3.29.2013

Easter Traditions






Share your family's Easter Traditions!

3.28.2013

String Easter Egg Project


Joy had another project ready for us during last week's  Soul Sister's Get-Together.  This is something you can do with your kids during Easter Break...you know about an hour after the joy of staying home wears off and the whining kicks in.

Supplies:

Balloons
String (we used embroidery thread, but yarn will also work)
White glue
Water

Blow up balloon.

Squeeze glue into a bowl and thin with a bit of water.

Place string or yarn into bowl to saturate:


 Wind gluey string around the balloon and let sit for a few hours to dry.


Once the string is dry, pop the balloon and hang your lacy creations!



3.26.2013

Tutorial Tuesday!

15 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs:





Easter Skirt Pattern:





Easter Chick Cupcake:



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Hope Studios




3.22.2013

Weird Question for Feedback Friday



Do you let your dog lick the dirty dishes in the dishwasher?

3.21.2013

Meal Swap!

 (layered burrito casserole)

The main purpose for our Soul Sister's get together last week was for our first Meal Swap!

I saw a story about Meal Ku, a NYC based meal co-op that helps members exchange homemade meals.  I was inspired!  I popped off an email to my girls that very morning and our first Meal Swap was born!

 (homemade meatballs and sauce with frozen cookie dough balls!)

We agreed upon a date and time and everyone arrived with meals packaged to share.

 (white chicken chili with grainy cornbread)

We had great variety and everything was ready top pop into the freezer...Easy Peasy!

 (turkey and stuffing dinner with homemade cranberry relish!)

Some girls even included sides or dessert items to complete the meal.  We had lunch together, worked on a few craft projects, then loaded up our meals and headed home relieved to know that dinner was taken care of tonight...and for a few more nights!

If you would like to organize a Meal Swap among your friends or co-workers, try some of these websites for recipe inspiration: 

Make Ahead Recipes - Food Network

40+ Make Ahead Meals - Mel's Kitchen

Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms



3.19.2013

Tutorial Tuesday!

Reverse Easter Egg Hunt:


Baseball Crib:


CLICK PICKS (last week's most clicked links):

#1  How to get Anything you Want

#2  Clean as you go


#3  Thrifting Scores


 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 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




3.18.2013

Let's Make Bead Rings!


The Soul Sisters got together for some fun last week and one of our projects was this bead ring made from wire!  Treat Girl came  home from New York with this ring and after a quick Sisters' visit to Hobby Lobby were up and running!

Supplies:

1 large, flat bead (any size, shape, or color will work!)
20 gauge wire

Begin by creating the ring for your finger.  Now, there were 4 of us in the room and we all did it differently.  Some of us wrapped it around our finger, some made a loop and wound it free-form, and others pulled out a rubber scraper and used the handle!

If you want to be all pro about it, you would use a ring sizer...we didn't have one of those so we improvised.


Wind your wire about 8 times, or more for a thicker ring:


Now, cut another length of wire - maybe about 20 inches to be sure you have enough, and thread it through the holes in the bead like this (I started out with 2 seed beads on each end, but soon ditched this plan and went with the solo bead):


You can begin to wind the wire around the ring base several times at each end of the bead, like this:


 At this point, you can either stop and tuck in the loose ends, or you can wind the wire across and under the bead to further secure it like this:


Tuck in ends of wire and crimp closed and pose with your girlies!  We made a bold, chunky statement ring, but use your imagination! 


We did a lot of fun stuff at this latest get together and I'll share more later this week!

3.15.2013

The Night Circus - Hope Studios' Book Club


 

The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern was one of those fantastical fantasies that I couldn't wait to read! I loved reading Water for Elephants and used to be hooked on an HBO series called Carnivale,so I knew I was going to love this book.  I couldn't wait to tuck into bed each night to read about the circus and dream about it all night. 

I would definitely be a red scarf wearing "rêveur" if I attended this circus!

Here are a few questions to get us started:

** What did you think of the change in narrators and shifting from past to present? Confusing?  Insightful? 

** What role does time play in the novel? From Friedrick Thiessen's clock to the delayed aging of the circus developers to the birth of the twins—is time manipulated or fated at the circus?

** How did you feel about the "competition"?

** Were you surprised about Poppet and Widget's choice of Bailey to take over the circus? Do you believe he has no special qualities other than being at the right place at the right time?

** How do you think the circus would survive over time without the competition to fuel it?


  ~Next Month, we will talk about Major Pettigrew's Last Stand!~

3.14.2013

Homemade Nutter Butters!


