I love each season, don’t get me wrong. But with the “feels like” temperature hovering around -40 and -50 degrees this week, we are anxiously awaiting spring! Our daughter’s birthday is in the summer, so during the school year we send birthday treats on her “Half Birthday”. When you think of birthdays, cupcakes, candy, cake, and the like come to mind. But in an effort to have something healthy and fun, we came up a few ideas for her class. We started out with some Apple & Eve juice boxes (includes juices from apple, pear, sweet potato, carrot, peach, tomato, and butternut squash) and some Annie’s baked crackers.

We wrapped each juice box in scrapbook paper and added a personalized label on each. I love the springtime colors and patterns of the paper! I will put the straws in each of them before sending them to her class – it would be hard for the kids to poke through the paper. Then we took triangle cellophane bags and filled them with bunny crackers. We tied the tops with little rubber bands and added a knotted strip of green fabric to make them look like carrots.

For the labels, I just printed 12 of these onto a sheet of cardstock and cut them out with the scalloped punch (I borrowed it from my awesome neighbor – Thanks Carey!!).

Our older kids had fun helping us make this project and I think it will be a unique, fun snack that doesn’t hold all of the empty calories or sugar.

 

A friend of mine contacted me and asked if I could make a personalized canvas to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of her husband’s grandparents. She came up with such a cute family tree idea and it was fun to see how this project ended up turning out. I had done a similar tree + birds image for another friend to just celebrate the parents and children, but this canvas charted the legacy of many different generations. Here’s how it turned out:

I think it’s a great modern twist on a traditional family tree – what do you think?

 

After spending the past week across the country visiting Lace and her family in their new surroundings (we all had an amazing time together!), now I’m back to the constant chaos that tends to surround life. This weeks ‘extra excitement’ includes 3 birthday parties (one for our own 2-year-old!), a missions banquet to contribute to, and participating in a craft and vendor show. So after all of our own four children were sleeping soundly, I briefly escaped to experiment by creating two new projects. Painting for me is like a day at the spa after a run. Invigorating, but relaxing. Here’s a sneak peek of one:

I have really enjoyed playing with textures lately! Here’s the entire piece:

And I wanted to try a piece similar to the one I did last week… but with more tranquil colors. Here’s a close up:

And here’s the full picture of this piece:

Creating the texture and seeing how that plays with the colors has been so much fun! I have a new direction I want to move into and try now…. we’ll see if I can find a quiet time to retreat and work on it this week!

 

The snow is melting, the geese are migrating north, and my kids look like some sort of “galoshes gang”. Since spring is clearly in the air, I have been working on a couple pieces of artwork that capture this season of awakening. Here is one of the finished pieces:

This piece has some captivating texture on it – here is a closer look:

It still needs to be hung up properly but it was fun to see it bring some color into the room that has browns, purples, and greens.

Stay tuned to see some other pieces that are in the works… and have a great MONDAY!

 

The day has arrived. Moving day. Mr. Lace is beginning the cross-country road trip this afternoon. Lace and baby will be here for a few more days, thank goodness. Maybe longer if somebody happens to sabotage their trip to the airport…. hmmm…. suggestions for how to do that can be emailed to linden@lindenandlace.com

There’s a picture in our house that lists advice about “Living Life”. Part of it reads: “Love your life and what you’ve been given, it is not accidental – search for your purpose and do it as best you can“.

And so begins the next chapter.

 


Five years ago, the mood on New Year’s Eve was quite despondent. Plans fell through in the worst way and the ideals we’d set for the night failed. None of us wanted to ring in 2007 like that, so a February Re-New Year’s celebration was born. There are so many reasons that the Re-New Year party works every year: you can always get a reservation at a restaurant, New Year’s decoration prices have been marked down, and it always exceeds expectations because nobody really knows what to expect!


We thought about doing a White Party… but to make it a little more unique, we started planning a Purple Party. The decorations and desserts were purple and the guests all wore purple. We wanted to have a fun, simple gathering that focused on having a great time with amazing friends.

We had a desserts table that included sixlets, drizzled pretzels and purple candy jewels.

We made purple dessert parfaits using this recipe:

1 angel food cake torn into bits
1 can of blueberry pie filling (21 oz.)
1 tub of whipped topping

Mix the bits of angel food cake and blueberry filling and a large bowl until well blended. Layer whipped topping and mixture into serving dishes and top them with a swirl of whipped cream. Garnish with sprinkles, fruit, chocolate shavings, etc.

These were SO YUMMY and SO EASY!

We also made mini red velvet cupcakes with a purple chocolate garnish and a purple popcorn snack.

