Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Latest project- COMPLETE!

So I finished it sooner than I thought and I really like it! Although my camera had a hard time capturing it right. I just painted it black but I took 3 pictures and one turned out brown looking, the next turned out grey and the final one turned out light black!
the drawers are painted black to unlike the picture that look like they are grey. I had to go buy 2 more knobs since I forgot there was 4 for the top 2 drawers. So for about $25.00 I have a new entertainment center, where I was looking online for a new one I wanted and was going to spend $200!!! I just need to drill a hole in the back for all the electronic wires.
I bought these door knobs probably 7+ years ago and finally found a good place to use them. (we are a Disney family so I am way excited to finally have them out of the junk drawer)

P.S. If I ever fall ownership to a power saw I would love to cut out the inside of the doors and staple fabric up instead--- well also if I ever decide on a color scheme for my living room. I can dream about that one!

Monday, December 28, 2009

My latest project

I have seen so many blogs with people finding great deals at Good Will or yard sales. So before we moved I passed by a yard sale and saw this beauty out of the corner of my eye, and I thought to myself if it's still there when I get back I'm gonna get it. Well as you can see it was and I got it for $15.00. It was a changing table but my Uncle cut off the top for me (you can see the lighter outline on top of where the boards were)

And it was also missing a leg in the back, so he created one for me.
(thanks so much)

Since Christmas is over I can get working on this- hopefully I will be posting the finished product soon. It's on my porch waiting to be sanded and painted. It's not going to be perfect but I will have a new entertainment center for only $15.00 (+ a few bucks for spray paint)

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Homemade Kitchen Playset

My son loves to play with the toy kitchen set every time we walk through IKEA.
But let's face it, he's not going to play with it enough to justify the cost of actually buying him one. So I made him one today.

I took an old moving box and taped it up. Covered it with white butcher paper (doesn't have to be covered with anything... it is pretend after all)
I drew 2 stove burners and 2 knobs on one side of it.

On another side, I drew an oven door, with a knob and a window.
(with yellow for the lighted window...
to which my 3 year old says, "Mom, I can't see through your window"
... pretend dear, pretend)

I flipped the box over one more time and cut out a rectangle to place a small pan into. This is his pretend sink.

He loves it! And it was made in about 30 minutes.

I'm sure it won't last long... but sure beats forking over the cash during the holidays for a toy that he'll ignore in a day or two. ;)

IKEA recall solution

If you had IKEA Roman Shades hanging in your house (like I did), you were probably very sad to see this recall.

I love my Roman Shades. So, I created a solution for them.

First, I removed all of the dangerous strings and ropes from the shade. (so it was just a big piece of fabric hanging from my window) Then, I stitched several loops of ribbon to the back of the shades. I put 2 on each side of mine. The top 2 loops are shorter than the bottom 2. So it will hang more like a Roman Shade is suppose to. Then I attached buttons on the front side to make it look nice.

Next I screwed 2 hooks into the wall. Now the loops can hang up on the hooks. It isn't quite as easy to use as a true Roman Shade... but I didn't have to buy a new window treatment!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween costume

We never do family themed Halloween costumes. In fact, we usually just dress the boys up. But this year my 3 year old wanted to be a pirate. So bought him a costume from Old Navy.
It is darling. He loves it and wants to wear it everywhere.
Then he wanted Daddy to be a pirate too... and it just spiraled from there.

So what to do for the 9 month old??

Yes, he's my little treasure map!

With brown pants - he's good to go!
Love easy costumes.

Now the task of making my pirate costume less skanky... I bought it at Target, but have to make some serious alterations. Hopefully I'll post pictures of the finished product soon.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Baby crafts!

Here are the remaining baby crafts...

A car seat cover.
Love, love, LOVE mine... so I had to make one for my sister in-law.
The BEST feature is that it opens in the front. That way you can peak on your sleeping darling, without giving them a big gust of cold air.
And during flu season, having a car seat cover is a MUST - keep those babies protected.

This isn't a very good picture... but it's a Pee Pee Tepee!
I've never used one, but have wished that I had several times. ;)
Those baby boys sure do like to spray.

I also made some burp cloths... but apparently never took a picture of them.

Love baby crafts!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

a yummy fall dinner

Tonight we had a really yummy fall dinner....soup and muffins! I would highly recommend both!

