Friday, March 30, 2012

Sponsor Feature- Creator Designs

I can't say enough about the Sponsor Feature today.
Creator Designs is a screen printing business owned by a family I knew from when I was in college.
I actually babysat their boys for awhile:)
You will not find a sweeter and more geniune family.
You really must read their story HERE.
If you are in need of t-shirts for your organization or an event I would suggest no other business.
Seriously... check out their website :)


Here at Creator Designs we LOVE our customers!!!  You all have been so loyal
to us throughout the years.  We're hoping to give a little back through our
new endeavor... The Creator Designs Blog!

We are excited about this opportunity to personally connect with you online,
via social media.  We love that we have history with our customers.  We know
your business, your stories, your struggles...

In fact, here at The Creator Designs Blog, we hope to further your cause
with posts that share about what you are doing.  Maybe you're fighting for a
cause; we hope to provide you with another forum on which you can raise
awareness.  Maybe you're a small business on a tight budget; we'd love for
this to be a bit of free advertising for you!  We hope this will show you,
our customers, that we really do care about what you're doing.

We want this blog to be a FUN place!  We want to highlight our customers, as
well as our product.  At Creator Designs, we love t-shirts!  (I mean, who
doesn't love a good tee?)  Watch for posts as we follow latest trends on how
people "rock" their tees!

We invite you to take a look at our blog.  If you like it and decide to
follow, we'll enter you for a drawing to win a free Creator Designs Tervis.
We're also always looking for new ways to serve our customers.  We hope this
will be yet another way to keep you up-to-date on our deals, as well as
through our Facebook and Twitter pages.  Thanks so much for your loyalty to
us.  We love you guys!

You can find Creator Designs here...


To win the Creator Designs Turvis you
must be a follower of The Vanilla Tulip and also Creator Designs Blog.
Leave ONE comment letting me know you've done so!
The winner will be announced on Wednesday!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Shop Our Closet Sale

Okay! The closets are cleaned out over here.
The majority of the items are my own, some are Emma's and there is one item that was Trav's.
All the details on how to purchase are on the page for the sale.
Head on over here to shop!

Have a great Friday!

Phone Pics

This week we...

swam on the back deck every day...

devoured our chicken spaghetti...

walked around town doing our errands, making sure to stop at the fountain...

ate almost every meal on the back porch...

and had our usual pancake breakfasts.

How has your week been so far?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mornings, Walks, Shopping & Ads

My babies are all sleeping in this morning.
I woke up at 6 to make Travis breakfast and to send him on his way.
Some mornings (okay most mornings) I crawl back into bed and sleep until the kids wake up.
I used to be a morning person.
Before I had three kids back to back.
Then I turned into a night owl...which definitely doesn't go hand in hand with a morning person.
The past few mornings instead of going back to bed I have been making myself a cup of coffee and doing my quiet time before the kids get up.
I honestly had forgotten how glorious it is to be up before the kids!!!
The past few months I have been doing my quiet time during naptime.
Which worked great. 
I felt alert and awake.
As opposed to 6:30 in the morning.
I'm a firm believer in the fact that you can have your quiet time at any point during your day.
But back to the fact that I am feeling my old "morning person" coming back :)
I'm liking it and I'm thinking it might stick for awhile.
We'll see.
We all know how I am with sticking to something;)
Moms with little people...I'm curious.. are you a morning person or a night owl?
Have your kids changed you?

The other night we went for a walk down by the lake.
I love that we're usually split into two groups...

the group that runs on ahead and is full of adventure...

and the group that just takes it all in and enjoys watching the craziness:)


Two little bits of business before I wrap this up.
I've just finished cleaning out my closet and pulling out everything
that I either don't wear or doesn't fit anymore.
I always get a good laugh out of the wide range of sizes I have in my closet.
College sizes, after have baby sizes, in the middle of losing weight sizes.
You name it and I'm sure I've got it.
So anyways.
On Friday I will be having a Shop My Closet sale here on the blog.
Make sure you come and shop. :)

And the last order of business.
I have ONE feature ad spot left for the month of April.
(only three were available)
All the information can be found here.
I would love to help you promote your blog/business!

Have a great Wednesday friends!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Thrifty Thoughts- Northern Bean and Rice Salad

This salad is one of our family favorites!
It is SO delicious and filling that sometimes we eat it as the main course with french bread as the side.
I also serve it as a side dish with chicken or fish.
And about three times a week I eat this for lunch (without the rice).
The great part about this salad is it's not only inexpensive to make
 but you can tweek the flavors to suit your family.

