Thursday, December 20, 2012


I saw this cool project for etching the bottom of a pint glass.  I thought this would be a perfect gift for my sister-in-law's boyfriend.  I used clear contact paper with my Silhouette (this machine makes so many things so much easier!), etching cream I got from Hobby Lobby forever ago, and a set of 4 small tumblers (the bases were bigger than regular pint glasses) that I got from Target.

as happy as I was at how well the first one came out, I thought I'd make each glass different.
I googled warnings and came across some to use,
and Matt helped out with this one - of course ;)  we're fans of The IT Crowd so I couldn't turn down one involving Rohypnol!  gotta love Moss :)
this one is probably my favorite.  it's a bit of a departure from the original idea, but still fits with the recipient's humor.

these worked up quickly and were surprisingly easy to do.  I've etched glass before and for some reason it was a big headache, but this project went very smoothly and I am excited to give them away :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

bread pudding muffins

being as absent minded as I've been lately I bought a loaf of bread, forgot I had it and bought another!  I'd usually freeze the extra loaf for later, but I noticed the date on the older bag said November 30 :(  it wasn't moldy, didn't smell and was still mostly soft, but the thought of "expired" bread made my sandwich taste bad to me even though it was probably fine.  I figured I'd make cinnamon toast, French toast or just regular toast out of it, but remembered I haven't made bread pudding in forever! I laid out all the slices to make it really dry and stale and made this recipe from Joy of Baking.
I used craisins and raisins, but I forgot to grab pecans at the store and forgot to add the apples (never tried that before and was curious to see how it would taste, oh well!) but it was fine.  doughnuts are still my favorite to use for bread pudding, but the plain wheat wasn't too bad once I put the sauce on top - that's really what makes any bread pudding wonderful!

for the sauce you'll need:

1 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1/4 cup whiskey (Jack Daniels is our favorite)
just enough water to make it liquid

heat a sauce pan up and pour the whiskey in - carefully! - and let it smoke to burn off the alcohol.  toss in the butter and let that melt before adding the sugar.  stir constantly, adding water as needed to make it nice and liquid.  pour over the bread pudding before serving.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

lil fuzzies

I wanted to make something soft for Jack to wear in the hospital, so I did a chunky hat and booties from some fuzzy brown yarn I had and a 9mm hook.  I felt like I was doing it blind because the stitches just sorta disappear, but somehow they came out okay!
I made Leo some booties that were too small for his big feet, so I went a little bigger on these, but watch Jack have smaller feet!  at least if they're big he can grow into them.  I used this video tutorial to make them.
for the hat I did it like the newsboy hat by making a circle and then doing straight sides down from there and just finishing it off when I thought it looked long enough.  I like how the big hook and double crochet give it texture, but it's not too hole-y looking with the fuzzy yarn filling in the spaces.
this set took me much less time to make (maybe about an hour total) and I absolutely love them!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas wreath

right after Thanksgiving we went out to east Texas for the weekend and I swiped a bunch of pine cones to use for another wreath.  I got my wreath form on sale, and picked up some ribbon and poinsettias from the Dollar Tree, and used plastic ornaments I already had on hand.  this was a group project, so I needed it to be less expensive, and it ended up only costing me about $6!
it was really simple to make.  we wrapped ribbon around the wreath and filled in with the pine cones, ornaments, and flowers.  we were a mix of seasoned and green crafters, but everyone's wreaths turned out great!
I'm so happy when my group craft projects turn out well and with minimal injuries :)  staying away from hot glue helps, but because these weren't store bought pine cones they were sharp and there was still the occasional "ouch!" whispered in the making - between the wire twisting, pine cone pokes, and wreath scratches I know I had my fair share!
one thing that I learned doing this wreath was not to turn my nose up to cheaper "silk" flowers.  the Dollar Tree by our house has a bunch of poinsettias, but they're all mushed together and crumpled and just not really all that attractive, so I was a little anxious about finding filler there for these wreaths.  I got some just to see if I could straighten out the petals and it wasn't working :(  then I looked over at the corner of the room and spotted the steamer and thought I'd see if I could get the fabric to relax with a little steam - and it worked awesomely!  I will be going back to get more just to use for holiday arrangements around the house now that I know I can fix them easily :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

