Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Christmas Countdown Chargers

Please don't shoot me. I know it isn't even Halloween yet, but we just couldn't help ourselves. Since Halloween is almost over, we decided to get a jump on our Christmas crafts. We made these cute chalkboard countdown chargers.


First things first, tape off the section of your charger that you want painted. It's okay if you don't get a good tape seal, the chalkboard paint scrapes off rather easily.


Then just paint till your little hearts content. It took us about three coats to get the paint nice and even. Once the paint is completely dry, you can start writing with chalk. I recommend using chalk before the paint pen, just in case you mess up.

(Aren't my models the cutest?)

I hot glued on a little Olaf bow, before I started writing. I recommend you wait though, it makes writing easier.


Once you have the words the way you want them, then you can trace over them with the paint pen. 


The last step is to hot glue the bow and the chalk tie. Figure out exactly where you would like your chalk tie to be, then flip the charger over.


Hot glue the ribbon onto the back of the charger and tie your chalk to it.


Once the paint pen is dry you can wipe off the chalk with a damp wash cloth. My kids were so excited when they saw that I had used Olaf ribbon. Emily has been counting down the days till Christmas since we made this. Such a fun and cute idea. 

Rebecca Havener, My Little Devils With Wings

Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekend Recap

It's Monday, I even double checked my calendar to make sure (not really). On Thursday I wrote a post saying "Happy Friday". Did anyone catch it? That post was meant to go live on Friday, but I bumped up the date. Oops.

This weekend was a completely crazy mess. Let's see if I can recall everything that went on.

Friday Night
Friday night it was just me alone with the kids. Chey-Ann had a friend stay the night and we all watched the Royals game. Jeremy came home after 11:00pm and we watched a little more t.v. and chatted until almost 2:00 in the morning. I've missed my man since he started working nights.

Saturday
We woke up around 9:00am, got ready, and headed over to my soon-to-be mother-in-law's house for our weekly craft day. She made us a delicious breakfast complete with mimosas (virgin for the kiddos, of course).


(I'll have the craft post up tomorrow for Crafty Tuesday!)

We left her house, got some lunch, and headed back home. Then, I took Chey-Ann and her friend to Worlds Of Fun for their Halloween Haunt. She has been begging us for years to go there. We finally took her as a birthday present. She had a blast.

While Chey-Ann was having the time of her life, the other kids and I were doing a little Halloween costume shopping. Then, we headed home for dinner and game 4 of the World Series.

Sunday
Our day of rest wasn't very restful. I started cleaning and straightening up the house as soon as I woke up. Then, went and saw my Grandma for a couple of hours while she was in town. After that I dropped the kids back off at home and went grocery shopping (shopping without kids...such a joy). Back at home, I hurried up and got dinner cooking because Jeremy had to go to work. Then, got ready for Chey-Ann's big 15th birthday party. While I was doing that...Luke was doing this:


Sneaking into Dad's truck. Jeremy had left the back window open. Luke climbed into the truck bed and through the open window. Good thing the older kids were outside to witness it (he's a sneaky one).

Chey-Ann's party was a success, a lot of her friends showed up. After they left, she got to eat her favorite dinner, Tortellini soup. She even took leftovers for lunch today.


Then we watched game 5 of the World Series. So happy that Jeremy has Tuesday off, so he can watch game 6.

Overall it was a pretty successful and busy weekend. Next weekend will be just as crazy. Trick-or-treating, craft day, a garage sale, and a chili Chiefs game party. After all of that I have to pack for my surgery and hospital stay at 5:30 in the morning on Monday. Prayers are always welcome for this.

What was your weekend like?

Rebecca Havener, My Little Devils With Wings

Thursday, October 23, 2014

My Five Essentials For Productivity

Happy Friday my favorite peeps! I was asked awhile back to do a blog post about my five essentials for productivity. Do you have a hard time staying productive during the day or find yourself easily distracted? Let me tell you right now that I sure do! In fact when I told Jeremy that I was going to be writing this post he about died laughing (thanks honey). I may still get side tracked from time to time, but I have found a few tips and tricks that I'd like to share with you.

1. Keep A Binder

Many of you have been following me since day one and know that I keep organized binders for just about everything. I have one for our day-to-day life, one for our family recipes, one for our upcoming wedding, and even one for this blog.


Keeping a binder is super helpful. All ideas, schedules, and notes are in one location making it easier to keep track of everything coming up.


This one has my calendar, schedule (marked "ideas" in the binder), craft ideas, summer ideas, and science ideas. I don't do the science experiments anymore, because it started to become too much to handle. It's easy to plan one fun activity or craft to do with the kids during the week, but when I tried to add more I noticed I was getting burned out. Instead of science posts, now I have recipe posts. We eat dinner every night, so it's easy to try a new recipe once a week and then post about it the next day. I really needed to have a section for crafts, science (now recipes), and summer. A lot of planning and purchasing are involved with those posts. I needed a place to take notes. 


I just put some lined paper behind the tabs, so I could make the notes I needed. 


I have a year's worth of monthly calendars in this binder as well. A lot of the time I make plans months in advance, this just lets me know what days are free and which ones I already have planned (easy to forget when you plan that far ahead). If it has to do with home life it goes here too, because a lot of times those plans interfere with what I have planned work wise. If it's something important, like an appointment or scheduled outing it gets put into the calendar on my phone too with a reminder set (a lot of times I set 2 reminders, one for a week in advance and one for the day before).


This is what a weekly schedule looks like. There is room for planned posts, ideas, a to-do list, weekly statistics, and bloggers to encourage. It's a nice tool to have. For your free calendar and schedule printables click HERE.

2. Surround Yourself With Creativity

I know, probably more than anyone, how distracting social media can be. I can easily get distracted for hours and completely forget to do something. However, when used in a scheduled amount of time it can be extremely useful.

I get a lot of my blog ideas from Pinterest. I even have a secret board just for this blog. I also try to pin my posts from the blog, so I get more foot traffic.



Facebook is also extremely helpful. I've started to get a really good blog following there and it's where I follow other bloggers. I have also found a lot of fun crafts and recipes there that other people have posted.

Instagram is another source for my ideas and a way to catch up on the day-to-day lives of fellow bloggers.

I do have a Twitter account, but everything gets posted there automatically. It honestly confuses me and I'm not really sure how it works (a little secret of mine).

When I get stuck in a rut these are my go-to places for creative ideas. I also will look through magazine racks at the store. If a magazine has some cool ideas, I'll buy it. HGTV magazine is a really good one for crafts and decorative ideas.

3. Have Someone To Keep You Accountable 

I am not afraid to ask for help. There has been more than one occasion where I've gone to other bloggers for help. I also try to engage readers and ask for their opinions on topics, but no one beats the support I get from my significant other. Jeremy is my "partner in crime", if I'm unsure on how to proceed with a project he's right there to put in his two cents. I go to him with all of my crazy ideas, and he's the one who makes them happen. For example; our headboard and the outdoor bar. Most importantly, I share my schedule with him and he's the one who makes sure I stay on track. That's extremely important to me. (Except for laundry, ain't nobody got time for that!)

4. Jot Down Ideas Whenever They Come To You

I can't tell you how many idea notebooks I have. I think at this point I might have three. There are also pieces of paper floating around the house with a bunch of ideas on them (I could really use an office). I also use Notes on my iPhone. It doesn't matter where I am or what I'm doing, I always try to write down ideas as they come to me. If I don't, I forget them. It's as easy as that, otherwise I'll be sitting on the computer trying to think about the totally awesome idea I had while grocery shopping down the cereal aisle.... That's a complete waste of time. Once I have compiled all my notes into my blog binder, then I schedule them a time to get done. Sometimes, they are just back-up topics in case another post falls through. Either way, it's nice to have a source for future ideas.

5. Take A Break

The moment I walk away from the computer is usually when inspiration strikes. Just getting away for awhile and focusing on something else can be beneficial. Give your mind a break it'll thank you with an extremely awesome, super creative idea.

There you have it. Now tell me, do you have any methods to help you stay productive?

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Rebecca Havener, My Little Devils With Wings

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mini Fruit Tarts

Good morning everyone! If you watched the Royals game last night you may be groggy, pissed, and very irritable. That's okay, remember it was only the first game. 

I'm going to share another recipe with you that we made for our engagement party. It would be a perfect addition to any game party you might be having and a sure way to get that frown turned upside down. 



Mini Fruit Tarts
Ingredients
Tart Crust:
1-1/2 cups of flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 egg
1 teaspoon heavy cream

Cream Filling:
2-3/4 cups milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

(You can substitute eggs for just egg yolks, but I'm not that good of a cook so I used the whole egg...don't judge me.)

Instructions 
Crust:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

2. Combine flour, sugar, and salt into mixing bowl or KitchenAid mixer. Mix together. Cut butter into 8 slices and add to flour mixture. Add eggs and cream. Mix well until blended together. If dough is too dry, add more cream. 

3. Spray the outside of a muffin pan. This is what you will be using to make your bowl shape. 


4. Alright, now sprinkle a layer of flour on your work space and roll out your dough. Make sure to flour your rolling pin too, the dough is very sticky (if it's too sticky you can refrigerate it for thirty minutes). 

(source)

This is what we used to cut out our tarts, it's a pastry cutter. You could very easily use a round cookie cutter though. I just used this because it gave me a very pretty tart outline.


5. Now, take a tart and fold it over your muffin tin, push down slightly but be careful not to tear your tart. Continue process until every muffin tin has a tart circle or you run out of dough. 

6. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Ours took a little while longer to cook than 10 minutes, so after the 10 minutes check your dough. If it hasn't browned continue cooking in 2 minute intervals.  

Cream Filling:
1. Add milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, eggs, butter, and vanilla into a mixing bowl or KitchenAid mixer. Mix well until blended together. 

2. Pour mixture into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Whisk the mixture to get out any lumps, continue microwaving for another 2 minutes. Whisk mixture again and microwave for a final 2 minutes. Mixture should be think, but not lumpy. 

Assembly:
1. Fill each tart crust with cream filling. Then refrigerate for at least thirty minute. Before serving, top with your favorite fruit. Makes 13-14 tarts.


These were delicious and I can't wait to make them again. I hope you enjoy them too. While you are devouring your mini tarts you can play this Royals Bingo Game. My buddy Jimmy, from 8701 Productions (our photographers), came up with this game and let me share it with all of you. Enjoy!



Rebecca Havener, My Little Devils With Wings
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