Monday, February 28, 2011

Must Have Monday! Duncan Hines Glaze

This glaze is a lifesaver, not to mention delicious!! I always like to have a bottle of this in my pantry. Very quick to drizzle over any dessert surface. Reasonably priced and usually have coupons lurking around out there to get them even cheaper! These come in 2 flavors, vanilla and chocolate and are oh so yummy!! Pick up a bottle or two!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Special Time Sunday! Roast Marshmallows

Though it is dead center of the winter in some areas, it is still a perfect time to roast marshmallows!

Have a firepit that you didn't put away for the season? Nice way to stay warm on a cold day :)

How about your indoor fireplace? Toss on a log and make sure you supervise your children.

Have any unscented candles around? Try roasting over its tiny flame?

Fun anyway you choose as long as you are together as a family :)

Swap a Recipe Saturday! Rainbow Cupcakes

With St. Patty's Day fastly approaching, I thought I would post some cute food ideas!
This ideas was found on

Rainbow Cupcakes

It's not far to the gold at the end of this rainbow-topped Emerald Isle cupcake, just the thing for your lads and lasses on St. Patrick's Day.


A cooled cupcake
Grass-green frosting
Several flavors of Airheads candies
A pot's worth of gold coins


To make one, first top a cooled cupcake (baked from your favorite recipe) with grass-green frosting.

For the rainbow, use a large, heavy knife (parents only) to cut a long, narrow strip from each of several flavors of Airheads candies (this is sticky stuff, so work on waxed paper). Lay the strips side by side, press them together, then cut the ribbon of strips in half to make two rainbows.

Curve each one into an arch and trim the ends as shown. Set one rainbow upright on the cupcake (save the other for another cupcake) and deposit a pot's worth of gold coins at one end. If necessary, place a gold coin behind the rainbow for support.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Frugal Friday! Mobile Coupons

Found this frugal tip in AllYou magazine, December 17, 2010 issue.

Sign Up for Mobile Coupons

Location-based aps send coupons to your phone for shopping at your favorite stores. Try these:

Foursquare (

Loopt Star (

Yowza (

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Things to Make Thursday! Homemade Garden Tool Box

I found this nice spring craft on :)

Homemade Garden Tool Box

Decorate a wooden tool box with decoupage cut-outs to tote your garden tools in style.

Craft Supplies:

Wooden tool box
Acrylic Paint ( I used, vanilla, burnt umber, jungle green)
Decoupage print (magazine clipping, stickers, rub on transfers, gift wrap, photocopy, etc)
Varnish or polyurethane
Fine grit sandpaper
Tack cloth
Masking tape
Craft Glue or Decoupage Medium

Craft Project Instructions:

Sand the wooden box with fine sandpaper to remove splinters and rough edges. Wipe off dust with a tack cloth.

Paint the inside and outside of the box with vanilla paint, leaving the handle and bottom free of paint. Allow this base coat to dry (for at least 24 hours) then apply a second coat of paint if necessary.

When the base paint is completely dry, mask around the outside of the area to be painted green. Paint the green area with as many coats of paint as required to cover, allowing each coat to dry in between.

Apply a decoupage print by covering the entire back of the print with white craft glue and placing in position. Once the print is in place, apply a thin coat of glue to the entire side of the box that the print was applied to. Allow the glue to dry completely. If you don't allow the glue to dry completely, you may end up with a foggy appearance when applying the final coat of varnish.

Check the photograph for possible placement of prints. You can also use rub on transfers if you like, following the manufacturer instructions. To give a distressed look, gently sand the entire box, including the decoupaged area with fine sandpaper. Use very little pressure until you achieve the look you want.

Apply one coat of varnish to the entire tool box and allow to dry. If you plan to use your tool box for gardening tools, apply several coats of varnish for protection, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next one.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What to do Wednesday! Play "I Spy"

Want to play the ultimate "busy" game with your child? Try "I Spy".

Scan the room for something of a certain color, then say to your child for example; "I Spy...with my little eye...something blue!" Give them 3 trys to find the blue item you are speaking of.

Want to up it to something slightly smarter? Spy something that begins with a certain letter of the alphabet. Same rules apply.

