Sunday, October 31, 2010

Just Something On My Mind...A Poem


Blood Shed

Once Dead

Mercy's Bed

Forgiveness Pled


Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the Blessings in my life.  I cannot believe, even for one moment, that I deserved to be Saved.  Saved from what you ask?  Myself.  Death.

I was shown Mercy and covered with a Grace that is palpable.  How do you feel Grace???  You do, my friends, and when HE lays it on you - you know it. 

I thought HE was about rules and punishment.  That HE was represented by the people I found in church on Sunday mornings.  The ones that would smile at you and shake your hand and present a wonderful display of a family but then act like they didn't know you on Monday.  Those who read their Bibles in a pew and told me that I was going to hell for my sins.  There is this line in a Jason Gray song: "Cause all religion ever made of me was a just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet." 
RIGHT???  That's what it felt like!  All going to church, or anything to do with church (i.e., GOD), ever made me feel like was suffocated.  I was going down dude and that was it.  Know this dude JESUS and act and look like us (NO THANK YOU!) and you're cool, otherwise you might as well strap on a block and jump in the river.

And oh my lanta, IT IS NOT LIKE THAT.  

Peeps - GOD's Love for you and I is like a rush of blood that flows from your toes to your brain in a second.  Like a roller coaster that drops you so fast and so hard that you swear you have to go back and find your stomach (or your lunch) ;)  It is the GREATEST Freedom I have ever felt. 

Just hear me out to the end...we're almost there :) 

I never understood why those few family's that I did come across in my childhood that were actually good people, you know the ones, you were always allowed over there, they always fed you and took you places and were geniunely interested in your life.  They were so caring to their children and didn't really raise their voices, ever.  Why were they like that?  I found out the day I finally opened my eyes and saw HIM for who HE really is.  

HE is Love...that's it people, LOVE.  And do you know what Love is, pure, true Love?  It is the TRUTH and it smells, and it tastes and it IS so sweet.  It is GOOD!  It is ALIVE (no joke).  It wraps you up and makes you better and shows you who you really are.  How amazing and special and awesome you are.    

It doesn't mock or point fingers.  It doesn't scold or reprove.  It doesn't hate. 

The TRUTH set me FREE and I will never be the same.  

Praise HIS Holy Name.   

   LOVE &


Awesome picture a friend of ours drew with pencil
It's hard to see in this pic but the word LOVE is in HIS left eye
 More Like Falling In Love
Jason Gray

Give me rules
I will break them
Give me lines
I will cross them
I need more than a truth to believe
I need a truth that lives, moves, and breathes
To sweep me off my feet
It ought to be

More like falling in love
Than something to believe in
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance
Caught up, called out
Come take a look at me now
It's like I'm falling, oh
It's like I'm falling in love

Give me words
I'll misuse them
I'll misplace them
'Cause all religion ever made of me
Was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet
It never set me free
It's gotta be


...It's like I'm falling in love, love, love
Deeper and deeper
It was love that made
Me a believer
In more than a name, a faith, a creed

Falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spider Hat - Another Fun and Easy Kids Craft...NICE!

Oh yeah, She's BAD!!!  But in such a super cute way, right?  This was the easiest and most fun craft yet.  Well, for me anyway.  Look at that cute little thing - just makes me smile.  Continuing the Halloween Kids Craft theme I've had going on, I give you the Spider Hat.

You could probably make this with stuff you already have at home.  This is about a 30 minute craft that kids could totally do all on their own unless they needed scissor assistance. 


Black Construction Paper
Orange Construction Paper

I recommend using a glue stick as it sticks the best in the shortest amount of time.  You could use Elmer's regular glue but that tends to take a little more time to set up and these puppies need to be worn right'll see!

1.  You will need to cut your black construction paper into strips.  One strip that is 2" wide by 22" long which will be the main head band.  You could also make this happen with 2 strips that are 2" wide by 11" long - just overlap and glue the ends together.  That's how I did the one you see.  You will also need 8 strips that are 1-1/2" wide by 9" long, these will be the legs.

2.  For the eyes you are going to cut 2 large black circles, 2 medium orange circles and 2 small black circles out of your construction paper.  I just used things we had around the house to trace, just eyeball it, you've got stuff, you know you do. ;)

Large Black Circles
 Small Black Circles

Medium Orange Circles

Why is there a box around all of this...I cannot for the life of me figure it out!!!  Ugh!  Sorry
3.  Glue 1 medium orange circle onto 1 large black circle like so...

