April 24, 2013

Fundraising For Youth Camp

Just recently my husband became a Youth Pastor! We are super excited! My husband has been hard at work...he's been working on his Masters Degree in Religion, keeping our business going, serving God, being a wonder father and husband, and I could go on forever. So seeing the finish line means less stress. It's slowly starting to sink in that something that we have been waiting for will be here in just a few short months. So when my husband got the opportunity to serve at a church as a youth pastor he immediately stepped up to serve as God called him to do. We love our new church and we are already busy busy busy with the youth and children. In a couple of months we will be taking them to church camp! We decided that we wanted to do a fundraiser to help out. With our business in the mall it makes it easy to set up some things for a fundraiser event. What a perfect opportunity. So we jumped right on top of that and are taking full advantage of our business to help raise money for our youth. I couldn't wait to get started and can't wait to set up my projects I have been working on. So here's a sneak peak of my projects to help our youth go to camp! It feels great to be able to put forth something that could help a child that may not have had the opportunity to go :) We are so blessed to be serving our Lord and what a wonderful Lord we serve!


I will be posting more soon and hopefully if I can find the time soon I will give steps~by~step instructions to make your own homemade signs. Have a blessed day :)
If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his
cross daily and follow me.   - Luke 9:23

April 19, 2013

Whipped Up Fruit

With summer fast approaching (although this Roswell, N.M. weather has been all over the place), I am so excited for the BBQs! So hopefully the wind will die down and the warm weather will stay. I have heard several old young people who said they have lived their whole lives here and have never seen this much wind in Roswell! One reason I actually enjoy Roswell is because there is not a whole lot of wind. I moved away from Clovis. N.M. for a couple of reasons but one reason happens to be the horrible winds. So enough of my chit chat.  So anyways as I was saying...who doesn't love friends and family gatherings? One of my favorite things about summer is the fruits :) Strawberries happens to be one of the favorites in the Secret household. So today I am going to share with you a family favorite to take to a BBQ!

So since I have no idea what to call this I'm going to call it 'whipped up fruit'. You can whip it up in minutes and it's made with whip cream (I call it whip cream but the 'right name' is whipped topping. Yum. You will need:
• 2 - 8 oz tubs of whip cream (whipped topping)
• 4 -6 yoplait yogurts
• 1 - 1 oz package of cheesecake pudding
• strawberries (I use about 20 of them)
• bananas (I use about 4 of them)

So lets get started ! Let your whip cream thaw just enough so you can stir it. Put in your yogurt and pudding. I like to let it sit for a couple of hours in the fridge but you can actually whip this up and go right out the door with it. I just like it really cold, it just seems right for hot weather. While you are letting the mixture sit in the fridge I like to put the bananas in the fridge so they are nice and cold when I put them in the mixture. After you have let it sit in the fridge for your choice of time and you are ready to walk out the door and head over to your BBQ add the strawberries and bananas!
Last minute note: I like to use strawberry flavored yogurt but you can use any kind. Same goes for the instant pudding...I like the cheesecake. You can also change the fruit. Say you want to use raspberry yogurt with raspberries. Or mix and match...blueberry and raspberry yogurt with fresh blueberries and raspberries. You get the idea right? Any type of yogurt with any type of fruit? Whatever hits the spot! It's good any way and the best thing about it is you can make it just about any flavor you want and change it up every time you make it! Also you can half this recipe but still use the full packet of pudding. Hope you enjoy.
This is a recipe you will keep forever. I love to whip this up at any given second because it's so easy and taste so good. The kids love it and I don't feel real guilty that the kids are eating way to much sweets because it has fruit in it! Welcome to my way of thinking, it has fresh fruit in it...it's good for you! Well leave me some feed back if you give it a try. I'd really like to hear if you have tried any of my blog post and your opinion. I don't have any followers yet on my blog and hope to get some soon, so if you are reading this and have been following my blog, I'd really like to have you join my blog. I promise you won't be sorry!

