Monthly Archives: September 2011

4 Clever Ways to Update Your Nursery

Here are some super cute ways to add color and style to your nursery…and you can probably find most of these things in your attic, junk drawer, or craft box.

Sweet Hot Air Balloons:

Knitted hot air balloons

These precious hot air balloons are great for a nursery.  You can knit your own circular pattern or create a paper mache balloon and cover it with a colorful sock or the sleeve of a sweater.  Add some colorful buttons at the base and you’ve got a hot air balloon.

Family Tree:

Visual Family Tree

I love this idea.  You can create a tree on your wall by following a stencil or you can purchase a wall sticker of a tree at various online web shops.  Search around your house and find various frames of different colors, sizes, and shapes and collect pictures of your family to hang on your tree.  This is a stunning and sweet art piece for any room in your house.

Pimp That Crib!

Crib Desk!

Just because baby is ready for a big kid bed doesn’t mean you have to toss the crib on the curb.  Detach one of the sides of the crib and either paint the base with chalkboard paint or install a desk top surface and you’ve got a fun arts and crafts center!

G.I. Joe to the Rescue:

G.I. Joe Bookshelf

Okay, I admit that this is kind of morbid, but I love this idea!  All you need after a slight G.I. Joe operation is some hot glue.  Glue the two halves of the doll to the top and bottom of a bookshelf and voila!  A guarantee that those books aren’t going anywhere.

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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Ladle Candle Holders

Having a romantic dinner at home?  Set the mood in the kitchen to help arouse all your senses.

Ladle Love!

I found this technique in a magazine years and years ago and thought it was so rustic and smart.  Hang old and/or antique ladles from a long pole with S hooks or from a mantelpiece.  Simply place a tealight candle in the spoon to help set a soft romantic glow.  This is stunning when you use more than 5 ladles.  You can easily find ones of different sizes, shapes, and colors at garage sales and thrift shops.

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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Chocolate Dipped Cherry Mice

And a delicious one at that!  Here is an adorable food craft that’s perfect for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or a cute topping for a cake or an ice cream sundae.


  • 24 maraschino cherries with stems
  • Waxed paper
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 24 milk chocolate Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped
  • 48 almond slices

  1. Drain the cherries and pat them dry with paper towels (I also rinse mine.  It helps the chocolate stick to the cherry). Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper.
  2. Place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and heat them until smooth, working in 15-second intervals, stirring between each.
  3. Holding a cherry by its stem, dip it into the chocolate and swirl it around to completely cover the fruit. Set it on its side on the waxed paper and immediately press a Hershey’s Kiss onto the cherry for the head. For the ears, gently wedge two almond slices between the Kiss and the cherry. Repeat to make 24 mice.
  4. Use canned frosting, decorating gel, or a piece of candy to add eyes and a nose to your mouse.  You can create a fast gel by adding a teaspoon of water to a couple tablespoons of powdered sugar.  If the paste is too runny, add more sugar.  Too dry, more water.  Once you have the right consistency (it should be sturdy like frosting), divide it into three bowls.  Color one black and one pink.  Place into three separate Ziploc bags and snip a corner of the bag to create a decorating bag.  Use white and black for the eyes and pink for the nose.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 


Filed under candy recipes

Good Stuff Book Review

We all knew him as a suave, debonair, charmer of a man.  He was the essence of “Hollywood”, always formally dressed, clean shaven, and ready to get the job done.  However, not much is known about Cary Grant’s personal life.  Everything from his sexual orientation to his family traditions and customs have been topics of speculation for decades.

While most of his sexual life still remains a mystery, the life Cary Grant treasured, his life off camera, has finally come to light.  In her loving tribute to her father, Jennifer Grant’s book Good Stuff:  A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant shows us a man so few knew…a man devoted to his one and only daughter, a man clinging on to youth during a time when he should be enjoying retirement.  A caregiver, a friend, a teacher, a style icon, and, perhaps most importantly, a father.

