Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ribbon Wreath Tutorial

I made a ribbon wreath for my daughter's door this afternoon.  Inspiration:  Pinterest.  It's not my favorite finished project, as I think it looks a little manic, but maybe that's what my 5-year-old needs.  Manic.  

What you need: 
10-12" wire wreath form
TONS AND TONS of ribbon
scissors.  I used pinking shears.
hot glue gun
little wooden plaque 
Letter stickers
How to make your ribbon wreath:
Cut your ribbons to about 6-8 inches in length and start to tie them around the wire wreath form.  
I tied each ribbon around two of the four wires.  That way it would cover more space.  

Tie, tie, tie...until your hands are tired.
Take a break.  
Tie, tie, tie.....
Take a break.  

Once you're happy with how "full" your wreath is, trim the ribbons so they are all the same length and you have your desired look.

Paint your little wooden "plaque" and let dry completely.
Stick on the letter stickers and hot glue some ribbon to the back of the plaque on one side.
You could also use the "Rub-On" letters that you can find at your local scrapbook stores, but I had letter stickers handy, so that's what I used.
Feed the ribbon around the wreath and then glue the ribbon to the other side of the plaque so that the plaque lays nicely.  You could also have two pieces of ribbon on the plaque and tie a bow on the wreath.  It's up to you!  Super easy craft.

You could also have a little helper with this craft, if you can trust them with scissors.

Voila!  You're done!
This craft took me about 2.5 hours from start to finish.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Top 12 Travel Desires in 2012

My travel list is always be modified, but as my life stands right now (husband, 8-year old son, 5-year old daughter, and two dogs) this is my top twelve travel destinations for 2012.  I'm sure that they will be different next year though.

1.  Walt Disney World   
I'm a self-proclaimed Disney lover and I could easily go to Disney at anytime.  :)  

2.  Turks and Caicos  
Looks like heaven to me.  I've never been on a full-on tropical getaway where I wasn't pinching EVERY. SINGLE. PENNY. spring break, style.  I'd love to kick back and enjoy an all-inclusive resort like Beaches with the family.  Fantastic.  

3.  Paris, France  
Bonjour, Paris!  I've been a couple of times and I loved it.  So much wonderful going on in Paris.  I have to be honest here.  I want to go to Paris for completely different reasons.  My husband's mother, LouAnn, was a French teacher and Paris was her home away from home.  She adored Paris.  LouAnn passed away of breast cancer when I was expected our son and I always imagine that she would have wanted to take our kids to Europe and most specifically Paris.  To see her favorite city.  So I want to go to Paris and take the kids to Paris...just for LouAnn.  

4.  San Francisco, California
This city just seems cool and I'd like to see it for myself, and I've never been to California. 

5.  Beaver Creek, Colorado 
This is going on this list because we're headed here in June for a Suzuki Violin Institute.  We're hoping the weather will allow us to splurge and go on a hot air balloon ride.  Once in a lifetime experience for us all!

6.  Yellowstone National Park--IN WINTER
I know it's supposed to get to a GAZILLION degrees below zero, but I just think seeing the hot springs would be amazing.  Probably would leave the kids home for this trip.  I don't need any little kid-sicles.  :)

7.  Hawaii!  
Boone and I have always talked about going to Hawaii for our 10th anniversary (which we will be celebrating this year), but we just couldn't pull the trigger.  Maybe for our 15th anniversary.  I know when the time is right, it will fall together and it will be wonderful.  :)  

8.  Alaska.   I love amazing scenery and this place just seems loaded.  Sign me up!  

9.  Key West, Florida.    Something about being in the southern most point of the Continental US just floats my boat.  Plus, it's warm and sunny.  Ahhhh.....

10.   Australia....
Not so sure my kids could handle the flight, but I'd love to add this to the list.  G'day!

11.   London, England  
Spent almost 4 months living in London, England on my semester abroad and I've always wanted to go back.   I miss traveling and this city was amazing.  Plus, I have one, big regret.  All the time I was in London, I NEVER rode in a taxi cab.  I need to take a ride in a cab.  :)

12.   Multnomah Falls, Oregon.  
I need to see this beauty.  Located outside of Portland, Oregon, this waterfall is commonly called "Bridal Veil Waterfall".  I think it is amazing.  It's one of those "things" that you see a picture of and just get attached to in a weird way.  :)  

There it is.  My top 12 travel destinations for 2012.  Some need passports, others do not.   What about your dream destinations?  Where would you go if you could?  Enjoy your travel day dreams!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Project: Passport 2012

I always dream of traveling to great locations with the family, but we don't even have passports.  Not for us.  Not for the kids.  So, my next project is called "Project:  Passport 2012".  Then I can dream up all the places I want to go.  

