Saturday, January 31, 2009

5 Tips On How To Get Readers & Comments For Your Blog.

Good Saturday everyone! My name is Priscilla and blog at Priscilla's Baking Adventures.

I am going to be talking about how to get readers, suscribers, followers, etc. & comments for our blog(s). I'm sure most of would like people to read our blog and comment. I do! So, I've put together 5 tips that will help you get readers and comments:

  1. Visit blogs and post comments. Post lots of comments. People browsing thru blogs may see your comment and decide to visit your blog. There is traffic this way.

  2. Submit your blog to different websites. This is a way to get tons of viewers. Have a food blog? Try FoodGawker. Have a knitting blog? Try Ravelry. Get a flickr account and upload pictures with a link to your blog. Use Digg. Websites like these will get you readers.

  3. When blogging, use pictures that are crisp and attractive. Don't have a fancy SLR camera? Try free photo editing software like Picasa from Google. I use a Casio Digital Camera and then edit all my pictures with Picasa. People like to see pictures that are clear with good lighting.

  4. Talk about your family and maybe even post some pictures of them on your blog. People like to know about the person behind the blog.

  5. Ask your readers questions in the blog post, they are more likely to be leaving comments this way.

Hope these 5 tips helped a little, and most of all have fun blogging!

Scroll down and check back often...We are always posting new articles!


even the fonts on our computers have gone green...well at least at eco font.

here are many things we can do to save our printer's ink like using unbleached paper, an efficient printer, and printing only when necessary, but SPRANQ developed one more alternative called the Ecofont. The Dutch company says their new font design uses up to 20 percent less ink.

well, here's how it's done...the big secret is in the font design. see how there are dots in each letter? well, the font is modeled after swiss cheese {who's hungry}. the crazy techies there evaluated the best way to preserve ink and after shooting down zebra striped fonts and super thin letters, the "holey" font is the best fit to make it legible and still handsome!

Ecofont is compatible with Mac OSX, Windows, and Linux. You can download the font for free over at Ecofont

it's free and you'll save upto 20% of ink in your printer cartridges...and that, my friends, is cold, hard cash in your pocket!!! and hey, it helps save the planet too!

keep on looking around for other fab things here at PCAH...and come visit me anytime over at a thorn among roses.

make your own blog button

i think it's time to do a quick and easy version of "make your own blog button"...

you need just a few simple things to get started:
a picture or words/a jpg image that you want to be the button
a photo sharing site account like flickr or photobucket
access to the blog layout

i used Photoshop Elements to create the PCAH button you see below.

if you don't have access to PSE or PS, you can quite easily upload a pic to any free site, i like picnik, and do some quick mods and add text for a button full of love. the only thing you need to make sure of is that the size of your graphic is about 200 x 200 px, otherwise it will not fit in the sidebar of most common blog formats.

once you have that complete, head on over to your free photosharing site...i use photobucket, but you can use what you like. upload your picture and get the URL noted for that picture after the upload.

now, let's put the button up on the blog for you...

head over to your blog and go to the dashboard. enter layout and you will see the "box version" of what your blog looks like.

select "add a gadget" in the column you would like to add your button. a seperate big window will pop up. select HMTL/JavaScript by finding it on the list and selecting the "+".
another window pops up for you to enter the, relax...take a deep breath...this is not hard. it just looks funny!

you will want to have the copy of your URL for your blog and your direct link to your photo then enter the following:

all of it put together looks like this for our button here (no spaces and make sure to put in the quotation marks as noted):

now move that new fab button of yours around to wherever you think it looks best! you did it! and if you seem to run into a problem here or there, let me know and i'll see if i can figure it out!

next week, i'll be teaching you all how to add the fab little scroll box with your actual code on your blog (take a deep breath, it will be fine). that way, everyone else can post your little button anywhere on their blog too!!! stay tuned!

do you have any techy stuff you want to know about? send me a

and, come stop and see me and my roses (and one thorn) any time at a thorn among roses!

wii fit...and finding one

i asked for two things this christmas...
a wii fit
a new cell phone case

well, one out of two isn't bad! anyway, i have been in search ever since for a wii fit. every store on this planet that has the wii fit, is def out of stock! i have been stalking and going to the aisle at target incessantly to get my wii fit.

finally, i found the easy's called wii fit tracker. i watched the site for only a few hours and found that had 10 wii fit's in stock...i logged into my amazon account, dumped that little wii fit baby into my shopping cart...and hit checkout. in 10 seconds, i was buying the last wii fit in stock. {i think they may have add the wii fit buying experience to the next olympic games}

$89 with free supersaver shipping...and it's delivered to my door so i don't have to deal with all the stinking snow on the ground. {if you don't have snow...well, i'm jealous}

so if you are still dreaming of a wii fit, go on over and check out wii fit tracker.

then, get your hula hooping self on the board and get wii fit!
check out more of my crazy clan over at a thorn among roses!

scroll on down and see what other fab girlies have to say here at project{create a home}

Friday, January 30, 2009

Creating Love For Self and Others

Hi my name is Yvette. I'm a mother of 4 very active children, three boys and a girl. Life at my house is never dull and I love it that way. I'm happy to be a part of the project also. What a great idea women helping women.

