Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Letter to the Easter Bunny

Dear Mr. Bunny,
I thought perhaps since I gave you a make over last week, I'd write to see if you subscribe to the concept of quid pro quo. Basically, I scratch your back and you scratch mine I make you look nice and you return the favor by showering me with fabulous treats in my Easter basket this Sunday.

I wrote a similar letter to Santa Claus in December, and he wasn't impressed. I've opted to keep my expectations lower this time. I won't be asking for a pool boy again, but a sound-proof craft room would be nice. Here are a few things I'd just love to call mine this Spring:

1. Any of the fab Spring shades from OPI. I love OPI--good nailpolish, and you can't beat the names of all the shades!

2. Good reads (Christian fiction can have kind of wishy washy characters, but I love these two authors!):

3. Anything from Charming Charlie!

5. This dress from Old Navy (how cute is it?!):

6. J'adore these wedges. They might be Payless, but I likes 'em:
7. 'Nuff said:
If you would also be so kind as to distract my kids in the yard for an hour or two so I can take a nap, that would be great. They like shiny things...take after their mama.

I'll throw in a couple of carrots to sweeten the deal. What do you say?

{What would you love to find in an Easter basket made just for you?}

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easy Chocolate Croissants

We've had a busy month, and lately I've been gravitating towards simple, fast recipes that I can throw together in a pinch.

It was too late to go to the grocery store on Sunday night because I had on my comfiest pajamas and no make-up  and I realized that I needed a little something to whip up for a crafty play date on Monday morning. I thought I'd share my go-to brunchie treat with you all.

Easy Chocolate Croissants
from Real Simple

1 (8 count) tube refrigerated crescent rolls (I've used Pillsbury and the Wal-Mart brand and couldn't tell the difference)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Unroll dough and separate into 8 triangles. Place a small handful of chocolate chips on the bottom third of the triangle and roll the dough up around the chocolate.

Bake on a cookie sheet for 11 to 14 minutes, until golden brown. I drizzle mine with chocolate chips melted in the microwave.

These are best if you can hide them from small children and enjoy them on your own. 

{Bon Appetit!}

Have you found any easy recipes to make lately?
Linking to Jen's yummy Tasty Tuesday Party 

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Monday, March 29, 2010

What Came First, the Newspaper or the Egg?

I bet you have a bag full of those plastic Dollar Store eggs too. I keep mine in the attic now because certain small people were still playing "egg hunt" last July, and I got sick of finding them hidden under my couches and behind my pillows. 

I can only hide so many eggs before I get tired and want to come in and eat Peeps. So I decided to think up a little project to take care of a few of the extras.

My supplies included newspaper, scissors, Mod Podge, plastic eggs, a small foam brush, and a mocha from Panera, because every good craft should be accompanied by caffeine. 

I cut small strips of newspaper first. Then I used my foam brush to apply a small amount of Mod Podge to the egg, laying strips of newspaper, spreading the pieces flat as I went.

If you don't like getting your hands sticky, this is not the project for you. 

They still need to be smoothed out a little bit, but I think they are kind of fun. 
They might also look cute on a platter in a bed of moss, maybe paired with a little bunny.

I've seen eggs died and decoupaged with just about everything else in the past year or so, so I thought why not try newspaper? The best part was that it cost me nothing because I had all of the supplies at home!

The winner of The Peacock Shop Giveaway was Jessica from Adventures of a Wife and Mommy. 

Please email me by Friday so I can get you in touch with Kathlyn. Thanks again to Kathlyn for hosting such a fun Giveaway with me! If you didn't win, be sure to check out The Peacock Shop for some amazingly cute shopping.

I hope you guys are still planning on joining in for the first Dishing It! party on April 14th. This new monthly party is my way of getting bloggers together to chat about a common topic. I'll post a question/topic a few days before the party, and ask everyone to link up and hop around. I think it will be a fun way for us to get to know other bloggers. 
Also, in case you missed the announcement, the next Decorating Dilemmas Party is on for April 21st. That's my birthday, so please don't let me down. It's going to be a blast offering each other feedback on our Dilemmas and Solutions. Hope you'll join us!

