September 29, 2012

German Chocolate Cake Pops

This past week I made some German Chocolate cake pops for my husband to take to his work potluck. I love cake pops, I think they are one of the best small bites you can have on a dessert table. They are so yummy!

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I followed these basic directions on how to make cake pops. If you've never made these before Bakerella has a great tutorial on her website you can find it here. I always make my cake pops from a box mix, and use store bought frosting. It's the easiest thing. I followed her directions but swapped out the red velvet and instead I used Betty Crocker cake mix and coconut pecan frosting, and mixed in half a can of regular cream cheese frosting. 

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If you haven't made these before you need to, they are so yummy and the perfect treat! Happy Saturday! 


September 27, 2012

30B430: Read Through the Entire Bible Again

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Sharing another goal today that I crossed off my list: Read Through the Bible again. It's been a long time since I've taken the time to read the Bible cover to cover instead of just getting into a devotional and only reading certain chapters. 

It's been really great this last year to re read scriptures this year, and rediscover parts of the Bible that I haven't read in a while.

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I used a One Year Bible reading plan this year to go through the Bible. You can download it here.  You can Google Bible reading plans as well and come up with a ton different plans. My advice is that these are really easy to use and very helpful to keep you on track and accountable. 

Also towards the end of this year I found She Reads Truth, which has been great to read along with other women. A great source of encouragement and accountability. 

If you're struggling today to read through the Bible on a daily basis I encourage you to start somewhere maybe small, print off a reading plan and get started. Use some of these great resources and get started. 

September 25, 2012

Easy Gift Giving Ideas

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It's the last week in September, which means October is around the corner. I love October, the start of Fall, pumpkins, Spiced Lattes are even more acceptable to drink and it's also my birthday month! I kinda always hate that question of: "What do you want for your birthday?"

One reason is because I never know what to say. I never want to seem like anyone needs to buy me a gift or has to. But I've realized over time that if people ask you that question it's because they want to buy you a gift, so let them. So here's my two easy solutions for when this question may come up. This is especially helpful for husbands! 

Trust me, it's worked wonders before for my husband and in turn I don't have to worry I'm always happy with any gift he chooses mostly because I've already chosen them myself and made it really easy for him to buy me something. Here's my tips & ideas:

Idea #1: Create a Pinterest board of Ideas

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I titled my board "For Me." But you could title it anything you want. Any time I see something that would be a fun gift to have, or something that I'd want for my birthday, Christmas or any other occassion I simply "pin" it to the board. This way when my Husband needs an anniversary, birthday, or Christmas idea I just reference him to this board link and let him decide what to get. I pinned an Amy Cornwell ring sometime ago and my Husband got it for me for Valentine's Day this year because of this inspiration. My suggestion is if you pin any clothing, rings or jewelry be very specific about colors you want and the size you need. Easy purchasing and no returning it once it arrives with having to return it because the person didn't get your right size/color want. 

Idea #2: Create an Amazon Wish List

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This is another easy idea too. When you're browsing Amazon simply add the item to your "wish list" by the click of a button. You can email people your wish list as well. When my Mom asked me this year what I wanted for my birthday I simply referenced her to this list. I gave her 5 ideas from the list. My tip; make sure you add a variety of ideas at different price points too. This way the giver gets to choose what best fits their budget and you don't have to worry about what's on the list because you know there's a variety listed. 

What are you're gift giving suggestions for when it comes to this question? I'd love to hear your suggestions, leave them in the comments below. 

September 22, 2012

DIY Glittered Mini Envelopes

You know I love a good lined envelope, you can see the ones I made for Ava's birthday invitations here.  Today I want to show you how to make some mini glittered lined envelopes with the help of Lifestyle Crafts new envelope die. 

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The new Fall Core Collection 2 is now available at Lifestyle Crafts. I was lucky to get to try out some of their new dies. Take a look below at all the fun things they now have to add to your collection.
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Wanna make some DIY Glittered envelopes for yourself? Here's what I used for this project, you can see the links below to each product.

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glitter paper (I bought mine on a mega pack at JoAnn's)
Elmer's glue stick

Using your Letterpress machine place the die on the cutting board and run it through your machine. 

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Using the machine cut as many as you need, in my case I decided that I wanted to make four of them in two different colors. 

