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Monday, December 31, 2012

Easy Taco Soup!

This is one of my  hubby's most requested meals . . . Taco Soup! It is packed with yummy goodness. I first had it while I was pregnant with my number three child. I had just entered into my second trimester and was starting to enjoy food again. I had this meal at a good friend's house:) This would also be a great recovery meal after a hard workout!
To Cook Soup:
1 lb ground Beef (or ground turkey)
4 cans of your favorite beans (red, kidney, garbanzo, black) do not drain
1 can diced tomatoes (or dice your own fresh tomato)
1 can water
1 packet Taco Seasoning

Top with:
Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream
Tortilla Chips or Fritos

Brown meat in skillet. Drain. While meat is browning add other ingredients (not toppings) into a pot. cook on med high heat. Add meat once browned. Once meat is cooked it really is just a matter of heating the other ingredients until heated thru. Once meat is in the pot, simmer  5- 10 minutes more. Enjoy
Healthy without the toppings . . . . not so much after . . .:)


DIY: New Year's Resolution Journal- Fast, Easy, Cheap!

I was spending the night at a friend's house across the street from my house for New Year's Eve. I was eight years old. I remember sitting around her small round kitchen table with her mom and dad and brother. This is my earliest memory of making a New Year's Resolution. I haven't the foggiest idea of what my resolution was at that tender age. Nor do I remember any of my  resolutions from any of the other years . . . except last year. Why . . . because I finally wrote it down. Along with the rest of my family's

Last New Year's Eve we sat around my tall, square kitchen table and talked about resolutions and goals. We didn't go into too much detail since we have four small children, just enough to give them the general  idea.

It is so fun to look back on the things my kids said . . .here is a small taste of what was recorded:

 Husband: Read all of the scriptures before 2013
Me: Excersice at least 3 times a week
Finish Book of Mormon
Read Ensign each month
Cambria (8) : Go to Hawaii and play volleyball for a year
Kiera (6): Do fireworks every New Year!
Malachi (4) Do fireworks every New "Thor's" (he was and still is way into Superheroes)
Raia (1): To learn how to walk
To turn Two Years old!

As you can see they range from frivolous to serious. Now we can look back and see what we actually were able to do!

 Husband: Read all of the scriptures before 2013 (incomplete)
Me: Excersice at least 3 times a week (complete- until I tore my ACL, that is)
Finish Book of Mormon (incomplete)
Read Ensign each month (incomplete)
Cambria (8) : Go to Hawaii and play volleyball for a year (incomplete)
Kiera (6): Do fireworks every New Year! (Complete??)
Malachi (4) Do fireworks every New "Thor's" (he was and still is way into Superheroes) (Complete??)
Raia (1): To learn how to walk (complete)
To turn Two Years old! (complete)

You can see that some of us did better than others!!! I like the idea of using a notebook because all the pages stay together. There are no loose papers to loose. Plus I was done in 20 minutes. Just enough time to make sure the glue was all the way dry.

To make your own New Year's Resolution Journal You will need:

One Composition Notebook
Scrapbook Paper
A ribbon
Mod Podge

Cut down scrapbook paper to size, glue it to the cover of your composition book, add ribbon or any other embellishments you desire . . .then record your resolutions!
 How dun this will be to look back on every year!!!
I can't wait to see what my kids come up with this year!!

 Happy New Year!! May 2013 Be YOUR year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ten Neighbor or Teacher Gift Ideas: Revisited

With winter break in full swing all of my little ones and my hubby are home for the holidays!Before I go on my own little Christmas break from blogging, I wanted to share with you what I posted on my cousin-in-law, Heidi's blog. Just in case you didn't go a lookin' I also included three more ideas that I found via Pinterest, so that if you already did visit Honeybear Lane you wouldn't feel like you looked at my blog for nothing!:)

But First . . .
This little Sucker got deleted from the bottom . . . I know, how totally unprofessional to start with number 6!

6. Here Is What You Give: Hot Chocolate Mix
Here Is What You Say: "When Your Hands and Nose Get Cold and You Need A Warm Thing You Can Hold, Look No Farther Than This Jar. It Has Been Filled With Love, By Friends So True, With Sweetness Made Just for You. To Us Your Friendship Is A Gift That Always Gives Our Hearts A Lift! Merry Christmas! "

NOW . . . the new

From love-the-day.com

From room-mom101.blogspot.com

Now, this is what I wrote for Heidi . . . it starts in the middle . . .

