Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Last Minute Christmas Gift: Fleece Headband

I love a DIY gift. Even though the person who receives it will likely not understand how much time and effort went into choosing the supplies and putting it together. Or they may not use it at all, leaving you wondering what other productive tasks you could have been doing during naptime. Did that sound negative? Mostly joking on that, but in truth I have narrowed my homemade gift recipients to DIYers and lovers of the homemade crap only. Everyone else gets gifts from the grand old Internet. Now on to the real reason for posting: a DIY gift you could give to almost anyone.

Here is a little homemade gift that I put together in about thirty minutes--a fleece earwarmer/headband. I found the inspiration and basic directions at Delia Creates. I did have to adjust the size and instead of one layer of fleece used two, as winter can be a little brutal around here. I like the way it turned out, especially the bow on top. Can't wait to send this off and whip up a few more.

And a picture to brighten your day. We should all smile like this. It makes for a fantastic shot. Am I right?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sew Easy Sleep Sack

If I can make this, anyone can. It's a cinch, or at least once I got the zipper in it was--my first zipper experience, and it went well. I used a pattern (sort of) that my mom had on hand, but there is a link I've got pinned on Pinterest (error 503, unavailable, will upload that later) that has easy step-by-step directions to make your own easy pattern.

This was a free project for me, as we had the zipper and flannel on hand. Now that I have one under my belt, this might be a great gift to whip up for expectant mommies.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gift Wrapping Goodness

Gifting season is here, and there's no reason to wrap your presents the same old way. After perusing Pinterest and a few other sites, I found some wrapping styles that were easy (and free) to try.
First, here's how you can use leftover wrapping paper to make a matching bow. Who knew you could curl the paper just like you do ribbon? Couldn't find the original post, so here's a link to it on Pinterest.

Love this one for gifting from the little ones. Lines Across My Face shows how to make toddler scribbles into a personalized gift bow.
I haven't tried this DIY gift bag from Joanna Noel, but it looks like a great idea.

I also love the wrapping of these packages from Allora Handmade. Think I might try this sweet wrapping idea

Friday, December 9, 2011

Cinnamon-Sugar Pizza

I have crescent rolls tucked into every nook and cranny of my fridge. No idea why, but they're there. This recipe, called "Sugar Crumb Crispies" is my new favorite thing. Having a new favorite thing can be dangerous when one is well into pregnancy, but how much damage could I possibly do? If you've ever been to Pizza Ranch or another pizza joint that has a dessert-like pizza, this recipe tastes just like it. I'm in love.

Here's the recipe, directly from Chef in Training:

  • 1/4 cup butter *make sure butter is cold*
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 can Pillsbury Cresent Rolls
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Cut in butter to sugars, cinnamon, and salt and flour to form crumbs.
On an ungreased cookie sheet, separate crescent roll dough into 8 triangles. Sprinkle crumbs on top.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 8-12 minutes.
After they were cooked and cooled I cut them into smaller triangles but you can leave them big too!

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar *I like my glaze thicker, so if the glaze is too runny, just add more powdered sugar to get yours to the desired consistency.*
  • 1 Tbsp. softened butter
  • 1-1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 to 1-1/2 Tbsp. milk
Blend together and drizzle over Sugar Crumb Crispies


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

DIY Earring Frame

DIY Earring Frame

I have had my earring holder like this for a couple years, and just made one for a friend. It's great for displaying your earrings and finding the pair you want fast.

Here is what you need:
-shadow box or other deep frame
-wire, 20 gauge or something similar
-4 buttons
-wire cutter
-drill with small bit

Start with your shadow box frame. Remove glass and matting.

2. Drill 2 small holes on each side. I spaced these about 2 inches apart.

3. Loop the wire in one side and the other, through two button holes, and back again.

4. Secure the wire onto the second button by twisting it many times. Clip the wire and bend so it does not stick out. You may want to also twist the buttons so the wire going across is twisted and is more taut.

