Project 52 - Week 5 - Simplicity

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Project 52 - Week 5 - Simplicity

simplicity, /simˈplisitē/, noun.
1. The quality or condition of being easy to understand or do.
2. The quality or condition of being plain or natural.

Natural; yes. Easy; no. Maybe in concept, but not in application. Trying to find "simplicity" and make it look good is hard to do!

Matt's Birthday...Or What He Ate

Monday, January 30, 2012

Couldn't buy him a gift, so I just fed him good food! =)

Spinach, Cheese, and Bacon Meatloaf. Out of all the meals I can make, he loves my meatloaf the most! Although, I usually don't make it with bacon. That's a bit over the top, but we had to try it.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake. It's just as kick-butt as it looks. Recipe here. We put chopped up Reese's Pieces and peanuts between the layers and on top of ours. Ohhh baby!

All this plus a homemade card from Rob equals a VERY happy Daddy. Happy birthday, babe!

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Oh, yes I did.

Original recipe found here, but I made it super easy and just used a tub of premade cookie dough. Although, mine didn't come out like her's. Mine looked more like large, pregnant chocolate chip cookies (coined by Matt). Still amazing, though. You HAVE to try it! The Oreos have a slightly saltier taste that the chocolate chip cookie, so it's a nice blend. And the cream in the middle? Shut the door.

Whether you make your own dough or cheat like I did, the assembly is the same. Take a scoop of dough, put it on top of the Oreo, put another scoop on the bottom, and smoosh them together. I recommend flattening the scoops out with your palms first, creating an Oreo sandwich (redundant?). I baked them according to the directions on the dough packaging, but they required a little more cook time. Experiment and die happy.

Another Kindle Pouch Project

Monday, January 23, 2012

Kindle Pouch - Twin Falls, Idaho - 2012
Since I got the basic body of this pouch down pat, I thought I'd branch out and try some embellishments tonight. I made my very first ruffle and flower - yay!

Very same pattern as this one, but I added a ruffle with a strip on top of it, loosely based off of this pattern and a fabric flower from this pattern. Yellow and "gray" fabric from FabricWorm and the peachy/orange was donated to me by a friend.

[Edit] I didn't want to say this before because it would ruin the surprise, but this was a birthday gift for my dear friend, Becky. She really liked it! =)

Slow Cooker Bacon Potato Chowder Recipe

I made this the other night and it was delicious. I had Cher over the next night (the same night I tried to serve poisonous cookies) to share it with us and it was even better!

Source & Photo: Campbell's Kitchen


4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Potato Soup
4 soup cans milk
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)


Stir the bacon, onion, soup, milk, black pepper, potatoes and 1/4 cup chives in a 6-quart slow cooker.

Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or until the potatoes are tender.

Add the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle with the remaining chives.

Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

I have to admit something. I gave myself food-poisoning while making these. Yes, I'm embarrassed to say that I used butter that expired in...2008. I know, I know! In my defense, I didn't realize it until it was two cookies too late! I just yanked the butter out of the freezer without thinking and boy, did I pay for it later! Thankfully, I was the only one affected - if you don't count Matt almost in tears over having to throw away perfectly good cookies. That was painful to watch.

BUT, I later redeemed myself with a second batch that contained butter that was NOT expired. And boy were they a hit! These cookies are SUPER addictive, so prepare yourself for that!


2½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
½ Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Peanut Butter (Matt prefers crunchy, but either works)
2 Large Eggs, at room temperature
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Reese’s Pieces Candy


Adjust oven rack to low center position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl.

In bowl of electric mixer or by hand, beat butter until creamy. Add sugars; beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes with electric mixer, stopping to scrape down bowl as necessary. Beat in peanut butter until fully incorporated, then eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Gently stir dry ingredients into peanut butter mixture. Add candies and stir gently until just incorporated.

Working with 2 tablespoons dough at a time, roll into large balls, placing them 2 inches apart on a parchment-covered cookie sheet. Gently flatten each dough ball with the bottom of a glass. Bake until cookies are puffed and slightly brown along edges, but not top, 10 to 12 minutes (they will not look fully baked). Cool cookies on cookie sheet until set, about 4 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, up to 7 days.
Project 52 - Week 4 - Imperfection
Let me be the first one to admit that I am the more imperfect person I know - bar none.

There is so much about me that just makes me frustrated or sick with myself. So many annoying quirks or sins I keep stumbling over again and again. Some are small inhibitions, but others are debilitating to my relationships and daily life. Either way, sin is sin. And I know what you're thinking - "Not being silly is a sin?!" Certainly not, but for me, I let my self-consciousness get in the way of being silly and having fun with my boys. I end up missing a lot of sweet opportunities to make memories with them because of what boils down to selfishness.

Many people have the misconception that Christians are perfect or think they're perfect - even some Christians believe that, too. It just isn't that way. That is not a practical way to think.

We are sinners by nature; fallen from the womb (Psalm 51:5). There is no self-help book, therapist, or 12-step program in the world that could possibly help us to stop sinning. Nor could any amount of charity, good works, or "Christian duty" save us from condemnation by that sin. Only Jesus' work on the cross. Through Him and and by Him and because of Him I will be seen as perfect when I face a sinless God; earthly flaws and all.

