Well hello there! This is the place where I share my crafts, recipes, knitting and crochet projects, photos, and moments of family life in the Midwest.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Crepe Paper Flowers

My parents are having their 45th wedding anniversary on July 2,so my brother and I are throwing them an open house. The table decorations are blue mason jars that I made filled with flowers. Buying enough flowers for 20 tables can be very pricy - unless you know someone with a cutting garden. So I decided to make flowers instead.
Crepe Paper Flowers
I bought inexpensive crepe paper rolls at the party store for about 3 dollars a roll for the large and 99 cents for the smaller ones.  Since the theme is ombre pinks I chose those colors.

Ombre Pinks
I didn't have a specific size I cut the streamers, but whatever the length you cut the longest one, the lighter color is 1/2 the length, and the green was 1/2 of the lighter color length. See the picture below:
Cutting the paper
Then I folded them in half, and then in half again, and again until they are all the same size. Stack them on top of each other (I layered the colors with the green on the bottom). Fold the stack in half and pinch it together. Fold a florist wire over top of the crepe paper and twist it shut.
Now it's time to cut the petal shape. Any shape you choose is OK. I chose a heart shape because it trims off the folds. Make sure you fold down the "leaf" green so you don't cut that. Do both sides.
Next cut out the leaf shape. Do both sides.
Now time to fluff them up! Just pull lightly left and then right shaping the flower with your fingers. Pull each petal apart. Your flowers will look like this when done:
Crepe Paper Flowers
Time: This project took me about 4 hours to complete 40 flowers. Cost: Less than $20 in supplies. (I still have half a roll of each color)

The crepe paper flowers look really good all lined up together and are going to be great for our party. This project would be a great wedding DIY for a group of bride maids to help with.
Grouped Flowers

Monday, June 25, 2012

Blowing Bubbles


This weekend we made the trip to Ames to visit my parents. Mostly because I'm planning their 45th wedding anniversary party and had some things to take care of. (We made a bunch of crepe paper flowers...tutorial coming soon!) The boys always have fun visiting. We had to go shopping because Max had gotten a Target gift card that was burning a hole in his pocket. I bought Riley a bubble gun so he could get something too. Best 2 bucks I have spent this summer.

Riley Jumping
Close up


Max in bubbles
Bubble gun
 I'm really loving my camera and getting used the manual settings. It's amazing what you can do with shutter speed control!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Recipe

I promised a while ago on Facebook that I would post the recipe for Homemade Cliff Bars that I made. Here is the link to the original version that I followed. I tried two different combos here and they both turned out tasty.

Cranberry Walnut Bars

1 and 1/4 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking oats
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (flaxseed meal)
1/4 cup finely dried cranberries
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup cashew butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
(follow the instructions below)

Chocolate Cherry Bars

1 and 1/4 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking oats
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (flaxseed meal)
1/4 cup finely dried cherries
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup cashew butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
(follow the instructions below)


1. Combine the rice cereal, oats, flax seed meal, dried fruit, and nuts in a large bowl.
2. Combine the syrup and nut butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until warm and then add the vanilla.
3. Pour nut butter mixture over cereal mixture, stirring until coated.
4. Press mixture firmly into an 8-inch square pan (sprayed with nonstick cooking spray) and use a large square of wax paper to press it flat.
5. Cool in the refrigerator for at least 30 min before cutting into squares.

If you compare the recipe I made and the original you will see that I increased the amount of rice syrup because they were a little on the dry side for me.  Also on the original recipe Camilla gives suggestions for other flavor combinations, but of course you can add whatever you like.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

MOA Vacation - Part 3

The final part of our vacation after we were done visiting and doing everything we wanted to in the MOA, was to head back to our hotel and relax in the pool. We got some pizza for everyone and then after it settled a bit, the kids were of to splash. (Since this we were more playing in water not swimming we didn't wait the hour...)

Riley ready to go
The hotel has a really nice pool and play area for the kids. It's all part of the hotel so this is a great option if you don't want to pay for a water park and a hotel. Breakfast was also served as part of the package which really made this a great deal.

The Play area
Max Relaxing
Pool Time
We had a wonderful time in Minnesota and I would recomend if you are in the Midwest to consider a family vacation there. The best part for us was getting to play and talk with Aaron, Leah, and the girls. They are definitely the best of Minnesota to us.
Ella and Aaron

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

MOA Vacation - Part 2

The main attraction for us, and by us I mean Max, was Legoland. Max is obsessed with all things Lego as any good seven year-old is. We all love them and they are an educational toy, sort of. Anyway the store was amazingly cool and the status were incredible. The Robot was over 34 feet tall.
Lego Robot - 34 feet tall
The Girls
Legoland Play area
Ella and Maisie really liked it too (after a trip to the Disney store) and Riley played in the play area while Jered and Max shopped. MOA really has something for everyone. Especially if you like to EAT! They have every kind of food you can want, fancy restaurants to burgers and fries. Jered and I opted for sushi for lunch. The boys had the burgers and fries.
Jered and our lunch
The next stop on our vacation was Nickelodeon Theme Park. It's a great little park with really scary roller-coasters to kiddy rides and everything in between. Max actually went on a roller-coaster for the first time an LOVED it! They also did the log ride and bumper cars. Max is a terrible driver, just a warning for everyone.
Roller Coaster
Log Ride
Jered on Ninja Turtle Ride
Bumper Cars
Even Riley loved all the rides. The balloon race was my favorite because it was so pretty and I think Riley's favorite was the train, of course!

Balloon Race
Train Ride
After all this playing we were pretty tired out. So we bought a few things we spied on Friday and headed back to our hotel for dinner and a nice swim. I'll post more about that later.
Max Happy


Monday, June 04, 2012

MOA Vacation - Part 1

This weekend Jered had a break from work and his summer classes are just starting which means we actually could leave town! Due to the kids ages (2 and 7) we decided that Mall of America (MOA) in Minnesota would be our best vacation option. Also we got to see Aaron and Leah and our nieces which was a bonus.
Max at the Aquarium

Lion fish tank
If you haven't been to MOA, you would be surprised at all the things you can do other than shop. The first thing we did on Saturday was the Sea Life Aquarium.
Starfish feel tank
The Aquarium is very nice for small kids like ours. There is a feel tank first thing where you can touch starfish. The little ones love this. Then comes the jellyfish area were there is beautiful black light tanks and you can see all sorts of creatures.
Daddy and Riley
The next area is the tunnel of sharks. This is the most impressive part of the aquarium. It is a massive tank that you walk under and sharks and large fish swim over head. You really feel like they are right there in the water with them. It's frightening how big they are and how big their teeth are.

Riley and Daddy
Walking in the tube


Many Sharks
The finally part of the aquarium is the rainforest exhibit where you can see all sorts of frogs and alligators from the rainforest.
Checking on the frogs
Photo op
This was just the right size of exhibits for small kids and we got through the whole thing without any large fits. It was also interesting for us as adults, but it really wasn't that big and we got through the whole thing including the gift shop in about one hour.
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