Thursday, July 5, 2012

Before and After . . . hairdoos!

My daughter and I have been growing our hair, for what seems like FOREVER (about two years) so that we could donate it!  I kept telling her that when summer comes, we will chop it off and find a great place to send it that will make it into wigs for people in need.  So, it was time. 
We were so excited about going to the salon...just the two of us! 

There are so many wonderful places that accept hair donations to make wigs and give them to men, women and children in need for free or minimal cost to them!  We struggled with which organization we were going to send it to.  We ended up choosing Wigs 4 Kids; it is a non-profit organization that creates wigs for every child and young adult in the state of Michigan suffering with hair loss.

I love these kinds of things that I can share with my daughter, and the boys too!  It is fun and meaningful, with a great lesson behind it.  They, I pray, will remember these things for the rest of their lives.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

DIY Bird Nest Necklace

I finally got some down time (with the kids on summer break, it doesn't happen that much!) and got to work on a project that has been on my to-do list for months! 

Sarah at, an awesome blog that I adore, has a tutorial on making bird nest necklaces that are just adorable!  This is one of many tutorials on her blog; she has lots of fantastic information and craft inspirations!  Head on over and check it out!

I love the bird nest necklace because it tugs at my heart strings a little...thinking of my own family, my home as my nest and children as "eggs". sounds better in my head, but you know what I mean! 

I love how it turned out, too!

Enjoy your day!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Unparalleled Mac & Cheese

It has been almost a month since the kids have been out of school for the summer and it has been that long since I have even looked at this blog, my favorite blogs, pinterest, and anything else online.  Can you believe it?!?!

We have been so busy running around and mostly enjoying each other that I just haven't had a lot of extra time.  I really think it's the longest I have ever gone without being "hooked".  I do miss connecting and getting inspiration, and sharing it with you.  So, here I am...I'm back!

Are you and your family lovers of pasta, particularly the childhood favorite, Macaroni and Cheese?  I am, it's comfort food to me, and of course, my kiddos love it too.  However, they have complained in past if it doesn't come out of a box.  Imagine!  It's goodbye to those days and hello to this unparalleled mac & cheese recipe.  It's the best I have ever made, according to all that have tried it, including my kiddos!  Seriously good, super easy, and quick! It doesn't get much better than that.



2 cups dried organic pasta
2 ¼-2 ½ cups milk (I used organic raw whole milk)
6 oz. organic cream cheese                        
4-6 oz. organic cheese of your choice, shredded by hand (I usually use white cheddar, but change it up based on your family’s liking)
1 tsp salt
1-1 ¼ tsp organic Dijon mustard
In a small saucepan, add pasta and milk. Bring to simmer, and then reduce heat to low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until pasta is al dente or soft, stirring frequently and ensuring milk does not boil.
Turn heat off; add cheeses, salt and mustard, and stir to combine. If not creamy enough, add milk a little at a time, and stir.
As a side dish this makes enough for 4-6 people with no leftovers.
Our family prefers to use elbows for this; we have used other shapes of pasta such as shells, and we thought the consistency of the elbows was much better.
We try to use mostly organic foods at our home, feel free to use what you’ve got around the house!

I hope you try it out for yourself!  It's a super versatile recipe that can be changed to your liking.  The idea of cooking pasta in milk had never before occurred to me and it has fantastic results even when making a non-cheese dish with a creamy sauce.  It just seems to richen the dish a bit.

Don't forget to head over to Macaroni and Cheesecake and check out this adorable blog food blog!  She has a ton of wonderful and mouth watering recipes and of course, she was the one that brought me to this fabulous UNPARALLELED Mac and Cheese!

Happy Monday!  Have a great week!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Picture Me Domestic---My Self Portrait

I was inspired by this Picture Me Domestic, a self portrait contest that consists of one taking their own picture in their domestic and everyday setting. 

There will be three winners, who will each receive a prize from Pick Your Plum! I totally love it!

I am going to enter, humbly, of course, as I do not consider myself a creative or even competent photographer. 

So, here we go...

