16 April 2014

When Life Gives You Lemons Change Your Perspective

Oh that Phil Dunphy. He's a character that we all feel like we know a version of. Here's the thing though- it really is about perspective. We always have the opportunity to turn a situation around simply by choosing to view it different. I realize this is easier said than done, especially when tragedy strikes. 

We have an employee who has become very dear to us. He has overcome huge struggles in his life. He wasn't given much of a chance at life from the get-go. He spent years in prison. He courageously turned his life around and shares his testimony any chance he can. He was literally near death, after being shot thirteen times (yes!!! THIRTEEN!!) when God spoke to him and told him he would be spared.  He didn't believe in God before this experience. Now? His faith is a beacon of light for all that come in contact with him. Recently, he learned the hard way that there is  zero tolerance  for slip-ups and he will be spending a year incarcerated. Through letters he's shared with us he tells us that God blessed him with an opportunity to go on a mission for a year to reach the unreachable. Can you imagine? Learning that you will spend a year in prison and you CHOOSE to have this attitude? Obviously it's been difficult for him especially because this is the first time in his life that he has what he considers family that love him and support him (no matter what) and he talks about how he's disappointed us but he's also learned that we haven't left.  He chooses to ask God what he's supposed to get out of this and he chooses to listen. Yes, we all have free will (that's what got him back in the system in the first place) but the beauty of free will is we can turn our thoughts around the second we choose to.

We only have one shot at this life. As all the cliche phrases go, there's no do overs and this isn't a dress rehearsal. But having grace in our hearts spills over into our minds and choosing this perspective makes the time we have here a whole heck of a lot better. 

14 April 2014

The Household Notebook- What Works For Our Family & Free Printables!

After years of using the old-school filing cabinet, I decided to come up with a system that worked better for our family....actually it works better for me. I found that when papers went in the filing cabinet they somehow didn't make it to their intended destination and it made me lazy.  I was shoving papers in the 'file later' section and said papers/documents were not getting filed. 

I use the Martha Stewart notebooks found here along with her tabs and sheet protectors. Any sheet protector will do but I like the little flap on these ones as it keeps your papers in the notebook. The flap prevents them from sliding out. 

Each member of the family has a designated color and their documents stay tidy in their section. I have a section for Matt and I together as well which includes our marriage certificate, house stuff etc.  I keep copies on hand of things like birth certificates behind the original so I have them handy. If we needed the whole darn notebook in an emergency I could grab it which gives me a strange sense of comfort. 

I have a few different notebooks for our schedules as well as our family motto. I'll post more on that soon. ;) 

Click the images to print for your own 'Household Notebook'. 

05 April 2014

Free 'Think Before You Speak' Printable

I know this is likely a staple of teachers' classrooms but decided I wanted to make my own version for our home. Not only is this a fabulous reminder for our kiddos, but I KNOW I could use a dose of humble pie myself.  I'm not always an example to my kiddos like I should be. Not only do I want to work on thinking before I speak, I want to work on not thinking these things period. What a waste of time, don't you think? We get what we give and when we give nasty thoughts, it permeates us and undoes the good we're trying to spread.

23 March 2014

Love Never Fails

Love is impossible without faith and faith isn't really faith without love. I think we are called to love but to love in this way, to REALLY love, is one of the most difficult tasks. It's something I struggle with every day. 

"Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end."
1 Corinthians 13:7 The MSG

20 March 2014

Lemons Lemons Lemons Cakes & Cocktails

Happy Spring!! It doesn't feel quite like spring around here but with this cake it smells like it & tastes like it. Grab some Trader Joe's tulips and you're set. Enjoy!


Lemonade Cake
1/3 cup butter
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed (swap out for pink lemonade if desired & replace yellow food color with red)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tsp lemon zest
1 1/4 cups buttermilk or sour milk
Yellow food coloring (optional)
Thin lemon slices (optional)

  1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed until well combined. Scrape sides of bowl; beat for 2 minutes more. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in lemonade concentrate, lemon zest & vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Stir in a few drops of yellow food coloring. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Spread cake with Lemon Butter Frosting. 
Lemon Butter Frosting

1/3 cup softened butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoons frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

1. Beat softened butter on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the 1 cup powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in the 1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate & vanilla. Gradually beat in the additional powdered sugar. Beat in additional frozen lemonade concentrate to reach spreading consistency.

(/1/ ; Recipe adapted from BHG)

With all the leftover lemons, how about a Lemon Drop to go with your cake. Have your cake and your cocktail too? Or something like that. ;)

Lemon Drop
2 cups frozen vodka
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 lemon, thinly sliced

Combine the vodka, lemon juice, and sugar and pour into a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour into martini glasses and garnish with lemon slices.

