Archive | January, 2013

Lego Ninjago Valentines

31 Jan

Every year the kids in Big A’s class exchange Valentines.  Every year I say “Next we are going to make the Valentines instead of buying them.”  This year, I finally actually MADE the Valentines!  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACrazy thing is that making them didn’t cost any more than buying them, and they are way cooler than the store bought ones!

Big A LOVES Lego Ninjago, so naturally we made Lego Ninjago Valentines.  I bought a box of craft foam with assorted colors.  They are about the size of a note card/recipe card and have a peel off backing, so there was no need to use glue.  I bought 3 large sheets of craft foam in yellow for the faces.

I folded the small foam rectangles in half and cut the  middles out, almost like doing a figure eight.

Next, I peeled the backing off 9 cards, stuck them to a yellow sheet and then cut between them.  This made cutting the yellow a lot faster!  I repeated this step until I had 30 Valentines.

Next, I drew the eyes and eyebrows onto the faces.  Big A wrote to and from on the backs with his name and the names of each of his classmates in permanent marker.

I bought 2 large bags of M&Ms and sorted them by color.  Blue Ninja got a snack bag of blue candies, red got red and so on.  For the black ninja I did brown M&Ms and for the white one I did yellow.  I didn’t want to buy the special custom colored M&Ms, they are so expensive!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI stapled the snack bags of M&Ms to the Valentines, and they are done!  And so cute!

You could also do this for a Ninjago birthday party, these would make great invitations or thank you cards.


Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

25 Jan

Peanut butter cookies are my favorite.  Well, pretty much anything with peanut butter . . . apples, celery, peanut butter balls . . . So many wonderful things you can do with peanut butter!  Here is my recipe for the best EVER peanut butter cookies.

  • 1 cup any kind of peanut butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg (or equivalent egg substitute)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix peanut butter and sugar until well blended.  Wisk egg in separate bowl and add to peanut butter/sugar.  Add vanilla and baking soda, mix all ingredients.

Grease cookie sheets and spoon 1/2 balls of dough, press cris-crosses gently into balls.  Bake for 10 min or until golden.  Let cool.  Eat!

I have to share these pictures with you of Little C helping me bake.  He was a very good assistant and he learned 2 very important lessons today.  #1-Vanilla doesn’t taste yummy like vanilla ice cream.  #2 Don’t stick your fingers in the beaters while they are mixing.





One Man’s Trash . . .

25 Jan

I am one of those crafty, artsy people that holds on to things.  You know, bottle caps, oatmeal containers, cardboard . . . because I use it for various projects.  I also sometimes trash pick.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never dove head first into a dumpster!  But I have found some useful items on the curb!

That being said, there are some things that really should just be thrown away.  Often times when I’m at a garage sale I see something and think, Wow, they expect to get money for that?  Throw it out!  But today we aren’t talking garage sales my friends.  No, we are talking Craigslist.  I love the site!   I love to buy, especially baby and kid’s items because they get used for such a short period of time.  I love to sell for the same reason, those short lived items that you need for babies and small children sell like hot cakes!  (how do hot cakes sell anyway?  Where did that expression come from?)

Then there is the FREE section of Craigslist.  Folks, many of the items in this section belong in the trash.  Not everything is useful, not everything is salvageable.  And some things are just gross.  While getting my daily dose of CL, I popped on over to the free list and here are some of the items I found.

