Friday, November 11, 2011

The Best of Volleyball and Soccer

Both Madelyn and Grace played fall sports this year so this kept me very busy driving to and fro from all the games. Madelyn played volleyball. She has developed a nice overhand serve this year. She is turning to be a rather sporty girl. 

Grace came out of her shell this year and played soccer - she really liked it...I really do not like soccer, but I do like how tired she is after playing. She has enough energy for 5 children, so this is really the sport for her!

She is #65

The photo below is from the Volleyball dinner. Madelyn and her silly friends. Left to Right - Cami, Jessica, Marisa, Olivia and Madelyn.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I got some photos of my camera - finally :) and I wanted to share a few from Trick or Treating. I also hope to get some from our Halloween party - the kids did have a great time this year!

Grace (Cleopatra) Rachael (cowgirl) Olivia (Justin Bieber) Madelyn (Spongebabe) Dakota (purple crayon) and Brooke (pink crayon)
Madelyn, Rachael, Teigan and Olivia

Hayden, Grace and Kayden

Dakota and Brooke
Dakota sitting and playing cards with the others trick or treaters :)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Candy Wrappers turned Pencil Pouch

The last project I did on my Sunday Craftday was this candy wrapper pencil pouch, also another Pin from pinterest. from Punkin Patterns
I followed the directions from the above mentioned blog. I decided to leave the opening at the bottom of the candy wrapper covers - I will try a different version and use different thred for the next time I do this. I call the one below my prototype. I really like it but I need to figure a few things out with it. I did use bigger candy bags then the ones from the blog, but that is not an issue. I think you could really use any thing in any size that you'd like. I just want to make sure it looks more 'professional'. All in all I am pleased and this one below was ment for Brooke as she loves skittles. I may end up making another for her, or work on this one some more to fix the bottom seam.  (sorry for the unedited photos - they were snapped quickly and I am not thinking I should have put it in my white box that I typically use for photos). 

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Upcycled Apron

Also on my crafting day this past Sunday I made another item that I pinned on Pinterest. It is an upcycled Apron. Here is my visual from A girl and a glue gun

I dug out my Thrift store finds / Hand me down pile and found a pair of jeans that would not fit anyone in the house. Some scrap fabric (that I got off freecycle) and my sewing stuff. I followed the directions on the above blog and wella - my new apron below:
This one will be for cooking. I am planning to make another one with on of hubby's jeans and use the bigger pockets to make a craft/painters smock. My sister-n-law and I are also planning to make some seasonal aprons as well. They are so simple and very thick...if you ever watch me cook/craft etc I am a total mess...and I ruin a lot of clothing :) 

Monday, November 07, 2011

New Ironing Table

Good morning! I am so grateful for the people in my community. I use freecycle to look for things that we may need/want before we go out and buy it. It helps keep the landfills less full etc. I am also addicted to this new website to me its like a virtual google with a story board feel. I can find things I like and file them under the board that I like and they make great reference points for me!! 

So - because of Pinterest I have a TON and I mean a TON of ideas brewing in my head. Before I go to the store and buy what items I do not already have - I look on freecycle. In the last week I received wool to make felt, beads, buttons, ribbon, Christmas decor, glass bottles etc. I am just blessed by the people in my community.

I got inspired - and got my Art room cleaned up and yesterday I got started on my projects. 

The first one I got from this Pin from Texas Freckles

I saw this picture (didn't think I needed the directions) and pulled out the following supplies: the cover and foam from my ironing board that just was not working for me (I would start to put pressure on it and it would collapse) I also got out some thread, elastic and pins. 

I sat there, it was early and I was not about to fight with the elastic and adding a trim to slid the elastic thru etc. I did not want the headache. So I went back to the above site and was directed to Oh, Fransson! A TV  tray press board. She used staples - low and behold - with I had the wrong staples or the gun was I turned on the hot glue gun - and set up me table, foam and fabric and glued that sucker on!
Here is my lovely press board! And it works great for my projects!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hello Everyone!

I miss my blog, a recent visit to another local crafters blog ( got my blog envy juices flowing again...if that even make sense.

Several months ago, one of my long time friends announced that she was pregnant with a little girl! I made her this card and some fun stuff for her scrapbook on my cricut.

I took these photos, and just recently (after I already mailed her baby shower gift) found the card and the fun scrapbook goodies sitting on my table. So, I am posting the photos here and getting them out in the mail - ASAP before the baby is here in a couple weeks!!

