Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Easy {and FREE} bag tutorial

I know y'all have seen these flowers before, usually on a headband or necklace or even bunched together on a wreath. This time, I decided to try to make a large one to put on this denim bag.  I'm usually not one to gaudy things up too much, but I'd had this bad laying around forever and decided it either needed to change or go {My husband got it as end of the year gift from the PTA at his previous school...it had that school's logo embroidered on it, so I took that out a few years ago.  Gym teachers & coaches aren't usually known to carry cute little denim embroidered bags...ha. : ) }

The supplies I used for this project included the bag, scrap fabric { I had a scarf that never seemed to look right with anything that went into my fabric bin, but you could use old t-shirts or any fabric that you can cut into strips}, and my hot glue gun.  I just bought the cheapo one at Hobby Lobby for like $4 and it has lasted me almost 5 years.
 Start with a tab of fabric in the middle and glue it down.  Then wrap it around so that the end of that tab is covered, gluing along the way.  Usually when I make these flowers, I glue only parts of it, but I glued most of this one down since I figured it would get used a bit harder.
 I just wrapped it tightly and twisted my fabric strip as I went.  If your strip doesn't make one whole flower, you can just add a new strip as you twist the flower and it will seamlessly tie in.
 Continue to glue and twist until you get the desired size.  On this flower, I just used up the length of the scarf.  And here's the finished product....
I spent $0 and less than 10 minutes....and I've already had to settle a fight between my girls over it. I'd say that's a good sign it turned out all right. ;)

Tip Tuesday

 Today's tip comes from two friends that I go way back with...I used to admire them as creative mommas when I'd watch their children {they each have 5!}.  Their houses always looked cute, their kids always looked cute and they were just a whole lot of fun to be around too!  Their kids are older now and they have both started photography businesses and I am SO sad I don't live by them anymore because they do such awesome work, but if you are near San Diego or San Francisco, I'd love to introduce you to them...you won't be disappointed! {you can click on their cities to check out their websites}

TIP : When having company {or you just have a big family like us!}, use rubber bands with names on them around your glasses/cups to help cut down on the germ fest. :) Sofia even suggested using  colored ones....how cute would this be for a party?!?  I  especially love them on the mason jars, but this would work for all different types of cups and look cute and be so functional!
I'm really wishing I would have thought of this one.
cool photo from Amy via Instagram
Added bonus:  with little ones around, sometimes my sharpie used for names on cups can end up in the hands of someone who doesn't need it {like, say, the 3 & under crowd}...so get the rubber bands ready ahead of time and keep that sharpie hidden away! 

 Thanks again Sofia and Amy for this awesome tip...can't wait to use it for my next get-together!

Monday, May 30, 2011

More blue

I'm such a sucker for blue.  I keep seeing more examples of it that make me love it even more.  I've also combined this blue love with a new little addiction called Pinterest { a great online resource to tag all your favorite pics online and see other people's faves too }...all images found there today.  Take a peek for yourself.

blues, greens and orange...could this kitchen get any happier?
with this calming yet cheerful nursery, there is no way your baby could be colicky, right??
the seashell chandelier, the striped floor....I'd love to eat all my meals here

By the looks of this door, I think I'd love the rest of the house

fun style ideas...this might be my new Saturday look {well, after the ridiculously hot Texas summer is over }

So elegant
the touch of blue could add so much to a simple outfit...love these

party ideas
wedding ideas...loved the blues and those gorgeous flowers
I might be on the hunt for some pretty blue mason jars.. ; )

I don't mind a grey sky every now and then, but sky blue is my favorite color of blue and it always brings a smile to my face!

Have you used Pinterest?  I'd love to hear some of your tips since I'm definitely still a novice.  Hopefully, once I get the hang of it, it will become an awesome resource to help file all my favorite online pics.

Hope you enjoyed the "blues' today... : )

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Memorial Day

I love Memorial Day...it's just an all-American day that signals that SUMMER IS HERE!!  Our weekend usually consists of get togethers with family and friends, swimming {now that we live in Texas} and lots of good food!

Here are a some great picks for your weekend events....

{{ smores in a jar } }

How cute are these???  I intended to make smores for some company we had this past week, but our wet firewood didn't allow that and I remembered running across this recipe.  I first saw on it over at How Sweet It Is, but I adapted it for 8 people and I wanted to use a cake mix.

