Monday, January 31, 2011

Play Make-Up (Without the Goo)

Here's a fun little idea I found on Meet the Dubiens blog. Play make-up!

Almost every play make up set that I have looked at for Little Miss has some sort of goop, slime, clear or sparkly smearing madness that gets all over everything.

This idea is simply genius! NO mess! Cheap! Fun! And...let's her imagination go crazy...always an added bonus.

What you need:

Either old make-up containers (eye shadow, blush, powder) or new, cheap ones
Nail polish in bright colors

I went to Dollar Tree and got some make-up (all this for $10)

1. Wash out your makeup containers and dry well.

2. Pour you nail polish s.l.o.w.l.y into each trough. Be sure to pour slowly so that little mixing balls don't fall out of the bottle. Fill each trough about 3/4 the way full. When the nail polish dries, it shrinks to about half it's size.

3. Let the nail polish dry at least 24 hours with the lids open. The nail polish smell will last between 48-72 hours (mine lasted about 48 hours).

4. Play with your little girl and remember how much fun it is to be child.

Little Miss sat next to me this morning, putting on her make-up. She had so much fun! She also put make up on while I made her lunch and dinner! :)

So, what do you think about this idea? So fun!


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hooded Towels - A Tutorial

I love the way the kids smell right after a bath. It's kind of nostalgic, too. Makes me think of bath time when I was a little girl and all the loving attention showered on me by my own mother.

There is simply nothing more delicious than the smell of a clean baby (toddler, child, etc).

I also love the routine of bundling them up in a blanket fresh out of the bath. Pulling the hooded towel over their wet curls and snuggling the towel tight across their body. I love those hooded towels! I hate the cost...

You can look all over the internet for hooded towel tutorials, but this is the best I've found so far! At Infarrantly Creative. Here's how it goes:

You need:

1 hand towel (1 hand towel will make 2 hooded towels - cha-ching!)
1 bath towel

(You can get these so cheap when they go on sale. Both towels cost me $5 total! Woohoo! :) )

1. Measure 10 inches up the hand towel. Cut all the way across.

2.Fold hand towel in half so that finished edge meets finished edge, cut edge meets cut edge.

3. Zig-zag stitch along the cut edge, sewing that edge shut.

4. Zig-zag stitch a triangle in the corner...the side of your newly sewn edge. Cut off fabric inside that triangle.

5. Turn your hood inside out so that the stitching is on the inside. Admire your handi-work!

Now grab the towel.

6. Fold your towel in half lengthwise and mark the center with a pin (red pin in the picture).

7. Measure 4 inches out from the center pin on either side. Mark that measurement (green pins in the picture).

8. Fold the edge of the towel so that the outer pins (green) meet the center pin (red). This sounds cofusing, but looking at the picture should help. This will give you three layers that you will be sewing through.

9. Matching up the center of the towel and the center of the hood, take the hood and pin the bottom of the hood to the top of the towel (where you just pinned).

10. Straight stitch the hood and towel together.

11. Zig-zag stitch the hood and towel together. This gives the place where the hood and towel meet more strength. (Thanks, Becki!)

12. Admire your handiwork! Now you can add any type of embellishment that you might want...the really fun part!

Look at that adorable little pleat!
I would love to see your final projects if you decide to make this. And, rest assured, my fellow newbie's easy peasy!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Make Your Own Goldfish Crackers - A Tutorial

Goldfish crackers and toddlers seem to go hand and hand. We have Goldfish remnants, dust and smears in every room of our home on any given day. We buy the caseload.

So today, I decided to try and make our own...what's wrong with me? ;) Maybe don't answer that...

I made the dough in the morning while the Littlests and Miss Priss were playing. some times, a little boy or two was holding onto to my leg and crooning love songs to me...

Here's the recipe (I'll bet you have everything you need already~):

  • 1 C all-purpose flour

  • 4 T cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

  • 8 oz cheddar cheese (I used sharp Cheddar, but I think you could use any type your little ones prefer)

  • 1/2 t salt

  • 1/2 t fresh-ground pepper

  • I found the recipe from the cupcake project.

