8.30.2010

Tutorial Tuesday

Here is your Tutorial Tuesday!

Hope Studios


Welcome to Tutorial Tuesday - If you are new here, this party is to showcase your weekly tutorials. What counts as a tutorial? Anything to "teach me stuff" counts - a recipe, a kid's craft, a DIY project, how you got your baby to sleep through the night ... I'm not picky.

Scroll down to see my weekly tutorial: Chalkboard Window Pots!

Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog address) using your name and a the subject of your tutorial to generate interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!

Hope Studios




Chalkboard Herb Pots - Tutorial Tuesday



Summer is ending, but there is no need to sacrifice fresh herbs all winter. Let's make some cute pots for our windowsills...and let's label them with chalk! Come on, that's cute, man!

Easiest tutorial ever today...ready?

Place an ordinary terra cotta pot upside down:



Spray with two coats of Blackboard Paint:



After 24 hours prep the surface by rubbing chalk over the whole surface then wiping it off:



Now you can write on it! See this pot I made for windowsill Basil?



Don't have Windowsill Basil? Don't buy it! Better check back on Wednesday!



I saw these pots online for $46 for a set of 6...my cost? Less than $2 apiece! Woot!

Do you have a tutorial for me? Well, tomorrow is Tutorial Tuesday, grab a button and meet me here around 10 pm tonight!

** PS (You can vote for my "Paint Sample Mosaic Art" in the Fireflies and Jellybeans contest if you like it! Help me win!)

Hope Studios




Weekend Bloggy Reading

8.29.2010

Sunday Funny


Some people have desk calendars that say what day it is, but Gary prefers something more basic. catalog living
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8.28.2010

I'm a Stalker...

Whom am I stalking? Or rather what? A cool Silhouette Digital Cutting Tool! There it's out. I want one. I want it bad.

Soooooo, I'm stalking all sorts of blogs that are giving them away. I have to blog about where to find their contests and I thought you might want to join in too, so I did all the legwork for you. You can enter, too...but I wouldn't if I were you. You know, since I'm the stalker...

Here's where you can find some Silhouette Giveaway contests. Oh, you're welcome. :)

Kara's Party Ideas

Under the Table and Dreaming

Grosgrain

American Crafts

Making it Lovely

You Say Too

Obsessed much? Why yes...yes I am.

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8.27.2010

Stuff I Learned

At Second Street actually made a Wedding Cake!



Songbird painted the Striped Walls I've always wanted:



Tasty Butter Pecan Turtle Bars:tu


Party Talk - Feedback Friday


You know how people tend to have a few drinks and start confessing? At a street mixer (to welcome all my new neighbors) I planned for last Friday, the conversation within my small group turned to Mother's Day for some reason. One of the mothers was describing one Mother's Day when her children came to her asking what she would like for her special day - she could choose anything. She then looked at our small group and announced, "So, I just told them - what I want for Mother's Day is to not be a mom!" A collective gasp passed through the group.

She went on to explain that she wanted a day without kids and she didn't understand why children need to be involved in Mother's Day plans. "Why can't I just spend one day doing what I want with who I want?" (**Background: This is a full-time working mother with an 18, 16, and 10 year old. I don't know her circumstances when she made this statement to her children).

Now the group actually groaned (and exchanged glances) as if to indicate that this conversation wasn't being well received. No reaction from the Mom who was speaking. I moved on to mingle with some other guests, but my mind kept returning to that statement - even now I'm trying to discuss it, a week later!

I began to think that maybe my neighbors and I live in a bubble. Maybe this is normal, maybe we're the strange ones for being shocked at this statement.

So, I have to know...Am I missing something? What are your thoughts on this statement? Can you relate? It's Feedback Friday:

Do you want your children near you on Mother's Day?

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8.26.2010

Summer is Over

What a perfect summer I shared with my boys. It's never long enough and I feel the same wistfulness each "first day of school" as I see them step onto that bus taller than the year before. They really are slipping through my fingers. It's like trying to cup water, I can't hold onto them, I can only enjoy each stage for a short time and embrace the next.



Slipping Through My Fingers

Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while
The feeling that I’m losing her forever
And without really entering her world
I’m glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what’s in her mind
Each time I think I’m close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when she’s gone there’s that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can’t deny
What happened to the wonderful adventures
The places I had planned for us to go
(slipping through my fingers all the time)
Well, some of that we did but most we didn’t
And why I just don’t know

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what’s in her mind
Each time I think I’m close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers...

Slipping through my fingers all the time

Schoolbag in hand she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile...

8.24.2010

Tutorial Tuesday

My bad, everyone! I am totally in the weeds over here with 2 days left until school starts. Here is your Tutorial Tuesday!

Hope Studios


Welcome to Tutorial Tuesday - If you are new here, this party is to showcase your weekly tutorials. What counts as a tutorial? Anything to "teach me stuff" counts - a recipe, a kid's craft, a DIY project, how you got your baby to sleep through the night ... I'm not picky.

Scroll down to see my weekly tutorial: How To Make 10 School Lunches Lickety-Split!

Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog address) using your name and a the subject of your tutorial to generate interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!

Hope Studios





8.23.2010

How to Make 10 School Lunches, Lickety Split

Originally posted August 2009...enjoy!

I saw this someplace on a blog last year and stored it in my brain like a squirrel stores a nut. It scratched it's way to the surface this week as I geared up to send my babies back to big bad school.

I don't know about you, but my kids never give me enough warning that they'd like to pack their lunches on any given day. And when they do, it's right when I'm making three different breakfasts, yelling about brushing their teeth, asking why they pulled their favorite shirt out of the laundry, or reading spelling words while they tie their shoes.

I have three kids to get ready in the mornings and packing lunch at the last minute is one of those things that just sets me off at 8 o'clock in the morning.

I saw this last school year and I swear I saw a beam of light shine on it from the heavens and heard angels sing. This could change my life, for real.

Once a week, take a loaf of bread;



Lay out 10 pairs (today is PB & J, but it's just as easy to do ham and cheese, turkey and cheese, bologna...whatever) and put it together assembly line style. Go right down the line, baby, it's no big thang!


Stick those bad boys back in the bag:



Double bag 'em to avoid freezer burn:



Stick 'em in the freezer to wait their turn for last minute lunch duty. Oh yeah:



See? 10 sammies lickety split, no stress, no me going all mommy dearest on the boys for springing it on me at the last minute. Nice.

8.21.2010

Stuff I Learned

I love Brassy Apple's Canvas Art Tutorial for combining words (my favorite), funky fabric, and wall art.



Books? Flowers? Say no more, I love this sweet Book Page Flower Tutorial by i love it all:



I love this Petal T-Shirt by Made by Me!



I will be waiting for the next installment of Waterstone's Making of a Waterstone Handbag with bated breath! Click on over to see the first installment:




Did you know you can Freeze Basil? Well, you can!

Want to Hem Your Own Jeans?

Let's Cook! Here are some yummy treats to make for the kids before school starts:

Trix on Stix

Special Fudgy Brownies

Bethenney's Molten Chocolate Cupcakes

Now, make some Shrimp with Angel Hair for dinner.

8.20.2010

Back To School - Feedback Friday

I maintain that there are two distinct groups of parents in the world when it comes to their Back to School feelings.

Celebrators:



And criers:



It's Feedback Friday and the kids are headed back to school, how do you feel?

Happy or Sad?
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8.19.2010

Vacation Recap

We've returned from another fantastic vacation in Avalon, New Jersey. Have you been wondering why I haven't been by all your blogs? It's because I snuck away last week to the Jersey Shore! Come along on a Juniper vacation, bring your suit!

We spent our days soaking up the few remaining days we have together before school resumes. Don't get me started, I've already cried 4 times about the fact that my boys are gone in a week.

We mugged for the camera so mom had no hope of getting a Christmas card shot.



We went to the North Wildwood Boardwalk and waited in line for thrill rides:



We surfed:



We crabbed:



And we strolled on the beach, hand-in-hand:



And then something amazing happened...

Someone took a picture of me! Yep, I made it into the beach photos this year! Check. It. Out.



I'm trying to keep life low-key until next Thursday. Once my boys go back to school I will reopen my shop and get groovin'! Until then, I have a few new things and a few reposts for you. You understand, right?

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8.18.2010

It's 2 O'clock - Let's Shop!

Let's start a weekly spot here for me to share the awesome Open Sky finds I dig up for you. You in? Remember the three F's - fun, funky, and functional is my goal!

I am so in love with this Citrus Throw Pillow from Sylvie Pillows - Check out the fabrics, the graphics! Yes, all the F's are covered in this one:




Check out this mini-bio from the artist who created this:

Sylvie Guieysse grew up in Paris, France, where she designed costumes for theater and launched her own Couture line. Her passion for the exotic flourished during her travels abroad. The different cultures, traditions, patterns and colors she encountered eventually inspired her to focus on home accessories.

