Halloween Food

 It's Halloween, and I made some festive foods thanks to Pinterest. Sorry I didn't remember to get a photo of this first one before I wrapped them up for travel to the school. They are just regular brownies, with some frosting decoration. My inspiration came from here.
For dinner we had some super easy to make Mummy Dogs.
And that wraps up my month of Pinterest challenge. Of course, I will still be doing more projects I've pinned, but probably not quite as often.

Bollywood Birthday

We had a Bollywood Birthday Party for my 10 year old daughter. It was a lot of fun. I made the invitations myself, and glued them on to some sparkly scrapbook paper.
Every one came dressed in colorful and sparkly clothes. We ate the traditional Indian sweets gulab jamun (the round ones) and jalebi (the spiral ones).

We also had cinnamon vanilla cake, to go with our 'sugar and spice' theme. And an ice cream sundae bar, with homemade ice cream (so it was egg-free for one of our guests). We had pink punch too.

We gave them their goody bags at the beginning. In it we put some bangles, a fancy bindi, a pink candy stick, and a sari fabric scarf (pink, orange and gold of course).

They put on the bindis and bangles, tied on the scarves, and then we started the party. We had some fake henna temporary tattoos for them to put on too. We did some Bollywood dancing once they were all dressed up. I found some clips on youtube to learn a basic dance. And I put together some song/dance numbers from various films we have. We had the movie clips playing on the tv during much of the party and the girls went back and forth watching and dancing periodically.

Here is our play list (I felt all these dance numbers were child appropriate):

Ainvayi Ainvayi from Band Baaja Baaraat
Kajrare from Bunty Aur Babli
Baawre from Luck By Chance
Desi Girl from Dostana
Zoobi Doobi from 3 Idiots
Marjaani from Billu
Dola Re Dola from Devdas
Bole Chudiyan from Khabi Kushi Khabi Ghum
Shava shava from Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum
Yeh Ladka Hai Allah from Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum
Saajanji Ghar Aaye from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
Kangna Re from Paheli
Minnat Kare from Paheli
Nimbooda Nimbooda song from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Dholi Taro Dhol Baaje from Hum dil de chuke sanam
Tumse Milke Dil Ka Jo Haal from Main Hoon Na
Deewangi Deewangi from Om Shanti Om
Aaja Soniye from Mujhse Shaadi Karogi
Lal Dupatta from  Mujhse Shaadi Karogi
Tenu Leke from Salaam E Ishq
Salaam E Ishq from Salaam E Ishq
Radha Kaise Na Jale from Lagaan
Jai ho from Slumdog Millionare

Even though we never got around to making the barefoot sandals I don't think they missed it much. We ate, danced, and generally had fun.


Girls Activity Days

In my church, I was recently put in as an assistant leader for our Activity Days for girls. Twice a month, the 8-11 year old girls get together and do an activity, and they have a 'Faith in God' booklet with a bunch of things for them to sign off during their 4 years in the program. Sometimes the activities are just for fun, sometimes they are crafts, sometimes they are more spiritual.
Of course, once I was asked to help out I immediately went to Pinterest for ideas. I started a new board for it. Now that I am actually involved with the planning of the activities I decided to organize the ideas from the pins. I have started a word document to keep track of them, with links back to the blogs/sites I found them. Hopefully this will help us correlate with the Faith in God program and give us inspiration for our own activities and crafts, without having to go through every blog every time.


Popcorn Hands

Getting ready for my church's Trunk-or-Treat! This year we decided to make Popcorn Hands (with candy corn fingernails) to give out. There are usually less than 50 kids/teens there, so why not make a more involved treat. My kids are excited about them, so I'm sure they'll be a big hit.


Hawaiian Beef Teriyaki

I took 2 days off from pinterest, to enjoy time with my kids. And since I did 5 pinned recipes on Thursday I'm just going to let it go that I did nothing the past 2 days. Anyway, back on to the challenge. For dinner tonight I made some yummy Hawaiian Beef Teriyaki. It was great. The kids all had seconds, even my I-don't-like-pineapple child. I think we will be adding this to the regular dinner rotation.


