St. Patties Day Kids Crafts

Gold Coins 3654477 3650x2427 680x1024 St. Patties Day Kids CraftsIf you have kids in school, they’re most likely on spring break right now which means you need ways to entertain them. What better way to do that than by having them make St. Patties Day crafts? Check out these awesome tutorials for a fun filled day with the kids!

Leprechaun Faces
Materials:
Green paper
Orange paper
Black paper
Yellow paper
String
Glue
Scissors

Craft on:
Cut out the green paper in the shape of a top hat. You can either find a template online for this or freehand it. Cut a thick strip of black paper to glue above the brim of the hat. Cut out a yellow square and a smaller black square then glue the black in the middle of the yellow and the yellow in the middle of the black strip. Cut the orange paper so that it forms a large rounded beard that you can glue to either sides of the brim so that the child’s face can protrude through. Poke holes on either sides of the top hat, above the brim and tie the string so that it stays on the child’s head.

Rainbow Cauldron
Materials:
Paper plate
Paint (all the rainbow colors)
Paint brush
Black and yellow paper
Scissors
Glue

Craft on:
Paint a stripe of each color onto the plate. It doesn’t have to be straight. Let it dry then flip it and do the same thing on the back side. Once the plate is dry, cut it while turning the plate so that it forms a spiral. Make a cauldron full of gold with the black and yellow paper then glue it to the bottom of the spiral.

Gold Coins
Materials:
Flat rocks
Gold paint
Paint brush
Gold sparkles

Craft on:
This one is extremely easy but you might also hate it because of the sparkles. All the children have to do is is paint the rocks with the gold paint then sprinkle the gold sparkles on before it dries. Then let the rocks completely dry before handling.

All of these crafts amount to a wonderful scavenger hunt! hang up the rainbow cauldron somewhere the kids won’t see and place the gold coins around the house or yard and a big pile of them at the base of the rainbow cauldron. Have the kids put their leprechaun masks on then go on the hunt for the gold! Whoever wins, gets some fun St. Patties Day treats like the ones from our previous post.

What St. Patties Day crafts will your children be doing?
Look for our upcoming post on spring decor!

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St. Patrick’s Day Recipes For Your Party

Veer Shamrocks 1649487 XL 1024x1024 St. Patricks Day Recipes For Your PartySt. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner therefore it’s an excuse to have a party! Of course everything you have at your house has to be green because you’re not doing it right if it’s not. Check out these awesome recipes and ways to have green food!

Green Puppy Chow (from galonamission.com)
Ingredients
5 cups rice chex cereal
1 bag green candy melts
1 drop young living spearmint essential oil
2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions
1. Add the rice chex cereal to a large mixing bowl.
2. Pour the candy melts into a bowl and microwave until melted. Make sure you stir the candy melts every now and then.
3. Stir in the spearmint oil.
4. Pour the melted candy melts onto the rice chex cereal and gently stir until completely mixed.
5. Put the mixture into a zipblock bag then add the powdered sugar and shake until mixed.

Lucky Rice Krsipie Treats (from classycutter.net)
Ingredients
1/4 cup butter
4 cups soft marshmallows
5 cups Rice Krispie cereal
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Green food coloring
3/4 cup Lucky Charm’s marshmallows

Instructions
1. Melt butter then gradually add soft marshmallows and stir often to avoid burning.
2. Add the vanilla and green food coloring to the mixture then removing from heat and stir well.
3. Stir in the Rice Krispie cereal then the Lucky Charm’s marshmallows.
4. Store in a container and put in the fridge if you want them to harden more quickly.

Spinach Dip (from recipes.com)
Ingredients
1 pkg Knorr vegetable soup mix
1 cup light mayo
2 cups sour cream
1 small can sliced water chestnust
3 tbsp chopped red onions
1 garlic clove
1 10oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and dried

Instructions
1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor.
2. Pour into a food container.
3. Store in the fridge for at least 2 hours then serve.

Of course there are plenty of other recipes you can use that incorporate green foods that automatically make the food green. However, you can also just add green food coloring to anything and it will make it the right color! Just beware of the amount you put in, sometimes adding too much coloring can alter the taste of the food even though it’s technically not supposed too.

