Wednesday, July 13, 2016



Close To My Heart

Wow! Time has gotten away from me here and it has been way too long since I have shared a post!  Today I am sharing REGATTA layouts.  This is such a fun water, beach, ocean, sea line.  I love the rich color combinations. Check out all the fun and adorable paper lines at CTMH! Kelly's CTMH Shopping Site

Saturday, March 26, 2016



There are so many wonderful ideas out there now on Pinterest and blog sites to help us find ways to keep the real meaning of Easter and other holidays in our gifts.  I used a free printable from this site Jelly Bean Prayer Printable and it worked great but there are also numerous links to free printables of this on Pinterest if you just do a search for "Jelly Bean Prayer".  I, as usual, used a Silhouette cut file for the Jelly Bean Bag wrapper.  I used the Megan Hardy file:  Jelly Bean Wrapper and used all different colors of Close To My Heart two sided Fundamentals Cardstock. I love this textured card stock as it has a shiny solid side and a smooth pattern side that you can mix and match. Sometimes I use a plastic film for windows in projects but this time I simply adhered a zip lock baggy of Jelly beans inside and tied the bag.  Super easy!  Happy Easter and let us all be reminded of all we have been given because of the ultimate sacrifice! Jesus is the reason for the season!


Thursday, March 24, 2016



I have used so many different lip balm characters for a variety of holidays and I never get tired of them!  One reason I love them so much is that they are fast, easy and still a cute home made gift that kids love.  These are easy to describe and find as they are all Lori Whitlock cut files from Silhouette. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016



I love making scrapbooking layouts but am not much for making cards!  I am not sure if it's a patience things or if I just simply don't have enough time.  I needed some thank you cards for a recent event so I called on my favorite Silhouette designer Lori Whitlock for some help making it quick and painless.  I chose her A2 Ornate Sliding Card and used my favorite Close To My Heart card stock and pattern papers.  Cardstock:  Juniper, Glacier, Honey and Flaxen.  Pattern Paper:  Georgie.  I love how the card slides in out and out of it's pocket and creates the title on the front of the card.  A special thank you for special people in my life!



EASTER TREAT BOX: Bunny Window Box


So many cute Easter crafts and so little time!  I love this little bunny window treat box and especially the little bunny "butt" on the back! So cute!  I used the Silhouette cutting file : Bunny Display Box by Nilmara Quintela.  I used Close To My Heart pattern papers:  Zoe (both sides) and Georgie.  I added Close To My Heart thick twine in poppy, glacier blue and pixie.  I added a little cotton to the bunny tails!  A special little box for "Somebunny" special!!


EASTER TREAT BOX: Hatching Chick


Sharing some cute little Easter treat boxes today of a sweet hatching chick.  I used a Sweet Afton Silhouette Cut file named:  Hatching Chick Box.  I used Close To My Heart cardstock :  honey, goldrush and white daisy.  I used Close To My Heart pattern paper:  Zoe.
Happy Easter...."eggspecially" for you!


Thursday, March 17, 2016

ST. PATRICKS DAY: Pot of Gold Window Treat Box


We love to celebrate St. Patrick's day with a traditional meal of corn beef brisket and cabbage!  I usually try to make some kind of little treat for St. Patrick's day and this year I decided little pots of gold would be fun using Rolo Chocolates in gold foil wrappers.  
I used the Silhouette cut file "Oval Window Treat Bag" by Lisa Norris at Pretty Paper Graphics.  I cut the oval decoration out of gold silhouette paper.  I added the "Lucky You" title off of the "Lucky You Mini Theme" silhouette cut file by Echo Park Paper also in gold silhouette paper and lastly I pirated the pot off of "Pot of gold and rainbow box" by Sweet Afton.  I just used the "pot" portion of her cut file.  For the "window" I used a piece of transparency film.

Don't forget the yummy part...the chocolates!

I added these rainbow licorice treat bags on this post as well as I used these for co-worker gifts this St. Patrick's day.  I have some awesome co-workers that I feel LUCKY to work with!  I needed something quick and easy because I was very short on time and I have made these rainbow treat bags before (see blog post for St. Patrick's Day treats) but this time I used a free printable for the bottom.  The free printable and other cute ones can be found at Thirtyhandmadedays along with other cute and FREE printables!
May your days be many and your troubles be few. May all God's blessings descend upon you. May peace be within you and may your heart be strong. May you find what your seeking wherever you roam.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

EASTER TREAT BAGS: You're My Favorite "PEEP"!

