Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rice Pudding

My husband Brian's favorite Mexican fast food place and his favorite teriyaki  grill have one thing in common, they both serve little deli tubs of rice pudding that taste incredible.  They're so good that we eat often eat the rice pudding first, while waiting for the rest of our meal.  I tell you all this because my daughter Katrina and I found a recipe that tastes just like it.  It takes a long time to bake, but it's worth the wait!

Rice Pudding
1 cup whipping cream
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup uncooked white rice
4 cups milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients except cinnamon in a 9" square pan.  Bake for 2 hours without stirring.  Pour into bowls and chill.  Garnish with nutmeg.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

How to Make a Family Memories Board Game

I'm so excited about this wonderful family memory game, I can barely stand it.  The game is brought to you by Family Fun Magazine, the best magazine on the planet.  This link will take you to the basic instructions.

I took the basic instructions and turned this game into a one of a kind story-telling fest that is custom made for my family.  The object of the game is to go around the board sharing memories and learning more about your family while trying to collect all five treasures so that you can head Home Sweet Home.  I gave the game to my parents for Christmas, and it was a real hit at our family reunion the next month.  I will tell you what I did here so you can use, tweak, and enhance the ideas to fit your own family.  It may be a bit of work, but it is totally worth it.  BTW, when you play the game--make sure you have the camcorder running!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How to Make Harvest Shaped Dinner Rolls

Don't you just love Fall?  Of all the holidays, fall for some reason makes me want to do season crafts like this wonderful dinner roll turkey.  But why stop there?  Bread dough is the perfect medium for all your harvest bread needs.

Friday, October 14, 2011

How to Make Poinsettia Flowers out of Crepe Paper Streamers

After searching the web and not finding what I wanted, I came up with these cute flowers made of crepe paper streamers.  These flowers are very easy to make and are a great way to use up streamers left over from  birthday parties.  Make one with the kids for a present topper, or make lots of them with stems and give a bouquet to Grandma.

1 sheet card stock
12 ft. piece of crepe paper streamer 
White glue
For a flower with a stem:  Green Pipe cleaner or wire florist stem, 
For a present topper w/o stem:  wire or bag tie

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How to Unwrinkle Clothes While Traveling

Miriam and Katrina discovered this method while on tour with their children's choir this summer.
1) Spritz the wrinkles and fold lines with a spray bottle.
2) With a blow dryer, blow dry.
This works best with lightly wrinkled polyester and polyester blends.
For heavily wrinkled, or cotton clothes, spritz and tumble in a clothes dryer with a clean dry towel for 5 minutes.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Easiest Pumpkin Cookies Ever

If you are like some people I know, this time of year you are craving anything pumpkin.  If that is the case, you will love these simple pumpkin cookies.

All you will need is one spice cake mix and one 15oz can (the small can) of pumpkin.
You may also want chocolate chips or a container of cream cheese frosting.

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.  
Next, mix together the pumpkin and the cake mix.  
If you would like chocolate chips in your cookies, mix them in at this time as well.
Spoon the cookie dough onto cookie sheets and cook for 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
Serve immediately, or frost with cream cheese frosting if you'd like.
For pumpkin sandwich cookies, spoon frosting on half of the cookies, and top with the cookies remaining.
I hope you enjoy eating these delicious pumpkin cookies!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How to make a Ric Rac Rose

These are so cute!  I found them on "The Crafting Chicks."  Click on the picture to go to the tutorial.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Crochet Pod for Baby Sweet Pea

Isn't she cute?  The pattern for baby is here to download.
I came up with the pod, myself.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How to Make Flower Pancakes

Aren't these pancakes the cutest?  I found the instructions on the wonderful blog "Not Martha" and thought I'd post a link.  Here's the Link.  Enjoy!

How to Make Mini Berry Pies in Muffin Cups

Katrina wanted to make something besides cake to go with her ice cream this year and I had been wanting to try mini pies.  When I suggested she make them for her party, she loved the idea. too.  Here's how we did it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Playroom of Dreams II

In my last post, I announced my intention to "build" a playroom of dreams in honor of my grand baby, Lily.  This post highlights the playroom I have created.  I hope it gets the old creative juices flowing.   
DISCLAIMER:  I do not present this as a decorating masterpiece!  I don't have the time for that, and I think that as long as it's a fun room, kids don't care about the rest.  

