Car Caddy

I found a tutorial on another blog and had to make this cozy car caddy (click here for tutorial and to check out Jill's blog--it's awesome)!! My son has been so into matchbox cars and he also really likes putting things in pockets and taking them out again so this was perfect!  The main thing I did different from the tutorial if you want to make one is I used a purchased stencil from the craft store for my numbers rather then using the numbers provided.  I was so excited I made four to give as gifts too... I can't wait to go out to eat and bring our new toy! :)

"Baked" Macaroni & Cheese

To make this yummy homemade baked macaroni and cheese you will need: a large bag of macaroni noodles, a stick of butter, 32 oz shredded cheese (i like a lot!), about three cups of milk, pepper to taste (I usually put about 2 Tbsp).  Cook the noodles in boiling water until just soft (don't overcook because we'll be putting the dish in the microwave and the noodles will cook more there).  In a large bowl, throw in the drained noodles, butter, milk, cheese and pepper.  Then put into microwaveable pot and top with cheese (I bought the Emeril 5-quart casserole dish just for this meal!).  You can refrigerate now and reheat in microwave for 15-25 minutes when you are ready to eat, or just throw it in the microwave right away and eat.  Don't you just love making food ahead of time?!  This will feed a lot of people or what I do is feed my fam, then put the leftovers in one-person meal sized Tupperware and have it for lunches later in the week--it reheats super well.  This is one of my most favorite meals so I hope you enjoy!

Broccoli Grape Salad

We had our first annual church park picnic today and I made this delicious broccoli and grape salad!  OK, I tried this at a friend's son's birthday party and thought it might be kinda funny tasting, but I tried it and loved it!  It has a refreshing summer taste with softness and crunch and juiciness.  I looked online and there's a lot of recipes for this guy, but the way my friend Jodie makes it uses less ingredients and I really think it's yummy that way and i guess pretty unique too since I didn't find any other recipes exactly like this one.

Salad Ingredients: 3-4 bunches fresh broccoli cut into bite sized pieces, 1 small chopped red onion, 1 bunch of red grapes halved, 1/2 lb bacon cooked and crumbled (I bought the pre-cooked bacon), 1 cup sliced almonds, 1 cup sunflower seeds 
Dressing Ingredients: 2 cups light mayonnaise, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 Tbsp plus 1 tsp vinegar
Directions: Place prepared salad ingredients in bowl except for nuts and seeds.  In a small bowl, combine dressing ingredients.  Pour dressing over broccoli mixture, stirring until combined.  Cover and refrigerate for several hours to overnight allowing the blending of flavors.  And nuts and seeds just before serving.  
Other things people add: celery, raisins, pine nuts, cauliflower, craisins, bacon bits, minced sweet onion, green onion.

Fruit Salad

Made this fruit salad the other day and thought I'd share...So fresh and yummy!

BBQ'd Corn on the Cob

So, I think corn on the cob is one of the most amazing foods ever and come to find out--it's super easy to make on the BBQ!  All you do is buy some ears of corn or if you grow corn pick some from the garden.  Rub with butter and sprinkle with white sugar.  Then wrap in tin foil and throw on the BBQ with your steaks or whatever you are preparing for about 30 minutes.  Voila!  Yummy corn!


Dad's Coupon Book and Photo Album

This memory album I made with the idea that every year I will give pictures of "dad" and kids from that year.  He can write on the side memories and there are about 200 slots so if I give 10 pictures per year--he could have this book for 20 years!  What a fun thing to look back on :)
This year I also made for the dads: BBQ Cupcakes, a Memory Game, and a Tool Belt Gift Box

Dad's BBQ Cupcakes

I saw this idea in a magazine and had to make them!  The "cupcake" is actually brownie which you make according to the package.  Then you use grey icing for the grill rack and sprinkles for the fire embers.  The steak is a tootsie roll I shaped and then added black gel icing with a toothpick for a grilled effect.  The hot dogs are hot tamales with the same black decorators gel frosting applied with a toothpick.  The skewers are toothpicks with dots candies for the pineapple, tomato, onion, and bell pepper, and taffy for the chicken. 


Growing Growing Growing

My flowers are still growing! That last flower picture is my favorite one of the bunch.  It's like he's leading the rest.  It is so fun to see them grow from seed, but I am also starting to get anxious and wanting to see my flowers in full bloom already!!