I'm linking up to Kimba's epic weekly DIY party. I'm also linking up to the super-fun Tutorial Tuesday at Hope Studios!
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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Thrifty Treasures Illuminated in the Dollar Spot

I {heart} Target, but the Dollar Spot near the entrance in every Target store holds a special place in my heart.

I don't know of any other Spot in the world that you can find such fabulousness: coloring books, tiny vases, headbands, place mats, ribbon, itty bitty cookbooks, junk to amuse your kids in the car, and so on.

My most recent acquisitions had me squealing in delight.
I snatched those tiny tea light lanterns up before any one else could lay claim on my property. Mine! I'll totally crunch your toes with my stilettos if you come between me and my Dollar Spot. Or at least give you a dirty look. Or say a bad word in my head. Or something.

Anyways, I think these will be so cute on the deck this summer. I see warm weather, hanging paper lanterns, a burlap runner, my natural woven platters, and these guys lighting up the food table.

I've been waiting for Rhoda to bring back her Thrifty Treasures party so I could share these with you. If you enjoy reading about amazing bargains, go check her blog party out.

{Have you found any Thrifty Treasures lately?}

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

They're Baaaaack!

Spring decided to take a little break here in my part of Virginia, but that's okay because I have a pop of sunshine in my front flower beds.
They're baaaaaack.

My in-laws thinned my daffodil crop for me last Spring, and they grew in so nicely this year. They were rather sparse last year because I didn't take the time to thin them out. I am loving the pretty bursts of color that greet me every time I pull into the driveway.

We still have some weeding and mulching to do, and I'm waiting for my azaleas to bloom, but my daffodils are a nice reminder of Spring, even when she decides to take a little siesta.
Just have to keep explaining to the little ones that these aren't for picking!
{Which flowers say "Happy Spring" to you?}

*Don't forget to enter The Peacock Shop Giveaway (open until 5 pm on Sunday!)

I'm linking to Stacey's Green Thumb Gardening Party over at The Blessed Nest. Be sure to check it out for some Springy inspiration!

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Favorites Feature ::Weekend Bloggy Reading::

Happy Friday!

If you haven't entered The Peacock Shop Giveaway yet, click the link and sign up before Sunday rolls around...major cuteness to be seen.

I have some great Weekend Bloggy Reading for you today:

~Richella posted a thought-provoking entry on encouragement through blogging.

~Beth's Dollar Tree Coupon Organizer got a makeover!
~Really cool craft room. I'm pretty envious....

~What Melissa doesn't do.

~Tanielle's "I Can't Believe It's Not Real Make-Up" DIY Pretend Make-Up
~If you like learning how to do stuff, you must check out Jennifer's Tutorial Tuesday linky party. Great posts!

Our weekend plans include a little portrait session scheduled this morning with Antiquities, some major laundry folding sessions, and some Easter decorating. But I really wish I was going shoe shopping.

{What do you have planned this weekend?}
Happy Weekend Bloggy Reading!
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Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Peacock Shop (Giveaway!)

I love coffee. And I love birds (Michaela's middle name is "Byrd").

To find an Etsy shop that combines my love of caffeinated beverages and frilly frou frou birdie stuff would be a dream come true.

So you can imagine my delight when sweet Kathlyn from The Peacock Shop contacted me about advertising on Serenity Now. Her fun shop, open since May of 2008, features beautiful hand-painted mugs, tea cups, prints, and pillows.

The fun little peacock logo is what drew my attention first. "Paula and Percy Peacock" were invented during one of Kathlyn's doodling sessions, and they feature prominently in her designs.

Kathlyn describes her style as "simple and cute with a lot of turquoise mixed in between."

