Thursday, December 31, 2009

Out with the OLD, In with the NEW

We all know that our inbox's are overflowing with invites to some pretty fabulous New Year's Eve parties...of if you're more like me, not so much.  I tend to kick it old school, by staying up with some treats, games, great company, and movies {all in my PJ's, of course} - minus the dressing up and drunk drivers.

Found these awesome party hats at Cathie Filian - probably won't make them, but it's on my list of things to do...  And I think the little neighbor girls would look too darling in them.

Also, for some good conversation starters with the neighbors you keep meaning to get to know better, check out these FREE playing cards from Real Simple.

Hope you all have a fun-filled and SAFE New Year's Eve.  Here's my toast to making 2010 the best crafting year ever!

My thanks for all your support in 2009!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Goals…Yet Again

I heard somewhere that if you want to actually achieve your goals, you have to put them down on paper.  Well, I don't really do paper -- I blog.  So I thought in the spirit of the New Year I would share my list of goals with all of you so that I can't rescind you can all help me along the way.

It started out as a list of 50 - it went a little over.  I have a feeling I will be adding more to it over time.

I had a list like this in high school, and so I've left off things I have achieved (or at this point, can't achieve) and have started my list anew.

What are some of your goals???

  1. Graduate from college with at least a 3.7 GPA
  2. Graduate with Honors
  3. Go to graduate school
  4. Retire after twenty years – still young enough to enjoy life
  5. Love where I work and what I do
  6. Actively participate in all my church responsibilities
  7. Do at least one service activity each year
  8. Never smoke, drink, do drugs, etc….
  9. Run a marathon
  10. Maintain a healthy food lifestyle
  11. Reconnect with an old friend
  12. Talk to someone in my family once a day
  13. Go to church every Sunday
  14. Pray every day
  15. Read the entire Bible cover to cover
  16. Read the BOM at least once a year
  17. Attend the temple once a month
  18. See Machu Picchu
  19. See the Great Wall
  20. See Australia
  21. See the 7 wonders of the world
  22. Travel to all 50 states
  23. Travel around Europe
  24. See the northern lights
  25. Write a book
  26. Bungee jump
  27. Have a porch swing at my home
  28. Ride in a hot air balloon
  29. Meet a President
  30. Buy some quality bookcases and organize all my books.
  31. Get a bike and ride it every day for 3months.
  32. Organize and print my personal photos.
  33. Take Pilates
  34. Donate time to a children's hospital
  35. Blog every day for a year
  36. Start or join a book club
  37. Abstain from fast food for 3 months.
  38. Learn to knit hats
  39. Build something
  40. Buy my dream home.
  41. Do something nice for someone anonymously
  42. Spend a night at a luxury hotel
  43. Take a cruise
  44. Resist the urge to go online for a month.
  45. Invest in Real Estate outside of my own home
  46. Write in a journal at least once a month
  47. Donate old clothes and shoes once every 6months
  48. Take the family to a circus
  49. Reupholster a piece of furniture
  50. Buy new furniture for the living room
  51. Go sledding with the family
  52. Be a mentor for someone
  53. Get out of my shell more often
  54. Work on listening more than I talk and not interrupting
  55. Save 30% of what I earn for one year
  56. Learn to maintain my car myself.
  57. Design my home
  58. Swim with dolphins
  59. Raise happy, healthy, productive children
  60. Actually learn to play the organ well
  61. Be politically active
  62. Run for a political office

Someday Crafts

My Tiny Sweet Cheeks is being featured at Someday Crafts - and there might even be a giveaway. 

Better go over there to see how to win!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I Know...But...

"Thou shalt not covet."

I know it's against the rules and all, but some days wouldn't it just be so nice to come home to this.  To escape from your crazy kids who decided to go swimming in the swamp backyard...

