May 2014 ~ Create it. Go!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"Personal handwriting" Jewelry; an ETSY find and share

Just had to share another etsy find with you today. I cannot LOVE this idea more!!! emilyjdesing on Etsy makes jewelry with your loved ones actual handwriting! What a great gift!!! (even if it's for you!!) I can think of no mother that wouldn't love to have a sweet child's handwriting saved, or vice versa. We all know our parents handwriting and what a perfect way to have a close reminder of them! And a perfect wedding gift too! Or to a friend you are moving away from. Seriously, who wouldn't want one of these?! LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!

Personalized Jewelry  - ACTUAL Handwriting Jewelry -  Memorial Jewelry - Bridesmaid Gift

You can find her shop here. Go check it out!

Friday, May 16, 2014

I'm going there someday...Temple Hand Mirror

If you didn't already know, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, otherwise known as the Mormons. (I have a link to our church's website on my side bar if you want to check it out. OR if you want to know about our church and it's temples, you can go here or here.)

Well, one thing that is important to us is our temples. They are a sacred place that we go to make covenants with our Father in Heaven. It's where many of us are married in this faith. It's a beautiful, peaceful place that we look forward to going to as a child in our church. It is the Lord's house.

So I thought this would be perfect for my little girls (and my boys...just maybe not pink) lol And I was right! They love looking in the mirror and seeing themselves "in the temple". LOVE! 

 LOVED seeing their faces as they each looked in it the first time! 

And now I am thinking they each need their own personal one and it would make a GREAT activity for the 8-11 year girls group I help with at church. OR even the older youth group! LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Five Minute Smores

Who doesn't love smores?!!!

Not everyone loves camping, but I have yet to meet anyone who doesn't enjoy smores!

I needed a quick dessert the other night after our Monday night family night. So, I grabbed some Cinnamon toast crunch cereal and layered that on the bottom of a cast iron pan, 

Then added a layer of mini marshamllows, and then lastly, layered some milk chocolate chips on the top and threw it in the oven on broil for about 2-3 minutes and wala! 

               You've got smores! (and lots of sticky hands and smiles!) Can't go wrong with that!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

SIL FB Challenge Group and May Flowers Challenge

I didn't get a chance to be part of this month's challenge, but there were so many great projects, that I still wanted to share it today!

Some of my favs were:

1. from My Paper Craze. She made summer activity mason jars and decorated around them and mounted them on the wall. PLUS, I love the quote she added with it all as well. Check it out here.

2. Another favorite was some cute little spring craft boxes great for little gifts and thank yous from Gingersnapcrafts found here. Love! She has a tutorial to make them too!
                       flower kraft boxes from #SihouetteCAMEO #SilhouettePortrait #tutorial

3. And then the paper wedding roses I loved from Please Excuse my Craftermath here!!! You could use them for so many other things to decorate too! So pretty and fun and a great tutorial as well.

Once you go to either of those places, you can also check out all the other amazing projects for the month and click on any of them!

Have fun checking them out! Hopefully I'll find time to get in on it next month!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Personalized Locker Bank

I don't know about you, but when I was a kid, getting something that was personalized with my name on it was always a hit! I may not have grown out of that either. hahaha

Well, when I saw this cute little locker bank, I immediately knew it could become a great gift. My daughter loves her and so we made one for a friend of hers as well. They are so fun! Fun and bright...personalized! And what kid doesn't like lockers and the combinations that keep younger little brothers and sisters out! :)

My daughter wanted to fill it with her friend's favorite kinds of candy, so that was fun too! OR you could fill it with a bunch of ones all wadded up too. Either way, it's sure to bring a smile (or maybe even a squeal) out of the birthday girl/boy.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Quinoa salad stuffed Tomatoes

So, my husband attended an event that our church's youth put on a week or so ago and brought these gems home with him for me. First, I love that he brought something home to me and second, it was even something I could eat! Love him even more!