I found a recipe for Homemade Nutter Butters over at Remodelaholic that I wanted to try last month and I finally got around to it.  I love peanut butter so much...


Homemade Nutter Butter Cookies

Cookie dough:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 pound (4 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 cup creamy natural peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

Filling:

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter, preferably Skippy
3 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda; use a whisk to combine, set aside.

Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and peanut butter. Add sugars and beat at medium speed for 4 minutes, scraping down bowl twice.

At low speed, add eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until well mixed, frequently scraping down bowl. Add oats, and mix well.

Using a small scoop, place balls of dough on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies have spread and turned very light golden brown, about 10 – 12 minutes.

Remove from oven and set aside to cool and firm up, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely before filling.

For filling: Cream together the butter, peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar until very smooth.
Add a dollop of frosting to cookies then sandwich them together. Lick your fingers...a lot.

 
I loved these cookies and thought the texture was a little like Nutter Butters. For some reason, my kids were not crazy about these.  Was it the oatmeal?

Check in on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine ("Jennifer Juniper"), etc. today to see what the Soul Sisters have planned for this afternoon!

3.12.2013

Tutorial Tuesday!

DIY Touchscreen Gloves:


Bench Redo:


Peeps in a Nest:


CLICK PICKS (last week's most clicked links):

#1     Craft Closet Reveal


#2   Make Your Own Lace Undies


#3   Pin it and Wear it


 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 the subject of your tutorial to generate  interest.

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Hope Studios




3.11.2013

Only Got 2 Hours to Cook a 3 Hour Turkey?


Butterfly it, Baby!

I think Alton Brown taught me the beauty of butterflying poultry years ago and I've never looked back.

Last week I had 2 hours to cook an 8 lb turkey breast so I turned to this time tested technique to speed things up a bit.

It kind of looks like a heart???

Anyway, here she is in all her butterflied glory, slathered in butter and seasoned and ready to hang out in the oven for a bit.  We ate it too fast to take an after photo!

Anyhoo, I popped her in the oven for 1 hour 45 minutes at 350 then cranked it up to 400 for the last 15-20 minutes until she was golden brown and about 170 degrees internally.

Wait a minute...do you know how to butterfly a turkey breast?  Hold up, check it out:



Follow these directions to butterfly a whole turkey or just the breast like I did.

 




3.08.2013

Sexy Undies for Tweens?


 My sister in law popped me a text this week about Jenny Erikson, a blogger for The Stir, who caused a controversy this week for saying she was alright with her 9 year old daughter shopping at Victoria Secret when she she becomes a tween. 

Jenny was quoted as saying "I don't think there's anything wrong with having cute panties and bras from the big girl store" (source) She went on to explain that "No one wants to be the girl with the ugly underwear." (source )

Jenny said she probably would not by lace underwear for her daughter but find a line between pretty and sexy.

It's Feedback Friday...

Would you let your tween daughter buy underwear from Victoria's Secret?





3.07.2013

Want To Help Me Plan a Party?



My oldest son moves from the Middle School to High School next year and I'm on the decorating committee for his "end of the year recognition" party in June.

I have a few ideas, but 2,000 heads are better than one when it comes to party planning, and I need some help!

The theme we chose this year is "Instagrad" an Instagram party with a photo theme. I have been collecting ideas on my Instagram Party Pinterest Board, of course.

So far, we know we will rent a photo booth, and have several "vignettes" for the kids to take their own Instagram pictures.  I will need to come up with themes for each of these 4 photo op spots. Any ideas for props?

Check out these cute Instagram Cookies I found!  Bakerella thought of this, of course!

 (note to self...learn to work with fondant...)

I think we have to decorate 3 bulletin boards in the hallway - and come up with table centerpieces that involve candy.  Hmmmm...

We want the kids to bring in a baby picture of themselves and I want to mount them on what look like film strips for an interactive activity of guessing the baby picture.  Baby picture on top, lift to see the current picture!


Maybe we could use pictures to spell out the school initials or the graduation year?

I'm super stuck on how to decorate the gym where the dance will be.  My initial plan was to have glow in the dark balloons and glow sticks all over.  My attempt at creating these balloons failed miserably.  Any glow-y suggestions?

Help me plan my Instagram party...please?







3.05.2013

Tutorial Tuesday!

DIY Lace Lamp:


Elmo Cake:


Bento Lunches:



CLICK PICKS (last week's most clicked links):

#1   DIY Finishing Powder


#2   Fitting Pants





#3   Repurposing Holiday Lights



 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 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




 

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