Monday, December 2, 2013

Stocking Stuffer Giveaway!

It seems like Christmas snuck up on me this year! I love stocking stuffers... maybe not buying them, but receiving them is so much fun! I teamed up with some other bloggers to make a stocking stuffer package of our favorite things, fun right!  Here is a collage of these fun bloggers!
MFB Collage
   
Bethany, Pitter and Glink | Carlee, Ladybird Lane | Marilyn, 4 You With Love | Sky, Creative Capital B | Kara, Happy Go Lucky | Kirsten, One Tough Mother | Amy, One Artsy Mama | Tara, Suburble | Lauren, The Thinking Closet | Kadie, 7 Alive | Melanie, It Happens In A Blink | ChiWei, One Dog Woof | Sarah, Repeat Crafter Me | Adrianne, Happy Hour Projects



I donated my favorite book I read this year, Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls.  This is really an incredible book, based on a true story.  My Dr. gave me this book while I was in the hospital.  I have since let many others borrow it, and everyone really enjoys it--evenmy husband also loves this book!  This would be a great stocking stuffer for the picky shopper! 

You can also win these other fabulous stocking packages!


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  What's in the stocking? 
1. Eos 5-pack lip balm 
2. $30 Target gift card
 3. $20 Starbuck's gift card 
4. Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls 
5. Ceramic Owl Mug from West Elm
6. Rimmel Stay Glossy lip gloss in All Day Seduction 
7. Bird and Branch Charms by Charm Me 
8. OPI Cheers to the Holidays 4
-pack nail polish set 
9. Ruffle Scarf by Fickled Pink 
10. Navy and Gold Bow Cuff from Charming Charlie 
11. Pink Fox Wallet from Target 
12. You're Pretty gold flecked card by Lindsay Letters

Enter to win on the Rafflecopter below:
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

7 Reasons whyI love being an American Farmer


Every fall, I seem to have a deep connection of my agricultural roots.  Maybe it is the fact that we raise mainly turkeys, or it could be seeing the end result of the harvest of our fields.  Perhaps, especially this year it is terribly poignant in my heart because with a new baby at home, and all the hardships we faced with this baby, I have not been out to the farm much, and miss it.  



1-Heritage: My husband is a sixth generation American farmer, both sides of my family have roots in agriculture. All endured unimaginable hardships, just to survive.  They had grit--they did not give in when times were tough, they did not stop when crops failed, they were strong. I would like to think, that just maybe they passed a little bit of that down to us.  I draw strength knowing I come from hardy stock.

2 - Sleep - I think the worlds sleep apnea problems might significantly be reduced if people put in a hard days labor.  I love the feeling of achy muscles earned by working hard, and rewarded with a good nights rest.


3 - Kids- In a world of video games, tablets, childhood obesity, media violence, I feel so blessed that my children have the sanctuary of the farm.  Somewhere we can work together, learn the values of hard work, integrity, and family.  My children see the miracle of planting something in the earth, and watching it grow, they have seen a wobbly calf, only hours old walk, they watch as baby turkeys grow each day.  When I was in the hospital for six weeks this passed spring, my children in large part went with dad everyday to the farm, what a wonderful occupation, and what a wonderful dad.


4 - Food - Every job has its fringe benefits, ours just might be a freezer full of meat. Meat that we raised, including turkey, beef, and pork, we know where it comes from, what the animals diet was, and most importantly we understand the sacrifice the animal made for us.  I have a great appreciation for our meat.  I also have great satisfaction in knowing we are helping feed America.  I am honored to be able to produce the centerpiece of most peoples Thanksgiving dinner.



5 - Calm - We live in a fast pace, instant gratification world.  If you have tried to drive cattle,  move-out turkeys, or wait for the wheat to grow, you know you must remain calm.  All of the farmers I know have an inner since of calm, they are usually not in too much of a hurry, and notice things like changing weather patterns, and the beauty that surrounds them. If you meet your fellow neighbor on the back roads, you may want to get comfortable because you may be visiting for a while.


6- Work Environment - I am no city girl, the only traffic we might face driving out to our farm is a heard of sheep, or cattle being moved.  Our office has a great view, our co-workers, while slightly demanding never complain, and we have as many hours as we want-- Ok probably more!