Mimi's Cafe Corn Chowder:
(This is what I order every time I go to Mimi's)


  • 1/4 cup butter(1/2 a stick)
  • 6 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 2 1/2 cups hot water
  • 2 cups cubed potatoes (1/2 inch pieces)
  • 3 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 dash white pepper, or black
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 quart half and half cream


  1. Melt butter in large saucepan. Once melted add celery and onion and saute for 5 minutes (not til brown, just til soft).
  2. Add water, potatoes, corn, sugar, salt and pepper, making sure water covers everything, adding more if not covered completely. Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, usually about 30 minutes.
  3. Whisk flour into 1 cup of the half and half and then stir into soup.
  4. Add remaining half and half and simmer until soup is thickened to a creamy consistency (usually about 15 minutes).
  5. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if wanted. If the chowder is too thick, add some milk, if it is too thin, simmer for 5-10 minutes more.
Pumpkin Crumb Muffins:
(by my sister in law, Camie)
  • 1 2/3 C. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 C. Libby's solid pack pumpkin
  • 1/4 C. undiluted evaporated milk
  • 1/3 C. shortening
  • 1 C. packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in large bowl. In small bowl combine pumpkin and evaporated milk. Cream shortening and sugar in large mixer bowl. Add egg, beat until fluffy. Alternately add flour and pumpkin mixtures to shortening mixture; beat well after each addition. Fill muffin tins (greased) or paper lined cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle Streusel topping over muffins.

Streusel Topping:
Combine 2 Tbs. flour, 2 Tbs. granulated sugar and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in 1 Tbs. butter until mixture is crumbly.

Bake in preheated 350 oven for 35-40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Baby Crafts

I've been a sewing maniac these days. I am not very good at it... but I'm addicted. Here are a few things that I've recently created.

Stroller blanket
Super easy. Sew 2 pieces of fabric, right sides together, with some ribbon sticking out about 1/3 of the way down (so the blanket can fold over onto the baby's lap)... leave an opening so you can pull the blanket right side out. Turn it right side out. Sew up that opening. Sew velcro onto your ribbon... and DONE!

Here is my 8 month old modeling it for me. ;)

Bottle/Sippy Cup strap

For the tutorial, go HERE.
I would use light colored ribbon next time. (or dark thread, dark velcro, and dark shelf material)
But I used what I had this time, and it works great.

We are getting ready for a trip to Disneyland... can you tell?

p.s. I have several other baby related sewing projects to show you. But they are for my cute sister in-law and her baby shower isn't until next week. So you'll have to wait, because I don't want to ruin the surprise. ;)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Spooky Tree

I have seen many of these "spooky trees" lately and thought I would try making my own. It was so much fun being creative again, and thanks to Hobble Creek Canyon for providing these twisted and creepy looking branches. Here's my finished tree. After I found a pot to put the branches in, I put some big rocks in the bottom to stabilize it then added dried black beans on top to hold the branches in place. I spray painted the branches black then added some silver spray glitter on top of that.
I found these wooden signs at Roberts crafts that were not painted (they cost $.54!!) So I picked up some Halloween "thickers" because I knew I couldn't paint the words on as cute as these letters looked.
I took some ribbon and just tied them on to random places and added some dollar store spiders (they were rings that I just cut the ring off and glued them straight to the branches)
I also found these skulls at the dollar store too. And a cute ribbon to your pot and you are done!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

This is a Rachael Ray recipe. You can find it HERE.
It's yummy, easy and very Autumn.
I substituted the White Wine with Chicken Broth and 1 tablespoon of vinegar.
Next time I think I will use noodles with more texture... maybe Fusilli, Radiatore or Rotini.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Zucchini Turkey wraps

1 lb ground turkey (optional ground turkey)
salt and pepper
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
4 cups grated zucchini
salt and pepper
2/3 cup salsa
1 t. prepared yellow mustard
1/2 t. dried basil
1 c. cooked brown rice
1-2 cups grated cheddar cheese
tortilla chips, tortillas, lettuce leaves, etc.

Brown the meat and season it with some salt and pepper. Put the cooked meat aside and let any fat drain off.
Add oil into frying pan and let heat up on medium high heat. Add onions & garlic let cook for 1 minute. Add celery, & carrots and let these cook for a few minutes until they start to get tender. Add grated zucchini and season vegetables with some salt and pepper. Continue cooking the vegetables until they are soft and tender.
Add the salsa, mustard, and dried basil into the saucepan and mix together. Add the browned meat and brown rice and heat through. Top with cheese.
Can be made into tacos, nachos, or wrapped in lettuce leaves. Yummy and healthy too!

* The first time I made this I chopped the veggies really small with a hand chopper and put the salsa in the food processor so there was no chunks of food that the picky eaters in the family would see. It worked and everyone ate it!

