Monday, March 26, 2012

Think Outisde the (Card) Box

This is Volume 2 of rehashing my wedding projects in an attempt to pull me out of my post wedding blues.

I started off by researching pictures of cardboxes. Right now some very popular styles are......


Hat Box Style

And Picture Frame Boxes

All of them are very cute and I considered them all at one point or another...but Tim and I are a little more "Kitchy"  The gift table and cardbox are one of the first things people see as they walk in and I really wanted it to be  "Us"  So I decided I wanted an actual mailbox to hold all our cards.

I bought a mailbox for $15 at Walamrt.  I painted it brown and the little flag pink.  The knob that held the flag on was actually plastic, so I sanded it down a bit and then primed it before I painted it pink.  The paint stayed on just fine.  Then I just glued on some glitter pink chipboard letters on.

This project was my very first DIY.  I did it all the way back in July 2010.  Wowza!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Creative Gift Wrapping

This entire post is the work of my husband.  But like most things in marriage, we share the credit.  For example, at Christmas time I buy all the family gifts and both our names go on it.  In this case he makes the gifts look awesome and I look awesome too.  It's really a win win situation.

When my niece Elsa had a Phineas and Ferb party a few weeks ago he decorated the gift box to look like Perry the Platypus

For Brooke's party a week later she had a Tangled theme so that naturally meant a Pascal box

I posted this back In February but here is the box he made me for Valentine's Day

It definitely takes more time, but it makes them so memorable

Seeing the potential in everyday items

About 6 months ago I snagged this empty olive jar from work and believe me, that was work in and of itself.

 You see, the old ladies at my work pounce on these jars before any of us youngen get the chance.  They surround the person doing the salad bar foaming at the mouth waiting for them to be done dumping the giant green olives in their respective containers.  The second the last olive tumbles out...they whisk it away!  And it's just not one old lady you have to's two!  The Korean one takes them home for storing her Kimchi and the Italian one takes them for her red sauce.  Animals I tell you....animals! 

I kid.  I love them both.  But it is have to be quick on your feet to get one of these bad boys so when I finally saw the opportunity I took it!  I wasn't exactly sure what I would do with it but I knew I would find something.  Six months later this jar has found its calling.  Holding my cupcake liners.

I covered the lid in cupcake paper.  Here's how

Trace the lid.  Then I found an object about an inch and a half bigger and traced that around it.

Cut slits from the big circle to the smaller one

Glue down the lid in the middle, the go around and glue to flaps all the way around, folding them over the edge of the lid.  Cover the whole thing in a few coats of Mod Podge for protection

This is way better than having them thrown in every drawer of the kitchen getting crushed.  Or me buying the same ones over and over because I can't find the ones I already have. Plus it's cute.

And here is an empty grits container

I thought it would be great for craft supply storage. Since the craft room I am gradually building will be animal print themed I covered it in cheetah paper.  Just glue it on with Mod Podge and then give it some coats to seal.

And there you have it.  Everyday items you throw away turned useful!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

DIY Blinged Out License Plate

My last car was red so I didn't really feel like I could add a whole lot more decoration to it without it seeming ridiculous.  My new car is white.  A beautiful blank canvas.  This could only mean one thing......


I didn't take pictures of this process, but it's easy to explain.  Buy a plain metal license plate frame.  I got mine for about $6 at Walmart.   Then I brushed Mod Podge on it and covered it in glitter.  Do it in sections and let them dry one by one so you don't noogy the wet spots on accident.  I let all the glitter dry overnight and then I covered it all in clear nail polish to create a seal.  After it dried I glued on gems and rhinestones using E-600 glue.  

So cute right?  And even cuter on my car

Easter Egg Wreath

I set a few goals this year  (resolutions,,,if you may) One was to start blogging and here I am sooo  yay! Another was to create a wreath or some sort of door decoration for every holiday.  I didn't happen with Valentine's Day, but that's ok.  I just want to get it started and build my collection.  Then for St. Patty's Day I just hung a big shamrock I found at the dollar store.  Now comes Easter,,,,

Start buy creating your form.  I just cut out a big cardboard circle cause I'm cheap like that.  You could certainly using an actual wreath form if you aren't miss cheapo like me.

