Dinosaurs Roar

My daughter LOVES dinosaurs.  She always has.  We have dinosaur toys, dinosaur puzzles, dinosaur t-shirts (do you know how hard it is to find a dinosaur t-shirt for little girls?), and have even done dinosaur egg hunts in our back yard.  We always check out one of the “How Do Dinosaur…” books at the library, and when I make shape pancakes, dinosaurs are always requested.  And since it’s been way too long since I picked up my hooks and made something new, when I saw this new pattern from one of my favorite crochet designers come up, I knew I had to make it right away!  

Isn’t it the cutest?!  

Shown here in colors to match my daughter’s bedroom, it’s another cozy cocoon type blanket.  This is sure to pop up on my Etsy shop soon!

Oodles of Zoodles

Have you jumped on the zoodles bandwagon yet?  If not, what are you waiting for?  We’re all looking for healthier choices when we eat/meal plan, etc.  For years, I have been doing the zucchini noodle thing, or ‘zoodles’ if you want to be trendy and fancy.  I started off simple.  Just replacing my noodles with zucchini ribbons for pasta (basic spaghetti & meatballs, lasagna, healthier Greek yogurt based Alfredo, etc.).  Then I got fancy and did Kung paso zoodles (from Skinnytaste).  If it can be served with noodles, I will most likely replace that with zoodles.  I even mix zoodles (without the green peel) in my daughter spaghetti and she has no idea).   I don’t have a fancy spiralizer, but rather a $10 hand held one from Amazon.  You know, similar to the “As Seen on TV” one you can get at Target.  All of my zoodle substitutions have always been cooked zoodles.  But summer time means fresh and easy meals.  So I’ve been experimenting with raw zoodle salads and they have been just as easy an delicious.

The first was a recreation that my mom made for one of our Sunday dinners because she knows we like to have veggies with our meals, and that I LOVE zucchini.  It was like a zucchini caprese salad with fresh mozarella, tomatoes, basil and a great balsamic vinaigrette.  It was delicious.  I had 3 helpings.  Even my hubby went back for seconds.  It inspired me to experiment some more.  So tonight I created this beautiful salad: 

Greek Zoodle Salad!  Man, was it delicious!  To go with it, I made a super simple Greek Garlic and Herb seasoned pan seared chicken thighs.  Here’s what I did with the salad (everything is organic, if possible):

2 large zucchini’s (spiralizer into 3-4 inch lengths)

1/3 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, quartered

1/4 cup Greek olives, chopped

1/4 cup fresh mozarella quarter

1/4-1/3 cup crumbled feta


Juice of 1 small lemon

About 2 tbsp lemon olive oil

Splash of red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp. Greek seasoning

I just put all the ingredients together in a bowl and tossed it all together.  Easy Peasy and delicious.  

The chicken: season the thighs with Greek seasoning. I did a pan sear in lemon olive oil and 1 tbsp of garlic and herb butter that I had made and had left over from another recipe a few weeks ago.  

Do you zoodle?  What are you favorite ways to use them?  Have you spiralizer any other vegetable?  

Doll Carrier

It’s been a while since I got my DIY on, so I thought I’d whip this up one afternoon.  My daughter, at the moment, is really in to playing with dollhouses, and baby dolls.  Especially baby dolls (which she calls her babies).  I think she’s trying to hint for a little brother or sister, but whatever.  We never go anywhere without one.  She has even started bringing them on our errands with us…in the baby doll stroller she has.  You can imagine how quick an errand is with a 3 year old, and it’s even “quicker” when there is a doll stroller involved…or not at all.  So, I thought maybe she could carry her.  I had bought an Ergobaby carrier for dolls a few years ago for a friend, and when I went to trusty Amazon, it said they were discontinued.  So, I looked on Pinterest right quick and saw THIS ONE.  Easy Peasy…and cheap!

She loves it, can take it off by herself and uses it to carry her baby dolls, baby Shrek doll, and even her Spider-Man.  SUCCESS.

Oh, and apparently, my Amazon search wasn’t thorough enough.  They still have Ergobaby doll carriers.  Womp Womp. 

DIY Dollhouse

This past week, my mini and I went to San Diego to visit my brother and my new baby nephew.  Lucky for us, we have lots of friends and family in San Diego.  We got to stay at my in-laws house and that’s where she discovered it…the dollhouse.  There are few things that my mini will play with for hours at a time (or at least an hour straight…which in 3 year old time is forever)–her kitchen and her slime currently top the list.  But this, this was a game changer.  She’s at that fun stage where her imagination runs wild.  She was full dialogue with her dolls (the few she has).  She takes them all over the house in the stroller on errands, to the doctor, etc.  When I saw her playing with this dollhouse every single day for hours at a time I immediately knew we had to get one for her.  So, I did what I normally do…hopped on Amazon to see what the options were.  That’s when I was in for a big shock!

