Monday, January 31, 2011

Easy Heart Art

So I'm still stuck on paint chips. I think between myself and a couple of local friends who read my blog, we have cleared our Walmart out of all Valentine colored paint chips. Oops. This involved me cutting out a whole bunch of hearts. Lots and lots and lots. More than I needed actually. Then I cut a piece of cardstock to fit our frame and turned Sweet Pea loose with the glue gun. She did most of the gluing but added in the layers at the end. I think it makes a cute little addition to our Valentine Decor.




Hanging out with a strange collection of stuff. I really need to reorganize my decor!


So are the rest of you preparing for the winter storm. The weather men here in St.Louis are saying this will be storm of epic proportions. Really?? I guess it's because we are getting a whole mess of ice and then ten to twelve inches of snow on top of that. Gross. It's days like these where I feel fortunate to be a stay at home mom. My groceries are bought and we are prepared to snuggle in for the next three days! I will have to get creative to keep my kids entertained though! Wish us luck and hope the power stays on!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Somethin' on Sunday

So I haven't even gotten near my computer today! We had a fun filled family day. Train expo, lunch at Red Robin, naps, shopping, puzzles, snuggles. Good stuff. See you tommorrow

Here's a few iPhone photos just for fun.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Family Pedicure Night

So it's the end of the blogspa week over at Twelve Crafts Till Christmas and Flamingo Toes. Did you visit?? For the weekend they are hosting a bloghop with spa ideas and I wanted to share one from our house.

About once a month or so we have family pedicure night. It's not usually planned but it usually lands on a Friday night after my husband has been out of town traveling and spent lots of time on his feet training. It started a LONG time ago when my husband and I were both playing rugby. My husband's feet were those of an athlete including turf toe and calluses so think I cut some of the loose skin off with a scissors. Rugby boots can really do a number on your feet. That said, we got one of those foot spas and family pedicure night was born. Over the years we have amassed a variety of products from scrubs to lotions etc and now the kids get in on the fun. We pop in a movie and everyone gets a turn to soak their feet, get a foot massage and a little toe nail polish if they want.

It's a whole lot cheaper than taking all four of us to the nail salon or the spa! I also like that it shows our kids a spirit of caring for others. Nothing quite like taking care of another person's feet.

The only sad part of family pedicure night is that I can't talk my husband into painting my toenails for me. I guess Sweet Pea will be old enough to do it before too long!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Giant Valentine Art - Pint Sized Project

Due my husband being really sick this week, I haven't done a whole lot of crafting. Most of what I have been working on involves keeping my kids somewhat quiet and entertained so their daddy can rest. This GIGANTIC art project was part of an attempt to do just that. It kept Sweet Pea busy for almost and hour. Jojo was off riding his scooter half way through as usual. Hard to keep him still.


I started by taping a huge sheet of paper on the floor with painter's tape. I tore the paper off the kids roll of easel paper.


They I set the kids loose with stampers, ink, and paint and paintbrushes when they got tired of stampers.




Then I let the art work dry over night. This was a bit of a challenge since the kids wanted to touch it, tear it, stomp on it, etc. Then I dug up this strange piece of plywood type board from the basement. It's actually a shelf from some old cubicles. (yes, I have some really strange things in my basement :) ) I removed the hardware from the ends and taped used painters tape to cover the board with our art work.


I also attached some hangers to the back but they tore out when I tired to hang this up, it's really heavy. So for now, it's living on top of our TV cabinet. The kids are thrilled to have their art work displayed in such a huge way!


Now, if you are thinking, "oh I don't have cool old pieces of cubicle in my basement??" Since we used painter's tape it will be easy to remove so you could do this with any painting or frame you have hanging on your walls already. You could also do this for any holiday or just for fun!

Hope you like it. It's sort of a cross between abstract art and something you'd see in a kindergarten class room.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Winner and an Award

First, I want to thank all of you who entered the Pay It Forward Pouch giveaway. I'm excited that there are people out there that are willing to pass on a little bit of themselves to make the world a better place. I'm also please to welcome those of you who are new followers, I hope you stick around a while. As for the winner, picked number 15. I'm not sure how to get the little photo over here of the number, but please believe me! So the winner is:

" said...

I'm a follower and I'm so glad you commented on my Pay it Forward blog entry so that it could lead me to your blog. Love it!

