Thursday, July 29, 2010

Little Craft Project: Cheap Cake Platter!

Ok, so I got another great, inexpensive craft for you girls to try!
I saw this post on How Does She? - (I can't tell you how much I LOVE this site!)

And I figured... "You know what?" "I can make that!"
"And I might even have the stuff on hand!" - And I did!
As you will see, I didn't make a 3 tier cake stand like the one shown on HowDoesShe. - although I love it and think it is adorable! I just tried a single tier for now. I needed more glass plates and I actually wanted to glue mine not just rest the plates and stands on top of eachother... something about it didn't seem sturdy enough.

So, I went in my Goodwill Stash - you know my stash of random things I pick up at the Goodwill for super cheap knowing I will use one day! ie: Frames, plates, mugs, jars, etc.
Anyways, I went in my stash and I grabbed these 2 items.....

A glass plate and candle holder...
(The plate was a quarter and the candle stand was a buck!)

I actually used a little hot glue around the rim of the candle holder to adhere the holder to the plate....

After the glue dried, 10 seconds later, I flipped it right side up....

And there ya' go! Cute, Cheap, Easy!

I know mine is different than the HowDoesShe one... this was just my take on it with what I had on hand and what I thought would work best for us.

I didn't have any goodies to put on it right away so I thought it might find a nice little spot on my kitchen shelf! See it?! There to the left with a little frame on top of it?!

Who says cake stands have to be used for cake and not decoration?! I figure she can stay up there till I have to pull her down and actually use her for some treats.

These cake stands are ridiculously cute, cheap, and easy. I think I whipped mine up in about 5 minutes and like I stated earlier... it cost me a $1.25!!!!!!!

If you girls don't have a cake stand in your house... by all means whip one up! Or if you have a shower or party coming up and want to have some cute platters or stands to put goodies on, these stands would be perfect!

So head over to the Goodwill, or the Dollar Store, or just shop your cubbards and make one of these cuties! The next time you make cookies or cupcakes serve them on here and I guarantee you... you will feel tickled pink!

Chat later,


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Breakfast for Dinner: Blueberry Sauce

Last night we had breakfast for dinner!

Any of you gals ever do that?! I love breakfast foods. Actually I would go as far as to say that "breakfast" is probably my favorite food group! And if you are like our house than you definitely do not have time to get up and make some lavished breakfast for you and your family! So, since early, early mornings are not a possibility, and huge breakfast buffets aren't either... a big ole' breakfast is great to serve for dinner instead! You know, on those nights where you have a bit more time, energy, and your hair is actually brushed and you're wearing a bra! lol

But honestly I just LOVE breakfast foods! Scrambled eggs, sausage links, cinnamon rolls, french toast, waffles, orange juice, donuts, pastries, hash browns... you name it, I LOVE it! (seriously, my mouth is watering right now!) - And the best part about breakfast style foods is that they usually don't take much time to make! I mean they are pretty easy to whip up and you don't even have to remember to pull something out of the freezer in the morning! They are a great, easy, go to meal!

So speaking of all this breakfast!..... last night we were in a crunch so I decided to whip up some french toast and scrambled eggs!
But I didn't just want boring old syrup on my french toast... I had a craving for that blueberry or blackberry sauce that Perkins has! You know what I'm talking about?
Well, I remembered seeing a recipe for a Truffle Cheesecake with a Raspberry Puree over on How Does She? - I still totally have to make this! It looks delish!

Anyways that Raspberry Puree stuck out in my head because I figured you could make it with any kind of fruit! Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, etc.
And that is exactly what I did. I took her recipe, tweaked it a little and came up with my own version of her puree...

Homemade Blueberry Sauce!

All I did was throw a pint of blueberries in my food processor, added about 2/3 Cup of sugar, and a splash of vanilla! (about a teaspoon for those that need or like to measure) That was it!
I poured it into a good ole' mason jar and popped it in the microwave to warm it up.
After it was warm we poured it all over some hot, fresh, french toast!

Mmmmm! It was so stinkin' goooood! I felt like I was eating a treat, not dinner!

Wondering what else you could use this sauce for? Well here is my brainstorm as to what I am planning on doing with my left over batch....

*Pour it on ice cream for a Blueberry Sundae
*Drizzle it over Cheesecake
*Use it on Pancakes or Waffles
Or my favorite idea....
*I think I am gonna try and put it in our little Popsicle molds and make Homemade Fresh Fruit Blueberry Popsicles! I would think they would come out delicious! - I'll let you know if and when I try this!

