Monday, November 14, 2011

{Christmas} Tablecloth

I know that I am the. worst. blogger on the planet. I truly do love to do it, but to be honest "crafting" just does NOT fit in my life lately. I hate that it doesn't! I really am going to try to squeeze it back in, but let's be honest; I've said that a gazillion times. I really do need this as an outlet though. I sometimes feel so overwhelmed by the daily grind that this would be a fabulous "escape" at times.

Anyway, this isn't extremely detailed, but I have a few people asking me about this tradition of ours. I started it back in 2008 and I'm SO glad I did! I love love LOVE looking back to previous years. It's our Christmas Tablecloth. We put it on our table starting on Thanksgiving night when we put up our Christmas decorations. Part of our night is signing the tablecloth as a family, then as the days go by and people come over to visit they also sign it. Then, when things are taken down after Christmas I'll work on stitching over the names for the next couple of weeks . . . tuck it away for next year and start all over again. I don't let people eat on it, when we eat we take it off, or if one person is eating they'll just push it out of the way while they eat.

We love it, and I love to think that someday it will be an even greater family treasure.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Reward System

I have a . . . let's just say . . . challenging 3 year old. She's my third daughter and for some odd reason she came totally different than the other two. Why they all have to come different is a mystery to me {kidding}, but nonetheless, I had to figure out yet another discipline/reward system for her. Let me tell you right off, for her personality, this system has been AWESOME.
I hunted and hunted for some way that she could earn something {like the sticker on a chart type of system} where she could really see her accomplishments. For a long time we did a "token" system where when they did something good, nice, helpful . . . they got to put a token {a.k.a. poker chip} into a pail that they had decorated. This system did NOT work for her. I think because she could see her tokens unless I took her pail down and showed her. I knew I needed something that she could "show off" and the sticker thing bugged me because they weren't easily taken away. SO . . . I found these . . .

. . . at Target and thought PERFECT!! I knew I'd need to figure out how to put them on the wall but I figured that wouldn't be too big of a problem. Luckily when I got them home I noticed they had a certain piece {see top picture} that actually hung perfectly on a nail. WIN.

SO, here's the system: We were in the car and decided to call them something . . . the girls . . . after about 50 different names, decided to call them "gems"
When I notice them being good, doing something nice, doing things right when I ask them to without an eye roll . . . yes, that's a challenge for these girls of mine . . . I'll let them pick out a gem and hang it on their chain.
I have the right to take them away for back talking, being mean to their sister, not doing what they know is expected of them, etc. BUT once they get to 10 gems they get . . . 
 . . . one "spark" . . . yes they named these too. They decided that they can be sparks so that when they get a lot they'll be "sparkles" . . . GIRLS! haha
I bought a bag of the thicker craft sticks, pulled out the paint and we all decorated them, glued a sparkle on them and stuck them in a jar for them to pick them out when they "cash in" their 10 gems.

 Once they get "sparks" I can't take them away. They can save them for bigger prizes or spend them when they get them. I have a chart with things like:
2 sparkles: picnic at the park
4 sparkles: frozen yogurt
5 sparkles: Sea World for the afternoon {we have passes FYI . . . I don't fork out that kind of dough!}
So far it's working like a "gem". We went on vacation for a week and a half and didn't use them and let me tell you, this girl did a 180 and was back to her . . . ways . . . in a matter of a couple of days. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

THE Best Chocolate Chip Cookies . . . by FAR!

My daughter went on a field trip to the USS Midway and brought me home this chocolate chip cookie recipe. My husband made them today and they are THE best cookies we've ever made. SOO good!! Enjoy.