Now For The CUTE Stuff! You may have seen something like this already this season, but I really wanted to do a post that featured ideas for Neighbor Gifts this Christmas! So here are 7 ideas and some original short poems that you are free to use! (P.S. I tried to stay low budget- there are so many cute and clever things you can do, but I was trying ideas that were easy on the budget:)

1. Here's What You Give: Wafer cookies:
Here's What You Say: “Wafer” Not, But Let Your Faith Abound In Christ and Let Your Soul Delight In the True Meaning of The Season! Merry Christmas!”

2.Here Is What You Give:Sparkling Cider
Here Is What You Say: Like the Stars That “Sparkle” in the Night, Friends Like You Bring Our Soul Delight. When the “Sparkling” lights come down and no longer on our rooftop found, Friends Like You Bring Lasting Cheer and Make our Hearts “Sparkle” the Rest of the Year! Merry Christmas!

3. Here Is What You Give: Pop Corn

Here Is What You Say: Friends Like You Make the Holiday Season “Pop” With Joy! Or"We "Popped" On Over To Give You This Treat Because We Think You Are Really Neat. At Christmastime You're A Gift Times Ten And We Feel Really Lucky To Call You A Friend."
You could also just wrap a bag of pop corn . . . I just thought it looked cuter in the jar for picture's sake:)
4. Here Is What You Give: A Strand of Christmas Lights

Here Is What You Say: “Shepard's Kept Their Watch By Night and Saw a New Star Burning Bright. Angels Sang and Greetings Gave And Invited All To See the Babe” May The Light Of Christ Fill your Hearts This Holiday Season!

5. Here Is What You Give: A Christmas Star

Here Is What You Say: “Star Light, Star Bright, A Brand New Star I See Tonight, Bathes the World In precious Light and Hails A Baby's Birth Tonight” May the Light of Our Savior Bring You Peace and Joy This Holiday Season!

6. Here's What You Give: Fishy Crackers or Swedish Fish

Okay, this is not an original poem, but Here Is What You Say: "We Fish You A Merry Christmas, We Fish You A Merry Christmas, We Fish You A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!"

So, there you have it! I hope you like some of these cute and affordable ideas!

I hope your Christmas is merry and filled with joy!

xoxo, Amy

Throw An Ugly Sweater Christmas Party: Revisited

Revisited (I have been too busy for new stuff . . . Merry Christmas! (new Game ideas at bottom)

I won't argue, I know we look good! My sweater even won an award:)
I should so be a fashion blogger:)
Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties are so much fun! You can make your own sweater or go to a thrift store or ask your Aunt May to borrow one of her sweaters. Just a warning however: When you ask to borrow Aunt May's sweater, don't tell her you need and "ugly" Christmas sweater, tell her you need an extremely "festive" Christmas sweater:) That way you will still have peace in the family.

So this is what you do:
Invite your guests and tell them it is a pot luck party.
Go in search of the perfect Holiday sweater (or make your own- it is way more fun)
Have a prize for the ugliest male and female sweat.
Prize should be simple, like a glow stick left over from Halloween (don't break the bank on a prize)
Have a white *Elephant gift exchange (something you don't ever use that is laying around your house or a dollar store item.
Enjoy food and Company!

*White Elephant Gift Exchange Rules:
Place all white elephant gifts in a central location.
Have two to four plastic cups (depending on how many guests you have) Each cup should contain a pair of dice. Pick a number like three. Every time someone roles doubles of the number three they get to choose one of the white elephant gifts. The cups with dice should be moving constantly around the guests. The next person who roles doubles can choose to take a new gift from gift location or steal from someone who already has a gift. It is best to set a time limit like 5-8 minutes depending on the crowd you have invited.

** Another great party game is Catch-phrase because it doesn't matter how big or small your group is everyone can play. edit: If you wanna get really crazy add some "Minute To Win It" Games!

2012 EDIT: Here are two sites for fun party games, Minute to Win it Games Style! Sorry, no pictures, but the sites have multiple games on them and are worth your time if you are looking for out of the box ideas.

There you go, simple, easy, fun!