I know I got mad photographic skillz!  (Sorry about the blur, my bad)

... and then glue 1 small black circle onto the orange circle.  Repeat for the second eye.

4.  Next, fold the 8 (leg) strips in half.

This is what you should have now (pic below).  One long 2" wide strip (main head band), 2 eyeballs and 8 strips (legs) folded in half.

5.  Now fold back about 1/2'' of the end of one side of the folded strips.  I hope the picture below explains this better. :/  

Also, take the long strip, main head band, and wrap it around the head it's going on and mark or hold the spot where the strip overlaps itself.  Glue that in place so that long strip is now a circle and then glue your eyes onto it.  It looks best to glue the eyes right next to each other, basically so that the small black circles are close to touching. 

6.  Glue the side of the strip that you didn't fold to the inside of the main head band piece.  Arrange them with 4 on 1 side and 4 on the other.

It should look something like this when you are finished.

7.  Finagle the legs so that it looks more like a spider. 
This is what I came up with.

Of course I felt that Buggie's needed a little something she got purple glitter nail polish and a purple bow in her, hmmhmm, hair.

I am so lucky to have gotten these pictures.  She does not do head gear, the occasional beanie her Dad puts on her but other than that no way.  There's nothing a little banana won't cure - at least long enough to get 2 pictures!

These are super fun for the groms to make and they look adorable in them.  Who wouldn't want a spider hat, seriously?  Big Daddy D was even wearing this one earlier...I promised I wouldn't show the pics but I don't know how long I can hold out. =D

Thanks for checking out the post.  I hope you get a chance to make a spider hat and have so much fun with your little one while you do.  This is a great project to add to the last minute Halloweenie fun list.  Quick, easy, entertaining and very rewarding!!!  Thanks Auntie Vy, we love you!

Oh please let me see your spider hats.  I would love to know what other fun things you did to dress them up!  Have a great day!!!

   LOVE &
      Spider Hats


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spooky (but cute) Easy Halloween Luminaries

Seriously cute!  I cannot even tell you how much fun we had making these ridiculously cute and seriously easy Halloween luminaries.  Thanks to Auntie Vy we have yet another fantastic, simple, kid friendly Halloween craft.  Are you still looking for some fun Halloweenie ideas that you can manage to get done in a day???  Well here it is!  Grab the kiddos and let's get to it.


Glass Jar (small vase, mason jar, candle bowl, etc.)
Assorted Water-based Paint (acrylic) - make sure you have black
Small Paint Brushes or Paint Sponges
Tea Lights or Votives

This is pretty easy to figure out as you go.  Hopefully with the pictures and some descriptions you will be all set to just do it to it.  Remember to have fun and be can make whatever faces you want!  Can you find the Harajuku girl amongst our luminaries? =)

Start out by painting your glass jar.  (The jars we used are from the 'dollar store' so they were literally a buck a piece.)  Use 1 color on each jar and try to paint in one direction.  This will give an even coat and leave you with some cool striations in the paint.

(I know, turn the flash off, duh!)

Once your paint is dry, take a small brush and your black paint and just trim all around the top of the jars.

Now take your sharpie and draw an outline of a face.  Any face, however you want to do it.  We have a ghostie, Frankenstein's monster, mean, jolly and stitched ghouls and even a Harajuku girl.  So much fun! 

After you have drawn the outline of your face, use your black paint and fill it in.  You might not even need to draw the outline first.  If you like to throw caution to the wind you could just skip the marker part and paint your face right on the jar.  I would never trust myself for that but I know it is an option. ;)

Look at these fantastic faces!!!

Now all you have to do is throw your candles in the jar and light em' up!  I apparently stink at photography (not a new revelation btw) and did not get great shots of these bad boys all lit up at night.  I hope you can tell what you are looking at and please take my word that they are so cute all a glow!!!

Halloween is just around the corner...does everyone have their scabs and pimples ready???  Gross, right?  Muahahahaha

I hope you enjoyed this project and that some of you have time to give it a whirl.  I would love to see some of the awesome luminaries that you come up with!  Enjoy your day, it is a gift.

   LOVE &

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

TooT! Creepy Spider Webbed Door Frame

This is such a cute and creepy Halloweenie craft that you and your kids can do.  Bubby is 10 and helped make this fantastic specimen and also thinks it is super cool!  So easy and fun to make, let's get started!!!


Black Poster Board
Glitter Glue or Glitter Markers/Crayons/Colored Pencils, etc.
Funky Spider
Fishing Line (or other clear line/rope)
Heavy Duty Tape
Crafty Headgear...don't forget! 

