Thursday, December 29, 2011

Silhouette Cameo Giveaway

One of my favorite blogs to follow is I heart naptime! She's got an awesome giveaway going on right now for a Silhouette Cameo. I absolutely LOVE my silhouette and would LOVE to have the new cameo!

Hop on over and check out the giveaway HERE!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Snowman tutu

Do you actually need a good reason to make a tutu? I think not. But in this case, I fell in love with this fabulous idea and I needed a photo for our Christmas cards.
So I whipped it up one evening and took Love Bug to the mall to see Santa (um.....hearing Santa tell you that your outfit is adorable puts an extra big smile on your face ---and she loved it too ;)

Super easy....I did the tie style tutu on a piece of ribbon. About 20 inches each, folded in half. Two layers of tulle for each strip as I attached them. Then I went back and added another layer between every two knots with tulle cut a bit more than half that length to make it fluff upward more.

A pair of tights and boots, a scarf, and a long sleeved white shirt with a couple of felt circles (I wanted to do black pom poms but couldn't find ones big enough in black- and didn't have time to make them.)
The hat was a bit more daunting. I used adhesive felt and cut two pieces in a circle and put them together sticky side in. Then I cut a piece of felt in a strip (eyeballed the length) and sewed it together on the ends to make a tube. I cut out a smaller circle based on my "tube of felt" size and sewed it on. Turn the whole thing outside out. I hotglued it to the bigger circle and added the ribbon- also with hot glue. It's bobby pinned to her head. The pic of the inspired outfit had it attached to a headband, but Love Bug is anti-headband.

Cute, no?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Jingle all the way

Cute little Christmas decoration I made after falling in love with one on Pinterest. I was inspired copied it from here. Why waste energy on being creative when there are SO MANY ideas online that you can use? Obviously, I had to recreate the vinyl myself. I used my Silhouette and it was my first vinyl project. I can't call it a complete fail since I did manage to make a cute plaque...BUT I did use almost half my roll of vinyl trying to get it working right in the machine. Lessons learned the hard way are never forgotten.

My bucket list of holiday crafts and yummy food is entirely too long. If all I get done is this one project (okay---and also the rest of the homemade gifts I need to help kiddos with) then I'll be happy.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanksgiving shirt and tutu

My little Love Bug loves to wear tutus as much as I love to see her in them!!
I just *had* to make one in fall colors for Thanksgiving, and of course she'd need a shirt to go with it.

I also made a mini version for a friend who had a baby a few weeks ago.

Can't be too over-dressed for a feast, can you??

Fall/Autumn themed candy buffet- the sequel

I did another fall themed buffet for our youth group. This year there are a lot more items that were individually wrapped. I found it harder to find fall candy clearanced after Halloween this year! I pick up a few cute baskets, ribbon and the center piece marked down at Joann fabrics. It's hard to see, but there are lights on the white table cloth, and I used an 18 inch netting/tulle cut in half lenthwise to also put along with the lights. Then I added the leaf garland.

Happy Autumn!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Angel wings

We have a rule at our house: No one over the age of 12 can trick or treat without a valid costume. Valid= time spent planning and making costume exceeds 4 hours.

That being said, this year Teenager decided he wanted a pair of wings after seeing this post

I asked him what he was going to be if we made those wings, and he decided to be Archangel from X-men. I didn't have a pattern, and I don't have a tutorial for you. But I can say it was relatively easy, but time consuming.

I simply had Teenager lay down on the muslim I bought and drew the wings. I cut those out. Then we cut the fabric into strips twice the width of the feathers,  he folded them in half lengthwise and pressed them. They using a templete he made, traced and cut scallops. A LOT of scallops. We pinned them in place and I sewed----a lot of sewing!!

My thought in all of this is that these would be great to use for a Christmas Nativity, now that we're past Halloween. Dual purpose items make me happy. So if you're thinking of investing a ton of time in a pretty amazing set of wings, these might be right up your ally.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Swiss Bircher Muesli

When I was a kid, my mom started making a breakfast dish she called Swiss Bircher Muesli. She got the recipe (I've been told) from her sister who served a religious mission in Switzerland.

We ate it for dinner ALL THE TIME

I started making it for my kids and now they won't let me stop!

I don't have the actual "recipe" but this is how we make it at our house. Keep in mind that we don't take this stuff lightly...we make it for everyone to stuff themselves with!!