For the purple popcorn snack, we melted almond bark and added purple food coloring to it. We poured the almond bark onto the popcorn puffs and stirred everything to coat the puffs. Then, we laid the popcorn onto a cookie sheet and drizzled thin strips of purple, melted white chocolate across it.

This was a really simple but really fun event! We had a lot of fun with the purple theme. The number of guests we had over was ideal and we played games, conversed, and had a great time ringing in the Re-New Year!

 

Hot Air Balloon? Guitar? Monkey? So many choices…. the possibilities were endless. Remember figuring out your plan and spending a few weeknights after supper working on your very own creation? Ahhh, the memories. It seems like very few schools allow kids to bring Valentine’s Day boxes these days. And decorating a bag just isn’t the same. So we made some old school Valentine’s Day boxes this year. 20 boxes total for the daycare kids, to be exact. Here are a few of the creations we came up with:

So now it’s Friday and we’re playing it low key tonight; just hanging out with the families and new babies.

We have our Annual Re-New Year’s party tomorrow night! This year we’re hosting a Purple Party and the decorations are slowly going up.

We’re looking forward to some fun and quality time with great friends! More pics to come ~ Have a great weekend!

 

What do you get when you add ‘the holidays’ + 2 new babies + a cross-country move? Blog hiatus of nearly three months! What a busy time of it we have had lately… Let’s play catch up:

~~~Lace had a beautiful, healthy baby girl just before Thanksgiving.

~~~Linden had a beautiful, healthy baby girl just after Christmas.

~~~Lace and her family are moving 1700 miles away in a couple of weeks.
Linden can’t talk about it.

~~~Linden and her family plan to build a new home this summer.

So many changes in such a short time! We are so blessed to have these new babies in our families. Baby Lace laughs and smiles and melts our hearts. Baby Linden is still in baby snuggles mode and her brother and two sisters love her so much!

We did manage to put a few things up for Valentine’s Day though! “…. And the greatest of these is Love”.

 

As Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around, nostalgic baked goods will inevitably adorn tables at family gatherings. Lace and I have always loved Kuchen! Kuchen is the German word for cake, but for us the literal translation is more like ‘a creamy, smooth piece of heaven-sent goodness’. Okay, that may be overdoing it a bit. But it really is amazing!

There are a number of ways to make Kuchen. Many people use fruit like peaches, raspberries, juneberries, etc. to change the flavor. Others use cottage cheese mixed in with their kuchen. Lace and I mostly look forward to the creamy, custard filling. So this year we tried our hand at making our own recipe for the first time, and making sure it was simple (just 7 ingredients!) and had lots of filling. We have a recipe that makes 3 kuchen. So that’s one for you, and two for you to spread the love (and calories) to someone else! Okay….. yes, it’s okay for you to keep two an just pass one along…..

Easy Kuchen Recipe from Linden & Lace

CRUST:
1 cup Butter, melted
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 cups Flour
2 Eggs

CUSTARD FILLING:
7 Eggs
2 cups Sugar
4 Tbsp. Flour
3 1/2 cups Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. This recipe makes 3 Kuchen. Spray three 9 inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Set aside.

CRUST:
In a large bowl with a spoon (or in a stand mixer with a dough hook) mix all crust ingredients and beat until dough comes together. Since there is no yeast in the dough, it doesn’t to rest. Portion out 3 equal portions and spread out the dough into each pan bottom and up the sides. I found it easy to flatten a piece between my hands, put it in the pan, and then flatten it into the pan or work it up the edges a bit.

CUSTARD:
Mix all ingredients together in another bowl with a hand mixer. Pour the custard mix into the dough-lined pans. Sprinkle the tops with cinnamon and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until custard filling is set. Cool the kuchen to room temperature and then cut wedges.

We have gotten some great reviews with this recipe! In fact, it’s a little bit of a competition in our family for who has the best kuchen. Our grandma usually wins, hands down (sorry Aunt C and Aunt D!). Yesterday, our grandma tried a piece of our kuchen, and after a moment she said: “This kuchen is better than mine and I really like the crust. Can I get the recipe?” Imitation is sincerest form of flattery!

 

It’s Friday. And it’s 11-11-11. And it’s Veteran’s Day. Thank you to all who serve and honor our country to protect our freedoms and way of life! We wanted to leave you with a gift for your weekend.

The Priestly Prayer is something we started praying over our children after our evening prayers before bedtime. I was having a hard time remembering the wording of the verses, so I made a printable to put up in their room. Here is the printable verse in purple and green and in red and black for you to print off for your family! Have a wonderful weekend!