July 31, 2013

Ladybird/Ladybug Cupcakes {Guest Post from A Typical English Home}

Hi there. I am really pleased to have been invited to guest post on Blissful Roots! For those of you who don't know who I am, my name is Angela and I blog over at A Typical English Home.

Mostly I write about home, organisation and cleaning, or I share free printables or blogging resources. But every now and then I will throw in a baking post. This is the topic I will be focusing on for this post, since so many parents are looking for ways to entertain the kids while the children are off school. 

Ladybird/bug Cupcakes from Blissful Roots

During the summer holidays, one of my boys' favourite activities is baking and they particularly like doing these ladybird cupcakes which are really simple to make and require minimal supervision. If you want to give these a go with your children, or if you just fancy making them yourself, then you will need:

Red icing
Black icing
White icing/ white chocolate chips/ mini chocolate beans

Start by covering the cupcake in red fondant icing.

Use a cocktail stick to make an indentation along the centre of the icing (for the wings). Then cut a head out of black icing - I use a circular cutter to make this bit quicker and neater.

Here is the finished ladybird cake. I used chocolate beans for the eyes, but you could also use a white chocolate chip or even just a ball of white icing. 

And these were my boys' efforts. My youngest (who is 5) used chocolate beans rather than icing for the spots, which I think was just a clever ploy to eat more chocolate when I wasn't looking!

Thank you to Brooke for letting me share a post on her blog today. I hope some of you will pop over to A Typical English Home to say hi!

Thank you, Angela for the adorable cupcake tutorial.  Don't you love how she calls them ladybirds?  I really wish I could be English for a day, or two, or more! :)  
If you haven't visited Angela at  A Typical English Home, then hurry over right now.  She has the BEST blogging tutorials, so many fun collections of fonts, and much more!

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July 30, 2013

Invent Your World {Printable}

Have you ever glanced through an issue of Where Women Create?  I think I've seen ever issue since it debuted.  I remember in one of the first issues one of the women who was featured had this quote by SARK in her article.  I wrote it down then, and still have it close by where I can see it often.
Invent Your World Quote by SARK from Blissful Roots
Click to Print

I love how this quote reminds me that I have control over what my surroundings are (at least most of the time).  And I know you can feel nourished (I love her use of that word) by the people, colors, sounds, and work you choose to have in your life.  Don't you want your home to be a nourishing place?  I sure do.  I keep this quote in mind whenever I'm adding things to my home.

What kind of things do you like to surround yourself with?
Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope you found a little something worth your time.

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July 29, 2013

Cricut Geometric Designs

One of the many things I've really loved about blogging, is the motivation its given me to tackle projects I've been meaning to do for quite sometime.  This is such a small, simple project, and yet it's taken me months to finally do.

Cricut Geometric Home Decor from Blissful Roots

I would never consider my home decor style as modern, and when all the geometric designs started coming out, I wasn't quite into them.  But now, you can't seem to get away from them and they are growing on me.  I think they can fit in any style of home as well.

I was looking through my Cricut cartridges several months ago and noticed all the great geometric designs on the Paper Lace Cartridge.  I'd been wanting a small, simple way to add a touch of geometric design to my room, and this was perfect!

I simply took a solid color of card stock, and cut out one of the designs.  The largest size it would let me do was 11".  It fits nicely on a 12" x 12" piece of card stock with a bit of a boarder (like the one above), or you could cut your 12" x 12" paper down to 11" x 11" have it fit exactly (like the first picture in my post).

The color and texture possibilities are endless!  I love how this glitter looks behind the geometric design. 

I added a flower to the center of several of mine, but it doesn't need anything at all.  In fact, if you clicked on the Cricut link above, you'll see they have a digital home decor bundle to rent, and it's pretty much this exact design on their home page.  They look so great framed!  I'm not sure if I'll frame mine, or maybe put them on a canvas.  I haven't quite finalized the project, but I was so excited with how it was turning out, that I had to share.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope you found a little something worth your time.

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July 26, 2013

Entertaining Pinterest Board

Do you entertain very often?  I don't, but I sure dream of it.  My twins and my three-year-old have birthdays a day apart.  We usually do a big birthday bash with our families for all three of them.  I LOVE doing, and I'd love to do it more often.  I guess entertaining can be a lot of work, and I think I need a big grand reason to do it.  Really though, you can make any get together a little bit extra special by adding some simple touches.  

With that being said, here's the dreaming part of my entertainment life.  My Entertaining Pinterest Board is nice and full, but  I haven't used too many of the ideas- yet!  I have a goal to use some of these ideas every once in awhile, even if it's just for a meal with my husband and boys.  We don't have too many fancy occasions around our house, so I need to make the simple, everyday ones count!

