Friday, June 29, 2012

Feature Friday- The Crafty Woman

I absolutely LOVE my Kitchenaid.  I don't know what I would do without it.  The problem is that they are SO expensive!  But, every once in a while you can find them for real cheap at Goodwill or at Yard Sales.  They are usually really ugly though.  The Crafty Woman shows a way how to update your Kitchenaid for SUPER cheap.  I thought it was a great idea! 
You can check it out HERE!
If you have not been over to The Crafty Woman, you definitely need to!  She has SO many budget friendly and great ideas!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Spinach Dip

A few weeks ago, Brittany and I were at Wal-Mart together and saw a recipe for Spinach Dip on a Knorr Vegetable recipe mix.  We knew that we had to try it.  And it was amazing!  We served it at a little party and people kept saying that it was the best Spinach Dip that they have ever tried!  So here is the recipe and you will not be disappointed!

 Spinach Dip

1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, cooked, cooled and squeezed dry
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
 1 cup Mayonnaise
1 package Knorr Vegetable recipe mix
1 can (8 ounces) water chestnuts, drained and chopped (optional)
3 green onions, chopped (optional)

Combine all ingredients and chill for about 2 hours.  Serve.
Makes about 4 cups of dip.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Giveaway {Sweet Servings}

*****This Giveaway is now CLOSED!*****

Oh, do we have a special treat for you today!  Cindy from Sweet Servings  is giving away  to one of our readers a dozen chocolate dipped sprinkled pretzels!

First, let's learn a little more about Cindy...

She is the owner of Sweet Servings and My Dream Party.  She has been designing beautiful and amazing parties since 1999.  With a custom design and theme, how can anyone go wrong?  She can make your party one that everyone will remember.  She is known for paying attention to details and creates beautiful masterpieces!

She will host a Candy Apple Party for you...

How about a S'More Station? Take a look at that presentation!

And she also does the chocolate covered pretzels.

And beautiful designed Oreos.
 Designed Oreo Cookies
Is your mouth watering yet?  I know mine is!  Take a minute to enter the giveaway and you could have some yummy pretzels mailed right to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open only to the US due to shipping.  Thanks! 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Bear Reunion

We have been missing in action for a few days.  We all have been having so much fun at the Bear Reunion.  Our Mom's maiden name is Bear.  Isn't that such a fun name!  Grandma and Grandpa Bear host the reunion every year in June and we all look forward to it!

We drove to their cabin in Lakeside, AZ.  The weather was perfect and the company was even better.  The kids spent most of the time on the lake.  The cabin is on a small peninsula on Rainbow Lake.  Grandpa Bear made a small beach near the dock.  We also had fun playing beach volleyball, softball, participating in Ping Pong tournaments and eating lots of yummy food.

The Reed Family at the Bear Reunion

We put together a small orchestra to play for our Sunday Meeting.  It was so much fun!  We had adults and children playing.  Our mom was the conductor.  We had 13 people playing: 2 cellos, 3 violas and 8 violins.  It was really a neat experience!  We played Love One Another arranged by Larry Beebe.  

One big announcement:  Brittany announced the she is pregnant!  She is 20 weeks along!  So now we have Brooke expecting in August and Brittany in November.

Stayed tuned this summer for some fun recipes, crafts and giveaways...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I Love FREE!

A few weeks ago on my way home from picking up my boys from school, I noticed this cute bench and a matching chair on the side of the road a few houses down from mine.  I think that I almost came to a screeching stop and put my van into reverse.  Now this was probably quite the site to see because I drive a 15 passenger van!  

Anyway, there was a man outside and they were in the process of moving.  I asked if he was getting rid of the benches and he said that he was going to take them to the dump if no one wanted them!  I quickly said that I would take them.  He kindly helped me load them into the van and we were off.  The benches need a little attention.  There are a few loose boards and it needs a new coat of paint, but I'm so excited!  Wouldn't they look so cute outside with a few pillows?  Now for the big question...

Should I keep them white, or paint them a fun color?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Popsicle Shirt

Last week we were given a challenge by the Wayward Girls' Crafts.  They give us one word and see what we come up with.  The word they gave us was: Popsicle.    They also did a spotlight on their blog that you can go and check out here.  

So I thought and thought about what kind of craft I could make that went along with the theme.  We made all kinds of pudding pops.  My husband's favorite was banana.  My daughter loved the chocolate.  And my boys loved the vanilla.  But I didn't want to go with the traditional "popsicle".  So I decided to make a shirt.

