Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bow-yoo-tiful Bucket Tutorial

Did you make the deadline for the Visa giveaway?  Have you checked out my ruffle backdrop tutorial?


You totally should!

In celebration of this awesome day, I'm servin' up a quick tutorial for the ruffle bucket I used to hold the photo booth props.  Here goes:


- Bucket (purchased from the thrift store and I knew it was made for hanging because its back was flat)

- Michael's ready-made ruffle ribbon (if only I could sew ruffles maybe ruffles might not cost so much)


1.  Glue a decorative ribbon around the seam of the top ruffle for a polished look.

2.  Glue the top layer around the top of the bucket.

3. Glue the other layers so they fall just under the bottom of the previous layer(confused yet??).

4. Take the same ribbon used to cover the seam and tie a bow.  Glue the bow to the top, embellish and voila! 

It looked fabulous at the shower and it will make a great addition to God baby's nursery! 

It was sweet details like this that tied everything together.  

Now, go forth and make things frilly, lol.

all crafts Homemade Projects ~ Add Yours! {7 31}

The DIY Dreamer

Monday, July 30, 2012

It's All About...

Happy Monday, Islanders!

I was busy with God baby's shower and haven't had a chance to tell you about my exciting feature on The NY Melrose Family blog!  I'm giving away some hard-earned cash and would LOVE if you headed over for the chance to win!  Even if you don't need the Visa gift card, check out the ruffle back drop tutorial.  Now, onto shower post #1:

God baby's shower was this past Saturday and it was fabulous!  I, however, have a confession:

I was a hot mess!

No, not in that way!  I showered, I combed my bun, I was ready at the start time... I was just so nervous that it wouldn't come together the way I envisioned that I couldn't sleep.  I put pressure on myself with my expectations that, partnered with my everyday REAL life, made for a stressful combination.  

Long story short, everything was great.  I was reminded that it isn't about table linen and arrangements, it is about:

Smiles. Hugs. Fun. Love.

I'll spend the rest of the week spilling the baby shower beans so stay tuned for details, tutorials and buckets of pretty pictures!

Thanks, in advance, for joining the party!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mama Rambles - Snickers.

Hey,  you know that Snickers candy bar?

The one I accused Hubbs of taking only to see it while digging for my keys in my purse?  YOU KNOW, the one that went missing...

You don't?  Are you sure?

Remember? It melted then was smooshed then melted again... The one with half of the wrapper's writing gone because it's been in there THAT long.

Well, I got tired of seeing its face on my milk carton so I dug it out of my bottomless pit of a purse...

And. I. ATE. It.

Yep. Closed my cube door, silently tore that raggedy wrapper off of that flattened thrice-melted candy bar, cradled that tiny mound in the palm of my hands and -- you know the rest.  O don't give me that face!  Isn't that what it was made for?

Yes, I know what time it is in the morning and no, I don't feel bad about it. 

I've got low blood sugar.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesdays: Baby Shower Cake

Care to guess which one of these beauties will be the baby shower cake?  

Linking Up:


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Easy & Cheese- y Cornbread

Hi, Islanders!

Munch is recovering from an ear infection(our little water bug got it from all the pool visits).
She didn't want to take pics? A clear sign she's not feeling well!

Today, I'd normally talk about the weekend but my update would look like this:  sleep, antibiotics, lounge, Disney channel, sleep, lounge, sleep, eat, sleep, church, eat, sleep.

It was great.  Munch did have an upbeat moment after church where she trained Britt on her bridal wave:

"Smart is the new pink"

I just hate when she's sick. 

RANDOM FACT: for some reason, Munchface only wants comfort food when she's sick.  She makes the most random requests...

Chicken soup? Nope. Cabbage. 

Toast?  O NO.  Cornbread.

MmMm. I love cornbread.  My mom is like the BOSS of cornbread.   She makes real cornbread stuffing with chicken wings on top, the sweet cornbread with butter, the mexican cornbread with chili... MMmm, I feel like there's a cornbread recipe for every meal!!

Maybe I love cornbread because it fits every budget.  I have a childhood memory of telling my mom we didn't have ANY of the ingredients listed on the box and, when she responded that all we needed was water, I was doubtful.  Well, until it worked! Tried and true, another reason I love cornbread.  At least when Munch made her request, I had the ingredients and then some... 

Sidebar: Have you ever opened your refrigerator, had something catch your eye and set on a mission to make whatever caught your eye DISAPPEAR?  I stood there with the door open staring at this box wondering how in the WORLD Velveeta made a wrong turn and found its way into my house. 

