Friday, February 18, 2011

The Planner In Me

While I am a self proclaimed procrastinator, I have an over whelming need to plan everything way in advance.  I can't help it, I have to plan.  Even if my plan completely falls apart or doesn't work at all there is comfort in just having one.  Now how does it make sense that I plan everything so far in advance but yet I can't seem to get anything done until the last minute.   Yes it stumps me too.

My husband is the opposite of me when it comes to these things.  He waits until the last minute to even think about things.  Birthdays, holidays, events, parties, bills, and anything else that would in my mind require a little bit of planning, he waits until the day or two before.  Sometimes he waits until the day of. 

I admit I go a little over board with planning especially when it comes to anything that requires a gift, we are talking planning months in advance trying to figure out what to get someone.  I like to put thought into my gifts because I want them to be "perfect" for the one who is receiving them.  I rarely if ever just walk into a store and grab something.  No, I usually have quite a bit of time wrapped up in them whether it be crafting, sewing, or a lot of thought.

A prime example is my sister's graduation.  Most people would go to the local Walmart, buy a card, throw some money in it, and sign their name.  This is exactly what my husband told me to do when I started asking him about ideas of what to get her.  Of course I told him there was no way I could just give her a card with money, unacceptable for me.   I need time to purchase materials if I decide to make something, find things on clearence or on sale, and possibly clip some coupons to save a little.  Which is exactly what I did for one of the items going in my sister's graduation gift basket.  I came up with the idea to make a gift basket full of coffee drinks, her favorite energy drink, to go mug, etc.  All the things she will need as fuel for those late night study sessions.  Anyways, I wanted to add one of the Starbucks Frappacino 4-packs but at $5.99 along with all my other ideas I wanted to include this was going to end up a very pricey gift.  As luck would have it Kroger had them on sale last week and I found a $1 off coupon, SCORE! I got them for $3.99.  Now would I have found that great deal if I hadn't been planning ahead, I think not.

For whatever reason I take control over all the birthdays and any gift giving holiday.  I do ask my husband if he has any ideas or anything he has been wanting to do for whomever the recipient is but here is inevitably the response I get, "I don't know, I havn't thought about it." To which I respond with a roll of my eyes and a simple "of course you havn't".  Now I knew this about my husband before the "I do's", and of course I love him with all my heart regardless, but geez does it aggravate the life out of me sometimes. 

Does anyone else out there have this problem?  I thought maybe it was mainly a crafter thing because we need time to decide on what to make/create and time to buy the materials needed.  Then again maybe it is just a little quirk I get to call my own.

Wow this turned into quite a long post of my little rant.  Well I will quit boring anyone who may still be reading this and say goodnight since it is 11pm here and sadly about 3 hours past my bedtime and as any mother knows sleep is precious and must not be taken for granted.

Homemade Baby Wipes

I was getting down to my last few wipes from the box we bought and once again was dreading going out and buying another box for $13, even though they do last us a while now.  Still that's $13 that can go for something else.  I had recipes I found ages ago before Grant was born, for baby wipes and had intended to try this awhile ago but the idea had left my mind.  I was reminded of it recently on Small Fry & Co when she made cleaning wipes, and decided since I was at the end of mine I might as well give it a whirl.

First let me say, I apologize for the pictures.  I had to take them in my kitchen where there is no natural light because my dining room table is covered in papers as I attempt to work on Project Paper from I Heart Organizing, more on that later.

Here's what you will need:

A roll of paper towels, I usually buy the cheapest I can find but I wanted some that where soft and durable so Bounty is what I chose, they seem to hold up pretty well with my little one.
Baby Wash
Baby Oil

Use a serrated bread knife to cut your paper towel roll in half

Find a plastic container that half the paper towel roll will fit in nicely, this container is an 8 cup and my roll fits perfect.

