Tuesday, August 31, 2010

From Brassy to Sassy...

I bought these brassy lamps over the weekend. It was "50% off" day at the Goodwill, and I knew I could find some good trash to turn to treasure. They were regularly $9.00. Score! Two lamps for $9.00 :) Okay I'll admit they needed a little work. Out to the spray paint place they went...

After a coat of primer and paint...

I added some distress..
(Forgive the quality of this picture, I didn't use my flash, and tried to lighten it on the computer.)

I added a coat of polyurethane for protection, and I ended up with this!

Next Mission: Find some swanky lampshades to redo.

What Do You Do in the Summertime?

About this time every year we begin the bottling.
This week is Stewed Tomatoes and Peaches and Raspberry/Peach Jam and Blackberry/Peach Jam.

We always plant lots of tomato plants so that we can bottle stewed tomatoes and homemade salsa. The stewed tomatoes are easy. Here's a link to the Ball Preserving Website if you want to give it a try : http://www.freshpreserving.com/pages/all_recipes/215.php?catID=Home-Canning&pageNum=1

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tidy Tips: Organize Your Medicine Cabinet

I decided a few months ago it was time to tackle my medicine cupboard. I was sick of all the bottles falling out, and I really needed to go through it and dispose of expired medication. While doing this I kept thinking to myself “there has to be a good way to organize this”. I was also in an organizing mood, so I was going through a few of the cupboards in my kitchen. If you anything like me you have oodles of Tupperware. I never am using all of it at once, and I have found that there are certain sizes I rarely use. I then decided that Tupperware would be the perfect way to organize my medications. I divided up the medications by category and then found the Tupperware that would work best, which also is the sizes I rarely use. I then used a dry erase marker to label the outside of each container for easy finding when you need it. The best part is I can always change the label by simply wiping it off. I no longer brace myself for a bottle eruption when I open that cupboard and I think it looks very neat and tidy.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weekend Website

A fun website for you to check out this weekend is the Young Me Now Me blog. You can send in your original childhood photo along with your re-created version. The one above is one of my favorites. Browsing this blog is bound to make you chuckle, some of the people have gone to great lengths to authenticate their re-creation. My husband is still debating which one of his childhood photos to re-create, does anyone know where to get adult size footed pajamas?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sherbet Blossom Feature


Be sure to stop over to Sherbet Blossom today and see us in the “Project: Organize” feature. It is a great series, and a fun blog to read. There are lots of fabulous ideas on how to get organized, so stop over and check it out!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dollar store quick craft

My name is Karen, and I'm a Dollar Store shopper. I know that there's a certain stigma that follows those of us that shop the Dollar Tree, and I should not be so quick to boast of my addiction to the place. I can't help it! I go at least once a week. Mostly for the Sara Lee bread, but since I'm there anyway, I can't help but cruise the aisles, looking for bargains. One time I found my favorite Maybeline lipstick... it was a dollar! I bought ten of them. But I digress... I'll now share a craft that got it's start at the Dollar Tree.

I bought these fun silver trays~not too big, not too little. Pretty raised pattern around the edge. I knew I could do SOMETHING with them!

I took them outside and gave them a quick primer coat...

I used this leftover bedroom paint for my top coat and brushed it on with a foam brush.

While the paint was drying I got started on the second part of the project. The letters. (These are not from the Dollar Tree, but they were only $1.49, so pretty close.) I traced the letters face down, and then cut out the paper letters.

I attached the paper letters to the wood letters with Mod Podge...

I roughed up the edges a little with an emery board...

Added some ribbon, and buttons for embellishment...

attached them to my trays....

added a little 3M diddy....

and now the girls will know which bunk to sleep on :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Zucchini Cheese Quiche

Yesterday I walked out to the garden to hunt for produce among the weeds. I found two HUGE zucchini, the kind of squash that could be used as a small schooner (the ship-not the beer glass). Anyway, that got me into a "must find some way to use this massive fruit" kind of mood and I started scouring the internet for great recipes. I found one at http://sueneal.blogspot.com/ The recipe is for Zucchini Cheese Quiche. I improvised a little and tweaked a little, so I will share my version with you here, then you can check out Sue's great version as well.

Zucchini Cheese Quiche

2 9" unbaked pie shells

3 Tbl. Butter
1 whole Red Onion
5 tsp. Minced Garlic (I am a garlic lover)

**Sautee the onion and Garlic in the butter in a large skillet. I cooked mine until the onion was nice and transparent. Add:

2 lb. Zucchini, peeled, seeded and sliced thin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
** Cook until the Zucchini is tender (about five minutes, stirring often) Remove from heat and set aside. In a seperate bowl, combine:

6 eggs
2-3 Tbl. Dijon Mustard
3 tsp. dried Oregano
1 C. shredded Colby Jack cheese
**After it is well combined, pour it over the zucchini mixture in the skillet and stir together.

