Friday, May 31, 2013

Easily Organize Pictures: Part 3

This is the 3rd and final part to get those pictures organized.
What do you do with all your 8x10's, 5x7's, and even holiday cards or announcements that you don't want to get rid of? All of my old 8x10's were piling up in the frames because I would just stick the newest one in front of all the others ( I know I'm not the only one that does that!)
 Finally I thought of an idea...
A binder with page protectors, it sounds so simply and that's because it is!!
This way you can keep all big or odd shaped pictures together in one spot and they wont get bent!
Again since I do the girls Shutterfly books for them each year, I just make the binder a family binder. It has pictures from my wedding, my girls, and holiday or announcement cards.
Want Ideas... Take a look at my binder

Really? Only 3 parts to getting your pictures organized. An easy project to keep you busy...
because no one is busy enough already! :)
Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!
*If you missed Part 1 of organizing pictures click here
*If you missed part 2 of organizing pictures click here


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Easily Organize Pictures: Part 2

What to do with all your 4x6 photos?? I know this is one of the hardest things to figure out. A lot of people try to separate their pictures by kids but then you need doubles for almost all your pictures because there is usually more than one kid in the picture. It gets a little confusing doing it that way.
This is the only way to organize 4x6 pictures that makes sense (to me at least) As you read yesterday in Part 1: I do Shutterfly books each year for each of my girls. That way they have books that are all about them. Then, with my 4x6 pictures I buy photo books. The kind that you just slide your pictures into. These are our family books. They have photos from when it was just me and my hubby up until now with our family of four. These are in order but you don't have to worry about making sure each family member has that same picture in their book. It's so easy, and so easy to find a certain picture when your looking for it!
Want an idea? Take a look...

One of the black photo books.
 Family Pictures
 Family Pictures
*If you missed Part 1 of organizing pictures click here
Tomorrow will be the final part to getting your pictures easily organzied!
Hope this helps you out! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Easily Organize Pictures: Part 1

I have to start off by saying I LOVE pictures. I probably take too many, although I do know someone who takes A LOT more than me... and that's my mother in law. She loves getting as many pictures as possible of her grand babies. She takes pictures of everything, it's great (most of the time!) She just got back from visiting her other two grand babies and I'm looking forward to seeing all the great pictures she took. Anyways back to my love of pictures. I have a lot of pictures. Pictures are so easy to get unorganized and I am an organized freak therefore I have three easy ideas to get those pictures organized and stay that way. 

Part 1: Shutterfly

First with any pictures I take, that night or within the 
next couple days I upload all photos to my computer. Then my pictures are separated into folders by month and year. That step makes it so easy to find a picture you are looking for. It also makes it easy to find and upload pictures to the wonderful Shutterfly

I absolutely love Shutterfly. I started Shutterfly when Brynlee was a baby. Each year I put her pictures in her own special book. She loves them and so do I. They always turn out so nice and well put together. This is the way I organize my girls very own pictures. Of course I am working on Brynlee's fourth book now and Ellie's very first book. Their first books obviously start with their births and end with their first birthday. The others start with pictures right after birthdays and end with their birthday. 

Another great thing about Shutterfly is every time I go to order a book there is always ALWAYS a coupon, and guess what else? I have gotten FOUR FREE BOOKS from them. Seriously, can't get better than that! 

I get the 8x11 hard cover books and I choose the customize path so that I can make their books my own. They also have a simple path where Shutterfly puts your book together all you do is upload your photos (super easy!) 
I have talked about the ABC book I made for Brynlee. I have also made family and grand kids books for our parents and they are to die for!

If you want an idea on how the books turn out here are some pictures of Brynlees's books.
Baby Book:

2nd Book:

3rd Book:

Make sure you check out Shutterfly today, might as well get some use out of the great coupons!
The next 2 days I will give my other ideas to get pictures easily organized and stay that way!
Thanks for stopping by & have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend...

I hope every one had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. Any reason to have a long weekend is a great one! I know that my little family had a good time. Saturday we went swimming in our pool with my mom (Justin was working) ... Ellie's first time swimming in the big pool and she loved every minute of it. Brynlee and I love swimming, so she fits right in. She didn't even want to stay in her floaty, she was putting her face in the water and would come up laughing, she was leaping off the side into my arms and splashing everyone! Brynlee jumps right in and swims like a little fish. There is nothing more refreshing on a hot day then a swimming pool! We had a lot of fun! We also had a little "staycation" sleeping at my in laws house Friday and Saturday while they were on vacation. We took care of their dog and house. The girls love it there (they even have their own room!) Sunday we had a nice relaxing day. Memorial Day we went to a new outdoor mall (well last year new) but last year I was pregnant and was very limited to my activities, I've talked about that in my getting to know Ellie post! We were so excited to finally go and we all enjoyed it so much. Brynlee loved the Disney store of course, but who wouldn't? Later we came home, Justin grilled up some dinner and my parents came over for the evening. Does the weekend really have to end??

