Monday, December 5, 2011

Toilet Paper Roll Favors

I found the instructions for these cute favors on Pinterest (from this site). I'm using them as a way to pretty much butter up the hospital staff when I go into labor, but they'd be great party favors too! I contacted my FAVORITE Etsy seller, Chickabug, and she came up with the little labels for me. I'm not very good with wording and she ROCKS. Plus, aren't they super cute?!?!

Here's how to make these favors yourself!

What You Need:

toilet paper rolls (I ended up making 32 total...Zach jokes that I'm giving them out to the entire hospital but I just wanted to have PLENTY!)
12x12 scrapbook paper (you can cover 4 rolls per sheet)
Mod Podge
Paint brush for Mod Podge
Labels (I ordered the PDF from Chickabug then cut them out using a 2" circle cutter)
Treats (I used M&Ms)

What To Do:
  1. Cut out all labels
  2. Fold paper in 4ths then cut out the squares. I then put one roll on one of the squares and cut it narrow enough to fit the roll. I used that piece of paper as a guide to cut all the other papers.
  3. Cover roll in Mod Podge
  4. Roll paper around toilet paper roll. I put extra Mod Podge over the seal to keep the paper on the roll
  5. Fold down ends on one end of roll then pour in candy and fold down the opened end
  6. Wrap ribbon around roll and cut. Then I wrapped it where the ribbon came together in the front of the roll so the seal of the roll was covered by ribbon in the back. I put Mod Podge where the ribbon came together in the front and held it in place for a few seconds.
  7. Put more Mod Podge on top of spot where ribbon came together as well as on the back of the label. Then put label on top of ribbon and hold.
  8. The instructions on the blog I found said to cover the label in Mod Podge as well...and I tried that but it smeared my labels so I just held it down for awhile and it worked fine!
It was VERY inexpensive and VERY easy. Although, it was time consuming. I didn't mind it taking the time since I am doing nothing but waiting on a baby anyway ;) But for a party favor it may be a little bit tedious! I think they turned out cute though and can't wait to be handing them out at the hospital!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cheddar and Cracker Chicken

I found this recipe on Pinterest from What's Cookin, Chicago? Kye and I made it while Zach was out of town and LOVED it. I'm excited to have it re-heated once Blitzen arrives!

  1. 16 buttery crackers (Ritz), crushed (about 3/4 cup)
  2. 6 ounces sharp cheddar, graded (I used shredded cheddar that I had and stuck it in the food processor to grind it up)
  3. 1 clove garlic, finely chopped (again, used my mini food processor)
  4. 1-2 stalks scallions, thinly sliced (I didn't use this at all)
  5. salt and black pepper
  6. 4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  7. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  1. Heat oven to 350
  2. In a bowl combine crackers, cheese, garlic, scallions and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
  3. Pound chicken to about 1/4-1/2 inch thickness with a meat mallet. 
  4. Dip pounded chicken in the butter then in the cracker mixture. Press gently to help it adhere and place on a foil-lined baking sheet
  5. Sprinkle any remaining cracker mixture onto the chicken and drizzle with any remaining butter. Bake until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through (15-20 min)
Freezer Version:

Prepare chicken as directed above. After coating it in the cracker mixture, place chicken in a gallon sized freezer bag, seal and freeze flat in the freezer. When ready to prepare, place onto a baking sheet and drizzle with melted butter. Bake as directed from frozen until cooked through, possibly 30-35 minutes depending on thickness

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Minestrone Soup

This is a low point Weight Watcher meal, can be easily frozen for storage, is super quick and easy, and is YUMMY!!!

  • 2 cans (14 1/2 oz each) chicken broth
  • 1 can (16 oz) stewed tomatoes, un-drained and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups kidney beans (I used 2 cans)
  • 1 pkg (16 oz) frozen mixed veges
  • 1/4 cup shell macaroni, uncooked
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil leaves
Your soup will be more "soupy" than mine, I added a lot of extra shells then ended up adding extra broth and tomatoes to give it more liquid before freezing :)

  1. Pour tomatoes (and juice) into small food processor and chop (or chop by hand)
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan
  3. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat
  4. Reduce head to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes
I doubled the recipe, added extra noodles, added extra cans of broth and tomatoes, and then froze a TON of it for after the baby arrives. To freeze I used Ziploc brand freezer bags and then got all the air out before closing it and put that bag inside another freezer bag. 

