Monday, November 21, 2011

Homemade Foaming Baby Wash

Now we both have successfully completed this pin, and I plan to use the concept for all other soaps in my house as this works great!
All of you need is an empty foaming soap dispenser and a little bit of soap.

Put about an inch of soap in the bottom of the empty soap dispenser.
Fill the rest with water (Leave some space for the top of the dispenser).
Turn it every which way until the soap is mixed completely with the water.
*No shaking*

This is a great way to make any regular soap last significantly longer. Just be sure to label the bottle otherwise people in the household will have no idea whats what :)

Bacon Wrapped Apple BBQ Chicken

Just like most of my cooking posts, this recipe was created for the slow cooker J This couldn’t be any easier or more delicious!
Recipe Link

I have made this more than once and I like my version of the recipe a little better.

First off, I use turkey bacon. We aren’t huge ret meat eaters in our house, so turkey bacon is a must in most situations.

Also, instead of ½ a cup of BBQ sauce (not enough at all!), I use half a bottle. Gives the chicken a little more sauce to soak in and gives you a little gravy type product to pore over for serving.

Lastly, the recipe calls for 1-2 apples, I’ve never used 2 apples. The first time I only used one and it was fine. The other times I’ve used 1.5 apples and I did like that a little better. Once you grate an entire apple, it is actually a lot of apple!

This recipe is sure to please the masses. I have made this with sweet potatoes & sweet potato fries, either way, it’s a yummy dinner!

Easy Home Cleaning Pins

I have tried a couple of simple around the house kind of pins recently so I thought I would just put them all together in one post. Here goes...

1. Swiffer Wet Jet Solution Bottle- If you have a Swiffer Wet Jet you know that the solution bottles are $5 a piece and if you have a lot of tile or hard wood..they go fast. You are also limited to the types of solution that Swiffer makes. This pin was simple and it totally worksDip the tip of an empty Swiffer Wetjet solution bottle into boiling water for about 10 seconds and the lid twists off (use a towel). Refill with your preferred cleaning solution at appropriate dilution and re-cap.
So simple. So cost effective.

2. Clean Your Oven- My oven isn't to grimy but my toaster oven is another story.... So I decided to use this pin.

I followed the directions including the "set the timer for 15 minutes" part. Since it was a toaster oven it wasn't a huge area to be cleaned, but alas when I wiped there was still some grime. Even when I scrubbed. So it worked but it wasn't the miracle cure I was expecting. So off to Pinterest to search for another pin...I am thinking I am going to try this one next. I'll let you know how it goes. 

3. Getting White Stains Out of a Wood Table- A few years ago (pre-baby) we had a raging cook out at our house for a friends 30th birthday. There were many adult beverages involved and a lot of food. A very well meaning male friend cooked a ton of burgers and such and then put the VERY hot plate directly on my wood table. I , of course, did not realize this until the next day whilst cleaning up and came across these....

My table "before" trying the pin
So I decided to try this pin:

It was very simple and I followed the somewhat vague but useful steps. I made sure to use a white towel. I was about to use blue but then flashed to that scene in Bridget Jones Diary where she uses blue twine to make soup... So I went with white. 
This is what my table looked like after the ironing and oiling. Its seems to have fixed 2 of the spots and someone created another..? I will say that my iron is a P.O.S. so that could have something to do with it. So this one wasn't totally successful. I will probably be trying the mayonnaise method from the same site...

My table "after" 
Happy Pinning!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Baked Club Pinwheels

So while on the hunt for yummy shower food for a baby shower I came across this pin....Baked Club Pinwheels.

Seeing as that I wasn't pregnant too long ago I knew that plain cold cuts were out of the question for the guest of honor but baked (heated up to kill any possible uckies) would be A-Ok. So I added these to my menu. 

The recipe is so simple and the ingredients couldn't be easier. I found that ordering a 1/4 lb of each deli meat with a medium cut slice worked out just great. It was about 4-5 pieces of each which is what the recipe called for. 

