Teacher Appreciation Frames

I absolutely adore my kids' teachers. They have helped my babies through the hardest year and loved them in ways that they needed to be loved. It means the world to me as a mom. 

For teacher appreciation this year, I wanted to do something special for each of them. 

I found the most adorable printable on Spring Time Treats and fell in love. It says, "It takes a big heart to help shape little minds."

I printed out the picture on cardstock and placed it in frames that I picked up from the dollar store.

I tied them up with ribbon and put them in a gift bag with their favorite treats. 

Teachers often go without praise and their job is SO important. This was simple, but it showed them how much we love them for all that they do.

To print off your own, go to Spring Time Treats! While you are there, check out the rest of her adorable stuff. She has amazing talent!

Paper Pumpkin Giveaway!

I know you are all aware of how much I love Paper Pumpkin. They have the cutest card sets and they are so easy to use! As a busy momma that loves to craft, I very rarely find the time to sit down, get everything out, and actually get to finish a project. Paper Pumpkin makes it really easy to do that. Everything you need comes in the box and is ready to go!

One of my favorite kits was from February. The cute little Valentine's were adorable and fun to make.

They are running an awesome promotion right now were you can get 50% off your first 2 months! From today until June 15, 2015, you can sign up on PaperPumpkin and use the promo code "SAVE50" when you subscribe. Simple as that!

To help kick off the promotion, they have generously given us 3 kits to give one of our awesome readers! They are going to send the “Love You a Lot”, “Sew You” and “Layers of Gratitude” kits to the winner of our giveaway.

To enter, leave a comment on the post below telling us who you would send a card to if you won the kits. For extra entries, you can follow House of Sprinkles on Instagram and leave a comment on the post about the giveaway there. The giveaway will run until midnight on May 16th.

I Needed to Get Away

We've been pretty quiet here on our blog for a while. Some of you may be wondering why. Well, we have been focusing on our families. To be honest, we have had some pretty traumatic and devastating changes take place and we needed a little time to regroup. We are ready to come back and we are going to start by sharing a little personal stuff and do a giveaway. This isn't a normal giveaway, however. It's one that hits really close to our hearts. So, here it goes....

I needed to get away. That was all I knew.

As our divorce paperwork was finally wrapping up and the chances that I had to save my marriage were coming to an end, I felt like I was suffocating. I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep. I was on auto-pilot. I functioned, but barely. I felt like my entire life was slipping through my fingers and the harder I tried to tighten my grip, the more it escaped my grasp. I found myself getting angry and experiencing emotions that I didn't know how to handle. I was desperate. I begged him to change his mind. I tried anything and everything. None of it worked. He was done. He was done with me.

I needed to get away. That was all I knew.

I packed my bags and headed to Utah to stay with a friend. She had been there through it all with me and I needed her that day. She was the first person that told me that I needed to be prepared for divorce. When she said it I remember thinking that it wasn't going to get that far. Surely he would see that he really did want our marriage and our family and he would stay. He didn't stay.

It was on that drive to Utah that he signed the divorce papers.

I needed to get away.

While I was in Utah, I was able to go to a conference called, The Togetherness Project. It was a conference for women who have been through heartbreak and betrayal. My friend, Ashlee Birk (The Moments We Stand) was going to be the keynote speaker and had given me a ticket to attend. I thought it would be a small conference with a couple dozen women. I was wrong. There were hundreds.

Ashlee and I
I walked into the ballroom of the hotel and I saw a sea of faces, I was shocked. How could there possibly be this many women at this conference?! It devastated me. How many women have suffered through what I was suffering through?

I knew no one. I was intimidated. I thought about turning around and walking out the door and going home. Honestly, I didn't know if I was ready to face the reality of the road I was about to walk down. I didn't want to be divorced! I didn't want this to be my life and my story! The problem was, I didn't have a choice. He had made that choice for me. Now, I had to decide how to handle it all. I stayed.

As I walked through the tables full of women, I silently said a prayer. I asked Heavenly Father to know where to sit. I didn't know any of these women or their stories, but I needed someone by my side that day. As I was passing a table with a few women, I felt like that was where I needed to sit, so I sat. I am so grateful that I did. I met two of the most amazing women that day. They were friends who had come to the conference together, both having been through the pain of betrayal and affairs. Both knew what it was like to have your heart ripped out. Both knew the shock of finding out that your husband hadn't been faithful. Both knew the trauma that it does to your body and all of the emotions that you have to deal with. Both knew what it was like to look in the mirror and wonder why you weren't enough. I needed them.

I learned a lot at that conference. I learned about Betrayal Trauma and what it does to you emotionally, physically, and mentally. I learned about addictions and how to know if someone has really changed. I learned about grief and all of it's many forms. I learned about the long road of recovery that I had ahead of me. But most importantly, I learned that I wasn't alone. I was surrounded by amazing, beautiful, and talented women who had all been through some sort of betrayal. They were surviving, and so would I.

