Wednesday, February 27, 2013

10 Swoon Worthy St. Patrick's Day Recipes

Well March is finally here and it's time to start thinking green. I love that St. Patrick's Day is in March, with all the green it reminds me that Spring is just around the corner! Mojo's family is great at celebrating St Patty's each year with corned beef and cabbage and I decided I wanted to bring something green to contribute to the spread. So I rounded up some swoon worthy recipes you can make all month long.

Since I completely failed on doing Valentine's Day this year I'm jumping with both feet into St. Patrick's Day. Which means I've got recipes on the mind. These are some of the recipes I'll be making in my house-

Shamrock Shake from Craving Comfort
Green Velvet Cake from Love from the Oven
Green Pancakes from Thoughtfully Simple
Pistachio Cupcakes from She Wears Many Hats
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies from Tidy Mom
Chocolate Mint Thumprints by Betty Crocker
Mini Mint Cheesecake Shamrocks by Create by Diane
Thin Mint Truffles from Cookin' Cowgirl
Green Candy Popcorn by Skip to my Lou
Rainbow Pudding from Make Craft
Do you have some awesome St. Patrick's Day recipes? Share them in the comments below so I can give you a shout out! And be sure to following my St. Patrick's Day Pinterest Board for more St. Patty's Day ideas. 
Kari

Monday, February 25, 2013

Easy DIY Gift for Him-Food Passport

This year for Valentine's Day Mojo and decided that with Christmas just a few months ago and my birthday the day after Valentines, to only spend $10 each on our Valentines present. He got me a body pillow, which is fabulous and something I've wanted for months-he's good to me like that. For me, I decided to go the more handmade route. I found this fabulous idea and thought it was perfect. 
While Mojo and I don't eat out once a week-we do try and get a few date nights in each month. I decided to add 40+ restaurants, so it should last us for at least two years. We love finding new places to eat and Mojo loved the present. Or at least he pretended to. 
Supplies:
-a notebook
-markers
-new restaurants you'd like to try 


It took me only a few minutes to put the whole thing together, and it was so much fun coming up with some great new restaurants 


 

And of course, I had to through in a picture of my cute assistant-

Have a happy Monday! 
Kari

I'm linking up to these fun places: Housewife Eclectic

Friday, February 22, 2013

Pinterest Recipe: Cinnamon Swirl Bread

A bread with batter the consistency of banana bread, but instead of bananas you incorporate cinnamon and sugar. Add a cup of butter and two cups of sugar to make it sweet and absolutely delicious! The bread is completely addicting. I suggest sharing, or you could eat the whole thing yourself-no judging here. 




CINNAMON BREAD
Makes 2 loaves
Batter:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk (or 2 cups milk with 2 tsp lemon juice/vinegar)
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda 
Cinnamon Mixture:
2/3 Cups Sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
Cream together butter, sugar and eggs. Add milk, flour, and baking soda. Put 1/2 batter into greased loaf pans (1/4 in each pan). Mix in separate bowl the 2/3 cups sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle 3/4 of the mixture on top of each pan. Add remaining batter to the pains, sprinkle with last of the cinnamon topping. Swirl with a knife.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 min. or until toothpick comes clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing from the pan. 
You can print the recipe {here}. I got this delicious recipe from the amazing Melissa of Redfly Creations, she is absolutely fantastic and so are her recipes. 
Kari

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Creative Ways to Save Money Twitter Chat

It's tax season which means most people are taking a look at where they're money went last year. Mojo and I have sat down and discussed what we spent and how we want to do better this year. Many of you know, that although we don't have to live on a budget-we chose to. With my accident last year we've had multiple financial expenses that made us so grateful for the money we have in savings. While we try and avoid dipping into our savings as much as possible-it has made the last 8 months so much less stressful for us. 

That being said, I'm teaming up with Homes.com and For Rent.com for a fun twitter chat all about Creative Ways to Save Money-



Join us tonight for lots of great ways to help you save on groceries, home improvements, crafts, date night, and more. And be sure to RSVP for a chance to win 1 of 5 $50 Gift Cards! Can't wait to see you at the twitter chat tonight!

Kari

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The SOFTEST Sugar Cookies ever!

