Thursday, January 30, 2014

Floor Length (black out) curtains for $20

I am so not a fan of blinds, for the simple fact that I hate hate hate dusting/cleaning them!  So in my house I have curtains in every single room.  I like the look better, it makes it more cozy I think and when you open them it lets in the full sunshine of the day. Plus if they ever get dirty just throw them in the wash and  hang them back on their curtain rod to dry and there ya go, easy as pie!

When it came time to do Annalee's curtains I knew I wanted a girly, girl room (she will be my only girl after all so I had to go all out!).  The only problem is curtains COST A LOT!  Especially black out curtains!  And with an eastern facing room I was not about to have my baby waking up at the crack of dawn so I had to get a little creative, on a budget. I also wanted to add something a little special for over her crib and started looking around.  I found on pinterest a tutorial for ruffle curtains that were supposed to be super cheap so I looked into it and made them...  You can find the tutorial HERE>

Didn't it turn out so cute!!!  My little Annalee-lee sure thinks so.

After I did those curtains I knew for sure that I could make some sweet black out curtains to match.
And it all starts with some twin flat sheets from Wal-mart that cost $5 each.!!  (I've also looked around and Target and Kmart both have similarly priced sheets)
You will need: 2 flat twin sized sheets that are the color you want in the room
Second get 2 flat twin sized sheets that are black.
Some scraps of fabric for the ruffles.
And thread that matches, or contrasts....

----wash the sheets and dry them.  They will run their color a little bit so it's best to keep them separated by color and in the drying process they will shrink a bit, which you want.

When they are dry put one black sheet and one colored sheet together, with both good sides facing out.  and start sewing.... and sewing...all the way around so it is one big sheet.  And repeat with the other black and colored sheets.

So that you can hang them on the curtain rods: you get the top part of the sheet that you usually put at the top of your bed and fold it down at the seam. (It's usually about 3-4 inches)  and just sew straight across so there is a long pocket to slip over the rod.

 For the decorative touches I got some extra fabric from the curtains over the crib and made ruffles.  To do so you cut a long piece of fabric (about a length and a half of what you want it to be)  and sew.  DO NOT back stitch!!!  Because when you have sewn straight through you can grab one piece of string and start pulling while pushing the fabric down the other way.  It will start to bunch,  continue to pull and push until it is the right ruffleness and sew right onto the curtains..  I did one on top, over the exact line I sewed for the curtain rods....

And did a bunch at the bottom to make it more feminine.  And I didn't trim them up a whole lot because I wanted the shabby sheek look!

Now all that's left to do is hang and enjoy!

They are the best curtains!  they block out enough sunlight that the baby will sleep in past 7am and take a nap at 2 in the afternoon!  
Now get sewing!  You know you want to!!
Because you seriously can not beat $20 curtains!

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tada's Appetizer Round-up

 Are you gearing up for the Super Bowl?  Because we sure are!!   Well, we aren't super huge on football but we are huge on parties!  Especially parties with food... lots and lots of yummy snackiness (not really a word but I'm saying it anyway)!  Here are some of our favorite appetizers, because, well, you can't have a super bowl party without food.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Make Your Own Mini Cookie Cutters (Tutorial)

I have this giant container of cookie cutters.  Normally I can find the cookie cutter shape and size I am looking for, but sometimes I just don't have the right size or shape.  I decided I could just make it myself, and it worked out great.  Here's my tutorial of how to make your own mini cookie cutters.

You start out by finding a can of soda, any kind will work.  We happen to have a case of diet coke for when my in laws come to visit so that's what I used. Take your can of soda,  open the tab at the top and dump the contents out. Then rinse out the can with some water.

Next, you punch a hole in the side near the top of the can using a knife or the end of your scissors then insert your scissors and cut the top off.

Your edges might look jagged, that's ok.  We will fix this problem in a minute.

The next thing you want to do is cut down the side of the can about 2 or 3 inches, this give you a little room to trim down the jagged edges.

Then turn your scissors and begin cutting a strip off the can.

You end up with a strip of aluminum like this.  Then you can take a minute and clean up your jagged edges and trim the strip down so you are left with a strip about 1 inch wide.

Next you can start shaping your strip of aluminum.  I usually draw what I want on a piece of paper then bend the aluminum so it matches the shape and size I have drawn out.  In this case I wanted a mini heart for a project I was working on (I will be posting it in the next couple of days).

