Thursday, July 31, 2014

Happy Birthday, Harry Potter!

Did you know it is Harry Potter's Birthday today? My son very recently just saw some of the movies for the first time and has been obsessed ever since, and wants to be Harry for halloween this year. A few months ago, I posted a link to this tutorial which shows you how you can make wands. I had planned on trying it out but didn't get around to it until the kid showed an interest.

They were so easy! They're the perfect size and they are actually very sturdy. Each one is unique and the instructions were simple to follow. I wanted to share our wands that we made with the tutorial by trainsandtutus. We each made our own with dowels ($3.00 for a bag of 20), a glue stick, construction paper, hot glue gun, and paint. I have plenty more to make for my neice and nephews, too!


First we took a dowel and put glue all over the back of a piece of construction paper. We rolled the dowel tightly in the paper and snipped the ends.

Then I took a glue gun and made handles and random designs on the wands. I spun the stick while slowly pouring the glue out to make the handles and i liked how it dripped down the stick as I went.



They dry pretty quickly but I let it sit a few hours just in case. After that, I painted over everything in black acrylic paint. The glue was easy to paint.


 I almost wanted to keep it like that! It looked cool. But I had the metallic paint and wanted to give it a shot so we each painted our own wands.


I loved the tutorial and I love the wands so much I'm definitely making more. It was so simple and the result is unique, fun, and sturdy. Give it a try and share pictures!

Have a great Harry Potter's Birthday!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sailor Moon Inspired Crafts

In case I haven't mentioned it before, I love Sailor Moon. I am beyond excited for Sailor Moon Crystal on July 5th, 2014. I thought I'd share some things today that were inspired by Sailor Moon.

First are some gorgeous Sailor Moon inspired earrings that are on sale at our Etsy Shop! 



I wanted to make a quick and easy card. I decided to use my butterfly hole punch and some enamel dots to make the Sailor Scout bows. It came together very quickly, which is perfect for me. Now I just need to add my greeting and it is ready to go!



Another item for sale in our Etsy Shop is this Sailor Moon Inspired Necklace. It goes nicely with the earrings! It reminds me of her scepter in Sailor Moon Super S. 




I love Duct Tape crafts and this one blew me away. It is a Duct Tape Purse inspired by Sailor Moon's outfit. The one below is the one I bought myself, but Dexter's Boutique on Etsy has several more styles! Isn't it so pretty?





It also occurs to me that the Captain American Barrettes we posted before are pretty similar to the wing barrettes that Sailor Moon wears in her hair! A few minor tweaks and you're set!



I'm off to do some more Sailor Moon Crafting because I'm too excited to stop!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Remembering Loved Ones - Scrapbooking Idea

May and June are big months for our family as we remember our grandparents. Yesterday was my Pop pop's birthday and tomorrow will be my Grandmom's birthday. My Grandpop and Mom mom both have their birthdays in June. Then, of course, there is Mother's Day, Father's Day, and Memorial Day (both my grandfathers served). I wanted to make a special memorial page in my album for them, and when I thought about what I wanted it to include, I thought I'd add in all four of the funeral cards I've been holding on to so I would never lose them. 




To make the page, I used a pocket protector. They come in lots of varieties. This one is by Becky Higgins Project Life. On each side of the page I included a photo of each couple, a 4x6 journaling card with just little random things I remember and never want to forget, and the funeral cards. I didn't tape them down to the 3x4 polka dot cards underneath them so I can pull them out and read the backs in the future. 

I'm happy that it turned out simple and useful, as well as documented some of the things I've been thinking about during these months that remind me so much of them. I'd love to hear how others are storing their prayer cards or remembering loved ones! Share below! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

DIY Eclectic Alphabet Wall Art: Part 5


So let's say you have all of your letters complete-- now what? It took me weeks to get up the nerve to put a hole in the wall and start hanging! Let's hope that the same doesn't happen to you!

Now that we are putting it all together, flip over your letters and give them a good inspection. How many hangers do you already have on the letters and how many do you need to buy? I went to Home Depot and bought a picture hanging kit. The kit had some heavy duty hooks and some light weight options. I used both, depending on what I was hanging. I used the heavy duty hooks on the button-covered "O" and the fabric-heavy "G". The light weight were great for the letters I created from cardboard, the letters with chipboard bases, things like that. I super glued the hooks on the backs of the letter so that I could have a flush attachment (and I didn't have to worry about splitting wood, etc.).

Start by measuring the wall where you would like to hang your letters. In my case, I had a whole wall in my daughter's room to play with. Next, I measured that same amount of space on my floor. Take the letters and lay them out. Consider a few different elements-- spacing (letter to letter and line to line), color story (are there too many of one theme/color together), and if you want the alphabet to read in a logical way (does your eye travel along the line or does it look everywhere at once).


Once you have your letters laid out, you should start translating that to the wall. I started in the upper left corner with the letter A. Put a dab of toothpaste on the hanger hook and press the letter up against the wall. This will easily mark where you need to place your nails. Every so often, you will want to stand back and make sure the spacing you had laid out is what is coming up on the wall as well.







Friday, May 2, 2014

Mo's Chicken and Cheese Empanadas - Cinco de Mayo Recipe

If you want to try something else with queso fresco and the sauce you've made with my previous recipe, try these tasty empanadas. 

Ingredients:

1. Sauce from this recipe (plum tomatoes, yellow onion, jalapenos, garlic, cilantro, salt, and pepper)
2. Corn Mesa - you can buy this in most super markets in the same aisle with the flour. 
3. Rotisserie Chicken - I get one already made at the super market 
4. Queso Fresco 
5. Oil




Recipe:

1. Make the sauce using the first part of this recipe. 

2. Shred the chicken and place into a bowl. You just pull it apart into small half inch pieces. 

3. Add the sauce to the shredded chicken and stir. You don't want it to be too watery from the sauce, but enough so that the flavor is there. 