Here's to dreaming!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cute, Little Framed Hearts Tutorial

Fun Valentine Craft with a Pinterest inspiration: 
My attempt:  

My inspiration:  Pinterest.    

Isn't it so simple and pretty?  I didn't see a tutorial, so I made one up myself.  This was my first attempt, so it's not perfect, but cute enough and fun to boot!

I had some unused frames from Ikea in my basement, so I put one to work for this project.  

What you need:

White paper
Red paper or the color you want for your hearts 
Small size Zots Glue Dots
Heart paper punch.  
---I chose Fiskars 1-inch Squeeze Punch, That's Amore. 

How to make your Cute Little Framed Hearts in a Box:  

Measure out where you want your hearts to be.  I made my 1" apart with a 2" border.  I put a tiny little pencil mark on the page where I'd be putting the hearts.  
 Punch out your little hearts.  Punch out a few extra hearts in case the folds don't cooperate with you.
Start folding your hearts and pick your favorite little hearts.
Place one small sized Zots Dot on the back of the heart and place over the pencil mark.
 Once finished, fix all the hearts like you want them to look.  You can bend the edges up a little or lay sides down.  You are the artist--you decide!  It's hard to tell in the picture, but my hearts are a little more curled and more gently folded then the inspiration picture.
 Frame it up and hang!  Super inexpensive and super cute.  I love it!

I think my frame needs some cute flowers and stuff next to it, just like the Pinterest one.  :)  

Dehydrated Cilantro

Made some sugar free Cilantro Lime Chicken tonight, but the store always sells cilantro in these HUGE packs.  Got out the dehydrator and after a quick wash and about 75 minutes in the dehydrator, I had a nice bunch of dehydrated cilantro that will probably last me the rest of the winter.  Plus, the house smells GREAT!

Just put the washed stems in your dehydrator.  After about 75 minutes, check to see your cilantro is completely dry, then just pick the leaves (or crumble) off the stems.  Toss the stems.  Simple.


Sugar-Free Taco Seasoning Recipe

Did you know that most pre-packaged taco seasoning has sugar in it?  WHAT?!?!   WHY?   It's really easy to make your own and cut back on unnecessary sugar and calories in our diets.  There are many recipes out there, but give this one a try.

Sugar-Free Taco Seasoning Recipe I
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2  tablespoons cumin
1 1/2  tablespoons paprika
1 1/2  tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/8-1/2 teaspoon cayenne--depends on how spicy you like it.

How to prepare:
Mix all ingredients well and store in an airtight jar.  Use approximately 2 tablespoons of seasoning per pound of meat (more if you like it stronger, less if you like it more subtle flavor).

Recipe makes about 8 tablespoons

Sugar-Free for 30 Days

I've been on a diet since December 10th.  Why December 10th?  Because I'm crazy and I wanted to get a head start on all those New Year's Resolution folks and then I could say on January 1st, "See, I'm 'x number' of pounds ahead of all those NY Resolution peeps.  Ha ha ha!"

I'm telling ya, going sugar-free, dairy-free in Wisconsin at Christmas time is insane and slightly torturous.  No cheese.  No cookies.  No nothing.  After you detox your body from it's sugar addiction, which in itself is really, REALLY bad--just ask my husband, you lose the craving for the sweets.  But almost everything has sugar in it now.  If it's not actual sugar, it's High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).  Most of my meals have consisted of fresh or frozen veggies and a lean meat (most of the time white meat).

The second week of the diet, I felt amazing.  I can't tell you if it was because my body was rid of the nasty crap that had built up in my system like colorants or sugars or carbs, or if it was from the lack of dairy, which I've read is not good for our bodies in mass quantities.

I'm sure I will be sharing with you some of the recipes I've learned to de-sugar-ify, de-dairy-ify, de-carb-ify diet.  :)

Here's to getting healthier and hopefully a little less "fluffier" in 2012.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Paper Heart Wreath

My Pinterest obsession was finally given a little extra time over the holidays and I made this super easy double-sided paper heart wreath.

I'll let you go to the original blogger, The Hybrid Chick and her great tutorial.   I just wanted to share my wreath!