Friday, August 26, 2011

Playroom of Dreams

Since the guest room is my room to use as I'd like when we have no guests, I am going to make it a playroom!  Yes, it will have a bed in it, but it will still be a play room.  I figure, I use the closet to store buckets full of toys anyway, why not have the toys out to play with?  If you know our family situation very well, with 4 teenagers and 2 adult children, and sweet little grandbaby, Lily, being so little and living so far away, you may be wondering who will play in this play room.  I have no idea.  Any little kid who comes along, I guess.  And as Brian said when I stated my plans, "If you build it, She will come."

"She," being  Lily, of course, which isn't really true, but, it sure is a nice thought.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How to Make Easy Tres Leches Cake with a Cake Mix

I have made tres leches cake this way a few times now and everyone loves it.  In fact, my kids made this recipe for my dear husband, Brian's birthday just last week, and even though I was away from home, I hear it turned out great.  That's how easy it is!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Crocheted Leaf Pattern

I crocheted these leaves to go with the double flower and the single flower that I put on the hooded towel that I made for my little granddaughter, Lily.

In other words, these are the leaves that went on the flowers that decorated the hood that went on the towel that Marci built.  Lol!  And all for baby Lily.

Crochet Pattern for a Single Flower

This single flower looks especially nice when used with the Double Flower.  Here are two examples of how they can be used together.  Both examples are sewn on the Hooded Towel that I made my baby granddaughter, Lily.  Enjoy.

Crochet Pattern for a Double Flower

I got this pattern at BYU Women's Conference a few years ago.  They always have a crochet service project for you to sew if you want as you listen to speakers.  They took all the flowers we women crocheted in the two days of the conference, attached jewels to the center of them, and sewed them on to barrettes for little girls' hair.   So cute!  Since then I have made these flowers to decorate the little hooded towels that I made for my new granddaughter, Lily.  Enjoy!

How to make a Hooded Towel from a Bath Towel and a Washcloth

This little hooded towel is becoming quite a tradition in our family. My mom gave each one of my kids a towel when they were babies, lovingly edging each one with crochet. Now I am making two for my own little grand daughter, Lily.  I crocheted it while she was in the NICU, struggling for breath.  Now she is home and the happiest baby in the world, especially when she is wearing her pink hooded towel!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

How to Make Salt and Pepper Shakers out of Mini Jelly Jars

Recently, Brian and I enjoyed a wonderful two nights in a charming-old world inn at a near by ski resort.  For breakfast we feasted on delicious croissants topped with jelly from these tiny jelly jars.  The jars were so cute that when the server came to clear the table, I told him I wanted to keep the jars and take them home.  Yes, it was a bit embarrassing,  but totally worth it!  When I got home, I asked my girls what I should do with the jars, and Katrina immediately came up with a great idea--make them into salt and pepper shakers! Here's how I did it:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How to Flick a Soda Pop Can Pull Ring

This idea is just one of the fun activities you can find in my "How to Have Fun in the Great Outdoors--Without any Special Equipment."

Finding an old soda pop can pull ring is becoming more and more rare these days, but if you do find one, make sure you show your kids how to send it spinning!

Friday, July 29, 2011

How to Have Fun in the Great Outdoors--Without Any Special Equipment!

Growing up, an excursion into the "mountains," was always a blast.  We kids rarely brought any special equipment in order to have fun.  With tadpole catching, rock hopping, and exploring, no extras were needed.  The other day, Brian, Thomas, Katrina and I went off on a mountain adventure.  The boys had fishing poles and licenses, Katrina and I had nothing.  Nothing except our own sense of fun, that is!  Here are some of the things we did.

How to Make Build-Your-Own Fruit Pizzas

I like fruit pizza. In fact, Brian and I ordered fruit pizza on our first date.  We made these build-your-own fruit pizzas for my daughter Cassandra's baby shower and everyone loved them.  Building your own is good not only because you can choose your own stuff, but also because your fruit pizza won't be soggy.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How to Make Quick and Easy Girl-Party Decorations

Miriam, Katrina, and I made these streamer and tissue paper flower decorations for Cassandra's Baby Shower.  Really the only reason we made the flowers is because the dollar store didn't have pink balloons, but I was quite surprised to find that I thought they looked much cuter that balloons would have.  Find the tissue paper flower instructions here.  We just cut the leaves out of light green cardstock.

