Saturday, June 30, 2012

5 Reasons I am a Horrible Blogger...

I'm not quite certain their are pre-requisites to being a successful blogger. Your success varies greatly by your goals. Some bloggers use their blog as an online journal, not even caring how many followers they have. On the other end of the spectrum, there are others who blog for a living, and do well at it!

In general though, I know, these are the 5 reasons I will never be able to make a living at being a blogger.

1.) I am inconsistent. My life does not allow me the opportunity to post consistently. I post when I can, about what I want. Readers want new content. Quality content. And on a regular basis.

2.) I do not like myself enough. I hate having my picture taken. I am not saying all bloggers are vain. Their self portraits and what I wore outfits are adorable. I'd love to have that kind of confidence to plaster myself all over my blog. But I don't. Therefore, you will see very few photos of me on here. And you will never get a VLOG from me. Never!

3.) I make some amazing food. Many dishes of which, I'd love to share on the blog, however, I never remember to take photos of the step by step process and then just give up altogether. I once read, a good post should ALWAYS have pictures. So because of my lack of picture taking, my poor readers miss out on some super yummy recipes!

4.) I am not trendy. My fashion sense is, hmmmmm, lacking? I definitely cannot do skinny jeans, and I don't keep up with what is in style. I don't have cable tv or satelite so I cannot blog about reality tv shows or breaking news. I haven't read 50 Shades of Grey, and do not intend to. Yeah, I'm just kind of boring like that.

5.) At least for the time being will not pay to advertise on other blogs or sites. In my very early rookie days of blogging, all of 4 or 5 months ago. I paid $40 for a 3 month ad on a blog that was recommended to me. I got virtually nothing from it. No sales, no views, it was awful and so disappointing. I love doing ad swaps though (hint hint: still have some room in July!!) For now, I am not going to invest my hard earned money into advertising. And I won't pay for a blog design just yet either.

So there you go. This is exactly why I am a horrible blogger. Oh damn it, there is no photo for this post. So I leave you with this....

P.S. Bonus Reason... I do not have InstaGram...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lindsey & Peanut Butter Perfection Cookies

Happy Thursday! Today, I'd like to introduce you to one of my dearest friends! Lindsey is a SAHM of 2 amazing little boys.

Lindsey is one of the strongest Mama's I know! Her little guy Kaleb (pictured above) has endured a lot of struggles so far. Here's a little about his story....

Baby Kaleb was born on August 1, 2010. 16 hours after he was born a nurse tested the oxygen level on his hands and feet and found only his body was getting oxygen . They quickly realized he was in heart failure and near death. He had Congenital Heart Disease- Critical Aortic Stenosis and Endofibroelastosis.

His aortic valve had only one leaf instead of three and it was closed. The right side of his heart had inflated to compensate. Less than 10% of his heart was working. He was sent by ambulance to RVMC where they readied him for a flight to Portland, he was not expected to live through the flight. Doctor's performed a life saving surgery called an angioplasy, to open his deformed valve. The surgery was successful but caused severe leaking around the valve. They found Kaleb's heart muscle had stretched and scarred on the outside of his heart and has a rare condition called Endofibroelastosis.

In October 2010, he had a second surgery which was unseccessful to fix the valve and caused more leaking. Later, Kaleb was admitted to the hospital to be put on an experimental heart medicine. Now Kaleb is in isolation at home and takes four heart medications twice a day. He is regularly being monitored by his doctors and is blowing them away by doing things they said he couldn't do. After his second surgery he was given 6-8 months to live and they said he wouldn't grow and his heart would give out. Today he looks like any other baby and is nearing his 2nd birthday!!

He will need a lifetime of surgeries but for now, we are letting him get bigger and stronger until they say he can't wait anymore.

Lindsey is working hard to raise awareness for Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) and pulse ox testing. Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive method allowing the monitoring of the oxygenation of a patient's hemoglobin. Without this it leaves our babies suceptible to preventable disability and even death. Pulse Ox Oregon (Kalebs Law) would help make pulse ox testing, a regular part of newborn health screening. 1 in every 100 babies born are born with CHD and is the number one birth defect.

To learn more about Pulse Ox Oregon (Kalebs Law), please visit HERE.

Ok, now for one of Lindsey's fantastic recipes! And a word from her!

Hi!!! I have this amazing peanut butter oatmeal recipe I got out of a Redbook magazine years ago that I want to share with you!

