Friday, July 29, 2011

Just a Little Thank You

For the past few years, I have been the preschool director at our church's VBS. That basically means I am the organizer and that I have a ton of great volunteers {lots of moms, one dad, adults, and youth from our church} that work with me to make VBS a success. At the end of a  long week of working with cute {but sometimes unruly} preschoolers, I like to let my volunteers know how much I appreciate their help by giving them a little happy! I usually make some yummy cookies, but after my Fluffer Nutter cookie fail I wasn't up to baking any more this week. So when I saw these really cute little hand sanitizers in the school supply section of Target, I knew they would make a great Thank You for my volunteers!
 These little bottles are the perfect size to toss in your purse, backpack, or car but they were just a little too plain.
 I decided to add each of my volunteers' monogram to the front of the bottles just to dress them up a little. I started by pulling off the front sticker of each bottle, then I sprayed them down with this lovely stuff. I've never used Goo Gone before, but after it removed the sticky residue from 40 little bottles in less than half an hour....I am in love!
Then I used my Silhouette to cut out all the letters that I needed out of white contact paper. If you've never tried to use contact paper instead of vinyl in your craft cutter, I highly recommend it. A huge roll of contact paper cost around $6, and it cuts perfectly with most any craft cutter {I've used it with my old Cricut and my Silhouette}! After about an hour of peeling and sticking letters,  I ended up with an army of cute monogrammed hand sanitizers!
 And I even managed to make on for myself:)
Now all my volunteers will know how much I appreciate them, and they will have clean hands!
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cookie Fail!

A few months ago I made these really yummy Fluffer Nutter Cupcakes:
The combination of peanut butter, marshmallow, and chocolate was so yummy that I started playing around with the idea of using those same ingredients in a cookie. I decided on a peanut butter cookie with mini marshmallows mixed in the dough then drizzled with melted chocolate after they were baked.  I used my trusty Peanut Butter Cookie recipe and simply mixed in about a cup of marshmallows at the end.
The dough looked promising, but unfortunately the marshmallows did what marshmallows always do when they are heated up...they melted everywhere. Some of the cookies turned out okay, but the majority of them were weird shaped from the marshmallow melting out the sides of the cookie. Plus a lot of them ended up sticking to the pan too because marshmallows are sticky! They still tasted pretty good, but the marshmallow flavor wasn't as strong as I would have liked, and  I ended up not even trying the chocolate drizzle because I wasn't happy with the cookies.
So now it's back to the drawing board kitchen to figure out another way to make Fluffer Nutter Cookies work...maybe marshmallow creme instead of the mini marshmallows or maybe some kind of sandwich with two cookies?!?
Have you ever had a cookie {or any kind of recipe} fail in your kitchen?
Weekend Bloggy Reading
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Enjoying Summer Before it Ends

I've been MIA for a few days {not posting or visiting} mostly because we are doing exactly what the title of this post says...enjoying summer before it ends! Last week we played on the slip n slide, went swimming, and visited the splash pad any time it wasn't raining:) This week are busy having a blast at VBS! We have meet the teacher night in exactly one week and then next Wednesday the boys start school. Our summer is almost over, so we are going to enjoy it until it ends...we may even squeeze in our more trip to beach this weekend!



What kinds of fun things are you doing with your kiddos this summer?
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Friday, July 22, 2011

National Hot Dog Day....Maybe

At the beginning of each month in the summer my boys get a calendar of children's activities from our church. Our children's director always includes fun facts and even more fun holidays, along with the normal church activities that are going on.
Earlier this week I notice that July 21st was labelled as National Hot Dog Day....so we made plans to go to our favorite drive in to celebrate. After a little research, I found out that depending on which website you visit you could actually celebrate National Hot Dog Day on more than a few different days:) One website said July 19th, a few said July 21st, but the majority said that it was actually tomorrow Saturday July 23rd. I don't know which is right, but since we had already made plans, we ate and celebrated National Hot Dog Day yesterday {July 21st}...and maybe we'll have another hot dog tomorrow {Saturday, July23rd} just for the fun of it:)


So if you are looking for something fun to do this with your kiddos weekend, why not celebrate National Hot Dog Day...at least one website says that it's tomorrow:)
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Guest Judge at The CSI Project

