Monday, October 24, 2016

My Halloween Obsession

Ok.  I love to decorate, and I love to decorate for every holiday.  BUT...I am a little bit obsessed with Halloween.  I feel like every year I add more and more to my decor.  As I was scrolling through pinterest I saw some really cute witch brooms and I was inspired.  I feel like one of the most difficult places to decorate is over your stairs.  It's such a big wall and needs some oompf!  So, I had a vision of three witches broom sticks hung sideways.  I think they turned out pretty great!  The middle broom I found from the thrift store for $2!  The other two I made with fallen tree limbs I found on the trail behind my house.  I purchased a bunch of dried "reeds" (not sure what they are called) at Hobby Lobby in their floral department along with some twine covered floral wire.  And voila!  Instant brooms!  For the sign, I bought a pre-finished "chalk"board from home depot for $10.  I just cut it in half and with my projector, traced on the words with a chalk marker.  I love my wall now.  So much more character!

Here's a peek at my outside decor too!

I found this tutorial on Pinterest Here

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Alice in Wonderland Themed Stake Activity Days

I haven't blogged in quite sometime.  However, I had to share this fantastic idea!  I am now the Stake Activity Days Leader and for our yearly activity, we did an Alice in Wonderland inspired theme.  It was titled, "Why Our Choices Matter".  I could not be happier with the way it turned out.  And I think this theme could transition seamlessly into a Young Women activity.  I found that every young women value can be represented in Alice in Wonderland.  I was inspired to do this theme after my first Come Follow Me Lesson I did a few years ago, which you can find here.

To plan our activity, we all dressed up as a character from the movie ( I am the Mad Hatter).  All the girls met together for breakfast and as a starter activity, colored an image on sandpaper with crayons.  After breakfast was finished, I showed a video of Alice meeting the Cheshire Cat in which she was confused on which way to go.  Then, the video transitioned into Pres. Monson's talk where he makes reference to that scene of the movie.  It ties in perfectly!  I even will include a link to the video I put together.

Here's the video link:
Alice in Wonderland and President Monson Talk

We had four classes:

1. "Painting the Roses Red"- Does our outward appearance reflect our inner self?
      Choosing Modestly:  We had two Laurels come in and give a lesson on how to dress modestly.  They brought in clothes and helped the girls know how to modify articles of clothing to make it modest.

2. "Eat Me/Drink Me: Choosing to follow the Word of Wisdom:
      We did a healthy eating class.  We talked about nutrition, word of wisdom and then our presenter made yummy smoothies for the girls.

3. Which Path to Choose? Choosing to follow God: 
     We used these books found from Deseret book Women Who Choose God and we highlighted different women from the scriptures and how they make courageous choices to follow God.

4. Mad T(Shirt) Party: Choosing to Love and Embrace our Individual Worth:
    This was our craft project.  The girls designed their own t-shirt by coloring an image on sandpaper  and then ironed their image onto a t-shirt.  It was so fun to see their creativity shine through and how unique they are.  As they colored, I read them the story The Crayon Box.

This was my sample t-shirt

We could have done MANY more classes, but we kept our activity to 2 1/2 hours.  We had so many ideas it was hard to choose! Some of the other ideas we thought of were:

"I'm Late, I"m Late, I'm Late":  a time management class
"Who R U?": class on our divine nature
"All in the Golden Afternoon": This could be a craft class or a class on gardening, nature...
"Croquet with the Queen": If you wanted a physical activity, playing croquet with plastic flamingos.

The cultural Hall was decorated with String lights and paper lanterns I purchased at Oriental Trading Co. As the girls entered, we had the "Mad Tea Party" music and an instrumental version of "All in the Golden Afternoon" playing.  It created such a fun feel.  Many people commented that they felt like they were in Disneyland! I'll link the music below.

I made these cute miniature top hats and placed them on candlestick holders that I placed in the center of grass I grew in flower-shaped containers (see at end of post).  

I had these tall vases from when I was married many years ago.  It's hard to tell from the picture, but I have paintbrushes hanging from them and white roses I bought from the dollar store that I splattered red paint on.  I bought the heart-shaped balloons from Hobby Lobby.

