Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Join Me for Christmas in July and a GIVEAWAY



I am SO excited to be starting this month long Christmas in July event.
In May I had a reader email me and ask me to do a post with a whole bunch of ideas of gifts she could give to family members and friends at Christmas. 

I know you and I share her same dilemma...it is hard to come up with creative and homemade gifts for so many people AND do it year after year. 

Well my brain started working...rare event in this house...and I came up with the idea to gather tons of cute bloggers and have them share homemade gift idea, food gift ideas, and even offer giveaways for homemade gifts made by someone else.

Seriously, there are some amazing girlies who are going to help you out. You are curious aren't you????

the fantastic line-up--

Linda from Craftaholics Anonymous
Mique from 30 days
Taylor from Mary Janes and Golashes
Maggie from Smashed Peas and Carrots
Christie from Lemon Squeezy Home
Stephanie from Somewhat Simple
Cheryl from A Pretty Cool Life
Keirste from Brown Paper Packages
Erin from Blues and Branches
Cheri from I Am Momma
Brittany from Love Stitched
Dianna from Whatever Dee Dee Wants
Sarah and Anna from Lily Lane Pendants
Erin from Lemon Tree Creations
Jessica from Running with Scissors
Leigh Anne from Your Homebased Mom

There will be something new everyday.

Mondays-- GIVEAWAYS
Tuesdays--Guest Blogger
Wednesdays--Guest Blogger
Thursdays--Food Guest Blogger
Fridays--Linky Party--time for YOU to participate
Saturday--Gift idea from me
Sunday--Potpourri...a little bit of anything and everything

Come back everyday and check...spread the Christmas in July spirit....

Speaking of Christmas in July spirit...

I think we need an event kick off

GIVEAWAY

My friend is the Abbie of



you may have heard of it...she is pretty much famous for creating a pattern for 
her PB kids knock off--



yeah it is pretty much AH-mazing!

She sells this pattern in her etsy store...

BUT today she is offering it to one of my readers for

FREE...yeah who doesn't like FREE.

To enter:

leave a comment telling me who this sweet chair would be made for

Additional entries, leave a separate comment for each one:

become a follower, or tell me you already are

go to her etsy shop and look around, leave me a comment leaving her some love

blog/tweet/fb about this giveaway

This giveaway is open until 11:59 pm est on Sunday, July 4th

Good LUCK!

And now officially, it is Christmas in July

Make sure to grab a button on the side of my blog!


Monday, June 28, 2010

179 Days Till Christmas


But who's counting, right?

From the perspective of a small child 179 days until Christmas seems like an ETERNITY to wait...you should see the looks on my little men's faces when I tell them they have 179 sleeps left until Christmas...priceless I tell you.

HOWEVER, from the perspective of a wanna-be-homemade-gift-giver for hubby, three children, parents, in-laws, siblings, cousins, grandparents, teacher, neighbors, friends, friends kids...oh you get it! The list goes on and on, and I didn't even factor in the fact that you had to give to these loved ones last year, and the year before, and the year before...and heaven forbid there is a repeat.

Just before I got my third ulcer, right as I was reaching for the Pepto...which I am thinking I should buy stock in...my little brain thought of something...




Intrigued??? You should be...it is going to be a pretty awesome month long event with guest bloggers, giveaways, linky parties, and a truck load of homemade gift ideas.

Mark your calendars, it all starts Thursday, July 1st.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Washer Felt Cuff Tutorial


Do you wanna know how I made this Washer Felt Cuff...

Go and check out my guest blogger tutorial at Someday Crafts.


It is super easy to make...plus it is super cute, I am just sayin'.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hey I Can Do That...T-shirt Hat

This was originally shown as a tutorial by At Second Street for Ucreate. 

I stashed the tutorial away, along with a couple of hubby's old shirts. It just took me a month of giving myself several peptalks... "you can do it", "it will turn out", "you can use math", blah, blah, blah.

Today I got 'er done. YAY!

Funny thing this was supposed to be for Littlest Little Man, but the "you can use math" hit a glitch and it ended up fitting perfectly for Middle Little Man.






I totally recommend trying this. I have plans for some more hats this weekend. My favorite part was finding a t-shirt that had a print already on it so that I didn't have to spend the extra time to embellish it.

So today I found out "Hey I can Do That!"

Mmmm what shall I try next??? Any suggestions?

Confessions of an Ugly Teenager


Yes it is true, I was an ugly teenager.

I know, shocking, but true.

My teenage experience ranged from the above, a preteen suffering from missing-my-brush-need-a-training-bra-before-her-friends-homemade-hand-me-down-dress-sporting-shoulder-pads syndrome...

to

a high school senior mistaken for any of the following: a foreign exchange student, a relatives girlfriend (eww gross not because we were ever seen being affectionate...just because I was never seen with ANY other boys), a middle aged mother of a six year old, or a substitute teacher.

...and sorry you don't get a picture of this time of my life...the above preteen picture is sad but hilarious...my high school pictures are just sad and embarrassing.