1 can of Great Northern Beans
1 Cup of brown rice (this is the measurement before I cooked it.  Boil it with 2 1/2 cups H20)
Handful of cilantro, chopped
1 Tomato, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 Lime
Olive Oil, couple splashes
1 tsp. Cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook your rice.
Drain your can of beans and rinse.
Add them to a bowl.
While your rice is cooking chop up your tomato, onion and cilantro.
Throw them in your bowl and squeeze in the juice from a lime.
Once your rice is cooked add it to your bowl.
Then drizzle with olive oil and give it a good stir.
Sprinkle in your cumin, salt and pepper.
Give it another stir.
And that's it!
You can eat it while it's still warm or put it in the fridge for dinner that night.

I highly recommend getting Bush's brand Great Northern Beans.
They have alot of flavor and are better than the generic.

You can also mix up this salad and leave the rice out.
Travis likes to put the bean mixture on top of his grilled fish.

And again... tweek the recipe to suit your family.
Add more lime, add less onion, add a bit of tobassco sauce.
That's the great part!

What are some of your favorite summer salad recipes?

Monday Tidbits & A Winner!

The usual Monday  morning routine is in full swing over here.
Laundry's going, baby's down for his nap, the big two are building a town
and I'm finishing up my coffee!
This morning I'm feeling so thankful for my little family.
Thankful for a hard working husband who wants me to stay home with my sweet babes.
Life doesn't get any better :)
This verse has been blessing me this morning...

Proverbs 14:4
"Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,
but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest."

So thankful to be in a messy manger in the midst of my little oxen :)
It's such a sweet time of filling their little love tanks and teaching and nurturing them.

You know spring has sprung by the tastiness of your fruit.
Everything is starting to taste a little bit sweeter!
We're headed to the nursery this week to pick out a few tomato and herb plants.
This year I'm going to garden out of pots.
We live in such a shaded area that I'm going to need to move my plants to where the sun is.


Last week the kids and I hit up my favorite thrift store.
It's always super hit or miss with this particular store.
This past trip was a definite "hit" kind of week!

I found this sweet sewing basket ...

a new picnic quilt....

and three yards of this vintage print (which is in perfect condition!)....

all for $10!

How was your weekend?
Full of spring time activities?
Did you grill out?

We seriously can't STOP grilling :)
I've been on the hunt for some fun recipes for the grill.
What are some of your favorites?

The winner of the Lisa Leonard Giveaway is...
E-mail me and I'll get you hooked up!

Have a great Monday my friends!

*linking up with Bits of Splendor this morning!*

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cade's Birthday Round Two

We celebrated Cade's first birthday with extended family a day after his birthday.
My sister is the cake making queen and went above and beyond with his cake.
THANKYOU Bekka for making his first birthday so special :)
We spent the afternoon by the lake fishing and playing in the water.
Then finished off the evening with presents and grilling.

Happy Birthday to my sweet One Year Old :)
I loved celebrating you all weekend!!!

Cade with his Auntie Bekka

His reaction when I tried to take the ball away :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Number One

Happy First Birthday to my sweet Cade!
I love my baby boy more than anything.
He is hands down my easiest baby.
He's so laid back and easy going.
I can't get enough of his sweet little face and blueberry eyes.

He was born on March 23rd.
A special day for our family...
all three of my babies were born on the 23rd of their month.
It makes remembering birthdays easy :)

He was also born during a time of transition for our family.
Travis had just accepted a new coaching position in a different town so
we were in the midst of packing up our home to move.

We moved when he was five weeks old.
It really was a perfect time to move with a little one...
he slept through all the excitement :)

And then he became more alert...
and grew...
and grew...

And he went on his first week long camping trip when he was three and a half months old.

And he traveled all over kingdom come with our little family.
And still he was content and happy :)

Then came his first football season.
And again... content and happy in the stands (as long as he was by momma).

Then came his first Thanksgiving...
which I might add he was NOT content and happy.
Poor thing was sicker than a dog and fussy.

Then his first Christmas....

And the beginning of spring...

Which brings us to today...
his first birthday!

Travis wasn't able to be with us all day due to work and a track meet.
So we improvised and brought the party to him during his lunch :)
There's nothing like a good party on wheels!

We're having his official party with family tomorrow.
I love you sweet Cade!!!!
Happy first birthday :)