Thursday, July 31, 2008

Looking for a way to keep your kids entertained? How about a colorful activity for FHE, OR a really random date activity?? Try this really easy and really fun puff paint that you can make at home :)
Here is the link, check it out.

The Loot

Here is a pick of Trish's loot from winning the giveaway:
(sorry for the poor image quality. they're cooler in person; )

Well, since this IS a craft blog I figured I could actually make some of the prizes ;) Here are three of the larger binder clips that I've covered in craft paper. I think they look so cute (and they're so ridiculously easy. Gotta love Mod Podge)
A large circular stamp that says "Congratulations" that you can use for Card Swap. You know how much I looovve round stamps ;)
Glass magnets -- another mod podge favorite! This picture BITES, but the color is mauvey and brown with flowers, very pretty ;)
Woo hoo for prizes! And, since I was already making her loot I couldn't resist making some more binder clips for myself (and they look oh so cute on my planner I might add!)

Monday, July 28, 2008

button, button, who's got a button?

Ok, I don't know WHY exactly I love these necklace charms so much, but I DO! My mom just received a TON of unique buttons from my grandmother and I'm already itching to go through her stash and make my own customized necklace. I guess they're unique enough that they look really .... unique to me ;) haha.
Here is the easy cheesy tutorial. Anyone want to have a button necklace party??

And while you're making your buttons beautiful, why not involve your kids and make these adorable button bracelets together:
The picture and TUTORIAL are courtesy our friend Martha.

Congratulations!!

Well, my first attempt at giving away blog candy only generated two responses. But don't worry!! I'll have more contests in the future and if you forgot to enter you'll have another chance :) Lucky!
Either way, I was grateful for Chelsee and Tricia's ideas, and after drawing a name out of a hat TRICIA was my winner :) Congrats and thanks for contributing!!
I'll mail your package out this week, and as soon as I pick it up at the store I'll post a picture of it! haha.
Here are the helpful date ideas from my contributors :

-Start at your date's house. Before you get to an intersection, flip the coin. Heads you turn right; tails you turn left. Use this technique to decide where to go to dinner (you stop at the first restaurant as determined by the flip of a coin).
-Ice Cream Sculptures: You basically just get a heap of ice cream sculpt something out of it and you can use toppings to help out and then try to guess what the other had created.
- Homemade Ice Cream: This is one of our favorites although we don't do it incredibly often. We have a camping Ice Cream ball that you roll around to make the ice cream and you can choose how healthy you want it because you don't necessarily use cream--it has tons of recipes, you can even use just whole milk! it think it only costs about 10 dollars.
-"Gingerbread Houses": This is a different take on the gingerbread house, just use graham crackers or whatever and then create something different. I have made a barn and then I made a sheep and pig out of marshmallows and skittles. Get creative- we even have pictures of it cuz it looked so cool!
-D.I. Hopping: check out various DIs around Utah (our fav is now American Fork) and see what good deals you can find. I found a Roxy purse for only 1.50! And we had fun seeing how different cities live...
-Reliving the Mission: Dress up and Eat foods that are from your husband's mission. It'll bring up new stories (possibly) or allow him to share and re share his favorite spiritual experiences(more likely). If you don't speak the mission language you could even have him teach you a few words or have him talk to you (make sure he goes slowly!) and you try and translate what he said...who knows maybe your guy will pick up on the hint and say something romantic in another language! :)
-NICKLECADE! I love this place because of all the games and how cheap it is--you pay an entrance fee of like 2.50 and you can bring your own nickels to get rid of spare change around the house. We always spend more than we mean too here!
-Indian Trail Hike: Not the most beautiful, but we still like it because it's close and hidden so no one ever hikes it. To find it, go by the Riverwoods and you'll see this random ramp that connects up right before you hit the final light leading to the canyon, Turn right onto the ramp and then take the first left, the small park and trail head are on your left.
-Monte Bean Museum: I know everyone's prolly been there, but have you ever found the jedi mouse? Look for a stuffed mouse that is holding a stick like it's a light saber. See who can spot the weirdest animal, which one would you want to own and other questions like that.
-BYU plays! This year they are doing 'Throughly Modern Milly', 'The Giver', 'Houseboat Honeymoon' which is about a couple on a cruise for their honeymoon only to find that the in laws are on the same cruise and other cute and relatively cheap plays.
-Payson Fish Hatchery: They claim you are supposed to catch a fish every like...okay really often, but both times I've gone I've seen how long I can go without catching a fish (this usually involves praying) and I promise both times I've had to wait around for over an hour to catch one fish, much to the frustration of my husband who can't seem to understand why I don't catch very much:) It's actually really relaxing and fun to just sit and chat even if it's over fish carcasses.

