Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lingerie Shower Invitation

I shared the stock the bar invite a few weeks back, but if you will remember, I am having a lingerie party at the same time. I know...a little different...but I think it will be a blast! I almost find it strange that so many parties before you get married, to celebrate a life of togetherness, are separate. My husband agreed to help me throw both parties at once, so I will let you know how it goes.
Here are the lingerie invitations I sent out two weeks ago.

I started by using a small red bra from clipart with Ooooh la la underneath. The lingerie invitation wording was:

Something sexy,
Something sweet,
Something to knock Matt off his feet!
I printed these on cardstock I bought at Michaels. My invitations were the 4x5 size. Next, I used black cardstock to wrap around the invitation. One piece of black cardstock cut in half, made two invitations. I think it is easiest to see the steps in picture format below.

For the holes, I found a cute heart hole punch, but a circle hole punch would easily work. After punching four matching rows, I threaded the red skinny ribbon up the card.

I was very excited about how cute they turned out. These would also work well for bachelorette party invitations too. In case you missed the stock the bar party here.

Hope you are having a great week! Mine is flying by so fast that I am wondering where it went!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Patriotic Party Ideas and Crafts

Do you need some last minute Memorial Day games or food ideas? Here are some from my past posts and a couple of new ideas. These are one of my favorites...Patriotic Jello Snacks. Just click on the links for the original post and instructions on how to make each of these patriotic treasures.

Patriotic Fruit Kabobs 

These are the fruit kabobs I made this year. I found these precious red, white, and blue marshmallows at Walmart.

Let little ones enjoy lighting up the sky for Memorial Day with this fun sparkler alternative. My sons are too young to safely use sparklers so I created these little star sticks (I can't call them wands because they are boys). I bought 8 glow in the dark sticks for $1 and added holographic stars on top. Simple and fast...just the way I like doing crafts!

Pinned Image

Use a frisbee as a plate holder...and then let the kids play with them when the meal is done.

 I bought these patriotic flip flops on sale last year for 50 cents each. A bucket full would serve as perfect gifts for your guests.

I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Patriotic Pot Pie

With Memorial Day around the corner I was feeling a bit patriotic. I have shared this recipe for pot pie before, because it is so easy to make, and my family loves it. However, here is an easy way to spruce up your pie crust. I used a store bought crust and cut star shapes out of it with a cookie cutter. I piled the extra stars in the middle and voila!

1 can Original Veg-All, drained
1 can cream of mushroom
1 can cream of potato
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp thyme
4 chicken breasts or 12 tenders (Can chicken will work too)
1-2 Pillsbury pie crusts

Boil chicken and cut up
Mix all other ingredients together
Add cooked chicken to mixture
Lightly mist round or oval dish with cooking spray
Place pie crust in bottom. Fill with mixture. Place pie crust on top. ( I often use only the top crust and eliminate the bottom)
Cut several slits in pie crust for venting
Bake at 375 for 40 minutes uncovered
Cover and bake for 20 minutes more

Hope you all are lucky enough to have a three day weekend to celebrate the holiday! I sure am looking forward to it.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Repurpose Cabinet to Sandbox

Every project I do always seems to have a story of how it started. When I started this blog, I assumed I would run out of crafts to share quite quickly. However, I didn't realize how many projects and recipes I do normally, until I was over 200 posts with no end in sight.

The private school my mom teaches at is adding on a new wing and they had a ceremony to celebrate. They dumped a large load of sand to signify the construction and the kids were able to put on some Home Depot aprons and be a part of the "ground breaking." My mom immediately noticed the extra sand was left behind, and she started hauling it home in buckets for me. God bless her! Ha! Free sand=need to build a sandbox. Then I started thinking about how large I wanted the sandbox to be and what materials I might have lying around to transform or repurpose. I looked in our barn and found and over sized kitchen cabinet from our remodel. Problem solved.

This is the old kitchen cabinet...

The cabinet was not in the best of shape after being ripped out of our kitchen. I debated sanding it...then became lazy.