Nothing against Velveeta lovers... It's just not for me (cheese that has a shelf life of *like* 500 years is just wrong).  At least it WASN'T for me... Until this recipe made me a Velveeta believer (OMG, I typed BelieBer and took a giggle break before I could continue- ha ha).

Velveeta Cornbread Muffins

Follow the package instructions for mixing the cornbread.  Fill the greased muffin tin half-way with cornbread batter.  Top with 1 slice of Velveeta cover with cornbread batter.  Bake according to package instructions.  Makes 6-8 muffins.

I served this with cabbage and yummy baked chicken.  It was perfect for the cooler weather we've been having and REALLY added the perfect contrast to the meal.  Note: these are best served burning-your-mouth hot warm. 

Not a Velveeta fan?  Try pepper jack or sharp cheddar cheese, I'm sure they'll be even better!

OMG!  Where's my easy button because this was the PERFECT easy and cheese-y recipe.  ENJOY!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Easiest Sweet and Sour Sauce Ever!

I put Chinese takeout in the same category as buffet food.  Food that's made for the masses loses its quality (in my opinion).  I also think that I get more excited at the sight of the food than I do actually EATING the food. 

My parents love Chinese takeout... Like the calls-and-orders-enough-to-feed-20-people and the-delivery-folks-know-them-by-name kind of love.  Most times, I love eating their Chinese takeout too.  I just feel the best Chinese is made when my dad gets in the kitchen and concocts his own... Seriously, his egg rolls can beat any restaurant's, I'm sure of it!

With my dad's spirit for cracking the restaurant chain's recipe (he knows how to make Panera's soups too!!), I wanted to share my EASY sweet and sour chicken recipe with you. ENJOY!


1 cup Catalina dressing (yes, dressing.  TRUST ME)

1 cup minced pineapples (with juice)
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced green (and/or red) pepper
1 lb skinless chicken cut into bite-sized pieces (I used thighs)
salt and pepper


1.  Brown chicken in large frying pan with a dash of salt and pepper.  Remove chicken from pan and set aside. 

2.  In large bowl, combine dressing, pineapples, onions and peppers.

3. Pour sauce in pan and cook on low-medium for 10-15 minutes.  The sauce should be bubbly and turn slightly darker than the dressing's original bright red.

4. Add chicken to sauce.  Stir and cook for 5-10 minutes.

Serve over rice (JASMINE rice tastes the BEST but brown rice is a healthier option) with steamed broccoli or a spinach salad on the side.

I would show a finished picture BUT, according to Darren, "people don't have time for that blog stuff," so the food was gone before I could snap a pic.

If you need to make more than 4 servings(as clearly I did), simply remember to use equal parts Catalina dressing and pineapples.  This sauce also makes for the perfect means to shake up Hubbs' boring frozen roasted chicken in his lunch.  He pours it over the chicken half-way through the cook time for a great change to the typical diet!

Dinner in 30 minutes? For around $15? 

Can't go wrong with that!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesdays: Summer Camp Styles

Linking Up:


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

SHORT but SWEET - The Weekend's Review.

Hi, Islanders!

Welcome to the work week!  I know.  It's definitely Tuesday but I've just been so (so SO SO) tired these past few days.  I blame whoever came up with the work-life ratio of 5:2 days... 2 DAYS of personal time?  I tried to cheat the weekend system by bringing that weekend feeling early.  Munch and I took advantage of the 7-11 FREE Slurpee Day, July 11.

It helped but it didn't work, lol.  The slurpee trip was the perfect interruption to a busy week but the weekend didn't OFFICIALLY start until...

Friday, after camp, when Munchface and I took a trip to Sweet Frog... Her yogurt consisted of things she wanted to eat with her hands BEFORE she ate the frozen yogurt (Pop Tarts, gummy worms, gummy bears, etc.).

I knew it was good when I heard "mMm ::cup scrapes:: MmMMmm."  I looked back to see Munch celebrating her flavor creation with her eyes closed and her hands in the air, lol. 

Friday evening, we visited our sister-cousins.  We finished spray painting the crib and hung poms in God baby's nursery (more on the nursery later).  By way of update - I am very excited with how everything is coming together, my baby's mama (lol) picked really cute colors (turquoise, shades of pink and white) and we're having so much fun making this little room pretty.  I can't wait to share the big reveal!!

Saturday, we went to lunch with Dani.  I love the TGIFriday's 3/$16.99 menu but they have a new 2/$10 special that's pretty awesome! An appetizer and a main course made for the perfect portions for Munch and I to share (she never eats her own food so I stopped ordering it for her).  Before lunch, while we waited on Dani, Munch and I stopped by a nearby Party City.  This was my first trip since the start of shower planning.  I admit, I was VERY impressed with their selection!  I can't wait to go pick-up some of the things I saw!  After lunch, we met Hubbs and headed to the Nunns' home to FINALLY love on my newest baby, Racquel.  Just look at her, she's so:

Her onesie.

 Her smile made me melt. ::sighs::


  While I'm staring at her, guess who's staring at me?

Apparently, one can't enjoy juicy baby-ness without the accusation of wanting another... He's had the baby itch for 5 years and I think he swindled me into this visit so I could catch his "baby ivy" itch too(baby IVY... Like Poison Ivy. Get it? GENIUS!!).

Maybe I can use this whole baby thing to my ovaries' advantage for granite?  Hmmm. Anyhoo...

Sunday, we went to church, to lunch with grandma and Pop-Pop and returned home for a lazy evening around the house.  I made BLTs, pita chips and fruit salad for an easy summer dinner.  Munch rested, Hubbs played video games and I worked on the ruffle photo booth backdrop (guest post coming soon):

Overall, our weekend was spent with the people we love!  The perfect short-but-sweet combo, don't you think?!

How was yours?


Friday, July 13, 2012

Frugal Friday - A FaBOWlous Frame

Happy Frugal Friday, Islanders!

I mentioned yesterday how I transformed a thrifty find into a faBOWlous addition to God baby's shower decor.  Well, as promised, here's how I did it:

- Frame
- Spray Paint
- Hot glue (and gun)
- Paper (or fabric) of your choice
- Ribbon (2 sizes)

Here's my victim for this project:

I loved the shape and size of the frame so I bought it!

I found handmade paper at World Market and thought it was the perfect color combo for this project.

(*singing* DAY BY DAY... What? It's TGIF! Don't act like you don't remember that show! Wait. You don't? ::shrugs::)

1.  Remove the back of the frame. My victim was only 2 pieces (the frame and this cardboard insert), however, in the past, I've used the cardboard insert (and placed the glass behind it) and I've even glued directly to the glass.  Anyways, with the insert gone, I spray painted 2 coats of white on the frame and set it aside to dry.

2. Trace the shape onto the underside of your paper (or fabric).

3. Cut out the shape and use your hot glue to adhere your paper directly to the cardboard.

4.  With your larger ribbon (I found this ruffled ribbon at Michael's), determine the ribbon's placement and the required length.  Cut and glue your ends to the back of your paper-covered piece; no need to be pretty, it's the BACK:

Note: Do not glue the ribbon down on the front (other than an occasional dot) because the clippies slide behind it!

5. Repeat step 4 until you have the desired number of rows:
6.  Layer the next size ribbon on top and use the same technique (glue to the back and add a few dots on the front).

I added a thin turquoise ribbon but this step is not required; I just thought it added a little shumthin'-shumthin' :) 

Secure your paper-covered portion into the frame and voila! You're ALL done!

Here it is with a tiny bow hanging on it:

You get the idea. 

Other things to note: Consider your bows' sizes before you get started.  To maximize your frame's storage, be sure to space rows so big bows can fit comfortably. 

It is Frugal Friday so here's a cost breakdown:

Ribbon: $7
Paper: $3
Frame: $4
Spray paint: $0 (I had it on hand)
Total: $14

I'm having a bow-making station at the shower so this, propped on a small easel, will make a great holder and will double as nursery decor.  OMG!  I could totally see $5 white Walmart frames with room-coordinating papers to organize Munch's bows by colors AND create a collage.  I have a HUGE thrifty frame and I'm debating whether to use it as 1 giant bow frame... Hmmm.  I'm not sure right now but you'll be the first to know.

MORAL: $14 at my local party store would buy me some paper hangings that I'd trash immediately following the event.  In THIS case, however, $14 created a custom bow holder that will look awesome in God baby's room for years to come!

What do you think?


Cheers to a frugal and faBOWlous Friday!


Goodwill Finds: The Magnolia Wreath

Happy Friday, Islanders. I wanted to share a thrifty find from a while back.  Ugh, I love my local Goodwill Outlet.  Oh, and yes, you saw ...

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