Friday, June 28, 2013

Old to New Mosaic Table

Years ago I bought a little side table for the lawn chair on my deck....but after a hail storm, and life outside over the last few years....the glass mosaic was falling apart, but the iron stand was in great condition, so I decided to rebuild and retile.  
 I got some cheap/thin wood from Home Depot and drew the outline of the insert.  My friend Terry cut it out for me via a jig saw (because I've lost one....this is a problem, a jig saw isn't exactly a button....I don't know how one loses a jig saw....)
 I slipped it down into the hole, but if you found a cheap table, you can build your own design over the existing table top.
 I had some left over grout from a bathroom project (I can't stand 'real' home repairs-anytime I actually do something 'real' I expect to get a letter of congratulations from the president or something...I'm still waiting for my letter...).  I found some mosaic tiles at Michael's (near the candy and soap making supplies, though you could use dishes or tiles and break up your own!), and I grabbed a bag of gemstones, and a plastic glove to eliminate the 3rd and 4th bath it would have required to remove the mess.
 I put one thin layer of grout down on the wood, stuck my tiles and gems down, and then covered the whole thing (all the cracks) with grout.  I then took about 600 towels and wiped off the tiles and gems so they showed, but the grout surrounds them making a flat surface.
Now I feel the need to go and get all new lawn pillows to match....seems like a sound plan....


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Spa Party

 Each year, in the spring, things get a little tense in Texas elementary schools as the STAAR test arrives.  The day of testing everything is in shut down mode.  Teacher's 'actively' monitoring groups testing....which means staring at students with two little breaks via an administrator to escape.  This year the Leadership Team brainstormed something fun for the teachers to be able to swing by and 'do' during their short break....and the school spa was born.  My teammate and I put together some invitations that were in the form of water bottles with little spa girls and fun phrases I printed on paper and cut down, then we taped onto the bottles.
We also attached trail mix packs to get them through until their break-pretzels, almonds, and bliss candy (hence the name).
It always starts with a fun invite for me.  I've seen lots of fun spa themed party ideas, but since this was for a massive group (and on a teacher's budget)....this was as good as it got this go 'round!
 We put lotions and chocolates in a basket...provided music, a fountain, little massage things.  We also rolled up little towels, got them wet and added some mint and then put a crockpot on warm (still had to watch them b/c they got hot after a few hours, but it was fun).
 The principals brought some massage chairs....which my teammate and I tried out to make sure they worked when we were setting up ;o)....they worked.
 We also provided semi healthy snacks....

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Salad in a Jar

I've been obsessed with anything in a jar for awhile now.  I've seen this idea popping up throughout the net....what a great idea for a picnic/camp out.  You don't have to pack all your ingredients in separate containers, but can jar it all up either in a large jar, or smaller jars.
The key is....put your dressing at the bottom of your jar, then put something like carrots, or celery (something 'sturdier' that won't wilt over night/in the cooler swimming in dressing.  I put a layer of dressing/carrots/celery, cherry tomatoes, then the lettuce.  You can leave a little room at the top if you want to shake it in the jar and eat it as is, or dump it on a plate and the pouring will do the work for ya.  You can toss these right into the cooler...that's my kind of no stress, no mess meal.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Picnic Plates To Go

 I'm putting together a few ideas I'll share shortly on picnic ideas.  I know one annoying little thing is when you have to bring all the utensils/plates/napkins blah blah blah.  At some point-I'll be chasing that stack of napkins across other people's blankets....
I saw the idea for attaching all the utensils to plates and thought....duh!  I adapted the original idea just a tad, but how easy...grab your utensils and some napkins and a hole punch...
 I found some cute straws, but a glow stick, or a little patriotic flag would be cute for each person as well. I rolled them all in the napkins and then punched a hole on the side of a plate.
I strung some ribbon through the hole and tied the utensil 'pack' to the side, and now I just have to pack a plate for each person and pass them out before we dig into the food.  My napkin will be the only thing I have to chase this go round.  


Friday, June 21, 2013

July 4th Posts

I created a board on pinterest with some of my July 4th post (pins housed here, can also click July 4th below under labels, or go to the pins to weed through what sounds good).  I have quite a few little post....good for any summer cookout, but-clearly, a little patriotic.  My favorite didn't make the screen shot, but I love these Apple Pie Cupcakes (recipe here).  
July 4th is definitely one of my favorite holidays.  I was in Brazil last year over the 4th....which concreted-I don't want to be gone over the 4th ever again! ...and now....I'm off to put a few more crafts together before the picnic/firecracking 4th heads this way again!  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mac and Cheese....and Meat!

