New Listing + Recipe

Two new listings are in the shop! One is for an 8x10 typography print just like the one pictured above and the other is just a larger 13x19 version. You can check them out for more detailed information if you're interested.

The quote above is quite fitting for me. I LOVE chocolate! Some of you were wondering about the frosting I used on hubby's birthday cake so I will share that along with the chocolate cake... cuz it's just the BEST chocolate cake I have ever had. The recipe came from my mother-in-law. Hope she doesn't mind me sharing it! :)

Lazy Crazy Cake & Frosting
3c flour
2c sugar
1t salt
2t soda
1/3c cocoa
2T apple cider vinegar
1t vanilla
3/4c oil
2c water

Bake at 350 for 20-25min. (It actually takes about 35 min in my oven... so just keep checking on it so it doesn't get over done.)

Now for the 7 minute white frosting
2 egg whites
1 1/2c sugar
1/3 c cold water
1/2t cream of tarter
dash salt
1t vanilla

Stir in double boiler. Beat mixture until it stands in peaks. (use a hand mixer) Add vanilla.
Spread on cake and eat it up!

*Just a note, if you don't eat up the white frosting fairly soon within a couple days it will start to get a little crunchy and I'm not at all for crunch in my foods. Yeah, I'm kinda funny. So if I just make this cake for my little family I usually opt for a fudge frosting... and that is sooo good too!
Here's that recipe:

Fudge Frosting
1 1/2c sugar
6T butter
6T milk
6oz chocolate chips

Boil sugar, butter and milk one minute. Add choc. chips, stir until melted.

If you make the recipe into cupcakes, its going to be real hard to eat just one! Enjoy!


Birthday Weekend

Here are a few shots taken this last weekend from celebrating hubby's birthday.

Only little people get the fancy decorated cakes. I did make his favorite frosting though!

Kaelyn insisted it was HER birthday and was ready to dig into the cake. As soon as I put the cake on the table with the lit candles she blew all but one out. Silly girl! We started celebrating Friday night even though his actual B-day wasn't til Saturday. Grandma Shari babysat Kaelyn for awhile so we could go out for a nice supper just the two of us.

On Saturday we woke up real early so David could run in a 5K with his little sis.

It was Abbey's first 5K race and with David's help and encouragement she came in 2nd in her age group! Way to go girl!
After a family lunch we headed to the zoo. It really was like K's b-day. She loved it! And the goats loved her too.

When the geese heard Kaelyn they all started trucking over hoping she would feed them. How could you not?

Sunday, David spent a good part of the day riding his bike. He went for an 87 mile bike ride. Yeah, that is fun for him... not like most of us others, but each to their own. Ha! Then we ended the weekend with some yummy s'mores in our back yard.
Happy Birthday to this one amazing husband and father!

New Typography Prints Coming Soon!

I've had 3 paintings going on, but now one is finished. Yay! This one was a special customer's request through etsy, but the good news is prints will be made and available to anyone who is interested. More details coming soon!


Road Trip ~ Vacation Part 2

I hope you had a wonderful weekend. We sure had beautiful weather here and were busy bodies once again. It was Hubby's birthday so we did a few fun things. I was going to have a post about that but my camera's battery died so I'll have to share our weekend happenings in the next post. Here are a few photos from our road trip to Lake Michigan and home again.

At the last minute we decided to break the trip up and stay at a motel half way. It was a good idea, 10 hours straight would not have been fun. Our first stay was in Wisconsin, next to the Mississippi river. Was fun to see all the house boats!

A couple more of the Mississippi. Wisconsin was a gorgeous state to drive through. Lots of wild flowers, hills and trees.

These cute little shops are in Long Grove, Illinois. We arrived there shortly before closing time so it seemed like we had the place to ourselves. Off to the right was the neatest art gallery. David and I both wanted to take several pieces home with us! Too bad pictures weren't allowed in there or I would have showed you all the talent that was featured... it was awesome!

On the way home to SD we came across the Cheese Factory restaurant in Wisconsin to have lunch. Couldn't pass this place up since WI is known for their cheese. It was definitely a fun place to eat. The servers made for an extra special experience and the coffees and food were delicious!
Our last stay was in Winona, MN. David would really like to be in a triathlon there next year. One side looks over the Mississippi river and behind me are steep hills filled with trees. Very beautiful but I sure wouldn't want to bike up them! Honestly I would be traveling backwards if I attempted! The shot of the bridge was taken right in front of our motel.

