Melissa Kaylene: October 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

30 Days to be Thankful

30 Things to be thankful for

November is just around the corner which means Thanksgiving and the beginning of the busy holiday season. I absolutely adore this time of the year because it brings out the joy and love between everyone. It also happens to bring out pretty decorations, good food, and comfy clothes. What more could I ask for? ;)

I've been thinking about this little challenge for myself...everyday in November I will think of something I am thankful for in the morning. We are often rushing around in a hurry and forget to think about all of the little things we take for granted. I challenge you to create your own "30 Day's" list and post it on your bathroom mirror, fridge, or where ever you look at every morning. Remember, the more positive we think, the more positive we become.

30 Days to be Thankful

1. Family. They will always be my number one. Without them, I wouldn't be who I am today.

2. Health. We really take this one for granted until something goes wrong. Remember to take care of your body the best that you can...this is the only one we get!

3. Freedom. We are so lucky to live in a world, in a time, where we can have freedom. We can choose our own destiny. Yes, there may be obstacles, but we always have a choice.

4. Love. I get busy. We all do. I'm thankful for love. I need to tell more people that I love them. It really isn't a scary word. :)

5. Our Planet. How awesome is this world we live in? Out of the entire solar system, the Earth is the only planet that is just perfect. I love the changing of the seasons, the ocean, trees, fresh air. It's pretty amazing, isn't it? I'm thankful to just take a walk and enjoy it.

6. Children. Have you ever just played with a child, or went on an 'adventure' with them? Everything is so new, so fresh, so exciting to them. I remember laying in the grass, just watching ants for fun. :) Try to look through the eyes of a child and you might just find out how fascinating life really is.

7. Food. Good Food. I used to be stuck in the middle of a completely processed diet. I never tried anything new and exotic. (And by exotic I mean fresh food mixed together in ways I thought was odd ;) ). A few years ago I decided to be brave. There are a few things I still won't try (raw meat is one I can think of)...but sometimes the simplest of foods when prepared correctly are the most delicious.

                                                     Simple and Delicious Stuffed Date Appetizer

8. Friends. What would we do without our true friends? I am grateful for my friends I consider family. The people who are there for you, no matter what. Here's 10 Ways I Know I Have a True Friend ;)

9. Photographs. I LOVE pictures. It's how I remember things. I love to see how things, people, and places change over time.

10. My Home. It's not big. It's not fancy. But its mine. How many people are there out there in the world that aren't as fortunate?

11. Technology. Seriously. I don't think I would have fared to well in horse and buggy days. I like my car, dishwasher, washer, dryer, microwave. All those things we take for granted that were non-existent not that long ago!

12. My Career. I know that I will always have a good career to fall back on, if we need extra money or my husband gets laid off. I can always find work that will cover our living expenses.

13. Sorrow. Yes, this one may sound odd, but think about it. Without sorrow, how would we comprehend the extent of our happiness? How would we express our other emotions without it?

14. Creativity. It lets us express ourselves in other ways. Watching a creative mind in action is the most amazing thing of all. Without creativity what would we have?

15. -------> can I be self absorbed and put Makeup in here? I love makeup. No reason. I'm just thankful for it.

16. Memories. I think second to family these are my most favorite. I choose to remember only the good ones. Makes life so much more fulfilling.

17. Trees. They give us shelter, paper, fruit, oxygen, and so much more.

18. Rainbows. Aren't they amazing? I am in awe of the colors created and how exactly they are made.

                                                                           My Week in Review

19. Language. It's how we communicate, how we express ourselves. Without it, we wouldn't have movies, books, newspapers, blogs.

20. Schedules. Don't get me wrong, I love free time. But without schedules and time, things wouldn't happen! The world revolves around it, and it's gotten us where we are today.

21. Holidays. With our schedules, we sometimes forget the importance of family and friends. Holidays help remind us as we all join in celebration together and spend quality time together.

22. Change. Its scary sometimes. Sometimes it puts us out of our comfort zone. But I'm thankful for change. Without it there would never be any progress.

23. The 5 Senses. It goes along with our health - we take them for granted. What would our world be like if we couldn't smell anything? Feel anything? Taste anything? See anything? Hear anything?

