Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tulle Skirt Tutorial

Since Halloween is tomorrow I thought I would share a tutorial for an easy tulle skirt.  In one of my earlier posts I stated that 'I am not a fan of Halloween'.  I know what you are thinking...then, why is she talking about a Halloween costume?  
Well, I will tell you a staff we voted to dress up as 'Super Heroes'.  I truly believe we are 'Super Heroes' because we are teachers.
I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a costume, so I did a little research and found this 'Wonder Woman' shirt with a cape attached to the back at  I was super excited because it was available at our local Walmart in my size.  My shirt is a little different than the one in the has a blue cape and didn't have the headband (and it was cheaper, $10.88).  
I decided that I would make a tulle skirt (I had everything for the skirt, so it was FREE) to wear over my leggings because the shirt wasn't long enough.  It was really easy and if you are still in need of a costume, you still have plenty of time to make it!  It only took about an hour to make.

Here is what you will need:
Tulle, Ribbon (cut to the size needed, with excess for the bow), and Scissors

This is super easy...cut the tulle double the length you want, because you fold it in half (bottom left photo), then tie a knot at the top of the ribbon (bottom right photo).  Since I used 2 different colors I put one color on top of the other before I folded it in half (this made it more full).
After you get the tulle tied around the ribbon to it's desired size you are finished. 
 See I told you it was easy!
I had to have a pair of black Converse to complete my costume!  
What super hero doesn't love Converse tennis shoes, right?
I hope you and your little ones have a super fun Halloween.   
Don't eat too much candy!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Small Spaces: Nursey For Lucas

 I have mentioned in past posts that the beauty of living in California and owning a home usually means you don't have a very large home, unless you're rich (which is the goal with this blog!!). So, since all the bedrooms were taken, Lucas moved into our room!  I researched different ideas and with the help of my research and my own crazy ideas, we came up with this...
This is the rocking corner and pretty much the only 'real' spot to Lucas' room.

IKEA had a great deal on these changing stations and all I did was add the baskets to store all the things I knew I would need on a daily basis.  I bought the baskets from Ross...super great deals!
 The items I knew I would need every day are the wipes, diapers, jammies, blankets, socks/hats & onesies...of course!
I can't remember if it was my idea or my mom's, but we came up with extra storage by purchasing these baskets from IKEA and hanging them on the side of the changing station.  And for décor purposes, we used jute to hang them!

The corner we left for more of the décor, and some items we need often, such as the towel & washcloths and the burp cloths.  Click here for the tutorial on how I made those burp cloths.
The pallet shelf was a random, and awesome, find at Target!  I had purchased the baskets already from Ross and figured I could hang them from the shelf!  It worked.
The thumbprint tree to the right was a sign-in book from my shower. It still needs more fingerprints though!
Finally, the burlap letters...I thought I was pretty original coming up with this idea until I walked into Michaels & saw they sold these 6" x 6" burlap squares & I thought, heck, one less thing I have to make!  I can't remember how much they were, but I know they were on sale, so yay! I cut out L-u-c-a-s using my Cricut so I would have a stencil.  Then I stenciled a letter on each burlap square and hung it (tutorial on this project to come!)

Here is a close-up picture

On the other wall, I hung the invitation to the baby shower, which was already framed for me!  I also hung a picture of Lucas from his first week home.  I had a black frame I spray painted white, then distressed it with sandpaper & added 3 burlap rosettes!  Cute, right?!

Here is a close-up of the thumbprint tree.
Finally, the rocker/glider.  We used this same one with our daughter, but what makes it special is the quilt that hangs over it.  My cousin made it!  Amazing, right?!  I would love to tackle quilting one day, but until then, I'll just have her make them for me.

Here is a close-up of the quilt.  How cute are the colors and patterns?!
I wasn't sure when I was pregnant how it was all going to work out, but it did!  Everything you need for an infant can fit in a small space and no matter how small the space is,  you can personalize it with décor! I'm so happy with how it all turned out and that it's all right there in reach!
~ Kerri
PS...forgot to show you where the little man sleeps!  We registered for and received as a gift the Fisher-Price Newborn Sleeper, which fits perfectly next to our bed!  Love it! 