A couple other shots of Winona.

We were in the car for well over 20 hours and this little person slept for less than 2 hours. She did amazing. It was good we weren't next to other passengers because she certainly wasn't quiet. No most of our road trip time was spent singing. When she was bored of singing by her self she insisted the whole family sing... song after song! I'm pretty sure the entire vacation she was worried about falling asleep because she might miss something. Funny girl!


Vacation Part 1 ~ Lake Michigan

Here are a few shots from our trip... and yes this is part 1, I decided to save the road trip pictures for another post, so these are just the ones taken from our resort on Lake Michigan and the nearby area. Just to warn you, hubby called me the paparazzi. Even K was pretty sick of me taking pictures. Ha, ha... but seriously how could you pass up the opportunity of capturing such fun moments!?

This is the front entrance to our resort. The geese would make their rounds around the place. So funny!

First time on the beach. Awe, just like being at the ocean... ok, pretty darn close. Kaelyn would squat down to play in the sand every two steps. It took a lot of encouraging to keep moving forward!

Our resort was awesome. It had a beach front with hiking paths in the back. It was like two totally different worlds.

The deer was a bit of a shock. As we were slowly walking I looked to the left and here she was standing right there close to us, sideways, not moving a muscle. I thought for sure she would run as soon as I turned on my camera and pointed it at her, but she stayed. And when Kaelyn and David started making noises to her, she looked at them and even cocked her head around the brush to look at them... then went back to eating! Awesome!

There was really no way of getting K to look at the camera when she was on the beach though. She was much too busy!

On one of our shopping days Kaelyn got her first carousel ride. I wanted off before she did. I didn't remember they went quite so fast and long! :)

Running back to play in the sand. Oh my goodness, she looked at me!!!

A daily must was swimming in the resorts pool. It was large as well as their fitness rooms, yes that has an s on the end! They really had it all in one place. Great food too. We ate on the patio overlooking the water every day. The seafood ravioli was incredible!

Kaelyn was so involved with the sand and stones she totally ignored the seagulls that walked around her. We kept telling her to look. She would finally and just say "hi, birdie" and return to looking at her treasures! (That's the resort in back of her.)

Jelly Belly factory tour and a picture of me! Ha! (That doesn't happen often.) I'm a total fashionista with the hat! Yes, it was actually mandatory that you wear them once the train ride started. Kaelyn's jabbering away and thrilled to ride a train.

Her favorite indoor place during our trip. Her mouth is filled with jelly belly's and cuddling a super soft plush jelly belly... what could be better?

Ok, the jelly belly store may tie with the swimming pool for K's favorite indoor places.

This was taken in Chicago. Acres of gorgeousness there.

Even though there was a huge, beautiful sandy beach we always seemed to gravitate towards the rockier part. We all had fun finding unique stones... and this one topped them all. David actually found it... but hadn't noticed the heart. He just saw the two colors and thought it was neat. Of course I had to take a few pics with it! ♥ my hubby!

See there's the large, beautiful sandy beach.

One more with the awesome rock! Love these two so much! The rock just fits us perfectly.

Thank you God for letting us see more of the beauty you have created. We are so thankful and feel so blessed to have shared the experience with our daughter. She actually said her bedtime prayer all by herself one of the first nights we were at the resort without even being told to say it with me. Didn't miss a word. She usually only says a couple words here and there. (That certainly warmed my heart!)
Ok, thanks for all those who read my super lengthy post! :)


Introducing ~ Amaria's Paper Work ~

Do you have some childhood memories that stand out in your mind as being extra special? I remember playing with paper dolls. My mom would let me cut up old clothing catalogues... it was so fun to use my imagination to create different outfits and families. Coming across a Team Member of CAC (Christian Artists and Crafters) I was reminded of this special memory. I was so happy to see that someone had an etsy shop with paper dolls!

{magnetic wooden paper doll size 5 - Mandy}

I love finding items that stimulate children's minds creatively and Amaria's Paper Work does a great job of this. There are fun sets for girls and boys so take a look!


I'm Back!

