Saturday, August 28, 2010

And they're off.........

Don’t worry Lucy…the girls will be home soon to play with you!

Now its time to start thinking about classroom parties & helping out at school events & all the other things that fill the school calendar through out the year!  
School has officially started and its going to be such a change for this house. With both girls gone during the day this year I will have a lot of time to get things done. Its bitter sweet . I won’t feel guilty for trying to clean the house & work on all my projects with my girls needing my attention at the same time. But I also won’t have the girls to get me into a game of tag, take a trip to the park, or a day of “lets play Barbie’s”.

I’m hoping that being able to work on my projects during the week days will make for even more fun after school times with the girls. I’ll be able to give 100% of my time with out being side tracked so much.
But instead of focusing on all that on this last weekend of summer, I think we’ll go soak up the day & swing on the swings until the sun goes down!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Frame your thoughts!

As I was organizing my desk area I decided to put up a dry erase board so I could make quick notes while I’m busy on this computer. Both my girls had fun drawing on it while it sat on the floor waiting to be put up.

I moved the kitchen to start organizing the fridge area that is over flowing with all the art work of the week scattered about. I realized the surface of the fridge door is no different then a dry erase board. Why not let them draw there!                   

Because I like to have some type of order, I came up with a way to contain the area for them to use the dry erase markers…..old frames!
First I removed the glass from the frames. Then using 3M adhesive tabs I secured the frame to the fridge door. That why its easy to remove someday.                                                                              

       I put their names above and below each frame so each have their own space to write or draw. Now they can do a daily drawing , leave a note, whatever their heart desires! With so many choices in colors they can make quite a nice display!

  I even discovered they could also display a picture within the frame. As log as its on an 8 x 11 sheet of paper it fits perfect! Just slide it directly into the side of the frame. When they don’t feel like drawing on the door they can now chose the picture they’d like to “feature” that day!

I love this idea so much that I’m adding my own personal frame to the side of the fridge to keep a grocery list for the week.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sweet Basil Pesto

The garden is overflowing with sweet basil. So yesterday the girls and I decided to make some yummy pesto. This is some thing the girls love to make & eat!

      After cutting about 2 cups worth of pesto, we washed the leaves well & pulsed in a food processor.

      Then we add about 2 cloves of minced garlic & pulse again. Now its time to add the ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil. Make sure to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. If were not going to freeze the batch we like to add ½ cup of Parmesan cheese. But if you like a stronger cheese flavor Romano cheese is great!
     Blend well & add salt & freshly ground pepper to taste. Want to freeze the pesto? Line an ice cube tray with plastic wrap. Fill each pocket with pesto & freeze. Then place cubes into a freezer bag. Defrost when your ready to use & then add your cheese. I can’t wait to make pesto ravioli for dinner!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

View-Master earrings!!

Remember how much fun a View-master was ( and still is!) ? Well the other day the girls and I were going through the toys to find something new to do we came across the View-finder. So we searched the toy bins for all the reels I knew we had & finally found them. We have some that the girls received as gifts & even a large handful of ones that were mine as a kid.

                As we spent some time taking turns looking at the images a light bulb went off! I could turn these into earrings!

The girls kept looking at all the reels while I started my experiment . And it worked! I just think these are the coolest earrings ! My 8 year old saw what I did & said “ I’m definitely getting my ears pierced !”.

I just love how from a distance it appears to be a cute swirl of colors that could be worn with any outfit. But upon closer inspection its actually a small scene!
    So I’ve made some for friends & family & a bunch more to sell on my etsy shop .

I even found some Casper the friendly ghost to make for Halloween! I just love when ideas pop in your head & they actually work out! The great thing is there are so many different characters & even travel scenes that the possibilities for earrings are endless. Off to make more…..
These are just too cool!


Monday, August 16, 2010

Time for some Homemade Wine

Last summer I made it a goal for myself to learn how to make great homemade wine. Nothing fancy or to much work. I just wanted a basic yummy wine that would be fun to share with friends and family. After a few tries (and a fruit fly incident we won’t get into right now!!) I finally have a fun & easy recipe to share.

First you’ll need a clean 1 gallon jug ,2 pitchers, funnel, rubber band, balloon, safety pin, 2 cups sugar, 2 frozen containers of 100% grape juice -defrosted, & 1 active dry yeast packet.

Mix active dry yeast with 2 cups VERY warm water in a separate pitcher. Let sit for 5 to 10 mins. In the mean time, empty the 2 defrosted containers of 100% juice into a pitcher. Add the 2 cups sugar & mix well until sugar is mostly dissolved. Using funnel pour juice sugar combo into the clean gallon jug. Then add the active dry yeast water combo to the jug. Place the lid on top & SHAKE very well!! Add water to fill the jug the rest of the way leaving aprox. 3 inches at the top. SHAKE WELL again.

