Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Salads

I'm not usually one to post food or recipes... and I'm not one to promote a specific product.  But when you find something you really like, I think you should share it with others.

A few years ago, my friend Jacinda was a consultant for Tastefully Simple.  I bought a few things from her, but the one that I love and can't live without is the Spinach and Herb Dip Mix.  To tell you the honest truth, I don't remember the last time I made the dip... I usually use the seasoning for other things.

My two favorite summer salads are this Macaroni Salad and Cucumber Salad.
 So, for the recipes... I'm not a measuring kind of person when it comes to salads.  So, here's what I do....
Macaroni Salad
Cook a package of macaroni according to package directions.
Hard boil a couple of eggs.  Dice them and toss them in the bowl.
Chop up a couple of strands of celery and toss them in the bowl.
Peel and dice a few cucumbers and toss them in the bowl.
Dice a couple of tomatoes and toss them in the bowl.
Throw in a few large scoops of Mayo.
Season with salt and pepper.
Season with Tastefully Simples, Spinach and Herb dip mix... I probably put in at least a tablespoon, maybe two.
Stir it all together and refrigerate.  Taste it and see if it needs more mayo, more salt and pepper, more spinach and herb seasoning... maybe someday I should measure things and write it down so I can get a better recipe:)
Cucumber Salad
Peel and slice about 6-8 cucumbers.
Slice up a red onion (I usually don't eat the onions, I like them mostly for the flavor).
Squeeze a little lemon juice, a little olive oil, a little rice vinegar (or really any kind of vinegar), a little salt and a lot of Tastefully Simple Spinach and Herb Dip Mix Seasoning.  (I'm guessing I use about a tablespoon of the seasoning as well as the lemon, oil and vinegar, but I'm not sure).  Toss all of the ingredients and refrigerate for a few hours.
I'm telling you, I love this stuff.  The other thing I use the Spinach and Herb Dip mix for is Deviled eggs.    I just mix the egg yolk with a little mayo, salt, pepper, garlic powder and the spinach and herb dip.... I also put it in egg salad sandwiches... I really love the stuff.

The seasoning is a little expensive.  I tried seeing if I could figure out how to make my own buying all of the other spices, but it would be just as expensive to buy them all separate.... and I couldn't find spinach flakes at the store anywhere, so needless to say, when I ran out, I bought a few bottles on ebay:)

Friday, June 22, 2012

My Son's Baptism

At the beginning of this month, my son became a member of the
I  wanted this day to be very special and spiritual.  I wanted to keep it simple.  I made the invitation in photoshop using my favorite chevron papers.

I also used photoshop to make this print for him.  I got the idea from Laura Bunker Photography and I took my own pictures.
Oopsey Daisy Blog had this great subway art that you could open in Photoshop and edit to put your own name and date.  I also changed the color to green.

I loved this printable from 'Lil Luna, so I printed about 7 of them in black and green and hung a banner of them across the food table.
The baptism got over at 10:45ish in the morning, so we had a brunch of quiche, sweet breads, donut holes, mini cinnamon rolls, bagles with cream cheese and fruit.  Brenner felt really special on his special day and I hope that he really felt the spirit.

(On a side note, because I'm in the primary presidency in my ward, I was given the assignment to speak at Brenner's baptism.  I loved this talk about the Holy Ghost being like a stoplight, so I used it for my talk).

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Cut-off Jeans

We went on a family camping trip over Memorial Weekend.  As we were packing to leave, we decided to steal my niece for a few days (her parents were going to be coming to our house on Friday, so why not?)  The only problem, was that she had only taken pants and long-sleeved clothes with her on our camping trip and she wouldn't have any shorts or t-shirts to wear in sunny St. George.  We knew we'd have to buy her some clothes, but her mom told me that I could cut off one of her pair of jeans that was too short.
I was just going to cut them off and call it good, but I thought it would be fun to give them the rolled up look.  Then, I was thinking I would embellish with ribbon or lace or something.  But when I looked at the back of the pants (I should have taken the picture before she got them dirty), I thought, why not try to duplicate the pockets (as close as I can).  
I cut the jeans with my pinking shears so they wouldn't fray.  Then I turned the hem over just one time... 2 times would have been too thick for my poor sewing machine.  Then I sewed the navy blue rick rack over the unfinished edge.  Lastly, I hand-stitched the white embroidery floss to match the pants.

Here's a close-up!  My stitching isn't perfectly straight by any means, but I think it gives it character:)

They totally look cute and now she has a new pair of shorts!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Berry Wreath Make-over

Do you remember these berry wreaths that were super popular a few years ago?  I'm not sure that they are going out of style just yet, but I thought I'd do a fun BRIGHT make-over with mine!

