{Refined Sugar Free} Chocolate Syrup

Friday, May 24, 2013

My latest recipe is up at ForChicSake

This chocolate syrup is amazing! Every time Brian eats something with this syrup on it, he remarks at how it tastes just like Hershey's syrup. Coming from Brian that is a big deal!! 

April and May Kid Crafts! (So Far)

Friday, May 17, 2013

We've had fun playing with a few new (to Kenley) craft mediums lately! 

I've got a new thing for washi tape... I can't resist it! For now, I have most of my rolls on an IKEA paper roll holder. Kenley is having a lot of fun with the washi tape too! 

We made cards for my Grandma's birthday...

We also added some foam flower stickers. Somehow we ended up with TONS of Spring flower foam stickers.... Blame the Target Easter clearance aisle!  

Mid-April we received our first Kiwi Crate! I honestly wish I would have thought of the idea for Kiwi Crate! If you've never heard of it, Kiwi Crate is a company that sends out kids craft boxes once a month. Each box contains 2 craft projects and an explore more pamphlet. Each box also contains all the supplies that you will need to make each craft so that you don't need to worry about having other supplies like glue or paintbrushes. 

April's crate theme was "Caring for Earth"

In your first crate you receive a pair of scissors. 

The first thing Kenley loves to do is cut out the Kiwi and the other figure.

April's Kiwi Crate contained a paper making kit and a leaf stamped bag kit. We did the leaf stamped bag project right away but we haven't done the paper making kit yet. I am saving it for a day when we can get a long nap out of CLo!  

We had a little trouble making the leaf stamp so it didn't stamp super well for Kenley. I pulled out a few alphabet stamps that I got at the Target dollar spot for her to embellish her bag with too. We ended up setting the bag aside to embellish more on another day. 

This next one is 100% Kenley created :) 

She made a flag out of a pencil, a bingo paper, and some washi tape.

The week before Mother's Day we headed to a local paint-your-own-pottery studio to make presents for the Grandmas! 

This isn't a craft... but it was a project :)
Kenley TP'ed the yard one day... Haha! 

We made glowing bouncy balls! This little kit was in the $3 spot at Target. 

We poured the little crystals into the molds and then placed the molds in water, let them sit, and out came bouncy balls! Kenley really had fun with choosing the colors as well as hiding in the closet to see them glow after they were made! 

The package says that it will make 2 balls but we had enough crystals for 6 balls! 

That same day I went upstairs to find my Mom's stamps so that we could add more to Kenley's Kiwi Crate bag! 

 On Wednesday, Kenley's May Kiwi Crate arrived! This one had a "Feathered Friends" theme. This crate was awesome! 
She loved doing both projects! 

She of course had to cut out the characters first! 

Kenley LOVED making the bird mask and wings! She has worn them as some point everyday since she made it! 

She is pointing to the real birds in the bird feeder. 

Kenley loved the bird mask and wings so much that I am thinking about changing one of my Craftivity Camp plans to include a mask day! 

{ If you use the Kiwi Crate links in this blog post to order from Kiwi Crate, you and I will both receive $10 off our crates! That would make your first crate just $10! }

Little Bits

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Right now my laptop has 29,289 pictures on it. This means that my storage space is almost full and my computer is running a little slow. I'm trying to figure out how to get everything onto an external hard drive, but that is proving to be much trickier than I anticipated... (maybe I am just not computer savvy enough?)

While I get that all sorted out here are a few pictures of me with my girls from Mother's Day! I sure do love these sweet girls who God has blessed us with!  

The girls had their follow up weight check yesterday. They are both up in weight! Kenley weighed 28.8 and Claire weighed 25.8. I think anyone would gain lots of weight if given ice cream daily along with a ridiculous amount of butter coating everything! The doctor was actually pleased that I was giving them ice cream all the time.... WHAT?!? WEIRD! To me it just seems like they want them fattened up for the sake of being fattened up so they can be on this weight scale that someone thought up for the sake of solely comparing averages. What does the percentage matter anyway? 

My kids aren't average in any way and I don't want them to be!  

Hopefully I will be back soon with more pictures... if not send help. Preferably someone who can figure out how to safely archive all my pictures! :)

Kenley's First Big Kid Sleepover!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

On April 30th, Kenley went to her first sleepover at Gracen's house! 

These girls are such great best friends! 

Ready for bed! 

Fast asleep! 

I can't believe that Kenley is old enough for friend sleepovers! So fun! Kenley can't wait to have Gracen come to our house for a sleepover! I'm thinking it will be a summer of sleepovers for these girls! 

Feta Guacamole

Friday, May 10, 2013

My latest blog post is up over at ForChicSake! Go check it out, then go buy avocados & feta, come home, and make this amazing guacamole! I seriously can't stop eating it and have made it multiple times this week! 

Exciting News!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I have some exciting news to share! This summer I will be hosting a bi-monthly kids
craft camp at our house! 
Check out the Craftivity Camp Blog for more info! 

Mommy Daughter Date Day!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Kenley and I went on a date last Thursday! A new paint-your-own Pottery studio opened up in town and when I drove past the other day I saw that they have a preschool story time. I love painting pottery so we had to check it out! 

The lady read a story and then the kids got to paint a tile! She outlined their handprints, then let them fill them in with paint, and she will go over their outline with a paint pen. (I would have just let them paint the tiles and then have them do painted handprints over the top but since it was our first time, I kept my mouth shut) :) 

Kenley saw the horse and fell in love so we stayed after story time and she painted her horse. Just like Spirit of course! 

