Thursday, January 16, 2014

Elmo Birthday Party!

For my daughter's second birthday, we really went all out since we didn't have a party for her first.  She loved Elmo from Sesame Street and so I scoured the Internet looking for all the Elmo related things I could possibly come up with.  Most were commercially packaged and cost a fortune!  I decided to see what I could make instead.

Here is a small collection of the things we made for her party:
These upcycled soup cans were painted to hold utensils.  I did create a stencil for the mouth to keep things even. 

I bought the red foam visors at a craft store and used craft foams sheets to create the face.  They were super easy to make and were much better than paper party hats! 

These cupcakes were really easy to make as well.  The eyes are large marshmallows, the mouth is half of an Oreo cookie.  The orange candies came from Party City, where I dug through their jawbreakers and just bought the orange ones by the piece.  The red and black frosting came was the prepared stuff from the tubes.  

The veggie trays were fun to make but don't give too much variety as far as the veggies go.  An olive floating in the ranch makes the perfect pupil to the eyes. 

What should you do with all of the Oreos left over from the cupcakes?  Add cupcake toppers to them with a bit of left over frosting.  Super simple and cute!

Every little girl needs a party dress.  We measured around her waist and cut elastic just a tad bigger.  Sew the ends of the elastic together into a circle.  Cut the tulle twice a long as as you need it, fold it in half and loop it over the elastic until the tutu is as full as you'd like it.  
The bow was simple as well.  Wrap curling ribbon around a dowel and put it in the oven at a low temp for about 20 minutes.  The curl will stay in the ribbon once it cools.  Glue it to a barrette and you have a party outfit fit for an Elmo Princess!

Most Amazing Homemade Pickles Ever!

I think I might need to rename this blog, if I decide I need to maintain it.  This post should start out like so many others- "Hey!  Look what I found on Pinterest and tried!"  I haven't posted in over a year but that doesn't mean that I haven't been trolling on Pinterest trying everything that seems like I might be able to pull off.

I have always had dreams of being one of those people who can grow a garden and can their own food.  Every year I start out with the best intentions and my garden grows good for a while.  Then it needs watering and I forget and everything dies OR I do great with the watering until school starts up, everything goes to seed and we don't end up eating what we grew.  Oh well, maybe one summer everything will come together how it is supposed to.

I found this amazing pickle recipe on Pinterest.  These pickles are absolutely perfect and they taste just like Claussens.  They aren't actually canned, just refrigerated in jars- which is a total bonus as well because I'm not sure I have the canning thing down.

This is the second year I have made them and the first time I tried to make relish.  I get everything I can at the local Farmer's market, because I can't grow anything I will actually eat.  The first year I made these, I had extra brine and I didn't want to waste it.  I had purchased some fresh onions along with everything else that morning so I decided to make pickled onions.  Umm, HELLO!  SO freaking yummy!  So now I make the onions every year too.

If you love pickles, you definitely need to try this recipe.  It is very easy to follow and doesn't need to be tweaked at all.  You will definitely be glad you did!