June 28, 2011

Repurpose Fabric for my Daughters room

This past week was a week for re-purposing  some fabric to add some touches to her room.

earlier in the week she asked me for a garbage can.. and while I had a few plain white ones kicking around that was just not going to do for her room so following the instructions to make the Crayon Holder I made last week, I covered an old garbage can that was not being used with a receiving blanket that was also no longer being used.  then to help her keep the bag in her garbage and add a little decoration I made a band That I had seen earlier in the week, the flower is the same one I make for the flower hats earlier this year.

DD's Trash can for her used Tissues!
she quickly filled it by pretending to blow her nose! lol!

Then another project I had been meaning to do was make something out of my daughters out grown favourite shirt, I had a little fabric left over from the reviving blanket so I used that to back a pillow made from her favourite t-shirt so now she can sleep with it every night!

Back of pillow using the butterfly from the receiving blanket
used on the garbage can.
DDs favourite Pony shirt can now be slept with every night!

Lower Sugar Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Lower Sugar Peanut Butter Cheesecake

In our family I on occasion need to make a desert that is low in sugar but still satisfies that sweet tooth... Here is one of my stand bys  it is great because the cheesecake part has no added sugar, but you can make a regular crust and topping that can be made with full sugar and removed by those that do not/can't have the sugar, the crust and topping can be made with lower sugar options or you could just omit them all together, it is up to you.(this time around I used the full sugar topping and crust but will give you the lower sugar options in the recipe.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake 

(adapted from a few different Philly and Splenda cheese cake recipes)

Cheesecake Base

2 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened (I like the tubs they are easier to mix)
1/2 cup   Natural  unsweetened peanut butter *
1/3 cup   Slenda Sweetner
1/2 tsp    Vanilla
2             Eggs

If you wanted you could make this as a pumpkin cheesecake and substitute canned or pureed pumking (not pie filling) and 1 Table spoone of pumpkin pie spice. and omit the topping.


The easiest option is to use a pre made pie Crust (this is what I did on this ocasion.)
a second option is to omit the crust and just line a 7 inch spring form pan with parchment paper
the third option is to make the following Crust.

1 cups Graham cracker crumbs (or even better chocolate cookie crumbs)
¼ cup Splenda
¼ cup Butter, melted
mix and press into a 7 inch spring form pan lined with parchment paper.


150 g of your favourite Chocolate bar, (Toblerone, Milk chocolate , or even Peanut butter cups)
1/2 Cup thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping 

Melt chocolate and mix at pour over cooked cheesecake.

Another options is to use 1/2 and 1/2 carob and chocolate chips or 100% dark Chocolate Chips which are lower in sugar. instead of the chocolate bars


Preheat oven to 350°F. 

Beat cream cheese, peanu tbutter, splenda, and vanilla  large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs and beat until just blended.
Pour into crust and bake for 40 min or until center is still wiggly and edges are firm to touch. 
add topping and  refrigerate for a min or 3 hours.

* TIP*
 If you use a store bought crust you can reverse the lid to make a dome and protect your cake in the fridge or to take with you.

June 21, 2011

Crayon holder...

Mini Marker/ Crayon Holder
that is "baby proof too"

My eldest daughter recently got some mini pip sqeak markers and loves using them however there are so many of them that they often end up all over the table or floor and her little trouble maker of a baby sister tries to take them away from her!

Solution Create a pretty tin to keep them in so that she can see all the colours at once, they dont roll off her table and when closed her sister can not get to the markers!

Materials Needed

1 can with plastic lid that will fit your crayons or markers
1 peice of fabric that will cover the sides of your can
1 can of spray glue
1 Fray check
1 can of clear spraypaint (optional)
1 quilting ruler and rotary cutter (optional)or ruler and scissors)
1 scissors
1 can of clear spraypaint (optional)
1 peice of  card stock (not pictures I used an old file folder also optional)

I ended up not using the glue gun 

I started by Spraying the outer edge and inside of the can with clear spray paint to help seal the edges since they were a little rough where the stay fresh seal had been removed, this is a totaly otional step I spayed my can in a cardboard box with one side cut out in a well ventalated area but you could also do this outside.
( I also used this set up again  later on)

Next is the other optional step I decided to line the cans bottom inside, I traced the can onto a peice of card stock and cut just inside the lines for a snug fit.  then glue it to the bottom of the can after checking for fit ( I used a little spray glue, however any craft glue would work here (such as the unused glue gun in my picture)

Now on to the necessaries part.

