Thursday, December 1, 2011

Spiritual advent

I wanted to make an advent that had meaning, I found this article at and I knew I had found my advent. I made a bunch of 3" envelopes on my Cricut, hand cut the tags, and printed the quote, scripture, activity, and song idea from the article. I created a PDF of these, which you can find here. The quote goes on one side of the tag and the scripture/song/activity on the other.  I mounted them on a board, and viola! I got the general idea for the boards from from this pin. I actually ended up making 4. One for my family, and some for ladies I Visit Teach, and one for my bestie. The quotes and activities are truly inspired, making each day until Christmas focus a little more on Christ. I really really love the way they turned out!

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Thanksgiving centerpieces

I found these super cute and super easy centerpieces on Pinterest, and since I had all of the supplies all ready, it was easy to pull together for Thanksgiving. The idea for the original pin is here, I did not have kidney beans, so I just used white beans. They were super cute anyway!

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Homemade butterfingers with just 3 ingredients!!

These are SO good. I may never buy Butterfingers again. They are really simple, but I will give you my trick to make them even easier. Ok, so here are the ingredients. You won't need to write them down. I promise. The list is pretty short. All you need is ;
1 12 oz bag candy corns (regular white and orange ones)
1 16 oz jar of creamy peanut butter
Chocolate melts, chocolate chips, or whatever kind of plain meltable chocolate you want to use

Melt the candy corns in the microwave. Start at 1 minute, stir, then add 30 second increments until they are melted. DO NOT overcook! You want them just melted. Remove from microwave and stir in peanut butter. Do this quickly, you don't want the candy corns to start to cool. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment, dump the entire mixture onto parchment. Use a rubber spatula to flatten into a square approximately 8 x8. It will be about an inch thick. Use a butter knife and cut the square into bar sized pieces. The mixture should be solid enough that it will stay in form even when cut. Do not remove the pieces, just cut them and leave in the square. Refrigerate the entire thing over night. The next day, melt your chocolate over a double boiler and dip pieces. You will want to place them back onto parchment or a cookie sheet sprayed with PAM. Refrigerate until completely set, then remove and enjoy. (They will not need to go back into the refrigerator.)

That's it! The trick is to cut them before refrigerating, or they will break when you try to cut them. (They will still taste fabulous, they just won't look pretty...see picture above.) They are not the exact crispy texture of a Butterfinger, but pretty darned close. Aren't they yummy?
Ok, move away from the candy.

Seriously, save some for the kids.

Ok, just one more.

Better make another batch.

This idea originally game from this pin.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Amazing sunset (Picture by me)

Couldn't resist getting out the trusty camera to catch this sunset!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The earth laughs in flowers

I love taking pictures of flowers. It just makes me happy to capture a little spot of beauty somewhere in the world. I especially love the pink and orange palette of the top picture.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Signs of Fall sign!

This is similar to the family motto board, but it has autumn papers in the background, and one of my favorite fall quotes on the front. It says "Scarecrows...corn rows...pumpkins on the vine. Leaves curl, winds swirl, Fall is right on time!"

These are super simple to make. Go to Home Depot and find a 1 in x 12 in x 4 ft board. Have them cut it in half so it is 1 in x 12 in x 24 in. Pick out several papers, I used 5-6, and cut them into varying sized strips. Mod podge to board. Using Cricut or whatever vinyl cutter you have, cut out whatever words you'd like, stick to board...viola! Super cute as gifts, or to decorate your own home.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Family motto

I love the idea of having a family motto. If found a quote I really liked, tweaked it a bit, and put it together on this board. It's pretty cute, and I love the colors. It says "This is our home. In our home, we laugh out loud, have dance breaks, talk openly, make mistakes, love completely, forgive quickly, sing off key, encourage, worry less about clean and more about fun. Four walls don't make a home, four people do." Isn't that sweet. This was a combination of these two pins. and

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Visiting Teaching Conference Idea by me

