Thursday, May 20, 2010


Ok, I know this is going to seem out of the blue, and it kinda is. As of today, I am going to be taking a temporary vacation from this blog. I say vacation, because I really hope to return to it in the near future and have lots of fun things to share. I have appreciated all the great comments and support thus far, but I have decided that I'm spending alot more time than I really need to be online. I've also really been neglecting my other blog, which is how I share what I'm doing with those I love. I get behind posting over there because I feel like I have to post here first, and then all of a sudden it's been weeks since I posted over there. So, I'm taking a little break to really try to get some things done around the house that I've been neglecting. When I do that (or the kids move out) I'll be back and ready to fill your computer screens with joy once again. In the meantime, you can check out my other blog here (if you don't already) to keep up with all the zany happenings in my life. Thanks for understanding. You're the best!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Teddy Bears?

Well, I'll have to apologize again for the long delay in my posting. If you check my other blog, you'll see a little of what I've been up to. Lots of activities coupled with my hubby hogging the computer when I am home has meant very little time for me to be online. ANYWAY, I was reading an article about freezing on msn the other day, and while most of it was just odd -One of the things on the list was panty hose. Really? Is anyone who can actually get on the internet even wearing panty hose anymore? (If you are in fact wearing panty hose at this very moment, I sincerely apologize and implore you to take them off!) - but one item was really interesting. It was Teddy Bears. Actually, it was stuffed animals in general. You know, the ones you really can't throw in the wash. I'm generally not very concerned about sterilizing everything my kids touch (as you can tell if you've been to my house lately), but when you start to think about your sweet kiddo drooling and "loving" on that teddy all night, every night...well who knows what could be on that thing? According to the story, a few hours in the freezer should kill any yuckies little Teddy is harboring. I don't really have any way of confirming this scientifically, so I'm going on trust here, but I thought I'd pass it along for anyone who has a kiddo with a "lovey". And if you're still sleeping with Mr. Fuzzy, well that's a whole other subject on an entirely different blog.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Ok. It's been forever since I've posted, and I'm sorry to leave my many followers with a gaping whole in your lives for so long. Never fear! I'm back from my sojourn in TX, and ready to share a little tip with you. Last weekend, we had a little party for my little one's 1st birthday. We wanted to make homemade ice cream (my hubby's specialty), and as you know, you need alot of ice to make homemade ice cream. Well, we decided that instead of buying a bag of ice at the last minute like we normally would, we would think ahead and put our freezer to work. We go through LOTS of milk here, (you could really use any plastic container you didn't want back) and so every time we finished off a gallon, we filled it up with water and stuck it down in the freezer. Now you don't want to fill it all the way to the top, or it will overflow (this happened on one of ours, but it just froze onto the outside. Not too messy). When you're ready to make your ice cream, you just drop the jugs on the ground a few times or whack it with a hammer or something. I think it took us about 2 "gallons" for each batch of ice cream. Plus, keeping your freezer full actually helps it run more efficiently. Many sources suggest filling empty corners of your freezer with jugs of water to help everything freeze better (and keep things colder longer in the event of a power outage. Plus we saved ourselves the hassle and money we would have spent buying a bag of ice for the ice cream. Who would have though? Ice in the freezer!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dr. Seuss Blocks

I had decided I wanted to make some wooden blocks for my daughter's nursery, partially to serve as decor on a shelf and then once the baby is old enough to be played with by her. I had hoped to do 3"-4" size blocks, but I was unsuccessful in finding those at any of the local stores. I found a place online to order them in 3.5" size, but they were $7.25 each. Ouch. I opted to go with the 99 cent 2" size from Michaels. I chose 8 for no particular reason other than that's how many they had on hand. It turned out to be the perfect amount.I sanded the edges of the blocks first to make them smoother. I knew that the paper wouldn't cover the corners and I didn't want to see the wood color underneath, so I painted the edges white. I figured white would look best since each side would have a different color scheme to it.While the paint dried I started cutting out my images. Since the blocks are 2", I cut the images slightly smaller so the painted edges would show and I could get a good adherence to the block without paper hanging off the side.I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I made sure that each block had roughly the same kinds of images: one white or yellow background, one pink or red, one blue, one with letters, one with orange, and one with green. I can't help myself. I rearranged the images until I was satisfied with the groupings. Again there is really no good reason for this. I just thought it would make stacking and showing the blocks more interesting.I didn't want the edges of the pictures to be hard against the white, so I pulled out my distress inks and inked the edges of all the images. Now for the Mod Podge. I'm dangerously low on Mod Podge now and I still have a few more ideas in mind for projects. I had to do three sides at a time because you have to have somewhere to hold the blocks while gluing the images down. I painted glue onto the block first, and then laid the image down and centered it how I wanted it before painted glue over the top of the image. You can push and pull the image how you want it to be before you glue the top of it, so make sure you do this.Since there was going to be glue on the edges of my blocks and I didn't want them sticking to my desk, I dug eight bottle caps out of our recycle bin and used them as stands to set the blocks on while the glue dries. I'm handy like that.Just look at how they turned out! I'm so thrilled with the finished product. There are eight blocks with six sides each...and if you want to know how many possible combinations that equals you'll have to ask my husband. He's the mathematician of the household.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Clearance Craft

