Friday, January 16, 2015

Carrots, Apples, Bananas; Share Your Good Intentions

What do you do with bananas when they start to go bad? Make banana bread right?! What do you do with apples and carrots when they start to turn a bit south? Uh...drawing a blank? Don't let all those good intentions go to waste, I'm talking about your good intentions to eat all those healthy apples and carrots you bought haha! Am I resonating with anyone here? Well I haven't had a go to recipe for how to use up carrots and apples, now I do, and I want to share these recipes with you. Of course when I make goodies I figure if I'm already going to be making them I might as well make a double batch. I love to share goodies and it makes the time I used baking feel super useful. 

We had a snow day so I had a little helper in the kitchen. I wasn't planning on baking or making breakfast, but the snow day quickly threw out all my best laid plans. Since I'm sharing recipes I might as well share what we had for breakfast. Well it was just pancakes, but I doubled the batch and used half of them in a pancake casserole that has to be refrigerated overnight. I love using my time to kill two birds with one stone and I think from now on when I make pancakes I will do this. Did I mention yet how yummy it was??? It was a hit at my house! (I didn't add the streusel, and added almond meal to the pancakes). How great right, making breakfast for two days at once?! Well, I didn't get up early enough the next day to put them in the oven for 50mins, but that night we had it for dinner with bacon since the baby was fussy and only wanted to be held because she got some shots. So it worked out great!
 I'm all about trying to be efficient with my time, any tips you have and want to share would be awesome! Who knows who could be helped by reading your tip! The more efficient we are with our time the more time we have to reach out to others. So how do you make the most use of your time?

Here is the recipe for the Apple Carrot bread which is one of the yummy breads found on this pinboard. It turned out super yummy, I was worried because it was a lot of grated carrot and apple which now that I know it tastes sooo good makes me even happier because it's plum full of goodness, and a little sugar ;) I printed out a copy of this recipe and will keep it next to my banana bread recipe. Also I love buying these little boxes to share treats in. I buy them at either Marshall's or Homegoods.

Last, but not least is my ALL time FAVORITE Banana Bread recipe!
Which is found in the Recipe Hall of Fame Cook Book.

                                      Best Ever Banana Bread

1 cup butter                   3 Cups sugar  
6 eggs                             3 cups sour cream (I use plain yogurt)   
4tsp baking soda            2tsp vanilla       
4-5 bananas,mashed      1tsp salt  
 5 cups flour

Cream together butter, sugar, and eggs. Mix sour cream and baking soda together in separate bowl and let stand until foamy. Add the rest of the ingredients or the above mixtures and mix well. Place into 4 greased and floured 9x5 inch bread pans and bake at 350 degrees or until tooth-pick inserted comes out clean.

Scatter Sunshine!

   -DeAnn :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Kindness Elves Not Just A December Thing!

The kindness elves are just what we needed in this house right now! After sicktober and the Holidays that were busy and not filled with much service, which isn't how I would want them, but that's how it played out this year. I just couldn't seem to get back on track after the month that shall not be named.

 However even though they didn't go as planned I learned a valuable lesson in December. Which is that no matter how crazy busy I am I can still feel the Christmas spirit. I kept thinking I had to have lots of down time for some reason. I learned that's not true instead I utilized those in between moments and would do something that would help me focus on my Savior and it made all the difference. Simple things often do make the all the difference. It turned out that it was one of my best Decembers.
                                 Photo: The kindness elves arrived today! I used some imagination to rework the experience. I knew before December started I wanted to really make this happen, but I also knew realistically it wasn't going to happen. So to make it stress free it's happening in January and the impact will actually be greater I think. I'll be posting about it next week! What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
The kids just got their elves and are putting them on the tree so they have a good spot to watch them from. If they didn't behave until January they would leave.

I really wanted to do the Kindness Elves thing in December, but realistically I knew it wouldn't happen and I didn't want to start this unless I knew I could follow through with it. The idea came to me that I could do it in January and just say that Santa wants them to start their year off right with lots of service. Help their chances of staying on the nice list. I actually made the list of what they were going to do each day in October, but as things go for me, I picked up the list in late November and didn't like it anymore. I have to use my lists like this ASAP cause if they sit around too long I just don't like them anymore...anyone else have this weird problem?!
Make the list as simple or as involved as you want, I plan on mixing the two. I have a calendar going with everything we have going on week to week so I am really just winging it and coming up with things that will suite what we will be doing each day. If I don't have plans to be anywhere I don't want to drive somewhere just to do service because it's not just a one time thing, this is a month long thing, one day would be no big deal, but not planning it according to our schedules will just be inefficient and burn us out.