** Another great idea for Fall is to put your dish inside a hollowed out pumpkin... Find a pumpkin with a flat side so it wont wobble around the table. Cut the pumpkin in half long ways above the stem and then I lined the inside of the pumpkin with waxed paper. I was trying to look for a tall oblong shaped pumpkin but this one had the perfect flat side to it.

Pumpkin Black Bean Chili

- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium sweet yellow pepper, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 cans (15 ounces *each*) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2-1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey
- 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
- 2 teaspoons chili powder - 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions: In a large skillet, saute the onion, yellow pepper and garlic in oil until tender. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker; stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until heated through.

* Yield: *10 servings
Submitted by Wendy

Friday, September 11, 2009


We had our Family Girl's Night Out last night. Our numbers were few... but we had yummy soups to enjoy and lots of laughs.
(I apologize for the horrid pictures... we were more concerned about eating than taking good pictures)
Here are the recipes:

Tomato Tortellini Soup

1 can chicken broth
8 oz. tortellini
1 can tomato soup
1/2 tub of chive & onion cream cheese

Boil tortellini in chicken broth until tender. In a separate bowl, using about 1/4 cup of the hot chicken broth, combine with cream cheese. Whisk until melted. Add tomato soup to tortellini. Pour melted cream cheese and broth back into soup. Stir all together.
Makes about 4 servings
**I recommend doubling the recipe to use the whole tub of cream cheese.

White Chicken Chili (Weight Watchers)

3 chicken breasts

1 lg. onion

1 can chicken broth

1 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. red pepper (we used a seasoned pepper)

Cook in a crock pot 4-5 hours. Shred or dice up chicken. Then Add...

2 cans great northern beans (white)

1 can shoe peg corn, drained

3 T. lime juice

2 T. chopped fresh cilantro

Cover and cook on low for an additional 20 minutes. Makes 8 servings

- The lime juice is an important part of this recipe, do NOT leave it out.

Potato Soup

  • 5 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups (2-inch) cubed peeled Yukon gold or red potato
  • 3 cups (2-inch) chopped cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup fat-free milk (1%)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
  • 1 can corn (optional)
  • 2 cups chicken (optional)
  • 3 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (drained)

Combine broth, potato, and cauliflower in pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until potato is tender. Cool 10 minutes; stir in milk. Place one-third of potato mixture in a blender; process until smooth (or hand blender in pot). Pour pureed potato mixture into a large bowl. Repeat procedure twice with remaining potato mixture.

Return pureed potato mixture to pan; stir in chicken, pepper, salt, and corn. Cook over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon just before serving.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Chew on your pencil!

When I saw this in a magazine I knew I had to try it our for my Back to School Dinner. Here's the link to how you make it.
(FYI- We are not bologna eaters in my house so I used a hotdog we had left over from the night before, I just cut off the skin so it was about the right size to fit on top of the cheese stick)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Banana Cake

Yum! Is all I can say about this, Oh and it's an easy recipe!
Banana Cake
1 box yellow cake (follow directions on back)
2-3 RIPE mashed bananas
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cap full banana extract
Can be baked in any pan, I used a bunt pan for a pretty presentation. Then the top decided to stay in the pan so it didn't come up pretty but we glued it back together with a yummy cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp.vanilla
A dash of banana extract
(I didn't want a thick layer of frosting on this so I added some milk to thin it to the consistency I needed)

Monday, August 10, 2009


We had a family birthday party over the weekend and this is what I made:

You can find the original recipe here. I used a brownie mix - it turned out great. These are really rich - so 1 square is about all you can eat. But they are yummy!

S'more Bars
whole graham cracker boards, crushed (2-1/4 cups crumbs)
tablespoons sugar
teaspoon salt
tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, melted

ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
3 eggs
cups sugar
cup all-purpose flour
teaspoon salt
teaspoons vanilla

jar (7.5 ounces) marshmallow cream (about 1-1/2 cups)
tablespoons milk
cup mini chocolate kisses
whole graham cracker boards, broken up

