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A Haven For Haven – Inspiration For Our Girl’s Room

I am about to embark on a major voyage… and one I hope won’t involve any battles. Yes, I am redecorating my six year old daughter’s room. Haven has spent years now devoted to Disney Princesses and hot pink. Not that those aren’t awesome, but they have just worn me down with their plasticy smiles and over-saturated hues. It is time for a change! Anyone with a kindergarten-aged daughter knows, however, that they are not necessarily easily convinced. Still, I’m trying to get her on board by giving her a chance to provide input… while still limiting it to things that don’t make me cringe.  To describe what I’m going for, the first words that come to mind for me are: Vintage, feminine, subtle details, calm, pretty,  colorful and not all  muted, clean, bright. I’d like to focus around vintage floral fabric designs. The overall effect should be whimsical but not cluttered. Wow, that was a lot of adjectives.

I’m working on an official mood board with my current specific thoughts… but I’m letting it slowly evolve while I gather some inspiration. I am right at the starting line: a general color scheme and a vague idea of the look I am going for. Thank you to my Pinterest obsession for helping me out on this one. All that pinning isn’t wasted time, right?

Let’s start with color. I love color… bright, neutral, bold, subtle… I love all of it. I noticed that, when thinking of Haven’s room, I was drawn to some colors by Benjamin Moore (the paint company). Clarification: this post is not sponsored by Benjamin Moore. They just happened to have a few colors that seemed most accurate to what I was picturing in my head.

Looking at vintage floral fabrics, there are a lot of nice color combinations. My daughter’s favorite color is pink, so I want to stick with it but maybe steer her towards corals and softer pinks. I would love a clean, bright green. To keep it from being girly-overload, a nice blue seems to pop up in a lot of vintage designs. Here are my choices:

OB-Haven's Room Paint Colors Numbered

  1. Coral Gables by Benjamin Moore (paint # 2010-40)
  2. Utah Sky by Benjamin Moore (paint # 2065-40)
  3. Spring Meadow Green by Benjamin Moore (paint # 2031-40)

I’d like these colors to be worked in together in harmony; combined in a quilt, banner, artwork… who knows how, but something cohesive. The grounding color should be a nice vintage white, to provide a clean base. Oh, now I’m getting excited…

There are a lot of gorgeous rooms out there, and I’ve stumbled over several that are so perfectly what I am picturing in my head. When looking for inspiration rooms, Pinterest, Apartment Therapy, and Modern Parents Messy Kids are all great places to start. I managed to narrow my inspiration pieces down to four… hard work I tell you. Even if I don’t come close to achieving these looks, part-way would be a big improvement over our current Disney, hot pink, miss-matched mess.

Indigo's Hyggelig Nook

Source: Apartment Therapy; Indigo’s Hyggelig Nook

cheery-country-girls-room ivillage

Source: iVillage, Home Organization Ideas: Color Combinations (#16)

Source: Modern Parents Messy Kids via skona hem

Source: Modern Parents Messy Kids via skona hem

Source: Jelanie Shop Blog

Source: Jelanie Shop Blog

Sigh… gorgeous, right? Funny how three of the four rooms have one of those trendy triangle banners… I guess I know one project I should start on. I actually already have the perfect fabric for it, too, courtesy of an awesome Etsy shop I ordered from. Who doesn’t love Etsy, right? I swear, half my earrings were less than $10 and ordered of Etsy. Okay, maybe 3/4 of them. Or almost all.

Here are a few Etsy shops that are totally my jam right now. The only one I have actually ordered from is SugarSweetSheets. It was a great experience; very sweet shop owner, quick service, they made me a great deal… Not only would I order from them again, I probably will soon. (Again, this post is not sponsored by anyone. Just my own wallet and thought process.)