I headed to Hobby Lobby last week in search of a 5x7 frame for a gift I was giving my grandmother. I found an okay one for $16.99, but since I'm on a budget I was hoping to find something a little cheaper without it looking cheap. The fairly ornate frames that would have really worked best for my photo were $24.99. I made my way to the clearance aisle (because the #1 rule of shopping in Hobby Lobby is that you always check the clearance aisle) and found this 8x10 frame for $5.44:
The mat was okay but not the proper theme for my photo, and it was also designed for a 4x6 photo, not a 5x7. Off to the framing department I headed. They carry pre-cut mats in a variety of colors. The size I needed was $1.99.The mat itself was a little bit boring, so I raided my scrapbook stash to personalize the frame a bit and make it more decorative. I didn't Mod Podge it since it will be displayed behind glass. The finished product turned out perfect and I made a lovely gift for my grandmother for $7.43. Don't dismiss a great find just because it's not exactly what you are looking for. Sometimes with a little imagination you can turn that bargain into something wonderful.

Cut Down the Clutter

How many times do you read through a magazine and see 2 or 3 pages you'd like to save, so you just put the entire magazine in the rack and it stays there forever until you can't even remember which page you liked. Or if your like me, you folded the top corner, but when you look at the page again you have no idea what it was that stood out in the first place. If you're also like me in that you get your favorite mag every month, you know what kind of back log this can create. So, here's my solution. I'll confess here that you could probably condense this into one step, but I like to prolong the enjoyment of the magazines as long as possible.

I lead a simple life here, people.

Anyway, as I read through the first time, I just dog-ear left and right as I see things that interest me. Then the next time or two I read through it, I think about whether or not I'll actually need the info on that page at a later date or not. If I do, I make a note, circle something, draw an arrow, whatever. I keep the whole thing around just in case I want to glance at it later, but when the new one comes, BEFORE I read it, I go through the old one and tear out the pages on which I'd made my notes. Now you can tuck the pages in a cute little accordion folder like this one I got at an office supply store...

Or you could use a binder and page protectors. Or just a paper clip and stick them in a pretty box or tin. You can go crazy organizing them by room/project/date (Yes, I've done this.) or not. At least now you have only the newest copy of your magazine(s) sitting out, but still have the stuff you wanted from the older ones close at hand and (somewhat) organized (looking).

So tell me. What magazine are you fond of right now?

Friday, April 23, 2010


I thought I'd heard somewhere that you could freeze bananas, but I've discovered that's not really the case. I mean, you can freeze them, but when I thawed them out to use them, no lie, it was like banana pudding encased in the peel. Now, I made banana bread with them so as not to waist them, and it turned out just great. So, you could definitely use this method with newer bananas if you wanted to get them soft for banana bread without having to wait for them to ripen. However, unless there is some trick I'm missing, bananas are definitely going under the Not That! section of my Freeze This page. Just in case you're looking for a great basic banana bread, here's a great one from the King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary book. It calls for whole wheat flour, but I usually do half whole wheat and have all-purpose to cut down on the density.

Whole Wheat Banana Bread
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 C. mashed ripe banana (2 or 3 bananas)
1 t. vanilla
2 C. King Arthur Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 C chopped walnuts (optional, pecans are also good)

1. Cream butter and sugar in a pretty big bowl.
2. Add vanilla, bananas, and eggs. Get your mix on.
3. Mix your dry ingredients (no nuts yet).
4. Stir wet stuff into the dry (now add the nuts). "Let's get nuts!" (Name that tv show quote)
5. Pour into a greased 9x5" loaf pan (or muffin tin) and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50ish minutes (less for muffins). Let it cool for 5-10, and then take the bread out to cool on a rack.

Sorry no picture, but you probably know what banana bread looks like, right? Enjoy!