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Decorating/ HOME/ Homemaking/ Seasonal

How To Divide A Flower Bouquet To Add Spring Color Throughout Your Home

ORANGE FLOWER

My new favorite thing to do during my once a week grocery shopping trip is to buy an inexpensive flower bouquet.  I then take it home and have so much fun dividing it up into different size vases to distribute around my home.

I’ve never been a huge fan of most mixed flower bouquets. I guess I just like the simplicity of one color and texture, so I have always preferred bouquets that have a bunch of the same type of flower–that is–until now.

FLOWER-VASES

Now I look for flower bouquets that have many textures and stems that would look great separated into individual jars & vases.

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DIY/Crafts/ Featured/ FUN/DIY/ Seasonal

Snow Day Memories & 3 DIY Snow Paint Ideas

Snow-Paint-Collage

Have you ever made snow paint? It is one of the easiest DIY’s we have done & is lots of fun too!

We are on day two of blissful snow days. I’m wearing the same pajama pants that I wore all day yesterday and you would all just laugh at me if you saw the state of my crazy hair. It is 10:30am and even my husband is still walking around in his pajama pants, so we are truly taking advantage of the forced slow that snow brings!

Snow days are so different now that my girls are older (16, 15 & almost 13). I found myself reminiscing about snow days of old, and I remembered a few photos of one particular snow day from 2013.  My Avery was 10 and was so very excited to stay home from school. Those were the days when she was young and snow was magical & she couldn’t wait to get out in it. I dug the pictures out to keep the memories alive on this blog & to share them with you!

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I vividly remember my Avery waking up that day in her snuggly jammies with a cozy bathrobe wrapped around, but still her feet were bare.  Is it just me or do naked toes on cold days drive any of you other Mama’s out there nuts? To see naked feet on a snow day just makes me shiver.

“Put some socks on those cute feet, you are making me cold!” My kids have heard me say this more than once on cold winter days.

That morning, Avery made a list on the white board she kept in her room. I love that she made plans that took action. Now, during the last 2 snow days, the action is less as she lays in her bed with her ipod and Netflix.  I do know those cute toes got a coat of polish yesterday, so I guess that counts as movement!

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She did come our from her room yesterday afternoon and baked some cookies.  I can always count on my Avery to get in the kitchen on the weekends or days off of school to bake something yummy.  She LOVES to bake.  Back in 2013 on that fun snow day, we baked brownies while waiting for the afternoon sun to warm the day up a bit.  Look at that brownie batter all over her face! Now, the only mess is in my kitchen after she is done baking, but not on her face. Both are precious moments, though, and I know I will miss that messy kitchen someday, as much as I miss mess on her face!

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We continued to pass the time by making paper snowflakes. My goodness she was so adorable! I loved that stage with adult teeth but child face. So cute! Soon she will be getting braces on those teeth and look very much like the middle schooler that she is. Now if I want snowflakes, I make them myself. This is the first year she has not been too into crafty things. She is growing up!

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I snapped a picture of her boots warming by the vent.  She outgrew those long ago.  She now is in the stage of her feet staying the same size for more than a few months at a time. A blessing, as adult size shoes are about double the cost of children’s shoes.  She now wears the same size I do.

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DIY SNOW PAINT IDEAS

Before she went out into the snow, we decided to make some DIY Snow Paint. This is so simple to make. It is just food coloring and water.

~Fill squeeze bottles halfway with water.

~Add drops of food coloring until desired shade is achieved.

~Put your finger over the hole and shake to mix.

Kool-Aid Snow Paint

~Fill bottles up with water.

~Add a packet of kool-aid

~Shake to mix

~Enjoy the fun colors that smell wonderful!

Magic Snow Paint

~spinkle areas of snow with baking soda

~fill squeeze bottles or spray bottles with vinegar & a bit of water

~add food coloring for color & shake to mix

~have kids find the ‘magic snow’ by spraying the snow and watching for a bubbling reaction of the baking soda and vinegar

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Avery had fun that day painting snow, but the highlight of the day was when a local news crew saw her shoveling and stopped to ask her a few questions. They featured her snowman & asked her why she liked shoveling. Her answer? “Because you get to help out your parents and..it’s just FUN shoveling!”  Aww…be still my heart.  She told me today that even though she looked cute and composed, she was a little freaked out as they didn’t ask us to interview her and just started filming. We still have it locked and saved on our DVR. I need to figure out how to get it off and save it another way! It was fun to watch again today as a family. Her little voice was so sweet.

