Thursday, May 26, 2011

Seasonal Banner and Pennant Tutorial (*Free Download*)

With the intention of adding some extra pizzaz to our house when celebrating new seasons, holidays and special events and celebrations I have started creating banners/pennants. It's an inexpensive way to add some seasonal decorations to our house and "shout out" our family's sesonal greetings to the world (at least those who pass by our house from time to time :).

I started this tradition at Christmas with a "Joy To The World" banner! For Valentine's Day, I made one stating: "Love One Another". And after our long winter, I created a new pennant design "Spring Time". I also created a "Congrats" banner when I hosted my friend's bridal shower.  Since all three of our birthdays fall within the next 1 1/2 months of each other, my next pennant will simply state "Happy Birthday!"  But I'm also tempted to make a "Walking On Sunshine" banner to celebrate summer!  However, Rob reminds me I need to save some ideas for upcoming years :) 

If you want to start spreading your own messages of fun, hope and love to your family and friends, you are welcome to use my templates. Here are some further instructions, tips, and a supply list to help get you started.  Once you have all your supplies gathered, it will take about 1 hour to create a new pennant from start to "hanging". 

Supply List:
  • Heavy 12x12 Cardstock
  • Patterned 12x12 Scrapbook Paper that coordinates with heavy cardstock
  • Chipboard Letters, Die Cut Letters, Large Alphabet Sticker Letters, or make letters using a Cricut or Silhoutte Cutting Machine(s)
  • Tape Runner
  • Twine/String/Ribbon (whatever medium you choose to use to hang it with)
  • Single Hole Punch
  • Scissors
  • Decorative Ribbon (optional)
  • 3M Command Adhesive Clips or Hooks
  • Use double-sided heavy cardstock if your banner/pennant will be seen from both sides.  Since I hang my banners/pennants between my columns I use clean double sided cardstock so it looks nice from both the front and back.  Plus, the heavy cardstock will prevent curling. 
  • If you use my templates you can cut two pieces from one 12X12 piece of cardstock. 
  • Punch a hole in each corner vs. one hole in the middle of each piece.  Each individual piece will hang much nicer and also prevent the cardstock from curling. 
Click here to view and/or download my banner/pennant templates. 

If you save or download my templates to create your own banner/pennants please leave me a comment :)  I would love to hear what message you plan to spread AND see pictures! 

I am linking my post to Paisley Passions.  Click on this link to check out more homemade ideas, recipes, printables, etc...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mmmmmm Monday featuring Macaroni Salad

It's time to feature my first recipe on the blog :)  Since picnic and grilling season is here, I thought I'd give you one of my "go to" salad recipes-- Macaroni Salad. 

According to my Mom, this recipe can be traced back to Aunt Verona.  I basically use their same recipe with the addition of green peppers :)  People love this salad and it is one of my most requested recipes. 

This makes a fair sized salad and keeps for about 2-3 days. 

Macaroni Salad

Salad Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups of macaroni (rotini, medium shells, etc..)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1-2 cucumbers, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped 
  • 3-4 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped
Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups of Miracle Whip or salad dressing
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup of milk (or a little less)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp. prepared mustard
Boil pasta shells with 2 teaspoons of salt. Cook it al dente (according to package directions), drain, rinse with cold water and chill.

Add cucumbers, onion , tomatoes, and green pepper.

Toss with dressing and chill at least 2 hours before serving. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

"Green" Gifting

I LOVE buying and giving gifts.  However, I think I might enjoy wrapping the gifts even more.  There is just something special about giving and receiving a beautiful present! 

I've never really been one of those people that uses gift bags, because I love giving a gift wrapped with beautiful ribbons and paper.  In my humble opinion, Hobby Lobby has some of the most affordable and highest quality gift wrapping paper around (especially at Christmas time).  Or for you local Sioux Falls folks, Zanderbroz Variety located downtown has some really neat wrapping paper too :) 

But, just recently, I've changed up my gift wrapping techiques.  In early April, I was pressed for time to wrap a baby shower gift.  As I headed for the expensive gift bag/wrapping aisle in Toysrus, I passed a display of re-usable shopping bags and thought-- A HA--- I'll wrap the gift in a reusable shopping bag!  It turned out  ADORABLE.  I have been wrapping our gifts this way ever since.  I am finding it more affordable, "green", practical, unique and cute! 

Since graduation and wedding season is upon us, I thought it would be the perfect time to pass along this tip!

Here's a couple of gifts I "wrapped" in resuable bags from TJ Maxx today. 

The ACTUAL Summer Bucket LIST

Paint rocks like lady bugs, bees and/or butterflies. Use bendable wire to make the wings and hot glue them on. This is the link to "bee" rocks: And this is the link to "lady bug" rocks:

Make brownies in a mug.

Do some Q-tip painting together. Do a few paintings on notecards to use for birthday parties, thinking of you notes, or get well notes.

Make and send a few finger print flower cards. For inspiration use Ed Emberley design book.

Make and mail note card puzzles.

Make lunch in a muffin tin (visit Muffin Tin Mom blog for ideas).

Make and decorate cupcakes. Give some away.