Snail Traps

After finding a snail farm and every day finding new snails in my flower beds and veggie garden, I have decided to take action.  I have set three different types of "organic" snail traps and have captured to date about 100 or so snails/slugs.  The snail trap that I have heard of before is to take a masonry jar, put it level with the dirt and then fill it with a little beer overnight.  This way works well with snails.  Some snails drown, but they might not all die and since they come out at night when it's cool you have to check on the jars early in the morning to catch more.  Another way I tried, my favorite, is a yeast mixture.  Same thing with the jars, but instead of beer you put a mixture of 1 cup water, 1 tsp flour, 1 tsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp dry yeast.  This is especially attractive for the slugs. I had about thirty slugs in one night.  This mixture is less likely to kill the pests so if you are into ridding them for good the best way is to step on them or crush them with a stick.  If you want the little guys to live, put them into your lawn clippings bag and they'll feast in there.  The last way I tried is by putting milk into the jars.  This really did not work at all and instead gave me another pest--flies.  

Dad's Tool Belt Box

Re-purposing a Capri Sun Box, I made a tool belt gift box to wrap my dad's gift in.  I covered the box in brown paper, added stitching with a black marker, the silver buttons I found at the craft store and I made the tools by simply drawing and cutting.  


Memory Game

Here's a look at the Father's Day gift I made for my husband's dad and my dad.  I took a regular playing card, covered the back with decorative paper, added a frame with a black gel pen, and distressed the sides with ink.  On the front side of the card I put a picture of my kids, their hand prints, and a coloring one of my sons made.  I made two of each image so when flipped with backs face up you could play the game of Memory.  


Baby Girl Quilt

Here's some pictures of the quilt I made for my niece.  It's just like the one I made for my house.
I switched up the back and did every other colors with the pink and green.


Baby Scrapbook "Showers"

As you can tell, I wanted this page to be less about the pictures and more about the very sweet cards and advice I got at my boys' baby showers.  Here's a closer look at what I did:
Lots of pockets to fit my favorite cards and advice and two pockets for a little flip book of pictures.  The left side is from Nehemiah's baby showers and the right side is from Elijah's baby shower.
I made my own title by cutting out the letters from coordinating papers.
Here's a few shots of the picture book...I decorated each picture and adhered them together, then punched a hole and tied together with ribbon.
To see my pregnancy pages click here and here.  Or click the tab at the top entitled "Scrapbooking" and scroll through the pages I've been working on. :)


Garden Growing Websites

Vegetable Planting Guide

I have been wondering about the best times to plant vegetables and herbs and found a few resources I thought would be helpful to share.  Click here for a webpage that is really helpful for planning.  It has a few worksheets you can use in planning your garden with different shapes of gardens.  It also has a worksheet for a veggie planning guide so you can mark in dates that you want to start planting each plant and some other cool advice. My favorite website I found was www.almanac.com where you will find a ton of great advice with even in depth info on specific vegetables/herbs and a frost chart for your specific location (I think it's the US states and maybe Canada too).  They also have general gardening advice about pests (as you know--my snails have been driving me nuts...) and recipes and all sorts of stuff.  They even have a seed swap!  I also have found some great gardening advice on www.about.com where you can search for a more specific answer to a particular question you have instead of getting general advice (although they give that too!).  I hope someone else finds this helpful too.  I just spent a few good hours downloading and printing stuff!  I think as you plant and grow you learn new stuff and you just keep learning...


PDSS CLSC16 Challenge

This is my first sketch with the posh scrapbookers blog!  They give two weeks to finish a sketch and they have scrapbook and card sketches.  Pretty cool.  I hope to do the scrapbook sketch also, but since those take longer...haven't gotten to it yet!!  Here's a link to their sketches.

This card is really special for me...I am super excited for my brother-in-law who is graduating tomorrow.  He wasn't do super great his first few years in high school and was going to have to take another year to graduate, but he has really stepped up and this last year completed an extra 52 units on top of his normal classes and is graduating on time!!  Wow.

I also did these sketches this week: Friday SketchersBloom With Happiness Card & my latest scrapbook page

Friday Sketchers #105 Sketch

WHEW! I made the deadline...Super excited about this card from Friday Sketchers.  I was trying to think of what "manly" stamp set I could use that would look awesome and be fitting for my Dad too and apparently I need MORE stamps!!  I decided to just go with the word "Dad"--pretty universal and I thought the papers went well with a manly theme.  I am also a little bored with a typical circle image and decided to switch it up and put brads for my circle!  Hope you like...

Other sketches this week include: a Graduation Card & Bloom With Happiness Card & here's my latest scrapbook page


Bloom With Happiness Card

This sketch comes from Taylored Expressions and I have also entered this card in Our Creative Corner's Summer Inspiration Challenge and Dutch Dare Card Challenges.  I go to so many weddings and wedding showers over the summer that I thought this was a perfect card for the theme and the flower mural was perfect with all of the flowers I used!  Here's a closer look at the details:
Workin' the brads...
And here's some Crystal Effects on the dress:


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