{Just in case you missed it}
This week I have the honor of being the Guest Judge over at The CSI Project.
Visit thecsiproject.com
Click over and read the {way too flattering} introduction post the girls at The CSI Project put together for me. The theme this week is Beachy Vingettes and Projects! So I will be spending the next two days checking out all the awesome beach inspired projects that are linked up. Head over to The CSI Project and link up a few of your own beachy projects and check out all the other amazing ideas that have already been linked up.
If you need a little bit of Beachy inspiration click over and check out this week's three guest tutorials including a Beachy Mantel {by Paula from Sweet Pea}, a Nautical Mantel {by Patty from Our Adventures in Big Ole Texas}, and some Poolside Patio Decor {by Wendy from Craft Goodies}.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cupcake Waffles

I've had a cake mix in my pantry calling my name for weeks now! I had planned to make this fun creation weeks ago...you know when I was on my waffle kick...but I got distracted by kids, crafts, trips, and the 4th of July. The last few times I've opened my pantry all I could think about was that darn box of cake mix! So I finally got around to making my fun treat yesterday, and let me tell you it was totally worth the wait! So instead of keeping you in suspense any longer, I will tell you how you can make this yummy treat I call Cupcake Waffles:)
 Drool worthy right?!? The beauty is that they are really {no I mean REALLY} easy to make!
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Start with your favorite box of cake mix. I chose Funfetti cake mix simply because I thought the kiddos would like that best...what kid doesn't love sprinkles in their cake:) Make your cake mix according to the directions on the package.
 Warm up your waffle iron, spray it with non stick cooking spray, and them put your cake batter on the waffle iron. I used my trusty Pampered Chef scoop {the large size} that I normally use for cupcakes and I put three {plus just a little more} scoops.
 Cook your cupcake waffles on medium heat. You want them to cook through without getting too crispy on the outside. We are going for the texture of a cupcake but in the shape of a waffle:)
 Remove the waffle from your waffle iron and separate it into sections. Let it cool slightly.
 Put two sections of waffle on a plate and put a {smallish} scoop of ice cream on one of the sections...
 ...sandwich the two waffle pieces together...
 ...then top your cupcake waffle creation off with the icing of your choice. Again I chose Funfetti icing just because sprinkles makes everything more fun:)
And that is how you can have yummy {ice cream filled} cupcake waffles without ever turning on your oven!
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Monday, July 18, 2011

Project Airstream: Demo and Paint

A few weeks ago I shared that we were the proud new owners of an Airstream travel trailer. I shared a few pictures of the {in pretty good shape} exterior, but what I didn't show you was the interior. This is partly because it is outrageously hard to take a decent picture inside a tiny travel trailer, and partly because the before is pretty bad! But since we have made a little progress and now you can {hopefully} see a little bit of my vision, I have some interior pictures to share with you:) 

This is the front of the Airstream when you come in the door. This is a fold out couch, and the place that Jason and I will call our bedroom at night. There is an overhead compartment and some storage underneath as well. This entire room was covered with those beautiful cream colored curtains. In the bottom right side of the picture you can see just a little of the kitchen counter top. The kitchen area consisted of a small sink, an ancient oven, a non-working refrigerator, and a small pantry.

This is the view looking from the front toward the back of the Airstream. On the right is the fridge, pantry and closet. You can see all the lovely 70's gold colored trim, and the weird vinyl wallpaper that was on some of the walls. The thing on the ceiling is the {dirty by still working} air conditioner. You can also see the really cool overhead storage compartments which we are currently trying to salvage just to keep a little bit of that vintage 70's Airstream feel.
Down the hall to the left is the bathroom that was covered with 70's floral wallpaper. The bathroom also had a ton of gold colored trim and a yellow & wood grain toilet.
In the back of the Airstream there were two twin beds with a night stand between them. You can see more of the same curtains, and you can also see just a little bit of the {pink} carpet on the front of the nightstand. We are planning on putting bunkbeds in the area so that the back will sleep four instead of two.
When we got ready to demo, Jason started out just removing some of the furniture and some of the things we knew we weren't going to use. He quickly figured out that it would be easier for us to clean and paint if EVERYTHING was removed. So that is exactly what he did. This is a view looking toward the front of the Airstream where the couch used to be.
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This is the kitchen/bathroom side of the travel trailer. You can see that the only things left are a few pipes and some hanging wires.
This is the side of where the fridge, pantry, and closet were. Right after I took these pictures, Jason and I got busy scrubbing every surface with bleach and scrub brushes.
After all the walls were clean, we painted. The front area of the Airstream as well as the bathroom got a coat of Sherwin Williams Gris. A lovely gray color that isn't too dark, but also isn't beige either. The back of the Airstream {aka the boys room and the closet} got a coat of Sherwin Williams Drizzle. We actually matched this color to some bedding that I bought for the boys from Ikea a few weeks ago. I thought this color was light and airy without being too girly and it also goes really well with the gray we picked. 
You can also see that we painted the floor with primer just to make sure that any leftover 70's germs were sealed up:) We are planning on putting in laminate wood floors later, but for now the painted floors are much better than the dirty, stained floors that we had.
This weekend we worked on painting some of the partition walls and getting them back into place. I will share more pictures as we  make more progress!
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Friday, July 15, 2011

