Friday, August 31, 2012

Mommy...Which Foot?

I realized I have crippled my poor child by helping him too much. First child syndrome I would assume. He still does not know which foot to put his shoes. (However, he is so independent in everything else) This is mainly due to the fact that when I get him and his brother dressed at 6am to go to work...I am always running late and in a hurry. Rather then fight his frustrations, I put on his shoes and socks for him. This week I vowed to stop doing that. Now I hear.."Mommy, which foot does this shoe go on?" I tried to tell him the toes need to look like they are kissing, but he said YUCK! Where is my girl when I need her? Lol. (I only have two boys)
Superman to the rescue to solve all of my problems. Every mommy needs a good super hero on her side.

I took this sticker that we got from the doctor's office. Somehow, it never made it to my son's shirt.

I cut the Superman sticker in half to form a puzzle of sorts. I inserted the two halves in his shoes...and found my sanity again.
My son saw his new shoes and said, "This is AWESOME! Can you do it to all my shoes???"

Check out my new tab on my blog...Make Me. It shows a picture and a link to tons of my tutorials. Pin your heart out.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sonic the Hedgehog Free Cupcake Topper Printable

My cousin Kim had a Sonic the Hedgehog birthday party for her 6 year old son. This was his second year in a row to have the same theme, because he is still so into the characters. I love that she honored his wishes and had the exact type of party he asked for. She looked into specially designed cupcakes, and found them to be quite extravagant in pricing. Enter stage I quickly whipped up these little guys as cupcake toppers. She bought simple store bought cupcakes with bright icing and we topped them with Sonic and his friends.


White, red, blue, purple and orange cardstock
Popsicle sticks
1. Print link below to images
2. Cut them out in a circle and back them on colored paper.
3. I used decorative scissors on the outside edge.

I figured I would save you some time and share the template I made. You may access and print it here along with several other projects and games I have designed previously.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Antique Buffet Transformed into Bathroom Vanity

I am sure you all have a favorite piece of furniture in your house. This is mine. My husband helped me transform an antique buffet into a bathroom vanity. I posted this around two years ago, however we created it 5 years ago. However, with two messy little boys using it all the time without care to standing water on the top, it was getting a little worn. This week I had to give it a light sand and add two additional polyurethane layers. (I really should have done this sooner). There was just one section near the faucet that was getting soaked the most. I even had to fill in a little wood filler. However, after two days of working on it it is almost as good as new.

 I don't have all the pictures to show you the transformation. However, if you will refer to the child kitchen post the process for inserting the faucet and the sink is the same.
Just click the link here for pictures of how to create the sink opening and insert the basin.

I purchased the copper sink on eBay from Mexico. The faucet had to be set to the side to fit properly but I like how it added some character as well. The buffet had three drawers down the middle. We removed the back of the first drawer and left the front as a false drawer. Next we added plumbing.

The bottom two drawers still fit and were functional with the plumbing in the back.

Antique buffets and even chests of drawers can make perfect bathroom vanities.

Detailed Instructions:
1. Select your piece of furniture and purchase a sink that will fit on top. Remember you are going to need plenty of room for your faucet too. ( I had to sand and refinish the buffet I used. I also used three coats of polyurethane on top to seal and protect the wood. Allow to dry fully between each coat of polyurethane and sand lightly before each application)
2. Use the sink template that comes with your sink and trace it on your antique piece of furniture.
3. Remove any piece that may interfere with cutting. (I had to remove my top drawer and detach the back from it. I used scrap wood to put the false drawer front back in place when all the cutting and sink installation was done.)
4. Drill a pilot hole in the area of the oval or circle you plan to start cutting.
5. Starting in the pilot hole, use a jigsaw to cut out the hole.
6. Use a hole saw to cut out the areas for your water lines and pvc pipe from the drain.
7. Use your faucet template to cut out the holes for installation.
8. Place a bead of caulk on the furniture top near the opening to allow the sink to drop in place. (Don't use too much or when you drop the sink in the excess will squeeze out on your furniture top)
9. Install your faucet and plumbing.
What fun projects are you guys up to this week??

