Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bead Retreat

This year instead of the traditional mother/daughter brunch, Natalie's Girl Scout troop decided to mix it up. We had brunch and a beading party instead. The leader hosted the event at her house and we all brought food and drink. We had a fabulous time eating and beading. :)

Natty Patty modeling hers. So pretty. :)




Here is the bracelet I made. It is called Beach Party. Perfect! :)


Friday, February 27, 2009

New Knobs!

These are the new knobs I picked out for the cabinets. I like them.


We are also getting new hinges but we have to special order those online so for now all I have to show are the knobs.

Elizabeth asked for some tips on the project so I'll share what Stew is doing. He got all his info and supplies at The Home Depot. :)

First he removes the doors and degreases them with a product called TSP. Here's a photo:



Then when they dry, he sands them with a sanding block affixed with fine grit sand paper, dusts them off, primes and paints. Add new hardware and voila virtually new cabinets. Really not a difficult task just time consuming because of all the steps and the amount of cabinets.

We narrowed down the paint color to 2 Ralph Lauren shades from HD...
Chamois



http://www.myperfectcolor.com/Match-of-Ralph-Lauren-SF06D-Chamois-p/mpc0025911.htm

and

Goldfinch


http://www.myperfectcolor.com/Match-of-Ralph-Lauren-GH105-Goldfinch-p/mpc0025878.htm

What do you think?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Yarn Bowls

Last week we had off from school and since I was recovering from surgery there was not much I could do physically with the kids. So, I started searching for ideas and came across this idea for making yarn bowls from A Friend To Knit With. The original idea is from Rosie O'Donnell's book Crafty U.

If you are anything like me, you have tons of leftover yarn from knitting projects that you just hate to throw away. This is a great project to help get rid of some of your stash. We always have white Elmers glue in the house. The only thing we had to go out for was balloons. We hit the dollar store for those. :)

I used throw away tins for this project which is quite messy. So, make sure you cover your work surface and keep a wet rag to clean your hands in case you need to cut more yarn like I did.

First you need to blow up balloons and put them into bowls smooth side up. The bottom side will turn out to be the opening of your bowl. :)

Then you need to cut strips of yarn in about 6 - 8 inches pieces. Pour some glue in your tins and put the yarn right into the tins making sure to cover your yarn with the glue. Then just put your yarn directly onto your blown up balloons.

The WIP shots...

Dylan working on his yarn bowl.


Mine almost complete.


Natty working on hers.



Drying Time. They needed about 24 hours to completely dry. Natty did the honors of popping all the balloons. ;)




Voila! Our finished bowls. Natty already put some of her favorite things in hers. Dylan is going to give his to my Mom for Mother's Day. I told him we need to fill it with something Grandma likes. :) Me, I have no idea what I am going to do with mine. Maybe I'll use it for the guest room and throw some soaps in there. :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Kitchen Cabinet Redo

Our kitchen cabinets have seen better days. The whitewash finish is peeling off and they are splitting in a couple of places. I love a bright clean kitchen. So, a couple of weeks ago I had the bright idea to paint the cabinets white. I had no idea that Stew would jump right on the bandwagon and plow full steam ahead. But I am loving the fact that he did. I figure at this pace, he will be done before Easter. YAY!





Here are a couple of shots of the painted cabinets. We still need to get new hardware. We are thinking about brushed nickel to go with our stainless steel applicances.




I plan on ripping down the wallpaper and painting the walls either yellow or a goldish color. My family room is painted rosemary sprig from Benjamin Moore and it is open to the kitchen. My dining room is yellow on top and gold on bottom separated by a white chair rail but it is closed off by a door. My entry way is Monroe Bisque on the bottom and Monterey White on top and that is also open to the kitchen area. I am torn about what color to paint. What do you think?

My Favorite Blueberry Muffins





From Family Circle ...