Girl's Room Inspiration from Painting Sunny

  1. fruitflypie; Ceramics and embroider beyond adorable, it’s whimsical and pretty.
  2. DesignAtelierArticle; Vintage finds for any space, but this clock is a perfect hue.
  3. LauraFrisk; Quirky woodblock printed pillows, for something unique and woodsy.
  4. SugarSweetSheets; Floral, vintage fabrics that are affordable, practical, and lovely.
  5. CocktailZoo; Some of these are a little intense, but this bunny is straight out of a storybook.
  6. AddisonWonderland; Gorgeous decor items, including canopies. Could these photographs be any more gorgeous?
  7. oliverbludesigns; Lovely little banners that are a clean and bright design.

Although I make almost all of the decorations and artwork for the kids myself, Etsy is addictive with it’s gorgeous shops, and if I can’t or don’t feel up to making something myself, supporting an individual artist is always a great feeling.

Well, this is the tip of the iceberg for this room, but I feel inspired and ready to get started! Anyone else with a princess-loving kindergartner? Any advice on how to collaborate with them on design decisions? To be continued…

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Hey Sweet Potato

While many people might choose a large fry from McD’s, personally sweet potatoes make the top of my list for carbs at dinner. They are the perfect side for a lot of things, but we generally eat them along with tuna burgers (more on those another day – yum!), corn dogs (the ones below are Morningstar brand vegetarian corn dogs), or pan-seared fish.

A healthier alternative to anything fried, these are baked but the stronger taste of sweet potato combined with extra seasonings are like bam! Flavor like whoa.

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Sweet potatoes are also just a little gorgeous to look at, you know? All dull brown on the outside, but when you cut them open they shine. Okay, maybe that really is just me.

Anyway, this is a simple  and quick (30 minutes or so) recipe that your kids might even be willing to eat. It makes enough for the four of us – two adults and two kids, to give you an guage of how much you might need to make. Full and concise recipe is at the bottom of the post.

Ingredients:

– 2 big sweet potatoes

–  2 tbsp canola oil

– 1 tsp ground black pepper

– 1 tsp sea salt

– 1/4 tspground cumin

– 2 tsp ground paprika

– 1 tsp garlic powder

– 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

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Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Begin by using a very sharp, large chef’s knife and cut each sweet potato in half, and then into 1/4″ strips  lengthwise.

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Turn the 1/4″ pieces on their sides, and slice them again into 1/4″ strips lengthwise. You should end up with a whole lot of 1/4″ thick strips of sweet potato that are perfect for fries!

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Every time I make these, I think the two potatoes aren’t going to be enough… but please see the below picture as reference of just how many fries two potatoes will produce. Dang. By now, your arms should be a little tired from chopping. Sweet potatoes are seriously thick.

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Place all of your raw sweet potatoes fries into a big bowl, and pour the oil over the top of them. Add all of the spices, and then use your hands to stir them around until they are all evenly coated. If you’re worried that there isn’t enough oil, go ahead and add just a bit more. Not too much, though – I promise, you don’t want them to end up too greasy.

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Get two baking sheets (I prefer to cover mine with foil first… parchment paper would also work) and then spread the fries evenly on the baking sheets, without them overlapping too much.

Randomly, I always put my foil with the shiniest-side down, because I once heard that if you put it shiny-side up, it will cause the heat to reflect more on the food at it will burn. I am also certain that is an urban legend but I still have to put it dull-side-up. Please tell me if I am totally crazy.

Below, you can see about how far it spreads. Might as well throw a few corn dogs on the sheet while you’re at it.

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Bake the fries at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes. It is a great idea to flip them once or twice, so they cook evenly. I forget to do that 9 out of 10 times, so we have learned to just live with them being a little unevenly cooked. Don’t be like me.

One of these days I’m going to experiment with other spices…. If you do, let me know how it goes!

