Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Birthday Coupon Deals

Hubby's Birthday is just around the corner and just in time I happened upon a blog post by Deal Seeking Mom listing out a bunch of restaurants which will give you free stuff for your Birthday if you subscribe to their fan clubs online. Here are the Birthday deals we have received so far...

Baskin Robins--- free scoop of ice cream
Texas Roadhouse--- free appetizer or sidekick of ribs w/ purchase of entree
Famous Dave's--- buy one entree get one free (up to $15 value)
Red Robin--- free gourmet burger
Del Taco--- free premium shake (vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry)
Noodles & Company--- free entree or trio (up to $7.50 value)
Happy Sumo--- $15 off next purchase
Dairy Queen--- $3 off an 8-10'' blizzard cake
Wendy's--- $1 off any combo meal

Not all of the sites give you a Birthday "gift", but most of them immediately send you some kind of deal via email...

Famous Dave's--- free burger or sandwich w/ any purchase $5 or more
Red Robin--- $3 off total purchase
Del Taco--- 2 free chicken soft tacos
Texas Roadhouse--- free tater skins, cheese fries, baby blossom, fried pickles, or rattlesnake bites w/ purchase of entree
Wingers--- $5 off take out purchase of $20 or more
Wendy's--- $1 off any premium sandwich
Dairy Queen--- Buy one medium blizzard treat get one free (they sent me two of these)
California Pizza Kitchen--- $5 off purchase of $20 or more
Quiznos--- $1 off a regular or $2 off a large sub
Happy Sumo--- 2 for 1 (limited to certain days of the month)
Baskin Robbins--- buy one cone in the flavor of the month get one free

Monday, February 27, 2012

Ham Sliders

I had some leftover ham in my freezer from Christmas (yes you heard me. Christmas.) and I figured it was about time I used it up. I went searching for a good ham recipe and found these delicious looking sliders. So I gathered my ingredients and made some up for lunch. They were so good! I will definitively be making these again.
The original recipe makes 24 sliders, I only made 5 to serve my husband and myself. Also, I strayed from  the recipe to use up what I had on hand.

5 dinner rolls
sliced honey ham
5 slices Swiss cheese

1/2 Tablespoon yellow mustard
1/4 cup melted butter
1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
a couple dashes of onion powder

Cut the rolls in half and spread mayonnaise on the top and bottom of the inside of the roll. Layer ham and Swiss cheese and close up the sandwich. Place all of the sliders close together on a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a small bowl and pour over the top of all of the sliders. Let the sliders sit for about 10 minutes then cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 12 minutes until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for about 2 minutes longer to crisp the tops. Serve.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

This week around the www...

The RedBall Project is done by artist Kurt Perschke all over the globe. I love this one where the ball is squished between two buildings in Taipei.
 This wall art is pretty cool and I would love it in my home somewhere.
 Soule Mama made an ice rink in her back yard. How much fun would that be?
 These teapots are so cute! Now if only I had a railing...
 I love books that aren't books.
And lastly, legos. Who doesn't love legos? And apparently they can be used to fix up old walls.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Crayon Holder

I haven't felt like doing much lately so when inspiration hit I got right to work. I wanted a little pouch to hold a couple of crayons and paper to carry around in my purse for my daughter. She is 1 and has just begun to color so I didn't want to have a ton of crayons in the holder-- actually I'll probably only keep about three. I also wanted a little place to hold small pieces of paper or this cute little notebook I bought 3 for $2 on sale at Target.
I didn't write up a real tutorial for this little holder because I was hurrying and there are a ton of tutorials floating around if you are wanting to make something similar. My measurements for the two main pieces were 10 3/4 x 6 1/2 and for the strip holding the crayons in place is a folded over piece that was 10 3/4 x 4 1/2. The final piece is the 2 1/2 x 3 3/4 tab to hold the velcro that keeps the holder together. I used velcro specifically because I thought it would be easy enough for me daughter to handle herself.
And there you have it. A quick and cute little holder for my budding artist.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What I'm Reading

The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer is the book to read if you are inexperienced and wanting to go the distance. The book is based on a class that the author's have taught at a university for years. It comes complete with a training schedule as well as health and mental tips to get you through the training and the actual race. Each chapter is meant to be read leading up to its coordinating week of training runs.