I blame Regan for this recipe.  It's so good.  It's so not calorie friendly.  But....some meals are worth it.  This is worth it, but you should probably make it with a big crowd coming....or don't tell anyone you made it and then ate it, and sit around with your friends over coffee lamenting your inability to lose weight.  Not that I'd EVER do a thing like that....but if I were going to, this is what I'd be eating, with gusto, behind closed doors.  I even halved the recipe and I'm pretty sure it would have served an army....or at least a cub scout troop....or some body of people that eats a lot.   And so if you have a large group, or a hankering for some really devine mac and cheese with yummy meat (pretty much the food pyramid in one dish)....here ya go...
Cheese and Sausage Mac and Cheese
Ingredients:  1 lb Italian sausae, 1 lb dry elbow noodles, 8 T unsalted butter, 1/2 c. flour, 1/2 t. kosher salt, 1/2 t. black pepper, 2 1/2 c. milk, 3 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese, 1 1/2t. Tabasco sauce, 2 c. shredded Gouda Cheese
Instructions: 
1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x13 inch dish with cooking spray. 
2.  Brown sausage until cooked and crumbled.  Drain extra fat and set aside. 
3.  Cook pasta following pkg instructions, dran, and run under cool water.  Set aside. 
4.  Melt butter in a large pan on medium.  Whisk in flour, salt, and pepper until thick and bubbly.  Slowly whisk in milk.  Keep whisking until milk is thick.  Reduce heat and stir in mozzarella and cheddar cheese until smooth and creamy. 
5.  Stir in sausage and cooked pasta.  Place in baking dish and top with shredded Gouda cheese.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and hot.  Serve warm. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Dino Pack

 I recently went to visit my buddy, Donovan, and his new little brother in Florida.  I brought along bribes.  A year or so back I won an adorable Dinosaur gift back from Anji at StarkingCrafty.  She sells party supplies on Etsy. They are super cute.  Her pack came with dinosaur finger puppets, adorable dinosaur shaped crayons, a book, and model, and coloring book pack, paint, and dinosaur print stamp.  I bought How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? and a four pack of dinosaur puzzles (when I asked I was told that he likes books and puzzles right now-a guy after my own heart).  Here is a close up of the crayons.....

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Crockpot Coke Chicken

It's summer...this means I don't want the oven to run.  Ever.  The sun heats up this house enough.  I'm always on the hunt for crockpot recipes I like.  Honestly, I'd say most of the ones I try are NOT good.  I should start a blog of recipes you should never try.  Ever.  This recipe would NOT be on that blog because it really was tasty.  The chicken was moist.  The house is still cool.  Yay!  The original recipe is from a website called southernplate.  It's easy.  This is also a good recipe quality.  Tasty.  Easy.  No additional heat added to the atmosphere. 
Slow Cooked Coke Chicken
Ingredients:  Whole chicken, 1 lemon, 1 onion, 1 bottle of your fav. bbq sauce, 1 can coke
Instructions:  Peel and quarter onion.  Quarter lemon.  Place chicken in the bottom of your crockpot.  Toss lemon and onion on top.  Pour entire bottle of bbq sauce and coke over the top.  Cook all day on low, or cook on high 4 hours. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

July 4th Mailing

I'm always looking for fun things to send through the mail in unusual packaging.  I did a group of these for Halloween, but round two is going out this year for the kiddos to play with on July 4th.  They sell these tubes of glowsticks for a buck at Michael's and the dollar stores in the area.  When I was little I remember begging my mom for one 4 dollar glow necklace at amusement parks, so it's like gold.
They are already sealed, I just added a mailing label-stars and the stamp....for under 3 bucks I'm keeping my status as 'cool aunt' not to be confused with postal service status as 'annoying customer.'  You win some.  You lose some.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Firecracker Party Favors

I made these little firecracker table favors this year for July 4th.  
For the pull, I attached a little piece of wrapped candy to a string with tape.  
I taped it inside as well.  
 I covered the bottom of a toilet paper tube with tissue paper, making a small hole to pull the string through with scissors.
I cut little pieces of folded strips of tissue paper so there was a fringe...
...and I glued these to the body of the tube.  
I filled the open end with candy.  
 I punched a little hole on both sides and added a string so they can hang, and then added a little cap.
 


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Baby Gift: Box of Bows and Beads

I've seen these ideas around the net of giving baby socks/bows etc in egg cartons, and I've joined the trend.  I'm egg carton obsessed.  It's just how God made me.  I've been felt bow crazy this past year too.  Here are a bunch of tutorials for making these bows.  I usually added elastic bands.  
 This time I added two with clips.  I just glue them on with the felt over the top of the clip to cover up all that glue.
I also added some baby pearls.  What girl doesn't need pearls at 3 months?  Here is that simple tutorial.  
 I boxed them up, and shipped it out.  Changing the world one frivolous babble at a time.  Next up world peace.