Thursday, January 30, 2014

You Make My Heart Soar - Hot Air Balloon Art

Have I told you lately...that I love you?
NO, really.

Sometimes you guys leave the sweetest
comments and I just grin from ear to ear.
I know, I know...I suck at responding...
but sometimes it's just not my fault.

But that's a whole other post...seriously.

But I wanted you to know...
You Make My Heart Soar

Cheesy, right?
Sorry, sometimes I'm just all about cheese.

Anyway...a long, long time ago...when I was in college...
I mean waaaaaay back when...
like, aaaaaallllll of my friends were elementary ed majors.
Seriously, what's up with that?
Not me, I was gonna be Indiana Joanie.

But that's a story for another time...or never.

So, I had this friend who needed an awesome idea for a bulletin board display.
She was kind of obsessed with hot air balloons...
I think her psychiatrist father had something weird to say about that...
but I digress.

I came up with this fabulous plan for a 3D hot air balloon
and I totally wish I had a picture of it now.
We made giant strips of paper and laminated them
at the library and she stapled them to the board.
I don't remember all the details, come on, that was twe....a bunch of years ago.
A bunch.

Let me tell was really something and a big hit.

I have attempted to recreate that in a smaller version here for you.
I used a 9X12 canvas, construction paper, twine,
paint, washi tape and a little ingenuity.

I painted the canvas all cream...then mixed some other colors, shown above...
in swirly patterns to mimic whimsical clouds and
repeated with some pinks for a truly Valentine-y sky.

This picture shows you the basic shapes I used for the balloon.
I didn't take a picture of the basket, sorry.
I hot glued them to the canvas to make the balloon shape.

A gold paint pen was the easiest to write the swirly words...
I can't really write letters with a paint brush. Ugh.

Then I brushed some paint mixture over them
so they were more blended and wispy.

The glitter circles are just cut from scrapbook
paper and used to cover the twine ropes.
I used the washi tape around the edge of the canvas,
but didn't get a great picture of it.

I thought about spraying the whole thing with some glitter spray,
but was concerned it might make the paper splotchy.
So I didn't...

Up, up, and away!
So, if you ever find yourself in need of a
gravity-defying idea for a bulletin board,
or just a bit of whimsy...I hope I've tweaked your imagination.

You're welcome! :)

Well, I hope your heart is soaring...high above the clouds.
In a pretty pink hot air balloon.

Come back next week!
I'm hoping to have Sara's bedroom reveal ready.
{that was the secret project!}

If not, I promise it will still be something great!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Valentine's Pink Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Hello luv bugs!

Are you feelin' all warm and squishy?
If not, I've got just the thing...
PINK Peppermint Hot Chocolate!

Sweet peppermint...
creamy white chocolate...
piles of fluffy whipped cream!

Who needs a Valentine?
Grab a cup of this and curl up on the couch
and sing swoony ballads to your cocoa.

You'll need some dry milk,
and a little of this:

...A smidgen of this:

And some of this if you feel a little more
pinkness is needed in your life:

It was actually pink with just the crushed peppermint sticks...
but adding a little powdered food coloring
will give it a definite pinky color.
{you can find it wherever they sell cake and candy supplies}

Then you can divide it up into individual servings for giving:

Ta da!!!!!!

Red striped treat bags...
Fuzzy heart stickers...
Washi tape...
Twine and a tag...
Ready, Set, Valentine!

Pink Peppermint Hot Chocolate

  • 2 2/3 cups dry milk
  • 1 cup ground sweetened white chocolate
  • 1/4 cup crushed peppermint sticks {I cheated and used the already crushed kind}
  • {optional} pink powder food coloring (about 1 tbsp)
Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container in a cool place.
To make a cup...mix approx. 1/2 cup dry mix with 8 oz. HOT water {just below boiling}.
Stir until melted...add a little cream or half and half and top with whipped cream.

It's delightful, it's delicious, it's delovely!

But don't take my word for it...
indulge yourself with a Valentine treat today!

Sprinkling Sweetness Here:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

DIY Personalized Cutting Board

Today I'm showing you some personalized gifts we made for Christmas.

Yes, I know Christmas is over...
but hey, there are only 345 days left till NEXT Christmas!

The idea for the spoons came from Amy @ The Idea Room...
she shows you just how to do it. :)
I'm gonna share how we did the cutting board.
It's simple and super inexpensive.

The only reason I didn't post this before...
well, we didn't exchange gifts with these friends until New Year's Eve
and I was afraid she would see it before I got to give it to her!

I found the cutting board at TJ Maxx or HomeGoods.
I wanted bamboo so it would be durable...
this one is pretty big and cost about $12.
Can't beat that.

I used a Silhouette to cut out the monogram from vinyl.
It didn't want to stick to the bamboo.
Boo hoo bamboo.

I got it to stick just enough to use a pencil to trace the outline...
and that's really all I needed.

Once I had the outline, we used this ancient wood-burning
tool that belonged to my mother in law.

Not sayin' my MIL is old or anything...but...
the paper inserts that came with it told of how there was a metal shortage
due to WWII so if you needed the heating element replaced,
you first had to send back the one you had.

Crazy, right?

Anyway...I used a sharp point first to do the outline...then filled in.
Sometimes...I just did whatever. :)

We also used the wood-burning tool on the spoons
instead of the sharpie Amy used in her instructions.
To keep it consistent and not have to worry about it coming off.

I lightly oiled the board, but it probably wasn't necessary.

I think they turned out gorgeous!

My friend cried and said she didn't want to use them.
I told her to use the back side.

