Fab Find Friday

Written by Andrea

Looking for a last minute purchase for a baby, toddler, or cool kid in your life? Look no further.

I contacted Kayla at Bows, Hats, and More about making a couple of hats for a couple of special little baby boys in my life (surprise is out of the bag… dang). I wanted UK hats and didn’t see any in her shop. Within a few hours, she literally had them made and was sending me photos of them to see if I wanted to move forward with the purchase. I immediately bought them. I mean, who wouldn’t? Kayla was awesome to work with, the hats are adorable, and she shipped the items incredibly fast. If you need a gift idea, this one is for you!:)

Happy Friday!

12 Weeks of Homemade Christmas…the Advent Calendar

Introduction by Dawn.  Reprinted with permission from TSJ Photography.

I have been wanting to do an Advent Calendar with Jackson now for the past couple of years. I wanted it to be creative. I looked and looked but couldn’t find exactly what I wanted.  So, I’m sad to say I did nothing.  I really think he would have really gotten into it this year.  So I will tell you I was thrilled when my friend Maria sent me this link, telling me she knew I’d love the Advent Calendar.  And I completely do. It’s so me.  I love Random Acts of Kindness and I want to do an Advent Calendar so this is the perfect mix!! I got the link too late this year to implement it but I am definitely implementing it next year. I cannot wait!!

Thanks to Maria for sharing and also for TSJ Photography’s willingness to allow me to reprint the post.  Enjoy!


random acts of christmas kindness :: advent 2010

By tracie | Published: December 6, 2010

I am so incredibly excited about our Advent activity this year!  And … given that I creatively “borrowed” our Advent activity last year … I think it’s only fitting I borrow from my “SHEro” again this year {get it? not HEro, but shero?}!!

And can I just insert here … that because I came out of stalking hiding, Katherine and I have gotten to know each other and are now friends!  She’s an amazing woman, mother, wife, photographer and overall creative genius!  Not to mention, a very giving and caring friend!  I feel blessed to call her friend …

Anyway … when she posted this, I immediately asked permission to borrow it.  It was just too wonderful not to!  And just as I suspected … our family has already been incredibly blessed because of it!

I didn’t have much time to pull it all together, so here’s my version of “RACK :: Random Acts of Christmas Kindness.”

And here’s how we do it … the night before … we pull the next days activity and talk about what we’re going to do.  I’ve included a scripture verse on each card as well, and we also talk about what the verse means to us.

As for activities … I borrowed some of Katherine’s, but we also came up with some of our own.  So far, one of my favorites was paying past due library fees for five people.  I’m also looking forward to our nursing home visit to hand out treats and drawings, read, and maybe sing.

One of the funnest parts of our activity is leaving a card letting the recipient know they’ve been “RACK’ed!”  Feel free to download a copy of the card here.

As I mentioned … it’s only been 5 days, but we’ve already been incredibly blessed.  The girls are excited about and loving our daily activities.  In a world so caught up with the “gimme’s” … I’m working double-time to teach my girls that scripture rings true … “it’s far better to give, than to receive!”


Cilla - December 15, 2011 - 9:38 am

Or shall I say LOVE this idea Tracie :) and thanks for sharing Dawn :) lol.

Cilla - December 15, 2011 - 9:36 am

Dawn!!! I LOVE this idea!!! AWESOME! And the pictures are fab :)

Dawn - December 15, 2011 - 8:48 am

Oh I love that idea with the book…I’m definitely going to have to check that out. I do think it’s a good lesson in pay it forward over the holidays v. “want, want, want” for the boys with all the commercialism of the season!!

Debbie G. - December 14, 2011 - 7:17 pm

Yeah, I apparently have an obsession with Advent countdowns too. After buying a new cool one (more on that in a minute) I opened the Christmas boxes to find at least 2 others that I had tried or purchased last year. At this point, it’s more of the counting idea, since Adam’s 3. One was a magnetic “cover today’s number with a magnet” thing. The other was my crafty attempt: making paper cone Christmas trees, then adding one with a tag for the number each day. I don’t think we made it through the whole thing last year…

This year I found an awesome book set “The Story of Christmas” by Workman Publishing. It has a little storybook for each day. Each book tells another part of the Christmas story, and has a string so we hang it on our 2-foot table tree after we read it. I feel like it’s reinforcing numbers AND the true meaning of Christmas.

As for next year… who knows what we’ll do? Got 11 months to figure that out!

Fab Find Friday: White Chicken Enchiladas

Written by Andrea

I am almost embarassed to write this post and indicate to you where I found this fabulous recipe. No, it isn’t The Pioneer Woman. I find most of my recipes on her blog… but lately I have a new addiction.

As if I have to tell any of you… it is Pinterest. The huge time suck that seems to encompass hours of my time and irritates my husband to no end.

Finally, Pinterest has generated something that even Brad loves.