What we have done so far -
The elves came in the mail and I sent the kids outside to get wood, I opened the package and lit some matches and got rid of the evidence and when the kids came inside I said the note exploded, umm you can smell it hehe (you know like it does with spies) and this it what it said..insert whatever you want it to be. The kids thought this was super cool and were crazy excited and I didn't have to spend time writing up some elaborate note. The elves leave our house for good if the kids are super naughty by the way.
                                           Photo: I didn't get a picture of what the elves told us to do today (running out the door no time to take a nice picture the one I took was awful), but it was to make dinner for someone. We're on our way to drop it off now then headed to 4-H. The elves are so nice to have us do this on a night when we are already going to be out ;)

Here is a photo from the first day the kindness elves arrived. If you have no idea what's going on with all this be sure and take a look at the blog and get caught up :)
Day 1 the elves made the kids chocolate chip cookies and left some extras for them to give to someone else.
Day 2 nothing happened and the kids didn't notice 
Day 3 the elves were in the hall on scooter with a note (written on construction paper, in cursive so the kids don't recognize my writing) it told them how important family was and we often times forget to tell them how much we love them. The elves said to write a note to each family member in Albuquerque cousins house and to ask their mom for the supplies they'll need. We were already going to be there so this makes it convenient. I had one card for each person and we each took turns writing in it.

Since I don't have a list all made up for you to see and since I didn't post about this like I wanted to much earlier so you could do it too in January and really I don't see why you couldn't do it in February with elves with the same reasoning I used or putting a Valentines love theme spin on it. Would anyone be interested in me posting on The SIP project Facebook page what the elves do each day so you can get ideas. You could also just do some here and there and not even bring elves into until next December, if you wanted to.

Now for some links! Get ideas on Pinterest just by search terms. My Pinterest boards. The original idea for this came from a friend posting this bloggers idea to my time line in 2013. I bought elves here. And if you want to follow along and see what we do each day go here!

It's funny after having a baby I find myself keeping things to essentials, so if you are looking for cute printables just type in Kindness Elves on Pinterest and you'll find all kinds of stuff. I hope you'll follow along on Facebook hopefully find a way to spin it in a way that works for you and yours.

Looking for a legit way to help somone...
 A friend of mine Amber is trying to help a local family get ramps for their house to make life easier for them and their handicapped son. Every dollar counts! Please help spread the word! GoFundMe  

My uber talented card making friend is selling super cute Valentines day cards for $3 and $6 dollars each buy them here. All the money she raises goes to helping Tommy get ramps for his house. To make an order e-mail her at

                                        Li'l Buck's Creations: Rustic Wood LOVE Valentine's Day Card
Scatter sunshine!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Potted Love, Mums the Word!

As I walked into Wal-Mart to do my grocery shopping a few days ago the first thing I saw were a big stand of these pretty mums. And then I saw the price, 96cents! So I bought 10 I would have gotten more, but I still needed to fit groceries in my cart. You could maybe buy two bokeh of flowers for $10.

I asked people on The SIP Project Facebook page if we should take them to strangers in some parking lot or to people we know, the consensus was strangers. After school my daughter had piano lessons and then we headed out to give away the flowers...uh, we didn't get far haha, we know the lady across the street so I waited in the van with babycakes and they took them to her, but she wasn't home though her husband was. I told them there was an elderly couple who lives here (house in the pic below) and they were adamant about giving them flowers too. They stayed outside the door and chatted for about 10mins until I called them back because the baby was getting fussy. Then we went to the Smith's parking lot and what do you know one of the first people we saw was the lady who wasn't home, and her husband had already called her, she gave the kids hugs and seemed touched; I include this because see what 96cents can do :) We were there about 15mins just outside the doors. I told my kids what to say, something like "this is a random act of kindness, here are some flowers for you." It'as always interesting what peoples response is, some try and avoid eye contact because they think you are selling something and just try and get past you. One lady did and I kinda laughed that she was trying really hard to not look at someone who was really close to her, but once I said "this is a random act of kindness here you go" you could tell she was shocked and she happily took the flowers. It was neat to have a few people we gave flowers to stop and chat for a minute about it, or just stand a little stunned, but clearly in a state of surprise and shock at what just happened. I didn't take any pictures of the kids at Smiths I wish I had, but I was trying to coral them and hold a baby.

Here are the printables I made. You can cut them to whatever size you want. I used double sided tape to put them on the pots. 

Print here I also hope you'll take a second and share this post on Pinterest or Facebook.

It's true that you'll never know the majority of the time what effect your acts of service have on others and really it doesn't matter, you start the ripple and that's the important part. The effect could go something like this, you give flowers to a mother who then doesn't yell at her son, the son then isn't grumpy from being yelled at and he helps littler brother with his homework and on and on. So go throw a few rocks in your pond and start some ripples in your community. 

Scatter Sunshine!

- DeAnn :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dish Out Some Lunch Box Note Love!