Happy Party,

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Kid's Craft: Halloween Eyeball Wreath

In case you missed it . . . this is what I posted for the wonderful blog called, Honeybear Lane:

Today I want to show you how to make this "spooktacular" (yep, I went there!)  eyeball wreath with your kiddos! (I have to admit, even I got addicted to gluing eyeballs in place!)
Here's it is:
 What you will need:
Wreath form: I used a toy inner tube, but a foam pipe insulator would be perfect (Home Depot, Lowe's Ace)
googly eyeballs
black ribbon or scrap fabric (double the length of your wreath form)
Ribbon in orange to hang the wreath
black tulle (optional)
Elmer's Glue/ Tacky Glue or Hot Glue- any will work
Paint brushes (I used q-tips and poured the glue out on a piece of foil for the kids to dip)
Two Straight pins
 This is the foam pipe insulation that I referred to above. Form it into a circle with the slit on the outside and tape together.

Choose a starting point on your wreath and pin your fabric or ribbon into the foam. Wrap your fabric around the wreath form and pin in place.
 It should look like this so far . . .
 I wrapped a small piece of foil at the top of my wreath so that the kids wouldn't glue any eyeballs there because that is where the ribbon will be placed.
 As you can see we didn't dress up for this craft session . . .These are pictures of the kiddies, totally engrossed.
 We added all the eyeballs we had at the time. Then I went to the store and added more. I also added a bit of ribbon to hang the wreath and a little black tulle to add texture.
Super easy and fun! I did this with my 5, 7 and 9 year old. They all loved it! Hope your little ones do too!

As always, It has been a pleasure!
Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Edible Kid's Halloween Craft: Monster Popcorn Hands!

 Time to celebrate the season by making spooky monster hands!You only need three things to make this treat!
 Grab your favorite little helpers and these items:
 Popcorn - Candy Corn - Vinyl Gloves
 Super easy . . . pop pop corn and let cool, pass out gloves, put some candy corn inside and have the kiddos shake them down . . . two or three may gather in the same finger hole, so space evenly.
 It should look like this: (love that smile)
 and that one too . . .
 Then add popcorn and shake it down into the finger holes as well. You might have to do a little crunching to get it to fit. Don't worry, it will be okay. Tie the top in a not or close it off with a bread tie.
 Enjoy . . .

 and be a little silly . .

Happy Halloween and
Happy Crafting!

Halloween Kid's Craft: Make A Mummy, Frankenstein and A Jack-O-Lantern!

Decorate your house with cute creations made by little hands! Your little ones will love this activity! Even my two year old (who helped make the Frankenstein) tells everyone that Frank belongs to her! These are relatively simple to make. The kids did most of the work, but there was a little preparation before we began!
Here we go! 
Meet: Mummy, Frank and Jack!!!

 These really are so cute!
For all three, This is what you need: (Or see a break down below)
Three baby food glass jars (but jars of any size will do- even plastic!)
Emer's Glue or Mod Podge
Paint Brushes
Hot Glue Gun
Green, Orange, white and Purple Tissue paper, cut into thin strips the length of your jar
medical gauze
black felt
googly eyes
two push pins (painted black if you can't find black)
a black sharpie pen

you will also need some willing participants!
First, the Mummy:
I used:
baby food jar 
White tissue paper (pre-cut to size of jar) or medical tape
elmer's glue
paint brush
2 googly eyes
medical gauze
If you are using tissue paper, paint inside the jar with glue and then add white tissue paper. If using medical tape, tape the outside of the jar.

 Then add eyes with elmer's glue.
 Here are the kiddos painting the inside of the jar with glue before they stick the tissue paper to it.

 When eyes have dried add a little glue to the outside of the jar and wrap gauze to it.
 Your mummy will look lovely!

Next, Frankie!
I used:
baby food jar 
Lime Green tissue paper (pre-cut to size of jar)
elmer's glue
paint brush
2 googly eyes
Small strip of black felt (enough to be his hair)
2 push pins painted black
black sharpie marker for mouth and scar
Hot Glue

Paint inside of jar with glue and add green tissue paper. Make sure it sticks well to the side so you see nothing but green in the jar.

I cut the sharp part of the push pins off so I could hot glue the flat side to the jar ( maybe you can find something that doesn't need to be cut)

 Cut out hair to your desirable length and shape, I gave mine some jagged bangs. glue on your googly eyes, use sharpie to draw moth and scar!
 I love Frank!
 Lastly, we have Jack. The easiest one. 
I used:
baby food jar
orange tissue paper, pre-cut to the size of my jar
black felt, pre-cut eyes and mouth
 Paint glue onto the inside of jar and attach orange tissue paper to it. Let your child glue on the pre-cut jack-o-lantern face and let dry completely and you are done!

Love these guys! I hope you do too! Happy Halloween!

Happy Crafting!