Saturday, December 22, 2012

TV Tray Pressing Table

Since I don't have an extra room in our house for my crafting adventures, I get to do them wherever I find the space. Most of the time it is in the dining room or on a folding table set up in the corner of the living room. Since my space is already limited, I hate having to pull out our full sized ironing board for when I need to press something.

So I stole borrowed a TV tray from my sister, and followed this tutorial over at Oh, Fransson! to make my very own TV tray pressing table.

I have to say, I am in LOVE with how it turned out! Sorry for not taking any progress pictures, it was something I wanted to get done quickly and I didn't think about taking pictures till I was done :( This was a super quick and easy project to do and I am so happy that I did it. Now I can have it set up right next to where I am working, and I don't even have to stand up to press my fabric! Hooray for laziness :)

It works great, but I only put 2 layers of batting under the fabric and I am starting to wish I had put more. In the future I might take it apart and add some insulated batting.

p.s. please ignore the mess under the table :)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Pumpkin Gingerbread Mini Muffins

With the holidays coming up, I am always thinking about different desserts to make. I love to cook but when it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am all about baking something sweet and delicious. For the past 10 years my family has put me in charge of being the one making all the pies and desserts for the holidays.

Now that I am a mom I love the idea of having something that is quick and easy to eat. As any mom of a toddler will tell you, actually getting to eat your food while it is hot pretty much never happens.

There are so many bite-sized desserts that are popular: cake pops, mini pies, whoopie pies, and the list goes on and on. So I automatically started thinking about something small, and then it dawned on me! Pumpkin mini muffins. They are bite-sized, you don't need a fork, and you don't need a plate (unless you want one of-course). But pumpkin is too predictable, so I decided why not do a combo of pumpkin and gingerbread. Delicious!

Pumpkin Gingerbread Mini Muffins
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 milk 
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
1/2 salt 
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Makes about 36 mini-muffins

1) Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray. I prefer one specifically meant for baking.

2) Cream the softened butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Once combined, stir in the pumpkin puree until mixed.

 3) Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition

4) Add the molasses and milk to the pumpkin butter mixture. Beat until mixed. I know what you're thinking "that looks gross" well yes it does, but trust me they are going to taste delicious!

5) Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl

6) Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture and stir just until moistened. I like to take the bowl off of my mixer after I have mixed some of the dry ingredients in, so that I can make sure that it doesn't get over-mixed.

7) Fill greased muffin cups with about 1 Tbsp of the batter. 

I love my little 1Tbsp scooper. It makes portioning cookies and mini-muffins so easy!

8) Now this seems kinda strange, but place the muffin tin on a cookie sheet roughly the same size and then bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes remove the muffin tin and cookie sheet from the oven, then replace the muffin tin without the cookie sheet and cook for an additional 4 minutes. I know it sounds odd, but adding the cookie sheet at the beginning of the baking makes it to where the bottoms of the muffins do not cook too quickly. 

9) Remove from oven and allow to cool about 2 minutes in the pan before removing and cooling on a wire rack. 

10) Enjoy the delicious merging of two amazing flavors!

These are a delicious treat that will be perfect for Christmas, or even just a delicious treat for breakfast! I hope you enjoy making these for your loved ones during the holiday season.

William decided that I had taken enough pictures and he wanted to have a muffin :) My little man is such a good helper!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cloth Diapers at Disney World

So as I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I decided to brave using cloth diapers at Disney World! I know it sounds like a daunting task, but it turned out to be surprisingly easy.

In the weeks leading up to the trip I had been contemplating using disposables, but I decided to stick with my original plan and I am glad I did. The two main brands of cloth diapers I use for William are Fuzzibunz and GroVia. Fuzzibunz are great for when I know there is going to be a long stretch of time between diaper changes, and Grovia are great for quick changes here and there. So the two were a great combination for Disney.

My Cloth Diaper Packing List:
  • 1 weeks worth of diapers ( I took almost our entire stash)
  • cloth diaper detergent ( I LOVE Rockin' Green)
  • 1 travel sized wetbag (for at the parks)
  • 1 large wetbag (to leave in the hotel room)
  • flush-able diaper liners
  • wipes, butt cream, etc. 
Since our stash is rather modest (I only have about 1.5 weeks worth of diapers) I took almost the entire stash. The only things I left behind were some of the pre-folds that I use to double up Williams diaper at night. I took my Rockin' Green layundry detergent, and I am glad I did because I ended up washing diapers twice while we were there (I was only expecting to do one load).

