Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas! 
Hope everyone has a Happy Holiday and safe New Year! 
See you in 2013!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Footprints!

There is nothing more bittersweet than looking at tiny fingers and toes that have grown! Have you ever heard of Piggy & Paws, Inc? They are kinda like Scentsy or Silpada where you can host a party and they create the cutest hand and foot print art. I have gone to a few parties myself and adore the items they made with my daughters prints!

Last year we moved to a new city, we had a new baby in tow, and I couldn't find anyone doing them here. So I did what any one would do... Google! I found so many great sites and I even made some wall art for his little nursery (another post another time.) But then I saw this idea through Pinterest to make foot/hand print art for Christmas. So cute! Last year we did Reindeer prints and this year we did Christmas trees. I think next year I will try to find an idea for Snowmen. I hope to carry this tradition on and keep the art in an album or frames to see how they've grown each year. Like I said, bittersweet! Can you see the size difference below? The reindeer was an 8 month print and the tree is a 20 month print! (sighs)

The original Pin: (small disclaimer: Looking at this print, I am not sure that it is real. I followed the original link, but never found where it really came from.Not saying it isn't real, but the marks on the feet look a little drawn on. Either way it was my inspiration!)

Supplies you will need:
*Craft paint-colors of your choice(I used forest green and cherry red)
*a sponge paint brush
*Sharpies or paint markers(I used gold and yellow)
*glass of water
*plate or something to squirt paint on for your brush to dip
*piece of card stock paper-color of your choice

How to:

1) Clean the hand or foot you are using so there's no leftover food or dirt or something in the way!
2) Get the sponge brush damp, but not dripping.
3) Dip the brush in the color of paint you are using first(I did the green part first).
4) Generously cover the area of the hand or foot with the paintbrush.(the paint will be kinda thin because of the wet brush.)
5) If using a second color, rinse brush well and repeat step 3 and 4.
6) CAREFULLY take hand or foot with the wet paint on it and press down on your card stock paper.
7) Press down on the foot or hand with yours and try to make sure all the area has come in contact with the paper.
8) Carefully remove the hand or foot off the paper.
9) Clean off said hand or foot before the paint dries.
10) Now repeat with other hand or foot.
11) When it has fully dried, embellish with the details. For the Christmas Tree I used sharpies to make the star and stem. For the Reindeer I used google eyes, a red pom pom for the nose, and darker brown paint for the antlers.

It may take you a few tries to get it right so have a few sheets of the paper handy. If they move or it didn't take well, you can try again. :)

Have fun enjoying those tiny hand and foot prints! They grow up too fast!

And of course...Happy Pinning!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

French Onion Burger of Wonder!

Who doesn't love a delicious burger?? I am of the opinion that burgers are for any time of year and for any occasion. They can be dressed up and fancy, made small as sliders, or my favorite, a "can't fit in your mouth" dripping with messy goodness kind of burger! (Drooling just thinking about it!)

No surprise, I am a total foodie! I LOVE me a good recipe and I love it even more when its so good I have to share. And of course I generally only share recipes that I find to be 1) super easy 2) pretty fail proof, and 3) FANTASTIC on the tastebuds!!

This recipe is from one of my favorite food blogs Jamie Cooks It Up. I have yet to try one of her recipes and be disappointed. In fact, everything I have tried has been great! This is the French Onion Burger of Wonder, and yes it is! Its delicious and one of the best burgers I have ever had! Nom nom nom!

(Please note this is her photo and the photo used in the original Pin. Not mine. Hers was just so pretty!)

Here is the link to her recipe from the original Pin http://jamiecooksitup.net/2011/09/french-onion-burger-of-wonder/. She has step by step instructions along with photos and a link to print the recipe for your recipe box!

I also have a permanent link to her site under "Blogs I Love" on the right of my page. Check out all of her wonderful recipes and food ideas! She is AWESOME!

