Sunday, December 13, 2015

High Altitude Play-Dough in the Bosch

I had strep throat last week, which was awesome, because my daughter's birthday party that included 10 kids was on Saturday and I spent the previous two weeks out of town. So come Friday I still had not planned anything to do at the party at our house. I decided play dough! I thought about buying it, because I always buy it. As far as I can remember I have never made play dough. Although I do know I played with homemade play dough. So I googled it.

Play-Dough in the Bosch.
Thankfully a few people had tips.

Also thankfully I have basic knowledge of cookie dough at 7,000 feet, or my play dough would have been a disaster.
I halfed the recipe because I made 6 different colors.

I poured my dry ingredients in the Bosch and mixed.
  • 3 to 4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2-2 tablespoons cream of tartar (I eyeballed it)
  • 1/2 cup salt
Then I added my wet ingredients and let the Bosch mix for a few minutes
  • 1 tablespoon+ canola oil
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water 
  • Food coloring

The recipe I found said to use the dough hook, next time I think I'll try my cookie paddles. It seems like the paddles would have helped the dye mix.

It was surprisingly easy. I'm not sure why I thought it was surprising that it was easy, because everyone always buys it. My almost 7 year old and 9 and half year old then hand kneaded the dough for over an hour until it was time for dinner.

I think this might be my new snow day activity. Perfect for kids with sensory needs after their snow gear is wet.
I also thought if I'm ever the room mom to older elementary schoolers that we might make handmade play dough for a class party, I think those older kids would love getting their hands kneading. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Can't go a year without making stockings

I apparently can't make it through the year without making stockings. I didn't want to repeat my Christmas wreath from last year. Plus I just really wanted a gray polka dot and red stocking. (I think my door looks funny with an evergreen wreath since there is only dead vegetation near my front porch.)
I love these skinny stockings. I wish this picture wasn't crooked. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

More Stocking Boards

So last December I never got all my crafts posted. I wanted to, but.... Then by the time I got around to it in February I thought no one really wants to see Christmas, so I posted them for a year in the future.
I already posted these boards, a year and half ago. 
My sister added the holy to this board, and I have to say I love it.
My sister in law made these stockings not me.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Brown Paper Packages Tied up with String

Last year for my husband's family gift exchange we had my sister in law. I personally have no interest in asking someone what they want for christmas. Some years we do ask people what they want and some years they get stuck with my fancy. I also don't have an interest in giving gift cards. So last year I was left to my own devises. I sent my sister in law a whole lot of brown paper packages tied up with string. Almost all were silly, except for the dvd which is one of my favorite movies. I sent things like graham crackers because it was the only table food my baby could eat and so he LOVED them. And things like a frozen t-shirt in honor of my daughter. My favorite was "money in my pocket" since my husband never wants us to buy him a present.

Pottery Barn Not Quite Knock Off

Turns out I never posted my wreath from last year. Postpartum depression is a ------. One day I actually hope to knock off the original. But this wasn't the year.
So here is the post I never posted.
I was sick of my holiday wreath last December. I decided to make something more rustic to go with my drought-ridden dry winter climate. 
My inspiration was this picture from a Pottery Barn catalog. I absolutely love those wreaths. But didn't want to buy new holiday bobbles, I only had one size so I had to improvise.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

The other day I hosted book group. So I made a bundt cake. It was so soothing. I rarely make bundt cakes, and I'm not sure I've ever made one with frosting. Every other year or so I make pound cake in a bundt cake pan for strawberry shortcake (clearly cake shortcake not biscuit shortcake). 
Back to this cake. I thought it looked delightfully imperfect. It was from a box cake favored for pumpkin. It was actually pretty terrible, I would have much rather eaten spice cake then this pumpkin cake. But the cream cheese frosting was pretty yummy.

I had to add this printable because everyone is always on diets so no one ever eats sweets anymore. If you know me you know I love cake. Actually everyone who attended did have a slice.

P.S. If one more person asks me if I went to book group last month I might scream! I hosted it. So yes I went, and yes I know you didn't show up. The three of us had fun without you. I'm trying not to be offended but when the third person asks the same question, my thick skin is feeling a little like my son's eczema. (Rubbed the wrong way.)

Monday, November 9, 2015

Homemade Birthday Cards

If you are making Christmas presents, you better get started before December. Last year I made my sweet 91 year old grandma birthday cards. 50 to be exact! She sends birthday cards to all her children, spouses, grandchildren, spouses and great grandchildren. I should have added extras since 50 won't even make it through the year...