- 1 Chocolate Cake mix {I actually used a yellow and added 1/4 cup of cocoa...would probably add a little more next time} & ingredients to make it as directed
- 1 1/2 sleeves of graham crackers, crushed
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup of butter
- bag of large marshmallows

DIRECTIONS : Crush graham crackers and add butter.  Line the bottom of greased mason jars with this mixture.  Mix cake as directed and then add it on top of the graham cracker "crust".  Fill a 9 x 13 with about an inch of water and then add the jars.  Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.  Pull them from the oven and fill with marshmallows and heat under BROILER for 2-3 minutes. 

{ { chicken cashew lettuce wraps } } 

This one I found off of Tasty Kitchen {recipe found here}, and we actually had it for dinner tonight...would've taken my own pic, but we ate them too fast. : )  These are so yummy....and perfect for summer.  They take no time to whip up and can be used as an appetizer or main meal {makes enough for probably 2 for a meal}. 

{ { Monterrey Jack Salsa } } 

I actually featured this recipe on this post, but it is even better with summer fresh veggies so I thought I'd mention it again.  I know it's an unusual concoction, but it is SO good!

- 2 tomatoes
- 1 avocado
- 1 can sliced black olives
- 5 green onions
- 1-4 oz. can green chilies
- 1/4 c. cilantro
- 2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese
- 1 cup italian dressing
DIRECTIONS : Mix all and store in fridge. 

{ { Blackberries with Sweet Cream } }

This recipe is from none other than The Pioneer Woman and she does not disappoint with this one.  We made this one last July and then I made a batch every week till summer was done....probably a good habit to start at the end of summer instead of the beginning because it isn't exactly fat-free. ; )  I'll let you check out all her pretty pictures to get the details on this one.

Well, that's it.  I'm sure I'll think of another favorite tomorrow, but I guess I'll have to save it for a Fourth of July post.  Hope y'all have a happy and safe weekend...and hopefully you'll try a new recipe for your friends and fam!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bathroom update

I had a couple areas in the kids' bathroom that after being lived in for a little while proved to not be a good fit for us.

Example one : Ikea hooks. 
I can't remember if these are marketed in anyway as towel hooks {they probably weren't}, but these are definitely not towel hooks. At all.  This area usually looked a little more like this because they were not towel hooks....
Actually, it looked like this all the time.  About the time that I was trying to figure it out, Ebay had a Groupon that let you buy $15 for $7...and I had a $10 Groupon credit {thank you to the person who signed up under me!}.  Ebay is a great place for all kids of hardware...knobs, hooks, handles, etc....so I knew I could find what I needed here.  I wanted a double hook for a robe and possibly an extra towel for each kid.  I took the space behind the door...
And with the help of these house numbers I picked up at Wal-Mart {for 80 cents a piece}, 

I spray painted  them hammered black and turned the space into a much more useful space...

Example two : nail holes from my unfunctional towel hooks....

I guess I could have gotten some joint coupound out and covered up my nailholes with that, but I chose to add a little "art" {using that word very loose, I know}

I spent less than $4 on all these projects combined...I loved the looks and even more than that....the usefulness!

What's your favorite way online to make a little spending money...Groupon, Swagbucks?  I'd love to hear so I can give it a try! ; )

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tip Tuesday

Today's tip is just something I picked up at Wally's {are we the only ones that have shortened Wal-Mart to that?...seems a little more fitting if you ask me : ) }.  Anyway, with summer around the corner, I'm always looking for ways to pack up quick lunches and snacks to take to the park, pool, and on the road when we travel...and I've found a great solution!
I found ours in the summer aisle, but I also saw it in hanging in the condiment aisle too.
It was under $2, and it makes little "uncrustables" without their price tag...and now they are customizable.  The idea of prepackaged sandwiches was great, but with needing to have many for little money, wanting to use wheat bread, and the fact that we do peanut butter and honey {instead of jelly} made it not such a great fit for our family...till now!

We also took it a step further than the pics above and even froze them...so when we are ready to hit the pool this summer, I just can plop a few in the cooler and let them thaw till we are ready for them! {sorry about the dark pics....we've had lots of weather days and it's been so dark in the middle of the day!}
throw your faves in the middle of the bread {pb, honey, syrup, jelly, etc}

push down on both parts

Isn't my hired help handsome?


I accidentally bought the fold over sandwich bags {didn't even know they still made those!} so I threw mine in a gallon size freezer bag
Hope this can maybe help make your summer lunch making just a little bit easier!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Little white tanks


I wear these little tanks almost every day under what I'm wearing.  I usually stick with white, but I've got a couple other colors I save for those days I'm feeling a little crazy. : )  They are great for layering, under tanks that reveal a little too much for a mom of 4 ; ),  and even for sleeping in.