First, make sure you're working with the poster board in the landscape position.  Using your chalk and ruler, draw straight lines on the outside edges of the board, just the top edge and the left and right sides.  Now, from each corner, draw 2 more lines in toward the middle, see pic below.

Next, take your scissors and starting at the bottom of the board, the point where your left line ends, cut a curved line to the end of the next point.  Continue doing this with each point until you have made it back around the ending point of the line on the right edge of the board. 

Now you're ready to glitter-fy it.  You can see in the picture just above that we started by outlining the outside edges with black glitter.  You can do this however you desire and in whatever medium you choose, as long as it can be seen against the black.  The glitter just really stands out and catches the light so great and looks super cool!  We did all of the inside lines in silver glitter.

Next, make glittery curved lines that mimic those you cut out of the poster board.  These don't have to be perfect.  Just go with the flow of the curves and have fun with it.  You will do a couple of rows of the glitter curves to get the look of a spider web.

Also notice that we added a center line to give us an anchor point for the center curves.

Ok, get your cutie creepy spider guy...

Poke a little hole in his bottom and slide your fishing line, cut at your desired length, through the hole and tie a knot that is big enough so the line doesn't slip back out of the spider butt.  We wanted the spider to hang down a good bit but not too much to be a nuisance when trying to get in and out of the room.  Set spidey aside.

Here's the tricky part.  Not for you, for me!  How do I explain how we adhered this whole thing to the door???

Here husband held the poster board from the front letting the top edge slightly overlap the front of the door frame.  While he was holding it there I took our packing tape and pulled off a strip about a foot long & put the tape on the back of both the poster board and the top of the door frame.  The tape literally stradles both pieces.  I did this with enough tape to cover the entire back edge of the poster board.

Here you can see it from the front with this pathetic close up. ;)  That super small, bright green text in the picture says: "See here, from the outside, the board is just on the outside of the top of the door frame"

Now for the final step.  This is where you hang your cutie creepy spider guy.  I don't have a picture for this because it didn't really come out.  I think it was a combo of the clear fishing line and clear tape against the ultra white door frame...not a good close up picture taking combo.  But seriously, all you do is get your spider where you want him (doesn't have to be in the middle if you want to change it up), holding the line with it under your thumb up against the under side of the top of the door frame (just behind your poster board) keep your thumb tight on the line & take a small piece of packing tape and tape the line in place where your thumb was.  Viola'!  Done!

Did that make any sense at all?  Whoa!  I've read it a few times and I feel like it might be doable with that explanation.  Please let me know if you need some more confusing details, I am more than happy to oblige. =)

This decoration was so much fun to make and a huge hit with the boys.  This is that perfect craft to get the boys interested, syked and spooked all at the same time.  Thanks again Auntie Vy for our fabulous crafty days and these awesome ideas!!!  

Happy almost Halloween to everyone.  Keep up the great crafty work!  I look forward to seeing some of the other fantastic crafts at the killer linky party blogs over on my left sidebar.  You should go check them out.  There are so many wonderful ideas and talented chicks out there!!!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mmmmmmm, Scabs! (Fun Halloween Party Treats)

If you're having any kind of Halloween party or get together, or if you are attending one and need something fun to bring along, you should try this.  It's a disgustingly fun party snack that will have the kids squirming in their costumes.  (and it's healthy, too)

Ok, here's what you need:

Are you ready???

Dried Cranberries (or cherries)
Labeling Method
  1. Purchase dried fruit (cranberries or cherries)
  2. Clean bowl
  3. Pour dried fruit into the bowl
  4. Label as "Dried Scabs" - the kids can even make the label, be as fun or scary as you want!

Yep, that's it!  And look how yummy, I mean, how disgusting they look!

How about some pimples?  Every Halloweenie party needs some pimples ripe and ready for the popping!!! eeeewwww, I just grossed myself out typing that =)

These are just pomegranate kernels...seriously, that's it. 

I hope you get a chance to try these out.  They are usually a huge Halloween hit!!!


Friday, October 15, 2010

Super Fantastic Vegan Cupcakes...Or Are They???

Yes, they are vegan but they taste like they're not. 

In fact, I have made this recipe several times, as both a cake and cupcakes, and no one was the wiser.  Not even the meatiest of eaters!

