i should be mopping the floor: June 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

You Get What You Get Printable #fridaysfreebie

You Get What You Get and You Don't Throw a Fit...
this free printable speaks volumes to me.
#fridaysfreebie

Free "You Get What You Get and You Don't Throw a Fit" 8x10 printable {high res prints onto a letter-sized sheet, to be trimmed and framed}

Long ago, in a land far away {okay, 30 miles up the highway}, I taught preschool. I lasted all of one year. I am just not meant to be a teacher...that's not a gift God blessed me with. But I hung on for a whole school year and did have an incredible group of little friends that I learned from.

One little girl, God love her, was...errrr, a challenge. She had the most precious personality, but...yeah. She was a hilarious challenge. I could write an entire book on Janie-isms. We all cracked up at her unusual four-year-old wit and humor. But, that sweet baby spent a lot more time on red than green {I'm betting a lot of you know what that is referring to}. One thing I took from that class with me was Janie's favorite expression that she sang gleefully at the lunch table every. single. day. She would unpack her Hannah Montana lunchbox and spread it all over her spot. Daily: a pizza Lunchable, a bag of red and green grapes, a Sugar Daddy and grape soda. Grape Soda. And a Sugar Daddy. Daily. I'm not one to judge other people's lunch packing, but man...that daily lunch was rough on the teacher. Sugar shock at twelve o'clock. 

Of course, every other ham & cheese sandwich eating, juice box sipping, carrot stick toting kid was completely jealous. 

And what did Janie sing? You guessed it. She dutifully informed them of her mantra: "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit." The reverse never worked on her. She did not like that one thrown back at her. 

But, that sweet girl is almost done with elementary school...somewhere out there. And she's probably still throwing back the grape sodas and Sugar Daddies...and I can't help but smile as I think of her little black Mary Janes stomping in rhythm on the floor as she belted out her mantra:
Free "You Get What You Get and You Don't Throw a Fit" 8x10 printable {high res prints onto a letter-sized sheet, to be trimmed and framed}
This one's for you, Janie.

Free "You Get What You Get and You Don't Throw a Fit" 8x10 printable {high res prints onto a letter-sized sheet, to be trimmed and framed}

This is an 8x10 printable that prints onto letter-sized paper that can be trimmed and framed.










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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

From the Vault: Board & Batten & Blue Bathroom Redo

I'm actually on vacation this week with the fam, but I wanted to repost an oldie but goodie, for those of you who may not have seen it when it first debuted two years ago. The photography was pretty ick back in those days, but it's still one of my favorite projects. 

FROM THE VAULT:

In the spirit of mentally moving out of our cookie-cutterville house into a custom-woo-woo-woo...we took our hall bath from the worst case of Builders' Basics to our Board, Batten & Blue Bath for our Boys (there's some serious alliteration in there somewhere).

I give serious props and appreciation to the following blogs who gave wonderful tutorials that we thoroughly used on this project: Shelley & Cason and their rockin' Framed Mirror Tutorial at The House of SmithsThe Nester for her super informative Board & Batten Party post that allowed me to look at lots of other folks' B&B projects and get totally inspired, and the Centsational Girl for her great B&B tutorial that we ultimately decided to use for our model...right down to the the gorilla glue on the shelf.

Board and Batten Bathroom Tutorial

Absolutely no natural light to speak of so the pictures aren't what I dreamed of...oh well.

Board and Batten Bathroom Tutorial
The mirror inspired by the House of Smiths!! They rock. Although my husband hopes they stop doing so many awesome projects so I stop getting so many awesome ideas that become "the next thing on the list"!

Board and Batten Bathroom Tutorial
It was fine, but nothing to write home about. 

Board and Batten Bathroom Tutorial
And the lighting? Seriously? This home is only six years old...whose "bright" idea was this?

Board and Batten Bathroom Tutorial
Interesting Aqua...loving it!!

Board and Batten Bathroom Tutorial
The first board to go up....fingers & toes crossed!!

Board and Batten Bathroom Tutorial
Thank you, Hilton, for my shower cap from our last hotel stay. It enabled me to not have to painstakingly pick paint out of my hair for the next week. A necessity when painting a ceiling.

Board and Batten Bathroom Tutorial
Don't laugh. It was 106 here all week. We moved our "woodshop" to the entryway and kept the shop vac ready at all times to deal with the dust. We also learned that our circular saw makes 45 degree cuts...nice to know. 

Board and Batten Bathroom Tutorial
Yay!! The mirror fits!

Board and Batten Bathroom Tutorial
Loving the hooks vs. the towel bar. They're like jewelry to a room.

