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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top 10 Posts of 2011

Apparently food was a big deal on my blog in 2011:)
Nine out of the top 10 posts from this year are some form of food including 4 posts about waffles! So here they are, starting with #1 and going all the way to #10...the Top 10 Posts on Random Thoughts of a SUPERMOM! in 2011:
#1 Rainbow Waffles

#10 Brownie Waffles

Thank you all so much for being such awesome blog friends, followers, and commentors! I am looking forward to another fun year...and apparently I need to start working on some more fun waffle ideas!
Have a wonderful New Year's! See ya in 2012!
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Friday, December 30, 2011

Oh My Crafts Vinyl

I got an early Christmas present in the mail a few weeks ago...a big box of vinyl from Oh My Crafts! Even though we got a ton of packages in the mail in December, I was extra excited about getting this big box of goodies, and I was SUPER excited to open it up and start creating.

The first thing I noticed when I opened up my box of goodies was that the vinyl wasn't in rolls but big sheets.  I was really used to the rolls I've bought before from craft stores and Silhouette, so I was a little uncertain about the sheets...but they ended up being way better than I could have imagined! The best part about these sheets is that they load into my Silhouette 100 times easier than the rolls! I normally have to try and load a piece of roll vinyl at least three times before it goes in straight...and the first time I put a piece of Oh My Crafts vinyl in my machine it went in with no problems! The vinyl sheets are 12 X 24, so I do have to trim down the sheets because my Silhouette will only load a 9 inch wide sheet, but if you have the newer Cameo or the bigger Cricut you won't have to trim at all! Oh My Crafts also sell rolls of vinyl but I think I may be sold on sheets instead:)
Before Christmas I used my Oh My Crafts vinyl to make a ton of great gifts. These cute paint bucket tins were in the dollar section at Target. I added an initial with red vinyl and some pretty red and green ribbon. Then I filled them up with goodies and I ended up with the perfect teacher gift for Christmas! I ended up making 13 of these little cuties and only used about half a sheet of vinyl!
My box of goodies also included a Vinyl Squeegee Tool. I have always just used my ruler or scissors to smooth down my vinyl...and I am so glad I have this Squeegee now! I'm actually kind of mad at myself for not spending the $3 on one a long time ago! It made applying my vinyl so much easier!
After I finished up teacher gifts, I moved on to the kiddos' class party stuff! I used a piece of my black Oh My Crafts Vinyl to make lots and lots of little circles {aka snowman eyes and smiles}...
...to make these:

The last vinyl project I have to share with you is a really fun one that my boys love:) And yeah, if you are thinking it's kind of hard to come up with a vinyl project for boys you are right!

Henry and Grant both got bow and arrow sets for Christmas this year and a couple of the arrows have suction cups on them. In true boy fashion, they got a huge kick out of shooting them at the glass on our doors....so Jason grabbed a dry erase marker and drew a bulls-eye for them. But after a couple of hours and more than a few kiddos taking trips in and out the door, the dry erase marker had been smeared and wiped off. So I decided a nice vinyl bulls-eye would work perfectly!  
{Apparently my boys feel the need to run around without shoes or shirts on in the middle of December! It was in the 70's that day so I didn't worry about him too much.}
I used my Silhouette to cut out a couple of circle on some fun red glittery vinyl to make the bulls-eye. It's kind of hard to see up on the door, so I included this picture so you can see how pretty and sparkly it is!
I was very impressed with all of my Oh My Crafts vinyl and I can't for things to slow down a little here so I can create even more fun crafty things with my new stash of vinyl! If you are interested in trying out Oh My Crafts vinyl, now is a great time! They have some great deals going on right now and if you use the code OMCBLOG10 you can save 10% on your entire order!

