Friday, March 22, 2013

Sesame Street Party – First Birthday Poster

Continuing in my series of posts about Nathan’s Sesame Street 1st Birthday Party, today I’m sharing the First Birthday Poster I made.

First Birthday Poster

I loved the posters for sale on Etsy by MoulageCollection but at $52 they were way out of my price range. Instead I spent $1 on a piece of bristol board, used the expensive chalk version as inspiration and made my own with markers.

Birthday Bristol Board_close2

I started in the centre with “Nathan is ONE!” and then wrote around the outside about his favourites, his activities and his measurements. Basically I aimed to capture the essence of Nathan at 12 months old ;)

Birthday Bristol Board_close1

The last step was to dress it up by adding some doodling and then some Sesame Street chipboard characters to tie the poster to the theme. I hung it up in the living room and it was neat to see people stop and read it throughout the party. I hope I can remember that I want to make one of these every year!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Sesame Street Party – Balloon Birthday Wreath

If you’re a regular reader than you probably know that I’ve got a thing for wreaths. I’ve got one for pretty much every season and holiday. I hang them outside, inside, my Summer Paper Wreath hangs in my kitchen all year round. So when I started seeing variations of this balloon wreath all over Pinterest I knew I needed to make one for Nathan’s party.

Balloon Birthday Wreath 

It was so easy to make but had big impact and I got a lot of compliments. All you need for the basic concept is a Styrofoam wreath form, straight pins and balloons in your colour scheme. I went with 5 different colours and used just under 50 balloons in total. How many you need will depend on the size of your wreath form. Buy more than you think you’ll need because the end result is a lot better when the wreath is fuller.

All you need to do is start pinning the balloons to the wreath form with the straight pins. I tried to space out the colours evenly but I didn’t worry about a pattern as everything ends up overlapping. If you don’t like a section it’s easy to unpin and try again so don’t think too hard about it! Once I had all my balloons in place I pinned a loop of ribbon on to the back for hanging.

Balloon Birthday Wreath_close 

It was cute with just balloons but I decided it needed something else so I painted a wooden N that I had in my stash and attached the Sesame Street lamppost. I hot glued ribbon to the back and then pinned it to the back of the wreath.

All told this wreath took me less than an hour to make and cost less than $10. The bright primary colours fit the Sesame Street theme perfectly but they’re also just cheerful birthday colours so I’ll be able to use the wreath again next year just by removing the lamppost and replacing it with something to fit the next theme.

Still lots more Sesame Street Party posts to come!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sesame Street Party – Baby Food Jar Favours

When I decided to make favours for Nathan’s 1st birthday I knew I needed to do something edible. I hate bringing home favours that just collect dust because you feel too guilty to throw them out. I even made edible favours for our wedding. I had acquired a bunch of baby food jars last fall for a project I never got around to making and decided favours would be a perfect use for them.

Baby Food Jar Favours

To make the labels I had Nathan scribble all over white paper and then I cut it into strips to wrap around each jar. I wrote “Thanks for coming! Love Nathan” on each one before I glued them on. For toppers I used cupcake liners. The regular sized ones fit perfectly over a baby food jar lid but I had to cut the top halves off so they didn’t cover the writing on the labels. I attached them to the lids with a glue stick.

To fill the jars – the actual favour part – I used mini M&Ms and sour jelly beans. The bright colours matched the party theme perfectly.

Baby Food Jar Favour

The favours were a hit and I’m sure the candy was enjoyed not long after it left the house. Hopefully all the jars made it to the recycling bin ;)

More Sesame Street Party posts to come so be sure to check back!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sesame Street Party – Invitations (with Template!)

Earlier this week I posted about my son’s Sesame Street 1st Birthday Party with the promise that I’d be blogging about all the projects I made for it. I figured first things first – we have to start with the invitations.

