Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pinterest Project: Clean Makeup Brushes

I don't wear makeup everyday, but I use it often enough that I should clean my brushes more than I do considering they touch my face. I've been on the look out for a quick easy way to clean my makeup brushes, and I think I've found it! Thanks to a friend who pinned this link on Pinterest. :)

I decided to try it right after I read it. And guess what? It TOTALLY works! My makeup brushes are now clean and drying as I write this post.

Of course I took a few pics to show y'all.

The ingredients: 1 cup warm water, 1 Tbls white vinegar, 1 Tbls liquid dish soap

This is what it looked like after I swirled my brushes around in it. GROSS! This picture doesn't do it looked like weak chai.

 Rinsed with warm water, reshaped, and drying on a folded towel!

Now that I know a quick, easy way to clean my makeup brushes I'll hopefully do this more often. Let me know if you try it, or of you have another quick way to clean makeup brushes.

Update: I thought that the brushes might smell like vinegar the next time I used them, but I can now report that they're scent free! (I told you I don't wear makeup often so it was almost a week after I washed them.)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Two New Additions

There are two new little additions to my family. My cousin-in-law had her TWINS last week!! That means I've been hard at work making lovey blankets for them to cuddle, and hats to adorn their adorable little heads.

I got the idea for the lovey blankets from a woman I follow on Instagram and this pattern on Ravelry. They have an elephant themed nursery so I'm going to make an elephant head from here (which I also found on Ravelry) to put on the lovey blankets instead of the lamb like the pattern. I was watching the last episode of "Smash", sniff sniff :( , while working on them the other day.

The hats are a Tunisian crochet pattern and yarn that I found buried in one of my yarn bins. I totally forgot that I had bought that yarn to go with the free pattern from the shop along the LYS Tour two years ago. It's still cute none-the-less, and I can't wait to see how it works up. It was a pain to wind since the beads can't fit through a regular ball winder; so I had to wind it by hand off of the swift.

I'll post pictures of the finished projects in a few weeks. What are your favorite projects for babies? What projects are you currently working on? I love to hear your feedback!

This is How My Garden Grows (May 2013 Update)

I have been so busy lately that I have been horrible at weeding my garden, and planting seeds this spring. Thankfully rhubarb doesn't take much care so I already made a rhubarb pie!

The raspberries are trying to take over the whole garden area. I've been pulling shoots out of every section lately. The bees are busy pollinating, which is what I like to see! There are already too many berries starting to grow that I can't count them all. :) In the picture, don't mind the patch of dandilions that currently occupy the raised bed.

This year I'm trying out those Topsy Turvy tomato growers. I hope that having them in a sunnier spot will produce more red tomatoes instead of being left with a bunch of green tomatoes in the fall. A bonus is that while out for a walk around the neighborhood a couple weeks ago, I found a table with FREE tomato starts! I'm Dutch, so anything free is awesome!

Another new addition to my garden this year is the strawberry tower. I got the idea when I was on a field trip to Seattle Tilth with my pre-k class. I figured it would be easy enough to DIY so I drew a mock up on Google SketchUp first, and then handed the plans over to my Dad. Thanks to Stacy for the strawberry starts to put in it! I'll transplant the rest of my strawberry plants after they finish producing fruit this summer.

Last but certainly not least, is my flower bed. Which has actually been getting more attention lately than the garden. I noticed dahlia shoots coming up so I weeded around them. I had to cut/pull out some of the vinca ground cover to give the dahlias and iris more space to grow! I aslo took out the sticks that were supposedly supporting them as they grew, and replaced them with tomato cages since I won't be needing those this summer. A nice addition of rabbit poop fertilizer, and they're growing wonderfully. Now if only the slugs would stay away from them. :(

I'm hoping that blogging about my garden gives me more motivation to finish weeding so I can plant more. What have you planted in your garden this spring? What would you like to grow in your garden?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Birthday Cupcakes

So I settled on baking mocha cupcakes with raspberry buttercream for my Dad's birthday.

I used the mocha cupcake recipe that I found here from Pinterest (of course!). 

The raspberry buttercream I adapted from my "taste. Cupcakes" cookbook. I found it at Sam's Club, and originally bought it solely for the Advocaat buttercream recipe; which I will post at another time. Anyways, here is my version of raspberry buttercream.

Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
Yields enough to frost 12 cupcakes

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
3-5 Tbls. seedless raspberry preserves or jelly

Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat the butter until it is creamy. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. On low add in the raspberry preserves until desired taste and color is achieved. Either spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Enjoy!

These were the best looking from my batch. Note to self: get piping tips for better results! I also got to use the DIY Cake Stand that I made in this post. :)

I love to hear your feedback! Please comment if you try this recipe. Or what have you baked lately?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dad's Birthday Choices

My Dad's birthday is tomorrow so I've been scouring my cupcake book, and Pinterest for ideas of what cake/cupcakes I should make for him. His favorites are raspberry, coconut, and coffee.

So far I'm either making cinnamon rolls or scones for breakfast. The cupcake choices are as follows: coconut with raspberry butter cream, mocha with raspberry butter cream, or mocha with espresso butter cream. Such a tough choice!

It helps that he has a sweet tooth, hmm probably where I get it from, so he'll enjoy whatever I end up choosing. I'll post pictures of what I chose tomorrow.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pinterest Recipe Mash-up: Mini Maple Bars

Last weekend my best friend made mini doughnuts from tube biscuits then filled them with banana cream and topped them with a chocolate ganache. So I decided to try my hand at these easy-peasy doughnuts for the church potluck this weekend. I used the doughnuts from biscuits from here, and the maple glaze/frosting from here. I added an extra teaspoon of mapleine to the glaze because I thought it needed more maple flavor.

My test batch...these didn't last long though! 

48 doughnuts all fried up! It only took an hour to cut, shape, and fry them.

44 doughnuts ready to go to the potluck! Yes, I ate the "ugly" ones that weren't presentable enough. :)

No surprise that all of these got eaten at the potluck, and I got a lot of compliments on them. Have you tried baking anything from Pinterest lately?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Valentine's Day Crafts

I love February and Valentine's Day! Everything is decorated in pink and red with hearts. There's so many craft ideas on Pinterest that there's not enough days in February to do them all. So here are a few of the crafts the Frogs have been working on.
We learned about symmetry when we made these glitter paint hearts for our bulletin board.
Crayon melting on a hot plate is always fun! It's also an easy craft when the other teacher is sick, and you're by yourself at the last minute.
These are the simple heart flower Valentine's I made for the kids with the help of my Cricut. :)
I made heart chains to decorate the classroom.
Pink bubble prints were a hit! Note: poke a hole with pin so if they try to drink it they can't, but it still blows bubbles. :)
These TP tube heart stamps were a hit as well. Sadly, they didn't hold up too well after this one got done.
Simple yet cute hand print Valentine that the kids gave their parents.
Pipe cleaner and Cheerios bird feeders were another favorite project. One girl reported back the next day that the birds were eating the Cheerios.

 What crafts did you make for Valentine's? I love your feedback!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Winter Crafts & Activities

Now that winter is almost over, here are a few of the crafts and activities we did in the Frog class.

Lick and stick snowman pictures. Sorry, it's sideways.

Doily snowman picture. We hung these on their lockers. Again, sorry it's sideways.

We also made borax crystal snowflakes which I posted about a few weeks ago. The kids also had fun playing with the shaving cream snowman in a bag activity.

The beginning of February was literacy week at our school. We had fun reading The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle and we painted funny colored animals, too! We also read The Mitten by Jan Brett, and decorated a mitten and made animal puppets to tell the story. Finally, for our assembly we retold the story of Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, and the kids loved making wild things masks. I wish I could post a picture of all of them because they were SO CUTE! Although, I'm slightly biased since they're my class. :)

These are just the few crafts and activities we had time for. I found tons more on Pinterest that I wanted to use, but there isn't enough winter! Maybe I'll use those next year.