My little man just started kindergarten and so now I have two kids in school. I miss them, but it's also nice to have lots of quite time with baby cakes. I saw lunch box notes on Pinterest and thought what a great and simple way to show these little turkeys I love them mid way through their day. Not sure if I am going to give them one everyday or just do give them one about two times a week. I will also just print enough out for the year, cut them out and have them ready to go. After looking at lots of lunch box notes I created two, to fill the gap I saw and put them in categories. Also don't you think some lunch box note love is in line for your spouse?! Interested in a post like that?

Make them laugh!

Print these here. You can find more here and here don't forget here while you're at it here.

Lunch box laughs free printables... cute!
Yep you need more of these here and here are a slew too.

Encourage & Uplift!

Print these here. Below is one I made. I didn't see any blank ones, I suppose you could just use a post it note or something, but what's more important is the idea of sharing something uplifting and encouraging. I plan on sharing scriptures and quotes using the blank one here.
Play on Words!

 Uh... here and don't forget this one

                     Cute printable notes for kids' lunch boxes!
Find the above here. And some here...

Fill in the Blank & Writing Prompts!

lunch notes
Find these here, here

I also felt there was a gap here. Who doesn't love a heart felt message?! Silliness is fun, but heart felt is needed too. Find the above here. I would also suggest using the blank notes to come up with your own writing prompts.

Uh...Misc? ;)
I told my kids I put a magic spell on their banana's hehe, may as well do things like this when they are young. If you want to skip the notes all together chalk board paint is a fun solution!
                    Lunch Box with Chalkboard. I want to get this for my future husband one day and write sweet notes that he can read at lunch when at work. :)Lunchbox Love Notes on a Banana Peel, Scratch a message and by lunch time it turns brown

                   Don't forget the holidays! This Valentines day printable prints all on one sheet.
                          free printable valentine lunch box notes |

I love this idea! Though buying prints isn't very economical for me, I think I will just try printing photos out and writing on them. I think this will be my daughters favorite and the writing prompt "When you were a baby you..." Which one do you think your kids will enjoy most???

DIY back-to-school lunchbox notes | Carrie Ryan for Camille Styles

Hope you print them out and I hope to be making a habit of doing this real soon!

Scatter Sunshine!

-DeAnn :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Do You Want to get to Know Your Kids Teachers Better? Then Use This Fun Teacher Survey!

I don't know why I didn't think of this before! It would have been so nice to know this stuff when we brought stuff for my daughters teachers in the past. Live and learn I suppose. Service Beans is going to continue at the school (though I have passed the torch onto someone else who is pretty darn terrific I might add) I think this sheet will be a fun way for my daughter wait I have two kiddos in school now, still getting used to that! Anyway, it will be a good way for them (and me) to get ideas on how they can earn some Service Beans. Armed with good information we'll be able to do some thoughtful and fun things for them through out the year. Anyone have a Pinterest board dedicated to teacher gifts? If you do let me know so I can follow it!

I hope you find this sheet helpful and while you're here I also hope you'll take a sec and pin it or share it on Face Book or somsing :)

Scatter Sunshine!


Go here to print the Teacher Survey

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Our Favorite Summer Drink a Fun Twist on Sharing Goodies!

We have been loving stirring up yummy combinations for our drinking delight this summer. Creamy raspberry lemonade has been our favorite though and the one we choose to share with someone nearby and the one I want most especially to share with you too. I started a Pinterest board with non-alcoholic summer drinks. It's so much fun to create fun drinks and a fun spin on taking someone goodies! Short on time, but have someone on your mind?! Well taking someone a summery drink is the perfect thing I think! It's much quicker to make a drink then to bake or cook something, but still has the same effect of bringing food. I bought the pitcher at Wally World and then wrapped the ribbon around the pitcher with the paper straws. I just put plastic wrap on the top and we didn't have any spills transporting it.

         Creamy Raspberry Lemonade Recipe
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice or from concentrate
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1½ cups half n half (half n half makes everything better)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 small package of raspberries
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

InstructionsPuree raspberries and 5 cups water using a blender. Strain the puree through a strainer and into pitcher. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. I wouldn't keep it in the fridge for over a week, but chances are it will be gone shortly after you make it haha. Make it like this once and see how you can tweak it to your taste. 

Summer is quickly fleeting and I hope you will take the time to mix this drink up for yourself and someone else!

Scatter sunshine my friends!

-DeAnn :)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Overcoming Rejection

"Are you okay?" Jake asked me several times in varying ways within about 15 minutes. The truth was I had felt rejected, but I knew it was probably just me overreacting. I don't feel like I have had a handle on my emotions like I normally do, so I figured I should just say, "Yeah, I'm fine" and then try and get a handle on it. I have a hard time burying my emotions or pretending they don't exist, really I just can't do those things. If I feel rejected or upset I want to discuss it, but don't always know how to get the process started. Yes, we've been married nearly 10 years and even though I know he can't read my mind, I kinda want him to occasionally, but expecting him to just leads to more frustration, uh duh. 