Monday recipe`

Ok, Monday has been a busy day and I'm sick of sitting in front of the computer. You'll just have to check back tomorrow to see the **contest winner** and some GREAT new crafts that I've found and can't wait to share!!!
In the meantime here is our fabulous Monday recipe.

Mexican Pizza
Ok, so you've probably seen this at restaurants, but have you ever made it? YUM YUM. We made a version using only what we had at home and my family scarfed it down faster than our traditional veggie pizza.
Here is a list of what we used -- feel free to get creative!

Naan bread (we buy this at Good Earth, it comes 5 to a package and basically looks like mini pizza crusts.)
Cheese
Fresh diced tomatoes
THIN sliced zuchinni (since I always have to disguise veggies whenever possible)
black beans
bean dip (we bought this AMAZING kind from Costco. I can't remember the name, but it is some organic brand that they package with fresh salsa. It has great flavor!)


We spread the bean dip on the bread, layered on our toppings and finished it off with cheese. I baked it at 375 for 10 minutes and they were perfect. I put a little salsa on to finish it off.
If I'd had olives I would have used those too :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Picture perfect

Here is a fun photo craft I found the other day:






A personalized photo cube that you can print on your own computer. I've been meaning to print one and then mail it to long distance family. I think it would be something fun and different to receive in the mail -- not to mention a fun way to display some up-to-date photos :)

Here is the link, check it out!

Napkin Pillows

Does anyone else have a really really hard time choosing colors to decorate your home? As soon as I pick something I'm afraid I'll change my mind and be stuck with accessories in my old color-scheme. On a simple budget that just doesn't work, so I love inexpensive ideas for decorating your home -- just in case you love teal one year and hate it the next ;)
This is an idea I've seen popping up alot and I'm ready to give it a try. This is a simple solution for decorating and is really really easy to sew (a definite bonus!). Simply buy two coordinating NAPKINS at your favorite retailer (Target always has gorgeous cloth napkins and you can usually find them on clearance) and sew them together! Voila! Instant pillows ready to be stuffed :)
This pillow below came from this blog and was made from a Target napkin.


This is an up-close pic from this blog showing how she chose to simply sew a seam, leaving the already hemmed edges of the napkins. How simple is that?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More lovin ...


So, after my last post about dating, I decided to share this great gift idea from my sister!! (Btw, so far the only people who have contributed have been my sisters!! C'mon ladies, I know you're all craft-divas so share share! Even if it is a link for something you think is cool but have never done :)

My sister is into wine glasses -- I don't blame her, they're pretty and using them makes any dinner seem more special. She took her interest for wine glasses and turned it into a personalized gift for her fiancee (now hubby).

Using some simple rub-ons (that can be purchased at any craft store) she was able to personalize the glasses with sweet sentiments. To help the staying-power of the rub-ons she used a light coat of clear nail polish to seal them on. Inside each glass are slips of paper on which she wrote 50 different things she loved about her spouse. He loves to read them, and they have a beautiful set of wine glasses handy for special occasions requiring sparkling cider ;)
If you want to improvise you could write date-night ideas on the slips and take turns drawing an idea out to spice things up for your weekly date. The ideas are endless.
THanks for sharing Chelsee!

Love is in the air...

Ok, so it's Wednesday and I have dating on the brain. It's my week to plan the date and I'm still clueless for ideas.
I would LOVE to know what everyone out there is doing for date ideas! Lets create some synergy and share ideas shall we?
I'll start, then you can leave a comment with your favorite date night activities. I'll even throw in an incentive. Post your ideas until Sunday night (I'm going out of town this weekend so I won't be able to check them all until then) and I'll throw everyone's name in a hat -- one slip for each idea. The person who is drawn will receive an AWESOME *surprise* from ME -- either by mail or in-person depending on the distance:) I promise it won't be any lame-o homemade cookies either :)

So here is my list:
My husband and I did homemade facials (definetly MY idea). We did the whole process, cleanser, toner, exfoiliate, mask and steam. It was so much fun and we mixed the ingredients for our masks and cleansers together with stuff from our fridge. While our masks hardened we ate chocolate (like any good spa experience) and watched a movie. Good times.
We went to a nearby out door mall (The Riverwoods) and window shopped and bought expensive and unique chocolates to taste as we strolled.
We've taken a tour of "memory lane" and visited all of the spots we went to while we were dating.
We've gone ice skating.
We've gone to church history sites and taken tours.
And that's all I can think of right now (aside from good ol' movie nights) ... So ladies lets share and enter yourself the chance to win a fun prize courtesy of me :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

No more s'mores

Ready for Monday recipe? Check out this tantalizing feast:

Yep. It's just some chocolate chips shoved into a banana. But it tastes heavenly after you do this to it:
So here ya go:

Ingredients:
Bananas
Chocolate Chips
Tin Foil
Fire

Slice open your banana, shove in as many chocolate chips as you like. Cover with two layers of tinfoil. Lay on hot coals or the hot non-burning part of your fire pit (what the hey is that called?? The embers?? I dunno). Let it sit until heated through (no more than 5 minutes usually). Unfoil and enjoy your melted chocolate banana treat!! A definite PLUS over messy smores!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The last of the baby stuff...

