Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Nope, not the game, but the food.  Have you heard of it?  Most people haven't.  I really have no idea where it came from, but it was always made by my grandmother at Christmas time.  My mother carried on the tradition for us growing up, and now I make it every year starting right after Thanksgiving.  Looks a lot like Chex Mix, but tastes a whole lot better.

2 lbs. Mixed nuts (added last)
12 oz shredded wheat (we use wheat Chex)
10.5 oz Cheerios
6.5 oz Rice Chex
6.5 oz pretzel bits (we use Corn Chex here)
5.5 oz pretzel sticks

2 C Mazzola Corn Oil
2 T Worcestershire sauce

1 T garlic salt
1 T season salt

What to do:
In a large roasting pan, combine cereals and pretzels.  Sprinkle garlic salt and season salt over mixture.  Wisk corn oil and worcestershire sauce together.  Pour all over dry mixture.  Add mixed nuts last and give a good stir.  Place lid on roaster.

Set oven to 275*.  Scrabble will be in the oven for a total of 3 hours.  Remove and stir every 30 minutes and replace in oven until the 3 hours are up.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gift Ideas: For Baby

There are all kinds of cute little gifts out there for babies.  I thought I would share a couple of the gifts I'll be giving this year to the new little ones in our family.

First, is a really cute and super easy self binding blanket I found at Megan Poulton Designs.
These blankets were done in flannel and are actually for baby dolls.  I did the inside fabric at 16 in x 16 in and the binding fabric 26 in x 26 in.  I know I'll be doing more of these in the future for baby showers and gifts (at the normal size, of course).

Second, would be the Car Seat Canopy I designed.  I believe I've made about 7 of these in the past 6 months.  Very easy and fun to do.  This will keep the baby warm and dry during these cold months ahead.
Another baby gift I'm thinking about making are some Baprons from a tutorial put together by Jessica at Craftiness Is Not Optional.
via Craftiness Is Not Optional
She put together such cute combinations of fabric!  We really don't need bibs around our place much any more, but these are so much cuter than all those bibs in the stores with the cheesy saying on them.  I just don't know if I have time to make all the bias strips.  Hmmmm.

Well, people, we are down to only 10 days 'til Christmas.  Are you ready?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Meet Joe the Crab!

Joe the Crab is a little blue crab that goes for a walk along the beach one day and discovers he's a little different.  What a shock!!

This is an adorable little story written by a friend of ours and shows kids it really is okay to have something different about you.  I can't wait to give our kids their copy at Christmas!  I see this becoming a favorite in our home.  Plus, Tim is slated to have two more books about Joe the Crab coming out in 2012.

If you would like your own copy, Tim has them for sale at his website for $8.99.

Any cute kid's book recommendations out there?

**Tim's Blog and Facebook

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Toy Deal

Do you have an Ebates account?  Do you have someone on your list who would love something from The Disney Store?  Have I got a deal for you!  (Have I got a deal for you? I feel like a used car salesman!!) 

I don't do this very often, but this is a great deal!  20% off, free shipping AND 8% back - who wouldn't like this?!

Okay.  Your steps for getting this deal.

*If you don't already have an Ebates account - sign up for one.  This will allow you to get the 8% back on your Disney purchase.  They are also giving gifts to new signups that are received after your first $25 purchase.  Bonus!

*Do a search for Disney and get to The Disney Store.

*Do whatever shopping you want and then go to the checkout.

*In the Promo Code box enter FAMILYFUN20 to get your 20% off one item.

*Enter TOYSHIP in the Promo Code box to get free shipping on your order.  You have to have at least one toy or plush item in your cart for this to work.

*Continue finishing your checkout process and you are done.

Things to keep in mind - The 20% off is only for one item and can only be used one time, so shop wisely.  To use the free shipping code you have to have at least one toy or plush item in your cart.  8% Cash Back is only through Ebates, but the two promo codes can be used regardless.  I think this deal might actually end today.

Hope this helps you to round out or finish up those Christmas lists!