1 lb butter, cream well {that isn't a typo . . . one pound!}

2 cups granulated sugar and 2 cups brown sugar: add both to butter and cream together

2 eggs, 2 tsp. vanilla: add both to the mixture

2 tsp. baking soda, 1.5 tsp. salt, 4 cups and 8 Tbsp flour: combine these and then add to the mixture

1 bag chocolate chips {large}: stir into batter. 
{we didn't have a whole bag so we used about 1/4 bag of milk chocolate chips and 1/4 bag of white chocolate chips. In our opinion they turned out perfect!}

Spoon onto sheet and bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Don't give up on me!!

Wow, life has been a major roller coaster the past couple of months. The biggest blog set back lately {aside from summer of course} was that we were forced out of the house we were renting. The owners had to move back in and gave us 30 days to find something . . . only thing is . . . we couldn't find a THING!! So frustrating. Luckily we found something when we had a week left to get out. Big. Relief. SO, we held a garage sale to put toward our charity organization, Charish's Hope {}, and made $300. Awesome! The next day, our house flooded . . . total bummer seeing as we only had a week left in there! Next day . . . my car got broken in to where I stupidly left my purse WITH the $300 fundraised money. REALLY!!?? Not only that but after my sister passed away I decided to use her wallet where I kept a few special things . . . like pictures of us etc. All of which was taken. Sad day for me . . . nonetheless life has been crazy with all of that junk {replacing EVERYthing basically. Who doesn't keep everything in their diaper bag?}and with the move . . . I truly H.A.T.E moving . . . things of the "crafting" nature have taken a back burner. So today I decided to get on and post something that I had done and never posted, only to find that the computer that actually works when I try to download pictures, in fact does NOT work. Sigh . . . so here we are, on the computer that "works" but doesn't work for what I need it to. I am in serious need of fixing that stinking computer so that I can get back to doing what I love to do while sharing my ideas with you.

So . . . I'm once again asking that you don't give up on me. Someday I WILL get my act together. Until then . . . please hang tight! Thank you!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More Fabric {Flowers}

 Day one of our paper chain activities was to make fabric flowers. My girls have been asking me to teach them for a while now, so it was fun to teach them how to do it. I recently posted a different kind of fabric flower {here} if you're interested. This isn't the best tutorial. I was trying to focus more on helping them figure it out than taking step by step pictures, but I did take a few and I'll try to explain it the best I can!

We cut 2 inch strips of fabric, folded it in half long ways, and stitched {using a long stitch. I used the longest stitch that my machine goes to. That way it's easier to bunch up the fabric} along the raw edge side leaving long "tails" of thread on either end. 

Taking one of the two threads on one end hold it tight while bunching up the fabric. Be really careful not to break the thread . . . if you do you'll have to re-stitch it and start again.
 My 9 year old wanted to make her friend a "bright pink" flower clip. She told my daughter that she's the nicest friend she's ever had today . . . made her day! I guess this is her "thank you." I didn't take pictures of the process, but once the fabric strip is bunched all the way, I started at one end and wound it around itself, hot gluing all along the way {wrap, hot glue, wrap, hot glue . . .}. Once we got it wrapped all the way around she cut out a felt circle and a clip and hot glued it to the underside. 
 Didn't it turn out super cute!?
 My 7 year old decided to also give something to her friend. She wanted to glue a flower onto a green pipe cleaner, but I ran out, so she decided it might be a cute idea to use a pencil for the stem. We just hot glued one end of the flower to the eraser side of the pencil, then wrapped around just like the first one {wrap, hot glue, wrap . . . you get the picture}
 After the whole thing was wrapped around the end of the pencil she cut a felt circle with a slit in it . . . 
 then I hot glued it to the bottom to hide all of the loose edges.
 My goofy daughter smelling her hot glue smelling flower. Fun little project . . . although I wouldn't let them hot glue. I've been burned one too many times and didn't want to deal with little burned fingers and tears. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Paper {Chain}