I primed it with white primer which took several coats. Then I placed a plate as my template to draw a circle. The next picture is hard to see...but I drew on the outline of a life preserver.

Taping for painting, was not exactly the most fun part of this project. (smile) I tore small pieces of tape to fit the curve of the circle, and then went back the opposite direction from the opposing side until the entire ring was taped.

I chose bright blue for the top, and used spray paint to speed the job up. When I removed the tape, I painted the red portions on the life preserver with a small paint brush. I then began the fun task of taping the sides to create a striped pattern. 

When I removed all the tape, and wrapped some twine around the top, this is what my nautical sandbox looked like. I love the lid because it means it will keep cats from thinking it is a litter box. (Ugh! Yuck!)

The minute it was dry enough to play with, my son brought his construction men out, and put them to work.

This is my oldest enjoying his new treasure of a sandbox. It was a huge hit!

I feel like I read a blog each week where individuals with thousands of followers stop blogging, because it is sucking them dry, and causing them to neglect their children and family. It makes me so sad because I know in their heart they truly love it. However, I find it is a balance to do both. I don't post on a regular schedule, I don't come up with posts just so I can blog, and I never know what I will come up with next. I really just enjoy it. I try to stay involved with my kids while I am crafting so they never think they are in second place. Today I let my kids paint their clubhouse with water while I painted the sandbox. They painted and giggled and painted and giggled. I had to stop just to take pictures of them having so much fun!

 Hope you all are having a wonderful week!!!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Homemade Microwave Popcorn and Teacher Appreciation Gift

With the end of the school year around the corner, I wanted to give my son's teachers a little gift to show them how much we appreciate them. I prefer to give the teachers a gift card with a little clever gift. This year my son and I made homemade microwave popcorn and attached a movie gift card in the thank you note. They appeared to be a hit when we passed them out last week.

I personally, was so excited to learn this trick for homemade microwave popcorn, because popcorn is my ultimate all time favorite food and snack. If I was stranded on a desert island and I could only pick one food, this is what I would choose in a heartbeat!

Brown paper sacks
Yellow scrapbook paper
Small clothespins
Additional color of scrapbook paper


1. I started by printing a popcorn image and movie night on the brown paper sacks. I used an ink jet printer. I placed a small piece of tape over the bottom of the bag to ensure it stayed flat while running through the printer. I removed the tape on the bottom of the sack promptly after I printed the bags.

2. Next I printed out the directions on yellow paper and cut them out in the shape of popcorn...

Place in microwave folded side up for 2-3 minutes or until there is 5 seconds between pops.
Eat plain or add toppings of choice.

3. Add 1/4 cup of popcorn in each brown paper sack. Fold down the top about 1" and tape shut. (It is ok to microwave the bag with the tape on) Next, I fold the bag in half.

3. I glued some small scraps of scrapbook paper on the small clothespins and clipped the popcorn kernel with directions on the bag.

4. We had to enjoy a delicious bag of popcorn too!

Here is what we made for our teachers last year...

Click here for directions on making a candy and gift card bouquet.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Jumbo Stuffed Shells

My husband and I are going to a wedding in Mexico next month and I seriously need to eat very healthy until then if I want to wear a swimsuit. In other words, I need to stop cooking meals like this yummy one! Oh, but it was so delicious. I used to be intimidated to make anything stuffed until I found out how easy it truly was. It does take a little time but it is worth it. This time I made two dishes and took one to my friend who just had a new baby girl. It also freezes well for a later date.


1 box Jumbo Shells
1 can or jar of Spaghetti Sauce
2 cups Ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
Mozzarella cheese
1-1 1/2 cups Hamburger or sausage cooked
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp dried basil


1. Cook jumbo shells according to package directions. Cook desired meat.

2. Remove shells from water, drain, and place them to the side. In a separate bowl mix together ricotta cheese, meat, bread crumbs, basil, and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese.

3. Place mixture in a Ziploc bag, and cut a small corner off, to allow for piping out the mixture in the shells. Pour enough spaghetti sauce to coat the bottom of your pan. Begin filling/stuffing your shells.