I didn't have time to go to the store to pick up a shirt and taking all my kids with me didn't sound like a fun trip, so I decided to sew one.  I picked up some grey jersey fabric on clearance months ago.  I knew that it would come in handy one day...and this was that day!

I took one of my daughter's shirts that fit her good and used it as a pattern.

I cut out a front (the one on the right) and a back (the one on the left.
This fabric is nice because it won't fray, which means that I didn't have to hem the edges.  I just sewed along the sides of the shirt and the shoulders.  I added a ruffled strips for sleeves. The neckline and bottom of the shirt are raw.  You can hem them if you so desire.  (This fabric can be challenging to sew, so just take it slow and you will do fine.)

Once I sewed the shirt, I made sure that it fit and then moved onto the fun stuff!

I had a sheet of hot pink with white polka dots iron on transfer material.  I cut out a popsicle shape, but before I ironed it on, I used a brown ribbon for the popsicle stick.  I sewed the ribbon on and then ironed on the popsicle part.  After it was cool, I sewed around the popsicle part.  (You don't have to sew the iron on transfer, but I liked the way it looks with stitching around it.)

I used my Silhouette to cut out the "So Sweet" part.  I found the saying in the Silhouette store.  I had dark pink heat transfer material that I used for the words. ** Make sure you mirror the image you want to have cut.  Before you iron it onto the shirt, put a thin piece of fabric over the part you are ironing. **

My daughter absolutely loves her Popsicle shirt and I love the price!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Homemade Citrus Bliss Ice Cream

My mom makes the BEST Homemade Ice Cream! Here is one of the freshest recipes perfect for the Summer! I was lucky to take a picture of it before it was all gobbled up!


4 Oranges (juiced)
2 Lemons (juiced)
1 Orange Rind Grated
4 C Sugar 
2 Qts Milk

Pour all the ingredients in the ice cream container. 
Freeze upon the directions of the machine, when it starts to slow down from being frozen, add 1 pint Whipping Cream. Continue to freeze until desired frozen consistency. 

Notes: My mom makes Ice Cream several times a year for our local  Schnepf Farms  Festivals like chocolate chip, peach, strawberry, and pumpkin. We also make ice cream through out the year for family get-togethers with our fresh goat and cow milk. With these raw milks you do not have to add whipping cream. Also, for this particular recipe you do not have to use the listed citrus. You can use Tangerines, Grapefruits, Tangelos, Limes, or any other fresh citrus. Feel free to mix it up and create your lovely desert.
If you do not have Whipping Cream on hand, compensate with extra milk. There are many different sizes of ice cream makers. For this particular recipe you will need an ice cream maker 3 quart or larger.

Please take a moment to vote for us on Picket Fence! It only takes one click!  Thanks!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Father's Day

I know that I should have posted this yesterday, but it just didn't happen.  So here is it today...

Happy Father's Day

Dad and Mom

We all have an amazing father!  He is so giving.  He is the kind of person that would give you the shirt off his back if he knew that you needed one. 

He is such a hard worker.  Dad is a Blacksmith.  You don't see very many Blacksmiths now a days.  But he is one of them.  He uses the anvil and forge and makes beautiful items out of iron.  If you can dream it up, he will create it.  It's absolutely amazing!  He can even make roses and irises out of metal!  

One of the roses that he has made.

I remember as a little girl watching Dad draw things.  I don't know how often he does it now, but I would be so amazed by how he could just draw things.  I would get a paper and pencil and try to sketch things the way he did, hoping that someday I could do it like he did.

He is a Jack of all Trades.  He has done so many things!  As a child, I just knew my Dad could do it all, and as an adult, I think the same thing! He used to build cabinets, own a Carpet Cleaning business (that I just knew that I would take over one day!), was a Police Officer, a Rancher, sold Real Estate, had a Pop Machine business, and of course, the Blacksmith!

I remember that I used to love going to the Horse Auction with him.  I would sit in the stand and admire all of the horses that they would bring through.  Hoping that I could take one, or two, or more home with me.  In fact, there was one time that I started bidding on a horse and Dad didn't know until the auctioneer started pointed his way repeatedly.  Luckily for Dad, someone else was the highest bidder.

