Sunday, March 25, 2012

Easter Egg Banner Craft Kit

My Easter Egg Banner Craft Kit just got a remake! Now it's extra, extra fancy just like we always knew it could be - putting forth its best effort and living up to its potential and all that.

Kids love it, grown-ups love it, I love it, and I know for certain that the Easter Bunny will leave more presents in your basket if he sees this thing Easterfying your house. It's a known fact. Or, at least, it is in my house. Although our Easter Bunny brings things like paint, so that might not be what you're going for. I just want you to be able to make an informed decision on such an important matter.


Look how pretty!

Would you like to know about the supplies that come in this kit?

WELL! You get:

12 brightly colored card stock eggs (egg templates, actually. A little extra scissor practice is good for you and your kid!)...

And lots of fancy paper strips...

And rick rack and skinny decorative ribbon...

And buttons and sequins...

And rhinestones and hand-punched paper flowers...

And, of course, enough tacky glue to stick on all the fanciness...

And lots and lots of banner ribbon to string up your eggs in a happy manner. Like so...

All packaged in this cuteness...

Potential achieved!

Happy Easter Crafting!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Vegetable and Goat Cheese Sandwiches

I LOVE these sandwiches. They're super easy, really flavorful, and you can change them up however you wish.

Oh, Giada, you had me at goat cheese. The original recipe is here, but, as usual, I changed it to make my life easier. And I think my version is just as tasty! Go over to her recipe if you want to be all proper and exact with the ingredients. But, c'mon! It is just a sandwich. Put on what you like, however much you like, top it with bread, eat it, done. Delicious.

Vegetable and Goat Cheese Sandwiches


1 Ciabatta - or baguette - or whatever other kind of bread you like
1 cup goat cheese, at room temperature (I buy a little extra for Snacking Step One)
1 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
Olive oil
2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
1 eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
1 10 oz package sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
Some herbs - fresh or dried - whatever kind you like
Salt and pepper
2 cups baby spinach

Make it:

Toast the ciabatta lightly in the oven. Slice it open lengthwise.
(Snacking: Scoop out some of the warm ciabatta bread from the top layer and help yourself to a goat cheese and ciabatta snack with a glass of wine while you assemble the sandwich. You work hard. You deserve it.)
Spread the goat cheese on the bottom layer of ciabatta. Add the sun-dried tomatoes.

Cook some veggies. Giada grills hers, but I don't have a grill pan, so I sauté mine with a little olive oil. During the last few minutes of cooking, add the garlic and herbs and salt and pepper. Layer the vegetables on top of the sun-dried tomatoes.

Top with baby spinach.

Top with the top half of the ciabatta. Cut into four or six or eight pieces. I make mine into four huge sandwiches. We always have some left over, but they taste great cold the next day.

I just had these last night, but looking at these pictures makes me want them all over again! They are SOOOO YUMMY! Too bad the hubs already ate all our leftovers. For breakfast.


Friday, March 9, 2012

My Thrift Store Coffee Table and A Surprise!

Here's what happened. We had just moved back to California. We had ditched our old coffee table before the move, because it had been demolished by years of kid abuse.

So I  see this little thrift store, and outside this little thrift store is this little square coffee table that would fit perfectly in my little apartment.  I loved the size and I loved the double decker look and I loved the lines of it. 

I said I loved the lines! Not the scratches! Didn't matter, it would look like that within one week after entering the kid zone anyway. But, wait, what does that little white price tag say?

Are you freakin' kidding me??? I sprinted into the store with my crazy eyes and my cash and demanded that it be mine. 
The owner looked at me like I was nuts. 
Maybe because it was one hundred-ish (or eighty) degrees outside and so that little mad dash into the store had turned me into a sweaty-haired disaster, or maybe because I had looked that way anyway. No, couldn't be that. I'm awesome ALL THE TIME. 

"I really want that square table!" I yelled with all my excitement.

"Really? That thing's been out there for months." 

"Oh really? Then then town must be full of ... Never mind. If I try to look extra cute and flirty, with my sweaty, whacked-out hair and crazy eyes, will you load it into my car for me?" Or maybe I didn't say that out loud, but I did it, and it worked. Maybe because I was super cute. More likely because he wanted to get me the hell out of his store.