I left that conference inspired, educated, and with new friends to help me through this trial. I have leaned on them often. I know I can text them when I have a breakdown or I feel alone or I need someone who really gets it. I also left with the name of a counselor in my area who specialized in Betrayal Trauma. She has been able to help me understand why I react to different situations the way I do and how to work through some of the stages of grief. It's amazing how Heavenly Father knows what we need and is willing to help us in any way He can. Often, He helps us through other people. I have been amazed at how much love and support I have received through this experience. It's because of all of the love and support that I received that I want to be able to help someone else who may be in a similar situation.

On May 9th, Ashlee is going to be holding a Conference in Boise, Idaho and she has graciously given me a ticket to give to someone who could benefit from attending. The name of the conference is A Reason To Stand and it will be an uplifting day filled with speakers, therapists, and counselors. It is a conference for all who have ever felt broken.

If you would like to be considered for a ticket to attend, please email me your story at natalie.messano@gmail.com. I will pick someone on April 22nd, so please share this with anyone you feel would benefit from going to this amazing conference.

We all deserve to know that we ARE enough. Sometimes we just need to be reminded of that and find A Reason to Stand.

Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes with Coconut Syrup

I can't even begin to tell you how much I love these pancakes. They are so fluffy and perfect that I can eat several platefuls in one setting. I normally eat them for breakfast, snacks, lunch, and sometimes even dinner if there are any left. I'm serious. They are that good. I think my favorite part is the homemade coconut syrup though. I'm not even a huge coconut fan, but this syrup is divine. Just try it. You won't regret it.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Sift together:
1 3/4 c. flour
4 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. baking powder

Add and mix well:  
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 c. buttermilk ( you can add more if it seems too thick)
3 eggs yolks--set whites aside

Beat egg whites until stiff, then very gently fold into batter. (Do NOT overstir! You want to still be able to see the egg white foam in the batter. I normally only stir a few times to distribute the egg whites.)

Cook on hot griddle and enjoy! 

Coconut Syrup

1 c. sugar
1 stick butter
1 c. buttermilk

1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. coconut extract 

Heat first 3 ingredients on stove top JUST until boiling.  The minute it starts boiling, stir in last two ingredients and remove immediately from heat. ( It will bubble up and expand.)  Yum.  

'Witches Ball'

My daughter is an October baby and this is the first birthday that we actually did a Halloween theme.  It was a lot of fun!  Party favors are one of the first things I think of when prepping for a party.  So, for this 'Bewitching Birthday Brunch Ball'  I decided to spray paint ball jars purple and black and have them make witches stew to take home.  I printed off some fun labels and we pretended that the different candy was all sorts of crazy witch stuff!! 

Absolutely love doing birthday brunches!

Paper Pumkin - Halloween Bags and Giveaway

I have posted about Paper Pumpkin before and about how much I absolutely LOVE getting the box in the mail each month. They are so much fun, adorable, and so easy that anyone could put them together and feel super creative.

This October box is no different, and the adorable bags you get to make are unbelievably cute.

These cute little bags would be perfect for visiting teaching treats, teacher gifts, neighbor gifts, or special friends and family. I wish it came with 50 so I could hand one out to everyone!

Because I love Paper Pumpkin so much, and because they are pretty awesome, they are giving one lucky reader their very own October kit! Hurry up and enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Meet These Mormons"

We belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints otherwise known as "The Mormons". We are proud of this part of who we are! We are excited to team up with over 65+ of us strong... to extend an invitation to see a film. A film entitled "Meet The Mormons". This film is not meant to be an "in your face" - you must join our church film. It is simply designed and produced to uplift and inspire you through six stories of those of our faith who have followed promptings to follow Christ more fully in their lives. We hope you take the opportunity to enjoy this film. We hope your hearts are made light as you feel the goodness that comes from following our Christ and Savior. All proceeds from the film will be donated to The American Red Cross. So not only will you be uplifted and inspired, your money will be going to an amazing charity!!

