Friday, November 21, 2014

Almond Joy No-Bakes & Peanut Butter Giveaway

My mouth is watering just writing this post. I am so excited to share this recipe and an amazing Nut Butter giveaway from Crazy Richards with you! Keep reading!

I'm not really sure what to say about these no-bakes, because they look funny, but they are my favorite mid-afternoon pick me up treat. It hits me around 2:00 every day... sometimes I grab a yogurt or granola bar, or if I'm desperate, a fistful of chocolate chips. But these little globs are my go-to. I throw in some almond butter and coconut, and call them "Almond Joy No-Bake Cookies."

I want to share the recipe with any fellow mid-afternoon snack lovers out there! I don't know the calorie count, but when I eat one or two, I don't feel like I'm indulging in a terrible, processed treat. I like to use whole, natural ingredients in my cooking as much as possible. One of my favorite ingredients that I use in these cookies is natural almond butter or peanut butter. I am a total nut butter snob. I have tried so many different brands, and my absolute favorite is Crazy Richards/Krema. I eat this stuff by the spoonful for another guilt-free snack.

This is not a sponsored post, although I was given a jar of each nut butter to try. I have purchased them on my own many times; I go through them so fast. Mainly, I am just helping to spread the good word about a food product I LOVE. I personally know the producers of Crazy Richards/Krema, and I am happy to share their products with you, because they are the best! They are a family owned and operated business, and they are some of the kindest, and funnest, and dare I say it.... "nutty," people I've ever met. They have an amazing giveaway for TWO lucky winners (enter at the end of this post). But first, here's my recipe:

Almond Joy No-Bake Cookies
(Of course, any brand of peanut butter or almond butter will work just fine. 
I just really love Krema)!

1 cup honey
2/3 cup baking cocoa
1/2 almond milk
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup almond butter
1 tsp pure vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup shredded coconut
1 TB chia seeds (opt)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
4 cups oats

 Mix honey and cocoa in a pot and stir over medium heat. Add almond milk and coconut oil. Continue stirring, and boil for one minute. Remove from heat. Stir in almond butter, vanilla, salt, oats, coconut, and chia seeds. Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment paper.

I prefer them straight out of the freezer. They will be ready to eat, no thawing necessary! Store in an airtight container for 2 months.

Funny story about Krema... a few years ago, I was at my mom's house for Thanksgiving. I was making pb&j sandwiches for my kids, and when I opened the cupboard to get the peanut butter, I found a jar of Krema! I was so excited! I asked her where she got it, turns out she was in the market for a good, real peanut butter with no additives, and after researching and reading reviews on Amazon, she purchased it there! She had no idea that I use and love Krema PB also, and especially no idea that I am good friends with their family. So, the moral of the story, "if my mom loves Krema, you will too." haha :) But really once you try it, I bet you'll love it!

Why do I love Crazy Richards PB?
Simple. It is all-natural, no secret ingredients. It tastes so good. It is a quick, easy, and healthy way to get protein in my body. One spoonful helps curb my sweet tooth.

Some of my favorite ways to eat peanut butter are: 
spreading it on my breakfast waffles, eating it for lunch on sandwiches, rice cakes, or crackers, for after school snacks with celery and apples, cooking with it in Asian dinners, baking with it in cookies, and of course, straight out of the jar!

I love giving peanut butter away as a gift! 
If you are trying to come with a few thoughtful gifts for the holidays this year, consider giving a jar of PB! I have given them away as teacher gifts, birthday gifts, and to ladies I visit from church. I like to put a jar with an apple on top, and tie it up in a cute bag! 

Where can you buy Crazy Richards or Krema peanut butter? 
It is sold in many stores such as Wal-Mart, Kroger, Dillons, and natural food stores. If you can't find it locally, my mom has purchased from Amazon or you can order straight from the website

The Crazy Richards/Krema folks want you to try their nut butter! 
They are giving away TWO sampler boxes containing Creamy Peanut Butter, Crunchy Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, Cashew Butter, and their new Pure Peanut Butter.