Yes it is safe to say I was an ugly teenager.

So here are some confessions of an ugly teenager all grown up and grown out of most of her ugly (you should see me after a really muggy midwest night of sleep when our air conditioner doesn't kick on because we are too cheap)...

...Even though I knew high school boys were real oxygen wasters...I still would have liked a date.
...While I appreciate the hilarity of my prom story (I will tell that one another time)...I would have still liked a fairy tale one.
..."You are so mature" I think was people trying to assure me that I would grow out of my awkward phase.
...Some times it sucked to have BEAUTIFUL friends (you know who you are)...but I still can't hold it against them because they were also WONDERFUL friends.
...In hindsight I can now see that wearing trousers to school will lead to the idea that you are substitute teacher.
...I let other people dictate my confidence in how I looked and here is a secret...I still struggle with that.

What I learned from being an ugly teenager?

...It goes away
...Keeping high school boys away was a blessing in disguise
...Man am I funny (hehe funny looking...sorry I had to throw that one in)
...The story of the ugly duckling is true
...Your parents ALWAYS think you are beautiful
...It really is more important to have a beautiful soul

Here's to all the "ugly" teenagers out there. I am thankful for what I learned from that time of my life...but whew am I glad it is over...

...and the pictures are burned...kidding...maybe.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sesame Chicken


Yup, it is as good as it looks...sorry there is oil involved, but then you probably figured if it looked this good it had to involve frying. Don't worry, see the broccoli in the background and the blanket of brown rice it sets on...well that is how you can feel better about the use of oil...p.s. it isn't much, so just do it.

Sesame Chicken

3-4 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2 eggs, blended
2/3 cup tapioca starch (found in Asian supermarkets, can substitute flour)
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/ 4 cup peanut oil (see it's just a tiny bit)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Mix together starch (flour), garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Dip chicken in egg and then toss in flour mixture. Fry coated chicken in peanut oil until golden and cooked through.

Mix soy sauce and sugar and then pour over the chicken and stir until coated and sauce is heated through. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve over rice and broccoli.

My kids and hubby...okay and me...devoured this. It was quite a hit, even with the littlest little man.

Creative Guest at Ucreate

U Create

Today I am lucky enough to be seen over at Ucreate.

I couldn't be more excited.  The blog is kind of awesome, Kari is kind of awesome, and I feel really honored that she would allow me to be apart of her blog today.

Also Today...it is hotter than the hubs of...well you know. I am wilting, not prettily might I add.

Boys are basking in the sun in a new little pool with a new little sprinkler going on simultaneously, and  I am seriously thinking about putting on my bathing suit and joining them...

alas I don't won't to scare all my lovely neighbors, so I will probably just eat 35 popsicles instead.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Swapping with Dee Dee

Time for another blog swap. This time I am swapping with 
Dee Dee, super cute girl with a super great blog.



Hi everyone. I am super excited to be blog swapping with Larissa! Another day in Paradise has quickly become one of my favorite blogs! I can't get enough of her projects.

Now to introduce myself, my name is Dianna but most everyone calls me Dee Dee.
I blog at whatever Dee Dee wants {she's gonna get it}. I am the mom to the coolest little red headed boy and married to my best friend. I know, cliché but really we were best friends before we ever liked each other. My husband Travis, is a butcher. You can check out some the yummy things we eat here.

I love buying kids clothes and am always buying my son something new to wear. Every Sunday on my blog I show off his Stylin’ Sunday picture.
I love lists, being on time, organization, cooking, reading, traveling and crafting. Sometimes husbands and kids don’t allow traveling, being on time and keeping things organized. At least I have all of those other things.
I learned to sew at an early age. I took numerous lessons (art, swimming, tennis, ballet, tap, jazz, etc) and the only one I stuck with was sewing. I love all kinds of crafts and am trying my hand at quilting right now.

I made these little notebooks for all my little lists I like to make. They also make great journals.
I sell them along with a few of my other crafts in my Etsy shop just for fun.

Recently I made these calendar blocks with a group of young girls from my neighborhood. Make sure to check out the tutorial, they are super easy to make.
I also made this little wallet gift card holder for Father's Day but I think it would be great for birthdays too.

I like to make my husband craft with me. He likes helping me with our Gocco printer and making cufflinks.

I would love to meet you. Oh and make sure to enter the giveaways while you are there.
Thanks Larissa for letting me share your blog today!




Thanks Dee Dee. How great is she?
 I hope you are enjoying meeting all of these great bloggers 
I have been able to swap with. 


Take a little peak over at Tip Junkie today too...
you might see a familiar face.







See ya tomorrow!

Bribery

Grab some cereal, the crazier the better...


melt some of this stuff...


add to cereal and make some of these...


serve them up to your little ones in bribery so that...



you can cuddle up with a box of this and some DayQuil undisturbed ...


that's what you are doing if you have caught the dreaded summer 
cold/sinus infection...I am just making a really good guess.

