Jul 30, 2014

DIY fun way to personalize brown lunch bags

I love this simple DIY craft, it's so easy and the best part is that you can decorate these plain brown lunch bags however you like. I will be going into the classroom as a Teacher Candidate and thought it would be a nice gesture to give the wonderful teacher whom I'll be working with a nice little "thank you for having me in your classroom" goody bag. I filled these goody bags with sweets and a little more personalized note. 

All the materials I used are listed above.
I used decorative punches but you can get creative and decorate with decorative scissors or make your own design with a pencil and scissors. Customize your goody bags with anything you have. 

I also decorated this Birthday goody bag. I decorated this bag for my little neighbor who had a birthday party. I wrapped a gift card in tissue paper, I included fun pencils and little notepads, a couple sweets, and placed everything inside the bag. My neighbor loved her present and even said she was going to keep the bag forever, it definitely made my day!

I hope you enjoyed this fun and easy DIY. 
Thanks for stopping by!

Partying with:

Table for SevenSweet Bella Roos

Jul 28, 2014

Weekend Recap 7/28

Happy Monday Friends!!
Time flies when you're having fun,  even more when your days are spent resting and relaxing with family. I hope all of you had a great weekend as well!

What if kids redecorated your home
Yes, what if your kids decided to redecorate your home. I came across this video this past weekend and you have to see for yourself, watch how these little ones redecorate their home, bodies, and even the little baby in the crib. Oh my, what would I do if the first thing I saw was a big mess of art and kids all covered in paint, what would you do?
We almost melted
I swear I thought we would melt these past few days, guys it was a high of 115 °F (eyes wide open). These are days to stay inside while the Air conditioner is full blast and if the AC wasn't enough every fan needs to be on, that's how we survive these unbearable days of summer.

I'm Inspired Again
I spent Friday cleaning my little inspiration corner because somehow I had managed to make it my closet. My desk sits in the corner of my bedroom and every time I get home I like to change into comfortable clothing, so what happens is that the clothes I take off gets thrown on to the desk, I know not okay. I felt so bad that my "inspiration" corner had been covered in clothes, but it looks so nice now, and I'm inspired again :) By the way I'm embarrassed to show you how it looked so just imagine it or not :/ i'll show you some of my craft tools instead!

We ate at The Habit
Have you guys eaten at The Habit Burger Grill? This was our first time trying it and it was so delicious! The Mr. is always looking for new places to eat and we tend to try new places based on reviews, good reviews. The Habit was voted The best tasting burger in America by consumer reports, so we had to try it. If you haven't tried it and there is a location near you, definitely try it out. If you have tried it, what do you think?

1 Wish:
I wish I could pay for  T.V. shows I want to watch and not a whole bunch of channels that I'll never watch. When this happens then I'll go back to cable T.V. till then I'll stick to Netflix, local cable, and the internet.

Random Facts:
- My favorite food is authentic Mexican Food.
- I had all my wisdom teeth taken out a few months ago. 

Have a great Monday & Thanks for stopping by!

Jul 27, 2014

Simple Things Sunday: Sunday's Letters

Dear Little Desk I finally cleaned your little space. I had forgotten how good it feels to sit in your space and see every part of you so clean.  

Dear Wildflowers your beautiful colors, delicate petals and your overall wild beauty reminds me that there is beauty even in the wildest of all places. .

Dear Rain this is the season when you're supposed to pour like it's nobody's business, but you haven't yet, I'll keep waiting for that perfect storm. 

Dear Dog Whisperer I would love for you to come and help us our with our furry child. How can we get Riley to stop barking at every big dog he sees, how do we help Riley be more social and not have to leave the park every time a big dog walks in, and how can we keep calm and assertive?

Dear Life you have been so calm, stress-free, and you have kept that smile on my face. I'm grateful for times like these and I know life can get hard but I'll remember to smile because life is too short.

After watching a few episodes of the dog whisperer the Mr. and I became so inspired to try new ways to train Riley. We spoil Riley so much that sometimes we let him get away with everything, I just hope we can stick to some of Cesar Millan's tips and keep calm and assertive :)

Have you guys watched the dog whisperer? If you have, what do you think of his tips?

Just in case you missed it

Happy Sunday
Thanks for stopping by!

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Jul 25, 2014

Blogging Part II: Blogging mistakes that made me a better blogger

Happy Friday friends! 
I have decided to turn my Fridays into blogging tips and tricks kind of days, for the next few weeks at least. I'm about to reach a big milestone here on this little blog and thought why not share my blogging journey with you all. More on the milestones later for now let's talk about blogging mistakes I made and how I learned from those mistakes to become a better blogger.

