I love to have fun with paper, food, paint, music and events and just being creative in all of it. However, I don't feel the need to be a perfectionist nor a professional in any of my creations. I wish I could have a blog JUST about the art of cooking, photography, sewing, art, mothering, jewelry making, card making, dancing, gardening, deep spiritual thoughts, decorating, poetry, party planning, baking.... and the list goes on but I can't. I don't think I was created with the ability to focus on one task. I like all of these hobbies layed out before me and the freedom to pick whatever I choose depending on the mood or time I have.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Train Track Roll Up & Go Mat

You can find this fun and easy tutorial over at our new website Inspired by Familia!

Blueberry Lemon Cinnamon Rolls

Celebrating Spring with this zesty yumminess!  I couldn't find a blueberry lemon cinnamon roll recipe so I decided to create my own.  I told my husband prior to taking this on that I was committing Cooking Suicide by doing this. I have only made cinnamon rolls two times in the past 6 months so I didn't feel qualified to take on this project but of course my mind was telling me "do it, what do you have to lose" and so I did it.

rolled out dough sprinkled with butter, sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest and blueberries

My hands were covered in sticky sugary mess so I couldn't get a picture of the rolled up dough ready to be cut.  I learned this cool trick: use thread to cut your cinnamon rolls. It works!I thought they were AHHHmazing

Icing them before wrapping and sending them with my son  "Spring is here, school is almost over" gifts for his teacher and long overdue thank you to some friends.
I must say they were finger lickin good!!!

2 tbspn dry yeast
1/2 cp warm water
3 eggs
1 tspn salt
1 cp warm milk
1/2 cp sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1cp shortening
1tspn lemon extract
1/3 cp of instant vanilla pudding mix
1/3 cp of instant lemon pudding mix
7-8 cps of flour
1/2 cp of butter
2/3cps brown sugar
2tsp cinnamon
lemon zest
3/4 cps of blueberries
2 tspn of lemon juice

In a large mixing bowl dissolve yeast and water, let it sit for 10min or until bubbly. Add eggs, salt, milk, sugar, shortening, both puddings, lemon extract and 4cps of flour.  Slowly add the rest of the flour.  The dough will be sticky.
Put on a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down; divide in half. Roll each portion into a 12-in. x 8-in. rectangle; brush with butter. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough to within 1/2 in. of edges. Place blueberries in lemon juice in a seperate bowl. Then add lemon zest to all of the dough and place blueberries on top.

Lemon Glaze
2cps of powdered sugar
2tsp  lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cp milk

Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seams to seal. Cut each into 12 slices.
Place cut side down in two greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 350° for 22-28 minutes or until golden brown. In a small bowl, combine glaze ingredients. Spread over buns. Serve warm. Yield: 2 dozen.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rainbow Pancake Cake

A birthday celebration in our home looks like this: the week before b-day cake, the birthday party cake, the day of the birthday cake, the class party birthday cake and before we know it we have b-day crumbs coming out of our ears.  So this year I tried to celebrate with not just birthday cake.  The morning of their birthday they got a special Rainbow Pancake breakfast!  Mornings are extremely busy for our family so I didn't try to be supermom I just took out a box of pancake mix and whipped it up. I set out 3 small bowls and in each of them I put some pancake mix and then I added the different colors.  Grapes are really expensive here so they asked for grapes for one of their b-day treats.  Pancake Cake and grapes!  FYI, don't stick a candle into hot pancakes it will wilt in about 5 seconds. 