EASTER TREAT BAGS:  My Favorite Peep

Once again I fly my Lori Whitlock fan club banner when the holidays roll around!  I used her "Treat Bag Topper:  Easter" Silhouette Cut file to make these cute little Easter "tweet" bags for my favorite little "Peeps"!  I also used a cut file by Kolette Hall for the saying.  I used Silhouette pens for "You're my favorite" and then cut out the "peep" banner.   Enjoy!



Love this CTMH line of colorful paper!  It is perfect for Spring or Easter.  I had fun creating the layouts and in a few weeks we will be snapping lots of pictures to fill them up when we celebrate! Penelope is available in the current CTMH Seasonal Expressions catalog until April.  Happy Easter, Happy Spring, Happy, Happy Everything!

Sunday, March 6, 2016



Moist, yummy and healthy!

I have been away from the blog for a bit....due to real life.  After a month of essentially being away from home due to birth (Welcome our new Granddaughter) and death (The sad loss of my Mother) I am trying to find some sense of normalcy (Whatever that is???) by cooking and cleaning.  While away to my  Daughter's house helping for several weeks with the new baby and at my Father's farm with my family dealing with our loss, I found myself doing what I always do:  feeding those I love while eating unhealthily myself. I baked and cooked all kinds of things delicious but unhealthy in an attempt to show my love.  I always think, why do I do this?  Why is it so hard to cook and bake in a healthy way for others?  I convince myself that they NEED and DESIRE all of that fat and sugar to know I care.  Surely, our health and the health of others should mean so much more to us to preserve, especially in the circumstances of a death looming over us as a reminder to take care of ourselves.  No one I love NEEDS extra sugar and fat! They need to take care of themselves and be taken care of so they are around longer to enjoy and be enjoyed. Right?  Right!!  So today, I dug out a few of my tried and true "being healthy" recipes and made myself a vow to be better at being uncompromising.  Just because it's company...or family...or a special occasion (sad or happy) doesn't mean it can't be healthy!
The creamy buckwheat cereal combined with the nuts and coconut sugar give this recipe that yummy sweet crunch on top that we all love.


  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups coconut flour (or any flour blend you like)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup tapioca or coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup creamy buckwheat cereal
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  1. Make the bread: Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease two 9-in loaf pans. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat sugar, oil, yogurt, milk, eggs, banana, and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Gently fold flour mixture until batter is just combined. Scrape batter into prepared pans and set aside for a moment.
  3. Make the streusel: In a medium bowl, combine all streusel ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over two banana bread batters, gently pressing crumbs into batter to adhere.
  4. Bake banana bread at 350F 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool bread completely in pans on a wire cooling rack. I baked mine for less as I used larger pans instead of loaf pans.

CROCK POT CHICKEN MARSALA: Calorie Conscious Comfort Food


A sunny 70 degree day in early March is probably not the best day to post a "comfort food" recipe!  However, I put supper in the crock pot this morning before I realized what a beautiful, amazing day it was going to be!  While supper was cooking away, I spent the morning in the sun cleaning off our porch, mats and doing a little raking.  Usually at this time we are shoveling snow!  What I love about this recipe is that it is very easy, very basic clean ingredients but appears to be smothered in an unhealthy gravy...the secret's not!
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • sea salt and pepper to taste (I used about ½ teaspoon of each)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup organic fat free chicken broth
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup cornstarch ***I use 1 or so teaspoons Xanthan gum-see my notes about's not as crazy as it sounds!
  • fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  1. Lightly greasy your slow cooker with nonstick spray.  I use crock pot liner bags. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. Top chicken with garlic, mushrooms, and chicken broth.  Cover and cook for 5-6 hours on low.
  3. Use a slotted spoon to transfer chicken to a plate. Whisk together water and cornstarch or Xanthan gum til dissolved, then pour into slow cooker and stir.
  4. Add chicken back to slow cooker, switch heat to high, cover and cook another 20-30 minutes until sauce is thickened. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with parsley and serve over the rice of your choice. 
Let's talk about Xanthan gum!  When I first started learning about cooking and baking in a healthier, cleaner way I resisted!!  I did NOT want to cook with weird ingredients that I couldn't pronounce or couldn't find locally or easily.  I have learned that it's really NO BIG DEAL! It's just another item that you get used to using and it's a choice you make to be healthier.  Right on the label of Xanthan Gum it says that the name appears to come right out of a cheesy Sci Fi movie but Xanthan Gum is actually a widely used all natural thickening agent.  It is awesome because it takes only a little to go a long ways! It prevents oil separation and keeps solids like your spices suspended while making the sauces smooth and not adding anything "bad" to your dishes! It works great in sweet sauces like rhubarb or strawberry crunch, in baking and cooking.   So get over your fear of the Sci Fi name and just try it!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016