We decorated the TV, too because Cassandra's shower was a long distance shower, and she and other guests were participating via Skype.

Friday, July 22, 2011

How to make Unique Baby Shower Favors

 My daughters, Miriam and Katrina and I came up with these adorable favors for my oldest daughter, Cassandra's baby shower.  They are economical, creative and cute.  Our guests loved them and so will yours!

Edible Favor

Wearable Favor (lotion)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

How to Make a Swing Set Chair and Hammock

Even though Grandma Maxine didn’t have a swing set, we always found lots to do out in her yard.  We’d climb the grapefruit tree and sit on the two branches that were twisted into a throne or a toilet depending on who was sitting on it at the moment.  We liked to play “bop ‘em, frisbee or badminton in the front yard even though the giant cypress tree would always eat our beach ball, Frisbee, or birdie.  At Great Grandma Gertrude’s house we’d climb the fig trees growing along the back of her property and eat figs.  But Grandma Patricia’s yard was by far the most fun.  It did have a swing set—a big tall one.  It also had a big watering trough made into a swimming pool with a rope swing tied to a tree above, and an old car to climb around in. So how does my yard compare to my grandmas’?  Well, we do have raspberries and apricots to pick and we also have the biggest apricot tree in the world to climb.  Add to that our new improved swing set, and I think out house is beginning to cut the mustard.

How to do a long distance baby shower

My daughter, Cassandra, is expecting her first baby--my first grandchild--in ten days and we're so excited!  That's the happy stuff.  The sad stuff is that Cassandra lives far away and we haven't seen her and her husband, Emerson, for quite awhile.  In fact, we have never seen her baby bump "in person."  Pretty sad, huh?  I am going to go visit when the baby is born which is definitely more happy stuff.  But until then, we wanted to have a shower for Cassandra.  So how do you have a baby shower for someone who is far away?  To make it work was definitely a family group effort.

Monday, July 4, 2011

How to Paint a Sand Dollar

This little craft is right up Grandma Maxine’s alley.  It’s made of something you find instead of buy, and it comes from the heart.  In fact, Grandma told me that she recently took up painting.  Even though we live far apart, doing this craft made me feel closer to her. 

How to Repair a Plastic Chair

In Memory of Grandpa

My Grandpa Devar was an amazing guy.  At the age of ninety he would go out to his carport every day in 100+ degree weather and tie quilts to donate to the LDS humanitarian center.  A product of the depression and WWII, if he wanted something, he made it; If something broke, he fixed it.

Monday, June 27, 2011

How to make an ice cream cake roll

Grandma Maxine’s husband, Grandpa Devar, loved ice cream.  Despite his being a staunch believer in keeping the Sabbath day holy, he was known to occasionally sneak to the grocery store on Sunday afternoons for a carton of ice cream after hearing that the grandkids were coming over.  Grandpa died at age 91. just six month ago and as far as we all can figure, the last thing that Grandpa ate before he died was a big bowl of ice cream.  Would Grandpa have liked this ice cream roll?  Definitely.

Friday, June 10, 2011

How to Make a Little Girl's Dress out of a Men's Shirt

My Aunt Amy cross-stitched a picture of the temple for my Grandpa Richard.  She framed her picture with fabric from a plaid shirt that Grandpa used to wear.  It was a beautiful work of art and reminded me so much of my grandpa.  Here is another fun use for an old shirt--a little girl's dress.  I have an old shirt of Brians, and I have the instructions for the dress.  Now all I need is a little girl.  I am so excited that in less than 2 months, I will have a little girl—a little grand daughter! 
  See the tutorial for this dress here

Monday, May 30, 2011

How to Save Money on High School Graduation

With ten children each, I have no idea how my grandmas financed all those high school graduations, but I can promise you that they did it very economically.  People get very excited about the whole graduation thing and end up spending tons of money, but if you don’t have tons of money to spend, remember to just do your best and at the end of it all, they will be just as graduated!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

How to Make Bug Snacks for a Bug Picnic

My mom's post about summertime menus reminded me of my favorite go-to picnic lunch for little kids. I came up with this for a birthday surprise for Thomas when he was about five or six. He loved it, and so have all the other kids I've made it for since. They forget that they're eating a boring old healthy lunch! (If my instructions are weird or confusing, let me know).

