Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Big Brother/Big Sister Gift

New babies are so much fun!
Who doesn't just love giving baby gifts?

I always look forward to baby showers, mostly because I get to gift for the new baby!
I get to shop for tiny baby clothes and make sweet little baby crafts.

I love it!
Can't get enough!

When Maggie was born family and friends would come to visit and make a big fuss over our new arrival. They'd bring gifts and hold the baby. 
My older kids were so proud and excited to show off their baby sister.

Then our visitors would go home and my 3 and 4 year old would lay on the floor and throw a fit because they were jealous of our little Maggie and her new onesie or blanket or whatever the gift happened to be.

Then, one day my good friend stopped by to meet our new little princess.
But, before she held her she gave Daisey and Isaac each a gift bag filled with coloring books and crayons.

It had never occurred to me to buy a big sister/big brother gift before, but I'm telling you it is magical!
My kids eyes got all wide, they had big cheesy grins and they felt so special.

After that I actually went out and stocked up on dollar store toys.
Then after we'd have a visitor I'd pull out a special toy just for them.
It worked like a charm!

So now when I buy a baby gift I make sure to pick something up for the baby's older sibling.
It doesn't have to be anything fancy, it's just the fact that you're bringing them a present that makes them happy.

Recently my friend had a new baby girl.
{She's so cute and tiny and sweet! Squeeeeal!}

I offered to take her dinner after she got home from the hospital.
My friend's oldest son is friends with Maggie, so Maggie insisted on going grocery shopping with me and helping me make dinner.

At the store she reminded me that we needed to get something for the older kids.
I grabbed some bubbles and thought I might say something like,
 "We're bubbling with excitement over your new baby!"

But, when I got home I realized they were "Miracle" brand bubbles, so I went with
"Congratulations on your little Miracle!"


It was so cute!
The kids were so proud of their new baby sister and thrilled about their bubbles!

Then we got home and my kids were sad that I didn't buy them bubbles.
*sigh*

What's your favorite baby or older sibling gift to give?

Happy crafting, my friends!


*Please click HERE to see where I'm linking up this week!*

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Lemon Sugar Scub

Happy Sunday!
Have I got a treat for you!

Spring is in full swing at our house.
In fact, summer is right around the corner.

School is winding down.
The kids are already talking about water parties and lemon aid stands.

I'm loving it!
I can't get enough of this nice weather!

Well, lemon aid and summer time just go together.
So, it's time to pour yourself a glass.

Or even better, let's treat ourselves to some refreshing Lemon Sugar Scrub.
It's a treat for our hands and  feet, lips and knees, not to mention our noses because it smells amazing!

My smart pants niece recently made me some of this scrub and after trying it once  I knew I needed the recipe!
Thanks for sharing Amber!

And because all good things are worth sharing, I'm passing it onto you.
Enjoy!



Lemon Sugar Scrub

Ingredients:
-6 lemons
-1/2 c. granulated sugar
-approximately 1 c. coconut oil (melted)

Directions:
1.Begin by washing your lemons. Grate (aka zest) the lemon peels into a medium sized bowl. A microplane grater would work grate for this. (haha! see what I did there?)
2.Juice the lemons with a juice press (that's the little hand held glass thing that was in all of our grandmother's kitchens). Add the lemon juice to the bowl.
3. Add 1/2 c. sugar to the lemon zest and lemon juice. Mix with a wisk.
4. Gradually mix the coconut oil into the lemon/sugar mixture 1/4 c at a time. I say approximately 1 c. because depending on how much juice you got from your lemons it may be too thick or too thin. So, add 1/4 c. and mix, add another 1/4 c. and mix until it you feel like it is a good consistency. 
*important note* Coconut oil is really, super good for you, but it is most beneficial in its raw form. This is why you don't want to microwave it because the microwave will damage its healthy properties. Coconut oil can easily be melted using a double broiler or a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water.
5.While the scrub is still hot pour it into a mason jar or into cute tiny jars, like the one you see in the photo. My niece filled 40 of these jars with this recipe.

Lemon Sugar Scrub can be used as a hand scrub to soften your hands and even helps get out those stinky onion and garlic odors from cooking. 

You can also use it as a foot scrub when you're getting those tootsies ready for sandal season.

It is great for softening and smoothing dry, chapped lips. 
Just rub a little on your lips in a circular motion, rinse (or lick!) off and apply your favorite chap stick.

You can even keep a jar of the Lemon Sugar Scrub in the shower or bath tub for exfoliating before you shave your legs.

Of course Lemon Sugar Scrub makes a great gift!
My kids each gave a jar to their teachers for teacher appreciation day.

Yep, even the male teacher.
He's a gardener and he was thrilled about his gift.

With Mother's Day coming up Lemon Sugar Scrub would make a great gift for your mom.
(ahem...act surprised Mom...)

My niece gave away 40 small jars of the Lemon Sugar Scrub as favors for a bridal shower.
And I think she's planning on doing the same for an upcoming baby shower.

You get the idea, Lemon Sugar Scrub is a great go-to gift.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Happy crafting and happy scrub making!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I should be doing dishes...

 or laundry...or something along the lines of cleaning.

But, I'm not.
I'm here.

Because I missed you.

As of late I've had a goal to clean my kitchen (dishes, counters, table, vacuum) and do my laundry and then blog.

13 days since my last blog post, so you can tell how well that's going.
So, you can forget that! 

I do what I want!


Lately I've been making a lot of bows, one of my uber favorite crafties!
People often ask me why I don't wear the bows I make.

Here's why:

{photo compliments of Miss Maggie}
Because I'm a grown woman and it looks ridiculous, mmkay?

So, how've you been?
What is your latest crafting project?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tiny Angel Blanket


This past week  I have been making tiny blankets in honor of my sweet cousin's baby who was born far too soon. 

My cousin, Shirley will be donating blankets to her local hospital on April 22, 2013 for her little Annie's upcoming due date. 

Shirley shares her story, as well as another tiny blanket tutorial on her blog, 
I Shir Can Craft

Please help support Shirley by donating a blanket, leaving her a kind comment or saying a prayer for her and her little one. 

Thank you.

Tiny Angel Blanket Tutorial



-Supplies-

14" x 14" square of fleece (mellow colors like pink, blue and white are preferred)
Soft Baby Weight Yarn (I used Caron Simply Soft)
Cutting Mat
Quilter's Ruler
Sewing Scissors
Rotary Cutter
Crochet Hook (I used a size D)
Yarn Needle
Pen

Be sure to wash and dry the fleece before you get started. You'll want your blanket to be extra soft for these sweet babies.

After you've prepared your fabric cut it into a 14" square.
You can easily cut 2 or 3 squares at a time by using a cutting mat, quilter's ruler and rotary cutter.


Round the corners of the blanket by tracing a bowl or something round.
You could use a fabric pencil or a pen that matches the blanket.


Using the ruler as a guide, mark the blanket with dots every 1/2". 
The dots will show you where to insert your hook when you crochet.


At this point the blanket should look like this:


Trim all four corners of the blanket.


I apologize that this photo isn't the best. 
The white yarn and pink fleece are so fluffy it was hard to get a clear picture of the crochet stitch.


If you know how to crochet this next step will be easy as pie.
If you are new to crocheting youtube has some great tutorials to help you get started.

To finish up the blanket with a sweet crochet edge make a slip knot and insert your crochet hook through one of the dots in a corner.

I usually have my blankets hemstitched before crocheting a decorative edge around them, but in this case the fleece is soft enough to push the hook through without the hemstitched holes.

If your hook doesn't push right through the fleece you can use your yarn needle to make your holes.

As I was saying, insert your hook through a dot in the corner of the blanket and pull up a loop.

Yarn over, pull through the first loop.
Yarn over again and pull through the second loop.

First stitch complete.

Yarn over, insert your hook into the same hole you just worked.
Yarn over pull through first two loops.
Yarn over again and pull through the next two loops.

Now your second stitch is complete.
You will have two double crochets in each hole.

Continue all the way around the blanket until you meet the first stitch. 
Slip stitch and tie off. 
Weave in the ends.

This stitch is simple and sweet.
If you'd like to add more you can continue around the blanket a second time, like I did with the pink blanket.

To make a crochet shell edge you will slip stitch, then yarn over and insert your hook into the first double crochet from the first row.

Pull up a loop.
Yarn over and pull up through first two loops.
Yarn over and pull through last two loops.

Repeat six times to create a shell.
Work a single crochet in the third stitch from the stitch you've been working.
Work a single stitch in the next stitch.

Repeat all the way around the blanket until you reach the beginning.
Slip stitch and tie off.
Weave in ends. 


The blanket is so tiny, perfect for little angels born too soon.


These sweet, tiny blankets are so simple to make that you'll be able to finish up a few in no time.

I crocheted a simple double crochet around the boy blankets and added a shell to the girl blankets.

These tiny angel blankets are much needed and appreciated by hospitals and a comfort to parents.


You can email Shirley at shirleyrhale@gmail.com for information on where to send your blankets.
I'm truly inspired by what a strong and beautiful woman she is by turning her loss into service for others.

Thank you Shirley for allowing me to be a part of this act of love.


*Please click HERE to see where I'm linking up this week.*



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Happy Easter and an April Fool's Joke

I've been reading my old journals with my kids lately. So far they find them pathetic and hilarious. 
I tend to start out my journal entries with "I'm sorry I haven't written in so long...."

