Tuesday, June 28, 2011

No Sew Tutus

Okay, so I realize that pretty much everyone knows how to do this. BUT since I'm slowly getting stuff together for Kari's birthday party in a few weeks, I'm just putting stuff up as I make it. (Cake platters anyone? ;D) Today: Sugarplum tutus!! :) As you know we're doing a Nutcracker Ballet theme for her party so tutus are a MUST. I gathered waist sizes of the other little girls coming, then I decided how long I wanted them and got to work!
Okay, so for this particular tutu, the waist size was 20, make it a few inches shorter because it will get stretched a bit as you're tying the knots. Sew the ends together securely. I went along all four sides of the overlap. This is the only sewing you'll be doing.
I used white and light pink. If you roll them out together, you can make sure they're all the same length.
I cut this one at 23 inches. You'll need to double your length, in my case I wanted 12 inches, just below the knee for Kari, so you double it, 22, then add an inch for the knot. 23
I used all 25 yards of each roll for this one.
Put your elastic on a jug (it helps make sure everything is uniform) Fold your tulle in half, stick the loop up under the elastic
Pull the tails through..
tighten, move to the next knot. Keep them tight, but not so tight that you make it huge.
Finished tutu
Ta da!!
This one is Kari's. It's all glittery and sparkly, she LOVES it. :D

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Quick little craft

You've probably all seen this project before, but it was my first time and I think they turned out fabulous! So next month is my DD Kari's 3rd birthday. And we're doing Nutcracker Ballerina for her theme (what can I say? She's a fan of the classics. ;D) Anyway, so I want to have mini cakes for everyone. Almost like petit fours but maybe times 4. Around the size of a cupcake. Anyway, so I wanted some cake platters, in different heights for serving them, and I was looking online. Holy moly! Those things are expensive! So I ran to the thrift store, and I picked up two platters, for 5 bucks each, and a candlestick and a vase, 2 and 1 dollars. And gorilla glue (make sure you use gorilla glue or something like it that will bond glass or else your platters will fall apart)

Put a thin ring of glue on the top of the candlestick, adhere to the platter. Wipe up excess with a wet wipe of some sort.
Put something heavy on it to help it bond tighter. I used my scriptures. ;)
For this one, I used a vase because I couldn't find a candlestick that was the height or color that I wanted. This vase had that yucky dried dead plant crap on the bottom, but was too narrow to get to with a brush (or really, anything else) so here's a little trick I used to clean this vase. I let it soak in soapy water overnight. The next morning I put some water, and some vinegar in it, then threw in some uncooked rice. Swirl it around until it's clean. The rice acts as an abrasive and will get all that yucky stuff off of there. Make sure you let it dry completely before gluing to your platter or you'll end up with mildew growing inside it. EW.

Then let them sit overnight.
Ah! Perfection. It looks like it was always meant to be like this. And I LOVE the etching on this platter. Who would give it away??
And this one is gorgeous.
With sweet hand painted daisy's.
Perfection all for about 13 bucks total. Score!!
Don't you think they will look so sweet with these beauties on them? ;)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tyler trying to steal my camera! And why he can't.

So DH moved over to the defense side of military law today. He came home and asked me if I saw any horns growing yet. lol!! You know, since he's gone to the dark side and his whole job will be trying to help people who've done varying degrees of "bad" things get out of trouble (i.e. illegal, in-ethical, inappropriate behavior, disgracing the military, the President and the US of A) :P I asked him if it would bother him to be defending people like in one of our recent cases who raped his 7 month along pregnant wife. He was pretty vague on the answer. I know he's excited to see things from the other side, but he wants justice and bad people to go away just as much as the next guy so I think he might be a bit conflicted, especially if it's one of his friends that he has to help out. Can you say AWK-ward! Anyway, this isn't really about all that, this is more about Tyler wanting to take MY gorgeous Nikon D3100 to work with him to take evidence pictures during the day. I said NO. He can take the snapshot one, but not my baby, or else I couldn't take pictures like THESE:
I am so happy she's back into tutus :D
Look at that form! Little Jillian has her toes pointed. Born dancers I tell you. ;)
I love how much fun they're having.
Looking at the ballerinas on the t.v for inspiration.

Jill doing her Princess Kate wave. lol!
Apparently the cupboards are fun again. And I absolutely adore her expression.

Here's a shot of both of them. Love it!

Now wouldn't it have been sad if Tyler had had my camera and I wasn't able to get these shots? Yeah, I thought you'd all say that. :D

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ode to Melaleuca

Okay, so I was practically raised on the stuff. Then when we got married, we were poor newly weds and we couldn't barely afford food, let alone a monthly shipment of Melaleuca. And I fall into the routine of stuff that doesn't work as well, but I get used to it. Anyway, so mom was up here last year when I had Jill. And I signed up under her, but not as a business type thing, I just want the products. And holy moley, I don't know how I survived almost 4 years without it. My dishes didn't have spots anymore regardless of what fancy, expensive no spot formula dish cleaner I'd been using, my laundry stopped getting greyish, not to mention all those food stains from kid number 1, my floors were clean, my bathrooms sparkled and I didn't have to have a heart attack whenever one of my darling children gets under the sink and tries to eat everything (JILL). I see it so differently now that it's me paying for it, me doing all the laundry and cleaning and me worrying over chemicals and such. Pre-spot though, I think is my favorite. It takes out the daily messes like chocolate milk, juice, spaghetti sauce, ect. Plus it got out the impossible stuff. (Remember the fruit snack vomit MaryAnn?) Anyway, last Easter remember Kari eating the blue dye? Yeah that was fun. I didn't have faith in Melaleuca, and I put a ton of pre-spot on it, in addition to bleach. Yeah, when that thing came out, all the blue dye was gone, but the bleach had also taken the pink out of the little rosettes on the dress. Because I hadn't had faith in the product, the dress was ruined anyway. I bought her a new one. Well last night, I wasn't going to make the same mistake so when I opened the dryer last night and saw pink splotched/spots all over the ENTIRE load. I'm not gonna lie, I about had a heart attack, but then I pulled the whole thing out on the floor and sat there for an hour spraying every single spot, when I'd gotten to the bottom of the pile, I finally figured out what had happened. It seems a certain "someone" had forgotten about one of those single serve juice packets in his pocket. It had been washed with the clothes, then in the dryer had exploded due to the heat. So I'm sitting there shaking my head adding up replacement costs in my head, most of it was Air Force uniform stuff. It's not cheap. And praying that Melaleuca would pull a miracle for me once again since the stuff had been cooked in because of the dryer. The next morning, I open up the washer and behold!!! Not a single speck of pink in sight. I was so grateful. I already loved Melaleuca, but that just cinches my "never buy another brand" resolve. Anyway, just wanted to share.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mini Homemade Apple Pies

Hey everyone. I don't have a Work in Progress Tuesday this week. Been busy with other things, like my hubby trying to break his knee playing ultimate frisbee. It's been a fun week I tell you. ANYWAY, the point of this post is that I have a wonderful, delicious surprise for you all!
Have you ever wanted a delicious homemade pie, but don't want to only have a few slices eaten by everyone? Then what happens? You get stuck with it. And if you're like me, you'll keep eating it so it doesn't go to waste. You guys do that too right? My solution? Mini pies!! All the yummy deliciousness of homemade pie, in a single serving size. You can serve them at a dinner party, or make a batch and freeze them for emergencies (you know the ones I'm talking about ladies) or, you can give them away to a bunch of your friends and only keep a couple for yourself thus ensuring that you don't end up gaining 20 lbs.
Okay, so first thing's first, I Googled "Perfect pie crust" because let's be real, store bough pie crusts are gross! And one of the top recipes was a Paula Dean recipe. I hear good things about her, so I click and print. Then I do a search for perfect apple pie filling, and guess who pops up? Yup, the southern cooking queen herself. But the apple pie filling recipe had the crust recipe attached to it. You can find them both here
Alright, pie crust first. You'll need to double your recipe for all your little crusts. This recipe is not doubled.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cold
12 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup ice water

Mix all your dry stuff together in a big mixing bowl

Mix in your shortening, by hand.
Cube up your butter.
(And no, I DIDN'T use my utu to cut my frozen butter because it was too hard....)
Throw in your butter.
Use your hand, or a pastry cutter (or if it's frozen like mine, use an ulu, it worked AWESOME) to work the butter into the flour. You'll have to be quick, you don't want the butter to start melting.
This is what it should look like, crumbly, like a very coarse cornmeal.
Add your water until it's just mixed in. Do not over work it or it will get tough. Roll it into a ball.
Flatten and divide in half (or for us, into quarters)
Turn them into little disks, wrap each in plastic and chill in fridge for 30 minutes.
On a floured surface, roll out your dough and use a small bowl, (mine is about 4.5 inches across) to cut little circles. Lightly grease your muffin pan, line each cup with a circle of dough.
Now, the filling. I used 7 apples, 2 granny smith, 2 red, and 3 Brayburn, just for different flavors, it's not a must though. cut up your apples, sprinkle them with lemon juice. This is for two reasons, one, it helps keep the apples from oxidating, and two, it adds a little extra something to your flavors. In a separate bowl mix 3/4 cup of light brown sugar 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg to taste. Add mixture to apples and toss until it's evenly coated. *Edit: According to my dad, and he's a genius when it comes to cooking, so I believe him, he says to let the apple, sugar and spices sit for a little bit, as it will cause the apples to sweat and convert the sugar and spices to a spiced syrup and makes for a more moist pie. Yum!
Fill you little pie crusts.
Make more circles, and put your top on. Make sure you pinch them together really well or they will fall apart as you're trying to take them out of the pan. Cut a slit for steam to escape. Brush each top with egg white. Then stick in a 350 oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
Quality control ;)
Then go make someone smile! :D

cute pics of kids

This picture is so cute of Jill. :P

Kari decided that
she wanted to dance with Jill. It was super cute.


Jill had a blast with her sister paying attention to her.

Mommy, Jill and the two finger sucking.

lol! Playing with Jill's hair.