It's called "A Bug Picnic"

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Summer Activities for Kids

Whether she sat us in front of paper mache’ or a memory game to match family photos, Grandma Maxine knew how to keep kids busy.  Here are some ideas of my own to hopefully reduce your kid’s screen time and keep them busy this summer.

Fun Summer Time Ideas for Younger and Older Kids (Including Teenagers)

Here is are my brainstormed lists for fun inexpensive things to do in the summertime that don't take too much help from mom (although they are always more fun if Mom is doing it, too!).

Easy Summer Meals for Kids

One of my very favorite meals that Grandma Maxine ever made me, she simply called ‘hominy.’  I’m not talking grits, like they make in the South, but hominy made Grandma’s way which is unlike anyone else’s way, as far as I know.  She would mix a drained can of whole hominy with tomato sauce, cook it up till the hominy was tender, and serve it sprinkled with cheddar cheese.  I still love to eat hominy, but I use a can of tomato soup instead of tomato sauce.  If you are adventurous enough to try it, you can add ‘hominy’ to this list of easy summer meals.  

Here are my easyish, healthyish breakfast and lunch ideas for the summer.  

Monday, May 23, 2011

How to Make Flavored Popcorn

This first recipe, “Peanut Butter and Honey Popcorn” comes straight from Grandma Maxine.  At my bridal shower (25 years ago), everyone was asked to bring a recipe to give me to start my recipe collection.  This is the recipe Grandma brought, hand written on a light blue index card.  Peanut Butter and Honey Popcorn is still a family favorite and one of our most popular after school snacks.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How to Make a Folded Flower Card

Someone gave me a folded flower card years ago and I saved it, tracing over it when I wanted to make folded flower cards to give away.  Eventually the card disappeared and I spent many dark years having no pattern and making no folded flower cards.  Thankfully, my life is bright and happy again thanks to the person who posted these templates on the internet. 

Write a message on a big flower and then fold it into this cute flower card!  Click here for a template and here for a tutorial.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

How to Play the Drawing Game--Head Shoulders Knees and Toes

My Grandma Patricia, loves to play this type of game,  In fact, if I recall correctly, I learned how to play it at her and Grandpa Richard’s house with all my teen-aged aunties and uncles.  I loved this game as a kid because I loved to draw.  I don’t know what Grandma Patricia called it, but I call it “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.”

This fun game for all ages requires paper and a pencil for each person.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Online Volunteering

Grandma Maxine and Grandpa Devar were wonderful examples of service.  Grandpa Devar would always have a quilt set up outside under his carport and up to a year before he died at age 92, he would go out most days and tie quilts.  Grandma would bind Grandpa’s quilts, and they’d send them off to the Humanitarian Center to be given to needy people all over the world.  Service kept them young and kept them going.  About a year before he died, the humanitarian center no longer needed donated quilts and Grandpa stopped quilting.  If he had been able to continue to serve by making quilts, who knows how much longer he would have lived!  The following volunteer opportunity takes up less space and is more convenient than quilting, but service is service and it blesses our lives as much as the lives of those we serve.

Here is a great way to volunteer your time to some wonderful causes for the LDS church!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How to Make Pansy Cookies

One of the first things I would do when I got to Grandma’s would be to check the top of her fridge for cookies, and usually I would find some.  Often they were burned on the bottom which didn’t faze me a bit;  I’d just get a butter knife and scrape or cut off the burned part before I ate it.  The moral of this story is, if your cookies aren't perfect, your kids and family will still love them, so...Think Grandma Maxine!

Celebrate spring with these pretty pansy cookies from Women's Day magazine.  They use the hard-drying glaze that I love so they won't smear when you wrap them.

How to Make Decorative Plates

Economical, creative and fun, these plates are definitely a craft Grandma Maxine would appreciate.  Instead of hanging them on her wall, however, I think she would be more likely to pile them with cookies and send them over to a neighbor.

I wanted something up on my kitchen wall that would match my curtains, but I couldn't find anything that was just right so I decided to use the same fabric and paint to make decorative wall plates.