I love this card style. I can not remember where I saw it originally but I have made several cards using this type of layout.

The bottom of the card was embossed with my cricut using a folder by Darce. Then I colored over the raised embossed lines, applied glue and then glitter. The stamp set was a set by the Angel Company called Special Delivery. I colored the images with Tria Pantone and Prismacolor markers. Very carefully I used an exacto knife and cut a few slits long the image lines so that I could attach the ribbon to make it look like it is the blanket wrapped around the baby.

Because its been a few months since I made the card I do not remember all the details of marker colors etc.

Below are the fun items I cut using my Cruit and my SCAL software!

Thanks for stopping in again and hopefully it wont be 6 more months before I post again!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Canning already!!

A couple weeks ago I took some of the strawberries that I had purchased and made strawberry syrup with them. If my research is true this was a lot like boiling down maple syrup. It did take a little while but it smelled yummy!

This would be great to drizzle on a plate with some cheesecake or to top your pancakes or waffles.

I half the original recipe because I did not see the need at this point to have 12 jars of this especially if no one but me uses it on my pancakes.

Strawberry Syrup

5 cups crushed strawberries
11/2 cups water (divided)
1 strip of lemon peel
11/2 cups sugar
11/2 cups corn syrup
1 tbsp lemon juice

Combine strawberries, half of the water, and lemon peel. Heat to boiling and boil for 5 minutes.

Pour into a jelly strainer and let drip for 2 hours.

Combine the sugar and the remaining water and cook to 230°F. Add the strawberry juice and the corn syrup. Bring to boiling and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Fill hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Add lids and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.

Here are a few photos of the twins riding the powerwheels a few weeks ago - on one of our nice spring days.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tie Dye Cupcakes!!
These were a HUGE hit at my house this past weekend.
It is really a very simple recipe. Take a standard cake mix and make according to directions. Then divide the batter into 6 bowls (about 1 cup each) and mix to your desired colors. I used Red, Yellow, Orange, Green, Blue and Purple gel dye. Then you layer by the teaspoonful. I just dolloped the spoonfuls in rainbow order. I then Baked these for about 15 minutes until a clean toothpick inserted came out clean. While cooling, I mixed 2 tubs of white frosting with 3 different colors of dye - Red, Yellow and blue. In a pastry bag I put the frosting inside by the spoonful alternating colors until I got all of the frosting in the tube. Starting at 12 oclock I piped the frosting onto the cupcakes.

Here is where you can see the rainbow effect of the frosting on the cupcakes.

I love how vibrant the colors on the inside of the cupcakes came out!! I will definatly make these again.
I am thinking I will make some in badger colors for the girls...Purple and gold. The frosting I could do in Purple yellow and white to make sure the colors do not get too muddy.

This is one of my walmart clearance shopping trip. This order before coupons about about $70 and I walked spending about $10 it was a really great trip!

This was my Giant Eagle Stock up trip. Aprox $130 in items, my total out of pockets was $28 after coupons and sale items.

Lastly, These are the newest memebers of our chicken coop. We wanted a rooster and we got a hen along with him :) He is very 'Rooster-y' and doesn't seem to like me coming into the coop to collect eggs. I am trying to get him to see that I am not scared of him...but I am a shin hurts from where he tried to get me out of the coop!
I am sure there will be more to post very soon, some birthday invites that I am doing for a friend of Madelyns, Madelyn's diorama, spring cleaning, more planting, hopefully the start of the green house...ahh the joys of a busy life! Until next time!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Spring in here!! LOL - at least it is in my Kitchen. I bought an indoor green house and planted all of my bulbs that I failed to get planted last fall. They are doing great - except the flowers are dying off...either way it gives me something to get planted as soon as I can get in the dirt...maybe even get another flower or two :) Dougnuts!! These were really easy to make and I will for sure make them again!! I have been searching for the 'best' recipe. So after reading many and taking all the comments into consideration etc I put together a recipe that I thought would did!! The key here is the cake mix - this is where you can easily change up your doughnut flavors and its easier then trying to guess how much to use. For these doughnuts I used a French Vanilla cake mix. I am sure I could use any flavor for this. Strawberry, lemon, spice, chocolate etc. I would use a good quality mix. These tend to be full of flavor. I mean quality as in Duncan Hines or Pilsbury. Recipe: 2 (1/4 ounce) packages yeast 1/4 cup water (105-115) 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled) 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon salt 2 eggs 1/3 cup shortening 2.5 cups all purpose flour 2.5 cups your favorite cake mix, or yellow would be fine. canola oil Creamy Glaze 1/3 cup butter 2 cups powdered sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 6 tablespoons hot water 1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in 2.5 quart bowl 2. Add milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortenng and 2 cups flour 3. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. 4. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally 5. Stir in remaining flour until smooth 6. Cover and let rise until double, 50-60 minutes 7. (dough is ready when indentation remails when when touched) Turn dough onto floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour 8. gently roll dough 1/2 in thick with floured rolling pin 9. cut with floured doughnut cutter 10. cover and let rise until double, 30-40 minutes 11. Heat vegetable oil in deep fryer/skillet to 350 degrees 12. slide doughnuts into hot oil with wide spatula 13. turn doughnuts as they rise to the surface 14. fry until golden brown, about 1 minute on each side 15. remove carefully from oil (do not prick surface) drain 16. dip the doughnuts into creamy glaze set on rack to cool. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Happy Birthday Dakota and Brooke (2.28.11)

