Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tip for military wives and scout moms

Do you want to know an easy trick to get all of your husband's military patches sewn on.  Have him get it done on base:)  It only cost a few bucks and it's tax deductible .

OK, here's my real hint.  Use clear thread to sew on the patches.  Then you don't have to match the color of the patch and if you sew really awful  no one can tell.

From the front: perfection

From the back, you can see what a bad job I did, but thanks to the miracle of clear thread it will be out little secret.
(the dark spots are from left-over adhesives)
I know that some people use no-sew adhesives for patches.  These are great if you never need to remove the patches, but as often as we move, they don't work for us.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Skin Cancer?!?!

This is my 100th post! I feel like I should do something momentous....but I got nothing.  Maybe I'll celebrate my 107th post.

I would like to start by giving huge kudos to all of you out there that manage to take good pictures of yourselves.  Here's my deer-caught-in-the-head lights look for you. 
Back to the point of this post:  see that band-aid under my eye?  I'm pale-if it wasn't for my freckles, my skin would have no pigment what so ever.  I also didn't start using sunscreen until I was a teenager (b/c no one did) . I grew up mostly in the south and would blister and peel several times each summer. I'm a little OCD about sunscreen these days, but paranoid about past damage.

I've had a weird spot on my face for about the last year and it worried me a little.  I looked up images and warnings of skin cancer : 

Mine was of the "reddish patch" variety and a little of the "sore that will not heal". It kinda looked like a little scab after a pimple pops. 
It wasn't a mole and I was worried that the doctor would think I was a huge hypochondriac. My brother-in-law had a scary run-in with Melanoma last year (he's fine now) and I figured that the chances that doctor would openly mock me were slim- so I made the appointment.

While I was there, she had me strip down  (FYI- always wear your good bra and panties to the dermatologist) and checked me all over (even in my hair and between my toes). She was concerned enough to cut out the spot and send it to be biopsied.  I have 2 stitches and get to walk-around w/ a band-aid for a week.  She said I  may have a scar, but I'm hoping it will make me look more dark and mysterious and it beats the heck out of the alternative.

Bottom line:  I'm glad I took care of it.  Ladies, take care of yourselves-if you have any weird spots go get them checked out.

From the website:
"The survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early, before the tumor has penetrated the skin, is about 99 percent. The survival rate falls to 15 percent for those with advanced disease."

To learn more click here:

UPDATE: That thing on my face ended up being no big deal and just what I thought it would be(Basal Cell) .  I had to go back and have a second procedure and a few more stitches along my eye socket. Stitches are out and I only have a tiny scar that is barely noticeable.

 Thanks for your warm thoughts and prayers and wear sunscreen.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My favorite Shirt Re-do So-far

I'm melting as I type this.  Our A/C is broken and I live in Texas.  I waiting to hear if the Home Warranty is going to pay for a new one or not (has anyone ever had one that did?) and it's making me a little crabby.   I know there are so many people all over the world who lost a lot more than just their A/C's so I'll stop whining. I had the priviledge of calling Alabama home for 4 years and I am heartbroken by all the devastation.  I'm keeping the south in my prayers. Roll-tide.

You many have noticed that I have ads on the blog. I finally clicked on the "monetize" button on the dashboard.  I now have ads on my blog and I'm making about .25/ day.  Woohoo!  So even if the Home Warranty doesn't pay up, I should be fine.

On to the crafts: My daughter's friend is having a b-day and so I thought it would be fun to make her a shirt.  It turned out so cute, my daughter wants to keep it.  It was pretty quick, so I promised I'd make her one too.
I started w/ a gray v-neck t-shirt.  I had some light pink knit leftover from another project, which I used to make 3 flowers. I'm a little in love w/ knit flowers these days.
Flower #1:
Many of you probably already know how to do this.  If not, cut at least four squares out of the knit.
Fold each square into 4

Cut the unfolded edge so it looks like an ice-cream cone.

Sew each folded petal at the corners and sew a bead in the middle.
For flower #2, follow the same steps as in #1, but instead of laying it flat, sew all the points together and then secure to shirt.
Flower #3 -is my upside-down awesome blossom (tutorial found here)

I still had some leftover knit, so I thought I would make her something cute for here hair. I started by making 2 awesome blossoms. I glued felt on the back and glued it to a headband.  I thought it needed something else.

I took a couple of very thin strips of knit and folded them in half.

Then I simply rolled them up and hot-glued them between the 2 awesome blossoms. I made a total of 3.

Linking up here:

UPDATE:  I just heard that I will again have AC Tuesday night-Wednesday at the latest!  Really I only have to survive the weekend and then it's supposed to get cooler.  I call my sewing room a "sweat shop"-I guess for the next few days it really will be.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ensure Your Child's Teacher is the Right Fit

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kidzmet for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I will take advantage of any tool that will help my children thrive-especially if that tool is FREE.

Kidzmet is a free online service with the following mission: “To help kids discover who they were
born to become by connecting quality enrichment teachers, tutors and coaches with the students they were meant to teach.”

