Tag Archives: Pinterest

I’ll Do It Myself, Thank You: Play Dough

Play dough has always been my nemesis.

I love for my son to play with it. He is always so excited when we pull out the box of play dough cookie cutters, rollers, and toys. But it’s one of those things that’s so expensive, I almost feel like he might as well be playing with a Sharpie!

A fly on the wall might hear me snapping orders to him like “Don’t mix the colors!” “We can only play with 1 at a time!” “Don’t leave it out of the container!” I’ve become so obsessive over making sure he doesn’t ruin the play dough that I almost wondered if it lost it’s appeal!

That was until 1 normal afternoon when I was dropping off my boys at their NaNa’s.

I was heading to a church meeting and only had a few minutes to chat, and as I was attempting to fill her in on who had eaten last and when the last bottle was, she decided to keep the Little Man entertained by whipping up a batch of play dough (at his request!).

Within 5 minutes, he was standing at the counter playing with his own large, green ball! My jaw almost dropped!

Since then, I’ve never been back to the wall of Target dreaming of the multitude of colors my son could be playing with, but we couldn’t afford. Now, whenever the play dough runs low, I whip up another batch, and let the imagination set in!

Although it seems like there’s a majority of mamas who know about this little secret, I clearly wasn’t one of them! And since I didn’t know about it, I thought there was a possibility you didn’t know about it either! So, today I’m sharing with you 6 simple steps on how to make your own play dough!

All you need is 10 minutes of time, a few simple kitchen ingredients (I bet you already have!), and food coloring of your choice. You can even get a little crazy and grab some glitter.

playdough3

6 Simple Ingredients:

1/2 c. salt

1 c. flour

2 Tbsp. Cream of Tarter

1 Tbsp. Vegetable (or Canola) Oil

1 c. water

Food coloring

6 Simple Directions:

1) Combine salt, flour, cream of tarter, and oil in a medium sauce pan.

playdough1

2) Add water and oil and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes.

3) Add food coloring to make the color of your choice. (Hint: Not sure the right combination of drops to make a color? Most food coloring boxes will tell you formulas on the back!) 

4) Dough will begin to harden becoming more of a solid as you stir. (Warning: It will feel like you’re stirring for awhile with nothing happening, and then within a period of about 20 seconds your ball will start to form!) 

5) As soon as you have a solid mass, immediately remove from stove.

6) Use your hands to continue to kneed dough into a smooth ball of dough. 

playdough2

Optional Ingredients:

In the kneeding stage, you can add more food coloring or glitter to make your play dough colorful and sparkly!

If you want to give your play dough a scent, simply add a little lemon or orange extract in step #2.

 

The best part about homemade play dough is it actually lasts a lot longer than real play dough when exposed to the air. Simply store in an air-tight container or Ziplock baggy, and anytime you’re ready to play with it, take it out!

I also found this really creative Kool-Aid play dough as shown on The 36th Avenue! What a fun activity to pin for summertime!

Have you ever experimented with homemade play dough? 

Do you have any tips to make it more enjoyable? 

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Nesting in the Laundry Room

There is absolutely no doubt that I’m fully into this pregnancy. Today as I was walking around my home, I came up with project after project that I’d like to accomplish before Baby Zach arrives into the world. I actually had to stop myself when our much neglected laundry room ended up spotlessly clean and I started making a Home Depot list. We had so much to do today, and of all the rooms that I feel like I should remodel, the laundry room seems like it should be last on the list. 
 
But the more I started thinking about it, the more convinced I was that maybe the laundry room DID need a make-over. After all, laundry was only going to get more difficult, and anything I could possibly do to make my life easier (even if it involved a little laundry room renovation) seems smart to me! 
 
Oh the joys of nesting. . . 
 
So, now I’ve got a new home improvement project on my mind and I can’t wait to get started! 

Of course, in order to get to this little agenda, I need to accomplish the other items on my “nesting” list first; including finishing up The Little Man’s big boy room . . . and cleaning the house. . .and making letters for their rooms. . .

Did you find yourself more productive during pregnancy? 
Or was nesting not an issue for you? 
 