7 - Gratitude and God: There is something so satisfying to my soul to watch growth.  To build something tangible with our hands, and see life constantly evolve at the farm.  We plant seeds in the fall, we watch these tiny seeds covered with snow and frost during the winter, then miraculously these seeds produce life in the spring when it knows conditions are right. To be around these miracles all the time, I don't know how one could deny the existence of our great Creator.


As I read back on my list, I realize I am painting a very rosy picture of farming.  But  believe me, I could probably write a list equally as long, about the hardships in farming.  Like the year we did not make money in fact, we payed a hefty fee just for the joys of farming. Or the time when my I decided to count the hours my husband worked during a week, and discouragingly stopped at 67, because I just didn't want to know.  Or the hours we are at the farm, and are not the happy family we paint ourselves to be, the times when the kids fight, and the manure just plain stinks... YET we do it. We yearn for it, we believe in it, we strive for it.  We know we are building something bigger than ourselves.  We take pride in providing a safe food supply for America, to provide quality care for animals and land in which we are given stewardship. We want to continue the legacy passed down by our great grandfathers, and hopefully pass the same legacy on to our children and generations yet to come.

Click HERE to learn more about our farm.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Owl Warm Bag--Fat Quarter Challenge- and GIVEAWAY!

If you have followed this blog for any length of time, you know I am always up for a challenge!  Jesse from the Fat Quarter Challenge approached me about joining her challenge for a month, and you know I couldn't say NO.  How it works is she sends everyone competing in the challenge the same fat quarter and some notions to go with it.  You then send her a picture of your finished project, and vote. To participate in the challenge it costs a $12 monthly fee.  Jesse was nice enough to let me try it and blog about it for free!



Once I got the fabric, I knew I wanted to make an Owl warm bag... You know the kind you fill with rice, put in your microwave, then cuddle!  Perfect for cold autumn days!


I did not follow any specific pattern, but I found this post from Sugar Bee Crafts, and there is an excellent step by step tutorial by Simple Serendipities.



I started off by doubling up the fabric given and cutting my shapes.  I just did this free hand.  I also cut green felt for the wings, white felt for the eyes, and orange felt for the nose.



I pinned everything on the front side of the owl.  Then put the back of the owl, right sides together over the front, and stiched around it, leaving a hole for the rice.



I filled with rice and hand stitched the opening.


Now all you need to do is place in microwave for 2 minutes, and you have a warm cuddly owl!!


My daughter is thrilled!!  Go vote for your two favorite projects HERE!

Jesse of The Fat Quarter Challenge is allowing me to giveaway a 2 month subscription to the fat quarter challenge...a $24 value! This would be a great way to get started!With each months $12 subscription you receive--

  a package similar to mine with all the supplies for the challenge (remember shipping is not free!)

AND

When you complete the challenge and submit your project you are entered to win the month's prize! 

You can learn more about the challenge HERE.

Okay, so what are you waiting for!  Just enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to win.  Oh, and this giveaway is opened to all my friends in the US and Canada and is opened until 12:00 am 10/28/2013!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fall Carnival Fun!

It's Fall Carnival time!  The hit of our schools carnival is the Cake Walk, my kids ALWAYS want to participate... and we usually stay up late the night before creating our masterpieces! We had fun coming up with cute... or CREEPY cakes!

My little boy... wanted to make something CREEPY... but I didn't want to make something too gross looking!  We made eye balls out of Oreos and Jr. Mints, and mini Oreos and chocolate chips.  Let me tell you there is a fine art to twisting an Oreo apart leaving all the cream to one side.  Next time I might opt for the Double Stuffed Oreos!  The worms were all his idea, and it really made the cake!



My daughter helped me make my cake banner for our Etsy shop, and wanted to put it on her cake!  Her cake is pretty simple but she made this cake all by herself!  I really like her mini Oreo border! We used my favorite butter cream frosting recipe for the cakes, it is yummy and easy to work with!
 

  The most important thing is they were happy with their cakes... Well my little guy was a little upset when he realized we wouldn't get to keep it and eat it. I should have explained that part better! Even still he was pretty excited to take it to school!

 Another fun thing they do at our School Carnival is the ring toss game.  They ask all of the school kids and local businesses who can, donate at jar full of Candy, etc.  Then with all of the jars, they do a ring toss game, if you get a ring around a jar, you get to keep it!

What fun things do you do at your fall carnival?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cream Cheese Swirled Pumpkin Bread #Myfavoritebloggers


I  love the fall!  It gets me in the mood for slow cook meals, reading books, and anything pumpkin.  This months 'My Favorite Blogger' theme is pumpkin!  I was excited to join these ladies, and share a great recipe.  I love pumpkin bread, but wanted to find a recipe with a little bit of a twist, this cream cheese swirled bread is FANTASTIC!  You probably have most of these ingredients in your pantry, and it is easy to make!



Cream Cheese Swirled Pumpkin Bread
Combine and set aside:
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon Vanilla

Sift Together:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Mix Well in separate bowl:
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups white sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease two 8x4 inch loaf pans.
In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, 1 egg and vanilla beat until smooth. Set aside.
Sift together 1 2/3 cup flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and pumpkin pie spice; set aside
Place pumpkin, vegetable oil, 2 eggs and 1 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl; beat well.
Stir the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture just until combined. Pour 1/2 of the pumpkin batter into the loaf pans. Spoon cream cheese mixture on top of this layer and then pour on the remaining batter.
Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool bread in pans for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
















 Seriously delicious!  Now look at what other pumpkin themed crafts and recipes were created this month!
Brought to you by #My Favorite Bloggers!
Kirsten from One Tough Mother, Adrianne from Happy Hour Projects, Marilyn from 4 You With Love, Sky from Capital B, Tara from Suburble, Bethany from Pitter and Glink, Melanie from It Happens in a Blink, Lauren from The Thinking Closet, Kara from Petals and Picots, Carlee from Ladybird Ln
ChiWei from 1 Dog Woof, Kadie from 7 Alive, Amy from One Artsy Mama, Sarah from Repeat Crafter Me and Nancy from Small Things with Love.
You can find all of the recipes in the Linky below!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Perspective

Dear readers,

(Our New Addition born June 2013!)
It has been a while.  Sitting in the hospital for six weeks gives you a long time to think.  I went from a busy mom, shuffling around three kids, trying to stay sane, to having all the time in the world... in a hospital bed. I sat in bed wondering and pondering on all sorts of different things, but I guess the number one thing I gained from that experience is perspective.

(My daughter won the big prize at our Summer Library Program!

I asked myself... why am I so busy (before hospital days of course), what am I doing that is causing me to be stressed, what am I stressed over now that will be important in five years... ten years.... twenty years.  And you know what the funny thing is, the answer was 99% of what I had been so stressed over and busy about were not of much significance down the road.  Do my kids have to be involved in everything?  Do I NEED to have two blog posts a week whether I do cool stuff or not? Does my house need to be pinterest worthy? Obviously these questions are a little ridiculous, but I did realize I was worried too much about the outside things in my life, and not concentrating enough on what matters most.


So this summer, I took a much needed break.... from others expectations... from this blog.... from being 'involved'... and you know what it was wonderful!  I read to my kids, played with them, acted silly, had picnics, watched a couple seasons of the Waltons, and just enjoyed being with my family! It truly was one of the best summers I have had!  I gave myself a break, and it was OK!



Now that most of my kids are back in school, I want to start this blog back again... on my terms. I don't know what that will be exactly, but I have been thinking about it a lot.  I will try to post weekly, but if I don't, just know I am a busy mom chasing around 4 kids!  I am also in the process of giving my blog a makeover, so if it looks a little funny the next couple weeks you know why!  I have missed my association with all of you good people, and am excited to return.  I hope you understand!

Sincerely, Carlee





Thursday, May 16, 2013

Weekend Show Off Party 5-16

Welcome to the Weekend!

Ladybird Ln
Just in case you are wondering I am now into week two at the hospital.  Baby and I are doing great, just trying to let the baby grow before his big debut!

Last week, there were so many fabulous post, here are three that caught my eye.

