DIY: Frugal And Fun Vases

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I’m a huge fan of decorating with vases. Over the years I have been collecting them from the thrift shops and the dollar stores. As you can see here and here, it’s one of my go to crafts.

 A few months back, just before Valentine’s Day, I was working on these decorations below.  

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Everyone loved them, and complemented them. Some even asked me if I could make a few vases for their home. I figured, instead of me making them for my friends, I can just share how I made them myself. They are so easy to make, inexpensive, and a fun way to liven up any room or event. 

You Will Need:

  • Vase
  • Candle Stick Holder
  • Super Glue (or any type of strong adhesive)
  • Time and Patience 
  • Fillers (Marbles, sand, sticks, Christmas Balls, Pine cones, a candle, etc)

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Step 1: Wash all of your glassware, carefully.
Step 2: Once dry, Place your vase upside down.
Step 3: Put glue around the top edges of the candle stick.

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Quickly place the candlestick holder upside, onto the vase. Center it, and let it dry for at least 24 hours. Place a book on it to keep it candle stick holder from moving. If you have a table that is slanted, you may want to check on it periodically to make sure it didn’t move around too much.

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Voila! 

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You now have your very own vases that doesn’t cost you more that a few bucks to make. $1 for the vase, $1 for the candlestick holder, $1 for the super glue. Can’t be that price for something that could potentially be some gorgeous to beautify your home.

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I used green and white rocks that I found at the Dollar Store as fillers for these vases. 

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I then added some fake flowers. I love the way this came out!

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I added sand and some black rock that I bought from the dollar store and used them as fillers for these vases. 

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For this vases decoration, I used fake moss, birds nests, and a couple of fake birds to fill these little vases.
Super cute, right? 

 

 
 
I had fun creating these vases. What I like most about them is that they are so versatile. I can change the fillers to fit any season or holiday.  

Love this Hurricane Vases? Why not save this easy DIY project by clicking below and pinning it to you Pinterest board, or even your Facebook wall.

Sharing is caring, and is forever appreciated ūüôā

20 Ways To Show Your Husband Love

I enjoy being a wife. I adore showing my husband love. There is something about sharing your love with someone who is just as eager to share their love with you too. However, in the mists of our lovefest, we have realized that we don’t show love to each other in the same manner. Over the years, I have learned to show him love in ways that he would receive it, and vise versa.

We all experience love differently. Author, Gary Chapman wrote that there are Five Love Languages: Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, and Gifts. It is very important to know your own love language. That way you can relay that information to your spouse. In return, he will show you love in a way for you to receive it. It is equally important to know your husband‚Äôs love language as well, because it truly does make a difference in a relationship! We tend to want to express love in the same way that we experience it, but sometimes this can backfire on us.

I got together with a few friends recently, and asked them how they show their husband love. During our conversation, I came to the realization that while we all show how we feel differently to our spouses, the foundation of love was common in all of us. We all felt it was important to to express love in a way that it could be received. After talking with these ladies, I put some of their great ideas together with some of my own to give you this lovesome list of ways you can show your husband some love.

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1. Give him a back rub. Hubby has to commute to work 5 days a week. Two hours each way. That’s 20 hours sitting in traffic per week. He never ask, but I always offer him a good back rub. It’s my way of showing him that I appreciate all that he does for us.

2. Ask for advice on something, and then follow through by listening to that advice without challenging him. Feeling respected is important to men. They want to feel like the woman they are with respects them, and their knowledge.

3. Brag about your husband to your family and friends when he is around. There is nothing like the feeling of your loved one expressing positive words about you to others. Make sure you are uplifting him in public, and not demeaning him in anyway.

4. Tell him why you respect him. Let your husband know what you respect about him.

5. Compliment him. Whether it’s for simply going to work, taking out the trash, or even changing the lightbulb. You have many opportunities throughout the day to give him compliments and words of encouragement.

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6. Show interest in his hobbies and likes. I’m not a science geek, but I have watched enough Nasa Tv and Science Channel to last me a lifetime, lol. Even though sometimes I rather watch my guilty pleasure shows, I show him love by showing interest in his favorite things. I found that not only do I love spending time with him, but I also learned a thing or two while doing so. If he is into sports, figure out the plays in the game. If he’s into cars, go to car shows. Enjoy his hobbies with him without complaining.

7. Talk highly of him in front of your kids. Do not putting him down or complaining about him to or in front of your kids. You two set the example of what a marriage will look like. Make sure it’s not not one full of negativity and bad mouthing.

8. Encourage him when he is having a tough day. Let him know that you love him and appreciate him. When his boss gets on his nerves, be there to help relive some of his stress. When he is down, pick him up.

9. Trying not to nag him. Take a moment, collect your words, and communicate without having to get loud, negative, condescending, or mean. Communicating in a way that you can be heard, and in a way it can be received is important in any relationship.

10. Compliment his body in some way. His eyes, his arms, or even his butt. Let him know what you like about him. Maybe tell him what turns you on.

