Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Little Bakers: Child's Apron and Chef Hat

My three year old came to me and told me she wanted to bake a cake. "I won't get very messy," she said, "just a little messy" were here convincing words. So my three little bakers got dressed and ready to get, just a little messy, as they stired and mixed their masterpiece.
The fun aprons and bakers hats were handmade gifts from their aunt. Absolutely darling and tons of fun for the girls to dress the part.
For all of you who enjoy making handmade gifts, may I suggest this project for you. One more great gift idea for your own kids or someone else. The Internet is full of great free patterns as well as ones to be purchased. Through my search I came across this great blog that has a tutorial on how to make an apron and chef hat. Making It Fun Blog: Kid's Apron & Chef Hat.

Life is never dull or lacking of entertainment around our home!

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Cloth Diapers Transformed Into Cute Burp Cloths

Boring cloth diapers turned adorable burp cloths is the continued subject of this post.
 In my previous post I stated if you have a sewing machine and can sew in a straight line, then this is the project for you. So very simple, cute and fun. They make for great gifts too!

All you need:
Cloth Diapers (you can find them at Babies R' Us or even Target)
Minky Fabric or Flannel Fabric
Coordinating Thread 
Sewing Machine
Ribbon (optional)
Piece of paper for pattern
Straight Pins

Cut a piece of paper 7"x9" for your pattern.
Fold fabric in half, placing pattern (7" side) at the fold. Cut around your pattern. Lay your fabric on your diaper cloth and pin around the edges. (If you are adding ribbon pin the ribbon at the same time you pin the fabric to the diaper cloth.)
Now time to sew. If you are using ribbon I suggest a straight stitch (both side edges of the ribbon are to be sewn). If not adding ribbon you could use a zigzag stitch or a straight stitch. Another hint if using ribbon, cut ribbon long enough to hang over the edge of the diaper cloth. Sew the ribbon thoroughly at the end of the cloth so it does not fray. Then cut the remainder of the ribbon off once sewn.
This could not be more simple for completely darling Burp Cloths.

Another great use I have found for these cloths with my kids has been when they have a cold. When the inevitable runny nose occurs for my little ones, we use these soft burpies to wipe cute noses. I prefer my little ones to carry around a burp cloth than a soggy tissue. I also am not a fan of tissues in bed with my kids, so our solution has been burp cloths. They have loved it! It actually brings them comfort to lay down to nap or bed with a burp cloth, when their nose is runny or stuffy.


A ribbon edge instead of ruffle ribbon as seen in my previous post.

 Or just minky and flannel fabric in a rectangle pattern.

  Tip on buying fabric...
I always look for bolts of fabric that are at the end... not much left on them. Most fabric stores love getting rid of the ends of bolts for great reduced prices! When you take your fabric to be cut, ask what price they will give you if you take all of it. I love getting fabric for a steal of a deal!

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ruffled Burp Cloth for Baby

Darling burp clothes are one of my favorite things for baby. Whether you bottle feed or nurse your baby you have to burp your baby. Those little bubbles in baby's tummy have to be patted out into what sometimes ends up coming out in more than just a burp if you know what I mean. Why not have a soft and cute burp cloth for baby hanging over your shoulder?

When I was pregnant with my youngest daughter I turned some regular cloth diapers into cozy, soft minky burpies. Now you can find these all over the Internet it seems... some at prices that astonish me.  Oh the price we pay for CUTE!
If you have a sewing machine and can sew in a straight line, then there is nothing preventing you from making your own like I did. The ones pictured here are for a friend who is having a baby girl, no worries my baby boy will not be subjected to pink burpies!

Before we jump into the simple diaper cloth burpie (I will do in my next post), let's walk through how I made the smaller ruffled, minky and flannel burp cloth.
I first cut out my flannel  and minky fabrics in a rounded shape. I used a burp cloth I had for a pattern, but you could cut one out of paper to the shape and size you desire.
I then pinned the ruffle first to my flannel fabric, since the ruffle I chose was being folded in half. It seemed easier for me to get the ruffle on one piece and then both pieces of fabric later.
Hint: You could make this more simply by adding Ric Rack instead of a more challenging ruffle ribbon like this one.

I then pinned the minky fabric using the same pins in the flannel. I am sure this is probably the hard way of doing it, but it was what I found to be best in my very limited sewing knowledge.
Pinned and ready to be sewn together.
 All done! Ready for a most adorable baby girl! Burp away baby!

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pillsbury Crescent Rolls Turned Dinner and Dessert

With a random mix of recipes you never know how dinner may turn out. This was the place I found myself in as I was preparing dinner for my family the other night.
Early in the day I had dropped two large chicken breasts in my crock pot and covered them with a jar of salsa. Figuring once the chicken was ready and dinner time was approaching I would use the chicken one way or another. Well dinner approached, I added in half a block of cream cheese, only to realize I had no clue what to do next. Oh yes that is right, all tortillas have been consumed along with every other complementary ingredient I could think of. Leaving me to really be creative. As the, "mommy, I am hungry" began to escalate the pressure was on. Then I remembered I had Pillsbury Crescent Rolls in the fridge that were planed for another chicken roll recipe in days to come. This could be disastrous or delicious, but with a hungry family I just needed to try. I do have to say all turned out delicious! Everyone's taste buds were very pleased and my husband wants to keep this recipe in the rotation of meals. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Here is what I did and what you need...
2 Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts or 4 regular size
Jar of Salsa (leave some remaining)
Block of Cream Cheese
Sour Cream
Grated Cheese
2 cans of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (large size)

