Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Etsy Lovin'

I'm finally ready to announce this fun project that I've been working on (for quite some time)...

This is my partial excuse for neglecting this poor blog (the two crazy little ones keep me pretty busy too).  I really do hope to give the blog a bit more attention in the upcoming months, at least by posting some of my recent creations!

Anyway, the news is...
I've got my fun little etsy shop up and running!

SANDPAPERnSILLYPUTTY.etsy.com 

 I've been busy creating custom artwork, pillows and children's clothing!  Above is a little peek at my wooden signs.  I'll post some of my pillows and kids clothing soon (or just go check out my site)!

I have thoroughly enjoyed the stories that total strangers share with me.  I love creating personalized gifts, that I hope hold special meaning.

I've done so much fun custom work (nursery decor, weddings decor, baby shower gifts, special mother's day gifts, even worried grooms-to-be looking for the perfect gift).  It's such fun to create for these special occasions!

So there you have it.  That's just a little bit of what's keeping me busy these days and I'm hoping it will continue to keep me busier and busier because I thoroughly enjoy it!

Check out my shop when you get a moment and let me know if you've got requests.  I do love those custom orders!

OH and... since you're still hanging in there and reading this blog that so seldom gets a post, you deserve SOMETHING special!

Here's a 10% off code for an order on my etsy shop:
BLOGREADER

I hope you find something you like!

And one more quick note...this may be the best part yet...I'm at 97 sales on the etsy site!  If you're sale #100 you just may get somethin' special!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

best. day. ever.

Today marks 9 years with my favorite guy.  
I'm so grateful for all that we've done so far and I can't wait for what's to come.
I just went a little crazy with the reminiscing, so forgive me for all the photos!  I just loved this day so much.  And, wow, we looked really young.


just so much fun...
 Happy anniversay, my love!  Thanks for making every day an adventure and every night a slumber party.

 And most of all, thanks for the countless happy moments with these two.


Beautiful wedding photos by Holland Studios.  Sweet family photo by Jack and Lola Photography.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

a little more Easter decor

Here's another simple, toddler friendly project, that makes some really pretty Easter decor!
Chances are you've got all you need for this project lying around the house.
Scrounge up some balloons and twine/string/yarn, then hit the kitchen for some flour and water and you're ready to start!
Blow up balloons to the size and shape that you'd like your eggs.  If you're going for "real" egg size you may want to try water balloons.  
Make a paste with the flour and water.  I used 1/4 cup flour and slightly less than 3/4 cup water.  You want the paste fairly runny so you don't up with chunky eggs.  Whisk well until no lumps remain. 
I found that it took about 18yds of twine per egg.  Our eggs were pretty large, though, so you may need to experiment to get the perfect amount of twine.  We used regular jute twine (that I buy at home depot) and some cute baker's twine.  I actually like the look of the regular twine better and it's a whole lot cheaper.  Plain old yarn would work great too!

Make sure to saturate the twine with your paste, then wring it out so it's not lumpy.  Wrap the twine around the balloon however you'd like!
It takes about 24 hours for these to fully dry.  You might be able to get away with less time if you dry them outdoors? 

The really fun part comes in when you pop the balloons and are left with these great twine eggs!
Now the house is all decorated for Easter!  Happy Easter everyone!

Monday, March 30, 2015

It's Easter time!

It's Easter week!  That means no school, lots of messes, a little bit of a headache and mostly lots of FUN.  I've got a few Easter themed projects in mind for the week and the best of intentions to get them up on the blog!

We kicked off the week with a super simple (and tasty) one this weekend.  We call them Krispie eggs.
This is quick, delicious, festive and definitely toddler friendly!

All you need are those plastic eggs that the easter bunny keeps leaving you (if you're like us you've accumulated WAY too many) and the ingredients for some good old fashioned Rice Krispie treats (that's butter, marshmallows and Rice Krispies).  We added some spring colored non-pareils to make these look extra festive!

Here's how to make these cute Krispie eggs!

Butter the insides of your plastic eggs (it made about 18 small eggs) and set aside
Melt 3 Tbs butter in a saucepan over low heat.
Add 40 large marshmallows and continue to stir over low heat until completely melted.
Remove from heat and add 6 cups Rice Krispies (and non-pareils if you choose).
Stir well, until completely combined and very sticky.