We also would like to take a moment and share our personal testimonies, stories of our own personal conversions, and our own stories of how following our Savior, Jesus Christ has changed our lives. The light of the gospel of Jesus Christ offers a joy and hope that only following him can provide. We hope as you click through and read our stories and testimonies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, you will feel uplifted and encouraged. We are by you! We love connecting with our readers, that is why many of us do what we do! Please be kind and considerate in your comments. It takes great bravery for us to open our hearts and our mouths to share with you such a tender and personal part of who we are. We share because we feel strongly the need to share the peace and the hope that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I'm A Mormon #1
Anita | Live Like You Are Rich, Landee | Landee Lu , Tara & Devin | Salt & Pepper Moms , Mallory & Savannah | Classy Clutter Kelli & Kristi| Lolly Jane
McKenzie | Girl Loves Glam , Pam & Lisa | Over The Big Moon , Melanie | Forty Eighteen , Sky | Capital B Adell | Baked in Arizona
I'm a Mormon #2
Andie | Maybe I Will , Shatzi | Love and Laundry , Robyn | Create it Go , Rachel | R & R Workshop
Tiffany | Feel Great In 8 , Katelyn | What Up Fagens? , Brittany | BrittanyBullen , Ginger | Ginger Snap Crafts , Stephanie | Crafting In The Rain
Chelsey | Cee Me Be , Amber | Crazy Little Projects , Kallie | Smitten By, Elyse, Kristen, Lauren, Steph, Kendra & Camille | Six Sisters Stuff Annette | Tips From A Typical Mom
Kierste | Simply Kierste , Tayler | The Morrell Tale, Jennifer | My Daylights , Cambria | Live To Be Inspired, Danielle | Today's The Best Day
I'm a Mormon #3
Nat & Holly | My Sister's Suitcase, Britni| Play.Party.Pin , Montserrat | Cranial Hiccups , Heidi | A Lively Hope , Ashley & Meegan | Flats to Flip Flops

Natalie - I am a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and I am a MORMON. I am also a survivor of infidelity, betrayal, and heartache - something that I would not be able to overcome without the Gospel of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I have always had a testimony of the Gospel from the time I was little. I grew up as a member of the Church and I have never doubted, but the last few months have taken my testimony to a whole new level. I am a MORMON.

When your life seems to hit rock bottom you have two choices - lose yourself or overcome. I had no choice but to overcome. Being pregnant with twins and having 3 little kids at home makes that choice for you. But it was more than that - even in the darkest of moments, I had hope. One simple word, but that's all it took. Hope. I had hope in my Savior, I had hope in the Atonement, I had hope in the peace the Gospel brings, and I had hope that the covenants that I made in the temple would carry me through. Carry me through they have.

I know without a doubt that my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live. Not only do They live, but They love us, They know us, and They will never leave us - especially when we need them the very most. In those moments when we need Them the very most, They are there and we realize They have been there the whole time. Are we looking for Them? Do we seek Them? I pray for the comfort of Their presence on a daily basis now. It's the only way I make it through.

As a mom, I have always felt like I was barely keeping my head above water. There is always so much to do and I always felt like I could be better. There was never enough time, I was not teaching them enough, I was not playing with them enough.... all you moms out there know the drill. Now, I suddenly find myself trying to balance the role of a provider AND a mother - and I feel like I last the last footing I had and I am drowning. I am constantly thinking, "How am I going to do this? I wasn't enough when I was only trying to do one role, now I have to do both! My kids need more than I can give them. I'm sinking over here!" Then, one of my dear sweet friends sent me this picture and I realized exactly how I was going to do this.

I wasn't going to do it alone. Only through Christ was I going to be able to do this. He would not only lift me and carry me, but He would fill in the gaps. He would make me more than I am and help me be the mother He needs me to be. As Jeffrey R. Holland said, "Yours is the work of salvation, and therefore you will be magnified, compensated, made more than you are and better than you have ever been as you try to make honest effort, however feeble you may sometimes feel that to be." His Atonement makes everything possible, including the ability to make us instruments in His hands.

I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I know that we have a living prophet, President Thomas S. Monson on the Earth today to lead and guide us. I know that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, and study of it - along side the Bible- will give us guidance and direction in our lives. I know that families can be together forever and I know that we can make sacred covenants in His holy temples that will make that possible.

I am a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a survivor, and I am a MORMON.

 Rebekah - I have a testimony of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Having a testimony of Jesus Christ can be an anchor for us in these latter days.  When we think of an anchor we probably visualize a tradtional fisherman's anchor, which is the most familiar.  There are however many types of anchors and reasons or circumstances in which to use them.  More importantly anchors fall into two primary classes- temporary and permanent.  While temporary anchors have their place on a ship, a temporary testimony of Jesus Christ will not suffice us in these latter days.

Our testimony of Jesus Christ needs to be a permanent anchor-what is referred to as a mooring.  A testimony permanently anchored in Christ means that it is not meant to be moved but is in fact permanently sited- no matter what storms come into our lives, no matter the cyclone winds that rock us, or the surges in lives waves pulling us this way and that.  We will always be protected and secure if our testimony is anchored in Jesus Christ.  We still are required to 'weather out' the storm, but we have assurance that He is always with us and we are in His constant care.

I am a mother of five crazy children, I am a wife to a wonderful husband and father, I have many blessings and have gone through many trials and above all I feel my fisherman's anchor has become a small mooring with more room to build and grow.  I AM A MORMON.

If you are wanting to know more and would like a FREE copy of The Book of Mormon, which is another Testimony of Jesus Christ and his ministry – please email us! {ahouseofsprinkles@gmail.com}

Are you also a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and would like to share your Mormon.org profile as an added testimony! Feel free to link up your profile!!