I felt like I was going to cry so to keep the tears in I went out in the front yard. As I looked at some tender young plants to see how they were fairing, it suddenly dawned on me as I stood there in the yard. Actually I wouldn't have reached the coming conclusion by myself. I'm too dense, lol. I needed a little whisper of a tender mercy from my Heavenly Father. "Look around. You are surrounded by things your husband has done for you, just you, because he loves you. These are not projects he did for himself, but you." It softened my heart and a realized as I looked around the yard it was true! How could I be mad or doubt for one second this mans' love for me?! It's evident that anyone willing to spend so much time doing things for someone else's projects that they don't want done for themselves must really love that :) 

It started with the chicken coop, when the heavy wood crate it was started from was loaded in our truck at my parents house and taken home. To the chain link fence now surrounding the coop. A solution he came up with himself after the coop pen (which he made) was broken into by dogs on several occasions and which he fixed each time until this solution was come to and is now dog proof. Ha! Take that stupid neighbor dogs! To the countless times he has asked me " have you fed the chickens today?" and the countless times I have answered back "no" and he then feeds them without out whining or fuss. Chickens he doesn't even really want, he just knows I want them. 

Then there's the chairs on the porch. I told him I wanted nice chairs to put on the porch for Mother's day. It was one of the ideas I threw out, the others had to do with photography...go figure. He took the sad but neat metal chairs already there and spent several hours sanding them down and painting them as well as bought cute outdoor cushions for them. I am glad he chose this gift to give because I have enjoyed the hours spent on the porch with him in the evenings. 

I bought 6 plants and asked him to dig holes and plant them for me, cause I was feeling huge and preggers and not up to digging holes and sitting on the ground trying to plant them. It'll take 15 minutes she said. Nope! More like 45 minutes or more. He did it and now they are all doing well minus one which promptly died the next day. Pssh! I didn't want you anyway cilantro! 

What the heck are the straw bales all about?! Well, one is for the chicken hutch, the other four were for trying out straw bale gardening which would have happened if my body hadn't decided to flip out and have a baby 4 weeks early. He went and bought them and brought them home; another thing I couldn't do. Yeah he wouldn't mind having a garden, but he knows it's what I wanted. His ideal garden is one made up solely of corn, lol. You don't need straw bales for that. 

Last, but not least is the wood pathway, a project also interrupted by baby coming early. The pathway that was there was made of brick but was really narrow and bland. I asked him to cut down some dead trees on the property and make this pathway which he started and is going to look fantastic when done. 

I had stepped outside to calm down and when he joined me a few minutes later he finally pushed me to tell him what was bothering me and all was well in just a few short minutes. Clearly I'm not great at hiding my feelings and he knows sometimes I need to be pushed a little to start talking.  When I let it out I kept telling him, "I'm sorry your wife is a hormonal mess." He kept saying stuff like, "It's okay to be a little crazy. You just had a baby" and other loving and encouraging words. At the time, the idea of being surrounded by his apparent love for me was just enough for me to take my craziness down a few notches. To know if we didn't end up talking about it, I would be okay not saying anything because how can I doubt his love? I can't! It's everywhere I look. As I have taken time to ponder this lesson, I am truly grateful for it. I know we are constantly surrounded by Gods obvious love for us. This world is beautiful, but does it have to be? No, I am sure it would still serve the same purpose if it were dull looking, but He made it beautiful and diverse for our enjoyment and as a manifestation of His love for us. How often am I so caught up in me that I stop seeing His love all around me. From this beautiful world to a body that recovered from HELLP syndrome, priesthood blessings that have given so much comfort and guidance, to healthy happy kids, to little things, if I look around me I can't help but see a continuous onslaught of His love for me. It got me wondering, if my husband were to look around our house, would he see manifestations of my love for him? This question applies to everyone we love. I am humbled by my husbands love for me, and wanted to write this to show him I am grateful for him, to say I am sorry I take you for granted at times and just want more and more from you and don't always take the time to show you my love. You are amazing and I am grateful I have you by my side for the the rest of forever.

 I don't want my loved ones to have to look hard and really think about the ways I show them my love, I want it to be in their face obvious, undeniable really and if they do some how not see it, it should be obvious enough that gently pointing it out is enough to bring them around. Serving others, putting others needs first, is one of the best ways to show our love. 
At times when I feel pushed or away or rejected for whatever reason valid or not (the workings of a crazy hormonal mind) I want to be calmed down and reeled back in by just taking a second to breathe and look around at manifestations of love which rekindle an attitude of gratitude and love which is undeniably key to happiness. Yeah that's a crazy run on sentence, but who knows how much time I have before I am summoned by the cries of my wee one.

Scatter sunshine friends!