Chocolate Champion Cereal Cookies

I got this recipe from The Sneaky Chef With a new baby on the way I thought it'd be smart to start freezing several different snack and food options for Kye to make my life a little easier while adjusting to having two kids! This recipe sneaks in spinach and blueberries and have less sugar and more whole grains than most kids breakfast cereals. Sounds like a winner to me!

Kye and I actually made them together and he and I BOTH licked the bowl! They were THAT good!!! Very similar to cocoa no bakes actually ;)

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup flour blend (I have never made the blend she recommends so I just used plain old flour)
  • 3 cups whole-grain cereal flakes, such as Wheaties or Total (I used Total)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup purple puree (you can see how to make it HERE, I have some pre-made and frozen)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened


  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I didn't have any parchment paper and they turned out fine)
  2. Place the oats in the blow of a food processor and process on high until oats are finely ground
  3. Add cereal flakes and pulse several times until flakes resemble crumbs
  4. Transfer processed oats and cereal to a large mixing bowl and whisk in the flour blend, cocoa, and baking soda (Kye LOVED to help whisk!)
  5. In another bowl, whisk together egg, purple puree, sugar, vanilla and cooled softened butter
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix just until combined
  7. Drop single tablespoonfuls of batter onto the baking sheets, leaving about an inch between each cookie
  8. Flatten the cookies with the back of a fork that's been sprayed with oil to keep from sticking to the batter
  9. Bake 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges
  10. Remove from pan and let cool. Store in airtight container or freeze in sealed plastic bags
These were a big hit! Kye loved helping make them, we both enjoyed the batter, and he gobbled up his helping of the finished product. While I liked the batter, I didn't so much care for the actual cookie. But as long as he likes them that's what matters! I have them stored in the freezer ready and waiting for baby :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

EASY Applique Tutorial

I found the tutorial I used for this project on Pinterest but you can find the tutorial on this link from Saltwater Kids! I followed her instructions exactly and she has a pattern printout for the tie which worked perfectly. I'll still go over the instructions here for you too though :)

  • tie pattern (see the link above) cut to desired size - I used the 2T size for Kye's shirt
  • material for tie (or whatever you want to applique) - I bought an entire YARD of fabric b/c I was worried I'd mess up a lot and run out. Haha. I only needed maybe 1/4 a yard...I'll still probably buy 1/2 a yard next time just to be sure though!
  • t-shirt - I got mine from Hobby Lobby - they have them 1/2 off ALL the time
  • coordinating thread
  • 1 sheet of double stick fusible web - the Saltwater Kids tutorial said she used Steam-A-Seam2 so I bought the same thing from Hobby Lobby just to make sure I did it exactly how she did
  • iron
  • sewing machine with zigzag stitch
To Applique:

1. Trace the pattern on the fusible web and cut it out. She suggested to cut inside the line you traced so it's slightly smaller than your fabric and will make less of a mess on the iron so I did that.

2. Position your pattern on the fabric to get the design effect you like. We wanted as many Mickey heads as we could with them in varying positions so this took us a bit to get just right (Mom is much more of a perfectionist than I am...if you can imagine that haha)

3. Pin and cut out the tie (use fabric scissors)
 4. Place the fusible web onto the back of the tie. Just peel off one side of the paper and stick it on! If it doesn't line up exactly right then just undo it and re-stick it :)

5. Once it's in the correct position, peel off the other side of the paper and line the tie up in the center of the t-shirt. Adjust as needed until it's just right. (she suggested folding the shirt in half to find the exact center but since my shirts were brand new they actually had a convenient crease in the center!)

6. Follow the instructions on the fusible web packaging and iron the tie into place. If you buy the same brand I did (the one suggested in the materials list) then it says to iron on the steam/cotton setting for 10-20 seconds.
All of the first 6 steps took less than 15-20 min to do. It was the last step that took the longest!!!