There are so many things located around you that you could keep this game up forever if need be. This is a perfect game for a doctor's office waiting room, etc...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tips Tuesday! The Bathroom Shower

Kitchen is finished. Time to move onto the bathroom. It may be the smallest room in the house, but it makes the biggest demands on your time.


To get rid of mineral deposits in a clogged shower head, remove the shower head fixture and take out the rubber washer. If it's a metal fixture, boil in 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 quart of water for 15 minutes. Soak a plastic shower head in equal amounts of hot water and vinegar.

Glass shower doors will come clean when rubbed with a sponge soaked in white vinegar. Rinse with cool water. And you'll stay cleaner longer if you spray them lightly with furniture polish, and then wipe.

To wash shower curtains, fill the washing machine with warm water and two large bath towels. Add a 1/2 cup each of detergent and baking soda. Then wash, adding 1 cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle. Do not spin dry or wash vinegar out. Hang immediately and wrinkles will disappear when completely dry.

To prevent mildew from forming on new shower curtains, soak in salt water before hanging for the first time.

Baking soda removes mildew from small areas.

A toothbrush and any spray cleaner works wonders on shower door runners.

Bad stains: Mix a paste of peroxide and cream of tartar. Scrub and rinse thoroughly. If stains persist, reapply paste and add a drop or two of ammonia. Let stand for two hours and scrub again.

Light stains: Rub with a cut lemon.

Dark stains or rust: Rub with a paste of borax and lemon juice.

Yellowed tub: Rub with a solution of salt and turpentine. Rinse well.

For an all-purpose homemade cleaner, mix 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 cup clear ammonia and 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 gallon hot water. Be sure the room is well-ventilated and wear rubber gloves. This works greater for fiberglass, porcelain and metal fixtures.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Must Have Monday! Kellogg's Cinnabon Cereal

Is someone just determined to ruin my figure for life?!! This is the best tasting cereal in the world!!! I am not even sure if I have ever eaten just one bowl. There is never a doubt that if there is an open box out, that I won't take it for myself and sit munching on it dry as a yummy snack :) I could do this all day long. I can't be watching my weight with this cereal will ruin me!

OK, tomorrow I start watching my weight....unless someone opens a new box...

Special Time Sunday! $10 day

One of the many things I love about our family is all of our special time together. We continue to choose from our "family fun box" every week like clockwork, as long as the kids keep up their end of the bargain; do their chores, homework without complaint, no back talking, etc...

$10 day was an idea put in by my 10 year old son, Genin. We put this one in our once a month box which is only chosen out of after my husband gets paid. 6 kids x $10 each comes to quite a bit so we definitely need to do it after payday.

We go to a local mall and browse around. The wonderful thing about $10 day is watching the creative things the kids do with this money. They can take it and go directly to the toy store and buy one large thing or they can spread it out all over. Arcades, candy stores, video games, etc... or sometimes they will even agree to add it all together to get something really large! Mostly, they split it up though...they think the more they take home in bags, the better. The looks on their faces when they can freely use $10 is priceless!!

Let them pay themselves, my kids think that is one of the most fun things about buying things. They pull out their wallet, hand the money and get their change.

$10 a little too much? Try it with $5.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Swap a Recipe Saturday! Vegetable Flowers with Homemade Ranch Dip

Since spring is just around the corner, how about making a snack that really gets you in that "springy" kind of mood and revamps your body at the same time :) I got this gorgeous and yummy recipe from

Vegetable Flowers with Homemade Ranch Dip

Let your kids play with their food by making this creative crudité. Once their flower is in bloom, they can dip the petals in our easy-to-mix ranch dressing.


radish slices
fresh spinach leaves
cucumber rounds
cherry tomatoes
celery sticks
baby carrots

1 16-ounce container sour cream
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons minced, fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced, fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 clove garlic, crushed)
2 tablespoons grated onion (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste


Set out vegetables and let your kids design their own flowers (there is no right or wrong way of doing this). We used radish slices and cucumber rounds for petals, cherry tomatoes for flower centers, celery sticks for stems, spinach for leaves, and baby carrots for grass.

Ranch Dip: In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream and vinegar until smooth. Add the parsley, dill, garlic powder, onion, if desired, and salt and pepper and stir. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Frugal Friday! Find Bargains on Blogs

It is Frugal favorite day of the week!! A great time to learn all the ways to become more frugal :) I found this small article in AllYou magazine, December 17, 2010 issue.

Find Bargains on Blogs

Check out these sites for super savings tips, freebies, coupons and more!

SHESAVED.COM: This blog links to deal sites and tells you where to shop for the best savings.

JESSICASCOUPONS.COM: Find steals on baby products and read the Mom Reviews before your next purchase.

MYCOUPONS.COM: My Coupons' Deal Finders search the Web and work directly with reatils to provide the best buys.

CHEAPCHICAS.COM: On the hunt for the latest fashion-trend bargains? Look no further!

BEAUTYTICKET.COM: Makeup, skin care, bath and body, and private sales. What's not to love?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Things to Make Thursday! Bird House Planter

Spring is coming! What better way to welcome it than with this lovely bird house planter. I found this idea on

Bird House Planter

Here's a decorative bird house planter that you can make yourself from easily obtainable supplies.

Craft Supplies:

1 piece of pine or similar wood, measuring 2 inches by 1-1/2 inches by approximately 2 feet

wooden bird house (available craft, garden and dollar stores)

wooden Box (slightly larger than bird house)

4 Wood Balls (flat on one side]

Paint: White and Taupe

Outdoor Varnish

Stickers or Rub-Ons

Fine Crackle medium

Paint Brush

Wood Glue

Fine Sandpaper

Small screws and screwdriver

A small hand saw may also be needed (see instructions below)

Craft Project Instructions
How to:

Use fine grit sandpaper to sand all wooden pieces. Depending on the bird house you choose, you may need to create a notch at the top of the pine wood piece to allow the bird house to lie flat against it. If your bird house will do this already, you can skip this step, otherwise place your bird house against the pine piece at one end and mark the pine where a notch is necessary. Using a saw, cut as deep as necessary through the pine piece creating a notch to fit the bird house. Sand cut area.

Paint your wooden pieces with white or taupe paint. I chose to paint the walls of the bird house in white, but the roof was done in an off-white taupe color. You can choose which combination that you think will look best. Once all pieces are painted with one or two coats, set them aside to dry completely.

Once the paint is dry, attach the wood balls to the bottom of the box with glue and allow to dry. Using small screws, attach the planter box to the bottom of the pine strip and the birdhouse to the top. Using glue between the wood pieces will give a little extra strength.

Once your entire planter is assembled, place rub-on transfers or stickers (I used both) as desired. Be sure that all of your transfers and stickers have adhered well.

Apply crackle medium to the entire planter, following manufacturer instructions and allow to dry completely. Once dry, mix one part water to one part taupe paint and wipe over entire planter, creating a more defined aged affect. You want to fill the cracks completely while leaving the smooth areas clean of paint.

Once your paint is dry, apply one to three coats of outdoor varnish to all of the wood. If you plan on using this planter with living plants, it's very important that you use a quality varnish.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wednesday Blog Hops! Come hop :)

Relax and Make Friends Blog Hop

Free Hot Samples

Life with the Dietrichs

Blogging Hints Catch a Wave Wednesday

What to do Wednesday! Let your child play with your hair!

I don't know about anyone else, but I absolutely LOVE when my kids play with my hair! It started 10 years ago with my first born and continues today with my younger children. Here is what I have done to make it easy :)

You could hit the dollar tree and buy some cheap combs and hair barrettes or step it up and do like I did. I had a small plastic basket I wasn't using. I made a trip to "Sally Beauty Supply" and found things to fill it for their own "Hair Stylist Supply Basket". I bought a vinyl with Velcro close hair catcher apron. I found some other cheap things they could use...plastic color bowl and brush, aluminum foil pieces, coloring bottle, squeeze shampoo bottle, spray bottle, hair clips, various combs, brushes, perm rods, appointment book and receipt book. Now, they have their own little business :)

I let them do it while I am working on the computer, that way, I am giving them some of my time while still accomplishing my daily goals. You could also go through those magazines stacking up or catch up on a good book while you are being beautified!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tips Tuesday! Cleaning Random Kitchen Items

Have a ton of other items hanging out in the kitchen that need cleaned? Here are some tips!


To brighten up any yellowing appliance mix 1/2 cup bleach, 1/4 cup baking soda and 4cups of warm water. Sponge on and let stand for about 10 minutes. Rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly.

Drainboard: To remove hard water lime deposits, soak in white vinegar, then scrub.

Rubber Spatula: Trim off the tattered edges for a few more uses!

Vases: To get rid of the gunky buildup in the bottom of a vase, add a few drops of automatic dishwasher detergent and fill with hot water. Soak overnight, then rinse.

Cutting boards: To get rid of onion, garlic or fish smells, cut a lemon or lime in half and rub the board. Or use a baking soda and water paste.

Broken egg on the floor: Douse it with salt, wait 5 minutes, then sweep it right up.

Kitchen sponge: For a clean, sweet-smelling sponge, just run it through the top rack of your dishwasher.

Steel wool pad won't get rusty if you them them in a plastic bag and store in the freezer.

Spray vegetable oil on a grater before use for fast cleanup. A toothbrush will clean it right out before washing.

Use baking soda to remove coffee and tea stains from plastic cups and dishes.

To get rid of odors in plastic containers, fill with a baking soda and water paste.

Wood Cabinets: To clean and deodorize, combined 1/2 cup baking soda with 1 quart warm water. Rub the paste into the wood. Rinse well with clear water and pat dry. To restore the wood sheen, rub in salad oil or linseed oil using a fine steel wool pad.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Must Have Monday! Vanilla Almond Popcorn from The Pittsburgh Popcorn Company

I have a new love!!!! My friend and I attended the ballet in Pittsburgh this weekend and on the way to the parking garage, we came across a little place called, The Pittsburgh Popcorn Company. I bought Vanilla Almond popcorn and Reese's Peanut Butter Cup popcorn. I now, absolutely LOVE Vanilla Almond popcorn. I couldn't stop eating it!!

Here is the description: Something magical happens to your taste buds when you try this vanilla caramel mixed with fresh sliced almonds.

Want to check out their awesome flavors? They have mail order :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Special Time Sunday! Valentine's Day Ideas

Since tomorrow is Valentine's Day, today would be a perfect day to come up with that ultimate v-day gift! In our family, we choose Valentine's Day to be the one day that is "non-commercial." We set a $20 limit and make our gifts. Here are some of my past ideas, feel free to use one :)

My husband loves a good dessert. I created a smores dessert in the oven one year which I displayed on the dining room table over a few tree branches and felt made fire. For the message to him, I propped up a note that said, "You set my heart on fire" Cheesy right?!! The cheesier the better! Keeps that extra little spark in the marriage.

More sophisticated? How about a candlelit wine and cheese party? Turn off all of the lights and light different sizes of candles. Cheese cubes, grapes and wine...Mmmm!

Like to make a Valentine dinner for your sweetie? How about pasta with heart shaped meatballs? Extremely easy to shape and bake. Your guy/girl will be really surprised to see shape to the meatballs. Don't forget salad and garlic bread!

Didn't want to leave this one out! How about love potion? Pink lemonade mixed with slightly melted vanilla ice cream and poured into skinny vases. Gorgeous display and a very different drinking glass :)

Use these ideas or some fun ones of your own :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Swap a Recipe Saturday! Sweet Fortune Cookies

I found this delicious idea for Valentine's Day on

Sweet Fortune Cookies

Topped with sugar and filled with well wishes, these colorful confections make a memorable treat.


Chilled 9-inch piecrust
3-inch-wide round cookie cutter or drinking glass
Rolling pin or glass.
Nontoxic marker
Slips of paper
Colored sugar
Cookie sheet


Lay a chilled 9-inch piecrust on a cornstarch-dusted surface. Cut out 3-inch-wide circles with a round cookie cutter or drinking glass. To use all the dough, roll out the scraps with a pin or a cornstarch-dusted glass.

Use a nontoxic marker to write fortunes on slips of paper and place one in the center of each dough circle. Fold the circle in half, then pinch and fold the ends together, as shown.

