Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wish Me Luck!

Well tomorrow we are headed to Ohio to visit my family for the holidays.  We had originally planned to go next weekend and at the last minute decided to go tomorrow.  Needless to say, being the procrastinator I am, I haven't finished all my projects yet.  So in the next week, before Christmas Eve,  I still plan on finishing 2 pairs of baby shoes, 2 appliqued onesies,  1 Mikey Monkey, 1 fleece hat, 1 quiet book, 1 coupon organizer and 1 batch of peanut brittle.  The Mikey Monkey worries me more than anything but I decided I needed to overcome my fear and just do it, plus I want to make a Molly Monkey for a friend's daughter's 1st birthday in January.  So the question is, can I get all these projects done before Christmas Eve?  I guess you will have to wait and see, wish me luck!

A Couple Gifts For Friends

I debated and debated about what to do for two of my friends at work.  They are both crafty and love homemade gifts so I ultimately decided to try making them each an apron.  Now, I had never made an apron before but used this tutorial as a guide, and now i'm a little addicted.  As I sit here i'm thinking of all the people I could make aprons for, including myself.  My only piece of advice for anyone who uses the same tutorial is to add extra length to your ties.  Mine ended up a little too short for my liking so I added another 5 inches to each of them.
With the apron I gave them a loaf of my delicious banana bread and a jar of homemade hot chocolate
I fell in love with this cupcake material and was looking for an excuse to buy it (haha as if any sewer/crafter needs an excuse to buy fabric)

This apron was my first attempt at making a ruffle.  For some reason I have always been intimidated by them.  Of course like many things I put off due to intimidation, once I gave it a whirl, I realized how easy it was.  I only wish I would have put a ruffle on the cupcake apron too because I think it made this one super cute.

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Favorite Freezer Meal/Once A Month Cooking Websites

For anyone who wants to try freezer meals or once a month cooking here is a list of some of my favorite websites:

Once A Month Mom
A Happy Freezer Full of Food
Christy's ClipArt

Money Saving Mom
Moms Budget
The Finer Things in Life
30 Handmade Days

Freezer Meal: Meatballs and Gravy

I absolutely love freezer meals.  I started looking at websites for recipes probably 6 months ago but was intimidated by the once a month cooking many women do. Not to mention our grocery budget is pretty tight, so getting enough money to buy a months worth of food at one time is a challenge in itself.  However, before I gave birth to my son I decided it would probably be a good idea to have some meals ready because there was no way I was going to be in the mood to cook in the weeks following the delivery, and i'm so thankful I did.  I went with the basics and the easiest of meals to freeze.  I didn't want to try anything I wasn't sure would freeze well because I didn't want to waste any food.  I ended up making meatloaf, bbq pork chops, chili, chicken enchilada soup, the filling for stuffed peppers, chicken in italian dressing marinade, and I had a turkey breast and roast ready to go.  my mom made sloppy joes, taco meat and veggy soup to add to our freezer as well.

Anyway the other night I decided to try out a recipe I found online for meatballs with gravy and then tweeked it a little to use what I had on hand.  I'd never made meatballs before so I was really hoping it turned out good and oh my goodness it was delicious.  I only wish I had gotten a picture of it to show, sorry.  Here is the recipe in case someone would want to try it.

Meatballs with Gravy
1 1/2 - 2 lbs ground beef
italian seasoning
minced dried onion
seasoned bread crumbs
2 eggs

in medium bowl mix all ingredients.  I didn't measure any of my seasonings exactly (because I never do), I just put how much I thought looked good haha.  I didn't measure the bread crumbs exactly either but I probably put about a cup a them in.  You just need enough so you can make a ball out of the meat and it sticks together nicely.  Form meat mixture into balls (you can make them as big or small as you want) mine were about 1 1/2 inch balls.  In a pan over medium/low heat put about 1tbs of butter in your pan and let it melt.  Place your meatballs in hot pan and cook through.  Remove your meatballs when cooked thoroughly but leave the grease in the pan for the gravy

1/4cup flour
3 beef boullion cubes
1 1/2 - 2 cups water

Blend flour into grease left in pan.  Add boullion cubes ( I didn't have cubes so I used boullion granules, either one works) and add water about 1/2 a cup at a time while stirring constantly until thickened.  Put meatballs back in gravy to heat.

I made this recipe into two batches.  I prepared the meatball mixture and only cooked about 8-10 meatballs.  With the rest of the mixture I formed about 7 more meatballs and placed them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and put this in my deep freezer until they were frozen.  Then I put the frozen meatballs in a ziploc freezer bag and put them back in the freezer.  Now i'm ready for the next time we want meatballs and gravy or spaghetti and meatballs.