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After her big interview, she came in to warm up… with an icicle?!? Love the pink cheeks & the willingness to pose for a photo.  I find that my teenage girls are now much less likely to let me take their photo.  Now I just steal their instagram photos and use them as my own when needed, knowing they are already approved for the public.  Or pictures like the one below, where they are prepared & ready to smile!

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{Christmas 2015}

As much as I miss my girls and their younger versions, I am cherishing every moment of them as teens, as I know there will be a day coming where I will miss their teen version! I am so very thankful to be here, to be their Mom in every stage they go through. I love my girls…oh, and that man in the middle? He’s not so bad either!

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Do you have snow days in your part of the world?

What do you love to do on snow days?

Do you have littles or teens? How do you enjoy every stage?

SNOW-PAINT-HEART{for your pinning pleasure}

Christmas/ Decorating/ Holidays/Parties/ HOME/ Homemaking/ Sponsored

Easy Simple & Functional Holiday Decor

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The holidays are a busy time, especially for Moms preparing their homes for kids winter break or out-of-town guests. Every year, I strive to make this time of year a simple and slow as possible, especially once my kids are on break from school.  This year, that has meant paring down my holiday decor and keeping only the things that are simple, efficient, practical, functional & bring us joy.

Here are a few ways I’ve kept holiday decor functional but still beautiful:

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Christmas/ Drinks/ RECIPES/ Sweets

Peppernuts Recipe Tradition & Almond Nog

Silk-Almond-Nog-Peppernuts

Every year around this time, I find myself crunching on Peppernuts made by my Grandma Thelma’s sweet hands, and thinking about how I MUST share this great recipe and meaningful family tradition with you! Well, this year I’m doing it, and you are going to love it!

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I took the photos for this post, then sat down with my tiny tree dish full of peppernuts & my mug of almond nog.  I’m a happy camper as I type away at this post with my delicious little snack.

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Have you seen that Silk now makes Silk Almond Nog? They have original and pumpkin spice and they are SO good.  They are both so creamy that you won’t believe they are dairy-free, and there are no eggs in either of these nogs!  I’m drinking the original Almond Nog & it is full of nutmeg and cinnamon, & has the smooth velvety flavor of classic eggnog.

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Tradition

The peppernut cookies are a family tradition that I just love.  My Grandma makes them every year for everyone in the family, and has for as long as I can remember.  I have such fond memories of helping her roll and slice the long, thin rolls of dough when I was a young teen.  It means the world to me to receive them as a gift from her each year, & it is so fun to see my girls grow up and enjoy peppernut cookies, too.

Peppernut cookies are a tiny spiced holiday cookie that are popular in Germany, Denmark, & the Netherlands.  The cookies are roughly the size of a nut, and can be eaten by the handful, hence the name.  They have anise oil in them, but it is not overpowering & adds just the right unique spice. These little crunchy cookies are so addicting! I love that they can keep indefinitely & are great for snacking and for sitting around in covered dishes for your guests to enjoy.

We celebrated Christmas early with my Mom’s side of the family, which meant getting these little peppernut cookies early, too.  The cookies pictured are made by my Grandma, but one of these days I’m going to make them myself.

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I’m feeling quite sophisticated eating my peppernuts and drinking my almond nog.  It is like having cookies and milk, but way more special because it is peppernuts and nog! I can drink a mug or two of Silk Almond Nog without feeling naughty because it is made without eggs, dairy or saturated fats & there are only 80 calories or less per serving! I especially appreciate that there are no artificial colors or preservatives in Silk products.  Grandma’s cookies, on the other hand, are a bit naughty, but I can’t bring myself to mess with a recipe that has been handed down & that is so, so good.  I will keep it as it is written, and enjoy every little cookie as we only have them once a year.

Peppernuts-Slider

Recipe:

Peppernuts

1 16 oz bottle dark corn syrup

1 1/8 cup sugar

1 cup of oleo (margarine or butter) (melt in hot syrup)

1/2 tsp. anise oil

~Boil this mixture until the sugar is dissolved.

 

2 eggs (well-beaten)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 cup sour cream

~Mix together, then add to hot mixture.

 

10 cups flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon nutmeg

a handful or two of walnuts, cut up fine

 

~Pour above mixture into flour & mix.  You will end up using your hands–just like Grandma!

~Form into long rolls, about the diameter of a quarter. Wrap in plastic wrap & let it get good and cold, or you could freeze at this point until you are ready to bake.  Cut into fairly thin slices, and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Each cookie should be about the size of a quarter.

