Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

diy fabric fall wreath

my poor front door needed a little fall tlc! this simple wreath will have to do for now... at the end of the month i will be decorating a new front door at our new house! we are feeling so blessed!

this is just a simple grapevine wreath with a few different fabric flowers i made using tutorials from around the web. 
small yellow yoyo w/green button

Monday, October 4, 2010

pumpkin pie chex mix

doesn't this sound delish?!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

my favorite salad

this is my favorite go-to salad. perfect as a side dish when having company for dinner or as a main dish with my own family. this night i tossed in some cut up grilled chicken and called it dinner. {you could also use chicken nuggets cut into strips or chunks if you're short on time.}

feta raisin salad
butter or romaine lettuce
handful of crumbled feta
handful of raisins
chopped pecans -plain, toasted or sugared
{top with raspberry vinaigrette}

that's it! you could also throw in some thinly sliced red onion and/or cranberry raisins. super easy & so good!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

preschool file folder games

my boy & i start homeschool preschool in a few weeks! the curriculum i am using calls for file folder games & includes directions of 26 games to make on your own. i wasn't too thrilled with the folder game ideas provided so i am substituting with a few of my own creations! dollar tree has a ton of these great preschool workbooks. most are in color & even come with stickers which is my little guy's favorite part!

the first game i made using this book is "color challenge" using the 9 object stickers. don't take them off the backing, just punch them out so they aren't sticky and stay sturdy.  cut the page in half & laminate each half (i used contact paper). use double stick tape to press each half onto either side of a file folder and your game is done!

the other game i made from this book is called "shape sort". cut out the shapes on page 1 and laminate. this game uses two pages from the book that are front/back so you will need 2 books or just scan and color print from your computer printer like i did.

your little person will cover up shapes that look most like the object. easy peasy! 

add a small envelope to the front of each folder to house the game pieces & write game directions.

another great game that i found on my search is an alphabet sequencing game from lakeshore learning available as a free printable on their website. i'd love to hear your great {& free!} file folder game sources!

Monday, July 19, 2010

ghiradelli seven layer brownie bars

my standard brownie recipe is a box of ghiradelli brownie mix {under $2 at aldi or walmart} with a half bag of chocolate chips stirred in the batter before baking- the result is amazing! i thought i would make a batch for a picnic this weekend but noticed a recipe on the back of the brownie box for seven layer brownie bars. these are just like the old "magic bars" but using a brownie mix instead of graham cracker crumbs. it was fun to change it up a little bit & they were super easy and much better than  plan ol' brownies!
Seven Layer Brownie Bars

{by the way, they will stick like glue to the pan
 so be sure to line the pan with parchment or non-stick foil first!}

seven layer brownie bars
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 box ghiradelli double chocolate brownie mix
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk

preheat oven to 350. melt 1 stick of butter in 9x13 pan. sprinkle brownie mix over melted butter. top with coconut, butterscotch chips, chocolate chips & pecans. drizzle with sweetened condensed milk. bake 30 minutes. cool before cutting. makes 24, 2-inch bars.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

baseball birthday party

the day of the party it rained and rained - and rained- but finally stopped about 3:30 and the sun shone for the rest of the day!  the ball field was too muddy to use, but the kids were still able to get in a game of baseball in the grass. we had a great time celebrating owen with some of our good friends. here are some pictures from the happy day!

the banner was re-purposed from the cars movie party. i just cut off oliver's name & switched out 
the checkered flag pennants for blue felt with baseball stickers.

the menu was simple ball park food- hot dogs, chips, watermelon & pop. i hoped to do fruit kabobs but was short on time and settled for watermelon slices instead. eating out of hamburger baskets (target dollar spot) added some fun! 

the birthday boy!

party favors in brown paper sacks: 
a box of cracker jacks, mini frisbee, hostess baseball cake, baseball tattoo, a squishy baseball

