Monday, December 13, 2010

Homemade gifts

Every time we celebrate with gift giving we try to give one hand made gift.
I made this for my flittering butterfly for Christmas, but I am thinking it might be a little old for my nine year old. What's your opinion?
Cream and copper beads with layered cream and brown metallic sheer ribbons
I don't really wear much jewelry but I might just have to steal this piece!
My soldier boy says it looks very classy.
I love clearance items! I made this for $4.58 and still have left overs for another one!
Would you give this to a nine year old?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Neighbour gifts

I am on a serious sugar high after sampling all of these delicious treats! Someone has to make sure they are made to perfection ;-P

My husband is going to love all the dishes I left him

I saw a blog some where out there in blog world recently with an eggnog substitute recipe that I really wanted to try. Our Internet company is upgrading their line, so we have had to put up with a rather slow connection these past few weeks...
So to keep my sanity googled "eggnog substitute" in search of a similar recipe and found this
I replaced the vanilla pudding with vanilla flavored powdered creamer, I used powdered milk and omitted the rum extract.
I tried it warm and cold. I like my milk COLD! If it isn't cold enough I put ice cubes in it. So I had to mix this and then refrigerate it for later because what I mixed was not something I could stomach. While I waited I heated some up in the microwave. It wasn't half bad. Not my favorite but not bad.

I decided to alter my plan, I mixed the vanilla creamer (abt 1.5cups, I got the sugar free kind) with some cinnamon (abt 1/8-1/4cup)and nutmeg (abt 2-4Tbsp). I packaged that as my mix. It was perfect! I was surprised how like Eggnog it was. I just whisked in 2tsp with 1cup of fat free milk. Definitely a guilt free delight for this over indulgent season. Also something I can share with my husband who doesn't eat/drink chocolate.

My other two mixes I bought a #10 can of my favorite hot chocolate mix and added to it. I will be doing more of these tomorrow.
I did one with vanilla creamer.
4 cups chocolate mix
1 cup powdered creamer
I tried an almond creamer and didn't like it so I opted against making any of it.

I had a bar of gourmet chocolate (one of those outrageously large 20Lb bar that just never ends). I shaved it down for another additive. Definitely death by chocolate!
4 cups chocolate mix
1.5 cups of shaved chocolate

Tomorrow I plan on picking up a few more creamers (thinking hazelnut and caramel), some candy canes, and Andes candies to add to my next jars. I also need to scheme up some decorative tag for each jar.
Hope you are all staying healthy, warm, and full of holiday cheer!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Last minute Me

I am the master of Procrastination!
I have so many wonderful little projects that are lying around just waiting to be shared but every time I turn around I have forgotten to do another project for something else. So, my show and tell gets put on the back burner while I make things like this for class Christmas programs TOMORROW

I am excited to share our latest adventures and new family tradition!
Maybe tomorrow *sigh*

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cheap Headboard

With any reno, I hate spending exuberant amounts of money on something that I know can be done myself and for much less. You can make this project for a grand total of $41 (Some of the materials I had lying around so it really only cost me $23!
I took one of these

And turned it into this

We framed off the pallet with a little help

We boxed the pallet off with 2x4s (not shown) This was done to make it the desired width and height as well as to stabalize it.
Then we tacked on some peg board to the open end to provide a completely flat surface (we had it lying around), this also acts as a stabalizer and helps to square it all off.

I then laid out the material and batting and lined up one of the sides and stapled it with the help of my soldier boy

I used good quality thick home decor material. I lucked out that it happened to be on sale!
The batting was the thickest I could find the package said it was 1" thick.
We stapled (thanks to my new nail/staple gun) down the right side then I strectched the material as soldier boy stapled the left side.
My soldier boy was having way to much fun!
The air gun blows a puff of air and I kept getting it in the face UGH!

Then I trimmed the batting on the corners and folded the material to get a perfect corner and started stretching and stapling all the way across the bottom. Then did the same on the top making sure to stretch it all out and checking every foot or so to catch any wrinkles or flaws.
(Don't mind the hair I hadn't showered yet!)
So there you have it! A spanking new, inexpensive head board!

