Random Ramblings: March 2016

Saturday, March 26, 2016

DIY BURLAP BUNNY BANNER

Today I am over on the MYVINYLDIRECT blog sharing this fun Bunny Burlap Banner with you.  
It was alot of fun to create and the perfect decoration for my fireplace for the holiday. 

First I got the burlap banner from MYVINYLDIRECT and the kids and I picked 4 paint colors we wanted to use.  
I found a bunny I wanted to use in my silhouette program and cut them out on stencil vinyl.  
I cut out 4 bunnies, 2 of the same but in different directions. 


I took a board I had on hand and laid out the banner, and put some paint on a paper plate.  I also got one foam paint brush for each color.


When you peel off the white backing of the stencil material, you are left with the clear stencil.  The clear stencil part is sticky on the back, which helps with keeping it in place while you paint. 
The kids and I decided on our color pattern and which bunny pattern we also wanted.  We laid down the first stencil on the burlap banner for painting. 



We repeated the pattern to complete the entire banner. 





Then I took these small white pom poms and hot glued them to the tails of each individual bunny.





Then once it was all dry I hung it on the fireplace.



It is so cute and adds just a touch of Easter to the house for this weekend.  I don't decorate much for Easter, but this is so much fun to see hung up.

~NICOLE

Monday, March 21, 2016

CHERRY BROWNIE DESSERT



This dessert was so easy to make. I mean like super easy.  These are good for nights when you want a dessert but don't want to spend hours in the kitchen baking.  

This started with just a boxed brownie mix.  I mixed it up and baked it earlier in the day.  
Once dinner was done and time to eat dessert I took out a can of cherry pie filling and a tub of cool whip.  


I cut a brownie slice and put it on a plate.  Added a spoonful of cherry pie filling and then a dollop of cool whip and then topped with just a few cherries.  


This was soo soo good.  I love fruit flavors with chocolate.  Raspberry is my favorite.  But this comes in a close second for sure.  


WHAT YOU NEED :
  • Boxed brownie mix - any kind you like
  • Can of cherry pie filling
  • Tub of cool whip
DIRECTIONS :
  • Prepare brownies as directed. 
  • Once ready to serve, slice brownie and put on plate
  • Top with a spoonful of cherry pie filling
  • Top with dollop of cool whip
  • Top with cherry or two from the pie filling
  • Enjoy!!



The cherry flavor adds so much when paired with the chocolate brownies.  And it is so simple since it just uses a can of pie filling.  Oh I just thought of something else that would make this super yummy too.  If you cut the brownie while it is still warm, then add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and then the cherries. OMG.  I am so going to try it that way next time for sure.  

So good, I think I will make this as and Easter dessert for us maybe.  

You could do any pie filling flavor you would like, strawberries, I have seen blackberry and blueberry even. 

Have you tried anything like this before?  I would love to know what version you have made.  

~NICOLE


Sunday, March 20, 2016

WHAT IS ON MY SPRING READING LIST


 I had a stack of books under the tv table in our bedroom since ... oh for like 6 months now since we moved to this house.  FINALLY a few weeks ago I got them moved to my headboard.  I have never really had anything on my headboard except a photo or two.  We don't have a bookcase in our room, and I got rid of a bunch of old books when we moved, so I thought it would be perfect for the books that I do have left.  
I also thought this might be a perfect way for me to actually start reading again.  I love to read but I never find the time - well I never make the time.  But I am hoping even if I read just a few minutes each night before bed at least I would be getting some reading time in, which is better than nothing, right.  


I grouped my books for the shelves.  The top shelf has all my Christian books, devotional books, my bible etc.  


The bottom shelf has just reading books.  


I don't even know where I got all these books but some I have had for a very long time. 

 I was trying to decide which book to read first and then I remembered I had one other book in my nightstand drawer.  It is one that I have had for a long time too.  It is 1225 Christmas Tree Lane by Debbie Macomber. I loved the entire Cedar Cover books and this is the last in the series.  Which I also love the Hallmark TV Series based on the books too! (Which I just read is cancelled so no season 4 - I am so sad!)