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

baseball party inspiration

somehow in the blink of an eye
this sweet {little} boy:

became this sweet {big} boy:
happy 4th birthday, owen!

he plans to spend the day with a visit to the pool, lots of time playing his new diego wii game, and dinner at t-rex cafe. sounds like the perfect way to spend #4 to me!

last weekend was a family party in wichita but this saturday is a party with friends in our hometown near kansas city. owen requested a baseball birthday party & i've had a great time planning. i've gathered lots of ideas and thought i would share some of my favorites with you:

baseball cake balls: creative party place, cotton candy cones: amy atlas,  hostess baseball cupcakes, 
baseball invitation: etsy, table scape: swanky tables, ball park menu: britssy, cake: 2bluedogs,
goodie bags: inchmark, baseball party: the sweetest occasion, party decor: couture parties

first pitch is at 5:30 on saturday. i'll be sure to share the highlights with you when the game is over! :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

cars movie birthday party

last weekend was our annual celebration of owen & oliver on their birthday! {you can see birthday #3 here.} this year both of the boys are really into characters from the disney cars movie: tow mater for oliver & dinoco for owen. we didn't want to get too crazy with the cars theme so my sister-in-law alli & i mostly played off of the colors of the cars movie characters & a sandy color for radiator springs- a town in the desert where most of the movie takes place. 

we went with an evite again this year. i added a recent pic of the two boys and little pictures of mater & dinoco to tie in the theme.

trying to get away from the usual hot dog/hamburger routine at an outdoor party, alli came up with a great idea for a gourmet taco bar. we served flour tortillas & corn taco shells, shredded chicken & carne asada with the usual fixings of shredded cheese, diced tomato, shredded lettuce and sour cream. also on the menu were black beans, refried beans, chips, salsa, guacamole & fruit cups. 

the birthday banner was made with an iron-on letter set & pennants cut from felt sheets {all from hobby lobby}. line up the pennants & put them thru the sewing machine. easy breezy! 

the real star of the show though was the birthday cake! {inspired by this cake} alli made an amazing 3 layer carrot cake with cream cheese frosting tinted to look like sand. mater, dinoco and the cactus were made from royal icing using a royal icing transfer technique. milk chocolate rocks added the perfect touch! 

man, it's hard to get a good picture of these 2 monkeys! their shirts were made with felt, wonder under & coordinating shirts from wal-mart.  i opened up a word document and printed a "4" in all-star font, size 550. used it as my pattern to cut out 4's from the leftover banner felt. i used the red & blue felt 4's as my guideline to cut numbers out of checkered flag felt about a quarter or half inch bigger all the way around. i sewed the two 4's together then used wonder under to attach them to the shirts.

happy 4th birthday to two of my favorite little people!

Monday, May 24, 2010

grandpa don's disneyland cinnamon rolls

my grandpa gave me this recipe years ago. he loved to bake and these were his specialty! supposedly the recipe comes from the pastry chef at the disneyland hotel in anaheim, ca.

disneyland cinnamon rolls
1/2 c warm water 
2 pkgs yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1 (3 1/2 oz) pkg vanilla instant pudding
2 cups milk
1/2 c unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp salt
8 cups all purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups brown sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon

in small bowl, combine water, yeast and sugar. stir until dissolved. set aside.
in large bowl, mix pudding with milk. add 1/2 c melted butter, eggs, and salt. mix well, then add yeast mixture and blend well. gradually add flour and knead until smooth. place in a large greased bowl. cover & let rise in a warm place until double in size. punch down & let rise again.
roll dough onto a large floured surface into a large rectangle, 34" x 21". pour 1 cup melted butter over the entire surface.
in a small bowl, mix together brown sugar & cinnamon. sprinkle over the top of buttered dough. roll up like a jelly roll. measure every two inches and cut with a knife. pack each roll gently in the palm of your hand to keep it from coming apart while baking. place rolls in a greased baking pan and allow to rise for 20 minutes.
bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. 