It's ALMOST the end of the school year . . . about this time every year my girls get really REALLY unmotivated to wake up and be happy that it's a school day. Last night while discussing ways that we can enjoy the next couple of weeks my 4th grader came up with choosing a fun activity for every day until the end of the school year. In that idea I decided to help them make a paper chain where they could write different activities of their choice on each link.
They made a list of WAY too many things . . . so after some long discussion we got their list down to 17 things . . . one link for every day (even weekends) until the end of the school year. I went through my junk . . . er . . . I mean drawers of scrapbook paper {That's right . . . I went through "the scrapbooking" phase} and cut 1 1/2" strips.
We numbered all of the strips according to the dates we have left, and after looking at the calendar to make sure we didn't over schedule any of our days they wrote out their chosen activities on the strips.
{Notice the 6. Go to Golden Spoon strip? That's because I'm holding a fundraising event that night for an organization I started after my sister passed away called Charish's Hope. If you live close to Poway California and want to come support us and the American Heart Association come! June 6th from 6-10pm. I'll be there!}
Then after making sure we put them in the right order we taped the links together to make our chain.
The next couple of weeks are going to be action-packed . . . they're SO excited! Okay, I am too . . . especially for that "make brownies or cookies" day . . . bring ON the chocolate! ;)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Subway {Art} Tutorial

I've seen subway art a lot lately, and certainly wouldn't claim this as an original idea . . . just another tutorial!
They have these pieces of wood at Michael's in all different shapes and sizes. Be creative!
First off {I didn't take pictures . . . sorry!} paint your piece of wood in the color you ultimately want your letters/shapes to be. Let dry COMPLETELY so that when you stick on your letters it wont pull off the paint. I would be safe and allow to dry over night {or all day if you paint it in the morning!}

There are different ways you can apply the wording. My cute niece let me design what I wanted on her computer and she printed it all out on vinyl on her Cricut. I've seen other ways using the sticky backed contact paper. You can just print your design {which, by the way can be designed on a bunch of different computer programs like Photoshop or even Microsoft Word}. You can't print right on the contact paper but you can print it out on regular paper the size you want, spray the back with spray adhesive and stick it onto the non-sticky side of the contact paper. You'll just need to use a razor blade and carefully cut out each letter.
After sticking all of your words/shapes onto your painted sign, {and making sure every letter is pressed down completely} paint over the entire board with the "background" color. I used kind of cheap paint, so it took a few coats to get completely black.
This is the part that took a lot of patience for me! I wanted to see how it turned out . . . but WAIT!! If you don't wait until it's completely dry it will peel off funny and mess it up. Just. Wait!
When you're completely confident that the paint is all the way DRY!! carefully peel off all of the letters.
You can stop here or you can take it a step further by sanding down the edges to make it look a little more worn/old.

I like to do my projects as cheap as possible, so a lot of times I'll just use some of what I already have to save a buck. {That's right, I'm cheap!} I save everything that looks useful {and no I'm not a hoarder}. A baby blanket I got was wrapped in this white ribbon, and look! I was able to use it! Go me! Only thing is, I wish it were more of a cream color . . . someday I'll go buy one . . . maybe.

I used just a regular stapler to attach the ribbon to the back. I just used one piece of ribbon and looped it for a hanger. Make sure if you do it this way, to leave quite a bit of ribbon on the back and staple 6 or 7 times {or more if you think it's not sturdy enough}.
If you want to make a bow at the top just tie it right onto the loop.
And just hang it on a nail. The great thing about just tying a bow right onto the ribbon is if it looks crooked on the wall it's easily centered.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fabric {Flower} Tutorial

I've been meaning to make a few more flower clips for my girls out of the extra t-shirt material I have left from my sisters shirts. I made a memory quilt for her little girl {HERE} right after she passed away and couldn't get rid of the rest of it. My girls love their "Charish flowers" so I wanted to make some more. I thought I'd share how I do it.

