A Family Life Blog

Posts for Crafty, Yummy, Cute , Crazy & All of the above Category

A space for baby sister!

Since we are having  a girl now, and our eldest boys are already sharing a room, I was charged with making a space for sister! I did not have alot of money for this project and really not much time either. However I did have www.pintrest .com and some crafty know how!

I made everything you see in these pics and I think the total to compleatly transform this room was about $175.00 And that was just because I spoiled myself with a nice bead spread from Target that was $80.00 !

sisters-room-003 Cute wall hangings from old frames and buttons! A glue gun and old stuff is all you need!

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So I painted the walls pink :) The dresser was an old one I had in the attic with flowers on it. I painted it white and replaced the top nobs. The rocker still needs recovered but that is another day all together. I made the curtains and these super cute throw pillows from a pattern idea I found on ….yes Pintrest!

 

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I love these flower pillows and they are super easy to make!

 

 

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What girl doesn’t need a space for her hair bows? Again using an old frame & some left over ribbon!

I have some projects left to do in there but this is at least the start!  Fun fun fun working with pink and creating a space for baby!

I hope this inspires you to get crafty today!

-Jen

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Owl Hat For Wyatt

This is a pettern and pic of the Owl Hat I made for my son Wyatt for Christmas! I loved it and it was very quick & fun!

This is not my pattern so please be respectful of it’s orginal owners wishes and use for personal use. She published it to be used for free so let’s keep it that way :)

Enjoy…

The pattern is from http://daisycottagedesigns.blogspot.com/ who is an amazing crafter I found on http://pinterest.com/

 

Owl Hat Pattern

Newborn Size

 

 

 

Z

This hat should fit babies whose heads measure between 13 and 15 inches.

Materials:

 

 

Worsted weight yarn (I generally use Lily Sugar ‘n’ Cream)

 

 

J hook (or whatever size necessary to achieve correct size)

 

 

Buttons for eyes

Pattern Notes:

Pattern is worked through both loops.

This pattern is worked in spiral until you reach the earflaps There will be no chains

or slipstitches at the ends of a round unless otherwise noted.

Directions for Hat:

Ch 2.

Round 1: 12 HDC in second chain from hook. (12)

Round 2: *1 HDC in the next stitch, 2 HDC in the next stitch* around. (18)

Round 3: *1 HDC in the next 2 stitches, 2 HDC in the next stitch* around. (24)

Round 4: *1 HDC in the next 3 stitches, 2 HDC in the next stitch* around. (30)

Round 5: *1 HDC in the next 4 stitches, 2 HDC in the next stitch* around. (36)

Round 6: *1 HDC in the next 11 stitches, 2 HDC in the next stitch* around. (39)

Rounds 7-9: HDC in each stitch around. (39)

Round 10: HDC in each stitch around. Sl st in next. (39) Join a new color in the

same stitch as the sl st.

Round 11: Ch 1., HDC in the next stitch and in each stitch around with the new

color.

Rounds 12-14: HDC in the next stitch and in each stitch around. On round 14, sl

st in next.

Stop here for a beanie and add one round of SC. If you’d like earflaps, keep going.

I don’t chain at the end of a row. I work the first HDC of the next row in the last

HDC of the previous row. If it makes you nervous to skip the chains, you can

replace the first HDC of each row with 2 chains.

Round 15: 1 HDC in each of the next 10 stitches.

Round 16: Turn. 1 HDC in each stitch across.

Round 17: HDC decrease, HDC across to last two stitches, HDC decrease in last two

stitches. (8)

Round 18: Turn. 1 HDC in each stitch across

Round 19: HDC decrease, HDC across to last two stitches, HDC decrease in last two

stitches. (6)

Round 20: HDC in each stitch across. (6)

Round 21: HDC decrease, HDC across to last two stitches, HDC decrease in last two

stitches. (4)

Round 22: HDC decrease, HDC across to last two stitches, HDC decrease in last two

stitches (2).

I leave 8 stitches between the earflaps in the back and 11 between them in the

front. You can play around with this and decide how you like them spaced.

Round 23: Single crochet around the entire hat.

Cut yarn and weave ends.

Facial Features (Leave long tails for sewing on):

Eyes (Make 2).

Ch 3.

Round 1: 10 DC into the third ch from hook. Sl st in the first double crochet (not

the chain 2).

Round 2: Ch 1, HDC in the same stitch. 2 HDC in each stitch around. I work in one

extra HDC so I can sl st in the first HDC rather than in the ch.

