Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter Mantle {and a free printable!}

You guys!

I have a mantle to decorate!

Well, sort of...

Ok, so it's a shelf, but it's mine and I get to decorate it however I want after a year and a half of keeping my decorations in a box! It makes me happy.

It's a good combination of things we already had and a few new goodies.

Here are the goods:

The candle holders were a wedding gift from my Aunt and Uncle. I can't find the candles for them so they're doubling as sort-of apothecary jar/candy bowls. The little bird used to sit on top of our cabinets in AZ. We don't have cabinet tops anymore so he'll need a new home. Maybe this is it. The nest is from the dollar section at Target! Woot!

Isn't the bunny cute? Hobby Lobby, 40% off. Go hit up the Easter sales before they pack them up! I love tulips. They might be my favorite. Since I'm dealing with a red wall I had to skip the pretty pink ones, but I like the white ones too!

My favorite part is the banner. It just finishes the whole thing off in a way that makes me happy.

You know what else makes me happy? Giving things to you! Not only do I have a tutorial for that little banner, but I have a printable for you, too! You'll be able to grab it at the end of this post.

Here we go!

I could have just cut triangles and handwritten the letters, but I have not been blessed with cute lettering skills. I knew it would make me crazy if I tried, so I dove into Photoshop and made myself a little template, complete with cute font.

I started with paper grocery bags:

Using a piece of paper as a template I cut the bags into 81/2 by 11 pieces. I ended up needing 3 bags to get the pieces I needed.

I ran them through my printer and printed out my templates.

Then used some pinking shears (the cheap craft kind!) to cut them out.

From there I strung them on some twine and hung it up. Done and done!

- I wish it was a little bit smaller. Not enough to make another one, but I'll probably re-do it next year.
- I may or may not have hot-glued the banner to my shelf.
- This is literally the only spot in our new house that is finished. Priorities.

Want to make your own banner? Download your free printable HERE!

Be blessed!


I'm linking up at: Sorta Crunchy

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pinned It, Tried It:Oven Baked Eggs

Hey there friends!

This time of year is egg season, for sure. Real ones, plastic ones, and my personal favorite...chocolate ones!

However, it's the hard-boiled ones I want to talk to you about today.

I have a confession: I hate boiling eggs. For real. Hate.

I know, it's kind of right up there with boiling pasta, but I always manage to mess it up. Under cooked, over cooked, rubbery, green around the edges...ick.

Then I saw this:

Eggs in the oven? Could it be? This I had to try.

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter (@Its_ALongStory) you probably saw this little experiment in real time. Here it is for the rest of you!

Here goes nothin...(or, a dozen eggs, whatev!)

 Out of the oven, into an ice bath they go!


Results: I'm never boiling eggs again. 25-30 minutes in the oven at 325. No watching, no tricks, easy peasy. I did 2 dozen eggs in my mini-muffin pan last night.

- Some eggs still get green around the edges. Probably the smallest ones in the batch.
- Some eggs are still harder to peel. I think that's just the reality of eggs. My mom says the fresher eggs are harder to peel, so if you need perfectly peeled eggs, maybe buy them a few days before your event?
- Some people stated that the whites of oven baked eggs were fluffier. I didn't necessarily think that, but they certainly aren't rubbery! I call it a win.

Now we get to do this!

Be blessed!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Have a Great Morning with Aunt Jemima

Hey there friends.

Want a little peek into our mornings? Abbey has to be up and out the door 4 days a week, three for preschool and one for gymnastics. Here's a bit of what those mornings look like...

"'s time to get up."

"Come one, honey bunny...up!"
(that right there is the face of a staller, ladies and gentlemen!)

"Do you want pancakes for breakfast?"

Ahhh....there it is! Pancakes for the win!

Unfortunately, not every morning has time for pancakes. At least not homemade ones. Enter Aunt Jemima Lil' Griddles!

Pancakes that I can stick in the microwave and have ready for the tiny child in less than a minute? With no mess? Bring. It. ON! 

Now, we're no strangers to frozen breakfasts. I've tried other frozen pancakes, but I think Aunt Jemima Lil' Griddles are my new favorite. The other's that I have tried have always been really sweet, which I don't get. Why do I need sweet pancakes? I'm going to put syrup on them! The Aunt Jemima  pancakes taste the closest to homemade that I have found. 

I also love that there isn't any junk in them. We are not food purists, not even close, but I do try to avoid things like High Fructose Corn Syrup and food dyes. You won't find any of those things in these pancakes! Actually, just about everything on the list of ingredients is something I have in my kitchen right now! (I'm fresh out of whey...darn it!)  How often does that happen?  With real eggs, milk, and sugar they really do live up to their tag line "every batch made from scratch". 

(This is what happens when she sees a camera...we're in for trouble!)

I love being able to give Abbey a great breakfast on busy mornings. She's a busy, growing girl, and needs her energy for the day. I am so grateful for companies like Aunt Jemima that help me do that in a healthy way.

Be blessed!


Thank you to Aunt Jemima Frozen Breakfast for being a sponsor. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Lovin' Bloglovin'!

Hey there friends!

I know I'm not breaking the news that Google Reader is going away. I'm sure, by now, you've heard that ad nauseum.

However, I am jumping on the BlogLovin' train!

I hesitated to try out BlogLovin' when it first came out. It just felt like one more thing to deal with, and why bother when I have good ol' Reader, right?


I'm in love. BlogLovin' is more streamlined, just as easy to use and has an app!

Yes, that's right, I can finally read my beloved blogs from my phone. Let the unproductiveness abound!

So now you can follow It's A Long Story on BlogLovin'. Just click that little link down there.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Be blessed!


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Do Good with #SoleHope

Hi friends!

We've been part of the new small group program at our church since the fall. We've done some great studies, and had some wonderful time together. It's so fun getting to know new people! One of the things each small group is supposed to do is participate in at least one service opportunity every few months.

Well....we've been slacking on that one.

Not on purpose, I swear! I hate to say it, but we live in the land of the hyper-involved family. It is hard to find a time that everyone has available, besides when we are in our group. So, we needed something that we could do as a group, during group.

Enter SoleHope.

Have you heard about SoleHope? They are doing amazing things, and you can help them do them!

Here, take a minute or two and learn all about them:

See? Amazing, right?
The easiest way to jump in and do some good is to host a shoe cutting party, which is what we did. How it works is you order a shoe party kit for the size party you want to have. They range from 10 to 100 people, and are great for everything from small groups to youth groups!
I ordered our 10 person kit and we picked a date. Since we were meeting when we usually did, we had a much better turn out. Still not everyone, but...such is life! 
These parties couldn't get much simpler! You get a kit with 1 shoe size. It includes pattern pieces, a sample set, and instructions. At your party you trace and cut shoe pieces and bundle them together. These are then sent back to Sole Hope. Easy peasy!



Almost there!

Snap a pic of the cutie...
We got 4 complete pairs done! We could have done more, but we ran out of milk jugs for the plastic pieces. The great part is, we still have plenty of traced pieces to cut, so we can bring them to group next week and cut as we chat! We'll get more shoes made, and more people will get to be involved! Win win!
If you're looking for a service opportunity, I cannot recommend Sole Hope enough. They are changing lives in Africa, and it is so easy to be a part of it! I am sure we will do this again!
Be blessed, do good!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

5 Randoms

Hey there friends,

I wanted share a bit of myself with you all today, so here they are...5 random things about me!

1. I eat Egg McMuffins one layer at a time. Top english muffin, ham, egg, cheesy english muffin. I have my whole life. My husband looks at me like I'm crazy every. single. time.

2. I like cold Mac & Cheese. Homemade, Kraft, doesn't matter. It's great warm, but it's just as good straight out of the fridge (usually standing in the open door....don't judge me!)

3. I have a mild  pretty serious obsession with things matching. I can almost always match a color, even without having a sample with me. I would love to be one of those "perfectly mismatched" decorators, but it's just not going to happen.

4. I have to keep my nails short. Any more that half an inch of growth makes me absolutely crazy! I don't understand how people with long nails do life. More power to you if you do!

5. The scent of fresh dill literally makes me happy. Yes, I am could you tell?

Wow...that was a lot of information about food! It's 11:15 and I'm hungry! Haha!

Have a blessed day!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Spread the Word to End the Word!

Hi friends!

Today is Spread the Word to End the Word Day!!

Special Olympics and Best Buddies have come together to create a day of awareness for Person-First Language.

What is Person-First Language, you ask? To put it simply, it is a way of referring to people in a way that respects them as people first, and their disability or illness last.

Some examples:

Don't say: The Autistic Boy
DO say: The boy with Autism

Don't say: The down Syndrome child
DO say: The child who happens to have down Syndrome.

Don't say: That person IS Special Needs
DO say: That person HAS Special Needs

Get it? Pretty easy.

The biggest goal of this day is to eliminate the use of the R-Word. That's right....retarded. This word gets thrown around so often in our culture in a derogatory way. It hurts my heart. When you use the r-word to describe something as silly, or useless you are in fact describing people with cognitive impairments as silly or useless.

It is SO easy to break this habit! Add a little bit of intentionality to your speech and you are good to go!
After all, we are ALL made in the image of God!

There are some great videos floating around today, but I had to share this one. It's made by students at my Alma Mater! Go Lakers!

Head on over to the End The Word facebook page for more information!

Be blessed!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sooo...February happened.

You guys.

It's March!

Of course, I'm sitting here at my dining room table watching the snow fall. All of Chicagoland cancelled school today. I think they've forgotten where we live.


February happened, and it was busy, and we're still (still!) unpacking and painting and figuring our where things go.

Here's what it's looked like around here lately.

 Moving is always an adventure. Watching 3 IT guys and a Nuclear Physicist try to build IKEA furniture is hilarious. Little girl's bedrooms should always be an amazing shade of their favorite color, and staring at boxes is always productive. Or something like that...

So. Much. Painting. I know those bottom two don't look very different, but they are. And it's amazing. More to come!

We got to take Abbey and a friend (and her friend's mommy!) to see Disney on Ice. SO much fun!

Pie dates were had...and then interrupted.

This new place is starting to feel like home.

Be blessed!


Friday, March 1, 2013

Follow Along Friday at FLT!

Welcome to Fancy Little Thing's Follow Along. We are encouraged by all of you, by the connections you make here in the comments, in our directory, in our community, in our Gal Groups and now --->> we can connect on Social Media outside of this website. This week we'll be linking up our Facebook & Twitter profiles. And, we have a few co-hosts -- Christie from Satisfaction Through Christ Aimee from By Aimee & Co. Heather from It's A Long Story Mary from Trusty ChucksKathryn from Singing Through the Rain and Julie from Back to the Basics Make sure you stop by and say "Hi" to each of them; they're a great group of ladies! :) Ok, onto the fun stuff!
1: Follow us on TWITTER or FACEBOOK! Both would be just lovely! 2: LINK UP! Please note - we have (2) link-ups down below.. one is for Facebook, one is for Twitter! Link appropriately please!! --->> Link up by following two EASY steps! Step #1: Fill out the “submission” form below & enter your PROFILE URL into the “URL” section. Step #2: On the next screen, select “Upload from Computer” and choose your image to upload. 3: Follow along with the co-hosts and at least 5 others. 4. Share our Follow Along! Please tweet: “Follow Along Party with @FancyLilThings today at” or you can always tell your lovely Facebook followers too!

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