I actually made it up and wrapped it in Saran Wrap and refrigerated it. When guests started arriving I preheated the oven and then put it in (not in the Saran Wrap...duh ;) . It was perfect timing for the food to be served. But I do strongly suggest that you wait AT LEAST the 5 minutes suggested before cutting maybe even 10 minutes because the cheese is very melty and gooey (oh yeah). 

Sadly this got eaten too quickly for me to take a picture of the finished product. And there were no you know it was GOOD :) 

Happy Pinning! 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Thingys

Ok so this pin is a personal favorite of mine from back in the day. I originally stole the recipe from my stepsister, Jenny. And for years after bringing them to one party people would ask for the "Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Thingys"( and yes I still call them that...why not :). I lost the scrap piece of paper I wrote it on years ago and would concoct something from memory. Needless to say when I saw this pin I was thrilled to have the recipe again!

This was a very easy pin for me to complete seeing as I had made them before. Although I appreciated the step by step recipe regardless. This version used 2 pretzels to create a sort of sandwich and it was even better than what I had originally made because it gave them more structure and little more saltiness and crunch. 

They were of course fabulous and addictive. I believe my friend Chelsey called me a "chocolate peanut butter goddess". I'll take it :)   

My Peanut Butter Pretzel Thingys
Happy Pinning!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Make Up Brush Holder

I don't know about you but my make up area is always a mess. I have a small hand me down vanity and no matter what I do it always seems cluttered. I have bought a few different plastic organizers over the years and end up getting rid of them.

I also use Bare Minerals makeup so I have a lot of make up brushes that end up all over the place. So when I saw this pin, I thought I have to try it.

Pinterest Make Up Brush Holder

So this was about the easiest pin I have done yet (other than the command hook pins). I had to find a glass container that I liked and buy some coffee. I found the square glass holder at the dollar store. Yup $1. And then I bought the cheapest coffee at the grocery store ($4 for the bag, I used about half). Now I LOVE coffee so I was pleased with the ascetic look of it as well as the smell of the coffee beans. If you don't like the smell of the beans you could use decorative rocks or glass beads. Both can be found in the craft section of Walmart or at any craft store. All in all I spent $5! 

So here is my finished project. I love it! Its cute and it keeps all my brushes in one place! Highly recommend this pin :) 

My Make Up Brush Holder
Happy Pinning!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Onesie Bouquet

Martha Stewart upped the baby shower game when she thought up the "onesie bouquet". Now the cute laundry basket idea (you know the one with the itsy bitsy clothes on the pins on the line in the hamper) has a contender to deal with.
Anyway, I saw one of these at a shower recently and decided to incorporate it into my baby shower for my BFF. But seeing that I wanted to make the all the decorations useful, I decided to make it more of a floral basket instead of a bouquet.

Here is a pin for the bouquet....

Pinterest Pinned Bouquet

So, I found a really cute lavender woven basket at Michael's that had a canvas liner with large pastel buttons attached. "Cute as a Button" was my theme so I immediately snatched it up. Then I bought 2 floral arrangement stryofoamy cubes. I also bought an assortment of flowers that matched my theme and bunch of cute onesies, bibs, socks and hats in the same color scheme. Roll up the onesies, use some floral tape to attach to floral wire and stick them in the foam cubes. Then added in fabric flowers to fill in the gaps. 

Close Up

Finished Onesie Flower Basket ala' Tiffany
Happy Pinning!

Discovery Bottles

In preparation for this year’s Christmas list, I stumbled across a post somewhere online stating they were encouraging a “battery free Christmas” for their kids. This got me to thinking how much I love my son’s toys that make zero noise unless he’s banging them against something else (frequent occurrence). Now that he is older, he is quickly learning where the on and off buttons are for all of his noisy toys and has no problem turning things back on after mommy turns them off.

