Friday, April 29, 2011

Fabulous Find Friday

My fab finds today are blogs! That's right. I found this blog yesterday. It's called grosgrain fabulous and she's posting 30 free patterns in 30 days! If you're a sewer like me, this will make your day. You should go over and check out days 1 through 5. Seriously cute things that will inspire you!
Add caption
These knot shorts from day 4... SO cute.  I want a pair for myself however, they are meant for wee ones so I'll have to make them for Ella...
 The second blog I had posted onto my facebook page and have heard back from many saying they love this site.  It's called
IHeart Organizing

Check out her kids playroom!
Here's a link to her etsy store where she sells amazing and adorable list blanks and charts to help you get your home on track.  Love it.
I am J to the EALOUS of her office space.
Lastly, I stumbled upon this blog...
The Lettered Cottage

I LOVE her style.  Check out these before and after pics of her master bedroom.
I want that room.   
Hope you enjoyed these today.  Please share any fab finds you have... Food, clothes, blogs, ANYTHING! 
Have a wonderful weekend...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

10 minutes. 5 dollars. Pretty table runner and vase!

If you read crafty blogs at all, you know the fabric of the century is BURLAP.  Egads.  If you type burlap into your search engine you'll find burlap everything.  It's itchy, it's rough, it leaves annoying burlap fuzz everywhere and yet.... I fell for it.  I bought some as a prop last year for something and nearly threw it away.
I dug around and found it this morning.  Phew.
Wanna see what I did with it?
Well, my kitchen table stands naked most of the day.  Unless there are plates and crumbs on it that is.
My naked table...
PS.  You'll have to forgive the pictures.  We haven't had sunlight in a mighty long time so cloudy light is all I have to work with!

I wanted a runner of sorts and have been searching for eons to find one that I liked.  Inspired by other ideas I've seen online, I decided to try burlap.  Burlap you say?  YES.  But you already knew that because I've said it like 6 times already...  I went to my bff's (Hobby Lobby.  Don't tell Jo-Ann) and found some cute and inexpensive white trim.

burlap and trim
The piece of burlap i used was 3x1 so I needed 3 yards of trim (see how sewing helps you with math skills?).  It took me 5 minutes to sew it around the edge (keep in mind, I'm a lazy sewer.  I don't like to pin and didn't in this case!).

I then found a mason jar that I kept which had housed store bought spaghetti sauce.  I put a doily I bought at Michael's for a dollar over the bottom and tied it on with a 2 inch wide strip of burlap.  I stuck in some flowers, and VOILA.  New table in minutes.

Here's the rundown:
Burlap 3x1 piece (approx) $2
White trim-3 yards  $2 (used 40% of coupon)
Doily-$1 Michaels
Mason jar-Free
Total:  $5

Burlap before.
Burlap after!  So cute.  I think.  And that's all that matters. ;)
I'm happy.  Projects can't take long for me.  I have too much going on.  That's why I'm not sure I'll be able to make a quilt until the cows come home.   I usually post easy tutorials that cost little and take little time!  Check back often for more fun, easy and inexpensive tutorials and ideas!

With the Mason Jar vase...

Used a doily and tied it on with a strip of burlap...

Messy tie.  I like it like that...

My new table! Somewhat Simple

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

$3 Glitzy Ribbon Necklace Tutorial-Easy!

Last Saturday I was at the Loft shopping for an Easter outfit.  I strolled by the accessory table and saw a necklace similar to the one I made today for $35!
I thought it was cute, but not THAT cute. 
Today I made a trip to Hobby Lobby for something unrelated to this project and thought I'd check out the bead aisle to see if they were on sale.  Well, they were 50% off as was the ribbon.  I spent $3 on the material to make this necklace.  Over 90% less than the Loft necklace!

Here's what you need:
Glass crystal beads (my pack came with 12)
1/2 inch ribbon (I used silver glittery ribbon)

Thread your needle and triple knot the end.   I didn't cut the ribbon off the spool yet.  I pulled  14 inches off the spool and tightly surrounded the crystal bead with ribbon.  Thread through.