03 March 2014

Let Them Eat Cake Party Theme!


Before I got started, I sent this video over to the birthday girl to give her an idea of what everything could look like when we pull all the details together. Of course she was delighted. Her mama was even more delighted because it gives her the chance to do the fun part. 

This is what I've been working on! Fun fun! The birthday girl's name is on the cake but I left it off this graphic.
The girls will be taking home this little gem as one of their favors.
Be Kind and Hold Your Head High...those are my favorites. Of course Eat Cake is right up there.

Interested in a custom celebration suite? Email me at and we'll discuss details.

17 February 2014

08 February 2014

Big Art On A Budget- The DIY on Engineering Prints

Engineering prints. They're big and cheap but can look like a million bucks. Well, maybe not a million but with a few tips the possibilities are (almost) endless and the results can be fantastic.

Recently, a friend wanted me to paint a quote on canvas for her. I opted to make a digital version of the quote instead so she could see it first before making a piece of large scale art for her boys' room. I created a 24 x 36 sized quote, made a digital copy (that way I could make changes to it if she wanted any) and **fingers crossed** hoped that all those pins about having Staples print an engineering print for a few bucks worth true. 

I was easy peasy ordering them online (be sure your file is large!) and this is how they turned out. The one with the black background has shadows of letters in the upper left corner. It does give it a bit of a chalkboard-esque look, if that's what you're going for. 

Beth used Mod Podge on a canvas. The paper wrinkled and the ink smeared. It totally depends on the look you're going for but I don't think it looks awful. 

To salvage the canvas she ordered the same print up at Wal-Mart and had it printed on photo paper. At $19 this option gives you thicker paper to work with and is still a very inexpensive way to get big art on a budget. 

Beth painted the edges of the canvas grey. She needs to touch it up but was willing to send me photos first. She had her hubby put the canvas on hinges so they could access the thermostat on the wall. Hiding the thermostat? How clever!

So simple, right? Beth didn't want to see the ugly thermostat at the end of the hall. 

The poster-sized photo from Wal-Mart is a little more crisp and Beth felt like this option was much easier to work with. 

There are all sorts of DIY's out there using engineering prints. I found the ones I thought were most helpful. 

Mount it under acrylic like The White Buffalo Styling Co. did here. That print is AMAZING!!! This whole room is amazing! 

These gals used spray adhesive and then Mod Podge on the top. Get the DIY here.

This gal used spray adhesive and Mod Podge too but adhered it to a piece of stained wood. How adorable is this for a Father's Day present!? Click here for the deets.

Darn Pinterest. I couldn't find the source of this anywhere but had to share. This engineering print was just hung in a window at Christmas. It looks fabulously rustic and celebratory!

A super inexpensive option is foam board. Angie at Foxy Chirp painted the edges yellow. 
She shows the step-by-step process here.

For those that left their email on my Instagram post (here)for the Peter Pan print and the 'Freckles' print, I'd love to see what you do with your prints! Tag me @aedriel or #aedriel so I can update this post with your photos!

17 December 2013

Glam Holiday Breakfast: Glitter Guide Feature

It was such an honor to be included with such talented gals. Monika Hibbs from The Doctor's Closet and Stephanie Jean of Lulu & Drew put together and amazing shoot for The Glitter Guide here. This flocked tree sets the tone for such a glam holiday breakfast. I think the kids will appreciate the details almost as much as moms!

Here's a peek at a few of my favorite photos. Be sure to check the links above for more!

Find these little Aedriel Originals' scripted plates here

 I'll be back tomorrow to share another fun shoot with you all! 

30 November 2013

Small Business Saturday Feature

Shop small, shop local, support handmade, and share the love.

Here are a few of my favorite things...

Emily McDowell is genuine and humble and ridiculously funny. Find her goodness here

I will not compare myself to strangers on the internet. 
Can I get an amen?


 Elizabeth Mayville is one of my favorite artists. Her art evokes a feeling of peace and loneliness at the same time. How is that even possible? 
 Find her here.

We have her print on our antique bookcase pictured above. This is another combination of contrasting feelings. Her print offers a bit of a modern edge while still being reminiscent of a time period we've only heard stories about. 

What are some of your favorite small businesses? 


24 November 2013

Free Gift Tag Printables for Christmas

How fun are these free gift label printables from Lia Griffith?? Find them here.

Find these at here.