baby newsboy hat

I had some yarn left over from the grey and red loafers I crocheted, so I thought I'd make a matching hat.  I google image searched and found this adorable hat :)  I didn't have the size hooks called for in the pattern, and my yarn is a little thicker, so I had to fudge it here and there.
I did the strap across the front the same as the strap for the loafers, I just made it longer.
it was an easy hat to make once I got the sizing right, and I might attempt another in the future, but for now I just like looking at this one and imagining it on Jack's little head :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

ninjabread men!

I saw this kit at World Market and just had to get it :)  I love unique cookie cutters and these were just too cool!  I can't wait to make them.  I'm not a big fan of ginger, but I'm thinking I could do molasses or just plain sugar cookies, too.
maybe we'll make a gingerbread dojo, too!  I've never made a gingerbread house and every year I tell Matt we have to make one (I figured he'd be on board with something that he can build and then eat) but we never end up doing one :(  I need to practice and get good at them for when the kiddos are older. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

baby loafer pattern

I finally made another pair of crochet loafers and took down the pattern - yay!  these can be done all in one color, or change colors as you go.  the first pair just had the sole and edges in a different color, but for the 2nd pair I did the toe decrease in a different color as well.  you can change colors anywhere you want and make them look however you'd like.

I used a size 5.5mm hook and worsted weight yarn, which gave me a sole measuring about 3.5".  I used a slightly smaller weight yarn and the same hook and got 3", so once you've finished the first 2 rounds for the sole, measure it and see what you're at to get the right size before moving up to the sides in round 3.

1st round:
7 fhdc
4 hdc into last st
1 hdc into next 6 sts
4 hdc into last st
sl st to join
total of 22 sts

2nd round:
ch 1
2 hdc in the same st
1 hdc in ea of the next 6 sts
2 hdc in the next st
1 hdc in the next st
2 hdc in the next st
1 hdc in the next st
2 hdc in the next st
1 hdc in ea of the next 6 sts
2 hdc in the next st
1 hdc in the next st
2 hdc in the next st
1 hdc in the next st
sl st to join
total of 28 sts

3rd round:
ch 1
1 hdc in back loop of each st around
sl st to join
total of 28 sts

4th round:
ch 1
1 hdc in each st around
sl st to join, cut yarn and weave in end
total of 28 sts

5th round:
fold shoe in half and find middle of toe, count back 8 sts and attach yarn one st back with a sl st
(you'll have 16 sts around the toe, and 12 sts around the back of the loafer)
ch 1
1 hdc into same st as ch and into the next 11 sts around back of loafer
8 dc2tog into back loop of next 16 sts for the decrease of the toe
sl st to join
total of 20 sts

finishing toe:
ch 1, turn
4 dc2tog into next 8 sts
sl st to join to other side of loafer
1 sc in each st around back of loafer to finish edge
sl st to join at other side
weave in ends

toe strap:
6 fhdc
3 hdc into last st
1 hdc into next 5 sts
3 hdc into last st
sl st to join
total of 17 sts

finishing edge:
1 sc into same stitch as join and in the next 6 sts
2 sc into next 2 sts
1 sc into next 6 sts
2 sc into last 2 sts
sl st to join
weave in ends
total of 17 sts

place the strap across the toe of the loafer and sew in place through buttons on either side.

