Thursday, January 30, 2014

DIY Hair Ties

These hair ties are all over Etsy. They also sell them at stores like Anthropology and Sephora. But you can make your own hair ties in holiday or team colors.

You will need 5/8 inch elastic. I bought my elastic at JoAnne's Fabric and it was located by the button section at the JoAnne's by my house.

The directions are so easy! Cut the elastic to about 8 inches in length. Cut the ends on a diagonal. Use your sharpest scissors. Seal the ends with some clear nail polish. Once the nail polish has dried simply fold the elastic in half and tie with a knot.

To package the hair ties - I cut some cardboard in to 2 inch strips and the hair ties fit perfectly. If you have been reading my blog for a while you know that I save pieces of cardboard. But you might have a piece of super heavy card stock or scrapbook paper.

These would be cute party favors for a slumber party. Or a craft that the sleepover girls can make. They can also be made in team colors for your daughters sports team. And could be made for Valentine's Day treats in pink, red and white. Or Easter in pastels! The possibilities are endless.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Super Bowl Cards and Ring for Meals on Wheels

My son plays baseball and basketball - so when I buy the sports packet of foam items and beads - I always use the baseball and basketballs. So yesterday I finally used up the footballs! I made a little Super Bowl card for Meals on Wheels.

I also had a bunch of rings left over from another project and I simply hot glued the football bead onto the silver ring and let them dry on a piece of cardboard.

Using a hole punch and a piece of ribbon - I simply tied the "Super Bowl Ring" to the inside of the card.

The card I used was simply an unlined index card folded in half.  I hope the Meals on Wheels recipients  like the little cards and rings!

This would be a cute item to make for a Super Bowl invitation or use the rings for party favors or to decorate your party table! You can find the sports beads, rings and ribbon at Michael's or Hobby Lobby. And don't forget to use your coupons!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cranberry Almond Bread

I had some cranberries and almonds left over from the holidays.

 So I decided to google recipes with cranberries and almonds and I found this Cranberry cake recipe on the Cocinando con Alena website and bingo - I had all of the ingredients.

This was a really easy recipe! Perfect for a December or January Brunch.


3 eggs

2 cups of sugar

3/4 cup unsalted butter (room temperature, cut into cubes)

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups cranberries ( 12 ounce bag)

Nut topping:

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup nuts (pecans, walnuts or almonds)


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 10-inch springform pan.

In your stand mixer on high speed beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture is very smooth and increased in volume for 4 to 7 minutes using the whip attachment. Beat in the butter and vanilla for another 2 minutes.

Using a spatula fold in the flour, salt and cranberries. Pour the thick batter into the prepared pan.

Quickly make the nut topping by melting the butter in a small sauté pan. Stir in the brown sugar and nuts. Cook on medium low for a few minutes until each nut is coated with the sugar mixture.

Spread the nut mixture over the batter. And bake in the oven for 60  to 70 minutes.

Don't you love how the almonds are caramelized on top of the cake?

Cool the cake for 20 minutes - then run a knife around the inside edge of the pan and remove the cake ring.

Cool for 1 hour before serving. This is also a perfect snack with a cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Packaging the Shamrock Pins

After I made the Shamrock pins for Meals on Wheels - I had to individually package them.

I found some clear 4 x 6 inch clear bags in my craft closet. Then I routed around and found some green paper and rainbow scrapbook paper. I cut the scrapbook paper to fit the clear bag.

I downloaded some free St. Patrick's Day  printable labels  (from Google and Pinterest) and added them to the top  of the scrapbook paper with some double stick tape.

The pin fit perfectly at the bottom of the clear bag. And I was able to write a note on the back of the scrapbook paper.

These little Shamrock pins would be fun to make for a classroom, club or sports team.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Pipe Cleaner Shamrock Pins

I made some Shamrock pins out of pipe cleaners.

For this project you will need:

Green pipe cleaners

Clear pony beads


Glue gun

Small bar pins

I bought the pipe cleaners and pony beads at Hobby Lobby. I  need to make 50 of these pins for a Meals on Wheels monthly project. The Meals on Wheels that I deliver the monthly treats is 20 - 25 minutes from my home so I am going to try to deliver two months at a time.

These are so simple to make - I will try to give you some good directions.

Put the pony bead in the middle of the pipe cleaner.

Thread the right side of the pipe cleaner back through the pony bead.

Now thread the left side of the pipe cleaner throughout the pony bead.

Now thread the long end through the pony bead - making the third loop.

Cut the stem so that the shamrock is in proportion.

