Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Favorites




Friday, I am happy to see you! We have had a long week of being homebound due to snow and sickness. Nolan came down with something on Sunday night, and the poor guy is still coughing through the night, not feeling 100%. The rest of us have caught it from him, though it has manifested itself differently in each of us. I am so ready to get rid of this virus and hopefully get a full night’s sleep soon!

Here are some of my favorite things from the week!


Nolan’s going through a big Mommy phase lately. “Mommy, you’re my best mommy I ever seen-d” is a sentence I’ve heard a few times :) How sweet!



Ephraim loves to crawl over to the CD player to dance! He will bounce and dish out huge smiles until someone turns on the music for him! It is absolutely adorable.

Graham Cracker Toffee

My favorite baking experiment of the week was this amazing graham cracker toffee. It is sinfully good. I posted the recipe yesterday (so easy with only 4 ingredients)!



This was my best outfit of the week. Thank you for all of your advice about hair curling with curling wands, flat irons, hot rollers, and no-heat methods! I have plans this weekend to watch a lot of YouTube hair tutorials and try out some new tactics—and hopefully I’ll find something that works for my very long, very straight hair!

And just for kicks, I saw this photo on my computer from a “What I Wore” post exactly a year ago. I was 39 weeks pregnant with Ephraim! My life was majorly about to change :)




There is still another day to enter my giveaway to win this wonderful Christian marriage book, “Team Us: Marriage Together”! If you are looking to get on the same page with your spouse, I really recommend it. Click here to go back to Monday’s post and enter to win :)

Zarbee's

Thank the Lord for these two wonderful products! We splurged on a temporal thermometer a few weeks ago, and I am so glad we did! You just swipe it across the kid’s forehead to get a quick reading. It works much better than trying to fight the kid to keep it in their mouth or other region of the body. I have used it so many times this week!

Children under four aren’t allowed to have cough medicine, unfortunately. This natural Zarbee’s syrup is for 2 years and up. It’s a blend of honeys to sooth irritated throats with zinc and vitamin C to support the immune system. AND it contains melatonin to promote peaceful sleep. I really think it’s been helping Nolan the past few days, though I wish I could do more for him!



Hope you have a healthy, relaxing weekend! Stay warm, and see you back here on Monday :)

Follow me on Instagram @floralandfudge

Linking up for Friday Favorites with Andrea, Erika, & Narci.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Graham Cracker Toffee

Graham Cracker Toffee

Over a year ago, I posted a recipe for “Saltine Toffee” that was out-of-this-world, and SO easy! I’ve seen other types of toffees floating around Pinterest, and decided to give “Graham Cracker Toffee” a try. (Pretzel is next! :)  It turns out, it is just as delicious as its sister, but a little bit thicker to bite. It also has a slightly sweeter taste since grahams are more sugary than saltines. With only four ingredients, it can’t be any easier!

Ingredients:
10-12 sheets of graham crackers (A little more than one sleeve)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
(Optional: 1 cup chopped pecans or almonds)

Graham Cracker Toffee

Directions:   
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, or foil sprayed with nonstick spray. Break the grahams into fourths. Line them up evenly, filling the whole cookie sheet.

Graham Cracker Toffee

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt together the sticks of butter and the brown sugar. Stir continuously.

Graham Cracker ToffeeGraham Cracker Toffee

When it begins to boil, set a timer for 3 minutes, and continue to stir until the timer goes off. Remove the pan from the stove, and pour the liquid caramel over all of the grahams on the cookie sheet.

Graham Cracker Toffee

Bake the grahams for 7 minutes in the oven.

Graham Cracker Toffee

When you pull the grahams out of the oven, cover them evenly with all of the chocolate chips. After a few minutes, they will melt, and you’ll be able to spread the chocolate evenly with a spatula. (Sprinkle the nuts here, if desired.)

Graham Cracker Toffee

Once the tray has cooled a bit, put the toffee in the fridge for it to harden. When it has set, break the toffee into cookie-size pieces.

Graham Cracker Toffee

The flavor is unbelievable! Enjoy!

Graham Cracker Toffee

Graham Cracker Toffee

I tried a few bites with almond—also delicious!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What I Wore Wednesday

Merci Tee, Vest, Jeans, Clogs

A while back, I realized that my closet seriously lacked long-sleeve shirts. I’ve been on the lookout ever since, and I found this cute “Merci” tee at JCPenney a few weeks ago. From far away you can’t tell, but looking closely, the letters are made up of tiny, round black beads. I picked it up with a coupon for only $5! I like how it looks when it’s layered underneath my black puffer vest.

Merci Tee, Vest, Jeans, Clogs

I saved some of my Christmas money for a trip to Ulta on Saturday. I had read on a friend’s blog that hot curlers really worked on her stick-straight Swedish hair. My stick-straight Swedish hair is notoriously bad at holding a curl with a curling iron. So I thought I’d buy the curlers she recommended—and the fancy hair setting spray too. On Sunday before church, while the baby was taking a nice nap, I used the curlers for the first time and was slightly disappointed when I arrived at church with barely a curl. I blamed it on having freshly washed hair, and the fact that there was freezing rain involved.

I tried the hot curlers again before taking these photos. I used the spray, rolled up my hair, waited for the curlers to completely cool, took them out—and nothing stayed. As you can see, I had one nice kink on the right side of my face :) When I saw this in the photos on the camera screen, I was unimpressed, and quickly pulled my hair into a ponytail. I don’t really want to return the curlers, but I also feel like I wasted my money.

