Sunday, April 24, 2011

The true meaning of Easter

Happy Easter my dear friends!

My heart is so full of gratitude today to my Savior, Jesus Christ for the great sacrifice that He made for me and every single one of us.  I am far from capable of expressing the depth of my love for Him with my own words, and will rely on this incredible talk given by Elder Jeffrey R Holland in the April 2009 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to express my thoughts.

Regardless of your religion or spiritual beliefs, I hope that you will take the time to listen to this unbelievable eulogy to Christ.  If you have not yet heard it, I promise it will touch your heart and help you to remember the true meaning of Easter as it has helped me.

"None Were With Him"

You can read the text, but I highly recommend watching the video by clicking "watch" on the right hand side of the page. 

I am making a delicious Easter dinner tonight and will be sharing the recipes with you shortly.  I hope that your day has been/ continues to be wonderful and full of reflection.



Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rookie Needs Help! "Pease" and "Juh- Joo"

Oh my gosh.  Just when I think I'm starting to get the hang of this blogging business, I realize what an idiot I am and how much I still don't know! I am kind of embarrassed to divulge my stupid moments with you but I know you are all so much smarter than me and can help me catch up on the tech issues... I swear I used to "get" technology but must have lost it back in college somewhere.  If you find where I left it, could you please drop it off on my front porch?  MMMkay, thanks.

So, I decided to log into my blog email account (LittleMissPennyWenny[@] to send my winner an email, and I discover unread emails from 3 months back.  Uh, hello.  I thought I had set up my blog email address so that everything would automatically forward to my personal email address but apparently I thought wrong.  I am so sorry to all of the kind emails and inquiries that I have not responded to!  I will do my best to catch up on those tonight.  That issue I think I can figure out.  If not, you better believe I will be back to ask how from you smarty pants readers.

Here's the real moment of stupidity.  I have oodles of responses to comments I have left on other blogs, written as emails, and I have no idea how that works!  I always thought that if you had a question or comment to leave that it just had to be done in the comment section.  Obviously not!  So how on earth do I send responses this way?  Does everyone do this by just replying to their emails that were sent from a comment being left?  I don't see how you can do it from blogger directly.  I spent quite some time researching how to respond to comments in blogger and read that you have to download different programs (one mentioned disqus) or change your html to allow you to respond.  I did that, but it still doesn't allow you to respond directly to that person's comment.  Help!!!

P.S.  I have a week off of teaching for our county's spring break, and my sweet mom let us spend the last few days at her condo in Park City.  My sweet little Trav was in HEAVEN playing with some of his big cousins and enjoying his first experience as a real big kid playing in a pool, or "baf" (bath) as he calls it.

He has also been such a polite little man using his "Pease" and "Juh- joo" for everything.  Here he is thanking grandma for his treat from the Rocky Mountain Factory.

Juh-joo everyone!  I need all the help I can get...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Feature Post on Master Bedroom Makeover

This Master Bedroom Makeover of mine is taking a walk down the red carpet over to LeBaron Interiors where she is being featured today.  Head on over and send her some love.



the next Mormon Bachelorette

I am so excited I can hardly stand it.  My AMAZING friend Alisha White is auditioning to be the next Mormon Bachelorette.  Picture ABC's the Bachelorette minus all the alcohol, drama, fighting and behind-the-scenes-in-the-fantasy-suite-sex, and there you have the Mormon Bachelor/ette. Don't get me wrong... I am sort of addicted to the Bachelor/ette despise it's sleaze but this LDS version of the show is catchy!  Remember my darling friend who choreographed for the Nutcracker in my living room with me back in this post? Her friend Aubrey was the first Mormon Bachelorette (who by the way is now happily engaged to her pick) and encouraged Alisha to date the most recent Bachelor.  She did go out with him but the fit wasn't perfect, so now she has decided to audition to be the next Bachelorette herself and I am so excited! 

Please check out her video submission above via YouTube or on the Mormon Bachelorette site HERE and leave a sweet comment if you feel so inclined.  Also, if you would "like" her on Facebook, that will help her get the votes she needs.

Alisha has been one of my best friends ever since we sat next to each other in 9th grade Biology class, and I love her dearly (so much that she was one of my bridesmaids). 

My besties- Alisha, Jackie, Yours Truly, Emily, Bre
This girl is the kind who truly just has so much going for her that it's hard to even find a man who is anywhere near her caliber of success/ accomplishment/ sweetness/ beauty, etc. etc.  If I were single, I'd marry her!  Did I mention how much I love this girl?

Check her out folks!  And then, if you have any handsome, funny, talented, ambitious and LDS single men you know, send them to the Mormon Bachelorette to submit their video as a chance to date Alisha!



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cheese, please

Oh the things I blog about... 

