Valentine, you’re out of this world! {2017}

I had the pleasure of turning my Pinterest board into reality last week to make Michael’s preschool valentines. I know I’m biased, but I’m pretty impressed with the final product. (I really liked last year’s valentines too!)

You're out of this world, Valentine!

You’re out of this world, Valentine!

Space ducks: unite!

Space ducks: unite!

These valentines are super easy to make, relatively inexpensive, and don’t include sugar, so they’re good for kids of all ages:

  1. Buy these astronaut and space alien rubber ducks from Amazon
  2. Print out this sheet of valentines on cardstock.
  3. Add your name on the bottom and cut them out.
  4. Poke a hole.
  5. Attach the tag to the duck.
  6. Tie a bow, trim the edges. Voila!

Here is Micheal working on his valentine “mailbox” at school. He’s a crafter in the making! (And, yes, they call him “Big Mike”!)

Michael working on his valentine mailbox

Michael working on his valentine mailbox

{Christmas craft} Reindeer food

Over the weekend I cleaned out the abyss that is my sprinkle/frosting/everything cabinet and found a bag of Christmas sprinkles from a cookie decorating party in 2008. (EIGHT YEARS AGO!) Thankfully, I knew how old they were since I dated the bag. Nice work, self.

Anyway, I had been perusing Pinterest and came across a “recipe” for reindeer food.

Reindeer food

Reindeer food is completely inedible for humans but will be quite a delight for the birds! Err, I mean, Santa’s reindeer.

The recipe is simple: whatever you want (that birds enjoy).

I went with ~ 1/2 cup of oats (buy them in bulk!), 1/4 cup of bird seed, and some of all the sprinkles I had in my everything cabinet.

Reindeer food

It’s really easy to make, and if nothing else, do it to make room for a new set of holiday sprinkles!

I had fun and I know Michael’s daycare friends will love their packages of reindeer food tomorrow!

2016 Super Bowl party

Brandon was born in Colorado and as a result he grew up watching the Broncos. (We even cheered on the Broncos when they played the Seattle Seahawks in 2014.) He knows everything about the team and will root for them every chance he gets. He was offered that opportunity a few weeks ago during SuperBowl 50.

We held a SuperBowl party and went all out– as all out as we can with an infant at home who’d not big on napping. Thanks to Michael’s four-month sleep regression, we had the “pleasure” of waking up at 5 a.m., an hour earlier than we had intended, which worked out perfectly for the brisket. Brandon was able to get it into the Traeger an hour earlier! (It’s all about looking on the bright side, right?)

Here’s the party breakdown.

Our Super Bowl 2016 spread

Our Super Bowl 2016 spread

Menu:

  • Beef brisket (smoked for hours by Brandon)
  • Baked beans (we were going to make them from scratch and then we saw them for sale at Costco: So. Much. Easier.)
  • Superfood kale salad — this kit is available at Costco and is so easy to put together. It’s delicious too!
  • Veggie platter
  • Blue tortilla chips with seven-layer dip (pre-purchased, so worth it!)
  • Half time pepperoni pizza. We bought this ginormous pizza at Costco. It took me mere minutes to rearrange the pepperonis and cut a string cheese as the laces. (Photo below!)
  • Desserts: orange and blue browned-butter Rice Krispie treats and the most adorable and delicious sugar cookies you’ve ever had from my friend Robin (she also made the beehive cookies at our gender reveal last year)

And of course some photos:

The most amazing Super Bowl cookies ever. I wish I could make these myself!

The most amazing Super Bowl cookies ever. I wish I could make these myself!

Orange and blue Bronco Rice Krispies treats

Orange and blue Bronco Rice Krispies treats

Football pizza

Football pizza

Our Peyton Manning prayer candle. Worked spectacularly this year!

Our Peyton Manning prayer candle. Worked spectacularly this year!

Super Bowl bingo was a big hit-- it combined commercials and the game.

Super Bowl bingo was a big hit– it combined commercials and the game.

Our little fan watching the pre-game

Our little fan watching the pre-game

How I watched the game: wearing a wee one, with a {plastic} glass of wine.

How I watched the game: wearing a wee one, with a {plastic} glass of wine.

World champions!!

World champions!!

Michael's new super bowl ring. Tastes like VICTORY!

Michael’s new super bowl ring. Tastes like VICTORY!

We've got Bronco spirit!

We’ve got Bronco spirit!

Hopefully we get to have another successful SuperBowl party next year! This little guy has his game face on and is ready!

Game face = ON!

Game face = ON!

