Sunday, September 30, 2012

31 Days of Free Fun Kickoff {How to Make a Paper Airplane}

I'm joining up with a ton of other bloggers over at Nesting Place to make October a month with 31 days and 31 posts dedicated to one topic. 

Since I write about everything from design to food to parenting tips, and I'm feeling a bit of a holiday/shopping/consumer burnout, I thought I'd dedicate the month the 31 Days of Free Fun. While most of the the things I have planned involve kids (see the paper airplanes below), I'm also including fun recipes, design fantasies, and adult fun in the mix.

Here is the collection of all the posts for the month (I'll be adding a new one each day)!

How to Make a Paper Airplane:

Start with an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper.

Fold it in half length wise.

Open. Fold two corners in to the middle.

When it's re-folded, fold each long side to a 90 degree angle.

Secure the "wings" together with tape. I used washi tape, extra bloggy points:)

These were a big hit.

My kids also love to decorate them.

For better aerodynamics, add a paperclip to the nose, it will help it fly better.


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Friday, September 28, 2012

Halloween Mod Podge Glasses (a Spooky Craft) #MPHalloween

I was lucky enough to receive a box full of Mod Podge products in the mail to try. I got right to work and have made a ton of crafts. Seriously, my kitchen counter is covered in projects (remember my Mickey Mouse Family Portrait?).

Anyway, I really wanted to use the Sparkle Mod Podge, and make something Halloween-centric.

Enter two champagne flutes from the dollar store.

I cut out a few bats and spiderwebs from black card stock. I used my Silhouette Cameo machine, but you can use scissors or an exacto knife.

Then applied the Mod Podge,

Placed the spiderwebs on, and Mod-Podged right over them.

I made sure to brush all in one direction, but in the end, I don't think that really matters. 

You can't see any brush marks, just a fun sparkle all over.

For more fun Halloween ideas check out these projects!



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I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with Plaid Crafts and Blueprint Social. The opinions in this post are my own, as are the crafts:)

For more fun crafting information just check out Plaid here:

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

I've been known to attempt to sneak veggies into my kids' meals, hey, I bought Jessica Seinfeld's book, just like we all did. But most of the time if just doesn't work.

This recipe is an example of how I really wanted to make this recipe that I originally found in Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals, 365, and I just call it "mac and cheese" or "orange mac and cheese" and leave out the whole veggie part. Plus, the silly part is that my kids will actually eat butternut squash on it's own, just not "in" something!

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

1 lb macaroni
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons chopped thyme
1/2 medium onion
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups stock or broth
1 10-once box frozen cooked butternut squash
1 cup cream or half and half
2 cups grated cheddar
1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
black pepper to taste

Boil water with salt and cook pasta al-dente (with a bit of bite left). Heat
a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add EVOO and butter. Melt, and add thyme
and grate onion directly into pot with grater or microplane. Cook for 1-2
minutes, then add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Whisk in stock then add
squash. {NOTE: I used 2 cups butternut squash soup in place of the stock and
squash separately. I then had to add about 1/2 cup stock to thin} Stir in
cream and bring sauce to a bubble. Stir in cheese in figure-8 motions.
Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Drain pasta and combine with sauce, put in a casserole. Add a bit more
cheese on top and breadcrumbs if desired. Broil for a few minutes (or bake
in a really hot oven) to melt cheese. Freezes well, then defrost in fridge
for a day, then re-heat in oven for about 30 minutes.

Here's the step-by-step in photos in case you don't want to read the recipe above:)

Ingredients for Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

Sautéing the onions in the butter.

Adding the tyme.

Add the flour to make the roux, which is just the fancy French word for "thick paste that becomes a sauce".

Butternut Squash soup in, then add the shredded cheese.

Making Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese with soup from a box!

Pasta cooked al-dente (with a bit of bite to it), and drained.

Mmmmm, adding a touch of cream to the sauce.

Mix, mix, mix it all together.

Saving some of it in individual portions for my kindergartener's lunches. Still loving the Ball Plastic 8-Ounce Freezer Jars all the more when I make something like this.

Leftover mac and cheese for school lunch

I made a double recipe, which was enough for that night and another casserole for the freezer.

Double recipe of Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

Garnish with parmesan cheese and sage!

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

Also try my Pumpkin Mac and Cheese- It's a 2-step, 1-pot kind of meal!


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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dining Room Rug Fiasco

I wish that I knew this post was going to end with a solution, but unfortunately, it doesn't. We have hard the darndest time finding an appropriate rug for out dining room.

First there was nothing.

Then we added this textured rug from Overstock. Loved the look, but in person it was a tad lavender. I didn't notice it until my husband mentioned it and them the only thing I could think after that was "Purple"! It shed, which is super annoying under a table, so we Craigslist-ed it.

Then we were super excited about this wool trellis rug.

It looks awesome, graphic and bold, and matches the walls perfectly... Problem? After ordering in June and waiting til August for delivery, RugsUSA sent us the wrong size (an 8x10 instead of a 9x13) and the one we wanted is sold-out forevermore. See how the chair legs hang off the end? It's even worse when we expand the table. 

The returns process has been so awful (returning the *wrong* rug), that it's just sitting outside our house waiting for UPS to pick it up. It was delivered in August, so this is just crazytown that I'm still dealing with it.

In the meantime, I ordered another rug. This one from Crate and Barrel. Online it looked person it looked grey-brown and totally clashed with the walls, ugh. The good news is that CB was super sweet about it, and has already picked the clashing rug up and refunded the money.

Lesson learned, I'm only buying online from stores that have easy return processes!

In the meantime, we have a 9x13 rug pad just waiting to be filled.

I don't want to spend a lot (I like under $500) since my kids will be eating 2-3 meals a day over it!

Any ideas? 


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