Five Things

I finally got a new phone this weekend. I say finally because my iPhone 4 has had a broken screen for almost 2 years. The only reason it didn’t completely fall apart was because I had a screen cover on it that held the glass in place making it so that it still functioned properly. And since it still worked, I had a hard time parting with the $200 to buy a new one. Well, I’ve been due for an upgrade for a couple of months, so my Mother’s Day gift was an iPhone 5. Yep, I love it already. In honor of my new, non-broken phone, I thought I would share my five favorite apps of the moment.

1. Instagram-This one is pretty obvious.

2. PicTapGo-I’m really loving this app and it’s editing options. It’s fun and easy.

3. ABeautifulMess-This one is super fun for adding text, doodles and borders to pictures.

4. Wunderlist-This recently became my new way of keeping everyday lists that I can cross off as I go. I love crossing things off lists. It makes me feel like I actually accomplish things during the day.

5. 10k Runner-I use this app every time I run. I like that there is an end goal, which is being able to run a 10k.

So, there you have it. The five apps that I use the most often right now. Smart phones are awesome, aren’t they?!

Is anyone else tired today?  Oh, Monday. You always come too soon.

13 Books in 2013-Book Four

I read The Rhythm of Family by Amanda Blake Soule & Stephen Soule.

81vzwWm7fiL__SL1218_

 

image via amazon.com

 

I’d had this book on my Amazon wishlist for a while. I almost bought it once, but decided on something else. I’m glad that I finally got around to making the purchase.

The book includes short essays by both Amanda and her husband detailing their lives and stories in regards to each month and season, as well as, beautiful photography, crafting tutorials and seasonal activities.

The essays were well written and I enjoyed reading them for the most part. There were some times when I thought they were a little “over” written, but still good. They made me want to move to Maine…and I hate snow.

The crafting ideas and tutorials weren’t anything all that original, but that’s not to say that they didn’t add to the book. There were a few that I want to try.

The same can be said about the activity suggestions. Some were new ideas to me, but most were activities that my family and I already do. But I did pick up a few picnic pointers that I will definitely be using.

I really enjoyed the overall feel and mood of the book. I’m always looking for good books that revolve around family. Plus, I really like they way they detail their everyday lives, making even the simplest of tasks seem special. It made me realize just how awesome the ordinary moments can be.

On to the next!

Happening Now

Reading The Rhythm of Family by Amanda Blake Soule & Stephen Soule.

Drinking lots of iced tea.

Working out to 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels. And running.

Feeling very creative lately. It’s awesome.

Planning a Strawberry Shortcake party for Harper’s birthday.

Looking forward to planting some flowers and tomatoes this weekend.

Loving that the sun is finally shining and the temps are warming up!

Grilling out. It’s the best.

Listening to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

Pining after some barefoot running shoes.

Eating lots of fruit.

Craving some quality time with my best girl friends.

Using the PicTapGo app a lot to take and edit pics on my phone. I’m liking it.

Waiting for my peonies to bud and bloom so I can bring them inside. Love fresh-cut flowers in the house.

DSC_0510

 

I make a lot of sun tea in the spring and summer. It’s a favorite!

It really seems like the mood is changing around here now that the weather is back to normal. It’s funny how much is was affecting everyone in our family. But it finally feels like we can move past that never-ending winter and on to all that spring has to offer. I’m so happy to be getting outside with the kids and into the fresh air. I’ve even started planning our summer manifesto (aka our summer fun list) and look forward to start crossing things off.

Today it’s supposed to be in the 90’s here! I’m not ready for 90’s yet, but the kids and I are going to take advantage and get in the pool this afternoon. While they splash around, I think I drink some iced tea and read some more of my book. Ahhhh, I’m so happy!

Enjoy your day!

 

Pinterest Challenge-New Artwork

Once again I’m taking part in the unofficial Pinterest Challenge hosted by Young House Love and Bower Power.

banner

This time around I decided on creating some artwork for our house. We are seriously lacking in the artwork department.

I’ve been drooling over this ampersand artwork created by Elise Blaha Cripe ever since I first laid eyes on it. I am also an ampersand lover, so this was right up my alley.

After I made the decision that this would be my project, I made a trip to Home Depot for supplies. I had a few different thoughts about the materials I wanted to use. I knew I wanted dark stain, so I went with dark walnut. But I had a hard time deciding on the nails I would use. Home Depot has some great copper nails that I thought would look fantastic against the dark wood, but in the end I thought a more subtle approach would be the way to go so that I wouldn’t find myself regretting my decision.

