Saturday, November 22, 2014

DIY Ornament Wreath

I have seen these gorgeous ornament wreaths everywhere lately and I thought I could make one. Just needed some ornaments, a wreath form, and a glue gun. I chose a 7" wreath form and small ornaments I found at Walmart. I should have gotten a mixture of larger bulbs and smaller ones to fill it better because my "little" 7" wreath actually took a lot of ornaments to fill... 105 to be exact. I started off with 60 and ended up rushing back to buy more TWO more times! I saw a wreath similar in size to mine to be about $30 and I probably spent around $24. Not sure if all the gas I used up driving to and from to get more ornaments racks up the overall price of my wreath... but I love it so much and I can't wait to hang it up! I want to try hard to stick to these fun whimsy colors this year for Christmas decorations and our tree. Looking forward to sharing it all with you once we get into December!

DIY Ornament Wreath

- shatterproof ornaments, varied sizes
- glue gun
- styrofoam wreath form
- ribbon

1. Lying your wreath form flat, line the outside and inside of your form with ornaments.
2. Hot glue your ornaments down.
3. Continue to move in a circular fashion gluing your ornaments down.
4. Glue a small piece of ribbon to the back to hang your wreath.

 Glue gun, wreath form, ornaments

 Lay your wreath flat and hot glue ornaments to the inside

 Hot glue ornaments along the outside and start to fill in the center

Completed wreath!

Ribbon glued to the back to hang


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Paper Bag Popcorn Turkey

This Thanksgiving we will be having a separate "kids table" for our two boys. I plan to use their small kids table and chairs, cover the table with butcher paper so they can color on it, and place a big Paper Bag Popcorn Turkey in the center! Kid approved appetizer if you ask me! This is my trial one for next week's festivities, but it did not take long to make and it really can hold a lot of popcorn. Next week, I will be buying a big bag of pre-popped popcorn to help me fill the body of the turkey better. I can't believe Thanksgiving is next week - where did November go?!


- 4-5 bags of popcorn
- 1 large paper bag
- 2 small paper bags
- 1 piece of white paper
- scissors
- glue gun

1. Take one of the small paper bags and make a fist with your hand, stick it in the bag and round out the corners of the bag. Fill it 2/3 full with popcorn, twist the end, and glue gun it shut. Repeat with the other small paper bag, these are the turkey 'drumsticks.'
2. Fold your white piece of paper lengthwise, cut it in half and then cut that piece in half again. Cut a bunch of slits on one side of your strip of paper. Hot glue gun the strip with the frills facing out around the 'stick' of each drumstick.
3. Take your large brown paper bag and round out the corners the best that you can. Fill it full of popcorn, hot glue it shut and fold the bag underneath. If you are using buttered popcorn, try to line your bag with parchment paper to avoid grease stains.
4. Glue your drumsticks to each side of your turkey. Cut the top of your turkey down the center to eat the popcorn.


 How to make your Turkey Drumstick "frill"

 Parchment paper lining the inside of the large paper bag (I used kettle corn)

 Turkey body and two drumsticks

 Turkey body glued and folded underneath

 Paper Bag Popcorn Turkey

Gobble, gobble!


Homemade Tomato Soup

I have been trying to make some warm dishes since it is so cold out! I have a "The Best of Fine Cooking: Weeknight Dinner Recipes" magazine I got from a local grocery store a few years back that has some great recipes. I have been making a few things from it to include this Homemade Smoky Tomato Soup! It has bacon. It is a winner. I served the soup with grilled cheese - I love comfort food!


- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 strips of bacon
- 1 large onion, diced
- salt
- 1 tbsp. flour
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp. sweet or hot smoked paprika (pimenton), I used regular paprika
- 1 x 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 tbsp. heavy cream
- black pepper

1. The oil in a large saucepan and add the bacon and cook over medium heat. Transfer finished bacon to the side and allow to drain excess grease on a paper towel. Coarsely chop your bacon.
2. Add the onion to your bacon greased saucepan with 1/2 tsp. of salt. Cook until onion begins to brown.
3. Sprinkle the flour on top of the onions along with 2 tsp. of thyme, and paprika. Cook for 1 minute.
4. Add the tomatoes and chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to allow to thicken.
5. Using a blender, (I used my Magic Bullet with Pitcher attachment) in batches, puree your soup. Return the soup to the pan, stir in the cream, bring to a boil.
6. Season your soup with salt and pepper as desired.
7. Serve with bacon and remaining thyme.

