Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Staching Through the Snow

Wow. It's been three whole weeks since we've blogged.... we are just slightly slacking... but with good reason, mind you. Christie just finished planning an event and she was working insanely crazy hours and what about me? Oh yeah... I had a baby three weeks ago.
My sweet little Colbie Anne was born on Nov. 21st. She has just been pure joy and delight since the moment she arrived. She is the best baby ever and her other two sisters just love her!!! So, instead of cooking and crafting,  doing laundry and cooking,  I've just held this little baby and given her oodles of kisses and lots of cuddle time. :)
 Before Colbie was born, I was invited to participate in a handmade ornament swap. The swap was on Dec. 1st, which was after Miss C was born, so I had to get cracking on making my ornaments before she was born. You may remember that I participated in it last year... and made this little beauty. tle Well, my ornaments last year were a little time consuming, so this year, I wanted something easy and inexpensive... and I also wanted something a little fun.
Since mustaches are all the rage right now, I thought it would be fun to make a mustache ornament.
I went to Home Depot and got some paint stirring sticks (you should have seen the face on the employee's face when I asked for 10 paint sticks.... it was priceless!).
I came home and cut each stick into 4 pieces. After I was done cutting all the ornaments, I sanded the edges and then drilled holes in them. The top part of the ornament got 4 holes drilled into it, and the bottom part only got 2 holes drilled...
I added a couple of coates of white paint, then did a coat of glitter paint (you can't see it in the picture. Bummer! But they were glittery!), let everything completely dry, added the black vinyl, and sealed everything in with a lovely little coat of Mod Podge. I then used floral wire to complete the little ornament.
I love how these turned out! What I love even more, was they virtually cost me nothing to make. The paint sticks were free... I already had the black vinyl, Mod Podge, and white paint on hand.... so all I had to buy was the wire and glitter paint... which I used my Michael's coupons on... yes, even though items are only $1.99, I still use a 40% off coupon. I am that cheap, and I'm not ashamed!!
If any of you have made ornaments, I would love to see them!!
 Just link up your handmade ornaments below, and have fun browsing other handmade ornaments.
I'm not asking that you follow our blog, or like us on facebook or anything...
(it would be nice, though... just sayin')...
I just want y'all to get some good ideas and have fun!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Easy Book Banner

Guess who is having her baby today?  Our very own Claudia!  Three years ago, I went in to be induced the day before Thanksgiving just like her.  Hopefully she pops her little turkey out way before I did (5:15pm Thanksgiving day, we don't need to do the math there).  Good luck Claudia, our prayers are with you that all goes well! Can't wait to meet her!

This was posted a little while ago over at A Glimpse Inside.  
I met Allison at the SNAP Conference.  We were the two pregnant ladies :)  Both having girls, both due first week in June, both have military husbands (mine is a former Marine, her's a deployed Army Soldier). 
Love her and love her blog! 

A friend of mine asked me to help her out a little with her little girls two year old birthday party.  She wanted a book theme.  So I offered to make her a banner out of book pages.  If you don't like the thought of ripping out book pages out of children's books...then stop reading!  This book banner was one of the easier projects I have done lately. 

You will need:
-A few books, make sure the colors coordinate or you could just use black and white. 
-One package of extra wide double fold bias tape
-A sewing machine or glue gun would work 
-A pattern (use shapes in word to make a long triangle), then print on card stock

Pick the pages out you want. Brace yourself and rip or cut the pages out.  Trace the triangles using your pattern.  Then cut them out.

Then glue or sew the bias tape on the pages. The paper will go right in between the tape.  There is something super fun about sewing with paper.

Then hang, like so...

Easy as pie!  And cute!  Oh, and did I say easy?!

