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Yesterday morning was a fun morning at our house. There was no power, for about 7 hours. Usually I would think this would be a good excuse to sleep in and enjoy the day but I had kids to get off to school and things to do around the house. Needless to say my morning did not go as planned. I did get the kids to school, not knowing whether they would be returned to me later and mowed the lawn at 8 o’clock in the morning. That was epic! But then my 4 and almost 2-year-old wondered what to do, which is funny since the only thing I needed power for was my treadmill and shower.

Then I remembered that I had signed up for to share Toddler Busy Bags with some other moms a year ago. I had received the package, opened it, let my kids mess with some of the things in it then put it up in a closet to be forgotten about. Let me just say these things are so great for kids ages 2-5. There are some amazing ideas on Pinterest for Busy Bags. When I signed up to do it the idea was to put together two different Busy Bags that cost under $1 and put it in a gallon size bag with the instructions. Some of the things that came in the box are great learning tools and can really help younger children learn their colors and shapes. Also, they work extremely well for hand/eye coordination. For example, my 2-year-old especially loved putting plastic toothpicks in a toothpick holder. IMG_9337 If you have kids that aren’t quite old enough for school, Busy Bags are a great way to pass the time all while having fun. Here are some ideas that came in my box that my kids loved:

Heads and Tails – This one I love. It’s so good for learning colors, animals and identifying heads and tails. This website also has a counting Busy Bag that I have. I LOVE IT!

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A few weeks ago, I experienced what every mother experiences when they sent their first-born to Kindergarten — pure heartache! I can’t believe my little boy isn’t so little more. He’s now riding the bus to and from school and is gone for most of the afternoon. When did this happen? And why does it happen so quickly?

Now that our schedule and lives have been altered forever, I’ve been on the lookout for some good ol’ after-school snacks for my now big boy. He’s use to snacking on and off during the day so the minute he steps off the bus, he’s STARVING. I’ve compiled some of my favorites here:

Peachy Keen Pops from Family Circle

After School Snacks

1 package unflavored gelatin (1/4 ounce)
1/4 cup peach juice
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 10 – ounce bag frozen peaches, thawed, or 2 cups peeled and sliced fresh peaches
4 6 – ounce container low-fat peach yogurt
1 ice pop mold (10-pop capacity)
10 wooden Popsicle sticks

For directions, click hereFamily Circle has some more great ideas here, on the their 26 Healthy After-School Snacks.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls from Six Sisters’ Stuff

pumpkin cinnamon rolls

Six Sisters’ Stuff always has great ideas and their list of 100 after-school snacks is no exception. Their pumpkin cinnamon rolls look heavenly and comes from Compliments To the Chef.


1/4 c. warm water
2 1/2 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
1 c. canned pumpkin puree
1/3 c. margarine, melted
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1 tsp salt
5-6 c. flour

1/2 c – 2/3 c. canned pumpkin puree (to your preference)
1/2 c. butter, room temperature
1 c. packed brown sugar
2 T cinnamon
*optional: 3/4 c. raisins, 1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
3 T butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 – 2 1/2 c. powdered sugar

For directions and 99 other after-school snacks click hereContinue reading

If you’ve never heard of PicMonkey I might just ask you if you’ve been living in a hole?! …Just kidding, I won’t. In fact, if you haven’t heard about it I’m actually SUPER excited to introduce it to you. It’s AMAZING!!!!!!! It’s basically online Photoshop, quick and easy photo editing that’s fast and simple to do. I have Photoshop and I simply don’t get it so I’ve been using PicMonkey for a few years now and I absolutely LOVE it! 

PicMonkey Home Page
Besides offering photo editing, the website also offers a variety of features including collages and Facebook cover designing. I’m just going to focus on my favorites of photo editing.

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This is actually a post I have been looking forward to sharing with our followers. I love learning about bloggers that I follow and today is my turn to share a little about me with you. Without further ado…

1. What’s your middle name? Marie. I know, it’s the name I go by. Opal is my first name. A family name and one that no one has ever called me.

