Archive for the ‘Craft Ideas’ Category

Yes, such things exist 🙂  For Mother’s Day this year I went to one of my favorite sites-Etsy, and found a favorite jeweler to order a beautiful bracelet for my mother in-law.  My mother in-law taught my daughters how to make jewelry.  They can make simple earrings, bracelets, and napkin rings but haven’t played around too much with more complicated designs.  I knew my mother in-law would love mompotter’s designs.  She uses beautiful beads, antique looking designs, along with fresh new inspiration and even sterling silver!

Not only is her jewelry beautiful and affordable, she will make it exactly the way you want it.  You can pick the colors, style, design, etc.  She created this beautiful grandmother’s bracelet using birthstone colors for my mother in-law.  She balanced them perfectly and my mother in-law loved it!  I loved that it was something that would last, and had meaning. Each stone represented my mil, sil, hubby, and her grandchildren. Flowers are beautiful but they die!  Next time you need a gift, check out mompotter’s designs.

And when you buy from a craftsperson on Etsy you know you are supporting a real person, not a foreign company.  A person who is pursuing their passion and supporting their family.  Happy shopping 🙂  Here are a few of my favorite of her designs.

Grandmother’s bracelet

Even sterling silver! 🙂

Loved these!

Beautiful colors


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Coconut Mounds:)  She blogged my favorite recipe 🙂

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I have run out of space on my computer because I store all of my photos on it.  I know it is very bad!  So tell me how do you store digital photos?

I have uploaded some to Shutterfly, but I like having them available for easy access when we want to use them in a project.  For instance, this last Christmas we (I use that term loosely, because “I” didn’t really do anything) made slideshow dvd’s for our families.  Sort of a photo review of the previous 7 years.  I wouldn’t have been able to do that easily had the photos all been online.

Thumb drives are so small and easily lost.

My hubby has suggested maybe on a large hard drive he has, but honestly I don’t even know what he means 😉

Those of you who take lots of pictures, like me, tell me please. I’ll research your advice; or I’ll put my tech savvy daughter on it;-)

I need to free some space on my computer for the cool new Bible software we bought over a month ago!  I’m anxious to use it, but this is holding me up.

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Traditions you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear them.  We are sort of all over the place with Easter.  Probably because we tend to celebrate it in other people’s houses.  There is the whole packing for the trip, planning what they are going to wear. Up north the question of will it really be warm enough for any of the Easter dresses that are out in the stores :-/

We typically color eggs.  We attend Easter service of course 🙂  We’ve done sunrise services when we’ve been in Florida.  The kids have fond memories of getting up in the dark, grabbing Dunkin Donuts (before we knew about our gluten allergies) and watching the sunrise at the stadium.  Naps are a must after a sunrise service.

In NY, we always had an egg hunt with my nephew in my parent’s backyard.  Some years there was snow, others flowers were coming up.  My sister usually hid an egg with each of their names on them, with something special in it.  We would both fill a ton of eggs and the dad’s would hide them 🙂

A few years ago we watched The Passion of the Christ with our older children while the younger girls watched a more appropriate video while resting.  My son has asked if we will watch it again this year.  We had given our copy to someone else to watch and it was never returned so I will have to see if I can find one somewhere.

In the past I have bought them new Bibles or devotionals.  I like for them to understand the real reason we are celebrating.  It’s not about the bunnies, eggs and peeps.  (although I hear you can have peep wars in the microwave) 🙂  I want them to know that Jesus died on the cross for them, and rose again.  He conquered sin and death for us.  What a reason to celebrate!

This year we will attend Easter services at the FAU stadium (if you don’t have anywhere to go, join us at 8:30 am).  We will have dinner with friends and family.  I hear a game of volleyball in the pool is on the agenda.  The kids will probably color some eggs, and enjoy some candy.  We will be remembering the love that God has for us, as we love each other, and celebrate our risen Savior.

Happy Empty Tomb!  🙂

PS. If you have any black jelly beans you don’t want, send them my way!  I just can’t seem to find the bags of just black ones anymore!  Those are my favorite! 🙂

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gluten free chocolate cake

Gluten free chocolate cake!

This was Valentine’s dessert!  Not healthy at all!  So turn away now if you were hoping for a good healthy recipe 😉  It is gluten free but had butter.  I didn’t think until after I made it that I could have tried it with coconut oil instead.  Next time, not in the near future though 😉  I don’t want to look at a nutritional facts chart to see the calories in this baby!

I found the recipe here.  It was so easy to make.  One pot on top of the stove and all the ingredients are measured and mixed in then poured into a tart pan.  I have a tart pan that my mom gave me years ago that I think I’ve only used once before today.  It took all of ten minutes to make.  I did have help, lots of help!  Bad timing on my part, the movie they were watching ended just as I started unwrapping the chocolate to melt it.  Next time I’ll plan better, so I get to lick the spoon 🙂  One stirred the melting chocolate and butter, one sifted in the cocoa.  All, but my boy, licked some utensil or the pot!  He is not a big dessert eater so he made lemonade for dinner while the girls cleaned up.

I did not use the chocolate glaze the recipe includes.  We opted for a scoop of ice cream and whipped cream instead.  I think it would be fabulous with raspberries or strawberries.  Very rich.  Definitely serves more than 6, I’d say even 12.