1225 CHRISTMAS TREE LANE -- The people of Cedar Cove know how to celebrate Christmas. Like Grace and Olivia and everyone else, Beth Morehouse expects this Christmas to be one of her best. Her small Christmas tree farm is prospering, her daughters and her dogs are happy and well, and her new relationship with local vet Ted Reynolds is showing plenty of romantic promise. But...someone recently left a basket filled with puppies on her doorstep, puppies she's determined to place in good homes. That's complication no. 1. And no. 2 is that her daughters Bailey and Sophie have invited their dad, Beth's long-divorced husband, Kent, to Cedar Cove for Christmas. The girls have visions of a mom-and-dad reunion dancing in their heads. As always in life-and in Cedar Cove-there are surprises, too. More than one family's going to have a puppy under the tree. More than one scheme will go awry. And more than one romance will have a happy ending! CHRISTMAS MASQUERADE -- change partners: Jo Marie first met Andrew, her dream man, in the crush of a Mardi Gras parade. But by Christmas, he was introduced to her as someone else's fiance. Yet Jo Marie noticed that Andrew and his intended didn't always act like a loving couple. In fact, in the whirl of Christmas parties and festivities they constantly seemed to be changing partners. During one dance Jo Marie even found herself in Andrew's arms, sharing a tender moment. Had she gone crazy? In the harsh light of reality, her dream man was going to marry another woman. Or was he? The confusion had to end--it was a lonely game that just wasn't in the spirit of the Christmas season!



I am also kind of excited to read the Julie & Julia book.  I saw the movie, which is when my mom gave me the book also but I just haven't read the book yet.  

Nearing 30 and trapped in a dead-end secretarial job, Julie Powell reclaims her life by cooking every single recipe in Julia Child's legendary Mastering the Art of French Cooking in the span of one year. It's a hysterical, inconceivable redemptive journey - life rediscovered through aspics, calves' brains and crème brûlée


The rest I will just have to see what sounds good at the time. I need to get through these two first and then figure out the next.  

Do you have a reading list?  What is on your reading list?  It may take me forever to get through all my books but getting started is the key.  

~NICOLE

Saturday, March 19, 2016

PROJECT LIFE 2016 - WEEK 4



I got really behind on sharing my PROJECT LIFE layouts with you this year.  So I am going to do a quick catch up the next week or so.  

First I just have to say again how much I am loving the PROJECT LIFE APP. It is so easy to stay on top of it.  I even got behind by a few week and in one day I was able to just plug in all the photos to the templates, add my journaling and I was done.  

I have kept my pages pretty simple with a uniformed look of all white journaling cards.  I debated about using the fun cute ones, but I really wanted to focus this year on actually completing an entire year so I wanted there to be no hold ups on design, just focus on the photos and the story.  I also like the simple clean look of all the journaling cards in all white.  I pick a title card in one of three colors -turquoise, black/white or grey, then I do a different color for the one card that may fill in with the journaling cards if I need one for that week. 

So here is this weeks recap.

PROJECT LIFE

WEEK 4
JANUARY 17, 2016 - JANUARY 23, 2016




  • The kids washing their bikes out front. 
  • All kinds of toys in the tub and shower from My Little Ponies to reptiles - all of which are Chloe's
  • Laying in bed all day with Chloe because she wasn't feeling well.  I love this picture of us I am going to frame it.  
  • No School for Martin Luther King Jr Day so the boys made us all breakfast.
  • Chloe's 6th Birthday.  The kids were all still sick, so I let them stay home from school. We celebrated by having her open her gifts before daddy left for work, playing with her new easy bake oven, I made homemade donuts for breakfast, she painted and napped, and we had dinner then per her request for dessert chocolate cake with chocolate icing and chocolate sprinkles.  
  • Finished up this Dirtbike Sign for the boys room.
  • Still sick kiddos.
  • New shoes that we ordered using some Payless Shoe Source gift cards they got for Christmas. 
  • Chloe painting all day and making a ton of pictures.  Little Jacob painting with her for a bit too.  
How is your project life coming along?  Do you use the app, the digital version or the physical stuff for this year?  

~NICOLE

Thursday, March 17, 2016

A DAY IN THE LIFE

I have always loved reading DAY IN THE LIFE type of posts.  I started loving it years ago because I have always followed Ali Edwards and I love her Day in the Life / Week in the Life type of documenting.  
I love it becuase it may all seem like mundane type of things to document but in years to come I think it will be so much fun to look back and see what a normal day was like for us.  In one year time for us it will all be differnt even.  Right now Chloe is in half day Kindergarten, so starting next year she will be a full day student.  The pick up will be different, my day will be different because I won't be picking her up in the middle of the day.  

Can you imagine if you could look back at your grandparents lives back when they had young kids, or when they were young?  I would love to have seen what my own parents lives were like before me and my brother, or what a day was like for them while we were in school and my grandparents lives, wow I would love to see all that.  

So what we may feel like just nonsense mundane day to day stuff, will be fun to look back on one day, if not for us but maybe our own kids and eventually our grandkids.  And even then it is just a small glimpse of a bigger picture.  A single day documented is not much in our crazy life adventures.  

