Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Download da fonts for da blog

Who doesnt love an interesting font to spice up their documents? Especially when they’re free.

Do you love it? To celebrate Tech Tuesday, I thought I would share a site that I am currently obsessed with. It's called dafont.com. You know, like "the font," but said in a more edgy and cool way.

The site has more fonts than I can browse in a reasonable amount of time. This is not an exaggeration--see for yourself. You may be sucked in though, or end up with a ridiculous amount of fonts. There are directions for downloading right on the website, but I will of course tell you how I do mine in case that will help you out.

1. Click on "download"
2. A box pops up on my computer that says "WinRAR." Yours might be something else.
3. I click the "extract to" button on my WinRAR program and select desktop. When I go to the desktop, there it is waiting for me.
4. I drop and drag the font into the fonts folder. If you don't know where your fonts folder is, just search your computer and it will pop up. You can also double click the font on the desktop, and an "Install" button will be there. This will save you from the drop/drag/find fonts folder step.

Happy downloading!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Couponing...Is that a hobby?

I've been hearing a lot about the extreme couponing television shows, and it seems to be a hot trend right now. I like the idea of saving some extra money, but not at the expense of my family or crafting time. Priorities, you know? Notice how I didn't mention my workouts or cleaning? Those I could skip in order to "coupon." Yes, I used it as a verb.

I do want to point out a couple little tips that don't take long and aren't "extreme" but could work for you.


~If you're planning on hitting up Target, you might as well check for a coupon first. On their site, you can scroll through all available coupons and print only the ones that work for you.
Copy and paste into your browser: http://coupons.target.com

~I've been following The Krazy Coupon Lady online as well. Her name says it all. I will never achieve her level of couponing skills, but it's fun to read what she's been up to, and she provides tons of links to good coupons and places that have sales. It's worth checking out.

All my best,

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Go Green Baby!

We are always working to be more eco-conscious, and our little guy is no exception. We have lots of room to grow in this area, but we've got the diapering thing down.

Here's a low-cost solution to the wipe conundrum: homemade wipe spray and flannel wipes. We already wash our cloth diapers regularly, and these can be thrown in the wash. They work great for sensitive skin. Plus, there's no waste. We used hand-me-down flannel blankets and also some flannel from the fabric stash--both work great. As far as the amount of wash and oil, we're on our second bottle of each in fifteen months.

We spray the solution on to the flannel wipe, and have a small hamper to store dirties in before laundering.

This recipe, along with all necessary ingredients, would make a great gift to a cloth-diapering or frugal mama.

All my best,

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hunk Calendar

You know those cheesy, "look at this hunk with his shirt off who fights fires and risks his life on a daily basis" calendars? They may have their place, but not on my fridge...just wouldn't match my decor. This hunk, in his shiny red boots and drooly face, however, matches the decor perfectly. May's calendar boy...this one's a looker.

I wanted to post this mainly to show off the boots we received in the mail from one of our good friends. Aren't they fun? We don't have any details about how to purchase them, but they sure are cute!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Beef and Noodle Toss

This one is a keeper. It's quick, easy to make, and most of the ingredients are ones you have already. Can't take credit for whipping this meal together. My husband took over the stove on a busy night and pulled out a success. One of my faves to date. Can't decide if it's on the top of my list because it's that awesome or because someone else made it for me. So hand this recipe off to your spouse/roommate/other person in your life you cook for and give it a whirl. You won't be disappointed.

Beef and Noodle Toss from Better Homes and Gardens

  • 8 0z. lasagna noodles
  • 12 oz. boneless beef sirloin, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 8 oz. mushrooms (optional)
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 14 oz. can beef broth
1. Break noodles in half and cook according to package directions. Drain, but do not rinse.
2. Meanwhile, season beef with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Toss with flour. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meat, any remaining flour, and the tomatoes to skillet. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until beef is well browned, stirring often. Add mushrooms and garlic. Cook 5 minutes more. Add broth; cook 3 to 4 minutes more or until beef is done and liquid is slightly thickened.
3. Add cooked noodles to skillet; stir gently to coat. Heat through; Spoon into bowls to serve.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

First and Last

We have a winner for our first giveaway...Carmella. You can look forward to a mini prize package in the mail! I drew the old school way for our first giveaway; you know, names in a hat. Just keeping it real. Next time we'll get a bit more techie.