4. Top with the remainder of the spaghetti sauce. Cook at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes until warmed through. Add additional cup of mozzarella cheese on top and bake 2-3 minutes until melted.

5. Enjoy!

We had comfort food last week because we had a bad week. One of our dogs was run over by someone that did not even bother to stop on our country road. I am not sure why he was even in the road because that was very unlike him, but I guess God decided it was his time. I am sure doggy heaven is spectacular. We miss you Buddy. My husband voted we needed comfort food for the entire week. More delicious recipes to come!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hand Beaded Lanyard and Nurse's Week Gift

This week is Nurse's Week and I wanted to come up with a unique gift for my nurses to thank them for all they do. I am ordering lunch, of course, but I wanted something a little more special to remind them how lucky I am to be their manager. I have great nurses that I work with. My friend (and nurse) Angela at work wears the most beautiful hand beaded lanyards that she purchased at the store. I thought...surely I can make these myself every time I see her wearing one. I went to Michael's in search of some beads. I have never even made jewelry before, but here is what I designed...

I wrapped the gifts up in red and white polka dot paper and attached a little note that read:
Happy Nurses Week!
You are a real lifesaver.
Thanks for all you do!

On to the DIY instructions for making a hand beaded lanyard. I bought a bead kit with an assortment of green and clear beads for $5.99. It had the clasps, beads, and wire in it. I also purchased some lanyard hooks for $3.99.

I cut the wire approximately three feet long. I tied on a clasp at one end and began threading my beads. I must admit this took quite a while.

When I got to the half way mark, I left about one inch of wire left and taped it as a place holder. Then I began stringing beads up the opposite side replicating the pattern from the original side. When I got to the end of the second side I tied on the other clasp.

Now, to finish it off.. I threaded some beads up the section I had folded over and taped and attached a lanyard clasp at the end. This 1 1/2" straight extension down helps keep the name tag straight and in place.

I liked it so much I bought more supplies and made one for myself. These would make a great gift for any professional that wears a name tag to work. Good luck and design your little heart out. Don't forget to tell the nurses you know how much you appreciate them this week.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Bugtastic Birthday Party

Come buzz on by and see this great party we went to this weekend. It is funny how I have a party list in my head of great party themes I want to throw for my two boys. My friend Amber's son turned 1 last week, and she had one of the best bug parties I have ever seen. I have a ton of new ideas if I ever decide to have a bug party of my own. There were creative decorations, foods, games, and party favors.

This bug-eyed cutie was outside her front door.

Yum. Look at all this great food. Click on the image to see the up close details. Let me start with the precious PB Spiders. The minute my two year old saw them he screamed bugs with excitement. He got his chubby little hand on one of these spiders right away.

These colorful cones were full of goldfish, Cheetos, and more. They were perfect for little and big hands to hold and munch on.

Now, a bug party would not be complete without the ants on a log. My mom used to make this all the time when I was a kid for snacks. Celery filled with PB and raisins used to give us the giggles as my sister and I pretended we were truly eating ants on a log.

Precious cupcakes. Yum!

The tables outside were decorated with vibrant colors and littered carefully with bug masks for the kids.

Here is my 2 year old drinking bug juice. We made up this fun "treasure drink" last summer at our house. Click here to see how you can fill treat sacks with things such as bugs and water, wrap them with a rubber band, and stick a straw through them for a little treat.

And now for the bug hunt...

The boys and girls were really "digging" this game. (Come on...I had to use that) They used little shovels to dig out the buried bugs.

My four year old was so proud of his new bug collection!!

Don't you just love this cute and simple bug cake. The little guy on the top and bright colored sprinkles made it so festive.

This is little Charlie admiring his cake before it quickly became a smash cake.

The competition was not very stiff from the little ones on this little buzzing pinata. My oldest kept trying until he finally found the winning string to open the treasure hold of candy.

And of course...there were bug treats inside.

On the way out the boys received these treat boxes with bug sprayers for bath time, candy filled spiders, and more bug treats.

Thanks everyone for buzzing by to see this great party. Amazing job Amber!

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