24. Inspiration. This goes hand in hand with creativity. But different things inspire different people. In fact, these are the things that made me what to start a blog, and my blogs motto is "Creating.Simplifying.Inspiring."

25. Kindness. Especially random acts of kindness. Little pieces add up. What if everyone made it a point to do one kind thing to someone else every week, every day, with nothing expected in return. If everyone did this, how much better could life be?

26. Chocolate. Coffee. And Wine. And Cheese. And no, these do not fit under the food category - these are something I am grateful for every week :)

27. Goals. I love them. They help me stay focused. I'm thankful for these so much.

28. Individuality. We are not all the same. Some of us are blessed in different ways, with different abilities. Just because someone is not like you or societies perception of normal - doesn't make them any less than you.

29. My husband. Without him, my eyes may have never been fully opened to see the finer things life has to offer and beauty in it all.

30. Life. I am thankful to have been blessed with an opportunity to live. What is your definition of living? If you aren't fulling your definition, I think its time to start living. We only live once. Make it count!

30 Things to be thankful for


P.S. I'd love to see what you've been up too! Come link up @ my Create.Simplify.Inspire party happening now! :) 

Monday, October 29, 2012

You Inspired Me Monday

 Oh hello Monday! Its a cloudy and wet day here. My car is still in the shop so I'm trapped at home which is forcing me to clean and try to keep the two little ones from beating each other up too bad. I love that they actually got to have a sleepover at Papa's house....but sometimes the post-lack-of-sleep-to-much-sugar-and-excitement meltdowns are so exhausting!

Thanks everyone for linking up at last weeks Create.Simplify.Inspire link party. It will be in its fourth week this week and is open Thursday through Sunday night.

Nici from Posed Perfection showed us how she created these adorable Candy Corn Treat Pockets!

Nici also made some super simply and delicious BBQ Chicken Pita Pizza

 Cynthia from Feeding Big inspired me to make something with Pumpkins....I almost anything pumpkin and these Pumpkin Spice Scones look amazing!!

 Thanks ladies! I've pinned all of these! Can't wait to see what everyone has done this next week!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Week In Review

Thanks so much for all of the new followers lately, I'm so honored to have you reading about little ol' me. :)
This week flew by as it usually does. Monday I was lucky enough to sneak out of the house and attend a couponing seminar that was put on by the Oregonian. Yes, I know, I haven't really brought the subject up on here, but I have been known to score some awesome deals in the past. I am not a die hard couponer, but I will go in spurts and score some good deals and stock up on things my family uses.

Wednesday was Emma's preschool fieldtrip to the pumpkin patch; Noah and I were lucky enough to tag along. We went through hay mazes, petted farm animals, went on a hay ride, and picked out the perfect pumpkins.

Thursday Emma had her preschool harvest party, and Noah begged and begged to go in his Spiderman costume and crash the big kid party, so how could I say no? They even let him pose in the class pictures. :)

Friday Anika started Basketball practice! This is the first time she's played anything except soccer, and she's nervous, but excited. Saturday was her last soccer game of the season, and of course, the won! She was lucky enough to score a goal this week as well.

 Saturday the kids were also super lucky because they got to have a slumber party at their Papa and Nana's house. It was the first time Noah has ever had one with his Papa. They were all very excited. Wayne and I got a jump start on some early bird Christmas shopping at Costco (it seriously will be here before you know it), and then we ended up at a restaurant called Subterra in Newberg that we had always wanted to try. We weren't super hungry so we got a couple small plates and then a large plate and shared them. It was delicious! 

That wasn't the only things that happened in the week, just the things I wished to highlight. There was still work meetings, cars breaking down, and all the other little day to day things that turn life into never-a-dull-moment.

I think this upcoming week will be a little mellower (I say that all the time, don't I??) but we shall see!!


Subterra Restaurant (source)

Preschool Harvest Party

Coupon Event!
Beautiful Double Rainbow outside my front door!