I am a little late in posting this but I wanted to share a recipe and pics of the twins birthday cakes I made for them! I have a few cake books laying around and the girls were very intrigued with the possibility of eating a cake that looked like scooby doo. I gave the girls a few options of something I thought I could make and they chose Spongebob!
To save time I took a french vanilla cake mix and split it between a round and square cake pan (Two cakes would be too much around here). After baking and cooling I used one of those Wiltons wire cake trimmer things...sorry for not having its correct name - but its a metal handle with a thin piece of wire that is adjustable...this allows you to split cake layers and to also trim off that hump you get when the cake bakes.
I used some store bought ButterCream frosting and frosted the middle, top and sides keeping it as smooth as possible and let the frosting set.
Then I made the fondant - its really easy and I will share the recipe below. Two reasons - store bought fondant is expensive and it tastes like cardboard. So the recipe that I use is a marshmellow fondant.
The tweaks or differences I made: I did use the Kraft jetpuffed mini marshmellows but I used the walmart brand powdered sugar. I also made a half a batch at a time: adding water, food color then marshmellows to the bowl before micowaving - the fondant was very easy to color this way :)
Recipe from here:

16 ounces white mini-marshmallows(use a good quality brand)

2 to 5 tablespoons water

2 pounds icing sugar (please use C&H Cane Powdered Sugar for the best results)

1/2 cup Crisco shortening (you will be digging into it so place in a very easily accessed bowl)


NOTE: Please be careful, this first stage can get hot.

Melt marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave or double boiler. To microwave, place the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, open microwave and stir, back in microwave for 30 seconds more, open microwave and stir again, and continue doing this until melted. It usually takes about 2 1/2 minutes total.

Place 3/4 of the powdered sugar on the top of the melted marshmallow mix.

Now grease your hands GENEROUSLY (palms, backs, and in between fingers), then heavily grease the counter you will be using and dump the bowl of marshmallow/sugar mixture in the middle. (By the way, this recipe is also good for your hands. When I’m done, they are baby soft.)

Start kneading like you would bread dough. You will immediately see why you have greased your hands. If you have children in the room they will either laugh at you or look at you with a questioning expression. You might even hear a muttered, “What are you doing?”

Keep kneading, this stuff is sticky at this stage! Add the rest of the powdered sugar and knead some more. Re-grease your hands and counter when the fondant starts sticking. If the mix is tearing easily, it is to dry, so add water (about 1/2 tablespoon at a time and then knead it in). It usually takes me about 8 minutes to get a firm smooth elastic ball so that it will stretch without tearing when you apply it to the cake.

It is best if you can let it sit, double wrapped, overnight (but you can use it right away if there are no tiny bits of dry powdered sugar). If you do see them, you will need to knead and maybe add a few more drops of water.

Prepare the fondant icing for storing by coating it with a good layer of Crisco shortening, wrap in a plastic-type wrap product and then put it in a re-sealable or Ziploc bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible.

MM Fondant icing will hold very well in the refrigerator for weeks. If I know that I have a cake to decorate, I usually make two (2) batches on a free night during the week so it is ready when I need it. Take advantage of the fact that this fondant icing can be prepared well in advance.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

A somewhat new term in our house. We have tried many times to stock up on food etc in the house...either by going to BJs wholesale or going to Aldi's - both place we spend a large chunk of money and then have to take the time to recover - especially if its BJs. We can easily walk out of there spending $400+. Aldi's was great for use when we had our apartment and it was myself, Matt, Madelyn and my brother. We could easily go there and buy a months worth of food and it was perfect financially. At that time - coupons were way too time consuming...