Buggie eating her pre-birthday party birthday cake.  This is her actual 1st birthday day.  Since we had festivities planned for the whole family on the weekend, complete with several store bought cakes, I wanted her to at least have something on her actual birth day.  She got a super yummy, round, single layer, vegan birthday cake.  She ate it like it was the very best thing she had ever had.  (I'm sure it was since she had never had anything sweet, except apple juice, before this day)

I made this recipe a couple of weeks ago for my step-sons 10th birthday party.  They were a very big hit - and no one knew they were vegan! 

Even better, the chocolate version (the only version I ever make cuz I'm addicted) tastes like those Hostess Cupcake things you get at the convenient store.  So moist and chocolatey.  But not so good for you.  Make this recipe with chocolate and you can indulge with a little less still has lots of sugar but no preservatives, no dairy (safe for lactose intolerant or egg allergic friends & family) and tastes real!  I am no fan of chemicals and preservatives and feel like lots of foods, especially sweet treats, taste all fake-ish.  Not this bad boy!  It's totally yummy!!!

Disclaimer: I have found that this recipe tastes the best if you make it about 24 hours before you are going to serve it.  The taste is just richer and smoother the next dayFrom there, eat it in about 2 days (so it's not too great after day 3). 

Ingredients  (why do I want to spell that with an 'a'??? ingrediants, NOT, der)

1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup baking chocolate (powdered, like Hershey's or Nestle)

1 cup sugar (or whatever sweetener you choose - Stevia, etc.)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (if baking with chocolate use about 1/2 teaspoon)
1-1/2 cup water
1/3 cup oil
1 tablespoon vanila
1 tablespoon white vinegar (needs to be mild - not like balsamic or red wine)

This version will make an 8x8 or slim 9x9 cake or 1 good size round cake.  If you plan to make a round layer cake you might want to experiment with this.  Using the recipe as is will yield a short layer cake with 2 thin layers, each about 1 to 1-1/2" thick).  If you double the recipe you will get 2 pretty good size layers, about 3" thick each.  It will all depend on how you want your cake to look and how many you need to feed. 

This recipe will also yield 18 to 24 cupcakes depending on how big your cupcakes are.  I use a traditional cupcake tin and get 18 every time but I fill my cups a little more than half full. 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  If you are making a cake and plan to take the cake out of the pan go ahead and grease and flour your pan(s) now.  If it's cupcakes than you know what to do (put the cupcake liners in your cupcake pan). =)
  2. Now mix all of your dry ingredients together only.  It does help a little bit to sift the flour but really isn't necessary (I don't think I've done it once).  If you are not making the chocolate version just omit the powdered baking chocolate.
  3. Next, mix in all of your wet ingredients, right into the same bowl as your dry ingrediants - LEAVING THE VINEGAR OUT RIGHT NOW.  I repeat, do not mix in the tablespoon of vinegar yet.
  4. Once everything is blended well and there are no lumps you will be ready to add the vinegar and then put into the oven immediately.  The reaction of the vinegar with the baking soda is what helps take the place of eggs in a traditional cake recipe.  But this reaction is best caught "in the act" so to speak, so you will want to be ready to put your cake/cupcakes right into the oven immediately after you have mixed the vinegar in well.
  5. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan.

***If you find this cake to be too chocolatey for you (is there such a thing???) then back off the powdered chocolate by a 1/2 cup.
***If you like the flavor of almond you can add 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract.  I'm not a big fan of the flavor of almond (like almonds just not the extract) but I've heard that it's a good flavor mix with this recipe.

I have a vanilla frosting that I make for these which is also vegan.  I really just kind of eye ball it and play right off of a traditional butter cream frosting.  Here is my best attempt at estimating the measurements.


1 stick softened Willow Run margarine (or other non-butter butter stick)
5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 to 1 cup room temp water (just not very cold)
1 tablespoon vanilla

This is best done with a hand mixer or the oh so coveted (by me) KitchenAid Stand Mixer...I dream of it's black and chrome awesomeness ;) 