I have such a fabulous recipe to share with you today. I know everyone has a different sugar cookie recipe, but I'm telling you-this is one of the best. These cookies always stay moist and have the perfect amount of sweetness. Plus, each batch makes a ton! 
I remember making these cookies with my mom all growing up, and now I get compliments ever time I take them to any party or event. They're easy to make and so good you'll have a hard time sharing them with anyone else. 

You can print the recipe {here}. Enjoy! Come back on Friday for another mouth watering recipe, this time a cinnamon swirl bread. Yum!

Kari

I'm linking up to these great parties: SNAP Show and Tell, Rae Gun RamblingsArtsy Fartsy Mama

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Build Your Blog Conference '13 Re-Cap

Happy President's Day! I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend (if you have one). This last weekend was crazy busy with tests and papers for school, new callings in Church, and the kick-off to my blog conference season this year! I had so much fun at the first annual Build Your Blog Conference put on by the beautiful and fabulous girls behind Six Sisters Stuff. I have had the opportunity to get to know of few of the sister in the past few months, through various blogging events, groups, etc. and they are so sweet and funny! 

I was so excited when they announced that they were going to host a conference-I knew I had to go, not just to support them and their endeavor but also because I knew it would be fantastic. 

And it was, the speakers were great, I loved being able to spend time with some of my favorite blogging friends, and it was the perfect way to kick off the blogging conference season. 

First up we got to listen to the key note speaker, the fabulous Brooke Walker from Studio 5, a local lifestyle show here in Utah. This is the second time I've heard her speak and each time has been so amazing. 


Some of my favorite parts of her talk were-

1-The Power isn't in the blog, it's in the influencer! 
2-She gave us 6 ways to become an influencer, 1-Find a focus, 2-Add your voice, 3-Ask interesting questions, 4-Play up the postitive, 5-Balance the Bucket 6-Leave a lasting impact. 
3-I loved that as a part of the first step-find a focus, she said to commit to a cause that your passionate about-I couldn't help but think about the B.A.D.D. Stand Up for Sobering Up Campaign, something that is near and dear to my heart-and a great cause anyone can join in (excuse my shameless plug in :) ) 


After that I went to Kari and Becky from U Create, these girls are some of my favorite bloggers. They are so down to earth and humble and always looking to help other bloggers out. Their class was on how to get featured. Some of my favorite quotes were-

1-"Standing out from the crown will not happen if your thinking like the crowd"
2-No matter how crowded a niche may be, one thing they don't have is you!'




One of my favorite classes of the day was Photography 101 by Photo by Emilie. I got my camera over a year ago and I still struggle with manual. It's not as powerful (or as nice) as a DSLR but I can change most of the manual settings. I KNOW how important pictures are, especially in a craft/DIY bloggers life and I've slowly been implementing ways to improve my skills. This weekend, after listening to Emilie's class I picked up a reflector and tripod and I'm hoping to be able to work more on my skills. Some of my favorite pieces of wisdom from her class were-

1-The 3 elements of a stunning image are-
      1. The QUALITY of your image
      2. The LIGHTING of your image
      3. The EDITING of your image
2-Manual Mode Settings:
     1. F-Stop-manages light and bokah
     2. Shutter Speed-manages light and stop motion sharpness
     3. ISO-manages light and grain 
3. Best lighting direction is from the side, least flattering direction is directly above the subject 
4. Photographing projects-
    1. Think side light
    2. Window and door light are the easiest to use
    3. Use a lower aperture 



And my favorite class of the whole conference was given by Nathan Mcgee the social media guru behind Provo Craft/Cricut. I met Nathan a few months ago and have been able to get to know him better over the months and he is so fabulous. The title of his class was "Smack 'Em Across The Face: How To Stand Out and Grab People's Attention". Who wouldn't want to go to a class with that kind of title? He gave SO many amazing bits and pieces of advice, but a few of my favorite are-
    1. "As a society we embrace uniqueness-but we work hard to fit in!"
    2. "People are scared, but we love those who seem fearless" 
    3. "Make people feel special...don't worry about recognition, believe in a little thing called Karma."

 Afterwards, a group of us went and had a fabulous dinner at Market Street Grill. All in all-it was an amazing day, full of inspiration and laughter. I can't wait to attend next year. Great job Camille, Kristen, Elyse, Stephanie, Lauren, and Kendra. You put on a fabulous conference-love you girls!