5. That's it. Hang your earrings.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Organization Tips

Can't say these are all original ideas here, but ones that have worked for me and may be helpful to you. I am cool with a cluttered mess of toys on the floor or some dishes in the sink, but when my closets are out of order, an overpacked drawer won't open, or I can't find something I need, I freak out. Slam-drawers-sigh-heavily-blood-pressure-is-raised-freak-out. So here are a few solutions to avoid future freak out sessions:
Hang bibs from the back of the high chair, right where you're going to need them anyway.

Got a multitude of plastic shopping bags? Store them in tissue boxes or an empty Clorox wipes container.

This last one trips up every guest cook in my kitchen. They always search for the spices in the tiny cupboard by the stove. Not there. Why? Because there's no way I can see all the containers without removing every single one, and I'm not six feet tall. Oh, and I couldn't find a lazy susan to fit in there. See the little ones up front? They are standing up with their name printed in Sharpie on the cap. Easy spice access baby!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 28, 2011

T-Shirt Tie: A Five Minute Project

I love the instant gratification of this project, and the results are pretty sweet, too. I have seen these online and at craft shows and had to give them a shot. I made one for our almost-two year old, and a baby onesie to match. If our new little nugget is a girl, then I already have a gift made for a baby boy.

Here's what you need:
-plain shirt or onesie
-onesie tie pattern from Crap I've Made or your own drawing
-small fabric pieces for tie
-Heat n' Bond

Here's what you do:
For awesome, pictoral instructions, I suggest using the link to Crap I've Made. If you're a renegade like me and like to wing it, here are the quick instructions:
1. Cut a tie shape out of fabric and Heat n' Bond. (I cut mine in two pieces, the knot and tie)
2. Following the directions on the Heat n' Bond package, iron it onto the tie material and then iron your tie onto your shirt.
3. Zig-zag stitch around the tie to secure.

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Too much inspiration + a Homemade Book

Though this blog shows no proof, I have been creating a few fun things here and there lately. However, there are not many hours of daylight for me to capture a decent picture of my creations, and I do not possess the skills for great artificial lighting. What's a girl to do? Share my lame sorta-crappy photos so you get the gist of the project? Or possibly tear my eyes away from Pinterest and the insane amount of inspiration there and get to shooting some photos? Probably the second. My list of projects to finish is getting to a ridiculous point as well. I have approximately a dozen to complete for the holidays. Eek.

I am sure there are lots of creative people just like me who struggle with the same issues. I am determined to stop this little cycle and get to creating and shooting. Here I go on my road to being a better blogger: Practice taking more pictures and make the stuff I find online.

Here is one of the projects I have on my to-do list:
It is from Kimberly Petersen's typepad--a homemade boardbook. Cute, huh?

My little guy loves books, especially ones with great pictures. I plan to put together one of these, but using a Shutterfly book. Why? Because Pampers Village (great site to subscribe to--coupons and rewards, etc. without buying anything) sent me a code for a free photo book from Shutterfly. You want the code to make your own? Of course you do! Free photo book code: GT82-859P-GW04-8NKK54

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

I used to love those oven-ready pot pies from freezer section. You know, the ones with a day's worth of sodium and enough calories and fat for a couple meals. This recipe is reminiscent of those, except better, as it's mostly homemade and much better for you. I whipped this up in about fifteen minutes and loved it.
I actually made two--one to eat, and one to freeze. Ingenious, huh? Wasn't my idea, that's the way the recipe from "Simple and Delicious" had it. But smart thinking on someone's part.

-4 cans cream of potato soup
-4 cups cubed cooked chicken
-4 cups mixed vegetables of your choice
-pie crust

Cook or warm chicken in a skillet. In a separate bowl, mix soup and vegetables. Add chicken and stir together. Fill equally into 2 pie pans. Cover with pie crust. Flute the edges and cut slits in the top of the pie. Bake for 25 minutes at 400.

