Sunday, September 16, 2012

Decorative Coin Letter

As we're getting ready to move soon, the only room I seem to have decorative ideas for is the pup's room.  Black & white pictures of Bauer and all of his doggie friends will surround the walls in his bedroom.  

Cute, right?

I found this picture on Pinterest and used it as motivation for this craft.  I tried covering the "B" in pennies but it had awkward spaces between coins and didn't look clean.  There are so many options for decorating letters with coins: filling, outlining, designs, etc.  I happen to love the copper color pennies provide but you can use dimes, nickels, or quarters if you prefer silver.  The different sizes of the coins allow you to have some flexibility with the shapes and sizes of the letters.  

The best part about this craft?  All you need is hot glue, coins, and a base letter!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Godfather's Dessert Pizza

Dessert pizza.  This stuff is gooood.  It was always a Sunday treat to go to Godfathers Pizza and eat as much dessert pizza as my 7 year old stomach could handle.  16 years later, I've got a larger stomach and my own oven... dangerous, right?

Pizza Crust: I used store-bought refrigerated but if you're feeling adventurous, make your own!
1 1/2 tablespoon melted butter

Streusel Mix:
1/2 c. + 1/3 c. flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. sugar
2 tablespoons Crisco
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon melted butter

2 c. powdered sugar
2 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Spray pan with Pam.  Flatten dough to 10-12" , Preheat oven to 450'.  Spread melted butter across crust.  Sprinkle cinnamon on crust.
Mix all streusel ingredients together and evenly distribute on pizza crust.
Bake pizza at 450' for 6-8 minutes depending on the thickness of the crust.  Meanwhile, mix icing ingredients.
Once pizza dough is cooked through, remove from oven and top with icing.  Let cool, and enjoy!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Peanut Butter Fruit Dip

This dip only requires 3 ingredients and 5 minutes.  Is that even possible?

Ingredients: (yields 5 servings)
1/2 c. Natural creamy peanut butter
1/2 c. Fruit flavored yogurt
1/4 c. Powdered sugar

Optional Ingredients:
1/2 t. vanilla extract
Sprinkles of cinnamon

So tasty it's hard to believe how easy the prep work is!  

Step 1: Measure out ingredients for dip.
Step 2: Mix all ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl.
Step 3: Prepare fruit tray and serve!  Some food that goes well with the dip - bananas, apples, strawberries, chocolate, graham crackers, etc.  Be creative - everything tastes better with peanut butter!

Please note: If you're serving more than 5 people, I would suggest making 2 servings.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

No-Sew Ruffle Wreath

Of course I would find a way to make a ruffle wreath without sewing... but it was so easy and only cost me about $7!

Materials needed:

  • A 10"-14"Styrofoam wreath (I used flat edge since round wasn't available... either will work)
  • A hot glue gun
  • 1 yard Linen fabric
  • Decorative ribbon or fabric (optional)
  • Scissors

Step 1:  Cut 3 2"x1 yd strips of your linen.  Using hot glue, wrap tightly around your styrofoam wreath.  It doesn't need to be perfect since this area should be covered by the ruffles.  However, this step is necessary as the base of the wreath may show through under some ruffles.

Step 2:  Cut 20 2"x12" strips of linen (you may need more or less depending on the size of your wreath base (mine was 14").  

Step 3: On the back side of the wreath, place hot glue on the base fabric and attach one end of your 2"x12" fabric.

Step 4: Place a small strip of hot glue on your initial wreath base along the fabric line.  Pinch together the fabric before pressing into the hot glue, creating the ruffle effect.  Repeat this step, always placing the glue on the wreath base and overlapping the loose end of the linen over the last ruffle by about 1".  Optional:  If you want to add a little more decoration, use a different fabric pattern or wide ribbon repeating the same ruffle steps.

Step 5: Hang wreath from a ribbon and place on metal wreath hanger.  Voila - you're done!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Raspberry Cinnamon French Toast

Fresh raspberries pretty much taste good with any breakfast meal... but this meal was just delicious!

