"You are so creative!" I have heard that phrase constantly since I was little. DIY, Refashioning, Crafting, Sewing, Woodworking. I love it all! Now I have a place to keep my favorite projects or ideas organized and share them with you!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cherry Blossom Display

I spent some time in the doctors office this week, as some of you may know, without the kids, which was kind of nice. The big pro to this situation is that I got to read an actual magazine while I waited. So I grabbed up the spring Martha Stewart issue and saw this project.

So of course I knew it was perfect for my entry way since I have been swapping things out for each season.
Bead Board Turkeys for Thanksgiving
Star of Sticks for Christmas
and Egg Carton Heart for Valentines Day

Up until last night I still have my Valentines Heart sitting there and people heading to my place for a birthday party today so I was thankful for Martha, and thankful for time alone at the doc. Although the doc didn't have the greatest news for me. My gall bladder is going to be removed sometime in the near future. FUN!

Yet good old  Martha was there to say, "but hey you have a great craft project to do now."

So I got to work on my cherry blossoms, and put up our cross oil lamp which is our unity candle from our wedding. Love that thing. So it is ready for spring!

I won't be changing this up for much longer. The wall will soon have a family photo on it, we just had our photos taken last week. Can't wait to get one framed, but choosing which one is so hard.

Linking up here:

Katie's Nesting Spot

Animal Birthday Party Ideas

You don't have to buy a bunch of supplies to have a great animal birthday party. Try to think outside the box and use what you have on hand in a new way. Here are some ways we did just that for my son's second birthday party.


Decorating for a birthday party doesn't mean you have to run out and buy balloons and streamers. For our jungle party we simply went and grabbed a bunch of stuffed animals we had on hand and used them for the decorations. We also used some colorful bandannas we had that gave it a fun pop of color. You can also see we used our animal stacking blocks.

This tree fit the theme nicely once we hid sock monkey in there and added a couple Kolas we had.


Animal crackers are great for an animal party, we had sandwiches and such, but I recommend using Zoo Pals plates, Cheaper than other party plates and as far as zoo or animal themes go, much more cute too. Check out the monkey spoon, flamingo fork, and alligator knife too.  So cute.

Monkey cake with doughnut ears, and animal cracker brownie bites. Click here for the details.

Party Games:

Use what you have on hand but in a new way. For example this is our trampoline, Our nice $10 thrift store find from around 4 years ago, we moved it from the basement to the living room, gave it a grass skirt and lei from our dress up bin, and transformed it into the...
Jungle Jumper!!!!

Animal Bean Bag Toss
Many people have a set of bean bag yard games. I transformed these into animal toss games by drawing animal faces on some poster board scraps we had from another project. See the leaves??? They are actually paint samples from Home Depot. They come in that shape already. Another easy way to decorate for a jungle theme. Tape them up anywhere!

Feed the Elephant Carnival Game

Paint your elephant onto a cardboard box. Give him a tube for a nose. You could use a sump pump tube or any tube, we happened to have one of those whirl tubes that makes noise when you spin it. So we used what we had. Then you feed the elephant a peanut through his nose. A helper in back sends down a prize in return. At our house our prize was a chocolate egg, since we had some on hand ready for Easter.

Animal Ring Toss Game

We had a kids yard ring toss game at our house too.  Just by printing out some online coloring pages onto colored paper we were able to make an animal ring toss game.

Leave a comment if you have ideas to add, or links to other animal party ideas you have done.

Linking up here:


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Monkey Brownies Birthday Cake and Animal Brownie Bites

My youngest son turns two this week and one of his favorite words is Monkey.
 He says... "Monkey Ooo Ooo Ahh Ahh"

So when I decided on an animal party I figured a monkey cake was the way to go. Only problem... He doesn't really like cake, or many bread products. I almost considered fudge or an ice cream cake but I have known him to enjoy moist chewy brownies so I went with the brownie idea instead of traditional cake. Decorating fudge and ice cream just is not as much fun.

Here is his monkey. Just a little one for him, but I am sure he will share, the ears are chocolate covered mini doughnuts. I baked the main part in a small bowl and cut away the sides a tiny bit for the doughnut ears.

Homemade peanut butter frosting made a good complementary brown color for the mouth area and our guests are all family and I know there are not any peanut allergies. (don't ask for the recipe, I kind of dumped and stirred until it looked and tasted ok. Chocolate chips for eyes and mini chocolate chips for his nose.

But of course there is more brownie mix left, so we went with mini cupcake sized brownie bites for the guests. I used the mini muffin tin and birthday cupcake liners.
I needed to get in the rest of the animals somehow for the animal party theme. So I tossed on some standing animal crackers and some sprinkles for a bit of color, which really fit with the animal cracker theme too since the frosted ones, (which I didn't have on hand) have the same ball sprinkles on them.

Didn't know what I was going to make last night and now I am done. I like how everything turned out. It is all sealed up and in the freezer ready for the weekend.   

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Matilda Jane Knock-off Dress Redo

So I had this dress.

But I didn't care for it. It was ok, just a bit boring. My husband didn't care for it at all. My daughter wore it to church a few times with some cream tights. So after looking at the Matilda Jane catalogue online after a friend of mine had a Matilda Jane party. I love the style, but not the price. Lucky I can do it on my own. Maybe not a dead ringer but I can create a similar look. I decided this dress would make a good base for that style, it just needed a few things.

I headed into my scrap fabric and added some ruffles and some buttons. Now it is pretty cute. I did however think it needed some ruffle bottom pants to finish the look. So I grabbed more fabric from my fabric stash and threw these together quickly.

I think they look pretty cute with this shirt too. Not too bad with the dress either.

Linking up at:

Keeping It Simple


Funky Lunches

Here is a collection of some of our funky lunches lately.

Muffin Tin Meals. They are all the rage right now. These work great for my preschoolers who are home with me all day. Or for quick dinners during movie night.

This idea has been making it's way around the craft blog since early fall. There are people that do whole themes with colors, and I have even seen one done with a twigs and leaves theme with leaves cut from green apples and pretzel sticks for twigs. We have even done big tins for breakfast that the kids all shared. One of my friends even does Muffin Tin Mondays!

Last night we watched the movie "Cars" on the basement big screen, so the kids had a "Pit-stop Plate." Nothing really theme like, it was just what I called it. :) My husband and I had a large lunch and we were not really hungry for dinner. So this worked great! Kids eat so much better when it is in something different. Sure enough they each had two plates full.

On to...
Lunch Box Lunches

I have been on the foe bento kick lately and my daughter is always a huge fan of PB and J Sushi. Don't let the name scare you, it is just PB and J. Flatten two pieces of bread with a rolling pin and spread on your PB and J  or whatever. Cheese and ham would work fine too. Put the bread pieces end to end and roll them starting with one piece than when it is rolled put the next piece where the other left off and keep rolling.  Then slice with a knife.

My daughter eats these better than just a PB and J sandwich. It is faster to eat because it is more compact. Sometimes time is an issue for these little ones eating lunch at school. Another funny bonus, she eats the crusts this way. But tends to leave them when in sandwich form. I know she is getting more food when it is like this, and it doesn't take up much extra time at all.

Rice Shapes. I recommend getting a rice shape maker. We have this one. But Little Seouls has a bunch to choose from. We also have a rice cooker. Just got it this year. My daughter LOVES rice and pasta. But we didn't have it too much at home. Mainly because of the mess. Rice on the floor is horrible to clean up, and for toddlers it gets stuck in their hair and on their hands. It can prove to be a pretty frustrating food to eat. But.. if you use the rice shaper it is sooo much easier for little ones to eat, and of course it is a fun shape so they even eat more than they otherwise would. You can see I even put a rice shape in the foe bento lunch above. Just wrapped it in plastic wrap.

Well for this next lunch I went all out with the rice. Decided to get colorful. I put a small amount of water like a tablespoon into a plastic baggie, then added some food coloring, then added my cooked rice. It colored it fairly nicely. Then I used it to make rice shapes.

This lunch had a piece of turkey bacon in it as well. It may seem like a strange lunch, but when you have a picky eater and know what she will eat, you will put anything in the lunchbox.

Tick Tac Toe Sandwich:
Make a sandwich any kind, then cut it into nine squares to make a tick tac toe board. I did this for my daughter she used carrot coins for "O's" and pieces of string cheese she used for "X's" she and a friend played a game of tic-tac-toe before she ate her sandwich. She got a kick out of it and I guess some teachers on lunchroom duty did too because my daughter came home with a smile and a story of the teachers all coming over to see her sandwich and saying. "Are you playing tic-tac-toe on your lunch??"  You could easily use colored goldfish for pieces as well, or possibly fruit snacks vs gold fish. There are plenty of small foods you could use to play.

My original idea was to use a piece of dark bread and a piece of light to make the sandwich and turn every other piece over to make a checkerboard pattern. But my daughter would not be excited about dark bread. :)

Upcycled Baby Gown Gift

I got to make a gift for a baby shower and after seeing this post over at MADE. I was dying to make a baby gown like the ones they made. I didn't however have a pattern so I used a 0-3 months outfit I have on hand as a pattern for the size.

I love the criss-cross neckline of this so that you can easily get a babies head in, yet still not have the gown have a gigantic neck hole.

Of course I used XXL T-shirts I got a deal on as the fabric for this. For the little hat I used the sleeve of the t-shirt.

Freezer paper stenciling was a must for this outfit. I decided to go with the grandpa's business logo just for fun. I know the baby is not going to out and about in this outfit since gowns do not work well with car seats, so I figured it didn't really matter what I put on it and thought the business logo would get a little chuckle out of grandma and grandpa.

Muffin Tin Quiche

Want an easy breakfast for the kiddos? Something that has good protein to get them through the morning until lunch . This may be a good idea for you. We made these at MOPS for Easter brunch the last few years everyone seemed to love them

We used this recipe....  But baked them in muffin tins instead of baking large pans of it because muffin tins cook a bit faster, and there were little servings ready for plates.

So prepare like the recipe says, spray your muffin tin put your cheese in the bottom and put your egg mixture in and top with bacon. The flour and cheese make a makeshift crust for these little quiches.

I just made some today. I left out the butter, and they turned out fine. I also used diced ham instead of bacon.

This idea makes it easy to do whatever you want for each member of your family. Great for an Easter brunch at home for example. Make to order mini quiche. Kids can totally help with these, have the put the cheese and ham in each cup before you dump in the egg mixture.

I took them out and let them cool on a plate a bit then put them in a gallon Ziploc to put in the freezer. Then I will just pop one out and toss it in the microwave to heat quick when I need them. I have read that toaster ovens do a great job of heating them up too if you have the time.

 I don't recommend making a TON of these to freeze and I do recommend to use them up sooner than later. They are better fresh, but for a quick grab, they will work fine.

Weight Watchers Version:
I made some special ones for myself.. See the original idea was to make an egg bake but... I have been watching my calorie intake lately and wanted to make a similar version with veggies and egg beaters, but wanted my family to be able to have ham and cheese in their version, since the kids are not about to eat onions or mushrooms. So I just used Egg beaters, mushrooms, onions, and zucchini in my version. I left out the four and cheese. I calculated the Weight Watchers points. It says that 1/4 cup of egg beaters is one pt. according to the old pt system I am still using. So each egg muffin thing is 1 pt since veggies are zero. I plan on popping one onto an English muffin for a quick grab breakfast, or adding some salsa for a tasty sit down breakfast. Remember salt and pepper and garlic are zero points too so I used those as well.