Thursday, June 30, 2011

Friday Favorites: 7-1-11

          Bridgeport Images
This photo of Bridgeport is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Well, we leave soon for 4 days in the Sierras and surrounding areas to celebrate the 4th of July with family and friends.  Call me crazy, but I am actually looking forward to the 7 hour drive up the 395 with the family.  We used to do this every year or so when I was growing up, and I have sweet memories of driving past miles of desert while looking up at the majestic row of Sierras on my left, all the while singing Kenny Rogers and John Denver in the car--I know, cheesy but fun.  I love all the ghost towns, mining history, and even the silence and sadness of Manzanar along the drive.  It is a California history lesson drive!  I think the boys will do great in the car.  Unlike when I was little, we now have DVD players, iphones and all kinds of entertainment gizmos to help along the way.  There will also be several games of the Alphabet Game, I-Spy and other car games, I'm sure.  We are hoping for some good naps from the boys too!

In typical Chiara fashion, I have decided I need to arrive bearing some gifts, so I am crafting a ton of 4th of July flowers and accesories today.  I also need to go to the grocery store, do laundry, pack, and run some other errands.  No problem!  Ha, ha.  I do it to myself.  I'll admit it.

Now, I have fun news!  A mentor in our church ministry is helping with the launch of a new maternity line.  It is gorgeous!  If you are pregnant or know someone pregnant, you have to check out these beautiful, modern and fun outfits.  It is called Jules Ford Maternity, and it just launched today.  If you know of a hip, trendy pregnant momma out there, go browse!
The Indy Maternity Dress
The Shane Maternity Dress
The Andie Maternity Dress

Have a wonderful 4th of July!  Here is a fun grouping of Friday Favorites to start your weekend off right!

Okay, this idea is so simple, but it adds so much UMPH to the final presentation--I love that!  She's {Kinda} Crafty gives us simple ice cream cone sleeves for the 4th of July!  Take the idea anywhere, though.  Get paper that works for a birthday theme, baby shower, or wedding.  SO fun!

I love a good scavanger hunt with the kids, and this one is perfect for my color learning 2 year old and adapts/scaffolds to shade differentiation for my 5 year old!  Get some fun paint sample cards and make a scavengar hunt game to find things in the different color shades.  You can take your camera phone or a camera and take pictures of your finds!  Sun Scholars brings us this fun idea. . . make sure to check out this blog for fun ideas with the kids this summer!

Impress Your Kids gives us a fun way to turn sidewalk chalk into PAINT!  All you need is the chalk and water.  It is so colorful, and what kid doesn't like to paint with a brush?  This would be hours of fun!
sidewalk chalk paint

Crazy Wonderful made a sunburst mirror that I love!  My friend, Amanda, forwarded this project to me, and I laughed at how well this would fit right into my house.  I have the same candlesticks and orchids at my home.  I love the modern sheen on the mirror mixed with the traditional decorating pieces.  It might be a bit time consuming, but this is a very affordable and beautiful project!

Bake at 350 fancied up her ice cream sundaes in special glasses.  My favorite touch is the cookie accent on the rim.  What a fun idea!

Two Peas and Their Pod made lemon-blueberry bars.  Enough said.  Summer fruits in a dessert are my absolute favorite, and I am always a fan of anything lemon.  YUM!

I'll take sugary over rich chocolate usually, but there is always a need for a decadent chocolate dessert recipe for parties.  My mother in law makes this exact recipe, but she uses Ghiradelli's brownie mix instead of the from scratch brownies.  The trifle is always SO good.  It is rich, so it feeds a lot of people.  Chef in training shared her version here.  She gives a homemade brownie recipe, which I am wanting to try sometime soon.  The Heath bar crunch gives this dessert great texture and taste! 

Southern Scraps made a darling tank.  She gussied it up with flowers and ribbon.  I need to do this.  I am in need of some new tops, and this would be so cost effective and fun! 

