earring holder

I found this cute idea for a cheap and easy earring holder HERE...

You will need:
Old picture frames
Some leftover lace
A staple gun with SMALL staples
Spray Paint

I went to D.I. and found these two picture frames for a dollar each. I think it's a good idea to find pictures frames that are in fairly good shape and have interesting designs. The bigger red picture frame that I bought had cracks in the corners so spray painting it and making it look nice was a chore.

Next go get some spray paint. It took one can for me to spray paint the both of these. Apply several coats.

As you can see, in the top right corner of the bigger frame, there is a crack. That was hard to cover up.

I bought lace for less than a dollar at a fabric store. As you can see, you only need a little bit. I found a little leaf design in the lace and cut it to fit in the frame.

Next staple the lace on the corners to keep it in place. I then stapled left to right, top to bottom on the inside of the frame to make it tight. You will need the smallest staples possible so they don't staple through the frame. This part can be a bit tricky but have patience.

Voila! Here is the finished product: an EASY, super CHEAP (I'm talking less than 5$), and CUTE way to organize all your earrings.


Baby Bibs

I started these bibs two and a half years ago, when my oldest was just starting solid foods. I'll just sum it up by saying they sat in the closet for a long time. I finished them up yesterday. These are the kind of bibs we had for my sister growing up. They work for little babies clear on up through toddlers. And the cover everything, not just the shirt collar.

I simply took kitchen and bath towels. Cut a circle in around where the neck should go (I used a bowl to cut an even circle). Lined it all with bias tape, made button holes, and sewed on buttons.
I made a lot...but it did take me nearly 3 years.
My cute models.

And speaking of sewing, here is a shout out to my friend. I won this cute apron on one of her give-aways. She is always doing fun crafty things to improve her home. Go visit her blog. Thanks Abbey!


Our Second Giveaway

As a way to attract more people to our fun blog, we will be giving away flower hair clips like these. I know lots of people are often in need of a last minute gift and many people desire to have some of these cute flowers of their own, so enter today! If you would like to win these hair clips, leave a comment below and you will be automatically entered to win.

Additional entries will be given for:

1. Blogging, Facebooking, or Tweeting about this giveaway – please leave separate comments with the link.
2. Being or becoming a follower of this blog. - leave a comment saying you became a follower.

Winner will be announced June 5th! Good Luck!



Homemade Cleaning Products

Lately I have been concernced about how many things my family comes in contact with that may not be the best for them. My boys tend to be a bit sensitive to things with a lot of scent, dyes, and a lot of chemicals.

I am also concerned about how EXPENSIVE cleaning products are and I often wonder if they are really worth it.

But I also want to make sure that our home is CLEAN. I've been making and using my own cleaners for awhile and I will actually be making some more this weekend and thought I would share my recipes.

I write my recipe on the outside of my spray bottle with a magic marker, that way I always know what is in the bottle and I know where my recipe is at :)

Window Cleaner:
1/4 Cup White Vinegar
2 Cups Water
1 1/2 tsp. Cornstarch
Lemon Juice for Scent (Optional)
**Mix together and store in spray bottle**

Multi-Purpose Cleaner:
1 tsp. Borax
1/2 tsp WASHING SODA (not baking)
2 tsp. white vinegar
1/4 tsp. dish soap
2 Cups Hot Water
**Mix all together and put in a spray bottle**

Laundry Soap:
2 Cups Grated/Dried/Blended Fels Naptha Soap or Castile Soap or Plain Ivory Soap
1/2 Cup Borax
1/2 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Baking Soda
1/2 Oxy-Clean (smith's carries a store brand for A LOT less!)

2 Tbsp. Essential Oil (optional)

Use 1 to 2 Tblsp. per Load

**It is important to grate your soap and let it completely dry out. Fels Naptha soap is really hard and dry anyways and I found it easier to shave it with a sharp knife. Ivory soap is soft and grates really easily but you will need to let it dry. I spread out my shavings on a large jelly roll pan and let it sit on my counter for a couple days, then I put it in my blender until it is the right consistency. ***LET YOUR BLENDER SIT WITH THE LID ON FOR A MINUTE OR TWO, YOU SHOULD NOT BREATH THE DUST***

After your soap is dry just mix everything together and store in an airtight container.

Here's a little tid-bit I found about Vinegar:
Vinegar is a natural organic bi-product of fruits, vegetables and grains. It is therefore edible and biodegradable. It is 'The Perfect Household Cleaner'™ for your family because it is very safe for the environment, for family members, especially those with asthma, and around young children. It is also a very effective and amazingly versatile household cleaner that is inexpensive to use.