2 lbs yogurt any flavor (I prefer strawberry-this is the big container from any grocery store)
1 can crushed pineapple juice included
2 cans fruit coctail juice included
2 mandarin oranges
1 apple cored and cut into bite sized pieces
any other fruit you want to add
sliced almonds (optional- but a must for us)
oatmeal (2 cups or more)
orange juice

Mix the yogurt, canned fruit, fresh fruit together. Add 2 cups oatmeal and nuts. Add a bit of orange juice and stir. Adjust the oatmeal and orange juice until the oats are not dry but its not runny. Refrigerate overnight.

You can add more juice in the morning if its too dry.

Obviously, its not a great recipe for those of you who don't do well without precise measurements. But you'd really have to try hard to mess it up. It's oatmeal, yogurt and fruit for goodness sake!


Sunday, September 25, 2011

LDS General Conference Ideas

LDS conference weekend is a holiday at our house!

When I was a kid, I remember dreading the loooong conference weekend held twice a year. It meant going to church for four hours, two days in a row. We sat on cold hard chairs that made too much noise if you tried to play with anything on them. It was hard not to wiggle, and paying attention was not even something on my radar. My parents did their best, but given the circumstances- had a hard time making it anything but a struggle. And I was always STARVING!

Happily, things are quite different in the age of technology that my kids are being raised in. We are able to watch it now in the comfort of our home. But its still a challenge getting the kids interested- better yet, excited about the weekend.

So we did what I love best: Made it an official holiday.

We pick several of our favorite foods, treats, and activities and make it super special.
During the priesthood session on Saturday night, when the men are gone to their meeting, we have a party!

I am always looking for new ideas to keep the kids quiet and hopefully listening to the speakers.

We start with a family home evening lesson the Monday before, and discuss what conference is, why it's important, and what we hope to gain from it. We talk about activities to help them stay focused and quiet, what snacks and treats we'll include, and what our expectations are. Doing this really helps set the mood for the upcoming weekend.

It's a bit of a challenge keeping a teen, toddler and everything in between entertained.

So we start with a sweet reward.

The older kids are asked to listen and take notes, doodling if they'd like. They are challenged to find something in the talk they can apply to their own lives.

Younger kids are asked to identify the topic(s) of each talk, and listen for words they are familiar with- such as sacrament, temples, etc.

In exchange, they get some candy. Love Bug who is only 2.5 years gets one little piece every time she can tell us a word she hears. It starts with LOTS of words being identified. Every "the", "she" etc is included. Then she starts to forget to listen and when she sees her siblings eating candy, she'll ask for more and we remind her to listen for words. You can kind of get an idea of what she might hear based on the topic. We might hear that the topic is Temples, and say "listen for him to say 'temple'" and then reward her when she identifies it.

To reinforce the topics of the talks, we do an activity I ran across last year. It's a conference wall idea that we used quite successfully for our last few conferences. I chose common topics and found pictures to go along with them. I also kept some 3x5 cards handy for extra topics that we encountered. As the speaker spoke, the kids wrote down the speaker's name on a strip of Post it notes and put it up next to the topic. Some of them had multiple topics and the kids were right on top of it. Some didn't have anything listed, so they would tell me what topic we should add. I was really surprised at how well they listened and knew what was being said. After conference we added new photos for next time. They are laminated and we reuse them each conference.

We are also learning the names of the First presidency and 12 apostles. I have pictures of each of them on the window. I also have their names listed on the window. When someone speaks, the kids take turns putting the name with the face.  

We also like to use conference packets. I print out the activities from great websites like sugardoodle or

Most of all, we want our kids to FEEL THE SPIRIT and understand the their Heavenly Father loves them.

This year I'm trying something new. I want to help my younger kids understand that the warm fuzzy feeling they get inside when they hear something important for them is the Spirit is testifying to them.

I'm going to help them "feel" for the Spirit, by filling a jar with warm fuzzies. We'll have a bowl of pom poms and a jar next to it. We'll ask the kids to put a "warm fuzzy" in the jar when they feel the spirit and tell us what they felt and what was said that made them feel that way.(and help them document it) If we can fill up our jar by the end of the weekend (or even include FHE the next day if we need to) we'll have some Hostess Sno Ball snacks! "When you feel the Spirit, it Sno balls until you gain a testimony of the things you've heard"

It all sounds super busy, but it really isn't. The kids keep their hands occupied but their minds are always concentrating on what is being said. We rarely have any contention during our weekend.

The Family Home Evening following conference, we discuss what we learned and ways we can apply it in our lives. We set goals for our family to improve relationships with each other, and learn more about the gospel. We also include the conference talks in our future FHE lessons to help us remember what we've been taught.