Ok, so this is the last of the baby stuff! For now at least ;)

Here is a pic of the diaper wreath that my mom and I made for my sisters shower. This is the third one that I've done before. It was definitely the most decorated, but we kind of made fun of the 80's retro look it had -- I think it was the gingham bow that did it. My girlfriend brought one to me in the hospital when I had my second child and it was the sweetest hospital gift! I hung it on the door and felt so special :) My sister and I made one for a shower she attended once, and they really are a fun, functional shower gift for a friend -- especially if it isn't their first child so they really just need diapers!


This wreath was for my sis-in-law. It was the first we'd made.
For a tutorial of this EASY project check out this LINK.

Now for the diaper cake. Here is the first attempt made with my girlfriend:
And another, made for my sister.
I love diaper cakes because I think they look great but are completely usable too. They're really simple, but I would recommend making them with a friend becuase it gets tricky holding all the diapers up while tying them together :)
Here is a helpful tutorial.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Not-so-Monday Recipe

Sorry for being a slacker about my Monday recipe! My mom was here and I had too much fun away from the computer :)
Here is a recipe that my mom saw on Martha Stewart and then shared with me. It has a lot of healthy elements and then a HUGE dosing of marshmallows to satisfy anyones sweet tooth :) I had to make the recipe 3 times before I got the consistency I liked, so play around with it to see what works for you:

Non-stick spray
3/4 bag of large marshmallows
3/4 cup natural peanut butter (I think it does make a difference using the natural nut butter because it is more liquidy -- if that's a word ...)
1 box of puffed brown rice cereal (I used the Kashi 7 grain kind that has all different kinds of puffed grains)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup chopped pecans
2/3 cup chopped cashews

Coat medium baking sheet. Melt the nuts and marshmallows together in the microwave until melted (try and use the 1 minute then stir method until fully melted). Add cereal and remaining ingredients, stirring gently to combine. Put in pan and let sit until cool. YUM!

BabyPALOOZA

Ok, so I'm a young mom, so I am understandably interested in BABY crafts. There are so many fun projects out there! Here is a quick rundown of some of my favorites!!

I Love this diaper and wipes carrier. Now that my kids are older I don't have to lug around a huge diaper bag, but I still need some diapers and wipes wherever I go. My diapers tend to get thrashed in my purse (which my husband refers to as "outer darkness" because once something goes in it never comes out ..) so I could use one of these! There isn't a tutorial on her blog, but if you have a two-sided placemat and a sewing machine it looks like it could be easily recreated!


Here is a similar idea wipes and diaper container from this blog.
I don't really like her picture, so here is one I found for sale online:


I've seen these cloth ones at the boutique, and with the right kind of fabric they are super cute! The only problem is that they look like they require sewing AND measuring ;) TOo much for a beginner like me.

Just in case you aren't tired of a wipes holder, here is ANOTHER! This is one that my sister received as a gift at her baby shower:
I had never seen this type before, but when we went to the boutiques on Monday I saw them all over the place. These are really simple because they require NO sewing. Just a hot glue gun and your materials. Gotta love that! There is sort of a tutorial here.
If you like this one you can check out her blog where she sells her products here.
She also got this adorable bow from the same crafter who made the wipes container. We thought it was so cute so of course we had to spend Monday making our own baby bows for Baby Sophie!
My sister got a lot of bright colored clothes for her baby shower so we went for a really bright korker bow:
And then a couple of the quickie flowers for the headbands:
(Both of these are pretty common crafts around here, but if you don't know how to make them and want to know how then just leave a comment and I'll send you the directions!)
Moving on, my last, and new favorite, baby craft are these adorable applique t-shirts from good ol' Martha (or, really, her creative team of craft divas).This is super simple, and (depending on the price of your t-shirt) super cheap. My favorites are the examples put together on this blog (again! I love her stuff), she gives some great ideas on how to get creative with the appliqu├ęs. I especially love the onesie with a tie because it is so hard to find 0-3 month baby boy clothes that would look cute for church! My sister and I already have plans to make some BYU applique shirts for the kids to wear to the homecoming parade so I will def. post the results!

