Monday, May 21, 2012

Chocolate Coconut Macaroons - Gluten, Dairy, Egg and Soy Free

Chocolate Coconut Macaroons
Gluten, Dairy, Egg and Soy Free!

This recipe is a combination of 2 great macaroon recipes I have, a gluten free coconut macaroon recipe from The Flying Apron and a RAW chocolate macaroon recipe from my Aunt.  

Preheat oven to 350

In mixing bowl add the following

 6 cups shredded coconut 
(unsweetened if you want it healthier...I used sweeted because that's what I had)
1 cup cocoa powder or raw cacoa powder if you have it
1 cup Maple Syrup (real maple syrup!)
1 cup coconut milk
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup gluten free flour (whatever blend you have or just use rice flour)

Combine all ingredients together until combined.  
Take a cookie scoop and pack with coconut mixture and then release onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
Option- Press a raw almond into the top of each cookie, or press a couple straight into the cookie
Bake for about 15 minutes and then let cool completely on cookie sheet.

~My entry into {nifty thrifty sunday} is sponsored by Appliances Online and their Fridges

Friday, May 18, 2012

Scrappy Saturday and Tyrone Wells

Scrappy Saturday

Hey Hey!!! Happy Saturday!  Thanks for coming by and being part of the party!  And before getting down to business, I'm still super happy from thursday night when I got to see Tyrone Wells in concert.  He is such an awesome artist, with really great music that is positive, upbeat and just all around good listening! Great songwriting, singing, and playing! I heard him for the first time probably close to 6 years ago when on my way to Art History class at WSU and I heard some music coming from the CUB (cafeteria) and slipped in real quick to see what it was.  He happened to be singing one of my favorite songs by LIVE "Lightning Crashes" (yes while my friends were listening to MMMbop by Hansen I listened to Lightening Crashes by LIVE, Disarm by Smashing Pumpkins and Zombie by Cranberries on repeat...oh 7th grade...a good year) anyways, Tyrone was just I was inspired to skip class and listen to the rest of his set.  He's come a long way since then, but still not nearly as well known as he should be!  SO, if you like finding new good music, and you haven't listened to him yet, check him out! Or just head over to Pandora and create a Tyrone Wells station :)

 Tyrone Wells was nice enough to chat and take pictures!

Tyrone Wells at the Slowdown in Omaha

He is currently touring with Joe Brooks who was also really talented with a great voice 

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

OKAY now that I've done my proselytizing, on with the featured posts from last week! Check them out and then link up and visit the new links :)

Great paper craft (and using up those paper scraps) Bookmarks by MeehaMeeha

Reuse old shoe boxes, decorate and use as toy storage along with a kids furniture makeover...this girl is resourceful!  Wesens Art

Now link up your awesome projects using scraps (of any kind), upcycling, redo/makeovers, and anything you made including materials you found or had on hand.  We love thrifty, resourceful creativity!

if you like this linky/blog you can follow me on GFC, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs...:)

Visit some of the other links and leave some comment love :)

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grab a button below and post it with your other linky lists

Monday, May 14, 2012

Birthday Bow Bow Tie

Red Polk-a-Dot Birthday
Bow Tie for the Lil' Guy

I've been the worst friend, daughter, sister, crafter, blogger, cleaner, laundry doer, linky hostess...etc lately!  BUT I am getting back on track! (Ok this last weekend I dropped the ball on the linky but I have a good reason for forgetting.  I actually got to go OUT to dinner 3 nights with my husband through work and had a blast!  Fancy Restaurants, super awesome food and getting to know some of the people my husband works with better was just great!  I wasn't sure how I was going to do since I'm pretty much always in mommy world...but everyone was so fun and easy to talk to. and I owe BIG TIME thanks to those who helped watch the know who you are ;) )

ANYWAYS....back to the post...My friend who is the mom of this ADORABLE little boy was getting his birthday photos done and she asked if I could make a bow tie for him.  It was great because I'd been wanting to sew something for a while and this was so cute and fun to make.  And as you can see, the bow tie looked adorable on little Mr. GQ here.  

I really enjoyed making this bow tie, along with when I whipped up this neck tie for my little guy for his first birthday photos and then made a bunch more for the craft fair in the fall.  I have been debating putting neck ties and bow ties in the etsy shop.  I thought it was a great idea until I realized other people were already doing it...I am still debating.  I have a few left over from the craft fair so I should just list them.  So far I have been slow to get items listed BUT I have been excited about baby boy my canvas sign has been doing well.  If anyone is interested in ordering a bow tie or neck tie, just message me through here on my etsy shop and we can arrange a custom order.

These great photos were taken by a great family photographer named Dani Christensen you can view her work and schedule and appointment with her at

Friday, May 11, 2012

Scrappy Saturday

Hey!  You know how much I love to see your stuff!!! Thank you all who keep coming back and if you are new, welcome and don't forget to add Scrappy Saturdays to your regular linkup list!  Can't wait to see what you all have been up to!

Felt Pinwheel Headband by Loopy Loop Creations

Such cute crochet coin purses by Repeat Crafter Me

Awesome Nightstand Makeover with Chalkpaint by Nifty Thrifty Things

Love this cute pillow made by Ode to Inspiration

And for some hardcore upcycling...turning trash into something reusable that saves the environment...we have
Reusable Tote bags made from animal food bags by Real Southern Living

Now link up your awesome projects using scraps (of any kind), upcycling, redo/makeovers, and anything you made including materials you found or had on hand.  We love thrifty, resourceful creativity!

if you like this linky/blog you can follow me on GFC, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs...:)

Visit some of the other links and leave some comment love :)

No Giveaways

grab a button below and post it with your other linky lists

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Land of Nod Floor Pillow Knock Off

Floor Pillows

I saw these floor pillows on land of nod or pottery barn a long time ago and wanted to make a knock off it sat on my long list of things I wished to do, I stumbled across a great tutorial from Susan at Living with Punks who saw them and had the same idea but actually did it!  So I bookmarked her tutorial and have been wanting to make these ever since and tonight was the night!!! If this gives you any idea of how long things may be on my wish list of things to make and do...Her tutorial was posted two years ago and that's about the same time I bookmarked it.  Since then it's been pinned 27K times!  That is incredible!  One of those great things about pinterest....I can go look at my boards and see the things I want to do verses having them become lost in a bookmark folder like this did for a long now I have her tutorial lost somewhere in my bookmarks and on pinterest.

Anyways, I was so glad she made a tutorial because it is really easy to follow. I got to make the floor pillows AND got to skip the trial and error part!  So these are my floor pillows....and here is the link to the great tutorial Land of Nod Inspired Floor Pillow.

 awww...these floor pillows brought them together...look at them so happy holding hands!!! I didn't even tell them to do this I promise!

this didn't last long...once they noticed the handles on the floor pillows, they made a great handle for holding on while having a pillow fight...

Anyways, these were not hard to make so if you are still pretty new to sewing my suggestion would be GO FOR IT! The Tutorial by Susan is really easy and simple to follow!

I am linking this up to the Pinterest Challenge
another pin bites the dust...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Summer Mantle Decor, Flowers and Starter Garden

Summer Mantle Decor 
from around the house

Nothing beats free decor!  I needed to swap out my easter mantle for something more summery, so I spent 10 minutes looking rounding up some stuff from around the house.  It's not perfect or the coolest mantle decor but I think I'm slowly improving in switching up the mantle and arranging things...from May-Dec of last year the mantle was very bare with like a small picture and a couple other things and just looked dumb.

The picture frame was in my daughter's bathroom, the clam and basket of sea shells (and the shells in the glass cylinders from the $1 store are all from the beach in Madison, CT)  

The pink wreath I picked up at a church yard sale for $2

 The green bottle was a bottle of sparkling cider from thanksgiving, I had the stems in the craft room, the conch shell was a centerpiece from a wedding 5 or 6 years ago...and my friend gave me the white vase as a gift last year

I love these shells

I might switch it up, but I think it's better than it was before and all I did was look around the house to see what I had.  It's fun to challenge myself to be resourceful and figure out how to use what I have rather than going out and trying to buy everything new each season!

I also planted some lillies...we'll see how they hold up!

Here is the start to our first garden!  If you know what those are growing in front, then you will also know that I am an idiot.  I got all excited and started planting seeds in these starter cells with the kids...then when I was telling my mom what we planted she laughed and said we were supposed to plant the carrots straight into the are they going to grow in these small things??!?  So yeah...didn't really think it through or obviously read the package that closely because when I went back and looked there was an actual picture showing it being planted right in the ground.

We are going to build our raised garden bed this weekend hopefully....we need to get it ready and move those carrots!  It's a good thing my husband is really interested in having a garden, he wants to grow tons of tomatos and he'll probably be the one to make sure it stays healthy...I am determined, but I've just had bad luck with every pot of plants I've ever had so I'm trying not to set myself up for disappointment.  My mom knew my hesitation so she surprised me with a subscription to Organic Gardening to help inspire did.  But I'll never have a garden as awesome as hers...

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Give them when necessary, but maybe let the knowledge of the consequence sink in and watch your child do the right thing on their own...

How could this sweet silly girl ever get in trouble???

Well, I'm no parenting expert, just in the trenches of motherhood like the rest but occasionally we discover things as we go, and not necessarily on purpose or to any credit of our own.  Lately I've discovered something about consequences...

I warned J that all her dresses (yes ALL dressups, skirts, play dresses, church dresses) would be taken away for a week if certain behavior continued....It finally got to the point that I had to stop warning and follow through and she was SO angry and defiant about the consequence.  When we got home, however, we were busy getting dinner ready so I figured I'd physically take the dresses away when we went upstairs to get ready for bed.  In the time between getting home and getting upstairs, J had time to calm down and think it over, she talked to us about it and we were able to explain to her again, but now with her calm and listening rather than having a freak out, why she could not act that way and why we had to take her dresses away to help her remember to listen and to treat her family members with kindness.  Anyways, by the time we went upstairs for bed, she was the one taking all the skirts, dresses and dressup clothes away into my art room.  She was vigilant about making sure I found every single skirt in her dresser.  Funny though, after it was time for bed and she saw her empty closet, she got this look on her face and said, almost as if she was just thinking out loud..."why did I help?"  This was last saturday and it was a pretty effective consequence since she didn't get to wear a dress to church on sunday...she almost didn't want to go to church because of that.  I can tell you what though, she has been an amazing big sister to her brother this week in response to that...for the most part.

A couple days later, she had a 2nd incident at a friends house where I felt the need to replace something that she had somehow ruined...not on purpose but by not being careful or thinking about what she was doing.  Both times it was something small, but still.  When the 2nd incident happened, I told her this time she had to help pay for it with her own money.  I had no idea she even valued her money yet, but apparently she really does. She had about the biggest blowup screaming "I'LL NEVER PAY MY MONEY!!!!!"  She was so angry about the consequence of having to use her own money to help replace the item.  Then yesterday when we stopped by their house to give them the replacement, she was screaming at me all the way there in the car, how she will never help pay for it, and how she was going to make me pay for which I replied "I already do...and I paid for the princess flashlight we replaced and now this"...anyways....lots more 5 year old sassiness.  I stayed calm and just kept telling her, "it's already happening, you are going to pay $1 of your money to help pay for it".  Anyways...not on purpose, but just like the dress consequence...I didn't get around to actually physically following through and taking her money yet because of being busy and distracted, but she knew it was already decided.  So today, sweet look on her face, she came down to me, stood there, looked down fiddling her feet and hands and said "I want to help pay my money for the flashlight AND the toothpaste...both of them, can you help me get my piggy bank down?"  

Wow.....yesterday she told me she wasn't going to have a mom ever again in her defiance over having to help pay for the toothpaste (it was a brand new tube and she squeezed it all out and I wanted her to learn not to do stuff like that, especially at other people's houses) and now today she willingly wants to pay me back for both items.  I was really happy I didn't have to pry her hands off her piggy bank to get the dollar from her and that she had thought about it enough to decide she should help pay for the first item as well.  We went up to her room together and counted out $1.00  

So my new realization from these 2 recent incidents is that it seems to really work well when you tell them what the consequence is, staying calm...they can freak out over the consequence, but you are still calm and then...let it sink in, talking about it when they ask in a calm way and explain to them how important it is to obey mom and dad, treat others nicely, not be destructive, etc and how we give them consequences to help them learn so they don't forget and do the same thing again. Because we love them and want to help them be great people, and that means we have to make sure they don't think it's ok do do certain things or act certain ways.  Then, after the fact, see if they put the consequence into action themselves, willingly because they know it's the right thing.  It seems way more effective (and easier) than doing it in the heat of the moment...prying her off the dresses or piggy bank and having a traumatic experience as we take her dresses away or her money away.  The tantrum ABOUT the consequence is bad enough, I am really liking the part when she cools down after a a couple hours or a day and then happily HELPS put the consequence into action.

I least it's working for us right now....anyone else have similar experiences?  How do YOU handle consequences?  Maybe you only do positive reinforcement?  We do both, trying to be as encouraging and positive as we can, but sometimes consequences need to happen...