After painting pottery we headed to get some lunch. Spaghetti is still holding strong as her favorite food so spaghetti it was! 

I had so much fun spending one on one time with Kenley! I totally need to spend more one on one time with each girl! Next week I'm taking Claire on a date! 

Again? Really?... and my May meal plan

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Amy and I are embarking on No Sugar May... 

This will be my 4th year doing a no sugar month. I wasn't going to do it again, but when I heard that Amy was I knew that I really should do it too! In years past, no sugar month has really helped to kick start me on healthy less processed eating. 

Lately LOTS of processed foods have made their way back into our diets and I really desire to cut them out once again and get back to making scratch made foods for my family. 

Amy has her list of exceptions on her blog so I thought I would share mine here as well! 

Exception #1- Bread, the sprouted grain bread that I buy from Costco does contain organic evaporated cane juice. I am not a sandwich person so the rare times that I will eat a sandwich I will still use this bread. 

Exception #2- Eating out. In years past I have made myself crazy asking restaurants what items may contain sugar. This year if we do eat out I will just order a sensible meal and pass on dessert. If we are at a friends for dinner, I will eat what they serve and pass on dessert. 

Exception #3- Mother's Day. It's also our 7 year engagement anniversary. We will probably eat out that day and I may indulge in something sweet! ... or a donut and/or Starbucks... those are my celebration foods :) 

Exception #4- Mints and Gum. I usually buy the organic peppermints from Trader Joe's. They do contain sugar but I still plan to use them as needed when we are out and about!

As usual, I will choose honey, maple syrup, and liquid stevia drops to sweeten things. 


I've been in a bit of a meal plan rut lately so I pulled out my Deceptively Delicious Cookbooks and am going to make a few of those recipes this month. Meals from the cookbooks are highlighted in green. 

Here's my May meal plan! 

Wednesday the 1st- Popcorn Fish Nuggets with Rosemary Roasted Carrots
Thursday the 2nd- Eating at PF Changs with my Grandparents
Friday the 3rd- Bean and Cheese Enchiladas with Avocado

Monday the 6th- Roast Chicken with Potatoes, Onions, and Carrots
Tuesday the 7th- Southwest Soup
Wednesday the 8th- Brown Butter Sage Chicken with Roast Green Beans
Thursday the 9th- Feta Salmon with Sauteed Carrots and Steamed Broccoli
Friday the 10th- Rice Balls with Baked Sweet Potatoes and Caesar Salad

Monday the 13th- Aloha Chicken Kabobs with Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Tuesday the 14th- Honey Mustard Chicken with Roasted Carrots and Steamed Broccoli
Wednesday the 15th- Spaghetti Pie with Caesar Salad
Thursday the 16th- Pineapple BBQ Grilled Salmon with Zucchini 
Friday the 17th- Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, and Peas

Monday the 20th- Turkey Chili topped Sweet Potatoes
Tuesday the 21st- Lasagna with Caesar Salad
Wednesday the 22nd- Knock off Chick-fil-A Sandwiches with Baked French Fries (I need to try my new pampered chef french fry cutter!)
Thursday the 23rd- Lemon Butter Salmon with Roasted Green Beans
Friday the 24th- Chicken Parmesan with Steamed Broccoli

Monday the 27th- Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Tuesday the 28th- Stuffed Shells with Steamed Broccoli
Wednesday the 29th- Shredded Chicken Tacos
Thursday the 30th- Potato Soup with Pioneer Woman's Rosemary Rolls
Friday the 31st- Pizza and Salad

Kid Craft Essentials from The Dollar Tree

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I love shopping the Dollar Tree for kid craft supplies! Here are a few of my must have's! 

Number 1: Kid Scissors
These kid scissors are great, they have that little lift assist clip which pops the scissors open once the child snips them. Kenley struggled with scissors quite a bit in the beginning and ever since we switched to these scissors she has done awesome. These are also great trainers because now that Kenley knows the technique she is able to use other scissors without that lift assist clip but she does still prefer these for their ease of use! 

Number 2: Glitter Glue
$1 for 10 tubes of glitter glue is a great price! Especially when you consider how much of the glue little kids love to squeeze out of the bottles at one time! 

Number 3: Bingo Markers
We were introduced to Dot-a-Dot markers at our library's toddler time. They are a great product but the price is a little steep when these bingo markers can serve the exact same purpose! There are lots of great links to Dot-a-Dot work pages on Pinterest. We like this set of alphabet dot pages from Confessions of a Homeschooler. I would also love to use my Silhouette software to design my own one day when I have some extra time!  

Number 4: Coloring and Texture Crayon Set 
I bought 2 of these Coloring and Texture sets to add to the girls Church bags. They are great for that purpose but I actually really just like the little crayon! It is great for throwing in my purse so that the girls can have access to a crayon while we are out and about or at restaurants when I don't want to bring their entire Church bags along with us. I also like that the crayon parts are contained within plastic so I don't have to worry about crayon getting all over the contents of my purse! 

(This last one isn't a craft essential but we have been loving it so I have to throw it in!)

Number 5: Alphabet and Number Puzzles
Kenley loves doing puzzles and this is about the perfect size for her right now! It helps with her letter recognition as well as understanding that the abc's that we sing actually correlate with letters. I recently bought the numbers puzzle as well so hopefully that will help with her number recognition too! 

Those are my must have's! Can you think of anything that I'm missing?