Of course, I'll end with a couple of fun party theme ideas.  Our Daily Obsessions highlighted a milk and cookies baby shower.  It is so simple and fun.  You could add lattes or coffee and milk mixtures to the menu if you wanted.  I love the cookie bar idea for the party.  Since the menu is so simple, you could really concentrate on the varieties of cookies and the presentation.  SO smart!

Beth Kruse threw a bubble themed party for her son's 2nd birthday.  It is so cute.  For older kids, you could throw in "pop" ideas too--like pop the bubble?!  Pop rocks, soda pop, bubble gum, pop tarts, etc.  That is a lot of sugar, but you get the idea.  Her party was PERFECT for these young toddlers, and they had a BLAST!  She had a bubble station, bubble paint art, bubble shaped melon ball skewers, and so many amazing details.

Have a great weekend, everyone!  Happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Women in the Word Wednesday: Almost a Christian: 6-28-11

          Almost a Christian - Part 4 06-24
I was going to share my testimony on today's post, but I don't have the time this week to give it the thought and care it should have.  I want to share it with you all soon!  However, I wanted to share some amazing sermons with you this week. 

Part of my testimony was realizing that I wasn't a Christian until I was 21, despite growing up in a Evangelical Christian home, attending church and youth group regularly, participating in AWANA, going on missions trips to build houses and teach the poor children Bible lessons in Spanish, singing on stage at church, and being a relatively "good"/straight A, upstanding kid. 

A lot of us who grow up in Christian homes and are people pleasers/good kids, don't see huge flashing signs of not being saved.  It is difficult to understand our sin and need for a Savior when others tell us we are saved (usually because we said a prayer of acceptance at age 3-5--which isn't Biblical, by the way--more on that later), we see evidence of doing the "right thing" at school and at home, and we know all the Biblical answers.

However, it takes repentance and understanding of our wretchedness before a holy God to understand the right gospel.  We also need to fully submit and give our lives to God, while trusting Christ's work on the cross paid for our sin completely.  We should be living for Him, not ourselves.  For me, it took a liberal college, sinful habits and some time for God to reveal Christ wasn't really my Savior. 

Just believing God is full of love and grace is only part of the picture.  We also need to understand His holiness, our sin, and our eternal judgement.  Then, we can appreciate the love and grace of the cross. 

If you grew up in a Christian home, but you find patterns of ongoing sin, hardness of heart to wanting to change sinful habits, or just no desire to have a flourishing relationship with Christ each day, listen to these sermons below. Even if you don't notice these issues, listen to these sermons, as they are life changing!  They will help you in future discussions with others.

They are called, Almost a Christian, and my pastor does a great job of illustrating how even a churched non-Christian can have conviction and moments where God works in their lives.  He calls churched non-Christians "daters of Christ" (no full commitment) and Christians "married to Christ."  This is a great analogy for any of you gals out there who, like me, might have had a guy or two dating you in your 20's but who wouldn't fully submit to the idea of marriage and had some commitment issues.  We know there is a BIG difference!

Anyway, the listen is free, and you can listen while you type or work or do chores.  Whatever you do, take a listen! 

Pastor Mike Fabarez, Compass Bible Church in Aliso Viejo, California.  You can listen to most of his sermons on Focal Point Radio Ministry.

Almost a Christian, Parts 1-4 (You can see the whole list, while each is a separate link on this page).
Amost a Christian Part 1:  Watching Out for the Pacifying Benefits of Dating Christ
Almost a Christian Part 2:  Taking a Closer Look at Spiritual Defection
Almost a Christian Part 3: Examining the difference that really matters
Almost a Christian Part 4:  Making Absolutely Sure we Don't Miss it

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hip, Hip Hooray for Hamburgers

                            Hamburger Clip Art
I always thought it would be interesting to fly around the county and see the different takes on hamburgers in different states.  There is definitely a California slant on hamburgers where I live--lots of avocado, and turkey and veggie burgers are everywhere you go.  I have my favorites though.  Inspired by the Pioneer Woman's Favorite Hamburger post, I thought sharing different hamburger recipes would be a fun summer post.  Warning:  This post is not diet sensitive.  There are many high calorie and high fat items being discussed.  Alright, continue reading.  You've been warned.