Click here for printable version of this recipe

April 18, 2013

Glass Vases Turned To Decor

 Today I'm going to turn cylinder vases into decor! I was going to post a different blog post today but I'm anxious to move on to some other decor in my living room. So I'll try to hurry up and finish with the projects on my fireplace so I can show you how my fireplace turned out. Unfortunately after this post I still have one more project before I can post final pics, so hang with me!
 Today we are going to talk about Mod Podge and the wonders it does! If you don't know what Mod Podge is then you must not craft and you are missing out. O.K. so Mod Podge is a glue that I use for a lot of my crafts especially when it comes to paper. It puts a nice glossy coat on the paper.
 So let's get started. I got a glass cylinder vase type thing. The only before picture I have of the vase is with all the glass stuff on my fireplace. I was trying to get a vision of what it would look like with everything in place. So if you look closely you will see the cylinder vase.
 I then went to Hobby Lobby and picked up some scrapbook paper or paper with designs, whatever you want to call it. I then cut out the amount of paper needed to cover the glass. I then used the Mod Podge and put it on the glass. I then stuck the paper on the glue/glass. I let it dry for about 5 minutes. I then covered the paper with Mod Podge. If you are looking for the perfect look I'm not the one to ask about that. Make sure that when you glue the paper that there are no creases and put it on slowly. What I had left on the top and bottom I guess I could have cut off, but since no one is scoring me on how perfect it looks I just folded the top into the vase and the bottom under the vase (as little paper as possible).
 Next I got some ribbon, needle and thread. Fold about a 1/2 of an inch behind the ribbon. Then fold the ribbon making it look like an accordion. If you understand what I'm talking about great, if not I'm sorry it's complicated to explain. That's the best way I know how to explain it. Bringing the ribbon down then up. Once you are happy with the amount you have bunched up bring your needle and tread trough it so it keeps it bunched up. Now you have something to add a touch to your vase.
It's pretty easy and it adds a nice touch to my fireplace. It's different and yet inexpensive. The glass vases were a dollar each at the dollar store. The amount of ribbon I used was nothing because I had it on hand but the amount I paid was a about a dollar something. Then the paper was about 25 cents each (50% off at Hobby Lobby). So the overall cost was about $3.50. Not bad for 2 pieces of decor. I like it and that's what matters! In my opinion it was worth three dollars and fifty cents. What do you think?

April 11, 2013

Wood + Drawer Handles = Decor

Who's ready for another DIY Decor? I am currently sharing with you my decor that I made for my fireplace. When trying to think how I wanted to decorate my fireplace, I came to a road block. I just couldn't figure it out. I didn't want pictures on it because I have plenty of family pics on my walls. So I wanted to focus on some DIY Decor. It would be unique and nobody would have the same thing. So I focused on my main project and how I wanted it to stand out.

I had already picked a 'theme' for my living room and I was going for a country vibe feel. Back to my roots! I got the idea from a wooden barn bird house my Uncle made for my Mom before she passed away of cancer. I had it in my living room and it meant a lot to me because not only had it belonged to my Mom but it was made out of the wood from the house my Grandad grew up in and my Mom did too for a portion of her life. My brothers, sister, and I played in it growing up. I miss the family farm that I grew up on, my Mom grew up on, and my Grandad grew up on. So it wasn't a hard decision to decorate my living room in an 'old country, wooden theme'.

One day while in my back yard I seen a old wooden picket fence door. I decided I wanted to use it for the fireplace. I wasn't sure how until I went to Hobby Lobby. That's where most of my ideas pop into my head. I'll come across something and it just works perfectly for an idea I couldn't come up with. So here I was in Hobby Lobby picking up a baseball light switch cover for my son. He had this hideous light switch cover that my husband made me switch out immediately when we moved in. Anyways beside the light switch covers they had drawer handles. Then it hit me...put different types of drawer handles on the wood and make it like a frame! It so happened that I came to Hobby Lobby on the right day because the handles were 50% off! 

So I get home and get right to work...of course after I switched the light switch cover. I decided I wanted to get 3 wood pieces together and make it look like a frame. So I cut the pieces to the size I wanted them and glued them together with some wood glue. I let it sit over night. I then painted it 3 of the 5 colors of my living room...green, blue, and red.