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Flavorful Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients:

– 2 big sweet potatoes

–  2 tbsp canola oil

– 1 tsp ground black pepper

– 1 tsp sea salt

– 1/4 tspground cumin

– 2 tsp ground paprika

– 1 tsp garlic powder

– 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Begin by using a very sharp, large chef’s knife and cut each sweet potato in half, and then into 1/4″ strips  lengthwise. Turn the 1/4″ pieces on their sides, and slice them again into 1/4″ strips lengthwise. Place all of your raw sweet potatoes fries into a big bowl, and pour the oil over the top of them. Add all of the spices, and toss the fries until they are all evenly coated. Spread the fries evenly on  baking sheets covered in foil or parchment paper. Do not overlap the fries too much.

Bake the fries at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Flip them once  during baking, so they cook evenly. Remove from the oven with browned and slightly crisp. Let cool two minutes before serving.

 

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.


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Book Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

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Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

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Mindy Kaling, notable as an actress and writer on the shows The Office and The Mindy Project has authored a comedic memoir as well. Wait, if you don’t watch those shows, please don’t leave – it probably won’t dictate how you feel about the book.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) is a series-of-essays-style book, a quick read, and a refreshing, laugh-out-loud, awkward story of a girl that may feel familiar, but also relatable.

Written as though she is telling each story to a friend over coffee (or drinks) Mindy is funny, down-to-earth, and self-aware to a level that it is almost awkward for everyone involved. She seems so very down-to-earth, you almost feel like if you were just a little braver, a little funnier, and a little bit less aware of social expectations you could be on TV too. A rare balance of almost tween-girl femininity and good-old-boy confidence is hard to find. Mindy somehow pulls it off.

Along the way, she chronicles her story of making it in Hollywood. You at first get the feeling it was a journey of sharing inside jokes with famous people, long sushi lunches, and splurging on impractical boutique clothing. Probably because that is what you want to envision, since it is so much easier to think you just didn’t draw the lucky ticket… not that you’re too busy watching reality TV and consuming Sonic fries to follow your dreams. By the end of the book, it settles into your brain that this person worked years of 14 hour days, had to constantly put herself out there and look ridiculous in front of people, and picked up some friends, fashion tips, and solidly funny stories along the way. Mindy but has a drive that pushes her past the limitations most of us are stopped by.

Each story feels like an effortless practice in Mindy being true to herself, and that her success in relationships and work depends on it. The essays touch on more serious topics such as the important of deep personal friendships, the special relationships built over a lifetime, a work life of competitiveness and respect for mutual interests in your colleagues, and respect for family and heritage. Mindy embraces her immaturity and border-line-flakiness both in this memoir and her show The Mindy Project, and demonstrates along the way that when it comes down to it, she is a hard-worker and a dependable friend. If only the rest of us could balance our weaknesses so evenly… with so much humor.

At the end of this book, you feel like if you ran into her at some restaurant waiting for a table, you would start right where you left off, chatting on an inappropriate comfort-level for a stranger. “Hey, Mindy, have you seen my lip gloss? I thought it was in this bag but I can’t find it… anyway, did you see Grey’s last night? Calizona was A-MAZE-ING…” and she would stare at you like you’re a psycho. Because you see, she would not have just spent hours getting to know you, reading your memoir, sharing in your personal moments. You would just be a creep in a restaurant lobby without any lip gloss. But one who is really excited she just met Mindy Kaling.

So, what books does it compare to? It is unique – let’s not call her the “next” Tina Fey or Nora Ephron. However, if I had to put a framework to it, this book is more Bossypants and less anything by Chelsea Handler.  Most likely what you’re looking for is:

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PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.


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100 Days of School, 100 Paper Cranes

With our oldest child in Kindergarten this year, I am being introduced to all sorts of traditions I was oblivious to before. One of those things is “100 Day” which celebrates the 100th day of school with “a huge huge party, parade party, even better than a birthday you so should have been there Mama!” as Haven enlightened me. It includes a parade, special snacks like a crazy trailmix, activities, and best of all; every student brings in 100 of something to present to the class. It can be 100 of something small taped to a paper, or there is the option of creatively displaying something.