They are so simple and as I ate them, I kinda dissected them and the flavors to come up with this recipe:

Quinoa Salad Stuffed Tomatoes:

Large hollowed out tomatoes
Cooked quinoa
Black beans
Chopped up tomato (from the inside that you hollowed out)
 A couple drops of Lime
Fresh Cilantro

Mix it all together and chill. So easy and so healthy and good. 
(I didn't put amounts bc this is the kinda thing that you really can do however you want...add avacado if you like that, add some chick peas or some froze peas, and put however much you want in the salad as you want and then mix with the cooked quinoa.)


It's Graduation Time!

It's that time of year again, where so many of us find ourselves helping celebrate someone that is graduating! Whether its a high school, college, or even preschool graduation :) it's fun to make a big deal out of their accomplishment. 

My all time most popular post has been my Graduation Gifts to Inspire post from last year. It has so many fun and inexpensive ideas all put together in a useful and inspiring way for the grad, that you can't go wrong with it. Just tweak it to the graduate you are celebrating!

I even made another after this year and did a few things different on it. So fun to customize to the graduate!

You can find the original post here where I list everything included and more ideas too!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

DIY Mother's Day Cards

Looking for a Mother's Day card still? If you like DIY's and are up for papercrafting, I've got a ideas for you!

The first one is a Bookmark card. I love the absolute simplicity of it and that you can use it for a gift as well. ( You could also use it to give as a baby card and use for a newborn headband. ) If you haven't made the fabric rosettes before, don't be afraid to try them. They are super easy and fast! There are a ton of tutorials on pinterest. (I keep meaning to make one, but haven't yet.) You just need some fabric scraps and some hot glue.)

This next one is a simple stamped card of flowers and your favorite sentiment with a matching coordinated stamped notepad cube. An easy and quick DIY card. 


This last one is for more advanced papercrafters and one of my all time favorites I have made. Everything on it is out of paper! The flowers, and even the button is from paper! I love all the textures, background and colors in this one!

So, there you have it! Whether you're a beginner, or more advanced in papercrafting, there's some inspiration for you! Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Love

Last week I shared a collection of Teacher Appreciation gift ideas put together by gingersnapcrafts from our SILHOUETTE Challenge FB group. It had all kinds of ideas and I even thought I might try another version of the birthday calendar...but when it came down to it...I didn't have enough time. How is it every year I am up late the night before making these?! haha

I also like to have my kids help though. It makes it mean more to them and they are more excited to give the gifts to their teachers this way too. So I came up with a super little quick gift for this year where they could still help and I could actually get it done in time. :)

I have also noticed that teachers get all kinds of things about being a teacher. If they have been doing this for years, they prob have all the mugs that say "A+ teacher" on them that they can get. haha So I decided to personalize these boxes a bit more like I did their valentine gifts with our school info.

I used these little acetate boxes I have had for a couple years and had the kids fill them with Hershey's nuggets. They fit perfectly in them! Added some personalized vinyl and wala! It's nothing huge, but it lets them know we are thinking about them and appreciate them AND who doesn't like chocolate?!

I am so thankful for the wonderful teachers my children have had and for the positive influence they have been on my childrens' lives. We love our teachers! Past and present! Let a teacher know you're thankful for them today! :)

"Healthified" Lime (or Lemon) Brownie Bars

Remember those Lemony Lemon Brownies I shared last week? Remember me saying my house smelled heavenly? Well, I tweaked that recipe and "healthified" it up a bit! And still soooo good!

So, most of the different ingredients (from the original recipe) that I used are pictured here:

As you can see, they came out more dense and not quite as fluffy as the original Lemony lemon brownies did that I shared in last week's post. BUT, that is typical of Gluten Free recipes or WW ones. BUT they weren't crumbly and they DID stick together which is hard to do with your GF flours. They still were light and yummy too!

I actually didn't completely sub out some of the ingredients bc I have to try it out some at a time to make sure the consistency still works and sticks as I make them. So maybe next time, I will do more. BUT for now, here is a revised recipe healthified up somewhat for you!

Healthified Lime (or Lemon) Brownie Bars

1 1/2 cup flour (I used an even mixture of sorgum flour, millet flour, and some white flour still.) 
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar organic coconut palm sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt {Sea Salt}
1 cup coconut "butter" (You could also try coconut oil here, but not the full amount)
4 large eggs (you can sub gelled flax or chia seeds here if you want)
4 tablespoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
6-8 drops lemon or lime essential oils

1 cup powdered sugar (I still have not been able to find a good substitute for powdered sugar, so I just half what it normally would call for which would have been two cups in this case)
8 tablespoons almond milk
8 drops lime essential oils 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease/Spray an 9x13 baking dish with olive or coconut oil spray and set aside. Combine your dry ingredients and your wet ingredients separately and then mix together. Beat until smooth. (not too long)

The organic coconut palm sugar requires a longer time baking, so this took me about 40 min to bake. turned the temp down to 325 about halfway though  it. Cool and add the glaze. Glaze will eventually set up, but it will take hours...I mean hours as in overnight. I honestly liked it better with the glaze wet though. 

Again, they were more dense, but had a great light flavor still and so good! I would definitely make them again. Might try some tapioca starch and xanthum gum next time in place of the white flour though.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Vintage Elegance in Vinyl

So when I think of vinyl, I do NOT think of vintage...or elegance. haha 
But I think I kinda captured those two here. 

We had a very old dresser that used to be painted horrid colors...all different on each drawer that we acquired ions ago from a garage sale. Funny thing is that it has held up the best of all of our dressers over the years and through the move. So, my daughter and I decided to paint it and give it an uplift. BUT...I still wanted to keep some of the "old" look to it. I created the background drawer designs on my computer with paisleys and flowers and then cut it out in vinyl to use as a stencil. We painted all the drawers white and then added the stencil. Wanted it a bit different too, so left one side white. Just changes it up a bit...(My daughter thinks she wants to put the letters "SWEET" down the side of the dresser where we left it white. We'll see...) Then we spray painted over the stencil and took the vinyl off. When taking it off (since I didn't prime first), other layers of paint were also coming off in some areas, which actually was kinda fun and made it look more vintage and almost like a patterned design paper you would buy. We liked it. :)

We left the brown exterior as is for now...still thinking about painting the top????
And then added some new matching liner inside the drawers.

Next we added a bit of vinyl decor on the wall above the dresser. (I LOVE!)

A candlestick and a few birds, and a few more fun little girly knick knacks on top. And my daughter was in love! So fun working on it together and a fun unique look in her room. 

We've also been working on two other walls in her room and almost have them ready to show you too! Love the feel of a newly decorated room, don't you?

I've got a new recipe for you tomorrow, so check back!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Wooden puzzles Etsy Share

I have so many things I have been working on and am close to having them up and ready to share, but for today, I wanted to share one of my etsy shops with you. They have the cutest and funnest, most unique wooden puzzles. I have a thing for wooden toys. Maybe it's bc my dad used to make them for us as kids. Maybe it's bc they last longer than plastic. Maybe it's bc it's a dying art. I don't know, but I love my wooden toys. (An admission: one of my most favorite scents is even fresh sawdust! Love it!)

The site can be found here and is called Grandpa's Woodshop. I have such a long wish list on this site, it's crazy! But how can you not love all of this!?

Inchworm - Childrens Wood Puzzle Game - New Toy - Hand-Made - Child-Safe

Clock - Learn to tell time - A Fun Wood Puzzle Game - New Toy - Hand Made - Child Safe

Kangaroo & Joey puzzle - Childrens Wood Puzzle Game - New Toy - Hand Made - Child Safe

Electric Guitar - Childrens Wood Puzzle Game - New Toy - Hand-Made - Child-Safe

Hedgehog and Baby Hoglet - Childrens Wood Puzzle Game - New Toy - Hand-Made - Child-Safe
And this is such a small sampling of the huge original variety of wooden puzzles they have. They even take custom orders!!! Yep, they've got me sold!

(All pictures belong to GrampsWoodShop.)