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After you have them all cut out, using your glue put some glue on the back of the paper and insert it into the envelope and press firmly. I folded the envelope on the perforations as well before gluing them down. 

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Repeat till you're done with all your envelopes, now they are ready for gifting giving and using. I think these little mini envelopes are great for giving gift cards for birthdays, Christmas or other celebrations. They are also great for slipping cash into birthday cards as well. There's so many possibilites you can do with them. 

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How fun are these! I love anything that's mini, and with the glitter inside it's like an extra special surprise inside when you open them up. Plus, a fun little gift card or some cash is always fun. 


Enjoy 20% off with my code: WORLEYHOUSE
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September 21, 2012

A Coffee Date & Some Things I'm Excited About

Happy Friday Everyone! 


Linking up again today with Alissa
jump on over to link up with everyone else and see their coffee dates too. 

Psst, for all my AZ locals I'm offering Holiday Mini Sessions again this year
jump on over to my website and get all the details if you live in the Phoenix area
and would be interested in booking a holiday session with me. 

September 17, 2012

things I don't want to forget.

There are so many small fleeting moments that I never want to forget through this journey of motherhood and parenthood. Small moments, insignificant moments that only matter because they are important for me and my family. But, I'm sure if I know a mother's heart like I do they are probably similar to the moments that you don't want to forget either.

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We hold onto these moments, these memories and lock them up in the treasure chest that is our heart. We replay them over and over again like our favorite movie. We replay conversations in our minds verbatim because we've memorized them over and over again.

I know that everyday she's getting older, there are moments that won't happen again. Days that we can't get back. This is my small reminder to take everything as it comes, embrace it, remember it and treasure this life that we have.

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I don't want to forget the silly conversations that we have together. Like, when I tell her she's a silly goose and she responds;

"No, I'm Ava." 

It's those fleeting priceless moments that making being a mother and parent so very special. They make it a worth while experience even when we are in the trenches of potty training and I think I'm going to lose my mind. Or when their having the biggest tantrum and it seems like it'll never end I remember these small moments, the things that I don't want to forget. It helps make all the growing pains of parenthood and motherhood bearable and easier. You know what I mean?

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I don't want to forget that she thinks we live in a castle. Or the way she quietly asks for the puppy to sleep with her at the end of the day. I don't want to forget the way she lines things up and likes to stack things in a row.

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I consider myself the memory keeper in my family. It's why I keep a journal, blog, take endless amounts of photos and scrap book them. Why I make the annual Christmas card a big deal and send them out. To preserve this life. To have memories we can look back on.

What are ways that you try to take in everyday life and remember them for yourself and your family? I'd love to hear how you make life special.


September 13, 2012

A Special Promotion from Tiny Prints

I love a good deal! And when I find one I can't help but pass it along to you too! 

Tiny Prints is having an awesome promotion right now; 10 FREE Thank You cards for YOU!

I love a good ole' fashioned thank you note or hand written letter. They have such amazing designs too!

I'm going to scoop up some of my own, it's always a good idea to have a stash of thank you cards handy you never know when you'll need one for an unexpected gift or occasion that requires a simple thanks. 

Tiny Prints 10 Free Thank You Cards 

Two words not said enough, by bosses, by spouses, by friends, or by strangers on the street. Tiny Prints is out to change that. 

For one week only, you can get 10 FREE thank you cards from Tiny Prints. All you pay is shipping (as low as $3.50). 

These cards can be completely customized and personalized to your tastes. Choose from thousands of designs, add pictures, change the text, the fonts, the colors. You get to make these cards uniquely you. 

Just use the promo code FREETHANKS when you check out and pay the shipping and Tiny Prints will send the 10 cards right away. Then...it's up to you to use them! 

Let's start a Thank You Revolution! 

Visit Tiny Prints now to take advantage of this incredible deal. 


**Offer is limited to 10 cards per customer. This promotion cannot be combined with other offers and is valid for one-time use only. This promotion code applies exclusively to thank you cards and excludes previously placed orders, Erin Condren products, and William Arthur boxed sets. Offer is only valid on Tiny Prints and is not applicable on treat.com, third party or partner websites. To prevent abuse, we reserve the right to discontinue or modify this offer at any time without notice. We reserve the right to cancel any order at any time.**

More thoughts on potty training.