These are fun, aren't they? Find them here

01 November 2013

Cheery Wedding Essentials from BRIDES Magazine

I realize this might assault your senses being the orange we're seeing right now is in the form of fall leaves, BUT I found this in searching for an Aedriel Originals' design and had to share. Yes, I use google images to search for my own's easier than searching through thousands of photos on our computer because I can never remember what I name anything. I'm a photo hoarder. I suppose brides are planning spring weddings right now so that's how I'm justifying sharing this crazy pop of color during a season of orange and brown. 

I'm going to take a short walk down memory lane now. Working with BRIDES magazine for this feature was a fantastic experience. It's always an exciting feeling to flip through a magazine knowing your hard work is sandwiched in there somewhere. 

Here's my girl enjoying the excitement with me!

Bright and cheery with punchy stripes perfect for spring weddings. 

Thanks for reading this 'remember when' post! 

30 October 2013

Plan To Eat Giveaway!

Follow us here  and Plan to Eat on Instagram using hashtag #plantoeatgiveaway to win a one year subscription! 

Plan to Eat is one of those treasures you discover and immediately think "this is pure genius"  because it saves time and makes cooking and shopping so much easier. Plan to Eat allows you to easily export your recipes right from any website and  saves them for you. Drag and drop your recipes into your meal planner and then with just a click your grocery list appears. It's like magic! You'll feel like a rockstar strolling through the store with your list neatly categorized.  Or maybe that's just me.

After learning more about PTE's food philosophy and eagerness to support local farmers, I am even more enthusiastic in supporting this endeavor.  Plan to Eat’s food philosophy is simple; they believe physical and emotional health is directly tied to what we eat. The ideal way to insure we’re getting the highest quality food is to prepare our meals at home. Preparing meals at home requires a little planning. 

They also believe we should do everything possible to return food production to small, local farmers. Their philosophy states “Industrialized food is killing us, and the only power we have is where we spend our money. To the extent that we are able, we believe we should support local food production in our own communities.” I wholeheartedly agree that putting junk into our bodies does nothing to promote well-being and we should do everything possible to support our local farmers. 

Watch the handy videos to learn more about what Plan to Eat offers. 

They even offer a cooking view. This feature is great when kids are helping out in the kitchen. 

16 October 2013

The Happy Housewarming Jar DIY

My daughter's teacher, who happens to be a friend I've known for 22 years (crazy, I know....that I must have met her the day I was born...ha!), just bought a new home out in the country. This was the perfect excuse to get my DIY on and give her something useful. Using a jar, instead of a basket, means everything you cram in there is on display. 

(Excuse the iPhone photos, I hadn't planned on posting this.)

I found the jar at Target and many of the essentials were in the dollar section. Using a hot glue gun I tacked the ends of the ribbon on the back of the jar. I wanted Shannon to be able to remove the ribbon easily. I covered the matches on three sides with paper and added safety pins to the little baker's bag. I'm not sure why fresh breath is necessary when moving but it sure looked cute in the jar and fit in with the red and creamy white color scheme. 

26 September 2013

Pumpkin Pie Dump Cake

If you could eat fall, I think this is what it would taste like. Top this cake with ice cream or whipped cream and sprinkle this a touch of cinnamon for added fancy.

Oh and be sure to check out Plan to Eat!! I have a handful of recipes posted and will be partnering up soon with them (they're an amazing bunch) giving away subscriptions. 

Pumpkin Pie Dump Cake


  • 1 (15 oz) Can Pumpkin (Don't use pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 (12 oz) Evaporated Milk
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Box Spice Cake Mix
  • 1 Cup Butter Melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray 9 X13 pan with cooking spray. In a bowl combine all ingredients except the Spice Cake Mix and the Butter. Pour the mixture into the 9 X 13 pan. It will be very liquidy. Then add the Spice Cake Mix on top, just sprinkle it all over. Next,  dump the melted butter evenly over the top of the Spice Cake Mix and bake for 55-60 minutes. It will be a little jiggly when you pull it out but let it cool for 30 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

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02 September 2013

Goodbye Summer


We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”

-Abraham Lincoln

01 September 2013

Dear Miley

As a mother to daughters it pains me to see a young woman like Miley Cyrus take the 'negative attention is better than no attention' approach to marketing her career. Come on Miley, you have the resources and the opportunity to do something amazing in this world. 

27 August 2013

Girl, It's Time To Get Stuff Done Free Printable

After posting this photo on Instagram, I was a tad surprised to get so many asking about my to-do list. I'm all for sharing the love, so here it is! Click the link below to download the printable. 

I am thrilled to see the printable in action! Here's Aubrey's she posted on Instagram. You can find her here.  She's adorable.