What are some of your recipes for St. Patrick’s Day?
Check out our post on Tuesday for some great St. Patties Day kids crafts!

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How To Make The Perfect Hosewarming Gift

147731604 682x1024 How To Make The Perfect Hosewarming GiftWhen you’re invited to a friends house, you typically bring a bottle of wine or some flowers. If you’re inviting to a friends housewarming party it can be a little more difficult to figure out the right gift because you don’t know what they have and you don’t know what other people are bringing. No worries, we have put together a list of gifts that your host will actually want as well as some DIYs that will outshine everyone!

Modern house numbers
Materials:
White shadow box
Electric drill
Large metal numbers
Screws
Fake grass
Glue

Craft on:
Glue the fake grass to the inside bottom of the shadow bow then drill the metal letters into the grass. If you cannot find a shadow box that you like, you can build your own out of wood then paint it white. You may also choose completely different colors and materials if you’d like. The main thing is that you see the numbers in the grass.

Chalk cheese plate
Materials:
Chalk paint (preferably black)
White rectangular plate
Chalk
Paint brush
Cheeses
Cheese knife

Instructions:
Simply paint the plate with the black chalk paint and let it dry completely. Lay the various cheeses out of the plate then write, with the chalk, the names of the cheeses below them. If the plate is large enough, you can add some fancy crackers as well. Place the the cheese knife on the cheese plate and leave in the fridge till you’re ready to go.

Tiki torch bottles
Materials:
Liquor bottles (such as Jack Daniels, Jim Bean etc.)
Tiki torch fluid
Tiki torch wicks
Matches

Instructions:
Empty out the bottles of alcohol if they’re already not empty, I’d recommend putting the liquid in another container so you can enjoy it. Rinse the bottles out then fill them up with tiki torch fluid but leave an inch and a half to two inches from the opening. Place the tiki torch wicks into the opening and make sure they don’t fall in. You can buy various sizes and it might depend on the liquor bottle as well. Once it’s all done, light the wicks with the match and enjoy the evening!

What have you given as a housewarming gift?

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How To Put Avocado In Everything

An avocado is that fruit you always see at the store, you know it’s good for you but you don’t know what to do with it except make guacamole. Time to overthrow that mindset and embrace the healthy fats of avocados by making it your new favorite ingredient! Here are a few recipes that use avocados followed by some quick and easy tips to incorporate them into your everyday snacks and meals!

Avocado and Spinach Pasta (from jocooks.com)
Ingredients:
10 oz spaghetti or fettucine
1 clove garlic
1 avocado
1 cup fresh spinach
1/2 pecans
1/4 cup basil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 to 1 cup past water
Salt and pepper

Instructions:
1. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients to a blender and blend them until they turn into a smooth sauce.
3. Toss the pasta with the sauce in a bowl then add some Parmesan as you’d like. This is best served the day of since the avocados typically turn a brownish color after a while.

Avocado Mac and Cheese (from joanne-eatswellwithothers.com)
Ingredients:
10 oz elbow macaroni
2 cloves garlic
2 avocados
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions:
1. Cook the macaroni then set aside.
2. Combine the garlic, avocados, lime juice, and cilantro in a food processor until smooth and creamy.
3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat then add the flour and stir into the butter.
4. Whisk in the milk until smooth then add the cheese and heat until melted.
5. Place the macaroni in a large bowl and add both sauces until completely blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Snacks
-Deviled eggs with guacamole: instead of mixing the yolk with some mayonnaise, replace it all together with some guacamole.
-Avocado and egg toast: it’s exactly how it sounds. Make some toast, scramble some eggs and mash up the avocado then spread the two on the toast.
-Grilled avocado and cheese: once again, super easy. Just make your regular grilled cheese sandwich but add slices of avocado between the slices of cheese.
-Bacon wrapped avocado slices: wrap slices of avocado with a strip or two of bacon then bake in the oven until crispy.

What do you cook with avocados?

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At-Home Clay And Cork

You know those fun canvas and cork events that so many people are doing? Well, we have a different version: clay and cork. Make this modeling clay from scratch, have your girlfriends bring a bottle of wine, and start molding some beautiful pottery pieces. It’s a great way to switch up your weekend night or if you’re looking for an idea for a bridal party event!