Brush the top of each cookie with water, then sprinkle on colored sugar. Place the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet about an inch apart, sugar side up. Bake them until lightly browned, about 20 minutes, and let them cool before removing them from the pan. Makes about 16 cookies.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Frugal Friday! Tap into Daily Deals

I found this nice little "savings" article in AllYou magazine, December 17, 2010 issue.

Tap Into Daily Deals

Join a group of savvy consumers to partake in steep savings.

DEALIGG.COM-On this website, shoppers post the best deals they find, then the community votes on whether or not they're a great bargain.

GROUPON.COM-Receive a daily special on activities, restaurants and merchandise in a variety of cities. Just choose the city closest to you to get updates via e-mail.

BUYWITHME.COM-When enough customers in an area sign up for an offer before a specified deadline, everyone gets the deal. Nobody pays for the item unless the group reaches the benchmark.

JASMERE.COM-This site connects boutique e-tailers with style-conscious consumers, offering limited-time discounts of up to 70 percent. The more buyers who participate, the lower the prices will go.

LIVINGSOCIAL.COM-Check out daily deals of up to 90 percent off from local businesses in your city. Bonus: If you share a link to a discount that you have received an three other people join in, your purchase is free of charge!

LIFESTA.COM-Bought dance lessons on Groupon but your husband won't go? Sell your unredeemed daily deals at this site or uncover a bargain offered by another seller.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Things to Make Thursday! Decoupage Heart Vase

I found this great craft on that is wonderful for Valentine's Day and easy enough that a teen girl could do it. Totally fun!!

Decoupage Heart Vase

You'll need:

One glass heart vase
Tissue paper in pink, red and white; cut into small squares
Mod-podge or other decoupage material
1-inch foam brush

Decoupage the vase by spreading the mod-podge on the glass, placing a piece of tissue paper on it and continuing until the whole vase is covered. Be sure to mix and match the colors as you go. You can do a second layer of tissue paper for lighter colors. After the vase is covered with tissue paper, spread mod-podge over the whole item to seal it.

This vase is so cute done up in colors that will match your teen's bedroom. You can also get a different shaped glass vase and do school colors for a fundraiser.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday Blog Hops..Come Join Us!

What to do Wednesday! Play Marbles

Various games can be played with marbles.

One game involves drawing a circle in sand, and players will take turns knocking other players' marbles out of the circle with their own marble. This game is called ringer.

Another version involves shooting marbles at target marbles or into holes in the ground (such as rolly or rolley hole).

For more info, go to

These games were found on Wikipedia.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tips Tuesday! Cleaning Glassware and Dishes

Continuing in the kitchen, how about those dishes and glassware?

Glassware and Dishes

Never put a delicate glass in hot water bottom side first. It will crack from sudden expansion. The most delicate glassware will be safe it is is slipped in edgewise.

After washing crystal, rinse in 1 part vinegar to 3 parts warm water, then air dry.

Before washing fine china or crystal, put a towel in the sink to cushion the pieces.

When two glasses are stuck together, fill the top one with cold water and dip the bottom one in hot water.

Scratches in glassware will disappear if you polish them with toothpaste.

Use the cheapest dish detergent available, but add a few tablespoons of vinegar to the dishwater. The vinegar cuts the grease and leaves dishes sparkling!

Quickly remove food that is stuck in a casserole dish by filling it with boiling water and 2 Tbs of baking soda or salt.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Must Have Monday! Sprite Zero

I am one of those many people who cannot drink diet drinks. Even hearing the word diet, gives me a bad taste in my mouth :( I have tried and tried to no end for years.

Was I ever tickled to death when Coke came out with Sprite Zero!! 100% natural flavors, zero caffeine, very low sodium. The best tastes just like Sprite! I can only taste the slightest difference between Sprite and Sprite Zero and it is very small, almost not noticeable. I can't imagine anyone even wanting diet after this development. What a great product!!!

Meet Me on Monday!

I decided to follow a new blog today entitled, Meet Me on Monday. This was an interesting blog hop because you were required to answer 5 questions to participate. This way, others can get to know you :)


1. Did you watch the Superbowl?
2. What is the last book that you read?
3. What is your favorite kind of cake?
4. Do you snore?
5. Do you play an instrument?
My Answers!

Did you watch the Superbowl?

Yes!! Our own Pittsburgh Steelers played an awesome game though they lost to the Green Bay Packers. I am completely behind my Steelers and will continue to bleed black and gold forever!

2. What is the last book that you read?

I am currently in the middle of a great book; Deadly Ties, which I am reading to do a review on.

3. What is your favorite kind of cake?

I am a fool for lemon pound cake! But I can't have much because as the title says lemon "pound" cake. It is hard to only eat one piece!

4. Do you snore?

The only time I have ever been told that I snore is when I am pregnant. I have 6 kids so for at least 54 months in my 34 years on earth, I guess you could say, yes, I snore.

5. Do you play an instrument?

I play a few...clarinet, bass clarinet, contra bass clarinet and oboe. I have also learned to play saxophone since my 7Th grader plays it. It is not much different than the clarinet so it wasn't hard to catch on quick. Oboe is my absolute fave!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Special Time Sunday! Football Games

Who out there tunes in to weekly football games? This is a great time for the family to get together for good conversation, family, food and fun!!

Try some at home tailgating. The internet is filled to the gill with creative recipes for a good tailgating party. Chill some cold drinks, make some banners with your kids to cheer on their fav team and don't forget to wear your jersey...or more!!

Have fun!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Swap a Recipe Saturday! Eat Your Heart Out

I found this fun recipe on Especially great for the kiddies!! Try making some for their school Valentine's Party :)

Eat Your Heart Out

This lovely dessert is easily assembled by chilling layers of gelatin and condensed milk. Even sweeter, it's low-fat.


1 (14-ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
3 (3-ounce) packages of red flavored gelatin
2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes of unflavored gelatin


Dissolve one package of flavored gelatin in 3/4 cup boiling water. Add 3/4 cup cold water, then pour the mixture into a 9- by 13-inch glass pan and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Stir together 1/2 cup boiling water and the condensed milk. In a separate bowl, dissolve all the unflavored gelatin in ½ cup cold water for 1 to 2 minutes. Thoroughly mix in 3/4 cup boiling water, then combine this mixture with the milk and let it cool. Add half the mixture to the pan of red gelatin, pouring it over a spatula to slow the stream, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Continue alternating layers — gelatin mix, the remaining milk mix, the final gelatin mix — chilling each for 20 to 30 minutes to set it. Create individual servings with a heart-shaped biscuit or cookie cutter.

Friday and Weekend Blogs I am Participating in...


Frugal Friday! Dial Up Savings

I found this small article in AllYou magazine, December 17, 2010 issue.

Dial Up Savings

Let these smartphone apps do the work of finding rock-bottom prices, in store and online.

SHOPLOCAL.COM-When you see an item you want in store, punch in the product name at this website on a GPS-enabled smartphone to find the price at nearby and online retailers. If the store you're in has a competitor-price-matching policy, and you find an item for less, you'll snap up savings on the spot.

SHOPSAVVY-Scan the bar code of any product with your phone's camera and this free app ( will compare prices with local online retailers. Available for iPhones, Android devices and Nokia smartphones.

SHOOGER SWEET DEALS-This free app ( allows iPhone, Android and BlackBerry users to instantly access local coupons by category, merchant or keyword without clipping. Just show your phone at checkout to redeem your savings.

VALPAK-It's not just for groceries anymore! Access local electronic coupons (no clipping) on gift cards, flowers, gift baskets, jewelry and more on your iPhone, Palm Pre and BlackBerry with this free app (

Things to Make Thursday! Blue Jean Journal

Recycling Denim: Blue Jean Journal

I found this craft on An awesome craft for a girl's birthday party or just do with your kids :)

Craft Supplies:

Blue Jeans
Tacky glue
Clothes Pegs or Clamps
Photo Album or Journal
Fabric Label (optional)

Craft Project Instructions:

Choose the album or journal that you'd like to use first and then choose a pair of blue jeans that will fit. To determine if your jeans will fit, wrap the waist around the top of the album (back of jeans only) and be sure that the waist extends from each end with a few inches extra (refer to photo at right) This project is not a complicated one but requires a little patience.

