Thursday, September 12, 2013


It may sound cliché but it really does seem like just yesterday that I was sitting down to blog about Colton's 2nd birthday party. And now here it is....a year later and I can honestly say that this slippery slope that we are on taking him from baby to teenager needs to slow down! It seems like my little guy was just barely making sense with his 2 year old chatter....and now here he is talking non-stop about everything under the sun! And it's leaving this mommy with a serious case of "where did my little tiny baby go?!"
This year planning Colton's birthday party was a little different. I was able to ask him what kind of party he wanted and while he didn't really understand at first what I was asking, when I gave him the option of Mickey Mouse, Dinosaur Train, Jake the Neverland Pirates, and Cat in the Hat, he immediately chose Mickey! I can't say that I was surprised, lately we've been watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse marathons (thanks to our DVR)! If I have to dance to the Hot Dog Dance one more time I think I'll scream! But nevertheless, I knew the next few weeks would be Mickey overload.  But I was ready for it!

Click HERE to see some decorations and food ideas from Colton's Mickey Mouse party!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


For years I have loved to buy Apple Chips in the store, they were sweet, crunchy, and best of all....a lot healthier than regular potato chips.  I used to buy them in bulk and then one day, I went grocery shopping and NONE. There were none to be found in any of the grocery stores around here. I have to admit I was more than a little bummed. I even looked online from the manufacture to see where they were still being sold.  Then one day, I realized how simple these should be to make and decided to attempt it.  It is probably the simplest recipe in existence and they come out perfectly! Click HERE to get the recipe for these scrumptious treats!

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Fourth of July was a nice time for our family. My husband happen to get a few days off (which is a rarity). And we were able to make it to Cleveland for a family 4th of July party.  My aunt and uncle have been having this annual party for years and I can remember being so excited for it! I love that they still have the party every year so that I can now take my son!

Since I had my son, I have fallen in love with art made from his little handprints and footprints! I have always adored his ten little fingers and ten little toes. So nothing would be more appropriate than an Independence Day decoration made from his prints.

I made this adorable HANDPRINT AMERICAN FLAG.
It was something super simple that I can frame and have as a decoration for years to come! Click HERE for the tutorial or click on my "4th of July" tab on my HOLIDAYS page to see this and more ideas!

Monday, July 22, 2013


Time sure does pass by so quickly these days.  It definitely does not seem like it has been two months since my last post.  Each day feels like it needs a few more hours, which is something that I think many of you can relate to.  The last two months have been filled with a lot of highs and lows, my Thirty One Gifts business has really taken off, we've begun planning our Walt Disney World vacation for the fall, and my son's upcoming 3rd birthday! Last week however, my feet were knocked out from under me when I found out that my father had a potentially fatal health episode that landed him in the hospital having Open Heart Surgery.  Nothing could compare to the feeling of relief when he made it through the surgery and did well enough to come home five days later. I feel so blessed and pray that he continues to improve.

As I mentioned before, we have decided to take my lil guy to Disney World in October and then subsequently visit Clearwater where I'm from.  We only recently decided to make the trip and I know in the Disney universe, planning a vacation only a few months before can be a real chore.  Disney Resorts are definitely starting to book full and finding a room at a resort we want was a little tricky.  Reservations for specialty dining have also been hit or miss this close to the trip.  We definitely want to take Colton to some "Character Dining" restaurants, and those types sell out months in advance. Our top two character dining restaurants were already completely sold out when I called and so I had to go with our second and third choices, which should still turn out to be awesome!  I know a lot of moms out there want to take their little ones to Disney and love tips.....I know because I am one. So I have decided to make several posts throughout my planning as well as when we return, about things I liked, didn't like, don't recommend, etc.  I always love reading blogs with tips and recommendations from real moms...because I am a real mom, not a travel agent! So look for some upcoming posts on planning my Walt Disney World vacation :)

When we decided to go to Disney, my husband and I planned on telling my son at his 3rd Birthday party (it just happens to appropriately be Mickey-themed this year).  Unfortunately, we made the mistake of talking to my mother about it while he was in the room and now he asks "Are we going to Disney?" constantly.  I needed to figure out a way to help him get through the next three months without driving us completely insane.  I thought about it for a while and decided that we would make a Disney related project or activity each week to keep him excited but not upset that we can't go right this minute.  I also decided to make a "Countdown to Disney World" chart that will start the first day of October. Check back soon for the tutorial!

