Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Santa Paintbrush Ornament

Our kids usually add an ornament to their "collection" every year by making, buying, or receiving a new one.

I saw this ornament idea in the Lowe's Creative Ideas magazine and thought Jude would enjoy making it with me.  (I followed their overall idea, but made a few changes on the one we made.)

To make this ornament you will need:

  • a small paintbrush (I bought the one we used for 30 cents at a discount store...that was the total cost of this project because I had everything else at home.)  
  • goggly eyes (or can paint/draw them on)
  • white paint (or some cotton balls or a small piece of quilt batting)
  • red paint
  • white bead
  • small piece of twine or ribbon  
First paint the paintbrush handle red.  I taped the brush to make sure we didn't get red paint all over Santa's beard.

Then I cut a piece of extra batting and hot glued it around the brush to complete Santa's hat.

Glue on some eyes.  

Trim the brush into a more "beard-like" shape.  

Looking good, Mr. Claus!

Tie a piece of twine (or ribbon) in a loop.  Slide through the hole on the brush handle.  Add a bead and loop the twine through itself so the ornament can hang.   

I also added Jude's name and the date on the back of the ornament.

Pretty cute!

Jude is loving his 2011 Santa ornament!  

P.S. - A big thank you to Ginger at gingersnapcrafts for featuring my make ahead egg recipe today...stop by and say hello to her!

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Natural Heat Corn Bags

Since my mother has perpetually cold feet from about September through May (she will agree with me on that statement!), she found out how to make these natural heating bags to use during the winter months.  You heat them in the microwave and can have a portable and natural heat source.

Simply sew a pillowcase (or any shape) out of a sturdy fabric, 

fill with field corn (unless you want popcorn every time you use it!), 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pulls

9 years ago yesterday Ryan and I got engaged.  :)  

On our first date we ordered cheddar bacon fries (dipped in ranch).  And we usually feast on them when we go out on our wedding anniversary every year.  So when I found this recipe (on pinterest of course!) for Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pulls I thought it would be a hit.  (Well, we personally think any time you combine bacon, cheese, and ranch dressing you can't go wrong!!!)

And I was right because this was awesome!  Check out the recipe here.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


The Angelus by Jean Francois Millet
"With food on our table and friends at our door,
we have much to be thankful for."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

No real post today...

I've got nothing here...well, that's not entirely true.  I have one 6 year-old with the stomach flu.  Oh joy.  (I thought we missed it with the happenings from last week.)  What makes it worse is that my poor kindergartener is missing her Thanksgiving feast she (and I) are both bummed.

I will be very thankful tomorrow if this bug skips over the other 4 household members here.  Keeping my fingers crossed!  Stay healthy everyone!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mini-Make Ahead Eggs

Ellen loves scrambled eggs for breakfast.  (I have tried feeding her every other breakfast food: dry cereal, waffles, French toast, French toast sticks, bananas, oatmeal, pancakes...not a fan of any of those.)  And while school mornings here can be a bit hectic, I usually don't want to be dealing with egg shells, salmonella, and watching eggs scramble during the morning hours.  It's also easiest if Ellen is in her high chair (and not underfoot) in the morning.  

So I thought it would be easier if I made a bunch of mini-quiche style eggs for her at the beginning of the week and could just pop them in the microwave for her on busy mornings.  

I scrambled 6 eggs and added a splash of milk, mixing everything together.  I sprayed my muffin tin poured the eggs into 6 muffin spots and baked them at 350 for about 20 minutes.  Easy.  Now I just pop one "muffin" in the microwave for 10 seconds and breakfast is served.    

Makes for happier and easier mornings for everyone!

PS - Happy Birthday to our favorite Aunt Jane!  :) 

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Baseball Poster Framed

I have been carefully saving a baseball poster that Ryan got at a game in 2008.  (It even survived our move 2 years ago!)  
The reasons I saved it were: 

1) it was free.
2) it is of Ryan's favorite baseball team...and subsequently Jude's as well.
3) Jude was born in 2008.
4) I thought it would be something fun to hang (inexpensively) in Jude's room.

The only problem with the poster was it was an odd size: 24x16.  And I didn't want to spend a lot to get it framed.  I had been searching for an inexpensive frame (in decent shape or one that I could paint) that would fit the poster at the thrift store but had no luck.  But when Clare and I stopped by Goodwill this weekend I finally found one that would work.  

We found this simple poster frame in good shape for $3.  The frame is 24x18. 

We took out the picture of the house dated March 1980.

Then just painted the cardboard backing with some red craft paint I had on hand.

(Can you tell by the toothpick and marshmallow cube that
Clare has been learning about spheres, cones, and cylinders in math class??)

After it dried we popped the baseball poster in place.  Jude was very pleased.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Painting the Half-Bathroom

I decided while Ryan was out of town a couple of weeks ago to paint our small half bathroom on the 1st floor.  It was a dark beige before and had not been painted with a wipeable/washable paint.  Not good with kids in the house.  

I patched all of the holes and then painted with the same green that I used in the kids' upstairs bathroom.


It is so much brighter in there!  (Although its hard to tell from this picture since there isn't any natural light anywhere near this room.)    

And I also came up with an idea for the wall behind the toilet...

I have lots of room to add to this collage!

(Have an idea for the mdf guy on the right...)

Next up I would love to frame the mirror like they did here.  Looks easy enough!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


It's been quite the week here...  Does anyone else have children on the "BRAT" diet???  And then been to Walmart for some of this stuff:

Hoping my patient is on the upswing today.  

Until we get there...someone has discovered she can climb into the one kitchen cabinet....     

So much fun!  At least someone is healthy!   

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Best Macaroni and Cheese Ever!

There are certain foods Ryan has asked me never to cook...any and all casseroles, tuna noodle casserole, macaroni and cheese...  But over the summer our friends had us over for dinner and served homemade macaroni and cheese that.Ryan.loved.  My kids all devour this when I make it!  (Especially Ellen!)

Here is the recipe...
1 lb. elbow macaroni
2/3 of the 16 oz. block of Velveeta cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar (or whatever other cheese you would like)
1/2 cup of butter

Cook macaroni; drain and salt and pepper according to taste.

Spread half of noodles in 9x13 greased dish. Dot with 4 tablespoons of butter.  Cover with combination of Velveeta and shredded cheddar.  (I microwaved the cheese together for about 30 seconds to make it more "mixable.")  Layer rest of noodles, dot with last 4 tablespoons of butter and cover with remaining half of cheeses.  

Pour milk over mixture so that when you push you index finger through to the bottom of the dish the milk reaches the first knuckle of you finger.

Bake at 350 covered for about 20 to 30 minutes.  Uncover and continue cooking till brown but not dry.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Girls' Night Out - Bachelorette Party

Starting out this week with a post from last weekend's trip...

My mom, sisters, Ellen, and I went out to a winery for a bachelorette party for the bride-to-be!  


Ellen enjoying some pizza. 

Newly-wed Mary Jo modeling the cake she made bought.  

 Banana with fudge filling...yummy!  

Marbs starts her game of "would you rather..."  

Fun girls' night out!

(PS - I'm a good mom...I promise!)