Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My new SNEAKY obsession

I've become obsessed with The Sneaky Chef. I was looking online the other day for lunch ideas to pack with my kids for school. I was reading reviews on a book that didn't really sound kid friendly despite the "kid" and "lunchbox" in the title. I was looking around in the same genre and stumbled onto The Sneaky Chef, the coolest thing about her - is the website. She has TONS of free recipes - you can take a "taste" drive (har, har) before you buy the book. I told myself I was going to make all the recipes she offers on her blog before I buy her book(s).

Tonight I made this little beaute. It looks and tastes like regular chili, except it's hiding broccoli, spinach, peas, cauliflower, and zuchini. It's not that my kids hate veggies, it's more like I'm pregnant and tired and thinking about making a side dish of healthy veggies - just about puts me over the edge. With this you feel like a super mom because you just made chili from scratch AND you chocked it full of added veggies.

I made this for Abbey's birthday dinner. She loves Mac n' Cheese ...and I do feel guilty putting butter and powder in her dinner. But this is like Mac n' Cheese back in the day before they put it in a box. You know when your mom used to make you grate cheese for an hour. You can either have it with sneaky zuchini & cauliflower or carrots, yams/sweet potatoes. None one the wiser.

I just finished making the "purple puree" (blueberries & spinach) for these little lovelies. If I can muster enough energy, I will make them tonight. They also have wheat germ, wheat flour, and oat bran. It's not hard to sneak some nutrition into your diet with this clever lady's help. Yeah for creative people. Makes life easier for me, and let's my brain shut down without any guilt.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Easy Halloween Decor Tutorial

I was standing in line at Joann's and my son was looking through the Martha Stewart Halloween magazine. She has the coolest ideas and I was thinking I wanted to decorate a little more this year, but everything at the store was kind of cheesy or too small and I don't have ink in my printer to print cool graphics nor the energy to take on Martha -

... so I came up with my own Halloween artwork. I hope you like.

Start with 3 frames, matching or not. These were a few bucks each at Wal-Mart.

You will need 3 pieces of card stock (or use the inserts from the photos), aluminum foil, and spray glue.

1. Shake your tin foil back and forth a couple times to get some wrinlkles in it. 2. Hose down your paper with spray glue and lay it on top of the tin foil (I did it shiny side down). 3. cut off the excess and fold your corners in.

This is how it should look.

We had a cheap cardboard skeleton that's been around for about 7 years now that I cut up. I'm sure you could use just about anything or print some fun Halloween graphics from online. 4. Cut him to fit your foiled paper. 5. Hose him down with spray glue and attach him to the foiled paper.

6. Reassemble the frame.

7. Repeat the steps for his other body parts.

Might be good to put something under the spray glue - it coats everything close by whether intentional or not.

8. Put your frames together with ribbon or whatever (I used black bias tape - only thing I had on hand that was black at the time and I'm too lazy to run to the store in the middle of a sporadic project). I used pencils as spacers, so I could get my ties really tight and evenly space so it wouldn't hang crooked.

I hot glued them so they'd be able to with stand the weight of the frames (they might be cheap, but the glass adds weight).

Adds some fun festive atmosphere without too much energy or expense - my favorite kid of project, CHEAP & EASY.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I finally dusted off the machine... make Ty a super hero cape. Trent asked me to make one for him ages ago and I never seemed to get around to it. So last week he escorted me to the fabric section of WalMart to buy the necessary items. He even offered (and proceeded) to cut the felt for me, freehand the cape outline, etc... So maybe Trent made most of this cape. But after months of not feeling inspired to sew, I finally put my foot to the pedal again. I'm a little rusty, but it was fun. It felt good. And best of all, it produced these smiles!

I could list a dozen things that didn't turn out perfectly. My perfectionism is my biggest stumbling block with my sewing - I get frustrated at my inability to do something perfectly. But this project was fun even with my silly errors and hopefully I'll make something again before another year passes by. Thanks for the continued inspiration, ladies!

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