Tuesday, October 21, 2014

DIY Lego Movie Halloween Shirt & Free Cut File

I love dressing my kids in themed clothes for holidays so at the end of September I started looking for Halloween shirts for the boys.  I quickly found one I liked for Luke but I wasn't having any luck for Jake.  I found a couple that were okay but they were long sleeved and it's still pretty hot in Southern California.  The bigger problem I ran into was that a lot of the shirts were downright rude.  I've noticed  that once your son transitions out of the toddler section and into the boy's section the shirts are rude.  I must be in the minority here, but if I wouldn't let my child say something to me because it's rude, I certainly won't let him walk around with it on his shirt.  We were out of town this weekend and were near an outlet mall so I dragged the boys into four different kids stores and struck out at every single one.  Finally Josh suggested that I just make him one.  Why didn't I think of that?!?

I loved how my Pregnant Skeleton Halloween shirt came out last year and I always get complements on the Ninja Turtle onesie I made for Luke so I knew that I had my solution.  Jake is OBSESSED with all things Lego and the Lego Movie is no exception.  I decided to do a play on the theme song "Everything is Awesome" and make his shirt say Halloween is Awesome.  Then I made a jack-o-lantern Lego head and I was ready to go.

Once I had my cut file finished I gathered my supplies.  You will need some freezer paper, a black t-shirt, orange fabric paint, and a sponge paint brush.  Cut a piece of freezer paper to 10 1/2 by 12 inches (that's the size of the cut file page) and put it on your cutting mat with the shiny side facing down.  Cut out the stencil.  Make sure to save the little pieces that go inside the As and the Os as well as the features of the jack-o-lantern.

Turn the t-shirt inside out and iron a piece of freezer paper with the shiny side touching the shirt.  This will protect your shirt from any paint bleeding through to the back.  Then turn the shirt right side out and iron the stencil on.  I ironed on the main stencil first, then carefully placed the little pieces and ironed them on.  I was rushing so I had a few bubbles in my stencil, you want to do a better job ironing.  Bubbles in the stencil equals places where the paint can bleed outside of the lines.

Use your sponge brush to dab the paint on.  You don't really want to brush it on.  It looks better if you dab it.  After you have finished your first coat let it dry.  I was trying to get this all done during one of Luke's naps so I cheated and used my hair dryer to dry it for about 5-10 minutes.  Then I folded a load of laundry and by the time I was finished it was dry enough to do the second coat.

Use the same dabbing method to sponge on the second coat of paint and then let dry completely before peeling off the stencil.  Happy Halloween!

Halloween is Awesome cut file

For those of you without a Silhouette (Add it to your holiday wish list, I love mine!), here is a PDF if you want to get crazy with your exacto knife:
Halloween Is Awesome PDF

I'm linking up with Wednesday Whatsits, Moonlight & Mason Jars, and  Whimsy Wednesday.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

Oh peanut butter, I love you.  Seriously of all of the sweet flavors in the world, peanut butter is my favorite.  I love chocolate.  I love caramel.  I love cooked fruit, especially with a crumbly, crisp topping.  Let's be real, I love dessert.  That being said, at the end of the day, it is peanut butter that really makes my heart beat faster.  I honestly can't get enough.  My absolute favorite cookie is a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie, but sometimes you just need something a little more straightforward.  Not everyone loves chocolate (crazy I know) so if you are going for a chocolate free treat, the classic peanut butter cookie is an excellent choice.

I used the peanut butter cookie recipe from the classic red and white checkered cookbook as a jumping off point.  Everyone has this Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook right?  It is a great recipe and I love it, but I made a few tweaks that make these peanut butter cookies even better.  These cookies come together quickly with a few basic ingredients and are oh so good.  They are soft, chewy, peanut buttery, and delicious.

