Random Ramblings: January 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

{ PROJECT LIFE 2013} week 1 -2

PROJECT LIFE 2013
WEEK 1 & WEEK 2

 01.01.2013
Today started some major cleaning out in this house.  I was so overwhelmed with where to start cleaning up after Christmas that I started in one spot and didn't stop.  This was a huge clean up project in the little kids room.  I rearranged the furniture, moved in a big bookcase, moved the dresser into the closet and went through all the toy boxes.  I even hung a new curtain rod in there since the other one was broken.  It looks so much better in there now.  I only hope it can stay this way as well.  

01.02.2013
This was another part of my winter/declutter the house cleaning extravaganza.  Since I had moved the large bookcase we had in here into the little ones room, it now left our closet in a horrific mess.  I took the small bookcase from their room to store our coupon stockpile and help get it all organized.  It took all day in our closet too, but so worth it in the end.
I love being organized, it feels so good.  

01.03.2013
Since we went to Disneyland the days right after Christmas and we are planning Chloe's 3rd birthday party in Minnie Mouse, we have been all about Mickey and Minnie lately.  So the kids thought it was real fun when I made them Mickey Mouse head pancakes this morning for breakfast.  

01.04.2013
This is Jacob's new KTM.  It all started when his first KTM... The guy he bought it from wanted it back, so Jacob sold it back to him, bought a YZF and didn't like it becuase it just wasn't what he wanted.  We stopped at Chapparral the night we picked it up and he applied to get a new bike.  We went back on Saturday to actually pick up this new one.  He used the new one he had just bought as a trade in for this one.  He had the hugest smile on his face.. like a kid on Christmas morning.  

01.05.2013
We went riding today over at Jamie and Casey's house.  After a long day of riding, we bbq'd and sat around the fire for a while.  Jamie made the kids smores too.  It was a fun day.  

01.06.2013
Caleb decided he was scared for some reason tonight.  I heard the boys chit chatting after I put them to bed.  After a while I went in there to check on them, and this is how I found them.  Asleep together in Caleb's little bed.  I LOVE when they do things like this.  They may fight most of the time when they are awake, but they do truely love each other.  

01.07.2013
Caleb came home from school today with this Student Of the Month award.  He was named Student of the Month for December.  They don't do assemblies anymore for this kind of thing, they just send it home.
He was happy and excited for the baggy of goodies he got along with it.
We are so proud our little Caleb.  He loves school so much.  

01.08.2013
Chloe's first time getting her hair curled with the curling iron.  She was excited and sat very still to let me curl it.  

01.09.2013
This morning we made our own version of McDonalds sausage bisquits. I made the bisquits, grilled the preformed sausage patties and hashbrowns.  Then I put them all together with a slice of cheese and they were done.  I popped them in the oven for a minute or two to melt the cheese and that was it.  I then wrapped the left overs up and stuck them in the fridge so Jacob and the kids could eat them the rest of the week for breakfast.  

01.10.2013
Jacob reading as part of his homework works great for bed time.  He loves to read Caleb and Chloe bed time books each night.  I love watching them all together as he reads.  

01.11.2013
Working on party decorations for Chloe's Minnie Mouse birthday party.  I wanted red Minnie Mouse decorations, not the pink you find everywhere, so I had to make most of the decorations myself.  Which is fine, since I love doing stuff like that. 

01.12.2013
Chloe playing with her doll house she got for Christmas.  She loves playing with it and always wants me and her brothers to play with her too.  I love watching her grow up and use her imagination and play with all the girly toys we have never had around this house before. 

01.13.2013
Jacob has gotten on and ridden his new bike so much more than the old bike.  We have been out riding every one of his days off since he got it. I am so glad he is putting it to good use.  He enjoys it and it makes me happy to see him on it.  



 01.14.2013
Finally getting a chance to get my coupons organized again. It has been since before Thanksgiving that I even cut any of my coupons.  So it was great to get them all cut and organized again.  I am ready to start saving money in 2013 just like I did last year.  

Are you doing project life this year?  I would love to see your pictures too.
Give me the link to your photos in the comments.
Happy Project Life 2013!
Now I just need to get my new binder and then get my photos printed and into the binder. Maybe this year I can stay on top of that and taking the pictures too.  :-)

~NICOLE

Thursday, January 24, 2013

{ MINNIE MOUSE INVITATION }


Even though I don't always get the invitations out in time I still like to make them. Sometimes I have to hand deliver them so that people get them in time, or notify them of the party and then give them the actual invitation the day of. Yes I am always a day late and a dollar short..story of my life lol. 

I searched for ideas for Chloe's birthday invitations and as soon as I came across THIS set
I completely fell in love.  So I decided to make my own version.  

I found a Minnie Mouse head picture online and saved it to my computer.  Then I printed them out, on white cardstock,  in the size I wanted and hand cut all of them out. 
I got the red polka dot paper at Hobby Lobby and I had the ribbon on hand.  
I printed the party information on regular white printer paper.

To assemble I cut all the polka dot and black paper to the size I wanted.  Then I hand cut all of the Minnie Mouse heads out.  I then printed out the party information and cut those down to size.  I printed the info 3 to a sheet of paper and printed the paper in landscape so they would all fit.  I didn't measure exact with those, I more eyeballed it when I cut and it worked just fine for me.  (I hate to measure lol.)

Then I stapled the top black ribbon to the red polka dot paper.  Then I glued on the party information sheet and then stapled on the bottom black ribbon.  After that then I glued the polka dot paper to the black paper.  The final step was adding the Minnie Mouse head.  I used pop dots to add a little dimension to it.  

It was a bit time consuming since I hand cut all the Minnie heads, and I had to make 30 of them.  But I love how they turned out.  If I had a silhouette still I might have done the same similar look with the scalloped black, but there was no way I could have hand cut all those too.  I am happy with the straight lines just as much.  


I always design my kiddos invites and lately it has been a designed invite that I just print out as 4x6 or 5x7 photos from Costco and send out.  It was fun to get a little craftier this time though.
Now since little Jacob's 8th birthday is on February 16th, I need to get started planning that party ASAP.  He wants his to be in Mario and Luigi, Mario Kart theme.  I am loving the bright colors with that theme too, and coming up with lots of ideas.  

~ NICOLE

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

{ FRUIT SALSA } : recipe

When I was planning Chloe's birthday party, I did alot of pinning of new ideas on PINTEREST .
I came across a new recipe that looked so good, and I knew I wanted to try it out for her party. 

I always make a fruit tray for the kids parties, because my kids love fruit.  When I say love, I mean LOVE, could eat for every meal kind of LOVE.  So I thought they would really like this.  

The original post and recipe can be found HERE at the-girl-who-ate-everything.com .  She also stated in her recipe that the original came from allrecipes.com .

I did make a few minor changes to my version though, to make do with what was available for me.  


. . . . . RECIPE . . . . . 
2 kiwis, peeled and diced
2 Golden Delicious apples – peeled, cored and diced
8 ounces raspberries ( I left out these because they were not available at the store)
1 (16 oz) carton of strawberries, diced
2 tablespoons white sugar (more or less to taste)
1 tablespoon brown sugar (more or less to taste)
3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor (I used strawberry)

10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
melted butter 

Cinnamon sugar:
1 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
( I didn't measure mine, I just mixed in the bowl until it looked like a good combination)

Instructions:
1. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, apples, raspberries (if you have these), strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes. 
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
3.Coat one side of each flour tortilla with melted butter,  Sprinkle tortillas with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. 
For me since we were doing Minnie Mouse theme, we then took a small Minnie Mouse cookie cutter I had on hand and cut them from the tortillas and then placed them on the cookie sheet.  It was alot of work, but so worth it, cause they were so cute to go with the theme of the party. 


4.Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture. This salsa can also be serve with cinnamon graham grackers or cinnamon pita chips. Best when made and eaten the same day otherwise the fruit gives off so too much juice and it gets runny.
I also made my cinnamon chips the night before to save time the morning of the party.  Store them in a sealed container and they were just perfect the next morning.  
I am not a huge Kiwi fan, but it was so good.  It was a great combination of fruit and sweetness and was just as good without the raspberries I imagine.  Everyone that tasted this loved it so much and it was all gone by the end of the party.
One other thing to note was that the amounts in this recipe did not make a lot of the stuff, so if you are planning to make it for a large large crowd, I would suggest doubling or tripling the amount of everything.  The amount in this recipe only made enough to fill both sides of the ears on the Mickey bowl shown in my picture.

I think this would be such a great after school snack for the kids.  I think next time I am going to use Truvia on the cinnamon chips too and see how they come out.
HAPPY SNACKING.
ENJOY!
~NICOLE

Monday, January 21, 2013

{ TISSUE PAPER FLOWERS }

My little miss Chloe turned 3 on Saturday.  So everything has been full swing party preparing.
I knew when I started planning her party that I wanted it to be Minnie Mouse themed, and I didn't want it in pink, I wanted it in red.  Well of course since I guess I just like to be difficult I had to make most of her decorations since all the stuff to buy is all themed Minnie Mouse in pinks.
So I made her invitations , and all of her decorations.  