  1. Old blue toilet, may need repairs.  Toilet is behind house. You can ring the door bell or just go get it. Only the toilet is free.  So, if you need a new old broken toilet from the 60’s that spent the better half of 40+ years being filled with someone else’s doody, well here you go.  And this was not the only free old toilet, so you can take your pick.clfree1
  2. I have two very large (4 stories high) pine trees that need to be cut down. They are free for the taking. I was told its an easy drop. Email if interested.  Basically this person wants you to go take down their giant trees for them because they are too lazy to cut them themselves and don’t want to pay someone to do for them.
  3. I have a Sony boom box. It  does not work. Sounds like he’s bragging “Hey, I have a broken boom box from the 80’s!”  That’s great dude, throw it out!
  4. I have three small (2.5 oz) jars of Gerber baby food: 2 chicken/chicken gravy, and 1 turkey/turkey gravy.  I don’t have a kid  So you bought the baby food thinking you had a kid, then got home and said hey I don’t have kids!  I don’t need this baby food!  Or you are a little creepy.
  5. Free expired coupons.  You pick up, must take all of them.  Dude, put them in the recycle bin!
  6. out on the curb. Free. Come one, come all!  Ratty  couch…Really ratty chair…  At least they are honest.  But the sanitation dept does free large item pick up, and that is less work than posting an ad and fishing through all the spam emails hoping someone will want your nasty old couch!
  7. FREE California King Size Mattress Only a few stains and  some smoke burn but other than that is a very nice bed.  EEEEW!  I’m sorry but LOOK at that mattress!  I don’t care if it’s free, that is disgusting!  And what about the possibilities of lice, bed bugs, fleas . . .  bodily fluids!  I think I just threw up  little.  3Je3N83Hd5K15F75J2ccs0130d2f327981ca8
  8. Free Windows.  All windows are defective in some way. Most have rotted out  Taker must take all!  Ok, there are a lot of really cool projects you can do with old windows.  However, if they are all rotten, there isn’t much to do with them aside from tossing them.  And I love how they say you have to take all of them.  Because having 20 rotten windows that you cannot get rid of is somehow apparently better than having say 10.
  9. Free used plastic shower curtain.  Must pick up.  Seriously?  They cost $1 to buy new!  And ewww again!
  10. Misc. household supplies. Rug Doctor Steam Cleaner 1/4 full, Miracid Plant Food 1/2 full, Drano Full can, Bermans leather lotion 1/2 full, Kiwi Neatsfoot Oil 1/4 full, Holmes Humidifier water treatment 1/2 full, Bacteriostatic humidifier 3Gb3F33p85G95Q35K9cc666bed5618379130ftreatment 1/3 full, Minute Wax 1/3 full, Fabreze Regular Strength 1/2 full, Ant Baits -2 small boxes. Free for Pickup, must take all.  A bunch of old cleaning supplies, many of which don’t have enough left in them to warrant the gas it will cost to pick them up.  And from the looks of the picture, they are old, most likely expired.
  11. Free carseat.  Expired.  Found on road, not sure if was in accident. That’s just dangerous.  They expire for a reason, and what if that carseat was in the road because it was ejected from the car in an accident?

Be a Heart Hero!

24 Jan

Folks, my little man Big A would like YOUR help!  He is doing Jump Rope for Heart for the 3rd year in a row now.  Last year he set a goal to raise $200 and surpassed it with an amazing $250!  This year he’s set his goal very high, $1000.  He feels very strongly about raising that thousand because “the doctors need a lot of money to buy new hearts for people with sick hearts”.  His words people.  I’m very touched that this charity is so important to him because my grandmother has been in and out of the hospital with heart problems, so it’s wonderful to see my boy raising money for such a good cause.  jump_logo

Now normally I wouldn’t do this . . . but I am asking for YOUR HELP.  Even $1 is a great donation to such a worthy cause!  And all donations are tax deductible!  You can donate right online via Jump Rope for Heart’s webpage.  Please be a heart hero!


Easy Art

23 Jan

I’m still under the weather, which sucks on soooo many levels!  One- I hate feeling like crap!  Two-My kids are going bonkers and Three- My house is a mess!  Today Little C was craving some artsy fartsy, so I had to think on my toes and come up with something that didn’t make a mess or require too much effort on my part.  Here is what I came up with: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I used a paper doily left over from my birthday party and placed it on top of Crayola Color Wonder paper (you can use regular paper) Then I told Little C to color in all of the holes with markers.  When he was done, he had a very cool design!  Bonus that it was a heart doily, he can give it to someone as a Valentine!  He thought this was super cool, and it required no post-craft clean up!

Happy Birthday to Me

20 Jan

If you follow me, you probably have figured out by now that I’m sort of cheap.  Not just frugal, cheap.  That means that when I throw a birthday party, I do the best I possibly can for the least amount of money possible.  It’s almost like a game to me!  And you also probably saw my sad, yet hilarious birthday cake fail .  Some of you even sent me tips for my next cake!  Well, I can assure you that the only part of my party that failed was the cake- and even that monstrosity was delicious!

