Thursday, March 19, 2015

Celebrating Easter with Resurrection Eggs

I wanted to share with you again a very fun and interactive way to share with your children what Easter is really all about. Make your own Resurrection Eggs! You can do this in several ways. I have used this as a countdown to Easter. Opening only 1 egg each day, or over several days. I have used this as an Easter morning Sunday school lesson where each child gets a turn opening an egg. And I have incorporated this with our daily homeschool lessons to add some extra fun into our school day.

I did a post on this last year. It has a link to the Bible verses for you. Once you make up your own kit it only takes just a few moments each day to talk with your kids about why Jesus died and came back alive for us!

Enjoy and Happy Easter! He Is Risen!

the Singing Honey Bee

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Birthday's on a budget...milestone birthday

My husband hit a nice round milestone age this birthday. So I just had to celebrate him!
Usually, he is quite happy with dinner out on his birthday
and some angel food cake with chocolate frosting
his mom makes every year.
Something similar to this...

We did take him out for dinner on his day, but I didn't want this year to pass too quietly.
So I planned to small gathering with good food and good people I knew he would enjoy.

His birthday falls a few days after Christmas which always means the birthday budget is extra tight.
To help ease the financial pinch I will gift shop for him right along with Christmas gift shopping.
That way at the end of the month I don't have to worry about what to buy and how to pay.
Planning ahead helps to keep the Christmas budget in check too.
This year he made it easy on me and brought home what he wanted for his gifts.
All the more reason I wanted to do something special for him.

The first thing we did was figure out our food. He is not very adventurous with food but he does
enjoy good BBQ flavors. So we built a menu around BBQ pulled pork, BBQ chicken, BBQ meatballs.
My mother-in-law and I each decided what we wanted to bring.
Then I requested a side dish be brought from family and friends that were able to attend the party.
I have no hesitation in asking for help with food at parties with the exception of my daughters
birthday and that is usually because I have theme foods in mind.

Food is expensive and will eat up a small budget real quick. So asking for help is smart.
Most people I know are more than willing to bring something to share.
Give them enough notice and when they ask, give them something specific to bring.
Also requesting help with food at your event opens up for them to ask for help
later at their events. It it is a blessing for all involved when everyone is willing to help feed a crowd.
Going potluck style at your parties also shares the burden of making sure you have enough food.
Almost always you will end up with a table overflowing with food. No one will leave hungry!

The next item I tackled was cake pops. I first made these last May. You can read about how I learned to make these here. This happen to be my third time and I was much more prepared and enjoyed this process so much more. Maybe it was who I was making them for! I did find out that for chocolate covered pops, just use the chocolate almond bark in a double boiler. It was a very smooth texture and the process was so much easier than what I used in the past. Next time I will skip the expensive white chocolate baking pieces and see if I get the same results using white almond bark as I did with the chocolate bark. These lovelies are chocolate and lemon cake! Yum!

To top the cake pops off I created these cake toppers.
I used a vintage looking font and printed them on kraft colored paper.
I printed half that read Happy 40th and the other half read Vintage 1974.
I cut them using a 2 inch circle punch.
To add to the dressed look I inked black stamp ink around each circle.
Next I cut 2.25 inch circles from black cardstock.
To complete these I used flat toothpicks, adhesive tape and a hot glue gun.
I first add tape to the top kraft colored layer then at the bottom end of the black circle
I add a bit a hot glue. I like to use hot glue because it dries very fast.
Tacky glue would also work well.
As soon as I put down some hot glue I place the wide end of the flat toothpick over the glue
rolling it so it is covered on both sides of the pick.
Working quickly I make sure the pick is centered, then add the top circle making sure it is centered
as I lay it down. I then firmly press both layers together to complete the bond.
You may want to make a few extras in case you have an oops or two.
I like to always add a back layer of cardstock to my toppers because it adds to the overall look of the topper as well as hiding the pick.
Since the cake pops have a harder outer shell I first used a small paring knife to make a slight hole through the chocolate. Then I was able to insert the picks. If you do not do this step with cake pops you may end up breaking your picks.
The last thing I wanted to have for Dear Hubby is a banner to celebrate his milestone.
I found a pocket template here on Pinterest to use as my pattern. I use foam tape between the bottom panels and the top panels. I cut letters from my Cricut machine and strung with ribbon. It looked great over the cake table!

