Monthly Archives: March 2013

Eggs with Bling!

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How many posts have I used the word, “bling” in? I should look it up…anyways, it is a great word, and there are so many things you can add a little bling to! Every season or holiday, I find a new project to use my rhinestones for!
So, for Easter I thought, why not add some sparkle to some eggs?
I know this is last minute for Easter, but this really is an easy craft.
You need some of those plastic eggs. I had these cool metallic eggs. You also need some rhinestones, and a hot glue gun.

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When my glue gun heated up, I started by gluing a few rhinestones around the seam to glue it shut.

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Then, fill up the rest of the space with more! Keep gluing until you have covered the whole egg. I made my first one all out of the same shape and colour of rhinestones.

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As I was digging through my pile I started sorting the rhinestones into piles of matching colours.

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And I found metallic eggs that were similarly coloured…

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So, as I was watching tv last night, I mad a few eggs. I started by using monochromatic colours…

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But then I tried a few using different colours, stripes, and I even tried to make one in a flower pattern (although it is almost impossible to see the flowers, it still looks cool.)

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Can you see the flowers?

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Here they are finished…

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Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates!

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Annual Easter eggs

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This recipe is an absolute must to make every year at Easter. i have made these eggs every year for about 10 years. every year i make them a little differently, but they are always amazing! I like the taste of them much better than the Cadbury cream eggs, and the best thing is that i actually know every ingredient! I make them fairly small, because they are so rich. I made 75 eggs from the recipe this year. If you want to simplify the recipe, just skip making the yolks…they still taste just as good!

You need 10 cups of icing sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1can condensed milk

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Start by softening the butter in the microwave for about 20 seconds.
Then mix everything together. The hardest part is being patient enough to wait for all of the condensed milk to come out of the can….

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Mix as much as you can in the bowl with a spoon. It should be wet enough that it sticks together, and all of the icing sugar has mixed together.

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When it gets difficult to stir with a fork or spoon, take the mixture out and knead it with your hands. It should form a ball without cracking.

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Once you can knead it, break off about 1/6 of the dough to use for yolk. I never get the ratio right, I always end up with a couple eggs where the insides are all white or yellow.

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Then add 10 drops of yellow food colouring at a time, and mix the colouring in.

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Keep adding drops 10 at a time until the yellow is the shade that you want. You might also add some icing sugar here as the food colouring will make the dough all sticky.
For this part, i have the kids roll the yolks.

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Then, to put the yolks in the center of the eggs, i pinch off a small piece of white, probably a bit more than double the size of the yolk. I flatten it into a pancake.

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Then put the yolk in the middle…

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Then wrap it like present.
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And roll it in the palm of your hand to make it an egg shape.

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You might find that the “dough” dries out a little by the time you get to making the last few eggs. like i said, this batch made 75 eggs. Also, as i finished a few at a time, I put them somewhere cool to harden up a little. Right outside our back door works well now!

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After the eggs have cooled for at least an hour, they are firm enough to dip in chocolate. This time of year the solid bunnies are always on sale, so I melted a Mr. Bunny to use.

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Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper so the eggs won’t stick, and dip each egg in chocolate. I always make a bit of a mess here. I still haven’t found a nice neat way to dip things in chocolate.

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I gave them a few minutes to cool, then I put some semi sweet chocolate chips into a sandwich bag, put the bag into hot water. This is the absolute easiest way to melt chocolate. You just squish the chocolate around every few minutes, and put it back into the hot water until it has melted. Then, cut off the corner of the bag, leaving a tiny opening, and drizzle or squeeze the chocolate out. On the Easter eggs, I did some swirls, stripes, and yes, even some squiggles!

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Here are the finished eggs! I wish I could let you taste them, because they are delicious!

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Have a great Easter weekend!

Napkin folding

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As you may or may not have noticed, I haven’t posted in a couple weeks. I think this is the longest i have gone without posting since i started this blog! anyways…We went away for March break on a cruise. It was amazing! We were spoiled rotten, ate non-stop, had fantastic weather, and the entertainment was great too! I would recommend Royal Caribbean cruise lines to anyone! Thank goodness we were not on the Carnival ship that got stuck for days….

Anyways, our flight landed in the middle of the night on Sunday, and of course by Tuesday, I was as sick as a dog. Thanks to John, I made it thought the week! I am feeling much better now, and thankful I wasn’t sick during our cruise!

I thought I would share something that Sam and I learned how to do on the cruise, napkin folding! Yes, they actually had napkin folding classes! We went to part one and two! Here is one of my favourite napkin folds… The flower.

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Start by laying the napkin flat and fold the corners into the middle.

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Then, fold the corners into the middle
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Flip the napkin upside down and fold the corners into the middle for a third time.

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Then, to make the petals, reach under and pull out the corners from the underside.