What are your entertaining tricks?
You can check our the rest of my Pinterest boards here.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope you found a little something worth your time.

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July 25, 2013

Garbage {Fun Number Sequencing Card Game For The Family}

My parents and sister watched my three boys while I was at girl's camp last month.  My boys came home and told me about a fun game they played with Aunt Miss called Garbage. I'm sure they did a really good job of explaining the game to me, but I didn't quite understand it enough to play it.

Garbage {Fun Number Sequencing Card Game For The Family} from Blissful Roots

Luckily, a few weeks ago we were together at my parents and my sister brought cards (we used SkipBo cards) so we could play Garbage (also known as Trash).  It's one of those really simple games, but so fun and addicting!  I also love how my young boys are able to play, and learn number sequencing at the same time.

Thanks goodness for wikiHow!  I initially started typing up my own set of instructions, but quickly discovered that's not my area of expertise.  My instructions were getting way too involved and confusing!  There are pictures and even a short video to go along with the instructions on wikiHow.  

We extended our Garbage game to have a bit of Phase 10 spin to it.  The first player to have all 10 of his/her cards in order, is the first to go out that round.  Each player after that has one more turn to try and go out.  Each player who is able to go out on his/her next turn, then moves to 9s for the next round (meaning you'll be dealt  9 cards instead of 10).  If you can't go out, then you stay on 10s.  You can continue play until one player is able to go out on 1s.   
Clear as mud?  See, I told you writing instructions wasn't my thing.

Garbage is the perfect way to spend time inside when the heat of the day makes it impossible to be outside.  My boys and I watch my two nieces and nephew (ages 10, 9, & 8) once a week, and we played Garbage last time we were together.  All of the kids (ages 3 to 10) LOVED it!  We played for quite awhile, and even took a few breaks, then came back to keep going until someone was able to go out on 1s.  
BTW, my three-year-old is my teammate.  He's actually really good, and it's amazing how he's catching on to where each number belongs, but still needs a bit of help.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Hope you found a little something worth your time.

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July 24, 2013

Easy Granola Topping

Here's another recipe for you thanks to my sister, Melissa.  She made a batch and brought it to my parents' house last time we were together.

Easy Granola Topping from Blissful Roots

The recipe is so easy, and only has 5 ingredients. It comes from Claire Robinson.  She has/had (not sure if it still airs) a show called 5 Ingredient Fix on the Food Network. You can get the entire (all 5 ingredients) recipe by clicking here.

I have used honey in place of the agave nectar (both are great!), and I've never put the pepper in (I actually never really noticed it calls for pepper).  We love putting this on top of vanilla yogurt with fresh or dried fruit.  It's also great to eat by the handful as a healthy snack.  And if you like granola, you most definitely need to check out this quinoa-pumpkin seed granola recipe.  It's another household favorite of ours!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope you found a little something worth your time.

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July 23, 2013

There's Magic in the Dirt {Printable}

This is one of my all-time favorite pictures of my twins.  It was taken five years ago in our very first family garden.  These two little guys LOVED this garden!  They were the best garden tenders you'd ever seen.  They weeded, watered picked peppers (and tried so, so hard to like them), and even cried a bit when the neighbor's cat wouldn't eat the cherry tomatoes they were trying to share with it.  So many priceless memories!  

 At my father-in-law's studio here in Midway there are some great signs in their gift department.  There was a sign (click here to see it) several years ago that said, "Garden:  there's magic in the dirt!".  I've always wanted a copy of it to hang in my house during the summer months, because it fits this picture of my twins so perfectly, and gardening is magical to me.  So, I decided to make it my printable for today.
We don't have our own garden this year, but our in-law's garden is bigger than we'd ever have ourselves.  My twins are older now and the magic in the dirt has slightly faded for them (I'm hoping it will return for them someday like it has for me), but lucky for me, I still have a three-year-old who is smitten by the magic of the dirt.  Every new sprout, blossom, veggie, even weed is magical!

What magic has your dirt produced this summer?  So far, my boys have shelled and devoured lots of peas, and the beets are ready to harvest.  There's a lot more on the way, and I  cannot wait!  

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope you found a little something worth your time.

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July 20, 2013

Finding Reasons To Stay Home

I've had this topic on my mind for quite sometime now, and finally decided it was worth putting into a post.  Now, before I go on, I just want to say I recognize every one's situation is unique, and not all of my ideas apply to everyone out there, but maybe some of these ideas will at least give you some food for thought.

Finding Reasons to Stay Home from Blissful Roots

When my husband and I were first married I taught first grade for five years while he worked and did night school on the side.  I loved teaching, but there was nothing quite like going home at the end of a busy day filled with a classroom full of six and seven-year-olds.