Be careful when you are bending the aluminum, if you pinch it together to tightly while you are bending it, it could easily snap the piece in half (I did that the first 2 times I tried to make a cookie cutter). 

Continue bending and shaping till you have the desired shape you want. 

Cut off any extra length you may have, making sure to leave 1 side a little bit longer than the other so you can bend one side and it overlaps the other.  This is where you will put a little piece of tape to secure the cookie cutter.

One thing to note is that the edges are sharp.  If you have little kids that will be using the cookie cutter, I recommend putting a little piece of tape around the top edge so they don't cut their tiny fingers. 

And Tada!!!  You are done.

Now you can make the tiny shaped cookie cutters you need. 
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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Tex-Mex Wontons

Tex-Mex Wontons
1/2 lb ground beef
1/4 c chopped onion
1/2 of a 15 oz can refried beans
1/2 packet taco seasoning
4 dozen wonton skins

In a large skillet, cook ground beef and onion until meat is brown.  Drain off fat.  Stir in taco seasoning and beans.  Mix well.  Place a wonton skin with one point toward you.  Spoon a teaspoon of meat mixture onto center of skin.  Fold bottom point of skin over filling; tuck point under filling.  Fold corners over, forming an envelope shape.  Roll up toward remaining corner; moisten point with a little water so it sticks, press and seal.  Repeat with remaining wonton skins and filling.  Fry a few at a time in deep hot oil.  About 1 minute per side.  Drain, serve with sour cream, salsa, or guacamole. Makes 48

This recipe originally came from my Aunt Jill.  She is my mom's sister and an amazing cook as well.  I adjusted it a little to fit the ingredients I had on hand and also to make them dairy free for my little girl.  If you want to make them her way you can add 2 TBSP chopped green pepper, and 1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese to the filling mixture.  These little wontons were perfect for snacking and as a meal.  We made them a meal by siding them with rice. 

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Girly Antler Curtain tie backs

When I was pregnant with my baby girl, we moved the twins out of the nursery into a 'big boy super hero room' and My sweet husband got to work painting and working on the nursery.  While he painted I sewed curtains and my sister Donna (the Da part of TaDa's Kooky kitchen) got to work on making so many cute touches in the room like picture frames and a vinyl wall sticker.
We were all able to get the room put together and beautiful before the baby got here. But (there's always a but isn't there?)  I wasn't to fond of how the curtains looked when they were opened.  They slid on the bar and keeping them open was left up to the rocking chair and a baby table toy.  Not to pretty.

We are hunters in this house and every year my husband and I switch off on drawing out for a deer.  And every year we've been lucky enough to get one.  My husband gets the big deer that end up mounted in the living room and I tend to get the smaller guys.  I made a tie rack for my husband last year with a few antlers but with mine from this years hunt I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them!!

I started off by cleaning them really, really good!  ( soap and water, and a Clorox wipe for good measure)  These are real antlers people, blood and germs tend to get stuck on these things, so a good cleaning is always in order.

Then I got a scrap piece of wood on my work bench and held the antler at the angle I wanted it to be in my wall.  Then I started drilling.  Make sure you use pressure but not so much that it breaks the drill bit,  trust me, I've done it a time or two!  Also make sure you use a big enough size so the screw you use to attach it to the wall can fit through the hole snugly,  if the hole is too small the screw could crack the antlers or even break in the antlers,  if the hole is too big the antlers will just flop down and not stay in the position you want it to.
I actually started with a smaller drill bit and then Kole worked the size up until it fit just right.  And repeat on the next antler.

Then I made this handy dandy painting station using two metal hangers.  One I hung on my opened garage door and the other I untwisted, put the antlers on and re twisted so they could hang while I painted.  No painted finger tips or marks on the antlers here!

I gave them a bunch of sprays until the color was even and just right.

Then I waited, only about 15 minutes,  It dried really fast. But while it dried I watched these two little ones ride around and shared a chicken sandwich with my baby  (ps she's almost one, not such a little baby any more).

Then when my husband got home from work I marked the places I wanted them.  A few inches from the window  and high enough that the rocking chair wouldn't hit it.  And then Kole went to work and screwed the antlers in. (you could always paint the screws to match but I actually really like the look or bare screws.)


                                             Tada!!!  A much better, more put together babies room!!

                                   (yes that is her sweet little head at the bottom of this picture)

Stay tuned for next week when I tell you how I made these floor length, black out curtains for only $20 and some change!
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