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11. Encourage him to hang out with the guys. We all need time to unwind with our friends. Even though we have the same friends, I sometimes opt to stay home so that he can go hang with the boys. Besides, when he is gone, it’s just a another excuse for me to work on my crafts ūüôā

12. Dress sexy for him. Even though hubby thinks I’m sexy in sweatpants, I still like to dress sexy for him sometimes. A nice tight pair of jeans, or a sexy dress will do. If you want to take it a step further, wear your birthday suit. I promise you, it’s the best outfit you can wear for him ūüėČ

13. Serve him without expecting something in return. I don’t mean be his slave. What I mean by serving is offering to help him in some way. Hubby often has conference meetings at home. During that time, if it’s been awhile, I offer a drink or a snack. Just a little something to help him though his meetings. Before we moved, he would come home for lunch everyday, and I would make him something to eat. I loved doing it for him, and it made him happy. Bottom line, you don’t have to wash his feet to serve him. You can simply do little things here and there to show your big love.

14. Text him while he is away. Tell him what you love about him. Explain to him what you like doing with him, or even too him ūüėČ There is nothing like a few love texts to warm your heart, and give you a little spark throughout the day. Need some ideas? Check this list of 52 text bombs you could send to him over at Stay At Home Suzie.

15. Take care of him when he is sick. Make him soup. Give him medicine. Run him a bath. Do what you can to make him feel comfortable during an uncomfortable time.

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16. Waking him up for morning sex. Enjoying each other at the beginning of your day is not only fun, but it’s also a great way to connect with your spouse. There are great benefits that come with having some good ole’ morning lovin’. Check out 13 of them over at Elite Daily.

17. Don’t dwell on the small stuff. When people ask me for marital advice, one of the first things I tell them is to pick and choose your battles. You don’t have to step to every battle you are invited to. Learn to let things go.

18. Tell him you why you love him. Anyone can say I love you. If you can tell him WHY you love him. It will make all the difference.

19. Sexy Coupons are always a fun was to show your love. I made some a few years ago, and hubby actually enjoyed cashing them in. I found a list of 50+ love coupons ideas for you to print out and make on your own.

20. Cook him his favorite foods. Nothing says I love you like a good plate food. The way to a man’s heart, is through his stomach, is what they say. I believe there is some truth to that.

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It is truly the little things that make a big difference in our lives! I challenge you to shower your husband with random acts of kindness, and bits of love each and everyday. Not just on Valentine’s Day.

DIY: Valentine’s Love Tree

Ok, this is the last installment of the DIY Valentine’s decor series. Another dollar store find. This last craft is the cheapest one by far. With $1.00 dollar for the foam trees, and .25 cent per sheet of felt, the total amount for this decor is $2.75 cents! What a deal for something so pretty.

 

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Supplies you will need:

Foam Tree

Felt

Scissors

Marker

Push Pins

Small circle cap to trace

 

First you will need to trace the circles onto the felt, like so…

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Next, you will need to cut out each circle. Cut on the inside of your marks. That way, the marker won’t show up on your fabric when you are done.

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I cut 3 Felt sheets for 2 foam trees.

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Take you pin, and push it through the middle of your felt circle.

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Now, push the pin into the foam tree.

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One by one, you push a pin through a felt circle, and then through the foam tree. Let the circles over lap a bit so that you won’t have an of the foam showing through.

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Again, this will take some time. While you are doing this, it would be the perfect time to be watching one of your guilty pleasure, ( mines is Marriage Bootcamp Realty Stars ūüėČ ), or play some of your favorite music.

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Ta-Da! The finished product!

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It’s been fun crafting, decorating, and sharing these tutorials with you. I hope you leave here inspired with some new ideas on how you want to brighten up your own home during this lovely holiday.

DIY: Valentine’s Wreath

I had mentioned in my post before that I wanted to dress my mantle up for every season and holiday. Well, I have the plans to do the same for my front door. There are many different  ways that you can spruce up the entrance to your home. Flowers, wreaths, statues, and vases are good items to use for decorating your door. For Valentine’s, I decided to make a wreath. Wreaths are such charming door ornaments. I have one made for the Thanksgiving holiday, and one that I made for the Christmas holiday.  You can put together a few items from around your home, and craft something that will make your door POP!

Supplies that you will need:

Foam Circle

Pipe Cleaners

Yarn

Glue Gun or Superglue

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 The first thing you have to do is wrap your yarn around the foam circle.

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A simple task that will take some time

Next, you will want to shape your pipe cleaners into hearts

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Bend one end over to the middle. Secures it by twisting the end pieces around the middle.

Shape the circle that you should have, into a heart. Then you cut off the end.

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Once you are done making as many hearts as you want, pull out your glue and get to work.

You will position the hearts anywhere that you would like onto the wreath, and glue it down.

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I love how my wreath turned out!! Very Pretty!

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While on  Pinterest, I came across a few beautiful and unique wreaths that you can make on your own.

Lil’ Luna has a great list of 15 Valentine’s Day DIY Wreaths to craft. My favorite is the Love Frame.

Over at Saving With Shellie, you can find a tutorial on how to make this Valentine’s Day wreath for $2.00! Another great dollar store craft find! This wreath can also be a cute craft for kids to do.

Another easy and cheap wreath made out of cardboard, little hearts, glue, and ribbons found over at Brown Sugar Toast. Her Easy Peasy Wreath is too cute!

Want a wreath in shape of a heart? All you need is a hanger, a pool noodle or a pipe insulator, duct tape, pliers, and scissors. Check out this tutorial over at Fynes Designs. She also has a cute Love Hot Air Balloon decoration tutorial that she made.