Vinegar is a safe, all-natural cleaning product. It doesn't contain harmful toxic chemicals, so if in the course of normal household cleaning you 'pour it down the drain' its impact on municipal sewer and water treatment systems is just like any food product.

Regular store bought white vinegar has no real affect on the environment.



Felt fruit

Something that I've recently become very interested in is felt fruit. All you need to do to explore the world of felt fruit is simply google the phrase and you'll likely become as obsessed as I am! I decided to try making my own, although if you would like to make one from a pattern there are many sites that sell patterns to make the fruit. This is the first time I have attempted to make felt fruit but I plan to post more in the future!
I decided to try a tomato this time around.
First I cut a square (round is actually recommended) of red felt,
then I gathered cotton to stuff the tomato, and then I threaded red thread.

After all this I took the red thread and tied a knot at the end and then stiched in and out around the edge of the fabric. Halfway through i realized it would be better for the felt to be round rather than square so I adjusted the shape by cutting off the corners.

After I sticked the tomato I pulled the string tight and stuffed it with cotton so it would hold it's shape while I finished stitching.
After I stuffed the tomato I tied off the stitch to hold the tomato in place. Then I pulled out a square of green felt. I cut stem with three legs to look like leaves coming off the tomato. The stem I used green thread and stitched around the stem to tighten it into place so that it would stand up straight and look more like a stem. Lastly I stiched the stem on to the tomato. Not my best work but hopefully I'll get better as I attempt other fruits and veggies! (perhaps even some dessert!)

This may not be enough to get you excited about felt fruit but take the time to google it and look at the images the result in the search! It is fun and i'm excited to make an assortment of fruit for my children!


Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

This recipe comes from the USU Extension Food Sense program. Since I will be working
at the extension for the summer, I will share canning tips as I learn more.

Awesome Heart-Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 c mashed white beans
3 TB canola oil
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/4 c egg substitute or 1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3 c oats (I used rolled quick oats)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
Optional: Nuts, coconut, raisins, and/or chocolate chips with dry ingredients.

Beat mashed white beans, oil, brown and granulated sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth and creamy.
Combine remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl and mix together. Add to bean and sugar mixture: mix well.
Drop onto greased cookie sheet and bake at 350*F for 8-12 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

Makes about 36 cookies.

Caution about this recipe--mine didn't turn out very well. I used white kidney beans and I am pretty sure these are not the right ones. My other option at the store was white beans with seasoning; pretty sure those wouldn't have been very good either. If you have tried this recipe before, please let me know how to make it work!

I didn't get a picture because my camera is broken. Sorry guys, I haven't done very well this week, but this recipe does have good reviews and I have eaten them before and you can't even taste the beans.


Race for the cure

I realize this isn't crafty, but it is inspiring nonetheless. Last Saturday, me and a huge group of family and friends went down to the Susan G Komen Walk for the Cure in Salt Lake City. My grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple years ago and is now a free and clear survivor so many of us were walking for her. This is only my first race but I am totally addicted now. There was such an amazing spirit there! It was great to see survivors and supporters coming together to celebrate and give memory to those affected by breast cancer. I would highly recommend participating in a race like this, you won't regret it!

My Oma, the Survivor in Pink!

You can see her smiling as cute as could be on the right side with all the other survivors.

At one point, they had all the survivors get up together for a picture and they played the song, "Thank You For Being A Friend." This is what life is all about, helping each other out in hard times and inspiring each other to keep trying. There is no way I would have done this race alone. It was such a great opportunity and one I will never forget.

For more info on the Susan G Komen Race go HERE... Hope to see you next year!


decorative balls

Decorative balls are super popular right now. I ran across this simple and ridiculously CHEAP way to make your own that look just as cool as anything you can buy. The original tutorial is HERE... Hers turned out better than mine because she primed them with spray paint primer and used different colors. I learned the hard way that spray paint eats foam so don't make my mistake!

You will need:

Foam balls (I used 4 inch and 2 inch Smooth Foam balls, they were cheaper)
Glue gun
Bag of dried pinto beans (I am sure different beans would work)
Spray paint primer
Spray paint

Get your ball and just start gluing. For my first one I did a plain uniform ball but my smaller one was swirled (see top picture to compare) and I liked it better. You can experiment.

When you are done gluing, you just SPRAY IT WITH PRIMER and then two or three coats of spray paint.

You can put them on shelves, book cases or in a bowl as a center piece. I am going to make a couple more small ones and stack them in this bowl.



Bountiful Baskets

Have you heard of Bountiful Baskets? My mom and sister have been getting fruits and veggies through this Co-Op for quite awhile and there are many drop off sites around Utah, but until just a little while ago there wasn't one close enough to Price. What you do is sign up on their website www.bountifulbaskets.org
and you make your contribution $15.00 (+tax) for a conventional basket and then you can select any add-on's you might like. You make this contribution on Monday and then you pick up your basket on Saturday at the sight you selected.