It was a very nice evening. And as always the cake pops were devoured!
Thank you again to my mother-in-law, family and friends for celebrating with us.
We love hanging out with you!

Toppers and banners are available in my Etsy shop
Thank you for stopping by!

the Singing Honey Bee

Linking up at: 
Huckleberry Love
The Modest Mom
Moms the Word

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy New Year! I'm back in 2015...

First of all Happy New Year! Prayers for a blessed new year to you all.
Hi friends, it has been way to long since I have shared with you. It was not my intention, life gets that way sometimes doesn't it? But it is a new year; a fresh start. So it seems appropriate that I would start again on this blog journey. I have so much to share with you and much of what I share will focus on my growing business. I want to share my journey so far and all the in and outs of it. So stay tuned. I will be back! I am so excited for the freshness of this new year.

the singing honey bee

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Week 4: Tame it Tuesday's, a summer series on taming the mess

week 1
week 2
week 3

Welcome to week 4 of of my Tame it Tuesday series, a summer series on taming the mess. Wow we are half way already. Oh please Summer-- slow down! lol! So as I stated in last week's post our home has been suffering from what I call "drop and runs" Which makes it unorganized and messy. Areas of my kitchen have not escaped this either. Lets tackle the worst part first shall we?
Yep that's right, this is the first counter top when you enter the kitchen. I really don't know how it happens... I clean it off but it ends up becoming the catch all of the whole house it seems. A lot of it is mail and paperwork that I need to deal with immediately instead of letting it pile. The rest of it is stuff that needs to be put away back where it belongs. The rectangle cupboard right above is "Dear Hubbies" so some of his stuff I put there for him to put away when he is done using it (like his drill and charger). I do not have to clean that cupboard. It is his alone and he does get to it several times a year. Once all the stuff is put back where it belongs I start in on the paperwork.
Once I start it really doesn't take long. I make several piles as I go through it. My piles are shred, garbage, current bills and to file piles. I have an area already at our desk to deal with all the paper it is just old habits coming back into play. I need to remember when I come in with mail to deal with it right away. It only takes a few minutes and really saves on the mess building up again.
Within less than 10 minutes all is well in this space again!
Next up are these two spaces. Inside they hold a lot of our supplies for homeschool and some kitchen items I don't use as often. Those will be reorganized in another post. For now I want to deal with the top of them.
We were given the hotdog buns and I just needed to use some up and then freeze the rest. The inside of our microwave is actually clean. We do use a cover to heat and I am in the habit of wiping things up as soon as the mess happens. The 2 crockpots I have out a lot because I have been using them so much lately for freezer meals. Then there is garbage to be thrown away and the top of the microwave just needs dusted and cups in the sink. I forgot to take an after picture, but it looks good again too!
This cupboard is on the other side of our table in the kitchen. This counter is only supposed to hold cookbooks and my bread machine. It was overflowing with some borrowed cookbooks, coloring/drawing stuff, counting blocks, and some antique appliances that I was given this year that I just hadn't made a home for yet. So first, above our laundry area "Dear Hubby" made a shelf when he enclosed it in so I would have a place for some of my decor. I dusted everything and made room for the new appliances (iron and waffle iron) up on this shelf.
Then I gathered the borrowed cookbooks and placed them in my car to return to my friend. Next I needed to put away the school/art stuff. I quickly realized that I was going to have to tackle one part of the cupboard after all. This drawer holds coloring, drawing, painting books and Highlights magazines that "Sunshine" owns. I cleaned out all the Christmas books and stored them away with Christmas stuff. Then Sunshine herself went through the remaining books and magazines. She was willing to throw out the ones she had completed.