Normally I'd list the ingredients and what I did, but there is no need. I just went to her site and followed along, and since it was such a success the first time (and every time after that) what could I possibly add? All credit to her! Visit her site and enjoy the deliciousness called the French Onion Burger of Wonder!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Countdown Calendar

I love Christmas Traditions! When I was a kid we had this Christmas countdown calendar that had these little doors you opened, and behind each door was a Christmas shaped chocolate. What kid doesn't love that?! I remember the anticipation each day to open the door and eat the little candy. I have looked everywhere, but have not found anything like it for my kids. Then I came upon this fun idea! A Christmas countdown calendar using a mini cupcake tin! Perfect for putting treats or activities behind each number. This craft cost me maybe $10. The cupcake tin I got at Walmart for $4.99 and then I got Christmas stickers, paper by the sheet, magnets, and the sticker numbers at Michael's. That cost me about $5 more dollars. Not too bad a budget!

My kids LOVE this calendar! Behind each number is either a candy or a folded slip of paper with an activity on it. Some of the activities include things like "Draw a picture of a snowman" or "Make Grandma's fudge." And of course other holiday traditions like going to look at holiday lights and reading the account of Christ's birth. And who doesn't like to find a surprise Andes Chocolate mint?!

Please note this countdown calendar can be made for any holiday and really any special occasion! Countdowns to birthdays would be really fun for kids(and adults too!).

Original Pin:
I pinned this last year and was sad to find that this online blog and store is now closed! But here is the link anyway! I give credit where credit is due!

I did make a few changes from the original Pin. Their version is hanging by a ribbon and is length-wise, but I placed mine on a little stand width-wise so my kids would have easier access to it. Either way its cute!

How to:

1) Cut out circles from your paper larger than the tin's cupcake slots.(I used a glass to draw a circle.)
2) Cut slightly smaller circles for the inner design and glue(I used a glue stick) to the larger circles.
3) Label each circle with a number or embellishment.
4) On the backs of each circle, place a small magnet to each side. Place circles over the slots.
5) Make a little sign that labels your calendar and embellish with stickers etc.
6) Secure sign to pan.
7) If wanting to hang, hot glue a ribbon to the top.
8) Write out activities or use candy and hide behind each number.
9) Place in desired location.

Calendar Complete!  It was super easy, and as I said before, my kids love it! If you are one of those super crafty people, a Cricut would make this project even easier and more precise. Put your own spin on it! Make it bright and bold or shabby chic. So many ways to use this project! Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

DIY Dainty Bracelet!

Flash back to the days of making friendship bracelets as a kid! This version is easy, fast, and a little more grown-up. I saw this post on Pinterest and thought it would be fun to make as a stocking stuffer for my sister. So I went to the local craft store(Hobby Lobby) and got the embroidery thread(.29 cents a color) from the sewing department and the silver rings($1.49 on sale) from the jewelry department. Total cost, $2.49! 

I switched a few things up...I used smaller rings, and I used embroidery thread instead of twine. The beauty of this simple craft is that it is all up to personal taste!

The original Pin:

Visit her site for her tutorial and for more fun DIY bracelets! She has a ton!

How I made mine:

1) I followed her tutorial pretty closely. I took my first color and ring and I cut 3 strands of the thread.
2) I bent the strands in half to make a loop at one end. Then I pulled the loop and ends of the thread thru the ring and pulled tight. Now I had 6 strands of thread ends.
3) Next, I grouped 2 threads each into 3 sections and braided to my desired length. 
4) I repeated step 1-3 on the other side. 

Ta Da! A dainty little bracelet. Then I repeated with 4 more colors. 

I tried them on together and think they are pretty fun! Was tempted to keep them for myself. Ha! Hope my sister likes her new little trinkets!

Happy Pinning! And Happy Holiday Crafting!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How to Refinish Laminate Furniture. No sanding!

Over the summer I found this cabinet at Goodwill for $19 and saw its potential. It was an old 70's style TV stand (when TV's were square. Ha!), and thought with a fun make-over it could become best friends with my recently revamped dining table. I am one of those people who love a good "Before and After." I find it kind of addicting. There is something in the result that is so satisfying! Even more gratifying, no sanding! I have refinished several pieces of furniture, and anything that takes out a step(especially one of the hardest) is always a welcome treat!