Butcher paper is an inexpensive way to decorate!  This class was the Eat Me/Drink Me class and I thought it would be cute if they entered through the key hole.

Making the doors look like a tree was the trickiest part!  It was hard to get the paper to stick with just masking tape.  I finally found a repositionable tape worked well.  But this was harder than I thought,  but I LOVED how it turned out.  I wanted the girls to feel like they were going down the rabbit hole and entering Wonderland.

The church has an 8 ft. long portable chalkboard that we used to create a backdrop with these card men painting the roses red.  This was a great backdrop where many of the girls took their pictures.  I even had a bluetooth speaker playing the song "Painting the Roses Red" as they passed by.  It created a fun atmosphere and really brought them to life.  

These cute leaders greeted the girls to the activity.  We set this up in the foyer of the church and had another bluetooth speaker that played "All in the Golden Afternoon."  It felt like the cute little pansies were singing!
I had this on a poster board hanging on the wall for the girls to see.

This was the front of the invitation. You can download it here
Back of Invitation.
I have and editable version of this, but you may not have some of the same fonts as I used, which will effect the layout, but it will give you something to work with so that you don't have to start from scratch. Download it here. And the clocks here.
Fonts I used are Return to Sender, Chalk Hand Lettering Shaded, CK Ali's Hand-I think if you downloaded the fonts first, when you open the file, it may not effect the document too much.

The grass containers were grown in fruit/veggie trays that I found from the dollar store! I started growing them about 3 weeks ahead of time.  I just filled the containers with dirt.  Generously sprinkled grass seed that I purchased from Home Depot (must buy the Quick Grass Seed about $7), and then added a little more dirt on top and watered. I just kept them in a sunny spot in my windows since it was too cold to put them outside.

Here's the Links to my Music Files.  I found them on you tube as video files.  So I made them into audio files.  However, if you want to get them to play in itunes, you are going to have to convert them into MP3 file formats, by downloading this file to your computer, then importing that file into your iTunes library.  Then, right click on the song and then "create an MP3 version".

For the Foyer when the girls entered I played:
Down the Rabbit Hole with the Golden Afternoon

In the Cultural Hall I played:
Golden Afternoon Mix
Mad Tea Party Music

And in the Opposite Hallway where I had my card men, I played:
Painting the Roses Red

Here's the link to the posters we had printed for each classroom.  I put them on a flash drive and had them printed at kinko's on 11x17 paper.

Here's also the link to the outline our Activity:

I love sharing my ideas.  Feel free to contact me and let me know if I can answer any questions.  Our activity was only a few days ago, but I've already received a ton of positive feedback on it.  Not only was it fun, but it was a great uplifting and spiritual experience for the girls.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Summer of PI: Part Two

We just scooped 1/4c. instant vanilla pudding onto a plate with a dollop of whip cream. Mmmm...
We just finished our Summer of PI (Personal Improvement) tonight.  It was so amazing!  Our girls achieved so much this summer through scripture study, personal progress, temple visits, service, etc...I was blown away with how hard they worked, so much so, that we totaled 430 pies!  Eek!  So, we had to tweak it a little.  We converted their Pie tally marks into points so that 3 points=1 pie. That significantly reduced the amount of pies we had to make.  All-in-all we made 150 pies.  Half way through the girls throwing pies, the leaders (and bishopric members) decided to AMBUSH the girls!  So we ran over to the table and the PIE FIGHT BEGAN!  It was an event to be remembered!  Some of the girls said we need to make this a tradition and I hope we can! 
Getting Ready to begin! The leaders participated in earning points as well.  Based on our points, we earned Protective Gear: Poncho, gloves, goggles, shower caps, and a towel.  Thank goodness we had that. 
Throwing the Pies at the leaders.  Before they threw their pies, I had them tell us one of their favorite things they did over the summer to earn a pie.

This one got personal (mother/daughter fight)

What leaders are willing to do for their girls!!!
The girls had fun getting messy!