Good Stuff is a fond look back at the 20 or so years Jennifer was able to spend with her father before he passed away.  Sprinkled with photographs, memories, letters, and notes, this memoir shows us a rare and beautiful bond between father and daughter.  Written almost like a love letter, Jennifer shares everything from her father’s obsession with recording their conversations to how he taught her to pay bills and budget money.  She wisely skips over gossip surrounding her father’s sexuality and marriages…claiming it’s none of her business what he did behind closed doors…so why should it be any of ours?

This simple yet powerful dedication to Cary Grant is one of the most touching and personal books I’ve ever read.  It’s honest, raw, and shows a man with flaws, a man with struggles, a man learning–just like the rest of us–the struggles and sensations of family life.

NEXT WEEK:  A fascinating account of an artist who devoted his life to his work in the painful belief that it was all he had.  Good grief.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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6 Clever Uses for Sauce Packets

It’s inevitable.  You order Chinese take out for one and they give you a lifetime supply of sauce packets.  They sit in your fridge until you finally convince yourself that it’s okay to toss them…but these little guys can be put to good use!

1.  Toss the sauces…together, that is.  Combine 2 packets duck sauce with 1 packet soy sauce and 1 mustard packet.  Use this sauce to marinate chicken or pork…or use it to dip your home made summer rolls.

2.  Sweet and sour sauce is also an amazing addition to grilled pineapple.  Grill whole slices or chunks on a kabob and glaze with sweet and sour sauce.

3.  Season noodles or ramen with hot mustard or a sweet and sour packet.

4.  Know someone heading off to college?  Throw some sauce packets in a food basket with Ramen noodles and other easy dorm foods.  When the going gets tough, the “college kid” will find a way to use them.  😉

5.  These little packets are awesome for trying out new recipes.  If you’re experimenting with hot mustard, soy sauce, or duck sauce, save some money by using these little packets instead of buying a whole jar of sauce.  Granted, the quality of these sauces isn’t awesome–but in a pinch, they will get the job done.

6.  Having a potluck or a picnic soon?  Throw some packets of whatever you have on the table (oriental flavors, taco sauces, etc.).  Cook your meat with salt and pepper so guests can experiment with different flavors.

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.


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How to Make Little Pots out of Newspaper

I love this idea of using old newspapers to create adorable little boxes.  You can use these boxes to store paperclips, pencils, cotton balls, or anything else that’s lightweight and small.  These are also awesome for starting seedlings.

My newspaper pots. The big one is newspaper, the smaller one is magazine pages.

There are several tutorials online regarding how to make these cute little pots, however I found this one to be the easiest to follow.  I will direct you there because the pictures are awesome and the author does a better job of explaining folds better than I could ever do.


I made one with newspapers to hold my paperclips and then I made another one using magazine pages.  You can make them with newspaper, wrapping paper, etc.  You could even modge podge them to make them more sturdy.

Happy Crafting!

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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How to Do a Mani/Pedi at Home

Nail salons are a thing of the past…like Spandex workout shorts and colorful sweat bands.  Today’s working woman is all about DIY…so here’s how you can rock beautiful fingers and toes without smelling like methyl methacrylate.

DIY Mani/Pedi’s!

Step One:  Soften Your Skin

Soak your feet in warm water for 10 minutes to soften calluses and relax cuticles.  Use a foot file or pumice to scrub problem areas on your feet.  Try to stay clear of callus shavers or graters, since they can tear your skin and have been known to make calluses grow back faster.

As for your hands, soaking them in water causes your nails to retain moisture, which slows down the drying process when you paint your nails.  If you want smooth hands, try applying a heavy-duty lotion to your hands at night.  Put on some cotton gloves and wake up with wonderfully soft hands.  If your cuticles are a disaster, rub some hair conditioner on them and put the cotton gloves on.  By the next morning, your hands should look beautiful.

Step Two:  Cutting and Filing

I speak from experience here…cutting nails  on an angle can cause painful hangnails or ingrown nails, which are maybe the worst things ever.  Instead, cut your nail straight across the top for length, then use a file to shape and smooth corners.

Step Three:  Cuticle Care

Using a cuticle cutter or shaver is a thing of the past.  These can easily remove the viable protective skin instead of only the dry dead part of your cuticle.  Instead, use a cuticle solvent to help loosen the dead skin that needs to be removed.  Because these solvents are meant to exfoliate, some may even lift stains and whiten yellow or stained nails!

Step Four:  Polishing

We all love that thick awesome hand moisturizer; however, it can make it harder for the polish to stick to your nail.  Don’t rule it out, though.  Moisturizer is essential in helping your nails from peeling and looking ragged.  After applying your moisturizer, use a cotton swab soaked in polish remover to “clean off” your nails before you paint them.  This allows for the moisturizer to stay on your hands while giving you a clean and clear nail bed.

Every girl has a method in polishing her nails.  Here’s what the “pros” recommend:  “Apply thin layers of base coat, polish, and top coat, using this technique:  Hold the brush close to, but not touching, the cuticle in the center of your nail, and swipe to the end; then apply on each side.  Next, lightly run the brush across the tip of the nail so the polish wraps over the edge.  This will help protect it from chips.”

Top your color with two coats of lacquer and let dry for 15-30 minutes.  Just because the top feels dry doesn’t mean you can’t get scratches…so pop in a movie and enjoy taking it easy!

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.


Filed under every day tips and tricks

The Best Blueberry Pie Filling

This is the filling to top all fillings.  Made with fresh blueberries and lemon zest, this will give you a glorious taste of summer anytime!

Blueberry Mini Pies!


2 pint blueberries

3/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon lemon grind, grated

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoon butter
1 egg, well beaten with ½ pinch of salt for egg washing top of pie
Combine 1/2 the blueberries and the sugar in a pan.  Simmer on low heat until sugar is melted and mixture is very liquidy.  It only takes about 5 minutes, so watch it to make sure your sugar doesn’t burn.
Combine cornstarch and water in a bowl.  When blueberry mixture is ready, add the cornstarch mixture to the blueberries.  Cook over medium to low heat until mixture thickens.

Pour into a bowl and cool until warm.
Fold in remaining blueberries, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter.  Let cool completely before adding it to your pie crusts.  This is also amazing over vanilla ice cream.


Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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How to Turn Pie Tins into Wall Art

Pie tarts ain’t just for baking.  Here’s a clever way to display tart pans that you either don’t use anymore or that are just too precious to toss.

I love this idea for cheap and easy kitchen decor.  You could also use pie tarts as unique picture frames or for cool holiday decorations.  If you’re looking to hang the tins on the wall, consider combining average size tins with mini pie tins for a really cool art piece.

Check out various garage sales and thrift stores for worn tins and get crafty!

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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Filed under wall decor ideas

9 Clever Uses for Binder Clips

And you thought they were just for the office…

I LOVE this idea. Use binder clips to keep beer and pop cans from rolling around in your fridge.

Use binder clips to hold beautiful postcards and photographs.

Keep various computer cords organized and tangle-free!

Use two clips stuck together to hold up your iPod or phone.


Small binder clips can be turned into makeshift cuff links.  You can also use them to keep your sleeves rolled up if you’re getting your hands dirty.

Use a binder clip to squeeze out every last drop of toothpaste.  As you continue to use the paste, roll the bottom up to the top and use a binder clip to secure the roll.

Large heavy duty clips can be used to hang  boots and purses.

Use a permanent marker on the metal part of the clip to identify items stored in cardboard boxes…then simply clip the binder clip to the lip of the box.

Binder clips can also be used as a bookmark or money holder.

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.


Filed under clever uses