One of our fondest memories is the Gummi Worms.  My sisters will know exactly what I am talking about.  We had a little section of field that just got tilled up and had big dirt clods.  He bought a package of gummi worms and hid worms under all these dirt clods.  Then he ran inside and told us that he found something outside!  We were so excited to hunt for all the Gummi Worms!

A long time ago...

One year for Christmas, Dad searched high and low and bought everyone violins for Christmas.  This was in the days before internet, so it was a lot more challenging to locate the instruments.  Two of us older girls already played, but the rest of the five kids didn't.  That Christmas vacation, we taught the rest of the kids one song and went and performed it at a Old Time Fiddle Jam in Arizona.  People couldn't believe their eyes when they saw seven children ages 14 to 2 walk in holding fiddles.  We may not have played the best, but it sure was fun and it was the start of the Reed Family Fiddlers! We later included drums, more guitars, a bass, mandolin and singing.  We have played all over the state of Arizona and into various other states!

This was years ago...

His faith is so important to him.  We were raised members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, otherwise known as Mormons.  I have loved how I could always rely on his testimony.  And I knew that everyday he prayed for me and still does.  He faithfully went to Church every Sunday, even if it was in his Police uniform!

We also spent time working at the Ranch.  It was fun to round up the cattle and to brand the calves.  It was hard exhausting work, but we all have so many great memories of it!  And we can't forget milking the cow every morning and night...

Brooke milking the cow

One thing Dad wanted us to learn before we got our Drivers License was to learn how to drive a standard transmission, change a tire and change the oil.  Not very many young girls, or even boys, know how to do that kind of stuff!  I'm so glad that he taught us how to do that!  The truck that we drove was a 1950 one ton Chevy flatbed dually.  We sure got a lot of looks, but it was fun to drive!  It even had the starter on the floor!  And with no A/C, it sure got hot in the Arizona summers!  Now people get their pictures taken in front of that old truck!  It's funny walking inside someone's house and seeing the truck I drove to high school with their family surrounding it!

We all love our Dad very much!  And we are glad for the way we were raised!

Friday, June 15, 2012

We were featured!

We are really excited!  Today we are being featured at two different blogs!  The first one is The Fontenot Four Blog.  We are a new sponsor for the Fontenot Four Blog, so she is introducing us to her readers.
The second one is Someday Crafts. 
Someday crafts is featuring our Cinder Block Bench!

Both of these blogs are amazing!  Head over there and check them out!  
Thank you for featuring us today!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Practice Schedule

I have to be really organized with my time, but who doesn't? Women are very busy all of the time!  For those of you who are just tuning in, I have seven kids.  I had five boys first and then two girls at the end.  

I give Piano Lessons to all of my boys, ages 12 to 6.  And I give violin and viola lessons to three of the boys as well.  (I take one of my boys somewhere for Cello lessons.) Plus I have other students as well that I teach Piano to.  As you can imagine, I have to keep track of lessons and practicing and make sure that no one gets missed.  

My boys would get so tired of me asking if they did their practicing or if they need a lesson.  So this is how I keep track...

There may be easier ways to do this, but this is what works for me.  I picked this magnetic note pad up at Hobby Lobby.  I keep it on the refrigerator for all to see.  (It's a reminder if they did their practicing or not.)  I write down every name and the instrument that they have to practice on.  And I also include what day they have lessons on.  Once they are done with lessons or practicing, then they get checked off for that day.  And I don't have to ask them 20 times if they did their practicing.  :)

I also use this to make sure every boy gets the lessons that need.  And I include any additional lessons that I give, plus any extra activities.  I used to write this all of my calendar, but not anymore because I have too many names to include. 

I love seeing all their names checked off at the end of the day.  And I especially love seeing everything checked off at the beginning of the day!  There is never a quiet moment at our house...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sunshine Award!

We recently got nominated for the Sunshine Award be Create.Craft.Love.  Thank you SO much!  If you have never been over to Jill's blog, you definitely need to head over there and give it a visit.  She is full of adorable ideas and her blog is SUPER cute!  We LOVE her!  
Thank you Jill for nominating us!

Now the details...

The Sunshine Award is given by bloggers to bloggers.  The recipients of the Sunshine Award are "Bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere."

The way the award works is this:
Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them.
Answer 10 questions about yourself.  
Select 10 of your favorite bloggers, link their blogs to your post and let them know they've been awarded the Sunshine Award!
Don't forget to copy and paste the award on your blog!