This week I've decided to tackle a project that has been irking me every time I enter my bathrooms.  Please remember we rent, I do NOT want you think I let my own cabinets get this bad.  So I'm painting them.  These are the before, so check back in for the after.  I'm using a guide from Just A Girl - who did an amazing buffet refinish.  You should check her out!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The stockings are hung, the rolls are all done
The kiddos asleep for a while
Kick back, relax - you deserve a few snacks
And celebrate Christmas in style!

{I never claimed to be a good poet...}

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Last Minute Gift

Have you ever had someone bring you a gift and you feel the need to reciprocate? {Even though they may not have been on your list...}

These are so cute and I'm betting you have all the supplies on hand.

Check out these super easy, fun gift bags from Not So Idle Hands. She has a great how-to HERE.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


After numerous requests for recipes, here they are!!

Yum Yum Coffee Cake

1 stick butter
1 C sugar
2 eggs
2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

1/3 C brown sugar
1/4 C white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 to 3/4 C chopped nuts (optional)

Cream butter soft and add sugar. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Sift flour, baking powder, soda, and salt together. Add dry ingredients alternately with sour cream. Stir in vanilla. Pour half of batter into greased 9x9x2 baking pan and cover with half of the filling. Repeat this step. Bake at 325*F for 45-55 minutes.

Apple Pie

Pie Crust
7 lrg apples (3 1/2 lbs) Granny Smith
1 C sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Mix - put into 9" pie pan in bottom crust. 2 Tbsp butter on top of apples. Put top crust on. Poke top with knife. Bake 70 minutes at 350*F. I always put foil on a cookie sheet to bake it on -- otherwise, it will drip in your oven.

Crescent Dinner Rolls

3 C warm milk (warm in microwave 3 minutes)
1 1/2 cubes butter (not margarine -- warm in microwave until butter melts, approx. 1 minute)
3/4 C cold water
1 1/3 C sugar
3 eggs, beaten (add after cold water)
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp SAF instant yeast
11 C white flour (approximately)

Mix all ingredients in mixer and knead for 8-10minutes. **Start with 3 C flour and dry ingredients. Mix together, add liquids, then more flour as needed until dough leaves side of bowl.

Raise dough for 1 1/2 hours in a large bowl that is sprayed with Pam. Punch down and raised for another 45 minutes. Divide dough into 3 balls. Roll out in a circle. Spread butter on dough and cut into pie-shaped wedges. (I use a pizza cutter).

Starting at large end, roll up into crescent shapes. let rolls raise for 30 minutes in *warm oven. Keep rolls in oven and turn oven to 400*F. Bake for 8-10 minutes. You might need to bake longer if you are baking two pans of rolls at a time. If oven is hotter than normal, reduce heat to 350*F.

As you can imagine, this makes a ton of BIG rolls. I have halved this recipe and it works great. Because it is time consuming (not hard) I usually only make this at Holiday Feasts! Enjoy...they are fabulous!

*A warm oven: preheat to lowest oven will go - when the rolls go in, turn the oven off.

The Beast

"Honey, you're going to kill me..." are not the words you want to hear from your DH when he comes home from a quick trip to Wal-Mart.

I like to think I've trained my husband to be frugal, so those words days before Christmas sent panic to my heart. I quickly called out, "How much did you spend?"

"No, it was free!"

And that's how the beast came to join our house. It's massive {for only being 6 weeks old}. And I'm going to groan inwardly every time I look upon it. What was he thinking????

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Food Is Where It's At

This week, it's all about the baking at my house. One of my favorite things about the holidays is food. We definitely have our fair share of food traditions at my house - these being some of our favorites!

Christmas Mornings - Yum Yum Coffeecake

Apple Pie
Homemade Crescent Rolls {to DIE for}
What are some of your favorite holiday treats? And how early do you have to get started on them? Tuesday is when we're starting around here...

