Tuesday, September 25, 2012

[celebrate] your inspiration ...

Little. Red. Riding. Hood.  I mean how can you not base your whole Halloween off of that adorable costume? And the photo, oh my.  So what is your Halloween inspiration this year?

I think mine is pretty obvious. All the links to the photos can be found on my boards!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

[make] roasted salsa amarillo?

So it's not really salsa verde.  I figure amarillo will work, right?

Salsa Asado Amarillo

10-12 yellow tomatoes
6-8 cloves of garlic
1 yellow bell pepper
1 sweet onion
1 large bunch of cilantro

Start with yellow tomatoes.  A whole baking tray full.  Layer on garlic, yellow bell peppers, and sweet onions.  Bake at 375 degrees until everything is bubbly, tender and little bit browned.  Then comes the fun part.  Scoop the roasted tomatoes out of their skins and throw the whole bunch in a food processor.  Watch out - it will be hot.  Pulse to your desired consistency and add a bit of interest.

Apple Cider Vinegar

These are all so dependent upon how sweet your tomatoes are and how sweet you want your salsa.  Start with a 1/2 cup of vinegar and work from there.  We like lots of cilantro (which will give you more of a salsa verde feel) but add what you like.  You won't mind the taste tests.  Throw all your roasted salsa in a jar or serve it right then.

A couple of warnings - the garlic get stronger as it sits, considerably stronger.  But most importantly, this is a sweet salsa and those sugars just will not keep as long in the fridge.  If you are looking for something to keep more than a week, you might want to think about canning it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

[celebrate] ladies and lemonade

In celebration of our new Etsy shop, CandyLand, the girls and I had a Ladies and Lemonade evening.  A little learning took place with the Lemonade Day learning pack but we were really all about the party.

The little ladies decided that we needed teddy bear guests.  Our menu was simple but perfect - party sandwiches, chips, fruit bowls and two varieties of pretty little cupcakes.

Maddie perfected sipping.

Kate perfected the pinky.

Despite the fact that Teddy got the first cupcake, we had a wonderful Ladies and Lemonade evening.

Friday, August 10, 2012

[make] confetti salsa

You know how you get so excited in the spring when there are all these gorgeous little plants of all different varieties?  Well, I may have over planted tomatoes this year in my garden.  I ended up with 22 plants.  That's a lot come July and August, especially considering that only Jack and I eat them. It's a 3 gallon bucket of tomatoes every two days a lot.  Enter Confetti Salsa:

First step:  Chop!
8-10 seeded yellow tomatoes
8-10 seeded red tomatoes
6 cloves of garlic
2 green ancho chilis
1 sweet yellow onion
1/2 yellow sweet bell pepper
1/2 red sweet bell pepper
1 large bunch of cilantro

Next: Season.
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Then: Mellow.
Stir it all together and tweak the salt, sugar and vinegar to your liking.  Then into the jars it goes.

At this point I just put mine in the fridge.  You could certainly go through the canning process at this point if you are up for that.

Finally: ENJOY!

Monday, July 9, 2012

[learn] candyland

If you visited the blog before (and thank you for doing so) you have seen the TwinBop posts that we did this past year with our girls.  Education was the main goal of TwinBop but it needed to be pretty.  

I spent an incredible amount of time finding worksheets, activities and fun ideas that coordinated not only with the lesson theme but with each other design wise.  Now I am just designing them myself. 

I've opened a shop on Etsy called Candy Land that contains pretty themed sets perfect for a morning or afternoon of summer learning fun.  They contain worksheets and play sets that you print yourself.  Lessons that my super smart husband has reviewed making sure they focus on higher learning skills for the preschooler  in your life.  (I suppose his Master in Education helps out with that.) 

What makes these different than your average lesson plan?  One, they are targeted towards ages 3-5 and are in line with the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy and Common Core Standards for Kindergarten.  Two, I've added in fun food ideas for each theme along with simple and inexpensive games. Three, they are pre-coordinated both theme and color wise equaling, you got it, pretty.  Learning during the summer just got a whole lot easier.  

