Random Ramblings: May 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014

FATHERS DAY TROPHY FRAME


Today I am over on the silhouette blog with a fun Fathers Day trophy frame to share with you.  
Head on over HERE to check it out.  

~NICOLE

Sunday, May 25, 2014

CAT FOOD BOWLS

Not too long ago we had to run to the dollar store to pick up something.  I don't even remember what it was.  But while we were there Chloe found these zebra cat bowls and wanted them for our cat.  So I got two of them.
The kids know me so well and one of them said, "Oh mom we could add the cats name to her bowls".  Um OK you don't have to say that to me twice.  :)
So we came home and it got late and the boys went to bed.  But Chloe was insisted that we needed to finish the cat bowls that night.  
So I found some hot pink SILHOUETTE VINYL .  I didn't have a huge piece left but I knew it would be enough for her name on both bowls.
When I typed up her name I thought it would be cute to add a paw print next to her name.
Which then made me think it would be super cute to add a big paw print to the inside of each bowl.
So I cut out her name with a small paw print to go on the outside rim, and then a big one for the inside.
I just placed the letters on the rim like they were stickers.
But I used transfer paper for the small and big paw prints so that I could make sure it all lined up the right way.  
I made them both look exactly the same and we just add water to one and food to the other.

I think the cat likes having bowls a little bigger so she has more water and now the neighborhood cats like to come eat her food (UGH).


The original bowls.


Once we added her name to the bowls with the paw prints.  


I didn't line them up exactly the same, because I just thought it was more fun that way.  Not that Fiona the cat could give a care one way or the other.  

Have you gone to altering anything for your pets?

~NICOLE

Friday, May 23, 2014

ETCHED AND VINYLED COOKIE JAR

Happy Friday to you.  Today is the first official day of summer vacation for our boys.  I can't even believe how fast this school year seemed to go by.  They go back on July 10 so they have several weeks to enjoy a laid back bed time routine and we can enjoy some family time.  We have a summer  bucket list I have been writing down some ideas of fun stuff to do over the summer, some are free even.
Ill go more into our summer plans later, but for now I want to share our new cookie jar.
Well I actually called it the "SWEETS AND TREATS" jar, because there isn't always just cookies in there.  

This project kind of emerged at the same time as my etched and vinyled dry erase board.
I knew I wanted to vinyl or etch the cookie jar but then since I did both on  the dry erase board, I decided to do both on the treats jar too.  


I went to Target and picked up an XL clear glass jar for this.  
Then I first etched on the word SWEETS.  I drew a box around the word and then another box around that.  So that I could make a border around the entire sweets box.  Does that make sense?
I cut the design from stencil paper and attached it to the jar with transfer paper.
I used my SILHOUETTE ETCHING CREAM STARTER KIT  for this and my dry erase board. There is a ton of etching cream in that little bottle.  
Once you remove the transfer paper coat it with the etching cream.  Scrape off the extra and let it sit for about 60 seconds and then wash it off.  
Remove the stencil vinyl and there you have it.  
Next I sized my 'and treats' in my SILHOUETTE SOFTWARE and cut that from teal vinyl.  
I applied that with transfer paper as well.  

I then took it to the kitchen and filled it with all the cookies from our old cookie jar.  
The old cookie jar we had was the exact same jar just a smaller version.  I definitely did not need a cookie jar this big, but I just like that it also adds some visual interest in the kitchen and a pop of color with the vinyl and a little bigger size.  

I think I have a slight problem because I want to etch on everything glass in our house and add some vinyl too.  I just need to focus on my summer projects list and move on to the next project before I really do vinyl and etch it all.  :)  

On a side note : I think it is so fun to compare first day of school photos and last day of school photos.  So I thought I would share Jacob and Caleb's first and last day photos.  

On the left is them on the first day of school.  It was a new school to them at the time and they did not have their new uniforms yet so they had to wear white collared shirts.  The last day of school on the right was a free dress day.  These pictures totally crack me up because of Caleb's face in both of them.  He is always making the goofiest faces, but hey that is him and exactly how I want to remember him at this age.  I wouldn't change that for anything.  He is such a goofball.  :)  

They go back to school on July 10 and little Jacob will be in 4th grade and Caleb will be going into the 2nd grade.  I still don't even know how this is even possible, but it is in deed happening.  
For now we will just enjoy our summer and try to fit as many fun things in as possible and also enjoy some lazy days at home too.  