 First I sprayed primer on the wreath.  Then I spray painted it PINK!  (Just so you know, it takes a LOT of paint and primer... probably a whole can of spray paint to cover all of the branches!)
 Then I made paper flowers to go around the wreath.  I used this tutorial from Under the Table and Dreaming.  I used buttons in the center to add even more color.
Here's the final product!!!  I'm in love:)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer Water Party

Last year my friend Haley had a super fun summer party for her kids and their friends on the last day of school.  I asked her if I could take over and do it this summer (I must be crazy).
I started out with these popsicle invitations.  The original idea was to use velum to make the popsicles but I just love these chevron prints from Mel Stampz and I have been using them for everything.  I printed a full sheet of the chevron paper, then I printed the free printable from Martha Stewart over the chevron paper and just cut them out and glued them to the popsicle stick.
When Haley did her party last year, she served the treats in buckets, so I thought I'd do the same... it's just super cute!
This watermelon shark has been floating around Pinterest a lot!  I didn't go all out, like some of the other ones I've seen, but the kids loved it and that's all that matters:)
I felt so bad about forgetting the jello petri dishes for my son's science party, so I had to make jello fish bowls for this party.  They were a huge hit!
We let the kids jump on the tramp with the sprinkler under it.  We also had our "vintage" slip-n-slide that my mom has saved from when I was a kid.  It's awesome because it's way stronger and longer than the slip-n-slides you can buy these days:)  I really wanted to make the bike car wash that I keep seeing on Pinterest, but I totally ran out of time:(
I had a huge list of game ideas that I wanted to play.... but the kids had more fun just doing their own thing.  We did get to play "duck, duck splash" and we played a game where they shot down towers of cups with squirt guns.... I think where I lost them was with water balloon volleyball... It was just too hard for kids this age!

This little water balloon filler was my life savor!!!  I bought it at K-mart for $4.  The kids can fill and tie their own water balloons!!!  I set them to work a few days before the party and they filled almost 400 water balloons!
I couldn't send the kids home without a party favor!  I love this "Have a Ball this Summer" printable from Dixie Delights.  I don't particularly like bouncy balls and I know how much kids LOVE gumballs, so I used gumballs instead!
I'm not sure what my deal is lately about forgetting things.... but I totally forgot to give the kids the orange cream sicles I had bought for the party:)  It's all good, most of those friends have come back at later times to enjoy those popsicles!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Granny's Cottage

I've been super busy.... and I'm getting way behind on my scrapbooking:)  Seriously, I'm a year behind and it's killing me!  Here's a little snippet of one of my MAJOR projects.  
My cousin (Libby) and I have taken upon ourselves the project of our Grandma's house.... we call it Granny's Cottage.  We've had a death in our family that has made this house vacant.  We'd love to keep the house, but it's really a money pit.  Our grand plan it to make it a vacation rental.  We've been cleaning, painting and decorating.... it's been a major undertaking.  One of the biggest problems was that the house wasn't kept clean.  Another problem was that when our family painted the house, they were very "efficient" and painted everything one color.  This turquoise room was turquoise... the walls, ceilings, trim, doors, everything... even the hinges and door knobs because, heaven forbid anyone should tape anything (okay, I'm off my soap box).  This is the first bedroom that we feel like is finished.  We have been trying to be as cheap as possible.  So, we've tried to use fabric and things that we already had. 
The back throw pillow with the pompoms was made with fabric my mom had in her stash... I love it!  Libby made the cute orange one with fabric she had in her stash.   My idea for the front pillow was kind of a combination of this pillow and this shirt.  I had the brown fabric only scraps... so I wanted something that used little of that fabric.
What's a cute cheap decorating idea?.... a bunting!  I used my map scraps and my fabric scraps. I got the idea from Dottie Angel.... super cute vintage stuff.
I already had a lot of embroidery hoops on hand from my previous craft room.  They were just sitting in a box, so I pulled them out!  We added a few more so that we could have some of the fabrics we had used in the room.  Always a super cheap and easy way to decorate a room.
This dresser was an awesome vintage find that we already had in Granny's house!  I love it!  I love the worn vintage look and I love the orange handles.  Libby wants to paint it, but I won't let her:)  The top is really quite worn, so I made this cute table runner out of doilies... got the idea here.  I wish I would have taken a better picture of my doily table runner for you:)  Libby had the vintage art from her Grandma's house.  And Libby and I have been collecting the white milk glass from yard sales and DI.  I don't know if we are going to put anything in it or not... I guess I should at least get candles:)
Now, back to my original picture of the whole room.... Don't you love our vintage bed?  This was one of the treasures that was already in Granny's house:)  Libby had the awesome afghan from her grandma.  Libby got the night stand at DI and painted and glazed it.  I found the awesome vintage lamp at a yard sale, of course!  And no night stand for a vintage room is complete without a doily:)  I made the curtain out of an old sheet and a few fabric scraps we had left.  

This has been a rather fun project for us, but very time consuming!  I'll keep posting as we get more rooms finished:)