 
 
*Images courtesy of: alittlechippy.blogspot.com, little-inspirations.blogspot.com, savingwithaplan.com, sweetpickinsfurniture.com, and inspirationfordecoration.com

Skinny Recipe #3: BLT Salad

One of the hardest parts about maintaining a diet and eating well is choosing what’s for lunch. It’s so easy as a mom to run through Taco Bell or Raising Cane’s on my way home from an errand, but I know that’s not what I can consume if I want to meet my goals for my fitness challenge

A few weeks ago, I started doing a search for some EASY recipes that I could make on my own at home for lunch. I came across a website called EatingWell.com, and discovered some tasty looking salads. I’m always nervous about making salads on my own because . . . well . . .I can’t ever seem to make them taste as good as a restaurant! So, I thought I’d give it another try, and I’m so glad I did! In 15 minutes, I had an awesome and filling lunch for under 300 calories; and that was only because I ate 2 servings worth since I couldn’t stop eating it. :) 

by EatingWell.com

Makes 4 servings; about 1 1/4 cups each
Per serving: 151 calories, 6 g. fat, 20 g. carbs

Ingredients
1 c. cubed whole-wheat country bread
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 medium tomatoes 
(I used Roma.)
3 tbsp. reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tbsp. minced chives
2 tsp. distilled white vinegar
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
freshly ground pepper, to taste
5 c. chopped hearts of romaine lettuce
3 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled 

For me, I changed this recipe up a little. 
I made it easy on myself and used the microwaveable bacon. 
But, you could also sub regular bacon for turkey. 

I also didn’t want to waste a loaf of bread by buying whole-wheat country, 
so I used Mrs. Baird’s Honey Wheat and think it tasted fine! 

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toss bread with oil and spread onto a baking sheet. Bake, turning once, until golden brown, 15-20 minutes.
Voila! Croutons!
2. Cut 1 tomato in half. Working over a large bowl, shred both halves using the large holes on a box grater. (Skin won’t shred, so discard when through.) 

3. Add mayonnaise, chives, vinegar, garlic powder, and pepper to bowl; whisk to combine. 
Before whisking.

After whisking. 
This is your dressing!

4. Chop your romaine lettuce using a food processor. 

 5. Add romaine, tomatoes, and croutons to the bowl with dressing; toss to coat. 
6. Sprinkle with bacon. 
7. Enjoy!  
For more light and easy meals, search EatingWell.com 
or come browse through the meals I’ve already found on Pinterest.

It’s Coming!

With just over a month away, I’m getting so excited to celebrate one year with my baby boy! I can hardly believe it’s been a year, and if allowed, I’d probably skip it all together because it just doesn’t feel real. 

But it is. He’s turning 1 on March 14th, and I’ve got to get ready! 

We’ve got his 1 year pictures coming up next week with Rachel Cooke Photography, and I’m so excited about the location. 

I’ve also started working on both of his parties. What?? 2 Parties??  I know it sounds over the top, but I promise it’s not! Since his birthday’s on a Wednesday this year, we’re going to do one celebration with family and close friends the weekend before. Then I can’t let the actual day go by unnoticed, so I’ve planned a playdate party too. And since I’m determined to make as much of it as cheaply from scratch as possible, I’ve decided I should probably get started. After all, there’s only 35 nap times until B-Day! 
You can stay caught up on all my birthday party ideas here!

Another Genius Use For Pinterest

It’s no secret that I’m a cheap dresser. I’ve always found it difficult to spend a large amount on clothes because as quickly as styles come into fashion, they go out just as fast. And typically, as soon as I buy into the fashion trend, I’m usually too late and end up with last season’s trend. 

I’ve also always struggled with accessories. Growing up, I was given a set amount I was allowed to spend on clothing, so I learned to shop for quantity and not quality. Even now that I’m older, I still have a tight clothing budget and can’t justify spending $15-$30 on a necklace or bracelet when I could have a brand new top or pair of jeans for the same price. I’m slowly coming around to the “accessory” way of thinking. I’m discovering one basic white tee can be used in multiple ways if you can add different accessory pieces or layering. 

Layering . . .a whole other issue. I’m terrible when it comes to envisioning an outfit when it’s in pieces, so I usually stick to the one layer look; pants and a top or a dress. Flat. Boring. Cheap. 

Recently, I’ve come to discover the style side of Pinterest. At first, I was impressed by the cute outfits that people would put together, but then it hit me how useful this site is for a fashion disaster like me. More fashion-forward people than me piece together items that I usually already have in my closet and accessorize them with color and bling. 
Pinterest



The best part about Pinterest is that I don’t have to try and memorize these outfits. The next time I’m out shopping, I can pull up my Pinterest App and browse outfits to help me find similar looks in the store. With these styles at my fingertips, I feel like I can’t go wrong!

What are some unique ways you’ve found Pinterest useful?


Are you on Pinterest?
Come find me!

Pinterest Did It Again!