Tomorrow is my last day of school for the year. Why do you care? Well, maybe because the posts are about to rock your world since I'll have more time and energy to work on them. Or maybe you'll notice how many rockin' projects I'll be completing and posting. We'll see how that goes. These things will be true only if I can tear myself away from this gentleman:

It's highly likely that I'll spend all my free moments with this mustached fellow, neglecting housework and errands, but hey, what are summers for?

All my best,

P.S. I know it's "Good Food Friday" round these parts, and I posted randomness instead. I've got some good eats coming your way this weekend!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'll quit my job and become a party planner

Below are photos from a bridal shower given for this lovely bride. Her groom's aunts hosted a beautiful shower, as you'll see below. Hopefully you can gather some inspiration.

One of these things is not like the other... I couldn't resist. All the pictures were feeling delicate and fanciful--could work for a FB photo. All the kids are doing it, the arm length photo thing. Fun shower, huh?

All my best,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Birthday Season

It's birthday season around here. Between family and friends, the spring months are packed with these annual celebrations. Unfortunately, I can't seem to get it together on the gift-giving front.

I usually prefer to present the birthday girl or boy with a thoughtful, sometimes handmade or specially ordered gift on the day of his or her birth or before, just to be safe. No longer. I am slacking in this department, sending gifts nearly a month late. *Had a birthday recently and didn't receive a present from me? Give it a couple weeks.*

Here is a gift I put together for my sister-in-law, a busy mom often looking for meal inspirations. I scoured my cookbook for recipes her family might like and compiled them in a binder. I added pictures to each one, and tried to put together recipes that used like ingredients...you know, for ease in the grocery store. I had this fun paper left over from a previous project, so it was a cost-effective gift, while still being personal.

I love the uniform look, as opposed to the junk drawer of a recipe binder I got going on currently. The book has 14 recipes in it, all main course meals, with more being added daily. If you would like a copy, comment below with your email address and I'd be happy to send it to you.

Before I leave you, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Mama Pear. You are an amazing woman, and we wish you many more to come!

All my best,

Monday, May 16, 2011

Blogging 101

My title may have been misleading. I am not conducting a how-to session on blogging tips just yet. Not that skilled. But we do have 101 followers! Pretty pumped about that. We have been waiting for this exciting landmark for days now and are grateful to have faithful readers that keep coming back. We love you for this. So to celebrate, we will be giving away a few small tokens of our affection. What will you receive if you win?

This bag and headband combo, made by The Sweetest Pear. Maybe some chocolate, too.

You'll love it. I do. I'd keep them for myself, but then I wouldn't have a reason to buy more craft supplies. It's an addiction. Feed it.

This one is simple. You can enter by:

a.) Following this blog (If you're already a follower, or a new follower, just comment that you follow) 1 entry

b. ) Leave a comment on this or any other post on The Sweetest Pear 1 entry.

We'll draw on Thursday. Good luck!

While you're busy finding something to comment on, I'll be adhering fabric to plates to eventually resemble wall decor. I'll let you know how this one works out.

All my best,

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Monsters Aren't All Scary

Holy hiatus from blogging. What's up with that? Life got a little busy, then Blogger got a little buggy. But we're back. With projects and recipes and more craft supplies than time. No kidding on the supplies bit. Between Hobby Lobby, garage sales, and a quick raid of some family members' goods this weekend, I now possess enough craft garb to deck out a small boutique hotel. Or maybe just our split level. I won't even get started on the amount and types of adhesives I couldn't live without. Either way, I am hooked up and ready to get my craft on.

