Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Jost Family Concert

As promised from my last post, I will now be posting about a great family we were able to see in concert a couple of weeks ago.  Some of you may have recognized them from the teaser photo in my last post, but probably even more of you know them from their popular
 Jostie Flicks videos!
It is the Jost Family!  Probably not as many people know how amazing they are at singing and with their instruments too!
For a few years now we have thoroughly enjoyed their Jostie Flicks videos - we've seen every single one as far as I know.  But I never expected to be able to see them in person!  But that is exactly what happened two weeks ago.  We have some friends who know them personally, and as the Josts were coming through MN they decided to set up another concert for them in the park.
So on one of the most beautiful days of the year so far we had the privilege of attending their very first MN concert!  Amazing music, amazing people, amazing memories!  It was great to enjoy their wonderful talent used to glorify God!
Our dear friends the Alzens were also persuaded to play a song, which was a treat!
The Durochers were also there too! :D

And there volleyball!
What a great Saturday afternoon it was!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

An Ice Cream & Pie Social

Once a year we do a little celebrating in my Bright Lights Bible study group before slowing down for the summer.  Last year was a tea party which was a very sweet afternoon with 24 girls.  This year we had an ice cream and pie social!  Even though it wasn't really different from last year like the other things I was considering - like a father daughter dinner.  But these kind of feminine parties is what I do best, and I threw myself into thoroughly enjoying the preparation for this party too!
~The Decorations~
My favorite part of planning any party is the pretty little details, though neither did I want to over spend on a 1 1/2 hr. party.  But when these lovely paper ice cream bowls and wooden spoons were found on sale at JoAnn's, I had to pick them up!  Every ice cream social needs wooden spoons, right!?
The berry boxes I have an over abundance of from another party.  The striped napkins are from Target.  And the gumball machine I got for free as a white elephant gift!
 These happy little ice creams were printed for free from OhHappyDay.

I was so excited to begin to incorporate these giant balloons into parties too!  They are so fun and festive and instantly made the place look like a party!  They were also an exciting item for two of the girls to win for one of the games!  The best priced place I've found to buy them is at BloomDesignsOnline.  It looks like they also have a lot of other great party items on there.
~The Food~

The girls were very generous in bringing pies to share, so that we had eight pies - enough that each girl could have had half a pie to themselves! :)  The day before I was busy making homemade vanilla ice cream, then all the important toppings were sitting out for the girls to put on as they pleased:
Whip Cream
Chocolate Sauce
~The Plan~

So many times have a tried to have an outdoor party, and only half of those times have worked out!  Sadly this was one of the times, but no other plans had to be changes, it rained while we were inside eating our ice cream and it abated for our outdoor games - I was very thankful!  Thinking up creative games is actually not my strong suite (it's more my mom's department) so I didn't have a very strong plan B! 
I started the party out by reading a little on the history of ice cream then we went straight into our main game.  This was a game that we had played with other friends before, and I had excitedly been planning to play it with my Bright Lights girls for a while now.
It was a Bible Scavenger Hunt, with 17 different Bible verses that, like clues, led them all over our property.  For example, one of the verses they had to look up was
James 3:3 "Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body." 
That led them to the tack room, then maybe in there they found
Acts 15:23 "And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia."
That led them to the mailbox.
After that, just as the rain began to fall, we all enjoyed the ice cream and pie.  Then we made sure to get our big group picture and quick fit in one more game.  I needed a game that would end up with two winners, now that I had two big balloons to give away.  So I made paper ice cream cones, and like the egg toss game, they tossed ping pongs to their team mate to catch in their ice cream cone, and whatever team won got to take the balloons home.
So over all it was a great day, to me at least and hopefully for the girls too!  And if you need an ice cream social planned, just ask me! ;-)
~Next Time On The Blog~
 Anyone able to recognize this family?  They're up on the blog next time!

Friday, May 9, 2014

My Etsy Shop Is In The Paper

In January I received a message from an editor of a local paper asking if I would be interested in answering some questions about my Etsy shop, DownyandFloral - I was thrilled!  I thought it would be great for something like this to happen sometime, and even though it was earlier than expected - I'm still figuring out exactly what fits to sell, but of course I excepted!
Four months later I had almost forgotten about keeping an eye out for the article in the paper.  Had I missed it?  I'm not much of a paper reader...  But last week it was in the paper!  I'm not totally happy with each of my answers, but I'm still really pleased I was asked to be in the paper and the support that has come from it!
You can read it

Friday, March 28, 2014

March 22 - In Which I Turn 20

Yes, it's hard to believe, but I have exited the teen years and now start with a 2 to write my age.  The celebrating was full and joyful, and actually spanned over three days!