The giveaway ends next Friday, November 28. 
I will notify the 2 winners via email.
US citizens only. Must be 18+ to enter.

To Enter:
1. Follow Crazy Richards/Krema on your social media platforms of choice:

2. Follow Family Ever After on your social media platforms of choice:

3. Leave ONE comment on this post including this info:
--how you follow Crazy Richards/Krema
--how you follow Family Ever After
--include your email

That's it!

And if you don't win, or if you are interested in ordering the Crazy Richard's Nut Butter Sampler now, check out this great deal on Amazon. The sampler pack is $26.95 right now.
(affiliate link)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Featured in "Love Patchwork and Quilting" Issue 14

This month, I am so excited to have my very first projects, my Quilted Ruffle Duffle Bag and a Scarf, featured in Issue 14 of the Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine.

 Love Patchwork and Quilting launched last year, and quickly became my favorite magazine. It is a beautiful publication that features gorgeous photos and projects about my favorite subject... quilting. The mag is packed with news on the latest trends, fabrics releases, great tips, and quilting news in general.

Having a project in print means so much to me... It reflects the love and encouragement of my family, especially my husband who cheer me on and tell me its okay to spend a portion of my time working on things that I love. It represents my love of learning... back in college I majored in Home Ec- the closest thing to a sewing degree at my university- and by having a blog and a reason to keep creating, I feel that I am continuing the education I received at BYU. It's a culmination of ideas that went from a simple design in my head, to a canvas dance bag for my daughter, to a laminated version I created for Bernina, to this quilted version that I love so much.  It represents a project that I sewed for a sample at Spring Quilt Market '14. It's a satisfying feeling after years of blogging and sharing tutorials online, to see one of my favorite projects come to life in my favorite magazine.

This is the title page:

Here's a look at the 5 page spread... I love the way they took my photo tutorial and digitized it. It looks so professional. I scoured every detail, and it looks spot-on!

It was really fun to work with LPQ. The editor Jenny, and her assistant Allison, are such a hoot to communicate with. Since they are based out of the UK, I read every email we exchanged in my best British accent! I just can't say enough great things about they way they conduct business. The whole process was so fun, from writing my article, to sending my bag across the big pond for professional staging, to finally receiving the cold hard copy in my hands. Such a great experience!

You can read more about this bag on my blog here.

This is the scarf I made, as an extra little project in the mag. I'm so excited about wearing it this fall!

Love Patchwork and Quilting is a UK-based magazine. In the US, you can find it at Joann's and Barnes and Noble. I receive my issues in the mail. Find out how you can subscribe to LPQ here. (This is not a paid for or affiliate link. Just passing along helpful info simply because I adore this mag)!

Oh, and here's the little blurb on the title page of the mag:

Thanks for reading!
xo, Rach

Sunday, November 9, 2014

"Bake Craft Sew Along" Babylock Sewing Machine Giveaway!

sewing giveaway

Christmas gift making is upon us, and today I’m guest posting at Skip to My Lou as part of the "Bake Craft Sew & Crochet Along." I am sharing a handmade Baby's First Christmas Ornament. I have joined over 100 bloggers to share some amazing homemade gift ideas… AND I get to be part of an amazing sewing giveaway too. (Keep reading)!

The giveaway prize is for...
this amazing Baby Lock Sewing Machine ($799 Value)


Ready to take your sewing to the next level? The Baby Lock Rachel is the star of any sewing class, and she's here to help you. This computerized sewing machine is equipped with 50 stitches and push-button features to make every project easier. Click here for more details.

To enter, simply wait for RaffleCopter to load below. I can't wait to see who the lucky winner will be! Thank you so much to Skip to My Lou for having me as a guest today, be sure to check out my Baby's First Christmas Ornament!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Easy Olaf Costume

It was a "Frozen" themed Halloween at our house this year. (Surprised)? My girls decided months ago that they would be Elsa and Anna, and they actually fit the roles perfectly. The oldest has long blonde hair and has every single movement and lyric of Elsa memorized.  The youngest is quirky and relates well with Anna. With baby brother as Olaf, it was a match made in heaven. (Can't leave out the other brother though, he is 4 and wanted nothing to do with "Frozen." Although I would have loved it, I didn't force him to be Sven or Kristoff... he chose to be Optimus Prime. He felt so tough)!

