Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I want to make it!

So now that I have finished the Baby Life quilt I am moving on to the next thing I found out there that I just have to have.  It comes from Make it and Love it  and I have to say I LOVE IT!

This cute little shrug struck me as a well duh why didn't I think of that.  I usually make Emma little peasant dresses and bloomer type shorts out of very light weight material to wear under summer dresses, but this little t-shirt shrug is perfect.

If you want one too go here to get the tutorial.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Healthy Banana Muffins Your Kids Will Love

I think the number one thing I hear these days is "Mom I'm hungry."  One of my favorite things to make for the kids are these muffins.  They love them and I feel like they are reasonable healthy.  On days that I make them I usually just put a bowl of them out on the table and let the kids snack on them all day.   Using a mini muffin pan makes them perfect for little mouths and hands.

Banana Muffins

2-3 bananas
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup melted light margarine or olive oil
2 egg whites
2 cups flour
1/3 sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl mash bananas.  Beat in milk, oil, and egg whites.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Lightly spray bottoms of mini muffin cups or line with paper baking cups.  Fill cups just over half way.  Bake about 10 minutes and immediately remove from the pan.  This recipe usually makes about 48 mini muffins.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Baby Life Quilt

I recently finished the baby live quilt from V & co and I am LOVING it.  From the first moment I saw it I just HAD TO have it and now I do.  Complete with super cute baby boy.  This quilt was a lot of firsts for me.  It was my first time using clear thread, appliquéing or whatever it is called around letters, and it was my first time machine quilting a design.   Overall I am going to say it was a pretty easy quilt and it has great results.  You can get the tutorial here.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

A box to put shoes in

I was talking to my mom last night, telling her what I had been up to yesterday and I said "I made a shoe box.  You know like a shoe box." And she was like "Yeah I know like a shoe box."  It sounded weird even as I was saying it.  What I really meant was that I made a box to put the kid's shoes in.  Man with the start of summer I seriously feel like the mud room has been over run with sneaker, sandals, and flip flops.  So I grabbed a box, made it cute, and filled it with shoes.

The process is pretty simple:

First find a box and cut the flaps off. Also round up some scrapbook paper, glue, and a bowl.

Next mix some water and glue in a bowl or you can use mod podge or whatever that expensive stuff it called, but elmers glue and water has the same out come.  I found it easiest to put the glue on the paper and then put the paper on the box. 

Once you have it all covered put a layer of watered down glue over the whole outside. And let dry.  All that glue makes it a lot stronger.

Then fill it with shoes.  For something that cost me next to nothing.  It is not to bad at all and it looks a whole lot better than 12 pairs of shoes littering the mud room floor.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Apple Berry Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

This salsa is ALWAYS a crowd pleaser and sooo YUMMY.  Sorry there are no pictures, but enjoy it anyways.

1 gala apple
1 d'anjou pear
1 Cup finely chopped strawberries
1 kiwi peeled
1 TBS orange juice
2 TBS brown sugar
2 TBS apple jelly
6 tortillas
a stick of butter (don't worry you will only use a bit of it
cinnamon/sugar combo

You can make the chip and salsa in any order.  I like to make my salsa first.  Finely chop the apple, pear, strawberries, and kiwi. Pour in the orange juice, brown sugar, and apple jelly.  Mix well and refrigerated until it is time to serve it.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  It make the chips just place a tortilla on a plate or cutting board.  Take your stick of butter and unwrap it about half way.  Then using the still wrapped end as a handle, rub the tortilla with a very thin layer of butter and then sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar combo.  Do this to both sides of the tortilla and then use a pizza cutter to cut the tortilla into triangles.  Place on cookies sheet.  I like to lightly spray the cookie sheet just to make sure nothing sticks.  You can also just spray the tortillas with cooking spray instead of using butter, but I think it tastes better with the butter.  Cook the chips for about 10 mins and enjoy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Skirt Week

Next week is Skirt Week over at Carfterhours.  Considering the fact that making skirts is one of my favorite things to do I am very excited to get in on the action.  You can enter up to 4 skirts into their contest.  So far I got narrowed it down to my favorite 6 skirts.  So I thought if anyone is actually reading this blog maybe you could help me pick the top 4.  So here they are are.  Which 4 would you choose?

#1 Shopping girls Christmas skirt

#2 Tis the Season Christmas skirt

#3 Birthday Girl Skirt

#4 Little Bo Peep Ruffle Bum Skirt

#5 Red, White and Blue Jean skirt

#6 Not Just a Ruffle Bum Skirt

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Dollar Store Blue Birds

I was a the dollar store the other day and came across these little beauties.

I think they actually looked worse in person than they do in the picture. The reddish dots are some kind of sand. That said I liked their shape. So when I got home I grabbed a paper towel, some blue craft paint, and got to work. I just dabbed the paint on with the paper towel and then rubbed the wing to take off a little paint and there you have it...

Cute little blue birds. They are a little brighter in the picture, but they are just the right pop of color in our family room.

Do you wanna join my book club?

If ten years ago you where to tell me that I would LOVE reading and would often read 400+ page books in a matter of days, I probably would have tilted my head to the side and say "no" with a quizzical look only face.
That said I love reading. I just got my hands on Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins and devoured it. Catching Fire is the squeal to The Hunger Games. If by some chance you haven't heard about this series it is basically about a post-apocalyptic country called Panem where the government known as The Capitol rules over the 12 districts. As a reminder of their weakness and how The Capitol rules over them every year a boy and a girl from each district is chosen as a tribute to take part in The Hunger Games; where basically all the tributes are placed in an arena and forced to kill or be killed while the whole country is forced to watch. But really they are books about love, family, and the human will to fight (each other, for each other, for ourselves, and whats right).
Anyway I won't tell you anymore than that because you really just need to read it for yourself. I just couldn't put either one down for very long, they are well written and easy put you right back where you left off and they are a quick read that will leave you wanting more.

So enough about that, once a month I meet with some gals for the neighborhood book club and we have a good old time discussing that month's book and then of course partake in some yummy treats and socializing.

This past month we read The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It is set in the early 1960s in Jackson Mississippi, pretty much during the height to the civil right movement. The story it told from the point of few of three different women, Miss Skeeter (a white unmarried college grad in her early 20s), Aibileen (an older black maid raising her 17th white baby), and Minny (a 30 something black maid with attitude). It is a very interesting book with intriguing and realistic characters. I personally didn't love it, but a lot of people in my group really did. I think the main reason I didn't love it was that there is a lot of mild language and I found that distracting. But it really makes you think a lot about racism then and now without being in your face.
I was so shocked by the lack of reason behind segregation. Like it was ok for a black person to bag your groceries, clean your kitchen, and make your food... but you wouldn't want them to be able to shop at the same grocery store because they would be touching all the food.. What!?! really? And it seemed like every white person would talk about how much they loved their black maid growing up and what a great person she was and then they would grow up and treat their own maid like crap. I must say I always wanted to hear more of the maid's stories and found the love/hate relationships on both side to be very interesting.
One of the questions from book club was who was your favorite character and why? It seemed like most people liked Minny the best, but my favorite was Celia. I Loved her. Maybe because it was the description of her looking like Marilyn Monroe and the fact that she just didn't get it and didn't see where the racial lines were drawn. She didn't see the lines between her "white trash" self and the "society" ladies she wanted to be apart of and she didn't see the lines between her and Minny that would keep her from sitting down and eating lunch or watch tv with her. She was a very love able character, even though sometimes, like when she kept wearing tacky outfits and calling Hilly, you just wanted to slap some sense into her.

So what do you think? Have you read it? Did you like it? Who was your favorite character?

Next months book is And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It a Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate Cupcake

They have chocolate cake mix, chocolate pudding, chocolate chips, chocolate frosting, and chocolate sprinkles. I bet you didn't know it was even possible to get so much chocolate into something so small. But maybe that is the best thing about them. I have a hard time feeling guilty about eating a mini cupcake. They are kinda like M&Ms (they are too small for things like fat or calories to really count...right??) Plus like most things (with the exception of diamonds) cupcakes get cuter the smaller you make them.


1 box devil's food cake mix
1 box instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
2/3 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups semisweet mini chocolate chips
1 pakages of chocolate frosting
chocolate sprinkes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix together the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and water. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scoop into mini cupcake cup so they are just over half full. (I like to use my cookie scoop for this) and cook 9 to 12 mins. (I usually cook for 10 mins). This recipe makes about 72 mini cupcakes. If you don't have a mini cupcake pan...GET ONE. Or just use a normal size cupcake pan and cook them for more like 18-22 mins and you will get about 30 normal sized cupcakes.

Once they are cool frost with chocolate frosting (I usually like it make my own, but I have broken yet another mixer so this time I just used store bought). Then sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles. and ENJOY!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pretty Curtains to Hide an UGLY Mess

When we built our home I really wanted there to be an office/library room, so we had the builder wall off the open dinning room and add French doors.
But lets face it that room is pretty low down on the list of rooms to decorate and buy furniture for, so I will admit it is not a pretty sight. At Christmas time I put cute wrapping paper on the back to hide the mess and add Christmas cheer. Then For Emma's birthday party I put up the flower paper as a back drop for the picture the girls colored while they were waiting for everyone to arrive. And so that is how it has been for months.

after and before
I finally decided what I wanted to do about it and lucky for me it only cost me about $6 for the sashing curtain rods at Home Depot. The fabric I used was left over from the curtains I made for the family room and some extra white material I had laying around. I put it all together and....

Ta-da. I really love how it looks and it seems to soften and lighten the area.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Watermelon Pink Lemonade Icee

Two of our favorite things around in her the summer time are watermelon and lemonade. So we thought why not combine them. This wonderful combo was actually the brain-child of my sweet hubby.

Ok so here is what you do.

1 blender
2 cups of ice
1 cup of watermelon pieces
+ 1/2 cup of strong pink lemonade
Happy kids

This numbers are more like estimates, so play around with the to get it just the way your family likes it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

I so want this.

Today, during my random wandering on the internet I came across this light. And I have to say, "I WANT IT." I am not 100% sure where I would want it to be, but it seems pretty awesome. Maybe over the sink in the kitchen...or would that be weird? Possible over the tub in the master bath, but then fewer people would get to enjoy it. I have high ceilings so I could put it in the front living room someday when we finally decorate that room. Well I don't plan on getting it anytime soon, but I like thinking about the possibilities.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Someday I hope

to have a beautiful yard, with lots of flowers and trees and grass. Ahhhh grass how I miss thee.

But for now at least I have a path.Yeah, I built it myself. While my sweet hubby went and got the rocks and brought me rocks and gravel while I was building it so that I didn't have to keep going to get more. He's so sweet.

I was surprised at how fun it was to build it. It was like putting together a crazy puzzle where all the pieces can go together however you want.

Someday I hope pictures I take of my yard will be more like this..and less like this...

But we are getting closer everyday.