Fruit pizza

Katie Strickland —  April 11, 2014 — Leave a comment

IMG_6174One of my favorite cookies to make, are fruit sugar cookies. I saw a few from scratch ones on pinterest a few years. I went the easy route.

1 roll of pillsbury sugar cookie dough

Bake cookies by following your directions on the sugar cookie packaging

Let cool and add your frosting

Duncan hines or any other icing-I’ve used cream cheese icing and regular white icing. They are both great with it.

Another option is to mix marshmallow creme and cream cheese-The Pioneer Woman does that.

Now add your fruit.

Don’t put fruit on them until right before you serve them.

I made the ones pictured for Memorial day and July 4th. Such a great way to incorporate RED, WHITE, and BLUE in desserts.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ella’s second birthday was an Art party. She loved to color and create even at 2 years old.

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I found these blow-up crayons on Amazon. 12 for 7.49.
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I wrote all the party details and sent them in the air. Air doesn’t cost much so they were around the cost of a regular stamp. :)

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Ella had a hard time parting with them at the post office.

We played with them for a few days.

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I made a bulletin board  in our garage for all the masterpieces. This was great because we kept it up and added

to it that year.

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I made the bunting with my silhouette.

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rice krispy paint brushes

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paint chips

IMG_6527rainbow coated pretzels

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Mimi and Ella

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family picture-Jad was in my belly :)

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Aunt Dana and Ella
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The birthday girl
IMG_6556Grana and Ella

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Papa and Ella

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Krystal and Embry

IMG_6629I made the party favors by following this tutorial. It was so easy. All you need is elastic, crayons,

and dollar store notepads. Tutorial (blog-Under the Sycamore)

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Ella’s outfit was custom made. She is four and we can still wear it under leggings. We got our use out of it.

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Here is the shop for Ella’s birthday outfit (31P couture)

 

 

 

 

Adventure is out there and Jad has always been one to find it. It was very fitting to have an “UP” inspired birthday party. May Details made it easy for me with her custom printables. All I had to do was print.

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             My favorite cupcakes are from Truelove They are on Cleveland Hwy in Gainesville, Ga. We had red velvet, strawberry, wedding cake, and key lime.

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I ordered the adventure awaits banner for Jad’s room from Earmark

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The up house I painted myself. It came from Hobby Lobby-4.99 and I used a 50% off coupon.

Jad already had globes in his room, so I pulled those for decor as well.
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I used balloons with gift sacks for the table decor.

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I found this golden book Up book at Goodwill. It had never been used. I added stickers and the up house printable and had guests sign the stickers.

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Thea Dubose from Naturally Posh Photography did Jad’s one year pics. They were up inspired also.

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I ordered Jad’s first year book from Shutterfly. I love how Shutterfly allows you to do storytelling.  IMG_7671 IMG_7678 IMG_7680 IMG_7681

It was Jad’s first time ever eating a cupcake. He didn’t care anything about it. He touched it and grunted until I took it off his plate.
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We had his party at the Oakwood Community Center. There is a playground outside which was perfect. IMG_7687 IMG_7688 IMG_7689 IMG_7692 IMG_7700

Don’t you just love birthdays? I feel like everyone in my life is having a birthday today or just had one.

We have one special little guy in our family that we have been celebrating.

IMG_8099Jad turns two April 2nd.

This week I am going to post a few birthday parties we have had shared together but I have never blogged about.

When Ella turned 3 she had a movie under the stars-Princess Party

IMG_7335The invitations (picture I used)

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Cookies made by my friend Becca
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Friends came in their royal attire

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I used princess bath toys for decoration. The frames were from Michaels dollar bins

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There were dream come true cupcakes (made by me)

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I got the frame at Hobby Lobby. The frame had a print hanging in Ella’s room. I made a 8×10 print with card stock and a princess 3-D sticker for a table decoration.

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The cupcake toppers I got from TheBirthdayHouse

She has princesses and princes

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My favorite quote of the evening was “Mom, can we do it all over again tomorrow.”

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Friends ate cupcakes.

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Each guest decorated their drive-in car. The boys decorated their cars with trains, planes, and car stickers. The girls used princess stickers of course.

The wheels were blue and pink plates from the Dollar Store.
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Our cousin Brooklyn painted faces. IMG_7370 IMG_7374 IMG_7375 IMG_7378

A dress-up station
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When it was time for the movie-I had a wagon with sheets

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The movie Tangled was shown. IMG_7384 IMG_7389 IMG_7395 IMG_7396 IMG_7401

Then we launched lanterns into the sky. Well we launched 2. One was perfect. The other almost caused a neighborhood fire. It came down in flames.

We stopped after that one. One was magical though. :)

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Brantley watched the movie the entire time from the computer. :) He was my techie and made sure everyone could hear. IMG_7413 IMG_7416 IMG_7422 IMG_7426 IMG_7432 IMG_7433

There were glow swords and glow wands for friends as party favors

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It was a fun birthday under the stars.

