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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Changing Pad Clutch

A couple of months ago I told my friend (who was pregnant at the time) that I would make her any baby accessory she wanted. After searching Pinterest, she came to me with THIS idea. I've never made anything like it, but it looked cute and I was excited to start on it. 

Her tutorial is pretty clear and I remember it being easy to follow. This is one of my favorite projects. I think maybe because I love the whale print.

So let me show you inside:

You just lay your baby on the vinyl side of the mat (easy to wipe up in case of "accidents") and you have your diapers and wipes right there in little pockets! How nice is that?

A closer look at the pockets:

And then when you're done fold the pockets in, like so:

Roll it up, attach the loop to the button, and it's ready to go back in your bag! Pretty snazzy, huh? I was a little surprised with how big it ended up being, but it needs to be pretty big to be able to have a baby lay on it PLUS be stocked with diapers and wipes. 

Sharing here: 52 Mantels, Seven Alive, 36th Ave,What About, The Thriftiness Miss, DIY Dreamer, Lil Luna, Gingersnap Crafts, Mercy Ink, DIY Dreamer, Daisy Cottage Designs,     

Monday, January 28, 2013

Romantic Heart Wreath

I made this wreath for my mom when I went out and visited her a couple months ago. But when I thought of Valentine's Day, I remembered this wreath and that I had never shared it!

I found the heart wreath from a local thrift shop. That's actually a really good place to find wreath forms! Who knew.

The flowers I got at Wal-Mart. I just cut down the stems of the fake flowers and stuck them unto the wreath form. Make sure you cover it all up with the flowers. 

This would look so pretty with red or pink flowers for Valentine's Day!

Sharing here: Craft-O-Maniac,

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tomato Artichoke Soup (Twigs & Smores)

A long time ago my sister-in-law Chelsea and my Mom came to visit my house in Utah.  My sister-in-law had traveled with my brother, but he was out of the house one night and so it was girls night in for us!

Chelsea made this soup and croutons and I was forever in love with it.  I've made it many times since and every time I do I realize all over again why I fell in love with it in the first place.

It has layers of tomato, artichoke, onion, garlic and is served with crispy, parmesan croutons.  What is funny to me is that it looks very fancy and impressive but is super easy to make!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.  It is definitely a recipe I will have and make forever.

Tomato Artichoke Soup:
4 T. olive oil
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 T. minced garlic (I used 1 heaping tsp. of the jarred, pre-done stuff)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme (you can add a little more if you like)
15 oz can artichoke hearts, finely chopped
28 oz can diced tomatoes, with juices
4 c. chicken broth (one large box)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 c. sour cream (light is fine)

Cheese Herbed Croutons:
1/2 loaf french bread, cut into cubes
1/4 c. olive oil
1 T. dried Italian seasoning
1 c. shredded Parmesan cheese (this should be freshly grated from a parmesan wedge)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  For soup, heat oil in a large pot over medium to medium high heat.  Add onion and saute 5 minutes until softened.

Add garlic and thyme and saute another minute until nice and fragrant.

Add artichokes, tomatoes, chicken broth, salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer over medium heat for at least 30 minutes (the longer you simmer this the more the flavors meld).

While the soup is simmering prepare the croutons.  In a large bowl combine bread cubes, olive oil, Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese and toss to combine.  Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Lay out the bread mixture and evenly distribute it in a single layer.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until bread and cheese gets light golden brown.  You don't want it burnt but you do want it to be toasted enough so that it has a nice crunch to it.  Check on it every few minutes. Set aside while you finish up the soup.

To finish soup add sour cream, stir well and simmer for 5 minutes.  At this point taste the soup and see if you need more salt or pepper.

Ladle into bowls and serve with croutons.  Don't add the croutons to your bowl because they get soggy really quick.  I like to serve my croutons on the side and then plop them in one by one as I take bites.  


Sharing here: 36th Ave, See Vanessa Craft, Whipperberry,   

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I Heart Sundays with No nonsense tights and leggings

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of No nonsense for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Don't you love Sundays? I looove Sundays. You know why? I get to go to church and get all dolled up and pretty. As a stay-at-home mom, I'm normally in a T-shirt and yoga pants. But Sundays I dress up and apply make-up and feel like a grown up. And as long as I can remember, I've loved wearing tights to church.

Since I've gotten a little older I've liked to pair my Sunday outfits with fun tights. I especially love the idea of crazy colors. Over at No nonsense tights and leggings, they have some awesome-colored tights that I would LOVE to pair with one of my Sunday outfits! I made a little outfit to illustrate my point:




How cute is that outfit?! Tights and leggings are especially nice when the weather outside is chilly and you want to throw on a pair of boots and face the cold. I almost always wear tights with my boots. But whether you're dressing up for a special event, throwing on a pair of your favorite boots and heading to the store, or just lounging around the house, No nonsense tights and leggings can make any outfit look more pulled together. Their products can be purchased at food and drug retail shops as well as some of the bigger stores that you shop at, making them super affordable.

No nonsense tights and leggings has recently partnered up with Jill Martin, a style guru, as their new brand ambassador and she's making short videos on how to pair No nonsense tights with some of your favorite outfits.


If you want to keep up with all these awesome fashion tips and videos, follow No nonsense on Facebook or on Twitter @benononsense.

And if you want to add that pop of color to your wardrobe for a great price, look for No nonsense tights and leggings!



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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How I Lost 10 Pounds in 10 Weeks

Happy New Year!

We got back from Florida a few days ago and everyone is sick! Boo. Not the greatest way to start out the New Year. But we did go to Disneyworld and it was AH-Mazing!!

Along with the New Year comes new resolutions on improving ourselves. I wanted to share with you some things that helped me last year when I decided to try to lose some weight.

After I had my second baby, I lost quite a bit of weight. And then I gained it back. That is so incredibly frustrating! So in November I decided I wanted to really work hard and lose some weight. I was about to sign up for Weight Watchers with my mom when she showed me some websites that were free and were basically the same idea as WW. We decided to go the free route first and if that didn't work, we'd sign up for Weight Watchers.

Let me tell you, I am SO glad we didn't sign up and pay for WW!! I was able to lose 10 pounds all on my own and it felt GREAT!

So here are some of the tips:

- Use the free websites. Here are some awesome ones:

- Keep a journal. This is KEY! I know it's annoying but you'll really be able to track your progress and keep on track with a journal.

- Buy a nice scale. I had an old $5 scale and it was off about 2 pounds and I had no idea. You can buy nice ones at Wal-Mart or Target for about $20.

- Learn to love fruit/veggies. I LOVED my cereal in the morning. I've basically been addicted to cereal since college. But now I eat a piece of fruit EVERY.MORNING. It pays off.

- Exercise. I started out by doing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred and riding on the stationary bike and then I included going to Zumba and running on the treadmill. Having lots of different exercise options helps get you out of an exercise rut.

- Find healthy recipes. I have a Healthy Recipes board on Pinterest and I'm going to start sharing a WW-friendly recipe once a week! Aren't you excited?! I for sure am!

- Don't be too hard on yourself. During the first couple of days of starting this, I actually gained a pound or two. And then I would lose a couple. Don't get down on yourself if you happen to gain or is you cheat sometimes. It's not the end of the world.

I'm not done losing weight, but I'm glad to know I found a way to do it that works for me! And I know it won't work for everyone, but I wanted to share an option that would maybe work and be nice to your wallet :) Please please please let me know if you do this and are able to lose any weight! I'd love to feature you!!

Sharing here: Winthrop Chronicles, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Not Just a Housewife, Lil Luna, Ginger Snap Crafts, 36th Ave,