If you'd like any recipes, just email! And just FYI, I do NOT make hard things. I just don't.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Washer Necklaces

I'm thinking I want to learn how to make those CUTE washer necklaces/jewelry that's all over the place now. Seriously, it can't be that hard. Does anyone know where I can find the metal stamps though? I promise a tutorial out of it, if I can get my hands on some...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Claus Chronicles

Ran across a blog I think anyone with older children (3+) who understand who Santa is should have a look at. Fun for kids and quite a hoot for adults to read. There is even a list of 100 things you should know about Santa. For instance, "My [Santa's] favorite color is not red. It is blue."

the Santa Claus Chronicles

Check him out -- All I'll say is, we BELIEVE at our house!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ornaments & Decor

Well, since I can't bring you anything I've been working on, I went on a search for some awesome Christmas crafts you can do with your kids. Now that I'm out of school, I'm looking for things to entertain all of us.

I found this Easy Fragment Ornaments tutorial HERE at I Love My 5 Kids. I totally made these when I was a kid and am so glad to have found out how to do it! Get this, mine still faintly smells - and I'm pretty sure I made it when I was 5 (19 years ago!)

I'm also loving these popsicle stick Trees from Michaels - tutorial found HERE. They are so cute with the polka dots and color scheme - not the traditional Christmas decor.

I think I'm going to have to go hit up my local dollar store or Wally World for some supplies.
I am a hunter's widow this week. I was all set to be crafty and show you all the fun gift projects I have been working on and am getting ready to distribute. And my DH, bless his hunting soul, took my camera!!! What am I supposed to do? I don't even know how to craft unless I have pictures to go along with it. So, I am going to figure something out...what else am I supposed to do all week?

There is the potty training...

Monday, December 14, 2009

I SURVIVED finals and am officially out of school for a month!


Prepare yourself for many a project, coming up...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Hat for the Kids

So I've been meaning to post this hat tutorial for quite a while. Then I couldn't find my pattern. So I put it off for another while until I had the gumph to get to it. It doesn't take but 10 minutes to make this hat. Shame on me. So, grab some fabric and let's get to it.

Note, I made this hat out of some fleece I had lying around. I've also used knit fabrics and it works great! I would ere on the side of sizing smaller with knit though, as it tends to stretch more.

Get the pattern - I drew this out on an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper. Nothing fancy. My acrobat is acting up or I'd put it up for you. If I figure it out, I will post it.

First, place out your pattern. But piece A with a short side along a fold. This while be your brim. Cut out two of piece B. These will make up your hat.
Here's what you should have.
Stitch the hat (pieces B) together around the curved edge, leaving the straight edges open. Be sure to back-stitch. Then stitch the two short edges of piece A together, making a large loop.
Fold your loop in half so it's now half the width and the open edges are touching. Turn your hat right side out. Now pin all the raw edges together (it will be three thick).
Be sure to line up your seams for a clean, finished look. Stitch all the way around your hat to connect the two pieces.
Fold the brim down and you have a beanie hat.
**Optional: You can turn the hat inside out, and do a small stitch perpendicular to the seam to create a "four cornered" look.

Embellish any way you'd like. Sorry for my lack of a model, she was sleeping.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tis the Season

...for Christmas Cards!

Call me crazy, but I LOVE Christmas cards. I like seeing everyone in the pictures and reading the stories of what's happened to them over the past year. I expect to get a card from everyone I mail one to and if I don't, I feel very disappointed.

I think I put too much pressure on myself when it comes to Christmas cards. Granted, I do NOT hand-make 75 elaborate cards and send them out December 1st, but I do try to put some time and effort and thought into what I write. I want it to be charmingly witty, memorable and not braggy or boring. Do you see the pressure? And then enters into my mind thoughts like, "What if they don't even read my card? Or even really like us, for that matter?"

So, who do you send Christmas cards too? Family is an automatic yes. But what about the friends you think are friends, but you never get a card from them. Do you cross them off the list, or still send it out year after year? I just don't know...

Oh the pressure, oh the pressure.