7. Sew using zigzag stitch around the tie!

It took us so long because we had to totally set up the machine...fill the bobbin...get the thread all rigged up right...etc. Plus we had to pick our settings for the zigzag stitch (how large we wanted the zigzags and how far apart we wanted them spread...this took a bit of deciding and practice stitching on scraps until we picked one). The actual sewing part took less than 10 minutes!

 finished product!!!
Today I decided to make Kye another shirt using the left over material (I have enough to make the kid like 10 Mickey shirts haha). I used Microsoft Word and printed out a large font of a "K" and used this as my pattern.
I followed alllll the same instructions as above...
And in less than 30 min total (so glad I left the sewing machine all ready to go!) I had another adorable applique shirt!!!
 Love this!!!
I'm pretty proud of myself for wanting to try it out and actually doing it. I'm sure Zach's happy too b/c instead of spending $20 each on these from Etsy I made them BOTH for around $10 total! And I can reuse a lot of what I bought on future projects. I plan to get more fabric and try out different patterns...I'll post any tutorials of anything in the future I try, but I'm going to stick to applique for now. It's easy and super cute! If Blitzen's a girl then I do also plan to try out some pillow case dresses ;)

I'd love to hear how this works for you!!!

Friday, July 15, 2011


These are some of my FAVORITE cookies, for many reasons. They are mega yummy, super easy, and I have so many fond memories of making them with my mom growing up.


2 cups sugar
4 Tbl cocoa
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
3 cups oats
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Combine sugar, milk, butter and cocoa in saucepan and bring to a boil
2. While waiting for it to boil lay out your wax paper and mix the oats, peanut butter and vanilla into a large bowl (using your hands is the easiest way to do it!)
3. Let saucepan mixture boil for 1 1/2 minutes
4. Pour hot mix over oat mix, stir immediatly
5. Drop onto wax paper by the spoonful and let set


I've noticed that if it's raining outside sometimes they take a LONG time to "dry" so I'll let them sit out on the wax paper longer or will put them in the fridge...or just eat them gooey. Also I like to dump the saucepan mix into the bowl mix, stir, then go ahead and fill the saucepan with warm soapy water so it's easier to clean, then go back and spoon the cookies onto the wax paper. Makes cleanup a little quicker and allows them to sort of start the setting process so they aren't as gooey when spooning them out.
I'd LOVE to hear how much you enjoy them - gotta drink some milk with 'em. Trust me they are GOOD!!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Storage Stained Clothes

When going through Kye's baby clothes to put aside things for the new baby I discovered that a LOT of his stuff had gotten stained in storage. It was this strange yellow discoloration on many of his clothing items, especially the white ones. I took EXTREMELY good care of everything he owned and never packed something that was stained so this really made me mad!

Like any girl would do - I called my mama ;) She has a Stainbuster's Bible and it said that the discoloration from storage is caused from the clothes having stains on them but the stains being so deep in the clothing that you can't see them until they sit in the dark for a long time and they come to the service. It's mostly caused from washing clothing in cold water...which I do, every load. I mean who can afford to wash all their stuff in hot water??? That's expensive! 
To get rid of the stains it said to soak the clothes in an Oxi-Clean type stain remover.  I soaked all the colored ones together and all the white ones together (I did end up throwing out all the plain white burp rags and onesies, why go through the cleaning hassle for stuff I can buy so cheaply?). I let them soak for several hours.

Next wash the clothes using bleach and hot water. I didn't use bleach on the colored clothes, but I did with the whites.
A few of the badly stained ones are still stained, and I could do the process again but I probably won't! Thankfully the swaddles, some of my favorite outfits, and some cute sleepers all came out clean! I'm so thankful that I didn't just throw it all out! Hope this helps some other mommies too :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Stepping Stone

I feel VERY bad that I can't give credit to the blog where I got this idea from...I simply can't remember whose I saw it on, but I loved the idea and totally copied it!