Happy Partying,

Friday, November 9, 2012

Quiet Book Templates

Hello out there!! Recently, we have received many requests for templates to our quiet book pages. If you've emailed us, and left us your email address, we've tried to email you back.... I hope we didn't miss anyone, but you never know. Anywho, I thought I would just do a quick post to let you all know that we've created a tab at the top of our blog that will have all the quiet book templates in one place!
Most of the pages we just made up in our heads, so the templates are hand drawn... but we've received lots of inspiration from other quiet book pages. And yes, we are continuing onward with our quiet book journey. We have a couple of more page scheduled for this year (the designs are still in progress), and we will have about 4 more pages to add next year.
We have loved making our pages, and hope that you will too! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email us, leave a comment (although, there has been some trouble with this.... we've been receiving a ton of spam comments, so we're trying to fix things), or you can leave us a Facebook message!

So please feel free to click here to get to all the templates and instructions, or look at the top of our page for the Quiet Book Templates tab!!

Happy Quiet Booking!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Garlic and Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

  Aack! I honestly can't believe it's November already... how about you? It seems that I found out I was pregnant just yesterday, and here I am a mere 23 days away from my due date. Secretly, I'm hoping to have this little girl sometime this week, but you just can't predict these kinds of things. :) This pregnancy has been a crazy busy one. Since I am high risk for preterm labor and pre-eclampsia (thanks to my last little girl...)  I've been seen by the doctor every 2 weeks, and have had ultra sounds at every appointment. Sometimes I think it would be nice to go in, listen to the heartbeat, and be out... but every appointment is a 2 hour ordeal for me. However, I have really loved seeing our little girl grow and develop. She truly is a little miracle, and I can't wait to meet her!

     Since I'm due so close to Thanksgiving, I desperately need recipes that will be quick and easy for Thanksgiving dinner. I will be in no shape to be getting things ready for this wonderful holiday, so  I've passed the cooking responsibility on to my amazing hubster, and I want to make things as easy as possible for him. But even if I was the one cooking, I still love a marvelous and easy recipe. I mean, come on.... who doesn't?

     These potatoes are so simple and easy, it's ridiculous. I discovered cooking mashed potatoes in the crock pot a few months ago, and I refuse to make mashed potatoes any other way.

First, you take the crockpot.... I bought this little crockpot for $3 on a Black Friday sale. I absolutely love it! I even added our name in vinyl so no one dares to steal my $3 crockpot! Ha!

Second.... wash, peel, and cube about 5 potatoes. Of course you can do more or less, depending on how much you want to make. For my family, 5 potatoes lasts about 2 meals, so that's plenty for us!
Cover the potatoes with water. Make sure to have the potatoes barely covered. You don't want to add too much water!

Third.... add about a teaspoon and a half of minced garlic. Since I am looking to keep things nice and easy, I always used pre-minced garlic. I love this stuff!
Once the garlic and water are added, cover and cook on high for about 4 hours. Once the potatoes are done cooking, drain the water. Some of the garlic might drain out, but that's ok. :)
Add 1 package (about 8 oz.) of cream cheese and whip those mashed potatoes!!
See how easy that is? I promise, you won't want to cook mashed potatoes any other way!
Plus, these garlic and cream cheese mashed potatoes are sure to be a crowd pleaser... whether it be for
Thanksgiving or just Thursday night dinner. :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Candy Corn Cake...Happy Halloween!

Hey peeps, Happy Halloween!!!  I hope you have not lost hope in Pops and Podge.  We are here, just busy!  Claudia is about to pop any day now or so she wishes. She actually has another three weeks to go until we welcome baby girl #3 into this world.  Can't wait to meet her!  
I have been busy with a little baby of my own.  A conference I have been working on for over a year is coming to fruition in two weeks from today.  And of coarse my sweet little girl Savannah and Boston too!  Busy summer turned right into busy fall.  Oh time, I wish I had more of you.  Anywho, enough about us, let's talk about cake!!
I have made up this little Halloween special, just for you (and for my mom's birthday).  It's a 6 inch three layer deal with different colored layers just like a candy corn! 

Don't be like me and in a hurry accidentally frost the layers differently than the order of the cakes.  Silly me.  Don't you love my little boy in the background with his finger in the frosting.