The Ryan Burger
Unlike me, my husband hates condiments, so his favorite hamburger that I make is a flavor filled patty, so you don't add much to the hamburger after it is done.  I mix one and a half pounds of meat with grated parmesan cheese, dashes of worschestire sauce, and Lawry's Seasoning Salt to taste.  After forming patties, I top each burger with Muenster cheese (hubby likes MELLOW cheese) and a toasted bun.  I love the condiments, but I like very little to no lettuce and tomato on my burger.  I want to taste the MEAT!  I don't mind a bunch of avocado on top, though.  Everything is better with avocado.

Teriyaki Burger
Teriyaki burgers are yummy.  One of my favorites is at The Habit.  I tasted my first teriyaki burger at The Habit in Santa Barbara.  Deliciousness. 
Mix your hamburger meat with teriyaki sauce and some dashes of cracked pepper.  Form the meat into patties.  While grilling, at the end, top the patties with swiss cheese and onion straws or rings.  Have fun with this and add a ring of pineapple on top of the burger.  If you are like me, a couple slices of bacon sound good right about now too . . .

BBQ Burger
Barbeque burgers are scrumptious.  I don't just mean grilled burgers when I say bbq.  I mean barbeque like a western cheeseburger.  Salt and pepper your meat, and I would add a dash of BBQ sauce to the meat before forming patties.  Top with your favorite slices of cheese while finishing the grilling process.  This hamburger needs to be on a toasted bun with lots of ooey gooey bbq sauce, an unhealthy amount of bacon, and crispy onion rings.  Yum.  P.S.  Don't ever look at the calorie/fat content of a Western Bacon Cheeseburger.  You will spit it out in amazement.

Here are some other hamburger variations/recipes thanks to  Enjoy the delicious inspiration!

Goya submitted a chipotle cheeseburger with kick.  I love spice, especially on the bbq, so this looks like a good variation.
Chipotle Cheeseburger Recipe

Chris's Bay Area burgers submitted by Gavin look fresh and delicious.  The key ingredient in these burgers is basil--yum!  Reviewers liked less salt than the recipe lists, but the results were really favorable. . .
Chris' Bay Area Burger Recipe

Quiksmyle gave us a Blue Cheeseburger that got RAVE reviews.  One cook added bacon to the burger too, which sounded good to me!  Bacon not only tastes great, but it would help make the burgers moist.  A lot of cooks said they also added even more blue cheese than the recipe says.  Yummo!
Blue Cheese Burgers Recipe

Here is another spicy recipe.  These burgers are stuffed with jalapenos and cream cheese.  Again, the reviews are favorable and this had me drooling.  This Jalapeno and Cream Cheeseburger was submitted by Noelle C.
Cream Cheese Jalapeno Hamburgers Recipe

Finally, we end with a Gyro Burger.  This lamb and beef mixture brings back memories of our trip to Athens and Santorini.  Chef Kenneth gives us this wonderful twist on the burger.  One reviewer added Feta cheese, which would really make this taste Greek!
Gyros Burgers Recipe

Happy grilling!

Top photo clipart found on, cc courtesy of OCal.

I linked this post to:
The Girl Creative

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Friday Favorites: 6-24-11

Summer is upon us!  No doubt you are taking a plane or car ride somewhere this summer, and, if you have kids, that is always an event for which to plan.  Having plenty of snacks, activities, gear and stretching breaks are key for a successful trip from A to B. 

Crystal and Co. did some research and found 8 great phone apps for your summer with the kids.  You can read about the apps and see the prices for each here.  Are there any other apps that you love for your kids during those road trips, waits in the doctor's office or airplane rides?  Leave a comment--I'd love to hear what you use!

A lot of today's favorites have to do with the Fourth of July!  Yay!  I love this holiday. Summer is still young, the weather is hot enough for swimming, ice cream and watermelon, and kids absolutely love it.  Plus, it is the celebration of the beginning of our nation!  Praise God for the freedom we enjoy and all those who have fought to protect that freedom for us!

