Light the World

November 29, 2017 in Craft Room

This sweet Christmas Countdown is the perfect way to remember to #LighttheWorld for 25 days in December

Fall is my favorite season, but December is my absolute favorite time of year. I love the feeling of goodwill that seems to abound no matter where you turn. Everywhere I go, people seem to be a little kinder, a little more loving, a little more giving.

I believe that’s the light of Christ in action that touches people’s hearts even more at this time of year. As we act on those feelings of kindness and love, we spread the light of Christ.

I am so completely in love with the #LighttheWorld initiative from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at mormon.org that reminds us to take time every day to share that light.

Sometimes we think service has to be a big, huge ordeal, and sometimes it is, but the truth is we can touch someone’s life every day in small, simple ways that make a big difference.

I wanted to find a way to encourage my family to be a little kinder, do a little more, and look for ways to serve others every day. In a house full of girls, chocolate is an incredible motivator, so I put together this little chocolate Christmas countdown – a simple reminder to do something every day to shine a little light on someone’s day.

After I made the cute Christmas tree, it only took me a few minutes to put together a countdown for everyone in the family. We all need our own, after all. I printed out this Christmas tree on regular paper, put it in a dollar store document frame, and stuck a chocolate candy to each circle with Scotch tape. Super simple and I love how it turned out.

This one is last year’s with a variety of Hershey kisses on the tree and Rolos for the tree trunk. This year, my nieces put on the chocolate when they were here for Thanksgiving, and we added more Rolos and some mini peanut butter cups. They’re a little bigger but totally worth the smooshed look for some peanut buttery yumminess.

Every day as each of us does an act of service, doing our part to Light the World, we celebrate the sweetness of service with a piece of chocolate. Having the visual reminder helps us keep service in our minds, always looking for ways to help others. The countdown helps us keep track of the days, knowing we’ve helped to Light the World that day.

We can all touch the lives of others – in our own ways, in our own spheres – and when enough of us light another’s life, we can Light the World.

Today I’m doing my part to Light the World by sharing this countdown with you. Click –> HERE <– or on the picture below to print it and Light the World this Christmas season.

Christmas Countdown chocolate #LighttheWorld

 

16 Eggs-cellent Easter Ideas

March 21, 2015 in Family Room, Guest Room

Easter is right around the corner, and I have gathered a fabulous batch of Easter recipes, crafts, and ideas to help you plan your Easter celebration.

easter-roundup


Broccoli Ham Ring • Forty Eighteen

Easter Egg Hunt Quiet Book Activity • Mommy Envy

What to put in your toddler’s {candy-free} Easter basket • xo, lauren & jane

Family Fun Easter Scavenger Hunt • Stuffed Suitcase

Stenciled Easter Sign • Occasionally Crafty

Easter Paper Carrot Garland • A Sparkle of Genius

Easter Egg Wreath Tutorial • A Vision to Remember

DIY Stenciled Easter Sign • The Happy Scraps

Brown Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with Springtime Chips • Mirlandra’s Kitchen

Weight Watchers Easter Recipes • Simple Nourished Living

Oreo Bunny Truffles • Key Lime Digital Designs

Easter Nest Rice Krispie Treats • The Things I Love Most

How to Make a Chocolate Nest • I Really Love Chocolate

Book Page Easter Egg Banner • Creations by Kara

Baymax Easter Eggs and Chalkboard Paint Easter Eggs • R & R Workshop

I love Easter! This Broccoli Ham Ring is one of my favorite things to make with our leftover Easter ham.

ham-broccoli-ring

I always include these Brown Sugar Carrots as part of our Easter feast.

carrots

These amazing Cherry Cheesecake Bars would be a perfect Easter dessert.

cherry cheese bars

How do you celebrate Easter?

14 Fun Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

March 7, 2015 in Family Room

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St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just for pinching your friends who forgot to wear green anymore. Now it’s the perfect excuse for a fun celebration. I love to keep things simple, so I gathered 14 simple celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day for a festive, easy holiday.