When I first began blogging, I had no clue of how to do anything. I learned everything about blogging by researching and learning through other bloggers. I made a lot of mistakes, it was a lot of trial and error, frustration, and feeling helpless. Of course I still have a lot to learn, I still make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. I want to share with you the many mistakes I made and how I've learned over time to be a better blogger while still learning as I go! 

13 Blogging mistakes I made:
1. I wanted my blog to look pretty like all the other blogs. I constantly compared my blog to others and wanted desperately to have all the pretty designs everyone had. 
2. I wanted people to follow me and comment on my posts but I never took the time to comment or follow other blogs. 
3. I wanted to see my pageviews climb fast.  
4.I never thought about blogging as being a community.
5. I never asked for help because of what they would say or the fear of hearing a NO.
6. I rarely looked for blogging tools.
7. I only had a few social media platforms.
8. I had a hard time keeping a schedule, not keeping a calendar and not being consistent with blogging.
9. I had a hard time coming up with content for my blog. 
10. I rarely took the time to let my blog friends get to know me.
11. I had a cluttered blog. I wanted everything under the moon to fit on my sidebar.
12. I had a blog that didn't match and made my blog look like it was all over the place.
13. I added small pictures to my posts.

13 Things I've learned from my blogging mistakes:
1. I stopped comparing my blog to other blogs.

2. I started following blogs and started taking the time to leave nice comments or a simple hello.

3. I ignored pageviews (it was hard to do) and began concentrating on what would bring more blog friends to my blog.

4. I realized that blogging is such a wonderful community. When I started being part of the community I began to see good changes, for example, blog friends that kept coming back to read my posts, commenting, and new followers that were genuinely interested in what I had to say. 
Blog hops and link parties are great for getting to know other blogs and bloggers.

5. I realized that those bloggers I admired and had the nice designs and gadgets also started from the bottom, so why not ask them for help. I began asking and the majority didn't answer my questions, but the few that did, were very helpful. I'm happy to say that I still keep a good blogger relationship with them. I learned that it's okay to receive a no or no answer at all, just move on and someone will be there to help. Also the internet is a wonderful tool, don't be afraid to use it!  

6. This is one of the biggies for me, blogging tools really changed my life. Wen I first began blogging, I had no clue things like scheduling your posts, or free editing tools, or even tools to keep track of page views existed. 

7. I discovered that social media platforms are such vital tools to have as a blogger. In order to create a community one has to show others a little bit more of yourself, things that go beyond blog posts. Instagram is a great for that because you can add pictures of your everyday life, that you might not want to write a whole post on. Google+ is great for joining communities and being able to share with others your thoughts and projects. All social media platforms are awesome in their own little way. 

8. I started a blogging schedule. A schedule is so helpful because it allows me to prepare in advanced. I can write two or three posts a week in advanced and not have to stress over what I'm going to write. All my ideas make it to my notebook and then I brainstorm some more. The ideas that sound good then make it to my calendar. A calendar is very helpful and it can be on a paper calendar or computer calendar (google calendar is great). I like like using the calendar on my ipad and my iphone.
Here is a little insight on how I prepare for posts: When I create DIY projects or recipes, I make sure to take all the pictures in one day, sometimes I'll take pictures for more than one project at a time. I edit pictures for at least two projects and then I create the posts. Finally I schedule all the posts, so that in one week I have either a DIY or recipe. The rest of the week consists of other fun posts.

9. I became inspired by other blogs, my everyday life, simple things in life, and my personal likes and beliefs. It might sound cheesy, but I found that you can be yourself and show others who you are by writing about simple things in life. I write about things that make me happy, what I did on the weekend, Letter's that are short but meaningful, and snippets of my everyday life. As soon as I think of something it goes in my notebook or phone notes. Any little thing I come across will spark an idea eventually some thoughts make it on the blog and some don't. 

10. I started showing blog friends another side of me, besides being crafty, and found that if I want to create a community or be part of one, I have to also show who I am. People want to know who that person is behind the blog. I personally don't get too detailed with showing people my everyday life, because there are some things that I want to keep to myself. Writing posts like what I did on the weekend, favorites, current thoughts, a day in the life or anything where I can show my blog friends more of who I am is great for people to know me. 

11. I took the time to reflect on my blog design and began taking things apart. I started with a blank slate and began designing my own blog. I took the unnecessary gadgets out and made it easier for my blog friends to browse around. I made it easy to browse around by labeling everything. Every once in a while I'll come back and switch things around without changing the actual design. This little blog of mine has turned out to be something I enjoy coming to and at the end of the day it makes me happy!

