Friday Favorites: The Week We Celebrated Alec's Birthday

We had a good week; despite some very cold temperatures and a small snow storm.

We woke to clear skies and a completely thawed lake on Friday!  It's pretty rare to look out and not see ice in January.

We did a bit of school work and made up the frosting for Alec's cupcakes.  We were all ready for his friends by the time his "party" started and then we spent the next 6 or 7 hours visiting with friends.  The boys had just as much fun with their friends as I did with all my mom friends.

Even though he hesitated to call his party a birthday party everyone still brought him presents.  He got lots and lots of new cookbooks!

We spent the night putting together Alec's new rolling kitchen cabinet.  He wanted a special place to store all his baking supplies and believe me he has nearly enough to fill this thing already.

Saturday morning Alec wanted to make waffles so I quickly ran to the store and picked up a few ingredients.

We then spent a quiet day at home preparing …

Encouraging Hearts and Home-- Give Me All the Hearts

I am a hopeless romantic and one of my favorite holidays is Valentine's Day.  I'm already planning out my cards and some simple gifts to give to the boys.  I typically try to make something heartfelt for my husband and I'm still trying to come up with sometime original this year but in the meantime I thought I'd share some really cute Valentine's posts that were linked up with us last week.

And Now, for This Week's Encouraging Hearts & Home Blog Hop! Join your Encouraging Hearts & Home Co-Hosts each week for encouragement and support for your heart & your home. We hope to provide a space that builds each other up and lends a helping hand along the way. With all the negativity in the world, let's shine a positive light!

The post with the most views from last week:What's the Point of Daily Habits in an Overly Cluttered Home? By A Slob Comes Clean

Some of my favorites from last week:
4 Tops Tips On the Best Valentine's Day Desserts by Claire…

Weigh- In Wednesdays: The Month I Did NOT Reach Goal Weight

I had such high hopes for the month of January.  I thought I would feel like a million bucks after my outpatient surgery and... I didn't.

However, I have decided pain or no pain I've got to stop using excuses.  I decided January 2nd was the day I was going to start logging in everything, start drinking more water, and start exercising (even if I had to do lighter/ less intense workouts than I planned).

Jan 2-- drank 2 1/2 Yeti tumblers of water, worked out for 30 minutes using an exercise DVD, went for a light stroll with the boys for 30 minutes and logged every bite of food that went into my mouth-- and stayed within my point range!

Jan 3-- I was in so much pain after exercising yesterday that I decided to give myself a bit more time to heal and focus on healthy eating instead.

After my appointment clearing me for all regular activity on the 6th I made sure to work out a minimum of 3 days a week.  Most days that I squeezed in a morning workout we ended up hiking in the after…

Pantry Re- Organization

I just knew that I was going to be tackling our pantry yet again when I saw that January's Pinterest Challenge was all about getting organized.

See our pantry is huge and while I am always trying to keep it in "shape" somehow it's a total mess each year once Christmas passes us by.  Partly I think it's due to the extra foods/ snacks my boys get from ALL our family members... partly the rest of the month of December is so busy that I'm happy to just throw stuff in there to get it out of the way... and partly our needs really do change that much in a year.

The foods we're eating now aren't anything like what we were buying a year ago.

Each year I find I need less and less room for our schooling & art supplies as the boys age out of many of the "fun" hands-on subjects and just want a series of easy to use textbooks.

I find all household organization works for me for a year or so at a time until I feel the need to make changes.  Only prob…

January Birthday Cards

We have a few birthdays in January and I made some pretty cute cards if I do say so myself.

I had so much fun making my Christmas cards in November using a non-standard opening that I decided to keep that going.

The first card opens at the top and I cut part of the card front off making a giant cupcake the focal point of my card.  I added a few fun embellishments like brads and ribbons and really liked how this turned out for my nephew.

I almost always make a card for my mother's birthday using shades of blue and flowers but wanted something different this year.  I settled on reds and bold colors and added just a bit of sparkle to her card with some fun glitzy brads in the same color scheme.

I designed a more standard card for Alec's birthday and I hope he likes it as much as I do!

I cut out a giant 14 using my Cricut and embellished the number with colored brads. I really love this and it would work for just about any age and color scheme too!

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