I'm sold. Love her!

There is still time to link up your tutorials below - come on - Teach Me Stuff!
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8.16.2010

Tutorial Tuesday

Hope Studios


Welcome to Tutorial Tuesday - If you are new here, this party is to showcase your weekly tutorials. What counts as a tutorial? Anything to "teach me stuff" counts - a recipe, a kid's craft, a DIY project, how you got your baby to sleep through the night ... I'm not picky.

Scroll down to see my weekly tutorial: The Good Cookie

Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

* Link up using the link to your actual post (not your general blog address) using your name and a the subject of your tutorial to generate interest.

* Add my button or a clickable link back to this post so everyone can join in.

* Visit and comment with all our friends. Show them some love! Meet some new friends! Learn something new!

Ready? Teach Me Stuff!

Hope Studios





8.15.2010

The Good Cookie


Well, I just returned from vacation and believe it or not I did not prepare a tutorial for today (unless you'd like a tutorial on how to drink too many Mike's Hard Lemonades with friends at the beach for 7 days straight). No?

Today, I wanted to share another recipe I make for new neighbors, or friends, and sometimes my own family. Yes, I do let them eat some of my baked creations...but only the ugly cookies. I save the pretty ones for company.

This is a great, chewy cross between a traditional chocolate chip cookie and sugar cookie. I found it in my new copy of the Greyston Bakery Cookbook.

I was fascinated by the story behind this bakery and their partnership with Ben and Jerry's ice cream. The Greyston Bakery has helped transform the lives of many homeless and unemployed in Yonkers, New York. The story of this little bakery full of promise sold me on this cookbook from the beginning.

This cookie, dubbed The Good Cookie was developed after Ben Cohen of Ben and Jerry's found himself laden with a surplus of Brazil nut crumbs. He asked if the Greyston could use them, and this recipe was born. This cookie was even served at the White House Easter Egg Roll in 1993 and has since become famous.

The Good Cookie
The Greyston Cookbook

1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup ground Brazil or Macadamia nuts
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
3 eggs
2 cups chocolate chips


Preheat oven 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or a
Silpat baking pan liner. (Coupon coke FREESHIPPING works today. Woot!)

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, nuts, baking powder, and salt.

In bowl of electric mixer on medium, cream butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.

Reduce mixer to low. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate. Refrigerate dough 10 minutes.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets. Keep extra dough chilled.

Bake 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

**I forgot to mention that I added half semi-sweet chips and half white chocolate chips, because I can never leave a recipe alone. I must make it my own.**


Stuff I Learned

I need this Mail/Key Holder!



Love this fun, fluffy Paper Flower Wreath!



Knot T-Shirt




Check out this Kitchen Table!



Planning a party? Whip up some of these Conversation Coasters!

Back To School Gift Bags for your child's new teacher is a great way to start off the year. Sniff, sniff, only 10 days until my munchkins go back...

8.13.2010

The Cleavage Caddy. Feedback Friday

You know when you see an invention and you're not sure if you want to laugh or cry? I just came across The Cleavage Caddy and I can't tell if I think it's an amazing idea or a ridiculous idea...



Thoughts?

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8.12.2010

Super Easy Tortellini Salad

My soul sisters came over last week for a little shot of estrogen. We had a salad buffet, slip and sliding, and homemade Boston Cream Pie. Whenever I describe my day of soul sister fun to The Big Guy, he grimaces as if in pain. Our fun is clearly his nightmare.

We were on the edge of our seats watching Marzipan's on-site Boston Cream Pie assembly...we're dorks like that.



We got a little tech-y as we tried to fix the strange Photobox error message that was stuck on The Treat Girl's blog page. Let's just say, thank goodness for the computer savvy 11 year old behind me.



Then we got our salad on.

Summer Corn Salad



And Tortellini Salad:



Easy Tortellini Salad

1 bag of frozen, tri-colored cheese tortellini (plain will work fine if you can't find tri colored)
1 can artichoke hearts, quartered
1 can large black olives
1 pint grape tomatoes
1/3 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup Ken's Steakhouse Caesar Salad Dressing


**I added a grilled chicken breast since this was a meal salad. For a side salad, omit the chicken.**

Cook the tortellini according to the package directions then assemble all the ingredients and stir. This salad should take you about 7 minutes to prepare...you got 7 minutes? Great - this salad is for you!

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