I recently read Holly's blog post and Becky Higgins blog posts, and it really inspired me to just do it like I had been thinking about doing.  
So here is my DAY IN THE LIFE.  Be warned now, this post is very photo heavy.  

MONADY / MARCH 14, 2016

4:30 AM / ALARM GOES OFF - Really the first alarm goes off at 4:15, but I always turn it off until my next alarm goes off at 4:30.  This gives me the 15 minutes to start waking up.  


TRYING TO WAKE UP

JACOB GETS READY FOR WORK - SHOWER ETC.  AT THIS TIME I USUALLY GET UP AND MAKE HIM SOME HASH BROWNS TO TAKE FOR BREAKFAST WITH HIS SAUSAGE BISCUITS BUT THIS WEEKEND I MADE BREAKFAST BURRITOS, SO HE IS TAKING THOSE AND DIDN'T WANT HASH BROWNS.
HE LEAVES A LITTLE BEFORE 5 AM AND TODAY I GOT BACK INTO BED. JACOB MOVED CHLOE INTO OUR BED BEFORE HE LEFT BECAUSE EACH NIGHT SHE ALWAYS ASKS HIM TO.  
IF I GET BACK IN BED I USUALLY PLAY ON MY PHONE A BIT, BROWSE FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM AND SOMETIMES I GET CAUGHT UP ON A SHOW OR TWO.  TODAY I DOSED BACK OFF TO SLEEP.  IT IS THE FIRST DAY BACK TO SCHOOL BECAUSE WE HAD SPRING BREAK LAST WEEK AND I AM JUST MOVING SLOW AND TIRED TODAY. 

6:15 AM / GET UP FOR SCHOOL ALARM GOES OFF.  I LAY THERE FOR A MINUTE OR SO TO TRY TO WAKE UP AGAIN.  

6:42 AM / CALEB STILL ISN'T UP AND OUT OF BED SO TIME TO GET HIM UP FOR SCHOOL.  HE TAKES A FEW MINUTES TO WAKE UP TOO.  LITTLE JACOB ISN'T GOING TO SCHOOL TODAY BECAUSE HE STILL ISN'T FEELING GOOD FROM HIS DOUBLE EAR INFECTIONS.  SO HE IS STAYING HOME TODAY. 


6:43 AM / PICK OUT CLOTHES FOR CHLOE SINCE I DIDN'T DO IT LAST NIGHT.  THIS WEEK SHE IS WEARING SOMETHING CHEETAH EVERYDAY.  JUST FOR FUN BECAUSE SHE IS STILL CHEETAH OBSESSED LOL. 

6:45 AM / TIME FOR ME TO JUMP IN THE SHOWER REAL QUICK WHILE THE KIDS GET DRESSED AND EAT CEREAL.  I LOVE THAT THEY CAN DO THIS ALL ON THEIR OWN NOW.  

7:19 AM / EAR DROP TIME FOR THIS LITTLE GUY WHO IS NOT FEELING WELL AT ALL. 

7:30 AM / MYSELF ALL DRESSED AND HAIR DONE AND MY YOUNIQUE MAKEUP ON. READY TO HEAD OUT THE DOOR SOON FOR SCHOOL DROP OFF. 

8:04 AM / CALEB AND CHLOE TO SCHOOL. 

8:30 AM / RUNNING A FEW ERRANDS AND WHILE WE WAITED FOR ONE STORE TO OPEN AT 9  LITTLE JACOB AND I DROVE THROUGH THE BAGEL SHOP AND GOT EACH OF US A BAGEL.  HE GOT A CHOCOLATE CHIP BAGEL AND I GOT A BLUEBERRY ONE.  YUMMY.



9:30 AM / HOME AND CLEANED UP AROUND THE HOUSE.  MADE OUR BED, TOOK THE DIRTY CLOTHES TO THE LAUNDRY ROOM TYPE OF STUFF. GET OUR ROASTS GOING IN THE CROCK POT TOO. 

10:10 AM / TIME FOR THE HAIR TO GO UP IN A PONY TAIL.  

10:11 AM / CHECK ON THE ROASTS, FLIP THEM OVER AND ADD SOME SEASONINGS.

10:15 AM / START SOME LAUNDRY AND SORT THE REST THAT DIDN'T GET WASHED YET.

10:30 AM / SIT DOWN AT MY DESK TO GET SOME WORK DONE.  SEND A MESSAGE TO A CUSTOMER WITH HER CLEAR TUMBLER TO MAKE SURE SHE LIKES THE DESIGN OF IT.  