Banana Pops

During a quick run to our local grocery store, my boys saw a box in the produce department that contained supplies to make banana pops. They asked if we could buy it, but I quickly said no. Little did they know, right then I made plans to make our own version at home without that little box:) We picked up a bunch of bananas and the other things that were on our list and headed home. While they were busy playing I whipped up a fun banana pop treat for them and I even added sprinkles to make them a little more fun:)
I started with a few bananas, chocolate melts, and lollipops stick. You will also need sprinkles, but somehow they didn't make it into my picture.
The first step was to cut my bananas in half and insert the lollipop sticks into the cut end of the bananas. I left the peel on the bananas and stuck them in the freezer for about an hour. I have seen these before and the directions say to peel the banana first, but I didn't want to worry about having a plate to sit them on in the freezer. Leaving the peel on allowed me just to stick the bananas in the freezer among the fish sticks, broccoli, and frozen waffles:)
After an hour in the freezer, I pulled out the bananas and removed the peel. Be sure to get all the peel and stringy things off...they can be stubborn in places and break because they are frozen.
Dip your frozen banana in melted chocolate. I used chocolate melts, but chocolate chips or almond bark would work too. Let some of the excess chocolate drip off the banana and then roll it around in your sprinkles. This is a messy step {notice I didn't get a picture of the sprinkle dipping}, so have a wet rag handy to wipe up your hands and any messes.
I left my bananas on the countertop to harden for about 15 minutes, but you can also stick them back in the freezer for a few minutes. Leaving them on the counter for a few minutes lets the banana soften up a little which makes it easier for little kiddos to eat them! Hand them over to your kiddos and watch their faces light up at the sight of all those fun sprinkles and yummy chocolate!
What kind of fun snacks have you been making for your kiddos this summer?
Weekend Bloggy Reading
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ugly Patio Box to Cute Outdoor Seating

We bought a patio box a few years ago to store all the boys outside toys. At the time it was really functional for keeping all their toddler riding toys, sand buckets, and their Fisher Price Bubble Mower in one place instead of all over the yard. We even used it as a seat sometimes, but over the years our patio box took a beating. It even had a hole in the top that I'm pretty sure came from a baseball bat. So when I started our patio makeover I knew something had to be done to our old neglected patio box.
The first thing I had to tackle was the big hole in the top of the lid....and it was duct tape to the rescue! I simply used stripes of duct tape on the outside and inside of the lid to seal up the hole.
 I bought a piece of foam and cut it to size with a bread knife...I've also heard an electric knife works well for cutting foam, but I was too lazy to dig ours out of the back of the kitchen cabinet:) After removing the lid from the box, I sprayed the lid with spray adhesive and stuck my cut to size piece of foam on it. Then I sprayed the top of the foam with spray adhesive. I placed the fabric upside down on the ground and carefully positioned the foam/lid onto the fabric.
 Using screws and my hubby handy drill, we attached the fabric to the lid after wrapping the fabric around the outside edge of the lid. I wasn't sure how a screw would work on the plastic lid, but after we found the right kind of screw it was no problem at all. I have no idea what kind of screw we used, just that some of the ones that we had wouldn't work:)
 This is what the inside of the lid looked like after I finished attaching the fabric and foam. If you try this make sure that you pay attention to where the hinges are so that you don't cover them up with fabric. My hinges where on the right side in the picture below which is why it looks different than the other three sides.
I impatiently waited for Jason to get home from work so he could reattach the lid for me. I tried a few times but couldn't figure it out:) Once the lid was in place, we had a great new seating area on our patio!
You can check out the rest of our patio makeover here!
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