Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Family Reunion Mementos

I'm revisiting a favorite idea I posted in 2010.  Family Reunion Calendars make great mementos and can help you learn more about your family.  To make a calendar, collect 12 good recipes from extended family with the following information:  
Where did it come from?
How old is it?
Is it a tradition?  
To read more about this idea, click on the calendar:
 Family Reunion Calendars
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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Chicken Salad with Shell Pasta

I call it Pearly Shell Chicken Salad.  It is so delicious!  It's even prettier with red grapes.  I remember seeding lots and lots of red grapes to make this wonderful dish.  This is a real crowd-pleaser.  I almost forgot about this amazing recipe, but looking back over past posts, I knew I needed to include this one especially!  To read the original post and get the recipe, click HERE!

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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Easter Bird's Nests and The Jelly Bean Poem

I posted about making these nests each Easter with my children.  They are so delicious and made the holiday more memorable.  I also liked to make the Jelly Bean Prayer for the little children in my Sunday School Class and of course attach a little bag of jelly beans!  You can find two versions of the bird's nests (one involves peanut butter!) by clicking on the poem below.

 April Traditions: Birds' Nests and Jelly Bean Poem
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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Girl Scout Favorites

Just in time for Thinking Day...
Who'd want to be a Boy Scout when you can be a Girl Scout???  Not me!  As a Girl Scout Leader for five years and a Boy Scout leader for another five years, I have to say Girl Scouts Rule!  My Girl Scout Favorite Things post includes GS memorabilia plus our families' own mementos.  The post includes favorite activities and best of all, SWAPS!!!  Is it weird that the adult in the troop was the most into making SWAPS?  They're so cute!  But to read this Thinking Day walk through memory lane, click on the pic below:
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Monday, January 1, 2018

Making the Most of a Church Newsletter

This year I thought I would revisit some of my favorite posts in the past years.  This post received a lot of attention.  You can read about it here: CHURCH NEWSLETTER IDEAS.

To find a newsletter template like this: SUGARDOODLE.
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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Family Resemblance Album Page Layouts

You know what is scary?  Going to a family gathering with cousins you have not seen in forever and freaking out because your cousin who should be in her thirties is standing in front of you as her 14 year-old self!  After doing a double, triple-take, common sense comes in and of course this must be the cousin’s own child!  

But how can they look so similar at similar ages?  Genetics I guess. And here are two examples of photos that inspire a “Family Resemblance” page of course!!!  Not only has the above experience happened to me, but my own daughter inspired many double-takes as well.  I remember an uncle seriously perplexed how my teenage-self apparition could appear before him many, many years later.  It was pretty funny to watch.  

Attributed to Freckles in April.com
I can’t wait to put together my own page or two inspired by these touching and captivating photos.
Just gorgeous!
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Monday, March 13, 2017

Scrapbook Page Inspiration

Something all four of these scrapbook pages have in common is there is only one spotlight photo or even no photos.  I think the “Twenty Quotes I Like” page could showcase a special favorite photo as well.  Also unique about these examples is how journal inspiring they are.  I have a personal journal of favorite quotes and it would be so awesome to include a page devoted solely to my love of special quotes.  A page devoted to meaningful quotes would reveal much about the scrapper’s personality and character.

“10 Things I Love About Being a Mom” is not only a touching tribute, but also a wonderful journal prompt.  I could see even longer responses being given with more details.  Or this could be a recurring theme in successive albums.  The spotlight photo would show changes in the scrapbooker from album to album and create a timeline theme that is consistent throughout the family albums as the years go by.

Sometimes I only have that one great shot that I want to scrapbook so the page has to be extra special--extra creative.  That’s why I love the “Seaside” page with its simplicity and minimalist beauty, yet the page is filled with a lovely memory.  This is a mostly wordless journal page with only a short caption to capture the moment concisely.

A Pinterest album page layout idea just makes me smile.  Where would I be without Pinterest?  I remember having to use bookmarks to help me relocate all the amazing stuff and things I found on the Internet.  I usually would just give up in the end.  I also had an Idea Book that had years of clippings from magazines carefully filed away.  But when I found Pinterest, “the world became my oyster.” 

