Friday, September 27, 2013

Tin can pumkins

Remember when I mentioned how I get on little kicks and then go nuts? (See this Nail Art post.)  Here I go again.  I've got a ridiculous amount of soup cans piling up until I get my fill.  Steff and I thought some kind of magnetic jack-o-lantern activity for the kids would be so fun through October.  Que my tin can obsession. : )

 We used the #10 cans and spray painted them orange. Then we cut some Jack-O-Lantern faces out of card stock using my Silhouette.  The faces could be hand drawn and hand cut or printed and cut too.
Next we hot glued small pieces of magnet onto the backs of each facial feature.  
I save about every magnet I come across.  Like the advertisement and promotional magnets on phone books and such.  
Two hoarding confessions in one day!  Don't judge. : )  

That's it!  Easy peasy!  We have had a great time mixing and matching the faces.

 All the spare pieces are stored inside the can, there's even a lid.

Have a great weekend!!

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Halloween projects!

Can you feel it?  Can you smell it in the air?  Halloween is coming!!  And oh how we love Halloween!  Not even kidding, my heart skips a beat when I walk down the Halloween aisle or drive by the pumpkin patch. Love it. : )  So let's jump start the Halloween spirit with a little reminiscing:  

I hung this SPOOKY banner up yesterday-still love it!
See the tutorial HERE

These Mummy pops and Mummy juice boxes are irresistible!
See how HERE

And some DIY covered pumpkins.  Washi Tape, Book pages, and Burlap.
See the easy how to HERE.

Can't wait to show some more fabulous Halloween projects we've got brewing!

Don't forget to enter to win an iPad mini and register for our class and other awesome classes at the 
Enter the giveaway HERE

Linking up at:
Not Just a Housewife

Monday, September 23, 2013

Win an iPad mini!!

Why do we keep posting about Pinner's Conference and Expo?

Only because it is going to be the biggest event in Pinterest history AND....

we will be teaching a class there and we want to finally meet you in person!

Plus, I am able to give you 25% off your ticket right now when you use this code:

You've gathered lots of cool stuff on all those Pinterest boards, haven't you? Now step into Pinners - where Pinterest comes to life!

This show is about two cool things - fun classes and plentiful shopping. It will feature nearly 80 top classes from the coolest presenters in the nation (uh ME!). Go ahead. Check out the awesome presenters on Pinner's Pinterest board {here}. Plus you'll also have nearly 200 exhibiting businesses providing beautiful options in the world of DIY, crafts, wedding, baby, cooking, photography, party planning, nails, scrap booking, holiday decor, clothing, jewelry and all sorts of other things.

Now Here is the BEST part. When you pre-register for the Pinners Conference, and use the code from my site - you will get 25% off the entry fee! Also, you will be qualified to enter the rafflecopter contest for a free ipad (so you can pin away on pinterest even more) Basically, you can't lose. Go ahead and secure your spot early, and we'll see you at the show! For bonus entries in the giveaway, remember to share the love by re-posting and pinning this giveaway, so as many people can hear about Pinner's as possible! The giveaway will go from Today: Sept. 23rd - Sunday Sept. 29th at midnight!

When and where:

Friday and Saturday, October 25-26, 2013 at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy, Utah (9575 S. State, Sandy, Utah)


Friday 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.


$20 at the door. 10% discount for pre-registering online, or even a 25% discount promotional code when you register through us! *All classes are included in admission. Some classes will have an optional materials fee if you'd like the in-class kits.
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Thursday, September 19, 2013

State Pride Nail Art

 Every now and then, I get on a kick with some idea and I kind of go nuts with it.  This is one of those times.  I used cork trivets from IKEA and some carpet nails to create these little pieces of art.   Lucky for me, the shape of Utah is super easy, I used a ruler and just hand drew my pattern.    You could use any simple shape for this!  Once your pattern is down, just press the nails into the cork.
 Using embroidery floss, tie a knot and start stringing
 String until it looks good!
 I cut a small felt heart, hot glued it to a pushpin and added it to my Utah.

I love how it turned out!

I also did a heart!

And look how cute these initials turned out for a Bridal shower we did!  So fun!

I don't think the nail art kick is quite out my system yet, I've got a few more ideas brewing!  
Give it a try and join me in my slight obsession. : )

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Amazing Roasted Salsa

Over the years, I have tried multiple recipes for canning salsa;  I haven't liked any of them.  Until now!  This is the best recipe ever for home canned salsa!  It's our neighbors recipe-he has been kind enough not only to share it with us, but to come help us make it for the last two years!
  Two good secrets to this recipe: 
 1.  You fire roast ALL the veggies.  This eliminates blanching and peeling (yahoo!) and adds excellent flavor.
2. A food processor! 

The best way we found to roast the veggies is to lay them out on a rack from our oven and char them using a propane weed burner torch.  (Only outside of course.)
This year we set up outside.  It was a gorgeous rainy afternoon-perfect for canning. : )  We did the roasting, the chopping, the cooking and the bottling all in our garage.  Such a good idea!  Way less mess and we actually had more room.  We used a Camp Chef for the cooking and bottling.   I'm telling you, this process was as simple as any canning can be.  With the roasting, and the food processor,  we were lovin' our salsa making lives!  

The recipe:
Roasted Salsa-medium
(makes approximately 12 quarts)
1/2 bushel tomatoes (Roma tomatoes yield more salsa, other varieties have more flavor and juice.  We used half Roma's, and half slicing.)
8 onions
8 Bell peppers
8 Jalapeno peppers
8 Serrano peppers
3 Habanero peppers (optional) 
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
2/3 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 1/2 Tbs. minced garlic (fresh or from a bottle)
4-12 oz. cans tomato paste
2 bunches cilantro

Fire roast tomatoes, all peppers, onion, and garlic (if using fresh.)  Chop all the vegetables as desired (chunky vs. less chunky,) leaving all the blackened, charred skins ON.  This is where a food processor feels like a life saver!  Put all chopped vegetables and all the rest of the ingredients in a large stock pot.  Stir well. Bring to a low boil, stirring to avoid any burning on the bottom.  Boil 25 minutes.  The salsa may have extra juice at this point; for a thicker salsa, remove some juice by pressing a strainer into the stock pot and use a ladle to remove the extra juice.  The juice can be bottled as well and used as a yummy V8 type drink or used in soups and chili.  Fill prepared jars, be sure to wipe the rim before placing the lid and ring on.  Process in water bath or steam canner for 20 minutes for pints, 30 minutes for quarts.

Be ready for the best salsa eating time of your life!  
We must give a big thank you to Rob for being a super salsa genius!  

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Friday, September 13, 2013

5 Tips for Back to School Organizing

It's Friday!  Hey remember TGIF?  Not the restaurant, the Friday night TV shows all on one station.  There was "Family Matters," and "Full House."  I can't remember the others, but man I used to love it!  That was back when prime time sitcoms were appropriate for parents AND kids to watch.  Good times. : )

Back to it being Friday!  The last day of our Back to School organizing week.  5 days, 5 simple tips to help us all get a little more organized.


5.  (Last, but not least)  Homework file
Today's tip is once again super simple, but has been the best ever at my house.  I have tried and failed a few times to have a place for each child to keep their homework as it comes and goes every day/week.  I really don't like when it's Friday morning and the bus will be here in about 30 seconds and we're scrambling to find homework.  I'm so excited that I have finally found something that has saved me!  
Meet the $15 magazine rack from IKEA.
I totally mounted it to my lovely refinished hutch (post coming soon!)  This location is the most perfect location for the kids to easily put their homework and easily find it again.  Jay hung it, I added labels, and then angels sang;  it is that awesome.
Ready for the real life look?

Not as pretty, but so very functional!  This Friday morning, no one was making it the bus stop with only seconds to spare due to lost homework.  Victory!

Have a great Friday night!  Even without TGIF ; )

Linking up at:

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Snack & lunch made easy!

Today, for back to school organizing, we're talking food.  When my kids get home from school they feel like they're starving!  I totally remember coming through the door when I was little and heading straight for the pantry or fridge.  Every day, my girls ask "what can I eat?"  And about every day lately, I end up giving a blank stare because I don't know what they can eat!  What's a good snack, that's at least somewhat healthy and won't fill them up before dinner.  AND that's not cereal;  man can kids blaze through cereal!  I keep thinking, "This happens every single day!  Why am I not prepared?"  It's time to get on top of this snack thing! 

Steffany is the genius behind this simple tip.  Fill snack size baggies with individual servings all ready to go. They grab one bag and a piece of fruit and done.  Seriously so smart!  How many times have we watched kids grab a whole bag of pretzels/chips/goldfish and they end up eating, crushing, or spilling the whole bag? Lots of times. : )  Hooray for individual baggies!  Plus, it's cheaper than buying pre-packaged individual servings. 
This works great for fruit and veggies too.  Keep baggies of grapes, carrots, and celery in the fridge prepped and ready.
We've compiled a list of real life snack ideas.  Not necessarily super healthy, but we figure eating at least a fruit and/or veggie as part of the snack is healthy enough for us!

We've also compiled a list of real life lunch ideas.  

