Monday, February 27, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

It's time to announce the winner of my 400th-post giveaway!!!
But first...the link to Puddin Pies etsy shop didn't seem to work on my first post. So, if you want one of Cynthia's cute dresses yourself, check it out here. (hope it works this time).
AND....for those of you who answered the 'where to go on vaca' question...remember that I can help you with that! Please feel free to send your fam and friends my way too for vacation planning!
And now...drum roll please....
The weiner of the Thirty One tote and coin purse, the magnets from moi, the family tree from Jodi, and the Puddin Pies dress is.......
Can I get a woot!woot! for KRISTEN!??!?! One of my oldest friends, I'm excited for her to win this prize pack!! And I'm so thankful for all of you who played along, who read along, and who give me a bit of your attention here and there by stopping by the blog for a visit!!!
Kristen, check your FB! OXOX

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

400th Post Giveaway and Oh So Pinteresting!

I've got about six different things I needed to put for the title of this post!!
First one would be: HAPPY BIRTHDAY HANNAH!! My munchkin turned four today! I'll tell you all about it in another post....because this one is just all sorts of busy!!!! And I haven't downloaded the pictures yet! But it's been a great celebration that pretty much started on Sunday and finished up today!
Second title would be: WHAT A BUSY DAY/WEEK!. My day....get Brooke on the bus, bake a cake, decorate brownies for the munchkin, play with munchkin, put together gift basket for school carnival, do some travel quotes, take munchkin to preschool, run to Walmart to pick up a few things, race home to beat the bus for Brooke to get out early, send Brooke to grandma's, go back to preschool for munchkins Birthday time, home for family birthday dinner, and out for ice cream. My school Mon/Tues, early dismissal Weds, Thurs, Fri... Six cakes and two dozen cupcakes due between Friday and Saturday...conferences...and school carnival. YahoooYipppity.
Third title would be.... OH SO PINTERESTING!! I've hardly had a chance to sit still and I have not replaced my laptop yet so Pinterest is falling behind in my world. I did get to it a few times this week. Here's what I pinned. Sorry no pics, just links. Roll with it.
Letter Photo Art Tutorial that includes a link to a flickr album with gazillions of letter pictures you can use. Awesome.
I made and pinned these Look and Find bottles that I did as Valentine gifts.
Pinned a recipe for Carmelitas, which I considered to be the absolute best thing ever served at Iowa State Food Service. Can't wait to make them.
Linking up at The Vintage Apple for Oh So Pinteresting.
And the final title option....400th Post Giveaway!!!!
THIS is my 400th BLOG POST EVER. Wow! I'm so impressed with myself!!! To celebrate, I rounded up a few of my lovely, giving friends to put some stuff together for a fun giveaway!!!
You can win:
This super cute thermal tote and little coin purse from 31Gifts. Total retail value $29. You can visit my friends' website at and if you email her an order by april 1st she will give you a special discount for mentioning my blog. Her email is and she's one of my Disney cruise buddies. I see this tote being GREAT for spring trips to the park and zoo!!
You'll also win three magnets made by me.... You can send me pics you want me to use (I'll give you the guidelines) or I can make them in a theme of your choosing...alphabet, Disney, floral, etc.
But wait, there's MORE!!! One of my friends from back in the camp-counseling days of college makes some super cute dresses!! And she's agreed to do this adorable MINNIE pillowcase dress for my winner! You can visit her store, Puddin Pies on etsy and like her on facebook. She can do the dress for the winner in sizes 12months-6girls. So cute. I want to win! :)
And finally, my friend Jodi has this handy dandy program where she can make these super cute family trees. You fill out an info sheet for her and she turns your family tree into this! Super cute for framing or for your scrapbook!
SO, one winner will get these five things! The thermal tote, the coin purse, the magnets, the Minnie dress, and the family tree!!!
Just for celebrating my 400th post with me! Well, AND by leaving a comment or two!!!!
Leave a comment here telling me what vacation you would love to take this summer--that'll get you one entry. Follow my blog and leave a comment telling me you're a follower--that'll get you another entry. And, share the link to this post on your blog or facebook, and comment that you did, and you get another entry.
Thanks for hanging around folks and reading my little blog! Winner announced over the weekend! Send your friends on over!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

10 Random Observations

10. If you are going to get a dog for a pet, namely a beagle, you should not get it and then leave it outside. To.Bark.All.The.Time. Dogs are supposed to be joyous, not torturing your neighbor with the incessant barking when they are trying to fall asleep or trying to not wake up. If you want a pet to do that with, get a cat.

9. If you drive 1.5 blocks to the bus stop to pick up your kids on an afternoon when it is gorgeous and about 60 degrees, I think you are lazy. Ridiculously lazy.

8. If you set up your dentist appointments so that you and your two children all go back to back, take some tylenol with you. You will surely have a headache by the time the two hours are up.

7. If you are the person opening a Chick-Fil-A here in town, you are a hero in my book. Hallelujiah.

6. If your upper arms are starting to show signs of the turkey jiggle, it's time to break out the weights. Note to self.

5. If you take the dog for a walk, take a bag to pick up the poop. But only from the yards of people who are anal and cranky, or people you like. But if it's a butthead of a neighbor, or they already have their own 150 pound dog pooping in their yard, your little 10 pound dog ain't gonna do much. That's my theory.

