Friday, March 27, 2015

Playing with clay

I hosted this month's Crafty Club recently. The evening was filled with crafting, cocktails and snacks. No hubbies or kids. Just a bunch of cool girlfriends hanging out and being creative. 

The seven of us take turns hosting. I really look forward to hosting because I get to pick out the craft and then show/teach it to everyone. Arts/crafts + sharing it with others = my passion :)

The craft I picked out was one I came across in a blog a few months ago. I didn't think up this craft in any way and take absolutely no credit for the idea (although I wish this is something I had thought of)! I fell in love with it when I saw it and just knew I had to do if for my next hosting gig.

The blog I saw it on is A Beautiful Mess (it's one of my new favorite blogs to follow). And the craft is Marbled Clay Ring Dish.

Ours did not turn out exactly like the ones on A Beautiful Mess, but I think that's what's so cool about this craft! Each dish you make turns out different from the rest. They're little works of art.

There's a great step-by-step tutorial on the Beautiful blog already, but I thought I'd show you the quick lowdown anyways:

All you need is a specific type of clay, a rolling pin, bowl, knife, kitchen oven and liquid leafing.
1 & 2 - Original Sculpey oven-bake clay in white
3 - A multi-color package of Sculpey oven-bake clay
4 - Liquid Leaf one-step leafing paint 
(I bought all of these materials at Hobby Lobby)

Aren't these colors fun? Liam thought so too (you can see his little hand grabbing at them)!

This is one of my dishes in a glass bowl, waiting to be baked in the oven. I did three
test-rounds prior to hosting the craft. I wanted to make sure I had the technique down.

Here's the dining room table, all set up for crafting.
Luckily I had 6 cheap IKEA cutting boards on hand, one for each lady.

And of course there's never a shortage of snacks at our gatherings....

....or drinks.

And here are some of our finished dishes!

We each ended up making two dishes, one big and one small.

And here are mine

I made three at three different times, and they ended up nestling together perfectly. I guess they were meant to be together :)

This one is my favorite. It was the very first one I made. 

We did not apply a glaze to seal them better. And they are not food safe by any means. But I think they're great for rings, earrings, bracelets, pins, paper clips, stray buttons....what would you put in these dishes? Please share!

And thank you A Beautiful Mess for the fun idea.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Things I'm diggin'

Some completely random things I've been diggin' lately....

Why I love it: 
It isn't full of fake crap. It's ingredients are nonfat milk, heavy cream, sugar and natural flavor. It tastes good. And it's not so overpowering that you can't taste the coffee too.

Trumpette socks for babies
Why I love them:
They ACTUALLY stay on Chloe's feet! These (and Old Navy's) are the only socks that Liam, and now Chloe, seem to keep on their feet. Like all day on their feet. It's a miracle.

Why I love them:
Chloe loves them, Liam loved them. I give her a rusk and it keeps her happy for ten minutes. She eats the entire thing and they are NOT messy (especially compared to the Plum Organics Little Yums - which are so, so messy). No artificial colors or preservatives. Just rice/potato starch/sugar/sea salt. And you can buy them at Target.

Why I love it:
(It's pricey) but it does not clump at all! Every mascara I've ever bought eventually clumps. And because I've recently developed contact dermatitis from many cosmetics, this one does not cause me to have a reaction! It goes on great/stays on great. It's non-toxic and it doesn't smell.

 Why I love it:
It's so much fun! I picked up some packages at HobLob recently and have been messing around making some things with it. It's so easy to use and the colors are great. It feels good to get my hands on some art supplies again...

Why I love them:
They're so soft. They're fun. They're thin, which is nice for Springtime. And the Shea lasts within the socks for up to 25 washes in the machine. I bought this exact pair for myself for Valentine's Day :)

Why I love it:
It tastes really darn good. It tastes like actual home-made lemonade. And it's not too citrusy where you get a stomachache or heartburn afterwards. It's not too sweet & not too sour. For me it's just right. And the ingredients are water/sugar/lemon juice/lemon pulp & lemon oil. That's it. It tastes good with vodka in it too.

Why I love it:
I swear by this stuff! It is my new miracle product. It's inexpensive ($8 at Target and it lasts a few months), smells good, feels good, works good. It's organic and packed full of essential oils. It's another product I've found that's completely okay for my face and skin (it does not cause dermatitis). I'm going to start giving this to people as gifts!

Why I love it:
I love maple-anything, so this is a delicious yogurt to me. It's a 'runny' style yogurt, which I prefer over the thick stuff. The cows' milk the yogurt is made of comes from happy cows (grazing, open air milking, grass fed) and the ingredients are simple whole milk/organic agave nectar/maple syrup/ginger/cultures. It's more expensive than Yoplait, but I think it's worth the flavor and ingredients. And I think it tastes great on top of waffles or with oatmeal & dates. Liam loves it too.

Why I love it:
The songs are upbeat and it's hard not to move around when you hear it.  And if you don't agree, then I guess 'haters gonna hate.'  Liam, Chloe and I play this album almost every day and we dance, dance, dance. 

Okay -- so what are you diggin' lately?
Please share!


Also, you may have noticed I changed the template and look of my blog? I'm pretty excited about it and it's a work in progress. Stay tuned for a few more changes...

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Yippee! I am three!

This past Saturday was Liam's third birthday. We tried to make the weekend as special as we could for him.

On Friday afternoon we took the kids to our local children's museum Above & Beyond. We went there for his birthday last year too, so I guess it's become his annual birthday tradition :)

Then on Saturday we invited family over for Liam's birthday party. The theme he chose was "blocks" which is fitting because he is currently obsessed with building blocks.

I will let these photos do the talking:

Birthday breakfast - pancakes and fruit

Helping put up some last-minute party decorations.

Little party bags for Liam's cousins.

We let him open a gift from us after breakfast (something to keep him busy
while we ran around finishing prep for the party).

These poles and fish are for the bathtub. A unique find from our favorite
local toy store Movers & Shakers Kids Toys.

The streamers and balloons are up...

Blocks all over...

I made a vase out of Mega Blocks (I placed an actual vase inside).

Liam watching a little boob tube prior to his party...

I bought the cake, but I decorated it myself :) It was cheap to decorate - I used blocks
and Legos that we already had (which were thoroughly sanitized beforehand!).

Lemon-Strawberry punch. Recipe here

Me and my three year old!

Rolling around on the floor with cousin Tim.

My aunts and grandma gushing over my nephew Hudson.

Food. Family.

Crazy kid corner.

Lucky little boy.

Bella, Rylan and Liam hanging out with Aunt Shelley.

Sweet little Hudson - 6 1/2 months

Chloe with Aunt Tracy

It's gift-ripping-open time!!

Intrigued by the soccer ball.

"Mmnnnn I wonder if wrapping paper tastes good....?"

Cake time.

(The 4th yellow candle is in memory of my dad's birthday, which is 4 days earlier)

Happy 3rd birthday little Liam!
You are the sweetest, feistiest, coolest, funniest little dude!

We love you.