Monday, February 28, 2011

Organizing Your Cleaning Supplies: Tidy Tips.

My baby became mobile about a month ago and is now zooming around the house getting into whatever he can find! He had been somewhat mobile for about 3 months scooting around, but didn't really start crawling until about a month ago. We have started the child proofing and the first thing we did was get all dangerous things up high. Here is what I did with the cleaning supplies to keep them out of babies reach, yet still easy to use.

I bought a couple cleaning caddy's at Target, one for the bathroom supplies, one for everything else. Before having a mobile baby I had the cleaning supplies on lazy susans underneath the sinks in each room, but I like this even better!
I have the caddy's far out of reach, up high in my laundry closet, then I just grab the caddy I need for the room I am going to clean. Easy and convenient.
We are trying to move toward more natural, non chemical cleaners in our house, and are slowing phasing out buying new cleaners at the store. Now if only spring would hurry up and get here, but this weekend we got another few inches of snow. :(

Have you had to baby proof? What are your tricks?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Snacking Made Fun!: Weekend Website

You have probably noticed that I tend to get on themes when posting, I know I am a total weirdo. Right now my "theme" is food as you may have guessed, so I thought I would share this adorable snack, peanut butter and fruit sushi. I.LOVE.SUSHI. I could eat it everyday and never tire of it. Unfortunately for me, my budget doesn't allow for many sushi outings these days, once every few months, if I am lucky. We did go a few weeks ago though, and I introduced my baby boy with a vegetarian roll, he seemed to enjoy it! I already mention I love Apartment Therapy, and when I saw this over at the kitchn, I couldn't resist, doesn't it look so fun? I am going to be trying this out soon, it is a fun healthy snack! Enjoy your weekend!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Family photo collage

I have wanted a family collage picture for quite some time, but didn't LOVE the standard store-bought ones. I dug out this big old EMPTY picture frame and knew it would be perfect for this project.

Outside for a quick coat of spray paint...

While my picture frame dried, I cut my various scrapbook paper "scraps" into 2 inch squares.

I ordered gobs of black and white photos, and got to work cutting those into 2 in. squares also, with the exception of the center photo, it's bigger~ a picture of me and my sweetie~ and measures 4in X 4in.

I did a little dry brushing around the edges of each photo, and then arranged them in my frame.

I added a poignant vinyl quote on the wall, and hung my collage in the middle. Quick and easy, and dear to me!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tidy Tips For Your Waistline

I know it sounds cliche', but one of my New Year's Resolutions this year was to lose weight. I have been working toward that goal lately, and then with my Mother's recent health problems, I have been thinking a lot about what I am eating.

I have been doing fairly well with my weight loss goal, but I haven't been dieting. Diets don't work. Sure, they have short term results, but unless you think you will never eat a cupcake again, or you are willing to eat nothing but eggs for the rest of you life (I have a friend whose egg diet ruined eggs for her permanently), they don't work. For weight loss it comes down to a simple equation, calories in vs. calories out. I have been using the website and have lost 7 pounds. I really like loseit, 2 of my friends, Cierra and Janey encouraged me to join, it is a free site, that helps you count calories. So I simply try to burn more than I am eating and try not to go over my budget.

