Aug 30, 2013

What is Your SuperPOWER? {A Teacher Gift}

We have still not gone back to school around here.

We are close though. Oh. So. Close.

Supplies are bought.
Clothes are picked (by me of course, I mean I do have boys so they don't care what they wear).
Back to school night attended.
Teachers met.
PTO assignments started.

This year I am super excited for my PTO responsibility.

Teacher Appreciation.

I love me some some teacher appreciation. I love great teachers and I love coming up with creative ways to cheer teachers on.

Previously, I have just done things for my kid's teachers, but this year I get to pamper all the teachers.

I wanted to start the school year off right with a little Welcome Back to School gift.

One of my favorite teacher tag lines is "I am a teacher, what is your superpower?" I first heard it years ago when my SIL, who is a teacher, told me about it.

So I that is where my inspiration came from.

For my POWERade What is SuperPOWER? Teacher Gift.

I picked out red and blue Powerade, because well those are pretty awesome superhero colors.

I made some coordinating tags.

I made a chalkboard sign and a superhero tag. I used PicMonkey, because well I love them. AND because they have a new "School U" full of all kinds of schooltastic tools, overlays, edits, and fonts. Goosh, I love it all.

I made the red tag and the black chalkboard to go with the red Powerade. The blue tag and the green chalkboard go with the blue Powerade. I actually printed them off like photos, but they would also print great from your home computer.

I have the images for you here on the little old blog. Just click the image and download to your computer. Then use a word type document to print off as many as you need.

I bought coordinating straws. Yes, yes, I do really like things to coordinate. I kind of geek out over coordinating colors.

I cut out the tags. Hole punched them and then tied them on to the bottle with, why yes that would be piece of coordinating fabric.

There ya have it.

20+ Welcome Back to School gifts for our teachers.

I also made a couple of teacher gifts just from the boys' to their teachers. I will share soon!

Happy Back to School!

Aug 29, 2013

Capri Sun My Go-To Kiddo Drink

Summer is practically over. Boats are making their last runs. Tents and roasting sticks are being put away. Cars have been cleaned out from just-ended road trips. Trips to the swimming pool are being crammed in before they all close up for the season.

For some of you school is already in, for us it is quickly approaching.

Hubby just wrapped up his summer time off with our little family. The last of our summer house guests have left. Our unscheduled, easy, breezy time in the sun (okay and occasionally inside in the air conditioned house watching a movie) is wrapping up.

School starts pretty quickly and then we will be on the go, living out of the good ole' mini van, known from here on out as The Mini, from sun up until sun down. Unscheduled will go to scheduled. Day in and day out all-around merriment will be reserved for the weekends when there is slightly less going on.

With summer ending, it is now time to make the most of The Weekend.

We love the weekends around our house, by Jove. We really rather enjoy just going and doing stuff with our little family.

You know what you can almost always find in the back of The Mini?

A box of Capri Sun Juice drinks. My kids love them. They practically beg for them. Quite often I am inclined to grant their very exuberant begging.


Well that is because I feel super confident in giving my kids Capri Sun Juice drinks. We take them to games. We take them on our family trips to Yellowstone. We have a box handy in our pantry for school lunches. They are a must for barbecues. My boys drink them at picnics. They suck them down on road trips. We also have been known to help stay hydrated with a Capri Sun Juice drink poolside. refreshing.

Kids happy. Momma is happy.

They love all the flavor options. They pretty much also love drinking everything from the ultra cool, shiny pouch and then inflating it back up and insisting that they didn't drink it. Then they giggle in a rather conspiratorial way. Like they pulled one over on the Mom.

I love that I can feel good about giving my kids Capri Sun Juice drinks.   

I can feel confident that as they play hard and need hydration, Capri Sun Juice drinks are a fun beverage they will enjoy and one I feel good giving to them.

My favorite Capri Sun Juice drink is Capri Sun Roarin' Waters Flavored Water Beverage. Love, love, love them.

They are low calorie and have no artificial colors or flavorings. There are six flavors so my kids don't get bored. They are also a fun way for my kids to stay hydrated.

Hydrated on a hot day spent in the pool during a little weekend family pool party.