Then pour mixture evenly into the two pie shells. Top pie with shredded parmesan cheese (about 1/4 C. per pie) Bake at 350 F for 50 minutes or until center is set and top is golden brown.
My kiddos had second helpings. They also have decided to take some tomorrow for school lunch! Love it. Hope you love it.

Gussy-up your 80's plaques and crazy hats

My kids are great, and have loads of confidence in my abilities to create fanciness in no time flat. This is why they always wait until the last minute to tell me about contests at school. An example:

This morning, about ten minutes before their scheduled departure time, they announced that it was CRAZY HAT DAY today. I tried my hardest to plead the case of "no time to pull something together". They wouldn't buy it. So I did what any creative mother would do at the last minute. I threw a grocery bag on the boy's head, and a place-mat on the girl's head. (Mother of the year, here I come!) Luckily they were super excited about their new head-wear... what do you think?

Project time:

I found this great little plaque at a yard sale for a quarter.

I knew it would be an easy gussy-up, with a trip to my "spray paint place". I did a coat of primer on both pieces, and the screws. A creamy white coat on the wood, and aqua on the metal.

I distressed it a little, and put it all back together. A quick 10 minute project, and I have a fun "new" piece to decorate my home.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

School Lunch

I have not introduced myself yet on this blog, so this post will be my introduction. My name is Jennifer, or Jennie, or Jenn, or to my hubby I am Jennalee. I also go by Mom to five wonderful little people whom I love dearly. My interests include reading, sewing, running, hiking, driving, camping, and trying to learn new languages. To let you know me a little better, I will share two quick stories.
STORY ONE: School Lunch Bag

Sunday night at bedtime, my first grader reminded me that she still did not have a lunch bag. What?! I panicked. I know that it was on my list of things she needs this year (since she will be at school all day for the first time). I know that we thought about it, talked about it, and planned on it. She was right, we had done all of that without actually procuring a bag for her. I took a deep, cleansing, keep your head together type of breath and said, "I will get right on that, Honey. What color of material do you want?" She picked a fun shade of turquoise and told me that she wanted it just like her two older sisters. I got all the kiddos in bed and headed downstairs to my workroom (which is what I call that mess of a room where I do all the creative stuff). I used older sister's bag for a pattern.

I figured I needed two sides, two liners, two handle liners, handle stabilizers, a zipper, and bias tape. (NOTE: If I had to do this again, at a time when I could think straight, I would have traced the bag on paper first and then created the pattern from there).

Here's a quick how-to on how I made the bias tape. I fold my fabric to create a right triangle like this:Starting at the longest side I cut it into two-inch wide strips. This way you are cutting on the bias without all the measuring. You may be thinking that I am a lazy seamstress. You are right. Anyway, once you have all your strips cut, sew them together to form one long bias tape.

Then I sewed the zipper onto the handle lining.

Now it was just a matter of putting all the pieces together. I decided that I wanted the inside a little water resistant, so I added a lining of thin plastic sheeting (the kind you buy off the rolls at the fabric store). Anyway, at a time that I should have been safely in dreamland, I finished my sweet daughter's bag.

The next morning, she was so excited. I was happy that she had a bag like sisters' and could go off to school without the worry of what to put her lunch in! So, now you know that I am a little forgetful, a little lazy, and really I'd do anything for these kiddos.

STORY TWO--Assemble the lunches!

Do you ever let the sound of kid-play become white noise? IF no one is screaming, or hitting, or biting, and everything is just the soft sounds of contented play do you ever tune it out a little? I do. This morning as we were assembling items for school lunches, my baby was playing quietly on the table. He's almost two and he climbs everywhere, I meant that he was playing ON the table. I was listening to his playing noises without actually HEARING his playing noises. It wasn't until the spice cake pieces had all been split and reassembled and sent to the freezer that I realized that his playing noise sounded squishy, and sticky, and there was a funny empty-bottle-type-of sound in the mix. I turned around and really looked at him. This is what I saw:

That is an now-empty bottle of Maple syrup in is sweet, sticky little hands. Luckily for me, he has pretty good aim, and the majority ended up in the bowl. Unlucky for those peaches, however.

What could I do? I had just convinced my hubby last week that we don't need to buy syrup from Costco, we don't go through it fast enough. This bottle lasted three days.

That's me in two stories and a few words. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to stop by Costco.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A few of my favorite things.....