The Bakery Spot shared this beautiful Fourth of July bundt cake.  I love the colors!  How fun would it be to show up at a Fourth of July party with this dessert?
firecracker cake

Tatertots and Jello made an absolutely darling wreath for the Fourth of July.  I love the rocket and the bright colored Red Hots.  This is pure fun!
red hot and blue wreath fourth of july wreath
Green Acres Hobby Farm made patiotic jello snacks.  Jello is a must serve at any party where you find kids.  These are fabulous.

Our House of Joyful Noise made darling American themed pinwheels.  Pinwheels are fun for decor, centerpieces, favors, or just plain fun for the kids at the party.
370b79b22cab183c4dd173eb5e60f7fe American Pinwheels   Summer 2011

Love from the Oven made "ice cream" looking cupcakes with red, white and blue decor.  If you want the look of ice cream without the melting mess, these are perfect!

Come Together Kids shared a fun way to make glow in the dark drinks for the kiddos on the Fourth of July.  These would make my sons' night!  We are for sure going to do this--check it out!

What defines a Fourth of July picnic more than watermelon?  Cupcakes Take the Cake shared the cutest cake pops that look like watermelon from Natalie's Cakepops.  I love this!

The Decorated Cookie made darling watermelon cookies, along with a tutorial to make these at home.  What a sweet idea!

French Knots gives a perfect trick for finding a sweet, juicy watermelon.  I had never heard about this trick, so I loved this tip!

Have a great weekend, everyone!  Have fun getting ready for your Fourth of July party!  You have some great ideas to get you started!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Women in the Word Wednesdays: Mom Words: 6-22-11

          Words. by ninasaurusrex
I saw the pattern when I was teaching.  The kids would walk into the classroom in the morning, and I'd have tons of patience and energy.  My instructions would sound like this:  "Boys and girls, have a seat."  "Johnny, your homework folder is supposed to be out on your desk.  Please get it out."  "Yes, Susie, you can sharpen your pencil, but try not to break it again." (for the 10th time in an hour).  "Charlie, when you sneeze, you need to cover your mouth.  Now Mrs. H needs to go wash her hands" (and face and clothes). 

By the end of the day, my instructions sounded more like this (raise voice volume by about 3X the previous volume):  "Boys and girls, SIT DOWN!  We now have 2 minutes off of recess.  Get your act together!"  "Johnny, I have given this direction about 3 times now.  Why in the world are you still doing math?  Look around you at the boys and girls who were listening and see what you should be doing." (sarcasm slightly dripping off this last speech).  "Susie, I don't understand why no other person in the class has to sharpen their pencil 5 times during writing.  SIT DOWN!  If you can't figure it out without getting up again to sharpen your pencil then you can do it for homework."  "Charlie, you are 8 years old.  You should know that you don't rub snot on your hand or arm and then touch everything.  Go get a Kleenex and then wash your hands.  None of us want to catch your cold." 

Sigh.  Now that I'm a mom, I notice this pattern at home.  In the morning my boys meet patient, quiet mom who disciplines with firmness but gentleness.  By 4:00, (really right before naps around 1:00), I turn into grumplestilkskin mom (we call my son grumplestilkskin to get a smile from him when he is grumpy and in a bad mood) and sin with impatience, anger and sarcasm in my words.

Am I alone in this?  I doubt it.  The Bible tells us that if we can control our tongue, we can control our whole body!  "For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body." James 3:2  God recognizes this is a hard area of obedience.

Controlling our speech is difficult, but God STILL asks us to be righteous in what we say.  If He is Lord of our lives, we are representing Him to others, and yucky words can ruin His reputation.  We cannot reach this righteousness on our own.  However, we have the Holy Spirit to sanctify us in this area.  We will become more and more grieved at our sin in this area--not hardening our hearts to the conviction we feel when we are rude or hurt others.  We will REPENT of our sinful words and ask for forgiveness from those we have hurt and especially from God.  We will pursue wisdom in this are from God's Word and seek help in prayer. 

