Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I have been wanting a black leather couch for months. I'm too practical to go out and buy a new one, so I diligently watched for one on KSL. After a few weeks I gave up then one morning I just thought to check. I found a FREE black leather couch about 15 minutes away from us. I called and the lady said I could have it! Patience really pays off!

The couch wasn't perfect but DH fixed the structural problem. So it was time for new pillows! For this pillow, I used Make It- Love It's tutorial, found here.

And for this pillow, I used Just Another Hangup's tutorial, found here.

There is a downside to this story is that I foolishly left my purse in my car while I was helping DH bring our new couch into the house, then I forgot about it. The next morning the bank called to verify some strange transactions, and, you guessed it, someone broke into my car and stole my wallet. It has been a nightmare trying to replace everything, but it's also been a blessing in disguise, so I really can't complain.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


My parent's got me a camera for Christmas! YAY!!! I really wasn't expecting it but I'm having so much fun! DH got me Sure Cuts A Lot for Christmas so I've been having a blast labeling EVERYTHING!

Now I'll have to play catch-up and post all the things I've made over the last few months.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Play apron and oven mitt

After watching how much DD loved playing with a real oven mitt, I just had to make one so I unwrapped her apron and whipped up a quick oven mitt to go with it. (Fabric from Hobby Lobby)

The oven mitt isn't the best but I just free-handed it in about 2 minutes.

BTW, the apron pattern was incredibly easy. I borrowed it from my neighbor. She bought it at Wal-Mart. It's McCall's M5720 if anyone is interested.

Cleaning Tips & Recipes

A while back, I showed the Relief Society in a friends ward how to make homemade laundry soap. They handed out a packet with some other great cleaning tips and I can never find the packet when I need it, so I'm posting it here.

All Purpose Cleaner:
1/4 gallon warm water
1/2 cup ammonia
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup alcohol
Empty squirt bottle

Mix ingredients and put in squirt bottle. Use to clean and sanitize hard surfaces in the home. Keeps well in the bottle for an extended period of time.

Wall Cleaning Solution:
1 cup ammonia
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cups soda (I assume that means baking soda)

Mix with 1 gallon water. Use on wall surfaces other than flat paint.

Homemade Windex:
2 TBSP non-sudsy ammonia
1 tsp. dish washing soap
1 pint rubbing alcohol
Blue food coloring (optional)

Mix in one-gallon container. Fill remaining space in container with cold water. Wipe windows clean with newspaper.


-Wipe bathroom and kitchen fixtures, stoves, etc. with rubbing alcohol.

-Freshen pillows, bedspread, quilts and blankets by periodically placing then in the dryer on a no heat cycle to reduce the need for laundering. The same thing can be done for draperies and curtains.

-Remove ball point pen marks by spraying first with hairspray.

-To whiten and brighten colors, soak in plastic container for 8 hours in water with dish detergent then launder normally. For badly grayed towels, etc. soak longer.

-Was windows from left to right on inside and top to bottom on outside. If there are streaks, you will know which side they are on. Don't wash windows with sun directly on them. THey dry too fast and streak.

-Clean windows with water and polish with newspaper. They will sparkle from the glycerin in the newsprint. They will also shine with 1 cup ammonia and 1/2 cup vinegar in 1 gallon hot water.

-Ovens- Place 1/2 cups ammonia in a dish in a closed oven or soak small towel in ammonia and place in closed oven overnight to loosen grease and soil. In the morning, wash.

Christmas Cards & Stockings

I saw this on 30 Days and had to make it. I used things I already had in the house and it's okay for this year but I'm going to need a much bigger frame next year and better ribbon. The frame I used is 21" x 17" and just these 5 cards have taken up most of the space. So I'll be on the lookout for a big frame at DI that I can paint red and use in years to come.

I've also been working on stockings for our little family. Until now we've been using stockings from our childhood. DH's was a cross stitch stocking while mine was a patchwork stocking. DD's was a crappy sequence one from the dollar store. They just didn't go together. The hardest part was deciding on fabric. I wanted all our stockings to be the same, like my family's stockings were growing up, and DH wanted them to be all different. I saw different colored damask's at Hobby Lobby and used a pink for DD (and planned on green when we have boys) but finally decided that it didn't look good with mine and DH's black stockings. So after sewing half a dozen stockings and not liking them, I have settled on all the stockings being black & white damask with the tops being red for the girls and green for the boys.