So with that being said, I am now always on the lookout for battery free toys. I have come across various postings for Discovery Bottles on Pinterest, but this one blog came with various examples to try.


I decided to make these bottles on a Thursday and my Pinning partner in crime asked I bring them over for our MNI (Mom’s Night In) the upcoming weekend. So I had to get busy! To start, I had to find and buy 6 bottles for the project. I wanted a little variety in my bottles so I had 2 diet cokes, 2 Sierra Mists, 1 bottle of water and 1 Sobe. Once I had drank and washed 6 bottles….I was ready for work (did you think I was going to say something about the bathroom?? That too J)

Besides a quick trip to Wal-Mart to collect some basics, a new glue gun, some glitter and buttons, I was all set. Below are the Discovery bottles I created.
1.       Water & Buttons – Good for shaking
2.       Water, Food Coloring and Baby Oil – Shake it up and watch the colored water separate from the oil
3.       Stale Mini Marshmallows – I have no clue how old they were because they were in the original packaging and stale enough they make a great shaker!
4.       Water, Food Coloring and Glitter – Shiny and Pretty J
5.       Pasta Noodles & Colored Pasta Noodles – GREAT for shaking and finding the colors
6.       Water, Food Coloring and Soap – Still can’t get this one quite right (explanation further down)

I made them all Friday night and by Monday, I am down to 4 bottles, the last two are goners.

Directions: To start, you add your ‘ingredients’ to an empty bottle, apply hot glue to the cap, screw back on. Shake & Enjoy.

Seems easy enough. However when liquids are involved, getting a solid seal can be difficult. So apply the cap quickly and with LOTS of pressure!
I found this to be true any time soap was involved. Not sure if it’s the general pressure or what, but I can’t get it to work. I’ve tried twice, no luck.

The pasta bottle was by far my favorite and it was lost within 12 hours of being finished L If you have a toddler, you know how easy it is to lose something.

To dye the pasta, I simply filled a few different bowels with water plus a good amount of food coloring. The more food coloring, the darker the pasta will be. You can adjust as you go. Same with time, the longer they soak, the darker they’ll be. I let them sit somewhere between 30-60 minutes, checking on them ever so often. I then drained each bowl and set the pasta out on paper towels to dry overnight. By morning, they were colorful and dry and ready to be mixed with plain pasta for a nice mix in the bottle.

I plan to remake the pasta and make some more as my son is enjoying the different bottles and mommy enjoys the lack of music, Spanish, ABC songs and counting J I feel like I am limiting his learning by saying that out loud LOL.

Val's Discovery Bottles
Hello - Just adding my 2 ¢ :)
When Val told me about these discovery bottles I immediately wanted photos and I made her bring them to my house. (where the macaroni bottle is apparently still hiding..) Anyway, I knew I had to make them once I saw them.
While we were out shopping together Val pointed out a 6 pack of Voss water bottles. They came in a carrier and were a great size, so I bought them. The pack was $6 so it was basically like buying 6 sodas. Anyway, I made my bottles and I love how they turned out. I did the following bottles
 1) Water & Baby Oil - I colored the water red for some reason so it kinda looks like blood...oops
2) Water & Glitter
3) Water & Buttons
4) Macaroni - I also dyed my pasta so I could be just like Val :)
5) Rice & Random Objects - kinda like an Eye Spy 
6) Beads
Tiffany's Discovery Bottles
Happy Pinning!
Val & Tiffany

Easy BBQ Pulled Pork

As I stated in my first food post, I am learning to LOVE my slow cooker. I came across a two-for-one in my book; a slow cooker meal with less than 5 ingredients! It seriously doesn’t get any easier than this!

As you can see from the Pinned image below, there are really only 4 Ingredients.

As you can see from the Pinned image below, there are really only 4 Ingredients.
1.       Pork Butt – I used 3.5 pounds for 4 people and had a little left over
2.       Bottle of BBQ Sauce – Sweet Baby Rays really is my favorite and this recipe called for it!
3.       1 Can of Diet Pepsi
4.       Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
That’s it.

The recipe called for 1 can of diet Pepsi and ½ a bottle of BBQ Sauce. I would suggest modifying that a little as the sauce around the meat was more liquid than sauce. I would suggest flipping the two and doing ½ a can of soda and the whole bottle of BBQ sauce.

Nonetheless, I simply poured some warm BBQ sauce over the pulled pork before eating and it was delicious.

Yarn Wreaths

Val and I had MNI this past weekend. M.N.I= Mommies Night In. Our husbands for some reason went camping in western MD in the middle of November. So to celebrate our freedom, we spend all day together trying to tire our toddlers out and then drink wine and hang out once they go to bed.

This time we decided it was the perfect opportunity to be crafty and try some pins. After a few emails of links and pins and discussion, we decided to go with "Yarn Wreaths". There are tons of pins on Pinterest of these things and after reading up and looking at pictures we decided, how hard could it be?
Click here to link to the tutorial

So with our 2 under 2 toddlers in tow we scoured a craft store for the supplies needed. The supplies were simple, cheap and easy to find... 14" wreath (we ended up with straw wreaths), a few sheets of craft felt , a bag of fake pearls and a roll of yarn. We both chose off white yarn because we really liked the look of this wreath. Cost about $13 total per wreath....which was great. And kind of surprising considering sellers on Etsy are selling them for $40-$50....but we soon learned why.

When we finally put our kids to bed, we broke out a bottle of wine and our craft store goodies. And then we reread the tutorial to figure out what to do. Let me say that at the top of this tutorial "Danielle" says "I am smitten with yarn wreaths and I just want to keep making them.!" Yeah well guess what Danielle DIDN'T LONG it takes to wrap yarn around a 14" wreath! Needless to say 2 hours later Val and I were much less in love with this project than we were when we started. And down a bottle of wine...only a bottle because the yarn wrapping SERIOUSLY inhibited our drinking :(

Now we are pretty coordinated ladies but damn if we didn't have a time trying to wrap yarn around a wreath without tangling it. It turns out you basically have to toss the whole roll of yarn repeated through the center of the wreath to wrap the yarn. I some how created a mini yarn disaster out of my roll but Val came out unscathed.We did learn that the messier you wrap your yarn the better it looks and covers the wreath underneath.

At about a hour in, my hand holding the wreath was cramping and my wrapping arm was feeling the burn!(I will mention that I got MY wreath wrapped first even with a yarn disaster....hee hee.)By the end of the wreath I was worn out but we had not yet made the all important felt flowers to decorate the wreath so we kept on crafting.

The felt flowers were SUPER simple and I thought the tutorial gave great directions and visuals. The craft felt was 29¢ per sheet and worked great, although it limited our color choices. Val went with burgundy and burnt orange. I went with red and green. We both made about 6 felt roses in 30 minutes.  (Never ask Val to cut a circle out of a square piece of felt... :) And then I cut out a few leaves and we were ready to finish our wreaths. It took a few minutes to figure out how to arrange them to look the best and then we hot glued them. And we were done....3 hours later!

Tiffany's Finished Yarn Wreath

Val's Finished Product

Don't get me wrong, I love my finished product. But after reading through tons of tutorials, no one mentioned that it would be so time intensive. I don't think I could make tons and tons of these wreaths but I might make a few more as gifts. However, I will try to buy slightly wider yarn and perhaps the 12" wreath instead.

Oh and as a side note both Val and I tried a method to hang our wreaths that Val pinned. You use a Command hook upside down on the inside of your door and hook the ribbon around it. Its super easy and you have the option of adjusting the placement of the wreath. Here is the link :)
Happy Pinning!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Eggless Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

The Eggless Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe stems from one very important little boy with a very annoying little allergy, eggs. Although it’s not a  severe allergy, it’s enough where we need to avoid direct egg contact. Mother’s Day 2010 and my kid’s first birthday both ended up in a hives covered kiddo who was less than pleased L

My kid attends a fabulous daycare with a wonderful woman who cooks delicious and healthy meals for him on the reg. Since there are obviously other kids there, they are always having one party or another; whether it be birthday parties, holiday parties, we survived a week with a house full of kids party…you name it, there are cupcakes involved! I quickly realized he was missing out on the best part of any party all because of this allergy.

