Monday, April 29, 2013

Distressed Washroom Sign

The space above the tabbed towels hookboard in my boys' bathroom needed a little something.  I decided to use some things I had on hand to make a simple distressed washroom sign.

I basically followed the same steps I did with my distressed pattern block plaque.  The only additional step with this one was to paint the board with a coat of blue paint before painting it white.  I did this since I was starting with a bare wood board and I wanted a color to show through when I distressed it.

It was a fun, quick project and makes a big difference in that big empty space.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Blue Stepstool

Last summer we made some changes to our boys' bathroom which made it a little bit more boy friendly.  I have been so much happier with that bathroom ever since, but the one thing it was missing, was a stepstool so the little boys could reach the sink.

My oldest boy (with some help from his dad) made this cute little stepstool for me several months ago.  I finally got around to painting it and it is just what we needed.

I love this little blue stepstool. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday's Tip - Canning Jar Blender

Have you seen this neat little trick? With some blenders you can screw a regular mouth canning jar onto the base/blade of the blender. This eliminates most of the worst part of using my blender for my morning smoothies - cleaning up the blender. I can just wash the base and use the canning jar as my glass - so so easy!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Homemade Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

In an earlier post, I mentioned that we have been experimenting with homemade granola bars.  I recently came up with a new recipe that was a real hit.  These peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars are sweet and slightly chewy, with just a little bit of crunch.  I think this recipe is a keeper.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup crisp rice cereal
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine the softened butter and peanut butter until well mixed.  Add all the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. Press into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Cool completely and cut into bars.

linking up with:

Lil' Luna
Kitchen Meets Girl
Polkadots on Parade
Somewhat Simple

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuesday's Tip - Car Organization

Use a small accordian file to keep your vehicle registration and insurance information organized in your glove box. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Jute Ball Accents

I have had an empty basket on a table in my living room for months.  A couple of days ago, I decided it was time to get that thing filled.  I had the stuff on hand to make these jute ball accents and I am so happy with how they turned out.  I followed the tutorial over at make it and love it to wrap them.  I thought it would get a little tedious and boring, but I actually found it kind of relaxing and enjoyed the time I spent on them.  I spray painted some of the balls in the colors of my living room and kept a couple of them in their natural color.

As I was wrapping these my little boy came up and asked me if I was making Christmas ornaments.  I told him no, but they would make really cute Christmas ornaments too.  I was also thinking how cute they would be if they were spray painted in your nursery colors and used on a mobile - especially for a baby boy.  The options are really plentiful.

I am enjoying them.  Now, if I can just convince my boys that they are for my enjoyment and not for theirs.  :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

My Orange Quilt

This quilt is one I finished almost a year ago, but never got around to blogging about it.  It is a shameless copy of "The Orange Quilt" over at Cluck Cluck Sew.  I love her blog and her quilts. (I have made several, have one in progress, and a few patterns waiting.)  When I saw this one, I knew I had to have one just like it.  So, this is "My Orange Quilt", and I love it!!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Burlap Monogram Board

I had some burlap and this board laying around and decided to make good use of them.  My piano needed a little something to sit on top of it, and this burlap monogram board was just the thing.

Unfortunately, I didn't snap pictures while I was putting it together, but I think if you look closely it is pretty self explanatory.   I will give the dimensions I used and a couple of instructions.  I cut the monogram stencil out on my vinyl cutter.  I used spray paint to paint the letter.  The board measures 10" x 11 1/4".  I cut the burlap 8 3/4" x 10" and pulled five threads on each edge for the fringe.  I then hammered in regular old upholstery tacks at the four corners.  It was super easy and I love it!!

Linking up with:

The Crafty Blogstalker
A Glimpse Inside
Somewhat Simple
Thirty Handmade Days

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Little Bit of Spring

We woke up yesterday morning to this. . .

 Luckily, my husband had paid attention to the forecast and brought a little bit of spring inside before the snow flew.

These happy forsythia stems should get us through the next few dreary days.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tuesday's Tip - Single Serving Rice Krispie Treat

If you haven't learned this little trick, you should.  You make this single serving rice krispie treat with a jumbo marshmallow and it is soooo easy!!

1.  Put one jumbo marshmallow and 1 Tbsp. butter into a microwave safe bowl. 
2.  Head 25 - 30 seconds until puffy and melted.
3.  Remove from microwave and stir together.
4.  Add 1/2 cup rice krispies and stir to combine.
5.  Pat mixture into your mold (I used my mini loaf pan)
6.  Put in the fridge for 10 minutes to let it set.
7.  Pop out of the mold and enjoy!!