Bake Sale

It's bake sale time at my kids' school. So I turned to pinterest to get some yummy new recipes. They all turned out great. I made popcorn balls, both plain and with candy corn (the plain ones are gluten free). Pumpkin spice cookies, both with and without chocolate chips. Caramel apple cupcakes (it's an apple cupcake with a caramel cream cheese buttercream drizzled with caramel sauce). Chocolate Truffles, rolled in sprinkles, cocoa powder, coconut, and walnuts (not all at once of course). And last, chocolate mini loaves


Pancake Tutu

It took me a while, but I finally finished making a pancake tutu for my oldest. It took a while because I get tired of sewing all those ruffles after about 2 layers, and take a week break in between. My oldest has been doing ballet for about 5 years now, and really wanted a big flat pancake tutu. I looked into buying one, but nice ones are hundreds of dollars. So then I looked on pinterest. I found a simple tutorial on Cosplay Island, complete with diagrams. I sewed 7 layers of tulle onto wide bias tape (unfolded). It fits her perfectly. I have not yet decided whether I will add a bottom/panty to it, but right now it looks great on her regular leotards.


Organizing Food

I've been working the past month or two on cleaning and organizing my house. Yesterday I got a new fridge. What a perfect time to reorganize my food. My new fridge is larger than my old one, and I'm not sure where to put things yet. So, I turned to Pinterest.

Here is a great little article, with videos, all about organizing your refrigerator.
This one from I Heart Organizing has lots of great photos and tips.
Martha Stewart has tips for using the layout of your fridge to help you eat better.
And Organizing Made Fun suggests different baskets for organizing.

Hope you enjoy reading over these articles and getting your fridge clean and organized!


Freezer Paper Stencil

This is one of the first things I pinned. I even bought freezer paper months ago to do this. I finally did it. And it wasn't too hard. What was I waiting for? So here is a great tutorial for doing freezer paper stenciling on shirts (or a onesie in my case).



I've made several desserts I found on pinterest. Last month I had half a watermelon in my fridge and made some fresh watermelon sherbet. The recipe was from What About Watermelon?, and it was delicious. A very watermelon heavy flavor, which is a good thing. It was a hit with the kids.
Another favorite dessert-type recipe of my kids is Frozen Strawberry Lemonade Slushie. They ask for it at least once a week. I admit that I love it too.
A couple days ago I tried out 2 more desserts. A basic vanilla ice cream. I usually make homemade ice cream with an ice cream maker, but this recipe doesn't need one. Interesting. And it turned out great. And I made some pink punch. I has pink lemonade, raspberry sherbet, and sprite in it. The girls at the birthday party all raved about it.
So there are my pins for today.


Halloween Costumes

I worked on some sewing projects today. Got a Halloween costume done for my oldest, and half of one done for my youngest. I did get the ideas from pinterest.
For little red, I made a half circle (took the measurement and stuff from a circle skirt tutorial). And I added a hood, made from 2 rectangles sewn together on the top and one side. For the dress I took a vogue sewing pattern that I have used before, then made a few small changes. I widened the middle section and added the lacing, and changed the princess seams so they went to her shoulders instead of armpits. I think it turned out pretty well.

For my youngest, who will be a garden gnome (because he is tiny for his age anyway), I made a simple tunic. I used a long sleeve shirt that fits him and made a pattern, adding some length to make it more of a tunic. It is just a front and back piece, the sleeves are included, not in-set. Now I just have to make him a hat, and maybe a beard and he is all set. He didn't want the belt on, or his picture taken, so this is the best I have for now. Maybe he'll be in a better mood next time.


Cinnamon Vanilla Cake

My daughter's birthday party was a 'sugar and spice' theme. So I made her a cinnamon vanilla cake,  per her request. It was delicious and all the girls loved it. I made it pink and put a henna-style peacock on it, but the sparkly gold decorators gel spread a little more than I thought it would, so it didn't look as great as I'd meant it to. Nobody minded.