I have always loved tissue paper flowers.  I think they draw alot of impact for a pretty simple idea.
I found some clearnace red and white polka dot tissue paper at Hobby Lobby after Christmas, but I didn't like those tissue paper flowers as well.  The paper was a bit thicker than normal tissue paper and they did not fluff together as much as I wanted them too.  They still were ok, but not my favorite.  

I thought I would share with you how simple they really are.  




Here is what I suggest when starting out.  If you use too few sheets of tissue paper, you won't get a good full flower, but if you use too many, it gets too smooshed looking.  So with the normal tissue paper I say about 8 sheets was really good.  
Next you need decide on the size.  If you want a large flower leave it as is. If you want them smaller, trim off from one side of the stack.  I find it easier to trim after I fold it.  
Now take them and lay them all one on top of each other (most likely will already be this way when you buy it).
Now fold it according style.  

Just go back and forth until the entire stack is folded this way.  About an inch is a good sized fold. 

Now tie it together right in the middle. You can make your string longer, and use that to hang it with as well.  I had planned to use fishing line to hang it, so I made my strings a bit shorter. 

Now you can either round the ends, or leave them just as they are.  It just gives a bit different look in the end when you fluff it.  

After you tie it and round the corners if you choose, you start seperating the layers of tissue paper.  You just carefully pull them apart, without ripping the individual layers.  It pretty much fluffs itself once you do this.
On these red ones, I did not round the edges of the tissue paper.  
They are really that easy. 
I like to do them in different sizes for alot of impact when hung together.  

Imagine the possibilities with all the colors of tissue paper out there.  I saw on pinterest that a lady made a very small one and used it to decorate the top of a present. I thought that was such a great idea.  I might have to try that with the next wrapped gift I give.  

Today is a NO SCHOOL day since it is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  So the kiddos are watching some cartoons, and I think we are going to go by later today to help my in laws move another load or two to their new house.
Enjoy your day off too!

~NICOLE

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

{ DIY PRINT CANVAS }

 Back a few months ago I was given the opportunity to give away a canvas print here on my blog.
I also got one myself.  I have always wanted a canvas print and was so excited to get it.
After I received it my mom said she wanted one for herself.  Well I knew that my mom would need one much bigger than the 8x10 I had.  So I thought I would try to make her a big one for a lot cheaper than the price to buy one.

I did some research on pinterest and came up with my plan.  There were lots of different ideas, so I just went with what I thought seemed the best for me.

I first printed a 18x24 engineering print from Staples.  They only come in black and white, but that was fine with me because that is what I wanted anyways.  

 SUPPLIES

* Engineering print from staples (18x24 was the smallest of the 3 sizes you can print)... just depends on what size you want it and what size your canvas is )
* Modge podge
* foam brush
* spray adhesive
* blank canvas

I got my canvas as Hobby Lobby in a 2 pack. I got the 16x20 size and the 2 pack was only $7.99 and I used my 40% off coupon on top of that.  
I also grabbed the Modge Podge and foam brush at Hobby Lobby too.  

I ordered the print from staples, and they are super cheap too.  I ordered 2 so that I could practice with one just to make sure I liked it.  Make sure when you order your print that you order it BIGGER than the size canvas that you have.  I had a 16x20 canvas so I ordered the 18x24 print. 

First thing you need to do is spray the entire canvas with the spray adhesive.
Now by my trial and error, lay the print on the table, print side down and lay the canvas, centered on top of it and press firmly over and over again to make sure that the canvas sticks to the print.
I pushed and pushed and smoothed it out several times.
Then let it dry OVERNIGHT.  This is important.  Trust me I learned the hard way.
Then the next day when you check it, it will be for sure dry by then and you can move on to the next step.  

So then what I did was spray the longer sides with a little spray glue and then fold up the sides of the print.  Thing of all the next steps as if you were wrapping a present.  Press firmly on the sides to make them stick well.  


Then I sprayed a little on the shorter side of the canvas and on the print itself as well.  I folded in the sides , just as you would to wrap a present.  

Then I sprayed a little more on the folded parts and wrapped them up to the canvas. 


I let this sit for a little bit, but not overnight.  
Next I took the foam brush and the modge podge bottle and covered the entire canvas with it.  Don't worry, it goes on cloudy but dries clear.
Go all in one direction with this coat.
Let this dry completely, overnight.
Then the next day do this same step again, but with this coat go in the opposite direction.
For example,  first I did it vertical then I did it horizontal.