White Chicken Enchiladas.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Last Thursday, we had a couple of guests over and I was supposed to cook dinner. I was trying to come up with something new… you know, since these guests (Paul and Rebecca) have eaten nearly any meal that I can cook that is worth anything.

I decided to do Mexican and began searching for a new recipe. When I found the White Chicken Enchilada recipe, I thought it sounded pretty good.

It was more than good. It was delicious… it makes my mouth water just thinking about it. It tasted so similar to the chicken chimichangas that I order at nearly every single Mexican restaurant I visit. Delicious.

So, if you are looking for a new one to try, this needs to be on your must try list. It’s worth it.:)Oh… and it’s pretty simple to boot. After all, even I could pull it off.:)

White Chicken Enchiladas (As taken from Joyful Momma’s Kitchen)

10 soft taco shells
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chillies
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9×13 pan
2. Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese.  Roll up in tortillas and place in pan.
3. In a sauce pan, melt butter, stir in flour and cook 1 minute.  Add broth and whisk until smooth.  Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly.
4. Stir in sour cream and chilies.  Do not bring to boil, you don’t want curdled sour cream.
5. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.
6. Bake 22 min and then under high broil for 3 min to brown the cheese.
Cook these and ENJOY!


Andrea - December 9, 2011 - 2:39 pm

Haha! Sorry for no pics, but we DEVOURED it before pics could be taken… and I couldn’t figure out how to get the pic from the site I borrowed it from. :) And, yes, Shauna… look out… you are going to be SO addicted.

Kristyn - December 9, 2011 - 9:54 am

Well, nevermind. I clicked on the link and found the pic there…yup, looks as good as it sounds!

Kristyn - December 9, 2011 - 9:53 am

Where’s the pic? These sound so good, I need a visual!

Shauna - December 9, 2011 - 9:48 am

you FINALLY shared 😉 And I understand about pinterest! I just joined…and oh MY!

12 Weeks of Homemade Christmas: The Quilted Ornament

Written by Andrea

Rebecca says she isn’t creative. She is always claiming to be unoragnized and to be haphazard at things. I can assure you that she is no more haphazard than the rest of us; that she is just as creative (maybe more so even) and that she is indeed crafty.

The crafty part is probably newer than the other things… but I’m loving this newfound love that she seems to have, because (as all of you know by now), I certainly love all things creative and crafty.

Imagine my excitement when she organized the International Ornament exchange amongst her friends from around the world. I’ll let her fill you in on the details in a later post, but the nuts and bolts of said exchange included a homemade ornament made and sent to a randomly selected person that you possibly do not know, as well as one received in your mailbox. I, being the joiner that I am, reluctantly agreed to this exciting project.

I was only reluctant because it is slightly busy this time of year. However, in my quest to fulfill my obligation to send a homemade ornament to a new friend across the world, I ran across an ornament that I loved… and much to my excitement, it also had a wonderful little video tutorial.

Huge sigh of relief.

Here is the ornament that I created.

And, here, thanks to Pinterest (yet again), is the link to the wonderfully talented lady (Angie) who created the video tutorial.

Happy ornament-making!

Fab Find Friday…Sweet Cricket Design…

Written by Dawn.

I just have to brag on Kate at Sweet Cricket Design for a moment.  Yes, the one I have raved on before… like the time she designed Cilla’s shower invitation :).  Well, she has done it again!!

I contacted Kate a few weeks ago regarding creating a birthday invitation for the boys.  For the past two years they have shared a birthday party since their birthdays both fall around Christmas so planning with open weekends and travel tends to be a problem. Anyways, I immediately thought of Kate and Sweet Cricket Design.  I love to work with her because she is so creative and also so very easy to work with!!

And she delivered!! She gave me exactly what I wanted…I wanted a football theme with a Buckeye twist. And we got exactly that.  Big Brother squealed in delight when he saw it.

(I so wish I could post it here but it has all kinds of personal info on it and I don’t want to Photoshop it out because then the invite would look so different…but trust me…it’s ADORABLE!!)

Another thing I love about working with Kate…is that she just emails me the completed file (after receiving my design approval) and then I choose who prints it.  I have used Vista Print on a couple of occasions, but I’ve been running behind this year so it was great to just be able to save it to a thumb drive and run to a local store to print the invites.  I cannot state enough what a breeze it is to work with Kate!! It is just so easy.

Throughout my blogging tenure I have always tried to highlight small business owners of whom I love to support.  Kate at Sweet Cricket Design is definitely one of those small business owners.  I know I will continue to go to her for years to come.

Luckily for you all, she is still offering her 20% off coupon to her shop as well.  Just enter SWEETHOLIDAY at checkout.  She has ridiculously fast turn around time too…so you definitely still have time to order your holiday cards from her.

PS…Kate doesn’t know I’m writing this post. I was not promised anything in return for this post. It is simply my personal thoughts :).

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