Gulab Jamun and Jalebi

Today's pin is more Indian sweets. This time I made Gulab Jamun and Jalebi. Gulab jamun is kind of like a donut, fried and then soaked in a sugar syrup. Jalebi is a deep-fried batter in spirals, then soaked in syrup. I got the recipes from Show Me The Curry and Manjula's Kitchen.


Chocolate Burfi

My husband is Indian, and I've learned to make a few foods over the years. One of my favorite sites for helping with that is Show Me The Curry. They have great, easy to follow recipes, and even videos. I found this recipe for chocolate burfi. My daughter wanted to take an Indian treat to school today to share with the class for her birthday. This is what she took. It was a big hit. I also made gulab jamun (it's like a Indian donut hole). Easy to make, delicious to eat.


Book Sling

My oldest is an avid reader, and also sleeps on the top bunk in her room. Right now she keeps a pile of books at the foot of her bed. So, I thought a great birthday present would be a place to keep her books close, and her bed clear. Enter: the book sling. I saw this a while ago on Penny Carnival. Then I forgot about it for a while. Then I saw it again on pinterest and pinned it so I'd remember. So glad I did. It came together perfectly and quickly. It only took one afternoon, which is saying a lot since my kids love to interrupt. An uniterrupted person might only have taken an hour to make this.

Book Sling


Barefoot Sandals

Pinterest Challenge project for today: barefoot sandals. I used the tutorial from eHow. This is a project that I am trying out for the birthday party of my oldest. It was a fairly easy project, but kind of time consuming. The stretchy jewelry cord I got was too thick to fit 2 strands through a bead. So, I pulled out some 4lb fishing line to see if I could make it work.

I have decided that maybe a plain anklet would work better for the party. I could still use the stretchy cord, and they wouldn't take as much time. In the meantime I'd like to apologize for the foot picture :)

Home Organization - Master Bedroom

It took me a little over a week to clean and organize my master bedroom, which was last weeks challenge from A Bowl Full of Lemons. Mainly because I started the week with the flu, then my kids got it. And I usually do a lot of cleaning while my youngest naps, but this week he napped on my bed. Not as easy to clean the room he is in.
Anyway, I got it done. Now that it's clean I realize how little decoration it has. I still need to get better curtains, a rug, a headboard, and I'd like to put photos or art on the walls. I do some family photos on one wall (with the dresser) and one of my flower photos on another wall, that I put up this week. But it needs more. It is feeling very bare right now.
^ My clematis photo

On to the photos. Before, in need of serious picking up. Lots of clothes on the floor, some of them are even mine. And a bag of clean laundry that I haven't yet folded.

My dresser. The drawers  are organized, but the top needs work. It's sort of a catch-all right now.

 After, cleaned off dresser. I can actually find my jewelry now.

I have a floor! Boy does it need a rug. And I need to move the bassinet back to the garage now that baby is 18 months old (to be fair, he still fits in it because he is tiny for his age).



Flower Headbands

I have a whole pinterest board dedicated to flower making tutorials. One of the first tuts I pinned on this board was from Little Birdie Secrets.  I didn't have organza laying around (as per the tutorial), but I did have some silky synthetic. They melted just fine. The purple and pink ones are just circles of different sizes, but the white one was flower shapes. They turned out pretty cute. I sewed in a few beads (leftover from a knitting project from a few years ago) and then sewed them on to headbands. I made them small enough to fit on a baby, for when I photograph my friends kids, but they are stretchy enough that my girls could also wear them. So cute!


Brown Sugar Chicken

I decided to try out a new recipe for today's Pinterest Challenge. A crock pot recipe. Some days we don't get home from doing our thing until after 6, and sometimes I have to leave at 6:30 for other meetings. So, the crock pot is a real life saver (especially for the baby sitter). I looked through my pinterest to find several great pins for crock pot recipes. I decided to start easy and make something I was sure my kids would like...brown sugar chicken. They love chicken and rice, so adding sugar can only make it better right? They agree. It was yummy. They were also impressed that it had soda in it (since we almost never buy soda). They got to help drink the rest of the can too, so double bonus for them!