As you can see there are 2 of them, one for each side of my mantle. I had some left over trim and burlap from the burlap vases I had made. So I used the trim for one frame and burlap for the other. I had 3 small frames that I wanted to refurbish/paint them and put on the wood and place some knobs inside them. I also had a 4 x 6 frame that I wanted to use for the other. I laid out how I wanted my frame to look. I then got to work and drilled some holes for the knobs to go into.

 I added some little frames, small tile pieces, buttons, and flowers for added decoration. I bought a couple of stands to hold them up and now I have a couple of unique pieces for my fire place!

So here's an idea of what it looks like on my fireplace. Before I show you a completed picture of my fireplace, I still have some projects I want to share. So for now you will have to use your imagination and guess how it looks on my fireplace. I really love how different it is from most decorations and it adds a great touch to my fireplace. Although sometimes I wonder if it's a little too busy. Should I have toned it down and not have added as many pieces? So what do you think? Does it look good or should I have toned it down?

Oh yes and in case you were wondering about my little mans light cover here is some before and after shots.

Wasn't that just awful and outdated. As you can see from that picture an older lady lived in our home before us. So if you ever see some hideous pictures of our home you now know why.

April 3, 2013

My Mac~n~Cheese Must Have

Who wants to eat my homemade Macaroni and Cheese? I must say I make the best mac~n~cheese or at least everyone who taste it thinks so! Yes that is a challenge, if you think your homemade mac~n~cheese is better send me your recipe so I can taste test. Better yet you make mine and let me know what you think! Sound like a plan?

So sometime ago I needed to come up with a mac~n~cheese recipe. If you have children you know what I am talking about. Children could live off of mac~n~cheese but that nasty stuff you get in a box just don't cut it as a meal! Of course you could use Velveeta but it just don't taste like a homemade mac~n~cheese recipe. So I had to put my mind to work.
So the first key to making homemade mac~n~cheese is a soft cheese! Hoffman's Cheese is just that and it comes in a huge variety of flavors! I wanted a real distinct taste and the Hickory Smoked Swiss and Cheddar Cheese has a real powerful flavor that I like. I wanted it to be real cheesy so I picked up another Hoffman's flavor. I have played around over the years and I like the Pepper Jack and Hickory Smoked together. The key for me is the hickory smoked cheese, that's a must have, but you can play around with the other flavors and see what you like best. Although I think the hickory smoked is a must have the other flavors are good as well.

Now lets get to making some homemade mac~n~cheese! Boil a pot of water. When the water comes to a boil add 4 cups of elbow macaroni. I make my mac~n~cheese as a casserole so I need plenty of macaroni to fill a 9 x 13 casserole dish. While your waiting for your macaroni, grate your cheese. I use 8 oz. of each, but I'm sure you can use less if you like. When your macaroni is done cooking drain it. Bring your pot back over to the stove and add a cup of milk and your cheese. Melt your cheese and then add your macaroni back to the pot. If you are going to make this as a casserole dish make sure your mixture is creamy but yet liquidity because when you stick it in the oven you don't want it to dry out.

 Now when you have a husband mac~n~cheese is not good enough for a meal, so I like to add ham to it. I like to used leftover ham but we don't eat ham all the time so I like to use Farmland Fully Cooked Diced Ham as the other option.

Now mix it all up. You can eat it like this or make a little casserole with it.
 I then add it to a 9 x 13 casserole dish a sprinkle some Italian Style Bread Crumbs over the top of it for some added flavor and texture (see first picture above). Now stick it in the oven at 350° for about 15 minutes or so.
Take it out and I'm sure your little ones will be as happy as mine are. It's their favorite meal! And I'm sure your husband won't be disappointed either with the added meat.
So let me know what you think! I promise it's pretty yummy :)~  It's a great meal and it's great for a side dish also. I've brought it to many occasions and came home empty handed. Oh and if you have leftovers I like to use it for a side with hamburgers or hot dogs. There is so much you can do with this recipe it's a must have. I hope you enjoy this meal as much as my family does!

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