Thursday, February 28, 2013

Animal Baby Shower

I recently hosted a baby shower for a friend who was expecting a little girl. My Pinterest is full of baby shower ideas, which is sad because I don't have any children. I guess me having a kids board is like someone having a wedding board who isn't even dating someone... Either way I was excited to put a few of the ideas together. I'm not sure where all of these ideas came from because I went through the pictures of multiple party ideas. But what we were going for was a zoo animal themed. And she had told me the nursery was purple with flowers so I tried to incorporate a bit of that in, but I did mostly pink.

Food Table

I wrapped the water bottles in duct tape to match. There's fruit dip and animal crackers.

More animal crackers. Also the back of the table had stuffed animals and pink, purple, and clear glass bottles. 


Baby face cupcakes.

Veggies and dip. 

Hanging decorations. 

Baby bottle party favors full of baby themed candy like "sugar babies".

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

St. Patty's Day Kid Project

I got the idea for this project while searching Pinterest for anything St. Patty's Day themed. I saw this project and really liked the idea. I told Matt I wanted one with both our hand prints on it and he said "no" faster then he's ever said it before! Maybe when we have kids he'll do dorky crafts with me.

So I help out with an after-school activity day for girls at church. They wanted to do an art project so I decided to have fun with them and exclude Matt completely!

First I already wrote out the saying "I'm so lucky to have you" in different sizes and fonts for the girls to choose from. You can pick any saying, obviously, but I liked that the word "lucky" was included.

Then I had them add four-leaf clovers in thumbprints to different parts of the paper. I used card stock to be sturdier and so the paint wouldn't soak through.

It was very simple to do. Have the kids dip 1 thumb in the paint and then rub their two thumbs together. This makes sure the paint isn't too thick so you can tell it's a thumbprint and so it doesn't take all day to dry! Then with your pinkie finger dipped in paint, drag out from the center to form a stem. 

Once they were dried we doodled all kinds of festive things on there like leprechauns and rainbows. It was a lot of fun! I wanted to get stickers or things to add. Here's my final project:

It's nice to craft like a kid every once in a while. And I don't get the chance unless I have someone else's kids around! I would still very much like to make one with Matt and I's hand prints making the clovers like it shows on the link, I think that would be very cute. One day when he owes me a HUGE favor I might call it in for this!

I'd love to see pictures if you do this craft with any kids for St. Patty's Day this year!

Banana Bread in a Mug

You know what? I talk too much. Let's try this different, shall we? An entire post of recipe and instructions in just photos. Should be fun, huh? Here's banana bread in a mug.

In a bowl add 3 tbsp of flour.

Add 1 tbsp + 1 tsp sugar.

Add 2 tbsp brown sugar. One of my favorite things in the world is how brown sugar keeps its shape when you drop it in a bowl. 

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp baking soda

Mix together.

Add 1 egg.

Mix well. 

Add 1/4 tsp vanilla.

And 1 tbsp vegetable oil.

1 tbsp milk. 

Mix in and smoosh up a banana.

The batter will be a little runnier than a bread dough would be.

Spray a mug with cooking spray. 

Dump batter into mug.

Cook for 3 - 3.5 minutes.

Let cool because it will be super hot!

This is not the BEST banana bread I've ever had, but it was the fastest and least messy. It has a cake consistency to it and made enough for two if you feel like sharing. 
Thanks for experiencing my picture blog and thanks to Pass The Sushi for the recipe. Enjoy! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mug Meatloaf

I have completely jumped on board the recipes in a mug that you cook in your microwave. I'm sure you've noticed how much I love them! I even bought extra measuring spoons because I keep dirtying mine up so often! So when I came across a list of 18 different recipes in a mug I was very happy to see one for meatloaf! I am not a huge fan of meatloaf, but I was intrigued about making a main dish so fast for just one. It took about the same amount of time as a microwave dinner would have taken but I know everything that I put in it. The only downside is how often do you really have 1/4 a pound of ground beef on hand? I bought a pound and made 2 servings, but then had to figure out what to do with the other half a pound. I guess if you go to the meat counter at your grocery store and only buy a little at a time it would be better. Or separate and freeze a little at a time. Whatever you feel like doing, I just know that the ground beef was the least convenient part.

You will need:

2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 tablespoons quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon onion soup mix
1/4 pound lean ground beef
optional additional ketchup

Very simple instructions: mix everything together. :) 

Nothing too hard or too fancy. After mixing all the ingredients, spray the inside of your mug with cooking spray, and then pat the mixture into the mug. 

Cook for about 3 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. If there is grease, drain it out. I used Lean beef and there was no excess fluid when it was done cooking. 

Let it stand about 3 minutes before eating. Add the extra ketchup on top for extra flavor. 

This was super good meatloaf, not just good-for-being-cooked-in-a-microwave meatloaf. If I can find a simpler way past the only using 1/4 a pound of ground beef at a time I would totally make it more often. I found the original recipe here. Enjoy your 3 minute dinner! 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Book Exchange Party

There are few things I love more than reading or hosting parties, adding them together was just so much fun! I decided to host a book exchange party. Everyone was asked to bring a copy of a loved book to give away as a gift. People did not like this idea, they didn't want to give away a book they loved. Well, I certainly don't want to be given a book that someone didn't like and just wants to get rid of! The point was to buy a book that you've read and loved so that this wasn't the equivalent of a white elephant exchange. This way no one was given "trash" and we could share what we love about the book when the person opens it.