Well, I'm not going to do that here on my blog. 
Instead I'm going to blog when I can and know that you'll understand and still love me when things get busy and hectic!

I have good intentions. I really do.
It's just that sometimes life doesn't go the way I plan it.

For instance, right now I have 3 barking seals with sore throats and fevers sitting on my couch sipping on Gaterade and eating Luden's cough drops.
Good times.

So I'm playing a little catch up here.

We spent Easter hunting for eggs and enjoying dinner and cousins at Grandma's house.
And here's a week old shout out!


April 1st was the first day of Spring Break at our house.
My dad took my kiddos to visit my brother that day, so I spent that day in quiet bliss with Me, Myself and I.

It didn't even occur to me that it was April Fool's Day until that night.
I always do something for April Fool's Day. I love a good prank!

They thought they had outwitted me by being out of town. 
Isn't that sweet?

But, I figured that the whole month of April was fair game for pranking.
Enter the "Exploding Cake"....

I found this idea on Damn Lol through Pinterest and laughed my head off just thinking about it!

I baked a cake earlier in the day.
My kids saw me bake it and were excited to eat it.

While my kids were downstairs watching tv I let the real cake cool in another room and got to work preparing the "special cake".


I made a circle by cutting and stapling a file folder.


Blew up a balloon and put it in the middle of the circle.


If I'd wanted to get really fancy I would have piped on royal icing, but in this case whipped topping and sprinkles did the job just fine.


It's not pretty.


But they didn't care.


I reeeeeallly wish I had a video of Daisey cutting the cake because the pics just don't do it justice.
She felt so grown up when I asked her to slice the cake and serve it up to everyone.


She sliced through the cake and it did just what it was meant to do - explode in her face!
It got everywhere!
(Which is why we took the cake outside.)

She did not appreciate the laughing at first but after a bit she couldn't help but laugh herself and proceeded to throw whipped cream at everyone!


It's a good thing I had a real cake waiting inside the house.
All was forgiven.

How was YOUR Easter and April Fool's Day?
What did you do for fun?


*Please click HERE to see where I'll be linking up this week!*

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dutch Oven Potatoes {GYCO}


It's Get Your Chef On time again!
The secret ingredient this time around is beer.

Speaking of beer, as much as I wish it was camping weather, it's not.
But that doesn't mean I can't pretend and make one of our favorite camping recipes for dinner!


Dutch Oven Potatoes are a must have when you go camping!

My husband is the king of these potatoes, so I usually just let him do his thing while I take care of the rest of dinner.

He either puts the dutch oven right in the fire or cooks it on the Camp Chef.
We still have snow in our backyard these days, so I wasn't about to build a fire!

I had to tweak the recipe a little, so I could bake the potatoes in the oven.
I have to say it was pretty darn close to the dutch oven potatoes.

The only thing that could have made it better would have been eating it while sitting around the campfire with family and friends.

The only thing I would do differently would be to only add half the can of beer.
We've used beer in the potatoes before and the beer flavor wasn't so strong.

I don't know if that's the difference between using the casserole dish and the dutch oven?

So keep that in mind when making this dish.
If you like a strong beer flavor, go ahead and add it all.
If not, just go with half a can.


Dutch Oven Potatoes
Ingredients:
-10 medium potatoes (peeled and cut up)
-1 onion (diced)
-1 red pepper (diced)
-1 green pepper (diced)
-1 yellow pepper (diced)
-1 pound cheddar cheese (grated)
-1 pound bacon (cut up)
-1 can cream of mushroom soup
-1 can cream of chicken soup
-1 can beer

Directions:
1.Cut up the bacon. You don't want the pieces too small, think bite size.
2.Cook the bacon in a large skillet over med-high heat until it's cooked through, but not crispy. 
3.Add half of the can of beer and the diced onion and saute until onions are transparent.


4. Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray. Pour the bacon/onion mixture into the casserole dish. Don't drain it. You want all that bacon fat for flavor....yum...
5.Add the potatoes and the peppers. Mix to combine with the bacon.


6.Pour in the other half of the beer, the can of cream of mushroom, the can of cream of chicken and half of the grated cheese.


7.Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour and a half.


8.Remove from oven and stir in the remaining grated cheese.

9.Serve and enjoy!


Ok, so it may not look delicious, but believe me, these dutch oven potatoes are the bomb!

As always, thank you Jen (Four Marrs and One Venus) and Julie (White Lights On Wednesday) for hosting!

Make sure to check out all the other Get Your Chef On participants! 
It's a party!



Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!


It turns out that my kids do love me after all! 
They smiled and thanked me for their green french toast and made cookies with me too!

Aww...

The handprint shamrocks are my niece and nephew's.
Aren't they the cutest???
And my sister in law came over for a much needed girl's day and we did St. Patrick's Day mani's!

Also, I'm not Irish....but you can kiss me anyway! :)