So here they are. DH's has green behind his name. Maybe this is weird, but I purposely made my stocking & DH's stocking face the other direction from DD's. That's how ours were growing up, so that's what I did too.

I need to make sure I borrow my mom's camera on Christmas morning (unless someone gets us a camera for Christmas!) so I can take pictures of the other things I've been working on. I made a little apron for DD to go with the play kitchen she's getting for Christmas. I just wrapped it so I don't want to get it our just to snap a crappy cell phone picture.

For neighbor gifts I'm going to make mall-style cinnamon sugared almonds. Go here for the recipe.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful Thanksgiving

Well, my 5 pies are made, the turkey is ready to go in the oven, the rolls are rising and DH &DD are napping which gives me some quiet time to think about this day.

I have so much to be grateful for. I have the best husband in the world and the sweetest, most gorgeous girl that loves me and brings so much joy to my life. (There is no sweeter sound than DD saying "mommy")

As we are on call for the mortuary and stuck at home having our own little Thanksgiving, I realize that I have all I need right here. I fear I take them for granted because I have them here all the time. But really, as long have I have my husband and kids with me, I can't ask for more.

Of course I have so many other things to be grateful for as well. I'm grateful for my husband's job and that he loves it. I'm grateful for the mortuary and the home it provides us. I'm grateful for our families. I'm grateful that DH's siblings are our best friends. I'm grateful for my church calling and the opportunity it gives me to serve. I'm grateful for our temples, and that we live so close to so many of them. I'm grateful for all the material things we have and that we can live so comfortably.

Above all, I'm grateful for my Heavenly Father and my savior, Jesus Christ. I know without a doubt that EVERYTHING I have comes from them. I'm grateful to know that Father hears & answers prayers.

And on a really worldly note, I'm grateful that our co-workers are covering for us tonight so we can go see Harry Potter!!!!:)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Potato Basil Puree

I was at Costco the other day and saw Ina Garten on the cover of Costco's magazine. I picked it up and flipped through it when I got home. The one recipe that screamed "Make me!" was the Potato Basil Puree. Being an Italian girl, I am a sucker for anything basil.

(photo from )

I had some fresh basil leaves so I made it for dinner tonight. It is absolutely delicious!

Potato Basil Puree


2 cups fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
2 pounds large Yukon Gold or white boiling potatoes
1 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and fill a bowl with ice water. Add the basil leaves to the boiling water and cook for exactly 15 seconds. Remove the basil with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge the leaves into the ice water to set the bright green color. Drain and set aside.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut them in quarters. Add the potatoes to the same pot of boiling water and return to a boil. Cook the potatoes for 20 to 25 minutes, until very tender. Drain well, return to the saucepan, and steam over low heat until any remaining water evaporates.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the half-and-half and parmesan cheese until the cream simmers. Place the basil in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree. Add the hot cream mixture and process until smooth.
  4. With a handheld mixer with the beater attachment, beat the hot potatoes in the pot until they are broken up. Slowly add the hot basil cream, the salt, and pepper and beat until smooth. If the potatoes need to be reheated, cover and cook gently over low heat for a few minutes. Pour into a serving bowl, sprinkle with extra parmesan cheese, season to taste, and serve hot.

Serves 4 to 5.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Flannel Board

After seeing a felt turkey at Naptime Crafts, I couldn't get the idea of having a flannel board out of my head. And the only cure for that is to make it, buy it, whatever it takes. I have a bunch of felt for the quiet book I will one day make (maybe) so while DD was napping I cut out a turkey. Couldn't have been easier. Then I set out to find something I could use to make a flannel board. I went to DI hoping to find a cheap, lightweight frame that I could take the glass out, but the only thing that came close was $8, and I didn't want to spend that much on something I knew I could make for pennies.

While laying in bed that night I remembered that DD's ond hair bow holder was covered in flannel, and that it was sitting in her closet as it doesn't match her room anymore. I swear my light bulbs only go off while I'm laying in bed.

So it's currently pink but I'm waiting to go to JoAnn's next week when their flannel is on sale to get white, but it works for now.

So we've been learning about Turkeys and Thanksgiving and practicing colors.

