Monday, February 28, 2011

Castaway Bottles

This weekend we had a going away party for one of my crafty friends Molly.

Minnesota is SO lucky to be getting such a funny, thoughtful and crafty resident!

I wanted to find a gift that was as unique and wonderful as Molly.

Etsy is usually my go-to site for awesomely unique, handmade gifts. If you aren't familiar with Etsy you seriously need to check them out!

Anyone who knows Molly knows of her love for Mike's Hard Lemonade. Imagine my surprise when 18 different gifts popped up when searching "MIike's Lemonade" on Etsy.

I was so excited to find the Castaway Bottles Etsy shop. They take discarded glass bottles and turn them into works of art. I am in love with their products.

Look what I found for Molly:

I couldn't have found a more perfect gift!

Not only do they do a great job up-cycling glass bottles but all their packing consists of recycled products as well. Way to be GREEN Castaway Bottles!!!

So head on over to Esty or check out their blog. You're sure to find that a one-of-a-kind gift for that you've been looking for!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's a....


Sometime last fall my laptop died.

It was very sad.

I cried for days.

For months I kept trying to revive her to no avail, her screen remained black.

I have been patient or at least trying to be...

I've keep the whining to a minimum...I think...

On Friday I came home from work and found this box in our kitchen.
I have the best husband ever!!!

Now you know where you can find me for the rest of the weekend!!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Today was my first race of the year.

 A 5K.

It was supposed to be 3.1 miles but according to the super-fast runners-who finished in under 16 minutes-and their fancy GPS devices, it was closer to 3.21miles. (On a side note, it's amazing how fast these runners go! It's crazy to think that while I was approaching mile 2 they were crossing the finish line. By the time I was done they were probably already home! I'm always in awe of their speed)

It was supposed to be a "practice" race...the see where I was in my timing and where I needed to go with my training. As it got closer to the start time my competitiveness kicked in and I knew in my head it was no longer "practice."

My final time was 26:10.

Not even close to the 24:30 I was hoping for.

Not my best.

Not my worst.

Considering I've only been in training mode for two weeks and the road conditions were pretty bad today (VERY icy...I took a huge fall just getting out of my car) I wasn't too disappointed in my time. I'll take it and learn from it.

The best part of the race?  I TOOK FIRST IN MY AGE CATEGORY!!!

I've never done that before and I've never been so excited! YAY me!

Enjoy your Saturday! I'm going enjoy mine...basking in the glory of today's accomplishment!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Lasagna Cupcakes

My friend Molly shared this recipe with me and it is my new favorite! It's a great one to have your kids help you make. The original recipe is from Framed Cooks. She also has a recipe for Mac n' Cheese Cupcakes that I can't wait to try!

Here is what you need:

  • One cup of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 lb hamburger meat (I used Italian sausage. You could also use a meat sauce to make this an even quicker meal)
  • 18 wonton wrappers (Cut in circles. I used a water glass as my pattern, but you could also use a biscuit cutter)
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese , grated
  • 3 ounces parmesan cheese , grated
  • 4 ounces ricotta cheese (I used low-fat)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray 6 serving muffin tin with Pam (Why only 6??? I made a dozen. they were great re-heated the next day too)

Cook hamburger meat, season to taste, drain.

Reserve 8 tablespoons of Parmesan and 8 tablespoons of mozzarella—this will be the topping. The remaining cheese will be used in the lasagnas

Start assembling the lasagnas. Line each cupcake mold with a round wonton wrapper. Put a little Parmesan, a little mozzarella, and a little ricotta into each mold. Top with a little meat and a spoonful of sauce. Repeat layers of wonton wrappers, cheeses, meat and sauce, creating 3 layers in all, and ending with sauce. Sprinkle each lasagna with reserved Parmesan and mozzarella.

 Bake until the lasagnas are nicely browned, about 20 minutes.

Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and remove from pan.

Watch your family devour them!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


By 9:24am yesterday I knew it was going to be "one of those days"...we were already "hanging on by a thread"...

By 9:24am

  • We already had experienced 3 time-outs
  • My youngest had lost all of her TV tickets for the day
  • My oldest had had 5 meltdowns, 2 with full-blown tears
  • Our dog ate her food too fast and started choking and making the worst sound I have ever heard, I was seconds away from googling "how to give your dog the Heimlich" 
  • My dog proceeded to barf on our kitchen rug
  • My youngest had drawn all over her face with markers
  • My youngest (It really wasn't a good day for her), while in her 2nd time-out, pulled down all the decorative wall decals in her room and crammed them into a teacup 
  • Our play date that was supposed to come over and help entertain our girls canceled 
  • I had drank 2 Diet Cokes and was contemplating drinking a 3rd or perhaps something stronger
  • I had heard more than a days worth of whining, fighting and unkind words
  • My children had asked me for a snack exactly 17 times
  • My children were already complaining they were bored
  • I was already counting down the minutes to nap time
  • We had used 4 band-aids

And then at 9:25am I got the call.

There is some old saying that "Good fences make good neighbors" but yesterday I knew that "Crafty Mamas make wonderful neighbors!"

The call was from my neighbor and friend Kathleen. She told me she had put something fun in our mailbox for the girls. Something to keep them entertained. She joked that it might not be the 34 minutes I'm used to having but that they'd love it.

Yesterday 9:25am was my favorite part of the day!

We found these in the mailbox:

Bubble Guppies printable Puppets!!!

(Bubble Guppies are a relatively new show on Nick Jr. and are our newest favorite thing. So far they have only had 10 episodes and this Mama is REALLY hoping they come out with some new ones soon!)

