march cd calendar

>> 2.26.2010

today i created march's calendar.
you can download it here...


in the spirit of the olympics

>> 2.25.2010

feeding a hungry team? click here for my free shopping list download.
go team usa!


diy closet sachet

>> 2.24.2010

out, damned moths + must! out, I say!
if you've got any wool or wool blends in your closet, nasty hungry moths may be lurking. fight back naturally with lavender. check out the instruction below for my diy closet sachet.

step 1
gather supplies: scrap paper {i used my old paper source catalog}, cardboard {i used a cheez-it box}, template {see end of post to download template}, craft glue, exacto knife, bulldog clips, scrap muslin fabric
outline template on two sheets of scrap paper + cut out around edges
step 3
glue papers to cardbox box {wrong sides together} + allow to dry

step 4
once dry, cut out inner square using exacto knife
step 5
put glue around opening on printed side of cardboard + lay scrap muslin on top
step 6
repeat for 2nd hanger + allow to dry

step 7
once dry, add lavender buds or potpourri to center
step 8
put glue around opening + lay 2nd hanger on top
step 9
attach bulldog clips around edges + allow to dry overnight
step 10
hang over rod clothes rod in closet + keep your wool safe from moth holes!

click image below to download closet sachet template


paper covered pencils

>> 2.23.2010

a great use for the odd bits of paper left over from scrapbooking... paper covered pencils. grab your dollar store pencils + let's get crafting!

1. cut a strip of paper measuring 1″ x 7″.
2. apply mod podge on the back on the paper.
3. carefully place pencil on one edge of paper + with your fingers, smooth paper onto the pencil by rotating it {you may find it easier to roll it along on a flat surface}.
4. topcoat with a little bit more mod podge.
5. allow one hour to dry.
6. cut any excess paper with a sharp exacto blade.
7. sharpen + write!


get your irish on McMom

>> 2.22.2010

it's time to get your irish on!
make those irish eyes smile with my free downloadable McMom notes.

four to a page, just print + cut along the grey lines.
download is here...


diy cookie cutters

>> 2.19.2010

i have been waist deep in creating cookies all week. roll, cut, bake, frost, repeat!
here is a great tutorial on how to make your own cookie cutters from juggling frogs. or if you are looking for something with a bit more strength, check out this design your own cookie cutter kit.


how to make colored sugar

>> 2.18.2010

i was halfway through baking sugar cookies when i realized, i have no colored sugar sprinkles. sure white is fine but color makes all the difference! so i quickly whipped up a few colors. here's how i did it...

1/4 c. sugar
food coloring {liquid is best}

for each color of sugar sprinkles, place 1/4 c. of sugar in a bowl or plastic bag. add a couple drops of food coloring + mix or shake until the color is incorporated. if the color is not dark enough add a couple more drops or if it is too dark, add more sugar. store in an airtight container or plastic bag until ready to use.


crochet shamrock

>> 2.17.2010

do you crochet? i try but my extent of learning is through youtube. actually i consider the video creators my own personal coaches. so with my bottom planted firmly on the couch + my eyes glued to the olympics... i set out to make a cute little shamrock pin. if you get a chance {during the commercials of course}, check out this video on how to make a one piece crochet shamrock. if i can make it, I know you can!


pintucks demystified

>> 2.16.2010

pintuck: a small, narrow fold of fabric stitched together to create the appearance of a line or stripe. pintucks were very popular as ornamentation in the latter half of the 19th century; made easy with the invention of the sewing machine.

 love 'em or hate 'em? i love the vintage look on my pillows + they are easier than you think!

step1: on the right side of your fabric, mark the distance between the pintucks {mine are 3/4" apart}.
step 2: following the marks, fold the fabric along its length.
step 3: iron + pin the fabric to keep it from moving.
step 4: sew a  pintuck as close as possible to the fold line.
step 5: repeat steps 2 through 4 until you have all the pintucks sewn.
step: 6: iron + complete pillow as desired.

easy, right? be sure to send me photos of the pintuck pillows you create!
{click image below for detailed view of steps}


lunch box notes

>> 2.15.2010

my mom always put a little note in my lunchbox. i knew there would be one in there + couldn't wait until lunchtime to read it. it is the littlest things that brighten our day + a note from home reminds us that we are loved. create smiles for your kids with my free downloadable matryoshka doll lunchbox notes. 

four to a page, just print + cut along the grey lines.
download is here...


homemade heart donuts

>> 2.12.2010

thinking about a breakfast on sunday morning? me too! how about some homemade no yeast doughnuts... each one is a mini valentine treat.

1 1/2 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 c milk
1 egg
1/8 c butter, melted
1 t vanilla extract
2 q oil for deep frying

1. in a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt. make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg, butter, and vanilla. mix until well blended. cover and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.

2. heat oil in a deep heavy skillet or deep-fryer to 370 degrees F. on a floured board, roll chilled dough out to 1/2 inch thickness {the dough will be very sticky so don't skimp on the flour}. use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out doughnuts.