(Wizard of Oz clipart was purchased at
Tonight was our ward's annual visiting teaching conference. We do one annually just to reiterate the importance of visiting teaching. For ours tonight we did not tell anyone the theme. We made very simple black and white invites. We decorated the cultural hall with black and white table cloths, black plates and flatware, the centerpieces were just branches from crab apple trees with the apples attached in mason jars. I made a TON of flag banners out of paint color samples (they're free!!) in black, white, and gray. We had a lovely dinner, and then everyone went into the RS room for speakers. We had our Stake RS president speak on how VT require courage. We had our VT coordinator speak on using your heart to VT, and our ward RS president spoke on using your brain to be a good visiting teacher. While the sisters were in the RS room, my meeting coordinator and I changed all of the table clothes to different colored ones, we also changed out all the banners for rainbow ones (also made with paint color samples,) and stuck rainbow pinwheels that I'd made from clothes pins and paper on all of the branches. We used yellow butcher paper and made a "yellow brick road" from the RS room to the cultural hall. We had dessert out on the food table (fruit kabobs because they were easy to tie into the rainbow theme) and a chocolate fountain. We then did a little skit (see below) with "Dorothy" (a sister wearing a blue and white checkered apron over a white tshirt and jeans, with red high heels,) "Glinda/Sister North" wearing a pink fluffy robe, with pink curlers in her hair, and a green face cream all over, she waved a (BRAND NEW) toilet brush around as a wand, and "Munchkins" Several sisters wearing aprons. The song was to the tune of "Come out come out wherever you are" from Wizard of Oz, and the lyrics were written by me. As everyone left, they got a handout (see picture above) also designed by me, and a package of skittles (taste the rainbow!) On the handout, the lines in color were actual movie quotes. It was super fun, the speakers did an amazing job of bringing in the spirit, and several people remarked how it was the best RS activity ever. =)

Skit/Song (by Dede Bessey)
Glinda and munchkins are behind curtain.

Dorothy approaches opening pretends to ring bell and says “Ding dong. Ding dong. DING DONG! Sister North, are you in there?? Sister North!"

Glinda (behind curtain) “Who is it?”

Dorothy “Sister North, it’s Sister Gale.”

Glinda (comes through “door”) “Yes, dear, what can I do for you?”

Dorothy “I need to report that I’ve finished my Visiting Teaching Sister North.”

Glinda “You’ve...what? It’s only the 16th!”

Dorothy “Oh, Sister North, I just love teaching. I have finished my route.”

Glinda begins song. On “Oh sisters come out,” Munchkins come out from behind curtain.
Come out, come out, oh sisters come out, and meet the young lady who’s finished her route.
She finished her route, she got in and out, and teaching, she says, was what it’s about.

Teaching, she says, was what it’s about.

She brings you good news, or haven’t you heard?
Finishing her route, a miracle’s occurred.

It really was no miracle, what happened was just this...
The phone began to ring, my heart began to sing, I was thinking of the sisters that I’d soon be visiting.
The joy I’d bring, just by my visiting, teaching a short lesson, and administ’ring.

Oh, it was a beautiful thing
The phone began to ring, her heart began to sing, she’s reported to her supervisor that she’s done her visiting...
Who hopes that she can make it a monthly thing.
The phone began to ring, her heart began to sing, she’s reported to her supervisor that she’s done her visiting.
The joy that you can bring, by just accomplishing your visiting!

Munchkin #1
We praise you very thickly, for doing it so quickly.

Munchkin #2
You completed it so slickly, that we praise you very thickly.

Now her praises we’ll all sing, She has completed her visit teaching!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Photos by me
My 4 year old son touching a piece of the World Trade Center that was brought to our town today. I love how reverent he looks. He told me he "remembers" 9-11 (it was 6 years before he was born) and how Jesus "floated" the heroes who died up to Heaven.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Upcoming birthday board

For crafty Tuesday, my sweet friend and I made cute birthday boards. You put little tags to show the next upcoming birthday, you can either store them all on the board or just one at a time. I think this one turned out quite cute. I put "celebrate" instead of "happy birthday" because I am going to make tags for Christmas and other holidays also. I found the idea here

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Gluten free desserts

I am obsessed with GF desserts recently. I want to find things that are just as good as "regular" desserts, and easy to make. I made this fruit pizza using a GF sugar cookie recipe I found here. Then I topped with creme cheese frosting (I am also obsessed with cream cheese frosting...) and cut up fruit. Easy Peasy. Beautiful and delicious. But my ultimate favorite are my teeny flourless chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (...toldja.) I have been mixing different frostings. These are nutella banana and cinnamon. Yum. Here is my fool proof flourless chocolate cake recipe. I made it up, and it makes super yummy, rich, amazing little cupcakes. A perfect vehicle for cream cheese frosting.

Dede's Flourless chocolate cupcakes
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 stick butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (I love Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl covered in plastic wrap. Be careful to not burn! In my microwave it takes 90 seconds. Stir to mix completely. Add sugar, mix completely. Add eggs, mix completely. Add cocoa (sifting works best, but if you don't have a sifter, just dump it in there.) Stir just until mixed. Spray mini muffin pan with Pam. Spoon mix into mini muffin pan (makes 24.) Bake until crust forms and slightly cracks. In my oven, this takes about 20 minutes. Pull out muffin pan and set on cooling rack for 5-10 minutes. Use the back of a spoon, a tart maker, or the bottom of a fruit/herb muddler to push indents into top of cupcakes. (To fill with frosting.) Use a knife to loosen and pull muffins out. Leave muffins on cooling rack. When completely cool, use decorator or frosting bag to fill indent with frosting.