2. What was your favorite subject in school? I feel like I should say recess, but that wouldn’t be true. In high school it was English and in college it was History.

3. What are 3 things you can’t leave home without? It’s sad to say but a snack, my cell phone and usually a kid.

4. What is your favorite song at the moment? It’s hard to pick just one. When we turn on some music every kid gets to pick a song and we tend to jam out and we acquire quite a few favorites. Right now I love Juicy Wiggle, Humble and Kind and Girl Crush.

5. What is your favorite food? I love ALL food — except seafood, not a fan. Continue reading

I’ve been trying to brainstorm ways to make my entryway more inviting. There’s not very much room to put a table so I’ve tried coming up with some alternatives. I have a few ideas in the works but to start off I threw this super cute canvas picture together this weekend to get me started and motivated to finish it up soon. I’ll make sure to post what I work on as I get the pieces put together.

Here’s what I used and what I did to make my very own handpainted “Home Sweet Home” wall art.


16 x 20 Canvas
Home Sweet Home” sign from the Silhouette Design Store
Cardstock or Laminator (depending on what you have on hand)
Black Acrylic Paint
Paint Brush
4 – 1/2 x 2 x 24 Poplar Craft Board
Rainy Day Gray Acrylic Paint
Miter Saw
Nail Gun
Painters Tape
X-Acto Knife

For this project, I wanted to use up some of the crafting materials I had laying around and not spend a ton of money. I realize there’s different ways to accomplish this look, I just chose the one that worked for me using the items I had on hand. The only thing I had to buy was the craft board and the template. Everything else I had from other projects I have done.

First, I went to the Silhouette Design Store and purchased this “Home Sweet Home” template for 99 cents. I also downloaded the program on my computer so I could mess with the sizing. Confession: I don’t have a Silhouette so I knew I was going to have to improvise on this one. If I lived closer to Misty (she has one — I’m jealous) then I would have likely done a stencil version of this however, the more I thought about it I liked the idea of actually having it look more handpainted so I printed it off on regular printer paper (you’ll probably have to piece it together depending on how big you want it to be on the canvas). In hindsight, I should have printed it off on cardstock or photopaper because once I cut it out it instantly started to curl….REALLY bad. 🙁 Luckily, though, I have a laminator. Once I had them cut out I just ran it through that baby. Only downside is I had to cut it out AGAIN. But it wasn’t too bad.

The X-Acto knife comes in handy for the loopty-loop portion of the letters so make sure you have something like it around. It makes a world of difference!

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If you’re searching for a healthy recipe then it’s probably best to just keeping looking! This one is definitely more about TASTE than health. And hey, it’s okay to splurge every now and then right?! This combines the best of 3 worlds, potatoes, meat and cheese! It’s also AMAZING with broccoli and cauliflower. We lovingly call this creamy piece of cheesy heaven: Cowboy Spud Cheese. This is a simple family favorite recipe than I’ve loved for as long as I can remember (I can still picture exactly what my mom’s recipe card looks like for this and could probably still easily fetch it out of her recipe box). You’ll need only three ingredients.


2 lb brick of Velveeta Cheese
1 lb Butter
1 large can Evaporated Milk

My little helpers!

My little helpers!

Start off by cutting the Velveeta and butter into small pieces. This will help it melt faster.

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Who can believe that summer is coming to an end? I seriously feel like it just started. I went into Walmart last week and was so sad to see that they had Back to School supplies out already. I was voxing Misty and she said that she was in Target and they have theirs out too. It seems as if no one can enjoy their summer any more. I, for one, am still making plans to go swimming, camping, huckleberry picking, sleeping in and just enjoying not having a schedule and nowhere to be. Anybody with me?

