Mar 31, 2010

And the winner is......

We have a winner!!!
Here are all your names (thanks to everyone who entered. It was nice to get a few more entries and you always have such nice things to say so thank you for that.)
In the basket
Small fry picking (pardon this mornings attire we are getting ready to go to daddy's school to get our pictures taken this morning)
And the winner is: MISTY. Congratulations to you. What is nice about having Misty win is that I love her blog Creative Itch so that is super cool. I will send an e-mail your way to get your address. Notice small fry in the back ground still picking out winners. We always want all of you to win. If my "sponsor" ever becomes a millionaire I will do a giveaway in which every entrant wins.
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Mar 29, 2010

Giveaway Reminder

Wow, I really thought I would have more takers on a free year subscription to Parents magazine. Seemed like a good giveaway idea to me. Guess those who have left comments have a really good chance of winning. Just a reminder if there is anyone else out there that would like a chance to win, the giveaway closes Tuesday night.
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Mar 27, 2010

White Bean Sneaky Recipes #2

Yesterday I had Stitching Bee at my house and we always have treats and of course I still have 9 cups of overcooked white beans to use up so I thought I best just keep trying recipes. I tried cupcakes with white bean puree. You use a regular yellow cake mix, but instead of using oil you use 1/3 cup of white bean puree, 1 cup of water and 3 eggs. Mix it the way you normally do a cake mix and what do you get......DELICIOUSNESS that is what. I was shocked. I must admit I made these totally preparing myself to throw the whole batch away. After the oatmeal cookies that didn't look so good but tasted great I was thinking the cupcakes were going to be like little hockey pucks but they were perfect. They weren't as moist as regular cupcakes but I actually liked them better because they were a bit sturdier than a normal cupcake (and therefore could hold up under the weight of a healthy portion of frosting much better). If you want to be sneaky-this is a great one. To make the bean puree you just put your cooked beans in a blender and add just enough water to make a thick and creamy paste. Remember to reduce the water amount in the cake mix down to 1 cup instead of the normal amount which I think is usually 1 1/4 cups. It is not like adding a 1/3 cup of white beans makes cupcakes now the worlds healthiest food but it makes them really cool that they have protein and fiber in them and less fat and your kids wouldn't even know. TRUST ME on this one. You have to try it. I got the recipe from the cookbook "I Can't Believe it's Food Storage". You can check out all her recipes at www.everydayfoodstorage.net.
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Mar 26, 2010

Egg Tree and Mod Podge Egg Tutorial

I finally finished all of the Mod Podge eggs that I wanted to make for my egg tree (pictures are at the end of this post). I thought after making so many of them and struggling at the beginning figuring out a way to do them that actually worked, I would add a little tutorial. To make these I used:
Plastic easter eggs
scrapbook paper
Mod Podge
Ribbon
1. Start by dabbing some glue around the middle of the egg to glue it together.
2. Cut your scrapbook paper into small squares. I found that small squares (less than an inch in size) worked the best. I used sheets of paper that were 5x7 and cut up about 2/3 of the sheet.
3. Start by brushing some of the Mod Podge on the egg and then sticking the squares down. You will need to make a small fold in one side of the square to get it to lay nicely on the egg.
4. Continue adding more squares, remembering to make a fold or dart in each square (it doesn't matter on what side the fold is). It is best to work around the middle of the egg first and leave the top and bottom until last.
5. It will look like this: ( I think it kind of looks like paper mache)
6. Now work toward the top and when you get to the last piece instead of folding it cut a small slit in it like this and....
fold it over as you glue it down over the very top point of the egg. Repeat if necessary to cover the whole point.
7. Repeat the same process toward the bottom of the egg. It doesn't always work out like this but if you can end up with just one small spot to cover then you can just put a single square over it like this...


8. Then cover the whole thing with a coat of Mod Podge and let it dry. Once dry attach a ribbon hanger. I hot glued mine to the top of the egg. To make my tree I went out into my back alley and found a dead tree and borrowed a branch from it. I spray painted it white as well as a vase to put it in. I put a piece of Styrofoam in the vase and hot glued the branch into it. I glued green Spanish moss over the top of the Styrofoam. Then I hung my eggs on it.





I intend to use the tree for other holidays mostly because it is too big and awkward to store in our basement. It may become a permanent part of our kitchen island which is where is it displaying these cool eggs right now. I have always wanted one of these. I am really happy with how it turned out.
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Mar 25, 2010

Happy 200 giveaway CLOSED NOW THANKS

When my little "followers" box reached the 200 mark I was ecstatic. I have never been much of a "stand out in the crowd" type person and have never felt like anyone had any reason to follow me for anything before (well except in like the 7th grade when I wore a wide rimmed black and white checkered hat to church and my best friend Tovah said I looked so cool - ahh an actual moment when I was the leader of something and not just the one 2 years behind. I still look back on that moment with pride). Anyway it is a total honor to me to have people that find my blog worth checking up on on a regular basis and therefore want to be followers either publicly or those of you who I know read on a regular basis but aren't part of my little "box". Having said that I had full intentions of doing a giveaway when I reached 200 followers but I had sick kids at the time and couldn't think of what I wanted to giveaway but my answer actually came in the mail to me the other day. My renewal for Parents Magazine was in the mail and as a part of the renewal of my subscription I can get a subscription for a friend for free. If I could I would send it to my dear friend "George" but she is in Canada so I thought it would be a perfect giveaway for all of you wonderful blogging friends out there. I love Parents Magazine. It is full of great tips and advice, I love that there are so many short articles (for when you only have a minute in the bathroom by yourself to read) as well as great recipes and projects for kids. So here is what you need to do: if you live in the US and are interested in a free 1 year subscription to Parents Magazine then leave me a comment as well as a way to get a hold of you (like an e-mail or a link to a blog you check often where I can leave you a comment you won). I will take entries until Tuesday night (March 30th). A winner will be announced on Wednesday.
And now I would like to take a moment to introduce you to the sponsor of this giveaway and all the giveaways I have done in the past:
He is a young, handsome, hard working, father or two who loves basketball and hunting, his wife's cooking and playing with his girls and yep he is bringing home the bacon in this house and therefore sponsoring all my fabulous giveaways. (Wish I could figure out how to have all these wonderful companies throng my blog with things to giveaway). You can often find him like this after a hard days work:

If you have won in the past it is his hard earned dollars that have been turned into your fantasitic prize. He is such a great sport!! Thanks again to everyone who reads Small Fry and Co. It means a whole lot to me. Good luck to everyone on the giveaway!!!

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Mar 24, 2010

Easter Eggs

Here is a little sneak peak of another Easter project I have been working on. I have been making these Mod Podge eggs all week and boy are they time consuming. I hope to have the whole thing completed in a few days-well at least enough to post on the blog. I don't think I will get out of town to get some green moss that I am wanting but everything else should be done so stay tuned.