Monday, November 26, 2012

caramel apples

I remember making caramel apples once as a kid with the cheater wraps ya buy in a package.  I've been wanting to make some so I watched videos and looked at pictures and read tips and tricks from other people, only to fail and go buy the wraps in the end!
I used Granny Smith, Red Delicious, and Jonagold apples. I taped the stickers to the sticks so you knew if you were getting a red or green apple.
I left some plain, added nuts and chocolate to some, and crushed cookies to others.  I liquefied the failed caramel a bit and made dipping sauce for plain slices - this is how I prefer to eat them!  I was told the decorated apples were great, but I think I'd rather just look at them than attempt to eat them :)
I've never been a big fan of apples except for Pink Ladies, but with caramel they're definitely a snack I don't mind eating when I can't get the apples I like!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


often I get wrapped up in the holidays and forget that Thanksgiving is about being thankful and not about what we're going to wear, what I'm going to cook/bake, how the house looks, what time we're eating, why the neighbors have had their freakin' Christmas decorations up since the beginning of November, etc..  I might think of one thing I'm thankful for when asked as we're sitting around the table, but not on a daily basis, and we have so much to be thankful for, so here's my list leading up to Thanksgiving of the things I was grateful for this past month:

Nov. 1st - that Matt came home early from work and took care of me when I was sick.
Nov. 2nd - sleeping in, even for just half an hour.
Nov. 3rd - raspberry sweet tea and cheesecake bites from Sonic.
Nov. 4th - having an extra hour to get ready for church.
Nov. 5th - clean bed sheets.
Nov. 6th - afternoons that I can just do whatever and not worry about what needs to get done.
Nov. 7th - running errands alone.
Nov. 8th - when my dad comes to visit.
Nov. 9th - free time.
Nov. 10th - my handy husband.
Nov. 11th - uninterrupted naps.
Nov. 12th - cooler weather.
Nov. 13th - a holiday to use as an excuse to buy a new outfit!
Nov. 14th - when Leo wants to just sit and read books.
Nov. 15th - sitting outside in the swing.
Nov. 16th - hearing Leo say new words.
Nov. 17th - friends and family.
Nov. 18th - getting photos printed in an hour.
Nov. 19th - our awesome car.
Nov. 20th - visiting with Nana.
Nov. 21st - changes.
Nov. 22nd - mom's cooking.
hope you all have a wonderful day!

Monday, November 19, 2012

breakfast treat

I buy a can of biscuits for Saturday mornings and usually make egg and cheese sandwiches with them, but one morning I woke up thinking about monkey bread.  I only had one can of biscuits and the recipe called for two, so I looked to see what else I could make that would be comparable.  I found myself on the Pillsbury recipe site and found this recipe.  I tweaked it a bit and left out the nuts and lemon (didn't have those) and used craisins instead of raisins (didn't have those either) and added brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and doubled the butter! O:)  the biscuits I had were the honey butter layer biscuits, which are bigger than what the recipe called for.
I put the craisins in the bottom of the pan, threw the sugar coated biscuit pieces on top, sprinkled the rest of the sugar and spice on top of that and drizzled the melted butter over the whole thing.  it smelled sooo good while it was baking!
Leo kept checking the oven window for me and saying "Mmmmm!" :)  when it came out it wasn't very gooey and caramelized like I expected, so I made a simple glaze and drizzled that on top and then I was saying "Mmmmm!", too :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

fall decorating

for most of this year I haven't felt much like doing anything around the house, so I wasn't interested in any sort of decorating until Leo's birthday.  now that that's over I'm excited about Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations :)
I loved the wreath Recaptured Charm did and tried to make one like it for myself.  it didn't come out how I thought it would, but it's still okay... as long as I don't look at hers for too long and see how much better the original inspiration is! ;)
I got my coffee filters from the Dollar Tree and they were white, but I was going to spray paint the wreath dark brown anyway so it didn't matter... or so I thought!  I think next time I'd dye them before I start so I don't have to worry about the white peeking through.
I found my ribbon, butterflies, berries and spriggy stuff from the Dollar Tree, too, and pine cones and feathers at Michael's.
I made a little table from two flower pots and a plate to fill up the corner of my porch by the door. I spray painted the pots with the leftovers from the wreath and bolted them together, then set a green Dollar Tree plate on top.  I'm gonna keep an eye out for good deals on more interesting looking pots from now on.  maybe make a bird bath or use them as plant stands.  for now I like it as my faux pumpkin holder, which I got at Michael's - 60% off :)  they're staying whole this year, but maybe next fall I'll do a flower arrangement in the bigger one.
lastly, I used shelf paper and cut out "Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart" on my silhouette and put that on the door.  I like using the shelf liner because it's cheap, but it takes longer to apply than regular vinyl.  still looks good, though, and I think it's my favorite part :)
all my decorating was done outside besides my glass pumpkin that I fill with peanut butter cups and Twix - that stays close to me in the living room O:)