I love being a Speech Pathologist.  I love working in Early Childhood Education.  I love the Silhouette and crafting.  So why not combine all the loves of my life?  The Silhouette isn't just awesome for the crafty extras.  It is a great support in the classroom as well!  Tonight I am sharing an Early Childhood Lesson in "clothing".  I used the silhouette to create articles of clothing to use in a variety of vocabulary, turn taking, circle time and table top activities.
Create a "Clothesline" with articles of clothing you want the children to be able to identify and name.  Have them pick out articles of clothing from a hat or sock and use clothespins or paper clips to match and clip them to the same article of clothing on the clothesline.

For a table top activity, allow the children to "dress" their person in any attire they like.  You can discuss seasons, weather and occasions in which you might wear specific articles of clothing.  Let them draw the faces, mix and match the clothing, and put buttons of googly eyes on them. 

Adhere articles of clothing onto popsicle sticks.  Place them in a little "laundry basket".  Have the children take turns pulling an item out. They can name them, match them to each other, or sing clothing songs and insert the article of clothing they chose.  You can give each child a sock and play a game in which they have to find the child in the class that has their "match".

These are little sock name tags.  For early learners you can talk about names and how everyone has one and have them practice saying their first and last names.
This is the way we put on our.....
(To the tune of "Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush")
This is the way we put on our pants, put on our pants, put on pants
This is the way we put on pants
so we can go out and play!
(pretend to put on the article of clothing and move to the next article of clothing and so on!)
Kelly wore her pink pants:
Kelly wore her pink pants, pink pants, pink pants
Kelly wore her pink pants to Head Start today!
(substitute other children's names with other articles of clothing)


It is pretty clear with me that I LOVE all things paper and paper crafty.  Cakes and treats I have not mastered and if I am the master of these, I am called the master of disaster!  I admire those talented people out there that can decorate cupcakes and cakes and make all kinds of things look amazing and taste equally so! This is not me! That is why I LOVE the construction cake!  It is the mess that matters and the more crumbly and broken it looks the better!!
I had so much fun making the hat, party favors and cake for our Grandson's 5th birthday!  Of course the tags, gift box decorations, hat, construction zone signs are all Silhouette cut files. For a complete list of files and the creators, see the end of this post.  For anyone following me.....I love my Silhouette!  If you are even CONSIDERING getting one....GET IT! You will not regret how much easier it makes your life!
For the cake:  Make a cake of your choice and for height, I would make two of whatever cake (round, rectangular, square) you make.  I made two layers of round  cake and then cut it in half.  I stood one half on edge to make a hill and laid the other down sloping in front of it.  I used crushed Oreos, chocolate bits, malted milk balls for boulders, heath bits (for lighter sand or gravel)  and of course plastic construction equipment to decorate.  If you are short on time one could purchase a round layer cake from a local grocery store (GASP) and make this look just as awesome! It's all about making it a construction zone!
 Easiest party favors ever, fill your bags with boulders (malted milk balls), add a small piece of construction equipment and a tag!  TADA! 
Here is a list of Silhouette Cut files I used:
Snapdragon Snippets:  "3D Kids Hard Hat Party Hat", "3D Hazard Place Card and Tag", "Backhoe Birthday numbers", Tags 3 Large Construction Theme"
Daley Designs:  "Detour Ahead Sign", "Road Close Ahead Sign
Hero Arts:  Road


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