These  St. Patrick’s Day printables from Forty Eighteen are all ready for you to print and attach to your treats.

stpatsdayprint

Jane from xo, lauren & jane does something fabulous with mint chocolate chips to make a green treat that is perfect for anyone who loves mint and chocolate. (And really… who doesn’t love mint and chocolate??)

stpatday1

Hoping to find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? How about inside the rainbow… if that rainbow is a cookie. These Rainbow Treasure Cookies from Stuffed Suitcase scream St. Patrick’s Day!

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So colorful and so tasty, my kiddos would LOVE these! They wouldn’t even need to find the pot of gold with Rainbow Pudding Pops from Saving Cent by Cent as the tasty rainbow.

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This is perfect! I love this St. Patrick’s Day printable from Occasionally Crafty.

stpatday4

If you love sprinkles and tasty surprises, these Pot of Gold Cookies from A Sparkle of Genius are the perfect treat for you. I especially love the gold center… because it’s caramel. yummo!

stpatday5

Hahaha, Blushing Leprechauns. I love these great cookies from For What It’s Worth

stpatday6

Cute, cute decor makes any holiday better. That’s why I love this St. Patrick’s Day Canvas Art from Shambray.

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And this great Lucky St. Patrick’s day Printable from The Happy Scraps. I just love how a great printable makes an area instantly festive.

stpatday8

Learn how to make a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner: How to Make Corned Beef Dinner from Mirlandra’s Kitchen.

stpatday9

This Lucky Leprechaun Parfait from Jessica Weible Blogs is such an adorable treat! What more can you ask of a dessert than cute on the table and absolutely delicious in your mouth!

I love the idea of spreading some luck to a friend like this Bucket of Luck from Maybe I Will. Love her list of what to put in the basket and the free printable to attach to it.

Make a great dessert with this template and directions for a St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Cake from The Things I Love Most.

stpatday11

We always have a green dinner, and this Green Deviled Eggs and Broccoli Ham Ring from Forty Eighteen is in the running this year.

green-eggs-and-ham

How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

40 Favorite Holidays

March 19, 2014 in Great Room

40-things

Maybe that should say “holidays.” I mean, can you really call Poultry Day a holiday? But that’s what today is. Are you having a poultry celebration today?

I was all set with this month’s edition of 40 Things, but then I saw that article circulating again. You know that one about holidays and how we need to “tone it down a notch…” You probably know how I feel about it already, but a friend shared this article today that made me realize I’m not the only one!

I am so in love with that article. It says exactly how I feel about this whole thing! And motherhood in general. Especially this:

So, I guess what I am saying is that you are the perfect mother for your children and your kids just need YOU. They need your best self, and when you are being that, whoever YOU are, is enough. After that realization, who other people are, what they do and what they have fades into the background and what emerges is who you are now and who you can become.

So because I love to celebrate random holidays – not to keep up with anyone or prove what an amazing mom I am, but because it’s how I enjoy motherhood – here are 40 of my favorite holidays to celebrate… that you probably haven’t even heard of.