What are some of your favorite winter crafts and activities with kids? I love to hear feedback!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Learning How to Knook

No, it's not the e-reader from Barnes & Noble. It's a special crochet hook with a knitting needle on the other end. For me it's the combination of two of my favorite hobbies, knitting & crocheting, into one awesome craft! With a little help from a kit I got at JoAnn's and watching a few YouTube videos I have gotten the hang of how to knook.
Pictures are always helpful so here are a few of my new adventure:
This is the Instagram picture before I even opened the kit

Figuring out the knit stitch

Figuring out the purl stitch and making stockinette

Starting my first project: spa cloth from the booklet that comes with the kit

Super excited to be using scented cotton yarn! (Sorry it's sideways)

Finished spa cloth!! (Again, sorry it's sideways) Working on more to add to my Etsy shop. :)

So far I'm enjoying this combination of knitting and crochet. It's also a great conversation starter since hardly anyone knows what it is! My next knook project is a toddler hat for a friend's 12 month old. What knitting or crochet projects are you working on?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Crystal Snowflakes

Our science experiment this week is growing borax crystals on pipe cleaners shaped like snowflakes. It was a lot of work, but the kids love watching them grow (so do I!). I forgot how fast the borax crystals form, and by the time I was finished with the last batch the first batch already had crystals forming on the top. I took the basic recipe from here which I found on Pinterest (of course!). I made most of the pipe cleaner snowflakes after having two girls try it, and the results weren't what I expected. We also chose to add blue food coloring to make it even more fun! Anyways, here are the pictures.

We didn't have enough mason jars (read: we didn't want to wash them all) so we used large clear plastic cups instead. I wasn't sure how they would do with the boiling water, but they held up great since I let the water cool a little before pouring it in. 

After only a few hours the crystals are growing!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Christmas Cards

Think of it this way; this post isn't late, it's giving you great ideas for next Christmas! I had a lot of fun using my new Cricut, an early Christmas present thanks to Black Friday, along with stamps to create our Christmas cards this year. We sent out/hand delivered about 50 cards this year; so I decided to make five designs and ten of each design. So here's the big reveal of my original designs:

This was my first Cricut trial. I cut out the circles and stamped the wreath on them. I made some of them green because I ran out of red card stock. Oops!
As I got used to the Cricut I got a little braver. I cut out the ornaments and the saying. I started cutting out red ornaments, but realized that blue might look nice too since it matches the ribbon. I like both of them, but I'd love to hear what you think!

I gave the Cricut a rest on this one, and went with a simple stamped card. This stamp set from Stampin' Up is one of my favorites! The dragging on the edges helps it pop off the background paper a little more.

This is another simple stamped card. I love this swirly tree stamp, and the bling in the middle gives it an extra pop.

These adorable penguins were by far the most work! I used the Cricut to cut out all of the pieces, but had to glue all the tiny pieces on by hand (that was 20 penguins total!). But looking at it again it was worth the effort because they're adorable. :)

I hope you enjoyed these designs. What Christmas cards did you make this year. Did I inspire you to get a head start on next year?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Other Wedding Projects (the last post)

I'm horribly late on posting these pictures of other projects for Diana's wedding! But better late than never, right?

After Diana and I finished the wedding invitations we still had some work to do. There were still table names and place cards to make along with programs to put together. That was all part of my wedding gift to them. I also helped her make cute tumblers for the bridesmaid gift baskets.

One of my favorite things that Diana and Aaron did was collect rocks from different beaches in the area, and used those in the bottom of the bowls for the center pieces. Where they got the rocks coordinated with the table names. The bride & groom table had rocks from all of them. Isn't that a cool way to add in a piece of the Pacific Northwest?
Fun Fact: Mukilteo Ferry Park is the beach where they got engaged!

This is my place card. We printed names on one side with table name on the other, and the little "C" in the corner indicated that I chose the chicken option for food. Then we simply stamped on the side with Baroque Motifs to match the table names.

Diana typed up everything for the programs (with a little help from Google!), and we went to Kinko's to print them. Pretty basic: cover, order of ceremony, listing of the wedding party and parents and grandparents, timeline for the reception, a short thank you note, and their new address is on the back (due to privacy I'm not posting that). Can you tell she's very detail oriented with the specific timeline for the reception? Good thing it all went according to plan. :)

I found these tumblers at Dollar Tree after looking everywhere else for them. I got the glitter glue from the dollar section at Target. Diana wrote our names on the side and bride, maid of honor, and bridesmaid on the lids. One thing we didn't realize until putting water in them is that the glitter glue comes off then it gets wet. Looking back we should've spent a little more for the puffy paints instead. Oh well, they were still cute while they lasted. :)

That wraps up my wedding projects posts (finally!). Since the wedding in September I've had a lot more time to work on other projects. I'll post more about those later...