Thursday, July 17, 2014

How to pack a muffin tin picnic

It's been so beautiful here in Kentucky over the last couple of days that the girls and I decided to have a picnic. My girls know that the first thing we need is a muffin tin!  Wait- a muffin tin?!?!  Yes! This has been a picky eater trick for toddlers for a long time- to give them small bits of colorful foods in a muffin tin. However, my good eaters still enjoy it and it is a lot easier to quickly pack up a picnic to take somewhere especially if yours has a lid that attaches like mine.
This idea is simple- pack a few things from each category below (I use whatever is on hand) and arrange them colorfully.

Apple slices
Melon balls
Raisins or craisins

Pepper slices
Cucumber slices
Celery sticks
Cherry tomatoes
Sugar snap peas

Peanut butter
Cooked and cooled beans
Cubed meats
Cheese cubes
Seeds- my kids love pumpkin seeds

Whole grains/fiber-
Cooked and cooled whole grain pasta
Pirate's Booty

Greek yogurt ranch dip (I make mine from scratch)
Peanut butter or almond butter
Vanilla yogurt (for fruit)

Again, these are just ideas! Open your fridge and see what you've got that's tiny, and be sure to pack a variety for a healthy picnic.

Note that the muffin tin is made to conduct heat, so if you let it sit directly in the sun it will get hot and so will your food.  So be sure to eat up quickly or sit unde a shade tree!  My kids have no problem gobbling up all the food in no time!

They can't resist sharing with Millie too!

Enjoy your picnic!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

HEALTHY Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes!

This morning my kids wanted pancakes. I  decided to make this version packed with some fruit and protein! (It's gluten free too!)

One ripe banana
Two eggs
1 Tablespoon nut butter
Chocolate chips to top (optional)

Mash banana and blend well with eggs.  Add in peanut butter and combine as well as possible.

Cook over medium high heat, flip when bubbling.  Immediately too with a few chocolate chips so they melt and stick.
Enjoy sans syrup!

How I plated it:

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Vintage Baby Clothing

Today I am a guest blogger at!  This was a fun opportunity and they have already asked me to come back again.  Please head over there to check it out! 
My post includes lots of great tips for finding and using vintage baby clothes.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Life Cycle of Cleaning...

Just a little something I felt VERY inspired to make today...can you tell what I'm up to this afternoon?


Sunday, May 18, 2014

How To Reupholster a Storage Chest-a tutorial!

I live in an apartment now which means I have to be more organized.  Every bit of space counts!  I decided a while back to start looking for a storage chest to use as a coffee table so my kids wouldn't leave 500 blankets laying around all the time.  Unfortunately, they were all pretty expensive or didn't fit my decor.  I was so happy one day when someone from my MOPS group posted a photo of one she wanted to sell for $10. SOLD! After buying the fabric and staples I spent about $30 total on this- waaaaay cheaper than brand new, and I love the fabric to boot!

Storage Chest Makeover- an upholstery tutorial

-A storage chest (duh)
-2.5 yards of home decor fabric, canvas, or cotton duck fabric (I used the cotton duck from Hobby Lobby.  Much cheaper than home decor fabric)  ***Tip***Choose a non-directional print!  Especially if this is your first attempt at upholstery.  No lines to match up!!!
-An electric staple gun (I borrowed one from a friend- trust me, this is MUCH easier than a manual one)
Blowin' the smoke off my gun. Because I can't help but do something nerdy when I wear my nerd glasses.
-Staples (shortest post length)
-Sewing machine and matching thread
-Measuring tape

Got all your stuff?  Good- it's go time!

Step One- Clean up the storage chest as needed and disassemble.  I needed a Phillips head screwdriver to take mine apart.
***Two important tips!***
ONE- Take a picture of the way it is assembled up close.  It might look self explanatory but those little pieces have to aim the right way and I promise you will forget.
TWO- place the tiny screw and pieces in a baggie and label which side they were on.
This is what it looked like before!  

Now taken apart!
-Step Two- Lay the lid down on the fabric, and cut the piece large enough to wrap up the sides and overhang by at least one inch.  (You may need to adjust based on the thickness of the lip on yours.  Mine was only 1/2 inch or so.)
I had plenty of fabric so I gave myself plenty of fabric to work with.  You can always trim later!!!
Step Three-  Wrap the fabric up in the center of a long side and staple down about three inches of fabric.  This is the fun part- yay staple gun!  Then, pulling TIGHT staple three inches down the opposite side.  For this part you are stapling on the edge of the lip. Continue in this manner until both long sides are stapled down.  I space my staples about one inch apart.
Nice and pretty. 
Both long sides complete.
Step Four- Wrap it up!  No...for real.  Wrap that baby up like a Christmas present, stapling along the way to hold it nice and tight.  Be sure to have your folds even on both sides and laying nice and flat.  Then you can staple on the inside of the lip so the fabric isn't all floppy.
Stapling along the way.