Sesame Street Invite

I started with the image of the gang from Sesame Street. I don’t have a proper credit for it as it seems to be floating around on a lot of blogs and parenting sites but I found it on Google Images. I’m sure it probably originated with Sesame Street. I used a photo editing program to add the multi-coloured circles and text and done! I somehow managed to forget a picture of the finished product but I printed them 4 to a page and then backed each with colourful card stock. It was a pretty simple invite but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on something that people were probably just going to throw out not long after receiving it. And I think they turned out pretty cute :)

If you like them too maybe you’d like to make your own! Click on the image below to get a copy of the template – all you need to do is add your text and print them out!

Sesame Street Invite Template

Lots more Sesame Street Birthday posts coming up so be sure to check back!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sesame Street 1st Birthday Party!

Hello! Yes, I’m still here and I’m sorry my posting has been so sporadic lately. Being back to work and figuring out our new family schedule has been tough and the blog has had to take a backseat despite the fact that I’ve got lots of great stuff to share with you. Well I’m hoping to correct that now but introducing a series of posts about my son’s first birthday party. We went with a Sesame Street theme – he loves the characters and I loved working in all the bright primary colours. Over the next week or two (I’m trying not to over commit myself here!) I’ll be posting about everything you see here – and maybe a few more things I couldn’t fit in the collage!


I’ll come back here after each post to add a link so it’ll be easy to find everything. Here’s a partial list of the projects I’ll be writing about:

  • Sesame Street Invite
  • Baby Food Jar Favours
  • 12 Month Summary Bristol Board
  • Heart Garland
  • Sesame Street Pennant Garland
  • Mason Jar Decor
  • “Framed” Guest Photos
  • Tissue Paper Pom Poms
  • Balloon Wreath
  • Photo Garland
  • Table Decor

Hope you’ll come back to see all of the posts!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Guest Post - Pork Chops with Apple & Onion Relish

Happy Sunday! Is your weekend flying by too? If you still haven’t found the time to plan for dinner then check out this recipe from One Hungry Dude!

I love the flavour combination of pork and apples. There's just something about the tartness and sweetness of apples and brown sugar that compliments the saltiness of the pork so well. This is an easy recipe that requires a few staple ingredients.

Apple and Onion Relish 
• 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
• 4 Tbsp Margarine
• 4 Granny Smith Apples, thinly sliced
• 2 Yellow Onions, thinly sliced
• 4 Cloves Garlic, diced
• Zest and Juice from 1/2 Lemon
• 4 Tsp Rosemary
• 4 Tsp Brown Sugar
• Salt and Pepper, to taste
• 4 Pork Chops, with bone

In a large frying pan on the stovetop, heat the olive oil and margarine over medium.   Add the apple and onion, cooking for about four to five minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for another three to four minutes. Reduce heat by about half, add the lemon, rosemary, brown sugar, salt and pepper, and cover. Sweat the relish for about 30 minutes, stirring often, to ensure it doesn't stick to the pan. Once the mixture is soft, and the onions appear translucent, you can reduce the heat to a simmer.

While the relish is sweating, preheat another large frying pan over medium-high. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper, then place in the second frying pan, searing each side for two to three minutes. Reduce the heat to about medium, and cook until done. Allow the pork to rest for about four or five minutes, then top with the relish. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

By the Batch – Strawberry Napoleons

I’m finding fresh produce to be very expensive this winter. With a one year old who loves his fruits and veggies we’re spending a fortune at the grocery store every week so I’ve started basing my purchases on what’s on sale. A few weeks ago our local store had three cartons of strawberries on for $5 so I jumped all over that. I sliced up a bunch and froze them and I made a huge batch of Toddler Smoothies but I still had a ton of strawberries leftover. Chris loves strawberry desserts so I did a quick Pinterest search and found an Easy Strawberry Napoleon Recipe from Six Sisters’ Stuff. We had puffed pastry in the freezer leftover from when Chris made Beef Wellington so I gave it a try. Turns out it actually was really easy and Chris loved them! I’ve altered the directions mostly based on the fact that my pastry was the type you roll out.