12. I found that white spaces are easy on the eye and so I added as much white as possible. I chose four colors that went well together and fonts that where legible and went well together.

13. I realized that I wanted to include big clear pictures on my blog because that's what I like to see in other blogs. I don't know about you but I love pictures on blogs, I specially love big clear pictures. Big clear pictures are great for DIY and recipes, so I love to include pictures that are easy to see and that sometimes a person doesn't even have to read what I wrote because they can see it all in the pictures. 
Cell phones pictures are also great because, realistically, i'm not always carrying my big camera. I just try to take cell phone pictures as clear as possible and if their grainy, blurry, or not clear at all then I don't use them.

So if I had summarize this long list of things I have learned about blogging it would be to: Keep a clean organized blog, don't compare your blog to others instead spend that time making your blog unique, spend time on good content and that will bring more blog friends to your blog, realize that blogging is part of a community, comment, be active, follow, join social media, find tools that will make your life easier, keep some kind of schedule or calendar to organize ideas, and finally enjoy and cherish this little space of blogland.

I hope this list of mistakes and how I learned from those mistakes was helpful. We're not alone in this blogging journey so getting feedback or help from other blog friend is always very helpful.
- Do you have other tips on how to be a better blogger?
- What has been one mistake you learned from that has made you a better blogger?

Check out  Blogging Part I: How blogging tools changed my life for a list of blogging tools.

Have a wonderful Friday & thanks for stopping by!

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Jul 24, 2014

Crushing on Dainty Bracelets

I love simple and dainty and once in a while something that screams "statement piece." When that piece of jewelry is not screaming "statement" you will always see me wearing dainty jewelry. I just love how something so tiny can make a statement within itself. I like to say that "less is more" and I'm a true believer that the less is more when it comes to jewelry. Of course this is my personal style, I admire the beauty in big statement jewelry but even more in dainty jewelry. 

As you can see I am currently, but always, crushing on dainty jewelry. I love bracelets and I would consider myself to be a charm bracelet kind of person. Anytime I go into a store, I'm immediately drawn to dainty and charm jewelry. The bracelets I have featured today are some that I came across and would love to own them all. I'm in love with all of them, but specially one, two and seven simply because those are three of my favorite symbols. I believe the love knot brings love and joy into my life, the horseshoe represents good fortune and luck, and the wishbone represents good luck and dreams that come true. 

I'm a dainty bracelet kind of girl, what kind of jewelry person are you?
Do you love dainty or statement pieces? 
Necklaces, bracelets, or earnings? 
and/or are you a charm person, and what is your favorite symbol?

 I would love to know!
Thank you for stopping by & have a great day!

Treasure Tromp The Grits Blog

Jul 23, 2014

Oven Baked BBQ Chicken & Potatoes

Here is another finger lickin' chicken recipe.
If you haven't noticed yet, we love our white chicken meat. My favorite chicken is skinless boneless chicken, but the Mr. loves his bones, so lately we have been cooking with drumsticks. I guess drumsticks aren't that bad, they are really juicy, maybe that's why the Mr. loves them so much. 

One of our favorite dishes is probably this bbq chicken, it's just so tasty and so easy to make. I bet it would taste even better if I made my own bbq sauce but that hasn't happened, not yet.

This recipe is heavenly delicious because we add potatoes and when everything simmers in that bbq sauce, for an hour and some, we end up with chicken that falls right off the bone and potatoes that melt in your mouth. Just thinking about it makes me want to go get those leftover and eat them all :) So instead let's just get right into this recipe!

All steps are shown in the pictures below or you can read the fancy recipe card I have included at the end :)

Ingredients are shown above

Side note, the picture shows 4 drumsticks and 5 potatoes, but I actually used 10 drumsticks and 7 potatoes ( we love leftovers). You can use your favorite bbq sauce and if you have a recipe for homemade bbq sauce, and you wouldn't mind sharing, I would love to know the recipe. 

I hope you try this recipe and like I said, If you have a bbq sauce recipe and you wouldn't mind sharing, I would love to know the secrets. Below is a handy recipe card that you can download!

You might also like these tasty chicken recipes

Thank you for stopping by!

Wow me Wednesday
The Princess & Her CowboysSweet Bella Roos
Wake Up WednesdaysWelcome Party Wednesday Link-Up

Jul 21, 2014

Weekend Recap 7/21

Happy Monday!
I hope everyone had a great weekend and really hope that the heat wherever you're at wasn't too bad. As you all know the Southwest can be unbearable this time of year, but friends, we manage some way or another. All I have to say is thank you Air Conditioner! My weekend was full of laziness, sleep and sunsets.