*Thanks so much to the people at Oh My Crafts for providing me with a free sample of their vinyl. No other compensation was given and all opinions are mine!*

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Few Days Late

I realize that we are 4 days past Christmas, but I haven't said it to all of you yet: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 We have been way too busy!
{shopping, wrapping, and assembling presents}

The boys got way too many toys!
{The playroom looks like Toys R Us exploded in there}

We have eaten way too much junk food!
{cookies and candy and chex mix. Oh My}

And we still have six more days until school starts and we can get back into our normal routine!
For now we are baking more cookies, jumping in the new trampoline, playing with lots of toys {including my new toy: an iPhone}, working on the Airstream, watching Home Alone on the dvr, and getting a new puppy. I'll be back tomorrow with a review of some awesome vinyl that I got to sample thanks to Oh My Crafts!
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Upcycled Wooden Nativity

I pinned this really adorable Wooden Nativity a few months ago. {The original idea came from Learning to Be Me and I have seen similar ideas a few other places online too}. When I first pinned it, I figured I would either get Jason to stop and pick up some lumber from the hardware store, or I would raid his pile of wood scraps to find what I needed. But one day I glanced out the back door and noticed this:
If you can't tell what this is, I'll enlighten you:) This is a cute wooden table set {there are two chairs in the set too} that my boys got second hand from my aunt. It survived in our playroom for a few years, and then got moved to the clubhouse a few years later. Needless to say the boys were kind of rough on the table and chairs...a few of the chair slats got broken, as did one of the legs to the table. This table was actually in the trash/burn pile until I decided it would be perfect for the adorable Wooden Nativity sets! The legs of the table were the perfect size for Mary and Joseph and the broken slats from the chairs were just right to make a few Baby Jesus figures.

I don't have any pics of the process...mostly because I was using power tools by myself and I figured operating a saw and my camera at the same time wasn't the best idea ever:)

After I broke off the other three table legs, I used the dimensions from my inspiration {6 inches for Joseph & 5 inches for Mary}, marked the wooden legs with a pencil, and then cut them to size. The Baby Jesus pieces were cut from the chair slats and I made them 2 1/2 inches tall. Joseph got a coat of tan spray paint, Mary got a lovely shade of blue, and I painted the Baby Jesus pieces white. Then I painted the heads an off white/yellowish color {just because that is what I had on hand}. 
After all the paint was dry, I borrowed Jason's superglue and attached the heads to each of the figures {Mary & Joseph's heads are 1 3/4 inch wooden balls and Baby Jesus' head is a 1 1/4 inch wooden ball that I picked up at Hobby Lobby.} I let the superglue dry for about 20 minutes, then I tied the three pieces together with some raffia. I'm planning on adding a little note with Merry Christmas and the year to the back of each set with vinyl and then giving them out as Christmas presents to a few family members. Not a bad gift considering it started out as a broken table!
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Initial Tee's

We have a lot of Christmas traditions.
Christmas Eve breakfast and then ornament shopping, getting three gifts from Santa like the three gifts that Baby Jesus received from the Wise Men, making Gingerbread Houses and Cookie Cutter Men {that's what Eli calls gingerbread men}, new Christmas PJ's....and the list goes on and on! 

One tradition I started a few years ago was making the boys a cute new Christmas shirt to wear during all the fun holiday festivities. You can see some of their shirts from years past here, here, and here

This year I decided to go a little bit funky/non-traditional with their shirts, and I think they turned out SUPER cute {though I don't think Jason was very fond of the yellow chevron fabric I used because he said it wasn't really Christmas-y.} Oh well, the boys got a ton of compliments on their shirts when they wore them for pajama day at school last week! Even thought Eli's not in the picture, he has a shirt too...he just didn't want to wear his new pajamas the day that Henry and Grant wore theirs to school:)
I started with some green long sleeve tee's that picked up at Target for around $4. I dug through my fabric stash and found some cute fabrics that would match the boys new Christmas pajama pants. I ended up with yellow & white chevron fabric, red felt, and just a little bit of green & white polka dot fabric. I grabbed a few bowls from the kitchen and used them to trace circle on the chevron fabric and the felt. Then I printed out each of the boys' initials and used spray adhesive to attach them to the polka dot fabric. I layered the circles, added the initial on top, and sewed everything into place. I used spray adhesive to attach the whole thing to the shirts, then I sewed the biggest circle to the shirts. 