Havey and I put our head’s together, looked around the house, and ended up staring at a package of origami paper Grandma June gifted to us during the holidays. We did the math that if we divided some of the origami sheets into quarters, and dipped into our stash of leftover pretty paper scraps we could make it work. I realized how crazy big a project this was to take on, but we had a three-day weekend to work on it, and I had determined it was less of a waste to spend more time making something we could hang in her room later, than to make something smaller but disposable.

Now for a time-lapse of a 6-year-old learning to fold a paper crane…

Haven's birds 3Haven's birds 4Haven's birds 2Haven's birds 1


Haven stuck with the bigger pieces of paper, and I helped a bit (or a lot at first) with the different steps. After about five of them, she could finish one and have it looking pretty sharp, with minimal assistance during two of the more confusing steps.

Then of course, her attention wandered and I was abandoned to stay up late at night folding tiny little cranes until my fingers bled. Okay, fine, they didn’t bleed. Or even come close to it. But it does make it hard to keep up with an episode of Criminal Minds when you’re constantly folding tiny birds. Thank goodness the husband intervened, learned a couple of the steps himself, and helped speed up the process significantly!

Gradually, the cranes added up…

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It was all fun and games, until we ran out of origami paper, I counted the big pile of folded cranes, and my heart fell as I finished with 62. That is a long way from 100. So, we raided our paper scrap stash, used a pen and ruler to cut squares out in a variety of pretty patterned papers, and those got folded too, assembly-line style.

Want to learn how to make a paper crane? I did a little Google search, and here is a good guide and here is a video. Hope that helps!

How do I know how to fold paper cranes? No idea. I’m sure I learned it from my mother and it just got stuck in my brain. My fingers automatically make them when I’m bored and holding scrap paper in my office.

Display idea: We grabbed some pony-beads (those cheap, bright, plastic ones) we had already, and some white thread and a big sewing needle. I threaded the needle, created 2′ or so length of thread and knotted a pony-bead around both threads at the bottom, tied securely. Then, I used the needle to thread on each crane by sticking it through the little hole on the belly of the crane, and up through the top of it between the wings. After they were all strung, I used the needle to tie the threads at the top around another pony-bead. Voila! It’s like a Hawaiian lei of paper cranes.

Haven was so proud to show off her special 100 paper cranes! It was a hit with her, and her classmates. We might re-string them on some pretty, bright-colored embroidery thread before

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Paloma the cat, must you always photo-bomb?

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We were lucky to have a pack of origami paper, thread and a needle, a couple pony-beads, and extra scrap paper. If you don’t happen to have these things, this couple still be a really affordable and quick project. Any craft store should sell both the papers and the pony-beads, and any of the other supplies if you don’t keep them on hand. I did a quick bit of research, and one big package of 100 origami papers (we had a smaller package than that) retails for between $7-$10 dollars if you want the pretty patterns.

Happy 100 Day!

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.


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It’s a Butcher Block Party!

One of the best places in the world is The Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Our local ReStore is lovely and full of wonderful people, too. One day, as I was purchasing supplies for an un-related project, I passed by a huge towering stack of maple cutting boards/butcher blocks that were brand-new, unfinished, and selling for $10 a piece. They were marked as regularly selling for more than $40, and they looked so clean and lovely all stacked together… so I impulse-bought.

Of course, since it was unfinished I needed to pick up something to “season” the board, and a brief Google research showed that I should head to my local hardware store and grab a bottle of food-grade mineral oil.

PS Butcher Block 4

I really do live in a very nice place, as I also love my local hardware store. The nicest people, and run locally (it is a True Value) called Bloomington Hardware. They were all out of what I assume was a just-oil product for seasoning cutting boards; or I assume so, since below an empty spot on the self was a little sticker that said something to that effect. However, they had a product called “Butcher Block Conditioner” that had instructions on the back for seasoning a new cutting board. Sold! However, it was $8.99 which was a bit painful. Still, I didn’t feel like driving to another store, I had a three-year-old with me who was eyeing the candy stands, and I really do like my hardware store people.

