Thursday, May 31, 2012

June Sponsors

Just a quick last call for June sponsors.
You still have through the rest of the day to purchase for June.

I have one Feature Sponsor Ad left for $50.
And also have Medium $30 and Small $20 Ads available.

For details on each ad and for the stats of my blog head over here.

E-mail me if you would like to reserve a spot!
thevanillatulip (at) yahoo (dot) com

Hope you're having a great Thursday!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Basics+Rust+Turquoise+Beach Hair

We have storms rolling through here this morning.
A cozy mid-week break from the sun and swimming.

My friend Laura has started to show what she wears on Wednesdays...
not to show off or say look at me.
But to encourage women that dressing cute doesn't have to be expensive.
I love that!

That's exactly what I want these posts to do.
To encourage you girls that dressing in fun clothes doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg.
My biggest tip would be to invest in your basics.
And when I say invest I don't mean spend a ton of money.
I mean take the time to find something that fits WELL.

My go-to summer basics are:
Dark Skinny Jeans (that you can cuff up on the bottom)
Cut-Off Jean Shorts
Dressy Chambray Shorts
White Shorts
White Tank Tops
 Maxi Dresses

Just having these basics makes it easy to mix and match outfits.
You can wear the tank tops alone with a fun piece of jewelery...
or use them for under a looser t-shirt (example below).
Or if you're in a real crunch just pull out a Maxi Dress.
They're super easy to dress up or down.

Once I have all my basics I'll hunt for a cute tank top or blouse at Forever 21.
If you have never shopped there then it's time you get on it!
If you already have your basic bottoms all you would need to look for are some fun tops.
I just bought a few new casual summer shirts there this weekend.
I found two light-weight tank tops for $4.50 a piece.
And the shirt below for $7.
And that's regular price ladies!
Their jewelery is incredibly inexpensive as well.
You could find a fun necklace to pair with a plain t-shirt or white tank top.
Most of their jewelery is under $10.  Closer to the $5 range!

Moving on.
Ignore the quality of the pic below.
We were rushing to get out the door for a bbq. :)

Shorts- Forever 21 (2 years ago... $14 I think)
White Tank- Target $5
Rust T-shirt- $7
Turquoise Sandals-Old Navy (2 years ago) I don't remember the price?

This is an example of the basics.
I could easily take away the rust t-shirt and throw on a fun necklace or a wrist full of bangles.
It would completely change the look of the outfit.
See what I'm talking about?!

 Let's talk summer hair.
Ever since having babies my hair has gone from pretty much stick straight to wavy (or crazy).
Throughout the winter I always straighten it.
But in the summer I am not fond of standing in the hot and humid bathroom messing with my hair.
I've been wanting something that would help my hair embrace it's waviness 
without looking crunchy from mousse or hairspray.
My sister (who is a beautician) just introduced me to this AWESOME stuff!
It's a Texturizing Sea Spray by Paul Mitchell.
It is so incredible!
I spray it in while my hair is still a bit damp from the shower.
Scrunch it just a bit.
And that's it!
It leaves it feeling textured but not crunchy.
I'm not sure on the price of it since she gave it to me?

And last but not least.
I know I've blogged about this nail color before.
But it's so good I am going to repeat myself.
Essie's Turquoise and Caicos is a summer time must.
I especially love it paired with anything rust colored (i.e. the shirt above!)

What are some of your summer time basics?
I'd love to hear!!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Weekend Wedding

On Saturday we loaded up the kids and drove to the wedding of our previous head coach's son.
It took us about three and a half hours to get there.
We took our time and stopped several times along the way.
One thing I've learned with small children is that traveling is way more enjoyable for everyone if you just relax and stop worrying about rushing to get somewhere.
We've learned to make an adventure out of the traveling.
Obviously it takes us a lot longer to get places.
But the memories that we make along the way are well worth it!

Back to the wedding.
It was decorated SO beautifully!
The details of their wedding and reception were gorgeous!
Handwritten programs (obviously copied),
their monograms hung in unexpected places,
lots of old glass bottles, lace and burlap.

I took quite a few pictures for y'all to see the fun details!

At the reception they had a dance.
My children are all about busting a move ;)

 It was so fun to see old friends!
This is a group of coach's wives from our previous highschool.
I love these ladies!


I didn't get around to posting on Memorial Day.
But our family wants to say a THANKYOU to all the 
service men and women who sacrifice their lives daily for our freedom.
God Bless America!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Feature Sponsor- Lullaby Lubbock

Hi Vanilla Tulip readers!
We could not be more excited to be here. 
I know that because y'all are here you all know how inspiring, encouraging, fun and beautiful sweet Ashley is and we are so honored that she asked us to be apart of her cute blog.  It is stock full of ways to be good stewards of our savings, cute crafts, adorable shop and the most beautiful kiddos.
We are Allison and Kristen from Lullaby Lubbock.  We have been best friends since 7th grade and long story short, ended up in Lubbock for our husbands med school at the same time, had kids, and started a little blog.  It is still called Lullaby Lubbock because, well, we have since moved away but its where the blog started so we just kept it.  We are lazy like that :) We have 5 kids between us (Ella and McKenna for Allison and Avery, Ben and Sawyer for Kristen). We love a good craft, a creative activity for our kids and we really live and breath for a party.  
Since Allison discovered this a few years ago, we have made Gak over and over and over; 
Picnik collage
so, when Ashley asked us to share something with y'all, I thought we would do something that we use frequently at our house.
It is not our original idea (we found it on  they are so amazing.  we are huge fans) but we love it like its ours.