A year ago when we started to go through a baby budget and divide up how much to spend on what, it was hard to know where to splurge and get the really good name brand stuff and where we could pinch our pennies. I started doing a lot of research, reading reviews, ect. So I have decided to share my findings with you. We really didn't spend hardly anything on furniture. We got our crib for free as a very nice hand me down, our steal of a dresser that I talked about last week (which is our changing table), and we refinished an existing dresser that we already owned. We have a few other pieces, the most expensive being our rocking chair. I think you can go more inexpensive with furniture, because you can always use a little paint and make it cute. When it came to my splurge, I really felt good about it, it is something I use almost daily, my stroller.
It is the Phil and Ted Classic Jogging Stroller, and I 100% LOVE it! I knew I really wanted a jogger, but then started to think, do I want a double, I don't want to be buying this again in 2 years. The Phil and Ted's sold me, it is both a single and a double. The best part is you can use it from day 1, which I have, it lays flat for a newborn. Most jogging strollers you have to wait until your baby is 6 months old. It can do 1 baby, 1 baby + 1 toddler, or 2 toddlers. I took my baby and a 2 year old to the park the other day in it and it worked perfect, easy to push, and both kids had a great time. It is so easy to fold up and down, and folds pretty flat and fits nicely in the trunk of my Mazda 3. When I first saw the price ($349) I cringed, but then when I started to do the math, buying a single stroller now plus a jogger, then a double stroller in 2 years, it ended up being pretty even. It is the only stroller I will ever buy and does everything I need. I also bought it when they had their promo in which they throw in the doubles kit for free! I think they do that from time to time, so if your interested, keep your eye out for it.

Next is my Baby Bjorn carrier. I think my husband might love this one more than me! I did a lot of reading while I was pregnant and in The Baby Book by William and Martha Sears M.D., I really enjoyed what I read about baby wearing. It makes sense, especially when they are newborns and you want to hold them all the time, but still get stuff done. My baby loves it, he is so content being in the Bjorn, it especially makes grocery shopping nice. We went to a nice baby boutique and tried on all the different ones from the least expensive to the most, and decided the Baby Bjorn was the right one for us. It is in the high/middle price range at about $80. Don't worry, after we tried them all on at the more expensive baby boutique, we went and actually bought it at Target.
Lastly, I love the Breastflow bottle by The First Years. When I started working again I became really nervous about keeping up with breastfeeding. I had so many friends and coworkers tell me that after their child started a bottle, they preferred the bottle over breastfeeding. I was determined to not have that happen in my case, so I started looking into bottles that lactation consultants recommended to keep up breastfeeding while working. The Breastflow bottles had all good reviews, so we decided to give them a try, and have loved them. They make your baby work the same way they would when breastfeeding by having the double nipples. It makes them use both suction and compression, and I can say he has yet to choose a bottle over me! I have not had a refused feeding from me yet, and hope it stays that way. They average about $12.99 for a 3 pack and you can pick them up pretty much anywhere from Wal-Mart to Babies R Us.

Hopefully, you have enjoyed some of my favorite things, I would love to know what yours are, please leave a comment or email me at alilbird3 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Forgotten Frames find new life

We all have them... picture frames. I have a few more than most people and thought I dig through my collection, and make use of them. I also have loads of scrapbook paper, for scrap-booking that I can't seem to find the time to do. So now I'll share a project that I threw together to combine the two.

Select your frames, a large one and a smaller one. (Mine are 11x14 and 4x6)
You'll also need two 12x12 pieces of scrapbook paper.

Remove the glass and mats from your frames, and get them outside to prime and paint. It's EXTRA hot this weekend, so your frames will dry lickety split.

While your frames are drying, trim your paper to fit within your frame's measurements. You can do three pieces like I did, but I also think a "four-square" pattern would look great.

Lay out your paper and get ready to glue it to the frame's backing. I attached mine with Mod Podge, but a glue stick would work too.

Glue your paper down, making sure to press out any air bubbles.

Your frames are probably dry by now. I decided to distress mine a little. I lightly painted on some brown acrylic, and quickly rubbed it off with a damp paper towel. It's a messy process, but I like the end product.

Select some embellishments to "gussy up" your smaller frame. I chose various ribbons and yarn, alpha stickers, and a metal tag.

After you've embellished your smaller frame, you can replace the glass and add your photo.

Your paper covered frame back is now dry. Replace the glass in your large frame, and add your backing.
Time to finish... glue your smaller frame directly to your large frame's glass. Don't use HOT glue. It will pop off eventually. I use E6000 for gluing on glass, and it works like a charm. **REMEMBER** measure first before laying down your small frame. E6000 is a messy, smelly clean-up.

You'll end up with something like this.

Have a super weekend!!!

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