Personal Progress Treats

You may know what I mean when I say Personal Progress or it may sound completely bizarre. If you fall into the second category....One of my responsibilities at church is to help encourage the teenage girls at church to work on a goal setting program called Personal Progress. I believe wholeheartedly in this program so it's easy to be a cheerleader (sans toe-touches, that would be awkward). Even if that all means nothing to you, hopefully you can apply these ideas to your church, scouts, school, community responsibilities.

Personalized Pens

Buy clear pens, unscrew the back and pop in whatever message you want. These pens were pretty small and I had to do several trial runs and might have wanted to curse. Buy the fattest pens you can find or don't say I didn't warn you.


UP2U


This is a fancy-schmancy envelope trick I use sometimes. I used it to wrap a cookie at the very end of Ashleigh's blog post about sugar cookie basics. But, you know I only make sugar cookies every six months when amnesia sets in and I forget how I want to gouge my eyeballs out because they take so long. Just kidding, Ash! So, I opted for gum in my magic pocket and the brand "UP 2 U" was perfect. I always tell the girls that Personal Progress is Personal. It is a tool to help them learn and grow closer to the Lord and they can complete the goals they feel inspired to finish. (And I know it says PP, I was hoping the text lingo would be stronger than the urge to laugh like my 11 year old boy) Ha ha!




Click here for the UP2U handout


General Conference Tweets

I gave out this incentive right before General Conference and reminded the girls they could complete a Value Project by watching all sessions of conference, the YW session and take notes.


Click here for printable 1
Click here for printable 2

If you print one of these documents and then turn the paper around so the other document prints upside down. Then when you cut and fold the paper, they are ready to staple on to a bag with treats.


Catching Fire

I couldn't resist a Hunger Games treat the Sunday after the movie came out. I was inspired by Ashleigh's matchbook Valentine treats Adding some hot cinnamon gum was the perfect touch.


Click here for the Catching Fire printable


Get Wrapped Up in Personal Progress

I wrapped up some good old Twizzlers in a paper about Divine Nature #6 to remind them about the parts of the goal and a checklist for the two weeks it takes to do this goal. Then I wrapped it up in value-ish colored paper.


Click here for Divine Nature #6
Click here for the "Get Wrapped Up" printable


U-NO

The girls set a Personal Progress goal for the year so I wanted to remind them halfway through the year what their goal was so they could check their progress. I wrapped up their individual goal inside the cellophane.


Click here for the "Do U-NO" printable

Book of Mormon

It's never too early to start the Virtue value project so I did these Book of Mormon treats. Don't forget to add the cute red ribbon down the middle.



Take 5 Bars

You can "Take 5" for almost anything. Go crazy!


Click here for Take 5 printable

Pieces of Your Summer

I am not above completely corny handouts and here is exhibit #1. They get candy, they don't complain.


Click here for printable

Even though they can rely on my corniness once a month, I never want the treats to overshadow the importance of the Personal Progress program. I often express to the young women that by setting these goals they will grow closer to the Lord and develop their own unique gifts. I routinely have interviews with them to show encouragement and love. This is an inspired program and a tool to help each of them know for sure that she is a daughter of God. My goal is for them to have the desire open their Personal Progress book along with their scriptures and to feast. And after that feast, they can have their treat.





Before I Blogged...4th of July Party

We're going vintage on the old blog today.

Sometimes Kathryn and I joke about how we do things differently since we started blogging.

Like way back in 2003, my kids used to be in the picture with the cake!
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Nowadays, I take 20 pictures of just the cake, then I invite the kid to the picture and take a few.
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(butterfly cake, incredibles cake, tie-dyed cake)

It seems mean, but in the mind of the blogger, I know someone out there might want to make a similar cake, and they need details!  When you have a post in mind, you tend to take pictures differently, and more specifically of objects, not people.

This little 4th of July birthday party is one of my favorites of all time.  But because I didn't know I was going to share the details, I didn't document them.  No pictures of the cute food table.  :(
(moment of silence for that loss)


But the good news is that I kept up with my scrapbooks back in the day.  This was before I switched gears to project life.  Even with the old school scrapbooking techniques, I treasure everything that was documented.  Yes, some great memories at this party.
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We invited my daughter's friends (and their families) to celebrate her mid-July birthday a little early, on July 3rd.  They took a goodie bag home of some fun things to use/wear the next day.  They even got to do sparklers 2 nights in a row!
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I used to put the invitation right on a scrapbook page and I'm so glad I did that!  I also documented the party guests, menu and a few other things.  Which is good because otherwise I wouldn't be able to recall anything by now.
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This was when sewing on paper was the latest and greatest and it blew my mind!  This was when I actually had to develop these pictures, then take them back for wallet sized reprints for the invitation.  Okay, now I'm feeling old!
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The digital days are so much easier, and I can't remember the last time I hand-made an invitation.
But I decided to share these little memories with you, because ideas can be recycled and updated, even almost a decade later.  It's fun to reminisce, and a trip down memory lane is always a good one.

A Grand Old 'pop' Flag!

It's that time of year... It's time to stock up on your red and blue food coloring friends!
You don't want to be caught off guard when all of the star sprinkles are gone!
(Oh wait, I think I'm remembering a nightmare I had).

I made "stars and stripe pops"last year, and after I learned the hard lesson about dying blue chocolate
(read about it here) I was hooked.
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So this year, I set out to improve my presentation.  The hard thing about upside-down pops on a platter is that they slide, tip and tumble around during transport.  So I referred to my pop-stand making experience last Halloween.  (See details on making pop stands in this post).
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But instead of 2x6" boards, I used 2x10" boards so I could fit 4 rows of pops.
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I made a paper template of how I wanted my flags to look first, and then I cut the wood into 12" wide pieces.  Next, I measured and marked where my holes would go and drilled them out with a drill press. A drill press ensures they will be straight.  Then I did the rough job of sanding them down.  A palm sander might be fine if you were doing one or two, but I was doing several and my belt sander made the task bearable.
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After they were cleaned up, I did a couple coats of spray primer.
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And after 99 more steps, I had this!!!
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Just kidding!  It only felt that long to my husband who was eager to reclaim his kitchen.  Here's how the painting went down:  I wanted the stand to have the general look of a flag, but didn't worry about the stars or the exact amount of stripes.  I just wanted the stands to be an awesome background for the treat, and for them to make the pops, well pop!  I painted the white first, then measured both sides, and placed painters tape across the board. I sealed the tape with another couple layers of white paint.  Then I painted red.  (I did 4 coats of the red and blue to make it really solid and bright).  After it dried, I removed the tape for the stripes and taped off the blue section.  I painted blue, let it dry, then painted the back and sides.  By the time was done, my arms and shirt looked like a grand old flag too.  Man, I'm messy!

I wrapped the whole thing up with cellophane and ribbon to make a yummy patriotic gift.
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Yes, all of this for a good presentation is a little crazy.  But when crazy looks this cute, I don't want to be sane!  So if you want to give it a try, grab all of the red chocolate and blue oil candy color you can!  You have to beat the other crazies to it!

Coloring on Cookies

My kids made at least 20 Father's Day cards.

Not exaggerating!  It's summer.  They've been a little bored.
And for the last two weeks, when they were bored, I told them to make something for Father's Day.

They'd been there, done that with the coloring.

Yet somehow, they were still impressed at the idea of coloring on a cookie.
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I did these for the kids at church, but the concept could be used for so many different holidays and kid's crafts.  Father's Day is past, but you know I'm not always on the ball enough to post things BEFORE the holiday!   I started with a basic, light blue layer of royal icing.  (For a recipe and directions, see this post: The basics of Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing).
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I let that base layer dry for about 24 hours, then handed over my cookies and my edible ink pens to my kids.  Somehow, this is like 500 times cooler than coloring on paper.
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"My daddy is my favorite pal, and I help him everyday...."  That's the lyrics to a darling Father's Day song we sang, so it became our little card.  The kids drew a picture of their dad's on the front.
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Then inside, they wrote a message and inserted their cookie work of art (that had been placed in a cellophane bag and adhered to the card).

My 5 year old chose to decorate his tie... with a tie!
This gave me a good chuckle!  At first I thought I should try to get him to think more creatively and outside the box!  Then I decided it made my day.  It makes me laugh out loud every time I see it.
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I'm pretty sure that Dads only want ties for Father's Day anyway.
So we gave him one that he was sure to like!

Insta-Friday

Howdy everyone! It's Insta-Friday and it's my turn to share a few snippets of what we've been up to...

The little girls got bangs. They want to be just like their Auntie Ashleigh!