So there ya' have it!
Whip up this easy Blueberry Sauce and start pouring it over all kinds of breakfast goodies and treats!

My plans for tonight are to take some strawberries that are just about done for and whip them into some Strawberry Sauce! Yum-O!

Chat later,

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I HEART Chalkboard Paint!

This little can of paint is absolutely amazing! Remember how I said that old, chunky, frames are your new best friend?! Well, definitely add this chalkboard paint to your BFF list!
All it takes is 2 coats and about 12-24 hours of drying time and you can turn just about anything into a writable, chalkboard surface!
This paint cost about $10 at Walmart and trust me... it goes a very, very long way!
I bought it a couple months back and look at all I have used it for....

A pickle jar into a pen jar....

I taped off an area in my cupboard, now I know what's on the other side of the kitchen in the pantry...

I even painted the edges of my pantry shelves to be more organized...

And this handsome guy was whipped up last weekend by my wonderful hubby!....

I have been wanting to actually paint some of this chalkboard paint on my wall but never really knew where or what. Then I pulled this old wooden frame out of the garage and I knew it was perfect! - My father in law actually found this frame down in Missouri and gave it to me! I love that he knows I'm a "junker" and a sucker for old stuff!
After putting a super great quote on it (thanks Jes!) I am totally in LOVE with this piece!
This little chair is where I sit every morning and feed Tuck his bottle. We both sit back, snuggle in, and slowly wake up together! I also love to sit and read a good book or a magazine in this comfy chair... and now with this over sized chalkboard and super inspirational quote... this is probably one of my favorite "nooks" in the house!

Check out and get inspired by what some other gals are doing with chalkboard paint....

Genius right?! - How creative and fun!
Don't you girls totally want to go paint something with chalkboard now???
If you do paint something.... let us know! If you already have used this paint... share and share alike!


Chat later,

Friday, July 23, 2010

Greta Says....

We ran into Home Goods today to pick up a sign for Tuck's room (we are finally going to try and paint/put his room together!) - but another post on that later! Anyways, we are in the store... Tuck in the front part of the cart and Greta in the back. As we are walking down the aisles, Greta see's this guy.......

You know, one of those Bistro Chef kinda of things.

Here's how the conversation went down.....

In her not so quiet voice Greta says... "Oh look Mom, its JESUS!"
Me: "Where?!"
G: "Right there! It's JESUS!"
Me: "Where is Jesus?! What are you pointing at sweetie?"
G: "Right there." "That chubby boy, that's Jesus."
You tell me?! Do you see any resemblence?!

Hahaha. I couldn't help but bust out laughing right there in the store!!!

Kids say the darndest things I guess!

I tried explaining to her what a chef was, but she didn't quite get it! Once she thought that was Jesus that is all she had in her head... and needless to say all she wanted to talk about on our trip to Home Goods.
While down one of the home decor aisles she saw this statue of a pig... which then started up a whole conversation about Jesus and how he had Noah build the ark and Noah let pigs get on his boat!
She is beyond precious and quite the chatty little girl! I love watching her grow and change and learn. This is by far my favorite stage or age that we have been through. However it does actually makes me a little sad realizing that she is not so much a baby anymore. :(
She is on her way to being a big girl!

Oh, P.S. - I added a visual to this post here! Remember I was saying old, chunky frames are your BFF... well here is a little chalkboard paint done up on a little silver platter! Too cute!
Chat later,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Little Craft Project: Mason Jar Soap Pump.

Remember on Monday how I told you I did a ton of "little projects" over the weekend?!
Well girls.... here is craft #2 and it couldn't be easier!

I have always had a love for glass jars... specifically Mason Jars! I don't know what it is about them?! Maybe it's because I feel like they are old and remind us of a simpler time. Maybe it's because I swear one day I will learn how to start canning with them. Or maybe it's because you can come up with a million CUTE things to do with them!
I had been seeing this dispenser idea here, here, and here. (This last one gives you a great step by step tutorial if you don't immediately "get the gist" of this project just by looking at it).
Anyways after seeing how it was I ran off to make one. Well actually it was Friday night and my honey was home too, so I hollared at him to grab his drill!
I just grabbed a mason jar from my stash.... if you don't have a stash like me! lol.... then you can buy them in a pack at Walmart or pick up just a couple at the Goodwill for about .50 cents a pop!
All I did.... with Loren's supervision over his precious tool... was drill a hole into the top of your mason jar lid. Easy!