So in came Pinterest to save the day!! My pinning partner in crime had pinned the Eggless Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins for me weeks before and quickly looked over the recipe to see if I could pull it off. Looked easy enough so off I went. As I had learned in my “make your own baby food days”, I could freeze almost anything. I whipped up a batch of these bad boys, served one and froze the rest!

These are dangerous little muffins, they freeze and reheat wonderfully and they are downright delicious! I usually have to heat up 2 at a time, otherwise I end up eating more of my kids “cupcake” than he does!
Link to Recipe

White Bean Chili

If you’re anyone who knows me, you know that I have put off learning to cook until the absolute last minute. We are rarely home as a family to eat dinner together and until 6 months ago, I didn’t have to worry about a real dinner each night! Once my boy started eating table food, I needed to get my act together. To make matters worse, I get home in time to feed him, bathe him and put him to bed; there is no time to “cook” in that schedule!

So all that said, I’m becoming a master slow cooker J

The White Chili recipe caught my eye for one main reason, my boy. He loves corn and beans and loves them more when they taste better than right out of the can. I made some minor tweaks to the recipe since the kind lady who shared her secret said it came out soupy over chili-ish (yes that’s a word…).

1.       The original poster did not drain the beans or chilies, I DID
2.       I used a whole 14 ounce can of vegetable broth (instead of the recommended 1 cup)
3.       I added twice the garlic called for (we like garlic)
4.       I cooked for 10 hours on low

With these changes and some cheese tossed on top in my bowl, I had a nice bowl of white chili waiting for me after a long day at work. Two thumbs up, this was good!

Link to original recipe

DIY Crayon Wreath

Seeing that I was an elementary school teacher for nearly a decade, I am always on the look out for a good teacher or day care teacher gift! FYI- I have an EXTENSIVE collection of coffee mugs that say Merry Christmas or Happy Birthday....hint hint parents.
Anyway, when I saw this crayon wreath, my little crafter eyes bugged out and I said "I am SO making that!!"
Pinterest Wreath
So I read a few tutorials....basically they all say buy a cheap foam 12" wreath, 3-4 boxes of 24 crayons and start glueing.

But I did it a little differently. I bought a 12" metal wreath frame. Like this one....

And then I wrapped it in white 7/8" grosgrain ribbon. I also made sure to add a long piece to use as a hanger once done.
Now it took me a few tries to figure out the best way place and space the crayons. I used the ribbon hanger as my "12 o'clock" and placed my first crayon there. I decided to go with a rainbow know ROYGBIV :) Anyway after a little trial and error I figured out that the bottom of the crayon needed to be touching but the a small gap at the top...on a slight angle in order to keep the crayons even all the way around.
1/3 of the way there.

It took 3 and a half boxes of crayons but I didn't use the grey,white , black and brown crayons. If I had it probably would have only taken 3 boxes.
Here is my finished product (and I have to stop taking pics with my iPhone)

My Crayon Wreath
Overall I am pretty happy with it :) I will probably change out the bow for something a little bigger. But I am excited to give it to my daughter's day care teacher for christmas. Oh and since I already have a ton of crayons in my basement I will probably do a crayon frame and maybe this pin too...

Happy Pinning!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dressed Up Diaper Cake

Recently I had the honor of hosting a baby shower for my best friend, Heather. I was so excited and of course went directly to Pinterest to begin planning my theme, food, decorations, games....well everything! I chose "Cute as a Button" as my theme and then started pinning.
I decided that I wanted to make all the decorations reusable so that Heather could take them home and have things for the baby. So of course I thought "diaper cake". Now, I love diaper cakes but I was looking for something a little different. I found this one and fell in love!

