Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Quick Gift

I've got a post of a more serious nature brewing, but there are a couple more things that need to be taken care of first, so I thought I'd share our latest grandparent birthday present!

I can't take credit for this one--it was Kirby's idea to do it for his parents, but he got the idea from Jamie's Father's Day roundup post HERE.

We wanted to give them something that the girls created that they could display somewhere, and you all know it's totally "in" to have your last name hung somewhere! Why not incorporate some finger painting while you're at it!?

The canvas was $15 after 50% off at JoAnn's. We were looking for a canvas just this size (I think it's something like 1x3 feet? Kirby actually did the purchasing, so I never saw the actual dimensions. I know, I know--how manly is my man to walk into JoAnns all by himself AND use a coupon from the JoAnns app on his phone!?). We had decided, though, that if they didn't have a canvas the size we wanted we could get three smaller canvases and break the last name up into DA-VIS-ON. Would have been fun that way, too! 

Kirby shaped the letters with painter's tape (I know--he's HUH-MAZING!) and then we let the girls go to town. I let Emily pick between an orange/red/yellow color combo or a blue/green/yellow combo. I made sure to pick colors that wouldn't turn into brown if they got mixed. You can see that spot above the V where it's pretty much one solid green color--Emily just kept going over the same spot over and over again. If there had been any complimentary colors in the mix that would have been completely brown. I just stuck each color in a separate paper bowl, but you could definitely just drizzle paint directly onto the canvas and then mix them that way.

The splatters are complimentary of Kirby--husband of the year, yet again. Mr. Artsy! LOVE HIM!

Can you spot Emily's handprint and Sydney's footprint?

Emily thought this project was the coolest thing since fruit snacks, but Syd kept trying to get the paint off her hands. We'd put some on, and she would just try to wipe it off on her belly. 

I had already started to rinse the girls off with the hose when I thought to document how adorable the girls looked, and Sydney was not happy with me. Not at all.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Delicious Buttermilk Syrup

 Lauren and I grew up across the cul-de-sac from a chef who taught my Mom this delicious recipe.  I know my first thought when I hear buttermilk syrup is "HUH?"   Bet let me tell you--this stuff is incredible!  BEWARE: this is not a low-calorie condiment (is syrup a condiment?) so keep yourself from drinking it plain!  My favorite part of this recipe (besides the taste) is that I always have the ingredients hanging around so it's easy to make whenever I run out!

 The Ingredients
Butter, Sugar, Buttermilk (or milk+lemon juice), Baking Soda, and Vanilla

 What if you don't have buttermilk?
Easy peasy.  For my double batch of syrup, I needed 1 cup of buttermilk.  So I took one cup of milk and added 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice.  I mix this part up very first so it has a couple minutes to buttermilk-ify.  (Yeah--it's a word...).  I love this trick--you can use it anywhere you need buttermilk!  You can also use vinegar, but I like the way lemon juice turns out hands down!

Just a Tip:
Use a bigger pan than you think!  Looking at the recipe, you will think a small saucepan will do the trick.  But there is serious bubble-age here-see?  My double batch barely fit in my four quart pot!

Buttermilk Syrup
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Buttermilk (make your own with 1/2 c. Milk and 1/2 Tablespoon Lemon Juice!)
1 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Vanilla

Melt butter in large saucepan (volume of mixture will increase as it boils).  Add buttermilk, sugar, and soda.  Stir well.  Bring to a boil; boil for one minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Makes about 2 cups.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Gumball Necklaces

About a year and a half ago my sister in law and I decided to make bubblegum necklaces for our girls for Valentine's Day. Well, being the supermom that she is- she made necklaces, and I let my bubblegum sit in a bag on the counter until it got old and stale. (Please tell me I'm not the only one who does stuff like that.) Since then these tasty necklaces have been on my "I really should do that someday" list, but somehow always get overlooked. 

, about a week ago we decided to throw a little tea party for the grandchildren and these necklaces were one of the activities the kids helped us do. Turns out they are SO easy to make, and they were a huge hit with our little princesses. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Things That Saved Me This Week


We've all had it. 
Oh, how I hate it. 

The pain for me is ridiculous.

Whenever strep season comes around I find myself actively cursing the ENT doctor who refused to remove my tonsils. 

This round of strep has taken an extra long time running its course. 
Guess why. 

