1.26.2009

Baby Sitter Notebook




















My husband was the inspiration for this paper craft. He suggested that I do a baby sitters note pad and then post it as a freebie on the blog. I just took it one step further and used a freebie from Lauren Meader and Papertry Ink. Lauren is so generous to let us try her template for the recipe wrap-up . She and her designing friends give you great idea on how to use this versatile template. Go download it and leave her some love because I am sure you will be finding all sorts of projects for this template. Just for your information I used the Happiness freebie kit from Summer Driggs. If you download it tell her much you love it!

On to the project!

Step 1. Download the recipe wrap-up template, leave love.
Step 2. Download the happiness freebie, leave love.
Step 3. Print out 2 8 1/2 x 11 of paper of your choice from the Happiness collection. Be sure to print one side and then run them back through on the opposite side to make them reversible.

Step 4. Print out the babysitter pockets and babysitter pocket 2 file.


Step 5. Cut out all your pieces.


Step 6. Cut 3/4" off of each of the 11" sides of the background. Note the trim section of the template from Lauren.


Step 7. Follow Lauren's score lines and score the background and the pockets.


Step 8. Use double stick tape to join the 2 backgrounds together.

Step 9. Apply double stick tape to the flaps of the pockets and then fold. I found tape then folding worked better for me. If it works the other way around for you go for it!

Step 10. Affix the pockets to the folded background.
























Step 11. Print out and trim the child note pages and the emergency note page papers for the pockets. I trim them to 3"x6".















Step 12. I affixed a ribbon on the outside with double stick tape. OR you can follow the template, pierce your paper and thread string through.








You did it. Here are your freebie links from me but be sure to go to the links at the top to complete your project.! Pocket 1
Pocket 2
Emergency Papers
Child Papers

1.24.2009

My Pic Tales

I have been on the hunt for a penny pinching way to print my digital scrapbook pages. Ideally they would be in an 8x8 bound book but I was getting to the point of finding a way of printing the pages individually and them putting them in a book.... old school style. Searching and searching the internet. Finding sites that are awesome but didn't fit my entire bill of sale.

Here were my parameters:
-Easy upload and/or easy software usage.
-8x8 hard bound book. (high quality and customer reviews are a given)
-MUST have an allotment for more than 100 pages. (I have more than 100 pages... how can I cut any memories!?)
-The price HAD to be under $100.

I was finding two out of the four or three out of the four but it wasn't until I came upon My Pic Tales did I hit 4 out of 4!! After some initial struggles with the software (my own learning curve) and working through some of my own server issues I am sure I will have what I am looking for.

A quote from their web site regarding the features of the photo book:
Made of Silk coated or Glossy paper - 100 lb text or 80 lb cover (for wire-o)
Laminated custom covers or Black leatherette standard hard covers
Laser Printing
Glue bound or Wire-O Bound
Sizes: available in Landscape, Portrait and Square


And here is a quote from the same page about the hard bound photo books reguarding prices:

Minimum Price:

4.25 X 4.75 (The Brag Books) - $10.99 additional page - $0.50
5X7 (The Handy Dandy) - $19.99 additional page-$0.50
8X8 (The Scrap Book) - $19.99 Additional page - $0.50

Custom Hard Cover $5.99 extra

8.5X11 (The Classic) - $29.99 additional page-$0.50
10X10 (Square) - $29.99 additional page-$0.50
12X12 (The Legend) - $39.99 additional page-$1.00
11X17 (The Panorama) - $49.99 additional page-$1.00

Custom Hard Cover $10 Extra



I ended up getting a hard case, 8x8 (the Scrapbook), no custom cover, 108 pages and the cheapest shipping they had available. I did note that they are having a special on their hard cover books. 50% off!! (valid only until January 31, 2009) Check the front page for the code. So I got my entire book for $36.57. Shipping included. I was happy with that. If I had ordered my book through shutterfly it would have been over $100 and I wasn't able to get all 108 paged included!

Oh and another feature of My Pic Tales....they don't put their logo on you book! In fact if you have a logo they will put it on for FREE! I will let you know when my book arrives if it was worth my hunting all over the web to find this deal.