Heat up the glue gun and put a dot of hot glue on the pony bead and press the bar pin on  to the hot glue.

You can make these very small to glue on bobby pins or larger to glue on a headband.

I am going to package these creatively and I will post the packaging pictures in a few days. Meanwhile grab some pipe cleaners and pony beads and start making your shamrocks!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Valentine Maze Cards for Meals on Wheels

I am making 50 of these cards for the Meals on Wheels that services the San Clemente area. It has taken  me forever to make just 10 cards - but I have quite a bit of time before Valentine's Day.

For this Project you will need:

Valentine mazes

Scrapbook paper in red and pink, solids and prints

Large and medium circle punches



Unlined index cards

I bought a big pack of 50 Valentine mazes at Party City for $5.99. But I recently saw some heart shaped Valentine mazes at Michael's. I had everything else in my craft cabinet.

I sorted through my scrapbook paper pile (p.s. I don't scrapbook - I just use the scrapbook paper for crafts) and found all sorts of red and pink papers. Then I punched a large scalloped circle and a medium circle and taped them together. Then I taped the Valentine mazes on top of the small circle.

This took a lot of tape!

Once this step was finished I taped the Maze circle to an index card.

Notice how the large circle is hanging off the index card? I had to put the large circle there so that the message would fit at the bottom of the card. Then I typed up a little message - I used a large font with a big space because these are going to elderly recipients.

I taped the little message on to a pice of scrapbook paper before I taped it to the index card.

I had originally planned to make these during the Australian Open  (tennis tournament) - which starts on Monday. Because I like to craft while I watch tennis. Yes, I am a multi-tasker! Jealous? But I have two other craft projects to work on during the tournament.

These would be really cute cards to make for a sports team, club or classroom. I have always loved these little mazes. I also saw some mini Valentine rubic cubes at Michael's.

Because I was using all sorts of red and pink pieces of scrapbook paper - every card came out a little different!

I hope this gives you a "non-candy" Valentine idea!

I hope that you also have an Amazing Valentine's Day!

Friday, January 10, 2014

French Themed Wrapping Paper

I saw this pink and black French themed wrapping paper at Target a few weeks ago and had to buy a few rolls. I already had the black sheer ribbon, and black pearl ribbon.  The black sheer ribbon is from Michael's and the black pearl ribbon is from Hobby Lobby.

I added a few adhesive rhinestones here and there and taped a Hershey's Kiss in the middle of the ribbon.

I hope this inspires you the next time you wrap a gift. I think it special to get a beautifully wrapped gift.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Homemade Coffeecake with Crumble Topping

My husband loves the crumble topping on coffeecakes. He will eat the crumble topping off my cake when I am not looking.

So when I read this recipe I knew he would love it! I found this recipe on theDamn Delicious website.


For the Cake:

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature

1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup Greek yogurt

For the Crumb Topping:

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted

2 1/2 cups flour

For the Brown Sugar Glaze:

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with a non-stick spray.

First make the crumb topping by combining the sugars, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in melted butter. Add the flour and stir using a rubber spatula until the mixture is moist. Spread out the crumb mixture on a piece of parchment paper to dry.

Now you can start the cake batter by combining the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until they become light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs one at a time until well combined. Beat in the vanilla.

WIth the mixer on low speed add the Greek yogurt and dry ingredients in 3 parts. Beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat on low until everything is incorporated.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the Crumb Topping. Lightly press the crumbs into the batter.

Place the Coffeecake into the preheated oven and bake for 30 - 35 minutes. Until a toothpick tester comes out clean.

While the Coffeecake is baking you can make the glaze by whisking the brown sugar, vanilla extract and water. Set aside.

Once the Coffeecake comes out of the oven - let it cool for 10 minutes. Then drizzle evenly with the glaze.

Enjoy! Serve warm and don't let anyone steal your crumb topping!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Taking Down The Tree!

Things you may or may not know about me! Questions and Answers:

Do you have an  artificial Christmas tree?

No, I only have real Christmas trees. And I will always have real trees - end of story.

When do you take your tree down?

As soon as possible - often times on Christmas Day (later in the evening) I have noticed many people on Facebook saying how they love their trees and want to keep them up until February. Just reading that made my toes curl. 

What are your favorite things about Christmas?

I love Christmas movies (the cheesier the better) and Christmas music. Oh and I also love my Christmas China. But everything else feels like a gigantic chore. 

Why am I telling you this?

Because I have been making a list of a more minimalist Christmas. And next year I will be having a less stressful and more enjoyable holiday.