And yes, I want your Christmas card too! I'll even send you mine if you convince me in an email that you aren't crazy or psycho.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Kids Outlet Online

I'm a huge sucker for used kids clothing. I can't help it. I won't, well actually refuse, to buy anything unless it is on sale (preferably on clearance) and so used clothing is high on my list of buys. However, isn't it such a hassle to drag your kids out to the store and look through racks of unorganized clothing (and a smell that usually accompanies your hands out of the store!) Meet the solution! Kids Outlet Online. A gently used kids clothing store from the convenience of your home. Browse through tons of clothing organized by gender and size, order, and it shows up at your door. How great is that? Oh, and did I mention that shipping is a flat rate of only $5.95 for unlimited purchases?!?!?

Shelly, the owner of Kids Outlet Online, takes great pride in the clothing she selects and showcases, nearly all of them being practically new! Of course, if there happens to be a blemish it is fully disclosed, but I didn't come across any while perusing her merchandise.

A really cool feature Shelly offers is when you view clothing you can actually roll your cursor over the photograph and it acts as a magnifying glass.

I'd definitely head over her way and look for some name brand steals this Christmas Season. Remember it's new to your kid!

Just don't buy these shoes -- I'm in love with them!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Real or Fake?

When it comes to Christmas trees, are you a real type of gal, or fake type of gal? I'm the proud owner of a pre-lit, artificial tree and I LOVE it. What it lacks in the pine smell department, it makes up for with no falling needles, no need to water, and no "character". But I want to hear the arguments for those of you hardcore tree people who trek up a mountain in the snow with all your kids and chop down your own tree. Make me a believer!

Then comes the decorating. What's your style? I'd have to say I lean towards the CLASSIC style...balls, white lights, a bow on top. {Actually, now that I look at my tree it kinda looks like a Patriotic tree...} But some are more NOSTALGIC with kids ornaments and popcorn strands. Some people are EXTREME when it comes to their trees and go way over the top - even have a theme. I want to see some of your trees. Send me a picture and we'll have our own Festival of Trees right here on My Tiny Sweet Cheeks. {Maybe your tree is only decorated from the top, up! Mine was last year...}

Just a sampling of my Christmas decor.

The balls are actually purple, silver, and blue -
but they really look red, white, and blue, huh?

I'm in the process of finding a fourth stocking for my little girl, but can't find one I like. Suggestions welcome.

My tiny village - it's a start, right?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I love donuts, but I can't get myself A. Out the door early enough to buy the good ones, and B. To spend the amount of money on them they ask. Here is a cheap way to get some good donuts in a short amount of time. In your pajamas no less!

Get Yourself a tube of biscuits. I'm cheap. Namebrand works just as well.
Cut the biscuits in half.
Fry them up in some oil. You want your oil set to about medium temperature, otherwise you'll burn the outside and the middle will still be doughy.
**TIP** Throw a pinch of salt in your oil and it won't spit at you while you fry.
Let them drain on some paper towels. Don't use my burned donuts as an example. I got distracted by a two year old.
Roll them in a sugar-cinnamon mixture.
Voila! Best hot, but still good cold.

Sequel to Yesterday

...How I found my son last night when he finally was quiet.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

All Mommy Wants for Christmas is...

A Silent Night.

So I'm a major advocate of children who sleep through the night. I am not one for being so stringent that I can't handle minor changes in our routine, but I work hard training my kids in the beginning so that I don't have a meltdown as a mother. It may not work for all, but it has definitely worked for me.

Dun. Dun. Dun.

Can you even begin to imagine my dismay when my two year old turned on me? What the heck happened? He seems to be scared of the "dark" but I really think it's just more separation anxiety - hence, he doesn't want us to close the door. After a battle of getting him to sleep, he's up again between 2 and 3 and only wants to be with his daddy. We all know he loves him more, as you probably remember from this post.

Have any of you tackled this problem before? I am about at my wits end and need some advice. Thanks ladies!

An End

Just wanted to finish up my 30 days of Thanks, since my illness kept me from the end of November. Can't wait to see what December brings!


Day 25

Day 26
Our Founding Fathers. And Turkey.

Day 27
Fountain Drinks.

Day 28

Day 29
Learning opportunities.

Day 30
Air conditioning. And Heaters.