Much better! The last part of the post today is my food prep area of the kitchen. The dishes for the most part have stayed caught up. But in the middle of this busy schedule I have made time to get extra food in our freezer. Which is why this area looks like this:
 You cant even see some of it. I have bottles of seasonings left out from a freezer meal workshop I attended along with wax paper and freezer bags for all the flash freezing of cherries and berries I have been doing.
So again I just needed to put everything away that I was finished with. I also pulled every appliance out and washed behind it. Then washed all appliances off. Last I put everything back in nice and neat order. And I hope to keep it this way!
Thank you for stopping by! Next week I hope to organize the pots/pan cupboard and the spice/can cupboard. Do you have specific things you do to help keep order in the kitchen? Please share in the comments.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Week 3:Tame it Tuesday, a summer series on taming the mess

week 1
week 2
Welcome to week 3 in my summer series on taming the mess. Where I am attempting to claim back some of the areas of our home that have been overrun with what I like to call "drop and run" sessions. The busier we seem to be the more unorganized and disarrayed our home seems to get. I say "attempting" because this will not be easy for me. I had 5 orders go out this last week!

So Saturday afternoon after another busy week, I was wondering what I can organize and clean for Tuesdays post? I was also wondering when I was going to find time to post my 4th of July DIY that I had been wanting to do (I even already had the supplies for it). So I decided to combine the post. I hope you don't mind, doing it this way saved me some sanity and I got to go to bed at a normal time. lol!
First up I needed to straighten the back porch. I forgot to take a picture of the before. It wasn't in horrible shape, I just needed to finally put away all the stuff that had accumulated there. You know things like the fall decor bins to the garage, some tools back in the garage, take the broken metal bed frame to the garbage. Dust and sweep up the remaining leaves, dirt and cobwebs, etc.
Now we can sit out here again in the cool of the evening and I can have morning devotions out here too.
 This is also where I wanted my DIY 4th of July decor to go. I have been wanting one of these ever since I saw on Pinterest. After a trip to the dollar store and getting a clearance box of lights from my friend Heather. I am ready to make it!
Here is what you need: a hula hoop, lights, garland, twist ties, cup hooks, ribbon and extension cord.
I want this to be able to change out with the seasons so I am attaching it with twist ties (I save these when they come in a box of bags).
I wrapped the lights first then followed up with festive garland and wire star garland attaching them all with the twist ties. To hang the light I put cup hooks in 3 different positions in the roof of the porch. Then tied a loop of ribbon at each spot on the hoop where it would hang from each hook.
This hangs just over the table and chairs. It is a small back porch so one is enough. Eventually I want to add some rope lights under the railing. But we love this! We are even doing bedtime stories out here! This was so easy to make the hardest part was getting the cup hooks in the wood.

Here is another super fast and easy DIY 4th of July decor from my friend Heather.
Supplies to make: some super adorable July flowers from Walmart, foam ball, ribbon, 1 straight pin and a glue gun. Take the flowers off of there stems, hot glue them into the foam ball (arranging them in a pattern). Then pin and glue the ribbon to the top of the ball. Then hang and enjoy!

Have a wonderful, safe and blessed 4th of July!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Week 2: Tame it Tuesday, a summer series on taming the mess