Since I had a baby this summer, and I spent way too much time and money sewing last year's Tinkerbell and Periwinkle costumes, I decided not to torture myself by making Elsa and Anna this year. The crazy in me really wanted to, but the practical in me said I needed to chill out and focus on being a good mama. So I did. The only thing I sewed this year was Olaf, and he only took about 2 hours to complete.

I made the hat from scratch, sewed felt circles onto a white long-sleeved onesie, and used my son's Christening/Baby Blessing white pants for the costume. My sister gifted us a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins, (sooo awesome of her), which perfectly completed little Olaf.

  To make the hat, I found a free tutorial and pattern on Fleece Fun. I wanted one with a chin strap to make sure my little guy stayed warm while we were out trick-or-treating. This was a great pattern. Simple, and reversible too. I might make a few more before winter hits.

I was in such a rush to get Olaf sewn (trick-or-treating was just a few hours away), plus I was talking on the phone with my bestie Ashley... so I completely forgot to snap some pictures while I was designing Olaf's face. It was really simple though. I'll walk you through it a little...

For a baby size medium, I needed:
-1/2 yard white fleece 
-craft felt in orange, black, and white
-sew on velcro

-I followed the pattern by cutting out my white fleece pieces (2 exterior and 2 lining). 
-Then I created Olaf's facial features with the felt. I double layered most of them to give a little more stability.
-I sewed the eyebrows, eyes, and nose onto the front exterior white fleece.
-Then I sewed the fleece exterior and linings together as directed. Before I sewed the exterior "V" shut, I slipped in the branches on top of Olaf's head.
-When it came time to connect the exterior and lining, I left my 3 inch hole in the front instead of the back as directed. I turned the hat right side out, then I slipped the mouth in the seam and top stitched around the entire hat to add the mouth and close the hole.
-Last I added velcro as recommended.

-For a no-sew version, you could use a premade white hat. Then cut out your Olaf features and use an iron on a low setting and double sided interfacing to press the facial features onto the hat.

I hope everyone had a great Halloween! 
xo, Rach

Friday, October 31, 2014

My Entry in the Blogger's Quilt Festival

Have you heard of the Blogger's Quilt Festival over on Amy's Creative Side? It's such a fun blogging event, that I look forward to twice a year. Quilting bloggers can enter a quilt they've made into one of several categories for a chance to win some fun prizes. What I especially love is finding other quilters and feasting my eyes on the amazing quilts! 
Blogger's Quilt Festival -

You all know I love a fun sewing competition, (Sewvivor, anyone)? So this year I decided to enter my mini reverse-applique deer quilt

Every aspect of this quilt is sewn by hand. (With one exception... I machine sewed the first side of the binding, but then hand sewed to other side to give it a nice finish). I absolutely LOVE reverse applique. The fabrics seem to be popping out and I just love the texture it creates. I love that you can create almost any shape you want out of fabric. Hand sewing is one of my favorite things to do, because I can do it in the car, while I'm at my daughter's dance class, or watching tv. It is so relaxing. I decided to enter this quilt into the Applique Category because I love the technique so much, and it is the main feature of my quilt!

Having grown up in South Dakota, where deer run a-plenty, I'm very drawn to the deer trend right now. Originally, I wanted to make this pattern with more man-friendly fabrics to make pillows for my husband and his brothers, who are all talented huntsmen. I thought I ought to practice the reverse applique process first before creating gifts, so that's how my mini was born. I chose some of my favorite fabrics and went to work to make a quilt all for me! heehee.

Ever since Camille Roskelley has been releasing her famous quilt patterns as minis, and posting pictures of her mini quilts collection in her sewing room, I have felt inspired to make some minis for myself as well. So this deer is the first of many mini quilts to come. :) I love mini quilts because they are such a fun way to practice a quilting technique without committing to a huge quilt and the expenses that come with it. Plus, if you hang it on the wall, you'll get to stare at it every day. This deer makes me so happy!