You can see R’s little pink fortune cookie next to the cake in the photo 🙂  I found easy to make directions here.  They were fun and so quick to put together.  I will definitely use that idea again in the future.

So there’s a glimpse of our Valentine’s Day 🙂  Hope you and yours enjoyed a day filled with love.

Here’s a copy of the recipe:

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 6 1-ounce squares coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • For Glaze:
  • 2 1-ounce squares coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate squares
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon milk OR light coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Agave syrup OR honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 350°FSpray a 7-inch tart pan with removable bottom with cooking spray. If you don’t have a tart pan, use a 6 to 7-inch springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spray the paper.

  1. Melt 6 ounces of chopped chocolate and butter in a heavy saucepan over medium low heat. Stir until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth.
  2. Add sugar and salt and reduce heat to low. Cook while stirring for about one minute, until sugar starts to dissolve.
  3. Remove pan from heat. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. The mixture will look smooth and glossy.
  4. Use a mesh hand sieve to sift cocoa into mixture. This prevents lumps. Whisk until the cake batter is smooth.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes. The center of the cake should be just firm to the touch, but be careful to not overbake the cake or it will be dry.
  6. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert the cake on a plate.
  7. To prepare the glaze, melt 2 ounces of chopped chocolate and 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in the same saucepan you used to make the cake. When melted and smooth, remove the pan from heat. Add milk and Agave syrup OR honey and vanilla and stir until smooth and glossy. Let the glaze cool for about 3 minutes before pouring it on the cake.
  8. Pour all of the glaze in the middle of the cake. Use a silicone or rubber spatula to spread the glaze evenly over the cake, allowing the glaze to evenly run down the sides of the cake.Serves 6

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So what special things are you doing today to show your loved ones you love them?  I try to make sure my family knows every day how much I love them, but why not celebrate today too? 🙂  I’m always up for a reason to do something different and special.  These are the things I hope my children look back on with fondness.  Fun family dinners, game nights, get togethers with friends.  Every day is a reason to celebrate!  To live purposefully.

Today we will have a shortened day of school, although don’t tell them yet.  They may just accomplish all of their work by the time I call school off 🙂 This afternoon we will work on a special dinner.  Lasagna was the request but I can only find GF lasagna noodles at Whole Foods, and I didn’t have time to get there this weekend.  We will have GF baked ziti instead.  (My oldest will actually be pleased with this, as she had asked for it).  We’ll have salad and garlic bread too.  Everyone will have to dress up, dinner will be by candlelight 🙂  A nice red tablecloth on the table.

I am undecided on the dessert at this point. I am sure it will have chocolate 🙂 I’m thinking maybe brownie sundaes.  My oldest makes a fabulous gf brownie and we have coconut milk ice cream so R’s dietary restrictions would all be covered!  🙂

I am making my children felt fortune cookies. Their fortune will be their gift-it will say something to the effect of “I see a musical adventure in the not too distant future..We Cry Out”  I’m hoping they get that the gift is tickets to the Jeremy Camp/Francesca Battistelli concert next month 🙂  The tour is called “We Cry Out.”  There will also be a chocolate heart or two in it.  The other chocolate hearts we’ll sprinkle on the table to decorate for dinner and dessert.  I’ve also purchased the Courageous movie for the family.  We all enjoyed it when we saw it, they will love getting to see it again.

After dinner we will have some family Wii time.  Bowling, dancing, maybe a little dodgeball-I mean nothing says love like a friendly game of Wii dodgeball! 🙂

My hubby and I had a date night Friday so we don’t feel like we are missing out by spending the evening with our children.  The youngest made it clear  that she would be highly offended if we went out and skipped out on our family tradition 🙂

I hope your enjoy the loves of your life today, and feel the greatest love from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

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I forgot to tell you about all our homemade gifts.  My girls made fabulous shepherd hook bookmarks. (this is not the site I used for directions, my lovely dd’s are very talented, and completely figured this out on their own)  I forgot to take pics but I can post a similar one for you.  We ordered the shepherd hooks from http://www.artbeads.com.  We couldn’t find them locally.  They came out great!  We gave them to family, friends, and Sunday school teachers.

They also made sugar and salt scrubs.  We have done these before.  I think I gave you the info 😉  We found this project is even more fun with friends and outside!  No mess on the floor inside.

We made the napkin rings that I showed you but we also made some for another couple in the family. (this is not the link I used, I am fortunate, my girls knew how to do this too)  They were our favorite ones.  We picked very specific charms based on their personalities, and likes.  I loved the colors too.

We made 2 no sew fleece blankets for Gramma and Pops.  I am looking forward to using one when I visit this weekend!  🙂

My children surprised my hubby and I with a beautiful shadowbox where they each wrote a little something and colored a background for their writing.  It was my favorite gift 🙂  Truly from the heart.

We made oreo truffles for another friend.  And my oldest dd crocheted a couple of scarfs.  She is way more talented than me 🙂

Hopefully they inspire you to try your hand at something new!

Next week I’ll post the project we are working on this week! 🙂  We have another one in the plans for this spring!  Having fun and we get to count it as home economics class 🙂

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