For the frozen one, when you serve, you have to thaw for thirty minutes, then keep the pie edges covered loosely with foil. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, then reduce temp to 350 for 60 minutes. Dinner is ready without any prep!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pink and Yellow Baby Shower

A couple weeks ago we hosted a baby shower for a good friend. My mom and I had a great time planning and decorating for the pink and yellow themed party. Here are the pictures from our little get-together.

Here is the food table--lots of good eats, including the creamy lemon squares I made. Will post the recipe soon!
Barb made this ribbon topiary. We found the inspiration on Pinterest, and it turned out awesome! The new mama took this beauty home to decorate the nursery.
Here's the reason for our celebration. How nice that she dressed in coordinating colors for the party.
Here's the new mom. She is glowing, huh? She's holding a nursery decoration made from a framed scrapbook page by Barb. Inspiration also found on Pinterest. The animals are cut from Cricut's "C is for Critter." She always embellishes her work, which adds the perfect touch. Notice also the rosette pin from baby washcloths. Made that beauty myself. How? Rolled up and loosely sewed a washcloth, sewed a pin back on to it. Way cute for our new mama to sport.

Last, some fabric garland to jazz up the party and to leave with the guest of honor. So easy. Excuse me, My Buddy, you are in the shot.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Homemade Shower Cleaner

My bathtub floor is white again. I have Martha Stewart (via Pinterest, of course) to thank for that. Here's a quick, easy, and cheap way to scrub the tub using stuff you probably already have on hand.

Here's what I used:
-1 teaspoon dish soap
-1 cup baking soda

Just mix the dish soap and baking soda, then add water until it becomes a paste. Using a scrub brush or rag, get busy scrubbing. You will be impressed with your results, plus there is no strong cleaner smell.

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Great Gift for the Mama-to-Be

Is this a blog about babies, or about crafting, cooking, and miscellaneous fun? Both, for now. My mom and I have been crafting up lots of good baby goodness so it's only right that I share these. One of Barb's latest creations: a pregnancy calendar for yours truly. She made me one with my first baby, and I missed the daily tidbits and kept losing track of how far along I was (I know, pathetic), so she whipped out a new one.

A pregnancy calendar is a great gift for an expecting girlfriend or relative--think "very long advent calendar that counts up to 40 weeks." Each day has a little piece of information to read. Some are lame, like "Moms may be feeling tired." Really? No way! Others are fun and interesting facts about the baby's development.

To make, Barb downloaded the calendar from Just Mommies, printed it, mounted the paper on to cardstock, added embellishments and a cardstock cover, then bound it all together. If you don't have a binding tool, you could adjust and use metal rings or twine.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Bird Mobile

You were thinking of a avian-inspired vehicle when you read that title? Our nursery is a multi-colored mix of polka dots, stripes, owls, birds, and whatever else our toddler decides to drag in there. This mobile, which I constructed with help from both mother and husband nearly two years ago, has yet to be hung above the crib. It currently hangs from the curtain rod. Cute, but not its intended purpose. I am determined to get it up before baby number two uses the crib.

Here's what we used:
-stuffed bird pattern (PDF) and scrap fabrics, stuffing
-thin rope to hang birds
-thicker rope to suspend mobile
-hot glue
-two wooden hangers
-drill/pliers, screw

1. Sew the birds according to the pattern from Lollychops
2. Using a pliers, straighten the hook of the top hanger. Unscrew or use a wire cutter to remove the hook from the bottom hanger.
3. Drill a small hole through the center of both wooden hangers. Secure them together with a screw.
4. Hot glue rope to the top of each bird, hang onto hangers and secure with hot glue.
5. For the top, thicker rope, we knotted it, hot glued it, then wrapped it in a coil. It's sort of a hodge-podge process--whatever is secure and works for you.