In an effort to have the car clean at least once before the kids got out of school we went to the carwash where they clean the "chud" from the inside and outside of my Suburban for $10. Which was a good deal until I bought the soda, chips and salad from the deli. Darn, but it was fun while it lasted!



End of the year JV tennis team vs. teachers match at the High School. The teachers won, looks like the tennis team has some work to do.


We had to miss the ward campout because of sister's graduation. So to prevent a hostile takeover, we camped in the backyard and by we I mean my hubby and the kids. :)


I am still in awe of these beautiful plaques the Cub Scout leaders got for the kids that earned their Arrow of Light. And I'm proud of my kid. It's the highest award you can get in Cub Scouts. Love, love, love the scouting program!


With all their extra time the kids are watching "Kid History" on YouTube. Repeatedly. I can't blame them though because they are hilarious. My favorite is number six. The kids now speak an entirely different language made up of Kid History quotes.


I survived the first swim meet. These are not for the feint of heart. We left the house at 4:30 and returned at 11:00 pm. But they look so darn cute in their suits and I was so proud of them for at least making it to the other side of the pool, it's totally (maybe) worth it.


Our pool got finished in time for 104 degree weather. Since then, the kids have only gotten out of the water to eat, sleep and watch Kid History.


I knew little dude had flat feet but I'm pretty sure footprints aren't supposed to look like this.


As it turns out, I could not prevent this day from happening. We moved her senior year (which was so mean of us) and still, she excelled. Great things in store for this cutie!


My only projects lately have been making oodles of food for the graduation party, end of the year music makers party and end of the year seminary party. I then ate most of the leftovers. Can someone refer me to a mint brownie 12 step program?


And in other news, we have a winner for the Brooklyn and Eleanor frames giveaway from Poppy Seed Projects. If your name is Jani, you are going to be adding some serious cuteness to your life. Email us your contact info at beeinourbonnet(at)yahoo.com. If you didn't win you can still get $10 off of a $50 purchase at Poppy Seed Projects by using the coupon code "beeinourbonnet"




Nautical Baby Shower

We call it "shower by committee."

Which means, there's a ton of friends who are excited for one little baby on the way and we all want to help celebrate!  And let's face it, it's an excuse to get crafty and party with friends!

So a few months ago, some friends and I threw a nautical themed baby shower.  I helped with some decor and some food.  However, my old camera was on the fritz and I got very few usable pictures to show you.  :/  Shortly after, I got a new camera and took some shots of some of the decorations I still had, so I could at least share a few tidbits with you!
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I made these "buoys" out of 4x4 scrap wood.  I think it's usually used for fence posts.  I had seen really cute buoys in the Pottery Barn magazine a while back and I tried to recreate that.
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I also made an extra wide table runner with wide navy and white stripes.  This is the project that sent my sewing machine to the graveyard.  It danced it's last dance right at the end of the runner.
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My friends Cindy and Brittany made the cutest favors!  What could be more "little boy" than paper boats?  They made a little "thanks" flag and filled them with Cherry candies.  They sat all around for decor and served as the take-home gift too.  They were perfect!
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And my other genius friend Melissa, did the cutest games.  That weren't really group games, but the kind that you could just go over and participate in on your own, between mingling and eating.  This was her "message in a bottle" where she had a place for guests to write notes of love/advice/encouragement to the expecting mother.  This darling idea alone makes me want to throw 9 more nautical themed showers.
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Then she made these picture collages of baby pictures of her other kids (and the mom and dad) at different ages of babyhood.  Then you had to match the name and age to the pictures on a piece of paper.  This was particularly hard as all of her babies look really similar.
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The food was a collaborative effort and really yummy!   Lots of friends brought a yummy treat.  A little spray paint for my boxes, the table runner and rope "tied" it all together for our nautical theme.
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I also made some royal icing transfers for cupcake toppers.
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And I don't want to shock you, but I made some cookies for the shower.  (haha)

These simple striped sailboats are on my favorites list.  Maybe it's because of my lifelong love for navy.
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I'm sad I don't have a copy of the digital invitation that the hostess, Trista designed, but it started the theme off perfectly in the beginning.

The "shower by committee" thing is so fun and takes any major stress off one single person.  I'm glad I was able to help and party with these girls.  And the best part of the story is that the baby boy we were celebrating is now here and is just a yummy bundle of snuggle!  Congratulations Lauri!
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