Pinterest Diaper Cake
So I immediately decided I had to make my own. This one was listed on etsy but that shop has closed and the seller now has a website where she is selling them for $100. Yes $100. Currently some sellers are selling for $89 on etsy....

I went to Micheals and found 4 square nesting paper mache' boxes. I thought they square would be easier to stack and store and reuse than circular. But you could use either. Total cost approx: $20. And instead of fabric I decided to use scrapbooking paper in a variety of patterns that had the color scheme (lavendar and white) that I was using for the shower. Scrap book paper (4 sheets) $2.50. I also bought a white wooden "A" to use instead of the frame. The "A" cost $2.50 as well. Then I had ribbon at home. I bought a pack of diapers, some baby socks, and hats to fill the boxes with...Approx. $30. 

So I cut the scrapbook paper to fit the sides of each box and used mod podge to adhere them. Hot glued ribbon around each box. Added a flower or hand made bow. Filled each box with diapers or the various little things I had purchased. And wah-la :

My "dressed up" diaper cake
I loved how it turned out and I used it as a centerpiece on a table. The boxes can be used for closet storage or for fun dress up boxes as little "A" gets bigger. And of course you got out your calculator and added it my approximate prices and they clearly did NOT equal $100!

Happy Pinning!

Spice Racks Gone Right

As you may be able to tell by the title of this blog, I can spend more hours in a day than I’d like to admit either on Pinterest, or stemming off the site and reading blog after blog after blog!
When I first saw the Pin for the Ikea spice racks turned book shelves, I thought to myself “I wonder how long ago someone came up with this idea” and “I wonder if those spice racks still exist.” I hadn’t actually completed a Pinned project since I started on Pinterest, but I was eager to start using my pins and bettering my life.

Pinned Link
So one afternoon, I wandered into Ikea and spent a good bit of time trying to locate these spice racks. Once found, I was thrilled!! I ran home with delight and began my afternoon project.
Once home, I tore apart the packaging and proceeded to assemble my book shelves. Typical Ikea fashion, these shelves come in 3 pieces and require little to no effort to assemble. As I went to hang them on the wall, I found they DO NOT come with screws. Not a big deal I thought, I’ll raid my husband’s tool box!

Off I go, into the basement to search through my husband’s piles of unorganized crap (man desperately needs a tool bench with some major storage organization). I happily find 4 screws and proceed back up the 3 flights of stairs to my son’s room. I screw in one screw, screw in another, go to hang the shelf and WHAM!! Guess what?! The holes on the back of the shelf are too small for the screws!!

I will admit, I am far from Susie Homemaker and Harry Homeowner. I can’t drill into a stud to save my life (love those little plastic guys you put in before the screw!)  So the thought of measuring said holes before drilling into my beautiful blue wall did not occur to me!
So out come the screws, down 3 flights of stairs I go looking for smaller screws. I find some, but only enough to hang one shelf.

So here is my “completed” project – one beautiful, $3.99 Ikea Spice Rack turned book shelf!
When I complete shelf #2, those books on the floor will have a home too!

Note to self: Buy small screws with the shelves!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

So We Might Have a Problem....

Pinterest Junkie - One who obsesses over to the extent where they referencing "pinning" in regular conversation and have decided that their entire closet/house/life/world needs to be improved.

That would be us. Val and Tiffany. Two friends with a penchant for pinning. If you don't know what Pinterest is...well this probably isn't the blog for you! Pinterest is an interactive design board website. You can create virtual "bulletin boards" of all the things on the web. But basically it is a place where women like us (who are both incredibly busy as it is) have gone and realized that there is SO much more that we can be doing. 

So this blog is dedicated to that addiction. "Been There, Done That" will be a collection of what we have pinned on pinterest and actually DONE in real life. The good, the bad, the hopefully not too ugly.