Create: Birthday Party Invitations

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Being a mom is hard. Being a single mom brings on an entirely new set of problems. Take for instance my close friend M. She was dealing with the task earlier this year of throwing her gorgeous son’s first birthday party. We all know the first birthday is more for the mom than the baby but she was stressed on how to make this big with a small budget.

M chose a classic theme: Mickey Mouse. This allowed for her to be able to find most items at a cheaper price: cups, napkins, party hats, plates, etc.

It also allowed her to be really creative. M asked me to help with invitation and I was thrilled when she explained her idea to me. We would be making the signature Mickey Mouse ears and trousers with a little twist.

Items you will need:
Glue (crazy glue and stick glue)
White buttons
Red, black and yellow construction paper (thicker construction paper is best for this project)
Scissors
Computer and printer
Mickey Mouse head template (download here)

Here’s how you do it:

Step one: Party Details
Create a Word document with the party details. Choose a cute font. Copy and paste the details 3-4 times on the page to save paper. Print as many as you need and cut the sections apart.

Step Two: Measure Yellow construction paper
Place the cut up party detail at the top of the yellow paper. Cut out a shape around the detail leaving 3/4 inch of yellow border. Glue the details to the yellow paper.

Step Three: Mickey Mouse Head
Use the template to cut out Mickey Mouse heads

Step Four: Trousers
Cut the red construction paper into half circles. It should be a little over 1/2 the round part of Mickey Mouse’s head.

Step Five: Final Glue
Glue the rounded part of the red half circle to the bottom of the Mickey Mouse head. Be sure not to glue the entire half circle, there needs to be an opening at the top. Glue 2 white buttons onto the trousers.

Step Six: Putting it all together

Allow party details and Mickey Mouse to dry. Insert party details into opening.

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Create: Crochet Granny Squares

Following instructions is not something I do well. Case in point, the Granny Square. Sure I read the instructions and created a perfect Granny Square. After that, I was sure I could do it again with no instructions because clearly as a novice, i have extraordinary skills.

After failing about 5 times, I gave up an did what i was supposed to do. And voila…

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Granny Square coaster.

I even got some confidence and make a dishcloth.

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This cloth works better than any I’ve ever bought from a store. My next project may be to make a few more and throw out all my old ones that need to be replaced.

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Eat: Okra Chickpea Tangine

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I love okra.

And I know that either you love okra or you hate it. Everyone in my family loathes the stuff. That didn’t stop me from making Eating Well’s Okra Tangine.

And I loved it.

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I added chicken because I wanted it to be a little heartier. I skipped the harrisa or hot sauce also because I have kids who don’t do spicy. They didn’t eat it so I should have added it anyway.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound fresh or frozen okra, stem ends trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 10 sprigs fresh cilantro, plus more leaves for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 plum tomatoes, diced, or 1 cup drained canned diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon harissa, (see Ingredient Note) or hot sauce, or to taste

PREPARATION

  1. Place a large bowl of ice water next to the stove. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add okra and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the okra with a slotted spoon to the ice water. Drain.
  2. Tie cilantro sprigs together with kitchen string.
  3. Heat oil in a tagine dish set over a heat diffuser or a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper. Cook, stirring, until soft, 2 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
  4. Add onion, garlic, ginger and pepper to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the onion is soft, 3 to 6 minutes. Mix in tomatoes, broth, cumin, the okra, cilantro sprigs and half the bell pepper. Reduce heat to medium; partially cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the okra is soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in chickpeas and salt; cook for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat; discard the cilantro sprigs. Stir in harissa (or hot sauce). Serve sprinkled with the remaining bell pepper and cilantro leaves, if desired.

This was an insanely easy, one-pot meal perfect for weeknights. It’s a keeper.

Linking up to: Somewhat Simple |Easy Living Mom|House of Hepworths|House of Rose

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Create: Yarn Ball Bowl Filler

yarn ball CollageBowls, vases and jars always pose a problem for me because they need to be filled. Fruit, flowers, rocks. And now yarn balls.

This came about from necessity. I needed to add some chartreuse to this bowl and so yarn balls were born.

I’ve seen Styrofoam balls used as a base. I used scrunched up foil. I’m a rebel (ask my mom).

It took about 20 minutes to wrap three balls in yarn. I simply used some fabric glue to secure the end of the yarn to the ball.

I love the pop of color and the texture it adds to the other store bought bowl filler.

Ta-da! That’s it!

Have you DIY’d anything out of necessity?

Linking up here:

Blackberry Vine

Kathe With An E

One More Time

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Create: Bringing the Pet Rock Back

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Only not really because my rock when painted looked like…well, a rock.

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I found this rock in my backyard and I loved the shape of it. I immediately thought that this would be a great little accent piece for my bookshelf. So I checked it thoroughly for bugs because I hate little critters and didn’t want to bring anything indoors.

I chose to paint it gold because I really wanted to add some glamour to my living room (or wherever the rock ended up), but the gold I picked fell kind of flat. It wasn’t that high sheen, glitzy gold I’d imagined. Instead it was a slightly shinier brown. Blah.

So in an desperate attempt to save my rock, I decided I had nothing to lose and pulled out that trusty turquoise. And lo and behold:

We have an aquarium rock. But honestly…I kind of love it.

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So it didn’t turn out the way I saw it in my head but I’m pleasantly surprised that this backyard rock adds a small pop of color and interest atop a pile of black books.

Michelle

Create: Crochet & Teal

It seems like my color obsession is completely in line with Michelle’s. Teal has recently taken over my life but in a slight different form. Crochet. I pretend to know how to knit but a friend introduced me to the wonderful world of crochet and I am hooked. (yep, I said it!)

I struggled through trying to read a pattern to make gloves but as a beginner, that was an epic failure. And I’m okay with that. I love beanies to I was able to follow a wonderful tutorial by You-tuber Tracey Nguyen and created this super cute pyramid hat.

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I had plenty of yarn left over and knew I had to make something else. The yarn is very soft so I realized I could use it to protect my favorite gadget. My Kindle Fire!

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This was a simple pattern that I created myself and it works wonderfully. My Kindle is safe from scratches because the fabric is uber soft and it looks so stylish in this clutch-like case.

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I’ve still got some of this yarn left and no idea what to do with it. Any suggestions an advanced crocheter can signatureoffer a newby?

 

It’s the Little Things

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These little jars are one of my favorite DIYs. I took empty spaghetti jars and painted right over the label with chalkboard paint. I use them to hold crayons, pens, pencils and scissors for my girls. They sit on cabinet in the kitchen that hold all the girls craft supplies and homework materials.

It only took a few minutes but I love how they turned out. Plus I love the fact that I repurposed something that was just going to go in the trash.

Thanks for stopping by. Linking up HERE  and HERE this week!

Michelle