Saturday, November 17, 2012

Diaper/Wipe Travel Clutch

Follow Me on Pinterest

Diaper/Wipe Travel Clutch

Consider this for your next unique baby gift.  I made one for myself and liked it so much that I made another for my husband's cousin who had a sweet baby girl. Because of it, I was asked to make 4 more for others' baby gift giving! 

The clutches are about 9" x 12", lined with a coordinating fabric, have a button closure, wrist strap, and two front pockets. They nicely accommodate a travel case of wipes 4/5 diapers, and small extras (travel size powders and creams, nuks, and such).

It's particularly handy when you're out-n-about and don't want to lug the entire diaper bag into the restroom. It also fits nicely in my hobo bag, so I throw it in there when making a trip to the grocery store (not bringing anything is like playing Russian roulette!)

$15, S/H extra

Crocheted Leg Warmers

Follow Me on Pinterest

Leg Warmers: Cute and yet functional

The holidays are around the corner and it's about to get crazy in here! I had the awesome opportunity to go to "quilt camp" with my mom for a few days, so I planned some projects to complete - One of which was my daughters Christmas outfit which will be revealed in it's entirety in December ( I love suspense :). 

I got a free pattern for the leg warmers here. Again, I haven't crocheted a thing since high school and still didn't think this was too difficult. It helped that my mom, a crocheting maniac, was by my side throughout the entire first leg warmer. Thanks mom!

I did deviate from the pattern to suit my taste. Rather than end with the cuff as directed, I finished with a scallop edge, which I think works better for short little legs. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fluffy Pancakes with to-die-for Orange Sauce

Follow Me on Pinterest
Our breakfast this morning was so yummy that I wanted to pass along some recommendations you might want to try.


The pancakes were from an post. I once made them when my nephew visited, and he declared them to be the BEST pancakes he's ever had! Ok, so he's only 9, but still... They freeze and reheat well, so when I make a batch, I change the serving to 16 for extras. Here's the pin for the recipe on my Pinterest page.


Orange Sauce

For our 7th wedding anniversary my husband and I stayed at a great B&B. We were served pancakes with an orange sauce topping that was to die for. I wanted more pancakes just so I could have more sauce! The hostess was so kind as to share her recipe which I can now pass on to you! If you try it, I would love to hear your reviews, so check back!


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • dash salt
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 cup thawed orange juice concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • In a saucepan on the stove mix together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt and stir.
  • Add the boiling water, again stirring over medium-high heat until the sauce is thickened.
  • Add the orange juice concentrate and bring to a boil.
  • Remove from the stove and stir in the butter.

5Recipe should make about 1 cup of orange sauce.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hauntingly Fun Halloween Party

Follow Me on Pinterest
This is an insanely busy time of year for our family. My husband was out of state for a week, and I'll be gone traveling for work for 10 days straight. We might be short on time but not on fun! We managed to squeeze in a family Halloween party into one of our nights all together. On the agenda was pumpkin carving and fun eats.

Our Hauntingly Fun Family Halloween Party Menu 

  • Jack-o'-lantern Quesadillas - we  used sun-dried tomato basil tortillas and added cooked chicken
  • Acorn Squash
  • Halloween Snack Mix - Mix together cashews, peanuts, raisins, candy corn and carmel corn rice snacks in a box. Done. Ok, so you're probably thing rice cakes, rally? I know, I know - not nearly as good as the real thing, but hey, we're having cupcakes too!)
  • Funfetti Halloween Cupcakes with Frosting- Compliments of Pillsbury
  • Ghoulish Punch - My son thought this was so fun!

We'll be wrapping up the night with a game or two. If you're family has any Halloween traditions, I would love to hear about them!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Egg Carton Halloween Bat & Pumpkin Decorations

Follow Me on Pinterest

1 egg carton = 5 fun Halloween decorations!

I was whipping up some chocolate carrot cupcakes when I used up a carton of eggs. I was about to throw it in the trash, but then memories from years back entered my mind. Ah ha! Egg carton decorations - bats, pumpkins, ghosts!