Happy Summer Break to you... go enjoy a cookie to celebrate. :)

~NICOLE

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

HELLO CARD

Today I am sharing some cards I made with you. I needed a few cards to send off with some pictures I had printed of the kids for family members.  So I went looking through my pinterest card board for some inspiration.  I found a card I really liked HERE and decided I would use that as my inspiration.  I found a leafy cut file in my silhouette library and modified it even more once it was cut.  I cut off the two top right leaves after it was cut becuase it ended up fitting on the card front better that way.  
 I went through my stash of paper looking for some silver glittery paper and didn't have a piece big enough to do all the hellos that I needed. Then I cam across this amazing silver almost mirror like paper I forgot I even owned. I have no idea when I got it or where even, there isn't even a name on the back or anything.  Darn.  I will have to keep my eye out for it because it is alot of fun and so shiny.  It is like putting a tiny die cut mirror on your card.  So fun!
The word hello that I cut from the silver shiny paper was a silhouette I had in my library.  

I needed 7 cards so I decided to make each of them in a different color, just for fun.  Then on each card the silver dots are all the same, and the silver twine, but I changed the color of the rhinestones to match the color of the cardstock I used on the leaf.  
I love vellum and I think that is what drew me to the original card so much was the vellum overlay on top of the leaves.
So I did the same and cut the exact same leaf in the exact same size as the cardstock one out in vellum.  
I glued down the colored cardstock so it was flat on the card.  I then only glued down the vellum right on the top stem part.
I used a little glossy accents to glue it down and then also to hold down the silver twine bow and silver dot on top of that.  
I randomly placed a few more silver dots and rhinestones so that it had uniform with all the cards, but still a little randomness of its own.  

I wrote little notes inside each card to the person I am maling them to and enclosed the printed pictures.  
Now I just need to get them to the post office this week.  :)

~NICOLE



Monday, May 19, 2014

FRAMED ETCHED AND VINYLED DRY ERASE BOARD


Today you can find me over on the SILHOUETTE AMERICA blog with a project to share.
I am sharing a framed etched and vinyled dry erase board I created.  For the full tutorial on how to make it head on over to the blog HERE and check it out.  

~NICOLE

Sunday, May 18, 2014

HOMEMADE SALSA

I try not to share too many food posts all at the same time, but the other day I was craving some chips and salsa so I wanted to share it with you as well.
It is such a good recipe.  It is just the right amount of heat that it isn't too hot and not too mild either.  I can handle a little heat in my salsa but not so hot it burns my lips off.  

I got this salsa recipe from a lady I used to work with many many years ago.
It has evolved over the years because I had it written down and over the years have misplaced it and could never remember exactly what the recipe called for and the amounts.
So I have made it since then just guessing at what it called for and it has turned out pretty good.  But then I would never write down what I did and forget again for the next time.
So this time I was really craving some homemade salsa and guess what I actually wrote down how I did it.  Which I sure am glad because I think this is one of the best versions I have come up with so far.
So do I still call it a recipe I got from someone, or has it evolved so much that it is now my own?  Hmmm... just some food for thought I guess.  
Ok so now on to the salsa.  

HOMEMADE SALSA RECIPE 
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

9 radishes
1 yellow bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
3 serrano peppers
1 yellow onion
5 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper to taste 
5 TBS of lemon juice 
handful of cilantro
2 cans (10 oz.) diced tomatoes with chilies
2 cans (14.5oz.) diced tomatoes with onion and garlic
2 cans (4oz.) diced jalapenos (because Target didn't have any real ones-but it turns out just the same in the end) 

Chop everything and combine.  I have a salsa maker which chops everything super small.  I like my salsa with small chunks, but you can do big chunks, or however you like.  There is no real right or wrong way to make it.
Taste and see if you feel it needs more salt and pepper.
I usually stick it in the fridge and let it get really cold and then while it is in there the flavors can all mold together making it even better.
Enjoy with some chips.
Use as garnish over baked chicken, on top of an omelet.  However is your favorite way to eat salsa.  You can even jar some up and give them out to friends and family.

Let me know if you try it and if you make any tweeks to it too.  :)

~NICOLE

Thursday, May 15, 2014

FRENCH DIP SANDWICHES



I love when I can make a meal stretch to more than just one meal.
I got a few roasts the other day at the store and stuck them in the crock pot.  I put them in the crock pot the night before so they can really get tender and soak in all the juice for the entire day.  We had roast and potatoes that night for dinner.  
We put the leftovers up in the fridge to use another night as another meal in some way.  
I decided to make french dip sandwiches.
These are so easy to make. 
I took 4 packs of AU JU mix and mixed the water according to the directions.
I added that to my big pot.
I then added all of the left over shredded up roast to the au ju sauce.  
I let that simmer on super low for about an hour so it could soak up together.  