Fair Trade Family

Katie Strickland —  January 23, 2014 — Leave a comment

The jeans I am wearing right now are from forever 21. I love their jeans. I can get them for 10.80 and they fit just like my designer jeans. What’s not to love about that? The best part is I only have to pay 1/10 of the cost. I only had to pay a 10th of the cost because a child was forced out of school to make the jeans I am wearing. They were beaten if they didn’t follow certain rules. They also had to buy the little food that they were given. Access to clean water is also limited.

Suddenly I realize the jeans I am wearing have so much more value. I wish I could have paid that child so much more. So what do I do? Do I stop wearing the jeans.? No. I am going to keep wearing the jeans. I don’t want that child’s work to be in vain. I will however not buy from forever 21 until their ratings do go up.

The yellow forever 21 bag has John 3:16 on the bottom. Isn’t it crazy how there are probably people who have looked at that and wondered what it meant. I do pray that it prompted that. I also pray that lives were changed from reading the words. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believed in him, does not perish but has eternal life. I wonder what that says to the children that are working endless hours to make my jeans. Does it send the wrong message to them? My brain is having a hard time wrapping my brain around it. I have so many questions for this company?

With a heavy heart our family is choosing to be a fair trade family. There is so much to learn about this. I don’t think I could say everything we are going to buy is fair trade. So…..we will start with clothing.  I will not be purchasing any more attire for anyone in our family whose store/shop rating is less than a C+. Our goal is A/B. I can’t wait to share all the stores with you that are under the fair trade company list. Follow me on instagram if you would like to see our fair trade clothing journey. I plan on posting outfits and their scores according to if they are fair trade. Feel free to join me in this and use the hastag #fairtradefamily.

You can get a lot of info at free 2 work.

You can view the forever 21 scorecard here.

Here are a few companies that received D and F on their public scorecard. I will be boycotting them as well.

Lacoste-F

Osh Kosh B’Gosh-D

Genuine kids-Target-D

Carters-D

Granimals-D

Aaramark-D

Fruit of the Loom-D

Express-D

Aereopostale-D

Faded Glory-D

No Boundaries-D

Quicksilver-D

Roxy-D

Hollister-D

Abercrombie and Fitch-D

 

 

I think back to that long walk I made from my village to school that windy spring day. I thought it was going to be like every other day but it wasn’t. There were men in important clothes walking around my school. We knew what they were there for. You never knew when they were coming and most of the time only took a few kids each time. Our parents would tell us which one of our friends was now having to work in the factory or the fields for the next few months. Some never returned. This day was different though. You see I live in Uzbekistan. It is harvest time for cotton. A decree was forced and everyone had to follow it. The decree mandated everyone in my school to pick and harvest all the cotton in the fields around us. I am 12 years old and I don’t get to go to school anymore because from dawn until dusk I am in the cotton fields. My wages are about $0.26 a day. Most days I don’t get that though because I end up getting so hungry that I have to ask for food. If they men in charge feed you, it comes out of your pay.  In the beginning my teachers would come to the fields and teach us but it became harder and harder because we were all in different areas of the fields. I wasn’t given a choice. I was forced. If I don’t work or if I get tired, I am beaten. Today was a really hot and I just wanted a sip of water. The water line was rather long though. I knew that if I stood in line that I would only have to stay later. I was ready to get home. I didn’t want to be in those fields another minute. One of the bosses, left a water bottle near me. As I looked down at the clean, sparkling water, I felt even more parched then before. One sip. No one is looking. I don’t want to wait in that line. It was impulsive. It was not a smart decision. I am now regretting ever leaning down to grab the tall drinking glass. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see a whip coming right down over the spine of my back. “Wait in line, like everyone else!” I wish I was given a choice. I wish that I wasn’t forced to do this day in and day out. I wasn’t given a choice though. I am slave.  The year is 2013. The cotton that I am harvesting is being sent to factories that will then be sent to stores in America.

This is not a real story. Could it have been? Very easily. Children are forced daily to work in factories in fields as slaves as over the world. 

Check these articles out. http://www.uznews.net/news_single.php?lng=en&sub=top&cid=31&nid=23121

http://www.uznews.net/news_single.php?lng=en&sub=hot&cid=2&nid=22740

This cotton could have easily gone to any of the following stores that have gotten D’s and F’s for their worker rights, policies, transparency, and monitoring. Here is a list of just a few that I have found that have gotten D’s and F’s.

Hollister

Abercrombie and Finch

Roxy

Quicksilver

Walmart-Granimals, Faded Glory, Just one you

Target-Child of mine, genuine kids

Aeropostale

Forever 21

Express

Osh Kosh B’gosh

Lacoste

These are just a few.

 

January……

Doesn’t it make you excited? I always love this month. I love it for many reasons, mainly because it is my birthday month. Have I told you how much I love birthdays. Celebrations of any sorts. It does not have to be about me. I just love it!

You know it is never too late to plan your reading list for the year. Here is mine so far. 

Ungifted by Scott Barry Kaufman

Chivalry by Zach Hunter
The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soul
Speak love by Annie F. Downs–You can get the kindle edition now for 2.99. I have started this one. Our words are so powerful. I am reading this one because I will one day have a teenager. I think all teenagers and moms of girls should read this one. Ok…maybe women period.
A million little ways by Emily P. Freeman
Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequest
It is never too late to decide what dreams you are going to work toward this year. 
Our family is praying that our house sells. We are also praying for the house, community, school, and neighborhood that we are going to be in soon.
Passion City Church (our church) has a vision statement “that we may”

You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a Holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his marvelous light. For you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God. You once had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10

Our family has embraced this as well.

That we may

be a family that loves each other

that is generous to others.

That loves others because He first loved us.

That walks in truth and not in fear.

That shows grace and mercy like He shows grace and mercy.

That we may.

 

It is never to late to decide that you are going to love your husband more than ever.
I’m going to hug him like I mean it.
kiss him every chance I get.
pray for him daily
put him first before our children (kids need to be reminded they aren’t the center of the universe. A child centered universe is a recipe for disaster in any marriage)
Speak Love and encouragement over him daily.
It is never too late to pray for guidance over decisions you will make this coming year.
-Here are just a few of ours…..
Adoption-When? Where?
School-What district?
Buying the right home?
Parenting
What are you dreaming up this year? What are you praying about? What are you wanting to accomplish this coming year. Don’t forget-It is never too late.

 

 

This is an adapted prayer by Rafael, Cardinal merry Del Val
It was in the book Waiting here for you -an advent journey of hope by Louie Giglio

It will be a prayer I will continue to claim this year. It hit so many chords within my soul.

From the desire of being praised, deliver me, Jesus. From the desire of being honored, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being preferred, deliver me, Jesus. From the desire of being consulted, deliver me, Jesus. From the desire of being approved, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of comfort and ease, deliver me, Jesus. From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, Jesus. From the fear is being criticized, deliver me, Jesus. From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being lonely, deliver me, Jesus. From the fear of being hurt, deliver me, Jesus. From the fear of suffering, deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it. That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it. That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like yours. O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, help me put my self importance aside to learn the kind of cooperation with others that makes possible the presence of your Abba’s household. Amen.

This is Jad’s room. It started out with a map, a few globes, a few pieces of artwork, and hanging lanterns. I wanted it to have a global feel. I didn’t want it to be to “theme-y” When he turned 1, He had an “UP” birthday. I added a few of the birthday pieces in his room decor. I felt like it became a little more Pixar’s UP inspired. It suits him well because our little boy goes on an adventure every day.

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Pottery barn bookcase- I purchased this one at a yard sale. I bought one off Etsy for Ella for  95.00 with shipping. When I found this one for $3.00 I couldn’t pass it up.

IMG_7764Mod-podged map letters made with maps. (letters came from (Hobby Lobby) I attached them to the wall using my favorite 3M/Command products. I love that you don’t have to nail to walls and the adhesives come off the wall so easily.

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The globe in this pic was ordered off ebay. It is also a night light. I ended up getting it for free because the post office damaged it. You can’t see it but there is a huge crack. I still use it because when it faces the wall, you can’t see it. I Just have to keep it in the same place all the time.

This print is from Uganda, Africa. We bought it at a Helping Hands Gala.

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The lamp shade was bought at a yard sale. The lamp stand was from Kirklands. I used the ribbons to make the shade.

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This print He’s got the whole world in His hands can be found here. (it is another site that has amazing prints) Frame sold separately

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This red long book shelf can is another pottery barn yard sale find. I paid 5.00 for it. It was another one of those finds that I wanted to get my money out as quickly as possible before they changed their mind. IMG_7773

The lanterns hanging in room are from the knot (a wedding site) They run about 2.50 each. When I got them they were on sale for .99. I bought several and hung them in both Ella’s and Jad’s room.

Paper Lantern

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I love the adventure awaits bunting over the nap in Jad’s room. I got it from an Etsy shop called Earmark. This shop has so many lovely things. If you like pencils then this would be the perfect place to buy a bouquet of sharpened pencils. I love that line in the movie-You’ve Got Mail.

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The map was ordered off Amazon. The house shown below was painted by me. I tried to make it look like the Pixar “UP” house. It was a party decoration that also ended up in Jad’s room. I bought the house at Hobby Lobby.

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The glass globe was a pottery barn ornament that came out several years ago. The other globe hanging was a beach ball that came out of a happy meal.

The canvas below was made by me using vinyl letters from my silhouette and a vinyl globe sticker. IMG_7780

She does justice

Katie Strickland —  January 2, 2014 — Leave a comment

“When poverty isn’t just a word anymore and you can put a face to that word……”

When you purchase from She does justice this month a percentage goes to Sole Hope. If you haven’t visited this website, you must check out what they are about.

I plan on having a shoe making party this month or next month for Sole Hope.

Here are a few of my favorite things on the She does Justice -handmade hope giving site.

Don’t you love this turban headband?

Mint Arrow Twisted Turban

You can get this at she does justice.

How cute are these infinity scarves for little girls?!?

Kids Geo Lines Scarf

I also love these bracelets! Each one is $10.00. Get them here.

Micah 6:8 Bracelets