**In the interest of full disclosure - The Ebates links are attached to my account and I will be compensated for any new accounts signed up using said links.  Thanks in advance!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Gift Idea - Apps and Tunes

I thought I would deviate from handmade to easy and cheap.  I know a LOT of people out there have a smart phone.  How many of you allow your kids to play with said smart phone turning it into a ridiculously expensive 'toy'?  Yep, I'm guilty.  There are times when parents get desperate to entertain the little ones, though.  {Like when you have to spend 5 hours at the auto repair place with 3 kids waiting for tires.  Not the most kid friendly place and even new display tires are dirty.}

I personally I have an iPhone.  I absolutely love it!  Apps for me and the kids, plus all the music we like to listen to.  We rarely listen to the radio anymore when in the vehicle.  I also like to have it playing throughout the house when we're cleaning.

Do you have an iPhone or Mac?  If you do, I'm sure you have iTunes on your electronic already.  If not, you can download itunes easy enough.  Itunes cards are all over the place and make great gifts for all ages.  Plus, it takes away the angst of deciding which songs/albums someone else would like or want.  For younger kids, consider placing money in your iTunes account and then giving each child a certificate or coupon they can redeem for x amount of songs.  (This is what we plan to do for our older kids.)  Or, pick the songs and make a personal CD for the receiver.

'There's an app for that.'  An app for just about anything you might want - couponing, stores, games, educational, jokes, weather - you name it.  Want to know what's popular?  How about apps for kids?  Just do a quick search and you've got it!  There are so many free ones out there, too.

Here's a rundown on some that we like - Nook and Kindle, The Weather Channel, Angry Birds,  Glow Draw, Racing Penguin, DoodleBuddy, Fisher Price,  and KidCalc.  Right now I'm bribing my 8 yr old with Fruit Ninja for when she passes her times table test.

I know this isn't a crafty post, but it is a gift idea.  Hopefully this will give you another idea for your gift list.

Do you have some favorite apps?  Please share - Here in the comments or on Facebook.

** I know there are other devices that can download apps.  I'm not familiar with them.  Better to stick to what I know.  :)  Do a google search if you have a different brand of smartphone.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gift Idea - Tents

Did you ever make tents out of blankets when you were growing up?  My siblings and I did.  All.  The.  Time.  We had some pretty amazing structures made out of card tables, sheets, chairs and clothes pins.  Best of all?  It could be anything we wanted - a castle, a treehouse, a mansion or even a secret cave.  We had so much fun and now have so many memories.

Here are a few tent ideas I've come across to share with you all.

Fire Station Card Table Tent by Utah County Mom

Hoola Hoop Tent by Living With Punks

Kid's Tent/ Reading Nook by Ana White (seriously love this site!)

Use a little imagination and any of the above tutorials can be modified to make a little one's pretend play much more real.  These are all easy to store and easy to move.  Use them indoors during the cold and/or rainy times of the year and then move them outside when nice weather rolls around.

So, how many of you out there built tents as a kid?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gift Idea - Handmade Ornaments

Handmade ornaments are such an easy thing to do.  Have you looked at all the tutorials out there?  Just about anything you could want to do is available.  How about this 3D Paper Snowflake?

Last year my family did the 12 Days of Christmas for my parents.  (Had to get it in before babies 13 and 14 showed up this year.)  Since my kids are the oldest, we did the first few.  Larissa had done a partridge and a pear in one of her posts.  These were such a cute idea, I got the kids working on a set.

They had such a good time!  My oldest (who has the attention span of a fish) almost made her ornament in one sitting.  

Were they perfect? No.  But, the grandparents really appreciated the kids' work and effort, and the kids were so proud of the finished products.

Another Idea...

Make the ornament sentimental.  My husband's aunt made snowmen for all the grandkids out of his grandmother's chenille bedspread.
Such a wonderful addition to our Christmas tree this year!

Other ideas...
3D Star from Sawdust and Paperscraps
Icosahedron Ball from The Quilted Turtle
Beaded Snowflake Star from Bead Jewelry Making
Owl Plushie
Or any number of other ideas  (Just click on a picture to be taken to the original site.)