11:00 AM / POUR MYSELF A GLASS OF DIET PEPSI AND OUT THE DOOR TO PICK UP CHLOE FROM SCHOOL. 

11:20 AM / PICK UP CHLOE AT SCHOOL.  THEN WE HAD TO RUN AN ERRAND TO THE DOLLAR STORE REAL QUICK FOR SOME WINE GLASSES AND COFFEE MUGS FOR ORDERS.  

12:30 PM / WE ARE HOME AND ENJOYING SOME LUNCH TOGETHER.  CHLOE AND LITTLE JACOB DECIDED THEY WANTED SOME TOP RAMEN FOR LUNCH TODAY.  

I MADE A BIG BATCH OF CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP THIS WEEKEND SO THAT IS WHAT I AM HAVING FOR LUNCH.  I SIT DOWN AT MY DESK TODAY TO GET SOME WORK DONE WHILE I EAT.  I HAD TO MAKE A VINYL ORDER AND CHECK MY EMAILS AND EMAIL JACOB'S COACH ABOUT MISSING THE TRYOUTS TODAY FOR SOCCER.  SHE WROTE ME BACK AND SAID THE DEADLINE TO TURN IN ALL THE FORMS HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO FRIDAY SO HE WILL BE SO HAPPY ABOUT THAT.  
JACOB TAKES A NAP AND CHLOE PLAYS IN HER ROOM WHILE I KEEP WORKING UNTIL WE HAVE TO LEAVE AT 2;10 PM TO GO PICK UP CALEB FROM SCHOOL. 

2:46 PM / JUST WAITING IN THE PICK UP LINE.  HE GETS OUT AT 2:40 BUT IT TAKES A FEW MINUTES FOR THE KIDS TO GET OUT AND THE LINE MOVES VERY QUICKLY. 

2:47 PM / PICK UP LINE SELFIE OF ME AND CHLOE IN THE BACKSEAT.  LITTLE JACOB IS ASLEEP IN THE FRONT PASSENGER SEAT. 

3:10 PM / STOP BY THE CORNER STORE TO THE TINY POST OFFICE INSIDE ON THE WAY HOME TO DROP OFF AN ORDER PACKAGE FOR SHIPPING. 

3:28 PM / TIME FOR EAR DROPS FOR LITTLE JACOB AGAIN.  CHECKING HIS TEMPERATURE BECAUSE HE FEELS WARM TO ME AND HIS EYES ARE ALL RED AND GLOSSY.  A TINY FEVER SO I GAVE HIM SOME MOTRIN ALONG WITH HIS EAR DROPS. 

3:33 PM / TIME TO EMPTY THE DISHWASER AND GET IT RELOADED SO THAT I CAN CUT UP THE POTATOES FOR THE CROCK POT WITH THE ROAST. 

4:41 PM / GOT THE POTATOES ADDED TO THE CROCK POT AND THE DISHES FINISHED THEN OUR SWEET NEIGHBOR STOPPED BY TO GIVE US SOME GRAPE FRUIT AND GIVE ME THIS BLACK FRAME.  THEY ARE MOVING SO SHE ASKED IF I WANTED THIS FRAME FOR MY HALLWAY COLLECTION.  WE CHATTED FOR A BIT AND THEN SHE LOOKED AT THE BOOKCASE I AM PAINTING FOR CHLOE'S ROOM.  THEN SHE HEADED HOME. 

5:00 PM/ JACOB GETS HOME FROM WORK AND SITS DOWN IN THE GARAGE FOR A MINUTE.  I SIT DOWN OUT THERE WITH HIM AND CHAT FOR A FEW MINUTES ABOUT HOW HIS DAY WAS. 

HE STOPPED ON HIS WAY HOME FROM WORK AND GOT SOME CHIPS AND SALSA FOR US FROM A MEXICAN RESTAURANT.  HE GOT SOME DURING THE DAY FOR HIM AND THE GUYS AT WORK AND WAS GOING TO BRING THE REST HOME, BUT THEY ATE THEM ALL SO HE STOPPED AND GOT US SOME FOR HOME.  

5:23 PM / TIME TO SWITCH THE LAUNDRY I STARTED EARLIER TODAY.

6:06 PM / GOT SOME ORANGE CREAMSICLE COOKIES MIXED UP AND BAKING. I HAVE BEEN WANTING TO MAKE THEM AND DECIDED TONIGHT WAS A GOOD NIGHT SO THE KIDS WILL HAVE THEM FOR THIS WEEK IN THEIR LUNCHES.  THEY WERE SO GOOD.  

