Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Maybe a Cupcake Will Help?

Cupcake Shape (I simplified it a lot) from Miss Kate Cuttables
Cupcake "frosting"--I printed a digital paper I own from Zoe Pearn's newsletter freebie, So Sweet.
Fonts: Lavanderia Sturdy ("Cupcake")
          Code Bold

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Peg Dolls

This year for Christmas we've decided to focus on giving our kids gifts that spark the imagination. Sturdy gifts that stand the test of time. In other words- no electronics. :) We're talking Lincoln Logs, Marble Works, art supplies, and a few homemade items.... like THESE!
SERIOUSLY! How cute is this little line up of Princesses?
They are even cute from behind.
This set isn't for Christmas though, it was actually a birthday gift for my youngest daughter. They were such a hit at her party, even the adults were drawn to them. And in the past few days my girls have spent endless hours playing make believe with these adorable little peg dolls.
Who would have thought something so simple could be so fun!? I bought the pegs at Hobby Lobby with a coupon. They ended up being 8 for $2.50. Then my sister helped me paint them while watching TV one night. (I LOVE a good excuse to chill in front of the TV, and I can justify it because I'm being productive at the same time!)

I also snagged a wooden chest on sale for $3 at Hobby Lobby. I thought it would be a fun container to keep the dolls in. There is plenty of room in the chest for more dolls which is awesome because I decided to make a few more sets for Christmas.
I'm SO excited!
Stay tuned for Super Heros, Phineas and Ferb, and Despicable Me Peg Dolls!

 What are your kids getting for Christmas this year?
Mine have each asked Santa for a special toy, which I'm sure he will provide. Then they each get two gifts from us, something they need and something fun... and apparently I can't stop there this year, looks like I have to throw in some peg dolls too! Maybe they'd make great stocking stuffers!? Do you have any other great homemade gift ideas for me? I'd love to hear about them!

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Hello everyone!  I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with loved ones and delicious food!

I found the idea for this cute turkey on Pinterest.  Unfortunately, it wasn't linked correctly (pet peeve...) so I cannot give credit to whomever first made this adorable fruit tray! 

I used my mother-in-law's caramel recipe:
2 c. Brown Sugar
1 c. Corn Syrup
1 c. Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 c. Butter

Boil until it reaches 240 F
Remove from heat and add:
1 tsp. Vanilla
12 Large Marshmallows

This recipe is for caramel apples. My M-I-L says to not cook it as long so it won't harden in the bowl like it does on the apples. Make sure you cook it long enough to melt the sugar though! Otherwise it will turn out me.
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Friday, November 22, 2013

Martha Stewart Home Office With Avery Review

I really can't describe my feelings when I opened my door one afternoon to find this waiting for me:

Well, hello, early Christmas present--straight from Martha herself!  Well...we can pretend anyways, right?  The card said to have fun decorating and organizing for the holidays.  It's like Martha KNOWS how much help I need with being organized!!  So I got right to work.

Any of you who need to eat gluten free can feel my pain.  One bag of flour has blossomed into about 10 different kinds plus starches and gums and other craziness (this isn't my only flour drawer, people)!  Since my flour loyalties are a little bit fluid (I have some millet flour I haven't used in a couple years.  My new BFF is coconut flour), I had been writing on my flour bins with a wet erase marker.  That way when I changed flour friends, I could easily change the labels with a wet paper towel.  Buuut, let's be honest, it isn't the prettiest thing in the world.

Cue the Martha fairy, and wham!  Chalkboard labels!  I used this tutorial at Indie Craft Parade to take a font from my computer (Lavandaria Sturdy, btw.  My FAVORITE ever) and transfer it in chalk to these cute labels.  Which I can reposition (I tried).  I also sprayed the labels with hairspray (before I put them on the flour--I don't want to eat that stuff!!) to make them semi permanent.  The chalk doesn't smudge without some effort, but I can still erase one and make it new if one of my flour friends turns fickle.

Does that NOT make you so happy that you GET to add Xanthan Gum to your recipes?  Or, if you have never heard of xanthan gum, doesn't that label make you want to know more?  It's so pretty!  And it was so EASY!!  My kind of project, I'm telling you!

Thanksgiving has some pretty key pieces that have gluten in them.  I'm thinking rolls and pie, my friends.  Sure, you could live without them (my love handles are telling me it'd be best), but I really hate having to tell my kids, "Sorry guys, those have gluten so you can't have any" even though they are the best sports ever.  So this Thanksgiving, I will be making some rolls and some pies.  And with these pretty labels, I'll probably whistle a little while I do it!