You may remember my first thoughts on potty training way back in April, you can read more about that here if you'd like.  I felt like potty training just might be the death of me after that first go around. But, I learned to let go and slowly introduce her to the idea of it. Turns out I don't think she was as ready as all the books said she was, or ready like I thought she was.

I think I was more ready than she was to tell you the truth.

We put pull ups on her. We bought a pretty princess potty and everyday asked her about it, sat her on the potty, etc, etc.

Some days she'd clearly ask to go potty and she'd go. We'd clap, sing and cheer as loudly and proud as we could to encourage her and praise her. I even made up my own potty song for her to the melody of Dora's "We did it tune." 

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We bought Disney Princess and Dora undies and introduced those as well. And then one day it's like it just all clicked for her. She literally woke up one morning and asked to wear underwear. Pleaded and insisted that she wear under ware and not pull ups.

I was a little worried about her going to daycare with undies on, I was worried that she wouldn't tell them she had to go or that they wouldn't take her time. This was like ripping the band-aid off and just going for it. So I agreed and let her wear undies. Instructed the daycare as best I could, and to my surprise when we picked her up they reported that she hadn't had a single accident all day. I was so proud and overjoyed, and after that day there was no going back.

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After a week of not having accidents at daycare or at home, we let her loose in toy aisle and let her pick out her own reward for being so successful. It's been almost three weeks of potty training success in our home. I'm so excited for her! So proud and so amazed at to how much children truly change overnight. She's been doing so well with it.

It's a little hard to let go of the fact that she's really growing up. No more diapers, this girl is on her way to being fully potty trained. My little baby isn't so much a baby anymore. But, I'm glad to see that she did it when she was ready, in her own time. I'm proud of myself as a mother and parent for letting go a little and not trying to force the issue with her and for God giving me a lot of patience during this time.

All the cheers, silly songs, stickers and many, many accidents on the floor were ok. We're worth it.

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So now I know potty training didn't kill me, but the whole process did make me more aware and patient towards my child and that is a lesson worth it.

September 10, 2012

Shopping for Fall Fashion with Cookie's Kids

I love shopping for new seasons, and I think these days I enjoy shopping for my children more than myself. There's so many fun options for kids and I love exploring our fave stores for new items to add to their wardrobe. Even more so I love finding new brands that offer great style at affordable prices. I'm all about fashion, function and not breaking the bank when it comes to clothing & accessories for my little ones. 

I was asked to shop and give a review of the Cookie's Kids website and pick out some Fall fashions for my daughter. I'd never heard of their brand before but I was excited to dive in and get to know more about their company. I love finding new deals and clothing stores that I may not have heard of before in order to find something unique for Ava's wardrobe.

They have 7 stores in the NYC, Bronx, Brooklyn and Jamaica areas. They also have an online store and website which is where I did my shopping. From the comfort of my own home, but if you live in one of those areas I encourage you to check out their stores too, for more location info visit here.  #CookiesKids

Here's a little bit more about the Cookie's Kids company;
In 1972, a young man named Cookie and his brother Marvin went into business together. They rented a 1600 square foot store in Jamaica, Queens, fixed it up, bought inventory and Summer and Fall, and opened a day after Thanksgiving with a full stock of holiday toys. The toys were a success and they put the extra money toward buying children's clothing for the next season. When that did well, they bought more clothing. The business was on it's way.
As the brothers Cookie, Marvin and Sonny, who had come in as a third partner in the business, began to open new stores in new locations, inventory expanded. Besides the latest fashions, our customers wanted shoes, toys, backpacks and accessories and we were prepared to deliver.
By the late 1990's there were six superstores throughout the NYC area, and though they previously had different names, by that time they were all named Cookie's Kids. Also in the late '90s came an important addition to Cookie's Kids' inventory: school uniforms. It was the steady success in uniform sales that paved the way for founding CookiesKids.com in 2007, which originally sold uniforms and soon after the entire Cookie's Kids Inventory.


Sounds great, right?! I thought I'd share with you a little bit more about my shopping experience. I put together a little inspiration from some of the things I found that I loved for both boys and girls alike. They have a lot of selection to choose from everything from accessories, shoes, dresses, pants, jeans and outfit sets. 