If you haven’t already guessed, I’m a terrible decorator.

Not only am I cheap which makes buying useless objects a chore, but I can’t seem to figure out how to make knick-knacks and other random objects look cute in my home. 

You know that look of “Oh, how did that get perfectly placed there?”

So you can imagine this makes the process of holiday decorating a headache for me. 

For as long as I can remember, I’ve really tried to decorate my home for Christmas, but it was usually a hodgepodge of snowmen, Santas, and other random gifts given to me while I was teaching. 

Last year, I finally decided to make an attempt at decorating our hallway table. There was a lot of trial and error, but in the end, I think I did a pretty good job. 

As I began to put this table back together yesterday, I started to think about the other places I wanted to decorate and the mantel instantly came to mind. 

A few years ago, I bought this beautiful wreath on clearance at Home Goods. It’s by far the nicest Christmas decoration I have, so I thought it would be a great idea to decorate the mantel in a way that would center around this wreath. 

Thinking about the daunting task, I felt reassured because unlike last year when I decorated our entry table from scratch, I now have Pinterest!

Pinterest has been my saving grace when it comes to decorating. Since I’m so terrible with designs, whenever I feel like I need inspiration, I simply type in a search, and ideas start flying left and right. 

After a few hours of searching, I found this image. . .

via
Although it wasn’t exactly the look I was going for, and my fireplace couldn’t be any more different, it did give me some great ideas for what I could do.  

Taking a few of the same elements, I headed off to Hobby Lobby. 

Two hours later (and an added trip to Michael’s), I’m proud to say I decorated my mantel
all by myself!

I guess I could have removed the tag!
I still have a few things I’m going to change (like the stocking hooks), 

but overall, I’m pretty proud of how it turned out!

Next up . . .the dining room table!

What’s the hardest thing for you to decorate?

If you’re on Pinterest, I want to follow you!
Click to follow me, and I’ll follow you back!

My New Recipe Box

If you haven’t discovered Pinterest yet, I highly suggest you do!

I’m envious of the person that came up with this idea because it’s genius. I’m always browsing the web and discovering amazing products or new recipes, and in the past, I’d usually email the link to myself or save a copy on my desktop. Sometimes I’ll jump to grab my phone and write it down on my phone’s notepad. 

Unfortunately, these little ways of “taking notes” are discarded over time, and when I’ll go back to look for the link I need, it’s gone. I’ll end up searching the internet all over again for that one design tip or recipe I wanted to try. Pinterest solves this problem! 

Just this morning, I was starting to think about some breakfast pasteries I’d want to make for MOPS tomorrow morning. Instead of spending 20 minutes browsing through cookbooks, I went to my Pinterest board and found 2 breakfast recipes I’ve been wanting to try. . . .and then saw there’s a broccoli recipe which I think I’ll attempt for dinner. Simply Fabulous!
The other great thing about Pinterest is the sharing! 

I’ll show you my boards. . .

If you’ll show me yours!  

Leave me a message with your Pinterest username, and I’d love to follow you!

The End of an Era

I was browsing on Pinterest this afternoon and came across these drawings. That’s right. They’re pencil sketches. I wish I could find the artist because I’d love to give him/her credit. 

That someone would go to this length of work for characters in a movie is amazing. But it’s not just a movie is it? The world of Harry Potter has captivated millions of people over the last 10 years, and I’m one of them! 

I have to admit, I saw the movie first before I began reading the series. I thought it was a little odd for a twenty something year old to be so captivated by the life of these teens, but it wasn’t just the characters. The way that J.K. Rowling described the wizard world was so realistic you couldn’t help but feel like you were in the books with Harry. Since I came to discover the books later than most, I was able to read all 6 books consecutively, and for an entire summer I couldn’t put them down. In my opinion, Harry Potter is the reason I read. 

I want to be taken away. To really connect and feel the emotions of the characters. I should be able to go from chapter to chapter fluidly without feeling “what just happened?” or “Did I miss something?” For me, Harry Potter did this. I was actually sad reading the last book. It really was the end of an era for me. I had lived through 7 years of Hogwarts; read as Harry, Ron, and Hermione grew from children to adults. 

I’ve now seen all of the movies. I think all that’s left is to visit Hogwarts in real life (at Universal Studios.) I know I’ll do this someday with Mark, but I’m almost nervous to go because I’m afraid it can’t live up to what I’ve built in my mind. So for now, I’m putting my love of Harry Potter away, and am ready to begin reading the next great series of books. 


Any ideas?