Friday, June 29, 2012

Paper American flag (kids' craft).

This is a simple little Fourth of July craft that I did with the three and a half year old that I watch. He had a blast making it, and has been showing it off to everyone. I love that he had so much fun while working on his cutting, coordination, and listening skills too (not to mention practice with colors, shapes, and counting!).

These directions are based on how I did it with him, but this is easy to adjust to other ages/levels of development. I had him cut out the shapes himself (using children's safety scissors of course), but you could do the cutting for younger kids. For older kids, you can give the more autonomy when putting everything together.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A few of my favorite shops (treasury Tuesday).

The other day, I was looking through my past purchases on Etsy, and I was surprised to see how cohesive the product pictures looked together. That's when I realized I should make a treasury featuring the shops and items that I have been delighted with (I've had very very few less-than-awesome Etsy experiences, but I definitely did not include those shops here!).

Many of these are the actual item I purchased, either for myself or as gifts. Those are our wedding rings, that is my camera bag, and the boys I watch love those wooden trucks. These shops also all gave me excellent customer service, which is incredibly important to me.

My Favorite Shops
I'm also very excited to tell you that I am guest posting over on White Lights on Wednesday today! Julie is so awesome, and I'm honored that she let me take over her blog for a day.

I'll be showing you how to make this delicious risotto that requires less than 10 minutes of stirring! Oh, how I love shortcuts! Be sure to go check it out (and if you haven't read White Lights on Wednesday before, be sure to check out Julie's blog too!).

Easy risotto for two, with chicken sausage and peas.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

June photo-a-day challenge (week two).

Here are my photos from week two of the June photo-a-day challenge. You can see in some of these photos that I am playing around more with some of the other picture editing apps. It's amazing what you can do so easily on a cell phone now!

Don't forget, you can also follow along on Instagram @mdoublemcrafts.

8. Six o'clock

9. Your view today

10. Best bit of your weekend

11. Door

12. From a low angle

13. Art 

14. Time

Monday, June 18, 2012

June photo-a-day challenge (week one).

It's official, I'm addicted to Instagram. This came as no surprise, I knew I would be addicted to it as soon as I heard about it. I actually thought about getting an iPhone just so that I could have Instagram, but my old phone still worked perfectly well, and I couldn't justify the splurge. You can imagine my excitement when I first heard that it was going to be available on Android phones too. Then I tried to download it, and learned that my phone was too old to support Instagram!

My old phone finally started acting up, so a few weeks ago I treated myself to a new phone. The first app I downloaded? You guessed it, Instagram. I've been having so much fun playing with it, and exploring the other free photo editing apps.

When I saw this photo-a-day challenge for June, I knew I just had to do it. I'll share weekly updates of my photos for the month. You can follow along and see my other photos on Instagram @mdoublemcrafts.

1. Morning

2. Empty

3. On your plate

4. Close-up

5. Sign
6. Hat

7. Drink

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Back from Colorado (update).

Please forgive me for my unannounced absence. We spent last week visiting my wonderful Grandma in Colorado. She turned 90 earlier this year, so my family came together from across the country to celebrate a belated birthday (we had to wait until all of our schedules worked together). We had a fabulous time visiting, and I can't believe how fast the time went by.

Before leaving, I had grand plans of prewriting and scheduling blog posts for while I was away. Clearly, that never happened. The week before we left was unexpectedly busy - the family I nanny for had a new baby girl (almost 2 weeks early), and our old car broke down, so we suddenly had to get a new one. It was an exciting week! I didn't even start packing until 11 o'clock the night before our (early morning) flight.

The good news, is that now I have lots of posts waiting to be written. My goal is to get back to at least three posts a week. I feel refreshed and energized after our trip; my creative juices are flowing again. After I write up a few more posts tonight, I plan on trying out a new risotto recipe (if it comes out delicious, I'll be sure to share the recipe with y'all).

Three generations. My aunt had these shirts made up for us (I blurred out my grandma's name).

Friday, June 8, 2012

Syracuse salt potatoes (recipe).

There is some fabulous food that comes out of New York. I grew up with chicken speedies, amazing buffalo wings, fresh venison, and don't even get me started on the fabulous pizza and bagels (anyone who wants to come visit us from back home is welcome, as long as they bring me a dozen bagels from Ithaca Bakery). 

One of my favorite treats growing up was these salt potatoes. They are buttery and salty on the outside, with a skin that almost pops when you bite into it. Inside, the potato is unbelievably creamy (the salt causes the water to boil at a higher temperature, which cooks the starches more completely). They are simply perfect.

These are so easy to make, and guaranteed to be a hit. There is A LOT of salt in the recipe, but bear in mind that most of it goes down the drain with the water. This recipe is adapted from the New York Times; the original recipe is here. There is also a nice history of the origins of the dish included in the article. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Folded paper stars (DIY).

The idea for these stars has been floating around in my brain for a while now. I kept searching Pinterest for something that matched my idea, but nothing was quite right. One night, I decided to just start playing around with a strip of paper to see what I could come up with, and this is the result. 

I love the way that these stars turned out. They would be perfect scattered around on a dessert buffet; you could string them together to make a garland; they would be excellent decor for Independence day, or a birthday; the possibilities are endless.