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Polka Dot Waxed Paper Wrappers

My month continues to be full of excitement...and not the good kind. The other night we were driving home from a friends house and we came up on a very bad two car collision that had just occurred. We live in the country, so emergency care is not right around the corner. I was with my husband and two boys, and he immediately asked if we should pull over. Being a nurse, I would have felt guilty not stopping. However, in nursing there is a big difference in areas of expertise. My background is fertility nursing and surgery center pre-op and recovery room nursing. I am not an emergency room nurse. Each area of expertise takes a lot of training, even though nursing school gives a broad base of education.

We stopped immediately and the first thing I noticed was pieces of the cars scattered all over the road and people attempting to climb out of both cars around tons of air bags. A gentleman was already dialing 911, so I started triaging. There was a woman with an obviously bad break to her arm. We got a floor mat and wrapped it around her arm for support. Her little girl was only four and had facial lacerations and pain to her pelvis. She was guarding it, which concerned me for a pelvic injury. I attempted to calm her and her mom down and then moved on.

The next thing I saw was a newborn baby by the side of the road in a car seat. I asked whose baby it was, and asked if I could move the baby further away from the side of the road. The last thing they needed was a car coming around the corner, wrecking into their cars, or all the people. The baby was not even awake which scared me more. I started to stimulate the bottoms of its feet to make sure he/she would respond. I handed off the car seat to a family member and asked them to keep stimulating the little one.

Five minutes has passed at this point, and I am told there is a head injury in the other car. They are over there trying to remove her from the car. I ran across the road and told her to stay put. I didn't want to chance the older woman furthering any potential problems by compromising her necks stability. She was already applying strong pressure to her head, but it was still bleeding profusely. She was alert and oriented, so I moved on.

This crazy story goes on because there were 8 people involved in the wreck. Those were the worst of the injuries. The ambulance arrived after about 15 minutes, and I gave my "version of report" to the paramedics when they showed up. Glad to go, I headed back to the car. I was mentally exhausted. It made me very aware how tiring it must be to work in a war zone with trauma and injuries all the time. It must take a very special person.

Ok, sorry about the long story. Now on to my latest project. I originally saw this idea from Martha Stewart for Valentine's Day. (She had used hearts) Who knew waxed paper had so much additional potential besides kids crafts. I made these cute wax paper wrappers for some banana bread I made for a friend.

I was so entertained by them, that I made some wax paper cookie pouches as well.


Wax Paper
Tissue Paper
Paper Towel


1. I started out by punching circles out of waxed paper. I folded the paper over several times so that it had enough thickness to use a circle punch. I elected to punch blue and red circles for my polka dots.

2. Layer your ironing board with paper towels, followed by wax paper, and topped with your polka dots. Place another layer of waxed paper on top followed by another paper towel.

3. Iron the layers together with an iron on warm setting.

4. Cut your paper into your desired shape. I wrapped my favorite banana bread, and tied it up with twine. It made such a more pleasant gift this way.

Here is my favorite farm girl banana bread recipe. You should try it sometime. Yum!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dog Book Box..Summer of the Traveling Books

Presenting box number four. This week my boys opened the dog book box in our continued adventure of the traveling book boxes. Summer is almost over, so we are winding down on our book box adventures. However, I really did enjoy keeping them engaged this summer with books and activities. They were excited each time I told them a new book box had "arrived." As always, the Clifford box had books, activities, games, crafts, and a snack surprise.