  • 12 slices cinnamon bread (we chose no raisins)
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 1-1/2 T Oil, for frying
  • 1-3/4 c milk
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1/4 c butter, melted
  • Powdered sugar
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
And from there you just follow your standard french toast instructions!
Step 1: In a medium mixing bowl, mix together eggs, milk, 3/4 c brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, & vanilla.
Step 2: Warm oil in frying pan.
Step 3: Dip pieces of bread in egg mixture just long enough to soak both sides.
Step 4: Fry french toast until lightly browned on both sides.
Step 5: Drizzle with butter and remaining brown sugar 
Step 6: Top with fresh raspberries, powdered sugar, maple syrup, and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

Sunday, March 11, 2012

DIY Jewelry Holder

As my best friend's birthday approached, I had no idea what to get her... so I (of course) turned to Pinterest for an answer.  I scoped out things she pinned that I could possibly make and landed on this cute idea!  But rather than paying $35 + shipping, I thought I'd hit up the 50% off Hobby Lobby deals and make it a DIY project.

Supplies Needed:

  • Wood with sawtooth hooks on back (or you can add those on yourself)
  • 5 knobs (depending on length of wood)
  • Hacksaw
  • Drill & drill bits
Make sure you find knobs that compliment each other well and the more they "pop", the better :-)  Hobby Lobby had a huge selection of knobs!  

I must admit, this project is not for the faint of heart!  I had to seek out the assistance of my coworkers since I didn't have the necessary tools (and didn't want to drop $150 on a drill).  Luckily, I work with some perfectionists who did a great (dare I say perfect) job.

So once you have the materials, here's what you need to do...
Step 1:  Measure out the height of the wood
Step 2:  Using a pencil & a ruler/yardstick, draw a horizontal straight line across the center of wood (height divided in half)
Step 3:  Measure out the length of the wood
Step 4:  Divide the length by the number of knobs and mark a circle at each evenly spaced distance
Step 5:  Drill a hole just large enough for the bolt to go through at every circle
Step 6:  With the bolt all the way pushed through, use a permanent marker to mark the bolt where it hits the back side of the wood
Step 7:  Pull the bolts back out of the wood and use the hacksaw to cut at the marked area on the bolt
Step 8:  Drill an inset hole through the back of the wood deep enough for the nut to rest inside the wood
Step 9:  Place knobs through holes, screw the nuts onto the bolt
Step 10:  Admire your new jewelry hanger because you're done! 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

No Sew Tutu Tutorial

I work in a hospital that always has the cutest items in the gift shop window.  During Valentine's Day season, they had a tutu for a little girl that one of my coworkers just adored... for $38.  Yikes!  Well this month, her daughter is turning 1 so I decided to have a little DIY project (which I always love).

The tutu is super easy to make and just turned out so great that I'm going to have to make another for my niece ;-)

Supplies Needed:
  • 2 rolls of tulle (6" x 24 yds)
  • 3/4" elastic
  • Flower pin (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Needle & thread

Step 1: Decide what size waistband you will be working with, and how long you want the tutu to be.  I decided to make the waistband 17" at first but cut it down to about 15" after I got to working on it.

Step 2: Sew waistband ends together.

Step 3: Measure out tulle to 2x the desired length.  I used 28" for a tall 1 year old.  Cut strips of tulle at the proper length.  I measured and cut all of the tulle, but had some excess strips after that I will use to make another tutu for my niece.

Step 4: Fold tulle strip in half, wrapping around waistband by pulling the fabric through the loop.  Pull the knot tight.  Repeat this step alternating colors

Step 5:  Add pin to waistline and voila - you're done!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Storage made cute - for free!