The first day we were in the parks I was really nervous that William's diapers were going to have leaks, or I would run out of diapers, and then my whole cloth diapering adventure was going to be a bust. Thankfully, that first day went amazingly and so did the rest of the trip!
My awesome travel wet bag. It is the best size for a days worth of diapers.
The flush-able diaper liners were my lifesaver because I didn't have to worry about not having my diaper sprayer. I use the GroVia BioLiners and I love the way they work for dealing with a poopy diaper. They are a great size, so I don't have to worry about them shifting and not covering the whole diaper. For anyone who doesn't know how they work, they are essentially like a dryer sheet but without the residue. They allow wetness to get through but they catch the poop so it can just be flushed down the toilet. They're also great for if you have to put diaper cream on your baby's bottom, and you don't want it to get on the diaper.

Instead of my normal diaper bag, my brother and I used a backpack for William and Jack's stuff when we were out and about. For my diapering supplies I took 3-5 diapers and flush-able liners, wipes, butt cream, and the wet bag. Even after putting all my stuff into the backpack there was still plenty of room for Jack's disposable diapers, and the rest of the things we needed for them.

When it came time to changing William's diaper, I just grabbed what I needed out of the backpack and headed to the bath room. Most of the time it was an easy in and out process, but there were a few occasions where I needed a bit of assistance from my mom. Vacation food didn't always sit well with William's tummy :(

I have to say that I don't think I could have done this if we didn't have the washing machine and dryer in our hotel room. My stash just isn't big enough for that to happen. I'm sure someone that has a super huge stash of cloth diapers could easily go on vacation and not need a washer and dryer.

I know that if I survived cloth diapering at Disney World, anyone can! It is way easier than it seemed, and also kinda fun :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Catching Up

The past couple of weeks have been crazy busy! We got back from Disney World on the 25th of November, I had my very first craft fair the 29th and 30th of November, and I have had a pretty steady stream of Etsy orders since the show.

I feel terrible that I have neglected the blog so much :( please forgive me!

I plan on having several posts in the coming days about all the adventures that have been happening recently. As a parting gift, here are a few pictures from our Disney Vacation :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Season of Aggieland Bazaar

I feel so bad that I have been neglecting the blog so much this month, but I have been swamped getting ready to have a booth at the Seasons of Aggieland Bazaar at the end of the month! I am so excited to be participating in my very first craft fair but I am terrified all at the same time. I've been super busying sewing and sewing and sewing some more to get ready.

I have been doing tons of research about how to set up a booth, how much inventory to have,  what displays to have, and so on. It is so much information I find myself getting very overwhelmed and needing to take a step back. I wish that my mom could make it into town and help me out with it, but she has to work both days. Luckily I will have my sister and several friends who can help with the craziness.

I'm trying to get as much done as possible before we leave for Disney World on Monday, and I'm actually making pretty good progress.

I've got most of the stockings that I am making completely cut out and sorted, and I am in the process of getting everything else cut. Since my table is so small, it works better to cut everything first so that I don't have to keep moving my machine between projects.

Here is some of the fabric that I am using. Since it is the Seasons of Aggieland Bazaar, I am making most of my items from Texas A&M fabric, but I'm also making some items from Christmas fabric. I have about 50 yards of fabric that I got at an amazing buy 1 yard get 1 yard free sale at the quilt shop around the corner from me. 

 My darling sewing machine. I have had this one for about 7 years and I adore it. It has the attachment to be able to do embroidery too, and I love that I have that option!

 This was the very first stocking I made and just for grins I put it on Etsy just to see how much traffic it got. I was so shocked/excited when it sold only a couple days after I posted it! Hopefully that is a good sign that the craft fair is going to be really successful. 

I hope everyone is having an amazing weekend so far! I've got to get back to work :) Does anyone have some tips on what worked best for you at a crafts fair? Or what draws your attention most when at a fair?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Bottle Cap Table Top

I have been wanting to do a bottle cap table top for a very very very long time. Jeff and I have been collecting bottle caps for almost 2 years now, and I think it is safe to say that we have more than enough to cover an entire full size table top. I eventually want to make a full sized patio table that has a bottle cap table top, but before I undertake that task I decided to do a smaller trial run.

