Friday, November 2, 2012

On Hold

I have more to share with you all and I fully intend on sharing it sometime, but at the moment graduate school and family is consuming all of my time. Hopefully I will get back to you all soon. In the meantime, feel free to visit me over at:

Monday, October 22, 2012

Infant Play

He's a smart kid.  He knows those crayons are for writing.  

And a new one of our own - straw basket.  
Poke them through the holes, pull them out, pile them in the middle, toss them around the room.  
It's all fun!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Thursday was a chilly, windy day - the kind of day that begs for cookies to be made.  I was craving No Bake cookies, but we didn't have any Quick Oats in the pantry.  So I went on an Internet hunt for something with peanut butter, chocolate and oatmeal.  I found the most remarkable cookie on one of my favorite blogs, Brown Eyed Baker.

The only variation between our cookie and the original is that we used mini-chocolate chips, which happened because that is all we had on hand, but it turned out to be fantastic.  I am certain this is our new favorite cookie.  It's a simple but perfect combination - the peanut butter is subtle, the oatmeal adds a crunch and the mini-chocolate chips perfectly distributed chocolatey-ness throughout the cookie.  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tinkerbell Halloween

I used the Prudent Baby Tinkerbell costume tutorial and the Tutu-torial.

We added a glittery pink tulle ruffle to the middle because her Tinkerbell has an outfit with pink and the purple tutu for the same reason.  I ran into two issues: the top is a little tight up under her arms and the strips of tulle cut for the ruffle along the bottom of the skirt took more than it was supposed to take.  I didn't have enough for two ruffles, but it still turned out cute.  Also, I would probably have only used 3 yards of tulle, the 4 yards made the skirt a little pouffier than I wanted.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pintried - Chick-fil-a Nuggets & Cinnamon Rolls

I have gone back and forth on whether or not to publish this round of posts because I'm adding very little information to something that is already out there in the blog-o-sphere. Obviously, I decided to go ahead and publish. I realized that I appreciate reading other people's reviews of things they have Pinned then tried so here's my review. Take it or leave it.

This were amazing!  I mean it - so good and other than cutting ours into larger pieces I didn't need to change a thing.  I made the honey mustard sauce too then turned it all into an absolutely divine fried chicken salad.  I think next time I might grill them, just for the health factor but the pickle juice in the marinade - GENIUS!  And I stumbled across this recipe while I was looking up the recipe for these...

Honestly?  Not as good as I thought they would be.  I think I have some pretty high standards for cinnamon rolls though.  I normally make them from scratch and they come out all doughy and buttery and wonderful.  These were okay but not divine.  But I will tell you why they are really worth making.  My toddler can help in every step of the process and she loved making them with me just as much as she loved eating them.  Sure, these are quick and fun because they're tiny but the greatness is really in the fact that she took ownership in them and enjoyed sharing them with her family.  I tweaked the icing for these a bit because I didn't have maple syrup.  We made maple-vanilla icing that tasted a lot like maple bar donuts.

Maple-Vanilla Icing:
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon skim milk (more or less depending on your desired consistency)

Whisk skim milk into powdered sugar until slightly thicker than your desired consistency.  Then add the flavorings.  If it is still too thick then add some more milk, too thin add some sugar.  But I recommend a goal of too thick because the icing is smoother if you add milk than if you add sugar back in.  When you add sugar a lot of times it gets clumpier or grainier.

ETA:  After I posted this I found this little Pinterest Challenge on Better Life Bags.  Personally I made myself a board called THIS WEEK.  It is entirely for pinning the things I intend to make from Pinterest in the current week.  I pick them out on Sunday - everything from crafts with my kids to cooking and baking - then work through them all week long.  So far, I'm loving it!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sidewalk Chalk Paint

What do you do with all those stubby ends of sidewalk chalk?  Why make paint of course!  
  1. Round up the chalk pieces and separate them by color. (Good sorting activity)
  2. Put the pieces in a bag and beat them with a rubber mallet until they are nothing but power. (Aaaaahhh, stress relief.)
  3. Put the chalk powder into a spare container.  I suggest something you can devote to this purpose because ours are stained.
  4. Add water.  Go easy.  You can always add more but you can't take it away.
  5. Stir it up, then start painting.
We noticed that it really does need to be pulverized into a powder.  If your broken up chalk is still chunking then you won't get a really vivid paint.