 Oh and did I mention I procrastinated these until the night before the boys needed to wear them, so I whipped up three of these in about an hour...yep that's how simple they are to make, and what a huge procrastinator I am! SUPER simple and SUPER cute Christmas Initial Tee's! 
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Monday, December 19, 2011

Candy Cane Cupcakes

I signed up to bring cupcakes to Henry's class party last week...mostly because I wanted to try this fun Christmas twist on Rainbow Cupcakes, and I didn't really have any other reason to make cupcakes:) These cupcakes are SUPER easy to make, but can be a little bit tedious...though not as bad the Rainbow ones that have 6 different colors. Food coloring and a little bit of colored sugar sure do make for some cute cupcakes!
Start by mixing up a white cake mix according to the directions and then dividing it into two bowls. I used two boxes of cake mix because I needed a ton of cupcakes}
Use red and white {YES they make white food coloring! I picked mine up at Hobby Lobby for less than $2 a bottle, and the white really does work...though I did end up just pouring the whole bottle into mine!} food coloring to make your batter the color of candy canes:)
Start with white cupcake wrappers. Add just enough red colored batter to cover the bottom of the cupcake wrapper. 
Then add a layer of the white batter being sure to make the batter completely cover the color underneath.
Continue layering the batter as much as you can until the cupcake is about 2/3 full. I ended up with four layers {red,white,red,white}.
After the cupcakes cooled I iced them with white icing and coated them with red sugar sprinkles...you could also do red icing and even add some crushed candy canes to the top!
When you bite into them, this is what you get:
Not really striped like a candy cane, but still pretty and SUPER impressive to the kiddos:)
Do you make any candy cane themed treats for Christmas!
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Snowman Juice Boxes

Last week when I opened up Grant's backpack there was nice little note from his teacher. It had information about their class Christmas party, and at the bottom it had a little line that said "Can you please send..." You all know that I am kind of an over-achiever when it comes to school treats, so when I saw juice boxes on that little line I was kind of disappointed....until I remembered these cute Mummy and Turkey juice boxes that I had seen earlier in the year! I decided that I wasn't going to just send boring old juice boxes, I was going to rock the juice boxes for Grant's class! I did a little search on Pinterest and surprisingly there were very few {actually I don't think I found any} Christmas themed juice boxes...I'm guessing because most people do the milk and cookies thing! So I brainstormed a few ideas and decided on Snowman Juice Boxes!
 I started by wrapping the front and two sides of the juice box with white cardstock. I decided to leave the back of the juice box uncovered so it would be easy to remove the straw. I measured my juice box, cut the paper to size, applied a few lines of glue dot runner, and then folded the paper onto the juice box. 
 I used my Silhouette to cut out a ton of black circle onto some {Oh My Crafts} vinyl. If you don't have a craft cutter, you could use a circle punch or even a hole punch. I also cut out some cute snowman noses onto some orange paper...I would have used vinyl for that too but I didn't have any orange:) 
 I put the black vinyl circles on the front of the juice box for eyes and a smile and I added the orange noses with a little bit of glue. To finish them off I added a cute scarf to each juice box made out of ribbon and ric rac.
I'm hoping these Snowman Juice Boxes are a hit at Grant's class party tomorrow:)
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2011 Reading Fair Projects

Last week Henry and Grant both participated in their school's Reading Fair. We ended up deciding on two Eric Carle books, The Mixed-up Chameleon for Grant and A House for Hermit Crab for Henry. Before the boys started their projects, I did a little research online and found some really great slideshows on the Eric Carl website that show how he illustrates his books. After watching the slideshows, we decided to let the boys make part of their boards like Eric Carle makes his books! I don't have any pictures of the process mostly because Henry and Grant did most of the work in the afternoons and it was too dark for good pics...but also because I was too busy trying to keep Eli from running through all the wet paint to take pictures:)
 To make the Chameleon and the Hermit Crab, Jason fashioned a homemade projector out of a work light and a few cardboard boxes. I traced the cover of the book onto a piece of plastic and put it on the projector, then the boys traced the Chameleon and the Hermit Crab onto some white paper using the projector to make them just the right size for their project boards. After they finished tracing, Henry and Grant cut each section of their animal out and made a sort of stencil to use on the colored paper that they had painted. Henry also got to do some splatter painting to make the sand for his board...I think that may have been his favorite part because of how messy it was:)
The boys didn't win anything at the Reading Fair, but they had a ton of fun reading some great books and learning to illustrate like Eric Carle! I think we may have a few more Eric Carle books in our reading fair future!
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Nutter Butter Snowman Snacks

