Friday, April 4, 2014

Alex's Minion Birthday Party

My Nephew Alex turned six recently.  His family was busy preparing to move, so my mom and I thought we would help out by throwing him a minion birthday party. It was so much fun!  Here's what we did....(Fair warning, there are *a lot* of pictures)

This our main table

He wanted a moon cake with minions on top. I made a moist yellow cake mix and added rainbow sprinkles to the batter. Then I baked it in a big metal bowl so it was rounded like a moon.


My Mom and I made the faces on the yellow bags. We found all sorts of free printables online and printed the eyes, but we drew everything else. We filled them with a twinkie wrapped with a minion wrapper, bubbles, a banana of course, and a few other little things. 


Mom made a minion balloon on a stick for each kid to take home with them.  

Th first thing we did was paint moon rocks

Here's Alex painting his moon rock. Rocks from the garden washed, then boiled on the stove top. Then dried off. They are warm, so when you touch a crayon to them, the wax melts and you can color your rock. 


Here's Jake painting his.



After that, we sent the kids on a "Minion Rescue Mission".  Mom took Easter eggs and made these cute little guys.  We filled them with M&Ms. And then the kids had to rescue them.  


We put the bowl of minions at the end of this hallway, that is a maze of crepe paper laser beams. The kids had to duck and climb over lasers to rescue one minion and bring him safely back.


Here's Alex taking his turn through the laser maze. 

Then we played "Pin the Minion of the Rocket Ship".  I didn't get a picture of this, but mom drew a great rocket and we twirled kids around and very few got the minion on the rocket.  After that, we bowled for Evil Minions. I made these minions out of purple plastic cups and printed eyes. 

Can you see Jacob hiding behind the stack of Minions? He was a great helper and stacked up all the cups for the kids to try and knock over.  

 


 We used my sister Sarah's Happy Birthday banner...isn't it awesome! 


 We ate pizza for lunch


Sang Happy Birthday


 Blew out candles


 And blew them out again because they were TRICK candles. Here's Jacob, working on really blowing them out all the way. 


 Then we ate cake and ice cream and opened presents.


We finished the party and still had 20 minutes before parents picked up their kids. So, we watched the 3 Mini Minion Movies twice and sent them on their way. They had a great time and we had a great time. Happy Birthday Alex! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Girlfriend Clutch

Here's what I've been slowly working on in my spare time over the last week. Thanks Blue Susan Makes for the pattern!!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The 100 Year Flood

Well, it's finally here.  The 100 year flood, that has supposed to be coming through Boulder for several years now, arrived last night. There are roads that have washed away, hundreds have been evacuated and there's been a lot of damage. Being east of Boulder, it has not been as bad out here, but we did have some problems last night. We walked into one of the basement bedrooms and found that the carpet was wet. Ben came over and helped move all the furniture out of the room. Once that was out, we discovered that there is a crack in the wall that goes from the window to the floor that had water flowing out of it. It literally was like a little water fall running down the wall.


 There is also a similar crack in the basement bathroom. There was also 1/2 inch of water in the bathroom


So, we went outside to investigate, in the pouring rain, what was going on and discovered that we had 3 inches of standing water outside of both windows. I didn't get a picture at that point, but you can imagine what a 3 inch deep pool of water looks like. We came around the corner of the house and then end of the walkway pictured below was 3 inches deep

It was 3 inches deep here by the bedroom window where Ben and I began dumping sand to try and divert the water away from the house. Which kind of worked, but there was a lot of water to move. So dad and Ben started to dig a trench to create a low point an get water flowing away from the house. 


Then Jesse came and we dug more trenches


This corner was more also 3 inches deep all the way under the deck to the bathroom window. 


We were able to get the water flowing out from under there and create a small ridge of mud/dirt/sand to help keep the water out. 

Here's what the trenching looks like now. We took out part of a patio and dug 6-8 inch deep trenches along the sides of the patio all the way to the grass. It was a muddy, rainy process but we managed to stop more water from going into the house.


Here's the basement now. We used a carpet cleaner to suck water out of the carpet and then we pulled it up and it's got fans blowing on it trying to get it dry. 



Thanks Ben and Jesse for coming and rescuing us last night!!! I love that you both live so close. You are awesome!!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Quilt for Nikki

My friend Wendy and I like to make quilts for people in our group of  friends. We have made at least 5 quilts together (that I can remember...there could be more) for our close friends.  Our latest was for our dear friend Nikki. Nikki is...well...in a word....AWESOME!  She is a compassionate, kind, funny, smart, and wonderful person.  And, she happens to like yellow - which we all know is a super happy color...how can you not like yellow?  Anyway, I picked up an assortment of Jelly rolls and fat quarter bundles a couple of years ago to make this happy quilt for Nikki. So, I thought I should document it. Wendy and I started working on the quilt back in February.  We worked on it here and there and then the quilt top went missing in my house for about a month (which was not a proud moment over here, but thankfully, much to Wendy's relief, it turned up!) And then....and I am embarrassed to admit it, as we were trimming the quilt top in preparation to spray baste and machine quilt it, I did the unthinkable....I accidentally cut into the finished quilt top! Yes! That's right, for the first time in my life, I totally chopped in to a finished quilt top! Not the edge....of course not! No, I cut into the black border! It was awful and required some seriously tricky patching, but it all worked out in the end. Thank you Wendy for being patient and for working with me to make this beautiful quilt. 