Little progress was made in the way of home decor, but I did get a chance to whip up this little package for a special two year old.
Details: The birthday boy is currently into monsters, so I took my cue from there. Found an uglydoll online...so ugly they're cute. Wanted to make the matching shirt, so I bought a kids' cotton shirt, some felt, and embroidery floss all at the craft store. The felt is cut into similar shapes and sewn on by hand with embroidery floss. You could also machine stitch, but I liked the look of the hand stitch. I used a button for the eye.

The card was impromptu and made using the blank side of another, not-birthday, not-that-cool card I had on hand. I stitched on a matching felt orange eye and then stitched yellow around the edge for a border. Turned out way cuter than I had planned, and was reminiscent of those lacing activity cards I did as a kid.
My own monster model. The drool is not part of the shirt. It is an accessory.
Here is the lucky recipient clutching the monster as he flees gift opening.

I see more custom kids' clothing in my future. Maybe next time with a machine, though. You know, for the instant gratification and all.

I'm guest posting over at My 3 Little Birds today, and have shared this delightful recipe:
Head on over and check it out!

All my best,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How Many is Too Many?

Is it possible to have too many hobbies? I say no. We have just been reunited with our piano, so I now have yet another hobby to spend my free time on. I am dreaming of long summer days at home, clunking away at the keys, probably with the help of the little one.

I have lots more on my summer list. Like painting our basement. The family room is large and TURQUOISE. I'm not shouting that word because I hate the color, but that's what the room says when you walk into it. So painting is on the list, along with my other hobbies. Here is the to-do:

1. Knit something made out of yarn I already own
2. Plant an herb garden
3. Find or make a rain barrel
4. Play outside a lot with my family
5. Organize and find the iron that went missing last July. Yep, haven't ironed since then.
6. Learn to crochet
7. Read a few books
8. Make a few of the projects that I've pinned
9. Learn to shoot and edit some beautiful pics
10. Visit some of my favorite people

That should fill up my next few months, anyway. I would love to hear about your summer goals, plans, or hobbies. Please share...seriously, I want to know. I'm interested, so tell me what you've got planned.

All my best,

Monday, May 9, 2011

Back, Back, Back It Up

You know you should. But you haven't, at least not recently. It could save you all kinds of time and pain if you do it on a regular basis. Can you guess what I'm talking about? The title gave it away, huh? Did you think I was going to lecture you on flossing? Not me, but this guy is a stickler for oral hygiene.

Well, it is Tech Tuesday, so here we go.

I never backed up my files before I met my husband. Living my life on the edge, you know, without a slight care about all those precious pictures and documents. Then one time I lost a bunch. And learned my lesson, for the most part. I thought you might want to also learn from my bad experiences, so I will share a few tidbits about backing up.

Why: Because you don't want to lose all your crap.

When: Monthly or Bi-Monthly

What: Portable hard drive, cds, dvds, or online tools.

  • Decide which option you want to use. We use a Western Digital hard drive. It's recommended by my resident techie and was a good price. You can also purchase CD-Rs or DVDs.
  • Insert or hook up your back-up gadget to your computer. The box should open on your screen showing that it's blank. If it doesn't show up, find "My Computer" and click on it there.
  • Drop and drag (or copy and paste) everything you want backed-up into the gadget's window. Close it and you're done.
  • You can use an online tool to back up your files as well. I haven't tried this yet, but most sites offer 2GB or 5GB of free storage.
My sentiments exactly!

You are totally motivated to go back up your stuff now, aren't you? Yeah, like how I'm totally motivated to vacuum the crushed Cheerios out of my car's back seat. Do it. You can thank me later.

All my best,

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Five Minute Headband

I love wearing headbands, especially in warm weather. What I do not love? Feeling my pulse behind behind my ears and the headache that follows, or the constant slipping of the band until it flops off the back of my head. Enter: Five Minute Headband. My inspiration came from You Seriously Made That!?! Hers is a 60 second tutorial using ribbon and a glue gun. I had access to Barb so we went legit and used a sewing machine.