Board and Batten Bathroom Tutorial
Hardware....we live in one of those homes where the builder opted for a hardware-free home...so nice to finally have proper pulls and handles.

Board and Batten Bathroom Tutorial
Still need to replace the faucet...but that's for another day. We're pooped.

Board and Batten Bathroom Tutorial
I even splurged and bought the hotel-like bath mat (a glorified towel if you ask my husband)...but I like it.

So happy to have this all done. It was quite a bit more difficult than we originally thought it would be. But, it gave us confidence to tackle other things of this nature. Our next biggie is transforming our kitchen island!! 

Thanks for stopping by!









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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Red Velvet Brownie Star Stacks

This is an easy fourth of july dessert that will be a hit with your bunch.
The base is actually a cake mix brownie recipe.

Easy Red Velvet Brownies that start from a cake mix. Star shaped cookie cutters help make a cute patriotic dessert.
I love the fourth...or F-O-J as we call it around here. I put these brownie stacks together as an easy treat...that's also easy to transport. You can assemble at a picnic or even let your crowd assemble their own stacks. 

{It's now time to cue Neil Diamond singing America as background music in your head while you read this post}.


This starts with a cake mix {but you won't make it according the package instructions}. It also includes the cream cheese version of the Cool Whip frosting that I'm so enamored with right now. Enamored.

You'll Need:

- 1 box of red velvet cake mix {do not use the ingredient amounts on box}
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 TBSP canola oil
- 1 container Cool Whip Cream Cheese Frosting
- fresh blueberries

Easy Red Velvet Brownies that start from a cake mix. Star shaped cookie cutters help make a cute patriotic dessert.
Combine cake mix with water, oil and egg. Stir to combine completely...it will be very thick. Spread into a prepared 9x9 pan. I like to cover my pan in foil and then spray it with the baking version of cooking spray {the kind that contains flour}. Also, I have a small 8x10 dish that I used above, only because my 9x9 was in the fridge with leftover corn casserole {leftovers in a 9x9 means nobody liked it}.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until baked through. 

Easy Red Velvet Brownies that start from a cake mix. Star shaped cookie cutters help make a cute patriotic dessert.
Using a star-shaped cookie cutter, cut star shapes out of cooled brownies. {This is where that foil trick really comes in handy...just pull your cooled brownies out of the pan and peel the foil back. They're now super easy to cut}. 

Easy Red Velvet Brownies that start from a cake mix. Star shaped cookie cutters help make a cute patriotic dessert.
I put my frosting into a Ziploc bag and cut the tip off to pipe the frosting. Frosting brownies can be a bit crummy {pun intended}, so using a bag is a lot easier and less messy. I frost the "bottom" brownies first.

Easy Red Velvet Brownies that start from a cake mix. Star shaped cookie cutters help make a cute patriotic dessert.
Top with another brownie star. Then pipe more frosting onto the top. And add blueberries.

Easy Red Velvet Brownies that start from a cake mix. Star shaped cookie cutters help make a cute patriotic dessert.
I think they're super fun! My boys loved them. After devouring the brownies, we they used the excess brownie scraps and dipped them straight into the cream cheese frosting. We they think that's yummy.

Easy Red Velvet Brownies that start from a cake mix. Star shaped cookie cutters help make a cute patriotic dessert.

 To download the recipe card {prints in both 3x5 and 4x6 sizes}, click the image below:
recipe card

I just had to show you the below photo...it made me laugh {and maybe gag a bit...although, I promise that tub is clean}. My new favorite place to take pics is my bathtub. The light from that window is great...and it bounces off the mirror on the wall opposite of it. We took pictures of brownies in the bathtub. And then ate them with no apologies. 

I about went green with envy when I saw Donna's awesome photo studio that she has in her house. Photo Studio|Bathtub...Potato|PotAHto.

Keeping. It. Real.
Easy Red Velvet Brownies that start from a cake mix. Star shaped cookie cutters help make a cute patriotic dessert.






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Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday's Freebie: Printable Coloring Sheets for Big Kids #tombow100

Printable Coloring Sheets coming right up...
Who says coloring is just for children? These intricate, doodle-laden designs promise hours of entertainment for all of the big kids out there...you know, like me. 

Free Printable Coloring Sheets for Big Kids and Grown Ups, too!
I'm such a doodler/colorer/drawing fool. Looking at my notebooks from college, there were probably more doodles in the margins than notes in the main part of the page. I decided some fun grown up coloring sheets were in order. Print the below images and color until your heart's content. They print on a letter-sized paper, but can be trimmed for an 8x10 frame to display your masterpiece. 


