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Beauty is in the Eye of the Flamingo

26 Mar

Handmade gifts are the best, right?  Don’t you love receiving a gift that someone you care about has painstakingly fabricated with their own two hands?  And it’s the thought that counts, even if you don’t totally adore the gift . . . right?

Muuwaaaahaaahaaa UNLESS the gift was made with pure malice and EVIL by your cunningly handy sister!  Muuwaaahaaaaahaaaa!  My friends, may I introduce to you . . .  My sister’s birthday present . . .

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A little back-story may be in order here.  My sister HATES pink flamingos.  She thinks they are the tackiest animal on the face of the earth.  So naturally, she despises those lovely plastic pink flamingos that grace the gardens and yards of home everywhere.  What’s worse than an ugly plastic flamingo?  A BEJEWELED plastic flamingo!

If you want to make one of your own, because well why the hell not, right?  All you need are an ugly plastic flamingo, 1500 crafts jewels, a LOT of hot glue, and a lot of patience.  This bad boy here took me about 6 hours to bejewel, and is the reason I no longer have finger prints.  And since I ended up with 2 of these flamingos, of course I HAD to make a 2nd one!  Any takers?  Hehehehe

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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.

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!

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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.

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30 Days to Organized- Day 10

13 Jan

I didn’t want you all to think I forgot about organizing something today, because I didn’t.  But my back feels like someone is sticking knives in it, so I wasn’t about to crawl into the depths of my laundry room or the kids closets today!  What can you organize while you lay on a heating pad?  Photos on the computer!

It was actually kind of fun, strolling down memory lane and putting all the photos into folders.  The oldest ones I just did by year, and they went back to 2006.  When I hit 2012 I did them by month, mostly because I am WAY behind on ordering photos!

I also back them up using Shutterfly as well as burning them to a disk.  I never used to back up my photos, but then the Great Computer Virus of 2009 wiped out my files and it took months to find everything again!

So, no great words of wisdom or magical organizing tips for you today . . . just  a mementos from our past that I came across.

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Here is Big A, one year old and messy face!   Hard to believe he is 7 now . . .

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He’s 2 here, my little cowboy!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd his 3rd birthday where I constructed the notorious “train cake”, that parents needed to sign a release before allowing their children to eat it.  75 toothpicks held that bad boy together!

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9131_155649691638_7310254_nBig A meets his baby brother Little C for the first time!  Big A was 4.  He told the nurse his new brother’s name was Train Edward.  The nurse believed him!

Here is Little C, 1 year old and chubby!  Love those cheeks!

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Little C packed, 15ms,  his Diego “pack pack” and was headed to Nana’s.

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So, thanks for letting me share my babies with you!  I hope I’ve inspired you all to dig through some old photos and awaken some memories!

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

23 Dec

This is super yum!  I brought it to my Christmas party at work and we licked the dish clean!  (not literally, I waited to lick until I got home!)448016  I serve this delicious dip hot with Nuthins crackers or all corn tortilla chips.  You could also serve with fresh bread.

recipe makes 4 cup
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach – thawed, drained and squeezed dry
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
cup mayonnaise
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (Lightly grease a 7×11 inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Mix in the artichoke hearts, spinach and Parmesan cheese. Season with garlic and lemon juice. Spread evenly into the prepared baking dish.
Bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove the cover, and let the dish bake uncovered for 5 more minutes, or until the surface is lightly browned.