Thursday, July 29, 2010

Homemade Popsicles

Thanks for all the sweet heartfelt comments on my behalf, ladies! Each and every one of them made my day and I so appreciate your friendships. Seriously, I am fine. I think I was just having a rough week adjusting to some changes, and I got a bit dramatic. Yes, change can be hard....but change can also be a good thing. No worries here. I'm taking it all in stride and getting back into the swing of things, trying to enjoy the last two weeks of summer vacation with my kids.

I found these cute popsicle molds at Micheals recently for $1 and thought they'd make for a fun afternoon activity and treat. I love that they have a built in straw for all the melted popsicle juice that otherwise would end up on the floor!

We used our favorite crystal light drink to fill the molds.
{p.s......this 4 quart pitcher is the bomb diggity of all pitchers. Before I ordered this one from Pampered Chef, we were going through at least 2 pitchers a day. This one holds more than twice as much and it has a plunger built into the lid for mixing.}

We froze ours overnight, but I think a few hours would suffice. I should definitely win mother of the year for letting my kids eat them for breakfast, right? Hey, it's summertime...we're milking it for all it's worth. They were yummy and tart and oh so good! And less calories and sugar than Lucky Charms, too. Like I said.....definitely mother of the year contender here.

Oh, and one more thing. The straw thing is really cool, but the juice ended up on the floor anyway. That's pretty much what you get with toddlers and popsicles...expect it. But it was totally worth the mess to see these little cuties enjoy their very own homemade popsicles that they actually helped make. I think next time we'll be a bit more adventurous and make something with fresh fruit. mouth is watering just thinking about it. The possibilities are endless. Peaches and strawberries and watermelon, oh my!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Change is HARD!

Hello, my name is Amanda and I'm a bad blogger! I apologize for being MIA the last week. Life has handed me some unexpected twists and turns and I am adjusting to them as best as I can. As I navigate this new chapter in my life and learn to balance it all, I hope that you all can be patient and not give up on me. I considered shutting down my blog, but I just could not do it. This blog is not only a creative outlet for me, it has become such a huge part of who I am. I've come to love that and I'm just not ready to give it up. Plus, I could not handle losing touch with all the dear friends I've made.....y'all mean the world to me!!! With that being said, there have been some other changes. Unfortunately, I've had to close down my etsy shop. Hopefully this will be temporary. I had to pick something to give up, to make my plate less full....and sadly this was the first to go {cue tears}. This sign will likely be my last custom order for a while. A friend of mine who lives out of town ordered this for her front porch. I think it turned out so cute and I wanted to give her a sneak peek. I hope you love it, Angie!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cozie-Palooza 2010

Just when you thought my posts couldn't get any worse, I'm back with more cozie love! My niece Becca and I got together this afternoon to make fabric covered can cozies...her idea that I totally copied. They were super duper easy and turned out wicked cute. Mine was a little plain, so I decided to use a shabby rosette and some ribbon to jazz it up a bit.

I absolutely love this graphic print I found in the clearance bin at Hobby Lobby.....perfection.

We simply measured a piece of fabric to fit around the cozie with about half an inch extra on each side for seam allowance. We used iron on stitch witchery to make our seams, but if you sew you could whip this up with your machine very quickly too.

We used hot glue around the top and bottom edges of the cozie to attach the fabric. For the long seam on the outside we overlapped the two edges and hot glued them down.

Becca made this adorable fabric applique with her initial and ironed it onto the paisley fabric with Heat and Bond before she attached it to the cozie. My sad little rosette pales in comparison. Hers turned out too stinkin cute!

I love how she layered two different colors of fabric for her applique. It definitely adds that extra special touch and makes it look more custom. In fact, similar cozies sell for $20 at a local boutique. But, I think hers is way cuter and it only cost about $2 to that's what I call thrifty chic!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monogrammed Can Cozies

I'm not gonna family loves an ice cold soda (me in particular). I'm not ashamed to admit it, I'm a big girl. But there is nothing I loathe more than a room temperature or even barely cool soda.....YUCK! I want it ICE cold and I want it to stay that way as long as possible. Enter the lovely foam can cozie. Let's face it, they really are down right U.G.L.Y. But I've found that you can make them a tiny bit cuter by personalizing them.