I love, love, LOVE this beautiful Valentine’s Door Hanger from Confessions of a New/Old Home Owner.  I think I want to make something similar next year for Valentine’s. I think 2 door decorations is good enough, and can be switch out every year.

Want something different? How about a Paper Heart Wreath? The tutorial is over at Blooming Homestead . A unique way to use paper (a cheap material) to make something amazing! It’s simple, inexpensive, I love it, and now I want to try it making one myself.

There are so many ways you can dress up your front door, and make your place seem welcoming to others. I’m all for putting your own personal touches in your own home.

 

 

DIY: Ribbon Topiary For Valentine’s Day

It’s officially February, and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Love will be in the air for the next couple of weeks. All the stores are overflowing with pink and red decorations, cards, clothes, and other items that are related to the lovefest. Flowers, chocolate, and jewelry sales at an all time high during this holiday. I personally, am not too fond of flowers as a gift. I don’t dislike getting them. I’m just not a big fan of spend money on something that will die within a week. Seems a bit of a waste to me. I like chocolate, but I don’t need it as a gift as a sign of love. I live not to far from one of the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factories, and I can get chocolate at anytime. Hubby and I like to keep it low key on Valentine’s. We believe¬†that we can show each other love and appreciation the other 364 days out of the year. So, Valentine’s is not that special. Just another day around here. For me, February is all about my son’s birthday, as well as my own. That’s where our attention is for the month.

Even though we don’t do anything big together, I still like to use this holiday as an opportunity to make themed decor. Really…. It’s just an excuse for me to spend time crafting, hahaha. Now that I have a craft room, I’m always trying to find a reason¬†to utilize it. ¬†¬†There is something about crafting and decorating that is not only¬†fun, but also relaxing and inspiring all at the same time. I can craft for hours on end, and simply be content. Crafting can be quite therapeutic for me.

Now, to get creative! I have a beautiful mantle that I love to spruce up. My goal is to have enough decor to change it up every holiday and season. One thing I have learned about decorating is that it can cost you an arm, a leg, a liver, and sometime an ear too! ¬†I’m a frugal person, who is always looking for some new way to decorate without putting a hole in my pocket. One of my favorite decor pieces to make it a Topiary. I made them a few years back for an event, and a wedding at my church. What I like about this decor to the most is the ending product. It’s beautiful when you finish. It is easy to make, but can take some time. When making these Topiaries, you can use ribbons like I did, or you can use balloons, burlap, fake flowers, felt, marbles, or anything else small that you can think of. You can make one for ever occasion. Just so longs you have the patience to sit about two hours to see what your finished product looks like.

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Supplies that you will need:

  • Ribbons

  • Push Pins

  • Foam Craft Ball

  • Scissors

First, you cut the ribbons into 2 inch strips. They have to be short pieces, but long enough to fold around in a circle.

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Next you poke through the ribbon, where the two ends meet, and push the pin into the foam ball.

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It takes time. You WILL have to have PATIENCE when doing this craft.  I would work on this craft when I had a free moment to sit down, and watch a show or two.

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The Finished product!!

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¬†I love how this¬†topiary¬†came out. It’s attractive on the eyes. An effortless¬†and inexpensive way to dress up any room or party.

What I Love Most About Marrying Young.

 

usweddingblackwhite (1)Today, we are celebrating 16 awesome years of marriage, and 21 wonderful years of being together. We’ve been together so long that we joke about how we can’t even remember what life was like before we started dating. It’s crazy! But I wouldn’t have it any other way. In honor of our anniversary I wanting to share a few things I love most about marrying my life partner at such a young age. 

We get to spend more years together.  

We love being in each others’ presence. We talk all the time about how much we enjoy simply being together, and miss each other dearly when we are apart. The younger you get together, the longer you have to be together. We are partners for a lifetime, and I look forward to growing old with him, and telling our grandkids stories about us from when we were teenagers. 

We didn’t have to deal with the craziness of the dating scene. 

Dating looks like it would be exhausting. I’ve watched others struggle as they try to maneuver through the dating world. I’ve watched my friends deal with the dramas of dating. I’ve seen people build up unrealistic expectations of how they think things should be in a relationship or the type of person they feel they should be dating. Sometimes, even bring in baggage from the past which ends up effecting how one conducts themselves in their current relationships. We started dating so young that when we came together we had no expectations of each other, and no past relationship dramas. 

We Support Each Other.

When my husband decided to follow new job, I supported him 150%. When I decided I wanted to go to college, he was my number one supporter. We are each other’s encouragers. It’s nice to always have someone by your side, cheering you on, and pushing you to reach your goals. 

When you struggle to together, you learn to become finally stable together.

We started out with nothing. We’ve gone from living with family members, to getting our own place, to being homeless, to moving across the states together. We’ve seen our fair share of tough days. However, over the years, we progressed, slowly but surely, to where we are now. We aren’t rich, but we never asked to be. We simply wanted to live a stable life. We learned to love each other during our toughest times, and in the end, we appreciate how far we have come now. We look back with amazement sometimes at just how far we have become. We feel blessed, and we take nothing for granted. 

We Get To Share Big Milestones and Achievements Together

From his promotion at work, to the kids’ graduations, to buying our first home. We’ve got to enjoy a lot of milestones, and share our biggest moments in life together.

We started our family young.