Lil' Hoot hates having her hair brushed - can you tell?
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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Rainbow Room

Phase 1 of the play room conversion is now complete!  Grace wanted stripes, so I gave her stripes.  And, sweet child that she is, she usually walks in the room and says, in the softest, sweetest way possible "Wow.  It's beautiful!"  It isn't perfect, but I decided to stop fussing with it and just enjoy it.  You're looking at 36 shades, made using about 10 different colors of paint - 6 samples from Lowe's and a several cans of left overs.  It was fun but I'm glad to be done - all that mixing of paint and all the mess was starting to get old.  Stay tuned for Phase 2.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Toy Story Party (on a budget)

I chose a Toy Story theme for Lil' Hoot's third birthday because she spent several months prior to her birthday absolutely obsessed with her Toy Story "friends".  From the top left:

  1. I made her a #3 birthday shirt with Buzz Lightyear and Woody patches.
  2. Her birthday sign was made in MS Word using the Gill Sans Ultra Bold font.  It doesn't match the movie font exactly, but it is as close as I could get without Photoshop.
  3. Birthday cookie with Toy Story figures.  She prefers cookies to cake and it was her birthday after all, so she got a giant chocolate chip cookie.  I tried desperately to decorate with icing but, well, I can't be good at everything and I absolutely stink at decorative icing.  Fortunately for me, she was extremely happy with the figures and the cookie.
  4. I was a bit worried about the balloons - one of the few requests from our birthday girl - because there was a national helium shortage (or so the signs said in many stores).  I eventually found a couple of Toy Story balloons at Wal-mart.  The rest of our spread included M&Ms, carrots, grapes, goldfish crackers, raisins, peanut butter rice krispie treats and sugar cookies*.
  5. I made her banner using the same Gill Sans Ultra Bold font.  The gift bags included the alien thank you printable from Disney Family Go.  I got the idea to include paperback books in the gift bags from a friend of mine.  I found a 12 pack of Clifford books on clearance from Scholastic.  I also printed out the Toy Story Fun Book.  
  6. Table decor was kept super simple.  Lil' Hoot chose her party hats - not toy story themed, but again, it's her birthday.  Toy story plates and another printable - Buzz's Refueling Liquid - water bottle labels.  Those were a big hit.
*A note about these sugar cookies.  Absolutely a HIT!  The recipe for the cookies is from Annie's Eats - soft frosted sugar cookies intended to mimic those found at the grocery store.  I have always had a hard time getting sugar cookies to turn out edible but these were easy and tasted awesome.  Added bonus - they freeze great so I made up the dough ahead of time then froze them.  When it came time for the party I just popped them out, let them thaw a bit then into the oven.  One change though, I didn't like the icing so I used vanilla frosting from the Cake Boss.
And I almost forgot, invitations!  I snagged a printable Toy Story invitation from the Disney site then added a Buzz Lightyear image and popped them onto some primary color cards.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Treasure Hunting

Inspired by my daughter's relatively newfound enthusiasm for Jake and the Neverland Pirates, I thought she would have fun with a treasure map all her own.  I drew one up real quick, hid some "gold doubloons" while she was watching the show and then took her outside for an adventure all her own.
She thoroughly enjoyed it and at the very end I hid a special chocolate surprise to eat along with her snack.  I am certain will be repeating this adventure!

I love how a toddler brain works.
"Gee...Mama left this elastic out.  Hmmm...there's a hole in this screen."
A few seconds later,
"Hey MOOOOOOM!  Look, I've got a rope!"