I once read a book about a woman that tried to do something nice for someone 365 days one year. I thought it was an amazing goal and one I wanted to try. I've never been successful at doing it a complete year. But, I remember just trying to remember peoples birthdays or bringing dinner to a friend that just had a baby left me feeling amazing. The relationships that are formed from just trying to do something nice for someone are ones that wouldn't have happened any other way. For example, I once lost a baby during 5 months of pregnancy. I was devastated. A gal that I knew from church had lost 2 babies this way. I hardly knew her, but there she was on my porch one day with a beautiful framed picture of a baby. She came in and we discussed our feelings. I will never forget that act of kindness. No one had helped her when she lost her babies. She could have been angry and decided that because no one helped her she wasn't going to help anyone else. I'm thankful she didn't, because now she one of my most treasured friends.

Anyway, I truly believe that helping others is the key in this life to finding true happiness. Making true friends that last a lifetime. Doing kind things for others is one sure way to combat the feelings of loneliness. This post is not meant to make people feel guilty. I'm in no way perfect at this. Plus, every one of us is busy these days. I'm just suggesting trying to do something nice for someone somehow makes life easier. I Promise, just give it a try.

Some examples of ways to help others to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Visit an older person that lives alone or is a shut in.

  • Bring neighbors dinner, because they're sick, they had a new baby, etc.

  • Take someone flowers or cookies for their birthday.

  • Call someone and tell them you appreciate them.

  • Spend an hour just playing with your kids. (Yes, doing service for your family counts too).

  • Babysit someone else's kids so they can go to an appointment

  • Write someone a note.

The possibilities are endless. Right! I'm sure you've thought of some I didn't.

So hurry up already. Get to helping your friends and neighbors right away. Happiness is awaiting right around the corner. Of course, I'm just kidding. But, I promise if you try you'll never be disappointed with the results.

Scroll down and read more wonderful posts from the Project team!

Written by Yvette

A Super Fun Post Tomorrow!

Our "Domestic Engineer" (aka..mommaof4wife2r) is a real go getter!...I loved her from the start...She is smart, funny and has amazing taste!...She designed the logo for our blog...and has written a lot of the posts we have read on the Project...And tomorrow we get to learn a little her talents here on the Project! Tomorrow is a great class! I'll just say...It is something a lot of us want to learn...but pay people to do instead...Not after that class!...Hope to see you in class tomorrow!...She has 2 posts being published tomorrow...Well, knowing her by tonight she will have 3-4 or 10 ;)...I told you she was a go getter!

Go get a cup of tea and sit down...We have a lot of great reads below...Just stroll...I mean...scroll ;)
written by Screaming Meme

Do it cause you cant not do it!

Shane O’Dazier was being interviewed on XM11 the other day …yes this cali girl is a really a county girl at heart. I heart county music. I love the twang, I love the steal guitar, I love the stories within the songs and I love a good two-step’n beat!

During the interview Shane said, “Do it cause you cant not do it!”, my heart skipped a beat. What a fabulous way to look at life. And how true!

So often we get caught up in what we HAVE to do but then we find ourselves slowly dying inside, loosing our life dream and eventually the drive and passions of our youth. I don’t want to be that person…do you???

So what is it that you LOVE to do? Does baking excite you, or scrap booking, taking photos or painting? Do you dream of becoming a nurse or doctor, business owner or lawyer or maybe you dream of being a teacher or traveling the world? Is there a new invention or idea rolling around in your head?

What’s holding you back?

What if you really could do what you love?

Would you?

Why not start today.

Now I’m not saying it will be easy. It will take some adjustment in your thinking. You’ll need to silence that taped message in your head that reminds you of all the reasons you shouldn’t, couldn’t or cant. ERRR….I hate that tape! And it requires a step of faith. You have to, have to, have to believe you’re worth the risk, because let me tell you girlfriend…YOU ARE!

Your dreams are your God given gifts and talents given just to you to share with us. Please, please share!

Why not take a class? You could start with just one. I’m sure a girlfriend would watch the kids for an hour or two each week. You could do the same for her. If you want to paint but the cost of supplies is holding you back, why not check out your local thrift store for second hand and paint over an old canvas with ‘oops’ paint from the hardware store, and you could even let the kids paint with you. (It’s so worth the mess)

Just start!

If you want to travel but the busyness of life is holding you back why not start by planning. Research all the different things you’ll do when you get there. And sign up for travel updates on line.
GREAT DEALS are everywhere. You may be surprised and find yourself and the family on safari in Africa!