Just in case you are wondering... I do NOT work for My Pic Tales. I just came upon them and wanted to pass this information onto my other penny pinching friends!

1.22.2009

Spanish Style Beef and Rice



I made this recipe for my family last night. Of course I can't leave well enough alone... I have to change it up a bit. Partially because I didn't have everything in stock and partially my family doesn't like everything in the recipe. Here is how I interpreted this recipe.

Ingredients

4 beef bullion cubes
3 3/4 cups water
2 cups white enriched rice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1 2/3 pounds ground beef (80/20)
Salt and pepper
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups tomato sauce
2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1/3 palmful, twice

Spicy Chopped Salad, recipe follows

Directions
Heat water and bullion cubes to a full boil. Add rice, reduce heat and cover pot. Cook 20 minutes, until tender and liquids are absorbed.

Heat a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and beef and season with salt and pepper. Brown meat, 2 or 3 minutes. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper, Worcestershire. Cook together 5 to 7 minutes, until veggies are just tender. Add tomato sauce, and cumin. Bring mixture up to a bubble and reduce heat to low.

Combine cooked rice with meat mixture and serve with Spicy Chopped Salad,recipe follows.
{Reserve 1/2 of the beef and rice and freeze for stuffed peppers for another meal.}

Spicy Chopped Salad
1/4-1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives (from the olive bar next to the deli)
1 vine ripe tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped super fine
2 tablespoons salsa
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil, eyeball it
Salt and pepper

Combine salad ingredients in a bowl.

I served it just like it is portrayed in the picture. A bed of rice, topped with meat and then a sprinkling of chopped salad. My 22 month old LOVED picking out the olives. This is a winner in our house!

1.21.2009

Candy Conversations Heart Wrapper





Here is a box wrapper for you to use to wrap up your conversation heart boxes. I found 1 oz boxes of Necco Sweethearts at BJ's and that is what this template is designed for. HERE is the download.


Step 1. Print out the page on card stock.
Step 2. Cut them apart.
Step 3. Score them 2 1/2" from the left and the right side.
Step 4. Cut 2, 14" lengths of 1/8" OR 1/4"ribbon. I used white but red would be nice as well.
Step 5. Apply double stick tape width wise on the back of the wrap. I used 1/8" width.
Step 6. Center your ribbon on the tape and press to adhere.
Step 7. Wrap the Candy Conversations Heart Wrapper around a 1 oz box of Necco Sweethearts. Press the tape onto the box. This will help when you tie the ribbon.
Step 8. Tie ribbon.


Happy Valentine's Day!

I would like to give credit to Yari at Jady Day Studio for the Dipped in Chocolate Freebie that I used for this wrapper. The only element that is not hers is the white zig zag. I had that in my stash. Check out her blog. She does beautiful work.

1.20.2009

Cupid Poo(p) Another Tic-Tac Box Wrap




Here is a cute quick craft for you to make for your sweetie or for a bunch of sweeties. My daughter will be taking these to preschool as her Valentine treat. I used the small Tic -Tac box. Pictured are the white Tic-Tacs but red or pink would work as well.

HERE is your download.

Step 1. Print out the page on card stock.
Step 2. Cut them apart.
Step 3. Score them 1 1/2" from the left and the right side.
Step 4. Cut 12" of 1/8" ribbon. I used white but red, pink or silver would be nice as well.
Step 5. Apply double stick tape width wise on the back of the wrap. I used 1/2" width of this brand.
Step 6. Center your ribbon on the tape and press to adhere.
Step 7. Wrap the Cupid Poo(p) wrapper around a small box of tic-tacs. Press the tape onto the box. This will help when you tie the ribbon.
Step 8. Tie ribbon.

If you are feeling super creative you can use a heart punch at the bottom under the envelope. I don't have one but you might!

1.19.2009

Free Download of America's Song


I just finished watching Oprah and she had on a bunch of A list singers and they were singing "America's Song". It was composed for the Inauguration of Obama. It is a lovely song and you can download it for free for 24 hours. Here is the LINK. Got to love FREE!

1.17.2009

Mexican Noodle Casserole


I found THIS recipe and thought I would give it a shot. My family of 4 does not like overly spicy things. So I just omitted the chipotles en adobo sauce. Besides I can't find them in my grocery store! You would think that with a city with a 25% Latino population the chain grocery store would carry chipotles en adobo sauce!! OK. On with how I also altered the recipe. My grocery store also doesn't carry fideos. Or at least not in a location that I am able to find them on the shelf. So I substituted fine egg noodles. I am sure they are cheaper than fideos but I don't have anything to compare them too! I also just sautéed a couple of chicken breasts in place of 2 cups shredded smoked turkey. My family never knew the difference! I didn't use new mexican chili powder, but used regular chili powder. And I used dried oregano from my herb garden from this past summer. Why pay for something if you can grow it for next to free!!?

So here is the recipe as I did it. To see the original click on the link above.

Ingredients
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for pan
12 ounces FINE egg noodles
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups canned whole tomatoes
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 sautéed chicken breasts, cooked thoroughly and chopped
1 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
Sour cream

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Brush a 9x13-inch square baking dish with oil. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the fine egg noodles and cook, turning them with tongs, until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the noodles and any broken pieces to a plate.

Add the onion to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, coriander, oregano, chili powder, and bay leaf, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Crush the tomatoes over the pot with your hand and add them to the pot along with their juices. Cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the water, the toasted fine egg noodles, salt, and pepper, to taste. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently, uncovered, breaking up the noodles with a spoon, for about 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked, chopped chicken.

Remove the bay leaf. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, sprinkle the grated cheese over the top, and cover loosely with foil. Bake until the cheese melts and the casserole is hot through and through, about 20 minutes. If desired, serve with some sour cream drizzled over the top.

1.15.2009

Squeaky Clean


For some strange reason I got motivated today to clean my bathroom. Upon inspecting the mirror, in desperate need of attention, I reached for my glass cleaner. Low and behold I was out. (I wonder if that I why the mirrors were so bad? Probably not. I am just lazy.) So as not to loose my momentum I hit the internet in search of home made window cleaner.

Here is what I found:
Step 1
Mix 2 cups of water with two cups of rubbing alcohol and 2 tbsp. dish washing liquid. Shake or stir until the mixture is well blended.

Step 2
Pour the window cleaning solution into a clean spray pump bottle. It's fine to reuse bottles from other cleaners as long as you wash them out well.

Step 3
Spray the solution just as you would commercial window cleaner. Wipe dry with newspapers until dry. Newspaper cleans best and it leaves a lightly protective film that causes water to bead.

Step 4
Remove stubborn spots by using vinegar. You can spray it full strength on the spot or dab it on. Wipe the stubborn spot away and then clean the area with the window solution if you need to remove streaks.

Step 5
Wash the inside of your windows in one direction and the outside in the opposite direction. If there are streaks you will see whether they go from side to side or up and down and you'll immediately know which side needs further cleaning.

Step 6
Don't clean windows in direct sunlight because the windows can dry from the sun before you've had a chance to clean them thoroughly. Make sure to clean on overcast days or move around the house washing the windows not facing the sun.



I found that if I crumpled the newspapers up and flattened them out, crumpled up again and repeated a few more times they were easier to handle. This way they were 'softer' and more cloth like. So pinch a penny and clean a mirror!

1.10.2009

Another Christmas "Fudge"



Here is another one that I had to put together. Wouldn't these two look so cute as a matched pair?! LINK

Many many thanks to Mirella and Scrapity Scrap and More for allowing me to use her Twas The Night kit. This kit was my FAVORITE kit to use this Christmas. I got so much use out of it. There are so many papers and elements the possibilities are endless!!

1.09.2009

Christmas "Fudge"



I know it is after Christmas and this is a Christmas idea but I just had to share. My cousin gave us a Chocolate bar with a wrapper similar to the one pictured above. Hers was beautifully stamped and had layers of scrap booking papers. I took one look at it and knew it could be hybrid scrapped! So here it is: LINK. You do have to use a LARGE chocolate bar. I thought this was such a cute idea and had to make one to share.

Many many thanks to Mirella and Scrapity Scrap and More for allowing me to use her Twas The Night kit. This kit was my FAVORITE kit to use this Christmas. I got so much use out of it. There are so many papers and elements the possibilities are endless!!

1.07.2009

Adventures in Making Laundry Soap

I just made another batch of homemade laundry soap. My last batch lasted since the end of October. Not bad for .94! But when I made this batch it turned out a lot more gelatinous than the first batch. The only thing I can figure I did different was I brought the mixture to a simmer in attempts to be sure everything was equally dissolved. The end result was a big pot of congealed soap. Picture a large runny jello mold. There was no way this was going to easily pour out of my container.

So my daughter and I used my food processor to puree the gelatinous mass. Bit by bit we got the whole thing pureed. I would have liked to have had a immersion blender. But mine had broken a long time ago from over use making baby food.

So if you have the same results this is how I have resolved this problem. My only hope is that it doesn't re-congeal!

Snowman Poop(p) A project to tuck away for next winter.




My cousin had one of these in her craft repertoire this Christmas. She is a traditional stamper/scrapper. She used a stamp for the snowman and layers of paper for the wrapper. Me being a digi-scrapper (and penny pincher) thought I would be able to recreate them in photoshop. I did use the smaller tic-tac boxes. I understand there are larger tic-tac boxes but I had a smaller one on hand so that is what you get! If there is a need for the larger one I can create one for you... just ask. The papers are from Shabby Princess Moody Blues free download. The Snowman is from badabina.

HERE is your download.

Step 1. Print out the page on card stock.
Step 2. Cut them apart.
Step 3. Score them 1 1/2" from the left and the right side.
Step 4. Cut 12" of 1/8" ribbon. I used white but red or black would be nice as well.
Step 5. Apply double stick tape width wise on the back of the wrap. I used 1/2" width of this brand.
Step 6. Center your ribbon on the tape and press to adhere.
Step 7. Wrap the Snowman Poo(p) wrapper around a small box of tic-tacs. Press the tape onto the box. This will help when you tie the ribbon.
Step 8. Tie ribbon.


If you are feeling super creative you can use a round punch to punch out the bottom of the snowman. OR you can use an exacto knife to carefully cut out the bottom of the snowman.

1.04.2009

Baby Boy Wipes Box Cover



I got bored looking at my daughters' wipes box just sitting there on her changing table. It is nice and all but I don't know the baby on the box and it does not 'go' with her room. So I digi scrapped a 'cover'. It is a 3x6" rectangle (printed on card stock) for the front and one for the back. But that is not the freebie today!

My good friend is having a baby boy in February and I wanted her to have a cover for her box. So with the generosity of Farrah Smith and her Baby Boy kit I created these front and back plates for the Pampers wipes box. Look for the rerelease of the Baby Boy kit this January!
If you would like one for yourself here is a download for you. I printed this on card stock but I am sure you could use regular paper. I trimmed them and then applied to the wipes box with double stick tape.

1.02.2009

Love Shabby Princess


For all those digital scrappers and those who just love free stuff for their computers, Shabby Princess is generous each month to provide you with a free desktop paper that you can drag and drop your own pictures into. Her elements and papers are some of my favorite to work with when I am creating my projects. Awesome stuff. Be sure to visit the Shoppe and pick up a few kits for all your digital scrapping needs!

Do You Know About Red Box?


Have you discovered Red Box movie rentals? It is a vending machine that dispenses DVD's and the machines are located in convenient locations. For me my local Redbox location is at my grocery store. The great thing about Redbox is that each DVD costs $1 to rent per day. So if you are picking up some groceries and want to take home a movie to watch that night it is right there and it will cost you $1. No additional stops to the movie store and it is cheaper than the movie store. The trick is you have to return it by 9 p.m. the day after you rent the DVD or they will charge you an additional $1 (plus tax). The penny pincher in me wanted to see if there were any deals or specials to be had. So I went on their web site and found that if you sign up for their SMS alert you get a text message to your phone with Redbox offers. Recently it has been a free DVD rental on Mondays. There is also an offer for first time renters to receive a free movie rental via e-mail. Both are wonderful offers. So pinch a penny in the new year and snuggle up with your loved one and a DVD rental from Redbox!

photo by ShawnblogLicense: Creative Commons