6:23 PM / OF COURSE WE HAD TO TASTE TEST THEM TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE GOOD. 

NONE OF US WERE REAL HUNGRY TONIGHT AND THE POTATOES WERE TAKING FOREVER TO SOFTEN IN THE CROCK POT, SO I FED THE KIDS SOME CHICKEN NUGGETS AND CALEB HAD JUST A LITTLE ROAST BY ITSELF NO POTATOES.  LITTLE JACOB HAD SOME SOUP AND A FEW BITES OF ROAST TOO.  

7:22 PM / CALEB SHOWERED IN THEIR BATHROOM AND I HELPED LITTLE JACOB TAKE A SHOWER SO HIS EARS DIDN'T GET WET.  THEN I GAVE MISS CHLOE A SHOWER.  WE GOT HER DRESSED AND THEN I BRUSHED HER HAIR.  AFTER THAT THE KIDS ALL BRUSHED THEIR TEETH BEFORE BED. 

7:35 PM / WHILE THE KIDS BRUSH THEIR TEETH I MAKE CALEBS SCHOOL LUNCH.  CHLOE DOESN'T TAKE ONE BECAUSE SHE IS HALF DAY KINDERGARTEN, AND I ALREADY KNEW JACOB WASN'T GOING TO GO TO SCHOOL SO I JUST MADE CALEB'S TONIGHT. 

7:39 PM / JACOB AND ARE NOW A LITTLE HUNGRY SO WHILE THE KIDS RELAX A LITTLE BEFORE ACTUAL BED TIME, I MADE EACH OF US A SMALL PLATE OF ROAST AND POTATOES. WE ATE TOGETHER IN THE LIVING ROOM TONIGHT. 

8:02 PM / BED TIME BUT FIRST STORY TIME.  I USUALLY DON'T READ TO ALL OF THEM BUT TONIGHT THEY ALL WANTED IN ON THE STORY.  LITTLE JACOB ENDED UP GOING TO LAY DOWN IN HIS BED AND FELL RIGHT ASLEEP.  SO I READ TO CALEB AND CHLOE.  

8:15 PM / CHLOE IS IN BED AND NOW IT IS TIME FOR THE BOYS TO DO THEIR DAILY READING.  IT IS THEIR HOMEWORK AND I USED TO MAKE THEM READ RIGHT AFTER THEIR HOMEWORK EVERYDAY, BUT I LIKED THE IDEA OF THEM READING FOR 30 MINUTES BEFORE BED. I FEEL LIKE THIS WAY IT LETS THEIR MIND BE FREE FROM TV AND VIDEOS AND ALL THAT OTHER DAILY STUFF AND LETS THEM JUST RELAX IN BED AND READ.  IT SEEMS TO BE A REALLY GOOD ROUTINE WE HAVE GOTTEN IN. SINCE LITTLE JACOB IS STILL SICK, HE FELL ASLEEP RIGHT AWAY AND NO READING FOR HIM SO JUST CALEB IS AWAKE READING FOR TONIGHT. 

8:30 PM / BATH TIME FOR ME.  I TAKE A BATH ALMOST EVERY NIGHT.  IT IS JUST MY UNWIND TIME.  THE KIDS ARE ALL IN BED BY THEN AND I CAN JUST RELAX IN THERE.  I USUALLY JUST PLAY ON MY PHONE BROWSING INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK AND PINTEREST.  I USUALLY PLAY A FEW GAMES TOO.  

9:20 PM / OUT OF THE BATH AND TIME TO BRUSH MY TEETH AND WASH MY FACE.

9:35 PM / AFTER THAT I SAT ON THE BED AND WATCHED THE LAST FEW MINTUES OF FAST AND FURIOUS 7 WITH JACOB.  

9:50 PM / I GO FILL MY ICE WATER CUP AND CHECK ON ALL THE KIDS ONE LAST TIME BEFORE BED.  



9:54 PM / GET MYSELF INTO BED WITH MY HANDSOME HUSBAND.  WE GET SNUGGLED IN AND TURN ON TONIGHTS EPISODE OF THE FOSTERS.  OF COURSE WE ALWAYS FALL ASLEEP DURING WHATEVER WE PUT ON WHEN WE GET INTO BED NO MATTER WHAT LOL.  

So this was my day.  Nothing much exciting, but just a typical Monday in the Mantooth Home.  It may all seem random and munday now but in years I will enjoy looking back to see what our normal day was like.  :)  


I would love to see your day in the life posts, so please share with me.  :)


~NICOLE