Homemade Tomato Soup


Saturday, November 15, 2014

DIY Lego Party and Cake

We have been celebrating my son's 4th birthday ALL. WEEK. LONG. I can't believe I have a 4 year old and I can't believe all the celebrating is over! Boy are we exhausted! But we had the best time! This year my son has been obsessed with Legos so we had a Lego themed party. There are so many creative ideas on Pinterest, but I decided to use only a few and to keep it simple. Snacks and cake for food - cheese and crackers, juice boxes, popcorn, fruit salad, and cake. I made the cake myself in the shape of Lego pieces making a giant "4," with homemade white chocolate buttercream frosting. The cake turned out so cute! Below is how we decorated and how I made the cake. "Everything is Awesome!"

 Lego decorations don't really exist - so I stuck to red, yellow, green, and blue! Make your own Lego piñata here

 Made a "4" out of Lego Duplos and printed the sign FREE from here 

Treat Bags: party bags from Party City, printed "Lego" circles here, scissors, and glue stick

Each kid got a treat bag for their piñata treats and a Lego "minifigure" to build - so much fun discovering which surprise figure they got!

Streamers and "4" Lego sign

 "Happy Birthday" Lego sign I made with scrapbook paper, large hole punch and printed letters I cut out

"Thank You" tags inspired from this free printable, which I made my own writing around in PowerPoint, printed on construction paper, and tied to "Lego" candy I bought from here

I had the kids "Guess How Many Legos" were in the jar - most popular guess was the number "10" - Oh four-year-olds!

 The Cake: dyed white chocolate buttercream frosting, Sheet cake cut and maneuvered to form the number "4" and Oreos were used as the bumps on Legos
Inspired on Pinterest by this picture

Happy 4th Birthday, Kinley!

Who doesn't love cake?!


Monday, November 10, 2014

Lego Ribbon Pull Piñata

Sorry I have been slightly MIA... I think the October Pinterest Challenge took it out of me! Well, be prepared to be in Lego overdrive - because I know a sweet little boy who is turning the big FOUR tomorrow and we will be celebrating with a "Lego" themed birthday party this weekend! I can't wait to share everything that I have done with you all. Of course my house is pretty much all decorated - but who doesn't like streamers all over the place for a whole week?!

I found this awesome tutorial on how to make a "Lego Ribbon Pull Piñata" on Pinterest. I wanted one that each kid could "pull" a ribbon because we live in Colorado, it's November, ain't nobody want to be outside smacking at a piñata! Here is a step-by-step on how to make yours! We filled ours with little bags of pretzels, gummy candy, and fruit snacks. To create the "Lego" signs on the front, I downloaded the font "Agency" and printed it italicized on construction paper.


- diaper box, empty
- 6 soup cans, empty and washed
- packing tape
- tape
- crepe paper
- white paper
- glue gun
- craft wire
- ribbon
- Mod Podge
- snacks, candy

 Diaper Box with "X's" cut out and cans placed in about halfway, then glue gun them to stay in place

 Cut a "door" at one end and tie a piece of ribbon - this ribbon, when pulled, will open the door to the treats!

 Inside diaper box - cans taped closed

 On the opposite side of your treat door, add wire/rope to hold or hang your piñata by

 Mod Podge your white paper on the box and then use Mod Podge to cover your box

 Tape more pieces of ribbon so each child can 'pull' a ribbon; cover with more crepe paper

 Finished Lego Piñata!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

October Pinterest Challenge

My sweet friend hosted a "Pinterest Challenge" group on FaceBook for the month of October. It was a closed group where any lady in the group could share "pins" that they tried (or failed). It has been so much fun to see what other ladies are trying out - from re-vamping their wardrobe, to Halloween treats, to new dinner meals! It has been great to see that I am not the only person who has a ton of "pins" and is trying to find the time to try them all out! Well, I did not share every single thing that I tried, but I did try to take pictures of what I tried out and will do a side by side of the original "pin" with a link. Oh Pinterest - I. Am. Addicted.