I was recently asked to try out some super fun art supplies from my friends at Tombow, in honor of their 100 years in business. For its “100 Days of Tombow” program, the company is working with 100 different bloggers across America to spotlight their creative musings using Tombow’s products, and showcasing how “Tombow Time” is enjoyed across the nation. Super excited to be a part of the 100 bloggers in this neat celebration.

The cool part? Every submission for the “100 Days of Tombow” blogging program will result in a $100.00 product donation to the Council for Arts Education

My favorite supply that they sent me were these uber-cool colored pencils {pictured in their swanky linen-covered case above}. They are not your average colored pencils. The colors were gorgeous and perfect to color with on my grown-up coloring sheets. And they blended beautifully.  

If you ever have the chance to use some of their products, I highly recommend it. These did not disappoint. They also sent along some beautiful watercolor pens and a stamp runner that I have no doubt I will find a great project for as well.  

Oh happy day, indeed.






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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Over 20 Poke Cake Recipes

Looking for an easy poke cake recipe to wow your friends?
We're got you covered.

I was recently asked by a fabulous reader what a poke cake was. That got me chatting with a few of my bloggy friends out there and we're thrilled to share the idea behind a poke cake with you. The basic gist is that it's a regular cake {often, a box mix}, that has baked and cooled. It is then poked with holes all over its surface. Then the holes are filled with something seriously yummy to make it super moist and crazy yummy. The filling can range from Jell-O to pudding to the original poke cake favorite, sweetened condensed milk. I know another blogger is wanting to do a post over the ins and outs of poke cake, so I won't go into too much more detail, but you get the idea.

My friends were also AWESOME to share some of their poke cake goodness for this crazy-yummy Poke Cake Palooza. {Please pin from the original source}.

This post is just getting started, friends. Click through for all the yummy recipes>>>

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Key Lime Poke Cake

Key Lime Poke Cake is just heaven on a plate. The combination of fresh whipping cream and citrusy lime cake is fabulous. It was an easy Jell-O poke cake that I will make often. I love it {dare I say}, more than the Strawberry Lemonade Poke Cake that inspired it. 

Key Lime Poke Cake: uses a boxed cake mix made super moist with fresh lime juice and Jell-o. Topped with fresh whipping cream for a lovely, summery treat.
Last month when I made that Strawberry Lemonade Poke Cake, it got the wheels turning on the poke cake flavor possibilities. And key lime anything is my husband's favorite. Last year for his birthday, I made a Key Lime Cake that was....meh. It wasn't moist. And it was just...well, meh. So I decided to give the poke cake a go with the key lime flavor. And WOOHOO! It was awesome.
Just awesome.

Key Lime Poke Cake: uses a boxed cake mix made super moist with fresh lime juice and Jell-o. Topped with fresh whipping cream for a lovely, summery treat.
The key to this cake was not using just water to make the lime Jell-O. Because plain lime Jell-O tastes like a green lifesaver...not exactly the light, citrusy key lime flavor I had in mind. I wasn't sure this would work. It would either taste awesome or like swamp water. Nobody's more surprised than me that it worked.

My store was fresh out of actual key limes, so I used regular limes, and they worked just fine. I squeezed seven whole limes to get the half cup of juice I used. You can use the bottled lime stuff, but I really like the fresh juice. 


Key Lime Poke Cake: uses a boxed cake mix made super moist with fresh lime juice and Jell-o. Topped with fresh whipping cream for a lovely, summery treat.

For this cake, you'll need:

  • 1 box of white cake mix
  • ingredients for cake mix {from the back of the box}
  • 1 small box of lime Jell-o
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice {key lime juice would be awesome}
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 quart heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • graham cracker crumbs {about 2 squares' worth}
  • lime zest {from 2 limes}

Bake cake according to the box directions in a 9x13 pan. Allow to cool completely. Poke holes in cake with skewer {or the end of a wooden spoon}. Make Jell-O using the 1 cup of boiling water, the 1/2 cup of fresh lime juice and the 1/2 cup cold water. While the Jell-O is still hot, pour it over the cake and into the holes. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. 
Make whipped cream with heavy cream and 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar, whipping until peaks form. Top cake with whipped cream and sprinkle with the graham cracker crumbs and lime zest. I thought the graham cracker crumbs were a nice addition to bring in the flavor of a traditional Key Lime Pie crust.
Store in refrigerator. 


Key Lime Poke Cake: uses a boxed cake mix made super moist with fresh lime juice and Jell-o. Topped with fresh whipping cream for a lovely, summery treat.
This is the consistency I prefer for the whipping cream...a little on the thicker side. One more minute of whipping and I would have had butter. It's a fine line, peeps.