And I cannot tell you how filthy that thing was! I scrubbed with all sorts of toxic and non-toxic solutions and still, the layers of dirt impressed even me. And I once lived in an apartment in which cockroaches greeted me on my pillow on a nightly basis. With song. Ah... to be 19 again. The glamour of it all.

Anyway! Are you so proud that I scored that table for $10? Will you lose all that pride for me if I tell you that I didn't do anything with that table for A YEAR? Meh. I wanted to, I swear! I just... didn't.

And one night, I did.

Get your mind out of the gutter!

I sanded and painted. Oh - see the drawer! It perfectly fits all our remotes for the TV and Wii. It's all kinds of wonderful, this table.

And I stained (the same color as the dining table, since it's all basically in the same room) ...

And I still haven't polyurethaned it. And I'm not at all hanging my head in shame about it.

I'll get around to it sooner or later. 

(We have a kindergarten groundhog on a craft stick that has lived in our flowers since Groundhog Day. Ella put him there. I think he's adorable.)

The table's good, right?


Oh, and it is still decorated for Valentine's Day. Because I put A LOT of effort into my Valentine's Day decorating. Before this year I had zero Valentine's Day decorations and now I have: These and these and these and these! I'm thinking I'm going straight from Valentine's Day decor to Easter decor. I never said I wasn't lazy. In fact, I do believe I've admitted it quite often on this blog. Oh, and I got this cute candle idea from pinterest!

You know who makes me feel better about not following through with the poly? 

She's kind of a big deal around here.


Oh, and I distressed the table, too. That should count for something. Penny especially likes the way this table leg is distressed. It saves her the trouble of doing it for me. Or maybe it still needs a little more. I'm sure she'll decide later.

She totally deserves her own blog post. Coming soon!

$10 Coffee Table!!!

It's a Happy Day!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


* * * * * * BREAKING NEWS * * * * * * *

I just found out that a Hobby Lobby is going to be opening LESS THAN 10 MILES from my house!!! In May. Which happens to be my birthday month. I have to believe this is no coincidence. Happy Birthday to me! YAAAAAY!!!

(When I lived in Iowa, I discovered Hobby Lobby, and really, it helped me start Smart-Bottom Kids. I spent hours wandering the aisles, brainstorming, planning, decorating - it became my happy place. It's like Michael's. Only One Thousand Times bigger and better (okay, maybe not One Thousand Times, but I'm just so excited, I can't help it!). And then I moved back to California. And I've had to have a private moment of silence and mourning every time I need a craft supply or home decoration or fabric or party supply or jewelry supply or train set or religious cross or .... I don't actually ever need a religious cross, as I'm not all that religious, but let me tell you! If you ever find yourself in need of a decorative cross, Hobby Lobby is the place to go! They have a hilariously exorbitant amount of crosses.)

I cannot tell you how seriously excited I am about this. Happy Happy Happy!

 * * * * * * * END BREAKING NEWS * * * * * * *


They're like oatmeal cookies, except not so sweet and much more healthful. And they are really good!

I use this recipe from One Golden Apple. I had never even heard of oatcakes before discovering them on her blog. When I googled them - oh man! - turns out there are bunches and bunches of ways to make them and lots of different countries have their own version. Now I feel like such a culinary smarty pants! Oh, internet, you have so much to teach me.

The only change I make from the original recipe that I don't use cookie cutters to shape mine. But only because I'm really lazy and flouring, rolling, cutting, and repeating is a series of steps that I have never loved. I hand roll and flatten mine old school style.

No matter how you shape 'em - they're yummy and easy! You can eat them plain, or serve them with sliced cheese and apples to fancy the situation up a bit. Rustic deliciousness!

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw almonds (I like sliced)
3 tablespoons butter
1/8 to 1/4 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grind the oats and almonds in a food processor or immersion blender until it looks like coarse meal (or even a little chunkier - it's up to you). Add butter and blend to incorporate. You can also use your fingers to mash the butter in until it is incorporated. Blend in salt, baking soda, and brown sugar. Add water and pulse until you get a dough ball.

Roll into balls and flatten into 1/4" to 1/2" thickness. Place on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes or until golden.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...