1. Heat oven to 350° F.
2. Crust: Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt and melted butter in a small bowl until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Transfer the crumb mixture to a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan; press crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan, pressing the crumbs evenly into the corners and along the sides of the pan. Refrigerate the crust until chilled and set.
3. Brownie: Combine the bittersweet chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe glass bowl or glass measuring cup. Heat chocolate mixture in a microwave oven on high until the chocolate and butter are melted, about 1 minute. Stir the chocolate mixture until smooth.
4. With a hand-held electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until well blended. Reduce the speed to medium. While continuing to beat, gradually add the melted chocolate-butter mixture to the egg mixture; beat until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the side of the bowl occasionally.
5. Stir the flour and salt into the egg mixture. Then stir in the vanilla until smooth. Scrape the brownie mixture into the crust-lined baking pan; smooth the top level with a rubber spatula.
6. Bake in 350° F oven for 30 minutes or until the top is smooth and the center is set when gently pressed with fingertip.
7. Topping: While the brownie layer is baking, whisk together the marshmallow cream and the milk in a small bowl until the mixture is well blended and smooth.
8. Pour the marshmallow topping mixture over the brownie layer in the pan. Spread or tilt the pan to level the topping and cover the brownie layer completely.
9. Sprinkle the mini chocolate kisses evenly over the marshmallow topping. Then scatter the crumbled graham crackers all over the top.
10. Bake in 350° F oven for 3 minutes or until the chocolate kisses are glossy and the marshmallow topping is set. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Bathroom Decor

My husband and I were looking for a picture to go in our guest bathroom. But really, what goes well in a bathroom??
We found this picture in our files, that we had taken at an old Ghost Town in California. We played with it in photoshop...

I think it's appropriate and still looks nice.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Shoulder Bag

I have NEVER sewn before. (Ok, to be honest I did sew 2 straight lines when I was about 12 years old)
I recently was given an old sewing machine. I have been wanting a church bag, but haven't been able to find exactly what I want in a store. I need it to be pretty big, to accommodate 3 ringer binders, toys, keys, burp cloths, etc. I came across this tutorial. With a few minor changes, it is just what I was looking for! (my bag is a lot bigger than the one she made and I put in 2 pockets)
I went online, watched a YouTube video on how to thread the machine (and wind the bobbin) and I started on my bag.

I LOVE it! I am so ridiculously proud of myself as well. ;) I show it to everyone. It's not perfect, but it is fabulous for me.
If I can make this bag (having never used a sewing machine or a pattern) then you can too!
Give it a try, it's super easy!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Kit Kats

My son is turning 3 tomorrow. He is not a big fan of cakes.
So what to make him for the special day?
He LOVES candy... especially Kit Kats.
I saw this creation online, on several sites, it is PERFECT for my son...

2 - 8 inch round cakes, frosted.
Press the Kit Kats into the side,
fill the 'bucket' with your favorite candy,
tie a ribbon... and you're done!!
My son will be on such a sugar high from the candy -
he'll ignore the cake completely.

He saw the cake today and said, 'Oh, a bucket for my candy!' :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hamburgers or Hot Dogs anyone?

When I saw these on Bakerella's site I knew I had to try and make them, and what better time to do that then for the 4th of July. Then I found the idea for the hot dogs on {this} site. They were both so fun to make, I only wish I had the brains to come up with the idea!
*One thing I found that just by cutting the cupcake in half made for a really tall burger so I cut the middle out of the cupcake so it wouldn't be so giant and an easier way to transport. And I bought a tube of red frosting then split up the can and colored half green and half yellow... red is just such a hard color to make in frosting.

The hot dogs were so fun to make! My sister loves the circus peanuts and I hate them but they were the perfect thing for the bun.
I cut up some green gummy bears for the relish. And I had a tub of caramel from a baking supply store that I put in the microwave for a few seconds and it was very easy to roll it into hotdog shapes

Then just for fun I made red white and blue cupcakes that the hotdogs were then placed on top.

Again I wish my brain would allow me to be this creative, but I did have a great time re-creating these cupcakes!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Songs and Nursery Rhymes

I bought a laminator a few weeks ago... and I've been putting it to good use!

I printed off different songs and nursery rhymes, colored them and laminated them.
My son LOVES to pull them out and sing.

Itsy Bitsy Spider
(the clouds and sun are velcro-ed on and the spider is on a piece of yarn that he can pull up or down the water spout ;)

Hickory Dickory Dock

On the back I put the words... so Daddy (or anyone) can sing along as well.

The Wheels on the Bus

They are all kept in folders in a file box. My son can open the box and pull them out whenever he wants to play.

I also have:
3 Little Pigs
5 Little Monkeys
5 Little Pumpkins
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
Little Miss Muffet
Humpty Dumpty

I can't find the website where i found the nursery rhymes.
Do a Google search and you'll find something.

They are a little bit of work, but if you laminate them you'll have them for years to come!