SO many fun things right? When shopping for Ava for Fall I knew I wanted to look for a few long sleeve shirts. Even though it won't cool down here in Arizona till October she'll still need a few good long sleeve shirts for the season. I also wanted to look for jeans and pants too, and I love buying outfit sets! I think you can get a lot for your money with these since you can mix and match the tops with different bottoms or denim. You don't just have to wear the set as it came, and I like that. Loved this Black & White Houndstooth pant with ruffle shirt. So cute. 

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These lime green skinny jeans I just love. They might be a little impractical but I think they are fun and with a hot pink shirt so my little girl. Isn't that what fashion is about, mixing it up even for little ones! 

So here's my cart after shopping, I was able to get two long sleeved shirts, one pant/shirt set and a pair of skinny jeans all for under $30! Plus their site has tons of great deals and I was able to get free shipping for my order too! 

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Everything was shipped really fast too, I ordered on a Sunday and Monday it was shipped and arrived on my door step by Friday. I was impressed by their fast service, and the email notifications about my order were awesome as well to help in tracking when it would be here by. 

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all of our fun outfits!

If you're looking for some fun new fashions for the Fall season for your little ones I encourage you to check out their site. They have tons of things for both boys and girls, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the fashions and their affordable prices.

Cookie's Kids would like to offer all Worley House readers a special promo code for FREE shipping, use code: worleyhouseblog for Free Shipping on all orders, no minimum! Excludes Furniture, Gear and Toys. Contiguous U.S. Only. Expires 11/30/12

To see more of my shopping experience visit my Google+ page here. 


I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ andCookiesKids.com #CBias #SocialFabric, all opinions are 100% my own. 



September 7, 2012

A Coffee Date 9.7.12



Happy Friday! I hope that you are already enjoying your weekend whatever you're up to! Just wanted to pop in and share a quick coffee date and vlog with you guys today. I've missed my coffee date chats with you these last couple weeks because of our schedule, but I'm excited to once again be sharing with you and linking up with Alissa from Rags to Stitches blog!

So tell me, if we were having coffee today what would you tell me about what's going on in your neck of the woods?

September 5, 2012

Yummy Fruit Smoothies with Smart & Final #SFTasteTest

We love smoothies in our home, they are a perfect snack or a quick dessert! I feel like you could go so many ways with them and cater them to your personal taste. You can even add protein powder to them and make them more nutritional than they already are. 

When I had the chance to review Smart & Finals brand of frozen fruit, I jumped at the chance to make some yummy smoothies for the family. They were a natural choice, and my Hubby is the smoothie King they are his fave! 

I headed to Smart & Final, there's one really close by my house so it's convenient. Where I was able to scoop out all that they had to offer at the store, I made a list before my shopping trip and wrote down a few things that I needed just so I wouldn't forget with this horrible pregnancy brain of mine. 

I'm always impressed by the store, everyone is always so friendly not matter what time of day. This time I went at night, and even at seven o'clock the store clerks were so helpful three people asked me if I needed help. I like that when they take the time to ask. And my check out clerk was more than helpful and went the extra mile for me when my card wasn't reading in the machine. Thank you for helping make a possibly embarrassing situation pleasant. 

I went straight to what I needed and checked out the yogurt selection and the frozen fruit. One thing I love about buying frozen fruit is that it's picked and frozen at the peak of ripeness so that you never have to worry about the quality. It's always going to be fresh, and with the re sealable packages you can take what you need and then close the bag and get more later and it's always going to be fresh. 

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To see more of my shopping experience please visit my Google+ page here.

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Here's what I ended up getting in my cart:
1 5 lb bag of Dole brand Frozen Strawberries for $10.99
1 3 lb bag of First Street brand Frozen Strawberries for $6.49
1 pint vanilla yogurt for $2.79

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Here's what we did to assemble our smoothies, I don't really rely on measurements so much as how much will feed two people. I used about a handful of frozen fruit, and ice, 1 cup of yogurt and a splash of milk. I like to use Vanilla Almond milk for more flavor. Blend until it reaches your desired consistency add a straw and put it in a fancy cup and enjoy! You could also use orange juice or apple juice for some added flavor if you didn't want to use milk, either are a good choice. 