After my trip to Costco today, I went about my usual routine of grating my own cheese from the huge block that I buy there and realized... hmmm... I don't think everyone else does this.  Perhaps I can inspire :)

I must tell you all a deep dark secret of mine.  I LOVE cheese.  Like. a Lot. We go through quite a bit of cheese around here and I cant stand buying 2 lb loafs for $10+ as often as I do.  Here's my solution.  I pick up the 5 lb. loaf of Sharp Cheddar from Costco for about $12 instead.  Now, although we eat a lot of cheese, we definitely don't go through a 5 lb block fast enough for it to not go moldy.  So, I split it up into thirds. 

  1. 1/3 is kept in the refrigerator for slicing, etc
  2. 1/3 is grated and kept in the fridge for anything that calls for grated cheese
  3. 1/3 is grated and frozen to pull out once the bag in the fridge is empty

Using the cheese grater attachment for my Bosch mixer, I cut large chunks and grate them section at a time. 

If you haven't used a Bosch before, you must try one! Seriously, I am convinced that once you go Bosch you will never go back.  If you have a Bosch, you must get the cheese grater! It is equally amazing and is not just for cheese.  I use it for grated onions, and any veggies you want grated (i.e. carrots for salads, etc).

Once the cheese is grated, I freeze 1/3 in a zip loc freezer bag, and throw the other bag in the fridge.

 It is so convenient to have your own fresh grated cheese in the fridge at all times.  I use it for quesadillas, salads, casseroles, etc. etc etc.  You name it, and I probably throw cheese on top :)

Alright folks, enough cheese talk.  If you already do this props to you.  If not, it's so worth the 5 min of extra work when you buy the block to save a ton of $ and have your cheese go a long way.

Say Cheese!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ali Bug Bowtique Winner!

Thanks so much to all who entered into the giveaway that I hosted for the ever so talented Ali from Ali Bug Bowtique  this week.  The lucky winner selected at random via for the $20 credit to any item(s) in her etsy shop is...

True Random Number Generator 14 Powered by RANDOM.ORG
Kim from Savvy Southern Style
Congratulations, Kim!  I can't wait to see what you pick out for your sweet little grand baby.  Please shoot me an email (LittleMissPennyWenny@gmail[dot]com) and I will put you in touch with Ali Bug Bowtique.  P.S. If you haven't read this amazing gal's blog, you need to check it out.  She is amazing!

I wish I could give a prize to everyone, but you are all winners in my eyes... if that means anything....hahah
Don't forget that you can still get up to 15% on your order with Ali Bug Bowtique by using the code PENNYWENNY15 at checkout.
Happy shopping!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Easter Bunny Shortbread Cookies

I have been craving a yummy shortbread cookie this week and decided to kill two birds with one stone by fulfilling my craving, and trying to be festive for the upcoming holiday.  I googled a few recipes, and then called my momma.  Using her recipe and a few tips from a  Barefoot Contessa recipe, I came up with these cutie pies:

They were super quick and simple to make (my kind of dessert).

Here's what you need:

  • 2 cups butter (4 squares) at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
Chocolate Ears

  • Chocolate chips, or baking chocolate squares
  • Sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

First, mix together the butter and sugar until it begins to mix together (do not overmix, you don't want the butter to begin melting).

Add in vanilla and mix just until incorporated.

Add flour, mixing in a cup at a time.

Mix until the "peas" of butter begin to form a ball together with the flour.  Do not overmix.

Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a 1" thick disc.

Wrap disc in wax paper or saran and regrigerate about 30 min or until chilled.

Roll out chilled dough till it is approx 1/2" thick, and cut out your cookie shapes with a cookie cutter.  Try to handle the dough as minimally as possible while rolling and moving to cookie sheet to keep the dough chilled.

Place on ungreased cookie sheet, and sprinkle lightly with sugar.  (Okay, so maybe I like a little more than "lightly".  Judge me.)

Bake for 12 minutes or until edges are slightly golden.  Do not over bake.

 Transfer (carefully) to a wire rack to cool.  Once cool, melt chocolate in a small bowl (in micro or above a steaming pot of water) and dip the cookie into the chocolate.

Sprinkle the warm chocolate, and set out on wire rack to cool.

Enjoy!  I feel so carnivorous biting these little guys ears off, but they just taste so good!

Have a wonderful Sunday afternoon!  Don't forget to enter the giveaway HERE that ends tomorrow night!  There are some darling accessories to be won by one lucky reader!



I'm sharing this scrumptious treat with these awesome parties:
Tip Junkie handmade projects


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Choreography- Concrete Angel

Alright you dance lovers out there,  here's another one for you.

This is a piece I choreographed for two of my older students to Martina McBride's Concrete Angel (cut version).  The song makes me cry every time I hear it, and I really wanted to be able to tell a story with this piece.  I think they did a phenomenal job performing it at our last competition.

What do you think?  Ugh, please try so hard to ignore my hideous voice in the background and my corrections every 4 seconds.  I'm a teacher, I can't help it...