Start out by beating together a stick of softened butter and some peanut butter (I used Skippy because that's what I had, but use the brand of your choice.  JIF is my favorite.  I wouldn't use one of those natural, keep in the fridge types of peanut butter in these).  Add in some sugar, brown sugar, and a little bit of honey because honey and peanut butter equals Y-U-M!  Put in some baking powder and baking soda because you want these cookies to be nice and puffy.  I mean honestly, who wants a flat cookie?  Go ahead and add a pinch of sea salt too.

Once that is all combined, crack in an egg and add in some vanilla.  Then take some white whole wheat flour (whole wheat equals health food right?) and mix it in until combined.  Stick the cookie dough in the fridge while you preheat your oven to 375 and line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper.

I used my cookie scoop to portion out my dough so my cookies would all be the same size.  Once you have it all scooped out, roll each portion of dough into a ball.  Then use a fork to make a cross hatch across the top.

Bake the cookies for 7 minutes.  Put the cookie sheet on a cooling rack for 2 minutes, then slide the parchment off of the cookie sheet and onto the cooling rack to cool completely.

I recommend eating these with an ice cold glass of milk.  Peanut butter cookies and milk are the perfect comfort food combo.  Yum, yum, yum.

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies 
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbls. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups white whole-wheat flour
  1. Beat together butter and peanut butter.
  2. Add in the sugars, honey, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt and beat until combined.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat in the egg and vanilla.
  4. Add in the flour and beat until just combined.
  5. Refrigerate dough while oven preheats to 375.
  6. Use a medium cookie scoop to portion dough, then roll into balls and place onto parchment lined cookie sheets.
  7. Cross hatch the top of each cookie with a fork and bake for 7-8 minutes.
  8. Let cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

I'm linking up with Thrifty Thursday, Pin Junkie, Creativity Unleashed, Link Party Palooza, Weekend Potluck, Pinworthy Projects, Bakerette, Show Stopper Saturday, Best of the Weekend, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Saturday Night Fever, Weekend Social, Inspiration Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Craftastic Monday, Busy Monday, Monday Funday, Mad Skills, Lou Lou Girls, Two Cup Tuesday, Create Link Inspire, Tasty Tuesday, Wednesday Whatsits, Moonlight & Mason Jars, and Whimsy Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

DIY Spider Wreath

So... I had planned on making this wreath last Halloween but I was working full time and super pregnant and I only got as far as buying the foam wreath.  This year, I was determined to actually make it.  Then when I took Jake to Michael's to buy a poster (he's Star of the Week this week) I saw the perfect yarn.  Having made a yarn wreath before I knew I wanted a thick yarn because it goes much, much faster.  This yarn is nice and thick and is black with a shimmery/sheer white layer encasing it.  I also picked up a package of fake spiderwebs.

This spider wreath is super easy and cheap to make.  I've seen on pinterest that some people have cut a pool noodle and duct taped it to make a wreath  If you've got extra pool noodles that would make this even cheaper.  I used a 40% off coupon last year so it was pretty cheap anyway.  I used another coupon to buy the yarn.

Start out by looping the yarn around your wreath and tying a double knot to get it started.  Trim off any extra yarn hanging off of the knot.  Then start wrapping your yarn around the wreath.  This is sort of time consuming but not too bad since it is a thick yarn.  Just turn on the tv and you will be finished before you know it.  It won't be in perfectly straight lines because the inside of the wreath is thinner than the outside but it will still look great.  I did two layers.  Once I had wrapped all the way around I just kept on going wrapping right on top of the first layer.  When the second layer is finished, tie another double knot and trim off the excess yarn.

Grab a little bit of your fake spider web and stretch it across your wreath until it looks how you want it to.  The web will stick pretty well to the yarn on its own, but I used a couple of straight pins to tack it into the back to make sure it stayed in place.

Next grab your spiders.  I used these little clip back plastic spiders that I picked up at Party City.  Full disclosure, I originally used a big spider and hot glued it on.  I loved how it looked.

Unfortunately, by the next morning the spider was on the ground, it was just too heavy.  I probably could have found a way to make it stick but I just changed my plan and got the little ones instead.  They have a little clip on the back so Jake helped me slide them onto the web and we were finished.