Just take one step, one little step towards your dream. You may find it easier than you think.

You can do it! I know you can! Try, come on, I know you want too.

Do all that is in your heart.

Hi, my name is Lalena – sounds totally different than its spelled ;)

I am so honored and excited to be included with such a creative group of women!

I love the bloggsphere. For thousands of years women have passed their stories and experiences to their daughters and granddaughters keeping all those wonderful insights contained within one family, but know we are able learn, grow and best of all, support our sisters all over the world.

We can make simple things beautiful.

Get tips on fashion.

And know how to pray.

I’m just a 30 something mom…okay, okay… a pushing 40 mom of teens, trying to find my place in this new phase of life. My first-born is turning 20 and is away at college. My heart aches because I miss him more than I could ever express, but I am learning to find contentment in his joy. He LOVES what he’s doing. So in turn - I love what he’s doing. The middle one, my young man, lives at home while working full time and attending our local college. He’s a busy boy! Then I have my baby, my sweet pea, my sunshine, she is a junior in High School and cant wait to get out of this small town.

I really never thought about being here. By here, I mean a year away from a lonely empty nest. When I got married, a lifetime ago, I was caught in the fantasy of it all. My man knew he wanted me and he knew he wanted to grow old with me…but really, I just wanted out. And grow old? What the heck? I don’t think so! I wanted to be an adult and a mom. I couldn’t see what the reality of marriage would hold or to be honest, even past the end of my nose.

So now I find myself learning to be content with me. After 20 years of marriage and family I realized I don’t even have a favorite color and I have never sat in a restaurant alone. I have poured every ounce of my life into my family and wouldn’t change a thing, but now I have time for me.

I strive to embrace every moment, because there is no going back.

Not too long ago I was driving into town. The town I have lived in most of my life. And I happened to look up and out over the fields. In all this time I had never really opened my eyes to the fact that we are surrounded by hills…completely surrounded. I had spent so much time just “living” I hadn’t noticed the beautiful valley in which I live. ~I cried.

Life can be that way. Nose to the grindstone – horse to the plow sort of living. Ick. What a waste. Our lives are busy, hectic, chaotic, challenging, rewarding and full….but isn’t that the point? Who would want to live any other way? How boring would that be? The point is to live it – ALL of it!

If you’re busy, then be busy with purpose.

If life is hectic, drop 1, 2 or 3 things…the world will keep spinning, I promise.

Take a challenge head on; just don’t lose yourself in the process.

Embrace life…its worth living!

I’d love to hear about your journey through this place we call life. Let me know and we can go together!

You can find more of ME over at
Finding Freedom.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

~4 Tips On Fashion~

  • Understand Your Body and Acknowledge Your Age~ Style is not just about following fashion trends.... Style is about wearing something that makes you feel good, flatters your body shape and makes you look classy...It is also about understanding what dressing appropriately for your age means.... avoid looking as if you are trying to hard to be young or as if your borrowing from grandmother’s closet. There is a middle ground...Find it...

  • Understand The Power of Fashion Accessories~
    Learn the power of fashion accessories.... Once you have built up some classic, timeless pieces in your wardrobe and even a few trendy ones..... it’s time to think about the accessories that you pair them with...that changes the look of an outfit instantly...They can also minimize or distract from your body flaws...if used cleverly enough.

  • Define Your Signature Style~Fashion Designer, Michael Kors says, “Have a signature piece. It’s the most classic way to look chic. Zero in on that one thing.”... Whether this is a pair of boots, a designer bag, or some oversized sunglasses, wear your signature piece with almost everything to create your own individual look.

  • The Importance of a Dress Rehearsal~It is so important to test out different outfits ahead of time...It will save you time and help you remember what items look good together...Do a mini fashion show for yourself or for your sweetie! Make it silly and fun!
Scroll Down and read more ideas from the Project Girls...:)

Written by Screaming Meme...

Accessory Swap...How Fun!

Thinking about your wardrobe lately? Here is a fun way to change up your closet without spending any money!
You may have heard about clothing swaps... Everyone brings some good-condition items they no longer wear, and leaves with "new to them" items.... It’s fun...but even better...It's FREE! The only problem is....if your friends all don't wear the same makes it hard.... But with an accessory swap...all your girlfriends, in all their beautiful sizes...can participate!

Here is a link to get your mind thinking about a accessory swap...:)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Love Thyself

What do you see when you look in the mirror? I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that most of us see what we don't like about ourselves. When I look in a mirror, (and I avoid it as much as I can), I see chubby cheeks, belly flab, and hips. Lots 'o hips. Most women can quickly rattle off a list of their physical flaws, but become tongue-tied and speechless when asked to list what it is they like about their bodies.

How you feel in your body and about your body makes up your body image.