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Comparing prices you pay $4.50 more for two extra pounds of berries with the Dole brand compared to the Smart and Final brand which is a $1.99 difference if you were to just buy two bags of berries in the Smart and Final brand. To me that is a much wiser choice and more for your budget. It would be the same price difference if you did this. The taste was compare able as well, both packages of berries tasted great and made for a great smoothie. Since the taste is comparable, I feel that it's almost better to buy the Smart & Final brand First Street instead of the Dole Brand. You are basically paying for a brand name and not taste since they taste the same. I did notice on the First Street Brand package inside the berries were bigger, even though it's a two pound difference in size the berries were bigger and the Dole brand was slices of berries. The First Street Brand would be great if you wanted to used them in cakes, parfaits or another dessert. The presentation would be much nicer. 

Please take a moment to visit the Smart & Final links below to interact and get to know this brand even better. Take advantage of their awesome contest & Pinterest party.

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FACEBOOK :: TWITTER

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias, all opinions are 100% my own.

September 3, 2012

The Differences between #1 & #2

Happy Labor day friends! I hope you're enjoying your day whatever you're doing. We enjoyed some quiet family time this weekend in Northern Arizona at the cabin. It was a great time of re connecting and just being together. We unplugged for a few days and it was so nice, I'm back feeling refreshed.

With over half of this pregnancy down I've been already noticing differences and similarities between this one and my pregnancy with Ava.

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You hear it all the time how different each pregnancy is, and for that matter how different each kid can be. We've yet to experience the second but already at 24 weeks along in this pregnancy there are some notable differences already in this pregnancy compared to when I was pregnant with Ava.

Let's start at the beginning and the most obvious for me. The Sickness. Ah, the first trimester sickness, yes I had it. But in a different way than when I was pregnant with my first. With Ava I was sick for about 15 weeks. I mean nausea, throwing up all the time night and day sick. Being my first pregnancy I was really worried that I was going to be sick the whole time, and it being my first pregnancy it was so horrible. And the fast that we weren't telling anyone about our news till the 10 week mark being sick made it even harder to hide when I was constantly not feeling well. I couldn't eat, I didn't want to eat much either since I was sick.

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This time around no throwing up but completely nauseous the entire first trimester. Everyday I felt like I was going to vomit but only I wouldn't I would just continue to feel like it. And very, very tired. Which may or may not have a lot to do with the fact that I am working full time and I have a toddler to chase after. With Ava I didn't work full time outside of the house besides my photography business. I could make my own hours with that, schedule appointments when I wanted to and most importantly I could nap when I wanted. This time around I'm working full time and I'm not able to do any of those things.

Thankfully the tiredness and sickness have let up now and I'm feeling a bit more myself and have more energy now. Another difference is that I've noticed regular pregnancy symptoms that I had with Ava make their return much earlier than they did with my first pregnancy. Case in point; heartburn. Oh, how I loathe you. I've had consistent heart burn for weeks now. Not run. With Ava I didn't experience heartburn until my last trimester.

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Another thing I've noticed is that my feet and hands have swollen some. This never happened with my first pregnancy, I was very lucky. I wore my wedding rings till the day I delivered I never took them off or found it hard to. These days I take them off right when I get home or else my hands swell so much that I have such a hard time getting them off. My feet are also swelling some, and then going back down. I can't wear some of my fave shoes which is sorta interesting getting dressed considering my work has a dress code about shoes and the types of shoes you can wear.

Another great benefit and difference is that I've been able to feel this baby move much earlier than I did with Ava, and in turn so has my husband. I didn't feel Ava kicks till I was around 19 weeks along. This time around I felt the baby moving little flutters right around 10 weeks. They say all those things are quite normal to feel them sooner and more evident in your second pregnancy than you did with your first, this is an exciting perk of being pregnant again.

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On another note, the sugar/sweets cravings have been out of control. When I was pregnant the first time I didn't really have consistent cravings of anything. I went through periods of craving certain types of food (mexican, chinese, etc.) for weeks at a time and then they would pass. But this time around I'm craving sugar and I've been baking a lot. Cookie, brownies mostly. But I've been able to keep it all in moderation so that makes me feel a little better.

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And another obvious difference so far is that we're having a boy! This is already the most exciting difference in this pregnancy. I'm excited to add a little boy to our family. For Ava to have a brother. To be a mom of both a boy and a girl soon. Having one of each makes life really exciting. I'm having more fun than I thought I would buying little boy clothing, and dreaming up ideas for a boy nursery.


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