~Bake 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

~These get better with age, so don’t be afraid to bake a bunch!

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I love sharing such simple joys of the season with you!  I hope you can find a quiet moment or two to cozy up, slow down, sip on some nog, & savor recipes that have been passed down.  It is amazing how something as simple as the cinnamon flavor of a creamy nog or the spicy hint of anise in a crunchy cookie can cause one to pause and find comfort in meaningful memories of seasons past.

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Visit Silk Holiday to learn more about Silk Almond Nog & find more simple joys of the season, like recipes, a free digital holiday recipe book, a coupon & more!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk . The opinions and text are all mine.

Christmas/ FUN/DIY/ Holidays/Parties

Christmas Shopping & Gift Wrapping For Tween Girls

JUSTICE-COLLAGE

Christmas shopping for my girls is in full swing! My girls are growing up so quickly, and I have only one tween left.  Teagan is 16, Colsie is 14 & Avery is 12.  Thank goodness I still have my lil’ Avery!

Even though she is not a teenager yet, she has a distinct style and her own opinions when it comes to the clothes she wears. I really love her style.  She is sporty with a touch of girly sparkle.  I wanted to buy her some clothes for Christmas but needed to her to point out a few of her favorite things so “Santa” will get it right– if you know what I mean!

Justice-sign

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I took her to the mall and straight into Justice.  Justice is definitely a destination for stylish tween girls this holiday season. Whether shopping in-store or online, Justice makes it easy and hassle-free for anyone with a tween girl in their life to find some special holiday gifts.

Justice has got you covered no matter what style your tween is embracing at the moment. Whether you have a sporty athlete like my Avery, or a girly girl, or a fashion trend setter; Justice makes shopping for every girl easy and fun. The store was even organized into fashion types and we of course, headed right to the sporty section.

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Holidays/Parties/ RECIPES/ Sponsored

Warming Spiced Almond Milk

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We had our first few flurries of the season last week here in the midwest, and it made me giddy! I immediately wanted to slow life way down, grab a warm drink, a fuzzy blanket & hunker down & savor the moments.  The holidays are upon us, and I’ve learned that this is the time to be intentional about creating slow moments so that I can focus in on what matters most. Slowing down allows me to make the Christmas season my own.

A recent slow moment that I enjoyed was with a cup of Warming Spiced Almond Milk. The recipe has been in the back of my brain for a while now, and with the cold weather and holidays upon us, a trip to Target was what was needed to make my warm, slow moment come true!

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Christmas/ DIY/Crafts/ FUN/DIY/ Holidays/Parties/ Homemade Gifts

DIY Wine & Snack Gift Basket

WINE-SNACK-GIFT-BASKET

I love showing up to a holiday party with a little hostess gift. Usually I keep it small and simple, like a homemade snack in a mason jar. During the holidays, it is fun to get a bit more generous and creative, so I did! I made this this festive DIY Wine & Snack Gift Basket. Wine is the perfect simple, sparkly & sophisticated hostess gift.

2 bottles of Gloria Ferrer Wine & a sparkly gold ornament

Gloria Ferrer wines is the star of this DIY Wine & Snack Gift Basket. Gloria Ferrer caves and vineyards opened in 1986, is Carneros’ original sparkling wine house, owned and founded by the Ferrer family of Spain. Exuberant and fruit-forward, Gloria Ferrer wines go perfectly with today’s diverse and flavorful cuisine, and have earned over 400 gold medals and 50 90+ scores in the last 5 years. Needless to say, they are the perfect wine choice for my gift basket.

I chose the Sonoma Brut & the Royal Cuvée:

Sonoma Brut –91% Pinot Noir, 9% Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Delicate pear and floral notes backed by toasty almond.  On the palate, one finds lively citrus, toast and apple flavors overlaid with persistent effervescence, a creamy mid-palate and toasty finish.

Royal Cuvée Brut –67% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The wine opens with green apple, citrus and honey on the nose.  This continues into the mouth adding black cherry and brioche with Asian pear.  The mousse is fine textured and creamy.  Light mineral character and Meyer lemon continue into a long crisp finish.

After typing that, I am tempted to keep the basket for myself! They sounds so delicious!

Glittery feather, reindeer candle and wine for a gift basket

I wanted a few fun things in the basket along with the wine. I wanted the basket to have a simple, classy and elegant feeling, to compliment the Gloria Ferrer Wine. I wanted a touch of glitz without being overdone.

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