So, I went home and gathered together my bottle of butcher block conditioner, my new maple cutting board, and an old rag.

PS Butcher Block 6

I tried to take a nice over-head shot of the cutting board, just to show how ghostly-pale it was prior to being seasoned. The darker streaks are where it was still wet from my cleaning it. I may have gone ahead and used it a couple times before seasoning it and then tried to scrub away where juice from an orange had soaked in… and it may still have some orangey spots on it. Gives it character.

PS Butcher Block 13

The instructions were simple; basically, rub a thin coat of the conditioner into the wood, rubbing in the same direction as the wood grain, until it was nicely coated.

Let it wait 20 minutes.

Do that again twice more.

Sorry, this picture really did not turn out pretty.

PS Butcher Block 14

Below you can see the difference between the raw wood, and one still-wet layer of conditioner on the wood – it was taken two seconds after I swiped  conditioner on half the board.

PS Butcher Block 16

Below, you can see how I poured a thin line of the conditioner ahead of the area where I was rubbing it in, in the same direction as the wood grain. This is putting on the first coat.

PS Butcher Block 1PS Butcher Block 9

The edgues were done pretty much the exact same way. Be careful not to get this on your clothes – I managed to avoid that for once, but since it is mineral-oil based it seems like it would be a bad idea.

PS Butcher Block 12photo

The little grooves along the edges of one side were a little trickier. I had to spread a little of the conditioner along the middle of the grooves, and then use the rag to rub diligently to get along those tiny edges.

PS Butcher Block 8

Three coats later, on each side… I think it looks lovely. And quite protected from cuts and stains. This is the back-side of it:
PS Butcher Block 5

A little before and after comparison… although to be honest, the below pictures don’t really show the full tone of the wood now that it is conditioned. The above picture is a better gauge.

PS Butcher Block 13PS Butcher Block 4

As you can see, although I did not love the $8.99 price-tag, three full coats left me with still almost the entire bottle left over… so the value seems worth it. I imagine I have to re-condition it eventually, right? Or buy 10 more?
PS Butcher Block 3
This was a nice, quick project and a relatively low-cost… and this has turned out to be a super-handy thing to have around. I picture buying an antique dresser and re-purposing it as a kitchen stand, with this butcher block attached to the top of it someday… you know the Pinterest pin I mean. I hope that link works; I’ve never tried to link to a pin before…

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.


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Fluffy Waffles: Just Beat It

Who would have thought my favorite waffle recipe would come from the user’s manual of our new waffle iron? You know those 5 little recipes on the very back page of every kitchen appliance, printed in 6.5 point font? And that it wouldn’t have added sugar in it? Well, this one is called “fluffy waffles” and on the day we cracked open the box on my husband’s anniversary gift, I was too hungry to stop and Google for a new recipe. I decided to pick one that was in front of me, and one called for beating the egg whites separately. Which, sounded like extra work but also a little intriguing. Since first trying this recipe out, it has stayed on the weekend brunch rotation as a regular head-liner.

This also doesn’t make a huge mess of the kitchen, so that’s a plus; one appliance, one big bowl, and my trusty kitchen-aid mixer. Thanks for the recipe, Presto FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker! (this is in no one sponsored by Presto, I just wanted to be fair since it is their recipe).

And a shout-out to Michael Jackson, for the title of this post.

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I had made waffles hundreds of times before, but since our last waffle iron had bit the dust it had been about a year. And my husband really, really loves waffles so giving him an appliance for our anniversary was totally on the up-and-up.

This recipe makes three full-sized waffles, which easily feeds myself, my husband, and our two little kids. In a few years, I may have to start doubling it up as the kids get bigger – but that should give you a rough idea of the portions you’ll end up with.