I think the cards turned out adorable, if I do say so myself. I used a bunch of printables from pinterest, and I won't even try to remember all the sites I printed them off. There were many repeating elements, but they are all at least slightly different the the last. Since they would be sent out to the same families, I didn't want to make 50 of the same card.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Not wanting my craft on

I've decided to make a few Christmas presents this year.
You may wonder why?
I've been thinking about the why, because I'm not very motivated this year.

1. Sometimes its just the right thing to do
2. It saves money, yes, sometimes homemade gifts are far cheaper
3. To build memories, yes, my children get so excited when I make thing for them

I started yesterday, I was so unmotivated. Beyond unmotivated. I realized in part I haven't been crafting because of my little boys, but also in part because it makes messes and I've lost interest in cleaning up messes. Four times a day is too much. That is my pre-craft amount of messes, I should be cleaning.

Instead I'll fold clothes the KonMari way. Weird huh? I use to think I hate laundry, but since its the only chore I can accomplish when I'm beyond depressed I think I might need to reframe my opinion. Plus the author is right there is something soothing about folding laundry her way. Although I will admit it does take longer. More time to watch TV. (Last year when book group had a poor amount of support, I suggested a Netflix group we all watch the same season of the same show and discuss it. People didn't like that idea, like they don't all netflix binge.)

One More Skylander

The night before the Halloween Carnival/Fall Festival my husband says as we are falling asleep, I wonder what I should dress up as?
The next day it came to me. Since this was my daughter's first year of not wearing a girly costume, she was a little worried that girls wouldn't like her. (If I haven't ever mentioned I mostly hate girls.) So I thought her daddy matching with her would be a great confidence boost.
So I made him a Double Trouble Skylander Costume. Its a paper bag tiki mask.
I also made a scepter for him. I think this might have been his favorite part, but I can't tell you for sure, because we never discussed it.

I'm pretty sure he wore it for a grand total of 20 minutes. But I had fun putting it together for him and my daughter because it came together in less than an hour. 
 I got the idea from this blog.
P.S. My costume is BEYOND unflattering! :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Candy Corn Costume

I dressed up too! 
My kids and husband think its fun.
Although when my kids tell every random person for a month, "my mom is dressing up as candy corn, I'm quite embarrassed.
I always planned on dressing a baby girl up as candy corn, but instead I had two boys! Thank heavens.
So I decided it was my year for candy corn.
My hat looks awful, but I didn't feel like reshaping it to make it better.
I also realized after the fact, I put the candy corn in the wrong order, but it worked better this way. I used scraps, and the yellow was fleece so it had stretch to go with the t shirt unlike the orange.
I did not make my baby's costume. I bought the Disney Brand Nemo costume for $7 at the thrift store. Can't beat that. I didn't sew my three year old's costume either, he was a fireman. I just didn't have the time to make all homemade costumes.

Cub Scout Spinner

My oldest is a Bear Cub Scout, one of his requirements was to participate in a Carnival. He picked doing a spinner. This was a join project of mostly my husband and I, and a little bit of my son. Its made from a 5 gallon bucket lid. 1 ticket = 1 candy/prize
 People seemed to enjoy his spinner. It spun forever, which was good or bad, depending on your opinion.
My kid dressed up as the numbers Pi and Phi. Who knew phi was even a number? One of the easiest costumes ever, just a sandwich board with two printer copies.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween Frame

My husband was camping or something, so I had a free evening last month to craft once the little ones were in bed. I made this:
Ok, so it might not be that crafty. But I did edit the picture so it was almost black and white, and I cut out scrapbook paper, and those ticket printables from the internet.
It goes with our whole Halloween photo montage.
I know my Halloween posts are a little late this year.

Homemade Ninja Stealth Elf Halloween Costume

This past summer when my children got screen time everyday instead of once a week during the school year, my 6 year old daughter decided she wanted to be Ninja Stealth Elf from Skylanders for Halloween.
Her costume was pretty easy to put together.
 I sewed some yarn on a black beanie for hair, and then made some green elf ears out of felt. She wasn't interested in any other accessories. In fact I made her round sword things, and she lost them at a Fall Festival, before I had a chance to take her picture.
Sure her face isn't painted green, and she doesn't have belts on her wrists and legs, but she didn't want that. I think she looks pretty good. A few people recognized her, but you have to be a big Skylander fan for that. 
She turns 7 in 6 weeks and with three brothers around she might be done with Princess Halloween Costumes, and since I had 5 brothers I really ok with that.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


I was loving our new picture magnets so much and I love to put pictures of our former Halloween costumes up in October, so I decided to change our FHE board magnets this month.
I let everyone pick their picture other than poor Dobby. I'm an evil wife sometimes. He doesn't dress up much so the pictures were slim pickings when I didn't want to repeat costumes. When he does dress up, I help him find awesome ones that earn us gift cards for winning costume contests.