Because I'm a lover of Sunsets
- It's no secret that I'm a big fan of sunsets better yet, I'm in love with sunsets! This weekend I was able to capture the beauty of an amazing sunset. I wish I would've taken a better shot but the sunset happened so fast that all I was able to do is grab the camera and run to the street to capture this. These four photos are all from the same sunset and it was just amazing how each time I took a picture it looked different. Can you tell how crazy i'm about sunsets!

- I'll be honest, this weekend I didn't do anything aside from capturing the sunset in the middle of the street still wearing my pajamas :). On Saturday I posted this picture of Riley where he looked super comfy and lazy and that my friends is how we looked all of Saturday. We didn't even make the bed, it's not like I make it every day anyway, but sometimes I like to say I do!

- It was one of those weekends, you know when you just want to sleep in super late and not give a care in the world, it was one of those weekends. I woke up early on Saturday, ate breakfast, and some how I managed to go back to bed and fall asleep again, I didn't wake up until around noon you guys!!!

One more week  
- I have one more week off to sleep late and wake up late ;) but I really don't want to do that. If you read yesterday's Sunday's Letters, I wrote to my sleep. I said, "Dear Sleep I'm having such a hard time getting my body on a schedule. I know I need you, badly, but I promise I will give you that space that we both need." I made a promise and I like to keep promises!

1 Wish:
I wish it was easier to meal plan. I have to start making my lunch and I have the hardest time coming up with meals that are easy, fast, tasty, and that fit in a lunch bag. If you guys have any tips, I would appreciate the help!

Random Fact:
- I'm a little bit of an introvert and extrovert it depends on the situation.
- One pet peeve is when the toilet paper not replaced.

Have a great Monday & Thanks for stopping by!

Linking up with:

Weekend Recap

Mingle 240  

Jul 20, 2014

Simple Things Sunday: Sunday's Letters

Dear Sleep I'm having such a hard time getting my body on a schedule. I know I need you, badly, but I promise I will give you that space that we both need.

Dear Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother it has been four years since I moved out and even though we visit each other, I miss you greatly. Not a day goes by that I don't think about all of you, I know it's all part of life, but I can't help myself. 

Dear Mr. that pose, a pose that makes me go crazy in love. There is something so sexy about your pose that I can't help but admire every way your body moves in order to captivate the perfect shot by the side of the road.  

Dear Camera I love you and all your intricate buttons. setting and parts. You can be difficult at times but the end results are all worth it. I can't wait to get to know you a little more!

Dear Neighbors thank you for being the best neighbors, even though I rarely see you and I might not even know some of you, I thank you. It's hard to live in an apartment complex and not know what kind of neighbors you'll get. So I thank you for always being quiet and considerate and making us feel comfortable.

I need to start some kind of lunch meal planning, but I'm having a bit of trouble. I will definitely check pinterest, but If you guys have any tips or advice on what to pack for lunch, that would be so helpful.

Just in case you missed it
Sunday's Letters {Sunday, July 13, 2014}
Weekend Recap 7/14
DIY Travel Jewelry Roll
High Five for Friday: favorite blogging tools

Happy Sunday
Thanks for stopping by!

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Jul 18, 2014

Blogging Part I: Blogging tools that changed my life

We can get so overwhelmed at times when it comes to blogging, we all know it's not as simple as one,two,three! I mean it's really not that hard it just takes time and sometimes time is what we don't have. At least in my case, I have a lot going on and when the weekend comes around all I want to do is spend time with my husband, dog and family. The internet is an amazing place where I found blogging tools that changed my life and have really helped me keep organized. Today I want to share some are old favorites and new favorites that have, yes, changed my life!

1. Social Media
bloglovin - this one is one that I have had for a long time but never really used it. Recently I have discovered that this is one of those hidden treasures, it's great. I get the top blogging news sent straight to my email which is so handy because email is the easiest tool for me to use since it's constantly being refreshed anywhere I go. 

instagram - this is my favorite because honestly I just love looking at pictures. I like using instagram to give people a glimpse of my life beyond my blog. This is another great way for other people to get to know me a little more and for me get to know those I follow. A picture is worth a thousand words.

google+ - this is one of those recent favorites. I use google+ because of all the different communities you can join. I get to post my creations on those communities and at the same time I get to see other great posts. 

Facebook - this media, for some reason, is my least used social media. I also just recently started using Facebook pages and it's still growing on me. I use this to post all my bog posts, every single one of those posts make it to facebook. This is more for my personal friends and family to take a look at what is going on with my blog. 

Pinterest - I love love..love pinterest! This is my favorite for anything style, recipes, DIY, and anything that can be displayed through beautiful pictures. Pinterest allows for me to become creative with how I take pictures and edit them. 

Twitter - I am still trying to get the hang of things and how everything works. I use twitter to post most of my posts. Something I discovered is that you can direct your posts to accounts that help re-tweet therefore giving my post more exposure and more readers to my blog, that way I'm not just talking to myself. 

If you own smart phones or tables, using these tools is that much easier.

2. Organizing Tools
Hootsuit - My new friend. I use this to keep me organized and reduce the time I spend on each social media platform. In Hootsuit I am able to see my twitter, facebook, and instagram feed. I can favorite, reply, retweet and everything you can do in twitter and it works the same way with Facebook and instagram except for instagram you can't schedule your pictures. So here is the main reason why I use this, it's because this allows you to schedule your posts! Similar to this is Buffer and SocialOomph.

3. Editing Tools
Photoshop - I use this for most of my editing from color to text editing and everything in between. I am still learning a lot and every time I use it, I discover something new. If you are able to invest in Photoshop, it's definitely a great tool.

PicMonkey - This is great for when I'm not at home or close to my desktop to use photoshop. I can pretty much do all the basic editing on picmonkey. Best of all its all free unless you want their pro fonts or pro stickers.

pixlr editor - This is one of those great and free editing tools. If you are familiar with working with layers and tools from photoshop, this will be easy to use. I use this tool when I want to use my own fonts and more detailed designs. 

picasa - This is a free editing tool that doesn't need internet connection. Picasa is very similar to picmonkey and pixl. I use picasa when I'm somewhere and I don't have reliable internet connection or no internet at all. 

Photobucket - This is what I use for all my image codes. Any pictures & most of the design you see here on my blog has gone through photobucket. It's an extra step I have to take because I have to upload, copy and paste. I don't use blogger directly to upload because I have ran out of the given free space, and why pay if photobucket is free and gives a lot of space to store pictures. 

4. Keep Track Tools
Google Analytics - This is a free stat tracking tool. I use Google analytics to see things like bounce rate, page views, demographics, and I also use it to see what pages are getting the most views. My favorite in Google analytics is looking at real time views because you can see up to the second activity.

statcounter & sitemeter - I also use these tools to keep track of page views and what pages are getting the most views. This helps me figure out what my blog friends like to read. Both tools work similarly but my favorite is sitemeter. The only negative is that they only support so many page views and it gets to the point were you have to pay for more accurate numbers.

Good old notebook - So this is what I use to jot down any ideas I have, any thoughts that come to mind, and doodles here and there. I also use my phone to jot down ideas when i'm on the go.  

5. Commenting Tools
disqus - I have officially converted to disqus. I put a lot of thought into this because  changing to something new always takes time for the adjustment period. The main reason why I converted is because I want to be able to reply to all my comments and for those blog friends to be able to see my reply. I had a love and hate relationship with blogger comments because: 

Why I converted:
1. If I replied via email then I had to copy and paste the same comment on to blogger so there was a reply on the blog as well.
2. It doesn't let the person leaving the comment know that there was a reply to their comment, at least when I leave a comment and the person replies I have no clue unless I go back and check.
3. In order to comment the person has to have a google account or other random accounts and my least favorite anonymous. I personally love getting to know those who come to my blog and take the time to leave comments. 

Why I like disqus:
1. Like I said it takes time to adjust to something new and disqus can be one of those, but disqus really creates that community that makes blogging so much more meaningful.
2. It only takes a few minutes to create a profile and once you do it you don't have to do it over and over again. 
3. More and more bloggers are using disqus and I love how easy it is to use, It is very user friendly.
4. The best and most important thing I like about disqus is that I get the comments straight to my email and I can reply from my email. The reply is sent to the person's email and to the original post on the blog. This is the whole reason why I made the change! 

I love getting to know new people, reading new and old blogs, and to me blogging is all about building and creating awesome communities. We are all here to share with others snippets of our lives so why not create a stronger community. I believe that a simple hello makes anyone happy. My ultimate goal in sharing my long list of blogging tools is so that ultimately I have more time to read blogs and leave kind notes in other great blogs. I hope these tools were useful and can help one way or another. If you have any other blogging tools that you love, I would love to know and explore some new tools.

Thank you so much for stopping by!
Have a great day! 

 photo H54Fbutton_zps973d26e1.png Treasure Tromp