Check out the shop and let me know what you think.  I'm adding more sets as often as I can and offering a little grand opening bonus if you are interested in purchasing a set or two.  Look for bonus pages on the blog soon!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

[make] surplus veggies

Part of the reason that I've not been blogging as often is that I've been out in my garden so much more this year.  Between a wet spring and a hot summer, my veggies are coming on strong.  Some a little too strong.  My latest haul included loads of tomatoes currently on the stove boiling down.

But before the tomato boom, it was yellow squash and zucchini.  With spring onions and a few green peppers matured, I managed some wonderful squash relish inspired by Carolyn's post on Cooking for My Captain. I went monotone with the yellow squash, yellow bell pepper and sweet onion relish turning out wonderfully.

I attempted both sweet and dill pickles.  The sweet looked awfully pretty with the addition of peppers and onions, an idea from this pin.  I used my grandmothers old school recipe for the dill version (above).  Half vinegar, half water, a pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt.  Add fresh dill from the garden and slice the cucumbers a little thicker.

Now back to the garden and on to more green beans.

Friday, May 25, 2012

[celebrate] sadie priss soiree

I own invitations for parties that I'm yet to have, just because they are pretty and I've picked party themes based on invites alone. I love invitations. Now my sounding board and source for custom invites, Amy, has gone public - Sadie Priss Soiree.

For years I've sent her my own design projects for critiques and suggestions.  In fact this year, she hooked me up with a super sweet invitation based on my idea for a banner birthday festival for all three of my kiddies.   

Amy has some really cool designs for invitations, party packs and sweet little posters.  Check out her shop, her blog or even her boards on Pinterest.  You might want to be prepared to have a party for no good reason other than you really want to use the invitation.   

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

[live] back to it

You'll have to forgive the time lapse.  It's been spring and honestly, I've been outside with my hands in the dirt instead of on a keyboard.

So what's been going on?  It's been busy.  We've moved our camper to a new campground, converted the kids play yard to a raised bed garden and have been trying to keep up with all the happenings of school, church and scouts.  But mostly, we've been enjoying the beautiful weather.  Unfortunately spring seems to be behind us, so bye bye cool weather (and my lettuce) and hello heat.  Happy Summer!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

[make] love bugs

Lauren at Goody-Goody designed this adorable Bitty Bug Pincushion and shared it so I had to try a few.

I love the idea of using all circles and folding them to get the wings and head. It's also a great way to use up some of my extra fabric from my recent heart production.  My bitty bugs didn't come out as perfect as Lauren's and I chose to go antenna-less and use brads for eyes.

They are still very cute and will make perfect little love bugs to give to my little ones today.  Happy Valentine's Day to you and your family too!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

[make] flowers pinned

I should avoid Michael's clearance section.  I know this.  But I didn't and found these felt and fabric flowers intended for scrapbooking.  At less than $2 for the 2-pack, I couldn't resist.  I don't scrapbook but I was sure I would find a use for them.

Enter hair accessories for the twins.  The orange flowers were perfect and they had built in bling!  I just covered a hair clip with coordinating ribbon and glued them on.  Done.

The grey ones were a little more difficult.  I REALLY liked the grey felt roses so I decided a pin back may be more appropriate.  You see, that way I could wear them too.  Same went for the white roses.  They feel like frosted glass.  The girls wouldn't want those anyway, right?

I worked really hard and deconstructed the trios of black roses.  Okay, I just cut them apart since they were sewn onto tulle and switched them up into two pins and two hair bows. Again, a ribbon covered clip or a circle pin back and hot glue.

A few more little pink roses and yes, just glued them to a covered clip.  So cute.

So, for a $10 investment  and about 30 minutes of my time, I ended up with some unique accessories for the girls and some pretty little pins for me, ummm.... the girls. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

[make] bows come in pairs too

I need two of them.  I'm getting a little better about using coordinating items rather than the exact same thing, but when it comes to hair bows.  I need at least two of them.  I mean what if they want to wear pig tails?  What if they both want to wear pig tails?  Okay, so I need four of them.