Women with a positive body image have a true, clear perception of what their bodies look like. They can appreciate their body's natural shape, and feel comfortable and confident in their own skin. These women understand that what makes us all fabulous and loveable really has nothing to do with what we look like.

Women with a negative body image have a distorted perception of the shape of their bodies. They (we) are convinced that only other people are attractive and that their size or shape is a sign of some failure. They feel ashamed and uncomfortable in their own skin.

What factors influence our body image? Of course, these feelings can come from within each of us. But often they are fed by others. If someone says something negative about you, you believe it, don't you?

And don't even get me started on the media. Okay, I'm gonna go there anyway. Did you know that women's magazines have 10.5 times more weight loss articles than men's magazines? And that 1 out of 3.8 commercials sends some sort of "attractiveness" message? This "thin is in" mentality is making us all think that we have to conform to some "ideal" body type to be beautiful.

Why is having a positive body image so important? Well, first, how can we teach our children to have healthy attitudes about their bodies if we don't set a good example? (more on body image and children next week) How can we foster an environment of love and acceptance in our homes if we don't love and accept ourselves?

How can you improve your body image? I've done some research on this subject (believe me, I didn't already KNOW this stuff), and here's a list of 10 actions or attitude changes that we all can make:

  1. Try experiencing your body as a whole, instead of a bunch of parts that you want to change.

  2. Make a list of 5-10 of your great qualities, both physical and mental/social/spiritual, and keep it with you to read whenever you have negative thoughts.

  3. Exercise for the joy of feeling your body move and get stronger.

  4. Don't wear clothes that are uncomfortable or that you don't like, just to cover up something or to divert attention from your shape.

  5. Notice how much time you spend worrying about your appearance instead of being aware of what's going on around you, or with your family.

  6. My favorite--Kill your inner supermodel. Who says that stretch marks, C-section scars and curves aren't beautiful?

  7. Experiment with a weight that feels comfortable. Try to find your "set point," a number that your weight seems to settle at.

  8. Accept that your weight will vary throughout your life. Hormones, anyone?

  9. Accept compliments graciously, and BELIEVE them.

  10. Repeat this with me: "I will treat my body with respect and kindness. I will feed it, keep it active, and listen to its needs. I will remember that my body is the vehicle that will carry me to my dreams!" (taken from Ten "Will-Powers" for Improving Body Image, NEDA)

Let's go girls!

Read on for more great posts from my fellow authors here at Project {Create a Home}.


You can also find me at Reinvented.

Laughter Captured & A Prize!

Meme has named me the Paper Diva... Seriously, how freakin cute is that??? So as the Paper Diva, I will share paper crafting ideas, projects, weekly challenges and prizes too! Now with that out of the way, on with the show.

Simple Scrapbook pages can share so much with family, friends and future generations.
It shows a moment, in the journaling box, a quick snippet (which, I left blank as it is a gift for my brother). Finally, in the case of this page a couple very simple additions. I of course will add more intricate pages as time goes on.

I love this page as it really does focus on the picture. It was years ago and my brother decided to bring a kiddie pool to my house. He set it up and the kids were splashing and playing and "swimming" for hours. Suddenly, I heard a huge splash and the loud laughter of children. As it turned out my kids and nephew had pulled my brother into the pool and jumped, wrestled and danced all over him. They still laugh when they see this picture. As do we all. What a great memory, for my kids, my brother, his children and our future generations. Plus, it will explain were they get their silly gene from!

So, what is the challenge part you ask? It is super easy. Design a simple scrapbook page with the title laughter and share a memory, you, your children, a family member or perhaps a group of friend have shared, laughed and can still make you giggle over. Then take a picture or scan of your completed page and post it on your blog. Share a link with me here. It's that simple.

I will go through the postings submitted by 5:00 pm (CDT) Tuesday, February 3, 2009 and pick a winner!! Then, next week Wednesday, I will post my new project, the new challenge and announce the winner!!! I will also personally contact you and send a prize your way. Good Luck!! Get Crafty and HAVE FUN WITH IT!

Scroll down and red more creative ideas from the Project Gang!
Your Paper Diva,


Quick Tips To Spruce Up Your Joint~

Have you ever walked into a room in your home and suddenly felt bored? Maybe even a little depressed? Your own home should never make you feel down... it should be an uplifting place to be! Here are a few of Screaming Meme's Tips to a spruced up joint!

~ Screaming Meme's Tips ~

Undecorate~Take down all of your knickknacks, pictures, artwork, plants,lamps, blankets and pillows. Everything must go... except the expensive anchor pieces that you have no intention of replacing.... Having a blank canvas lets you create your masterpiece....Okay, now you have a fresh slate to work with...Let the magic begin!

Fake it, Honey~Fake a new fridge.... Freshen its front with appliance epoxy paint. For a chic look, try Rustoleum's appliance epoxy in Stainless Steel.

Set The Mood, Baby~ Dimmers are easy to install, and they help you set the scene for your joint... a cozy conversation in the living room or a quiet meal for two in the dining room....