Ingredients:
2 cups baking soda
1 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups cold water

Instructions:
This recipe makes about 2 pounds of clay so half it or double it depending on how many people you have coming. The baking soda and cornstarch are what make the clay pliable. Place all the ingredients in a pan and stir until smooth. Set the pan over medium heat until it begins to boil, make sure you keep stirring. Get out all the lumps and cook it until it’s the consistency of mashed potatoes. Once done, place on a plate and cover with a damp kitchen towel and let cool. When you’re prepared to start using the clay, sprinkle some cornstarch onto your work surface so it doesn’t stick.

The clay will be white unless you add food coloring to it. You could also mold all the bowls, figurines, or anything you want prior to the event and bake them then have your friends paint them instead! It will still make for a fun time and that way they can take their artwork home as soon as it’s dry as opposed to leaving it to bake.

When you’re ready to heat up the clay to finalize it, put it somewhere to dry out overnight or event a couple of days depending on the thickness. Set the oven on 350 degrees and wait for it to reach that temperature then place the piece of pottery in the oven and bake it for 30 minutes or until it’s completely hard and dry. It may take up to an hour if it’s a bigger piece, regardless, check the clay every 15 minutes to make sure it doesn’t crack. Once it’s done baking, remove from the oven and let it cool down completely before painting.

Ideas for the non-creative:
If you’re worried about your artistic abilities and think your pottery piece will look like something a four-year-old made then try one of these! They’re fast, easy, and functional.

-Bowl (big or large, with or without handles)
-Mug
-Pieces for a wind-chime
-Heart (ornament or standalone)
-Jewelry dish

Share with us your at-home clay pieces!

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Polka Dots Are The New Chevron

HiRes 1024x1024 Polka Dots Are The New ChevronRemember when chevron was the new big thing and it was everything? Well now it’s time for polka dots to make a long overdue comeback, which is obviously not a new pattern but it’s one that’s typically overlooked or considered childish. Switch up that mentality and embrace them!

Decor
If you don’t want to take the plunge and place polka dots all over your walls then take a more subtle approach and incorporate them into your home decor. An easy way to do this is by decorating a vase or a lamp, especially those bulbous ones that have a lot of surface. Coasters are extremely easy to do as well and a great touch to add to various tables around your home.

Main House
If you are feeling adventurous, which you all should be since it’s almost spring and we want to experience new things, you should decorate your walls and doors! Yes, I said walls AND doors. Don’t be scared to show off that hot red front door of yours by adding fun little polka dots or paint your back door blue with gold polka dots to make the back of your house stand out. An office space or your daughters room could be a great place for polka dots as well.

Kitchenware
I know it’s probably scary to think about kitchenware such as dishes and spatulas having polka dots on them but just think how much less boring they would be! The pattern might even make your kids more excited to try new foods, who knows. White plates are ideal for this, just make sure you use the proper paint that won’t wash off in the dish washer. They’re also adorable on mugs!

Miscellaneous
Now it’s time for the extremely adventurous ones. Washer and dryer. That’s right, I want you to polka dot your appliances. This would be so cute in a single girl’s apartment and a great way to decorate if you’re not allowed to paint the walls. Polka dotting the back of shelves can bring new life to some old books and trinkets or polka dotting a canvas and hanging it up is a great way to decorate as well.

Do you have any polka dotted ideas?

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Salads Can Be Tasty Too

iStock 000043023282Small Salads Can Be Tasty TooI know it can be quite difficult to eat salad because they tend to be bland. It’s also difficult to get your family to eat them so we’ve compiled multiple salad recipes for you to try. They’re practically a full meal!

Steak Tortellini Salad with Pesto Dressing (from Lilluna)
Ingredients:
1 pkg tortellini
Sirloin
Romaine lettuce, chopped

For the dressing:
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp pesto

Instructions:
Cook tortellini according to package instructions. Cut and grill your sirloin how you like it then slice it into small pieces. Mix all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Add the tortellini to the Romain lettuce then top with steak and dressing.

Strawberry Bacon Salad (from Lilluna)
Ingredients:
1/2 head of Romain lettuce
4 cups spinach
1/2 cup toasted almonds
8-10 slices of cooked bacon
2 cups sliced strawberries

Instructions:
Wash, dry and place lettuce pieces into a bowl. Mix in almonds and bacon together then add the strawberries. This is best served with Poppyseed dressing.