This next project showed me that I have not conquered my perfectionist self.  At all.  So it took FOREVER, because it had to be perfect perfect, perfect.  It isn't perfect hand lettering, BELIEVE ME, I know, but I figure for a first attempt, it ain't bad.  Take that, Perfectionist Monster! I will love this project in its imperfection.

I fell in love and claimed these chalkboard tags immediately.  Do they not turn into perfect Christmas Tree ornaments?!?  I swapped out the jute ties for a little shmancier ribbon, scribbled a bit with some chalk, and cut some glitter cardstock on my Silhouette Cameo (I used a shape from this set on Miss Kate Cuttables).  A little hair spray again, to help keep the smudging to a minimum, and some hot glue, and I had some adorable handmade ornaments for my tree!

It has kicked off a serious handmade ornament obsession, so stay tuned...

Okay everyone, raise your hands if you have a MAJILLION magazines stashed somewhere in your house.  They are full to the brim with great ideas that you are going to use "someday." Only, since they are stashed and new ones keep coming, how are you ever going to remember the ideas?!?

"Ding!" (That would be the Martha fairy waving her magic wand--just in case you were confused).

Lauren took this super luxe, fabulously red notebook, some pretty tabs and sheet protectors, and turned it into an Activity Binder.  She wisely has been tearing out the ideas she likes from her favorite mags, so it was a cinch to slip them into the page protectors and organize them by holiday!

My kids have been looking through OUR magazines, and they love the activities, but keep getting super distracted by all the ads.  "Can we buy this delicious looking juice, Mommy?  Can we have this outrageously expensive toy?  I WAAAANT it!!"  This binder makes me DROOOL, because not only are all the good ideas in one spot, NONE of the advertising is!  So Lauren's kids love to look through, see all the neat activities, and plan for the upcoming holiday festivities.  And Lauren doesn't have to say, "No, honey, I am not going to buy anything in that magazine for you.  NEVER ASK ME AGAIN!!!" 

She says her favorite part about this notebook is the way it feels.  I seriously wanted to rub my face on the outside of it.  And she loves the tab at the bottom, which makes opening the prongs pain free!

I think I may have to grab a super swanky notebook for myself!  And some more labels..I want to label EVERYTHING now!

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

The obsession at our house for the past few months has been super heroes! (And princess camouflage spy kids... which is equally awesome.) So it didn't really take my by surprise when my girls announced they wanted to be super heroes for Halloween this year. At first I was dying when I realized it was going to cost me more to make these costumes than it would for me to just go down to Halloween City and let my girls pick out a costume. But I am so glad I went the "homemade" route.  I justified most of my purchases by pointing out to my husband how PRACTICAL this costume is! The capes, sparkly wrist bands and boot tops are going in the dress up box, and the rest of their costume is totally reusable!  (Their cute skirts are from The Children's Place, and are on SALE today just incase you're interested.)  

I knew a photo shoot was in order, but I wanted to do something a little different than the typical "kids standing on the front porch in their costumes" thing. Hence the comic book idea was born. 

I won't lie to you- this took WAY longer than I thought it would. It probably would have been significantly easier for someone who actually knows how to use photoshop. I just pretend to. :) Most of this little comic book was put together in the wee morning hours while I was feeding my baby... which is probably why I think it's way funnier than it actually is. EVERYTHING is funny at 2:00 a.m. 

Here's hoping you "SUPER" awesome Halloween! 

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Friday, September 27, 2013

You Are My Sunshine

This is my favoritest card I've ever made.

No, I'm not three years old, just trying to impress upon you the extent of my favoriteness.

Cute, huh?  Now, imagine the sun spinning about on its track, scattering happy feelings along its way.

Oooh, oooh, oooh, let me show you the inside too!

I left it pretty simple, since the outside was not, but I did cross-stitch a bit (the holes are in my SVG, so if you don't want to do it, take them out) to add some textural interest.  I was also thinking about embossing the heart, but decided against it (okay, I ran out of time before card club ;).

I got started on the the idea when I saw this on the Silhouette blog.  SUPER CUTE, huh?

And I checked out this tutorial to figure out how it worked:

And voila!  The possibilities are endless, don't you think?

Here's the SVG of my card--if you make one, I would LOVE to see!  Send me a link in the comments or upload a picture to our Facebook Page (where you are more than welcome to hit the "Like" button ;).