They offer a variety of wholesome Capri Sun drinks for your family. Besides the original Capri Sun Juice drink and my fav the Roarin' Waters, there's also Capri Sun 100% Juice and Capri Sun Super V Fruit and Vegetable Juice Drink which has 1 combined serving of fruit and vegetables.*

As the mom, I really just want them to have fun and wholesome options. It is a bonus when those fun and wholesome options are portable and can go as much as they do.

I love these squishy faces so much. 

Capri Sun Juice drinks are drinks I feel comfortable giving these cute, healthy, and active squishy faced boys.

Summer may be almost over, but family time and weekend fun is still going strong and Capri Sun Juice drinks will be with us every step of the way.



Each pouch provides 1/2 cup of fruit and vegetable juice. According to U.S. dietary guidelines, Capri Sun Super V Fruit and Vegetable Drink contains one combined serving of fruit and vegetables--3/4 from fruit juice and 1/4 from vegetable juice. Be sure to feed your kids a variety of whole fruits and vegetables each day.

Aug 25, 2013

Twelve Years

Twleve years ago Him and I became a We.

We got married in one of the most beautiful places in existence.
The day was really rather grand and pretty close to perfection.

My day started at 4:30 a.m. I got ready in the apartment that would be our first home, with my mom and sisters sleeping close by. I got ready with no hot water since it had not been turned on yet. 

It was early.
I was tired.
I was cold.

I had never been more happy or more excited.

I was on the short countdown to being Wife to Hubby.
Nothing else seemed to matter in the early dawn of August 25, 2001.

Before long, I was in a very quite car with my parents, driving the 40 minutes to the Salt Lake City Temple.

I reveled in my excitement. I looked forward to seeing him. I was giddy at the thought of being married to the man who absolutely and with out a doubt completed me. I dreamed about the journey we were about to start and I painted possible details in the picture of our future together. All in the quite car ride.

We arrived.

I went in a Miss and after a sacred and beautiful ceremony, I came out a Mrs.

I was now married to a man who gave me love, peace, confidence, security, friendship,
laughter, butterflies, safety, and eternity. He continues to give me these things everyday.

By far, this was the happiest day of my life.
I have had countless happy days since, but all of my happiest days since can be directly tied back
to the day that I married this man.

That happiest day on August 25, 2001 was the gateway to which I got to every other happiest day of my life.

Not every detail of the future may have always been completely known, but with him my future was sure.

My heart is full, yes quite sappily I know, of gratitude for this man, this marriage, and this life we share together and the one we will share together forever.

Dear Hubby,
Thank you for 12 of the most spectacular years of my life.
I am looking forward to all the years ahead of us.
I love you so much.
The Wife

Thanks everyone for letting me 
indulge in my reminiscent and sappy 
emotions today.

Aug 24, 2013

Slow Cooker Saturday: Cheeseburger Pasta

Slow Cooker Saturday.


This is a simple one. I jumped back into the Slow Cooker Saturday slowly, one itty bitty toe at a time.

We still have another week of Summer around our house. For everyone else it would seem school is already in session.  This is a great school night meal.

It is easy.
It actually doesn't have to be in the slow cooker for too long.
Small children devour it, I mean like super scarf-down and then ask for seconds and thirds.
It really does solve all kinds of after school types of problems.

Except maybe math homework...

Spelling...maybe...but math, nope.

I am helpful like that.

Happy School being back in...even if we are not quite there yet!

Slow Cooker Cheeseburger Pasta

1 lb ground hamburger
1 can tomato soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 cup water
1 cup beef broth
2 cups shell pasta
pepper to taste

Cook the ground hamburger. Drain.

Combine cooked hamburger, soups, water, beef broth, and pasta in a slow cooker. Stir to combine. Season with pepper. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or until pasta is tender.

See what I am saying about this being easy? It will probably take more time to read the instructions than to make it.

Happy slow cooking!

Follow along with Just Another Day in Paradise

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Aug 21, 2013

A Pinteresting Wednesday: Canned Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate

Welcome back A Pinteresting Wednesday. It is good to see you after a sporadic Summer.

A few months ago, Hubby excitedly declared that he had just ordered me 32 pounds of strawberries. At the time we ordered all these luscious strawberries, we just planned on making lots and lots of jam.

Before the berries came, I came across a recipe for Canned Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate from Free Time Frolics

The heavens opened and angels sang and I knew what some of those 32 pounds of strawberries were going to go towards. 'Cause I love myself some strawberry lemonade. Yes, I do.

Hubby loves it too.

Our Little Men love it.

Well, heck, who doesn't love it?

You might also know that I am kind of addicted to canning.

So the fact that it was not just Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate, but that it was also canned so I can have it whenever my little heart desires pretty much sealed the deal that I would have to make it.

I mean for reals. Canned Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate.

Oh yes, you will be mine.

This was so stinkin' easy to make. SO EASY.

After it is all canned and you decided you want a nice glass of strawberry lemonade, well you just add water, maybe some fresh cut up strawberries, and a slice of lemon to make it fancy (fanciness not required to make it taste yummy, by the way).

Yuuuuuum. YUHHHHMMMM. Summer in a glass.

Summer is almost over, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy and savor every last sip of it. Plus, since I have this canned concentrate all made up, I can have a little reminder of Summer anytime I want...

...well until I run out of concentrate, but I shan't think of that now.

You won't regret giving this a try. Like I said earlier it is easy and the result is delicious.

Canned Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate

Each recipe cans 3 quart jars. 

5 cups fresh lemon juice (approximately 30 lemons)
6 cups sugar
6 cups hulled strawberries
wide mouth jars

In a blender or food processor, puree the strawberries. In a large pot, mix the sugar and lemon juice. Then stir in the pureed strawberries. Heat the mixture over medium heat. Heat until a candy thermometer reads 190 degrees, stirring frequently.

While the strawberry mixture is heating, clean the jars, heat the lids and rings (I do this by keeping them in a pot of simmering water), and fill the water bath canner with water.

Once the mixture is at the right temperature, funnel the mixture into the clean jars. Wipe off the mouth of the jar and then place the lid and ring tightly on each jar.

Place them in the water bath canner and cover. Bring the water to a boil and let them boil for 15 minutes.

 Remove the jars and set out on a the counter and listen for the sealing "pop".

Store until ready to use.

When ready to make lemonade, add 1 1/2 quarts to 2 quarts of water to 1 quart of concentrate.

Another Pinterest Success.

Thanks for reading! Have a grand day.

Aug 20, 2013

A Little Man's Faux Bow Tie (Tutorial)

The fact that I love a good Little Man bow tie is absolutely no secret. You can pretty much guarantee that on any given Sunday at least one of my boys will be quite dapperly (totally a word) be sporting a bow tie.

I just can't get enough of of them. Kind of obsessed. If Hubby would only allow me to put him in one, my bow tie dream world would be complete. Goosh!

For several years my boys sported the Dapper Little Man Bow Tie. That was the first bow tie pattern I made. I love it and I love that it is tied like a grown up man bow tie, but that it ties easier because of a bit of elastic. Plus it made me feel pretty legit to learn how to tie a bow tie.

So if I love it so much...why don't I marry it...

Ehem...sorry my 10 year-old self took over there for a minute...

So if I love it so much, why change it up? Why fix what isn't broken.

Three reasons...

1. a cute, but weasely four-year-old
2. my little mister bean
3. the near impossible feat of tying a bow tie on anyone under the age of 5

Since, like I said earlier I really rather enjoy a gentlemanly bow tie on my Little Men, and that includes the little wiggly ones too, I had to come up with another solution.

Hence the birth of the A Little Man's Faux Bow Tie. 

When I was coming up with this pattern, I really wanted the bow tie part to look like it would if I had tied it by hand. You know get the same look with WAY less tying effort.

I am so happy with the end result. I have actually had this pattern in my arsenal for several months. I most recently made one for Little for our family photo session. Whilst (yes I just got fancy) I was making it I realized I should share with you guys how to make one.

So I whipped up a little tutorial showing you how to make A Little Man's Faux Bow Tie.

What you will need:

1/4 yard fabric
fusible interfacing
needle and thread
Faux Bow Tie pattern

First cut out all the fabric pieces. You will need to cut out--

1. a knot piece cut according to the pattern
2. 2 main bow tie pieces
3. a neck piece cut according to the pattern
4. 1 piece of interfacing cut just smaller than bow tie piece

Iron the interfacing piece to the wrong side of one of the bow tie pieces.

