Category Archives: Tutorials

DIY Advent Calendar

This year, I was DETERMINED to make an advent calendar. I have seen so many cute ideas on Pinterest. But, I was pressed for time to make a super-duper cute one, so I went with the easy method (and cheap).

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Just some holiday treat bags from the Dollar Store…filled with a little treat for every day!

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The first morning (yesterday), my daughter was SOOOO excited to open it. I made her wait until after breakfast, which, she did…but then wanted to open ever single one! Doesn’t really understand the concept yet. :)

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Then on the last day, they get to open the last bag, which is filled with treats AND open a small Christmas box with an extra gift in it…but ONLY if they are good! Think I’ll be able to use that bribery for 22 more days?! :S

Happy December!

**Apologies for the awesome quality pictures. They are done with my phone because my oh-so-dear husband DROPPED our camera while walking around hunting…and we never found it. And it started to snow that night…so needless to say, I’m camera-less. :(

Collection of my favorite sites + tutorial pages

I don’t know about you guys, but in my “favorites” bar on my computer is FILLED with craft sites (or just awesome sites) and tutorials that I want to try.  I’ve probably attempted some of them, but I have MANY to go!

I thought I’d share a few of the awesome ones! (click on picture for link)

This AWESOME shower curtain from A Little Lovely

This blog puts me in a good mood just looking at it! So colorful!!

And this cute garland is so happy looking!

Kara’s Party Ideas is a MUST-SEE site if you plan on throwing parties. SO MANY IDEAS, so little reasons to party!

Great idea for baby gift from Blueprint Crafts!

Grace Is Overrated journal pages…I. Love. These.

Naughty Secretary Club has been a fave of mine for a LOOOONG time. I have her book and it’s seriously inspiring!!

The CUTEST clothes EvEr from Persnickety!  I would dress my girls in these everyday if I could! (someday?)

persnickityThere you have it! A sneak peek into my computer’s favorites! Hope you enjoy them and even try a few!

Year Of Pre-Planned Dates

Remember the link I posted:

A year of pre-planned, pre-paid dates. I loved this idea so much, my gears were set in motion. I made a list of possible dates, activities, supplies needed, etc.  It was actually fun to think of ideas, and the more I listed ideas, the more ideas I came up with!  By the end of doing the date-cards, I wished there was more than 12 dates! (Not that I couldn’t make more, but I figured start with these and save some ideas for next year!)

(Don’t mind the mistake in “snowmobiling”.)

The idea behind these dates is it forces you and your spouse to get out every month, at least.  They are all pre-planned, so no more last minute, stressful ideas.  It forces you out of your element.  My husband and I love to go on dates, but always end up going eat at the same local restaurant!  And all of the dates are pre-paid! So, no worrying about how much the night is going to cost, if you can squeeze it into the budget this month, etc.  I suppose this should have been given to him at the beginning of January, but next year hopefully I can add it into the Christmas presents.  The envelope opening will even be fun for me because I have already forgotten which months are which dates! :)

My husband opened January last night…a bit hesitant as to what it was all about because he thinks my date ideas are Bahamas or Hawaii…ha ha! (Someday when we’re super-rich!) He now understands that they’re just inexpensive (sometimes no expense) dates that I have planned! :)

I am also in the midst of making a Parent-Child date basket. My idea is every other month my husband and I will take a turn taking the girls for a pre-planned “date.”  (January-husband, February-me, etc.) So far, some of my ideas are, playground, swimming, sledding, ice cream, dinner, toy shopping, etc.  It’s just a fun way to spend quality time with the girls and use it as a fun reward for good behavior.

Easy Roast-to-BBQ Sandwiches Meal

Often, when I’m in my own little creating world…I forget to pre-plan dinner, which leaves me scrambling that day to think of something “hearty” for my DH. (and as a side-note here, I will add that my husband is a MEAT man…a dinner without some form of meat as the largest portion–is no dinner at all!)

I’ve actually gotten pretty good at pulling things off at the last minute! Poor guy…he thinks I spend all day preparing a meal for him to come home to. (Ha-Ha.)

Here is an awesome meal that requires you to actually prepare for probably a total of 15 minutes.

The roast I used is actually venison, but I have done this with bear, beef, and pork.  Also, it helps to have a roaster- the dish used to cook the roast in the oven for the first step (pictured below).

I start this around noon-ish because you need time for the roast to cook. I cook mine right from freezer.

Being that I’m not a YAY VENISON!! fan, I doctor my roasts up quite a bit. I add in tons of onions, beef bouillon cubes, garlic, herb and garlic seasoning, a rosemary and garlic seasoning, salt, pepper, and sometimes celery and/or a cream-of soup, if I have them. Basically, everything I have in my spice cupboard that seems like it’ll doctor up the roast. This, BTW, is also how I do my regular roasts, also.

Add water to about 3/4 up on the roast. Cold water, so the meat cooks slower.

Put the roaster lid on and place in oven at about 250 degrees for 4 1/2 – 5 hours. About half-way through, I turn the oven temp up to about 300 degrees. Or whenever I happen to be passing by and think of it.

There’s really no rhyme or reason to the way I cook the roast, it kind of goes by feel.

When the roast is cooked–about 45 minutes to dinner time, I take it out of the oven roaster and shred it with forks and place just the meat into a crock pot.

 

I use Famous Dave’s BBQ Sauce. I have also started to fall in love with Guy Fieri’s line of BBQ sauces.

 

Just slop the sauce on the shredded meat and mix. Place cover on crock pot and put on high for the remainder of the time (until dinner time.) Mix every once in a while.

 

I also happened to make some homemade rolls, but bread works just as good for these sandwiches.

 

And ENJOY! Pair it with some fresh salad, veggies, or chips. Any side dish you want!

DIY Washi Tape for (practically) $0

There’s a few tutorials for homemade washi tape that I’ve come across (here and here, for example)…but even as intrigued as I was, I didn’t feel like going out to buy supplies just to make fancy tape. So, of course, I became creative with what I had on hand!

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Need:

Scissors

Double sided tape (yes, I live in cold weather and yes, the tape I use is the leftover from our window sealing kit!)

Tissue Paper, preferably pretty printed

Place the tape- sticky side down- on the tissue paper’s back side. I only have 1 strip pictured, but do as many was you want.

Trim excess paper off.

Roll unto empty spool or cut an empty wrapping paper roll into smaller tubes and roll the tape onto that.

Pretty up any letter, card, package, etc.! Never send/give another boring blank card again! :)

The possibilities are endless! Some cute striped tissue paper would be great. Than you could run the tape along each different color of stripes and create many different colors of tape!

Happy creating! Happy decorating!