God tells us a clear guideline for talking.  Ephesians 4:29 says, "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."  Hmmmm.  There isn't any gray area here.  If you are not encouraging or building up someone, giving grace to the person(s) hearing your words, then you are sinning in your speech.  We are not to slander, gossip, complain, gripe, swear, whine, lash out in anger, repay hurt with words in order to get justice, belittle, etc. 

I'm thinking--when will I speak?  Speaking less is a good thing if I can't control my tongue!  Ecclesiastes 5:2 says, "Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few."  However, God still wants encouraging words to come from our mouths.  Pray for the person who hurts you.  Leave it there--don't complain and share the situation with everyone.  Tell the person who does a good job or who shows obedience to God that you see God growing them to His glory!  Confess your discontent heart to God and ask for Him to teach you patience and trust in all circumstances. Admonish in love and encourage in love--with a godly filter.

You get the picture.  Let's work on this together!  Find a friend who can hold you accountable and ask you how you did each day.  If possible, find a friend who struggles LESS than you in this area.  It is easy to excuse one another if you both are failing to live up to God's commands in this area.  I'll be praying for you all and, of course, for my own growth in this area!

Photo credit: cc license: ninasaurusrex on Flickr, 2008

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Crabs and Cookies

I have only eaten a true "crack the shell" crab once in my life.  I was so bad at it and messy that the restaurant owner finally came over to put me out of my misery and shell the crab for me.  Sigh.  I do enjoy eating crab dipped in butter, though, and I am always a fan of crab cakes too.  Crab cookies, though?  Hmmm.

My son thought I was indeed going to take crabmeat and make a cookie when I announced we were making "crab cookies" last night.  He was happy to find out that, instead, I meant I was making sugar cookies and decorating them to look like crabs.

I made sugar cookies from scratch, using this easy recipe from Allrecipes:

As soon as the cookies came out of the oven, I stuffed licorice legs into the warm, pliable dough.

Once they were cool, I frosted them using this recipe from Allrecipes:  (I used about 12 drops of red food coloring and only 1 TEASPOON of vanilla)

I used mini chocolate chips for eyes and brown sugar for the sand.  These are the kind of crab cookies that I like to eat! 

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Blogging Autobiography

A lot of you, including my face to face friends, wonder how I got started with blogging.  I honestly can't remember the very beginning.  I think I had a friend start a blog, I loved it, and I wanted to blog too. I enjoy writing, and I was a new stay at home mom--needing a little intellectual stimulation. 

So, in 2007, I started a family blog, but like many of you, I found that I neglected it and people didn't visit it like before because Facebook started gaining popularity in 2009.  Everyone was spending hours on Facebook.

Then, in May, 2010, I decided all my friends could find my pictures and family updates on Facebook.  I stopped updating my family blog and started a more focused blog called Helpmate, which was a blog solely for Biblical posts on being a godly wife.  I really enjoyed this blog, but I also started teaching a few lessons to women at church, which, in a way, replaced my time to write researched, edited posts on Bible passages.   I also found that the blog posts required a lot of time and study, and between leading in ministry, being a mom to now TWO young boys, and being that godly wife I discussed, I didn't have time to research, study, write, edit, etc. every week.  My posts started to get farther and farther apart between me writing them.

Then, in November 2010, I started to research some holiday crafts to do as Christmas was approaching.  I have always loved creative projects, whether it involves decorating, art, painting, party planning, crafting, writing, etc.  I had never realized the world of "craft blogging" that was out there.  It was amazing!  In December, 2010, just 7 months ago, I started Calico and Cupcakes. 

Calico and Cupcakes, in just 7 months, has morphed and changed.  I have learned to balance my time by having about 3 standard posts each week--a crafting/cooking/creative piece on Monday, a Women in the Word post on Wednesday and a Friday Favorites on Friday. 

I have learned a lot about blogging in these 7 months.  Here are some tidbits to learn if you are thinking of starting a more public blog or if you just wonder what it is all about:

--Blog about something you love.  I personally don't specialize in one area (such as cooking), but I am a short attention span creative person.  This is why I keep my blog general.  I have friends who blog about nutrition, some about fashion, others about being a mom, some about cooking only, and others about party planning.  It is easier to gain a following and readers with specific subject blogs, but I am not an expert in any one area.   If you love what you blog about, it will show and people will want to hear more.  Plus, those weeks you are tired or drained, you won't despise the fact that you have to keep up posts on your blog.  Blogging is a nice reprieve and break for me because I enjoy it.