With an additional $20 in paint and primer, I happily transformed the old retro cabinet into a fun colorful piece of furniture. I confess I am a chevron nut! Hence the design I chose for the backing. But it turned out to be quite a simple project. Because it was made of fiberboard and laminate coating, I did have a small fear it would drive me to swearing, muttering to myself, and eventual insanity. Ha! But to my pleasant surprise, Pinterest offered me a solution. I think its safe to say it was a success! My results below:

The original Pin(over 500 pins!) and my inspiration:


Here's how I did it:

Step 1:
Remove all hardware, shelves, doors, and hinges.

Step 2:
Wipe down all the pieces you intend to paint so they are nice and clean. (I had to fill in the cable hole as well.)

Step 3:
Prime every area you intend to paint. This step doesn't have to be perfect or pretty. It just needs a good coating or two of the primer. I painted several coats on the backing as I intended part of the white to be seen in the design. Then let it all dry completely.

Step 4:
Paint! I only had to use 2 coats.

Step 5:
When it was completely dry, I taped my design onto the back using Blue Painters tape and a measuring tape. I spaced the stripes out 1 and 1/2 inches apart and used a leveler to make sure I was keeping them at the right angle. Was really easy! Then I used some left over paint from my dining table project and filled in the taped lines.

After a few hours I pulled the tape off and Ta Da! Chevron stripes and a completed project!

Products I used:

1) Zinsser brand 123 Primer for All Surfaces in White from Walmart.(This is water based with no odor and went on so smooth.)
2) Colorplace Interior Semi-Gloss paint in Pistachio Ice Cream from Walmart. This also rolled on smooth.
3) Minwax Brand Polycrylic clear top coat. I love this top coat because it is water-based and doesn't smell and when it dries is a great protection. It also dries crystal clear unlike some of the others that have a yellowish tint. I have used this on several projects and already had this on hand. It is sold at Lowes.
4) Ultra smooth mini roller
5) Blue Painter's Tape
6) Measuring tape
7) Leveler

Hope this helps someone out with their next project! I found this easy, and if I dare say it, enjoyable!

If you liked this, you may also like How to Refinish a Dining Table, No Sanding! Here:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pinterest and the Pauper!

Welcome to Pinterest and the Pauper! I am Amanda, a complete and self proclaimed Pinterest addict. If you're anything like me, you LOVE Pinterest too and maybe even have an unhealthy relationship with it. Guilty of clicking "See More Pins" when you should be headed to bed instead? Guilty as charged! I have attempted many a pin and have boards full of online treasures.  But I find myself with this unsatisfied need. Why is my closet not full of those great outfits? Why do I not look like one of those perfectly sculpted makeup tutorials? Why does my house not look like a Pottery Barn ad? And why am I not a gourmet chef?  My boards say I should be all those things!

So, I decided that I want more. I want the pleasure of a real relationship with Pinterest and want more than just a board of Pins. I am taking it into my own hands.

Now the bigger issue....I am not the Princess in this scenario. More like the Pauper or perhaps the Princess on a budget? Ha! Have you seen the cost for that perfect pair of boots, or that beautiful DIY dining room table?  Um...yeah. Not everything is in my budget. So, my goal is to find those outfits I love for less. To make those delicious mouth watering meals for less. To recreate that perfect look for less. To get crafty for less.  And you know what? If I can do it, anyone can. Being on a budget doesn't mean being featured on the People of Walmart or eating Mac and Cheese from a box every night. It just means we need to be clever and cunning and beat our pocket book to the punch.  We are worth the effort!

And so, I will be attempting to recreate my beloved pins and sharing the results here. I can't promise they will always be a success, but I hope that those who read this will enjoy it and be inspired by those behind the pins as much as I am. There are some wonderful fellow bloggers out there with fantastic ideas we have all pinned! Afterall, what is a board full of pins good for? Happy Pinning!