I’m just going to be honest, I can not even fathom the thought of having a baby in my 30s. Being a parent in my late teens and early 20s was perfect for me. I had the energy to be up all night for feedings, and run after toddlers all day. Everyone around us is settling down, and starting their own families now. Our kids are old enough to take care of themselves, and we are able to focus on nurturing our relationship a bit more. 

Safe Sex.

What can I say, sex is fun. Even more so when done with the person you love in a committed marriage. We can have fun without the worries of STDs. There are no expectations of how I should look naked in front of another person. Being without someone who loves every inch of your body is a confidence booster. With no worries of judgment we can openly communicate with each other our wants and needs. Our marriage is a safe zone for physical and emotional intimacy.  

We work to overcome the odds stacked against us. 

While we had a decent amount of support, we also had some family and friends that doubted our relationship. We knew statistically young marriages tend to fail. We understood that a young age coupled with immaturity would make things complicated, but it didn’t mean that we were doomed to fail, (as one friend stated to me). There are people who wait to get married, and still have problems that lead to a divorce. Divorce has no age limit. What works for us our love and mostly importantly, our commitment to each other. Never saying the word “Divorce”, and agreeing that divorce is NOT an option. 

Like any other marriage, we have had our ups, downs, and turnarounds. However, even at a young age, we knew that marriage was going to take our commitment to each other to making things work. We decided at the very beginning to go through the tough times together, and keep our focus on the things that we love about each other and our relationship.
Marriage is not for everyone, no matter how old or young you are. However, the chances of you having a long-lasting marriage are greater when you love each other wholeheartedly, you commit yourself to each other, and you stay loyal to one another. When you value your commitment to each other, your marriage can thrive, and grow into something amazing.us2016blue 

10 Simple Ways To Spice Up Your Marriage

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Everyone needs a little spice in their marriage. Whether you’ve been married for one month or for 50 years, It’s highly important that you invest in keeping the spark alive between you and your spouse. 

I know all too well how life can get a bit hazy. Between working, paying bills, taking care of kids, and keeping the household running, it can all take it’s tool on a couple’s marriage. You feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and just not in the mood to do anything but sleep.  All too often we allow the craziness of life to take over, and we forget that we need to stop, come to our spouse, and make our marriage a high priority.

With it being the month of all things love, I thought it would be the perfect time to come up with a list, and share with you a few simple ways to add a little spice into your own marriage. 

10 Simple Ways To Spice Up Your Marriage:

  1. Take A Shower Together. Showering together is a great way to spice things up, and get intimate. You can soap each other up, caressing each other bodies, and just be close. 
  2. Buy Some Lingerie. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Maybe some new sexy underwear, or buy some fishnet stockings. If money is tight, put something together with what you have. You can put it under your clothes, and give him peeks here and there when the kids aren’t looking. The point is to surprise him, and have fun with it. 
  3. Take Sexy Dance Classes. Lap dancing or pole dancing classes are available everywhere nowadays.  You can go in, get a few tips, and give your man a little show. Youtube has lots of videos that you, and get some inspiration from.
  4. Date Your Partner. Take each other out from time to time. Hold hands, and give each other kisses. It so important that you make the time to just be together.  
  5. Take Care Of Yourself. Yes! Taking care of yourself will help to spice things up a bit. Maybe, instead of wearing sweats or yoga pants, put on a nice dress. Do your make up, if that’s what your husband is into. Exercise, drink water, eat right, and just all around love yourself. 
  6. Make Your Bedroom A Sacred Place. Keep your room clean. Make your bed everyday. Say no to kids and their toys. I love my kids, but I don’t allow them into my room. They know that Mom and Dad’s room is off limits. Only because it’s “our” place to unwind after the kids go to bed. It’s our sanctuary. It’s harder to have a moment with your partner if you allow the kids to run a muck in your room. No work is aloud in the bed either. My husband’s job has him working from home from time to time. We agreed that he was to keep his work in his office. It’s where it belongs. Not in my bed of love. ūüôā 
  7. Give A Massage In Your Birthday Suit. Rubbing his skin down while you are in you are naked. It’s sexy, it’s sensual, and your partner will love you for it. 
  8. Go To Bed In Your Birthday Suit. I’m not kidding! Get naked, and get in that bed! There is nothing like skin on skin contact. It’s sexy. It’s a great way to connect and cuddle. It may turn him on. The more you do it, the morning comfortable you become in your own skin, which is a plus within itself.
  9. Love Notes.  Stick them in his car, briefcase, or even his pants pocket. A few words of love, pray, and even affirmation can go a long way.
  10. Laugh Together! My husband has a great sense of humor, and I consider myself a nutcase lol. We are always laughing and making jokes together. It’s a great was to bond. They say, laughter makes your heart grow fonder, and I believe it to be true. 

Is there anything you could add to the list?

If you like this post, then check out:

Finding Love At 16

 20 Ways I Show My Husband Love

Strawberry Brunt Almond Cupcakes

me at 2am

True Story! 

I woke up at 2 am this morning for no reason at all. Just up with my eyes wide open like I didn’t have things to do today. I laid around in bed for awhile thinking about all of the food I had made this past weekend for a gathering I threw at my house. I had some friends over, we sipped on some drinks, and I cooked a lot of food that was slammin’, per usual.  