Round 3: Ch 1, *1 HDC in the next stitch, 2 HDC in the next st* around. Work in

an extra HDC and sl st in the first HDC of the round.

Fasten off and sew a button in the center of each eye.

Beak:

Ch 6.

Row 1: 1 sc in second ch from hook, HDC in next, DC in next, DC in next, TC in

next. Fasten off.

Ears:

Ch 2.

Round 1: Work 5 SC in the second ch from hook. (5)

Round 2: 2 SC in each stitch. (10)

Round 3 –8: SC in each stitch around.

Fasten off and sew on hat.

Attaching Features:

To attach the features to the hat, I use a tapestry needle and the tail to attach

them to the hat. I just use a simple stitch going to the inside of the hat through

one stitch and back out through the next. There are probably several ways that

would work.

Braids:

Cut 18 pieces of yarn (9 for each earflap) about 30 inches long. Fold each bunch

in half and push the folded end through an opening in the bottom of each earflap.

Pull the unfolded ends through the loop and pull tight. Braid the strands and tie a

knot to secure the braid. Complete the second braid the same way.

Ear Tassels:

Cut 12 pieces of yarn (you can make these long or short) and attach 6 to the top

of each “ear.”

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Dirt Cup Fun

This year my son turned 8! For his school treat I was searching for something fun , new & home made. I am a very busy mom with little time and I have pregnant brain so I was at a loss. Then I thought back to my second grade year. I  remembered a girl friend of mine bringing in Dirt Cups and thinking that she had the coolest mom ever. Wanting to please my son and hit the coolest mom ever status  I pitched the classic to my son, whom thought that I was a culinary genius. They took no time at all & were inexpensive to put together so we were both very happy!

dirt-cup21

Recipe:  Dirt Cups

2 c. milk

1 (4 serving) box of chocolate instant pudding mix

1 tub of frozen whipped topping, thawed

18-20 chocolate sandwich cookies

assorted gummy worms or bugs

Pulse cookies in food processor until they are ground to fine crumbs.  Set aside.  Pour milk into large bowl and add pudding mix.  Whisk briskly for 2 minutes.  Gently fold in whipped topping until no white streaks remain.

Place a heaping spoonful of cookie crumbs into the bottoms of each glass or cup.  Fill most of the glass or cup with the pudding mixture.  Top with another spoonful of cookie crumbs.  You can use a straw to poke a hole in the top of the dirt to help make a space to insert the end of the gummy worms.

Store in refrigerator.  Makes 8-10 dirt cups, depending on the size of your glasses.  This is also great to make in a clean sand bucket and to use the shovel to scoop it out.

**Sand Cups are fun too!  Instead of using chocolate sandwich cookies, use vanilla ones or vanilla wafers; and replace the chocolate pudding with vanilla pudding mix.**

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Costumes for less $ and more fun

This year I was not going to spend $25 on a cheap nylon costume from a store that at leat 10 other kids would be wearing in my kids class. For the past few years they wanted to be their most favorite action guy and so I let them pick out a Targer or Walmart special that was too cold, generic, and flimsy! That’s what they had their hearts set on, so that’s what we did! But not this year!

Oh no, my guys & I were ready for original and fun, but I don’t have the money to go overboardat some specialty costume shop either. After much debate we settled on cave men for my sons. These wer super easy, turned out super cute & thanks to my 50% off coupons to Joanns, only cost me about $17 for two original costumes!

My advise to you mama’s is to get out there and gather some ideas, then go in search of how you can do it yourself better, for less %, and feel good about it. There are tons of sits with ideas to gather info, local craft stores have patterns galore if you are a sewer. If being crafty isn’t your style, than hit your local thrift shop to find used costumes or tons of ideas and inspiration. I bet you can put together a great costume for about $15 bucks or less if you just use your imagination!

Happy Halloween Mama’s

Here are some good sites to get inspired

http://www.halloweencostumeideas.com/

http://familyfun.go.com/halloween/halloween-kids-costumes/

http://crafts.kaboose.com/holidays/halloween/costumes/

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Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!

In an effort to prebake my weeks worth of after school snacks I came across a few simple recipes I could whip up & have ready for my week. Since I was sure to be sliding in sideways everyday this week I needed all the help I could get. This week Raisins are on my craving list! All of my after school snacks included them. My older kids are on an eating  roller coaster with me during my pregnancy so everyone was happy when I pulled off these amazing chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!

I just had to share…. Enjoy!

I doubled this for the week & growing boys!

1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt (I often use a half teaspoon, but I like more salt in my baked goods)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and walnuts, if using them.