Easiest PJ Pants!

I came across this pj pant tutorial a while ago and I've had it bookmarked ready to use when the time came around and I finally used it for my son's Christmas pjs.  I'm not one for patterns, even though I have a whole collection and love buying them.  I never seem to end up using them because they confuse me most of the time haha.  So when I saw this tutorial at Handmade Mommy I got very excited to try it out.  Here is the finished product:
I got the fabric at Joann's for $1.99/yd, it says Naughty or Nice, and these little pants used less than half a yard.  They were so easy to make and really did only take me about 20 minutes.  Now I just need to make a little pair of slipper shoes and a matching onesie to finish it off.  My plan is to get those two things done tonight after my husband gets home to watch the little one, and hopefully I'll get to post it tomorrow.

Now that i've made these, and know they are super simple and quick (which I am all about these days), I'm really wanting to make some more for my neice and nephew.  Any of you busy moms out there who want to make kids pj pants this is definately the way to go.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Door Hanger

I wanted something to hang on Grant's door but didn't necessarily want it to match his dick and jane nursery.  I wanted it to be something that could be used for more than a year or so.
Its nothing spectacular but i think its cute.  All i did was take a wood square i bought at hobby lobby along with a wood letter G and a piece of scrapbook paper.  I used acrylic paint to paint the square and G, then used mod podge to put the scapbook paper on.  I used E6000 glue to attach the G and ribbon. Viola, super simple.

Dick and Jane Nursery

When i was trying to figure out what to do my son's nursery in i came across this dick and jane fabric by michael miller that i fell in love with.  I am drawn to anything retro especially from the 50's and 60's era so this was right up my ally.  I didn't know at the time if i was having a boy or girl and didn't want to wait until we found out because i knew i would be making everything myself.  So i ended up making the curtains, quilt, and bumper pads.

Close up of the curtain fabric

I had an old set of bumper pads someone had given me that i wasn't crazy about so i recovered them with the dick and jane fabric, worked like a charm.

I pieced the quilt together myself with jack dempsey quilt blocks i've had for years.  I don't think you can even find them any more they are so old.  I embroidered them all by hand, then used the dick and jane fabric for the strips between and backing.

A friend of mine did these wood letters as a baby shower gift, i love them hanging above his crib.

Another friend made me this diaper bag, she is super talented and i love her to pieces lol.  It says Retro baby on the front. and has and embroidered G on the opposite side.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Butter Cookie Recipe

Ever since i was little, my mom has made butter cookies. I have no clue where or who she got the recipe from.  Growing up she made them for all the holidays so we could take them to school and everyone always loved them.  Around Christmas time she always made quite a few batches to give away to our bus driver, teachers, landlord, friends, family members, pretty much everyone we knew.  So after my parents divorced, when i was a teenager, i started making them for holidays because my dad's side of the family loved them too.  So i thought i would share my recipe for my mom's famous butter cookies.

(butter cookies are the ones with icing)

Butter Cookies
4cups flour
1tsp salt
1cup butter
1cup sugar
2 beaten eggs
1tsp soda
4T milk
2 tsp vanilla

sift flour and salt.  Add butter and mix.  Add sugar, eggs, soda, dissolved in milk and vanilla.  Roll out and cut into shapes.  Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes on lightly greased (sprayed) cookie sheet.
**a few tips** make sure your butter is softened.  If you have a kitchenaid mixer use it and it will make your life a lot easier when making these cookies.  if you don't no worries, i made them for years without one, it will give your arms a workout.  Make sure you put down a lot of flour on the counter or table where you will be rolling out your cookies as well as on the rolling pin and cookie cutters.

Butter Cookie Icing
1 egg white
1tsp water
1/2tsp vanilla
powdered sugar

beat egg white with water until it forms a peak.  add vanilla and enough powdered sugar to make it the right spreading consistency (approx 1lb powdered sugar).
*double recipe for 1 batch of cookies

My Weekend of Baking

Every year in December i take a weekend and bake all kinds of christmas goodies. Here is part of what i accomplished:
i made 2 batches of butter cookies (the ones with icing in the picture) homemade hot chocolate, and chocolate covered cherries. 1 batch of white chip chocolate cookies,  chocolate chip cookies, and fudge.
what i didnt get done: peanut brittle, snickerdoodles, white chocolate covered cherries. and banana bread.

