Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Make Your Own Train Tunnel and Mountain

My 3 year old son, Benjamin is OBSESSED with trains. He loves anything to do with trains from real trains, toy trains, model trains, books about trains, pictures of trains, drawings of trains, etc... In fact, about half of the conversations I have with him have to do with trains.

He especially loves Thomas and playing with his wooden tracks. For his birthday and Christmas, he has gotten a lot of tracks, trains, and accessories like bridges, and we love building a huge network of tracks. However, most of these trains and accessories are really expensive, so I wanted to make him a tunnel and mountain to play with. I was able to make one for free with materials I already had around my house.


What you need:

1. Card stock
2. A printer or scrapbook paper
3. Scissors and an X-ACTO knife
4. Hot glue gun
5. Watercolors
6. Marker
7. Cardboard.



How to make the TUNNEL:

1. Either get a piece of scrapbook paper that looks like a rock wall, or print something similar onto a piece of card stock. Trim the edges (if there are any) so that there aren't any white strips. If you feel that your paper is flimsy and needs more support, attach it to a piece of thin cardboard (like from a cereal box).

2. Cut a piece of cardboard that is about 8 inches long (as long as the width of your paper), and about 1 inch wider than your wooden train tracks. (about 3 inches).

3. Fold the top and bottom 2 inches of your paper over in the same direction. Glue each of these sides with a hot glue gun to the bottom of your cardboard. And you're done!




How to make the MOUNTAIN:

1. Use an artist's marker or sharpie to draw the shape of the mountains you want onto a piece of foam core. If you have already made your tunnel, make sure that your mountain is big enough to fit over the tunnel.

2. Cut out your mountain with an X-ACTO knife. Trace this same shape onto another piece of foam core and cut it out. Now hold up the two pieces so that they perfectly align and draw the outline of your mountains on the outside of the second piece.

3. Trace the shape of the tunnel onto both pieces of foam core and cut it out. Make sure that you leave some extra space at the top and bottom so that it will fit.

4. Decide how wide you want your mountains to be. Cut a few pieces of foam out that are that width. Also cut one long piece of foam that is that width, and that is the same length as your mountains. Using a hot glue gun, attach the bottoms of both mountains to this base. Attach a few extra pieces of foam core inside of the mountain to secure it.

5. Using watercolors, paint the grey part of the mountains. Enjoy!


This ends out being a little fragile, but it has held up to a 2 year old and 3 year old for over a month now. We like to put two rising tracks on each side so that it is a very tall mountain. Benjamin LOVES his mountain and tunnel and it has been an awesome (and free) addition to his train set. If your kids are a little older, they could even help decorate and paint the mountains.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Monday Funday #3

Hello everyone! Cheryl here this week! Thank you all for making this link party amazing! 569 links last week! You all are awesome! I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us this week!

Monday Funday Header - Draft

Every Monday you can link up your crafty/DIY/recipes to not just one, but FIVE awesome blogs:
That’s 5x the exposure! So, ONE crafty link party extravaganza will happen on FIVE blogs. Plus, each week one of us will choose projects to feature on all five blogs. We will also be sharing links throughout the week on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

This weeks features are being brought to you by Cheryl from That’s What {Che} Said…



Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram Google + RSS Feed BlogLovin That's What Che Said... About Me Image Map
Before we get the party started I’d like to share 20 Recipes that you NEED to try!

Monday Funday Features Main

I’m not sure about you all but I certainly get in a rut thinking of new dishes to make for my family. It seems I make the same meals over and over again each week! When I get in a rut it’s hard to get out. If you are like me then rest assured these will get you back into the cooking and baking mood and give you and your family’s taste buds a treat!
  Monday Funday Link Party Features 1

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting from The Farm Girl | Shrimp and Tomato Bisque from Will Cook For Smiles | Bacon & Spinach Quiche from Architecture of a Mom | Fire Roasted Tomato & Chicken Pizza from The Gunny Sack | Blueberry Buttermilk Mini-Donuts from Shaken Together

Monday Funday Features 2

Strawberry Valentine Sandwich Cookies from The Farm Girl | Twinkie Cupcakes from Todd & Lindsey | Black Bean Soup from Made in a Day | Coconut Snowball Macaroons from Good Girl Gone Green | TJ’s Pesto Bruschetta Panini from Posed Perfection

Monday Funday Features 3

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake from The Misadventures of Mrs. B. | Crab & Chipotle Aioli Deviled Eggs from Steak-n-Potatoes Kinda Gurl | Chili Cheese Dip from Love Grows Wild | Brownie Pudding from The Chirping Moms | Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins from The Happier Homemaker

Monday Funday Features 4

Salted Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies from Katie (Nellie Bellie’s Daughter!) | Pesto Hoagie Melts from Semi Homemade Mom | Oatmeal Bread from It Bakes Me Happy | Skinny Garlic Roasted Green Beans from Cheerios and Lattes | Mushroom & Leek Quiche from Echoes of Laughter

Also be sure to check out Katie’s Favorites Post Here!
If you were featured feel free to grab a button!


If you don’t already follow us on Pinterest, now is a great time! We will be pinning features like crazy!
Whew! Are you hungry yet? I know I am ! Now let’s get this party started this week!