Now your going to mix your liquids together.  You can google baby wipes recipe and find dozens of them.  I did what I always do which is find a few and then pick and choose from each of them what I want to use.  Here is the recipe I used:  2 cups water, 1/2 c baby wash, and 2T baby oil.  I used a wisk to make sure it was all mixed together thoroughly.

Pour your liquid over top of the paper towels and put the lid on.  Let sit until the liquid is all soaked up then remove the inner cardboard tube.  When you remove the tube the towels are suppose to come out with it so you have a starting point, however mine didn't so I had to dig to find the start of mine.  No biggie though.  My wipes started out quite wet, if you don't like that you may want to alter the recipe so there's less liquid.  I figure when there's a big poop blowout I will greatly appreciate how wet the wipes are.

**update- Using the above recipe my wipes were really saturated so I cut the recipe in half and they came out perfect.  Now I use 1cup water, 1/4 cup baby wash, and 1 tablespoon baby oil.

Baked Potato Soup

I found a recipe online for baked potato soup, once again couldn't tell you where because I keep a notebook next to my laptop and randomly write things in it without writing down the website.  Anyways, I of course didn't follow the recipe and kind of improvised.  I do that alot when I don't want to take as much time as the recipe says to or don't have all the correct ingredients.  So here it is, mine turned out really good for my first attempt at potato soup.

2T butter
1 large onion
1c milk
6 already baked potatoes
2 cans chicken broth (I used 2 cups water and 2 bullion cubes)
1/2 c sour cream
1/4t salt
1/8 t pepper

first peel and bake your potatoes.  I bake mine in the microwave by putting 2-3 potatoes in a bowl filling it half with water and covering with plastic wrap.  Put in microwave for about 12-14 minutes or until soft.

Next cut your potatoes into chunks.  Melt your butter in a small pan, add onion and saute until tender.  Put chicken broth in a large pot, bring to a boil, add onion, and reduce heat.   Add potato chunks, milk, and sour cream, mix well.  Add salt and pepper, cook until heated through, which is about 5-10 minutes.

You can top with bacon bits, shredded cheese, and sour cream if you like.

I don't take pictures of the things I cook because it usually doesn't come out pretty, even though it may taste great.  My husband really liked this recipe and I plan on freezing some of it to see how it does, I'll let you know.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I love being able to make things on my own, and its a huge bonus when it saves me money.  I was at the end of my box of Cascade and was dreading paying nearly $5 for another one.  Doesn't sound like much but that's $5 I can spend on something else, anything else. 

I found this recipe on a website a long time ago and wrote it in a notebook, can't for the life of me remember what website it was.  I already had all 3 of the ingredients needed so for me it was free.  Here's what you will need: 

Borax, Cascade, and Baking Soda

Measure out 1 cup Borax
1 cup Cascade
1 cup Baking Soda

Mix all three together.  I like to use a slotted spoon because I think it mixes up better.
After it's mixed pour it into a container.  First I poured mine in a 24oz formula can, which would have worked fine but I decided I like clear containers for cleaning detergents and mixes so I switched.  I did keep the scoop from the formula can to use with my dishwasher detergent and it works perfect. 

The container I used is a 3.8 cup plastic container.  My dishwasher uses about 2 scoops per load.

Cascade usually runs about $4.44 in stores around me
Borax is approximately $2.50 
Baking Soda is approximately $2.50
Total = about $9.50

You don't have to use Cascade, you can use any detergent made for dishwashers.  The walmart brand is about $2.27 a box which would bring the above total down to about $7.50.  With the supplies already on hand you probably have enough to make about 5 batches.  Definately cheaper than using the store bought by itself.

I also have a homemade recipe for baby wipes and antibacterial wipes coming soon


The most beautiful feet I've ever laid eyes on.