Don't worry hand washing and face masks were involved in the making process...okay not the face masks, would you believe I held my breath? Anyway, no germs were passed on.

PS your kids will enjoy this bribery for reasons other than sickness...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Hey I Can Do That--Father's Day Gift


I saw a version of this project last week on the blog Bargain Hoot. Immediately I stored it away in my brain. Her project used a blank background and a bigger phrase. It is really cute, you should go and check it out. For my version I chose to use photos of my boys, edited to black and white, for the background instead of a blank white page.

Then I picked things I wanted to say and searched out the needed scrabble tiles.

Another difference in my process... I did not worry about right angles and I didn't have scotch tape, so I just individually glued and placed the tiles on. I managed to eyeball it pretty straight. This is that whole fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants part of me.

This was a super easy and quick project...you could totally still pull it off today.



A perfect little homemade Father's Day gift.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Free Felt Food Download

Last Christmas I joined the felt food making frenzy. I made this...



okay and these...






                            





That went along with this...

be kind about the pictures, this is in our dark and dreary basement






I have had a lot of people ask me for the pattern that I did for the pancakes, bacon, and eggs...Breakfast of Champions I like to call it. Back when I first did this I was even more technologically slow than I am now, so I couldn't get my pattern to be accessible from my blog. Well now I think I have figured it out. 

Now I am offering up my pattern and the written instructions. Please let me know if any of you have troubles downloading this...I can still email them to you. 

I have yet to give the "this is for personal use only, don't copy and play mean and not give credit where credit is due"talk, but let's just say I am giving the speech now. PLAY NICE. Let's all be friends.  I love sharing my ideas, and I love others sharing their ideas with me...but remember NO STEALING unless it is a smooch under the moonlight... 

SO happy felt fooding. Your little ones will LOVE it...and you will probably become obsessed.

Breakfast of Champions PATTERN

Breakfast of Champions INSTRUCTIONS

edited note: I have heard from one person that they could see the pattern but could not save or
 print for them. PLEASE leave me a comment if these worked OR didn't work for you. 
I would like to know if they have worked for anyone.
Without a comment I just have to assume either no one used it OR no one has problems.
 Depends on if I am in a glass half full or glass half empty mood...haha.

Tomorrow is another rousing post of "Hey I Can Do That!"
It is between two projects right now...both still in phases of completion, one a lot
more likely to have a failure outcome...sigh...we will see.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fish Recipe to Follow...Don't Die of Shock

Those of you who know me know that I am not a huge fish fan. I know I should be and sometimes I wish I was...I mean isn't it like one of the healthiest things you can eat??? 

Well hubby is a fan of food from the sea. He has been raving about this dish forever. I mean he LOVES it. He loved it enough to cook it for the fam in an attempt to convince me that I shouldn't write off all fish dishes. Guess what? I ate it. Okay so I ate it AND I didn't hate it. If you love fish already then you will love this dish. If you are iffy on fish then you will really like this dish. IF you are opposed to fish, then guess what, chicken is really good in this too...yes hubby even made me a chicken breast to go with it so I didn't have to be really brave my very first time out of the gate.

So go ahead give this a try...Don't be scared by the ingredient list. If you have everything prepped and in the accurate measurements, then it throws together really easy.

Ok, enough talking here is a recipe for-

Broiled Tilapia with Thai Coconut Curry Sauce
with Basmati Basil Rice



1 teaspoon dark sesame oil, divided (Olive Oil works just fine)
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons red curry paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
Cooking spray
3 cups hot cooked basmati rice (recipe below)
4 lime wedges



Preheat broiler.

Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add pepper and onions; cook 1 minute. Stir in curry powder, curry paste, and cumin; cook 1 minute. Add soy sauce, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and coconut milk; bring to a simmer (do not boil). Remove from heat; stir in cilantro.

Brush fish with 1/2 teaspoon oil; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Broil 7 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.


Rice Recipe, start before sauce

1 cup basmati rice
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place rice in a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse with cold water; drain.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine; bring to a boil. Cover; wrap handle of pan with foil. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes, stirring once. Remove rice from oven; fluff rice with a fork. 


Serve fish with sauce, rice, and lime wedges. 


This recipe is one of the more time intensive ones I have done, but hey, if WE can do it, YOU can do it.

Dollar Store Boys Cuff Watch

Two posts in one day...booyah.

Basically I decided last minute to bust out a project for the CSI project this week.



The theme this week was--DOLLAR STORE.

So this was what I came up with, two little man cuff watches...






My project came from these Dollar Store items:

2 watches--$2
gray shammies--$1
red washcloths--$1



From my stockpile I added...

black felt
yellow felt
coordinating thread
velcro
hot glue

and BAM...two pretty dope (yep I said dope) little man cuffs.



Tutorial in the works, I only had time to bust out the project not the actual tutorial, oh well right???


Here are some other places I am spreading the cuff watch love--

The Girl Creative


Photobucket


Show and Tell Green

Sumo Sweet Stuff


MarketingMondays











giveaways
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