Here are directions to make one:
1. Cut a strip of fabric about 3 inches wide and long enough to fit around your head--we made ours smaller than needed, it will stretch with the ponytail holder.
2. Fold the strip in half so it looks inside out and sew along the open side. This creates a tube.
3. Flip the tube to its right side out (Barb has a sweet tool for this. The rest of us have to awkwardly shove the fabric through the opening).
4. Place the ponytail holder by the raw edge of the fabric. Fold the fabric over so it loops around the holder and sew to secure.
5. Repeat on the other side of the fabric.
6. You should end up with a loop of fabric, secured on both ends with a ponytail holder, and you'll have hopefully spent no more than five minutes doing so.

I will be wearing these all summer long!

All my best,

Thursday, May 5, 2011

To teach, to appreciate

Teacher Appreciation Week is drawing to a close, so I thought I better get a move on and post some goodies before it passes me by. Can you believe we get a whole week to celebrate our job? On the top of my list of things I love about teaching are kids' notes. They melt me instantly, and immediately release any memories I have of my students' fights, forgetfulness, nose picking or other germy behaviors. They turn to cherubs right before my eyes. I swear, this really happens.

Adore the straightforward nature of this first one.

I have a thing for owls...every note I get has an owl somewhere.

See that brunette on the left? That's me. Notice the thin limbs and styled hair? I did.

This little package was a fun one. The cardstock envelope hooks on the water bottle and holds a candy bar as well as a single serving drink mix to pour in the water. You could do these for party favors as well.

This is not something I received, but something I'm stoked to give to my coworker. It's a free printable I got here. I framed it in an 8x10. I love the different fonts and colors. I'm tempted to do one for myself. I can appreciate my teaching, can't I?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What else can we put on a stick?

I promise you, this will not become a theme--the whole dessert on a stick thing. You will not find any additional goodies as "pops" on this here blog after this. But you might in my kitchen, or at an upcoming function I attend. I can't resist--too delectable and adorable not to make and eat. And so we have pie pops. I borrowed this fab idea from Bakerella, and have seen them around the Internet.

To make, you need:
-pie crust
-pie filling
-lollipop sticks

Optional (glaze)
-powdered sugar

1. Heat oven to 375. Roll out pie crust (homemade or store-bought) with a little flour to avoid sticking. Using a cookie cutter about 2" wide, cut out circles or other desired shape. I had some help with this part.
2. Stick the lollipop stick firmly on top of the shape, about halfway in to make sure the pie stays on while eating. Fill each pop with a small amount of desired filling. We used cherry from a can...ssshhhh.
3. Place another circle of dough on top of the filling, being careful not to push the filling out the side. I found this part impossible--it was oozing a bit. Too much filling I think. Using the tines of a fork, press the two pieces of dough together.

4. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool. I made a glaze to put on while they were still warm. To make, I combined 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp. butter, and 2 Tbsp. milk, then drizzled it on. I wrapped the pops up in saran wrap and tied ribbon around them to dress em up.

With the extra we made some mini pies and did some experimental lattice work. Enjoy!

All my best,

Linked to

Monday, May 2, 2011

Get Your Pin On

Have you heard of Pinterest? Surely you're already "pinning." We here at The Sweetest Pear sure are. And you can follow us if you like.

What is Pinterest? It's a "virtual pinboard" where you can keep images and descriptions of things you love. You can pin projects, pictures, quotes, whatever. It keeps track of your inspirations from the www all in one organized place. It's brilliant. It's also addicting. I'm a tad obsessed.

Surely you've also seen these "Keep calm" posters popping up all over the place. We see them everywhere. I think they're kinda cute. My husband has a differing opinion, but I couldn't resist this collection. Guess where I found these lovelies? Pinterest.

There are many more, but those are the ones that fit my lifestyle. While I have your attention, I have some good news. We have been featured on a few fabulous blogs and are ecstatic about this, so check out our "We've Been Featured" page to see the blogs we love Linkand link to.

All my best,