Wednesday, June 29, 2011

More Cute Mason Jars

Two Shades of Pink shows a really easy and cheap way to make cute sippy cups out of Mason jars.
It is a lot like the lemonade jars we used for a Teacher Appreciation luncheon.
I love that you can decorate them for any occasion using scrapbook paper.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sidewalk Chalk Paint

A lot of blogs have the sidewalk chalk paint posted.  We decided to give it a try.  First, we sorted our old chalk by color.
Then we smashed them up with a hammer in a plastic sandwich bag.
Either our chalk was really hard, or my kids were impatient.  They definitely did not get it all down to a fine dust.  There were still lots of big chunks in our paint, but it seemed to work okay.
 
We mixed it up with some water.  They liked it pretty runny.
Then they went to work with their (cheap) paint brushes!
 I love my colorful driveway!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tin Can Treats

I found this fun craft/gift idea using tin cans.  They used the cans for Mother's Day and Teacher Appreciation, then they updated it for Father's Day.
I decided to make three cans.  Two for Father's Day and one for a neighbor having a stressful time of life.
I followed their directions and put in a bag of sunflower seeds and a gift card for the dad's and chocolate for my neighbor.
I changed their quote for my neighbor's can.
And printed the label for the Father's Day can.
I was very glad to read that the bottom of their can was a mess from the gluing also! It definitely did not look pretty, but the final product turned out really cute.
I just need to invest in a better paper cutter, so that my paper doesn't look so ragged where I cut it!  Any suggestions?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Free samples never stink.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork

My mother-in-law gave me a cook book that her church had compiled.  I love these kind of books, because you know that these are tried and true recipes.
We love this recipe for sweet pork.  I make it all of the time.
I usually add one & a half to two cans of green enchilada sauce to the meat.  We like it a little wetter.
My kids eat it on a warmed tortilla with cheese.  For me and my husband I make some rice and black beans (in the same pot) and put that mixture and the meat in a rolled up tortilla.  Then we pour more enchilada sauce on top with some cheese and put in under the broiler.
It is definitely a yummy dinner and the meat lasts us for a few meals.
I linked to Skip to My Lou !

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Calendar & Menu Board

 I found these magnet boards at Roberts for pretty cheap a few years ago and decided to make it into a calendar and menu board.  My sister made me a vinyl grid, numbers, "Menu", "To Do List" and month names.  All of these things could be done with electrical tape and cute stickers.
Then I bought two of these tiles from Lowe's and broke it apart to use the square tiles for the numbers.
(If any one has any great ideas for what to do with the octagon tiles, I would love to hear them!)
I applied the number stickers and glued magnets on the back.
For a while I was using little slips of paper with the menu item printed on it and a magnet on the back for the menu.  But, that didn't work so well because I try a lot of new recipes.  I have found that a dry-erase marker works great.
I  printed out small pictures of each member of the family to mod-podge to a tile to use for birthday's.  I also have shapes for each holiday: heart for Valentines and Anniversary, Shamrock for St. Patricks, etc.
I added an emergency contact paper with all of the important numbers that my kids need to know.
This was a fairly easy project.  I love it because every time my kids (or husband) ask "What's for dinner?"  My answer is always "What does the board say?"!
I linked up here .

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Label Removal

I like to buy these big jars and take the labels off and re-use them around the house.
 But, sometimes taking the labels off can be a pain. 
I found a great, easy way to do it though.

Warm up the label with a hair dryer and it should peel right off!  I usually start at one corner and work my way back.  You have to be careful not to stay in one place to long, if the plastic is thin it can warp.
Go slow and smooth.  Before you know it you will have a perfectly clean jar with no sticky residue left behind and no need to use stinky chemicals.
 All ready for legos or army men!

Monday, June 20, 2011

To Kill A Mockingbird

I love to read. 
But, I really love to read in the summer.  Sitting in the sunshine, reading a good book and watching my kids play is a perfect afternoon. I decided to re-read one of my favorites.  It is so good.  I love the relationship between the father and his children.  I love how he teaches them to do the right thing, even when it is hard.
If you have never read this book, I highly recommend it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Simple, Surprising Solution

I took my kids to a local garden last week and I took this picture that I really liked of the three of them.  But, I was bugged that my son's shirt didn't match his brother and sister's.  I should have planned ahead and had them match...but I didn't.  I tried using the GIMP photo editing software (which I love) to fix it, but I am not that skilled, and even after reading some tutorials on the subject I wasn't having much luck.

In this picture I left a lot of color on the edges.

And in this one I couldn't get in the creases or the back of his shirt.


My husband suggested I use the "remove red eye" feature on the whole picture and it worked!  Quickly and simply!  Obviously this wouldn't have worked if his shirt had not been red, but it was so simple this time. It is just another reminder to rethink things that are giving you trouble.  Maybe get a second opinion or take some time away from the project.  Another solution is always waiting to be found!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Retirement Survival Kit

My husband's aunt is retiring.  She was a really good school teacher.  We were sad when she switched schools right before our kids were about to join her.  I wanted to get her a gift, but I don't think that there is much she needs.  So, I researched some ideas and came up with a Retirement Survival Kit.
I got mints, marbles, Kit Kat, chalk, play-doh, bath salt, key chain, confetti, seeds, a bath pillow, a penny (which is not pictured) and a basket to put it all in.
 I made this card for her with my digital scrapbook program to explain the meaning behind each item.  I wrapped all of the gifts in cellophane and put it in the basket.
 
I hope that she likes it and has a Happy Retirement!
I am linking to Skip to my Lou and a A Bowl Full Of Lemons.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Picnic Kit

Both my mom's and mother-in-law's birthday is coming up in the next couple of weeks.  I decided to make them both Picnic Kits.  After picking a plastic Sterilite container with a lid, I pretty much wandered around the dollar store and grocery store to try to find things that would be useful on a picnic.
 
I came up with matches, playing cards, wet wipes, paper plates, paper cups, plastic utensils, a roll of plastic trash bags, napkins, plastic tablecloth, frisbee, sunscreen, band aids, lip balm, citronella candle and plastic salt and pepper shakers.
 Then I found this cute ants marching with letters font that I thought looked perfect for a picnic. I printed it on a piece of paper and trimmed it to fit inside of my lid and used clear glue dots to stick it on. I think that it turned out pretty cute and it will definitely be useful to keep in the back of the car.
They will be ready for an impromptu picnic anytime!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Surprise Mugs

 When I was little we had a mug with a cute little frog at the bottom.  I don't remember if it was ceramic or plastic, but I loved that mug!  It was so fun to watch for the top of his head to pop out of whatever you were drinking!  I thought it would be fun to get some for my kids.  I have found two places that sell them online, bennington potters and The Frog Store
Does anyone know where else you can find these adorable mugs?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Teacup Candles

I love these Teacup Candles made by Martha Stewart.  What a cute way to reuse mismatched teacups!

Monday, June 6, 2011

IPod Dock

I love this IPod dock from Pottery Barn.  It is simple and reasonably priced.  It would be great for a kid's speaker.  I wish I had seen this before my kids' birthdays!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Meatballs

My sister-in-law gave me this easy, delicious recipe.  I love it!  I can never seem to get enough of them.  I always go back for just one more...again, and again, and again!