Last night I was cutting some Christmas shapes on the Cricut and decided to cut templates and make a felt tree and snowman.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Just Another Hang Up

I love link parties. I always come away with new projects to do and sometimes I stumble upon a wonderful blog.

I was on somewhat simple and an amazing flower caught my eye. Probably because I've been making the same type of flower for DD but these look so much better. Suzanne at Just Another Hang Up is a very talented lady who is incredibly generous too. She has many patterns and files that she's willing to email. I emailed her and within the hour, she sent me 4 files that I'm super excited to start working on.

Link over and check her out!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mickey Counters

I'm so proud of myself when I come up with something on my own, rather than copying ideas I see on blogs. These original ideas are few and far between, but I'm happy that they come at all.

This idea came from the frustration that all DD ever wants to do is watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. We've started having "art time," "dance time," "reading time," "cooking time," "clean-up time," and anything else I can come up with just to get her excited about something other than Mickey Mouse.

I wanted to limit how much she watches so I came up with this:

We keep this at her level on the side of the fridge and now every time she wants to watch Mickey, she has to take a "Mickey" off the board. Don't think I let my child watch 8 episodes a day! She gets 4 on the weekdays and 8 for the entire weekend. 4 a day even sounds like a lot!
It probably makes more sense to just have 4 Mickey's on the board, but DH and I liked the look of this.

Making it was simple. I just cut out 8 black Mickey ears and 4 red & 4 yellow Mickey ears that were 1/4" smaller, all on the Cricut. I have some Mickey paper that I used as a background then glued the black Mickey ears to it. I left the red & yellow Mickey's loose and took it all to Utah Idaho Supply to have it laminated. It was less than a dollar for all of this. When I got home I cut up adhesive magnets (97 cents a pack at Wal-Mart) and stuck them to the back of the colored Mickeys and to the front of the black Mickey's so they'd stick together and it was all done.

Super easy, and so far it's been really effective.
And again, sorry for the camera phone pictures.

Cricut Love

MIL let me bring home the Cricut while I'm working on DD's new Mickey room. It was a real pain to drive 30 miles to cut all the things I needed to.

I decided to stray from the Mickey cartridge tonight and make some Christmas cards for an upcoming achievement days activity.

I've been so focused on the Mickey cartridge that I never really took the time to browse through the others. I found some awesome cards for Thanksgiving which is was perfect to send the great-grandparents these turkey hands that DD recently made for art-time. I love this this autumn script and this cute little turkey.
While I was at it I made a "give thanks" banner for the mantle. I wasn't in the mood to string it so I just taped it right to the mantle.
As always, I realize I should have done things slightly different when it's too late. When I was attaching the leaves to the mantle, I wished I had them going in random directions, not so uniform. But by then the letters were glued on and it was too late. Oh well, I'll know for next time.

I still haven't found my camera. I hope that someday soon I'll stumble upon DD's hiding place. So these pics are all from my phone. They're awful, I know. Sorry.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tutu Bow Holder

I've been on a bow making kick lately and DD's old bow holder just wasn't cutting it anymore. I decided to make a tutu bow holder. It seems a little more grown up for my almost 2-year-old (on saturday!) I used ehow's instructions.

Sorry for the picture, it's from my phone.

The tulle is 3 ft. long. I decided to start out long because I can always cut it down, but DD has a lot of bows so I'm glad it's that long.

This will look a lot better hanging in DD's room after I paint it. Her old color scheme is driving me nuts. I never really liked it, but I was in such a rush to do SOMETHING, that I ended up with something ugly.

So, this tutu holder will fit the new color scheme (when I actually get around to re-painting her room)

Cost for this project: $6.
Brown ribbon was $2 and 4 yards of tulle at Walmart was $4.
The bodice was made of foam board, which I had. The fabric and hanger I also had on hand.

After an hour or so and many hot glue gun burns later, I learned a few things that will make it easier when I make one for BFF's baby girl. It's really an easy craft and DD tells me it's "pity" and "oh! cuuuute"!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Halloween Potions

For the first time since I was a little kid, I am excited for Halloween. I never understood the desire to be scared or act silly. But that has changed. Maybe it's because DD is almost 2 and I can dress her up or maybe my in-law's love for the holiday has rubbed off on me, but I'm totally into it this year.