Being that my favorite colors are pink and purple (I know, am I 5?) and that Valentine’s Day is only a month away, I sort of did a 2-for-1 with my decorations.  I figured why take all that time making decorations just to rip them all down after a few days?  I went with a heart theme and decided that everything could stay up until after Valentine’s.  Plus, it all looks really cute, so why not enjoy it for a month?  Here’s the cheap kicker- I bought EVERYTHING at tOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhe Dollar Store!  Score!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My mantle was fun to decorate, it’s so versatile.  You look on Pinterest and you see all these fabulous mantles for every occasion and Holiday one could possibly think of, and yet my mantle is always the same,except for Christmas and Halloween.  I guess I’m just lazy!  I took everything off the mantle and then I went crazy.  I started with those adorable red mini lanterns with the pink hearts on them.  I got a pack of 6 for $1!  They pop open a lot, but hell, they were $1.  I taped them shut and find them irresistibly cute.  I had a ton of paint sample cards in shades of pinks and purples, which I cut into hearts and stapled to pink ribbon and hung as well.  Then, for extra cute factor, I hung some pink and purple curling ribbon.  That also serves as cat entertainment, and it’s JUST out of their reach.  I had a partial spool of pink tulle that I laid over the top of the mantle, kind of like you would a table runner.  I found some vases in the cabinet and put curling ribbon and an LED tealight in one, a pink heart doily in another with LED tealights, and an LED candle in the 3rd.  Then I placed a few cute pics of the fam on to finish it off.  Total cost for my birthday/Valentine’s Day mantle: $1.  Seriously!


In the dining room, I hung a cute pink paper fan on the wall as well as 2 more of the pink heart doilies.  I got a pack of 35 of the paper doilies for $1, so they we all over and I still have several left for a Valentine’s craft.  I hung another mini paper lantern from my candle sconce, and below all that is my cute Happy Birthday sign, also only $1.  Total cost-$3

The table I covered in a cute plastic table cloth and set out some more of the doilies.  I used paint sample cards and foam stickers to make food cards.  Instead of just writing what the dishes were, I got cute and wrote “eat dip” or “sugar rush”.  Recognize those two dishes?  My famous chocolate covered marshmallows and spinach artichoke dip! Total cost for the table decor-$1OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 156301_4695180491553_732559386_n OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI also hung streamers from corner to corner, curling ribbon from the chandeliers, and more of the paper lanterns.  The boys helped me make foam hearts of varied sizes, which we stuck to ribbons and hung in the windows.

Total cost for all of the party decorations-$9 and I still have a pack of streamers left!



Have Your Fail and Eat it Too

17 Jan

It’s my birthday Sunday, folks, and I’m throwing myself a party tomorrow!  I know that sounds kind of lame and sad, but if I don’t throw one, who will?  Last year was a milestone birthday for me, and I planned a fabulous soiree . .  . and ended up having to cancel last minute due to health issues.  This year I decided I was having my bash no matter what!

The party is tomorrow, so all day today I’ve been cooking, cleaning and decorating.  I kept putting off decorating the cake because, as you may have heard, cake is not my friend.  Yes I enjoy eating it . . . but I SUCK at decorating it!  I scoured the internet for the perfect cake, nothing to difficult or fancy.  I came across this and figured it was easy enough.  Chocolate-cake-with-pink-vanilla-frosting-0-l

Weeeeeelllllll  . . . . For starters I only wanted 2 layers, thought that was safer for me.  I baked my 2 round gluten free chocolate cakes and waited for them to cool.  When I went to flip them out of their pans, the bottoms (which are now the tops) stuck to the pans even though I had greased the HELL out of those suckers!  Ok, no need to panic.  I put the worst one on the bottom, whipped up some pink frosting and shmeared it over the top.  Then, I tried to ever so carefully place the 2nd tier on top.  I didn’t do too horrible, but it wasn’t flat on top, it was very domed and lumpy.  Ok, nothing a little frosting cannot fix, right?

Wrong!  As I frosted, chunks of loose cake stuck to the knife, so it was looking like pink frosting with oreo in it.  On to plan B-this little number: love-cake-and-sprinkles-500x751-custom

I thought, cover the WHOLE cake in frosting and then do sprinkles to mask the speckled look!  Yay?  Nay.  After frosting the entire lumpy ass top,  I was concerned that when I tried to do the sides it would tear them up and my monstrosity would come toppling over.  I did some sprinkles . . . which went EVERY WHERE!  They were seriously bouncing across the kitchen floor while my cats chased after them!  Oh, what a mess!  Alas, I hang my head in cake shame as I show you this: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I know what you are thinking . . . Oh that’s not so bad.  Ha!  Here is the side shot:

See?  Lumpy, lopsided and not at all what I was going for!  But we will eat the cake and laugh at the jokes my friends will crack about my adventures in cake decorating.