Of course I would want to create a fabulous (yet simple in design) album page devoted to one of my favorite and helpful past times. This can also be a wordless journal page with just a Pinterest Board title to say it all.  As with the real Pinterest Board, choosing a catchy board cover photo is very important and draws the viewer to click on for more.
These Pinspirational album page layouts have made my priority list when I sit down to get creative with my family photos.  I hope they inspire you as well.  Please visit my Cuttin Up” Pinterest Board to see all the wonderful ideas I have come across so far.
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Friday, December 2, 2016

5 Ways To Spend Less And Give More This Christmas

1. Buy gifts before Thanksgiving.  Unfortunately there is so much holiday hype around Christmas, that I begin to lose the Christmas Spirit quick.  I try to avoid that by shopping early and intentionally, purchasing gifts that are unique to the recipients.
2. Avoid Credit Card Purchases.  Ask yourself when you are considering using a credit card: "Will I be able to pay this off when I get my next paycheck?" If the answer is no, don't purchase the item.  It has taken me three years once to pay off Christmas credit card purchases.  That's just wrong!  Creating a budget and shopping early and carefully to stay in that budget makes Christmas morning and the whole next year more enjoyable.
3. Avoid overkill.  Have you ever bought your kids too much for Christmas?  I have and I learned that at a certain point, the WOW! factor begins to fizzle out.  It's best to take purchases back before Christmas if you realized you might have over-bought.  Especially if you factor in what relatives are planning to give your children.  Children should be excited about those gifts as well so that relatives can experience your child's joy.
3. Limit expectations ahead of time.  When deciding to have a Christmas where we remember the reason for the season, scaling back the commercialism might be hard for some family members and helping children (and spouses!) prepare for the cutting back requires a little planning.  Begin by planning and emphasizing all the traditions that cost little money but create lovely memories.  Number five has great ideas to help family members appreciate Christmas more and Santa less.
4. It really is "The thought that counts."  Remember less is more--think of tasteful, timeless gifts.  Knowing that someone actually spent time thinking about you and what would truly be meaningful to you is a gift in itself.  It encourages empathy for others--a trait sorely lacking in today's world.
5. Simplify by
  • Helping out the less fortunate
  • Restoring meaning to the ritual of gift giving
  • Make your own traditions.  Identify which are really important.  8 Traditions To Add To Your Bucket List identifies traditions that are more on the "spiritual" side including having a birthday party for Jesus.  It is His birthday for Heaven's sake!

Friday, November 4, 2016

3 November Traditions to Do with Little Ones

1. This Thanksgiving, begin a tradition where your little ones not only help make the holiday special for others with this sweet decoration or hostess gift craftivity, but provide the makings for a casserole that will use up the leftover turkey.  Create this paper bag container for the ingredients to a Gobble Good Turkey Casserole!  Find the instructions at my post GOBBLE GOOD TURKEY CASSEROLE!
2. Another really nice activity for families to do on Thanksgiving Day while they wait for dinner to be ready is the Thankful Turkey Activity from the Idea Door!  (I scanned the turkey just in case the link is broken):  http://www.theideadoor.com/?s=color+turkey+blessings.
As an alternative to a printable, Preschool Alphabet has an arts and crafty Thankful Turkey.
Hopefully everyone will begin to focus on being thankful on this special day as they read the poem and write a blessing on each feather of the turkey.
3. LAST BUT NOT LEAST, check out my NOVEMBER TRADITIONS post that has some great activities for a special Thanksgiving "Family Night".

Friday, August 5, 2016

Brown Bagging It

Here is a list of lunch menu ideas to make lunch more interesting for kids or adults alike:
~Whole-grain bread for sandwiches, cut into triangles of course
~100% juice or chocolate milk frozen in nonglass containers that will thaw just in time for lunch and help keep the rest of the lunch cool.
~Cheese cut into strips or cubes
~Low-fat yogurt is always packed with a healthy granola bar
~Popcorn or pretzels alone or mixed with nuts, raisins, and dark chocolate chips
~Peanut butter, tuna fish, lean chicken or turkey (instead of bologna), egg salad, can all be served on bread or in a pita or rolled up in a tortilla. 
~On weekends, make “icebox” cookies, which are our version of Pillsbury Cookie dough.  These slice-and-bake cookies are great for the lunch box, and I actually know what's in them since their made from scratch.
~Pasta salad keeps really well.  
~Little blocks of meat and cheese hits the spot.
~Leftovers for lunch such as Pizza is popular among children.  
~Lunch nachos:  refried beans, grated cheese, shredded lettuce, olives, and salsa, accompanied by a bag of tortilla chips.
~Bake ahead mini cupcakes and muffins and freeze them.  Pop into the lunch bag and by lunch they are thawed.
~Wrap tortillas with ham and cheese or cucumbers and cream cheese (use seedless cucumbers and dry off slices with a paper towel).
~Never use plastic baggies again by repurposing plastic containers with tight-fitting lids to hold chips, canned fruits, leftovers, etc.
~Use a deli takeout menu for sandwich combination ideas.  Try using bagels, pitas, leftover biscuits, hotdog and hamburger buns, and English muffins.  Try banana nut bread with cream cheese and jam.  (Note:  A thin layer of butter on any bread helps prevent soggy sandwiches.)
~Try kabobs of ham, cheese, pineapple, and cherry tomatoes on a skewer.
~Instead of individually packaged items, buy a family-size such as chips and put them into ziplock baggies yourself, then put these in a storage container so they are always ready and stay fresh.
~Beef jerky is also a fun snack to pack.


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