T-shirt material is great fabric to use because it doesn't fray. I love it, but it also works well with other fabrics also. Not to mention fraying is sometimes really cute!
I'm going to apologize right now for two things . . . my lame, half polished nails, and my not so perfect pictures. My good camera is dead and the baby is being good. Didn't want to waste the opportunity to get it done so I used my junk camera. :-/
Cut out a few circles. For this one I used 6. They don't have to be perfect. I used a soda can as a template. Dr. Pepper is never far from me . . . so that was the most convenient thing. Maybe I have a problem?? ha
Cut a small circle out of felt to glue the pieces to.
Oh this picture is awful! So sorry. Fold the circle in half, and then in half-ish again. It ends quartered, but it's good to not make it perfectly quartered. I like to do it off center.
Put a dab of hot glue on the tips and glue them down onto the felt piece.
I know . . . really?! These pictures . . . sigh. I'm just trying to show them glued onto the felt circle.
Put some hot glue on top of the four already glued down . . . just in the center . . .
. . . then for your last two circles try to fold them an extra time . . . more like in half, and then thirds . . . just to give some extra swirls. Glue them down on top . . .
. . . then while the glue is still soft pinch the whole flower so that it sticks up instead of lays flat. {Does that even make sense?? My tired, new baby brain is fried.}

Once your flower is glued together, cut another felt circle . . . a little bigger than the first one so that it covers it completely. Clip your hair clip directly onto the felt circle before gluing it down. The felt in between the clip will help keep the flower from slipping in your little girls hair.
Cover the felt circle with hot glue and then center it on the back of the flower.
We love them. They're very easy and if you're not into sewing this is a great little project for you! Happy spring!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


"The more you trust and rely upon the spirit, the greater your capacity to CREATE"
I have loved this since I first heard it, and I think of it often. Just wanted to share! Enjoy.

Monday, April 18, 2011

S'more {Peep} Casserole

First off . . . I'm alive. I know . . . it's been forEVER and I've probably lost every follower I had. So sorry!! I've hit a wall as far as crafting goes. I had a sweet baby boy in December and just haven't gotten back in the groove. I really need something like this . . . a "me" thing . . . so I'm going to work on bringing this poor blog back to life!

Okay! So I found this adorable idea on my friend, Heather's, blog. You can find her original post {HERE}. I fell in love with it . . . and anything that involves Peeps . . . LOVE.
Here's what you need:
1 sleeve graham crackers {crushed in a large baggie using a heavy rolling pin}
1/3 cup brown sugar {I like more brown sugar so I use 1/2 cup}
8 marshmallow Peeps
1 cup plain Easter M&M's
1 quart mason jar {I used a paper circle for the lid and some ribbon to decorate}
{to make you'll need to following}
1 stick butter {melted}
1 tsp vanilla extract
I went to Walmart looking for jars and found this box of 12 Mainstays brand for under $8. Can't beat that!!
I've made three of these now. The first time I had a hard time squeezing in all of the M&M's at the end, so the second time I mixed the M&M's with the graham cracker/brown sugar mixture . . . then it was hard to squeeze the Peeps in at the end. So the third time I decided to just layer everything. It turned out the cutest but still was hard to squeeze the Peeps in.

haha . . . slightly crazy, but I got them all in. NEXT time I'm going to pour in half of the graham cracker/brown sugar mixture, then M&M's, then Peeps, then I'm going to pour in the last half of the crumb mixture. I'm thinking this will work better . . . maybe?? haha
To make:
Dump all of the jar contents into a large bowl. Take out the Peeps and either cut them into small or large chunks or save and layer them whole on top of mixture before baking. Melt 1 stick of butter and add to bowl along with 1 tsp vanilla extract. Mix well until everything is coated evenly. Dump into a greased 8x8 baking dish {or whatever you have . . . I don't have one small enough so I used a pie pan} and, with greased fingers, firmly pat the mixture down.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Let it cool COMPLETELY before cutting into them so they don't crumble.

A perfect teacher gift or just to swing by a friends house to let them know you're thinking of them.

Happy Easter!!!