Strawberry Napoleon


  • 1 roll (half of a 450 gram package) frozen puff pastry
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup Cool Whip
  • 2 cups hulled and sliced strawberries
  • Icing sugar, for garnish


  • Heat oven to 400 degrees. Thaw pastry according to directions on the box - I left mine in the refrigerator over night. Roll out pastry until you have a rectangle that’s about 1/8 of an inch thick. Make two cuts across the long part of the rectangle so you have three equally sized strips. Then cut each of those strips in half on the short part. Space the 6 resulting pieces on a baking sheet. Bake on the middle rack for 15 minutes or until golden. Place on a rack to cool.
  • Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk pudding mix, milk, and extract for 2 minutes; fold in Cool Whip and blend thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate.
  • Carefully split each piece of pastry in half horizontally. Cover bottom halves with pudding mixture and then sliced strawberries, dividing equally. Cover with pastry tops. Dust with icing sugar.

I don’t like strawberries – weird I know – but Chris loved these. I loved that they were incredibly easy to make and the only thing I had to buy was almond extract. I would definitely make these again but will wait until we’re having people over for dinner as the pastry got very soggy before Chris could get through the whole batch on his own.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Another Year of DIY Valentines

I’m so disappointed – I had Valentine’s Day projects to share but I never got the opportunity to post any of them and now the day has come and gone for another year! But I think I’ve got a pretty good excuse, Nathan turned one last week and I returned to work. It was a busy week! I’m hoping that as we get used to our new schedule I’ll find a better rhythm of posting here because I have a lot of birthday party projects I’m excited to share. In the meantime, here’s this year’s Valentine’s Day cards.

  DIY Valentine 2 DIY Valentine 2_close

DIY ValentineDIY Valentine_close

Hopefully you’ll see me back later this week!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Love Day Smoothie for your Littlest Valentine

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner I’ve been thinking of ways to get my little guy in on the action. He’s too little for most of the activities I’ve found on Pinterest and, at almost a year, he’s definitely still too young for all the awesome looking desserts I’m dying to make. But, he’s just the right age for a yummy pink Strawberry Banana Smoothie! These are super easy to make and, since they’re full of fruit they make a healthy treat for your toddler -  or for you ;) I made a giant batch (multiply the ingredients below to make more) and froze it in ice cube trays for later.

Valentine Toddler Smoothie


  • 1 cup sliced strawberries (I used fresh but frozen works too)
  • 1/2 sliced banana
  • 1 cup plain yogurt 
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp honey (this is optional to add extra sweetness and only appropriate if your child is a year or older)

Put all ingredients in a blender (or a baby food processor) and blend well. You can alter the above quantities to change  how thick or thin the smoothies are, depending on your child’s ability. My son loves drinking through a straw but it’s a new skill so our smoothies were a bit on the runny side. Also, depending on your child, you can partially freeze your smoothie once blended to make it more of a slushy texture.

Serve these pink drinks up to your little ones on Valentine’s Day or any day you want to give them an extra serving of fruit!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

DIY Valentine’s Day Canvas

February is here! My house got dressed up for Valentine’s Day yesterday and I finally found some time to work on some Love Day projects. First up is a Valentine’s Day canvas made with paint and stickers. I’ve seen this idea about a million times on Pinterest and thought it was time to try it myself!

Be Mine Canvas 

The concept is really simple – put letter stickers or vinyl onto a canvas, paint over them and then peel the stickers off. I started by painting my canvas light pink and then applied my letters. Then I painted the whole thing with two coats of red. Sadly when I peeled the stickers off I discovered that some of the red paint had bled through a bit. I’m not really sure how this can be prevented but if you’ve got a suggestion I’d love to hear it. I cleaned up my letters the best I could with a small paintbrush and some of the pink paint but since it still didn’t look perfect I decided to give the whole thing a distressed look that might help it look imperfect on purpose ;)

Be Mine Canvas_texture

I couldn’t find any sandpaper so I used a nail file and rubbed it firmly all over the canvas until the pink was showing through in places. I rubbed some of the red paint dust onto the pink letters to help camouflage where the bleeding had occurred. I love the shabby end result I’m sort of glad that it didn’t turn out perfectly!