Any other ideas out there?  Let me know in the comments or on Facebook to share what you know!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday weekend!  For those of you outside the U.S. not celebrating Thanksgiving,  eat a slice of pie just for the fun of it.  :) Enjoy your wonderful food and fun time with family.  Stay safe in your travels and I'll see you all back here next week!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gift Idea - Kid's Apron

My kids love helping in the kitchen.  What kid doesn't?  So, my mother sewed up these pretty little aprons for all the girls in the family one spring.  If you look at the picture closely, you can see she even made matching aprons for each of the girls' Bitty Babies.  They were all thrilled!

These are great ideas for being in the kitchen or getting into character when playing 'house', too.  My kids pull them out all the time.  Do a quick Google search for 'kid's apron patterns' and you will have several free patterns from which to choose.  Or, head over to Joann's during one of their sales and get a pattern for $2 or less.

**Patterns used - Simplicity 3802, Simplicity 4286, Simplicity 2626

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ladybug Applique Tutorial

Well, I've been able to get a few presents put together and finished.  This bag project took me much longer than expected. {Isn't that always the way it goes, though?}  I'm very pleased with the overall outcome even if it took more time.

You want to know where I got the idea, right?  About 6 or 7 years ago, one of my sisters made a bag for me and my oldest child.  I LOVE this bag!
I get complements every time I take it out.  Unfortunately, I've had a diaper bag slung over my shoulder instead of a purse for the majority of the past 8.5 years.  That will change soon enough, though, my friends.
This is the bag she made for my oldest.
Colorful and fun - just perfect for her!

Here's the secret behind these bags.  They are made out of placemats!  Yep.  Couldn't tell, could ya?  Such an easy project.

Now, I'm not going to give you a tutorial on the bag itself, since there is a perfectly good one right here at JCaroline Creative.  I will give you a short tutorial on how I did the ladybug on the front of one bag.

**Any embellishments will need to be done before sewing the bag together if you will be using the machine.**

What you need:

*Sewing supplies - scissors, thread, sewing machine, iron and ironing board, etc.
*2 Fabric colors (mine were red and black)
*Iron-on adhesive - I used Heat n Bond lite - follow the directions that come with whichever brand you get when ironing
*Ladybug printable pattern {I apologize.  I can't remember how to put it on my website, so you will have to get it off of MediaFire.  It's 11pm and I'm tired.}

1.  Download and print off the ladybug pattern on card stock.

2.  Cut out the pattern pieces and trace them on to the paper side of your iron-on adhesive.

3.  Iron the pieces on to the corresponding fabric colors on the wrong side of the fabric.  Don't worry about cutting out the individual pieces - you will do that in the next step.
 4.  Cut out each of the pieces of your ladybug.
 5.  Peel the paper backing off the fabric.
 The shiny side will now stick to whatever you are embellishing.
 6.  Do a dry run.  Place all the patten pieces on the front of the bag (shiny side down) making sure to leave room for seams.  Also, take the time now to make a mark down the wings with an air or water soluble marker, if so desired.
 7.  Leaving the head and body pieces in place, remove the wings carefully.  Iron down both the head and body.  Place the wings back on the body and head and iron in place.
 8.  Do a dry run with the spots.  You can always leave the line off and keep all the spots whole.  However, if you choose to have overhang, now is the time to trim the spots before ironing them down. Once you have them the way you like, iron them down.

 9.  Next is the process of satin stitching around all your pieces.  Each machine is different in settings and temperament with this stitch.  I highly recommend using some scrap material to get the setting the way you like - stitch length, stitch width are both factors.  When the stitches look the way you like on the scrap switch over to your project.
Stitch in this order - antenna (starting at the head and moving out), head, body
       all spots - notice I did not stitch all the way around the spots that were trimmed.  You don't want to have a doubled up stitch.
 Lastly, you will stitch down the wings.  Start right behind the head down the center of the wings flowing all the way around.  This will give you one long continuous stitching.

There you have it!  Once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty quickly.  The spots are more of a challenge, but can be done.  This gives such a nice finished look to your project.