NOTE: One could use a manual staple gun for this! They run around $10-15. It just takes a little more elbow grease but I have done it before and it works just great.
We learned the importance of squaring your base on this project and how to use something square to help fix your problems. It was a good precursor to the bed building we did next!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Surprise room makeover

For my daughter's (our Flittering butterfly's) birthday this year we thought we would give her a mini room makeover. We know we will be relocating this spring so we didn't want to paint the room. We stuck strictly to redecorating the room. She shares the room with the baby so we focused on her side of the room and will do our Ape babies half when we move her to a big girl bed.
Here are the befores

We had primed, and painted all the pieces to her bed prior to today. So as soon as she stepped foot on the bus we hustled into high gear and ran all day. We cleared out the room and disassembled her bed. Next we built her headboard (more on this in my next post), then we assembled the new bed, and then finished it up only moments before she got home (literally 30 seconds before she stepped of the bus).

She loves it!! She was totally surprised!

She couldn't wait to fall asleep in her new bed!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Naming our abode

Recently I have been reading a few books on decorating your home. One of them suggested starting by naming your space. It is easier to take pride in something you have put thought into, and made your own. I by no means follow any decorating sense! I am so clueless but liked this idea.
My husbands family grow up in the "Hill"ton (Hill being the last name) but not something we could use here. While I was on the lookout for something to name our abode I received a note from Aunt Joann. She shared her fond memories growing up of raising chickens (a recent adventure of ours) and how they named their chicken coop.
Feeling very much like a mother hen trying to gather her chicks constantly and shielding them from the worldly storms brewing around us I felt it fitting to let the coop's name live on. Two generations later...we have named this coop

the Roecker Roost

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Low Fat Corn Chowder

Ok so I think we are over the sickies, I have disinfected and caught up on my sleep and my laundry. I have been avoiding the creative side of me because I am a bit overwhelmed with the Flittering butterflies room makeover due to happen next week for her birthday. I just need to start plunking one project a day out for it and get a move on so it will get done.

My Boys have been begging for me to craft with them! So one yesterday they went out to the garage and decided to take things into their own hands. They found a few pieces of scap wood and build these BY THEMSELVES!

My soldier boy helped them tape the sail on. These are the most perfect bathtub toys!!

The weather in Southern Oklahoma has started to cool off putting me into a soup kick. Huge batches of soup have been cooking in the crockpot all week long and what we didn't eat now fill the shelves in my freezer.
My favorite soup recipe is one I have for Low fat Corn chowder

You need
1 carton Chicken broth
3 cans cream corn (or canned corn pureed in the blender)
1 package Candian bacon (8slices) diced
1/8-1/4 cup Dehydrated onions
1/4 cup dehydrated carrots or 1cup diced fresh carrots
3-4 cups hashbrowns
1 can fat-free evaporated milk
Salt, pepper to taste

Dump all but the evaporated milk into the crockpot stir and turn on high for about 4hrs. Remove lid for last 30minutes to thinken it up. Unplug and stir in can of Fat free evaporated milk. Replace lid and let sit while you set the table and gather the family. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I have three sickies this week!
It has been one of those weeks I am glad I was prepared for.
Two with pink eye, all but one have thrown up, one with Bronchitis, and one with a double ear infection. Every 8 hrs I set up an assembly for the ones taking meds. So far my flittering butterfly is the only one in good health. (Knock on wood)
I am working on some fun projects I can't wait to finish and share! First things first I need to get these kidlets healthy again. Hope to see you by early next week with a fun project I can't wait to share- a family memory will live on...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

First attempt

I don't know if you remember the post i did with the guy that makes amazing things out of pancakes last week. Check it out here
Well we thought we would try it. Our first attempt was spent working with the consistency of the batter and the heat of the griddle. We used a condiment bottle from walmart and cut the opening a little bit bigger. We thinned out the batter a little bit and turned the grill down so it wouldn't burn the pancakes.
We just had fun! Everyone came with ideas of what to try next. I don't think we will eat pancakes the same way again! Granted we are no where near as awesome as the dad at Jimspancakes my kids didn't notice thats all that matters right?! Heres us playing with our food.

My soldier boy won
Since Emo boy is cat in the hat for Halloween we had to make him a hat
Sticking with the Halloween season we did a witches hat and broom stick

And living in Oklahoma my soldier boy who isn't much of a foot ball fan spent the previous evening watching football with the guys at a party so heres his shout out for team pride LOL

There were plenty more that didn't make the cut including each kid with their names. Here is a butterfly, and a flower, and a pumpkin.

You should give it a try! Fun for the whole family! Thinking of making this our Sunday night tradition for a few weeks.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Halloween Costumes complete!

