Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sunflower Pie Made with Peeps

Looking for a way to use up your leftover Peeps? Try out this fun way to decorate a pie.


For Easter, I made a coconut cream pie and topped it with whipped cream, Peeps and toasted coconut for a fun sunflower pie.



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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bridal Shower Bingo - FREE Printable

One of the games we played at Christie's shower on Saturday was bingo. I used the items on her gift registry to create bingo cards. As she opened her gifts, people would check the items off their cards until they had a bingo. Many of the items listed are generic enough that you could use these for other showers, so feel free to download the bingo cards and use them for your shower. There are forty different cards. 


Monday, April 18, 2011

Four Ways to Reuse Soda Bottles

In honor of Earth Day later this week, I thought I would do a quick post to help you keep soda bottles out of the trash. We've been told since grade school to reduce, reuse and recycle. Often with a little bit of creativity, you can find useful ways to keep your "garbage" out of a landfill. For example, here are four ways to re-use the remnants of your mid-afternoon pick me up:

1. Water your plants
Drill five holes in the cap of a soda bottle. Fill the bottle with water, replace the cap and place upside down in the soil of your plant. It will keep your plant watered while you're away on vacation.

2. Help boots keep their form
I put old soda bottles in my winter boots to keep them from getting "slouchy."

3. Create a funnel
Simply cut off the top of a soda bottle and you have a funnel.

4. Bird feeder
Place two sticks through the bottle for birds to perch on. Two inches above stick cut a half-circle flap and fold the flap back to allow birds to eat the seed. Place a hook into the cap of the soda bottle, fill the bottle with bird seed, place the cap back on and hang.

Here are additional posts on reusing "garbage."
Mascara wands
Magnets and floppy disk case

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring Bridal Shower Decorations - FREE Printable

As I've mentioned earlier, my brother is getting married this summer. Yesterday we had a bridal shower for his amazing fiancee. Despite threats of snow, we did decorations with a spring-time theme, and I thought I would share some affordable ways to decorate that we used for the shower.

1. Fresh flowers
My sister-in-law Megan picked up bunches of flowers from Trader Joe's for only 3.99 each.

2. Table clothes
We used simple, disposable table clothes, but instead of using just one table cloth per table, we used white table cloths and topped them with table runners, which were made by cutting disposable table clothes into three pieces.

3. Table wear
Getting plates, napkins, utensils and cups that match your colors are an easy way to pull your theme together. To add a little extra flair to the utensils, we wrapped them in a napkin held together with napkin rings made from strips of scrapbook paper.

4. Food
Try to use food that matches your theme. We placed jelly beans and Starburst on the table. They matched our orange and pink spring theme perfectly.

Photobucket Photobucket

5. Paper
Scrapbook paper and printed decorations are an easy, affordable way to decorate for almost any party. We used scrapbook paper to decorate old soup cans for the centerpieces and printed out a pennant banner. As I mentioned earlier, we also used scrapbook paper to make napkin rings.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Birdseed Wreath

To welcome spring, I decided to make a little decoration that the birds might enjoy as well. Once the wreath was up on my arbor, I found out that it is going to snow on Saturday and the squirrels liked the wreath much better than the birds.

While it didn't serve by initial intentions, it was easy and a great way to add a little decoration to my arbor before the shrubs start to bloom.


Birdseed Wreath
1 1/2 cups boiling water
8 tablespoons cold water
4 1/4 oz. pkgs. unflavored gelatin
8 cups birdseed

Spray a Bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray. Mix the gelatin with 8 tablespoons of water; let sit for one minute. Add the boiling water and stir until gelatin dissolves. Combine the gelatin mixture with the birdseed in a large bowl and mix until the birdseed is coated with gelatin. Pour into Bundt pan and press the mixture firmly into the pan.

Place in the refrigerator for four hours until firm. Take the pan out of the refrigerator and let it dry overnight. Turn upside down and tap on the bottom until the wreath releases from the pan.


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Sunday, April 10, 2011

When Everything Goes Wrong, Even Dyeing Easter Eggs

It has been one of those weeks - one of those weeks when everything goes wrong. You wonder why your employer bothers to pay you because every decision you make is wrong and everything you touch has a mistake. You wonder why you bother trying to get anything done because checking one thing off the list leads to adding two others. You wonder why every time things start to head in the right direction, they make a turn for the worse.


Yesterday, I decided dyeing Easter eggs was the creative outlet I needed to turn my week around. I had picked out five new techniques I wanted to try and tell you all about them for your own Easter adventures, but in line with the rest of my week, things didn't go as planned.

1. First up was stone Easter eggs from DLTK. You just tie the egg up in a pair of nylons, put it in the dye and let it dry. Easy enough, yet it still didn't turn out as you can see in the image below.


2. Next was something even simpler. Writing on an egg with a white crayon before dyeing. I thought this would be a great way to have the Easter bunny leave a note for kids. However, I ran out of room on the egg for the message I was going to write.


3. Up next was masking. Simply using painters tape to mask off areas of the egg you don't want to dye. I managed to fail at this not once, but three times. At least they got progressively better.




4. I found a great idea for tissue paper dyed eggs also from DLTK. You dip your egg in water and apply small squares of tissue paper to it. When the squares dry, they fall off, but the coloring remains. I thought I was above the rules and used recycled paper despite the directions saying specifically not to do this. So again, this didn't turn out.


5. Finally, I tried marbleized eggs from Martha Stewart. They don't look anything like Martha's, or marbleized for that matter, but after the previous four, I'll consider these kind of a success.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Two-Ingredient Lemon Bars


This simple, two-ingredient lemon bar is a nostalgic recipe for me. A friends mother had made these lemon bars for a birthday party, and my mom asked for the recipe. I remember my mom telling me that it was easy enough for me to make - it was one of the first recipes I remember making mostly on my own. As a result, every time I make these bars, I recall every detail of the birthday party from the games we played and the weather to the park where it was held.

While I don't expect, you to get all nostalgic putting together this easy recipe, it is one of the easiest bar recipes I have ever found. All you need it a one-step angel food cake mix and a 15 oz. can of lemon pie filling.

Mix them together by hand until moist. Be sure not to over stir. Bake in a 9x13 cake pan at 350 degrees until golden brown on the top (about 20 minutes). Cool completely before eating. As they are cooling, you can sprinkle with powder sugar if you wish (Which I guess technically makes this a 3-ingredient recipe).They have more of an angel food cake texture than a traditional lemon bar texture.


Tonight I actually tried one with some left over fruit salsa from Our Best Bites, and it was amazingly delicious.

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Free Printable for Teacher Appreciation Gift

Below is a gift that I put together to give to my sister-in-law for Teacher Appreciation Week, which is May 2-6 this year. I thought it would be fun to give her a little gift as I appreciate what she does for children, but also because I appreciate all of the funny stories she shares.


All classrooms are chaotic, but she teaches music. Imagine adding tambourines, drums, xylophones and recorders to the chaos and you have Megan's world.

I found the following quote from Gail Godwin:

Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths pure theatre.

I decided to use that as the inspiration for her gift, and I bought her a gift card for a local movie theater and designed a special gift-card envelope.


If you want to do the same, download the gift-card envelope file, trim it out and purchase a gift card.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Deals on Spa Services

While I love getting a pedicure or message and have always wanted to try a facial, sometimes the cost of spa services decreases their relaxing quality for me. Therefore, I was really excited when I learned about Spa Week. During the upcoming Spa Week Event, select spas will offer some of their most exclusive services for only $50. Spa Week is a bi-annual event, and the spring event will take place between April 11-17. Visit the Spa Week website to find a participating spa in your area.


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