I majored in Fitness & Nutrition in College, and one of my favorite classes was my Healthy Body Image class. I think everyone wants to be skinny, that is a given, but it is more than that, you need to be healthy and take care of your bodies by eating better and exercising. I have been working hard lately on improving what and how much I am eating. There were several helpful tips that I learned in that class like ordering a kids meal instead of a full meal and if you have to have sweets (I have a MAJOR sweet tooth!) try to choose lower calorie options, like licorice and Junior Mints. My teacher added the advice of eating your sweets earlier in the day, so you have more time to burn them off. She also suggested portioning them out to their serving size instead of sitting down with the bag/box. That last one really stuck with me and I now try to portion out what I buy from the store. This is what it looks like when I come home from grocery shopping.... The snack size bags are key, the smaller they are the less you put in them. I buy A LOT of snack bags. I come home, dump out the bag, and read what the serving size is. In the case of my dried fruit it is 1/3 cup. I then scoop a portion into the bag and that is it. The rule also is, ONE bag, you can't grab more than one for a snack!
Some of you may be thinking "UGH, that would take so much time, I just don't have the time to do that." I think of it a little differently though, I can either spend the time portioning out my food so I don't over eat, OR, I can spend the time on the treadmill. I really do enjoy exercise, but let's be honest, I would rather spend 45 minutes vs. an hour. I also use this trick to create my own 100 calorie packs, the ones in the store are WAY overpriced. It has worked well in my house, and I am feeling good about making healthier choice in other ways like hormone free milk & eggs, more organic foods, and less sugar. Same concept here, eating this way does cost a bit more, but I can pay more now, or with medical bills later in life.

Do you have any tricks to help you eat better or more healthy? I would love to hear them please share!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

One Dollar Wednesday... cutlery trays

You know I love the little silver trays that are so prevalent at the Dollar Tree. I love them so much that I decided to do ANOTHER craft with them.

I started with 3 rectangular silver trays, some pretty scrapbook paper, and a slew of cutlery.

I sent them straight to The Spray Paint Place, for some quick coats of primer and paint.

I used my "paint on, rub off" method with the trays,

and then I used the same method on the cutlery... heads first,

and then tails.

I attached my scrapbook paper,to my trays, with a thin coat of mod podge.

Lastly, I glued my cutlery to my trays...

and now I have some fun decor for this little corner of my breakfast nook!

Monday, February 21, 2011

A few of my favorite things....

What a week I've had! My Mother was admitted to the hospital and thankfully I had 4 days off work and was able to get a 5th day covered to be with her. Thankfully, they let her come home today and though she has some work to do at least she will be at home. It is times like this I wish I lived closer than 4 hours away.

I thought I would share some of my favorite things, isn't it weird how some of the smallest things can put you in a great mood?

First off is the SinuCleanse Kid's Mist. This has I CANNOT do the bulb syringe, it makes me gag, it is torture for the babe, I CANNOT do it. A friend recommended this all natural saline solution and it is THE BEST. Though my little guy still hates it, it takes 2 seconds and then we are done, much less fighting. It works almost instantly, so have a tissue ready. The saline makes all the boogies come right out! Seriously a life saver!!
I am LOVING my Klipo Cutlery Set from The Container Store. The Container Store is definitely in my top 5 favorite shopping websites, they have so many great products. I take this handy set in my lunch and it even has chopsticks. The best part about it is I can throw it in the dishwasher when I come home from work.
Lastly for today one of my favorite games, The Game of Things. Have you played this yet? It is a riot! We had some friends introduce it to us a few years ago, back then it was only available in Canada, and we couldn't find it anywhere! Christmas of 2009 I saw it at Target and had to get it for my husband, it is such a fun one to play with your friends for game night. I won't go into too much detail about how to play, but you write down answers and have to guess who said what, and seriously, you will be laughing for hours! Telling you about this really makes me want to play, does anyone want to come over for home made pizza and game night?
These are a few of my favorite things, what are yours?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Freebie.... the haul

Okay, I don't actually have a project to blog about today, because it's our bulk trash pickup week, and I've been too busy hauling stuff home. I know some of you are cringing right now, "yuck...someone else's crap!" I just have to say, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", and there isn't anything a little Lysol and paint can't fix-up.

Specimen #1: Check out this awesome VINTAGE lamp!

Specimen #2: A pair of folding chairs...great for lounging outside.

Specimen #3, #4 and #5: A COFFEE table! I don't love the finish on this baby, but the curvy-ness is AWESOME! A pair of glass cabinet fronts, and a tri-fold mirror.