Key Lime Poke Cake: uses a boxed cake mix made super moist with fresh lime juice and Jell-o. Topped with fresh whipping cream for a lovely, summery treat.
So good and summery. We may or may not have informed the children this cake was in the house. As in, we may or may not have eaten the whole 9x13 pan by ourselves. 

Key Lime Poke Cake: uses a boxed cake mix made super moist with fresh lime juice and Jell-o. Topped with fresh whipping cream for a lovely, summery treat.

Click on the image below to download the printable recipe. It prints in both 4x6 and 3x5 recipe card sizes.
Recipe Card







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Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday's Freebie: Fourth of July Chalkboard Printable

How about a free Fourth of July Chalkboard Printable for all of your star-spangled celebrating?

Free Fourth of July Chalkboard Printable #freeprintable #fourthofjuly
There's so much I want to say about this printable...but I'll try to keep it brief. I live in Killeen, Texas...home of Fort Hood, one of the largest United States military installations in the world. My dad was career military {CW4 Alvin Pawlik, retired}, and spent a lot of time at Fort Hood, as well. The army is near and dear to my heart. I've watched many friends deal with deployment, CPSing and all of the other "fun" army things. They are truly heroes...all of them. Watching these friends deploy {over and over} is just unbelievable. They truly love this country. And give up so much for all of us to be free. So, this popular saying goes onto a patriotic printable with much love and dedication to all of my Fort Hood friends and family.

{Cue Lee Greenwood's God Bless the USA}

#freeprintable #fourthofjuly
This high res 8x10 print prints onto a letter-sized page, to be trimmed and framed.
Also, chalkboard prints look best without the glass in a frame.


God Bless our Military.






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Thursday, June 13, 2013

My New Printer from Staples Rocks My Socks Off

This post was written for Staples on my behalf. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. I was given product to review and write about with an unbiased opinion. 
All opinions are 100% mine.
--

I print. Like a lot. But, as many of you know, up until now...I didn't print at home. I would go to my local print shop and have them print everything for me. It looks like I may be saying goodbye to Keith at the printing store for a bit. Because this new printer of mine is the bomb diggity. 


Recently, I was contacted by Staples to review a printer. I am certainly a person who could put a printer to the test. And I have. And it still rocks me like a wagon wheel. 
I love this thing:

I selected the LaserJet Pro 100 for a couple of reasons. One being that I've always wanted a laser jet {I've been an ink jet girl for awhile now...time for some ch-ch-ch-changes}. And two, I wanted something that could scan at a high resolution as well. 

My husband set it up for me. Out of the box to print time was twenty minutes.
I did all of the on-screen set up. Since I'm a Mac person running on a more recent system than OS-X, I did have to download a separate driver from the HP site to make it compatible, but it was super easy to do. It downloaded in less than a minute and walked me through the process. Lickety-splickety, my friends. 

And we're able to run all three of our computers to it wirelessly throughout the home. My husband could be on the other side of our house on a laptop and send something to print all the way to my office, where the new printer lives. 

It even has a cool ePrint function that allows you to print from any device on your network...be it tablet, phone, what-evs. How cool is that?

My thing is printables. I make them. I print them. I dig them, man.
But, before this printer, I would have never considered printing something as ink-heavy as a printable at home. But, this baby did not disappoint. 

I love the saturation of the colors and how perfectly matched they are. When printing directly from Photoshop Elements, I had the option of allowing the printer or PSE to do the color matching for me. I chose the printer and it matched everything beautifully. 

Ben's chore chart came right out looking fabulous.
He was, errrrr, thrilled.

Then...the ultimate test. A chalkboard printable. A completely saturated print. 
And then color on top of the black saturation. Bring it.

Man, this thing can print, baby. Can you believe how stunning this looks? 
No printer lines or anything. Just pure saturated color. 
{BTW, this patriotic print will be available tomorrow as the weekly freebie}.

The scanning and copying features also work great. 
Crisp and clear on both functions.
I really got a little too into scanning. 
Cleaned out a few shoe boxes full of old pictures...

And totally tagged like crazy on FB. Nobody was safe.
Can you spot Florence Henderson in the above photos?
We're totally BFF. 
Yeah, except not at all.

One other cool thing about this printer is that the ink consumption is low. I used to burn through ink cartridges on my old printer so fast. This supply level above is after printing a  dozen of those chalkboard printables and a month's worth of chore charts for both kids. And some photos. And my husband even made some copies for church on Sunday morning. We're still rocking it at 100%. 
Awesomesauce.


So, all in all. I'm in love with the thing. 
My new printer from Staples is FABULOUSx10.



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