Archives for the month of: April, 2013

Over the years I’ve accumulated an enormous collection of wrapping paper, boxes, gift bags, bows, ribbons, and more. The ‘wrapping’ sections of our storage room look like something straight from Hoarders.

So… using a roll of wrapping paper we had that was still in plastic (hurrah after-Christmas clearance) I created a photo background to take some snapshots of the kids. I needed just two things we already had: wrapping paper and painter’s tape.

I taped wrapping paper on the wall and rolled it down to the hardwood floor (it’s best to avoid carpet) and covered a patch on the floor as well. I placed it by some windows to allow for lots of natural light.

I used painter’s tape so it wouldn’t rip off the paint from the walls, or get stuck on the floor.


  • large roll of wrapping paper
  • painter’s tape

WHAT YOU DO: Use painter’s tape to hold a large sheet of wrapping paper to the wall and onto the floor. You can see the green painter’s tape at the top.

DIY wrapping paper photo background

Use painter’s tape to hold a large sheet of unrolled wrapping paper to the wall and hardwood floor. You can see the green painter’s tape at the top.

DIY photo background

happy kiddos

wrapping paper DIY photo background

This was our little guy’s first AND last photo with the wrapping paper LOL. You can see the floor part in the background.

Candy Wrapper Zipper Pouch

I made a pouch using iron-on vinyl, fabric, empty M&M wrappers, and a zipper, using a tutorial at

Our son loves hoarding safely keeping things inside of it: money, toy cars, martian men, etc 🙂

I have all the supplies to make more, which I’m excited to do (someday!).

Here’s how it turned out:

3-8-2013 M&M zipper pouch (1)

candy wrapper pouch DIY

m&m zippered pouch


Our son made a pipe cleaner spider at preschool as part of a rainforest theme week. He loves pretending it’s real…


I have a feeling we will be making some at home this fall when Halloween rolls around!

kid craft - spooky spider


  • 4 pipe cleaners
  • googly eyes
  • hot glue gun OR craft glue


Twist pipe cleaners together at each of their middles, making the twisted part about an inch long.

Separate the pipe cleaners and bend them into leg shapes.

Attach eyes with glue and let dry.


jelly fish kid craft art project

The kiddos & I came up with a fun and easy ocean craft, inspired by a jellyfish song by Nancy Tucker that was on a CD we checked out from the library (I think it’s creepy when she whispers “jeeelllly fiissh” but the kids think it’s HEE-larious).


  • paper cupcake liners
  • googly eyes
  • crepe paper
  • glue
  • construction paper
  • crayons or makers


Cut or rip the cupcake liners in half. Decorate with crayons/markers (or use liners that are already patterned). Attach strips of crepe paper on the back for tentacles, then glue the “jellies” on the paper and add googly eyes.



jelly fish craft

jelly fish craft

cupcake liner & crepe paper jelly fish

I have always hated cleaning the microwave. It’s so gross trying to scrub off crumbs and splatters.

I tried a cleaning tip I saw on Pinterest and it’s the only way I clean our microwave now.

Here’s what you do:

  • Combine 1 c. vinegar and 1 c. hot water in a microwave-safe glass bowl. Make sure bowl is big enough for the water when it starts boiling.
  • Microwave for 10 minutes, then keep the microwave door closed for approximately 5 minutes. Remove bowl with pot holders because it will be boiling hot.
  • Since the water/vinegar mix steam cleaned, all you have to do is wipe with a damp rag (I wear dishwashing gloves too).

Note: This does make the kitchen smell vinegar-y (or as our son said “It smells like Easter Eggs in here”) but the vinegar smell doesn’t last for long and I don’t even mind because it’s so easy to wipe all that nasty gunk off.

microwave cleaning

UPDATE: I also ditched the Jet Dry, and use vinegar as a dishwasher rinse-aid. No harsh chemicals!

pennant banner

I’m making a few things for our Little Guy’s 1st Birthday.

I started with a fabric party hat, and made a matching pennant banner with cardstock paper and a clothesline rope.