One a side note, after the now famous ponderize conference talk, I now use our scripture section of the board.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Scout Board

Since I'm not really crafting lately, here is my lame craft. I am a den leader over a wolf den in Cub Scouts. I want the boys to learn the scout oath and law, so in the beginning of each meeting we recite it after the pledge of allegiance. 
But I'm such a cheapskate I used my son's old science fair board, because then I didn't have to spend $5 on a new board. It took me two hours of gluing, just like making a science fair board.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

School Tags

Every couple of years I make my kids personalized luggage tags for their backpack and gear. I decided my daughter needed one for her lunchbox. 
She picked this picture of her and her baby brother that was taken when we took family pictures this summer.
Then we took a picture that matched for backpack. She specifically asked for this hairstyle. At the last minute the picture got scratched when I was almost done making it. I didn't want to start over. Lame mom award.
In the past year she lost all her baby pudge. She's now a lanky grader schooler.
I tell her how beautiful she is about once a day. She finds it a bother. Don't worry all you feminists out there I also tell her how smart she is, that she is a hard worker when she accomplishes tricky things, and how proud I am of her athletic achievements. She hears it all.

Friday, August 14, 2015

To craft or not to craft?

Years ago, when my third baby was a baby. I crafted all the time, it was my anti-depressant. Maybe that's where I went wrong with my fourth. I'm so busy, I never never have time to craft anymore.
I hate the glorification of busy, but yet, my life is really busy. With two toddlers under three and two grade schoolers.
Who knows if I'll ever craft again.
I spend so much time with my kids. My two oldest were so good at not worry about what their momma was doing. I always found time for the things I love to do. My two youngest, they are worst than shadows glued on with soap. They are always on my heals and I never ever get anything productive done anymore.
Oh well such is life.
I've now realized that fat babies grow up in today skinny kids, and I am happy to rock my babies a day long even if they aren't so much babies anymore.

I'm so crafty I grow humans even after I give birth to them.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Picture Magnets

I haven't been crafting lately. But I have been budgeting a lot and de-junking our house. Turns out with 6 people and four years a lot of stuff can amass. In the process of downsize I put our Family Home Evening board in the bags of stuff to get rid of. We are considering a garage sale so everything is neatly piled in the garage and getting bigger every month. After two months of the FHE board in the garage, I pulled it back in and made new magnets.
We never really used the board much before, I usually didn't let them pick the treat, and my husband and I always gave the lesson. Plus its only been recently our two and half year old can conduct. So it was only the oldest two rotating conducting. But during Spring Break we were at my sister in law's and she actually let her kids do things during FHE, her kids that are younger than ours. So I pulled the board out again. They are having a blast actually getting to help. Plus the 9 year old loves to give lessons.
We are on our third set of hand made magnets. These are my favorite set so far!
We've had this board for 5 years. I wish I could redo the vinyl but I'm afraid it would mess up the board, after sitting for so long. I don't want a spot for scripture or activity. Activity makes the night too long when I'm hoping for pre-8 pm bedtime. They love conducting, song and treat so much we don't need the night any more fun.
Scripture... I'm not even sure about this one? A scripture story? that would take as long as our 2 minute lesson. Scripture reading? we do that at the end with prayer, and no one is in charge.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Burlap Bunny and Wreaths

I wanted a new Easter wreath this year. After scouring Pinterest and not really find anything I liked I came up with this. My 6 year old daughter doesn't really like it but tried to be nice. 
I've been trying to come up with this wreath for a week or so, then a few nights ago I decided I would make a burlap bunny but didn't know how to do that so a google search took me to this site. The wreath came together really fast. I only wish the bunny had bigger ears.
Best part of the project, it was free to make, the burlap was all left over from old projects.

Speaking of wreaths I reassembled my foam wreath from the last two years. I decided to keep with the gray wreath. The bow is wonky but so is my life.
I love how much more vintage it feels. The green was loud, I'm too tired for loud right now. I got the printable from here.
Speaking of printables, I also found this Hosanna one that I LOVE. Can you even see it in this picture?
 And to finish my Easter bloggy tour of my living room, here is my bunting from last year. I know I know my husband already told me the piano should be centered but my children like to look out the window.
 Did you know I rearranged my living room yet again? The black chairs are back next to each other.