 Conitnue to thread through the ribbon and beads by creating a weaved pattern like you see below.  You have to pull the ribbon tight against the bead each time so that the loops aren't too loose.

 When you get to the end, triple knot the thread.  I went through the beads with needle and thread in  the opposite direction so it would be stronger.
 Once you get back to the other side, tie off the thread and trim the thread from both ends.
Knot the ribbon as closely as you can to the beads on each end.   Cut your ribbon off of the spool so that the sides are even.
 Voila!  Here it is as a bracelet if you like it better that way.... Or....
 As a necklace...  Just tie the ribbon at the back of your neck.  You can make it as long or short as you'd like!

 Not too bad for $3.   If I were to make it again, I think I'd skip the glitter ribbon.  It's a little itchy on my neck ;)  For $2 more, you could add another 12 beads.

Beyond The Picket Fence

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Friend Sugar is Going on Vacation...

It's nearly May.  Around this time each year, I think about summer which leads to thoughts of eating healthier.  I don't necessarily want to lose a ton of weight, but I think it's a healthy thing to give your body a break from foods that aren't great for it.
SO starting today I'm taking a sugar break.  I should say, I'm taking a sweet's break.  Each afternoon and then at night I typically indulge in a sweet treat.  Not for the next couple of weeks.  This is going to be a challenge.  I LOVE to bake.  On my kitchen counter are three LARGE tupperware containers full of leftover Easter goods.  Apple bars, brownies and cookies.
I've always been tempted to do a body detox type program but I get scared because I know that if it isn't done correctly, it can case more damage than good.  Does anyone have suggestions on books or programs that you've tried?

Last year in April, I did weight watchers to try to lose those last 8 pounds of baby weight.  I concocted this salad for lunch which is delicious.  I turned my mom and dad onto it and my friend who tried it calls it the "Tina" salad.  I buy all of the ingredients at Costco, but they can be found just about anywhere.

For 2.99, Costco sells a gigantic container of organic leafy greens.  I never finish the container, but for 2.99, I don't feel so bad.
I buy Hannah brand Taboule (Taboule is a Middleastern salad made of cracked wheat, parsley, tomatoes, olive oil and lemon) goat cheese and Dietz and Watson light turkey breast lunch meat.  (I included the brands in case you're a Costco shopper:)

Grab a large bowl (a cereal bowl is too small).  Fill it 3/4 with lettuce
Take a 1/2 C of Taboule and put it on the lettuce
Crumble 1/2 oz of goat cheese on top of that
Chop up 2 slices of turkey lunchmeat and add to the salad
Mix up.

The salad has approx. 200 calories and is delicious.  The lemon and oils in the taboule mean that you don't need to add dressing.  It has tons of flavor and all of the protein in the cheese and lunchmeat keep you more full.

If anyone wants to join me on this sugar break, let me know.  It's a lot easier to be miserable, er, I mean, healthy, if someone else is going through it with you!

Giveaway winner announced!

I used to select the winner for this months giveaway.
From the 50 entries, number TWO was chosen, and that was Abby M! Abby works with a wonderful organization in Honduras and I am happy to be shipping this to her this week!  Abby, email me with your address!  Congrats!

Keep your eyes peeled for the May giveaway!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Why is Good Friday called Good Friday?

I did a quick search on this question.  It was asked during our Good Friday service.

At first, my search came up empty.  Really, there was no one who could provide a historical reason as to why this day is called "Good".

Then I stumbled upon this site.  It's a blog entry by a pastor in CA named David Tieche.  I'd never heard of him before, but,  I REALLY liked what he had to say. 

Please, please read the Psalm below. 

Psalm 22

To the choirmaster: according to The Doe of the Dawn. A Psalm of David.
 1My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
   Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
2O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
   and by night, but I find no rest. 3Yet you are holy,
   enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4In you our fathers trusted;
   they trusted, and you delivered them.
5To you they cried and were rescued;
   in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
 6But I am a worm and not a man,
 scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
7All who see me mock me;
   they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
8"He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him;
   let him rescue him, for he delights in him!"
 9Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
   you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.
10On you was I cast from my birth,
   and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
11Be not far from me,
   for trouble is near,
   and there is none to help.
 12Many bulls encompass me;
   strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
13they open wide their mouths at me,
   like a ravening and roaring lion.
 14I am poured out like water,
   and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
   it is melted within my breast;
15my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
   and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
   you lay me in the dust of death.
 16For dogs encompass me;
   a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet—  
17I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me;  
18 they divide my garments among them,
   and for my clothing they cast lots.
 19But you, O LORD,do not be far off!
   O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
20Deliver my soul from the sword,
   my precious life from the power of the dog!

 21Save me from the mouth of the lion!
You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!
 22 I will tell of your name to my brothers;
   in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
23You who fear the LORD, praise him!
   All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him,
   and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
24For he has not despised or abhorred
   the affliction of  the afflicted,
and he has not hidden his face from him,
   but has heard, when he cried to him.
 25From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
   my vows I will perform before those who fear him.
26 The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied;
   those who seek him shall praise the LORD!
   May your hearts live forever!
 27All the ends of the earth shall remember
   and turn to the LORD,
and all the families of the nations
   shall worship before you.
28For kingship belongs to the LORD,
   and he rules over the nations.
 29All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship;
   before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
   even the one who could not keep himself alive.
30Posterity shall serve him;
   it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
31they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,
   that he has done it.

Here is the quote from Pastor Dave's blog that was thought provoking...
"One thousand years before Jesus was even born, God the Father and the Holy Spirit and David wrote Jesus a song. First, the song that would detail Jesus’ suffering. The song – which was written by his Father for Jesus was describing precisely what Jesus was actually seeing. Jesus would know that His Father saw everything that was happening to him. Jesus would know his Father understood what was happening. God the Father got it. He knew what Jesus was not only seeing, but experiencing. He’d written a song about it.
But the song didn’t stop there.
Psalm 22 is a victorious song. A song of triumph. A song of hope. It’s a song about how God will do something wonderful, and that generations to come – people who aren’t even born yet – will tell stories about this wonderful thing. It’s said that Jesus had you and I in mind on that cross, and this is proof.
God the Father wrote his boy a song of comfort. And in his darkest hour, delirious from pain, wracked by fear and anxiety, Jesus sang the words of the song written by His Father for him. Specifically for him. Only for him. A song of comfort. A song of promise. A song of hope.
Easter isn’t just about Jesus dying on the Cross, though of course that is absolutely crucial. It’s also about a God who writes a song that his son would know and memorize. A song to comfort his son. A song to remind his son that He was not far away. A song to remind his son, and to remind all of us:
I’m right here.
I’m not going anywhere.
And even if you think I am
I’ll be right back.
And that is why Good Friday is good."

If you have a few more minutes to read his whole post, here's the link.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oh Rotten Bananas, How Do I Love Thee?

Almost every week, I buy bananas and no one eats them.  Maybe one or two get eaten, but the rest turn brown and smell up the kitchen.  And I shrug and say, "guess I'm making banana bread!"
I LOVE banana bread.  For years I searched to find the perfect recipe.    I like all kinds but wanted a recipe where the bread was super moist.  And by jove, I found it.  Whenever I make this for someone, they ask for the recipe.  The addition of chocolate chips made my husbands Bible study group my bff's (for a few minutes).
I know.  These aren't "bad" but the kids won't eat them with brown spots!  Never thought I'd post pics of brown bananas on the blog!

It makes TWO loaves.   Here you go. Top secret.