(Full recipe at the bottom of this post):

Gather your ingredients:

  • Something to cook a waffle in or on and something that can electrically mix things at a high speed
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I prefer unbleached)
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups milk (I use 2%)
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil

For the below items, I clearly have no reservations using the Kroger generic brand. Somehow, Crisco is always the cheapest though, and I do think it has a good, clean taste to it.

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This is the easiest recipe ever. I mix the dry ingredients into one big bowl (flour, baking powder, salt) and the wet ingredients into the mixer (milk, egg yolks, and oil) minus the egg whites – put those aside.

Next, pour the milk/yolk/oil mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir gently until they are juuuuust mixed together.

Without washing the mixer (why bother) I put the egg whites into the mixer, and whip them until nice and stiff. That sounded weird.

Pour the egg white mixer into your big bowl the rest of the ingredients, and again being very gentle, fold the whites into it until just mixed.

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Pour 1 cup of batter into your mixer, and set it for 3 minutes. Or until whenever your mixer cooks it through – that probably varies.

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As I earlier stated, this post is not sponsored by anyone other than me – however, I will say that we do like our Presto FlipSide waffle iron. We have owned several waffle irons (and our family members several others) and this is the one that takes up the least amount of cabinet space, stays clean (without a bunch of little pieces batter gets stuck in) and makes pretty consistently golden-brown waffles. We bought it after reading great reviews on it – just an FYI in case anyone is bored at work and updating their Amazon wish-list.

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WEIRD TIP: I use a bamboo skewer (like the type you use to make shish kabobs) to remove the waffles from the waffle iron when they are done, without them tearing apart or burning myself. I just slide it in through the side of the waffle all the way across, and pick it up with it, then slide it onto a plate.

For a recipe with no added sugar, they are surprisingly sweet – I’m assuming the whipped egg whites have a magical and mysterious effect.

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We serve them with 100% maple syrup, and butter. Yum.

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If only all other breakfast recipes didn’t call for a full cup of sugar…. and that the recipes in the backs of manuals always produced delicious foods…

Fluffy Waffles (My Interpretation)

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk milk, egg yolks, and oil in a standing mixer, or bowl with an electric mixer. Whisk milk, egg yolks, and oil into the dry ingredients just until mixed. Use standing mixer or electric mixer to beat egg whites until very stiff. Fold whites into the batter. Preheat the waffle iron, and follow your waffle iron’s directions for portions and cook times, to cook waffle until light brown and crips. I use 1 cup of batter and cook for 3 minutes.

 

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.


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Let’s Play Tag

A under-an-hour tag toy project!

One of my goals for 2013 is probably the same as many DIYers out there – “use up what you have”. For those of us with a yarn stash taking over a dresser, stacks of fabric fat quarters in corners, and a few little odds and ends we can’t even remember getting, it’s time to make some use of stuff. The night before a baby shower, I had just come down with a cold and was stuck at home when I realized I didn’t have a hand-made element of the gift for the mother-to-be…  it’s practically tradition to have at least a small addition to the present that I’ve made myself.

I went and surveyed my stack of stuff in my work room (aka the other side of the laundry room) and tried to remember what my son had loved the most as a baby. Of course; he still sits for hours rubbing the little tag from his blanky on his face, and then inspiration hit; a tag toy. You’ve probably seen them before – little mini-blankys or loveys with tags sewn all around them.

I think I might be spelling blanky wrong.

An Under-an-Hour Tag Toy Project - from Painting Sunny

Of course, the very next day I see on my Facebook feed, Prudent Baby come’s out with a little tag toy tutorial that is ROUND. And, has an anchor on it! Definitely, the next time I make a tag toy, I’m making it round – that’s genius. And adorable.

Anyway, I began by sorting through the fabric pieces I had left over from the various projects I’ve made for my son, who is now 3… so I had a few to choose from. I liked the way the bright green popped out in the below fabrics, and I had this spool of ribbon too; the fates have aligned!

I also choose two fabrics I thought had differnet textures… a nice warm flannel (the truck fabric) and a cool, thin calico (the robot fabric). Both were bought for $2 a yard at Jo-Ann Fabric. The ribbon was 50% off at Hobby Lobby about a year ago and was just a couple bucks.

An Under-an-Hour Tag Toy Project - from Painting Sunny

I set a one-hour goal for myself in making this and didn’t bother stopping to research tutorials or to think about it too much. I almost never use any sort of pattern when sewing, but usually am inspired by  a blog tutorial I’m following. In this case, I just decided to wing it! I flipped each piece of material wrong-side up on the kitchen table, and using a pen (I know, bad habits die hard) I measured out and cut a 12.5″x14″ square. That was just the size my pieces of fabric easily allowed.

An Under-an-Hour Tag Toy Project - from Painting Sunny

I squared them up together, right-side in (as shown below) and moved on to the ribbon…

An Under-an-Hour Tag Toy Project - from Painting Sunny

I made loops (look at me trying to hide my chipping nail polish… geesh) with the ribbon, just to a length that looped good.

An Under-an-Hour Tag Toy Project - from Painting Sunny

I then cut that size of loop, and several others the same size and a little longer or shorter, for a table of 12 pieces of ribbon.

An Under-an-Hour Tag Toy Project - from Painting Sunny

I folded each ribbon piece in half, right-side out (if your ribbon has a right-side… mine did) and laid it in between the two pieces of fabric, with the cut ends of the loop sticking about 1/4″ outside of the material.

An Under-an-Hour Tag Toy Project - from Painting Sunny

As I placed each ribbon loop in between the fabric squares, I held it in place with a pin. Three loops went on each side of the square, being careful to alternate the lengths in a way that looked somewhat random, but good at the same time… you know what I mean.

An Under-an-Hour Tag Toy Project - from Painting Sunny

It is really hard to get a good picture of the mechanics of a sewing machine, isn’t it? I sewed a 1/4″ seam all around the square, being careful to keep it squared up, keep the corners nice  and round, and not have the ribbon loops slip out of place. It meant keeping the pins on the ribbon pieces until pretty close to them going under the needle.

The IMPORTANT PART: Be sure to leave a gap of at least 2 inches, un-sewn, after you have sewn around the edges of the square. This is so you can turn it right-side out.

An Under-an-Hour Tag Toy Project - from Painting Sunny

After you turn it right-out side through the hole you left (being careful not to tear the stitches), be sure all of the edges are completely smooth. I stick a spoon inside of the gap and push gently all around the edges to make sure they look nice and straight.

To close the hole that was left, I simply ironed it nicely so the edges were turned in the same 1/4″ as the rest of it, and sewed over the top. There is a name for doing that, but I can’t recall it now. You could also use an invisible handstitch to get it closed… I’ve never been good at those.

However, if I could turn back time (Let’s acknowledge the Cher song; okay, move on) I would do some things differently.

1) I would make it thicker and so the two fabrics didn’t slide against each other. I like the method Prudent Baby used in their tag toy this week – the wipe plastic would make a nice crinkle. Or, quilt batting, thick interfacing, etc… just something to stiffen and connect it.

2) I would try a more muted color scheme (I was just using what I had on hand) or make the ribbons different from each other so the baby can enjoy a variety of taggy-textures.

An Under-an-Hour Tag Toy Project - from Painting Sunny

I am not a competitive person, even with myself usually, but I was proud that this was finished in less than 40 minutes, even with my sewing machine acting up once. Anyone other baby shower ideas, that can be whipped up in less than an hour? I have lots of friends having kids…

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.

PSS: This post was linked to One Project At A Time on A Bowl Full of Lemons, Take a Look Tuesday on Sugar Bee Crafts, Handmade Tuesdays on Ladybug Blessings, and Tutorial Tuesday on Hope Studios. Thank you! Gotta love a link party.