Supplies I bought:
  • box of stepping stone concrete mix from Hobby Lobby - $8.99 (it had enough to make two stones as I plan to make one for myself too!)
  • small round concrete mold (also from Hobby Lobby) - $2.99 (can reuse when making another one as well)
  • decorative stones (from the Dollar Store) - $1.00

How To:
  • I really just followed the instructions on the box.
  • Zach mixed the concrete with water then poured it into the mold
  • I let it set for awhile b/c you don't want to put your kids feet (or hands) in it while it's too moist or it won't set
  • We put Kye's feet straight down in it (pressing them down pretty deep) then straight back up and it turned out pretty good!
  • I waited a little longer then put all the stones around (making sure to press them down enough to really stay)
  • And I waited even longer to carve Kye's name and the year in the stone. I continued to check it throughout the day and carve the letters over and over to make sure they were really deep. 
  • It took about a day to fully dry and popped right out of the mold no problem! 
  • The mix must be a special type of concrete because the bottom of the stone is very smooth.
This made a WONDERFUL Mother's Day gift! Inexpensive, easy, and something she'll always cherish. I'm excited to have one for myself!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Chocolate Golf Ball Favors

In searching for golf themed items I stumbled across this site ( that has a TON of great ideas and all the supplies you need to make those ideas a reality! I loved the idea of these chocolate golf balls for favors for the party. I've never made any chocolate goodies myself but thought I'd give it a try!

To make the golf balls I ordered all the supplies listed on the site (super white coating-merckens, squeeze bottle, two golf ball candy molds, and 30 truffle boxes). To make them I:

1. melted the chocolate (a 1 lb bag was enough chocolate to fill ONE candy mold it made 1/2 of 8 balls)
2. poured the chocolate into the mold. At first I tried to pour the chocolate into the squeeze bottle then squeeze it from that into the mold but what a joke! It's MUCH easier to melt the chocolate in a large class measuring cup and just pour directly from there. It's also important to make sure no chocolate gets outside the edges of each ball mold or it'll be stuck there and it's a pain to scrape it off later
3. put the mold in the freezer. I waited over night but you can probably just wait a couple hours-they freeze pretty quick
4. to make the other side of the ball you first remove the now frozen halves from the molds (CAREFULLY they break pretty easy). Then melt chocolate again and refill the molds. CAREFULLY (lots of things to be careful about with this project) place the already frozen halves on top of the melted chocolate halves and place back in freezer. You want to make sure a bunch of chocolate doesn't overflow all over the trays or you have a mess and a not-so-ball-looking-ball once it freezes. But at the same time you want to make sure there is ENOUGH chocolate for the pre-made half to cling to or you'll have holes in your ball!
5. Once frozen they are done! Mine never looked as good as the one pictured but they were cute enough for favors for the party. They were more expensive and time consuming than I planned so I'm not sure I'll do them again...but if I do I probably will not be doing a 3D thing like this as I think that made it even more complicated and tough!

I topped the truffle boxes with custom stickers I had made at Chickabug on Etsy!
They turned out cute and were a big hit for sure!

Chocolate Covered Donut Holes

As you know I got a lot of my inspiration for Kye's golf party from How Does She? and these were one of my favorite ideas! They made adorable "golf balls" but the idea could EASILY be translated to other party themes!

Here's how to do them for your next party:

1. We bought 4 dozen donut holes the morning of the party. Next time we'll buy them the night before. I actually think the freshness of the donut holes made 'em tougher to work with b/c they were SO soft!
2. Mom helped out by melting white chocolate (you can buy BIG blocks of it at Walmart for much cheaper than the little white chips I used for the favors) in a double broiler on the oven
3. We dipped the balls in the chocolate, covered them in white ball sprinkles, then set them on wax paper to dry
4. When almost dry we put them on white sticks!
5. We used green foam stuff used for flower arrangements as the base. I put that on a regular old cookie sheet then we stuck all the sticks in it and covered in green shredded paper. (I bought both the flower arrangement pieces and green paper shreds at Hobby Lobby for half off!).