Enjoy! And be safe!
Happy Halloween,

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Rolo Cupcakes

     Fall is in full swing, and I feel as though my baking desire has increased 100 fold. There's just something about baking on a rainy fall day that brings a sense of warmth and security to me. Most of the time, I love the smells that come out of my oven (I've had some disasters now and again), and I feel as if my inner domestic goddess comes out when I've baked something that is pleasing to the palette. Anyone else ever feel like that?
     If you want to have that feeling that I'm talking about, then you should probably try making these Rolo cupcakes. I made them for a church event, and got several rave reviews from my friends.  I felt like a million bucks, because these cupcakes were so easy to make, but they are so rich and sinful!!

     I started by making a delicious chocolate base that was "semi-homemade".  You see, the recipe I was originally going to follow was wwwwwaaaaayyyyy too complicatedd  for me. Making the batter wasn't too involved, but then it called for a salted caramel frosting, followed by drizzling with a homemade ganache. Although it sounded scrumptious, I really didn't want to put in a lot of time making the salted caramel frosting (it looked somewhat complicated) and I didn't want to make the ganache... So, I stuck with the basics. The batter simply came from a cake mix, and had other ingredients mixed in. I made a simple chocolate buttercream frosting, and drizzled some caramel (from a jar) on top. After making the batter, here's how the rest of the process went down...

I filled the lined cups with the chocolate batter, and then set a frozen Rolo in the middle of the batter. Easy, right?

  I baked the cupcakes, let them cool completely...

   Added chocolate buttercream frosting (I tried really hard to do the signature swirl from the show "DC Cupcakes", but it didn't work out... hmmmm....), drizzled some melted caramel on top, and then topped it all off with another Rolo.

Ta Da!

     Nom, nom, nom!!! So, if you want to seem like a domestic genius, but don't want to spend a lot of time or effort with a recipe, then you should be sure to try this one!

Happy Baking!

Cupcake Batter
1 (18.25 ounce) package Devil’s Food Cake mix
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs; lightly beaten
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon of vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line (2) 12 cup muffin tins with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Mix together the cake and pudding mix, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs, water and vanilla until well combined and smooth.
4. Evenly divide the batter amongst the prepared pans. {I use an ice cream scoop}.
5. Gently push a frozen Rolo into the center of the batter and smooth the surface making sure to cover the candy with batter.
6. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch. A small divot may appear in the center of the cupcake, no worries though because you’ll cover that with frosting.
7. Cool cupcakes thoroughly on wire rack.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
3-4 tablespoons milk
 In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add cocoa and vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. If the icing is too stiff, add a little more milk. If the icing is too runny, add more powdered sugar. It all depends on what consistency you like!


Sunday, October 7, 2012

I am a Mormon...

So those of you that follow our little blog here, might already know that Claudia and I are Mormon.  This weekend we had the opportunity to listen to General Conference.  A time we come together in our faith and listen, be inspired and uplifted, learn and share the words of our church leaders and Prophet.  You may have seen this all over Pinterest lately and have been wondering why you keep seeing these words.  We have been inspired to share that we are Mormon and we know it, we live it and we love it!  Ann Dibb set the stage for a wonderful opportunity to share this proud statement among our members and non-members a like.

Here is the 16x20 pdf and jpeg if you would like to download it.  Otherwise just enjoy these words by Ann Dibb.

Happy Sharing,

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

REAL Italian Bruscetta!

Were trying to postpone Summer around here and we are soaking up every bit of sunshine still left in the sky!  Tomatoes also remind me of summer, even though they are not just past their peak.  I still had to break them out and make me some delizio (delicious) bruscetta!  One of my favorite classic Italian dishes.
Okay so, I am not saying there is a right way and a wrong way.  But to the Italians there might be?  For those of you that know me, you may know that I studied abroad in Florence, Italy for a little over 4 months, more than 10 years ago.  It still kills me today that people pronounce bruscetta, bru-sh-eta.  Just so you know, it is pronouced bru-ske-ta.  Just sayin'!  Now, when you make it or order it, you will know how to say it right. Today, I am going to teach you the secret to making bruscetta the way the Italians do :)


