Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A mammogram, a vase and a wreath

I recently had my yearly mammogram.  Since I turned 40, I have been going yearly and plan to do so in the future.  There are times when I should go to the doctor when I don't, when I should go to the dentist, but I don't, but I don't mess around with getting a mammogram (plus it helps that they schedule them for the next year when you check in).  Two of my cousins have been diagnosed with breast cancer, one a few years ago and is doing well, the other is going through treatment right now.   They are a constant reminder to follow through with my appointment. Anyway, all went well, and when I was leaving they offered my a rose, I happily accepted, but when I got home, I realized that I didn't have a bud vase.  I looked through my collection of jar and bottles that I had been saving to use on a rainy day and found a Holland House Cooking wine bottle.  I grabbed some twine and my glue gun and starting making a vase for my rose.  Nothing fancy, but it did the job and it was free!! 
  • Put a dot of hot glue at the very bottom and start wrapping the twine tightly around the bottle.
  • Once you start getting to the point where the bottle begins to narrow, you'll have to start putting glue after every few wraps in order to keep the twine in place.
  • Once you get to the mouth of the bottle, put one last dot of glue and cut the twine and you're done. 
I posted this wreath back in October during Breast Cancer Awareness month, but without the bling, so I took the post down.  My daughter thought it needed a little something extra, so this is my updated version.

Please take time to get a mammogram.
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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Granola Bar Retreat Treats

My oldest daughter is  being Confirmed in May and she had her retreat this weekend.  She came home last night after Mass and she's very glad to be home - she didn't like the food. If you knew my daughter you'd know what a HUGE deal that is. She is such a foodie. She's in the culinary program at her vocational school and last year for her birthday, I bought her all her favorite foods, she was in heaven.  Anyway, she did enjoy the retreat, she said it was a good experience and not at all what she expected (in a good way), but as soon as she got home, she went out with her dad to get Chinese takeout.  My part in this retreat other than attending closing Mass this evening was to make a snack and I decided to attempt my fourth try at granola bars.

I have been determined to make my own, but it hasn't gone so well.  My kids love them and I usually buy the Quaker Oats low sugar peanut butter or chocolate chip, but I've been trying to save money buy attempting to make their snacks, namely, granola bars. I found this great recipe online - granola bars.  The first time I made it, they came out great and everybody loved them but I've made them twice since then and haven't had the same success.  Well, I decided to give it one more attempt, as I refuse buy them anymore.  I made a few adjustments and tried them out on my critics before I sent them to the retreat and... success!!  It was unanimous, I got the green light to make them again and they were allowed to go to the retreat!  

I know this is more a craft blog, but I wanted to share.  I made a couple of changes. The first change isn't a big deal, I used Easter M&Ms instead of chocolate chips.  The second change made more of a difference.  The kids were saying that they were too hard, so I baked them for 30 minutes, not 40 as the recipes says.  They do harden pretty quickly once out of the oven, but the kids are used to the chewy ones, so I tried for less time and it seemed to work. Everything else is the same.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Saint Patrick's Day Wreaths and Snacks

My kids wanted me to make a wreath for the front door to show our Irish spirit/heritage.  So I took advantage of the sale Joann Fabric's had for Presidents day, and got some fabric the color of the Irish flag and used a wire wreath I had left over from Christmas.  My girls took turns helping me tie on the fabric and we finished with a plaid green bow. 
The cotton fabric was cut  lengthwise with pinking shears in 1" strips. The fabric was cut into 6" strips and then we tied them on the wreath in alternating colors (like the Irish flag - of course).   
We love Saint Patricks's Day. The kids are looking forward to the Sneaky Leprechaun's arrival.  The Sneaky leprechaun just has to finish preparing for his arrival.  More to come...
So I've been into making cone treats lately.  I made 37 cupid's hot chocolate cones for Valentine's Day, so I thought I'd do something for St. Patrick's Day and you can't have St. Patty's Day without Lucky Charms. 
A cup of Lucky Charms was added to a cone shaped cello bag.  I found a cute little graphic and attached it to green scrapbooking paper and finished with green ribbon.  I'm planning on using these for breakfast from the Sneaky Leprechaun on St. Patrick's Day morning, but  it could also be used as a party favor.  Enjoy!

Upcycled First Communion Banner

My son and daughter sing in the children's choir at church and they've been practicing songs for the First Communion masses.   It was just last year that we were getting ready for my daughter's First Communion, so I wanted to share her banner that we made last year.  I couldn't leave the house one Saturday afternoon about this time of year (I think we were down to one car at the time), anyway, I realized at the last minute that my daughter needed her banner for the next day. After scrounging around the house for a while, I found everything I needed.

The previous year, we had been to a wedding and the Bride and Groom had left welcome bags in all the guest rooms, it was the right material so I cut it part.  This was what was going to be the structure of my banner.  After dissembling it being careful to cut on the seams, I began piecing it together. The top portion of the banner was one side of the bag, the bottom half was the other.  Where the green band of fabric is, was where I glued the two together so that they were the correct length. The loops for the dowel were originally on either side of the bag which held the wooden handles. I cut those off and hot glued them to the back of the banner so that we could insert the dowel. Then the fabric was glued to cover the seam where I attached the two sides together. After I put it all together, it was time to decorate.   My daughter knew what she wanted on it and the colors and it had to have glitter.  I had felt so I traced the letters of our last name using paper metallic letters I had on hand from Willy Wonka birthday party (that's a post for a later date). I cut them out with pinking shears and glittered them alternating colors, then hot glued them on.  We added a cross made out of cardboard, covered in green velvet and she wanted a spot on there to remember her grandmother who had passed away.  So In the bottom left hand corner, I used a cookie cutter to trace hearts in the velvet green and green cotton fabric that was already used. I wrote "Nonna" on the fabric.  Last but not least, we added the date of her communion in gold glitter and added two bows on either side of the dowel. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Snowman Birthday Party

All my kids birthdays are in the winter.  We have one in December, exactly two weeks before Christmas and then two in January two days apart.  Needless to say, we're not bored.  My younger daughter decided to use the cold weather to her advantage and had a snowman themed party. We did the decorations in ice blue, with snow flakes everywhere.  My older daughter covered my picture I had hanging in white wrapping paper and made a fitting backdrop to our party (this was a pinterest find! She did the refrigerator as well.).

The party was from 5-8:30.  When the kids came in they did a craft, we had pizza, played some games and then watched Ice Age 4, Continental Drift.

For the favors, I found this awesome idea - snowmen coffee cans.  We painted coffee cans white, used felt for the ear muffs and used black and red sharpies to make the face.  We stuffed our snowman cans full of movie treats. A package of hot cocoa, microwave popcorn (which I covered in white paper and drew a snowman face and hat) and junior mints.

Our craft were skiing snowmen. The kids started out with pine cones painted white which were glued to popsicle sticks.  We had googly eyes, felt and other items for them to decorate their snowmen.  Sorry, just had to stop and watch Pink sing over the rainbow on the Oscars.  Anyway, back to the party. 
One of the games we played involved a lot of toilet paper.  I split the kids into teams and they had to decorate one of their team mates as a snowman.  The team who had their snowman covered first in toilet paper and their orange nose won.  Well they love the game so much, that during the movie a couple asked if they could play again, which then turned into a toilet paper fight and my floors covered in white.  They had a blast.  Don't you just love tp.

So we wrapped everything up with an ice cream cake (of course!) and a very happy girl!