June 28, 2012

Patriotic Banner

So I did something crafty this week.  Every once in a while the "bug" strikes me and I see something that's relatively easy to do and I do it.  I saw this idea in the June/July 2012 issue of the Family Fun magazine. 

Pretty and festive, right?  Here's how I did it, step by step:

1.  You need 3 bandanas.  They usually come creased perfectly in 4 equal squares so just cut right along the crease lines.  Each bandana will yield 4 squares.

2.  Using some wrinkle spray and an iron, make sure the squares are crisp and flat.  Not for nothing, but Downy Wrinkle Releaser is the best stuff on earth!!

3.  Place a square in front of you and position it like so:

4.  Cross one side over to make the start of a triangle:

5.  Using a strip of seam tape, place it on top like so:

7.  Then fold over the other corner on top of the seam tape and iron well.  Also iron the sides to form a nice creased triangle.

8.  Now take the very top corner and fold it over the top, like you are folding an envelope flap.  Secure with another piece of seam tape and then iron flat. The end result should looke like this and give you a open area to weave the jute through so you can hang your masterpiece! I put the scissors in there so you can see the open area.


9.  Repeat until you have made 12 triangles!

10.  I used jute to string my banner together ... you could also use ribbon or something else.

A few things to note ... I did not measure this.  But I do have 3 extra triangles right now.  I hung it real quick on my fireplace to see how it would  look.  I like it but it's hanging a bit low ... so I might take off a few triangles and play around with the length.  Since the triangles are NOT secured to the jute, you can customize the length to suite your decorating needs.

Also, the directions in the magazine said to use glue dots.  I'm not a fan of glue dots and the seam tape will hold up much better and give you a cleaner, flatter look overall.  So go buy some seam tape if you don't have any laying around.  I can't tell you how many things I've fixed with seam tape!  Sewing? What's that? Just use seam tape.

The total cost for this project was $5.97 ~ for the bandanas. I already had the seam tape and roll of jute on hand.  So go forth and be crafty once in awhile!

June 27, 2012

Puppy ~ 9 Weeks Old

I'm biased, most definitely, but isn't he the cutest puppy you've ever seen?

Here he was last week:

And here he was at 5 weeks of age:

Look how much he's changed in just 4 weeks!!

June 26, 2012

Weekend Kitchen Kapers

I attempted two recipes over the weekend; one turned out good and the other was a huge fail.

I made Watermelon Fudge. Or really, just vanilla fudge made to look like a watermelon slice.  I found the recipe on the Cookies & Cups website (link to your left). I've made 2 ingredient fudge before but never thought to make it to look like a slice of watermelon!

Melt a bag of white chocolate chips and add a can of vanilla frosting.  That's it. And if you have it, add a tsp of watermelon extract (which I did not have).  Then tint some of it green, some of it pink and make sure to leave some white too! First layer the green, then white, then pink.  Then sprinkle with mini choclate chips.  Refrigerate until firm and cut into triangles. So easy and so cute!

The big fail was Cake Batter Ice Cream. I found cute summer-themed small Glad containers and I planned to make single serve cups of ice cream but it didn't work.  I'm not sure if it was the recipe I used or maybe my ice cream "bowl" wasn't cold enough when I put the Cuisnart to work.  The icecream was too soft and all the jimmies I added sank to the bottom ... booooooooo.  It tasted more like ice milk instead of ice cream.  I'll have to play around with the recipe and try, try again!

June 22, 2012

Sucky Siblings

I have a much younger brother. I was almost 14 years old when he was born and joined the other 3 of us.  He's been trouble for a variety of reasons most of his life, even dropped out of high school.  The crazy thing is he's smart and he wasted it.  We had intervention after intervention. We backed off, gave him space. He's been given just about every opportunity to help himself but he chooses not too over and over.

He's 26 years old now and still works at a fast food restuarant with zero ambition to do any else but sleep, drink and play hockey. And now he's a married man.

He's been engaged for a few months but rather abruptly decided to get married at a municipal building. And didn't tell his family.  Facebook knew before we did. We're hurt and mad all at the same time. We've done nothing but try to help him, to include him, and this is how he repays us?  Life is hard enough. I think it's a lot harder when you choose to do it without family around to lean on.

You can only give and give so much until it's just not worth it when nothing is given back in return.  I've reached out to him and said this to him.  I'm not expecting a response. As far as I'm concerned, I'm done. It's his move.

June 20, 2012

Overheard in My Kitchen

Son #1 was tiptoeing around the sleeping puppy and I said,

It's kind of like having a new baby in the house

"Well I'm never having a baby!"


June 19, 2012

Puppy Wuppy

Our new puppy is home. He's adorable and loving and under our feet at all times.

He's 17 and a half pounds at just over 8 weeks of age.  He's going to be a big boy!

My cats are pissed. They may never forgive me.