Friday, February 27, 2015

More Dessert Recipes

After saying, I always get compliments on my lemon cake and my chocolate cake, I'm embarrassed to post recipes. I don't really have recipes.
 I use cake mixes, and the more expensive your cake mix the better the cake tastes. I highly recommend Duncan Hines Lemon Cake mix.
 Then I add an extra egg to the mix and use whole milk instead of water to the mix. I keep the oil, because I hate butter in cakes. This is not my idea, the internet gave it to me, and it works. My child who never liked cake now likes cakes I make. The cake is a denser.

 When I serve people cakes with an extra egg and milk instead of water they often ask if its a from scratch cake.
For my chocolate cake, I do the same thing. I just buy a decent brand of devils food chocolate cake, and use milk instead of water and add an extra egg.

As far as frosting goes. It depends. If I'm making devils food cake for people who don't like chocolate too much I use cool whip. (Yes these kind of people exist.) If I'm making it to enjoy it or to impress people. I use Better Homes and Garden's New Book Cook Recipe for chocolate cream cheese frosting.

At this altitude (7,000 feet) I honestly can't make buttercream frosting. If I'm making frosting from scratch I have to have cream cheese. A friend of mine that makes nearly professional cakes told me at this altitude you have to use half shortening or your frosting just won't work. The butter melts to fast, or something like that... I can't remember exactly what she said. It was reassuring to know I'm not stupid.

If I had confidence it making buttercream frosting here I would have made lemon frosting from scratch for the cake, at lower altitudes I have had a lot of success. But here, I went for quick and easy. Lemon Pudding Frosting.
1 package of Lemon instant pudding
1/4 cup of powder sugar
mix together
3/4 a cup of milk (at lower altitudes maybe a full cup of milk)
mix together
a tub of cool whip mixed together.

These recipes are extremely easy. So I don't know why I get so many compliments. Maybe because they are practically from scratch?
More likely because my secret ingredients is "love" "dang it"

I find most people enjoy simple homemade desserts, nothing fancy, and mostly not store bought. I do love to bake so maybe that's why. They can taste the love.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Scouting Parent's Pin Necklace

This my version of my Scout Parent's Pin Necklace.

 It's what all the cool moms have. And by cool, I do not mean homecoming queen cool, I mean, I haven't lost my child's keepsakes and he thinks his mom is cool. And that type of a cool is a very uncool type of cool, but really the only type of cool that matters. Not everyone has it. Now I do.

A friend of mine has a traditional one. I told her I wanted to copy her. She gave me permission.

I spent months deciding what I wanted to do. There are plenty of tutorials out there, but they seem to imply its hard to find the right ribbon. Not to mention 4 spools of ribbon is going to be more than $10. So I thought maybe I should just buy one and be done with it.
Then I found one with three stripes on etsy and I do have three boys....
Then I decided that was a little too much for me...

Then I found this site and they were selling red white and blue ones, because you know we are talking about Boy Scouts of AMERICA. Plus the eagle scout pins and neckerchiefs have red white and blue ribbons. So I decided that is what I was going to do.

But then my local walmart didn't have any red white and blue ribbon. So I got blue with white polka dots. It was ugly. I returned it. Then I realized I already knew how to make lanyards and key chains.
Then I could make one for absolutely FREE, with leftover patriotic fabric.
Which I did.

I love it, in I'm an uncool cool mom way. My husband thinks I'm hot. :/
I asked if I was rocking this lanyard and he ignored me. So I'm going to take that as a yes.

Oh and by the way I didn't use interfacing in this, because I wanted it to be less conspicuous and lay flat instead of stiff against me. Oh and that corner at the bottom was fairly tricky.
Plus mine double rocks because it has a personalized J.
It doesn't rock because my pins kind of blend in with my fabric.

What is that third pin you ask? The Heart of Scouting pin, that my mother in law encouraged me to get about 7 years ago. Now I have somewhere to put it! Yeah, I'll be rocking this necklace at the Blue and Gold Banquet on Saturday. My 9 year old is so excited, lets hope it doesn't get snowed out.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Frozen Party

I know there are a million frozen party ideas online, but this is what we did. None of which was original. I have lots of snowflake crafts so it was easy to just slightly change. This was a temporary change. With this printable.

 I printed Elsa on paper, and melted Jolly Ranchers. I don't think any of the kids ate the cake just pieces of jolly ranchers.
 Nat requested pin the crown on Elsa.
 We printed the birthday banner from this site.
 For some reason I made a 6 year old two wreaths, that one in the background too.
 I made the pinata for her. She loved it. Turns out I made it too sturdy. Don't use packing tape, masking tape probably would have been better.