Measure the height minus the top and bottom lip and approximate circumference of the can, cut a peice of fabric the height of the can and a little longer than circumference of the can.

Next wrap your fabric around your can and chek for fit, if it needs to be cut down a bit more do that now, you want the fabric to come just up to the top but not over it or the lid may not fit back on properly.
note you want a little overlap of the fabric (about 1/2 a centamiter or so)

next spray the outside of the can with spray glue and wrap with the fabric around your can, let the glue dry then trim the overplap as close to the seam as possible

finally along the exposed eges of the fabric drip some fray check and let it dry this step will keep the edges of your fabric from fraying and also help glue them to the can a little as well. 
(This is actually quite stinky and you may want to do this outside as-well, the smell does not last long though.)

Fill with crayons or markers and let your little one colour away.

June 19, 2011

Fathers Day Gift

For fathers day I took the girls out side and had a little photo shoot,  I saw this idea just after fathers day last year but for the life of me can not find the link now (so sorry).  

For the letters I went to the dollar store and picked up 2 pieces of foam core and cut them out with a quilting ruler and an Exacto knife.  We then went outside for a photo shoot, once the photos were sorted I got a frame at Walmart for 3 $ that was perfect for this project and that is it. 
I've put the letters away for now hopefully we can do this again next year.

Here are some of the other photos from the shoot.

June 18, 2011

No Melt Popsicle Tutorial...and Healthy Too!

No Melt Popsicle

Cantaloupe and blueberry flavour

I have 2 Young girls at home and many nieces and neighbours that like to visit my place and when the weather begins to get hot as Popsicles are always in high demand.  I avoid artificial flavours, colours and added sugar when ever possible so I tried to make my own when ever possible, I also find that little ones often put them down and forget about them, at times in places you don’t see (like last week my 4 year old left hers on the end table in the basement for a least half an hour before I noticed, and since it was one of these she was able to pick it up and finish it!) and you don’t want a big sticky puddle, So I came up with these popsicles they are easily made with fruit and juice from your fridge, perhaps that nearly over ripe fruit that you need to use up (that is what this batch was made from) try it out and see how many flavours you can come up with!

Ingredients and tools needed:

Food processor (or blender even a potato masher would work)
Measuring cups (4 Cupper and 1 or 2 cupper)
Measuring spoons
Small bowl
Mixing spoon
Sauce pan
Popsicle moulds or paper cups and sticks

Cantaloupe or other Soft Fruit to blend (watermelon, peaches, canned pears all work well too.)
Blueberries or other fruit to stir in
Apple Juice or other non citrus juice or water
Unflavoured Gelatine powder or flavoured if you want 

Step 1
Cut up your Cantaloupe and blend until smooth 
 measure the amount you have, in my case it is about 2 cups.

Cantaloup ready to pure.
2 Cups of Puréed Cantaloup

Step 2

Pour  apple juice (or other liquid of your choice) into a separate measuring cup. 
Measure  enough juice to make a full number of cups of liquid in my 
case that will be 1cup  to make 3 cups total.

1 Cup of apple Juice.
Step 3

Measure and "bloom" your gelatine.  

You will need one pouch of unflavoured gelatine per 2 Cups of liquid,(or just a little more is fine too)  that is equal to 1 Table spoon of gelatine per 2 Cups of liquid if you buy your gelatine from a bulk store.

I used 4 table spoons (2 packets) of gelatine(follow directions on your package) for 3 cups of thick “juice”.

Blooming means put a small amount of your apple juice into your gelatine and let set for 15 min to begin dissolving and avoid lumps.

Bloomed gelatine and remaining apple juice
Step 4

Place gelatine and the rest of your apple juice in a sauce pan and
put on low heat to fully dissolve the gelatine. Then remove form
heat and let cool for 5 min or so.

This does not need to come to a boil just ensure the gelatine is fully dissolved.

Fully dissolved gelatine
Step 5

Mix apple sauce gelatine into cantaloupe mixture 
and mix in blueberries (or other additive of you choice )I  used a full pint.

Step 6

Spoon mixture into the popsicle mould. (Yes I have a crazy amount of
molds as I only want to do this every few weeks, I normally make a bigger batch)
Moulds ready to be filled.
All filled up and ready to freeze

Step 7

Freeze your popcicles.

Sitting in my messy freezer

Step 8

Unmould and enjoy.

My Popsicle Monsters enjoying a Watermelon Blueberry popsicles earlier this week.

June 09, 2011

Revive old Playdoh!

Save your Dried out Play-Doh

Sick of taking out your child's Play-doh toys to play with and find it full of dried out Play-doh?  or open that container that was only used once to find it is kinda dry now?  Dont throw it out you can bring it back to its old Play-dohey goodness!

Step 1

Divide your dried out bits into piles of like colours or colours that will blend well together to make a nice new colour.  There is a lot of red ( the container was left open)

It is better if a bit of it is a little ply able like the blue to the right here, it is not necessary but will make the process go a bit quicker.
 Step 2

Place the like colours in a sturdy plastic bag (un-used breast milk bags are great for small amounts or freezer bags for larger amounts)  with a small amount of water,  just a few tea spoons trust me (you will see later what happens if you use to much) you can always add more later if need be.

one trick you can use is ball up the doh in your hand and run it under water  this works well if the Play-doh is not completely dried out then place it in a bag.

Step 3

Let the Bags sit for a few hours or over night.

Step 4

Kneed the Play-doh in the bag this keeps your hands from taking on the colours of the Play-Doh.  If the Play-doh still feels dry or is not blending well add a very small amount of water to the bag...Just a few drops trust me.

Here are 2 of the bags after kneading these are well blended with just a few very small bumps of hard Play-doh mixed in  just leave them in the bag for a few more hours or over night again you can knead periodically to speed up the process a little.

 These two bags still had a lot of dry bits left in them so I added a little water and let them sit for a while before kneading again.

the blue turned out fine after lots of periodic kneading but the red you will see what happens when you add too much water.
 If you add to much water you have a few options
1. knead it by hand for a while, it will be messy but it will dry out quite a bit, you can mix it with some Play-doh that is of a normal texture this will help a lot also let it sit out for a small while (30 min or so) then bag it back up, you dont want to dry out too much.
 After Kneading the read and letting it sit out for a bit before  re-bagging it over night it was still a little sticky so I added some cornstarch and this seamed to do the trick although I did add quite a bit to it ( you could use some flour too I am sure.
Step 5

Take the Play-doh out of the bags, give them a good kneading by hand  and you are ready to play... or put it in an air tight container until next time.

I managed to fill 4 containers with like new Play-doh for my little princesses.

June 08, 2011

Quick Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Banana Muffins

I recently went on vacation and when I got home realized I had left some bananas on my counter that needed to have something done with them pronto!  So I called my mom and got her banana muffin recipe.  These mini muffins quickly became my girls new favourite treat 2 weeks and 4 or more batches later I still can not keep them in the house for more than a day!

I love this recipe for a few reasons,

1. There is no need for eggs, oil, milk... just pantry staples.
2. It makes a small batch 12 small muffins or 24 mini muffins...
    (this is turning out to be a bit of a problem now as they eat so many)
3. It is super quick to make.

I did make a few changes to the recipe so I will list the recipe the way I make it and then list the original that was given to me by my mom.

My Little Muffin Monsters!

Erin's Chocolate Chip Banana Muffin Recipe

2         Ripe Bananas Mashed
1/2 C   Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
1/3 C   Sugar
1/2 C   All Purpose Flour
1/2 C   Whole Wheat Flour
1    tsp Baking soda
1          Handful Rolled Oats 
1          Handful Chocolate Chips

Makes 24 mini muffins

spray tin with no stick spray or use muffin liners

Bake for 11-13 min in the centre of a 375 F Oven

Original Chocolate Chip Banana Muffin Recipe

2         Ripe Bananas Mashed
1/2 C   Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
1/3 C   Sugar
1    C   Flour
1    tsp Baking soda
1          Handful Chocolate Chips

Makes 12 Small muffins 

Bake for 15 min at 400 F