She Loves Life
January 22, 2011 2:59 PM "

Anne, I will be sending you an email shortly. Also, Anne wrote a really great post at her blog She Loves Life about the cool Pay It Forward Program in Holland, MI, where she lives.

The other thing I want to tell you about today is that last week I received my very first blog award. And boy do I feel special about it! It's the Stylish Blogger Award. It makes me laugh because I rarely think of myself as stylish, especially as I sit here typing this in jeans, a ratty sweater, old running shoes and pigtails. Many thanks to Deana from Country By Marriage for giving this away. Here is her post about it.

I think that the way this goes is that I have to tell you seven  things about me and then I have to pass on the award to 15 other bloggers.  So, here we go.

1. I am a Midwest girl. Grew up in Iowa, lived in the frozen tundra of WI for seven years and now in Missouri for three. I like the seasons and have a hard time imagining living somewhere else.

2. I've been married to my husband Paul for seven years. We were born in the same hospital in same small town in Iowa but met 22 years later in Wisconsin. We met at rugby practice.

3. Yes, I said rugby. Yes, it is a no pads, tackling sport. I played for seven years and miss it often. It's still a bit part of our lives.

4. I am a stay at home mom. I never thought I would be before I had kids. I had no idea what hard work it could be. Today has been especially tough.

5. I am a gym rat. I am at the YMCA five or six days a week. I work because I like to eat and have a raging sweet tooth.

6. In addition to crafting, I like to cook and bake. Especially breakfast. Most days there is hot breakfast at our house. I don't like cereal. I even have a recipe blog too with my mom and sisters. Five Spoons

7. I have enjoyed blogging about all my craft projects more than I ever thought I would! It's fun thinking of new things to make and reading all the other great blogs out there!

And now, I get to pass out awards. Fun fun!!

1. Helping Little Hands. Lots of inspiration. Especially great ideas for kids!
2. Nave Family Food  This is my friend Vicki's recipe blog. We talk in real life and share cooking and craft ideas.
3. Just Chic . Stefi found me a few weeks ago. She makes some seriously cute clothes and I'm really excited to be working a blog project with her soon!
4. Two Butterflies. Lots of cute stuff :)  Jennifer will be part of the blog project too.
5. Ameroonie Designs
6. The Freckled Pumpkin
7. Everyday Celebrating Great party and entertaining ideas!
8. Muse Lodge
9. Mama Stellato
10. Moppy's Meals

And I've got five more to give but I promised I'd take my kids swimming after nap time and nap time is over!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup - Recipe

SO I'm not really much of a squash person. There is something about the sweet mushy texture that has taken me a long time to embrace. It's the same reason I have mixed feelings about sweet potatoes and over ripe bananas. However, this soup has won me over. I think it's the spices, they make it really special and it warms your belly up on a cold day. Roasting the veggies also makes your house smell great! I was the only one who ate much of this at our house but that's fine with me since it froze so well!

Butternut Squash Soup

1 medium butternut squash
1 medium sweet potato
4 medium carrots
1 granny smith apple
4 cloves garlic
olive oil for drizzling

1 TBS olive oil, chopped
1 medium onion
1/2 TBS butter
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt (if needed, depending on stock)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 cups vegetable stock
milk/cream/almond milk to taste

*This makes a big batch, but it freezes well.





and here is how to make it quoted directly from the email my sister Meagan sent me when I asked for the recipe.

"Preheat oven to 375 and get out a large roasting pan (or two). Cut about a half inch off the top and bottom of the butternut squash, stand upright, then cut in half. Scoop out the seeds and save them for roasting ( which you'll do separately from the vegetables). Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler and cut into one inch cubes. Then peel and chop the sweet potato, carrots (make these a little smaller), and apples into similar sized pieces. Place everything, including 4 peeled garlic cloves into a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil (maybe a couple of tablespoons), stir to coat, and then scoop everything onto the roasting pan(s). Roast for 45-60 minutes, stirring once or twice, until all of the vegetables are soft.