  I had some pink crinkle paper leftover from my wedding that we used in baskets.  Why did I keep paper do you ask?  Because it's not hoarding if you eventually use it.  Just go with it.

Disclaimer:  If you are the type of person that doesn't like distractions feel free to skip ahead to where it says  "Back to Crafting.

Speaking of hoarders, do you ever watch that show?  I watch it every Monday night and it's like watching a horror movie.  Scares the living bejesus out of me!  I sit there in suspense the whole hour.  Then after it's over I go on a cleaning rampage.  The scariest part is when I enter my craft room.  Because when you really think about it, craft rooms are just one giant hoard.  Usually they are cutely decorated hoards...but hoards all the same.  No!  Don't throw out that 2x2 piece of scrap felt..I have a project coming up I can use it for. :/
 But then Tuesday rolls around and I forget all about my fears of being a hoarder for 6 more days.  It's the cycle of my life.

Back to crafting.  I bought some green crinkle paper to mix in with the pink.  Here's my mixed up mess

Then it's easy.  Just take your glue gun and go around the board gluing on small handfulls of the paper at a time.  Really press it into the glue.  At first it will kid of look like a crazed Muppet

  After the glue sets, which should be soon since hot glue dries very quickly, go around it and run your fingers through the paper.    Then shake the whole wreath around a bit.  This should loosen any papers that didn't glue down.  Fill in any bald spots you find and then give your wreath a trim.  Only trim the longest and most unruly pieces. You want it to still look casual and fun.  Please fight the urge to take your scissors around the outside circle and cut off every hanging piece.  It just wouldn't be right!

I glued on a glitter  purple bow I found at 99c Only because I love glitter and I love dollar stores.  You could use ribbon if you prefer.  Then I glued on some glittery easter egg ornaments (again with the glitter) that I just cut the ribbon off of.

And done!  I probably finished this whole project in one episode of Bethenny Ever After. And that included all the time out it took for me to mumble to myself about  how I understand her feelings.  I feel ya Bethenny.  I'm just not a millionaire.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Stop and rub your skillet

To everyone outside my own head I'm sure your thinking.. huh?  Let me explain...

I have had my set of cast iron skillets since I was 13 years old.  My oldest sister gave them to me for Christmas when I was in the 7th grade.  My friends were getting make up sets and thong underwear and I got pans and a deep fryer.  I was definitely not your typical middle schooler.  And I was fat.

Even though I appreciated the idea of a cast iron skillet and all the amazing things they offer that regular pans don't, I was still a bit too young and impatient to put in the time and effort to properly season them.  After a while I got frustrated with everything sticking and forgot about them for a while.

Fast forward about 2 or 3 years and I started to season them.  Rubbing them lightly with shortening and placing them upside down in an oven low and slow.  I did that on and off for a while and it helped but for a long time they were in a sort of limbo.  Not straight outta the box where everything sticks like a son of a mother, but still not quite non stick.  I got used to this "limbo" area and didn't think much about it...Until....

A few days ago I was cleaning the kitchen.  I went to go wipe out my pan and it was a little past "wiping" clean so I had to run it under a little water.  That's when the magic happened.  The water beaded up!  It was such a beautiful sight!  So I wiped it out and gave it a good rub.  Smooth as freshly shaved legs.  (that is before you get out of the shower and get cold and prickly all over again)  I stood there and rubbed it for a good 4 minutes and wondered how long had it been like this and I hadn't even noticed?