{Read about our 2014 Super Bowl party here.}

Michael’s first valentines

I finally had a chance to use my Valentine’s Day inspirations pinterest board for Michael’s first Valentine’s Day party at his daycare!

There are so many great ideas out there! I especially liked the fish bowls, tic tacs, and chips.

However, since many of those at daycare (including Michael) aren’t eating solids, I went the route of age-appropriate toys instead.

And… voila! Amazing valentines!

These valentines are DINO-riffic!

These valentines are DINO-riffic!

I combined a few of the dinosaur valentines I found online and designed one perfect for “our” (Michael’s, but he doesn’t know what he’s doing yet…) needs. Download the template here. I added these dino bath squirters from Amazon.

The final product

The final product

I hope you have a great Valentine’s Day!

Cork snowmen ornaments (or wine charms or cute decor!)

Can you believe that Christmas is this week? I certainly can’t. The past four months — well, year, really — have flown by. We did manage to get Michael’s first Santa photo in, and we’ll hopefully visit two more Santas this week. Of course I’ll share the photos soon.

Last week I shared yarn ball ornaments. I have another super easy ornament to share with you: Snowmen wine cork ornaments!

As you know, I enjoy a good wine. As a result, I often have a cork or two on-hand for crafting purposes. (Sometimes I have hundreds of corks on-hand, when I want to make a cork wreath or something.) These little guys are so cute and so easy.

Wine cork snowmen!

Wine cork snowmen!

Gather your supplies:

  • Cork(s)
  • A block of orange Fimo or Sculpey modeling clay from your local craft store (The only difference that I’m aware of is that Fimo used to be hard before you warmed it up by sculpting with it. Sculpey has always been soft from the get go. Now they’re pretty much the same.)
  • Screw eye (also available at your local crafts store — in the jewelry-making section — or at your local Home Depot of Lowe’s.) These are one per ornament, so buy the appropriate amount.
  • Black Sharpie pen or black paint pen
  • Super glue (possibly already on-hand from your Thanksgiving appetizer platter making!?)
  • Toothpick
  • Ribbon (optional)

Instructions:

1. First, roll out the carrot noses. Mold the clay with your fingers to the appropriate size. Mine are approximately 1/2″ long and 1/8″ thick. I roll mine a little wider on the base, to look more like a carrot. I also use the toothpick or my fingernail to add some lines. I sculpt the base of the carrot against the pad of my finger, so it’s a little rounded, matching the curvature of the cork. (This will help with the gluing in step 3.)

Sculpt the noses

Sculpt the noses

 

"Carrot" lines

“Carrot” lines

2. Bake the noses per the instructions on the clay. I overcooked my first batch, so watch them carefully and err on the side of under cooking them. They will burn, turn color, and stink up your house for days if cooked too long.

3. Once the clay has cooled, add a dab of super glue to the base of the “carrot” and attach to the cork. You’ll need to hold it there for 10 seconds or so, to secure it.

4. Use the Sharpie to draw on the eyes and mouth of your snowman. You don’t need mad drawing skills for this as you’re drawing circles. (Like I said, so easy!)

Snowmen in process

Snowmen in process

5. Screw the screw eye into the top of the cork.

6. Add a decorative ribbon if you’d like. Your new cork snowman can double as an ornament or as an accessory to a bottle of wine you’re gifting friends or family. Or, you can just set them out since they’re so dang cute.

The possibilities are endless with these cuties. You can omit screw eyes and instead slice the top of the cork and turn these into place card holders! (Be sure to slice at an angle, which I didn’t do.)

Ornaments OR place card holders! All ready for Christmas!

Ornaments OR place card holders! All ready for Christmas!

Now, open a bottle of wine so you have a cork for this fun project!

I hope you have a great week! Now I’m off to brainstorm 2016 resolutions. Anyone have any ideas for me? Please share!

 

Yarn ball Christmas ornaments

With Christmas in only 10 days (!!!) I’m excited to share a Christmas ornament that is so easy, so cute and so perfect for anyone who knits or crochets or has a love of yarn. As I type this, my mind is going crazy with ideas about how to make this more cat-centric, it could even be a gift for the crazy cat ladies in your life too. (No judgment, I’ve been a proud crazy cat lady for 10+ years!)  I made four of these last year, and found the idea on Pinterest. (I love Pinterest!)

Yarn ball ornaments

Yarn ball ornaments

First, gather your supplies. A trip to Michael’s or JoAnn’s Crafts will set you up perfectly for this for pretty cheap. Depending on the value of coupons, this could be less than $5 total!

