Friday, January 31, 2014

My Morning Lemon Water.

Drinking lemon water has been my morning ritual for almost 3 years now.  Because of the wonderful benefits I receive from drinking my lemon water, that ritual will never change as long as there are lemons still on this earth.   I was introduced to lemon water 3 years ago while both my sister-n-law and I were visiting my parents for the summer.  So both my mom and I tried it.  It was sour, but not bad.  It wasn’t until later that I started seeing a difference in how I felt.  The biggest benefit in my eyes is that when everyone else seems to be getting whatever bug was going around, I seem to be immune to it.  I haven’t had a serious cold in what seems forever.  What is also great is I have lost over 30 pounds since I’ve started drinking lemon water.  Plus my daily heartburn has all but disappeared, although I still get heartburn when I make chocolate chip cookies because I can’t stop eating them. 

How much of a lemon you should use depends on how much you weigh.   If you weigh less than 150 lbs use only half a lemon, but if you weigh over 150 lbs you need to use a whole lemon.   If you are under that 150 lbs but want to use a whole lemon, that is completely fine.  I use a whole lemon just because I like the taste of it. 

Here is how I prepare my lemon water every morning.  First I put my kettle on the stove with some fresh water and heat it up.  I then get a fresh lemon out of the fridge and wash it.  Recently I have started warming up my lemon before cutting it by putting it in the microwave for about 30 seconds.  I have found out you get a lot more juice from your lemon this way.  Once it is warmed I roll it on the counter kind of like you would when making a snake out of play dough.  This just loosens those juices even more.  I then cut my lemon over my citrus press because I found since I’ve started heating it that those juices really do flow and I didn’t want to waste any of it by it getting it on the counter rather than in my cup where it belongs.  I actually bought a cheap citrus press for about $3 which comes with a jar that the press just screws onto.  I really like this because sometimes I’ll squeeze a few lemons at a time and I am able to save half of it for the next morning.  This works great also when you only need to use half of a lemon.  I pour half of the juice from the press jar into my mug and leave the rest in the jar and just cover it with saran wrap and put it in the fridge.  I then poor my heated water into the mug.  You want to use warm water, not really hot or really cold.  Most of the time my water gets pretty hot, so I just let it cool before I drink it.  I then take my mug and enjoy my nice cup of warm lemon water.

I want to share with you all the wonderful benefits of lemon water but my medical knowledge is not great, and I have no clue how to re-word things to make it any easier to understand, so I have made a simple list of the great benefits without all the big explanations.  You can go to several sites that can list in more detail the benefits. 

I challenge you to start this habit of drinking lemon water.  I promise, you won’t be sorry.  After discovering the benefits for yourself, you will never want to go without it again.  I would love to hear how this works for you, or if you too have already discovered the wonderfulness of it.  Let me know.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Easy Peasy Cake Decorating

Party Time!

Twice a year we have a birthday party for the Young Women in our ward.  We have so much fun playing games and eating yummy cake.  The girls who's birthdays are being celebrated get a gift from us, (The Young Women Presidency).  Last year we did fun socks to go along with the theme of "Standing in Holy Places."  This year I'm not sure what we will do, but when we figure something out I'll defenitly share it with you.  

Time for Cake!

I made a chocolate cake for the party we had at the beginning of last year.  I'm not the best when it comes to decorating cakes.  This cake is actually my second attempt because I tried doing a two layer with the first and it fell apart on me.

How It's Done...

Here is how I decorate my cakes.

  • I find a picture that I can print off online to use as my guide for decorating the cake.  In this case I printed the Young Women logo.  Printable coloring pages work best.  
  • After frosting the cake I put it into the freezer for about an hour.  The reason why is simple.  Once the frosting on top of the cake is frozen I can layer wax paper and the template on top of the cake.  
  • I then take a pin (clean of course) and make a dot to dot tracing of my template on the cake.  I just poke holes along the lines so when I remove the template and wax paper I have a nice tracing of my picture.  
  • Now all I have to do is trace my dots with frosting.  Rather than make several different colors of frosting I just used sprinkles for the cake above.  

It turned out great and it was delicious.

Here is a few more that I've done.

My son, Nate loves horses.  I made this one for him on his 5th birthday.

I bet you can guess what this was for.  Yep, baby shower and for twins.  This was for my sister-n-laws baby shower in 2011.

I made this one in 2003 for Katie's 1st Birthday.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Diet . . . WHAT ? ! ?

Trial and Error

I don’t know about you, but whenever I try to start a diet, my mind automatically starts screaming “Sugar!”  It is so loud that more than naught I cave in to its demands and sneak a treat that is way over what is allowed.   I remember several years ago going on a diet with my mom.  This diet was simple.  No Sugar.  Easy, right?  NOOOO!!!!  After just a few hours of starting this diet I went crazy.  I couldn’t find anything to eat that sounded good to me.  I have to admit I became a little over dramatic, and with a can of green beans in my hands I sat on the floor and cried.  Everything had sugar in it!  Even the can of green beans!  Well I can tell you how long that diet lasted.  It was over the same day it started.