·         Clifford Book on stakes. Surprise your little one with a “storywalk.”  The stakes are numbered. Push them in the ground and let your little one walk to read the story. Leave plenty of distance between each page of the book. See example here:

·         Additional Clifford books to read
·         The Puppy who Went to School by Gail Herman
·         Spike by Paulette Bogan
·         Little red dog reading buddy
·         Clifford Suckers-Attach two felt red ears and some googly eyes to make a Clifford sucker snack for a treat at the end of your storywalk or treasure hunt (these were not quite as cute as I hoped, and hopefully they won’t scare your child. Lol!)
·         Treasure Hunt-Set up a dog bone search. Clues are numbered with recommended hiding places.  (This would be fun for a Clifford birthday party too. Let me know if you need the template)

·         Dog Bowls and placemats-Be a little silly. Serve your child breakfast or lunch in a dog bowl...or even popcorn.Guaranteed to make them giggle. Our cocker Mia looks on very jealous. Ha! It is not even her bowl. I bought it at the $1 store.

·         Clifford Maze-Let your child use the paw print stamp in each square to help Clifford find the way to his doghouse. (Red ink pad included)

 ·         Dog Bone Counting Game-Numbers are magnetic. Change out the numbers on the dog bowls and let your little one put the correct number of dog bones in the bowl. Dog bones have been glazed, so please don’t let your child or dog eat any!

My son really enjoyed this game. The bowls are just flat pieces of paper but they almost appear to be three dimensional in the picture above.

·         Have fun! Make sure everything on this list is returned to the book box for the next child.
Let me know when you have worn out your book box and we will trade. I am hoping to trade about every 3 weeks and just meet up with you. Thanks! Michelle

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Lego Party with New Read and Build Legos

For those of you that have been around for a while, I have mentioned before that I belong to a site called I have the ability to apply for different parties, and when I am lucky, I get selected. Membership is 100% free. I was especially excited last month, when I was picked to host a Lego Read and Build Party.

The best part...House Party sends me supplies to have a party (poster, plates, napkins). They also sent me four BRAND NEW LEGO READ AND BUILD FARM SETS.

These new sets were designed to encourage the elements of reading and playing at the same time.

Just for the record, they did not ask me to write this post. I was just very impressed with Lego's new Read and Build sets. They are so fun! But...I will get to that later. Of course, I like any excuse to have a party so I went all out. My oldest son and I made games, snacks, and a Lego pinata.

This game is a variation on hot potato. We called it "Hot Duplo Lego" We turned the music on and tossed the "hot Lego" around. Our kids were little, so we did not have them get out of the circle when they ended up with the Lego (when the music turned off). We just said..."Oh you had it! Let's start the music again." This helped prevent any hurt feelings in this group of 2-6 year olds.

We just covered a check box with contact paper for our Lego for "Hot Duplo Lego."

I ended up reading one of the books to all the kids at the same time, and they each picked different pieces of the legos out of the kit to build the different farm animals. It was neat to read the book and build the animal to match the story. I thought of this initially as an individual activity, but the kids enjoyed doing it as a group. One of the parents even mentioned she could imagine her older son, reading to her younger child, for the little girl to build along.

For our next game, I wrapped "lego" boxes starting at small, and graduating to large. See the red one first. Then it was wrapped into a green lego and so on so forth. In each box I also put a little candy treat.

How to play the lego box game:
The kids sat in a circle and the first player rolled a color dice. If they roll the color of the box, they get to put on the special "lego gloves" (any gloves you have) and start trying to unwrap the package. The dice continues to be passed around. When a child rolls the color of the package that is being unwrapped, they get to steal the package, put on the "special lego gloves" and continue to unwrap the boxes. The last box can always have an extra special lego suprise in it. I didn't want to upset any of the little kids, so they just won a box of nerds candy at each level. At the end of the game, all the kids that didn't already get a package of nerds were handed one.

I covered boxes of Nerds in paper and then used a pencil eraser to stamp the circles on top.

After a few organized games and activities it was time for some free play. I had Legos everywhere. It was like a mini version of Lego land. The kids built all kinds of creative buildings, cars, and more.

This was our Lego Bean Bag Toss. My son and I took shoe box lids and filled them with colored paper and circles to make them appear like Lego's. (It is kind of hard to see the circles in the pictures, but they truly looked like Lego's)

The best part about the Lego bean bag toss was it took less then ten minutes to assemble the whole thing! My kind of game!