Apple, Bacon and Pecan Salad with Garlic Balsamic Dressing (from Lauren’s Latest)
For the salad:
6 cups red leaf lettuce, washed and torn
1 fuji apple, washed and diced
4 slices hickory smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 tbsp toasted and chopped pecans
1 small grilled chicken breast

For the dressing:
1 garlic clove, grated
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
3-4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:
Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and whisk all the dressing ingredients together in another. Once ready, toss dressing with the salad.

Chicken Taco Salad (from the Pioneer Woman)
For the salad:
1 head green leaf lettuce, shredded thin
3 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup grated Pepper Jack cheese
2 ears corn, shucked
2 avocados, diced
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
Tortilla chips of your choice, slightly crushed

For the dressing:
3/4 cups ranch dressing
1/4 cup salsa
3 tbsp finely minced cilantro

For the chicken:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp taco seasoning

Instructions:
Mix all the dressing ingredients in a bowl then cover and refrigerate. Then make the chicken by generously seasoning both sides and cooking how you would usually. Once the chicken is cooked, cut into cubes. Grill the corn so it has that roasted flavor then slice off the kernels. To assemble the salad, pile the shredded lettuce, chicken, tomatoes, cheese, corn, avocado, green onion, cilantro, and crushed chips on a big platter then drizzle the dressing over it.

Share with us some of your salad recipes!

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Pantone Colors – Spring 2015 Decor

iStock 000051908778Small Pantone Colors   Spring 2015 DecorThe spring 2015 Pantone Fashion Colors have arrived and we are going to help you incorporate these into your home! We realize spring is probably still a month away but might as well begin preparing for it, maybe it will make it come sooner.

Aquamarine

This is a great color to use for throw pillows. Whether you have a gray or white couch, it will add the perfect amount of color without being overwhelming.

Toasted Almond
This color is especially present in various woods. If you’re not feeling the whole renovation idea, find some wooden chairs that have this tint and use them for you kitchen or dining room table.

Marsala
If you’re ready to paint your bathroom or living room and are feeling adventurous, this is the way to go. It’s softer and lighter than red and has a brownish tint to it without overpowering the walls.

Woodbine
A lounge chair with this color will bring a new atmosphere to your living room, particularly if you have a less than vibrant room.

Scuba Blue
This color will probably be one of the most difficult to incorporate into your home. The ideal way would be to buy a new lampshade or some candles with scuba blue. It’s a great color if you have a beach room!

Strawberry Ice
This will make for a great kitchen table color. If you’re ready for a change but don’t want to spend a lot of money, paint your kitchen table and chairs this color and it will bring new life to your kitchen.

Glacier Gray
Grays are always great for bedroom walls because they allow for plenty of decorations without clashing colors. It will also look great on a comforter which you can then decorate with vibrant throw pillows.

Sandstone
Sandstone is close to Toasted Almond therefore you can use them for the same decorations. In addition, buy a rug to put under your living room furniture if the couch and chairs are neutral colors.

Lucite Green
This color is excellent for anything! Walls, rugs, furniture, decorations etc. It’s vibrant without being too much and it goes with pretty much anything.

Tangerine
Tangerine is a hard color to look at. Unless you like the retro look, which in that case, use it on a coffee table, pillows, or even your front door!

Classic Blue
This will make a beautiful back splash color in your kitchen or living room. Bold and beautiful is the way to go.

How will you enjoy these new spring colors?

 

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How To Properly Celebrate Mardi Gras

iStock 000035216870Small How To Properly Celebrate Mardi GrasMardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday, is the day before Ash Wednesday and it kicks off the Lent season. It is also the most popular holiday in New Orleans and the one with the most beads. Here are the best ways to celebrate Mardi Gras by incorporating food, decorations, and fun!

