Sunday, November 23, 2014

Super Easy DIY Spider Costume

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Yes this is a Halloween post.
In the middle of November.
Just think of it as me helping you be really prepared for next Halloween.
You're welcome :)

A few weeks before Halloween I asked my son what he would like to dress up as. His immediate response was something scary so he could scare people. 
If I can use what I have around the house and not spend a lot of money on something he will only be wearing for a few hours, I am all for it.
So, I started looking through his closet to see what we had to work with, and we found almost everything we needed for a vampire costume!
He was so excited because he knew that would scare people :), and I was excited because it didn't cost me anything!
However, we found out that his vampire costume would just have to be for trick-or-treating though.
He is in Kindergarten this year and at his school the kids aren't allowed to wear anything gorey, undead, bloody, violent, etc.
If the kids wanted to dress up, they needed to choose something from history or something from classical literature.
Dracula is a classical character, but his behavior and story are quite dark, so vampires were out.
My son still wanted to dress up at school so I told him we had to pick something we could make that would be super easy and cheap.
After some thought we chose a spider, because in my son's mind it is still something he thought would scare people, but it is also in some classical stories and nursery rhymes.
So here is our super easy and cheap spider costume.
This costume cost me a whopping $1.00 to make.
I bought the beanie (hat) at the dollar store for $1, everything else we were able to find around the house.
The whole costume is temporarily held together, nothing is permanent.
Here's how it all came together.
We first went through my husband's sock drawer and found 2 pairs of black socks.
We stuffed the socks with Poly-fil
I was surprised at how much the socks looked like little legs.
I then folded the end over,
and used a safety pin on the inside of the shirt to pin it on.
Attach two arms on each side.
For the eyes, I had a scrap piece of black towel that was left over (from our Mickey Mouse hooded towel), so I glued the googly eyes onto that,
and then I pinned the scrap piece to the hat.
You could just glue the eyes to the hat, but I wanted my son to be able to wear the beanie again this winter.
I wanted the spider arms to move when my son moved, so I took some clear thread,
and wrapped it around each leg.
I then threaded a needle to attach the thread to his arm,
I just tied a knot to finish it off.
Just a note: As we were leaving for school the thread broke, and I had to tie the arms again using a stronger thicker thread, so just make sure you have something that can hold up...maybe like some fishing line, that would probably be perfect!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

How to make custom invitations

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My son's birthday is coming up and we have been in the party planning mode!
He originally wanted a Skylanders themed party, and had been asking for that for a while.
The other day however, I started making up the invitations, and my husband and son were playing the newest version of Angry Birds (Transformers), and my son decided he wanted to change the theme to Angry Birds Transformers instead.
I am so happy that I was making the invitations myself and was able to do a quick change!
I know I'm not the only one who has a child who changes their mind last minute, so I thought I would share this super easy method :)
This is what we came up with. I of course filled it all in with my son's name, the date of the party, time, and other info, I left the details off of this one so you could see what the finished product would look like :)
I actually just googled 'Angry Birds transformers' and clicked on the images results.
My son and I looked through the pictures until we found one he liked.
Right click on the image and click 'save image as', save the image somewhere that you will be able to easily find it.
Then you will open your editor program (I used Picasa, which is a free program), and import your picture.
I first cropped the picture to a 4x6 size.
That's the size I was planning on printing the invitations as. 
 We then scrolled through the different fonts and my son loved this one because he said it looked like Transformer writing :)
 We then went through and added all of the details.
I saved our invitation and exported it.
I went to and uploaded the image and requested 10 4x6 prints.
I ended up paying $2.03 total for all 10 invitations.
Not too shabby I'd say!
The best part is my son LOVED them, and that made me happy :)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

M&M Cookies

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This past Monday I was planning out our weekly Family Home Evening, and I was talking to my son about what treat we should have.
We were in the baking mood, and decided on cookies.
We then thought about all of the Halloween candy he had sitting in his room.
He had at least 10 fun sized packs of M&M's, so we decided to put them to good use :).
This wasn't our first time whipping up these yummy cookies, and it certainly won't be our last.
They have been permanently added to our recipe stash.
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. M&M's
In a medium sized bowl mix together the brown sugar, white sugar, shortening, eggs, and vanilla.
Add flour, salt, and baking soda.
Stir in M&M's by hand.
Drop about a teaspoon sized amount of dough onto a greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes.
Let cool on cooling rack and enjoy!

For a printable version of this recipe click here.
Recipe adapted from All Recipes

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Halloween 2x4 craft

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With Halloween being next Friday I thought I would finally get around to a Halloween post!
Back at the beginning of October I thought to myself, 'I don't want to start decorating now, it's way too early'...and then the month snuck by without me even knowing! Oops.
I know I'm not the only one this has happened to...right? :)
Anyways, back to our craft.
A couple of weeks ago there were some guys finishing the basement in the house next to ours. I had come home from picking my son up from school and I noticed a huge pile of 2x4 and plywood scraps lying on the driveway.
I went to the basement window and called down to the workers to see what their plans were for the wood. They told me it was all to be thrown away, but if I wanted to I could take any of it.
I ran to the other few homes on our street and told the other moms about our awesome opportunity, you should have seen us, we were like vultures buzzing around picking out what we wanted. We all had our kids loading up their arms with little piles of wood, and ideas were racing through my mind of what we would should make.
This is our first project.
We looked through our stash and picked out some pieces that we thought would work.
We started out by painting our base piece a charcoal grey color.
We just used acrylic craft paint that you can get at Wal-mart for .50 a bottle.
Of course my son got to help with all of the painting :).
We painted all of the solid colors first,
and once they were dry we added the details.
I lightly drew the details with a pencil first so I could see how it would look finished, and then I painted.
My oldest son is going to be a vampire this year for Halloween, so I made this block specifically with him in mind.
He loved it :)
I debated if I should round out the grave stone block, but I ended up just leaving it.
I like the way it turned out.
The blocks have just been placed on the base piece, they are not screwed in.
I wanted to keep it that way for when we put the decorations away, I feel like they will store better if they are separate pieces.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Priority Chef Garlic Press Review

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I have a review for you that I am super excited about!
This is a garlic press from Priority Chef.
And it is my new best friend :)
 I don't know how I have been cooking for so long and have never had one of these, I love it!
I haven't ever minded mincing garlic with a knife, but I can never get the pieces small enough, well this press sure takes care of that for me.
Just place the whole clove in the press, 
 give it a good squeeze,
 and there you have it, minced garlic!
My son loved this part :)
I am not a big fan of using a lot of dishes when I cook, but since this press easily rinses out and is dishwasher safe, I now use it every time I need to mince garlic.
Priority Chef has provided a $5 off code for all of my readers, so make sure to pick one up for yourself, check it out Garlic press on Amazon and use coupon code DK123YFT.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mickey Mouse Hooded Towel

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One of my sweet little nephews celebrated his first birthday not too long ago, and his birthday was Mickey Mouse Clubhouse themed.
My baby has a hooded towel, and I love that I can wrap him up all snug and warm after a bath, so that's what I wanted to make for my nephew.
At first I thought about making a cute animal towel, but as soon as I saw some black and red towels at the store one day I knew I wanted to try and make him a Mickey Mouse hooded towel to go along with his birthday theme.
I searched online for some ideas, but I wanted to make something different than what I had seen, so this is what I came up with.
To get an idea of the finished size here we have my 14 month old modeling for you.
(This towel also fit my almost 6 year old, it went down to his calf).
I started out with regular sized bath towels.
 Cut both of the towels in half, lengthwise.
 Pin the black towel and red towel together along the cut edge.
 Sew the towels together giving yourself about a 1/2" seam.
Open the towel up and you will have two small 'flaps'.
Take the 'flaps' and roll it under itself...if that makes sense, 
 and then sew along so you don't have any raw towel edges.
This will keep it from fraying,
 All sewn up!
 Cut out 2 oval shapes.
I had a leftover towel from when I made burp cloths, so I was able to use those scraps,
 I then ironed the ovals on to some Heat n' Bond, I thought it would be a good way to keep the edges from fraying,
 Place the ovals on the towel and pin them in place.
 Sew around the edges.
I used a zigzag stitch,
You could be done with the towel there and have it look like this, or you can continue on and add the hood.
For the hood, cut out a half circle. You will want to try and cut the hood so the straight part is the edge of the towel. It just gives it a nice clean edge.
The straight part is about 14" across and about 9" tall at the middle part.
You will then cut out another half circle that is 16" across and about 7" tall.
Fold the raw edge over and sew around the whole thing so you don't have any raw edges.
 Next, cut out the ears. It won't be a complete circle, you will leave a small part sticking out at the bottom that is straight. Cut out 4 pieces.
 Sew 2 pieces together and leave the bottom open.
Turn the ears inside out.
They should look something like this, and then repeat for the other ear.

 Place the hood pieces together and line up along the top.
Place the ears inside and line the straight part up with the edge of the hood pieces.

Pin it all together, and then sew around the whole thing.

 Turn it inside out and you have a hood!
 Then next step is to just attach the hood to the towel.
 and sew!
 And that's it!
 A hooded Mickey towel to keep you little one all snug and warm after a bath :)
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