After you drill your hole stick a soap pump that you have from an old bottle right in the top! Fill your jar with soap, lotion, whatev.... and you are done!

I TOLD YOU! This couldn't be any easier, right?
And on top of that it couldn't be cheapier... but it makes me oh-so-happy every time I go to wash my hands in the bathroom!

I'm stillin' tickled at just how stinkin' adorable these are!!! I may just have to whip up a bunch to have on hand or give away as gifts! - look out friends... some of you may be getting one of these lil' cuties!

Have you been inspired yet to go make one these little projects we have been talking about?! Just do it.... go get your craft on!
And remember to come back and show us! I love a good show and tell!!!

Chat later,


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Things That Make Me Happy...

I picked up this polk-a-dot apron and spoon holder a little while back from Home Goods and completely forgot to show them off! I finally used the apron over the weekend for the first time and was totally smitten! It is too cute and kinda makes me feel like some 1950's house wife. Very June Cleverish, eh?!
And you can't beat the clearance tag on both these items!

Who knew wearing a cute apron while cookin' could make you feel so good! :)

And speaking of cooking... another thing that makes me happy is
......Babes who eat their dinner!

Eatin' it, lovin' it, and makin' a mess... I'll take it!

Why is it that children love anything with noodles?! Spaghetti is a big hit around our house... well like I said, anything with noodles is a big hit around our house! - But both babes have been eating raw, fresh, cucumbers from Grandpa Loren's garden, so that is a plus!

Side Note: If you want to jazz up your spaghetti and make it a little creamier... add 4 tablespoons (half a block) of cream cheese! So delicious and so creamy! It's a mix between white and red sauce... you know, for those days when you can't make up your mind! Or one babe wants white sauce but I know the other prefers red!

Oh... and turn up your volume!!! I added some fun new music to my play list below! We have been feeling the old classics and swing style tunes at our house lately! Greta and Tuck love them! They particularly like to grab an ice cream cone and have a dance "party" in our living room. I guess that makes sense... ice cream, tunes, and dancing... that is quite the party! lol

This style of music definitely makes me happy.

Hope you all are having a great Tuesday!

Chat later,

Monday, July 19, 2010

Little Craft Project: Framed Love Letter!

So, I have totally been bitten by the "craft bug" lately! I am doing little projects all over the house! The best news is... most of these little projects are free or cost next to nothing! - perfect for my budget! lol
I think this need, itch, desire (whatever you want to call it) to craft, came from last weeks trip to the Goodwill. I actually went in there to look for some work jeans for Loren. You can pick up a couple pairs for $5 a pop... not bad! I also like to peruse through the kids book section... Greta is always in need of a new bedtime story.
Well, while I was there I thought it wouldn't hurt to take a "looksie" down the dishes and glass aisle.... along with the furniture and home aisle. To my surprise I hit the jack pot! I didn't buy anything big or make a major purchase, instead I walked out with a few little "ditties" that I had some BIG plans for! OH, and a new book about using the potty for Greta. (no jeans for Loren, sorry honey!)
Over the weekend I whipped up quite a few little projects around our house! (with the help of my honey of course! - although you don't technically need a man to do any of these projects... it is just nice to have their company.) I can't tell you how doing some little decorating/crafty project can make you feel so happy about your house.
Are any of you girls like me.... certain days or months you just feel "BLAH" about your whole house?! You'd rather move and start over. Start fresh and buy all new. Change your decorating style... or just plain old feel down in the dumps about your little old grandma house that you will now be staying in waaaaay longer than you had anticipated when you first bought and moved in.
Sound like any of you?! Well that has been me lately, so Loren and I decided we needed some change. So we automatically started talking new paint, board and batten in the living room, finishing... or actually starting Tuck's room! And just talking made me feel better. Then pair that with my goodies from the Goodwill and I was totally jazzed about doing little things to make me happier with my home!
So, over the next couple days, weeks, posts, I will be sharing with you some of my super cute, super cheap little craft ideas! All of the projects have 3 things in common....
1.) They were all pretty inexpensive. Say under $10.
2.) They all took minimal effort and not much time!
3.) They are by no means going to change the whole look or feel of my house... but they were just enough to "make" the space. You know that feeling of a new piece in your house.... it is just that extra something that makes you smile everytime you look at it! - that's really what I needed right now... to find joy in the LITTLE things!