Hide Clutter With A Lid~Messes vanish with lidded ottomans....Or coffee tables and end tables with lids...Can't find one? You could easily build one or have it made!

Start Painting~ You can often paint an entire room for under $100 and it’s not a real commitment! Don't like the results? Repaint it!

Move the Furniture~ Rearranging your furniture is a quick way to change the mood and traffic flow of your room...It is sure to uplift you in a new and creative direction!

Reflect It~ Decorative mirrors do more than just dress up a plain space....They open the space and make it appear larger!! They reflect light and make a room appear brighter, too! Any picture frame can be transformed into a mirror with a trip to a glass shop.... Or go thrift shopping, garage saling or to a local consignment shop to find a mirror!

Rotate It~ Changing items from time to time goes a long way toward keeping a room feeling unique and new.

Bring The Outsides In~

  • Replace the curtain rods with sturdy tree branches of the right length and thickness of the old rods...You might find these in the yard after Winter's storm or on a nature walk...

  • Use birdcages, faux birds' nests, birdhouses, etc. filled with silk greenery...

  • Bring Spring Flowers inside...You can find them relatively inexpensive in the winter months...And they will brighter your home...and make you feel happier!

  • Use a glass container to use as a vase for feathers, cast-off antlers, or anything else that you can find that nature has left behind...

  • Unpack the groceries or gather the fruits of your garden to display on window ledges and countertop bowls until ready to eat....

Shop Your Home~Shop your home for similar objects and gather them in one location to create an instant collection!

Hang Pictures Lower~ Pictures should be hung at eye level, or about 60 inches from the floor.

Look for more of my upcoming ideas for sprucing up your joint!

And remember to scroll down to read more posts of my creative and inspiring writers! And check back during the day to see more upcoming posts...

Written by Screaming can find my decorating blog over @

Save Handmade

We are fans of handmade here at project{create a home}...and if you are too, you should read on.

But this year, congress passed the ill-conceived Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act, a law which goes into effect in in a few days and will absolutely wipe out the small toy makers, independent artisans, and crafters who have already earned the public trust. I have tons of ETSY love...and those are the exact people we are talking about.

Now, please don't misunderstand...we are all for strengthening the safety standards of mass produced toys...we all remember clearly the major issues recently with lead paint on toys from China. But with this act, the CPSIA will affect so many people...artisans who are Moms who sew in their homes, woodworkers who carve trains, the felt food toys, etc. All those people will now be required to invest in third party toy testing and special labeling to prove the toys are non-toxic

so, if you are interested in having you voice heard, head over to Cool Mom picks and read about saving handmade. Be an advocate. Write you Senator and Congressman. Do something.

there's more great stuff below...scroll on down and see it!

i'm at a thorn among roses...stop by sometime!

My Thrifty Valentine

Do you ever say to yourself, "Self, why do I spend money on Valentine's Day decorations when they're only on display for like one month, tops?" If you do, then you are my "brother by another mother," (Oh, wait, that won't work). Well, how about "great minds think alike?"

Have I got a craft for you.

I would like to introduce to you my two ugly new friends.

I bought these "seen better days" pieces of art at the Goodwill store last week, for $1.99 each. I heart the Goodwill.

I felt sorry for these new friends, so I dressed them up with some leftover fabric, cardstock, felt, and embroidery floss. Now they look like this:

And this:

Besides being thrifty and crafty, these are temporary (three of my favorite words). The hearts are stuck to the fabric with double stick tape, so they can be removed. And replaced with shamrocks, perhaps? Or Easter eggs? The possibilities are endless! Have fun!

For more thrifty home decor ideas scroll down and check out other posts from the project team and visit me at Reinvented.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

financial basics for the new year

it's another new year and time to reflect on a make adjustments to our personal finances. one thing that doesn't directly affect your pocket book is to take care of the basics that every household should have in place.

Make sure you have an up-to-date will and estate plan.
hubs and me did our wills on for less than $100 and in about 15 minutes on the laptop while drinking coffee. you can also get your financial stuff all together and see an attorney, but i prefer the jammies and coffee/internet way. either way, you need to get the final wills notarized and placed in a secure place. many banks offer free boxes with your savings account, so check there first. we keep a copy in our firesafe at home and at the bank.
{side note...our firesafe is locked and in the garage by the garage door for quick access in an emergency}

Check your life insurance and retirement plan beneficiaries
ok, i say this one because i randomly looked over my work policy one year and noticed that after my name change, the insurance company had changed my beneficiary inadvertantly to my ex-husband. not a good thing. it was a fairly easy fix, but you can imagine the problem....yikes...let's not go there!

life insurance does not mean you will die tomorrow
this is something that SAHM's often don't think they need, but honestly, if you are gone, someone has to keep the money coming in and take care of the house...which means you are worth a lot of money. when we were deciding on how much insurance to take out for me after i "retired" from engineering, we estimated childcare costs per year per child for a rough number. honestly, your insurance agent probably has a spreadsheet to do that estimate for you, so talk to them!
listen, you have small kids or other dependents, you need to ensure you have plenty of insurance to take care of them if you are gone. and don't forget disability insurance too. If you are seriously injured or heaven forbid, die, you would want your family to be taken care of. Not doing so is honestly, selfish. Few things, if anything, can do more to screw up your family's finances - and lives.

don't forget to scroll on down to see other great ideas for your home!!
and come see me any time at
a thorn among roses!

