I want to learn to LOVE cooking. I want to learn to LOVE cleaning. I do LOVE my children, but I want to learn to LOVE them better. I want to learn to LOVE sewing and crafting. I want to learn to LOVE being a stay at home MOM!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Family Proclamation frame


This was a Christmas present for my in-laws. I had a lot of fun making it and really loved the way it turned out. Here’s what I did:

Step  1: Buy glass-less frame and Proclamation to the World for $1.50 from Deseret Industries.

Step 2: Find pictures of each family member (their kids and grandkids, and them too.) I ordered prints from Wal-Mart.com. I had a recent picture of almost everyone. But facebook and blogs helped too.

Step 3: Measure the mat inside the frame and create a pattern piece of paper to place on each picture and trace before I cut each picture. A couple of them I cut too soon and had to very carefully re-glue them.

Step 4: Cut and arrange pictures, making sure not to forget anybody! (Yeah, I almost forgot Uncle Jeff, and Christopher- my own son!) Glue the pictures on the mat.

Step 5: I had a piece of glass from another frame that I had used for another project (magnet board). I placed the glass in, replaced the back of the frame and wrapped the present!

I am definitely learning to LOVE photo projects!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Cupcake fun


We had a Ward party on Saturday. Whenever we are invited to something that we have to bring a dish, I get excited. It means I can make something that maybe Brant doesn’t like- and I won’t have to be the only one to eat it. It means I can try something new, and if it’s gross, oh well.

So, instead of taking a nap on Saturday (which I really did need,) I made cupcakes. And decorated them. (I used my electric mixer in the garage so I wouldn’t wake up my sleeping boys… silly huh?)

Start with plain chocolate cake mix- made into cupcakes.


Add a little bit of homemade frosting- recipe at the end if you want it.


And some food coloring. (Do you like my organization of the colors? I think I’m so clever!)


I used my Pampered Chef frosting tool that I got for my wedding. It’s fun. I don’t really know how to do it right and I suppose I should LEARN, but for now, I like to play around with it.





The cupcakes with the tooth picks sticking out had little paper flowers with chocolate chips on them, but I did that after I took pictures. And the green “grass” is coconut that I put in a ziploc with some green food coloring.


I’m not going to lie, I don’t LOVE cupcakes. In fact, I don’t even really like them. But- they were a big hit at the ward party. They were gone pretty quick and I think a lot of little kids enjoyed them!

I do LOVE ward parties though. It’s so fun to go and talk with people and eat a good dinner. I always overeat and regret it later. This time, I had just the right amount!

Frosting recipe I used: (maybe not my favorite, but it does decorate fairly well.)

Thick Vanilla Frosting

1 cup shortening
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
4 tablespoons milk

Beat together shortening and vanilla for 30 seconds medium speed with an electric mixer. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar a bit at a time while beating. Then add 2 tablespoons milk. Slowly add in the rest of the powdered sugar and the rest of the milk until you get the right thickness for your frosting.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ribbon Dancer

I like to dance for exercise.

Christopher usually just watches cartoons while I dance. Boring! I try to get him to join me, but he just looks at me like I’m a lunatic. I suppose I probably am.

But, we had a lot of wrapping ribbon, that got messed up, so we decided to make a ribbon dancer wand. Hey, maybe Christopher will join me now?


Using an old paint stirrer stick, just cut ribbon, tape it on and curl it with scissors.

This was great for Christopher. He loves cutting- so he got to cut the ribbon. He helped tape it on and I curled it!




Thursday, February 18, 2010

Paint and fold

Caleb has been feeling down lately and taking a lot of my attention. Christopher needed some fun Mommy-time. We decided to paint.

First- the paint smock:

S6305845 Then, a plain block:


Then, we were ready for some real art.

I learned this fun painting technique in my Elementary Ed. Art methods class in college. It’s fun. And easy.

Step 1. Fold paper in half. (After you prepared the newspaper backdrop of course.)


Step 2. Drip paint onto paper. I let Christopher squeeze it—he poured a lot, but no biggie!


Step 3. Fold on top and squish.


Step 4. Unfold.



I suppose tempera paint is best for this. I just used craft paint, because that’s what I had.


Here’s my version:









Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A little piece of HEAVEN!

I really wanted to make cookies today- but I’m tired of making chocolate chip cookies… I don’t really like them all that much. Why not make something festive for Valentine’s Day? After all, I have been in the spirit of LOVE.

So…. Blackberry Thumbprint Cookies!

S6305812 Oh my goodness- these are heaven! They taste like those Lorna Doone cookies that I got from the little snack place at the hospital when I had Caleb. (I wanted to buy some at the store after that—very expensive!) But these are even better! I will be making these often- even without the jam!

Here’s how you make them:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and move the shelf to the top rack.

Step 2: Cream 1 cup margarine and 1 tsp. vanilla.

Step 3: Add 3/4 cup powdered sugar, and cream that too.

Step 4: Add 2 cups flour, slowly, mixing well.

Step 5: Roll into small balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Step 6: Press your thumb into the center- but not all the way through. (I realize this step is easy enough without a photo, but I wanted to do this tutorial thing right.)


Step 7: Scoop small spoonfuls of blackberry (or any other flavor) jam into the center. I used Caleb’s baby spoon, it was perfect. I also used homemade blackberry jam that we had from an Aunt at Christmas time. It is delicious! (p.s. Don’t mind my messy table, that’s what happens when your assistant is 2!)


Step 8: Cook on the top rack for 12-15 minutes. I say closer to 15, I think my oven is not as hot, or something. Just watch until they start to turn barely brown on the sides.