If you can, remove the insert of the album, if not you can work around it. Because denim is so heavy and the seams are very bulky, I first covered the album with demin used from the leg of the pants. To do this, place your album open with the outside face down on a denim leg. Cut a piece of denim that will cover the entire outside of the book and extend slightly into the inside cover. Keep the leg seam at the centre of your book as the seam is too bulky to be place elsewhere.

With tacky glue (don't use hot glue, it doesn't hold up well and leaves streaks under the fabric), adhere your cut piece of demin to outside cover and glue excess over all the edges. To hold the denim in place until it dries, secure with clothes pegs or clamps around the album. Allow the glue to dry completely.

Position your book (open, with right side of book to wrong side of denim) around the back waist of the jeans, with a pen or marker, draw a line around the book leaving 1/2 inch excess to be folded to the underside at the top and the bottom of the book and 1 inch excess at the sides to be folded to the inside covers.

Cut your piece and glue to the front and back outside covers, Folding the bottom excess denim under itself and the excess denim at the sides to the inside of the cover (see photo, at right, above, showing the back of the journal where, just below the pocket area, there is a folded under seam). Secure denim with clothes pegs and allow to dry.

If you removed your insert, glue it back in place now. If you were not able to remove the insert, cut two pieces of fabric or paper to fit the inside cover of the front and back and glue in place to cover any turned seams. To finish the edging around the inside cover I added a trim of rusty red ribbon (similar in colour to the levis tag on the pocket), which you can see in the photo of the open journal, near right.

Feed your belt through the belt loops and cut any excess belt off. I used a child's belt so didn't have to add any holes for the belt to connect. If you need to add holes, use either a leather punch or cut very carefully with a craft knife.

To finish up this album, I added a purchased tag to the back pocket (Made with T.L.C.). You can add any extra embellishments now with tacky glue. Once the glue on your book is completely dry it will be a little stiff. That's just the glue and a few little wiggles while the book is open will help to stretch the glue a little and make your book more pliable.

Close the book, secure with the belt and you're all done!

Copyright © 1999-2008 Susan Spatone
Published with permission from

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What to do Wednesday! Thumb Wars

Looking for something to do with your kids? Last week, we went for the tougher of the 2 with arm wrestling. This week, we are down to the thumbs with thumb wrestling or as some like to call it, Thumb Wars!!

A thumb war. A thumb war or thumb wrestling is a children's game played by two players in a tournament called a thumb-a-war (or thumb war) using the thumbs to simulate fighting. The object of the game is to pin the opponent's thumb, often to a count of three.

The players face each other and each holds out their left hand or right hand in a "thumbs up", and they link hands in a monkey grip. The game is typically initiated with both the players uttering the rhyme "One, two, three, four, I declare a thumb war", and their thumbs passing over each other in time with this rhyme. The rhyme is sometimes extended with "Five, six, seven, eight, try to keep your thumb straight.

Remember, it is always cool to let the little ones win, but not every time. You want to think they are seriously winning so don't overdo it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tips Tuesday!! Cleaning Pots and Pans

We are still working our way around, spring cleaning the kitchen.

Pots and Pans

To clean copper pots: Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and 3 Tbs salt. Spray on the copper, let stand for a while, then rub clean. Or try toothpaste, Worcestershire sauce or ketchup. Or dip a lemon half in salt and rub.

Clean the outside of cast-iron skillets with a commercial oven cleaner. Let stand for 2 hours. Then remove any accumulated black stains with vinegar and water.

After cleaning cast iron, while the pan is still warm, wipe with a piece of wax paper to prevent rusting. Or when clean, rub a small amount of vegetable oil on the inside to keep it seasoned.

For burnt-on stains, sprinkle pots liberally with baking soda and add just enough water to moisten. let stand for 2 hours then lift the burned food out of the pan.

Remove stains on non-stick cookware by boiling 2 Tbs of baking soda, 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 cup water for 10 minutes. Re-season with salad oil.

To remove lime deposits from the inside of a tea kettle, fill with equal parts white vinegar and water. Boil 10 minutes and let stand overnight. Shake the kettle, pour out contents and rinse. If any residue remains, scrape with a wooden spoon and if necessary, repeat.

Clean your thermos by adding a few tablespoons of baking soda and filling with warm water. Let stand; rinse thoroughly.