I've had this small patio side table since my sophomore year in college. An old tenant left it behind at the townhouse I lived in during my sophomore and junior years at A&M, so I claimed it as my own. Who doesn't love free furniture! It was really ugly, but it was functional so I didn't see any reason to get rid of it.

The first step in revamping this table was to knock out all the rocks and grout that was there in the first place. At first I thought it was going to be a daunting task but 30 minutes with a hammer and screwdriver, and I had myself a table with no top.

After a through cleaning, I primed the table a bright white and then painted it an amazing sunny yellow color. Just painting the table made a huge difference!

From the beginning I knew that I only wanted to use bottle caps that were primarily blue and yellow. We have blue adirondack chairs and the table is yellow, so I wanted to stay consistent with the color scheme we already had going.

After sorting them out I arranged them in the table top to see how many I needed and then set them aside. When I went to Micheal's to get the resin I was slightly overwhelmed by the number of choices they had, but the sales person recommended the EnviroTex Lite Pour On resin because it was the easiest to use.

I tell you what, that salesman was right. This resin was super easy to use. It comes in two parts and all you do is mix equal parts together till it is completely incorporated together (the instructions say until there are bubbles throughout the mixture) and then you just pour it on the surface you wish to coat.

Once it has sat for a couple of minutes, the bubbles will have risen to the top and you can gently blow on the surface and they will vanish. I was skeptical of this at first, everything I have ever read about using resin said you need a blowtorch to pop all the bubbles that surface. But I was thoroughly amazed when I tried the gently blowing on them trick and it worked :)
Trying to take a picture of clear resin at night proved to be more difficult than I originally planned.
 I poured one thin layer of resin and let it cure overnight so that there would be a flat surface for when I put down the layer that would have the bottle caps.  Once the first layer was completely cured, I mixed about 8 more ounces of resin and poured it.

Once I popped the bubbles, I carefully placed the bottle caps in the resin one by one. I definitely ended up with resin on my fingers by the time I finished placing all the bottle caps, but it came right off with rubbing alcohol.

The finished product is definitely worth the wait :) The bottle caps sank into the resin a bit deeper than I thought they would. I originally wanted them to be flush with the top lip of the table but now that it is done I actually like it. I'm still trying to decide if I want to put one more layer  of resin over the bottle caps so that the surface is smooth.

My favorite cap is the Piraat one that is right in the middle. Jeff got it in a 6 pack of craft beers and it is the only one we have like it.

I am so excited about having this finished. Now I have a place to put my coffee in the morning while watching William play in the backyard. I can't even begin to tell you the number of times I had my cup resting on the arm of one of the chairs and it got knocked off.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

William's Pirate Costume

This year for Halloween, I made William's costume and I am so excited about how it turned out. He is still at the age where Jeff and I get to pick what he is going to be for Halloween, and this year he was a pirate :) Originally I was going to make him a pumpkin costume, but when I came across the pirate pattern I changed my mind. I used Simplicity 2561 to make the costume and it was really simple to make.

This year for Halloween, we went out to the George Bush Sr. Presidential Library for the Trick-or-Treat event they were having on Sunday evening. They had carnival games, bouncing castles, and trick-or-treating inside the museum. It was so much fun, and William had a great time walking around and seeing all the other little kids.

William and Jeff at the George Bush Sr. Presidential Library.

Pirate baby!

He was eating a Tootsie Roll and kept stopping to look at it.

I love this picture of him
For Wednesday night, we went out to our friend's neighborhood to trick-or-treat with her and her kids. He did alright when it came to traditional trick-or-treating, but he was more interested in playing in peoples front yards.

Halloween morning! Looking cute in his jack-o-lantern pajamas.

I was clearly more excited then he was :)

 His first candy of the night was a Twix :) his mommy's favorite. His idea of eating it was sucking all the chocolate off and then spitting the rest out on the ground.

 William was fascinated by this rock path between two of the houses.
 His daddy went to rescue him :)
My two handsome boys at the end of the night :) we had such a great time, and they were both pooped and ready for bed.

Overall it was so much fun, and I cannot wait till next year! I'm going to try to start making costumes sooner so that we can all match as a family! I'm thinking Wizard of Oz or Star Wars :) I have a little while to plan it out :)