{Bucket List}...

Stop putting your dreams off for "some day" . . . Take inspiration from the movie "The Bucket List" and ask yourself: If I had one year left to live, what would I do with it? Create a list of 100 things you want to do before you {kick the bucket} and start crossing items off your list, today!!!

Here are some great ideas for a {Bucket list} to get your mind thinking....

  • Write a book

  • Learn the western swing dance

  • Ski down a mountain

  • Paint a picture - no matter how "un-artistic" you are

  • Fall deeper in love with your partner

  • Fall in love with yourself

  • Have a professional photo you were famous

  • Own a cow...(okay, that one is mine...;) and name her Betsy

  • Rent a Corvette and just plans or destination

  • Eat sushi

  • Get a tattoo...or a henna tattoo

  • Learn to sail a boat

  • Learn to fly an airplane

  • Write a script for a TV show

  • Do stand-up comedy

  • Swim with Dolphins

  • Understand yourself

  • Travel

  • Learn a Different language

  • paint a self portrait

  • Go down a slide backwards and upside down

  • Dance or perform on stage

  • View Paris from the Eiffel Tower at sunset

  • Hang glide

  • Rescue a pet

  • Hike Yosemite in the Spring

  • Slow dance in the middle of a crowded city street

  • Start your own business

  • Follow one dream, even if it seems silly

  • Attend at least one major sporting event -Superbowl, Olympics

  • Be a Healthy Weight

  • Do a Walk-a-thon

  • Do Indoor Sky Diving

  • Donate your Hair

  • Dress up for Halloween Again

  • Graduate from a Higher Level of Education

  • Go on a Cruise

  • Go on an African Safari

  • Go horseback Riding on the Beach

  • Go Rafting

  • Go Scuba Diving

  • Go to a Casino

  • Go Zip Lining

  • Help a Child in Need

  • Invent Something

  • Join a team

  • Learn to Ball Room Dance

  • Learn to Belly Dance

  • Learn to play guitar

  • Learn Sign Language

  • Learn to Surf

I think I will sit today and start my own {Bucket List}...You should do the same...A fun idea is to gather the family and watch "The Bucket List" together...and finish it off with a {Family Bucket List}....A list of things you want to experience together! Now that is a special night!

Our goal for the {Project} is to have 3-5 posts a day...So, scroll down and check out our other posts...and check back through out the day to see what is new! We will have posts about decorating, organizing, crafting, thrifting, cooking, baking, relationships, spirituality, blogging, money, and anything else that helps us CREATE HAPPIER LIVES! :)

Written by Screaming Meme...Can over to my Decorating blog...And see what i'm up to!

Screaming Meme Style!!!

Getting Organized...Screaming Meme Style!

~Keep an {action file} ~
Get a file, a folder, a huge zip lock bag or whatever works for you....Make it something portable so that you won’t mind carrying it with you to and from your car, home, and the office....
This {action file} is to be used for papers or small items you need for TODAY ONLY!.... Here’s an example.... You’ve got a coupon for the dry cleaners, some bills that need to be mailed, that survey that needs to be filled out, a birthday card for you need to fill out, and a magazine you’d like to look through..... Put all of them in your {action file}. As you go through your day, you have everything you need....clean, protected, and ready for you to grab and go.... If you get a ticket back from the dry cleaner put it into your file.... Every night, empty your action file, sort it out, and get it ready for the next day.

~Organize {two things} every day~

The thought of spending a Saturday afternoon cleaning out a closet is enough to make you quit before you even begin. So how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time....or two at a time ;)...Go to that closet. Pick two things to organize, and do it today. Whether that’s two shelves, two boxes, two piles, or simply just two items...Now you’re not overwhelmed by the job. But think....if you organized two things every day, and there were 20 pieces of junk in that closet, you’d have the job done in about two weeks! It all starts by aiming for that simple, reachable goal of just {two things} every day.

~Set Goals~

Most people plan their vacations more carefully then they do their lives....Start the organizing process by taking time to think about what is important to you and your family...what you want to achieve and experience..... Goals give purpose and direction to life. There are two types of goals, short term and long term. Both should include how much and a completion date or deadline. Saying “someday” doesn’t cut it. A goal has a beginning and an end.

Examples of {short term goals} ...