    1. Combine all ingredients into a food processor.

    2. Pulse until you get a grainy mixture, like a cornmeal.

    3. Add 3-4 Tablespoons of water at a time, until the mix forms into a doughy ball. (I used 3 Tbsp).

    4. Form the dough into a ball or log and wrap in plastic wrap.

    5. Put in the fridge anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours. (Mine stayed in for 3 hours...until the Littlests went down for a nap and Miss Priss and I were alone to cut out shapes. She LOVES to cook!)

    6. Line cookie sheets with parchment  paper.

    7. Roll dough until it is 1/8 inch thick. (The thicker the dough, the less crispy the crackers are.)
    8. Cut out as many crackers as you can.

    ...Using tiny Christmas cookie cutters...
    9. Space them 1 inch apart on cookie sheets.

    10. Bake at 350 degrees until golden-crisp. (15-20 minutes)
    Look how puffy they get!

    VERDICT: The kids love them! (Although Miss Priss said, "Now can I have the real Goldfish?") And...I like them even more than Goldfish *Blush*. They are crispy on the outside and a little softer on the inside than the original. Will definitely be making these again!

    Will you try them? Let me know what you think!


    Wednesday, January 26, 2011

    It's Complicated

    Miss Priss has been asserting her independence lately. She is, after all, 3 and a HALF, in case you forget!

    Some of this independence has manifestesd itself in the potty room and in washing her hands "all by myself." And, yes, her hands usually smell just like soap when she is all done. (Pointer: get peppermint scented easy to smell!)

    The other morning, after a particularly long hand-washing session, Miss Priss emerged from the powder room, towel in hand...drying her hair. Her hair.

    "What happened to your hair? How did it get wet?" I asked, as non-alarmingly as I could.

    "Mom, it got a little complicated in there." Was her reply as she sauntered off to play dress up.

    And with that one sentence, I realize how complicated (and comically fascinating) our life is going to be...


    Monday, January 24, 2011

    Organizing Tip of the Day - Charging Drawer

    Kitchen counters.

    Cluttered kitchen counters.

    The thorn in my side.

    How is it that I accumulate so.much.stuff. on my kitchen counters? From pacifiers that fell on the floor and need to be boiled, to unopened mail, to tiny toys, to charging cell phones...eek!

    Today is the day that I deal with at least one of the culprits. The charging cell phones and camera batteries.

    A few months ago, Prince Charming and I scored a HUGE deal on this side table:

    You just love the extension cord, don't you? Ha!

    It was a scratch and dent and they gave it to us for 60% off! Yippee! It now sits in our kitchen, under the television, waiting for a time when the kids aren't so busy and I can display adorable vignettes for every season, holiday and mood I am in. Some day the kids will slow down a little, right? Hello? Hmm...

    Back to organizing!

    How about a charging drawer? A drawer where, hidden from human eyes and Goldfish cracker dusted fingers, cell phones and camera batteries can charge in peace?

    I had Prince Charming drill a hole through the back of one of the drawers. The smart man even trimmed the plug so that the hole didn't have to be so big. Brilliant!

    We then thread an extension cord through the hole, and it was done! Just plug in the phones, battery charger, etc. and we are a go.

    Only one wire coming from the back of the drawer...what a wire mess relief. tiny corner of the kitchen counters is empty. The battle has just begun! Watch out clutter, I'm on a roll!


    Saturday, January 22, 2011

    Crepe Paper Rosettes

    Last night, a little bit today, and tonight, I have been working on crepe paper rosettes. I got the idea from Amy, at The Idea Room here.