And of course to top it all off... PIE for dessert!

If you have any questions, please let me know.  I'd be happy to share more details with you.  Please refer to my first post on Summer of Pi: Part 1 for additional info.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


**UPDATE **: Please click here for the: Temple Template

I am super excited about this!  I saw this idea on Pinterest, but it had no instructions or any detail.  I just gave a Come Follow Me lesson on "Why is Temple Marriage Important?"  I gave this as my handout, but this would be cute for girls camp too.  I purchased two, 2 1/2" x 8ft* board from Home Depot for $2.12 each.  And some sparkly tuelle from Hobby Lobby for $2, so the whole project cost me $7 and it made 13 temples!  For the middle part of the temple I used bead board.  I had some left overs from a different project.  So if you don't have bead board, then that is where it will get spendy.

In order to create this, you need a band saw.  The right tools are EVERYTHING!  I cranked everything out in about 2 hours!  Then, I just glued the pieces together with wood glue, and painted it. Voila!  It was SUPER easy, just takes time and skill.  If you are interested in the template, send me a coment and I will upload them.  The project is about 5"w x 7"h. 

*After doing this, I may have upgraded to a 6"x 8' piece of wood, that way, I could have made the back two steeples in one piece instead of two, then I could have glued the middle bead board piece on top. 
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Girls Camp Craft: Magnetic Board

For a girls camp craft we made magnet boards.  I saw this idea on Pin terest where they used stove top covers.  Unfortunately, the Dollar Store by me didn't sell them anymore.  So I found the next best thing, a 12" pizza tin ($1).  It was PERFECT and a 12x12" scrapbook paper fit like a glove. As far as magnets go, I wanted to use the clear stones, but I found that they weren't strong enough to hold a piece of paper.  So I just used wood square pieces I found at Michaels.  Then clothespins from the Dollar Store.  All in all, it was around $2.50 per girl, but depending if you have some supplies on hand, I bet you could make it less than that. 

Girls Camp: Pillow Treat

I bought the tissues at the Dollar Store.  They came in a 8 pack for $1. 
For girls camp every year we do a pillow treat each night for the girls.  I came up with this idea last year and it went over so well, that we decided it will be something we will continue to do every year.  We make sure that this is given to them the night before testimony meeting so that they come prepared.  Usually, our tent leaders will incorporate our treat into a nightime devotional. 

If you'd like the print out, click on the link below:
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Come Follow Me: July-What Does It Mean to Take the Name of Jesus Christ Upon Me

This was my handouts for the girls.  I think it would ha ve been great to get the actual name tags from the store, but I didn't have the chance to get there.  So, I found the image on line and added to it.  If you're interested in a FIB template you can download one HERE.
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Sunday, June 9, 2013

SUMMER OF PI (Personal Improvement)-PART 1

Here's the chart for all the girls.  Each week during opening exercises we ask the girls what they've done and mark it accordingly.  In the week since doing this it has been awesome to see what the girls have been up to, who's been reading their scriptures, who's visited the temple, etc...

I adapted this idea from a friend of mine who did this activity in her ward.  I am so excited about it.  I've called it Summer of Pi (trying to play off the movie title Life of Pi, get it?).  But PI stands for personal improvement.  We have different categories that they can earn pies for.  It started June 1st and will end Sept 1st.  Then our following activity Sept 4th, we will have a pie night.  In which, they can add up all the pies they've earned throughout the summer and will get to throw the pies in the leaders faces!  We are going to have the bishopric come and will invite the YW stake presidency as well.  The leaders are earning pies along side the girls, but instead of pies to throw, we are earning protective gear: Poncho, goggles, shower cap, gloves, towel.  We will do it outside in the Bowery and (hope) it ends in a pie fight (and of course we'll eat real pie for dessert!)

Now, the pies are just a foam plate filled with pudding and whipped cream to keep costs down.  My friend who originally did this idea, based their points on Personal Progress goals and indexing.  I took it a step further, since many girls have finished personal progress, I broadened the focus and accounted for many different areas of improvement.