Kari
P.s. As the conference season kicks off be sure to follow along via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest fun happenings at each conference I attend. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Playing Baseball

Has life ever thrown you a curve ball, and you kind of look around and think to yourself where the heck did that come from?




Let's go back to May of last year and see the kind of curve balls Mojo and I have been dealing with-

1. Mojo gets a new job (which is awesome and totally out of the blue)
2. We start "looking" at houses and end up BUYING a house
3. We move
4. I got HIT by a FREAKING CAR! (this is really the equivalent of 20 curve balls in one setting)
5. I (for obvious reasons) quite the job that had been supporting us for the last 18 months
6. I get a fairly large calling in my church, just weeks after getting hit by said car
7. We get crazy and decide just months after #4 that I'm ready to go back to college after a 3 year break
8. I go out on a total whim and decide to start an awesome Bloggers Against Drunk Driving Campaign
9. I get asked to speak in front of large groups and on t.v. to share my story
10. #5 gets changed without any notice (although my new calling is awesome as well) 

I almost put a #11 that said, I'm pregnant, but then I thought better of it. A-because I'm not actually pregnant B- because I really don't want to start those rumors and C-because we've done the whole "expanding our family" joke a few times and I think if I keep doing it no one is going to believe us when I actually am pregnant. 

Needless to say, this is one of those times where I'm throwing my hands up in the air saying I am completely and totally done! Most people who meet me and here my story tell me I'm so happy and have such a great attitude about the whole thing. I usually tell those people they should have seen me a few days ago. The truth is, as of this moment, I would say I'm not totally thrilled about the fact that I have another 18 months of this. 

I'm sick of playing baseball. If life could just keep the curve balls to a minimum and throw straight for the next few months, I would really appreciate it. 

I guess when it rains it pours right? Here's to hoping for a few slow months around here. 

Thanks for putting up with my rant-

Kari

Monday, February 11, 2013

Epic De-Stash Bash Giveaway

Before we get into the details about the fabulous giveaway going on today I want to say congrats to Emily C. for winning the It Works! giveaway. Be sure to check your email, you have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen!

Alight, today I have such a fun giveaway for you-and it's perfectly times to fall on my birthday week! I've teamed up with 20 fabulous bloggers to bring you one epic giveaway. We've all gone on a cleaning spree and come up with a box of fantastic crafts supplies that we want to give to you. Every box is different and there will be 7 winners-which means each winner gets 3 boxes of awesome stuff! 




Amy at A Nest For All Seasons, Charlie at Attempting Aloha, Sarah at Craft Quickies, Carissa at Creative Green Living,

Heidi, Kari, Lesley, Kelley & Jessica at Eight By Five, McKenzie at Girl Loves Glam, Malia at Yesterday on Tuesday,

Carrie at Making Lemonade, Sara at Mom Endeavors, Heidi at Mom's Crafty Space, Kari at Newlyweds on a Budget,

Vanessa at Our Thrifty Ideas, Kristen at Pearl Gateway</ a>, Mandy at Sugar Bee Crafts, Summer at Summer Scraps,


Angie at The Country Chic Cottage, Michele at The Scrap Shoppe, Karah at The Space Between, and Meredith at Wait 'Til Your Father Gets Home.
We're also joined by our friends from the newly launched site, Looksi, a carefully curated collection of crafts and DIY ideas.

All of these amazing people have offered up a box full of goodies from their unused stash of craft supplies, and SEVEN lucky readers are each going to walk away with three of these incredible goodie boxes!

Because we're shipping in USPS flat rate boxes, this giveaway is open to residents of the US only.

RAFFLECOPTER: a Rafflecopter giveaway


Kari

Friday, February 8, 2013

Stand Up for Sobering Up!

It's here, the day has come for us all to take a stand against drunk driving. Will you be joining us? Let's take the social media world by storm and let the world know that drunk driving is never okay. 

Take a few moments to post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, whatever social media tool you love to use-it doesn't have to be long-just let the world know where yous stand against drunk driving. Blog about it if you have one, get your readers to join us in our campaign. Then come back here and link up so we can all support each other! 

I'm so excited to see what you all have to say. Thank you so much for all your support-for all you help in getting the word out there. For those of you who aren't local-my story was featured again last night you can see that story {here}

Now, it's your turn-grab a button from the side bar, use the image down below, take a stand and help keep drunk drivers off the streets!



Kari