The Food
Gumbo
: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/gumbo-recipe.html
Creole: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/okra-creole
Fried Shrimp: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/bayou-fried-shrimp-10000001806891/
Jambalaya: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/cajun-jambalaya-recipe2.html
Beignets: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/new-orleans-beignets
King Cake: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/quick-mardi-gras-king-cake/a285aa15-62d7-493b-8d34-b00038646c81

The Decorations
Everything in Mardi Gras decorations has to have jewel tones. Violets, emeralds, sapphires, ambers etc. it’s all fair game. Utilize these colors with beads, masks, table clothes, plates, lights, everything! The more the merrier, my friends. Some key decorations however, are some of the ones I mentioned above: masks and beads. Yes, beads are typically used for other reasons but they can also be for decorations! Place a bunch of Mardi Gras beads in a vase or string them around a lamp shade. There are plenty of ways to incorporate them without having to wear them. Masks are the same way. You can wear them but you can also place them throughout your house or have a plate of them by the door for you guests to grab on the way in. Feathers are everything. You can put them sticking out of the beads vase, strung over a doorway, or used as a boa!

The Drinks
King Cake Cocktail
Green, purple, and gold sanding sugar for the glass
2 oz Cake Vodka
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
1/2 oz Baileys Irish Cream
Ground cinnamon, for dusting

Bourbon Street Blackberry Brut
1 1/2 oz Camarena Silver Tequila
2 oz brut Champagne
7 large blackberries (mushed into the drink and use others for garnishing)
1/2 oz agave nector
1/4 oz lemon juice

Green Jello Shots (Margarita flavored)
1 3.0 oz box Lime Jello
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup Tequila, chilled
1/4 cup Triple Sec

The Party Favors
The perfect party favors will come together in a gold box with gold streamers as a stuffer on the inside. Included in this box should be macaroons (Mardi Gras colors, of course), a mask (if you didn’t give them one at the beginning), chocolate coins, fleur-de-lis cookies, and beads because you can’t have them leaving without them!

What have you prepared for the famous Fat Tuesday?

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Make Your Own At Home V-Day Date

iStock 000032788570Small Make Your Own At Home V Day DateThere’s no reason for you to spend an enormous amount of money on Valentine’s Day if you’d rather just hang out at home. However, if you’d still like to have a special night with your S.O. then follow this at home V-Day date guide for the perfect evening.

The Decoration
String lights are a must. There’s no way around it as well as candles. You want to create a relax and romantic environment. Grab a small table, large enough for plates and glasses, and place it against a wall. On that wall, string the lights in a waterfall pattern so that it’s extra romantic looking and make sure there’s enough of them so you can actually see what you’re eating. Place a white table cloth on the table and sprinkle some rose petals on it as well as around the table. If you’re feeling extra romantic, sprinkle the rose petals so that they form a path from the door to table. You can also line the path with candles if you’re not afraid of burning your house down.

The Food
In our post last week, we talked about some recipes that are great for Valentine’s Day so make sure to check those out as well. Here’s an additional one from Taste Of Home for you:

Lemon Basil Chicken Marsala
Ingredients:
2 boneless/skinless chicken breast halves
2 tbsp all purpose flour
3/4 tsp minced fresh basil
Dash of salt and pepper
2 tbsp butter
2 1/4 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup marsala wine
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese

Instructions
1. Flatten the chicken to 1/2 inches of thickness.
2. Combine the flour, basil, salt and pepper in a plastic baggie and add one piece of chicken at a time to coat.
3. In a large skillet over medium-heat, cook the chicken in 1 tbsp of butter for 4 to 5 mins on each side then remove and keep warm.
4. In the same skillet, saute the mushrooms in the remaining 1 tbsp of butter for 5 mins then add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
5. Stir in the wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil then cook until liquid is reduce by a third.
6. Return the chicken to the pan, sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 mins.
7. This will be delicious served over angel hair pasta.

The Drinks
If you want to keep it simple, white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay will go great with the recipe above. However, if you’d like to channel your inner bartender, try the Kir Royale. You can also have wine for dinner and this afterwards!
1. Pour 1 oz of Creme de cassis in a champagne flute
2. Tilt the glass and fill it with some champagne or sparkling wine
3. Give it a stir and throw in a couple blackberries

The Movie
Here are some romantic movie suggestions currently on Netflix if you’re a little stumped on what to watch:
-Dirty Dancing
-13 Going On 30
-Ever After
-While You Were Sleeping
-Notting Hill

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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