 Fast forward several years, and I found myself at home with my newborn twins feeling slightly cooped up, and needing to get out of the house (a feeling I'm pretty sure every mom has felt from time to time).

Fast forward several more years, and now I'm home with my six-year-old twins, and my three-year-old.  I still experience both ends of the spectrum (loving to be home, and needing to get out), but for me, I've learned there's something valuable in finding reasons to stay home.  A  lot of these are no-brainers, but it's taken me a bit of effort to actually internalize them.

This is the exact reason I decided to try and stay home more often.  If you're anything like me, you almost always end up spending money on something  you don't really need when you're out shopping.  Now, I know we have to go to the store for certain things, and that's fine.  What I've tried to do is limit (notice I said limit, not eliminate- I still love strolling through Hobby Lobby every now and again) my shopping as a hobby habit, and go grocery shopping once a week.  Because even when buying necessities like groceries I can spend more than I need when I go more often.  

Have you ever wondered how your grandma got so good at making her famous rolls?  Well, back her day she probably stayed home a lot more than we would today, and she had time to practice.  Practice most definitely makes progress which can lead to perfection.  I haven't reached perfection (and probably never will) with my cooking by any means , but I can say I'm not afraid of making homemade bread, I love planning and providing a variety of meals for my family, and I am constantly amazed at the fulfillment that comes making something from scratch.  

Now, believe me, not everything my family eats is homemade, but as I've tried to stay home more often, my love for cooking has definitely increased, I want to do it more often, and for me, I feel it's time well spent and very enjoyable.

This one probably sounds like an oxymoron.  But hear me out.  Because I have three young boys, we do make plenty of messes during the day, but the more I stay home, the more time I have to clean.  We may make several messes during the day (that get cleaned up at the end of the day), but I have a lot more time to clean, clean.  I don't spend my whole day cleaning, but its amazing what 10 minutes here and there will   do to keep my cleaning easier and more manageable.  Plus, when I keep my home cleaner, I want to be in it more.  If I'm working on staying home more often, then I need to make it a place we want to be, and for me that means clean (clean, not spotless).

Any time I'm tempted to load my boys up in the car and go to a store for really no reason at all, I fight the temptation with asking my self this question, "what could I organize instead?".  Crazy, I know.  But I've really come to LOVE staying home and finding myself a good organizing project.  There are always a million things on my organizing list, but by staying home more often that list is actually dwindling.  I love being organized, so this might not be for you, but I can't tell you have good it feels to have another organizing project checked off my list, like have my boys' Lego manuals organized.  And knowing I did something worthwhile without spending a penny is priceless.

This is kind of all-encompassing of what I've already discussed, but really it just makes sense, doesn't it?  Not one of these ideas I've talked about is rocket science.  The more you stay home, the more you'll get done.  I read something recently from a lady who said people are often baffled at how many things she gets done in a day.  Her reason for getting things done,"I stay home."  Simple.  If you want a nice vegetable garden, stay home and weed it.  If you want that bedroom wall re-painted, stay home and paint it.  If you want to try that new recipe from Pinterest, stay home and start cooking.  It really is amazing how much you can accomplish in a day spent at home.

There's no one I'd rather spend time with than my little family, and there's no place we'd rather be than home.  It's really fun to go and do things as a family, but our family has surely benefited from being together at home.  I love the feeling when we've completed a project around the house together, played a game of baseball in the backyard, or enjoyed a meal with each other.  Family time at home is such a joy to me, and actually I'm finding it to be quite a necessity in this ever-changing, busy world.

Wow, I'm feeling a little soap box-ish.  Please don't think I'm perfect at any of this, and I'm not saying we stay home every minute of every day.  We don't.  We're just a typical, regular family who has found the joy and benefits that have come from forming the habit of being home as often as we can.  

P.S.  If  you want to spend more time at home, make your home somewhere you and your family WANT to be.  I could probably devote an entire post on this topic, but do what you can to make your home loving, inviting and engaging.  There's a quote from Gordon B. Hinckley that I've always liked, and it fits here perfectly.

"It is in the home that we learn the values by which we guide our lives.  That home may be ever so simple.  It may be in a poor neighborhood, but with a good father and a good mother, it can become a place of wondrous upbringing..."
(click here to read more on this topic)

What are your reasons for staying home?  I'd love to hear them!
Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope you found a little something worth your time.

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July 19, 2013

How To Make Labels in PicMonkey

I discovered PicMonkey when I first started blogging, and  rarely a day goes by that I don't use it in one way or another.  I love how easy it is to use, and the variety of features they offer. Some features are Royale Features and require payment ($4.99/month or $33/year), but there are several features that are completely free!  I haven't paid to use the Royale Features, (I'm sure I will at some point) but there's plenty you can do with the free features.