The photo is meant to show how and who you are in your domesticity every day.  Being domestic to me is, first, being a Mom, then being a wife, then attempting to be a home keeper, cook, gardener, etc:-)  In that order!

With 3 kiddos running around, it can get pretty chaotic and loud at times!  But amongst the chaos, there is always time for a quiet when someone needs first-aid.  Usually a kiss will do the trick, or maybe a colorful band-aid or two or three. 
Sometime a little more is needed, as in this case:

attempting to remove a sliver out of my little guys foot...

My tweezers came to the rescue and saved the little foot, along with a band-aid, of course!  This is just one moment in a crazy day in my life, a life that I look back on at night while the everyone is sleeping and the house is quiet, and thank God for!

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Friday, May 25, 2012

My New Favorite Photo Editor

I am in love with PicMonkey!

It's a photo editing website that has completely helped me transform my photos from bland and drab to interesting and eye-catching!

Here are some examples:





It may not be how you would have edited them, but there are endless possibilities!  PicMonkey is super easy to use and the best part's FREE!!!

Go edit a photo or two of your own and see what you think!

Have a fabulous Friday and a delightful Memorial Day weekend!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pallet Garden

I adore flowers.

The problem is that I do NOT have a green thumb, as I think I may have mentioned before.  Not only that, I am forgetful, and I forget to water the poor things.  By the time I realize it, the neglected flowers are usually dried up and dead.

Every year I say it's going to be different...but this year I really mean it!!! 

My Mom brought in a pallet and dirt when she was visiting, and then took my kids to pick out flowers.  They planted a pallet flower garden!  It is beautiful and so much love went into it.  My Mom and my kids had SO MUCH FUN!  I was surprised that my Big Guy, being 9 and all, really loved picking out the flowers and planting them.

Here are some photos of the process.

We have to let the pallet lay flat as pictured for 2 weeks, then we can stand it up.  It is adorable already, standing up it will look amazing!  I can't wait!

I will update you with a picture when we stand it up, and also for proof that I am, in fact, watering my flowers:-)

Have you ever planted a pallet garden?  Let me know...I would love to see some pictures!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Vegan Cookie Dough and a Frugal Food Tip

I have ranted before and I will rant again...this time about canned foods.  Cans contain the harsh chemical BPA (aka Bisphenol A), a known hormone disruptor, as cans are lined with a plastic coating containing this harmful and disgusting chemical that seeps into the food they hold.  BPA has been linked to many illnesses and diseases, including but not limited to infertility and sexual dysfunction, neurological issues, and breast cancer! 

NOTE: There are a few organic brands out there that don't use a BPA lined can, including Eden Foods; these cans will be labeled "BPA FREE".

This is definitely not on my list of things that I would feel good about serving to my family.  So, canned goods are absolutely a NO at our house.  Which leaves me in a predicament when we want certain foods, such as beans.  Canned is just so much more convenient!  I found a solution for my family that I would like to pass on to you. 


Buy organic dry beans!  It's easy, start with a pound of dry beans and soak/cook them according to the package.  When they are done, you can refrigerate them for up to two weeks or you can separate them into 1-1/2 cup portions and freeze them until you need them.  VOILA! Easy, less expensive and much healthier! 

I just made garbanzo beans and here is the financially breakdown:
$3.99 for 1 pound organic garbanzo beans (equal to approximately 5 cans)
$13.45 for 5 cans of organic garbanzo beans without BPA lining
PRICELESS is the cost of feeding my family healthy foods without harsh chemicals!!!



Vegan Cookie Dough {RECIPE}

3 cups cooked Garbanzo Beans (or 2 cans)
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Old-Fashioned Oats
1 1/2 Tbls Real Vanilla
1/2 cup Coconut or Almond Milk (I used water)
Pinch of Sea Salt
Vegan Chocolate Chips (I used Ghirardelli)

Add rinsed garbanzo beans with all ingredients except for the chocolate chips to the food processor and blend until smooth.  Stir in chocolate chips and serve. 

My family and I, kids included, eat this by the spoonful and we LOVE it!  It sounds so strange, but it really is excellent and you can't even taste the beans at all! 

Have a fabulous day!