If you have kiddos in school, you more than likely have more than one Christmas party to attend this week. That also means you more than likely need to take some sort of yummy treat too. I know some parents would much rather be the plate/cup/napkin bringers, but I LOVE to bring something fun and yummy for the kiddos to enjoy...even if it is way harder than just picking up some cups:) So if you're like me and crazily think that bringing cute treats for your kiddo's class is fun, then try out these {oh so adorable and really not that hard to make} Nutter Butter Snowman Snacks.
 My inspiration for these cuties came from Pinterest {surprise, surprise}. Here's a link to my pin and a link to the blog post {My Pretty Purse} where the pin is from:)
 Start by dipping your Nutter Butter in white candy coating aka almond bark. I used a toothpick stuck in between the two cookie pieces to dip them {though it didn't work every time because the toothpick slipped out or the cookie broke}. While the candy coating is still wet add two M&M's for buttons, mini chocolate chips for eyes and a smile, and an orange tic tac for the nose. They are SUPER cute this way, but to make them even cuter add some earmuffs too! I did the earmuffs the same way I did with my Simple Snowman Snacks last year....curl up the Pull n Peel and place them in the freezer to harden {this helps them keep their shape while the coating dries} then place the Pull n Peel on the snowman's head with two M&Ms on either side.
SUPER cute and really not that hard to make...though a little time consuming with all the small candy pieces. If you are concerned about nut allergies, you can use any other oval shaped cookie in place of the Nutter Butter.
What kind of fun treats are you making for your kiddos this year?
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Nativity Garden Flag

The busyness of the season has made our holiday decorating plans come to a stand still...especially outside. Other than taking down the fall decor and adding a few red and green things to our front doors, the outside of our house doesn't have a whole lot of Christmas cheer going on right now...no lights, no garland, basically no decorations at all.
Since Jason is the crazy brave one who climbs up on the roof every year to hang the lights {and there was no way I was going to try that while he was out of town for work}, I decided to remedy our lack of outside decorations as much as I could by making a new Christmas themed garden flag for our yard. It was SUPER simple to make, and the whole thing was basically free because I used fabric scraps from my stash:)
Burlap and Felt Nativity Garden Flag:
I started by digging out some red and white material, red burlap, and my bag o' felt scraps.
After a couple of google searches for inspiration,  I drew a little sketch of what I wanted the design to look like...can you tell I'm not an artist!?!
I used an old garden flag as a guide and cut a double layer of the red and white fabric {folded at the bottom to make the bottom edge finished}. I added a little extra length to the top to accommodate for the hanger.
I used my pinking shears to cut the fabric so it wouldn't fray and I wouldn't have to worry about finishing the edges. I sewed around the two sides and the top with my sewing machine. You could easily make this no sew by using a hot glue gun!
I folded over the extra fabric to make the hanger, and then sewed {or hot glue} it into place.
I cut a piece of the red burlap to fit on the front of the flag.
I cut all the shapes for the Nativity scene out of felt. I laid the design out on the red burlap to make sure everything looked good, then I picked it up piece by piece and attached them with spray adhesive. After everything was in place on the red burlap, I turned the burlap over and applied a good coat of spray adhesive to it and then placed it on the flag. I also sewed around the edges of the burlap to secure it {and again you could totally use hot glue if you don't want to sew}.
With all the Santas, reindeer, and snowmen out there it can sometimes be hard to decorate for Christmas with Christ in mind, so I'm glad we have this little addition to our decor to remind us why we really celebrate this season! I'm thinking this might make a really cute kiddos shirt too...what do you think?!?

My sweet friend Richella  over at Imparting Grace is hosting a great linky party called Home for the Holy Days! A great place to share the ways you and your family keep Christ the center of your Christmas. Go over and check it out and say a quick hello to the oh so sweet Richella:)
Imparting Grace
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