Monday, November 12, 2012

soup recipe

Leo used to love butternut squash when he was eating mush, but then he discovered bread and other good things and never went back.  unfortunately I had a leftover squash that never got used.  I'm not sure how long I had it for, but it's been quite a while!  it never showed signed of going bad so I never threw it out... but I think it'd possibly been a year.  the skin was still firm and it didn't smell, so I cut it open to see how scary it was inside.  it was fine!  it was a crummy squash to start with because it had so many seeds in it :(  but it smelled good so I baked it up and made soup.

I found some tasty sounding recipes online and just sorta mixed and matched with what I had in the pantry.
I used:
  • 1 medium/smallish butternut squash - pre-baked
  • 3 cups chicken broth (made from chicken bullion)
  • 1 cup water
  • water from a can of peas
  • one apple, peeled and cubed
  • 2 small potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 tsp of nutmeg
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • dash of Gourmet Burger seasoning (I use this in practically everything!)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • peas
I boiled the water and threw in the bullion cubes, cut up the potatoes and apple and boiled them in the broth and added the spices.  once the apples and potatoes were soft enough to mash I added the pre-baked butternut squash, cream, and the water from the can of peas and let that all simmer covered for a while. when it was time to eat I tossed the peas in to warm them up and served it with potato bread.
it was so good!  the day ending up being warm, but we were all a little under the weather/worn out so it really hit the spot.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


we did some baking on vacation and made a pumpkin pie and a buttermilk pie.  when we got home to the chilly weather I was geared up to bake some more pies!  I didn't feel like making a crust so I searched for a  crustless buttermilk pie recipe that doesn't use Bisquick, as I generally don't have that on hand.  this one was super easy to put together and I didn't really need any "special" ingredients.  I have powdered buttermilk and it works just fine.
this pie doesn't have a buttermilk pie look to it at all, and actually looks a lot like cornbreadthe recipe said they made two pies, so I figured I need to divided the batter in two plates, but they came out kinda thin and the edges were dark, so to fix it I stacked them! O:)  they tasted alright, but it's nothing like what mom makes.
I tried a crustless no-bake pumpkin pie recipe, too.  I had the can of easy pumpkin pie mix that just needs eggs and evaporated milk, so I nixed the spices and sugar this recipe called for.
it cut beautifully and stayed together on the plate, the texture wasn't quite the same as a baked pie (more like a Jell-o pudding pie), and I did miss the crust, but it's something I'd try again if I didn't have a crust or didn't want to use the oven.
I'm gonna try this recipe next. this one looks really good, too - just gonna have to set aside one day a week through the end of the year to bake all the stuff I want to try, I guess! ;)

Monday, November 5, 2012

baby bump

it's hard to believe I'm in my last trimester already.  I'm tempted to say the time flew by, but when I look back at the earlier weeks I'm remembering how it seemed to drag on.  in comparison it's probably not as bad as the first time, but still no cake-walk.  the beginning seems to be the worst part for me since I tend to be sick for so long, so it's nice to be past that part and just doing the taking-it-easy and waiting part ;)
some things are a little different and some stuff is very familiar, but I'm suffering a little more this time from baby brain, and I think Matt is, too ;)  Matt actually seems to be sharing a lot of my symptoms this time around, and some that are typical of pregnancy but I'm not even having!  I had a dream he was the pregnant one - if only! ;)  11 weeks +/- to go :D