Happy Halloween!
We had a Halloween party to attend tonight so I HAD to have Halloween prepared a whole week early (Thank goodness cause now I can enjoy the week without too much stress.)
We went for a family theme this year
Dr Suess

My Emo boy LOVES Cat and the Hat. Everyday he visits he plays mainly on the cat and the hat games and watches the movies. He and my sensitive one have been caught a few times talking in rhymes like the books! SO I had plans for a red and white hat for him.
Last week I came across a site that had Sam I Am as a costume to compliment the Cat in the Hat. I HAD TO COPY! (I never got to the sign or the hat but I have a week to finish that)
My sensitive one Loves his costume. Next time I will not use felt I will buy some thing that will last longer!
Live and learn. It may hold its shape really well but it stretches and pells really easily

When my flittering butterfly found out Emo and Sensitive were going with Dr Suess characters she wanted to also. I searched for something clever and Cindy Lou Who was all I could come up with. She pulls it off well.

Ape baby had to stick with the theme. I wanted to make her Gustav-the fish in the bowl but ended up with One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish in a fish bowl. This was the funnest yet most challenging costume to put together! I am definitely learning my limitations in the sewing department!

Here they are!
the Dr Suess group.
For next weekend I will have Thing 1 and Thing 2 costumes for me and my soldier boy just not enough time today to finish them today.
Have a fabulous week!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Costume previews

Can you guess who we are going to be??

Definitely learning my limitations on sewing and designing my own patterns!
1.Felt is itchy-not the best idea for a costume! even if it is cheap and holds it's shape really well!
2.I liked the challenge of sewing the brim on a hat
3.You CAN print on material from your home printer! It just took a little patience, but now I KNOW what my printer likes it is so super easy!!
4.Don't let your 8yr old help cut your pattern out or you may just end up having to do it all again yourself (good thing I bought extra material, and I am the queen of mess ups so I just do a few adjustments and altered my original design)
5.I love family themed Halloween costumes!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Food art

Check out this guys presentation of PANCAKES!!!

The coolest dad ever!!

Gives a new meaning to playing with your food!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cleaning tip- stove tops

How many of you have one of these?
I have had a a glass top stove for almost 4+yrs now. I hate to clean them. If any food gets on them it cooks and is almost impossible to clean off. My mother in-law bought me a bottle of specially design liquid cleaner but it never was easy. The instructions suggested you first use a razor blade to scratch off dried on food, and then spread it on and leave it for 10-15 minutes. BY that time I have lost all interest in cleaning it! I spent many hours it seemed scrubbing the dang food off and never really getting anywhere. Plus once the bottle was gone I really hated forking out that much money for the special cleaner!
In our attempt to save the budget, remember this post here we started using vinegar or bleach in place of Lysol. Well I have discovered that the combination of vinegar and baking soda do a lovely job on a glass top stove! I spray it down with vinegar then sprinkle baking soda over top, you can actually hear it work ;-). I then grab my scrubber (something safe for glass tops) and most of the mess cleans up with little effort! I use a rag to clean it all off. If it looks too streaky I just spray with vinegar again and buff it up with a dry rag.
You end up with a shiny cook top- too shiny to get a good picture of LOL
Clean and shiny at a fraction of the cost and effort!!
Happy cleaning!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


This has been the month of BIG projects. I think I have bit off a little more than I could chew at times.
Next week we lose two great people in our congregation. They have been serving a two year mission (the whole 24months being spent with us). We wanted to honor them in a special way for all the love and support they have given to us during their time here in Indian country. Two of the most wonderful people you will ever meet!!

A friend of mine asked if I would help her out with putting together a farewell gift. She had the idea I just did the leg work and helped piece it together and tie it. We sewed a 80 something hearts on scrap pieces of material and grabbed our fabric pens. We then had members of our congregation write love notes to them. Once we had them all back we got to sewing.

Here is our finished project all wrapped up and ready to be presented

She was so surprised we got away without her knowing anything about it. She had no idea!

I was a dork and only brought my wide angle lens so I didn't get a photo of the whole thing and both of their faces LOL I love the Hero heart right in the middle!

Some many wonderful things were written. It was fun for everyone to lay it out on the floor and find their message and read some of the ones we mailed off and got back.

Since these missionaries are from Maine we thought we would make this a poofy quilt. We added triple batting, I know you can't really tell but it is super poofy, great for those New England winters.

I love this idea and will use it again in the future. Granted my kids better be a little older so I don't have to lay the pieces out a million times after Ape baby steals a few or Emo boy races his cars across it. What a lovely memory they have that is so personal from every member of our congregation!
Plus I had so much fun hanging out with my friend Kathie for hours on end talking all kind of nonesense! Love you Kathie!