Here are some pictures from our weekend, take a look...

 Ellie leaping in the pool

 This is what I found when someone left the hall closet open

Brynlee Shopping

Daddy and the girls
Brynlee playing at the mall
Mommy and the girls

Princess Brynlee at the Disney store

Brynlee with her new Tangled shades
 Brynlee chose a new Belle nightgown so...
 this is what happened about 1 minute after we got home from the mall!
Ellie got Minnie Flip Flops

I have to say a Happy Birthday to my mother-in-law. Thanks for being so great!

*Bachelorette started last night, did anyone watch and what did you think of it?

Thanks for stopping by, I really appreciate it!
**You migh also like:

Friday, May 24, 2013

Grillin it up menu for Memorial Day!

Tis' the Season of turning of our hot ovens and heating up the grill. Summer time is for getting outside and enjoying the beautiful weather. Cooking is no exception...
I have put together some great Memorial Day grilling ideas along with other easy summer recipes.
First lets start with the BEST summer drink (in my opinion)
 Sonic's Cherry Limeade's
 What You Need:
1 can of limeade concentrate
1-2 liter bottle of sprite
Juice from 1-10 ounce jar of maraschino cherries
Lime to slice and put in punch (optional)
*add a cherry in the drinking glass to make it look complete*
Simply mix it all together and your done. SO SO EASY!
Grilled Pineapple-Chicken Kabobs Packets:

What You Need:
1/3 cup pineapple preserves
2 tablespoons of packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into cubes
1 red bell pepper cut into cubes
1 green bell pepper cut into cubes
1 cup pineapple chunks
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Heat gas or charcoal grill. In small bowl, stir together pineapple preserves, brown sugar, soy sauce and crushed red pepper.
Cut 4 (24x12-inch) sheets of foil. Divide chicken, bell peppers, pineapple chunks and pineapple preserves mixture among foil sheets. Sprinkle with salt.
Bring up 2 sides of foil so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold; fold again, allowing space for heat circulation and expansion. Fold other sides to seal.
Place packets on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 6 minutes. Using tongs, carefully turn packets over, taking care not to puncture foil. Cook 10 to 12 minutes longer or until chicken is no longer pink in center and vegetables are crisp-tender.

Hamburgers & Hot dogs
(I'm not going to complain... especially with my hubby doing the grilling he is THE BEST!!!)
Making it Simple: Sides
*Slice up a big juicy watermelon and add a stick (no one can complain about that!)
I found this cute idea on A Pretty Life
*Corn on the cob (Hamblin family favorite!)

*Chips & Chip Dip
What You Need:
1 large package of regular cream cheese
1 carton of cottage cheese
1 tablespoon green onion-chopped
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 bag of regular potato chips
Mix together cream cheese and cottage cheese. Add green onion. Beat and add in 1/2 pint whipping cream. Easy and Yummy!
 Dessert: NO BAKING!!!
Oreo Chocolate Chip Crunch Cake
What You Need:
1 package regular Oreo Cookies- about 36
6 tablespoons melted butter
1- 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cold milk
1- 12 ounce tub cool whip, divided
2 (3.9 ounce) packages chocolate instant pudding
3 1/4 cups cold milk
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
Begin by crushing 36 Oreo cookies. Place them in a large Ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin. When the Oreo's have turned into fine crumbs, you are done.
Transfer the Oreo crumbs to a large bowl. Stir in 6 tablespoons melted butter and use a fork to incorporate the butter into the cookie crumbs. When the butter is distributed, transfer the mixture to a 9 × 13 inch baking dish. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator while you work on the additional layers.
Mix the cream cheese with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add in 2 Tablespoons of milk, and sugar, and mix well. Stir in 1 and 1/4 cups Cool Whip. Spread this mixture over the crust.
In a bowl, combine chocolate instant pudding with 3 and 1/4 cups cold milk. Whisk for several minutes until the pudding starts to thicken. Use a spatula to spread the mixture over the previous cream cheese layer. Allow the dessert to rest for about 5 minutes so that the pudding can firm up further.
Spread the remaining Cool Whip over the top. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips evenly over the top. Place in the freezer for 1 hour, or the refrigerator for 4 hours before serving.