I find that all too often the kids are asking what the plans are for the day and I am saying, “Do we have to have a plan?” I guess I have us doing too many things during the day. We love going to the lake or to the splash park, hanging out with friends or family and eating good food. With today’s post I decided to do something that I would maybe regret while we were doing it but that the kids would LOVE.

We have a woodcraft store here called Wood Creations. It is such a fun place to get unfinished wood projects and all the supplies to finish them. I must admit that I am slightly obsessed with them and love to buy all of their seasonal craft projects. My kids tend to get a bit envious when I do and are always begging me to pick them up something and let them paint it themselves. I am happy to report I finally took them shopping and, in fact, let them paint them themselves which took a great deal of self restraint on my part. I must admit, they really did a great job. It was such a simple project for my kids ranging from 12-3 (I laid my 1 year old down for his nap) and they loved the whole process.

wooden craft


Wooden Characters-paid $5.99 for each
Mod Podge
Scrapbook Paper
Glue Gun
Sand Paper Continue reading

Hello! It seems like forever since I’ve posted. Misty was kind enough to take over my post for me two weeks ago because I had A TON of things going on in my neck of the woods. That’s the great thing about Marie and Misty, they’re always there for me and willing to help when they can. Sisters are AWESOME!!

We thought with it being summer time, we’d take a step back, relax a little and give everyone a chance to meet us. Since we started the blog, we haven’t taken the opportunity for you to get to know us. So in the next month or two, we’re going to share a few fun facts about ourselves. We hope you enjoy.

I’m up first! Here I go…

1. What is your middle name? Renae

2. What was favorite subject in school? History – in high school — and probably my communication classes in college.

3. What are 3 things you can’t leave home without? Well, I have two kids so that takes up two but if I have a day where it’s just me I’d say my phone, my chapstick and my purse (it has everything I need in it). 🙂

4. What is your favorite song at the moment? Ice, Ice Baby. Yes, you heard that right. “Ice, Ice Baby too cold, too cold!” Now it’s going to be stuck in your head the rest of the day, huh? I gotta say this is my favorite right now because my two-year-old asks to listen to it and he’s simply the cutest little dancer and he sings along with it quite well!

5. What is your favorite food? Anything I don’t have to cook. Ha!

6. What is the last thing you bought? Groceries…I wish it was more exciting than that but sadly it’s not.

7. Favorite book? I shared a couple of my favorites in my “Favorite Snuggle Up Books” post.

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We hope that you all had an amazing 4th of July celebrating the Freedom of our country and spending time with the ones that you love. We had a blast creating new memories, eating food, watching fireworks and parades. We are so grateful to the men and woman who have dedicated their lives and time to make this wonderful land that we live in possible. God bless America.

We were so caught up in time with our family we decided to post a couple days later then normal but this post will not disappoint and we will be saving mothers everywhere. We would hope that all of you would say that one of your favorite childhood memories is a good old fashioned pillow fight. If your kids are anything like our kids then the pillows look like flattened pancakes when the fight is over. The kids are complaining that they have to sleep on them later. We have found the solution to this problem.

Each year we attend the local craft fairs, always looking for the some of the coolest, uniquest crafts. Last November as we were walking around we found this cute booth with giant boxing gloves hanging from it. Not just any boxing gloves, pillow fight boxing gloves. They are AMAZING!!

Boxing glove pillows

Our mom likes to give all the grandkids the same thing for Christmas, which makes Christmas morning so easy with no one wishing that they had what the other one has. Last year did not disappoint. They each got their very own pair!! Continue reading

Summer is officially in full swing and we are LOVING it! We finally have some nice weather. We can swim and enjoy the outdoors. This week I have a quick and easy project that literally took me less than 30 minutes. I love when you can take an existing decoration and repurpose it! And that’s exactly what today’s project is! Don’t stress though, if you don’t have all the supplies starting from scratch will still be super easy! Here’s what you’ll need!

6 wood blocks (mine are 2″x 3″x 6″)
Vinyl lettering
Hello sign

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