Kidzmet will develop a Pairing Portrait for each child that identifies:
*Cognitive style
*Personality type
*Multiple Intelligences
*recommended teaching approach
I wanted this tool for each of my children, so I sat down with each one and took the online pairing portrait questionnaire. (See a sample -  It only took about 10 minutes per child and it was even kind of fun.
Here’s some sample results:
 It's the time of year when school administrations across the country are planning class mixes for the 2011-2012 school year.  I can e-mail the pairing portrait.  information to my child’s principal or guidance counselor to help them identify they right teacher for my child.
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Chip off the old Blog

My husband and I had a much need date last weekend. We left my daughter and her friend in charge.  They asked if they could make dinner and I whole-heatedly gave them permission.  This morning, when I went to download our Easter pics, I found a bunch of pictures of piggy pies. I about fell off the chair laughing.  My daughter said she took them so I could blog about it.  So how can I not:

They decided to make Piggy Pies a recipe from this book: 3 Books in 1: Silly Snacks, Classroom Treats, Cookie Dough Fun.

The orginal calls for cream of chicken soup and fozen veggies, but he girls used a can of beef stew instead.

1 Package of canned biscuit dough
1 Can Beef stew
10 frozen peas

Open stew and divide evenly into 5 (10 ounce) custard cups.  Place on raw biscuit on top of each.  With the remaining biscuits, form, legs, snout, and ears.  Use peas as eyes.  Bake for 9-11 minutes @ 400. Makes 5.
You could easily substitute chili, spaghetti, etc or make the biscuits into different shapes. If you are really ambitious you could make homemade biscuits. Have Fun!
I'm a little worried that I need to write up some disclaimer that we don't actually eat canned dough at every meal.  For the record last night we had a big chef salad and bread sticks.

Linking up here.
Click here for more foody fun.

If you're interested-here's a link to the cookbook.

Look what my girls did!!

Let me gush for a minute.  I love, love, love the girls I get to work w/ at my church youth group.  Last night we made wreaths for Mother's Day.  I brought in the pinwheel wreath and the folded flower wreath as examples.  They all like the folded flowers better (me too) and made beautiful wreaths for their moms. It took us a little more than an hour, and was relatively inexpensive.  We purchased the wreaths, but all the other supplies (paper, ribbon, lace, buttons, etc.) we brought from our own craft stashes.
  I need to show them off a little, but the pics do not do them justice.


Linking up here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pinwheel Mother's Day Wreath

As I've said before, I am bless to work w/ 14-15 year old girls at church. They really wanted to make something special for their Moms and asked if I could help them with a wreath.  Here's what we're doing.
Step 1 :  Cut 2 ½ inch wide X 36 inches long strips of fabric (I used 4 for an 18 inch wreath)

Step 2: Wrap the fabric around the wreath securing w/ either pins or hot glue as you go. I used and 18 inch straw wreath.  You could use a grape-vine wreath as well.

Step 4: Cut squares of various sizes out of double-sided paper.  I used 2 12X12 co-ordinating sheets.

Step 5: Take each square and cut from each corner to almost the center.

Step 6: Fold every other point in to make a pinwheel.  Secure w/ hot glue or a pin

Step 7: Arrange pinwheels  and secure to wreath (I forgot to take pics-sorry)

Step 8: To make roses, fold leftover fabric strips in half. I pleated mine w/ my sewing machine and then rolled it into a flower. You can also just kind of bunch and roll by hand.

Step 9: Take some leftover lace and roll to make flowers and secure to wreath.

Step 10: Hot-Glue buttons on top of pinwheels.

Step 11: Hang on your door and admire your work.

I just can't figure out which way I like better.  Thoughts?
Linking up here:
Check out some other fun decorating ideas here.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Basketball Cake

My daughter has been making cakes and cupcakes to raise $ for Girl's Camp.  She made this one for a neighbor's son.  Her fondant skills are improving-watch out Food Network!

She used her Cricut Cake. The net is from Everyday Paper Dolls and the letters are from George and Basic shapes. We originally made lines in the little orange balls but I thought they looked like pumpkins.  Even worse- my boys thought they looked like "booties" and couldn't stop laughing.  To play it safe we smoothed out the lines.

Check out our other culinary adventures.
Linking up here.

YW Manual 3 Lessons 16 and 17

I am blessed to teach 14-15 year-old girls each Sunday at church.  We are combining lessons 16 and 17.  I will be sticking pretty close to the manual. I like the question section of lesson 17 and we will go through each question.

To begin the lesson, I am going to tell them about a group of girls that one night all divided up into cars and decided to go to the temple.  Instead of using maps or directions, they would simply flip a coin at each intersection.  (post here).  I will stress the importance of not leaving our temple preparation up to chance.  I'm also sure that many in the car knew the way, and knew that the coin was telling them to go the wrong way.  In the same manner, it is important for all of us to follow the teachings and commandments of the gospel.