Yes, my photography skills are lacking in these photos. There are only so many hours of natural light these days. You get the gist, though.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Happiness

Happy Halloween! Do you have your costume all ready to go? Trick or treat stash all stocked up? This year I have been kind of lame in the Halloween department. I managed to paint a pumpkin for the stoop, get my kid's costume ready, and eat more than a few fun size candy bars intended for trick-or-treaters. I haven't quite decided on a costume, or whether I'll even wear one--I'm the last minute dresser-upper, throwing together cardboard, fabric, and duct tape as we head out the door. I did find some maternity costume inspirations I thought could be possibilities. Or just amuse you.


Pretty good, huh? I love the cleverness of these, but I'm not sure how my bump will fare exposed in Midwestern autumn weather. Or that I want it exposed at all.

These t-shirts are a hoot--I especially love the first one.

From Make It and Love It

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Money Saver: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I am always up for the challenge of saving money and making something at home. Soap is no exception. We used to make our own laundry detergent, and will resume soon with a new recipe. Recently I found a site with some recipes for homemade dishwasher detergent and decided to give it a try. I used the simplest recipe I found, and after 3 washes, the dishes are still coming out clean. Here's what I combined:

-1 cup Borax
-1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

That's it! I put 2 Tbsp. in the soap container and so far, so good. I plan on figuring out the cost difference once this batch is done. The site I used (click on source button above) also has alternate recipes to try.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies

While painting pumpkins last weekend, I decided it would only be festive if we had some sweets to go with it. Enter: pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting. They were pretty tasty little treats--very soft, but had a good flavor. I would definitely make these again.
Recipe from The Food Network

For the cookies:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons Maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

For the frosting:


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixer, fitted with a paddle, cream the sugar and the butter until light and fluffy. Add the maple syrup and eggs. Mix to incorporate. Add the pumpkin and mix to incorporate. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix well. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown around the edges. Cool on racks. When cool, ice with the cream cheese frosting.

For the Frosting: In a mixer, fitted with a paddle, add the cream cheese. Beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth. Add milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. If frosting is too thick, thin with a little more milk. Fold in the lemon zest. When cookies are cool spread with some of the frosting.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Phone Troubles

My phone took a dive last night--from the hands of a well meaning toddler into a shallow ceramic bowl. Not a big deal for me, as I use it seldom, and most of the time cannot locate it. It's mostly used as a video recorder and player for the little guy. I can't help but think he had some hidden intentions behind the dunk in the toilet--maybe he's aware of the poor video/audio? Either way, after four years, it might be time for an update.

In other news, check out these tasty and easy peanut butter pinwheels. They are simple and delicious. Here's how I made them: Spread peanut butter over a tortilla. Drizzle with honey. Sprinkle on some granola. Roll, cut into slices. Enjoy.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Decorative Bean Balls

Barb crafted up these sweet little styro-covered spheres for display in my kitchen. To make, she glued different types of beans and peas onto styrofoam balls. There are a variety of sizes and colors to add a little visual interest. To display, I'll stack them up in a clear jar, and maybe use some as a centerpiece a little later on.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pink or Blue

Though I am a poor excuse for a blogger lately, I have been crafting it up in my spare moments. My latest creation--two pairs of sweet little baby booties. One pair in pink and one in blue, because this mama won't know which pair she needs until February.

The big news in our world is that we are adding one more to our family, and couldn't be more excited. This time around I'm less nervous, less anxious, but just as irrational and overly emotional. It comes with the territory. I've decided not to find out the gender of the next little peanut, though my husband knows. I am looking forward to the surprise, while he's glad to know what's coming. Many people we tell think this seems like an impossible situation--how could he not accidentally tell you? Won't you bug him til he tells? No way. I just don't want to know until I meet him or her. Until then, I will have to create two sets of everything. It's only logical.

For these booties I found some free patterns on Ravelry and each pair took about 1.5 to 2 hours. It's a fun little project and you can think about baby while knitting!