Any one, young or 'old' would be please with such a gift!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Little Sneak Peak

I thought I would give you all a little peak at one of the finished Christmas gifts.
I'm putting a pattern and short tutorial together for the ladybug and I'll share that with you tomorrow.

Did you all know there are only 37 days left 'til Christmas?!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Microcrafts Book Review

Not too long ago, I received a package.  One that literally made me squeal and do a little jig in my front yard - causing my kids (and maybe a few neighbors) to give me some strange looks.

The above book, Microcrafts: Tiny Treasures to Make and Share , was the reason.  Not only did I have a new craft book, but it was one a friend, Larissa Holland, helped author!  

Okay, down to the nitty-gritty.  The main premise of this book is crafting tiny crafts - all smaller than a spool of thread.  {Clicking on any of the pictures that follow will bring it up in a new window for a better look.}
A few of the projects available:
Tiny little cats

Bottle-cap pendants

Button Earrings

Felt Pendant

Tiny Greetings

Cute Little Bugs

Monsters With Accessories

Bears and Beds

This book is full of step-by-step instructions and patterns for over 25 crafts.  Don't limit yourself with these projects, either.  While all of these are cute in miniature form, many of the patterns can be enlarged on a copy machine to any size.  Plus, I'm sure there are many creative ways to use the projects between these covers.  My second daughter can't get enough of this book.  She quickly went through the book and told me all the crafts that could be turned into earrings and then looked at me full of hope that one would end up in a birthday package.  (Something I should get busy on.)

This book is great and its amazing the creativity of these authors!  

Christmas is coming up, people!  Wouldn't this be super as a gift?!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Craft Fair

Those of you who follow me on Facebook know I visited a craft fair this weekend.  It was hosted by our local high school which is only a few minutes from our home.  A perfect excuse for me to get out of the house, do something fun and maybe get a few ideas for Christmas.
 There were several booths (around 200 probably) with all kinds of goodies ranging from original art, jewelry, kids' boutique items, Thanksgiving decor and of course Christmas decor.
 I was able too look through everything in no time at all.  But, I must admit, I did go around for a second look just to extend my time out.

One purchase was made.
Yep, I really splurged!  {Heavy sarcasm intended}  I'm a sucker for snowmen, though.

We have some rainy weather today.  Several loads of laundry have already been done, so the rest of my day is devoted to Christmas gift production.  I'm excited and a bit scattered in my thinking, right now.  Sounds like a perfectly good excuse for something sweet and a hot beverage to take some time and get my ideas on paper before I start sewing.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What Now?

Halloween is over and my life is no longer consumed with costumes and candy - well, at least the costumes are out of the picture.
Pirate, Lanie (AG), Cinderella, Dora and Special Forces
The kids had a blast and everyone was pleased with the final costume.  (A huge relief for a stressed out momma.)  The candy haul was extreme this year, too.  We have some of the most wonderful and generous neighbors!  Although, I'm trying to decide if I need to remind the kids or the husband that trash goes in the trash can.  Hmmmm........

So, now I'm on to crafting and sewing whatever I want, right?  Definitely true - to an extent.  I have Christmas on the brain and that makes it hard to think of much else.  'What about Thanksgiving?', you ask?  I really enjoy Thanksgiving, but I don't feel the need to DO anything for that holiday.  Thanksgiving is just a great time of the year in which I know I get to spend a lot of special time with family.  Christmas is family time and stress time.

Now that you all know where my mind is, you know where this blog is headed for the next couple of months.  (Really - 53 days?!)  I've got some new ideas of my own and lots of ideas rounded up from other places I'm hoping to share with you during this time.  {If you are family, don't read this for the next month or so if want to be surprised.}

I've already started.  Here's a sneak peak at one Christmas project/gift idea I'll be sharing with you all very soon.
If you haven't yet, now is a good time to like This Too! on Facebook.  I'll be on there quite a bit adding little snippets and comments (or questions!) as the time goes by.  Feel free to post any of your own links, pictures, questions and comments, too.  Just please keep it craft related and G rated.  Maybe we can help each other make it to the end of the season with our crafts all wrapped and ready to give!


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