Halloween Buckets

Yes i know Halloween is long gone but if any of you are like me i start thinking and planning things very early (ok so i don't plan for Halloween this early but i wanted to post this anyway).
 I love holidays, and i love to make a big deal about holidays which drives my husband crazy at times lol.  My niece and nephews always come trick or treating to our house and i wanted to do something other than just give them a couple pieces of candy.  I've seen these cute little buckets all over the blogging world used for different crafts.  So i decided to make Halloween buckets filled with candy and goodies from the dollar store.

These pictures were taken before i put the candy inside.
I bought the little paint buckets from oriental trading.  They came in a box of six.  Went to the dollar store and bought Halloween stickers to decorated the outside and went to Michaels for the ribbon and sticky borders around the bottom of the buckets.  I used my Cricut to cut the vinyl names for the front and voila they were done.

Cloth Diaper Covers

I am a cloth diapering mom and before my son was born i was making many cloth diapers using different patterns on the nappy network website and diaper covers from Katrina's Soaker Pattern.
These are newborn size, i found them to be more difficult to make than the other sizes
  because they are so small. i ended up making five newborn and never got to use one of them because my son ended up being born at 9lbs 9oz.
This is the size small. i made 6 of this size and i think he fit into them for just a few weeks.

For those of you who don't cloth diaper i would still recommend making some of these soakers to go over disposables.  My little one has peed and pooped out of many of his diapers and after staining a couple outfits i started using the covers to help prevent leakage.  They work like a charm.

baby boy gift

Everyone i know were having girls except me and the wife of my husbands co-worker.  Boys always seemed to stump me a little bit when it comes to things homemade but this is what i came up with, 2 appliqued onesies with matching shoes and bibs. The shoes are my go to baby shower gift.  Every mom to be i know gets at least one pair of them. They are a little addicting, i can't make just one, and the thing i love about them is you can dig into your fabric scraps and not have to spend a dime.  The shoes are from the stardust shoe pattern and they are super easy.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Idea

I am in love with the idea of a homemade christmas and one of these years i'm actually gonna do it.  every year i have these great intentions of making all these amazing gifts and start planning in the summer and sadly only one or two of my projects actually get done.  I always have this fear that all my  hard work will be wasted on someone who doesn't appreciate the love and thoughtfullness that is put into a homemade gift, and the last thing i want is my gift thrown in the trash or stashed in the closet.  So i have never followed through with the homemade christmas i dream of every year.  In trying to come up with creative and inexpensive gifts (we had to do a lot of this since i am on maternity leave and currently not getting a paycheck) i had an idea for our neice and nephews (they are between the ages of 7 and 10).  I thought of making a homemade stocking for each of them with their name or initial embroidered on it (always looking for an excuse to use my embroidery machine haha) and filled with little gifts and treasures that are a mix of store bought and homemade (crayon rolls, coloring books, etc).  actually this could be used for anyone not just kids.

a few things i've done

Ok i don't have anything recent that i've made since i've been all consumed with my son since his birth (i have now given up on trying to get him on a schedule), so here are a few things i have done in the past few months.  i should have something new made this week, i just bought the fabric to make two christmas gifts for friends and i have to have them done by thursday.  So as long as i remember to take a picture i'll be all set.

one of my favorite things to make are baby items, s when my cousin-in-law's wife was expecting i put together this basket of goodies, a mix of store bought and homemade items. sorry about the crappy photo quality, these pictures were taken on my cell phone months ago.

she planned on cloth diapering her little girl so i made 2 sets of diapers with bibs.  I got the pattern for the diaper at the nappy network.

this buttercup bag i made last year, it was suppose to be a gift for my sister's birthday but ended up being too small for her so now it is going to my niece for her birthday.  i think it turned out so cute and it was really easy too, even for me, who is not the best seamtress.

the black apple doll is still waiting for a home but i saw her first on homemade by jill's blog and thought she was so cute, i had to try to make one even though as of now i have no one to give her to. 

here i go

My first blog post.  I have been a blog groupie for a while now, getting alot of my creative inspiration from the many talented women posting their creations.  My intention with this blog is to empty my brain of all the many ideas and projects bouncing around in there on a daily basis. 
Part of me thinks i may be a little crazy to try to take this on right now, since i am a new mom to a  6 week old little boy who takes up quite a bit of my time.  However i have been wanting to do this for a long time and there's no time like now.  So for anyone out there who may happen upon this little blog of mine i plan on posting at least once a week, more if my little one actually takes a nap longer than 20 minutes, haha


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Total Pageviews