My friend came over the other day and wanted to take some pictures of Grant.  She loves photography and likes to take advantage of every opportunity to practice.  She took some random pictures in about 20 minutes and they came out beautiful.  Better than any studio I have taken him to and now the only problem I have is deciding which ones to frame,  so I may end up with 30 pictures on my wall when it's all said and done, haha.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mom Moments

Before having my son I knew exactly how I was going to raise my children and knew without a doubt in my  mind things would go just as planned (yes how crazy was I to think such a thing).  I swore my kids would not watch a bunch of tv, not have tv's in their room, no video game systems, I refused to have their rooms filled with useless pricey toys, andI thought it would be great if they didn't take a binky. 

Now my son is only 3 months old so obviously some of these things he is too young for still but the other day as he was not satisfied with anything I did.  When I sat him down he cried, when I held him he cried, the only time he was happy was when I was changing his diaper or carrying him around and he was cooing and smiling the whole time (most babies hate to have their diaper changed, my son loves it). 

I had to get stuff done around the house, so after toting all 20lbs of him around on my hip for a good 45 minutes and my arm about numb I had to put him down.  What did I do you ask, I said a silent wish that he took a binky and I turned on the Toy Story movie and laid him on his play mat in front of the tv.  Yes he loves watching Toy Story along with Curious George, and Cat in the Hat.  Now while I don't think it's ok to try to have your kids sit in front of the tv for hours on end, I don't think there is anything wrong with turning it on so you can gulp down some liquid energy, or grab a couple bites of breakfast, or just get a moment to sit and relax, and I refuse to feel bad about it. 

I think as mom's we hold ourselves to high standards.  Trying to be everything to everyone.  We try to be super mom/wife and after a while I think we have to throw our hands up and surrender to the fact that we are no June Cleaver and there is no need to try to be.

We are mom's and we need a few moments of quiet in our day to keep our sanity, and if that means watching Toy Story every day for 20-30 minutes I am 100% okay with that.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Card

I had planned on posting my Valentine projects yesterday but as I logged into my computer and started typing my posts my internet connection went out and then my son got his 15 minute power nap and started screaming with a tummy ache, so much for me getting my post done.  So it's a day late but better late than not at all right?

I used to be a Hallmark card girl.  I worked there in high school and loved it and since then I had been buying all my holiday and birthday cards there.  Yes I have probably spent a small fortune in cards from that store.  While I still love Hallmark, when I bought my Cricut I was telling my husband all that I could make with it, cards being one of those things, and now I just can't bring myself to spend $3-$5 a card when I can make them for free.

So here's the card I made my husband this year.

Here's what you will need to make this card, just in case there is anyone out there wanting to know.  I used a blank plain black card, thin red ribbon, the word love cut with my Cricut and my aqua glue.

 Here's a close up of the love word I cut out.  It has a red shadow and the white over top.

Add the ribbon to the front of the card overlapping to the inside.  I put a dot of glue on both ends and in the middle on the front to make sure the ribbon didn't move out of place.  Then glued Love to the front at an angle and viola, done. 

I like to keep my cards simple, you could easily dress this card up a little more.  My husband couldn't care less about little jewels and such on his cards.  Actually he could probably care less about cards in general but I like to write words of love to him every now and again.

Valentine's Day Candy Bar Bouquet

I had planned on making all my husband's favorite goodies for V-day but decided with his birthday around the corner and our $10 spending limit I needed a different idea.  I had seen many different candy bar bouquets and they all looked so cute, so I thought that would be easy and inexpensive.  I had grand plans to buy all these different candy bars until I started talking to my husband and found out the only candy bar he really likes is Snickers, so much for my plan. 

It didn't turn out as cute as I would have liked but it's not the only thing I'm making.

First I took a formula can and tore off the label to measure black cardstock to I could wrap it around the can.
As you can see the only black cardstock I had on hand was 8 1/2 x 11 inches, so it was a little smaller than I needed.  I just cut an extra little piece of cardstock to finish covering the can.

You can also measure the can if you don't want to peal off the label.

I used E6000 glue to make sure the paper would stick to the can and glued it at the seam, top and bottom.  Then put rubber bands around to hold the paper in place until the glue dried.