I also have plans to pick one thing we've heard or learned that will be a goal for us, and make a sign for the wall to remind us about it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Harry Potter Cake

Jedi just turned seven and I wanted to make him something special for his "family cake". We do a family party in which the birthday boy/girl chooses dinner and we have cake and ice cream together. The actual party with friends comes later.

Being short on time (we don't get into details) I decided to just make him a few characters to put on top. He's way into his new Lego Harry Potter game that his older siblings got him for his birthday, so I decided to go with that.

Fondant characters on two six inch round over-filled cakes to look like mountains (use your imagination)

I used sparkler trick candles in between the mountains for his candles and he was excited to see the "magic" of his douling characters come to life!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Father's Day Gift for LDS Dad

I asked my husband what he wanted for Father's Day, and he told me he wanted a copy of his Priesthood Line of Authority. Then he proceeded to order a copy of it. That threw that idea out the window. So I googled ideas of what to do with it and ran across THIS idea. I loved how she made it- as is evident of how close mine is to here. I did want to do thing a bit differently with the last few photos though.

All the photos I needed for it were available by doing a search in google images online, except for the first two in his line- because those men are not apostles and such. So..I did a search for them on New Family Search, both are deceased. I found the contributers to their geneology information and emailed them to ask for photos, explaining what I planned to do with them. I also was able to contact a few people using Facebook. It was a  lot of fun hunting the living relatives of these great men. I even made a few friends a long the way. :)

So although its past Father's day, the idea is still out there for future father's days. It would be great for a husband, dad, son in law, etc.

I love how it turned out, and more importantly, my husband did too.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Last minute Father's Day Gift ideas

Are you a procrastinator?? I'm not, but somehow I still manage to do things at the last minute. Guess its my over the top projects....Well whether you're like me or not, here are some last minute ideas sure to please dad in a pinch.

1. Magazine subscription- Make Magazine is a favorite at our house and for any dad that likes to tinker around with ordinary objects and make them into something fun. Purchase the current copy and add a note letting him know a subscription is on it's way. To make this a fun gift from the kids, have them go through and circle projects they want to do with dad, or even make a simple project from it and give that too him too! Of course hobby magazines, sports magazines, etc will be fantastic too! And hey, while you're at it, throw in a magazine holder for the bathroom. You know that's where he's gonna read it.

2. Goody stash- Dad doesn't always get showered with yummy snacks such as chocolates like mom does. Why not pick out some of his favorites treats and present them in a useful item like a remote control caddy, new toolbox, pair of pants (fill the pockets), or a package of socks (who wouldn't want candy filled stockings without the normal expense associated with the filled-stocking season??) The dad at our house received 50 candy bars for his 50th birthday last year and is still working on them. It's nice to not have to share with the kids for once.

3. Entertainment passes- Give him movie passes, tickets to a ball game, concert, etc. Maybe get him a couple of them and let him choose if he wants to go with the guys, or take the kids.

4. Rootbeer! A fun drink to share with the kiddos. Did you know there are over 100 varieties of rootbeer? How 'bout a sampling of a dozen different brands? You can have a rootbeer tasting night as a family. Or what about making homemade rootbeer with the kids? The dad at our house loves his Mr. Rootbeer kit. You can buy a kit such as this one which includes everything you need (practically).

5. Digital Photo frame- There are a lot of digital frames out there now. We love the Kodak pulse. It has wifi and the ability to upload photos from your computer at home to the frame at work, or 3000 miles away. We gave one to my husband AND to my parents. Perfect gift for a grandpa and my husband loves that he has so many photos to look at without the clutter of lots of frames in his workplace. I was concerned about it at first because it didn't come with a random mode, but they have since fixed this by offering the ability to do this from the kodak pulse website. Check it out here.

6. Slice- I know my husband would LOVE this little device. And its so inexpensive. Check it out here
If you hate opening up rigid plastic packaging (I know my husband does) this little item is a perfect solution. It has a ceramic blade, magnet inside so you can put it on the fridge or toolbox, and a hole for putting it on a keychain. You can use it on practically anything you'd use scissors for. And hey, why not give him a gift that you can borrow?


1. Apron- Whether he's a chef in the kitchen or a gourmet on the grill, what dad doesn't love an apron from the kids? Family fun has a very cute idea for a bbq version. We've done a few aprons for my husband over the years. The last one was made from a denim apron I picked up at Michaels. It was a gift from Jedi when he was a year old. I used iron transfers to make it say "Jedi's dad" and then covered that with masking tape. Then I put Jedi on the floor with the apron and some paint. Soon they were both covered in paint- a true masterpiece!

2. Personalized Candybar wrapper- I ran across THIS great iDad candy bar wrapper that is super cute. Get creative with other wrappers that fit the personality of the dad in your life.

3. DIY gift bag/box- I can't get over how adorable this shirt and tie gift box is. Of course you still have to come up with something to go IN it, but I'm totally motivated to find the perfect something to fill it with!

4. Superhero stash- This is akin to the goody stash idea from above, but with a fun twist and a DIY aspect to it. I LOVED this idea.

5. Date with dad- Better than a coupon book because it's "set in stone" persay. Buy him a calendar, and mark it up with Date's with Dad for the rest of the year. Choose lots of his favorite activities and then plan dates to make them happen. Is there a movie coming out he'll want to see? A ball game? Trip to the ice cream store, fishing for a weekend, etc. Make sure to include a few days when dad gets a break from everthing else.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Ocean themed birthday party

A friend of mine won a service I offered at our church womens group service auction. I offered up hosting a party- I plan and host it, they *just* had to pay for the goods involved (not my time and energy :)

She chose for the theme Under the sea! Seems a bit popular on this blog as of late. I honestly wasn't at all an influence on her choice, surprising??
I was a bit disappointed at first as I wanted to expand my horizons, but 20 seconds later I was really excited to be doing ocean again.

I've mentioned this before, and I'll say it again.
Could these be any cuter??
The crabs and turtles you've seen before, but I added a friendly whale.

Including a birthday whale for the birthday girl.

My original idea was to have the lanterns look like bubbles around the room, but things got a big crazy and we ended up hanging them across the room in a line.

The party was outside for the most part, so I didn't want to do much on the inside decorations. The table is, however missing the little umbrellas I bought for it. I still have no idea where they disappeared to.

Dessert & Favor table
I scoured the internet for ideas for this party, and of course it's no surprise that there are A TON of great and creative ideas!!
The birthday banner was made with my Silhoutte- my favorite paper craft tool!!

How cute is a goldfish bar?? I got lots of ideas from this post, and the goldfish bar was one of them.

I wanted to jazz up the obvious choice of using Swedish fish. :)

"Sushi" We've been making these for years. I believe I first saw the idea at family fun magazine.
However, when I just did a google image search for "fruit roll up sushi", I was blown away with how far it's come since I originally saw the idea. And you think *I* go overboard?? Just go do the search and you'll think I'm a simpleton.

I love candy coating marshmallows. SO EASY and so fun. I added blue sprinkles to them.
The pixie sticks can be purchased individually at Party City. Lots of candy can- as well as at grocery store candy bins. I love to shop for candy in bulk bins when I'm trying to buy specific colors.

Dum Dum lollipops wrapped in purple tissue paper. I "planted" them in a bed of uncooked rice. They stood up perfectly. If I had the time, I would have colored the rice blue.

This oh so cute fish cake pop stand was copied  inspired by This idea.
I used glitter cardstock in aqua colors. I was covered in glitter for a few days after making it. I'm such a sparkly person :)

Fish cake pops!! I loved the idea here. I made a few changes. My favorite part was the heart candy confetti used for the mouth. These cakepops were almost scratched from my party plans after a 105 degree heat index  day which included 85% + humidity. Not fun conditions for cake pop making. Even my basement wasn't a safe haven for making them.
I used starburst for the fins. It was STICKY!
Incidently, at the party, the starburst had dried up, and the fish weren't sweating any longer.

Starfish chocolate covered Oreos. I used Wilton dark chocolate candy coating. The stars are made from star burst candy. I went through the trouble of making a cute dot pattern on the starfish, but then with the humidity, they kind of stuck inside the plastic. If you decide to make these and will be in any kind of heat, I'd skip those kind of details. (I'm sure you're probably thinking you'd skip most of the details that I put into things by now)

The favor part of the table had bubbles

Go fish cards which I bought a the Dollar store in a variety three pack (so they ended up only being about $.33 each)
Shovels which came with the buckets

Ocean in a bottle.
I used Target's Market Pantry brand flavored water bottles because I liked the size and shape.
They are filled with two orange fishes-like the ones on the table cloth in the previous picture
water with blue food coloring, and baby oil. I hot glued the lids on

The kids played a relay game with fins.  

Played on a inflatable waterslide

and had a bubble machine.
Happy Birthday my little fish friend.