When the vegetables are almost finished roasting, warm 1 TBS olive oil over medium in a large soup pot and add the chopped onion; cook until translucent. Then add the sugar (and yes, this must be actual sugar) and butter (and, yes, this must be actual butter) and stir to coat. Cook for about a minute. Then add all of the spices--cumin, cayenne, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon. By this time the vegetables should be done roasting and you can add them all to the soup pot. Stir to coat with the onions and spices. Then add the 6 cups vegetable stock and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, making sure that all of the vegetables are tender. Turn off the stove and remove from heat. Blend until smooth with an immersion blender. If you like the consistency, you can leave it as is, but I find that it's more like a puree at this point than a soup. To thin, add warmed (in the micro) cream, milk, or unsweetened almond milk. I would highly recommend the unsweetened almond milk if you can find it. It's really good for you and adds a nice flavor.

Lastly, taste for salt! I use a vegetable stock that does not have added salt, so I add a 1/2 tsp with the spices and then usually some more at the end. (Rapunzel is the stock I get and it's so, so good.) If you can't find that, I would look for a low sodium veggie stock, either in liquid or dried form.

Also, 4 cloves garlic might sound like a lot, but roasting really tempers garlic, so it won't be strong at all."


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Indoor Fun - Pint Sized Project

My husband is feeling a bit better today but is still stuck in bed which means I am still stuck playing nurse rather than taking time for much blogging or crafting. I've done a few things with the kids to keep them quiet which you will see soon.
Here are just a few of the things we have been up to to keep ourselves quiet so daddy can rest.

1. Riding scooters indoors. Jojo has a radio flyer and Sweet Pea has a Razor. They love them. Not sure this is the greatest for my bamboo floors but it's great for burning energy.

2. Marshmallows plus toothpicks = a nice long quiet activity.


or a quick snack if you are Jojo :)


3. Make cinnamon rolls. Make this recipe from the Pioneer Woman. IT will be worth every minute of fussing it takes to make them.



4. Make tents and hide in them with flashlights. My kids are totally obsessed with tent making right now!



What do you do when your spouse is sick?? What do you when you need your small people to be quiet. It's so hard for my little people.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Not My Day

Today was not my day. Starting at around 2:30 am everything got thrown off the tracks. My husband woke up in pain bad enough to drive himself to the ER in the middle of the night. Turns out he has a wicked kidney infection. I stayed home & tried to get some more sleep but just as I was settling in, Jojo woke up for the day. Nice start huh??

I managed to have both kids up & dressed @ 6:15 to retrieve the hubs from the ER. The day continued with three trips to the pharmacy, two to the grocery store, & kids who refused to nap until they fell asleep in my lap (this was pretty sweet). It also included more dr calls, insurance company calls and other fun stuff. Now it is 9pm and I am back in the ER with my husband.

So, I wish I were home to upload pictures & share two great soup recipes & a couple of fun kids activities with you, but like I said "today is not my day." Hope you all are well.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Something on Sunday - Blog Spa Week

Yet another long weekend around these parts. Yesterday I participated in a three hour Zumbathon to raise money for our local YMCA's Strong Community Fund. Think a gym filled with 200 or so people doing latin dance! IT was super fun but boy are my feet tired. I wish I had the fabulous moves some of our instructors have. I just do my best to keep up. Dancing is not my best skill!

So on that note, I'm hoping that I can find something great to help out my sore feet this week over at Twelve Crafts till Christmas and Flamingo Toes. They are hosting a Blog Spa week full of tutorials and giveaways. I'll be over there checking it out. You should too!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Valentine Clippies

T-minus two hours and my husband will be home. Yeah!! He's been out of town for work since Tuesday morning. It has been a long week around here!! Jojo is battling a nasty cold and running a fever and we got close to 10 inches of snow yesterday!! Both of those things have kept us housebound yesterday and the kids and I ALL get cabin fever very quickly!! The only nice thing about my husband being gone is that I get to catch up on all of my DVR'd shows and work on crafts after the kids go to bed. Last night I watched Bones and CSI (yes, I like crime dramas!) and whipped up these for Sweet Pea. She insisted on wearing them today with her "LOVE" t-shirt. Hope everyone is ready for the weekend! I sure am!





Do you want a tutorial for these?? Think felt, embroidery floss, glue gun. Not too tough!!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway I posted about yesterday!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pay It Foward Pouches- a giveaway of sorts


"Pay it Forward 2011: I promise to send something handmade to the first 5 people who leave a comment. They must in turn post this and send something they made to the first 5 people who comment on their status. The rules are that it must be handmade by you and it must be sent to your 5 people sometime in 2011. Many thanks to my friend Emily for passing this on to me!"