  • 6 or 7 ripe plum/roma tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, 1-2 minced, 1 whole
  • 4-8 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 loaf rustic Italian bread or in a pinch French bread

  • Directions

    1 (Time Saver-this step is optional) Prepare the tomatoes first. Parboil the tomatoes for one minute in boiling water that has just been removed from the burner. Drain. Using a sharp small knife, remove the skins of the tomatoes. (If the tomatoes are too hot, you can protect your finger tips by rubbing them with an ice cube between tomatoes.) Once the tomatoes are peeled, cut them in halves or quarters and remove the seeds and juice from their centers. Also cut out and discard the stem area. Why use plum tomatoes instead of regular tomatoes? The skins are much thicker and there are fewer seeds and less juice.
    -If you choose not to remove the skins, then just cut up your tomatoes into somewhat smaller pieces.  Use your finger to get the seeds out.  The less seeds the better.

    Friday, September 14, 2012

    Lace Vase

    You never know when you need a good gift for your mom or friend or even for a sick friend. 
    This is a super easy and very inexpensive gift/project. 

    To complete this project you will need:
    -A tall cylinder like vase (mine was from Ikea)
    -1/4 yard of lace (measure your vase and make sure you lace is wide/tall enough to go around)
    -painters tape
    -spray paint in the color of your preference
    -spray adhesive 

    Cut your lace to fit the around your vase.  Mine had a lid so I taped that off.

    Spray your adhesive on, just a light coat enough to make the lace adhere to the vase.  But not too much so it does not peel off easy.
    Spray with your spray paint.  I like that mine turned out heavier on top than the bottom.  Kind of an ombre affect.  Let dry, remove tape, and fill with some lovely flowers! 
    Happy crafting,

    Thursday, September 6, 2012

    Artwork Keepsake Binder

         I don't know about you, but my kids love to color. And when I say love, I mean lllllloooooooovvvvvvvvveeeeee to color! We go through coloring books and markers like there is no tomorrow. But you know what? I'm okay with that! I love that they can sit at our kitchen table and giggle together while creating art. I love to see what colors they choose and how they are trying so hard to stay in the lines.... it's wonderful!  However, they literally want me to keep every piece of paper they color on. Does this sound familiar to any of you? After their artwork has been on display for a week or two, I try to sneak most of it into the garbage... and I say most because there are a few pieces that I love to look at over and over again, and I want to keep them.
    I'm sure there are tons of wwwaaaayyyy more creative ways to store your kids artwork, but since I'm cheap and don't want to put a lot of time into organizing the art and what not, I decided to simply make a folder for each child....

    like this...

    The reason I came up with a binder was I didn't want their art to be shoved into a box somewhere... and I'm not really good at scrapbooking, and I wanted a little organization. :) Can you blame me? A binder seemed like the perfect solution for me because it was fast, easy, and inexpensive. I simply added their names to their binder, stuck a few sheet protectors in the binder, and got to work.

    You see, each sheet protector holds a years worth of art. I simply write the date the art was created, and maybe a little memo about it, and stick it in the sheet protector. The picture below shows a colorful tarantula spider that my 3 year old diligently worked on for a few days, and the rest of her 2012 artwork is in the same sheet protector.  When my girls are older and want to look at the book, they can pull out their art and see how it's progressed from year to year. Isn't that lovely? :) Not only do I keep artwork in these, but I also keep little momentos in here (like Mother's Day cards they have written me, etc.).

    So far, only one sheet protector has been used because I started it this year. :) And one of these days, I'll get around to labeling each sheet protector with the year... but at least for now, I have a place to store all those precious memories, and I have the date documented.

    Thursday, August 30, 2012

    We're Still Here, I Promise!

    We have not forgotten about this little blog. I promise.
    Can I be honest with you? Blogging is hard during the summer! The weather has been so beautiful up here, that I've tried to take advantage of every sun ray that comes our way... I've been spending tons of time at the park and the fountains, and going on lots of picnics instead of editing photos and typing up blog posts... and it has felt so good!