I was just going to buy her the same one that my in-laws had.  It was a good size, folded up when not in use but when folded out had extra rooms.  I think it had something like 6 rooms, a family, furniture for the bathroom, kitchen, and dining room.  Little did I know that each of those things would be separate purchases, that specific dollhouse is no longer made, and something similar with all that stuff would cost me at least $200.  What?!  How?  Why?  I kept up my search…everything that looked good (and not cheap) was so expensive.  So, to Pinterest I went.   There were so many options there, some that probably would have cost more than purchasing something from Amazon/Toys R Us, etc, but man they were pretty.  I fell in love with THIS ONE and especially loved it’s dual purpose for later when dollhouses aren’t so cool.  But, let’s face it, I’m not about to tackle this big project.  So, I came up with the idea to just use those cubby shelves.  And with that a new Pinterest search started, and inspiration hit!

Materials: This cubby shelf, 12 pieces of scrapbook paper (which was on sale for 25 cents each), double stick tape or mod Podge, assorted doll furniture and dolls.

I build the shelves, then started to Mod Podge the paper to the back and “floor”.  Similarly, you could just use double stick tape and get a nicer, smoother finish.  Add in the furniture and voila.  Done!  My mini had lots of fun picking out the paper for the kid bedroom and bathroom.  I picked the rest.  The result…

It still needs some work (more furniture, maybe some rugs), but for under $100, my mini is in LOVE with the results.   She played with it for 3 hours straight…so that is a big success in my book!

Boy variation: each room could be a superhero’s lair, or each room a different place (firehouse, police station, car garage).  The options are endless.  

Bohemian Diamonds

It’s been a while since I picked up my hook and made a baby blanket.  A friend’s baby girl’s arrival in October is the perfect reason to create something new.  I’ve had my eye on this pattern for unite some time.  I mean, come on…just look at the fridge detail.  I just adjusted the colors to go with the theme/colors of the nursery and got to work.  This took me a few weeks to make…mind you I work on it about 45 minutes at a time.  The individual pieces always take no time at all (there are 7 here), but it’s the stitching it together and tucking in all the loose ends that takes the most time.  After all is said and done, I am in LOVE with how this came out.  Hope baby girl and mommy and daddy like it too.

Upcycled Leftovers

This past weekend we had friends from San Diego come to visit us.  Wish the weather was as beautiful as it has been since the day they left, but that’s not what the weekend was for.  It was for catching up, “relaxing” (well, as much as you can with two 3 year olds, a 1 year old and a dog running around), and enjoying some time together.  That also meant easy meals at home, eating out, and LOTS of wine and beer.  

The first night, I made things easy and did a little BBQ action.  Hamburgers and grilled veggies for the kids, and hot-dogs and fruit for the kiddos.  The following night was easy mac & cheese for the kiddos, and then after the kid went to sleep an awesome meat & cheese board was created to go with some delicious wine.  The last and final night was take-out pizza.  That means there are leftovers in my fridge…and a need in my mind to get back to our mindful and healthy eating.  But, I don’t want to waste any food.  So, I try to get creative and upcycle leftovers into side dishes, or whatever else I can think of.  And, for dinner last night that’s exactly what I did.  

On last night’s menu was baked salmon in a lemon and white wine sauce, grilled artichokes (had a few leftover from last week), and upcycled grilled veggie orzo salad.  The orzo salad was a hit with the hubby, as he isn’t one for leftovers.  It was actually a variation of one that we do often, but with the items we have on hand.  And it came out beautiful and delicious!  The ingredients were simple…orzo, chopped grilled veggies (leftover from burger night), tomatoes, roasted garlic and goat cheese (both leftover from cheese board), lemon juice and olive oil.  Not a bit left, and a little of the leftovers from my fridge have disappeared.  



How do you deal with leftovers?  Eat them as they are (which I am more than fine with doing), upcycle them, or put them in the fridge and forget about it them until it’s too late? 

Sunglasses Storage

Is it just me or am I doing a freakin’ DIY project every single week.  Last week, it was revamping my fruit basket situation in the kitchen.  The week before it was staining our new trash can cabinet (which came out amazing).  This weekend, I had to get this one done…my DIY sunglasses storage.

I have been looking on Etsy for a while now for a great way to hold ALL my sunglasses.  It just isn’t practical to keep them in the ginormous cases that they come with, and I have different glasses for different occasions (too much?).  I found some really great ideas on Etsy and was more than willing to support a small business owner, but then I decided to just do it myself.  

So, about $12 later, this little creation lives on the wall of my “command center” inside my pantry.  Perfect!

How’d I do it?  Easy Peasy and it took me about 10 minutes.  

* Rectangle Canvas (thought about wood, but ended up with this for the ease of hanging it on the wall).

* Washi Tape in a fun color that coordinates with my kitchen

* Mod Podge

* White craft rope

I had most of this on hand, which is why it was $12.  If you have to go out and buy it, it may cost you up to $20-$25 depending on if you have those coupons from Hobby Lobby or Michaels.  I just spaced out my washi tape how I liked it.  No measuring for me, just eyeballed it.  I covered the whole thing with Mod Podge to set it.  Once it was done I stapled my craft rope in place.  I threw some 3M picture hanging strips on the back and stuck it up on the wall.  Done and done!  Fun and functional.

Do you have an abundance of sunglasses?  Where do you keep them? 

PS.  Is it scary that I have another pair on my wish list?