How To Make Labels in PicMonkey from Blissful Roots

A few weeks ago I noticed some great new features in their Overlays.  I've been working on some labels for my boys and one of the new features is perfect for them!  

This new feature can be found in the Overlays section.  The Overlays section can be found on the left side of the menu.  I have it highlighted in the blue dotted circle below.  

When you click on it, the items to the immediate right (Geometric, Hearts, Doodle Hearts, Doily Heats, etc...) will appear. 

Scroll down until you come to the Postal category (once again highlighted in the dotted blue circle).

The Postal category will look like this when you click on it.

All of the Postal features are free!  Aren't they cool?  For my label I used the image in the bottom left hand corner.  Simply click on it, and then it will appear in your document to edit.  (Side note about using a white document to edit.  I'm sure this isn't the correct way to do it, but when I needed a plain white document to use in PicMonkey, I simply saved a  blank document as a JPEG in my word processing program (I use Open Office, but any other would work).  Does that make sense?  I opened a new file in Open Office, didn't type anything, and then just saved the white document as a JPEG.  I keep this white JPEG document on my desktop, and select it as my photo to edit in PicMonkey.)  Clear as mud?  Let me know if you have questions, or a better way of using a white document in PicMonkey.

Anyway, once I selected the postal item I wanted, I made it a green color (00bd79 to be exact).  You can also experiment with the sizing you'd like.

Then I added my word in the middle.  I used the Tall Dark & Handsome font (the fonts can be found on the left side of the menu as well- click on the letter 'P' just above the  Overlay button).

Next, I added a plain circle.  The circle came from the Geometric section of the Overlays (it's the very first Overlay listed). I made the circle the exact same green (00bd79), and then faded it 79% to make it lighter for a nice background.

Then I layered the faded circle on top of the label and word.  Don't worry if your label and word disappear when you do this.  Right click on the faded circle and it will give you more options.  Choose 'Send to back' and the faded circle will be sent to the background with your label and word now in the foreground. 

And there you have it!  A simple, yet stylish label for your next project.  
I love the color of this label, but I'm also thinking how great this would be on a chalkboard background with a white label and lettering.  Stay tuned for more labels.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope you found a little something worth your time.

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July 18, 2013

Flowers Pinterest Board

We got back late last night from our fun-filled mini vacation at grandpa and grandma's.  Now vacation time is over, and it's time to get back to posting.

Last week I shared my gardening Pinterest board with you.  I have a separate board devoted just to flowers, so I thought I'd share that one today since they kind of go hand-in-hand.

I've always loved flowers!  My mom has Willow Tree figures to represent my siblings and myself on her mantel.  My figure is holding a bouquet of flowers in her dress.  I love the colors, the varieties, the smells,... what's not to love?  I go through phases, but I have to say my favorite flowers these days are peonies.  We had them in our yard growing up, but I didn't really like them then.  Now, I wish I had a yard full of them (someday hopefully). 
What's your favorite flower?

You can check out all my other Pinterest boards here.
Thanks so much for stopping by!I hope you found a little something worth your time.

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July 16, 2013

My Favorite Blogs Series {Our Vintage Home Love}

I was a blog stalker for several years before I ever started Blissful Roots.  There have been so many wonderful blogs/bloggers that have inspired me along the way.  I thought it would be fun to share some of my very favorite blogs with you from time to time. 

So, today we start with Diana  from Our Vintage Home Love.  I've talked about her before.  I absolutely love her style and her building skills are amazing!  Here's a few of my favorite spaces in her home. 

Our Vintage Home Love

The master bedroom.  Isn't the barn door headboard beautiful?  She made it herself! 

Our Vintage Home Love

Her farmhouse bathroom.  I would stay in this tub all day long!

Our Vintage Home Love

Here's her dinning room.  Just like all her rooms, I love how she uses lots of clean whites with beautiful woods.

Our Vintage Home Love

The kitchen.  The tiny jars of spices on the farmhouse table are my favorite!

Our Vintage Home Love

And her living room.  Gorgeous!

Our Vintage Home Love

She also makes beautiful bread boards.  You can buy them in her Etsy shop.

The pictures speak for themselves!  It's easy to see why I love Our Vintage Home Love, isn't it?  I absolutely love the feel of her home!  It has such a beautiful, natural, country feel.  Exactly what I want my home to be like.  
Thanks, Diana for sharing yourself,  your home, and talents!  Go visit her today.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope you found a little something worth your time.

Linking up to these parties & Savvy Southern Style.

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