*Now that you have the perfect grilling menu, I hope you enjoy your Memorial Day weekend. I know I will! Don't forget to remember and thank all those amazing people that serve us and our Country!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"Caught You Being Good" bag...

In Monday's post about my weekend I mentioned Brynlee's new nightgown she got from filling up her good girl bag...
 Since then I have gotten several requests wanting to know all about the bag. Brynlee kept waking up during the night and coming in our room (refusing to let us take her back in her room!)  This is why I came up with the "Caught You Being Good" bag. I can't say things have been perfect since the bag but it has helped out a lot not just staying in her bed all night but listening and behaving better
(most of the time Brynlee is our little sweetheart, but I can't say she doesn't have her moments!)

What You Need:
(I just used whatever I had already had at home
so feel free to be creative with how you make your bag)
*Brown Paper Sack
*Cotton Balls

How The Bag Works:
Every time you catch your child being good reward them with a cotton ball to put in their bag. When their bag is full they get to go shopping to pick out a prize. You can set your own prize guidelines as far as the cost of the prize. Honestly, Brynlee would be just as happy choosing a prize from the dollar store but for filling her bag I let her choose something a little better.

Here Are My Rules:
1. DON'T SAY: If you do "this" I'll give you a cotton ball. Let them make the right choice to do whatever it is you asked. However, Brynlee does know that she gets to put a cotton ball in her bag every morning that she stays in her bed all night (which is every night now!)

2.When they have earned a cotton ball try to remember to let them put it in their bag right then. (This one is hard for me, I forget a lot then try remembering how many she earned at bedtime!) I have found that if I do remember right with she has earned it she is even more excited to put it in her bag and show everyone how many cotton balls she now has!

3. When their bag gets filled don't take time to get them their prize. Take them right out to celebrate being a good girl or boy.

This has made a big change in our home, if you are in need of something like this for your little ones give it a try. Also if you have tried something different in your home that works for you, let me know I would love hearing more ideas.

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave comments, I love reading them.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Graduation Party Ideas!

It's that time of year to make the graduate in your life feel extra special with their accomplishments! It doesn't matter if they are graduating from pre-school, high school, or college let them know you are proud.
My littlest brother is graduating from high school in a few weeks (holy crap!) and my awesome brother-in-law graduated from Wayne State University in Michigan this week! I just have to say a big Congrats to Dr. Hamblin!
OK so I went browsing again (Pinterest) and found some way fun ideas along with my own, to make any graduation party a hit. If there is one thing I love it is to throw a party (doesn't matter what kind) I LOVE IT! I love the planning, creating and putting it all together. It really doesn't take much to host the perfect party.

Take a look at what I found:
First I thought that my Chicken Taquitos would be a perfect food to serve at a graduation party. Especially if you want a variety. This recipe makes about 35 Taquitos.
Click here to get the details:
 My Chocolate Macaroon Bundt Cake is always a crowd pleaser
Click here to get the details:
Also you can't go wrong with my secret sugar cookie recipe. Sugar cookies are perfect for a party because you can shape them and frost them to match your party theme.
Click here to get the details:
When I think of planning the perfect graduation party I definitely think of decorating in school colors.
Here are a few ideas to get your creative mind going.

Graduation Center Piece
Click here for the details:

Cute graduation printable's
Click here for the details:
Grad Ideas
Click here for the details:

Grad Ideas:
Click here for the details:

I found a few cute favors or treats to also serve at the party:
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Graduation Caps
Rolled "Diplomas"
Click here for the details:

Here is to a "Bright Future" favor
Click here for the details:

 DON'T FORGET my Graduation Gram
click here for the details:

 Go ahead... make your Grad feel Great on their BIG DAY!

~Also I don't want to ignore what is going on in Oklahoma, my heart is aching for all of them, I can't imagine what they are going through. Our prayers are with you!~

As always thanks for stopping by. I love comments, so please leave them!

BY THE WAY... Did everyone notice my cute new blog makeover?
Thanks to...
Click here to see all the amazing work she does!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

End of year Teacher gifts

Another school year is coming to an end. Can you believe it? Time goes by SO fast anymore. I decided to do some browsing (Pinterest of course) trying to find some cute, easy, and inexpensive teacher gifts... and that is exactly what I found.
Alphabet Flower Arrangement:
Click here to find out the details
Caramel Apple with Sauce
Click here to find out the details

Click here to find out the details

Lemonade and Sunshine
Click here to find out the details
Make the Teachers in your lives feel extra special and appreciated this year!
Tomorrow we will talk graduation party ideas!
As always thanks for stopping by. Please leave comments, I love reading them!

XOXO Brooke