Hello, hello! I hope you are all well. Wow! It has been a wonderful nine days of road tripping with my little family. Yes, I wasn't brave enough to put my 2yr old on a plane yet, as she isn't one to be quiet and she usually has to get up and run around quite often... so not wanting to bother any other passengers we decided on a family road trip. We stayed in 3 different states with one of our destinations being on a lovely sandy beach. I will share much more, but for now my bed is calling my name and tomorrow looks as though I'll be busy unpacking, organizing and taking care of etsy business.

Promise to be back soon!

God never ceases to amaze me! I am so blessed!


Enjoying the Small Things

What is it that is most important to you? What can you not live without? (Other than needing food and such to survive.) For me its hands down my family. My husband and daughter are my world and I can't imagine life without them. All my other possessions are meaningless... of course I like lots of things, but they are just things... they are incapable of love. If I needed to I would get rid of all that I had... and would be fine with just my little family. Sometimes it seems like we get to much clutter in our life, we focus too much on wanting this and that when we should be simplifying and focusing on what is most important to us.

This week I started reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. Usually I don't have time to read, but my husband had started reading the book and told me to read a chapter and well now I have to read it all... that's just how powerful it is. From what I've read so far it is really good... it reminds us to focus our energy for a meaningful life. The book is about God's amazing plan for us which is so refreshing... for me anyway. It's a book for all Christians and your only supposed to read a chapter a day... they are small and completely doable for busy people. Anyway it also talks about how important family is... along with God of course.

I've been wanting to share some very inspiring blogs with you and I have one that focuses on family... which is definitely not a small thing but is something sometimes overlooked, taken for granted or takes a backseat when our lives get so busy. Well this family is filled with love, joy, and know how to enjoy the small things in life.

{photo from enjoying the SMALL things}

Kelle Hampton, from the blog enjoying the SMALL things, has such a way with words. Her heartfelt energy bounces off the words she types and hits her readers to warm their hearts as well. Her photography is also amazing and so sweet... she does a wonderful job catching such special moments of her girls and even her hubby at times. She shares some of her struggles she's had to deal with but is so good at focusing on the positive... just take a look, you'll see what I mean.

Take some time today to focus on the ones in your life that mean so much to you. Enjoy them!


Giving Yourself Permission

In order to move forward with our hopes and dreams we have to give our self permission to do what ever it is that our heart desires. My hubby came across this link about writing your own permission slip and I wanted to share it with you.

Here is a snippet from the post on Illuminated Mind:
"You know that you can’t find that permission outside of yourself. You have to be the one that gives you permission.
Yes, I can spend time on my art.
Yes, I can have the relationship that I want.
Yes, I can make as much money as I want.
Yes, I can be as bold and adventurous as I want.
Yes, I can choose to spend my time on the things that make me come alive."

Be sure to read the rest of the post HERE if your interested. I hope it inspires you to give yourself permission!


New Experiences

...for Kaelyn that is. We had a wonderful and very busy fourth of July weekend and she thoroughly enjoyed all her new experiences. Here are just a few of the fun times...

Warning: A Bit of a Photo Overload :)

Ok, the camel ride was actually from last Tuesday. My brother's family has been back and when they wanted to take the kids to the zoo, how could you pass that up!? I needed a little break from the 8ft painting anyway.

Then on to this last Saturday... headed to MN with Kaelyn and my mom to meet up with cousins for a kids play date. They had a blast! Kaelyn experienced her first slip and slide. She didn't want to leave!

After church on Sunday we were off to our first lake stop to spend some more time with some of my family members who have come from away. The girls sure had fun with the bubble gun. I even thought it was cool... bubbles inside bubbles! Wow!

Then some fireworks. Kaelyn did her first snaps. Turned out being easier to just step on them to make them pop rather than throw.

K and one of her cousins.
Then it was off to another lake to spend time with hubby's family. Kaelyn started with some bug catching there.

We went boating with David's brother and wife and his niece. We all ended up jumping off the boat for a little swim. Kaelyn was even handed in for a bit. (I haven't jumped off a boat in years... it was like I was a little kid again! Ha!) Then it was back to shore to roast marshmallows and watch fireworks. Kaelyn couldn't get enough marshmallows. Pretty sure she almost ate a bag full her self.

So fun! Witnessing more firsts for Kaelyn was priceless. She was filled with delight all weekend! Couldn't have been better.