cream cheese frosting
8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk

combine all ingredients until smooth. spread on warm rolls.

i made these rolls this week for owen's moms day out teachers. i added a little tag that says "thanks for a 'sweet' year!".

my grandpa don passed away last week. these rolls are pretty great but i know he is having sweeter treats than these with jesus!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

we're famous!

lookie here! {and while you're there be sure to enter for the chance to win a fabulous photo session with my friend amanda!}

just for fun, here's the last time my family was on a blog with more than 10 readers. ;) 
that was last year. when megan was just getting started. i was sure i couldn't afford her but asked anyway. she didn't know how good she was and my jaw about hit the floor when i heard her fee. {in a good way}. jay said, "can we lock that in as a lifetime rate?" because we both knew it wouldn't stay that way for long. 

so happy for these two blooming photog friends!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

post-it pocket knock off

aren't these new post-it pockets cute?!

yeah, well, cute has it's price because they are also expensive. i saw them at target for $14. seriously?! here is my knock-off version made for $1.04 with scrapbook paper & a sewing machine:
you will need:
2 pieces of 12x12 scrapbook paper 
paper cutter
x-acto knife
double sided tape

cut scrapbook paper into two 9.5" x 6" rectangles

using an x-acto knife, cut a triangle starting 1.5" from the top and 3/4" from each side. this will be the opening for your bills or receipts.

using a sewing machine, sew around this triangle. just for pretty :)
(if you don't sew, just skip this step)

now add your backing paper and stitch 1/4" all the way around the rectangle.
(if you don't sew, use double sided tape instead.)

a little double sided tape on the back and it is ready to stick to the fridge.

it has a way of making my bills look so much prettier!

Monday, April 26, 2010

cheesecake strawberries

a friend brought these to a get together last summer and i thought they were delish!

she shared the recipe with me and now i am sharing it with you:

 & this goodness:

hull the strawberries & slice an X in the top so that the strawberry opens just a bit 
add the filling to a piping bag (i used a 21 cake tip) and fill up those berries!
{i've also substituted a brick of softened cream cheese mixed with cool-whip in place of the ready-to-eat filling}

Thursday, April 1, 2010

sandwich bag easter carrots

so tomorrow is owen's easter party at moms-day-out. and in true kelli fashion {read procrastinator} that makes tonight the perfect time to whip up a special treat for the little monkey & his classmates! i thought these little easter carrot treats were super cute and love that they are candy-free. 

but those cake decorating bags are a little pricey so i came up with a way to make them out of sandwich bags & curling ribbon.

here's the how-to: 
cut or tear the fold of a fold lock top sandwich bag. 
fold the bag into a triangle with the opening at the top.
add a piece of scotch tape.
now your cone shaped sandwich baggie is ready to fill! 
add a twist tie and green curling ribbon to finish off the carrot.

happy easter! 

He is not here; 
He has risen, 
just as He said. 
matthew 28:6

photo session

amanda and i met 5 years ago when we worked at the same elementary school. i moved to california for a couple of years and we didn't keep in touch. last summer in kansas city i saw her out for a stroll in my neighborhood. a little catch up revealed that we live 2 blocks from each other-- 25 miles from where we first lived and worked all those years ago. i love it when God does fun stuff like that :)

this chick is soaring with her business & some amazing photography skills. with one "pretty please" she came to us for an easter photo session. lucky us! look what she did this time:
check it out for yourself. and don't forget to book a session while you are there!

princess castle cake

this sweet little friend turned 3 on saturday and we celebrated with princess party!

all the little princes & princesses {and some queen mommas too} feasted on this pretty cake that i made.

cake cones covered in strawberry frosting
upside down sugar cones frosted & rolled in pink sugar
pink mini-marshmallow castle details
chocolate frosting door
pink strawberry frosting heart windows
a sweet little J flag in honor of the birthday girl

no more foil covered cake boards. use a fun wrapping paper instead!