I'm linking up with Moonlight & Mason Jars, Whimsy Wednesdays, Wonderfully Creative Wednesday, Create It Thursday, Pin It Thursday, and Showcase Your Talent Thursday, Thrifty Thursday, Pin Junkie, Creativity Unleashed, Link Party Palooza, Weekend Potluck, Pinworthy Projects, Bakerette, Show Stopper Saturday, Best of the Weekend, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Saturday Night Fever, Weekend Social, Mad Skills, Lou Lou Girls, Two Cup Tuesday, and Create Link Inspire.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Easy DIY Ghosts

Today's post is a Halloween themed craft that even the self-proclaimed craft challenged can make.  If you can draw an oval and color it in, you can make these ghosts.  I was recently at a mom's group and one of the mommies had brought some puffs.  All of the mobile babies were clustered around her like pigeons on a statue.  She mentioned that she had a bunch of empty puffs containers at home and I instantly thought of these milk jug ghosts we made last year.  I suggested she make these little puffs container ghosts when she got home.

She claims she can't craft, but she went home and made these and they turned out so cute that I decided to make some myself and post it here for you all.  You need exactly two things to make these DIY ghosts: empty puffs containers and a sharpie.  First you need to peel off the labels.  I had already done this because my child is part dog and likes to eat the plastic label so I have to peel them off right away.

Once the labels are off, use your sharpie to draw and color in your ghost faces.  I made this open mouthed ghost but you can get as creative as you like.  These would be great to do with your kids.  I made mine during nap time but as soon as Luke polishes off another container I'm going to give it to Jake to make his own ghost.  Happy crafting!

I'm linking up with Moonlight & Mason Jars, Thrifty Thursday, Creativity Unleashed, Link Party Palooza, Weekend Potluck, Best Recipes, Pinworthy Projects, Best of the Weekend, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Pin Junkie, Show Stopper Saturday, Saturday Night Fever, The Weekend Social, Inspiration Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Craftastic Monday, Busy Monday, Monday Funday, Mad Skills, Create Link Inspire, Lou Lou Girls, Two Cup Tuesday, Tasty TuesdayWhimsy Wednesday, Wonderfully Creative Wednesday, Create It Thursday, Pin It Thursday, and Showcase Your Talent Thursday.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

What I Wore - Black & Gray

This was a super crazy day for me.  In fact, I almost didn't get a post up because I forgot to have Josh take pictures and didn't get home until 9:30.  Back when I was young (before I had kids) we didn't even leave to go out until 10.  Now if I'm still out at 10 it's a very, very late night for me.  Anyway, I didn't want to miss a post, plus this top and jacket are two items of clothing I'm loving lately, so I had Josh snap a few quick pics.  Please forgive the terrible lighting and the circles under my eyes (long day).

I love the look of jackets and  have been wanting a moto jacket since last year, but I don't love how constricting jackets feel so I hadn't pulled the trigger and bought one.  Then in July my sister wore this Halogen knit moto jacket on our trip to England.  I really wanted it and lucky me, it was part of Nordstrom's anniversary sale so I snapped it up.  I L-O-V-E it!!  It is knit and as comfortable as a sweatshirt.  This completely solves my usual problem with jackets.  I find myself grabbing it all the time when I need an extra layer.  I'm sorry to say that it is out of stock but keep your eyes peeled in case it comes back.

Now let's talk about this tank.  It is basically a super comfortable tee (well tank) but it looks nicer.  I love that it is blousy but still has shape.  The detailing on the shoulder dresses it up a little.  I picked it up at the end of summer at the Banana Republic outlet and I've already worn it 5 times.

This outfit couldn't have been more comfortable, well maybe with leggings.  Note to self, next time wear with leggings.  I love when I wear something that feels like pjs but looks pulled together.