    And to those of you who have requested quiet book page templates... we are working on those, and we haven't forgotten about you! I have every single one of you saved in my email, so that when we get the templates finished, I can let you know!!!

    However, I wanted to give you a little peek at my summer and some of the projects I have finished...
    and I apologize in advance for the photos. They aren't the greatest, so sue me. :)

    I've recovered a few diaper boxes with fabric. I found a great tutorial here. While making these boxes, I learned that it's quicker and prettier to use spray adhesive instead of Mod Podge. Mod Podge made my fabric all wrinkly and took twice as long.... so if you'r in the mood to recover some boxes, for the love of everything.... PLEASE USE SPRAY ADHESIVE! :)

    Also, my fabric was see-through, so I taped computer paper to the box before spraying the fabric on...
    And now I've got some great storage bins for my girls' room!

    I also repainted this lovely little decor that I found at the DI a long, long time ago...
    It's been in my girls' bathroom for the past year and a half, and I finally decided that it needed some new color...

     And voila! This beauty was born! I absolutely love it!

    I have also been making tons of baby stats boards... I made some for my girlies, and I have made a couple for baby gifts... (If you would like to order one, please email me at They make fabulous gifts and only cost $25 plus S&H).

    I've also made this recipe board for a cousin of mine who got hitched about a week ago....
    I have one as well, and I absolutely love it!!
    (Want to order one? Email me, and let me know! These are only $15 plus S&H).

    And in between all of my projects, I've had to visit the doctor's every 2 weeks for ultra sounds and
    check ups for this pregnancy. My last pregnancy had some complications, so they are keeping a close eye one me...

    I've also been surviving on Diet Coke, and my tummy is now big enough I can use it as a drink holder.
    Ah, the joys of pregnancy!

    To prepare for our little one's arrival, I sewed some burp cloths, but they turned out kind of hideous, so I decided not to post a pic of them. :) But, since they're just going to be used for wiping up spit up and other fun stuff, I'm not really worried about how they look. Tee hee hee...
    I have also been doing a couple of custom yarn wreath orders (They're just $20 if you want to order one!). I made this wreath for a friend who recently moved to Utah, and I loved the colors of it!

    I've been making my girls some new hair bows...
    and I'll be making a lot more hair bows since we found out we are adding a 3rd little girl to our family!

    I recently got back from a 2 week vacation in Utah...

    While I was there...

    My hubs and I attended our 10 year high school reunion... Nate and I went to high school together and even graduated the same year, but never talked to each other until a few years after high school, so it was fun to go to a "high school" event together.

    We celebrated this little one's 3rd birthday...
    She is one crazy little girl, and we absolutely love her!

    And remember that cousin that got hitched? I helped my mom and aunts put together her dessert buffet for her reception, and it turned out beautiful! The photographer even asked if she could get our catering card.... Ha!

    And finally, I've been taking care of my Ava who broke her elbow mid-July on the monkey bars.
    That totally put a damper on going to the fountains... as well as going to the park and doing anything related to summer.... no beach, no swimming, no swings, no bikes.... yuck!!!!
    I'll be honest, it has totally been the pits.
    I can't even imagine how Ava has felt!

    But we got her cast off a couple of days ago, and we celebrated by going to Wendy's and getting a frosty!
    And today, we are headed to the park for a lovely picnic!!

    And to top things off,
    I am moving in three weeks to a place just down the street, so I've started packing up our apartment!

    I hope you have all had a great summer!!
    I'm sure you've been just as busy as I have, but now that fall is approaching,
    I can't wait to get into the groove of crafting again!


    Thursday, August 9, 2012

    Quiet Book Page 3--Tie the Laces!

    Our little quiet book group has been at it again!  This time we created a "Tie the Laces" page.  Don't mind me, I tied my laces upside down :)

    I have uploaded the pattern here.