Then after it is all dry, it is done and ready to be hung.  I LOVE how it came out and I was so excited to give it to my mom for Christmas. 
One thing I noticed in the difference between this and an actual canvas print was that the actual canvas print was pretty bumpy from being printed on the canvas itself, and this one has great texture, but not any of the distortion from being printed on the canvas.  

It was hard to get a good close up of the texture, but you can see it here petty good.  You can see the lines from going in the different directions with the brush and modge podge.  

Now that the holidays are over, my plan is to make  more of these, one of each of the kids to join this lonely print hanging on the wall.  I actually haven't decided if I want to hang the 
 of them going up the stairs, or on this wall in the family room.  If I hang them on the stairs I am going to move the 3 beautiful {empty} frames I have hanging on the stairs to this wall.  They have been empty for over a year now, waiting for me to find 2 more at Joanns, and fill them with a print of each of  the kids.  But I think these big prints will make a big impact going up the stairs just as well.  
I guess I will decide after I get them finished.  

Let me know if you make some of these too.  They are so much fun and easy to make.  

~NICOLE

Thursday, January 3, 2013

{ BREAKFAST SUSHI } : recipe


With Christmas break coming to an end I thought I would share a quick and easy, yet so yummy breakfast to help get back into the swing of school routine.  The first time I made these my kids gobbled them up so fast. It is filling too and sticks to their tummies until lunch time.  Lots of protein packed in there with the peanut butter.  
All you need are bananas, peanut butter, and rice krispies.  

By trial and error I found it much easier to poke the banana with a fork to hold it in place.  

Then take the back of a spoon and spread peanut butter all over the entire banana.  

Take the peanut butter covered banana and roll it in a bowl of rice krispies. 



Now slice it up.  It is much easier for the kids to eat the slices rather than trying to pick up the whole banana and getting a mess all over themselves.  I think both of my boys ate at least one and a half of these.
I tried them myself and they were very good.  I think we will be making these for the first day back to school for sure.  Which is Monday already...  

Enjoy!
~NICOLE


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

{ HAPPY 2013 }


I sit here this morning and I just cannot believe that it is 2013 already.  Where did 2012 go I ask you? 
I always laughed at my mom when I was younger and she would always tell me and my brother , " The older you get, the faster the years go by. " I would just do the 'ya whatever' laugh and didn't believe her.
Now that I am an adult with my own family and kiddos, I know exactly what she is talking about.  Man do these years sure fly by.  Sometimes it feels almost like just in the blink of an eye and the year is over.  

With December being so incredibly busy for us after we got home from our little mini trip to Disneyland the few days after Christmas, the house... was a disaster with Christmas presents everywhere, laundry to be washed and laundry to be folded, trip stuff to be put away, Christmas decorations to be packed up and stored away until next year... and honestly it left me feeling a bit overwhelemed.  I didn't know where to start and for a few days I did none of it because I just didn't have it in me..
But then I got the itch and started to clean and organize it all.. the entire house that is.  
I am still in the process.  I started with the tupperware cabinet to make room for the new big set of tupperware my mother in law got us for Christmas.  I got that all organized and cleaned out and got rid of old tupperware and the lids with no homes.  Then I moved on to the pots and pans cabinet which got organized to fit the new pots and pans that my mother in law also bought us for Christmas.  Looks so nice and how amazing it is that you can find stuff when it is organized as such. 
Then I moved on to the downstairs toy box.  WOW.  Just from that one box I got one entire trash bag full for donation, give away toys and one entire bag of just trash.  
So then yesterday I ventured in to the kids room and went through 2 more toy boxes, and under the bed, tackled the closet and the clothes.  That was an all day ordeal for sure.  
But I got the toys all organized and the toy boxes straightned out, the beds moved around, moved the dresser into the closet, moved a bigger bookcase into their room, moved out the smaller one, moved in a small cabinet for the tv and made their beds and hung all their new clothes from Christmas.  
Moving the bigger bookcase into their room made more work in our room.  The bigger bookcase came from our closet that held all my couponing stockpile.  Anything from shampoo to cold medicine and deoderant.  So then I had to organize it all down from a big bookcase down to one half its size.  So I got that part done, but now the rest of the closet it thrashed.  That is my job for today.
My plan is to get everything in this house organized for the new year.  I sometimes feel out of sorts when things are such a mess and cluttered.

I guess if I had to choose a word for myself for 2013 it would be ORGANIZED .
I have 2 new day planners for the year that I will keep up on this year, and the house is going to be all organized,  and then hopefully that will help me stay on track with the blog as well, and all of the millions of projects on my to do list for the coming year .  

So here is to a great 2013 and I am wishing you all the same as well.  
~NICOLE