10 Questions:

Favorite Color?
Briana- Red
Brittany- Green
Bridget- Turquoise, I love natural colors.
Brooke- Pink, I just think it is really pretty!

 Favorite Animal?
Briana- Rabbits, I used to raise them when I was a kid to earn money.
Brittany- Horse, I would rather ride than walk.
Bridget- Dog, they don't talk back and they are always happy to see you.
Brooke- Baby Bunnies, they are so soft and cuddly!

 Favorite Number?
Briana- 16, that's when I got my driver's license.
Brittany- 7, that is how many is in my family.
Bridget- 19, that is the day I had my first child.
Brooke- 13, that is the day I was born.  It is lucky to me!

 Favorite Drink?
Briana- Water, it's my "go-to" drink!
Brittany- A&W Root Beer, the best root beer EVER.
Bridget- Cherry Limeade, It is so refreshing in the Arizona summer.
Brooke- Pero, I love getting a hot glass of pero and reading on the porch before my children get up!

Facebook or Twitter?
Briana- Facebook, I don't know much about Twitter yet.
Brittany- Neither, it is a big waste of time.
Bridget- Facebook, Twitter is dumb.
Brooke- Facebook, I am not familiar enough with Twitter.

Good Book or a Good Movie?
Briana- Depends on my mood...
Brittany- Good Movie, so I can fall asleep.
Bridget- Good Movie, I am a movieaholic.
Brooke-  Good Movie, with my two toddlers at home, I really don't have the time or patience to read a good book.

 My Passion?
Briana- Music, I love teaching and listening to my children practice.
Brittany- Eating, I LOVE food!
Bridget- Gardening, especially flowers.
Brooke- Fiddling, I absolutely love entertaining people and making them happy through music.  You get to see all sorts of emotions from dancing to crying.

Giving or Getting Presents?
Briana- Giving, I love watching the surprise on their faces when they open them!
Brittany- Giving
Bridget- Giving, I am not very good on the receiving end.  I like finding creative presents!
Brooke- Giving, especially to my two children.  I LOVE seeing the excitement on their faces!

 Favorite Day?

Briana- Whatever day my husband has off, it's different every week.
Brittany-  Fridays because it is the start of the weekend.
Bridget- Saturday, I get to go yard selling and spend time with my family.
Brooke- I absolutely LOVE Sundays.  We get to go to church to be uplifted and it is the only day where my husband is home!

 Favorite Flowers?
Briana- I love all flowers!
Brittany- Sweet Peas, they just smell SO good and they are pretty.
Bridget- Sunflower or Daffodil- one comes in the spring and one in summer.
Brooke- Any kid that my husband will give me, when he actually does! :)

Congratulations everyone!  I am looking forward to getting to know you all a little better!
Thank you again Jill for nominating us!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cinder Block Bench

After finishing our Cinder Block Sandbox I still had TONS of cinder blocks left over.  I wanted to make something that was usable, so I decided to make a Cinder Block Bench for our back porch.  It was super easy and super cheap (since I already had all of the Cinder Blocks).
I stacked the cinder blocks where I wanted them.  I used 1 1/2 x 5 cinder blocks to make the base.
I wanted some cushion for the seat.  So I went to JoAnn's and picked up some 2 inch foam and I picked up some vinyl at Hobby Lobby.  I used the same vinyl that I redid my Step Stool Chairs in. I also used some old plywood that we had around the house.
To make the cushion you first cute the plywood down to the size you want.  You then put the Foam on top and the Vinyl on top of the foam.  Then you just staple everything to the plywood.
I did the corners last just to make sure they looked the same and looked neat.
 The cushion fits perfectly on the cinder blocks.  For the cushions I made covers for 2 king size pillows and several 17x17 accent pillows.  You can find the tutorial for the pillows HERE.
I really liked how the bench turned out.  It is actually really comfortable and is really nice not have those cinder blocks stacked up where my kids can get hurt!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Real Life - Scriptures

Every day I try my best to read my Scriptures, I'm not perfect by any means, but I try my best.  A few months ago, I accepted a challenge to read the Book of Mormon in 40 days.  This meant that I had to read about 30 minutes everyday.  I did this challenge while my boys were in school.  So I decided that I would read after they left for the day (when it was quiet) which means that I have my two little girls with me that are ages 1 and 3.  If my one year old was awake, I would give her a bottle and hold her while I read.  

I started noticing that my 3 year old would sit on the other couch quietly and pick up the smallest Book of Mormon that she could find and start to "read".  She always would make sure that she had a baby on her lap as well.  