Here's Nikki with her quilt.

The front side of the quilt. 

The back side. I have never made a quilt with a patchy back before. Wendy thought a 9 patch of fat quarters would look good. I really like how it turned out.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ode to the Kindle Fire HD

Dear Kindle Fire HD.....how I love thee. My brother and sister-in-law and my parents pooled their resources and gave me a this little piece of heaven for Christmas. I recently discovered that my Kindle fits perfectly on the little lip on me treadmill.....doesn't she look pretty perched their? She makes walking so fun....Netflix is just a couple of clicks away.   


My Kindle has a fantastic case that I love, but every time I put her in my purse, I fear that some crumb or piece of something from the bottom of my purse (yes, if you have a purse, you know what I mean, not that I keep food or trash in their ever....ahem) will get caught in the kindle ports. So, In order to ease my worries, I decided to make a sleeve to protect her with. I used this tutorial from Sew Can She as inspiration and then modifying it for the size of my kindle.  


I used a charm pack that I was given at Quilt Market.  I love the colors! Now my Kindle is safe! Isn't it pretty!!!





Monday, October 22, 2012

Travel Bag

So I am going on two.....yes, two......vacations over the next 2 weeks. I think that is a little crazy, but I'm doing it and I am sure that it is going to be awesome. I am going to the International Quilt Market in Houston, followed by a trip to Disneyland. 

In light of my upcoming travels, I decided that I need a bigger bag that will hold a notebook as well as my regular purse items, plus a water bottle and snacks. So, I made one.  I used the same pattern that I used here but tweaked it a little to fit my needs. I ended up adding extra pockets, a longer strap, and a flap.  So, it's kind of a purse/messenger bag hybrid, if you will. Here are some pictures. 




I had all of this fabric in my stash.  I'm glad that I finally used it! The best is that I didn't have to buy a thing to make this bag because I had everything I needed. I love that. 


The pockets are big inside. One of them is the width of the bag and has a piece of velcro to keep it closed. I think it turned out pretty well. It took me about 6 hours from start to finish. 
Maybe I will get faster some day ;)



Monday, September 24, 2012

96th Birthday!!!

Sunday we celebrated a 96th birthday - that is when you add 70 and 26 together.  Happy Birthdays Mom and Breanne!!! We had our requisite family birthday dinner which was rounded out by two birthday desserts. Mom has been wanting to try making this Coconut Cake recipe, so we did. We made chocolate frosting instead of coconut, but if we make again, I think we will make the coconut frosting instead. Here's how it turned out. 


It's a very dense cake and took a long time to bake.....unfortunately, it fell and so there was an large amount of frosting added to make it look a little less wonky..... :) It was super yummy though. 



Breanne wanted something that involved chocolate and caramel.  She didn't have anything specific in mind, so she let me just come up with something. So, being the baked goods inventor that I am, I decided to take an old recipe and reinvent it into what I am going to call the Salty Carmel Chocolate Bars. A chocolate oatmeal cookie crust filled with Dulce de Leche and caramel filling.....mmmmmmm. Here are a couple of pictures.  


Sweet is always good with a little salty, so I added some crumbled potato chips to the filling. Ever dipped a potato chip in caramel? You should try it....it's delicious.


Here's what they look like right out of the oven


And here's the inside. Want the recipe? Scroll down to the bottom of this post. 


Of course, I had to make something crafty for my mom's birthday gift. She's been needing a new ironing board cover, so thanks to my sister's tutorial on Blue Susan Makes I made her one. 


It was super fast to make. Once I got it cinched tight around the board, It was still a little loose (I probably cut it too big), so I took a piece of embroidery floss and sewed a quick zigzag from side to side and now it is perfectly snug. 



Becky, super patient Becky, made this cork board wall hanging for Breanne.....it's amazing! She cut it all out and traced all of the states with a Sharpie. It's awesome.


Happy Birthday Mom and Breanne! I love you both!




Carmel Fudge Bars

Ingredients
Combine the following:
1 cup butter (melted)
½ cup Cocoa
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Add:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups quick-cooking oats

Filling
¼ cup Salted Butter
1 14 oz can Dulce de Leche
1 bag carmels (unwrapped)
1 cup crushed potato chips (or more if you want more saltiness)

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease or spray a 9x13x2 inch glass pan.  

Melt butter, then add cocoa and stir until smooth. Add sugar, eggs and vanilla. Sift together flour, soda, salt and oats and then combine with the butter/sugar mixture.  Set aside about ½  cup of the dough for topping. Pat the remaining dough into the bottom of the pan and 1/4” up the sides.  Set aside. 

To prepare filling: 

In a heavy bottom sauce pan, melt butter over low heat.  Add Dulce de Leche and caramels. Stir continually over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in potato chips.

Pour filling over the dough.  Spread evenly over dough, not quite all the way to the edges. 
Break remaining dough into small pieces and drop evenly onto the filling. It will not cover the filling completely.   . 

Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until filling looks set and cookie topping is slightly browned. Let cool completely before cutting into 2” squares (approximately 2 hours in refrigerator or 3 – 4 hours on counter top.)