"Styling Cents" Ebook {Giveaway!!!}

  I have a treat for you wonderful readers today...a fantastic giveaway you will NOT want to miss!

I am a lucky girl that has an amazing family, not only the family I was born into, but the family I married into as well.  Besides just being all-around fantastic people, they are super-talented too!  One of these super-talented people, my sis-in-law Camille, teamed up with her friend Shelly and they have created an AMAZING Ebook that will completely change the way you look at decorating..."Styling Cents" - Reuse, Repurpose and Revive your space!

 Take a look at some of these ridiculous before and after pictures once Camille and Shelly worked their magic!


I mean, seriously!  It doesn't even look like the same room!


I told you they were amazing!
"Styling Cents" is PACKED with amazing ideas and inspiration, including:
  • Decorating Myths
  • Process for decorating a space
  • Shopping Tips–where to go to find the best deals
  • How to shop at a thrift store
  • Used furniture pricing guide
  • How to negotiate on pricing
  • Advice on choosing paint
  • How to paint and stain furniture
  • How to buy a rug
  • How to hang a light fixture
  • How to choose fabrics

  • Sounds pretty great, right?!  Well here is the fun part!  The gals at Styling Cents have generously agreed to give away one FREE Ebook to a reader here at Blue Skies Ahead!!  All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what room in your house is in the most need of a makeover :)  Oh, and if you just can't wait and risk not winning the giveaway, Styling Cents has graciously offered to give any of our readers a 30% discount when you enter the code "BLUE" at checkout! Just go HERE to to get a copy of your very own!
    So let's hear it...which room in your home is in most desperate need of a makeover?!  And a huge thank you to the girls from Styling Cents for making this giveaway possible!


    The Little Red Hen's Homemade Bread {Farm Week}

    Hello friends!  This week we are learning all about one of our favorite things...this is Farm Week!  In an effort to read more with my kids I thought it would be really fun to read the classic The Little Red Hen, and try making our very own homemade bread to go with it!
    This was such a fun morning activity to do with my kids!  First up, we got to sit down together and read The Little Red Hen.  This book is not only fun for the little kids AND teaches a great lesson about hard work, but it also explains all the steps that go into making bread.  Starting with sowing a seed all the way to grinding up wheat to make flour and finally baking bread, it was cool to see the kids understand how the wheat we saw growing at the farm last week becomes fresh, warm bread!
    Once we were done reading we made my favorite white bread recipe.  This recipe is not only delicious but it is SO simple, my kids really did most of the work.
    Amish White Bread Recipe
    2 C warm water
    2/3 C white sugar
    1 1/2 T active dry yeast
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 C vegetable oil
    6 C flour
    In a large bowl dissolve the sugar in warm water, then stir in the yeast.  Allow to proof until the yeast resembles a creamy foam.
    Mix in salt and oil, then add flour one cup at a time.
    Kneed dough until smooth and then place in a well-oiled bowl, turning to coat.  Cover with cloth and let rise for one hour, or until double in size.  Then comes the best part...split your dough in half and let your kids go wild punching and kneeding!!

    Britton's face kills me :)  Once you are done punching, shape into two loaves and put into well-oiled pans.  Allow to rise for 30 more minutes and then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
    Once our 30 minutes were up I let Avrie butter the tops and then the hardest part...waiting for it to cool enough to dig in! ;)
    There you have it, a seriously fun way to bring books to life with your kids and learn a little bit more about the farm!  Thank you so much for stopping by Blue Skies Ahead today, hope you have a fantastic day!!


    Building Your Faith Family Home Evening {Alma and Amulek}

    Well, here we are, sharing another Family Home Evening idea with you :)
    This week we were back at our Book of Mormon lessons, focusing on the story of Alma and Amulek and how they used and built their faith to sustain them through their trials and hardships.
    I made a printable to put up in our home with one of my all-time favorite sayings...
    We spoke about how important it is to be true to yourself and the things you believe in, even when you have hard or scary times in your life.  I told the kids we were going to learn about 2 men who used their faith to stand up for what they believed in, even when it would have been so much easier to turn their backs on that faith.
    For the bulk of our lesson we just read Alma's Mission to Ammonihah from the Book of Mormon Stories.  Then we spoke about how Alma and Amulek relied on their faith multiple times: going back to teach the people and meeting Amulek, contending with Zeezrom, watching the women and children be burned because of their belief, and finally the walls of the prison falling down and being freed.
    After our lesson we did an awesome activity that the kids really enjoyed and my husband and I got a kick out of too ;)  We played Build Your Faith Jenga!
    This was a great game to play because it obviously kept the kids attention, but it was so wonderful to hear some experiences from my kids, times they have felt their faith grow, or ways they want to gain more faith.  It is also always a bonus to review the lesson to make sure something actually sank in ;) 
    After we went several times around the table and each child picked a few blocks and shared different experiences our tower came tumbling down.  We were able then to relate our game to how the walls of the prison came crashing down as Alma and Amulek exercised THEIR faith.  An awesome visual for the kids, and an activity they begged to do again and again :)
    Thanks so much for checking our fhe out, hope you guys all have a great week!


    New Family Study

    Happy Monday everyone!  Today I am sharing with you my absolute FAVORITE room in our new home.  There are a few reasons I love this room, and one of them is that is actually turned out better than my Pinterest board...how often can you say that?! ;)
    When we started looking for plans for our new home I knew I wanted a floor plan with a formal living room.  I also knew I would be taking that formal living room, and turning it into a family study :)  I envisioned a room where the kids could keep their homework organized, where I could do the bills while they played with Lego's or loom bands, and where we could do crafts and read stories together centered on our weekly themes.  I give you, our Family Study!
    The best parts of this room are the built-ins we had added in by our amazing cabinet guy.  I especially love the countertop we used for our homework station, it wipes off like a dream so I don't have to worry if the kids get marker or crayon everywhere.  I also like that we were able to do a desk and shelving where the closet would have been, it freed up a lot of space while still giving me the perfect area for all my "paper".

    To get the most out of this room we put a bookshelf on its side underneath the big windows, and filled the cubbies with all of our childrens books.  I also pretty much bought out all of Ikea, and I LOVE the Fintorp organization system for all of our supplies like pencils, markers and crayons.  Its great to have them right at the kids eye levels so they can grab whatever they need, and its super simple to for them to keep clean and organized too :)  I placed three magazine holders on the counter for each child to keep their homework and important papers in as well.  And that huge map on the wall...isn't it awesome?!  I was so lucky to find someone that made that beauty on a Facebook yard sale page...it the perfect statement piece for our study.

    I knew I wanted part of the d├ęcor in our room to remind the kids of all the things we want to strive for in our family, so I whipped up this printable for FREE on Picmonkey and then I simply had Walmart print it out as an 16x20 poster.  All together the whole thing was about $15...not too shabby!

    This part of the room has more Ikea furniture :)  I love all the drawers and FINALLY having space for all our craft supplies.  My vision was a room where the supplies were accessible for the kids so they could use their creativity...but not SO accessible that my baby destroyed everything constantly ;)  So far it has been the perfect mix!  Oh....and do you see that chair?  I bought it 10 years ago for my first babies nursery, and it was an ugly light, sage green color.  I mean, it was super cute 10 years ago, but now...not so much!  My crazy talented sis-in-law and her friend discovered THE coolest trick.  You simply mix 4 capfuls of Rit fabric dye with 3 cups of hot water and use a spray bottle to completely soak your chair.  Then let it dry out in the sun and you have a completely new chair!  It's a great way to re-purpose an old piece, especially if it has great function but just not so cute anymore.

    Finally we have the other side of the room!  In the closet we have that awesome built in, and that is where I keep all my bills, important paper, and a family calendar.  I love having my own space that the kids don't mess with, but that is still right there with them.  MORE Ikea storage for our Lego's...we just used chalkboard labels to label each bin and its been a great way to keep this little expensive things organized ;)  Finally, I got a $10 corkboard at Walmart and painted a few stripes on it just to add a little more color to the room.  We hang up papers from school or crafts that we have been working on that week for all to see and enjoy!
    So there you have it, our Family Study!  Everything else in the house still feels like a work in progress, but it sure is a lot of fun making it feel like home.  Thanks so much for checking out our post and have a fantastic Monday!


    Word of Wisdom Family Home Evening

    Hello friends!  This week we are taking a break for our Book of Mormon lessons to talk a little bit about the Word of Wisdom.  My 5 year old has been asking a lot of questions about this topic lately, and I think FHE is the perfect place to tackle those questions as a family!
    To get started, I made this printable of the beautiful promise we are given in D&C if we will follow the Word of Wisdom.  It was a great reminder to me to read through all that we have been promised if we will take care of these wonderful bodies that we have been given by Heavenly Father.
    We spent a few minutes talking about how the revelation came about, and how at that time, people had no idea of the harmful effects of tobacco and other things.  After we read through a few verses we did a fun little activity the kids liked that was great for my 5-year old little guy that has a really hard time sitting still for a WHOLE family home evening lesson ;)
    First I made up these signs to tape up on the wall

    Then I printed off this list and cut each item out and put them in a little bucket.

    Then the kids took turns picking out a paper from the bucket.  When we read it aloud the kids would have to run and tag the sign depending on how often we should have or do that thing...always, sometimes or never!

    Such a simple activity, but a fun way for the kids to be involved!  The thing we focused on most with our kids was making the decision NOW to obey the Word of Wisdom.  That way when they are confronted later with those hard choices they will be able to go back to the commitment they had made to themselves years before and stay strong to what they believe.
    Thank you so much for stopping by today, I hope you have had a beautiful Sabbath with those that you love!


    Baked Apple Chips with Apple Pie Spice {Apple Week}

    Today we are sharing a delicious, SIMPLE treat your kids can practically make themselves for apple week...as long as you help out with the oven part ;)
    These baked apple chips are delicious, healthy and easy-peasy...the perfect snack for fall!

    To get started you really just need these bad boys...

    a little sprinkling of this...
    and an awesome apple peeler/corer/slicer thing WITH a cute little helper :)
    Now if you want your chips a little bit crispier you would want to slice them really thin, we like them a tad on the chewy side and I wanted my kids to be able to help out so we used this awesome contraption my mom got me for Christmas a few years ago...it is one of their favorite things to do!
    Once we had our slices ready to go we laid them out on the cookie sheet, let the kids sprinkle them with Apple Pie Spice, and baked for 3 hours at 200 degrees.

    I'm happy to say they were gobbled up immediately when the kids got home from school and my house smelled quite divine :) Thanks so much for stopping by today!


    Wormy Apple Craft! {Apple Week}

      Hello everyone!  We are finally getting into the swing of things with the kids going back to school, and I am LOVING the structure and schedule that comes with that.  I have been excited to get back to our weekly themes, its a great way to ensure I do a few fun things with the kids during the week, and hopefully they learn a little something too ;)
    We love apple week, and today we kicked it off by doing our very own Wormy Apple Craft!
    This was a super easy, and super fun craft the kids really enjoyed.  All you need to get started are some foam sheets cut out in the shapes of apples and some red and green sequins!  I also used a pipe cleaner to make the stem and scissors to cut out the wormhole ;)
    Once you have your apples ready to go, let your kids go crazy with those glue sticks and sequins!

    Once the apples are covered in sequins use a black sharpie to draw a cute little face on your little ones finger...then watch them giggle as they discover their apple has a cute little worm :)

    I hope you enjoyed our little Wormy Apple Craft, feel free to check out some of our other favorite apple-themed activities too!


    Scripture Reading Chart {Free Printable!}

    Hello friends!  Can you believe all this blogging I'm doing?! ;)
    Today I wanted to share a really simple printable to help your family get excited about reading the scriptures EVERY single day.  As I've been praying for inspiration on how to have more love and peace in our home, I just keep coming back to the basics...weekly family home evening, family prayer, and family scripture study.
    With technology at our fingertips constantly, I have decided there is just NO reason for us to ever miss a day of family scripture study!  No matter where we are, one of us always has our phone and we both have the Gospel Library on them, so we are committing to reading with our kids every, single day. 
    This printable is as easy as it gets...every circle represents a day, and if you read your scriptures that day you get to put an X on the circle.  If you make it to the heart without missing a day you get something special.  For our kids, its going to be staying up 30 minutes later, getting an ice cream cone or something like that.  Now, what if you miss a day??  Well...you just throw out that printable, print off a new one, and start ALL over again!  Our initial goal is to read our scriptures for 500 days in a row, so I will have to make more printables as we go, but this one has a place for 150 days, which is an awesome start!
    Just right click, save and print away!  We put this next to our scriptures so every night we just cross it off as soon as we are finished :) 
    We have made it a whopping FIVE days without missing, and I am already starting to see little changes in our home.  Kids being a little more kind, me having a little more patience, and just an all-around better spirit...imagine where we will be in 500 days!! :)


    Singing Time Review Matching Game

      Today I wanted to share a simple Singing Time I did on Sunday that went over really well with the kids and was a great way to review the songs we are doing for our program.  I wanted to have them sing through all our program songs so I could clearly see what songs were sounding good and which ones needed some more work, so I just made up a matching game with the titles of each of our program songs.

    I simply printed out 2 copies of each of these songs and put them up on the chalkboard.  Then the kids would try and find the matches, and when they did we would sing the song...SO easy, right?!  It kept the kids entertained for 30+ minutes and gave me a great overview of where we are at and where we need to be by November! :)
    Here are each of the songs we are doing, just right click to save and then print two copies of each.  I made them in a 5x7 so they will probably print out best in that size.

    Thanks so much for stopping by today, and please share if any of YOU are primary choristers...what are some fun ways you are reviewing the songs with your kids this year?!