To God be the glory. Please don't stop working on me, Lord.

You Mean The World To Me

Friday, January 20, 2012

You Mean The World To Me - Twin Falls, Idaho - 2012
As I was preparing to format my SD card, I thought I'd scroll through the images just to make sure I had gotten everything off I wanted. I admit that I passed on this image the first time because I didn't like the way I looked - like it's a big secret that I'm a big girl - gasp! When I saw it the second time, I instantly fell in love with it. I now know why.

Look at the way he looks at me. This man sees beyond my imperfections and flaws and he thinks I'm beautiful even when the world says I'm ugly. He cares for me deeply and does whatever he can to support me and encourage me. He sacrifices his comfort just so my needs are met first. He loves me in a way I will never understand.

Our bond goes beyond marriage. He is my best friend and I can always rely on him to be there for me when I fall. To stand next to me when I'm brave. To be there to make me laugh and smile when things seem dim. He was made just for me.

I love this man and I do not deserve him, but God has blessed me with him anyway and I will be forever grateful.

What. A. Goof.

"Hey Mama - take my picture!"

Winter's Finally Here

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Finally got some legit snow! Unfortunately, as I was out shutterbuggin', I realized that our fence was falling over. Great. =\

More after the jump...

Project 52 - Week 3 - Inspiration

I find my inspiration for my photography...everywhere!

7 Lies About Homeschoolers

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Completely and utterly awesome - and hilarious!

Fabric Giveaway

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sew Can She is giving away some wonderful fabric from FabricWorm - a favorite fabric site of mine.

The giveaway ends on January 24th, so go check it out!

Project 52 - Week 2 - Life

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Life, for me, is somewhat of a balancing act. I'm a wife, mom, photographer, business-owner, chef, nanny, maid, bookkeeper, secretary, nurse, therapist, comedian, and, underneath it all, a born again believer. I wouldn't want my crazy life to be any other way.

Menu Planner

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In my attempt to be more organized and cook at home more, I decided to make a menu planner and stick to it. Finally.

It took me a whole day to put together a two-week menu, grocery list, and construct the menu itself (thanks to LOTS of interruptions from the shorter inhabitants of the house), but I got it done and even had dinner in the crock pot for when Matt got home. He was rather impressed. Yay me! =)

You find these all over Pinterest, but it's just a simple layout I made using Photoshop (you could use Paint or Word if you wanted to) in an empty 8x10 picture frame (whaaat? Jenn has an empty frame in her house?!) with the glass still in it. Hang that puppy in your kitchen or dining room and call it good! I love it that you can use white board markers on it, so it's reusable every week - or if you change your mind a million times like me. *clears throat*

Mr. Rogers

Sunday, January 8, 2012

"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood..."

Rob was channeling Mr. Rogers this morning. What a cutie. =)

First Sewing Project: Kindle Pouch

Saturday, January 7, 2012

First Sewing Project - Twin Falls, Idaho - 2012

Tada! My first finished sewing project - a Kindle Pouch! It's not perfect, but I have to say for a complete newbie, I didn't do too shabby. But I think I mastered the seam ripper today. Ugh. I plan on making more of these for my Etsy shop. They're super easy to make and I think they leave a lot room for embellishments and variations. Fun!

Based on this pattern. I left out the pocket. Not ready to tackle that just yet.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Rob has the cutest sneakers. Ever. They just fit his personality so well. Matt always complains how much of a pain in the butt they are to get on him, but I think it's worth it. They're adorable.

Been thinking about this shot since we bought the shoes, but finally just got around to actually doing it. I hate that. Better late than never, right?

Project 52 - Week 1 - Resolution

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I have many resolutions this year, but I think the biggest one is to learn how to sew. I watched my grandma and my aunt do all the time when I was growing up, but never got interested in it until now. I'm eager to learn so I can make all that cute crafty junk you see on Pinterest.

What's wrong with me? I'm all "Suzy Homemaker" and stuff, now. Good job, Matt. I think I'm finally domesticated.

If you're not familiar with what a 52 project is, basically it's a photo challenge to take a picture a week for a full year, giving you...ready for this? 52 pictures! Mind-blowing, right? Some people are much more gung-ho about it and choose to do 365 projects, but since I've never done one of these, I thought I'd do it in baby steps. A lot of people just go and do it on their own, but many choose to follow a theme set by a Flickr group, which is what I'm doing. I couldn't decide between doing Paint the Moon or My Four Hens - I'm a big fan of both, but I think M4H is more my style. This week's theme was "resolution". The end. =)

Join me! It's fun!

Little Nerd

Monday, January 2, 2012

Playing Memory on my phone. This kid definitely knows his way around electronics, now. We're raising a little nerd. Couldn't be prouder. =)

Mama/Daddy Mini Shoot

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Matt - Twin Falls, Idaho - 2012
I got to do a fun little mini shoot with my handsome hubby today! Go here to see all of them!

Isn't he dashing in his new specks? =)

Me - Twin Falls, Idaho - 2012
He was nice enough to shoot some of me. I think he did a pretty bang up job! See more here.