3. Make the tortillas by following the instructions on the bag. Usually it's a few cups of the flour and some water and you fold it together until you have a ball of dough. You want it to feel soft but not too watery. 

4. Crumble your queso fresco and place in a small bowl.

5. To make the tortillas, you will need either a tortilla press or a flat surface (like the bottom of a pot) and some wax paper. Create a small ball with the dough and flatten it between two pieces of wax paper and the tortilla press or pot and table. Leave the flat circle on the wax paper and put in some shredded chicken and queso fresco. Fold the tortilla in half using the wax paper to help you. Press every part of the edge so that the tortilla closes completely. If your tortilla is falling apart or won't stick together completely, then there is too much filling. Just take it out and try again. Take the empanada off the wax paper and set aside. Make as many of these as you'd like. 

6. Fry the empanadas in the oil until they are a crispy, golden brown. You want to make sure you leave them in long enough for all of the tortilla to cook, otherwise you will have a bit of a mushy inside. Use tongs when handling the empanadas but be sure not to flip them until you can grab the empanada without puncturing it. 

7. Serve with some extra sauce for dipping and enjoy. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mo's Cheese Enchiladas- Recipe for Cinco de Mayo

. It's time to get ready for Cinco de Mayo! I learned this recipe from my son's grandfather who lives in Mexico. Learning how to cook from a man who spoke Spanish only while I didn't understand any of it was quite interesting! The end result is delicious regardless of the language barrier, I promise. 

Warning: I make this salsa very spicy! Ingredients you will need are below:

1. Corn Tortillas (I buy a bag of them soft from the food store, you can also buy the hard ones or use tortilla chips) 
2. 4-6 Plum Tomatoes (depending on size)
3. 1 yellow onion - I prefer a smaller onion but if you love onions, by all means get a big one.
4. 4-5 fresh jalapenos (depending on size)
5. 1 clove of garlic
6. Cilantro (I actually prefer the McCormick Cilantro over fresh for this recipe) 
7. Salt & Pepper 
8. Queso Fresco - This is a soft cheese that you can crumble. You can find it in a lot of Walmart's, some super markets in their dairy section (depending on the area you live), and International & Hispanic grocery stores. I suggest Walmart because it is the cheapest- around $3.00 for the whole round. 
7. Oil if you plan to fry your tortillas. 


Recipe:

1. Boil water in a large pot. Cut tomatoes and onion in half. Cut jalapeno stems off and cut the whole pepper in half, keeping some seeds for spice. If you do not like a lot of spiciness, I suggest getting the seeds out. Avoid touching your eyes and children when handling the jalapenos! Put tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, and garlic in the water and cover with a lid. I keep the veggies in there for about ten minutes. 

2. The best way to know they are done are to check the tomatoes. I put a fork or knife through them and if it slides right off, I know it's done. You'll also notice the skin of the tomatoes is coming off. Peel the skins off of the tomatoes completely. (Be careful! They're hot and you will want to let them cool before peeling.) Put all of your vegetables into a food processor. You can add just a bit of the water from the pot, too, to make it blend easier. Blend the vegetables until you have a smooth sauce. I like to blend for a minute so it is more liquid than chunky. 

3. Pour sauce into a bowl and sprinkle the cilantro, salt, and pepper in to taste. This part really will depend on how spicy you like things. I usually do five shakes of the cilantro and pepper and three shakes of salt. Stir. 

4. If you bought the soft corn tortillas, you can fry them in oil until they are hard. This part is time consuming but tasty and more authentic! Whenever I'm feeling pressed for time I just use chips.

5. Spread a spoonful of sauce on each tortilla or several spoonfuls over your plate of chips. Sprinkle some of the crumbled queso fresco on top. 

6. Enjoy! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Basket Ideas

Just like stocking stuffers, it can be hard to think of ideas besides candy to throw into an Easter Basket for your little ones. I literally just returned from Target and in under an hour's time, I got everything I needed :)

I have two boys. One is 7 years old and the other is two. Their baskets may have SOME candy. Here is what they are receiving Easter morning...

7 Year old Boy:

Baseball
Baseball batting gloves
Philadelphia Flyers Jersey
Peeps
Lemonade sugar free gum
M & Ms
Captain America Movie (The First Avenger)
MLB Book that you put some collectable stickers in (and 5 packs of the stickers)
Pack of baseball cards
Mario Bros mini figures
Mini Transformers (two of them)


2 Year old Boy:

Sidewalk Chalk (really thick)
Three pairs of socks
Sunglasses
A pack of Huggies swimmies for vacation!
Toothbrush and paste
Peeps
M&Ms
Elmo Learning Doll
Fruit Roll ups
Bubble blowing gun
T-shirt
new sippy cups


Bath toys, books, crayons, coloring books, movies, underwear, baseball caps, sand toys, water guns, face masks, art supplies, crafting projects, diaper rash cream, bubble bath, chapstick, mouth guard for sports, bike bell, gift card, games, card games, slinkies, small figurines and stuffed animals are all good choices as well.

I always wanted a little girl. I feel like their baskets would be easier for me to fill. Here is a list for little girls...

Nailpolish
lipgloss/chapstick
hairbows
doll clothes
Bubblegum Beaded Jewelry
Cds
Movies
dress up items
purse
Stickers
My Little Ponies (other small figurines)
Barbie

What were your favorite items in your baskets growing up? Happy Easter, everyone! Spend this time with your families and enjoy!