Is my hair just way too long for curlers and curling irons? Any advice?

wiww 1-21

“Merci” Tee | JCPenney a.n.a. Long-Sleeve Slub Jersey Tee
Puffer Vest | Old Navy
Jeans | American Eagle “Artist”
Clogs | Troentorp

Merci Tee, Vest, Jeans, ClogsMerci Tee, Vest, Jeans, ClogsMerci Tee, Vest, Jeans, ClogsMerci Tee, Vest, Jeans, ClogsMerci Tee, Vest, Jeans, Clogs



I’m linking up with Lindsey, Alison, and Shanna today.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Our Long Weekend



This past weekend was a perfect mix of fun and rest. Before Steve officially started his spring semester (which is today), we wanted to get a good shopping trip done. Saturday was sunny with no snow on the horizon, so we had a nice hour-long drive to Target. We filled our red cart with good things; Nolan got a little Thomas train as a souvenir, and Ephraim came home with a pair of leather shoes. Ephraim and I were dropped off at Ulta, where my mouth dropped open by the sheer amount of makeup and choices! I bought some hair curlers, which I have not yet mastered (I’ll show you tomorrow). Hungry at 2 pm, we stopped at Applebee’s to split a hamburger and French Onion soup. Before we headed home, we visited Home Goods and Michael’s—I love browsing at those stores!

On Sunday, there was freezing rain, and we made our way down the street to church. After lunch with my in-laws, we cuddled up at home and watched “Cars 2” for the first time. Nolan was obsessed! Later on, Nolan started showing signs of a cold (fever, runny nose), so we laid low yesterday. The boys and I hung out at home all day, while Steve worked on his youth room remodel project at the church.

These little ones have such high highs and such low lows! Every day is a rollercoaster of emotions for both of them, and I do get quite tired at the end of the day. But oh my goodness, these are the days I’m sure I will miss the most!



DSC_4315DSC_4237

How was your long weekend?

Show and Tell Tuesday || Organization

I’m reposting my Organization 101 post from last week so I can take part in Andrea’s “Show and Tell Tuesday” today!

I LOVE to be organized. Now that I have two kids, I’ve really had to fight to keep everything organized. In 2013, we moved from a two-bedroom apartment to a four-bedroom house. It seemed like we had so much space, we would never fill it up. Guess what. . . it’s full. :)  I am always trying to declutter. I find joy in throwing or giving things away. Less is truly more.

Here are SEVEN of the ways that I like to keep organized. A few of them are NEW methods that we’re implementing in our house. I really think that they are going to add a lot of peace to our chaos.



1. Make a chores chart

Mine is really simple—just one big chore per day. Our dog sheds terribly, and we could stand to vacuum constantly, but I often forget to! Similarly, I can never remember the last time we cleaned the bathrooms. I designated each task to be completed on certain days of the week, and I placed the chart in a spot that I see often (the fridge).



I didn’t want just a plain Word document, so I fancied it up a bit. Feel free to take it and write in your own weekly chores! (Right click the image below and save it to your computer.)




2. Keep the kitchen counters clean

Have you ever noticed that as soon as you put something down on the counter, it attracts more things to collect there? I have been the worst at letting my counters get out-of-control, and then I face some anxiety every time I walk into the kitchen. Too much clutter! Our kitchen functions as our mudroom too, so it is an easy dumping ground. But we’re going to try and have a place for everything—and be consciously leaving the counters free and clear!



3. Use dressers for storage

We used to collect all kinds of free shelves until we realized that they weren’t functional for us. The kids would pull everything down off of the shelves, so we couldn’t style or decorate them. And we needed space to hide things like cords, remotes, craft supplies, and other random things that needed homes without having to be seen all the time. Dressers are the perfect solution! We have this one in our living room—and it fits well.



4. Utilize your home’s storage spaces wisely

I realize not everyone can relate to this—but we have excellent storage space in our house. We have a bench that opens up in our entryway, and we use it to store all of our shoes. I also keep a section inside it for recycling catalogs and other papers right after I check the mail.



We have a really nice coatrack in the entryway. It was starting to collect junk, but recently, I designated each of the cubbies for the four of us. We can store hats, mittens, and sunglasses in them.



Like the bench in the entryway, our window seat opens up as well. This week, we took out a bunch of odds and ends and filled it with the boys’ puzzles and games that they don’t play with every day.


5. Buy bags with plenty of pockets


I use a diaper bag that has ample pockets on the outside and inside, and I memorize what each one is used for. I even keep little bags inside of the big bag so that I don’t have to be digging too much for things like lipstick or pens.



6. Sort your papers

This is a system I’ve been fine-tuning: utilizing two boxes to sort papers that need dealt with. For instance, in one box, I store bills, to-do lists, letters that need responded to, and other projects that I’m working on. I typically need to look through this box every day. I keep a second box for things that I want to keep and refer to later, like coupons or design work I’ve done in the past.



I have a file folder that I use specifically for bills (I pay them once a month). As soon as the bills are paid, I move them upstairs to a permanent place in our filing cabinet.



7. Write everything down

I have so many thoughts and ideas that flow through my head throughout the day that I have to keep paper near me at all times. I typically carry one notebook that I can write everything in (otherwise I have a million Post-Its and slips of paper to keep track of.) I also have a wall calendar so that I don’t forget what’s going on each week.

I hope you were able to glean some new organizational tips from me today!

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