As for the string, I wanted something neutral so anything too bright was out of the question. I considered both silver and gold, but ultimately ended up with white. I like the classic and clean look of it, but I especially like the way it pops against the dark stain.

I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on wood, nor did I want something too heavy that would keep me from hanging it, so I chose a pre-cut piece of plywood. I believe the dimensions are 2 x 2 1/2. It’s light weight and it was cheap.

I basically just followed Elise’s tutorial and ended up with a new piece of artwork that I couldn’t be happier with! I can’t wait to figure out where I want to display it. I love, love, love it! Thanks so much for the fantastic inspiration Elise.

Okay, enough talking…

DSC_0537

I’m not sure why that line is running down the side of the wood. Jeremy sanded it for me before the stain was applied and you couldn’t see it then, but it showed up after he stained it. I don’t mind it though and actually think it adds some character.

DSC_0540 DSC_0542 DSC_0544 DSC_0550 DSC_0559

After making this, I am excited to dive into more art projects. I’ve been wanting to paint a big canvas for a long time, but haven’t had the nerve. I think now’s the time. Plus, I’m so tired of looking at all my bare walls!

Oh, here is the price breakdown in case you’re interested.

wood-$6.99

stain-$4.89

nails-$2.69

string-$2.49

And I used some cardboard I had on hand to create my stencil-free

total: $17.16

Not bad for original artwork!

If you would like to make your own string art, I would encourage you to take a look a Elise’s blog for her tutorial. Or just look around her blog. It’s awesome!

Linking up at:

Young House Love

Bower Power

Sparkle Meets Pop

Red Bird Blue

See you later!

Recipe Book-Lemonade Cake

To celebrate the fact that it seems Spring is finally here to stay in Nebraska, I thought I’d share this delicious cake recipe with you today. It is scrumptious! It’s great for Spring and Summer. So fresh and light!
IMG_2509

I came across the recipe on Pinterest, but you can find the original recipe here on the Better Homes and Gardens website.

Lemonade Cake

Ingredients:

1/3 cup butter

3 eggs

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/3 cups sugar

1/4 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/4 cups buttermilk or sour milk

Yellow food coloring (optional)

Lemon Butter Frosting

Thin lemon slices (optional)

Directions:
1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed until well combined. Scrape sides of bowl; beat for 2 minutes more. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemonade concentrate and vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. If desired, stir in a few drops of yellow food coloring. Spread batter into prepared pan.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Spread cake with Lemon Butter Frosting. If desired, garnish with lemon slices (slices should be removed before eating).

Lemon Butter Frosting
Yield: 2 cups Ingredients

1/3 cup softened butter

1 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups powdered sugar

1 – 2 teaspoons frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl beat softened butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the 1 cup powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in the 1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate and vanilla. Gradually beat in the additional powdered sugar. Beat in additional frozen lemonade concentrate to reach spreading consistency. Makes 2 cups.

The first time I made this cake was last year for a Memorial Weekend get together. It instantly became a favorite.

Enjoy!!

Five Things

1. I’m getting close to being caught up on my Project Life after getting way behind due to running out of photo paper and just being too lazy or too busy to go buy more. But I remembered that I had a bunch of 8.5×11 sized sheets, so I’ve been using that.

**Note to self: Must go buy 4×6 photo paper ASAP**

2.  I’ve been coming across a ton of diy projects on Pinterest that I’m dying to try like this and this. Now all I need to do it buy the supplies and find some kid-free time to work on them. That’s much more difficult than it sounds.

3.  I haven’t had soda for 80 days. I gave it up for Lent. Not because I’m Catholic, but because I wanted an excuse to do it and see how long I could go. I’m happy to say that I don’t miss it at all. But I didn’t drink much of it before anyway. Now my plan is to start cutting more things from my diet that are bad for me one at a time. I love knowing that I have the willpower to do it!

4.  What the h*** is going on with this weather?! I mean seriously. It’s May 1st and the temperature is feeling much more like February 1st. Why? Why? Every time I think I can start planting a garden and flowers, the weather changes and I have to put if off for another week.

5.  I need a vacation.

Because I can’t afford a vacation at the moment, I’ll just post a photo taken by my husband on our trip to Big Sur last year.

DSC_0088

 

 

Happy May everyone!