That's when I decided.  Some people "Stop and smell the roses" but I on the other hand need to stop and rub my skillet every once and a while.  It's the happy little things in life that shouldn't go unnoticed.  That is all.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wedding Coloring Books

It's been roughly 4 1/2 months since my wedding.  I have done pretty good up until now at avoiding the post wedding blues.  I had the holidays to keep me occupied immediately after and then I focused on new crafts....but the inevitable sadness starting to set in.  I can't even pass by Four Weddings or My Fair Wedding on the TV guide without grimacing just a little.  Damn you David Tutera and your overdone weddings!  (shakes fist)

  It's sort of sad to have something you focused on for a year and a half just be over in a matter of hours.  I think sharing some of my projects may help me out of the funk

My first project I wanted share is the kids coloring books.  I've seen on the internet that alot of brides just go on google images and pull up wedding themed coloring pictures.  There's nothing wrong with that but I wanted something more personalized. My sister Kinsey is the artist of the family so she drew some very basic pictures.  She outlined them in black sharpie and then we just photo copied them to create the pages.  Then just hole punch them and use a ring to hold them together.

Here are the individual pages

Our beloved kitty

Because I love me some cupcakes!

A funny HAHA referring to my husband being mexican

I went on Google and found a website where you can create your own word searches or free.  I'm not entirely sure how appropriate the words I chose were.  But I'm sure the kiddos enjoyed searching for "Booze" anyhow!

Because we met in Culinary school and both love food....

And us..

I bought packs of the 64 count CraZart crayons from Walmart and packaged 10 of them in clear cellophane bags tied with a ribbon..  The packages of crayons  went in a basket alongside a basket of small toys and the coloring books as they walked into the reception area.

They were a big hit! the kids really seemed to like them and it kept them busy during the sort of "down" times like toasts etc.   There weren't so many rugrats on the loose.  And I say that in the nicest way possible =)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

St. Patty's Day Corned Beef & Cabbage (Revamped)

So as many of you know, corned beef and cabbage is the most popular sustenance of choice (besides beer of course) on the day we commemorate Saint Patrick.  You might know it better as the day we pinch...or the day you get really really drunk (no, not Cinco De Drinko..the other holiday)  Also the day that everyone is all of the sudden claiming every bit of Irish ancestry they have in them.  All 1/16 haha

Anyways, while there is nothing wrong with your classic corned beef and cabbage where you basically boil the living crap out of it, I share a similar viewpoint as Liz Lemon on 30 Rock.

"All of human kind has one thing in common: The Sandwich. I believe that all anyone really wants in this life is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich."

Beautiful words Tina Fey.  Beautiful words.

Take something already delicious and slap it on bread...yummy!

Start by making yourself some coleslaw.  Or buy some.  Or if you  had some KFC the other night and have a styrofoam cup full..use it up!   

 I used a small head of cabbage, a cup or so of red cabbage, and 1 shredded carrot.  For my sauce I used a little less than 1 cup of mayo, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, and a couple pinches of sugar.  Adjust to taste.

Next, toast your buns because everything is better covered in butter and pan fried to golden brown. I usually use an onion or kaiser roll, but I had ciabatta on hand and I actually think I liked it better. 

And because I'm incredibly impatient, this is the point where I make myself a taco.  Corned beef "tortilla" with coleslaw filling.  I should open an Irish taco truck.

Shmear a thin layer of 1,000 island on both sides of the bun

Heat up your corned beef in a pan.  This is VERY important.  Even though I will never turn down a cold piece of corned beef for snacking purposes, nothing compares to eating it warm.  It brings out so much more flavor.

Pile it on your bread. Top with cole slaw.  Grab a beer. Wear some green.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Phineas and Ferb Birthday Bash

My niece Elsa, like most 7 year olds, is waaaay into Phineas and Ferb.  As soon as she said she wanted a Phineas and Ferb party a few months back I started watching for research. I was pleasantly surprised how much I like it!  I think it's one of the few good kid shows on TV these days.  TV just isn't the same anymore.  Whatever happened to Wishbone, Arthur, Zoom...Looney Tunes.  Kids Tv shows just aren't the same anymore...but that's a whole other subject.  Back to the party....  I will be posting projects from the party in various different entries by theme so I don't have one run on entry of non sense.  Hopefully it will be less of a mess that way =)

Phineas and Ferb Party Ensemble

Of course the birthday girl had to have a showstopping outfit.  A Perry tshirt from Walmart got the ball rolling.  My sister wanted her to still have something frilly since Elsa is the ultimate girly girly and what's more girly and frilly than a tutu?!!  We found glittery blue tulle on a spool at Michael's.  You'll also need some elastic that is about an inch wide.