At this point you can either chill the dough for a bit in the fridge and then scoop it, or scoop the cookies onto a sheet and then chill the whole tray before baking them. You could also bake them right away, if you’re impatient, but I do find that they end up slighly less thick.

The cookies should be two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes (your baking time will vary, depending on your oven and how cold the cookies were going in), taking them out when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

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Fall Wreath

Crafty, Yummy, Cute , Crazy & All of the above - Jenna - September 19, 2011

I love Fall& all things fall! I wanted to replace my old door hanging but couldn’t afford to go spend money on a new one. I was running low on craft supplies too, so when I came across this great peice I was so inspired & excited.

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 http://www.marthastewart.com/274704/fall-decor-crafts#/207848

Turn an old book into a whimsical wreath with this creative idea from our Handmade Gift Contest winner, Emily Morris.

Tools and Materials

  • Leaf template
  • Cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Old book with at least 100 yellowed pages, pages removed
  • Craft glue
  • 24-gauge floral wire, cut to 5-inch lengths
  • Pressed real leaves (optional)
  • 20-gauge floral wire
  • Brown floral tape
  • 1/8-inch tan quilling paper
  • Acorn caps
  • Hot-glue gun and glue sticks
  • Ribbon for bow

Wreath How-To
1. Print
leaf template on cardstock and cut out. Trace the leaf shape on a page from the book; roughly trim the paper around the leaf shape.

2. Apply craft glue to the back of the leaf shape. Place a 5-inch length of wire on a second page from the book, then place the leaf shape glue side down over it, sandwiching the wire between the papers. The wire should be centered on the stem of the leaf, with half of the wire within the leaf and half of the wire emerging from the stem. Allow glue to dry, then carefully cut out the leaf shape with scissors. Repeat to make 45 to 50 leaves for the wreath.

3. Bundle 3 to 5 leaves and twist the wires together.
Tip: You can add wires to real pressed leaves and incorporate them in the paper leaf bundles if desired.

4. To make a wreath form, cut a 47-inch length of 20-gauge wire; fold in half and twist. Shape twisted wire into a horseshoe, then wrap with brown floral tape.

5. Starting at one end of the wreath form and working toward middle, attach bundles of leaves with floral tape; repeat for other side.

6. To make the acorns, tightly roll 1/8-inch quilling paper into a flat disk. Use thumb to push the center of the disk outward, forming into a cup shape. Rub the inside of the cup with craft glue to secure the shape. Apply hot glue to the inside of the quilled cup and adhere to an acorn cap. Use hot glue to attach acorns to wreath.

7. Tie bow on the top center of wreath, if desired.

Resources
Pressed leaves available from
naturespressed.com.

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Home Made Canned Apple Sauce!

We ‘v got apples lots and lots of apples :) Usually I do apple pie filing, and apple butter. This year since I have started using apple sauce in all my baking I decided to try my hat at apple sauce! Here is the recipe I used! It was great & my sister who has a baby at home froze the left over in ice cube trays for baby food later!
This recipe is from ball! Please if you are using my canning recipes fallow all instructions exactl,y and use name brand (Ball or Kerr) clean, chip free jars, rings, and lids. For more info visit http://www.freshpreserving.com/home.aspx
Applesauce

Makes about 8 (16 oz) pints
Kids of all ages will love this delicious homemade applesauce for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Mix sweet and tart apples for a unique flavor.

You will need:

12 lbs apples, peeled, cored, quartered, treated to prevent browning* and drained (about 36 medium)
Water
3 cups granulated sugar, optional
4 Tbsp lemon juice
8 (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

Directions:

1.) PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2.) COMBINE apples with just enough water to prevent sticking in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 20 minutes, until apples are tender (time will depend upon the variety of apple and their maturity). Remove from heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
3.) TRANSFER apples, working in batches, to a food mill or a food processor fitted with a metal blade and purée until smooth.
4.) RETURN apple  purée  to saucepan. Add sugar, if using, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Maintain a gentle boil over low heat while filling jars.
5.) LADLE hot applesauce into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
6.) PROCESS jars in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

*To treat apple slices to prevent browning, apply Ball® Fruit-Fresh® Produce Protector according to the manufacturer’s instructions or submerge cut apples in a mixture of 1/4 cup lemon juice and 4 cups water.

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What to do with that monster Zucchini you grew

Due to the fact that I can never come up with enough good ideas to do with zucchini, I just quit planting it. However this pesky problem must not have plagued my friends, because they keep growing it, and are now giving it to me. Of course I accept my fellow Gardener’s gifts with a smile, as I have no idea to how to tell them I ran out of good zucchini ideas a long time ago!