All the supplies you'll need for the yarn ball ornaments

All the supplies you’ll need for the yarn ball ornaments

  • A skein of the yarn of your choice (Yes, I looked up what that was called!)
  • A package of the ornaments you want to cover
  • Wood beads
  • Skewers (any size 6” or longer)
  • Super glue
  • Scotch tape
  • Scissors

For the needles

  1. Select pairs of wood beads that are similar colors.
  2. Cut sets of skewers (if necessary) in similar lengths
  3. Apply super glue to the inside of the wood bead. You could probably also use hot glue, but the hot glue might get everywhere. If you do use super glue, be very careful about applying the glue and having it unknowingly seep drip through the beads and onto your fingers. It glues very securely and very quickly! (Yes, I speak from experience!)
  4. Hold the end of the skewer flush with the outside of the wood bead, to make it look like a knitting needle.

 

Yarn ball ornament "needles"

Yarn ball ornament “needles”

For the yarn balls

  1. Start the yarn ball by taking the gold or silver “topper” off of the ornament. (It’ll be returned once the yarn has been applied)
  2. Take a piece of tape and tape the end of the yarn onto the ornament.
  3. Start wrapping the yarn around the ornament. And keep wrapping…and wrapping…and wrapping…and wrapping… But seriously, switch up the direction from time to time and wrap the ornament until all of the glass is covered and it looks like a ball of yarn.
  4. When you’re nearing the end, simply cut the yarn and tuck it into a previously-wrapped section.
  5. Put the topper back on, lace the “needle” through the yarn and your finished product is ready!
First thing first. Starting the ornament.

First thing first. Starting the ornament.

Wrap, wrap, wrap.

Wrap, wrap, wrap.

More last-minute Christmas present ideas to come! Have a great rest of the week!

Thanksgiving {2015}

With the excitement of the holidays and a newborn who isn’t fond of napping, my posts are a little delayed these days. But, without further ado, some photos from this year’s Thanksgiving extravaganza.

First, we’ll start with our little turkey. Michael sported a Babies ‘R Us onesie and was a champ. He met my extended family, in town from California, and even decided to nap a wee fit, obviously exhausted from the festivities.

Our little Thanksgiving turkey

Our little Thanksgiving turkey

Not knowing how much time we’d have to prep a dish for the celebrations, we brought appetizers. I was able to find the time (no more than an hour required!) to prep not one but two platters.

I took inspiration from my platters from 2013 and 2014 and created an antipasti tray and vegetable platter.

Thanksgiving antipasti tray

Thanksgiving antipasti tray

Thanksgiving vegetable tray

Thanksgiving vegetable tray

The “turkey heads” are easy to make. Start with a smallish lemon with a bit of a stem nub. Then, whittle a carrot beak and glue it, a “hat” and some candy eyes onto the turkey with super glue. Hats can be anything from a radish top, broccoli, cauliflower, or something inedible too! Once you have your hat, make sure both of the surfaces are dried off, to the best of your ability. This will help the glue stick.

Thanksgiving platter turkey "heads"

Thanksgiving platter turkey “heads”

The trays are easy to create as well. A quick trip to the store a couple of days before the holiday will suffice, with about an hour of “construction” time the morning of the holiday:

The antipasti platter: 

  • Cured meat three-pack from Costco
  • ~1 lb Beecher’s Flagship cheddar cheese (Costco)
  • A wheel of brie (Costco)
  • Trader Joe’s new four-olive medley
  • Marinated mushrooms (Trader Joe’s)
  • ~1 lb of reduced fat smoked gouda (Trader Joe’s)

The vegetable tray: 

  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 bag of baby carrots
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 2 cans of whole baby corn
  • 1 can of asparagus
  • 1 heart of celery
  • A couple of tomatoes
  • Not pictured: Fat-free sour cream with the Hidden Valley Ranch powder packet mixed in. (My favorite veggie dip!)

Here is a photo of the table, with my Aunt capturing the spread from a different angle. It was fun having such a large group (19 people!) to celebrate the holiday!

Our Thanksgiving set up

Our Thanksgiving set up

I also put my new modern calligraphy skills to use (did I tell you that I recently took a class with some girlfriends and discovered a new talent!?) and made place cards for the dinner. Don’t they look nice? I’m so impressed with myself– and clearly very humble!

Place cards by me!

Place cards by me!

I hope these inspire you to make a meat and cheese or veggie platter next Thanksgiving. Now I’m off to help Christmas explode all over our house! Photos to follow!