Frosting recipe
1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
3-5 tablespoons powdered sugar
flavoring of your choice; in the past I have used 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1 overripe banana and 1/4 cup nutella, cinnamon oil and red hots, 1/2 cup coconut/pecan frosting, vanilla bean, fresh crushed strawberries.....the possibilities are endless!!!

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My very own GF zucchini bread muffins recipe

These are the BEST Gf muffins I have ever had. I have been tweaking this recipe for a while now, and now I think it is just perfect. So moist and yummy, you'd never know it was GF! Find the pin here Follow me on Pinterest!

Dede's Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins
3 cups grated fresh zucchini
2/3 cup melted unsalted butter (Never ever use salted butter in any recipe. You can not control or monitor the amount of salt in the recipe when you use salted butter.)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup oat flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sweet sorghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup potato flour (not potato starch!!)
3 teaspoons xanthan gum
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 to 2 cup(s) mix in(s) of your choice (optional)
Mix in ideas raisins, dried cranberries, shredded apples, crushed pineapple, shredded carrots, dried cherries, walnuts, chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F . In a large bowl combine sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the zucchini mixture and mix in. In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, xanthan gum, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Stir these dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture. Add mix in(s) if using. Grease muffin tins with butter or cooking spray. (I don't recommend using baking cups for these muffins.) Fill the muffin cups up completely using a spoon or scoop. Bake about 25 to 30 minutes, until tops are browned. Test with a long toothpick to check that the middle of muffins are done. Set on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove from tin and let cool another 10 minutes or so. Store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pomander balls

Every week on Tuesdays, my sweet friend and I get together to make a craft. Usually it is one we found on Pinterest . This was one she really wanted to make. I wasn't too enthused originally, but I think it turned out darling. It matches my baby girl's room, and was super simple to make (but time consuming!!)   First you punch out a bunch (I mean a BUNCH!) of 1/2 inch flowers. Then you take a styrofoam ball (like the kind you make planet mobiles out of) and using straight pins, pin the flowers all over so there is no white styrofoam showing. Pin a loop of ribbon to hang it and you are done!

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

My 4 week menu

One of the hardest parts of being a mom and homemaker, for me, is the daily question "What's for dinner?" (Are you kidding me? I just cleaned up from breakfast and lunch!) So, I came up with a 4 week menu; breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner. Breakfast,lunch, and snack rotate (feel free to substitute your own if you need more variety,) but there are NO repeats for dinner...that means this could be your permanent menu because each dinner is only served once a month =) It took me a while to come up with this menu, based on family faves. Now, I'd like to share it with all my Pinterest pals. You're welcome.

You can find the pin here

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Leftover baked potatoes + eggs = breakfast!

We made these for breakfast before church one Sunday, and the kids LOVED them. It was super easy because I scooped out the potatoes the night before. In the morning, I just scrambled some eggs and poured them in, added some crumbled bacon and cheese and baked in the oven while I took a shower. They were yummy and fun! I got the recipe from this pin.

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Gluten free banana oatmeal muffins

These muffins were so moist and tasty, that I ate about 8 of them in one sitting. They were not at all dry or crumbly like GF muffins can tend to be. They were easy to make, and are an instant favorite at my house. I got the recipe from this pin. Even if you don't have to eat GF, I bet you would love these muffins. (One tip on making oat flour...oats are soft enough that you can just grind them in the blender. Make sure they are a fine powder before you use them as flour!)

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Super cute star wreath

My super sweet friend, Sherree and I got together to make this cute 3-D star wreath. The original idea was for a Christmas wreath, but I love the way it turned out using red, white, and blue for Independence Day!! We had a lot of fun visiting as we crafted, and I think they turned out adorably!

Original Pin is found here

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

End of the year Teacher Gifts!

This was really fun to make. I printed notebook paper onto card stock, and then printed the teacher's initial in very light gray and their name in black at the bottom. I cut the crayons to size, and then hot glued them on! Simple but oh, so very cute! I got this idea from this pin.

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Flourless nutella cookies

These cookies might not be much to look at, and they aren't soft and chewy like I usually prefer cookies, but oh mylanta are they tasty. Ready for the easiest recipe ever?

1 cup nutella
1 cup sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp baking powder

Combine with a fork, roll into balls in your hands, place on parchment lined cookie sheet. (I found out the smaller they are the less crispy they are.) I flattened them with a fork like traditional peanut butter cookies. (I think I will skip that step next time though.) Place into preheated 350 degree oven, bake 10 minutes. (They should be just this side of done.) Pull sheet out of oven, let cookies rest on sheet about 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to cooling racks. Like I said, they are crispy cookies, so they break easily. But, you get to eat all of the broken ones, because I said so.

These cookies are the love child of these two pins... Nutella cookies
and flourless peanut butter cookies

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