Starting one again.

This time around I have chosen to fall back into Weight Watchers.  It has worked for me before so I knew I could do it.  The only problem this time is that I still have a bunch of left over Christmas goodies in my house. And who hasn't been on a sugar rush for over 2 months now?  My body is so used to the yummy sweets that it wants more.  Weight Watchers does have some yummy store bought treats that you can get for a reasonable amount, but there really isn't much out there.  While I was at Kroger’s buying some of these treats, I remembered my Mom’s Weight Watcher Ice-Cream Sandwiches.  When I was a young adult, still living at home with my parents, both my Mom and Dad were diligently plodding along doing Weight Watchers.  My mom put together these yummy ice-cream sandwiches that were only a few points.  Yeah!  Another treat!  So I got what I needed to make these yummy concoctions, put them together and stuffed my freezer with them.  I am now pretty confident that I can do this. 

Weight Watchers Ice-Cream Sandwiches


So what are you waiting for?  Go make you some and let me know what you think.  

Monday, January 27, 2014

Come Unto Christ Binder Cover

I've been going a little crazy since I purchased my Scrap booking software for my computer.  I bought the Craft artist and I've been having a blast.  I hope that you enjoy these printables that I have created. 

Here is a Free Printable Binder Cover in both JPG and PDF format. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Zucchini Brownies

These brownies have always been a huge success with my family.  Although my kids hate zucchini, they love these.  My mom made this for our family when I was growing up and I have been making these brownies (which we have it as a cake) since my kids were little.  We just made them this past Sunday which was when we celebrated Brianna’s 6th Birthday.

Zucchini Brownies

2 cups zucchini shredded
2 cups flour
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp baking soda
¼ to ½ cup cocoa
½ cup oil or apple sauce
½ to 1 cup walnuts (optional)
½ cup chocolate chips (optional)

Mix zucchini, oil, and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients and mix.  Do not beat.  Pour into a 13X9 inch greased pan.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350.  Batter will be thick. 
I like to spread chocolate butter cream frosting on top. 

Buttercream Chocolate Frosting

1 stick of butter
Powdered sugar
Vanilla (about 1 tsp)
3-4 Tbs. Cocoa

Whip butter.  Add some powdered sugar (I put about half the bag into the bowl) and vanilla. Mix.  I then add milk until it’s the consistency you want it.  If it gets too runny add more powdered sugar or too thick add more milk.  I then add about 3-4 Tbs. of cocoa.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What do we know about the nature of the Godhead Power Point Presentation

This year in our Young Women's program we have a new theme that I absolutely love.  It is "Come Unto Christ".  I am loving all of the awesome sites out there that share such great ideas to go along with this years theme.  I have been able to utilize many of the posts shared by other bloggers and I am so grateful for the ideas and insights.  For this lesson on "What do we know about the nature of the Godhead?", I chose to make a power point due to the lack of ink in my printer.  I know...sad right?  What happened to good old pen and paper?  Well I guess I have gotten pretty lazy with all of today's wonderful technology.  Plus when I got started making this power point I found I was having a lot of fun.  I will have to control myself in the future to not do all of my lessons on power point.  
I wanted to share this power point with anyone who would like to use it, so feel free to copy it to your computer for your personal or classroom use.  
I know with this months topic on the Godhead I have been learning quite a bit.  This week I have been going over the materials from Come, Follow Me 's lesson on What are the roles of the Holy Ghost.  I absolutely love the talks by Craig C. Christensen and Boyd K. Packer. I am so grateful for their testimonies and how it has strengthened mine.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Quilting Pleasures

Learning to quilt is a joyous adventure that I am currently on.   I still have a lot to learn.  My next goal is to learn to free motion quilt on my machine at home.  I have watched some tutorials and have tried it, but I definitely need a lot of practice. I have finished several that I am pretty proud of and wanted to share along with some great tutorials that have helped me on my way. 

Not too long ago my wonderful husband bought me a brand new Brother sewing machine and I have been going a little crazy since I opened that box of pure delight.  I absolutely love it.  It’s the Brother SE400 and not only has a whole bunch of cool stitches but does some great embroidery as well.  The only down side of it is that the embroidery size is limited to the 4” loop that it comes with.  Well needless to say I haven’t spent much time doing anything but sitting at this beautiful machine making all kinds of creations.  My poor kids can attest.  They have patiently suffered through many "fend for yourself" nights and "can you tuck yourself in" nights because sadly I get into my zone. 

My first quilt this year was a king size new album quilt.  I finished the top in March and it is now neatly folded with the backing in a bag ready to go to my friend Ginny for quilting on her long arm.