Last week at Micheals they had their cozies on sale 2 for $1. The aluminum bottles I found at The Dollar Tree. These were a huge score. I've priced aluminum water bottles elsewhere and they run anywhere from $5 to $15 a piece, which is basically highway robbery. So, I was pleased as punch with myself for stumbling onto these for a buck. They had fun bright colors back in the spring, but they sold out quick and I didn't get any. It worked out though, because my boys prefer these silver ones.

My kids always ask to use my can cozie, so I bought extra ones for them. I let them choose what font they liked for their initial and the color of the vinyl. Of course, we used the cricut to cut out the letters and dots. But you could probably use stickers too. The boys love having their very own now and it was fun having them help me. The yellow one I did with our school colors and logo and added some polka dots. I think I'll give these as happies to our teachers on the first day of school, wrapped up in a cellophane bag with cutesy ribbons and a luggage tag.

I didn't think the boys would want their names on the water bottles, but they said yes and I jumped on it. I cannot believe we are already getting ready to go back to school the first week of August. Backpacks, school supplies, water bottles, uniforms....ugggh. Didn't summer just start? We're not ready to give up our lazy pj days for the rigid schedule of school and homework just yet. And to be perfectly honest, I'm not ready to admit that I will have a middle schooler. Junior high scares me.....I am SO not ready for this. Any advice for a newbie mom of a pre-teen boy???

Friday, July 16, 2010

Monogrammed Luggage Tags

I can't believe I've never shared this little project with y'all. I have been making these luggage tags for years. They make great gifts for high school graduates heading off to college, newly married brides, or diaper bag toting new moms! They're a fun and simple way to add that custom look of monogramming or personalization that is so popular right now.

I use a laminating machine and these thermal laminating pouches. But they also sell ready made luggage tags that are self sealing, no machine required. This little laminator has served me well for over 6 years. I got it at Walmart for around $25, which I think is very reasonable. I went through a stage where I laminated everything in sight. It's weirdly fun and very addictive!

First I start by cutting down my laminating pouches to the size I want and then I cut 2 pieces of paper for each tag and round the corners. Then I type up the info I want on the back (name, address, phone number) and print it on regular copy paper. For the front side I use my cricut to cut out a vinyl monogram or name. Then you assemble the tag, slide it into the pouch, and send it right through the laminator.....eAsY pEaSy!

You can tie them right onto a diaper bag, church bag, luggage, etc.

They also make great id cards for your kids backpacks. And since we're making the transition to uniforms this year, I'm looking for ways to help my kids be able to show their personality and individuality in any small way. You could let your kids help with this project and design their own bag tag. A nice way for them to put their own stamp on the cookie cutter uniform. How fun!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Easy Zipper Cuff Bracelet

Today I'm going to show you how to make a super easy zipper cuff bracelet. I whipped mine up this afternoon in no time flat. I love the way it turned out, but "someone", who I won't name, said it looked like a sweatband made out of zippers. Well, what does he know anyway?

I started with this really beautiful shiny plastic bangle I found at Walmart for $2. Yes, the color and sheen leave a lot to be desired, but what sold me on it was the size. I couldn't find a nice substantial sized bracelet anywhere. I needed it to be big enough that I could use several different zippers and be able to see them all. I saw it's potential through the ugly!

I picked out 2 zippers in colors I liked, parakeet and grey. The very large natural colored zipper is actually sold by the yard. I had no idea....that's GENIUS! Let's break this down. See that 7 inch zipper that cost me $1.50, and the 22 inch one for $2? That doesn't seem like much, but when you compare it to the big pile of zipper (36 inches) I got for $1.99....there really is no comparison. What a great deal! Unfortunately it only comes in this one color, but I am totally good with that since it's such a great neutral and would go with just about anything. I still have quite a bit left over and I have all sorts of plans for it.

I started by hot gluing my larger zippers with the metal teeth on either side of the cuff. LOVE those metal teeth! By the way, the metal zippers in the packages sell for about $5 each, so buying it by the yard saves you a ton! Plus, the metal teeth are what make it so pretty in my opinion . Anyway, back to the task at hand.....sorry, I'm easily distracted. I continued to hot glue my zippers on until I had the look I wanted. There is really no set way of doing this. You can just play with it until you like what you see. No rules....just right!

My original plan was to use the grey in the middle, but I wanted more of the chunky metal to show, so I used the natural color again in the center.

I think my new zipper cuff bracelet is fun and funky, with a bit of a playful edge! Even if "some people" think it looks like a sweatband. PLEASE tell me it does not look like a sweatband. Please, I beg of you!

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