Thursday, September 26, 2013

DIY: Nurse Thank-You Packets

I've never been through the process of having a baby before, so the thought of putting together little "thank-you's" for the labor and delivery nurses didn't even occur to me until I saw the idea on Pinterest.  For anyone who has nesting syndrome every day and lives in a sweet little one bedroom apartment, projects that require getting done ahead of time are greatly appreciated.

I gathered the supplies from a couple of different stores; Walmart had the little notebooks on sale since it's been back-to-school season, Bath & Body Works has had their travel size lotions on sale for a while, and any grocery store will do for picking up little sweets (I figured chocolate and mints were pretty basic).

I have some clear bags that are for wrapping up candy and they suited my purpose well.  I stapled them shut and then taped a little thank you tag, made with plain ol' cardstock, onto the bag.  Ta-da!  These little packets are now sitting with our pile of stuff that will need to be packed last minute on our way out the door to the hospital.  Any day now we'll be holding our sweet little Bug in our arms!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Items for Sale

This summer I ventured into the world of trying to sell projects in a little shop in a cute little town.  Unfortunately, the cute little town wasn't getting much traffic and so I had to take my things out of the little shop.  Right now I am storing it all in my sweet little home and, with little Baby Bug due to arrive in the next few weeks, we're needing more space.  That being said, all of the pictures posted HERE and HERE are items for sale at a discounted price so that we can make room for our sweet little one.  If you are interested in buying any of the items, shoot me an email at

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

DIY: Iron-On Transfer Onesies

A little while back I made a onesie using an iron-on transfer for my nephew.  I had seen the inspiration on Pinterest, but the original cost more than I wanted to spend.  For most everything, you'll find it's much cheaper to make your own than it is to buy it.  So that's what I did.

On second thought, it might be more expensive to make your own.  Reason being that once you've gotten started making it, you're going to want to make more.  And more.  And more.  After I had finished the nephew's onesie, I wanted to make some for Bug.  Thankfully, the only cost I incurred for this whim was the cost of ink to print the images; I had been given several white onesies at baby showers and my brother had given me his whole leftover stash of iron-on transfer sheets.

I had an idea for an image I wanted for Bug's onesie.  So I searched Google images high and low.  But it was to no avail.  So what do you do when you can't find the image you want?  You draw it, of course.  I usually always start my drawings by sketching it out in pencil.

To fill in these images I used permanent markers.  The vibrant colors showed up really well. 

Then I scanned the images to the computer and inserted them into a Word document.  For iron-on transfers you need to flip the image so that it will turn out facing the same way on the garment as the original image.

Iron-on transfer sheets can be bought at almost any local craft store, even some general stores, and will come with their instructions.  They're very simple.  After printing the images onto a sheet, I had to cut them out and iron them (surprised??) onto the onesies.

I am so happy with the way the onesies turned out!  I cannot wait for little Bug to wear them!

And since I was at it...might as well make them in "bulk".

Monday, September 9, 2013

Gender Reveal Cake: Chocolate and Cannoli

Quite wonderfully, my life right now is filled with final preparations for our little Baby Bug to arrive.  The car seat has been installed in the car, the bouncy has been set up in the living room, the little clothes have been washed and are hanging in the closet, and the last of the packages of cloth diapers are due to arrive this week.

We were greatly blessed by family and friends at two baby showers.  At both of the showers we did a gender reveal and finally told everyone what we have known for a while now...and, trust me, it sure was hard to keep a secret!  I made the gender reveal cake for the first shower and had a grand time with it.

I made three chocolate sheet cakes.  They were a denser cake, so it held up really well.  Frosting tip #1: eliminate crumbs from the cake getting in the frosting by cooling the cake in the fridge first.  This will help it hold together.

I made a chocolate cream cheese favorite!  Frosting tip #2: pipe a line of chocolate frosting around the edge of the top of each cake before adding filling.  This will ensure that the filling doesn't ooze out into the frosting of the cake.

Frosting tip #3: put your plastic bag (or frosting bag) that you're going to do piping with in a cup and then fill it with the frosting.  This eliminates the mess of trying to hold the bag and fill it at the same time!

For the filling I made a cannoli filling that I added food color to (any guesses?!).  Being a lighter filling with a hint of orange, the cannoli was a nice addition to the rich chocolate cake and frosting.

The cake turned out huge; it took up a third of my fridge!  I have found that Kroger will sell you their cake containers from the bakery for just a couple dollars or less.  I've used them for cheesecakes for a few years now and I was so happy that it would solve the problem of transporting my biggest baking project yet!

For decorating I used melted chocolate chips for drizzle, mini chocolate chips, and edible pearls.

And here it is after cutting and sharing it at the shower.  That's right, our little Bug is a boy!  We can't wait to meet him!

(Last photo credit goes to Rebekah Chandler)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Homemade Yogurt

I love Greek yogurt.  Of course, all the healthier food is also more expensive.  I had received a yogurt maker as a wedding shower present and, looking for a healthy cheaper alternative, I pulled it out and decided to give it a try.  I made the basic recipe, no flavors added, and it turned out tasting just like the plain Greek yogurt from the store!

First, you bring milk (just milk) to a boil on the stove and then let it cool back down.  After cooling, you'll need to follow the directions on the yogurt starter package.  Basically all you have to do is open and pour and stir.  Simple, no?

Then you evenly pour the milk into the glass jars and put them in the yogurt maker for 7 hours (since I used whole milk).

After 7 hours, my yogurt was done and ready to go in the fridge!  How easy is that?!  I added honey to sweeten the yogurt right before eating.  I also tried coconut balsamic vinegar and lime olive oil in different jars and was pleased with the results!

I'd love to know if you make your own yogurt, especially if you've found some great flavors you like!  My yogurt maker is from Williams-Sonoma.