I added red ribbon to the bottom and top of the can.

Put foam in the bottom of your can.

 I already had wooden skewers in my kitchen so I broke them in half and taped them to the back of each of the 6 candy bars I purchased.

 Using my cricut I cut out a bunch of words and heart images to decorate with.  Then of course I only used a couple.

  I used this glue to attach my images and letters to the outside of the can.  It drys clear and is easy to apply.

Here is my finished product.  I stuck each of the candy bars into the foam and then added some red tissue paper to cover in the holes so you couldn't see the foam.

Like I said it's not spectacular but my husband is a simple guy and he will love it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Craft/Spare room Cleanup

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone out there.  I should have a little V-day craft to show today but unfortunately yesterday was spent in urgent care with my husband so I couldn't take the afternoon to finish his little gift like I had planned.  Go figure, I should have known something would come up if I waiting until the day before but like always I procrastinated.  So much for that resolution haha.

Maybe by the end of today I'll have something to show but for now here is what I am working on.

I am a little embarrased to even show the one or two people who may look at my little blog this picture of my Craft/Spare room.  I have a tendency to completely destroy this room just by working on one project.  It doesn't matter how big or small of a project it is, regardless I still destroy it.  Once it looks like this I hate even stepping in it because it's chaos.  I keep the door shut so I don't have to see it, out of site out of mind.  But my mom is coming down from Ohio to visit this friday, so it's time to get serious and get this room presentable so she will have some place to sleep.  Plus I don't want her walking in and thinking to herself, "I know I raised you better than this", haha.

 This is my goal this week- CLEAN this room. 

It's sad when you can't even tell there is a bed under all that mess. Ugh I'm getting fidgety just looking at the pictures.

I'm obsessed with organizing, well I'm obsessed with the idea of it.  I could spend hours looking through organzing magazines, websites, and I could spend days and thousands of dollars in the Container Store.  Which is why I avoid the temptation by not walking through the door.  In a perfect world I would buy lots of new organizing bins and containers to make this room work better but that's just not in the budget right now, so I'm just gonna have to try to make it work with what I already have.

Wish me luck because I think I'm seriously gonna need it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Transportation Quilt

I have been embroidering since I was a little girl.  I have made lots of baby quilts, including one for my son's nursery.  When I was searching through my favorite website for quilt blocks I found this set:

I love the colors of these blocks, as soon as I saw them I knew I had to buy them for Grant.  It has taken me months to actually get them out and start sewing on them but I finally did it.  I'm on block one of twelve which is why I am starting on them in now in the hopes that I will not be working on this quilt Christmas Eve.
My intent is for this to be a Christmas present for him this year, and the theme of his bedroom next year.

I also bought these:

My mom and two of my aunts are breast cancer survivors.  I don't plan on using these quilt blocks to make a quilt, instead I want to use them to make each of my aunts and my mom a pillow that says Suvivor and give it to them during October, Breast Cancer Awareness month.  October is also my mom's 2 year cancer free mark.  We are very blessed.

I have also made my own quilt blocks and hopefully I'll be able to make a tutorial on it soon just in case there is someone out there who wants to learn.  Plus it comes in handy when you want to make a quilt  of something there are no premade blocks for.  My aunt makes them for her grandkids to teach them how to embroider simple images.

But I'll have to leave that to another day.  My little one will be waking any minute now and I still haven't even got my teeth brushed this morning, gross I know.  Grant distracts me easily, lol.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Most Beautiful Sound In The World

My 3 month old son giggled out loud yesterday for the first time and it was the most beautiful sound in the world.  I think the world stopped for just one perfect moment.  Hearing him and seeing that smile just confirmed that being at home with him was where I am supposed to be.  I couldn't help but think that if I had gone back to work I wouldn't have heard him and maybe whoever was babysitting him would have gotten to hear it instead, which would have broke my heart.