I love this because it's such a versatile recipe that always comes out great. I've tried several variations, and they are all fantastic! The other day I made a double batch and was short on flour so I added more oatmeal. I've ran out of brown sugar so I add extra white sugar and a little more vanilla extract. I've made it with raisins, chocolate chips but my favorite things to add are either 1/4 cup of cream cheese (for a richer taste) and with a different extract like almond or cherry OR packets of flavored instant oat meal like maple and brown sugar or apples and cinnamon.

Sometimes I'll make really big cookies and add ice cream (they freeze great) or jelly to the middle and make them into pb&j cookies (for the kids). If I do that one I'll use less sugar and substitute the white flour for whole wheat with a sugar free jam or homemade jelly. You can also add less butter and a few dollops of yogurt so it's healthier but still stays moist. One of the newest things I tried and LOVED was making a "whoopie pie" filling with cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar ,vanilla and maybe even cocoa, it tasted decedent.

So here's the recipe:

Peanut Butter Perfection

1 cup all-purpose flower
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter (either chunky or creamy)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup quick cooking oats

Heat oven to 350*F
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder in a separate bowl.
In an electric mixer on medium speed beat butter and peanut butter until smooth. Beat in sugars until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, beat in flour mixure until just blended then stir in oats.
Spoon level tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned at edges.

A tip that I've learned in baking cookies is to never overcook them. They may look under-cooked when you take them out, but they keep cooking on the hot baking sheet so trust me, they'll be perfect. Most recipes recommend removing the cookies soon after they come out but if you have chocolate chips in them its always best to let them fully cool before removing them. That way the chips will stay with the cookie and not with the pan :)

**** Thanks Lindsey for sharing this great recipe! I'll be trying it soon at my house! ****

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Week of No's!

I have a 2 year old. "No" is an all too familiar word in our home.

Here she is in all her cute glory, she looks like such a sweet heart right?

This morning, like many others was full of "no's." No, I do not want my shoes on. No, I do not want to help you pick up my breakfast that I just spilled all over the floor. No I will not sit in time out. You get the picture right? I love her dearly though, and 99% of the time, she's a pretty good kid. I might be a little biased, but I digress...

This week, I'm taking a positive twist on "no". Each day this week, I'm putting into place a new "no." And here is how it is all laid out...

Monday - No processed foods. This was the start of an attempt to completely eliminate processed foods from my diet, so far doing ok with it. Aside from energy drinks, do those count?

Tuesday - No internet (at home.) I have to be on it at work....

Wednesday - No TV. Ok, so I probably can't stop my hubby from playing video games. But Wednesday nights will be no tv shows or movies.

Thursday - No spending. Yup, that's right. I challenge myself to a day of no spending. No stopping for coffee, no going out for lunch or running to the grocery store after work for a few last minute things for dinner, etc.

Friday - No chores - no housework. Yup that's right. Friday nights after work will be my night of rest. I've got all weekend to get that stuff done.

Saturday - No watches, clocks, or checking the time. Saturday is family time! No set time for being here or there, or doing this or that. Let the day take us where it may.

Sunday - No beverages - except for water. Sounds harsh, right? But if you knew me, you'd know I drink about 4 ounces of water per week, on a good week.

So wish us luck as we proceed through our week of "No"!

Oh, and I've got plenty of room on my sidebar for sponsors in July. Currently looking for swaps and have some guest post openings as well. Send me a message or comment if you are interested.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fondant & Family Traditions

We had the pleasure of having some family from out of town staying with us this past week, including my 10 year old niece. We were watching "Cake Boss" and decided it would sure be fun to try making a cake with fondant.

So I found this recipe on Pinterest for Marshmallow Fondant. The recipe can be found here.

Surprisingly, it wasn't super hard. The recipe was easy to follow and the fondant was pretty tasty. I do have to say it tasted best fresh, and not quite as good the next day, but fun none the less.

The cake didn't look perfect, and for me, the perfectionist, it was hard! But my niece and I had fun doing this together. And she had a blast decorating it. We've decided we will make a cake together every time I go to visit her and vice versa. Looking forward to this fun family tradition.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hello Friday! Yup, That Friday Blog Hop is HERE!

Hellooooo Friday! We meet again Dear Friend. I am co-hosting That Friday Blog Hop with Let Them Eat Cake! The Hop is up and running.

There are no rules. Rules are made to be broken anyway right? So what’s the point of posting any. Link up any and all your social networking.

So let another Friday come and hopefully get a bunch of blogs and other sites linked on here.

That Friday Blog Hop

<div align="center"><a href="" title="That Friday Blog Hop"><img src="" alt="That Friday Blog Hop" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Friday, June 15, 2012

I Love Weddings!

I was only 19 when I planned my very own wedding. I was young (not stupid) and knew what I was doing. But my taste in style and fashion has since changed drastically! It has been going on 10 years now though....

I don't have a "dream wedding" board on, but I do get a chance to do some creative, beautiful wedding stuff when I get custom orders. Which I absolutely love. Here are a couple I've done recently, that I am in LOVE with!

Interested in requesting a custom order for your special event? The best way to set up a custom order is through my Etsy shop here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

And the winners are....

Thank you all for entering the Reader Appreciation Giveaway!!!

The winners will be contacted via email, however....

Headband winner: Hailey Wall

Clip Set Winner: Lynne Foster

$10 Shop Credit Winner: Kassi Mortenson

Congratulations everyone!!! And thank you to ALL of my readers!!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Chile Relleno Casserole by Rogue Baby

I absolutely LOVE chile rellenos. By far one of my most favorite dinners. My husband makes wicked good - totally from scratch - chile relleno. Unfortunately, it takes 3-4 hours to prepare and is a lot of work. So I came up with a week night version!

Chile Relleno Casserole!

What you will need:
1 lb ground taco meat
1 can refried beans
1 large can whole chiles
1 1/2 cups shredded monteray jack cheese
3 eggs
8 oz. evaporated milk

Start with a 9x13 casserole dish. The first layer is the can of refried beans.

Your next layer will be browned & seasoned taco meat. I used ground turkey.

Then you lay the chiles out and top them with 1/2 of the cheese then top with another layer of chiles.

In a small mixing bowl, mix the evaporated milk and eggs. Top the chiles with the egg/milk mixture. Then top it all with the remaining cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 35-40 minutes.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Meet My Bloggie Bestie: Kassi from Truly Lovely!

Hello there lovelies!!!

Truly Lovely Blog

Kassi from Truly Lovely here! I am thrilled to be blog swapping with Ricki today! Don't worry loves... if you're missing Ricki way too much, and come on, why wouldn't you be?! She's over at my place sharing a post today!

Since summer is pretty much in full swing here in Arizona we had our first summer BBQ this last weekend! One of my favorite dishes.... Fruit Kabobs with a two ingredient fruit dip! So easy and SO delicious! I'd love to share it with you today!

summer BBQ ideas

So, like I said the dip.... TWO ingredients. That's it! 1. A tub of Marshmallow Creme 2. 8 oz. cream cheese

Mix them together and chill before serving.

summer BBQ ideas

For the fruit kabobs all you need is kabob skewers and various kinds of fruit. We used strawberries, grapes and blueberries. As long as their super careful with the skewers, the kiddos can even help with this part!

making fruit kabobs And viola! A fun and delicious dish for your next summer BBQ!

summer BBQ ideas

Thanks SO much to Ricki for having me over today! AND for being the Bloggie Bestie at Truly Lovely this week! Hope you'll stop by Truly Lovely sometime for a visit!

Happy summer lovelies!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Reader Appreciation Giveaway - Ya'll are the bestest!

Last night, I was sitting at 95 GFC followers, thinking, gee, I would sure love to hit that "magic" 100 number and announced a giveaway would commence if we reached that number by midnight tonight. With 12 hours to spare, we met that goal! Thanks to all of you lovely readers!

To celebrate, I am offering a 15% off code for the Etsy shop, good through June 15th. Use the code "100FAN15" to get your discount HERE.

But wait... there's more!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 2, 2012

DIY - Framed Corkboard by Rogue Baby

Do you have any old frames, where maybe the glass has been broken, and you just aren't sure what to do with them? Or do you have a super talented husband like I do?

My husband made me this gorgeous rustic cherry wood frame. He builds, stains, and installs custom cabinets for a living, so I am one lucky girl! He built this from scratch and wasn't happy with how it turned out, so it became mine to do with what I please...

When we bought this house last fall, we also bought a new stainless steel refigerator. I had no idea real stainless steel won't hold magnets, so I decided a cork board would be a perfect use for this frame in my kitchen. So I bought cork squares and affixed them to a cardboard backer,with hot glue, like so...

I then used grossgrain ribbon to make a gridded look on the cork board to hide the seams...

and glued it into place with hot glue on the back seams. And here is the finished product! Now I just need to find some cute push pins and start pinning my grocery lists, to - do lists, and beautiful artwork by Boo Boo!

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