One of the things that disappeared from my countertop quickly were my Strawberry Brunt Almond Cupcakes. I swear, I brought them out, sat them on the counter, and within seconds, they were gone. I didn’t even get a chance to grab one for myself or my hubby, because they went so fast.

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So, while everyone else was sleep this morning, I was up bake some cupcakes when I know, for a fact, that I should have be sleep my dang self. I told myself sleep will just have to wait, because my stomach told me these cupcakes could not. 

Strawberry Brunt Almond Cupcakes

Strawberry Brunt Almond Cupcakes

Ingredients

    Cake
  • Your favorite White Cake Recipe (Or a box of white cake mix)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Strawberry jam
  • Frosting:
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, soften
  • 1 Stick Butter, soften
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • Roasted Brown Sugar Butter Almonds:
  • 2 Cups Sliver Almonds
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, melted

Instructions

    Cake
  1. Mix your cake recipe or box cake mix.
  2. Add almond extract
  3. Add vanilla extract
  4. Bake 25-30 minutes. Sticking at toothpick in, and see if it come out clean.
  5. Let it cool completely.
  6. Once cooled, use a teaspoon to scope out the middle of the cupcake.
  7. Fill the hole with strawberry jam
  8. Frosting
  9. Cream together the cream cheese and the butter using your mixer.
  10. Add the almond and vanilla extract.
  11. Add the powder sugar, one cup at a time, until it's smooth like frosting.
  12. Frost your cupcakes. Be careful not to let the jam come out as you smooth your frosting over.
  13. Roasted Brown Sugar, Butter Almonds
  14. Turn your broiler on.
  15. Dump your almonds into a baking dish.
  16. Mix in the brown sugar.
  17. Add the butter, mix well.
  18. Roast for about 5 minutes.
  19. **Keep an eye on it or you will burn your almonds.**
  20. When the almonds are done, let them cool for a couple of minutes.
  21. Grab you cupcake and lay them face down into the roasted almond.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.homelifewithmrsb.com/strawberry-brunt-almond-cupcakes/

While I won’t say how many I managed to stuff in my mouth before I went back to bed for a couple of hours, let’s just say, I ate more than I should have, because sometimes, I have no self-control when it comes to food, lol.
How about you? Have you ever woke up in the middle of the night and starting cooking? Crafting? Painting? What are some of your remedies for sleeping at night?

Almond Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

Chocolate Chip oatmeal 2

I was up late last night watching tv when I started craving something sweet. I promptly went downstairs to see what I could find to munch on. I came across some ice cream inside my garage refrigerator. With my spoon in hand, I grabbed the ice cream, and was ready to dig into some yummy neapolitan ice cream.

However, to me devastation, I found out the ice cream was too soft. I guess the refrigerator’s freezer compartment was not cold enough to keep the ice cream solid. I personally, can not stand soft ice cream, and I couldn’t bring myself to eat it. So, I put the ice cream in our deep freezer in hopes to make the ice cream more solid, and continued my search. 

Bummed, and still craving something sweet, I did what I do best, and rummaged through my pantry to see what I could come up with. I knew that whatever it was, had to be quick. No baking, or anything that took too long. I was too lazy to wait around on cookies. So, I decided to make some oatmeal, and add a few other ingredients to satisfy my need for sweets. 

This ingredients that I grabbed were:

  • 1/2 Cup Oatmeal 
  • 1/2 Cup + 1 TB of Almond Milk  (You can use any milk)
  • 1/2 Tea Almond Extract
  • 1/2 TB Brown Sugar 
  • 1/8 Tea Cinnamon 
  • 1 TB Silvered Almonds
  • 1 Tb Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Added all the ingredients to a small saucepan. 
  2. cook until oatmeal until done. About 2-3 minutes. Stir if needed.
  3. Put in a bowl, and pour 1 Tb almond  milk over the oatmeal.
  4. Top with the chocolate chips and almonds.
  5. Eat.
 

Chocolate Chip oatmeal

Almond Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

Almond Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Oatmeal
  • 1/2 Cup + 1 TB of Almond Milk (You can use any milk)
  • 1/2 Tea Almond Extract
  • 1/2 TB Brown Sugar
  • 1/8 Tea Cinnamon
  • 1 TB Silvered Almonds
  • 1 Tb Chocolate Chips

Instructions

  1. Added all the ingredients to a small saucepan.
  2. cook until oatmeal until done. About 2-3 minutes. Stir if needed.
  3. Put in a bowl, and pour 1 Tb almond milk over the oatmeal.
  4. Top with the chocolate chips and almonds.
  5. Eat.
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This Almond, Chocolate Chip Oatmeal was not only delicious, it was easy to make. A better choice than a candy bar. I’m glad I picked something warm to snack on instead of eating something that would have made me cold anyway.

I’m a huge fan of oatmeal, and being that January is National Oatmeal Month,  I figured I would share with you some of my other oatmeal recipes below.

 Tell me, What are some of your favorite ways got eat oatmeal? 

10 Simple Tricks To Beating The Blues

beating the blues

Having A Tough Day Today?

You know, those days where you feel like nothing is going right? Maybe you are in a rut, and feel moments of feeling like you are a bad mom? Maybe your laundry is out of control, your sink is full of dishes, the baby is crying, all while you are trying to pay a bill on the phone. Maybe you feel overwhelmed with trying to balance your families’s needs, the household, and your 9-5 job. Are you working so hard to take care of everyone else that you forget to take care of yourself?