Making it pretty!
There- see how pretty that looks?
Step Five- Celebrate.  You have completed your lid!!! (Unless you need to trim.  You will need to trim your excess fabric before celebrating, sorry!)
My lid.  Am I done yet?
Step Six-  You need to cut the fabric for your sides. This involves math, my arch-nemesis. Trust me, if I can do the math you can!  Measure each side then do the following:
Add 2" to the HEIGHT of each side.
Add 1" to the WIDTH of each side.
Don't mess this part up!  Measure twice, cut once!

The four pieces.
Step Seven- Sew them all together into a long strip.  Be sure to alternate- long side, short side, long side, short side.  Use a 5/8" seam allowance.  Why 5/8" when you only added enough fabric for a 1/2" seam?  Because you want it to fit really tight, and fabric stretches a little!
Step Eight- Take the two ends and sew them together to make a tube.
Step Nine- Squeeze it onto the base of the storage chest, being sure to align the seams on the corners and have a similar amount hanging over the top and the bottom.
Step Ten-  Staple the top all the way around, being sure to fold the corners neatly.  Then flip it over and staple the bottom all the way around, pulling it super tight again!
A corner of the base to show an example.
Step Eleven-  Trim up and excess fabric (You shouldn't have much for the base)  Closely inspect the chest to be sure the lid and base are both how you want them- add extra staples anywhere you feel the fabric isn't secure enough.

Step Twelve- Remember where all those pieces go?  No?  Whew- good thing you took those photos and kept the parts divided in baggies!  Put it back together, using your fingers to feel for the holes where the screws originally went.
You need to use a little elbow grease to get the screws through the thick fabric.
Step Thirteen- Enjoy your awesome new custom storage chest!!!
Stuff it full of blankets and pillows- you KNOW you have too many!!!
As usual, if you use this tutorial please send me a picture of your work!  I love seeing it!  Please help me out by sharing this tutorial with your friends on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter...wherever you network!


Linked up at Coastal Charm!  Head over to see more awesome ideas!  Also linked at Tutorial Tuesdays at Hope Studios!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I've been away from this blog for a year and a LOT has changed!  I am still "me" with all of my quirks and creative ideas ready to spill out...however going through my marriage crumbling to pieces has made me a new woman with a very different view on life!
You might think I mean bitter...or discouraged.  Maybe you think I walk around looking like Grumpy Cat all day. In reality, this experience has brought me a new appreciation for my amazing friends, my beautiful children, and my family.  It has made me worry less about designer brands and highlights and live more with a heart of thankfulness for the things I DO have.  Most of all it has strengthened my walk with my Savior!  From my observations, when people go through what I've been through (sorry- no details out of respect) you either blame God and run away from Him...or you run straight into His arms and cling so tight that you can't ever let go!  I went with the latter!
The verse above is a promise, and it perfectly explains how I want to live.
So please, continue to join me on my journey of crafting, homemaking, cooking, and parenting.  And when I throw a little Jesus in the mix, I hope you remember this post and turn to him also when you are going through something tough!
Much love to my readers old and new!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Outdoor Play Challenge, part 1

I have challenged myself to try at least one new fun thing outside with my kids every week this Spring and Summer.  I am getting a lot of great ideas from Pinterest, so if you want to follow me over there you can see things as I pin them!
This first week we tried out these "Bouncing Bubbles" since my girls are prime bubble age.  They love to chase them around the yard, so this pin sounded like fun.
Here is a direct link to the site with the recipe.

I had to triple the recipe to make enough to fill up the bottom of this roasting pan.  The directions say they work better if the solution sits overnight- I found they didn't work at all until the next day, since there was too much air in there from stirring it.
These bubbles did not work with a coathanger "wand".  Bummer.
BUT- we found some items around the house to experiment with, and this stencil worked great, as did a traditional bubble wand.
Overall, I would give this idea an 8 because it worked, but I was really hoping to make gigantic bubbles with a wire hanger and couldn't.  If you have a recipe that would work better for that, please share!!!
Thanks and stay tuned for my next outdoor play activity!