3. fry doughnuts in hot oil until golden brown, turning once. remove from oil to drain on paper plates. frost + sugar as you like. enjoy!


snow cream

>> 2.11.2010

when life hands you lemons, make lemonade!
when life hands you snow {yup, we are on snow day 3}, make snow cream! just a few simple ingredients + my cabin fever almost melts away .

here's how to make snow cream:
collect a large bowl of clean fallen snow. stir in 1/2 c. of sugar, 1 c. of cream {or milk} + 2 t. of vanilla extract. beat it up until creamy. if too thin, add more snow. serve right away to little hands with warm mittens on!


milk money {honey}

>> 2.10.2010

a little container for valentine's day {or any day really} that is perfect for sweet treats or some extra spending cash. i downloaded the free template here then embellished it with a paper cut out. so simple + so adorable! please feel free to use my interpretation of Robert Indiana's love design + be sure to leave me a link in the comments with an image of your project.

{click on image for larger view}


homemade chocolate hearts

>> 2.09.2010

you may be wondering why make chocolates when you can go out and buy a box + even get it wrapped at no extra cost? because, everything tastes better when it is handmade with love! so i crafted up some super easy peanut butter chocolate hearts for my valentine. see how i did it after the jump...


pancakes make people happy

>> 2.08.2010

i am still dreaming of our homemade maple syrup but we ran into a snag... the weather. in order to achieve the optimum sap flow, the night temperatures need to be blow freezing {check} + the daytime temperatures must be above freezing {not checked}. seems that old man winter has reared his ugly head this weekend + it is burrr, too cold here.

but the mission {or experiment} will continue to be top priority this week. oh please let it warm up weather gods, please!

in the meantime, i am planning ahead with homemade make-ahead + store pancake mix. here is an easy way to whip up a batch.

how to: homemade instant pancake mix
4 c all purpose flour
3 T white sugar
3 T baking powder
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

combine all ingredients + store in a ziploc bag until ready to use.

when ready to cook:
mix homemade mix with...
1 c milk {can sub with buttermilk}
1/2 t vanilla
1 T butter, melted
1 egg

combine egg, milk, vanilla, butter + 1 cup pancake mix in a bowl. spoon drops of 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons onto a lightly greased hot griddle; turn when bubbles form on top of pancakes. cook until second side is golden brown.

delicious add ins: blueberries, chocolate chips, raspberries, blackberries!


a man + a woman + an experiment

>> 2.05.2010

observation: we have a maple tree in our yard here in ky.
hypothesis: if one man + one woman tap their tree, then they can cook the sap into maple syrup.
experiment: to be performed today {and into this weekend.... i hear it is a multi-day process}
summary of results: i can't wait to find out!

i will post the how to make maple syrup at home as we proceed. wish us luck!


keep calm + be mine

>> 2.04.2010

did you know that the Keep Calm and Carry On poster was originally a motivational poster produced by the british government in 1939 during the beginning of wwII, but never used. it was third in a series of three: Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution Will Bring Us VictoryFreedom is in Peril being the previous two.

while sorting through a box of old books, a couple in england rediscovered the poster in 2000. the rest is art history! 

you can download my version of the poster as valentine's day tags here...


let them eat cake {homemade of course}

>> 2.03.2010

if you have an urge to become completely confused, read the ingredients on a box of store bought cake mix. packed with additives, preservatives + artificial yuckiness... how can it even taste good? here is an easy {and i mean easy} way to whip up a batch of homemade cake mix. you can even double {or triple} the recipe, divide it evenly  + store it away. homemade cake with ingredients that you know {and can pronounce}... now that's a craft of the day!

how to: homemade cake mix
3 c all purpose flour
1 3/4 c white sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 c nonfat dry milk

combine flour, sugar, baking powder, + non-fat dry milk. store in a ziploc bag until ready to use.

when ready to bake:
mix homemade cake mix with...
1 1/4 c water
1 t vanilla
1/2 c butter, softened
3 eggs

put homemade cake mix in a bowl + add water, vanilla, butter, and eggs. beat with an electric mixer for approx. 2 minutes. pour into a greased + floured cake pans. bake at 350 degrees intil done, {you can test using a toothpick}. cupcakes usually take between 15-20 minutes or 40-45 minutes for a 9x13 sheet cake.

ps: if you adore chocolate cake, add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder to the mix.


tissue box recycling

>> 2.02.2010

is it just me or do you also think that tissue boxes are becoming prettier + prettier? after they are empty, i hate to throw them away. well, i hate to throw anything away if i can find find another use for it... hi, my name is meg + i have an addiction to recycling!

this brings me to recycling the plastic bags that you get from the grocery. yup, we all do it... use them as a liner in our bathroom waste can. so why not re-use our old tissue boxes as plastic bag holders!

ps: be sure to relocate this in spot where you + your family is not apt to grab a noseful of plastic instead of tissues.


sls, shampoo + you

>> 2.01.2010

quick, read the indredient label on the back of your shampoo bottle... go ahead, i'll wait! does it contain sls {sodium lauryl sulfate}? chances are it does because sls a main ingredient in 95% of all commercial shampoos. sls is the additive that makes the foamy lather we love so much but it is also a main ingredient in floor degreasers. yuck!

studies have linked sls in shampoos to hair loss. and because our hair is our crowning glory, who wants to take chances {we already lose enough with the stress of motherhood}. luckily there are some outstanding organic alternatives + many are available at our local drugstores + big box stores.

i have made the switch, have you?
ps: if shopping is an art then label awareness is surely a craft of the day!

some of my afordable favs...
organix shampoo coconut shampoo  ...i worship this shampoo!

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