Here's the thing...I used to just keep my eye out for them at Gap when they went down to $3.99 and I would really stock up, but I try not to shop as much as I used to, so my supply has dwindled to next to nothing.  Every time, I went to Gap or Old Navy they were between $8 and $11....and to stock back up with 4 or 5...well, that's just ridiculous for something that no one even sees. ; )

So, I found a couple new options that I'm loving just about as much as my good ol' Gap tank.

This one is from Forever 21 and I especially love it because it is NOT ribbed, has a racer back and is only $3.50.  They also have cami's, regular ribbed tanks, and other styles in many colors at that price point.

The other place that I picked up one from and was pleasantly surprised at how well it has held is...WAL-MART.  Their tanks have come a long ways the last couple years...I would have to say it is pretty close match to Old Navy's for under $4. {the website didn't show them, but I found them folded on a table right in the front of our store}

Am I the only who is slightly addicted to these little tanks??  I'm sure glad I found some replacements because summer is just around the corner!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gold Rush

I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but gold is everywhere these days...and I'm loving it!  I still love the simplicity and clean look of silver, but gold really knows how to kick it up a notch.

Some of my faves....
loving these from Forever 21...these sweet sand dollars are perfect for summer and at $3.80 perfect for the budget
These from Piperlime or the Target version {which actually was my Mother's Day present and I LOVE!!}
Isn't this gold 24K gold  headband from Etsy to die for??

Or for the house....
This gold bamboo mirror looks amazing in this room
Wouldn't this gold pouf be fun in a room of neutrals??
Or like this elegant room, you could put a group of gold frames together {very inexpensively with a little spray paint!}
Have you used gold yet...either in your wardrobe or your home?  Try it out next time you need something to stand out without being overbearing...I bet you'll love it!

Tip Tuesday

Yes, I do realize this edition is on Wednesday, but I've had to put my soccer mom hat on quite a bit this week...I've been driving all over Dallas taking my kids to camps and practices and games.  It's been crazy, but it's been a lot of fun too!

Today's tip comes from a friend from elementary school/high school, Betsy Malmanger {she was actually two years older than me...but you get the picture, we go back quite a long way}.  She has 5 kids....with the last two being a set of ADORABLE twin girls.  Since she got a 2 for 1....I'm going to give you a 2 for 1 today and include 2 tips she sent me!

TIP 1 : Use your pizza cutter when cutting up food for your little ones to eat.  This works great on anything from pizza ; ) to  pancakes to french toast to grilled cheese.  I LOVE this idea!

TIP 2 : When measuring brown sugar, use the next smaller measuring cup to pack the sugar in. {Ex. when using a 1/2 cup to measure, pack it in with the 1/3 cup}.  What a simple time saving idea...I don't think I'd heard of this one.

Betsy has a sweet blog where she chronicles their busy life here.  Thank you so much Betsy for the great tips this week...I know they come from lots of experience!

If you want your tip to feature...just send me a message on facebook or through my email link on my blog.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

fruits of the spirit

I did a little rearranging in my kids' bathroom which I recently redid {shown here} and in the process ended up with some empty wallspace {and a couple nail holes I needed to cover up!}.  I wanted something fun and fitting for my kids but also fit the room...and my budget of free to cheap. : ) 

I saw this idea over at Me Oh My and LOVED it...natural and kinda funky.  She chose a song to put in her master bedroom and I think it looks great....
I was thinking a Bible verse would be good for my kids to see everday...but as I got to thinking about I had to be careful because it was going on the wall right across from the toilet.  So....I ruled on out "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do with all thy might" pretty early on. ; )  I thought a list of the Fruits of the Spirit my go well on this narrow little wall.

I found a piece of scrap wood with a nice grain in the garage and had my sweet husband cut it to size.  Then, I sanded it down and stained it using some stain I had that matches our flooring. {ALL FREE!}
I let that set for....well, until I had time to mess with is again.  I bought some white acrylic paint {under $1} and taped off 10 lines to make sure I didn't write them crooked.
Then, I tied a ribbon to two small nails I hammered into the back and hung it up with yet another nail hole I hammered into the wall...
Now, my little ones have some almost free art {I know it's not perfect!} with some good reminders for the whole family!
Penny Lane Designs