I went downstairs to find my Halloween decorations and was shocked at my lack of decor. I have a scary tree that glows and 2 pumpkins which are of Mickey & Winnie the Pooh. And all 3 of those items were bought by MIL. So I started blog surfing for ideas and found one that I LOVED! Substantially Chic Designs had the cutest potions display! So I decided to copy her ;)

I raided my fridge and transferred a bunch of stuff to Tupperware so I could use the glass and I spray painted the lids matte black.
I printed out a bunch of labels that she linked to. The only problem was that I was printing them at my in-law's house and didn't have my bottles with me to size them correctly.
I set made a list of things to buy at the dollar store but only found about 1/2 the things on my list so I came home and improvised.
I saw another blog that did Harry Potter potions and made labels out of brown paper bags so I decided to add a few of those.

I love the Vampire blood. I had this awesome bottle in the fridge which had some acai berry drink in it. I was happy to have an excuse to dump it. The label is from Love Manor and the liquid is water with a few drops of red food coloring.

The corrosive sublimate label from Spook Show and I just filled it with maple syrup.

The polyjuice potion is simply dirt and water. DH made the label.
The skeleton was supposed to have a label but I didn't print it. DH and I decided to leave it alone.

Living Death is another Potter reference and contains water with red & blue food coloring. The Danger: Unknown Specimen was a toy snake from the dollar store that I cut up. That one grosses me out.

I had this cool bottle that DH's grandpa gave us containing his homemade plum syrup. The syrup was almost gone and I thought it would be perfect for the Life Renewal Potion, which is water & green food coloring.

The Human Flesh label comes from Love manor and inside is a toy liver from the dollar store and water.

I was excited for the eye of newt. Like Substantially Chic, I got hydrating balls from the dollar store and added green food coloring. I didn't have a label so DH made one.
The petrified butterflies bottle is empty (shameful, I know). I've been trying to find butterflies at the dollar store but haven't had any luck. But I love the label, so I kept it.
The eyeball label comes from Spook show and just has chocolate balls with eyeball wrappers from the dollar store in it.

Now, this potions collection is on a floating shelf above the TV and I thought it needed a little more. MIL just bought a Cricut for us girls to share!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and we got an awesome Halloween cartridge, but it'll be a few days before I'm at her house to cut something cute so I came up with something else.

Running off the Harry Potter theme, I made a warning sign on "parchment." I haven't decided it I love it yet, but it'll work for now.

I had made a potions sign with the cricut, but after adding the Harry potter stuff, it just didn't look right so I took it down.

I also made a trick or treat banner, but I wish I had made it bigger. I was really just playing with our new toy and that's what I came up with.

It's amazing the crafting possibilities a Cricut provides. DD is obsessed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She's turning 2 in a week and we got a Mickey cartridge (of course) so I'm going to spend my lonely weekend while DH works making decorations for her birthday! So excited!

Linked up to Tea Rose Home

Saturday, September 25, 2010


My freaking awesome in-law's took all of us kids & spouses to Disneyland for a glorious 6-day vacation to celebrate my mother-in-law's 50th birthday. This was my very first trip to the happiest place on earth and I truly had no idea what I was missing. We had a wonderful time other than the evil flu that DD gave 7 out of the 9 in our family. DD had been sick before we left, and I mean really sick. Like going to the ER for dehydration. DH and I were lucky to have gotten the bug before we left but the other 5 were sick during the trip:(

Nevertheless, we all had a great time! We spent one day at beautiful Newport Beach and 5 days in Disneyland and California Adventure.

(We all pitched in on an iPad for mom. Needless to say, she was thrilled)

(Tower of Terror. Best. Ride. Ever! Well, tied with Soarin' over California)

Disneyland has gone from being something that I thought people made too big a fuss about to my dream vacation spot. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that place!

We've been home for almost 2 weeks and I'm still going through withdrawals. I've been busying myself planning home improvement projects. I've had general contractors out to give me estimates for having my laundry room finished. That's going to be up to the boss/landlord. I don't know how happy he is to lay down $5000 to beautify a 100-year-old house, but I've got my fingers crossed!
**I must note that the first two pictures are stolen from my sis-in-law. She always does awesome effects on her pics and I've never figured it out.