That was my personal facebook status posted on January 4 of this year. I think it's a lovely idea. Sharing a bit of yourself with someone else. Did you see the movie back in 2000 with Haley Joel Osment?? It's all about paying back a good deed done to you by doing a good deed for someone else. This is like a pass it on of handmade goods!

Anyway. I'm really excited to see what my friend Emily comes up with this year! As for me, I knew I needed to get on my "pay it forward" project right away or I'd forget all about it! I had each of my friends who commented send me an email with their favorite color and their address. After, a bit of thinking I decided to make a bunch of little pouches. They are just big enough to hold your phone, a bit of cash, or coins & they have a nifty key ring on the side!





Now, here is the sort of giveaway part. Did you notice that I will be "paying it forward" to five of my facebook friends but that there are seven pouches in the photos???? Yup, one of them is for one of you!!! The catch is that if you win, you must pay it forward by passing on one handmade item to the person of your choice. Now, I can't prove that you will do this, but I'd love it if you'd show me what you pass on. And if you are thinking "oh, I don't sew, or I'm not crafty, think about other things you could pass on. Some homemade soup or cookies?? a hand decorated greeting card?, hair bows or clips?? Really, the possibilities are endless!

So the winner of this Pay It Forward Pouch Giveway will receive one pouch handmade by me. Either the multicolor persia print or the blue & brown paisley print. Sorry, the red one is spoken for.  

Here's how to enter: 

1. Be a follower of Sweet Pea and Jojo and leave me a comment telling me that you are a follower.

For additional entries, leave a separate comment for each one: 

- Like Sweet Pea and Jojo on Facebook. Leave me a comment telling me that you do! 

- take a look around the archives of Sweet Pea and Jojo and leave me a comment telling me what your favorite project was. 

-leave me a comment telling me about a time you "paid it forward" 

Also, be sure to leave me your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner! The contest will end at midnight on January 26, 2011 and I will announce the winner next Thursday!! 

And if you don't want to enter the giveaway but want to make some of these cute little pouches, I kind of sort of followed the tutorial from Noodlehead.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Okay, so I've got buttons now! Yee haw!! There will be a "featured on" button coming sometime soon too! Fun fun!  Feel free to grab one if you want. One for those of you with a black blog background and one for those of you with a white blog background! 



Features and Fun!

So no craft to show you today. I have been working really hard on what I want to show you tomorrow but I'm not quite done so I thought I'd share a couple of other things with you. OH and do come back tomorrow because I will kind of sort of be doing my very first giveaway!!!

First, did you see the new header???? I'm getting a bit of a makeover thanks to my sister Abby, the graphic designer. Her full time job is designing packaging for a variety of food products but I roped her into doing a little bit of blog design for me. I have a couple of buttons too and will do my best to get those up later tonight!

Second, it's always so nice to get featured and I had TWO projects featured this week. Makes a momma feel good about what she's spending her time one.

Someday Crafts featured yesterday's Glass Valentine Art! Click here to make your own!

The kids and their Super Sledding MIttens were featured on Under the Table and Dreaming, one of my favorite places for inspiration! Click here to read the Super SLedding MIttens Post



Again, thanks so much to all you who keep coming back to visit and leave comments. I really appreciate them!! Stay warm! 


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Glass Valentine Art

I was on a bit of a mission yesterday. I have a stock pile of things I want to work on and tackled a couple yesterday. One was a pillow cover made from an old sweater which I will NOT be showing on the blog. It was a bit of a craft fail. After that I had to supervise the kids while they did playdough to keep them from sticking in the vent in the refrigerator like they have done in the past. I came up with this quick project using supplies in the craft dresser.

Start with an old frame. This one is a little 4x6. Some scrapbook paper, colored glass circles, glue. I ended up using the glue gun instead of the E6000.

Remove the glass from the frame and trace it onto the scrapbook paper. Cut it out and put it in the frame.

Like so

Next glue your glass beads to the glass. We did a heart shape for Valentine's Day.

It will look something like this when you are done. I thought it was a cute little heart. Sweet Pea was not so convinced.


Pull off all those little glue strings and threads and display!