April 26, 2012

Laundry, Loads of Fun!

I love witty sayings. Recently I saw this one on Pinterest:

Katazoom on Etsy

Cute right? I thought so and figured I would have a little fun with the newly found phrase. What did I come up with? Cardboard Pants. Yep.

Wearable? Nooooo. Hangable? Yeeeessss. Super cute? Definitely!

It took some trial and error but I'm happy with how they came out. Want some cute pants of your own? Here's how to make them:

piece of cardboard
pair of baby jeans (the ones I used were 12 month size)
sand paper
two sheets of 12 by 12 scrapbook paper
ink pad (or ink and a medium sized paint brush)
"Laundry Loads of Fun" typed and printed in actual size needed
panties and sock clipart printed in actual size needed
very fine paint brush
medium sized paint brush
acrylic paint in white and a pink-red

1. The piece of cardboard I used was a top to a fancy makeup set I got forever ago.
Unfortunately this happened to be made out of industrial strength cardboard which might as well have been wood. The cutting part was a little rough...

2. Grab those cute little baby pants (if you or a friend don't have any lying around then Goodwill is a great place to find baby clothes for super cheap), lay them out on your cardboard and trace.

3. Remove pants (the ones on the cardboard silly) and cut out your outline.

4. As you can see my edges were a little rough so I used some sand paper to smooth them out. Never thought you would be sanding down cardboard did you? Me neither.
But look how much it helped!

5. Take one of your pieces of scrapbook paper and trace one of the legs from the bottom of the pant leg to however close to the waistline as you can get, then the other. Cut the legs out and lay on top of your cardboard pants. One of the legs will be overlapping the other.

6. Measure the 'waistline' with your ruler, find the center and mark it.

7. Using your ruler trace a line from the center you just marked of the waistline to the bottom of the crotch area.
Cut off the excess paper you just marked on the overlapping pant leg. You will now have a straight 'seam' connecting the two legs.

8. Trace the uncovered top part of your pants plus an inch or so past the top of the legs  on your second piece of scrapbook paper.
Cut out the waist tracing and place on top of the cardboard.

9. Use your ruler and pencil to lightly mark on the waist tracing the two outer corners of the leg pieces.
Cut in a curve from the first marked corner to the second so that your waist piece of paper has a curved lower half. Erase any pencil markings that remain.

10. Set your pants aside and grab your printed out witty phrase and clipart.
Flip them over and color the back side of the words and clipart with your pencil, excluding the word Laundry. Be sure that you well cover the outlines.
I do not have the clipart shown here because I didn't know I wanted to add those on until later. The word Laundry is also colored here but I decided to do a different stenciling method with it later on so please ignore the discrepancies.

11. Cut out the words and place on your pants where you would like them. Keep in mind that your pant tracings are not glued into place yet so be sure those are in the proper position as well.

Now trace over the phrase (excluding the word Laundry) and clipart's outlines with medium pressure. MEDIUM. No one wants torn pants...in this case anyways.
Remove the phrase and clipart to find a light tracings of them on your paper! Hooray!

12. Are your pants looking a little plain? Let's spunk them up with that ink pad. Lightly rub or brush the ink (I used a dusty rose color) on the edges of your scrapbook paper.

13. Using your fine paint brush fill in the tracings on your pants. This part can get tedious. Just a warning. If you are a painter or have one of those fancy stencil making machines I would utilize those things/talents now. And know I am terribly jealous.

14. As I said that last step can get tedious, and it did, so I decided I'd figure out another method for the word Laundry. I'm calling it 'Free Reverse Stenciling'.
Cut out your printed word Laundry.
VERY lightly brush on some Modpodge onto the backs of the letters and place on your top pant leg where you would like them- the Modpodge is so that the letters will stick in place while you brush over them. Quickly before the Modpodge completely dries brush over the letters. To prevent bleeding under it helps if you brush from the inside of the letters out. Now remove the letters carefully. If you don't trust your fingers use some tweezers.

15. Spread some Modpodge on the back of your button and place it on the top part of your pants and your done!
Now enjoy your hard work:

Final Touches: 

  • for the clothes line I braided three pieces of hemp. I just thought it looked better than a single line.
  • it's hard to tell, but I did Modpodge the clothespins. It adds a little something.
Having Loads of Fun making some loverly pants? Oh, I Got This!

April 24, 2012

Personal Sized Baked Oatmeal: Keeper or Stinker?

Soooooooo... I might have a um...slight addiction to Pinterest. I've got 64 boards and a little over 1500 pins now- 1541 to be exact.  But who's counting right? 
Anywho, a couple of those boards are dedicated to foody goodness that I have enjoyed sampling. Some have come out tantalizing, others not so much.

