Apple Butter

Thats right! Apples! The only thing better than fresh homemade apple butter... is well anything pumpkin, but apples are a close second :)

Here is the recipe that I used. Really it is more of a guideline. I made mine in the crockpot it took 8 hours. I slowly added the sugar and the cinnamon, that way I could adjust it to taste. I left out the clove because I dont like it.

I had no issues with it burning. This same recipe can be used on the stove but I have read several recipes that caution burning. Once it burns ALL of it tastes burnt.

Next came the canning. I was super worried about this part. I have NEVER canned ( I have assisted when I was younger) and I dont have a canner. I knew you could do it without one though and then I found this wonderful blog. Follow her directions exactly and you will have no problems!

13 Nights of Halloween

Halloween has got to be one of my favorite times of the year, probably only falling second to Christmas. What is one of my favorite things to do on Halloween? - besides decorating and candy... ABC Family 13 nights of Halloween! They always have wonderful age appropriate Halloween movies. It is a great way for us to celebrate and spend time together.

13 Nights of Halloween Downloadable Programming Guide

You can view the schedule here.

Some of the shows this year are:
  • The Addams Family
  • Tim Burton Marathon
  • Hocus Pocus
  • Scooby-Doo


We have been in a school almost a month now and we are struggling with one and one thing only... breakfast.

None of us are breakfast eaters its just not our thing. We have a very short list of stuff bug will eat. I have however learned a few things...

1. Breakfast does not have to mean breakfast food
2. As long as they are eating something - shut up and dont worry about it
3. Cookie cutters are your friend!

Now the last one may seem odd... LOL! The bug does not like crust. So I bought a dinosaur sandwich cutter. Best $2 I ever spent. It quickly removes the crust, little to no waste, and she gets 2 dinos.

Sandwiches for breakfast? Yes. You know why? See Rule #2... I dont care. Usually it is either Nutella or PB&J. YAY! Happy breakfast.

Sometimes it is just easier to take the road of least resistance. I dont see how a PB&J is any different than if she had toast with peanut butter. So who cares.

I am happy to say this is really the only issue we have had with school starting. :)

Barbie Mariposa & the Fairy Princess

I am not a Barbie fan. There I said it. Just not. Nothing against it really just not thrilled. A lot of what Barbie stands for in my mind is just super girly all the time blah blah shopping blah blah. HOWEVER... I will be the first to admit that I was wrong. The new Barbie movie, Barbie Mariposa & the Fairy Princess is a great movie. It has a good lesson, the girls are smart, and its funny.

Sure it still is about fairies and butterflies and they both get a healthy dose of sparkles before going to the ball. I am not against the girly stuff. I am just against teaching my daughter that is all there is to being a little girl. Both Mariposa and the Princess love to read. They are both intelligent and strong. In the end they work together and are able to save Shimmervale.

They both have little furry flying pet friends. They speak in broken English and gibberish. They are hilarious. Just look at how animated they can be! I would highly recommend this movie to anyone that likes stories about strong girls or barbie or fairies or love or sparkles LOL


Sock Doughnut

What do you do with all of those mis-matched socks?

Well... you make doughnuts of course!

This is the tutorial I used. Follow her instructions and you should not have one bit of trouble.

I just recently went through all the socks in the house. We had WAY too many and they need to be scaled down and dealt with. I ended up with a whole pile of socks. Granted you don't want to make 20 doughnuts but this will at least get rid of some of them. The ones we made have been added to the play food in the tea set.

This is a great project for a beginner sewer. I let my 5 yr old sew on the beads. :)


We are playing soccer this year through our local rec. center. Those of you that have towns fortunate enough to have rec. sports should give them a shot. Our rec. sports are free to play you just have to buy equipment and purchase a $10 tshirt for uniforms.

Zoey at her first practice!

These are some cool soccer themed crafts I found floating around the web. 

This one would be awesome for a team party or a soccer themed bday party

.DIY Craft: Soccer Ball Hanging Paper Lantern. Sports party

Simply add cut outs to a paper lantern. Tutorial here

These are washer necklaces that was done by this crafty mom here
She has easy to follow instructions up. 

