Monday, March 30, 2015

It's Great to be Eight

"It's Great to be Eight" is a baptism preview for children turning 8
 
This passport-themed night will make it all the more memorable!
 
While listening to a talk about the importance passports when traveling, the Primary president in our ward (church group) came up with this idea to have a passport-themed night for the children turning 8 years old.
 
Since I am the Sunday school teacher for that age group, I was happy to help put it together.
I started by scouring Pinterest for ideas (check out my board here).
I also took a picture of each student to put on their "passport".
{This adorable darling's mom works with I Heart Naptime and
gave me permission to use the items I created for her daughter.}

I found a PDF passport at GuestHollow.com and just tweaked it for our purposes.
{Print them here}
We had them printed double-sided at a UPS store.

I made these postcard invitations and had 4x6's printed at WalMart.com's one-hour photo.
You'll find a blank PDF version HERE that you can use to put your own info on the lines.
The fonts I used are Academy Engraved and Meddon. The font for the giant number 8 is called Cast Iron.

We used old-world d├ęcor: trunks, maps, globes, pillars, etc. to decorate the room.
I basically packed up my house and brought it to church!

We set up a table outside the main room for the programs and personalized passports.

I made 5 banners with my Silhouette Cameo.
Since a silhouette will cut any font, I use wingding fonts to create banners.
The "WELCOME" banner is made from KG A Little Swag font with Cast Iron letters.
I backed them with some world map paper I found at my local JoAnn store.

 The other banners are made with the KG Flavor And Frames Four font's lower case "e" since it's represented by a pennant. I put 2 pennants per 12x12 page, one pointing up and one pointing down.
I taped jute to the back to string them up.

We covered the chalkboards with navy material to hide the stuff behind it without taking it down.
I taped together the small side triangles that were left to make pennants for the banners to decorate the tables we used for refreshments.

I made a cupcake topper to match the postcard and program.
{Print a sheet of 2-inch cupcake toppers here.}

To bring the passport theme into play, we set up a small customs table where the children could get their passports stamped.
My bestie, Brit (also in the Primary presidency, has TONS of stamps from Close to My Heart.
We went through them and chose stamps that we thought represented the topic of the 5 speakers for the evening. After each speaker finished their talk, the children lined up at the stamp station for Brit to stamp their passport.

It was so fun to watch the children's faces as they learned and then earned each stamp in their passport.
I hope this helps make your event
GREAT!

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Happy Sunday: Be Still

When I went visiting teaching this month, I shared a message from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf about patience.
 
He said, “Patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can—working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed.
"Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!”
 
It reminded me of a profound statement I heard in a movie once.
-created with rhonnadesigns-
Be still, and know that I am God.
 
Happy Sunday, sweeties.
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Octopus Hideout at SEA*LIFE Aquarium

My boys and I loved every minute of our latest adventure at SEA*LIFE Aquarium!
We visited the new Octopus Hideout.

 Only 2 of my boys were able to come since my Middle Man had an appointment but
my Big Guy and my Little Dude had a blast!
 We were greeted by smiling faces and given scuba masks and passports for stamps.
^^^ I LOVE this new addition! ^^^
 
 The animals are amazing!
I love that my kids and I can experience seeing
(and sometimes touching!)
creatures we never even knew existed. 
 Everywhere we turned there was something beautiful or wondrous or new.
 I always find it so peaceful there.
 
The passports were so fun for my boys!
Numbered stamp stations are located throughout the aquarium like a treasure hunt.
The boys were rewarded for filling out their "passport" with a SEA*LIFE medal!
 
The highlight of our visit was the new Octopus Hideout.
Loki, the Giant Pacific Octopus, has a beautiful new home.
 I LOVE HER!!
She's graceful and mysterious and beautiful;
I would totally take her home!
 We watched her for a long time!
 
 She's always been one of my favorites.
 She was a little overwhelmed with the crowd and
changed colors form her brilliant red to near white and hid in a corner.
She's amazing!
 
 My boys always love going to the SEA*LIFE Aquarium!
 
 There's a little something for everyone, no matter the age.
 
Now it's your turn!
SEA*LIFE is offering Sugar Blossoms readers a discount on tickets.
https://www.visitsealife.com/arizona/springspecialoffer/
The Octopus Hideout is a traveling exhibit and
will be on display at SEA*LIFE Arizona through the rest of 2015.
 
 Say 'hi' to Loki for us!
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Saturday, March 21, 2015

FREE e-Cookbook from Sassy Steals

My recipe for Maple Bacon Apple Bread has been featured
in a FREE downloadable cookbook from Sassy Steals!!
Everyone who downloads a copy will be entered to win $50 credit to their website! :)
GO CLAIM YOUR COPY!
 
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Homemade Lemonade Concentrate

This homemade lemonade concentrate will let you have fresh lemonade year-round.
We recently transplanted our citrus trees and harvested them in the process.
This is the first year we've been able to do so.

Our lemon tree outdid itself!
We noticed that the lemons looked like they had pink-ish stripes.
 
 When we cut them open,
they were pink inside!
 I've never seen anything like it.
One of them was actually yellow but the rest were pink.
They're fascinating and beautiful! 
We love lemonade but my husband and one of my sons are diabetic
so we usually don't get to enjoy this refreshment often.

and quickly had more than 64 oz of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
 
My husband is brilliant in the kitchen and concocted this
no-sugar-added recipe for lemonade concentrate. 
  
Here's how each step looks:
 Each time you're ready for a fresh pitcher,
simply thaw out a bag of concentrate, add water and ice.
 
It's absolutely heavenly!
 Enjoy!
 
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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

T-shirt Quilt Review

I recently had some of my favorite memories made into a blanket
 
The quilt options range from lap size to king size using 8x8 to 14x14 inch panels.
 They walk you through the entire process from preparation to shipping.
I opted for a lap quilt which required 16 panels.
 
It isn't required to cut apart all your shirts, only if there's a front and back graphic.
However, I chose to ship only the portions I wanted in the quilt
to save on shipping costs when sending them to the company.

 
It took 12 days from my sending the shirts to receiving my new quilt.
 I got to choose the backing color, which is a nice option.
 
My quilt is made from t-shirts I had in college, one made for me by my littlest sister.
Some of them are shirts that my boys have worn on difficult treks.
Some have traveled to far away places and back home again.
Each holds a fond memory or a very special place in my heart
I love it!
 
With Mother's Day, Father's Day and graduations on their way
I can't think of a more fitting way to keep your memories close than
with a t-shirt quilt from Project Repat.
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