Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Birthday Decorations!

For my son's first birthday party we did a Rookie Year theme. We used all different sports. We had t-shirts made with our "team" name on the front and the backs said "Rookie", "Manager" and "Coach". We had a ticket style invitations and a concession stand. I ordered the invitations from Etsy and made the rest of the decorations myself. Here's a quick look at how to make the decorations, which you can personalize for your own theme:

First, the banner. Everyone needs a 10ft long birthday banner! I also made a smaller version of this for our concession stand sign.

This was a fairly simple project.
You will need:
8 1/2 x 11 cardstock (enough for each letter of whatever you want to spell)
Scrapbook paper for the circles
Contrasting cardstock for letters
Glue stick

What you do:

1. Using the 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock, cut out triangles (each piece is one triangle)
2. Cut as many circles as you need for your words out of scrapbook paper
3. Cut out letters from contrasting cardstock
4. Glue letters onto circles and circles on triangles.
5. Cut 2 slits on top of triangles. The slits should be just slightly larger than your ribbon
6. String ribbon through slits.

Next, I know you want to know how I made the cute little ball next to the banner. These were hung all over the house for the party.

These are little more involved.

What you need:
Cardstock (20 circles are need for EACH ball)
Double sided tape

What to do:

1. Cut out 20 of the same size circles. You can do all of them the same color/pattern or mix it up.
2. Using you scissors, score a triangle in each circle and bend the edges.

3. Take 5 circles and tape the inside of the edges together to make a dome. Make 2 domes.

4. Line up the remaining 10 circles and tape the edges together to make a straight line of them.
*Notice the pattern in the picture, 
pointy end up, pointy end down*
5. Pick up your line and tape the two ends together.

6. Tape one dome on top of your band and one on the bottom.

Finished product! Sorry the silver one looks a little shabby. I had to take it apart and put it back together to make this tutorial.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Broccoli Chicken w/Rice

I have a folder where I keep all the recipes I've found in different magazines or wherever that I want to try. Every once and awhile I pull it out and try something new. When trying these new recipes my husband and I have come up with a rating system:

"McDonald's" - As in, it's so bad we can't eat it and are getting McDonald's
"Not again" - It's edible but I won't be making it again.
"Make again" - We like it! We really like it! 

This week I tried Rachael Ray Broccoli Chicken Bowls.  I changed the recipe to accommodate what ingredients I had in my kitchen. My brother, his girlfriend, and my one year old were eating dinner with me, hubby came home later and ate the leftovers. Everyone said they liked it and my hubby gave it a "make again" rating :)

So this is my version of Broccoli Chicken w/ Rice:

1 1/2 cups rice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
Salt, Pepper and Garlic powder
3/4 pound chicken breast, thinly sliced
Extra virgin olive oil
1 medium size bag of frozen broccoli cuts, stalks and florets seperated

  1. In medium saucepan, bring rice and 3 cups of water to boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork when done. 

Broccoli Chicken:
  1. In medium bowl whisk together soy sauce, sugar and 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch. Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Mix in chicken and let marinate for about 20 minutes. 
  2. While chicken is marinating, whisk together 1/2 cup water and remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch. 
  3. In large skillet heat enough oil to thinly cover bottom of pan. Add a couple pinches of garlic powder. Heat over medium-high. Add broccoli stalks, season with salt and pepper. Cook about 2 minutes.
  4. Add 1/4 cup water and broccoli florets. Cover and steam until crisp-tender. 
  5. Transfer cooked broccoli to a plate.
  6. Add a little more oil (again cover the bottom of the pan) and heat until hot. 
  7. Add chicken mixture and cook, stirring often, until chicken is done. 
  8. Stir in broccoli and the remaining cornstarch mixture from step 2. Cook until liquid thickens (about 30 seconds)
*Get the chicken marinating and then start the rice.


Friday, January 20, 2012

My obsession: The Kitchen!

I LOVE my kitchen and not just a little bit. I told my husband we can never move because I can't bear to leave it. It's my favorite room of the house. It's not just my favorite room either, it's the room I got the most compliments on when people see my house for the first time.

It wasn't always this way. As much as I love my kitchen now, I hated it with the same passion when we first moved in. It had pickled oak cabinets and a light pinkish counter top. A picture for your viewing pleasure...

Really, the picture makes it look better than it was.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), two weeks before Christmas in 2010 our old copper pipes burst, right behind the oven and the cabinets next to it. The cabinets were ruined and I HAD to remodel the kitchen. Such a pity...

This is my kitchen now! (well these pictures were taken just a couple days after it was completed)

Did I mention I love my kitchen?

The dining area is still the same. If you noticed in my first picture there are 2 wall hangings above the table. They didn't really match the old kitchen but I think it all ties together now. Anyway, the pretty green pattern on them, was not actually supposed to be part of the wall hanging. The wall was supposed to show through. But I wanted color. It's printed cardboard that I stuck behind them. You could easily do the same type of thing with some material. Just hot glue it all together and hang it up!

We have a huge double pantry that I use for my small appliances, a smaller one that we use for my mixer and another small one for food. Lots of cabinet space! Hubby says I have too many small appliances, I say nay! If you are ever remodeling your kitchen, I highly recommend adding a pantry just for your small appliances.

With spice racks of course! I would like to mention, they were all in alphabetical order until, hubby started cooking...

This is the front of the double pantry. A pretty silver command strip hook and viola! a place to hang my aprons.

This is on the inside of one of the cabinets. A couple command hooks and the perfect spot to put keys!

I think I have demonstrated enough blog love for my kitchen. Now I need to go clean it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Heart Wreath

So here it is, my first post! After posting a picture on Facebook of the heart wreath I made for Valentine's Day a lot of people asked me "how did you make that?" I don't take responsibility for this idea. I found it here Little Birdie Secrets I just used two different kinds of material to make mine.

This is MY finished wreath! Isn't it cute? I need to finish the second one and they will be hanging on my front doors.

You will need:
styrofoam shape (I obviously used a heart)
material (as many different kinds as you want or just one pattern, I used 2 patterns) about 3/4yd
hot glue
all purpose glue
glue gun


1. Cut material into 2 inch squares
2. Using the glue gun, glue a loop of ribbon on the back of your shape (I tied my ribbon an the end before gluing it on)

 3. Take a square of material and put it on the end of the pencil. The back side of the material should be facing out.

4. Dip the end of the material into your all purpose glue.
5. Poke the pencil/material into the styrofoam. Leaving the material in the styrofoam and taking your pencil out
6. Continue until your shape is filled.
Happy (early) Valentine's Day!