Rainbow out my front door
Preschool Field trip

Soaking wet last soccer game

My Soccer Star! xoxo

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Create.Simplify.Inspire #3

Welcome back for week three of my blog link up party. I can't wait to see the new stuff this week! ;) I just have a couple requests...
1. Please Link up your own inspiration you have created, I want to see what YOU have been up too!
2. I would love if you would follow me in one way or another, that way you don't forget to stop by and say 'hi' :)
3. Go inspire someone else by checking out their post and leaving some great comments for them!
4. If you're super sweet, you can grab one of my party buttons here, to spread the love!

I will feature my favorites and share them on Pinterest as well!

Okay, 3,...2,....1, we go!

Create.Simplify.Inspire. #2

Willamette Valley Wonder Woman
<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Willamette Valley Wonder Woman" width="250" height="250" /></a>

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Followers to Friends Blog Party...Join Me!

Monday, October 22, 2012

How to Make Pickles

Okay, I really have to admit it. I truly do feel like Wonder Woman now. I have crossed the lines of Betty Crocker and Suzy Homemaker and have officially canned pickles! I have only canned once before, and I made fig jam (I must show you the recipe someday!). I've been meaning to dabble more with canning for a while now, but just haven't done so. That is, until I got a little motivation after my friend brought over two huge bags of cucumbers. And I don't particularly love cucumbers. We got this crazy idea, 'hey, lets just make some pickles'....and guess's really super easy!

What you'll need:

Canning jars
Pickling Mix
Sugar (if you're making bread and butter pickles)
Big Kettle

Now, I know you can use all the fancy canning equipment, but I didn't have any, so I just made do, and it turned out fine.

1.)Start by cleaning your canning jars - sterilizing them in hot water.

2.)Clean and cut your cucumbers, any way you'd like.

3.)Follow the directions on the pickling mix.

4.)Fill the jars with the cucumbers and then pour the pickling mixture over them when its ready.

5.)Place the lids on the jars and set in boiling water per the jars instructions (mine said 10 min for quarts, 5 min for pints)

6.)Remove the jars, and wait until they are cool. You should hear them "pop" as they cool, and that means that you did it right ;)

You Inspired Me Monday

Thanks to everyone who linked up last week! I love looking through what you have created.

My Froley created Vegetable Kebabs with Couscous - simple, healthy, and delicious.

Nichole from Pinkie for Pink showed us how she created an adorable Halloween Pumpkin Costume

Nichole also baked up some Delicious and Easy Chocolate Cupcakes that are making crave some chocolate right about now. :)

It's going to be a fun week around here.... stay tuned. ;)


Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Week in Pictures.

We finally made it to the Pumpkin Patch this weekend. We lucked out and the weather held up just long enough for us to have fun. The dark stormy skies made for some killer pictures.
I joined the PTSO this week. If you don't know, its like the PTA, it stands for Parent Teacher Student Organization. Pretty much, its just a little group of parents that vote and have a say on where school budgets go and help with fundraisers. Anyone can join.
We are down to the last full week of soccer. Anika is going to try and play basketball this year, so we shall see how busy that keeps us!
I got to spend some quality time with Miss Emma this afternoon, and her and I went shopping together for her Halloween outfit. She doesn't get to do many things by herself, and I always try to make time individually for all of my kids. She had lots of fun.
This week we have play dates and field trips, work meeting, soccer games, soccer practices, and whatever else comes our way!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Create.Simplify.Inspire. #2

Welcome Back! Last week we had a great start of fabulous link ups! :) Can't wait to see what you guys have to show this week! I just have a couple rules....

1. Please Link up your own inspiration you have created, I want to see what YOU have been up too!
2. I would love if you would follow me in one way or another, that way you don't forget to stop by and say 'hi' :)
3. Go inspire someone else by checking out their post and leaving some great comments for them!
4. If you're super sweet, you can grab one of my party buttons here, to spread the love!

I will feature my favorites and share them on Pinterest as well!

Okay, 3,...2,....1, we go!

Create.Simplify.Inspire. #2

Willamette Valley Wonder Woman
<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Willamette Valley Wonder Woman" width="250" height="250" /></a>

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Introducing MelissaKaylene Creations!

You guys know I love to create things. So I've decided to open a little Etsy shop to fill with things that I have made. In it will be items that reflect my style and personality. I plan to incorporate my artwork into different products, and some simple jewelry.