I see:




A Sense of Humor
The best part about The Peacock Shop? Kathlyn offers customizations for FREE! Whether you have an inside joke you want her to add to the inside of the rim, a Bible verse to the front, or your favorite quotation, talk to Kathlyn and she'll work it out. If you're going to drink your coffee/tea/mocha at home, why not do it in style?

You can also find Kathlyn, an Army wife, blogging about family, friends, and crafting at The Patriotic Peacock.

Kathlyn is generously offering a Giveaway this week for readers at Serenity Now!

The Peacock Shop is giving away one adorable "Fancy Peacock Teacup" to a lucky reader.
This fancy, hand-painted tea cup is decked out with pink and turquoise jewels.

Here's how to enter:

Visit The Peacock Shop and then come back here to leave me a comment telling me what your favorite item is.

The contest is open until 5 pm (ET) on Sunday, March 28th. I'll announce the winner on Monday. Good luck!

{Happy Shopping!}

Interested in advertising your shop/blog/business here on Serenity Now? See my advertising page for more info., or shoot me an email!

*Note: The Giveaway is now closed. Please check back in on Monday to see who won.
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

When I Called 911, They Were Busy...

... so they sent this rag tag band instead.
They didn't put out my fire, but they did drink all of my juice boxes.

Okay, in all seriousness, I'm going to come right out and say it:

Although being a mother is one of the noblest professions, it can be downright boring at times.

I can only play "I Spy" and kitchen and dollhouse and sing "Old MacDonald" and read Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day so many times before I want to lock myself in the closet and chant "Serenity Now" over and over.

That's why MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) is such a lifesaver for me. We have meetings twice a month so the 80 or so moms can have brunch and a chat without the bebes present; but we also have two Outside Events Coordinators who plan fun things for us to do, whether it's an event with the kiddos or a moms' night out.

March was "Sizzle Month," and the MOPS girls met up a couple of weeks ago at the fire station just around the corner from my house. We had a fire safety talk from a real fire fighter and the kids got to run around the garage with the trucks and ambulances. 

It was a kid's dream come true.

I loved that the fireman put on his gear at the end of his talk to show the kids that there was nothing to be afraid of.

I need a sign like this one in my house (Keep Back 500 Feet):

And what better way to end the morning than with a lunch at Firehouse Subs?
It was a great way to shake up our routine a bit, get the girls out of the house, and have some time to talk with  some girlfriends.

{What are some ways you mix up the routine in your life?}

**Check back in tomorrow for a fun Giveaway!**
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Birthday Berry Cobbler

T celebrated a birthday last weekend.

Because I left my glamorous and high paying job behind when I had kids, (excuse me for a minute while I go laugh at that portion of this sentence) I didn't have any extra moolah, so I decided to make T his favorite dessert as a birthday gift.

I didn't have a good Blackberry recipe on hand, but my friend Angela sent one my way via email and told me I could share it with you.

Mixed Berry Cobbler
**I just used two bags (about 4 cups) of frozen blackberries in place of the other berries listed**

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries (other berries may be substituted)
  • 1.5 cups sugar; divided
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine

  • Make ahead:  Combine berries in a bowl and sweeten with 1/2 cup of sugar. Refrigerate, covered, for a few hours. Drain before spooning over batter
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; mix well. Add milk; beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • Place butter in a medium baking dish. Place dish in oven to melt butter; remove from oven. Spoon batter evenly over melted butter.
  • Spoon berries over batter; do not stir. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve cobbler warm or room temperature.
I didn't do a good job of draining my blackberries before adding them to the batter, and it really made a difference. I had to cook the cobbler for longer than I should have, and it was still a little soupy. I've tasted Angela's masterpiece before, and it really is a great recipe!

{Bon Appetit!}
Linking to Jen's delicious Tasty Tuesday party at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam...check it out for some yummy recipes! I'm also linking to Jennifer Juniper's Tutorial Tuesday at Hope Studios.
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