So far I think it's awesome and has been very inspirational. The training schedule which the authors suggest requires you to run four days a week. One of those days is an increasingly long day while the other days are relatively short. If you follow the program it will take you four full months to complete unless you currently cannot continuously jog for 30 minutes. If this is the case, the authors have included an additional 3 months of training to get you to this point which starts off by only requiring the ability to walk for 30 minutes at a moderate pace.

The book also includes a compilation of excerpts from the students who have been enrolled in the marathon class who range in age and athletic ability. One woman had back problems and on her first day of training could barely walk five minutes at a time. Every single student completed a marathon at the end of each of the semesters except one person who had medical problems during his race. It is so inspiring to hear from the students themselves what all this means to them and how much they were able to accomplish in a short time following this exact method. I especially love the stories of the extremely inexperienced students because that is the boat I am in and sometimes this task seems a bit daunting.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sunglasses Case

A few years ago a good friend of mine gave me this cute sunglass case...
For mother's day I used that case as a guide to create this case for my mother who always throws her glasses into her purse and they get so scratched up...
Well she happened to lose that case somewhere and requested another for her birthday. It was so long ago I basically had to re-figure out how I was going to do it, but luckily this time I documented the process! These directions will make a large case... like for those trendy huge sunglasses. If you want to make the same thing for smaller, eye-glasses, you'll need to size down the dimensions.
All seams are 1/4 inch unless specified. Start with a 9x8 inch rectangle of main fabric (flowers), lining fabric (orange), and batting. You will also need a 3 1/2 inch square of your lining fabric and batting plus some velcro and other sewing necessities.
Pin the 9x8 lining fabric to the batting with the right side out. At this point I like to quilt the fabric using this diamond pattern, but you could use any pattern you like or simplify things and just sew around the entire edge of the rectangle and move on. If you are going to do a pattern, it is easiest to mark out your pattern first with a water soluble pen and then sew, or just eye-ball it like I did. It doesn't need to be perfect. After all, it is only the lining. To do the diamonds, turn your fabric so that a corner is facing towards you and another corner is facing away from you. Start sewing parallel lines. When you have sewn across the entire rectangle, turn the fabric again so that you can now sew perpendicular lines to the ones you just finished.
Now fold the quilted fabric over right side in. You should be folding the 9 inch side of the fabric and the 8 inch side will give you the height of the case. Fold your main fabric the same way, right side in. Place the 3 1/2 inch square on top of the batting and fold that one over as well, right side in.
 Sew around one long side and one short side of each of the three pieces of fabric and then trim the corners.
Turn the main fabric and the small fabric right side out. Now cut a piece of velcro to be about 1 1/2 inches long (my velcro was 3/4 inches wide). Sew one side of the velcro to the main fabric being careful not to sew through both pieces of material. Center the velcro about 1 inch down from the raw edge of the open side of the case. Next, sew the other piece of velcro to the small piece of fabric going through all pieces of material. Center the velcro about 3/4 inches down from the finished edge of the tab.
Fold the raw edge of the main fabric down and inside the case about 3/4 inches and iron into place. Do the same thing with the lining except fold the fabric down and out.
Push the lining inside of the main fabric and line up the sewn, long sides together inside the case. Pin the open side of the tab in between the lining and main fabric on the back side of the case. Make sure you have put the tab in correctly in order to coordinate with the other piece of velcro. Edge stitch around the top of the case making sure the two fabrics are lined up perfectly and that you sew over the tab a few times to give it strength.
And now you have yourself one completed and very cute sunglasses case for yourself or a friend. enjoy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What we're reading

At our latest trip to the local library, my daughter picked out a few really great picture-board books. This sweet little book is You Are My Sunshine by Caroline Jayne Church.
 It is short and there aren't many words and the pictures are just darling.
 I think I'll have to add this to our personal library at some point. It is definitely a keeper.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Valentines Decor

We are not huge into the Valentines holiday around here, but I thought it would be nice to add a little touch of Valentines to my front door. All I did was add a couple of hearts to my current wreath I've had since November.
For the purple heart, cut two strips of felt 1x4 inches. For the white heart, cut two strips of felt 1x6 inches. Hot glue them all together and add a piece of thread to the middle to hang from the top of your wreath. Not much effort and only uses scraps. Sounds like the perfect addition to my decor.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

around the web

 This lamp shade is pretty cool. I think my daughter needs one one day.
 Know the feeling? I know the feeling.
 Oh how I love tree houses. This one looks so magical.
 Isn't this so cool? Imagine how much fun the kiddos would have in a clear bathtub.
 Super sized Jenga. I would love this once I have a real backyard.
 One can always use more gratitude.
I have a memory of doing something like this when I was a very small child. I would love to be a part of something like this again. So magical.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Marathon Training

Well it has been a month of running and honestly I have already felt like quitting. I am trying something new though and it seems to be helping squash the excuses that keep coming up. My local gym is having a deal where it is only $10 a month to be a member. Now I can run early in the morning or late at night where otherwise my excuse would be safety running alone in the dark. Also, when it is sleeting, like the day I joined, I can run without getting deathly ill or slipping on the icy sidewalks. In other news, I got some brand new running shoes. They are Brooks and I love them. It's official, I must complete my training now because these cute shoes are too expensive to go to waste :)
Let me tell you a couple of things that have helped me keep up with the program on the days that I just don't want to. Number one: I tell myself I just have to get out there no matter what. Just show up. I also tell myself it is okay if I just walk the mileage. The important thing is to just get out the door. I have yet to "just walk the mileage", but it is comforting to know I am okay with that as long as I am not skipping out all together. Number two: I talk to myself while I am running and I feel like walking. It is kind of awkward, but really helps. Tell yourself things like, "I am a runner", "I am so proud of myself", "I will run a marathon", "I am amazing." Number three: I have had so much fun telling people I am training for a marathon and why I am doing it. It constantly gives me a little boost to reaffirm that what I am doing is going to be an amazing life event and is worth the effort that it takes every single day.
Someday I will be this intense. Someday. Not today. But someday.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sweet Little Valentine

I came up with this sweet little valentine to give to a couple of women in my life along with a cute little hairclip for my little one.
Start by cross stitching a heart on a pretty little piece of fabric. I used three strands of red embroidery thread (Usually embroidery thread is composed of 6 individual strands... cut a length of thread and pull the rope apart into two ropes of 3 strands each). If you've never cross stitched before, it is easy enough. Just sew a bunch of x's using an embroidery hoop.
Use a button covering kit to cover 1 1/8 inch buttons. My button kit came with buttons with flat backs so it was easy to then simply hot glue a 1 inch pin to the backs.
If your buttons do not have flat backs, like my 5/8 inch button, it is really simple to squeeze the back off with pliers.
To make an easy hair clip, fill the back of a 5/8 inch button with hot glue and stick the end of the hair clip in it.
 Stick the hair clip in a cute head of hair and you are done. Easy enough.
Each of the pins I attached to card stock to finish up my little gift. The easiest way to do this would be if you had a printer, paper cutter, corner rounder, and hand held hole puncher. I don't have any of these things so I went about it the old-fashioned way. The card stock I cut out using a ruler and scissors and then rounded the corners also using scissors. I only have a 3-hole punch so it limits where I can put my holes, but still works. If you have a working printer you could print right onto your card stock using some cute fonts. Mine is broken so handwritten it is.
 Happy crafting!