Friday, October 25, 2013

Easy Nachos (Food Frenzy Friday)

Happy Friday!  
I have one of the easiest recipes for you today! 
Our family loves Mexican fact we love it so much we have it at least twice a week (sometimes more).  
What you will need:
Tortilla Chips
Cheddar/Jack Shredded Cheese
Beans (your choice...I used pinto beans this time)
Meat (I used chicken & steak)
Lettuce, Tomatoes, Green Onions, Jalapenos, Sour Cream or anything else you would like on your nachos.
The meat that I used was leftover from the night before.  We try to BBQ steak and chicken once a week and then have it for a couple of nights (so I don't have to cook every night).  I cubed the meat, then put taco seasoning on it and warmed it (according to the seasoning directions).
To Assemble:
Put tortilla chips on a plate (or platter), top with cheese and microwave until the cheese is melted.  Top with the beans (already warmed) and the meat. I didn't put the toppings on until we separated the nachos onto our own plates (I forgot to take a picture of that...guess I was too hungry).  I told you they were one of the easiest recipes you can make.
ENJOY as a game day snack or as a dinner!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mason Jar Gift

Through out the school year my daughter is sent home with a monthly calendar which shows all the birthdays for her teachers, so I wanted to come up with a gift that would be useful and inexpensive since there are 6 teachers at her preschool and it's best to keep the gift universal (in my opinion ~ I grew up with a sister!). 
This is what I came up with...
Here is what you will need (spray paint and heart cut out not included in this picture)...
Here is how they are made...
I started by place a piece of tape across the jar and then centered my heart cut out (which I cut using my Cricut) on the tape.  I then took a box cutter and cut around the heart cut out.  Then I took off the heart cut out and pealed off the tape so all that was left was the heart-shaped tape.
Next comes the spray paint! As always, I used my favorite Rust-Oleum 2X Ultra Cover spray paint and I used a flat finish for this project.
I sprayed the entire outside of the jar, including the bottom and when it was dry I pealed off the heart-shaped tape.
Next I attached the wire handle.
I used 22 gage Florist wire because that's what I had on hand, but any thin wire will work.
I started with one strand around the top of the jar in order to have something to attached the handle to. 

Then I attached the handle.  I looped it around one side of the jar and twisted it close on the other side.
(tip: when you cut off the ends of the wire, be sure to press them down as flat as you can so they don't stick out, for safety purposes!)
Lastly, I added the final touches...
I tied twine (or jute) around the top and popped in the candle and's done!
These can be great Christmas gifts too...just an idea!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Old Doors

Happy Monday!
Just like my love for chalkboards...I have a love for 'old doors'.  
They come in handy when you are in need of a solution to hide something like this:
We recently had a water filtration system installed in our house; you should have seen what was in the water we were drinking...can you say ROCKS!  As we talked about where we wanted to put it, we had a great place...our broiler room off of the hallway.  
When the plumber got here to install it, he said it couldn't go there because it had to be placed where the water enters the house...hence that HUGE tank in the corner of my laundry room (that everybody can see from the kitchen).  
At first, I told my husband we are getting rid of it (like that was going to happen since it was already installed).  Then, we sat down and brainstormed about how we were going to hide this hideous thing.  

I, then remembered that there was recently a barn sale at 'Buzzard Creek Primitives' (one of my favorite places to shop twice a year).  
Cindy Jo is awesome at allowing people to make appointments if they missed the sale, so I emailed her to see if she had any doors left and to see if we could come look and of course, she said come on out!  Just look at the 'junk' she has on the is definitely a great place to go when you are in need of 'old doors' or anything else that is old for that matter.
Buzzard Creek Primitives Semi-Annual Barn Sale
Craig and I headed out to the 'Barn' to look for some doors.  It didn't take long to find what we wanted.  Just look at that beautiful 'old door'...isn't it great?  I forgot to take a picture of the other one while we were out there.  
We found 2 doors with handles still on them and knew we could hinge them together and hide the monster of a filtration tank.  Craig (my husband) and my son Tyler hinged the doors together so that you were able to see both handles.  I like that they did it this way since you wouldn't have been able to see the handle to the back door if it was switched.

Here is the finished product:
 This is the view you see from the kitchen.  
I plan on hanging a wreath on this door and will change it with the seasons.
This is the view from the laundry room.  
I love the fact that they are not the same height...makes it more unique.
So when you have something to cover up and hide...think outside the box!  
Look around your house, you might find somewhere to hang a door or two!  
I have another old door down my hallway and we call it the door to nowhere.
Have a blessed day!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Food Frenzy Friday ~ Chicken Kebobs

Happy Friday!!!
Today's recipe is not only really tasty, it's...of course...super easy!!!
Who doesn't like chicken and asparagus especially served in a fun way!

Here is what you will need:
  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 8 ounces each)
  • 1/2 pound asparagus
  • 2 teaspoons savory (trust me, you want the ground herb. Not the leaf)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

    Here is what to do:
  • Preheat oven to 350 and place your kebob sticks in a pan of water to soak (You do this so they won’t catch fire in the oven. If you are not using metal skewers).
  • Chop your asparagus into 1 or 1 -1/2 inch pieces.
  • Chop your chicken into bite sized pieces. (Approximately 1 or 1-1/2 inch square cubes)
  • Place all ingredients in a Ziplock back, and mix it all around.
  • Next, alternate placing your asparagus and chicken on your kebob sticks. I had a lot of asparagus, so I placed about 3-4 pieces together between the chicken pieces.  (I had so much that I baked some off the kabob sticks!)
  • Put your Kebobs on a parchment lined cookie sheet and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • When the 10 minutes are up, flip your kebobs over and switch your oven from bake to broil for another 10-15 minutes, or until you have a nice browned bit of chicken. A thermometer should read about 170.


    A side note....I couldn't find savory, so I used this chicken seasoning and it turned out perfectly!
    Add some rice and you have a balanced meal...meat, veggies and carbs!  Plus, it's healthy!
    ~ Kerri

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

    Snippets of Fall and a Dedication

    With the color of the leaves changing and the smell of Fall in the air, it brings a lot of emotions to me.  I absolutely love Fall, but hate it at the same time.  This coming Friday it will be 16 years since I lost my sister, Erica.  That night I not only lost my sister, but my best friend.  The freshness of the air brings back those memories as if it were yesterday.  
    So in honor of her life I am dedicating this post to her!  
    So here's to the change of seasons and you Erica...I love you to the moon and back!

      I usually do not decorate for Fall, but since we are sharing 'Snippets of Creations' with you I decided that I had better do some Fall decorating this year.  I happened to remember that I had a 'Fall Decorations' box somewhere in the crawl space of our house and asked my husband to find it for me...thankfully it was by the entry to the crawl space (so he didn't have to waste a lot of his time).   I had forgotten about all of the cute things I had for Fall.  

    Here are some 'Snippets' of my Fall decorations:
    I recently painted my door this color and I absolutely LOVE it.  The bench is in my entry way and was just painted as well...however, I am not too sure about the color yet.
    The pumpkins I have in this jar were too cute not to show. The ladder below is one of my favorites in our courtyard.  I usually don't have a lot on it, but I really like the way it turned out and I think from now on I will be adding more to it for each season. 

    This wreath is the only thing I have made for Fall and it was FREE.
      As you can see the before photo, it was a cute little turkey wreath (that had seen better days).  Since it was so old I decided to take it apart and use some of the Fall flowers I had and the sign (of course I painted it with chalkboard paint) from the original wreath.  
    To make this simple wreath you will need:
    Grapevine Wreath (any size)
    Flowers of your choice
    Wood for a sign 
    Chalkboard Paint
    After you have everything you want for your wreath you just need to place it where you want it on the wreath and move it around if needed.  
    I cut the flowers at the very top, then just stuck them in the wreath where I placed them.  I didn't use anything to secure them because they fit in the wreath and seemed to be secure.  
    If you do need to secure them, use floral wire.  
    Those little berries had the wire in them already, so I just twisted them around the wreath.  I secured the sign on the wreath with the wire that was used on the old wreath.  It was that simple!

    Another 'Fall' door decoration to share with stay tuned! 
    My hope is, that this post will motivate you to decorate for fall (if you haven't already done so).

    Monday, October 14, 2013

    DIY Baby Burp Cloths

    As you all know, three weeks ago we welcomed a new member into the Gastineau family and since then we have been more blessed than we could have ever imagined (you can read my Birth Story here).
    I thought I was all prepared until the feedings began to really kick in and he started spitting up more and more!  I was going through the burp cloths I already had very quickly, so I decided to make more for back up!
    So, today I would like to share with you a tutorial on how to make your own terry cloth burp cloths...

    To begin, you will need the following items:
    Material: Flannel & Terry Cloth (color and pattern is of course your choice)
    Sewing thread
    Sewing machine
    Cutting Mat
    Rotary Cutter/Blade
    Acrylic Ruler
    Scissors for trimming
    The first step is to measure out your material.  For an ideal width and length I cut 9x17 pieces. I then laid them right side facing one another and pinned around the edges to hold the two pieces together.
    I then began the sewing.  For the first seam, you will want to create a 1/2" seam allowance.  Sew all four corners, but remember to leave an opening to turn the material right-side out (see pictures below).

    Here is the opening you will want to leave
    Next, turn your material right-side out and begin sewing your top stich.  So this seam, you will want to create a 1/4" seam allowance. Be sure to sew your opening shut with this top stich.
    And you're done!
    These are that easy!!!  I promise, the hardest part is cutting the material!!
    Now it's time to get them dirty!
    ~ Kerri

    Friday, October 11, 2013

    Somewhat Healthy Mac & Cheese

    Today for 'Food Frenzy Friday', I want to share with you a new recipe I made up.  Well, not completely made up...I put 2 recipes together to make this healthier version of mac & cheese. 
    It is that time of year that 'comfort food' is coming into play & we needed comfort food for dinner one night!  
    I found a 'healthier' mac & cheese recipe that I have been wanting to try and realized that I didn't have all of the ingredients.  So, I went to an old stand by recipe I use for mac & cheese (which is not very healthy) and decided that I could put both of those recipes together and use what ingredients I did have.
    In one of my older posts I shared that I try not to eat bread (or carbs for that matter).  
    How can you do that with mac & cheese?  
    Well here is my solution:  
    Cauliflower and whole wheat noodles.
    Here is what you need for 'Healthier' Mac & Cheese:
    1 1/2 Cups (6 oz.) Dry Whole Wheat Elbow Noodles
    2 Cups of Steamed Cauliflower (Chopped to the consistency you like)
    1 1/2-2 Cups Cheddar Cheese
    2 TBLS. Butter
    1 1/2 Cups Milk (I used 1%)
    1/4 (Light) Sour Cream
    1 1/2 tsp. Ground Mustard
    1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
    3/4 tsp. Salt
    2-3 dashes (depending on your tastes) Tabasco Sauce
    Bread Crumbs (to sprinkle on top)
    Cheese to sprinkle on top

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 dish with non-stick cooking spray.  
    Bring a medium to large sauce pan of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add noodles and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
    While noodles are cooking: Cook the cauliflower in the microwave for 8-10 minutes.  Heat the milk in a small sauce pan, stir in mustard, worcestershire sauce, salt and tabasco sauce.  Then stir in sour cream. 
    After you drain the noodles: Stir in the cauliflower, 2 TBLS. butter and the cheese.  Then, pour the milk mixture over the cheese and noodles.  Transfer to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle some cheese on top and the bread crumbs.  
    Bake for 30 minutes.
    Then...ENJOY (as a side dish or main dish)!

    Hope this recipe helps with your 'comfort' food cravings!

    Wednesday, October 9, 2013

    Personalized Mug

    Today I want to share with you a fun and easy gift my daughter made for her dad.  You may have seen these oil based Sharpies on Pinterest or in the stores but are not sure what to use them is one project you can do...

    Personalize a mug!
    Here is what you need... A mug, oil based Sharpies (any color will do) & an oven.

    First, you draw whatever you want on the mug...keep in mind my daughter is almost 3, so her artwork is at about that's beautiful!

     Next, you place the mug directly on the oven rack and bake it at 350 for 30 minutes.
    When the 30 minutes are up, leave the mug in the oven to cool down.  Don't take it out right away...this avoids any possible cracking in the mug.
    And you're done!  The mug is ready!
    Eliana's daddy loved his mug!

    You can visit my Gifts board on Pinterest to see other ideas you can do with these pens and mugs...there are some pretty awesome creations.

    Happy Creating ~ Kerri

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