Friday, November 28, 2014

Sensory Construction Site and my Kid's PBS Debut

This summer, my kids were invited to film a segment of Hands On Crafts for Kids, a fun show that airs on PBS. I almost skipped the opportunity, since it was just 6 weeks after having my 4th baby. But then my husband and I decided it was such a neat opportunity for the kids, so I packed them up and headed out for a little road trip. We had such a blast!

I honestly thought my kids would be more nervous than they were. They felt so comfortable on the set, just being their cute, silly selves. The TV set is seriously legit! I think my kids felt a little bit like movie stars! Haha!

 We demonstrated how to make a Construction Site (more details below). We made two bins-- one to demo on the TV set, and the other to show as our final product.

Behind the scenes was just as cool as anything else. It was neat to meet the producer and the host of the show. They did a great job helping us feel comfortable and knowing what to expect.

To watch my kids in action, watch the clip below. This was such a fun experience, and I think they did such a great job! I was SO proud of them!

 We practiced a few times at home while filming ourselves on my ipad. We still laugh at our "bloopers." It wasn't supposed to be totally scripted, but it was good to have a layout in mind. My kids definitely threw some things in there that we hadn't talked about or rehearsed, which made me smile. I was SO glad that nobody argued or got mad at each other, I was holding my breath the whole time!

We were given a box of crafting supplies a few weeks prior, and our challenge was to create a craft using items from the box. We brainstormed several ideas together. My kid's had been playing with these toy tractors all summer, even saving their allowance to buy more for their collection. So we decided to incorporate the craft items to create a "Sensory Construction Site." 

The craft items that were sent to us that we included are: the yellow duct tape, the styrofoam balls, the brown felt, and the play sand. We also added rocks, nails and screws, dried beans, clear craft rocks, sandpaper, a cup, and the tractors. Everything is contained in a clear plastic bin.

 My kids really do play with these at home- they have a lot of fun! And they do a pretty good job at keeping the sand contained in the bins. I think this could be a really fun, creative, and affordable gift! 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Almond Joy No-Bakes & Peanut Butter Giveaway- closed

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!

The lucky winners are #8 and #18! Flourishing Palms and Jennifer Espinosa

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.
(affiliate link... meaning if you purchase through this link, i'll earn a few pennies, so thank you!)

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