I'm about to become totally organized with snack and lunch time!  This will eliminate my snack time blank stares, my girls will be so happy!  Unfortunately, they'll still be getting plenty of them when we sit down to work on math homework. : )

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Kids Chore Chart-Back to School Organizing Part 3

Haven't we all heard, kids like structure?  I am a firm believer.  My girls accomplish so much more when we are using a Chore Chart, which provides some good structure.  They love to check things off as they go (wonder where they got that from...; )  So today I'm happy to share the Chore Chart I created and use for my kids.

I print mine off blank and slip them into a page protector (just like I do with my Cleaning Calendar.)  Then I use a wet erase marker to fill in the blanks:

The girls use a dry erase marker to check off the circles as they accomplish each task.  At the end of the week, we add up their circles and pay out.  They get $.25 for each daily chore, and $.10 for every daily task (making bed, cleaning up, etc...)  So far, this system works really great for us!  

Check out Part 1, and Part 2 of our Back to School organizing series too!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Back to School Organizing Part 2 + Scooby Doo Birthday

  This week we are sharing simple ideas for back to school organizing.   Yesterday we shared a magnetic whiteboard calendar, check it out here and be sure to enter our giveaway for a $25 gift certificate to the Wood Connection!  
Today we're sharing a Cleaning Calendar.   This is what works for me!

I just slipped it into a page protector so I can check things off with a dry erase marker. I love checking things off a list! Laminating it would work too.

I love a Cleaning Calendar to help me keep things running around here!  With my kids back in school, I can get back on track and maybe get my floor mopped.  I may have only full on mopped like twice all summer.....thank goodness for dirt colored floors. : )

Yesterday was my little Belle's Birthday!  She is 3!  Wow-time flies.  Now that she's 3 and refuses to be called anything but a "big girl,"  potty training is making its way to the top of my list. 
Blah-how is it that I have potty trained 3 other girls but still feel like I don't how or what to do?  Belle is not interested at this point, which means I am patiently waiting until she shows any sign of excitement about the whole thing. Maybe shopping for some cute little undies will help?  Wish me luck!  
While we're talking about Belle, lets talk about Scooby Doo.  She loves "Dooby dooby doo," and I mean LOVES it/him.  I don't know how her obsession came to be, but it's for real!  She's got Scooby Doo action figures, the Mystery Machine, (big and small) a stuffed Scooby and a small collection of Scooby dvd's. Needless to say, a Scooby Doo party theme was in order.  Which by my terms of party just means Scooby paper goods and call it good.  Of course, in true last minute Melanie fashion, I decided to make some cupcake toppers and splurged on a Scooby candle.  And Belle was in her perfect world, filled with all her favorite people and dogs and toys!

So tricky to get a good picture of this silly wiggly girl!  Love her, love her!!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Back to School Organizing + Giveaway!!!

We are so excited to be guests today at the Wood Connection!  We love their products and their people. : )  
With kids back in school now, we are feeling the need to get re organized.  We're going to show how we used some great stuff from the Wood Connection to help us create a Weekly Calendar that we can write on AND is magnetic!

Here's what you'll need:
One large magnetic sheet from the Wood Connection
Washi Tape (the Wood Connection)
Ribbon  (the Wood Connection)
Mini clothespins (Wood Connection)
Magnets (Wood Connection)
Dry Erase paint
Paint brushes
Sanding block
Hook or nail for hanging

Start by sanding the metal sheet just to rough it up a bit.

Then paint with a coat of primer.

Next step is the dry erase paint.  (We just got it at the Home Depot.)  It comes in 2 parts and you mix them together when you're ready to paint. 

We ended up painting 4 coats of the dry erase paint.  We wanted it to have excellent coverage.

   After letting the paint set for 3 days, create lines using washi tape to divide the new white board into sections.  We chose to do a weekly calendar with space for 4 kids names along the bottom.

The final touches can be whatever you want!  Handwritten, vinyl, magnets or stickers.  We found  both stickers and magnets to make the labels.

Make note of the cutest ribbon ever,  possibly.  It's very burlap-esque, which I love!

 We also added some mini clothespins along the bottom, for important papers.
Never forget that permission slip again! : )

  This hangs on Steffany's garage door, which means the door is magnetic; so a magnet place on the back of each corner is what holds it up. Then, to help it really stay in place, we put a Command hook on the door and hung the magnet board with ribbon as well.  So functional and cute!

Thank you to the Wood Connection for having us today!  You've got to check out their Fall and Halloween stuff-it's to die for!  We've got the perfect way for you to score something amazing from the Wood Connection for your home- they have kindly donated a $25 gift certificate to one lucky Find it, Make it, Love it reader!!  Yahoo!  
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