Start by measuring their waist.  Subtract 3 inches from that number and cut the elastic to that length. Sew the 2 ends together to create your waistband.

Figure out how long you want their tutu to be.  We figured 15 inches for hers because we wanted it to be a little longer, like a skirt, rather than the traditional tutu that sticks straight out.  If you want the traditional look shoot for around 12 inches in length.

Cut the strips of tulle 2x the length.  So if you want a 15 inch long skirt cut the strip 30 inches.  Our tulle already came 6 inches wide which was perfect.  If you buy your tulle on the large bolts you will have to cut it down to 6 inches wide and then to the desired length.

Put the elastic band around something that is close to the size of their waist.  You want the elastic to be stretched out as you tie on the tulle strips.  The Kitchenaid bowl  was the best thing we could find.  You do watcha gotta do.

Fold the strips in half and bunch it together in the middle.  Take the bunched up middle part and place behind the elastic and form a small space or loop.

Fold the bottom of the tulle up and throw the loop creating a knot.  Do that all the way around and you will have yourself a no sew (well....very little sew) tutu.  We used about 30 yards of tulle but again we made it longer.  If you do 12 inch strips you will only need about 20 yards.

Discalimer:  We got the glitter tulle because it was adorable...and they didn't even have regular blue tulle without glitter.  It gets EVERYWHERE so if you don't feel like living in a pixie dreamland I suggest you skip it.  There was a trail of glitter everywhere she went.


Since Perry has yellowish orange feet we thought it would be cute for her to wear some bright wacky shoes.  Elsa had a gnarly old pair  of flats that were on their way to the garbage

 So my sister just slapped some orange acrylic paint on them.  We knew these were going to be a one time deal so they weren't exactly masterpieces.  They got her through the party and then they went in the trash.  Paired with an orange headband and her ensemble was complete.

She kept calling herself a pretty Perry

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Phineas and Ferb Party Food

We wanted to have food that correlated with the show in same way.  Candace's favorite food is grilled cheese.  I never noticed this, but my niece  insisted that the sammies are round in the show so we cut them out with biscuit cutters.  She made some cute little signs to go with them

 Mini corn dogs or "slushy dogs"  We also added in the "Corn dogs corn dogs yummy yummy yummy"  for an added touch


I wanted to do something a little different for the cake so we decided on an orange creamsicle flavor. 
   I started with a yellow cake mix and just subbed orange juice for the water, added the zest of an orange, and 2 tsp. of orange extract per box.  I ended up making 3 boxes of cake mix so I used 6 tsp. of orange extract.  Now as an adult I can handle eating an orange flavored cake that is white, but if I were a kid and you were calling the cake Orange Creamsicle cake and it wasn't orange I would give you the shifty eyes.  So for the sanity of the children I added some orange food coloring.....maybe even too much haha.

I wanted to make an Agent P cake so a fedora was a must.  I formed it out of rice crispy treats.  I accidentally got the variety pack so there's strawberry teats, chocolate drizzle, and who knows what else crammed all together

Then covered it in fondant.

I stacked the orange cakes with vanilla buttercream for the Cream portion of the orange creamsicle.  I decorated the cake to look like Perry's face and added the hat on top

The best part was when one of the kids declared  "This tastes like a popsicle!"  Mission accomplaished


This isn't so much about what we served to drink, but how we served it.  My sister wanted to avoid a million pop cans crowding every open inch of space and the inevitable spills that come along with having a pack of children hopped up on sugar.  We found these little water bottles for a dollar at Walmart.

We peeled off the label and put on a Phineas and Ferb sticker.  We wrote their names on them and they got to take them home at the end of the day.  Cute and functional.  Her carpet was spared