These were SO SO SO YUMMY. Like seriously DELICIOUS! I will be making them at many more events in the future. They are easy, adorable, and super good. They were a HIT for the party! I do think next time they will look more "ball like" by buying the donut holes in advance because they were just so FRESH that they melted right along with the chocolate ;)

Golf Ball Cupcakes

When looking at the golf party on How Does She? I thought the cupcakes she made were adorable but my first thought was green food coloring on my carpet. Um no thanks! Instead I got creative and ordered some supplies from Country Kitchen. I ordered brown cupcake liners, green long sprinkles (called jimmies...who knew?!?!) and the white golf ball toppers. 

All I did to make them was use a simple chocolate boxed cake mix then frost them with vanilla frosting and dip into the sprinkles (a 1 lb bag of sprinkles had MORE than enough for 48 cupcakes). If you have cupcakes for an event I highly recommend making them the night before. I invested in a nice cupcake holder/carrier (I have this one from Crate and Barrel actually) and I put all the cupcakes in there after I make them (I need to get another one because I have to store the extra 24 cupcakes in random tupperware!). It makes them SO moist and ultra yummy for the event! 

I think these turned out super cute and were VERY simple to make!

Decorative Sandwiches

Of course I got this idea from How Does She? and it's something that I will be using again and AGAIN in the future. It can work for ANY theme and it's cheap and easy (which are my two requirements of crafty diy type things!). 

1. I bought scrapbook size paper (12x12) and we cut them into strips.
2. We made the sandwiches (wheat bread, some with turkey, some with ham, american cheese, and lettuce!) and tried to keep them as neatly contained within the bread as possible. Then we simply wrapped the paper around each half
3. We stuck a custom golf tee (thanks to MidTownTees on Etsy) through each one and they looked ADORABLE!!! 

You could mix it up for a different theme with different paper and something else for the "tee" part. Or even just get colored tees to match your theme as they are not expensive at all (plus we kept all the tees people left and Zach will use them on his golf outings)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Starr Studded Dip

I love when friends share recipes with me! I'm not creative enough to think up things on my own and I enjoy getting to taste test stuff before spending time and money making it. At my first Stella and Dot Trunk Show, Brooke Starr introduced me to this yummy sweet dip and I am pumped to use it tonight when I go to a neighborhood ladies game night and attempt to win over my neighbors ;) I think it'll be a hit!

I'm pretty sure Brooke will be happy to have me share this recipe of hers since she did hand it out at the Trunk Show and since we all helped her name it!!! :)

1. 8 oz cream cheese
2. 1 stick butter
3. 1/4 tsp vanilla
4. 2 tbl brown sugar
5. 3/4 cup powdered sugar
6. 3/4 cup mini choc chips (I used a whole bag though...I mean choc chips are one of those things you can't have too much of!)
7. graham crackers

1. I set out the butter and cream cheese for awhile to soften some
2. Put everything in a bowl (other than the choc chips) then whip with a hand mixer until smooth
3. Stir in choc chips
4. Keep in fridge until ready to serve
5. Serve with graham crackers

SUPER easy and AMAZINGLY yummy!
I had Zach do a taste test and he approves! Thanks Brooke :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Block Cards

I enjoy crafts but I also enjoy easy and cheap ones :) I saw this in a magazine and thought "finally! something we can do without having to go out and buy stuff!" We used this technique for making Kye's Valentine's Day cards, but really you could use it for any occasion.

All you need is some paper, crayons, and blocks. Easy enough? It took me AGES to figure out how to make the blocks stay still so I could make a rubbing of them on the paper with the crayons and Zach came over and figured out how to solve the problem right away. Surround your phrase with other blocks to keep it still! It worked great!!!
I did all the rubbings since Kye is too young but with an older child this would be super fun and entertaining. I rubbed the "outside" of the cards with cute Valentine's Day phrases ("SWAT," "Te Amo," "Be Mine," "So Sweet," and "I Love You") then thought it'd be a sweet touch to rub "Love Kye" on the inside of all the cards. After the rubbings were complete it was time for Kye to decorate! I gave him Valentine's Day colored crayons (reds, pinks, and purples) and heart stickers then let him go to town!

We made them for the grandparents, aunts and uncles, and even the great-grandparents! While I only heard from a couple of people who got them, I think they turned out pretty adorable, don't you?
Of course anything made by Kye is precious ;)
I'd love to see the block letter cards you come up with!