Thursday, November 1, 2012

hugs and kisses

I really enjoy watching Beadifulnights' tutorials on youtube.  they're clear and easy to follow and when I bead along while watching I feel like I all of a sudden have something cool I couldn't have figured out on my own when I'm finished.  I loved the Hugs and Kisses bracelet when I saw it and wanted to try it, not really expecting it to turn out, but it did!
I used these earrings as color inspiration and made the bracelet to match as best as I could get it to.
when I was finished I decided it needed a necklace set to go with it so I searched for a pendant and found one with a couple of smaller ones that could be used as earrings that worked great with the colors of the bracelet.
it still looked like it was lacking so I added another necklace with some simple strands of beads and that did the trick! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

big boy room

I decided since we're having another boy I didn't need to do much to the nursery and we could just put Leo in a new big boy room, so I've been working on a robot themed room for a while now and we did the big reveal at his party.  since we mostly got him clothes (with the exception of a tricycle from Matt) his room was his big gift.
I made a silver velvet robot with doll joint arms, legs, and head.  I added buttons, safety eyes, and did some embroidery.  I wasn't too confident how it'd come out when I was making the pattern, but I was happy with it in the end.
I found a loft bed that's not quite as high as a bunk bed, so we felt good about him being able to sleep in it, especially since he's recently become really good at climbing the ladders to the big slides at the park that are about twice as tall.  I worried most of the first night he was going to try to climb down the ladder in the middle of the night and fall, but he did good.  he did get himself down the next morning and I found him playing with his toys, so I guess he made it down okay!
I used the flat sheets that I didn't use on his bed to make curtains with velcro tabs to put around the bottom of the bed to make a tent that hides his new toy box (craigslist - $35!) and bean bag arm chair.

I put his old curtains (two flat twin sheets with clip on rings) in his new windows, and I found a gear rug at Home Depot for $7 for the floor.
I hung a drip pan from his wall to use with the gear magnets he got at his last birthday and I put a Magna Doodle on the wall with command velcro strips.
I put about 300 glow in the dark stars all over his ceiling and walls. when the room is dark it's really cool, but right now it kinda scares him to be in the dark so we keep a nightlight on.  maybe one day he'll enjoy them!
we hung floating shelves, a collection of water guns I painted, a Red Ranger Ray Gun, and I added some wall decals of planets to fill in blank spots on the walls around the stars.  I also put a frisbee around the smoke detector to "dress it up".  the plastic had yellowed and looked crummy, but with the ring of green around it it's not as noticeably different in color from the ceiling.
I made a quilt from some robot fabric and a fuzzy blanket with batting in the middle.  I did a stair step design around the blocks to give it a patchwork look without having to outline each square.  I like how the back came out :)  I dropped my feed dogs for the first time and did the lines "free motion" - it was easier than shifting and turning the whole quilt every 4 inches, which is what I did for the first few rows and realized it wasn't going to work the more bulk I got into.
I searched all over for a pet net, but I guess they don't make them anymore :( so I made one from a mesh laundry bag I got from the Dollar Tree and leftover robot fabric that I made into bias tape.  I cut 2 triangles (I thought double the fabric would be sturdier) to fit in my corner and finished the edges with the bias tape, added some eyelets and screwed it into the wall.
I think I like the paint most of all - it's a metallic silver from Martha Stewart.  it was awful to put on, but came out looking really cool.  Matt said we won't use it again (he's the one who painted) so if I decide to go metallic anywhere else in the house I'm on my own!  I think it'll be a color that will grow with Leo, and the room's not too totally robotted out so if he needs a change later on we don't have to re-do everything.
all-in-all I'm happy with it and maybe one day when he starts verbalizing his opinions we'll find out what he thinks of it! ;)