Tina's Secret Banana Bread Recipe
adapted from Extreme Banana Nut Bread found at


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups mashed overripe bananas (I usually have around 5 bananas)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • Chocolate Chips (I always and a cup or two!)
  • Optional:   1 Cup chopped Walnuts (Joe doesn't like them, I do.  I just add them to one loaf)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
  2. Mix the flour, salt and baking soda into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, blend together the butter or margarine and sugar until smooth. Blend in the bananas, eggs, and chocolate chips/walnuts until well blended. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix just until blended. Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans. 
  3. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted into the crown of the loaf comes out clean. Let the loaves cool in the pans for at least 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack, and cool completely. Wrap in aluminum foil to keep in the moisture. Ideally, refrigerate the loaves for 2 hours or more before serving. 
  • The bread gets really dark brown in the oven.   The first time I made it I thought I was burning it because I was used to a lighter "crust".
  • If you have bananas going bad and don't have time to make banana bread, just peel those bananas and stick them in a freezer bag in the freezer.  When you're ready to make your bread, defrost the bananas and use em'.  There will be a lot of "juice" in the bag from the sugars in the bananas.  I found that my banana bread turns out even better using these.
  • This bread tastes best refrigerated.
  • Nutella on top of banana bread is tdf (to die for). 
  • If you don't need two loaves of bread, freeze one.  They defrost well and still taste great.
There you have it!  If you try this recipe, let me know what you think.
Have a wonderful day today.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How does the tooth fairy get in the house?

  I didn't really know what to title the post today.  I've been super busy.  In a good way.  Not in an overwhelming I just want to get in my bed and hope it all goes away kind of busy ;)  This post is a little random but full of fun.  Read on.

Today I am finishing up these cute hair flowers.  My friend has 4 girls and wanted some fun hair accessories for Easter.

I like the tulle on the back and the jewel makes it fancy shmancy.
I made one for my girl, too ;)
So fun, bright and summery
Ella's hair pretty...
Ella's wearing a dress like this.  This one is her dolly's matching dress ;)
My oldest lost his first tooth this morning! We are excited for the tooth fairy to visit.

Gaping hole!
I made this cute (I mean COOL), boy tooth pocket ;)  I cut the tooth free hand out of fleece and used a camo strip so that it'd be boyish for him.  Hopefully the tooth fairy can fit a dollar in there!

It's pretty teeny ;)
Nice roots!
 Because etsy is so saturated and because the type of rings  that I sell are popular, I tried to think of something that would help me stand out.  I thought that these little ring pockets would be cute as a free item that comes with the ring.  What do you think?  I love how cute it looks and it's great for gift giving.  So, if you buy a ring of mine on etsy, you'll get one of these ;)  Great for moms day!
Cute little pockets...

Ring sleeping bag?

 In case you hadn't heard, I'm doing a giveaway.  Check this post out for details!  Thanks so much to those of you who are playing along ;)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lace Flower Hair Pin Tutorial

How are you all today?  It's gloomy, cold and wet outside, but I'm determined not to let it affect my mood!
I've been trying to stay productive and that includes coming up with a tutorial for this oh so easy and cute lace flower hairpin. The fun thing is, it's pretty much free!

Here's what you need:
 5 minutes
A short strand of lace-6 inches should be good
A bobby pin
A small scrap of fleece
Glue gun

Cut a fleece circle just a tad bigger than a quarter.
Cut a small square of fleece as well for the back of the pin. 
  Tie a knot at the end of the lace.  If there's a tail, cut it off.

 Pinch the knot and begin to twist the lace while turning the flower in your hand.
Place a dab of hot glue on the round fleece.  Try to use the nose of it to spread it around a bit.
Then, place your flower onto the fleece. There may be some room for more lace.  Put a little bit of glue along the raw edge and twist the lace around until it's filled in.  Cut off the tail.
Place the little square inside the end of the bobby pin.  The bumpy edge should face up.
Place a dab of glue on the lower half of the fleece backing of the flower.  Press the bobby pin onto the glue.  

 I also made a pin with the same method.  I wanted the lace to show so I twisted the lace more loosely than I did with the hairpins.  I glued three pearl buttons to the center.  Cute for Easter.   Would make a cute gift set, don't you think???

 You can do the same thing with any fabric and get a cute rosette!

 Here are links to some other cute hair pin tutorials:
Paper Rose Hairpin
Rosette Hair Clips/Pins
Pinwheel Bobby Pin
Flower Bouquet Bobby Pin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

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