 For my handout, I took a picture of the temple from  Using Picasa (it's free) I wrote "Wish you were here."  I am going to mount each picture on card stock to make postcards.  Then I will have each girl write a postcard to her future self.

Here's an example of the Salt Lake and San Antonio temples.

Click here to see other YW lesson ideas.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Installing a Drip Line

Picture of Vegetable Garden Drip Kit

I have never grown a garden.  Honestly, because we move so often, I don't even have house plants.  A few weeks ago, my daughter and I planted a vegetable garden.  We haven't grown any food yet, but nothing has died yet either. 

Initially, I thought it would be pretty easy.  Former owners had already put in garden boxes and we have a sprinkler system.  My yard has 7 sprinkler stations.  5 in the front yard and 2 in the backyard.   I can't really afford to water an area that large everyday-nor do I have time to hand water every morning while trying to get everyone off to school/ work.  Then, b/c we're in a drought (Our governor has even called on a state-wide prayers for rain and we're praying), we are only allowed to use sprinklers once a week. I needed a solution to my water problem.

I know that drip-lines are the best way to water your garden, but that sounded really expensive and technically difficult.  I've got to tell you that starting this blog has been good for me.  It has really given me confidence to try new things (like wearing hot pink).  I figured, if it was a dismal failure, maybe I could at least get a funny post out of it. 

I went to my local hardware store a bought this kit.  Here's my review:
It came w/ an instructional DVD that I'm sure is fabulous, but I knew I wouldn't have the patience to sit through it.  It also came w/ a booklet w/ step-by-step instructions and colored photographs with each step. Fabulous!  Really easy to follow. I think all instructions should have a colored photograph for each step.

 My biggest problem that I was installing it AFTER, I had planted my garden.  I had to move some plants around so they would line up w/ the holes a little better.  The other challenge was that the tubing comes rolled up and it didn't want to lay flat.  I would bury sections under the dirt and it's fine now.  My only complaint is that I wish it would have come w/ more support stakes.  You can buy them separately, I just haven't made it back to the store.

Overall, I think it's a great systemand  for around $60 I think it will pay for itself. I think if you installed it before you planted your garden, it would only take around 30 minutes.

Here's my garden.  The drip line is brown, so it doesn't really show up.  Click on the pick to see it larger.

Linking up here.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bloomin T-shirt

I think that I may have created a monster. My daughter is wanting to wear some sort of new jewelry or shirt EVERY day. Last Sunday morning, she needed something to wear to church (besides the 1/2 dozen or so skirts I've either just sewn or re-done), She brought me this plain green t-shirt. We messed around with ribbon and came up w/ this. There's no tutorial. I sewed the white ribbon on w/ my machine. I didn't sew the "leaf" part, so it would stick out. Then I just kept folding and sewing on the blue ribbon to make flowers and top the daisy flower off w/ a button. The tulip looking flowers, I just folded to make look like tulips and then sewed them on by hand.

  It took less then 15 minutes. What do you think?  It even matches her room.

linking up here
you might also like..... Visit

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Did you notice the new look of my blog?  I spent a few hours yesterday making it pretty.

My daughter turned 13 and we celebrated all weekend long. For her actually birthday, I made her these.  I thought that they were a little more sophisticated than your average cupcake.  Now that she's a teenager, I've got to do more than sprinkles.

For the Batter:
Preheat oven to 350.
The juice and zest of 1 large lemon
3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg
1 package yellow cake with pudding in the mix
1 1 /4 cup water
1/3 cup oil
Mix all the ingredients and pour into 24 lined cupcake pan.  Bake for 18 minutes.  Remove and let them cool for 20 minutes. 

For Filling:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice

Place mixture into a pastry bag and squeeze about a Tb. of filling into each cupcake.

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
3 egg whites
1/3 cup sugar

Beat cream of tartar and egg whites for about 45 seconds.  Start adding sugar 1 Tb at a time, until it forms stiff peaks.  Spoon onto cupcakes and bake @ 45o for 5-6 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown. 

They were yummy served warmed and also great the next day after being in the fridge (although the meringue wasn't as pretty)

Linking up here.

I made a button!

Tales of a Trophy Wife

I'm feeling very smart right now-I made a button for my blog!  I followed Debbiedoos instructions here.  It took me about an hour-but I could do another one in under 5 minutes.  I think I may do some more stuff to spruce up the blog.

Do you like the dark or the light better?
UPDATE:  I wasn't completely happy w/ the first buttons.  I thought they were hard to read.  I started the ones in my sidebar in "Paint" and then followed the rest of the directions.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gross-grain ribbon flower

This is very simmilar to the flower I made here. I used 1 inch wide ribbon.  I cut 9 stips,  each 2 1/2 inches long.  I sealed the ends by hoding them close to a candle flame (don't burn your house down).

Then I folded the ends towards the middle.

Then I hot glued them to a felt circle.
Finallly you can complete your flower with a button, a rosette, or another flower made with thinner ribbon.

Linking up here.
Check out my other fashion fun here.