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Foam Flower Garland

Talk about a simple craft that Lil' Hoot absolutely loved.  We got a hand-me-down bucket (and I mean bucket, that thing was huge) of foam flowers, butterflies, and dragon flies from Grandma.  We threaded them on a piece of yarn using cut pieces of straws as "beads." Another fun fine motor skills activity!
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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hand Embroidered Letters


Hand Embroidered Letters, a set on Flickr.
Last summer I made these letter for Lil' Hoot's room.  I bought economy packs of art canvases then covered three of them in fabric.  For the other two I had Lil' Hoot help me.  The purple 'r' she painted after I painted it purple then I embroidered over the top of it.  The orange 'c' we painted the opposite way and I did a simple outline over the top of the letter.  Obviously the most difficult letter was 'a' but the blanket stitching on it was fun.  My favorite stitching is on the 'r' but the best letter was the 'G' - I love the two tones and the fabric beneath.  Best of all Lil' Hoot loves them.

However...I wasn't thinking when I hung them over her bed.  She is now tall enough that while jumping on her bed she can reach them.  After the second time she took them all down during nap time I had to put them away.  Maybe in another month (or more) I will get around to moving them to the other wall.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Individual Dirt Pudding Cups

We made this snack to as part of our unit on Gardening.  Conveniently planned so that Lil' Hoot could garden with Mama.  We planted seeds and dug in the dirt.  Yes, we "should" have scraped off the Oreos more and crumbled them up more but Lil' Hoot looooves the icing and doesn't like the texture of them when they're crumbled up more. 


She was able to help with every step of the process, though I decided to do the pudding so she wouldn't have to wait for it to set up.  Then she added the worms and Oreos.  
She had fun crunching up the Oreos.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Easter Mariposa Dress

My DH made me super nervous as he was clicking, not letting me pose or anything. So I just starting being silly. I am being courageous and sharing my silly with you...because I love the shoes. They were a gift and they didn't last long but I love them. :-)
Easter Mariposa Dress Funny

For Easter I made the non-maternity version of Anna Maria Horner's Mariposa Dress. I used fabric from Jo-Ann's Lisette collection. It's so soft and wonderful. I love it. I made more than a few mistakes in my sleep-deprived state but all-in-all it worked out really well. I love the dress. It's wearable and it is great for nursing. What more can I ask for? Especially since it cost less than $20 to make!
Easter Mariposa Dress

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Easter Dress

I can't believe I am this far ahead of things.  Normally I would be desperately stitching up a dress the night before Easter, only for her to wear it to church with the lining unsewn or still stitching on buttons until the minute before she needs to put it on.  Not this time!  The buttons are sewn, the sash is finished and I even added a couple of hooks to make sure it stays closed.  I feel so accomplished!

I used The Party Dress pattern and tutorial from The Cottage Home.  It's a wonderful pattern and tutorial.  The only thing I did different was to fully line the dress including the skirt because the cotton I chose was too sheer to leave the skirt unlined.  The only thing I plan to do differently in the future is make the button loops a tad smaller, but that is simply my personal preference.

 The fabric is from Jo-Ann's Lisette collection.  I am really enjoying this collection.  I ordered two prints for myself and this dress is made from the leftovers.  I wish I had found a coordinating solid fabric that was softer but I didn't have any luck so the sash is a bit stiffer than I would prefer it to be.

I asked her to show me her dress so she stuck her hip out to "show" it to me.

Now then, time to start on my own dress before school gets underway again.  Isn't this how all the cool kids spend their Spring Break?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fabric Types Chart

While shopping for fabric today, I realized that I haven't much clue about fabric types.  I mean, I know the difference between a stretch fabric and a knit fabric, a cotton and a linen but I was looking at three different types of cotton.  And I was lost.  Sateen?  Poplin?  Lawn?  Huh?

I came home and went searching for a chart.  I didn't find one, so I am making one.  If you can help, please feel free!  I started with cottons.