Emergency Response Team Birthday Party

.  This year we decided to have an Emergency Response Team party.  I am lucky to be able to have my boys birthday party together. I accidentally deleted the invite pictures but they were cute.  I used a free candy wrapper template I found on the Windows website and I used pictures from ishareprintables.com for the logo and I covered a candy bar.  For the firetruck labels and cupcake toppers I used the same template I mentioned from ishare.
The invite said "Calling all Emergency Response Teams" need to report on March....... My 7ry old wanted a police man party so his invite had the police car and my 4yr old wanted a firetruck party so he got the fire engine logo.
Theme: Emergency Response Team or Fire Engine/Police Man party
Decor: Red polka dots, turquoise and red
Food: Sloppy Joe sandwiches, bowtie pasta salad w/ veggies
Popcorn Bar: with 2 different flavor popcorn: caramel orange and chocolate
Punch: Flamin Hot punch (sprite and kool aid mix)
Dessert: Police car cake made from chocolate cake 
Fire Engine cake made from yellow cake
Frosting: White Chocolate Clay and White Chocolate Icing
Cupcakes: Buttercream frosting and spice cake
Activities: Relay Dress up- we had various costumes:paramedic, doctor, fireman, police man
Red Light, Green Light- from a box make a police car & a fire truck. play this and have races
Fire Dept. sticker fun- I bought this from Oriental trading co.
Put out the flames:  I made flames and laminated them with contact paper and then had the kids shoot water/foam at it to put fire out. they loved putting on the goggles to do this.
Target Practice: we used Nerf guns w/ the velcro bullets and they shot at the target
Party Favors: I bought various colored boxes and used the cupcake topper template mentioned above and glued them on the box or put string through them and attached it to the box.  We put goodies in them like candy and my SIL got from her local fire dept. donations like erasers, crayons, pencils, coloring book and we also gave them a fireman hat.

Originally this was going to be held at the park but it wouldn't stop raining that morning so an hour before the party started we looked outside the window and it was looking gloomy and we looked at our kids and they were ecstatic they didn't know what to do with themselves.  So I decided we can't call the party off we have to make it work plus we have a butt load of food.  So I called/emailed all the guest and changed it to another location.  Our apt. is small so I made an emergency call to the private school that we work at and begged to use their covered court outside.  Changing locations at the last minute was very chaotic but my kids didn't notice. Because it quickly got out of control and time was upon us many of the little details that I had worked hard on were lost in the shuffle:(.
This was my first time doing a popcorn bar and I loved the idea!  Also for the first time I used large, long vases to put the punch and chips in and transformed it into loviliness.
I HIGHLY recommend Chocolate Clay and White Chocolate icing over Fondant!  It taste SOOOO much better. Cake decorating doesn't come easy for me but I know my kids love it so alas I give into their little smiles and spend hours trying to give form to powdered sugar by making it look like something edible and fun. We made the sloppy joe meat a day before and kept it warm in a crockpot super EASY!
We had a lot of sloppy joe meat left over because a lot of people didn't get the location change notice.  I added some spices and made taco salad with it. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cocoa Puffs Peanut Butter Chocolate Yumminess!

Can something so sweet and not nutritous be called a cereal bar? It is made with cereal :)

4cps of cocoa puffs
1/2 a pk of 10 oz marshmallows
2 tbsp of butter
3 tbsp of creamy peanut butter
1cp of chocolate chips
1/2 cp of peanut butter morsels

In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted then add creamy peanut butter. Remove from heat.
2. Add cereal. Stir until well coated
3. Press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool.
4. Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter morsels and and evenly pour over top.
5. Let cool until chocolate is hardened and then cut.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

2 meals in one:Morrocan Lentil soup and Mujadarah

As a child my mother made lentil soup for us and we HATED it.  Now it's my turn to torture my kids with healthy food :).  I used a slow cooker Lentil soup recipe from here recipe and then I added ginger, cumin to make it into Moroccan Lentil soup.    I also added sliced bacon for flavor. With the left overs we will made some Mujadarah (lentils and rice) I liked this recipe b/c it had apples recipe.  Since I already made the lentils I won't be following the recipe exactly.  I will just add the cinnamon, curry, apples, raisins, garlic to a saucepan with oil and then mix in the lentil soup left overs and pour it over rice. Top it ith caramelized onions!  Healthy and Yummy!

Super Hero Towel Cape

 I have been wanting to make these towel capes for the boys since their last b-day.  I finally got around to it a year later.  I wish I would of just made myself do them because they were super easy.

They are practical and also fun for them to play with.
When I sewed the emblems on the back I accidentally did one crooked and debated about redoing it.  The title of my blog says I am not a perfectionist and I really am not but for some reason crooked things bother me.  So I did it over again.