Definately one of the greatest joys of motherhood.

I'm Keeping 1 Of My Resolutions

One of my resolutions was to make a doll pattern.  I love the Bit of Whimsy dolls and making them as well as the Molly and Mikey Monkey.  They made me want to make my own pattern for my son and maybe future daughter.  The other night I started making sketches, I am no artist, so the sketches aren't great but they are cute in my head haha. 
During nap time last week I started drawing pattern pieces and last night, out of a desperate need to distract my mind, I finally started cutting fabric and sewing.  I'm so excited I can't hardly stand it.
You can see my sketches in the upper left corner (don't make fun as I said I am no artist), and the pattern pieces on the right side.

Here's what I have cut out, pinned together, and sewn so far.  So I am making progress.  Maybe later this week I'll get some more of it finished because I can't wait to see how it turns out.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Every time I watch this movie:
I have this over powering erge to make Eclairs.  Finally I gave into that erge and made some.  Mine looked nothing like Sarah Michelle Gellar's character in the movie but I'm glad I can finally say I made them.

I used the recipe from my old Better Homes and Garden Cookbook.
Here it is for those of you who don't own one:

1/2 c butter or margarine
1 c all purpose flour
4 eggs

In a medium saucepan mix butter, 1 c water and 1/8 tsp salt and bring it to a boil.  Add your flour, stir until mixture forms a ball that doesn't separate.  Take off of heat and let cool 5 minutes.  Add each of your eggs one at a time mixing after each addition.

Put your batter into a pastry bag or if your like me and don't have one use a good old ziploc and cut the tip off one of the corners.  Pipe strips of batter onto a greased baking sheet.  Make each strip about 4 inches long and about 1 inch wide.
They should look something like this:

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Let cool.

Use knife and split each open, fill with filling and top with glaze.

Filling: Homemade Whipped Cream
1c whipping cream
2T sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Put all 3 ingredients in a chilled bowl. Use hand mixer with chilled beaters and mix ingredients until soft peaks form.  I put the whipped cream in a ziploc bag, cut the tip off 1 of the corners and pipe into the Eclairs.

Chocolate Glaze for topping
4 oz semisweet chocolate
3T butter or margarine
1 1/2 c sifted powdered sugar

In a small saucepan melt chocolate and butter on low heat, stirring frequently.  When chocolate is melted add powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons hot water, and mix well.  When mixed well drizzle over Eclairs.

 I would have taken pictures of the filling and glaze but I was trying to work quickly with my 3 month old screaming and my husband trying diligently to get him to sleep.

Here's what mine looked like in the end:

Definately not the prettiest but they were tasty and now I can say I have made Eclairs from scratch.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I have been wanting to try this for a while.  I used to buy the cheapest detergent I could find because my skin is not sensitive to any certain brand.  However since my son was born I have been washing all of our clothes in All Free and Clear which I hardly ever catch on sale.  The few times it has been on sale it's still over $10 for a medium size bottle, and call me cheap but I think that is way too much for soap.  Maybe if I was still working I would have continued buying it just because its easy to just pick it up and put it in the cart along with all my other groceries. 

 I have had multiple recipes saved and now I have finally done it.  I guess I put it off so long because I thought the process would take longer, but it was super easy.  First I looked at different recipes and like always combined a few. 
I bought Borax, Super Washing Soda, and Baking Soda (I usually have this on hand already to use as a general cleaner for the bathroom).  Not pictured-Ivory Soap bar.  Some recipes say to use Zote soap or Castile but I like using what I already have in the cupboard and Ivory is what we use in the shower so that's what I decided to use.  I found all three of these in the laundry aisle at my local Kroger, however I have looked in other Krogers and some don't have the super washing soda.  If yours doesn't carry it try using some oxyclean powder in your recipe.

1st I grated 2 bars of Ivory soap using the grater I have in my kitchen drawer, into a large bowl.  I thought this step would take forever but I did it while watching tv and Grant was napping.  Probably took about 5 minutes and bonus, it's a good work out for your arms.
Here's a close up of the soap grated.  Next I took my hands and just ran them through to break the pieces up a little smaller (i don't know that this is really necessary but I did it anyway).

Now add 2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda
1 cup Baking Soda
to your bowl
(If you don't want to buy the baking soda you can leave it out.  Some recipes don't call for it if you use the washing soda but I figured since I had it in the cupboard why not add it in for a little something extra.)

I used a spaghetti ladle (I don't know if that's its actual name but thats what I call it), it has the slots in the bottom so I thought it would mix up the powders better)

Now find a pretty container, or just any plastic container with a lid will do, and fill it with your laundry detergent.
I put an extra scoop I had from a container of oxyclean in with my detergent and viola!
I use one or two full scoops (depending on how dirty the clothes are) for a large load of laundry, which is about 3 tablespoons.

So what is the total cost of making this laundry detergent, here's the cost breakdown:
Super Washing Soda - about $3.99
Borax - about $2.50
Baking Soda (I usually already have) - about $2.50
Ivory Soap - free from my bathroom cabinet
total - about $9
I probably have enough of each of these items to make at least 3 or more batches of this detergent before I have to buy any more.  Much cheaper than store bought brands, and much easier on my grocery budget.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cupcake Book

Can I just say, I LOVE CUPCAKES!

My mom recently sent me this book she bought at Khol's.  It's one of the Khol's Cares books and all the proceeds go to charity, I love that too.  It has a ton of recipes for cupcakes and frostings, as well as decorating tips.  Here's the best part, it was $5.00, can you believe that, what a steal.

One more book to add to my cookbook collection.

Graduation Cake

I have wanted to learn how to decorate cakes for a long time.  I was a faithful Cake Boss viewer until we moved and no longer get the channel, darn Charter Cable.  So now I have made a committment which forces me to actually learn, it's kind of sad when you have to do that just to get the guts to actually try something new.  My little sister, Kayli, is graduating high school this year.  Wow just typing that is so weird.  I think I will always think of her as 5 years old and a little kid, makes me feel old to think she is almost legally an adult. 

I was trying to think of someone I could make a cake for to start learning how to decorate and immediately thought of her graduation.  My mom is doing a big 3 family (my parents are divorced) graduation party for her, so what better time to practice my non existing skills.  I officially have 3 months and counting to perfect the skills I hope to have.  She already told my sister I was going to make her one and she's really excited to have a "fancy" cake.  Most of her friends will have the usual sheet cake from the local grocery store.  So now I'm committed and I have to do it.

Here is my inspiration....
The white background will be buttercream and all the little stripes and polka dots will be fondant.  My sister's school colors are dandelion yellow and maroon (they are the ugliest school colors ever haha).  Mine probably won't look as good as this one, but out of all the pictures I found on this one was my favorite and I know Kayli will love it.

Now I'm just waiting to get our income tax refund so I can go buy a few decorating essentials to start practicing.  I don't think this new challenge is going to be good for my waistline since there will be cake sitting around all the time.   Maybe I'll get sick of cake and not want to eat it, could I be so lucky?

If there is anyone out there who is wanting to learn anything about cake decorating you have to go to the Cake Central website, it is awesome for any level decorators, from beginners to advanced.  You can post questions, recipes, pictures, anything.  I'm loving it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Life Size Candyland at SYTYC

I saw this on A Girl And A Glue Gun and of course had to click on over to SYTYC and get the details.  I love board games and always have.  It seems kids these days (wow that makes me sound old) play more of PS3 and XBOX than the good old board games of Clue and Monopoly, I personally think they are missing out on some good old fun.  So when I saw this life size candyland I wanted to squeal, of course little man is napping so I had to refrain, but I was excited none the less.  At SYTYC you can vote on which game day craft you like the best, this was my pick.

Isn't it too cute!!


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