Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Two-Minute Tuesday #1: Hazelnut Coffee

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on the links).

So, it often happens that I have just a little tip or tidbit or very short tutorial I want to share with you that doesn't seem "worthy" of a whole post--I know, I know, you're thinking, "There's no way Amber can write a short tutorial!" but I assure you I can! Sometimes.

My awesome husband actually came up with this idea, and with his encouragement, I've decided to add yet another weekly feature to the blog: Two-Minute Tuesday. So on Tuesdays I'll be sharing some of those quick tips and ideas in short little posts.

Today I'm sharing how to make hazelnut coffee with actual hazelnuts--none of that flavoring stuff with artificial ingredients.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Minecraft Tees from Crazy 8

(This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.)

Minecraft is the hottest kids game out there right now. If you have kids, I'm sure you've heard all about it--even though my daughter is too young for video games, I've heard all about it from students and kids at church.

Seriously, how cool are these shirts?!

Right now, the much anticipated Minecraft themed tees are available at Crazy 8 for only $14.88!
These tees are sure to be a favorite and on the top of your kid's summer wardrobe list. Don't let this amazing deal creep by!

Meal Review Monday #3: Banana Bread Bars with Brown Butter Frosting

Welcome to the third installment of Meal Review Monday, where I review Pinterest recipe finds.

On the menu today: Banana Bread Bars with Brown Butter Frosting.

Image from Life's Simple Measures. Please respect the creator and pin from the original site!
I had some overripe bananas the other day, and decided I wanted to branch out from my usual banana bread. I perused Pinterest, and decided these tasty bars seemed like just the right thing. That brown butter frosting was calling my name.

Friday, April 25, 2014

How to Add and Sell a Pattern on Craftsy


Thanks to Craftsy for sponsoring this post and enabling me to share some of my passions! All opinions are my own.
(This post contains affiliate links which means I will be compensated if you purchase after clicking these links.)

Did you know that, in addition to wonderful online courses and craft supplies, Craftsy also has an independent online pattern store that lets anyone upload and sell downloadable e-patterns with no fee? I had no idea until Craftsy contacted me to write this post.
I am new to Craftsy, and being the DIY-obsessed person that I am, I love having this resource for classes, fabric, and supplies, but also being able to sell patterns is a great bonus for me. You know I love to offer free patterns here through my blog, but I also have others I'd like to sell. A girl has to make money, right?

You can add patterns for sewing anything from bags to dolls to clothes, or patterns for embroidery, quilting, knitting, or crochet. And you other crafters haven't been forgotten--you can also sell patterns for jewelry making and paper crafting. Whatever your preferred method of crafting is, you can market it on Craftsy.

How do you add a pattern to Craftsy and start your pattern store? It’s easy! I uploaded two patterns in about ten minutes.

1. Make sure you have a Paypal account. All pattern transactions happen through Paypal, and Craftsy requires that you have a Student, Premier, or Business account in order to sell patterns.
2. Put your pattern in .pdf format. You can’t upload any patterns to the online pattern store unless they’re a .pdf file format, so if they’re currently saved as a Word doc, .jpg, or other file format, you must convert it to a .pdf before you upload it to Craftsy.
3. Include a photo. All patterns must have at least one photo to accompany them, but you can add up to five photos. Colorful, interesting photos tend to work the best for catching our members’ eyes!
4. Fill out the pattern description. We will ask you some basic questions about your pattern making it easier for Craftsy folk to find your pattern and know what your pattern is for. Make sure you have info about your pattern handy for this step.

For more information on how to sell a pattern through Craftsy, or to get started, visit Craftsy today!

Shop Indie Patterns

Did you know about selling patterns through Craftsy, or am I the only one who was out of the loop here? What kind of projects do you like to do? Have you ever created a pattern for something, or thought about selling one?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Springing Up Nouns and Verbs

Here we are, already in the last few days of April! It's time again for my monthly free educational printable. I have so much fun coming up with these each month!

Of course with the gorgeous weather outside, I had to go with a spring-themed printable this month. This is the time of year when teachers and students alike are counting down the days, getting desperate for that hard-earned summer vacation.
While I can't do anything to speed along the last month of school, hopefully this cheery spring printable will brighten up your classroom a little bit.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Meal Review Monday #2: Beer Mac n Cheese Soup

Welcome to Meal Review Monday, where I review Pinterest recipe finds.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend and got to spend lots of quality time with your families. This was Baby Girl's first Easter, so of course we had a lot of fun. I love experiencing life through her eyes.

Our church had a petting zoo, complete with pony rides, and a picnic and egg hunt after service, and then we had a cookout with our little family in the evening. It was a long, busy day, but a perfect one. All three of us enjoyed ourselves immensely.

Three-day weekends are lovely, but it sure does make it difficult to get back in the swing of things come Monday morning. In fact, I think Mondays--especially ones after holidays--call for some serious comfort food to help ease the transition back into the work week.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Free Crochet Pattern: Baby Blanket

This has become my favorite baby blanket pattern. I have made 3 of them so far, and I'm sure there will be more to come! This particular blanket is for my new little niece or nephew who is due to make an appearance in about 8 weeks. Ahh, I can't wait for this new baby to snuggle and love!


I love this pattern because it is super simple, it's durable (seriously--I throw my daughter's in the washer and dryer all the time), and the finished result is flat and smooth. Some baby blankets either seem too delicate for little fingers to be tugging on, or too "lumpy" because of intricate shell designs, etc. to be comfortable for babies to lay on. This blanket is neither of those things, and it is easy enough for a beginner crocheter to make.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Meal Review Monday #1: Cheese and Nut Stuffed Shells

I've decided to start a weekly feature that I think will be really fun! Meal Review Monday, where I review Pinterest recipe finds.

You all know how much I enjoy cooking, so I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I'm always trying out new recipes I find on Pinterest. Lots of them are great, but some of them are not-so-great. There's nothing more frustrating than spending half the afternoon on "the best ever" new recipe, only to discover it's actually pretty mediocre. Have you noticed that almost every.single.recipe gets called "the best ever"? How are you ever supposed to choose which things to actually make?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mexican Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust


This is a quick and easy weeknight meal I made up a while back that was an instant hit with my hubby. Not that he ever complains about whatever I cook, but I love it when a new recipe creation receives a "That's really good, Darlin'!" This is one of those recipes.

Monday, April 7, 2014

How to Create Faux Vintage Fabric

Hello, all! I hope you had a great weekend!
Hubby and I took our little munchkin to the beach on Saturday. We were in desperate need of a little getaway, and Baby Girl had never been to the beach, so off we went!

We got in some much needed reflection and prayer time. There's something amazing about talking to God out in nature.

Baby Girl had a blast! She was a little unsure about actually being in the water, but crawling around on the sand didn't bother her a bit!

I know I'm her momma, but I seriously think this little girl is one of the cutest kids ever.

Okay, before I bore you with the other 60+ pictures we took that day...on to the actual purpose of this post!

Vintage fabrics are so fun; I especially love fabric with that antique sepia look. Finding them, however, is not always easy, as I discovered when I decorated my college bedroom with vintage shoe decor. That's when I learned this easy technique to take white fabric and turn it into a faux vintage fabric.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

How to Make Curly Ribbon

Don't you just love those little girl hair bows with the darling curly ribbon? Did you know this kind of ribbon has a special name? I didn't until recently, when I discovered it's called korker ribbon. (Maybe this is common knowledge to everyone else, but it was news to me.) I have often wondered how on earth that's done, and if it was a process I could recreate at home. I found a tutorial at The Ribbon Retreat; as it turns out, it is super easy!

To make your own korker ribbon, you will need:
  • Grosgrain ribbon (this is the "bumpy" ribbon with the little ridges) You can use any width, but somewhere around 3/8" is probably the most common for this purpose. You can use plain colored ribbon or ribbon with designs printed on it. I was a little dubious about using the printed ribbon in the oven, but I tried it out just for you, my dear readers, and it worked great!
  • Wooden dowel rods (I used 1/4" wide and 3/8" wide, but experiment with different widths to see what you like!)
  • Wooden clothespins
  • A baking sheet
  • Oven preheated to 275° F
Let's get started!
Use a clothespin to attach one end of the ribbon to one end of the dowel rod. Spiral the ribbon around the dowel and use a second clothespin to secure the other end.

You can see my clothespins are really little; my Hobby Lobby was out of regular-sized clothespins and I was too impatient to wait to make these, so I bought the little ones. They worked, but bigger ones would be easier. :)

Lay the wrapped dowels on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely before removing the ribbon from the dowels.

When you take the cooled ribbon off of the dowel rods, it will stay permanently curly! How cool is that?

I told you it was easy! Now you can make tons of darling hair bows for the special little girl in your life (without paying boutique prices).
You guys, I am so addicted to making hair bows for my daughter right now! I am making them to match all of her little outfits. Of course, she leaves them on for about 4.5 seconds, but it's still worth it, right?

I also think these would be cute to use as gift packaging, or sewn onto baby onesies. What other ideas do you have for using korker ribbon?

Linking up with Treasure Box Tuesday, Worthwhile Wednesday, the Wednesday Roundup, and the Inspiration Spotlight.