Here's the first of our Disney-themed projects! A MICKEY MOUSE MUSIC MAKER. It was so simple to make and Colton loved marching around the room making his "music" and singing. Click HERE for the tutorial!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


When it comes to household items, there is nothing I love more than ONE safe and inexpensive product that has a plethora of uses from cleaning to first aid.  On any given day, if you would open my closets or under the sink cabinets you will find what seems like a million bottles and containers of cleaning products. While each one of these products work great for their own use, the cost adds up as does the danger to my ever curious two year old. 

Now that my son finds entertainment in doing the complete opposite of what he knows he shouldn't,  I have resorted to moving anything that is dangerous (those "lovely" locks that we bought at Babies R Us just aren't cutting it anymore) out of his reach.  And now I'm trying to go one step further and partly eliminate some of those "thousands" of cleaning products.

While doing my research into safe and effective cleaning products, I learned that one of my favorite stain removing and wound cleansing products is capable of doing much much more! Now I have a bottle in many rooms of my house! Hydrogen Peroxide is a miracle cleaner and cleanser that is completely safe. Safe enough to use around children! And that's perfect for our house!!

If you are like I was and only think that hydrogen peroxide is good for cleaning cuts, then CLICK HERE to see my list of some of the best uses for this magic product!

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Two of my hubby's favorite dishes are stuffed shells and buffalo chicken wings. So I thought "why not combine these two yummy dishes into one?"  So I figured that stuffing large shells with a mix of cheeses, chicken, and hot sauce would be super scrumptious! They turned out amazing and quickly became a often requested meal in our home!

To find out how to make this yummy dish, click on the "RECIPES" tab.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


With a toddler in the house, I am always at one moment or another cleaning, cooking, or picking up after my little man. And since my son was born, I have really become more in tune with a lot of products out there to help me accomplish those tasks.  Over the last few years, I have found several "can't live without" products that have really made my life easier!! So I've decided to make a new series of posts now and then about some of the products that I love and how they really do make my life a whole lot easier!  These won't just be cleaning products. Some will be foods, organizational products, health and beauty....anything really.  Eventually, you will be able to find links to the posts from my main page. :) I hope they help some of you the way they have helped me!!

First up on my list are these heaven sent cleaning pads! Mr. Clean Magic Erasers! Click here to read about why I love them and how you can too!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"OMG" Orange Creamsicle Cake

I came across a recipe online recently, for a creamsicle cake and thought it was something different and sounded tasty. So the other day, I finally decided to try and make it for an Easter dessert.  As I followed the recipe, I noticed that the cake in no way resembled the picture and seemed as if it would end up being a big pan of mush that may or may not have ended up tasting somewhat like a creamsicle.  So after some thought, I decided to attempt to make this cake my own way. It turned out fantastic and tastes just like the creamsicles that I used to love when I was a kid! This is one of those recipes that tastes so good that it's dangerous! Luckily EVERYONE liked it and I wasn't left with much :)

This cake is amazing! To get the recipe, click on the "RECIPE" tab.

Monday, April 1, 2013


Pre-kid times, my home was always neat and tidy. Very seldom would there be a pile of mail on the table or clutter in the corner.  However, after my son was born, my living room began to look more like a daycare and less like a home.  And while I admit that I hate the clutter, I wouldn't change my lil human tornado for anything!

One thing in my living room that is a total eyesore, is our DVD collection.  When my husband and I first got married and we combined our DVD collections, we bought a big wooden DVD storage shelf. After a while, we managed to fill the shelving unit and then some.  (When I say "and then some", I mean 600+ DVDs).  And in my opinion, nothing looks tackier than a ton of DVD cases taking up space in my living room.  So I was determined to eliminate some of the clutter by figuring out a way to condense all the movies.

Click on the "ORGANIZING & CLEANING TIPS" page.


Recently my husband came across a picture of a strawberry desert that looked super yummy and asked me to make it for him. But just like a man, he shows me only a recipe and not even so much as a word to tell me what exactly it was.  So using my wife super powers, I tried to figure out what the dessert could possibly be and then make my own version of it...the outcome?? A super yummy Strawberry Cream Cheese Cobbler :)

For the recipe click on my "RECIPE" tab. 

Monday, March 25, 2013


Both my husband and I love Italian food and I find myself making some sort of pasta dish once a week. And while neither one of us want to give up pasta completely, I have been trying to limit it to a side dish instead of the main course.  Growing up my mother and grandfather used to make chicken parmesan quite frequently and I loved it! However, when I met my husband, I quickly learned that for some reason chicken parmesan is one of his least favorite meals.  The outcome? I just don't make it. :(  But today I decided to make a variation and see if I could change my husband's mind....the new outcome? He really liked it! I was shocked! And the best part? It's healthy!!!

