Monday, August 27, 2012

Wedding Gifts

I'm in a wedding at the end of September and we had the bridal shower yesterday. I gave the bride two picture frames. The first one had their wedding invitation framed inside, and the second one was inspired by THIS pin on Pinterest.
This idea was perfect because of the rustic theme of the wedding, and I used the lyrics of the song the bride will be walking down the aisle to for the tree. I backed the tree with purple paper because that is her main wedding color, and because I wanted it to pop from the background.


I am so happy with how it turned out!!!

Schedule in picture frame


There are tons of pins on Pinterest about writing on picture frames with dry erase markers. I decided that I wanted to make a week-at-a-glance type of calendar for myself using this concept. I found a frame with seven photo spots at Walmart. I already had the scrapbook paper (which I found in the $1 bins at Target) and the pre-cut letters in my scrapbooking supplies. I taped the scrapbook paper to the large sheet of paper that came in the frame so they wouldn't slide around when I hung the frame up.
 I use a dry erase marker to write the date next to the day's letter so that I can always see a week ahead.

I love how this turned out and use it constantly to remind myself of all the events in my busy schedule!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Girl Scout activities

A friend asked me to use my Pinterest skills to come up with some ideas for her to use at a Girl Scout camp this summer. These are the things I made for her:

Egg Carton Scavenger Hunt - easy to make, especially since I have a laminator that I use for school so I was able to laminate the picture guide that goes on top of the egg carton. I would use this when babysitting or in my classroom as well as in Girl Scouts.

Velcro Sticks - I bought fat popsicle sticks and velcro dots from Walmart and put them together in a few minutes. I can think of so many uses for these, including spelling words or making letters, and using them as building tools in the block area of my classroom.

Balloon Bean Bags - these were not as easy to make as I was expecting. The balloon didn't want to stretch so it took forever to get the beans into it. I started with navy beans but they were too big and a pain to get into the balloon so I switched to lentils for the second one and then used couscous for the third one. I would use these as tactile/sensory tools in my classroom in addition to the obvious uses as a ball.

Felt Fishing Game - I cut two fish shapes from each color of felt, attached a sticky magnet to the middle of one of them, then sewed the two together with the magnet in the middle. I tied yarn around a magnet and attached it to a popsicle stick to make the fishing rod. These can be used for color recognition and sharpening motor skills. If you used puffy paint to write things on the fish it could also be used for recognizing anything from letters or shapes to sight words and names.

Scrap Finger Puppets - I have tons of fabric scraps so I was excited to see this pin! I used the felt scraps from the fishing game to make basic finger puppets, and then added puffy paint details for eyes and a mouth.

Sponge Splash Balls - These were a bit harder to make because I couldn't get the zip-ties to tighten enough. I ended up cutting each sponge length in half again to make smaller balls but it worked much better.

Fruit Matching Game - I love the graphics in this printable! All I did was print them, cut them out, and laminate them so they can be used for a long time.

I haven't had a chance to get feedback from my friend about how these items were received, but hopefully they went over very well!

Granola

I am a huge fan of granola, but it is so expensive! The BEST granola I've ever eaten was purchased at our local farmer's market from a boy who makes it with his mother. They have amazing flavors like blueberry cobbler, orange cranberry, and chocolate fudge. I decided that I would try to make my own granola instead of spending $4 every Wednesday at the farmer's market.

Since the orange cranberry was my favorite, I tried to find a similar recipe. HERE is what I decided on.
I've made it twice now, and both times it didn't get crunchy, even though the second time I left it in so long it started burning. It tastes alright when I eat it in a bowl with milk like cereal, but it doesn't even begin to compete with the granola from the farmer's market. I'm going to have to keep trying, or else trick the recipe out of the boy at the market! ;o)

Taco Cornbread Casserole

THIS recipe for Taco Cornbread Casserole is AMAZING!
My whole family loves it and I have also made it for a friend as a drop-in meal and it received rave reviews. The best part is, it is SO easy to make! I don't really have anything else to say about it, other than you HAVE to try it! :o)

Cowboy Meatloaf Casserole

Meatloaf is one of the staples at our house because it is on the short list of meals that everyone enjoys. THIS recipe for Cowboy Meatloaf Casserole interested me because it was a new way to present the same food.
I made my meatloaf the same way I always do and baked it in a larger casserole dish instead of in the bread loaf pan I usually use. It shrank away from the edges a bit but that didn't matter once I covered it with potatoes!
While the meatloaf was baking I boiled red potatoes and made mashed potatoes the way I usually do. (Have you ever added cream cheese to your mashed potatoes?! It makes a world of difference!)
When both were finished I spread the mashed potatoes over the meatloaf and topped it with crumbled bacon (which I had left over from a recipe the day before), sliced green onions, and shredded cheddar cheese.
I threw it back in the oven long enough for the cheese to melt and then cut it into squares to serve. We always eat meatloaf with BBQ sauce, but otherwise it was a meal all on it's own, plus some broccoli on the side. I will definitely be making this again!

To Do List Picture Frames

I have to admit that I am the queen of extremely long To Do lists. I'm great at writing them, but not so great at finishing the items on them! I saw lots of pins on Pinterest about using picture frames and dry erase markers to make cute, reusable To Do lists. I've also seen MANY pins about making felt flowers. I combined the two ideas to make this:

I used scrapbooking stickers to write "To Do" at the top of a piece of loose-leaf paper.

I used a glue gun to hot glue the paper into the back of the frame to make sure it didn't wiggle around. I also hot glued the felt flowers to the front of the frame. 

As you can see, I filled the frame with things to do in no time at all!

I liked the results so much that I decided to make a second frame for my desk at work. 



 This time I used purple cotton fabric to make rosettes by twisting and wrapping the fabric around itself. I hot glued it to a little cardboard circle so that it would stay in place, and then hot glued the whole thing to the frame.




 Finished products, already filled with things for me to do!