--Have great pictures on your blog posts.  I am just like any other reader--I scan the picture at the top.  It tells me whether the craft is something I like, it makes the post look professional or "not", and it draws me into the creative life of this blogger or it pushes me away.  The larger you can make your picture, the better.  Two column blogs are fun because you can make your pictures larger without cutting them off.  I might make my blog a two column blog someday.  Have a picture at least at the top of your post.  The key to a great picture is clarity, lighting and details.  Look at the staging and colors.  Study how magazines and catalogues set up their products.  Pictures sell the post!

-- E-mail people back. I think a return "thank you" e-mail for comments, features, etc. is kind and polite.  I have met sweet blogging friends through simple e-mails.  Make sure the settings for your google account are that your e-mail shows.  Otherwise, when you leave comments on another blog, your name shows, but you are a "no-reply" commenter.  People are often too lazy to hit "reply" to e-mail back, let alone go searching for your contact info on your blog (if you have one).

--Find balance.  Like I said, I try to do one project or recipe a week.  Some weeks I do more and can save a project for the next week or a week when I am busy.  I do a short Bible lesson on Wed.--sometimes they are short, sometimes they are links to someone else's post, sometimes they are from archived lessons I've written on other blogs, and sometimes they are long and wordy.  Friday is the day I feature great ideas I've seen on Facebook or on blogs.  Have a blogging routine that works with your priorities and schedules.  My priorities are quiet time with God each day, being a mom and wife, serving at church, and then, way down, is blogging.  Unless I decided to blog for income once my boys are in school and succeeded in this area, my blog is going to remain low-key.

--If you want to gain readers, link up to linky parties.  Linky parties are hosted by certain blogs (most crafting or cooking blogs have a list of linky parties they visit or link to).  They are "parties" on certain days of the week where you go put a link and picture to a post you want to share with others joining the linky party.  Leave lots of comments on other's projects, and you will have people come visit your link too.  I spent A LOT of time at linky parties when starting this blog.  Some weeks I still link up, and some weeks I don't have time.  It is an important way to get your blog exposed to new readers, though.

--Have a Facebook page.  A lot of other blogs have Tweeter accounts too.  I don't tweet.  I have an account for me personally, and I just don't use it.  I think I'm an old dog and that trick is too new.  I am constantly on Facebook for church (long story, but our church keeps up community, prayer requests, Bible verse encouragement through Facebook), though, and it takes two seconds to link a new post to your blog's Facebook page.  This helps anyone who has liked your page to find out that you have a new post about such and such.  It really helps increase traffic.

--Have buttons and logos and a unique header.  I am not completely here yet.  I don't write code for pages, and I was barely savvy enough to create my own featured at and logo button codes for my blog.  I am saving up and waiting for my birthday to hire a blog designer to make an updated look for my blog and make new buttons, etc.  I am happy with it for now, but it is great to have your own "look".  Right now I am using a free template from Leelou Blogs.

--Consistency in a post schedule is nice.  Whether you are hosting a linky party every Tuesday or sharing a recipe every Friday, readers like to know they need to go to your blog on such and such a day in order to see "___" post.  You need to publish at least a new post a week in order to get regular, consistent readers.  If you let weeks go by without a post, people will stop checking back.  I didn't start out with consistency.  It just found its way to me because it naturally made sense.

--Be yourself in your tone, humor and wording.  I think my blog is me in a nutshell.  I'm not a super funny person, but I'm fairly low key and mellow.  My friend, Michelle, on the other hand, is hilarious.  She has a blog called Ain't No Supermom, and I always laugh out loud when I am reading it.  Anyway, my point is to let your personality shine.  Be yourself and, before you know it, you'll find other blogs and readers who are similar in style.