We could not have a party without some drinks and snacks. I know you have all seen cute Lego drink boxes before, but we had to make some. We just covered some mini boxes in colored paper and used colored stickers on top.

The kids all got a kick out of our Lego man fruit kabobs. I printed some Lego heads on card stock and taped them on top of some skewers.

And then for the cupcake stand....a few boxes wrapped in colored paper.

Our Lego cupcakes were topped with skittles. Yum!

Our next creation was our Lego pinata. The Lego Pinata cost us $2 to make!! I love a bargain.
Supplies: A box, 1 1/2 rolls streamers, glue, curly ribbon and four matching jar lids.

We covered a box in red streamers and cut each streamer to fray it. We cut a little trap door in the bottom to stuff our candy and prizes in.

My son loved filling up the treats before the kids arrived.

We elected for the pull string version of a pinata. It was my first try making one of these and it was a breeze. I taped the string to open the lid with some heavy duty packing tape. The rest of the strands were attached with scotch tape so they would pull off the bottom of the box easily.

The kids began pulling the strings. (The string to open the hatch, was shorter then the rest, so it was less likely to be pulled)

They kept pulling luck yet.

Open the hatch...
We had a fabulous party and the boys are still talking about it this afternoon!! I felt like it was a birthday party...without all the gifts.

P.S. You can check out over 200 fun pins I selected when I was working on my inspiration for this party. They are tons of wonderful lego party ideas there.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Blueberry Sopapilla Cheesecake Dessert with Nectresse

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Nectresse™ Sweetener for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Have you heard Lisa Ling talking about NECTRESSE™Sweetener yet? She is singing its praises. It is the newest product from the manufacturers of splenda. Nectresse is the only 100% natural sweetener made from real fruit. It is made from monk fruit extract. I had to research this further, because I had never heard of monk fruit. I found that Self magazine ranked it in it's top 7 new food finds. I was sent a sample to try, and this is the dessert I created.

And I made my normal recipe substituting Nectresse for the sugar.

monk fruit.jpg
According to Self magazine, "It is a great, natural calorie-free sweetener option. Monk fruit contains unique natural antioxidants called mogrosides which have a delicious sweet taste, but are calorie-free! But you probably haven't heard of it before because monk fruit has traditionally been grown on steep forested mountains in small family orchards, so there just hasn't been a lot of it. Now a New Zealand company called BioVittoria has established a grower network which exclusively cultivates its Sweet-Delicious monk fruit seedlings. You can't buy monk fruit sweetener on its own yet, but it is already being used to sweeten some of your favorite foods, such as Kashi products and Bear Naked granolas. Sometimes you will see it listed on the ingredient label with its Chinese name "luo han guo" or "luo han fruit."
Here is what Lisa Ling had to say about this new sweetener. Check out this video and share it with your friends and family.
Are you convinced yet?? Why not start with a FREE sample of NECTRESSE™SweetenerFREE sample of NECTRESSE™Sweetener. Try it for yourself and see what you think. It is an excellent substitute for sugar in your favorite recipes. If you are not sure what recipes you can substitute NECTRESSE™Sweetener in, visit their website at and search their amazing array of recipe options. I used one of my favorite recipes and substituted Nectresse.
Blueberry Sopapilla Cheesecake Dessert
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
 1/2 cups white sugar (Sub 1/4 cup Nectresse)
1  tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 can crescent roll dough
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Beat the cream cheese with Nectresse(sugar), egg, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.
3. Unroll the can of crescent roll dough, and use a rolling pin to shape into rectangles. Press one piece in the bottom of a 9x9 pan. Spread cream cheese mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle with blueberries. Cover with remaining crescent dough rectangles.
3. Drizzle the melted butter evenly over the top of the cheescake. Stir the remaining 2 tbsp nectresse (3 tbsp sugar) together with the cinnamon in a small bowl, and sprinkle over the cheesecake.
4. Bake in the preheated oven until the crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown, about 45 minutes. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares.

5. Enjoy!
Nectresse product family.jpg

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