celebrate

  1. January 6: Cuddle Up Day
  2. January 13: Make Your Dream Come True Day
  3. January 19: National Popcorn Day
  4. January 21: National Hugging Day
  5. January 23: National Pie Day
  6. January 27: Chocolate Cake Day
  7. January 28: National Kazoo Day
  8. February 1st Saturday: Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day
  9. February 16: Do a Grouch a Favor Day
  10. February 17: Random Acts of Kindness Day
  11. February 19: National Chocolate Mint Day
  12. March 1: Peanut Butter Lovers’ Day
  13. March 15: Incredible Kid Day
  14. March 22: National Goof Off Day
  15. March 23: National Chip and Dip Day
  16. March 26: Make Up Your Own Holiday Day
  17. March 28: Something on a Stick Day
  18. April 3: Don’t Go to Work Unless It’s Fun Day
  19. April 4: Walk Around Things Day
  20. April 7: Caramel Popcorn Day
  21. April 7: No Housework Day
  22. April 11: Barbershop Quartet Day
  23. April 14: International Moment of Laughter Day
  24. April 3rd Thursday: National High Five Day
  25. April 23: Take a Chance Day
  26. May 4: Star Wars Day
  27. May 6: No Diet Day
  28. May 8: No Socks Day
  29. Followed by May 9: Lost Sock Memorial Day
  30. May Friday before Mothers’ Day: Military Spouses Day
  31. May 20: Pick Strawberries Day
  32. May 22: Buy a Musical Instrument Day
  33. June 1st Friday: National Doughnut Day
  34. July 1: Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day
  35. July 9: National Sugar Cookie Day
  36. July 28: National Milk Chocolate Day
  37. July 30: National Cheesecake Day
  38. July 31: Harry Potter Day
  39. August 2: National Ice Cream Sandwich Day
  40. August 3: National Watermelon Day
  41. August 8: Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day
  42. August 15: Relaxation Day
  43. August 27: Just Because Day
  44. September 5: Be Late for Something Day
  45. followed by September 6: Fight Procrastination Day
  46. September 19: International Talk Like a Pirate Day
  47. September 22: Elephant Appreciation Day
  48. October 11: It’s My Party Day
  49. October 14: National Dessert Day
  50. November 1st Saturday: Book Lovers Day
  51. November 3: Housewife’s Day
  52. December 7 Letter Writing Day
  53. December 8: National Brownie Day
  54. December 16: National Chocolate Covered Anything Day
  55. December 18: Bake Cookies Day

I thought you might want to know September 2 is National Beheading Day. Seriously? That’s a day???

I know, I know, I didn’t stop at 40. It’s 40 +15 bonus holidays because I just couldn’t narrow down the list anymore.

Tomorrow is Extraterrestrial Abductions Day. Any ideas how we can celebrate that one???

 

Cherries + Cheesecake = Cloud Nine

February 20, 2014 in Great Room, Kitchen

Happy Cherry Pie Day! I may have mentioned before that I am not a huge fan of fruit pies. Honestly, cherry pie really isn’t my thing, but I couldn’t let this day go by without celebrating somehow.

I think adding the word “cheesecake” is the best thing that can happen to a pie.

I’m also a huge fan of desserts I can cut into bars. I mean, let’s be real. Bars are so much easier to eat. And so much easier to justify *just one more.*

One more bar? Sure! It’s not like I’m eating a whole piece of pie!

So let’s celebrate Cherry Pie Day with some fabulous Cherry Cheesecake Bars. All in favor?

I brought these to the kids’ school for the teachers’ monthly birthday treat from the PTA. I brought four different kinds of bars (and they were all delish!). When I went back later to clean up, there wasn’t even a crumb of these left on the plate. They’re so yummy.

cherry cheese bars


Cherry Cheese Bars

Crust:

  • 1 c walnut pieces, divided
  • 1-1/4 c flour
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1/2 c coconut

Filling:

  • 2 pkg (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling

Start with your prep work. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Coarsely chop 1/2 c nuts and set them aside. You will use these later for the topping. Then chop the rest of the nuts.

For the crust, combine the flour and brown sugar. Cut in the butter until you have fine crumbs. Add 1/2 finely chopped nuts and mix well.

Take 1/2 cup of that mixture and add it to the nuts you set aside earlier. Press the rest into the the bottom of your baking dish. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Do not over bake.

For the filling, combine cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Spread over hot baked crust and return to the oven. Bake 15 minutes. Do not over bake.

Spread the cherry pie filling over the cheese layer. Of course for Cherry Pie Day we’ll use cherry, but you can substitute any flavor pie filling that sounds good to you. Next time I’m making strawberry. mmmmm I didn’t want big chunks of cherries, so I used my immersion blender to puree the pie filling a bit first.

Return it to the oven and bake another 15 minutes. (Do not over bake. Are you sensing a theme here? Don’t over bake.)

One more layer to go! If you haven’t mixed the nuts and crust mixture that you aside, do it now. Then sprinkle it over the pie filling. Return it to the oven one more time and bake another 15 minutes. And what’s our theme? Do not over bake.

Cool in the pan on a cooling rack, then refrigerate for several hours. When you’re ready to enjoy this delectable dessert, cut it into bars and try not to inhale it. If you do have any bars left over, store them in the fridge.

Savor every single scrumptious bite. Happy Cherry Pie Day!

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