I'm linking up with Monday MingleStyle Elixer, Shopping My Closet, Pleated Poppy, Because Shanna Said So, Mix Match Fashion, Perfectly Coutured, and Get Your Pretty On.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Pecan Streusel Topped Banana Muffins

My great grandma made the best banana cake on the face of the earth.  It is exactly what banana cake should be and I love it.  Jake loves it too, especially when I let him eat it for breakfast.  In fact, he refers to it as "breakfast cake" and requests it often.   The other day he asked me to make it again and I decided to make muffins instead to make them single serve.  I made a few changes to make them a little more breakfasty and then added a pecan streusel because it sounded like a delicious idea.

I usually line my muffin tins with paper liners but when I make banana cake I just spray the pan with baking spray so I did the same thing for these muffins.  They came right out of the pan with no trouble at all so I don't think you need to line your muffin pan.  I made a couple in silicone muffin cups and they didn't come out as cleanly so I recommend using a regular old muffin tin.  Now that you know what you will be baking these lovelies in, let's talk about how to make them.

Beat together a stick of butter, a couple of eggs, and some vanilla.  Add in a little buttermilk to keep your muffins nice and moist.

While your mixer is doing its job, start sifting your dry ingredients: white whole wheat flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  You are going to sift two times.  I like to lay out two sheets of wax paper.  I set my sifter on one sheet of wax paper, measure my ingredients directly into it and sift away.  Then I move my sifter to the other sheet, pour the dry ingredients back into the sifter and sift again.  This way I don't make extra dishes.

On the extra piece of wax paper, mash up a couple of bananas.  That's right, I reuse the wax paper and avoid another dish, I'm always thinking ;)

Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the mashed bananas to your wet ingredients until everything has been added.  Then continue to beat your batter for two minutes.

Use your mixer time to make the streusel.  Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter.  In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter with chopped pecans and equal parts flour and dark brown sugar.  Try not to spoon it directly into your mouth (this is the hardest part of making these muffins).

When you mixer has finished making your muffin batter for you, take an ice cream scoop and scoop your batter into the sprayed muffin tins.  I filled mine pretty full so they baked over quite a bit.  You may want to fill them a little less.

Spoon your streusel all over the top.  I used a heavy hand with my streusel because it tastes so good.  I left three muffins without it because I wasn't sure if Jake would eat them with the streusel, he prefers things healthier (weirdo).

Bake your muffins at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  I was in a hurry to head out the door so I pulled them out of the muffin tins immediately onto a cooling rack.  I would wait a minute or two if I were you, but I only broke one so if you can't wait you'll be okay to pull them right out.

These muffins are oh so good!  The pecan streusel adds that extra layer of flavor and texture and the muffins themselves are banana baked-good perfection (if I do say so myself).  Whip up a batch for breakfast, snack, or dessert.  You will be glad you did!

Pecan Streusel Topped Banana Muffins
For the muffins:
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup mashed banana (about 2 medium bananas)
For the streusel:
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tbls. butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  1. Spray muffin tins with baking spray and preheat oven to 350.
  2. Beat together butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla for 1 1/2 minutes on medium speed.
  3. Add in buttermilk.
  4. Sift together dry ingredients two times.
  5. Alternate adding dry ingredients and mashed banana.  Once everything has been added, beat for two minutes on medium speed.
  6. Meanwhile, combine streusel ingredients.
  7. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop batter into muffin tins.  Spoon streusel on top.
  8. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes.  Cool slightly before eating.

I'm linking up with Thrifty Thursday, Pin Junkie, Weekend Social, Creativity Unleashed, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Best of the Weekend, Weekend Potluck, Best Recipes, Link Party Palooza, Show Stopper Saturday, Pin Worthy Projects, Inspiration Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Craftastic Monday, Busy Monday, Monday Funday, Tasty Tuesday, Lou Lou Girls, Mad Skills, Create Link Inspire, Tasty Tuesdays, Two Cup Tuesday, Wonderfully Creative Wednesdays, Moonlight & Mason Jars, Whimsy Wednesday, Cook It Craft It Share It, Create It Thursday, Pin It Thursday, and Showcase Your Talent Thursday.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Motherhood Together Mommy & Me Classes

I received a discount to participate in their classes but all opinions are my own.

