lost her daughter recently and wrote an amazing post on How to treat a friend who has suffered a loss.    She writes it so beautifully and helps any of us who are stuck with not knowing what to do.  If you know of someone, whether they be close or not, I would suggest you read the post.  It has so many helpful suggestions. 

I know for me personally I will never regret packing up and heading down to Vegas the minute I heard Dax was going to be born.  It was such a privilege and blessing to be able to see Dax alive and then immediately after he passed away.  I will forever have a special connection to him for those few precious hours I got to spend with him.  Another thing I am so grateful we did was to bring our cameras to the hospital.  I really debated about doing this but decided to take my camera as well as Tiffany (since it was late in the night we didn't have time to find a professional to come take the pictures for us but if you do I would suggest finding those photographers who donate their time and talents to this great cause...Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep).  We were both hesitant about overstepping our bounds by taking pictures of Dax after he passed away.  We didn't want to intrude or be a nuisance to Don or Marcy.  They had such little time with Dax that we didn't want to intrude on it.  But they were great to let us snap away and I tell you those pictures are absolutely priceless.  We got family pictures, mom/dad and baby pictures.  Some may find it strange to take a bunch of pictures of Dax after he died, but from the pictures you would never know he wasn't alive.  In fact for the first hour after he passed it was hard for me to not think he was alive.  He was still so warm to the touch.   And I know for Don and Marcy those pictures are the only physical reminders they have of Dax. 

We Love You Baby Dax...I am sure you had quite the party in Heaven...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Rocks, Pebbles and Sand

Awesome Photo courtesy of Tiffany
You’ve probably seen or done the demonstration on time management with rocks, pebbles and sand.  Each item represents priority levels—rocks being the most important.  You have to fit them all into a bottle together.  Pouring the sand in first, and the pebbles next, leaves no room for the rocks.  It’s impossible. 

However, if you put the rocks in the jar first (which represent your highest priorities), and then the pebbles...magically the sand will fit between all the empty spaces when it is poured in last.  Everything fits when we start with the highest priority items first—the rocks.
You can’t do the mundane and meaningless things in life (texting, watching TV, etc) and then at the end of the day say, “Oh, no!  I still have to do THIS and THAT!”—huge procrastinated rocks.  These just won’t fit in at the end.

But when you start your day with prayer and focus on loving your family and God first and doing the most important things first, then the pebbles and sand will fit into the leftover spaces.

Sand represents the lowest priorities.  I promise that you will never feel bad about not playing 3 hours of Angry Birds on your phone at the end of a day, nor will you feel bad about NOT getting in at least 4 hours of TV.  Those things are sand.  They’re not bad, but when you fill your jar (or life) with them first, neglecting more important things, then you WILL feel bad at the end of the day. 

Pebbles are where I run into problems.  Pebbles aren’t unimportant like sand.  They are significant things like exercise, housecleaning, organization, bills, appointments, developing talents, etc.  It won’t kill you if you don’t squeeze them in each day, but over time, you will feel painful results if you neglect them (weight gain, disgusting house, collection agency after you, etc).

For the last month, I’ve experimented with certain pebbles that cause me grief.  These consistently frustrate me because they are so easy to put aside, thinking I'll fit them in later (but later doesn't come often enough).  These are the pebbles that cause me grief: 


They are thorns in my flesh—because I neglect them until they force me to address them(and be angry with myself.  In upcoming posts, I will tell about an experiment I’ve done over the last month to address these pebbles--and figure out a way to get consistency in fitting them into my jar.  I’ve been happy with the results so far.  So stay tuned for what I’ve learned about the magical process of Breaking Pebbles into Sand.  


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Printable

Because today it's supposed to be almost 70 degrees here in Northern Utah. 
And because we love this time of year. 

We are sharing with you a fun and cute Spring/Easter printable. 
I love how just putting this printable in my frame has already made my house feel springy. 
I am loving the pastels right now.  It feels like a breath of fresh air in my usually dark decor. 

As always we have it in 2 sizes, 8x10 and 11x14.  Just click the link and download the file and print it off at your favorite printing place.  And lastly ENJOY!!!

                                                           8x10                           11x14


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Link it Up Wednesday #21

It's that time again.  Time to PAR-TAY.  Thanks again to all of you who make each and every one of our linky parties a success. 

Here is last weeks most viewed link:
Beadboard Backsplash by 21 ROSEMARY LANE found here

And here are a few of our favorites:

Banana Split Brownie Pie by BRUCREW LIFE found here

Oreo Shake by GRATEFUL BELLY found here

Pizza Rolls by THE BROWN EYES HAVE IT found here

Spinach Chicken Pasta Oriental Salad by GRATEFUL BELLY found here


Spring Wreath

Today is the first day of Spring...
I love springtime.  I love the trees blooming, the weather warming, and the fact that my kids can go outside and play.  In fact in Utah the last week has been amazing. 
But with Utah weather you never quite know what you are going to get.  On Saturday night my boys were out playing in the dirt building roads and 'bolcanos' (as they say it).  And wouldn't you know it,  we woke up Sunday morning to this...

And of course it has stayed that way for the last few days.  Naturally we would have an amazing winter and on the last day of winter is when it finally felt like winter. 

But since we had had such nice weather the week before I was itching to get something springy on my door.  Plus my husband said it was time for the Valentines wreath to go down (I thought he was over reacting til I realized that Valentines day was more than a month ago...oops). 

So I began my quest for a cute and 'springy' wreath.  Of course I saw this adorable wreath on Pinterest and knew I wanted to make it.   

Here is how my wreath turned out...

And here is how I made this...

Umbrella (preferably with a hook handle)---I got mine from Joanns
fake flowers
(seriously how cute is that umbrella...I love the colors...)

After gathering your supplies you begin by stuffing your flowers into the umbrella.  Make sure to undo the tie and then stuff.

Once you have the flowers arranged the way you like, take a ribbon and tie towards the end of where the flower stems end. 

(not the best shot of it but you get the idea)

Now the next step can be done a number of ways.  It involves the hanging of the wreath. 
You could just hang it from the hook handle, but I wanted my umbrella to be a little more tilted.
So I opted to tie some more ribbon through the other ribbon and made a loop to attach it to my wreath holder.  Of course when I went to hang it on the door the umbrella just drooped...So my solution was to use duct tape to keep the umbrella so

(yep this is how I craft...with duct tape...fancy I know...I also placed a piece of duct tape on my door to give it extra security to the door)

Anyways I love the look of the umbrella on the door instead of a traditional wreath.  It just screams SPRING to me.  And despite me putting this on my door in a snowstorm, I am hoping that the weather will use my door as inspiration to become springy:)


Monday, March 19, 2012

Some of My Favorite Things

Today I am going to share with you a few of my favorite things...just a very random list of my favorite things!

I throw one of these in with a load of wash and I don't have to worry about any colors bleeding.  Love it!!  It's the perfect solution for a  lazy laundry person like me!!

I'm in LOVE with this song right now...

And when I am in LOVE with a song, it tends to get played over and over!  Hehe, my husband is probably sick of it by now but I'm not!!  =)

Reese's Pieces eggs
Yum...Easter time is here and along with that comes the delicious Easter candy. I could just pop these in my mouth all day long!

This was a Black Friday find (for $9 I was willing to risk it!)
And let me just tell you this is worth the $22 it normally is!!  This saves me a few times a day when my kids make a mess in the kitchen...just whip this baby out, plug it in and quickly clean your floor in seconds!!  The suction is great enough to pick up pebbles tracked in even.  It picks up Fruit Loops too!  =)

These are for my kids...
My girls love to color and I love the Twistables from Crayola!!  Enough said.

Secret Story from Essie...a fun color for spring!!

And last but not least, these of so comfy shoes...
It has a faux fur lining could that NOT be comfortable??  Love 'em!!

There you have it...a few of my favorite random things right now!!

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