I started thinking about this and just had to smile because that is probably exactly what I look like to her: a quiet baby in my lap while I read from my scriptures.  

Isn't the influence of a Mother so important to children?  Our children are watching us every minute of everyday and they take what they see and it becomes a part of who they are.  What a tremendous responsibility!  It is a bit over whelming, scary, exciting and such an honor!  Wow!  Words can't even describe the role of a Mother!

I am inspired by so many wonderful women.  Whether I see you on the street, at school, shopping, in church, family, friends and even through blogging.  Whether you have little children, teenaged children, grown children, or no children at all.  You all have so many wonderful qualities and are truly examples to those you meet.  I wanted to thank you all for the examples that you have set.  You are truly inspiring!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday Feature: Wayward Girls Crafts

We absolutely love this next blog that we are featuring today!  They are a group of sisters, along with their Mom and they are the creativity behind Wayward Girls' Crafts.  You know how much we love blogs that sisters create!

Here is a beautiful party they helped create.  There were individual smash cakes for each child.  How fun is that!

And don't these Peanut Butter Oreo Truffles look amazing?
I love peanut butter, Oreos and Chocolate...Mmmm!

Here is their Wayward Craft Philosophy:

"Being Wayward originally started with an answering machine greeting, but we've realized what an integral part it is of our identities, especially as crafters.

While we like instructions, sketches and patterns, we don't always follow them . . . or even look for them. We see a glorious finished project in our minds and then we just go for it. We attack the problem as best we can, figuring we can figure it out.

Sometimes we take it on because we're cheap frugal. We see a gorgeous creation for $25 or $525 and think it's worth it to save our money. "I can't pay good money for that when I can make that," we say.

Sometimes we take it on because we want something custom. We can (hopefully) get the colors and style we choose. "I won't settle for almost what I want when I can make that," we say.

Sometimes we take it on because we just like to bite off more than we can chew. We like a challenge to help us grow and refine our skills. "I seriously hope I can make that," we say.

I do what I want! is one of our catchphrases—and we do. For the most part, we make it happen. Working by "Braille," we can get through even the most challenging crafts—though sometimes we do have to make the occasional call to our omniscient sources: Mom or Google. Our results are seldom perfect in our eyes, but we usually find a way to make it work."

So take a look at the Wayward Girls Crafts,  you will fall in love!  
And on a sidenote...I wish we were all neighbors!  :)  Wouldn't that be so much fun? A street full of sisters!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Grocery Bag Holder

We all have to go grocery shopping every once in a while, but what does one do with all those extra bags?  
Some people just throw them away, some people have cute ways to organize them and some people bring their own bags to the store.  

Well, I admit that I've thrown too many of these bags away and then we I need a bag, I don't have them.  Now, I won't have to worry about that any more!  I will always have these bags in stock and I have a super cute way to store them!

Does anyone recognize what this box is from?  It may look familiar...
It is a CapriSun box!  They have redone they way the package their juice boxes and they are perfect for storing bags!  With some cute paper and mod podge, you can turn this box into a trendy organizing tool!

What do you use to store your grocery bags?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

DIY- Easy Outdoor Pillows

I LOVE outdoor pillows!  They add a lot to any outdoor space.  The problem is that they are so expensive.  I decided to make my own Outdoor Pillow Slipcovers.  I am telling you- they are SO easy that you will go crazy making all sorts of outdoor pillows!
I used Outdoor Canvas that I bought at Joann's for the fabric.  Joann's actually has a pretty large selection of Outdoor Material.  When I saw this orange fabric, I couldn't resist it!  I did not want to spend a lot of money on these pillows, so I went to Goodwill and picked up some pillows that were in good shape.  
They were $1-2 a piece.  These pillows are all about 17in x 17in .
 I bought one yard of fabric- one yard made 3 pillow covers.  I cut the material at 18 in x 36 in.
You hem both of the 18 inch sides.
Next, I laid out the material so the sides are over laping about 1 inch and pinned it on both sides.  Make sure the right sides are together.
I then stitched up both of the sides and turned the material out.
Now, I stuffed the pillow in the cover.
You can leave the pillow just like this, but I wanted a little extra feature.  So I stitched on some wooden buttons that I won from a giveaway a while ago.
You are DONE!
These pillows cost me about $4 per pillow (the outdoor canvas is more expensive than regular material).
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