June 13, 2012

84 Days

of summer vacation ... and thanks to Phineas and Ferb, my kids feel cheated. They assumed there were 104 days of summer vacation because the song says so!

That was a fun math lesson and a reminder that not every thing you hear and/or read is true!

June 12, 2012

Are We Ready?

I think we're ready:

I think it's safe to say we are more than ready.  Not included in this picture are a crate and 2 fancy gates.  Puppy pickup day is F-R-I-D-A-Y.  For some reason I feel like I'm preparing for the birth of a baby. I guess in some ways it is like that because life is about to change!

The timing couldn't be better too ... because I found Son #2's dwarf hamster lifeless late Sunday night.  This wasn't a complete surprise. About three weeks ago I found him near death in his cage.  He wasn't eating and was walking around like he was drunk and his eyes were barely open. He kept trying to get out of the cage which was odd, because every time we opened the cage he ran around like an insane nut trying to get away from our hands. So I knew something wasn't right but he perked back up and seemed to be better. He was eating and drinking. 

Sunday night I went to check on him and made my usual "smooch" sound to get his attention - nothing. I opened the cage door, which always made him come out of hiding - nothing.  When I was able to stick my finger into his nest without any movement, I knew ... I decided not to tell my son until he got home from school yesterday.  We had a little burial and made him a grave stone out of a flat rock and a sharpie.

Rest in Peace, Joe-Joe. You were a cute, frisky little thing.

But seriously, no more rodents. Over the years we've had more than enough. Fish, crabs, hermit crabs.  I know it's my fault because I am the one who purchase all of these things, mostly in an attempt to give the experience to my boys. What the heck was a thinking?! 

Our current pet count is 2 cats. And as of Friday, add 1 dog.  More than enough!

June 6, 2012

Hump Day Venting

Let me apologize in advance if you are a teacher ... but I must vent.  After today, there are only 5 days of school left and 2 of them are half days so can anyone explain why my son's 4th grade teacher is still assigning homework?! It's fourth grade, for crying out loud. Lucky for us that we had two homework passes we had forgotten about so we used those bad boys. If he comes home with homework tonight, I may just lose my mind.

I understand that the school year is technically not over but you can't tell me that they aren't spending half the day cleaning out desks, shelves, and closets in the classrooms. To assign homework now is to say, "Hey Parents! I can still make your child's life miserable for a few more days so I'm going to take full advantage of it." 

If the homework isn't done, they have to sit in at recess and if my kid has to sit in at recess, it would be just like deleting all of his ipod apps.  Sheer horror. The end of the his world. So we'll do what is required, begrudgingly.

He's ready for a long break and so am I. I have no idea how people deal with year-round schooling!

June 5, 2012

A Stellar Weekend

We saw this

And did a little of this

And that

And then some of this

It's such a shame my boys are afraid of heights!

It was a great way to spend a Saturday.  The weekend after Memorial Day is always the perfect weekend to head to the Jersey Shore.  It's not crowded at all, mainly because school hasn't let out yet.  And the cooler weather was just a bonus!  We played mini-golf, rode over-priced rides, ate pizza and crab fries, and polish water ice.  Our evening was not complete until we purchased some fresh fudge and Johnson's caramel corn. Still warm Johnson's caramel corn is not to be missed!!

(Now I need to not eat for the next week to make up for one night!)

June 1, 2012

Taste of Summer

The end of school is near ... it's a bittersweet time. Sweet because we are utterly sick and tired of doing homework and projects.  Bitter because it means the boys are another year older and they will have more time in the day the day to fight with each other! In September I will have a 5th grader and a 3rd grader and I'm trying to figure out how the hell that happened!

We only have a few weeks of summer until football starts four nights a week (crazy, I know)  and those weeks are starting to fill up quickly!  The boys will participate in a summer camp 2-3 days each week. It's ran by our school district every summer. They go on trips almost every day so it keeps them very busy and it's affordable. The best part is you only pay for the days you need/want them to attend. AND they actually like going! It's p-e-r-f-e-c-t!   They also have a football mini-camp later this month and our vacation in July.

It's becoming a ritual to head down to the shore the weekend after Memorial Day. It's never crowded then which means you won't wait in line for the boardwalk rides (they are hardly worth waiting for!)  If the weather holds, I'm planning to take the boys down for the day. When I mentioned it, the first thing Son #1 asked was, "Can we get Chickie and Pete's fries?"  Ha! Forget the beach and the rides - he just wants french fries!

We need to do some puppy supply shopping this weekend. Two baby gates are on top of the list, as well as food bowls and a mat to contain the mess.  I'm sure the boys will want to buy him a few toys too.  We already have a crate. We also need to make a decision on what brand of dog food he will be fed.  I recently changed my cat's food to a grain-free variety so we'll likely make a similar decision for the puppy.

Hope you have a great weekend!