4. It never fails that the day after you hit the grocery store, someone calls for a cake order that is going to require another grocery store run.

3. I love being a travel agent. I love specializing in Disney. But I discovered this lady who is a Disney personal shopper. She lives near WDW and she will go get whatever must-have-thing you want from the parks, mark it up 10% and ship it to you. I want her job now.

2. This is the last day for me to have a three year old. Tomorrow, she shall turn four.

1. The NEXT POST will be my 400th post!!!! How exciting is that?!? And you know what that means?!? a GIVEAWAY. a big fun giveaway. Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hannah's Birthday Party

I had a really tough time this year deciding what I wanted to do for Hannah's birthday party. I knew she had a few more kids she wanted to invite this year, and I wasn't really feeling up for playing hostess to a bunch of four year olds. Our party last year was perfectly controlled chaos, and I couldn't envision a 4.0 version that would go as smooth with more kids in the mix.
I finally decided on a swim party at our local YMCA. The price was reasonable, we love swimming, and it seemed like an easy plan. The party even includes the cake...which was not a selling point for us since I do cakes! I went ahead and got cupcakes from them (that I then gave away to friends later), and made a cake for Hannah's party.
Ever since the first Barbie/Princess cake I made, Hannah has been set on having a doll cake with a blue dress like Cinderella with red flowers. So, here is the cake I did for the party:

Our neighbor/preschool buddy Zachary was the first one to show up, and the only boy that made it! According to his mom, he plans on marrying Hannah and having 10 kids.
We opened a few presents, had cake, and opened more presents.

This is Jordan, Hannah's little BFF from preschool. They are two peas in a pod. Jordan just had her birthday last week!
The party attendees, big sis, neighobr Jaci, buddy zach, neighbor leah, hannah banana, jordan, and off to the side, refusing to get in the lineup, little friend from school Samantha.
To go in the deep end of the recreational pool during a party, you have to take a swim test. Even if your parents are going to be in the deep end with you. I wasn't sure Brooke could do it, but she did! Great job!

Everyone had a great time swimming. We moms sat on the side and watched the munchkins, and Matt was swimming in the deep end with Brooke and Jaci. And it got even more exciting when we realized that Randy from Survivor was the lifeguard! It was really him!
One thing I always try to do good at is the party favors. I hate junky stuff from the party store that is going to end up in the trash. Again, though, I didn't have a big budget this year to work with. Finally, while reading in bed one night around 11p.m., I had an epiphany. FLIP FLOPS!! What a fun party favor for a swim party!! And Old Navy has them 2 pairs for $5! What a deal! I was pretty proud of that idea! :)
When the party was over, we were happy and tired. Hannah's little eyes were so red from all the chlorine. When we were leaving, ol' Zachary tried to plant a kiss on her, but she escaped the affection, and blew him a kiss instead. It was pretty cute!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Strangely addicting

A friend told a friend who told me about this recipe. Cinnamon popcorn.

Pop about 9 cups of popcorn. Put in two large bowls.

In a microwave, in 30 second intervals, heat 1 stick butter, 3 T. Caro syrup, and 8 oz red hots until melted. Watch closely because once the red hots start to melt it will get foamy and you do NOT want it boiling over in your microwave or you will have a hot mess!

Pour half the red hot mixture over each of the two bowls. I did two bowls because it was easier to mix. Mix well then spread out on 2 greased cookie sheets. Bake in a 250 (yes, 250 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Remove and cool completely, breaking up chunks, etc when cool enough to touch. A pretty red color and strangely addictive.

This batch filled 20 snack-size baggies, guessed it...Valentines Day.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

'Look and Find' Valentine Gifts

So, I know that it's February 12th and therefore that Valentine's day is two days away, but I just got these things done today and wanted to share.
Have you seen those 'look and find' bottles at the toy stores that are full of tiny beads (or some other such filler) that you turn it 'round and 'round trying to find the objects inside? It's like "Where's Waldo" in a bottle. But replace Waldo with little objects.
Anyways, back when I made the portable sensory table kit, I got the idea to do these for Valentines. It boiled down to me wanting an excuse to make more colored rice.
Here's what you do. Save up some empty plastic bottles. I had my bottled-water drinkin friends save theirs for me. (I made 30 of these things!).
Color rice as directed in the Sensory table post. Here is my 20 pound bag of rice! That's over 200 servings! Wow! I did end up using a total of 25 pounds of rice to do 30 Look and Find bottles (so a little under 1-pound per bottle).
The girls had fun helping me color rice. Yeah for gallon-sized ziploc bags. I decided to go with rainbow colors for this project. Pretty!
But you could do whatever color combo you want to suit your little gift-giving needs. How about red and green rice for Christmas? Festive!
Find a variety of small objects. I used these items:
Two legos, a lego tire, a lego flower, a flower bead, a penny, a tiny safety pin, a red button, a red square (also a lego piece), a tiny plastic seashell (found in my scrapbook stash), and a little heart (from a necklace I tore apart from the dollar store). Arrange them on a solid background and take a picture.
Get a funnel. Gather your family, and the little dustbuster hand-held vacuum because you are going to need it. Parents control the funnel, and the kids pour small scoops of rice in at a time.
Using the funnel, put in a little rice. Then an item or two, then more rice, and so on, until all the objects are used and the bottles are nearly full. You have to leave a little space at the top so the rice can move around and you can find the objects. I had 11 objects in these bottles and it was just about right. Look! There's the red button!
I took my little picture of the objects on a flashdrive to the self-serve photo printer at Walmart. I chose 4x6" collage print and crammed six copies of the picture onto the collage so they'd print small. Then, using my trusty packing tape, I carefully 'laminated' the pictures to the bottles.
Since these were Valentine gifts for our classmates, we had to make Valentines to go with them. I printed some up in my PrintMaster program (using the business card template so they printed 10 to a sheet), and printed them out on cardstock:
The girls wrote their names on them and I helped them get the googly eyes glued on. Then I hole-punched them and tied them with a pretty ribbon to the bottles.
**Update**when I went to put these in a bag for the girls to take to school, the googly eyes started popping off!! Apparently elmers glue and googly eyes don't play well together! So, I scrambled to my scrapbook room and dug out the glue-dots.... so far so good on those!***
Joila! The finished product! I'm so excited with how these turned out. They were fun to put together, a fun project to do as a family, and I think they will be fun for those who receive them too!
You may not have time to whip some up for Valentines day, but file the idea away in your head for a future use! For bigger kids, I think it'd be fun to use 2-liter bottles, and give them more of a challenge!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

RIP Dustin Jackson

Found out this evening that one of my classmates died in a motorcycle accident. Though we hadn't seen each other in 15+ years I would still call him a friend and it makes my heart sad.

We grew up in a small town and graduated with 93 people. I tended to hang around with pretty much everyone, and Dustin was part of my circle of friends.

The thing about Dustin was that he was a genuinely nice guy. He wasn't Mr popular. He wasn't a bully or a jerk or a scum. He was not arrogant or mean. He was genuinely nice to everyone. He was a great guy. He was one of the few guys in our class who really knew how to treat people.

Rest In Peace, Dustin Jackson. Thanks for being you. May Your family feel the love of God surround them right now.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oh So Pinteresting Wednesday

I haven't gotten to play around on Pinterest so much lately, because my laptop fried. My pinterest time is usually on the laptop, on the couch, after the kids go to bed, with my DVR shows going, my hubby dozing on the couch, and facebook open in one window to chat with friends and Pinterest open in another window.

But...Hallelujiah....I did taxes yesterday.... and mommy is getting a new laptop and a new pair of shooooozzzz. Hotdog.

So, anyways, here's a few pinteresting things that I have taken the time to look at!

Oh hubby..... Can you make this?

Source: here's the pinterest pin

Buffalo chicken bites. This picture was actually the jumping off point for something I made for super bowl. (aka, commercial night). Instead of following this recipe exactly I did this: Mix up this Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe, and instead of baking, smear it on crescent triangles, roll up and bake. Yummo.

Source and Pinterest Pin

Food items were high on the pinning agenda this past week, I'm guessing with superbowl snacks, valentine parties, etc. Love these for a Valentine party but not sure that I'm going this route at either of the ones I'm responsible for....

Source and the Pinterest Pin

Are you a peanut butter nut like I am? I think I've made something similar to these before...and I'm darn sure I'll be making them again soon! Yum.

Source and Pinterest Pin

And there ya have it peeps.... what I've been pinning.

In the meantime.... what kind of laptop do you recommend?
Oh...and we're nearing our 400th post here at Worthwhile Moments...and I'm working on a great giveaway for that! Got a goodie you want to put in my giveaway prize pack to help celebrate? Let me know! You'd get a shout out here and on my facebook, and you'd make me happy. And isn't life all about making our friends happy? Why of course it is!

Linking up at The Vintage Apple for Oh So Pinteresting Wednesday!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Manic Monday

Every now and then I like to go through my gazillion photo files and look at what was going on 'x' number of years ago at this time. Today was crazy busy, and this is what I've got for you!
First, a comparison of the girls at the age of 'nearly 4' since we have a bday coming up soon!
Here's Hannah now:
And here's Brooke when she was that age:
This week last year, we were doing this:
This week in 2010, we were still trying to ditch that paci:
In February 2009....
This week in February 2008...I was about 2 weeks away from having a Hannah!
Brooke was almost 3 in February 2007, and much funner than she looks in this pic! :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Just some pics

It's been awhile since i've gotten some pics of the kids up...and since my life is busy with a whole lot of the same 'ol, same 'ol right now, thought I'd just share some pics.

These are from when my brother and his family came to visit. I don't think i blogged about that. If this is a repeat, sorry :)

This is my niece Kennady...who had just turned one that week.

The four cousins. Nearly impossible to get them all on the couch, looking at the same place. At least they all have their eyes open and are somewhat happy.

Brooke is a great 'oldest cousin.' She ADORES Kennady and Brayton.

Brayton is 2.5 years old.