Linking up with:
Today's Creative Blog
Funky Pokadot Giraffe

Monday, April 8, 2013

Family Rules Subway Art on Canvas

Awhile ago, I found this cute Family Rules Subway Art free download at Sassy Sanctuary.  I ordered a print immediately, and finally got around to putting it on a canvas to be displayed in our family room.

I followed the tutorial from The Sassy Pepper for mod podging photos on canvas, and inking the edges.  It was super easy and turned out perfectly.

The Family Rules Canvas is a nice addition to our Family Room.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Simple Oversized Tote Bag with French Seams

The warmer weather we have been enjoying has reminded me that summer is coming fast, and I have a few projects to knock out before it arrives.  This easy, jumbo tote bag was first on my list.  Last summer, whenever we went to the pool, I had to stuff all of our towels, goggles, water bottles, etc. in several different bags because I didn't have one that would hold everything.  It drove me crazy!!  This year, I determined that I would make a large tote that could hold all we need for a trip to the pool.

I had some leftover upholstery fabric from my toddler bed project, and figured that it would make a pretty good tote.  I decided to make this tote unlined, but with french seams for a nice, finished look inside.

Here is what I did:

Cut two pieces of fabric 5" x 28"
Cut one large piece of fabric 26" x 40"

 Press the 5" x 28" pieces of fabric in half, lengthwise

 Unfold, and press each side to meet the center line.

Fold in half, along original pressed line, and press again.
Stitch down both sides.  Clip threads.  These will be your handles/straps.

Take the large piece of fabric and fold down the short edges 1/2 inch to the inside.  Press.

Fold over 1/2 " again and press.  Use steam if possible, this will help the folds stay in place.

Measure in about 7" from the outside and insert one side of the strap underneath the fold.

Flip the strap up and pin in place.  Repeat on the other side with the other side of the strap.  Then, repeat on the opposite side with the remaining strap.  I like to put a couple of extra pins in along the fold to keep it in place while sewing.

Stitch along the bottom edge of the fold and then the top edge.  This will finish the top of the bag and secure the straps in place.

Fold the bag in half wrong sides together, so the top edges and handles meet.  It will look something like this.    Pin in place along the sides making sure that the top edges meet exactly.  Clip all threads.

Now this is where we do our french seams.  If you have never done french seams before, don't let them intimidate you.  They are very easy, just a little counterintuitive at first.

Stitch a 1/4 inch seam along the sides of the bag starting from the top.  Clip threads.

Turn the bag inside out and work out the corners and the seam as well as you can.  Press.

Stitch along the sides using a 1/2 " seam, making sure you backstitch at the beginning and ending of both seam lines.

Turn the bag right side out, work out the corners and press.  The bag is now complete.

And the inside has a nice finished look with no ragged edges.

All our big beach towels fit in there with plenty of room to spare.

Just what I needed and so easy!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Whole Wheat Waffles

I have loved these whole wheat waffles ever since I was a kid.   Now, my boys love them too. We especially love them with blueberries in them.  My oldest will even forego the syrup when blueberries are added.  As a bonus, this recipe can also be made into pancakes with no changes.

Whole Wheat Waffles
1 1/4 C. whole wheat flour
1 T. baking powder
1 1/2 t. salt
3 T. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
3 T. oil

Whisk dry ingredients together in a bowl. Separate the eggs. Combine the egg yolks, milk and oil and then add to the dry ingredients and whisk together. Beat the egg whites until light and fluffy and fold into batter. (I usually just put the egg whites in my stand mixer and let it do the work while I am getting the rest of the ingredients together.) Bake in waffle iron or on hot griddle.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tuesday's Tip - Nightstand Drawer Organization

This tip is really for me more than anyone else.  Lately, the drawer of my bedside table has become kind of a catch-all, and it has been driving me crazy.  I like the drawer of my nightstand to be relatively empty, and only hold the things that I use each night.  So, in an effort to keep my drawer from becoming cluttered up again, I decided to reorganize it a bit.

The first thing I did, of course, was clean it out.  Once I had an empty drawer to work with, I decided to line it with some cute scrapbook paper.  I am hoping that if I can see that paper every time I open the drawer, it will be motivation to keep the drawer in good order.

 I then took a small ceramic tray that I inherited from my grandma, that was sitting unused in my kitchen cupboard and put it in the drawer to hold my hand cream and lip balm, and keep it from rolling around too much in the drawer.

I added a little white basket to hold a small notebook and pen, to jot down any thoughts or ideas that occur to me at night or first thing in the morning, that I don't want to forget (this happens to me alot).

Finally, the drawer also holds my scriptures.

I feel so much better when I open this drawer now!

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