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Mar 23, 2010

Beans Beans, the musical fruit

The other night at about 9:00 pm I decided to make oatmeal cookies with white beans in place of butter. Random you say!! Well I had about 10 cups of white beans that I needed to decide if I wanted to keep or toss. Why you ask? Well I had a hamhock that I wanted to make into ham and bean soup. Only last time I made ham and bean soup I cooked my beans on the stove top and they did not soften at all and we ended up with what we termed "crunchy bean soup" and my husband said it would be a good idea if I poured the whole thing down the garbage disposal after dinner and the little bit that we ate. So I had given up on cooking dry beans all together. But my friend lead me to a recipe for cooking beans in your crockpot and so after reading it I thought it sounded easy enough and was convinced it would work so I went to the store and bought the large size of white beans to cook. The recipe said that I could bag and freeze the beans to use in soups and other things in the future and I am all about making things easier in the future. Then I cooked the beans and they just kept on growing and growing. Well anyway I ended up with A LOT of beans. And they did get soft. And I took some out and put them in my soup and left the rest in the crockpot because I had crying and screaming children and I couldn't take care of the beans at that exact moment. BIG MISTAKE!! My perfectly cooked beans turned into bean mush and so what I was left with was about 10 cups of white bean mush. Now what was I to do with that? Make cookies of course. I found this recipe my "I Can't Believe it's Food Storage Cookbook" and gave it a try. You just replace the butter in cookies or bars cup for cup. The verdict: they tasted great. They were soft and chewy. The color however was terrible. They looked like dried mud. They would be the cookies at a bakesale that are the last ones on the table that no one wanted to buy because they look "healthy". The omission of butter means they don't have any shine or anything to make them brown up in the oven. So when I made my second batch I sprayed the top of each cookie with some cooking spray and that made them golden brown and a bit shiney when they were baked. I couldn't believe it actually worked. I am not saying I am going to replace all butter with white beans but heck, since I still have 9 cups to use up it is good to know I have a way to do it and hey if you want to eliminate the fat from one of your favorite recipes you should give this a try.
Here are the recipes:
Cooking beans in your crockpot: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/10/cooking-dried-beans-in-crockpot.html
Oatmeal cookies using white beans:http://everydayfoodstorage.net/?s=oatmeal+raisin+cookies
This is the recipe I used. I can't seem to find the one with white beans in the recipe on her website but this is the exact same recipe you just replace the cup of shortening with a cup of cooked white beans. No need to mash or anything just toss them in with the sugar when you are creaming the sugar and eggs. If you are using powdered eggs also then you shouldn't add the water is what the recipe says also. Next on my list to try: brownies made with refried beans.
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Mar 22, 2010

Dancing with the Stars begins tonight. My husband and I make it a weekly event to watch together. He has no interest in dancing at all and wouldn't have even given the show a glance had it not been for me but I heard him tell one of his buddies that he watches it because it is something that he and I can do together and actually he will admit now that he does enjoy watching it (probably not as much as basketball) but he does enjoy it. Here is how we have been preparing for Dancing with the Stars at our house:

video

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Mar 21, 2010

Spring Chicks Wreath

I have not fallen off the face of the earth-I am just not cranking out the crafts nearly as fast as I would like around here. First both girls were sick with Tonsillitis. That was a handful keeping both of them happy. They have both recovered fine now. Most recently Small fry has not been having her regular afternoon naps and it is throwing me totally out of whack. Even though I can put on a video and she will watch it and I can have a few moments alone, it is not the same as when you have your children tucked in bed and the house is silent and you can just relax and breath for a few moments. She is unaffected by the nap change; I am struggling with the loss of my hour and a half completely to myself. But I wasn't consulted first. Anyway, I am slowly working on some Easter projects but my crafting time just seems to be limited these days so everything is taking so long to get completed and that is not my style at all. I am all about projects that can be done in about 20 minutes and so this is frustrating to me. I feel like I am not finishing anything and I just keep thinking of more things I want to do and that only makes me feel more behind. A vicious cycle. Thanks for listening.
Now onto my spring chicks wreath. I finally made my little chicks a nest on this spring wreath to hang on my door. The nest is made of raffia. The silk flowers remind me of apple blossoms which are one of the prettiest parts of spring I think. It is a fun welcome home sight to see. Small fry loves to point out that there is a nest of "peep peeps" living on our door.





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Mar 16, 2010

Follow up

I had a few pictures on my computer that I wanted to share as follow ups to earlier posts that I did. Here is the first: Small fry's Girls state Basketball Cheerleading outfit. I did a little tutorial about the skirt I made and here is the shirt I made to go with it. I just used printable iron on transfers.
Here is the back-these are the numbers of all the basketball players on daddy's team. She was pretty cute at the games.
Secondly-here is the follow up to the rainboots question. Thanks to everyone who commented giving suggestions of places to get cute rainboots. I think Target was the number one choice. I don't live any where near a Target though and when I looked online the price of the boots plus shipping was much more than I was willing to pay. So I checked E-bay and was able to score a pair for a great deal. And they were worth every penny. Small fry loves them. She wore them all day for 2 days straight even though they are a bit big. She even had to wear them at lunch and dinner. I thought we might have to put her to sleep in them but luckily she let us take them off. She is a girl after her Grandpa Sam's on heart. (Anyone who knows him knows that he wears rubber boots pretty much everyday of the months of April and May and any other day there is speck of rain.) Our puddles all dried up by the time I got the boots but we have had a bit of rain since then and she doesn't care if there are puddles or not-she is happy to wear them while watching Dora. I love it when I get it right.


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Mar 13, 2010

McLinky

I am just going to reach out and ask for help on this one because I am so in the dark about this McLinky business. I have seen it on blogs and have been invited to join or add a McLinky (or whatever it is I have been invited to do) and I think it looks great and I would love to do it but I DON'T HAVE A CLUE WHAT A MCLINKY IS OR HOW TO USE IT. Someone help me please. Where do I go to find out how to do this McLinky thin? If I am going to add to someone elses what am I supposed to do? I am so lost. HELP PLEASE.
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Mar 12, 2010

Wiggle Wiggle

There is nothing that makes you feel more confident about your current workout routine than having your almost 2 year old (who insists on being in the bathroom with you when you have a shower) point at you and all your "problem" areas as you are about to step into the shower and say "Wiggle wiggle" then give you a pat on the bum and add, "Take a shower mama. See you in a few minutes."
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Mar 11, 2010

Easter Baskets

I just noticed that I hit the 200 followers mark and that feels amazing to me. Thank you to everyone who follows my blog and to those of you who read but are not "official followers" I just love knowing that there are a few of you out there enjoying (hopefully) what I am doing here at Small Fry and Co.
Because I only started blogging a year ago and last Easter I was just stepping into the world of tutorials and such and I didn't have nearly as many readers as I do now, there are many of you who may have not ever seen this project or tutorial so I thought I would repost a link to my Easter basket from last year. Go
here to see it. The picture below is the on I made for Small fry last year.
This year I had a brilliant idea last Sat morning to try and turn these formula cans into Easter baskets for the girls. (These formula cans just seem too craft worthy to throw away, though I don't keep all of them). So here is my before...
and here is my after.
And here is a closer look. I just used doubled sided tape and scrapbook paper to cover the cans. The little Easter guys are made out of fun foam and I used a Snipit's pattern from Pebbles in my Pocket to make them. The baskets aren't really huge but I am not a fan of over doing the Easter baskets especially not for little kids who will look at the toys once and chuck them under the back of the toilet and play with the plunger instead. So these will hold a few little trinkets and I think I will make some decorated sugar cookies also. Stay tuned for those.


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Mar 10, 2010

Dear Walmart

Dear Super Walmart,
The only thing that was super about you today was your long lines (seriously people 4 cashiers open on a Wed afternoon-maybe if it was 10:00pm I would understand but you had over 5 people at each line-is that not telling you something?), the super tantrum small fry threw while we were WAITING in the pharmacy, and the super huge hole I wanted to dig and bury myself in during said tantrum. The tantrum really isn't your fault but it feels better if I blame it on you. Something about your store makes me want to ram my cart into a lamp post every time I leave. You keep getting my money only because you are my only option big blue-just remember that.

Sincerlely,
SUPER Frustrated.
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Mar 6, 2010

Dear Semi Homemade

Dear Semi Homemade with Sandra Lee Care of Food Network,

I love the concept of this show-using partly prepared/packaged foods mixed with homemade to create delicious and easy meals for your family but my question to you is: Have you ever watched an episode of Semi Homemade? Are you for real Food Network? Exactly who is the target audience for this show supposed to be? Last time I checked the average American women didn't do any of the following:
-dress to match her kitchen
-decorate her kitchen to match her tablescape
-create a tablescape for every meal
-have an endless supply of rainbow colored dishes to create said tablescapes
-have the funds to run to the store for a new set of dishes to create a new tablescape even if she were to do it only monthly
On top of that, when was the last time you saw the average American women grilling burgers on the seashore wearing an all white shirt and pants outfit? I think you may appeal to more viewers if you were a little more realistic and down to earth. Yesterday I was watching an episode while I fed my baby during which you were creating a meal for kids. Last time I checked none of the following were on a the list of favorite foods of the average American child:
potato salad with jalapenos, Mexican spice, cilantro and chipolte sauce
5 bean chili
Cajun spice pork burgers with a sauce made up of: horseradish, tartar sauce, Cajun spice and capers (which by the way you said there would be none left over because it would be gobbled up)
Are you serious? Sandra, please. Pretty sure most kids would choose hot dogs and potato chips over this.
Food Network lets get real. Every time I start watching this show I turn it off before the program is even over because I think, "this is so ridiculous." Lets come up with a show that could really help the average American women (those of us who struggle with what to make for dinner on a daily basis) not with what to wear to match our kitchen.
Sincerely,
So over the tablescapes.
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Mar 5, 2010

Motherhood Tip

How to tell when your sick child is on her way to recovery:
the sick, snuggly, wants to sit on your lap, lay her head on your shoulder, hardly says a peep for two days child is replaced with one who stands in the middle of the room, fists by her side, straight as a board, face beat red screaming for more Elmo's World.
Normalcy, welcome back to our house.
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Mar 4, 2010

Little Spring Chicken

I first found this pattern when I was in high school (over 10 years ago) in a magazine-I have no idea which one it was, probably Family Circle or Better Homes and Gardens maybe. I had torn it out and saved it in my Easter file. I then used it in a Relief Society lesson when I was in college and had traced the pattern onto a piece of paper and thrown the orig anal away. Well fast forward to last week when I got my serge of spring energy and was in the mood for a quick and easy spring project. I went once again to my Easter file but found it lacking all the great things I remember it once having (that is what happens when you clean/thin out your files over the 10 years + of inactivity) but I still had the traced pattern for these. So I redid the pattern and you can find it here and here is a quick tutorial to go along with it.
These can be made for scraps you have laying around your house. They are super fast to make but do involve sewing. I used my sewing machine but you could do them by hand it would just take longer. Hot glue is also needed.
1. Cut out pattern pieces and the appropriate number of pieces of fabric according to the pattern. The pattern has a piece for the beak but I keep it as a general rule of thumb that I never cut out a pattern piece that small, I always just eye ball those kind of pieces.

2. Sew together the body pieces-right sides together-leaving a small opening for turning. Backstitch both sides of your opening. Repeat for the head. Turn right sides out.

3. Using beans, rice or popcorn pour some into the bottom of the body to weigh it down. I used popcorn. This isn't necessary depending on what you will use these for but if you want them to stand on their own like in a little nest then you will want to do this.
4. Fill the remainder of the body with stuffing and the head too. Don't over stuff.
5. Sew openings closed. I didn't bother tucking in my opening edges or even trying to hide the opening in any way because both will be hidden when you assemble the chick.
6. To make some hair gather a small bunch of yarn like so and....
glue it to the back of the head like so with hot glue. Then cut the folds and trim to uneven lengths.
like this.
7. To make the beak, take the beak piece you cut out and put a small dab of hot glue in the middle and fold it in half. This will make the beak so that it stays partly closed on the chick and doesn't just flap open. Hot glue the beak to the head piece. Add eyes. I drew mine with a marker and I used some chalk to make cheeks. Then glue the head to the body.
Here is a side view.
8. Finally take the scarf/blanket piece and tie it around your chick with a knot. I tied mine to the side a bit. This will cover up the seam on the head. You could glue this in place. I didn't.
Aren't they little sweeties. Look for mine to show up in a Spring wreath in a week or so. I have to get a few more supplies and make a couple more. Enjoy!!!
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