Download Card

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

"We Are Amazing!" - Product Review

I don't know about you, but I seem to spend a LOT of time in the car with my kids these days - running errands, carpooling back and forth to school, and driving kids to soccer, ballet, etc... Now, this may or may not come as a shock to you, but I turn into an American Idol when I get into the car. :) And as such I am always on the lookout for new music to sing along to that is:
A) Family friendly 
B) uplifting 
and possibly most importantly- 
C) Won't drive me absolutely crazy after the first 30 seconds. 

So when we were asked to do a review of this CD I was stoked! 

I popped it into the CD player the other day while I was doing dishes, and within 30 seconds kids started emerging from all corners of our house and making their way to the kitchen. They were totally drawn to the music!  It was like that scene in A Bug's Life where the mosquito is drawn into the bug zapper- "I can't help it... it's so beautiful...!" 
Yup, just like that- except no kids were harmed in the making of this dance party. 

The kids LOVED this CD!  It's filled with toe-tapping awesomeness, and enriched with values that I truly believe are inspired. I love that my kids are learning important life lessons as they boogie in their car seats on the way to school. We have listened to it countless times in the last week and I'm not even remotely bored with it. Which, as I'm sure you know, is a big deal!

My girls especially loved the song Secret Mission- they are always pretending to be spies, so this was right up their ally. Our other favorites are We Are Amazing, What A Smile Can Do, How Big Are Your Dreams, and What Can You Do?  (What can you do in 2 minutes?! You can make your bed, give your sister a hug, pick up your toys, smile at a friend...etc.  Can I get a great big HECK YES from all the mama's out there?! My kids spend more time complaining about a chore than actually doing it. I LOVE this song. LoL. And if I'm being humble here, it's a good reminder to me to make good use of my time as well!)

Want to get in on the fun? You can purchase the CD HERE
 And as a special gift to YOU- our fabulous readers, the kind people at Any Kid Can have given us a special 20% off coupon code!  

How fabulous is that?!

Now go turn up the tunes and let's DANCE! 

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Reading Party

Call me a nerd, but I adored Read-a-thon days back in school. Uninterrupted reading and candy time?  Two of my favorite things!  So we invited the cousins, bought some treats (letting them each pick a kind of candy in the bulk section scored me major mom points), and picked out some books.  Don't forget to drag bedding, pillows, and anything soft to the floor so you can all lie down together!

If you aren't addicted to buying books (like me), or you just want to throw some new ones in the mix to make it special, you could go to the library or the bookstore first.  I bought a million {ahem} a few books with our school book orders and saved them for special incentives or rewards, so I was planning on pulling out the stack and letting everyone choose one to read.  When the special day came, I forgot.  But hey, they didn't know, and they still had fun!

In the end, they were a tadge more interested in the candy than the books...what was I expecting?  But I think a read-a-thon is a great way to make reading fun and exciting.  And your kids' teachers will be proud of you for remembering to read this summer!

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Click HERE for more fun summer ideas!

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Escape Artist

We were gonna wait to transition to the toddler bed until the house was finished, but... well...
See for yourself.

This girl is in the 10th percentile for height, folks. 
Granted, she's 75th for weight. Apparently it's all muscle!

And before you suggest that it was merely boost via the stuffed animal, think again. I took all the stuffies out and put her in again. She got out even faster that time. 


It's been quite the exciting naptime around here. 
I figured I'd coax the child into her sister's toddler bed (see that big twin mattress leaning against the left wall? Emily will use that now), and when I pulled her quilt back, there was a giant wolf spider hiding underneath. 


Just waiting for a victim.

I may have screamed. Just a little.

I herded the midget out of the room, as the beast fled over the edge of the bed.
A tentative and very girly hunt followed (thanks to my mom for lifting things off the floor while I stood nearby waiting with Kirby's hiking boot.) I even turned the toddler bed up on its side to make sure the thing wasn't hiding underneath in the slats.

We couldn't find it anywhere. 

Finally, I figured I'd put the room back together and turned the toddler bed back onto its legs. I tuned to say something to my mom across the basement and then turned back. 

It was there. On the mattress. Again.

It crawled under the skinny side of the mattress that was resting on the floor when I turned it on its side. 

This beast was too smart to live. 

So I killed it.


Good story, huh? 100% true. I even made sure the thing was dead before vacuuming it up. 
Kirby will be so proud.

After removing all the sheets, and vacuuming the room, we now have a whole lot of this going on:

Getting her to sleep was no small task, but I think that's a story for another day.
Time for some Oreos, I think!

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