My second quilt this year was a quilt put together for the Young Women to tie and donate to who they felt it should go to.  It turned out really cute and I was able to get it put together in just 2 days.  It was a fun activity for the Young Women.  They were able to present it to a couple in our ward at a later activity.  The girls not only learned a skill but they were also doing a service for someone else.  

My third quilt was a baby quilt as a gift for a friend.  I had fun doing some monogramming in one of the squares with the embroidery part on my machine. 

Twin Quilt & Pillow Case

My last quilt of the year was a twin size quilt that I have been meaning to make since the beginning of the year for one of my girls.  My 9 year old daughter, Ally, has been asking me when I was going to make her a quilt and I kept telling her when I would get a chance.  Well I decided that I would make her quilt for Christmas.  This is what started me on my Homemade Christmas.  It was easy to piece the quilt together in secret without her knowing about it.  I could easily hide it when she was around so she wasn’t the wiser about it.  But when it was time to put it on the quilting frame it was another story.  I had the quilting frame in the living room for 3 days with a large sheet draped over it.  When the kids would ask me about it I would firmly tell them that it was too close to Christmas for them to be asking me questions.  Thankfully they didn’t press the matter.  I found a tutorial on how to tie my quilt with hidden ties that I really liked.  It was easy to do and I like how well it turned out.    
Here is the link if you would like to check it out. 

Binding Tutorial

I also found a tutorial for binding that I like better than any other method I have used.  It is basically the same as most others except for the start and finish.  Here is the tutorial from Heirloom Creations for the binding.   How to Bind a Quilt - 6 Simple Steps - YouTube .    

Pillow Case Tutorial

I made a pillow case to go with the quilt.  I learned how to do this using the tutorial from The Crafty Gemini.  It was really simple to do and turned out perfect.
  How to make a Pillowcase- Burrito/Sausage/Roll Up method - YouTube
She has so many great tutorials and if you like to get crafty you definitely have to check her out. 

DIY Christmas Gifts

I had so much fun making these things for my family this year.  I have listed a link to some great tutorials.  I would love to hear from you and how you did with your projects.  Have Fun!

Cosmetic bags 

I included some lip gloss, mascara and eye shadow in these bags.  The perfect gift for the teen or pre-teen in your home.  Here is the link for the tutorial.

IPhone/IPod Case

There are lots of different tutorials that you can find on Pinterest to make these.


Reversible Bag and Coin Purse

Brianna’s cute little jean purse with a coin purse included.  She got money from her Grandma and Grandpa Losee and was excited to have a place to put it. 
Here is the link to the tutorial for the reversible bag


Tooth Fairy Pillow

She has been wanting a tooth fairy pillow for some time and so I bought a tooth fairy embroidery pattern, found a cute little poem online and wa-la.  An adorable pillow that she absolutely loves.

Notebook covers 

You can even put your tablet in it if you wish.  The girls really liked these.  I made Brianna something a little bit different.  Hers holds a coloring book and has pockets for her crayons.  Here is the link for the notebook covers.

Framed Magnetic Boards 

I made these covering a sheet of galvanized metal that you find in the plumbing section at your hardware store.  I got mine at home depot.  I cut it to fit the frames I had and covered it with fabric.  I also covered the frame with fabric using spray adhesive and hot glue.  I then lined the inside of the frame using ribbon and added some embellishments.  I used buttons for the magnets.  I just snipped off the back of the button and hot glued the magnets to them.  I made these for the older girls.

Value Block

I made this with some wood I had out in the garage.  The wood was actually from some an old broken bed frame so the cost was minimal.  I printed this picture that I found online, mod-podged scrapbook paper to all four sides of the wood then mod-podged the picture to it.  I then added ribbon for hanging. I  made one for each of my two older girls.  

Here is the picture that I used.  This would make a great gift for your Young Women. 

Here are some other gifts I made this year. My mom made some beautiful skirts for all of her granddaughters.   I made my parents and my in-laws a quilted table runner. 

I have loved getting creative this year.  I have been experimenting these last few days with some bags.  I gave the smaller one to Katie who is using it as her scripture bag.  It’s perfect for putting not only her scriptures in but she can put her journal in it as well as her Faith in God book.  She was pretty excited to take it to church today. 

I am so grateful for the ability I have been blessed with to be able to do these things for my family and friends.  I am grateful that we are able to discover and develop our talents.  I am so grateful for this Christmas season.  I have felt closer to my family and I have felt closer to my Savior.  I am so grateful to a loving Father in Heaven who sent his only begotten Son here to earth.  King of Kings he was born in a lowly stable.  He lived, he died for us and he took up his body again that we too may live again. I know that he lives today.  I know this because of the gift of the Holy Ghost.  I pray that you all have had a wonderful Christmas season and that this New Year will be full of joy.