Oh, and an extra tip: don’t give your two year old one of these, with free-reign of the house. You might end up with pink carpet like me! You gotta LOVE those kids!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Instead of back-blogging

I decided instead of back-blogging, I'll just create a post, or a side bar maybe, that has links to some of my other craft/cooking/learning adventures, that I already recorded on my family blog. So, here you have it, in case anyone cares:

A Blonde's cookbook- gooseberry pie, gardening, manicotti, cucumber salad (my favorite!!!) and cranberry chicken. This was a fun post!

Basketball cupcakes- March madness 2009 celebration time! (Don't mind my pregnant self!)

Birthday cakes galore- Hubbies cake (BTS) and chicken pot pie... or the 2-year-old's mud and truck birthday cake.

Trace the kids- fun activity my Sister-in-law did at a family reunion- we did this in nursery too, they loved it!  Plus see pictures of our reunion quilt...

Spiritual Easter activity for teachign kids. And my little kiddo's apron is shown here too.

Mow strip in the back yard- Hubbies activity. It turned out great. See some gardening here too.

Halloween Dragon costume- My first attempt at a homemade halloween costume for the little guy! This turned out pretty darn cute!

Play-dough HEART Valentines

My son loves to play with Play-dough. I was trying to think of something he could make for his friends and family for Valentine’s Day. He’s 2, so cutting and pasting is more like… me making it. So, I came up with this idea:


It was really easy, and fun for both of us.

Step 1: Make the play-dough. My favorite recipe is Kool-Aid play-dough.

Bring to a boil: 2 c. water, 3 Tbs. Oil.

Mix together in another bowl- 2 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup salt, 2 pkgs, unsweetened Kool-aid. (oops, I just realized I only used 2 cups flour, oh well, it still worked.)

Add dry ingredients to boiling mixture. Reduce heat and stir in pot until ball forms.


I like to knead the dough right after you mix it into ball form. Be careful, it’s hot. This stuff keeps great, in a ziploc bag, or in a tupperware. It’s also very easy to clean up.

Step 2: Play with the play-dough. Roll it out, using a rolling pin, or if you don’t have one (like me) use a cup, or your hands.

Cut out hearts using cookie cutters. S6305799

Step 3: Place the hearts into small zipper baggies.

Step 4: Print poem, glue onto construction paper and staple onto baggie. My poem here is in the form of a picture- you’re welcome to save it and use it- I don’t mind. (Or, make your own poem, I’m sure it will be darling!)


Ta-Da! Valentine’s for all of your friends and family. (I am trying to convince Brant to let me make these for his 3rd grade students. It shouldn’t be hard. I know they would love them!)


Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. I sure am learning to LOVE this holiday!

Valentine’s Day decor/activity!

So, part of my goal with this blog is to learn to LOVE new things. I have never really been a fan of decorating extensively for every holiday. I haven’t decided if I want to learn to LOVE that or not. But, the boys and I did decide to have a little fun and do a little bit of decorating while we were at it.
Heart garland… made from magazine pages.
I got this idea from my friend’s blog. She got the idea from her friend’s blog. It’s a good idea.
It was very simple- cut out hearts from bright colored pages, tape them onto ribbon or string, and tape them onto the wall. Fun!

We also used a couple of hearts, and letters from the magazine to make Daddy a valentine. We mailed it to him at work. He got it today and said it was really nice. Ithought that was a fun way to let him know that we LOVE him!

Can I really call this Crafty?


I decided it was time to do something. I’ve been a lazy bum this week, and so I looked online at various tutorials and decided to try something. So, take one too big and frumpy-ish red shirt-


Plus, one pair of old-hole-in-the-bottom pajama pants and you get-

Not this! This is what I was going for. I found it here.

But, alas. It did not turn out good at all- so, add an old black T-shirt, and it became-


Something I promise- I will NEVER wear, unless I want to be a joker for Halloween. I had a brave vision, tried it, and failed miserably!

Oh, well! Now I have something new for my dress up box, and I kept busy today. Don’t ask what my house looks like or what’s for dinner though!

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Learning to love sewing… fabric high chair!

If any of you remember reading my post about my horrible project that failed miserably, you will appreciate my successful project I made yesterday. A high chair restraint thingy! Sounds plain huh? But I couldn’t use my apron to tie Caleb down all the time- because I need to wear it, and he hated it! So, I decided to sew up one of these babies that I found on two different craft sites: homemade by Jill, and this mama makes stuff. They were both awesome!
I finished most of it yesterday- that’s about all I did besides naptime and basketball game. But, I had to get some serious, heavy-duty Velcro to finish her off…. so, ladies and gentlemen- the versatile, the washable, the somewhat secure: fabric high chair!

It works on regular chairs too. Christopher was excited to try it out. He’s silly. It is pretty cool though, and I’m excited to have it when we go to other people’s houses- And on trips and stuff.

Frosting the Snowman!


This guy I made for my husband’s birthday treats party at school. It’s made out of rice krispie treats… shaped like a snow man, then frosted using a basic butter cream frosting recipe and my handy Pampered Chef frosting decorator tool.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Evidence of my Learning

I decided to create another blog... all about the things I have learned, and love. The first thing I will catalogue that I have learned, is how to create a link button, and setting up a new blog with the look that I want.

My Learn to Love blog will be host to various crafts, activities, recipes and other stuff that I have tried or would like to try. Feel free to stop by any time and let me know what you think.

Next on my list is to learn how to make my link button available to you- so, if you know how... I'd love some advice.