Specimen #6: Smallish dresser with all it's DOVE-TAILED drawers in perfect working order.

Specimen #7: An ENORMOUS frame. The glass was "not included" with this one, but I think I can still make it work.

As you can see, I have a lot of work ahead of me. Be sure to visit on Fridays to see how my projects turn out.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Bebe Shower: Games

There are so many fun baby shower games out there, I always have a hard time deciding which ones to play. I never want to do more than 2, otherwise after food, chatting, and opening presents you would be there all day! One of my favorites that I didn't play is "guess what your eating" where you take the labels off baby food and people have to taste it and try to figure out what they're eating. I also think the candy bars smashed in diapers is funny, but a bit too realistic for my stomach to handle.

The first game I chose is the simple "what's on the tray?" I put the tray out for about 2 minutes, then took it away and had everyone write down what they could remember on the tray. Isn't it sad I had all of this in my diaper bag already? I didn't have to find anything. I had 14 things on the tray: a Binky, washcloth, diaper, socks, cereal container, bulb syringe, baby lotion, a spoon, a Q tip, sippy cup, book, bib, rattle, and baby wash. My SIL that won (I know I have a LOT of SIL's) she remembered all 14!
Here she is posing with her prizes. I went really simple with the prizes, a blue pack of Orbit gum, and blue Jones soda, with a necktie, I think they were cute! I like how the winner matched her prize!
The other game we played is one of my FAVORITES. It is difficult though to round up the supplies, especially if you have a breast fed baby. I managed to round up enough slow flow bottles though to have a bottle drinking race. I gave each person a bottle with an ounce of cranberry juice in it, I used cranberry just for the color, and then everyone raced to see who could drink theirs the fastest. This one is so funny to watch!! Those slow flow nipples really make you work!

I gave the first and second place winners each a prize, here they are posing, what do you know, Steph was the winner!
I had so much fun with this shower! We all had a great time, it is always fun to get together with family and friends! My next party is planning my son's first birthday in April, I can't wait to share it!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

One Dollar Wednesday... use what you have

I was most fortunate to come upon these shoes on a clearance rack last fall. They were DEEPLY discounted...I paid a whopping $1.50 for them.

Well, because we were headed into Fall and Winter, I tucked them away and promptly forgot about them.

We have been having BEAUTIFUL weather here in the desert, and I went digging through my shoe collection just yesterday, trying to find a FUN pair to wear. Imagine my surprise when I happened upon my "yellow peep toes". I was so excited to wear them, but didn't really know how to pull it off. Then I remembered that I had a couple yellow fabric roses, and I went to work.

I pulled out my collection of scrap fabric, chose a gray fabric and white with black polka dots fabric, and quickly "rolled" a couple more roses for myself.

I cut a backing from my gray fabric, and glued my flowers onto the backing...

Let me show you a little secret...

I can't find my brooch pins, but safety pins worked fine!

What do you think? I got lots of compliments when I wore this cute cardigan with my FUN yellow shoes.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Bebe Shower: Menu & Favors

Just thinking about this post is making my mouth water, the food at the shower was so good! We were presented with somewhat of a challenge when we first put together our menu because the guest of honor has gestational diabetes. Not only did we have to think sugar free, but one key point to focus on was making sure there was a good carb to protein balance. Thankfully, my sister in law who helped me prepare the menu (she also graciously let me use her house to host the shower) had some great ideas to make the menu diabetic friendly, while still making it DELICIOUS!

My sister in law made scones that were to die for! She made cranberry pecan scones and served them with orange honey butter, and plain scones and served them with home made raspberry jam, are you hungry yet?? Here they are in all their glory...We also served crust-less mini quiches, avocado dip with veggies, tea sandwiches, and sugar free hot chocolate. I have never made quiche before, but since we were trying to minimize carbs, I found this crust-less recipe that was SO SIMPLE. They were so fun to make and so delish---I think I am going to have to make them as a Christmas Morning tradition, I think they would be lots of fun!