When it was almost time for the meat to be done I took my rolls and added some butter to them.  I placed them on a hot skillet and grilled the rolls.  
Once grilled I added a little mayo to them and added a heaping amount of the meat.  
Sometimes we will add some provolone cheese to them and let that melt over the meat too.
Add some of the au ju sauce from the pot into a small bowl and enjoy.
I personally don't like to dip my sandwich in the au ju but my husband eats it that way.
My personal preference is to add a pack of ARBY'S sauce to the sandwich and eat it that way.  :)
These are so good, the kids even love them.  

Who doesn't love when you can stretch a meal out into a few more meals.  We even have a bunch of meat left over from after making these so I might make some taquitos with the rest for another night.  

Enjoy! 

~NICOLE

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

SALT AND PEPPER SHAKERS

It all started with this little bottle of wine.  Isn't it the cutest little bottle ever?
Not long ago I was making my grandmas spaghetti sauce and it calls for some wine.  Since I am not a fan of white wine we saw this 4 pack of tiny bottles and I thought they would be perfect for exactly what I wanted.  After I used 2 of the bottles I just couldn't throw them out.
I just knew I could use them for something else, so I gave them a wash through the dishwasher and peeled off the sticker label.



It hit me then when I was in the kitchen one night making dinner and I was getting out the salt and pepper.
A few weeks ago I dropped my salt shaker and broke it.  Salt was everywhere! So since then I have just been using the salt I still had out of a baggy.
EXACTLY what I could make with those little bottles.
Salt and Pepper shakers.
I took off the lids and peeled away the little ring left under it.  


I took the yellow lids off and laid them with the open side down and gave them a quick spray of some silver spray paint.  
I then took the tiniest drill bit I could find in my husbands collection and drilled little holes in the tops of the lids.  Two holes in one for the salt and 4 holes in the one for the pepper. 
Then I used my SILHOUETTE CAMEO and drew a circle and added a letter S and a letter P.  I grouped them together so they were one image.  
I cut them out in red vinyl.  
I added them to the front of the bottles and filled them with salt and pepper.  



I absolutely LOVE how they came out and they are just a perfect addition to the kitchen.  Now my mom has requested 2 sets too.  

~NICOLE

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

SILHOUETTE BLOG POST - DIY WOOD PHOTO HOLDER


Today I have my first SILHOUETTE DESIGN TEAM post up over on their blog.
Head on over and check it out.
Find my post HERE.  
You should definately check out all of the other amazing projects up over there too.

~NICOLE

Sunday, May 11, 2014

NEW MASTER BEDROOM BEDDING

First I want to say HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to all the mothers out there. I hope you are having a wonderful relaxing day.  
And a HAPPY HAPPY Mother's Day to my own mom, who I love so very much.  Thank you for all you have given me in this life mom, I couldn't imagine life without you.  

So back in January I shared a list of things I wanted to do around the house.  We have been working on several of those things.
One of the things I wanted to do was get a new comforter for our bedroom.  Originally I wanted one from fingerhut that I really liked, but I am so glad that I didn't get it back then because I ended up finding one I love SO much more.  One that just fits with our new turquoise kick we are on.
So when the BED BATH AND BEYOND catalog came I just briefly glanced through it.  The moment I saw the comforter I knew I had to have THIS for our bedroom.  I love the turquoise with the grey.  

It was so fun to put it on the bed when it arrived.
It just happened that the turquoise pillows on the couches in the living room were a perfect match.
I have plans to make or buy some Euro shams for the big square pillows in a grey color.




I have several plans for other projects in this room.  I plan to : 
  • paint the walls the same shade of grey that is in the comforter
  • paint the lamps silver
  • get new white lamp shades
  • paint the candle holders on the dresser silver
  • hang some framed photos on the walls, black frames
  • new curtains
  • XL canvas prints for each side wall of the bed
  • new turquoise candles around the room
  • silver frames on the dresser
  • paint the tall dresser black with silver knobs
  • add a turquoise blanket to the end of the bed
  • make a stool for the end of the bed
I have already started on a few of these things. I can't wait to have it all come together and share some of these projects with you.  


~NICOLE

Saturday, May 10, 2014

SENDING SUNSHINE : a card



Quite some time ago I saw an awesome idea.  It was a basket full of yellow items and it was a gift for someone.  It was a sunshine basket.  I loved this idea.
Who wouldn't love to get a box full of goodies in the mail to brighten any day good or bad.
So I made a basket for a friend back then and she loved it.
So back in January I wanted to thank someone for a lot of hard work they did for our family and show her how much we appreciated her.
So I created this basket for her.
I have to say there is something so much fun about finding so many different yellow items to go in the basket. 
This basket has a lufa, peanut m&ms, yellow box of soap, a candle, koolaid, a yellow reusable cup, a silk flower, dish soap, a candybar, a crossword puzzle, a scarf.... so many other things I can't even remember.

So then after I made this basket I decided I wanted to gather some more goodies and send off 3 random boxes to a few people for a fun sunshiny surprise in the mail.
So I started collecting all things yellow.  
It really is fun to always be on a search for all things yellow no matter where you go.  

So after I collected enough yellow stuff to fit in the boxes I got, I wanted a card to go along with them.
So since I had 3 boxes, I wanted some similar cards so I came up with these.
They are all the same similar layout, just positioned a little differently. 



I cut the FUNKY SUN (Design ID #42906) in 2 different sizes.  One just a tiny bit smaller than the first one.  
I cut the CIRCLE BACKGROUND (Design ID #2805) and sized it to where I needed it to fit on my card.  
I also cut the HELLO SUNSHINE (Design ID #19098 ) in black and the same yellow as the suns.  I then layered the yellow over the black words, to create a shadow. 

I layered all the elements on the card placing the sun in different spots on each card.  

I wrote a short little note to each person inside the card and put it inside the box before I sealed it all up.  

I can't wait to get those boxes off in the mail. I am hoping to get them mailed off the first of next week.  
Have you ever sent someone a box of sunshine?  

~NICOLE

Friday, May 9, 2014

TEACHER APPRECIATION : THANKS A LATTE - STARBUCKS CARD

Today is the last day for the kids to take a teacher gift.
I mentioned yesterday that I wasn't going to send anything because they have a spring concert this morning.  But once I saw this printable my friend used, I thought this would be small and easy for the teachers to hold on to even at the concert.  



I printed the chevron card and mounted it on some kraft colored thick cardstock.
I went to Starbucks inside Target the other day and picked up these gift cards.  I added $5.00 to each of them.  Right when I asked for the gift card another lady working heard me and asked if they were for teachers, I told her they were and she handed me 2 of these gift cards.  She said she was just in the process of getting ready to put these out.  PERFECT!!!


So I just put a little adhesive on the back of the card and glued it right on card.  Simple, quick and super easy.  


It has been fun trying to come up with 5 different ideas for teacher appreciation gifts.  Next year I think I will start sooner, so they are all done before the week of.  :)
Did you send any teacher appreciation gifts to your child's teachers?

~NICOLE

Thursday, May 8, 2014

TEACHER APPRECIATION : PLANTED FLOWER POT

I was going to make today the last day I sent the kids teacher something because tomorrow morning they have a spring concert and it is not at their school.  So I was thinking it would be hard for the teachers to carry and keep track of something, but I have  a little tiny gift that they could easily just put in thier pockets or slip in their purse.
But for today I love how this one came out.  



We went to Home Depot last week to pick up some supplies for the front yard and I also grabbed these clay pots and the little bottoms trays that go under them. 
We also picked up 2 of these small little yellow flowers.  They were on sale for 2/$1.00 so that made them only .50 cents each.  
I brought them home and spray painted them with flat black spray paint. I was going for the chalkboard look and I thought the flat black gave it that exact look.  
I then painted the rim of the pot yellow. 
I took my medium thickness sharpie marker and just drew lines all around and numbered them to make it look like a ruler.
I was going to make some kind of sign for the pot, but when my friend had me print all those tags for her there was one that was perfect for this exact gift.
So I printed off a few for myself and glued them onto a skewer I had on hand in the kitchen and stuck it right in the plant.
I can't wait to pick up the boys from school to see how their teachers liked today's gift.
It has been exciting to see what the teachers had to say each day.
On Tuesday both the boys' teachers came up to me at pick up and said they loved the gifts.

Well I already have tomorrows gift all ready for them so now I need to start thinking about the end of the year gifts.  I am thinking of doing something with a play on the color orange and the saying "ORANGE YOU GLAD IT'S SUMMER BREAK" or something like that.
But I want to make the office staff all something too, and one other teacher that was my sons teacher for the first half of the school year.  So I am thinking for those I might make little paper boxes and filling them with
brownies.  Just throwing some ideas around in my head still. :)
~NICOLE

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

TEACHER APPRECIATION : HAND SANITZER

The next gift I sent to my kids' teachers was a little bag of hand sanitizers.  