    For this page you will need the following:
    -White and colored embroidery thread, needle
    -Shoe laces (short ones work best)
    -One sheet of white felt, one of colored (the color you want your shoes)
    -One sheet of felt for your background
    -1/4 yard of heavy iron on interfacing (iron)
    -Glue gun or fabric glue
    -Grommets and grommet tool

    First trace and cut all your felt out.  Before you glue everything on construct your shoes. It helps to layout the pieces first, so you know where everything goes.  Iron on the interfacing on the back of the 4 pieces that will have the grommets.  You won't see that pictured here, we added this step, because we had trouble with the grommets coming out.  The interfacing should help.  You can then put the grommets on.  Three per side, six per show, twelve total.  Then stitch with white thread on the inside of each grommet flap. 

    Next, stitch the white shoe tip to the smaller shoe piece with the colored thread like below.
    Then stitch again with the white thread. All the way around the colored shoes from the top of the flap outer edge to the top of the other flap.  You can then glue the white larger shoe shape to the smaller colored shoe shape.

    Glue down your letters and the whole shoes. 
    Then tie the laces!
    Do you see Claudia in the back right corner there.  She is concentrating really hard on cutting her felt!  So pretty :)

    Happy crafting,
    Christie & Claudia

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    Super Saturday

    This year I have been called to organize Super Saturday!!!  This year Super Saturday is on September 15th from 10am to 3pm.  Funny that our very own Claudia was over it last year and our good friend Jessica the years before.  Hard shoes to fill...they are the crafting super queens!  But I am "super" excited to work with our committee and the ladies in our ward in hopes of making all of their crafting dreams come true.  For those not familiar, Super Saturday is a day where the ladies in our church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) come together to craft, talk, and craft some more.  It is a day I look forward to all year.  Often times I make gifts for friends or family for Christmas.  The best part is getting it done all in one day.  Oh, and it would not be Super Saturday without soup!

    If you are in our ward (Aloha 2nd) please turn in this form and your check to me or Adrianne before August 26th.   If you are in the Portland, Oregon area and would like to join our day of fun, please comment/email us and let me know that you are interested and I will coordinate with you from there.  We would love to have you!

    Here are some of the awesome crafts we came up with...
    $10.00 comes in 7 or 9 inch, also white or red!
    This wreath is so easy to make and much faster than the yarn wreaths we did last year! The great thing about this white one is that you can exchange with snowflake with a heart for Valentines Day and a Star for 4th of July (you will have to provide). Great versatility!

    $10.00 and we will be making these awesome spider webs for the middle!

    $3.00 for a set of 4.  $0.75 for additional coasters.  Lots of design options!

    $2.00 for these little cute hearts.  Perfect for keeping your hands warm! 
    Working on more fabric choices with smaller prints.

    $4.00 for the foot warmers.
    Will have cute fabrics for men or women.  Fleece or flannel options.  Some sewing machines available.  It is recommended you bring your own if you have one.

    $5.00 for this adorable nativity scene. 
    Glitter star included, doesn't glitter make everything better!  These make great gifts too!

    Love this little Jewelry dish for only $3.00 and we will have multiple patterns available.

    Come and make two of these for free!
     If you want more, no problem!  They are $2.00 each...what a steal!

    Our Christmas Countdown Calendar $5.00. 
    Open the drawer and do an activity or read a scripture.  We will have both options available for you to take home.
    All in the Christmas spirit!

    Two sided Holiday Blocks (not the 4th of July ones)! So many options at $6.00 each. 
    You can use scrapbook paper or make a stencil with your vinyl. 
    EEK! or BOO! with GIVE  OR NOEL/JOY! with LOVE, note your selection.

     For $9.00 make these Superhero or Princess Caps for your kids or grand kids for Christmas!  For the boys cuffs and a mask.  For the girls a tiara and wand or cuffs and a mask, your choice!  We will have some sewing machines available, we recommend you bring your own if you have one :)

     If you have any questions, please call or email Christie Blake.  My information is on the form.  Or comment below!

    Happy Crafting,


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