Here is what you need to make your very own GAK
-4 oz. of glue
-food coloring
-1 1/2 cups water divided
Picnik collage
Mix the 1/2 cup of water and glue with food coloring and set aside.  Make sure the glue and water are mixed well.  We put ours in a water bottle and shake them up together.
Then, you mix the borax with a cup of water.
Once that has dissolved then you pour the glue mixture into the borax mixture and stir.  It will take a few seconds but should start to form the gak.  Keep on stirring until it reaches a good concise consistency and is all stuck together. (A little bit of water will be left in the bowl but thats ok.)
Then you have an afternoon of fun ahead of you!
You can break out your animals and pretend its a gooy pond.  We tend to have animals around most of the time...
Picnik collage
sassy and gracie7
Thank you, Ashley, for having us!!
Hope y'all are having a fantastic memorial day weekend!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Facts

On a typical day Emma wears at least five different outfits.
The majority of them dress up clothes.

On a typical day Colt either runs nudie or in a superhero costume.

It's springtime which means the deer are having their babies. We saw our first fawn last night!

Travis teaches two year old Sunday School every week.
Some weeks I help him and Cade joins us. I think he loves pretending he's older than he is :)

Emma learned how to pump on the swingset.
The same week she learned how to ride a bike!
I'm so proud of her!

I've had a sick baby the past few days.
A come and go fever and runny nose.
My already cuddly little guy is even MORE cuddly.
Which I never thought possible.
I'm loving it :) 
(the cuddling...not sickness)

We have a wedding to attend tomorrow.
Three and a half hours from our house.
It starts at 6pm with a reception afterwards.
We'll be driving home after the reception.
Did I mention that we're taking the kids with us?
Party in the car!
I love traveling and experiencing life with my little group!

Have a great weekend friends!
Do you have anything planned?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Summer Fun

I feel as if my brain has checked out for the summer... ya know the feeling?
I've got sunscreen, the lake, popsicles, crafting and playing outside on my mind.
School lets out the end of this week...which means Travis will be home more!
Over spring break we made a list of activities and projects we wanted to accomplish during that week.
I'm wanting to do the same thing for our summer break.
A few things that randomly come to mind are...

Read through 10 chapter books with the big kids (while sitting in the hammock ;) )
Make homemade icecream (peach being one of the flavors)
Make a slip and slide
Sew my first quilt
Make and can strawberry jam for the winter
Pick and freeze a winters supply of blueberries

I'll be thinking more on this list and put up our official one in the next week or so.
What are some things/activities you want to accomplish this summer?
I'd love to hear!
Hope the beginning of your week was great!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thrifty Thoughts- Homemade Laundry Detergent

*Just an update: I would definitely not encourage anyone to make this detergent.
I was less than impressed after using it a few weeks.
My review is here.*
I've been wanting to make my own laundry detergent for quite awhile.
My friend Katie sent me the recipe she had found and used... it's actually the Duggar's recipe.
I used their recipe and then tweaked it a bit.

Here's how I made it.

Ingredients and Supplies
1 Cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (3.25 at Walmart)
1/2 Cup Borax (3.50 at Walmart)
1 Bar of Fels Naptha Soap (1.00 at Walmart)
1 Cup Downy Unstopables (6.97 from Walmart)
5 Gallon Pail with Lid (3.00 from Walmart)
Funnel (2.50 from Walmart)


The only thing I will need to purchase the next time I make detergent will be a bar of Fels Naptha.
So $1!
I'm pretty sure I will have enough of everything to get two more batches out of everything.
So add on two extra bars of Fels Naptha to the 20.22 and that's 22.00 for three HUGE batches of detergent.
Roughly 7.50 for a bajillion loads of laundry.
I'm keeping track of how many loads I am able to do with one batch.
I'll let ya know!

Grate your bar of Fels Naptha.
I couldn't find my grater so I just chopped it up fine and thin with a knife.
It worked fine... just took it a little bit longer to melt down.

Add the grated Fels Naptha to a saucepan that has 4 cups of water.
I also added in my 1 cup of Downy Unscentables.

Stir on low heat until your Soap and Unscentables are melted.
I'll be honest, I became impatient and didn't let all of my soap melt completely.
But it still turned out alright ;)

Fill your 5 gallon bucket half full with hot water.
Add your melted soap, Borax and Washing Soda.
Stir it thoroughly.
I used a spatula from my kitchen.
WHICH....I suggest NOT doing.
It scented my spatula and I didn't realize it.
I made macaroni and cheese the next day using the same spatula and it scented our food ;)
So have a utensil specifically for your laundry detergent making...
especially if you're adding the Downy Unscentables.

Once everything is blended fill the bucket up the rest of the way with hot water.
Cover it and let it sit overnight to thicken.

