Sunday, April 29, 2012

Our Backyard

I love our backyard! Our garden, trees, and other plants are growing well and there's always interesting suburban wildlife to see.

Love has been in the air lately ... I felt guilty photographing these two ladybugs on our ornamental cherry tree...

We have baby bluebirds!!! Mom and Dad bluebird are working hard to keep these little mouths fed.

This little guy is probably my favorite. We have several toads that live under our house. I see this fella almost every day. 

Finally, this isn't in my backyard, but I wanted to include it anyway. My new truck!  2012 FJ Cruiser. I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sock Monkey

After seeing some cute little animals made from socks and gloves online, I bought a book of sock/glove animal patterns. So far, my animals have been questionable. I made a bear that looked more like a dog and a cat with definite pig characteristics. My latest animal actually looks like what it's supposed to look like (for the most part). 

I give you Red Sock Monkey!

So the picture isn't the greatest, but it's good enough to see him. I'm pleased with how he turned out and my daughter loves him. 

Here's the gang to date:


Not sure what animal is going to be next, but I bought a bunch of gloves on clearance so it will definitely be a glove animal.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Terrarium? Dish Garden?

Terrarium? Dish Garden? I'm really not sure what to call this, but whatever it is, I think it turned out well. Like I mentioned before, it is my intention to actually make the things I pin/repin on Pinterest. The inspiration for this was a pin I found a couple of days ago. Assuming that it lives, the garden in the clear glass bowl will be a Mother's Day gift for my mom.

In both bowls, I put rocks on the bottom and cactus palm & citrus soil on top of that. Then I added the plants, watered it, and put the small rocks on top. It was super easy except the plants were more fragile than I thought they would be. The little leaf things fell off with anything more than the gentlest touch. Anyway, let's hope these little suckers live! It's my first attempt at this type of thing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

DIY Fabric Softener

A while back I found a recipe for homemade fabric softener on Pinterest. It is my intention to actually make the things that I pin/repin, so here it is:

Granted, it's not much to look at, but it does seem to work. It has some problems keeping all the static out of wool socks, but my regular, name-brand fabric softener sometimes has that same problem. This is the third batch I've made. I went through the first batch fairly quickly and gave the second batch to my mom. She must like it because she asked about the recipe the other day so she could make more. Anyway ... here's the recipe that I used (it's from the blog One Good Thing by Jillee )

6 cups water
3 cups white vinegar
2 cups hair conditioner of your choice (I use the cheapest, best smelling conditioner I can   find)

1. Mix water, vinegar, and hair conditioner in a 1 gallon container; stir. Do not shake it; it will cause foaming.
2. Use the same amount you normally use in a rinse cycle or spritz it on a wash cloth and throw in dryer. 

Because this recipe makes a gallon of fabric softener, I cut it in half so the jug is a little easier to handle.

It's quick! It's easy! No reason not to give it a try!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spray Paint!!!

So yesterday I discovered my love of spray paint. It makes things look soooo much better! I spray painted several works-in-progress that I'll post later, but here's a completed project:

It's our old-made-new-again birdbath! It's PINK!!! I love it! It's amazing how the flowers really stand out now. I don't have a before picture, but it was just plain, dirty concrete and you could barely tell it had a pattern. 

Here's a potential downside:  So far, I've not seen any birds in it. Do they not like pink? I'll give them a few days to get used to it before I start to get really concerned. I hope the birds will use it. I love it, but would change it back to gray if pink isn't going to be functional.

Friday, April 6, 2012

How Could I Have Missed These Before?

So I'm doing my grocery shopping yesterday and needed eggs. As I was trying to decide between regular, organic, cage free, free range, free range organic, etc., I noticed these...

Pre-dyed Easter Eggs!  These have probably been available at Easter for years, but yesterday was the first day I'd noticed them. Kind of pricey at $5.19 a dozen, but if you want to appear like you took the time to hand dye eggs when all you really did was run into your local grocery store, I guess the price is worth it.

Maybe I did something wrong...

So I made the bunny smores from the cute little bunnies in a jar. I'm not so sure I did it right. It looks less than appetizing, but tastes pretty good. I hope it firms up a little more as it continues to cool. Otherwise, we'll need to eat it with a spoon.

Note the cute bunnies in a jar on the right ... I think they're staring in terror at what is going to become of them...if they had mouths, they'd be screaming...

It was really much cuter in the jar. Maybe I didn't cut the bunnies into small enough pieces? Maybe I didn't stir thoroughly?'s still a cute gift and as long as it tastes good, I don't really care how it looks.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bunny Smores in a Jar

After SEVERAL failed attempts (and one semi-failed attempt), I finally got the bunny smores in a jar thing to work out. You definitely need a wide mouth jar and you need to actually crush a sleeve of graham crackers instead of using pre-crushed graham cracker crumbs. The pre-crushed crumbs just didn't work out for me ... I guess I used too much. Anyway, this is cute and I really hope it tastes good. The idea/instructions for this one came from Organized Christmas. Visit the site... there are LOTS of cool ideas there. There's a different version of this idea at The Culinary Life. It's a little less messy. (And, The Culinary Life credits Creative Holiday Gift Ideas for the idea.)

The one on the left is my "successful" attempt. The bunnies on the right look like they've been rolling in the dirt.

I love Peeps!

Here are the instructions for making the smores...
  • Empty the jar contents into a bowl. 
  • Snip the bunnies into bits with kitchen sheers or cut up with a knife. 
  • Return the bunny bits to the mixture. Mix well.
  • Melt 1/2 cup butter; add 1 teaspoon vanilla. 
  • Pour this over the dry ingredients, mixing well. 
  • Pat into a greased 9" square pan. 
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Cool and cut into bars. (Makes 9 to 12 bars.)
*Option - leave bunnies whole; combine remaining ingredients and place the bunnies on top; then bake as directed.