I adore bracelets. They are so easy to add to any outfit and spice it up. They are inexpensive and people notice them. I finally decided to quit trying to find ones that I like, and make my own. I love the richness in earthy colors and have picked my favorite shades and designs to make something that I would and will wear on a daily basis. This is my first collection of bracelets, with many more ideas to come! Check out my Etsy shop HERE. 

No worries, I won't be bombarding you with sales pitches or anything. I'll just occasionally show off things here and there, after all this blog is all about creating, and inspiring!

P.S. Create.Simplify.Inspire Link Up #2 is on its way! Can't wait to see what you've been up to this week!

~ Melissa

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Simple DIY Trick or Treat Bags!

Hey everyone! :)

I thought today would be a much needed mellow day compared to what it has been lately, and it has to some degree, but it seems just when you think you have your semi-relaxing day all planned then your two year old decides he is going to be the biggest terror he has ever been, like ever. Bed time in 4 hours and 8 minutes! YES I am counting today! :)

In other news, who is excited for Halloween?! Who is ready for it!? Not me! The month has been so busy we haven't even had time to go to a pumpkin patch yet! Nor have I bought any candy yet for our trick or treaters! Last year, I almost had enough, but every year we run out... its been 5 years that we have lived in our tiny town with a grade school of less than 400 students. Well, I'm pretty sure everyone of them hits up our cul de sac! I made 250 of these little bags last year, and I think I may be able to get by with 300 this year.

They are super easy to make. I just went down to the Dollar Tree and bought a bunch of their lunch sacks, then used some sharpies to write on them and my daughter helped me color the pumpkin on them with an orange highlighter. We filled 'em up, folded the top down and stapled them shut! Easy peasy and the kids always like getting treat bags, plus that was I can keep track on how many little goblins walk up my porch from year to year :)

We shall see what I come up with this year!


Monday, October 15, 2012

You Inspired Me Monday

Thanks everyone who linked up to my very first Create.Simplify.Inspire. party link up last Thursday.... can't wait to see what you have to show this week! You have inspired me!

Krystal from Wildflowers 3 shows us how to refurb some old boots and create something completely cute out of them! Check out her DIY: Boho Boot tutorial!

Myric from Petite Passions made my mouth water with these cupcakes that she was inspired to make when she saw the recipe on Pinterest. Check out her Apple Cider Cupcakes with Salted Carmel Buttercream.

Myric also posted a very inspiring post about lasting impressions, and it reminded me that we all need to take time out of our busy schedules and remember to just listen. Listening is one of the best things you can do for a person. Set your phones down, all eyes and attention on that person. It also reminded me that sometimes its the little things that happen in our lives that we will never forget. Definitely go check out Fred's Last Question.

Thanks ladies! I hope you all have a fabulous week!


Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Week in Review

Wow. I am always amazed at the end of the week how fast it flies by. Years really do start speeding by after you have kids and are constantly on the go.
Babysitting.Soccer games.Soccer practices.Conferences.Doctors appointments.Work meetings.My hubby's birthday.Homework.Play dates.

And then we got sick.

Luckily it only lasted about 24 hours, but I'm still worn out today. Nothing like GI problems yourself, along with half of the rest of the family.
Thankfully we are all on the mend. :)
Anika got to have a sleepover Saturday night, so this morning I took Emma and Noah with me to Kidsfest up in Portland, and the Woman's show.
I must say I was a little disappointed in the Woman's show this year vs. prior years. It was at the Expo center this year, and it just seemed that there really wasn't all that much there, considering the drive I had to make to get there. I am glad the kidsfest was right next door, so we looked around in there for a little bit, and transformed a little boy into Batman, and a little lady into Hello Kitty.
We then stopped by Costco on our way home to stuff ourselves with samples. :)
All in all, it was a hectic week last week, but good. I think I've come to the conclusion that I will always be a busy lady with a full plate. I rather enjoy it.


Noah and Emma getting lots of compliments at Costco!

My main squeeze

Mid air soccer sprint

Me and my little Man Gage

Picture Day

Fun Halloween browsing with Grandma

Hello Kitty Princess

Bat Boy