To get the recipe, click on the "RECIPE" tab.

Monday, February 25, 2013


With St. Patty's Day coming up and rainbows being one of the common images of the holiday, I figured this would be a great chance to work with my son on his colors.  Building a rainbow picture is good way to go over the different colors and also to teach him to follow directions. I love doing activities together that keep him busy and not just sitting on the couch watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. And the best part about doing these activities, is that he has fun and learns new things every day!

Click on the "ST. PATRICK'S DAY" page under the HOLIDAYS tab to see more.


St. Patrick's Day is quickly approaching and I am trying to not get lost in the craziness of day-to-day life once again and end up with no decorations up until the week of the 17th. That's why I have made a vow to set aside some time each day to get my decorating done. And what better way to start than with this cute little sign that I hope brings some good "luck" and fun to our house.

Click on the "ST. PATRICK'S DAY" page under the HOLIDAYS tab to see how I made this.


For Valentine's Day, my son absolutely LOVED making the coffee filter hearts. (You can see the post here. ) So, I figured I would let him make shamrocks the same way for St. Patrick's Day! Colton loves any excuse to play with markers and I love any excuse to get him to sit still. Not to mention that these shamrocks turned out super cute!

To see instructions for this activity, check out the "ST. PATRICK'S DAY" page under the Holidays tab.

Monday, February 11, 2013


I have to admit that I have been very busy in the last several weeks and decorating for Valentine's Day has been pushed to the back burner.  However, I was determined to not skip the holiday completely.  As you saw in my previous post, my son and I had fun making Valentine cards! Colton was so cute making them and we will definitely do this again next year.

Even though the last few weeks have been hectic in the Conley household, I really wanted to get a few decorations up before Valentine's Day was over.  I came up with some really cute, really simple ideas. Check out my  "VALENTINE'S DAY" page under the "Holidays" tab to see them.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


There is nothing that I love more than spending time doing activities with my son! He loves exploring new items, textures, and concepts through hands on play. And the things that he has learned from them are amazing! Not to mention that I have gotten some really cute keepsakes in the process!

For Valentine's Day this year, I wanted to have Colton make cards for his grandparents and I wanted to go beyond the normal, give him some paper and crayons and let him color one. So I decided to come up with something that he could do that was different and fun!  Last year, I saw something on Pinterest about coffee filter art projects for toddlers.  I searched through my boards and couldn't find the pin (possibly because I have thousands of pins), but I thought how hard could it be to figure it out myself.  And they turned out awesome!
Visit my "HOLIDAYS" page to find this activity and more!

Friday, February 1, 2013


Valentine's Day is all about telling the one's you love how much they mean to you. And what better way to do it than to "deliver" it in these cute little felt envelopes. Write a little note and stick it inside with some candy! How simple is that? And they are so darn cute!

Click on my "Holidays" page and then on the "Valentine's Day" tab for the instructions.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


In complete contradiction to my healthy recipe from last post (that's what women do, right? Contradict ourselves..), here is a recipe for a total guilty pleasure.  This heavenly, chocolate rich dessert is perfect for any chocolate lover! I like chocolate but once a month I LOVE chocolate! And this dessert is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!
Click on my "RECIPES" tab to get the recipe for this dessert!


It's no secret that my husband and I like the taste of bar type food.  If my husband had his choice, we would be eating wings and breaded mushrooms 3 or 4 times a week.  But even though we both think these foods are totally yummy, neither one of us want all the fat and calories that go with it. 

Just like with my "Oven Baked Buffalo Wings" (see the recipe HERE), I have found a somewhat healthier way of making some of our favorite foods.  One food that I really find yummy is breaded pickles.  I like them so much that I tried to come up with a way to make them at home (without all the fat and calories).  And just like my recipe for buffalo wings, by eliminating the deep frying process, you eliminate lots of calories!!

Click on my "RECIPES" tab to find out how I made these.

Monday, January 21, 2013


I know Christmastime is over and everyone is now focused on the fun of decorating and preparing for Valentine's Day. But in the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the new year, I forgot to post a few ideas and recipes from over Christmas. 

I've always loved making handprint items with my son.  The idea of having these little memory items many years from now is so important to me.  Thanks to Pinterest I have found so many cute ideas for crafts using your children's prints and I can't wait to try some of them!

This Christmas, instead of using a gift tag for family member's presents, I had the idea to make these cute little handprint tags! And the best part?  With the ribbon (not pictured) attached, these tags make adorable Christmas tree ornaments!  Everyone loved them and they are so simple to make!
Click on the HOLIDAYS tab and then on my CHRISTMAS page to find how I made this!