This mom threw together an awesome soccer bookmark you can see her post here

Who knows... maybe I will get around to making something soccer themed myself. :)


I just finished watching this show a couple of months ago, but I have struggled with what to rate it. The show ran for 4 seasons and ended up getting a movie to help wrap up the story lines. I REALLY enjoyed the story line and almost all of the characters. However there were moments though that the show just fell flat. There were episodes that were obviously "filler" episodes. Meaning they didn't progress the story or having anything to do with developing the characters. A few of them would not have been bad but there were a lot. Too many for me not to knock the show for it.

I loved watching John and Aeryn's relationship play out. Dargo was hilarious and sarcastic. If you enjoy sci-fi I would give the show a shot.

Back To School

Things have been nuts around here. My little one just started Kindergarten! It has been exciting and stressful all at one go.

To celebrate her first day of school I made her a pencil cake! Now forgive me cause I did not take pics of the whole process (wanted to get it done before the bus brought her home) but I did make a tutorial :) 


Mix up your cake mix and bake in 13x9. Let cool

Cut cake to match picture. You can cut it all the way down long ways to make it skinnier (more like a pencil). Or you can just hack off two of the corners. Ice the whole cake and place in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. It does not have to look pretty.

Tint icing pink, yellow, and black. Place it on cake according to pic. 

Add black accents to seperate sections
and VIOLA! Back to school cake :)

Christmas in July

I am on a mission this year. I am going to pay for all the Elf on a Shelf stuff and stocking stuffers with change and gift cards I earn through Swagbucks. Personally I love Swagbucks. It is a couple of moments every day and I earn points and they give me gift cards. This makes me a very happy mommy. I am also a little crazy and I am keeping track of what I spend (in change) just because I want to know how much I ended up saving.

Perks to shopping early

  • less budget shock. (you know what I am talking about... the Christmas OMGAH! THIS COSTS SO MUCH!!!)
  • The ability to shop many many many sales and clearance aisles 
  • Less stress. I already have a shoe box full of Christmas stuff... and you know what? I feel awesome!
  • Christmas stuff is OFF SEASON in the summer and VERY cheap usually
This method is not for all people, but you might want to consider starting a general "gift box". Good things to put in one of those are throw blankets, movies, and candles. So if you need a quick gift you have it. :)


To Bribe or Not to Bribe? That is the question.

Most of the time parents do not think twice about offering their kid a piece of candy or maybe even a new toy in order to get them to behave when they are out in public. The truth is MOST of the time its okay. Everything in moderation right? I am a big belief of everything in moderation.

My daughter is rarely bad in public, she just has some off days. I refuse to feel bad for the $1 toy or piece of candy that I give her. The fact is everyone is entitled to a bad day. The difference is when you have a bad day you can choose to sit at home and not go out, but your child doesn't get to decide when you drag them to the store or anywhere else.

Bribing becomes bad when its an all the time thing. When you have to provide you child with some type of treat for good behavior. That is not good. Your child has now taken your brides as a reward for bad behavior, which they were never supposed to be.

and as a parting piece of advice...


The Borgias

Showtimes hit show The Borgias just had its series finale. I absolutely loved this show. It had drama and intrigue, and granted it muddle history some - not unlike its counterpart and predecessor The Tudors, it was still a great show that kept you hanging on for next weeks episode.

The show is set around the Pope's family, The Borgia's. You get to watch all the children become adults and attempt to carve out there place in the world with an ambitious family that wants to hold onto the reins and keep there family together. The Pope in the late 1400s, early 1500s was a huge seat of power, he could crown kings and start wars. That amount of power can make any man go crazy. Watching the family gain power and try to hold onto it was a battle that was waged through all 3 seasons, but the storyline that stole the show was the Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia. 
                            File:017 Siblings episode still of Cesare Borgia and Lucrezia Borgia.jpg  

From the first episode you start to get the idea that the relationship between these two is not just something between a brother and sister. Cesare's love for Lucrezia borders on obsession. As the show continues, they go back and forth between giving into there needs and fighting them. Their devotion to each other is never in question. Even as the wars were fault, babies born, changes in seats of power. Their love remained a constant and was even the way they chose to end the show, by showcasing Cesare and Lucrezia. As Cesare wipes blood from his sister face his growls "Mine". In her ear, finally she was his. 