Welcome to week 2 of Tame it Tuesday; a 10 week summer series on taming the mess. To catch up with week one go here. This week I am tackling my laundry area which is located in my kitchen. This one was a have too because I needed to make more laundry soap. I will post my recipe at the end of this post for you! For starters I needed to clean my washer machine. It is pretty grimy! Yuck! 
To start it soaking I sprayed water on the tough areas and then scrubbed with a brush and some Bar Keepers Friend. I decided I needed more than a spray bottle so I filled the washer machine half way with warm water and got to scrubbing. 
When the hard scrubbing was done, I rinsed the machine then filled it completely with hot water and poured about 3 cups of vinegar into the machine. I turned it on to let is swoosh the vinegar water through the machine for about 10 minutes of the wash cycle. Then turned it off and let it soak for a few hours. I ran errands, so I just let it soak during the time I was out. 
Once it was finished soaking I used by scrub brush all over the inside of the machine again.Then turned it to the rinse cycle to finish washing out the machine. For a washer machine I got 17 years ago- it doesn't shine like it used too, but is smells clean and looks much better!
Now for the rest of our laundry area. As you can see it still has some unfinished drywall. But Dear Hubby added the shelves for me so I can still use this area until he finishes up the walls. I love the extra shelving that he added. I can use it to hang the clothes that come out of the dryer, so I don't have to iron a whole lot! 
All I really needed to do here was to dust and put everything back into it's place. Then dust off the top of the appliances. Even though it was quick and easy it still felt good to have something looking nice. 
Now on to the real reason I tamed the laundry area--laundry soap! I don't have any other reason as to why I make my own soap other than it is very inexpensive to make and it gives me one less thing to have to coupon/sale shop. It's a bargain, it will always be a bargain and it works great.
Homemade Laundry Soap:
1 box Borax, 1 box Super Washing Soda, 1 bar Zote (or 3 bars Fels Naptha) 1 small container of "oxy" and 1/3 bottle of Purex Crystals (optional for a yummy scent).
1 bar of Zote is only 97 cents at Walmart and equals about 3 bars of the Fels Naptha, so if it is in stock I will buy it. On a side note- I think Zote has an old fashioned soap smell, my darling funny daughter says it smells like a "warthog taking a bath", not sure how she knows how a warthog should smell.. but I digress. I have a small grater from the dollar store I keep in my laundry area. It takes about 15 minutes to grate the bar. 

Then I add all of the Borax, Super Washing Soda, 16 oz of "oxy" and 1/3 of the bottle of Purex crystals. I mix all together and store in containers (they ain't pretty, but they are budget friendly). To use I start the water and only add 2 Tbs of my soap, then add my clothes.
I wanted to share another way I save money with our laundry. I cut our dryer sheets in half. 
I discovered this when I started washing our daughter's clothes. Works just as well at getting rid of the static. Here is my laundry area all organized and clean.
Now on to my next project...

...just keep'in it real!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Tame it Tuesday- a summer series on taming the mess

I am a person who likes to create. It feeds my soul and makes my heart sing. I also crave some sort of order and neatness. And when things are not neat and orderly it kills any creativity I want to have. With this new party planning/designing business I need to create, which means I need some neat and orderly.
Over the past few months my home has become disorganized. Homeschooling, 3 part time jobs, starting my own party business, church ministries and this blog have taken over so much that my home has not had the regular organized cleaning it needs. So today I want to kick off a 10 week summer series on taming the mess. Each week I will show what needs done and what steps I am taking with each project. My goal is to also use what I have on hand to organize or clean each project. Want to join me? I would love it!
First up is my kitchen shelf with all my plastic storage. I am on the short side (5'2") so reaching up to put something away is always a challenge. When I am in a hurry I will usually resort to sticking an item where it will fit and deal with it later. Well "later" has come and gone. Plastics are always a challenge aren't they? I mean I never have this problem with bowls or plates. They always seem to stack so nicely. Not with the plastics. They are usually a "heap o mess". What I have on hand to help tame it: small wire rack from thrift store, large round shallow bucket, and rectangle tubs that do stack inside each other.



 I used the purple shallow bucket for most of the small round and rectangle pieces. The large rectangular dishes to hold all the small lids and then the small wire shelf to hold the large lids. It is not the best or prettiest but it fits in our budget and it works for now. I would love to find something like this for the inside door for the lids... I will be keeping a look out during back to school sales. The ice cream bucket and snowman bowl I put in another cupboard that is for less used items (will show that one when I get to it).
I am curious what to you use for all your plastics. Please share your ideas!