My son was eager to help - the master painter. Cutting the egg carton and hot gluing was done by myself. The activity, which resulted in 2 bats and 3 pumpkins, took a little over an hour. All in all, a lot of fun. 

The pictures below show the project step-by-step.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Spooky halloween decoration on a dime...

Follow Me on Pinterest

or less! I actually didn't have to buy a thing :)

My theory on seasonal decorating is - If I'm going to take the time to put it up, it's going to be out for at least a month! So I like to get my Halloween decor going the end of September. Most of what I have in storage was bought on the post-Halloween clearance rack years ago. I wanted something fresh to add to my spread but don't want to spend the dough (hey, I'm already looking towards Christmas :) I saw a picture of a similar project and thought I could do it on the cheap... Turned out, I had everything on hand, so it essentially cost me nothing except for my time!
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Pumpkin carving tool
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Tissue paper
  • Black construction paper
  • Hooks
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • String of white lights
To Do
  1. Sketch/trace spooky eye designs onto the sides of the boxes. If your display will be viewed from multiple angles, you might want to carve out more than one side. 
  2. Using a pumpkin carving tool, cut out the traced areas. I was surprised at how well it worked!
  3. Paint the outside of the boxes. I used some blue paint leftover from our family room. 1 coat was enough for the brown boxes but the glossy box needed 2 or 3.
  4. Cut out blocks of tissue paper large enough to cover each set of eyes, then taped them to the inside of the box. Repeat for each set of eyes. My boxes used only a half sheet of tissue paper. Also, I only had white tissue paper, so I colored it with a yellow highlighter - thought it was a bit more eery, wahahahah!
  5. Cut out pupils from black construction paper. I just winged it - no stencil, no drawing, just cut. The pupils were glue directly onto the front side of the tissue paper taped in place.
  6. Tape hooks (I used 3M removables) to the front, inside of the box to hang lights from. I taped (1) hook in the 2 smaller boxes and (2) hooks in the large box. 
  7. Stack the boxes... this was the trickiest part. I wanted all 3 boxes to be one unit, but also needed a way to get the lights into the upper 2 boxes. I cut (2) 2" circles using the pumpkin carver on the top of the large bottom box where each box would sit above.
  8. Feed lights through the bottom box and hang from hooks. Test the string of lights.
  9. Now, feed lights through the bottom box and hang from hooks. Then thread portions of the light string up through the holes and into the top boxes, also hanging lights from hooks. 
  10. Tape/Glue top boxes to bottom box to secure.
  11.  Plug lights in and enjoy your glowing accomplishment :) 
Have a crafty Halloween... This won't be the last post for the season - you can be sure of that

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Angry Birds-day Party!

Follow Me on Pinterest

Naomi's my name & cake makin' is my game!
Cake. It’s the most important part of the party – at least to my son anyway. He had very high expectations and I think that I delivered! I baked (1) 9 x 13 cake for the base.

First piece of advice - bake your cakes in advance and freeze. Mine were prepared a couple weeks before! The cake frosts best when frozen, less pesky crumbs and something you can cross off your list before party mania hits!
Assembling the cake started 2 days in advance of the party– I knew it might be a doozy! When I had the chocolate buttercream frosting whipped up and the marshmallow fondant prepared, I got the cake out and went to town.

I first applied the layer of chocolate frosting, then top it off with a rollout of the green fondant. This is my favorite fondant recipe – EASY PEAZY LEMON SQEEZY.
Then the real work began. I made a pan of rice krispy bars. I swear those things are the only treat that NEVER turn out – hard as a rock. Thankfully, this worked in my favor, because the form of the 8 characters, pig hill, sticks, and sling shot that I made held well!

A recipe of quick pour chocolate frosting coated the hill, sticks and slingshot.