Can I just tell you, my fellow mom, that you are not alone.

Most days, I wake up in a positively energetic mood. Motivated to get things accomplished, and I’m highly focused, and get things done. Then, there are the other days. Days where I’m not as chipper as I would like to be. I’m an emotional wreak at times, becoming my own worst critic about everything that I’m doing.

I know that I’m not alone. I know that we, as mothers, are always trying to be superwomen for everyone else. So much so, that we tend to become dissatisfied when we feel like we are falling short of the high exceptions that we set on ourselves. We become disappointed, discouraged, and sometimes feel defeated. 

I know all to well about the crippling effects of sadness, and how it can affect the productivity of your day. So I listed below a few simple tricks that I have used myself over the years. 10 ways that I hope can help you during those days when you feel the blues are trying to creep in. 

1. Create A List Of Good Things.

Write down a list of your accomplishments. Things you have done that you are proud of. Write down things you are good at. Are you are good listener? Are you good with your hands? Are you a good cook? Write down things that make you happy like the sun rising, or the smell of coffee in the morning. Writing a list down can take just a few minutes for you to do. Tape it to your wall, and read it out loud whenever you start to feel like you may not be good enough.  

2. Dance Around The House.

I do this often simply because I love to dance. Find you some good music, turn it up loud, and go for it. And, if you feel like taking it up a notch, try dancing in your birthday suit. It may sound silly, but I promise you, it can be quite exhilarating. 

3. Do Something For Someone Else. 

Named the Helper’s High, performing a small, selfless, random acts of kindness can lead to lifting your own spirits. The act can be as simple as calling someone to say hello, or telling them how much you appreciate them. Buy some flowers for a friend, and leave it at their door step with a little note of love. Send someone words of encouragement thorough text, email, or even on someone’s fb wall. By doing so, you will not only set off the happy vibe within yourself, but you just may make someone else’s day as well. Sounds like a win, win to me. 

4. Exercise. 

Exercising is a great way to get the brain going. Moving around releases endorphins that trigger positives feelings within the body. I know most people don’t like to exercise. So I don’t recommend doing something that you dread. Instead, find an exercise that you would enjoy. Something like yoga, hull hooping, or suing a jumprope. I personally love to go roller skating around my neighborhood from time to time. It’s a fun, high calorie burning exercise. I’m also a huge fan of running. It helps to clear my mind, gives me energy, and gets me back on track for the day. 

5. Invest in a coloring book. 

I’ve always loved to color. It’s a relaxing activity. Adult Coloring books have become a trend in the last couple of years. There are some great adult coloring books out there like this one, this one, and this one. For those of you who are fond of foul words, check out this swear word coloring book that I found on Amazon. 

6. Journaling. 

I am a avid fan of writing in journals. I’m have been journal writing since I was kid. I would write stories about me and my imaginary friends. I would write about my emotions, my days in school, or even stories about my parents. I wrote about anything and everything that was going on in my mind. I do they same now as an adult. I write about my passions, and my goals. I write about my good days, as well as my bad ones. Jotting down my testimonies and my triggers. It’s a way for me to release stress, and getting things out on paper so they don’t fester in my brain. Writing in my journal helps me to stay in tuned with myself, helping me to be aware of my thoughts and emotions. 

7. Laugh.

They say laughter the best medicine. I believe it to be true. Even on my worse days, all it takes is for me to see or read something funny, and I instantly feel better. Find something funny to watch. Maybe a funny movie, or some stand up comedy. Something that can lift your spirits up, and makes you laugh those blues away.

8. Play Music. 

I love music. It speaks to my soul. I tend to be emotionally attached certain songs. Songs that are inspirational. When I’m having a tough day, I play uplifting dance music to get me going around my living room, or I play worship music that praises God to get me out of my funk. Try making a play list, and play it during those moments that you need a bit of encouragement. 

9. Praying

I Pray, and Pray some more. Seriously. When I feel like I’m going through it, sometimes I just have to stop, drop, and pray. I pray for clarity in my mind, joy in my heart, and peace in my soul. I am no expert at praying, but I can say that I am a woman who wholeheartedly believes in the power of prayer. When something is weighting heavy on your heart, close your eyes, have faith, and give it to God.

My top 3 verses about the power of prayer. 

  • Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24
  • Ask, and it will be given to you seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7
  • And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith. Matthew 21:22

10. Reach Out To Someone.

Whether it be a friend, a pastor, or even a therapist. Talking to someone about what you are going though.  Someone you can trust, someone that you know, and  someone that won’t judge you. Someone who will listening to you, and who will support you when you need it.   

Having tough days can be perceived as a weakness making it hard for people to share themselves with others. If you are having a day, know that it’s ok, know that you are not alone, and know that with the right tools you can move forward, and still have a happy and productive day.

4 Key Benefits Of Setting Your Goals.

goals 2016

‚ÄúYou need a plan to build a house. To build a life, it is even more important to have a plan or goal.‚ÄĚ

‚Äď Zig Ziglar

It’s that time of the year where most people feel the shift of the new year, and starts setting their “New year, New me” resolutions for themselves. There is something about the new year that gets people motivated to turn over a new leaf, do things a bit different than the year before, or find ways to better themselves. 