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Three weeks in to 2013 and I have come to see that 2013 has come in just like 2012 went out.  To describe it in one word....CRAZY.  Life is wonderful but each day seems to be fuller than the last, and I've begun to wonder if twenty-four hours are enough. 

Lately, it has begun to feel as if I am a single parent.  My husband works so much during the day and spends his weekday evenings at the police academy, which leaves breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between up to me and me alone.  I feel guilty for being exhausted by the time evening rolls around, but I can't help it.  Many people don't realize that being a stay-at-home mom is tough JOB!  I, myself am guilty of thinking that way before I had kids.  I was truly one of those people who thought that stay-at-home moms laid around all day and watched soap operas while their children played.  However, now that I myself am one of those so-called "couch potatoes", I can honestly apologize for ever assuming that this life was a breeze.  An average day in our house consists of me battling my two year old to eat anything that I put in front of him.  Colton recently got into the phase of telling me he's hungry, telling me what he wants, and then when I make it for him, flat out not eating it.  Temper tantrums and whining are common in our home lately. But, out weighing everything else is the frequent cuddle time that I have with my son.  Just when I'm ready to yank my hair out by the roots, that cute little face looks at me, smiles, and then curls up next to me.  Heaven!  

In between all of the whines, cries, and cuddles are scattered moments where Colton is occupied long enough for me to get some things done around the house.  A load of laundry, dishes, or dusting seem like tremendous accomplishments on some days.  And another accomplishment that I hope to complete soon will be getting Colton potty trained before Easter.  We began to introduce the potty to him a few months ago when he began to show interest in it.  After a few attempts though, I felt that he might not be quite ready to move full force into it yet. So I waited.  Then the other day, when he woke up in the morning he took off his diaper (which ended up being dry) and proceeded to pee all over his bed.  Talk about a mess! Today, he woke up and took his poopy diaper off.  He now absolutely does not like wearing a diaper anymore!  I'm pretty sure this is a sign that he's finally ready. :)   Now if only I can get him potty trained in a few days like many people I know.  Fingers crossed!!!

Even with all the craziness of daily life, my husband and I have begun to talk about possibly building a new home within the next year.  We were planning on buying a home, but decided that the idea to build a brand new home is better!  Although we are just beginning to discuss it (we at least need to wait for him to finish the academy), I am already beyond excited!!! We have looked into builders and have found a couple that we like, and have browsed models and styles on the builder's website.  My husband is so preoccupied with work and school that he hasn't looked at much more than the initial floor plans.  I, however, have begun to obsess!  I spend a lot of time comparing styles and layouts, and making my "Need/Want" list for options. I've been told that the whole process is tiring, stressful, and exceptionally fun at the same time. I just can't wait to truly get started!

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching and I finally got all of our Christmas decorations packed away. Looking around my house now, it looks pretty lonely and bare.  So what does that mean??  It's time to decorate for Valentine's Day!!! I have lots of ideas to put together and I will blog about them as I get them finished!  I have always loved Valentine's Day....everything is red, pink, and pretty!!  Check my "Valentine's Day" page often to find how-to and ideas for decorations, crafts, and recipes!

Sunday, January 6, 2013


There is a saying that you shouldn't wash your hair everyday because it can strip the essential nutrients from it. But if you are like many of us, you will agree that not washing your hair every day leaves it oily and unmanageable. However sometimes there just isn't time for showering before leaving the house.  A while ago, I found a recipe for "dry" shampoo like the kind they sell in beauty supply stores. It works amazing for those quick fixes!

Click on the "JUST FOR YOU" tab to find out how to make your own!

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Last Easter, I came across this cute idea for Easter eggs made out of embroidery floss on Pinterest. They turned out so cute that I will be making more this year for sure! I've had this on my list of things to post on here for quite a while, but never got around to it. So here it is (10 months late or 4 months early, however you want to look at it).

To find out how I made these pretty Easter eggs, click on the "HOLIDAYS" tab and then on the "EASTER" page.

Friday, January 4, 2013


Today while perusing my pantry and refrigerator for ideas about dinner, I decided to throw together this yummy side dish. With a few simple ingredients that I already had in my kitchen, I threw together something that my husband raved about! It's the perfect side for chicken, steak, anything! The next time you go to a potluck gathering, look no further than this super simple, totally tasty dish!

To see the recipe to this delicious side dish and lots more, click on the "RECIPES" tab.