Sorry for the blog explosion, but there are so many fun crafts that make great baby shower gifts, and I definetly had baby showers on the brain this weekend.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Paper pinwheels


Hey ladies!
This fun paper crafting idea is courtesy my sister, Tricia. She is always on top of her game when it comes to paper crafts! She has more links, tutorials and ideas of anyone I know!
This cute little pinwheel would be perfect for party decorations (Martha puts pinwheels in white buckets along a table, very cute), or party favors -- especially since the stick is actually a pixie stick! Very simple and perfect for a summer bbq!
Check out the helpful video tutorial HERE.

Hot Deals!

Hey crafters! Now is the time to buy GLUE. If you're like me, you're always running out of glue sticks and probably hate paying $1 for one measly stick (that doesn't last that long). Well, Walmart is (already) stocking their back-to-school products and have two packs of glues for ONLY .22 CENTS. So run, don't walk, to Walmart and stock up your years supply -- of glue :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

For all you seamstressess out there ...

Ok, for all of you with a sewing machine (and a place to USE the sewing machine), I just want you to know that I have serious envy. I have a file stocked of ideas for when I have my own sewing machine -- oh yeah, and a money tree in the backyard that supplies the costs of cute fabrics :)
The idea for this blog was not to just post other people's ideas, but to post ideas I had actually tried, but let's face it ... that's just not happening YET.
So in the meantime, enjoy these pics from some creative geniuses out there. And if YOU try one of the projects, send me the results!

I am in love with these pillowcase ideas popping up all over the web. Probably because they are all for beginning seamstresses like myself (who am I kidding. "Clueless Seamstress" would be more appropriate ...) My plan was to fly to Ohio next week and spend my time sewing with my mom, but unfortunately that trip has been postponed until Halloween so my crafty bonding time has also been postponed. Here are the pics and links for the easy cheesy tutorials:

I don't love this fabric but I think the style of the purse is adorable. Especially for fitting my large day-planner, a fiction novel and diapers, wipes, snacks etc. etc. :)
Thanks Martha for yet another winning tutorial.



These are the adorable and supposedly EASY to make pillowcase dresses. I cannot think of a little girl who would not look precious in these! Whether you use a beautiful vintage pillowcase of fun patterned fabric I think it would make a fun summer dress. Here are several tutorials, check them out and if you try them, let me know which link you used:
Tutorial 1
Tutorial 2
Tutorial 3

Enjoy!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Recipe of the Week


Hey ladies! Every Monday I'll share a recipe of the week -- something that I, or one of you, have actually TRIED and enjoyed :)
Check out these Healthy Oatmeal Cookies on my new favorite cooking site, www.wholegraingourmet.com.
We made them for a Sunday snack and the flavor was perfect -- not too sweet and full of spice. It would be the perfect fall-time cookie with all of that Cinnamon and nutmeg (it had me dreaming about fall leaves, fresh apples and pumpkin patches .... ) I substituted Blackstrap Molasses for regular molasses and it changed the color a bit, but other than that I followed the recipe. I have to admit, my cookies do NOT look like her picture however. I followed the directions exactly but mine became flatter than pancakes. I'm still sharing the recipe because the flavor was so great that I didn't even care (in fact, while they were still hot and flat I picked them up and rolled them into Oatmeal Balls -- whatever works right?).
Enjoy!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Bracelets that sparkle...

My daughter (3 years old) and I made these bracelets together for the Fourth of July. They were super easy and relatively cheap. All of the tubing cost around $5 and it made a TON. There is no way we could have used it all, so I'm setting the rest aside for a future birthday party craft. There are tons of tutorials online, but FamilyFun has a video tutorial so check it out :)
Btw, the inside materials are blue glitter, clear seed beads, and red micro beads.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Home decorating idea ...

As soon as I have a home to decorate I am going to put this idea to work. I was waiting in line at Wally world and saw the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens special edition magazine, "Do It Yourself" -- which I seriously love! Granted, anything beats celebrity trash when you're at the checkout :)As I was flipping through I saw a project idea for using decoupage to adhere cute/colorful/trendy craft paper to the front of dresser drawers (or end table drawers). They used a bright plaid and the effect was so FUN! I loved it. I'm definetly going to do it in my kids rooms (someday in the distant future when they HAVE rooms ;).
This would be the perfect solution for old second-hand drawers, or simply for updating your room.
I searched the internet for a long long time and only came up with two weak pictures. These can give you a general idea of the project, but really the example in the magazine is still my favorite -- so check it out! Also, if you want an idea of a tutorialthe diynetwork.com has one (also love that site...)
Enjoy!