I colored and applied fondant to each of the characters, carefully molding each feature according to photos I found on the internet. No lie, this took a good 4 hours… doesn’t help I’m a raging perfectionist either. When all the pieces were assembled and dried, everything was placed on top of the cake. And the messy bottom edges were hidden with milk duds.
Cupcakes. Nothing fancy here. Just regular chocolate cupcakes with frosting. What made them special were the Angry Bird toppers. They were pictures that I printed, and ever so carefully and sterily covered with contact paper and cut out.

Prize Punch Box. We played pin-the-beak on the bird and musical chairs to the Angry Bird theme song. The winners (and everyone was a winner :) picked a hole to punch through for a prize on the other side. For starting out as an appliance box and tissue paper, it was a BIG hit. Stop back for a tutorial to construct one yourself!

Pin-the-beak on the Angry bird. For this I simply found a large image of an Angry Bird on the internet, copy/pasted it into an 11x17 document, printed it, and covered it with contact paper. I did basically the same thing with the beak and added names of all the children attending the party. Fun-tac made the beak stick.
Balloons. Purchased white, green, blue, red and yellow helium balloons from the Dollar Store. I printed Angry Bird faces from a website with free templates, then cut out, and taped the pieces to the balloon – kind of like putting together Mr. Potato head.

Balloon Weights
The birthday boy colored white lunch bags green. I cut out some smaller pig faces, and together we glued them to the bag. We added rocks to the inside of the bag, and stapled the balloon ribbon inside. Cheap and fun.

Play masksThese were a custom creation I made the patterns for. Not too difficult since they all used felt (just different colors) and same base shape. It was just the features (beak, eyes, hair, etc.) that had to be customized for each. Sewed in a piece of elastic so it would fit just about anyone’s head. It’s been 4 months since the birthday and my son STILL wears it. Note to self: masks are a hit and have a long play life.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Printable "1" Birthday Cupcake Decal

Follow Me on Pinterest
I had a request for the "1" Birthday Cupcake decals show in the It's a Pink Party post. I used them to decorate the mason jars people drank lemonade from. On that page I now have a link to a .pdf document you can download and print at home, or you can get it here.

Happy hump day!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Upcycled Jewelry Cabinet Organizer

Follow Me on Pinterest

New home for earrings, necklaces & scarves

Upcycle an old bathroom cabinet for $30ish

Is this a steal of a deal or what?! The biggest investment was my time, but for this project I did have to purchase:
  • an old but good solid wood bathroom cabinet for just $12
  • new hardware for about another $5
  • fabric to line the inside cost $10
  • hooks, wire and upholstery tacks for the interior was probably about $5
Cabinet before its makeover

Other items I used but had on hand were:
  • Hand sander
  • Sand paper
  • Wood stain (I used two 2 shades on the doors)
  • Varnish
  • Foam brushes

What did I do to take it from drab to fab?
  1. Cabinet after its makeover
    Sprayed it down, cleaned it up
  2. Removed all hardware and doors
  3. Sanded down the main cabinet and doors with course paper
  4. Applied first coat of stain
  5. Sanded down the main cabinet and doors with finer sand paper
  6. Applied stain for second time
  7. Applied 2 coats of varnish over the course of 2 days
  8. Lined the interior with velour type fabric with spray adhesive
  9. Added hooks to hang necklaces and formed gold wire to hang earrings
  10. Put the doors and handles back on
  11. Hung it on the wall in our room and admired it
  12. Joyfully filled it with my accessories that had been sprawled out over our dresser
  13. Hung scarves strewn in my closet on the handy dandy dowel beneath the cabinet
  14. Again sat back admired my hard work :)
Stain striping the doors
I decided to get a little creative with the doors. I did a little experimenting on the inside of the door first where later I could cover up all the "testing" with fabric. Using a ruler and Exacto knife, I scored the door in diagonal lines. This step was important in order create that crisp separation between the 2 stain colors, otherwise the stains tended to bleed in to one another.
Earrings hang tidy around empty baby food jars.

I love, love, love this upcyled bathroom cabinet - I can SEE all my options and since the earrings are paired up and the necklaces have enough room to hang freely, I don't spend 5 minutes trying to find matchers and untangling a mess! For my hoop-type earrings that don't hang well, I hung them around the top of a baby food jar (I seriously have to have a post about the many uses for baby food jars!).