Day one: which was the day before my birthday, we visited Avalon Tea Room which was such a treat!  This was our first time visiting this particular tea room, and although some meal options weren't as fancy - sandwich with chips and pickle - over all it was a lovely experience!  Their scones were some of the best we had tasted - so light, and such a wide selection of teas!

Anna and I at the tea room
I think tea rooms have such a nice atmosphere, and we noticed that this one was even hiring - wouldn't that be a lovely place to work!?  But I will not be swooping up the job, an hour drive would never do!

Anyways, after our lunch Daddy took us ice skating in town.  It is so nice to glide across the ice so quickly and smoothly.  We had a good time together there too!
(Sadly there is an absence of pictures for the other two days.)
Day Two: On my actual birthday, was a little more of a quiet one.  My Grandparents came to take Anna and I, along with our eight year old cousin, who is a continual source of entertainment, for Chinese.  I always appreciate time that can be spent with them!
Then that evening I gathered three of my dearest friends (not including, but she was also there, my dearest friend of a sister) at our house, starting with multiple games of Dutch Blitz.  This is one of my favorite games, which becomes even more fun the bigger the group, and it was fun to have a group of friends to play with me instead of continually asking my sister to play it with me! :)  We also enjoyed dinner and my birthday cake together, which was actually Oreo Cheesecake Bites - yummy!  And then watched Amazing Grace (the movie), which is my top favorite movie at the moment and suggested for everybody to see!
Day Three: A couple days later our Grandma picked us up and took us out for a girls afternoon.  We visited a sweet, little cafĂ© with absolutely lovely desserts to look at through the glass, we shopped, and visited an old-fashioned bakery.
So I realize with coming to 20 comes greater accountability.  I was responsible for what I did at 19, but Biblically 20 is counted as an adult - "20 years old and upward".  
It's amazing and honoring to see how the Lord has worked and led so far, and I look forward to the continuing wonder of see God's plans unfold!
Thank you for your visit!
Amber Nicole 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Funfetti Cake Cheese Ball

A couple weeks back I was able to try out this fun recipe on my Bible study girls.  It turned out to be really fun and tasty, the hardest part being trying to cover the whole cheese ball with the sprinkles without getting them all over the kitchen!  If you like birthday party cake flavored ice cream, you will like this dip, as the main ingredient is Funfetti cake mix.
Funfetti Cake Cheese Dip
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups funfetti cake mix, dry
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup rainbow jimmies (sprinkles)
  • Vanilla Wafers, graham crackers, fruit, or other cookies for dipping
  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until combined. Then add in the Funfetti cake mix, sugar, and powdered sugar and beat until combined.
  2. Place the mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap. Bring up all the corners of the plastic wrap and wrap into a ball. Freeze the ball for about 1 1/2 hours or until it is firm enough to keep its shape.
  3. Place the rainbow jimmies on a flat plate and roll the unwrapped cheese ball in the jimmies. Make sure to press the jimmies into the cheese ball until it is fully covered.
  4. Place the ball on a serving dish, cover with plastic wrap and freeze the cheese ball for another 2 hours or overnight. If frozen overnight, thaw for 20-30 minutes before serving. Serve with Vanilla Wafers, graham crackers, fruit, or other cookies.
See recipe on original site.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Craft Room Re-do

My creativity needs all the help it can get, and my sewing place was not helping.  Our sewing machine was down in the basement that was dark, lonely and cold - not inspirational.  So when that same sewing machine was moved upstairs to our classroom where everyone congregates, it was a welcome change.  And not only that, but the whole classroom also got a makeover.
BEOFRE: the room totally dedicated to school, which was good when both Anna and I were in school.

NOW: it is bright and cheery with space for work and craft.  I know, I am not actually showing the sewing machine (you can see a bit of it in the lower right corner), but it makes for a rather uninteresting picture.  But the space is great.  The only thing I'll miss about sewing in the basement?  The chickens watching me through the window.  They would just stand there interested until I was done - they were sweet company!

All I did for this fun, new, piece was print out the image from Pinterest and then place it in the frame!

Thank you for reading!  Happy crafting!
Amber Nicole

Monday, December 9, 2013

Early Morning Shipment

This morning I have this lovely little shipment to send to a costumer!  It is always exciting to know that a stranger wants and will have something I made in their home!

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