The next day give it a good stir.
Mine looked super gloppy.
My friend Katie said hers did too... "like egg drop soup" is what she said... and that's exactly what mine looked like.

Take an old, clean laundry soap bottle and fill it halfway with your soap mixture.
Then fill the other half with hot water.
Give it a good shake and you're good to go!

I've been using a little more than half a cup for a full load of laundry.
I am doing the same routine that I normally do with my loads.
I always spray my stains with Shout and add a little scoop of Oxi Clean to every load.
And with my towels I always throw in a little bleach.
So... with that said I feel like it really is getting my clothes as clean as the Gain that I was using.
And it smells wonderful since I added the Downy Unscentables.

The only thing I'm not loving is the consistency of it.
It's obviously watered down more than the store bought liquid detergent.
But I guess that's the name of the game.

I'd love to hear your homemade laundry detergent stories!
Have you made this particular recipe?
Have you ever added in the Unscentables?
Fill me in!

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekend Happenings

This weekend....

*we ate every meal on the back porch

*Emma mastered riding a bike (with training wheels)

*I backed the boat and trailer into the water for the first time...quite proud of myself :)

*we ate fajitas twice. Once at a restaurant and once at home.

*spent our time drinking coffee while the kids played

*took the boat out and swam in the lake several times

*my middle sister came to visit and the two of us spent the afternoon floating in tubes on the lake

*Cade fell and hit his mouth on Saturday.  It was the first time any of my kids has ever bled so much.
Thankful Travis was home...makes me feel light headed thinking about it!

*I learned how to FINALLY shoot my DSLR camera in Manual setting!
Bye Bye Automatic!
Between reading tutorials and my sister helping me it finally all makes sense.
I'm excited to work on it some more!

We woke up this morning to two boys with fevers.
It's been a quiet morning over here.
Muffins, coloring and cartoons is about all we've accomplished.

How was your weekend?
Did you get to spend any time outdoors?

While I'm thinking of it.
Several of you have left questions in the comments...
the only problem is you've left them under the anonymous section
so I have no way of contacting you with an answer!
So if that's you... e-mail me and I'll shoot you back some answers :)
One of the questions was are we Dutch...and yes! We are!
So whoever you are...e-mail me!
thevanillatulip (at) yahoo (dot) com

Baby Addie is currently in surgery now.
Her dad is updating the blog throughout the morning.
Please continue to be praying for this sweet babe!
Their blog is here.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Baby Addie

Just popping in to fill you all in on baby Addie.
In case you missed the first post about her, head over here.
She has her first heart surgery on Monday.
Her dad has written a post explaining everything that will take place on Monday.
That post is here.
We're still praying for a miracle...
pass the word along about this sweet babe...
I know her parents would appreciate your prayers!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Healthy Morning Muffins + Sunshine

Slow and summery summed up our day.
This morning while I was working on a few lists on the back porch the big two
curled up in the hammock with their magnadoodles.
Do your kids have a magnadoodle?
They sat drawing like this for about an hour until it was time for a morning snack.
Which I might add was the most DELICIOUS muffins I have ever tasted!
My friend Katie shared the recipe with me.
It's a Martha Stewart recipe... so obviously it's going to be good!
The muffins are packed with all sorts of good stuff...
carrots, raisins and bananas.
Katie substituted applesauce for the egg and said it was delish!
Next time I'm going to add walnuts for a little crunch.
And honestly a little canned pumpkin would taste good in them too!

What's up for your weekend?
We spent our evening in the town next to us.
Mexican food for dinner followed by a run to Walmart for a beach umbrella and beach towels.
Last summer we didn't spend alot of time on the lake since Cade was still a newborn.
This summer we plan on soaking up as much of the lake as we can.
I'm so thankful for this season of our life.
Never in a million years would I have thought we would live by a lake.
The Lord has been so good to's such a treat!
Have a great weekend and I'll be back next week with a report on my homemade laundry detergent.
I'm doing laundry as we speak...we'll see if it comes out clean;)
Happy weekend friends!

Healthy Morning Muffins


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
                                1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large egg
1/3 cup skim milk
4 medium carrots, shredded
1 medium ripe banana, mashed

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt until there are no lumps. Stir in oats and raisins. Add oil, egg, milk, carrots, and banana and stir until blended.
  2. Fill each muffin cup with 1/4 cup batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes. Serve muffins warm or at room temperature

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The week so far...

 1. Snagged a pair of Toms look alikes for $6 at Dollar General
2. Some mornings a half a grapefruit just isn't enough
3. Chocolate covered strawberries for Mother's Day
4. I love this girl!!!
1. Bows, bows and more bows. Get yours here!
2. Mother's Day...waiting in the car for Travis to pick up Subway.
By the way, for those that have lace-tank top was from J.Crew last summer during their huge summer clearance sale. I think it was $13?
3&4- Morning walks. We're soaking up the not too hot temps while we can!


This afternoon I'm going to jump into the world of homemade laundry detergent.
I've heard mixed reviews.
Some love it...some hate it.
Which side are you on if you've ever made it?
I'm going to be making the liquid variety.

Have a great morning!!!