  • Clean out my desk, one drawer at a time, and have it done by the end of the month. One drawer per week....

  • Paint the desk and chair bright red within two weeks...

  • Call my Grandparents by Sunday...

  • Return the platter to the neighbor's by Friday...

Examples of {long term goals}...

  • Plan the family it by March...

  • Start a dance class by the end of the year...

  • Plan a garage sale with neighbor's by May....

  • Paint the house by October...

Make sure that you keep all of your goals in one place. That could be a notebook, a planner, a cork board. Just know where to go to write them down when they come to you.... Don’t rely on memory.... Seeing them in writing creates a belief that you will follow through....


Effective time management is putting first things by day...moment by moment....So start with a plan. This can be done most effectively using a planner...Find a size that suits you... People will go buy the biggest planner they can find. It doesn’t have to be big to work...It has to fit your style and your needs.... Even a pocket size planner will do for some of you....I personally need a bigger one...I make a lot of lists and goals...But if you don’t make lists...maybe a monthly visual calendar might be more suitable for you...

From your list of {goals} and {to-do} list, decide at the end of each day which items are priorities for the next day.... A priority is a must do rather than a want to do....Do not transfer more than six priority actions from your {goal} list to your daily list....You might not be able to get through more than that and your day will end in frustration....What you want at the end of the day is to celebrate success!!!

Scheduling is an important part of setting your priorities. If you are trying to complete a big {project}, create a timeline.... Be sure to follow through with it....Once you’ve made a decision to go not procrastinate! This requires self-discipline.... If your are a morning person, schedule demanding or unpleasant priorities first on your calendar, and then enjoy the rest of the day....If you like doing it later in the day...that is fine, too...Most importantly...Do not try to be perfect...try to do the best you can...You will get used to it...and you will have more time to do the things you want to do....

Scroll down and catch up on some great posts my girls have been writing!...They are getting PUMPED for an awesome first year on the Project! We are planning to post 3-5 posts a day...So, that you can get your Blog Land fill all in one place!...Look for our upcoming themed days!!! We are ready to bring it! ;)

Written by Screaming Meme...If you can't get enough of me...Well...then...follow me to Screaming Meme's...I hear it's going to be a SCREAM over there!

Monday, January 26, 2009

hot spinach artichoke dip

the super bowl is this weekend...and everyone needs some good snacks for watching the game.
even if you're not the game watching type, you'll be loving this spinach artichoke dip anyway.

1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
1/3 cup grated Romano cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (we like it cheesy)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained completely
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream (can substitute mayo or miracle whip)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

preheat the oven to 350 and get your 9x13 or 8x8 pan ready.

In your food processor (or blender), place artichoke hearts, Romano cheese, Parmesan cheese and garlic . Chop it, but don't grind it. Set aside. {my family loves it extra cheesy, so this recipe is for us. you can use as little as 1/4 cup of paremesan.}

In a medium bowl, mix together spinach, heavy cream, sour cream and mozzarella cheese.
Stir in artichoke mixture. Spoon into prepared baking dish.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling. you'll smell it. it's yummy!!

serve warm with tortilla chips or on triscuits or crackers. a great appetizer option, serve on crusty italian bread slices...and it looks fab too!!!

my kids love it...and it's got some veggies in it!

scroll on down to see more fab ideas from the gals here at project{create a home}. wanna see more of my fam, come on by any time at a thorn among roses.

DIY Pendant Lights

What can you do with an old globe, a metal trash can and a lamp cord?


And this:

To make a plug-in pendant light, you'll need a lamp cord with a light socket and a toggle switch. You can pick up a lamp kit at the hardware store for around $7. This will also come with instructions on how to install the toggle switch.

I used a lamp cord from an old paper lantern light that I had saved. I took apart the socket in order to fit the wire through the hole in the globe and the wastebasket. (In order make the wastebasket light, I had to cut a small hole in the wire mesh to fit the cord through.)

After I took apart the socket, I threaded the wire through the hole and re-assembled the socket. Here's how you wire the socket back to the electrical cord:

Tie the cord ends into a loose knot

Wrap each end of wire around the nuts on each side of the socket

Make sure to wrap the wires in alternating directions. If you wrap the right wire around the right screw clockwise, then wrap the left wire around the left screw counter-clockwise.

Tighten the screws and then slip the socket back into its' sleeve.

Put the socket back together and try out your new light!

The possibilities are endless.

Wouldn't these be cute as mini-lights?

All you'd have to do is drill a hole in the bottom each one and put in a lamp cord.

You can check out this post to see how I took an old light fixture, re-wired it and gave it new life.