  1. Soften your stick of butter.  It's best to take it out of the refrigerator when you start the baking process.  That way it can be softening up the whole time you are mixing and baking and such.  If it's not ready when you are just pop it in the microwave at like 7 second intervals until it is soft, just not quite melted.  Smoosh it in your bowl with your mixer.  Just jab it a few times with the blades you don't have to actually turn it on yet.
  2. Add in 2 cups of powdered sugar.  I would put 2 cups in at a time because there tends to be a powdered sugar poof ball party in the kitchen if you put more than that in.  If you have a stand mixer than you can put it all in.
  3. Add about a half a cup of water and your vanilla.
  4. Mix very well.  Start at a lower speed and increase as your sugar becomes moistened and is no longer dry.
  5. Add in 2 more cups of powdered sugar and about 1/4 cup of water.  Mix well again.
  6. Now is the time to eye ball it.  Does it look like you have enough frosting?  I know for a fact that 5 cups of powdered sugar is enough to frost both 18 cupcakes and a thin layer cake with just a bit left over.  You might be doing fine now.  Just make sure that your frosting tends to form some peaks when your blending it.  If it doesn't want to do that and appears too runny than you are going to have to add the last cup of powdered sugar.  You might not need that last 1/4 cup of water but, again, get those peaks and if not play with your powdered sugar and water ratio.  Keep blending at a medium to medium-high speed until your frosting forms peaks and is a consistency you like.
***You will want to refrigerate this for about an hour so that it sets up a little bit.  I usually make this right after I put the cake or cupcakes in the oven and then put it in the refrigerator and by the time the baking and cooling is done it's about ready to go. 

Frost and ENJOY!!!

I hope you get a chance to try out this recipe and let me know what you think.  I would love to know what variations you made and what fun things you might have added or how you used it.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need any help.  I would love to hear from you!!!


TooT! Super Cute, Easy Halloween Pumpkin Craft

So we all know Halloween is just around the corner and I think we're all agreed that it is so much fun to decorate, sew, craft and plan for.  Everything from creepy yard decor to costumes, candy dishes to classroom treats.  You name it, it's pretty much fun to do for Halloween.  

I had the greatest pleasure of having my very bestie, Auntie Vy, over to Halloween craft with me yesterday.  She has some of the greatest, tried and true ideas that you are going to love.  (Wait until you see the creepy, fun door frame decorations that the boys get excited about making!  They are too cool!!!)

The great thing about these crafts is that you might already have a lot of the supplies needed to make them on hand.  Don't forget to improvise.  If there is something you don't have just look around, you probably have something else that can be used in its place and look just as good.  Just have fun with these and do them with the kiddies...they will have a blast!   

To make these ridiculously cute pumpkins you will need:

Paper plates
Orange spray paint
Foam (some alternatives: construction or scrap book paper, markers, scrap fabric)
Heavy duty tape (optional)

Most of this tutorial is going to be done with pictures.  I like pictures and, if you haven't heard this about me before, I am visual!!!  So what better way to do it than with pictures?!?

First, you'll need to cut the tops and bottoms of the paper plates.  (Everything we will be doing is on the back of the plate, utilizing the natural round shape.)


Now it's time to spray paint.  This is pretty much the only part that an adult will have to do - unless you have some budding grafiti artists in the house.  ;)

We used this awesome fluorescent orange.

Next, you will cut out and place pieces for the face.  Make it fun.  This doesn't have to be perfect and the more creative the better.  Once you have your face the way you want it go ahead and glue the pieces in place.

Now these little guys need a stem and some leaves.  Just cut out the basic shape of leaves and a rectangle for the stem.                                                                      Since we didn't have brown foam we improvised and painted an orange piece with brown acrylic paint.  It worked great and I think the brush strokes kind of makes it look like a real stem.  We glued the green leave shapes to the stem like so...                                         
Then glue the stem and leaves to the back of the plate, making sure it looks good from the front.  You can see that we added some packing tape to make sure they wouldn't go anywhere.  Can't have a nakey pumpkin! =D

Here you can see the front of the stem and well as a super cutie pumpkin face.

We literally used scraps left over from cutting out 1 face to make another.  We mixed and matched and had so many laughs coming up with the faces.

Here's another close up of a cutie.

That's it!  All done.  Now go decorate.  Such a fun and easy Halloween craft with a big reward!!!

On another note...could you please check out my awesome head gear?!?!?  This is my crafting head band that Auntie Vy got me.  You have to wear a crafting head band when you are creating, don't you know???  I asked her if she made it, her response: "No!  But I saw it and said, did they make this for Angelene?  It looks like they made it for you!"  If you know ANYTHING about me then you are amazed right now.  This thing looks like they made it specifically with me in mind...stars, skull-n-bones, red, black, yellow...seriously, it's a head band!  THANK YOU AUNTIE VY!!!  I love, love, love it!!! 

I hope you enjoyed this quick and easy toot!  Please let me know if there is something I can help you with or if you need a better explanation on anything.  Have lots of fun and enjoy your day - it is a GIFT!!!