The baby one is a poncho style one.  Getting him wrapped up in a towel is always hard when they are so slippery.  This poncho style makes it super easy to quickly bundle them. 

Towels are outrageously priced here so I bought towel fabric.                                                    What you need:  Towel, velcro, felt, fabric paint. Cut it out in shape of rectangle if your using the towel fabric, sew the sides of it and then sew on velcro in the front.  I made the front of theirs with a big overlap because I do want them to use it as a towel and not just a cape.  The emblem is a square of sparkly felt I bought at Michaels.  I glued those on first after my crooked emblem mistake and then I sewed it on.  I used fabric paint to paint their initials. The boys were so excited that they all got an early birthday gift.
If you use an already  made towel than this project is SUPER easy.  All you need is to sew on the velcro, paint initials on emblem and sew it on and your done!

Friday, March 4, 2011

recycling formula cans into cute storage containers

Formula can turned into storage for wipes.  Lately, while I am sitting around watching a movie I have started covering formula cans with twine and then embellishing them with a design using the twine.  Basically I glue and cover with twine, glue and cover with twine until its completely covered.  I tried to do a tight roll around the can but you can still see some gaps in between.  Once that is done I glue circles w/ the twine and then have the string come out to get a connected swirly effect. I also covered some to store diapers, pencils, etc....  I did have to stick the wipes in plastic bag inside so they don't rust the can.

Tie Onesie for baby boy

I love giving this tie onesie gift to friends who have baby boys and I finally got around to making my own baby some. There are so easy to whip up!

1. Decide how long you want your tie to be and cut ribbon that size.
2. Fold one end of it in and sew to the onesie.
3.Then gather it in the middle for a faux knot look. Sew it.
4. Then fold the other end in to from this V shape and sew.
I told you it was easy!

Maternity Diaper Cupcake

I hope all of you mommies out there have learned to laugh at yourself. This is just a fact of life for us who have brought babies into this world.  For those of you who are clueless this is what your handed shortly after you give birth to your precious little one.  Your pretty much handed your baby and in the same breath your given this GINORMOUS diaper. Oh and by the way you only get 2 so use them wisely.  I don't care what you call it pad, sanitary napkin it's a diaper no matter how you look at it.  I personally hated them and I am sooooo glad to be past that wonderful postpartum time of my life.   

I have a co-worker at school whose signature gift is baby diaper cakes.  This time it was her turn for a shower and I wanted to give her one too.  So I came up with this a maternity diaper cupcake for her.

Since the diapers are so huge I used 10 taped each one individually and then wrapped tissue paper and scrap paper around them.  The top fluffly icing is crepe paper that has been twisted and glued.  And of course topped with a cherry!!

Everyone runs in her own way or his own way.....

I run with my HAPPY socks! After my 8k race.

I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.
Eric Liddle - Chariots of Fire

So I don't totally relate to that quote because I am not a fast runner but either way I still LOVE this quote and this movie. The quote has been a foundational reminder in my life as a woman/mother.  As a mom I am required to wear many hats throughout my day: guide, coach, nurse, chef, maid, friend, counselor, driver, etc.... and the list goes on depending on the day and my kids needs.  I truly believe God made me for a purpose.  I believe He made me to glorify Him in EVERYthing I do, from removing pee sheets off the bed every morning (not fun), to cuddling with my little men, to sitting in a counseling session with a client, to looking in the eye and smiling at the girl selling strawberries at the red light.  I don't always act in this knowledge but regardless its, truth that I need to remind myself of daily. 

We can all fill this quote in:  I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me _______. And when I _______ I feel His pleasure.
If you are still trying to discover what it is I pray that you don't give up because He delights in giving you His pleasure.

Mine would be: I believe God made me a mom, but he also made me creative and compassionate.  And when I create or help someone whether its in my home or outside my home I feel His pleasure. 

"I would like to give you something more permanent, but I can only point the way. I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. Jesus said, "Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me." If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race."

Blessings as you run the race that they all look different and though as believers it ends at the same place the path for each of us is very different!!!