Last week I tried it... the closest pick up site was in Ferron which is about 40 minutes away, but that was closer than Provo. I bought a conventional basket for $15, 5 loaves of 9-grain bread, and 7 dozen tortillas.
Last week my basket included:
1 Cantelope
1 Honey Dew Melon
8 Kiwis
3 Pkg. Blackberries
12 Cameo Apples
8 Bananas
1 head Romaine Lettuce
2 big bunches of spinach
2 cucumbers
12 radishes
8 Tomatoes
4 Artichokes

I was way impressed with the quality and quantity of what we received and I thought that I might buy a basket every other week, but we have eaten everything! And I will be picking up another basket (minus the bread and tortillas, we haven't eaten all of that yet) on Saturday.

Lately I have been really trying to save $$$ when it comes to groceries and food, so I wanted to make sure that I was getting a good deal, I figure that purchasing all that produce would have cost me about $35 at our grocery store. But what about the time and gas? Some other ladies in our neighborhood are going too so we are carpooling and as for the time---it is my time out.

I love that I don't get to choose what comes in the basket---it has made us try new things and helped me learn how to cook new things. It has also helped us eat healthier---today my 2 year old had spinach in his smoothie, asked for 2 tomatoes for his snack and he ate both of them with no dip, had an apple with peanut butter for another snack, ate another tomato with his lunch....and this is just today!

I didn't think to take a picture of my basket last week, but I will this week and post it with what we got. Check out their site, I love it!

What I got Today, May 8th:
2 Watermelons
2 heads Romaine Lettuce
1 Bunch Spinach
9 Tangelos
3 lbs. Pink Lady Apples
9 Bananas
4 Green Peppers
6 Mangos
6 Ears Corn
4 Tomatoes

YUMM! I am SO excited!


Birthday Celebration Flag

We were in full-swing birthday mode for about a week in April. I think my oldest had started to think everyday was her birthday. As part of her birthday decorations I made a celebration flag from a tutorial of a very crafty friend, Vanessa.
My Top 6 Reasons for celebrating this decoration:

6. You could use leftover fabric if you needed to.
5. It is WAY easy to make.
4. It is cute.
3. You can personalize it for birthdays or other celebrations.
2. It is original.
1. It stores really small, so I could make one for every holiday and not feel guilty about taking up too much storage space for decorations.

Thank you, Vanessa for your cute ideas! And to the rest of you, you should really visit her blog and her shop and she's on etsy too - Uptown Jane.

So to start I made 6" squares of 7 fabrics I had chosen at the store. Vanessa used charm packs that are 5" squares, but I made mine bigger because I wanted to and I could seeing how I bought all of my cuts of fabric. On my sparkly fabric, I did 8" squares because they were going to be layered behind some other squares.
Then I ironed them in half. *Note: I should have ironed them outside out. But it worked this way too*
Then I marked them with a pencil from corner to opposite diagonal corner.
Then cut along this mark with pinking shears.
After this was done, I ironed them all flat again.

Then I pulled out a full package of bias tape. And because it was 10:30 the night before my oldest daughter's birthday at this point, I forgot to take any more pictures. I also found out that I had way too many squares for the length of bias tape. But after playing around with the layout of what fabric went where and which ones to leave out, I found a pattern that satisfied me.

I pinned and then sewed it on. If I didn't have the layered flags, I could have done it without pinning, but trying to get everything in line with the layers proved easier with a little pinning. Then I sewed it on the bias tape leaving a little extra on the ends for finishing the ends nicely and tying up to display when done.

Here is the finished product. Vanessa has a better tutorial here. Go check it out!


Knife Covers

I have 2 very nice knives that I absolutely love, but they didn't come with covers or protectors. I wanted to keep them nice and sharp. My Nutrition professor suggested this idea for me.
What you need:
~Cereal Box
~Fabric- I just used some leftover fabric from a different project

Start by measuring your knives. My chef's knife was 8" long and 2" wide. I then drew a rectangle on my cardboard box that was 8 1/4" long and 4 1/2" wide. Then just cut it out, fold it in half and tape it together.

For the optional part, I just cut my fabric a little bit smaller than my piece of cardboard. I glued it in place and waited for it to dry before I folded it in half and taped it.

This is a great way to protect your knives or your little children from the knives!

Additional note: My professor also told me to never spend lots of money on serrated knives, because it's a waste of money. Once they are dull you can't sharpen them. The only things you should be cutting with serrated knives are bread.