Sunday, 22 May 2011


I saw an idea for cute bookmarks that I wanted to try. They turned out really well. My kids were so excited to get new bookmarks! It was very simple to do with my Cricut. Using my Sure Cuts a Lot program, I welded together 2 basic shapes and cut those out. I cut out letters in a contrasting color and glued it to the bookmark which I folded in half where they are welded together. I added a magnet so the bookmark can be held together over a couple pages.  I think adding a ribbon onto the end would also be a nice touch.  Super quick and easy to do. 

Monday, 25 April 2011

Homemade Bread

I have had so many people ask me how I make my homemade bread, that I thought I would just show you how on here.  Here are two things to remember. First, it is super easy. Don't think too much about it.  Second, do not be scared of yeast.  The worst that can happen is it won't rise. It's ok.  You'll do better the second time.
This is a very basic recipe that you can change to cinnamon rolls, cinnamon swirl bread, or add some herbs for any number of variations.  It only uses six ingredients and everyone should have them and keep them in food storage. Then you'll know you can always make bread. And believe me, you can live on bread. When I make it, we often just have bread for dinner cuz that's all everyone wants to eat. It is it's best right out of the oven, but it is also great toasted with cinnamon sugar or jelly on top.  It also does well for grilled cheese sandwiches or french toast.  Ok, so here it is:

2 cups warm water (not hot, just warm)
1 Tbsp. yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup oil
6 cups flour

Put them in a mixing bowl (I use my Kitchen Aid but you can use just a regular mixing bowl and mix by hand.) in the order I put them in. **Note: I am not an exact measuring person. I use a heaping half cup and the flour is whatever. Don't worry about it. :) Use your dough hook or mix with wooden spoon until it is all mixed and pulls away from the side. If using a stand mixer, I just set it on the lowest setting and put away all my ingredients and by then it is done.  This is what is should look like.
Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled.  I will mix in the morning before I head out to do errands and then by the time I come home for lunch, it is ready.  It will look something like this.

Now dump it onto the counter and start kneading it down. Punch it, roll it. Get all the air out.
Now cut it into three equal pieces. Use a knife--do not pull it as it will break apart the properties of the yeast.
Form each ball into a bread loaf and place in greased bread pan.  Cover and let rise. (A few hours)
Preheat oven to 350 and then bake for 20 minutes or a few minutes longer until golden brown.
Remove from pans. I just place mine on the kitchen towel I have been using when covering them while rising.
I like to butter the tops right when they come out of the oven.  Just gives them a little extra flavor!  Hope this helps. Please comment if you have any questions or if you try it out. Tell me what you think!  Enjoy!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

St. Patrick's Day

After spending some time surfing blogs this morning, I was in the mood to create something for my front door. (I still had my Valentine's wreath up.)  So I grabbed a cheap old frame and painted the cardboard backing green. Then I cut out the vinyl with my Cricut and placed it on the newly painted backing.  I added a shamrock ribbon and hung it on my door.  Simple, yet I'm very pleased with it.

No Sew Tu-tus

You've probably seen these before, as they are so simple and so many have done them.  My girls have been asking for matching tu-tus and I finally got around to making them today.  I had some leftover tulle from a Halloween costume, so it was perfect. First you cut a length of elastic to fit your child's waist and then sew it together (or put a snap on it for 100% sewing free).  Then cut your desired length of tulle and tie it to the elastic. Do this all around and that is it. I added a ribbon for a little something extra. The girls loved them.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

New Wipes Case

So I know I have made a ton of baby wipes cases before, and they are all over the place. But I had a friend have a baby recently and she really wanted a pocket to put the diaper in at the back. That way it is all together and the diaper isn't going to get all crumpled in your purse/bag.  So this is what I came up with.
First I gathered all my supplies as normal.  I just made a second piece for the pocket that was a bit longer than the first.
I forgot to take a picture in the making of it, so I will just explain. I sewed the thicker white ribbon to the top of the pocket and then glued it all on there like normal.  It was pretty straightforward. Next time, I think I should make it with elastic so it will stay down. This time I just let it pucker out a bit so the diaper can be shoved in there.  We'll see how well it works. This is the view from the back.
Nothing fancy, but I think it looks cute. I love the white polka dots on black.  I added some ribbon on the front and that is that.  I hope she likes it!
***Update: So I had a request for dimensions for the larger piece I cut for the pocket. Honestly, I hate to admit, that I really don't know. But the original piece to cover the wipes case is about 8 1/2 inches long and 4 7/8 inches wide, or the same size as the wipes case. If you have never made one before, you also need quilting batting to go between the fabric and the wipes case.  Hot glue that on first, then the fabric.  The piece I cut for the pocket was about 9 inches long and 7 inches wide.  This gave me some room to make a hem and allow for the give.  Again, if I was to do this in the future, I would cut it even wider and make an elastic edge so it stays down better.  Remember, you can always cut the fabric shorter if it's too long, but you can't make it grow once it's been cut!  So be gracious with your seam allowances!  And since you will cover all edges of fabric with ribbon, you will never see your wanky cutting lines!  Good luck and hope this helps!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Clean Space

I had a whole day at home today, and after taking down and putting away all my Christmas decorations, I tackled an eyesore in my kitchen.  We have 2 phone lines here.  A British landline and a Vonage line that has a US number so our friends and family can call us.  Add in our BT Hub for internet and an ipod docking station, and you end up with a mess!  All the cords are atrocious!  My husband wanted me to find a shelf that we could put everything on and hide the cords underneath. I looked everywhere and couldn't find one.  I didn't want to make a shelf from scratch, so when my youngest daughter finally killed the cheapo shelf she was using as a dresser, I decided to get out the circular saw.  Man, I love to use power tools. My sister would probably roll her eyes about now and say something like, "Leave it to the boys," but I think it is fun.  So here is the space that was driving me crazy.
What a mess, huh?!
We bought these shelves from Lowes over 6 years ago. Cheap, cheap, cheap. Which is what we needed at time, since we weren't making a ton of money and had 2 kids! Over the years, I have had to add many screws to put the drawers back together or the sides.  When this one broke, I was done with it.  But instead of trashing it, I thought the top part had potential.
So I used the saw to cut off the sides and then reattached the bottom underneath the first drawer. This went fairly smoothly.  I had to rip off the back of the top drawer though to fit the cords in through the back.  In the end, I ended up with a nice clean space that stores it all. It may be a bit higher than I would have wanted, but it was definitely the cheapest and easiest solution. 

Voila! SO much cleaner!