My sister said I needed to make her one.

I guess they were a hit!
I need to pick up some more spoons.

I think this would be an awesome wedding gift.
Or an anniversary gift.
Or a housewarming gift.
Or an "I think you're great and I wanted to play with wood-burning tools" gift...

Speaking of my mother in law...
we made a couple of spoons for her and her husband, too...
aren't they cute?

Anyway...back to my rambling...
You could even do this with something other than a monogram...
I'm thinking "Kelly's Kitchen"...
but I guess that would only work if your name is Kelly.
Otherwise it might just be weird.

Hope you're having a great week!
I have a couple Valentine goodies coming up...
and I'm finally going to tell you about that "secret project" I was working on!
I just can't wait!

Sharing here:

The Turquoise Home
Savvy Southern Style
Live Laugh Rowe
Lamberts Lately
From My Front Porch to Yours
Saving 4 Six
Put A Bird On It
Living Well Spending Less
 Embracing Change
Jennifer Rizzo
Craft Dictator
Crafts a la Mode
AKA Design
Reasons to Skip the Housework
Redoux Interiors
Common Ground
Lil' Luna
Horrific Knits
Cheerios and Lattes
Serenity You
Six Sisters Stuff
Will Cook for Smiles
It All Started With Paint
I Should Be Mopping The Floor
A Peek Into My Paradise
Life On Lakeshore Drive
Averie Lane
The Dedicated House
Plaid and Paisley Kitchen
A Stroll Thru Life
Love Grows Wild
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Home Stories A to Z
Cedar Hill Farmhouse
Upcycled Treasures
My Craftily Ever After
Accidentally Wonderful
Love Bakes Good Cakes
Love of Family and Home
Home Coming
What's Cooking Love?
Sincerely, Paula
Bloom Designs
Pneumatic Addict
Glitter Glue and Paint

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Spicy Pork & Kale Soup

Whew...old man winter has been in a foul mood lately!
Which means it's definitely time for SOUP!

This one oughta warm the cockles of his old heart. 

Spicy pork and kale soup with rice noodles.

I loved this soup and can't wait to make it again.
Even if it did make my nose run and my face hot!

Spicy Pork and Kale Soup
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 5 or so cloves minced garlic, more if you like!
  • 2 tsp grated ginger (I use the paste you can get in the produce department)
  • 1 - 2 tsp. crushed red pepper (depending on the heat you want ~ I used 2 ~ hence the runny nose)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • olive oil (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 8 cups torn kale (packed down)
  • 3 - 4 oz flat wide rice noodles
  • 1 cube knorr chicken bouillon as shown below (or 2 cubes other~but this is my fave!)

  1. Cook pork, onions, garlic, ginger, red pepper, and cumin in a large pot with a bit of olive oil.
  2. Break meat up with a spoon so it's crumbly, but not too crumbly.
  3. Add some salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cook until meat is browned and onions are cooked...about 10 minutes.
  5. Add broth and bring to a boil...reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes.
  6. This lets all the flavors get to know each other...good time to see if you need salt and pepper.
  7. Add the torn up kale and the rice noodles.
  8. Continue simmering while the noodles cook, about 8 minutes.
  9. Serve immediately and keep the tissues handy!

I warmed up leftovers for lunch and was in love all over again.
If you like a little spice in your life...give it a try!

It'll help thaw you out after shoveling all that snow!
Maybe we should give some to old man winter!

Some good things coming in 2014 so stay tuned!

Have a spicy week!

Ladling up soupy goodness here:

This Silly Girl's Life
Ella Claire Inspired
Embracing Change
From My Front Porch to Yours
Ivy and Elephants
Lamberts Lately
Live Laugh Rowe
Put A Bird On It
Saving 4 Six
Carole's Chatter
Budget Girl
Crafts a la Mode
Craft Dictator
Love of Family and Home
Horrific Knits
Lil' Luna
Cheerios and Lattes
Made From Pinterest
Serenity You
I Should Be Mopping The Floor
The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen
 The Dedicated House
Stone Gable
A Stroll Thru Life
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Love Grows Wild
Anyonita Nibbles
A Peek Into My Paradise

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy 2014 ~ Top Posts from 2013!

My most heartfelt wishes for all the best for you in 2014!

Here's a little recap of 2013 with the top ten!
Although I always feel these numbers are a little skewed
because if the posting dates had been different the
numbers would be different...but...whatever! :)

Let's get started with the most viewed first:

I shared my misadventures while painting a tile floor.
Which reinforces the teaching that...
if at first you don't succeed...
have a glass of wine and try again! 

for a wedding using thrift store glasses.
You could do this for any occasion...not just weddings.

We devoured some simple but scrumptious
Oh...and for Christmas breakfast we
made this with Blackberries....
Good stuff!

Some found barnwood was transformed into
The way this one was going...
I thought for sure it would be higher on the list.
But, alas, it was not to be.

I may have fueled some obsessions with everyone's
favorite DIY medium when I told you about

I added to the Pumpkin Mayhem with
Bonus: this recipe can be used for
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, too!

You won't even miss the wheat flour in these yummy

We beat the summer heat in the kitchen with these
delicious, light, and easy NO COOK Chicken Caprese Pitas.

I helped and ugly clearance tray reach its true

And...I had a good laugh at myself when I showed you
how to...or NOT to build a chunky salvage style shelf.

I hope you enjoyed spending time with me this past year...
I know I enjoyed having you around!
Thanks so much!

And now a toast...
to new adventures and new friends in the new year!
Happy 2014!

 Sharing here: