Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day Fun

Not a new idea, but I tried these valentine's out this year and they got RAVE reviews.  Not only are these such a cute idea, but they will always be unique since the child in the picture is unique.  I'm hoping we can do them each year and compare. We also realized that it is nice for the young ones that can't write yet, in they don't need to be "signed" by who its from.

Simply take a photo of your child holding out a fist.  You can add words and hearts before printing (like I've done), or have your child decorate after with stickers, etc.  Get 4x6 prints made, then punch the top and bottom of the fist. Insert a sucker and you've got one adorable valentine!  

This "Despicable Me" minion box for cards was made from a large Kleenex box.  All it took was construction paper, pipe cleaners and toilet paper tubes wrapped with aluminum foil for the goggles. The best part is beyond Valentine's Day, it becomes a wonderful play thing for my kids.

Saturday, March 17, 2012



For the cake:
Butter for pan
1 cup Guinness stout
10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3/8 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups superfine sugar
3/8 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

For the topping:
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream.

  1. For the cake: heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper. In a large saucepan, combine Guinness and butter. Place over medium-low heat until butter melts, then remove from heat. Add cocoa and superfine sugar, and whisk to blend.
  2. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add to Guinness mixture. Add flour and baking soda, and whisk again until smooth. Pour into buttered pan, and bake until risen and firm, 45 minutes to one hour. Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely in pan.
  3. For the topping: Using a food processor or by hand, mix confectioners' sugar to break up lumps. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth. Add heavy cream, and mix until smooth and spreadable.
  4. Remove cake from pan and place on a platter or cake stand. Ice top of cake only, so that it resembles a frothy pint of Guinness.

Yield: One 9-inch cake (12 servings).

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Medal Hanger

Make your own medal hanger and show off all that hard work!

Piece of wood
Small wooden letters
Cup Hooks
Picture Hangers

  1. Get a piece of wood the size you would like. Lowe’s and Home Depot will cut it to size for you. Or craft stores also sell blank wood plaques that you could use as well. The board should be minimum 1/2” thick to accommodate the hangers. (my board was 12” x 5.5”)
  2. Paint the piece of wood and the letters any color you would like.
  3. Mark out where each hanger will go and pre-drill holes. (I found about a 1-1/2" space between hooks works well)
  4. Screw in the cup hooks by hand.
  5. Attach picture hangers to the back (one on each end to keep it level)
  6. Get your medals and display them!

Note: Instead of the wooden letters, you can paint right on the board, stencil or even print something on paper and mod-podge it right on the board.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Red Popcorn

As long I was on the popcorn kick, I had to post the recipe for "Red Popcorn". Grandma Hammer introduced this to me and I have been passing it on to friends and family since. Its another great Stir Crazy popper recipe!

Red Popcorn
{Red Hot Cinnamon Flavor}

1/2 cup popcorn
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup red hots
salt to taste

Put popcorn, oil and red hots into your stir crazy popper.  Turn it on and wait for it to pop. When the popping slows to a few seconds, turn the popper off and immediately flip it over into the bowl.  (The popcorn will burn if you don't move fast.) Salt to taste and enjoy!

Note: It looks like a major mess - it kind of is, but it cleans up a lot easier than it looks.  I just wouldn't let it sit too terribly long before cleaning up the bowl and popper.

Stir Crazy Kettle Corn!

I love my Stir Crazy popper.  
I found this recipe for kettle corn in the stir crazy
and had to give it a shot.  It was amazing!

Stir Crazy Kettle Corn
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
salt to taste

Put the popcorn kernels, sugar and oil in your stir crazy and turn it on.  Once the popping slows to around 3 seconds between pops, turn it off and flip it over.  Salt to taste.  Enjoy!

Note: The sugar makes the popcorn extra, extra hot so be careful!  Also, after you salt it, let it cool and just take a wooden spoon and mix it up a little to break apart the popcorn.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chicago Cubs Room

We are HUGE Cubs fans, so I gave our boys the baseball/Cubs room of their (and my husband's) dreams!

Wrigley Field print from Target

One of these Cabbage Patch Kids was my husband's as a child. The other was found at a garage sale by my father-in-law.


Pin Stripes on the Wall just like the Cubs Jerseys

The Norman Rockwell prints were in my husband's room as a child.  I just got new frames for them. The pennants are also vintage from hubby's childhood.

I found the light switch cover, but these are easy to make. Just print a pattern on paper and use mod podge on a plain light switch cover.

Hannah's Room

An adorable pink and brown room that can grow with my daughter.

I created this design on my computer first.  Then, used different sized bowls from my cupboard to make the circles.  Each flower is really just 7 circles.  The scalloped border is also a bowl half-circle repeated (easiest to make a cardboard template and trace).  A steady and hand and some patience is all that is required to paint them all.

The toy box was an unfinished cedar box I found and painted to match.

Pink flower light from IKEA and pink height chart from Hobby Lobby

This was an unfinished small dresser from IKEA ($40). 
I found painting all of the pieces BEFORE putting the dresser together made it so much easier and cleaner looking than if I had put the dresser together first.  I also figured that after my daughter outgrows the dresser, it can be her doll dresser.

I love these! They are Umbra flowers I found at Target and were originally gray. I simply spray painted them brown for the room. They look metal, but they are actually plastic. Very light and safe and really easy to install (a little tack goes in the wall first and then you "snap" the flower on). They have other shapes like butterflies that would be really cute, too.

I love wall quotes and found the perfect one for this room above the crib,
"Dream until YOUR dream comes true."

Hannah's Name
I purchased the letters at Hobby Lobby. They were all white (too boring for me!). I actually created the patterns on my computer first, printed them out on regular paper and then mod podged them onto the letters (which I painted the sides pink first).  When the mod podge dries clear, it looks just like the letters were hand painted! You could easily buy scrapbooking paper and do the same thing.