At the moment I’m working on mastering coffee filter roses so watch for that project soon!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Guest Post – Roasted Quarter Chicken

After a little blogging break I am back and so is One Hungry Dude! Here’s another great recipe for you to try – and it’s an easy one so perfect for when you’re feeling draggy on a Monday evening. Enjoy!

Today I’m sharing an herb butter recipe that, while simple, packs a great amount of flavour. I like this recipe for chicken but it can easily be adapted for other types of poultry including turkey. Chicken is simple to prepare which makes it a great option for a weeknight dinner when you don’t have an hour to stand in the kitchen.

Roasted Quarter Chicken

• Four Pieces of Quarter Chicken
• 8 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
• 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
• 2 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce
• 2 Tsp Thyme
• 2 Tsp Basil
• Juice from 1/2 Lemon
• Salt and Pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 C. Mix the butter, olive oil, Worcestershire Sauce, thyme, basil and lemon together in a bowl. Use your hand to rub the butter mixture onto the chicken, until each piece is thoroughly coated. Place in a roasting pan or deep, oven safe dish. Cook for about 45 to 50 minutes, basting roughly every 20 minutes, until the skin becomes crispy and the chicken reaches doneness. Remove the chicken from the oven, let sit for about five minutes, then serve.

Friday, January 11, 2013

DIY Card Week – I Adore You

Today I’m sharing a card that I made for Nathan to give my mom on her birthday last month. Making cards from Nathan is fun because I can create them in a different “voice” than I do the ones from me and Chris. This card started with the “I Adore You” sticker (he really does love his Nana!) and then I picked other papers and elements to match.

I Adore You Card

I liked the contrast of the orange and blue and added in the heart pattern paper as I thought it went well with the sentiment of the card. To make it stand out a bit I outlined and coloured in one of the hearts. Had I just left off there I think this would have made a great Valentine’s Day or anniversary card but that wasn’t exactly the theme I had in mind so I added the cute little tag, attached with a brad. The giraffe is adorable and it automatically helped the card to feel more like it was from a child.

I Adore You Card_close

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve got even more cards to share with you so stay tuned for a DIY Card Week 2!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

DIY Card Week – Birthday Clown

Well my grand plans for DIY Card Week have fallen a bit short as my son is sick with a cold and nasty cough. It might have to become Card Weeks and the posts will just continue next week ;). Just a quick post today to share a birthday card I made for my brother. He was turning 29 so you might not think a clown to be age appropriate at first but I thought juxtaposing the silly clown sentiment against the plainer, numbered background helped “age” the card a bit. And my brother is a fun guy anyway!

DIY Clown Around Card

I liked the black and white with all that colour. The centre is a Sassafras sticker and I love its vintage feel. Sassafras definitely makes my go to products for card making.

DIY Clown Around Card_close 

I hope to be back tomorrow with another card post so stay tuned!

Monday, January 7, 2013

DIY Card Week – Birthday With Love

As I mentioned in a previous post I’ve got a backlog of DIY cards that I haven’t had the chance to share with you yet so I’ve decided to declare this DIY Card Week and I’m going to post as many as my son’s naps allow ;)

The first post of the week is a birthday card I made for my aunt back in October. I kept it simple and feminine with lots of pink and layering.

DIY Card - With Love

I like the idea of using the same paper for a couple of layers like I’ve done here. It’s a good way to use up scraps and it also helps to balance your composition. I inked everything in pink and then piled it on. The two flower shapes are paper whimsies from Sassafras and the paper is from one of their lines as well. The “With Love” is a sticker and so is the cupcake. I thought the cupcake helped to make it feel more birthday instead of just a generic card and I liked that it had some dimension.

DIY Card - With Love-close up

I really am a convert when it comes to inking edges. I’ve never bothered before because those special ink pads are expensive, especially if you need them in multiple colours. But adding ink really does help define and separate your elements so I tried just using the edge of a marker and it works like a charm. Now I ink everything.

Be sure to check back all this week for more cards!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Guest Post – Beef Wellington

Happy Sunday! You probably won’t have time to make this recipe from One Hungry Dude for this week’s Sunday dinner but definitely consider it for next week! And check back with me this week for a series of DIY birthday cards!

I was looking for a special dish for New Year's Eve, and found it with Gordon Ramsay's take on Beef Wellington. My in-laws came over for the meal, and my father-in-law raved about it all night. I only made a few minor changes to the original recipe; no need to mess with a classic, I say. There was a bit of preparation and work put into the entree, but each individual step was surprisingly easy. I made a few rookie mistakes, but the results were delicious and impressive.

Beef Wellington
• 2 lbs Beef Fillet
• 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
• 250 g of Mushrooms
• 50 g Butter
• 1 large sprig fresh thyme
• 100 ml red wine
• 500 g puff pastry, thawed if frozen
• A little Flour , for dusting
• 2 Egg Yolks beaten with 1 Tsp water

Heat oven to 425 F. Sit the beef on a roasting tray, brush with 1 tbsp olive oil and season with pepper, then roast for 15 minutes for medium-rare or 20 for medium. When the beef is cooked to your liking, remove from the oven to cool, then chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

While the beef is cooling, chop the mushrooms as finely as possible so they have the texture of coarse breadcrumbs.

Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil and the butter in a large pan and fry the mushrooms on medium heat, with 1 large sprig fresh thyme, for about 10 minutes stirring often, until you have a softened mixture. Season the mushroom mixture, pour in the red wine and cook for about 10 minutes until all the wine has been absorbed. The mixture should hold its shape when stirred. Remove the mushroom duxelle from the pan to cool and discard the thyme.
Overlap two pieces of cling film over a large chopping board. Spread half the duxelles over the beef, then sit the fillet on it and spread the remaining duxelles over. Roll it into a sausage shape, twisting the ends of cling film to tighten it as you go. Chill the fillet while you roll out the pastry.

Dust your work surface with a little flour. Roll out a third of the 500 g of puff pastry to an 18 by 30 centimetre strip and place on a non-stick baking sheet. Roll out the remainder of the puff pastry to about 28 by 36 cm. Unravel the fillet from the cling film and sit it in the centre of the smaller strip of pastry. Beat the 2 egg yolks with the water and brush the pastry's edges, and the top and sides of the wrapped fillet. Using a rolling pin, carefully lift and drape the larger piece of pastry over the fillet, pressing well into the sides. Trim the joins to about a 4 cm rim. Seal the rim with the edge of a fork or spoon handle. Glaze all over with more egg yolk and, using the back of a knife, mark the Wellington with long diagonal lines taking care not to cut into the pastry. Chill for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.

Heat oven to 400 F. Brush the Wellington with a little more egg yolk and cook until golden and crisp (20 to 25 minutes for medium-rare, 30 for medium). Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving in thick slices.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Most Popular Posts of 2012

Happy New Year! 2012 was a great year for me with the highlight being the birth of my son :) Tonight I want to take a look back and share my most viewed projects posts of the year.

This Clothespin Wreath was a hit on Pinterest and was my most viewed post of the year. It was really easy to do and I’m thinking about making another one soon with a Valentine’s Day theme.

Clothespin Wreath

People really got a kick out of my DIY Turkey Headbands this past Thanksgiving. Again, another really simple project but they turned out so cute!

DIY Turkey Headband

Another popular post was my Paper Flower Garland. I love this one because, if you’re a paper crafter, then you’ve already got everything you need to put these together.

Paper Flower Garland

This template for Monthly Baby Photos was a real hit both on the blog and with my friends in real life. I post Nathan’s monthly photo on Facebook each month for my friends. It’s a fun way to watch him grow and to commemorate his milestones.

Monthly Baby Pictures

And last but not least, you guys were digging my homemade birthday cards – these three in particular! Find the posts here, here and here.

Dream Big Birthday Card Birthday Cards DIY Birthday Card

I’m really glad that my cards have been popular as I’ve made a bunch more recently and will be sharing them soon. I’m still debating on whether to have a week devoted to cards or to do one  a week for a while. Anyone have a preference?

Here’s hoping 2013 is a fantastic year for all of us!