For dessert my sister in law pulled out all the stops for 2 amazing SUGAR FREE cakes. You would've never known they were sugar free, they were heavenly. She did a poke cake with a sugar free cake mix, sugar free jello, sugar free pie toppings, and sugar free whipped cream. I didn't get a picture of the finished product, but here it is ready for topping...
She also made a sugar free pecan pudding cake....YUM.
For the favors I didn't go the sugar free route, but I told my sweet SIL and Mom to be to save this one a couple weeks until after the babe is born. I used my mustache sucker molds to make the fun suckers. I bought some Guittard melting chocolate, and had all the rest of the supplies I needed on hand.

At first I didn't know the best method to melt my chocolate. I tried putting it in one of my glass measuring cups and then melting it on defrost, stirring after every minute. This was a giant PAIN. Then my light bulb clicked and I remembered I have a double boiler for just such an occasion. SO EASY. I suggest that method whenever you are melting chocolate. I just melted the chocolate, poured it into the molds, set them in the freezer for 5 minutes, and they set right up. I think they turned out perfect!
I put them in some cello bags, tied them with baker's twine, and added a tag I made with Photoshop and my Silhouette.
I love how they turned out! Thursday I will wrap up my baby shower posts with the games we played at the shower, they were so fun, stay tuned!

Here are the links to the recipes I used as well as the recipe for the tea sandwiches:
1. Scone recipe is found in this cookbook.

Tea Sandwiches
6 oz cream cheese at room temp
1/4 cup roasted red peppers
Juice from 1 lemon
Cucumbers sliced very thin
Combine cream cheese, peppers, and lemon juice in a food processor. Apply a thin layer to each slice of the bread of your choice (I used pumpernickel, the flavors goes well together). Add cucumbers to one slice of the bread.
I wanted to cut them into the shape of baby onesies, but my slices were too small. Oh well!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Need To Make Last Minute Valentines?: Weekend Website

The big day is Monday, have you made/bought all of your Valentine's Day cards? If you have waited until the last minute and all the "good" Valentine's Day cards at the store are sold out, you could make these fun Valentine's Day suckers that kids and adults will love. I know I am on a bit of a mustache kick lately, and then when I was asked if I had any ideas for a Valentine's party, I thought lips would be an adorable theme! My friend Liv is going to do a lip themed baby shower, wouldn't these be cute favors? I saw these free printouts at Blonde Designs Blog, and couldn't resist sharing them! Angie and Kristin are graphic designers who used to work for Martha. Yes, THE Martha! Their blog is packed full of fun ideas throughout the year, so be sure to stop by and check it out. Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hershey Kiss roses tutorial

I've been wondering for weeks what to get my man for Valentine's Day. I am always at a loss, and then I remember how much he likes food. This year I'm giving him a chocolate rose bouquet, among other things. I thought I would share how I made the Hershey Kiss roses.

Supplies I used:

Red Cellophane
Hershey's Kisses w/ almonds
bamboo skewers
scotch tape
floral tape
scrapbook paper and ribbon for embellishment
Sugar shaker

Start with some bamboo skewers. I painted mine a spring green color. I would have gone darker, but wanted to use stuff I already had.

While your skewers are drying, you'll glue your kisses "bottom to bottom" with a dot of hot glue.

Put a skewer in the end of one kiss and tape it closed around skewer.

Cut your cellophane into squarish pieces (mine were roughly 4in X 4in. VERY roughly)

Fold your cellophane over your Hershey kissed skewer, and twist it closed.

Secure with tape. At this point I wrapped floral tape around the scotch tape for a more finished look, but alas, I forgot to snap a picture of it.

Add greenery by securing it to the skewer with floral tape, or if you're lucky like me, you can just push the skewer through a hole.

I lined my sugar shaker with festive red paper, and filled it with red pistachios...

Add a tag... I'm NUTS about you!

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