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It will look like the picture above. To make it look like a flower, you have to pull the petals out a little more. Be sure to keep a hold of the back of the napkin so the flower doesn’t come apart.
Here is another napkin to show the difference.

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If you reach to the back again, you can also pull out the corners to make it look like another row of petals. It should look something like this…

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Imagine how pretty theses would look on the plates on your Easter table. They take less than a minute each to make.
Here are the printed instructions we got from Royal Caribbean…

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Here is our other favourite napkin we learned, the crown.

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Packing for a cruise

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We are planning for a cruise, and I have spent some time lately looking at many different packing lists for cruises. So, I thought I would share it with you….I didn’t bother adding clothing, this is more of a “everything you may not have thought of” kind of list. I am a bit of a freak when it comes to packing, I like to be prepared for any situation, sickness, or emergency that might happen, let’s just say I have a long history of overpacking, so please take from this list what works for you and your family!

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Cruise packing list
refillable water bottles
travel coffee mugs
Bug spray
After bite
Ear plugs
duct tape (you never know what you’ll need duct tape for)
masking tape, or scotch tape
Alarm clock (runs on batteries)
sticky notes (to leave note to each other)
Crazy glue
current pictures of everyone (hope you never need these)
walkie talkies
power bar, and/or extension cord (never would have thought of this…but great idea!)
flashlight
glow sticks (the kids love these, no batteries, great substitute for a nightlight)
Zip lock bags (I bring lots of these, different sizes, great for everything from shampoo to wet bathing suits)
Zip ties (one again, you never know…)
night light (if you don’t have glow sticks…I’m bringing both 🙂
small reading light
Umbrella
Sewing kit
Corkscrew (maybe I should have put this at the top of the list)
Screwdriver

In my First aid kit, I added:
advil, kids and adult
tylenol
cough drops
immodium
gravol
A5-35 or Deep Cold
Tiger Balm
tweezers
nail clippers
bandaids -different sizes
blister pads

Shoes
-water shoes
-dress shoes
-running shoes
-comfortable sandals
-flips flops

Two-ingredient cake

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I have two big weaknesses when it comes to food; candy and cake. So, whenever I see a recipe for either one that sounds good, I usually give it a try!
So, I have seen the two-ingredient cake recipes popping up on Pinterest lately. The idea is that you use a can of pie filling and a package of cake mix to make a cake…what??? I know, it sounds crazy enough to work!
I decided to try a version of the recipe I saw using a can of pumpkin pie filling, but I thought I would try it with a chocolate cake.

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The process is simple, dump the can of pie filling and the cake mix into a bowl.

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Then, beat it for a couple minutes with an electric mixer.

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I decided to make muffins or cupcakes, so I spooned the batter into muffin tins.

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They came out moist, and pretty tasty! They do have a bit of a different flavour, but they are good. The kids loved them too!
I think next time I will add some chocolate chips! Or, I might even try another batch with a different kind of pie filling. I think cherry pie filling and chocolate would be really good! What about peach and vanilla! Mmmmmm

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The piano project! Part One -no turning back now!

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So, a couple years ago I answered an ad on-line where someone was offering a free piano. All I had to do was move it! So, I put an ad on craigslist asking for a quote for the cheapest mover. I ended up hiring the cheapest quote, and to make a long story short, I got what I paid for… The “movers” pulled up in my driveway with the piano laying on its side in the back of their pick up truck! They somehow managed to get it off the truck, and up the stairs to our front door. But believe it or not, it still plays pretty well! It’s on my bucket list to learn how to play the piano, and I would love for the kids to learn too. But, the keys are in rough shape. A lot of them are chipped and broken off. Here’s a picture…

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Here is what I would love to see it look like:

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Have you ever seen a rainbow piano before? Me neither! But I did see on line that there is a kids piano program where the keys are colour coded.
When I first got the piano, I ordered a set of replacement keys from a website, along with glue and clamps.

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My plan was to replace the broken keys with the new white ones. But then I started thinking…why can’t I use the replacement keys as a pattern, and make they keys out of something else?
Right now, I am thinking I am going to make new keys out of polymer clay like Fimo or Sculptey. But, I will make a couple test keys first.
No matter what material I use, I have to take off all of the ivory off the rest of the keys. I used a compinatiion of a scraping knife, pairing knife, and exacto knife to chip off most of the keys.

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Some of the keys popped off easily, but most of them cracked, chipped and came off in small pieces

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I am now officially at the stage in the project where there is no turning back! I am also at the stage where I am thinking that maybe I should have thought this through a litlle more.
This weekend we a have birthday party, computer classes, eye exams for the whole family, and we were thinking about taking the kids skiing on Sunday…did I mention we are going away next week? So packing should probably be in our plans somewhere right! There is lots of time left over to renovate a piano right? OK, it might take a while, but keep checking in with me! If you have any suggestions for materials I could use for the keys, please comment!!! Don’t forget, they have to be rainbow!