You are probably now thinking "alright, this lady's got some issues and likes to make food...so what?" Well this is the "so what?": why make the same mistakes twice? Why not let me review some of those Pinterest sensations for you so you don't end up with a hungry family politely (or not so politely) shoveling down some recipe that was tagged as being the Best Ever when it is obviously not?

Personal Sized Baked Oatmeal

 From: Sugar Free Mom

I kept seeing this recipe pop up all over Pinterest when I finally decided to give in and give it a try. And I am happy I did! These came out great. The recipe was simple and easy to follow, they are customizable, and best of all they are healthy but still tasty! 

Now, if you are looking for a sugary oatmeal muffin you will be disappointed. The only sugar used is either Stevia or honey. If you taste them and want a little more sweetness then put some chocolate chips or jam on top or mix them into the batter. 

These are surprisingly filling. I ate two for breakfast and was good to go. 
They are also great for babies! I smash them up and my son loves them. 

Bottom Line
  • Healthy
  • Filling
  • Customizable
  • Easy
  • Freezable
  • Baby-friendly
  • Taste healthy
  • If using cupcake liners very LIGHTLY spray them with nonstick cooking spray or the liners get soggy and are hard to pull off. 
  • The toppings I tried are Strawberry jam, dark chocolate chips (do less than I did, it was a bit much), sweetened coconut shreds, cut up apple with a sprinkle of cinnamon, walnuts, and Craisins. The ones with Strawberry jam, the cut up apple, and Craisins were the best for my son because I didn't have to take the toppings off. 
Keeper or Stinker?


Guest Post: Birthday in a Box!

Who better to do a guest post than the one who got me started on craftiness? My Mom (a.k.a. Shela)! She masterfully creates all sorts of things and she has agreed to share one of her secrets with you. And here it is:

Birthday in a Box!

If you can’t be there to throw someone an incredible birthday bash, you can make it feel just as special by sending it in a box. I did this for my son when he was gone on a mission for our church, and my daughter while she was at college.

1. Collect your supplies. At home I already had the following:

a. an empty shoe box (any box which is the right size to hold everything will do)
b. wrapping paper
c. cake mix
d. frosting
e. regular clear tape
f. clear packing tape
Then I went to a party supply store and picked a theme my daughter would appreciate. She’s been a big fan of Scooby Doo for years, so that’s what I picked. Here’s what I bought:

a. 1 eight pack of Scooby Doo dessert plates
b. 1 eight pack of Scooby Doo napkins
c. 8 Scooby Doo blowers
d. A Scooby Doo birthday badge
e. 8 rainbow colored cups
f. Bright green plastic table cover
g. Spongy Scooby Doo ball (just for fun)
h. Happy Birthday tiara
i. Number candles
j. Scooby Doo happy birthday banner
2. Open some select items to use in a few photos.
If you can’t be there in person, the next best thing is a picture. It makes the gift even more personal when you use some of the items you’re going to be packing in the box. I pulled out the birthday banner and then took pictures of family members holding it. I also opened the party blow outs for people to use in pictures. Then I put them together and added my rhyme:
This birthday in a box for you
includes a cake & frosting too.
Since we’re not there to share the day,
share it with who’ere you may.
So light the candles, make a wish
and know your birthday we’d never miss!

3. Cover your mailing box to make it look festive.  
I am a firm believer in the power of packaging. When the box looks good, it only adds to the delectable anticipation of the receiver. Since I already knew the inside was going to be covered with something else, I just put wrapping paper on the outside of the box.

4. Line the box with the table cover.
5. Pack all of the items inside.
6. Print out your pictures and add a nice note. Include it in the box.

7. With the clear packing tape seal the box well.
8. Add address labels and mail.
Variations you might want to try:

Little Debbie snack cakes can be substituted in place of the cake mix and frosting. If you’re worried about the mailing cost due to weight, this is a good option. It’s also good for those who might be kitchen challenged.
Hats of any kind are great because they work well in the pictures. One time I found some Spiderman masks that I had the whole family wear for pictures. It was awesome.
Helpful suggestion:

To save money on mailing costs, the US Postal Service offers free flat rate priority mailing boxes at any of their locations. If you choose the right box, you’ll pay one flat rate even if the box weighs more than usual.

April 11, 2012

Peeps Jousting

Peeps seem to be an Easter essential but to tell you the truth I'm not the biggest fan of sugar coated sugar fluff- taste wise anyways. So what do you do with the little thingers? My usual after Easter tradition is to let them sit on my counter for however long it takes for me to not feel guilty just throwing them out. A companion my husband had while on his mission (for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) had a much better idea. PEEPS JOUSTING!