She also included LAMINATED collector cards

And coloring sheets too

It was just the distraction we needed.

The girls even stopped fighting long enough to put on a puppet show.

Such a great and thoughtful gift!

I checked out NickJr today and was amazed at all the cool crafts, recipes and online games they have to go with their shows. I'm not sure how I missed such a great resource! If your child has a favorite NickJr show there is sure to be a ton of different activities that you can do together. Check it out!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Monster Tooth Pillow

Mondays are our longest days.

We have activities scheduled all morning and we don't get home until nap time.

It leaves very little time to be crafty.

Don't you feel sorry for us???

I was so excited when I came across this tutorial yesterday at The Long Thread for a monster tooth pillow. It's original idea is to be a tooth fairy pillow, but we are far from losing our teeth here so I came up with a different idea...we'll get to that in a bit...

My favorite part about this project is that it is super quick! I was able to get two monster pillows done in about an hour. It would have been quicker but I insisted on hand stitching the eyes instead of using my time we use the machine!!!

Each girl picked out their own fabric and here is how they turned out:

Mommy put them on top of the TV and named them "Television Monsters"
And what do Television Monsters do??? They eat TV Tickets of course!

I've been toying around with the idea of TV tickets for awhile. My girls don't watch a ton of TV, but there is usually a lot of whining and crying when they are told no. I wanted a way where they would be responsible for their own TV watching...hence the tickets.

Here are our rules:
Each girl gets 2 tickets each morning
1 ticket = 30 minutes of TV
They are responsible for their own tickets. If they lose them then no TV.
If they want to watch something longer than 30 minutes, like a movie, they need to save up their tickets.
Extra tickets can be earned with extra chores or extra good behavior.
Tickets can be lost for inappropriate behaviors.

It's going to be a big adjustment (for all of us) and I know in this first week they'll be spending their tickets first thing in the morning leaving me to pull my hair out at the end of the day when I'm trying to make dinner. My hope is that they will realize that there are lots of other ways to keep themselves entertained instead of zoning out in front of the TV and to pick their shows wisely. I'm just glad that as the Mommy I get an unlimited supply of tickets for my self!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Up-cycled Canvas Bag

Last week I got this tote from my BFF Martha in the mail. She sent it to me as a thank you for renewing my magazine subscription.

That Martha, she's so thoughtful that way!

The only problem? She put her name on it...

No worries! I've picked up a few tricks from the Queen of Crafty over the years. I knew exactly what to do!

First I used my seam ripper and took off Martha's name tag.

Then I found this cute little image of a bird on the computer.

I used SEWABLE Heat n' Bond to put the bird on the tote. For more detailed instructions on how to do this step click here.

After attaching the fabric bird to the bag I used a back stitch in a coordinating color and stitched around the perimeter of the birdie.

I chose the back stitch because you will see the thread on the inside of the bag and it allows the backside to look polished and finished too.

Again using the back stitch I added feet and a beak.

The end result??? SO CUTE!!!
♥ her!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

For The Yogis In The House

Do you have one of these yet?!?!?

It's a skidless yoga towel that you put over your mat.

It keeps your sweaty feet and hands from sliding all over the place. I ♥ mine very much!

Your downward dogs will be more downward, your planks will be plankier and your triangle poses more triangular.

And when you are done you just throw it in the wash...can't do that with your mat.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pear Pancakes

We had these de-lish Pear Pancakes for lunch this week. I get so sick of the sandwich, chips, fruit routine...BOR-ING! These were a nice change of pace and very yummy!


  • 4 Bosc or Bartlett pears
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus more for drizzling
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sucanat
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups buttermilk or 3 cups soymilk with 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus ½ teaspoon for griddle
  • Sour cream for garnish
Heat griddle to 375 degrees.

Core pears with an apple corer.  Starting at the bottom, slice pears crosswise into 1/8-inch thick rings, and toss in a small bowl with maple syrup and cinnamon.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sucanat in a medium bowl.  Add eggs, buttermilk, and 4 tablespoons butter, whisk to combine.  Batter should have small to medium lumps.

Brush griddle with butter, wipe off excess with a folded paper towel.  Place a few pear slices on the griddle, 2 ½ inches apart.  Let cook 1 minute.

Ladle about ¼ cup of the batter into center of each pear ring.  Using the bottom of a ladle, gently push batter over edges of pears.  Let cook until pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around the edges, about 2 ½ minutes.

Using a spatula, turn pancakes over; cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute.  Repeat with remaining pears and batter.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream and extra syrup.  Makes about two and one-half dozen 4-inch pancakes.

**I cut the recipe in half and we served ours with vanilla yogurt. It was a great lunch and as a bonus our house smelled like cinnamon the rest of the day!

Friday, February 18, 2011

34 minutes

Each girl received one of these backpacks for Valentine's Day from Nana:
It came with their own markers and a package of rhinestones. What did not come in the package was the 34 minutes (yes I timed it) of heaven Mommy got while they colored them. That was an added bonus!

For 34 minutes there was no whining.

For 34 minutes I heard things like, "Good coloring Noa!" and "I like your guitar LaLa"

For 34 minutes no one played the shadow game.

What's the shadow game?
What's the shadow game?
Stop that!
Stop that!
Mommy she's copying me!
Mommy she's copying me!

For 34 minutes their focus was amazing.
For 34 minutes no one asked for a snack.

For 34 minutes everyone shared.

For 34 minutes no said my name.

For 34 minutes no one begged me to turn on the TV.

It was the best 34 minutes EVER-Happy Valentines Day to me!

Remember my Goodwill vase from yesterday?

Here's what it looks like now: