Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Happiness

Happy Halloween! Do you have your costume all ready to go? Trick or treat stash all stocked up? This year I have been kind of lame in the Halloween department. I managed to paint a pumpkin for the stoop, get my kid's costume ready, and eat more than a few fun size candy bars intended for trick-or-treaters. I haven't quite decided on a costume, or whether I'll even wear one--I'm the last minute dresser-upper, throwing together cardboard, fabric, and duct tape as we head out the door. I did find some maternity costume inspirations I thought could be possibilities. Or just amuse you.


Pretty good, huh? I love the cleverness of these, but I'm not sure how my bump will fare exposed in Midwestern autumn weather. Or that I want it exposed at all.

These t-shirts are a hoot--I especially love the first one.

From Make It and Love It

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Money Saver: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I am always up for the challenge of saving money and making something at home. Soap is no exception. We used to make our own laundry detergent, and will resume soon with a new recipe. Recently I found a site with some recipes for homemade dishwasher detergent and decided to give it a try. I used the simplest recipe I found, and after 3 washes, the dishes are still coming out clean. Here's what I combined:

-1 cup Borax
-1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

That's it! I put 2 Tbsp. in the soap container and so far, so good. I plan on figuring out the cost difference once this batch is done. The site I used (click on source button above) also has alternate recipes to try.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies

While painting pumpkins last weekend, I decided it would only be festive if we had some sweets to go with it. Enter: pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting. They were pretty tasty little treats--very soft, but had a good flavor. I would definitely make these again.
Recipe from The Food Network

For the cookies:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons Maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

For the frosting:


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixer, fitted with a paddle, cream the sugar and the butter until light and fluffy. Add the maple syrup and eggs. Mix to incorporate. Add the pumpkin and mix to incorporate. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix well. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown around the edges. Cool on racks. When cool, ice with the cream cheese frosting.

For the Frosting: In a mixer, fitted with a paddle, add the cream cheese. Beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth. Add milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. If frosting is too thick, thin with a little more milk. Fold in the lemon zest. When cookies are cool spread with some of the frosting.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Phone Troubles

My phone took a dive last night--from the hands of a well meaning toddler into a shallow ceramic bowl. Not a big deal for me, as I use it seldom, and most of the time cannot locate it. It's mostly used as a video recorder and player for the little guy. I can't help but think he had some hidden intentions behind the dunk in the toilet--maybe he's aware of the poor video/audio? Either way, after four years, it might be time for an update.

In other news, check out these tasty and easy peanut butter pinwheels. They are simple and delicious. Here's how I made them: Spread peanut butter over a tortilla. Drizzle with honey. Sprinkle on some granola. Roll, cut into slices. Enjoy.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Decorative Bean Balls

Barb crafted up these sweet little styro-covered spheres for display in my kitchen. To make, she glued different types of beans and peas onto styrofoam balls. There are a variety of sizes and colors to add a little visual interest. To display, I'll stack them up in a clear jar, and maybe use some as a centerpiece a little later on.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pink or Blue

Though I am a poor excuse for a blogger lately, I have been crafting it up in my spare moments. My latest creation--two pairs of sweet little baby booties. One pair in pink and one in blue, because this mama won't know which pair she needs until February.

The big news in our world is that we are adding one more to our family, and couldn't be more excited. This time around I'm less nervous, less anxious, but just as irrational and overly emotional. It comes with the territory. I've decided not to find out the gender of the next little peanut, though my husband knows. I am looking forward to the surprise, while he's glad to know what's coming. Many people we tell think this seems like an impossible situation--how could he not accidentally tell you? Won't you bug him til he tells? No way. I just don't want to know until I meet him or her. Until then, I will have to create two sets of everything. It's only logical.

For these booties I found some free patterns on Ravelry and each pair took about 1.5 to 2 hours. It's a fun little project and you can think about baby while knitting!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New Recipe Options

Part of what I love about garage sales is you never know what you'll find. Or, in my case, you never know what you need until you see it in someone else's driveway with a masking tape price tag on it. I have had some good luck this summer/fall, but last weekend was pretty lame, until I spotted these:

I could have bought like fifty. I restrained myself, and chose ten recipe mags/books for one dollar. I have already gone through most and tore out the recipes I want to try. There were lots of dessert pages in my to-make pile, but soon there will be special occasions that call for treats, right?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Box o' Cards

At any given moment, I have a stash of 100+ cards for various occasions on hand. This way, when a special event or day sneaks up on me (which is the case 99% of the time) I have a card to put with a gift or drop in the mail. I was storing them all in a shabby old shoe box that was falling apart. Until now.

I need more legit dividers, but these will work until I decide what categories I need. This is currently my most attractive organizer. Slapping fabric on it was way easy--I did it my own hodge-podge style, so it's not perfect, but a big improvement.