Almond-Joy-Bites 4ed willcookforsmiles.com
Will Cook for Smiles, made Almond Joy Bites, these look so delicious!

 
I also loved Fly Away Home's grab and go bag, I have not seen this before, but they would make a super nice baby shower gift, I might have to make one for myself!  Go check it out! I wonder how the hospital would feel about my sewing machine in my room, hmm.

Now what pregnant lady, or any woman, wouldn't love some chocolate covered potato chips, those look good! Head over to the Moody Fashionista to check it out!

Ice Cream BIrthday Party!





If you have been reading my blog for sometime, you will know I love birthday parties!  But I do set a few rules for myself because I want to enjoy the birthday party, and not be a slave to it.  
 

So my parties are usually simple, sweet, and hopefully really fun for my kids.  Honestly, I do not think they will mind too much if there attire does not match the party theme, or if the cupcake liners coordinate with the plates.  What my kids care about is that they have friends, balloons, and something yummy to eat!


So when my little princess was turning 4 gasp, I decided to invite a few friends, an their moms to the park for her birthday party, it lasted an hour and everyone seemed to have fun. The plus with having it at the park is that I did not to plan any games or activities, because they had a great time playing. We went with an Ice Cream theme, because little princess loves Ice Cream!  


 It was really cute to see what the kids put on there Ice Cream Sundae's.  I must say that the gummy bears ans sprinkles were the hottest items!

I did get a little fussy and make a banner!  I have it in our store if you are interested HERE!





 I love this, saying, you can also get this in our shop.  I really don't want this to sound like a commercial, sorry!


 This was my favorite creative endeavor.  For the treat bag, I used brown packing paper to make a cone, I stapled a ribbon to the cone, filled the cones with taffy, and put a bath fluff on top... What kid does not appreciate a bath fluff!  It was inexpensive, easy, and too cute to boot.  My plan was to hang them, but I could not get the fluff to stay on, so we improvised, no stress!


That is one happy princess!






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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Weekend Show Off Party, Happy Mother's Day!

So sorry, I missed last weeks party.

Ladybird Ln
I am still in the hospital just hanging out, and trying to let this baby mature as much as it can in my belly.  I was thinking, I will get caught up on my blog, it has not happened yet, but hopefully next week I can get a couple posts in. And I am still waiting for one of you talented ladies to give me a tutorial on making hospital food edible!  You can catch up with what is going on HERE.


Since I unfortunately do not have any features  I will give you a sneak peak on some posts I am working on.

 My Daughters fun Ice Cream Birthday Party!

Do you need a fun gift for the teachers in your life?
Consider this fun personalized owl teacher keepsake.  The owls are so darling.


This is a new grey and yellow version I created this week, that I am kind of in love with! You can find that HERE!

I hope you are all having a fabulous week! 
Happy Mother's Day to all of you wonderful mothers!
I can't wait to see what you have been working on, and I hope you take the weekend off from everything!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Life Changes in an instant and a $40 Target giveaway....


Hello Friends,
Sorry I have neglected the blog last week... the one thing I know for sure is you never know what life is going to hand you.

As most of you know, I am pregnant, and am due July 5th.  Well last Tuesday I started bleeding pretty heavily, so my husband rushed me to the hospital I go to a little over an hour away.  This is my fourth baby, and also will be my fourth C-Section.  We found out that I have Placenta Previa. Things have calmed down for now, both baby and I are fine, and luckily I am still pregnant. I will be in the hospital for the next several weeks, letting the baby get as big and healthy as he can.  While it is definitely a mental challenge, I know I can get through it.  I have the best friends and family anyone could ask for who are helping me so much with my kids at home.

So can anyone suggest any good books, movies, tutorials on how to get yummy hospital food? 

Speaking of Life changing in an instant, my friend Melanie, is launching her new blog It Happens in a {BLINK}. Melanie is a busy lady who just had triplet boys, can you imagine?  Her blog is a lot of fun and I know you will enjoy it!
  Help us celebrate the launch of {It Happens} In a Blink! Melanie of Bear Rabbit Bear Crafts has re-launched her blog, and we are joining in congratulating her!
Enter for your chance to win a $40 Target gift card!
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