do you ever get the feeling

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…that you are going to be buried in the avalanche of stuff that is rumbling behind you? Um, that’s pretty much what I’ve been running from for the last week or so. Life is CRAZY! Emily had a darling butterfly party last week and she is still on a high note. We put our house up for sale (anyone interested in a remodeled East Millcreek bungalow??) and then we ran away to Las Vegas for the weekend to visit my sis.

Today, I did laundry and shoveled through the pile of stuff in our kitchen and put it back where the <many> individual items belong. (Well, for the most part.) I am tired just thinking about it. : D I guess I am just tired.

I videoed a cake decorating tutorial with Emily’s butterfly garden cake. I will post it on Wednesday or Thursday. In the meantime, let’s all kick up our feet and relax for a minute.

happy birthday emily!

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My pineapple princess is 4 today! If there is laughing or singing in our house, chances are she is at the center of it. She loves to sing and dance and generally entertain us. Full of funny comments delivered in a darling little voice, Emily makes life much more fun.

This kid LOVES to draw and color.

and come up with crazy games with Meg (This is a camel they made out of sleeping bags, pillows and blanket. Awesome.)

I love this picture, it captures her serious little concentrating scowl.

Playing xbox games is also a big favorite. (As well as a useful tool for bribing. Notice they are in their jammies playing here.)  I had to include this–it is so cute and so typical for the girls (though not my most flattering pic. :D)

I don’t know what I would do without Emily, but I do know it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun, Happy Birthday sweet girl!

Emily singing her song

key lime pie or tartlets

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I served these at bookclub this week and had a few requests for the recipe. It makes the right amount for a pie. (Which I like to serve with fresh whipped creme) However I usually make this in mini muffin cups to make tartlets which are not only cute, but can just be eaten whole. I am a huge fan of mini deserts because I like to try one (okay, or usually more) of everything. Either way, this is so fresh and light, (and ridiculously easy to make) that you will love it!

ingredients:

fillling

1/2 cup key lime juice (You must use KEY lime, regular lime juice won’t taste right.)

1 small tub of cool whip

1 can sweetened condensed milk

optional:

a drop of green food coloring-just a little, you don’t want it to look fake.

lime zest/slices for garnish

crust

~1 1/3 c. crushed gingersnap cookies

~2/3 c. crushed graham crackers

1/4 c. sugar

scant 1/3 c. melted butter

directions:

1. Use a food processor or rolling pin to finely crush the cookies and graham crackers. You can change the proportion of crackers to cookies to taste, but the gingersnaps really give the crust an excellent flavor–it’s worth it to use them!)

2. Mix with sugar, then add melted butter.

3. Press into muffin cups or pie plate and set aside. (Fill the mini muffin cups almost half way.)

4. Using a fork or small whisk, beat the lime juice into the condensed milk, then fold in the cool whip. Mix until there are no lumps.

5. Pour mix into shell and refrigerate for a couple of  hours.

*If you are making tartlets, the easiest way to fill the cups is to spoon the filling into a gallon bag and snip off one corner. Use this like a piping bag to fill each shell. I like to make a circle around the edge, then spiral into the center.

paper roses and a plea for help

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While perusing Allred Designs, I saw her darling journal jar. My first, uncomfortable and brief though was It’s been years since I have faithfully kept a journal, yikes! Happily the guilt was quickly replaced with envy over these darling paper roses:

Hello! to die for! Even better, Little Birdie Secrets has a video tutorial on how to make them and they are EASY! (Oh bliss!) By the way, I think Little Birdie Secrets might just be my favorite new site. It is jam-packed with awesome ideas!

Okay, now for my dilemma: I can’t get the girls to clean up their room lately. I refuse to let them play games/have treats/play with friends/go swimming/have lunch with grandma until it is done and they still don’t care. They go upstairs and play for hours, not cleaning, just getting out more toys. Each day that we are in this standoff only produces a messier room. I don’t know what to do! If you have ideas please let me know!!! I am sick of spending everyday trying to coerce them into cleaning and I don’t want to give in and do it myself. Ack!

art project: paint blowing trees

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Okay, making an instructional video certainly isn’t rocket science, but I am no rocket scientist either, sooo…

I am excited that I finally have this (sort of) figured out. I would love your feedback on the video (as well as the project!) I’d also love to start posting pictures of your projects too. I am looking for an add-on to do this, but in the meantime email them to me and I’ll do it manually. My goal is a project a week for the summer; should be fun.


Ages: 3 + (Older kids will produce great paintings, younger will love just exploring the paint with their straw.)

Materials:

paper

tempra or acrylic paint

straws (Thin ones will work the best–coffee straws or one from a juice pouch.)

paint well or paper plate

Directions:

1. If you are using tempra, just drip a little puddle on the bottom of the page. If you are using acrylic, you will need to thin it a little. If the bottle is almost empty, it works great to just add a little water and shake it up. You can also squeeze some paint in a baggie and add water, then squish to mix it. (Keep adding until it is about the consistency of milk.) Then cut the tip of the bag off (keep it small!)tree 2 You can also mix in a small cup or bowl and then spoon onto the paper.

2. Put your straw close to the puddle at the bottom and gently blow, directing it upward to create your tree trunk. The paint will naturally want to branch off. You can follow it and blow the paint in that direction to create a branch.

3. If you run out of paint before you want the branch to end, just add a few drops at the tip and keep blowing.

4. Make leaves with a paintbrush or by dipping your finger tips into the paint and pressing them onto the paper.  Use this technique to make fruit or blossoms as well.

4. Experiment with doing different types of trees or up-close views of the branches. Try some flowers or making a landscape. You can also experiment with abstract designs (and getting the different parts of your hands in the paint–you know, it’s big with the 4 year olds.)

giveaways, babies, & excuses

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I am trying a new method for art projects. Actually, I have been trying all week. Cross your fingers and expect an art project next week that will blow your socks off. No, wait. Don’t get too excited, I don’t want your expectations to be too high. Expect an art project that you will hopefully like quite a bit next week. Okay, now a little something for the meantime.

Deedee is having a Father’s Day giveaway spectacular. Head on over and enter to win a set of Henkels steak knives, a carwash from the Firehouse, a $25 iTunes gift card, and some excellent mustache mugs. Really, don’t you-I mean your Dad-want all of those things?? Deedee knows how to do giveaways!

Lastly, I have a little Amanda goodness for you. Here she is in her sweet little blessing outfit. My darling friend Juli gave her this super adorable, duckie-soft outfit and I fell totally in love. My Mom made a little skirt to go with it and we had the softest, most comfortable blessing dress ever. The only hitch was that we blessed her at 4 months old. This giant chunk of a baby barely fit in the outfit by then. Ha! Oh well, it worked out just fine.