Friday, December 30, 2011

5 Fun Things Friday

five fun things

1. Aren't these the cutest little magnets ever?

2. Donut pan recipes.

Baked Caramel Apple Donuts HERE.

Baked Gingerbread Mini Donuts HERE.

Double Glazed Funfetti Donuts HERE.

Vanilla Bean Baby Donuts HERE.

Fluffy Cake Donuts HERE.

Baked Pumpkin Donuts HERE.

[Got myself a cute little mini donut pan in Christmas Eve BINGO this year and CAN'T WAIT to test it out!]

3. Snow White Apron. Love.

Because there is a little princess in all of us :)
4. StickyGram.


Make all sorts of cute magnets using your Instagram prints!

5. How about this as a sweet Valentine's Day gift?

Happy Friday!!!

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

confessions of a former kitchen failure

e-mealz ROCKS

While I enjoy eating good food, cooking has never been one of my strong suits. In fact if it weren't for Hamburger Helper, frozen pizzas, and the occasional casserole EVERY SINGLE ONE of our family dinners would have been eaten out. That is, until I discovered E-Mealz.

I struggled with meal planning. And grocery shopping. And enough leftovers to feed an army. And serving the same old sides over and over and over again. We were in a rut. A giant one and I had no clue how to get out.

At first I tried cookbooks. And the Internet. And more cookbooks. Truth is, they were really nothing more than a temporary solution to an on-going problem.

Until I discovered E-Mealz.


I pay $5/month for my subscription ($1.25/week) and E-Mealz not only plans my meals, but creates detailed shopping lists as well! And the meals are WONDERFUL. Tailored to a family of four. Our grocery bill for a week of meals ends up being about $80 for the week. Seven glorious meals that are easy to prepare. With delicious sides even.

It's been a total kitchen breakthrough. Even during my crazy busy photography season, I would return from sessions at 5:30 pm and NOT be in a panic about dinner. We typically ate out several nights a month, spending anywhere from $20-$40 for one meal as a family. Crazy, but not anymore.

My E-Mealz subscription is seriously the best purchase made in 2011.

They offer a variety of meal plan options: gluten-free, low carb, low fat, family of 4, family of 2, vegetarian, natural & organic. Something for everyone. You can check out sample menus on their website by clicking HERE.

I am happy to say I no longer dread making dinner (I might even go so far as to say I enjoy it). E-Mealz ROCKS. If you're looking for a way to simplify your life and budget, be sure to check it out!

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Monday, December 26, 2011

one year ago today

Remembering Grandpa Lito.

Day 156/365:  the fourth and final birthday blowout

Who passed away one year ago today.

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

a few from the christmas eve service

stars in the sky

Christ => our light in the darkness; that message beautifully woven into the Christmas Eve service at Hosanna!


Imagine my surprise at seeing a gal I graduated with on the big screen, radiating hope in the face of darkness as she spoke of her recent cancer diagnosis.


A profound message. The January sermon series will focus on relationships ("Relationships, Passion, Marriage") - what a great way to begin the new year.

IMG_9947 tony and i

Because we could all use a little fine tuning now and again. Click HERE for service times.

Have a warm and toasty evening :)

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Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11 (NIV)

sue's star

A Savior, which is Christ the Lord. The same as Jesus.

To make safe.
To make alive.
To deliver.
To confide in.
To hope.

merry christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

looking for a special way to celebrate?

why my kids love church

Hosanna! Christmas Eve service

Check out the Christmas Eve services at Hosanna! in Lakeville. It'll knock your socks off.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

5 Fun Things Friday

five fun things

1. How about some yummy [grown-up] hot drink recipes for Christmas?


Click HERE to find several.

2. Breakfast of champions.

Maple bacon biscuits... just kill me now.

3. Really wish I could pull off this look.

So cute.

4. Love these shoe clips:

5. The new Jimmy Fallon "wake-up call" app (only $.99):

Happy Friday!!!

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december 2011

December 2011

I've fallen a couple of months behind on my monthly family photo challenge. Oops. I'm sure our home is much like yours this time of year... FULL! I've been reviewing the year and looking ahead to 2012 (journaling about goals and such) and realize my blog has taken somewhat of a backseat to Facebook and other forms of social media. I plan to change that. Because I miss the way it used to be. Because blogging is where my heart is. Because I want to be more intentional about how I spend my time.

In case you missed the Tweet, my Grandma Deutsch now has a Caringbridge site. While I never thought in a million years she'd go for it, a friend shared with her the many benefits of having such a site. (The friend apparently tried to set things up on Grandma's behalf but felt she was in over her head.) And because "sharing sites" are my thing, I volunteered to help :) Just click HERE to access the site.

Merry Christmas Eve eve!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011



Elf is more experiment than tradition. My husband and I had been following the activities of some other elves in the area and began brainstorming one night. I had NO INTENTION of spending $30 on an elf. Our kids are teens [teen boys] so the cutesy video and book that accompanied it would have been a total waste. Lo and behold, we ventured out to Gertens and stumbled upon The Land of Elf Ornaments. (Mind you, precious shopping hours were lost as we sorted through alien elves and satin elves and felt elves and mini elves - it was more complicated than choosing a pet!) We finally settled on this guy:


We call him "Elf" - quite fitting, if you ask me.

It turns out Elf is a very naughty elf. VERY.

photocopying the tush

The first night we left him alone, Elf photocopied his naked tushy.

The next night, he stirred up all sorts of trouble with the snowmen of the house and ended up with a black eye.

elf smackdown

elves rule, snowmen drool

black eye

We had to have a talk with him about the language.

Elf may or may not have gone potty in the milk.

green milk elf

Not cool.

Oh and then there's the day he teepeed the tree.

teepee the tree

snickering elf

It reminds me of what it was like with a puppy. I am still haunted by the day I woke to black shreds everywhere... only to realize in horror that Angus had eaten my absolute FAVORITE pair of shoes. It's sorta like that, only this time the kids are being traumatized instead of me.


We woke to this today:

zip line

zip blur


A zip line in the living room.

Needless to say, Tony and I are having a lot of fun after the kids go to bed :)) We have saved THE BEST for last so be sure to check back next week!

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

5 Fun Things Friday

five fun things

1. The Mystery Cafe.


Thought this would make for a great date night with Tony :))

price of privilege

Our teens today are really struggling, this author seeks to help us understand why.

3. Thought these rubber bands would go well with my SMASHbooks. (The SMASH series currently has only two. Russell+Hazel on the other hand, have 14 different styles!)


Check out THIS Recipe Binder Set (on sale now AND free shipping right now as well!):


How about THIS wedding organizer for a bride-to-be?


4. The ultimate curling iron: T3 SinglePass Whirl.


It's pretty spendy but you'll find a great deal on it HERE.

5. Wallaby Bag Company. Super cute cases for your smart phone, iPad, or Nook/Kindle.


Happy Belated Friday!!!

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