Here’s what I used…


  • scrapbook paper or cardstock
  • paper hole punch
  • string or rope (I used a 3/16″ braided clothesline)
  • optional – paper trimmer (for cutting triangles)
  • scissors


  1. Make a triangle-shaped template. I printed a triangle shape from Microsoft Word then cut it out.
  2. Trace triangle shapes on the paper/cardstock. I traced them on the back of the paper so the lines wouldn’t show.
  3. Cut out the triangles and punch a hole in each top corner.
  4. Thread the string/rope through the holes and hang.

triangle template

scrapbook paper

outline on the backs of the paper

punch holes in the 2 top corners of each triangle

pennant banner front and back

paper pennant banner

birthday hat

I made a birthday hat for our Little Guy’s 1st Birthday!

I attached fabric to a paper party hat, and also a pom pom that I made out of yarn and a fork.

Using the colors of the fabric as inspiration I made a paper pennant banner party decoration as well.

Here’s what I did:

wash & iron fabric (I used a fat quarter)

I washed, dried, and ironed some polka dot fabric. (this was a fat quarter).


I used a paper birthday hat as a template to determine how much fabric to attach.

trace around template

I traced around the paper hat so that the “right” side of the fabric would attach to the white side of the hat (leaving the black part of the hat on the inside).

attached with spray adhesive

I used spray adhesive on the back of the fabric and the white side of the paper hat then stuck them together.

I rolled the hat into a cone shape, and attached the bottom edge with 2 staples. Then I hot glued the rest of the seam up to the top.

I rolled the hat into the cone shape, and attached the bottom edge with 2 staples. Then I hot glued the rest of the seam up to the top.

hot glue

After stapling, I hot glued up the seam, and attached a yarn pom pom that I had previously made:

attached elastic string

I also hot glued the elastic string to the inside of the hat.

fabric party hat with yarn pom pom

Ta Da!

yarn pom pom on a fork

I needed something for the top of a party hat I’m making for our Wee One’s 1st Birthday.

I ended up using a yarn pom-pom that I made using a fork.

Here’s what I did: I wrapped some yarn around a large serving fork approximately 60 times, then tied across all threads down the middle between the fork tines. After tying in a tight knot I carefully slipped it off the fork then cut the edges on both sides, and trimmed the strings so they would be even.


DIY baking soda disks

Spring weather is finally here – yay! Unfortunately the warm temps mean the diaper pail we keep in the garage will start to smell pretty gross between trash days – yuck!

Sometimes I pour baking soda into the diaper pail and our kitchen garbage to keep them smelling a little fresher, but inspired by an idea at I made some homemade deodorizing disks.

They are pretty enough to display in a jar before throwing them in the garbage, and they smell lemony fresh.



Add 5-6 drops of essential oil to 1/2 c. water, then pour into the baking soda and mix well. Continue adding water until you have a thick paste. Spoon the mixture into the silicone mold, then let dry 24-48 hours. After disks have dried, remove from the mold and store until ready to use.

DIY baking soda disks

DIY baking soda disks

DIY baking soda disks

DIY baking soda disks

lemon essential oil

lemon butter shrimp

If there’s one thing I love eating more than mushrooms, it’s shrimp.

When the hubby and I were at an all you can eat buffet in Las Vegas I’m pretty sure he was embarrassed to be seen with me because of the mountain of seafood I piled on my plate. It was like a shrimpified Mt. Fuji sitting in front of me and I ate it. ALL.

I saw a 4-ingredient shrimp recipe online and gave it a try. It was SO good it tasted like it was from a restaurant and it was SO easy!

Here’s what I came up with.

Zesty Lemon Butter Shrimp

adapted from



Preheat oven to 350F. Place shrimp in colander under cold running water for 5 minutes, or until thawed. While shrimp is thawing, cover the bottom AND sides of a baking sheet with foil. Place the chunks of butter and the sliced lemon on the baking sheet. Next add the thawed shrimp and sprinkle the Zesty Italian packet on top. Bake for approximately 13-15 minutes, stirring/mixing on the baking sheet halfway through.

4-ingredient Lemon Butter Shrimp - zesty!

while oven is preheating, thaw shrimp in running water

lemon butter shrimp

lemon butter shrimp - zesty!

lemon butter shrimp - zesty!

lemon butter shrimp - zesty!