Now with 4 kids - and no time - I make the time to clip coupons. We are eatting all the foods we love, even some extras and I have saved nearly $1575!!

I took some time to take a few pictures of what I have been working on for the last few months.
This is the start of my stockpile - in the basement - we have a couple shelves that I have loaded up.
Here is the start of my Laundry stuff and the majority of the stuff that I canned.
This is the bottom half of my mother in law's freezer.
This is our freezer, I am out of room.
Canned foods.
Canned food, flour, ketsup, juice and cereal.
condiments in the pull outs.
More Dry food, Our H&B stuff is pictured below.
Thanks for checking our growing stockpile!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Contest Alert!
If you are a memeber of or you are thinking of becoming a member - Now is the time!! They have reached their 1,000,000th post and are giving things away to celebrate - one of which is:

Go to Laura Williams Musings - there will be 4 different winners each winning 4 sets of Coupon Inserts!! Here is what she is giving away:

2/20/11 Red Plum insert
2/13/11 Red Plum insert (this has the HOT $3 Gain Coupon in it)
1/30/11 Red Plum
1/30/11 P&G

Also, if you go to The Coupon Posse' there will be 10 winners - each receiving over $1200 in coupons!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I wanted to take some time to tell what you I have been up to:

SICK- is the word in this house - for several weeks. We started with the sniffles, then strep, then the flu, then some more sniffles and now we are on strep again. Madelyn relapsed so if she gets these inflamed tonsils again she will require more testing - but she has tested negative for mono!! Thank goodness.

So in between doing loads of laundry and walking around the house with my lysol I have squeezed in some cupcakes, cookies, chocolate cover strawberries and grapes, a few shopping trips and I made a card!!
Wanna make some of your own? It's Easy!!

Wash and dry your grapes and strawberries. Melt Chocolate in a double boiler, I add about a teaspoon-ish of crisco to the mix to help smooth out the chocolate. Then I dip away...berries are much easier because you hold on to the enitre stem. The grapes - I just dropped them in and spooned them out - bringing them to the side of the pan so excess chocolate comes off. Then I took some white chocolate and melted it and add some food dye gel to get the colors - found out that it was very hard to make red chocolate - but the pink is super pretty. I then poured the colored chocolate into my wiltons piping back with a writing tip and drizzled away. Another sucessful Target Trip
8 boxes of Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Pasta 1.13 ea = .63 ea after Q
Glade Candle 2.99 = .99 after Q
2 Rimmel Eye Shadows 2.49 ea = .49 ea after Q
Maalox $3.79 = free with Q plus 1.21 overage ea
Ky 14.99 = 7.99 after Q
Card 2.99 = free w/ purchase of Ky
Garnier Facial Moisturizer 4.99 = .99 after Q

Total order $47.56 after Qs 15.99 minus overage 2.42 = 13.57 plus tax of 2.02 = 15.59 minus the $5 Gift card I earned with purchase of KY

Total for all: 10.59 a 78.5% savings

Cupcakes and Cookies!!
I made a lemon supreme cupcake and sugar cookies with a poured fondant frosting. I decorated the cupcakes by dipping them in yellow fondant allowing to set then I piped the pics/designs in green. For the cookies I spooned the frosting on the cookies allowing to set. Then I piped on the white hearts and Madelyn added all the fun sprinkles we had.

I also took a set of 12 cookies and used the wiltons cookies frosting and wrote I LOVE YOU in 12 different languages for Matt for valentines day. I also made a steak, crablegs, baked potatoes, green beans and salad for our Valentines Day dinner.

Lastly, I made Matt his Valentines day card:

This is a Gina K design's stamp set that I used to make this little card for Matt. I try not to get to frilly with his but it was Valentines Day - so Pink and Red it is!! You are not able to see in the pic but I used a clear irridecent gel pen around all the black edges on the card to give it a little sparkle.

He found the card after I set the following up: He had to follow a train of hershey kisses to the shower to where he found his cookies and the card hanging with a Rose from the shower nozzle. On the inside of the card it said - Now that I have kissed the ground you walked on, Showered you from Roses...Will you be My Valentine? He did say that was cute :)

Thanks for stopping by! Please wish for the germs to leave my house!!