Peeps + Toothpicks + Microwave = Mallowmazingness!

Arm them, place them, and heat 'em up then watch as the little birdies grow into big birdies and one Peep gets punctured. The victor is named and the tourny continues! Sooooo much better than letting your Peeps turn into raisins on the counter.

Multi-colored toothpicks (so you can tell  who's is who's)
Microwaveable plate

How to Joust:
1. Choose your color of toothpick and pierce your Peep. Jousting works best when the toothpick is placed more in the center of the Peep, not too far in, and at a lower angle.

2. Place the newly knighted Peeps facing each other and a few inches apart on your plate, then put your plate in the microwave.

3. If your microwave has a light turn it on to make them easier to see, if not you can see them fine without. Let them joust for about 1-2 minutes and watch as they fight valiantly for their honor while turning into obese Peeps. When one of them gets punctured they generally deflate or ooze out marshmallow goo so it is really very exciting.

Have a tournament with your siblings, make it a cheap date night, or just be silly with your spouse. Who knew Peeps could make for such sport?

Celebrating a new after Easter tradition while giving Peeps a purpose? Oh, I Got This!

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April 9, 2012

It's Ham-mer Time!

Got left over Easter ham? Good! I've got a bunch of ham recipes and ideas, 20 in fact. Grab a few and that ham will go to good use!

1. Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup

2.  Waffles with Ham and Egg

3. Ham Casserole

4. Crock-Pot Ham and Beans

5. Monte Cristo Casserole

6. Ham and Broccoli Quiche

7. Ham Salad Spread

8. Ham Muffinwiches

9. Split Pea and Ham Soup

10. Hearty Ham Casserole

11. Baked Ham and Cheese Omelet Roll

12. Ham and Cheese Sliders

13. Lay it out on a sandwich like this one: Gerber Sandwich

14. Chop it up and throw it in my Golden Macaroni and Cheese

15. Make a batch of hearty breakfast burritos with ham to stick in the freezer for some quick and tasty breakfasts!

16. Mini Ham 'n' Cheese Frittatas

17. Ham 'n' Chickpea Soup

18. Save some moola and make your favorite pizza at home. My favorite is Hawaiian and left over ham tastes devilishly good on it.

19. Ham Stuffed Tomatoes

20. Ham and Corn Souffle

Not feeling like I am eating left-overs five nights in a row? Oh, I Got This!

April 5, 2012

Golden Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese is one of my most favorite things. The cheese, the pasta, the general gooey goodness. It's heavenly.
But there are varying levels of Mac and Cheese goodness. My calling is to find the MOST heavenly recipe out there (tough calling, I know). So far this is the winner:

This recipe hails from Southern Living Magazine and it is just all sorts of yummy. Everyone who's tasted it when I've made it has loved it, I love it, and I think you'll love it too!

Bake Time: 40-45 min.
Yield: 8 servings

1 (8oz) package elbow macaroni (about 2 cups uncooked)
2 cups milk
1/4 all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon onion salt
2 (10oz) blocks sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 4 1/2 cups)
1 cup soft breadcrumbs
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

1. Set oven to 350. Cook the macaroni, drain, set aside.

2. Place milk, flour, and onion salt in a quart jar or tupperware container; cover tightly, shake vigorously for 1 minute (an overactive child might enjoy this part). Be sure to get all the flour mixed in or you'll end up with clumps in the final product and that's just yucky.

3. Stir together flour mixture, 3 1/2 cups of the cheese, and the cooked macaroni. I prefer to stir it in the dish I'll be baking it in. Yes, I am that lazy.

4. Sprinkle evenly with breadcrumbs and remaining 1 cup cheese...

 then drizzle evenly with melted butter.

5. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and scrumptious looking.

  • It makes the drizzling of the butter much easier if you zap the butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds in a pourable liquid measuring cup.
  • Don't use store bought pre shredded cheese. The preservatives that they use to coat the cheese makes the whole thing taste bland. If you want the prep to go quicker than shred the block cheese before hand and keep in the fridge or freezer.
  • I use the tiny breadcrumbs you get at the grocery store rather than tearing up four pieces of bread for soft crumbs. It tastes just as good but takes a lot less time.
  • Add chopped up bacon or ham to the macaroni with some on top.
  • For a little healthiness chop up some cooked broccoli and mix it in.
Fulfilling my calling in life while making others love me (well, my cooking anyways)? Oh, I Got This!

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shabby creek cottage