Pin the bow tie pieces together, right sides facing.

Start at one of the flat edges, sew all the way around the edge with 1/4" seam allowance but leaving the edge where you started open.

Turn out the bow tie and iron.

Iron the raw edge of the open end in. Then hand sew the opening closed.

This is the only tricky part, I promise.

Lay the bow tie out flat. Start at the left side and fold over towards the right so that you make a bow loop on the left side. Then fold the bow tie piece back over to the left making a loop on the right side.

It should start looking like a bow tie without the knot.

Pinch the middle in slightly so it looks gathered. Then secure the bow tie in place by using a zig zag stitch.

Next sew the neck piece by ironing the long strip in half (lengthwise) and then iron the edges into the middle crease. Iron the whole thing in half. Sew all around the perimeter to secure. Cut a 2" piece of velcro and then cut it to fit the newly made neck band.

Lay out the band flat on the table. Sew one velcro piece to the left end that is facing up. Sew the other piece on the opposite end on the side facing down towards the table.

Next, sew the bow tie to the neck piece. Place the bow tie over the neck piece in the middle. Sew the tie to the neck piece.

Now for the knot piece.

Take the knot piece and iron it in half, wrong sides facing. Sew the with a 1/4" seam allowance on the raw edge. Then move that seam to the back and iron the piece flat so that that seam is in the back.

Take the newly ironed neck piece and wrap it around the bow tie now attached to the neck piece. Fold over the edge that will show. Sew the knot piece together and in place by hand.

Now you have a simply dapper Faux Bow Tie. Ready for any little gentleman to wear to what ever fancy function strikes his fancy.

I hope you have as much fun making little bow ties as I do.

I would love for you to pin or share on facebook.

I would also love for you to follow along with Just Another Day in Paradise

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Aug 6, 2013

Dyed Twill Boys' Belt

I have this tendency to get into my head exactly what I want...especially where my Little Men's clothes are concerned.

Last year I posted about wanting a certain belt for Oldest's first day of school outfit and then I shared a tutorial on how to make his Twill Parachute Clip Belt.

We recently just had our family pictures taken (more to share about that coming soon). We do not have that done a lot and because it is such a special occasion, I was super freaking out about what the boys should wear. I mean stressing of epic proportions.

I know that is surprising, because I seem so even keel...

Are you laughing?

So okay, I am a stresser-outer...hence the whole freaking out about not finding the right clothes...and in this exact scenario...

A belt.

Yep, folks this is all about a belt.

I really, really wanted green belts. Our family photos were mostly khaki, blues, white and faded reds. I also really, really really wanted light green accessories.

Don't ask me what goes through my head, because I can absolutely not tell you. Partly because most the time I don't know. Then also, because I can't let all that crazy out or people might judge me.

So on my search for the green belt, I came up vastly disappointed.

So two days before pictures, I ran to JoAnn's and I picked up the necessary supplies to just make my own.

I picked up:

a yard and a half of cotton twill white belting
D-rings (I ended up just using the 1 1/4" ones)
Apple green Rit Dye

on hand I had:
pleather scraps (left over from this lovely project)

First, I dyed the belting per their sink instructions except I used less dye and less water because I was only dyeing the belting and I wanted it to be a lighter green.

After about 35 minutes, I rinsed it out. Then I ran it through the wash all by itself. Yes, yes that was a very inefficient use of my washing machine. Oh well, what's a gal to do?

  Once it was dry I measured my  boys' waists and then added about 6-7 inches.

I then cut my pleather pieces to about 1 1/4" x  2 1/2" for the end of the belt with the rings. Then I cut a 1 1/4" x 1" for the other end.

I put the D rings folded into the larger piece of pleather and then sandwiched one end of the belt between the pleather.

Then I sewed a rectangle with a 3" stitch fastening the leather buckle to the twill belting.

Then on the other end, I folded it in half  and again sandwiched in the other end of the belting. Then I just ran a 3" stitch along the bottom.
Bam! Belt done. Easy! So stinking easy.

Plus, it was a perfect edition to these faded blue chinos that Little wore. So very Hamptons if I do say so my self.

I have another little tutorial coming for another accessory I made for him for pictures. So excited to show you!

Have a very peachy day!
Thanks for reading!


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