    It's long process to roll these little roses, but it's easy...once you figure it out. Many of the blogs and websites that provide instructions on making these lovely little rosettes refer to the term "twist". I found it to be more of a "fold" that I was doing. For example, this was my twist:

    DISCLAIMER: *I am a newbie crafter and often times fumble through things* -- BUT, it helped me to know that the 'stem' of the rose is not added to with ever twist (fold) and turn. The twists and turns become the petals and have nothing to do with the stem.

    Well, this is one of the cutest, most inexpensive decorations I have ever made or seen. I'm thinking that I will put it on the mantel to go with my "Candy Hearts" theme.

    What do you think? :)

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    Pinching Pennies - Make Your Own Dishwasher Detergent

    So many of you told me you were needing to find inexpensive alternatives to everyday living items, like laundry detergent. Well, I went on a mission to find out what else we can use our stock supplies for (Borax, Super Washing soda, Vinegar, etc)

    How about making our own dishwashing detergent?

    This one does not to be pre-mixed. It's even easier than the laundry detergent here.
    Instead of dropping your old dish washing detergent into the tray, add:

    1 Tbsp Borax
    1 Tbsp Super Washing Soda

    In the Rinse Agent Dispenser area, add:

    1 Tbsp Vinegar

    That's it!

    What other necessities should we find a cheap alternative for?

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    Cleaning Brick Around a Fireplace

    We moved into our new home about 8 months ago. Little by little, it is becoming our home. There is one place in the den which we look at every night...

    the fireplace...

    Where we can only imagine that someone once lost their eyebrows while lighting a fire.

    Look at these flash burns!

    I've been doing a little research and have "heard" that foaming bath cleaner (e.g. Scrubbing Bubbles, etc) works to get those burns/soot/ash/someone's eyebrows off of brick.

    Today, while the Littlests are napping and Lil Bit is eager to "squirt the bubbles"...we are going to (try and) clean!!

    First, I went into this with a lot of confidence, spraying the cleaner across all the bricks. It soaks in...FAST.

    After a while, I got a bit of a rhythm going.

    Here's some pointers I have:

    Have a large cup of water handy to dip your brush into. You'll need to get the suds/grime off every so often. The water gets dirty'll have to change the water out several times.

    Have a cloth available to wipe down the metal hearth surround. It gets goopy and grimey and gross. (But, when you see how much dirt is coming off, you will re-inspired).

    Steps1. Spray one (maybe 2) brick(s) with the cleaner.
    2. Grab a coarse bristled brush.
    3. Scrub with all your might!

    Here are the before/after pics. What do you think?


    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    How to Hem Jeans (And still look cool...)

    So...a few months, maybe a year ago, I scored big with some on sale (clearance) jeans from Ann Taylor Loft. I love me some Loft clothes and clearance is the best way for me to get them!

    The only problem with these jeans is that they are, oh...about 4 inches too long! And I'm not a shorty, either! Guess I discovered why they were on clearance.

    I had to hem them or it was a complete waste to get them. Enter lots of on-line research...because the way I know how to hem pants is the way I learned to in 6th grade Home Ec, and, although it gets it done...Ew!!

    Here's how to do it:

    Disclaimer: I am a newbie sewer, my lines are not straight, the directions are not perfect...but I hope they help you!
    First, put the jeans on.

    Fold each pant leg one giant roll up so that the bottom of the leg of the jean (bottom of the roll) is where you want the jean's length to be.

    Pin it. Anywhere. Just pin it so that roll/cuff stays in place.

    Get your neglected scary trusty sewing maching out.

    Your stitching will be up against the original hem to the jeans. (Actually, this will continue to be the hem of the jeans...pretty cool, huh?)

    Straight stitch around the cuff right up against the hem. (The stitch that looks like ---- on your machine.)

    Now, when you're finished with both legs, fold the cuff the right way in. Just tuck the extra fabric into the leg of the jeans.

    Try them on again.

    If the jeans are at the length where you need them to be, you can do one of two things.
    1. Cut the extra cloth off
    2. Keep it tucked up there (if it's not too much)

    Voila! CAN be cool with hemmed jeans!