Did you know that:

  • People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.
  • The act of writing things down is a powerful motivator. 

There have been countless studies done throughout the years on goal settings, but the most known research was done by a Doctor named, Gail Matthews, who is a psychology professor at Dominican University in California. She had done a study on goal-setting, and she found that people are 42% more likely to achieve their goals just by writing them down. 

Can you believe it? 42 percent!  

I myself, am addicted to making lists, and writing down my goals. I am a list fanatic, and have been since I was a kid. I used to write down everything from what I had in my room, to what shows I was watching on tv, to the names of my friends every time I had to move and start over. I write down my goals, my passions, my dreams, my plans, my to-do lists, goals for my family, and pretty much anything else that pops in my head. I call it brain dumping. It’s a way for me to get all the ideas and thoughts in my head out so that I don’t feel so overwhelmed, and I can have a bit of clarity before making decisions.

 Writing Down Your Goals Can:

  • Help Alleviate Anxiety And Give You Peace Of Mind. Writing down my goals help my mind to slow down. When I’m feeling anxious, I write. When I’m down, I write. When I’m up, I write. When I’m stressed, I write. When I have too much going on my in brain, I write. Writing things down gives me a sense of relief, and I feel better about tackling my day.
  • Help You To Stay Focused. Write down what’s important to you. That way, you can focus on what’s important, and you won’t have time to even think about what’s not. Making life a bit easier, and clearer. Writing your goals down will help you to visually see what you want to do, see all sides of perspective, prioritize your steps, and then be able to execute your plan accordingly.
  • Help You To Make Better Use Of Your Time. There always seems to be too much to do, and not enough time to get it all done. When I don’t write things down, I feel frazzled, and disorganized. I feel like I’m behind on everything, and that’s when things start to fall apart for me. 
  • Help Motivate You And Gives You A Sense Of Accomplishment. When you write your goals down, you become motivated to reach your goals. Motivation is what will fuel you passions, and push you to accomplish whatever it is your set yourself out to do. the feeling of accomplishment, and it’s motivating for me.

For some, lists and goal setting are not need. People like my husband who manages to remember everything in his head. I give kudos to those that have eidetic memory It’s a highly rare ability, and not everyone has the capacity to do so. My brain is constantly running, I’m forgetful, and tend to get distracted easily. Setting goals makes the invisible, visible. Writing things down gives me a sense of structure. Something I think we all need in our lives. 

How about you? Did you set any goals for the new year? Are you a list maker? A goal setter?

Kale, Smoked Sausage, & Cannellini Bean Soup

Step 16 Sausage Soup

I’m so excited to have hubby, and the kids home for Christmas vacation! I love having everyone at home with me. The kids get to take a break from school, which means I can take a break from our regularly scheduled program. My alarm will be off, and I will not be chauffeuring to and from schools until next year! Another great thing about the Christmas holiday is that hubby’s company closes for two weeks. I love, love, love having him at home. I’m even more thankful that he doesn’t have to make his 1.5 hour commute to work for a little while. The break from the road and the traffic is much needed for him.

It’s been a busy week with recitals, meetings, and preparing to have everyone at home by cleaning, and planning activities, and working on the family menu. All while trying to make Christmas gifts for family and friends. Knowing that I had such a crazy week planned out, last Sunday, I went ahead and cooked myself another weeks worth of soup. This time, my Kale, Smoked Sausage, and Cannellini Bean Soup. It’s savory, flavorful, and deliciously filling! 

 

Kale, Smoked Sausage, Cannellini Beans Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil 
  • 1 Lb Smoked Sausage, cut into small pieces 
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Cup Baby Carrots, chopped
  • 1 Cup Celery, chopped
  • 2 14.5 oz cans Cannellini beans 
  • 1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning 
  • 4 Cups of Vegetable Broth 
  • 3 Cups Kale 
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Creole Seasoning
  • Pepper to taste 

 

Step 1: Heat oil in a big pot over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stir occasionally. 

Step 2 Sausage Soup

Step 2: Once heated, add the onions, celery, and carrots. 

Step 3 Sausage Soup

Step 3: Add your seasoning to the sausage and vegetables. 

Step 4 Sausage Soup

Step 4: Next add the vegetable broth, and turn the heat up to medium-high. 

Step 5 Sausage Soup

Step 5: When you soup start to boil a bit add the cannelloni beans to the pot.

Step 6 Sausage Soup

Step 6: Next, add your kale to the soup. Put the lid on and let it simmer on low heat for about 5-10 minutes.

Step 7 Sausage Soup

Serve and Eat!

Step 13 Sausage Soup

I was able to make enough soup to last me a whole week for lunch at about 1 1/2 cups per serving.  

Step 15 Sausage Soup

This soup, paired with some yummy dinner rolls, would be great for the whole family on a cold, wintery night.