Since apparently my car and the twin's room eats hair bows, time to make more.

I like to use grosgrain ribbon, heat seal the cut ends and wire them together tuxedo style.  A little hot glue on the clip finishes them off and makes them durable enough for my ruffians.

Some are layered, some aren't, but all in all it seems to be a good batch.

And just in case you were wondering, there are in fact at least two if not four of each style.  Pig tails after all. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

[learn] jello is fun

We colored jewels, traced the Letter J, and made jellyfish from paper bowls.

Jack ran off with JuJu the Jellyfish before we could get actual photos.  Our results weren't as pretty as Michelle's and we used crayons instead of watercolors.   But what did the kids take away from the Letter J lesson?  Jello is fun.

We used Iowa Girl Eat's idea and made jello shots.  Don't be alarmed, no alcohol was involved in the making of this photo. The little cups are a lot of fun though, the berries add a bit more nutrition, and the lids - oh so nice for storing.

Monday, January 30, 2012

[learn] jellyfish and jewels

We had lots of ideas for the Letter J.  There are a lot of important people in our lives that name starts with J: Jack, JuJu and June to mention a few!  But in the end, we went with something a little easier to craft around, jellyfish and jewels.

Our materials for this time around:

All the worksheets can be found on education.com and the idea sources on the Twinbop pinboard.  Now to start on the Letter J.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

[make] heart warming

Pinterest strikes again.  So how cute are these hearts by Brett Bara from Design Sponge?  So cute, I pinned my own pin.

The pattern is super simple and easy to use. I followed Brett's tutorial except for two tiny changes.  I didn't do the stitching at the top of the pocket fold, just ironed - lazy wins again.

Since lazy had its say, let's let cheap, uh... thrifty come into play.  My husband enlisted me for corn hole bags at Christmas and we just happen to have 46 pounds of the 50 pounds of deer corn left. Polyfil can get expensive, the corn was free.

The happy result is that you can heat these little babies up.  Twenty seconds in the microwave and these sweet hearts become warm and perfect for putting in your pockets on a cold day.  They fit right in the palm of your hand. Oh and I went kind of crazy making them, after all I had plenty of corn.

Packaged up two by two with a clever little saying and ready for warm Valentine treats.  What's that saying about the mother of invention?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

[live] mud corner

We live in a 1960's brick ranch with split floor plan which can be challenging.  Imagine a long rectangle split down the middle, living spaces on one side of stairs leading down to an unfinished basement, bedrooms on the other.  The entrance we use is our "side door" that leads directly into a narrow galley style kitchen from the carport.  Naturally everything, purses, book bags, keys, coats, laptops, end up on the kitchen counter.  We are constantly looking for keys, cell phones, homework assignments.

My previous solutions of hooks on the backs of doors, folders in cabinets, the idea of actually walking it into a bedroom, have been ignored by my family.  My dreams of a mud room are just that, dreams.  We just don't have the space.

Then I moved my husbands great grandmother's glass pie cabinet into the living room and presto, a corner.  A mud corner.

Before, a corner of sorts between the bathroom and our bedroom on one end of the hallway. Now, a handy dandy area that we need to be a tad bit more organized.

I started with an Expedit Shelving Unit in black ($39.99).  I love the cubbie style and that it's super sturdy.  Then I added two Nasum Baskets ($14.99 each) for our "shoe boxes".  I installed two hook racks ($1.99 each) that I picked up a few years back. Then for a little fun added a framed Malma Mirror ($2.99).  All from Ikea for a grand total of $76.94 not including tax.

The kids have always kicked off their shoes as soon as they come in the door (if they don't do it in the car).  Now they have shoe boxes.  The twins have one and Jack has the other.  This kids are GREAT at putting their shoes in there and now in the mornings, we know exactly where we can find their school shoes. I have a place to hang my purse, my keys and a shelf for my laptop and tote bag. Stephen uses his side for his brief case and laptop.  Of course during Christmas, it got hijacked with poinsettias, pine cones, and soft fuzzy throws.

All in all, it is working perfectly and although I still dream of a mud room, a mud corner is a great start.