Birthday Cheap!

My Daughter loves parties. Not having a party is really not an option with her. Granted I am sure she would get over it, but she loves them. I am the type that I would prefer to spend money on presents more than a party. So here is a short list of ways to keep the cost down

1. Make the banner - that way you can change it with the theme OR purchase a generic "happy birthday" banner and re- use it.

2. Make "Character Circles" or use coloring pages.

3. Buy white napkins and clear cups and silverware. (That way if you have extras you dont have to worry about them going with next years colors!)

4. Host the party at home or at the park

5. START EARLY!!! I cannot stress this enough. I start 2-3 months ahead of time, that way I have time to hit sales and make things.

Crocheted Garland!

I made crocheted hearrt garland at valentines day and I loved it. It was easy to make, was cute, and it will keep FOREVER. I ran across this snowflake pattern I decided to do the same thing with it. I can wrap it around the tree or just hang it on the computer desk. 
Snowflake pattern:
Garland instructions:
Chain 50, sl st in top of snowflake, *Chain 30, sl st in top of next snowflake* repeat * until out of snowflakes, Chain 50

***You can make this a scrap project by using leftover bits of yarn for each snowflake. The different colors would give it a more whimsical feel :)

Fleece Blankets

Fleece blankets are a great gift idea. I am in the middle of putting together a baby present and decided to add one to all the other stuff I am making. I was able to find fleece for $3 a yard. For a baby blanket you only need one yard. I just fringed the end of mine. You can also knot or braid the ends. Some people do a printed fleece and a plain and knot them together to make a thicker blanket. I found a wonderful tutorial for anyone who would like to watch one being made before they tackle their own.


We love camping! However... there is one thing you have to do when you camp that I really get NO practice on the rest of the year. LIGHTING A FIRE. Luckily, I went to enough summer camps as a child that I was able to fumble through it last year. Then I found these neat little things that help to start your fire...and cost... *Drum Roll* NOTHING!

Everything used to make these are recycled from stuff you have in your house... toilet paper rolls, dryer lint, and newspaper :)

Stuff lint in tubes... as loose or tight as you want.

Wrap in Newspaper. 

Makes fire a lot easier to start :)

Doctor Who

I am a science fiction fan, but I refused to give this show a shot for the longest time. When I finally did decide to watch it I started with the episodes filmed in the 60's... MISTAKE. The special effects and acting... and lack of color, just bad. I couldn't get into it.

I just started it again, when Rose meets the Doctor. And *drum roll* I LIKE IT! It is really good so far. I am beginning to see what all the hype is about.

If you like SciFi you should give it a shot :)

Who wouldn't want a space ship that transported you anywhere in time and space?


I have been drinking more water lately. We are trying to cut out more and more of our processed food. I have not cut soda completely out yet, but I am down to half of what I was drinking. This is my favorite water bottle, the Bobble. I have the big one and my daughter has the small one. The filter will last for 300 bottles of water, which is amazing! The bottle is a little expensive to begin with but it is environmental friendly and also BPA free. For those of you that like to support American made products, the filters are produced in the USA! I have had mine for over a year and LOVE it. I just recently purchase the Bobble Hot, which is for coffee!

Earth Day!

We spent yesterday learning about the earth! We also went out and picked up a little trash. Zoey really seemed to enjoy it. I also let her make a dessert. :)

Pudding Pie - Earth Day Version

     ~3.9 oz Box of Chocolate Pudding
     ~Regular Size Tub of Cool Whip
     ~Chocolate Crust 
    Opotional: Oreos and gummy worms.

Make the pudding according to the instructions on the back of the box. Mix with tub of cool whip. I used the whole tub... and it was a little too much. You might want to use 3/4ths of it and then decide if you want more. There is no wrong way to do it, you wont mess it up. It tastes wonderful either way. To decorate we crushed oreos for dirt and added a gummy worm.

Pizza Casserole

There are loads of recipes for this floating around the net. I tried one of them and to be honest it tasted like spaghetti with pepperoni. So I tweaked it. I dont post recipes much cause I am more of a little bit of this and a little bit of that kinda gal. But here ya go.

spaghetti sauce with browned hamburger in it
shredded cheese

Optional ingredients:
olives, mushrooms, onion, bell peppers, ham, sausage

Make however much spaghetti and sauce you normally make for your size family. Then in the sauce add some cool stuff like finely chopped mushrooms, black olives, ham, sausage, onion. The more pizza toppings you add the more 'pizza-y' it will taste. ADD SALT. Sometimes spaghetti can have a little bit of a sweet taste, but just a little bit of salt tends to help.

Once your noodles are cooked and your sauce tastes the way you like mix them together. Put half of the noodle mixture in a casserole pan. Cover in shredded cheese (I used a combo of half empty bags we had in the fridge. Mozzarella is always a good choice.) Then cover in pepperoni. Repeat this paragraph.

Bake for 15 min at 350 degrees.

Basket Stuffer

Head on over to Sofia the First's Facebook page and print out this bookmark! I printed one out to add to Z's Easter basket! You print, cut, and glue together. :)


Anyone have any Easter plans? Here is Z last week at an egg hunt we went to! Everyone be getting the baskets ready it is this weekend!

St. Patrick's Day

We were all sick the weekend of St. Patrick's Day. We didnt end up celebrating until Monday but we still had loads of fun.

Leprechaun Trap

Ireland's flag (construction paper), glittered shamrocks (printed offline - added glitter), and green paper wheels

Rainbow paper wheels (these are leftovers from bday party last year)

For dinner we did beef stew and cheesecake. The cheesecake matches the colors on Ireland's flag.

Wooden Conversation Hearts

I bought paint in the colors of the conversation hearts and cheap 99cent wooden hearts. I have seen this done many different ways online but this is our version. :)

Valentines Day!

Valentines day has got to be Z's fav. holiday and we had a blast. Here are a few pictures.

Choc. filled candy cane hearts.

Choc. cupcakes with heart sprinkles

2 valentines inspired paintings that I sent off for a valentines gift exchange

arrangement.(I suck at these) Fake roses, mason jar is filled with colored rice


I took a little break from blogging, but I am back :) I have lots to share. Pics up soon!


Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs

4 Stars! 

This was an adorable book. Flinn went into the supply closet for more markers and ended up having a wonderful adventure. Both Zoey and her cousin loved this book. The illustrations and the colors are beautiful. If you have a pirate of dino fan in the house I would give this one a go!

Toilet Paper Snowmen

Well we managed to get one more winter craft in after all, I thought the marshmallow snowmen would be the last. 

These are toilet paper rolls - painted white. Other materials googly eyes, scrap paper, sequins, scrap ribbon, pipe cleaner, pom poms. The base it is sitting on is a paper plate with glued on shredded cotton balls. 

Marshmallow Snowmen

We had a bag of open marshmallows that were getting hard. So I broke them out and let Z and her cousin make snowmen, especially since its calling for snow and this is probably the last winter/snow craft we will be able to get in. 
I used school glue and made 3 circles, they put the marshmallows on. They used markers for the other features. The snow is white paint. Snow flakes are thumbprints. We sprinkled a little glitter on for some sparkle :)

Princess Day!

In honor of Sofia the First series premiere, we are having a Princess Day! - I spent nothing (this is all stuff I had here... okay so it cost me some sleep... but we won't talk about that)

The whole set up.
Real tea set, white lights, coloring pages, nail stuff, and a pretty glittered banner.

Crown I threw together after I could not find any of hers.

a cute little table set up - complete with wrapped silverware

and of course cupcakes

this is how happy she was (ignore her night shirt...idk what she got on it SMH)

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