Go to the Dollar Store and buy each other a gift, hide it, and draw a map so they can find it. (span over 2 days)

Invite and meet friends for ice cream.  Josiah has to call them on the phone. 

Play Croquet, Boccee, or Ladder Ball in the backyard.

Play flashlight tag at night. Before nightfall, make sure the flashlights have batteries and are ready to go.

Play hopscotch on bubble wrap.

Have our daily 20 minute reading time at a lake/river.

Send birth mom a care package. Josiah gets to decide what we are going to mail.

Send Mrs. Wiseman a letter and also maybe a hand drawn picture or card.

Invite friends for a PJ's and Pancakes Play Date Morning. Josiah will need to call them one day and have them over the next day.

Make sun-catchers with a kit from a craft store.

Fly a kite at a park.

Make and play with homemade face paint.

Read at least 2 books to each other in the backyard shade and Mommy will read our favorite Bible Stories.

Build a blanket or sheet fort inside OR outside.

Go bowling. You can invite one friend.

Go garage "saleing" (we have $15 to spend).

Ride the trolley and go out to lunch and shopping downtown (take your camera). You have $10 to spend on something for you or someone else.

Make dirt cup/gummy worm treats to eat and give some away.

Go try on lots of sunglasses and take pictures.

Make, play with and give away some edible sand.

Make our own moon sand to play with. You can find two different recipes by following these links: or

Find a new city park to play at.

Go out for donuts.

Make a tape city on our carpet to play with your cars. If you want, we could also make some buildings for our cars to visit and drive to (up-cycling treat boxes, cereal boxes, etc)

Dance to 3 Wii Just Dance for Kids songs together.

Go for a nature hike. Take your camera.

Do yoga together for 30 minutes.

Practice skipping rope for 20 minutes.

Do a themed scavenger hunt (color, alphabet, shape). Take pictures with your camera.

Make silly putty. Follow recipe on The Idea Room blog. Here's the link:

Make Glow in the Dark Slime. Follow the recipe on The Idea Room blog. Here's the link:

Go see a movie at the Pavilion

P DAYPizza, Picnic, and Play Date at the Park. Invite friends.

Make treats for the Callie Branch librarians. Josiah can decide what we should make them and must help Mommy bake them and package them.

Plan and make a foil packet grill meal.

Have a picnic lunch at a park by ourselves. Plus, Josiah can play and Mommy gets to read.

Learn some history about someone you've always wondered about (an author, an inventor, a pioneer, etc). We can search for information on the internet, go to the library, call someone, etc    

Make a birdhouse and then paint it. Use a craft store kit. (2 days)

Read a story and have Mommy video record it. Mail copies of the recordings to birth mom and both set of grandparents.

Buy and assemble a 500 piece puzzle together. This might take a couple of days.

Do a word search puzzle.

Go for a walk and pick up garbage for 30 minutes. (You can use your squeezer picker-upper).

Visit Falls Park. Take your camera.

Go for a bike ride on the bike trail.

Buy dog treats and make Cooper go on a treat scavenger hunt. Time him and see if he can do it faster and faster. (Maybe we can do this for our neighbor dogs, Simon and Jake too J).

Tip Junkie handmade projects

2011 Summer Bucket List

This summer I decided to attack summer boredom HEAD-ON before it even had time to fester.  In keeping with the goal of being "intentional" of my time with Josiah, I decided to create a Summer Bucket List of activites we will do together before the end of the summer.  I found inspiration for this idea at:  I wanted the activities to be somewhat simple yet fun and unique activities to make our summer time together a more memorable one. 
I started compiling ideas for our bucket list about 2 weeks ago.  Of course, I found inspiration for many of my ideas on blogs and some activities were just ones I've been storing in my "bag of tricks" for some time.  After finalizing my list, I created a supply list of the items we would need to complete each "task".  I gathered most of the items up from my own crafting stash but we had to go shopping for a few items.  By making sure all of our supplies are gathered in one place, I'm hoping this will ease the work, burden, and/or excuses of completing (or not completing) each task. 
The above pictures show nearly all of the craft items required to carry out the "crafty" tasks and I will be storing those in a specific clear plastic container for the summer.  Whereas, the food  items are typical part of my normal pantry or refrigerator items I keep on hand at all times. 
I read Josiah the whole list of activities so he would have a general idea of what to expect.  However, in order to create an element of surprise about each day's task, I decided to print our list on one sided scrapbook paper, cut them into strips, fold them and place them in our special yellow bucket. 

Each day Josiah will randomly select an activity for us to do :)  He is most anticipating our bowling outing and making sun catchers.  Today, he selected the task to put together a 500+ piece puzzle, which was a perfect activity on this cloudy, windy and drizzly day.  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ready, Set, BLOG!

I have decided to take the plunge and start blogging! I have been following blogs for almost a year and half and finally decided I should have my own.

I plan to share recipes, paper crafting projects, party ideas, kid focused fun, and just how our family lives our every day life :) I hope by doing so I'll inspire you to be "intentional" about making memories with your family and friends.

At a minimum, I hope to post two entries a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But, since I am so excited to get started there might be a few more at first :)

Ready, I go! My first entry will follow shortly and I'll explain "Our Summer Bucket List".