So the first little project I whipped up was this super sweet and extremely sentimental framed love letter...

And it actually all started with that white vase up above. A friend of mine picked up a couple of these cute $2 Ikea vases for me. When she brought them over I started rummaging through my fake flower basket to see which petals would be pretty enough to put in a few of these vases. While digging I ran across this rose.
You see, the very first Valentine's day Loren and I celebrated as a married couple he had gotten me this fake rose. It was actually shoved in a dozen of real red roses with a little envelope that said... "I'll love you till the last rose wilts." Inside that envelope was this letter.
As soon as I found this rose I knew it had to be displayed in one of these vases. Once the rose was in the vase I set off on a mission to dig until I found this letter. And sure enough... in the very very bottom of my "Memorabelia" box was this letter from my first Valentines day as Mrs. Jennifer Appleberry.
The letter was beyond wonderful and brought a huge smile to my face when I read it again almost 4 years after the day he had given it to me.

So, with my charming rose sitting nicely in its new vase I went into my craft room to grab a wooden frame I had just bought from the Goodwill the day before! Guess how much the frame was... A DOLLAR! It was chunky and beautiful.... and for a dollar I knew I could paint it and display something cute in it. - And that's exactly what I did!

NOTE: Girls! Cheap, chunky frames are your new best friend!!! Keep a look out for them at Thrift stores, Garage sales, The Dollar Store, wherever! Any frame can be "gutted" of its old ugly picture and painted a beautiful new color. Or... if you like options... leave the art behind the glass, slap some chalkboard paint right on top of the glass, and then paint the frame the color of your choice. Instant, cute, chalkboard! - I suppose I could whip one of those up and do a post if you girls need a visual!)

*** And Here's The Visual....

(although instead of painting chalkboard paint on an old frame I grabbed a little silver platter I had snatched from a garage sale years and years ago.)

Anyways. As you can see, I painted my $1 Goodwill frame a whipped cream and once it dried, sanded it down to give it that old weathered look. The letter was not quite big enough to fill the frame so I grabbed a piece of scrapbook paper and used it as my matting. Then I glued the letter to my new matting and put it all together! Easy as pie I tell ya!

I put both items on my bedside table. Now, every time I wake up or crawl into bed I have this wonderful, personalized, framed art that makes me smile and feel so blessed to call my hubby all mine!
Easy, cheap, and it totally made the space! Instead of dust and an old kleenex box... I now have this to look at and make me smile when I walk into our bedroom.

There ya' go! The first of many cute, cheap, little projects that all you girls can do!

Find joy in the little things, right?! If you can't redo your whole house.... redo a small area or add a little homemade project to a space. - You'll be amazed at how big the impact can be from such a small piece.

Go on.... whip one of these up tonight! Your hubby might just get a huge boost of confidence knowing his silly little love letters could become such a wonderful piece of art!
And as always, if you make a little somethin' somethin' like this.... we wanna see it! Email me a picture and I will link you up to this post! Nothings more powerful than women bouncing ideas off eachother and sharing to get inspiration!

Chat later,


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Getting My Babes to Eat There Vegetables!

I don't know if your house is like mine... but for some reason my babes will not eat their veggies! I am always baffled by how they lived on pureed baby food vegetables and seemed to absolutely love them and eat them up! Probably because back when they were tiny, tiny, babes they did not have the option of hot dogs, chicken nuggets, mac and cheese or fruit snacks!

Lately vegetables have been a huge struggle at our house. Greta won't touch them and Tuck... well he will put them in his mouth only to spit them out! I have tried canned, I have tried fresh, I have even tried raw carrots with ranch as a dipping sauce (thanks to my cousin Alysha) only to have no success.

I have been bothered by my kids not getting a lick of veggies in their diet but I didn't really know what to do... so honestly I kind of brushed it off. I mean they eat a ton of fruit and we really do a pretty decent job at limiting the sugars and pop and giving them plenty of healthy choices. But I got a motivation to change things when my husband, of all people, kind of got me on the defense! - I know, it sounds silly. But he came to me with the concern of our babes not eating any vegetables and I can honestly say my feathers got a little ruffled... almost as if my faith in myself as a Mother was put to the test!
As Mom's we all want to make sure our kids are healthy and eating right and when they are not it almost feels as though we have failed! Some how my husbands genuine concern made me feel like it fell on me to get them to eat more vegetables and make a change. Well since change is what we needed... change is what I did!
Right before we left for Missouri I pulled out a handy dandy book my mother in law gave to me long before I had kids. I threw it in my purse and started reading it on my down times during our trip. The book is called Deceptively Delicious.