The pattern for the deer and the shield is from my good friend and quilting genius Mary Dugan. Refer to this post if you're looking for more details on how I made it! Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy the quilt festival!

xoxo, Rach

Monday, October 20, 2014

Tinkerbell and Periwinkle {Homemade Costumes}

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Lest you should think my girls are giving up their chance to be Elsa and Anna this year... let me start by saying that these are last year's costumes. Ha! Along with every other sister duo out there, my girls are jumping on the Frozen bandwagon for Halloween this year. (Totally their idea, not mine). I LOVE letting my kids pick out their own costumes. Can't say they were super original this year, but even I admit that they will be the perfect Elsa and Anna, with a new baby brother to dress as Olaf!

Enough about that... let's rewind to last Halloween! There I was, two weeks ahead of schedule, sewing my little heart out. I had every last detail of Tinkerbell and and her sister Periwinkle sorted out in my mind. And then, something hit me, hard. I felt sicker than sick. Pregnant!! The good kind of sick. But it certainly put a kink in my Halloween sewing. Then and there, I made a pact with myself to never get that crazy when it comes to homemade Halloween costumes again. I only got half of my sewing done... And literally, just minutes before trick-or-treating began. We didn't have any time for cute pictures. Grrr. And by the time Halloween was over, I never wanted to see those costumes again, (they brought back memories of nausea), so I put them away. But just for the record, they really were the cutest little fairies on the town that night :)

Now fast forward to this year... I realize I never got cute pictures of my girl's in their fairy costumes, and I really did want to share them on the blog. So yesterday I dressed them all up and headed to the park to take photographs. (Throw a little bribery in there- I had to remind the girls how hard I worked on these costumes, and they owed it to me to dress up for pictures. Such little pixies, they are)! The good thing is that now they want to keep them out and play with them! (Why didn't I think of that last year)?

When the Disney movie, "Secret of the Wings" came out two years ago, my girls were enamored. They LOVED that Tinkerbell had a sister. I can't even count how many times they have played "Tink and Peri." It was their wish to dress as these fairies last Halloween, and given how cute they were, I knew I was going to help them make it happen.

My favorite part was designing the costumes. I decided to create Tink and Peri both as winter fairies. We live in a colder climate, and I wanted both of my daughters to be warm and snuggly when we went Trick-or-Treating. I used this picture of Tinkerbell as my inspiration.

How did I do?
My original plan included a hood, green leggings, boots, a pixie dust pouch, and homemade wings.  

But regular white leggings, easy pom poms added to their shoes, and store bought wings had to suffice.

Other elements in the costumes included- earmuffs, belts, and white hair spray for Peri.

I don't have a complete tutorial to share, like I had planned. But it probably doesn't even matter this year, because your daughters are going to be Elsa and Anna too, right? Haha. Anyhow, here are a few details, and if you're interested in making your own, I hope that you will find some pictures of my process helpful! Just a note- these are in NO way flawless! There were several design elements that I could have executed in a better way, or with a pattern. But, it was a great learning process for me, trying to figure it all out on my own. :)

Design Process:
I used a sweater that belonged to my daughter, and created a mock up on muslin. This is just one of several versions. I only created one sleeve, and I'm happy it worked out so well! Don't pay attention to the triangles at the bottom- it was a very loose brainstorm.

All my supplies were found at Joanns.
The costumes are fully lined in a plush soft fabric. 

At this point, I was thinking this would make the perfect Elf costume!!

Here's a few pictures of the sleeves...

Here's a nice picture of the finished jacket:

The "earmuffs" were a cinch to make. I just wrapped a headband in scraps of the jacket fabric, with hot glue, and then glued a very large pom pom to both ends.

And that's all I've got as far as the construction of these costumes. I'm so glad I was able to pull this idea off in the knick of time. The girls had a blast dressing up as their favorite pixie fairies and staying warm at the same time!

Remember... all you need is a little FAITH, TRUST, AND PIXIE DUST!
Thanks for visiting!
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