A few things to remember:
  • Please link to a specific post on your blog.
  • We'd love for you to pin the features, but please click through to the tutorial and pin from the original source!
  • By linking up to to Monday Funday you are giving the 5 blogs, listed above, the right to feature one of your photos.
  • Click on lots of links and leave some comment love on posts you adore! That puts the FUN in Monday Funday!
 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Celebrate Friendships this Valentine's Day

When I was a kid, I LOVED Valentine's day. I would wake up in the morning, and my parents would surprise my brother Jared and me with fun gift baskets, chocolate, and heart shaped pancakes. But my favorite part of the day was going to school with my decorated shoe box and handing out personalized Valentine's to everyone in my class. Every year it was a big deal deciding which Valentine's cards I wanted to get, and it was so much fun looking through all of the cards (and candy) I had gotten from my classmates.

Then, as you grow up, Valentine's turns into a couple's day, and it feels like you have to be a part of a couple in order to celebrate. I love my husband, and look forward to a Valentine's date night (which we usually end out having a few days early or a few days late), but I really miss Valentine's being more of a holiday to tell your friends that you care about them.

One of my FAVORITE shows on TV is Parks and Recreation, and if you've ever watched it, you know that Leslie Knope is the queen of giving the perfect gifts. She created Galentine's Day (Feb. 13) as a day for girls to celebrate their friendships. It is such a fun idea, and I want to challenge you to remember to do something special for your friends, family, and coworkers this Valentines, especially any single friends you have that may feel left out.

Here are a few fun surprises, cards, and gift ideas to help celebrate your friendships this Valentine's Day.

1. Send Galentine's Day Cards. I LOVE these free ones (4 different versions via The Secret Life of Us). Perfect for friends who also love Parks and Rec!



2. Surprise someone with a Box of Balloons (via Studio DIY)







4. Make a Felt Heart Garland (via MADE). Dana paired this with some heart socks and tablecloth for a great gift.



5. Make a gift like these beautiful Yarn Wrapped LOVE Letters (via My Sister's Suitcase)



6. Make a sweet treat, like these Marshmallow Brownie Bites (via A Pumpkin and a Princess)



7. Give Mini Bottles of Wine (with cute printables via C.R.A.F.T.)



8. Make Homemade Bath Fizzies (via My Own Ideas) - heart shaped ones would be perfect for Valentine's




Sunday, January 20, 2013

Monday Funday #2

Welcome to the second Monday Funday! Last week was a HUGE success with over 500 links. Thanks everyone for stopping by and sharing.


Every Monday you can link up your crafty/DIY/recipes to not just one, but FIVE awesome blogs:
  
That's 5x the exposure! So, ONE crafty link party extravaganza will happen on FIVE blogs. Plus, each week one of us will choose projects to feature on all five blogs. We will also be sharing links throughout the week on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

If you don't already, follow us on Facebook to see if you've been featured.

This week's features are brought to you by Rachel from Lines Across.



1. The Cutest Sock Monkeys Ever from Untrendy Life


2. Conversation Heart Cocoa from Smart School House


3. Fringe Necklace Tutorial from The Gingerbread Blog


4. DIY Chain Jewelry and Hex Nut Bracelet by Hodgepodge of Styles


5. Anthropologie Knock-off Chalkboard Jars from The Good Life


6. Valentine's Milk and Cookies from Celebrating Everyday Life


7. A Library Themed Baby Shower from The DIY Nurse


8. Lighted Constellation Canvas from Mom's Crafty Space


9. A Thousand Thanks Card (and Free Cut File) from The Thinking Closet


10. Gorgeous Ombré Hearts February Calendar from Me and My DIY 


A few things to remember:
  • Please link to a specific post on your blog.
  • We'd love for you to pin the features, but please click through to the tutorial and pin from the original source!
  • By linking up to to Monday Funday you are giving the 5 blogs, listed above, the right to feature one of your photos.
  • Click on lots of links and leave some comment love on posts you adore! That puts the FUN in Monday Funday!



Friday, January 18, 2013

Everyone's Favorite Guacamole Recipe

I really LOVE all things avocado, but unfortunately, my husband is really allergic to them. So naturally, I use any party or get together as an excuse to make some delicious homemade guacamole. This recipe is easy to make, and a real crowd pleaser. It is not especially spicy or zesty, and everyone ends out loving it. And if you want to make guacamole with a little more kick, you can easily add hot sauce, more jalapenos, more lime juice, or use a spicier salsa.


Homemade Guacamole Recipe (Serves 3 - 4)

2 Ripe Avocados
3 Tablespoons of Salsa
1/2 Lime
2 Teaspoons of Finely Diced Jalapenos
1 Tablespoon Chopped Cilantro
1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
(Optional: 1 Diced and Seeded Roma Tomato)

Instructions:

1. Make sure you have ripe avocados. Peel and slice them. Mash them somewhat with a spoon.

2. Juice half of a lime. (Seed and dice your tomato). Finely chop your jalapeno and cilantro.

3. Add salsa, cilantro, jalapenos, (tomatoes), sea salt, and lime juice to the avocados. Stir and mix them together carefully, keeping some of the chunks of avocados.

4. Chill for an hour and serve.

TIP: Put the avocado seeds back in the guacamole to help keep it fresh longer in the fridge.



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