We are one week into this program and many girls have earned pies.  EEK!  I think we may do this every summer and since it's our first time, we may have to tweak how many pies will be earned (I am afraid they may potentially earn a lot!) 

This is just a close up of the chart.  I just use tally marks when marking it off.  If you'd like this chart format, I have a link for it below.

I will post the final result after our Sept activity, but wanted to get this posted in case others wanted to implement this before we get too deep into summer.  Let me know if you have any questions, or suggestions!

Attached below is the Pie earning chart that you can hand out to the girls so they know what each pie is worth and a personal pie tracking sheet that they can track their progress throughout the summer.  I thought this would be a good idea, so that I don't miss anything they've done. 

Summer of Pi (value chart)
Pie Tracking Sheet
Summer of Pi Poster size tracking sheet- It should print in several different pages and then you can cut and glue it together to fit the size of a foam poster board.



1 pie= 1 value experience

2 pies= 1 value project

* Earn an extra 5 pies if you finish personal progress.


1 pie for every 5 chapters read in the book of Mormon (I would change this to be every 15 or 20 chapters instead)

1 pie for consistently reading 5 out of 7 days (that’s an additional 13 pies at the end of the summer). I am so proud of our girls, many of them earned pies through reading.  This was really effective!

*Earn an additional 5 extra pies for finishing the entire Book of Mormon (on top of the above)


1 pie for every 2 hours of service performed

1 pie for every temple visit (Baptisms for the Dead)


5 pies: for PERFECT church attendance throughout the summer

5 pies: attending all mutual activities throughout the summer

5 pies= keeping a weekly journal throughout the summer (This was harder to tally, I ended up giving them a point per week they wrote, giving them a potential of earning 13 pies- I am sure you can figure a better way).

1 pie: attending Girls Camp

1 pie: Each time you share your testimony

1 pie: for inviting someone to church or mutual

*Please click on Summer of Pi: Part Two to continue reading.

  *I found and purchased the cute graphics from Etsy Here:

Monday, March 18, 2013

Come Follow Me (March Lesson) Handout: What is the Resurrection?

I read President Monson's talk, He is Risen that the lesson guide suggested.  I LOVED his story about Jason that he relates at the end of his talk.  I decided to play off of the word "NEVER" that Jason so boldly professed in his hospital bed.  I thought it was very powerful.  I wrote this little saying to go with Jason's words and to sum up my lesson on the resurrection   I also showed the Bible video: For God So Loved the World (John 3:16), during my lesson.  It turned out really wonderful! I am so grateful for the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ! What a wonderful blessing promised to each of us!  

I used chocolate gold coins, and butterscotch discs to represent "riches".  I then wrapped them in tulle, added a ribbon and stapled it to the quote.
Posted by PicasaClick here to print out the quote: NEVER LOSE FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST

Fabric Covered Flip Flop Tutorial

For our 2013 year theme, "Stand Ye in Holy Places", we decided to give the upcoming Beehives, a pair of flip flops during our New Beginnings night.  I wanted to think outside the box and come up with something a little different than the rag-tied flip flops that I have seen before.  I simply wrapped the fabric around these flip flops from Walmart ($.98) and Voila!  Cute colorful flip flops.  I thought I'd share the tutorial below. 
We wanted to do these in the Value Colors.  You can see I only have 7 colors because the white flip flop counts as Faith. *Note: Each strip will do one pair of shoes.  So, you can make a at least 40 pairs of shoes (depending on the width of the fabric) out of 1/4 yard of fabric!

You can leave the shoe plain as seen above in Step 4 and be done, or if you'd like to add an embellishment between the toes as I have done, than you can do so. Note: I just used hot glue and it seems to do a pretty good job, however, for more durability, you may want to use a stronger fabric glue.   

I added our theme on the sole of the shoe for an added touch.  I wrote these on here with a fine tip permanent marker.

Here's the end result!  I chose to add little roses between the toe (made out of felt), but you could embellish it with whatever you'd like.  The possible variations of this project are endless!

Here's how we packaged these for the girls.  The girls were THRILLED to have these shoes!