Makes 1 dozen
Prep 10 minutes
Bake @ 375 for 25 minutes

Ingredients
2 cups of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 5 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of milk (I used 1%)
2 eggs
1/2 cup of vegetable oil (I used canola)
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 cup of fresh blueberries (I used about 1 -1/2 cups)

heat oven to 375. coat muffin tray with Pam or use liners. I used liners.

in a large bowl whisk flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make well in center

in small bowl whisk milk, eggs, oil and orange zest. pour into well in flour mixture. stir to combine.

spoon batter into muffin tins. (I used an ice cream scooper so they all come out the same size.)

sprinkle each muffin with 1/2 teaspoon sugar. bake at 375 for 23-25 minutes. remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Enjoy!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Sweet Spot

Lemon Sandwiches




Ingredients

Makes 20

1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup apricot jam

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flours, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl.
Put butter, sugars, lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing well after each addition.Cover dough with plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes.
Place cold dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper, and roll out to 1/8 inch thick. Transfer dough on parchment to a baking sheet; freeze 10 minutes.

Using a fluted 1 7/8-inch round cutter, cut out dough; transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets. Reroll scraps, and cut out (you should have 40 rounds). Bake until pale golden, 10 to 11 minutes. Let cool slightly on sheets on wire racks. Transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.

Using a rubber spatula, press the jam through a fine sieve into a small bowl. Stir in remaining tablespoon lemon juice. Spread 1 teaspoon jam mixture on flat side of half of the cookies, and sandwich with the remaining cookies. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

This is why....

I do what I do. Sweet little Ellie was a student in my class last year. Even though she has moved onto the bigger class this year, we still have a really close bond. So, when I received this card from her for Valentine's Day my heart just melted. Her Mom told me she made up the poem all by herself. :)

She will graduate this year and move onto Kindergarten in "big girl" school. I will miss her! I better wear waterproof mascara on graduation day. I told her she better come back and visit me. She responded with "when I have my babies I will take them to school at Hi Ho." :) So SWEET!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sunday Sweet Spot

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Hearts



Ingredients

Makes 4 dozen 2 1/2-inch heart cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon canola oil or pure vegetable shortening

Directions

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until combined. On slow speed, beat in flour and salt until combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; chill until firm, at least 2 hours, or overnight.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until 1/16-to-1/8 inch thick. Cut out hearts with a 2-inch heart cookie cutter. Transfer cookies to an ungreased baking sheet; chill for 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 300 degrees with a rack in the center. Press the tines of a fork into each cookie to make designs. Bake until just beginning to brown around the edges, about 18 minutes. (Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for about 5 days.)

In the top of a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl set over simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Stir in the oil. Dip half or one third of each cookie into the chocolate mixture. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to dry, or place them on a piece of parchment paper in the freezer for 10 minutes. Serve.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Friday Five

Hush Your Mouth

1. Do you like the thrill of a chase? Sure do, esp when I get the prize at the end. ;)

2. What winds you up? Rude people. :(

3. Are you a loud talker? Heck, yeah! :O

4. What comes easy to you? Speaking in public. :)

5. What did you dream about recently? That a Mom at school was pregnant. (She's not) ;)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Some Scrappy Sutff

A layout I did for Scrapjazz this month. My product spotlights were American Crafts and Making Memories. :) My 2 faves so it was easy. I like the cool and calming blues of these products. Perfect for water layouts. And Lord knows I've got tons of water photos. ;)



Some cards with the junk that was left on my desk. Instead of cleaning it up and/or throwing it away I sat down and created these cards. Fun and frugal. LOL!




Sunday, February 01, 2009

Sunday Sweet Spot

Key Lime Thumbprint Cookies



Ingredients

Makes about 60

FOR THE DOUGH
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon coarse salt

FOR THE FILLING
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon finely grated Key lime zest (from 5 limes), or substitute regular limes
3 tablespoons fresh Key lime juice (from 12 Key limes), or substitute regular limes
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Directions

Make the dough: Cream butter and granulated sugar with a mixer until pale and fluffy. Add yolks and vanilla, and beat for 1 minute. Reduce speed to low, and beat in flour and salt until combined. Cover, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour (or up to 1 day).

Make the filling: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk granulated sugar, flour, and eggs in a medium bowl. Stir in lime zest and juice and salt.

Roll balls using 2 teaspoons dough for each. Place 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. With the handle of a wooden spoon, press gently in the center of each to create an indentation. Bake for 10 minutes. Press centers if indentations lose definition. Spoon filling into centers. Bake until cookies are light brown around edges, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool on wire racks.

Cookies will keep, covered, for up to 2 days. Just before serving, dust with confectioners' sugar.