Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Porch {before/after}

A little sneak peek of things to come..
Okay here is the before....

 and the after...
You might recognize this tree?  It is our thankful tree from Thanksgiving with a little makeover.  A quick little paint job and adding a hanger to the back make this the perfect substitution for the front door wreath.
I had this picture frame in my decor hoard and this too got a little make over.
I tied the letters to the frame using a mix of ribbon and torn fabric...I love it!!!!
Here is a great idea for the use of old pillows you might have shoved into the top of your linen closet.
I cut a pillow in 2 pieces but not in half, I would say approximately I have 2 pieces that are a 1/3 and 2/3 of a pillow.  Then I just wrapped them in fabric and then in the back of the pillow I just saftey pinned it into place.  I found these fabulous felt snowflakes at Target and just hot glued it to the front of one of the pillows.  The throw behind the pillows is not a throw at all but a rug I was given and adds the perfect touch of color. to the bench.
I need to add flowers the canning jars still but I love them hanging there just empty too.
When I saw this basket I knew I had to have it but I left it at the store not just once but twice.  When I left it there the second time because quite honestly I did not quite know what I would do with it but I adored it.. I thought and thought about it and then I knew just what to do.  I went back and lo and behold they still had I snagged it up and brought it home.  I bought a unfinshed frame at Michaels, sprayed the frame with glitter blast.  While that was drying I made this "chalk board" sign out of black card stock and a chalk pen and adhered it to the back of the frame with tape.  Then I just tied the frame to the basket and know the Mail, Fed Ex, and Ups guy will have the perfect place for the deliveries that come this time of year.
Here is is in it JOYfully finshed happiness...
Besides the basket, small frame, and the trees I had everything else in my home.  When decorating for holidays my first suggestion is shop your house first. See what you have that can be something the rug that became a throw...use your imagination and you will be suprised what you can come up with.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rainbow Turkey Cookies

When my children came to me TODAY and said we are making turkey cookies to take to school again right??? In my head I was like HECK NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT, that is over 90{we made 105} of those bad boys and they take forever to make, okay not forever but 3 hours roughly!!!  That was in my head but out of my mouth came of course we are lets go shopping for the stuff.  I tell you now if I am going to spend 3 hours making something then I am going to blog it, you can count on that(especially since I did not blog them last year). 
As I said early it was today and I didn't pick up a huge stash of candy corn so I had to do some thinking about what I was going to make the feathers out of and this is what I came up with...rainbow twizzlers!
So what you are going to need to make these cute little guys is:
rainbow twizzlers cut into 1.5 inch pieces or you can use candy corn
oreo double stuff cookies
candy corn
vanilla frosting
wilton candy eyes
red cake decorator frosting in a can with decorator attachments
How you assemble these guys is a lot of simple steps.
Step One with a sharp knife cut the oreo in half.  you can twist to separate the 2 sides but you have more breakage that way.
Step Two place the twizzlers in the red, orange, yellow, green , blue, purple pattern around the frosted half of the oreo.
Step Three take the other half of the oreo and using frosting as the glue place a candy corn in the middle of the cookie, then again using the glue add the eyes right above the candy corn nose.
Step Four use a dab{1 tsp} of frosting and adhere the cookie face to the top of the feathered cookie
Step Five using the round tip of the decorator tips using a squiggling motion make the red "gobbler" {that is what we call it around here}from right under the eye just past the one side of the nose.
Let them dry over night and they are all set to take to a Thanksgiving dinner as a special treat, your child's class, daycare, or even a play date.  I know my children's classes are going to love them and we even made some for my Fun with Books kids.

A Thanksgiving Table

Somehow and don't ask me how the picture of the whole table disappeared so this is the only picture I have....
I want to break it down into 3 parts for you.
1. Tablecloth  2. Centerpiece  3. Charger and Cups
The Tablecloth was a super lucky find for me it looks like burlap but it isn't and I absolutely love the rusticness of it.  What makes this tablecloth so special for our family is every Thanksgiving we write on the tablecloth with a black fabric marker something we are thankful for.
The Centerpiece was so simple to make. We went out into our yard and picked up a bunch of sticks and then cut them to roughly the same size.  I grabbed 6 canning jars and holding the stick upright filled the jars half way with fresh cranberries.  Easy right?  Then to each stick I added one letter to spell the word T-H-A-N-K-S.  To make the letters  I printed 1 inch letter onto tan card stock and then cut them out with a  1 inch circle punch.  Using one size larger circle punch I punched out a circle in red.  I adhered the tan circle to the red circle using double sided tape.  Once I had all the circles done I whole punched the top of each circle and then tied them to the sticks using raffia. 
The Chargers and Cups again were simple.  The chargers are tin chargers and I happen to love them and they were given to me.  You could recreate this look by buying inexpensive plate chargers and spray painting them perty much with whatever color or finish you wanted.  The cups I love and again I dove into the canning jar shelf.  I punched some extra red circles out when I was making the centerpieces and set them aside for this part.  I took the canning jars and wrapped them with twine and tied it on with a basic knot.  After I centered the knot on the front I slide the red circle behind the knot.
Hopefully you can tell from my little picture how rustic and happy it all turned out.  I love  a nice looking table setting and this was just the look I was going for and I adore how it turned out!!!
 { It was a small dinner for Thanksgiving but a few weeks later we had a much larger Christmas gathering and I did the same thing using the jars for cups and the twine and circles.  The great thing when it was a larger group about the circles was we wrote everyones name on the circles so we could all keep track of our cup through the night}