Kale, Smoked Sausage, & Cannellini Bean Soup

Kale, Smoked Sausage, & Cannellini Bean Soup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Lb Smoked Sausage, cut into small pieces
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Cup Baby Carrots, chopped
  • 1 Cup Celery, chopped
  • 2 14.5 oz cans Cannellini beans
  • 1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 4 Cups of Vegetable Broth
  • 3 Cups Kale
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Creole Seasoning
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a big pot over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stir occasionally.
  2. Once heated, add the onions, celery, and carrots.
  3. Add your seasoning to the sausage and vegetables.
  4. Next add the vegetable broth, and turn the heat up to medium-high.
  5. When you soup start to boil a bit add the cannelloni beans to the pot.
  6. Next, add your kale to the soup. Put the lid on and let it simmer on low heat for about 5-10 minutes.
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Blue, White & Sliver Christmas

Close Mantle

If you haven’t noticed by now, blue is my favorite color. I tend to incorporate the color into just about anything and everything that I can. From my wedding, to my clothes, to my the walls around my home, blue is definitely my signature color.

Over the past few years, I have been on a mission to collect blue decorations to add to my stash. The shades of blue that I look for are not always easy to find. Teal is a popular color during the season along with the reds and the greens. It may be a bit crazy to some, but I just love, love, love Cobalt, Royal, and Navy blues hues. So, much so that I started a tradition years ago, when my kids were young,  to decorate a beautiful blue, white, and sliver Christmas around our home.

My Centerpiece, Vase, and Sand Art. 

right side mantle

  • I made this centerpiece by putting some smaller decorations like pine cones and leaves that were sliver and blue inside big vase. I found the blue poinsettias at Michael’s Craft Store. Then, I wrapped it with the ribbon I had left from my tree stand.
  • My blue and white peppermint bottle is just blue and white sand I bought from the Dollar Tree Store. I found the bottle at Ross, and it actually has the letter B on it in gold, I just turned it around because it didn’t match the color scheme.

My Snow globe, Hurricane Vase, Snowman stand. 

Left side mantle

 

  • I found a huge, gallon-sized mason jar at a thrift store for just $2.00 buck! I decided to add some fake snow, a small tree, a little house, and a miniature Santa Claus inside to make a huge snow globe. All little props were found at the Dollar Tree Store. Then I topped it with a tree I made out of sliver garland and tree shaped foam. Both also from the Dollar Tree Store.
  • I made a cute little tulle ball to place on top of my beautiful sliver candle holder that I found at Ross Department store. 
  • I filled up a hurricane vase (Learn how to make one Here), with little ornaments and bells. Then I put a sliver pine cone on top.
  • I got the little snowmen from the Dollar Tree Store a few years back. I put a martini glass upside down onto the mantle, and placed a snowman on top. Around my mantle are decals found at Big Lots. I just stuck them on because I thought they added a nice, little touch to the fireplace area.  

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Mantle

I love this time of year! One of the best thing about the Christmas holiday season is the decorating! I truly enjoy it, and am in awe of other people’s amazing creativity and hard work.

How about you? Do you like to decorate big or small during the Christmas holidays? Do you have a theme? Share with me some of your favorite decorating ideas below in the comment section.

Christmas Decorations On A Budget + 5 DIY Wreath Ideas

Front door decor 2015My Front Door is complete!

I’ve shared how I made my awesome tree stand. Now, I wanted to share a couple of my favorite decorating ideas that I have used in the past. Inexpensive ideas that you can easily do in the comfort of you own home for little to no cost.   

Presents Props

I’ve been making Present Props for a few years now. I love that it adds a bit of fun to my front door. This decorating idea is so easy that it really doesn’t need any instructions. However, I’m just going to go ahead, and share them with you anyway.

You Will Need:

  • Boxes (As many or as little as you want, different sizes)
  • Wrapping Paper
  • Tape
  • Bows
Step 1: Wrap you boxes up like presents.

present props

Step 2: Decorate them with bows and ribbons
Step 3: Place outside your front door, or around your home.

That is it! A piece of cake, right?

Ornament Wreath

I know you have seen ornament wreaths all over the internet. I made my first one a few years back, and loved how it turned out. Just a few weeks ago, I went to retrieve my wreath from my garage, and right when I grabbed it of the it’s hook, I dropped it, and it broke. I was devastated.  Hubby seen what had happened, and joked that I had broke it on purpose so that I could have a reason to craft, and make a new one ūüėÄ I promise you, that was not my intention. However, I am known for always trying to find an excuse or reason to create something new. Having my old wreath broken, is the perfect reason to make new and improved one.

You will need:

  • Ornament Balls
  • Foam ring
  • Hot Glue
  • Pines cones, flowers, snowflakes, or anything else you may want to add to your wreath.
  • Ribbon or Bow
Step 1: Hot glue your ornaments and other small decorations pieces onto your foam right.

step 1 wreath

Step 2 wreath

Step 3 wreath

Step 2: Let it dry
Step 3: Hang it!

Wreath 2015

 

Still looking for some inexpensive decorating ideas for your front door?

Check out Paging Fun Mums where they have a tutorial on how to make Disney’s Frozen Wreath.

I love the Candy Cane Wreath that was made over at Learning, Creating, Living. Such a brilliant idea! 

Do you love peppermint? A tutorial for a super, cute Peppermint Candy Wreath is over at Serendipity Refined. 

Irish Italian Blessings has a simple tutorial of how she made her Sparkly, Red and Sliver Garland Wreath

Are you of fan of snowflakes? The Craft In Me has an easy way to make your door sparkle with just a few Snowflakes

You see, there are some many ways to decorate your home, and make it your own without burning a hole in your pockets. I’m all for making beautiful decorations all while saving a few dollars.

How about you? Do you have any great decorating tips on a budget?