Home Organization - Linen Closet

This weeks challenge on A Bowl Full of Lemons - Linen Closet. My linen closet is very small. On the one hand it makes cleaning it up fairly quick. On the other, it means I have to be really organized to fit everything in. I've organized my linen closet before, so this weeks task isn't all that difficult, just a little straightening up. I like the easy weeks. It helps make up for the difficult ones (like last weeks master bedroom...which I am still working on).

-The top shelf are large quilts and hand made baby blankets.
-Second shelf is napkins, placemats, seasonal towels, extra cleaning rags, a basket of misc things (like bed sheet stretchy hook things, to keep the sheets taut), and 1st aid kit. The hanging shelf has table cloths and an apron I hardly ever use.
-The 3rd shelf has guest towels, burp rags and bibs, and extra kids towels.
-On the 4th shelf down are bed linens (toddler/crib, twin, baby blankets...and a snuggie).
-And on the floor is my bedding, all neatly folded and stored inside the matching pillowcase. The blue one is still in the wash from when I changed my sheets this past week while cleaning my bedroom.

I may not have folded it as neatly as I could have, but they are all organized and in their spots...and the kids even know where things are/go.



5 Stranded Braid Headband

Day of pinterest challenge: 5 stranded braid headband. I found this tutorial on Make it and Love it. I don't have any old t-shirts at the moment, got rid of things a few weeks ago as I was cleaning, so I just used some scrap fabric I had laying around. I had never done a 5 stranded braid before, but it was super easy (my favorite kind of craft). My fabric also wasn't quite long enough to go all the way around my daughters head (and not stretchy either), so I sewed a small piece of elastic on to the ends. Works great, looks great. I definitely see more of these in my daughters futures.


Butter Chicken Recipe

My husband is Indian and over the years I have had lots of practice making Indian food. I don't make it 'like mom' (my family prefers less spicy), but he likes it anyway, and the kids like it too. So, here is my recipe for Butter Chicken.

Butter Chicken
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
1 Tbl oil
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp coriander
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 can coconut milk
1 cup plain yogurt
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized chunks
2 Tbl butter

In large skillet, heat oil. Add onion, garlic, and ginger. Stir often while cooking, until onion is translucent (about 4-5 minutes).
Stir in curry powder, chili powder, coriander and cardamom. Cook for another minute.
Add tomato paste, coconut milk and yogurt. Stir until mixture is smooth and simmering.
Add chicken and stir. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until chicken is cooked.
Cut butter into chunks and add to the sauce. Stir until melted.
Serve with rice.

*Could be made in crock pot. After frying onions, garlic and ginger, add it and all other ingredients to a crock pot. Stir gently. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours.

Halloween Printable

Day 9 of my Pinterest Challenge. I always see these cute printables all framed and nice on pinterest. Well, I happen to have a box full of empty frames in my garage (some were gifts, some came as a set from a thrift store). I finally got around to printing one out and putting it on the top of my piano (please ignore the mess on the piano, I'll get it cleaned one of these days). You can get the free printable subway art from Eighteen25 (there are lots, such talented girls over there).


File Folder Games

My kids are busy little things. They seem especially busy while in church, when they are supposed to reasonably quiet. So, file folder games to the rescue. I found several nice sites via pinterest (this is a pinterest challenge after all).
I have a book from Finch Family Games that I got several years ago (like 8 or so). I got some of the games from there.

Yarn lacing pages:

From Melonheads LDS Illustrations I got some word finds (great for my 6 year old who is learning to read) and made a matching game.


 From Sugardoodle I found a crazy cartoon tracing set (perfect for my 9 year old).

Sugardoodle also had a file folder link called commandment cones, but I wasn't thrilled with the copy, so I made my own. You can get it free here: Commandment Cones. You match commandment with its number order (this photo shows the correct placement, in case you need a refresher). The past month or so our church has been talking about the ten commandments, so this is nice for the kids to get to know what they are.