Chip clips... we all have them but why is it we can never find them when we need them?  A few weeks ago, I found the perfect storage solution for them - almost.  I used an old Quaker Oats oatmeal container (18 oz.) but was unhappy with the look of an oatmeal container sitting on my counter.  All it took was 20 minutes and supplies already on hand to have a cute container that matches my kitchen.


  • 18 oz oatmeal container (empty)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Mod Podge
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Scrapbook Paper (2 patterns if preferred)
  • Ribbon (Optional)
  • Pen or pencil

Step 1: Lay the oatmeal container on its side.  Line the bottom of the oatmeal container up with the edge of the back of the scrapbook page.  Trace a line to determine where to cut, roll the container and continue this process across the paper.  Cut scrapbook paper on dotted line.

Step 2: Place 5-7 hot glue strips surrounding the container

Step 3: Wrap scrapbook paper around container.

Step 4: Because I was using scrap scrapbook paper (pun intended!), I had some space left.  So I chose a scrap of a matching pattern and glued a strip over the gap.

Step 5: Mod Podge the whole thing for a gloss finish and to make the container more resistant to stains & water.  It was important to Mod Podge the strip very carefully so it lays down on the larger scrap with no space or bubbles.  Mine had a few bubbles that I left for effect... you may or may not choose to do this.

Step 6:  Let dry!

Step 7: While drying, trace the outer circle of the lid onto the back of the paper (I used the same pattern as the strip) and cut the circle approximately 1/4" in all the way around so it will fit inside the lid.  Next, put hot glue on the lid and fit your circle right inside.  Cover with a layer of Mod Podge.

Step 8:  Tie ribbon around the container & voila - you're done!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Money Saving March

Happy March!
My husband & I have decided to challenge ourselves and see how little we can actually spend this month.  If you're looking to save money, you may be pleasantly surprised with how much pennies saved can add up!  Here's some things we're trying out:
  • Set a goal.  When my husband decided he wanted a MacBook Pro, we decided to work for it.  Since we don't have spare money lying around, I challenged him to help in the budgeting process.  Any irregular income (selling items on E-bay, mileage reimbursement for work, birthday money, etc.) will go toward the MacBook fund, and until we can gather all of that money (tax included!) we will wait.  
  • Coupons, coupons, coupons!  There are so many coupons we get in the mail, and living in a big city gives us many options where we choose to buy our products or get our service.  Other websites I frequent for coupons include:
  • Smart shopping. 
    • One of the tricks to smart shopping is time management.  Leaving enough time in your schedule to save money will be worth it.  We have chosen 3 grocery stores based on pure savings, fuel perks, and convenience.  I shop at Aldi for all things canned, bagged, and available.  On the way home, I swing by Meijer which is practically in our backyard and pick up all other items (using Meijer perks).  Lastly, I go to Giant Eagle for gift cards to restaurants, clothing retailers, and much more earning fuel perks along the way!
    • Every week, I write a shopping list & stick to it.  By only buying those items you need, you will really impress yourself with the $ total at the checkout.
    •  Plan your recipes wisely by finding multiple meals using the same ingredients.
  • Set a budget.  We looked to Dave Ramsey's site for a few budget worksheets and ideas but ultimately, it's up to you and what your family's expenses are.  For example, we're trying to save for a house so we have decided to spend much less on housing now and increase our savings for a down-payment.
I'll be sure to keep you updated throughout the month to let you know how the savings add up!

I challenge you to find new ways to save, and share them with me!

March Grocery Trip #1 -- Saved $8.38 shopping at Aldi
As you can see, I bought all my canned and packaged items from Aldi and saved!  Because Aldi only offers one brand for each item, I was in and out of the store within 25 minutes and finished my grocery shopping for the week in just over an hour (including price comparison hunting)... definitely worth the savings!  If I can save this much each week, in just 6 weeks I'll have saved over $50 in grocery store selection alone.

Believe it or not, I don't just eat canned tomatoes for lunch every meal - my 13 canned tomato purchases will serve to make spaghetti sauce and lasagna soup this week... yum!