Guess guess guess!

I managed to catch Hand, Foot, and Mouth at the SAME TIME.
Couple the strep death throat with the HFM sores, blisters, and all-around fabulousness, and, well--you've got yourself a pretty miserable mommy. 

There were a couple things, though, that got me through this time.

1. The Olympics

Fabulous and inspiring athletes to watch all day long? Why, yes. Yes, I will. 

2. Beef Ramen
All I could eat for a couple days. Soothed the pain for a bit, but man my throat was a beast. I won't be eating any for a while--got a little sick of it, as I'm sure you can understand... but yeah. Sure was thankful for it.

3. Gauchos. 
The ones the model is wearing below:

Super stretchy. Super soft. 
Sorry--they were a one-day deal at Pick Your Plum
Who knows, though--they might get them back!

I may or may not have let Emily play a lot of Curious George games on the laptop while I draped myself all over the couch watching the aforementioned 2012 London Olympics. 

Okay, so I totally did.

While knitting. All day long. Gotta get my stock up for the local craft faire coming up end of August! Whoop!

5. Ricola Throat Drops, in Cherry Honey.

Best tasting throat lozenges I have ever had.
I don't think they were quite as numbing as the Sucrets we had in the cupboard, but wow, they tasted amazing!

I'm almost back to 100% now... ALMOST.
You can be sure I will be stockpiling these things for the next time the icky sickies come around.

Ok, so I can't really stockpile the Olympics. 
Or the internet. 
But you get the idea.

What comforts do you turn to when you are sick?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Crafting on the Cheap

In the movie of my life, one of my favorite lines will be, "Goodbye honey, I'm off to the craft store!"  Which will invariably be followed by a foreboding "dunh dunh duhn."  My husband will then look at the camera with terror in his eyes.  Maybe he'll even fall to his knees, shaking his fists and crying, "We'll never survive!!!!!"

You could say I kind of like buying craft supplies...and fabric...and home decor...yep.  I might just have a mild addiction.  Oh, stop rolling your eyes, husband dear.  FINE.  I AM OBSESSED.

The good news is, that I have found some great websites so I can save money while feeding my addiction passion. And now, my friends, I am going to share them with you! Husbands everywhere, BEWARE.

1. Pick Your Plum.  My favorite so far, and the one I've had the most experience with. I have "picked" buttons, thread, vinyl, paper, post-its (another obsession), straws (those stripey ones Jamie used in her mojitos), cupcake liners, metal punches, earrings, necklaces, bakers twine, ribbon...WOW!

They have one deal a day, and they sell out most days, so check early (the deal starts at 7 a.m. MST).  These incredible goodies are made more incredible by the amazing prices--usually at least 50% off retail price!  And there's one shipping rate for each deal, whether you order one or the limit--so I like to call my Mom and see if she wants to order some and split shipping! My order always comes fast and I love to eat the Laffy Taffy inside the box :D  I literally have to check Pick Your Plum every day.

And now that we are a Pick Your Plum affiliate (wahooo!), you can support our blog by clicking on the link on our sidebar when you want to order from them!

The Plaid Barn - Daily deals on craft supplies, diy kits and more
2. The Plaid Barn. Same sort of deal-a-day here, but in plaid.  They have the same sorts of things: cabochons (plastic flowers), washi tape, buttons, vinyl, earrings, stickers.  Good stuff.  UPDATE: We are now a Plaid Barn affiliate as well (hooray!), so clicking through our blog to buy Plaid Barn goodies will support us as well!  Thanks in advance!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Savor the Flavors of Summer!

Every year on August 1st, without fail, someone flips the "Back to School" switch in my brain.  Maybe it's the teacher in me, but once August rolls around I always feel a little panicked as the lazy days of summer come to a close. 
Our summer evenings are usually spent lounging in the backyard with family and friends, sipping a cold beverage and watching the kids play in the yard as the sun slowly sets behind the mountains. Our favorite drink this summer has been the non-alcoholic Mojito. (If you've never had a mojito, check out THIS recipe. It'll change your life.) We've had a lot of fun experimenting with different flavors of mojitos over the past few weeks. This one was one of our favorites! 

This drink just embodies everything that is summer. Big juicy raspberries, mint from our garden, and freshly squeezed limes. Mmmmmmmm.... the tastes of summer!


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