Scroll down for more great Project {Create A Home} posts.

homemade baby food

i'm not an earthy crunchy type girl, but i do love the thought of good nutrition and saving money...and that is why i started making my own baby food. my SIL, meg, inspired she always does...and off i went.

so here's my sofie's fav peaches recipe...babyfood style

what you need:
food processor, blender or masher
ice cube trays for storage

start with super yummy peaches fresh from the store. i like to get organic, but never the less, wash them good before you start cutting them. you don't all that gook from moving them around in your baby's food.
a good peach is firm, but will give a little when pushed (a little like me)...and don't pick up the rejects with cuts or bruises
peel and pit the peaches and cut up into 1" chunks or precision necessary. rinse off the pieces and place in a quart pot for boiling.

add enough water to cover peaches and a little extra.
boil for about 6 minutes or until the peaches are'll be ready for some peach cobbler at this point...i'm warning you...the smell is DELCIOUS!!!

when you drain the boiling water off, you may want to reserve some of the water to add to cereal for extra moisture. the "water juice" is full of vitamins and the sugars are all boiled out so your babies tummy can tolerate it well.
{if you have questions on food timing and juices, please consult your pediatrician or doctor for feeding questions}

i like a food processor, but my SIL uses her blender, so use what you have...and if you don't have any special kitchen equipment, use a masher and good old fashioned elbow grease.
toss it in and puree to the consistancy that your baby prefers.
typically for young eaters, total puree is preferred and then from there, more and more chunks are preferred.
puree'd food will look like this delicious stuff...yummy!

i normally keep a few servings out in sotrage containers and freeze the remainder in ice cube trays. after a day in the freezer, i break up the ice cube trays, dispense into freezer bags and label contents with date.

when it's time to eat, pull out the food from the freezer and viola! you can defrost on the counter for 10 minutes or add some hot cereal and some of your leftover water juice!

then look for the smiles...and they are priceless!!
you won't want to miss all the great ideas for your home below...check them out!

wanna see more of my clan, come and visit me (mommaof4wife2r) at a thorn among roses.

Friday, January 23, 2009

swirly twirly cupcakes

making everyday cupcakes makes my girls happy, but adding a little fancy smancy touch here and there makes it fab-u-lous! and i feel a little like i'm on Ace of Cakes...i'm not gonna lie.

so, in honor of Fancy Nancy (and Duff)...and to make my girlie pies happy too, i made swirly twirly cupcakes!
{ok, so it was for my sofie's first birthday and it was all really for me, but go with me on this one...please}

red velvet always knocks the socks off everyone, so grab a boxed mix at the grocery...mix it up and let's get a move on...

what you need to bake:
1 box red velvet (or any) cake mix and ingredients to make
muffin pan
{i used a wilton 4" depth tall cupcake pan because it's cute. Michael's for $8 an a 40% off coupon...$4.80; one mix makes 5 large cupcakes}
what you need to decorate:
1 can of prepared icing (i use what is on sale)
icing bag and tip of choice
{i bought the 12 piece cupcake decorating set at Michael's for $8 and used my 40% off weekly coupon...$4.80}
food coloring

after the cupcakes are done baking, let set for 5 minutes in the pan. then, release them so they don't get too moist on top...i learned that through blogging! i used two butter knives, one on each side of the cupcake, and lifted them out to cool. i know, there's probably a tool for that, but the knives worked great!

let the cupcakes cool about an hour or until they are no longer warm to the touch...otherwise, the icing melts too and then your beautiful creation is a melty, gooey, not pretty mess.

on to the swirly twirly icing...
i have girlie pies, so i always need pink or purple or something for food to make it fancier! so i added 4 drops of red food coloring to my store bought white icing and mixed well. icing!

prepare the icing bag for decorating
decide first what pattern you would like to use and select the appropriate tip (look at the box for ideas). i used the star tip 1M, which does a rosette type pattern.
take the icing bag in hand, and cut about 3/4" of the sealed bottom tip off.
place the tip (1M) in the bag seal against the bag at the bottom where the metal tip is sticking out of the bag hole about 1/2".

filling the icing bagcuff the bag in one hand while using the other hand to scoop icing into the bag. start filling the bag at the bottom or you will get big air pockets that make blow-outs on the cupcakes :)
fill the bag with 1/2 the container of icing, starting at the base of the bag and moving up. before you start to decorate, squeeze the icing bag over the bowl until air is released.

keep the tip slightly above the cupcake, squeeze out the icing to form a star and WITHOUT releasing pressure, move the tip in a circle on the outer edge of the cupcake and continue to swirl until covered to the center. stop pressure/squeezing and lift tip away!

not you've got swirly twirly cupcakes...plate them up pretty and enjoy!

and now, you can def pull off a cake too!
{below is my very first one i decorated with an icing bag, not anything fab but it's fun!}

same process and even the same tip, just ice the cake all over first! add some saucy little ($0.29 each) candles from the party tree...and you got yourself a bday cake to remember!
so go ahead...make some pretties...and let us know how you did!
you can see more of my crazy fam and our lives over at a thorn among roses. come and visit sometime!