I tried for days to ignore the giant green veggie on my counter. After about four days I swear I could hear the poor souls campaigning not to be thrown out with the bath water. Compelled by there crys and wanting that corner of my counter back, I decided to set out to find something really good to do with them.

What I stumbled upon was a wonderfully chocolatey, moist, sweet bread. My family loved it, and asked for more! I probably wont start to grow Zucchini again, but will gladly accept my friends left overs any time!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil or apple sauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans.
  2. In large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt, mix well. In separate bowl, combine sugar and eggs, beat until well blended. Add oil and vanilla; beat until combined. Stir in zucchini. Add flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Spoon evenly into loaf pans.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pans; cool completely on wire rack.

 

1843I used apple sauce and farm fresh eggs, I have also subbed 1/2 the flour for wheat flour which is still amazing & better for you! YUMMY!

-Enjoy Mama’s

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Canning Can Do

One of my favorite times of year is fast approaching. Canning season! With the ripening of fruits & veggies brings an entire world of possibilities to life in the world of home preserving. Everything from sweet jams to sour pickles. The tasty treat options are endless, timeless, & ripe for the picking!

Most people you talk to love home made, home preserved foods, and often times have fond memories of their grandmas apple butter, or their great aunts pickles. But for as many people that say they love the taste, freshness, and beauty of home canned foods, there are twice as many who say they have no idea how to do it, or it is a scary prospect.

 Most moms my age have decided it is either too big a task, or too outdated to consider. Well I am here to tell that it is neither too hard, too much work, or too old fashioned to be doing this day in age.  I am a 29 year old mom of two and a 1/2 , I am a very busy & what I like to think of as semi hip. I did not have a grandmother to teach me all the tricks of the trade, nor did I take any classes or have any formal training. Nope, I am just a mom who loves fresh foods, and is some what in love with all things old “fashioned and out dated”, I believe that the amount of love you put into building something with your own two hands be it a pie, a blanket, or a jar of salsa is just as important if not more than the usefulness of the product.

It is this love that you are able to poor into a batch of jam or pint of salsa that makes it great. Int he coming weeks I will be posting some of my favorite recipes & stories from this years yield. I hope you will join me on this canning journey. If you are on the fence about trying your hat at home preserving I invite you to taste test from my experience. If you are decidedly against the discovery of the world of canning than I challenge you to not be inspired by the fresh picked, home grown, good for you body & soul delights we will be putting together.

To get us started I have compiled a list of the top 12 reasons to start canning…..

1. It is the best way to store organic, preservative free foods for your family

2. It can be very cost effective if done right. Organic jelly in store$9 your 12 pints $1.00 each

3. It really isn’t that hard. There are tons of resources, and free help from your local extension office to get you started

4. It can be a ton of fun to do with a group of friends. Have a canning party split the cost, the work, the yield & a bottle of wine

5. All canned goods make great gifts

6. There is no better tasting foods than ones picked and preserved at the height of their ripeness

7. Your grandmother would be proud

8. It is an easy skill to pick up & you can pass it on to your children

9. Did I mention it is a ton of fun & oh so rewarding

10. If the world system fails you can survive an entire winter on what you were able to grow, hunt, & can in the summer(not that is would happen but it is always good to be prepared:)

11. It gives you a reason to buy, & wear that super cute apron you saw last week.

12. The bonds made in a kitchen over a hot pot of anything between family & friends will last you a lifetime.

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Baseballs over let the treats amaze!

It’s that time of year again. The time when you realize that your summer has careened past you at a break neck speed, and you are already only a few weeks away from school starting again. Bringing on all of this realization for me is the end of baseball season.

What is a great spring/summer past time for our family seems to really define that is is summer, so when it is over we must go out in style! Each year I make the end of the season treats for my sons team’s big league night . I try to go a little extra since it is the last big game of the year. camping-july-2011-074

This year I decided to go with an old stand by. Rice crispy treats, with a bit of a twist. They were so easy, and turned out so cute I had to share.

How to make!

Fallow old stand by rice crispy treat recipe on box

Poor into pan but don’t pat down just let cool a bit before forming into balls.

Once balls are cooled dip in melted almond bark and set out on wax paper to dry.

After completely cooled add laces with red icing !camping-july-2011-075

This is a super cute way to dazzle on a treat night that doesn’t take much time but will go a long way with the biggest fans of all…your kiddos!

Enjoy the rest of your summer & these great treats!

-Jenna

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