--Be positive and encouraging.  I dislike reading blogs that whine and complain all the time.  Don't be disparaging or negative about what other people create or say.  People read blogs as a rest, reprieve and break.  Be realistic and share those realities with readers, but keep the outlook positive, fun and encouraging.  That is one constant feedback I get--my posts and e-mails are encouraging and "sweet."  Most readers don't want to hear about your grouchy boss, your broken appliance, your screaming child, or your neighbor's barking dog.  Focus on crafting and have fun!

Okay, there you are.  This list is not going to win any technical awards, but for those of you who are starting out with blogging or just wondering what it is all about, this helps you get the basics.

Let me know if you have any questions!  I'd love to answer if I can.  Okay, I'm off to make cookies with my kiddos.  They have a little twist, and if they turn out, I'll break my routine and share them tomorrow!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Friday Favorites: June 17, 2011

Happy birthday to my dad!  He is such a blessing, and he always has to celebrate Father's Day and his birthday in one swoop.  I love him a lot and am so thankful for his example of working hard and helping others.  He is a true servant leader.

If you love Anthropologie (like me), you probably have a romantic side to you.  However, Anthropologie's prices are not always so romantic and sweet.  I used to occasionally buy stuff there when I was single and working, but being a stay at home mom with two young kids doesn't warrant that kind of spending.  That is how I found Ruche.  Ruche is an online boutique started by a California couple.  It is basically the look of Anthropologie for a lot less money.  Most dresses are between 30-50 dollars, and they are so frilly, fun and yet with a modern twist.  The motto on their website is "a modern boutique with a vintage touch."  They have shoes, jewelry, and much more.  Their blog is full of eye candy galore and gives photography tutorials too.  Here is the shop: and here is the blog:  Here are some samples of what they sell:
gondola romance ruffle toproxanne striped two piece swimsuit
billowing embroidery pleated topdreamweaver floral crochet elastic belt
tulip lace turnlock satcheljade prism rhinestone ring
pocket full of posies skirtdizzy love applique top
Gondola ruffle romance top 41.99, Roxanne two piece 39.99,
Billowing embroidery top 39.99, dreamweaver floral crochet belt 15.99,
tulip lace turnlock satchel 99.99, Jade prism rhinestone ring 17.99,
Pocket full of posies skirt 32.99, and dizzy love applique top 34.99

Okay, have fun shopping!  Let's look at some fun ideas on the craft and cooking blogs this week!  Have a great Father's Day weekend celebrating those dads in your life!

Taidye Original offers a printable for praying without ceasing.  I am entrenched in preparing my upcoming lesson on prayer for women's Bible study, and I just finished the section on praying without ceasing.  Of course, I loved this!  The colors are pretty too!  Go to her blog, click and print.  Thanks, Tai! 

Christina's Adventures took a plain pine table and turned it into something GORGEOUS.  If you haven't learned yet, a little frill makes me happy, so I really love the stencil she chose for the top of the table. 

It's Always a Party at the Parkers gives all you last minute Father's Day gift givers some DARLING print outs.  I love the Father's Day tie banner and all the cute tags.  Even if you have your gifts wrapped and ready to go, you'll want to see if any of these printables can be put into the mix.

From Gardners to Bergers did an Anthropologie knock off of a metallic decor letter.  I love it!  A little aluminum foil and Mod Podge goes a long way!

Now for a couple of food posts . . . because I'm hungry and I love food.  Simple girl stuffed fresh strawberries with cream cheese frosting and mint.  Um . . . yum.

I'm a Mom, Not a Professional made a shortcut ice cream cake--layered ice cream sandwiches with crushed candy bar, cool whip and chocolate sauce.  Genius. You can play with flavors and add different ingredients (I am thinking crushed heath bar because I love it).  Have fun with this!  You will be a hero to the kids when you dish this up!

Pure Joy Events made a pie in a jar Father's Day style.  What dad wouldn't love this?  Yum!  The cute decorations make it that much better . . .

Finally, Cakes Likes a Party shared some ideas for an airplane party.  Do any of you have a little pilot at home?   I'm loving the airplane cake, but my favorite idea are the luggage "lunch box" goodie bags.  What fun ideas!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...