Garlic Macaroni and Cheese - this was delicious and now I know how to steam garlic bulbs!

My 30th Birthday Rose Ombre Cake - the white chocolate buttercream was amazing and I will be using that recipe for my son's upcoming birthday cake!

Lego Pull Piñata - this was so easy to make! Diaper box, 6 x empty cans, some hot glue and crepe paper. It's a ribbon pull pinata, so every kid will get to pull a ribbon and one will open the candy 'door' to release the treats.

White Chicken Chili - Since I LOVE Fall, I am all about chili! This chili made a lot and was very tasty. Plus you can throw everything in your crockpot! Try it out!

Painted Pumpkin with Witch Hat - fun decoration for Halloween with free printable!

German Chocolate Brownie Bites - makes four dozen brownie bites. Plenty if you are going to a party/event and need a dessert to take.

Lego Treat Bags - this lady created Lego brick free printables for any color of treat bag you want to use. Super helpful and they turned out so cute. I did have to cut out 96 circles... but who's counting?!

Baked Parmesan Zucchini - I often struggle with a side dish for dinner. This was delicious and easy and I will probably be making it weekly!

Superman Costume - Confession: I do not get excited about dressing up for Halloween anymore. I prefer enjoy it through the eyes of my children. That said, I needed a costume this year for a few parties/events we were attending. I didn't want to go too crazy or spend a lot of money on something I would never wear again so I decided to go as Clark Kent. I bought a Superman shirt for $12 in the Men's department at Target, used my own jeans, white button down, and glasses. Thanks Pinterest!

Apple Strudel - Oktoberfest was this past month and I had to try my hand at some Apple Strudel! This wasn't very difficult to make and with some cool whip it was so good to eat! I will be making this again next year.

Lego Pumpkin Template - In case you hadn't guessed, my son is really into Legos. I found this awesome template of a 'Lego Head' that my son could not wait to carve out with his dad at his Preschool's "Pumpkin Carving with Daddy" event. He was so proud! 

Spaghetti Squash - I always feel like I'm making this wrong. Well, this tutorial showed me how to make longer strands of squash which we just dumped marinara sauce on top of. It was divine. 

Jalepeno Popper Cheesy Garlic Bread - Oh please make this bread! It has just enough spiciness and cheesiness that will not disappoint! Serve warm!

Tissue Paper Turkey Place Settings - I know, I know... Halloween still hasn't come and I am prepping for Thanksgiving... this should not surprise most of you! This year my parents and sister are coming for Thanksgiving, so I had the boys help me make these cute 'turkey' place settings. They loved using glue sticks to get the tissue paper on. I made the turkey bodies out of scrapbook paper and glued a piece of toilet paper roll to the back so they stand. 

Happy Pinterest Challenge! 


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Italian Drunken Noodles

My kids love to eat sausage, and since my oldest one of getting more and more picky - I made this meal and he ate it! Everything was gone! So here is a one pot meal with a little of everything: meat, veggies, herbs, and noodles!

Italian Drunken Noodles

- olive oil
- 1 lb. sausage, mild
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 orange pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
- 8 oz. Pappardelle noodles (I used butter noodles)

1. Heat about 2 tbsp. olive oil in a dutch oven and add your sausage. Cook until browned. Remove and place into a separate bowl.
2. Add your sliced onion with leftover sausage drippings until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
3. Add salt, Italian seasoning and pepper, stir to combine. Add your peppers and allow to cook for 2 minutes.
4. Add your garlic and cook until aromatic, then pour your wine and allow to reduce for a few minutes.
5. Stir in your diced tomatoes and return your sausage to the dutch oven.
6. Allow mixture to simmer for 4 minutes.
7. Turn off the heat and drizzle a good 2 tbsp. of olive oil as well as your basil and parsley.
8. Prepare noodles according to the directions. Gentle toss the noodles in with your sausage mixture.

 Sliced peppers and onion

 Browning the sausage

 Browning onions, peppers and then adding the white wine

 Heat off and parsley and basil added

Drunken Noodles!