*If you're a criminal viewing this, you can see I'm not very fancy so it's not worth your time to break-n-enter :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Superman cake for a Super Godchild :)

Follow Me on Pinterest
One of our very special Godson's turned 8 yesterday. Seriously where does the time go? I remember the long drive to Wisconsin to meet him. He had a head of dark brown-black straight hair. He was as content as he was handsome! While his hair has changed to a dirty blond and he's grown to nearly my height, he's still as sweet and fun as ever. Have a Super Birthday young man :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

It's a Pretty Pink Party!

Follow Me on Pinterest
Birthday girl in her custom made pink birthday tutu and headband with the proudest mommy around :)
Dessert & Gift Table with 1st Year Slideshow.

Happy 1st Birthday Baby Doll!

  • Handcrafted tutu birthday Onesie - $10.00
  • Treat bags - $10.00
  • Homemade cake and cupcakes with pearls and sprinkles - $8.00
  • 9 Helium Balloons - $4.00
  • Pink fabric $3.00
  • #1 Pom-Pom Decoration - $2.00
  • Celebrating my daughter's 1st birthday with friends and family in a very pink way  - PRICELESS!
I had good intentions for posting all the fun photos from my daughter's 1st birthday blast immediately after it was over... but I was tired... really tired... 

Now I'm recovered and am enthusiastically sharing party ideas! Photos and brief descriptions of the extravaganza are below. If you have questions about making/arranging anything you see, please don't hesitate to tell me and I'll share what I know!

Preparing for the Party:
(with a little help of my super amazing husband)

For the backdrop 2 pieces of lattice were hung - our garage isn't very pretty! I draped 2 tables cloth I had on hand, and for the table runners I bought a cheap remnant piece of velour pink fabric and cut a couple narrow strips.

The dessert table offered guests pearl and sprinkle covered chocolate and strawberry cupcakes, strawberry wafers, or jello-angel food cake - YUM!
The cupcake stand was spruced up with leftover tulle by simply knotting pieces around part of the frame and fluffing.

Guest of honor had her own ball shaped dig in cake. I filled (2) small, round pyrex bowls 1/3 full and baked. When cooled, both cakes were leveled to the same height. Frosting was then slathered on the wider side of one cake and the other cake was set on top. It was finished with star tips, white pearls and pink sprinkles.

Every princess deserves a birthday throne! I traced the highchair cover to make a simple pattern, and stitch two cream colored fabric pieces back-to-back. For the ruffle I cut a really long 5" strip, made a basting stitch down the middle, pulled the top thread and VIOLA - a pretty ruffle. Then it got even easier... I put the cream cover on the highchair and used hot glue to adhere the ruffle.

The beverage wagon included pink lemonade and water. This cart is very special to me as it was made by my grandpa, so I try to use it on special occasions. My hubby cut a board to fit across the top. I used some more of the pink velour fabric to cover it.
Guests sipped their beverages out of pink straws in mason jars borrowed  from my awesome mom. Pink ribbon wound around the center of the jar, then overlapped and adhered the ends together with a dab of hot glue. Squeezed another dab of glue on top of the ribbon to add the "1" cupcake medallion - Download pdf here to print your own!

 Tables were decorated with paisley pink and white table covers. Balloons were also weighted down by a baby food jar but filled with pink and purple Mike & Ike candies (I received a ton free from work :)

Coffee filter flower center pieces with a floral stem were stuffed into a fabric filled baby jar (I knew I was keeping those for something!). I used this tutorial to make them, but I used diluted paint rather than dye to color them.

Treat bags, or "goodie" bags as my son refers to them, for the kids matched the rest of the party. White lunch bags were decorated with the cupcake medallion and pink ribbon. The bag was filled with small but fun things like homemade play dough, bag of candy, note pad and stickers.
Mmmmm................. Princess LOVES cake!