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place Chicken Breasts in crock pot (frozen is fine).
Pour salsa over the chicken, leaving about 1/3 cup in the jar.
Cook on low for 5-6 hours
At the end of the cook time add in the cream cheese (I used half this time)
Shred chicken, mixing in the cream cheese.
Remove chicken from crock pot into a mixing bowl and mix in some grated cheese
Spoon  chicken mixture into the crescent roll and roll up. Place into a greased baking dish
In a mixing bowl mix together sour cream and remaining salsa
Once baking dish is filled with all the chicken rolls, pour the sour cream mixture around the rolls. Leaving the tops of the rolls uncovered.
Bake for 15-20 minuets or until rolls start to turn golden. Then top with grated cheese and continue cooking for another 5-10 minuets or until rolls are golden.
Hint: I filled in the sides and edges of the baking dish with remaining chicken mixture before pouring the sauce over.
Click here for  Salsa Crock Pot Chicken in another recipe

I had four crescent rolls remaining so I turned them into dessert.
Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
Spread butter on the inside of Crescent Roll and sprinkle over cinnamon and sugar mixture. Roll up and then spread the outside of the roll with butter. Sprinkle the outside with the cinnamon and sugar mixture and then bake according to package directions.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Minky and Flannel Baby Blanket

 I can not claim to be a sewer but I am a proud owner of a sewing machine. I do enjoy zipping around a piece of fabric now and again. Though I can not boast in my work I can confess I have fun trying. I grew up with a mom who is an amazing sewer and quilter at that! I know the look of a beautiful stitch, perfect corners and amazing craftsmanship when I see it. Knowing all of this has kept me from the confidence of just trying my hand at much when it comes to sewing. As well as the need to even try... why when mom could do a fabulous job for me? Now that I am miles away from mom, I decided why not just try to create a blanket for my sweet baby boy? Who needs perfect when I could just have fun in the process? Perfect was FAR from accomplished but fun and satisfaction was most definitely achieved.

A very basic border of minky fabric squares with a center of flannel fabric. The back is a solid piece of blue minky fabric. I  then tied the center with embroidery thread to keep the middle from sliding around as well as adding a bit of  fun.
Though I will not be winning any awards on this one, I did get "wows" and "awe" from my adoring fans... my kids! I even have orders piling up to make more... oh the sweet support of my children. 
I hope this encourages you to just try whatever it is you have been hesitant, but wanting to do, because the lack of perfection will be present. I am so glad I did. It is only for the courage of mistakes that lead us to masterpieces!

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Royal Princess Dinner

A little girl's dream... to have a royal dinner with the Disney Princesses. We spent a week stomping all over Walt Disney World in Florida creating many wonderful memories. One highlight of our experience was dinning in Cinderella's Castle and getting to meet the Princesses. Each girl (except my nine year old who was not interested) picked out the princess dress of her choice for the occasion. This really added to the fun and splendor of the night.
When we returned home from our vacation we decided it would be fun to have Grace, my oldest be chef to her princess sisters. Grace selected her recipes from her crockpot cookbook (click here Kids In the Kitchen) and prepared her appetizer, entree and dessert. She then served us all and we enjoyed a Royal dinner at home in our "castle". What fun it was to have a wonderful memory extend into our "common" lives. 

Princesses ready for their Royal dinner of  Garden Salad, Creamy Lasagna, and Apple Crisp Ala mode for dessert.

 We got to enjoy our vacation with cousins.
Two of my princesses dressed in commoners clothes in front of Cinderella's Castle.
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Sunday, March 13, 2011

80 Nails Painted!

I have four kids... that translates to mean I am the keeper and maintainer of 80 finger nails and toe nails (not including my own)! I remember when I was pregnant with my third child and it dawning on me jut how many fingers and toes I needed to keep manicured... oh man! I should have gotten my manicurist license!
We are headed off on a child's dream vacation (and a child at heart like myself) to Walt Disney World. I had the bright idea to paint each of my girls finger nails and toes and adorn them with a Mickey Mouse head. Remember I do not have my manicurist license so do not judge the appearance of my girls nails. Thankfully to my girls they do not look like black hearts, but rather Mickey Mouse and that is all that counts.
What I used to create Mickey Mouse:
Nail Polish
Q-tip with the cotton taken off the end
Toothpick with the pointed tip cut off

What I did:
I first painted the nail the color of my daughter's choice
Then once the nail was dry, I put black paint on the end of the bald Q-tip. I used this for Mickey's head. Then I put black paint on the end of the cut off toothpick for Mickey's ears.
There you have it. Very easy to make Mickey... um for a professional or a talented person like yourself. I have very happy girls who are all the more excited about their Disney Vacation! Just a bit of added extra fun!

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Backpack Tags

So many girls... so many backpacks! Two and two and who is who? With four little girls and two of each kind of backpack I knew I needed a simple way of telling the bags apart. As well as for even the youngest child who can not yet read, to identify her own bag.
I had a bigger plan in my head as to how I would decorate backpack tags, but true to form, I ran out of time and needed something fast and easy!
Here is what I came up with.

I went back to my old friend Microsoft Word and came up with this very simple and easy tag. I used my girls initials, since these are for travel and I just do not want their names on their bags. I had each child choose their own picture to help them identify quickly and easily which is their bag.
Then I found these self laminating tags in the travel section at Target. It was $5.00 for a box of four.

They turned out cute for as easy as this ended up being.

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