Tuesday, May 25, 2010

school's out for the summer

This is a fun last day a school tradition from family fun.   Hang a welcome to summer banner for your children to bust through on their last day of school.  We would love to hear your last day of school traditions.

Monday, May 24, 2010

graduation treats

I have been looking for some simple graduation party treats and loved this idea from  Bakerella.   They would make great cupcake toppers or party favors wrapped in cellophane.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

fun outdoor chalkboard

I found this at Creative Crate last year and have been trying to figure out a way to make this work in our yard.  We don't have a fence right now but I really love this idea.  This is a great way to use sidewalk chalk without it being all over your front walkway.  Stacie has a little explanation on how she did it.  Very cute.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

kids picnic table

It is that time of year when all the backyard toys and gear come out of storage.  For us that means pulling out the kids picnic table that is stored flat against the wall in the shed.  We found the idea for this table including full printable instructions at Family Fun and it is a genius design! 
Here is why we love it:
--The entire table is made from one sheet of 4-8 plywood. 
--The pieces just fit together to create the table(no nails, screws, etc.) and can then come apart to store flat for storage. 
--It is portable.  There are two small pieces that will hold all the table parts together so that it can be carried to the neighborhood BBQ.   
--It is small and simple for children but it is big enough that adults can sit at it too. 
--It is durable and designed to hold up.  This one has been around for 8 years of picnics, tea parties, art projects, mud pies, garage sales(warning: people will want to buy it) and neighborhood BBQs.  Considering that we made it from a used, low quality plywood just to see if we could build it, it has done it's duty well.

Needless to say we have created several more since this one and will be painting a new smooth higher quality one in the next few weeks  even though we are not sure if we are ready to give this old one up yet. 

Tip: When we made additional tables, we chose not to cut the carrying handle hole in the table top because we found it was easy enough to carry without it and we didn't want the hole in the table. 
                          Family Fun Magazine  Table                                                 Our Family's Table

Monday, May 17, 2010

house number flower pots

I have seen several ideas for house (or apartment) number flower pots and thought it was such a great idea.  Every time I see them I love them.  I think that they add such cute character to your front porch or front yard.  They could be adapted to fit in any large or small space that you have.  I found this one I love at The DIY Show Off.  

Here is another great idea at Positively Splendid.  

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

cute cupcake toppers

I had the share this idea I saw at Little Birdie Secrets.  These are so cute and would be so fun for birthday parties or special occasions.  

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

plastic sack organizer

Looking for a way to contain all of your plastic grocery sacks? Many are moving to the reusable grocery sacks which we use once and a while also but we still use the plastic sacks for bathroom garbage sacks and many other things around the house. This little organizer is not a new idea but I thought I would share it anyway. Here is what you need.

cloth napkin or dish towel
8 in. of 1/4 in. elastic
safety pin
10 in. strip of ribbon

I started with a cloth napkin I found on clearance on day but you could also use a dish towel which would create a little longer organizer. I folded it is half and cut it about 7 in away from the folded edge. Measure and mark elastic at about 8 inches.

Attach safety pin to elastic and thread through the existing hem of the napkin or towel.

Pull in through until you see your mark of 8 inches and then sew up the side creating a tube.
Turn it ride side out and attach your ribbon to the top.

Stuff it with sacks in the top, and hang it up in your pantry. I found this and some other kitchen organizing tip from Martha here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

taco seasoning mix

Making mixes is easy, economical, food allergy friendly and more natural that the same store bought products.  Here is one of our favorite spice mixes.  It works great in regular tacos but can be used in a lot of favorite southwestern recipes like Black Beans and Rice and Southwest Eggrolls.

Taco Seasoning Mix

4 Tbsp. dried onion flakes
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. corn starch or potato starch
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. oregano
1/2- 1 tsp. dried minced garlic
1/2 tsp. dried red pepper flakes

Mix all ingredients together and store in an air tight container for 4-6 months.
*Make it once to see how you like it and then change the ingredients to match your taste.  If you wnat it a little hotter add more dried red pepper flakes, or if you love garlic mix in a little more than this.

To make tacos: add 2-3 tbsp. taco seasoning to 1 pound cooked ground beef or chicken.

Friday, May 7, 2010

raspberry and cream scones

Lunch for me often consists of meeting my husband at our favorite little bakery for the best sandwich around.  A few weeks ago I finally tried their scones and have been on a quest ever since for a recipe to create something similiar at home.  I think I finally did it the other night when I mixed up a batch to go with the scrambled eggs and hashbrowns we were having for dinner.  My family ate all the scones and we ended up mixing up another batch for dessert and lunches the next day.  I adapted a recipe I found in Everyday Foods Magazine.  I loved how simple it was and yet how great they turned out.

Raspberry and Cream Scones

2 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces

3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg yolk

1 cup rasperries
4 ounces cream cheese, cut into pieces

flour, to roll out the dough
1 tbsp. sugar, to sprinkle on top of scones

Preheat oven to 400.  Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the food processor and pulse a few times.  Add the butter and pulse until pea size pieces form.  In another small bowl mix the buttermilk and egg yolk until blended and then pour into the processor while pulsing just until dough comes together.
Transfer dough to a slightly floured surface and flatten.  Sprinkle the raspberries and cream cheese on top and fold dough over a few times to incorporate.  Roll dough to about 1 inch thick and cut into 2-3 inch pieces.  Place scones on a large baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 15 minutes.

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