Once you've got your super gooey goodness ready, just shove it into the eggs!  You want them pretty full, but they need to be able to close.  It's super simple - my 3 year old was great at it.
To make things easier and prevent way to much stickiness, dip your fingers in water before touching the krispie goo.  It really helps.

Leave the Krispie goo in the eggs until completely cool, then open up the eggs to reveal your treats!  
So cute, so tasty.  I bet we'll make these again before Easter!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Love . . . and a little chocolate

I'm back on the blog (at least for today)!  I've been busy enjoying life with the little one's.  They are as fun as can be right now.  I wish I could push the pause button for a while!

We're loving Valentines season this year.  It's a lovely little holiday.  I've got some real sweeties in my life and it's a good reminder to tell everyone how wonderful they are.  Plus, there's chocolate around every corner and you can't beat that.  Carson and I have eaten our weight in Valentine's M&Ms this week.

We whipped up a batch of M&M blondies for dad's office!  Those lawyers could always use some sweet stuff.

This is the simplest recipe ever.  It's perfect with chocolate chips, nuts or whatever you like.  It's obviously DELICIOUS with festive M&Ms.

We love it because it's similar to chocolate chip cookies, but much simpler.  It takes about 10 minutes to get these made and into the oven and they turn out great every time.  Just don't overcook!
PERFECT BLONDIES

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup melted butter
1 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 Tablespooons vanilla extract
A bag of M&Ms (or chocolate chips/nuts/whatever you fancy)

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a mixing bowl.  Cream together melted butter and brown sugar in a separate bowl.   Beat together eggs and vanilla.  Add to the brown sugar mixture.  Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients, mixing well.  Fold in your M&Ms (we also used chocolate chips), saving some to decorate the top.  Smooth the batter into a 9x13" pan and sprinkle the top with the reserved M&Ms.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and set on top.  Do not overcook!

Share them with your loves!

HAPPY HEART DAY!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

a little extra fun...

It's the middle of the week and the school year is already off and running for many kids (meaning I'm busier than ever with my REAL job).  It's an adjustment to be back at work again now that things are busy, so we need a little mid-week pick me up.

What better than a super fun and easy recipe that is just plain delicious? 

We made this a few weeks ago to celebrate my cute little niece and her big birthday #3.  It was our first go at homemade funfetti and we'll never go back to the box.  It was so tasty I knew we'd make it again soon.
 So here goes!

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes
  • 1 and 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 6oz. greek yogurt  (we used vanilla)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup sprinkles (must use jimmies - NOT non-pariels)
And to perfectly top 'em off...
Vanilla Buttercream
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • a splash of milk, heavy cream or half + half
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. 
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Whisk sugars and melted butter until it's lump free. Whisk in egg, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until relatively smooth.  Gently stir in sprinkles, being careful not to overmix.
Spoon batter into greased cupcake (or cake) pan. Bake for approx. 13 minutes.  Allow to cool.

To make the buttercream, beat butter with mixer until smooth and creamy (2-3 minutes). Add powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes.

When cupcakes have cooled frost away and top with sprinkles!
 Oh, so tasty!



Thursday, August 7, 2014

a pretty little mess

I'm not one to shy away from a little mess (if you are this might not be the thing for you) so bring on the rainbow rice!

This is a pretty popular activity that most teachers are very familiar with (my Kindergarten class LOVED this activity), but I thought I'd write about it because it's just so darn fun....and cheap...and easy.

If you have a toddler and you haven't tried this - go for it.  You won't be disappointed.  It'll keep your little one occupied, but you might just end up playing in it right beside them.  It's fun!  Provided you own a broom - I think you'll love it!
Here's what you need (you may have it all in the pantry)!
White rice ~ we went big and got a 20lb bag
Food Coloring ~ we love this gel variety but I'm sure anything works
Vinegar
Large ziploc bags ~ or small depending upon the amount you're making

All you have to do is:
Measure 4 cups of rice into each bag
mix 1/4 cup vinegar with a nice blob of food coloring to reach desired color
add colored vinegar to your rice and shake, shake, shake
WAIT
It takes about 4 hours to dry in the open ziploc bags BUT if you're impatient like we are, it only takes 15 minutes in a 225 degree oven.

PLAY, PLAY, PLAY,
preferably on a hard wood floor,
SWEEP, SWEEP, SWEEP
and
REPEAT.

The bonus here - it's edible - though definitely not tasty.  Pickled rice anyone?