Now poke a few holes in the balloon. Remove lid from jug & place the balloon on top. Secure balloon with the rubber band. Place jug in a cool dark place where it won’t be disturbed. A closet or the basement work great!

As the fermenting takes place over the next 15 to 20 days the balloon fill & will allow air to escape & nothing will be able to get in. After 2 weeks check to see if the balloon had deflated. If it has, its ready for the next step. If not, wait & check every couple of days. If its been 20 days & its still not deflated go ahead & start the next step.
Now pour the jug into a pitcher. It might take 2 pitchers to empty the jug. Be careful to pour slowly to keep the sediment at the bottom. Place the pitchers in the fridge for about 1 week & pour into a clean pitcher once again. The wine should be clear & sweet! This is a very strong wine & works well in punches too! You can use red or white grape juice or even mix the two.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Leafy little Favor Boxes

Nothing gives something a more personal touch then a photo. When I was trying to come up with something different for my sisters shower all my searches came up empty. I was trying to figure out how I could uses their photos in a unique way . I came up with this…photo leaves.
You'll need a scanner/printer,cute boxes, ribbon, and" thank you" charms.
First scan a photo of the happy couple. Print out thumb nail size photos on regular white paper. You will need 4 photos for each favor. Then cut each picture into a shape of a leaf. You could also use a paper punch leaf shape to save yourself time. Use a small dab of glue from a glue gun on each leaf corner. Press leaf on to back of metal “thank you “ charm.
Tie the charm to the box with ribbon or raffia .I love how when you first look at the boxes it appears to be just a leaf, but upon closer inspection its actually the couple! It made for a lot of “oohs & ahhhhs” . Don’t forget to fill the box with something yummy! We used Hershey kisses with wrappers that matched the wedding colors.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Champagne with a twist......

Want to add a elegant personal touch to a wedding shower? Here’s a simple but sweet idea. Use large address labels. For my sisters recent wedding shower I used the photo of them that was on their wedding invitation reply cards. Just scan , adjust & add the names and date of the wedding. I also chose the font color that coordinated with the wedding colors as well. Place labels directly over champagne bottles own label. Now its their own personal bottle.


                         On a side note …the mimosas we drank with that champagne were delicious !!!!

Sporty Girls Bedroom

When I first started to think of ideas for my older daughters room d├ęcor, I knew she was going to want something sporty . She and I went through paint samples over & over until she decided on blue for the her walls. But if you know me, you’d know that I can’t pay full price on anything. So off to the “oops” paint section at Lowes & Home Depot we went.

It doesn’t always work out that we find the color we want but if you give yourself a couple weeks, you’ll usually find the color that’s similar to “your pick”. We got lucky.! Home Depot had a blue she liked! $ 5 for a gallon of egg shell finish paint.!
Once painted, we decided on a “star“ theme. Her bedding has stars so we went with it. My sporty girl had to have her mini basketball hoop. So rather then just putting it up, I tied it into the star theme… a painted star backboard.                                        
To make this, tape off the section of the wall that will be the backboard. You can get technical and measure a perfect star or just wing it like I did. Start with long strips of tape to start forming a star on the wall. Move the tape here & there until it looks like the star you want. Now your ready to paint. Chose your color & go! I went with pink since it matched her bedding & curtains.
Then attach the hoop in the middle. The nice thing is when she‘s over this phase you can easily a turn this in to a new focal point by adding a shelf, picture, or just paint over it.. In the mean time, her and her friends love shooting hoops in her room!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Back to school

Well in just a few weeks its time to get back into a daily routine…school !! And this year will be a drastic change for us. My youngest is off to Kindergarten!!! I can hardly believe it. My oldest will be starting 3 grade which is just as crazy!! They honestly were my babies just yesterday & now they’re off . But the biggest change will be with me. I will have each day until 3 pm by myself. This is good & bad. Bad because I’m not mommy-ing every minute. Good for the fact I can focus on some of the things I just haven’t been able to get to.

First thing on the list….BE ON TIME. I have changed my front entry way closet into a great catch all for us & guests. Since we are in this room to watch for the bus each morning I have decided to add a big clock that no one can miss! But me being me I have to change it.
First I unscrewed the frame from the base. Removed the glass, which I’m not putting back in. Its just so heavy & not even necessary . Then to transform this dull black & silver frame I am painting it a rich brown color with arcrylic paint. Using a simple foam brush. Its so easy I let my 5 year old help.

Once dry, just screw it back together & your set. It seems like a such a small thing to do, but it makes a huge difference.
They foyer closet is another great simple project. Just remove the door from its hinges as well as the hinges from the frame. Paint inside of closet to match outer walls. Then add standard molding with coat hooks. I even added coat hooks on the inside side walls at a lower level for my smaller guests. This project takes only about an afternoon worth of time. Its been great for us & can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner!