Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pre School Thanksgiving Feast

This year I was asked to be the room mom for Aidan's class. I have been pretty surprised at how much work it involves but to be honest, I have loved every minute of it.  This is so cheesy but I have always wanted to be room mom.  Haha!

So my first big event was our Thanksgiving Feast the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  Here are the pictures from the big day.

Aidan's placemat and food.

 The tables set up in the classroom.
 I try to explain to all of my friends that Aidan's classroom is a tree house and no one gets it. So, I finally took a picture.  When you walk in the door of the classroom this is to the left.  You can see the walkway with the netting around it that the kids can walk all the way across the room to get to this...
 side.  It's pretty cool and I am sure every 3 year old's dream come true.
The kids sitting on their spots on the rug listening to Ms. Courtney.

Aidan getting dressed up as a pilgrim and indian.

 The whole class with Ms. Courtney and Ms. Karin
 My little pilgrim eating a pumpkin muffin.
 Sitting in the treehouse after lunch.  This picture was not posed.
 Getting ready to sing a song.  (I am not sure why Calvin has a bandage on his head but I did hear he actually had some kind of injury)

Here is a little video of them singing their Thanksgiving song.  I started the video a little late but it's still so cute!
video

Next Up...Christmas Show.

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's All About the Hem Tape Babeeee

Back in February I made some great window mistreatment's for my kitchen out of a great Rooster print fabric I got on sale at my local Hobby Lobby.  When we decided to make over the laundry room the first thing that had to go were the hideous window valances that I picked up somewhere on clearance.  Adam even fessed up that he has always hated them.  It wasn't in my immediate budget to buy something right away or even run out and buy some fabric to make new ones so I figured what the heck...I will use the leftover rooster fabric and make some easy window mistreatment's valances for the laundry room for the time being.

Having experience in window mistreatment's really helped me out this round.  I think they turned out a lot better than the original ones I made in the kitchen.   Plus, with the extra amount of light in this room,  I realized how much I like those little roosters.  

I know you are all just dying to know how one goes about making a NO SEW window mistreatment.   Well you've come to the right place.   It's all about the HEM TAPE.  And you will need an iron, pair of scissors and measuring tape.  Easy peezy. 

So here's what I did...Step Number 1:
Measure your window. I added three inches to each side.  This way I have an inch and a half to fold over "to hem" and another inch and a half to hang over the window frame.   Then measure how long you want the treatment.  Mine are 15".  Which means I cut the fabric to 21" inches so I would have three inches at the top and bottom to "hem". 

Step Number 2: I measured the amount I wanted to "hem" at the top and bottom and followed the directions on the hem tape to adhere (this is where you use that iron) those to the back side of the window treatment and Voila! my hem was finished at the top and bottom.

** The Hem Tape I use I found at Hobby Lobby.  It's called Heat n Bond.  Make sure you get the Heavy Duty or Super Strength and buy it as wide as you can.



Step Number 3: Repeat Step 2 for both sides, get a little creative by finding a way to fold the corner so that you don't have any fabric sticking out. 

Step Number 4: Attach window mistreatment valance to drapery rings, thread on to rod and hang rod.  You should have a finished product that looks something like this:



If they don't. Email me and we'll get you there.  Ha! 

And in case you were wondering, YES that is an Ikea shelf that we turned in to a bench for a sitting area and shoe storage. More on that coming up in my Laundry Room Re Do post.


Epsom Salt Holiday Craft Extravaganza-Part 1-Snow Candles

My girlfriend Moment is doing an internship at Eric Mower and Associates here in Charlotte and she called me last week and asked me if I would be interested in creating some simple Christmas crafts using Epsom Salt and video taping them for an assignment.  Of course I jumped at the opportunity because A. I love anything crafty, especially at Christmas and B. because I knew we could share it here with you! Aren't you lucky?  


Here's a little tutorial on how to make some super cute candles to add to your Christmas decor. 


You will need:
As many candles as you want in varying sizes {I purchased the Sugar Cookie scented candles from Wal Mart because I was there on a fluke and they were priced from $1-$6.}


Epsom Salt {I purchased mine at my local drug store.  A five lb. bag for $6}




Modge Podge {Available at craft stores}

A paint brush

A cookie sheet

Aluminum Foil

Sparkles {optional}


Step 1:  Cover your cookie sheet in aluminum foil.
{If you are going to mix sparkles in to your Epsom Salt, now would be the time to do so}
Step 2:  Spread Epsom Salt over aluminum foil.
Step 3:  Take paint brush and apply Modge Podge to candle.  I applied mine three quarters of the way up.  You can apply it wherever you want to apply this look. 
Step 4:  Holding your candle by the wick and the bottom, roll the candle back and forth in the Epsom Salt.  If you are adding Epsom Salt to the top of our candle, use your fingers to add it.
And Voila!!!! Your done. 
I immediately set mine out on my table because they were on candle stands that allowed them to dry.  You should probably let them dry overnight before displaying them.
You can burn the candle like any other candle, it will not catch fire when it burns down to the salt.
Super cute and so easy to do!
A sneak peek in to my Christmas decorating.

There are two more projects to come!!!

P.S. Thanks Moment for such a fun couple of days crafting! I love our time together girlfriend!!! xoxo


I am linking up to the DIY Project Parade.

For more great ideas using Epsom Salt go here.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Recipes as Promised

Save these for next year!!!

{This is about a 3.5 hour process}
Ingredients


1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup whole milk

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

2 pinches nutmeg

1 pinch ginger

1 pinch ground cloves

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree

1/3 cup coarse sugar or raw sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.



In a medium saucepan, heat the cream, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves over medium heat, stirring occasionally, just until it comes to a boil. Immediately turn off the heat and set aside to infuse at least 15 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the granulated sugar. Whisking constantly, gradually pour in the hot cream mixture. Whisk in the pumpkin puree. Pour the mixture into 4 ovenproof ramekins and arrange in a hot water bath. Bake in the center of the oven until almost set but still a bit soft in the center, 30 to 40 minutes. The custard should "shimmy" a bit when you shake the pan; it will firm up more as it cools. Remove from the water bath and let cool 15 minutes. Tightly cover each ramekin with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic does not touch the surface of the custard. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, and up to 24 hours.

{I used a kitchen torch and it worked wonderfully.  I see them at TJ Maxx all the time! }
When ready to serve, preheat a broiler to very hot (or fire up your kitchen torch). Uncover the chilled custards. Pour as much coarse sugar as will fit onto the top of 1 of the custards. Pour off the remaining sugar onto the next custard. Repeat until all the custards are coated. Discard any remaining sugar. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan and broil until the sugar is melted and well browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool 1 minute before serving





Ingredients

2 c. vanilla wafer crumbs (can use half graham cracker crumbs)


6 tbsp. melted butter


Use a 9 inch springform pan. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Sidenote*{I have three springform pans and had no idea what they were for}

Mix and spread in pan.

Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes.

5 oz. can evaporated milk

14 oz. caramels

1 c. chopped pecans

16 oz. cream cheese

1/2 c. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

1/2 c. chocolate chips, melted

Melt 14 oz. of caramels with milk until smooth.

Pour over crust, sprinkle with pecans. Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix well. Blend in melted semisweet chocolate chips. Mix well.

Pour over pecans. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes.




**I modified this recipe by doubling all the ingredients, cutting up the pie crusts (with a pizza cutter) and making mini pies in a muffin pan.  They were a hit.

Ingredients


1 9-inch pie shell, frozen or chilled for an hour if freshly made. (See pie crust recipes.)

1 1/4 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup light corn syrup

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 Tbsp molasses

2 Tbsp melted butter

2 Tbsp flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread pecans along the bottom of the pie shell. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over pecans. (No need for an electric mixer, you can mix by hand.) The pecans will rise to the surface of the pie.


2 Bake at 375°F for 40-45 minutes until the filling has set. About 20 minutes into the cooking you may want to use a pie crust protector, or tent the edges of the pie crust with aluminum foil to prevent the pie crust edges from burning.

3 Remove from oven and let cool completely.



Happy Baking!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving blog friends and family!!!!  I hope you all are enjoying your day with the ones closest to you.  It's a little rainy today in Charlotte but we are loving each other's company.  My parents took Aidan to the parade this morning while Adam and I laid around and watched some football (Go Pats!! But Tom please cut your hair already) and then we all met up for dinner around 4.  I was in charge of desserts and wanted to post the recipes for y'all.  I will do that in a post following this one.  For now to finish it off {although I was bad last week because of the lack of computer} here is my last Thankful Thursday in letter form to my little family...


Mom, I am so THANKFUL for you.  I don't even know where to start.  I guess the best way to put this is, I am THANKFUL for who you are.   Thanks for everything, everyday.   Best Friends Forever? Sounds good to me!

Dad, I am so THANKFUL for you.   You are right up there with mom as the world's best person ever.  Thanks for always being our rock.  I am so glad I am just like you.  There aren't many girls as lucky as me to have such a wonderful relationship with their father.
Bobby, I am THANKFUL for you.  Mostly because most of our life you did things that made me look really good. HA!  But seriously, your a great uncle and a great friend.   And you text me about my cheesecake today.

Jordan, I am THANKFUL for you.  Thankful that you still let me love on you like you are two years old.   I am THANKFUL that you are growing in to such a wonderful young man. It's a lot of fun to watch and it makes me so so so proud.

Aidan, my little man.  Is there anything I am more THANKFUL for?  I am THANKFUL for every moment of every day with you.  You are perfect.

Adam, Read above, except where it says little think big.  Wink.


Happy Thanksgiving Y'all! It's almost Christmas!!!!






Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas Wish List

Am I the only one who can't believe Thanksgiving is this week and Christmas is only weeks away???  The holidays are one of my most favorite times of the year and I feel like I am going to blink and they will be over with!  2010 is gone!!!  The best part of the holidays is spending time with my family {and the amount of time Adam requires of us to cuddle because he is always freezing}.   We all get so busy with our lives during the rest of the year but during the holidays it seems like we all slow down to spend quality time with each other.  My little brother Jordan comes home from Clemson and we all catch up, decorate my mom's house, eat until we pop, reminisce about past Christmas', tease my mother about everything she does {lovingly} and of course celebrate the true reason for the season. 

My husband has been hounding me to compile my Christmas wish list for him so earlier today I took a few minutes to do that and figured I could turn it in to a blog post while I was at it!




I really, really want a new watch. I am loving this ceramic one by Chanel  Michael Kors.  It's over sized and would be cute with everything!

Also by Michael Kors, this over sized Gold watch.  I have been lusting after it for more than a  year and I think it's time for it to make it's way to my wrist.  


Classic Tall Uggs in Black.  To wear with my jeans and sweats.  They are not fashionable but they are comfortable and as much time as I spend chasing around a three year old, these would be great. 

Stocking stuffer ideas??  I need some new make up...
Eyeliner Smudge Stick in Black. 

Illuminating foundation also by Stila in 30 watt.



NARS Silk Road Duo Eyeshadow 
 
 I sleep in this a few nights a week. It is sooooo comfortable and I want a new one. 
Victoria's Secret
Ribbon Trim Nightie  
 
Canterbury Knit Nightie.  Looks comfy as well.
 Eyelet Slip
 


 It's time for a new purse.  I love my Louis but I haven't really switched it up in a while.  I haven't seen anything at Coach in a long time but I like the size of this bag and the simplicity of the black leather.
Madison Leather Julianne Tote by Coach


By recommendation of my husband,  I need some new sunglasses.  My Tarjay sunnies apparently need to be tossed.

I love big.  These are the Waverly sunglasses by David Yurman. 
I love the brown and gold.
These would be great too.  I love them.
Tom Ford Raquel Sunglasses



That's really all I can think of right now. I am sure some of you have some ideas too  so send them my way.  I think this list gives him plenty of options.  Don't you?

Monday, November 22, 2010

You Can DIY Too!

I saw a little project that the Nester did a few weeks back and thought it was super cute.  I didn't think I would make one.  UNTIL I was cleaning up the laundry room tonight and found 1 blank canvas and 1 broken picture frame that I was formerly in love with.  

I painted the canvas with a color sample {I think Behr Toasted Wheat}I had in my shed and hot glued the frame to it.  Then I took an old pewter something a rather {honestly have no clue what you would call it} and hot glued it in the middle.  THEN, I cut some ribbon and and made a little bow to cover up the missing corner of the picture frame and VOILA...instant Laundry Room Art!


I put it on the far wall when you walk in the back door. Cute!!! 
 

And seriously it took me thirty minutes to make.  25 of those minutes were paint drying and hot glue warming up in the gun. 

Thanks for stopping by and thanks to The Nester for the great idea!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sorry!

Hey y'all! I'm back! Sorry I haven't blogged anything too fun recently but as you know my computer was at the Dr and I didn't know if I was ever going to get her back.  Well I DID! It was so weird working on another computer! She didn't come back in the same condition but I am just happy to have her.  The best news...it didn't cost me a thing to get her fixed! One of Adam's friends from childhood works for Wells Fargo and handles all of their security software and took my computer and fixed her for free. He was also able to get all of my pictures off.  Isn't that so nice and exciting? 

I have some really fun posts coming up this week {including some video of Christmas DIY tutorials} so check back in the next couple of days!!!!

Thanks for sticking with me! xoxoxox

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Aidan's Latest Photo Shoot

Recently I decided I wanted to have some photos taken of Aidan for our Christmas card this year.  After emailing a photographer and getting no response  and not wanting to spend a ton of money to have this done, I figured I would give it a try myself.  I am pretty happy with how they turned out!  I picked out a few cute outfits out of Aidan's closet, rummaged through our shed for some props, grabbed my camera and took Aidan outside and started snapping pictures.  The light in the backyard was perfect when we started.

Sitting in our tree.
 

Who even knew Adam had an old wooden ladder in our shed?
The wagon photo. 

                                                                 
More on the ladder ( I really have no clue why these are all out of order)
Sitting in his wagon.  None of these were edited in a program, I used some settings I had never tried out on my camera.



Our poor cat Spike Jones. He's a good sport.
Sitting in our wheelbarrow.  My mom bought him this hat to wear this winter when we went to the Hot Air Balloon Festival.  Isn't it fun? I hadn't planned on the lollipop being in the picture {I was just using it for bribery} but I snapped this and it's one of my favorites.  It is just so Aidan.
I was loosing him here...and we had just started. He was a great sport!!!

 

I am doing a review for a great online card company.  I will be posting the card I designed and some information on how you can save 20% on your entire order later this week so look out for that!!! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Love Is...

Love is when your husband parks on the far side of the driveway in the pouring rain so that when you get home, you won't get as wet. 

Conversations with A Three Year Old

Overheard Sunday evening while Aidan was in bed.  He was talking to a Build a Bear that my girlfriend Candace gave me in high school.


Bear Says: I love you April (she recordered her voice so the bear would say this when you press it's foot)

Bear Again: I love you April

Bear AGAIN: I love you April

Aidan: (whispering) My name's not April. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

You Can DIY Too...Pottery Barn Pillow Cover Look Alikes

So in this post I gave you a little sneak peek at one of my little projects I have been working on.  Are you ready to see what I've been up to?? 

I had been wanting a little something to throw in the armchairs at the end of my dining room table because they are well BORING.  I loved these pillows from Pottery Barn but I didn't need something quite this big and I thought to myself, I can make something similar to those with some fabric I have in my stash and some fabric paint. 






And of course you {might}want to know how I did this...SUPER DUPER EASY
I picked a font on my computer, blew it up and traced it, via computer screen,  to on to my good friend Contact Paper.   Then I cut it out with my craft knife.
 I measured my pillows {these particular ones are 12x18} and then cut four pieces of fabric 14x20 so I would have a little extra fabric to sew on {those of you that sew know all about this} and there would be a little wiggle room for the pillow.
Then I pinned the fabric together so it wouldn't move all over the place when I put it on the sewing machine {do you put it on or in the sewing machine??} and I can't even lie, I draw lines to sew on because me and straight lines apparently don't get along.
See the blue lines? They are on the inside so what does it matter.
 I sewed the top and two sides and created this "pocket".  Flipped it inside out and stuck the pillow in it to make sure it all looked good before I proceeded.  I feel so funny telling you all this because you probably already know what to do.  
 Once I was sure the fit was perfect, I took the pillow out, measured to find the center of the pillow cover and taped the stencil to the cover.  Then I took black fabric paint and went to town {that is my lingo for painting the pillow cover}.  And this is how it turned out...

 Not too bad right? I am wishing now that I had ironed this fabric first. I did wash it!
 
I sewed a little zipper to the bottom  but I am too scared to show you that finished project up close because it was my first one!   Haha!

 Here she is.  I gotta tell you, I still think the chair looks a little boring but I love the pillow.  I wish I had added a nice little fringe for some more color.
 The cover for the other chair is ready to go minus the zipper but it says "Live".  I thought that would look better in a dining chair than "Laughter".   I want to go back and add the smaller words to the bottom I just wanted to make sure I would actually use them first.  When I do it, I will post it.  I will just make another stencil and paint it on as well.



COMING SOON
What would a DIY post be without a few sneak peeks as to what I have coming up. 

Monogrammed Ornaments for our tree and for gifts for the family.

Dining Chair Slipcover Make Over

Limited Edition Designer Parsons Slipcover

I want to show you everything now but what fun would that be??


I am linking up to the DIY Showoff again this week!  I  have to tell you, I am so glad I found this blog, I am thoroughly enjoying all the DIY projects! I am getting so many great ideas!  If your a DIY (er) check it out!!!!

I am also linking up to Tutorial Tuesdays @ Hope Studios and The Craft Link Party @ Polly Want a Crafter.