For those of you who still haven't entered the giveaway I'm hosting this week for Ali Bug Bowtique, please do so HERE!  There aren't many comments yet so the odds are in your favor!  I would really love to help promote this amazing little sponsor of mine.  Show the love people :)



Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Creating your perfect place of rest with pillows

Before I present to you today's fabulous tutorial, I would love it if you would take a minute to enter the giveaway I am hosting this week from Ali Bug Bowtique for a chance to win some amazing hair accessories!

Although I posted about my Master Bedroom Makeover several months ago, I just barely completed all of my bedding this week.  I had a very hard time spending the hefty price tags for a 27" pillow form to go inside my Euro shams, and was delighted to wait for to stock back their inventory of  feather/ pillow forms for $20 each.  I also used my 15% off coupon and with free shipping, the decision was a no- brainer for me.  They arrived this week, and instantly the fabulous polka dot euro shams my mom and I sewed adorned my bed. 

I found a tutorial for these Euro Sham pillowcases on Prudent Baby via Craft Gossip because of how simple they looked to sew.  My mom and I are both pretty talented seamstresses in the sense that we can easily figure out a fairly difficult project, but because I was on a time crunch with the contest I was entering in, I needed something quick and simple.  I love prudent baby, but these were a pain in the caboose.  My mom and I worked on them together for about 3 hours one day when she was at my house, and then she offered to take them home to finish them for me.  She cursed me later for giving her this project.  The dimensions for the trim in the tutorial were way off, so we had to unpick the whole thing several times and cut new fabric.  Fortunately, I bought the upholstery fabric at a great price from Home Fabrics so it wasn't too big of a deal.  Anyway, she ended up making them work out fantastically in the end.  I will work on creating a tutorial for how we created those soon.  Despite the heartache they gave us, I am still so glad I chose to make my own because of the price tag, and uniqueness of them.  I love the playfulness of the polka dots in a very subdued color scheme making it more grown up.  The texture of the silk works fantastically next to the other bedding.

The standard shams I made were a cinch.  For the makeover, you saw the beginnings of my ruffled shams, sans ruffles due to my lack of time for the contest.

These were just fine, but I wanted something a bit more soft and feminine, and ruffles were just the ticket I needed.  Initially, I cut varying sized strips of fabric from my polka dot material and tried to ruffle the fabric using a fairly thick thread, but it ripped every time after tugging and tugging on the material trying to get it ruffle.  This particular upholstery fabric just wasn't going to budge for that.  Instead, I opted to simply stitch little pleats as I went along.  Here's how it went down.

First, I stitched a straight line all round each strip of fabric.  You will need to hem the edges under if you don't want any fraying, but I wanted mine to fray a little bit so I gave it plenty of space to do that while keeping it semi under control with a stitch to stop the fraying at a point.  I started with super long strips of fabric, in varying widths for my pillows.  Because you can simply tuck a new strip in under a pleat, you don't need to have this measured out perfectly in advance.

Next, I pinned my first strip at the top of the pillow case towards the outside edge, near the zipper and began stitching a straight line just a few stitches. 

With the needle down, I lifted the presser foot, and created a little pleat with the upcoming fabric.  I released the presser foot and stitched over the pleat.

I repeated this process, keeping the pleats as uniform as possible in their size and distance from one another.

Once my fabric ran out (if you don't create super long strips to start with), I simply tucked in a new piece by folding the top edge down, and sticking it under the presser foot to add right on.

You can't even tell it was added on.

Once I got to the bottom of the pillow case, I pulled the needle out and did a new stitch to finish the ruffled piece at the bottom, making it extend past the bottom of the pillow case just a bit.

I trimmed off the excess fabric to use for another strip, and repeated this process 5 more times.  I used different widths of fabric on my pillows and also changed up the spacing on the pleats.  I kept each pillow the same, but had different sizes and spacing between the strips themselves. 

Onto my bed they went!

I love the way that the fabric frayed just perfectly for that shabby look I love.

With a little pop of sunburst from my $24.99 Target pillow, this bed is just what the Dr. ordered!

Are you feeling inspired to create your own fabulous look with pillows, rather than the easy "bed in a bag" options you can find at the big stores?  Don't get me wrong, they can be fabulous but not nearly as unique as you are.  I know that I didn't make this whole experience sound easy peasy because the truth is that it wasn't.  I rarely get something perfectly the first go around.  I never want to leave the impression that creating your own masterpiece is without effort or a few mistakes.  To me though, the real beauty comes from the journey and the acquisition of knowledge along the way. 

On a far more serious note, I just inhaled a sleeve of frozen thin mints and barely frozen can of Diet Dr. Pepper for lunch.  Could life possibly get any better than that?  I don't think so my friends....



I'll be sharing this little tid bit with these fine folks:

Tip Junkie handmade projects

The DIY Show Off

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia


Domestically Speaking

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


Transformation Thursday

Furniture Feature Fridays