Chocolate Covered Strawberries Gift

Over the weekend we went to the Home Depot workshop where Zander built and painted this sweetheart box. We decided to use it to make something special for his teachers this Valentine’s.

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We added a Valentine’s message to his teachers and he signed the back.

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I woke up early this morning to make these dark chocolate mint and white chocolate covered strawberries

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Could not be more happy with how they turned out!

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To make your own bouquet of strawberries simply cut and insert a floral foam block into your pot. Poke your strawberries on a stick into it and your done! Also, I didn’t have any popsicle sticks so I used disposable chopsticks and they worked perfectly, better than popsicle sticks in my opinion (and they were free because I had a ton laying around from past take out.)

Hope this inspires you to make something special for someone this Valentine’s!

Big Boy Room

 

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Since Zander had to give up his nursery to his little sister, we wanted his big boy room to be extra special so he would not miss his old room one bit.

In case you’re in the market for some of the items in his room, here’s a break down of where to find them:

There you have it. A sweet little room for my sweet little boy. If you’re looking for nursery ideas, check out my recent post on nurserys.

Nursery Ideas

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I remember gathering so much inspiration on Pinterest when we put the kids nurserys together I thought I’d pay it forward for anyone who’s expecting a little one of their own.

Here’s a break down of where you can find some of the featured items:

  • Crib. Purchased at Target.com but not sure they sell it anymore.
  • Eames molded plastic rocker
  • Bookshelf, bins, dresser (my hubby added the top part to turn it into a changing table), rug, pendant lights, wall shelving, futon, red moose are from Ikea
  • Red Rody inflatable hopping horse toy
  • Ornate wooden picture frame is from Michaels
  • Custom skateboards hand painted by my hubby
  • Parachute wall decals
  • 3D paper mache letters. These came unpainted.
  • 3D paper wall flower template. I hot glued a thumbtack to the back and stuck them to the wall.

If there’s anything I haven’t mentioned that you’d like to know about, just ask.

Hope this helps you create a fun space for your babies, too!

DIY Freezer Burritos

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Thought I’d take a break from all the kid posts and give you some ideas on meals/recipes for a change. Recently, I discovered freezer cooking and it’s been huge time saver, not to mention money saver also. Traditional freezer cooking takes quite a bit of planning and usually involves a full day (or two) of prepping/cooking.  That’s a little too much work for me so the way I normally freezer cook is by cooking larger portions of whatever we’re having for dinner that night. I usually double or triple a recipe. It’s the best on days I’m too lazy to cook. I just check my stash in the freezer and defrost a yummy home cooked meal. It’s worked out pretty awesome.  If you’re interested in learning more, here are some freezer cooking basics from one of my favorite blogs, Money Saving Mom.

Burritos are one of my favorite things to make and freeze just because it’s easy to prepare and makes a great lunch or even dinner in a pinch.

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1st, you’ll need to gather up your ingredients. What’s great about burritos is you can pretty much use any filling you like. I use different ingredients every time, but this is what’s pictured:

  • Tortillas
  • Rice
  • Refried beans
  • Bell peppers
  • Chicken
  • Cheese
  • Foil for wrapping

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Then, fill’er up.

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Then, roll it all up in the tortilla. I usually fold the sides in first then roll it closed.

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Wrap it up in foil and you’re DONE!

Freeze:

  • To prevent freezer burn, chill all food in the fridge first before putting it in the freezer.
  • Be sure to label it well so you remember what you made, when you made it and how to reheat it.

Heat:

  • Unwrap foil
  • Drench a paper towel with water, ring it out just slightly
  • Wrap the wet paper towel around the burrito
  • Microwave for about 3 minutes

Serve:

  • With your favorite salsa, guacamole, etc.
  • Enjoy!

Faucet Extender How-to

Who cut the cheese? We did, of course!

After a couple visits to Target and Babies-R-Us looking for a faucet extender without much luck, we decided to make our own.  By “we”, I mean my husband – Chris. He’s much more innovative and handy with tools than I am so I let him have this one.

We looked high and low around the house for something that was the right size and safe for Zander to touch and consume water from (because he will drink this water at some point). Since the parmesan container is food grade, it was the perfect candidate. And no, your hands will not smell like cheese after using it. One good wash did the trick for us.

The steps are simple:

Cut and drill 3 holes on the bottom of the container. Large square hole is where the faucet will be inserted. 2 smaller holes are for the rubber band. We used a 4 inch rubber band.

Drill a small hole on the bottom of the container to drain any excess water.

Next two steps are pretty self explanatory. Insert the rubber band and attach it to your faucet. And in the words of my hubby… you’re DONEZO!

Here’s the little monster in action using his new gadget made by his macgyver Daddy

It may not be fancy but it sure is functional! Hope this inspires you to make your own “cheesy” creations.

Kids’ Playroom Ideas

Zander is ready for some serious play time in his new, custom-made playroom.

Here’s a breakdown of what was purchased vs. made:

Bookselves – purchased from Ikea. We added paint to the back for color.
Rug, pendent light and magnet boards – purchased from Ikea
Framed Prints – I made various prints and framed them, but only the “So many toys so little time..” is pictured
Wall Prints – The frame of animals around the magnet board and alphabet squares were printed on 8.5×11 cardstock, cut and assembled on the wall using masking tape.

Memory Board – This is a custom-made, open frame with metal wire suspended across. Clothes pins can hold anything from photos to artwork. We’re using it now to show Zander photos of his family he can’t see everyday. All parts for this can be found at the hardware store. The wood came in long pieces and were cut, assembled and painted. Zander has Daddy to thank for this one.

Reading Corner – Zander loves books. There’s no denying it. For this reason, I wanted to make a cozy little reading corner for him. I made the pillow chaise – at least that’s what I call it. It’s open on the opposite side with velcro to secure the pillows. This makes it super easy to remove the pillows and wash just the cover.

The fabric book holder is made from scratch. I sewed 2 pieces of fabric together and inserted mat board inside to make the backing. Using a contrasting fabric, I made the pockets for small, light weight books. As you can see, it’s already sagging and not meant for heftier books.

The portion underneath the book holder is also made from scratch. Not gonna lie. It took me forever and it made me never wanna do it again. It’s made of 2 pieces of fabric sewn together, then I sewed a grid pattern, stuffed each square with poly-fill and a piece of mat board to keep it stiff and straight. By this time it’s huge and way to stiff to fit underneath my sewing machine to sew the open end. This is where my trusty hot glue gun came in. Worked like a charm and voila – Zander’s got a nice wall to lounge against and even better, something to cushion the blow when he makes a leap for the pillow chaise.

Storage Boxes – Zander loves animals so I wanted to incorporate them into his playroom. The boxes were purchased from Ikea. I printed these animal illustrations on paper and transferred them onto foam sheets (by pressing firmly on the paper while tracing the face). Cut them out with an exacto knife and hot glued them to the box. Simple, but it completely changes the look of the boxes and adds personality to the playroom.

There you have it! Hope this inspires you to make a fun space for your own kiddos.