Some of you may have heard about it. It was written by Jerry Seinfelds wife, Jessica Seinfeld.

I am telling you... this book is genius! Pretty much Jessica Seinfeld tells about the exact same problem I have been having at our house.... kids not eating their vegetables! So, she started pureeing vegetables (pretty much making them into baby food) and then slipping the veggie purees into tons and tons of kid friendly dishes! After steaming the vegetables, she purees them, then measures them out into zip loc baggies and freezes them. Then when she wants to whip up a recipe that calls for a puree she just reaches into the freezer and viola! Vegetables can finally be eaten at dinner!

In the book she has a ton of recipes... all with "hidden" vegetables your kids won't even be able to see or taste! There are recipes for Brownies with Spinach or Scrambled Eggs with Cauliflower, Mac and Cheese with Carrots, French toast with Sweet Potatoes, Spaghetti Sauce with Carrots and Broccoli, even Pink Pancakes with Beets!

It is such a great concept that I knew this was my ticket to get the babes eating more veggies. So... I jumped on the band wagon as soon as we got home and started pureeing. And boy did I puree!!!

All in all I came out with 10 cups of carrot puree, 4 cups of broccoli puree, and 2 cups of spinach puree. After bagging them up and labeling them I threw them in the freezer and now I am ready to go! As I find more little windows of time I will be doing more purees here and there. They are pretty easy and don't take long if you just do 1 or 2 at a time. For the amount of 3 veggies I did the other night it only took about an hour.

We already tried a couple of the recipes and they are delicious! I made my own broccoli cheese soup last night and threw in 1 cup of carrots and no one knew the difference!

I am super excited about this idea and plan on keeping up with it for a long while. Who knew "hiding" vegetables in your babes dinner could be so fun and rewarding!

How about you Mom's... do your babes eat their vegetables or do you have to trick them into eating them? If so, how do you do it? Do you have any tricks up your sleeve you'd like to share with us?

Chat later,


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Road Trip!

Well, we just got back from our annual 4th of July Missouri Road Trip! - I know we are a week behind... but we ended up going back for the 4th a week later due to Loren's 10 Year Class Reunion!
The weekend was full of relaxing, Missouri heat, lemonade, playing outside, ice cream sandwiches, playing games till 2:00 in the morning, catching up with old friends, swimming, and even a quick visit to the town Doctor... Doc Long. - Greta broke out in a head to toe rash the first day we got there! Turns out she had a skin virus called Roseola. After being rubbed down for 3 solid days with 2 different types of cream, she seems to be completely rash free and feelin' better!
Even though the drive down stinks and then the drive home is always unbelievably long... we always manage to have a fun and safe trip while we are home visiting the Appleberry's!
Wanna know what an 8 hour car trip looks like with 2 babes, 1 pup, and a husband?! Here it is, the grueling drive, play by play... or should I say, hour by hour......

2 Hours in and Tuck was fussy! I stepped in to drive so Loren could hopefully get some shut eye with the babes.

Hour 3. Tuck finally fell asleep but Loren did not! lol

After leaving MN at 7:00pm and being in the car for 4 hours... we planned to stop and stay in a hotel in Des Moines, IA. It helped break up the trip for the babes.
Here's me "all nat-ur-al" in the hotel at about midnight, exhausted from the drive and my crazy kids.
Good Morning!
Here we are packing up and about to leave the hotel! Greta is ready to start the drive and Hour 5! - Tuck would rather jump on the bed! lol

Feelin' good! We are almost there!
Ahhhh we made it! The drive was long and tiring... and definitely took a lot out of the babes! But here we are... finally! All smiles and excited to be in MO.

There ya' have it! Eight long hours documented! - Gosh, shame I didn't marry someone closer... but thankful I didn't marry someone who lived it... well, say, Texas?! Now that would have been a long trip!

Here are some other fun pictures from the weekend...

Loren's 10 Year Reunion. He graduated with 47 classmates. He was 1 of 13 that showed up for the reunion.

All in all we had a great trip! Now... back to work and back to normal! I have a house that needs cleaning, a fridge that needs stalking, and as usual.... piles of laundry that are not about to wash themselves!

Chat later,


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