Monday, November 12, 2012

DIY Thanksgiving Place Card Holder

I found this pack of cute little orange pumpkins at our local craft store and at Halloween they were displayed in a basket.  When Thanksgiving came around I felt like they needed a face lift and I had a need for place cards for Thanksgiving so I painted them with 3 coats of antique white paint.
As my pumpkins  were drying I cut some light gauge wire roughly 6 inches long and curled it 3 times around my finger.
Once the pumpkins were dry I poked the opposite end of the wire into the pumpkin right next to the stem. Leaving the circle I had made by wrapping the wire around my finger at the top. 
To make the actual name card I punched a 2 inch circle out of chocolate card stock and 1.5 inch circle out of cream card stock(you can use whatever color you want to to match your table and that same advice goes to what color you paint your pumpkin) with a circle punch. Once all my circles were punched I stuck them together with glue dots centering the cream circle onto the chocolate circle.   This is were I let the children get involved and they stamped their names onto the cream circle and then placed them into the wire. 
Now they are already to place on your Fall/Thanksgiving Table!!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Family Command Center

 Here it is a little project I have been working on for my little sister.
I loved how it turned out but most importantly she LOVES it!!!
It keeps all of her important information in one spot in her home and keeps her life more is amazing what a little bit of vision and a lot of planning can do to transform and organize a space!!!
It all started when I found these frames on the side of the road(I forgot to take the before I painted  them pictures)  I left them there for a few days and then I had an AHA moment and picked them up.
 On a side note: Do you not love my new carpet?  I HEART it, it makes me smile every time I see it
I spray painted them and then added fabric wrapped cardboard to one and (not pictured) sheet metal to another.
I then took this blank wall in her home and painted it with chalk board paint.
Added the frames...
and there you have it, a command center for all to use.  I have heard rave reviews from the children as well...the bottom 2 picture frames I added clothes pins to so they could hang their best work of the day on it and they love that!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Our Thankful Tree

I have always provided away my children to write down something they are thankful for everyday the entire month of November.   I really love old and rustic looking items and so I came up with this "tree".  
This was so simple to make.  First get a pallet board for the trunk and then to make the branches I just cut pallet boards in random lengths one larger than the next all the way down.  I just took my brad gun to attach the branches to the trunk and viola you have a tree. 
Once you have the tree completed find a space in your home for it.  I provide silk leaves, a permanent marker, and glue dots in a basket.  Then everyday they write down something they are thankful for on the leaves and attach it to the tree. 
A fun and simple way to help your children recognize all their many blessings!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Kids Artwork and an Empty Wall

What to do with this empty space???
Like many of you I have a stairway down to my basement and I always think what can I do with this space and then I think and what problem can I solve at the same time.  I am also sure we all have children's artwork and what do children love to do with it hang it.  My children love to hang their art work and if I let them it would be hanging it on every inch of my walls.  There is not a day when they are not creating something(I wonder were they go that from) and I really wanted a place for it and so I came up with this:
Several years ago I went to Ikea and for almost nothing I mean I think I recall paying .99 for them I bought these magnetic strips complete with magnets.  I had used them for art work and our old home and couldn't decide where to utilize them in our new one.  Until I had a light bulb moment which seems so obvious to me know so we quickly got to work screwing these fabulous things in and readily hanging their current projects up.
My kiddos love their new art gallery and I love that I have a place to hang their artwork that makes us both happy!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Witches Hats and Broomsticks

I volunteered to bring treats to my 2 boys parties and it ended up needing to be quick and easy.  I have seen these in magazines and on pinterest and so I whipped up 60 of each and the kids LOVED them!!!!


I was short on time due to one illness after another with my children, including a terrifying trip to the ER.  Though our life has been less than normal lately I still wanted to put something fun in their lunch and so I came up with a Monster.  I found these things called Glo Balls by Hostess(they are snowballs but orange for Halloween) and then I hot glued a large googly eye to the top.  Along with bat and pumpkin pretzels, mummy wrapped juice boxes and witches brooms the kids had a super fun Halloween Lunch!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Soup Yummy Soup

My friend posted the following recipe on her family blog oh about 2 years and every time I want to make it I scroll through her blog on the hunt for it.  Well I decided enough is enough of that time waster(though I love to look at her cute families faces, I like to look at their current faces of now and not then) and am posting it here on my blog so I can have it available for me here and to share this oh so yummy favorite of our family. Thank You Brook!!! 
It makes a ton so you might want to cut the recipe in half.  I make the whole thing and freeze part and give some to our Grandmas too!!!
Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli

2 lb. Ground beef
1 1/2 cups onion; diced
1 3/4 cups carrots; chopped
1 3/4 cups celery; diced
3 cans diced tomatoes (each can 14.5 oz.)
1 can red kidney beans
1 can great northern beans
88 oz. beef stock (this is a little less than 3-32 oz broth containers)
3 tsp. oregano
2 1/2 tsp. pepper
5 tsp. parsley (freshly chopped)
1 1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce (see note at bottom)
45 oz. Spaghetti sauce
8 oz. small shell macaroni; or pasta of choice

Brown beef and drain off fat. Add onions, celery and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse beans and then add to the pot. Add beef stock, oregano, pepper, Tabasco, spaghetti sauce, and noodles. Add chopped parsley. Simmer until carrots and celery are tender, about 45 minutes.


Friday, September 14, 2012


SOMETIMES in my life...I am a project girl and SOMETIMES I am not.
SOMETIMES I blog about my projects and SOMETIMES I do not.
SOMETIMES I am an organizer and SOMETIMES not.
SOMETIMES I am doing loads of projects with my kiddos and SOMETIMES they find their own thing to do.
SOMETIMES I try new recipes and SOMETIMES I create my own.
 SOMETIMES I stick with the tried and true recipes and SOMETIMES I order pizza.
 SOMETIMES I sacrifice the things I want to do, to do the thing I know I need to do and this is one of those SOMETIMES....
I love to blog and I love to do projects and I love to do all the things I mentioned above and I love my sweet followers but right now I need to help someone else that I love to the depths of my soul, If you noticed there have been less posts around here lately and this is because my days have been spent elsewhere.  This is just going to be a small sabbatical from my list of projects and there are going to be less posts for a time because SOMETIMES you need to look beyond yourself and it is those SOMETIMES that you as a person are created into the person you need to be!!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

They CAN Do It- Breakfast Station

In preparation for the back to school year I set up a Breakfast Station. My children absolutely love it!!!  I have shared some ideas over the years about how your children CAN DO IT themselves and this one has some of my old ideas and as my children have gotten a bit older some new ones too.

Here is is our Breakfast Station:
I will start with the bottom shelf and as you can see there is a toaster and then next to it is a basket for bagels, bread, muffins...virtually the carb of the week!!!! 
Then you can see on the top shelf on the very left cereal.  My children love the measuring cup on the outside of the cereal container..this is an easy peasy idea...
take a adhesive hook and stick it to the side of your cereal container and then take an extra 1/2 C measuring cup and hang it from the hook..tada and here is a little secret they eat less cereal and that means you save $$$$$$!!!
On the top shelf seen below from left to right is honey, nutella, peanut butter, then oatmeal packets, breakfast essentials drink packets, and followed by 4 containers filled with nuts and dried fruits to add to the top of their oatmeal or yogurt.  I keep all of these items on a tray that I found at Target for $2.00 to make clean up and refilling easy.

On the front of the 2 packet containers I added the directions of how to make the item inside of it and some words of encouragement.  The one on the left is instant oatmeal and the left a breakfast drink(this was my go to nutrition booster when my picky eaters were so so picky and it has stuck around)

DSCF4778 DSCF4781
 I quickly typed up the directions in a word document and then cut to the size of the front of the containers.  Using a corner cutter I cut all 4 corners and then adhered it to the front using Scotch double sided tape.

Breakfast on school mornings has been going fabulous and I have had the extra time to take care of me in the morning and that has been GREAT!!!


Friday, August 31, 2012

Back 2 School Clipboards

  When we moved into the house I decided instead of using the "dining room" as it was intended I would use it as a homework room instead.  Which is in a perfect location right off the kitchen so I can cook and they can do homework not at the table we are eating on...which is a huge life saver because the children no longer have to clean up their school work so we can eat.  They can do their homework right until we eat and then go back to it when we are done.  I have loved it and it is in this room where my newest project resides.

Okay I am here to admit I am probably the least organized person ever and maybe that is an exaggeration so I will clarify I HATE PAPERS!!!! If it has to do with organizing papers I have a panic...honestly I feel like it will be the death of me sometimes and so I resort to piles, baskets with piles, cupboards with piles, I really have to get a grip on papers. I know I would save a ton of time if I could organize them better.

With the new school year fast approaching(we start after Labor Day here) I decided I would come up with a way to organize the school papers. More specifically the spelling and math tests they need to study for the week and the papers I need to fill out and read over.  I came up with these darling clipboards to hang on the wall for the above mentioned papers.
clipboard project complete
In our home all the children have a number. 
 I have had other posts with things numbered to 4 and that is because I have 4 children at home.
 I now only have 3 so I have taken his number as mine now.

(I have a missing picture it disappeared from my camera and it was a photo of all my supplies)
Items Needed:

Scrapbook paper(school themed)
2 types of ribbon
(I used what I had around the house)
Scotch Double Sided Tape
A Corner Cut Punch
A Number Tag
(I found mine at Michaels)
3M Command Stripes
Once you have all your supplies it is time to get to work.  I made four and it took me about 20 minutes and cost me about a $1.20 a clipboard but I had the ribbon and the clipboards so they really can be done for about $2.
First use the corner punch to clip all 4 corners off the paper to give it a rounder edge.
Then using Scotch Double Sided Tape tear off 1 long stripe of tape{ about 7 inches} and adhere it to the back side of  the paper and then do the opposite end. 
Once that is done open the clip on the clipboard and align the paper up against the clip and then eyeball it on the sides so it is even. 
Then gently lye the paper down and press it down where the tape is.
It will look like this when you are done with this step. I chose to use lined paper for my clipboard. 
 As a side note it is scrapbook paper so it doesn't yellow over time. 
You are now going to cut your ribbon one piece 10 inches and one piece half that at five inches.
Take the largest piece of ribbon { I hope I can explain this well } and thread through the top of you number tag and through the hole at the top of the clipboard and tie a not about 1 inch down from the top of each side of ribbon.  Then take your coordinating ribbon and thread it through the hole of the clipboard and tie it through the other ribbon and over its knot. 
This will hold your first ribbon in place.
Now they are ready to hang.  I love using 3M Command Strip products they have never disappointed and I used them here as well.  I place one Command Strip on the 2 top corners of the clipboard and then adhered them to the wall like this:

clipboard project complete
When they are hanging on the wall the number hangs out away from the clipboard. 
 This way you can still see whose is whose.
*if you were going to use these in a similar way but not hang them on the wall I would totally suggest modge podging the paper to the clipboard
Products used:
clipboard project tools
These opinions are 100% my own and was in no way
compensated for my work from the 3M company.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Boys Room {the sign}

I found this on the side of the road(plain in color though) and I had a vision for it from the moment I saw it.  Isn't it funny what can inspire a thought sometimes but this piece of trash just spoke to me.  I readily called my husband and on his way home from work he scooped it up.  It is roughly 6 feet long so this will give you some perspective on the size of this thing(and it was trying to hang this whooper that hurt my back which is better now thank goodness)


I did a wash to it just like I did with the back of the shelves seen here.


Using my silhouette I cut a stencil using just regular printer paper and
 laid it down on the board and adhered it using double sided tape. 
 I didn't care if all the sides were flat down because I didn't want it to come out perfect.

Using orange paint that I had tinted to match a pillow cover for their room I sponge painted over the stencil with a sponge brush and removed the stencil right away.  As you can see there are some imperfections going on which was perfect. Once it was dry I sanded the heck out of it and here it is in its finished glory:

(photo taken by my 7 year old)

I do love when a project turns out exactly how you had envisioned it.
I wanted somewhere in their room to have the words discover(to be seen later)
 and explore and this was a perfect spot for the word explore. 

Why explore and discover?  I have always encouraged my children but especially these 2 boys(who are a little more introverted okay a lot more) of mine to explore the world around you, learn from it, explore with your hands and minds, explore who you are, where you came from, and the gifts He has given you.  The world around you is such a gift explore it and through the exploration you will discover amazing truths and wonders about the world around you and about yourself what you are capable of, what your mind is capable of.  The world and all it has to offer is yours if you just take the time to explore and discover.