It was really fun! And the nerd part of me had WAY more fun decorating then doing anything else! I really loved planning this party. I'd like to do it again sometime on a much larger scale.

As prideful as it sounds, I did not want to take this down! I wish I could have left it up for a very long time! Sadly the wall the table is pushed up against is actually double doors to my washer and dryer, so it couldn't last much longer.

Another thing to brag about is I barely bought anything just for the party. Most of this things I already owned! Like I said, I love books.

Here we have a Sherlock Holmes book with some footprints coming out of it. I pictured in my head in old cartoons when the detective would follow black footprints with a magnifying glass.

Next to it, you can see a little in the corner, is a plate of sugar cookies. They're all alphabet letters and frosted black. I called them "Typewriter Cookies".
 My Mom bought me this cake pan, it's actually 2 pieces. I've had fun making different book cakes in the past. One time I even made a Book of Mormon cake when we fed the missionaries. It was fun!

Here we have The DaVinci code along with Langdon's journal and the cryptex. There's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, one of my favorites, being "eaten" by a corner bookmark that looks remarkably like Harry himself! Pennywise is coming out of It and behind that is a special edition Lord of the Rings.

What's a book party without a message coming from the Capital? There's probably a roll in there with some weird message about kissing.
Next we have out Narnia collection with one of the bookends we have. You can see Mr. Tumnus by the light post.
Here we have, of course, The Hunger Games, an owl for Harry Potter, and more cookies! I pretty much made all cookies and then we had milk.
 My favorite touch to the decorations was the curled book pages I added to jars or wrapped the stands in. Some people got upset that I ruined a book but it was a super old fantasy book from Goodwill so it lived a good long life and is happier being a craft, I promise.
 You can see the other side of the Narnia bookends, my Hogwarts textbooks, and a key with wings. Don't touch a broom or it'll fly away!
More cookies! Like I said, we has a milk and cookie dessert bar.

As party favors I made many different bookmarks for people to pick and choose from. They're mostly made from paint chips that I got from a nearby Lowe's. 

I also wrote my own book trivia questions and had book-lights as prizes for the winners. I say winners because in this case it was a tie, but I had bought two just in case that happened. 

Somehow I did not keep a picture of the invitations. I got an idea for them on Pinterest here but changed it up a bit since I'm not as computer savvy. They were still cute. I downloaded a font that looked like an old typewriter to type everything in. Including all the place-cards on the dessert table. 

Here are the questions for trivia, not all of them are in complete sentences  because I'm the only one who needed to know what they meant. :) 

Where is A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens set?
London and Paris

Who wrote A Christmas Carol?
Charles Dickens

Who created the one ring of power in Lord of the Rings?

Who are the members of the Fellowship of the Ring?
Frodo, sam, merry, pippin, aragon, boromir, gimli, legolas, and Gandalf.

What book by Agatha Christie is about 10 people who are guilty in the death of others but were never convicted are put on an island together and starting dying off one by one?
And Then There Were None

Who are Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy?
The main characters in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

What is the novel “She” by Henry Rider Haggard about?
A first person narrative that follows the journey or Horace Holly who finds a primitive race of natives in Africa who worship a white queen and the all-powerful She.

Who are Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu?
The main characters of Dan Brown’s The DaVince Code

Who wrote the catcher in the rye?
J.D. Salinger in 1951

What novel, written by Anna Sewell, was composed during the last years of her life while she was confined to her house as an invalid?
Black Beauty

What classic heroic novel by Richard Adams is about a small group of rabbits that possess their own culture and language?
Watership Down

Who saved the life of “some pig” named Wilber?
Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web

Whose garden did Peter Rabbit run through in The Tale of Peter Rabbit?
Mr. McGregor

What date is both Harry Potter’s birthday and J.K. Roawling’s birthday?
July 31

Who actually published the diary of Anne Frank after she died?
Her father, Otto Frank

Who is Atticus Finch?
The lawyer, and father of the narrator, in To Kill a Mockingbird

Where is Gone with the Wind set?
Clayton County, Georgia.

What year is the George Orwell book named after?

What shark main character’s novel has sold over 20 million copies?

Who is Tom Sawyers best friend?
Huckleberry Finn

What is the boy’s name in Where the While Things Are?

What should you NOT forget to take with you in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?
A towel

In what decade was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory released?

In what novel is Susie watching from heaven as her family as friends struggle with her death?
The Lovely Bones

Where is Panem?
The post-apocalyptic world the The Hunger Games is based in

Who is Lestat de Lioncourt?
A French nobleman vampire in the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice

Who is Christopher Robin’s best friend?

Count Olaf ruins the lives of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny in what novels?
A Series of Unfortunate Events

Why do the Cullins live in Forks, Washington?
Statistically less sunlight.

What are the novels by Stephen King with a gunslinger main character?
The Dark Tower