When I had Jake I joined a new moms group at the hospital where I delivered.  Every week I would get out of the house and spend time with other moms who were going through what I was going through.  After the group we would walk over to BJ's and have lunch on the patio.  Some weeks, this group was what kept me going.  It was such a lifesaver for me and I knew I wanted to join it again when Luke was born.  I was devastated to find out that the woman who ran the group left the hospital and so they stopped holding it.  Even though I have a lot of friends with kids, none of my friends have kids the same age as Luke.  They all had their kids closer together than we did.  While my girlfriends are great, sometimes you need to talk to someone who is going through the same thing.  Sometimes I don't want to hear, "oh I remember that," I want to hear, "Oh my gosh, that is the worst, I'm dying right now with _______ too!"  Like most moms out there, I was going a little crazy in the first few months and I knew that I needed to find a mom's group.

Then one day I heard about Motherhood Together.  Three lovely ladies, Alex, Chelsea, and Bianca, met in a moms group with their adorable little ones, now toddlers.  They also realized how valuable having a community of moms and a place to go every week was so they decided to create Motherhood Together.  It was exactly what I needed.  Their 8 week classes meet once a week for an hour and half.  Some of the sessions have a guest speaker and others have a topic.  What every week has in common, is a safe space to be with other moms where you can vent about things that are making you crazy, share the moments that are bringing you joy, and most importantly of all make friends for yourself and your adorable little one.

One week the speaker was a sleep specialist and I was so excited.  Jake was a phenomenal sleeper so I assumed that I had sleep training all figured out.  Um, not so much.  Luke is a completely different person and in no area is that more clear than when it comes to sleep.  Having a sleep specialist there to give advice and answer questions was exactly what I needed.

Another week the wonderful Crisanta from Infinifoto came and did mini shoots for each of us.  You can never get enough pictures of your little ones, and honestly, professionals get paid for a reason.  These pics are so much better than what I can take.  That being said, she also gave us some tips to help improve our own pictures.  (In honor of this post, Josh finally relented and allowed me to share a pic of our littlest man.)  Look at that face!  There aren't even words. 

We also got to hear from lactation consultant extraordinaire, Jen from Milkalicious (such a great store for nursing mamas) and we got to play with Discovery Toys.  In fact, I liked Discovery Toys so much, I decided to sell them myself but that is a topic for another day.

Motherhood Together is the perfect resource for Orange County mamas whether this is your first baby or your third (or second, or fourth, you get the idea).  Having a place to go every week is just what you need.  It is the perfect venue for making new friends because the classes aren't too big.  It may not seem like it, but I'm actually kind of shy.  In a big group it is hard for me to put myself out there and make friends.  Have a smaller, structured group takes away that pressure.  Plus, no one cares if your baby has a blowout, spits up everywhere, or has a meltdown.  We're all in it together.

In fact, we're all in it together is the idea behind Motherhood Together.  It's that idea of supporting one another even when you don't do things exactly the same that makes these classes so wonderful.  There is no judgement, just support.  On top of all of the wonderful features I've mentioned, you get to know the lovely ladies who created Motherhood Together.  They are such amazing mamas and while they each do things a little bit differently, they couldn't be closer. 

Motherhood Together has new sessions starting all of the time, so even if you don't see one on their site that works for you, I encourage you to reach out to the ladies.  If you are a mama with a baby (or babies) under a year old Motherhood Together is for you.  I know you are super excited about Motherhood Together, but get even more excited because Alex, Chelsea, and Bianca are so amazing that they are offering a 10% discount to all Imperfect & Fabulous readers.   Just send the girls an email before you pay and they will contact you with details about how to get your discount.

I received a discount to participate in their classes but all opinions are my own.