A friend of mine text me and was asking if I would print some tags for her since her printer was broken.  She was trying to make some teacher gifts too.  So she emailed me the tags she bought off ETSY and I printed them out for her.  
She was going to run to BATH AND BODY WORKS on her way over and asked if I needed her to pick me up anything.  I hadn't planned on it but when I checked out their website and saw THESE super cute mini hand sanitizers I had her pick me up 10 of them.  They were  5/$5.00.  

I just thought they were so bright and colorful and I loved all the scents they had together.  
So she picked me up 2 of each scent.  

I printed 2 extra of the tags she bought and used them too. 
I printed it out on regular computer paper and mounted it on some thick white cardstock I recently stocked up on at HOBBY LOBBY .  


I had the clear and silver bags on hand and I just added a little kraft crinkle paper to the bottom of the bag and added in the mini bottles of sanitizer.  I attatched the tag with some twine and tied it in a bow.
Super simple and very affordable too.

~NICOLE

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

TEACHER APPRECIATION : REUSABLE CUP FILLED WITH GOODIES


Today is day 2 of  TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK .
Today the kids are taking reusable cups that I decorated with of course VINYL.  
I started out with these clear reusable cups.  I got them at the Dollar Tree and they have a plastic ring that goes around where the frosted part was, but I removed that and tossed it.  I didn't need it for this project and didn't want to keep it around.  I luckily had 2 on hand so I didn't have to go on a hunt for these .  Because we all know when you are in search of something it always seems so much harder if not impossible to find right when you need it.  

I got some new rolls of Red and White SILHOUETTE VINYL in just in time to make these.
I cut out the apple in red, the stem in a scrap brown piece I had laying around and the leaf was also a small scrap piece of vinyl I had left over from previous projects.  

The saying is one in the SILHOUETTE SOFTWARE online store about teachers.  
It says 'I TOUCH THE FUTURE I TEACH'  .  I thought this was a super cute saying and knew it would go perfect on the cups.  

I just love the outlined letters of the word TEACH.
I have to say I love quotes and saying that have different fonts in them.  I like the look of the scripty letters with bold print.  Something about it just draws my eyes right to it.  

I knew I wanted to fill the cups but I wasn't exactly sure with what and nothing over the top, just something simple and fun.
So today when we made a quick run to the grocery store I picked up some boxes of Hawaiian punch mix that you just pour into your water bottle , a bag of plain m&ms and I had some mini bags of skittles laying around left over from Easter that I decided to also add to them.  
I had the crinkly paper (I love this for anytime I am giving a gift, it just adds that gift feel I guess lol) .  
I had just enough red left over for both cups. Then I just added the fun little things to the cups and put the lids on.  
  

I put the cups together while dinner was cooking and then decided to add one more little touch by adding a bow to the top of each one. I just tied it on the straw and cut the ends with a notch and done.  
By the time I was able to take this picture last night it was already dark, so the lighting isn't the best, but I wanted to be able to show the finished product.
I thought about adding a little tag, but ran out of time.  Oh well.  

Now today I need to finish up tomorrows gift.  A planted flower in a pot that I painted.  

What are your favorite teacher appreciation gifts to give?  

~NICOLE

Monday, May 5, 2014

TEACHER APPRECIATION : COOKIE BOX

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week.  
I decided that it would be fun to send my kids teachers a fun little gift everyday of the week.
So today I am sharing what the boys took to their teachers today.
Two weeks ago I made these cute little boxes.
Of course I used my SILHOUETTE CAMEO to cut out the boxes.  
  I used grey paper for the bottom and red paper for the lid.  
I lined the opening with a clear transparency so you could see into the box.
I cut the banner with vellum and all the letters of the thank you out of cardstock.
I also cut the green apple from cardstock as well.  
I assempled the box and today I filled it with cookies I baked.  
I wrapped it with some red and white bakers twine and added a little apple tag.  


Here is the tag I created.  This tag was alot of fun to make and I will share in another post how I made it.  
Did you make any teacher appreciation gifts?  

~NICOLE

Saturday, May 3, 2014

SILHOUETTE GIVEAWAY from SILHOUETTE AMERICA

In honor of National Scrapbook Day SILHOUETTE AMERICA is giving away an awesome prize.  

Head right over to the SILHOUETTE AMERICA BLOG to enter for your chance to win.
This is such an awesome prize!
Hurry!
While you are there check out all the projects they have posted as well.

Good luck and Happy National Scrapbook Day!

~NICOLE